It's been a busy and long week... so long that I'm almost too exhausted to think about what I want to post. I've had six straight days of four or fewer hours of sleep - I'm looking forward to going to bed shortly and not getting up until noon or so.
For those who asked in my last post (to which I haven't had a chance to respond), if it wasn't obvious, yes, I took the job that I was offered. I had a few concerns, but in the current job market I didn't feel comfortable turning down a job that I was so well qualified for after my last two years.
(Plus, I still haven't received the Record Of Employment that I was supposed to get within five days of being laid off from my old job, and without it I wouldn't have been able to collect unemployment... that's another good reason for jumping at the offer. I expect that I'll have to spend several weeks nagging them for it, along with the severance they owe me.)
Anyway, the new job is going reasonably well - apparently my work has been impressive. On one of my projects, after the first week I was already ahead of the person who had been working on it for three months (who is no longer there). And I'm enjoying what I'm doing, which is important.
The other project I was assigned to, however, was a bit of a pain. I won't go into details, but the changes I had to make added up to a grand total of roughly ten lines of code. However, the state in which the project had been left by the previous developer (who is also no longer with the company) was such that I couldn't figure out how to deploy my changes. It took a full week, and the input of five or six other people, to figure out what was going on and to get my changes into the demo system. But now that the problem has been solved, hopefully it won't happen again.
The one drawback is that the commute is roughly the same length as my previous commute (about an hour and a half each way), but they're being stricter about hours - I have to get to the office for 8:30 in the morning, which means I have to be up by about 6:30. I am sooooo not a morning person.
I spent most of evenings this week working on Polaris stuff, in preparation for today's scheduling meeting. We held it a few weeks earlier this year, in the hope of giving ourselves more time to respond to the inevitable requests from panelists for changes. As a result, there are a lot of panels in the schedule which currently don't have anyone signed up for them yet - so if you're coming to the con, please consider being a panelist. If you're not yet pre-registered, by signing up as a panelist you become eligible for a discount of $10 per panel. The panel list is here
- it still contains some panels that didn't make the schedule today, but they will be removed from the list shortly.
Actually, preparing the grids was an interesting experience this year. I had ordered some paper from a company out in Brampton. Because they deliver, I had the shipment sent to my office address. I knew it would be heavy and awkward - it was a 50-pound roll, after all, four feet wide and 720 feet long. (It cost about the same as last year's roll, which was only just enough for what we needed - this, OTOH, will probably last ten years.) When it arrived, I needed help getting it to my cubicle, so I called Declan and asked if he would help me get it home. He agreed, and picked me up after work on Wednesday.
came over Thursday night. We put the roll on my dining room table in order to unroll it, measuring pieces as we went. We needed four pieces, each about seven or eight feet long. So each of us put our arms into the centre spindle in order to lift and rotate the roll so that the paper would unroll, then we cut off what we needed. I now have a bruise the size of a large egg on the inside of my left forearm from where I was putting pressure when lifting the roll... ouch.
Once the pieces were cut, we laid them out on my living room floor and knelt down to draw the gridlines on. Of course, neither of us owned a long ruler, so we ended up using the edge of the box the roll came in so that the lines would be straight. However, we didn't anticipate killing a Sharpie and two highlighters in the process of drawing the lines. We managed to get through it by about 12:45 or so, though.
We've added some new guests and events in the last little while:
- Claudia Black, of Stargate SG-1 and Farscape, will be appearing Friday and Saturday.
- Authors Ursula Pflug, Rob St. Martin, Kate Story and Erik Buchanan have been added (in Erik's case, we actually announced him a while ago but didn't get him on the website until this week).
- The Shadow Cats, Toronto's Repo! The Genetic Opera shadow cast, will be performing Friday evening, after Opening Ceremonies.
- The Writers' Workshop, which is being conducted this year by Eddie Schneider of JABberwocky Literary Agency (representatives for Violette Malan, Charlaine Harris, Brandon Sanderson, Tanya Huff, Simon R. Green, and Elizabeth Moon), will take place Sunday.
- In place of our usual Martial Arts workshops, we are offering a Tai Chi workshop on Saturday and a Yoga workshop on Sunday.
And we're still working on more. It's going to be a great con this year. (Well, I think it's a great con every year, but I may be biased. ;) )
Today's scheduling meeting was supposed to start at 9, but because of some changes in the way we decided to run the meeting this year, we didn't actually get to work until about 10. It didn't help that it started pouring out while I was on my way. The grids got a little damp despite my umbrella - I was walking along and thinking, "There's no way this can get any worse." And then the rain's intensity doubled. I arrived just in time to avoid the hailstorm that followed, fortunately.
I was obviously sleep-deprived because at one point whitesangria
was putting Post-Its on the wall for the actor guests and I thought I heard something about David Nickle's signing. Since David is an author and is not whitesangria
's responsibility (travellingone
and I look after the author guests), I was confused and asked, "Why are you putting David Nickle's signing up?" Of course, she was putting up David Nykl
, not David Nickle
... I knew that was going to cause confusion, but I didn't think I would be the one getting confused. Once we realized my mistake, we all had a good laugh about it.
While we didn't set a speed record this year in terms of being finished early, the actual amount of time spent working on the schedule probably was less than ever before as we were working at a rather leisurely pace and even took a lunch break. And then, after we were done, whitesangria
barbecued for those of us who didn't have to leave early. Overall, it was a relatively pleasant way to spend a day even if I did have to get up at 8 this morning after not getting to bed until 5:30. (My Inbox had exploded in the previous 48 hours or so, from 160 emails to well over 300, and I hadn't had time to deal with it.)
I'd like to acknowledge everyone who came today and has worked so hard on putting the schedule together: travellingone
for being a voice of calm, whitesangria
for hosting and cooking in addition to her scheduling duties, dx4
and his brother Nik for being our IT and data entry department, nexstarman
(who took on responsibility for assetic
's panels in addition to their own and who gave me a ride home afterwards), Declan, plaidlibrarian
, Trevor, yellow_freshia
, Monique M., kaelsu2
, who dropped kaelsu2
off, then returned later and contributed to the group dinner after we were done. If I missed anyone, I apologize...
In other news from the past week, I spent a couple of very pleasant evenings online with Eric. We watched the final Dead Like Me episode last night, so that just leaves the movie. Only ten more days until he's here!
Oh, and I finally
managed to get my hands on the deluxe edition of the new Pet Shop Boys album, Yes
, this week. I haven't had a chance to listen to the whole thing yet, but I already have had a couple of the songs stick in my head for several hours each. (Love Etc.
is particularly insidious that way. Beautiful People
is pretty good, too, as is All Over The World
, which incorporates music from The Nutcracker, of all things.)
I was so deliriously happy about finally getting the PSB album that I also picked up Depeche Mode's new album, Boston Legal S5 and Caprica. I haven't done anything with them yet, though - I'm saving Caprica for Eric's visit, since we watched BSG together. He's already told me that he wants our next shared viewing experience to be Lost
, though, which should be interesting - I haven't gone back and rewatched the earlier episodes since the writers started peeling back some of the layers and providing explanations for some of the earlier events. I think it will be interesting to rewatch some of those earlier episodes, knowing more about what's going on.
I think it's time to go to bed now... I'm starting to have trouble keeping my eyes open, and if I have to get up around noon, that's only 11 hours away. ;)