lance_sibley: (wake me up)
You know you're tired when you haven't posted an update in six days and despite having had a busy week, you can't think of what you want to write. I make no promises that the following will be coherent or grammatically correct.

I had my first full week at the new job this week. Things are going well - I had a meeting on Friday with the project manager, in which I showed her what I had gotten done. Apparently she was very impressed with the amount of work that I've done. It doesn't look pretty, but that's because the style sheets haven't been done yet. But many of the portions of the site are already functional. And considering that I was told to throw away everything that my predecessor had done and start from scratch (which I didn't quite do - I think I may have kept about 20 lines of his original code), that's not bad.

Last night, [ profile] dx4 came and picked me up at the office as we were going to Montreal to tour the two hotels we're looking at for the 2010 Gaylaxicon. Originally, several other people were supposed to make the trip, but one by one, they had to drop out. (I'm not criticizing... stuff happens.) It was suggested that we reschedule, but there's so much going on this summer that I wasn't comfortable with putting the trip and the decision making process off any further. So we got on the road around 6 last night.

After making a couple of stops (coffee, dinner, bathroom) along the way, we arrived at the Hyatt Regency just after midnight. We had been given comped valet parking, so [ profile] dx4 pulled up to the front of the hotel. We got out and approached the valet on duty, who made a comment about the hotel being "closed". I thought he was making a facetious comment about the lateness of our arrival, so I didn't say anything at first - besides, I'd exchanged emails with my contact there on Thursday and everything had been in order.

We went in and went to the front desk to check in - whereupon we learned that there had been a fire on Wednesday in one of the restaurants in the adjoining mall, and that the hotel had been evacuated and was, in fact, still closed. Presumably my contact hadn't mentioned it because she's been working from home with a back injury. I hadn't had time to look at my email all day because I was so busy at work, so the last thing I had heard from her was "Are you still coming on Friday night?" to which I'd answered "Yes."

They'd made arrangements for us to stay at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, which was one of the hotels I'd originally contacted with our RFP but had decided not to pursue because the room rates were too high - $239/night. This was unfortunate because we'd been hoping to sample the Hyatt's rooms and service during this trip as part of the decision-making process. (Ideally, we would have stayed a night in each hotel that we were visiting, but we didn't really have the time to spend the whole weekend there.)

Anyway, we got to the Fairmont around 1 and checked in with only some mild inconvenience, caused by the fact that the folks at the Hyatt apparently can't spell my name despite everything having been arranged with the sales manager by email. [ profile] dx4 sprawled out on one of the beds while I hooked up the laptop and discovered the Hyatt sales manager's email from late yesterday morning telling us about the fire and asking if we could reschedule. *facepalm* (We probably would have asked to see what we could anyway, because we were also scheduled to see the Marriott Chateau Champlain in the afternoon.) I answered the email, apologizing for not having responded earlier but explaining that I hadn't had the opportunity to look at my email all day and if she had been trying to phone me, I hadn't gotten the message because my cellphone battery had died and I'd forgotten to pack my charger. [ profile] dx4 called the Hyatt and made arrangements for someone to show us around anyway. I then called Eric and we chatted for about an hour, while [ profile] dx4 interjected occasionally from behind me.

As an aside, Eric passed both of his Apple hardware re-certification exams this week - yay! :)

I woke up around 10 this morning - I must have screwed up setting the alarm clock, because I'd set it for 9. [ profile] dx4 was already awake. I freaked a little because the initial plan had us going to the Hyatt at 10:30, but [ profile] dx4 said that he hadn't gotten any calls from them yet. I checked my email while he called them to find out if they were expecting us, and arrangements had been made. So we showered and dressed and got over there around 11. The front desk manager met us and handed us off to the maitre d' to show us around.

After we finished, we headed to the Marriott, where the Sales Manager then showed us around. He was aware of the fire - apparently Montreal's hospitality industry is quite tightly-knit, and they all know each other. He was quite friendly and helpful, and had given a lot of thought to where we could put various things. [ profile] dx4 took a lot of pictures, so we'll discuss the two options and make a selection over the next couple of weeks.

After the Marriott tour, we went to a diner for lunch, where I had a smoked meat sandwich and [ profile] dx4 had a burger and poutine. We got on the road around 3:30 and made good time coming back (despite difficulties in finding the entrance to the highway, and having to drive around downtown Montreal in circles for a while), and I was home a few minutes after 9.

I have a ton of emails to look at, but so far it's been all I can do to make something for dinner. And I wasn't even the one who spent 12 hours out of the 27 hours of the trip driving. (29 hours for [ profile] dx4, since he had to come from, and return to, Kitchener. I wouldn't be surprised if he was already asleep...)
lance_sibley: (too busy to fcuk - by xokadieox)
I feel like I've spent all weekend sitting in front of the computer. I managed to get through 14 of the 21 outstanding items on my Anticipation "to do" list, and several of the items currently outstanding are dependent upon the answer to an email I sent this afternoon. (I think there may be one item that isn't.) I also got some Polaris stuff done, and tested the CUFF ballot website (there's a slight snag there, and I've asked [ profile] dx4 to give my code a look as everything looks like it should work correctly), and sent out a couple of emails pertaining to Gaylaxicon. Overall, I've sent out 71 85 emails since yesterday afternoon, and processed roughly 120 that came in. I have a few Polaris things I want to attend to before going to bed. (Yes, I'm already thinking about bed. Having to get up at 6 in the morning does that to a person.)

The only thing I didn't get done this weekend was going for a haircut - I called the salon that my stylist moved to a couple of months ago, but apparently they're closed on Sundays. And Mondays. Since I'll be in Montreal next Saturday, and have the Polaris programming scheduling meeting the following Saturday, it's going to be another three weeks before I have a chance to get it done. (I thought about calling to see if [ profile] ghostleegirl was working today, but decided instead to attack my overdue To Do lists. It is getting rather desperate, though.)

The last few days before the weekend were kind of tiring as well - but starting a new job is always a bit overwhelming for me (and probably for most people) until I get used to a new routine. I met so many new people on Thursday and Friday that I'm thinking it will take me months to remember any of their names (aside from [ profile] cuteteenboy, whom I already knew, of course). I'm already quite busy there, though - no time to get used to things!

I've been saving up a few things to share, that I've seen in various places around the web.

First, I'm surprised that nobody has picked up the story that Gillian Anderson is being approached to be on Doctor Who. The producers apparently want her to appear as the Rani. That will be cool, if it comes to fruition.

Second, I forget who posted this link initially (though it looks like something [ profile] ozreison may have linked to), but someone has knitted a Guitar Hero scarf, depicting a section of the song "Hotel California". The knitter is willing to do custom orders for US$45.

Third, in the latest instance of epic fail, some fanfic writer with delusions of grandeur named Lady Sybilla, claiming that copyright should not exist because all ideas come from the collective unconscious, is taking it upon herself to write a sequel to Twilight called Russet Noon. Peter David - described by this writer as "a comic-book author and Trekkie geek who refuses to retire and is still trying to be a hero after all these years" - has started a communal response. A group of people are writing a Twilight parody, in 500-word increments, to mock this writer's efforts. The parody's title is Potato Moon, and the first three parts have been posted on Peter David's blog, here. (Alternatively, you can get all of the posts except for part 3 together here.)

And now to check my email, deal with one outstanding Polaris item, and check my email again one last time before getting ready for bed...
lance_sibley: (too busy to fcuk - by xokadieox)
I had another full weekend this weekend (but then again, when don't I?). I guess I'll start with Friday...

This is going to be mega-long, so I'll use cuts.

Score one for good planning. Which, of course, I didn't exhibit... )

Happy Birthday to kanecool... )

The meeting went reasonably well in spite of my being late... )

I got home around 6:30 or so, answered an email relating to a job I'd applied for, talked to [ profile] cuteteenboy and my mother, made dinner and settled down on the couch, which is where I am now.

The conversation with my mother wasn't too painful... )

And that's been my weekend. A couple of other things that have happened this weekend:

AmazonFail... Amazon seems to have it in for books with LGBT content. )

And the most surreal thing I saw all weekend... )

So that was my weekend.
lance_sibley: (too busy to fcuk - by xokadieox)
If this is a weekend, I must have had meetings.

But first... I didn't make a bowling update on Friday night. This is because I'd actually gone and bowled off on Wednesday night, as Eric and I had made plans to have dinner (we made frozen pizzas - Delissio's Hawaiian pizza is actually pretty decent) and watch the BSG finale. I obviously needed a little more practice, as it took me about six frames to get going and so my first game stank. The others were decent though: 139, 178, 182.

Even so, I almost didn't get home in time. I left work around 6:40, stopped at Kitchen Stuff Plus to pick up a pizza pan and cutter, and then got home around 8:15.

Now, because I couldn't shower while I was wearing the heart monitor, and I had time before my ultrasound, I came back home after the cardiologist's to shower. Everything was fine when I left for the ultrasound around 9:45. But when I got home after work, the lock on my door had been rotated 180 degrees. I thought, "That's odd... shouldn't my key go in with the teeth facing down?" and tried to open the door... and couldn't. I got the lock back to its normal orientation, plus 45 degrees, but then it wouldn't turn any further. (It turns 90 degrees to open.) I tried for about ten minutes but couldn't get the door open. So I went downstairs and got my superintendent, who came up and got my door open by about 8:45. In so doing, he realized that the lock was completely shot and that I needed a new one. So for the first 15 minutes or so of my chat with Eric, my super was working on the door. (He must have thought it very odd, me sitting here talking at the computer. *grin*)

There have been signs up around the building warning tenants of some attempted burglaries, so I figure that someone tried to break into my apartment after I left for the ultrasound, but was stymied by the deadbolt. Good thing I use it...

The only problem now is that my door will now close all the way unless I turn the deadbolt before I lock the door, whereas before it would stop before closing all the way. So I'm going to have to be careful when I'm taking my garbage to the chute (or start carrying my keys on me at all times).

I shall forbear from talking about the BSG finale just now because I know some people on my friendslist haven't watched it yet... also because it's nearly 2 in the morning and it'll take me a while to write it all. :)

Anyway... as I said above, today was busy with meetings. The day started with a Constellation Awards committee meeting at noon. Things are coming along nicely there, though nominations are coming in slower this year. If you haven't nominated, what are you waiting for? (You can submit nominations here.)

Then I came home and printed a whole whack of emails and documents that have been sent to me over the last couple of weeks from hotels I contacted regarding Gaylaxicon. We received responses from six or seven hotels, and I wanted to go over the proposals with the people who showed up tonight at our dinner meeting.

That meeting went well - there were a few people whom I'd expected to see who didn't show up (one is sick, and another is his partner, so once I learned this, I wasn't surprised that they didn't make it), but there were seven of us present. We went over the hotel proposals and narrowed it down to two choices. Monday, I will be phoning both of them to arrange for tours.

We also discussed the dates we want - I had sent the hotels two possible weekends for the purpose of getting a quote, but we hadn't really decided on dates yet. We know that we don't want to be too close to either Dragon*Con or Con*Cept, but we do want to be in the late summer/early fall timeframe, before it gets too chilly up in Montreal. It was suggested that when we're negotiating with the hotel, we see if we might get a better deal by moving up to August. (One of the hotels called me this week and gave me a room rate over the phone. I commented that it was significantly more than I paid when I stayed there, and was basically told, "September is convention season, so we jack the rates up." Okay, not in those exact words, but still, that was the gist of it.) The other advantage to being in August is that we can promote the con during Montreal Pride.

And finally, we discussed our proposed guest list, coming up with the GoHs we want as well as some regular guests. If we can get everyone we want, I think it's going to be a good con. *fingers crossed*

I decided to take the subway the whole way home instead of waiting for the #32 bus at Eglinton West station, so I got home around 11:30ish and called Eric. Unfortunately, he has to be up early in the morning so we only got to talk for about an hour (I feel bad for keeping him up late waiting for me to get home). He went to a Dragon*Con meeting today - he's volunteering to work in Tech Ops. We won't get to spend as much time together at the con, but I think it's good that he's getting involved in the organizational side of fandom. It's done so much good for me, after all. I've made so many friends through fandom whom I would otherwise never have met, and my life is richer for it.

Tomorrow, I have nothing scheduled for the first time in about four or five weeks. So I figure I'm going to spend the day doing laundry. (Yes, it's going to take the entire day.) And maybe I'll do some sweeping and mopping as well. Hopefully I'll find the stylus for my Palm. I figure it went missing at 6:30 Thursday morning when I picked the Palm up off my bedside table to turn off the alarm. (It was a little too small for the slot that's meant to hold it, and so occasionally it would drop out.) This is the second one I've lost in the last few months - the original one somehow went missing between my kitchen and my living room. Considering that the only thing separating them is about two feet of my dining room, I have no idea how I managed to lose it in that little area. I know my apartment is cluttered, but that's just ridiculous. At least in this case, I can understand how it might have come loose, and how I wouldn't have noticed because, well, it was 6:30 in the morning. Since when am I awake and alert at 6:30 in the morning? *sheepish grin*
lance_sibley: (sleepy)
I kind of intended to be in bed a few hours ago, but I got involved in various Gaylaxicon-related things and time just kind of got away from me.

I have my appointment for my liver ultrasound - I wanted to do it on Thursday after the EKG (which is at 8:15 am - argh), but I have no idea how long that will take. So I booked it for Friday morning at 10 instead. It's at a different place just up the street from me. I also have to go back to the lab afterwards for more bloodwork. (I may not have any blood left by the time this is all said and done.)

Speaking of which, I got another email from my doctor today warning me that I'm not immune to Hepatitis A, and that if I'm planning on travelling to (list of exotic locations here), then I need to get immunized. Come to think of it, it was over eleven years ago that I last got the vaccination, so yeah, I should probably get that taken care of. Not that I'm planning on going anywhere exotic any time soon, but better safe than sorry.

(Odd, though, I thought that was one of the things he vaccinated me for last week...)

As a complete aside, I just learned that Gabriel Hogan (Traders, Heartland, The Border, Flashpoint, Rent-A-Goalie, Robson Arms, The Associates) is the son of Michael Hogan (Colonel Tigh on BSG). He also played Ken Dryden in the miniseries about the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series, and I remember thinking at the time that the resemblance was uncanny. (For SF fans, he's also been on Forever Knight, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, PSI Factor, La Femme Nikita, Mutant X and Wonderfalls. Busy guy.)

Not that that's all that important or anything - I was just surprised to learn this.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
Friday night was better than recent nights, but still not up to average: 148, 159, 180. Lots of splits in the first two games.

I got home later than usual because for the first time in recent memory, both teams had all five bowlers present. One of our opponents, a guy named William, is a big SF fan and we spent much of the evening talking about Samuel R. Delany. I'm not sure why, as the only book of his I've read is Dhalgren. (I do own a copy of Stars In My Pocket Like Grains Of Sand, but haven't read it yet. My library is almost as full of unread books as my DVD collection is full of unwatched series.)

Saturday, I had a Constellation Awards meeting up in northern Scarborough. The meeting was for noon, so I set the alarm for 10:30 and got out the door by 11. I figured that would be enough time. Ha! It took me longer to get there than it takes me to get to work - I arrived at 12:45. Fortunately the meeting hadn't really gotten underway yet.

After the meeting, [ profile] gurudata and I looked over the map of Montreal I have and talked a little about potential Gaylaxicon 2010 hotels. Since he's an ex-Montrealer, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some insight. There are about four or five now that I have to look up online and see if they have the kind of function space we'll need. (I still like the Delta Centre-Ville, though that may be because it's the only hotel I've ever stayed in in Montreal besides the Days Inn where Con*Cept is held.)

I got home around 6 and rushed through dinner because I was supposed to be going to [ profile] travellingone's place to show her how to use Polaris' programming software and to start entering panel ideas with her. I didn't get there until about 8. She immediately offered me wine (I don't often drink wine, but this was a very nice dry red - I think she said it was Spanish?). Her roommate was there as well, and Return Of The Sith was on the TV. It's the one Star Wars movie I actually never saw, so while we waited for [ profile] dx4 to return our message about our still needing our userids and passwords, we watched it for a bit and snarked about the dialogue and Anakin's overall whininess. (I can see why people were so excited about the first appearance of Vader in the suit, though - that was quite powerful, though Hayden Christiansen doesn't have the same presence, even in the suit, that David Prowse had.)

We finished up around 2 (after entering 142 panels into the database), and I left to come home. I had just missed the last subway north, but she lives within walking distance of me (even though it was about -15 out), so I got home around 2:30, finished reading the paper, and then went to bed.

[ profile] travellingone emailed the exported panel lists to our web team, so the initial panel list should be up within a few days. Anyone who's looking at it, remember that it's not a full list - we're still open to suggestions.

Today I got up around 1 with the intention of going out to get my Metropass and VIVA pass, then coming home and doing some cleaning and some laundry. The lines at the Metropass machine (only one of them was working) were slow, though - a woman came up to me and said, "You know, you can buy it at Dominion." I said, "I know, but I'm getting on the subway immediately." I think she just wanted me to leave to make the line shorter. Once I had my Metropass, I went up to Finch and got my VIVA pass, then came back home.

It was nearly 4 when I got back (!), and I remembered that I had promised a couple of our Polaris author guests that I would sign and send back their contracts this weekend. So I sat down at my desk and started downloading and printing them, then scanned them back in and emailed them back. Even though there were only a handful of contracts to deal with, it took me three hours because my computer was being insanely slow. I need to reboot it - it's probably because something was causing a memory leak. (Eric told me off tonight because it's been at least two weeks since the last time I rebooted it. *blush*)

Eric was going to be home earlier than usual tonight, around 8, so I rushed through dinner and washing up, then called [ profile] cuteteenboy as I'd promised him I would call this weekend. However, we didn't really have time to talk, but I suggested that we have dinner together after next weekend's Gaylaxicon concom meeting. I also tried calling my father, but he didn't pick up.

Regarding my father... I think I may be in trouble. For some reason, despite having a newspaper six days a week, and having a daily bridge calendar on my desk at work, I can never remember the date. I honestly thought on Friday that it was the 20th rather than the 27th (which led to my going to the wrong lane when I got to the bowling alley). His birthday was on the 21st, which means that I forgot to call. Oops. (I even made three LJ posts last Saturday...)

This may also explain why I'm surprised whenever I get handed a paycheque at work. I can never remember whether I was paid the previous week or not. (Part of that may also be because my boss never remembers to give it to me on time, and I usually don't get it until the following Tuesday...)

So after calling my father, I called Eric, and we chatted for a while. During the conversation, we both bought our Anime North memberships as well as tickets for the Moonlight Ball and the Saturday brunch. He's really excited about some of the voice actors they have coming. Me, I recognize some of the titles, but that's about it. Tomorrow I'll have to make some phone calls and get us a hotel room (I know we won't be able to get a room at the Doubletree - it's far too late for that even though the con isn't until late May).

He had to go to bed early - the reason he was early tonight is because he's been asked to go in two hours early tomorrow - so I've spent the last couple of hours going through the old Inbox and wrestling it back down from 190-some-odd emails to about 130. Dealt with some Anticipation emails and some job alerts that were in there, and responded to this year's first CUFF nominee to let her know that I got her nomination.

And now I think I might go to bed a little earlier than usual because I'm not feeling all that great. I think I'm coming down with a cold - my mucous membranes are all dry and my back and arms are aching, though the latter might be because I've mostly been sitting at one computer or the other almost the whole time I've been home today. I have a pillow behind my back (because I'm sitting on the couch, using the laptop), but it's not helping.
lance_sibley: (cephaloPod)
Wow, it's not even 12:30 and I think I've responded to all of today's emails that required responses: Polaris stuff, Anticipation stuff and Gaylaxicon stuff. I did a whole bunch of stuff for CUFF last night, so now I'm just waiting for nominations to come in.

Of course, really should start entering panel descriptions into the database for Polaris, but because I have to set up my connection first and I do want to be in bed before 1 (shock!), it will probably have to wait until the weekend. ([ profile] travellingone and I should probably arrange to get together to work on it, anyway, so that I can show her how to use the software.)

So today, three weird things happened. I think I posted about a month or so ago that an old email pen-pal from my university days had contacted me out of the blue, and that we'd exchanged a couple of emails. (Which reminds me, I haven't yet responded to his last one...) I thought it quite the coincidence that I had been thinking about him just a few days before he emailed me. Well, today I got a message on Facebook from someone else I hadn't heard from in years, whose name crossed my mind out of the blue the other day. This one is someone I actually knew, as opposed to being an online friend - I think we met in Miss Sarre's grade 1 class at Norway Junior Public School. I do remember that we were in Cubs together, and he would occasionally come over to my house. In high school, we were in band together - we both played trumpet. I haven't seen him since university, and even then, didn't see much of him as I was studying math and he was studying kinesiology. It seems he's working down in Texas now. He always was kind of restless... it'll be fun to get caught up.

The second weird thing: a week or so ago I got a notice from my landlord that I'd apparently underpaid my rent. The people here don't just give a gentle reminder - they actually serve an eviction notice. (It gets rescinded if you give them a cheque for the oustanding amount - I went through this once before when I'd been away for less than a week over the first of the month and forgotten to drop off my cheque before leaving town, and I freaked out when I came home and found it. Nice people at this property management company...) Now, I realized the day after I dropped off my rent cheque this month that it had just gone up and that I had inadvertantly written my cheque for the old amount, so I dropped off a second cheque for the difference, which was $20.11. I'm figuring that the superintendent just hasn't checked the dropbox since the first of the month, so that's not a huge deal - I'll check my bank account to see if the cheque has gone through and if it hasn't, I'll call the office and let them know. (Though there was one time when they neglected to record my payment and I had to get the cheque back from the bank, and the management company refused to reimburse me the bank fee even though they were in the wrong. Assholes.) The really odd thing about this, though, is that there was a second amount listed on the notice - for $1.12. Yeah, they served me with an eviction notice because I'd apparently underpaid my rent by $1.12. (I'm not sure how they calculated that, unless my storage locker was $10.14 per month instead of the $10 the superintendent told me it was...)

So I wrote them a cheque for $1.12 and dropped it off on my way home tonight, because they wanted it by the 26th. Why they couldn't wait for March 1 for the additional $1.12, I have no idea... and I know, they don't particularly care. They just want their money. It's like a scene from that John Cusack movie... "I want my two dollars!" (I'd look up the movie title, but for some reason IMDb crashes my laptop... I'm thinking it's Better Off Dead? Help me, [ profile] thespian, you're my only hope...)

The third weird thing today is that I bumped into Justen for the second time in roughly 28 hours. That doesn't sound terribly weird except that yesterday, we were nowhere near my neighbourhood (he works fairly close to where I live, but today's encounter was the first time I've bumped into him around here). In total, this is the fourth time I've bumped into him unexpectedly, and those other two times were nowhere near here either. (Once was near Union Station, once at Yonge and St. Clair, yesterday outside the Eaton Centre and tonight at the supermarket. I know I'm his Fairy Godfather, but that doesn't mean he should be able to summon me at will... *grin*)
lance_sibley: (fabulous)
The final day at Gaylaxicon was filled mostly with saying goodbye to friends for another year (or, for those who attend Worldcon or Dragon*Con, another 10 or 11 months), and collecting some email addresses to stay in touch. I did make it to the combined bitch panel/Closing Ceremonies, where I was asked to say something about the 2010 con. Since we don't have our dates or hotel chosen yet, I couldn't say much, but people seemed to be excited about the prospect of coming to Montreal. Especially when Chris B. reminded me to tell people about Montreal's five gay strip clubs. ;)

I took the Metro to the airport with Lee (that's Denver Lee, not [ profile] defenestr8or), as our flights were leaving within a minute of each other. Got there around 4, and was checked in and through security in about half an hour. As I hadn't eaten yet, I decided to grab some food and found a place where I could get a turkey sandwich (it being Thanksgiving, after all). I called Eric around 5:15 while I was waiting to board my plane (I'd said I would call when I got home, but I couldn't wait :) ), but he was still at work. He called me back just as I was getting into my seat on the plane and we talked for about half an hour, until I had to turn my cellphone off for takeoff.

We landed around 7:15 (the trip took less time than my daily one-way commute, even when there isn't a bus strike - which ended on the weekend, BTW), and I was through Customs and had my suitcase by 7:35. The bus was arriving just as I got to the stop, so the trip home from the airport was relatively fast. I got home at 9 and called Eric back. It was around 1 when he finally said, "Have you eaten yet?" I hadn't since the turkey sandwich at the airport in Washington, so we said good night and I walked over to the Dominion (I know it's called Metro now, but it's been Dominion all my life) and picked up a couple of microwave dinners and a few things for later this week, as I had absolutely nothing in the fridge or the freezer except some frozen vegetables, one can of juice and some very stale bread, which would not have made a very good dinner. Came back home, ate, and went to bed around 2:30.

So now I'm back at work, and have no idea where I left off on Thursday. (Well, that's an exaggeration - since I'm writing a manual it's fairly obvious where I left off, but I have to remember how to use the portion of the content management system that I was documenting.) I got some good feedback from my boss on the stuff I had done so far, which is nice. I have to remember to leave in time to get home before the polls close tonight, too. Not that my vote will make much difference - my riding is about as safe as it gets for the Liberals, and very little will change at the national level. But I still think it's important, because if everyone said, "Oh, I don't need to vote, my MP always wins by a huge margin," then bad things could happen. And we don't want that.
lance_sibley: (Schedule - by whitetomb)
Another low-key day at the con today. I had intended to be up by 10 so that I could go to the Network Forum panel, but slept through the alarm and didn't get up until about 11:30. When I got downstairs, I realized that there was no official programming taking place (this con has scheduled meal breaks) and so I went with a group to the Pancake House nearby, where I had Waffles Benedict. [ profile] qvamp was complaining afterwards of not feeling well, and yes, this place used a lot of oil in their cooking. I was fine until about 3, when my stomach started complaining as well, but it was nothing serious.

At 4, I went to a panel called "Reader/Viewer Bias", where we talked about whether readers impose their own values or beliefs on the books they read. It was interesting - C.S. Friedman talked about some of the fan art people have sent her depicting her main character as a blond, muscular, Nordic god, when in her books, she explicitly describes him - and he's not even white, much less Nordic. Tristan Alexander, who is an artist, was also on the panel and he talked about the prejudices people have about his art, since he primarily draws male nudes, many of which appear to be very young. He doesn't view them as erotic at all, but others do and give him a hard time about his subject matter. I talked to him for a few minutes after the panel and ended up buying a couple of greeting cards from him in the Dealers' Room. He'd mentioned that he does commissions, as well, and as I have something in mind that seems to mesh with his style of art, I got his contact information.

I found myself going out again for dinner, this time to a Mongolian Grill. I had wanted to be back in time for the movie night at 7, but didn't get back until about 7:30, when I discovered (much to my dismay) that Dr. Horrible had been first on the program. (I had expected it to be saved for later.) So I only got to see the third part. :( I do have to say, though, that Nathan Fillion is a much better singer than I expected him to be. Now I have to watch the whole thing.

Following Dr. Horrible we saw the Star Trek Phase II episode "Blood And Fire". Not all of the effects were finished yet, and some of the sound still needs to be cleaned up, but oh my god, what a powerful story. The actor who plays Peter Kirk almost had me in tears. (I'll have to remember to tell him next time I see him - only one of the Hidden Frontier/New Voyages/Phase II people is here this year, as they're currently filming a new episode in upstate New York. IIRC, Bobby was at last year's Gaylaxicon in Atlanta (and possibly at one or two before that - I'm not certain which con we first met at - and Carlos usually comes, as does J.T., but not this year. Come to think of it, I'm mildly surprised that Dennis Bailey isn't here, since he's a writer for them and he even lives here in Washington.)

After "Blood And Fire", we saw a very strange experimental film called Praxis. About all I can say about that was that the lead actor was hot, but the way the story was told was difficult to follow (all of the scenes are out of chronological order, scenes are repeated, and what dialogue there was was very minimalist). Going ten minutes with nothing but symbolic shots was fine for Kubrick, but this film was only good for nearly putting me to sleep. (That being said, once the movie was over I understood what it was all about, but getting there was painful.)

The last film I stayed for was a short about gay werewolves. It seemed to be a Canadian production - there was one shot taken in front of the sign for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, and two of the characters were referred to as "good Alberta boys", but overall it was pretty laughable. Even [ profile] qvamp, who supplied it, seemed to think it was a pretty pathetic movie (but he did say it was the "best gay werewolf movie out there". Considering that it's probably the only gay werewolf movie out there, that's not surprising...

I spent the rest of this evening hanging out in the con suite. At one point I thought I heard my name being mentioned across the room, and [ profile] troystar said "there's someone over there who's asking who you are." I didn't see anyone over there whom I didn't know, though, except for Geoff Ryman, the author Guest of Honour... and it turned out he was the one asking about me. It seems he has relatives in Montreal and he'd like an excuse to visit them, so we talked for a few minutes and he gave me his email address.

I don't know exactly what my schedule is going to be for tomorrow - I may try to stay right until Closing Ceremonies, as my flight leaves just before 6. Since Closing Ceremonies are at 1, I may even be able to stay for some of the Dead Dog party, assuming there is one.
lance_sibley: (fabulous)
As I posted earlier, I spent the morning at the Network Board meeting, where the Gaylactic Toronto Alliance were awarded the 2010 Gaylaxicon for Montreal. Following the meeting, I didn't do a whole lot of formal stuff - I mostly hung out and chatted with people, and wandered through the Art Show and the Dealers' Room (where I ran into Tim S. from the Polaris concom, behind a table full of Doctor Who figures and adult manga). A group of us went to lunch at a Thai place down the street. I'm not generally a big fan of Thai food because of my low spice tolerance, but I had a very good pineapple fried rice dish that had pork, raisins and carrots, and was served in a hollowed out half-pineapple. It was quite tasty.

After lunch, I came back and attended a panel called "Can We Have A Gay Villain Now?", where we discussed whether or not it's possible to write a gay villain without being accused of homophobia.

Following the panel, although there was another panel I wouldn't have minded attending ("You Don't Know Jack!", about Jack Harkness), I just ended up doing more socializing until the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards banquet at 6:30. The dinner itself was a buffet which included roast beef, turkey, pasta and planked salmon along with a variety of vegetables. It was pointed out, to some hilarity, that Elizabeth Bear had three novels on the shortlist this year, though she didn't end up winning the award. The winner was actually here, and seated at my table. I can't recall her name offhand (I'll look it up later), but the novel was actually her first. When she went up to receive the award, she was visibly shaking, and when she came back she was holding it in such a way that a small slip would have severed her jugular vein (the Spectrum Award trophies are rather pointy). I commented on it and she said, "Yes, but what a way to go!"

I spent most of the evening at a room party hosted by [ profile] qvamp. I didn't overdo things, though, only having two drinks during the whole evening. When I was leaving I said to Chris B., "Don't do anything I wouldn't do." (Of course, Chris and [ profile] troystar are the least likely people to misbehave... though there were others present who were, shall we say, not being very shy at all. Let's just say that there were significant acts of nudity being committed by other people in the room.) Chris' response: "Considering that you were the best-behaved person in the room all night, that's not helpful." (Or something to that effect.) What can I say, other than that I found myself actually not wanting to participate in the various acts of debauchery that were taking place around me, and was perfectly satisfied to converse with [ profile] esprix, [ profile] pinoyboytoy, [ profile] lsanderson, Thomas A. and others. (All the time wishing Eric was here, admittedly... awwww. :) )

I didn't even participate in the impromptu fashion show that was taking place - [ profile] qvamp was dressing various people up. [ profile] troystar and Chris look pretty good in leather, actually. I would never have guessed. :)

I did pop up to the con suite for about half an hour as well, as the Minneapolis committee were hosting tonight. Not much was happening when I was in there, though, so I didn't stay long (and I think they were getting ready to close up around the time I arrived, anyway.)

I popped down to the lobby to see if anyone else was still around to say goodnight, but there were only a couple of people sitting in the lobby, so I said goodnight and came back up to my room.

There are some interesting-looking panels taking place tomorrow, plus the Gaylactic Network Open Forum, which I should probably try to attend. And the movie night, featuring "Blood And Fire", "Star Trek Odyssey", "Praxis" and "Dr. Horrible" is tomorrow as well.

Today's bit of weirdness: I was recognized by a TrekBBS lurker who has an account under the name of "Daniel", who knew me from the photo threads. (Do any of my TrekBBS friends know him? I don't remember ever seeing him post on the board...) And on the topic of TrekBBS, I messaged someone tonight who lives here to find out if he'd be interested in getting together for coffee... it would be a shame to come all this way and not get to meet someone I've been interacting with online for two years but whom I've never actually met.
lance_sibley: (bats in my belfry)
About an hour ago, the Board of the Gaylactic Network voted to award the 2010 Gaylaxicon to Montreal. Once again... yes, I am insane. :)

We've already received our first pre-registration, even.
lance_sibley: (flag)
Just a quick post before bed... I've had a fantastic day, catching up with some folks I haven't seen since last year, and some I haven't seen since, oh, a month ago at Dragon*Con. I know I'll leave out some people, but so far I've seen [ profile] robgates, [ profile] drewan, [ profile] rvrjoe775, [ profile] esprix and Quincy, [ profile] troystar and Chris, [ profile] wananga, [ profile] andyhat, [ profile] lsanderson, [ profile] ashoemaker, [ profile] cplpunishment, [ profile] dracut, [ profile] qvamp, [ profile] robdamnit, and my fellow Torontonians Drew and Colin, who run the Gaylactic Jeopardy game. Plus a couple of dozen other people who either aren't on LJ or whom I'm not thinking of right now. (I'm a little surprised at who isn't here, too.)

About a dozen of us went for dinner this evening at a Persian place called Javan near the hotel. I'd never had Persian food before, but I had a fantastic dish - the name of which escapes me at the moment - which was a beef stew with pomegranate and walnuts served on a bed of basmati rice. Yum.

I then came back for the "Meet The Pros" event where the Guests of Honour were introduced and chatted with some more people, then attended round 1 of Gaylactic Jeopardy, a Trek panel, spent some time in the con suite and then kibitzed the first round of a game of Werewolf before deciding to call it a night. And, of course, I answered some questions about the 2010 bid for Montreal.

I'm not quite sure how it got to be 2 in the morning so quickly. Considering that I have to be alert in less than nine hours, and I got up at 7 this morning after getting three hours of sleep, I'm also not sure why I'm posting this today (except for the fact that I paid for a day's use of the wifi in the hotel, and dammit, I'm going to use it :) ).
lance_sibley: (Part Geek All Man)
... which is where the convention is actually located.

I got to the airport at 9:30 this morning and breezed through check-in, Customs and security in about 35 minutes. My flight was on time, and apart from some sticker shock at the price of the hotel shuttle, everything is going swimmingly so far. On the drive to the hotel, I saw the Washington Monument (it's shorter than I thought it would be), the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, and the Iwo Jima Memorial (also smaller than I expected). I didn't get any pictures, though, as the shuttle driver was going a bit quickly and I was on the wrong side of the vehicle. :(

I've already bumped into several friends and collected the usual hugs, though it was still pretty quiet when I was downstairs. So far the biggest problem has been that my room wasn't ready until 3, and it took nearly an hour and a call to tech support to get logged on to the in-room wifi. (It seems that the firewall on my laptop and the hotel's firewall don't like each other, but Vista couldn't be bothered to tell me, and just kept churning away trying to bring up a web page despite not actually being connected any more.)

Opening Ceremonies are at 8 tonight, and in the meantime there are a couple of panels going on and socializing in the Con Suite.

I might actually get to see Dr. Horrible this weekend, since it's being played as part of the Sunday Movie Night program. Much better than standing in line for hours at Dragon*Con would have been.

The inquisition Board meeting, where the decision will be made about our 2010 bid, is tomorrow morning at 11. More as the story unfolds. ;)
lance_sibley: (bats in my belfry)
Approximately 15 minutes ago, I filed the paperwork for a bid for the 2010 Gaylaxicon, to be run by the Gaylactic Toronto Alliance in Montreal (dates and hotel to be announced, should we be granted the con).

Why, yes, I am insane. Thank you for asking. :)
lance_sibley: (Part Geek All Man)
I finally got around to booking my flight to Washington for Gaylaxicon in a little over a week. (I know, I know...) My Mastercard may have just burst into flames despite having made more than the minimum payments for the last who-knows-how-many months... sometimes significantly more, and yet the balance never seems to go down. :( Maybe I've gone to too many cons this year...

Funny, despite using to look up the rates for multiple airlines, it seems that Air Canada always has the best combination of price and flight times. I don't mind paying a bit more if it means I don't have to pull an all-nighter to get to the airport for oh-my-god in the morning - I could have saved about $100 if I'd been willing to do that, but no thanks - I need my sleep.

I booked my hotel a week or two ago, so I have no worries there.

I just wish I had the money/vacation time to spend a few days there on either side of the con. As it is, I'm arriving Friday afternoon and leaving Monday evening (it's a four-day con), so I won't have the time to do the touristy stuff I would have liked to.
lance_sibley: (Part Geek All Man)
Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )

Monday )

Overall, I had a blast. They were saying that this year's numbers were close to 300, though I have to admit, it didn't feel like there were that many people there - though they may have sequestered themselves away in the gaming room (which always seemed busy when I walked past). Alternatively, the feeling that the con was smaller might have been due to the way the hotel was laid out - the panel rooms, art show and video room were in one hall on the second floor (which was also the ground floor), the dealers' room in another, con suite in yet another, and the gaming and main programming rooms were on the first floor. So it could be that there were that many people there, but they were spread out.

If I tried to name everyone I saw there, I'd be here forever and I'd probably forget someone anyway. I do know that I didn't mention [ profile] tyrillian, [ profile] cartierobert, [ profile] pinoyboytoy, [ profile] dracut's husband Brent (I finally got to meet their son, too - he's nice, and we seem to have the same sense of humour - which you may not consider to be a good thing), [ profile] rvrjoe775, [ profile] rasiler. Not to mention dozens of other LJ-less people. You all made the weekend a lot of fun for me.

So... who's interested in working on a bid for Montreal in 2010? :)
lance_sibley: (sleepy)
I didn't get home until 9 tonight, just as House was starting, and then, of course, was Boston Legal, and I have three or four hours of weekend viewing on the VCR waiting for me, and I had about 240 posts on my friendslist to read (much less than I expected, but still a lot), so my Gaylaxicon report will have to wait until tomorrow night.

I will say two things, though:

  1. Still no luggage. I hope it's not gone forever, as I usually take my unique/difficult to replace t-shirts to wear at cons.

  2. My mouth is still bothering me. I hope it heals before Con*Cept this weekend. Eating has been a chore.

Speaking of Con*Cept, I got my schedule today:

Fri 2200: Torchwood
Sat 1300: Doctor Who
Sat 2200: Sex And Technology
Sun 1200: What Makes Good Reviews From The Fan Perspective?
Sun 1300: Books Vs. Film

I had asked to be on a planned panel discussing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but it didn't make the final schedule. :(

I wanted to be able to get up early tomorrow morning to go and vote before going to work, but I suspect I'm going to have to do it on the way home instead.

In the meantime, here's an amusing video making fun of Senator Larry "Tappy McWidestance" Craig for you to enjoy.


Oct. 9th, 2007 12:30 am
lance_sibley: (Part Geek All Man)
I got home from this year's Gaylaxicon in Atlanta about five minutes ago. I had a great time; however, to steal from W.C. Fields: on the whole, I'd rather my luggage wasn't in Philadelphia.

I'll post a full report later (probably tomorrow some time), but the short version of the tale of the return trip: I left the con around 1:45 with [ profile] robgates, his husband Peter, [ profile] ashoemaker and [ profile] cplpunishment. We weren't on the same flights (they were going to Washington, DC), but I thought that since we were all supposed to be taking off around the same time, it would be convenient for me to join them. I was supposed to have a stopover in Philadelphia for an hour or so, change planes, then continue on to Toronto. My 5:15 flight was delayed until 6:30, meaning that I would have roughly five minutes to get off the plane and make my connecting flight. US Air managed to find me a direct flight on Air Canada at 8:05, however, so I'd be arriving about the same time. I cleared customs in record time (I think my Customs agent was a science fiction fan :) ), only to find that they didn't take my suitcase off the Philadelphia flight, and I guess they didn't transfer it to the Toronto flight in Philly because either they didn't make the connection, or because I wasn't on the plane.

So the kind and efficient gentleman at Pearson took down all of my information and assured me that it would be on tomorrow morning's first flight out of Philadelphia, around 11 o'clock, and that it would be delivered to me. It'll probably have to be delivered to me at work, though, since I won't be home by the time it arrives. Mind you, I'm not the only one affected, as there were several other passengers who were put on other flights because they were going to miss their connections, so if I'm lucky, they may have other Toronto passengers' luggage to deliver and I might be able to be home by the time they get to mine.

Oh, and the other thing I want to post right now, before I go to bed: it sucks having severely chapped lips - to the point of cracking and bleeding - and not being able to kiss all one's friends goodbye at the end of the con. :( OTOH, it's kind of neat getting cruised twice in Atlanta's airport, once by a guy heading for Chicago and once by a US Air Force aircraft mechanic who'd just gotten home from Afghanistan. *grin*
lance_sibley: (Part Geek All Man)
... again. This time for Gaylaxicon. (Two Atlanta trips in a month, and cons on back-to-back weekends - I'm such a jetsetter.)

Suitcase packed? Check. (Except for the toiletries I still need.)
Passport and travellers cheques in backpack? Check.
Newspaper delivery stopped? Check.
Hotel/flight confirmation numbers written down and put in backpack? Check.
iPod charging? Check.
Reading material for the flight in backpack? Check.
Cellphone charger packed? Check.
Dishes washed? Check.

Still need to put the garbage out, but I can do that in the morning. And I want to pay my bills before I go to bed.

The questions are:

  1. What am I forgetting?

  2. What was I thinking, booking a flight for 10:40 in the morning?

I get into Atlanta around 4:30 PM, as I have a two-hour stopover in Philadelphia. On the way back Monday, I booked a more sane flight time, but it means I don't land in Toronto until 10:19 PM (another Philadelphia stopover, but only for an hour).

I keep thinking there's something I've forgotten about, as I rushed through my checklist. I'd stayed at work until 7 (I've had a busy week, and I wanted to try to get as much done as possible), and I didn't get home until 9. Dinner was finished around 10. (I'd wanted to go to First Thursday tonight, but there was just no way I could.) So my usual leisurely packing ritual was compressed. I just know I'm going to get there and realize I've forgotten something crucial...
lance_sibley: (Bored - by equanimity23)
I was checking my voicemail this morning when the battery in my cellphone finally gave up the ghost, so no photos today. :( I know [ profile] evil_admiral got a couple which I will shamelessly swipe from him when he gets around to posting them, though.

As a result of the death of my battery, I had no idea where he was so I went to the Hugh Laurie panel (no, Hugh Laurie wasn't here :( ), which was about half pre-House (mostly Jeeves And Wooster and Blackadder), and half House.

I ran into [ profile] evil_admiral after the panel in the hallway, however, so I accompanied him to the "Men Of Stargate" panel.

Now, it's not my intention to irritate or offend any of the Gaters reading this, but I have to say this: the one thing that gets under my skin about serious fans of Stargate is that many of them don't seem to analyze the show or talk about the plots at all. It seems to be all "Daniel Jackson is so dreamy... John Sheppard is so dreamy... Rodney MacKay is so snarky and dreamy... *drool*" and this panel was no exception. I mean, I like to look at hot guys too - what gay guy or straight woman doesn't? But when I read or watch SF, I like to be mentally challenged too. I think this is why I've never gotten involved in Stargate fandom, as much as I enjoy the show. Hearing the phrase "the pretty" used thirty times in an hour was a bit grating.

Anyway, after that panel, there wasn't much left to do, so the two of us wandered through the Dealers' Room, gawked at all of the merchandise neither of us could justify buying (though I was almost tempted to get a couple of t-shirts (the "Hell Kitty" one particularly amused me), and then he had to leave to go to his date with the guy he met last night at the party. (Grrr. Not that I'm bitter.) I ran into [ profile] wananga, who invited me to join a group that were going for dinner. A few seconds later, I ran into Kirk, Mark and a couple of other guys who also invited me to join them for dinner, but I told them that I had already agreed to go to dinner with the first group, but that they were probably welcome to come along. However, they had already set their sights on the Peachtree Centre food court.

I met up with the dinner group at 5:30, though I had to run back to my hotel as I had neglected to bring a Lactaid pill over with me when I left this morning. I rejoined them around 6:30, and we left for a restaurant - however, it was closed, so we ended up eating at a swanky restaurant in the Mariott, where I had meatloaf with mushroom gravy, smashed potatoes (yes, that's what the menu really said), and veggies, and a Banana "Foster" split for dessert. Bananas Foster is made with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, banana liqueur, bananas, dark rum, and ice cream. It's a good thing I went back for that Lactaid.

After dinner we went to the hotel bar for drinks. While there, we saw a number of paramedics, police, security and a fireman or two come in with a gurney and wondered what had happened. We were able to piece together that someone had jumped out a second floor window and smashed through the glass walkway over the restaurant we had earlier been in. Yikes. Such drama.

After that little excitement, we went up to the Outworlders suite, where I hung around until about 12:30, when I decided to come back to my hotel, catch up on email and pack for my flight home. As I was leaving it occurred to us all that it will be a year before we next see each other, since Gaylaxicon won't be until October next year. *sniff*

About 20 minutes after I got down here to the business centre, I was interrupted by a black woman - at least, I think it was a woman, though it may have been a man in very good drag - and a man wanting to check something on Mapquest, so I let them. It turned out that this weekend was also Atlanta Black Gay Pride, and they were here from Brooklyn, NY for it (hence my uncertainty about the gender of one of the people I was talking to - [ profile] thespian, you probably would have fallen instantly in love. ;) ) I guess they figured that even in Atlanta, it was safe to tell me why they were here, since I was wearing my "I'm not gay - that's just a nasty rumour spread by all the guys I've slept with" t-shirt, which they both said they found amusing. Which, it was pointed out to me tonight, was clearly made in Canada - because "rumour" is spelled with a "u". Yes, the Canadian jokes were still flying around today...

So that's it for Dragon*Con. Next con, I guess, will be Con*Cept in Montreal, where I've been asked to do an LGBT panel again. Hopefully this time there will be a pre-defined topic for us to discuss.

Checkout is at noon, but my flight isn't until 4:45, and I get to Pearson at 7, so I will probably get home to my apartment around 9ish. Since I still have to pack, though, I should probably cut this short here and go upstairs.

I do hope, if ADP called to set up an interview (though the headhunter knew I wasn't getting home until tomorrow night), firstly that my answering machine wasn't full like it was when I got home from Worldcon, and second, that they don't want to see me first thing Wednesday morning.


lance_sibley: (Default)

June 2009

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