[personal profile] unforth
Last week ended up being very, very busy. After visiting dad's on Monday, on Tuesday I worked in the morning, and then met up with my grandfather, mother, Antonia, and Jovana to go the Museum of Natural History. While I was there, I had a work thing go splat against the fan, which was very annoying, and then there was some uber-weirdness with my grandfather and Antonia that I have no desire to go in to, but the end was result was that it was a very frustrating afternoon, though we did have a nice time looking at the dinosaurs, and Ben joined us to get a great meal at a restaurant I've been wanting to try (Five Napkin Burger). If I'd known it would be the last time I'd get to see Poppop this visit, I think I would have tried to behave better, but I had no way of knowing. On Wednesday, I worked all day, even had to cancel my drum lesson. Then on Thursday, I had my first three school visits of the year in the morning, and then had to help mom with some stuff, with the result that I worked a 12 hour day. Don't end up with many of those in the year, thank god. I tried and tried to figure out some way to work in another visit with my grandfather and the other Texas visitors, but it just wasn't in the cards, as on Friday morning I woke up early, worked until about 2 PM, and then had to leave (okay, "had to" aren't quite the right words...) to go to Con on the Cob, in Hudson, OH, which is just outside of Akron.

It ended up being about an 8 hours drive, mostly cause I kept hitting stopped traffic (in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania - damn 5 miles of one lane for no obvious reason - but the whole drive was made bearable because it was a very beautiful drive - the shocking colors of fall all over the hills and valleys, all lit by the light of a dazzling setting sun (which fortunately did not blind me much even though I was driving west...) I even went ahead and managed a few driving photographs of the sunset, which is always a terrible idea, but I did it anyway. All in all it was a pretty smooth drive, though, and I pulled in to Hudson just around 10. I checked in, dropped the dog off in the room, and went and tracked down some folks to say hi. It's funny, cause I knew in a sort of casual sense which of my friends were going to be here, but actually seeing them all drove home just how many folks I knew in attendance in a way that actually kind of surprised me. The only downside was that when all was said and done, I didn't actually get to eat dinner.

I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, not so much by choice. I ended up eating breakfast, wandering around aimlessly, and then fortuitously running into Andy Hopp, an awesome artist, a nascent friend, and the main brain behind this convention. I joined him and his absolutely adorable little daughters for breakfast, and then helped out with cleaning areas of the con until the doors opened at 10 and I could buy a badge. I then finally ended up making a character with the Silvervine folks, who had gotten to be so friendly with Akira and some of my other con friends but who I had never actually played a game with. The character creation was pretty fun, and I ended up with one of my wackier characters - a "giant" dragonfly (wingspan of about 2 feet) who has, thanks to the magic of the realm, gained human intelligence and sentience (but not opposable thumbs) and who works as a geological surveyor and cartographer, flying over terrain and using her knowledge of such things to identify places where veins of metal might be. I'm not yet quite sure how her personality will be when I actually get to play her, but at least I've got the character ready to go for when the next opportunity to play arises.

From there, I went to the dealer's room with the intention of wandering around, but one of the first tables I spotted was jellykoe, a table selling cute, clearly handmade one of a kind dolls. I got into a conversation with the couple running the staff (the artist and her husband, who also makes things and such). The end result was that we spoke for over an hour about all manner of business-related crafting things, and once again I'm finding that when I speak with other crafters I immediately start to feel really inspired to work harder. It's a nice feeling! I've still got a long way to go, but I really think I can manage it. It was a really helpful conversation, and I've made a friend through it. (at least, that's what FB tells me. ;) )Every little bit helps!

I had planned to go through the rest of the hall, but I paused to grab lunch, and in so doing joined Ange and Alana, also having lunch, and instead of going about the rest of the room, we ended up deciding to all go play a werewolf LARP being run by friends. Since we'd all kinda roped each other into playing, we jumped on the chance to play a three-member pack, and the result was that by our powers combined, we played three conspiracy nut glasswalkers who everyone else thought were completely nuts but who had the main evidence necessary to solve the plot. It was loads of fun, made more so because in trying to concoct our conspiracies, we each picked a different "idiom" - I made up all of my conspiracies as if I was in the world of Supernatural, Alana did all of hers as if she was in the Buffyverse, and Ange did her's like she lived in the world of the X-Files. The result was that we did things like have extended discussions about what vampires actually were and what methods to use to kill them. :) We had a lot of fun, and when, after the game, Brandon and Akira re-emphasized that the game is national and we could, if we wanted, keep playing our characters both online and (if we could get to them) to one of the events held at various venues, it didn't take us long to agree that we wanted to keep playing. I've been looking for an online game for a while, something that I can spend a couple hours a week writing e-mails for and not have to do much else, so this suits my current level of gaming desire very well.

After that, a whole big group, mostly people who played the game, went and got dinner at Applebees. From there, it was back to the convention center, and then, for me, soon after to bed, because it was after 10, and I can't help it, I pumpkin. After a lot of debate, I decided to hang out at the convention today until noon instead of leaving soon after I wake up - that'll still get me home at a reasonable hour. Of course, I woke up just after 6, and everyone else is still asleep almost 3 hours later, but I got to work out, walk the dog, pack, eat breakfast, and do a bunch of stuff online (including, of course, writing this post) - so it's all good. :)

I debated for a long time whether or not I should come to Con on the Cob. After going to Decepticon at Kevs in September, I started to think coming to this was a better idea, and now? I'm really glad I did. I'm not making friends in the city much, but of late I've noticed that every con I go to, I make a few new friends, and it makes me really happy. More than that, I get to see the friends I've already got and strengthen the friendships I've been forming. Take Ange, for example. I first met Ange three or four years ago now, but we never really got to talk until last year, and we discovered we got along well. We meant to get to spend some time together at Gencon this year, but it's also was so hard to find enough time at Gencon. But in September, we got to know each other better, and after yesterday, I really feel like I've made a real, solid friendship here - still in early days, but growing every time. While a part of me wonders what good it does me to keep making friends so far from home, I don't think it's a bad thing - it's wonderful to get to know so many awesome people, and even if I can't seem my friends often, thanks to the wonder of the interweb (and letters, and telephone) I'm able to keep in touch with them all. I think I'd like to keep going to conventions like this.

Along those lines, it'll be interesting to see how World Fantasy goes later this month. I know many fewer people who are going to be there, and I suspect that the awesomeness of the average attendee there (and the fact that I'm not published in anyway) is going to leave me feeling rather on the intimidated and shy side - but it's not like I won't know ANYONE, and I'm getting better and better at being open at these cons, so there's a chance it'll be really awesome. I think, more than anything, I'm hoping that it inspires me to write in the same way that talking with Kelly from jellykoe inspires me to craft. I've been thinking about it a lot, and I've come to the conclusion that, ideally, I'd like most of my days to look like this:
Wake up (about 1 hour)
Work out (about 1 hour)
Work (about 4 hours)
Craft (1 - 2 hours minimum)
Write/research (30 minutes minimum)
Practice the drums (30 minutes)
The rest of the day: whatever!
It's a lot, but I think it's a schedule that'd keep me moving along in all of the areas I'd like to be moving along in. I actually came up with this while I was in Italy, but so far it's been impossible to implement because I've been working more like 6+ hours every day, and I've been trying to squeeze in the family visitors at every other available instant (plus the conventions - having to work extra so that I could take entire days to go to Comic con and come to Con on the Cob). But, I think now that most of that is out of the way, it'll be easier to achieve. I mean, I've still got a TON of work to do, but much of what is left I have until sometime in November to complete and/or schedule (I have 27 site visits left, ugh!) which means that the 4 hour range for work each day is much more in reach than it has been - and that's the first key, cause when I work much more than that, it gets much harder to accomplish anything else in the day cause my brain goes all melty as regards further accomplishments for the day. :)

So I guess I'll just have to see how it goes. For now, I've got three hours left at this convention, and then a long drive home. On which I WILL be stopping at Cracker Barrel. I know, it's an addiction. :)
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
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January 2012

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