rowanf: (fox librarian)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
A part time librarian job paying $20-37 an hour had this lovely paragraph:

"Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position also requires grasping, repetitive hand movement and fine coordination in using a computer keyboard. Additionally, the position requires near and far vision in reading written reports and work related documents. Acute hearing is required when providing phone and personal service. The need to lift, drag and push files, paper and documents weighing up to 25 pounds is also required."

Clearly, public librarianship is not a job for me, or any other disabled person. It is like they thought of any disability and made a line to cover excluding disabled people of that class.
rowanf: (Bad fairy)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So I guess I'm not going down to Internet Librarian this year. I was kinda thinking I might go down for one day today. But the one day registration is $260 and I'm feeling broke. My "Exhaustion of Benefits" letter came yesterday. This is simultaneously depressing and freeing. Freeing in that I won't *have* to apply to at least 3 jobs a week and depressing that I will now be dependent on Russell. It was one thing to let him support me through grad school, that upped our family earning potential (and actual) by quite a bit. Supporting me now is just necessity. I realized that being supported make me feel like I'm not grown up. Kurt says that means I should get in touch with the young and horny part of that. LOL I love my husbands. But I hate not having any income of my own.

One interesting note about all this is that it makes me want to go out and make myself sick eating carbs. I need to find a rebellion that doesn't make me feel awful in the process. Or is that the point of such things. Since I don't suffer hangovers I don't know if people who drink as a rebellion do it to suffer too. So it is probably just as well that I'm not going to Monterey, home of Rosine's mile high cakes, because I'm pretty sure I'd have a slice of German chocolate cake for lunch.

I looked at the Santa Clara Valley volunteer website yesterday and even most of the interesting volunteer opportunities require commuting to Palo Alto. Bah. There is one that is organizing a photo collection for a disability charity that I may actually go for. One day a week might be do-able. And I love organizing people's photo collection to make them useful. I just have to learn Lightroom. That wound like a win-win, eh?
rowanf: (Foxy book lady)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So Thursday I went up to the Adocentyn Library to do an afternoon of cataloguing so I could stay over in the East Bay for a Friday conference. I finished off my own books and started on Gus's boxes. Wow, that feels like an accomplishment! I had a lovely solo dinner at the Suzette Crepe place on Solano (yay, buckwheat only crepes) and then stopped at a nail salon to get my nails redone, followed by a drink at the Ivy Room (a boring sports bar as it turns out). But hey, it was a great "me time" kind of evening. My giant air mattress blew up beautifully and I slept well. So no more worrying about where to stay when I do my two day library volunteer stints.

Friday early I headed over to the Brower Center, UC Berkeley, to a conference called, "Making it Count: Opportunities and Challenges for Library Assessment" put on by the Librarians Association of the University of California on issues in academic libraries. <http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/lauc/conference-2013> Keeping a hand in the field even if no-one seems to want to employ me.

Steve Hiller, Director of Assessment and Planning, University Libraries, University of Washington talked on Library Assessment from Measurement to Impact and Value. (Check out his library's fact sheet at <http://www.lib.washington.edu/assessment>.)

He started with a quote from J.T. Gerould of the Princeton libraries from 1906, stating that the basic questions of assessment were essentially, "Is this method the best? Is our practice adapted to secure the most effective administration? Are we up to the standard of a similar institutions?" The emphasis for the first decades of library assessment was mostly about size - how many volumes, how much growth. These are easy to collect inputs, but don't tell us what users were able to accomplish because the library exists.

So the emphasis has changed to try to capture the impact of the library on the individuals, community and organization (impact and value). Hiller mentioned he had been on the ISO committee for ISO 16439 (Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries). Nothing about it on the ISO site though, under development. There is an article about it available on Emerald though that I think I'll bookmark to read later <http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17041642>.

But anyway, his point was that we are moving beyond internal performance and satisfaction to advocacy to a variety of stakeholders, creating narratives. And he invited everyone to consider the August 2014 conference on library assessment in Seattle with the warning it sells out months in advance.

There was a Panel Discussion featuring Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC; Joanne Miller, California Digital Library; and Lyn Paleo, Evaluation Research and Training. I didn't take very good notes, although all three talks were interesting. The link I captured about UC libraries was <http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/about/facts-and-figures>. Looks very old school by Hiller's talk. Also I would like to read an OCLC published on archival collection assessment, co-authored by Merrilee Proffitt. <http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/publications/library/2012/conway-proffitt-rbm.pdf>

We broke for lunch and I had several interesting conversations with different folks. Another librarian who also had a patent background suggested I join Patent Information Users Group <http://www.piug.org/>. Several people commiserated about how hard it is to find library jobs and mentioned they are often hiring MLS holders into paraprofessional positions. No librarian likes that circumstance.

I went to an interesting afternoon breakout session by Lynn Jones and Susan Edwards (UC Berkeley) called "Every number tells a story: using data to make collection decisions" about their experience with needing to close the Education and Psychology library (for seismic issues) and doing various metrics to figure out how the students and faculty of the Educations, Psychology and Social Work departments used campus libraries. It was very interesting but complicated and I don't think I can summarize it here.

The closing keynote was given by David Fetterman about his "Empowerment Assessment" ideas used by Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consultation firm. His idea is that assessment shouldn't stop but be used to push an organization's goals forward. He has done all kinds of cool projects and was selling his latest book, _Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice_ about closing the digital divide. He also talked about an anti-smoking campaign for youth in Arkansas. I chatted with him a bit at the wine reception afterward. Some of his techniques reminded me of appreciative inquiry and other techniques I've learnt over the years. No jobs link on their website though. *wry grin* Or even training opportunities. I'd like to read his most recent book and also _Ethnography: Step-by-Step_. I sent samples to my phone but both are kind of expensive. I just don't have the textbook price thing down.

I also had a nice chat with Stephanie Rosenblatt of Cerritos College who had given a breakout session I had to miss. We may network some more. Yay.

After the nice (bar the grey day) wine and snacks reception on the terrace of the Brower Center I headed off to Adocentyn when I met Don & Anna and wandered down Solano to find dinner. We ended up at the Solano Grill and had a lovely dinner and conversation. Then I, predictably, grabbed some takeaway from Aangan and headed home. I had stayed late and missed the rush hour but traffic is always bad on that corridor. I need a teleporter really badly.
rowanf: (red egg)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I am having kinda of a "dark night of the soul" lately, mostly around the confirmation of my arthritis in my hands. I always imagined that as I got into old age that I would be back in a wheelchair. I mean, I could move funny tomorrow and be back in the wheelchair. But I always envisioned myself as doing hand work - beading, painting, needlepoint, pysanky, whatever. Even with limited mobility I saw myself as creating things. I just have no vision of myself with hands that hurt all the time and don't function very well.

I have found palliatives that help. And I know that the medical world is working on tissue engineering, trying to find ways to grow cartilage to replace damaged cartilage. It may be that there is a future ahead for me that is brighter than I can currently see.

But currently I am mourning and, frankly, freaking out a bit about my future.
rowanf: (Millie enlightened)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
The rest of my week was rather muddled. After leaving the hand doc and having lunch I starting having auras and nausea and feared a migraine. So I headed home to my darkened room. And waited, and waited. Twenty four hours of auras and nausea later, I started to feel better. But then I slept the afternoon away. By dinner I really did feel better, but off kilter. I think the off kilter thing effected my whole weekend. :(

Saturday was the NROOGD Ingathering. I had put it in my calendar for noon and was up and packed to stay overnight in the east bay so I didn't have to drive up both days. Unfortunately, I left my cooler bag of potluck items on the chair in the kitchen. Got all the way to Marin and realized I didn't have it. Stopped to buy more food at a lovely market. Got to Deborah's with a bag of unrefridgerated food and realized I was two hours early (the meeting actually being at 2pm). She wasn't home. I sat on her steps for awhile and then just decided to head over to the East Bay to the library. If I had had the cooler bag, I could have just gone off and found a restaurant. But my "I must bring food" headset limited my choices.

So I spent the afternoon cataloguing the books I had brought to catalog at Sunday's work party. The library got pretty cold and my spoons were amazingly low. Instead of sleeping over I decided to head for home about 8pm. After an awful drive, I got home and fell in bed. Sunday I didn't have any energy at all and slept in and decided no way I was driving back to Berkeley.

I feel like the lamest thing ever. Oh well. Today (Monday) I have an interview with a recruiter so I had best get to filling out forms and getting my paperwork together. I so cannot imagine presenting well as a "go getter" today but hey, all that acting has got to come in handy sometimes.
rowanf: (Foxy hat)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Since I've gotten back from Mexico the weather here has been swinging from warm to cold to warm to cold. The cold parts definitely feed my "run away to the tropics" hunger.

Russell and I went to RenFaire on Saturday. We saw the Merry Wives of Windsor but otherwise didn't really do shows. I guess we watched Cup & Bowl whilst we ate. There seemed like there was much better food this year. I wished I'd seen the bacon wrapped asparagus spears on a stick before I bought a huge thing of bbq tri-tip (I'd've gotten a smaller thing ;). There was a booth with sweet potato fries but they turned out to be the gluteny ones (coated in flour). I ate many of them anyway and kinda paid for it. We ran into various friends just as we were leaving. But upon getting home I totally fell over and slept for hours so I think we called it right not to stay and hang with them.

Yesterday I went to see the hand specialist who gave me an occupational therapy referral and told me I should really use hot wax on my hands. So I guess I'll turn the machine on. He said there is a home ultrasound machine on Amazon too. Haven't looked yet. He thinks I'm doing the right things with compression and heat. But basically he didn't have any magic bullets (nor did I expect any).

My metadata class is still being really interesting. In watching a Tim Berners Lee TED talk that the professor had assigned, Lee mentioned a 2010 talk by Hans Rosling on the UN data on child mortality that was just fascinating and made some really excellent points about statistical modeling. I am totally going to go watch all of Rosling's other TEDs soon.
rowanf: (Diver Rowan)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
On Saturday morning we visited the Cliffs of Dawn at dawn. We were run off from actually getting out to the point by a guard (the attraction doesn't open until 10am) but we sat amongst the statues in the park and watched the sun come up.

This picture (more views on flickr) is a statue of Ixchel on Isla Mujeres near the park where the ruins of her temple stand on the southernmost point of the island. It is the most eastern point of Mexico and hence the first place the dawn touches.

In Mayan times women came to the Island which was entirely sacred to Ixchel. She was midwife and bringer of fertility. There are round pools at the base of the cliffs where the women bathed to be granted fertility and also to give birth. She is triple aspected with the midwife being the old woman. Her maiden aspect is often shown with a rabbit. I imagine this modern statue is in her sovereign mother form.

The plaque at her feet says:
Ixchel
Fue la principal diosa Maya
Diosa del arcoiris, del agua de la fertilidad, de la abundancia, de la luna, del amor y de la medicina.

Which I make as:
Ixchel
She was the main Mayan Goddess
Goddess of the rainbow, of the water of fertility, of wealth, of the moon, of love and medicine.

I left offerings at Chacmool to open the way and offering for Ixchel with a prayer for abundance in my life's work.

After sunrise we made one last pass along the beaches and then ate breakfast and caught a boat to the mainland and a van to the airport. The airport was quite entertaining and I was sorry they wouldn't leave me a wheelchair so I could explore. I did get a t-shirt & hat from Margaritaville Cancun. LOL But there were an amazing array of product demo people on stilts, in giant heads and wearing grass skirts that occasionally passed in the distance that I would have liked to have seen closer.

I'm home, pretty bushed, need to catch up on my metadata class... so I probably won't be online much. But wow, that was an amazing vacation.
rowanf: (Diver Rowan)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Kurt went off at o'dark thirty this morning to catch a ferry to the mainland to go off with a group to do a cenote dive. I had begged off that even before I hurt myself because it means carrying all your gear up and down a flight of stairs. So I had the day to myself. I slept in and didn't go to breakfast until 8:30! Shocking, isn't it. :)

After breakfast I had been intending to work on my metadata class but the beautiful day beckoned and I jumped in the golf cart and took off for town. I parked and wandered about looking at t-shirts and such. My beloved carpet bag from Costa Rica's zipper had given up the ghost so I bought a new, very colourful, bag with Maya patterns in the weave that says Isla Mujeres. It is wool, which may drive me nuts. But it was too pretty and I bought it anyway.

I stopped by the Carey Dive Center and thanked Gil and Berto for their great care of me during the week. Since I missed the night dive I hadn't had a chance to say goodbye.

I went back to the hotel and had lunch and then my 75 min massage after lunch. They had brought a masseuse over from one of the other hotels and she was great. I can walk pretty normally now and I had hoped to get a dive in with the hotel dive master (talked to him this morning) but he had a snorkel group at 3pm and then I hit my 24 hours before air travel barrier. Oh well. Who knew that this old lady would be back underwater anyway. I count my blessings. :)

I took Helen, of the Birmingham couple I previously mentioned, over to the bead ladies. Have I mentioned the bead ladies? There is a women's co-op where you can buy island style beadwork direct from the makers and the money goes to pay school fees for the kids. I went by there yesterday and did a fair bit of shopping. Nothing new for me today, but Helen got a necklace for her mother-in-law's birthday.

Tomorrow after lunch we head home, so I don't know that there will be any further Isla posts. It has been really lovely. I had never done an all-inclusive resort before and I am really impressed with the level of service and the genuine friendliness of the staff. Isla Mujeres is a lovely island with a small town feel despite being right across the bay from Cancun and all the craziness of the "Mexican riviera". I'd love to come back someday.
rowanf: (pink hair)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I wished for un-sore and vigorous in the morning, but I didn't get it. I have a cramp in my piriformis muscle. I'm definitely beter than last night but it hurts to walk. A 20 minute boat ride (and in the bay the boat hits the swells, boom, boom, boom) and then a deep reef dive is not on my agenda anymore. *sigh*

I feel bad for making Kurt go off on his own, but that is what we can for, the diving. Evidently last night's night dive was amazing, with lots of wildlife - rays, eels, fish, a sleeping shark and lots of turtles. I think today they are going to Punta Negra. At least there are enough divers hanging around that I think even without me there are six on the boat. And having a divemaster for a buddy is kinda fun too. They have all kinds of tricks to show you (e.g. snap you fingers near a brain coral and it will pull its polyps in).

I am going to be good and watch some metadata videos and work on my class. Or maybe sleep a bit more first. This getting up early to get onto the bay before the wind picks up and there is so much competition for sites is wearing on me.
rowanf: (pirate - SPANC)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So yesterday we were talking to some other couples at the resort and they were going to go out with the hotel divemaster to some local sites in the morning. So at about 9am we presented ourselves to the divemaster with our vouchers and by about 10:15 we were on the water. This boat is much smaller than the Carey Dive Center boat and the captain was very good. The divemaster is a young man from Chicago (today was his 28th birthday) named, I think, Ivan. He is a bit of a goofball but also a serious diving guide.

We went first to MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) and swam around the sculptures. Compared to the photos we've seen from Gwen & Jeff's visits, I think the coral and algae are taking over fast. The sculptures are amazing and the idea that they will someday be a reef of their own is way cool. Kurt wore the GoPro camera today and didn't get pix of the sculptures very much for some reason. Maybe we'll manage to go back.

After MUSA we neaded over to a section of Manchones and drived the reef looking at amazing schools of brightly coloured fish. There are a fair few pix on Flickr.

Because we had left our gear at Carey, we used loaner gear from the hotel. Oh man, I missed my fins! The loaners were just slip-ons and fairly flexible compared to my serious diver fins. My hips are killing me! We had a night dive schedule with Carey tonight but I begged off and Kurt went alone. I just don't think my body is up to all this. Too bad, night dives can be awesome fun. But we have a fairly strenuous dive scheduled with Carey for tomorrow and I think it was the better part of valor to go to bed early instead. Kurt is having a blast and it is definitely fun to watch someone fulfilling a lifelong dream. He says he has wanted to dive since his first Jacques Cousteau special at like age 8.

Anyway, I'm going to get some sleep and hopefully be all un-sore and vigorous in the morning.
rowanf: (pink hair)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So yesterday we did tool around town and stop in a few shops. I got a black and pink hibiscus coverup (made from a sarong) sewn for me on the fly but an enterprising shopkeeper with a sewing machine.

After we headed back to the hotel we finally hit the swim up bar - I have wanted to be at a swim up bar for years. Bucket list item checked off. We had a drink that was basically rum and diet coke but with a splash of triple sec and kahlua. And then Kurt had a very multicolor drinked called "sky" that looked like a sunset (and was probably way to sweet for me). We met the nice couple from Birmingham, England we had chatted with the night before and decided to have dinner together. Evidently the original plan had been to serve dinner by the pool and have an "aqua show" but the thunderstorms made them move dinner inside. Thus we were invited in the middle of dinner to go out by the pool to see the show. And they cleared our places and had to make us dinner all over again. But we had a fun visit anyway.

Then off to bed fairly early as we had an 8:30 dive. Kurt finished his last qualifying dive and off we went (yes, I was let back in the water) on a wild reef dive with Gil leading Kurt and I through arches in the coral. I wore the gopro, so I hope to have underwater pix of him diving soon. We came back, grabbed a quick lunch and I had a 90 minute hot stone massage.

Now I'm just chilling and working on pictures. I may try to get into WoW just to see if they'll cut me off for being in a foreign country like they did when I was in Europe.
rowanf: (South Park wasted)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I spent the week after the anniversary party recovery and working on my metadata class and packing for a trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico with Kurt. We are staying in the hotel that Gwen and Jeff really like and it is quite spectacular. Gwen also sent us to Carey Scuba in town and their owner/dive master has taken Kurt through his water dives. He did the first one yesterday and today is doing open water. I got benched because I went on a dive yesterday with another of the shop's dive masters and I got a pretty bad mask squeeze (when you go down without equalizing your mas a vacuum forms against your face and breaks blood vessels). It can be really bad if you get too much pressure on your eyes. I didn't, but he thinks I'd risk it if I went in today. :( But Kurt will finish his open water certification this morning and we'll be good to go. The reef was really full of life and a nice dive. I look forward to doing it again (and I really wish I had an underwater camera)! So, I didn't manage pictures but my favorite fish looks like this - it really is neon blue.

So I guess once Kurt is done diving, we'll wander around town a bit and tool around the island. (We rented a golf cart which is a standard mode of island transportion.) The hotel has a swim up bar in the afternoon (they open different bars and restaurants with different times of day) and there is some kind of show tonight. (The first night we were here was karaoke. I did Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Kurt and I did an amazing duet of Angel of the Morning. But most of the songs were by Britney Spears so we weren't able to do more. *giggles*)

Anyway, having fun in paradise. :)
rowanf: (lovers - Robin Wood)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Russell and I were handfasted 30 years ago, September 17, 1983, in the apple orchard at Eclectia with 70 or so guests. I did the invites on the computer with my mad graphics skillz. A friend sewed Russell a new wedding robe. I wore my favorite velvet dress. We exchanged rainbow headbands (head), plumeria leis (heart) and had our hands tied together (hands). I baked 7 trays of lasagna and tossed salad for the feast. We had 7 chocolate grand marnier cakes from Cocolat. A chef friend gave us two trays of antipasto as a wedding present. We bought a case or three of champagne. Friends brought instruments and jammed. It was a wonderful party. But it was very DIY and we couldn't afford a honeymoon for another year.

So for our 30th anniversary I really wanted to have a fancy GIANT ANNIVERSARY PARTY (as it said in my calendar on the 14th). I have spent the last couple of months finding a venue, buying a dress, arranging a band and generally putting a fair bit of energy into having a party. Evidently the universe was listening because OMG WE HAD A REALLY, REALLY WONDERFUL, AMAZING, FABULOUS, TRANSCENDENT PARTY!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Sorry for shouting. But wow, I couldn't be more thrilled and satisfied by the result. I had had various ideas about bands for the event and had checked into some 60s cover bands but ultimately went with our friend Fontain and "Fontain's MUSE" the band that is she and her husband Farhan with occasional other folks. When they lived in San Jose our bellydance troupe, House of Inanna, was their "house troupe" and we often performed at their concerts. They do amazing trance-dance music with a beat.

So, I dont' dance with House of Inanna any more but evidently Fontain and our troupe leader, Petra, conspired to put together a set list and the five dance sisters I had invited to the party put together a SHOW!!! Wow. Just, I have the best friends evar.

And people came, around 60 people. Friends who were at our original handfasting and friends we've made since. Friends who are local and friends from afar. I had hoped my parents could come but my Dad's medical woes made that impossible. But my brother Ralph came up from San Diego.

We had it at a local hotel at whose restaurant, The Island Grill, I am a regular. The Grill catered it and the food was luau themed and amazing. People kept telling me they couldn't believe this was hotel food.

And we all danced. And chatted. And looked at photo albums of our past. And drank champagne and ate and chatted. And danced. And watched dancers. Rinse, repeat.

I really wish I had hired a photographer but other than that I am very happy with the event. We billed it as "Russell & Rowan, First 30" (so said our cake anyway) and promised to have another in 30 years. LOL We probably won't wait quite that long, but it was definitely a party to last a decade or two.
rowanf: (fox shopping)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So I headed off to Vegas and had a pretty quiet Thursday. I worked on my metadata class (why am I taking a class in this crazy busy time?) and played a little WoW since it was Dark Moon Fair week.

Russell was engaged so I went up to the MiX Bar for dinner and enjoyed the view of the city. It claims to be on the 64th floor, but is really more like 42 since there are no floors between 37 and 60. How crazy is that? But it was fun and I brought Russell up there Friday before heading off to dinner because the view was fun.

On Friday I got up early and went snorkeling down the "lazy river" in the Mandalay Bay water park. Very boring snorkeling really, but I wanted to do it. I had hoped my suit would dry out sitting on a lounge chair but evidently the water park keeps it sufficiently humid that even in the desert of Las Vegas things don't dry. A lovely way to start the day though.

Then I went to Photoshop World where Russell is working in the Code Mines (erm, Code-a-thon), just to say hello. (And grab a hug.) He and a couple of other engineers were coding on the floor and it sounded like quite a crazy thing but they did actually get some work done.

We went to dinner at Rao's and had lovely Italian food and then to see Absinthe at Caesar's Place. Absinthe was awful. Well, it was mixed but awful won for me. There were great performers - acrobats, aerialists, burlesque and trapeze artists. And then there was the "commentary" which insulted everyone in the audience, every ethic and racial group and even Nazi jokes. And an amazing display of rape culture as three victims from the audience were on stage and two men asked to "lap dance" on a woman who was obviously very uncomfortable and even held out her left hand and protested, "I'm married!". If there was a different ringmaster and style, it would have been a fine show. As it was I was horribly uncomfortable from the Nazi joke 10 minutes in until we were finally released. An additionally uncomfortable thing is that reading the reviews of this show on trip advisor and yelp and such... the things that bothered me don't seem to be what other folks don't like. The people who hated it didn't like the sexual references or the homoeroticism present in some acts.

Saturday morning we had breakfast with Gwen & Jeff who were coming into Vegas for a Freedom Paws event and then headed to the airport. All-in-all, it was a great visit to Las Vegas. I even bought some sparkly clothes.
rowanf: (Rowan - PCon 2011)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I have decamped from San Antonio and arrived in Las Vegas. Russell is working at Photoshop World and will be out to 9pm tonight. I have availed myself of a long soak and a nap and am now deciding between room service and wandering off in search of provender.

The trip to SA was filled with family goodness. Not only did Martha & Katie come down from Austin but Paul and Annette came down from Dallas. Annette visited her sisters Sunday night and Paul and our family went out for Moroccan food. The food was good and the service wasn't -- fulfilling all the reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon. The food was really good. I think if it was in my neighborhood I would only do takeaway though. The service was just that bad. The next morning we visited some more and then Paul and Annette headed back to Dallas. It took them nine hours! Ack. Mum worries they'll never come visit again since this is the second really back commute home. I hope she's wrong. It is so nice to have family around. I know Mum misses being just around the corner from Martha when they lived in Austin.

Dad go the results of his cytology and we know that whatever is going on with his lungs is neither TB nor cancer. No idea what it is yet, but those were the big scary things and it is good to have them ruled out. He goes back to the doc again tomorrow for more tests and another draining of the pleura if needed. The first few days after his last one it hurt to cough but he is getting his wind back.

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time taking iPhone pix of pictures in early family photo albums. Mostly just pix of me for my "Rowan's life" set but some of my family too. And lots of school class pix that I had no idea existed! I'll process those over the next while and put them on flickr.

Hmm, I think I will venture out and see what I can find to eat. The room service menu is very dear and limited to boot.

WorldCon

Aug. 31st, 2013 06:57 pm
rowanf: (Purple hair)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Yesterday Martha and Katie came down from Austin and we had a really great day just hanging out and visiting. I'm really lucky to have such a wonderful family, down through the generations. I'm looking forward to being a great aunt to Katie's son.

So today I headed over to the WorldCon. Spike had evidently comped me the day. <3 I admit that the $75 one day price had been a bit daunting and I am very grateful. In the morning I mostly did the academic track and heard a couple of really interesting papers, the most interesting by Mary Anne Mohanraj on Rewritings of the Women of the Ramayana and of the Matter of Britain. It was part of a session on using folklore in your work. I missed the first speaker who was talking about Brazilian folklore. I asked them both for their papers and have gotten Ms. Mohanraj's back already. Then there was a session on "finding ourselves and our aliens" which was a paper on Will Eisner (creator of early graphic novels) and one on Jack Arnold (director Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc) that was much less interesting to me.

Then I wandered over to the dealers room and met Tiller's partner, Marilyn. Tiller had gotten horrible food poisoning and missed most of the Con today. I touched base with her and then wandered around checking out the dealers and the art show. Lots of nice stuff.

In the afternoon I went to sessions on censorship and on ebooks. Both were quite interesting (and had librarians among the panelists). Then Tiller pinged me and said he was feeling well enough to wander out and we met at Fogo de Chau and watched me each lots of amazing Brazilian bbq whilst he drank tea. It was a really nice visit... but I realize I didn't stop by the art show to pick up my quick sale piece. Ooops. Hopefully they will let Spike pick it up for me. But boy, do I feel like an idiot!

Other than that though, it was an awesome day!!!
rowanf: (anime reader)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Since the EDD cut off my unemployment and I don't have to keep my nose to the grindstone about looking for work... I decided to head off to Texas to see my family and help Spike with a WorldCon event and hopefully get to WorldCon.

Upon arrival, I found out that my dad has a pleural effusion and would need to get it drained the next day. A liter and a half of fluid has been making him rather short of breath. He thinks he had an embolism or something when they were in Brazil last October. They had at the time suspected and ruled out a heart attack but didn't check his lungs. Gah. People kept telling him of his shortness of breath that it "is just old age" and I think he is feeling justified to know that there really was a problem. OTOH, he is also wondering about cancer or a recurrence of TB (which he got as a medical resident) and other things that are kinda scary. I had really hoped to drag him off to WorldCon since he is First Fandom and it would be fun to show him a modern Con, but he isn't feeling up to it.

Yesterday we had the kick-off events at the San Antonio Public Library. There were panels and readings by authors at 1 and 4 and a panel of editors at 2:30. My job was to shuttle them back and forth from the Convention Center to the Library. It is about a mile but the temperature got up to 101F and we really weren't going to ask them to walk it.

1:00 - 2:30 pm Kathleen Goonan, Tanya Huff and Walter Jon Williams
2:30 - 4:00 pm Liz Gorinsky, Lee Harris and James Patrick Kelly
4:00 - 5:30 pm Robin Hobb, Catherine Asaro and Elizabeth Bear

I had been wanting to get Tanya Huff to sign my lending copy of _Enchantment Emporium_ which Song had returned to me just a couple of weeks ago... but I couldn't find it anywhere. I got her to sign my ipad cover instead. How cool is that?!

It was actually really fun to be their driver and I enjoyed chatting with various of the authors and eavesdropping on their conversations between themselves. And the panels and readings that I caught were really good.

Then at 6:30-8:00 pm we celebrated the publication a new anthology, _Rayguns Over Texas_. About 16 of the 25 authors in the anthology where there to talk about their work. I got them to sign a copy of the book for Dad. It looks like it will be a fun read.

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SFPride-Rowan.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
We rescued my friend Song from the rehab center (aka durance vile) on Friday and brought her home to her apartment. I cannot begin to say what a relief that was. We are both horrified at the plight of our elders who have to live in such places. The level of care was unbelievably inept and the place was just psychically draining. After a couple of days home she is in SUCH better shape both emotionally and physically. Also, her apartment is like 2 miles from my house so I don't have to commute to the next town every day to see her. I just couldn't leave her alone in that awful place. Now I can just pop over whenever she needs me (and to visit).

Saturday Kurt & I took the train up to Pride to work on behalf of the Pagan Alliance. The Pride foundation gives grants to other non-profits who field volunteers for Pride. So we hawked in the street for donations for 2-1/2 hours. We had fun, singing like at Renn Faire. I made a few extra dollars for them with people paying me to take my picture with them (a lot more just asked and I said sure). LOL It was funny to be a tourist attraction (they were mostly young Asian women with probable mother picture takers). But I think we got $200-300 toward supporting the parade, the community and Pride -- so go us. Our covenmates, Chris & Tracey, had had an earlier shift and came back at the end of ours to waft us away from the event. I didn't get to do any shopping at all but I was pretty out of spoons and it was nice to just get away from the noise and crush. We went over to Polk St and had a drink at McTeague's and dinner at Myconos. Then Kurt & I made it back for the return "baby bullet" train and home where we totally fell over. I think I slept for like 12 hours, I was soooo exhausted.

Sunday (after sleeping in) we did Falkenrath Knights in WoW and I virtually attended the NCLC meeting. They actually asked me to host one of the upcoming meetings. I really am shocked they don't get how betrayed I feel by the last one. No, I am so not going to host an NCLC meeting for the foreseeable future. If I used strong language, I'd say "FU". And the horse you rode in on. Honestly. They betrayed my hospitality once, not again.

The weather is being crazy hot. We, like the rest of the West, are having "excessive heat". *fans self* I actually kinda like it except for the not cooling down at night. I guess something is keeping the fog offshore (I can never remember if that is a high pressure zone or a low pressure one and I'm too lazy to google it - no I'm not. NOAA says high pressure zone).

I saw my doctor yesterday and got a referral for my arthritis (or whatever) in my hands. I have gone from not being able to do any hand work (about 6 years) to having my hand hurt after driving (3 years) to having my hands ache a lot in the morning (2 years) to my hands can't grip anything at all (six months). I've been using a heating pad for an hour or so in the morning to get myself going. About a month ago I got some neoprene compression gloves which I wear all night (and then heating pad for an hour) and it was helped tremendously. Plus Voltaren gel, of course, which I have been using for about a year. Getting old is getting old. Also he switched my levothyroxine from 1.25 to 1.37 to see if that would help with the weight gain. Because I just don't see how eating <1200 calories & <25g carbs a day for six months creates a 6 pound gain with an RDI of 1500 unless something untoward is gonig on. Just sayin'

Russell and I have reservations in San Francisco for the 4th, hopefully we'll be able to see fireworks from our hotel window. (The lack of fog being useful for once :) I'm really looking forward to it!

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