Tag Archives: Time

Necessary Evil

Nobody likes eleven hour flights. As much as I love going to places on the other side of the world, I don’t like eleven hour flights. But I need them. 

I frequently find it impossible to disconnect from the world. I feel itchy if I don’t have a wifi connection that can help me connect with people. Some of that I’m sure has to do with the volunteer work I do for Worldcon, but it’s also because of how I keep in touch with the majority of my friends and family. 

For the last five years I’ve lived at least several hours away from the large groups of people that I love and I used the internet very heavily as a crutch to keep in contact with them as I didn’t have the money to visit as frequently as I would have liked. 

Now, while I have the means to visit my friends frequently, I still live mostly in isolation and my phone and my laptop are very real extensions of myself that allow me to keep up with the world around me and the world my friends are in. 

But sometimes, I just need silence. I don’t get as much as I should. The ability to be connected to everyone has turned into what feels like an addiction, and even if I’ve sworn I’d put my phone away for dinner, I’ll sneak away to the bathroom to catch up. The ability to connect like this allows us to ignore our reality, and to a certain extent, ourselves. 

So, what does an eleven hour flight have to do with this? Well, turns out that most flights from Tokyo to England or the US lack wifi. I cannot connect. It’s a blessing and a curse. After I get rid of the shakes that come with the realization that I can’t in fact open Chrome and play on Tumblr or Facebook, I relax. I listen to music, I read a book, I sleep, I ignore the rest of the world, sometimes I even write. I cannot be productive in the usual way that I crave to be, but I am given the time to recharge so that I can be. 

I hate eleven hour flights. I love eleven hour flights. 

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Pretending To Be An Adult

Thank You, BuzzFeed
Thank You, BuzzFeed

Packing, no, sorting goes well. My closet has been divided into three piles. Required during travel, shipping to Will, or Goodwill. This was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Champagne and girl friends were not required.

Which is good, because I don’t have both of those things here, anyways. Guess who cleaned out the neverending stock of unused alcohol that we had this morning? I am more than slightly pleased with myself about this and allowed myself a short celebration at Chipotle. Of course, I can’t actually eat the burritos anymore, but their guac is fair game, and what a wonderful game it is.

I have once again run out of water. Notable, because a month ago, I would have been thinking about the fact that I had run out of Coke. I have almost completely eliminated Coke from my daily diet. Not just Coke, but any soda. I still have one occasionally when Will and I go to a restaurant, but they are now a special occasion treat for me. So many of the things that I’ve been used to eating over the years have been cut from my diet due to all of the unknown crappiness that I’ve decided to make this one of the things that I can enjoy every once in a while. It’s been amazingly helpful in terms of weight loss. I haven’t been directly attempting to lose weight, but I can now fit into my skinny jeans (not that they are coming with my on my grand adventures) and that means a lot more to me than fluctuating numbers. I can move my body in ways that I haven’t been able to for longer than I’d like and that’s an incredibly freeing feeling.

I am endless thrilled with having Julie here for the week. She is unapologetically herself and that’s so wonderful to be around. It’s a hard balance to find. Am I being true to myself vs am I being politically correct enough for my environment. I don’t mean she’s a dick, because that’s never cool (and I imagine it’s not a happy self to have) , but she says what she thinks, wears what she wants and doesn’t hold back to make others feel better. Nor does she get hung up on things when others express their disapproval. She listens, decides if she’s going to do anything about it, and then moves on. I don’t know if it’s a me or everyone thing, but I find that balance hard to find and maintain. It’s nice to have someone around where I can let my hair down around that isn’t Will. Not that I don’t love and appreciate that side of our relationship, but it’s nicer to have multiple people around that I can do that with. There are a couple more on the list, but none of them are visiting me at the moment, though I’ll be seeing them in my travels soon.

Back to the neverending task of moving. My original plan was to see as many museums this week, but I’ve migrated to getting as much done on the apartment during the day and spending as little time online as possible. Quite a shift. Quite necessary.

Exodus

I changed my subscription to the SmofList this morning. I will no longer be getting the emails. It’s just not worth it anymore. 

My mother had me added to the list several years ago. When I joined, I was excited. Finally, a spot at the ‘grown up’ table. The chance to join conversations on how to make fandom and conventions better. To learn from great people with more experience that I’d looked up to for years. 

The List at present is much different than the list that I joined. Since I’ve only been on the list for several years, I asked a friend if they’d ever seen it this bad. They said that they had seen the list this hot before, and that it’s gotten hotter for longer before, but they weren’t sure that it had ever stayed this hot for this long. There are no more productive conversations. There are endless arguments and conversations that are derailed by people trying to make a light joke to make things easier. Very few people are friendly, and it feels like everyone (not just new members) feel like they are under attack. I wanted a channel to continue communication that started in the consuite, and in the bridge, and The List is no longer that. 

This weekend I went to Smofcon and I found out that one of the people that I wanted to engage with no longer even reads The List because its so toxic. That was at once so, relieving and so disappointing. I’ve been sticking around this shitty place where this person isn’t even going anymore?! But on the other hand I can finally leave! 

Deleting all of the unread threads in my inbox was magical. It felt just as good as knowing I’d done a good thing for fandom. 

I’m looking forward to spending more time actually doing things, than talking and arguing in circles about them. 

Corporate Fandom

I was at Smofcon this weekend in Toronto and had a fabulous time. Saturday I was on the ‘Song of the South Ate My Life’ with Colin Harris and one of the questions caught me completely by surprise.

The person, whose name I have completely forgotten (I’m not actually sure I ever knew it…) asked me if my work on Social Media for other conventions had negatively impacted my own personal levels of interaction with Social Media. Basically, do I still post on my own feeds anymore?

Well, clearly the answer when it comes to blogging is yes. I have so much less time to document my thoughts, or hell, even spend the time to fully form them because something is always going on with one of the conventions on social media that I need to be monitoring. Some people are surprised by the idea that it takes so much time to properly keep track of the various accounts I run. “But it’s just…Facebook! How hard could it be?”

The average person in the United States spend between thirty minutes to two hours a day online on Social Media sites. That’s for their personal stuff. Think about how much time it takes to stay up to date online and to post and read everything you do. Now multiply that by four. The way that I manage the social media accounts for the cons that I work on demands just as much work. Now, yes, I could manage them in different ways, but I think those other time saving management styles wouldn’t be as good for Worldcon, and since this is a rough time for conventions with social media, time and attention must be paid.

But I do feel the pinch, so to speak. Weekends I take off are especially sweet because I can monitor my own networks and not have to worry about others. Con weekends are especially sweet because I can ignore it completely and talk to people. I have officially declared that 2016 is the last year that I will be working on Social Media for conventions. Kansas City is near and dear to my heart, and it’s important to me that they get it right. So, if you have any desire to learn how to work on Social Media for Worldcon, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to teach you. Hell, if you want Social Media advice for any level of convention, I’d be more than willing to help you out. I’ve been doing this for coming up on three years now, and by the end of things, I’ll have five years of experience that I’d love to pass on. Maybe I’ll write a (very short) book about it.

More on Smofcon later, but I had a wonderful time. There were many great conversations and I met a ton of new people (young and old) that I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with.

Stepping Away

Being sick is humbling. Being sick is exhausting. Being sick is boring.

I’ve been sick for three weeks now and it’s driving me up a wall. The doctors have no idea what is wrong with me and so I spend my time either in pain, hopped up on painkillers or waiting to be in pain again. Every once in a while, I’ll go just long enough without an episode (six or seven hours) and I’ll start to hope that what whatever this is has passed on for good. But it always comes back. It’s like whatever this is enjoys taunting me with the idea of freedom.

I’ve said it elsewhere, so I don’t think it’ll be a shock to anyone who reads this, but I’ve taken a leave of absence from work. Whatever this is, has no respect for deadlines. And even when I’m not in pain, I’m usual loopy as all get out. It’s incredibly boring and demoralizing. I love working, and now not being able to? The first half-day was nice. Just catching up on sleep and etc, but I quickly run out of things to do. Though I have half a dozen craft projects around the house that Will is allowing me to leave out so when I want to work on them, I can. It’s hard to take on work when you don’t know for sure when you’ll be able to work on something.  Thankfully my bosses are amazing and have told me that when I’m ready and well – and _only_ when I’m well – they’ll have some non-deadline work to do at home. I’m so lucky to have them.

Going to see doctors day in and day out is difficult. Especially since most of them end up saying flat out “We have no idea what is wrong with you.” The new GI specialist I say this week suggested a new drug this week and it was disastrous. I was on the floor in pain for three straight hours. You know what is worse than the doctors not knowing? Doctors making it worse. It’s not that I’m mad at them. I know they are doing the best that they can with this mystery, but it’s still hard to deal with.

I think the worst part of all of this is how lonely and guilt making being sick is. If I didn’t have friends online that I could talk to every day, I would probably lose my mind. Will is great for conversations, but he’s away the majority of the day and the cat is super great at cuddles, but that’s about it. I miss the people from my office. I miss being in the middle of a crowd. I just miss interacting with people. Will and I went for a walk last night down to the edge of the island which is my favorite place. It’s got a great view of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge and I just love it. There are a few photos from the area that I’ve posted online.  It was fantastic to get out and see the beautiful view and get fresh air, but by the end of the walk, I felt guilty. I’m sick. Shouldn’t I be at home in bed not enjoying life? If I’m well enough to go on a walk to see this beautiful thing, should I be well enough to go to work? It’s a hard thing to grapple with. I’m going to see if I can go to some museums in the area that I’ve never made it to before. Things I always said “Oh I’ll do it next time I’m here visiting Will” know that I’d be just as greedy about time with him the next time around. I can go see those right now and Will thinks I should. I may be loopy, but when has that ever stopped someone from enjoying art? Hell, sometimes it helps them understand it better.

This is my life right now, and I have to say, I’m not a big fan.

Running Out Of Time

There are a lot of things that I should probably be writing about right now. Explaining what’s been happening in my life for the last month, thanking every person on the planet for making that happen, telling you our plans for the next few months, but I can’t. I’ll work on getting to that later.

Right now the urge to create something is bursting out of my fingers, and I am so incredibly frustrated because the only thing I can do about that right now is write about it. I’m at work, and while work at an agency is great because there is a lot of flexibility, I’m still at work.

I want to draw, I want to sew, paint, sing, anything, and I can’t. I don’t have the time. When I get home from work, I have things to do. Some cleaning, cooking (which I know can be art, but it isn’t mine), dealing with the cat and then dear sweet lord, I’m exhausted. Cats, man. 

But on top of this frustration, comes new perspective. How many kids get home from school and grumble (or at least think to themselves) “My parents just don’t get it, I’m an artist. I need to create. They just don’t understand.” And they do. Maybe they don’t talk about it, but they do understand. But they also understand the bills and the billing system at work and the need to put food on the table.

And that ladies and gentlemen is why I support the arts just as much as I do the military (not that I have much choice on the latter.) Because yeah, everybody needs to put in their fair share, but who says that creating art isn’t just as valid as crunching tax numbers or going to war? You save someone from bullets? They save someone from feeling nothing. You keep me from fucking up my taxes and they keep you from wandering through life without seeing and understanding beauty.

Right now, I’m going to turn around and finish the deck that’s due Monday. But after work? I’m heading to the craft store.

New Years Resolution Continued

As some of you may know, my New Year’s resolution was to start drinking as much water as I do soda. 

Well, the resolution has been successful so far. I average about a gallon of water today. Some days I have a can of soda, some days I have two, some days I don’t have any at all. What really gets me are the bags of BBQ potato chips at the end of the hall. Those suckers are fucking addicting. Odd side note, I still think of them as the KC Masterpiece BBQ chips, even though that tie was cut on the bag a while back. Talk about effective branding. 

The resolution has actually progressed further than just drinking water every day. I’ve started working out with Karibabyhorse every day and seeing a personal trainer twice a week. Before you start thinking “Well isn’t that nice for you, I don’t have that kind of money,” I don’t actually have that kind of money either. Access to my school’s gym is $70 a semester or $125 for a year. That’s a little bit more than $20 a month, which I used to spend on chocolate milk (Yes, I’m a recovering addict). That’s a night at the bar for some folks, or just ordering out. It’s a well worth it investment. With access to the gym comes access to the personal trainer. It’s a really great deal. 

My coworkers laughed at me (not in a mean way) last week while I hobbled around for the two days after my first appointment, but I’m already starting to feel the benefits form the intense workouts. Mostly in my arms and legs, and not my tummy where I would like it, but it’s a work in progress and not something that will happen over night. The oddest place that I’ve notice slimming down is my wrists…they look very dainty now. 

I haven’t stepped on a scale since the very beginning of January, and I don’t plan to any time soon. Knowing the number won’t help me any. I already have plenty of motivation (my trainer is adorable and sings random songs – last week it was Mariah Carey, today it was Ellie Goulding) and all of this isn’t because I want to attain a certain number on the scale. I want to feel better. And yeah, I do want to look a certain way, but I don’t know what the number associated with that look is, so why worry?

More later. Time to dive back into work. 

Cheating on Sleep with Work

One of the most important things that I picked up yesterday during the Off Broadway tour at Barkley from Joe Cox was that if you’re serious about working in Social Media, you need to have a social media presence of your own.

Easier said than done.

Why is that you ask? Social Media isn’t that hard, right? You just have to pop in every once-in-a-while and say ‘hello’. It’s fun! You’d be half right, if you guessed that. Social Media is fun. Hell, it’s a lot of fun. But it’s also a lot of work. It requires and hell of a lot of balance. And for someone who already has both of her balance plates full, it can be sort of difficult. Really difficult, actually.

As mentioned, I’m taking 18 credit hours, I’m working at the university about 20 hours a week, and I’m working on LoneStarCon 3. I’ve got a little bit going on right now. And that doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to spend exploring the internet for things to post about. Or, time for learning about awesome things (Like Vine).

If you want a job in Social Media, it’s not enough to just randomly post when you have a spare few seconds. You have to cultive a presence. Post things of relevance. Things that reflect you. It’s hard to do that when you barely have a few minutes here and there to check your email. It can be done. And I’m using every resource I can find to try.

But what do I do when one of my jobs is cultivating someone else’s Twitter and Facebook pages? It’s even harder, in my opinion, to cultivate a presence for someone or something else. It take more time and effort. You have to research the client. Get to know it’s audience. Learn to talk like the group would. You have to become that person instead of promoting the person you already are.

It’s a tough situation. I want to have something like that on my resume, but I also want to have a personal presence on the platform. (Yay for alliteration!)

My solution for now is to not sleep. We’ll see how that goes.