I <3 My Job

I absolutely love my job right now.  I may be mistaking stress and adrenaline rush for love, but I’m pretty sure that this is what the young kids call “having a blast”.  (Do the young kids say that?  Seriously, who says that?)

I’m working on more projects than a non-manic, non-drugged up person has any right to attempt, my calendar is filled with meetings, I’m reading product literature, I’m designing and running experiments, I’m making connections with people from other groups and I’m a researcher/developer who’s getting to learn more about the manufacturing side of my company’s business.

It’s ordered chaos, and it’s fun!

The more engaged I am, and the more responsible for retaining and applying knowledge to produce visible results, the more questions I get to ask and the more answers I get back, the more fun I’m having.  And I am grooving on my half-desk/half-lab job today.

But, **********, would you please finish up your review of my document so I can update it and release it?  Sometime this century???

Oh, not to worry, heckling and nasty-grams are just part of the fun.

I <3 My Job

I <3 My Job

I absolutely love my job right now.  I may be mistaking stress and adrenaline rush for love, but I’m pretty sure that this is what the young kids call “having a blast”.  (Do the young kids say that?  Seriously, who says that?)

I’m working on more projects than a non-manic, non-drugged up person has any right to attempt, my calendar is filled with meetings, I’m reading product literature, I’m designing and running experiments, I’m making connections with people from other groups and I’m a researcher/developer who’s getting to learn more about the manufacturing side of my company’s business.

It’s ordered chaos, and it’s fun!

The more engaged I am, and the more responsible for retaining and applying knowledge to produce visible results, the more questions I get to ask and the more answers I get back, the more fun I’m having.  And I am grooving on my half-desk/half-lab job today.

But, **********, would you please finish up your review of my document so I can update it and release it?  Sometime this century???

Oh, not to worry, heckling and nasty-grams are just part of the fun.

I <3 My Job

ValleyScare 2010

It’s that time of the year when the Valleyfair amusement park becomes ValleyScare

Many of the parks smaller buildings are transformed into haunted houses for ValleyScare.  Their gaudy, brightly-lit displays are switched out for black paint, fake blood, windows covered with black curtains, cottony spider-web gauze.

Spiders, skulls, bats, rats, gargoyles, vampires, devils, pumpkins, ghosts, witches and devilish half-man/half-monster creatures are planted all over the rides and food vending buildings.

The “worst” part of ValleyScare is the hordes of teen actors who are hired to dress up as zombies and monsters to frighten the guests.  They’ll sneek out from behind signs and start dragging metal buckets on the ground behind you, or they’ll lumber over from across the road to block your way.  Or they’ll just walk quietly behind you until you turn around and then moan or yell in your face.  The zombie below had no pretense or guile (that’s zombies for ya) – he just ran full out and screamed at the dude in the hoodie.  Hey, it seemed to work!

Look at the ants on the roof of the taffy shop – ugh!

This turned out to be one of my favorite photos from last night.  ValleyScare has fog machines located all over the park, and this photo captures the dusk lighting through the mist of the fog.  It’s very creepy and empty. 

Because it was Sunday, and because I arrived before the sun had set, the park was empty except for a handful of other patrons and an entire staff of zombie actors.  At many times I was one guest to four or six zombies, which really made the park feel like the end of Zombieland.

Tombestones in front of the tilt-o-whirl.

My favorite ride is the Renegade – it feels like the fastest roller coaster in the park!  Unfortunately, it’s allllll the way in the back of the park, which means I had to run the entire zombie guantlet.  I don’t mind the whole jump-out-and-scare-you thing, and it’s actually fun when I’m with a group of friends, but when I was by myself they’d jump out, I’d shriek, and then there would be this awkward pause where we’d both think, “Okay….we’re two adults standing here, one of us in a silly custume….now what?”, and I would scuttle away to be received by the next monster.  On the way back from the Renegade (yup, it was still awesome!) I cheated and followed close behind a group of three workers in ValleyScare ride operator uniforms so that I wouldn’t be attacked. Zombie camoflage WIN!

ValleyScare 2010

How I discovered DeCadence

A glance through my Hotmail –>

leads me to an email from sister –>

of the video Bitches Ain’t Shit (NSFW, duh)–>

While watching this video, I saw a related video in the sidebar that caught my interest –>

which was this video (also NSFW) –>

which was okay, but what really caught my attention was this video in the new sidebar –>

because I LOVE the Mortal Kombat song, especially for the damned elliptical machine at the YMCA at 5:30 in the morning.  And anyway, that video was this (this one is fine for work) –>

and I loved this video because it was sort of flash mob.  I noticed that it was done by a group called DeCadence, so I followed the link to their youtube channel, on which I found that they had done an a cappella version of one of my favorite songs by Madonna, Like A Prayer –>

They’re goofy, and I love vocal harmony, and so now I’m completely smitten with this group, and excuse me I have to go purchase a CD from their website nao, kthxbai.

How I discovered DeCadence

Restoring Sanity Rally

Do want! I must check cheapflights.com for flights to D.C. immediately!

Everything below is copy-pasted from CNN – click the link for the full article at CNN.com

Via CNN:

[cnnvideo url=’http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/09/17/am.stewart.colbert.rally.cnn’ inline=’true’]

Two Comedy Central funnymen are apparently entering into the partisan political fray with rallies of their own in the nation’s capital.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have set October 30 as the date for their respective rallies.

On Thursday night’s airing of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” the comedian announced plans for a “Rally to Restore Sanity.”

“See you October 30 on the National Mall to spread the timeless message, ‘Take it down a notch for America,’ ” he said.

Stewart dubbed the event a “clarion call for rationality.”

“A million moderate march, where we take to the streets to send a message to our leaders and our national media that says, ‘We are here! We … are only here until 6 though, because we have a sitter,'” he said.

On “The Colbert Report,” which airs immediately after Stewart’s show, Colbert fired back with plans for his “March to Keep Fear Alive.”

“Now is not the time to take it down a notch. Now is the time for all good men to freak out for freedom,” Colbert said.

Stewart said on his Thursday show that he had reserved a spot on the National Mall.

“The forms have been filled out, the checks have been written,” he said.

[portion of original article omitted]

The announcements come less than three weeks after conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck hosted a much-publicized “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall, urging large crowds to “turn back to God” and return America to the values on which it was founded.

That event drew criticism for its timing and location — on the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered in the same place.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson told CNN at the time that Beck was mimicking King and “humiliating the tradition.” And other civil rights activists gathered nearby with the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network in a “Reclaim the Dream” rally.

Stewart first publicly floated the idea of a counter-rally in a profile in the September 12 edition of New York magazine.

“Maybe we would do a ‘March of the Reasonable,’ on a date of no particular significance,” Stewart says in the article.

The website logos and icons created for the Colbert and Stewart rallies mimic Beck’s, using identical typography and similar stylized images.

“We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard,” the website for the “Rally to Restore Sanity” says.

The “March to Keep Fear Alive” site takes a more alarmist approach: “Never forget — ‘Reason’ is just one letter away from ‘Treason.’ Coincidence? Reasonable people would say it is, but America can’t afford to take that chance.”

Restoring Sanity Rally

Watery World

I love water.

I like to drink it, cook with it, swim in it.  I like showers, hot tubs, steam saunas, pools, lakes, ponds, rivers and oceans. 

I’m not picky – I’ll take chlorinated, fluorinated, fresh or salty water.  I like sprinklers and slip-and-slides, water parks, water rides at amusement parks, water guns and water balloons.

But water can also be annoying.  I don’t like slush, or even fresh snow that much.  I don’t like washing dishes or laundry, and sloshing water over the edge of a drinking glass onto my silk work shirt will usually elicit a very naughty swear word or two.

How about getting rained on?

Getting rained on can bring out the boorish, boring adult or the whimsical child in me .  Whether I get annoyed or enjoy the rain usually dependings on where I’m going – am I leaving work to come home, or am I trying to get to work?  Am I having a night on the town and it’s going to be raining all night anyway, so why put up a fuss?  Or am I on the way to the movies where I’ll be stuck in a dark theater with too much air conditioning for two hours?

This past Monday I was getting ready to go home from work.  I hadn’t been watching the weather so it came as a bit of suprise to me when dark clouds rolled in and covered the sky.  With very little warning, it was a deluge.  There was no polite falling of light rain which may have signaled a more insistent downfall, just suddenly blankets of rain sheeting down from the sky, bouncing off of the concrete patio and pounding on the glass windows of the office from where I watched all of this transpire. 

When I left the office, I cracked the door open and quickly parachuted my umbrella open into a shield against the onslaught.  I ventured out, and within seconds the ankles of my thin work pants were drenched and clinging to my shins.  I felt the rain start to penetrate my shoes and I knew that the soaking, squishing feel of water in my socks was imminent.  The umbrella was keeping my head, shoulders and back dry, but then I arrived at the car and my next dilemma: How do I get in the car, throw my bag inside, get the umbrella down and in the car, and get the door closed without getting drenched?

First I tried to position the umbrella over the hood of the car so that I could open the door under the protection of my waterproof dome, but the water bounced up violently from the roof and right into my face.  There really aren’t a lot of options in a situation like this, so

Phase 1: I readied my bag on my shoulder, balanced the umbrella and unlocked the door. 

Phase 2: I grabbed the handle, flung my door open and moved quickly into the space between the door and the inside of the car, keeping the umbrella position above.

Phase 3: I threw the bag and the keys into the car onto the passenger seat.  Score!

Phase 4: This is where things get tricky.  I had to manage to close the umbrella, slide into the driver’s seat, bring the dripping umbrella across my body and either into the backseat or passenger seat floor (minimizing drippage on myself) and shut the door.  Hopefully all done in one smooth motion. 

I closed the umbrella and immediately started feeling the rain saturate my hair.  I slammed down into the driver’s seat and pulled the umbrella across my chest and then pushed it down onto the passenger seat floor, soaking my shirt and lap and puddling an obscene amount of water on the leather passenger seat.  I shut the door, slowed my breathing and surveyed the damage.  I was soaked, the inside of the driver’s side window and door was dripping raindrops, and I had a veritable kiddy pool on my passenger side seat which was being adeptly soaked up by my cloth bag. 

I thought – Eh well, it’s just water, at least I’m inside now.  I reached for my phone to call the Hubby and…I reached for my phone…hmmm…that’s strange.  Something like horrified enlightenment bloomed across my face as I remembered my phone sitting on my work desk still plugged into its charger.  Inside.  On my work desk.  Across the sea that used to be my parking lot.  *sigh*  I had to have my phone.

With a grumble I started the car and moved it as close as socially acceptable to the front door.  I grabbed my badge and the umbrella with one hand and the door handle firmly – resolutely! – in the other.  I flung open the door, lept out of my seat and opened the umbrella and slammed the door shut behind me.  I ran up the walkway and made it safely inside.  I set the umbrella in the stand and then squeaked myself across the linoleum to my office and phone.  On the way out I opened the umbrella and stood outside under the safety of the narrow building overhang for a moment.  The sewer drains were having trouble keeping up with the sudden onslaught, and the water between my car and me was probably an inch deep. 

I remembered that my gym bag had a towel in it, and that made me happy, so I started walking back to the car.  Somewhere along the way, I was hit with the futility of trying to keep dry; my shoes and socks were soaked, my pants were wet up to mid-thigh, my lap and shirt were wet, and my hair was damp from the last times getting into and out of the car.   So…

Screw it.

I got to the car, tossed my phone and umbrella inside, and with the rain pouring down on my head I went to the truck and grabbed my gym towel.  I craddled the towel with my body and brought it to the driver’s seat where I spread it from the headrest down over the seat. 

Then I shut the door and played in the rain.  I kicked puddles, jumped in puddles, brushed drenched hair out of my eyes and squished the water around in my shoes.  I giggled and laughed and ran around like a complete psycho.  I took my shoes off and curled my toes in the wet grass, then stomped around in a slurry of mud and let the rain rinse my feet clean. 

It was Monday July 5th, and only me, one of my coworkers, a few people in another building and the security guard were on campus, so I had a good five minutes of uninterrupted good, rainy fun.  Then I strolled to the car, casually opened the door, sat down on my towel and headed home. 


Blog Note: The pictures in this entry have all been pulled from outside sources.  Links to the source photos are listed below. 

Photo Sources in order of appearance (top to bottom)
Glass of Water
Pool Underwater
Water Fight!
Rain on Patio
Girl Playing in Rain

Watery World

CONvergence 2010: Day 3

CONvergence Day 3 – Saturday

First, the outfits!  I pulled out a bunch of things that I don’t get to wear very often – my snazzy cocktail dress, glass bead necklaces, and a black/blue bob wig that I bought for a Halloween costume years ago.  The hubby had a much more deliberate dieselpunk costume – barnstormer cap, goggles, and beige military-style dress including fancy brown army boots.


Saturday was chock-full of panels!

11:00 am – Losing My Religion
This was a huge panel, and had about 25 attendees.  Panelists included Jen M, Ted Meissner, David Walbridge, Maria Walters, PZ Myers, Carrie Iwan, Debbie Goddard, Jennifer Ouellete, Lyra Lynx and Bug Girl.  Panelists shared where they were coming from (where they were raised along the range of a heavily religious upbringing to not exposed to religion in their youth or life), and how they dealt with “outing” themselves as atheists or agnostics to family, friends and coworkers, if they chose to do so. 

It was interesting to hear the different perspectives of how “safe” people felt about identifying as atheistic at work.   On the one hand you have someone like PZ Myers – a tenured professor with the ability to be as vocal as he wants to be about his atheism.  Then you have someone like Jen M.  who has a very real fear that she might lose her job if her boss were to find out that she’s an atheist.  Some of the panelists were in the middle – it wouldn’t be the end of the world if their coworkers found out, but they treat their atheism as personal and don’t share their beliefs casually.  One audience member commented that while he didn’t personally care if he was outed, he did worry about the financial ramifications being an out atheist might have on his small-town business. 

Best lines from this session:  
From Debbie Goddard, about not being true to yourself – “It eats at your soul that doesn’t exist.”

From PZ Myers: “We have to stop sacrificing our integrity on the altar of ‘let’s get along’.”

12:30 pm – Profanity as a Fraking Function of Language
Panelists included Kelly Murphy, M.K.Melin, Hilary Moon Murphy, Rebecca Marjesdatter.  This was a somewhat academic discussion about the types, definitions, where, when and whys of profanity.  The moderator could easily have split the slides into a full semester class!  The “Whys”  of using profanity included catharsis, abuse, social bonding and intensification.  She presented a section called “English Profanity Classification”, which was split into religion-related, scatalogical, sexual referents, animal names, euphemisms, foreign language words as swears, and starting a swear but finishing with a non-swear (shhhhhh….ugar!).

The tie-in to the SciFi group came in during the second half of the talk.  We came up with a few books, shows and movies that used cursing or swearing:

Firefly – Gorram and chinese language cursing.  Gorram being a “replacement” for “Goddamn”?
Harry Potter – the kids swear in a very kid-like manner – “Damn” sounds just shocking coming from Harry Potter!  At least the first time…
Battlestar Galactica – “Frak, frakin” – Classic replacement word.
Star Trek –  Data saying “shit”
Pirates of Darkwater – “Noishatot!” – Made-up curse words.
Warner Brothers – Yosemite Sam “rashafrashin…”, Donald Duck “Sufferin’ succotash!”
DC Comics – “Bastich” – combination of “bastard” and “bitch”
Red Dwarf – “Smeg”
Frostflower and Thorn – “You don’t have the tits for that” and “Fathermilker” (A very matriarchal, female-dominated society) By the way, “fathermilker” was the one that caught the greatest number of people in the audience unaware during the entire panel. It was unexpected and could be a universal insult, a corollary to motherf****r. Before you read too much into the astrick-ing – I’m just trying to keep this entry out of the NSFW category.

The moderator said that one of her main disappointments with swearing/cursing in scifi fantasy is when authors don’t use imagination, logic or art when employing profanity.  She asked the writers in the audience to consider these factors when writing profanity into a story:

Offensiveness vs. Offendedness – who’s sending the message and who’s receiving it?  For whom is the profferred profanity intended? And how do these factors affect offensiveness and offendedness: Setting, Gender, Age, Race, Culture, Personality, Power, Class, Occupation, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Relationship.

2 pm – Women as Skeptical Activists
Panelists: Rebecca Watson, Maria Walters, Jennifer Newport, Debbie Goddard, Carrie Iwan, Pamela Gay

The main theme that came out of this panel was Role Models, Role Models, Role Models!  One of the speakers offered up the idea that while being a woman in the fields of science and skepticism may not necessarily put one at a disadvantage for hiring or promotion (although there is still a wage gap in many parts of the US), women are still in the minority. 

The panel discussed studies which have shown that when women are seen as role models in positions of power and respect, more girls and women do better on tests, decide to go into male-dominated professions and excel in those professions.  Also presented was the importance of introducing a woman’s perspective to help minimize “male priviledge”.  Gender bias still exists – just because we got the “big” wins – namely, the right to vote and the perception that women can do as well in business, academics and politics as men, doesn’t mean that all gender bias issues have been solved (brought up were breast-feeding in public, maternity leave, wage, employment in the “upper echeleons”).

Advice for women in the audience trying to distinguish themselves in the skeptical movement and blogging community: Find your niche!  Avoid being a generalist, be the go-to person for a certain topic. 

Pseudoscience targeted at women (pregnany, childrearing, weight loss, fertility) was briefly discussed.

3:30 pm – Evolution Mythbusters
Panelists: Ted Meissner (mod), PZ Myers, Bug Girl, Gred Laden

Favorite misconceptions:

Bug Girl – The false idea that bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly.

Greg Laden – Greg was rather winding in his answer, but I believe this was the crux of his statements:  The false idea that animal behaviors are genetic and thus subject to evolutionary forces and anything outside of this is a violation of evolutionary theory, and thus evolution is false. 

PZ Myers – The idea that all features of humaness are a product of selection, when in fact, very few are.  Again, I hope I summarized this correctly.  This led into a discussion of the human immune system, the “broken” Vitamin C gene and lactose-intolerance.

Most fascinating part of evolution:

Bug Girl – Sex!  Separation of species.

Greg Laden – The emergence of complicated systems from simple beginnings.

PZ Myers – Development, how evolution affects form by affecting development.

My favorite statements from the panel:

  • “Nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution”.  An oldie, but goodie.
  • Science is more than just memorizing facts; it’s a way of thinking.
  • Regarding willful ignorance: When a creationist studen tries to disrupt the teaching of evolution, that’s not honest inquiry.
  • The “theory” of evolution is to intelligent design as the “theory” of gravity is to intelligent pushing.  This one came from an audience member sitting near me. 
  • Biggest challenges to the teaching of evolution?  Media, culture, religion.
  • ~~~~~

    Phew!  So I was pretty much done with panels after these four machine-gun style sessions.  I stopped briefly by the Seamstress Guild cabana, checked my email, facebook and blog at the hotel computers, and then went to the Dealer’s Room where I bought my first Surly-Ramics jewelry!  I found a “Science” necklace and a “Geek” hairclip for myself, and a yellow hairclip for my sister that has Darwin’s first “tree of life” diagram on the button. 



    The hubby and I went to the Masquerade at 7pm and saw all sorts of fantastic and horrific (i.e., fantasy and horror, not well-done and poorly-made!) costumes.  I like the way CONvergence does Masquerade – it’s a runway-style show and a costume competition, but there are three levels or categories: Novice, Journeyman and Master.  This way, the professional costumers can compete among themselves but present alongside the noob who gets up in a cloak and wig.  My favorite costume set was a Master-level group who presented as the entire cast of The Guild.

    Afterwards the Hubby and I had dinner at TGIFridays across the parking lot and then bummed around some of the party rooms, cabanas and CONsuite until 12pm when we went to see The Dregs – fun!  They played the classic Zombies in the Shire AND the Zombie Chicken song!  The performance was very casual and silly.  There may or may not have been a bottle containing some brown liquid that passed back and forth between band members and the audience, one of the lead singers was taking pics and posting to facebook between songs, and there was a lot of verbal bashing back and forth between the performers.  So a fantastic time was had by all. 

    Afterwards – exhaustion and home.  This ended up being our last day of CONvergence.  There was only one panel that I wanted to see on Sunday, and we decided that we didn’t care too much about closing ceremonies, so we decided to get a head start on con drop before going back to work.  It was a beautiful day, so we ended up renting a “deuce coup” at Minnehaha Falls, going to the Mall of America for some people watching and lunch, and a spending a quiet night at home with a movie (Paul Giamatti’s Cold Souls). 

    Thus endeth CONvergence 2010.

    CONvergence 2010: Day 3

    CONvergence 2010: Day 2

    Friday – CONvergence Day 2

    Friday was probably the most laid-back day of CON.  There weren’t any morning panels that I wanted to attend, so I spent most of the morning blogging, hanging out in the CONsuite and wandering around the hotel.  The hubby attended a panel called “Classic Sci-Fi Today” about must-read classic science fiction books.  At 1pm we went to the Steam Century Fashion Show, a runway show of steampunk fashion hosted by the Steam Century group out of Madison, WI.  I have some video of the event that I hope to edit and get up on the blog in the next couple of days, but I invite you to enjoy these lovely, blurry* photos in the meantime:




    After the fashion show the Hubby went to a panel on the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  I didn’t have anything pressing to do so I decided to volunteer for an hour.  CONvergence is run almost entirely by volunteers, and they have a permanent table where any attendee can stop by and say “put me to work!”.  So I did, and they did.  I was sent down to the registration desk and for an hour I helped get newly arrived guests all signed in.  Easy peasy.

    At 3:30pm, I went to a panel called “Bulls**t Detection Kit: Why Pseudo-Science Doesn’t Deliver”.  3:30 was one of those time slots where I wanted to go to almost every other panel – I missed Jim Kakalios’s panel on “The Amazing World of Quantum Mechanics”, a panel called “Is Roller Derby the Ultimate Geek Sport?”, another entitled “Supernatural Chick Lit”, and “the Dharma Initiative: Lost Wrap Up”.  Darn!

    Anyway, I chose the Bulls**t panel, and that was Ted Meissner, David Walbridge, Greg Laden, Steve Thoms, Bug Girl, Stephanie Zvan and Lois Schadewald.  It was cool to see that this panel was packed – there were people in every seat and standing against the walls.  The session started with every panelist telling us their “favorite” pseudoscience, and in no particular order they listed Deepok Chopra, Pseudopsychology, Flat Earth belief, Psychics, Creationism, Pseudoscience related to entymology, and alternative medicine.  If you’re familiar with the skeptic movement, you may be able to match up the presenters with the pseudosciences!

    The following topics were considered to be those pseudosciences which have the potential to cause the most harm: the antivax movement, the global warming/climate change debate, creationism, and the lack of critical thinking and prevelence of erroneous claims about the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

    This panel was on the heavier side, but even scientists and critical thinkers have a sense of humor.  The funniest exchange of the session was from Ted Meissner in response to an audience commenter asking how we should address a lack of credible, interesting, scientists for the public to look up to.  Ted’s response: “We need to get taller scientists.”  hehehe.  Okay, maybe this is why I have trouble at parties.


    Random Exchange observed in the hotel:   A large group of people standing in a group and one woman whips out a high-pitched “Heeeeheeeeheee!”, followed by about five seconds of silence.   She looks around at the group (and some of us random bystanders) and says, “Sorry about that…nervous laughter always makes everything better.”


    After the panel I ran to Target to get some more Coke Zero for the Terry Pratchett Discworld Seamstress Guild cabana.  BIG mistake.  I violated one of the most important suggestions at CON – never give up a parking space during CON!  I drove up and down the aisles for 15 minutes before nabbing a spot.   Ugh…  I spent most of Friday night hanging out with the Seamstress Guild, which was sponsored by a couple of my friends.  I sat on the cabana wall and hawked the party for a couple of hours, convincing random people to come inside and enjoy the sweet tea and orange-infused vodka drinks and tea cookies that we were serving.  I was really impressed by the level of responsibility by both the parties and the CON attendees; I saw very few obnoxiously drunk people and EVERY cabana and party room that I visited was carding for drinks.

    At 8:30pm I went to Thee Bluebeard Show.  It was just okay.  The presenter spent the first 10 minutes rearranging the stage and making snide jokes about how great it was that everything was in place for his session.  After that the show consisted of him selecting random people from the audience and interviewing them in a sort of radio talk-show style.  I left after the first three interviews, but what I did see was alright – in my experience when you take non-actors and try to make them do improv, the result is usually always just alright.  He interviewed Dr. Doom, a girl from the audience with the BEST gaffaw-laugh EVER (he spent the entire interview trying to make her laugh), and a evil wraith character from…I believe…Babylon 5.

    After that more parties, more Seamstress Guild, more CONsuite for late-night snacks, and we finally headed home around 3:30am.

    More CONvergence tomorrow!


    *I’ve been noticing that my camera phone is not so hot at the point-and-click photos in less than sunny weather.  In low-light situations when there is any action/movement the photos more often than not come out blurry.  It looks like I’m going to either learn more about my phone camera or start carrying my old point-and-click.

    CONvergence 2010: Day 2

    Snippets and Sunday Pride

    Snippet #1: I took this picture of some awesome mailbox “street art” in Uptown at Girard and 31st:

    Snippet #2: I needed a bigger flower pot to contain my monster cherry tomato tree.  My friend, Courtney, thought that she had one that would work, so she came over with a replacement.  When she got to my apartment complex, she got out of the car, pulled out her cell phone and announced to me, my caretaker and a couple of neighbors, “Hey, I’m outside and I have your pot.”  Greeeeat.  Thanks, Court.  I made a big show of displaying the brown flower pot – “Wow, this is a great pot!  Thanks!” – to the neighborhood as we got it out of her trunk.

    Snippet #3: WordPress lets me know what phrases people are using when they stumble across my blog via google.  Yesterday I had an above-average weird Google Search Term hit: “genital anatomy dog”  WTF, google.com?

    Snippet #4: Today is the start of CONvergence!!!  I’m using the CONvergence Scheduler, which is pretty sweet – especially for an event of this size, with 10+ panels, activities, events and parties happening every hour.  There was a write-up about CONvergence in 365 Things to Do – Twin Cities, and an even better photo of some con attendees in the article!

    Sunday Minneapolis Pride Report

    Sunday was very, very different from Saturday.  For one thing, I went to the Pride festivities with the Hubby instead of a 13 year-old and a six year-old.  Sooooo different.  I don’t think I really experienced the Pride events on Saturday because of my preoccupation with keeping everybody smiley and safe.  On Sunday I was with the man I love and I was relatively carefree.  The parade was awesome, as always!  I didn’t manage to get any photos of the parade, but I did manage to scrounge up some decent video of this year’s parade.

    The first one is interesting because he’s sped up the film.  This first video is different from the second (below) because he has a lot of zoomed-in images, so you don’t get a feel for how large and crowded the parade is:

    I like this second one BUT I would recommend skipping the beginning and watching only between 0:54-5:51.  Outside of this window is just film of the videographer and her friend chatting and being silly.  But the meat of the video (again – 0:54-5:51!) is fun because she mixes still shots and video, and she’s filming from the street without zoom so you feel more like a spectator watching this video than you do with the first video.

    And more of my own pictures in the park, this time on Sunday with me and the Hubby:

    Snippets and Sunday Pride

    2010 Twin Cities Pride Intro

    This past weekend was the Twin Cities GLBT Pride Festival.  I had a blast and wore myself out!  I hung out with friends at the 19 Bar in Minneapolis on Thursday night, and then at Rumours/Innuendo in St. Paul on Friday night (I love the name of this bar!). 

    On Saturday morning I picked up Ashley (the 13 yo I mentor) and one of her friends and we went to Pride in the Park.  Yesterday I went to the Pride Parade and then spent more time at Pride in the Park with the Hubby.  And finally last night I joined my friend Courtney and her roommates at their place for Rocky Road sundaes and a British movie called The History Boys, which was reminiscent of The Dead Poet’s Society except with fabulously dry British humor.

    I can’t wait to get home and process my pictures from the weekend!  I’ll post those tomorrow, but for now enjoy this collection of photos from last year’s Twin Cities Pride that was put together into a video by admanbobw and uploaded to youtube.

    2010 Twin Cities Pride Intro