etakyma: (Azkatraz!)
( Jul. 23rd, 2009 01:03 am)
Wow. I must have been brain dead for most of the weekend. We had ArtInsights at Azkatraz - and I picked up Leslie's business card because she was incredibly cool, and I liked talking to her. I was clearing out the business cards from my pockets and my bag... I didn't realize her gallery was in Reston, VA. Not only that, it is in Reston Town Center. Which means it is the cool little gallery I'd wandered into three and a half years ago when I was there for a holiday party for the company I'd just joined.

I'd arrived in Reston early, and wandered around for a couple of hours before getting ready for the party. So, Leslie, so sorry it took me so long to put the pieces together. And I know exactly where you are when my budget will allow art that is not home-grown.
Anytime I remember something about Azkatraz, I have to share. Sorry. Only not really. So, feel free to skip.

So the movie night was good. How I became the de facto "One in Charge" at the theatre, I know not. Probably because I was the one who approached the AMC folk running the night for us (wow, were they incredible!), and found out how the night was going to go. Pulling aside all the mobility challenged participants to get them settled and seated first was for the win! I rock sometimes.

Wrock around the Rock went very well - pre-screening and banding all those with open bar options helped us board everyone that much faster. I sat at the merch table surrounded by the Wrocker's merch people. And since I was a tiny bit cranky, I decided staying where it was loud and unable to piss anyone else off was likely a good thing. I also got to hear the bands at ear breaking decibels. House of Black was pretty good. Ministry of Magic puts on a good show (and remains the only Wrock band on my iPod). Wasn't as fond of the Whomping Willows. Everyone seemed to be having a fabulous time. And passing under the golden gate bridge at sunset in the fog=one unique experience. Awesome.

More as I think about it!
I am home. I have slept. And I miss everyone more than I can say. The six days making up the Azkatraz Experience were amazing, exhausting, incredible, and overwhelming. I don't know what our final numbers were but I do know that over a thousand people participated in the weekend. Our special guests were all incredibly special - Chris Rankin, you are a gentleman! I know, as a group, we were exhausting, and you were an absolute peach about the whole thing (and while I did not actually watch you karaoke "Summer Lovin'" with my best friend, I did hear some of it - LOL).

All the MPA track guests were fascinating - and I know not a lot of people took advantage of the MPA track on Monday - but it was the highlight of my weekend. The whole day was incredibly special - and even someone who s not versed in the law or business found it all incredibly fascinating. Lev Grossman, Fred von Lohmann, Elizabeth Bland, Susan Gunelius, the 20Q folk, the Dreamwidth folk, and everyone else speaking MPA track (whose names I can not remember, and I am too tired to dig out my program book to look them up) were all incredibly fascinating and insightful. I wish I had had the bandwidth to sit down with each to talk more in depth about some of the things they only hinted at. Monique Trottier, who basically put together this unique track did an exemplary job.

I don't know how we do it, but HPEF finds THE best people to be volunteers. Our special guests chair, our heads of Security, our formal programming folk, Vendor room coordinator - all some of the best people I know.

Our fundraising for various charities went swimmingly. The auction brought in some much appreciated funds for Kids Need To Read Foundation. The Jail and Bail did the same for HP Alliance whoops! I meant the Prisoner Literature Project. We did something else for HP Alliance. And the item we set aside at the auction for a Judith Krug memorial also fetched a pretty good sum for the ALA (Judith was our very first keynote speaker back at Nimbus - 2003, she passed away earlier this year).

So. Something like 358 days to Infinitus. But a little bird told me Harry Potter the Exhibition is coming to Boston in October. Who's up for a little reunion?
Whew. I've been up for far too long, and local time is only 8pm... But I am here in Fremont, ready to spend the rest of the week (well, 'til Thursday, anyway) at the mothership... I mean Home Office. Then my loooooonnnnnggggg weekend in San Francisco! I am going to be so damned busy, it will be a wonder if I stay awake long enough to see the movie Thursday night.

The flights to get here were uneventful and on time (and free due to awards), so no complaints there. I think that was the calmest cross of the country I've ever done. Pretty much no turbulence at all - even over the Rockys.

The drive down was easy - and I stopped to pick up a few things (like dinner) on my way in.

I am thinking as soon as the sun is gone from the sky (it pours right into my window), I am going to bed. Because it has been a hella long day and I onlt got about two hours sleep last night.
Holy hell, how did it get to be Thursday al-frickin-ready? I am not ready for it to be the last weekend before Azkatraz. Really really really not. I have a metric fuck-ton of crap to do before I fly outta here on Monday morning at O'darkthirty. All pieces of my Project Wizard entry are nearing completion, but the finishing work on them is going to take days... I have one big item that needs something like eleventy-billion button holes, and then all other finishing work can be done by hand if absolutely necessary. The hat is fucking awesome - one of my favorite pieces. And one I made on a whim.

The corset is done enough - although it can use some finishing. The blouse needs closures, the skirt needs trim, the foundation stuff is all finished, though - both the bloomers and the underskirt. The robe needs a wand sheath as well as trim and buttons/buttonholes, and the final bit of lining tacked down. Victorian clothing is fucking fussy. Beautiful, but fussy. I want someone to take pictures in almost every stage of me getting into it. Because damn. It is really hard to do fittings when you are alone in the house - so I have absolutely no idea if anything is going to fit better or worse when I have someone to help me into it.

The final banner is complete (FINALLY!). And the last bit of printing has been done, as well. Although I have one more stamp to pick up - it was supposed to be done on Tuesday, but I have it on good authority it should be in tomorrow.

And packing - good lord - so much crap to pack. I think I'll have a bag to check and a bag to carry on. Plus the damned banner.

Then I get on a plane on Monday, work in the office in Fremont Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and up to San Francisco for Azkatraz Thursday afternoon, in time for dinner before the movie line party. Then a weekend with some fabulous people, in time to fly home on Tuesday night. I am exhausted just thinking about it, but I am also looking forward to it. I'm just NOT READY YET!!!
etakyma: (Abby Style)
( Jun. 16th, 2009 09:47 pm)
Today I had my furnace worked on. Scheduled maintenance, covered by my service plan (wow, is the $200 a year service plan so worth the money! Today's visit would have cost me over three hundred and fifty dollars, otherwise). The technician was here for over an hour, and checked the oil tank, the feed to the furnace, both little tanks, replacing fixing, and cleaning the whole thing. She was chattier than the technicians usually are, and more careful of her stuff, and my stuff. Teeny tiny woman, shorter than I am - and I am not tall. I love competent women with tools.

My fairly old furnace is working well at 85% efficiency. Which is a relief, since the interior of the house has to wait for me to spend some money on the outside. I've got a roofline that needs fixing, gutters that replacing, and the critters ousted from my attic. All which has to be done by winter. And I have a very very busy summer ahead of me.

In Azkatraz news, I've finished 95% of the tickets I am responsible for - and will be sending the box off to the registrar this week. One month, folks! Just one!

I've begun the main part of my Project: Wizard outfit - full steam ahead on that for the next little while. And I had a brilliant thought for the Meet and Greet Banner (which I'll likely finish sometime this weekend) - Krissie, you are gonna love it (I hope)!
But not extreme in either case.

The highs have included geeking out watching the Tony awards with a bunch of theatre friends, auditioning for a show this fall (equal parts terror and elation). Realizing it has been a fair number of years since I've actually walked out on stage to actually *do* something there, instead of being tech.

One of the ladies watching auditions told me later that she knows she has known me ten years, but she has never seen me on stage. She was impressed. I reminded her that I did major in Theatre in college, and while I may not have done an acting Independent Study (my concentration was directing) I *have* been on stage. A lot. Just not recently.

One of the women auditioning (quite well, I thought) and I got to talking about stage-age. Where I am the right *age* to play one part (a woman approaching forty) I would never be cast as her as I "read" too young on stage. And I likely wouldn't be cast as the girl of twenty-five. And being so definitely a character actor, the only part I could fit is the slightly crazy (young) one - who is supposed to be nineteen. In thirty years I'd love to go out for the crazy one who is in her sixties. She is actually my favorite one in the whole show.

Yeah. So while I don't have high expectations of being cast (it would be awesome if I were - since the director is *amazing*), it was pretty cool to get up there and do my thing. I have been called back, so we'll see where that goes.

The lows have just been annoyances, really. Not real lows at all. And mostly work related, which we all discussed at the team meeting yesterday. So now my boss is aware of the petty annoyances which C and I have been dealing with for the last few weeks. And while there is really nothing she can do about it, it felt good just to make her aware so she is not caught off guard.

Prep for Azkatraz goes on. I am down to the last ticketed events. I'll be glad when I can pass all the tickets off to the registrar for distribution. I have a box to go to the decorations chair I'll likely send at the same time. And then I can focus back on my costume. And that final danged banner. I am going to be very very busy the next few weeks! By the time vacation rolls around in August, I will be well and truly ready for a break and to do something fun.
I find the process of making the corset I am making fascinating. According to the pattern, there are about twenty-billion bits and pieces, and twenty five steps. I am on step seven. But it is shaping up into a recognizable corset. It already has about four channels for stays, and it is very shapely. I've used my tailor's ham to iron its contours. I think the outer fabric I chose from my stash is pretty cool.

I kind of can't wait to get to the busk and grommet step - I'll have to set thirty-six grommets for the lacing up the back. As the corset I wore in a play in college didn't actually have a busk, the busk is a new thing for me. The one they made me at college was a one piece, laced up the back eighteen eighties/nineties pattern. And yes, I had someone lace me into it every evening for about five weeks - it was the first bit the costume shop finished, so we wore them for rehearsal starting about two weeks in. By the time the show went up we were very very comfortable in the corset, long skirts, and shoes we wore in the show. Which made the show that much better, as we had lived in the clothes for so long there wasn't any "fussing" with costumes tech week.

So as this is the first time I am sewing something so complicated, I am hopeful the rest of the outfit is easier to make. And once this bit is done, I can do one piece every few days. I am hopeful the corset will be done this weekend. Because I can't start the underskirt, blouse, skirt or cloak until I can fit it onto my body in the corset. Of course, I am going to have to figure out a small bustle for everything to fit properly. But I think I can wing it. I hope.
etakyma: (Abby Style)
( Apr. 28th, 2009 12:26 am)
The weather this weekend was beautiful - record highs for late April - in the high eighties on Sunday. I spent the day with my mom - first doing some simple carpentry at the gallery (still love the cordless drill), then home with her for lunch and discussion through the afternoon. My dad went and played golf, and I didn't even see him until I was almost ready to go home.

Their puppy is now six months old, and he is definitely an Adolescent Dog. His vet wants them to hold off on fixing him for a couple of months (get all his adult teeth, and some more of his adult growth) so his procedure is scheduled for July. But until then he's excited by any little thing, driving my mother crazy with his hormones. Poor puppy. He's a big boy, now, at least fifty pounds. And so wanting to be a lapdog. He's also digging at the floors in "water seeking" behavior. My folks have taken to taking his water dish up and only giving him water once an hour or so - because he tends to want to swim in his water dish. And then he wants to chew on it. Not any types of behaviors displayed by their previous dog (also a Lab), JD, in all her years.

But then, she was female. Also fearless, far more active and aggressive and stubborn. She never did learn to come when called. M comes when called already. And he'd rather sit at your feet and lick your knees than do anything else. JD was pretty content to keep an eye on you from across the room. I tend to think JD was a far smarter dog, all around, but then M is only six months old, and he's currently going through the beginnings of doggy puberty, so of course he's a little brain-dead/out-to-lunch. Maybe in a year or so we'll be able to really compare and contrast them.

Mom and I discussed all sorts of things. Her gallery is still thinking of moving, but it is not as definite as they thought it would be. Part of the reason is money, of course, but I also don't think that it is the right time for it. Maybe, maybe not.

I've completed one of the banners for Azkatraz. I'm nearly done with a second. I got some glow in the dark paint I think I'm going to use on the third. I'm rather liking how they are turning out. I hope to be done with them by May 6th so Gwen can take them with her on the site visit. At the very least she will have two. I hope to give her all four.

Work news, I can't remember if I've journaled this or not... I am not going to Stockholm this summer. Neither am I going to Hiroshima this fall. The company wants to start sending fewer people, and since I and another girl sort of fulfill the same function onsite at the meetings, they were going to start with experimenting with sending one or the other of us to meetings. I wanted to skip Hiroshima so I can audition for a show going up this fall - the week of the Hiroshima meeting, actually. She doesn't mind going to Hiroshima, but she really really wanted to go to Stockholm, and was really really looking forward to that trip. She's going to go to both meetings - which means I don't have to leave Azkatraz on the red eye Monday night in order to get home, repack, and fly away to Stockholm within 24 hours. All around YAY! So while I will be sad to not go to the meeting in Stockholm, I really really do NOT mind a bit.

I just hope the guys at the meeting don't think I've been sacked when I'm not in Stockholm! :D

So that is all the news from my corner of the (very warm) world...
Tags:
Or maybe it is because it is tax season that today has been aggravating for so many of you.

My flist is full of angst and woe. Both petty and not, minor and major, small grievances and major life-upheavals.

All I can say is hang in there, flist!

Today I mailed my taxes and went to the Apple Store. My Mac's power cord started to flake out on me this weekend, only connecting intermittently, so I was prepared to spend the $ to replace it. I got the Mac through work, in California. And I knew it would be less than $100 - which I was more than prepared to spend. The very nice, helpful guys at the Apple Store did not charge me for the replacement part! Bonus.

Then I found out that the Mall (where the Apple Store is) is, for the spring and summer, going to highlight the fashion students at five local colleges. This month I believe it is Mount Ida College and they had designs from ten different student designers. They also had, for most (I didn't see a write up on *all* of them) designers a poster board where the designer told a little about them selves, their influences, and their fashion point of view.

One young man (a senior next year, I think his board said) had items from both his Sophomore and Junior shows. His sophomore show pieces were beautifully made period costumes. I wasn't as fond of his junior show items (I believe he described them as playboy bunny meets the armed forces). I found them a little too Wonder Woman brief for me. But there were a number of other designers that had some interesting take on clothing. Things I am not really sure about, but I enjoyed looking at. There was also some things executed better than others - but, well, hello, student work!

Other news - saw the puppy this weekend, and man, is he GROWING - he's gonna be a big boy. My folks might be going out of town toward the end of the month - I may be puppy sitting for a weekend. If they go. My dad has a reunion of the ship he served in the Navy on. Now, he's been out of the Navy since the 1950s (1957? 1958?), and they hold these reunion things every five or ten years. My mom says they'll only go if he decides he wants to. Whatever. Big deal - I'll spend a few days enjoying their big TV and keeping Max company. Maybe do my laundry there in their fancy-shamancy machine.

I have to hassle my boss a little when she is back (she took three days vacation, and should be back on Thursday) to find out if I am going to Stockholm or Hiroshima. Our meeting planner needs to know. And so do I, if I am going to get plane tickets.

And that is the state of me. Nothing terribly exciting except the Azkatraz banners. And right now a whole hell of a lot of letting for the same.
etakyma: (Azkatraz!)
( Apr. 2nd, 2009 06:53 pm)
The Azkatraz banner project is coming along. All four have been primed, and the Art Dungeon (sorry, Dungeon of Art) one has the background nearly done. Almost ready for lettering. I have the concept for the main hall banner, and possibly the info desk banner. I am still ruminating on the Common Room banner. I hope to get them done this month, so I can spend May concentrating on the main pieces of my Project Wizard entry.

I've finished the first of many many reports at work for my new project. It is a project I share with another, but I currently have the lead on it as she was busy with a different project that she just completed. And besides, she is awesome, so I have complete confidence that when it becomes a split-up-and-conquer kind of project, I will only need to worry about the bits assigned to me, and not at all the bits assigned to her. I love competent, smart people.

Otherwise, I adjusted well to the time change back home, and while it is warmer her than it was when I went to San Francisco, it is not yet as warm as San Francisco was. We are in the "dirty" part of spring, where all the snow has melted and the trees haven't yet budded. The streets are lined with all the sand dumped on them during the snow, and all the trash buried under the snow is just lying about.
So I am off again in the wee hours - this time, traveling to Minneapolis for over a week. But before I go, I had to get my entry in for Project Wizard, which is due on the 15th and which I have now sent in. I would have liked to develop a little more the types of trim, etc. But since that is all flash - I went with the simplified version which I can fancy up to my hearts content if my design is chosen.

Also - I listened to the first HPEF Presents podcast last night - very good job! Excellent info.

So I'm packing again. And I need to take my winter coat, because I understand they've already had snow this year. And the next few days look like snow/rain/sleet mix. Lovely. At least the hotel is connected to most of the rest of the down town area via the skyways. Out of the immediate weather.

I'll be offline most of tomorrow, but the room comes with Internet, so I'll likely be back online late in the day.
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