24/4/16

azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Let's start with the Internet of Shit. I had an Internet of Shit moment right before going to bed, which resulted in me on the phone with Belkin going "I don't have time to give you my name and email, I just want to turn off my light so I can go to sleep and I don't want to move two shelves" in the most pathetic of tones. I have a relatively ancient iPod Touch which won't run the latest version. In the not-latest version, which I have, when there's a "cloud outage" there's a friendly notice that you can still use the app to control your switches on your local network. Except ... the notice covers over the controls entirely, and it's iOS and unlike Android there's no motherfucking back button. And however you clear running apps from memory in whatever old-ass version of iOS I have, it wasn't how the customer service agent was describing. After a few rounds, we tried rebooting. That worked.

Then I woke up about 15 minutes before my alarm, and very sensibly stopped reading a thing in the middle of the thing and went off to the conference when my snooze-alarm told me that I had 1 hour until setup started.

I got there 15 minutes early from the planned unlock time. I saw another little (white?) car pull up and it was the chair emeritus.

By the time someone got there to let us in, about 6 of us, maybe more, had gathered. I chirpily spun it to CE as "having crucial hallway conversations", which made her laugh. (Context: she had no idea how to pose this in a helpful fashion.)

The morning got off to a rough start because nobody quite knew what they were doing, and everyone was duckling-ing after me, but fortunately past-me had Written Lists, and also had printed them out, and had broken things done in terms of tasks as well as roles, because I had foreseen that Morning Stuff might have an over-abundance of people trying to do one role and not enough of any of the others, so I sort of decreed that Morning Stuff would have everyone pitch in until people and food started showing up.

I think I was right about needing to buy bowls, for the record. :-P

The food arrived and that was okay. People started checking in and that was okay. The paper check-in list worked like a charm with no terrible woe, and having a ticket type that said essentially "Volunteer - Check in with Azz" served to redirect everyone who was a speaker or volunteer to check in with me after doing the normal check-in! Which was good!

I am so proud of my volunteers. They came together and did the thing, and even when I was completely incoherent from trying to do all the things at once and make all the decisions at once, they followed my lists and I was able to delegate them to do things! All I had to do was say "Yes, that needs doing. You, do #1. You, do #2." and people did it!!!

Instead of 3 tables for the 3 lower-tier sponsors, there were 2. It being bad form to make people share a table, I liberated 2 of the little round tables from the speaker green room, hauled them out, got someone to help me scootch the two beverage coolers onto separate round tables, then carried off the 6' table to the sponsor area of the lobby to deploy.

We were missing a dedicated person on the food, but I was able to fill in at the expense of having someone not at the front desk 100% of the time. It worked partly because there was a recruiter table there, and it was a group that is on long-standing great terms with the organization. So there was that! We needed someone at the front because the event space was not super private -- randos would barge up, and would occasionally wander back to try and scam free food.

The event did not start on time. The first panel ran over. These combined made the carefully-crafted morning schedule go kerplooie. My amazing room wranglers sailed right on through and set timers to follow the timeframe, and everybody was okay. I needed to print 3 sheets of "and this is what is in this room when" instead of 2 -- one for each entrance, plus one for the room-wrangler.

Just before lunch, we'd nearly run out of bottled water, and were down to our last half-bag of tangerines. I was summarily dispatched to Costco, and picked up two flats of bottled water and two bags of tangerines. I think I could have safely have got 3. I had very good luck with parking (partly because I decided to try for the furthest-away spots) and got there and back in record time.

Lunch arrived during the second passing period (of three), so the schedule pivoted: grab lunch now, hit third tech talk, then have a brief social-and-food-if-you-missed-it-earlier window and then dive straight the fuck into the workshops.

There were vegan-and-gluten-free meals which they'd got from the shop across the way; we worked it by setting the whole paper bag on one of the lesser-traffic tables and writing "VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE" on the bag in Sharpie. This way it was visible to people who'd need it without asking, very clearly reserved for people who needed it, and not sitting there and looking visibly delicious for people who ignore signs.

Midway through the afternoon, about an hour before the earliest time the tea (coffee and tea and cookies and mini bundt cakes, with non-gluten-containing chocolates and tangerines and Kind Bars) was set to arrive, R was fading fast and complaining that she needed sugar. (She had also underslept.) I towed her gently along after me into the green room and retrieved some fruit jellies for her, from my Magic Bag of Trader Joe's Food Which I Made Sure To Get So Nobody With Atypical Dietary Needs Would Starve. She started to perk up, and eventually did cave and had coffee.

The workshops let out early, so tea time happened a little scattershot, and everybody piled into one room for the last panel and wrap-up. I started packing up and breaking down, knowing that it would be a while and otherwise I wasn't doing anything else. I used the now-empty trays from the cookies to separate the leftover sandwich halves into more easily carried portions that someone might take home without worrying about where to put it or if they were going to get through all of those. I claimed one. (After lunch they went in the fridge. Thank goodness for fridges.)

Various people stayed to help clean up. The actual most involved part was me sorting out my stuff back into its boxes, because I had brought A Lot Of Things, many of which were useful. See: tape, label maker, markers, other tape, other markers, and gods know what else.

([twitter.com profile] acidhelm rocks, incidentally.)

There was a small convocation in the parking lot and then we-all split our separate ways. R had been invited to the party at phone's, but was too tired and was going home directly. My way was in the direction of the party at phone's. ;)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
So I headed off to phone's party! phone lives not that far away from the conference venue, and the party was already swinging pretty vividly when I got there. I found parking (leaving a space behind me) and came in, bearing a small potted rose and the tray of sandwiches. The apartment was cheerfully decorated visible from outside with some delightful purple fairy lights. The level of sparkle visible from without was only a hint at the level of sparkle within. phone's boyfriend answered the door. He is an elegantly flamboyant man of a certain age, with a flair for striking outfits and costumes. On this occasion he was wearing a skin-tight silver jumpsuit with a mesh sweater over top and also amazing high-heeled silver holographic boots. He was not the only person wearing a super-sparkly outfit that night, as there was a guy in a long robe and top hat both made out of flat-sequined silver fabric (with reflectors larger than my beloved late disco ball dress, but similar). There were all sorts of colored sparkly lights. I got a drink and found a chair in the corner, where I wound up chatting with Jen, who has a small flock of chickens and a number of amusing (and occasionally terrible) stories involving them. Exactly my kind of person. Her husband was also at the party. phone tried to troubleshoot the rainbow fairy lights.

I texted Purple to let him know I was there, since I hadn't seen him. He texted back to say he would be there in about 20. And in about 20, I saw his silhouette through the patio door, and then he was coming out back and saying hi to phone and taking his accustomed place next to me. We had a silly exchange and he ruffled my hair. When he wandered off to grab a drink after a while, the party shifted around, and a small crowd gathered in my corner. I noticed him come back with drink in hand, notice the crowd, shrug, and strike up a conversation with someone near him. I wasn't bothered: Jen and I were getting on quite well.

Jen is a non-techie. phone's boyfriend is a non-techie. Jen, Jen's husband, phone's boyfriend, and I got in a discussion about some of the ways that conversations involving techies can go. The phrase "I need sympathy, not troubleshooting" can be key. (I looked fondly over at the very nicely sympathetic techie holding the neon green drink, holding forth on some topic with phone.)

The party shifted again, and sight lines between Purple and me were restored. We flashed an ironic wave at each other, and Purple made a semi-apology for not having come back directly that matched my assessment. (And, again, I'd been having a great time talking to Jen, so it wasn't like I was completely on my own at this party, even though I knew three, now four, people there out of quite a few more than four.)

It turns out that not only was Jen's husband at the party, but Jen's husband has known phone for years and years and years online, and has also known Purple for years and years, but this was the first time they'd met in person. The meeting was pleasing to both of them, and I was delighted to witness it.

It began to get chilly, so everyone went inside. I had already passed my step count for the day, so standing up was not the best idea for my back, but it was the best idea in light of the crowd. I wound up in the kitchen chatting with Jen's husband, tucked comfortably in a corner at Purple's elbow. There was enough light, finally, that I could see what was on my plate. I sighed and showed Purple some diced bell pepper. He laughed at me, and explained to Jen's husband that I had been in an un-merry war with work catering over bell peppers.

Jen's husband changed places with phone's boyfriend, and desserts were sampled. Someone found the raspberry bars; Purple nabbed one; I asked if he could pass me one; he handed me the first while claiming another for himself. Raspberry bar relay. Despite my back's complaints, it was nice being there: insulated from the most intense bits of crowd, but still engaging.

phone wandered up and chatted with us while his boyfriend circulated. People started filtering over to say goodnight to phone and wish him happy birthday, including the guy who had been wearing the disco ball robe until he'd changed back into street clothes.

At length the party size shrank, until at last it was phone and his boyfriend, Jen and her husband, Purple, and me. I was in one corner of the couch, Jen was curled up next to me, and eventually her husband sat down at the other end. "Fuck" is not just a spice, it's punctuation, except most editors would take a red pen to that many punctuation marks. It turns out that when Jen and I get going, we might sort of feed off each other a bit. phone likes it when I swear about the helldesk software, because when I get going, I really get going. Sometimes I get somewhat creative beyond the mere f-bomb, too...

At one point someone claimed that the iPad was not a data entry device; I declared that one could helpfully render it one by means of a portable keyboard, and that I had one in my pocket. Purple claimed that I had too many things in my pockets. Someone, perhaps phone, made a "Precious" joke, and my hand diverted its path. I had been going for the pocket that contained the keyboard. I was now going for the shorts pocket with the little brocade box with the mirror inside: the one that just that morning I had loaded with a few BPAL vials, a USB stick, my pair of shiny peacock earrings, a lip balm, and other bits of jewelry that I hadn't wanted to wear while possibly hauling tables around at the conference. Including -- I held a shiny silver ring aloft. phone cracked up.

Shortly after midnight the party broke up. Purple had parked right behind me, so we walked out together. He stuck around while I fished through three bags in search of my satnav, which I found in the last place I looked for it, then very carefully dodged the spikes in my hairdo after hugging me goodnight. I'm not usually quite so spiky!


To say "this party was better than any of Shawn's parties" demeans this party merely by the comparison, but that's the only referent I have for some of the vibe. This was what Shawn's parties wanted to be when they grew up.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
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azurelunatic: Alaska Nanooks logo. (hockey)
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Icon: Alaska Nanooks logo, which is a chiaroscuro image of a stalking polar bear (Nanook) in front of a giant blue and gold letter A.

Keywords: hockey, nooks.

The Nanooks are my home team, and I've been reading a lot more Check Please! which satisfies my need for a sports fandom with lovely queer characters and romance, without the risk of faves who irl turn out to be suuuuuuuuuuuper problematic.


Keyword updates:


Icon: text: "I have banned people from my journal for commenting in purple"
Text is mostly tiny black computery font, except for "in purple" which is magnified and purple.

Previous keywords: bitch, purple

General uses: when I'm being very and possibly irrationally cranky/picky about something, and when other people's way of doing things brushes up against my boundaries, I tell them, and they keep doing the thing

Current keywords: bitch, your font is problematic



Icon: a photo of a polished piece of rainbow fluorite. The central stripe is a very pastel lavender with a hint of blue-green, the top stripe is light purple, and the bottom stripe is a rich sweet blueberry purple.

Previous keywords: fluorite, huggy rock
Current keywords: fluorite, huggy rock, purple
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Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺

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