azurelunatic: a sad ginger & white cat, face pressed on floor. Animated caption: Not even ten dead mice can fix THIS! (10 dead mice)
Had dinner with Purple & Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly last night. (She disdains labels, but there are a few that fit well.) The topics of discussion included politics. Purple is the sort who generally holds most politicians in a similar class of petty evil, but he is sufficiently appalled by the president-elect (and was sufficiently appalled before the election).


But, this being our group, some levity must come at some point or other.
Read more... )
azurelunatic: Prayer to the Bastard from Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls (bastard)
... besides, of course, freaking out about the very real problems that come with the election results. (So far: likelihood of compromised health care, actual death(s) because of likelihood of compromised health care, likelihood of compromised sexual and reproductive health care for uterus-owners, actual increased racially charged violence, increased racially hateful verbal interactions including one of my friends-I-have-met-in-person being targeted, increased violence against same-sex couples, people who defy conservative gender norms...)

Ignoring my NaNo, somewhat guiltily. I will probably sit down with it sometime tomorrow.
Getting distracted, more so than usual.
Food, drink, meds, and exercise.
Tidying.
Talking to my baby girl, my other fishchildren, my morail, and others.
Retweeting things that seem helpful and important.
Retweeting cute animal pictures, because seriously.
Listening to "Anthem".
Listening to podcasts from September, because I'm not caught up.
Listening to the pre-election Rachel Maddow Show episodes that I hadn't heard, before facing the new ones.
Emailing Mama and Tay.
Spending time on IRC with the Freenode #dreamwidth (no politics) and #dreamwidth-bitch (politics allowed) crowds.
Spending time on IRC with #adventuresofstnono.
Communication with my Gentle Caller, via nearly every viable method of contact we have, because no matter what, we don't stop communicating. (Though we do take time out to do things like work, sleep, run errands, and watch things that make our brains feel less like used swiss cheese.)
Watching some of the Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency show. I think I was too young for the book when I read it, and/or on insufficient amounts of psychoactive drugs.
Talking about the fantastical cons of the concept of using dogecoin (for example) to fund California's affordable care plans, with Purple.
Testing exactly how waterproof our devices are, in Skype-showering with the Gentle Caller. (We have figured out the usual splash range of our respective showers, and leave the devices outside of that.)
Enjoying hot flashes. :\
Making social plans for Friday evening (Purple, and perhaps radius, yay!!!)
Making plans for the weekend (maybe a workshop in San Jose, and then likely dinner and helpfully mind-numbing video product with Purple)
Setting up Twitter list(s) for the friends I want to keep caught up with.
Poking at Facebook when I can, to maybe try and do some of the work of being human and vulnerable to people who want to love me but don't understand my pain.
Humming lullabies to sleeping friends.
Trying to fix my headset, which got a bit wrong with my phone. (I think the problem is my phone, but unpairing and re-pairing seems to have worked.)
Contemplating whether my phone is in fact in any fit state. (Parts of it keep crashing. It was not meant to run what I'm running on it.)
Wondering whether to apply for a 12 month contract locally. Because, 12 months.
Contemplating the minor physical indignity and tedium of dilators. (This is the OEM vagina that is not badly scarred experience of dilators. I hear that neovaginas are much less pleased by the experience.)
Sharing my experiences, generally, of hysterectomy.
Being generally and loudly fucking weird, in the way that only I can be.
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Monday was a quiet day. I had dinner with Purple. It was unremarkable, other than the way I was a little sneezy.

A little sneezy turned into explosively sneezy and then my sinuses were an impassable wall of woe. I got approximately three hours sleep, out of 7+ horizontal.

Tuesday was not a great day. I realized that I should not be driving anywhere. I also had a care package to send, a package to pick up, and building plumbing problems. I made the best of it, and walked to the post office to grab a shipping box.

On the way there, the sleep department in Oakland called me to let me know that they saw that I had an appointment in SSF, did I want to take that appointment in Oakland too? I wasn't near the computer, so I had no idea; I wasn't expecting the call, and I had three hours of sleep. I had no idea, and very little vocabulary to put things together. I informed them to email me.

I sent a care package of old tech off to my Gentle Caller. The great thing about flat rate boxes is, it's the same price to send a small box with three bits of old electronics as it is to send that same box with three bits of old electronics, two plastic bracelets with a plastic recorder and a plastic maraca each, a baggie of glitter, and a handful of dark chocolate.

And that was only Tuesday. )
azurelunatic: A pajama-clad small child uses a rainbow-striped cruciform parachute. From illustration of "Go the Fuck to Sleep". (insomnia)
Thursday was kind of rough, because I didn't get enough sleep. Sweetie and I discussed the root cause, and I have standing instructions about the proper response to directives that fuck with my sleep. When safe and practical to do so, the proper response is: "Fuck off."

Friday, I had a doctor's appointment. The gyn appointment had two high blood pressure readings in a row, and that gets me sent to my GP for another blood pressure reading and maybe a lecture about salt. So I went in and got my blood pressure read by an assistant who (despite the helpful presence of an honorific in my name as displayed) managed to gender me. The first reading was high. The second reading was okay-ish. And that was it.

I had scheduled my day for a rough interaction with the medical establishment, so when I got home (early) I decided that I would call (eep, phone) the office with the sleep doctor, to request a re-match with a different doctor. (And I came home to a message from my friend phone, asking was I going to come down to the beer bash. I decided I would think about that after the sleep doctor interaction.)

I called and talked to the scheduling person, and explained that I had been referred to the sleep doctor, I had had an appointment, but I had had a bad experience in the appointment and ended it early. And I would like to talk to a different doctor.

The scheduling person apologized that I had had a bad experience, and asked me the nature of the bad experience.

I opened my mouth. No words came out.

One of the problems that I have with the phone, and one of the things that sort of drives Purple bats about talking on the phone with me, is that where a normal human might go "Uhhhh", I just go silent (unless my verbal output buffer glitches and I get the same word or syllable repeating). It's a problem because in the day of phones which helpfully silence background noise when they can, it sounds more or less equivalent to a dead line.

She started making the "Are you there" noises. I made "Yes I'm here" responses in response, and tried again to make words about my experience come out. "I, ... I, ... I, ... "

It went on like that for a while.

"No," I finally said.

It turns out that this doctor is the only doctor in the department. I had to say "And I don't want to see him ever again" fairly firmly, several times. This office could not refer me to a different location; I would have to go back to my GP for that one.

So I looked up and called the scheduling office of my GP. The person on *that* phone was nicely responsive to the "Reverend. I don't have a gender." which is becoming my standard response to any sort of gendered honorific. (Exception: Purple and the Gentle Caller are allowed.) He corrected himself and moved on. The desired situation was that my GP give me a referral to the sleep department in Oakland, and that any phone calls to discuss this should be scheduled via email. (We appear to be learning.) This guy was the most gender-aware of all the people there that I spoke to all day. Yay. (He was sorry that everyone else sucked.)

It turns out that attempting to explain out loud the sleep doctor related fuckery (especially because it's got such potential for gaslighting) threw me into a really vulnerable and unhappy state. I looked at phone's message and decided that no, really, I was not going to be up for beer bash, not with shenanigans after.

I fell over into bed a little, and my Gentle Caller offered empathy and snuggles via text. (Also various forms of Protective Anger, which from them is nicely reassuring.) [personal profile] quartzpebble has volunteered advocacy time for the next sleep appointment, because fuck so much of that noise. The Gentle Caller calmed me down enough to nap, and nap I did, and woke refreshed.

I then picked up [personal profile] tiferet, and we headed off to dinner (excellent fun) and thence to shopping.

It seems that if I am an Alpha, I have acquired a very *very* sensible Supervisor who reminds me that "Fuck off!" is a complete sentence non-compliance is a social skill. Also, [personal profile] sithjawa and [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi were playing internet shopping games, where the object is to find the most ridiculous item in a given category. ...And this time, that category was dildoes.

Unfortunately, shopping was marred by technical fail, so we were out later than intended. Alas. But we did have fun, which was important. And the hypo-allergenic earring selection these days is much better than when I developed my metal allergies two decades ago.
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Things which have happened recently, an incomplete list:

Saturday the 10th: Seanan book party, where I hung out with [personal profile] afuna beforehand, attended cheerfully with [personal profile] tiferet and [livejournal.com profile] geekhyena, and then had dinner with [personal profile] tiferet after. I hastened myself home after that, as there were many details about my post-surgery recovery that suddenly needed discussing with a friend.

Sunday the 11th: The LF's 20th birthday! Hooray!
Went over to [personal profile] quartzpebble's for dinner, gossip, and general funtimes. I washed some dishes while [personal profile] quartzpebble prepped dinner. There was gossip. Later, we played with makeup.

Saturday the 17th: [livejournal.com profile] theferrett book party, where I was late because BART was fucked up (construction on the train tracks between my station and downtown SF), but Fun Was Had. I ran into W, and realized that a) I had not been introduced to her husband, and b) I was already nodding-acquainted with him from previous events, many of them Seanan events. (He's the well-dressed guy with the neatly-wrapped long hair.) I caught her up on Major Life Events. I chatted with people! I said hello to [livejournal.com profile] theferrett; yay meeting people From The Internet! There was afterparty planned. We went to the same place that Tif and I had gone to the week previous. I wound up at The Fun Table, and met someone named Flitter and renewed my acquaintance with Z, who turned out to have some hobbies that I had not heretofore been aware of.

Sunday the 18th: some very nice conversation with a friend, and a certain amount of wrestling with technology to make it do what we wanted.

Yesterday:
Called Purple to check if dinner was a possibility; he had been running errands and staying home, and therefore dinner was not a great idea. I am fairly sure I got teased about my surgical recovery process.
Called Darkside to check in on things. Darkside has Opinions about Certain People, and they're not terribly printable, either. We also had a cheerfully smutty discussion in which he teased me about my surgical recovery. Darkside is the greatest.
Poked [personal profile] sithjawa about Matters Esoteric, in case Things Get Weird, Again. Also some other parties.

Today:

It turns out that when the topic of a 3D-printed, glow-in-the-dark clitoris comes up in IRC, you're going to get pinged, if the person who finds it is [personal profile] kaberett, and you and they have been engaging in This Sort of Thing As A Hobby for ... five years, now? Hilarity ensued.

Also in Matters Esoteric, it turns out that while I may be Somewhat Rusty, I still have a decent enough understanding of structure and purpose to take a rather baroque and Ceremonial sort of thing, inquire politely into local concepts, and hopefully deliver a viable alternative.

Instead of going to the happy hour I'd considered, I had dinner with Purple. Also with phone and phone's kid, who's now in Year 10 (Australian); we can use bad language in front of him because he's been in an Aussie boarding school and those will corrupt you right quick. He appears to be one of the local student techies, and thus following along quite firmly in the old man's path. He is one of the people who is *visibly* techie, so people keep poking him for tech help. He needs an apprentice. (He apparently already has one.)

Having been introduced to phone's favorite little place on California Avenue earlier in the summer by me, Purple now has it on the regular rotation. We're both in favor.

I spent a little less time chatting in the parking lot with Purple than I otherwise might have, and went home in a good mood that was somewhat marred by technology fail. (First, the cell signal was eaten by 280. Then, the watch-based dialer failed to load. *Then*, the headset had disconnected from the phone when the return call came. And once I had rebooted the headset, the watch dialer didn't do the thing again, either.)

But then I was home, and technology-related fail was less of a thing.


Some links:


http://www.redwombatstudio.com/portfolio/orcus1/orcus-chapter-one/
Fiction; contains some nice fun excessively controlling parental "love".

http://wiki.dreamwidth.net/wiki/index.php/Book_of_Wholesome_Hobbies
A perennial bit of ... inspiration, I guess?
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
I got an appointment for Tuesday the 16th to make sure that my incisions were not infected. I learned that I didn't need to take my entire top off for these things if it was loose, that the incisions were not infected, that they weren't sure which surgical tape they'd used, but whatever it was, I shouldn't use it again.

They were claiming it was the adhesive. I disregarded the precised details of this claim, as the irritation which could be traced to the tape was only at the top and bottom edges of where the tape was and not the sides or the entire area covered by the tape. Therefore it must have been something in the cut edge, and not in the bottom layer of adhesive or in the bound edge.

I got an internal exam, where they peered at the stitches. The first speculum didn't let them see properly, so a second one was brought out. I had my typical reaction to pelvic exams, with a bonus former-cervical-area discomfort, as they'd disarranged the area just a bit. (Plus the bad reaction to overdoing things had annoyed it on Saturday night.)

They discussed the lab results. This is perhaps not the conversation to be having while wearing a shirt and an exam drape over your lower half. They discussed the general type of follow-up appointment I'll be needing.

I used the iPad to "scan"-and-email the lab results to the top recipient on my needs-updates list. I called [personal profile] norabombay and left a message.

Chatted with people.

Went to dinner with Purple (as it was a Tuesday, and I had warned him that I might need human company for after) and had various terrible conversation. (He is terrible, and should feel terrific.) We looked over the diagnosis together. I ... may have cold-spider-ed at him pretty hard. (He may have also held on to me quite a bit.) He also made terrible, terrible jokes. I told him about my typical reaction to pelvic exams, and how that at least had not been substantially changed by the operation. More terrible jokes.
azurelunatic: A striking pink and yellow hibiscus blossom. (hibiscus)
When your friends can look at something that's going on, and go "uh friend. FRIEND. This current thing. If it becomes a pattern, that's going to be a problem later on."

And you go "... uh. Oh. Crap. Yeah. Thanks. Shit." and then you busily get about the business of making it not be a pattern.

In related news: I am certainly not my worst enemy. Nor am I their direct opposite. And I should stop compulsively contrasting myself with them, except as contrasting myself with them is helpful. Which it won't always be. In fact, it might not often be. I'll need to check with the other stakeholders.
azurelunatic: Scissors cutting film. NaNoWriMo 2004 (Home Movies from the Cutting-Room Floor)
I was Feeling Not Quite The Thing into the afternoon, and fell over for a nap sufficiently substantial that I had nearly no time to run the errands I'd planned to. I was going to meet up with Guide Dog Aunt for a movie this evening. (Wednesdays are no good: she has Boat that night. Boat is her granddog. Boat has enough German Shepherd to be a terror.)

I started having what may have been hot flashes over the weekend. Small ones. (Mumble) did the responsible-and-helpful thing (genuinely) and poked me to poke the doctor's office about it. I emailed. (They called me at fuck o'clock on Monday morning, left a voicemail saying I should call them, but just in case because I'd said that the phone was "hard" -- I'd said that the phone was the worst way for contact, in fact -- that they'd email too.) Their return email said that I should take my temperature twice a day, and if anything hit above 100F, to take my temperature an hour later, and call them immediately if it went over that.

FRIEND NURSE, I ASKED YOU ABOUT HOT FLASHES. THIS IS THE FEVER INFORMATION YOU HAVE GIVEN ME.

Also, since I haven't had a child living with me in ... ages, I did not in fact have a functional thermometer.

It turns out that iPods do not like playlists with All The Stuff on it. And that turning off podcast syncing will in fact empty the iPod of all podcasts. This means that re-syncing takes about an hour, if it's the old-style thing and you've got about 5-6 gigs of audio to get back on the thing.

So just as my aunt was finding a parking space, I rolled in with my new thermometer and some cold groceries to put away. We then zipped off to the library to find some movies of mutual interest.

On the way, I gave her the update on the Latest Information On My Social Life. This included a super awkward conversationsecurity: filtered about a delicate topicsecurity: filtered, lasting basically until we got through the library doors, and commencing again once we left. *facepalm* Family, gentlefolks. Honesty can be helpful. Honesty can also be utterly embarrassing.

I had not, in fact, seen Pride and Prejudice, though I have certainly read the book. Guide Dog Aunt thinks Matthew Macfadyen resembles a young Dylan Moran, and I can see the resemblance.

IRC on the iPad, and a keyboard in my pocket, kept me moderately chatty with the usual suspect(s) during quieter moments of the movie.

The house is in moderate chaos. The solar panels are on the roof; tomorrow's the day when all the electricity gets shut off in order to hook those in. (I registered a charger for some electric vehicle or other. I think Woodworking Uncle may have a new toy.) Guide Dog Aunt's kitchen is getting renovated hardcore. There are boxed-up appliances shoved in the parlor, and the two big chairs have been replaced by something a little less murderous on the back.

As I headed out, I saw a familiar black-and-white striped rump and tail disappearing under the porch. My aunt had thought that the underside of the house had been rendered sufficiently inaccessible to skunk-kind. Apparently not. And she's got Boat (the shepherd with no chill) tomorrow. Fortunately she's got about a gallon of skunk-wash on hand...

Next doctor's appointment is Tuesday morning, in Oakland. [personal profile] quartzpebble plans to meet me there, for backup.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
I am gathering evidence for my qualifications as Wonder Admin. This includes my principles for group catering, and surely more. (Anybody know of anything I should include offhand? Or topics for more Admin Storytime with Azz?)


Dinner with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. Next week is first Friday, so next week I'll see less of Purple. This weekend is unlikely to be greatly sociable on Purple's part, as he's pretty zonked.

Purple was running late. I didn't run afoul of feetball traffic. We poked Purple gently about his phone. It had been a long week. Purple diverted the discussion to his couch. (On which he has sat naked, he points out. I continue to react convincingly.)

The sweet potato fries with the marshmallows and so forth were stared at as an abomination. We did not get them. We did not have silverware, either. I was best-positioned to stare down a server, so I did that. "Wedgie" in terms of food just sounds wrong.

I don't have dates for the next set of medical shenanigans, but the next round of appointment-giving is due to start next week. Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this turned into a discussion of how large a Yule tree I could actually become a stand for, assuming the Yule tree went where no Yule tree should go, and not considering the actual weight of the tree, just the size of the trunk.

Purple has commenced conveying greetings to a remote party, on the idea that the remote party is likely to remain present for quite some time. He also made some truly terribly filthy joke which I wish I could remember; I had to roll a will save against telling him I loved him for that. I'm sure he'll make it again at some point.



[personal profile] norabombay and I were talking about the literally years of training that goes into the generally-women's skill box towards taking good selfies. I was thinking about it on the drive to dinner, and because of the ubiquitous nature of Beauty Culture, one of the unacknowledged skills that most little girls learn is how to make a pretty face in a mirror.

There's all this time spent staring at your face in the mirror and making it do things, making horrible faces and faces of every emotion and looking at expressions from multiple angles to see which expression is best for what viewing angle. But because it's part of the general background noise of being groomed to become a woman in Beauty Culture, it's simultaneously assumed as a given, and the level of effort and hours consumed are dismissed as important, because of course it's not important, it's just vanity.

I have no idea what my genuine, first-reaction smile like I would have smiled as an un-self-conscious toddler would feel like, now.
I may still have it.
I may not.
I don't know.

I do know that my smile, the way I hold my mouth, the way I hold my face -- all of these are the result of extensive training and experimentation, all with the aim of either "being beautiful", or with the aim of not getting picked on at school, or the aim of Not Looking Funny, or getting Bugs to stop being a dick. (Bugs was the freshman year boyfriend who drummed on my head. Resting Bitch Face wasn't a thing when I was a freshman, or he would have told me that I had it. He did tell me that my neutral face looked cranky, or angry, or something, and that I should hold my face with a slight smile at all times, because that would make me look more pleasant. And to this day, my "neutral" face is not actually neutral. It is a very slight smile, to turn my natural frown into a straight line.)

So, yes, it should not in fact surprise me that when someone who has not been immersed in Beauty Culture since the age of knowing the difference between boys and girls goes to take a selfie, that maybe it doesn't come out so great.
azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
Purple has a flip-phone that's about ... 5? 6? years old now. It charges off MiniUSB (not MicroUSB). Every now and then someone calls him "Captain Kirk" for using it. This tends to result in some parking lot improv.

Every now and then someone suggests to Purple that because he is a software engineer in the tech industry, perhaps he should be getting with a smartphone. Purple has a standard rant prepared for this occasion. The gist of it is:

Purple has a home phone. Purple has a work phone. When you find a smartphone plan that costs $100 a year, come tell him about it. Meanwhile, Purple is over here with his prepaid flip phone, which works perfectly well at getting him calls and texts while he is out and about; while he is out and about he is also not likely to need to be emailed, because he's generally driving or at dinner or in some other situation where really, you should not need email. (Also, in recent years he has added an iPad to his set of gear, and you often don't need a second portable computing machine at that point.)

Now, that's been the situation for nearly as long as I've known Purple. It's something that I've come to accept and even like about him.

Over the past months and weeks, Purple has noticed that his signal has become patchy. His noble little cellphone (which often does fun tricks like leaving the screen light on, which chews through battery, or failing to charge for some reason, or occasionally even pocket-dialing) has been getting signal in fewer places. First he noticed he wasn't getting it reliably inside his office anymore. (That chewed up battery.) Then there were other spots of spotty service. At some point, his prepaid cell outfit gently pointed out that his little old phone was 2G only, and the 2G network around these parts is going away. Soon. Now. And maybe you should get a new phone, bro.

I would describe myself as a procrastinator.
I would describe Purple as the kind of procrastinator who will cheerfully spend 15 minutes every week and a half to twice a week (depending on temperature) using a cigarette lighter plug portable air compressor to refill his slow-leaking tire, for over a year, rather than making the appointment to get the tire fixed or replaced. (I cannot throw too many stones. He knows where a lot of my stuff is hidden, too.)

Purple has allowed as how he will probably need to get himself a new prepaid flip phone that uses a slightly more modern cell network, and maybe takes a charger that more people are likely to have on them. He allows as how he may continue to put this off.

Last Friday at the ex-co-worker-crowd dinner, Purple invited his old friend GG (and her husband) as well as Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly and me. I texted Purple to let him know that I was running about 10 minutes late. I arrived to find that he hadn't got my text, as he'd no signal in the restaurant. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly arrived somewhat after me. She'd become delayed in some event-related fuckery on 101. She'd tried to call Purple!

GG proceeded to give Purple a hard time about his Luddite refusal to have a smartphone, pointing out that Purple is a well-paid engineer who can afford a fucking smartphone and a data plan. GG does this sort of thing, it turns out -- gives Purple a hard time about things. And Purple continues to be his cheerfully procrastinatory and stubborn self.

I learned long ago that when Purple took a hard stance about something, that I was wasting everyone's time if I kept arguing about it, and the way to get around it was to accept his viewpoint and let him get around to it in his own time. Possibly by setting a good example by way of my own anti-procrastination efforts. Occasionally by saying "Eh, maybe you should get on that thing?" but not when he'd just been ranting about it.

Tonight I was halfway to dinner when I realized that I hadn't let Purple know that after we'd agreed on a time and place, I'd poked our mutual friend phone (whose favorite lunch spot it was) to let him know that we were convening for dinner and he'd be welcome. I thought about texting (hands-free, wheeee!) but realized: Purple wouldn't get that text. Anyway, I wasn't sure whether phone would be able to make it. So, we might as well see if he showed up...

I eventually remembered to text phone to let him know where we were sitting. He and his boyfriend showed up quite promptly thereafter, and we took a bit bigger table, and had a lovely time.

I may inquire gently with Purple, tomorrow, when he thinks he's going to actually get that new flip phone. 💜💜💜☎️🙄😘
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Friday was the usual dinner out with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. I had no idea where I wanted to go, just that it shouldn't be too far. Purple picked a place not too far from old-work.

The timing worked out such that when it was time to actually leave, there was a conversation that I was in the middle of that I didn't want to just bail on. But the other party to the conversation was aware of my schedule, and adamant that I should not miss dinner on their account.

We wound up talking on the phone. It was a good conversation, running the full course from the usual sort of daily grievances we discuss, to the sublimely silly. By the time I hit the parking lot (and got pinned in the car for a few minutes as the van next to me loaded up their kids) I was giggling again, and went in to see Purple with a silly smile.

I was a little spacey through dinner, partly as the result of nice conversation, and partly because I was still just very tired and quiet and didn't have very many things to say about Game of Thrones.

Purple and I chatted in the parking lot, as is the custom. I headdesked at him some. He was encouraging, and just enough of a sarcastic bastard.


Sunday was the birthday, I believe the 30th, of one of the guys from the ghost team. Most of them are based in and around Palo Alto, so many of their dinner meetups are on a half-hour's notice, which is not quite enough time for me to get from schlubbing around the house to out the door, let alone from Pacifica to Palo Alto.

This time, there was early notice, so I found something comfortable and set out at the appointed time. It was a place I hadn't been before. The tiny parking lot was overfilled, and there was nowhere to go but back out onto the main drag; you couldn't go on the back street and circle around. So I found street parking, and jaywalked over just in time to encounter four of the other five of us who were coming.

Three of them are roommates, which can often be entertaining. 2/3 of the table was playing Pokémon Go. Mr. P and I were the holdouts.

One of the themes of the night was scallops. The guys enjoy their seafood. They also enjoy their steak. One of the guys had been debating whether it would be scallops or dessert. "Scallop cheesecake!" I contributed, cheerfully.

The concept was not well-received.

One of the guys is apparently notorious amongst the crew for eating at approximately the same rate as Zeno said that Achilles chased the tortoise. Except he would have started off as the tortoise. This had the effect of slightly delaying dessert for everyone else. By the time he was in fact ready to order, all of the good-natured chirping from the table caused him to say "Cheesesteak" instead of "cheesecake". Hilarity was the order of the moment.

I ... may have a mild crush on Mr. P. He is a very quiet geekfolk who appears amiable and with a wicked sense of humor when he has something to say.

I got to talk with Dawn on the drive home from that dinner. It was good to catch up with her. I had a few things to say about a situation that one of my friends is in. They were ... not especially good things. It was good to have that conversation, too.


Neither Purple nor I were quite feeling the dinner thing Monday, so we decided to retry on Tuesday.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Poor Purple still has The Plague of some sort, and therefore there was no dinner tonight. Tomorrow's a meeting night (which my calendar helpfully warned me for), so no dinner tomorrow night. Wednesday is the next viable dinner day; we shall see.

Someone in an adjacent apartment startled me with some loud screwing, partway through the afternoon. I mentioned this to a few folks in IM. Purple allowed as how it was the correct time of day for that. I agreed. Purple was vaguely surprised: he'd entirely thought I had not been referring to the construction-type screwing. We proceeded to go through other ambiguous verbs. The one that hit both of us as hilarious was "plowing"; Purple comes from farm country, and you do indeed get some rocking back and forth, if you've hit a stubborn rock. That gave me the mental image of people banging away, and then one of them going "... wtf?", reaching inside their partner, and pulling out a rock.

My mind is a weird, weird place.


Recovery continues. I was able to switch my computer chair back for the yoga ball for a bit. I'm still taking little naps, but I'm able to pick the timing better.


In news which will surprise possibly no one, I am still an outrageous flirt. Some of my friends are ha-ha-only-serious teasing me that I need a harem. I exchanged formal Platonic Thingy vows with someone who has been an unofficial longtime Platonic Thingy partner, but now we're official. (Yayz.) One of my friends was inquiring what the equivalent of "metamour" was for Platonic Thingy folks. I suggested "Meta-Friend", and then once you'd met a meta-friend, you'd have (hopefully) met a friend... :D :D :D

I have been flirting what I think is outrageously with the final member of the top-four crush list who might possibly be unaware of their status. Two are uninterested, one is complicated, and one is ... idk. Chatty, I guess? *turns pink*


Ev has been attempting to get from one side of the US to the other, and from thence overseas. Shenanigans have been ensuing. I may stay up a little longer to see if she needs retrieval from the airport.
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
I still keep getting ambushed by mandatory naps, but I have notice on them, and today I actually did (post-nap) get up the coherence to do a small shopping run. I drove; my pain levels have been low enough that the last srs bzns painkiller was either late Friday or early Saturday, so it's well cleared my system.

Purple did not come visit this weekend -- I was feeling pretty awful on Saturday (there are certain well-known side effects of srs bzns painkillers on the digestive system, and it turns out that coming *off* also has effects), and then he was feeling pretty awful Sunday. So.

I haven't actually watched any of the tv I was planning to watch, yet. Other things have been poking into my sphere of attention.

I have discovered that getting Windows 10 to not reboot you without permission is much more difficult on the wired network. Swearing ensued, followed by modifying the permissions on the registry such that the registry could be edited to mark all internet connections as metered, not just the wireless sort.
azurelunatic: A pajama-clad small child uses a rainbow-striped cruciform parachute. From illustration of "Go the Fuck to Sleep". (go the fuck to sleep)
It was the traditional dinner with Purple tonight. This is the day when I was expecting to definitely see Purple after vacation, if there'd been no other opportunity. There turned out to be a beer bash, but at short enough notice to Purple that it was too late to invite me. So we did dinner; Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly is out this week. Despite getting lost (got off at the wrong exit), I got there a split second before Purple, and then scored a table while he was getting through the truckfuck in the parking lot.

We talked about many things. The main thing on my mind lately has been a kind of heavy topic, and Purple is always a delightful combination of helpful, thoughtful, calling me on any bullshit he notices, supportive, and irreverently hilarious. We also discussed: the amount of work and/or luck it takes to get a suitable counseling professional; the parameters of "bro"; the difference between one-off objectification of men and the commodified objectification of women; toxic masculinity; the angry and terrible divorces of about 4 different guys in R's working group; marriage-related name change and how "Lunatic" might be a perfectly okay driver's license name but not a resume name; role inflexibility in formal power exchange; Purple's applied-ferret-in-packing-peanuts approach to pissing off Domly McDom types trying to establish control over social groups; that time Purple made the guy with the obnoxiously big dick leave a chatroom by agreeing with him; there certainly must have been other topics also ...

Purple started chirping me about my general liking for burying my face into his shirt and hiding under his arm, and pointed out that really, he was only six foot so it was a little awkward... When I accused him of chirping me, I had to explain that it was a term of art from hockey and not related to chickens, so therefore in this context it was a really bad pun.


Occasionally Purple is the Good Example.

Case in point: I have not in fact been counting the number of times that Purple has said something that would have made me back slowly off from an acquaintance or non-friend. It's happened. The fact that I'm not able to count is a good thing. If I were counting, it would be a count-up to some sort of unknowable explosion or ending. Instead, each moment is a new beginning.

Read more... )

I have not been counting the number of times I have realized that Purple is (still) more trusted than oxygen, more precious than emeralds, and done this delicate dance. Each time we are successful in navigating the issue, balancing our perspectives, and helping each other see it more clearly, he implicitly affirms that I have made the correct decision in extending the hand of friendship. I never wish to risk losing him over a misunderstanding.

We keep fucking up with each other. We keep talking it out. Occasionally, very rarely, we emerge with a fragile shell of a shattered trust and a bit of a scuff mark, and we're quietly defensive until the friendship draws us back in again. More often, we emerge closer to each other, closer at understanding our wide and weird world a little better as well.

On balance, it's worth it.


By the end of the night, my glitter eyeshadow had migrated down my face and neck all the way to my tits. Purple was amused.

We weren't meaning to, because we were both tired, but Purple and I stood out talking together for quite a while. He is amused by the state my brain's been in. I told him at least part of the story which ends with me raising a sparklepeen inspired by Twilight in the air and shouting "FREEDOM!" and then clinking it with a glass of booze in a toast.

Purple probably won't make it to the Seanan party tomorrow, or the Charlie Stross event Sunday; he's got some reading to do for the HOA meeting on Tuesday. Therefore dinner will probably be Wednesday, if it happens.

Some of Purple's hair got stuck on my lip gloss when we hugged goodnight. Apparently I should not lick his hair in the current state it's in -- sadly there have been water disruptions to his place which prevented proper shampooing.

Speaking of lip gloss, I think some exploded in my jacket pocket. This is going to be fun... I had put my hand in my pocket for some reason, and then realized that things in there felt ... unaccountably sticky. I withdrew my hand and rubbed fingers against each other, then reached back in. Yup, sticky, all right. I pulled my hand out and examined my fingers, which glistened in the dim street lamps and under the moon.

"What is that?" Purple asked.
"I think it's lip gloss."

It didn't appear to be colored, so I eventually reckoned that it must have been the transparent one with all the little iridescent glitter in it. Yay, cosmetic emergencies...


Something really hard to put my finger on has shifted in the dynamic between Purple and me, since he came back from vacation, and I'm enjoying it. I'm more at ease in his presence, more willing to be vulnerable, and delighted to tell more crass jokes of the type that make us both bust up laughing. Though occasionally they result in me turning beet red and facepalming repeatedly.


I've definitely been doing more Tarot readings lately. I should probably brush up and start carrying my deck more regularly. (I will probably keep saying this every day that I participate in a reading without having my own deck near to hand.)
azurelunatic: California poppies, with a bright blue sky and the sun. (poppies)
Thursday the 30th, I was finally feeling recovered from the trip (mostly, if not entirely unpacked) and elected to go to the farmers' market with Guide Dog Aunt for the first time in ... quite a long time. Our schedules have not worked out for that for a while. We caught up on stuff, especially all the fun I'd had at the conference. She really liked meeting Purple, and the sense of her commentary was such that I may have to explicitly mention that no, we are not in fact kissing friends.

Friday is the day that's often got beer bash and dinner with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly, but neither of those seemed to be going on for the 1st. I had a quiet evening at home, which was still welcome after the hectic conference week. Purple is enjoying some jet lag, and of course first Friday is 2600. We'd had our Wednesday dinner so I was feeling sufficiently caught up to not worry.

Purple might have had plans for the 4th; if he didn't, I was going to ask if he wanted to come over and watch the fireworks from the beach. That didn't turn out to happen, but [personal profile] quartzpebble came over. We had hot dogs and cucumbers and tomatoes and cherries and blueberries, drank tea and bourbon (both separately and together), and entirely missed the fireworks due to staying inside with the food, fiber arts, and rapid exchange of information.

I had the traditional dinner with Purple on Tuesday the 5th, and we discussed many topics.

Now that the worst of the conference pressure is over, I've been commenting in more communities and journals again.
azurelunatic: the Golden Gate bridge.  (san francisco)
That was a really nice birthday!

There was stuff on the internet when I woke up. I love the Marmalade Fish, and my fishchildren in particular. I had put blue dye (and a touch of purple) on my bangs before going to bed, and had covered it with a scarf. I put more blue on the ends of my hair for a while, then showered it all off before heading out to party.

Guide Dog Aunt & Woodworking Uncle had been helping Infamous Cousin & his girlfriend paint. The girlfriend has some very definite ideas about color, and is implementing them full-steam-ahead. I showed up first, then my aunt and uncle, and after a little while (and I was nervous as hell) there was a knock on the door and the top of a very familiar head visible! It was Purple!!!!

Purple asked if he could help out; Guide Dog Aunt mentioned retrieving some folding chairs from upstairs, and proceeded to give some directions which even I (and I know the house) couldn't particularly follow. Purple looked super confused. "Cousin the Younger's room or Infamous Cousin's room?" I ask. "Infamous Cousin's." So we went up together. "I wouldn't have found it based on those directions," Purple confirmed.

I curled up at the far end of the couch with my crocheting, and Purple took the other end and stretched onto one of the nearby chairs. There was conversation and laughter. Guide Dog Aunt was very concerned with Not Being A Jerk with the food, and had gone out of her way to unnecessarily avoid dairy products. (My level of lactose intolerance means that I should not drink a whole cup of milk without the pills. I can add milk to coffee or whatever without having a noticeable problem. I can definitely have most cheeses without pills. Guide Dog Aunt decided that we should not have pizza because I am lactose intolerant and I shouldn't have to tolerate the cheese on my birthday.) Guide Dog Aunt somewhat guiltily said that even though I didn't deserve to have tomatoes shoved in my face, she had put out tomatoes anyway, because they were so delicious. I allowed as how yes, they were delicious, and I had no problems with food that I couldn't eat being present as long as it stayed in its lane -- now, if the tomatoes were exploding and getting all over everything else, I'd have a problem. "Or a bell pepper juice fountain," I mused. "Or walnuts."

Guide Dog Aunt zipped out of the kitchen and quickly reclaimed a large mason jar. She'd forgotten about the walnut thing, and had put some particularly fine and delicious walnuts in a jar for me, in addition to the chocolate she'd gotten for me, because the walnuts were great and she wanted to share the love -- having forgotten which nut I can't have. Purple snickered at that, and allowed as how his friends also forgot which nut he couldn't have, and would sometimes proudly go "We made sure there were no almonds in this for you!" ... which, thanks for the thought and effort! ... but almonds are delicious to him, and it's the wrong nut???

"Oh, which nut do you have problems with?" Guide Dog Aunt asked.
"Walnuts," he said.
"Matching nut allergies! A match made in heaven!" Guide Dog Aunt chirruped, and spirited the walnuts away from our end of the room.

In addition to Dazzle the now 10+ year old blue poodle, my aunt was guilt-dogsitting Micah-from-next-door, who is this ancient and somewhat malodorous foxy-looking medium-large dog. Her people were off out of state for a thing, and the last time she was at a kennel she refused to eat, blundered into things, and nearly died. So my aunt feels like she kind of has to watch her when her people leave...

R and JD showed up next, in fairly quick succession, I think? R was delighted by the pleasant temperature in Pacifica, as the South Bay had hit over 100F by the time she'd left.

Woodworking Uncle drifted in and out for a bit, but eventually wound up upstairs away from the assorted chaos.

Little bits of internet kept filtering in. There was an email from Darkside. "Ooo, email from [Darkside] in Arizona!" "What's [Darkside] in Arizona up to?" Purple wanted to know. I read the email quickly. He's gone from phone goon to bench guy, restoring the laptops of his co-workers to working order. Yay!

I told R the grim tales of Fishie's internship misadventures. R was super sorry to hear about it, but also, Missouri ("Misery", Purple chimed in) and certain types of terrible tech dude. Alas. :( Though I have given my Fishmumly Approval that Fishie should perhaps mention to Certain Terrible Dudes that she goes to judo classes to help with "her problem" with "accidentally punching" people who get in her space and startle her...

JD had brought games (I have decided that I am in favor of the kind of party where you ask people to bring games that they might like to play) and we played a round of Taboo before dinner. There was general hilarity, and it turns out that cards that were produced more than a decade ago have not blocked some of the modern helpful synonyms. ("Cable" involved me saying "last mile, internet, not optical older than that, xfinity, comcast")

There was dinner, followed by cake. Guide Dog Aunt had decided that with the number of people confirmed, there would need to be two small cakes, so there was a key lime cake and a chocolate cake. JD had the task of placing the candles. Everyone who was not me or JD had the task of lighting. Guide Dog Aunt had matches, and she and R lit candles to use as igniters. Purple had the bbq lighter, but had some troubles with it. JD was filming it all.

They sang. One of the slightly awkward bits with someone who has a complex name situation is, what name do you use when singing? Purple sang "dear Azure", quite correctly. :)

And then there was cake. Mmm, cake.

Gaming re-commenced. When he arrived, Purple had handed me a very small silver bag with silver snowmen and blue tissue paper, with a gentle apology for the wrapping, but it was what he had. I had giggled and put it aside. Read more... )

Guide Dog Aunt had said that there was a hard end to the party, because bedtime, so after the round that had started before 10pm finished up (after 10pm, of course), I mentioned bedtime. And so we started trying to get cleaned up. It had not been a particularly untidy party, so there wasn't that much to do.

Everyone seemed pleased to have met everyone else, and the refrain seemed to be "glad to finally meet you, I've heard so much about you." Purple apologized to JD for not having been able to make it to Eurovision. The Eurovision party had been more low-key than JD had been figuring on, as it's often balls-to-the-wall glitterenthusiasm.

It turned out that JD was on [personal profile] quartzpebble's way home, so that carpool worked out. Purple consulted the map on his iPad to figure out how to get back the way he'd come. Guide Dog Aunt sent the bread home with me, and I got my stuff (bread, games, bag, flowers, crocheting) loaded up in my car, and had a last round of chat and hugs with Purple before he leaves for a month.

Even though I've been making sure that my place is tidied to at least Purple-safe, the "I have to still do laundry and finish packing, but I guess it's mostly under control" moment is not the time to say "hey, do you want to afterparty at my place??" but I was just pleased as hell because omg he came, he had fun, and everybody got on. Everybody else, it would have been sad but okay if they'd not gotten along with my family. But Purple? Purple is super important.

I was home just about at 11, as my watch nudged me with the "hey, it's 11!" update as I was walking down the path.

I think Guide Dog Aunt thinks Purple and I might be dating? It's ... not a bad assumption, just incorrect in a few particulars.
azurelunatic: "PIE DOESN'T HAVE TENTACLES!"  (tentacles)
Open Source Bridge update: I am going, though #DWgoestoOSB is not an official or refunded thing this year. Woez. Kat can't make it either (alas).

Birthday prep means letting my aunt know who's coming, and this year seems much less haphazard than last. My sleep schedule is still wacky, but this time I was completely coherent by noonish. I even had time to wash all of my hair and do makeup (including glitter, now that I know there's no exclusion month needed).

Fishie is encountering some internship challenges. I have advised her to take *detailed* notes, and she has written an email to her mentor back at her college, who is offering various advice and contacts. We also talked about the concept of Being A Grownup, and how generally terrified and impostor-y I was back when I first acquired the fish. She had that moment of dissonance when she looked at how old her parents were when she was a baby. She also had the dissonance of "wait, other people my age are HAVING CHILDREN HOLY SHIT", and "wait, this person I know is a grandfather and he is five years younger than my dad NO WAY AM I HAVING TWO KIDS IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS!!!" I reminded her that children and chronological age cease to be a necessarily meaningful concrete benchmark at a certain point.

And then I went off to beer bash. There was more traffic than I was anticipating, but I arrived more or less on time. I immediately saw lb and sfa from a distance, and hailed them. We went in search of Purple, but Purple was afk (and Mr. Bananas was plugged in to headphones, head down, and not acknowledging strangers by the door).

We all trooped up to R's office, where I dropped off a small box of papers and stuff. One of R's teammates told us that R had gone down for beer bash. So we went down and in to the cafeteria where it was cool. There I saw phone and hailed him. Then people of the group saw codepoetica, and hailed him. I introduced myself as Azz (because he is #cupcake); he looked confused. "ajl", I elucidated. "OH! HI!" he said, and glomped me.

We wandered about inside for a little while, looking for seats. I picked my way through the tables, avoiding the place where there was a photo op with some of the 501st. I saw R, sitting with someone I didn't recognize, and flagged down the rest of #cupcake. They came trooping up. I was texting Purple to let him know where we were, and looking at the spinning "lol your text has not sent" when my phone rang! It was Purple, wondering whether I'd arrived. I had! I told him where to find us, and he came to find us.

R and I had some shop talk over conference stuff. Mostly we have to get the videos squared away.

Some of the tables cleared out, and we took over. codepoetica was in rare form, and there was all sorts of giggling and hijinks. R wanted to know what we were talking about. lb let her know that no, no, she did not want to know.

* What if you had a whole bag of jello-molded hands?
* What if it was out of that sticky stuff that sticks to windows?
* A sticky hand with the hand full sized would have a really long handle/arm thing
* You would swing it around like a baseball bat
* well, what *else* could that gesture mean?
* "Excalibur!!!"
* if your dick was really that long, you'd have to sort of trudge around like a dinosaur with its tail dragging
* imagine a wilderness tracker, sort of a Sherlock Holmes kind of situation, and he could tell all sorts of improbable things from the track, like that it was a penis
* also how many tattoos and what color
* "I can tell from the number of dead bees on the left side!"
* "oh, I thought it was 'Because I slept with him last night!' "
* No more blowing bees at Purple in the courtyard
* getting abducted by UFOs because you wave at them
* asymmetrical docking
* M2MA (nsfw!!!)
* general anatomical improbability
* Bee dick
* Chocolate penis

The table started to clear out. R texted me to make sure that it was okay that she had invited Mr. Tux to my birthday party (of course!)

codepoetica and I talked weather and geography. He wants to get a link to the YaaS video once it's up. He talked about some other things that the same back end engine is doing, and I looked in horror at the two-day autoclose for low-priority tickets, the effect of which is to redirect some of said low-priority tickets via phone and no documentation, lest the motherfucker be closed over the fucking weekend.

Purple observed that there was a fleck of glitter on codepoetica's nose, glinting in the sunlight. There followed an interlude of codepoetica trying to get the glitter off his nose, us observing more glitter on his person, and the inevitable question "WHERE DID IT ALL COME FROM?!?!?!" I raised my hand. He had, after all, glomped me...

Sadly, he was not to be in town tomorrow (flying back on a red eye), and thus could not make it to my birthday party. His director and his wife had a custody argument over him, and he is not allowed to spend more than 50% of his time traveling. (He was mostly not a party to this discussion, he said.)

We all wandered outside, to split, more or less. Purple's director wandered past, and asked Purple to please let him in, as he'd left his badge on his desk. So we retreated inside to the air conditioning, and codepoetica showed Purple some of his scripts.

I will have to practice my non-profane ejaculations for the purpose of having things to say for YaaS that are emphatic but repeatable. I am taking suggestions.

Purple and I walked in the direction of our cars. (I park next to him when I have the chance, since he has a favorite spot and is thus easy to find.) He had security issues finding a key storage solution. I shared some of my hackerspace's recent smart lock shenanigans.

Purple will see me tomorrow. :)

I went to Fry's and found that there was a dashcam in an appropriate price range! Yay! However, upon plugging it in to my desktop and having google photo sync slurp the test videos off, I have discovered that despite the timestamp imprinted on the video being correct, the timestamp on the file is some 6 years out of date. Oops. I ... guess I am getting what I paid for??

I appear to have nearly entirely swapped over to the Pebble for step counting and sleep tracking.
azurelunatic: Blue-iced cupcake with sprinkles.  (cupcake)
Dreams which are Just Not Fair, Yo:
Read more... )
Waking up out of that is not fair.

Thursday night's dinner was at a place I'd not been before, but immediately decided should be added to our dinner rotation. I shared with Purple, who was in accordance, but also doubted how much parking there'd be on a Friday night. I think perhaps we'll try it some early weeknight.

🍻💜🍰
It was beer & shenanigans night, so I went down to hang out with some of the crew. R saw me first, and wandered over to say hi. She has a set of headphones similar to mine now -- she saw mine and decided they were amazingly cool (I have my doubts about the headphones but they're handy) so she got some. Hers are blue too. Purple arrived, and then Mr. Tux. Purple was late because he was saying goodbye to Mr. Netflix, who is headed off somewhere. (Perhaps he and J will be co-workers soonish?)

I saw W walking off towards the gym with her iPod and gym bag, and waved. She came over to the fire pit to say hello; we cheerfully continued our conversation about that brief window of time in 2010 when it was possible to get near-complete access to someone's LJ account using this one weird trick, and why internal documentation is super important.

I saw the Singing PM wander past, and hailed her. She met Mr. Tux, who is on the other side of the atrium in the same building as she is.

Eventually I happened to glance over at the right moment and saw the retreating ponytail of lb. I hollered after him, and he wandered over to say hello and spend some time chatting. There was various hilarity.

Read more... )
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)
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. ;)

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Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺

August 2017

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