redbird: women's lib: raised fist inside symbol for woman (activism)
( Feb. 19th, 2017 06:37 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude, [personal profile] adrian_turtle, and I went to Boskone Friday and Saturday (commuting rather than getting a room at the hotel). Friday Cattitude and I got there before Adrian, and I felt vaguely out of sorts for a bit after we got there and picked up our badges, because I was having trouble finding people to talk to (a combination of not seeing people I recognized, and seeing people who either didn't see me/hear me say hello, or were on their way elsewhere). We indulged in some restorative hot chocolate, and then Adrian got there, and things started coming together.

cut for length and disorganization )
I just spent a few minutes filling out a survey on what I thought of my hospital care. I told them I was mostly pleased, with specifics: for example, that the person who drew my blood was reasonably skilled and very polite and considerate. I also took the opportunity to mention the time I had to ask the night nurses to close my door so I could sleep through their loud chat; the one nurse who was quite demanding that I acknowledge her in the terms she felt appropriate after she had awakened me for no other reason; and that lukewarm water plus a teabag does not equal tea. Also that the OR staff were particularly good at explanations of both procedures and delays. I think my most serious complaint was about the discharge nurse, which I've posted about here: that she was too focused on "everyone should eat a lowfat diet with more fish" to give me information specific to my condition, even in terms of "standard post-gall-bladder-removal instructions." (I wouldn't really expect specifics based on my vital signs.) I'm glad to have given them some potentially useful information. I left a few questions blank (they said to skip those that don't apply), including whether they'd cared for my spiritual needs (since there was no space for "no, because I didn't have any") and how I would rate the cheerfulness of the hospital.

When I saw the return address on the envelope, my first thought was that it was a bill, for the emergency room copayment if nothing else. (I had expected to be asked for that amount when I was admitted, since my insurance card says how much it should be.) As an incentive to return the surveys, they say that one person a week who does so will win a $200 Amex gift check.
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I just spent a few minutes filling out a survey on what I thought of my hospital care. I told them I was mostly pleased, with specifics: for example, that the person who drew my blood was reasonably skilled and very polite and considerate. I also took the opportunity to mention the time I had to ask the night nurses to close my door so I could sleep through their loud chat; the one nurse who was quite demanding that I acknowledge her in the terms she felt appropriate after she had awakened me for no other reason; and that lukewarm water plus a teabag does not equal tea. Also that the OR staff were particularly good at explanations of both procedures and delays. I think my most serious complaint was about the discharge nurse, which I've posted about here: that she was too focused on "everyone should eat a lowfat diet with more fish" to give me information specific to my condition, even in terms of "standard post-gall-bladder-removal instructions." (I wouldn't really expect specifics based on my vital signs.) I'm glad to have given them some potentially useful information. I left a few questions blank (they said to skip those that don't apply), including whether they'd cared for my spiritual needs (since there was no space for "no, because I didn't have any") and how I would rate the cheerfulness of the hospital.

When I saw the return address on the envelope, my first thought was that it was a bill, for the emergency room copayment if nothing else. (I had expected to be asked for that amount when I was admitted, since my insurance card says how much it should be.) As an incentive to return the surveys, they say that one person a week who does so will win a $200 Amex gift check.
Tags:
In a universe where I had more time and energy, I would likely be going to the Fourth Street Fantasy Convention, revived after a hiatus. I didn't hear about the original series, and how cool they are, until they stopped happening.

In this universe, well, I'm debating whether I can go to Wiscon. On the other hand, in the course of writing the previous couple of sentences, I'm reminded that while Fourth Street isn't on a holiday weekend, it is in a city I can get a direct flight to, which reduces the possible hassle. (I spent Friday of last Wiscon in the Detroit airport, after my flight was cancelled for mechanical difficulties.) So maybe I will go: Memorial Day in Boston with Adrian and then Fourth Street a month later?

The reason this is "not quite a free plug" is that [livejournal.com profile] elisem is holding a contest, in which anyone who points out that 4th Street is happening and is definitely open to anyone interested has a chance of winning a gift certificate for some of her cool stuff. The con is June 20 - 22, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which will not be remotely snowy by then.

[Friends are welcome to tell me whether/why they think my skipping Wiscon and going to Fourth Street is a good idea.]
Tags:
In a universe where I had more time and energy, I would likely be going to the Fourth Street Fantasy Convention, revived after a hiatus. I didn't hear about the original series, and how cool they are, until they stopped happening.

In this universe, well, I'm debating whether I can go to Wiscon. On the other hand, in the course of writing the previous couple of sentences, I'm reminded that while Fourth Street isn't on a holiday weekend, it is in a city I can get a direct flight to, which reduces the possible hassle. (I spent Friday of last Wiscon in the Detroit airport, after my flight was cancelled for mechanical difficulties.) So maybe I will go: Memorial Day in Boston with Adrian and then Fourth Street a month later?

The reason this is "not quite a free plug" is that [livejournal.com profile] elisem is holding a contest, in which anyone who points out that 4th Street is happening and is definitely open to anyone interested has a chance of winning a gift certificate for some of her cool stuff. The con is June 20 - 22, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which will not be remotely snowy by then.

[Friends are welcome to tell me whether/why they think my skipping Wiscon and going to Fourth Street is a good idea.]
Tags:
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I spent a week in Montreal, ending with the Farthing Party; [livejournal.com profile] adrian_turtle joined us Wednesday evening. touristy stuff here )

The three of us had dinner Thursday night with [livejournal.com profile] mrissa (who I've been getting to know mostly via email, though Adrian and I met her briefly in May) and her partner [livejournal.com profile] timprov. We went to an all-you-can-eat "Asian fusion" place, which was decent east Asian food (it mostly felt Chinese, but there were Vietnamese-style summer rolls and Thai noodles). That was where I discovered that there is cooked spinach I'm willing, even happy, to eat, because it doesn't have the slimy texture spinach usually gets when cooked. They called it crispy spinach. It's light, a bit sweet, looks like bright green folded paper, and has a texture somewhat akin to nori. We talked at length there, and then a while at Suite 88, after which we all decided it was time to go back to our rooms, maybe read a bit, and fall over.

Before the con, I'd been looking forward to spending more time with [livejournal.com profile] mrissa, and had no idea what I'd think of Timprov. I knew he was a decent person, but that didn't guarantee we'd connect. I had a very good time talking with both of them, that evening and later in the con, about all sorts of stuff: it's good to deepen a friendship, and it's good to make a new friend.

Bees are soft. I learned that Friday afternoon, from [livejournal.com profile] jonsinger, who explained how to stroke one gently while it's on a flower.

[livejournal.com profile] papersky's pre-con post on Friday afternoon activities included "Or, well, other options." At brunch, I was waxing enthusiastic about my, Cattitude, and Adrian's outing to the Jardin Botanique the day before. [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan and Davey expressed interest, so I offered to take a group. (The groups she and [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel were leading were to Ile Ste Helene and the Musee des Beaux Arts, which I've also been to a few times, so it wasn't a sacrifice: nor a financial one, as I'd bought a yearly membership this spring.) It wound up being us, Jon Singer, Cally, and [livejournal.com profile] zorinth as my co-guide. (I was more or less in charge, but he knows his way around the garden better than I do.) We spent more time in the Alpine Garden, which I'd truncated on Thursday because we were tired by then. I'm getting fonder and fonder of the Alpine Garden, at every season. We sniffed lots of roses, of course, and other flowers; wandered through the First Nations Garden (I think that was Davey's suggestion); and looked at the lanterns in the Chinese Garden. The lanterns are a special exhibit for autumn. The exhibit officially began that evening, though some of it was there the day before: lots of paper lanterns in different colors and illustrations, some lit even in the day, plus a paper model of a dragon boat and similar follies floating on the pond. We liked it. On the way out of the Jardin Botanique, we stopped in the Aquatic Garden, where a lotus that had been almost open the day before was open enough to smell clearly when we edged onto the barrier between two pools and leaned over. I'm not good at describing smells, and lotus doesn't remind me of another flower: sweet, and deep, but not especially strong, nor cloying. There were many good things about that visit, but it might have been worth it just for that. Taking my beloveds there on Thursday, and time with just them, had been delightful; this was again delightful, in a slightly different key.

My favorite panel was--again--the Sunday morning "joy of reading" one, eight or ten people each reading short pieces they liked, or excerpts from longer works. Rysmiel did a piece of Peter Fleming that I'd heard them read before; [livejournal.com profile] pnh gave us the bit about "The Tragedy of Leonid Brezhnev, Prince of Muscovy" from Ken Macleod's Newton's Wake; [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks did two of Italo Calvino's invisible cities; I think it was TNH did a piece of Mike Ford's The Last Hot Time; and James Macdonald read a short story about a writer whose characters demand better stories to be in. I don't recall the rest offhand, but it was all good.

Conversely, I don't think "A Good Read" came together as well as the version last year had; the panelists said they had been rushed in their preparations, and it showed in that I don't think anyone had had time to read, let alone read and digest, all four books. Weirdly, the asterisk panel at the other end of the con also didn't work as well as usual. Cattitude suggested later that the problem may have been too much familiarity with each other: that panel works in part by having an audience prepared to say "what's that?" a lot. [It's worked very well at Minicon, where it started, as well as at last year's Farthing Party.] Mostly what we got was some cool stuff about book restoration and preservation, from Rush, and more than I expected about comics.

The panel on "A Different Magic" was partly from the writer's point of view: ways to make magic new and interesting rather than just another technology or "be careful what you asked for" story. The panelists also talked about writing magicians/wizards/what-have-you who weren't from the very familiar mold of either trained-as-such or specific creative professions. Fantasy is full of magically talented people whose other jobs or previous life is as musicians and writers; there aren't a pot of painters or actors, and where are the magically-talented architects, choreographers, and jewelers? Where is the really creative bureaucrat or taxi driver? (That last was my contribution, with notes on the potential magical or practical value of always knowing the landscape around you, and how to get places in the fastest possible way. [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll came up with an example of one in a story he'd read.)

"Writing for All Ages" and "Making Real Things and Making Things Real" were also largely from the writer's viewpoint (rather than primarily from the reader's, though of course all the panelists do read the stuff). "Fantasy of Manners" mostly left me with the feeling that there is no agreement on what the term includes, or the characteristics of the subgenre; [livejournal.com profile] pameladean mouthed an eloquently silent "What?!" when someone suggested her novel Tam Lin as an example.

I found Sunday's programming more appealing than Saturday's (from descriptions ahead of time), but a person still needs to eat. It turned out that [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll felt similarly, so we carried him off to a nearby cafe; all I really remember of the conversation was the US-Canadian bit of the Napoleonic wars, and James noting that yes, the Americans had burned York (Ontario, now Toronto) in that war, but so had the Canadians.

"Kings, Seventh Sons, and the Lamentable Absence of Millers' Daughters" was about the politics of fantasy--specifically, the long-standing question of whether,and in what ways, all those fantasy monarchies and lords are inherently undemocratic. I don't have notes, unfortunately, so can't really say much beyond that it went well, and that I was reminded of, but didn't try to interject, Le Guin's idea that the kings in fairy tales are genuinely good and, in those stories, fit for rule in ways that real kings are not. (Her specific example was Gwydion son of Don. Le Guin is also the woman who described a character as "one born, for once, king of the right country.")

Saturday night I mostly spent in outside-the-party room conversation: more good time with Mrissa and Timprov. Adrian and M'ris were both having problems with the lighting and other physical atmosphere in the party room, so we, and a changing group of other people, talked in the hall outside and listened to the music from a distance. There was a good discussion of relationships of various sorts. Adrian noted that the things that are needed to maintain and nurture a long-distance relationship are somewhat different from those needed for a live-together or other local relationship. [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan said that she hadn't really thought of that, and it made sense and would probably be useful to her. At the same time, some of what's less obvious, or less necessary, can still be useful: I'm not going to shop with Adrian, or Q, as often as with Cattitude, of course, but I'm glad to have done things like buy groceries together, and to know where their grocery stores are. That conversation also included Davey and Pamela, and I think [livejournal.com profile] dd_b for a bit. I did go into the party room long enough to see James get the Singer bowl, and look at it under UV light.

I got to taste both mangosteens and green Darjeeling at the Sunday night "Survivors' Tea Party." I ate probably about 3/4 of a mangosteen in the course of a couple of hours; I'd happily have had more, but it seemed unkind, since there were fewer mangosteens than people, and I wasn't the only person who liked them. I had stopped after two sections, but it eventually became clear that they weren't being gobbled up, so I took more, as well as doing the peeling so others could try them. As Singer had mentioned earlier in the weekend, green Darjeelings taste quite different from the black Darjeeling I'm used to. I like them, and should find one I like to keep here. (For the most part, I strongly prefer black tea, but it will keep me up at night.) Also some good chocolate, because chocolate is good, but it was a kind I already knew and liked, the Cote d'Or Noir de Noir that Singer introduced me to four years ago in Montreal.
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I spent a week in Montreal, ending with the Farthing Party; [livejournal.com profile] adrian_turtle joined us Wednesday evening. touristy stuff here )

The three of us had dinner Thursday night with [livejournal.com profile] mrissa (who I've been getting to know mostly via email, though Adrian and I met her briefly in May) and her partner [livejournal.com profile] timprov. We went to an all-you-can-eat "Asian fusion" place, which was decent east Asian food (it mostly felt Chinese, but there were Vietnamese-style summer rolls and Thai noodles). That was where I discovered that there is cooked spinach I'm willing, even happy, to eat, because it doesn't have the slimy texture spinach usually gets when cooked. They called it crispy spinach. It's light, a bit sweet, looks like bright green folded paper, and has a texture somewhat akin to nori. We talked at length there, and then a while at Suite 88, after which we all decided it was time to go back to our rooms, maybe read a bit, and fall over.

Before the con, I'd been looking forward to spending more time with [livejournal.com profile] mrissa, and had no idea what I'd think of Timprov. I knew he was a decent person, but that didn't guarantee we'd connect. I had a very good time talking with both of them, that evening and later in the con, about all sorts of stuff: it's good to deepen a friendship, and it's good to make a new friend.

Bees are soft. I learned that Friday afternoon, from [livejournal.com profile] jonsinger, who explained how to stroke one gently while it's on a flower.

[livejournal.com profile] papersky's pre-con post on Friday afternoon activities included "Or, well, other options." At brunch, I was waxing enthusiastic about my, Cattitude, and Adrian's outing to the Jardin Botanique the day before. [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan and Davey expressed interest, so I offered to take a group. (The groups she and [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel were leading were to Ile Ste Helene and the Musee des Beaux Arts, which I've also been to a few times, so it wasn't a sacrifice: nor a financial one, as I'd bought a yearly membership this spring.) It wound up being us, Jon Singer, Cally, and [livejournal.com profile] zorinth as my co-guide. (I was more or less in charge, but he knows his way around the garden better than I do.) We spent more time in the Alpine Garden, which I'd truncated on Thursday because we were tired by then. I'm getting fonder and fonder of the Alpine Garden, at every season. We sniffed lots of roses, of course, and other flowers; wandered through the First Nations Garden (I think that was Davey's suggestion); and looked at the lanterns in the Chinese Garden. The lanterns are a special exhibit for autumn. The exhibit officially began that evening, though some of it was there the day before: lots of paper lanterns in different colors and illustrations, some lit even in the day, plus a paper model of a dragon boat and similar follies floating on the pond. We liked it. On the way out of the Jardin Botanique, we stopped in the Aquatic Garden, where a lotus that had been almost open the day before was open enough to smell clearly when we edged onto the barrier between two pools and leaned over. I'm not good at describing smells, and lotus doesn't remind me of another flower: sweet, and deep, but not especially strong, nor cloying. There were many good things about that visit, but it might have been worth it just for that. Taking my beloveds there on Thursday, and time with just them, had been delightful; this was again delightful, in a slightly different key.

My favorite panel was--again--the Sunday morning "joy of reading" one, eight or ten people each reading short pieces they liked, or excerpts from longer works. Rysmiel did a piece of Peter Fleming that I'd heard them read before; [livejournal.com profile] pnh gave us the bit about "The Tragedy of Leonid Brezhnev, Prince of Muscovy" from Ken Macleod's Newton's Wake; [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks did two of Italo Calvino's invisible cities; I think it was TNH did a piece of Mike Ford's The Last Hot Time; and James Macdonald read a short story about a writer whose characters demand better stories to be in. I don't recall the rest offhand, but it was all good.

Conversely, I don't think "A Good Read" came together as well as the version last year had; the panelists said they had been rushed in their preparations, and it showed in that I don't think anyone had had time to read, let alone read and digest, all four books. Weirdly, the asterisk panel at the other end of the con also didn't work as well as usual. Cattitude suggested later that the problem may have been too much familiarity with each other: that panel works in part by having an audience prepared to say "what's that?" a lot. [It's worked very well at Minicon, where it started, as well as at last year's Farthing Party.] Mostly what we got was some cool stuff about book restoration and preservation, from Rush, and more than I expected about comics.

The panel on "A Different Magic" was partly from the writer's point of view: ways to make magic new and interesting rather than just another technology or "be careful what you asked for" story. The panelists also talked about writing magicians/wizards/what-have-you who weren't from the very familiar mold of either trained-as-such or specific creative professions. Fantasy is full of magically talented people whose other jobs or previous life is as musicians and writers; there aren't a lot of painters or actors, and where are the magically-talented architects, choreographers, and jewelers? Where is the really creative bureaucrat or taxi driver? (That last was my contribution, with notes on the potential magical or practical value of always knowing the landscape around you, and how to get places in the fastest possible way. [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll came up with an example of one in a story he'd read.)

"Writing for All Ages" and "Making Real Things and Making Things Real" were also largely from the writer's viewpoint (rather than primarily from the reader's, though of course all the panelists do read the stuff). "Fantasy of Manners" mostly left me with the feeling that there is no agreement on what the term includes, or the characteristics of the subgenre; [livejournal.com profile] pameladean mouthed an eloquently silent "What?!" when someone suggested her novel Tam Lin as an example.

I found Sunday's programming more appealing than Saturday's (from descriptions ahead of time), but a person still needs to eat. It turned out that [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll felt similarly, so we carried him off to a nearby cafe; all I really remember of the conversation was the US-Canadian bit of the Napoleonic wars, and James noting that yes, the Americans had burned York (Ontario, now Toronto) in that war, but so had the Canadians.

"Kings, Seventh Sons, and the Lamentable Absence of Millers' Daughters" was about the politics of fantasy--specifically, the long-standing question of whether,and in what ways, all those fantasy monarchies and lords are inherently undemocratic. I don't have notes, unfortunately, so can't really say much beyond that it went well, and that I was reminded of, but didn't try to interject, Le Guin's idea that the kings in fairy tales are genuinely good and, in those stories, fit for rule in ways that real kings are not. (Her specific example was Gwydion son of Don. Le Guin is also the woman who described a character as "one born, for once, king of the right country.")

Saturday night I mostly spent in outside-the-party room conversation: more good time with Mrissa and Timprov. Adrian and M'ris were both having problems with the lighting and other physical atmosphere in the party room, so we, and a changing group of other people, talked in the hall outside and listened to the music from a distance. There was a good discussion of relationships of various sorts. Adrian noted that the things that are needed to maintain and nurture a long-distance relationship are somewhat different from those needed for a live-together or other local relationship. [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan said that she hadn't really thought of that, and it made sense and would probably be useful to her. At the same time, some of what's less obvious, or less necessary, can still be useful: I'm not going to shop with Adrian, or Q, as often as with Cattitude, of course, but I'm glad to have done things like buy groceries together, and to know where their grocery stores are. That conversation also included Davey and Pamela, and I think [livejournal.com profile] dd_b for a bit. I did go into the party room long enough to see James get the Singer bowl, and look at it under UV light.

I got to taste both mangosteens and green Darjeeling at the Sunday night "Survivors' Tea Party." I ate probably about 3/4 of a mangosteen in the course of a couple of hours; I'd happily have had more, but it seemed unkind, since there were fewer mangosteens than people, and I wasn't the only person who liked them. I had stopped after two sections, but it eventually became clear that they weren't being gobbled up, so I took more, as well as doing the peeling so others could try them. As Singer had mentioned earlier in the weekend, green Darjeelings taste quite different from the black Darjeeling I'm used to. I like them, and should find one I like to keep here. (For the most part, I strongly prefer black tea, but it will keep me up at night.) Also some good chocolate, because chocolate is good, but it was a kind I already knew and liked, the Cote d'Or Noir de Noir that Singer introduced me to four years ago in Montreal.
I got a very nice email from [livejournal.com profile] papersky a few days ago, inviting me to be on a panel at the Farthing Party. I thought about it for a few days--the topic looked plausible, and the other panelists she'd invited all seemed like good people to be on a panel with--before deciding that what I concluded after Wiscon still holds. I need a break from being on convention panels: I've gotten into a state, or mindset, where the nervousness beforehand outweighs the pleasure and satisfaction of being on a good panel.

That's when it does go well: when the topic is reasonable (including reasonably well-defined, and of a size suited to the available time), and I and the other panelists are prepared, and we don't walk into the room with badly conflicting agendas. Those characteristics define most of the programming I've been on, I'm happy to say. But the last few cons, I'm not getting out enough to be worth what it takes out of me, even with something like the Bechdel panel this past Wiscon.

Having thought about this, and concluded that I didn't feel significantly different now than I had in late May, I wrote back declining the invitation, and explaining. I mostly wanted to note the difference between "not that panel" and "not this year."

I almost certainly won't fill out a program participant questionnaire for the upcoming Wiscon, for the same reasons (only moreso, because there are likely to be an order of magnitude more people at Wiscon).

This is an instance of the general thought that this is a hobby, it's supposed to be fun, and if it's not, it's probably time to stop doing it. (In this case, I haven't taken on organizational responsibilities, which simplifies things: there are better and worse ways to unravel oneself from those.)
I got a very nice email from [livejournal.com profile] papersky a few days ago, inviting me to be on a panel at the Farthing Party. I thought about it for a few days--the topic looked plausible, and the other panelists she'd invited all seemed like good people to be on a panel with--before deciding that what I concluded after Wiscon still holds. I need a break from being on convention panels: I've gotten into a state, or mindset, where the nervousness beforehand outweighs the pleasure and satisfaction of being on a good panel.

That's when it does go well: when the topic is reasonable (including reasonably well-defined, and of a size suited to the available time), and I and the other panelists are prepared, and we don't walk into the room with badly conflicting agendas. Those characteristics define most of the programming I've been on, I'm happy to say. But the last few cons, I'm not getting out enough to be worth what it takes out of me, even with something like the Bechdel panel this past Wiscon.

Having thought about this, and concluded that I didn't feel significantly different now than I had in late May, I wrote back declining the invitation, and explaining. I mostly wanted to note the difference between "not that panel" and "not this year."

I almost certainly won't fill out a program participant questionnaire for the upcoming Wiscon, for the same reasons (only moreso, because there are likely to be an order of magnitude more people at Wiscon).

This is an instance of the general thought that this is a hobby, it's supposed to be fun, and if it's not, it's probably time to stop doing it. (In this case, I haven't taken on organizational responsibilities, which simplifies things: there are better and worse ways to unravel oneself from those.)
[livejournal.com profile] desayunoencama just posted that he'd noticed, and been unhappy with, a lack of an organized queer presence at Wiscon, something he had felt and appreciated in previous years. In response, I wrote a bit about one of my panels, and am expanding that a bit here to talk more about the panel itself.

Sunday afternoon, I was on a panel about Alison Bechdel's book Fun Home, which by design and in practice discussed the possible reasons for and effects of the book's unexpected acceptance in mainstream contexts as well as the book as book, in terms of structure, content, stylistic choices, and how we (panelists and audience members) had reacted to it. The discussion went into details like the book as artifact, and what that says about support by the publisher; Bechdel's choice to use limited color; the inclusion of quotes from the Western literary canon; the nonlinear, or maybe spiraling narration; and the ways that Bechdel grounds her personal story in what was going on in the world, and how that connects to what she's done over many years in Dykes to Watch Out For.

It was a very good panel. At the end, the moderator asked each of us what we would like to have happen as a consequence (either causal or sequential) of Fun Home success. I came up with something about more cross-fertilization, I don't remember what the next three people said, and then the last panelist, who came at things from a comics background, actually said that she expected to read more by and about lesbians, which she hadn't previously done because she isn't one. I interrupted and said "We read about straight people."

I shouldn't have to be having that interaction at Wiscon, at a panel about a book by Alison Bechdel.

[footnotes: I'm not naming the person who said that because there were two panelists I didn't know, and I'm not sure which it was. Janet Lafler might, but she's not reachable right now. And yes, I'm bisexual rather than exclusively lesbian.]
[livejournal.com profile] desayunoencama just posted that he'd noticed, and been unhappy with, a lack of an organized queer presence at Wiscon, something he had felt and appreciated in previous years. In response, I wrote a bit about one of my panels, and am expanding that a bit here to talk more about the panel itself.

Sunday afternoon, I was on a panel about Alison Bechdel's book Fun Home, which by design and in practice discussed the possible reasons for and effects of the book's unexpected acceptance in mainstream contexts as well as the book as book, in terms of structure, content, stylistic choices, and how we (panelists and audience members) had reacted to it. The discussion went into details like the book as artifact, and what that says about support by the publisher; Bechdel's choice to use limited color; the inclusion of quotes from the Western literary canon; the nonlinear, or maybe spiraling narration; and the ways that Bechdel grounds her personal story in what was going on in the world, and how that connects to what she's done over many years in Dykes to Watch Out For.

It was a very good panel. At the end, the moderator asked each of us what we would like to have happen as a consequence (either causal or sequential) of Fun Home success. I came up with something about more cross-fertilization, I don't remember what the next three people said, and then the last panelist, who came at things from a comics background, actually said that she expected to read more by and about lesbians, which she hadn't previously done because she isn't one. I interrupted and said "We read about straight people."

I shouldn't have to be having that interaction at Wiscon, at a panel about a book by Alison Bechdel.

[footnotes: I'm not naming the person who said that because there were two panelists I didn't know, and I'm not sure which it was. Janet Lafler might, but she's not reachable right now. And yes, I'm bisexual rather than exclusively lesbian.]
Having posted my tentative schedule, I just came home and found a revised schedule in my email:

The Tragedy of Change (Feminism, Sex, and Gender) remains at 9:00-10:15 p.m. Saturday in Senate A. Panelists: Rebecca K. Rowe, M: Vicki Rosenzweig, Jodi Anne Piwoni, Alicia Ellen Goranson, Gregory Frost [One change to the panel membership; I sent the new person a copy of yesterday's email-to-panelists about how I moderate.]

Fun Home (Feminism, Sex, and Gender) has been moved to 4:00-5:15 p.m. Sunday. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] pantryslut. The list of panelists for that is now: Vicki Rosenzweig, JJ Pionke, Jenni Moody, Janet Lafler, M: Rachel Sharon Edidin

This schedule feels more manageable, in part because I'm no longer on the "this could be a doctoral thesis" panel about changes in feminism over the last 30 years, and where we're going from here; and in part because instead of the Fun Home panel being late at night and three of us, it's mid-afternoon and five of us.

I bought my airline tickets yesterday: arriving early afternoon Friday, departing mid-afternoon Monday. [And bus tickets to visit [livejournal.com profile] adrian_turtle next weekend, but that's only very loosely connected.]
Having posted my tentative schedule, I just came home and found a revised schedule in my email:

The Tragedy of Change (Feminism, Sex, and Gender) remains at 9:00-10:15 p.m. Saturday in Senate A. Panelists: Rebecca K. Rowe, M: Vicki Rosenzweig, Jodi Anne Piwoni, Alicia Ellen Goranson, Gregory Frost [One change to the panel membership; I sent the new person a copy of yesterday's email-to-panelists about how I moderate.]

Fun Home (Feminism, Sex, and Gender) has been moved to 4:00-5:15 p.m. Sunday. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] pantryslut. The list of panelists for that is now: Vicki Rosenzweig, JJ Pionke, Jenni Moody, Janet Lafler, M: Rachel Sharon Edidin

This schedule feels more manageable, in part because I'm no longer on the "this could be a doctoral thesis" panel about changes in feminism over the last 30 years, and where we're going from here; and in part because instead of the Fun Home panel being late at night and three of us, it's mid-afternoon and five of us.

I bought my airline tickets yesterday: arriving early afternoon Friday, departing mid-afternoon Monday. [And bus tickets to visit [livejournal.com profile] adrian_turtle next weekend, but that's only very loosely connected.]
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Oct. 9th, 2006 08:15 pm)
I just threw out a jacket that I'd put away last Spring, knowing it was badly ripped in ways that probably aren't fixable (a tear in the patterned fabric, exposing the layer of fabric that made it a mid-weight Spring/Fall jacket).

I'll miss it, but I'm sure I got my money's worth. I picked it up at a consignment shop several years back, while in Seattle for a week between Corflu and Potlatch; that was the year they were both in Seattle, on consecutive weekends. I stayed with [livejournal.com profile] alanro and [livejournal.com profile] shikzoid for the time between the cons, except for the side trip to Vancouver with [livejournal.com profile] marykaykare, [livejournal.com profile] akirlu, and [livejournal.com profile] libertango. My Vancouver aquarium shirt is still in good shape, but it was new when I bought it.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Oct. 9th, 2006 08:15 pm)
I just threw out a jacket that I'd put away last Spring, knowing it was badly ripped in ways that probably aren't fixable (a tear in the patterned fabric, exposing the layer of fabric that made it a mid-weight Spring/Fall jacket).

I'll miss it, but I'm sure I got my money's worth. I picked it up at a consignment shop several years back, while in Seattle for a week between Corflu and Potlatch; that was the year they were both in Seattle, on consecutive weekends. I stayed with [livejournal.com profile] alanro and [livejournal.com profile] shikzoid for the time between the cons, except for the side trip to Vancouver with [livejournal.com profile] marykaykare, [livejournal.com profile] akirlu, and [livejournal.com profile] libertango. My Vancouver aquarium shirt is still in good shape, but it was new when I bought it.
redbird: London travelcard showing my face (travelcard)
( Sep. 19th, 2006 12:02 pm)
The Farthing Party was a small convention (four dozen people), connected to the publication of [livejournal.com profile] papersky's most recent novel: people talked about books, and about the rest of the world, and ate lots of good food (she lives in Montreal, which helps). The people who were there were friends who she invited specifically; people who read her LJ; and I think a few people who came with people in one of those groups.

socializing, in various shapes )

programming, pottery, and languages )

pottery, languages, hearing )

food )
redbird: London travelcard showing my face (travelcard)
( Sep. 19th, 2006 12:02 pm)
The Farthing Party was a small convention (four dozen people), connected to the publication of [livejournal.com profile] papersky's most recent novel: people talked about books, and about the rest of the world, and ate lots of good food (she lives in Montreal, which helps). The people who were there were friends who she invited specifically; people who read her LJ; and I think a few people who came with people in one of those groups.

socializing, in various shapes )

programming, pottery, and languages )

pottery, languages, hearing )

food )
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Aug. 23rd, 2006 05:12 pm)
I just noticed that I was listed as moderating a panel at the Farthing Party. I've just left [livejournal.com profile] papersky a comment asking her to find someone else. Sometimes I moderate well, but I don't think I'm the right moderator for this panel, and I don't think we discussed it. If we did and I said yes in email three months ago, Jo, I'm sorry, but I still think someone else would be a better choice.


ETA: I've discussed this with Jo in email, and we're leaving the question open for a bit.
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