Monthly Archives: August 2006

My insane pre-Worldcon con ideas

I have been thinking of taking responsibilities at conventions to gain experience to use towards Project Management. For years I have been avoiding being put in a position that required much responsibility the few times I was willing to work a con. The following are the insane ideas I had for working upcoming cons that I worked hard to put on a back burner until after Worldcon. I might do a few, hopefully only a few. I have already shown that it is easy for to overextend myself, and if I am not enjoying them, then I shouldn’t be doing them. The sane route would be to do none of them and just attend the ones I think I might enjoy.

I was going to ask the Co-Chairs if they could use an onsite troubleshooter for the con. I like swooping in and fixing things.

LosCon-Thanksgiving weekend Nov
I am going down to work Con Ops as usual because I promised and I already bought my plane tickets. This year I am going down Thursday to help with load in and leaving Monday night after the garment district tour. It will be the longest I have ever been at LosCon and more work than I have done for this convention before. Still less then Baycon or either Worldcon I have worked. I will be a minion and not in charge of things (other than working hard on our evil ideas that are completely unofficial). Those of us in LosCon Ops that were at the Worldcon keep saying that we can do LosCon in our sleep and probably will. I think we should have ribbons that say “Zzzzzzzz”

Furcon/Further Confusion-Jan
I have been asked if I would be interested in working tech. This would be a con that I don’t have an interested in attending so it would just be experience which is what I was looking for.

Two years ago I impressed the president of the Comic Con/Wondercon/APE organization by my ability at line control. There was a need and I can’t help myself, I must fix the line and I do it in a pleasant humorous way. He asked if I would be interested in volunteering. I was thinking about it because this is a very professional convention and another one that I don’t care for attending that much and would appreciate the experience.

There was talk about making me head of Tech for 07. It would allow me to actually wander the con, talk to the people I want to talk to, be attached to a radio if people need me and solve problems as they arose. I had almost talked myself into it. But there have been problems with a someone that needs working out, I don’t know if there is a head of tech, I am desired to be “night tech” again which will put me in a room with the same hassles I had at the last Baycon that I didn’t like, and I when I found out Elisa (I want to grow up to be able to do what she does without the over commitment side) looks like she is programming second, I had an idea to turn myself over to her as sort of an apprentice. I still think I need to stay away from Baycon but these ideas are chasing themselves around in my head. I don’t know where they will end up.

The original thought was those that were working Baycon would also work Westercon but maybe shift jobs around to provide some balance. I gave up on this idea when I started having trouble with communication with Baycon. This one is not tempting at all. Other than wanting to have the idea of doing everything and not skipping one which is on the road to insanity so it is easy to skip.

Comic Con-July
I went to Comic Con a year ago and didn’t like it. It was too large and too industry oriented (not fan based) for me. I didn’t like the travel to San Deigo. I didn’t like San Deigo. They have loads of cool stuff that I seem to find out about after the ability to get it is over. I had no plans to ever go to it again. But someone asked me if I wanted to work it. I laughed at her until she said that she was doing line and room control. Oh no, my weak spot. Ever since then, it has been running around in the back on my head. It would be another con I don’t want to attend but feel I could be really good at working. And she supposedly has the inside line on the really cool stuff. Oh the suffering I have in the back of my head.

That brings up back to August. Thank whatever that next year’s Worldcon is in Japan and it can’t even tempt me. This amounts to 7 conventions in a year, 8 if I start the counter to just before this Worldcon. I used to think it was insanity to attend 4 conventions in a year. For kicks and giggles, I have also been asked to work Pantheacon and Fanime, have thought about it but made no plans due to the conflict with other plans. I have a tendency to get excited about something and go overboard. It doesn’t feel like I am going overboard but looking at it objectively I can see where I am doing so. The sad bit is I know others that do this much and more and I find myself comparing again (at least until I catch myself at it).

Another funny thing is about a month out of Baycon, I was thinking of what cons I could work to gain the experience I desire and was thinking the next would be Further Confusion. I was a minion for Worldcon and LosCon (until I grabbed a piece of the pie at Worldcon) so they weren’t on my objectives list. Silly silly Gina.

I have been thinking I wanted to get into Project Management and use the cons to gain experience. I think I have clearly show myself that I can’t do it as is. I might be able to work myself up to it but straight out of the gate, it is not something I can take on to the level I thought I could. I just don’t have that ability in me and I hurt myself trying to do it. I think it might be possible to learn how to more accurately gage my abilities and not hurt myself by taking on more than I can comfortably carry. I think I might be able to learn to better handle things so I am more effective. I think I can learn how to manage things and be a good project manager. But I am very aware now that I don’t have these things yet. And I wonder if my enthusiasm for the endeavor was just one of my short lived excitements or if it is something that I really want to do in the long run. I would like to find a way to do more project management where I have different groups working towards a common goal in combination with the production graphics that I do so well and am really comfortable in. I have no idea how to go about finding this but I am putting it out to the universe and keeping my eyes open.

Right now the path I need to take is waiting and watching what comes up. I need to just do what is in front of me now and be happy with that as well as be prepared to move when the time is right if that should ever come up.

The label of my profession: Production Graphics,

I really liked making things at con. Since the LA con organizers bought a 42″ plotter and the Sign shop was a grand success, there is even a possibility that we will be renting out our services to other cons to make signs prior to their events. It would be a great way to pay off the plotter and I like doing the work. I don’t even need to get paid. Most of them are not-for-profit organizations run by fan volunteers. It would be great resume fodder and stuff to put in my portfolio. I have no idea how to organize the LA Con IV stuff in my portfolio since the body of work is so large. I don’t have a count of how many signs I made but I think it is over 50 and most of them look alike with only minor differences. The big thing that shows off my skills is the comparison between them showing how I maintained the design for different purposes but this is too much to put into the portfolio. The cake that Bjo liked goes in though. :)

I figured out what my profession label is. I do Production Graphics. I am not a designer but if you tell me what your vision is, I can use my skills to make it happen. I take the design from the designer and use it to meet needs either by making it ready for mass production or modifying it to keep the integrity of the design while including the necessary elements for the project at hand. I had a lot of opportunity to do this at the convention and I felt comfortable and pleasantly pleased with the work. I even did a modification of standard design that got used on the cake for the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek party that Bjo Tremble hosted. She told me that even the hotel kitchen staff was impressed and excited by how cool the caked looked. Here is a fan that is famous in fandom wanting to have her picture taken with me because I designed an image she used on a cake. I even have pictures of people taking pictures of my cake design. It feels very silly in a cool way.

Connect the dots and super power revised

An interesting thing happened on Sunday at Worldcon. I figured out why I was feeling so rotten and was practicing letting myself feel these negative emotions to see where they go instead of distracting myself. A lot of it had to do with not getting things I wanted and not feeling like I could get what I wanted. That I was setting myself up by wanting things even though the only way to get these things is to be aware you want them. And with what I figured out about my “super power,” the expectation of my abilities was set too high which made the disappointment even harsher. As I was bemoaning this to others, exploring everything about it, it happened again. One of those things I manage to do without even trying that I think is amazing.

There was a dealer of really neat gaming dice ( at the convention. I wanted two of the kind that are covered in skulls( I finally decided to pay the $10 to get a pair. While I was there, I asked if they were going to be at the gaming convention in the Bay Area the next weekend but they were headed home (to Poland). Since I thought their stuff was so neat and I thought I knew of a group of people that would think their stuff was so neat, I asked if they wanted to give me a stack of their brochures to take to the convention. I love playing connect the dots between people and things/events/people they would enjoy. The dealers were very interested, in fact they pushed me to take dice with me. I felt very uncomfortable because this is their merchandise I would be getting for free and I didn’t know if anything I wanted to do for them would produce any results. I play connect the dots a lot but it usually fizzles out once I am no longer involved. But I did end up with about 10 sets of dice and a few of their special dice. They wouldn’t even let me pay for the two I wanted for me. It felt so weird and uncomfortable but in a good way.

So now I am going around, not getting what I wanted but getting something else completely different. I put this into the hopper and realized that my super power isn’t making amazing things happen. Those things happen or don’t happen all on their own. I don’t have any control over them and I was foolish to think I did. It led me to a great disappointment and hurt thinking I did. But I seem to have the ability to find some of these amazing things and sliding just a little to be in the right spot for them to happen to me. More amazing things happen to other people and still others manage to always miss those amazing things. I can sometimes catch them but I can’t control them or make them happen. It isn’t a matter of me not getting what I want but what I need. I don’t need these dice. I think they are cool and I am excited to show them to others that would be excited.

I am not eager to show them to others that would not be excited and am dreading that part. But there are possibilities and I like possibilities. Already I talked to others at the con. Some people were down on the dice because they can be hard to read, but others thought they were cool. One person is taking a stack of brochures to a gaming con in the LA area next weekend. Another is taking a stack to friends and shops in the Seattle area. When I went back for more brochures after others took some, they gave me more dice of the special ones I didn’t take before. I had gotten use to the idea of these being samples to show off instead of them being dice I don’t deserve and should pass onto others that are more appropriate than me. I am grateful for the balance view of excited and uninterested before I go out and try to share my excitement about these things. I think they are cool but that isn’t my excitement. I am excited because I think that others will think they are way cool and I would like them to know about these dice.

Being able to connect someone that wants something with what they want, being able to expose someone to something they didn’t know existed that they would really like, being able to match things that should be together and create more possibilities, these are things I love to do. It makes me feel really good.

This was a bright spot in a low day and very educational.

Personal Worldcon report

This is a post about my experiences at Worldcon 2006 in the LA area. It is full of introspection and some events. It doesn’t really say much about the con itself but how the con affected me. Just wanted to state that since con reports are usually about the con. This was more with the watching and learning about myself.

It is long so it is cut tagged and probably going to be broken into different posts to follow when the content doesn’t fit together.


Someone I know had written in his LJ that when asking why some women wouldn’t date him, the reply was that he had a daughter and daughter = baggage.

This got me thinking about baggage and the attitude that someone having baggage is a bad thing. We all have our baggage and I think it is a good thing. Our baggage is what makes us interesting, someone worthwhile knowing.

When rolling up a character for D&D, if you got 18s and 18+s for all your stats, that is a real boring character. Yes, you would be successful in most things but you would be dull and the game would be dull. Some of the best characters I have had and have seen have been the ones with pretty good stats and one really bad stat. It gave the game life, a challenge to work around, something to really sink your teeth into.

In talking with a friend about this she stated, “Without baggage we would never be able to change our outfits.” I love this. Without baggage, we would be essentially one dimensional. And as any of you that know me, I like having a lot of outfits to choose from and I wear many of them when I can.

I think the most important thing about baggage is not what it is or how much of it you have, but how you handle it. If you don’t handle it well, then yes it can get ugly and people don’t want to be around you. If you don’t work on stacking it well, part fall off, hit the floor and splatter ick all over those around you. I think this is where baggage got the bad name.

My major focus at this point in my life is my baggage and how I handle it. I am working very hard to pull it out, examine it, repack it and stack it neatly so I can get to it easily when needed. All this while dealing properly with the day to day accumulation of more baggage. I am also studying how to work with other people’s baggage and differentiate between theirs and mine. When you start looking at it from this perspective, you can start to see how hard it is to own your own baggage instead of foisting it off on someone else and how hard it is not to accept someone else’s baggage as something you need to deal with.

I am hoping I am managing to assemble a nice set of matching baggage, maybe with wheels so it is easier to drag with me everywhere. Because it does go with me everywhere. And I would like it to all fit together nicely so there is less opportunities for pieces to fall off, scattering those around me with icky Gina goo.

In life’s labor-ynth
We package our past.
Stack it and store it
And try to ignore it.
In barrel and box
Bolted and binned
Days packed away
Awaiting the light
Gathering dust.
Shall we peek within?
Maybe we may.
Maybe we might.
Maybe we must.
~Michael Flynn, “Firestar,” the character Styx

I have been thinking about this “baggage” concept and post for a couple of weeks. I read the above passage tonight and felt moved to write all this out. I poetry doesn’t normally make sense to me. I get lost partway through and things seem pointless and confusing. I am a rather literal person and poetry is not a straight line. Every now and then, I come across the rare poem that not only makes sense to me when I read it but actually speaks to me. These are the ones that I stop and take notice, these are the ones that seem very important because of their rarity.

With my work over the last two years with the labyrinth and the focus I have digging into my past that has been locked away that seems to have come to a head over the last few months, this poem seems very well timed. I really like the concept of Labor-ynth. I am reading Firestar because the author Michael Flynn is going to be at Worldcon and I thought it appropriate to be reading some hard science fiction during a literary science fiction convention. The book was copyrighted in 1996 and I think it is interesting that I am reading it now.

Trouble and my ablity to wiggle

I don’t get into trouble. I try, I put myself in questionable circumstances and I skate through with very little problem.

I have gone off with a couple of guys I just met that spoke very little English for a night of club hopping and came back to the hotel after dawn in Austria.

I have ridden the NY subway at 3am from the Village to Times Square with just some guys from the hotel I had met the day before.

I have hung out with Skinheads drinking beer in a cemetery.

I have traveled parts of Europe on my own.

I walk risky areas of town at night.

I got a ride to a distant city for Halloween with only a math text book, a jumpsuit (another layer of my costume) and my dorm meal card. No ride home, no money beyond a dollar in change, no way to contact my friends who thought I wasn’t coming, no coat (Colorado in Oct is cold). I told my roommate that if I didn’t come back in two weeks to call my dad. (I managed to run into other friends in a wandering crowd of thousands and the friends I was meeting up with turned out to be two buildings from where I ended up standing and they had friends that came down from my college that would give me a ride home. I am still amazed that night worked out).

The last one brings me to the other side of that coin. I have a way of making things work for me. I call it Wiggling. I work the situation to work the best way possible for me.

For my first semester of my Master’s degree, I found a job teaching remedial math (fractions, division, etc.). It was twice a week with two sets of office hours. For this I got all of my tuition and fees paid, half of my medical and $4,000 stipend. The really amazing part is that the paperwork wouldn’t be complete until after the first class started and half the tuition would be due before that. Normally I would have to pay for that half and have it refunded when everything went through. But because I worked the system, I had a signed letter stating that I didn’t need to pay it that I convinced the temp cashiers was enough to waive my tuition and fees.

I have managed to turn in a 23 page research paper that consisted of 5 photocopied pages of an article, one page of an analysis and the rest were typed captions under cutout pieces of the same article. Basically I wrote about three pages. I got an A- on the paper and a request from the professor to use it in the book he was writing for the class.

I managed to go to go to a Worldcon for $200: $10 for a dinner when I arrived in town, $20 for two weapons and some books in the dealer’s room and $170 for the plane flight. All my food and lodgings were comped and I worked what I consider the perfect schedule. All I did was turn myself over to someone as a slave and everything just lined up.

These are some of the big places where I have managed to do things in such a way that everything just falls perfectly into place and I feel like I am just skating by. The hard part is I don’t know how I do this. I don’t know how to make it happen. When it happens that is great, but I can’t count on it. It is a talent of mine but not one I can actively use.

Well, I managed to do it again. My ability to screw up and screw around and have it work out has shown up. I have been having real problems getting to work on time for the last few months. It is a fight with my and my psyche. It has resulted in me only working part time at my current temp assignment but they are paying a very well so I can afford it barely. It isn’t doing anything for refilling the coffers from my unemployment. It was a great opportunity to make money while I can to cover when I don’t have the opportunity. But I couldn’t get in more than 4 hours a day. I am also really efficient and good at what I do so there really wasn’t a need for me to come in that much more.

So, where my ability shows up is that they are offering me a permanent part time position. At $50k a year. And since they don’t carry Kaiser, they will be taking over my Kaiser COBRA payments and then switching to an individual plan when that runs out, which I was planning on doing anyway. And I am working with layouts and artwork in Illustrator, InDesign and handling their html email and designed their one page website. I am stretching myself and it feels good. It is still within what I can do but it is so much more than what I have done for years. Oh, did I mention that they cater lunch every day and pay for my parking.

There is no way I could imagine making this sort of thing happen. I don’t know how it worked out. I know I was a major part of it. If I didn’t do what I do, it wouldn’t have happened. I would love to know how to make this ability to Wiggle work for me on command instead of just amazing me when things like this come together.

I think I am in shock. I should be happy about it but I feel like either it is too good to be true and I am going to be dropped from a higher height or that I will be paying for this in some other way. I know people that need what I have got set up and I actually would like to work more hours. It is good for me to be productive and have structure. I have managed to find a place that pays me to afford to stay and not have a very tight structure.

So it is good news, even if I feel weird and uncomfortable about it.

Loading for bear

I am facing a situation that is getting me angry. I have been put in a position of responsibility and I am finding that I have no power. Someone who I am depending on, that I have to depend on, is not responding to my emails or phone calls. It has been going on for weeks now.

Being ignored, being left in the dark with no information and being powerless are all buttons of mine and stir emotions into the mix. I have a tendency to do something drastic to make myself heard when I feel this is going on. It usually is over the limit of appropriate. It could be foolish, or cut my nose off to spite my face, or just piss others off. I try to avoid situations like this to avoid this sort of problem.

I am to the point where I am pissed. I am ready to do something. I have learned a lot about seeing what I am wanting to do and finding an appropriate way to handle things but nothing has worked so far. I have been loading for bear (getting the really big guns ready and gathering big ammunition), ready to take someone on head to head. I have a great deal of power behind me when I focus. That doesn’t mean I am good at what I do with it, just that I have it.

Well, in finding myself loading for bear, I am realizing how much this is bothering me, that it really is a problem and have worked out some other steps I can take that are more appropriate at this time. I have gotten around to putting those into play and have put off taking more actions for a few days so they have a chance to yield fruit.

I find that part of me is invested in those steps not working because I am ready to go head to head with this person. It is very frustrating to be ready to take some big action and then have to back down from that level without being able to go through the energy. This is all part of growing up, being responsible, behaving in an appropriate manner, being professional.

Bah, I want to be a kid and throw my tantrum. But that would not serve anybody any good.


Mostly just a babble of things that have been haunting my head that I have put in the form of an LJ post.

I have been buying some clothes lately (retail therapy can help) and I noticed something. I have two color palettes I am working with. The Black and White more tailored look and the Brown/Green/Khaki comfortable versions. Almost every shirt I buy is sleeveless because of my issues with heat. It is easier to layer when you have something to work down to. I still have a stonewash denim look but I figure that fits into the Brown/Green category.

Now I have the issue of having no place for my clothes. I have more clothes than I have spaces for them. And I am gaining weight again. What I need to do is go through the closet and pull out the smaller of my clothes but that would require trying things on. And I just don’t have the energy for the effort and organization. Currently a good chunk of clothing is living on the floor of my bedroom, overflowing the chair in my living room and at one end of the couch. Shoes decided about 2-3 weeks ago they didn’t want to be put away and they are all at the base of the clothes chair.

The funny thing about all of this is I know where most everything is and about how many layers down. I haven’t even worn all my new clothes yet. I have a bunch because it was all very cheap.

From time to time, I notice that I match one store more than another. It has been a long time since I got most of my clothes from a Macy’s type department store. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t find a think I liked in Macy’s and that ilk but found wonderful things in Ross. Before that it was Target and Walmart. Last winter, my store was H&M. Currently it looks like my store is JcPenny’s. It doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the clothes, it has to do with what the clothes look like and how they fit what I want. I doubt anyone could tell from my closet what came from where and when it hit the closet (unless you are one of those types that follow fashion very closely, but I don’t think I know anyone like that).