WisCon!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 08:43
epershand: Interlaced fingers, with a tattoo that reads "bookworm" (Frank bookworm)
Huzzah! I am starting to get my WisCon logistics in hand! So with no further ado, my 2012 WisCon logistics post!

I'm arriving in Madison on the evening of Tuesday, May 22, and leaving freakishly early on Monday, May 28 (No Monday programming for me. Sadface.) The delightful [personal profile] were_duck is putting me up for the duration \o/. My early arrival means that I'll actually get to do things like karaoke--yay!

(Madisonians - if you have time, l'd love to have pre-con hangouts with you Wednesday or Thursday. And if you're looking at this and speculating that I will be available to help you with last-minute convention prep tasks, then... that is possible. As long as your task doesn't involve dust.)

I'm currently on the following two panels (I've offered a third, but have no idea if I'll land on it)

Feminist Open Source Fandom Sat, 4:00–5:15 pm

There have now been several excellent Open Source projects that both adopted explicitly-feminist policies and addressed pressing needs of fandom, most notably Archive of Our Own and Dreamwidth. It is proposed that fandom offers an alternative to the established open source software culture, one that is more welcoming of feminist ideals. How have these projects succeeded? In what ways did their feminist stance enable that success? In what ways do their products reflect these same ideals? How do open source and feminism complement or conflict? What can we, as both participants and users, do to extend, build on or replicate these successes? How can we extend this consciousness to other axes of oppression and under-representation?

Gender-Variant Characters in SF (moderator) Sun, 8:30–9:45 am

Let's explore how gender variance and/or variant/trans* characters are represented in Science Fiction. How often are gender-variant characters used for the purpose of examining the experiences of cisgender individuals? How often is the variance of these characters integrated into a character/individual level experience? The example of the former, a planet-of-hats scenario (such as was done on Star Trek) in which a whole society is genderless/gender-variant, comes to mind. Mass Effect is an example of the use of a "mono-gendered" (yet hyper-sexualized) race, the Asari. How about a story where a whole species is genderless or gender-variant? Dragon Age 2 has one of the most prominent examples of a trans* character, Serendipity.

Note: I would love your suggestions of books and other things I should take a look at for Gender-Variant Characters in SF. I've got some existing favorites but would love more.
epershand: Bicycle and the text "we have nothing to lose but our chains" (Bike communism)
I'm still in my PJs, having a late breakfast in [personal profile] oliviacirce's apartment while its full-time residents are off at a T.A. training. The clock on my laptop is still in Pacific time, so I can pretend it's only almost 9 and not almost noon, la la la. (I was totally up in time to have gone to my 8am PST meeting this morning. I blew a raspberry at my clock and started reading my DW backlog instead. Vacation rocks.)

As expected, I feel *much* better than I did yesterday, although the long-standing item on my to-do list "talk to a doctor about the severity of your first day period symptoms and see if you can find a way to lighten them" has definitely gotten an additional underline. I've been procrastinating in part because my gender stuff has lately been saying SEE IF YOU CAN MAKE THE PERIOD GO AWAY ENTIRELY and the "practical"/procrastinatey part of my brain has been saying DO YOU REALLY WANT TO INTRODUCE ANOTHER CHEMICAL COMPLICATION NOW THAT YOU'RE SETTLED ON A COURSE OF BRAIN MEDS THAT WORKS WELL FOR YOU? But I can't afford to spend a day a month curled up in a ball of pain, so.

Bandom extravaganza tonight! *does little dance*

OH. Last night I forgot to talk about my pre-pain airplane adventures. Namely, the fact that either Adam Savage or his STRIKING DOPPELGÄNGER was on my flight. Is he booked to do any New York events right now? Because it could totally have been him. Wearing a pink button-down shirt. Yes.

In narcissism news, I invite you to giggle at my startlingly trendy bed-head with me )
epershand: Quark, looking suspicious. (Quark is not impressed)
All the travel worked out in an orderly fashion and was easy, which naturally meant that something else had to go wrong--namely, I got my period mid-flight in a drastically bad way, and the resulting tension from nausea + altitude change + turbulence turned into a set of all-over cramps that left me curled up into a ball on the airport floor for a solid hour before I got my legs to stop trembling enough that I was able to leave the airport. On the way out, I stopped at one of those ridiculous airport spa places that always offers massages for some reason, and I GOT A MASSAGE, and literally that is the reason I was able to make it to [personal profile] oliviacirce's place.

UM SO I'M MOSTLY BETTER NOW. And it's generally only one day out of each period that is this bad, so I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow will be substantially better because PANIC(!)! NEON TREES! BLACK CARDS! ETC.

So... if you expected to hear from me today (for instance, if we were trying to make plans for this weekend) and you have not... that is why. I am currently using a laptop for the first time today.

But while I was in the air I finally finished reading every story in the eyai verse, and that was *well* worth the entire day, really. If you haven't read the eyai verse, it's a shared origfic universe done by a group of brilliant fannish writers, breathtakingly beautiful, all gorgeous Victoriana and clockwork and nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. [personal profile] nextian's got a primer here, and [livejournal.com profile] girl_wonder's got a masterlist here.

On reflection, I think my two favorite individual stories are billet-doux and torque & other nouns, but in large part it's because the worldbuilding is so fabulous and they each provide an intimate side-view of it from characters who are not centrally involved in the main arc of the revolution and counter-revolution. And, who am I kidding, also because they're the two stories that hit the gender and sexuality angles of the eyai and I am nothing if not predictable.

Also! sasha_feather asked me about five of my icons. note: one of the icons behind this cut is animated. )
epershand: "No exit" (No Exit)
I am settled into the apartment of the lovely [personal profile] oliviacirce. Hurrah! I'm in New York for the week, but am not on vacation and will mostly be at work. But *wow* is it lovely to be staying here and be able to claim all the cuddles I can.

I did a lot of traveling today, possibly all of it. Foolishly I spent much of the time reading about 1930s Berlin, and so I am compelled to write the following Letter to the Past:

Dear Martha Dodd, circa 1933,

Look, I am totally against slut-shaming, and I don't want to slut-shame you or anything. BUT.

If you are going to have simultaneous affairs with lots and lots of men, *maybe* Berlin in 1933 isn't the time and place to do it? And maybe the men in question shouldn't include the Nazi head of the Foreign Press Bureau? And also the head of the Gestapo? And also the first secretary of the Soviet embassy in Berlin (who is also a spy)?

Look, I get that you're the daughter of the US Ambassador and all but. I can't help feel that things are going to end badly for you, even if I haven't spoiled myself with Wikipedia. Your lifestyle is kind of making me nervous.

Love,
Epershand


(Friends, if you too are interested in stressing yourself out a lot about the stupidness of stupid Americans in Berlin in the 1930s, may I recommend Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts? WARNING: These Americans are impressively foolish. And tragically non-fictional and in power.)

Drive-by post

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 06:27
epershand: A stick figure watching the gap. (Watch the Gap)
Hi internet! I keep ignoring you while I am on vacation! It has been a lovely vacation so far! There was a college Reunion! There was a train ride! There has been NYC! I am wrangling last-minute Panic tickets and if that doesn't work there is the prospect of Period Movie Night with a bunch of folks from college.

WisCon logistics, before I forget that there is an internet at all...

[livejournal.com profile] eccentric_hat, [personal profile] oliviacirce and I will be arriving in Madison mid-afternoon on Thursday. The hatted one and I will be staying with [personal profile] aamcnamara; Olivia will be staying with her parents. I'm leaving late Monday morning.

I'm planning on attending Geekeoke Thursday night and will be dividing my time between the FOGcon party and the Vidding party on Friday night. I'm on two panels (FAIL! and Your Fandom is OK) on Sunday); the rest of my weekend is currently gloriously unscheduled.

I almost certainly want to have a meal or something with you (yes, you), but it may be in a large crowd.

La!

whoops, almost tagged this post "fogcon" instead of "wiscon"
epershand: An ampersand (Default)
Success : survived the week of Do All the Things Before Vacation. Did... most of the things. Except for the social ones, did none of those.

Success : did not miss redeye flight last night, despite trying REALLY hard.

Still to do : figure out how to get from BDL to campus in three hours. That was the other thing I didn't do. #whoops?

Boarding time nao! See you on the other side!

ETA at Bradley. Transit acquired. Whew.
epershand: A rainbow of colored pencils. (rainbow)
WOW, what a weekend. Saw lots of people briefly, spent large stretches of the weekend prone with laughter. In summary:

Woke up at 3am on Friday, slept for most of flight to Boston. Discovered lack of food at Logan Airport, hopped over to South Station for foodstuffs. Got in touch with [personal profile] yarngeek, who met me at South Station after she left work for the week. Hung out until [livejournal.com profile] eccentric_hat arrived from her plane, 1.5 hours later. Was enthusiastic about Isherwood. Read lots of Yiddish Policeman's Union while I waited.

With Barbara and Marjorie, went to Cambridge, met [livejournal.com profile] militantgeek and Joyce-who-isn't-technically-an-FP-anymore-is-she for dinner. Bid a fond adieu to Barbara and Joyce and went to see Cabaret at ART.

mini review )

We had a long distance to travel before the next morning, so we took off immediately from Boston, spent longer than reasonable trying to escape the labyrinth that is the Boston street system, and finally made our way to Concord, NH, for the evening. The late-night hotel clerk was one of those very New England middle-aged man, complete with very strong New Hampshire accent and skeptical attitude. We woke up 5 hours later and set out for Burlington. The main thing that New Hampshire affords, in addition to its beautiful vistas full of peep-worthy leaves, is very many jokes about libertarianism and the tragic demise of the Old Man in the Mountain. For instance: "Little known fact, 'live free' is New Hampshire for 'own a sawed-off shotgun.' So the motto is really 'own a sawed-off shotgun or die.'" We amused ourselves thusly until we crossed the Connecticut River (HEARTS) into the Green Mountain State.

We got to the Burlington area around 9:30 and stopped for breakfast before the wedding. [livejournal.com profile] manifesto_tea is married, guys! Wedding-type details: she wore a home-made dress and her SPOUSE omg Jaska wore a tuxedo shirt and a kilt that Katie had made. The ceremony itself was short and sweet, and then we went to the reception, which was at a farmhouse that belonged to a family friend. The reception was really lovely. We sat at a table with some of Jaska's friends and learned that J is in fact a very good egg. The dancing was contra, the sun was shining, the new spouses were charming and lovely. We mostly hung out in the shade with some of J's friends and watched the dancers, rather than participating. At the very end, before they took off for their honeymoon, K and J signed their marriage certificate.

For the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday we hung out in Burlington. We saw the Lake Champlain waterfront, and very many excitingly decorated statues of cows. We did not see Champ. Dani's dad arrived Saturday night and hung out with us on Sunday--it was really good to see him. Finally, the [livejournal.com profile] militantgeek family left Marjorie and I at the airport while they went on with their planned Maine adventures. On the way home I started reading Wolf Hall, which is just as good as everyone says it is.

And now I am, sad to say, back in the real world. Not recommended. In all, I'm glad I was able to cram so much in to the weekend, but I'm left feeling like I really need to find another time for a dedicated visit with K and J.

Back

Monday, 5 July 2010 16:22
epershand: An ampersand (Default)
Back from Israel. Taking the afternoon to decompress, do laundry, get nails done (trust me, after 10 days of hiking in the desert, the last one is a priority).

It has been the most physically intensive and among the most emotionally intensive 10 days of my life. I have climbed rock faces, crawled on my belly through narrow cave systems designed to hide from the Romans, and waded through waist-deep water. I have talked to soldiers, Rabbis, peace activists. I only had one attempted brainwashing. I watched the sunrise from Masada and floated in the Dead Sea, and rode a camel, all in one day. I sang "Shir La'shalom" in Rabin Square and "Eli Eli" at Chanah Senesh's grave and "Bohemian Rhapsody" underground and "Shalom Alechem" really loudly on the bus so airport security wouldn't stop us to look through our luggage (it worked). I spent 10 days traveling on a bus with the same group of 43 people and don't hate any of them, and love a good fraction of them.

More later, but for now I just have to say... Taglit is an incredible program. Israel is a beautiful and a welcoming and a fucked up and a divided country, and Taglit shows you ::all of it.::
epershand: An ampersand (Default)
Hey, remember that time I got on a red-eye flight with only antihistamines to make me sleep, and then got off the plane in the morning in Chicago, a city I'd never visited before, went directly to an office building downtown, showered in an anonymous corporate fitness center, and proceeded to do a day's work before dashing off to catch a bus to Madison?

Yeah, today is definitely joining "inadvertently spending the night in a train station in Wales" on the growing list of totally senseless Molly travel plans, isn't it?

But I'm actually surprisingly alert, I've got a charming little conference room to myself, and I really did get an acceptable amount of sleep last night. So, let's hope it lasts for the day and I don't collapse at any point.

La.

(no subject)

Friday, 2 April 2010 14:46
epershand: (lemele)
Florida: win.

[livejournal.com profile] militantgeek: More win. Also guilt tripping me about being on the internet right now.

I got off the plane yesterday and Dani took me directly to the beach. Since then I have been to a swimming pool and a hotspring, and also hung out with nuns. These are, it seems, the central ways to amuse oneself in the greater Orlando area. I hear rumors that there are also "amusement parks" in this city, but I am pretty sure they are not as much fun as hanging out with nuns is.

Dani reminds me that I also saw a manatee and touched a palm tree. And surfackers! [The broader internet tells me that what we saw was "surf kayaking", but Dani and I choose to disagree. Why use two words when you can coin a portmanteau?]

In other news, April is definitely the hottest month on the hot priest calendar. There was much rejoicing when they turned the page today.

Addendum: Neither of us is Catholic. The nuns Dani works for do a whole lot of cigarette-smoking, drinking, and swearing for nuns. (Yesterday Dani had to reassure me that it was ok to wear my pro-evolution t-shirt into the Catholic aid center yesterday. It cracked the nuns up.)

Addendum 2: Dani needs to learn how to hug people. Stat.

Florida ho!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 21:58
epershand: An ampersand (Default)
I might be tired and headachey and getting on a plane. But when I wake up on the other end there will be warm ocean and palm trees and national poetry month and (best of all) [livejournal.com profile] militantgeek.

Well worth it, I am quite sure. Time to turn off the phone and sleep.
epershand: An astrolabe. (Astrolabe)
(xposted with RL blog. Sorry if you've seen this three times.)

Hey guys,

I'm like, in Ireland and stuff this week. We're pushing out a big stage of my big project this week, and so the two members of our team who are in the States came over to Dublin for a weeklong intensive with the guy on our team who is here (he got to come to Mountain View the last 4 times we worked together in person).

Having the entire team in the same time zone is pretty awesome for getting stuff done.

Also, it turns out that Ireland in the winter is the prettiest thing that ever happened. The sunlight shifts down in horizontal shafts from the clouds, illuminating the hills that you can see just over the city skyline and lighting up patches of grass and heather.

We got in Sunday morning, and rented a car to do a wee bit of tourism before settling in to Dublin for the week. We drove down to Wicklow and wandered around in Glendalough, which I think might have a direct connection to Avalon.



Lest they be remembered

My breathing hasn't quite returned to normal. If I stayed in this country for too long, I'd probably have no choice but to become a poet. Or worse, spend all my time going tira-lira like Lancelot.

I'm celebrating the completion of the project by taking next week off and being an itinerant in Europe. Trains and ferries are going to be my friend, and I'm hopefully going to see some theatre, punt on the Thames, bike around Amsterdam, and the like (most of next week I'll be in the Netherlands, but my flight back to the States leaves from London.) Life is hard.

I'm going to be continually updating the photoset I've temporarily called Eurotrip, if you want to follow along. I'll probably rename it as soon as I come up with a more obscure reference to that excellent film (and no, "Scotty Doesn't Know" doesn't count, I've decided.)

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epershand: An ampersand (Default)
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