Monthly Archives: June 2005

Last Call For Anthrocon Artists Alley Help

I’m running into a bit of a pinch with staffing, so I thought I’d see if anyone in LJ-land would be willing to help…

I need help with Artists Alley Payout at Anthrocon. We’ve got a good number of folks but I need two or three more to really make things run smoothly. What’s involved? Just an hour to an hour and a half of your time on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of Anthrocon, starting at 4:45 PM on Friday, 2:45 PM on Saturday, or 3:45 PM on Sunday. It’s pretty easy work – you’ll just have to do one small thing, like filling out receipt forms or adding up numbers on a calculator. What’s in it for you? Um, my gratitude, and the gratitude of the artists in Artists Alley for having expedited their payment. You can help each day, or only one or two days – any time you can spare would be appreciated! If you’re interested, you can comment here, or e-mail me at duncan at wolfhusky dot org. Thanks!

It’s Just Right

Some weekends are too busy…some are too lazy. This one was juuuuust right.

On Saturday I left takaza hugging his pillow and mumbling “G’way!” and struck out for Vernon Hills to join roho, genet, feren, and datahawk for lunch at BD’s. The lamb there is just delicious, and really lends itself to my favorite combination of soy, ginger, and garlic. After lunch Data and I headed back to our place where we bummed around for a bit then took the El down to the Lincoln Park Fest (which, it turns out, was right outside the Zoo. We probably still missed you by an hour or so, Quasi). We were joined by chouette and Ed and saw moryssa as well. Carbon Leaf just flat-out rocked. We were standing front and center in front of the stage and I really enjoyed the 90-minute show. There was a huge crowd of fans and it seemed like everyone knew the words to the songs, which is always cool and must be really gratifying to the band. I took some okay pictures of the show with my cell phone – at least you can make out who’s who.

After the show we repaired to the Golden Nugget at Clark and Diversey. We speculated whether this was the diner that was featured on This American Life (it wasn’t) and had a so-so dinner. At least the company was good. Linnaeus, having freed himself from his familial obligations, joined us to mill about a bit and figure out what to do for dessert, but eventually we just decided we were too tired and headed home. We watched a bit of “I’m Alan Partridge” which strikes me (like “Father Ted”) as one of those Britcoms that I should probably find hilarious but I just, well, don’t. Eh. I dozed a bit while we were watching it and eventually was ordered off to bed.

We puttered around a bit on Sunday, relaxing and watching TV a good part of the morning. Eventually we got motivated and Data and I did some shopping while Dan worked on preparations for Anthrocon. I picked up a dandy charcoal chimney at Home Depot and was able to get a lovely bed of coals going in the grill in about 20 minutes. I cooked up some delicious cheeseburgers (garlic overload! woo!), which we finished just in time for the Midwest FurFest online staff meeting to start. We’ve got a lot of work to get done in a short period time (like, before Anthrocon!), so it’s going to be a challenging week or so ahead. After the meeting we chatted and Dan and I talked out a disagreement that we had, much to Data’s amusement. Finally, laundry was folded and we were off to bed.

And so we’re at a new week. Manpower has been prodded that yes, I would in fact like a new job at the end of the month, thank you. I applied for a couple of positions on Careerbuilder, and got a call from Aerotek Scientific about a 6-12 month contract position in the O’Hare area. At this point, there’s no a question of turning down contract positions in hopes of something permanent – I’m all about the paycheck. We’ll see if I can poke this along to fruition. Additionally, I hope to be meeting with unclevlad sometime this week to work out some Registration issues for MFF. But for now I need to figure out what we’re doing for dinner and get ready to head on home. Whee!

It’s been a roller coaster of a week (and not in a good way!). My employment is still very much in limbo but I’m attacking the problem on several different fronts. I’ve applied to a couple of positions at Hospira, a couple at Abbott, and Manpower is pursuing at least one for me as well. I also sent resumes off to a number of places in the Chicago area. With any luck I’ll see some things come to fruition next week.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking I see some steaks in the immediate future for dinner tonight. As for the weekend, it looks like we’re doing the weekly Lunch at BD’s with the usuals, then we’ll be going to see Carbon Leaf at Lincoln Park Fest. Sunday we don’t have too much planned besides the online MFF staff meeting. I’d like to maybe do some grilling on Sunday, too.

Oh, by the way – here’s a couple of fun links for folks to amuse themselves:

Do you think is a good start but would like to see more? Check out flickrDogs for more fun pics.

This is a short, screamingly funny ad. I won’t say what it’s for because that gives it away, but it’s worth seeing.

If you have a Sirius Satellite Radio subscription and want to listen at your computer but don’t want to use Sirius’ crapass player, check out Siriusly. As a bonus, it can be combined with ConRec (CONtinuous RECorder) to act as a Tivo for Sirius! (Well, for the streams they put over the net, anyway)

Oooh, I get to go home in an hour! Guess I’ll get some work done in the meantime…
…and maybe drink another Monster…

Anthrocon Planning, Continued

Plans for Anthrocon are continuing apace. We’re flying in on Thursday, July 7, arriving at PHL at about 11 AM. The train geek in me hopes it will be a nice day, not too hot, to we can take the SEPTA train in, but more likely we’ll be taking a shuttle to the hotel. We’ll be flying out on Monday afternoon.

An interesting note about the Wyndham Franklin Plaza: I know that Anthrocon didn’t have a lot of choice in what hotel they got this year, and I know it’s going to be a bit rocky. However, I was doing some research on and the reviews of the hotel are, ah, not good. Pretty bad, actually. Essentially, be prepared for an older hotel that, even though it had an update a few years back, clearly needs another one badly. From the reviews, it looks like the housekeeping service is spotty, but at least the customer service is generally good. As for restaurants, Shula’s Steakhouse gets rave reviews on Citysearch, but be prepared to pay $25-35 for a steak there. The Terrace Restaurant, the other restaurant in the hotel, is pretty much what you would expect of a hotel restaurant: breakfast and lunch only, OK food, prices about half again what you might pay elsewhere.

Why do I say all this? I’m not trying to deter anyone from going, or even from staying in the hotel. To be honest, a lot of this is exactly what was seen at the Adam’s Mark over the past few years. And besides, no one goes to Anthrocon to sample the delectable food in the hotel restaurant or to worry about getting their bed turned down every night – they go to see their friends and to have fun at the convention. And the hotel seems more than up to that. I guess what I’m trying to say is know what you’re getting into, and adjust your expectations accordingly. Hey, it’s a short-term solution, and next year will be much better.

The good news is that from what web-research I’ve been able to find, there’s plenty of places within walking distance for food, and if you’re driving then you’re good to go. I highly recommend a trick that we found a few years back at the Adam’s Mark after a long day of working the convention: get a couple of your friends together and order food in. It saves so much hassle and time, and you can spend more time with your friends. I plan to hit the concierge desk early on and grab a couple of delivery menus, if they have any.

With apologies to roho for stealing his format…

Something Good: Your employer sponsoring a lovely cookout on the shores of Lake Michigan on a beautiful, 72-degree cloudless day, with a soda, chips, and a burger or chicken breast or a bratwurst all for only $1.50.

Something Bad: Karaoke at said cookout.

Something Disturbing: Karaoke to a stupidly jingoistic song done really poorly.

Wow, that was a short lunch…

Yeah, that’s about what I expected

So I went in super-early today (though I do have to admit you can’t beat the traffic at 5:30 in the morning) and that, coupled with a little bit of going in early and staying late this week, allowed me to leave work at 11:30 AM and still have put in 40 hours this week. Yay! I made the long-and-tedious drive from North Chicago down to Bedford Park, near Central and 63rd, in relatively little time and had plenty of time to primp for the interview. The interview itself? Well, it lasted all of 30 minutes. Imagine going into an interview like this:

You: “I have many years of experience at grinding flour, churning butter, and refining sugar.”

Potential Boss: “We need someone who can bake cakes.”

Yeah, that’s about how it went. After we each said our piece we kind of looked at each other and realized that this was pretty damn pointless. I didn’t even finish filling out the application they gave me – he made it clear it wasn’t necessary.

On the bright side, it gave me a reason to leave work early, it only cost me a few bucks in gas, and it gave me time to play Ratchet and Clank relax a bit at home before Takaza and Linnaeus come home from work. I think I’ll read the paper a bit, then start in on making some tasty chicken burritos.

Things I learned today:

1. Sometime next month (after I leave), my department may start experimenting with “summer hours” – four ten-hour days then a day off, with staff alternating who gets Mondays and who gets Fridays off. Bastards.

2. Never, ever ride in the hobo corner on CTA trains. I don’t have any good stories, but I don’t think I want any, thanks.

3. Soviet imagery + terrornoia = Really Creepy Posters.

4. Moving colored dots are totally rad. (thanks me_not_you!)

5. A month from today, we’ll be at Anthrocon. Good gods, I have so much to get done in the next 30 days!

Hmm. Thunderstorms popping all over – looks like it’ll be a wet drive home. @whee.

Not Busy, But Not Bad

Well, that was an unproductive weekend. Not that I’m complaining – not every weekend needs to involve carving Mount Rushmore or something…

I was feeling pretty good when I got home on Friday. I’ve found that the radio stations I listen to on Sirius on the drive home directly affect my mood. I try to stay away from Alt Nation or Octane (what I usually listen to on the drive in) and instead listen to more mellow, melodic stuff. On days where traffic is beyond stupid, my secret weapon is Jam_ON. This is funny because I’ve never particularly cared much for jam-band music (i.e. Grateful Dead, Leftover Salmon, Phish, etc.) but in this particularly situation it’s good to listen to – doesn’t require too much attention, sets a good beat, but not aggressive or pounding. A lot of the stuff they play has folk and bluegrass influences, and I appreciate that.

Friday Evening, or I’ve Been Doing This For HOW Long?