Monthly Archives: February 2010

Still Around

I am still here, and still reading LiveJournal. This has been the month from hell due to some ferocious deadlines at work. The good news is that we’re in the home stretch, but the next few days (and part of Saturday, too) will be long and tedious. I’ve got a lot to talk about, including some potential exciting news on the home front, but that will probably have to wait for this weekend.

Now, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow promises to be another 12+ hour day…

What Have I Been Up To?

So, what have I been up to these last few weeks (besides, you know, answering questions)?

Well, back on January 17th we had the first staff meeting of the year for Midwest FurFest. Time to start it all over again! It was a good meeting, recapping some of last year’s activities, and including a walk-through of the new hotel space. We’ve got a lot of big plans, but it’s going to take some time to bring everything to fruition. I’ve got some items for the website that I need to take care of, and I need to get some information posted. That’ll come this week, I hope.

On January 23rd we braved some freakishly dense fog to visit aureth and jenwolf‘s lovely place in Hebron. Excellent company, some very tasty beer, and entertaining games followed. The next day I finished up my taxes and arrived at some very happy numbers (yay for first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, boo for not being able to e-file if you claim that credit!).

That week kicked off what may be my most stressful week at work since I started with $employer, and it’s been pretty crazy ever since. This has really put a damper on my time that I would be able to post to this journal, or even to think about posting anything since when I get home from work I just want to de-stress. Unfortunately, this trend will continue at least until the end of February, though I’m hoping that things will ease off a bit after that. It’s all but certain that I’ll be working Saturdays for the rest of the month, though.

At the end of January I squeaked out of work on Friday the 29th and takaza gave me a ride down to O’Hare Airport, where I caught a flight to Columbus to spend the weekend hanging out with fordshepherd. The ostensible purpose of the trip was to give him a weekend to relax and not stress, but we all know the futility of this – it would be like someone wanting to do the same for me 🙂 Anyway, it was a delightful weekend, with dinners with roby_panther and kai_darkwolf, cooking up a storm (and a lot of smoke) with crappy recipes from Jamie Oliver, and generally just hanging out and chatting. I had an excellent time!

This brings me up to this past weekend. On Saturday, Dan’s mom and sister joined us, along with roho and genet for a joint early-birthday celebration for me and Dan’s sister. We had a delicious turkey dinner, and I made a butternut squash risotto that turned out really well. Afterward we watched “Julie & Julie”, which is a really fun movie. Last night we took all those leftovers (along with a freshly-made bread pudding) to Genet and Roho’s place where they hosted a Super Bowl party. We were joined by linnaeus, Aureth, and Jenne. We had a whole lot of fun and I really enjoyed the game. The couple of beers I had didn’t sit well with me, though, and as expected I had reflux issues all night long. I’m dragging a bit right now with the combined lack of sleep and lack of caffeine, since I can’t face the acid of coffee right now. Maybe a soda before I head off to work…

Speaking of which, time to shower. Hope everyone has a great day!

Questions Answered, Round 3

Doubling up, I know: 1) Where do you think we (pick a group, be it The Fandom, “normal” people, America, whatever) are going? 2) Because I asked, does this mean I have to set up one of these question thingies? by Anonymous

Well, to answer your first question, I can’t begin to imagine where the world is going, but I can make some guesses about furry fandom. I think it will continue on a track similar to science fiction fandom. Over the coming decades it will become more mainstream, and I think as it does the more outre’ or narrowly-focused subgroups will spin off into their own fandoms and begin the process anew. A side-effect of that mainstreaming is dilution, though, so I suspect that eventually (and I’m talking many years from now) there won’t really be a furry fandom, per se, but rather it will be subsumed into popular culture.

Then again, as a cultural anthropologist, I make a pretty good chemical engineer 🙂

Oh, and as for question 2? “Do as thou wilt, an it harm none.”

A simple one: What was an extrodinarily low point in your life, and what was an extrodinarily high point? by chancehusky

An extraordinarily low point in my life was, without a doubt, when I lost my job in 2002 and was unemployed until September 2004. Being unemployed that long, going through countless interviews, recruiters, job application forms, rejection after rejection – that does something to your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. I would not have made it through without the support of my dear husband, who not only kept us afloat with his job but also kept my spirits up.

The high point? That’s easy. At the end of Midwest FurFest 2001, Dan and I celebrated our love for each other with a commitment ceremony. I have never been happier than on that day. Thinking back on it even now makes me smile at my good fortune to have Dan in my life.

Keep the questions coming! Ask me about anything.

Questions Answered, Round 2

Given you could send a letter to yourself 15 years in the past, would you? If so, what would you write? by chancehusky

15 years ago was a particularly difficult time for me. I was finishing up my last semester in grad school, I had come out to my friends and family and there were adjustments there, and I was feeling a little alone. I absolutely would write that letter. I’d say it will all work out – there is happiness and contentment in the future, more than you can ever imagine. You think you know yourself now but more is coming, and it’s for the better.

Also, 49ers over the Chargers, 49-26 in the Super Bowl 🙂

Hmm. For once I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to ask. Aha! That’s the ticket. What should I ask you? by Hartree
When is a mouse when it spins?

Suppose some god of Chaos shows up and says: No cooking for a year, and then, only if you’ve indulged some new passion that was formerly something you rarely or never did. What would you choose? by Rustitobuck

I’ve always wanted to take up woodworking, actually. I love the idea of creating something enduring with my hands, and woodworking appeals to the engineer in me. I just need a workshop and about $2,000 in tools…

Keep the questions coming! Ask me about anything.

Questions Answered, Round 1

How did you become a big part of MFF? by secrethusky

After a very successful New Year’s Eve party with the local furry group (LAFF – Lake Area Furry Friends) at the end of 1998, some discussion popped up on the mailing list, including at least myself and Aureth. We were quickly shushed by a couple of other folks, though. As it turned out there were already quiet plans underway to create a new furry convention in the Chicago area. The very first planning meeting at Robert King’s house had maybe six or seven people in attendance. From that, we created the core of the Board of Directors, adding a few more shortly thereafter.

We decided to shadow our designated departments at Duckon the year before our first convention; I worked with the folks in Registration and learned a lot. I believe that shadowing was Robert’s idea, and it was an excellent one – we were able to hit the ground running that first year.

Since then, the staff ranks of Midwest FurFest have swollen to close to 150 amazing individuals who help make the convention happen every year, though there is a core group of about 15 or so that works year-round to push things along. I’ve stuck with it for ten years, and I’m very glad I have. If nothing else I have made the most amazing friends, and that makes it all worth it.

How did you discover your relation with furry? by anonymous

Waaay back in 1996 and 1997 I was becoming disenchanted with my former geek home, the Society for Creative Anachronism. I poked around and came across this group of people who were similarly geeky, and enjoyed a lot of movies and artwork that I did as well. They seemed to center around the Usenet newsgroup alt.fan.furry. I found AFF to be an OK place, but eventually gravitated over to the more civil and thoughtful discussions of alt.lifestyle.furry. In conversations there, I found a spiritual resonance that matched my own agnostic/pantheistic views and made my home there for the next three years or so. In that time I made some really excellent friends who I am pleased to say are still a part of my life.

What’s the one thing you would like to be able to cook, but haven’t yet been able to? by RobyPanther
Oddly enough, although I like it I have never really cooked much seafood (fish, shellfish, whatever). Usually those I’m cooking for aren’t fans (or are allergic). It’s something I really want to explore, though, because it’s an entirely different cooking technique and flavor palette.

Keep the questions coming! Ask me about anything.