jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
This time half a decade ago ... well, at this exact time we were still on a train headed for Everett WA, because flooding in North Dakota delayed us by seven hours. (Bit difficult to run a train when the water's higher than the tracks.) But tonight's the anniversary of us showing up at the Pacific Central train station in Vancouver with a fistful of paperwork, and coming out the other side with temporary Canadian work permits.

Hard to believe we've been out here for five years now. I still miss the people from back east something fierce, and at the beach I remembered how much I miss dapper grey mockingbirds (and cardinals, though *not* cheeseburger wrens), and of course my old boss R-- is still the best of all possible bosses. But for the most part I feel pretty well at home here. Overall, moving was the right decision, I think.
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
Permanent resident cards have come in the mail! We are now officially Permanent Residents. The card itself is very strange, incorporating swirly text, two differently-coloured hologram-type things, and a small transparent window that's got a tiny version of the ID photo printed on it, in addition to the large photo. Difficult to forge, I expect, but also rather odd-looking.

In less happy news, I dumped much of a mug of tea onto my awesome keyboard yesterday. For awhile I thought it would survive but some must have splashed into the electronics. Currently the spacebar, back-tick, and right arrow don't, and some of the numbers are flaky at best. So I get to ship it back to Kentucky and have them fix it, for a $30 fee. Yay.

I'm currently using the Alphasmart Neo I bought in Blacksburg as a keyboard. It's... as keyboards go it isn't terrible, but the lack of function keys and Delete key, and the functional lack of an Escape key, are wreaking havoc on my normal computer-usage patterns. Oh well. It's just for a few weeks, and if it's too obnoxious I can either buy a cheap keyboard, or just use it in laptop-mode.

And we move in less than two weeks. I alternate between feeling like we haven't packed ANYTHING and like there isn't really that much more left to pack. I have lost all sense of which of these views is more accurate. It doesn't help that we've almost run out of boxes, either.
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
The weekend started out pretty good, with [personal profile] uilos getting a job she'd really wanted. (Starting mid-August, which will make both moving at the end of August and entertaining her parents in September for a week Interesting, but still very very awesome.) So there was knocking-off-work-early and milkshakes and wandering around in the Vancouver spring, and it was Good.

Satyrday we got up early-ish to go down to the states. After a brief stopover at the border (some asshole is using my name, and it occasionally causes me some delay while the border guards determine that I am not six foot three and do not have a large neck tattoo) we unloaded a mess of books at the used bookstores in Bellingham, and acquired more but not quite as many more. I now have Fred Pohl's autobiography, which I am told is what reading his blog is like. Since I really enjoyed his blog, this works for me.

After spending more time than expected in the bookstores (shocking, I know) we drove down to Seattle to catch [livejournal.com profile] papersky's reading at the University Bookstore. We caught most of the reading (first chapter of My Real Children), and got to say hello to her and commiserate about Aspects, which was pleasant.

And then we had dinner, and trekked back to the border in a second attempt at landing. This was, I believe, the easiest interaction I have ever had with anyone at the border. We were all set to hand over a full stack of documentation, marriage licenses and birth certificates and diplomas and all that, and the officer just looked at the forms and ran through some paperwork and some routine questions, and we were in. Bit anticlimactic, really. He was also nice enough to waive the customs duty on the cider we were bringing back, so there's that.

So now we are officially Permanent Residents, or Landed Immigrants if you prefer the older term. In about three years we can apply for citizenship (I say 'about' because the residency requirement is 'three years out of the last four, time before becoming a permanent resident only counts half'). Meanwhile we'll likely have to renew our Permanent Residency at least once, but that just consists of filling out a form saying that we've been resident in Canada for at least two of the last five years and aren't currently in the process of being kicked out of the country.

And then on Sunday we went down to Commercial Drive with half the rest of the population of Vancouver for an Italian street festival. It was seriously crowded down there; I have not been surrounded by that many people outside in a long time. It was good; lots of neat stuff, including jitterbugging commedia dell'arte clowns. Just... busy.



I haven't mentioned Chaos lately, have I? He used to be a pretty heavyset cat, but over the summer and fall he slimmed down. Eventually it got to the point where it was clearly not "wet food is good for him" but "something is wrong," so back in I guess January we took him to the vet. Turned out his thyroid was going nuts. So we spent a few months pilling him to get the thyroid down and confirm that it wasn't masking any other underlying issues (it wasn't), and now tomorrow [personal profile] uilos takes him to the vet to get his thyroid nuked.

They'll keep him for a week to make sure he's okay and also so we don't have to dispose of radioactive cat poop. I appreciate this but it'll be very strange not having him around. Then for a week or so after that it'll be even stranger: he'll still be mildly radioactive so he's not allowed to sit in anyone's lap. This... will not go well. I am honestly more worried about having to tell him "no you can't come sit on me" for a couple of weeks than I am about the nuking.

After that... I expect we'll get to start giving him an anti-inflammatory for his hips. Joy. At least he'll be happier.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
I am home.

I am unexpectedly very tired. I may need to eat something.

I miss Wiscon. No great surprise, that. Caught one last interesting panel this morning and had lunch with an interesting Clarion student at the airport, and then it was all over bar the flying.

We landed in Vancouver and then attempted to Land in Vancouver, "landing" being the process by which one becomes a landed immigrant, or permanent resident. We went through the initial border conversation and got a strange scribble on the back of our customs forms, and then found out we had been beaten to the punch by about seventy other people looking for work permits and/or student visas. I couldn't clearly see the two (yes, only two) CIC officers handling the workload but I expect they looked pretty frazzled.

So instead we very politely asked several people if we could just go home and come back later and try again, and eventually we found someone who was willing to stamp our scrangely-scrawled customs forms and let us go home.

There is some amount of dried cat yuke that needs cleaning up but it can wait until after I have some food. Though probably not until after I sleep.

Tomorrow I return to working from home, in the hope that a few weeks away has helped somewhat with the frustration and lack of focus. We shall see.
jazzfish: an evil-looking man in a purple hood (Lord Fomax)
As I said on twitter, holy crap, dayjob, you can die in a fire any time now.

It's been a stupid week. Some amount of that stupid is my own fault, lack of focus earlier resulting in rushing now. More of it is due to the horrible dev team I'm working with.

Anyway, that's why I haven't been replying to comments.

Also did my annual self-evaluation, which makes me feel simultaneously 1) like a huge slacker (no surprise, I *have* been a huge slacker; see above re lack of focus) and 2) absolutely drowning in work to the extent that it's amazing I've gotten anything out at all: maintained three large and difficult books (~2000 pp) plus attendant Help through two releases, and created from almost-scratch documentation for three medium-sized additional products in the space of about two months each. Those latter three were all projects that $boss handed me with "X started working on this and got a skeletal structure in place but now he's totally slammed with other stuff can you take over?" To which I say "sure!" because she asks when everything else is at a temporary lull, and also lack of focus (see above) makes me feel like I'm not doing anything so clearly I have time to work on something else.

I still feel like my job performance is awful, but I feel a little less bad about how awful it is.

Did I mention that the permanent resident paperwork arrived? The permanent resident paperwork arrived a week or two back. We were going to jaunt down to the border but then we realised that there will be several weeks when we're without either work permits or permanent resident cards (they take the work permit, and eventually they mail you a Maple Leaf card [that's Canadian for 'green card']), which will make leaving and re-entering the country more difficult than it needs to be. And since spring is travelin' season, and the landing stuff is good until mid-November, we decided to just wait until we get back from WisCon (late May) and deal with it then.

Blergh.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Went out to the aquarium with Steph and [personal profile] uilos in the rain on Sunday, which was great fun: light-up jellyfish! adorable otters! the octopus!. Also probably an error in judgement, since I've spent the rest of the week in a sinus-infected fog. I've been self-medicating with lots of tea and honey, which tastes faintly terrible but does stop my throat from hurting. It all tipped over from "muzzy" to "miserable" sometime last night. Hoping it's on the upswing now.

Lots of stuff going on this week. Got our official Landing paperwork, which will make us permanent residents. It will likely not be acted on until late May, since they recommend you not travel out of the country between the time you land and the time you actually get your permanent resident card, and Feb thru May is when we do most of our travel. Still, that's ... somewhere between "a relief" and "exciting."

Also received an invite to an invite-only gaming convention in Niagara in mid-April, and started looking seriously at the amount of time I'm taking off work in the next few months. It's ... excessive. Twenty days in three and a half months. I think it'll be good for me, though. First up: the week-long Sun Trip at the end of February to ... somewhere as yet undetermined. I suppose I should get on with determining that.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Cripes, I'm tired. And it's only seven PM. This does Not Bode Well.

Boardgaming with folk back in Arlington was great fun, as usual. Didn't get to play anything terribly heavy or involved, but got in a bunch of good mid-weight games. I'd invited a couple of friends from work along, people who've never done much gaming (I think one had played Ticket To Ride), and they took to it like the proverbial Anatidae sp. to water, which was also gratifying. I hope they'll keep going.

Sunday I sat around with Dad and watched a bunch of the special features on the Hobbit DVD. Almost makes me want to watch the movie.

Sunday night I ran a RAM test on the new memory sticks I'd picked up, since I had a sneaking suspicion they're the reason things keep randomly crashing on me. Seems to be the case. Grr. Will send them back this week.

Monday morning I woke up far too early and drove out to National. Sideswiped a pole in a gas station parking lot in the process, so I'm likely to be out a lot of money to the rental car company getting that fixed. I'd declined the rental coverage on the grounds that my USAA credit card covers it; I'll see whether or not they'll actually cover anything. I have a sneaking suspicion that they won't. Oh well. It's just money.

The day slowly improved after that (hard to get much worse, though I'm sure it could have been managed). Had an empty seat next to me on the BOS-SEA flight. Visited a very large thrift store in Seattle with [personal profile] uilos and picked up a few nice shirts. Then met up with Ederlyn at the University Bookstore, to hear Scott Lynch answer questions. He MAY have also read from something (hilarious) that isn't going to be out until sometime next year. Good times.

Then we drove home in what [personal profile] uilos described as a brick cinder block with a BMW logo on it (she'd been 'upgraded' at the rental agency), and unloaded an awful lot of groceries, and I slept for not quite long enough because between the little cat and my internal clock I am not allowed to sleep past seven.

And as of today the immigration medical stuff is done, and Xmas shopping is begun, and I am exhausted. I want to stay up until at least nine, preferably ten, so I can get my system back on West Coast time. Thankfully Chaos is not snoring in his box, because few things are more soporific than a snoring adorable cat.
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
Happy Canucksgiving! Or, happy Dread Pirate Columbus day, for those of you south of the border.

As always I'm most thankful for the people around me. For an introvert with a mild case of misanthropy I do seem to enjoy company. Note that "around" is doing a lot of lifting in that sentence. It covers not only, say, [personal profile] uilos, or the people coming over in a couple of hours to play games and eat turkey, but also the ones I owe email to, and who offer quiet support in comments, and that sort of thing.

(I am also thankful for aged grumpy kittens.)

I'm sort of thankful that every year I move a little closer towards being who I want to be, and every year I redefine what that will look like. Sometime in the past couple of years it's shifted from "being not broken" to "avoiding tripping over the broken bits" to "accepting that being broken is part of who i am, and only part." Baby steps.

And I'm thankful that Citizenship & Immigration Canada believes in underpromising and overdelivering, and that as of Friday they're looking closely enough at our permanent-resident application to request our immigration medical exams.
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
"They shouldn't have granted this work permit in the first place," the immigration officer said.

What a day )
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
What I failed to mention last time is that on Thursday afternoon I picked up a cold of some kind from someone at the beach. [personal profile] uilos started developing symptoms a couple of days later. This meant I was facing WisCon in kind of a tired fog, which is not an ideal way to experience a convention. Not showing up until late on Friday and being very tired didn't help matters.

Still a good con, just not as sociable as I'd hoped it would be. Plenty of good panels, plenty of tasty Madison food, lunch with Jerry & family who we know from boardgaming. (Sadly, there wasn't quite enough time scheduled for a longish game on Monday morning, but we tried.)

Travel shenanigans )

In other immigration news, the office at Ottawa has officially acknowledged receipt of our application for permanent residency. Now they sit on it for 10-11 months. Still, progress.

Also, if you're into that sort of thing, I'm selling off some of my games. Mostly board games, a few old PC games and RPGs.

scattered

Apr. 17th, 2013 08:47 am
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
The real problem with being sick is that it's entirely thrown me off my running. I was doing alright for the first week of April. Now I can't even take a deep breath without coughing, or even stand at my desk for several hours without getting light-headed and needing to sit down for a bit. Makes it hard to keep up any kind of pace.

It's been pretty bright out lately, which is nice even if I'm still coming to terms with the sun being up at seven PM. I just got used to it being dark at four-thirty and now they have to go and change it on me. Stupid seasons.

Media... dug into The Cloud Roads a couple of days ago. Even in my somewhat muzzy-headed state it's quite enjoyable. On advice/praise from a wide variety of people including [livejournal.com profile] daghain, [personal profile] silmaril, everyone at LG&M, and my friend Kosh from junior high, we watched the first episode of The Wire a couple of weeks ago. I immediately ordered the complete series DVDs. This looks like exactly the kind of in-depth storytelling I'm looking for.

The last of the immigration paperwork is off to the immigration lawyer, so there's that. Now we just wait for some amount of time which will probably be less than a year, and we're permanent residents and can start the much more involved citizenship process.



101 in 1001 update )
jazzfish: A cartoon guy with his hands in the air saying "Woot." (Woot.)
First and foremost, I/we have ESTABLISHED A PLAN by which, once the immigration stuff is done and the income situation is a bit more stable, I can take some unspecified amount of time off. Said time will be used primarily for actual vacation, and also writing, and generally recuperating from burnout. Downside: this is at least a year away, and probably more like two.

This morning I donated to the Chicago Teachers Union, who've gone on strike as of this morning. I have no kids; I'll never have kids; I still think that education "reform" is among the worst things to come out of the last ten (or thirty) years. Bonus reading: Why the Chicago Teachers Union is striking; Everything You've Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong.

In running news I made it around Lost Lagoon and back home today, for a total of 1.8 miles according to GMap Pedometer, without stopping to walk. 20 minutes running. "Running," rather, not much faster than a walk for the last five-plus, and I remain a crap runner of the "gasping for breath the whole way" variety. Still. It's a thing, and it's faster improvement than I've seen before.

And I clicked the button to list myself as "Going" to a local [REDACTED] event tomorrow night. Eep.

"home"

Jun. 7th, 2012 10:19 am
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
Hard to believe we've been out here for a little over a year now.

We've started the permanent-resident process, which will involve taking an English test on Satyrday and getting letters of recommendation from all my previous employers for the past ten years, on company letterhead. This... may be difficult in the case of Borders.

Vancouver is still amazing, and I still don't want to live anywhere else. I just wish everyone I want to hang out with thought the same way. :)

The good:
  • The weather. Madison was thirty (er, "ninety," when in Rome and all that) and moderately humid for a couple of days. It wasn't quite like being mugged, but much more of either the humid or the heat and I would have wilted like the delicate flower I am. Home is where 15°C is.
  • The landscape. Greenery and water and snow-capped mountains, morning fog and beach sunsets and glass skyscrapers.
  • The culture. I am now much less likely to be the most left-wing guy in the room, and much more likely to be only the most left-wing guy in my chair.
  • The apartment. This is easily the nicest place I've ever lived. Super-duper hi-speed internet, a gas fireplace, HEATED TILE FLOORS IN THE BATHROOM for pete's sake. It has a number of small flaws so it's not like I'm not still playing "If this were MY house" but overall it's been a really excellent place to live.
  • Walkability. Grocery store: four blocks. Three-storey bookstore: eight blocks. Dessert restaurant: six blocks. Other awesome restaurants: at least a dozen within a six-block radius. Overpriced movie theatre: six blocks. Gigantic park filled with cedars and trails and such: four blocks, give or take. For everything else, there's...
  • Transit. A half-hour bus or Skytrain ride makes me much happier than a twenty-minute drive. I can do something if someone else is responsible for navigating the traffic: read, poke at the Device, even write on occasion. And the buses go most everywhere and are reasonably on-time, except for the #19.
  • Fish. Cheap sushi plus a community-supported fishery share makes for a full & happy [personal profile] jazzfish.

The bad:
  • The cloud cover. I'd worried a little about this and I may have been right to do so. Some amount of my ennui or malaise or one of them french words has been due to a severe lack of light.
  • My social network. It's improving, but slowly. I've been complaining about this for at least ten months now; just take it as a given.
  • The cost. Except for produce, sushi, and transit, everything costs more out here. (And transit only gets a pass because the DC Metro is so bloody expensive.)
  • The cost, part 2. Shipping anything to Canada adds an extra $10 to the price, if I'm lucky. In extreme cases, such as fifteen pounds of wargame, it can be upwards of $50.

... I think that's about it, at least for a quick list. Doubtless there are more things I'm forgetting, on both sides.

Overall: it's home, and it's where I want home to be. This is kind of a new thing for me.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Elseweb a friend asked about personal hinge points, of the "if you could go back and do one thing differently, what would it be?" variety.

Most of the poor decisions I've made were the best decision I could have made at the time. As noted elsewhere, I lacked the tools to make better ones. To have chosen differently or better I would have had to be a different person. This rules out such obvious choices as "don't nearly fail out of college" or "don't give up on writing for the better part of a decade."

Having said that, there are one or two places things could have gone differently. For example... )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Three days after finding internet access, I've finally caught up on Dreamwidth. (It doesn't help that I'm effectively using DW as an RSS reader.) Now to wade through the dozen or so tabs I've opened.

The immigration lawyer hadn't filed the paperwork in time for it to have properly entered the Canadian immigration computer system (because $work hadn't gotten some required information to them in time), so we ended up making for the busiest Wednesday night the guys at the train station had seen in awhile. There was the searching through the computer for how to code "technical writer," there was the obligatory 'bad cop' routine of drilling me on the job and the information I'd provided to make sure I'm not trying to sneak in with someone else's paperwork[1], and finally the going back and forth between the office with the old dot-matrix printer... and then after an hour and a half or so we had our work permits. And there was much rejoicing.

We spent the night in an overpriced hotel (stupid Stanley Cup eating up all the hotel rooms near city centre) and took possession of the apartment Thursday morning. It's very nice: about the same size as the place in McLean but more windows, and high-speed internet, and a real washer & dryer, and hardwood floors except in the bedrooms. I think it'll work out. I won't know for sure until Monday when our stuff gets here.

Thursday afternoon we did some errand-running, and stocked up on food for the weekend. Didn't quite make it to the Zipcar registration place, so we didn't make it to Ikea, so we slept on the floor. If I'd had a real pillow I think it would have been fine.

Yesterday the rain stopped and the sun came out, for what I'm told is the first time all spring. Aw, the city stopped crying because I finally got here. We took sandwiches out to Cardero Park, and were just getting settled on the benches by the water when something sleek and brown and wet zipped up over the seawall, across the sidewalk, and down the other side into the harbor. It took about half a minute for my brain to stop shorting out and come up with "Otter!"

After a great deal of yelling at the movers, it sounds like our stuff is showing up on Monday afternoon. I expect I'll be taking a couple hours off from work to oversee the load-in. (ugh, work.) I'll make up the time this weekend by building my work desk and prepping my work laptop. Other than that there's a little bit of paperwork yet to do (temporary health insurance, bank transfers), and enjoying the gorgeous 17 degree weather.



[1] This was more harrowing than I'm making it out to be. Brusque guys in uniform with the power to crush my hopes and dreams are kinda scary, no matter how much I tell myself "they do this to everyone, it'll be okay."
jazzfish: Randall Munroe, xkcd180 ("If you die in Canada, you die in Real Life!") (Canada)
Massive flooding in North Dakota caused our train to be rerouted south and delayed by about seven hours. (This is better than the train that left Sunday, which was caught in the flooding and delayed by a whopping NINETEEN hours.) Or, as noted elseweb:
Tucker: FLASH FLOODS in North Dakota! All trains lose 1 turn and 1 load.
John K--: Lose the luggage and keep Emily. Or did you pick up a cheese to throw away in wisconsin?
Jerry H--: If you didn't pick up a cheese I'm okay with retroactively assuming you picked up a cheese.
We were so late that they offloaded us in Everett WA and put us on a commuter train that runs twice a day from Vancouver to Seattle and back. Said train has wireless, so for the first time in several days I have internet with a keyboard and a large screen. (The Device is a wonderful thing but it's no replacement for a full-sized computer. I very slightly regret not getting either an iPad or a tethering plan for the Device; then again, we were without signal often enough that it wouldn't have made that much difference.)

The trip itself was a lot of fun, despite the ongoing and repeated delays. We stayed in a "Superliner roomette," which... the line drawing on the Amtrak website doesn't do it justice. It's two extra-wide seats that face each other, with a decent bit of legroom. At night the seats collapse into a twin bed. Another twin bed folds down from above, with some heavy-duty cargo straps you can hook to the ceiling so you don't get jostled out of bed during the night. There's a very narrow closet, and room under the seats to slide small luggage, and... that's about it, really. From an efficiency standpoint it's quite impressive. I think two days is about all I could stand.

The roomette had an electric outlet, but it's positioned so that I couldn't plug in my laptop charger, so I spent some amount of time in the "observation car." Bigger windows, including ones that run up and over part of the ceiling, and seats that face the windows, and usable outlets. Good light, during the day.

The food was decent, and provided free with the room. As you might guess I'm not a huge fan of the "seat four people to a table" idea; we had some good conversations, and some sort of strained ones, and some awkward silences.

Much of the midwest looked about like Tennessee, only with more standing water and happy ducks. Then when I woke up this morning we were passing through Libby, MT, and the terrain turned from 'generic farmland' to 'the Rockies.' Enormous hills and obligatory snow-capped peaks and scrub sage yielding to evergreen forests and rushing waterfalls. Nice countryside. I'm glad we got to see it in the daytime, though I would have liked to get a glimpse of Glacier National Park as well. No pictures, at least not from me; the camera is among the things that got inadvertently packed, along with the crepe makers and all my jacket-like objects.

We passed by the Peace Arch about thirty minutes ago, which I guess means we're officially unofficially in Canada. [personal profile] uilos is dozing next to me. In another half hour or so I'll wake her up and we'll go tell the Canadian border folks that we're here to apply for work permits, and we'll see how that goes.

Then tomorrow morning we go to take possession of the apartment, and tomorrow afternoon we open new bank accounts, and sometime after that our stuff shows up, and I start work on Monday.

This feels more unreal than anything I've done in a very, very long time, possibly as far back as "going to college." It still hasn't sunk in yet. I don't know when it will.
jazzfish: "Do you know the women's movement has no sense of humor?" "No, but hum a few bars and I'll fake it!" (the radical notion that women are people)
So... that happened.

It mostly went by in a blur. [personal profile] uilos and I got on a plane Thursday afternoon and left DC for the start of the Great Moving Adventure. (I had to go through a nude-scan for the first time, and for the first time they caught my tiny pocketknife. Jerks.) We arrived in Madison, had dinner, and collapsed.

Friday through today was WisCon. It surprised me with awesome a bit less than last year; I expect that's because I was used to it this time. The panels and readings continued to make me reasonably happy (note to self: watch for works by Carolyn Ives Gilman and David Levine). Through great self-control I limited myself to no more than a dozen books (I think: three by Terry Bisson, another five of Aqueduct Press's small Conversation Pieces, two misc, one won in a raffle at a reading, and one from the Tiptree jury's overstock), all of which I was able to fit into the luggage. I do not say my luggage, because what with the moving process we've had to sort of combine suitcases and shove things where they'll fit. Still, it's all packed and will require no additional shipping.

I had a small handful of short conversations and spoke to absolutely no one that I'd-- no, wait, I did say hello to Claire Light, from whom I'd won a critique in an auction a few months back. But I can name five other people off the top of my head I'd meant to introduce myself to before the con, and another handful that happened to be there. In a shock to no one who's not me, I am terminally bad at going up to people and starting conversations. Oh well. Perhaps this will be forcibly improved over the next few months.

(Also, next year I fully intend to take advantage of the Friday morning writer's workshop, by having something submitted around April 15.)

(Also also, a big FUCK YOU to GAMA, who appear to have decided to move Origins to Memorial Day. NOT COOL, GAMA. NOT COOL AT ALL.)

And tomorrow we get up and board a bus to Chicago, where I will re-purchase tickets to Seattle and thence Vancouver, in the hope that the previous tickets will be returned as Undeliverable and then refunded. And then we arrive at the new apartment on Wednesday afternoon, take possession, and look at each other in befuddlement as we try to figure out where we're going to sleep until our stuff arrives on Friday.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I'm safely ensconced in the Outer Banks with John K-- et al, and am roughly half as stressed as I was when I got here. Since very little has actually been resolved I suppose this is progress. The bed is perhaps the least comfortable bed I've ever slept on: it crunches when I move and presses into my spine in curious ways. There has been a great deal of gaming, and some amount of hanging-out, and intermittent hot-tubbing and such.

Plans
We leave the beach tomorrow (boo) to spend a day or so with [personal profile] uilos's folks. Then it's back to DC. During the first part of the week I'll be selling Straylight (hopefully to Stef), bequeathing my aged stand mixer to A--, and generally running around like a madman trying to squeeze in last-minute au revoirs.

On Thursday afternoon we fly to Madison for Wiscon. There we shall have an amazing time for three-plus days, and then wake up too early Monday morning to get on a bus to Chicago. Once in Chicago we board the Empire Builder (no, not that one) for Seattle, where we'll change on Wednesday for a bus to Vancouver. At that point life becomes a blur of moving-in for several days before I start work on Monday the 6th.

holy crap this is actually happening

Moving
We left my mother with instructions to go to the apartment on Monday morning and oversee the movers as they loaded all our stuff onto a truck. She called on Monday afternoon to say that the truck driver had forgotten zie needed to be in DC and was instead hanging out in Minneapolis. So our stuff's getting loaded, um, today, actually. I hope. Delivery date's still sometime around the first or second. I hope we can get a more firm date soon so we can tell the apartment when to reserve the elevator.

Miscellaneous Other Nonsense
I still haven't received the final immigration forms to sign and send back (there have been all manner of explicable delays on both sides, but right now it's in their court) and I'm getting a little anxious about that. Work had a temporary shortage of laptops last week and will be shipping me a machine to arrive on the 2nd or 3rd of June. Due to scheduling my parents aren't able to come visit us in June and bring the cats so we've yet to work out how they're getting out to us.

A dear friend has taken time out from being a new mother to write me a reassuring and very helpful letter about myriad small immigration-related things, and I've been a horrible correspondent and not said thank you. So I'll go do that now.

And then I shall have breakfast, and maybe go walk on the beach.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
21 days for Dreamwidth, #16:
What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about?


D101, but that was months and months ago and it's more "haven't figured out what I want to say about it." (Or "to whom.") Most of my "glad i did that" events these days are along the "got to spend time with person X while it's still relatively easy to do so" variety.

I'm glad I started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. There's just not much for me to say about it yet (only six short episodes in), other than "this is pretty cool."



I just told Facebook that I'm moving. One more step towards making it sink in that this is Really For Real Happening. (eep.)

The Burly Men will be showing up on Friday to take all our stuff away. At that point it's going to be a lot harder for me to keep thinking "this is all some kind of weird game, and when i get back from the beach i'll just be going back to work in the open-backed cube, same as the last seven months."

We'll be crashing with my parents for a few days after the beach, and then (by some yet-to-be-determined means, on some yet-to-be-determined schedule) heading out west in time to get there by the first of June.

And then... I dunno. The settling-in, and the meeting-people, and the finding-things, and all that, I guess.
As he thought of it, though, he could not imagine what "just living" might actually be. He had never done it in his life. But he wanted to do it anyway.
jazzfish: Malcolm Tucker with a cell phone, in a HOPE-style poster, caption NO YOU F****** CAN'T (Malcolm says No You F'ing Can't)
Just under six and a half years ago, I'd been quietly talking about fleeing to Canada if Bush won a second term. An acquaintance posted something to the effect of "hey, all you people talking about how you'd move to canada if bush won: put your money where your mouth is and shut up about it and just go do it."

"Fine," I thought (but didn't say), and started thinking more seriously about the idea.

It took some doing but in less than a month I will have pulled it off.

... just in time for the Conservative Party of Canada to have won a majority government after being found in contempt of Parliament, thanks to stupid awful first-past-the-post elections with one right-wing party running against three and a half left-wing ones.

The Liberal Party has lost more than half their seats, and the Bloc is essentially finished (down to three, I believe). Congratulations to the pinko commie socialist New Democratic Party on their amazing hundred-plus seats, and to Elizabeth May for winning one for the Green Party.

The trouble is, the collapse of the Liberals (and the Bloc) moves Canada much closer to being a two-party state. And coming as it does after a Conservative victory that appears much more decisive than it actually is (40% of the vote, 55% of the seats), I fully expect the NDP to tack more to the centre. They'll need to absorb the last of the Liberal supporters; in addition, well, where are the more left-wing voters going to go? In another twenty years Canada will look like the US with better health care.

(Of course, I'm very likely wrong on this. All I know is what I read on the internet. I'm just in a rather bad mood, and finding it difficult to see any silver lining at all.)

A Conservative majority also ensures that there will be no election for another five years. I suppose I might be able to vote in that one, at least. But really, what the hell do I do now?

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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