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Jun. 23rd, 2008

Home again, home again

I've been back for a few days actually, but it's been a little hard to step back into my online life. This always happens when I'm away from my beloved laptop, I actually start reading real books (finally picked up The Yiddish Policeman's Union) and cleaning the apartment and crazy stuff like that. But that is NOT to say that I didn't miss you all! I do ... I just feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of catching up. Soon enough I'll fall back into my compulsive IJ ways I'm sure.

The conference was excellent though. We had some great "field trips" to college campuses and talked to a lot of people in the biz -- I'm certain it's going to help loads with my clients. And aside from a few people who just really enjoyed hearing themselves talk (nothing turns me off faster!), it was nice meeting my fellow consultants. In fact, much as I usually hate (and fear and dread) networking, I would've liked another day to get to know some of these people better.

And Chicago itself was fantastic. The Art Institute was a bit of a bust since most of the exhibits that interested me were closed for construction (should've checked that before I left), but Second City was lots of fun, and just walking around the city is always a thrill. And I think I gained 10 pounds from all the incredible meals. We had a fabulous dinner at Osteria Via Stato -- they made this one dish, parmesan-crusted sweet onion, that was quite possibly the tastiest thing I've ever put in my mouth. These thick slices of onion were grilled until they were practically carmelized and then drenched in cheese, and the combination was heavenly!

So food good, company good, ents good. However, I did notice something disturbing: how completely segregated Chicago is. Everywhere we went it was white people being served and people of colour doing the serving -- not once did I see those situations reversed. And it wasn't just me; the other foreign consultants noticed it as well. I haven't been to Chicago since 1997, and I don't remember being as aware of it then, so either I was just unobservant or it's gotten worse. It was kind of creepy, though.

And somewhere along the way I exposed myself to some funky germs that sapped my energy and made me all sniffly. Sleep seems to be keeping it from developing into a full-blown cold, though, and that's where I'm headed soon. But I'll leave you with some fun links I've stumbled across:

These people are definitely kindred spirits: Typo personalities

Another Doctor Who trailer. Now with 25% more Ianto! And creepy Dalek voices. (And have the last two eps not just kicked ass, I ask you?)

A music rec from my brother direct from N'awlins: The Zydepunks. They describe their music as "New Orleans, Cajun, Irish, Breton, Klezmer, Slavic, Zydeco in six languages." I've been listening to 'Madeleine' all night.

Missed all of you!!

Jun. 16th, 2008

Headed out!

I'm leaving at 5 for the airport tomorrow morning, and I really planned to be in bed by now, but I started watching the most amazing This American Life, "Escape," about a man named Mike Phillips who's lived his whole life with spinal muscular atrophy—the story is about how he's seeking independence from his mother. Remarkable and inspiring. And my love for Johnny Depp escalated because, when asked whose voice he wished he had, Mike said Johnny Depp or Edward Norton because "they're badasses." And then they got Johnny to narrate the show, reading from Mike's blog. Very cool.

But now, it's time for bed. I'll be back this weekend—be good!

May. 1st, 2008

Plastic & the Windy City

I got a new credit card in the mail today. Seems my Hudson's Bay Co. card is being replaced with a regular ol' MasterCard. Boo! I liked having a little piece of the HBC.

Gotta love their marketing spiel tho: "No annual fee -- saves you money." No, no annual fee just means I'm not spending money, you blockhead.

Speaking of credit cards (kinda) ... I've decided to put my plastic to work by attending a work conference in Chicago in June. (Holy cow, is that really next month? This year's flying by!) I'm debating whether to stay an extra day or two and explore the city. I was there years ago and really enjoyed it. Any recs for what to do? I definitely want to visit the Art Institute but beyond that, I have no ideas. And is there anybody nearby who might want to meet up for a bit of slashy talk over some consumable caffeinated and/or alcoholic bevvies?

The only other thing of note is that I submitted an ebook proposal to my boss yesterday, and volunteered May 16 as the target date for the first draft. Me <-- idiot. She called today to say she likes it a lot, but that "it looks like it's going to be a lot of work." So did I work on it today? Hell no! But I did start writing a new Drarry. *headdesks*