gwendolyngrace: (Azkatraz2)
Back at Azkatraz, [ profile] bekkio made a beautiful House Unity quilt and I bought it at our auction.

Last week it tried to kill me.

J/K. I put it on my bed last weekwhen I was sick and had chills, and the next morning (after I bailed on work), I was bundled up under it and felt a stab. Then another little jab. I lifted up the corner to find that a pin had been left stuck under the top layer. But here's the thing: The head of the pin was caught inside the quilt itself! So there I was, sick, groggy, getting out a seam ripper so that I could open up the binding at the corner and then carefully easing the pin by its head down to the corner and popping it out of the new hole I'd just made.

I still need to sew it back up. But at least my quilt isn't trying to kill me anymore.

(And, um, I'm kinda even more glad that I bought it and not some unrelated fandomer who might then have had a pin sticking them in the head when they were sick and trying to sleep....)
gwendolyngrace: (AzkatrazSlyth)
What a contrast.

Okay, for one thing, Azkatraz ROCKED. Yes, it was stressful and OMG exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time. The lows were really not all that low and the highs were astronomically high.

As Leslie said today, "How wonderful is the Goddess?" because things worked out beautifully for Flourish to come down and do this, and without that I wouldn't have had a room.

And WHAT A ROOM. It's amazing and perfect and overlooks the exhibit hall where our panel will be.

I ordered room service last night (which was YUMDelicious!) and watched the first couple hours of TV that I have seen in a week that isn't Harry Potter. And I SLEPT. It's amazing how much just a little sleep can do for your outlook on life.

I met Phil Foglio, too, and gave him an OTW pin. (Of course, some of the folks in his booth immediately started down the "But if it's an all-ages product and the fanwork is NOT all ages...." Le Sigh.

Now I'm in the Quantum Quest panel, waiting for Wonder Women and following that Burn Notice. Talk about crowd control lessons!

Found a CVS, but forgot to pick up all the things I needed... but maybe I'll score some of them on the floor this weekend. I know Heidi took the metallic sharpies and I should get one of them to carry.

Leslie's booth is #1317. If anyone out there is at CCI, stop in!
gwendolyngrace: (AzkatrazSlyth)
Okay, so this week was absolutely CRAZY-busy. I logged 52.5 hours at work, including 12.5 in a single day, trying to finish all my chores before going to the ball, er, conference.

No IMAX for the movie (boo) but we have tickets (yay) for the rest.

[ profile] rani23, you'll be happy to know that the ticket you can't use is already claimed by a staff member who needed one.

I've been to the bank, I paid my bills, I've done my laundry (except for ONE SOCK that was hiding until the load was done)... I'm 80% packed, though I suspect one bag is too heavy and may need some rearranging. Luckily, there is presently a lot of room in the other checked bag. Huzzah! I forced myself to sit down and think through what - exactly - I'll wear each day, which allowed me to cut back significantly on the "oh, I might want this" over-packing.

Astonishingly, I will definitely not need my rollerboard carry-on. (I also mailed a box of stuff Priority - 6 lbs. of stuff, in fact - and although it was expensive, it was less than the overweight charges would have been on the luggage.)

Today I have a hair appointment, then I'll go in to work to do a few things more easily accomplished without anyone around, and then I'll hit Target for the last few items I need. Apparently I lost my travel toothbrush on the Midrealm trip (and the toothbrush *cover*, which annoys me more than the toothbrush itself).

I also was apparently not SMRT about where I put the BART card from last time. Hey, I wonder if I made a note to myself in my LJ? Nah, I'm probably not that SMRT. But it wasn't in the three or four places I would have put it had I been wise. Oh, well.

Palm Pre update: I need to spend a little more quality time with the manual to better understand my notification and sound options. Missed a few phone calls yesterday because the phone was in the bedroom on the charger and I didn't hear it ring. But I also don't want noise overnight when I'm trying to sleep. Difficult to balance. Still, the apps are win, and while it's still not a perfect phone, I'm definitely feeling the love. (I discovered two new things about the actual voice phone features yesterday. Surprise!)

I'm pretty much down to my last nerve, but I'll fix that before the conference starts. I've put in a reservation for the cab for Tuesday morning (6:25 ACK), and will take out the trash and recycling Monday night even though pickup isn't until Thursday. I've got meals in the house to get me through the next couple days.

Three more episodes of SPN to watch to get through the 4th season. (Yes, I just watched Jump the Shark. Yes, I have thoughts, but no time to really express them.)

Still need to pack carry-ons and chargers and all the tech....

Sheesh. Final details galore!

(Oh, and was anyone reading [ profile] hpalternity last night? Alice had the baby! SO MUCH FUN!)
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
Yes, yes, I know.

Mainly, I've been using LJ for about the past, oh, 9 months, as an outlet for roleplaying gaming (in the form of [ profile] hpalternity which is more fun than should be legal), and thus not really using this journal much, at all, or doing much of anything else terribly creative writing-wise.

I have, however, been planning a certain conference...which let me just say is going to be HELLA AWESOME and OMG AMAZING and is in YIPE! Two Weeks!

Followed by Comic-Con International.

Followed by Pennsic.

Yes, I am a CRAZY person, why do you ask?

But, I needed to post about something important and (getting more and more) shiny: My New Palm Pre.

She's a coy little thing sometimes, but I am learning her quirks. I picked her up Wednesday and she's actually a twin - her sister had some out-of-the-gate issues and the friendly tech at the Sprint store switched devices - but she and I are in those new stages of a relationship. As Amy said, I'm trying to determine if this little beauty will give me "the love [I] need from a cell phone."

There were a few bumps in the first 24 hours, but since making friends with my phone's very large and comprehensive User Guide, I am learning the ins and outs of Pre ownership. I already LOVE the apps and wish there were more.

Downsides are that the text editor will take some practice (I am SO still not used to the lack of a fast, easy trackball) and the QWERTY keyboard is a. very small and b. not fully featured (like no Tab, only one Alt and one Shift key (both on the left thumb) and y'know, little quirky things that will just take adjustment to over time). I would love an app for it that pops up a regular touchpad keyboard like the IPhone, but perhaps that will come soon. My father will be *thrilled* that I have downloaded the "AccuWeather" app and can now tell him *exactly* what the weather is doing wherever we are.

One thing that is frustrating me currently is that I can't seem to figure out how to get music to synch to the phone. Theoretically one plugs in the USB port, tells it to import "media", and it just ... does. But that's not happening and the manual and the online help don't seem to want to tell me why. It may be a call to the support staff at Palm. Unless someone knows? Maybe I'll check the Palm website for help.

We even ate dinner tonight courtesy of the Pre's "CitySearch" app. Found a new restaurant that went in on Moody street where the Iguana Cantina used to be. Pretty good food, too.

We got together here and not in Framingham (I've mostly been going there these past couple months to either help or stay out of the way in Amy's pre-Azkatraz Project Factory), because the local theatre, the one that plays more arts films, was showing "Moon." This is Duncan Jones' full-length directorial debut. And while that might not mean a lot to many of you, to me and Amy it has significance: he was two years behind us in college.


It was a really good movie and we're very proud of him, even though Amy only took one class with him (Playwriting) and I never even properly met him.

Did I mention that I'm running a conference? It's sort of an accomplishment, I guess.

Anyway. So. Conference. Alternity. Palm Pre. Job continues. Stress puppy = me.

gwendolyngrace: (Azkatraz2)
At long last, the Formal Programming Schedule is now available at the Azkatraz website!

This is the piece of the puzzle we know a lot of you have been waiting to see. Now you will know when the panel, presentation, round table or workshop you've been planning to attend will be held, so you can plan the rest of your weekend around it. You can now safely sign up for your volunteer shifts, or book your studio time at Zeum (to record a music video or film a short scene against a green screen for digital effects!) or schedule your meetup.

The times on this grid are still subject to change, but we promise not to move them unless absolutely necessary. Also, the MPA schedule will be up in early June, so Monday's schedule only reflects about 2/3 of the available programming that day.

However, there is one other important component of this grid: We still have not received CONFIRMATIONS from several presenters! If you are presenting at Azkatraz and you are not on our presenters' list, or if you have not returned your CONFIRMATION AND RELEASE form, we need to hear from you as soon as possible! If we haven't made contact by June 7, we will be forced to look for another presenter to take over, or cancel your topic altogether. Obviously, we don't want to do that, so please write to as soon as possible if you have not been in touch already!
gwendolyngrace: (FunnyGuy)
Okay, gakked from [ profile] jdsgirlbev:

motion captured "Watchmen" review

Looking really good, gang. the video clips are awesome.

Second, Iron Man is still fun. Silly at times but very fun.

Third, this is an old one, but one I hadn't caught up with yet: "The Prestige." lemme 'splain. No there is too much. Lemme LJ-cut )

Now. Full disclosure, there's some violence and it involves amputation. I really don't know what Hollywood's fascination is with losing limbs, especially (SORRY, AMY!) fingers. Despite that, the payoff of this film is SOOOO GOOD it's worth having to look away a few times. This film will be with me for a while, I suspect. (It was directed by Christopher Nolan, btw, who directed Bale in "Batman Begins.")

In other news: We accepted about 100 hours of programming for Azkatraz and should be sending out the notices for the presenters this week. We were blessed with hardly any proposals that were completely unacceptable - and quite a few that could be reworked or combined - and a large number of new topics that are different from anything I think we've ever had before at an HPEF event. So go us!

Unfortunately it looks like the hotel hasn't kept up with the demand for rooms, so they're going to have to expand our block (again) tomorrow. But it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

It's snowing again. And it's supposed to drop about 6 inches tomorrow. Oy.
gwendolyngrace: (Azkatraz2)
We're trying to make some changes on the Azkatraz website and need someone with more Drupal knowledge than we've got right now.

Anyone? Anyone know anyone? Anyone know anyone who knows anyone?
gwendolyngrace: (Azkatraz2)
Just a reminder to everyone who doesn't already realize it, the formal programming proposal deadline is coming up! You have until January 30 to submit your proposals.

Think of it this way: If you could teach a class or lead a discussion about Harry Potter, what would you want to cover? And then propose it. It's easy. We could especially use workshops - practical demonstrations and classes on HP-related items. Crafting, writing, how to review, running a successful website, maintaining an archive, creating ICONS, VIDS and recording music - you name it! If you have subject-matter expertise in a topic related to HP, and you're going to Azkatraz, propose something!

Every year, people look at the schedule and find a gap in programming. "There's no ___!" they complain. Well, the reason is almost surely because No One Proposed It. If there's something you think should be covered, and you don't propose it (or bribe your friends to do so), there's no guarantee that the programming you want to see will be on the docket. Of course, there's no guarantee there will be room for everything, either, but we'd like to make the programming slate as diverse as possible to have something for everyone.

We'd like nothing better than to be flooded with ideas over the next two weeks, to give us tough choices. Incidentally, with this year's them: the choice between what is right and what is easy, and the application of justice in the Wizarding World, there are a LOT of characters and issues to be analyzed, so think about the theme and what it makes you want to discuss, especially with the Tales of Beedle the Bard and all the issues in Deathly Hallows.

You've got 11 days to put in your proposal!
gwendolyngrace: (Azkatraz2)
Hey, all.

Beginning Friday, in the (roughly) 12 remaining days until Christmas Eve, Azkatraz brings you an announcement a day.

Yes, I know, it's technically Advent, and the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas and run until Epiphany. Heidi came up with this and she doesn't know these things and it's hard to keep a good idea down. But it's okay - because our 12 days of announcements include some cool Holiday presents and other things to buy and to ask for.

Friday's announcement: Claymation Workshop opportunity on Monday, July 20 at ZEUM. Make your own animated short film. Includes a session for families and kids.
Saturday's announcement: Bus Tour to Comic-Con International, leaving the Parc 55 on Wednesday, July 22 and arriving in San Diego that evening. It includes a 2-hour VIP tour of the WB studio and museum.
Sunday's announcement: Discount on Susan Gunelius's book, Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon. One of our Keynote Speakers and her publisher have generously offered a 20% savings on her book!
Monday's Announcement: Wrock Around the Rock. Our long-awaited Wrock Concert announcement. It's a little more expensive than past concerts, but that's because it's in a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime venue: Aboard the California Hornblower, cruising San Francisco Bay!
Tuesday's Announcement: Last-Minute Holiday Shopping ideas at Cafe Press and with AZKATRAZ Gift Certificates. Give your friends the gift of AZKATRAZ - or ask for something in time for the holidays!

Five down; seven to go! Stay tuned - and check the website each day for the upcoming announcements!
gwendolyngrace: (Azkatraz2)
HPEF is celebrating Black Friday and CyberMonday for the first time!

You can save ten dollars on your new AZKATRAZ registration (full registration, MPA or Merlin's Circle only), *or* on an upgrade from any lower-level registration (single-day or full registration) to a higher-level registration. This discount will last from a minute after midnight on Friday, November 28, 2008 (Eastern Standard Time) until 11:59 PM on Monday, December 1, 2008 (Eastern Standard Time).

To qualify for the savings, register or modify your registration this weekend and use the coupon code CYBRWKND when you check out. This offer can only be used for registrations paid by a credit card or PayPal. Payment must be recieved by 11:59 PM on Monday, December 1, 2008 (Eastern Standard Time).

Purchase a new registration for yourself or a friend, add the Masters of Potter Administration (MPA) session, or upgrade to a Merlin's Circle registration and save.

Also, anyone who registers during the CYBRWKND sale period will receive a shiny AZKATRAZ keychain, which can also be used as an inventive Christmas tree ornament.

Click here to register.

Happy shopping!
gwendolyngrace: (Objectify)
Car is hanging on (although the frame around the license plate broke off last night and I had to remove it), very, very tentative when it first gets into gear and then once it eases up into 5th it's fine, but yeesh, it's nerve-wracking.

I'm still not reading more than half my flist because yeah, I'm still WAY behind and no, I haven't seen last night's or even downloaded it yet, and yes, I heard about the 14th episode (thanks, Heidi).

As if I didn't spend enough time on it, I added a third character in [ profile] hpalternity, but it's too fun not to do - and in some ways more fun because the character has more opportunity to interact with others (and it's fun to be 11). However, it's also time to really start spending more time on Azkatraz because it's going to be SO COOL. The wizard fashion show entries are in and will need some vetting, which I hope we'll do in the next week; we're putting together our vetting committees for programming (if you're interested, please let me know!) and getting ready for the Early Decision programming submissions; and we're pulling together contracts for two special venues that y'all are gonna love, as well as contacting guests and working on Wrock the Rock and the Prison Break Ball.

OH - and very important: Don't forget that we're holding a book fair in a couple weeks to celebrate the release of Tales of Beedle the Bard - your purchase at a Barnes and Noble, along with any other holiday shopping you might do there, will help HPEF and needy children. The vouchers are good NATIONWIDE at any Barnes and Noble and INCLUDE cafe purchases, so your coffee or coffee cake will also raise money! Watch the [ profile] azkatraz community and the website for more information. The book comes out in only 2 weeks!

(Oh, yeah, so I didn't get cast, obviously - and the girl I thought she was going to cast was in fact the one she cast. Man, directors. They're so transparent.)

The show opened last night and there were only a few slight wobbles and slip-ups on my part - a couple early calls, a couple late ones - but nothing too obvious apart from one cue that I called and Frank didn't GO, so we were behind by a cue (and then late because I didn't realize we were behind until a really obvious light change didn't happen, but it's quick and followed by a complicated series of calls. Oops). Still. Kill me if I ever stage manage again, okay?

Oh, and one interesting thing. Earlier in the week when I was running the cue-to-cue, things were getting a little crazy and in particular, it seemed like every time I thought we had everyone together and could start something, someone wandered away or wasn't where they were supposed to be. And I was getting frustrated. At one point I turned to Frank and said, "Let me ask you something: When I speak, when the words come out of my mouth, are you hearing them? Are they English? Or am I just shouting into the wind?" - but, y'know, humourously, as a way of blowing off some attitude so that I *didn't* yell at people. At the end of rehearsal, after Celia's notes, I made folks again aware that the PA system doesn't work and so we have no way of running around to every nook and cranny of the theatre to make calls. It'll be easier when we're running (I said), but I reiterated that a. people can't go wandering off without letting someone know where they're gonna be; b. when I'm calling the show, especially if we're standing by for a cue, you CANNOT SPEAK into the headsets. No questions, no "Oh, Shit" and especially no, "Gwen, can you hear me?" because then I'm dealing with you and not CALLING THE CUE like I'm supposed to. And I think I said something about being on time, checking your props, etc., and I concluded by saying that if such-and-so doesn't happen and they're not good children, "I'm gonna get pissed. And you don't want me pissed." Because y'know? I'm a bitch, but I don't want to get angry with my friends, so don't give me cause.

Well. A few minutes later, the de-facto ASM (she's really officially Crew, but she kinda took on the role of ASM as a way to help the props mistress), and also former president of the group, asked to pull me aside and said that the *director* "had a problem with the anger" and asked me to curb the hostility (which...what hostility?) because it was "disrespectful." Well, it seemed really odd, because while I've never worked directly with this director before, I know her reputation well and I've already come to know in the short time working together that she doesn't hold back on her own vinegar when it's appropriate. She's not belittling (and I like to think I'm not either), but warm and loving she's not either. So it seemed strange that the tiny bit of frustration (which she was feeling too) and the strong note of warning I used would have been "over the line" to the director. But whatever, right? I know I'm scary and sometimes that puts people off. So okay.

But it bugged me.

I mentioned it to someone who has worked with this director A LOT and he said, "Well, that's kinda rich coming from her" which, yeah, I felt better.

But then the NEXT night, she told me that for the piece where I shout out of the booth, she doesn't want me to play it as apologetic and instead to be more gruff. And the actor to whom I say the line said (with the director standing RIGHT THERE), "Yeah, I don't know why you're being so nice on that line. Just be you."

I looked at him for a second and said, with all the love in the world, "Dude, fuck off." And he laughed (and she smiled too), but last night I told him why I really wanted to kill him at that moment. He has also worked with the director many times and knows her well and said, "Well, I would have said to her that she's not the warmest person in the world, either" and assured me that he didn't think there was any problem or that she was unhappy at all with me. Also that the fact that I'm unabashed about by bitchitude is something he likes about me. So good.

But it leaves the question of why the crew member told me she did have a problem. Uh-huh. Talked it over with Amy last night and she pointed out that this particular member has a history and a habit of having a conversation with some authority in which she's looking for permission to act, but the authority figure thinks she's just venting, and then she takes their sympathetic nod for the confirmation that she's looking for so she can "speak to" the person she feels is creating friction.


Community theatre, man.

Okay - totally procrastinating and I should be getting work done. I just had to share and report on opening night.
gwendolyngrace: (GangstaWabbit)
But I want to know first when I can have my 28 hour days, so that I can get more done?

Okay. So y'know what I just did? I just registered for AZKATRAZ. Yeah, I know, right? I'm running the event and I hadn't registered. But here's the thing: I know I want the full smear - Merlin Circle with the Master's in Potter Administration (even if it's unlikely I'll be able to leave the hotel) and all the bells and whistles. I don't think I'm taking the bus to Comic-Con, but that's only because I don't think I'll be able to leave first-thing Wednesday morning.

But I know that's a lot of money. Especially right now, when I've got a bunch of charges on my cards from all the umpty-million trips I've been taking, and I paid for the groups' San Francisco tour and Alcatraz trips on my credit card (and everyone else paid me cash)... so I'm looking at my bills this month and going 0_o.

But the movie tickets are selling very quickly. Azkatraz has already got just under 200 registrants and it seems like *everyone* who registers is buying the maximum 2 movie tickets they are allowed to buy.

So here's what I did: I registered for a one-day registration, so that I could get my tickets. (Yes, [ profile] rani23, I got one for you!) That way, later, when my bills are paid up a bit better, I can upgrade to the whole enchilada. The Merlin Circle price doesn't change, so it's not like I'm going to miss a deadline.

Anyone else in the same boat? Use the same strategy! Register NOW for a one-day registration and then upgrade later and pay the difference. It's like an installment plan ... only not.

Actually, it could be an installment plan if you go back in a month and add something else, like another one-day, or the MPA, or whatever, and then the next month go up to the full deal.

So that was one thing.

Also on the Azkatraz front, COSTUMERS! The deadline for submitting fashion show designs is NOVEMBER 15th! That's next Saturday. We need submissions! This is a fabulous idea and it's gonna be a really cool part of the conference, but only if people actually put in their ideas - just like programming, we can't build it if y'all don't contribute! Put on your thinking caps about what wizarding fashion looked like through history and bring your designs to be modeled on the runway at the Prison Break Ball! Contact with questions or to submit a design.

What's next?

OBAMA, baby. THANK EFFING GOODNESS. I might not have to move to Canada. Not that there's anything wrong with Canada!

I think that's really all there is to say about that.

Work: Still a maniac and have to go in a few minutes to do some of that.

Theatre: Show going much better. Director doesn't need me when she's doing scene work, so yay, not as much rehearsal. Which means I actually had time to go to the grocery store Monday, vote yesterday, and I'll be able to pack tonight and tomorrow so that I'm ready to leave for Cooks and Bards WAY early Friday morning. Have an audition on Wednesday the 12th so PLEASE y'all, if you're at the event, keep me from blowing out my voice. KTHX.

Sidekick: Woe. The trackball died. Have impersonated Heidi to add myself to the account and then dealt with them. Replacement on its way but probably not until early next week. Feh. Miss not being able to check up on things during the commute and while out and about doing worky things.

Supernatural: I'm the lamest of the lame. I've seen up through 4x04, but no, I haven't seen "Monster Movie" and no, I haven't seen Jensen singing, but yes, I know what he sings and yes, I'll get there. I will not be caught up by tomorrow night, either, so I'll have to download 8 and add it to my pile. I will catch up eventually, seriously. On the plus side, I got one of the prompts from my [ profile] wee_chesters community (I offered prompts to members # 199, 200, and 201) and I'm actually working on that. So writing fic again, yay!

Alternity: Still awesome. I have to restrain myself from posting and instead getting work done and things like that.

Okay. I think that's it.
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
I am way too busy for words, trying to keep my head above water, here.

But it's been a cool weekend. We went to the fandom party of awesome for a little while. I love [ profile] nqdonne and [ profile] lesyeuxverts00's apartment! It is the spiff.

Also hung out with [ profile] flourish and her very cute, very nice young man. It was an accident of timing that the four of us arrived together and left together, but [ profile] etakyma and I had tickets to Spookapella V at TCAN.

It was a great concert, but more subdued than in past years. The last one was very Halloween-y, but this seemed like an older crowd and maybe because it was the day after Halloween, no one but the performers were in costume. Well, two of the acts, anyway.

The third act (the post-intermission half) was the professional group Ball in the House. Awesome. But TOTALLY DISTRACTING in that two of the members I SWEAR could have been cast as the Black brothers.

No, sincerely.


[ profile] hpalternity is still awesome and way too much fun. [ profile] azkatraz is going to be SO AMAZING and we are really zeroing in on a lot of the fun stuff that we'll be doing, but we still need a ball coordinator and some other positions and more stuff should be forthcoming about that soon.

I have rehearsal for which I need to leave (and I need to eat!) and then I'll be home later tonight for a phone call with Dad and an Azkatraz chairs' chat.


gwendolyngrace: (Default)

May 2014

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