In the last 24 hours, I posted the following to Twitter:
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- Tuesday, 2357: Frying pan filled with simmering curry happiness. Later I will start the rice.
- Wednesday, 0019: It's sometimes fun watching technical arms races, when the result is the users win.
- Wednesday, 0027: I'm not entirely sure why ice with scalloped edges and shaped like stars makes the day awesome, but it really does.
- Wednesday, 0028: Baby got books! http://jimhines.livejournal.com/591660.html (and yes, someone linked http://wins.failblog.org/2011/08/04/epic-win-photos-cant-deny-win/ in the comments)
- Wednesday, 0044: Didn't feel anything. Curry smells good, though.
- Wednesday, 0050: RT @earthquakesSF: A 3.9 magnitude earthquake occurred 2.49 mi NNE of San Leandro, CA. Details: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Quakes/nc71625060.php Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.7%2C+-122.1+%283.9+magnitude%2C+5.59+mi+deep+-+Tue%2C+August+23%2C+2011+11%3A36+PM+PDT)&ll=37.7,-122.1&spn=2,2&f=d&t=h&hl=e
- Wednesday, 0051: This is convincing me that I need a pendulum visible from my computer. Though I think I would have been in the kitchen for this one.
- Wednesday, 0052: I attribute the decline and fall of the toaster oven to my own clumsiness and the small kitchen, not the quake.
- Wednesday, 0057: @merfilly I like it when She dances slowly and carefully and often.
- Wednesday, 0101: @merfilly Word.
- Wednesday, 0127: @humpuphigh Indeed! I used to look at the graphs in the seismology lab downstairs from FatherSir's office. Always jiggling away.
- Wednesday, 0215: @cakewrecks That's a pefectly lovely sleep schedule, it is! If a bit inconvenient for things like day-businesses.
- Wednesday, 0318: @deirdresm Oh jfc. I hated them when I worked for the orange and green, and I have no reason to stop loathing them now.
- Wednesday, 0323: @deirdresm I only met them in ~2007, when I started working for a US competitor of theirs. I was not charmed.
- Wednesday, 0338: Duuuuuude. Mindfulness (placebo) pills. REMOTE SENSING PILLS. Duuude. #weliveinthefuture http://vimeo.com/27380858
- Wednesday, 0404: Not a fan of last night's dream with bad guys spraying poison because we knew too much.
- Wednesday, 0405: Shawn was a surprisingly effective bodyguard but that did not deter them.
- (I sleep.)
Wednesday, 1036: Unless you're a spammer. RT @CriticalA: If you're having fun on Twitter, you're doing it right no matter how you're doing it.
- Wednesday, 1037: RT @TechSoup: Poll: How did you hear about the earthquakes yesterday? RT if it was on Twitter!
- Wednesday, 1040: @denny There's also chewing gum, though that can be slightly revolting. But better than face-chewing.
- (I sleep again, and dream. This time, the dream is in the airport-commuter-hell stressdream universe, and we had to climb on top of the moving plane in order to skydive off, because only three of us were getting off at that airport and the plane couldn't be bothered to stop for us. Airplanes are not supposed to be inflatable, and it was surprisingly hard to cling to in a way reminiscent of water-and-inflatable-something physics, not giant-metal-projectile-and-wind sort of way.)
Wednesday, 1413: The banks in SEA of my airport stress dream universe have huge novelty lollipops. Also pickpocket conmen.
- Wednesday, 1414: Punching a dream conman is like punching a pinata full of M&Ms and your own lists, except you're afraid of arrest.
- Wednesday, 1420: I am sure real airlines do not make you skydive to the connecting airport if you are the only 3 getting off.
- Wednesday, 1558: @seananmcguire Your reign is cruel but fair.
- Wednesday, 1606: @cyanne2ak Change your Twitter password; you've been compromised.
- Wednesday, 1616: RT @minermikeminer: "Guys, we're making this heist MUCH more complicated than it needs to be." - Occam's 11
- Wednesday, 1630: @evanhamilton And they may already be implementing something the community wants, or very close to it. #cmgrchat
- Wednesday, 1632: RT @tiferet93: Kushiel's Robot #robobooks #onlywayPhedremakessenses
- Wednesday, 1639: RT @semanticist: Prize for most disturbing thing I've seen today goes to the 13" long ejaculating Loch Ness Monster cock dildo.
- Wednesday, 1648: @mamajoan Didn't even feel it!
- Wednesday, 1654: RT @misoranomegami: Man uses a bird house to trick speeders into slowing down | Technology News Blog - Yahoo! News http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/man-uses-bird-house-trick-speeders-slowing-down-010529587.html v ...
- It is at this point that I see that OMG LEV GROSSMAN IS SIGNING TONIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO. Schedule conflict: I am supposed to be going to an #octribe (Online Community Managers local group) meetup tonight, starting at 7pm. I turn to the internet for help.
[16:54] Azz> PLAY LEV GROSSMAN IS IN MY BAY
[16:55] Eveandriss> WHAT
[16:55] Eveandriss> lives in the SF Bay?
[16:55] Eveandriss> or touring the SF bay?
- I decide that whichever, I had best get my ass dressed. As I am pulling on clothes, I recall that besides fish being excited about him, Tif had also expressed enthusiasm. And there are many #octribe meetups, but it is not every month that Lev Grossman comes to SF. I wibble.
- Wednesday, 1657: RT @aral: Did your event or conference get burned by PayPal?
Submit your own horror story here: http://conferencesburnedbypaypal.tumblr.com/submit
- [17:01] Azz> TOURING
[17:01] Azz> TONIGHT
[17:02] Play> are you seeing him?
[17:03] Eveandriss> you should if he makes you this excited.
[17:03] Azz> Kepler's Books 1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA 94025 650-324-4321
[17:03] Azz> http://www.keplers.com/event/lev-grossman
[17:03] Azz> I have not yet read any of his books but many fish have! and Tif!
[17:04] Azz> And he is the one who wrote "The Boy Who Lived Forever", which made me cry.
[17:04] Azz> 7pm. 2 hours.
[17:04] Eveandriss> I read The Magicians.
[17:04] Eveandriss> It's a deconstruction of fantasy, and it helped me get over my messed up need for something impossible.
[17:04] Eveandriss> So the book has a special place in my heart.
[17:04] Azz> Can you goooooo?
[17:05] Eveandriss> Nope.
[17:05] Azz> alas
- Wednesday, 1705: It's possible for more than one person on the internet to have the same word in a language as a username they use and identify as *headdesk*
- I decide. I have to go. I attempt to make Google Maps behave.
[17:06] Eveandriss> alas
[17:06] Eveandriss> brb
[17:06] *** Eveandriss!~User1@ has quit IRC: Quit: Leaving.
[17:11] Play> I haven't read any of his books...
[17:11] Play> but I read his essay on fanfic (:
[17:11] Play> well, article
[17:12] Azz> it made me cryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
Firefox is about the speed of molasses in February. I give it up as a bad job. I can just depend on Riddle, the reasonably trusty satnav. I slam on my earphone, grab my phone, and go. As I lock the door, I tell Tif's voicemail about the event. I race to the garage and program the destination into my satnav, then text Tif with details in case she doesn't get my voicemail. I figure that it is probably too late for me to pick her up, but if she takes Caltrain, the bookstore is right next to the station. I set out.
5:28. My phone rings. I hit the headset button to answer it. It's Tif. Can I meet her at BART? I swing down the approach to 280, and take the exit that will turn me in the other direction. I suspect we will be late, but this is more for her than me now, even though I am excited as hell. It will take her a while to get there, so in the meantime I fuel up. I eye the clock. Not sure how long it's going to take her, but I might as well get us coffee. I head for the BART station and stake out a place in the upper parking lot. Happily, I have brought George, and George has 3G internet.
I do take the time to check out the map, and look at the various turns, so Riddle will not be able to spring anything on me. Usually Google Maps and Riddle are remarkably consistent with each other.
- Wednesday, 1905: @zenrhino I think it was inspired by that guy who set about getting rid of a wasp nest all the wrong ways.
- Wednesday, 1912: Thank goodness for Latitude, so I can totally be a creeper & see that @tiferet93 is still on the wrong side of the Bay. #carpool
- Wednesday, 1918: @leverus See you there! #oneofthefacelesscrowd
- Wednesday, 1921: @tiferet93 I hope you like gf granola bars & coffee.
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I un-park myself, but get in the wrong lane and wind up in the garage, not in the pickup lane. Tif is able to find me without too much trouble, though. We zip down 280 in the direction of Sand Hill Road. Riddle, the satnav, is distinctly unhelpful at one point. "Take the exit," he intones in his GladOS voice, with no indication of the direction I'm supposed to turn, and only having looked at the Google Maps route beforehand saved me. That, and the Sand Hill Road exit is a horror show that I've tangled with before.
We find the bookstore, find parking, and find the actual entrance. Score! We find the event (already in progress), then get the books, and find the bathroom. We scurry back, and sit quietly down and listen to the questions.
leverus is thoughtful, funny, and not wearing his Campbell tiara. One person at the right of the room asks a question about the story arcs of female characters in the two books, careful to not give spoilers for those who had not read the second one. He considers his answer carefully, and tries to do the question justice while still avoiding spoilers.
In response to another question, about his inspiration for the books, he asks us to stop him if it gets to be TMI, and then paints a strangely familiar picture: a young man, successful by most objective measurements, but still feeling unhappy, unfulfilled. "#firstworldproblems", he self-consciously jokes.
About his writing practice: it takes him about 45 minutes of online Scrabble to get in the creative groove, but once he's there, he can stay going for a couple hours. The classic writing advice to write something every day left him feeling like he was Doing It Wrong, because that is not how his writing process works. He used to write in coffee shops on account of small crappy apartment, but he has a study, with built-in bookshelves, and a huge work table. It was an impulse purchase, used, originally from a factory or something, and it had to be disassembled to get it inside, and still there were interior modifications in order to get it through. That table is never coming out. It's not ergonomically correct for him, so once he can't take it anymore, he goes to the easy chair. There are great tall windows as well.
He repaired back to the signing table, and a line formed. Tif and I conducted hasty negotiations about the books: we had previously agreed that she'd get the hardback of The Magician King signed to her, and give me her own pristine and unsigned copy (if only we'd had time to hit up her apartment before coming). She wasn't sure whether she'd written her name in her paperback of The Magicians, but after considering it, and seeing the look on her face, I reassured her that actually I was used to secondhand books, and I could live with someone else's name in my book. So she took both books to have them signed. I joined her in the line, because lines are no fun with no one to talk to.
Then we struck up a conversation with the people behind us, a father and son. The son had not read the books yet; the father had. The son had a 10-hour train ride tomorrow. A delightful time was had by all. We talked women in refrigerators, Star Trek, Wicked Girls, the Hugo awards (a painfully close race about which no more will be mentioned, and as you value the happiness of the people involved, do not bring it up to the people who did not win), the variable quality of the fiction of Bujold... Life was good. I scribbled down our Twitter usernames and handed them off to the son, because it was a pleasant conversation that we would enjoy continuing.
It came to be our turn at the table. The person in front of us was talking steampunk; Tif recommended Abney Park. I was prepared! I still had my notebook out, and wrote down the band name, and CaptianRobert[sic]'s Twitter username, plus ours as context. leverus had considered bringing the tiara, but hadn't. Tif had a few things to say. I paused in front of the table, bookless, but explained that I sort of wrangled a YA readers' community (simplest explanation for the #chatfish) and thanked him for writing the book, because it had made my eternal_vows okay with not having been whisked off to Hogwarts or some other similar thing. He said that this was pretty much why he'd written it himself. So there was that.
Giddy, we twirled off into the night, by way of all the other shiny things in the bookstore, the bathroom, and a gluten-free-friendly restaurant recommendation that was a little out of the price range of someone who'd just bought two books. We wound up at the same Chili's that we'd wound up at after one of the other expeditions into Silicon Valley, though it took us longer to get there on El Camino Real than it had the last time, as 101 had been involved and I'd been bending the speed limit a little.
Tif ran back downstairs with her unsigned copies of the books, now my unsigned copies of the books. I went home clutching my prizes and cackling gently to myself.