I REALLY Am not Dead

Even if husband has told me I’m not writing for the next three days, and I’m not even going to complain.  2 cons in 2 weeks is REALLY tiring, particularly when the first was a teaching con.  Teaching is fun but takes it out of you.

So for the next two days I’m going to hang out, sleep and imitate the vegetable kingdom.

Some random thoughts:

I didn’t get to see Emily Nelson — not that I remember at least (most of the con is a blur) — which makes it one year out of 7 I’ve actually seen her.  Worse, when Steve said hi, I was plotting with Jeff Greason (you’d only LIKE to know why) so I couldn’t talk.

Next year at Liberty con!

Other passing thoughts: two cons, two weekends? Too much. I got there pre-exhausted.

More serious thoughts: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you’re talking to amuse yourself on an airplane, no matter how much your seat mate likes it, try to keep your voice down. Seriously. And you might think you know a lot about some subject, but if there is some controversy, still keep your voice down.

Being stuck in front of a gal for almost four hours, who wouldn’t STOP and lectured CONTINUOUSLY on history (she knew nothing about) and the theology of MY religion (Which she knew a lot of things about that just weren’t so. As in, yeah, she’s one of us, but one of those who read from the little red book, not the 2k yo one. I could only imagine her holding forth on either Portugal or SF/F as a more annoying thing) is something very akin to torture, particularly if this person is PROJECTING her voice.  The idiot seat companion who encouraged her (judging from after-landing conversation) couldn’t be heard as long as he was sitting.  (I mean I could hear him rumble, but… who cares if you can’t hear the words.) She OTOH.

It interfered with my attempts at reading. Wouldn’t allow me to sleep. And she wouldn’t ZIP IT.

My annoyance went from a great desire to turn back and tell her “Lady, if you want to hold forth professorially on your ill-formed opinions, get a blog like the rest of us, and then people can ignore you.”  to a desire to turn back and stuff my entire jacket in her mouth. And if the flight had gone on another thirty minutes, it would TOTALLY have happened. I’d be in jail now, but I’d never be convicted by a jury of the tired, jet lagged and annoyed. It might have turned into Murder on the Airplane Express.

And then we had to wait to debark, and the guy who’d been sitting next to her started extolling her intelligence while she patted herself on the back for reviving the “forgotten art of conversations on planes.” The sheer lack of self-awareness.  Don’t be that gal. Or guy. Or small furry animal.

My cats… my cats have been trying to figure out how to surgically attach themselves to me.

Greebo continue scolding me in my sleep and — I THINK — his, as he mutter-mutter-muttered all night long.

As soon as I have a firm writing schedule, I shall talk to him about it, and give him Martin Shoemaker’s bribe-tuna.  So he can concentrate on keeping me on schedule.

And now I’m going to go er… not-write.  Looks over shoulder.  Someone tell my husband I’m definitely NOT writing.



105 thoughts on “I REALLY Am not Dead

  1. There are few things worse than being the captive audience of the ignorant.

    1. Like having to sit in the airport or doctors’ waiting room with CNN on the tube?

      1. reviving the ‘forgotten art of conversations on planes.’“?

        There are good reasons that art was, not forgotten, but suppressed.

        “Attendant? I would like to order a milkshake for the person behind me.”

        Of course, one deterrent is to initiate one’s one (loud) conversation with seatmate about loud-mouthed ignoramuses and their tendency to air their vapidity in enclosed travel compartments. Discussions of what tortures Hell has in store for them may be a topic of speculation.

      2. There, you can at least flutter and frustrate them.

        I chirped and totally derailed someone who was blaming all of Chucky Shumer’s brilliant ploys on “the Republicans,” and the gal actually stopped when I kept fluttering and doing the “oh, no, no, remember that was so and so, not thus and such? Although wow do they look alike, you know?”

    2. I blame it on cellphones – which somehow taught a couple of generations that it’s OK to talk loudly in public about things not really of public interest.

      1. I remember a very early ad about texting. . . .

        At the opera, a man took a phone call, and when people tried to hush him, angrily said — can’t you see I’m on the phone? The valkyrie threw her spear and impaled the phone to receive a standing ovation. (someone texted that the opera just got interesting.)

      2. Like I say, just because the technology allows you to have private conversations in public, doesn’t mean you should . . .

    3. I instantly thought of the most memorable portrayal of said situation EVER:

    4. This is why large over-ear headphones were invented. As I type this I’m ignoring people watching youtube on the television. Without going deaf my music completely blocks out the annoying TV show.

      On an airplane, over-ear headphones are a must. On an airplane with some jackass nattering loudly behind me, twice as much. Sometimes they are all that gets me through a flight.

        1. Aaargh! I hate that! Happens to me CONSTANTLY!!! Stupid brain!!!

          I forget everything. All the time. That’s why there’s a USB stick that fits my laptop and my phone on my keyring at all times. Its got music and a backup of current work on it. Worse comes to worst, I can plug it into my phone and at least have -something-.

  2. for the next two days I’m going to hang out, sleep and imitate the vegetable kingdom.

    Carrots, eggplants or onions?

      1. Back would be better here. And there goes the good scotch. Not that I’d mind in such circumstances. (No, I don’t have *bad* scotch, but there is a blended for mixing.)

      2. And like said Zucchini our kind hostess would be quite welcome on our porch. Unlike said zucchini she would NOT be sliced, fried in a bit of olive oil,and cooked in a nice red sauce…

        1. I love it when the zucchini phantom hits Day Job, because he/she/it also leaves tomatoes, yellow squash (ah, pistachio lemon squash bread), and home-made pickles in three flavors.

        2. I have a terrific recipe for a garlic zucchini pickle; if Sarah showed up on our doorstep I could promise to pickle her – garlic optional.

  3. Dan, the above isn’t long enough to be considered “writing”. 😈

    1. Really, it’s not writing. It’s a friendly note to assure people of Sarah’s good health. Not writing.

      1. The stuff after the reassurance is just venting – totally necessary, totally therapeutic, totally not writing.

  4. I rarely flash my academic credentials at random. However, I was in a waiting room, and someone went on and on about how the water managers were doing a terrible thing by not letting a reservoir build up again but were already tapping it for drinking water and this was a real shame and if the speaker had been in charge…

    After ten minutes, as the man inhaled, I glowered over the top of my glasses and said, “The water manager is doing that because,” and proceeded to list law, precedent, contract, and a few other things.

    The topic changed after that. (I’d just finished reviewing a journal article on the topic, or I’d have kept my trap shut and endured.)

  5. Does listening to the 1920’s radio streaming help when one is not writing? It’s a station in Norfolk or Newport News, VA. In iTunes it’s under “Eclectic” all the way at the bottom.

    1. If you just want to hear something randomly different, try Oldies 97.3, Huber Heights. (WSWO) Some hours are normal, while others are just bizarre. Also, one of my old colleagues/higher-up bosses is cheating on classical radio by becoming a volunteer oldies dj.

          1. I was reminiscing just the other day about the Big Deal over Tony Stark upgrading his armor to integrated circuits.

        1. The definition of “Oldies” has really drifted with the times.
          I was in High School in the early 70’s. Oldies stations played 50’s music, with an occasional 40’s tune. Nothing really over 25 years old. The only music 50 years old (1920’s at that time) was in old movies on TV or the Classical music station.
          Now in 2019 Oldies stations play music from the 60’s -> 90’s with a lot of the tracks around 50 – 55 years old. Odd to think Led Zeppelin started 51 years ago.
          The net certainly makes it easier to find the old music if you want it though.

        2. I still remember the first time i was driving down the road and saw a car with a license plate for “old car.” Except — it wasn’t old! It was a perfectly ordinary car that got perfectly ordinary license plates when I was a child.

    2. “The 1920’s Radio Network”? Available on the web sans iTunes. A wonderful source of music (& the occasional old time radio show, if the day is young enough) and the “Cylinder Hour” where they play stuff that might not be ‘clean’ enough (in the free of click-pop-surface noise, etc. sense) for normal broadcast.

  6. I’m not writing for the next three days

    Not to worry, this group has shown that we can entertain ourselves. We want you healthy and sane. Enjoy.

    1. I understand healthy, but sane? How would she fit in with the rest of us? Oh yeah, 🙂

      1. I’m especially partial to Cesar Frank’s organ works for such purposes. Though the Symphony of a Thousand is good, too, if you can turn up the soft passages.

  7. We were gone for two weeks last month. Midnight, my jet black tomcat literally wrapped himself around my neck like a fur stole. Wouldn’t let me out of sight for several days.

    1. Cats are very interesting creatures. They SEEM to know who the “mom” is and give her due deference and attention even over their favored human. Hiccup our black tom (albeit with a little white tummy patch that looks like his undies are hanging out untucked) is my cat (Or more correctly I am his pet person). However, whenever he comes up on the bed he first visits my wife, head bumping her before coming to hang out with me. Same with Stoick who claims my elder daughter. I wonder if Greebo et alia were particularly freaked out by “mommy” being away.

  8. Things I never thought I’d say: “Don’t write, Sarah! Don’t write!”

    Of course, putting your feet up, closing your eyes and planning out a few scenes and plot twists is totally not writing.

      1. How does that work? Do you rewind the filaments for a different glow? Or just move sockets around?

  9. “My cats… my cats have been trying to figure out how to surgically attach themselves to me.”

    Mr Nemo says he’ll share his chew bones if they’ll tell. Otherwise he hopes that Staybridge is pet friendly.

  10. I just spent a week in London for work. From the moment I reached my seat, before sitting down, the small child in the next aisle began shrieking. Fortunately, I had planned ahead. I popped in my custom made target shooting ear plugs and enjoyed blissful silence. Also works to keep annoying seatmates from trying to have a conversation.

  11. Noise canceling headphones. Invest.

    Same thing happened to me on a cross country flight but the headphones kept it to a dull Charlie-Brown’s-teacher noise.

  12. I would gladly help fund something if you promise to stuff your jacket into some big mouth’s mouth.

    You just need a catchy slogan first.

    1. Just claim to be Anti-Fa and state that she was obviously a NAZI for being so obnoxious, and she should be lucky you didn’t punch her.

      1. Good point. Maybe use one of those pointless “in flight skymall” magazines. If John Wick can use a pencil, then Sarah Hoyt can use a magazine!

  13. I wish I could’ve gone to Libertycon — even if I’d only been going to attend, it would’ve been better than where we did go last weekend. Wisconsin Comic Con was supposed to get at least 10,000 attendees, and instead got 4000. We were paying Michigan Comic Con booth costs for Visioncon levels of attendance, and sales that would’ve kept us in good shape at Visioncon were a disaster. I had to tap into an emergency line of credit I’d hoped to leave untouched, just to make sure our bills get paid until the InConJunction money comes in next Monday.

    OTOH, at least we’re not taking the haircut the promoter is getting. I heard the figure of $250,000 that they’re going to have to make good on room nights and celebrity signing fees that didn’t materialize, plus other costs that weren’t covered by attendance revenues. If they’re wise, they’ll take a step back and regroup, concentrate on their four strong conventions until they have their cash reserves back up, and only then try to expand again, this time with better research so they don’t fail to notice a giant music festival in the same town because it isn’t their thing and thus falls under their radar.

    1. Good luck at InConJunction. Their programming and guest lists look even weaker than 2015, the last year I was there. I hope it proves better than their website is making it look.

      1. It’s a hometown convention for us, so we don’t have hotel or travel costs, making our break-even point much lower. The hotel’s just down the street from us, close enough to walk if the neighborhood were walkable.

        1. Oh, good, because when I stopped in for a few minutes on my way back from Indy to Cincy, it didn’t look to be too lively. I hope it goes well.

    2. Some event planners really need to learn their cities before they even look to do events, or at least listen to the old timers.
      One such planner in Dayton Ohio scheduled a PGA event to occur Hamvention weekend, even after being warned about it. He was new to the area and thought that Hamvention was about pig farming. (This was around the time of Hamvention’s peak, so golfers got to enjoy a nice scenic 50+ mile drive each day.)
      Then there was the NY Jets front office thinking that they could ignore the Indianapolis Events office when they were told to get hotel reservations early for their exhibition game against the Colts in 2003. Said game was the same weekend as Indianapolis’ first GenCon. (It was amusing seeing the Football fans walking though the convention center to the stadium, and both sides reactions to the otherfen. Guy in fullbody Colts paint looking at someone Cosplaying and thinking ‘How weird.’)

      1. That last image makes me think of the ConGlomeration that was held the same weekend as the NCAA championships — when a local university’s team was in the final four. We had several big parties of basketball fans watching their team on big-screen tv’s. Fortunately, the two fandoms managed to share the hotel without incident (unlike some other conventions I can recall), but it was amusing to see how each saw the other.

    1. Nope. WP is just lonely and is hanging onto some people’s posts a while before they show up. WP is reading them like some treasure trove of love letters from a long-ago suitor……

        1. I think I’ll quote your Greek ancestor for the answer to your question.


  14. I think that guy might be trying to get some, but I can’t be sure from the description or lack thereof. She might be 90. I suspect however that she’s attractive because he’s obviously flattering her. Alternatively she might be his boss.

  15. Dropping your seat back “accidentally” too much can provide a little stress relief. If she happens to have a drink on her tray table and it dumps into her lap is more. I try to be pro-active in telling people I plan on napping, so hush!

  16. A fictional scene:

    *Fool expounds on things biblical she know almost something about.*

    “Ma’am, it seems plain you know of what you speak only from some little red book, and not the big black book. You ought to be embarrassed by that.”

    “Why.. you.. what, are you some sort of biblical scholar? Priest? Something??”

    “No. Atheist. And your ignorance is enough to pain an athiest who at least skimmed the big black book.”

    “You…know nothing!”

    “…and that’s still more than you. Good day! Madam.”

    * Atheist orders two drinks, one for the ‘expert’*

    As said, FICTIONAL. But we can dream, can’t we?

  17. and the guy who’d been sitting next to her started extolling her intelligence while she patted herself on the back for reviving the “forgotten art of conversations on planes.”

    Demonstrating humanity’s deepest truth. A man will suffer anything, do anything, say anything, for a mere sniff of getting laid.

  18. That annoying plane loudmouth… murder mystery, maybe. The solution might very well turn out to be the same as in “Murder on the Orient Express”. The sleuth is left contemplating whether to turn them in or no.

  19. Speaking for myself, I am quite busy with preparations for The High Holy Day, so I shall not miss a new post (too much; there is a limit to how long the addiction can be managed).

    Speaking of The Day – which falls within Dan’s ukase – why not just re-post “The Bombs Bursting in Air”? I note that he did not ban recycling, and it has been four years…

  20. Surgically attached cat, you say? *glances down at Ashbutt-cat 6 inches away, pretending that he’s snubbing me for leaving him alone*

    I distinctly remember Kili-cat climbing onto my bladder and purring up a storm at least twice last night, not to mention the raspy chirrup around 4am demanding we pet her, because she’d been lying between us without any human interaction for a few hours.

    They desperately want in the garage, where the catsitter wisely wouldn’t let them. They also don’t want in the garage, because my darling man and I will be out of line of sight. Sigh.

  21. “‘Lady, if you want to hold forth professorially on your ill-formed opinions, get a blog like the rest of us, and then people can ignore you.'”
    That’s exactly what you should have said 🙂
    “It might have turned into Murder on the Airplane Express.”
    Or the Occident Express. I mean…you were traveling west.

  22. 🙂

    Reminds me of our trip from Oregon (PDX) to Florida (Orlando), for Disney World, etc., 1997, (our) spring break. Kid was 7. Going we were on the Red Eye. Everyone (more or less) slept. Well kid did. Kids can sleep anywhere, anytime. He hit the ground running. Mom & Dad … not so much.

    On the way back. Kid talked about the Rocket Garden, Shuttle, manatees, gators, deer, Orca’s, Dolphins, Tower of Terror, Fireworks, Space Mountain, asked questions about the air plane, what was being flown over, with anyone who would engage him in conversation, including dad. (Mom was separated by rows from dad & kid.) The adults encouraged his inquests. Not loud. Just consistent. (Compared to now. I think kid got it out of his system. Conversationalist he is not.) When we were deplaning, all the adults that participated, and some within hearing, complimented him, and us for raising an intelligent inquisitive young man. Seemed sincere, or at least they all hid it well.

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