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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
The Care and Feeding of Shira at Arisia 
10th-Jan-2012 02:41 pm
Knowing is half the battle
Here is your annual reminder of how to deal with me at a con! I've tried to update it appropriately, but I may not have changed everything over from last year.

Physical
* Do not grab me from behind or play guess-who or any of that. My reflex is to strike to disable when I am seized unawares. I do my best to control that reflex, but it's harder when I'm overwhelmed, and cons are overwhelming.
* I have celiac disease; this means I cannot eat that yummy cookie you baked. Please do not be insulted. I am sure it is delicious. Also, if we're out to dinner and you want to try my food, let me put it on your plate, because your fork on my plate will make me sick. Also also, if I decline a dinner invite because I can't eat safely at a place, please don't take it personally. I gotta look out for me. And I'm not going to insist that you change your dinner plans to accommodate me! It's cool, we'll hang out later.
* I also have temporal lobe epilepsy. The seizures I get are complex partial seizures; they don't look like the seizures on TV. The general guideline is that if I'm unusually quiet, you'd be doing well to check and make sure I'm responsive. If I am nonresponsive, please call Adam and/or Judah; their cell phone numbers will be on the back of my badge. Do not attempt any preventative methods like shoving anything in my mouth, please. Just make sure I don't walk into traffic. A normal complex partial seizure lasts 3-5 minutes. If I'm out for more than 5 minutes, that's when you call for emergency medical assistance, not before. Note that I have never required emergency medical assistance for a seizure, so even if I have one, I'm probably going to be fine. If I do have a seizure, I will be very very exhausted and spacey when I come out of it; please help me get up to my room to rest, or find a trusted someone to do so. Again, none of this will probably be necessary, but just in case, you should know it.

Social
* If you know me from LJ, please do introduce yourself! I want to meet you! I know I look busy. Because I am. But I want to meet you! I always feel silly when I've been seeing someone in the halls for three days straight and only after I go home and they comment on LJ do I realize that I totally know who they were.
* If I'm on my way to a panel, I will tell you, and you gotta let me go. This is mostly a factor on Saturday, which is a four-panel day. I absolutely want to hang out with you, but if I'm en route, I don't have time to say more than "hibye!"; please don't take it personally, and do track me down at parties that night!
* I'm a hugger. Hugs are good.

Sexual
I'm not going to have sex with you! You're a delightful person. But I'm not going to have sex with you. Pressure's off! We can just hang out!

In all seriousness, I have nothing against at-con hookups. For other people. But beyond me having little time this weekend to do any sexual encounter justice, I find that I make decisions about this sort of thing when I'm in con headspace (which is very much an altered state for me!) that I would not make otherwise. In particular, I have had two (2) con hookups at Arisia that ended up being yearlong relationships but should've been one-night stands. (To be fair, there was a third Arisia hookup that went just fine and we had a good low-key few months.) I don't want to get fooled by my headspace again, so I instituted a rule against Arisia hookups in... 2007, I think. If there really is something delicious between us, it'll still be there next week.

Timing
The best way to guarantee seeing me is on a panel or at my reading. Other than that, I'm available for meals most days - just text me to set something up! Also I plan on hitting evening parties, and would welcome party buddies.

Contact
* If you don't have my cell phone number and feel like you ought to, e-mail me.
* I'm on eight program items. That means that for a not-insignificant part of the con, I will not be answering my phone. Because that's rude, that's why. But if you text me, I'll get back to you as soon as the panel's over (or faster if it's urgent).

Specific to this year
Abbreviated schedule lifted from the "bios" page of Arisia's site:
Fri 7:00pm Introduction to Arisia
Sat 10:00am So, What's New?
Sat 1:00pm Reading: Amundsen, Lipkin, Rios
Sat 4:00pm Social Change and Con Safety for Teens
Sat 5:30pm Sexual Harassment and Assault in Fandom
Sun 2:30pm Speculative Poetry Slam
Mon 10:00am Collaborating Couples
Mon 11:30am Among the Ruins

And I'll likely be at the Backup Project table much of early Sunday, because that's when I can.

PSA for attendees with dietary restrictions
Repeating this from the staff list: There is no gluten-free food in the staff den. Labeling is likely to be inaccurate. I have no information about green room's labeling, ingredients, or safety protocols. EDIT: I've been told that at least some of the stuff in green room ought to be safe. If you have allergies or other dietary restrictions, I recommend that you plan accordingly.
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