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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
So besides that, Mrs. Lincoln. 
21st-Aug-2012 03:37 pm
Here is some catching up!

My Reading
Was awesome. Annie's has a cozy space for reading, and we filled it! Thanks so much to everyone who came out and to p_m_cryan and novelfriend for having me!

I rode a pony!
Okay, novelfriend's horse is tall enough that she is maaaaaybe not exactly a pony, but riding a horse is equally awesome. Calico is a pinto and a sweetheart, and Judah got to ride her too, and that was a lovely afternoon. <3

Okay, when I said "9 panels is perfect!", I may have forgotten that I'm used to pulling that off problem-free at 4-day conventions. Whereas Pi-Con runs from 6pm Friday to 3pm Sunday. So. That. Was kind of a lot. And I hadn't been able to do as much prep as I wanted, because of trying to scrape myself back together after Jack's death. I managed to do a decent job, I think (I did get compliments), and generally relied on "This is my $Xth of 9 panels" to explain exhaustion and not progress to "also, our cat just died," because no one really wants to have that conversation. I like being on panels, though! So while my fatigue was sort of epic, it was still a good time filled with interesting conversations. And my reading was well-attended and had a bunch of people I don't even know, who hopefully I didn't depress too much!

And there was Barfleet. I like Barfleet.

Why I Like Barfleet
1. You can buy a cheap souvenir cup or take the plain cup and you get free drinks all night.
2. They actually card and are rigorous about not giving alcohol to minors. (Yes, I greeted the Commander with a hug and we traded stories about our kids. Yes, he still carded me. I have no quarrel with this.)
3. Great music. Okay, sometimes not good music, but fun music.
4. They actually do sexual assault prevention stuff.

Read #4 again.


The first time I personally noticed this was when I was sitting on the windowsill talking to friends and an adorably-slightly-inebriated sindrian plopped down by my feet, rested his head in my lap like he was a unicorn and I a maiden, and curled a hand around my thigh. Pretty much instantly, Barfleet staff surfaced and asked, "He okay?" In response to my "Yep! He always gets snuggly like this," the staffer nodded and ninja-vanished, and it only occurred to me a moment later that that was a check-in; it wasn't "Does he need a barf bag?" it was "Do you need him off of you?"

This wasn't an isolated incident. Okay, a bunch of us got very snuggly that night, and some of us got a bit more-than, prompting my "we're putting the whore back in Horta" tweet. And I saw multiple staff members performing multiple checks on multiple groups of people, as general policy. If it looked like there was a little drunk-sexiness going on, Barfleet staff made sure everything was cool. Unobtrusively, but decisively. Pretty much everything we've been saying party hosts ought to do for years.

So yeah. Props.

Museum of Fine Arts
So I went from travel and reading and con and travel straight into a Get Shit Done week. Elayna has slacked on her summer homework because her best friend was leaving for college and they wanted to spend every last minute together; said friend is now off at school and we are playing catch-up. Yesterday we watched The Artist (none of us can figure out why that was homework, but we liked it, so okay) and went to the Museum of Fine Arts.

The MFA is awesome. When I have money, I want to get us a membership so we can go all the time, or at least I can, because a 4-person family trip = herding cats. The MFA is enormous, you guys. We spent about four hours there and only saw a tiny fraction of what was available, just because there is so much. Also the layout is very labyrinthine. It took us a lot of searching to find the Buddhist Temple Room, which is down a narrow corridor and then through a mini-maze. (That room is amazing. Find it.) From there we stumbled upon Gonkar Gyatso's work in the Seeking Shambhala exhibit, which we were just awestruck by, to the poorly-hidden delight of the museum guard/docent/not sure. He just kept looking at us and grinning. We are enthusiastic in our art appreciation!

Our absolute favorite, though, was the new contemporary art wing. Many of the pieces in other wings made us go "woooow", but this wing was so exciting for us! Elayna will be writing that up, so I'll ask if I can repost her essay here, but - really cool, really engaging stuff. Elayna's favorite piece was a projection by Jenny Holzer, a 60-minute long marquee scroll of individual brutal, lovely sentences. We want to go to the ICA next.

(The video room is super-freaky.)

We Make Doctors Nervous
When we called Elayna's pediatrician last month about some RSI pain she was having, we did not like the response we got; the doctor couldn't take time to see her and dismissed our concerns, and the staff (lied and) said they'd been trying to reach us to schedule her back-to-school physical, and now they can't possibly see her any earlier than late October.

So I did not exactly tell them to fuck off, but I switched her care to Adam's-and-my doctor. She's seventeen and a half. She doesn't need to stick to a pediatrician. So Adam brought her in yesterday for her pre-appointment baseline blood draw, and told me that they seemed very nervous about her age. They don't usually take minors, apparently. I told them her age on the phone when I scheduled the appointment! I don't know.

I took her in today for the actual checkup (the pain resolved within two days), and boy howdy were they all nervous. I mean, the tech was nervous, and the doctor was super-nervous. I get the feeling that he hasn't interacted with a teenager in a very long time. He so clearly had no script. At the end, he even tacked on a "the internet is dangerous for a young person" monologue. Also, I thought he was going to faint when he finally managed to bring up the fact that she will eventually need a gynecological exam, and was visibly relieved when I reassured him that I had a gynecologist we would handle that through when the time comes.

My goodness. She's seventeen and a half! Is that really so young for a non-pediatrician? Can I get a ruling on that, y'all?

And that catches us up to now.
And now is when I go and be Mean Mom and make sure she's doing her summer reading, and see what Judah's doing, and maybe get a little rest.
21st-Aug-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
I miss Barfleet.
22nd-Aug-2012 05:41 am (UTC)
Me too. Really good folks, really good use of experience and wisdom to help geeks party safely.
21st-Aug-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
Horta ... ick.

You know something tastes bad when you need to use ng ka py to wash the flavor out of your mouth.
21st-Aug-2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
I LOVE horseback riding. I rode when I was 15 until I was 25, leased a horse during the summer, and I loved every minute of it. I only stopped because the stable moved too far out of the city for me to get there. More than anything, I want to ride again.
21st-Aug-2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Barfleet takes "safe space" very seriously. Part of why I'm glad to have joined up.
21st-Aug-2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
Welp, I tried to google Barfleet to learn more about them, but apparently McAfee thinks they're pornography, so. Anyway, sounds neat!
21st-Aug-2012 08:28 pm (UTC)
Barfleet is a nonprofit organization that throws room parties at conventions, and donates profits (they do raffles, sell T-shirts and cups and the like, and have a tip jar out) to charity. They're mostly in the Midwest, but there's one ship (branch), the U.B.S. Shameless, operating out of western Massachusetts/northern Connecticut. The Shameless throws parties at Pi-Con, Arisia, and is planning to be at two others next year (not to mention, there's no Pi-Con next year).
21st-Aug-2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
That sounds pretty awesome, and nothing at all like pornography :)
21st-Aug-2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
Well, the raffles tend to include a couple of sex toys/swings, and the crew's names include Lieutenant Venus Guytrap and Lieutenant Commander Manhora...but no, not pornography. Just a relaxed atmosphere (but with finely-tuned antennae for trouble).
21st-Aug-2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
I should really consider trying to get a chapter into Montreal/Ontario. I am liking what I am hearing.
22nd-Aug-2012 05:44 am (UTC)
You would seriously dig it. I was approached when I first met them.

The first chapter was out of Ohio, if memory serves me correctly. The were a Starfleet troop that lost its charter, so they got into hosting convention parties.
21st-Aug-2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
Wonder if McAfee didn't like the first four letters of their name?
5th-Sep-2012 03:44 am (UTC)
Actually, the Commodore does that on purpose because of the explicit nature of some of the subpages and themes of certain Barfleet chapters. To prevent an accidental "oh god that's NSFW" fail, he intentionally makes Google register the site as Adults Only, which triggers certain web filters. As intended. ;)

- Hawke McScotch
- Chief of Security, UBS Abandon (Ship!)
21st-Aug-2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Considering that at least a few people (such as me) graduate a year early from high school and go to college while 17, and would thus most likely end up at either student health (with standard adult primary care physicians) or a local practice (and who, upon entering college, would be caught dead going to a pediatrician, short of being a teen prodigy?), no, there is nothing weird about going to a non-pediatrician as a seventeen-year-old. And, in fact, I did go to a local practice to see adult primary care physicians and nurse practicioners during my first year of college.
21st-Aug-2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
I quit seeing a pediatrician and saw a general practitioner by the time I was fifteen. But then, by then I'd had the Great Disease O'Doom and everything, so there was that, but no, it was not a big deal. Of course, with HMOs etc., there are a shortage of GPs that treat both kids and adults. Le Sigh.
21st-Aug-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
FFS. Back in the olden days, a pediatrician tossed you out the door at 12. My pediatrician kindly kept me until I was 14, and then only sent me off to a GP because she'd noticed I was taller than she was. (My pediatrician, who was made of awesome, was the founder of neonatology in Delaware, and still, at mid-to-late-80something, is at least titularly running the NICU at the main hospital in DE. I once had a GP in Delaware ask me for my vaccination records. When I told her that my grad school had lost them, she got concerned and was going to do them all again, but asked, "Who was your pediatrician?" When I told her, she said, "Oh, Doctor Esterly! *worshipful look* Well, no need, I know your vaccinations were done right and you got them all.") WTH is all this hot mess of PCPs not knowing what to do with adolescents?
21st-Aug-2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
I think the last time I saw a pediatrician was to get my shots for college, so 17, but I don't quite remember. I think if you can drive yourself to the doctor, you should be able to go to whatever doctor you want!
21st-Aug-2012 08:54 pm (UTC) - We never used a peadtrician with my daughter.
She saw the family practicioner since she was 2 weeks old.
She's now 21.
He's the family doctor.

That is a wierd concept in these parts.
21st-Aug-2012 09:48 pm (UTC) - Re: We never used a peadtrician with my daughter.
Same for me. Oh, I had doctors change over the years but it was because they were transferred or we were (Army brat) -- but I went to the family practice unit at Madigan AMC, and I still use a (non-military :-) family practice doctor today.
21st-Aug-2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
I've had problems with my doctor seeming very nervous with me even though I'm 28 and have been seeing him since I was 24. I did stick with my pediatrician through college, but that only means the one time I was home on break and needed a refill on my inhaler I convinced her to write the prescription, otherwise I saw student health on campus. Anyway, when I'm in the waiting room most of the other patients at the clinic are elderly (70+) a couple of times I've seen someone closer to middle age, never have I seen anyone closer to my age. I've thought about switching to someone more familiar with young adults, because he comes off generally nervous and hesitant, especially when it comes to sex questions, and then I don't feel like talking to someone who is clearly uncomfortable and yeah
21st-Aug-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
I stopped seeing a pediatrician at 11 or so, but Kate had hers up until college.
21st-Aug-2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
From what I can tell here in MA, yes, even 17.5 year olds warrant pediatricians. I think ours takes patients through (very) early 20's
21st-Aug-2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
Also campus health services may be "adult" care, but they really are focused on the general college ageset - so late teens/early twenties.
(Deleted comment)
21st-Aug-2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
When I was growing up in northern NH, shortly after the earth cooled, we didn't actually have pediatricians in our area--we had general practice/family practice doctors locally, and that was it. I saw the same doctors as the rest of my family from the time I was born onward, with no ill effects that we know of.

(Strange but true: the female GP who gave me my very first GYN exam before I started college at 19--I waited a year after high school--ended up committing suicide a few years ago after getting into a fight w/her teenage son; I don't recall all the details, except that it involved pills and it was done in such a way as to deliberately mess w/the kid as much as possible when he found her. WTF?!? Ah, rural NH...)
21st-Aug-2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
It was great having you here at the store.

Some day I will make it to a Barfleet bash.
22nd-Aug-2012 12:13 am (UTC)
I've been using the same family practice (for me as WELL as for Milo, and B joined in when she moved here) since Milo's first post-hospital checkup, coming up on 17 years ago. Milo's shifted physician-of-choice within the practice, but there's been no issue.

I really liked it being a family practice with lots of experience doing blood draws on children, given my small and skittish veins. Sadly, the REALLY good tech has left, and now I have to go down to the phlebotomy lab, because none of the current ones can manage it.
22nd-Aug-2012 02:46 am (UTC)
When I was a young'un of 17, and younger, my parents and I, we all tied onions to our belts, that being the style at the time, and saw the same family doctor rather than taking me to a separate pediatrician.

Edited at 2012-08-22 06:04 am (UTC)
22nd-Aug-2012 08:03 am (UTC)
My kids never had a pediatrician. They saw a family doctor in Ohio, and a family doctor in Arizona - but...when the 17 1/2 year old had to have an emergency appendectomy, the hospital surgeon refused to do it, and sent her to a different branch of the same hospital chain to a pediatric unit for the pediatric surgeon to deal with it. I think it's more nervousness about insurances and legal issues than anything else. Both of our family doctors are great, from birth on up to teens. Wish there were more like them everywhere.
22nd-Aug-2012 01:31 pm (UTC) - I bet it's the insurance
My guess is that doctors have to carry different sorts of insurance for treating minors and in the eyes of the law and insurance it doesn't matter if she's one day shy of 18 or what, so long as she's a minor it's a different matter. Not having the right kind of coverage for that can get you put out of business, not to mention all the differences in forms, HIPAA nonsense and so forth that dealing with legal minors requires.

This is not to dismiss that the doc may well have been uncomfortable treating a minor, particularly a minor girl - the "no script" thing. That type of situation can lead to all sorts of awkwardness. All of which is to say I have some sympathy for the doc, whose staff may have put him in a position he'd rather not have been in.

Topic-jump: yay for Barfleet!
23rd-Aug-2012 10:59 pm (UTC) - Re: I bet it's the insurance
Insurance companies allow parents to carry kids until they're out of college (was 23, might be 26 now?) and pediatricians tend to allow the "kids" until then too... I would not be surprised if there's a connection there.

Also, there is a difference between a GP and a family practitioner; this guy may not have been trained for family practice.
23rd-Aug-2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
I love to ride. I haven't been riding in forever.
I also love museums.
26th-Aug-2012 02:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for all the Barfleet related love! It was great to see you (and all ya'll) and we hope to see you at the next event real soon...
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