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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
1st-Jul-2011 11:42 am
Rabbit rabbit!

Happy birthday to mplscorwin!

Happy early birthday to wytchchyld and theferrett, who advance a year over the weekend!

State of the 'Song
Inexplicably not well today. A bit logy and not really holding things in my brain. From stress yesterday, maybe?

Elayna gets a little anxious about the security line, so we went to get me a gate pass so I could walk her back. This should not be a problem. Keep in mind that Elayna is 16. Also keep in mind that poor sindrian is waiting in the cell phone lot this whole time.

Person at first desk: "You need the full-service desk." Augh. That line was long. So is the line for the full-service desk. Fine. We wait.

Person at full-service desk, having been informed that she is 16 and I just want to walk her to her gate: "We need to assign her a meet-and-assist. She'll be the last person on the plane and the last person off, and someone will walk her to baggage claim."
Me: "She doesn't actually need all that. She's flown solo before."
Person: "Well, we can't give you a gate pass without it."
Me: "...fine."

We get through security without incident and get her a burger. I walk her to the gate.

Me: "Hi! I'm just dropping her off and want to make sure I don't need to do anything else."
Person at gate: "She has a meet-and-assist? That means you have to stay at the gate until the plane takes off."

WHAT THE FUCK JETBLUE. I wasn't told that, and wouldn't have agreed to a meet-and-assist if I had been. Remember. sindrian waiting in cellphone lot. Flight an hour from now. AUGH.

So Elayna and I spent an hour hanging out - which is fine! I love my daughter! But she'd've been happy playing Nintendo, y'know?

So finally it's boarding time. Elayna and I decide we're going to pretend we weren't informed about the "last to board" thing and get on line to board her when her section is called. Person at gate pulls us aside.

Person at gate: "She has to be the last to board! The flight attendant has to introduce herself to her so she knows who to go to for help -"
Elayna: "I don't need help."
Person: "But. Are you sure?" She's looking at me, not Elayna, because of course she is.
Me and Elayna, in unison: "I'm sure".
Person: "But we have to - how old is she?"
Me and Elayna in unison: "Sixteen!"
Person: "Oh. Do you want me to remove the meet-and-assist?"
Me and Elayna: *look at each other incredulously, then back at her* "Yes. PLEASE."

So yeah, we made sindrian wait for over an hour for something completely unnecessary, and I will be writing JetBlue a nastygram today. People. Know your goddamn policy. Also, I was flying unaccompanied at 12 and pretty much riding the damn rails at 16. 16 is not infancy, you guys. A 16-year-old can fly alone without being babysat. I PROMISE. If you need me to, I will sign a damn waiver that says that my teenage daughter is perfectly capable of boarding a plane, sitting and playing Nintendo for three hours, and then exiting the plane and walking a few hundred feet to her waiting grandparents.

Other Augh
Dear Pandemonium Books: If you can only hold about 20 people in a space, do not book a performer who attracts 50+ people per concert in that space. Actually, Pandemonium Books, do not host anything ever, because you are the worst venue in the greater Boston area.

Marian Call was awesome, though. It would just have been better if there were chairs for everyone (I didn't give mine up, but my guys had to stand) and if people hadn't been half in my lap the whole show (I had to do Defensive Knitting to demonstrate to this one chick how in-my-lap she was) and if there had been a fan in the store anywhere and basically if it had been anywhere but Pandemonium.

I'm done ranting now.

Interview with me at Apex about "Valentines".

Link Soup
* jimhines has an excellent post on alcohol, rape, and Bristol Palin. WARNING: There's a lot of sociopathic rape apologism in the comments, but also some great rebuttals. NOTE: As Adam said in his post, "Obvious statement is obvious: While this person is simply doing traditional idiotic victim-blaming, do NOT even think about making some sort of snide remark based on the fact that this happened to a Palin; my disregard for that family's politics does not mean for a second that I'm okay with the incident that Bristol reported, and any person who thinks right-wingers -- or anyone -- deserve sexual assault can get the hell out of my LJ."
* DHS documents show agency isn't sure pornoscanners are safe.
* The art of fire.

Daily Science
Spider's double beating heart revealed by MRI.

Friday Memeage!
Wearing: "do science to me" T-shirt from Kawaii Not. Panties. NO PANTS DAY Y'ALL.
Reading: Objects of Worship by Claude Lalumiere and Gender Outlaws by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman.
Writing: Shayara.
Knitting: emilytheslayer helped me sort out the Clothilde shawl yay. So I need to work on that and the damn Hemlock Ring bind-off.
Planning: Got a lot of stuff to do today that I can do without stressing my wonky body. Tonight, concert! Tomorrow I'm helping sindrian move back in with taura_g. I need to find out when grntserendipity is hitting town, as that might influence my Sunday. Monday tablesaw arrives, and we shall be grilling. :)

1st-Jul-2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Wearing: Red swishy broomstick skirt. Shirt will come later maybe.

Feeling: Weird. Out of the loop, missing being in the inner circle and tired of feeling bad about it because it's petty.

Health: Fuck all! Sick since Feb?! REALLY?!

Whining: Done.

I got your science right here:

I miss you and would love some 'Song snuggles. Have opened negotiations with the Best Beloved for a Boston trip in a year-ish.
1st-Jul-2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, that Bristol Palin post yesterday... yeaaaah.

Wearing: Kenna T-shirt.

Reading: Switching between Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History, Interfictions Vol. II, and The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Writing: More of the short story I started. Poems.

Planning: Party tomorrow and I asked someone out on a date next week. *crosses fingers*
1st-Jul-2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
Defensive knitting - love it!

Wearing: White sleeveless top, cropped jeans, my Oh My Gods! sweatshirt
Reading: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Writing: I'm working on 2 different reports for work. Woo :p
Crafting: finally getting back into cross-stitching for real. No really. I made lots of progress on my napping puppy piece recently. There will be more cross-stitching this weekend for sure!
Planning: weekend plans are tentative. Tonight will be for relaxing. Tomorrow I might be helping a friend move, if my health permits. And I think I was invited to a 4th of July party?
1st-Jul-2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
I was seriously considering going to see Marian, but ran out of spoons before I ate breakfast yesterday, so the show seemed a bad notion. Now I'm glad I skipped, because dood. Crowded = tears for me on days like that.
1st-Jul-2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was seriously uncomfortable. They set up about 25 or 30 chairs, then made all of us (except 'song) get up and fold the chairs away so they could stuff more standing-room people in. I stuck it out to the end but lots of folks didn't.

The owner(?) behind the counter says that if they do this again, they'll use the much larger downstairs space, which is normally reserved for gaming. Whether it can be adequately air-conditioned, I don't know.

"if there had been a fan in the store anywhere" . Oh, you mean the spinning kind of fan. There was one, in the back, but it was totally ineffective for such a large crowd.

By the end, I was standing at the back, next to the open door. Couldn't see Marian very well from there, but at least I wasn't going to faint from overheating. During the show, some dude came in wanting to trade Magic cards, and the owner couldn't say no to him. All of us concertgoers in the back rolled our eyes...

Edited at 2011-07-01 04:25 pm (UTC)
1st-Jul-2011 04:46 pm (UTC)
They did this UPSTAIRS? Geez, no fucking wonder.
1st-Jul-2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
Yep. I guess this concert was arranged too late to kick out the gaming group downstairs.
1st-Jul-2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
I'd been all sad because I mixed the days up and I thought it was today, but given that, I'm not sad anymore. Marian Call, I can hear again. In less insane space.
1st-Jul-2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, she'll be back in the fall.

I'm not a fan of concerts and readings held downstairs, either, because the gamers will not shut up - half the downstairs is always filled with people doing their best to drown out the actual event.

If concerts, readings, and events were a priority for Pandemonium, they would need to dedicate the entire downstairs during same. But their priority is really clearly the gamers. Which is fine - if that's where they want to dedicate their business, there's nothing wrong with that. But they need to stop booking events if they're not going to keep the howler monkeys from drowning out the events.

Not that this was a factor at this particular event, but it has been at every other event I've ever attended at Pandemonium. This one was just "yep, Pandemonium still can't do basic event planning."
2nd-Jul-2011 12:07 am (UTC)
I expressed my opinion on Pandemonium's Facebook page and they replied:
Yeah, if we have Marian back, we will definitely clear the downstairs event space for the concert. We expected 2 dozen people tops! We do have AC in
the upper level, but it gets overwhelmed with that many people and also in
the late afternoon/early evening, with the sunlight pouring in through the windows.

I'm taking that to mean that if they have her back, we'll be taking over the entire downstairs. That's what I think he said to me in person as well.
1st-Jul-2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
If you can only hold about 20 people in a space, do not book a performer who attracts 50+ people per concert in that space.

This, exactly. A lot of my brainmeats have been recently devoted to how I can arrange for serious event space in my own bookstore, above and beyond the current topping-out-at-20 ones I already have going ["Spinning Yarns" craft-and-audio, Sudoku demonstrations, weekly storytime, book clubs]. I know a fair bit about crowd control and do not want to bite more off than I can chew.

Wearing: I am boring but comforted today in my "Wal-mart loves lesbian cows and puts them on T-shirts" T-shirt, with demin capris, and green crew socks.
Reading: Finishing LUMINOUS by Dawn Metcalf.
Writing: Thank-you notes to my fellow Book Blokes and Book Babes at NEIBA for their recent store visit & peer review.
Knitting: Suddenly finding myself making a vast amount of loose-mesh armwarmers in metallic yarn for con-going friends.
Planning: Food and movies at home, in between carving paperwork and laundry mountains down to size. Our usual 4th of July movies include the first MEN IN BLACK and PLEASANTVILLE.

1st-Jul-2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
*nods* I was saying that if they can only hold 20 people, they need to sell tickets and cap attendance.
1st-Jul-2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I even pre-register kids for Storytime because I know that I can only fit a certain amount of kids and accompanying adults in the smaller of the two "kids' rooms", having them sit on the floor with beanbags and the rest in scattered chairs. Some weeks it's eight bodies, some weeks it's two, but I restrict it to 15 bodies, tops, so everyone's comfy.

The few booksignings and the one media personality event I have done so far at Annie's have been ticketed and capped... I haven't yet actually charged for a ticket, but it's something they have to show at the signing. Even though it's a much smaller store than the late Tatnuck Bookseller [where we regularly hosted signings in the hundreds of attendees], that model really works well.

And it's not like they have never tried to hold an event before at Pandemonium and thus were blindsided the first time out. I love their selection of books, but I am not sure that they can or should do events.

Being prepared for the worst and hoping for the best has gotten me through a lot.

Hoping your weekend fun goes better. I like the sound of grilling.
2nd-Jul-2011 02:35 am (UTC)
Riding the rails? Any tales to share? I'll listen!
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jul-2011 01:17 pm (UTC)

So what are you up to this weekend?
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jul-2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
So just planning to see you Monday seems best. :)
2nd-Jul-2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Jetblue fail. *headdesk* Of course, they are the same ones who stopped the kids at security, cats in tow, because apparently a five-year-old is a flight risk. So, not surprised. Also the ones who frisked Bryan's 75yr old gran.

Hope that Elayna has a great summer, as it's not looking like the kids can get together with her any time soon. Working on, well, working and finding a summer program for the kids. I have job training M-F mornings until noon for the rest of summer, and we seem to have missed the registration deadline for most things which A)are free/inexpensive and B)the kids are interested in. Looks like they'll be spending three mornings a week at the library until I get out.

Hope that everything else is going well for you.
4th-Jul-2011 04:04 am (UTC)
I had to do Defensive Knitting to demonstrate to this one chick how in-my-lap she was

You could always move to Offensive Knitting if you really have your space violated. "Jackass, I will HOOK you!"

Happy Fourth! Here's to good grilling later! :-D
6th-Jul-2011 10:28 pm (UTC) - The Marian Call Concert At Pandemonium
In regards to the Marian Call concert at Pandemonium....

Yes, the upstairs event space was totally inadequate for the concert, and I apologize for your discomfort.

In my defense, when I was approached about hosting the concert, I was completely upfront about the size of the space. I specifically told the organizer that we could fit around 24 people upstairs, and she was fine with that. I was expecting a very small crowd, and then Yikes!!!

I've told Marian that if she decides to come back to Pandemonium, we'd host her downstairs, were we can fit 82 people (according to the fire marshal) and the AC can keep up!
6th-Jul-2011 10:42 pm (UTC) - Re: The Marian Call Concert At Pandemonium
Thank you! AC and space would improve things greatly. Also seats, because not everyone with an invisible disability always has the wherewithal to fight to keep a chair when all the chairs are going away; sometimes we just try to tough it out and end up suffering for the next few days...

My other problem, as you can see from my other comments in this thread (and yes, I've been snarky; that was a long hard day for a few very frustrating reasons), is that I've been to several events downstairs at Pandemonium, and every single time, the performer or reader gets drowned out by the gamers. The lack of respect for the performer/reader gets very frustrating. The most recent event like this that I attended was the Strange Horizons group reading, where I could only hear one of the six (I think) readers, and I wasn't seated very far back - the gamers just don't have or use volume control. I know that gaming is a big source of Pandemonium's income and so you often have to prioritize that, but is there any way the downstairs can ever be reserved exclusively for readings and events? Because most of the time I end up just not going, because I know I won't be able to hear the person/people I came to hear, and I'll be subject to the escalations of the group who clearly feels like the people attending the event are invading their space.

On a positive note, though, the employee at the register during the concert was excellent. He handled a difficult situation as well as he possibly could, kept us updated, didn't argue when I said I really needed to keep my chair, and taught a little girl in the audience how to play Magic. Full marks to him, seriously.
6th-Jul-2011 11:37 pm (UTC) - Re: The Marian Call Concert At Pandemonium
We have cleared the downstairs for literary events in the past, usually for author signings: Valente, Novik, Stross, Weis & Hickman, etc. I have learned my lesson about trying to fit disparate events downstairs, and I specifically created the upstairs space so Pandemonium would have an option for quieter, more intimate gatherings (Now, with Natural Light!!!) Of course, the 2nd time we host an event upstairs, we get swamped!

Tomorrow night will be the Nancy Holder signing, and we'll see how that will go!

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