So. Where have I been?
As you know (Bob), there was the marathon bombing. And that's pretty much where I left off. So:
Elayna chose Bay Path!
Already posted that, but worth saying again! Bay Path is a small women's college pretty much on the MA/CT border. The size and mood of the campus suit her perfectly, and she really fell in love with their philosophy regarding the training of teachers. We put down the deposit, and now we get to figure out how to pay for everything! But I am so happy that we took the time and looked around, and she was able to make the perfect decision for her.
And then we were under siege.
I was loopy-tired upon our return from Bay Path. Eventually I went to sleep... and woke up to the news that one of the marathon bombers had been cornered in Watertown, and that our city was on lockdown.
SO THAT WAS AN INTERESTING DAY.
For the record, I'm 100% fine with how law enforcement handled everything that day. Yes, it was scary. And I have Gun Issues, so our street filling with SWAT guys with semiautomatics was, y'know, difficult, but the law enforcement folks we interacted with were polite and professional.
When they finally caught the guy, mllelaurel and wired_lizard and their roommate turned up on our doorstep, and we all went out to the impromptu block party on Mount Auburn. I may have had some bourbon. We may have stolen some caution tape.
A frayed knot
Now, you may remember that I had already been massively overstressed due to more than a month without a break just going into that week. So... as you can imagine, that did not help.
As I said in my post last week, though, I am fortunate in my friends. And kythryne was able to take me in for a few days. Without which... I don't even want to consider what my stress level would be today, but as it is, it's Too Damn High!
I had a friend in town and we tried and failed to invent drinks, and I went dancing.
This! Is! Jeopardy!
I took the bus to NYC midday Monday for my Tuesday Jeopardy audition. I do not like NYC. No offense to those of you who love it, but I think NYC and I are allergic to each other. Massive antipathy. *scowl* My dislike of NYC is so strong that I was grumbling about just skipping to Jeopardy audition. Which I know I would have regretted, so I went.
So. Tuesday. Jeopardy audition! People have been curious! The process:
1. Arrive at hotel. There is no signage. Get directions from concierge. Get lost thrice. Fetch up at the doors of the conference room and sit around awkwardly with a bunch of people who are doing the same.
2. We are called! Contestant wranglers are perky at us! We are recalcitrant but attempting enthusiasm!
3. 50-question written test. This is where I finally started to relax. The answers were shown on an overhead projector, and we had 8 seconds to write down the questions (but not in the form of a question). This may not sound like a lot of time, but it's actually plenty. I knew most of the questions right off, which enabled me to go back and think about questions I'd gotten stuck on - like an acronym I knew I'd gotten wrong (and fixed in time), and a case where an answer about a French painter meant that the names of EVERY FRENCH PAINTER EVER dropped into my head simultaneously (also fixed in time).
* They grade the tests. Everyone quietly freaks the fuck out because it is a room full of hyperintelligent people with Impostor Syndrome.
* They come back in and start us playing the actual game with the actual buzzers! I am in the first group because of course I am. Now, what people say is that everyone who gets to Jeopardy is smart - the thing the gameplay comes down to is a) the buzzer and b) not vaporlocking in front of a live studio audience. I have no way of knowing about the audience thing, but I got the hang of the buzzer right away; my round was 90% me and the guy next to me. I don't know how many questions each of us got, because I was just focused on the next question, then the next question, and was not keeping track. But I feel that I did very well. I guessed on one and got it wrong, but no one else in the room knew it, and that did give me the valuable experience of messing up and not letting it throw off my groove. I got every other question right.
* We are awkwardly interviewed! And here's my biggest piece of advice: DO NOT OVERPREPARE. What they do is ask you about one of the anecdotes you've given them and then (or before then) they ask a question based on your applicant survey. Do not go in with your perfectly-rehearsed speech, because they will throw you off of it. I saw this happen to several people, and it was painful; one journalist was asked who she'd interview if she could interview anyone in the world, and she drew a complete blank. Was prompted. Could not come up with a single name. Do not prepare your speech. If you must prepare, get someone to ask you ridiculous questions and practice answering questions extemporaneously. (They asked about my name change. I was just fine.)
* After everyone gets to play, we are released into the wild, dazed and bewildered, clutching Jeopardy clicker pens, to spend the next 18 months obsessively checking our e-mail.
I ate a sandwich, found my bus stop, got my nails done, boarded the bus, and shortly realized that the building headache and light sensitivity I'd been having were totally a migraine. So then I had 4 1/2 hours of trying to keep my head perfectly still on a bus. Whee?
I am Susceptible to Challenges
I got an e-mail from the head of development at BARCC a bit ago asking if I'd like to be on the steering committee for the Champions for Change Gala. She noted that it was right in my skillset, and she was right - and I've been looking for things I can do for BARCC that might be less emotionally draining, since I still have that damn book to write. So the day after my Jeopardy audition was the cocktail party for potential new steering committee members, where we got to learn more about the position... and it is indeed a really interesting and cool challenge for my skillset. So I'm doing it! More about this in another post, because to do the best possible job, I need your help!
I am an anthropologist in the field of girl
(Do I quote myself? Very well, then let me quote myself.) The next night was a Shopping Event outing with thegreenyear. $7 ticket, four free drinks, swag bag, and looking at a lot of very femme stuff. Some of which was...interesting? The food vendors were good at gluten-free, though, and it was a fun night in fun company!
And then I went boom
Then my body decided that it had had Quite Enough of what I'd been doing to it and pretty much shut down on Friday. Which was apparently necessary, but deeply vexing.
Almost caught up
We went to Rogue Burlesque's Hot & Heavy Cabaret, which was amazing fun - and is happening again this Friday and Saturday! You should go! You should take me! And we saw Iron Man 3, which... you have to see it and I can't tell you why. Promise me you will! I returned my new glasses to be tweaked again, I bought Mother's Day gifts at the MIT Glass Lab sale, and I have done any number of other small things.
I have two weeks til I fly to Chicago pre-Wiscon. Elayna's prom is a few days after my return, and her graduation is a week later, so I need everything for those events taken care of before I go. In addition to general Wiscon prep. I have two doctor appointments, lots of evening and weekend plans, and a five-day houseguest who arrives tomorrow. So. Whee?
The good thing is that while I'm out of town, there really is nothing I can do re: any household stuff that may arise. So I won't have any of that nagging at me for the week I'll be gone. Also, I'll be in excellent company, and I'm familiar enough with Madison that I can just wander off for tea if I'm overwhelmed and need a break.
And as a couple of you have picked up with narrowed eyes and suspicious smiles, yes, there's someone(s) who's been keeping me together through the unrelenting chaos of the past few months. But that's for another post.
So that's what I've been up to. You?