September 3rd, 2002

Fishy Circumstances

Renaissance Odds and Movie Ends. Plus Zoom! Part 3

Hurray for three day weekends, even if C. didn't have full advantage of it. He flew out this evening for 3 days in Reading, of all places. On the downside, it's for the three days. On the bright side, it's only for three days. His sleep schedule will be a mess by the time he comes back.

Sunday we went Ren-fairing with Jennie and Kelli (who has a car. Thank you, Kelli! Also for the donuts!). I had a good enough time at it last year that I initiated the return trip. The weather was beautiful and the sunshine would have been perfect if I'd remembered to put the sunblock that I'd brought on at the beginning of the day instead of well of the way through it. My skin was pinked but not sensitive before I sunblocked myself up safely. Happily, I didn't leave it too long. Thanks to Kelli, we spent more time shopping than doing anything else. She's very, very entertaining to watch shop, full entertainment in her own right. I caught the plot intro and plot conclusion, but missed any development which happened during the day. We went to one of the jousts (largely tests of skill) and ate a fair amount (I diligently focused on protein -- and my perennial weakness for fruit juices). I've been in need for a while of new skirts of the cotton/machine-washable variety, and I bought I lovely robin's egg blue one which suits perfectly. It's perfect, except for lack of pockets. I also bought a lovely headband/crown/choker versatile bit of jewlery which suits me quite nicely. It was a day well spent.

Spending the day in the sun, however, made me both tired and grumpy, so I fell asleep early and did little today other than tidying and watching the air show and going to a movie with the usual group. The air show made for better watching earlier in the weekend when the sky was blue-er, but was still quite spectacular. It was the first time that having sunglasses proved very very useful, for seeing the formations and contrails against the hazy brilliance. The movie was Possession, an enjoyable academic/historic romance novel featuring more competitive research hijinks than I ever would wish to encounter in my own research life.

Tomorrow is back to real work. Morning: type of last bits of things for professor. Afternoon: commit to either clocks or optics and track down a healthy sample of survey articles.
Fishy Circumstances

Cutty Wren

All weekend long, off and on, I've had the song "The Cutty Wren" going through my head. I'd never heard it before Friday at Music Night but, in the early part of the evening when, for once, it was dominated by the girls (well, two of us), Rebecca sang it and I followed along with the words out of Rise Up Singing. (Which is handy. Most of the usual pieces end up in the groups' binders.) I'm sure there are less haunting ways to sing the song, but her rendition was both beautiful and striking, and it's her voice I hear in my head. The notes in the book said it was a pagan English song based on likely Medieval traditions without elaborating much. Here are the lyrics as we sang them. (I found other variations online also.) Well, okay, I think the "us" in the second verse it a typo for "her" - at least, we sang it with "her" and there's no "us" to make further continuity with that varation in this set of lyrics. Reading through the lyrics now, they look so... I don't know, odd?... compared with the strikingness of the tune itself.
Fishy Circumstances

Advertisement for Torcon3/WorldCon 2003

Are you interested in attending a huge, author-rich Science Fiction/Fantasy convention? Have you ever wanted to visit Toronto (I'm here!) and were just looking for the opportunity? You could even stop by the Ex and watch an airshow while you're in town! Next Labor Day week, in 2003, WorldCon/TorCon3 will be held right here in Toronto and YOU could be in attendance!

WorldCon is the world's largest volunteer-run convention. (But volunteering is completely optional if you attend, of course). The guest of honor will be George R.R. Martin, with Spider Robinson as toastmaster. (No, I've not read either of their books, but I've certainly seen their names around in bookstores.) This year's is in San Jose and today is its last day, I believe. Yes, I know, it conflicts with Dragoncon, but surely you'd rather be at Worldcon in Toronto visiting me next year than in Atlanta where where neither I nor Toronto shall be.

While it might sound extremely expensive now, the price will only be going up over the course of the next year. It's currently at $250 Canadian/$170 US. From memory, the at-the-door price will be $70 Canadian per day. So if you're only going for 3 days of the convention, it'll be cheaper at the door. But if you'd like the entire week, register as soon as possible!

This is likely going to be the only time in which I personally know most of a WorldCon committee - most of 'em are First Thursday attendees as well. Reminds me, I'm doing the newsletter this time around. That'll be a project for tomorrow evening. I have many ideas for them, all of which will be very frustrating for the people actually reading the results. But fun, I hope.

(While we're on the subject....TP and other current WorldCon GOHs speak on scifi and technology
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Are you interested in attending a huge, author-rich Science Fiction/Fantasy convention? Have you ever wanted to visit Toronto (I'm here!) and were just looking for the opportunity? You could even stop by the Ex and watch an airshow while you're in town! Next Labor Day week, in 2003, <a href="http://www.torcon3.on.ca/">WorldCon/TorCon3</a> will be held right here in Toronto and YOU could be in attendance!

WorldCon is the world's largest volunteer-run convention. (But volunteering is completely optional if you attend, of course). The guest of honor will be George R.R. Martin, with Spider Robinson as toastmaster. (No, I've not read either of their books, but I've certainly seen their names around in bookstores.) This year's is in San Jose and today is its last day, I believe. Yes, I know, it conflicts with Dragoncon, but surely you'd rather be at Worldcon in Toronto visiting me next year than in Atlanta where where neither I nor Toronto shall be.

While it might sound extremely expensive now, the price will only be going up over the course of the next year. It's currently at $250 Canadian/$170 US. From memory, the at-the-door price will be $70 Canadian per day. So if you're only going for 3 days of the convention, it'll be cheaper at the door. But if you'd like the entire week, register as soon as possible!

This is likely going to be the only time in which I personally know most of a WorldCon committee - most of 'em are First Thursday attendees as well. Reminds me, I'm doing the newsletter this time around. That'll be a project for tomorrow evening. I have many ideas for them, all of which will be very frustrating for the people actually reading the results. But fun, I hope.

(While we're on the subject....TP and other current WorldCon GOHs speak on scifi and technology <a href=""http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2230571.stm"">via a BBC article</a>.)
Fishy Circumstances

Today's summary

Work for professor nearly done - will submit it tomorrow. Discovered new bibliographic tools (conveniently via email). Met several new Centre students. Ran into lots of existing Centre and Institute students. Learned none of my own department's new students had shown up yet. Ran errands. Bought plants (chrysanthemum, lemon verbena, basil, rosemary). Books ordered last week arrived! And we currently have a work in progress of figuring out what's wrong with the hot water - it's been off all day. I covet a bath, but not an icy cold one.

Tomorrow will be my last real chance at doing work before the weekend.
Fishy Circumstances

The grass is always greener

This came up earlier today in conversation with new and old students loitering around the Centre porch, and the more I muse on it, the more true it seems. "Everyone else leads a more interesting life than I do." Everyone seated around the table agreed with this. Lives always sound better in excerpts and summaries. And there was plenty of interest in recent life around that table from this past summer: hiking in rural Romania, two weeks of an archaeological dig in southern France, a summer research assistantship working on the history of emotions, and hey, if I talk about my summer in terms of Finland, England, festivals, and food, my life sounds interesting too.

Part of it is the frequently-found inferiority complex among overwhelmed, but competitive, graduate students. If they can pass that exam, then surely I can too. If they can get into that program, than surely I'm qualified to do that. They must be so competent if they can read that in Old English! That kind of thing.

It's kind of funny, I'm no longer even at a formally competitive part of being a student. It's me against myself and my ability or desire to work on my dissertation topic. No one else is doing it. (I am so glad my research life isn't remotely like that in Possession.)