Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Of Jobs and JournalCon

So many things going on, I’m surprised my head hasn’t exploded yet. I’m quite simply reeling from a myriad of things that have happened lately; most of which are finding my people at JournalCon and finding my job. It’s likely that I’ll bitch about both of them in short order, so I’ll try not to gush too much now.

I’ll start with the job. It’s cool, doing the geeky Help Desk stuff that I enjoy in an environment that I’ll be happy in. Honestly I’ll be happy any place that keeps me more than 6 months. I’ve never been envious of those non-geek types before getting laid off three times in less than 18 months. But I’m back. I’m probably going to be somewhat discreet here in any sort of specifics about the work place so that I can speak without getting outed by a clever googler. I’m buzzing with happy anticipation and trying to find a good way to break the news to the people I’ve been doing contract work for. They are good people, but this admin-type work is not me. I somehow thought that I’d organize things better, but I was wrong. It’s time to move on to something that pays better and feels like a better fit.

This weekend I attended JournalCon 2002. I was a little worried that I didn’t know anyone, that it wouldn’t be any fun and that I’d be bored or freaked out by the other 70 or so participants that have been journaling for years and years. It was so conveniently located in San Francisco and I somehow knew that I’d regret not going. In fact I almost didn’t go. I had been hemming and hawing about it for a month or so and when I finally went to register, the registration had been closed. Argh! But after sending a note to the ever helpful Jen Wade, I was able to register. Woohoo! Now I considered the fact that I really didn’t know anyone that was going to be attending. I had heard about a few of them, but I wasn’t a faithful reader or groupie by any stretch of the imagination. I started reading entries even though it was a bit insane to think that I could get to know any of these people in such a short period of time. So after a hellish day of consulting, I got back to the city just in time to depart for the banquet.

What followed was a wonderful mélange of people, panels, conversations over meals, lounging out in the lobby, bonding over bad karaoke videos and great fun. I was reacquainted with my shy side. I met tons of friendly people and listened to a lot of stories. At one point I realized that there were a lot of similarities to the time I got dragged off to my first sci-fi con. It was back in 1988 or 89 and I had a car and no money. I knew Alicia was up to something as she treated me to my drug of choice, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (they used light cream back then, none of that half n half crap) and asked what my plans were for the weekend. She told me that a bunch of them were getting together to go downstate to hang out at a hotel and if I drove them, she’d pay for all my expenses that weekend. It sounded better than hanging around Albany so I said yes. Now there are lots of things to be said about scifi conventions but the short version is that it’s a place where people who ordinarily feel like freaks and/or social outcasts in normal society can go and be themselves in all their geeky glory. I had fun, I made friends, I oogled books and baubles in the dealer room, I encountered Klingons, elves and other magical folk in the halls and I met Isaac Asimov, who lecherously felt up another friend of mine in the elevator. I had a hard time explaining why I would go to these sorts of things, after I was of legal age and didn’t need to hide in hotels to drink and party with friends. But the sense of community gathering in person to go on and on about something they love is a powerful thing.

It’s a neat sort of community and it was that same feeling that I got when I went to JournalCon. I realize that most people do things in a different order, they read and write first, then they show up to meet and greet. There were so many cool people that I was able to get to know and so many other cool people that I never got a chance to speak with at all. What is great is that I won’t have to wait a year to get to know them. I’ve already got a list of journals to read and people to get to know. While I’ve been know to do things bass ackwards, I think this time I’ll enjoy getting to spend more time with these folks and maybe even learn a little about journaling too.

Hey people talk to me!

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