Cheshire Moon has started work on our new album, and we need your help to make it happen! Please come check out our project and all the cool backer rewards. If you haven't already heard our other stuff, take a look at our site to get an idea of what we do.
I'm trying to decide whether Worldcon is worth the expense and the logistics hassle this year. It's in Chicago, so it's reasonably close to me, but it's at the end of August, which is still during field season. Before I make my decision, is anyone flying out for Worldcon who would like to try to influence me to go?
My new band, Cheshire Moon, is doing a kickstarter for our first record! Come check it out!
On late notice theater: I'll be in Boston this weekend. I still have some free time on Saturday and Monday daytime. Drop me a line if you want to catch any of it.
I pulled my cab over to the old man on the side of the road.
"Hey, man, need a lift?"
"Yeah, sure, that would be great, thanks."
"You got the fare?
"I got a few bucks earlier today."
"Don't you need to know where I'm going?"
"Nah, that's alright, I'll get you where you need to go."
"Shit, it's been one hell of a night."
"You don't know what it's like out there. Things are just getting harder on the streets every day. Today I saw a drive-by. In Iowa! When did drive-bys make it to Iowa?"
"Things are getting rougher out there, that's for sure."
"Yeah, I've been on and off the streets since I was a teenager. I never saw a night like this before. Sure hope I won't again."
"I don't think you need to worry too much about that."
"Really, you think it's getting better?"
"Nah, it never does. But you're not going to need to worry about that anymore."
"You saw that bridge we just crossed?"
"Yeah, it's over the Skunk River."
"Not today it isn't. Here we are."
"Where are we?"
"You'll figure it out. I gotta get back, I'm getting a call." And so I left him standing there, and headed back across the Styx to pick up another fare.
This has been quite a weekend. The story actually starts two weeks ago, when I helped a friend move into her new place. Another friend of hers was also there helping out, and he turned out to be a musician: a guitarist with a folk-punk band (Twice Illigitimate) in Des Moines. We chatted for a while about music and bands, but, since I have no car and no way to Des Moines, I pretty much expected things to end there.
Come this Friday, I was at that same friend's housewarming party, as was the above-mentioned guitarist. We spent a large portion of the party jamming and meshed really well, leading to more serious conversation about finding a way to get me down to Des Moines for rehearsals so I could join the band. The guitarist tried to convince me to come see their show the next day, but again, given a lack of car, I figured it was impractical.
Fast-forward to Saturday, around 2pm. I got a text from the guitarist saying "Would you want to play with us tonight?" It looked like the bassist wouldn't make it, and they decided to just drag me in rather than play with just guitar and drum. After a bit of discussion and frantic hustling, he and the drummer came by to pick me up. We spent a few hours rehearsing, then headed over to the bar where we were playing.
Due to the other band kindly being willing to go on first, the guitarist was actually able to go grab the bassist from work, just before our show. This meant that the first time I met the bassist--let alone played with him--was during sound check. Due to conflicting with the state fair (and the fact that it was a pair of no-name local bands), the crowd was very small, but they were fun and feisty.
Part way through the set, the bartender interrupted us to declare that she was going to text her friends who were looking for another opener for their Irish in October show. They came over from the show they were at, a few blocks away to hear us. By the end of the evening, we had been offered both an opportunity to open for the Killigans and the possibility of a regular monthly gig at a local bar. As we unloaded, every member of the group told me "You're in the band." I got home around 3am before having to get up at 8:30am for field work.
It's been a hell of a weekend.
Morgan, a LARPer friend of mine from Iowa, is going on a grad school touring trip. The one place he's still really looking for connections is in the DC area, August 4-8. Are any of my DC area friends around to help out a LARPer?
He could use crash space, but even more importantly, he's looking to meet people and get a feel for the place. If you can offer either, drop me a line and I'll put you in touch.
As an undergraduate, I worked in a large, well-funded microbiology lab. I mostly worked as head lab tech, but I also did some research studying the function of a particular protein in E. coli in collaboration with a much smaller lab. Then I went to Tufts for graduate school. There I worked in a funding poor lab and did behavioral energetics work on paper wasps, focusing on behavior with a side of physiology.
Now I'm working on behavioral genomics in paper wasps, and it's an interestingly different experience from either. I'm working in a very new lab that is not flush, but has a new grant that it needs to spend on things to get the lab up and going. It's a fascinating combination of poor and rich: lots of money that needs to be spent, lots of things that need to be bought, but a high level of awareness that this won't last forever, and that working money needs to be conserved.
One of the fascinating things about working in this lab is that the lab it replaced was still full of stuff when Amy moved in. So, some things got given away, some things got kept, and some cabinets are still strange and dusty treasure troves. Everything I do is a bit of a treasure hunt, often in a good way. Recently I was looking for something that could passably substitute for the relatively expensive tubes that I didn't want to buy, and found exactly the tubes I wanted in an unlabeled cabinet that I had never thought to check.
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Now that we've been in Iowa a few weeks, I figured I should post an update to let people know that I'm alive and well.
Things are going pretty well in Iowa. The new job is really exciting. I'm enjoying jumping back into research after a while of data analysis and writing for my thesis. I'm studying the effects of DNA methylation on caste determination (whether an individual is a queen or a worker) in paper wasps. Right now I'm working on preparations to measure levels of DNA methylation and expression in different genes, as well as working on RNAi to knock out certain genes.
As far as social things go, I've been meeting some interesting people. We've been going to the local LARP group and I've been trying out other campus clubs. I've connected with some people from okcupid, and overall been pretty happy with the local crowds. It feels a fair bit like my home town in Washington (a similarly sized college town) so I'm pretty comfortable with that.
I'll be in Bellingham very briefly for Seder (if you need a first night Seder, let me know), but I'm not sure when I'll next be in Washington state for longer than a long weekend. I'll be in Boston sometime this summer, probably around mid-July for something between a long-weekend and a week. I might be in Durham, North Carolina for two-weeks in August, so if anyone is within visiting distance and would want to visit me there, let me know.
If anyone wants to come out and visit here, or meet in Minneapolis (doable occasionally, not too often), let me know!
We have two futon mattresses still in Somerville that need homes. Both are full size. One is very thick and padded, the other is thinner and more foldable. If you can come by and pick either or both up on 3/23 you can have it. Let me know you want it and it will be reserved for you.
We are looking for a ride to the airport on Tuesday 3/8, to arrive ~9:30am (flight at 11:30, but we will have luggage and cats). We will be carrying 2 cats and assorted suitcases. Can someone offer us transit?
As you should know by now, we are leaving for Iowa a week from Tuesday. simplewordsmith is trying to get a driver's license again before we leave. He has had a license in the past, but has let it expire. The only time that he was able to schedule for between now and then was Thursday at 1pm. Is there anyone who has a car (automatic only, please, he doesn't know how to drive stick) who could help us out? The test is in Cambridge. He would also like to get some practice time in the car he will be testing in beforehand. He could do practice pretty much anytime between now and then.
Requirements for the car:
Thanks so much to everyone who came to the Stranger Ways/Sassafrass concert and going away party last night. That was as good a send off as I could have hoped for!
Also worth noting, since it was mentioned at the concert last night, the side project is up and available. Crisis Center is natbudin and I, and is the 10 Bad LARPS of our bands. This was recorded in one afternoon in my study. I'm not quite sure why you would want to buy this album, but here it is.
I am on panels at Precon. However, the other people in my hotel room are not planning to go to Precon. I am looking for space to crash Thursday night. My preference is for a bed (or couch or portion thereof) in a hotel room, I am also open to staying with someone in Waltham if we can work out transportation. I currently actually have a hotel room reserved for the night, but I am hoping to pay for no more than 1/3 of a room for Thursday, so I would be happy to have people stay in that room if we can split it up. I am also happy to cancel it and crash elsewhere.
I have a PLAN!!! My current plan involves meeting for dinner at Asmara at 8pm, then heading over to XMortis, with a possible stop at Toscanini's for dessert in between. This should get us to XMortis a little on the early side, which is good by me, as I want more time to dance before the dance floor fills for my last XMortis opportunity. If you are interested in dinner and haven't already RSVP'd let me know. If you are interested in dinner and this plan is totally nonviable for you for some reason, let me know that as well.
Joining us at Tosci's or at the club afterward is also extremely welcome.
This is a reminder that I'm organizing a mob to XMortis on 2/11. This will also be the first of my going away events. I will be there by ~10ish. If there is sufficient interest, I will also organize fooding before hand (either dinner, or ice cream, or both). If you're interested in the fooding part, let me know and I will coordinate things.
So, this Arisia definitely ranked high on my all-time list of best con experiences. This con was full of music and dancing, things that are almost guaranteed to improve any experience for me. The biggest thing that pushed this con from a good con to an amazing con for me was, of course, the joint Stranger Ways and Sassafrass concert. Playing with Sassafrass was great: they are an awesome band and it was an honor to share a concert with them. We did several joint songs and they were lots of fun (the ones that are part of our repertoire are viewable on our youtube channel, along with most of the rest of our sets). We also filled the room, a turnout that certainly surpassed our expectations, and have already made back the costs and a bit more on our new CD.
Now for a lot more detail on the rest of the weekend.
( FridayCollapse )
( SaturdayCollapse )
( Saturday nightCollapse )
( SundayCollapse )
( Sunday nightCollapse )
( MondayCollapse )
All in all, this was a hell of a con. Thanks to all the people who made this con work, and all the people who made it special for me, particularly my bandmates, Sassafrass and everyone who showed up to our concert!
Otherwise known as How many hours of programming have I signed up for?
Saturday: 7.25 hrs
12-2pm: Sassafrass and Stranger Ways joint concert
3-4pm: Poly household panel
4-5pm: Poly 201
6:30-7:45pm Funny song sing-a-long
9-11pm Time Travel Review Board (LARP)
Sunday: 4.5 hrs
3-5pm Waytes play for Renaissance dance
5-6:15pm LARP War stories
6:30pm - Bawdy songs panel (not on it officially, but I will be going to take part and help out natbudin )
8-9:15pm Ballads of the Supernatural
11am-1pm: Instrumental Jam w/ dancing
If you've seen me in the past few days, you have probably already heard, but for the rest of you:
I have a post-doc! I will be starting at Iowa State University, in Ames, IA in March. This means the next few months will be crazy, and I will be moving. I will be attending Intercon, even if I have to fly back for it, and I'm sure I'll be visiting Boston at some points, but I do not yet know when.
However, the really important thing from all of this is that I have a post-doc!
Wow, I'm posting a lot right now, although it's all requests and scheduling.
Speaking of requests, everyone in my house is going to be gone from the evening of 12/24-morning of 12/29. We are looking for people to come in twice a day and feed the cats and give them some attention. Various exchanges possible (cooking, house and cat sitting at a later date, possibly money, etc). Ideal would be someone who can do it the whole time, but if you would be willing an able to do it some times, we can split it up if necessary.
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