To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Still pretty tired.

I worked from 9:45 to about 5:00 Friday, and from 12:00 to 5:00 today. I'll go in tomorrow afternoon after church, too. It's not, like, backbreaking labor or anything. I'm physically tired but I'm mentally kind of drained. Lots of thinking, which we actually all enjoy.

They're taking one of my peeps into the plant. As I told him, it's good for him and good for the company but it sucks for me. But he's very smart and curious and organized and CALM and REFLECTIVE although he is also a man of action and initiative, all of which they definitely can use. My boss told me yesterday that my lab runs like a well-oiled machine. It's true, and that's mostly because of my group. We have to be careful when we replace that person, that we don't upset the group dynamic. Nothing worse than having a person who doesn't pull his weight, or who is always anxious to see that he isn't doing more than his fair share. Or who complains and tries to get his coworkers in trouble.

F is in town for MidSouthCon.

I have to tell the story of how F began attending this con.

Years ago, when F was 14, she tried to distance herself a bit from her parents, as all teenagers must do so they can finish becoming their own persons. She was nice about it, but one thing she did was to decide that she did not like science fiction. This was about the first thing R and I found that we had in common when we met, and we still love it.

I had read a book called Rider at the Gate, (which I see is out of print,) and I kept telling F she would love it. Not interested, no. Thank you, no.

So we were on our way out of town one day, and I saw that she did not take a book with her. I scooped up Rider at the Gate on my way out the door. When from the back seat she sighed, "I didn't bring a book," I tossed Rider to her. More sighing and looking out the window. Finally she cracked the book and began reading.

After a few minutes I glanced into the back seat. F had fallen into the book with almost an audible click. And that was that. The next day she came to me and asked if there was another. So I gave her the sequel, Cloud's Rider, and she took it away immediately to read it.

The next day she came to me and asked if there was another. No, I told her. F then fell headlong on the floor, all 14 years of her, b/c without a sequel to Cloud's Rider she could not support life. With age I have learned to be philosophical about such things, and perhaps she will too. But we both were actually kind of bummed out that there was no third book. I told her we'd try to email C.J. Cherryh and ask her to write another book, and I meant to but I never did.

Not too long after that F went to a kind of hippie coffee-house with some friends, and when she came home she came to me with a grim look on her face. She had seen a flyer.

"There's going to be a science fiction convention in Memphis."

"MidSouthCon," I said. "They have it every year. I've never been, but I know about it."

"C.J. Cherryh is going to be there."

"Really! She's going to be the guest of honor?"




"Do you want to go?"

Grim, reluctant nod.

So we went. And there, amid all the funny people in Spock ears and Darth Vader costumes and barbarian princess outfits, F found that she could not escape her destiny. She quit fighting SF and succumbed.

Cherryh was there, by the way. She gave a nice talk, and then had a question-and-answer session. I put my hand up and asked if there could be a sequel to Cloud's Rider. She said that there could. "Because we're all wondering what's happening to Brionne," I said. She said that she knew exactly what was happening to Brionne. When and whether she wrote that book depended on her agent and publisher and all ... I don't really remember. But she talked about those books a bit, and that was cool.

The next year F wanted to go in a costume. I had to make a dress for her so she could go as "some random elf" from Lord of the Rings. It was a very nice dress, if I say so, pale blue with silver embroidery around the neck (my sewing machine did it) and leaf-shaped sleeves I had to figure out how to make. She made the leafy brooch for her organdy cloak out of Sculpy. Her blond hair was waist-length at the time and we pulled out a few small sections for braids. She really was recognizable as an elf if you accept that they look like they do in the movies.

We went to the hotel and parked the car, and as we walked through the parking lot together F said, "I feel like a dork."

"Well, you're going to a dork convention, so that's probably all right," I said.

Just then a dirty, low-slung little yellow car came through the lot, with a couple of fat guys with buzz haircuts and t-shirts with wild fantasy pictures. The driver slowed as he approached us and rolled down the window.

"I take it this is where the convention is?" he said.

"Yes," we said, and they drove on to find a parking spot. After they passed us we both just died laughing.

"I guess it takes one to know one," I told F.

She called me today to say that her costume this year won some kind of award and she gets in free next year. I'm proud of my little nerd.


kontan said...

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the advice. I am a teacher so I do understand both sides of this coin. I just hate fighting the battle at home too. I like the timer idea. Maybe we could alternate b/w work and play.

Scifi...I fought a similar battle with Harry Potter. I'm just not about the hype of a new craze so I wouldn't even give it the time of day, or let my oldest get into it. Finally she asked to read the books so I said she could if I read them and approved. The final book comes out in July...I can't wait.

CreoleInDC said...

You guys are soooooooooooooo cool! LOVE THIS!

@kontan: I can't wait for HP either!