Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Week in Review

After leaving Anglicon during the closing ceremonies, and the fun that accompanied that, we got to my parents' house quickly. My mom had made a nice dinner for me, and then it was time to pack the car. The cat was unwilling to go in the carrier, but we wrangled him into it and I said my good-byes and started home.

Now, I don't know *exactly* how many miles it is from my folks' house to my house (a quick check of Google maps says 172), but I generally tell people it's a three-hour drive. That usually includes a stop at one of the rest areas and sometimes even a break for dinner. Well, I'd just eaten and Inkwell hates being in the car, so I didn't stop except to get gasoline until I was home. It took me almost exactly two and a half hours.

Once home, I was too exhausted to deal with unpacking. I fed the cat, popped online to let folks know I was alive, then attempted to go to sleep.


I was wired from the convention. I was still flying high from the afternoon's events. I couldn't sleep. I lay down repeatedly in the bed, but it was too warm and my mind kept going over everything that had happened, unable to process it all. I ended up repeatedly getting up and getting on the Twitch chat to squee, until finally I started to really run out of steam and got to sleep after midnight, with Inkwell disapprovingly herding me upstairs to bed.

Waking up Monday morning was not hard. It was nearly impossible. If I didn't keep my phone, and thus my alarm clock, across the room at night I would not have gotten out of bed. As it was, I had to fight every instinct in my body not to head right back and fall asleep again. After zombie-ing around for a half hour, I realized I was going to be late to work. So I called up my boss and asked for an hour, just an hour. He agreed, since I had very little to do (just two police logs) and plenty of time. So I slowly built up my speed until I finally managed to get out the door an hour later than usual, pumped up on painkiller and happy memories.

I got hyper again. Really hyper. In retrospect, it might have been the only way to get through the morning, but it was embarrassing. I felt an overall sense of wonder and euphoria that is exceedingly rare. I just felt good.

I didn't start to come down until lunchtime, and by then I was thoroughly embarrassed by how hyper I'd been. Fortunately, I had little to do Monday morning and managed to come down from my euphoria slowly and gently instead of crashing. I was worried Monday morning when I realized just how pumped up I still was. But I didn't crash.

My boss decided to give me two baseball games to take pictures at Monday afternoon. That was a little difficult, but I managed it. The biggest problem was going from cool Seattle weather (and an indoor environment) to the heat on this side of the mountains. Inkwell was irritated that I was late, especially after all the confusion he went through over the weekend.

Monday night was much more restful, but I still felt a little odd. Particularly since my hubby wasn't home yet. He'd spent the day with Sophie Aldred and Jon Davey touring Seattle.

Tuesday was a little better, but I still was tired. It can sometimes take a long time to recover from a con. My assignment for the day was a mobile science demonstration setting up at a park downtown. I enjoyed the event, although it was still hot.

I also wrote up my column for the week and a quick piece about the status of net neutrality.

Eric came home Tuesday afternoon, and it was delightful to be able to hug him again. It had been a long week and a half in which we barely saw each other.

Wednesday was another slow wake up day, but I got to work on time. I had a morning Rotary meeting to attend with a story for the same day, so that was a little bit stressful. As it happened, we didn't run the story that day, but I had it done by deadline anyway.

Another goal for Wednesday was to get my photo page done. I had the idea, but I hadn't taken the pictures. So after deadline I walked around town and snapped photos of various murals. Then I drove out to ones that were further away. Once back, I had to narrow down which ones we put on the page. Eventually I got it down to nine photos, which was three more than the normal max. But I figured with the larger page size, maybe we could cram a couple more in.

Fortunately, Wednesday afternoon was pretty calm and I got more stuff done for future days. I had a couple more assignments that required extra effort, including a story on some large trees that were being taken down, much to the consternation of many people.

Thursday was again a big day, with a golf photo right after deadline. I couldn't leave well enough alone after getting a few shots close to the clubhouse... no, I walked out to the far side of the course with the group I was following. It was quite a hike back.

After lunch I was informed that I was going to a company workshop on Friday. I had not wanted to go, since the last one had been... less than effective. And I was annoyed it was a last-minute thing. But the timing mostly worked out. I still had to go to the groundwater meeting Thursday night and write it up Friday morning before I left, but that was doable, if unpleasant. I tried to get the publisher to go to the groundwater meeting instead, but he declined.

Several interesting things happened at the meeting, from my point of view. If you read the story, I hopefully gave enough background to understand that this group is utterly disfunctional as a large group. The workgroups seem to be making progress despite the committee as a whole. What amazed me about this meeting was that the facilitator... the supposedly neutral moderator, was the one who lost his temper and started to rant before he was cut short. Tempers were hot, but then... that lawsuit is not just a sore topic, it's a raw bleeding wound in the side of the committee.

The other thing that impressed me was the warning by Vern about his email. It's clear that some members of the committee have been writing down stuff Vern does not feel comfortable with. By reminding them that he's a public official and thus ALL of his documents are subject to public information requests, he basically said, "You guys are going too far, be careful or we'll have another lawsuit."

In any case, the meeting went a few minutes longer than it was scheduled due to the fighting. I was happy to get home and a little shellshocked by the nonsense. I wasn't sure how I was going to write it up. I still think my story has a serious structural flaw, but I didn't have time to make it right.

So on Friday I wrote the story, then as soon as we were both done, Julia and I headed to Pasco for the company workshop. We both were a little less than enthusiastic about it, knowing that the previous meeting had essentially been a waste of time. Fortunately, this one wasn't. The first speaker was great... and I somehow earned five bucks because I know baseball cliches.

We left several hours later feeling better about the meetings. We enjoyed talking with some of our colleagues, who are awesome but we only get to see them once a year or so at these events. Once back in town, I headed home and almost immediately went to take a much-needed and long overdue nap.

Eric woke me a couple of hours later for dinner, then I stayed up for awhile trying to finish writing my convention report, which has been unexpectedly difficult to write. I went to bed at about 11 p.m. and got up at about 11 a.m. Since then I've been writing convention report, writing this, and watching Adi on his Twitch stream. In about two minutes I'll be back out the door for my Saturday assignment, so I'll wrap this up and go.

I hope to have the convention report for Monday. We'll just have to see if I make it.