January 13th, 2006

good mris pic

Mostly travel

1. I updated my user info so that it no longer sounds like I just got out of the moving van from California. It was time. Also, I made a brief note about friending. If it might be relevant to you, go see, I guess.

2. Who is going to Minicon? Hmm, that came out sounding like a neutral question. Let me rephrase: which of you, especially from the group of people I don't see very often, or even the group of people I have never met in person, might be cajoled, persuaded, or browbeaten into going to Minicon, especially if I said it might be my only con this year?

I'm not saying it's definitely going to be my only con this year. I might well end up in Los Angeles, Austin, or some other con I haven't yet thought of. But I'm going to be pretty stingy with Mris-energy this year, which means ICFA is entirely off the list: it's in March, and even if I'm filled with pep and vim by the time March rolls around, I will still be catching up on normal stuff from the last six months, not haring off to Florida. It's too bad, too, because I'd love to go back to ICFA -- it was my first con, and I had a great time. But not this year.

(I'm not going to Wiscon, so don't attempt to order me to do so. I'm very glad that many of you find it congenial, and I hope you continue to do so. I'm just not interested. I'm also annoyed by the number of people who, instead of saying, "I think you might enjoy yourself at Wiscon" or "Have you considered Wiscon?", tell me, "You HAVE to go to Wiscon!" Actually, no. I don't. Look outside: the world is still turning, and I have never been to Wiscon. Clearly, I don't HAVE to. Some of you have asked politely, and that's fine, and I'm glad you enjoyed it yourselves. But the orders: not cool.)

3. One of you asked which countries other than the U.S. I would like to visit, and in what order. Collapse )

Here and Gone

My father was here and is gone. With him, ice cream was here and is gone. My problems with "Carter Hall Sweeps a Path" were also here, and are more or less gone: I just have to deal with the snow yagas, and I've got the rest written, up to Tam and Janet's wedding, which is the end of this story.

I'm having way too much fun with these characters. Probably if they thought about it they'd pass a law.

blzblack made casual reference to the choreography of a football game awhile back, that some example or another was a good thing if you wanted to learn how to watch the choreography of a football game. I think most team sports have choreography and attendant myths. Not every style of choreography is to my taste: football, for example, bores me out of my proverbial gourd. Basketball (sorry, buymeaclue) is even more stultifying for me. (If they are constantly scoring points, how am I to care about any points they score?) But I don't think that's because either football or basketball is lacking in choreography or mythology. I just think it's not a resonant set of moves and myths for me.

I was raised a baseballterian, and while it didn't entirely stick for me (I am a convert to hockeyism, as most of you know), the myths are very comfortable, and at times very comforting. I am the baseball equivalent of the Christian who wanders in every month or two and would never dream of teaching Sunday School or staffing the soup kitchen, but who also would not miss Christmas or Easter for all the world. And like many casual Christians with the relevant stories, I find that baseball stories work much better for me than they do for people who have no baseball background. I know these guys, the wise old catcher and the hotshot pitcher, the fast-talking fast-running outfielder or the guy next to him who's in the outfield so they have somewhere to put him when he's not dingin' 'em out of the park. It's all got stories in. It's just that sometimes you can see that they're not your stories.

In "Carter Hall Sweeps a Path," Carter has to deal with curling, which has very, very, very different choreography and mythology than hockey. The story starts out with the basic problem:
Curling is a game for drunk old men. Wandering around in shoes on perfectly good ice: it just makes no sense. You have ice time, you put on your skates and play a little pickup game, you don't waste it throwing rocks around.
And Carter does learn a little respect for a game that isn't his, but mostly he's interested in saving his bacon, and that's okay, not every game has to become his own, and Carter, for all his growth as a person and his moments of insight, is never going to be a pillar of understanding. Especially where Things Not Hockey are concerned.

I think too many geeks have been alienated from anything athletic, and they use words like "dumb" and "stupid" to describe any sporting event that crosses their paths. I used to think the same, more or less. (I also bitterly resented being forced to play pep band for football and basketball games if I wanted to play the flute at all. I still think that was stupid.) But now I think sometimes I just don't know where to look for the stories. And sometimes I never will, and that's all right, but it doesn't mean they're not there.

Back on the title theme: markgritter has been gone but soon will be here. So that's good.