Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ten Things I Learned While Doing the Crazy Ivan

So maybe you already know this, but in The Hunt for Red October, and subsequently Joss Whedon's Firefly, a "Crazy Ivan" is a screaming-fast, metaphorical-rubber-burning U-turn.  It's pretty intense.

This is not Crazy Ivan.
This is the man daring enough to do one.
And that's the analogy that's stuck with me as I pulled a week-long Crazy Ivan of my own: flying out to San Jose for the first half of BayCon (and a Californian friend-fest), taking the overnight flight to Houston to catch the second half of Comicpalooza, slogging through a cancelled flight, a failed rebooking, and about seven inches of truly Biblical downpour before finally giving up and renting a car to brave the four-hour drive up from Houston, passing through Dallas and arriving up in Denton with about an hour to spare before my worldbuilding presentation, staying out carousing with my North Branch buddies after the fact, and going home (at last!)... find that everything in our fridge and freezer had spent the entire week rotting at room temperature.  There proceeded about an hour of frantic, eye-watering defunkifying, all windows open and damn the thunderstorms, before finally stuffing towels under the bedroom door and passing out about 2 AM.

To say that I'm tired would be an understatement. To say I had a good time would be a heinous one.

Anyway, I won't give you the blow-by-blow, but here are ten things I learned on my trip.

1.    Not all cheap hotels are awful.  Some are just hilarious. 

If you need to stay in downtown Houston on a budget, check out the Athens: it's 1/3 Addams family, 1/3 Overlook Hotel, and 1/3 luxury oasis.

One of Cicero's lesser-known quotations.

2.    Fandom is fantastic 

Really.  I said this on Facebook already, but it's such an endless thrill to surround yourself with people full of shared enthusiasm and the joy of making things.

No, she is not 'cute as a button'.  Buttons WISH they were this cute.
(Also, do you know DL Young? Great things happen near him!)

3.    SuperShuttle are dicks.

No picture, because those fuckers drove off without me.  Listen, asslamps: if I book for 5:15, don't blow up my phone at 5:00 and then peace out at 5:04.

4.    Sometimes it's actually a good thing when your flight is cancelled...

5.    ...but not when everyone else's is too.

Seriously. This was the line for rebooking flights and getting hotel vouchers last Monday night, and I bet you beer-money that there are STILL people waiting in it.


6.    Don't try to work when everyone else is playing 

See, it's a visual analogy, because "CalorieMate" is this weird brand of diet food-block, sitting conspicuously straight-laced amidst all the fun treats at the Japanese grocery store.  This is what you look like when you go to convention panels and workshops expecting some kind of rigorous education.  (I know, cuz I've done it.)

Also, I can now say without shame that I would like EveryBurger.

7A. Kittens are terrific

7B. Friends are terrific

7C. Being friends with a kitten is basically the best thing ever

Of course, I have to settle for being friends with the people who are friends with the kitten - but that's pretty good too.

8.    I should probably stop saying "clownshoe" like it's a bad thing

If I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor.
9.    If you're going to drive home in a lightning storm, bring some metalicious cartoon music along for the ride. You will feel like Thor.

Seriously, guys.  Seriously.

10.    Sometimes the littlest things are the biggest deal

I was reminded of this over and over this week, and at the most unexpected times.  When you feel like a hack in a headband, when you're wondering whether and how badly you've just wasted everyone's time, when you're starting to question whether any of this self-indulgent cross-country attention-seeking makes any difference at all... that's when somebody comes along to say "by the way, that was just delightful" - and suddenly you're ready to throw down on Larry King Live.  Big love, y'all.  Big, big love.

WHO'S FLYING THIS THING?  ...oh right, that would be me. Back to work!

1 comment:

  1. My mental picture of 'Crazy Ivan' starts with Bujold's Ivan Vorpatril.