Monday, July 29, 2013

A quiet, rainy evening

I live on a quiet street in a neighborhood that was built in the 1950s. Some of my neighbors have been here for 40 years. We keep an eye out for one another. There are some impressively large trees, but none in my yard. I thought I'd plant at least one or two, but I've been here for six years and I haven't done anything like that yet. I keep up with the lawn. I don't keep up with the edging. I try to remember to keep the bushes trimmed (mostly because if I don't do it, my yardwork-centric neighbors will do it for me, and then I feel guilty. I do not feel guilty when they decide that they have had enough and it is time to clandestinely weed-whack my lawn, which they do, about once or twice a year).

There are a number of cats that don't belong to anyone in particular. There's a lovely gray one that hunts in the backyard. I know this because occasionally I'll see it stalking birds. I always wonder if Donald and James wish they could go outside and do similar things, but they seem happy enough to just sit in the windows and on the furniture and sleep.

It rained today, and stayed fairly cool, so the air had that heavy, damp quality that I usually associate with late spring. I stood outside for a while, watching the more motivated fireflies flicker, listening to the rain drip in the downspouts. It's almost August. I hate August. Tonight was nice, though. I have no complaints about tonight.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Post-SDCC blogging

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I don't usually dayblog, but I'm making an exception.

I have survived another year of San Diego Comic Con. The process of decompressing from this show is a complicated one. It's not exhausting in the same way that Spectrum Live is (it turns out that it's much easier to be an exhibitor than a showrunner) but it's probably similar in intensity.

Traditionally, I come back from San Diego, I do fine for a couple of days, then I get very, very sick. This is probably because, when I come back from San Diego, I have trouble remembering to eat, and I have even more trouble getting to sleep. I assume that the sickness is my body's only way of forcing me to get some rest. Tricky.

SDCC is overwhelming on a number of levels. There's a high degree of social interaction required, there are many late, late nights (social interaction!), there are 160,000 people with an exponentially higher number of germs all packed into a space. People are handling money. Handshakes are pretty common. Sickness! Sickness is inevitable!

It's a wonderful opportunity to get work done, and I always come back from the show feeling very productive. I'm good at what I do, and SDCC is another venue for me to get work done, both for my job and for Spectrum Live. There are connections you make at SDCC that you really can't make anywhere else, in part because EVERYONE is exhausted, and when you do find people you connect with, you bond more quickly than you might otherwise because you're so tired, and there are so many horrible people. New friends become life rafts on a sea of awful.

(I have made a number of lasting friendships at this show, and I continue to meet people who are interesting and engaging. I think that half the battle is wanting to get to know someone. The other half is wanting to let them get to know you. The fact that I come back from San Diego with one or two new *actual* friends each year is pretty remarkable.)

Of course, there's some emotional fallout when I get home, which is the inevitable conclusion to a very long show. There's a rawness to my emotional state which takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to normalize.

It's tied into the physical side of things. It's hard to feel normal mentally and emotionally when your system and your schedule are so out of alignment. I know this about the show, and about myself, and have gotten better at handling it over the years. It's much easier when you realize that you're not losing your mind, you're just very, very tired.

Because I can't help being prescriptive, here are some ways I deal with the show.

During the show:

Vitamin C (so much vitamin C)
An attempt to be healthy (vegetarian dishes, solid but not heavy breakfasts, smoothies)

When I get home:

Vitamin C (sense a theme?)
Netflix (I just embrace the insomnia. It lets up eventually.)
Careful consideration before socializing
Frozen eggrolls (key for when it's 2 am and you realize you haven't eaten since lunch)
Comfortable pajamas