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Kevin Standlee: Fandom Is My Way of Life
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Saturday, August 27th, 2005

Time Event
LiveJournal Begins at 40
Today is my 40th birthday, and I've resolved to try and actually post things to this LJ rather than just use it to read other people's journals. On the other hand, my first attempt at actually doing so resulted in my browser hanging up after I composed the entry and before I posted it, so there's no guarantees.

I wish I'd been able to take the time during Interaction, this year's Worldcon, to post during the convention my impressions while running the Events division, because even now the details are starting to fade; however, I hope the memory of what I think was a reasonably-well-run set of major convention events remains with me.

Because of when my birthday falls, I'm usually traveling at that time on something having to do with Worldcon or NASFiC. This year is no exception. As part of being the Fan Guest of Honor at CascadiaCon, this year's NASFiC (North American Science Fiction Convention, held whenever the World Science Fiction Convention is outside of North America), I volunteered to put together an exhibit about myself, showing photos, costumes, and other memorabilia from my (as of this next weekend) twenty-one years in fandom. I determined that there is a chunk of years missing from what I can put together from here in the Bay Area where I currently live, and that I need to go to Yuba City and rummage through the large storage locker I have there. Yuba City is about 150 miles from where I currently live in Fremont; I'm from that part of California originally, and when I moved to the Bay Area, I put much of my stuff into storage up there -- it's far cheaper than the Bay Area, and I have a lot less space here than I did there. The disadvantage is that it's a three-plus hour drive away. You might think of it as "cold storage," except that, especially in the summer, it is anything but cold in the Central Sacramento Valley. I am not looking forward to digging through the locker in the 100-degree F temps forecast for today, particularly as I'm certain the things I want, if they exist at all, are likely to be at the very back of the locker, meaning it will take a long time to get to them. Some birthday party. The hotel where I'm staying in Yuba City does have a pool, however, so I should be able to cool off this evening.

Tomorrow, I'm going to go see my grandfather at his house in Sutter (near Yuba City), and my mother is coming down to visit as well. Again, because of my schedule and hers, it's rare that we see each other around my birthday, and we're taking advantage of me being in the area to get together for a little while.
Exploring the Wild Storage Locker
Digging through the locker was almost as bad as I thought it would be. It was very hot and very dusty; on the bright side, there were only cobwebs and dust, no spiders -- in particular, no black widow spiders. I hate spiders to begin with, and I'm afraid the conditions in the locker looked to me to be a good breeding ground for black widows, which do exist in these parts. So before going into each area, I would poke at it with a broom and brush as much dust and cobwebs out as I could find, then gingerly pull boxes and check them. The only spiders I found were little, non-black-widow, relatively harmless ones.

More about what I did and did not find in the lockerCollapse )

After finishing with the hot and dusty locker, I headed into town and checked into the Holiday Inn Express Yuba City. A shower followed by a dip in the pool have rarely felt so good. Holiday Inn Express is not a luxury hotel -- although it's probably the best hotel in Yuba City, which tells you a bit about Yuba City -- but after my trip to the UK, it certainly feels luxurious. The room is about 2.5 times the size of the rooms in which I stayed; there is a small refrigerator and microwave oven; and the internet access is included. (To be fair, while in Glasgow I stayed in the university dorms, where I had access to a shared kitchen and where internet access was included.) I understand that UK hotel rooms are all much smaller -- availability of space being the primary driver, I reckon -- but the rates charged for internet access in the UK seemed way too high to me, although I did pay them. I'm spoiled by conditions in the Bay Area and other places I've traveled in the US, I guess.

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