Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not Angry

Thanks for the encouraging words, one and all. Time to push the anger in the past.

After a little running around and screaming, my wonderful group of women settled down. The site where we hosted our group jumped on fixing the programming problem. By the end of the day, it was repaired and we decided to regroup.

RAT is has also expressed a desire to *ahem* move on from the incident. There was much eye rolling. I suspect RAT had a chance to review things and perhaps consider the RAT component in the event.

Regardless, we are once again happy in our little club house -- a bit scared, a bit scarred, but determined to continue as we were with one small change -- code names for people about whom we wish to bitch. Seems a reasonable precaution.

In other news, The Husband is in Chicago and I am very jealous. Of course, he's attending/working a show for school, but he's still had hours to roam the city and visit with a friend. He has a LOAD of photos (I've seen some and they are great), plus a book for me and some goodies from Vosges. Sometimes we toy with the idea of living around the Chicago area, but we are both from The South and have a hard time imagining the kind of money we'd have to make to afford it, much less how we would survive the Arctic cold of winter. Still, it makes for a nice day dream.

I have to get off the computer somehow, but it feels like cutting off an air line. I have things I must do that can't get done with a laptop.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Pissed off. Ranting. Frustrated. UNHAPPY.

It goes like this. Somewhere on the web, I was part of a small group of women. We had a little area, supposedly private, where we talked. We advised. We made jokes. We discussed things. When one of us was angry, we went there and vented -- privately -- until we could feel reasonable again. It was great.

Then, through what we think was a programming error, a person not a member of this group got access to a group member's account. We shall call this person RAT. RAT was supposedly a friend of said group member, but RAT decided having access to someone else's account was too tempting. RAT went into the little group and read stuff. Some of what RAT read was some members being frustrated with RAT over some issue -- you know, venting. RAT was hardly the main topic of discussion, I should point out, just part of a recent one that was over.

RAT made this public -- well, the part about people being frustrated. Nastily. Group member is very upset, but (in the way of many women) is coming up with a variety of excuses like "Oh, curiosity is natural" and "Oh, RAT didn't necessarily know it was private."

Now, I know perfectly well that nothing is really private on the great Interwebinet. And, really, nothing was said that was 1) untrue 2) particularly cruel 3) couldn't have been said in public. However, it was NOT said in public because it would have done no good. The point was to vent out the anger and return to a more sensible frame of mind.

What angers me is RAT's behavior and the choices RAT made. If someone you say is a friend comes to your house and accidentally leaves behind a wallet, a diary, a suitcase, a box, a pile of mail, an open email account -- in short, anything personal -- it IS NOT RIGHT to go through it. Opportunity does NOT create entitlement. And, if in the perusing of said friend's private property, you discover something you don't like, whose fault is that? People are allowed their private thoughts. People often have bursts of emotion that pass, thoughts that pass. Just as in the heat of a fight any of us might say something we later wish we hadn't said, in private we may think and express things not for general consumption.

That's why they are PRIVATE.

This isn't a case of "say one thing, think another". I don't believe in saintly people who are never angry at a spouse or family member, who are never frustrated by a boss, co-worker, or employee, who don't feel a rise of heat when they perceive themselves as mistreated. Then those feelings pass, or we express them privately to friends and we get a little perspective. If we are smart, that is, and don't blurt it all out on the spouse or family member or person at work. Once we have that emotion out where we can look at it, we can get our brain engaged and handle the situation properly. We can avoid being hurtful without tearing ourselves up inside suppressing all those feelings. Sometimes, once we spew out the poison, we can get back to liking or loving or at least working peacefully. Sometimes we can get to a place where we can talk to the person in question. Sometimes we even realize we are the ones at fault and need to apologize. But we can't get there until we work it through, and sometimes we need someone else to help there.

That's why these things should be PRIVATE.

RAT invaded, yet RAT claims victim status. RAT now proclaims that everything should be HONEST and OPEN and PUBLIC -- and we all know how well that works. Oh yes, RAT is being honest and open and public and causing as much pain and frustration as RAT can manage. Very good tactic, isn't it?

So, the little group has imploded and something wonderful destroyed. While I throw some blame on the software, I lay most of it at RAT'S nasty little feet. Again -- opportunity does not create entitlement. Friends do not snoop in each other's private lives. Friends respect boundaries. Friends realize that if ever once they've spouted off -- in private -- about someone else, they are certainly someone else's inspiration to spout.

So, I'm angry. I'm angry for my friend who is going through all this. I'm angry that the group has disintegrated out of fear (we discussed some very personal and painful things in that group). I'm angry that one RAT chewed through the wall.


Monday, September 07, 2009

DragonCon 2009 Post-con report

Returned once more from a short DragonCon visit. I need to go into training for next year. I am tired. And sore -- many many stairs.

I did even less than last year. We did dress up in costumes for a few hours on Saturday, but it was just too warm. We met up with friends, but the whirl of activity makes it hard to really have good conversation.

Highlights of the weekend --

  • getting Ruth Thompson to sign my computer (the Mini, with a skin based on one of her pieces). She was tickled to see it, as she had not seen any of the skins 'in the wild'. Best of all, she remembers us! I get such a kick when someone I admire remembers who the hell I am. We sat in her booth talking to her, her sister, and her assistant for a good hour.
  • Getting my very own Richard the Necromancer USB drive. I geeked out happily for a good two hours. Looking for Group is a comic that has taken me some time to really enjoy -- I'm still working my way through the archives -- but now that I get it, I love it. I also like the guys at BlindFerret -- they were great fun to talk to at the booth. The Husband got a stuffie plush Richard AND got it signed.
  • Meeting Laura Anne Gilman and getting three books signed. I'd had occasional chances to chat with her via Twitter, and I read her Live journal, both of which were big reasons I wanted to meet her and why I bought her books. I am now addicted to the Retrievers. She herself is a lovely goofball, and I mean that in the best, most complimentary way.
No celebrity sightings, despite the fact that Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart and Adam Savage were all there. The lines to even get into the room were daunting, and as it's very hard to get The Husband to go to any panels or talks (despite the fact that he usually enjoys them when he's there, he's convinced it's much more fun to run around, struggling through the crowds, taking half-baked phone photos of costumes. We differ on this markedly, but since I tire so fast (and didn't have car keys with me, in case I wanted to ditch him and go back to the hotel) I did what he wanted, or I sat somewhere while he did his thing. Time was when I would search the schedule and map out a plan of action. I need to do that if we go next year. It was much more fun. The costumes are great and all, but they just aren't that big a thrill.

Also caught up with a few friends not seen in some years, which was surprising and good. Last year we had trouble catching up with anyone, much less people we didn't know would be there.

Also, next year I will wear better shoes and remember my knee braces.