Clarion Journal, 2003

Thursday, May 22, 2003

So, how have I been preparing for Clarion? Well, not much at all so far. I'm at complete 0 on the packing front. I have paid a couple bills through July, most noteably my health insurance. I've also let my landlord know I'll be away for a good bit.

I'm also looking at stuff and trying to decide whether I want to take it - ice tea maker - definite yes. Area rug - yup, figure the floors are going to be linoleum. Pictures - still can't decide. As far as books go, I'm mostly going to only be bringing stuff by the instructors.

Reference books? pretty much none. well maybe my dictionary and possibly chicago manual of style. I'm not too huge on reference use like bartletts or a physical thesaurus - I usually do the thing or use the online dictionaries for help with that. I might take an issue or two of Technology Review that have been giving me story itches. (and maybe I'll finally read the class notes and see what my friends and acquaintances from school are up to.) I wonder if I am going to need dressy-ish clothes when I am there? Bleh. I hate packing.

So what have I been doing? Reading. Quite a bit - I've been doing the Elvis research thing for whenever I finally get to the rewrite of the Elvis story. Reading a lot of Bradbury. And Waldropy goodness (I heart Howard - man I wish could write stories like him) I'm also reading China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh which is just fabulous. Haven't started the Bester collection yet and I've got that whole huge pile of books by the instructors I just got from Amazon.

One big thing I need to do is get my car inspected - and I'm rather worried that I am not going to pass the emissions inspection. Bleh - I'm going to get that done first thing Tuesday morning. (If I do fail, I get 60 days to get the problem fixed, so depending on how much it costs I may wait until after Clarion.) I also need new walking shoes and I'm going to buy an air conditioner. I think I'll also get my hair cut a bit before I go - it's way out of control now.

posted by chance 2:42 PM
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Saturday, May 31, 2003
In an effort to get organinzed, I'm putting together a list of everything I plan to bring with me to Clarion - It's still incomplete - I'll try to finish it up in the next day or two. If you think of something I might need, please please leave a comment.

Books: The Best American Short Stories, edited by Sue Miller
Custer's Last Jump by Howard Waldrop
Nekropolis by Maureen F. McHugh
Strange, but Not a Stranger by James Patrick Kelly
Virtual Unrealities, the Short Fiction of Alfred Bester
The Book of More Flesh, edited by James Lowder
Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories
Cod - A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
December 6th by Martin Cruz Smith
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Going Home Again by Howard Waldrop
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Terminal Visions by Richard Paul Russo
eight issues of     Technology Review

Clothes:Ok, who am I kidding here, I am just going to grab handfuls of clothes the day before I leave and keep packing until I run out of space. (I might do a listing when I get back, but I doubt it) I did buy two pairs of sneaks - tennis and walking shoes. I'm also bringing my sandals and one pair of dress shoes - to go with the one dress I'll bring, just in case I need one. Oh, and one of my Red Sox caps - I'm sure I'll need it for walking around in the sun - did I mention I burn like crazy? As far as jackets go, I'll probably bring just my denim jacket, and that, along with a sweatshirt should keep me more than warm enough

Electronicalish:laptop computer     I have an iBook. I heart my iBook.
spare power cord     I've been through two this year already, so I've got a spare, so I don't have an instantaneous meltdown and have to run to the apple store (and is there even one in East Lansing)
spare battery - ok this isn't spare so much as my current one only holds a charge for around 20 minutes - long enough for me to run to the bedroom to print, but not much else    (Note to self: must go buy new battery from Apple Store)
software disks    I had a complete meltdown at the beginning of April and had to do a complete system reinstall, so I'm not going anywhere without 'em.
backup disk of my important files
bunch of blank disks, and at least one rewritable disk
cd player and miscellaneous discs     I always write to music, so I'll bring a good selection along
air conditioner     another thing I still need to buy
printer and the cables     I keep having delusions that I will forget one of the cables and won't be able to use it
two power cords
couple of dvd's     I can play them on my laptop if there isn't a public machine, and chances are good that at least once I'll want an evening just vegging and eating popcorn and the like - probably FOTR, and one or two others - maybe South Park
answering machine
rechargeable batteries and charger
25 foot phone cord     I don't have an ethernet card, so I'm going to be connecting to the internet the old fashioned way, and that way I can surf from my bed
alarm clock     I never use an alarm clock - but if I don't have one, I'll need it
digital camera, with bag, replacement batteries and cables     yay! snappies!

Supplies:Notebooks for notes in class     must buy soon - I hate the spiral bound kind - I'll probably get two
pads of paper for notes and sich on stories
my fountain pens and ink     I like them much better than your regular old ballpoint pen
paperclips, stapler, tape, scissors
envelopes, large and small - yes they say not to sub during clarion, but we shall see
two reams of paper
replacement black ink cartridge for printer

Linens:4 pillows and cases     I like a lot of pillows, what can I say?
down comforter
blanket for lounging aound outside if I want to work outside
the prop up couch pillow     I work on my couch, and expect to work on the bed, so I'll need something for my back

Comfort:Felix, my stuffed bear
two abominable snowman finger puppets! two! puppet wars!     Grrrrrr! says the abominable snowman
stress ball - it doubles as a globe
my desk puzzle     yes, I do know how to do it (that's for the folks who will be at Clarion, since that seems to the first question everyone asks as soon as they see it   
hockey skates
softball glove, bat and ball

Documents:My Birth certificate - I'm planning on driving through Canada there and back, since it's a good two hours shorter (well not counting the time at the border, but I'm betting it will be less than 2 hours - eep at least I hope so
maps - well AAA triptickets actually
all the stuff they sent me from Clarion - I have it all in one big envelope, so it's much easier to take it all
proof of insurance from my car
warranties for my brakes and shocks and stuff
mail forwarding card
The receipts for my power cords - they are both under warranty still, and I break them like crazy

KitchenIced tea maker and pitcher
bowl, plate, knife, fork, spoon
travel coffee mug
fishy cup!
bottle opener
couple of boxes of cereal     (they were on sale - half off a couple weeks ago

Toiletries:couple bars of soap
moisturizer, body and face
baby oil
nail clippers
emory board
a variety of hair elastics
suntan lotion
bug spray
contact lenses
lens cleaner and enzymes
tooth paste

5 lb weights
laundry detergent
stain remover
laundry bag
dayquil and nyquil
white board
cooler - this is mostly for the drive there and back again

posted by chance 7:01 PM
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Sunday, June 01, 2003
Other pre-clarion (besides all the packing) to-do stuff:

shopping - buy air conditioner, new laptop battery, notebooks, socks, snacks and soda for the drive, whiteboard for the door

bills to pay: apartment insurance, rent for june and july, visa bill

car: check air in tires, fluids, fill tank

misc. - take donations to goodwill, clean out refrigerator, return library books

Clarion countdown - 7 days to go! eee!

posted by chance 12:17 PM
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Monday, June 02, 2003
Clarion Countdown - 6 days awaiting!

I got all my bills paid this morning for June and July - paid the phone and insurance and stuff ahead so I wouldn't have to worry about remembering to mail checks while I was at Clarion - the only thing I'll have to pay is July's credit card when it comes.

So that's one big thing off my list. Though I did forget to file for my unemployment yesterday, so the check may not come until after I leave - boo! we'll see, but it's not getting mailed until tomorrow, now.

I also got my travel plans finalized, well, not that I am sure what time I'm going to show up, but that's another good load off my mind.

Now, I'm trying to knock out 1000 words on FD before I get back to the organizing and packing -stravaganza.

posted by chance 10:43 AM
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Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Clarion countdown - 5 days and starting to panic about packing - luckily, that keeps me from worrying about writer's block

Went and bought the A/C this morning. Of course, as soon as I got back, I saw that my mom had emailed me and told me about a slightly smaller unit on sale at Hoe Depot for $50 less. oh well, no way in hell I am driving back to Wal Mart, returning it, and then over to HD. Still, 6000 Btu for $147 isn't bad.

I also picked up the replacement battery for my laptop today - yay! now I can actually go work at the coffee shop or wherever, if I like (though unbelievably pricy for $129, especially since this is a know problem with these batteries that they lose capacity pretty quickly.)

Did some noodling around for packing today, but not really a lot - I still need to go to the grocery, library and office max tomorrow to finish all my shopping - but that should be pretty quick - and then it's all about collecting everything up and trying to fit it in my car. (The air conditioner box takes up a lot of space - I may have to leak over into the back seat, which I'd been hoping to avoid.)

posted by chance 2:27 PM
. . .
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Clarion Countdown - 4 days Computer Meltdown!!

I was packing this afternoon when I upended an entire glass of iced tea on my laptop. I grabbed the laptop right quick and let the tea run onto the floor. then I blotted with paper towels, and then used a hairdryer set to the air setting to try to dry everything,

Well the computer rebooted, but the keyboard is fried FRIED! (bleh)

So I ran off and got myself a USB keyboard for $30, and I'm back in business (sortof) - I'm still worried there shall be other impening damages - the computer isn't sleeping right, but I suspect that is because of the keyboard problem.

But, now for the good news - I called my insurance company and the damage is covered - if it costs too much to repair the computer, I will get a new one (well, I'll have to pay the deductible, $500, but it could be so very much worse) - So the lesson is - when they ask you if you want the computer rider for an extra $25 a year - definitely go for it. (Which I suspect I probably said "what the hell" when they asked me about it, just because it was so cheap)

In other packing news, did the rest of my errands today - got money and returned library books and did the little bit of shopping. All that is is left is the actual finishing of the packing.

oh, and i'm drinking from a travel mug now.

posted by chance 6:18 PM
. . .
Friday, June 06, 2003
Clarion Coutdown - 2 days to go - Anxiety dreams

Well, I had this dream the night before last that I had writer's block for the entire 6 weeks of Clarion - eee! I wonder if that ever happens. I'm not the world's speediest writer, but I can writer a 3-4k story in a week - keeping it up for 6 weeks could be a challenge. (heh - though I could always submit the picture game snippets - 100 word stories - people will love to critique me!)

In other news, I word that I got a scholarship for Clarion - yay! (made me very happy, since because I hadn't heard, I was sure I was going to get nothing.) It should cover my share of the cpmputer follies.

(Speaking of computer follies - all the keys work again excepr for like 6 or so - bleh, bleh, bleh.)

posted by chance 8:31 AM
. . .
Saturday, June 07, 2003
Clarion Countdown - 1 day to go and I'm so excited

Well, I'm not there yet, but I have made the great and lengthy drive. (no breakdowns, knock wood)

I saw seven classic cars when i was near the NY/PA bprder - all 30's/40's (one Jag and one rolls royce -muy cool) and in mint condition - must have been a car show somewhere nearby. But was cool to see,

Other than that, there isn't much of interest to the big long drive - other than it's over. I'm not actually going to arrive until sometime afternoon tomorrow, so settling in will be more hectic than I'd planned, but such is life.

*takes deep breath and doesn't plan to exhale until 5 tomorrow*

posted by chance 5:55 PM
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