panik: (CALM)
posted by [personal profile] panik at 01:03pm on 26/01/2007 under , ,
I think. But doesn't it then follow that I'm not - dead, that is? Or something...? Or whatever.

My thought processes are somewhat off today. This is a problem. I'd planned to do loadsnloadsnloads of stuff; instead, I'm sitting here, 'like tripe', as my mum says ( though why tripe has any particular, special propensity for 'sitting', and in what manner it 'sits', is entirely beyond me). But I digress...

Urm - where was I?

I seem to be having particular trouble re-adjusting to time zones this time around. Not sure why - it's never given me this much trouble before. Could it be the switch to green tea? This seems unlikely, but as mum also says (adopt portentious, mysterious tone) 'you just don't know, do you?'

Anyway - no work is being done. At all. This is a nuisance, but I guess, since I've missed almost a fortnight of work to this point, another 24 little hours can't hurt that much. I really am going to do my utmost to press on with my book at a rate of at least 2,000 words a day, which should see the little bugger finished in about a month. By way of enforcing discipline, I will be posting my progress here daily. Prepare ye, to be bored by my Writery Ramblings.

On the upside, my long-awaited birthday pressie from the ever-fragrant and lovely partner, Mark, arrived this morning in a big, bright, shiny box from France. It turned out to be a NafNaf solar alarm - or 'alarme-lampe avec radio reveil progressif digital'. (Tis testimony to the sufferings of my brain that I diligently worked my way through the French instructions before realising they were in English on the very next page). Anyway, it's a huge, silver, thoroughly spanky lamp(e)-alarm(e) that wakes you up gently with a light that slowly rises, like the sun; with birdsong (or the sea, or chiming bells, or cicadas - though, having been subjected to the little bastard's racket for years, why one would wish to be woken by ciccadas is a bit of a mystery. IMO, anyone who speaks of 'the tranquility of the rainforest' has clearly never set foot within 100 miles of one) that slowly swells in volume, till you awaken all natural and happy, like. Or so they claim...

Owt else to report? Not really. I'm not entirely sure why I'm posting this at all, except to feel that I have done something with my hours today.

Actually, though, there is one thing I feel moved to mention. Anyone seen 'The Devil Wears Prada'? Not the sort of film I'd've gone out of my way to see, but was a captive audience, on a transatlantic flight, where there's bugger-all else to do for 8 hours. It was an enjoyable enough bit of fluff, but greatly enhanced by the delicious slice of manhood playing Nate (the boyfriend). Oh my - what a darling! I post a link to a piccie here, though it fairly fails to do the man justice. I shall be following his future career with interest. ::smiles in happy anticipation::

This way to the pretty...

location: Home
Music:: Birdsong (ah!)
panik: (CALM)
posted by [personal profile] panik at 05:13pm on 24/01/2007 under
It's a day of waiting. We've arranged a late check-out from the hotel, so we can hang out here till 2pm, though our flight's not till 6; ::sigh:: Lotsnlotsa' hanging around today.

I'm sad to leave; to tell the truth, I've not done much since I got here - and spent way too much time mooching idly round the rather lovely hotel room. It's an odd thing, and one that always happens when I'm away; you quickly come to regard your little hotel room as home - I've only been here 10 days and packing and leaving feels like a wrench. Leaving the bloody bed is most definitely going to be hard (but we've already made moves to buy one and have it shipped. ::G::)

And I'm looking forward to getting home again and cracking on with some work - I've done far less here than I thought I would. The conference has been interesting, for the most part, though my main reason for coming - networking - has been much less than I'd hoped. But I have learned from the experience; not least that I really have to get my finger out and do some serious WORK when I get home.

Most of all, I've had a really good time. I didn't realise just how tired I was before I came - all the mooching about, lying on the bed, watching endless YouTube, doing a little bird watching at breakfast, hanging out with the delightful [personal profile] snycock and her buddies, discovering small town America in a way I'd never had the chance to before, experiencing the US health care system for the first time ever (a valuable experience for any TS writer ::chortle::),  but most of all the friendly, happy loveliness of everyone I've come up against here in Chapel Hill - has done me a power of good. I must've gained pounds, but the whites of my eyes glitter and glow (which my mum always told me was the sign of good health) and I feel thoroughly relaxed, and ready for some hard time at the coal face when I get home.

I have developed a mighty spot on the end of my nose that's sore and throbbing and has turned me into Rudolph overnight. I'm inclined to blame the breakfast waffles. All that sugar's gotta go somewhere.

Oh, and for those who were concerned - I found Twinkies in the Food Lion. I hope [profile] alibongo  enjoys them. (o:

And now, more coffee, I think... Might as well enjoy the facilities while I still can.
location: Room 412, The Sheraton, Chapel Hill.
posted by [personal profile] panik at 04:50pm on 21/01/2007 under
My days in the Deep South have passed in a pleasing and enjoyable haze. I'm just sitting in my room, on the gigantic, wonderful, most comfortablist Jim-bed bed EVER; having a quiet break with a coffee before I head back into the fray.

The hotel, which was disturbingly vast, cavernous and empty, has filled up over the weekend - lots more conferences have set up shop, including a basketball team from Georgia which has made breakfast an interesting experience; a bit like being lost in a forest of mighty Sequoia. I slip amongst them, unseen, like a woodland sprite ::G::

This morning, the car park is full of SUVs with Virginia plates and the hotel has sprouted dozens of  kids who got terribly excited by the breakfast buffet - I did not get my waffle today.

The conference has been mostly interesting, though a couple of talks literally sent me to sleep - I'm blaming the mega-watt painkillers the local clinic furnished me with when I managed to pull a stomach muscle in my sleep ::shrug:: - (don't ask cos I can't explain) - Man, those are some strong mothers! I feel like I'm on a ship; floating about in a perpetually happy place. I'm walking like a pirate, my brain feels like someone's made dip out of it, but I'm happy, which, I guess, is all that matters.

Yesterday (was it only yesterday?) I had to read some of my stuff out - well, we all did; we sprawled in a circle, on big cushions. The others (there are twenty seven of us here now - 4x the number who were here at the start) seemed unbelievably chuffed to be doing this; they had a confident, 'shut up now, and listen to THIS' air about them. I came clutching a vomit bag - but, to my amazement, it seemed to go down rather well; I gave them my account of the plane ride to Cayo Saetia with a very drunken pilot (from the book I'm currently working on), and they laughed, in all the right places, ie, (not in derision, i don;t think) - totally unexpected! They seem a rather aloof, self-confident, snooty bunch and I was dreading reading my not-in-the-least-bit-deep-but-in fact, rather-silly-stuff out to them. But they seemed to get a real kick out of it (everone else's writing is so serious! O:!) so I spent the rest of the day feeling rather smug and self-satisfied.

Last night, a small group of us went out for pizza and beer at a place in town called the RatKellar, which reminded me pretty much of student pubs in Liverpool. I couldn't drink, of course, because of the bleedin' pain killers - they'd've had to carry me out in a spoon - but [personal profile] snycockintroduced me to a not-half-bad non alcy beer the other night, and I stuck to that and so kept most of my brain cells. They all packed off back to the hotel at 9.30 anyway, the strange li'l munchkins, so I ended up back at the room, eating M&Ms and watching the news (with weather warnings for people heading off to church in the morning! O: Tries to imagine such a thing back home - fails) and Python (Njorls Saga; always a favourite) till the pills knocked me out at eleven.

I think the conference more or less packs up after dinner tonight so I'm planning on letting it rip a little more enthusiastically for what's left of the trip. Hoping to catch up to [personal profile] snycock again for fun and frolics in the swirling cesspit of sin that is Chapel Hill, tomorrow. I have things to buy for m'loved ones. [profile] alibongo has asked for a Twinkie - so I must source this ellusive delicacy before I depart. I also fully intend to spend even more time in the world's most comfortable bed, which Mark and I have defo decided to buy when we get home. Even with the shipping, it's way cheaper than a comparable bed bought in Britain and I must have one, I tell you, I must!

Right - there's a chat planned for tonight at my site; that's 3pm here, I think... (I'm still so lost on the time thing). I think I'm just finishing a workshop then, but there's something else scheduled after that... I'll try and get along, for at least some of the time, anyway, just for the novelty of doing it from here ::G::
location: My room at the Sheraton
Music:: A strange, screechy bird.
Mood:: 'confused' confused
panik: (JBkiss)
posted by [personal profile] panik at 01:55am on 20/01/2007 under
[personal profile] admiralandrea.

This may be late - I am confused, being in a different time zone (well, not only that, tbh, but it's definitely a contributing factor).

Hope your day goes/went spankingly, and your year even more so.
Music:: The heating (it's cold!)
location: My Hotel desk.
panik: (Shit!)
posted by [personal profile] panik at 11:37pm on 18/01/2007 under
In North Carolina; about an inch or two. You'd've thought it was Armageddon.

Really, it was quite delightful. The staff at the hotel were leaping around like children. The two shuttle-bus guys were throwing snowballs out front. They closed some roads, they closed schools. It was almost as bad as when it snows in Britain. ::G::

This jet lag is a curious animal. I thought I was all over it. I went out with the lovely
[personal profile] snycock again last night (the night before we went out to a great veggie restaurant and I failed to finish my dinner) and had a very groovy time chatting with a group of her friends and failing to finish my starter (never made it to the main course (o:). I had my Tarot read, which was mostly glowing and pretty and nice.

I felt fine all night, though I'd seriously thought I wasn't going to make it, having peeled m'self from the bed just half an hour before, forcing myself into the shower with a 'nnnrghh, wha's hap'n'n dude' way about me. I was OK then. but still managed to sleep a full 6 hours before my 5.45 wake up this morning for the 7am breakfast meeting, feeling hale, bouncing and chipper until I blanked out totally at one-ish, collapsed into my bed in a state of some confusion and have been more or less solidly asleep ever since.

Tea helps. God bless travel kettles.

In other news, the schenanigans in the CBB house have made page 8 of USA Today, and I hear it's a tad breezy back home.

Stay warm, my babies
Music:: NBC news
location: Chapel Hill, NC.
panik: (Hee!)
posted by [personal profile] panik at 01:32am on 16/01/2007 under
I think I have it.

I flew to the US today; been up since 4am and it's now... ::click, click, rattle, whirr:: (that's the sound of my brain attempting thought) half past 1am UK time, 8.30pm local time. I'm thoroughly shattered, the room service grilled cheese sandwich and fries I just ate are sitting on my stomach like a lead brick; In Her Shoes is on TV, but I've missed all of Richard's bits )o: I have tea, but no milk... Gods, I'm tired!

Tomorrow I'm hoping to meet up with the estimable [personal profile] snycock- am hugely looking forward to that! In the meantime... it's taken me sooooo long to write these few sad sentences; I am tired into incoherence and am going to bed.
location: North Carolina