Folks who’ve known me for a few years know that my life went through upheaval in 2009. My relationship of seven years ended; my home went into foreclosure (and I eventually lost it); my already bad debt problem went into overdrive as my finances plunged into the abyss with my house; and I was unable to file for bankruptcy.
As they say, sometime you have to hit the bottom before you can come back up.
Since then, I’ve paid of $48,600 of debt the old fashioned way. I’m still clawing my way out, but the end is now in sight. The final consumer debt piece will be killed in about 3 months, and I will be completely debt free in 12 months. By the end, I’ll have paid off $62,000 in debt since June 2009. ($10,000 of that number is interest paid.)
Those are terrifying numbers. That’s more than I make in a year. That’s a debt hole of dizzying size to me. I fell like I’ve been chucking bricks into the Grand Canyon for three years. But here’s the thing: if you chuck enough bricks into the Grand Canyon, it will eventually fill up.
I posted these numbers on Twitter a couple days ago and got quite a response. I’m not shy about posting these numbers; while I’m ashamed my life got to that point, I think it’s important to tell others that it is possible to slay this monster. It’s not easy, but you get used to the routine, and it’s pretty thrilling when you start to see results.
Below are some nuggets of advice that I can give. Please keep in mind that I’m not a finance professional, and I know that not all of these tips will work for everyone. These are simply things that worked particularly well for me. Continue Reading →
My friends are immensely quotable. Here is a collection of the bits and pieces of dialogue I gathered during CONvergence. I’ve attributed the quotes where possible; if I haven’t, it’s because I’ve genuinely forgotten who said it, and I apologize.
“I didn’t know He was lost!” – Pam
“The booty is mine! You cannot have it!”
“I am not having this conversation with you while my penis is out!” – Poe (from inside a bathroom)
“Crispin Cider is the fsking bomb.” – Pam
“You mean Christian Slater?” – Poe
“Pee faster! Twitter is waiting! You have all the hashtags! No one can tweet until you come back!” – Poe (to me, while I’m inside a bathroom)
“I’ve been noticing there’s a bag here that’s filled with nothing but bungee cords and beef jerky.” – Poe
“BREAK OUT MY iPAD AND MY ORDERING PANTS!” – Jason Continue Reading →
Tim Wick made a lovely list of random CONvergence highlights over on his blog, and it sounded like a lovely idea. This is me, totally stealing that idea.
I spent the 4th of July drinking massive amounts of gin and vodka (not in the same glass) in a Burnsville hotel room with my friends Jason, Pam, and Poe. I’ve known J since I was about 15 or 16, which is when we met on the Benden Weyr BBS back in the mists of ancient history. Stories were told. Twitter was flooded with quotes. Many pizzas were demolished. It was perfect.
Jerry Belich, Cargill, Kelvin Hatle, Eryn Hildebrandt, and several others decided to swede a film during CONvergence. On Thursday afternoon, I got to help them film for a while. Not only did the start and finish all the filming on Thursday, Jerry had a rough cut by Friday morning. HOLY HANNAH. It will need a little post production, but it should be done soon. I’ll post it when it’s finished.
MAD ART LAB PANEL - Panel 1 of 20
Wdonohue from the world of Twitter turned into a Booze Genie and simply gave me an entire bottle of scotch at this panel, and it was WRAPPED IN MATH. Best scotch ever! (For the record, it was Balvenie 14 year, which had been aged in rum casks. Also, I only drank about 1/3rd of the bottle at the convention.)
The Mad Art Lab panel was excellent! The other ladies from the site put together individual bags full of craft supplies for each audience member, and everyone was instructed to make art while we all talked. Hundreds of photos were taken; I’ll link to them when they go up. Continue Reading →
This week, we have the show that recorded live at CONvergence! Hear about a new local Twin Cities film project! Listen to silence as I dash to fill John Kovalic’s glass with scotch that wasn’t mine! Listen to the joy as we give away a Kindle!
Episode 158: Live at CONvergence 2012
An image from this year’s Drinking with Geeks panel, courtesy of Bob Alberti.
Anyone who has been to CONvergence, or even who has read my Twitter feed during CONvergence, knows that a lot of drinking goes on there. There are three floors of parties every night, most of which serve alcohol. There are even multiple panels dedicated to drinking now: the now-infamous Drinking with Geeks (which I’m always on) has been joined with Cocktails with Cthulhu (which I was also on). There’s talk of starting up a third one next year (which I will probably also be on, given my track record).
You may also surmise from this that I’m pretty okay with alcohol. I almost never drink to get drunk or even buzzed, but I absolutely love the vast varieties of beer, wine, and scotch that exist on this planet. Plus, my body’s intolerance for caffeine and for aspartame, and my distaste for sweet drinks, have left me with few beverage choices aside from water and, well, booze.
And I’m fine with CONvergence being fairly boozy. For the most part, the attendees at CONvergence are extraordinarily well-behaved, even when tipsy. In the past, I’ve volunteered for the convention by helping Operations respond to radio calls in the wee hours of the morning, and I’ve seen the sort of emergencies that arise during the drinking times. For an event that puts 5,000-6,000 people in the same place with copious amounts of alcohol, there are astonishingly few problems. Yes, there are problems; that is expected simply because of the sheer volume of people we host. But there are very few problems.
Yet I wonder: how much celebration of the fermented beverage is too much? CONvergence is growing by leaps and bounds every single year. Will there be a point where hosting a Drinking with Geeks panel would be downright irresponsible? I sure hope not, but I do wonder. Continue Reading →