John Scalzi’s been posting these lists on his blog and suggested other people post their own with a link, so here we go. John has obviously done a lot of things most people haven’t, since this is his fourth iteration of the list, but I’ll try to come up with ten.
1. Chaired an SF convention, twice. The second time from a wheelchair after tumbling down some concrete steps at speed and mangling myself.
2. Spent fourteen years getting an AA degree. (I finished that sucker, too! Never give up, never surrender!)
3. Brought a layer cake made of two failed chocolate cakes (neither rose, for completely different reasons) frosted together into one, for an office birthday party, and BSed everyone into believing that 1) I’d meant it to be like that, and 2) that it was really good.
4. Got stitches in my head twice before starting kindergarten — once when our dog bit me for taking its bone away (I wanted to throw it so he could fetch it, hey, I was three), and another time when I was lying up on the shelf by the back window of the car when my mom had to stop suddenly, back when seatbelts were completely optional and kids routinely played all over the back seat area.
5. Spent two hours physically holding up a pair of panels forming one of the stage wings at a convention masquerade, because the tech guy had forgotten the wire needed to fasten them together. They drafted a bunch of gofers to hold them up for the whole show. I was smart enough to grab a chair.
6. Wrote a personal check for a whole long-weekend convention’s worth of soft drinks, because we didn’t know the guy wouldn’t leave the tanks with us unless we paid in advance. O_O Then got the con chairman to run me to the nearest branch of my bank ASAP so I could deposit the check he wrote me from the convention account so the check I gave the nice soda man wouldn’t bounce. [laugh/flail]
[Yeah, most of my weird-and-unique experiences came from working conventions, what can I say?]
7. As basically a senior gofer at a tech conference, authorized a rather large expenditure I totally didn’t have the authority to okay, because a vital piece of equipment failed during set-up of our premiere evening event, and all the Committee people were up in their rooms putting on their tuxes and evening gowns, and nobody (including the guy nominally in charge of the event) thought it was important to bring a radio up with them. The other senior gofer who was de facto in charge of the tech set-up was about to melt down right there, and wasn’t dumb enough to get the new equipment on her own authority, so I did it. And I was ready to chew a new asshole into any committee member who dared even glance at me about it, ’cause folks, this is YOUR show and it was YOUR responsibility to have someone with signing authority available at all times, and I don’t even want to hear it.
8. Went walking through the woods gathering firewood while wearing three layers of ankle-length skirts, while camping, several times. Whether anyone else has ever done this probably depends whether anyone reading this is or was a woman in the SCA at any point.
9. Kept a pet spider in a home-made cage (cardboard box with a piece of screening over the top, with a little hinged door cut into the screening and secured with a twist-tie) in my backyard one spring. I caught mosquito hawks in a butter tub to feed the spider. I’m actually rather arachnophobic, and I did this when I was twelve while trying to fight the phobia. It didn’t really work, but I was proud of myself for doing it anyway.
10. As part of my job from back when, got to go climbing around under a large piece of equipment of National Importance, something I could tell you about, but then I’d have to track you all down and kill you, and that’d be a lot of work, so, anyway. Funny thing — Workplace Health and Safety requirements required me to purchase a pair of steel-toed shoes for working out on the floor. I got steel-toed sneakers, which I didn’t even know existed until my boss took me to the store that sold them, just because the idea of steel-toed sneakers is kind of funny-cool. The thing is, I was on my back underneath a ridiculously heavy unit, checking off serial numbers on the underside while it dangled over my entire body on a winch. If said winch had failed, the steel-toed sneakers wouldn’t have really done much to prevent damage to my person. But by gosh, the rules said I had to wear them, so I wore them. Luckily, the winch held.
If anyone else wants to do this, feel free to either comment here, or post to your own blog, with a link back to Scalzi’s post. Or at least, go read his list, which is a lot more interesting than mine.