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17 October 2009 @ 12:00 pm
Soliciting Sabbatical Suggestions  

I need to take a solid week (Sunday through Saturday) unpaid furlough from work (although I'm trying to think of it as a sabbatical) before the end of January 2010. As do all salaried employees at my company (the hourly employees get to take their 5-day leave a day at a time but the laws are different for us "exempt" employees. The bit that, on the face of it, is really weird is that the week cannot encompass a holiday. Which means I can't take the week between Christmas and New Year's to go somewhere with the family, and Gavi doesn't have any other big hunks of time off from school in that time period).

ANYway, it looks at the moment as if the best weeks for me would be one of the first three weeks in December or any week in January except the last. And I'm stumped.

When we first found out about this I thought it'd be easy. "Okay," I thought. "I'll just hop in my car and go visit somebody."

Then reality (and self-doubt) set in. Who among my friends and loved ones would be able to fit a visit from me into the middle of one of their work weeks? For that matter, who among my friends and loved ones would want to fit in a visit from me. What's the trade-off between how far I can drive and how much visiting time is left in a one-week timespan? Is there anywhere I can go? Anything fun I can do? I sure would hate to spend that time moping around the house.

So I'm totally stumped.

Therefore, I'm now throwing this up for your input. Do any of you have any provocative suggestions? Interesting suggestions? Or, whattheheck, plausable suggestions?

Thanks! I await breathlessly and with high hopes.

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
guppiecatguppiecat on October 17th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Were it me, I would pick a bunch of zoos nearby and go off photographing. It wouldn't matter whether or not any friends I might be relying upon could or couldn't take off work, as most big cities have things to do during the day.

Options that I see:

1) From Des Moines, one can do easy day trips to Omaha and Kansas City, as well as the Des Moines Zoo itself. There's also some nice parks around there.

2) From Chicago, one can go to both Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos, the Shedd Aquarium, as well as many museums and the planetarium. There is also a con going on there in November. Milwaukee is also in driving distance.

3) You may be able to fly to one of the big scary cities (New York, LA, etc) and just see the sights.

4) You could fly to Phoenix and go to their zoo and botanical center (both very nice) and then spend a day or so in Tucson seeing the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (best place on Earth) and the various parks around. Also, it would be warm(er).
Chaz Boston Badenhazelchaz on October 17th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
Photo opps
Well, you could come out to animelosangeles and take pictures of the many young costumers.

But guppiecat certainly has a worthy suggestion. I'd say, plan on four day trips. (Stay home Wednesday so you can catch up on what you did Monday and Tuesday.) Pick four completely different destinations. Botanical and zoological gardens, museums... Or pick a city and a category ("Mexican restaurants") and take pictures of every single example you find... The point is, have a theme to each of your days.

Or stay home and alphabetize your lens and filters. That should take most of a week right there.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 17th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Photo opps

Frankly, I don't know that anime is my cup o' tea any more than zoos are (not that I'm equating the two, you understand). Although I will admit that going to an anime convention simply as a photographer might well be interesting and entertaining.

Alphabetizing, eh? Hm. But do the numerals alphabetize after the alpha characters or before…?

the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on October 17th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Photo opps
"...not that I'm equating the two, you understand..."

Cause if you do, you get furries. And that can't possibly turn out well.

Chaz Boston Badenhazelchaz on October 17th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Photo opps
Well, our convention is run a lot like a science fiction convention. So there's a lot that will be familiar from, say, going to Minicon. And it will certainly be chock-full of interesting things to photograph, including lots of people who are happy to be photographed wearing something unusual they've made themselves.

Alphabetization: in English, please. so a "Fifty" would alphabetically come before a "Fourteen."
David W. Schrothdavidschroth on October 18th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
Re: Photo opps
But do the numerals alphabetize after the alpha characters or before…?

That depends upon the collating sequence chosen/specified...
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 17th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)

Hm. I guess I'm not the "zoo guy" that you are. I don't mind tagging along when Susan and Gavi want to go, but it's rarely my first choice. The exception to this generalization was the Lone Oak … Sanctuary? something like that … in Brisbane. That was a place worth visiting twice during our short stay in Brisbane. And were it possible, I'd return in the drop of a hat.

As far as flying … I've decided not to fly until/unless the Feds drop their stupid efforts to terrorize us with their airport security theater. Unless I absolutely can't avoid it, or it's for business. (Or it's all-expenses-paid to Australia!)

Yes, I love the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. I should get some of my recent photos from there posted.

Thanks for taking the time to think about it for me, though!

the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on October 17th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Phone up Steve and Floyd and invite yourself to Austin. Bring guitar. Bring me. :-)

David W. Schrothdavidschroth on October 17th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
You beat me to it with that suggestion...
Anne: amusednetmouse on October 17th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
An excellent suggestion!
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 17th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)

Ya think? Hm. It certainly seems to have the majority vote at the moment (including over on, you know, facebook, where I also posted the question). Where is my thinking tree when I need it?

Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 17th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)

I'll fer shur let you know if the chips fall that way. (As far as carpooling goes, see my post to minnehaha K. above.)

Fred A Levy Haskell: Rune 44fredcritter on October 17th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)

Now that is a thought worthy of serious consideration. Steve. Floyd. Guitar. Austin. Hm. I must ponder this.

Sad to say, part of the fun of Road Trip for me is going it alone. But from the thread here, it looks like maybe you could arrange to carpool with davidscroth and netmouse?

the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on October 18th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
I'd fly, come to that. But I'll probably be in Spain or something when the time comes.

et in Arcadia egobooapostle_of_eris on October 18th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
(I hate when that happens.)
Marybraider on October 17th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Roadtrip down to GAFilk?
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 17th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)

At the moment, Austin TX seems to be leading in the voting. But who knows how it'll all finish?

Problem with a filk convention is that, as friend Mr. Brust says, I don't like filk enough to sit through the bad stuff in order to hear all the good stuff. (Unlike the "folk" and "adapted rock & roll" we here in Minneapolis tend to do, which I usually do like well enough to sit through the bad stuff.)

et in Arcadia egoboo: Chicago (from Adler)apostle_of_eris on October 17th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Visit a *place* you want to visit.
Visit with your working friends after work, and tourist during the day.
Or, of course, visit non-working friends . . .
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 17th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)

That's an interesting approach. But it's not us.

Er. I mean, right now I'm hungry for spending time with =people= more than I am for spending time in =places=. But I will add the idea to the stack. Thanks!

et in Arcadia egobooapostle_of_eris on October 18th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
My counter-proposal was going to be to decide were you know the most unemployed people, but the groupmind has pretty well decided that Austin is first choice.
Austin is a contender it's difficult to argue against in almost any circumstances . . .
et in Arcadia egoboo: Barnabyapostle_of_eris on October 18th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
. . . though 1200 miles is pretty much a two-day drive.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 18th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Perfect icon for your post! I love it!
Geri Sullivangerisullivan on October 18th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
Austin certainly sounds the most credible destination so far, especially given the time of year. As I learned from the roads between here and there last December, it's not a good time to suggest dropping in on Toad Woods, much though you're always welcome here.

Question: can you add a couple of days of paid vacation onto the unpaid time? That would give you a bit more breathing space and visiting time in Austin.
skzbrustskzbrust on October 18th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
You know people in Austin, Texas, who don't need to worry about work weeks and would love to see you. And I'm told there's music here.

(Downside: there is smoke in this house)
skzbrustskzbrust on October 18th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Um, also cats and dogs. :-(
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on October 18th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
See, I knew it. Now, schedule the delivery of Floyd's new guitar by Will and Emma for the same period, and everything will be altogether interesting and fine.

skzbrust: Grinning simileskzbrust on October 18th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)
FredCon I?
nipernaadi on October 18th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
Wherever you go, do take pictures!

After all, you live in such exotic, faraway place as USA! You see USA every day around you - do share the wealth with readers all over the world!
A monstrous ramblingbibliofile on October 18th, 2009 05:44 am (UTC)
I'd just suggest someplace that you can drive to in a day or two. Is sunlight good for you? Then head south. Thinking about ConFusion? This could be a good year for that (and an extra day off at the start might help a LOT).

You're always welcome to visit Madison, but you'd have to stay someplace else due to cats. (Hmm, JJ doesn't have cats...)