Man, it's embarrassing to see that I haven't published anything really technical (beyond my MMS Miami Beach recap) since the end of July...and before that anything on a regular schedule since April! Despite my best intentions, some aspects of life got complicated. Fortunately in the "good" way, but it really cut into my time to think about and craft posts. To that end, some of what's kept me occupied since April includes:
The week after MMSMOA in early May, I auditioned for an original show about some local history. I wound up cast as its lead. About eight weeks later it was all done, and I had a wonderful time being on stage (in a role) again. It had been twelve years since my last on-stage appearance in a cast. It's a lot of work, but so very worth it! It was also neat to be in a production with the 16 year old, who often drove me to auditions so I could work on my own lines!
In late August, I was approached to audition for our community theatre's major fall production (in October) of A Month of Sundays by Bob Larbey. After expressing some hesitation about my other commitments, I went to audition anyway. And I wound up being cast as the lead character...again.
Being in two shows over the course of six months wasn't ever on my 2023 bingo card, and being lead character in both was definitely not on the card, but here we were. The second show (A Month of Sundays) was definitely more challenging than the June production...but mostly for the reason that I was on stage the entire time -- opening line to closing line. The number of lines was insane, but it was a great experience as well...and I had the most wonderful supporting cast and crew to help me along. We did a great job, had a good time, and connected with our audiences.
Oh, in addition to all of that, I am still in the final year of my presidential term for the community theatre. I enjoy the role, but there's a ton of random stuff to deal with throughout a season. I am looking forward to a break from that role come next spring, when I have to take some time away from the board due to term limits.
I have been a huge fan of MMS since my first time attending, and after the May (MOA) edition I decided to finally overcome my impostor syndrome and pitch some session ideas for Miami Beach. It'd been on my bucket list for a few years and after some very supportive words and encouragement from folks at MOA I decided to do it. Shortly after my June show ended I drafted a few ideas and pitched them. And a couple were chosen!
I am super happy with how the MMS folks frame their deadlines. It meant some work drawn out over a period of time, but at least it forced (me) to work on things in chunks instead of at the last minute. I appreciate those deadlines, because as I look back in retrospect they really do encourage a better end product and experience for everyone.
Of course, there's a lot of sausage that goes into prepping for something like MMS. The lab environment(s), the "scripts" (both code and flow), the demo details, the collaboration with co-speakers, and things like remote access to the lab.
This all culminated with my appearance and attendance at MMS Miami Beach in late October. An excellent experience all around, bolstered by my "I'm a grown-ass adult" treats for myself like car service from the airport to South Beach late on a Saturday night, a "bloody mary tour" of South Beach on the extra day I stayed to explore, and a bloody mary on the flights to and from Miami.
Intertwined in all of this is the regular work aspect of things -- which makes all the other stuff possible. Summertime (late May through early August) is my personal "busy time" due to new device deployments, annual refreshes, and all the other normal summertime churn in an education environment. My planning and dev cycle is usually in fall/winter, dev/test/build in spring, and execution in the summer. Doesn't mean I'm constantly busy in the summer, but that's when the planning comes into force so there's always moving parts to coordinate or execute.
...and Regular Life Stuff!
Of course there's all the other life stuff going on, too numerous to mention.
One thing I have been appreciative of since returning from MMS Miami Beach is re-discovering unplanned evenings! Stuff was pretty intense and back-to-back from late August into early November, so having some breathing room for a bit is good. With that in mind, I have a short list of topics to write about so hopefully over the next couple months I'll get back to a more routine posting schedule. Maybe not quite my desired one post every other week thing, but hopefully close!
Thanks for riding along and supporting my journey!