Friday, January 8, 2016

2015: A [Semi] Lame Recap

I know I'm a bit late reviewing my 2015, but that's probably because while it was exponentially better than 2014, it still had its issues. On top of that, I was terrible about keeping up with this blog (seriously, how many times can I say that?), but after reading some notes I jotted down in a journal at the beginning of last year I realized just how far I've come and decided to write a quick recap anyway.

So what happened in 2015? A lot, and then, kind of not enough. I ran two 5Ks - the Greenville News 5k and the St Paddy's Day Dash and Bash - and killed it both times (at least in regards to my prior personal bests). I also read a lot of books, though I've been insanely lax about reviewing them on this blog...and I never did finish that Song of Ice & Fire re-read, but hey, maybe I'll pick it up again eventually. After I've finished the stack of Star Wars books that I got for Christmas ;)

I don't cook very much anymore, mostly because it's one of those things that got pushed to the bottom of my list of priorities what with work and writing and being depressed and anxious so much of the time, but I did post a couple recipes and even went through a serious smoothie phase. Sadly the latter got pushed by the wayside when I got food poisoning in late March - not the smoothies' fault, but I had to take a break from them nonetheless. (TMI? Maybe? Sorry.) But hey, at least I tried a couple new food things this year, right?

Of course the biggest thing that I did this year - at least to me - was going to Hawaii.  This had been a dream trip of mine since early 2005 (of course, traveler that I am I thought it would be a cool place to visit long before then; 2005 was just when the fever really hit), but I never thought it would happen this soon. Eventually I'll probably write more about that trip, because it was amazing and life-changing and I can't get Hawaii out of my head, but I truly meant everything I said in "The Magic of Traveling By Yourself". I wish I was back there, I can't wait to GO back...Hawaii was definitely the highlight of my year.

One of the wonderful people I met on Kauai. Her name is Jen and at the moment she's doing an internship in South Africa involving learning and teaching about (and diving with!) white sharks. You can support her here.

Pearl Harbor
Booze cruise with the one and only Admin Angel, a lovely person and awesome boss...and friend!
I went straight from Hawaii to San Diego Comic-Con, which was exhausting but worth a second chance. I mean, there was no way it could be worse for me (personally) than SDCC 2014 was...though to be honest, 2014 was a lot better professionally. Still, in 2015 I got to be a panelist, and THAT was amazing :)

The rest of the summer was pretty laid-back, though I did volunteer at my family's farm's open house :) Dragon Con was the next really important thing on my radar, mostly because it was really awful in 2014, but thankfully this year I had an amazing time with my roommates, my friends, my costume groups...well, everything.

To be honest the only other thing of note that I posted in this blog was my little rant about how sometimes "running late" isn't just "rude and selfish". But that doesn't mean that I didn't have some great times these past few months. Upstate Pride was an absolute blast, I got to visit the Orlando ThinkGeek store the weekend it opened, I took a little vacation to Ohio in mid-October, and then I went back to Orlando for Halloween - and got to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter again (with one of my best friends, who'd never been before, which made it even more amazing)!

Bekah and I at Upstate Pride
NotACon 2015: Pottermore Money, Pottermore Problems
WWoHP with Bekah

As usual though, the holidays were a bit of a blur. I got to see my loves Adrian and Melissa over Thanksgiving and even help them decorate their tree, I got a new tattoo and had a Steven Universe birthday party, I did a hardcore hike that I'd been meaning to accomplish since July 2014, Bekah and I drove up to visit Hunger Games filming sites, and I spent Christmas at the family farm.

Black Friday with the Maldonados

My Toothless tattoo, to remind me of my cat Stitch
I'm Lion!
Finally did the full Table Rock hike! 7.2 miles, over 2000 feet elevation gain, just over 3.5 hours

A couple samples from our Hunger Games shoot...

Visiting the farm with the pups
My niece CC is silly and I love her so darn much
Sometimes I wonder when I breathed the last four months of the year, but at the same time I wonder whether I had too much downtime. My depression hit hard at the end of the year, but I'm retrying a medication and at the moment I feel like I'm slowly but surely climbing out of that very, very bad slump.

As a final note, I also fell in love with some amazing things this year. I haven't written about all of them (not even for The Geekiary), but I highly suggest watching the following (these are in no particular order):
Amazing artwork I commissioned from the talented Trow Art featuring three of the shows I fell in love with this year: Polar Bear's Cafe, Steven Universe, and Kuroko no Basket.

Everything about the end of my year was Star Wars, and I am totally alright with that. I did a rewatch of the first six movies, I saw the first available showing of The Force Awakens the day it was released, I got to review it for The Geekiary and then participate in a fun webcast about it.

All that said, I'm glad it's 2016. Here's to a new year, and a new hope (Star Wars reference FTW) that it will be better than 2015 just like last year was better than the one before. Pin It

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Oops, I did it again

It's been over a month since my last blog entry and I don't have any good excuses for not posting. Yes, I've been busy from time to time, but the honest truth is that lately I've been battling with an upswing in depressive episodes and anxiety bordering on panic. I know enough to understand that this is due to the fact that I keep rehashing where I was personally during last year's holiday season, and I've finally started trying a few new things in hopes of digging myself out of this rut, so I've got my fingers crossed that I'm taking some steps in the right direction.

I haven't been completely remiss with my writing, though - I participated in NaNoWriMo again this year, but unlike last year, I actually won! Just barely, and to be honest I'm not sure what I wrote is really anything I would be able to publish, but I did it, and I'm proud of that, at least :)

I also recently became the Loot Crate correspondent for The Geekiary, and I've really been enjoying doing the unboxing videos for that. I have several friends who subscribe to Loot Crate and they've received some really awesome things in the past, things that admittedly made me a little bit jealous, and now I get to open my own Loot Crates and be surprised by the random cool things they send. (This isn't even a sales pitch. I got the Star Wars Level Up Loot Crate one two days before Christmas and it literally made my week.)

I also accepted a position as a Staff Writer for the Fansided website Wizards and Whatnot, which is dedicated to all things Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. Since the HP fandom has been exploding back onto the scene (thanks to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie and the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play coming out next year) I'm really happy to be part of this website pretty much right at its inception. I just wish I'd had time to write more articles for them so far...but you know, holidays. And the other stuff I mentioned. ::sigh:: I did get to write an article about the Hufflepuff play being put on in NYC right now (though sadly I didn't actually get to see said play), and I've got another Hufflepuff article coming out soon, so you know, at least I'm repping my house!

And most importantly...there was new Star Wars! And I saw it (twice, so far)! And it was awesome! I've basically had an entirely Star Wars fueled month at this point, to be honest...most of my birthday gifts were Star Wars themed, I did a Machete Order rewatch of the movies the week before Episode VII was released, and of course I wrote and talked about it. A lot. I wrote about what Star Wars means to me, wrote the Geekiary's review for The Force Awakens after I saw it, and then talked about it on a special episode of our webcast for over an hour. And to round out the month, a good portion of my Christmas presents were Star Wars items as well ;)

The thing is, it's a beautiful time to be alive, and far too often I forget that. But I'm trying to remind myself. I'm putting one foot in front of the other, I'm going to get through the end of this year, and I'm going to hope that 2016 improves on 2015 more than 2015 did on 2014. Pin It

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...that yes, I'm terrible at keeping up not only with this blog but even with Monday Confessions, lately. I blame NaNoWriMo.

I confess...I'm sure I've said this before, but I hate holiday travel.

I's been a really overwhelming month so far, but for some reason I can't decide if I'm looking forward to or dreading it being over. Pin It

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...I am so, so over the recent weather here in South Carolina. Is it too much to ask for one day where it doesn't rain?

I confess...I'm still immersed in my Gilmore Girls rewatch and realizing that I"m about 70-80% Lorelai and 20-30% Rory.

I confess...I'm keeping up with NaNo so far, but I'm worried that eventually I'll fall behind and not have it in me to catch up. Because honestly that's how this month is going. Sigh. Pin It

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...I was doing so well, writing in this blog, and then suddenly I wasn't. But to be fair I've been traveling a lot. And now it's NaNo. So we'll see what happens ;)

I confess...I started re-watching Gilmore Girls. From the beginning. For some reason this show always makes me feel better.

I confess...after a long day in the car, all I want is to drink my wine, work on my NaNo novel, and watch more Gilmore Girls. So that is what I'll be doing :) Pin It

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...I tried going to Fall for Greenville yesterday and realized that I'm pretty much over it. Or at least over the food tent part of it. I ended up grabbing a beer at a bar and walking around with that was great because I didn't have to buy stupid tickets or anything. Who knows if I'll ever go back, though.

I confess...I didn't dislike the Walking Dead season premiere, but I'm maybe kind of underwhelmed by it for some reason? I can't really figure out how I feel.

I confess...speaking of TWD, I was supposed to go to Walker Stalker Con over Halloween and now I'm just super torn about it because I don't really have the money at the moment (lots of unplanned expenses have come up lately), plus other reasons that I'll get into - either in a Geekiary article or a blog entry here - soon enough. I probably won't [be able to?] go, and I both hate that and am relieved about it. Pin It

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sometimes "Running Late" Isn't Just "Rude and Selfish"

Once in a while I find something to rant about, so I created a fun picture to include in these word-vomit posts ;)

Yes, my Microsoft Paint skills are hella impressive. Now without further ado...

Back in July a man named Greg Savage (who is some big-name recruiter - I'd heard of one of his companies, but not of the man himself) wrote a blog entry about how anyone who is late on a regular basis, be it for work or appointments or outings with friends, is "rude and selfish". Now, I'm going to hope that he takes into account things like someone leaving in plenty of time to arrive early, running into unexpected traffic, and being late...even though I kind of gather that he doesn't believe in such things as unexpected traffic or, you know, emergencies in general. He claims that he's only talking about people who are habitually late, but the examples he gives seem - for the most part - to feature people who kept him waiting just one time before he cut them off.

As someone who was not only painfully shy as a child but who also grew up with parents who were perpetually late, the minute I had a choice in the matter (read: once I had my own transportation) I resolved to always be, if not early, than at least on time. And I stuck with that for my latter teenage years, throughout college, and for most of my adult life. Sure, now and then I was late. No one is perfect. (Well, except, apparently, Greg Savage.) But I honestly can't recall ever being late for work all those years, and if I was late for other things it was due to extenuating circumstances.

And then the past three years happened. As I got dragged further and further down into the rabbithole of depression and anxiety that has dominated my existence essentially since mid-2012, being on time became nearly impossible. I'm not saying it never happens, but I'll be honest - it's rare. And being early? Ha! That's a thing of the past, at least for right now. But I'm not just being "rude and selfish". I'm struggling to get out of bed, or to leave my house, or sometimes I'm even sitting in my car outside my house or in a parking lot somewhere just trying to convince myself that I can do it, I can be at work or at the doctor's office or just generally out in public.

Again, I wasn't always like this. And I *dream* of a time when I'll be my old self and it won't be such a struggle to live life. When my alarm will go off and I'll get up right away and go about my business like a 'normal' person, rather than hitting the sleep button five times while I lay there trying to convince myself that getting out of bed is actually a thing that I have to do if I want to, you know, support myself and stuff. I never used to use that sleep button. In fact I practically loathed people who did (well, living/sleeping with them, anyway). And yeah, sometimes certain people are just lazy about waking up, just like sometimes certain people are just lazy about getting places on time. But sometimes it's not a character flaw - sometimes it's a chemical imbalance telling that person that they're worthless and life is shit and there's just no point.

I applaud others who suffer through this, because I know how difficult it is. I applaud them for arriving wherever they need to be at whatever time they get there because THEY GOT THERE, DAMMIT. And sometimes they don't, or can't, just like sometimes I don't, or can't.

I'd really like to believe that Savage doesn't actually think that every single person who is late on a regular basis is inherently flawed, but the fact that he makes the case that doctors shouldn't ever be late (because you know, heaven forbid there be emergencies in doctors' offices that cause later appointments to get pushed back) leads me to believe that he simply thinks that he and his time are more important than anything else, or anyone else's well being.

Yup, some people who are perpetually late are simply rude and selfish, and maybe Savage has only ever experienced those types of people (though again, based on his examples, I doubt that). But guess what, kids: generalizations are generally bad, and for the most part making them and then announcing them as the end-all and be-all makes you look like an ass.

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