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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Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...last night I had a sudden idea for my NaNo novel this year and now I can't wait to start it...I'll be immersing myself in research this month to prepare :)

I rained practically nonstop all week last week, and all weekend, and it was horrible. I do feel lucky that I live in the foothills of SC rather than the midlands/low country - and I feel bad for those who are suffering as a result of the flooding in those areas :(

I confess...I'm re-reading the Harry Potter series for probably the tenth time (or more). I always seem to forget how much I love these books despite all of their flaws, haha. Pin It

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...I've been slacking on these Monday Confessions since forgetting to write one up the day I came back from Dragon Con. Which I find pretty sad considering that's like 98% of what this blog is lately. This is my attempt to make sure these posts continue, at the very least. Boring as they are. Sigh.

I confess...I actually cooked something last week, really cooked something, for the first time in ages, and everything came out just fine and the person I cooked for liked it and this made me remember how much I once enjoyed cooking. And I kinda want to get back to that, now.

I confess...I'm taking an accounting course and the first several weeks were a piece of cake, then suddenly last week I just couldn't wrap my head around the homework and it gave me one hell of a headache. So I guess at this point I'll see how this one class pans out before making the final decision to continue taking accounting courses. Pin It

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Personal Dragon Con Recap

So I've already written several Dragon Con articles for The Geekiary (as well as participated in a post-Dragon Con webcast), all of which can be found on our Dragon Con Masterpost page :) But I figured I would also do a quick post here about the general fun and costumes and whatnot.

We started off Thursday by going to the Marriott pool, a tradition I hope to continue again next year. But when the beer in our cooler ran out, we decided to put on our Jurassic Park costumes and go to the now-annual Hooters dinner I always schedule...followed by the Jurassic Park photoshoot and the Running of the Buffetts!

Sadly I didn't get to wear Ellie very long, so that costume WILL be making a reappearance, probably as soon as next year. After that it was party time with the Archer crew, though to be honest I didn't get many, um, shareable photos from that evening. I'll partly blame my cell phone camera and partly blame a friend's slight, err, costume malfunction ;)

But at least I ran into my friend Amanda dressed as an awesome Asha Bunny!

Now, I'm not saying I'll never wear Katya again, but after wearing that cosplay three times now, I'm a bit bored with it. We'll see if Cassius and Clay offers any new cosplay opportunities...if not, well, it's past time for me to have a Bunny Hutch costume on Thursday night at Dragon Con, anyway.

I actually didn't stay up very late for a Dragon Con Thursday (nothing like the past few years, anyway) because I was on a panel at 10 AM Friday morning. All I have to say about that is "Ugh, rough." Haha.

Anyway, Friday was BSG day, and for the first time since [early] 2013 I got some great photos of my Starbuck costume! Many many thanks to my buddy Deb of Photography by Debadeep for these shots.

Friday night was the second time ever we had a full "Nightman Cometh" group from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but despite having our pictures taken what seemed like a million times, I have yet to find any of us other than the couple I [barely] remembered to snap. We did go to the Avengers Ball, but sadly it wasn't anywhere near as fun as last year. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed like they kept the lights on a lot longer than they did last year, so it didn't really feel like a dance party until much later, and by that time I had to be a grown up and head back to my room in hopes of being somewhat rested for a press conference the next morning.

Saturday definitely didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it to, costume-wise. I did the bad thing and didn't finish my Fury Road cosplay (I was The Dag) before the convention, so I was piecing it together while I was putting it on Saturday morning...which of course took way longer than I expected. In the end I was actually pretty happy with it, though I may have to re-do the bottom portion of the outfit before wearing it again.

I did, however, finish my Saturday night cosplay before Dragon Con...though just barely. I was part of a big JEM cosplay group, as Roxy, the bassist from the Misfits. It was a blast because I got to be part of it with several good friends, plus meet some new people, and to be honest other than the heels (which I quickly changed out of after the photoshoot) the costume was really comfortable. Though of course once the whole group dispersed no one really knew who I was. Ah well!

Ahhh, Sunday. At one time it was my favorite day of Dragon Con, and this year actually bumped it back up a notch. First because I got to hang out with my besties in our Kuroko no Basket (a.k.a. BASUKES) cosplays...which is a comfortable and fun costume (and I was honestly surprised at how many people recognized us, considering Dragon Con isn't all that huge on anime).

And then my late-night costume - Katy Perry, complete with Left Shark - landed me on not one but TWO Dragon Con cosplay videos! We actually had a group of Pop Stars, and again it was a group comprised of some of the most lovely people I know, and I had such a blast partying it up rock pop star style with them :)

Before I shamelessly plug the two cosplay videos I appear in, I'll leave you with some fun Dragon Con anecdotes...courtesy of my lovely roommates ;)

Bekah: I lost a nail! Oh wait it's in my tights.
Brian: Who cares about your nail, come do my makeup.

Bekah: Are you sitting on the floor counting fake money and eating Doritos?
Brian: ...Yes.

Brian: Elsa is Deadpool level annoying.

Me: Congratulations. This is by far the most disgusting convention room I've ever been a part of.

I had a great Dragon Con this year and it was all thanks to my friends - new and old. I hate that I missed seeing so many people and that I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to everyone, but if you're reading this, here's yet another HUGE thanks to all of the amazing people who did cosplay groups with me, to everyone who dropped by our hilariously messy room for drinks and fun throughout the weekend, and to those of you who looked out for me. You all enrich my life in ways I can't really describe. Thank you, thank you, thank you <3

Now without further ado...the videos! First, we appear in one of Unlimited Dream Works' "Epic Cosplay" videos at the 2:49 mark...

And second...HOLY CRAP I AM IN A BEAT DOWN BOOGIE VIDEO. This is a first time for me and I'm not even trying to hide my excitement. Check us out at the 4:38 mark!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Where has all of my writing gone?

I have to be honest, it's almost gotten to the point where I'm so immersed in The Geekiary that the chances of me ever finding time to update this blog regularly are flying out the window ;)

Of course I'm also immersed in Dragon Con prep at the moment. But hey, at least I'm mostly packed and only have some minor costume stuff to finish (on just one costume, too! go me, right? ha).

Packing costumes by day = Lots of bags, but smart, right?
(Cat not included.)
Anyway, like I said, I'm writing quite a bit, it's just all over at The Geekiary. I finished up my Game of Thrones vs. Song of Ice & Fire series after season five ended, and that's all I had in me when it came to writing about GoT for a while...unless you count my little recap of the third annual Ice & Fire Con, of course.

Not that I had much time to write (or even much to write about) in June and the first part of July - I reviewed Jurassic World, of course, but then I was busy traveling anyway! (Which reminds me...I still need to finish posting about my Hawaii experience. Oops.)

Thankfully San Diego Comic-Con provided me with plenty of fodder, as I had the chance to take part in several press roundtables (Steven Universe, Rick & Morty, The Last Ship, and Lucifer) and to attend the NerdHQ Bad-Ass Women panel, as well. That said, as cool as all the press stuff was, it all paled in comparison to the "Spotlight on Allie Brosh" on Saturday of SDCC. And that day was topped off with my being a panelist on an ASOIAF/GoT fan panel, which was also a ton of fun :)

The thing is, I'm even behind on things I kind of need to write for The Geekiary...I may have gotten my recommendation for Kuroko no Basket out of the way, but I still need to drum up the time (and willpower) to write recs for Soul Eater and Polar Bear's Cafe. Instead, I spent many hours putting together my definitive Dragon Con Survival Guide, and was also rewarded with the chance to review the Norman Reedus/Djimon Hounsou flick AIR...and to interview Djimon himself! Yeah yeah yeah it was only over the phone but let me tell you, it took me a while to come down from that high.

At this rate I'll have plenty of Geekiary coverage after Dragon Con as well, but hey, maybe I'll try to continue my ASOIAF re-read once things slow down for me?

(Who am I kidding, things never slow down for me. Ah well...I'm not sure I'd have it any other way!) Pin It

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Confessions

I's Dragon Con week and I'm excited and anxious, simultaneously wondering how I'll make it through the next few days as I impatiently await seeing all the people I love again, and how I'll make it through the convention itself without falling apart.

I confess...I feel very 'meh' about Fear the Walking Dead and to be honest it's mostly because the show has killed off the three named black characters introduced in the first episode. And it's only had two episodes. Not good. Not good.

I confess...some time ago I created a secret Facebook group for all my awesome friends who are going to Dragon Con and I just love it and love everyone in it and okay now I'm allowing myself to feel more excited than anxious :) Pin It

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...I've basically been sick since last Friday and I don't know if it's an actual illness or just stress. Go away, stomach pains...Dragon Con approacheth!

I confess...speaking of Dragon Con, either I'm totally missing/forgetting something or I'm actually pretty on top of my costumes this year. (Hope I'm not jinxing that...but I suppose it does help that 5 of my 8 costumes are ones I've worn before.)

I confess...despite the fact that the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead was okay at best, I'm still kind of excited to see where it goes. Pin It

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fourteen Years? Say it isn't so...

I almost forgot that today was the fourteen-year anniversary of when I checked into my first Walt Disney World College Program.

Seriously, I had to sit there and think about it for several minutes. I knew it was coming up, but I honestly couldn't remember at first whether it was the 20th or the 22nd. I guess that's one hell of a sign that I'm getting old.

I mean, Lord knows I've changed (evolved?) in the looks department. (Can't necessarily say the same for my fashion sense...) Seriously though, look at these babies...

WDWCP Fall 2001 - My roommate Kim and I

Anyway, it just so happens that today was registration day for the #CPAlumni Homecoming Weekend in January...I figured it was fate, so I went ahead and signed up :) I mean hey, there's a chance I may be [temporarily?] living in the Orlando area at that point anyway - and even if I'm not, it's a good excuse to visit.

This also means that it was four years ago when we had our crazy 10-year reunion...and wow, a lot has changed even since then.

My last trip to Disney, December 2013

Sometimes it feels like everything with the College Program was just a dream. Honestly the only way to be sure that it wasn't is to keep in touch with some of the friends I met...though I have so many post-WDWCP memories with most of them that even that is hard, sometimes. Shoot, I haven't even visited Disney in nearly two years - the longest ever since I went about a year between trips while I was still in college (2003-2004). Yeah, I'm not counting a brief visit to Orlando for work earlier this year, and another for a convention in March 2014, mostly because I didn't step foot at Disney World those times. Most days I don't even miss it, but then, I've had at least two dreams about it lately, so maybe it's past time I went back ;)

It is, after all, the only place other than Greenville that's ever truly felt like home...even if it only felt like that for short periods of time. Pin It

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...I basically took a break from everything that I should have done/needed to do this weekend. I want to believe that it was worth it (in a lot of ways, it was) but now I have a 'to do' list a mile long and I have no idea how I'm going to finish everything I need to finish in a timely manner.

I confess...anyone who can brave meeting several of my family members as well as a bunch of my crazy friends all in one weekend is clearly amazing ;)

I confess...I'm both excited about and terrified for Dragon Con. ::sigh:: Pin It

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

This is my fight song, take back my life song...

A year ago this month I checked myself into the hospital because I could no longer handle...well, myself.

And a year ago today, I finally tried to put what I was feeling into words, and posted a blog entry about it.

A lot has changed since August 2014. I wish I could say that everything is great and I'm all better, but anyone who has struggled with depression and/or anxiety to this extent should know that's not really how it works. I actually didn't even really, truly reach rock bottom until after Dragon Con last year, and even since climbing out of that pit I've had plenty of days (and sometimes even weeks) when I felt myself sliding back into it.

I've made a lot of progress, thanks to a combination of therapy, medication, facing my own mistakes and issues and resolving to do my best to not make them again and not allow them to define me, removing toxic and/or abusive people from my life, and focusing on relationships with people who truly care about and are good for me (and to me). Sure, on the bad days, it's still hard to focus on how far I've come.

But I'm still here.

I'm still surviving.

Sometimes, I'm even living.

That's in no small part thanks to the amazing people who have put up with me throughout the past year. I love you all and could not ask for better friends.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Confessions

I confess...I'm trying to meet several deadlines today and I'm probably going to fail miserably at most of them.

I confess...the weekend was generally good, but I keep letting "little" things get to me way too much.

I confess...I got to conduct a phone interview with Djimon Hounsou yesterday and it's going to take me a while to come down from that high :) Pin It

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Confessions

I of the major things going on in my life right now is probably just a big exercise in futility and every day I'm a little bit closer to giving it up ::sigh::

I confess...that I did get some great news this morning...I'll be on not one but TWO panels at Dragon Con this year! One is for Game of Thrones, and I'm so excited to be returning as a GoT panelist for the fourth year in a row :) The other is an Arrow panel, which is new for me, and I can't wait!

I friend Katherine visited me this past weekend and it was awesome to see her for the first time in over four years...but going out two nights in a row made me want to hide away in my house for the next week. Or two. Or three. Pin It

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Pelzer Springs Ranch Open House is in just TWO days!

For the past year or so (a little more than that, actually) my sister and brother-in-law have been working hard to start making a living off the family farm. Nowadays they raise pigs and cows, have a giant garden, and recently started keeping bee hives.

I'm super proud of the fact that this weekend they'll be having their first open house. It's from 2-6 PM at Pelzer Springs Ranch, 169 Berry Road, Pelzer SC 29669. See the pictures below for more information...I'll be volunteering, hope to see you there!

You can also find them at the Fountain Inn Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8 AM to 12 PM, or check out their Facebook page :)

Ugh, I apologize that this is sideways. I rotated and saved it properly, but for some reason it won't upload to my blog that way ::sigh::

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dragon Con is Coming...

Part of me wanted to wait until Dragon Con was exactly a month out to post this, but it's not as if I write in this blog very often, and my costume choices have long been decided. These days I'm just patiently awaiting the release of the schedule, crossing my fingers that I get to be a panelist again this year, and also hoping to participate in a few writing workshops depending on what happens with said schedule/panelist stuff ;)

I have to admit that I'm a bit nervous about this year. My first two Dragon Cons - 2012 and 2013 - were awesome...but sadly, I won't be seeing most of the people who made those first two years so great. And last year...well, last year's Dragon Con was something of a massive joke. And not a good one (for my own personal reasons, not any fault of the convention's, of course).

I could tell myself that this year certainly can't be worse than last year, and that's probably true...but instead I'm trying to focus on the positives - I'll be rooming with three awesome people, I'm part of several great costume groups, and I've got a bunch of friends attending who have never been before and can't wait to show them around :)

Also, I'm not being quite so adventurous with my costumes. Most of them are ones I've already worn before that need either no work or only very slight modifications; as for the new ones, well, most of them are mostly done at this point. To be honest I'd like to say that I'm ahead of the game, but I'm afraid that if I do, something will go wrong or I'll remember that I forgot something major. So instead I'll just share my Dragon Con costume schedule!

Clockwise from top left: Ellie Sattler (Jurassic Park), Kara Thrace/Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), Midorima Shintarou (Kuroko no Basket), Katy Perry (Superbowl XLIX Half-Time Show), Roxy (bassist from The Misfits, Jem and the Holograms), Dee Reynolds ("Nightman Cometh", It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Katya Kazanova (Archer)
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