Sitting on go

I am unacquainted with standing by.

Apparently.

Since I have finished school, I've found myself at kind of a loss. For…well, anything.

I sit at home and listen to the alternate fighting and love of my children. I think of all the things I should be doing – laundry, writing, reading, cleaning. Making things to hang on the walls since they are all presently blank. Also, there is a strange conglomeration of 8-9 nails on the wall above my couch and I spend more time than I care to admit sitting and wondering what could have possibly ever hung there.

 

I've thought about grad school. But…what? What could I do? I'm thirty four damn years old and really I have no more idea of what I want to be when I grow up than I did when I was nine.

I thought about teaching. Praxis testing is expensive. And what happens if I do all that work and find myself in front of however many kids…and then I hate it?

Problem is, I got used to school. I got used to being occupied. I also have the fortune/misfortune of being married to a man who is always on the go, so many nights the kids and I find ourselves at home, existing through the night. I don't mind it, though. I have time to watch King of the Hill, talk about movies and games with Max, play 4,000 games of various substance with Lucy, or decipher Pretty Little Liars with Ava.

Then I think about what I'd want to do, given the chance.

I'd be creative, I'd have a different outlook on every day. I'd solve and make and do and be.

Or I'd be Beyoncé.

Anyway.

Enough. Enough with the thoughts.

 

in memoriam

I’ve struggled with what to say. I mean, there are so many things that can and can’t be said and just in the relatively short time since his death I think they’ve all been said multiple times.

 

I was not what you’d call a rabid fan of Robin Williams, as I’ve said before I can’t really say that I’ve ever really called myself a “fan” of anyone that often. I mean – I’m admitting something here – I know in my life span I have watched both Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets’ Society, but I apparently watched them too young because for the life of me I remember nothing much about either of them.

But oh, how I admired what he could do. To transform himself into this gleeful entity and also be able to portray deep – sometimes even dark and flawed – emotion. He was such a phenomena, such a bundle of possibility. It was like this special privilege that everyone shared – to be able to be surprised and entertained by this man that looked so ordinary and held so much unseen.

He made us laugh. I owe so much laughter to Robin Williams – laughter and sudden whop-you-in-the-gut elation were my favorite things that he was so good at providing. The first crow, the final Genie dance, the red clown nose.

It would be impossible to talk about this terrible loss without acknowledging the role that depression apparently played, so I will.

I am no stranger to depression. I don’t think any of us are, really. There have been days that I couldn’t see the point in being around, that it seemed things would be better altogether if I weren’t in the way. Days when it felt like ever having been happy was just a dream of a feeling.

Maybe that’s what he felt. Maybe there was more truth to Gabriel Noone than to Mrs. Doubtfire.

Even with all of this, I think what we’re supposed to remember is the joy. The belly laughs and the emotions conveyed. The bizarre and zany and even the strange and sinister. Whatever news comes to light about his death and the circumstances thereof, his state of mind and the secret self he apparently hid from a world who would want to help him – I think he deserves for us to remember the happiness.

I think that, especially now, if he could look back, Mr. Williams would say something a lot like what Chris Nielsen has already said.

“…I realized I’m part of the problem. Not because I remind you, but because I couldn’t join you. So I left you alone. Don’t give up, okay?”

Legend of the Fault in Twin Dance with Mercedes

Since school has ended for me, I have become somewhat ensconced in random areas of popular culture.zelda

I’ve been playing Legend of Zelda because why not? I’m a grown ass woman, why would I not spend huge chunks of my time maneuvering an androgynous little person around obstacles, getting pissed and hacking at monsters and saving pearls to place in certain spots and …other such. WHY NOT?

200px-The_Fault_in_Our_StarsI also fell prey to the lure of angsty young adult literature and I read The Fault in Our Stars. I read it and then I saw the movie. I didn’t hate it, even though the way those teenagers spoke and interacted was completely unrealistic and the way Augustus kept forcing the whole “Hazel Grace” thing was a bit much. I did what I was supposed to – I dragged my husband and I wept tiny ladylike tears.

In answer and maybe even as penance for the whole YA angsty participation, I am working on finishing the last available installment in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Blood and guts and boobs and incest and dragons. All the necessary ingredients.ADWD US New

NOT TO MENTION TWIN PEAKS.

How have I missed out on Twin Peaks? How have I avoided spoilers for these last 20 years?

Regardless, Josh and I have embarked on the journey of slowly binge watching all about Laura Palmer and Bob and Agent Cooper and we are halfway through season two now. I have so many questions right now I could probably drive David Lynch through whatever is TwinPeaks_openingshotcreditsleft of his questionable sanity.

Finally, I read the new Stephen King novel, Mr. Mercedes. It was mediocre in the wonderful way that only Stephen King can be, not the best but still movie popcornish in its consumability.Mr-Mercedes_612x380

All in all, I am exhausted. And happy. And chock full of trivia.

 

The things I’ve read

I’ve always been a reader. Books, words, writing have all been a part of my DNA for as long as I’ve been aware.

Third grade, I remember I pilfered some book my sister (at that point a freshman in high school) was reading. It was about anorexia and I remember I told my Sunday School class about it at prayer request time.

There was also some book called Don’t Hurt Laurie that I read and Laurie had to put up with some shit. She had an abusive mother and a clueless stepdad.

RL Stine scared the piss out of me in sixth grade. I never got any of those books at the bookslibrary or anything like that – I’m unsure why. Probably I was too scared. The one or two that I did read I think came from friends or something similar. I know my mom never would have allowed me to buy them.

There always seemed to be so much to read when I was younger. So much that I would love and get lost in. Like the TV Kid, I think it was – he gets bitten by a rattlesnake under a house and makes a tourniquet. There were other things that happened in that book but I have no clue what they are.

Now? Not so much.

I mean sure, there are classics that I haven’t read and they will perpetually be on some mental list that I gradually check off.

But there is a fundamental thrill of losing myself in a story that I have apparently lost. Once I could devour a story, live in the universe and befriend every character numerous times.

I don’t have that anymore.

Any suggestions? I am currently plowing through the Song of Ice and Fire series as it is now – just so that I can say I did it.

Things that piss me off.

wpid-wp-1399951974986.jpegBecause, you know, I’m sure you’ve been wondering.

Dust bunnies and cat litter.

Rosemary’s Baby with Zoe Saldana even though she is insanely elegant because seriously I can’t even. WHAT an apartment, though, right?

The way my fingernails never look like they were done by anything other than a six toed monkey with low blood sugar.

Onions.

Underwires. Because they always come loose no matter how much delicate handwashing goes on and then they conspire to kill me through my ribs.

Grand gestures with no substance.

My hair and the way it just…slumps. Like a sigh on my scalp.

When your ear inside itches in public I mean really how are you supposed to scratch that?

Smug political views that I can’t reason out.

Condescension.

Shailene Woodley and…ugh.

People caring that Miley Cyrus danced around with a huge inflatable penis.

How Neil Gaiman marked me forever

I have not, as a rule, been a huge fan of any author since I sent a letter to Beverly Cleary in 1989 and got a reply.

 

I mean, there’s Stephen King, who I love and read and saw his house in Maine but if I ever met him in person I might cry and run away because Pennywise, but seriously I’m not what you would call a fan/devotee of any one author.

 

This brings me to Neil Gaiman.

I paid attention to Neil Gaiman because I have long been a twitter devotee of his wife (I remember when they got married – I saw the announcement tweet, even), and I figured anyone who recognized the awesome in her was my kind of cool.

I’d read The Graveyard Book, it was a book club selection when I was pregnant with Lucy and for some reason it had always stuck in my head, but I never really gave two thoughts to the brains behind the story.

Then we watched Coraline. And I fell in love with the very idea that someone could think this way. I admired it, I envied it. I ached with lack.

Then I read the book Neverwhere and didn’t understand the notion that I had gone my whole life and not known….well, this. It was kindred and it was home.

So when we found out that Neil Gaiman was coming to Nashville…well, there was no question. We had to go.

The problem was, however, that we found out about the appearance far too late in the game to have any hope of finding tickets. I mean, this was a huge deal. He signs for everyone who wants him to, and this was the last tour of that. Not to mention I’d never been to a book tour. I’d never heard an author read.

I stalked Craigslist. I trolled eBay. I begged on Twitter.

The day of the event rolled around and I had no tickets. I’d given up refreshing the venue’s ticket queue.

Until about noon that day. For some reason – I still don’t know why – I checked the ticket site. The quantities were listed as…

Very Limited

AND I JUMPED ON THAT SHIT.

Suddenly, we had tickets. We were going!

I had no idea what to expect. No idea of the number of people or the venue or anything at all.

We were going to be there, and that was enough.

Hours later, we arrived in Nashville and…guys. So many people were there to see Neil Gaiman. It was a little bit crazy. The perfect kind of crazy.

We waited in line, then we found some seats. All the things people do.

Then, once Neil appeared, he pointed out our section of the seating and said “Hey those people can’t see me, why don’t you move?”

We moved.

Onto a front row.

There were intros, then there was the man of the night. Bizarre, really. A person whose name is on a metric shit ton of books, but he was talking to us in that insane British accent like we were best friends and that took me right back to 2007 Episcopalian Emily because Hey-I-worked-for-a-Brit-and-I-speak-your-accent-andohbythewaydoyouknowTim?

The actual speaking/performance to me is a bit of a blur, because I was in such awe of all the people. These were amazing people. Friendly and weird and the kind of people that would give you a ride in the rain. A front row right in the center that I’m pretty certain was packed full of Amanda Palmer fans.

Then there was the thunder. The storm outside and the blanket of stifling auditorium heat that transformed this huge building full of strangers into a group taking refuge from the weather to listen to a story.

As the talk was winding down, Neil mentioned musicians. Being in Nashville and how if he could have dinner with anyone there who would it be.

*Spoiler* the answer was Bela Fleck, but for one instant I was convinced that Amanda Palmer was about to pop out of the curtains. Once I was proven wrong I sent the following tweet:

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To which, in a few moments, she responded:

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And after I died, I stood in line. Clutching my copy of his new book and hoping I wouldn’t get brushed off in the well-oiled machine that was the signing line.
We arrived at the table, and in a burst of bravery that is all but extinct from me in times of great pressure, I simply showed him my phone.
“Of course,” he said.
And in one move, the little lady with the bookstore shirt stepped aside, Neil turned, and…

 

You guys.
He hugged me like he missed his wife. I wanted her to be there just so he could hug her that much, because I had nothing to do with it.

 

Later we went home and went about our lives.

I received, in my email, a very special quote from the first book of Neil Gaiman’s that I ever read and loved..in his handwriting.

And then I decided to keep it forever, because I am, apparently…finally a fan of someone.

 

 

The rest of away

It’s taken me a bit to somewhat process this past weekend.
(Side note, I’m watching Teen Mom 2 and this is the second one of these dumbass girls I’ve watched act like an invalid after her boob job. What the actual hell is the matter with me, watching this nonsense?)
Anyway, we spent the weekend at my first comic convention. I was prepared and not prepared – I mean, I’ve watched the documentaries and the sitcoms and read articles, nerds are weird. I know this.
But it was a good opportunity for the podcast, so I went. With Prozac. Prepared to network and schmooze.
While there’s lots to tell you about the weekend in general (like hello awesome food!, and being in the same room as Billy Dee Williams’ pee, and the time I thought I might see a man die and I acted anything but admirably), right now I want to focus on the actual event.
How it was stinky. Crowded. Germy. Confusing. And absolutely spectacular.

We had preordered our tickets (which was my first time ever to use Passbook on my phone, and I totally felt like the Jetsons with my virtual roboticket), so there wasn’t much of a wait to strap on some armbands and stand in line with pretty much every variety of person on the planet.

Seriously, this was as good as people watching gets. Costumes and pajama pants, stilettos and flip flops, and absolutely everything else imaginable. Spandex. Sequins. Feathers. Rubber. Metal. Cardboard. Want to wear some ears and a tail? Awesome. Top hat? Help yourself. Flippers with no other hint of a costume? Have some nachos.

And yeah, they stunk. Some of them did. Some of them smelled fantastic – particularly these two chicks who I’m fairly absolutely concretely certain were prostitutes. But they were all so… connected. It was such a community of all these people who mostly didn’t know each other. There was trust in so many iterations – from the toddler in his Iron Man outfit who won a sword fight with a Stormtrooper to the mom of two in her steampunk corset and bustle who didn’t give a shit what you thought about her cellulite. It was freeing just to be there, to be able to take in the attitude of acceptance.

And also…the talent. It was a grab bag of you-pick-it eeney meanie miney holy balls. I have never been in tossing distance of so much ability in my life. It was amazing and humbling and completely exciting. I still don’t really have the right words.

I am not and never have been what anyone would call a cool person. I’m not with it or hip or anything the kids like these days. And in theory, neither were these people, right?

I mean, according to the movies and high school and anything I ever learned from band camp, these are the punch lines, right? The nerds, the geeks, the people who don’t fit in.

Except these people were amazing. They were real and colorful and…themselves.

That’s it. That’s what it was.

There was no apology in any of this past weekend. No one was sorry for being whoever it was they wanted to be. It was open and obnoxious, and the most authentic experience I’ve ever had.

I met some amazing people. Made some connections I will treasure. Hopefully some of the people I met will take a turn to post here sometime soon, and I’m excited about that.

For now though, I’m still sorting through everything I learned this weekend. About myself, about my world. About comic books and zombies. About how lucky I am to realize that just because there’s no one like me doesn’t mean there’s anything to change about me.

***all photos used with permission, courtesy of Keith Reed, whom I found on the Twitters.

 

Away

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We’re here.

In Lexington, Kentucky (which is someplace I’ve never been, in fact I don’t think I have ever been to Kentucky at all, except Josh insists we drove through a million years ago) for Lexington Comic and Toy Convention.

Like I said before, this is totally out of my comfort zone. The conference hasn’t even officially started yet and already I can look out the window and tell I’m in way over my head. Stormtroopers and Wonder Woman and Batman. Et cetera.

I’m nervous and also about to pee myself from excitement.

We got here yesterday, spent some time milling about the town last night, and oh yeah Billy MOTHEREFFING Dee Williams shook my husband’s hand and patted him on the shoulder.

I died.

More later.

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Embracing the kook within

Historically I have never been what you would call a joiner.

It's all too much, man. Too much work.

It's why I don't have friends. It's why I find my own things and bury myself in them. Hell, it's why this blog has not died a raging fiery inferno death – because I do it whenever I please and big middle finger when I don't.

But my husband, he's a joiner. He gets all up IN all kinds of shit. And he does it because he's good at it. I support that. How could I not? It makes him happy. Happy him, happy me.

So in a grand gesture of solidarity and total outside-my-comfort-zone-ness, I am donning my brand spanking new JustUsGeeks tshirt, hauling around my weight in purple bluish memefont flyers, and going to a comic & toy convention.

Yeah, that's right. You heard it here first.

 

But you know what's crazy? I'm excited. Like, stupid excited.

So by the time you read this, Josh and The Guv and I (Catch that? Did you? Yeah, I said my name and his name but not Lucy's name. More on that later.) will be tooling off toward Kentucky. Or, well, Friday morning. So whenever you read this in relation to Friday morning. Because I think I'm going ahead and publishing this tonight.

 

See it? It's already happening. DARING.

Wish me luck!

Of boobs and smartphones.

Since 2007 when I left behind my BlackBerry Pearl for an outrageously expensive device called an iPhone, I haven’t really looked back.

Well, that’s not true.

I tell myself that I embrace change, that I’m flexible and open to new things and cutting edge and all that. Truth is, it’s all a lie. I mourned MySpace like a close personal friend. I stayed with Xanga until it started growing cobwebs. And when I made the leap from BlackBerry to iPhone, I hated it. It was delicate and I was going to drop it, I knew it (and I did, several times). It was so much new to learn. But I did. And I jailbroke and hacked and felt very Sandra Bullock in The Net. I got so comfortable with the iPhone that I kept getting them when it was upgrade time. Where I previously got a completely different phone every time I was eligible (tiny Nokia, anyone? or what about the Razr when it was a thing?), I got into a groove where just enough changed but not everything.

And in the meantime, the rest of the free world did pretty much the same thing.

So I had the same phone as everyone else. Big deal.

And then Josh started his podcast, and in among the episodes we got the drift that maybe there were different phones we could be into. Maybe we were missing out on some great stuff because we were so comfortable in our expensive glass shell.

Then, thanks to Craigslist, this happened:

slide-1-whiteMy first Android phone.
I liked it, really I did. The screen was sharp and clear and BIG, the camera wasn’t bad, and the weather was right there so I could see that it wasn’t raining nearly as much as I wanted.

It was a lot to learn, but I was excited about it. I learned about Android rooting and hacking and sideloading and all kinds of stuff.

But I missed my iPhone. I still had an iPad, and I missed how everything synced together so flawlessly. I thought that would go away and soon I would love this phone and OS just as much as I did my Apple stuff.

Just the opposite happened. The more time I spent with this phone the more I absodamnlutely hated everything about it.

I felt like a baby. A spoiled brat. Which I suppose I am, but if I know exactly how to fix a problem WHY WOULD I NOT DO IT?

So, this. And all was right with the world.

The end.iphone-5-thin-side-640x353

And now for something completely different.

I am a girl, and I have boobs. The question of feminism and bra-wearing is one that I have never understood, really. I mean, I don’t think it’s sexist that I don’t want to be all flopping around willy nilly. No one is using me as a food source at the moment, so let’s REIN THOSE SUCKERS IN.

But in the 20+ years that I’ve been wearing bras, it’s not something I have ever particularly enjoyed.

I’ve heard just like everyone else that some outrageous percentage of women is probably wearing an incorrectly sized bra. I remember that episode of Oprah. Just like everything else in life, though, I just assumed it did not apply to me. How stupid would I have to be to be wearing an illfitting undergarment EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?

However stupid it is, turns out I am just that amount of stupid.

bbreddit

I am a member of a community called reddit where everyone has something to say about absolutely everything. It’s fun times. The community itself is as big as the Interwebs, and it’s broken up into smaller sections called subreddits. The subreddits encompass…well, everything. From beers in the shower (r/showerbeer) to pictures of awesome abandoned stuff (r/abandonedporn) to, yes, how to properly fit a bra (r/abrathatfits). So after I read some stuff about how my bras were probably all kinds of wrong, I set about proving them wrong by measuring myself. Angels would sing in the key of 38D, lo and amen.

Except they were right, and the angels were singing more along the lines of 36H.

So that’s the tale of how I got a boob job just by changing bras.

keep calm and wear a bra that fits