Sleep In For The Cure / +1 to Awesome People Tally / Earth Day

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: 5k, Breast Cancer, Breast Health, Dizzy, Friends, Health

I finally decided against trying to walk the 5k in the Richmond Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Having done the race in past years, I know that I’m screwed if something happens because there’s no easy way to get assistance back to the car.

I’m instead doing the stay at home version, and raising donations in my Mother’s name. If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution, please contact me at vivmuse@gmail.com and I’ll send you the link to the donation site.

My goal is $500 dollars, which I’ve exceeded in previous years. I’m hoping that even in this cash-strapped year that I’ll be able to meet my goal.

Also, if you know Greg and/or Carrie Seidman, please take a moment to pray, reflect, or whatever you are comfortable with today as they are at the hospital for the delivery of their first child. I know I’m sending my blessings for a safe and swift delivery and the health of the baby and mother.  This will be one cool kid if her parents are any indication of what she’ll be like.

Happy Earth Day, all! Show your Mother some love today. Whether familial or planetary, she’s the only one you’ve got.

To 5k Or Not To 5k. That Is The Question.

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Dizzy, Exercise, Health

The vestibular rehabilitation (physical therapy for people with vestibular migraines) started the end of March, and the protocol is meant to desensitize my body to the dizziness/migraines by triggering the strongest possible symptoms and essentially acclimating myself to them. It will allow me to move around the world in a normal fashion. I hold out great hopes, since this and the medication appear to be my only options for treatment. So far, the exercises are effective in making me extremely dizzy, to the point of being nauseous and migraine-y afterward. So yay, I’m doing it right!

Sadly, after three weeks I’m not seeing much of a difference in the dizziness frequency, intensity or duration. Talking with the physical therapist on Monday, I was able to say that migraines are slightly lessened in frequency in the last week. Realistically, I’ve seen that fluctuate before and am cautiously optimistic at best. I return to the neurologist on Monday to discuss progress and possible changes to treatment.

My favorite part is that I’m moving again, and I’ve missed that more than I can express. My favorite medical related experience since this started was the cardiac treadmill stress test, where I had to work my way up to a steady run with three medical technicians mere feet from me in case I lost my balance. I was in a safe environment to run, and I ran my ass off to sheer exhilaration. It was invigorating, even though I was extremely sick the rest of the day.

Up until the vestibular migraines hit, I was training for the Thanksgiving 5k race, and was up to running for 20 minute spans without slowing my pace. I am very far from this now, but will get there again. I have to. I’ve started going with Chooch on his morning walks with Kaylee, and love it to pieces. Yes, I’m extremely dizzy after the short 1.5 or so mile walk. But I’m MOVING. And I feel safe because he’s right there with me.  I’ve taken one neighborhood walk by myself, and it was a bit longer. I don’t know if I’ll do that again until the dizziness is under better control, as I was very anxious that something would happen. And anxiety makes my symptoms much worse. See the conundrum?

I also love the walks because it’s just us. No twitter, no phone calls, no computer, and only Kaylee to distract us. *Squirrel!* Whether we talk or not, I just love it. We already do a lot together, which is normal because he’s my best friend, but I truly treasure this time with him.

I would love to be able to do my 5k route in the hopes of being able to do the upcoming Race for the Cure, but that would mean getting up even earlier since we walk before he goes to work. We haven’t registered for it yet since I’m so wobbly and never know from one day to the next what I’m physically capable of. We’ve participated in the Richmond race for the last 2 years, and I did countless races in DC in previous years (always as a walker). I really hate to miss it this year, especially since I know two people that are currently fighting for their lives from this horrific and demoralizing disease. It already took my Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother and I take it as a personal challenge to walk for all of them.

On a related note, a very dear friend today was saying that as bad as things are for him, he’s glad he doesn’t have to deal with my medical issues. I on the other hand, thank God every day that I’m not fighting for my life. I’ll take the diagnosis I was given GLADLY and with great gratitude.

I’m putting the decision on the race on hold until the weekend, when we will hopefully walk the distance to see how I do. *fingers crossed*

Discovered Bit o'WIN – Drunk History Series by Derek Waters

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Cool Links / Clicky Linky

I am somewhat disappointed in myself for not knowing this exists.  The first one was posted in 2007, but I just discovered it today.  I’m now sharing this, with a warning: If you are under 21, don’t drink or you’ll go to jail. If you’re over 21 and drink, don’t drive or you’ll kill someone or yourself, or both, and go to jail. Most of all, don’t drink to the point of these historians no matter what. I mean, look at them… gross. Funny, but gross.

Volume 1: Alexander Hamilton, starring Michael Cera

Volume 2: Ben Franklin, starring Jack Black and Clark Duke

Volume 2.5: Ben Franklin, starring Jack Black and that chick from Glee (Jayma Mays)

Volume 3: Oney Judge, starring no one I recognize but is hilarious due to hiccups.

Volume 4: William Henry Harrison, starring Paul Schneider. (Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.)

This next one is posted by a different account, but claims to also be by Derek Waters. There are a lot of copycats out there, but lookit the people starring and I think we can assume it’s his as well.

Nikolai Tesla, starring Crispin Glover and John C. Reilly

Leave a comment below and let me know your fave, because I can’t decide…

The First PAX East EVAR!

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Convention Attendance, Games

After tremendous anticipation, Chooch and I attended PAX East last weekend in Boston, MA. Unable to attend on Friday, we enjoyed the convention on Saturday and Sunday. In spite of the shortened experience, it was a fantastic weekend and we hit almost all the things we wanted to see.

I have to say that this was a seamless and tremendously enjoyable convention. We’re not pro’s at this in any stretch of the imagination, but it was so well planned and executed you’d have to be a fool not to appreciate it. One of the smartest things they did was to mail out the convention badges a few weeks before the convention. Instead of having to get in a long registration line we just breezed in, got our bearings and off we went. It was awesome.

Another fantastic detail was the constant presence of the courteous and efficient volunteer Enforcers. You barely had time to realize you were in disoriented before you spotted one to keep you on track. They kept the queues orderly and moving, and all I chatted with were very pleasant.

The only real drawback was that the venue was undersized for the event, which is something that the organizers realized early on. They’ve already committed to a larger venue for 2011 and 2012, which will also be held in Boston. The biggest complaint as a result of the too-small venue was that many were unable to get into events. We didn’t have this problem, likely because we immediately stripped down our intended panel attendance to ensure that we’d see and do what was most important without spending the necessary hour or more to get into less important (to us) events.

Backing things up, we left home at 1:00am on Saturday morning after Chooch took a long nap after work. We were too early for check-in at our hotel, but knew this would be the case and really just made the stop to utilize their parking garage. We hopped on the subway across the street from the hotel and headed in to PAX. We arrived too late to attend the City of Heroes panel, so instead made our way to the queue for the Penny Arcade Make-A-Strip Panel. The queue for the biggest events in the Main Theater was actually a gigantic space on the first level. We settled into line and got to take a look at our fellow con-goers. It will come as no surprise that there were more Nintendo DS/DSi/DSiXL devices in sight than I have ever seen in my life.

We made it through the line, wound our way around the first floor, up the escalators and into what ended up being my favorite experience of the entire weekend. While we had hoped that it would be a live brainstorming of the Penny Arcade webcomic, as we so love on their podcast, it ended up being a Q & A while Mike did the artwork for a strip they had already scripted. I was crestfallen, until about 45 seconds later. It was an absolutely delightful, hilarious and poignant hour and a half. I’m very hopeful that a video will appear, because I doubt the notes I took will do it any justice. I may post those later, but for now want to jot down my thoughts of the entire convention.

We bolted immediately after it ended in the hopes of grabbing spots in the Dungeons and Dragons for New Players session. Chooch has obviously played before, but I never really have and we were excited to remedy this situation. It was packed, and there were no spots open for the rest of the weekend. Bummer. There was apparently a much larger turnout for all of the D & D sessions than were expected, and I truly hope they expand it next year.

We instead made a pass through the Expo, and while there was a tremendous amount of … well, everything… we were both surprised at the under-representation of the MMORPG’s. No WoW, no STO, no Champions, no Aion… It was disappointing on that front to be honest, as I’d hoped to grab phat lewt for friends that play. I’m happy to report that Turbine was represented in a big way for Lord of The Rings Online, which is one of the games that Chooch and I play. They loaded us down with awesome gifts when we told them we’d played in beta and were lifetime founders subscribers. They even let us in on even more loot they were giving out the next morning! Our dear friend and longtime gaming buddy has benefited from our good luck, as we grabbed gear for her birthday the next day. We even got to meet the developers and that was another of my favorite experiences. They really know how to make their players feel appreciated.

After our run through the Expo we headed to the hotel, checked in and collapsed briefly. As exhausted and sleep deprived as we were, there was no way we were going to miss the City of Heroes Meet and Greet at Jillian’s. Feeling slightly recharged, we headed over and to our great delight the event was packed! There had to be over a hundred attendees, and the spread that the CoH devs laid out was fantastic! Shortly after we got there, the pace of the weekend had caught up with me. Dizziness hit me, and a migraine started up. We contemplated leaving, but honestly just didn’t want to leave. We met both Brian Clayton and Matt “Positron” Miller, and even got a rundown from Matt on what we missed during the panel for our City of Heroes Podcast feed. We chatted with a few other players, and had a wonderful time in spite of my symptoms.

After collapsing upon our return to the hotel, we got up early on Sunday morning to make sure we got to the Turbine booth bright and early. We passed by Jonathan Coulton *squee*, and realized that he and Wil Wheaton were doing signings there. We waited out the line for Jonathan Coulton and again enjoyed the queue because of those around us. What an intensely cool guy! We bought his concert DVD since he only performed five or six songs at the They Might Be Giants concert that he opened for in early March. Chooch and I both really wanted more, and are happy that he’s passing through the area again soon-ish. We also couldn’t pass up a second chance at getting a gift for the person that first exposed me to his musical goodness, this time autographed!

Next we hopped into the line to meet Wil Wheaton, and while waiting got pictures of one of the cast members from the Playstation Network show “Testers”. After meeting Wil, we grabbed a bite and headed down to get into line for the book Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins book signing. The wait was again fantastic, and in the ocean of Nintendo handhelds I actually spotted a Sony PSP! We were surrounded by super cool peeps, and the sense of camaraderie that we witnessed all weekend continued. After a long and worthwhile wait, we very briefly got to meet Jerry and Mike. I’m such a huge fan off all they do that I don’t even remember what I said to them, but was disappointed we couldn’t get a picture with them due to the huge line behind us.

We made another pass through the Classic Arcade rooms, mainly because we couldn’t bear leaving. Before you ask… yes, I’m already budgeting for next year. And it looks like at least one of our sons will be going with us!