A Too Wordy Response to a Facebook Comment on “Googling It”

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Twitter/Facebook


This morning, I indulged in vague booking, to ensure that people not following an exchange know my rules for Facebook interactions. I was startled by a comment, but must comment out of fairness of the question. After two hours since starting my response, and looking at the length, I decided to make it a blog post. Who knows, maybe someone can relate or get a peek behind and invisible disability and accessibility entitlement.

My original vaguebook:

When you ask someone for links to unheard claims they’ve made to you, but they won’t provide them because they’re above doing research for you to simply dismiss. Guess it’s not as clearly provable as the first statement indicated. I assumed it was info sharing, my bad. I wouldn’t ask for links if I don’t want them, but Grump supporters have trouble providing them. Interesting problem.But wow, such a timesaver! I won’t exert any effort into googling it since it’s not important to the person that made the claim, plus we clearly support different ideals for the country we share. If it were so truly important and relevant, why not shout it from the roof tops by linking to it?

FWIW, I follow each of the remaining candidates on FB in the race, and in addition, Chooch ensures I’m very well-informed. And thanks to my Mom, I’m not a pussy about my opinion WHEN I decide to share it. The combination of the two makes me impatient with speculation being named as fact, and being talked down or insulted into silence by anyone.
*bloop*
heart emoticon
Peace.”

~~~~~~~~~~
Shay commented, “But… I’ve asked you for links to prove something you posted and you’ve said no. How is that different?”
~~~~~~~~~~
My response:
This is hard to explain without being accused (not by you!) of playing the pity card.

But you asked an honest question and my meds have kicked in (LOL), so I will be honest in response.
Just remember that I do not easily discuss this part and am sensitive on the subject, after suffering much brainy/scholarly elitism and shunning. Be honest in response, but not mean, please.
The short answer: is that the person could have easily Googled and linked, but choose not to, reportedly on principle, while I cannot Google easily with reliable results to know if we’re even talking about the same concepts. And my timeline is the best way to see where my opinion comes from and frequently, I can’t help beyond what I’ve already linked. Or maybe that day I was cranky about something totally unrelated and snapped at you unfairly.
The long answer:
I publicly admit that constantly lowering the perceived intelligence bar is a true struggle for me, as I continue to go through different health issues and treatment attempts. They impact my comprehension, retention and other fun stuff. But I used to be intelligent, quick-witted and confident about it. My Google Fu was high, in those days. I loath asking for help and would find the answer myself if at all possible. “Beauty is only skin deep, but I’ll always have my mind,” I’d say to my overweight body. In fact, I didn’t discover I was strong in accounting, just like my Mom, until shortly before I lost that same strength. Just long enough to fully miss it, by even daring to dream of being a CPA some day. I didn’t appreciate it enough while I had it, because no one wants to face the possibility of what I have or worse -Alzheimer’s or dementia. For example, I spend half an hour writing something the length of the original post, with many re-reads. And I recently discovered that I attempted college in 2012, only because of my student loan history. I kinda remember what an instructor looked like, but not the name of the class(es?).

My mind is not on my side any longer. My memory is bizarre in its retention. I used to be logical and analytical and detailed and factual. Now I’m a blur trying to express things in a different language that I’m still working at learning to use effectively. 
I’m even fighting an anxiety attack for fear of inaccurately expressing myself and causing offense where I don’t mean it, while fighting a screaming sense of being under attack. But I don’t think you’re like that, so bear with me. 
That’s not even mentioning the body issues or the other neurological symptoms that I have, primarily chronic intense pain and/or the resulting drugged stupor, with all the possibilities in-between in flux.

I’ve spent years fighting my disabilities and so far I’ve lost. I’m getting new specialists and have not nor will I ever stop seeking my “silver bullet,” but I have to come to terms with what my current reality is and grieve it. The silver lining is that it’s only pain and hopefully not degenerative or life shortening, other than not being able to run or have cardio exercise resulting in gaining back weight.
I have spent years in denial as to the width and breadth of the impact as I continue to try and find a way to function since onset in 2009. But the last years have crystallized things such that I simply don’t have that luxury anymore. I have to come to terms after I assess what that means.
So, I’ve spent some time grieving what I can no longer deny. I’m physically disabled my brain function is impacted. I can wield medication, caffeine, sugar and adrenaline to keep going with varying results. The same things happens ever ytime I stop moving though. I can’t move again until Recovery happens and I never know how long that will take. Currently stuck in bed, my head pain is primarily TMJ and my head is fairly clear from body pain meds, hence the ability to find words but there are too many of them. 😉 
One of my work-arounds is that I need visuals and literal statements. It’s why my photo and video captures and Facebook check-ins have taken such a huge increase. I sincerely panic because I don’t know if I’ll remember that moment later. So, I don’t read summaries or opinions unless I struggle with understanding, because I need the original poster’s link to verify the source and its literal wording. I don’t want to confuse other opinions with facts, I’ll confuse them well enough with my own opinions, thank you very much.
An example of a work-around to my frequent inability to do my own research: I am blessed to have a husband that spreadsheets out even mildly complex data to help me with our decision-making. He doesn’t tell me what to think, he gives me the information that lets me draw my own conclusion. 
He does that partly for himself, as a data junkie, but the amount of detail is unnecessary for him because he remembers things easily. I don’t. (This election cycle’s spreadsheet will be very interesting.) And because he knows that I’m still in here and he still (somehow, lol) loves me, he feeds my mind in a way that keeps it thriving.
He knows that I’m fighting to take in data — I can’t read dead tree books NOR can I work on computer screens for more than an ever-changing chunk of time with recovery time between. For the podcast we do, he only needs to watch the episode twice: once for pure enjoyment and again for show prompts. Meanwhile, I watch it anywhere from 2 to 5 times, depending on my health and the violence/emotional stress of the episode. I have to rewatch the previous season the week before the new season premiere to remember what the hell happened. I used to also listen to every episode we posted, so I wouldn’t be able to repeat myself, but haven’t been able to track that for at least 3 seasons. I frequently forget seeing entire movies and games played, but for all the pix I take. 
I’m fighting to process data, since my thought processes now seem to be similar to my understanding of ADD. I even bought a recommended voice to text software to help with communication after a disastrous period of auto correct and dexterity fail. I added the app to my phone and then tried to install the software on my laptop, but struggle with such things and haven’t gotten far in the year + since I bought it.
I’m fighting to express myself, partly because of distortion filters that everyone has, but that I struggle desperately against. I also acknowledge that they are there, which makes me impatient with those that refuse to manage their own and/or their expectations of me as I continually manage my own expectations of others, based on the chaos in their own lives.
I struggle immensely with needing to be “accommodated” for my disabilities, but I have a fresh perspective after seeing how Canada’s society views me as opposed to the US after our visit this last weekend -without scorn, primarily. I paid it forward with kindness for others when I was of full health, and our society isn’t as kind as you’d think, on the daily.  

I even struggle when the Fibromyalgia “fog” rolls in to make the simplest of choices. I have zero decisions or clear thoughts to give and as I was reminded this weekend, I shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed because of it. The medications make it worse. I simply have to allow myself to ask for help, accept it if I need it when it’s offered, or in this specific case in Facebook, specific information. But when I do and I then get slammed for being lazy and closed-minded, it really stings and I react accordingly. 

In summary and after too-much explanation without a formal structure, that has taken me over three hours, off and on, to type, the difference is that I was asking for information and he denied it to me. The word entitlement comes to mind, but it may or may not apply.

So I can’t easily Google a few phrases with any hope of finding that specific point. I’m to remind myself that some people can’t calculate a tip in their head and I usually still can.

It’s just that I’m exhausted from callousness and accessibility elitism. I won’t explain myself to the person, either. The response is moot, as I can’t rely on my interpretation of it, so it‘s lose/lose and I’m not trying to shit on anyone else’s path, essentially. #IAdmitIHaveDistortionFilters #ButIAmAlsoWorkingOnIt #Thhhhhppbbbt

Specifically in my post, when I said, “I won’t exert any effort into googling it since it’s not important to the person that made the claim,” it was because that can turn into a huuuuge chunk of time for me and I won’t spend it there if it requires my attention greater than the resulting information could possibly impact. (Does that make sense?) So many offensive things have been done by candidates, even if it were true, it doesn’t come close to the damage done by Republicans against the interests minorities of any kind.
Sidebar: it’s especially hard to swallow from people in a minority under attacked. Hello? Ladies? Your vagina and uterus are being decided upon. Please make sure that your voice or your silence delivers the message you intend. <3

What I have said in sweeping general statements is only after I have cobbled together enough information thru extensive track-backs to original articles. I try to take great care in what I say because of gossip that’s gotten back to me and the unfair expectations on me. I’m gun-shy, but I say them because they are things I feel have been proven without me having to link to it, sometimes after posting the links previously. I use Facebook and other social media as a tool against isolation and depression and it’s not my job. It’s my tool for my specific use and I won’t take the time or energy to go back and research for someone else that can do it far faster than I and without needing a break afterwards. I’m speaking literally, here. The assumption that I can do otherwise is poorly drawn, but likely my fault since I’ve been shamed into not speaking about the mental aspect of my health blahs.

And sometimes, it’s complete passion that blinds me to say something, right and/or wrong. When I catch it, I admit it. Girl, I say dumb stuff all the time. I’m FAR more edited on a keyboard, same as anyone, but I too talk out of my ass. It’s part of the human condition.

That said, I estimate that almost to a one, my conclusions are drawn from things I’ve previously shared. If I’m wrong, link to the right information or don’t waste my time with bored trolling. I’m sorry they’re bored, but they should find a charity to donate their time to if they want to actually make a difference.

The disparity in level of effort isn’t considered and I was denied information. I’m ok with that, since, as I see it, I have been and will be disregarded at some point again later anyways. You should note the difference between the response there and the response here. It’s based on personal interactions and my understanding of the differences between the intentions of you both. I have no regrets.

Aren’t you glad you asked, Shay? I hope it makes sense, I’m out of time to organize it better. #Oops

Grateful, Not Bragging

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Dizzy, Friends, Our Kids, Soulful, Too Long For Twitter, Twitter/Facebook

I just tweeted:
“Dizzy from phone call, emails and DM’s from friends. I am so very blessed. Must find a way to pay the Universe back for what I have.”

I’m now in the grips of a dizzy spell, one of the few that I’ve gotten from positivity rather than negativity.

I happily sit, wavering in my chair, because of the overwhelming sense of love and positivity sent my way this morning via text, phone call, DMs and emails.

It’s completely overwhelming, and I feel like a decadent king with huge piles of friendship on a banquet table in front of me. I dare not indulge too much, or I might burst.

There are a lot of things that I can’t share about the trip to Arkansas, for obvious reasons. While I am over the moon for the result, having Naughty Bear local again and having time with LT, it took a huge physical, emotional and psychological toll on me. No, really. Huge.

To immediately return into the arms of my husband and beloved friends this past weekend utterly and completely soothed my ragged edges and invigorated me for more, More, MORE!

To then have a seemingly random outpouring from a variety of sources today? It’s more than any one person could possible deserve or hope for.

If this is too Happy-Unicorn-Rainbow-Lovey-Dovey for you, have no fear. I’m sure I’ll be pissed or depressed about something soon enough and will share it here. But I feel compelled to share the joy when I feel it, too.

Bliss is attainable and I recommend that you open yourself up to it if you haven’t already.

/stumbles with a drunken swagger/

“I love you, man!”

Road to Arkansas and Back ~ Final Thoughts

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Family, Friends, Kaylee, Mom, No Whining, Our Kids, Our Kids, Soulful, Twitter/Facebook, Vestibular Migraine, Weight Loss

Note: If you haven’t read the first five installments, plus the reason for this trip, you may want to start with the links below before reading this post. Also, know that this was stream of thought and confessional, therefore very long. I intended this to serve as my memory since the trip was as chaotic as attending Dragon*Con, and I didn’t want to forget a thing because of its importance to me.
Reason for the trip
Day One

Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five

Final Thoughts
It took me awhile to sort out how I was feeling after waking up on Friday. It was like a dark cloud settled over me, and I chalked it up to the migraine and extreme fatigue. But it was more than that. I realized the similarity between it and my Mom’s last Thanksgiving. Well, actually the day after her last Thanksgiving. She was near despondent, slept all day and just couldn’t be roused to do anything, including the physical therapy that she so loved and looked forward to. I was terrified, but my conversations with the staff and doctor said that they saw it with many of their patients after a holiday or celebration. They called it post-holiday letdown, where the patients would sort of pull inside themselves and grieve what their expectations had been versus what the reality and likely length of their life was.

Obviously, this was no where near as painful as that, but I did realize that after I initially bounded out of bed, planning to take on the world that I ended up back in bed with a migraine and licking my wounds, so to speak. There were many ups and downs during the trip, and a lot that I can’t say here for obvious reasons. But “let down” is definitely a key part to what I was feeling the day after my return.

The one thing that screams at me, is that I didn’t have more time with LT. Had I thought that Naughty Bear and I were capable of driving the entire way without stopping, I would have left a day later to have had more time with LT. Because reflecting back on the trip, I still just really ache for more time with him. Now, I knew this trip would be all about Naughty Bear’s move back, but I was sure that I would be able to spend one night with LT, just the two of us. The one night that would have been possible, I ended up facilitating the meeting with Roomie. My contribution there was huge and many prickly situations were soothed, so I’m glad I did it for Naughty Bear and the ex’s sake. That was followed by dinner with the ex and his family. It was a fantastically good time, so I don’t regret the trade-off. I just wish we had left a day later and planned on driving straight through the night. It’s entirely possible that we would have had to stop based on the migraine I had most of yesterday. I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t have had it had we stayed in the stressful environment. Still, I want more time with my son. Call me greedy, I don’t care.

I feel so guilty even saying that, because I have so much more time with my sons than Chooch has with his, but the dynamic is very different, like it or not. I’m working hard to ensure that at least Chooch will make a visit this Spring or Summer and that we’ll all four fly to California to visit him over Christmas. But that includes airfare, rental care, and this time we will likely have to stay in a hotel. Still, even with our financial chaos right now, it has to happen.

Happily, the migraine I had for most of Friday subsided after multiple doses of medication and I was able to attend Chooch’s band practice after all. The surprising warm glow of friendship and love with this group of amazing people was exactly what my battered psyche needed, and our overnight stay with friends was just as magical as last time. We enjoyed a wonderful Saturday morning being spoiled by dear friends and then spent the rest of the day day with other friends, some old and some new. At one point, after my very first Ethiopian meal, I made an utter fool of myself by being “that guy”, feeling so joyful and at peace for the first time in weeks that I thanked them for the random luck of having this already scheduled before my last minute trip was planned and said “I love you guys!”. No, I can’t even blame excessive alcohol. I was just that happy. And dammit, if I can complain loudly, I choose to also proclaim gratitude loudly.

I’m blessed and rich in friendship, and I refuse to deny it. I think that cheapens it, and I won’t tolerate that. So for the family and friends online, the friends I haven’t seen recently but have offered me support via Twitter, email, FB, WordFeud chat and also in person, I thank you sincerely. Although I didn’t have time to respond to all the support sent my way, I read each and every one and they truly helped me through what I was facing. I humbly thank you for the gestures of friendship.

I will always treasure the trip, because of the deeply satisfying conversations with Naughty Bear. I am so honored that he shared so much with me, of his personal and private hopes, experiences and dreams. Also, the time spent with my ex’s wife and their kids ended up very positively and I’m very grateful to have found peace there, finally.

As I’ve done throughout this series, I’m ending with the health aspect of the trip, this time the results of my activities: My Friday morning weigh-in showed that I was actually down one pound from the previous Friday. I’m very proud of this, as I usually gain when off my routine, especially when traveling. I didn’t even starve or deprive myself, as I allowed a waffle from the breakfast bar during the hotel stay, ate moderately at P.F. Chiang’s, ate modestly at El Chico’s (a fave mexican restaurant from my childhood in Texas that does not exist in our local area) and two nights with Blue Bell ice cream for dessert. I even negotiated three fast food restaurants successfully. I only got in two workouts, although two of the days were fairly physical with cleaning and packing. I carried bananas with me everywhere and since I was with my kids, had no alcohol. The lesson from this loss is one I hope to never forget – I can be healthy anywhere, regardless of the stress, and feel empowered by exerting control over how I react in relation to food.

Lookit, I’m growing!

Are Lengthy Twitter Debates Costing You Followers?

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Friends, No Whining, Too Long For Twitter, Twitter/Facebook

Let me start by saying that people should say anything they want in Twitter. It’s an open forum, so let your freak flag fly! I’m just hoping to enlighten those that may not be aware of the negative impact that long debates on politics, religion, ninjas vs. pirates vs. zombies, paper vs. plastic, or any other debates that are held in Twitter can have on your Followers. If you’re here for social interaction like me, you may not care. If you’re here pushing a product, project or other agenda, you may want to pay a little attention.

Yes, they may Unfollow because they disagree with your opinion. To this, I say “Meh.” People frequently disagree on topics, and you shouldn’t change your stance to please others nor should you say things you don’t believe. If they are that offended, you likely have so little in common that it’s no big loss.

More importantly, you are filling their Twitter stream with something they may deem either uninteresting or too controversial for them to want to join in. And at some point, you may begin lecturing or shouting down as others join in your debate. Let’s face it, debating a controversial viewpoint is exciting, isn’t it? It likely leads to more debate, too, filling your Followers’ stream even more with flotsam and jetsam (in their eyes). And more. And more. And more. And more. And more. And more. And more. And more. (Tedious, isn’t this?) And more. And more. And more. (Get the point?) And more. And more. And more. And more.

I believe that Twitter is a fine place to have conversation and have now been doing it for almost four years. (Yes, I’m a late-comer.) But as I recently posted in my own Twitter stream, I do feel very strongly that some discussions are far bigger than Twitter accommodates. Truncating your specific opinion down to 140 characters frequently leads to unintended interpretation, inflaming discussion and causing even MORE tweets to further explain your point. Add to that tweet count the people you are debating and it gets a unwieldy pretty quickly.

Allow me to give you two alternative options:

  • Why not state your opinion in a blog post and link it to your Twitter stream with a brief statement of your stance. People will then flock to your site to debate or agree with you in the comments. And who doesn’t love that? You and your fellow debaters will have more space to clearly state their points, and an understandable discussion can take place. Plus, your site stats will go up. Win-Win!
  • If you have a really hot debate going, why not take it to email or Google wave (Wave’s still around, right?)?

Either step will go far in maintaining good will with your followers, in my humble opinion. My finger gets mighty twitchy over the Unfollow button, and this is one of the main reasons.

Don’t have a blog? Create one! It’s easy as pie to do, and who doesn’t like pie? And you clearly have a lot to say, so why not create your own place to say it. Besides, these debates are lost in the Twitter timeline almost immediately. Create your own blog and you have it forever. And it’s pretty damned interesting looking over your blog a year later to see what you’ve written.

Now, this next suggestion may incite a few folks, but this is my space and my opinion and it’s not one that I alone hold. (Especially those of us that do not enjoy passionate political or religious debates in public venues.)

Realize that, for nearly every person you will ever meet, most views are held so personally that a Twitter or Facebook debate won’t change anyone’s opinion. Especially something like the recent Arizona shootings which sparked passionate debates with primarily political facets. You may be right, eloquent and impossible to disprove, and you still won’t change most people’s opinions.

Like most Twitter users, there are people that I Follow that are real world friends or acquaintances and there are people that I Follow that I’ve never met. In the case of the latter, it’s entirely likely that I’ll Unfollow them if they repeatedly debate and fill my Twitter stream to the point that I struggle to keep up with actual friends’ lives. And in the case of the former, I have (on very rare occasion) Unfollowed. It takes a lot for me to Unfollow an actual friend, but I have done it. After all, people can be very different in Twitter than they are in real life and it shouldn’t destroy friendship if you aren’t compatible in one or the other. At least in my humble opinion.

More often, I remove them from my Tweetdeck column so I can skip their debate until it’s over. Sometimes I remember to add them back, sometimes I don’t. A lot of folks very quietly use this sort of filtering in Twitter and in Facebook, as it’s less contentious than outright Unfollowing or Unfriending someone.

For those passionate debaters, you may not care if you are filtered out or Unfollowed, and I say more power to you! I just thought you should know the possible reason if your Follower count is lower after a lengthy and contentious debate.

Flame on!

Too Long to Tweet, Number One

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Books, Friends, Soulful, Too Long For Twitter, Twitter/Facebook, Work

There are so many stories of Patrick McLean’s  that make me mutter “Brilliant,” even on the 10th hearing/reading. But this one gives me shivers, too.

“What I do see is the guy with the gun walking up next to my car. Or more precisely, the gigantic black hole that is the barrel of the gun. If you’ve ever had a gun pointed at you, you know what I mean. The barrel seems huge. And why shouldn’t it? It has to be big enough to swallow your whole life.”

-“Getting Shot” from Stories I Told Myself and The Seanachai podcast.

You may consider me biased, but come on. That is a fierce string of words.

Welcome to my shortest post ever.

Forty-One and Loving It, aka My Life is Effing Metal

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Friends, No Whining, Twitter/Facebook

Today is my birthday, so I thought I would write a post on something simple, pure and unexpected I experienced this morning. A smile.

As background, for the last 20 or so years, around the time I became pregnant with my first child, I’ve had only a few treasured friends, barely enough to fill one hand’s worth of fingers. I had MANY friends prior to the pregnancy, but I wanted to clear out those influences I didn’t want around the precious life I was carrying. No one was more surprised than I at the tiny percentage that particular qualifier left me with by the time Naughty Bear arrived. Of those remaining few, only one has survived since then, and “Y-vette” and I are celebrating our 21st year of loving and supportive friendship this month.

In recent years, I find myself somehow blessed because I’m surrounded by remarkable people that I have no hesitation in calling True Friends. I’ll grudgingly admit that in the ramp-up phase, I opened myself up in a trusting way to people I felt a connection with, and that has left me incredibly hurt and burned by some. Sorry to break it to some of you, but this isn’t a “naming names” post, especially because I still care deeply for these people and wish them only happiness. It just wasn’t a dynamic that worked, for whatever reason. Some have decided that I’m unkind and vilified me for being honest about this rather than pretending a deeper relationship existed when it didn’t. One of the more surprising things I’ve learned is that some don’t want to see the truth, while that is all I want at this stage of my life.

Yesterday, we were able to see some of the people that bring me the most joy in my life. It was a tangible and much needed reminder that genuine connections do exist. I honor and protect those connections, and work very hard not to take them for granted. They are rare and precious, but I am simply not a wordsmith that can craft the phrases to express how much it means to me. I’ll explain it this way:
This is actually a day that I was dreading, not because I’m getting older or for fear of any number. I embrace 41 as I embraced 40 last year, with welcoming arms. But instead of waking with sadness and eventual tears, as I actually expected, I found myself instead waking with memories of shared laughter and contentment. Color me every shade of surprised to discover an actual smile on my face as I awoke.

For those that have sent my kind words, birthday wishes before I even awoke, and any kind of amazing support through the difficult year, know that I am more grateful than I can express. Whether we have actually met or not, I am constantly amazed at the richness that podcasting and social media has brought to my life.

And for those genuine friendships I have somehow found myself blessed with, whether you were there yesterday or not, whether you are now in Heaven or still on this Earth, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the love and beauty you bring to my life.

*Note: I’ve turned comments off, for my own reasons, but if you feel compelled to respond you can email me at vivmuse@gmail.com.*

25 Random Things

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Twitter/Facebook

I’m going through my Facebook account and stripping out some info due to the continuing privacy concerns, and came across this “25 Things About Me” note I had posted from February of 2009.  I was curious to see what had changed in the last 14 months, so am attaching here and updating any changes in parenthesis.

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Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. Even after being a mom for almost 18 years, I still question everything I do. (19 years now and still true)
2. I will never stop missing my Mom, or wishing I had shown her more appreciation when I was younger.
3. I forgive myself for not appreciating her more when I was younger, because she knows all now, including how I feel.
4. I’m not able to stand up for myself, or as I’ve recently discovered, those I love. I’m working on it. RAWR! (Making tangible progress on this one! My newest mantra is: Crazy is circling, but I’m not letting it land near me.)
5. I love MMORPG’s that give me a sense of doing something positive in that realm. City of Heroes and Lord of the Rings Online are my preferred games. (I no longer play CoH on any regular basis, it’s now LoTRO all the way.)
6. I’m forever grateful to two friends that pushed Chooch and I along the path towards each other, even though our new life together seems to have cost me their friendship.
7. I love banana flavored Runts. They taste better than bananas.
8. I don’t think you can truly examine something fully if you don’t do a puppy dog head tilt.
9. Cheesecake > Pie /ducks and runs away/
10. My desk is a big ol’ mess, and I’m buried in paper. (I’ve cleaned and re-buried myself countless times. Still true.)
11. Foo Fighters are to my 2000’s what Depeche Mode was to my 1980’s.
12. I want a puppy now, but we’re waiting until we have the money to handle anything that comes up for it. (We have a puppy!)
13. I’m waiting to hear about a job that will make a big difference financially for my family, but the impact on our ‘family time’ will be dreadful. (I got the job and all I speculated was true.)
14. I lost most of my relatives in the grieving after my Mom died. She was the glue.
15. I have made a few friendships in the last year that I truly believe will last a lifetime. (Those I had in mind are still going strong!)
16. My husband is the most perfect man in the world for me. He has the soul of an artist, and many canvases on which he paints. He also does not put up with my bullshit and makes me laugh like no other. (Peas and carrots, yo!)
17. Our bedroom will always be the messiest room in the house.
18. I will never eat pork again, and may eventually be a vegetarian.
19. I love photographs, especially of my family and friends.
20. I’m enjoying the two separate aspects of my life more than I thought I would. I think I’m going to keep them separate.
21. I have just started Battlestar Galactica. Don’t judge me for being late to the party, at least I’m here.  (Done in time for the series finale and loved the full experience!)
22. I live in a world where Wash didn’t die. I need him to still be alive in that world.
23. I’m very excited about where this year will lead us. (The stuff I was excited about rocked, but there was also some devastating stuff that we are still trying to recover from. I have more gray hairs but also deeper laugh lines. Such is life.)
24. I’m re-reading George R.R. Martin’s ‘Songs of Fire and Ice’ series this year, on book 2 currently, for the new release in the fall. I <3 Jon Snow! (I finished the published books and am still waiting for the new release… I <3 Arya!)
25. I do believe in fairies. I do. I do.

Farpoint 2010

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Chooch, Convention Attendance, Dizzy, Knitting, Podcast, Twitter/Facebook

Chooch and I treated each other to Farpoint attendance this year as our Valentine’s Day gifts. Yes, it was waaaaay more than we normally spend for this corporate holiday, but due to the double blizzard whammy and extreme cabin fever we couldn’t resist the lure of friends and stars all gathered together into one big awesome pile of humanity.

Our last minute issue was whether or not the replacement wires for my heart monitor would arrive on Friday so we could leave early on Saturday to get our money’s worth out of the con. It’s not a cheap one at a door price of $75 for the weekend, plus the sharing of room costs with our dear friend Thomas, aka The Command Line. The package arrived on Friday, Hooray for Baldrick! *ahem* Sorry, Chooch has been playing his dvd set “The Black Adder” as our new lullaby as a break from “Seinfeld”.

We got there, and immediately walked right into our friends and luckily in time for Command Line’s panel which included some other friends, Marc Bailey (aka Grailwolf), Nobilis, and Paul Fischer. I was sad that his amazing wife and daughter could not attend due to illness but glad for the time with Paul. My bestie, M.A. in PA, and her hubby Dan Tabor arrived during the panel. It was also attended by our besties Heather Welliver and Grailpup, who are Marc Bailey’s wife and son (for those unfortunate enough not to know who they are).

We attended the Q&A discussion by Felicia Day, and she was as charming and adorable as ever. I had a question I wanted to ask her, but was having some of my health issues and decided against it as I didn’t want to end up stuttering and stumbling while speaking. There were many fantastic questions, and she was extremely entertaining. More later on this fey creature.

Dinner at Bertucci’s with Command Line, MAinPA, Dan, Chooch and myself and we were later joined by Paul Fischer. It was a delightful meal, primarily because of the company. Yes, the food was good but the conversations we have would make any meal enjoyable.

We attended the Masquerade, which was a first for Chooch and I at any con. We intended on staying only for the beginning, which our friends (Fantastic Foe, aka @patman23 on Twitter along with his beautiful wife Lisa and their endearing daughter ‘G’) would be in but ended up staying through a good portion simply because the costumes were so amazing! Our friends were actually there during the entire Masquerade, serving as The Ninjas that were assisting the participants with getting off stage and they even did an adorable but brief performance when they were introduced! They were fantastic and I’m really glad they lured us there with their presence. We left the Masquerade to take some pix of our friends and ended up wandering a bit and making our way back down to the Masquerade in time to see the most exciting auction of the night!

While waiting for the judges to determine the winners, an auction was held to raise funds for Vietnam Veterans of America. The previous two years had earned $3,000 each and the auctioneer was hoping to match or beat that. The real excitement came during the bidding for the coveted ‘Lunch with Felicia Day’ which had a proxy bid was $300.  As Thomas, Chooch and I watched in amazement the bidding continued and finally was won at $5,000! It was amazing to see, especially as Ms. Day was obviously blown away by the amounts being bid for, as she reminded the bidders, ‘just lunch’. She was blushing adorably, but occasionally vamped a bit in an effort to raise the bidding. The gentleman that won the auction was the subject of tweets and conversation for the rest of the weekend. Well done for a wonderful cause!

Afterward, Chooch, Thomas and I luckily were unable to find seating at the hotel bar. I say luckily, because we headed into the dining room instead and ran into a table filled with hawesome (Grailwolf, Heather, Grailpup, Laura Burns, John Cmar and Helen Madden) and joined them. We ended up staying for several hours having a raucous good time. We even experienced the debut of The Green Boner, much to our horror. Laura showed me some of her favorite knitting sites and books, which was a boon for this knitting noob! When actor Lee Arenberg walked through the restaurant we made eye contact and he said hello. He’s officially now my homeboy, right?!?  A few drinks and countless giggles later we split off and headed back to our hotel for an exciting adventure in parking in a snow-filled lot.

Next day found us at breakfast at the hotel restaurant, and I was anxious to get in line for the Felicia Day signing opportunity. When we met her, I was able to ask my question about resources for fun/funky/geeky knitting projects but having put her on the spot she was unable to think of any. It was otherwise a wonderful chat, and we were able to get a better picture with her than we got at Dragon*Con.  As we talked, she said she remembered our conversation back then so am assuming that we are now BFF’s.  I’m relieved to report that I didn’t embarrass myself as much as I did at D*C, when I ‘fangirled’ all over the place. Lookit, I’m growing! We also got a copy of Season 2 of The Guild signed, but there were no copies of Season 3 available yet, sadly.

We visited the Dealer Room, and made some purchases. I was thrilled to discover cartoonist Kevin Bolk and his hilarious comics “Watchbabies” (if the Watchmen were babies), “I’m My Own Mascot”, and “Wookie-Ookies” (Star Wars done with babies). All are creative, intelligent and beautifully done so I bought those items and Mr. Bolk was kind enough to sign them for us. I love finding unexpected new things such as this, and it made the trip through the Dealer Room well worth the time invested.

We later lined up to meet Lee Arenberg. He was delightful and it was a real pleasure to chat with him. We talked about all manner of topics, and he was charming and a truly fun guy! I was sad later when I realized that I forgot to mention our BFF moment in the restaurant the night before. He even gave me his email address to send him a link to our podcast, due to his interest in the topic of blended families. Score!

Our other sightings included Mira Furlan and Sam Witwer. I didn’t recognize the latter when he got on and then off our elevator and then got back off when he realized when we were going up rather than down. He only registered as being ‘teh cexce’ to me at that time, which he definitely is! Ms. Furlan was also there and while I spotted her several times, I didn’t get to meet her.

We caught the tail end of Command Line’s panel Copyright or Copywrong with Steve Wilson and Marc Okrand. I wish we could have met them as well, but they both bolted off in different directions after the panel. We grabbed Thomas, M.A., and Dan and headed out for a tasty lunch at Baja Fresh and returned in time for Dan’s interview with Ms. Day for his wonderfully written blog series on Geekadelphia. I cannot wait to read it, as he was very happy with the interview itself! Dan the Fan? Piffle. Dan the MAN!

Many enjoyable hours in the atrium were spent with friends between panels, events and meals. Laura brought in her case of packed full of BPAL and her knitting and I was very envious of both. Later I got another quick knitting lesson from M.A., this time on purling. Turns out my previous attempts were correct, but I needed M.A. to guide me through it anyways.  All the time spent with friends between other events truly made the weekend even more special. We returned home exhausted but exhilarated with our filled heart containers.