Best DragonCon ever!

Last year was probably my worst DragonCon ever. I was a little burned out by taking two classes over the summer. I was stressed over money, and had none to spend at the con. And our friends couldn’t make it again. I didn’t go to much. I barely cosplayed. It was not much fun.

This year was the complete opposite and more! I was refreshed from my summer of relaxing. I also had two new costumes to debut at the con. And I could afford to really enjoy myself! But, best of all, our friends were able to come again. Honestly, that made the biggest difference. If I missed a panel, it was more often because we’d be talking in the room. The best reason to miss a panel!

I not only go in the room for David Tennant’s first panel at DragonCon, ever, but I got to ask a question! I started by saying that he is my favorite Doctor. I was the first person to say that! Around five or six people in and no one else had said it. He said I was his favorite questioner! (It’s at 30:23 in the video below!) You can hear me shout “Yes!!” after he points out that I’m the first person to say it. As you can imagine, I’m still giddy over that! I do wish I had been less nervous and focused my question more on the physicality of the scene, but he still gave a great answer.

I’m at 30:23!!!

I then went to three more panels, with a stop for some food, before my panel and presentation of “Super-Tropes: Finding the Difference Between Narrative Prosthesis and Introduction to Disability in Marvel Comics.” It went so well! I got a lot of questions and feedback from the audience. It really makes me feel good about this line of research. I almost wish I had made it my dissertation, but this way I can write it exactly how I want to the first time. Also, I can take my time and really get it right.

I stopped by David Mack’s table after my presentation and got to thank him for creating Echo! I bought an Echo print, which he signed along with my two Daredevil trades that he wrote! He is wonderful.

Wrapping up Friday night was watching the Costuming Contest in the room with our friends. We missed that so much. It is so much better with them there. Especially since one is a costumer herself. She could catch details that I would have missed. So much fun!

Saturday was a bunch of shopping, including getting a new corset, followed by a couple of panels. After the second panel, I decided to stop by the Walk of Fame to find out when George Takei would be there. He was at his table! It was right after his panel had finished. I swear he transported over! His husband Brad was there, frequently coming out to check on us in line. I was a bit star-struck at him. They are both such wonderful people and it was amazing to meet them both. I still can’t believe I met George Takei and was able to thank him for sharing his story as he signed my copy of They Called Us Enemy that my hubby got me for my birthday.

Inscription reads:
To Courtney
Peace and happiness
George Takei
The title page of They Called Us Enemy signed by George Takei.

Sunday, we decided to watch the big Farscape panel on DCTV in our hotel room. The way all of them talked about the fans and how much they love and appreciate us got me back to wanting to get their autographs on my Crichton vest. By the time I got to the Walk of Fame, all five of them had returned from their photo session. They all very happily signed the vest and they were all such wonderful people to talk with. I think I impressed Anthony Simcoe (D’Argo) and Lani Tupu (Capt. Crais and Pilot) with my dissertation topic. My hubby went later and they all remembered me! But it was so nice to be able to meet them all and tell them how much I love the show and I hope to see all of them back when the show comes back!

At the top is Rebecca Riggs (Grayza). Below her are Ben Browder (Crichton) on the left and Gigi Edgley (Chiana) in the middle. Below her is Anthony Simcoe (D’Argo) and Lani Tupu (Crais and Pilot) is to the right.

We all ended our day in the room, watching the Masquerade and enjoying some of the alcohol we had brought with us. It was just so much fun!

Monday was more subdued. A Tom Smith concert with my hubby. A wonderful panel on Comics in the Classroom. And a final swing through the Dealers Rooms.

It is the best time I have ever had at DragonCon. I went to panels big and small. Fan and academic. I went shopping. I got a bunch of autographs and got to thank them for what they do. I got to hang out with all of the friends I only see at DragonCon. I hope next year will be even better.

Looking Forward to DragonCon!

This time last year, I was a mess. I was finishing up the second of two classes I took over the summer. I was struggling to make ends meet financially, and, because I took summer classes, my financial aid was distributed differently than previously and I owed the university money for fall. And, our friends were not going to be able to make it to DragonCon. While I was looking forward to DragonCon, it was with about the least amount of enthusiasm I’d ever had. I didn’t pack any costumes. I had no money to go get anyone’s autograph. I did end up putting together an Arthur Dent from what I had packed at one point, but that was as close as I got to cosplaying. I was burned out, and DragonCon did not help with that much.

This year, it’s completely different! I have done nothing over the summer. Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve been studying, working on my CPAC presentation, making a costume, finishing another, and picking away at dissertation things. But, I’ve been taking time to do nothing, to relax. So I’m nowhere near burned out. I also have no financial problems this year, thanks to some scholarship money and employment for the school year. Which means I can add at least David Tennant and Catherine Tate to my 500 Year Diary, as well as get Farscape autographs, among other things. But, the best thing right now? Our friends are able to make it!

A little context. These friends are why we first went to DragonCon in 2010 (yes, this is our 10th DragonCon!!). For those ten DragonCons, they have been at 8 of them. They have become a part of DragonCon for us. Even if the only time we see them is in the room, they are an important part of the experience for us. So it is going to be so awesome to have them there again!

Thanks to my relaxation and recuperation this summer (and our friends coming!), I have 4 costumes that I am really looking forward to wearing. I have my Wafuku Tenth Doctor for Friday (when I’m planning to camp out in line for David Tennant if necessary), Death as Didi for Monday, and my Star Trek Fangirl and Pirogoeth, my first D&D character, for Saturday and Sunday. Since I don’t know the schedule yet, I don’t know which day I’ll be wearing which costume. I’d like to be my Fangirl when I meet George Takei, but when I meet him depends on when I’m presenting at the conference. I need to be able to get out of whatever costume and into non-costume for my presentation.

In two weeks, I’ll be at DragonCon, enjoying my yearly 5-day geek vacation. I can’t wait!

Relaxing, decompressing, self-care

This summer (all just over 1 month of it) I have been trying to get work done for my dissertation and upcoming preliminary exams. But I keep getting distracted by TV and costumes. Some of the TV stuff and all of the costume stuff has been stuff that I’ve been putting off to take care of things for school.

Up until today, I’ve been feeling guilty over this. Today, I realized that I shouldn’t. Yes, I go onto Facebook and see how much work my friends are putting in over the summer. But I need to have these outlets now. I need to take the time to truly relax for my own sanity. It’s not that I don’t watch TV during the school year, but there’s always something else I really should be doing for class.

Right now, I have a little bit of time to take for myself. So I’m not going to feel guilty over using supplies I already have to finish up some costumes I’ve been planning for years. I’m not going to feel guilty over watching TV. But, I do need to keep working on getting things read.

Seeing as this fall I start the less structured part of the Ph.D. process, I am going to start working on being able to balance taking time for myself and doing work for school. I’ve tried many times before to create a schedule for myself. All it does it make me feel guilty when I don’t follow it. I’m just going to set goals for myself for school and make sure I meet them before I go to bed. I’m really hoping it will give me the guidance I need with the flexibility to go “off schedule” when I feel the need. Like right now, writing this!

It’s all about finding what works for you. Everyone functions differently. Never be ashamed of that.

What I learned from DragonCon: 2018 edition

This is so late! I didn’t realize I hadn’t published it!

Another year, another CPAC, another DragonCon.

Every year is different. Every year I make a different experience for myself. It’s not simply a case of different programming each year or different guests. Part of the joy of DragonCon is there is so much happening at any given moment during the con (yes, all 5 days) that you can craft your own unique con experience. Here’s what I learned this year…

Pack a few costumes. I love making costumes. I love dressing up as characters from shows I love and wandering around cons in them. This year I decided not to pack any. I just wore my geeky t-shirts. One night I went out to meet up with my hubby to get some food. I was already in my Deadpool lounge pants instead of shorts. So I decided to throw on sandals, my TARDIS bathrobe, and grabbed a towel from the hotel bathroom. I was quickly recognized as Arthur and even struck up a conversation. It felt good. It reminded me that wearing costumes can indeed be fun. And just because no one says anything about it doesn’t mean they didn’t notice it and think about it. I did that constantly. So I’m going to make sure to pack some costumes as well as enough street clothes to have both options next year. Just because I pack the options, doesn’t mean I have to wear all of them.

Staying in the room is just fine. This has been a rough two weeks. Last week was the start of the semester as well as DragonCon and CPAC. I had planned to get up early on Sunday and get in line for the Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie panel to start my day. I decided sleep was better and took my time getting ready to head over for the Anne of Green Gables panel. After spending an hour wiping tears from my eyes (tears that are returning at the memory) being in the same room as my Anne, I decided to head back to the room. I ended up just hanging out in the room for most of the day. It felt good. I needed some self-care time. Just because you are at the con doesn’t mean you have to be out at it all the time. If you need to, take time for yourself. The point is to enjoy yourself.

Save money before you go. Through as series of annoyances that ate what little money I had left, I was broke for DragonCon. I mean that if I didn’t have a wonderful, caring husband, I wouldn’t have been able to go. I’m going to start setting aside a specific amount of money each month so when DragonCon 2019 rolls around I’ll have enough to at least eat if not have some spending money too.

Searching for Work-Life-School Balance

Life has been crazy lately. Last week the second year of my PhD began. So did my new job as a Graduate Assistant at the Writing Center. And it was also DragonCon and CPAC. Now that things have settled down, I’m realizing how much of a mess these past two weeks have been with everything going on.

There is a reason why I do not work on Fridays. Twice a week I have work for 6 hours, tutoring for 2 hours, and a total of at least 2.5 hours in the car. The other two days I have work, tutoring, and class until 9pm. And the 2.5 hours in the car. I am on campus for between 8 and 11 hours four days a week, not including any extra time I can find to do work for myself. This is the first day I’ve had off in the past two weeks. I was going to go into work today to make up for not being there Tuesday because we didn’t get home until 30 min before I should have been at work.

But when I woke up today, I couldn’t do it.

I just needed the time to recover and to start working on what I need to have done for class on Monday. I need time to drink tea. I need time to eat a huge bowl of salad. I need time to get my office/room cleaned up and organized. I need time to get caught up on the dishes. I need time to unpack from DragonCon. I need time to work on getting the apartment in order. I need time to write this. I need time to work on finding a work/life/school balance.

I’m hoping that by getting things sorted this weekend I’ll be able to move forward in a balanced manner. But taking the time to recognize that I can’t push myself and that I need that time is the first step. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

DragonCon: At Con Tips

Every Labor Day weekend since 2010, my hubby and I have gone to Atlanta, GA, for DragonCon! It was the first convention I ever went to, which still amazes many people. But, it took me a while to figure out what to take, what to leave home, and how to effectively enjoy the con. Some of that came from blog posts like this: people who have been going that share their wisdom and knowledge. Here are some of the things I have learned over the years to have fun at this massive convention.

STAY HYDRATED!!!! WITH WATER!! I know you are going to drink other things, but make sure you drink water. There is no substitute for it. Especially if you give blood. Alcohol can wait until the next day.

Getting around. Be ready for a lot of walking. This con happens in five different hotels and the America’s Mart. Also, Atlanta is not flat. There is a massive hill between the Sheraton and the Westin. It’s downhill from the Westin, but it’s uphill from the Sheraton. Be ready for exercise.
The Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton are connected by skywalks. Because they are along a hill, the entrances in the Marriott do not exist on the same floor. While they have started to police the flow so things keep moving, they are not the most effective ways of moving between the hotels on Saturday and Sunday. Honestly, I highly recommend simply going outside when you are able to.
No matter where you are walking, think of the way before you as a road (in the US). Stay to the right! The skywalks/”habitrails” are generally policed that way, but the sidewalks aren’t. We’re all trying to get somewhere. Be ready to walk single-file or two-by-two so others can get through.

Elevators. Yes, there are elevators to get you from one floor to another. In my experience, the Westin is the only venue where you could use them to get to the programming you’re heading for. But they also have stairs and escalators. I highly recommend using those and leaving the elevators for people who need them to get from floor to floor, as well as for the people who need to get up to the rooms.
Also, please DO NO “GO DOWN TO GO UP! Getting on an empty elevator going down in order to end up going up is simply rude. If you are that desperate for an elevator, get on at the lowest floor. I get so pissed seeing an elevator get filled up, go down one floor, return and be full of the exact same people, before moving up. It’s just rude!

Lines. Officially, DragonCon does not allow lines to form more than an hour before the panel starts. There are two ways to approach this. First, ask the volunteer at the location of the panel where the line for your panel is and they will direct you if the line has started. If you are polite and out of the way, sometimes they will let you hang around in the area until they are allowed to start the line, and you get to be at the beginning (this is how I got to be as far up as allowed in the center of the row for Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy in 2013). The other approach is to ask people in line what they are in line for. If it’s the line you’re looking for, follow it back to the end. Please don’t start unofficial lines, it doesn’t go well.

Photos. Tons of people wear costumes to DragonCon (but not everyone, so don’t feel pressured to if you don’t want to!). Whether you’re taking the photo or are being photographed, make sure you’re out of the flow of traffic. Also, as you’re walking around, make sure you’re not walking through a photo. If you’re interested in taking photos, be able to take them quickly so you don’t hold up the subject too long, and to get out of the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for a photo, but be ready to hear they can’t. Sometimes they’re heading somewhere and really can’t stop.

DCTV. DragonCon TV or DCTV is broadcast in all the host hotels throughout the con. They have also made a “Streaming Membership” available through the store so anyone can watch from anywhere. DCTV can be so useful! There have been numerous occasions when I go to get in line and have been told the line has been capped. Yes, they will count people in line for bigger panels to cap the line before they start allowing people in. Depending on the panel, I have gone back to the room to watch the panel on DCTV. It’s also a great way to watch big events like The Masquerade on Sunday and the Friday Night Costuming Contest from the comfort of your room. You can have a party with friends while you watch.

The Dealers Room and Artist Alley. Be ready for a maze of dealers, artists, and a ton of people. My only advice, be patient and hope you hit a quiet point. This is another place where DragonCon has started policing populations. They try to maintain a specific population inside. Both are located in the America’s Mart buildings, along with some programming tracks. There is a skybridge from the Westin to the America’s Mart, but I don’t know how that works now that they are tracking people. The outside entrances may be the only entrances, at least for the Dealers Room and Artist Alley.

The Daily Dragon. This is going to tell you about changes to the schedule. They do update it in the app, but it’s good to have the heads up. They have physical copies around the con and it’s on the app, but I’ve linked their website so you can check from the room before you head out and find out your panel was moved or cancelled.

dragoncon

DragonCon: Packing List

Every Labor Day weekend since 2010, my hubby and I have gone to Atlanta, GA, for DragonCon! It was the first convention I ever went to, which still amazes many people. But, it took me a while to figure out what to take, what to leave home, and how to effectively enjoy the con. Some of that came from blog posts like this: people who have been going that share their wisdom and knowledge. Here’s my packing plan for this year:

Registration Postcard. This is the most important thing to bring! It is why registration moves so quickly now. You don’t want to be the person holding up the line!

My phone. Phones have become an essential tool for DragonCon. They have an app with the schedule, maps, and tons of info on it. Also, thanks to Digital Photo Mentor, I’m going to use it instead of packing my DSLR to take pictures this year. But, because there are, most likely, 80,000+ other people there with their phones, it won’t be used much to communicate. At least quickly.

Con wallet. Since early on, my hubby takes only what he needs and leaves the rest at home in his wallet. At first, I just took what I didn’t need out of my wallet, but for a few years now I’ve had what I call my con wallet. I bought a geeky wallet from Think Geek that I simply put what I need into for conventions. It’s bright and easier to spot in case I somehow drop it (which hasn’t happened yet, fingers crossed!). I like it because it makes it easier to find what you need, and, should you need medical assistance, it is less for a good Samaritan to go through to find your driver’s licence and insurance info.

Bag of Holding – Con Survival Edition. After the success of the original Bag of Holding, Think Geek came out with a smaller bag for use at conventions. It holds a lot, has space for pins and a Velcro front for patches, and is small. Small is important when there are so many others around. In it, I tend to have:
– Flashlight
– Mini First Aid Kit
– Pads and liners (This is more for the ladies out there, but pads can be a useful addition to a first aid kit. They are built to absorb a lot. Also, you never know when someone might need one.
– Rain gear (Either a pocket umbrella or poncho will save you if it rains)
– Stuff to do (I keep my Kindle on me as well as a deck of cards and an iPod)
Portable chargers
Cords and wall adapter
– Snacks
– Business cards

Clothing. Whether or not you cosplay or wear costumes, you always want to pack clothes. I tend to follow the +2 rule. I pack at least 2 more of what I know I will be wearing on a daily basis. Socks and underwear always get this. When I’m not taking costumes, I take an extra 2 t-shirts for options as well as back-up. You never know what could happen over the course of a day to cause you to need to change something. Bras, bottoms, and shoes tend to be the exception to this. I’ll take 2 bras, maybe an extra pair of jeans, and a pair of sneakers and flip flops. Of course, if you’re costuming or cosplaying, you need to have everything for your costumes – including socks! I also tend to take enough t-shirts to cover the con and a pair of jeans. You never know when you might need civvies!

Bathroom. Don’t forget all the stuff you need in the bathroom. You may want to get as many travel sized items as possible and/or repack things in smaller containers, depending on how many of you are sharing the bathroom. Another thing is, again depending on how many of you are in the room, bringing your own distinctive towel and washcloth. Most of the time there’s just four of us in the room, so we don’t pack extra towels. But we have in the past and it really helps with knowing whose towel or washcloth is whose.

Food. This varies from person to person. Some people bring Crock Pots and rice cookers and go grocery shopping after unloading the car into the room. Others just eat from the food court, food trucks, and restaurants. I fall in the middle. I try to take portable snacks that can combine to sustain me through the day so I can buy dinner at the end. I tend to pack things like jerky, Larabars, and something sweet like fig bars. I like it because I can just graze through the day and not have to worry about getting to the food court between panels.
There’s also packing food for in the room. We like to have snack foods to munch on while we drink in the evenings because we tend to stay in the room to watch the Friday Night Costuming Contest and the Masquerade. But I am also a big tea drinker and I have two electric kettles: one for home and one for the office. Since I currently don’t have an office, I’m taking the extra kettle, along with some teas and the other stuff to make myself a mug or three every night.

In the room. Remember, you are going to be spending some time in your room. Even if it’s just to sleep. There are things you can pack that will make that time easier. We bring at least one power strip, extra trash bags, games, and a streaming stick. The power strip(s) make it easier to recharge devices at the end of the day. Trash can pile up quickly, so being able to contain it outside of those little trashcans is really helpful. And, while we do stay in host hotels and have DCTV, it doesn’t mean they’ve always got something we want to watch on. It’s easier to have access to our Nexflix, Hulu, Amazon, and CBS All-Access than flip through channels. And, it’s DragonCon, of course we are going to bring games to play with our friends!

I think that covers packing. I’ll be posting again with at the con tips soon.

dragoncon

Trying to stay sane!

This summer has been an experience. Where to start.

Well, I took two classes over 12 weeks. Each class was 6-weeks long and covered a typical semester – 15-weeks. It was a lot of information in a short period of time. Also, the first class was online, which I haven’t done at the grad level. It was also a mixed class with grad and undergrad (seniors) students. Thankfully the information was the same from one of my master’s classes, just from a different perspective, so it wasn’t as overwhelming as it could have been. Looking at international communication and international popular culture don’t seem to be too different after all.

The other class, Intro to Media and Comm, did meet in person once a week and I think was trying to kill me. The professor is great, and I’m looking forward to taking another class with him in the fall. There was so much to read and write every week, it was a struggle at times to get through it. But I did, and I’m glad I took the class. It’s given me a different perspective on a lot of what I learned during my master’s, but not the same information. It solidified my decision to go with a Media & Comm secondary focus and certificate.

During those twelve weeks I was also a tutor for two different classes. The first session I tutored some football players for Psych 101. It’s been so long, but it was an online class, so all the lectures were online. It was helpful for me in having the professor’s exact definitions available, but it was a ton of information squished into 6 weeks. It was intense. I was not jealous of those guys. The second 6 weeks were Sociology 101 with a group of football players. This was a little harder to help them with because it was in-person, and I had to look stuff up at times. And, it was a lot of information thrown at them in 6 weeks. But it was fun and a great learning experience for me.

But, with all of that going on, I didn’t have time for my own research. During the beginning of the summer I was trying to fit it in, but my class work suffered. I put my full focus on the second class, dropping my own stuff. Now I’m in the middle of my actual summer break, all three weeks of it, and I’m finally able to turn my attention to the paper/presentation I need to have done by the end of the month (you can read more about that here). I’m actually getting a lot done. It’s probably because I actually want to work on it and I’m in complete control of it. I’ve found that tends to help.

But, the end of the month marks the beginning of the school year. I’ll be taking three classes, working a 20-hour a week assistantship, and working another 6 hours as a tutor. Somewhere in there I need to keep working on research for my dissertation. Thankfully, one class should allow my final paper to contribute to my dissertation in some way. I’m trying to figure out how to bring it into another. I’ve heard the third class involves taking an existing paper and reworking it so it can be published. That may end up being my paper from spring that I’m presenting in October that I’m already working on reworking. It would help with that, as well as being a piece toward my dissertation, despite a few other papers I would love to do that to for class. But, the dissertation comes first. So far I’ve taken 6 classes and written 1 paper related to my dissertation. I know it’s possible to use class papers to work on my dissertation, I just need the opportunities.

Now, I’m focusing on getting ready for DragonCon and CPAC. I’ve decided not to pack any costumes this year, which I wrote about over here. That means less stuff to fit into the car and get into and out of the hotel. I’ll probably post something here soon about basics of packing for something as big as DragonCon, which can easily be adapted to any con. This year I’m able to spend more time thinking about those little things that I know I’ve been letting slip through the cracks in past years.

It’ll be an interesting break during that first week of class. But I know it will charge me up for the school year!

Tony Time!

This year I’m trying something new. I’m building a thread on Twitter with thoughts and reactions as the show goes. It’s much more suited for that. Here, I’m writing more in-depth thoughts and ideas as we go. I’ll post the link to the Twitter thread at the end in case you want to read it.

Musical-wise, I’m pulling for The Band’s Visit in every category it’s nominated in. It looks so amazing!

Play-wise, I’m really behind Angels in America in every category it’s nominated in. I’ve never seen it, but I know what it’s about and it’s so important and brilliant.

And, of course, I’m cheering for any and all Hamilton alum!

I really liked the opening. Two pianos. Talking about not winning. And including ensemble members…not just including them, featuring them! Ensemble gets overlooked too much! Great way to open the show.

Maybe it’s because of the research I’m doing, maybe not, but watching that Mean Girls performance didn’t wow me. It felt like I was watching a combination of typical Broadway choreography with some exposition and a lot of repetition. I wasn’t wowed. I was almost bored. The thing that caught my attention was the guy’s Alyssa Edwards t-shirt.

I love the #TonyDreaming. I wish I could post something to it, but I was on stage crew in high school, so until the last show, you didn’t see me. Also, I’m not Tony dreaming. I’m just enjoying being an audience member.

I’m wondering what has contributed to this being the best attended Broadway season in history. It’s not just what’s on right now. Although I’m sure Harry PotterSpongeBob, and Mean Girls are helping. It would be interesting to look at the trends leading up to this year and the shows that are bringing in new audiences, like Hamilton. I guess it’s something else to look at for my dissertation.

I really hope my one professor is watching the Tonys right now! The Parkland students are getting so much love. And then they go and sing “Seasons of Love”. They are some amazing human beings! …Oh, and my one professor is working on something that looks at the ways students were using music during March For Our Lives events.

I have to admit, Frozen looks much better than I thought it would. Then again, Disney has a good track record of turning its animated musicals into Broadway musicals. My only problem with that performance is it was another medley. I understand you want to include some of your most iconic songs. But Hamilton did two songs that go together in the show. Why not just stick with that? I want to see an entire song, not parts of one and parts of another.

Okay. I thought  Once on This Island was being performed from Circle in the Square theater. Damn. They did a great job recreating their stage on the Tony’s stage. Wow. And how are they not nominated for more? And they won!!!!!!!!!

I love that The Band’s Visit is not only bringing more diversity to Broadway, but they’re bringing the message of inclusion, of peace. Ari’el Satchel said in his acceptance speech that they didn’t think they would get to portray their ethnicity on stage. Now they get to do a musical about a group of Arabs taken in by Israelis for a night. I hope they win.

To me, the winners of Best Play/Musical should not just go to the best production, but to the production that brings something new to Broadway as well as making a statement about something. That’s why I’ve been rooting for Angels in America (which is know is a revival, but still so important!) and The Band’s Visit. The other nominees for Best Musical are based off of something from TV or a movie. Nothing new. But The Band’s Visit is new and has a wonderful message of the power of music. Angels in America is the most Tony-nominated play in Broadway history. It tackles topics that we still don’t talk about enough today. I am so glad Angels won. Now to wait and see if The Band’s Visit can win, too.

So, deNiro said “I’m gonna say one thing, fuck Trump!” I’m guessing CBS is on a delay for just these occasions. But I’m glad he said it and I’m glad other people are sharing what he said.

YES!!!! The Band’s Visit won!!!! I have faith in the system! I really was worried one of the others would win because they are adapted from already popular works. I don’t know why. “We are far more alike than different.”

So, The Band’s Visit won 10 Tony Awards! Angels in America won 3! Now to somehow see them!

Settling in for the summer

Life has been quite complicated lately. The first week of May was finals week. The end of my first year as a Ph. D. student. I didn’t write the best papers for my classes, but they were good enough to get me Bs. It took me almost another week to get caught up on my grading. But, my students didn’t seem to hold it against me too much. I got some of the best feedback I’ve ever gotten. Even their problems and critiques were useful, not just “it sucked”. I am so happy and grateful to have had this class. They really helped me to become a better instructor.

The weekend after grades were due was Marcon. It was so nice to get to see my friends again, go to panels, and be on panels. I’m starting to realize that my attitude is keeping people from approaching me in costume. I don’t know how to change that. It’s who I am. But as much as I am an introvert, I do like getting compliments and recognized when in costume. I put a lot of work into the whole thing, from the clothing to the props to the make-up. But if it doesn’t seem like I want to be approached, no one will. I need to be more aware of it when I can. Lets face it, sometimes you have ten minutes to get all the way across the con –  which is a very long distance at DragonCon. Sometimes you can’t be stopped.

Anyway. After Marcon, summer semester began. Well, the first term of summer semester. We have two terms over summer, two six-week classes that contain all the information of a 15-week class. In order to get caught up with where I should be, I’m taking one class each term. My first class is online, and it’s a split undergrad/grad student class. That is the more interesting aspect of it, not being online. Grad students have different readings and different responsibilities. Thankfully, because of my two theory classes and International Popular Culture, it’s going over topics I’m already very familiar with. It’s from a slightly different angle, but similar enough that I’m not too stressed over it.

At the beginning of the month, my dad moved to New Hampshire. It’s a very good move for him. He didn’t need to take any furniture with him, so I got to take some things off his hands. We now have a dining room table, the old microwave hutch (which is at least 20 years old, probably more) that is now our bar, one of the end-tables that my parents have had since before I was born, and an almost 20-year-old wood futon frame. The futon is in my room, patiently awaiting the spring mattress to arrive so I can finally properly use it to stretch out on and study on.

But those weren’t the only things he couldn’t take with him. He couldn’t take Harry. We have had Harry almost his entire life. He’ll be 15 at the end of July. But between his age and the fact that he’s black, we knew that he wouldn’t last if my dad took him to the local humane society. He’d be high on the list to go if they needed more space. We’ve been taking care of him until Saturday. He hadn’t adapted well to being here, and we just can’t take care of him properly right now. So I drove him to Columbus to a no-kill shelter. They couldn’t take him. They had no space, but, more importantly, they couldn’t have taken him even if they did. He’s never been to the vet. Without vet records, they couldn’t take him. The lady there said that at his age, the best thing would be to have him put down. He’s perfectly healthy, as far as we can tell, for a cat his age. Why would I do that? So after a breakdown in the car, I decided to take him to Columbus Humane. But they require you to make an appointment to surrender a pet, and charge more than I can afford right now.

So I changed plans. I found Marion Area Humane Society and headed there. I felt bad because it wasn’t cool out yesterday, and he had been in the carrier for over an hour at that point. But he seemed to be okay. We got to MAHS and I started to break down again. He had been part of the family for almost 15 years. They had space for him. As they processed his information and mine, I talked with one of the volunteers. She said that they get people looking for older cats sometimes. More importantly, she told me that they are a no-kill shelter! He is going to be taken care of for the rest of his life. I am completely fine with MAHS being his home for that time. They are going to take care of him. Last night I had to fight the urge to check on him behind the futon – where he had made his home. I miss him, but he’s going to be fine!

Remember, always take your pets to the vet. You never know what will happen to you. They may have to go to a shelter, and vet records are required by some before they will take your pet in.

Well, that went longer than I thought it would. I’ll just leave this here and get back to working on the paper and presentation I need to have ready for CPAC and my summer watchlist.