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.

Introvert in an Extroverted family

Yesterday I went to my cousin’s wedding. I had an absolute blast! There are a couple of reasons for it. But the main reason was a personal realization. My gut always says “It’s okay to sit or stand to the side and watch the fun!” My training always says “Why aren’t you out there with the rest of your family?!” I said that last night to my hubby early in the reception.

I am so glad I did. Saying it out loud helped me to realize that by observing, watching my family celebrating, I am participating in my own, comfortable way. It also helped that this was a much more informal reception where no tables were assigned and we never sat down. We found spaces that worked for us to stand and be out of the path of traffic, but still be a part of things. We sang along with the music. We even danced to a few songs.

It felt so good finally finding my place in a big party/celebration like that. It allowed me to be a part of things instead of trying to maintain my walls and worry about what people are saying because I’m not out there like everyone else. I came home just as, if not more, energized than when I arrived! No introvert hangover this morning!

This is really going to help me out at DragonCon this year. It’s another place where being an introvert can be draining. But if I just remember that I’m there for the same reason as everyone else – DragonCon – I’ll be just fine!

The Other Path

Yesterday a thought struck me. I try to live my life not obsessing over the other path. You know, “the road not taken”. Everyone has one. There are constantly little trails that parallel the path we are currently on. So many decisions create these trails. But every once in a while, there are paths that branch off. Those are the moments where we made life-changing decisions. Those are the moments that we sometimes wonder about.

Some people like to play the “What if?” game. They like to try and think about what their life would be like if they had chosen the other path. I’ve come to dislike that game. I’ve seen many people get hung up on speculating about that other path. Maybe it’s because of loving Doctor Who, but you would not be the same person you are right now. And that’s why I don’t play.

I like who I am right now. Granted, my brain starts to wander toward the edge of my path every once in a while, trying to get a glimpse of that other path through the trees. But I gently steer myself away from it and focus on where I am right now. It’s the only thing that I can be certain about. I can speculate all I want about what life on the other path looks like, but I will never know. And I am fine with that.

I am happy with who I am and where I am right now. I have an amazing husband, a wonderful assortment of friends with whom I can talk with just about anything, and I am enjoying what I am studying and BGSU. I like to think that the theory of parallel universes is on to something, and there is a parallel me who decided to go ahead and go to Gallaudet who is wondering what life would have been like if she had decided to go to BGSU. But we’ll never know.

Unless the TARDIS comes along and we accidentally go to that universe…

Yule Greetings!

Happy Yule to all of you who celebrate this amazing day in the year!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but my husband and some of our closest friends are Wiccan/Pagan and celebrate Yule. Something about this year is making me wish we did something special for Yule. We celebrate Christmas with my family and his, but Yule is a separate time that we could really make our own.

This year we exchanged gifts. But it feels like it’s not enough. I think I’m going to have to do some more looking at the meaning of this day and the way others celebrate it and talk with the hubby. I’d love to have something to do to celebrate next year. Something that we can turn into a wonderful tradition for the two of us.

I just felt like sharing that. Happy Yule!


This one word rarely has as much meaning behind it as it does now. On Saturday, the last of my responsibilities for the semester. It was the end of my first semester of graduate school, and I survived!

I got everything I would need for the next three weeks packed up and drove back home. After a semester of coming back on weekends and living out of my suitcase for those weekends, it felt so good to really come home. To put my things away in the bathroom. To put my things away in the bedroom. To not have a paper to write, a class to prepare to teach, readings to do for class, anything to grade. Freedom.

I still have some work to prepare to teach next semester. But I have time to do it. I can relax and take my time and it get done well. I can look over all my notes and incorporate what I’ve been wanting to. I can take the time to remember what I wanted to explain better. I can think about what was used this semester and figure out what I felt worked really well and what I felt didn’t work with me.

I am so glad to be home where I have a hubby who is happy to have me here, a bed that is off the floor, a kitchen that is mine, and space. My space. Our space. Space where I can just chill and recharge my introverted self. I am so glad to be home.


Adjusting to life in as a graduate student has been a challenge at times. I’ll probably have it figured out the day before I graduate. 🙂

Being a graduate student is very different than being an undergraduate student.There are times where you have to read an entire book for class. Sometimes you have so many chapters and articles to read that it feels like you’re reading a book. Sometimes you have a week to do it. Sometimes you only have a few days. Many times you have to write something about what you’ve read for the week. Every class you need to be prepared to talk about it.

And then there’s all the added responsibilities of being a Teaching Assistant. You have to go to the lectures with the rest of the undergrads, take really thorough notes on the lecture, and read what they’re reading. You have extra class times where you meet with the professor, talk about readings for that class, and get things ready for the recitation that you’re teaching. You’re doing all of this so you can teach the class yourself next semester.

On top of all of that you have to keep your thesis in the back of your mind. The big papers you write for class can become part of your thesis, so you think about how it can fulfill the requirements set down by the professor while still working toward your personal goal.

That’s just at school. There’s also life off of campus. You need to keep these two thing in balance, which is hard to do. Even harder for me with my hubby and friends two hours away. Also going from having a space that only my hubby and I share to having a space of my own and space I share with three other ladies who have been living there longer than me.

It can be overwhelming at times. Especially for an introvert. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’m finally continuing my education and doing it in a field where I feel at home. I can talk with other students and staff and rarely have to explain things. This past Wednesday, after chatting about various things, one of my professors handed me three of his Daredevil trade paperbacks so I could read them. It’s not just for enjoyment either; it’s research! As I’m reading them I’m putting sticky notes on pages I want to scan so I can refer back to them later.

Adjusting takes time. I’m sure I’ll be adjusted just in time to work on a Ph.D. 😉

Happy Holidays! (part 3)

Because Christmas was on a Wednesday this year, we got to stay home and celebrate all by ourselves. It’s kinda nice to be able to simply sit back and enjoy the holiday. No worrying about traffic. No worrying about when we have to be where. No worrying about forgetting presents at our place. Just sitting back in our pjs and watching Christmas specials and movies all day long.

But for me, Christmas starts on Christmas Eve. Both of us had to work, which really just helped our cause of staying home for Christmas. Once I got home from work I got what food I could ready for munching the next day. Who wants to cook on Christmas day? That night I finally got to do something I had been looking forward to for a few years now: playing at Midnight Mass!

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I play the trumpet. I’ve been playing since the 5th grade and I don’t want to try to figure out how many years that has been. I am really lucky that I get to play every Sunday at Mass. For a few years we were able to go up to be with family over Christmas because it fell on a Friday-Monday. Last year I was not in the mood for a traditional Christmas Mass, so I sang at the Blue Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve. But this year…hehehe…this year was ready!

Well, as ready as I could be. We played some carols before Mass, which I played for half of them. I played for the last two and then we went right into Mass. I am still amazed that my lip lasted through the whole thing. It was really trying to die on me a couple of times. But it was totally worth it.

When I got home, I was given the option to open a present if I wanted to. Considering my sister had me open my present from them on Sunday when I saw them briefly, I felt I had opened my early present and suggested he could open his from them. Yeah, my sister is getting good at finding presents. They got him a “flight deck”, as he’s calling it. It’s 4 small glasses and a wooden tray for them to create a flight of beers to taste. He’s really happy.

After that I went to bed. It was 1:30am. It was late enough.

The next morning we slept in. It’s so nice to sleep in on a Wednesday. I got up and finished the cooking and got everything out in the living room for easy snacking. Once he got up, we sat by the tree and opened what remained of our presents. The rest of the day was spent munching and watching holiday movies snuggled up on the couch. A wonderful way to spend Christmas.

Happy Holidays! (part 1)

I used to think that that phrase was just another in the growing ranks of pc-isms. But now I’ve come to realized and totally embrace the holiday season.

There are just too many people to see on Christmas Day. Also, not everyone celebrates Christmas, so I’ve learned to expand my holiday to pretty much cover all of December.

This year it started off with family. Back on the 14th my mom’s family got together for our annual Christmas gathering. As many of us that can make it gather in one place, bring a bunch of food, eat too much, exchange gifts, and hang out. This year it was my mom’s turn to host.

Three of my guys: my godfather, my dad, my hubby. They’re part of why I enjoy the holidays.
My mom holding the latest of my cousin’s children. Isn’t she cute?

Once that was done, we packed up and headed to my parents house so the four of us could have Christmas. Exchanging presents, taking naps, watching the dog bounce off things, and giving the poor cat lots of love. It was great. But there was a lot of snow coming down still and we had to get over to my father-in-law’s place. Normally it takes an hour to go from one set of parents to the other. That day it took at least 2.

Once we got there, we hauled everything inside and got settled in. There was exchanging of gifts and watching season 2 of Person of Interest. It was a great night. The next day we made our way back home and started prepping for the next holiday celebration.

I was going to put all of this into one post, but I think I’ll break it up. Tomorrow: celebrating Yule!

Broken roll

I was planning to spend this afternoon cleaning up my room. I am not a neat person, so it gets messy quite quickly. But every once in a while I get the urge to go through stuff and clean it up. I got a good start. Cleaned up two cabinets and moved more stuff into them so I could rearrange things and get more off the floor. I also had a poster I wanted to rehang so it wasn’t crooked. I started to nail in the support when I remembered my hubby was asleep in the next room. Oops. I stopped, hoping I hadn’t woke him up. I had. As “punishment” I was snuggled for half an hour.

I can’t complain about the snuggles. But I am that kind of person whose desire to keep working on something can be derailed easily. It is so frustrating! I came back into the room and got a little more done. But now I just want to hang out and do nothing. I’m hoping it will return because there’s a lot in here and I want it put away!

Facebook takeover

It seems like everywhere you look today you see the option to ‘Sign in with Facebook’. Every time I see that, I become even more glad I have a Google+ account.

Google Plus logo
Yay! ::hugs:: (click for my profile if you want to)

I was on Facebook back in college. It was late in my junior year, back soon after it expanded to all colleges. It was a great way to keep in touch with your friends, see what was going on across campus, and see who you could find from high school. And when you’re at a school as big as Ohio State, that’s a really great thing to have. I had all of my co-workers, most of the RAs (when you work the front desk of your dorm, you come to know and be friends with the RAs), and friends. We had little groups like “North Campus Marketplace All-Stars” for all of us that lived on North Campus that loved the Marketplace on South Campus. The Marketplace had some of the best food on campus.

Then it all started downhill. First they allowed high school students. Then anyone over 13 with an e-mail could join. Then the games and the apps. Now you have to put people into lists if you want to see what they’ve posted and not a bunch of game progress and posts by things you like but don’t need updates on. It’s just so frustrating!

Google+ is much closer to what Facebook used to be, but with all the useful upgrades they’ve done. It’s like Google sat back, watched Facebook figure things out, and implemented the best of the ideas. It’s like a cross between Facebook, Twitter, and a blog. I love it!

So, Facebook, no. I would not like to sign in using you. I want to have my websites and my Goodreads and other aspects of my internet life separate from you. As it is, I need to go though and do some housekeeping on you. The only reason I still have a Facebook account is because a lot of my Dad’s family is on it and they’re all across the US and in Canada. It’s nice to be able to keep in touch. Now, if I can just convert them over to Google+, I would be very happy!