I’m feeling good!

I am done with two of my classes. The other class work I’ll have done this week because the professor for that class is amazing. My students’ grades are in, and they’re complaining about them. The semester is done! I’m almost done with my first year as a graduate student! Exclamation point! Hehe.

Seriously, I am feeling good right now. I had a good time at Marcon, even if my brain was fried from writing papers and grading tests. I spent time with friends, realized I need to rewatch a few things a few times before Marcon next year, and made one of my favorite authors happy due to my costume.

I just got caught up on a few of my webcomics. I also got caught up on a couple of blogs. I’m getting some work done that will make writing my thesis easier (I hope). I am at home. I am in the apartment that I live in with my hubby. Yes, my stuff is everywhere and I need to start going through it so things can actually get put away. But I am home.

It’s nice to be so unstressed and relaxed again. Now if my Hamilton Research GoFundMe would take off, I would be ecstatic right now! I guess I’ll just have to be happy being unstressed and relaxed. 😀

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…

Coffee?

Last Friday, I met a friend, and fellow tea fiend, at the local coffee shop so she could guide me in trying out coffee.

Yes, I drink coffee now. Which is a really, really weird statement to make, still.

But, before anyone panics, I am still madly in love with tea. They just have different functions for me. The reason why I tried out and now have a cup of coffee in front of me is the same reason why my friend drinks it, caffeine. I probably have ADHD. I’ve never been diagnosed because when I was young, I would have been put on Ritalin and my parents did not want that. Something I am personally grateful for, because I prefer to take as little medication as I need. This is a personal choice; I’m not saying medicine is useless. I just have personal preferences about it.

Anyway. I probably have ADHD. It’s hard for me to focus on things I’m not heavily interested in and I just get bored easily. My friend said that coffee helps her with that. I had heard that caffeine can help people with ADD/ADHD because it is a stimulant, which helps the brain to focus. I don’t know the exact science, but I do know that it is helping me. I know that sometimes stuff like this can be psychosomatic, so I went in skeptical. Also we were just hanging out in the coffee shop, so I wasn’t really trying to get anything done. But it does help.

It feels like my thinking’s a little bit clearer and I can really focus on what I need to do. Granted doing things like listening to specific music or podcasts still prove to be distracting, but that’s more of the content than my brain. I feel like the fuzzy edges are gone. It’s hard to describe, but it works.

I’m sure some people are thinking “Why not just drink a Pepsi?” Well, while I do enjoy Pepsi, especially made with real sugar, there really is a lot in that can other than the caffeine. I order my coffee black and add a little dairy to cut the bitterness. That’s it. I don’t add any sugar. I don’t get drinks that have coffee in there somewhere. I get coffee. I’m actually trying to figure out where I can tuck my little coffee maker on my desk so I can just make it at the office instead of having to buy it.

It does make me wonder how many people unknowingly “self-medicate” their ADD/ADHD with coffee.

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!

Adjusting

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 2)

Must. Concentrate. On opening. Present.

Once Christmas with our families was over, our next holiday celebration was with our friends the day after Yule. We would have celebrated on Yule, but work got in the way. But that just meant that we had time to finally get our tree up! This year I decided that we would only put our ornaments on the tree. My mom had saved every single ornament I had made ever and all the ornaments she got us over the years. Usually we put them all up, but I felt that we had enough ornaments of ours that the tree would look wonderful. I was right.

I love celebrating Yule with them. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate winter: friends, their kids, and lots of food. He cooked up a small feast for us this year with gianormous bone-in pork chops smothered in onions and apples, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and country-style green beans. She had baked up a bunch of cookies and made a huge batch of “horrible, inedible” buckeyes. To top it off, I brought a batch of bacon-wrapped tater tots. We did not want for food that night.

But the best part of the night was watching the boys open their presents. And giving our friends’ theirs.

It says Can I Put Poison On It? with Poison in pink rhinestones. There’s a reason she’s my best friend. 🙂

“Here mommy, you can have this. Candy Land is for girls.” I love that child.

Enjoying one of his sons’ presents from us: Darth Vader and Son.

Once everything had been opened, they were wading through the wrapping paper checking to make sure there wasn’t anything left to open. *Sigh* Oh the memories.

We then split a bit by gender, hubby and our one friend stayed in the living room with the boys while us girls went off to the kitchen where I watched my extremely talented friend decorate cookies. Eventually her oldest decided he wanted to decorate one too!

Mother and son working on holiday cookies.

Almost done with his Iron Man/Power Ranger.

It was a wonderful evening and a great way to start enjoying more light again. Up next: Christmas!

I’m thankful for… 2/13

This week what really has stuck with me is from Friday and Saturday nights. On Fridays we do what we call Friday Night. It’s a night of beer, movies, pizza, and friends. This week was one of the great nights. We watched both The Boondock Saints and The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. We ended up bs-ing for a few hours on top of that. It was great. It’s always great to be able to sit around and relax with your friends! Last night I went the grueling 1.3 miles up the road to hang out with another friend. We sat and bs-ed and bitched for around 5 hours. It was a wonderful night!

So I would have to say that this week I’m thankful for my friends!

I’m thankful for… 1/29

I guess things really do come in threes. It wasn’t until I started reading a new, to me, blog that it sunk in that I should be focusing on the positives in my life and not the negatives. So I have decided to, in my private journal, every day only write about the good and the positive from the day instead of griping about the negatives. I’m hoping to weekly recap some of the less personal ones each week.

Cosplay has been on my mind a lot this week. But instead of seeing it as an obsession, or letting it become one, I’ve realized it’s simply one of many things that I enjoy. It takes a lot of planning to be able to do a very detailed cosplay, which is every cosplay I do. It’s been my main creative outlet lately.
I’m thankful for having the ability to be creative through cosplay.

On Thursday I finally got around to redoing my hair with the henna I had bought. I think it look much better with red hair, and my hubby agrees. For a long time I used chemical dyes. I even used a more natural hair dye after deciding to live more naturally with less chemicals in my life. Then I found out about henna. It stains my hair rather than coating it, which means it doesn’t fade and it actually strengthens my hair. I forgot how good it smells. And my hair even smells like it for a few days afterward. It’s wonderful.
I’m thankful for everything henna does for my hair.

This past weekend we went up to see my in-laws. It was a wonderful time. We went to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. There is a temporary exhibit there right now called Extreme Mammals. It was really neat, and I got to spend time with my hubby and his wonderful parents. Afterward friends of ours joined us and we all went out to dinner. It was a night of great food and wonderful friends.
I’m thankful for wonderful people and amazing food!

I’m really hoping to make this a weekly thing, posted on Sundays. If my posting these help only one other person, then it’s worth it! Have a great week!

I <3 Dragon*Con (Part II)

Friday morning, after weighing my options I decided to wear The Doctor in his tux for Friday morning. It took a little longer than I thought it would to get ready and get over to the Sheraton for the Welcome to BritTrack panel to start things off. I should have thought about it and done a Doctor entrance by running in out of breath and saying how the TARDIS landed over at the Renaissance and I had to run over. But I quietly slipped in, sat down, and enjoyed the company of my fellow British-loving geeks!

I went over to get in on some learn to play Magic: The Gathering only to find out that they had moved it to an hour before then and there was no way I was getting in now. So I decided to take the time to go switch into my Jane Lane costume. I got back only a little late to eventually find the ballroom that Patricia Quinn was having her panel. I had no idea she has been in so much. In case you don’t know who she is, Patricia Quinn was Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was great!

After that was done I went out and got in line for the panel that was being held next in the same room. This time it was Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. René Auberjonois, Armin Shimmerman, Avery Brooks, J. G. Hertzler, and Robert O’Reilly comprised the panel. It was a wonderful 45 min. We were told stories from the set, found out, much to Avery Brooks surprise, that J. G. Hertzler took Sisko’s baseball. That was a funny moment. It was a prop that was very important to Avery’s character. He was sitting back relaxing when Hertzler said it, and Avery almost leapt out of his chair yelling “YOU HAVE IT!!” while we all laughed our asses off.

During that panel I was checking on my hubby because we were going to meet up for it. Turns out he was off giving blood because he really wanted that t-shirt. He was off wandering around and heading to another panel, so I headed over to the Voice Actors panel. Dana Snyder (Master Shake), Phil LaMarr (Hermes Conrad), George Lowe (Space Ghost), Billy West (need I say more?), C. Martin Croker (Zorak and Moltar). Among other things I got to watch as Dr. Zoidberg and Prof. Farnsworth had a discussion in the women’s restroom (if you don’t know, they’re both voiced by Billy West). It was so much fun for a cartoon geek like me!

A Bruce from Monty Python
Bruce!

From there I finally met up with my hubby. We went to the Stargate: SG-1 panel which was a lot of fun. It was the only one of the weekend that Christopher Judge was at. BTW, he has a wonderful sense of humor. Then again, the serious ones tend to. We got to hear all sorts of stories about filming and learned some interesting things. Like the fact that Richard Dean Anderson rarely learned his lines and would just wing it. It seemed to work since they never stopped it and he was on for 8 of the 10 seasons. My only regret was that Michael Shanks wasn’t there. But John De Lancie, Ben Browder, Corin Nemec, and Martin Gero were.

We went our separate ways yet again as I wanted to go to the Filk Concert Extravaganza. I wanted to see Leslie Fish and Tom Smith live. It’s made me a huge fan of them both. Leslie’s music is more like ballads or something you’d hear at a Renaissance festival. The only song of hers I’d heard before was Banned from Argo (from this video which is a slightly edited version), but now I want to get a hold of everything of hers that I can. Tom is a bit more….interesting. The first song of his I had heard was Five Years before I had seen any Babylon 5. It’s great even if you know nothing about the show. It was a wonderful hour.

I finished off the night back at the BritTrack room for the Monty Python panel. The whole hour consisted of us fans reenacting sketches from Monty Python. They had both volumes of All the Words, which has all the scripts to the entire series. We also sang a few songs including The Penis Song, Sit on My Face, and Always Look on the Bright Side. It was a perfect end to the day. Afterward I got a picture of one of the best costumes I saw the entire weekend; Bruce!

You’re only as old…

Act Your Age by Kevin Spear
(c) Kevin Spear

Everyone knows that saying, “You’re only as old as you feel”, right? I totally agree with it. This weekend we spent some time with my husband’s cousins and their kids. At one point we went swimming and I was called a grown-up and an adult in the same breath. My response was “I am not!”

I am almost 27. It boggles my mind every time I think about it. I don’t feel that old. I couldn’t put an exact number on how old I do feel, but it’s younger than 27. I only believe in acting your age to an extent. I will grant as a grown person, especially one that has been through college, I need to be responsible for my actions and I should be polite and such. But there are certain things that I still enjoy that most people think I shouldn’t because I’m an adult.

For example, I love to stay up late playing games, watching movies, and just hanging out with friends. Granted, because I have to be up so early during the week for work, I don’t stay up like I used to in college. But I’ll stay up until at least 2am on the weekends. One of my favorite things is reading graphic novels and comic books and manga. That usually suprises people, well that and the fact that I’m female.

The Amazing Spider-Man issue 500
The Amazing Spider-Man issue 500 ( (c) Marvel Characters, Inc.)

It seems that if a female likes comic books, it’s strange. I’d like to know why. I understand that when comics started out they were aimed toward boys. But it’s been a long time since then. Why do we still have set things in our society that dictate that because you this gender and/or this age you aren’t allowed to do/like this?

Many people would respond with, “It isn’t normal”. Well, I hate the word “normal”, and I don’t use hate very often. I learned in college while working on a paper for a Disability Studies class that the word “normal” came from carpentry terms for something that is square and solid. I think that “normal” is a horrible word. I prefer to use average instead, because that’s what people usually mean.

So in regards to age and gender I tend to go against the average person. There are plenty of times that I find men’s clothes more comfortable than women’s. Women’s clothes can be way too close fitting and short at times, while men’s are a bit roomier and longer. And length is really important when you’re tall like myself. I learned in college from a roommate to forget about what others think about how you look or what you do and be yourself. I find myself lucky enough to have found someone to spend the rest of my life with who loves that I am like that and friends that agree with that as well.

This has gone in a very different direction than where I thought it was going. But I feel good putting this out there. Physically I am an almost 27-year-old female, but in reality I am me. ::steps off the soapbox::