Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Today alone has been an awesome day! But I’ll talk about more than just today. 😉

Cosplay supply shopping. I went shopping earlier in the week and bought the final few things for a couple of costumes. Now I have everything for four new costumes for DragonCon. It’s inspiring me to get my room cleaned up and organized so I can start working on them and get them all ready for DC!

What Twitter Feels Like“. This is Lin’s latest playlist. He put it out there and Twitter responded with their own cover for it. It is just genius, as usual.

My computer is working again! For months now, online video has stuttered and the audio has been spotty. My iTunes has been crackling. I could watch a video if I wasn’t doing anything else on my computer. What’s the point in that with two monitors?! Last night my hubby asked if maybe I installed something around the time things went wrong. I changed my antivirus and it’s working fine! And it’s strange because my laptop has no problems with it. Oh well.

Packages galore! I recently put an order in with Adagio Teas and it came today! I was most excited over my new storage tins. I ordered another mixed set so my tea storage is color coordinated. Then my order from ThinkGeek arrived with my new car charger and a USB speaker that will definitely be used at Marcon next year.

Finally feeling better. Between allergies and time of the month and hubby bringing a cold home from work, I’ve been trying to get rid of a head cold all week. I hate being sick! The living room is full of my stuff. I have stuff to do. But this cold has been holding me back, only giving me spurts of energy. I finally feel like I’m on the other side of this thing. I just might be able to get some serious work done tomorrow!

Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

The semester is done! I have survived both being a student and being an instructor. I’m ready for the break that is summer to get recharged for fall!

Doctor Who paper. For my International Popular Culture class, I wrote my final paper on “The Day of the Doctor”. Well, that was my intention. I allowed too much background in and it kind of took over the paper. Now I can look at it and see where to separate it into two and develop both!

Amazon Video. Hubby and I have been discussing cutting cable for a while now. Thanks to Hulu and CBS All Access, most of my shows are covered. But there have been a few hold outs. Until now. Amazon Prime has been charging for the new episodes of Doctor Who for a few seasons now, and the past seasons are available for free for Prime members (aka me!). This means I have season 9 for free, and I decided today to go ahead and pay for season 10. I’ve got the episodes aired so far, and I’ll get the new episodes as they come out. Commercial free!!! Which is the best way to watch Doctor Who, especially since it’s not designed for American television and it’s numerous commercials. They do the same thing for Orphan Black, which I’ll be paying for as soon as the season is available. The only big thing I was holding out on was RuPaul’s Drag Race. I love my Drag Race. I was so happy to see it on VH1, since we no longer get Logo. But Amazon Video has it!!! So I paid for this season today, and it is so nice to have it legally without commercials. While it is about $30 per season up front, it’s much more than that per month for cable. Totally worth it.

I’m Home! Now that I’m (mostly) done with my master’s degree, I am home with my hubby for good. Wherever we end up for my Ph.D., it will be together. It feels so good to be home. Seriously, this has been running through my head the last week or so:


I’m Mandy/Nina and my hubby’s Chris/Benny

Marcon! Marcon 52 was so much fun! I got to hang out with friends, fellow geeks, and be on panels (sometimes in charge of them) to talk about the things I enjoy! Seriously, I know for now it’s over Mother’s Day weekend, but I highly recommend Marcon to anyone who enjoys being able to hang out with fellow fans in a more relaxed setting than what I’ve heard anime cons can be like. Nothing wrong with them, if that’s what you like! Marcon 53 is May 11-13, 2018. Registration will hopefully be up soon.

More playlists from Lin!! Seriously. If you haven’t already, go to Lin’s Spotify and be ready to have fun! He is just pouring creativity into each one.

Remember, despite the chaos that is going on in the world, remember to “look around” and realize “how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

It’s been a while, to put it mildly, but I’ve been so busy with school. But that doesn’t mean I forgot to look around!

Comic books. I am having so much fun going on comic runs again. I probably could just do them once a month, but right now the two X-Men series – X-Men: Gold and X-Men: Blue – are alternating weekly releases. Aka, there’s a new one every Wednesday. But I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. At least 3 new comics tomorrow!

Bitch Planet. If you like good writing and some serious commentary on patriarchy, read it! The first trade paperback has been out, the second is coming, and next week’s issue is #10. I can’t wait!

Native deodorant. I’ve been using it for over a month now and I have no intention of stopping. I do have sensitive skin under my arms, so I have to be careful how much I use so I don’t dry out the skin, just absorb the sweat. It’s awesome! I highly recommend it to anyone. If you click here, both you and I get a free travel deodorant if you order!

New Playlists! Since the last time I posted, Lin has created 8 new playlists! His awesome wife has created two of her own inspired by his! Both of them are exposing me to music I would probably not have found on my own. I love it!

Moana. Every time I watch it, I need tissues. Sometimes due to the plot. Sometimes due to the accuracy and reverence for the culture. This is Disney’s best movie yet! Hopefully this is just the start.

Finishing my thesis. Yes. It’s done! I had to make some formatting changes, but it’s done! I’ll probably post about it sometime soon. I’m so glad to have finished it. I just hope that I can use it as a starting point for a more in-depth book on the topic later.

My church. This year there were 15 individuals who joined the Catholic church through the RCIA program at my church. 15! When I mention that, most people are surprised at the high number. I like to think that is because of the openness and welcoming nature of the St. Thomas More Newman Center at The Ohio State University. There’s a reason I’m going to miss going there every week when I start working on my Ph.D. at BGSU.

My hubby. There is a lot that has been going on, which is mostly why there have been no posts, and he has been my rock through all of it. I don’t think I’d be sane at this point if it weren’t for him.

Just remember, no matter how crazy the world may seem, look around and remember how lucky we are to be alive right now!

Look Around List

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

tobillo24601. This is the account Lin made to give playlists to the world. And he’s made three more: Add Yourself, Happy Galentine’s Day 2017, and 2016 We Still Got This Music (inspired by those we lost last year).

lunarbaboon

No matter what it is your fighting against, you are not alone!

TEA!

I’m up to the Sixth Doctor and I’ve enjoyed every one so far (finally!)! My “Room With a Moose” is pleasantly nutty. And of course I have more Mary Morstan. I’m sure I’ll have a post soon about the fun I’ve been having.

My students. Seriously, I’ve got the best group of students yet. They’re really understanding what I’m teaching and are planning to write some pretty amazing papers. I’m really looking forward to reading them!

Successful presentation. I presented a paper at the Kino Club 313 2017 Conference at Wayne State University based on my personal relationship with Hamilton and joining the fandom. It went really well, reinforcing the desire to write my dissertation about the whole thing.

Don’t stop looking around! There’s so much that we’re lucky to be alive to experience!

Look Around List

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Sir John Hurt. May he rest in peace.

Rockabye Baby! on SpotifyRockabye Baby! is a series of albums that consist of popular music covers as lullaby music. No words, just soft instrumental music. Even if you don’t have kids, check it out. They have an amazing selection and they keep making more!

“Amaze and Astonish”. Yes. I think you’re going to be seeing this a lot. Lin-Manuel Miranda has made yet another playlist on Spotify. I think this is going to be a trend, now that “Old Man Miranda” has found how much fun Spotify is. I don’t mind at all. Keep ’em coming!

Music. I’m watching the GRAMMYs. Just listening to the amazing music these amazing people have created and the messages of these songs. Wow. But also, as the President of The Recording Academy said, music brings people together. We need to remember that. Also, Adele is being completely adorable!

#WeAreAmerica. Just go watch this video. You’ll see what I mean.

Lin-Manuel Miranda. I’m always aware of how lucky I am to live in this time with the amazing work he is putting into the world. But today I’m grateful to him for a different reason. Thanks to him, I know so many more artists at the GRAMMYs this year. Even if it’s just because of the amazing Mixtape.

This:Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is a way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself. -William Martin-
This is exactly why I do this post every week. We need to find the joy in everyday life. “The extraordinary will take care of itself.”

Teaching is Activism

teachingisactivism

I know I wrote about this recently, but it’s a very important topic for me. I am friends with a lot of people who go out and do things. They go to protests. They organize rallies. They make speeches. And sometimes it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough. I make sure information is shared on my social media accounts. I lend my emotional support to them and anyone who is out there doing things. But I just can’t. I’m sure if I actually went to something, I would get swept up in the emotion and the energy. But the problem is getting over the anxiety of thinking about going.

Even when it comes to teaching, I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough. Like I should be directly including what is happening in my class. But I haven’t found a good way to do that. There are certain things that need to be covered in this class and I am determined to cover it all. But because there is so much to cover, I can’t spend too much time on any one thing or else something else may not get covered. The joys of teaching an intro class.

Also, there are theories and history that need to be covered at the start of the semester. It’s not easy to include what is going on right now in those lectures for me. Soon, we’ll be moving on to the other topics which will be much easier to include current events in. Last spring my day on ethnicity (I know, I know, a day is not enough!), we watched “Formation” and discussed it. It worked really well. I’m honestly worried about focusing on just one thing and excluding others; there’s just so much happening!

But, it will all come back the fact that there are undeniable facts that I can teach. Focusing on those facts will always be my go-to. There are opinions and there are facts. Knowing the facts makes it easier to discuss opinions. If everyone knows the same facts, they have a shared knowledge base which allows them to discuss.

And when it all becomes too much, just sit back and listen to the amazing playlist Lin-Manuel made for the world. It really does help one to get re-energized.

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Together

A lot has happened in the last few days. Everyone is still trying to process what has happened. There have been many different reactions, but I am choosing to take strength and inspiration from some people who are using the megaphone that they have.

First, that image above. That. No one, no matter who you are or who you voted for, should feel afraid right now. Unfortunately that is not the case. I have friends who are international students, and they are reconsidering staying in this country after we graduate in May. There are people who are afraid to go outside because of the bullying they may receive. I will not make myself or my space a place where people need to be afraid. Whatever space I have, will be a place of care and understanding and open to anyone who needs to take refuge.

Second, there are a lot of people talking about moving to Canada because of the result of the election. But let me ask you this, if you move to Canada, who is left in this country? Do you really want to take advantage of your ability to move out of the country and leave those that cannot behind? Do you want to give up on the fact that you have a voice in how this country is run? We still have plenty of work to do here, people. If we go away for four years, what will be here when we decide to come back? If you have no say in how things happen, you have no room to complain.

When you have time, watch the entire thing. It is wonderful.

Lin’s response:

Third, this is important to remember:

The voters selected Hillary Clinton. The electoral college selected Donald Trump. Take from that what you will.

Finally, if you are despairing, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Just search online. In these last two days, there have been gatherings of love and support.

This happened today at BGSU. A “Sit In for Love”. It was a space where people were encourage to come to if they were feeling scared or worried or just not good about the results of the election. It got a lot of positive attention from the news. I am friends with the amazing human being who organized this in about 24-hours. From all accounts, it was successful and peaceful. This is happening all across the country. Which makes me think that we need to adopt the following as one of our theme songs right now:

I think the next few days are going to be full of posts of quotes, videos, pictures, music, whatever I have found that helps me be calm, hopeful, and energized. We are going to be fine. We do need to unify. We need to make sure that everyone is being treated with the respect that they deserve as fellow human beings.

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Effect of Popular Culture: The West Wing

At this moment, there is a filibuster happening in the U.S. Senate. Click here to watch it while you do whatever. Thank you @Lin_Manuel for sharing the link! This filibuster is in response to the senseless violence that happened this Sunday morning in Orlando.

I’m writing this post for two reasons: to make people aware that this is happening and to watch it; to share how popular culture has impacted me in regards to this particular action in Congress.

I’ve done the first, now for the second.


My parents watched The West Wing. I watched The West Wing. I have watched the entire series multiple times. I have learned so much about government from this television series. When given the opportunity to give a presentation about a celebrity and their influence on politics and the government in my HS government class, I told my group we were going to focus on Martin Sheen.

But that’s beside the point. There was an episode, “The Stackhouse Filibuster”. When the current filibuster is over, go watch it. It does not simply show a filibuster as part of the plot, it explains the rules of a filibuster and how the person leading the filibuster can be aided by colleagues to keep it going.

Honestly, that is why I am watching and enjoying it right now. I’m seeing these things actually happen in our Senate. Right now. Colleagues are asking long, multi-part questions to allow the Senator a break to gather his thoughts. It is a beautiful piece of American government to watch. All thanks to a television show.

I just hope something good comes from this. Not simply knowledge, but legislation that will prevent or make it much harder for this to ever happen again. I can’t find it right now, but a friend posted something on Facebook that shows that stricter laws make things like this harder to happen. People point out that taking away the guns won’t stop this. No it won’t. But it will make it much harder. After Timothy McVeigh’s action, it became much harder to buy that much fertilizer and to park as close as he did to a government building. After 9/11 hijackers used box cutters to hijack airplanes, stricter restrictions on what passengers can bring onto planes, and airplanes and their crew changed to make it harder for hijackers to take over.

With that, I’m going to leave you with something that has gone viral, for good reason: