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!”

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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Music

I had made a point of avoiding any news on Tuesday. I have enough on my plate that watching the results would have done nothing but added to my stress. As it got closer to midnight, I checked in on Twitter on a couple specific users (@JMunozActor, @Lin-Manuel, @Kelly_Carlin) because I knew that if anything definitive had happened, they would say something. That’s as close as I got. When I woke up on Wednesday, I decided to check Twitter again.

When I saw people talking about Lin thinking of moving to Canada and his response (both of which I posted yesterday), I knew something did not go the way I had voted and was hoping. Considering I teach a class with 35 students, I knew I needed to know what the result was. I found out. I taught class as planned, partially out of wanting to not have a debate, partially because I knew I would not be able to stay calm about it.

Since we have no class because of Veteran’s Day today, and I have no class on Thursdays anyway, I had a drive home ahead of me. I usually listen to music on the way home. Sometimes it’s an audiobook/radio drama. But this time I knew it needed to be music. So I put on my “Pump It Up” playlist and sang along loudly:

  1. Get Your Rebel On” – RuPaul
  2. My Shot” – Hamilton
  3. Raise Your Glass” – P!nk
  4. La Vie Boheme” – Rent
  5. The Click” – Good Charlotte
  6. Sissy That Walk” – RuPaul
  7. It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi
  8. One Week” – Barenaked Ladies
  9. Don’t Fear the Rabbit” – Frenchy and the Punk
  10. Fe Fi Fo Fum” – Frenchy and the Punk
  11. Caravan” – Frenchy and the Punk
  12. Make Out” – Frenchy and the Punk
  13. Steampunk Pixie” – Frenchy and the Punk
  14. The Doctor Lies” – The Ken Spivey Band
  15. Get the Party Started” – P!nk
  16. Born Naked” – RuPaul
  17. Responsitrannity” – RuPaul
  18. 2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” – Rush
  19. Closer to the Heart” – Rush
  20. Follow Me Down” – Seanan McGuire

It really helped me feel better. The playlist ended before I got home, so, before switching to my Filk/Steampunk playlist (populated by Frenchy and the Punk, Seanan McGuire, Professor Elemental, The Ken Spivey Band, and a few others), I had to listen to a song that has had a place in my heart since it came out, and it’s message is more important than ever now:

Music has a way of healing us. Music has a way of making us feel better. Make a playlist. Put an album on repeat. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Music helps!

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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Music is wonderful for the soul

Blaring Queen on the way home and singing along at the top of my lungs totally mellowed me out. Trust me, I needed it.

Today at work, things were going well. Until I found out, by way of a passing comment, that the receptionist would not be in at work on Friday. That means I’m going to be down at the front desk all day Friday. Immediately I got pissed off. I’m not upset at the receptionist, she has vacations days for the using. It’s two things: I get stuck down there simply because I’m low man on the totem pole; I usually find out about it this way. It would be nice if on Monday my boss, who is also hers, would mention it to me.

Later, I was on a roll. I had gotten all of the invoices coded, put in order, and ready to go up to our corporate office to be paid. I was sitting at my desk relaxing and getting little things taken care of, when all of that changed. My colleague handed me about 5 requisitions for invoices we have that need to go up tonight. She wants them done instantly, when I need to enter them into a specific spreadsheet, make copies of them, fill out the purchase orders and attach them. Then I have to code the invoices before I can give them back to her to get the required signatures. I took my time. I wanted to make sure it was done right, not quickly. Unfortunately after I gave them to her she only went for the higher up signature, not what is usually the first one who would be able to correct anything necessary so it gets paid correctly. Then she quickly copied them and then gives them to me to put into the pack. I was so mad I could have screamed!

As I was going out to my car I could think of nothing else but getting home and writing here. That’s when I realized that what I needed was music. And not just the radio. I plugged in my iPod, started Queen Greatest Hits, turned it way up, and sang the entire way home. I felt so much better. Now it seems I need it again because my hubby has managed to hit just the right nerve and I can feel it all coming back. At least I know what to do. Yay for Queen!