DragonCon debriefing

DragonCon is really my favorite holiday of the year for various reasons.  First, I get to see friends that I don’t see at any other time of year.  And it’s always so familiar and lovely, and I can’t hug them enough when I do see them.  Second, there are amazing writing panels there that really inspire me to do the writing I should be doing anyways.  This year was no exception.  Third, several tens of thousands of geeks.  What’s not to love?

This year was a little different for us.  Bear actually took part in 3 performances with the Atlanta Radio Theater Company.  It was great, because it gave him a lot of exposure and confidence.  He’d never really performed in front of that many people before, and it was a fabulous experience.  He got to feel more professional, and have a serious rockstar moment during ARTC’s performance of War of the Worlds: The Untold Story.  It kind of took away from his happy Dcon time, but it was also pretty fuckin’ cool to actually be on the schedule for some events.

I also found that I AM actually kind of into celebrities.  I always thought I was too cool to care about all the celebrities there, but there are 2 words that summarize the change in my attitude this year.  LUCY LAWLESS.  She’s not just gorgeous, but she’s also charming and very grounded.  I wish her panel had been 10 hours long.  I would have stayed for the entire thing.

Here’s my day-by-day:

Thursday: Standing in line for passes, met Sam and Adrienne @ food court, then on to Trader Vic’s.

Friday: LUCY LAWLESS.  Stolen moments in a panel.  Crazy proud of Bear, though I missed his performance of ‘In Need of a Bard’.  Picked up Duncan from school.  Realized I hadn’t seen my husbear all day and freaked out a little. Need Coffee’s recording of Weekend Justice, then Karaoke in the Xtrack room.  Didn’t get to nearly as many panels as I’d hoped.

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Saturday: Holy shit, I AM into celebrities (wandered into the Walk of Fame, where I saw Gigi Edgely, Adrian Paul, Lou Ferrigno, Malcolm McDowell, and George Takai.  I was a little star struck.). Bear didn’t have a ton of panels scheduled, so he hung out with me most of the day (lovely!).  Went to the dealer’s room and only got as far as the Chessex table before the crowds pissed me off.   Ate at Willy’s where the superior tofu tacos live.  A local man selling ‘NINJA TURTLES!!’ (Tiny, scared baby turtles being shaken around in tiny plastic boxes.  Made me cry.  I wanted to go buy one or two to rescue them from him, but I didn’t want to give that asshole my money.  :-().  Favorite two panels (Supernatural Playlist: Music in Urban Fantasy, and City of Dreadful Night: World-building in Urban Fantasy).  I almost thought about not coming next year due to the crowds.  *gasp!*

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Sunday: Much less crowded, panels started later in the day so I found an alcove in the Hyatt Tower to crash.  Author James R Tuck from the two panels the night before came and sat there while I slept, was kind of funny.  Someone walked by, saw me laying down facing the wall, and said “Now THAT is a DragonCon moment!” and took a picture of me.  More panels.  Bear’s a-fucking-mazing performance in War of the Worlds: The Untold Story.

Monday: Blew off several panels.  Went back to the dealer’s room where we decided that a bear picture was more important than the nice anniversary dinner we’d planned (an obvious choice!).  Bear’s performance in Scouring of the Shire.  Make the Bad Men Stop (the very best way to wrap up DragonCon weekend- friends being hilarious and wonderful).  Hugging everyone until next year.  Dinner with friends at High Velocity (we were too broke to order real food, but ended up full anyways because they ordered the chocolate nachos for our anniversary.  <3)

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I was a bit worried about how I would do on Dcon weekend with fibromyalgia, and it turns out that I was mostly OK.  I had trouble breathing, and that’s something I’m going to get checked out, but for the most part, I was so pumped-up on adrenaline that I carried through OK.  However, I worked Tuesday and Wednesday, and that was ROUGH.  So the weekend itself wasn’t too terrible, but the recovery period gave me some trouble.  Maybe next year I’ll suck it up and get a disability sticker.  *shrug*

All-in-all, it was a lovely weekend.  I can’t wait until next year! 🙂

2012 in review

English: Snowy forest track. The tree cover ha...

English: Snowy forest track. The tree cover had insulated the late snow from melting, so the snow was deeper here than outside the wood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2012 has been a rough year.  I have been broken and rebuilt in ways that have stunned me, and I feel like I need to record it all here.  Maybe that will make it all seem less surreal, less like a movie of someone else’s life.

January: Lost my job.  I trained throughout November and part of December to do tech support from home, but because of various factors, it was too stressful.  So stressful, in fact, that I got very, very sick.  So sick, in fact, that I couldn’t talk on the phone, and was therefore useless for this particular job.  Also, J moved here to be with us in a romantic triad.

February: Found my current job and realized how difficult it is on my body.  It’s very low pay, very low skill, and very physical.  It’s certainly not where I thought I would work at this age, but it’s getting me by.  Also, my aunt (stepmom’s sister) passed away.  I went to the funeral and saw my stepmom for the first time in over a year.  She’s pretty much made it clear that she’s not interested in me or my life, (she thinks I need saving *eyeroll*) so it was a bit strained.

April: We began to realize that things weren’t working out with J, despite the fact that we all care a lot for each other.

May: In early May, Bear’s aunt (whom he was very close to) passed away.  We went to Md for the funeral, and that killed us a bit financially.  Also, when we returned, we realized that it was time to part ways with J.  Bear and I had been trying so hard to make things work that we had lost touch with  each other.  Ironically, we reconnected during our time in Md.  We had ‘the talk’, and J admitted to just not feeling it with us.  It was devastating at the time, but ultimately the best thing for all of us.

Later May: Bear just started feeling poorly.  REALLY poorly.  He just wasn’t himself.  He was pale, tired, splotchy, and the final straw was when he couldn’t hold a conversation without falling asleep in the middle.  He had also been having some serious sleep apnea, which he’d never really shown any signs of before.  It was terrifying.  So I dragged him to the hospital.  He was having a heart attack.  A very serious, very severe heart attack.  It just didn’t look like what you would think of as a typical heart attack because he’s so young.

It was the single most horrible thing that’s ever happened to me.  I had to face the possibility that he wouldn’t be with me, and just typing that makes me want to cry.  He had 4 blockages in the 3 main arteries into the heart.  There were 3 100% blockages and 1 95%  blockage.  The reality is that he’s extremely lucky to be alive right now, 4 stents later.

June: We began to radically change how we eat.  It was great, and I wish we had the $$ to eat as healthy as we were.  It’s our goal to get back to that.  We also learned to deal with the reality of Bear’s diabetes, high blood pressure, and all the piles of pills he would need to take from now on.  Things were still difficult with J, as I was a bit confused about what exactly had gone wrong.  I doubted myself a lot.

August: Worries about losing our house.  It’s a long story, and I think that we’ve pretty much gotten through it, but it caused SO many sleepless nights.

September: Our Dragon*Con wedding and a visit from Bear’s dad and uncle.  This was all GOOD stress, but stress nonetheless.  Continued worries about losing the house and worries about Bear losing his job.

October: My ex had a massive stroke and passed away a few days before Samhain.  It was devastating.  We grew up together.  We were together for 7 years, engaged for 5, and though I didn’t get a chance to talk to him much, I always knew that we could pick up the conversation right where we left off at any time.  He knew me from a time before I knew myself, and being with him helped shape me into who I am now.  I still can’t believe he’s gone.  😦

Second week of October, I came down with what seemed to be a small cold, and which I’m still suffering from now.  Twice now it’s moved into pneumonia territory, and I think that’s where I’m at right now.  Lots of middle-of-the-night coughing fits resulting in sleeping upright on the couch.  Lots of worrying about how to deal with it with no insurance.  😦

November: We finally met someone that we wanted to date, but she turned out to be crazy.  It was very disappointing, but obviously we just weren’t suited for each other.  Also, a catastrophic fight with my mother which confirmed that she is someone that I can’t rely on and that any little thing I say to her will be used against me in the future.  She can’t support me as an adult, and doesn’t even understand what my life is about.  She always sees the very worst in me.  I can’t talk to my sister, either, because anything I say to her will immediately get back to my mother.  Continued sickness, continued house worries, still fighting fleas.

Also, my uncle passed.  He was the last person left on that side of the family.  Now there are assorted cousins I really don’t have anything to do with, but my Dad and his family are all gone now.

December: The month of working.  And being sick.  And money worries.  And failing at Xmas.  And exhaustion.  I’m beginning to believe that Xmas is designed to make me feel completely inadequate in every way.

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There were good things that happened this year as well.

  • I appreciate my husband even more than I ever thought possible.  He’s the solid, good thing in my life, and I get to keep him.  I also got to marry him.  I’m a lucky bitch.
  • We found out who our friends are.  Some people who we thought were our best friends, couldn’t be bothered to show up for Bear when he was in the hospital.  Some friends who we thought were good friends were actually GREAT friends.  They showed up for him.  We learned the difference.  One friend even got ordained so that she could marry us.
  • We found the most amazing friend in J.  He was there for us in a way that means he’ll be in our lives and hearts forever.  He could have cut and run at any time, but he helped me through the worst time in our lives.
  • We learned a lot about health and lost about 25 lbs each.  We had to start eating cheap, and put a LITTLE of that back on, but we’re ready to get healthier and feel better in 2013.
  • Bear began his voice acting career in earnest.  He did a radio play in December, and he’s been auditioning for audio books and radio plays online.
  • Things seem good with someone that we’ve recently started seeing.  She’s sexy, sweet, honest, and seems interested in building something lasting with us.  I’m feeling VERY positive about having a lot of fun and new experiences with her.
  • I found my spirituality again.  It’s kind of one of those things that ebbs and flows, but it’s flowed back in a big way.  In addition, Bear and I have started talking seriously about starting an incense business.

Sadly, I didn’t get the writing done that I wanted to do.  I honestly just couldn’t drum up the energy for it.  I was spending so much time in survival mode, that everything else took a back seat.  I also just settled into my job.  I need to find something else, but again, survival mode.

As much as I went through in 2012, I really do have higher hopes for 2013.  I have goals, and I’ll be writing them in a separate post.

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