My daughter still likes to go into the Disney store if we’re at the mall, but rarely does she ever find anything she’d actually want to buy. The last few things I remember her getting were an Avengers towel and a stuffed toy of the dog from Frankenweenie.
When she was younger and spent long periods of time in the Disney princess section, I just sat in the corner with my phone and waited until she was done. I would buy her a nightdress of her favorite Disney princess. Now she prefers Pixar stuff like Toy Story, Monsters Inc (both on the boys side of Disney) and Finding Nemo (which is usually just in the back somewhere) and of course, Marvel.
The gender bias is something I usually just navigate around. My daughter feels comfortable going to the boy’s section in Target to find Marvel and Angry Birds merchandise. I’ve posted before about the lack of variety in comic book style t-shirts for women and the sad sexism found in some of the options available. So a few days ago I hear about the Disney Marvel shirts and their new options.
“Life is short. Show up and do stuff.” - Henry Rollins, ACRL 2013
When my boss suddenly said “I’d like you to go to ACRL” I squealed. No exaggeration, my reaction to being asked to go to a librarian conference was fangirl in its explosion. Of course, at that time I already knew that Henry Rollins was a keynote speaker and had sighed that I wouldn’t be able to go. Yes, I like going to conferences and hearing about new ideas in my field, but this was Henry Rollins. And I’d been a fan since before I even made it to high school let alone a career.
I’ve never seen Henry live. It’s just one of those things that didn’t happen. I’ve just never been the type of person to check newspapers all the time to see who’s coming to town and so I’d hear about it after it’d already happened. Of course then came the internet and I could just watch clips of Henry and that was fine enough for me. But I read articles in magazines he’d written and, honestly, some of those articles shaped the way I see certain things. I guess the point is, I’ve watched him evolve through the years and go from musician to… Henry Rollins.
So I ran up when it was time for his speech and I sat in the front row on the side (front row center was reserved). I stood in line for about an hour to get his book signed and I took two signed posters away (your welcome, R). And it was awesome. He seems like a really genuine person, like no amount of fame has ever touched him personally. He talked about his life, his personal history, his passions, and his concerns for the future. And there’s a message in all that, I think. At least one I took away.
Life is short, show up and do stuff. I don’t think anyone could ever accuse the man of sloth. That was the biggest impression people could get from the speech. He talked about all the different stuff he was doing, places he went, experiences he had. And that direct quote could be taken a few different ways. At first I was ashamed, as I usually am when I think of my non-writing, because I don’t feel like I do enough. But today, a few days later, as I write this blog I feel slightly different. Yes, I’m still embarrassed that I don’t write as much as I feel I should and I would be embarrassed to have a conversation with the man himself and have him realize I don’t do shit. Let’s set that aside for a moment.
Life is short, show up and do stuff. This also reminds me of that line from Grumpy Old Men or perhaps the line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you might miss it.” It’s one of the philosophies on life that I hold most important. I try to live by it, and sometimes I get a bit lazy along the way. But when an opportunity presents itself I think “what are you going to remember in 10 years? The weekend you went to Woodstock 99 or the weekend you stayed home watching TV?” And then I sigh, push away my misgivings, and go do some stuff I’ll remember.
I should put a picture on my desk of Henry Rollins, judging me for not writing.
Story time! The other day I was showing my daughter how I plan to cut my hair when I’ve passed 50. So I pulled up a photo of Winona Ryder in the movie Reality Bites. Back in high school this movie was such a huge part of my life that I cringe now whenever I think of it. I refuse to watch it anymore. I see Winona’s character and I think back to the choices I made in life knowing, knowing full well, that they were the wrong ones. Ladies, take my advice, Troy Dyer will mess up your life.
Anyway, there were some happy memories there. and I’ll start with The My Sharona scene in the movie.
My friend Y and I would do this everyday at lunch. Whoever started go to be Janeane Garafalo, and without music, we’d just do the dance to the stares of our friends. We did this for months, perhaps even the whole school year. It was fantastic.
So I’m back from MegaCon 2013 which went both worse and better than I imagined. It’s the biggest Con I’ve ever been to and I was only somewhat prepared for it. I just fail to learn my lesson every time.
It was a slew of us. I’ve never been to a convention with so many people. Most were work people, but good work people, the kind you actually like. Otherwise I’d have made some serious excuses. But we all met up at the convention center and hung around mostly together despite their being 9 of us (including kids and my one non-work friend). Luckily, we all have similar interests. We didn’t wear matching costumes or anything though discussed the possibility for next year. We’ll see if that happens, but I really hope we do. I’d love the extra attention.
“I’m a perfectionist And perfect is a skinned knee…”
- Midlife Crisis, Faith No More
So I just turned 35. Fuck.
I’ve been making a big deal and badgering myself for the last couple of months with this looming in the distance. 35 is middle-aged. The point where perhaps the years ahead of you are not so many as the years behind you. When it’s impossible to be cool. When you are no longer the future of this world. You are the status quo and soon you will be the antiquated. This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.*
It feels bad. Mind you, my current status quo is pretty sweet. I am here and it feels like a good place to be. But I wanted more. Didn’t I always? Like I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions, I think there’s still this huge space available in my life where I should be making new memories. I have these stories of my youth and I really don’t want to live the rest of my life without having more stories. So one day when I’m 45 I can sit around with my friends and talk about the stories from our thirties.
Last night at my birthday party we were running horoscope natal charts on each other and something from mine stuck out with me: “your private fantasies are more appealing than the reality around you and it is difficult for you to leave them.“ Truer words about me are rarely uttered. This needs to stop. Seriously.
I’m buying myself a new laptop. I’m going to edit my novels. I’m going to write my short stories. My late twenties will be when I practiced and got to know myself as a writer. My early thirties will be the time I got used to writing my own original work. My late thirties will be when I really put myself out there.
“Because the plot thickens every day
And the pieces of my puzzle keep crumblin’ away
But I know, there’s a picture beneath”
I read some article online that inspired me to rethink the way I make resolutions. I wish I could link the article, but it’s no great loss since I didn’t agree with the majority it had to say anyway. This year’s resolutions will be simple, short, and consists of making goals of things I actually want to do as opposed to think I am suppose to do.
Finish editing last years NaNo
This has the benefit of actually having a deadline since the art exhibit that was the inspiration goes up in March. I want to make sure I give the artist time to read it before then
Research for NaNo 2013 biography
This is a two in one. I will research that astronaut I keep meaning to research. By November I should hopefully be able to write a small biography of him.
Begin to learn Russian.
This will help me fill out the biography at a later date. Also, it will help with any research into the space program I might want to do in the future. Lastly, it will help for the goal of going to Russia for the World Cup in six years.
And now, a look back at my resolutions for 2012 and how things worked out. Over all not a bad year. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like I did anything at all.
I haven’t wanted to make any posts on the flux of stories about the “Fake Geek Girl” controversy based on an imaginary problem some dudes made up. That sums up my view on it. However, I know it’s a problem because it’s a legitimate fear I have and the reason I, and a few other girls I’ve known, stay away from particular comic book stores.
A few posts ago I mentioned how the new store I’ve started visiting, since Gambit has returned in his own series again, was a place I felt comfortable going to. This is because the guy behind the counter is pleasant. The worst I’ve heard him say is that “all the girls are buying Thor comics now”. I’ll admit that I love Gambit for his personality, the stories, as well as his sex appeal.
Two Saturdays ago I went to the Lord of the Rings extended edition marathon. A week later I saw the Hobbit.
I woke up on the morning of the LOTR marathon thinking “wait, did I really agree to do this again?” And I had. I trekked over with my daughter and met up with the usual suspects, the same people who came with me to see the Marvel Marathon for the Avengers. This time though I picked up a new marathon friend. When I got there the only other person was a Hobbit. Or better said, a rather tall 17 year old boy dressed up as a hobbit. We befriended him and he gave us some twizzlers, I bought him a Starbucks coffee.
After making it through Fellowship of the Ring, for me the most boring, I found the rest of the experience to be better than I expected. I had forgotten how excited I would get during the battle scenes. The first time Theoden said “forth Eorlingas!” I almost wept. Almost. I was probably all cried out from watching the Theodred funeral scene. But the battle of Helm’s Deep was pure adrenaline. How did I ever manage to stay seated the first time watching this? I was ready to battle cry and run towards the screen. Same goes for the battle of the Pelennor Fields.
In between, as I talked to the tall hobbit about Tolkien I found that I know way more about the Tolkien universe than I remember knowing. That happens when you are in deep discussion about parts of the Silmarillion. For Tolkien’s sakes, my daughter is named after a character in LOTR.
When I was in my early 20′s my friends would play drinking games. I wasn’t really a fan. But there was one game I liked to play when we were all less than sober and it all started after someone had boasted how awesome Jack Nicholson was, such a great actor, he’s been in so many movies, I just love Jack Nicholson. And then someone else posted the challenge “Oh, yeah? Name 10 of his movies.” The person couldn’t name 5. Perhaps they were too wasted to do so.
This started a trend for a few months. We’d be partying and then somebody would pick an actor we all knew had been in a crap load of movies; Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and so forth. And we as a collective had to name 20 of their movies. You’d be surprised how often we’d fail. We’d forget the movies we owned with this person in them. We only ever managed to succeed with Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks.
I’m not so bold as to say we were the only ones ever to play something like this. It’s not unheard of for independent people to have the same ideas from across the globe. Either way, we thought we were clever and had a good time.
Below I’ve modified our game to be a proper Drinking Game with the rules we used.