Motivational Monday: Praying

This article really spoke to me.

When people hear the word “prayer”, the knee jerk reaction is the rote poems written in their respective organized doctrines. Boy was raised Jewish. I was raised Catholic. If you were raised in any kind of organized religion, I’m sure you can recite the most common prayers without thinking twice about it. I think that’s why people find the word “pray” so offputting. The words of a pre-fab prayer don’t ring true. They aren’t capturing the emotion or the idea behind laying it all on the table in the face of a world in which we are specks.

When my dad almost died, I found myself praying frequently. By praying, I mean lying on the bed, sobbing my eyes out, begging the greater world to let me do something. I heard nothing back. I squeezed every bit of feeling out of myself in those moments. It did more for me than any number of Our Fathers, Hail Marys, or Prayers to St. Francis could ever do. Ironically, those are also doled out as punishment when you go to confession. That’s why, at least in my head, they don’t do anything. How can something that’s supposed to make you connect more with a greater power also be used as a weapon?

I don’t believe in a god or goddess. I don’t believe in a literal heaven or hell. Yet, I still pray. I still have something I need to communicate in the face of helplessness and fear. That’s also where AA failed. For all their huffing about praying to a higher power of your choice, they were referring to the traditional God of Christianity. They said all the prewritten prayers and went through the same motions that happened in a church service. It didn’t fit. Just like in school, I was expected to pray at certain times of the day, confess my sins, and be duly punished for them with the promise to go and sin no more. Not helpful. If anything, it made me far more likely to fight the system. When Emily & I would go to meetings together, we’d sit in the car for the first few minutes because we didn’t want to sit through the whole opening prayer bit. Quite the rebels, we were.

At one point or another, we’ve all yelled at the sky asking why something didn’t work out or we couldn’t do anything more to change a situation. We’ve prayed. When someone dies and we say “My thoughts are with your family” or “I’m sending you good vibes”, we’re praying for them. I see plenty of my friends on Facebook asking for prayers without even realizing it. They may even think they’re going out of their way to not ask for others to pray by suggesting “good vibes” or “positive thoughts”. I also know a lot of them would insist that’s not what they’re asking for at all. Regardless, we all have our way and call it by its own name. Ramen ;)

XOXO!

Motivational Tidbit Takeaway: Say a little prayer

Of makeovers and parents

I’ve been binge watching What Not to Wear lately.

If it were still on the air, I would nominate my mother. She would kill me if she got picked, but watching the show has brought to light the wild insecurities that most women have. For as much as we butt heads, she did rear me to be the woman I am. She has a very, very hard time of letting go. We lived in Virginia for 7 years, from the time I was 5 until I was 12. She has a Master’s degree in counseling and worked at the high school attached to my elementary school. When we moved to Georgia, she had a very hard time finding a job in a school. She gave up fairly quickly. For a time, she worked at Barnes & Noble. I don’t remember why, but if I had to guess, it was when my sister started high school. She hasn’t had a job at all for years. Frequently, she’ll bring up how much she misses living in Virginia. It was only recently that I realized she doesn’t so much miss the location as she does what she had there. She felt useful.

What baffles me (and I’m sure other members of my family) is why she doesn’t find a part time job or volunteer somewhere. She loves to place blame on her age. She’ll be 60 next year. She certainly doesn’t look it for as much as she gets down on herself for never being a great beauty. She’s plain, but so are a lot of people. Watching the show made me think about how low her self esteem must be. Not having a job came in handy when my dad spent 2 months in the hospital & it certainly gave me no doubt about the state of their relationship. It’s frustrating to not be able to convince her to even try. She can feel useful again, even if it’s selling books for $10 an hour. It’s frustrating to hear the same song and dance which she has complete control over. If she put half the effort into herself that she put into her adult children, she’d be a completely different woman. Maybe someday she’ll see that.

Moral of the story: Getting older is going to happen. Be grateful for every year that comes and goes. A lot of people don’t get to see 30 or 40 or 50 or 60. Put on a nice pair of shoes, some lipstick, and tell the world you aren’t afraid of it.

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Watching the movie or That’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back

In a moment of pure insanity, Boy & I decided to watch Twilight. Yes, I know. Hear me out first.

We’re both fans of RiffTrax. It’s the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 doing running commentary of assorted films. Watch this before moving forward.

With that in mind, we figured some witty outside banter would make the movie bearable. Thusly we embarked.

I’ve never seen Kristen Stewart in anything else, or if I have, she made no lasting impression. I used to get her confused with Kristen Bell. Too bad, as Kristen Bell actually has talent. I saw Robert Pattinson in his brief role as Cedric Digory in the Harry Potter universe. He was little more than cannon fodder in that. Going in, I had a fairly clean slate upon which to judge their acting. If one can refer to it as acting, of course.

The acting lived down to what I’d heard. Teenagers frequently stare awkwardly at each other, especially when facing their crush. This was way overboard on the awkward stare followed by some mumbling along the lines of “yeah, sure, totally, definitely”. The rest of the cast was no better. There wasn’t any one actor who stood out in the sea of mediocrity. Sometimes a crappy movie can be saved by a decent actor who outshines the rest (pun intended). Speaking of shiny -

What the hell kind of sparkle was that? I was expecting full on blind you make a drag queen look like an overly faded tee shirt level sparkly. Nope, I could barely tell the dude was anything other than needing to put some powder on his oily skin. Go big or go home, goddammit. The piggy back ride up the mountain made it a little better, but only because the Benny Hill theme was being hummed in the background.

If I thought the pacing of the book was slow, the movie more than delivered. Boy & I looked over at one point and realized we were only halfway in. AND THAT WAS WITH WITTY BANTER.

The movie dropped a few hints about the villains fairly early on. I’m seven chapters into the book and not a whisper of an antagonist, other than Bella antagonizing the rest of us. I honestly couldn’t tell what Blackeyed Peas was after. They show up and are like “Hey! Mind if we play some ball with you?” and the Cullens are all “Yeah totally!” and then Blackeyed Peas goes “Wait a sec, you brought a snack!”. They did not, however, bring enough for the whole class. Douche move, Team Cullen. Ponytail is especially disappointed. Why? I have no clue. Absolutely no motive was given. I guess he was just really, really hungry.

That’s another thing, there was no motivation at all. On anyone’s part. Ever. If the protagonist has no motivation (i.e. end goal), then how is the antagonist supposed to antagonize? Toss Bella around a dance studio like the worst ballroom dancing competition ever? I was really, really hoping he’d just toss her through the window and we’d be done with it. Sorry, no, you’ve lost. Next contestant please.

Boy & I frequently have conversations about our various suspensions of disbelief. He yells at the TV or a movie about their crappy security. I frequently yell at the TV or a movie about how they’re killing someone incorrectly. If Bella’s femoral artery really were severed, she would have bled out in approximately 3 minutes. It probably would have been faster considering her pulse was higher from, you know, being tossed around like a rag doll. Of course, to save her, Edward takes even more blood out of her! Apparently vampires are like poisonous snakes in this universe. He tries to suck the venom out like you would with a snake bite. Except for the minor detail where that’s an urban legend, she still lives in spite of losing about half of her blood. Why, gods, why! Why is she still living? For whatever sins humanity has committed, I will repent! We shall repent! *hits knees wailing*

Then there’s the denouement which really shouldn’t be classed as such. Edward takes her to the prom where they bust out the cliche of the gazebo lit with Christmas lights. The gazebo isn’t the only one getting lit by this point. There’s more staring and a voice over that I had something along the lines of “I love Edward! I shall never leave him! We are destined for each other!”. Of course, that’s pretty much the whole movie. I would go throw up, but it’s a waste of my time, much like the movie itself.

After it ended, Boy and I simply stared at each other. There were no words.

Back to the books next week, kiddos!

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 6 or Why the hell is everyone with a vagina jealous of Bella?

We’re, give or take, 20% into the story. I have no further comment than that. Yet.


Now our heroine is sitting in her room reading Macbeth with rain pouring outside. The Shakespearean centric English major in me had to giggle. She might as well be reading Hamlet when it’s foggy outside. For those of you (poor souls) who are unfamiliar with either play, suffice to say that doom, gloom, and rain / airborne precipitation are in short order. Once again, we have to see how well read Bella is. At least this time she doesn’t make the snide comment that she’s reading it for fun.

The worst part about Friday was that, even though I knew he wasn’t going to be there, I still hoped. When I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica and Mike, I couldn’t keep from looking at his table, where Rosalie, Alice, and Jasper sat talking, heads close together. And I couldn’t stop the gloom that engulfed me as I realized I didn’t know how long I would have to wait before I saw him again.

Try Monday morning. That seems like a good start.

As they’re leaving the lunch room, Minor Character Number Four (or Five? I’ve lost count) questions why Bella isn’t sitting with Team Fangtasia. To which Bella replies:

I really didn’t know her well at all, certainly not well enough for her to dislike me – or so I thought.

Because she’s a set dressing, that’s why you don’t know her. Duh.

Once she’s home, Bella decides to bring up Edward’s little camping trip to her dad:

It’s not a very good place for camping.” He sounded surprised. “Too many bears. Most people go there during hunting season.”

And if you’re a vampire, it’s always hunting season. Just wait for duck season. Or rabbit season.

The day of their little jaunt to the beach, it’s sunny. Go Mother Nature. She arrives at the meeting point and all the girls are whispering and gossiping about here. I really don’t understand why. Unless they all have a raging crush on Edward of which the reader is heretofore unaware, I don’t get it. Bella has beaten us over the head with how klutzy and otherwise undesirable she is. Why on earth would the other girls feel at all threatened? Oh right, because Bella is our self deprecating protagonist and there has to be some lame attempt at conflict.

On the drive to the beach, Meyer treats us to a rather positive review of the landscape. It’s completely incongruous with Bella’s previous bitching and moaning. Apparently, a little Vitamin D does just the thing. They get to the beach and there’s two pages worth of Mike trying to flirt with Bella and Jessica giving Bella the stink eye.

I was completely absorbed, except for one small part of my mind that wondered what Edward was doing now, and trying to imagine what he would be saying if he were here with me.

The answers to your questions are “sleeping” and some snide comment about how he’s dangerous and not cut out to be a BFF. Also, your whole mind is small.

Drumroll please, we have now officially met Jacob.

My positive opinion of his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth.

“You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?”

In her mind, Bella is God. You are not allowed to speak her name as it is blasphemy. YOU ARE UNWORTHY!!!! Seriously, bitch, get over yourself. Jacob starts chatting her up:

He had a pleasant, husky voice.

I totally see what you did there.

Meyer tries to continue the girl on girl conflict. Minor Character Number Four (or Five) aka Lauren, apparently has a thing for Jacob & tries to pick a fight with Bella. The Plastics have NOTHING on this chick (Incidentally, a viewing of Mean Girls needs to happen in my near future). What’s problematic about Bella’s interpretation of Lauren’s behaviour is just that. It’s an interpretation. There’s no emotional investment on the part of the reader with the interactions between Bella and the other female characters. Meyer didn’t waste her time on fleshing out those relationships in favor of Bella mooning for pages on end. If she had established Lauren or Jessica or Random Minor Female Character Number Three, the antagonism would be more interesting. Instead, it reads as puzzling at best.

The topic changes in the direction of something vaguely resembling interesting.

I stared at the deep-voiced boy, taken aback, but he was looking away toward the dark forest behind us. He’d said that the Cullens don’t come here, but his tone implied something more – that they weren’t allowed; they were prohibited. His manner left a strange impression on me, and I tried to ignore it without success.

Wow, your Spidey Sense is really on point.

In the true spirit of emotional manipulation, Bella decides to extract further information from Jacob:

“Do you want to walk down to the beach with me? I asked, trying to imitate the way Edward had of looking up from underneath his eyelashes.

Yes, channel the creepy vampire face. That sure does bring all the boys to the yard.

More blah, blah, blah I’m a terrible flirt. Blah, blah, blah, he’s totally falling for it. Blah, blah, blah.

“Do you like scary stories?” he asked.

“I love them,” I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.

Yes, please go ahead and light on fire.

Jacob tells the story of how vampires and werewolves came to a happy agreement to stay off each other’s turf. Of course, the master of the Cullen Clan engineered this 4 generations ago with Jacob’s family. Even better, the Cullens just welcomed two new ones into the family. Mazel tov.

But I really did like Jacob. He was someone I could easily be friends with.

Uh oh, here comes the friendzoning.

Then the puny humans are back off again thanks to the rain. At least we get a short break from Bella bitching about the precipitation. Being a weatherman in this part of the world must be stupid easy. And scene.

I’d like to point out that Jacob was introduced in this chapter & has already had a conversation with Bella. Yet the Cullens / Hales were introduced in the second chapter & none of them have spoken a word. Named characters are supposed to talk! If you don’t want them to talk, don’t bother with a name. If you’re trying to amp up tension until they speak, then save the name for when they decide to open their mouths. It must have just been too difficult to say “All those damn pale kids look the same! Except Edward. He’s totally hot. Err, cold. Whatever.”

We finally (FINALLY) get some kind of exposition. It took all of 4 pages to set up the whole plot. Vampires don’t like werewolves. Edward just so happens to be a vampire and Jacob is conveniently a werewolf. Why the hell did it take so long to get there? In case I haven’t beaten the dead horse enough, the pacing is driving me insane. It’s going like a George Romero style zombie pace rather than a vampiric pace. If vampires can move at the rate of virtual teleportation, then the plot should, too. I’m surprised the book hasn’t been trudging around behind me moaning “braaaaains”. What has taken Meyer over 100 pages to set up easily could have been done in half that time. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a very succinct writer. My biggest problem in college was getting the word count necessary for my papers. I could say in 300 words what the professor wanted in 500 words. That was with references and quotes necessary to support my argument. Excessively wordy prose is not my speed. If I were writing the book, I probably could have set up the whole thing in 30 pages. Am I really asking too much? If I am, please speak up. I appreciate honestly from my loyal readers.

Until next time!

Semicolon count: 8

Number of gummy bears I consumed during the creation of this post: Apocalyptic

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 5 or Are We There Yet?

…And we’re back! Did you miss me? I bet you did! Now that I think (*crosses fingers*), I have the draft / post issue resolved, this should go a bit more smoothly. Unlike the book.


 

Now that Bella is high on V (shit, wrong vampires), she waltzes into class late. But that’s totally cool because it’s English Lit and she already knows everything there is to know about that class. Duh.

Jessica babbled on and on about her dance plan – Lauren and Angela had asked the other boys and they were all going together – completely unaware of my inattention.

You know when your friend gets a new boy/girlfriend and they’re covered in new relationship smell? Bella has already hit that point and they aren’t even dating yet. Instead of making it look like Minor Characters You Really Aren’t Supposed To Care About 1-3 looking like the lovestruck ones, Bella comes across as the New Relationship Smell chick. No one likes *that* person. She keeps being *that* chick until Minor Character #1 (aka Jessica) slightly moves the plot along by observing that Edward is, once again, staring at her. Starting to get a little creepy there, buddy. As if we hadn’t hit a decent number on the Creep-O-Meter, he one ups himself:

Once he’d caught my eye, he raised one hand and motioned with his index finger for me to join him. As I stared in disbelief, he winked.

I have the mental image of him giving the really awkward over exaggerated wink that may or may not be followed by “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”. If only. Vampires are the sex gods of the supernatural world. However, Eddie here skipped seductive entirely and went straight to I’ll need to shower for days level of creepy. Less is more, Steph. Less is more.

“Does he mean you?” Jessica asked with insulting astonishment in her voice.

It’s already been determined that Edward may or may not have a thing for Bella. Bella has all the subtle grace of a shotgun blast in a SmartCar. How, exactly, is Bella inferring that Jessica (who we still aren’t supposed to care about, btw) is surprised to the point of being insulting? Because the world revolves around Bella. You’re welcome, readers, for the clarification.

She goes over to the table, they lack any kind of witty banter or plot advancement for 2 pages or so, then we hit that same tired old note.

“Well, we can try, I suppose. But I’m warning you now that I’m not a good friend for you.” Behind the smile, the warning was real.

“You say that a lot,” I noted…

One point for Bella’s keen observation. Yes, Edward, you’re dangerous. Can we move on please? Like how we’re 90 pages in and still no vampire reveal? Again, if you have to beat the reader over the head with it, you’re doing something wrong. Guess she slept through that class.

I do give points for the third superhero reference during the otherwise dull conversation. Though I’m reasonably certain the Biology teacher’s name wasn’t intentional.

He looked down and then glanced up at me through his long black lashes, his ocher eyes scorching. 

“Please,” he breathed, leaning toward me.

I blinked, my mind going blank. Holy crow, how did he do that?

I’m grateful I wasn’t drinking anything when I read the last line. It would have ended up going out my nose and / or choking me. The 1880s exclamation aside, how did he what? How did he lean? I would assume he leans just like everyone else. It would appear vampires lean differently. Must be all those years of squeezing into a coffin.

Also, boys and girls, “ocher” is the word of the day. Learn it, love it, use it.

It’s not even worth quoting the umpteenth time we’re reminded he’s dangerous. Blah, blah, dangerous, blah, blah, blah, can’t friendzone, blah, blah, what’s that smell?

Finally, things start to get a little interesting. It only took 95 pages. Bella heads to Biology after Edward informs her he’s ditching class again. I suppose one of the perks of being dead is you have this high school shit down pat. What are they doing in Biology, you might ask? Drawing blood! I literally yelled “What the fuck?” at the book. What the hell kind of high school allows students to prick their own fingers and try to blood type themselves? Allegedly, it’s for the upcoming blood drive because it’s super handy to know your blood type going in. Newsflash, the Red Cross does that for you! You don’t need a bunch of 17 year olds stabbing themselves to determine this. I’ll go along with her on the vampires. But I will not suspend my disbelief that any school district that doesn’t want to get sued into the next century would allow this.

Of course, our heroine swoons at the sight of blood. Oh wait, I *totally* get why Edward was ditching class. He knew there would be blood and that would make him a bit peckish. Getting the munchies in class is a bitch. After Bella almost barfs and Minor Character Number Two (aka Mike) half drags her to the nurse’s office, Edward swoops in.

“What’s wrong – is she hurt?” His voice was closer now, and he sounded upset. I wasn’t imagining it. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping to die. Or, at the very least, not throw up.

Because vomiting and death are so closely related.

Suddenly, the sidewalk disappeared from beneath me. My eyes flew open in shock. Edward had scooped me up in his arms, as easily as if I weighed ten pounds instead of a hundred and ten.

And now it becomes clear why the Forks school district was bordering on negligent. It was so Edward could literally sweep Bella off her feet. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Since she’s such a klutz, how is it that she even made it this far without slicing a body part? Nope, that’s conveniently ignored in favor of sweeping her off her goddamn feet. Now it’s my turn to vomit. Or die. Or both.

Edward arrives on his white steed to the nurse’s office carrying the fainting maiden. Bella explains that the smell of blood bothers her. Edward insists that people can’t smell blood. Yes, humans can, dickhead. Anyone who has ever popped an aggressive zit will attest to that one.

Mike comes back in with another fainter and they go back and forth about the beach trip. Edward smirks about how Mike hates him. Everyone hates you, Edward. Everyone. Bella suddenly remembers she has Gym after this more groaning ensues.

Fainting spells always exhausted me.

I find them strangely invigorating. Who knew?

Edward gets her out of Gym so they can have another asinine conversation while he drives her home. The only thing worth mentioning:

I began to realize we were driving very fast; the car moved so steadily, so evenly, though I didn’t feel the speed. Only the town flashing by gave it away.

Shiny Volvo go fast! Vroom! Vroom!

Then Meyer *has* to loop back around to the child raising the parent trope. Apparently, Bella’s mom is her best friend. Bella has to approve of her stepfather AND has to be the adult in the house. I refer back to Chapter 1 and my suggestion for the use of Forks.

“Do you think I could be scary?” He raised one eyebrow and the faint trace of a smile lightened his face.

I defer to this:

Okay, mostly just the “Ladies” part. You’re welcome.

Finally we hit the home stretch.

“Won’t I see you tomorrow?”

“No. Emmett and I are starting the weekend early.”

“What are you going to do?” A friend could ask that, right? I hoped the disappointment wasn’t too apparent in my voice.

“We’re going to be hiking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, just south of Ranier.”

I remembered Charlie saying that the Cullens went camping frequently.

Eh, camping, getting takeout, same diff.

Final semicolon count: 9

Number of times I screamed at the book and terrified either Boy or the cat: 3 each

XOXO!

Of black dogs and dirty blondes

No matter how much therapy you’ve had or healing you’ve experienced, there’s a little piece of darkness always lurking around in your head. I happen to call mine Hailey. I haven’t heard from her in a while. Recently, she decided to pop in again. Sometimes it’s due to an actual stress and sometimes it’s just because it’s a day ending in “y”.

It started with the nightmares. Two full days of every time I closed my eyes, I had a nightmare. They ranged from mildly disturbing to waking up sweating making sure that I still had all my teeth and / or limbs. Then I started craving a margarita. Even in my previous life, margaritas weren’t my thing. If I happened to be at a Mexican restaurant or it was a Cinco de Mayo party, then sure. Left to my own devices, it was vodka or wine without a second thought. I could brush both of those off fairly easily. Then came the real kicker.

I wanted another tattoo.

I’ve been retired, as it were, for almost exactly 4 years. I started my final tattoo on September 11, 2010. That was my phoenix, a fitting end to that particular part of my life. I could picture the hypothetical new one in great and gory detail. It was a black and white line work tattoo of the famous Alice in Wonderland illustration with the Cheshire Cat. Mind you, I was never an Alice in Wonderland fan. It was on the back of my left calf, taking up almost the entire space. I saw it exactly how it would look completely finished and fully healed. That’s what jarred me back into reality. I wanted to hurt myself again. She was there, waiting patiently for me to see her.

Fighting her is like fighting a Chinese finger trap. The more I struggle to get loose, the tighter her grip becomes. Instead of pitching a fit and trying to beat her back into the dark recesses of my head, I talked to her. She presents herself very simply. She offers things that seem like simple choices, but are deeply destructive. It’s under the guise of helping me get through whatever it is that’s troubling me. She promises the darkness is a good place. After all, don’t gems grow in caves? It’s easier to blend in the dark. In the light, every harsh detail is visible.  Isolating myself from things and people I truly love is for the best. They can’t hurt me if they can’t see me. I listened to all she had to say before offering my response. She presents herself as a false goddess, offering the impossibility of a quick fix.

There is no such thing as a quick fix. She’s eloquent, to be sure. The darkness has done its part to shape me like a gem. I respect those solid crystals for what they are. It’s easy to hide in caves. It’s easy to shut down again. I won’t argue that point at all. I refuse to give up the light I’ve worked so hard to see. It’s not hers to take. It’s easy to take something from someone who doesn’t care. After all, they won’t fight you for something that doesn’t matter. It’s harder to take away something that matters. Of course, if that something is left outside after the walls have gone back up, she can take it and wander off without me being any the wiser. I don’t like that game. I’ve never liked to share my toys. Just read my kindergarten report card. I refuse to let her take away my light along with the people and things that I love. The wall has to stay down so I can protect what’s rightfully mine. It took a strong shake to see what she had already taken. In pieces, I can begin to take those things back. She and I will always coexist, for better or worse, ’til death do us part. All it takes is one little hole, one little rip, for me to walk away.

And then I cried.

I may have set myself up to be hauled off to the looney bin by giving my depression a corporeal form. At least I would be in good company. JK Rowling created the Dementors. Winston Churchill had his black dog. I have a green tinged, gaunt, greasy haired blonde named Hailey. For us, at least, it’s easier to discuss depression as a physical being. It’s also easier to communicate it to others who don’t suffer depression. Show, don’t tell. Perhaps the beasts of depression should have their own twisted support group as well.

[Disclaimer: Yes, I have spoken to my therapist and I will be seeing her next week. No need to fear that your faithful author will do something rash.  As always , this is a solely anecdotal story. I am not a mental health professional qualified to give advice regarding depression. I'm just here to offer the little bit I've learned.]

XOXO!

Of clashing personalities and brief safety in sketchy locales

Good morning all. I hope all my American friends had a nice day off yesterday.

Yesterday wrapped up DragonCon. I’ve heard that it’s either the second largest comic book / fantasy / general all around nerd convention followed by ComicCon or third with New York’s convention taking second place. Either way, 65,000 people descend upon downtown Atlanta for 3 days for all things nerd. This is in addition to those who descend upon us for the Chick-fil-a SEC kickoff game. What a combination. It’s the only time of year where one can safely walk around downtown without being armed. But I digress…

What struck me this year was how the exact same set of circumstances could change so drastically with different personalities involved. Last year I had a great time. My room leads were fantastic and I got along with pretty much everyone who worked in the room. Four of us worked the entire convention in there. This year…not so much. The room leads didn’t work at all this year. As such, we had a new lead. She’d only worked smaller ballrooms before and had no co-lead, so she was in a bit over her head. The sound girl, who I worked with last year, stepped way out of line several times. She even yelled at a guest and the room lead. To put things in perspective, the room lead is the voice of God in that ballroom. One does not yell at the room lead. The room lead wasn’t confident enough to put the sound girl back in her place. The room lead also left several times to see other panels, leaving us with no leadership. I was scheduled in that room for the entire 3.5 days. After two 10 hour days in there, I requested a schedule change. Between a bunch of guests and panels I didn’t care about and the sound girl’s megalomania, I removed myself from the situation. It was better for everyone that way. Overall, I wasn’t happy with my experience. The volunteer coordinators send out a survey each year and that will give me the opportunity to point out the issues with both the sound girl and the room lead. For next year, I’m seriously considering if I want to simply buy a ticket and spend the weekend as a spectator rather than risk being stuck with people I may not get along with for 3 days. I have 364 days to decide. Let’s try not to put the cart before the horse.

On the positive side, I bought some new books. I love ink and paper. Boy also bought some new games for us to try. We played two of them last night. It’s always nice to have new games. One of the vendors had a stuffed Cthulhu. I would have gotten him, but he was a wee bit pricey. Perhaps next time. I’m taking today off to recover, then back to my regular routine tomorrow. I’ll be glad to get back to work. I can only handle a certain amount of time off before I get fidgety. There’s a lot to be said for routine. It also helps me remember what day of the week it is. *checks calendar* 

XOXO!