I’ve Moved!

Click here to see the new site!

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After much thought and consideration, I made the decision to carve out a new space for my blogging, no longer content to post as the Midwest Geek Girl. I realized that this moniker did not fully encapsulate who I am, what I wanted to write about. I had fallen under the spell of trying to be like so many of the geek and pop culture bloggers that I admire that I was doing myself a disservice.

I am a geek, yes, but I am also so much more.

I am the sum of many parts.

I am Lindsey. And this is my life.

But because I am an html and web development novice, I had NO idea how to rebrand this site. I’m sure there is a way, but I’m also sure that it is more labor intensive that I was willing and ready for (I know, shame on me).

Same me, new blog, more thoughts. I’m looking forward to what to come, and I hope you come along for the ride.

See you there!

Crossroads

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Robert Frost has long been one of my favorite poets. I can remember studying his work in school, dissecting the words he wrote, trying to understand their meaning, and having much of it fly over my Advanced English high schooler head. But little did I know that years down the road I would not only finally understand what he was trying to say, but that it would resonant within my soul.

Unless you’ve been living in a remote cave or under a rock, you’ve probably heard of a little thing called the Women’s March. What started as an idea to march on Washington to express dissatisfaction (to put it very, very mildly) over the inauguration of our inept 45th president grew into a grassroots movement that swept across the nation and the world. Millions of people in over 600 sister marches and rallies took to the streets to say that this is not our president, that we will not be silenced, that we will not sit idly by in the face of injustice.

I attended one such rally, a first for me in my almost 30 years on this planet. It was an amazing, eye opening experience. At times I was almost overcome as the collective emotion of the crowd and the momentousness of day started to sink in. Departing the plaza several hours later, I felt emboldened, with a clarity of purpose that I’d been struggling to achieve. Because today was the easy part. The real fight begins tomorrow, and every day after that, as we face four years of uncertainty, of untrustworthy promises, of potential threats.

This leads to one of the most important things I learned, what had helped me pick a path at my personal crossroad- in order to make an impact we have to be heard and we have to be seen. It is time to step beyond our comfort zones and do all that we can, every time that we can. Our individual strengths, focused on a single purpose, will be a formidable force. We are the resistance.

Because this is absolutely, unequivocally, a resistance. And the key to resistance is persistence. This will not be a quick and easy fight. We will not wake up tomorrow morning to find that impeachment proceedings have magically started. They will try to discredit us. They will do all they can to stop us.

But they will not succeed.

Because we will fight, and we will stay the course. We have the numbers. We have the strength. We are the 51% minority.

So I have picked my road. It may be the one less traveled, it may be daunting and shrouded in obscurity, but I travel it proudly and fearlessly. One foot in front of the other, I will travel it for the rest of my days.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

As I enter that reflective state that is so common as we grow closer to that 365th day, I can’t help but to conclude that, above and beyond the obvious shitastic events humanity endured in 2016, it was a very odd year for me personally. Nothing major had happened, there were no life changing events. So was I imagining it, was I being dramatic? That’s when I realized that 2016 had the distinguishing honor of being the prologue to what is bound to be a period of personal growth and transformation.

Being 29, I really didn’t think that could be the case because I have everything figured out, right?

Not right, in case you’re wondering.

It took some time to pinpoint exactly from where this was all coming.

For the better part of the year, there has been a pervasive sense of apathy and indifference that has taken root within my being, ebbing and flowing, but always present; a sensation that I couldn’t quite pin down yet all the while having an intuitive answer that I did my best to ignore. It weight on me, but I never spoke of it, unsure of how to give voice to 1d5401522d8ab4097dac12e76463eb18something I hadn’t yet figured out myself. Until finally the dam broke and I laid bare my concerns to my best friend. When the dam broke, other emotional struggles came pouring out. With a background in psychology and personal struggles with mental illness, she confirmed what I already thought, that this sounds like depression as well as some issues with unresolved emotional trauma. There are no official diagnoses, but I’m treating it as such and with due consideration. I don’t do emotion well, but I have finally realized the harm that has been done by burying and ignoring it. I’m on unfamiliar terrain, and if it weren’t for this friend, I would be hopeless lost. Needless to say, I have my work out for me to get to a better place mentally and emotionally.

Something else that I figured out earlier in the year is that I need to stop comparing myself to other bloggers, other Twitter accounts, and other fangirls in general. I had been increasing my involvement in fandom, seeking out new avenues and interactions in which 9959c37c980da3ba9fa4b2995cf239f5to explore my geekier interests via social media and other online sites. But such is the nature of my personality that I began to focus too much on creating a name for myself (which is just not going to happen, let’s be honest) and started to lose sight of what was most important, the love I had for the shows/movies/characters that had brought me there in the first place. So I took a multifaceted break to evaluate what my true purpose was having a blog and being on social media, what was I trying to achieve? In a world where so much is available at the tap of a finger, it’s extraordinarily easy to get caught up and swept in the machinations of the Internet, it whatever form you experience it. There is still some figuring out to do, but I’m going back to the basics, talking about and sharing things I love and that I find important (geeky, bookish, personal, worldly, and anything in between), just hopefully with a touch more confidence this time around.

All of this culminated into a renewed sense of vigor and purpose. I refuse to let the unpleasantness of 2016 and the uncertainty of 2017 drag me down. Instead I will run headlong into the coming days, months, and years. I will reach for new highs, I will seek out new experiences, and I will, most simply, enjoy life.

 

 

A Little Piece of Me

If there is one thing that I’m most passionate about, above all my other assorted likes and interests, it would be books. I read them. I collect them. I dream of writing them. Books have brought me joy, solace, and laughter; they have even brought me sorrow and heartache. But no matter what, with every one that I finish, a piece of it becomes forever ingrained within me. And without the intention of making myself immortal, I find that a part of me is left behind within the pages I just read.  

So the other day, when a coworker mentioned in conversation that she had the habit of reading a book then giving it away for another person to read, I had a visceral reaction. For you see, I am quick with a recommendation but slow to lend you my copy. Selfish, yes, I know. I have resisted turning to ebooks much because of emotional attachment I have to their physical counterparts, to that unmistakable scent and that inimitable feeling of a well-worn paperback in my hands. I regard my books as others may regard jewelry or family heirlooms- they are precious cargo.

 So if I do happen to breakdown and (reluctantly) let you borrow a book, please know that I am actually giving you a small part of myself as well. Take care of it, and in turn, me.

 

October Objectives

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And while that may be a bit extreme for the point I’m making, it is nevertheless a fairly accurate summation.

 

I have every good intention to use to these monthly objectives as stepping stones to completing larger, overarching goals. But when it gets to the end of the month I look back to see that not much progress was made. There is a disconnect somewhere, and until it is identified and corrected, I’m going to be like a hamster running on a wheel.

 

It was time for some reflection, to take some time to look back in order to be able to move forward. Finally, an epiphany began to take hold. You see, for the longest time I thought that the root of the problem was the inability to control myself when it came to certain things. After all, I will be the first to admit that while I am methodical, I am not above reacting on pure impulse at times. But then it began to down on me that the issue was two-fold. Yes, I needed to work on controlling my (bad) impulses. But I also need to hold myself more accountable. Making excuses and feeling sorry for myself will get me nowhere. By controlling myself, I can exit amazon.com before I buy the unnecessary <insert random purchase>. By controlling myself, I can turn down seconds during dinner at my parents’ house. By holding myself accountable, I can have enough respect for myself to do the right thing, whatever that may be. By holding myself accountable, I can make decisions that facilitate success in my life.

 

I’m only human, and a flawed one at that. I am not looking to cut out everything that is fun and delicious and wonderful and what makes being on this planet worthwhile. I’m not about that life. But there will be days where I indulge in some comfort food or a dessert. There will be days where I veg out on the couch with some Netflix instead of writing.  But now, instead of wallowing in the guilt of having slipped up or using it as an excuse to slip up more, I need to use that as motivation to do better tomorrow, or with some control (see what I did there), not indulge too much.

 

That being said, with this new and improved mindset, I’ve decided to extend my September objectives into October, with some minor modifications.

 

  1. Practice mindful eating more actively. This isn’t changing. I’ve given myself the goal to lose 17 pounds by year-end and this is definitely a major player in accomplishing that
  2. Be more effective in time management.
  3. I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this November as a way to jumpstart the ideas I have for some short stories. While I’m not writing a novel at this point, I am still going to try and accomplish the 50,000 goal. That will give me plenty of material to work with and hopefully mold into a working story.

 

October is probably my favorite month of the year. The new chill in the air, the crunch of leaves beneath my feet, I find it all invigorating for mind and spirit. So I’m moving forward with rejuvenated perspective and steely determination. After a year of feeling unmotivated and apathetic, I have made it my mission to make up as much ground as possible these last three months.

Allons-y!

Chicago Salute to Supernatural 2016

One of the first things I ask people when I find out that they also watch/love Supernatural is if they’ve ever been or thought about going to one of the Salute to Supernatural conventions. An odd segue, perhaps, when you think of the range of conversation topics related to the show, but the experiences I’ve had there have been so utterly fantastic that I wish every fangirl could have the same. I didn’t really have someone to talk or ask questions to before I attend my first (most of what I learned was from Twitter), so maybe one day my weird first question will help someone else. You never know!

But anywho, let me get to the point of this post. Last weekend was spent with my sister in our favorite city of Chicago attending our second Salute to Supernatural convention. We (and by we I mean I since  I’m the travel planner in our sistership) decided to go up a day early to make a stop at our favorite pizza place and do a little shopping. I planned everything out so we’d be at the hotel with plenty of time register for the con and relax for the evening. It ups the expense paid for the weekend with the extra night’s stay, but it can a huge difference to being rested, relaxed, and ready to start off the con come the next morning. We also used Thursday evening to plan out the next three days, highlighting our schedules to clearly mark when panels, photo ops, and autographs were scheduled. This also shows us when there are breaks long enough to squeeze in a food run. If you now anything about me, I’m always thinking about when I’m going to get my next meal, and cons are no different.

The later start to Friday (a little after 12:00 noon), was a blessing as I didn’t get to sleep until around 2:00am local time. My sister and I also indulged with ordering room service for breakfast that morning as we had the most time to burn and because “treat yo self!” We made sure to grab the 2016 Friday Person shirt before settling into our seats at the main stage.

We kicked off the day with yet another hilarious welcome by Richard Speight Jr, Rob Benedict, and Louden Swain. These weekends would truly not be the same without them. The Friday programming consisted of Alaina Huffman, Julian Richings, Jason Manns, and Osric Chau.  The panels were all amazing. I was really excited for Julian’s panel; Death has been one of my favorite minor characters on the show and I was looking forward to hearing more from the actor that brought him to life. Julian is really funny; he’s been in the business for so long and has done so many things that he had great anecdotes. One thing I found particular interesting was his perspective on character acting and the realization of the talent needed to do what he does so well. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect at Jason’s panel. But oh my gosh he was great! He is so funny and so talented. Afterwards my sister commented that I had enjoyed more that I was expecting and she was 100% right. I really hope to see him at more cons. He may not be on the show but is definitely part of the SPN Family. Last up for the day was Osric, and I always look forward to his panels. I find him so inspiring, not only in his work as an actor but in his passion for the things he loves. He’s so down to earth and completely relatable. We had autographs with Osric that night and he had almost a 3 minute conversation with him about Pokemon Go. It was a great ending to a great day.

Saturday was a bit of an earlier start, and with myself being an early riser, I was designated to make the morning Dunkin Donuts. The morning panels featured Emily Swallows and Osric again. This was Emily’s first stateside convention and I thought she did great. She was very funny and handled the questions she was asked beautifully. There was a mass exodus between her and Osric’s panels, which of course Rich and Rob made sure to comment on. It then became a running joke for the rest of the weekend. We stayed around, of course, and once again Osric did not disappoint. After the panel, my sister was able to deduce that I may have a bit of a crush on him. She’s not going to forget that anytime soon.

The afternoon panels kicked off with Mark Sheppard. His panels are seriously so entertaining. His snark, his good natured ribbing, and his purposely not answering some questions kept me in stiches the entire time. Mark is truly a treasure to this fandom. Rich, Rob, and Matt Cohen were up next. I don’t even know what to say about these three. You never know what they are going to do or say. If there was ever a trio of people that could take over the world, it might just be them. I know that they would at least have hundreds of thousands of fangirls to back them up. Last but definitely not least was Misha Collins. Let me start off by saying that I personally was a bit disappointed after Misha’s panel last year. It was through no fault of his own but through the questions he was asked. This year was a complete 180° and I was so pleased. I walked away from the afternoon panels with my sides hurting from laughing so much. The Saturday Night Special was spectacular as always. Jensen didn’t show this year, but a great point that my sister brought up back in room later that night was that it just shows how special it is when he does. Instead of the traditional Carry On My Wayward Son to close the show, they did a tribute cover of Prince’s Purple Rain, which was a great surprise and wonderfully performed.

Sunday was our earliest wakeup of the weekend and also our most jam packed and exciting. But what a way it was to start it off, that is, by having a photo op with Jeffrey Dean Morgan. From there we went straight to the Gold Panel with Jensen and Jared. I found myself sitting there, vibrating with excitement to see ‘the boys’ again. Those 30 minutes fly by way too quickly and then it was time for Nikki to head down for her solo op with Jensen while I headed up to the room to get our stuff for autographs with JDM. My photo op with Jared was next, and although I don’t have the jpeg yet, let me tell you that I was over the moon.

The afternoon panels started off with JDM. Looking back, I think I laughed literally the entire time. His answered to some of the over-the-top questions seriously gave me life. Between his sarcasm, swearing, and at times adorable bewilderment, I found him so endearing. And I will never think of rigatoni again without giggling to myself. Jensen and Jared followed, and again, I was reminded of why I love this show so much. It’s an indescribable feeling, really. Jensen and Jared work so hard and do so much for this fandom. The time that they take out of their both their professional and personal schedules to do these cons leaves me with a sense of utter and complete gratitude that is not easily expressed. It’s unusually hard to put words to a day that, for me, is spent on Cloud Nine. I think that is why I always urge fellow fans that if you can make it work, go to a con, because you won’t regret it. The day was capped off by autographs with Jensen and Jared, both of which went extraordinarily well for my sister and I. Besides with photo ops, it’s the most interaction with them and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

Sunday is also the deadline to decide if you are going to re-up for the same seats or try for better at next year’s con. Going into it, I had already told myself that I wouldn’t be going in 2017 in order to attend other cons. But when Nikki raised the discussion Saturday night, it was decided that we would come back. After all, it’s the one big thing that she and I do together, and it’s the only con that I get to enjoy with another person. But between Saturday night and Sunday midmorning, I got too much into my own head and started to regret on the decision (financially). This doesn’t happen often, but I was making myself sick trying to figure out what to do, and once I get to a certain point of over-analyzation and back-and-forth, it becomes almost impossible for me to see clearly. My sister of course saw right through and said that she wasn’t mad if I wasn’t comfortable saying yes right now to re-up. And even when I said yes, go turn in the papers, she wouldn’t do it. But, typical Lindsey, I continued this inner monologue to the point that when Nikki left to go grab our carry-out from Fridays, I called my mom on the verge of tears. I explained everything to her and how I was feeling, and as always, she came through. I’m hardwired a bit differently than my sister, and my mom understands that, so while she didn’t say anything drastically different than what had already been said, she knew how to reach that sensible part of me.  Once Nikki got back and we started eating, I had to make her understand that I was saying yes to re-up and it wasn’t out of guilt. So I told her that I talked to mom and that my future regret in not attending next year would outweigh any worry I have about my financial wellbeing. All of my nausea and worry immediately dissipated. So while I raced down to my photo op with Jared she turned in our re-up forms. And it paid off because we were able to get seats in Row F, despite being number 55 and 56 in line to try and get better seats!

Oh, I forgot to mention, I managed to give my contact card to one person, a sweet girl who happened to be from Indianapolis that we first met in line during registration and that I happened to run into on the way to checkout Monday morning. I still have a lot of nerves to overcome in order to extend my network of contacts and friends, but some progress is better than no progress!

So there you go. Another successful Salute to Supernatural Con in the bag and another one scheduled for July. I’ll be making a few adjustments to my potential con schedule for 2017 but I don’t regret having to do that one bit.

If you have any questions about attending an SPN con (especially the one in Chicago), let me know. There’s a lot of moving parts and lots going on, so it can be daunting trying to figure it all out the first time around. I’m more than happy to talk about it and answer any questions!

Being in the Moment

In two days’ time I’ll be in one of my favorite cities (shout out Chi-Town), having a great time with my sister at our second Supernatural convention. Despite my love for photography and my desire to do more from behind the lens, I’ve made the decision to not take my Canon D3200. Here’s why.

This may be the last Supernatural convention I attend for a while, if not ever. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially considering it’s something my sister and I do together, but the tickets are just getting too expensive. There are other cons I want to go to and trips we want to take. A pick and choose call had to be made.

That being said, last year I was determined to capture as many moments as I could, and I did get some great shots of which I’m incredibly proud. But the Supernatural cons are so unique that I want to be completely in the moment this time around. I don’t want these new memories to be what I saw through the viewfinder. I want to relish every second, every detail, as I don’t know when I’ll be able to make it back.

I have no doubt that the second time around will just as fun, just as wonderful as the first. I’m so excited to feel that unmistakable thrill in the convention hall, to get caught up in the emotion during the Saturday Night Special, to see some of my favorite actors (and hug quite a few of them, yay!) again, and to talk to fellow fans (2016 goals, I haven’t forgotten about you). I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to be able to attend and I plan on making every minute count.