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.

 

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.

From Treading Water to Swimming

Creative limbo can be hell. It’s something we all struggle with in some form at some point. For me, this limbo has presented itself in struggling to consistently create content for the blog. I know it hasn’t been long since I started but when something is important to you and it’s not panning out like you imagined, it does not take much for frustration to begin creeping in. The frustration has doubled because of my inability to pinpoint why I was feeling like this.

Then, as with many things in my mind, it suddenly clicked. I was only treading water, I was keeping myself from going under but I was not actually going anywhere. I had gotten too caught up in comparing myself to others, too bogged down in figuring out how I was going to make an impact. I thought that I needed to figure out how I was going to make a name for myself, create a distinction from all the other content creators. Then I realized that my distinction was that where I live, how I live, and my personality means that I experience geekdom in a more introspective and existential way. And that is what needs to be reflected here. At heart, I am an essayist; I find joy in the proverbial putting of my pen to the paper, in giving life to my ideas, thoughts, and opinions to. Sure, they may not earth shattering or prodigious, but they are mine, and that is what makes it worth it. That’s what differentiates this blog from the next. I had it figured out all along, I had just unintentionally lost sight of that.

Yes, I always want to do the best that I can. Yes, I want to reach as big an audience as possible. Yes, I want to create conversations and dialogue with those who share similar interests. But this is not my full-time job.  I cannot, should not, will not try and compete with blogs and fan sites whose moderators have the ability to commit more time that I am able. The only purpose that will serve is to drive me crazy, to drive me to the point that I don’t want to write anymore. I can not, do not, want that. Not at all. So the key is to remember that it does not make my little corner of the Internet any less important, any less worthwhile if there is a lapse between posts. It does not make my little corner of the Internet any less important, any less worthwhile if I do not post on anything and everything that comes and goes in the world. So as long as I am writing, so long as I am hopefully creating content worth reading, I will be happy and I will keep doing what I’m doing. And I hope you will keep coming back to visit.

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Making It All Happen

I have a dilemma. I’m torn between paying to attend the Chicago Comic Con in August versus saving to take a dream vacation sometime in the hopefully near future.

Between now and August, I’ll be able to afford adding the comic con trip. But by doing so, I will be severely depleting the account that I regularly contribute to in order to pay for trips.

But it also goes deeper than that. Last year was my first time attending a comic con and I also attended by myself, both of which were milestones. It may have started out a little rocky (meaning I was nervous and had no idea what I was doing) but I eventually found my stride and ended up having an absolute blast.

I met Nathan Fillion, I saw some amazing panels, and I was surrounded by thousands of geeks and nerds. While that last part was a little overwhelming at times, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. And I loved every second of it. That Sunday, as I drove back home, I told myself that I was definitely coming back next year. Not only did I want to do it all again because of the incredible time I’d had, but I’ve made it a goal of mine to actually interact with people (online and IRL) and expand my network of connections and friends. That was something I struggled to do while there and there is some regret in missing out on the opportunity.

You see, for the last five years or so, and especially the last two, it’s been my philosophy and mission to fully embrace myself and the things I love, to not care what other people think, and to work hard so I can experience as many things as I can and do the things that make me happy. As much as I hate the saying, you do only live once, and I plan on getting as much out of this life as I can. I want to go through my remaining years adding to and telling stories of the things I’ve done and learned. I want to pass into the next life saying hot damn that was one hell of a ride!

And here comes the dilemma. You see, I can be an instant gratification type of person, especially when it comes to shopping. If I want something and it’s within reason, I buy it. I know how to say no, and I do, but it’s hard sometimes. That means that right now, I’m having a hard time passing up Comic Con tickets in order to save for some not yet planned trip that could or could not actually happen.

I’m torn: have another great time at a comic con or be able to pay for a dream trip in a quicker timeframe. It’s seriously been weighing on my mind.

But through all of the back and forth that has been going on in my head, there is one solution that keeps coming around, one that makes sense and will achieve both goals. This solution is easy in theory but it will also be the hardest to stay on track with.

The easiest way for me to go for Comic Con and still save for my trip is to stop shopping and start skimping and saving in whatever ways I can. I know that I spend too much money on clothes, accessories, and other things that I don’t actually need or can get on without. I know that there are periods of time that I eat out for lunch and dinner more than is healthy or needed. All these things add up; they add up quick and they add up to a lot.

I guess it’s not so much that I need help deciding what to do. That much is clear. But writing it all helps me fortify my decision.

The time has come so that in order to go to the places I want to see and do the things I want to experience, I have to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish just that. I’m not an irresponsible person, but there is no argument that I need to be responsible with my money and spending habits. So here I go. Adieu unnecessary online shopping! Auf wiedersehen random trips to the mall! Hello to more experiences and dream trips!

I can do this!!