Sudden Change of State

By the time April rolled around, I was pretty worried about several things. My savings were depleting and I hadn’t found a new job. Mom was in a rehab center in North Carolina 4 hours away from me because of¬†her latest mini-stroke, and getting to see my girlfriend only every other weekend was becoming intolerable. In desperation, I answered an ad for a job that was… less than satisfactory, but it would pay a few bucks.

I made it all the way to the interview before they told me it was an overnight shift, which I had specifically insisted against. I’d be a useless zombie to them on that schedule. So I stormed politely out, went back to my borrowed bedroom, and considered my options. And that’s when the idea struck me: I wanted a job in NC close to Mom and Maya anyway. Perhaps I’d get more attention from employers if I claimed on my resume to already be living there…

A few quick changes to my online job seeking accounts, and I kid you not, I had an urgent interview within three days. Two years of searching, and a simple fib dropped a job in my lap in THREE DAYS.

So it’s two months later. I’ve got a solid job that pays decently¬†and has great benefits and perks, I have my own place in Raleigh with Maya, Mom’s doing okay with her cat, and they just delivered the first couch I’ve ever paid for all by myself. As I stood at the sink washing some dinner dishes, the whole thing seemed so unreal… but here I am.

I’m more stressed than I’ve been for a while, especially since I’m still doing the podcast, and in a fit of insanity accepted my first con staff position in around 20 years or so. And I miss my friends and chosen family in Hampton Roads. But there’s so much good stuff in my life, stuff I’ve been striving for for so long, that I think I’ll find the strength to handle it. I’m just still a bit bewildered by the speed of the whole thing.

Life-changing events don’t phone ahead, I guess.

30-Day Cosplay Challenge – Day 1: Your First Cosplay

I don’t have any trouble at all remembering my first costume. I can’t tell you exactly how old I was, though I know I’d have been at least five years old. I suspect I was closer to seven or eight at the time; there was a friend of mine who lived probably three or four blocks away – a long walk when I was that age – and he was just as crazy about Star Trek as I was. He insisted that I always be Mr. Spock in our little innocent role-playing, and eventually my mom agreed to make the costume for me.

I don’t think she made the blue shirt, though I might be wrong about that – she was certainly good enough to do it. I can’t remember clearly if she put the black collar on it – I originally thought not, but upon further reflection she might have done so after all. I do remember she found exactly the right gold braid for the sleeve rank, and made sure it matched the Commander’s pattern in my treasured Starfleet Technical Manual. (I still have that, by the way, almost four decades later.) I think she hand-embroidered the department arrowhead symbol on the front – she did so again later for a Scotty shirt. I appreciate that so much now looking back!

Of course, I outgrew it soon enough. I was active enough as a child that I’d have worn it out if I hadn’t outgrown it. There aren’t any pictures that I know of, which is a darn shame. But that shirt meant so much to me, and my lifelong love for costumes and cosplay began back then. Thanks again, Mom.

Happy Returns for the Rat

Happy belated birthday to rattrap!

Of all my friends, you’re in the few that have had the most influence on who I am and where I am today. I’m very glad that I know you, and I only wish we got to catch up in person more often.

If you didn’t get to this weekend, go treat yourself to Ponyo. You fanned the flames of my newborn anime fandom back in the day, and it just seems appropriate.

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My first fan convention

RoVaCon (the Roanoke Valley Convention) Seven was held at Northside High School on the other side of town from where I lived. Since I was only thirteen, and had neither a bike or many friends back then, I had to count on my dad for a ride there. (At thirteen, I was convinced that I couldn’t possibly stay upright on a bike for longer than a few minutes. Eventually, I figured out otherwise.)

I had read about SF conventions in books about Star Trek fandom, and this sounded exciting as heck – I wanted to go so badly. The advertising I’d seen said that the event ran for the whole weekend, but for reasons I can’t remember, my dad wouldn’t take me on Friday. He then wouldn’t take me on Saturday, either – I don’t remember whether there was a scheduling conflict, he didn’t feel well, or he was being obstinant; these things don’t matter when one’s an overeager thirteen-year-old fan. Finally, though, he took me to the con… on Sunday… at around 2pm. Yep, I paid a day rate to get into a con that was already shutting down. What a way to start my fannish life, eh?

The only guest I remember was Laura Banks, an actress with a small background part in that year’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I didn’t get to see her speak, she was already done for the weekend, but I remember her on the con posters – I was thirteen after all. I do remember seeing a fan who’d already obtained or constructed a “monster maroons” uniform.

The total con experience for me was seeing a few costumes in the halls, and wandering through the dealers’ room, in which I only remember Hitchhiker’s Guide LPs, Starfleet Battles miniatures, and exotic gaming dice, none of which my dad was in the mood to purchase for me. Crushingly aware that there was nothing else to see, I told my dad to go ahead and take me home.

Thankfully for the path I’d take in life, RoVaCon Eight would be much better.

One major event

Okay! I’m tanned, rested, and ready. Well, not tanned, and after the weekend I can’t say I’m rested. But I’m ready to catch up a bit!

On June 13th, Starr and I got married in the atrium of Senara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, Virginia. yubbie was kind enough to officiate for us, and we had a gathering of blood relatives and a few friends.

I think Starr and I may have been under more strain than we’ve been since we met. I was behind in nearly everything I needed to do for the day, and Starr of course was in charge of a million things. Had it not been for kind, generous folks who pitched in, this would never ever have happened. But it did indeed, and we have proof:

Our wedding reception, with ears

Here we see a mind-bendingly stunning bride, standing next to her doofus groom. Of course, we see Starr in fashionable cat ears in nearly every published picture, and this is no exception: Owen presented them to the two of us at the end of the ceremony.

I especially want to thank sir_alf and faekitty here: with practically no notice at all, they volunteered to pick up my mom from Roanoke, bring her to the ceremony, and give her a ride back. As well, they helped her with many things during the weekend that I hadn’t even put in the job description: they were two of many that went over and above the call. I cannot thank you both enough, nor tell you how much that meant to both my mother and I.

I have awesome (and work-safe!) stories to tell from the honeymoon, but those will need to wait until I can sit and cull the photos. No one wants the LiveJournal equivalent of 200 vacation slides.

But, woo! Wedding!

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Shrewlet Update

Cindy’s in Roanoke Memorial, room 906 West, phone (540) 266-5424. She has Internet access as well (no, not including WoW).

They tried to give her a steroid injection to improve the situation a bit, which she describes as “the most painful thing I have ever encountered. I’ve been fighting in the SCA for 20 years and have never taken blows that hurt that hard as that shot.”

They are going to see if the injection helps, but surgery is still an option. At last report, she didn’t have full sensation in either leg.

More as I know it.

Disk Fragmentation

Cindy Arthur – shrewlet – is being transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital because of a herniated disk.

Rhaps is coordinating her care from down there. He reports that surgery is very likely.

It’s all I know now. Stay tuned.

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