My Best Friend is Dying

One year and four months ago, we sped down the highway, dodging traffic and police in a vain effort to slow time and speed our arrival. My eyes were bloodshot, my face stained with tears, and my nose dripped onto my shirt. In the backseat of my little Elantra, I clung on to my best friend, my fingers slowly moving through her glossy black fur as I slowly whispered to her through broken words “You’ll be OK. I love you. Everything will be OK. You’ll be OK. I love you, Seattle.”

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Today

Ever just have a total shit day at work? I started off not getting enough sleep (again) thanks to a distributor making a delivery mistake. My poor kitchen manager had his windows smashed in, and they forgot to bring us potatoes (most of our menu is potato-based.)

Did I mention I started my period? Oh, I haven’t mentioned my monthly menstrual musings yet? There you go. Quota met.

Pair all of that with the continued stress of life, plus some things going on in the background that I’m not ready to talk about yet, and it becomes the perfect storm.

So when the night was closing out, there I was, sitting at the bar with my glass of water and grilled chicken, feeling pretty low. A minute later, one of my staff came rushing down to me and told me “She knows your song! She was singing ‘I Should Go!”

A lady leaving my bar had heard my Mass Effect song parody, and SHE FANGIRLED. Guys. I HAVE A FAN! Like, that was the most magical, amazing thing that had ever happened. This brilliant human came up to me, excited to meet me, talk to me, and tell me how much she loved my song. It was the most wonderful thing to experience, and I hope she knows how much it meant to me.

So thank you, kind lady, for turning my day into a heartwarming, feel-good, fuck-yeah kind of night. I love you.

Another year, another entry.

Mabel Pines Gravity Falls Shoulder PadsHello again.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m mentally gearing up for another major event at my pub. I’ve spent the last week stressing excessively over it, the menu, the logistics, and the inevitable people who will complain and make my day a little less than wonderful.

It’s our second New Year’s Eve party at the bar. This year, we’re retaining the Viking-inspired theme, but we’ve focused more heavily on the business. For example, I sold out of a lot of VIP upgrade packages, which is a big win for me. That’s guaranteed money before we even open the doors. We’re also turning the place ages 21+ only, and instituting a $5 cover entry. We’re typically free to enter and play games, but we’re trying to minimize the table campers and maximize the crowd we receive. Last year, it was pleasantly busy and an overall rewarding night for all of our staff. I’m really quite concerned it’s going to affect our NYE attendance, but Markus reassures me that we will just revert to a free cover next year if that happens.

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Well, I’m home.

I know that feel, bro.

I know that feel, bro.

After roughly 2,500 miles, four breweries, and 36 hours of driving, we are finally there and back again from GenCon.

I have so many things I want to share before I forget them and get swept back up into the hectic bar life, but I am too exhausted from the sheer magnitude of the last nine days. I was able to significantly recharge both my physical and emotional batteries thanks to good friends, new ones, and some much-needed quality time with Markus. GenCon continues to be one of the top highlights of my year, and to date, my favorite con in existence. I can’t wait to decompress and upload photos.

Tomorrow, we’re enjoying a rare day off with my family, and then hopefully beginning to comb through the stacks of games, and piles of clothes from the journey.

Confession: If I can get everything unpacked and put away before the end of the month, then that will be a new record.

And then it hits you

I didn’t wake up like this. I was sleepy, sure, but I felt perfectly fine as I sipped on pre-workout and read through forum posts waiting to start our workout. I actually had a great workout, too. I felt awesome; I felt strong.

But then it hit me.

Sometimes it’s as if you’re strolling across a field and suddenly trip over a boulder you swear wasn’t there a moment earlier. You fall flat onto your face and the shock of it phases you for a few moments. You don’t really feel right the rest of the day.

But other times, it’s a slow crashing wave that washes over you. It starts slowly, then begins to consume you, body and mind. That familiar crush of emotion, pain, sadness – it’s all there waiting for you with open, scarred arms.
And in this moment, I realize I miss writing; I miss self-reflection; I miss writing songs; and I try not to allow my thoughts to linger so long on the past.

Seven Hundred and Thirty

chapelcourt

Everything about this is a good explanation of why we’re perfect for each other.

Well, it’s time to finally come clean! 730 days ago, I married my best friend and lifelong partner in crime – Markus. We decided to legally tie the knot on 12-12-12, for obvious, number nerd reasons. I also told Markus it would be really easy to remember our wedding anniversary.

My dad was the only secret witness, giggling on speakerphone at our local, extremely small courthouse. There was also a random resident on the balcony, who cheekily clapped after we kissed. It was really the silliest thing ever, but it was something perfectly private for us without schedules, relatives, and dresses. We wore comfortable geeky clothes as we drove to the courthouse in the rain (an omen of good luck that produced a double rainbow on the drive home!)

It felt weird to seal our bond with this simple doing, but it was really fun to secretly “elope” amid the craziness of planning a wedding. I remember we took off our wedding rings when we arrived at his mother’s house – looking back now, I can only laugh at our attempts to hide it. Two days later, we spent a whirlwind weekend celebrating with friends and family at our epic Star Wars wedding.

They say fate is a funny thing, and after meeting Markus, I truly believe in it. After seeing him on an opposing escalator at DragonCon (thinking he was SUPER cute), and then randomly linking back to him here in Florida as I tried to join the 501st Legion … how can I not believe in it? Out of all the attendees, he just happened to be two hours away from me. There are just so many things that point to he and I being led together. I am so thankful to have a total geek for a husband, a person who accepts me for my hours of Dragon Age playing and Cullen-obsessing; a nerd who launched astronauts into space; a bearded Viking man who I see almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who helps me lead a business and doesn’t drive me crazy as much as I would have expected.

So cheers to two years of marriage, and eight years of geeking out together. I love you, Markus. Thank you for accepting my weirdness with your own.

 

Thankful.

PressStartTurkeyIt’s Thanksgiving here today in America, which generally means a few things:

  1. Turkey. A giant bird has been ritually killed, frozen, possibly brined, then cooked again.
  2. Seriously, more food. Today is about seconds, thirds … fourths? Impressive.
  3. Football. I guess it’s some game where people throw a ball around and touch #butts.
  4. Family. It’s that time of year when you make nice around the dinner table, for better or worse.

It’s certainly been one heck of a year in the 365 days since Thanksgiving. Last year, Markus and I joined my side of the family. My sister was just recovering from a recent relapse and things were a bit awkward. My nephew was OBSESSED with Minecraft and cried when he couldn’t defeat some sort of arch spirit or whatever in a cave somewhere … I don’t exactly play, therefore understand, Minecraft. Continue reading

‘Emma Approved’ and Why Web Has Won

The face of storytelling is radically changing thanks to the explosion of social media and closer access to the global community. One of the wonderful upsides of this evolution is the birth of web series, that is an episodic drama or comedy that is published through the web (no film or television.) Some of the best shows I have seen are purely web series, whether it’s The Guild, Dragon Age: Redemption, or more recently, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (LBD.) 

Last year, a company now officially called Pemberly Digital, took a chance on a unique retelling of the Jane Austen classic Pride & Prejudice. In their vision, Elizabeth Bennet was a voracious lady starting a webcam project to detail the story of her life – for educational purposes! The series, which has won several awards and nearly 2 million views on the first YouTube episode, was a resounding success for the company and cast, so when Pemberly Digital announced their next project, the internet awaited with baited breath.

Unfortunately, Welcome to Sanditon truly paled in comparison whether for lack of translation, characterization, or simply a weaker story (I lean toward the latter.) Pemberly’s third series, however, has been an absolute brilliant success that has not only proven their ability to perfectly and beautifully translate a story, but also shown the world how much they have grown and that they’re only getting better.

tumblr_mv6oxsqEdw1qlbyp3o1_500-2Yesterday the finale episode of that series aired, wrapping up several months of perfection from the cast and production team. Emma Approved, a modern retelling of another Austen classic, took Pemberly’s web series model to an entirely new level, incorporating social media accounts and corporate sponsorships for the characters and a fully interactive website/blog to further suspend our disbelief. The lovable, though misguided, Emma was an absolutely perfect modernization of the character.

Without spoilers, the story follows the original closely, and the chemistry (which ended up being real!) between the main characters can’t be matched. 10/10 would watch again. Seriously, GO WATCH THIS NOW!