I’m glad he didn’t spend much money at Dragon Con. He used the remainder of his money to buy some books and video games, but more importantly, he decided that he wanted to advance his Tae Kwon Do training. New classes: longer, more intensive, and more focused than standard after school classes. New uniform. New gear. New price.
I am thankful every day that we can afford to support our kids with what they love, but we’re also not stupid. He’s quite a serious kid, but he’s still a kid. The biggest prerequisite for Mom and Dad paying out more money was that he had to buy his own protective gear.
Two hundred dollars worth.
$200 for protective gear and a bag (which is really nice quality, by the way), $100 for a new uniform, and $25 per month extra for the intermediate class. The new classes are longer so it really is worth it and we can be much more flexible in our schedule.
Oh, and we’ll have to buy weapons, too.
My baby boy. With weapons.
I’m dying here. He’s growing up so fast–too fast. he’s had to be too responsible in the past and I can’t take that back and make it right. I don’t want a mama’s boy…but this is so hard for me. It’s stupid. I’m proud and I don’t want to ever hold him back but deep down, I just don’t want to get left behind. I know he still needs me and he will always need me in some way.
He does love me, you know.
I wish my dad could tell me if I’m doing things right with my son.
Fucking hell. I wanted to brag about my awesome kid and now I’m just sad. How the hell do you learn to parent when you don’t have parents?
I am done with my second carpal tunnel surgery so I can type again; I have more important things to blog about than my weepy abandonment issues.
Josh’s birthday was back in March and for his birthday activity, he chose to WAIT 6 MONTHS and save his money to go to the legendary Dragon Con. As I mentioned I was pretty jealous since Jim Butcher was a special guest author this year. He was there on Saturday but the Mr. and the boy went on Sunday which was fine—I didn’t want my son’s day wasted on getting an autograph for his mom.
A one day pass was $45. For a 9 year old.
Eternal member badges are picked up in one hotel, general admissions day passes are for sale in a different hotel.
Josh has been dreaming of this day for a long time and and was able to take $300 of his own hard earned and saved money. He was excited about typical convention things: tabletop gaming, trading card games, dice, dice bags, cool shirts, posters, etc. He is also a huge Battlebots fan, so when he saw there was going to be a Robot Battle exhibition on Sunday, that sealed the deal for the date of attendance. Unfortunately, he really got none of what he expected.
The Mr. hasn’t gone in 16 years—as long as we’ve been married? Coincidence?
So obviously, in that amount of time there were bound to be changes. For a 9 year old with practically carte blanche to spend at will, he should have been in nerd heaven. I expected him to come home broke and happy and exhausted. The Mr. was sure he was going to have to use fatherly veto power at least a couple of times during the day.
He spent a grand total of $55.
I honestly can’t believe how bad it was. To be clear, Robot Battles and Battlebots are not the same thing. This was made painfully clear with the exhibition of “Ant class” and “Beetle class” micro-bots in the semi-finals. The matches were broadcast via big screen so people could actually see the tiny things, but they were poor quality and black and white.
WHAT THE FUCK. Was Charlie Chaplin running the battle bots track? (The answer is no, because if he was it would have been very entertaining and possibly scary because he’s been dead for quite some time now.)
There was not one single booth selling gaming dice. Not one. Let alone a cool bag for said dice. He has a nice assortment but we don’t have a cool bag to put it in. I have been eyeing some cool dragon eye bags but he wanted to wait for Dragon Con so he could physically touch his options before buying. He’s pretty practical about money—more so than many adults (me included).
Here’s what he did buy: a new tabletop card game called Epic for $35 and a Fairy Tail tee shirt for $20. The card game sounds fun and he got to learn how to play at the booth. He has been trying to teach me how to play but I’m hopeless at strategy games.
Even more frustrating was that the tee shirt he bought was the same as the shirts that Robin and I saw at the mall. Same design, same price. So knowing that he could have just gone to the mall and bought the same shirt (and other cool stuff) he was even more aggravated. She and I went to the mall that day and had a great time just goofing around for **6 HOURS**and spent too much money.
The best part of the day at Dragon Con for Josh was getting to play arcade games with Dad—Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, all the fun stuff. For free. Robin and I spent $25 at Dave and Busters doing pretty much the same thing. We got home later than Josh and the Mr. That’s how much fun they had.
Just so frustrating. To see your child work so hard for something just to see them so deflated is really heartbreaking. They had tons of other things like superhero stuff and comics but he went with specifics in mind. Cosplay is fun and awesome and I’m always amazed at the dedication and talent that goes into really nice work but it seems to be the primary focus at Dragon Con now. I saw a lot of reviews that said how much they loved it and to bring the whole family. To the parade maybe, since it’s free.
I found an article from 6 years ago that sums it up well for someone traveling for an overnight stay; luckily, we’re local and they only wasted a day. I feel like there aren’t many complaints about Dragon Con because the people that go are going for exactly what they want: eye candy and cosplay. There’s nothing wrong with that, but god forbid you are interested in something else, like games or something pedestrian like that.
Coulrophobia: [kool-ruh–foh-bee-uh] n. 1. An abnormal fear of clowns.
Kindergarten, 5 years old: Color and cut out the pieces of the clowns face and glue them onto this other piece of paper to make a happy clown!
I colored and cut it out and then I used too much glue. I cried and cried because I had ruined it. Spoiler: it was not ruined because Elmer’s School Glue dries clear. I was inconsolable. Literally, my kindergarten teacher was holding me and rocking me back and forth to try to get me to calm down. Thank you, Mrs. Garavaglia. You were the best.
They fall into the umbrella category of dolls. I hate porcelain dolls. Some are strikingly beautiful, but there is something sinister to me about dolls. Dolls have been used in ritual magic from the dawn of time and are believed to be able to house the souls of the dead.
The movie Dolls, even with its terrible acting and special effects pretty much ruined me for life. I rented that movie for a sleepover and again, no adult ever thought a thing about it. Also, I rented that VHS movie because I’m old as hell.
It’s not chair scene, but still terrifying. That chair scene kills me every time.
Ronald McDonald. My sister told me that he raped kids.
Jack in the Boxes
Okay, not all of them are scary. Look at this cute thing:
You know who wasn’t scary to me, though? Bozo the Clown. Thanks to WGN Chicago I watched him and his sidekick Cooky and dreamed of throwing the ping pong balls in the numbered buckets.
I would never have been on the show but I still had that stage fright anxiety that I wouldn’t get a ping pong ball even in the first bucket. I did not need to fail spectacularly in an ultra embarrassing way on national television.
Enough about clowns already! Back to other pointless programming.
I have mixed feelings about the new reboot of Stephen King’s novel It as a full feature movie vs. the classic TV mini-series movie. I grew up on the fear of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. I read It when I was in grade school which should tell you that I was totally unsupervised as a child. No, that’s not true. I borrowed that book from one of my mom’s friends. My mom was bringing me these books. She worked nights and would come home in the morning with a grocery bag full of books. Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, Dean Koontz. Why at least two moderately reasonable adults thought it was okay for me to be reading these I’ll never know and yet here we are.
So many things made the TV movie terrifying other than Pennywise. As if he wasn’t fucking scary enough. Seriously.
First, these were kids. I was a kid. That could have been me being murdered by a paranormal clown monster thing! Who did I identify with? The girl? Bev? No, no, no. Okay, a little bit. Tomboy-ish, friends with boys, ridiculously awful home life. But I think I identified more with the fat boy. Ben. Ben Hanscom. Overweight but nice. Good writer. Crush on someone way out of his league. Borderline stalker. This brings me to the next big fear: bullies.
Henry, oh, Henry. That kid was a nightmare in himself. Not just kid Henry, but adult Henry. His shade of fear is very real—sadistic, violent, and as an adult, mentally unfit. Granted, he went crazy after seeing the dead lights and his false confession of all the kid murders, but looking at it from a rational adult point of view he was a violent schizophrenic murderer with serious delusions. And then he escapes? And tries to kill everyone again?! Mental illness. Scary stuff.
Next: showering at school. I can’t remember ever having taken a shower at school. Fuck that nonsense. I don’t like people looking at me with my clothes on, let alone horrifying the world with my naked form. This scene with Eddie Spaghetti.
NOPE NOPE NOPE Like a fucking bug. Bugs out of the drain are a nightmare in itself. Then being naked. Then a bloodthirsty fucking awful clown. No thank you. NO THANK YOU.
The shower scene from Carrie may have also contributed to my fear of public showers in addition to my completely puritanical views on nudity. For myself, mind you. I don’t judge, go on and be your fabulous naked self. The clip is NSFW so don’t be a big baby about it:
The balloons. Thank you, Stephen King, for being such an amazing writer that an errant helium balloon can be wet-your-pants terrifying. I have gotten scared by my own fucking hair. MY OWN FUCKING HAIR. Out of the corner of my eye, a big black amorphous shadow crosses the room! Or, my own fucking hair. While normal people probably didn’t think the balloons were so terrifying, I thought they were scary as shit.
Finally, can we talk about childhood crushes? This whole group was a weird incestuous group of crushes and cross crushes and unrequited crushes. And they never let those crushes go.
They came back as adults and had the same fucking feelings.
This was terrifying to my younger, constantly crushing on someone, self. What if I grew up and never stopped liking that one guy from 6th grade? I have probably had a childhood crush on every boy in my class since kindergarten through senior year of high school, whether it was for a week or a month or two long agonizing years where I made a fool of myself every day but never would dare say anything and then he starts dating a girl and everyone I know tries to console me by saying “she’s not even pretty” like that is going to make me feel any better because if he is dating her and she’s not even pretty then what the fuck does that make me some kind of fucking bridge troll I should just killmyself and I don’t need to hear about how they were making out at a party and how it was totally gross because why can’t it be me making out with him at a party and being totally gross fuck off and shut up.
Like I was saying, I have mixed feelings about a new feature film reboot of It. Because I don’t think anything could strike that nightmare chord in my soul like the combination of reading the actual book and seeing the TV movie. Fears that are ingrained at a young age stick with you so hard and for me, there’s a strange part of me that doesn’t want to let that fear go. In a strange way, it’s a connection to my younger self. What can I say, I’m weird like that.
Lots of things have been happening since I last posted but I’ll get to that in a minute. Priorities: Legion has been so amazing. Amazing as in a great new class, excellent story line and immersive lore. All of that aside, it has been utterly heartbreaking. I am not in the least ashamed to admit that I am very emotionally invested in this game. It’s no different than a book series or a TV show that you’ve watched for 10 years–at some point it will tear out your heart and leave you there to mourn.
If you haven’t played Legion yet, then don’t watch this. Or do, whatever, I’m not a cop. I always worry about spoilers for people who are late to the game. The clip shows the ending of the cinematic and what I would assume is a generally appropriate response. If it had been me, all you’d see is tears and snot and general embarrassment.
Of course, after witnessing the horrible demise of our great King, I am tasked with bringing his final words to his son, PrinceKing Anduin.
I mean, he’s sunken into the steps of the dais. He loses his mother as a baby and now this!? He’s a priest, not a warrior! What now?
Jokes aside, it’s been awesome to play. Demon hunters, demon invasions, new things to do in old places–all great. Of course I made a demon hunter on the first day. I put a lot of thought into what I was going to name him. Just kidding, there was absolutely no other name possible:
I opted out of horns because everyone has horns and I couldn’t find a leather duster to transmog him into. I did give him some scraggly hair that needs to be cut and facial hair. If only, IF ONLY demon hunters could wield staves I’d be so dorkily happy.
I mean, you knew he needed a companion, right?
This makes me want to create a whole other imaginary Dresden Files world inside of Warcraft. Karrin Murphy as a warrior? Michael Carpenter as a paladin? Molly Carpenter as a warlock? Waldo is a gnome. He just has to be. William and Georgia as worgen, of course. Who could be a priest? Charity? Don’t mind me, just rambling on and on.
So after surgery I couldn’t do anything with my right hand which sucks because it’s incredibly dominant. As in Ol’ Lefty can’t do anything. Toilet time is the worst. THE WORST. Aquarium maintenance is fucking awful but I must say, my back and left arm hurt a LOT so I guess I have that going for me. The last time my left arm was stronger than my right arm was when I cashiered; right hand grabs the stuff, left hand bags and puts it in the cart. It’s really weird to use my left hand and I have to stop myself from grabbing things with my right hand out of habit. So, here’s what I did while I was being pathetic:
I read Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I’ve loved this story since I was a child and I was always in the paranormal conspiracy camp. This book gives some real discussion as to what exactly happened and I think the answer makes a lot of sense. The only part of the book I didn’t like was that it was half story, half introspective writing and the introspective part bored me. I can say that it really built up to the ending and explored all the angles. All in all, it’s a real tragedy no matter what you think happened.
Second book was The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by the amazing Jim Butcher. I’m totally a fangirl but when I started reading it, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. For about two pages and then I read it all in one day. That’s the real fucking shit right there–I wait for months if not years for a new book to come out and the authors have the gall to write a book that I read non-stop in one day. Lather, rinse, repeat. So discourteous. It’s a steam-punk world and the writing is very visual. I felt like I could absolutely see everything. If you’ve read The Codex Alera series and of course The Dresden Files some of the ideas and imagery will be familiar but I’m not giving anything away. I am not saying that he writes some timeless literature, but I will say he writes damn good fucking stories that I can’t put down and I want to binge read them until my eyeballs fall out.
He’s going to be at Dragon Con this year and the Mr. and the Boy are going AND I AM NOT BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN’T FAIR but hopefully the Mr. will get Jim’s autograph on a piece of sheet music that I have. Then again, I bet they won’t even get his autograph because the lines will be crazy pants. Maybe I’ll just write him a fan letter and enclose the sheet music for him to sign. Because that won’t make me sound crazy.
Last but not least, I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). A fun, quick read that was overly relatable in some places but not so much in others. You have friends? You have family? Okay, Miss Perfect! But seriously, I thought it was an honest little memoir, funny, and interesting without the gut wrenching confessions that you get in a lot of these types of books. As in, normal girl does well! Let’s congratulate her on not getting pregnant at 14 and becoming a heroin addict! I want to be best friends with her but I’m 100% not cool enough.
Story Time! Names have been changed because I’m not interested in talking about other people. This story is about me–it’s my blog if you didn’t notice.
A very, very long time ago, I knew these two guys named Steve Urkel*. They were friends, and privately I nicknamed them “Good Steve” and “Bad Steve”. We’ll talk about Bad Steve first.
Bad Steve was a nice guy, but bad news. He was a drug dealer. Not a street corner drug dealer, more of a middle man. Not a king pin, but doing well enough that I saw money, drugs, and guns. I distinctly remember video security at his front door, a 9 mm under his pillow and an automatic rifle of some sort in the closet. Aside from all that, Bad Steve was good looking, nice, personable and liked koalas. He also liked me well enough that we never really used each other for anything. This was past my days of drug use. We enjoyed each other’s company–I was no threat and I didn’t do drugs so he could relax and I thought he was fun and to be perfectly honest, it was exciting to be around someone like that. I was young, naive, and very, very stupid.
Now, Good Steve was friends with Bad Steve which is how I met him. He was half Filipino and very frat-y and gregarious. A good talker and good looking and he showed me the kind of attention that made me think he actually interested in me. (As a side note, I don’t usually know when a guy is interested in me, so I’m going to assume in hindsight that Good Steve was very forward). We talked a lot and tried to make plans (LIKE A DATE WHAT THE HELL) but either he or I always had something come up.
One night, very late, he gave me a call and wanted to see if he could come over and hang out since we never could meet up. It was late-late, like 1 or 2 AM. I scrambled around picking up and hiding my disgusting living conditions to make it look like I was a normal person and not the horrible slob I really am.
He came over with liquor and we stayed up drinking and talking and it was fun. He told me about his family and how his Mom hated that he never dated Asian girls, how his dad wanted him to go into a specific field of work. He walked around my apartment and complimented me about my choice of books and movies, but most specifically, he told me he was impressed with my art. I couldn’t believe it! I thought he was just being nice but of course inside I was screaming “OH MY GOD I THINK HE LIKES ME” because no matter what age I am, I still think of it as ‘a guy likes me’.
We went out into the stairwell so he could smoke a cigarette even though I said he could smoke in my apartment. (HOW THOUGHTFUL!) As we were talking out there, he leaned in and gave me kiss out of the blue. I asked him what was that for and he replied Just because I wanted to. (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD I THINK HE REALLY DOES LIKE ME)
Now, at this point I would like to note that I was technically an adult, but I distinctly remember that I wanted to call my best friend right that second to tell her what happened.
Since it was so late, I didn’t call her. As the night went on, I got progressively more and more drunk and ended up in a bad situation. I think I mentioned previously that I was young, naive, and very stupid. Very, very stupid.
That night Good Steve turned into Bad Steve and Bad Steve was suddenly Good Steve. I never saw or heard from the newly appointed Bad Steve ever again. Good Steve and I talked and saw each other here and there for a few months after but I never said anything about it because what was I going to say? I know it wasn’t my fault, but there were a million things I could have/should have done to prevent it. I don’t even know if Bad Steve knows what happened because he was also very drunk. I don’t blame him as much as I blame my own poor choices but I don’t beat myself up about it.
This was a very long time ago and as weird as it sounds, it wasn’t so dramatic and I’m not overly traumatized. I’ve had plenty of other things to ruin me, and in the big scheme of things, Bad Steve is barely a blip on my radar. The thing that does stick with me and bothers me to this day is that I wonder if he actually thought my art was good or not.
I know that sounds dumb, but can’t recall actually finishing any original piece of art since that time. Starts but no finishes. I will make plans to start a sketchbook. Draw every day. And nothing. It’s been such a long time so I don’t think I can blame Bad Steve Urkel anymore, but I do wonder if he planted that seed of doubt in my head.
I don’t expect to suddenly start churning out amazing pieces of original art just because I came to this conclusion. It took me almost 20 years to compile this random thought, so maybe in another 20 years I’ll have something tangible to show for it.
* The guys I’m talking about are actually not Steve Urkel or Stefan Urquelle. Just thought I’d make that clear.
My surgery went better than expected. I’m not at all reflecting on my Dr’s abilities, but I thought it was going to be a total shit show.
Happily, everything turned out great. The surgical center staff was UH-mazing. I mean, seriously. I’ve been in the hospital too many times and there are so many things they could have screwed up but didn’t.
they gave me a gown that covered my ass
they had to do an IV on the back of each hand after no water since midnight the night before. Perfection!
everyone was nice and didn’t treat me like an idiot
each member of the surgical team introduced him/herself and let me know what their role was going to be
There were some things that I was pretty disappointed in though:
I did not wake up with webspinners or laser implants in my wrist.
I didn’t get to watch.
I bothered with wearing a bra even though I could barely use my hands and I didn’t even need to.
Before we get on with the pictures, I’ll give you a play by play of the surgery.
I had open carpal tunnel release surgery on my right hand. Everyone and their dog made sure that we were all on the same page so that I didn’t wake up with my left ankle cut in half of wake up with an accidental boob job.
The doctor wrote his initials on my wrist because they damn sure aren’t going to screw up. Left hand got an IV for fluids and right hand got an IV for numbing. There was also a tourniquet on that arm so that the anesthesia was isolated to my hand/wrist area.
At this point everything was fine except I could feel the knife cutting in my hand. Not a scratch, but that good, deep cut and subsequent digging cuts through the fat pad. I said “I can feel that” and they gave me some medicine in my IV and the next thing that happened was the surgical nurse gave me my glasses back and wheeled me into recovery. NICE!
Let’s be clear, it was no one’s fault that I could feel that and I would like to make it known that I didn’t scream like a maniac or anything. This is something really important to me for some reason that I can’t place. I don’t scream when I’m in pain, at least in the hospital. Not for babies, not for manual removal of blood clots from my uterus, not for knives in my hand. To be fair, I know I didn’t feel the entirety of the scalpel blade. And drugs are the best. Going from “I can feel that” to be to all done and no pain. I went out to eat at IHOP afterwards and then home to sleep (surgery was early in the morning) and do drugs and watch TV.
Now, pictures! Click on the black pictures to see the actual disgusting carnage if you want to, I don’t want to upset your delicate sensibilities.
He was trying to make me feel better and didn’t leave my side for the first 24 hours. Isn’t Jake wonderful!
Let it be known that I’m a shitty patient–I was not to remove the bandage at all. I also couldn’t remove that piece of gauze because it was stuck to my stitches and would so I left it alone. For a minute.
Before I had my stitches out. Getting them out wasn’t bad at all, surprisingly. At this point I could shake the Dr’s hand so he was happy about that. My follow up is in August which at that point I should be able to schedule Ol’ Lefty.
Those Steri-Strips are really stuck on there good. I should not have taken them off immediately. It fucking hurt. A lot. I’m dumb. You can also see the yellowing bruises from my wrist brace. That hurt worse than the cut itself.
Just wishing that the ink would go away.
No more black boxes!
I’m happy with the result 1 million percent. I started to notice immediately that my hand was tingling a lot–the result of nerves coming back to life. I don’t know yet if I have any permanent nerve damage; only time will tell on that one. My thumb so far is still quite numb, and less and less towards my little finger. I also notice now that when I wake up in the morning, there is no pain. NO PAIN. I know, right! I also notice that my left hand is quite painful in the morning and basically all day. Since both hands hurt so much, I never gave it much thought–it had become the norm for me. Now it’s like a whole new world!
I still can’t lift for shit, driving hurts my hand, I can’t mouse, I can’t open things. I could give you a whole laundry list of whiny, bitch-ass complaining, but overall, I can do things again (slowly) with my right hand (just a little bit). 10/10 will do it again.