#LoveWins

I have a long rant about stuff (not work! Work is still good!) but you know what?

Today is kind of awesome, and I'm not gonna rant about boring crap and ruin the awesome. Cheers to the Supreme Court, and cheers to all my LGBT friends who get to join us happy married folk :)

Love
won.

Jorb: One month in

Still like it. Quite a lot, actually. And this past week was my first time doing the non-graphic design stuff, which was challenging but I'm learning it! This is the first job I've had since the newspaper that reminds me very significantly of the newspaper job...which is beyond great. That's the job I wanted to spend the rest of my life at. It's kind of awesome I've got another job like that.

I like that I can leave the job at work, too: after I put my 8 hours in, I clock out and that's it. I don't have to worry about it. I can come home and relax. That is beyond amazing to me.

I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, though. Shows what having a bunch of shitty, abusive jobs will do to you. Job PTSD, I guess.

Still. Hoping for the best :)

One less convention I'll be going to?

So Furpocalypse's dealer registration has come and gone, and I am on the wait list.

As are the majority of local friends I know who applied. Though 4 friends who aren't local got tables? And one local friend? So that's a thing? A Connecticut con with no Connecticut-based artists seems weird to me *shrug* But last year they didn't even publish the dealers list until like, October, so who knows who got in.

ANYWAY. With no table, the convention is of no interest to me. Sure, I love seeing friends there, but I see the same friends at every gaming meet...and those I don't see at gaming meets, I see because they want me to draw them things, or we wanna do homework together, or whatever. A lot of my friends are fellow artists =p

Spot will still be running the gaming room, obviously. And I MAY end up hanging out and running a few games, but in all honesty I'm looking at other things to do on Halloween weekend...ranging from Sleepy Hollow's haunted activities to Salem's psychic faire (seriously) to, depending on money, taking a plane trip somewhere for a solo weekend abroad.

I dunno. It bugs me that the con that is literally less than ten minutes from me turned me (and a lot of my friends) down for tables, but I guess it proves they aren't biased? When you're the wife of a staff member and you can't get a table...

Sigh.

Anyone doing anything Halloween weekend and want to hang out? My husband will be busy, and unless I help him out in the gaming room I'll be on my own that weekend.

Conventions: Fun vs. Stress vs. Profits

Y'all know me. I go to conventions pretty regularly (though not as regularly as some of my friends), and I almost always go as a dealer. I am also highly critical of how conventions are run, because it only takes one bad experience to make me analyze why the experience was bad (this is what lead to the attendee:dealer ratio thing I do) and to stop going to that convention.

This past weekend, we went to (Re)Generation Who. It was the con's first year, we knew a lot of the staff, and both me and spotweld are fans of Doctor Who. Since it's not a furry con, I focused mostly on my buttons, as well as bumper stickers (which are a new addition to my convention lineup) and a new cocktail book based on Doctor Who (I'll hopefully be posting a PDF of that book to my Patreon later today, for $10+ patrons). And since it was a small con, and its first year, I was not expecting to make a massive amount of profit.

Straight to the point: I didn't. I covered my table costs, and my part of the room (not Spot's), but in the end my total profit (allowing for the cost of table & room) was around $26.

And yet, I still want to go next year.

So what was the difference?

In all honesty, the entire experience. This was one of, if not the most professional conventions I have ever been to, especially for a first year. It was also a rather intimate experience because it was such a small convention, meaning you were basically walking down the hallway or sharing a dining room with Colin Baker or Terry Molloy (or both at once). My booth was along the back of the dealers room, diagonal to the guests of honor, meaning my weekend was filled with squee moments of listening to Sylvester McCoy talk like Radagast, or hearing/watching him and Terry Molloy play a ukulele/spoons ditty with Cat Smith. You can totally see my banner in the background of that video, so you can see right where I was sitting.

I'm a little starstruck, yes. But it's nerdy starstruck, so hopefully that's normal?

The weekend was also a lot less stressful. Usually I have an emotional crash mid-convention and get really snappy and irritable, but that didn't happen at ALL (I was definitely a bit snappy on the drive down; I think I was nervous about setup). I don't know if it was because I wasn't doing a lot of art (I did a trade with a fellow vendor, and a single badge, and worked a bit on Falconeio's sketchbook -- there were plenty of furries at the con [they kept trying to get me to Fur The More] but it wasn't an art-focused convention), or that we were going out for all the local booze & good food (CRAB AND OLD BAY SEASONING ON EVERYTHING, I'm home!) or it was simply the atmosphere of the convention.

Anyway. I came away from the con, despite the lack of profits, feeling just happy with the world. Maybe I'm hypomanic right now (I'm gonna be getting my brain pills later today and starting that whole deal), but...it was just a completely different experience than every furry con I've been to. So much less drama, no room parties causing too much noise (that we could hear, anyway), and it just seems like the Doctor Who fandom is a lot...quieter isn't the right word, but it's the first to come to mind, than the furry fandom.

Also notable: the gender split was pretty much right down the middle and the age of fans ranged from toddler to senior citizen. The latter probably has to do with the fact that the show has been around for 50+ years -- a lot of old school sci-fi fans were met this weekend -- but the former is interesting to me. I have to wonder: why does the furry fandom lean so heavily male? I used to think that was just fandoms in general (and unfortunately things like the video game explosion [not gonna name it, don't want my journal to get bombed by those people] and all that crap are making the male constituency of fans even more obvious), but that's just not right.

After the con we visited DuClaw for the best beer ever, and then on the drive back home on Monday (after, yes, running into various guests of honor in the lobby because that's just how cons like this go and we were all checking out at the same time...I maintain that Sylvester McCoy is adorable [I want to put him in my pocket] and Terry Molloy is just a delightful human being in general, and Patricia Quinn has amazing outfits, and Sophie Aldred is a joy, and I can't name everyone here but they are all just amazing, wonderful people) we hit Boordy Vineyards, home of my favorite wine of all time. We somehow fit everything in the car, even amongst all my con crap, and we listened to Terry Pratchett's Soul Music on the drive home.

I also want to get everyone to road trip down to Maryland this summer. This is a thing that should happen. Or I can just get some Maryland blue crabs and we can do a cookout in the backyard. Hmmm...

I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell

Official Diagnosis: somewhere between Bipolar Type II and cyclothymia, which is more or less Chronic Bipolar Lite: a mild version of bipolar disorder that lasts for years.

Official Treatment: Doctor has to do some more research on whether the treatment is worse than the corresponding highs & lows (my thoughts: could be mixed, considering some of the side effects of the drugs), but I'll be going back to see him in two weeks and we'll discuss my options.

But hooray, I'm diagnosed! And hooray, it wasn't me being a hypochondriac!

In the meantime, I have scheduled a long-overdue appointment at the eye doctor's for today, and I am hoping to try out contacts. The idea of sticking things in my eyes still freaks me out a bit, but I like the idea of a long-term contact lens that lets me see my husband naked in full detail without needing glasses (it is difficult to nuzzle with glasses -- keep in mind I love my glasses and I LIKE looking like a nerd because I am one, but there's a convenience factor I'm intrigued by). And lord knows I deal with shots fine, you'd figure jamming things into my eyes wouldn't be that big a deal.

Onward, to dilation!

Health & Wellness

I was hoping that our trip to California in January would have delayed or gotten rid of the terrible seasonal depression that had me in tears last year, but no, that didn't happen. This year is just as bad, and I'm genuinely considering applying to some jobs and/or colleges in Florida or California just so I can relocate to somewhere that doesn't have a winter.

Moving seems to be my solution to everything, though in all honesty we moved so often when I was a kid this shouldn't surprise anyone. I wasn't even a military kid and we were all over the goddamn country.

ANYWAY. As I contemplated either killing myself or getting in the car and driving south until I ran out of money, both of which seemed like pretty good options this afternoon, I called 6 different psychiatrists that were listed on our health plan as covered. Almost all used answering machines, which is maddening, and one used an answering service…which is basically a human answering machine.

Answering machines when you're dealing with depression (and I'd imagine anxiety and various other mental health issues that lead you to fear and/or hate social interaction) are maddening, but I left 6 different messages and got a call back within a half-hour. From the actual doctor. Which puzzled me because I don't think I've ever actually been called by a doctor before, but what the hell, I'm not going to argue.

I set the appointment for Monday, the soonest he had available. He seemed friendly over the phone, so here's hoping. Basically, at this point, I'm looking to experiment with drugs and fuck with all the bits in my brain that are causing whatever the hell this is, because I'm apparently pretty terrible at expressing myself with therapy (I either put on a "I'm fine" mask, which is dumb but I can't help it, or I completely break down sobbing; there's no middle ground. I speak from experience) and I've been taking vitamin D regularly so clearly that is not the root cause of the depression. Or I have a serious vitamin deficiency that over-the-counter vitamins can't solve, that's also a possibility, but I'll figure that out when I get my blood drawn later this month.

I feel better for making the appointment, but it's not like "Oh thank god I'm doing this" like the last time I visited a psychiatrist; I'm a lot more hesitant, and a lot more cynical. Probably because of the last psychiatrist/therapist thing, which was not beneficial to me at all. There's definitely an element of "Well, I'm trying again, I guess, but I fully expect this to fail."

And I still feel like I've been emotionally worn down to nothing, which is fun.

Note to self

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_II_disorder

Someone pointed this disorder out to me today. I've known I'm manic-depressive for years, even having it officially diagnosed by a psychiatrist (I think? Ideally I could get it written on like a certificate to prove to folks that my brain is genuinely fucked up), but this is the first time I've heard of "hypomania" and I'll be damned if it doesn't sound alarmingly familiar.

I'm going through a severe depressive period right now and it's got me feeling pretty blinking hopeless, if anyone's curious. I'm mostly annoyed because I know it's just my brain but I can't stop it. I need to find a psychiatrist whose visits don't cost an arm and a leg and maybe get some happy drugs.

Permanent PMS Forever

Caution: Bitchin' about lady parts. Feel free to skip.

So for the past 6 months, on and off, I've been trying different types of birth control pill. The idea was that it would mellow out my PMS -- tone down the moodiness, tone down the nausea, make it less "What are we going to land on on the Wheel of Terrible this month?" and more "The Wheel of Terrible is stuck, here is the one thing that's going to happen every month." The Pills served no other purpose than to help with PMS, since birth control is covered by the fact that I am sterile.

I think I went over this in a previous post or on Twitter, but THEY ALL FAILED. If anything, they made things worse. The latest two (which were basically Lite versions of the regular pill, according to my doctor) made my periods SUPER HEAVY, and if I missed one pill -- which I totally did -- it meant my period came IMMEDIATELY. Meaning I got two periods a week after one another last month, which was awesome.

That was sarcasm. It was not awesome.

I'm now off pills completely again (and back on Prozac, and was prescribed an anti-nausea pill for the days when I'm feeling off), and according to my calendar, a week late. Which is lovely.

I'm not pregnant -- I'm paranoid enough that I keep a stash of tests around -- so it's probably my body going "You totally fucked up last month, you're gonna get NO WARNING on the opening of the elevator doors this time," and I am now in a state of permanent PMS until whenever the damn thing rolls around. Meaning I feel a bit like I've been run over by a truck, with mild cramping and slight nausea that pops up occasionally. Apparently this is a pretty common side effect of coming off of the pill.

Being a girl suuuuucks.

Edited on 2/26 to Add: And the elevator doors have opened, of course the day after I got super paranoid about everything. Huzzah.

A Great Valentine's Day weekend

Or is it Presidents' Day weekend? I guess it's both, really.

spotweld and I did our traditional Valentine's Day dinner on Friday night, cooking up porterhouse steaks, potatoes, and brussels sprouts, with a side of red wine (Apothic's Crush, if anyone's curious; Apothic makes amazingly tasty wine blends and I highly recommend them). Then we shagged good & proper.

Saturday we headed down to NYC for PonyCon. I've never done a brony convention before, and I wanted to meet a friend from Twitter (a friend who is part of the team responsible for Twilight Sparkle's Secret Ship Fic Folder, which is the kind of game I wish we had in the furry fandom -- why are all our card games porn? Luckily they're working on a new game that isn't pony-specific [I may get to help with the art, woo!]).

It was neat seeing a convention that I'm not a dealer for, which I haven't done in literally years. We picked up lots of swag, supported the Traveling Pony Museum (Dear furry fandom, This is a great idea! Steal it!), and totally missed out on any panels because we wanted to eat at a local British pub and also wanted to catch Munchkin World NYC before they closed for the night.

Munchkin World NYC was a pop-up store, located in NYC because everyone was already there for the New York Toy Fair, and devoted to Steve Jackson Game's Munchkin series. We learned about it on Twitter as we were traveling to PonyCon, and considering SpotWeld is a board/card game geek and I have absorbed a fair chunk of this geekiness by marrying him (my geekiness is like a sponge), we both wanted to go. Munchkin is a great game if you've never played it, and it's simple enough that I actually know how to play (I prefer board & card games that don't require much brainspace, as I often am also cooking/cleaning/playing host during gaming meets -- and please don't think I mind because I very much like being the host! :) ), and the guys at Steve Jackson games are all pretty awesome. Spot takes advantage of their Men in Black during FurFright Furpocalypse, and they're always great guys. I suspect Spot would be amongst them if he wasn't playing minion to me at most conventions!

So we got some of the limited edition cards, looked through the new art for the cards coming out in Star Munchkin 3 (Time Lard!), saw the new box artwork for Steampunk Munchkin -- which, besides being steampunk, has art by Phil Foglio (who is definitely one of the Gods of Steampunk), so I imagine Spot will be purchasing it the moment it comes out (sometime in July this year), -- learned about Munchkin Loot Letter (which is Love Letter, but with Munchkin; it's very cute and doesn't require the amount of girls hitting on girls that Love Letter did last time we played...not that there's anything wrong with that ;) ), and oh yeah, Spot won Munchkin Quest! Signed by Steve Jackson, John Kovalic, and Andrew Hackard! Meaning, admittedly, that game will never leave our house (it will NOT be coming to any conventions with us, sorry, guys), but hey, how cool is that?

After Munchkin World, we ended up walking through Times Square, which is as bright as day even at 9pm. A quick detour into their giant Disney Store earned my Figment hat (thank you again, world_dancer, it's definitely my favorite hat!) a lot of compliments, and then we wandered our way back to the subway station, trying our best to ignore the heaving masses of tourists and people in badly assembled costumes (fursuits: they spoil you). A quick ride over to Grand Central, and then we were on our way back home.

Sunday we spent mostly lounging around the house, though I did randomly get the urge to go buy frames for my new pony art and some art I got in Disney...which was oddly fortunate, because Micheal's is having a big President's Day sale, so it cost a lot less than it would have if I went later this week. We also hit Target for random necessities like shampoo, and I ended up grabbing some jars because I plan on making bumbleberry jam or jelly sometime this week with all the berries we have sitting in the downstairs freezer.

Which means I will be putting up a "WHO WANTS SOME JELLY" post sometime whenever I finish that.

I also ordered a few things for working on convention stuff, since ReGeneration Who is a mere month-and-a-half away and I need to get started on prep for that. I'm planning on making a new cocktail book of Doctor Who-related drinks, which means I'm gonna be playing the "power through that art" game before the month is over.

All in all, a great Valentine's Day weekend :) And now, to work on some commissions!

Not a Con 2016 - Hotel Costs & Room Tours

PLEASE NOTE: All these trip-related posts are also being posted on my forum, http://notacon.freeforums.net

At some point I will probably email them, too, but in all honesty the forum is WAY easier to keep track of.

Big ol" giant post that has tables because I am anal-retentive and uberorganized.Collapse )

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