Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Blog of Dicks and Spoilers

To the readers of the Song of Ice And Fire book series,

Most of you are wonderful.  Most of you keep your discussions amongst your fellow readers and on the appropriate forums.  Most of you withhold comments about what's coming up in the story when watching the show with people who haven't read the books.

Most of you are good, decent human beings.

And then there are... the others.

I don't care if he insulted your parentage, this is never a valid assumption.
There exists a very specific subset of smug, pretentious assholes who think it's okay to spoil things because the books have been out for so long and anyone who really cares should have read them by now.  If this is your opinion, I invite you to remove your undoubtedly massive head from your rectum and stop being a self-righteous twat who assumes that anyone who hasn't read the books yet is lazy or stupid.

Here are just a few reasons why someone might love the show but hasn't read the books:

1) Those a difficult enough books to get through for a voracious reader, much less someone who has dyslexia or for whom English is not their first language.

2) Not everyone has the time to devote to five 1000+ page novels.

3) Maybe, while a fantasy TV show is appealing to them, a person just isn't interested in reading Fantasy novels.

4) They like the show and don't want to know what's going to happen, so they don't want to read the books yet.

5) This is the most important one:
The reason is none of your damn business.
What is your business is not being a dick.
You read the books and that's great. That doesn't give you the right to run around throwing out plot points like the goddamned Spoiler Fairy. Reading the books doesn't magically make you a better person either. In fact, it makes you a shitty fan if you think the only way anyone can experience this story is via page first. You don't get to decide how other people should enjoy things. If it makes you feel better to look down on people who only watch the show and then spoil things for them under the justification of "You should have read the books", then you seriously need to reconsider the things that bring you joy in life.

This doesn't just go for Game of Thrones, either. This goes for all things that have gone from page to screen. I personally felt I was too old for the first few Harry Potter books when they were originally released. However, by the time the last movie came out, I had become interested in the story purely through the films. But so, so many things were ruined for me from people who had read the books and felt as though I shouldn't be allowed any surprises because I had the gall to enjoy the movies without being interested in the books. The sheer amount of self-righteousness involved in that kind of thinking is truly mind-boggling.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a filmed version of something without having read the written version first. There is nothing wrong with reading the written version and not seeing the filmed version. There is nothing wrong with knowing both and discussing the differences between the two with other people who know both versions. There is also nothing wrong with liking one version and disliking the other.


If you think that other fans deserve to have the story spoiled for them because they haven't had the time, energy, desire, or ability to read the books,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Sun and Stars

It's nighttime in November and I'm at the beach.  Just a couple of months ago, days would see this place teeming with surfers, sunbathers, and families.  At night, these sands and waves housed teenagers, doing what teenagers do best- being somewhere other than home, fighting to claim some time as their own in an otherwise tightly scheduled life.  Throughout the year, at all hours of day and night, these sidewalks give runners their routines and dogs a familiar path with their owners.  Their numbers have started to thin out now.  The runners who may have ventured into the sand stick with sidewalks and daytime.  The dog walkers only go out as necessitated by their animals' needs before retreating back to their cozy living rooms.
Hurry up and pee. American Dancing with The X-Factor And Pregnant is on soon!
It's not exactly cold out, but it's chilly enough to send the teenagers indoors to fight their rebellion in the comfy chairs at Starbucks or the corridors of malls.  I'm alone out here, under the speckled sky, where Venus demands my attention, glowing far brighter than is necessary.  I remember how much I loved Astronomy and then how quickly I realized I didn't like how much complicated math was involved.  But I still appreciate the beauty of a night sky, even though the nearly full moon is resulting in a tide that approaches my feet, inching me backwards, closer to the civilization that obscures the brilliant view.

Days here have been strange lately.  It doesn't feel like the end of the year, like the holidays are nearly here.  I go to lunch when it's sunny and clear and 85°.  That sort of weather doesn't exactly inspire one to start singing Christmas songs.
Unless you're Australian. But those people are all weird and upside down.
I think about how much has changed in the last year.  I think about how it feels like so much longer than a year.  I think about how the last 12 months have flown past far too quickly.

A year ago, after having only lived with my family, I moved in with some guy we found on Craigslist and now I marvel at how this dude has become one of my best friends.  On the subject of roommates, I started with two roommates and a dog.  Then it was three roommates and a dog.  And then, once again, two roommates and a dog.  That was followed by two roommates and a cat.  And now, it's three roommates, a cat, and a dog.
And a partridge in a pear tree
I went on a few dates and had countless fleeting crushes, all the while believing that I was incapable of monogamy.  And then I met this guy and found myself in the best relationship I've ever been in.  And now the aforementioned roommate/friend has moved in with this guy, effectively placing two of my favorite men under one roof.

A year ago, I worked a job that was rapidly destroying my will to live.  And all the failed interviews for better positions did not give me any confidence in my ability to extricate myself from that position.  And then, one day, I found myself in an office, without an uncomfortable polyester uniform.

It seems like far too much to have only taken a year, and still, every time I write the day's date and realize that another 24 hours has passed, I am astounded at how fast this year has gone.  Maybe it's because, despite all the days and nights, despite all the changes, despite everything, I still did not accomplish something that means so much to me.  In fact, much to my dismay and, at times, disgust, I've only drifted further.  But I'm still hopeful.  Here I am, on the beach, walking when everyone else has gone home for the night.  And here I'll be, every night under the stars, until I can come out in the sun looking like this.

*Editor's note: I apologize to anyone who read the title and expected this to be a blog about Game of Thrones.  To make it up to you, here's a picture of attractive people.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In Which I Overthink Things

I had intended to write about Comic Con, but the basic point of my intended rant was this: SDCC has gone from being the place for outcasts to feel accepted to just another part of the world where there is an in crowd and outcasts feel judged and weird. It makes me sad and I’m not sure I can be funny about it, so I’m not going to do a whole thing on it. So back to what I’m good at: making fun of myself and my many, many flaws.

I’m bad at relationships.

That’s right kids… this is a blog about relationships.

My love life... except, you know, imagine it sinking.  And on fire.
 I’m bad at them. I’m really good at being single and occupying my time with shameless single person activities, like sleeping excessively and binge watching Netflix. I’ve become accustomed to doing stuff by myself. But now, I’ve done the unthinkable, the impossible, the highly improbable… I’ve gotten myself into a relationship and now I have a problem. Namely, that I am at a complete loss for stuff to do with my new man friend. The kinds of activities I have up until recently spent my time on now lack their previous appeal, on account of it being really hard to plow through an author’s collected works in a matter of days whilst trying to carry on meaningful conversations with another human.

Then again...
I don’t want to completely change myself and I don’t want to forgo things I enjoy because neither of those are markers of a good relationship, but I also know that another person cannot fit into my life as it is right now. The space that a significant other would occupy is currently filled with a disorderly pile of Single Person Stuff.

Assuming I can successfully clear out a comfortable area for this new relationship, we then have the trouble of emotional attachment. Based on my history, I have two settings: emotionless automaton and crazy girl. Now, it’s been some years since I last saw Crazy Girl and I’d like to think that I’ve outgrown her. I’ve changed quite a bit since my last Crazy Girl relationship exploded in a fiery ball of anger and cheating and cats. I learned a whole lot from that train wreck. Unfortunately, one of the lessons I accidentally learned was “DON’T GET ATTACHED TO ANYONE EVER BECAUSE OF REASONS” and I’ve spent the last few years getting into minor, casual relationships of varying types wherein I felt nothing, lost interest, and ended it, or was swiftly over it when ended by the other party. Not to say that it’s been a bad time… it’s been fun and interesting and even somewhat scandalous at times… but there has been a distinct lack of substance. Because emotions are scary. Like, seriously scary. Like “clowns covered in spiders hiding under your bed” scary.

There are things so scary, even the internet won't let them exist.
But I seem to have located my emotions again. Unfortunately, all the warm and fuzzy feelings of affection came back with their hitchhiking friend, Abject Terror. Trusting another person is hard enough, trusting them with my emotions is a harrowing prospect. Hence, the fear. Fear that they will rip my heart out of my chest and fear that I’m going to revert to Crazy Girl and make all the same mistakes all over again and I’ll find myself alone in an empty room because I cleaned out all of my Single Person Stuff and I’ll have to start all over again. So there’s that.

I spent last night making a list of Stuff I Like. The last thing I wrote on the list is “All of the above, but with friends.” I think that’s the key, really… to be friends. Not in the “I think we should just be friends” sort of way, but in that we hang out as friends and go places we’d go with friends and, most importantly, include our friends. And family and whoever is important to us. My past relationships have existed very much in their own universes, these bubbles that other people were occasionally privy to but were not actually a part of. I’ve never really felt like I was included in my previous paramours’ lives, but more a separate part of them. Like they had their lives with their friends and family, and then they had their lives with me, and never the twain shall meet. Meanwhile, I would try to squeeze them into my life, making them fit this model of who I wanted them to be in the face of those who matter to me, never realizing why they would fight me the whole time. I wanted them to be someone they weren’t. Whereas when I introduce friends to the other important people in my life, I’m unconcerned with judgment and I don’t worry that they’ll embarrass me and I don’t, in the recesses of my brain, know that it’s not going to work and my important people will say “I told you so.” I just know that these are the people with whom I’ve chosen to surround myself and that I am a happier person because of them and I know that they’ll get along with each other because I surround myself with only the most fabulous of people. And, for the first time, I feel like I can apply that to a significant other. I don’t want him to be someone else, I don’t want him to hide or tone down anything, I just want him to be him.

All that being said, just because I’ve nailed down the fact that I actually like this dude for who he is and not because I’m afraid no one will ever love me again if this ends, I still haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m doing or how these things are supposed to go or what I want.

What I want, what I want, what I really, really want.
 I do, however, know that I need to get my fat ass back to the gym because my weight is even more unstable than my emotional state and I’d like to eventually live up to the name of this blog.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Once More, With Feeling

I've been meaning to post something here for quite some time, but I've failed miserably, due to a great many factors.  Lack of computer springs to mind.  I moved into my very first apartment in November and, shortly thereafter, my computer died so I've been doing most of my internetting via my phone, which makes updating a blog somewhat difficult.  And the last few months have seen the occasional moments (and, by moments, I mean several week stretches) of being a sad, useless blob on my couch who gets anxious about leaving said couch.  But I think the biggest factor that has prevented my truimphant return to this blog is this:

Except, instead of 120, it says "You are a manatee and none of your clothes fit right"
 After all my hard work last year, I have gained back about half the weight I lost, which partially contributed to it becoming necessary for me to start seeing a therapist, and entirely constitutes the list of Reasons Why I Haven't Written Anything In This Blog Lately.  I can't say it feels great.  It especially feels the opposite of great when you see a doctor for an entirely unrelated reason and they're far more concerned with how you've gone from the "slightly overweight, but close to normal" range to the "you could be mistaken for one of the larger bovine species" range.

Here's me at the beach last week

How did this happen?  Laziness, mostly.  Lack of motivation.  Going from a very active job to a desk job (which I'm actually stoked about, for the record, but it does mean that I'm not using as much energy throughout the day).  But a big one is that I had it in my head that I was preparing for Comic Con, working toward a finish line.  The problem with that approach is that, if you're climbing a mountain and you reach the top, there's nowhere to go but down, back the way you came.  After Comic Con, I decided to take a break.  I decided that I deserved some ice cream.  And In-N-Out. And cake.  And beer.  And you see where I'm going with this. That break has now lasted nearly ten months because I got from Point A to Point B, felt some sense of accomplishment, and stopped.  What I needed to realize was that I can't have a finish line.  There is no Point B.  I cannot see this as temporary.  Not only do I want to get to the point where I can wear the Slave Leia bikini, but I want to stay there.  I can't be on break anymore or ever again.

I live five minutes from a beautiful jogging path right next to the freaking ocean.  I found a grocery store that sells fruits and vegetables for ridiculously low prices.  My roommate goes to a gym that's $10 a month, which I will eventually join.  I have no excuses.  Speaking of my roommates...

It's hard not to be motivated when you live with people who look like that whilst you vaguely resemble the girl who turned into a blueberry at the chocolate factory.

So how do I get back on track?  Well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Everything I was doing last year worked spectacularly.  The only reason it stopped working was because I stopped doing it.  So, I'm back to running on a fairly regular basis and I've even started going for some long bike rides periodically, something I haven't done since elementary school.  I'm also being far more conscious of what I eat and switching back to a salad-based diet instead of one consisting primarily of the hamburger, pizza, and beer food groups.  I've got a small morning workout routine, which has been fairly effective at getting my fat ass out of bed in the morning... always an important step in anyone's day.  I'm doing this.  After a couple of false starts and quite a few obstacles, I'm doing this. 

That's where I am.  Break time is over.  Back to work.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So You Think You're a Nerd


At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, you kids these days with your fandoms need to get off my lawn.  Metaphorically speaking.

The popularity of "nerd culture" is about to reach critical mass and, soon enough, it will no longer be cool to be a nerd.  But here's the thing... it never was.  Not really.  What became cool was the interests of nerds, not the nerds themselves.  The problem is that the concept of what constitutes a nerd has become heavily diluted by what constitutes a fan.  Let me explain.

Fans of The Avengers went to see the movie, probably at midnight, probably more than once.  Avengers nerds went to see the movie, consistently read the comic books, and can, on command, construct a point-by-point canonical argument explaining why The Avengers would win in a fight with The Justice League.

Fans of Star Wars have seen the movies, know the characters, and can make a Han Shot First joke.  Star Wars nerds have seen the movies so many times that they're practically committed to memory, know the extended universe from books, TV shows, and video games, possess bootlegged copies of The Holiday Special (which may or may not be autographed by Peter Mayhew), and can make a Jeff Vader joke.

Fans of The X-Men are familiar with the film franchise and discuss at length whether they'd rather sleep with Michael Fassbender or Sir Ian McKellen.  X-Men nerds will discuss at length why Dazzler is the best mutant ever and can tell you the address of the X-Mansion.  It's 1407 Graymalkin Lane, by the way, a bit of information I only know because I'm friends with an X-Men nerd.

Fans of Batman can tell you all about Bruce Wayne.  Batman nerds can tell you all about Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damien Wayne, and saw the TAG plot twist in The Dark Knight Rises coming a mile away.

Fans go to Comic Con.  Nerds spend months on costumes, wait all night in lines, and leave Comic Con already making plans for next year.

I could go on and on with examples of this, but the point I'm making is that most people are fans.  And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.  I encourage people to be fans of these things.  I'm thrilled that there are more people taking an interest.  However, don't go see the highest grossing film of the Summer, put on some thick glasses, and call yourself a nerd.  Not only are you a pretender to the nerd throne, but you probably don't want the burden that comes with it.

There's a reason nerds were never cool.  Because nerds are fucking weird.  Nerds are pathologically obsessive.  When we become fans of something, we can't just stop at the basic information.  We learn everything there is to know about that particular thing.  We spend hours on Wikipedia, clicking through link after link, absorbing as much knowledge and trivia as we can.  We watch and re-watch movies and TV shows in order to know them better than anyone else.  Not because we want to, but because we HAVE to.  You see, we are unbelievably competitive.  We want to win at information because, for the most part, we sure as hell can't win at anything else.  We're also incredibly possessive, jealously guarding our chosen interests and, when attacked, defend those interests.  It's like when a person insults your family... you recognize the flaws and you can point out your family's shortcomings all you want, but when someone else does it...

The unfortunate truth about nerds is that we are addicts.  Were our attentions not devoted to our comic books, films, TV shows, music, sports (yes, sports nerds exist), video games, science, math, and/or other obsessions, we would be highly susceptible to alcoholism, drug addiction, or behavior bordering on stalking that results in restraining orders. 

Nerds also tend to struggle with depression and use their chosen addiction as a means of escape from those feelings of hopelessness and loneliness.  Acquisition of knowledge about Batman might seem a rather useless endeavor to most people, but to someone out there, it was a reason to continue living.  For more people than you'd think, amassing a collection of Doctor Who action figures was a way for them to feel connected to the world instead of crushingly alone.

This may have saved someone's life.
When fans call themselves nerds, it ignores the hardships nerds have gone through and the efforts nerds have made in the name of the things they love.  When a fan dons a geeky t-shirt they picked up at Target, a nerd carefully frames a 30-year-old shirt that has been worshiped like a religious relic.  I'm not saying it's healthy or even admirable.  Nerds are a strange, obsessive, socially awkward, overly sensitive bunch.  It's not easy to be a nerd, to have this unyielding, insatiable need to know all there is to know, see all there is to see, and do all there is to do related to their interests.  But it's who we are and it's all we have and we take it REALLY GODDAMN PERSONALLY when people want to take a shortcut and claim to be one of us.

Casual fans invade our space and we fall back.  They commandeer entire genres and we fall back.  Not again.  The line must be drawn here.  This far, no further.

So, to you hipsters, posers, and fakers, I say this: If you REALLY want to be a nerd, you had better fucking earn the title.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eternal Distraction of the Enamored Mind

My brain wanders off sometimes.  The last two days, it has done more than wander off... it has bolted away the second my back is turned, like me as a small child.  I'll sit down to read a book and find myself ten minutes later, just staring at the bottom of the page, having discovered that my brain has slipped out the back door when I wasn't looking.  To what dangerous locales does it run on its little adventures?  These last 48 hours, it has gone venturing towards two abandoned neighborhoods: Love and Comic Con.  One of these is significantly easier to address than the other, so let's begin with Comic Con.
Is there a Doctor in the house?
I sincerely apologize for the above joke. The writer has been sacked.

I'm back there, somewhere, dressed as the Ninth Doctor.  Also, somewhere, are my two friends, dressed as Four and Five.  However, the group that separates us from each other is comprised entirely of strangers.  Strangers.  But there we are, arms around each other, posing for hundreds of photos over the course of about an hour, acting like the oldest of friends.  Why?  Because a TV show means enough to all of us that we'd spend time and money to create costumes and trek out to San Diego for a weekend, just to hang with people as crazy as us.  I did a whole post on this a few months back and I don't mean to harp on the same thing over and over, but that is my favorite picture from the whole weekend.  (My second favorite can be found here which is a link to CNN's GeekOut blog, wherein there is a picture of me and Amanda winning the Adam Incognito contest.)  The reason a picture of me with a bunch of strangers wins over me with a Ring Wraith Mythbuster is very simple: meeting real people is more important than meeting celebrities.  Yes, it's extremely cool to have those few moments with a famous person whose work I admire and respect, or at least enjoy.  But then it's over and that person goes on to the next fan in line.  We aren't friends and we aren't going to go out for drinks later.  Meeting me is just part of their job description.  However, when you meet regular people at Comic Con, it's different.  You might go to the bar down the street or exchange phone numbers or become friends on Facebook.  People who go to Comic Con can and will form lasting connections to strangers, all because we have these random things in common.  Comic books, TV shows, anime, D&D, whatever.  Things that seem silly to the rest of the world, but mean the world to us.  Comic Con brings us all to one place, says, "Hey, you know that thing you love?  Well, here's 50,000 other people who feel the same way." and then gives us all a big group hug.  It's a really beautiful thing and I hope I always feel the same way about it.

So that's the easy one.  That leaves my other current distraction: the tedious issue of feelings.  As much as I'd like to be an emotionless automaton, I have found myself the most unfortunate owner of romantic feelings lately.  Since this situation never works out in my favor, I am attempting to handle it with an appropriate level of caution.
For use in case of love or nuclear fallout
My ego got a little bit ahead of my weight loss and started throwing feelings at people who, for the time being, remain well out of my league.  And now, despite the fact that my brain recognizes that these feelings are entirely irrational, my heart is stubbornly set on this person with whom I have exactly no chance.  I'm not writing all this to elicit a chorus of compliments or because I'm feeling down about myself.  For the record, I think I'm a pretty swell dame with a few physically attractive traits.  But I do recognize when someone can do better than me.  And this is one of those cases.  But feelings won't go away just because I know that they're illogical.
Don't even pretend you didn't think of him when you read the word "illogical."
I keep thinking of Schrodinger's Cat.  The cat can be thought of as simultaneously alive and dead, until you open the box and find out for sure.  Statistically, there's a 50/50 shot of either outcome.  But, from a rational standpoint, let's face it... you put a cat in a box with some radioactive poisoning contraption, you've more than likely got yourself a dead cat.  Also, the neighbors have called the cops because torturing animals and possession of radioactive materials are both activities generally frowned upon in polite society.

Criminal mischief charges notwithstanding, I trust you grasp the metaphor I'm going for here.  I'm pretty certain I know and my sane, rational side is content to leave the box closed.  Unfortunately, the part of me currently addled with feelings keeps drowning out its rational counterpart with Brad Pitt from Seven.
I guess I'm hoping that writing this here will get it out of my head, because it's been bouncing around in there like a hyperactive kid in one of those inflatable castles and it's incredibly distracting.  But I know, when it comes to situations such as this, love and logic will always be fighting with each other.  I just wish one of them would shut the hell up and let me read sometimes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Your Future Is In Another Castle

My last post was about a month ago and I think it's safe to say that it wasn't exactly the happiest of blogs.  But, wallowing in self-loathing and frustration was never really my style, so I thought I'd see what life looked like outside of my pity party.  So I chopped all my hair off and life was magnificent and everyone lived happily ever after.

Okay, that's a bit of an over-simplification, but it's not entirely a lie.  Here's what happened: I started to really think about what was making me feel so awful about life, thinking that I could sort it all into Stuff I Can Change, Stuff That Doesn't Actually Matter All That Much, and Stuff I Can Do Exactly Fuckall About.  I realized a strange thing during this process... very little falls into that last category.  Sure, I can't reverse global warming and I can't make all the morons realize that gay marriage isn't the end of the world and I can't make Nathan Fillion and Natalie Portman simultaneously fall madly in love with me.  There are things about the world around me over which I have no control.  But I can control a hell of a lot more than I give myself credit for.  And, as soon as I accepted that little fact, I felt like I'd gotten another life.
Warning: consumption of brightly-colored mushrooms will, in fact, give you the opposite of more life.
Realizing that my life is almost entirely up to me was hugely helpful in getting myself out of the hole I'd fallen dug myself into.

Hate your job?  Start throwing around applications for places you might hate less.  Learn a new skill that could be beneficial to your quest for new employment.  Find something redeeming in the job you have now that makes it more tolerable for you to remain there.

I'm displeased with my job.  But, until I find a new one, I've got two choices: be miserable five days a week or find something to enjoy about my job while remaining optimistic about employment elsewhere.  I'm going with the latter.  Not only am I still attending bartending classes, but I'm also actively applying for other jobs.  Meanwhile, I've been giving some thought to something that first occurred to me when I was a wee lass.  There was a time, somewhere between the desire to be a princess and the ever-popular (if not somewhat vague) desire for fame, that I said I want to be a cop when I grow up.  It's a thought that pops up every few years, like career Whack-A-Mole, and it always gets hit with the mallet full of logical reasons why that wouldn't work for me.  But those reasons are disappearing and I find it's a thought worth considering before sending it retreating back into its hole. 

Tired of being fat?  After accepting that results will not come overnight, stop eating so much and go to the damn gym.  Can't afford the gym?  Make the world your gym.  Find a staircase near you and run up and down for twenty minutes a day.  Don't want to go to the gym because you think everyone is judging you?  Get over yourself.  No one cares what you look like or what you're doing.  Everyone is just there to exercise.  If you feel that this isn't the case at your gym, get a less douchey gym.

I'm still fat.  I may not be Jupiter-sized anymore, and I'm proud of that, but I'm still overweight by most standards.  Instead of resigning myself to my Pluto-sized status and continuing to feed my depression with ice cream and pizza, I hit the reset button and started over.  I'm back at the gym on a more regular basis, which I feel really good about.  As for eating?  There's an app for that.  I didn't want to go back to the same repetitive diet that, while successful, was making me a sad panda.  But I do need something to help me keep track of caloric intake.  So I found an app called Lose It! that I've been toying with for the last week or so and it works for me.

Didn't attain a goal you'd set for yourself and worked really hard towards?  Figure out where you went wrong.  Maybe you didn't try hard enough, maybe you didn't give yourself enough time, or maybe it was just the wrong goal for you.  Something didn't go the way you thought it was supposed to and that sucks, but you can try again.

I had to give up on Slave Leia.  The realization that I was simply not going to be able to do it was heartbreaking.  But it was also a tremendous relief.  As soon as I admitted it, I felt better.  Had I continued my course of salads and sit-ups, I may have accomplished the feat of donning the gold bikini by July.  However, I would have done so as a depressed anorexic.  A costume wasn't worth hating myself over.  Comic Con means too much to me to spend it unhappy.  So, for this year, Slave Leia is out.  But that doesn't mean I can't wear something a bit sexier than I have in years past.  So, in two weeks, I'll be resembling this:
Dragons sold separately.
Don't like the way your hair looks?  Get some scissors and cut it off.  Then promptly go to Supercuts and sheepishly request that they fix the mess you made when you thought you were being all defiant and badass.

Not that I would know anything about that scenario...
I'd love to go on and on about how my hair was a symbol of my depression and cutting it off was some sort of meaningful gesture about freeing myself from the grip of sadness.  That's all very poetic and lovely.  But, the truth is, with Slave Leia out of the picture, I no longer had any reason to keep growing my hair.  So, one day, in the span of about ten minutes, I decided I didn't want my hair anymore, bought some scissors, put it in two braids, and cut it off.  It's an unbelievably satisfying and liberating experience.  I recommend it.  As for the braids, they've been shipped off to the good folks at Locks Of Love to provide wigs for the cancer kids, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Is my life all rainbows and sunshine now?  Of course not.  There are still things that get under my skin.  I still have to fight off some residual, nonspecific sadness periodically.  But I'm getting better.  I'll always be getting better.  Because what happens when you've maxed out your ability to level up?

And I'm not ready for that yet.  Not even close.