Accidental Instigator

The writing group that we belong to maintains a Discord group where members can interact outside of meetups. Last week, a friend from the group invited me to join a second Discord server for writers that she belongs to/runs. I accepted with great interest.

When you join a server, it pops up a little announcement to let other people know there’s someone new. My username is “Jedi,” which quickly prompted a few other writers who dabble in the Star Wars sandbox to ask if I write Star Wars fic. That led just as quickly to a discussion of SW eras and canons, and I politely explained that I am a Legends girl. I can hold my own in conversations about the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Rebels, but I get sketchy on Old Republic stuff… and I don’t acknowledge the new movies At All.

A couple of the other writers laughed and joked that we should have a rant fest in a private channel about how horrible the new movies are… at which point another writer took it upon himself to find out why we dislike the movies and to “explain” to us why we were wrong. While I’m always up for intelligent debate, I sat big chunks of the following conversation out because it was clearly not going anywhere constructive. None of us we open to being converted and the gentleman trying to convert us wasn’t really interested in understanding our position… just making us acknowledge we were wrong.

So about ten minutes into having been there I sent my friend a polite note to apologize for starting fights on her server.  She, of course, was not at all concerned and told me not to worry about it. I pointed out that I wasn’t worried… I just generally try to get to know people before starting fights.  : p

On the bright side, it was a fascinating opportunity to watch people extract themselves from a conversation with grace and dignity. More than one person in the ‘discussion’ politely demurred to go any further, stating that they “knew their conversational limits” and needed to bow out. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so that so neatly and professionally before, especially in a digital setting, and it was intriguing and educational.

So although I don’t have a lot of time to hang out in servers, I do look forward to seeing what else I can pick up from the group since it is clear that at least some of them are class-act adults with tips and tricks I can steal for my own benefit!

 

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FanX

This post is drastically overdue, but better late than never, right? FanX (aka Comic Con) was at the end of April. Despite my best intentions, it felt like it snuck up on us. I’d made notes on things we needed to get for or change about our costumes, but somehow we still hit about a week-and-a-half out and I found them still not done. (Fortunately, it was nothing major and we managed. But I definitely came home and finished the list so we’re good to go for next time with no stress!)

While there are piles of good things about FanX every year, the thing that stood out to me most this time around was the feeling of being local. We parked in our preferred downtown parking garage. We knew exactly where we were going on the walk over. We took lunch breaks (it is unbelievably decadent to have my choice of restaurants with good, clearly-marked gluten-free menus within walking distance of everywhere downtown!!). We even met a friend for lunch of the days! There was no feeling like we had to do as much as possible, or like we didn’t want to miss out on a thing… because we’re local here, now. This is our Con. We’ll get another one in the Fall, and another next Spring. It won’t cost an arm, a leg, and vacation time, either.

It’s interesting to see how the event changes a little every time. What they tweak in the set-up, the vendors, the panels, that kind of thing. We sat in on a few fun panels and did some very successful shopping and did a lot of just wandering and enjoying. It was interesting to be reminded how long it’s been since the Indiana Jones moves came out, as there was an anniversary panel about Last Crusade.

Also, apparently, parents are not having their kids cut their teeth on the classics anymore. I’m not sure what’s going on with that, but there were a lot of parents leaning over and whispering to their kids that My Prince was Indiana Jones on the day we did that cosplay, as if that was a thing that needed to be explained. I was appalled by how many little and young girls were running around dressed as Rey who gave zero sign of recognizing My Prince’s (very recognizable) Return of the Jedi Luke outfit. (Seriously, children – I don’t expect anyone to know who Mara Jade is, but the original SW movies are classic!) Most of the Kylo Rens knew who he was, which I suppose was something.

Entertainingly, we did a good enough job with our cosplaying that the people from the 501st reenactment group encouraged us to join, so that was fun.  : )

I’m sure there were other things I meant to include in this post, but they’re escaping me and I want to get it posted before it languishes yet again. In short, we had an excellent time and we’re all set up to enjoy the next Con without stress, too.

Border Collies or Dragons?

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Somehow, as of late, we have managed to acquire a ridiculous number of puppy toys. I didn’t realize how many until I picked them all up and threw them on the doggie bed so I could vacuum.

(That purple and teal thing, by the way, is Hippo-snake. The dogs love it, but My Prince is pretty sure it’s an abomination. It’s about two feet long and has something crazy like 36 squeakers inside, each sewn into its own little pocket. The dogs love it… and I love watching them sleep on it like little dragons.)

Anyway, there is not a point to this post except to make you smile about our crazy fur children and their hoard. : )

Inversions

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Recently, I took a chance and joined My Prince in a Yoga Inversions class that he loves. I’d been doing Pole Conditioning in that timeslot, but I’d started to find that class to be consistently full and less consistently hitting the areas I most needed/wanted to work on. I was a little intimidated by the idea of Inversions, but My Prince loved it and it was something I didn’t feel I was strong in, so there was lots of room for growth… so I took the plunge and gave it a go.

First off, I was delighted to find that I didn’t suck at it nearly as much as I expected! Turns out all that conditioning I’ve been doing in other classes paid off.  : )

Secondly, the fact that it’s a much smaller class means that the instructor can pay more attention to each person and customize what we do more often/easily…so I’m getting way more out of it than I’d expected!

Third, I’d somehow never had a class with this particular instructor, but I very much like her style and the flow of class. Our schedule seems to change regularly, but I look forward to enjoying this new class thoroughly for as long as the schedule allows and I’m exceptionally happy that I took the leap and gave it a try!

Workspace

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For the last few months that we lived in NY, I had a standing desk. It was sizable and took up a big chunk of the dining room table on which I had it mounted. But I loved having it because standing kept me more mobile, less stiff, and less likely to slide into distraction or slog. (Which is extremely important, given the kind of work that I primarily do.)

When we moved, space and weight restraints meant the desk did not come with us. I didn’t replace it at the apartment because there was a tall counter that sufficed well enough as workspace. Settling into our new home, I found a variety of options that worked well enough and rotated through them.

Recently, though, a combination of things has gotten me reevaluating my habits – specifically, the places where they need changing. I’ve done a lot of assessing and experimenting already this year with what works for me and where my biggest pitfalls are, and this week I took a solid step toward reducing pitfalls by buying myself another standing desk.

This time, however, I went minimalist! In keeping with how we live now and my priorities, I specifically sourced something with a small footprint that is light and folds up quickly into mostly nothing for quick and easy storage when I’m not working. Having used it for a couple days, I’m finding there are things I don’t love – I have to adjust the sides separately and can’t do it with the laptop on it, for example. It’s doing the job, though, and I’m satisfied for now.

I’ve got a few other changes in the works to improve how I work, but this feels like a strong step in the right direction, and I’m pleased!

Recipe Roundup (Micropost)

I haven’t found a lot of time for exploring new recipes recently, but I’ve checked out a few worth sharing.

Maple Glazed Short Ribs – inspired by the fact that I got ribs in a recent Butcher Box I gave this a try and I may never make ribs any other way again. They are clean, stupid easy, and delicious. Plus, since they’re almost entirely done in the crockpot, you don’t need a lot of hands-on time or to heat up the house (which will be nice when summer gets here in full force!).

Shirataki Chicken Alfredo  – I pretty much used this as a base suggestion and then did everything differently. *shrug* It was easy and yummy, though, and a good reminder to incorporate mushrooms into a dish which I tend to neglect unless specifically prompted, even though my Prince enjoys them.

Pea Salad  – I was slightly skeptical of this, but I’m so glad I tried it! It took no time to put together, didn’t require heating up the house, and was delicious and satisfying and healthy and different. It’s also very easy to make in varying quantities and held fairly well, so I expect it’s going to be a staple this summer.

 

Halestorm Concert

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A couple of weeks ago, my Prince and I were on our way home from our writers’ group when we heard on the radio that Halestorm was going to be performing downtown the next day. As soon as we got home we jumped online and found that there were still tickets available and they weren’t crazy expensive, so we snapped some up.

The concert was at a venue we hadn’t been to before, but it was conveniently located not too far from the same place we’ve always parked when we’ve gone to other concerts and the weather was beautiful, so it was easy to find where we were going and walk over. The venue was fairly laid back, but clean and well set up and the concert itself was amazing.

We didn’t love the opening bands but Halestorm did a fantastic job! It was fun to see everyone from little kids to people far older than us all there having a good time together. We had an excellent time, and I remain a little awed that we live somewhere where spontaneous concerts are a thing we can do and that they are so easy, so accessible, and that so many bands we never expected to get to see in concert without massive planning and expense drop through here regularly.

I did mention to my Prince that I need to find the right mailing list to get on because this is at least the second and maybe the third concert we’ve found out about by accident on short notice. If major bands coming through to smaller venues is going to be a persistent trend, we need to get better about finding out ahead of time! That said, we’ve already got tickets for at least one concert in September and just heard that Sabaton and Hammerfall are coming in October, so we’re ahead of the game for them at least! : )