The Annual Bash

For the past seven years, there has been the Bash.

The Bash takes place over President’s Day weekend, Saturday through Monday. There is a theme set. Food is decided. A movie is picked. And the party commences.

The first Bash I remember was the Ulitmate Zelda Bash. We played and beat through as many of the Zelda games as we could, watched the old television show, and feasted on Deku Scrub Balls, Octorok Balls, and Kokiri Salad. It was an amazing time.

This year, the theme was Spooky Horror. The main game was Silent Hill 2. It was beaten Sunday. Other games played included Pony Island, Betrayal of the House on the Hill, Resident Evil 7,  Left 4 Dead 2, and You Don’t Know Jack murder something or another. The movies watched were Hellraiser and Hellraiser 2. The food was in no way themed, but for the first time since I started cooking for the bash, there was more than enough food to feed everyone for two days and still have some left over.

The best thing about the Bash is how many of my friends come together for this event. It’s something we know we can count on happening, and people will make plans and take days off to be there. It’s a chance to see friends that we normally won’t see for the rest of the year. And it has the added bonus of it being a sleep over. Which, as an adult feels way more fun than it ever did growing up. The memories that get created there last for the years to come. We still talk about events from bashes of years past. We’ll probably talk about events from this bash.

I strangely really enjoyed when we broke off the theme and started playing Smash Brothers and Artemis. I discovered that I really enjoying being a Captain. I think I am terrible at leadership roles, and yet I find myself in them and enjoying myself in them more often than not. It’s something for me to ponder more.

Now to move on to more planning for secret mission, and have hopes for the next year.

Cheers!

February Blues

When I started writing this entry, I was sitting at Tortilla Joe’s restaurant in the Downtown Disney District, taking myself on a much needed me date. This year is going by so fast. It’s kind of unbelievable. A lot has happened. To start, I have a temporary job. I am a data entry technician working from an office in Gardena, which is nowhere near where I live and entirely too close to Disneyland. Which is why I wound up stopping there to avoid some of the traffic nightmares on my way home.  I’m still going on interviews for other positions. I have one tomorrow, in fact. This year feels like a good year for getting interviews compared to previous years. In fact, I’ve already gone on more interviews in the past month and a half than I did the first half of last year. With any luck, one of these will stick to a job that will last longer than one month.

But I’m not going sit and spew that all has been nothing but hope and searching and trying to get employment. I’ve felt so lost this year. I am trying to find the path that my life is supposed to go on, but I can’t remember when or where I got off the path. I know it’s happened, the current state of my life is a huge indicator that Hey! Somewhere where you got off track. I’ve been taking these huge and tiny steps towards getting to a place where I think that I will be better. Where I won’t feel my anxiety creep up my spine and choke me.  Operation Secret project is a huge portion of that. It is, without any hesitation or doubt, the biggest thing that can be done to get myself aimed at a better place.

I took one of the hardest steps towards that operation. I told my dad about it. He wasn’t exactly what could be called supportive. He told my mother, who in turn responded in a manner that was beyond unsupportive. Which, is confusing. The thing I’m trying to make sure happens. It’s something that should happen. It’s something that should have happened a long time ago. I don’t understand why my parents seem to be trying to sabotage or bribe me to prevent this from happening. But it’s going to. Sometime soon (next month hopefully) I’ll be able to talk about it more. With better news.

Laller is getting progressively worse. Most days, she won’t really get out of her bed unless I carry her out and set her in the living room to socialize. I worry that the doctors and nurses were wrong when they said that she should have another five years in her. I don’t see how anymore. It’s terrifying and heartbreaking seeing how much she has regressed. I can’t take care of her anymore. I can’t handle the pressure or the responsibility and still manage to take care of myself. I’ve tried to do so, but it gets harder and harder to care for a woman who goes dead weight when I try to pick her up to feed her, or punches me repeatedly when I have to give her a shower, or bites when I need to move her to change the sheets that she’s soiled again. I found a home that could take her and do so much better for her than I am able to provide, but there is resistance from others to putting her in it. Which, I understand too. Laller was very vocal about not wanting to be in a living assistance home. But no one saw how badly the Alzheimer’s would affect her coming. We didn’t predict that within the span of a year, she’d go from someone who could take care of herself (feeding, bathing, cleaning, using the toilet) to someone who on some days just refuses to leave bed for any reason. It’s heartbreaking.

School starts next week. I have a few courses and a couple that is not in my normal major. But something that will hopefully help me get a job in the business field while I continue pursuing the education field goal. I know I what I want to do in life, I just also know that I can’t afford to sit and keep trying and only doing that one thing. I need to do more.

There things to look forward to. I have the Bash this weekend, my friends are wonderful, Opereation Secret Project is still going, despite opposition. And there will be more lovely rain soon. Gosh, that rain was needed.

There are things I have to keep holding on to hope for. There are reasons for me to be happy. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

An update, of sorts

I got hit by five birds earlier today. At least, my car did. It’s okay. I’m okay. Most of the birds are okay (as in they flew away – one, however, didn’t make it).  But I’ll be damned if I don’t live an interesting life.

It’s something my friends have commented on several times. A couple friends have encouraged me to take the experiences I have and fuel them into some sort of stand up sketch routine. I could do that, I suppose. But the combination of anxiety and not wanting to get permission from all the people I share these experiences with permission to use them beyond a laugh or venting among friends prevent me from seriously considering. And mostly, it’s the anxiety of it all.

There is more than one reason I decided against pursuing a career in acting.

I don’t know how to feel about this year, so far. There’s been good things and bad, which is really how life usually goes. I had my first interview for a teaching position, which just amazes me beyond all belief. I feel it went well, too. Which amazes me more.

Los Angeles has had so much rain since the start of the year. There’s been an actual winter – including hail which is damn near unheard of in LA. I mean, it happens. But so rarely. And it’s fantastic. I haven’t seen the city this green since I was a little kid. Driving in the rain is a pain, though.

Operation secret mission is going well too. Within a couple months, I hope to be able to talk about it more freely. I just need to get more in order for it. One of the bigger things is taken care of, though. Which is exciting.

I guess. There is a lot of excitement happening. Amidst fighting what feels like another spike of depression. Things will be better. This year is going to be better.

I just got to have hope.

Looking Forward and Back

I’ve had about 4 things in my drafts now for the past couple months. I don’t know why I never just posted them, but I didn’t and now their gone because if I was going to actually do something with those words I would have already.

It’s the last day of 2016.

Thank the gods for that.

This year has definitely has had fewer peaks than falls for me. My grandmother was kicked out of her home and moved here. Since then, I have watched her mental health and stability just crumble. She’s gone from knowing who I am most days to forgetting minutes after I tell her my name. I’ve had to rush her to the emergency room more than once. Though, despite that the doctors think she’s going to be around for at least another five years provided she doesn’t get sick or something like that. (I found this out and she immediately came down with the flu. Cause timing is great!).

My depression has hit such a high peak that I’m barely sleeping or eating. Getting up out of bed is it’s own kind of challenge. When I am up, all I want to do is run away and be anywhere but home. It’s not a real option for me. Not yet.

I nearly crippled myself permanently.

I watched the news as time after time, icons who helped me find peace with the world and myself passed away.

I got hit by another car.

I had my trust and heart broken by someone I loved.

I watched someone die.

But there were peaks. There was good, and even though they aren’t as many they shine brighter. At least, I believe they do. A lot of them were intertwined with my goals for this year which surprises me, to be perfectly honest.

So. To reflect:

  • Write at least three pages of something a week.
    • Yes! Though I didn’t update here as often as I would have liked, I did, in fact, write a minimum of three pages a week. Sometimes it was nonsense. The past month or so it’s been two projects, though.
  • Graduate from Pasadena City College.
    • Yup
  • Do a once-a-month self-date thing.
    • Yes. Which was nice and lovely but also sometimes lonely.
  • Go to University. (C’mon CSU Northridge you know you want this spaz)
    • I was accepted and have started at CSU Northridge.
  • Actually get my license.
    • I’m a driving Murphy now!
  •  Read 50 new books.
    • No, no this one I failed miserably at. According to Goodreads, I’ve read 27 new books. I’ve read a lot more than that, but I get stuck on rereading things I know and love as self-care or comfort.
  • Take one workout class.
    • I did do a one-day workout class, so I’m going to say yes.
  • Take a selfie every day, but only post the ones that actually make me feel good about myself, instead of posting the ones that make me feel awful about myself.
    • No. No, I stopped doing this pretty early on.  It became a when I feel like it type of thing.
  • Keep applying to jobs. Maybe actually get one. Maybe. (Someone please hire me.)
    • Technically, yes. I did, for one shining week have a job at a non-profit animal rescue – specifically bunnies. As much as I desperately wanted to work there and have that job. I wound up going to the emergency room just to fix the amount of pain my legs were in at the end of each shift. If I continued, I would have wound up permanently and more seriously crippled. It was too much stress too quickly for my bad legs. So my search continues.
    • Someone, please hire me.
  • See friends at least twice a month outside of school.
    • Yes. In fact, as the year went on I saw them more and more every month. The past couple months I was with friends 3 to 4 days out of the week. It was glorious and resulted in a lot of new firsts for me.
  • Follow your gut instinct when it comes to the people you interact with.
    • This one is hard to answer. Yes, there are people that I refused to have in my life. I cut back heavily on the people I interact with regularly. But I still don’t fully trust myself when it comes to people. I trust my friends, however, and they help a lot when it comes to people. And myself. They are helping me come to terms with trusting myself.

I could keep looking back. I could keep seeing the pits and falls and let myself get lost within them. But I’m not going to do that. This year has had a lot of bad. But there was good. I got closer with friends I’ve known for years but wasn’t great friends with. I realized just how helpful and fun playing tabletop roleplaying games are. I was given hope that next year, I won’t be spending time trapped in the home I am in now. I have things I’m working on that I’m not only proud of, it brings me absolute joy to work on them.  There are things in 2017 I am genuinely excited for.

And that is what I want to go with me into the new year.

Goals for the new year.

  • Do either a secret Los Angeles walk or stairs walk twice a month.
  • Fill out the Happiness Journal as it’s meant to be.
  • Keep applying to jobs.
  • Make one new friend.
  • Dance more.
  • Finish the writing projects I’m working on, or at least one of them as much as I can.
  • Read 30 new books.
  • Update here more often

 

There are a lot of other little things I want to do. But I don’t want to set them as an accomplishment for the year to do, and some are also things that for the moment. I can’t talk about publically. I look forward to when I am able to, though. I don’t expect this new year to be shiny and great and the best year ever. I do hope for it to be better. Even just a little bit.

Mostly for next year. I want to keep moving forward.  It feels like I’ve been standing still for so long. Making progress but not going anywhere. I want that to change. I’m going to do what I can to make sure that it does.

Happy New Years everyone.

May your year be shiny and bright.

 

Anxiety, Role Playing and me

My anxiety isn’t something that I hide. For one, I just can’t. For another, when I try it gets a lot worse. A few years ago I couldn’t manage it without the help of a lot of anti-anxiety pills and straight out avoiding leaving my apartment often. Which… in turn didn’t help anything because on top of being anxious and depressed, I was incredibly lonely and missed my friends.

Around the end of 2014, I got an email from one of my friends. He was starting a new campaign for a game called Assholes in Space, and he wanted to know if I was interested in playing. I’ve never played a table top game. I had no experience with character creation or role playing. The only experience I had pretending to be anyone but myself was four years of Theater in High School, followed by two years in college. This was fine. He’d help me through the process, and explain any rules that I had to know.

The character I had for that game was a Yellow Space Babe named Mina. She was klutzy, energetic and barred from ever returning to her home planet. And she was fun. With Mina, I got to pretend to be more intimidating than a puffed up chipmunk. I fought and protected people while being a bit of a dick to a lot of people. But I made a difference. My character mattered. It was a new and rather unsettling experience.

That game lasted about a year – just until the GM got kind of tired of running it. He wanted to run a different type of game. One that was a bit more serious in tone and nature, with a decent, solid committed group of players with knowledge of how to play Dungeons and Dragons. I wasn’t sure of how often I could commit to being there, and again faced the issue of never having played D&D. So I opted to sit out of this game and go observe some sessions on occasion while I read the Player’s Handbook. I missed the first session. I was informed in between the first and second that they are making a Bard for me, and I would, in fact, be in the game. Come up with a backstory, and the character sheet will be made at the start of the next session.

So I made Caelynn Nialo. A wood elf bard who ran away with a gnome she was in love with, and then witnessed his death at the hands of a dwarf. So she hated all dwarves and went with the party in order to have a better chance at exacting revenge. At the start of this year, another friend – one who was in Assholes in Space and currently in D&D – decided he wanted to run a superhero game based on and in the DC Universe. Thus, Britney Bright, also known as Diane Taylor, was born. A psychic who never learned to use her powers, with abusive parents she wants to confront, and a deep passion for protecting people.

And I’ve noticed something, as these games have progressed. I don’t feel as anxious anymore. It’s still there. I will still have panic attacks and need a day to rest and regain a level head. But I focus on looking forward to those games, how I want my character to grow and how they react to the different storylines we’ve been in. Each character has an aspect of me in them. Mina wanted to do the right thing, and often falls down and bumped into things and was just all about clumsy. Caelynn’s experiences left her with PTSD, and she works through it with the party she travels with and has overcome at least a small aspect of it. Enough to where it doesn’t eat at her. Britney Bright wants to protect people. She wants to make sure children are safe and happy and has a deep rooted belief that everyone is, deep down, a good person.

Every session gives me a chance to be someone else. To have powers. To make a noticeable difference in the universes the characters are in. As every one of them, I protected innocents. I took down great evils. I forged relationships and had to use my head in ways that I really just never have. And they’ve been a better form of therapy for the anxiety I have than anything else. It’s been a great peace of mind – even though sometimes the characters go through some more traumatic experiences. But as they grow, I have too. I grow, I have fun, and I spend more time with my friends.

And really, I can’t ask for anything more than that.

Scare Night!

Last night I made my annual trip to one of the local theme parks Halloween Events. After learning from last year that I really just can’t handle how ineffective handicapped people are treated at another park. I opted to go to the one where I have never been mistreated to a point of no return. I organized a trip to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Four of my friends joined me. And we had a blast. There was screaming, laughing, fleeing and overall joy. Two of them left early, but we had done six of the nine maze attractions while they were there. And Universal, like they usually do, delivered on each maze and scare zone.

The majority of the group favorite maze was the American Horror Story one. In it we had one of the highlights of our night, when one friend became so terrified he balled up and another dove to protect them. It had one of the best-unexpected scares of the night that got the entire group and a room that smelled delightfully of bacon. Krampus was another well enjoyed maze. The horror comedy nature from the film transferred easily to the maze, giving us all a change to giddily conga through the maze.  The Terror Tram was also very good, and taught me that I have the worst flight or fight reaction to being freaked out by clowns. Which just added to more hilarity.

The Walking Dead attraction, the new scare maze open in the park year long, was the one I was the most hesitant about. I had heard very mixed things about it – most of the scareactors who had been apart of my much beloved Classic Horror monster maze were replaced with animatronic zombies, a call back to the mummy maze years back. The scariest thing about the mummy maze was a man in a Hawaiian shirt hiding in a corner – so the loss of real people had me concenred. However, my fears were put to rest. That maze is really good and enjoyable.

I only have two complaints from the whole evening. One, is how loud every maze was. I understand the fact that noise is what causes most of the jumps and adrenaline rushes in the guests.  But for general atmosphere, it did not need to be earsplitingly loud. The second was the use of strobe lights for a long section of walk way to get to three of the mazes. That got extremely disorienting after a minute, and at least for me had me walking through the scare zone with my eyes shut to prevent dizziness.

But the night was good. The event was excellent. And I cannot wait to go back and experience the new terrors they present to us next year.

Horror Nights group.png

D23 and the Fanniversary

Last month I was given something that I have yearned to have for years – a D23 Gold membership. The gift was specifically a family membership, so that when events come around I can bring more than one person with me. There is an assortment of events and fun things that come with this membership, such as recipes on the website, an annual gift, tours of the Disney Archive and Lot.

Last Friday I attended my first event with my best friend. A special screening of Beauty and the Beast at the El Capitan theater. 20160902_2108590

 

20160902_205213

It was kind of like a dream come true for me. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie. It’s the first one I can remember seeing in theaters when I was three years old. It’s the one Disney movie and soundtrack that I have always gone to when I needed that pick me up that only Disney can provide, and I can’t make it to either the Disney District in Anaheim or the local Disney store. Or heck – even just sitting near one of the Disney campuses has proven to be helpful.

For the event – not only did we get to see the original theatrical version of the film, but we were surprised with appearances by Producer Don Hahn.

20160902_190619

And Jo Anne Worley, the voice of the Wardrobe!

20160902_190847

Both gave a wonderfully delightful inside peek at what it was like working for the film while being hilarious and entertaining. Seeing the movie in theaters for the first time since I was a little girl was an experience. It was like I was seeing it for the first time, cocooned in w0nder and magic that I haven’t experienced in such a long time. I cried, I laughed, I cheered when the Castle overtook the villagers. And I just enjoyed myself. This gift was more than I could have ever imagined. It was a perfect first experience for this club. I really could not have asked for a better experience.

20160902_210303

The Fanniversary is always focused on one thing that is important to Disney history. This year the Fanniversary is Beauty and the Beast. The website has recipes based off of the film, craft ideas, and behind the scenes looks at the creation of the original film as it celebrates its 25th anniversary, but the live action version coming out early next year. The end of this event every member and guest there was given a gift – a set of three postcards with art drawn for this event. They are treasured works of art awaiting frames to go on my wall or bookshelves.

I am so grateful to the friend who got me such an amazing gift. I don’t know if I can every fully express just how much this membership has already meant to me, and everything that I have gotten from it. I cannot wait to see what else the D23 club has in store. Or for the live action Beauty and the Beast next year.