Saturday, February 28, 2015

Glitter vs Jem Part 1


 Day 52: Should I cut and color my gray hair? 

My next few blog posts will break from reflecting on married gaming.  Instead, I am soliciting input from my readers about my hair quandary.   I will tell the story of my own hair journey and ask for input and advice on whether I should cut off my long glittery/silver locks and dye my hair an outrageous color? 



My streak of glitter 

Truly, Truly, Truly Outrageous

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with Ghost Busters.  Who am I kidding I am still totally obsessed and cannot wait for the kickstarter board game and upcoming movie reboot.  But when I was a kiddo my play dates were filled with talk of marshmallow men and evil paintings.  Living next door to my grandparents was the Egon to my Venkmen, a lifelong friend who had two eco-packs.  Together we regularly fought the forces of evil and collected old fireworks and bugs along Vassar Street.  Other than my eco-pack, I never really gave any thought to my attire or gender while pinning our bug collections to a bulletin board. 

I was mostly a tomboy, but Saturday mornings were the exception when I was transfixed by Jem and the Holagrams.  To me Jem was kick-a$$ pink version of Gene Simmons.  Long before I wanted to be a college professor I was fantasizing about having crazy pink hair and jewelry that connected me to a super computer. It just occurred to me in the last 24-hours I could totally have pink hair and super jewelry.

Bad Hair

When I was 16 my identical twin entered beauty school.  It was around this time that I first realized that most young women don’t just come to school with the way their hair naturally looks, they spend time manipulating and styling it (I still prefer sleep).  It would be another decade before my twin would bequeath me a flat iron, barrel curling iron, and hair dryer.  I have always known how to French braid or create a ponytail but in my 33 years I have only recently attempted to “style” my hair because I feel crappy about my appearance.  Hair is considerably important to the way women both perceive themselves and are perceived.  My hair has always been a way for me to say: I like myself, even if I don’t fit into your hypersexualized, younger, better version of what I could look like.   

Buffy Hair

Twelve years ago, and inspired by a season 6 episode of Buffy "Gone" and I cut off all of my hair.  This is actually a great story about how being married to me can be unpredictable. 

I was watching Buffy and working on my masters thesis, as a sidenote the topic of that paper was sex in video games.  Buffy was playing in the background and I realized I was pulling on my hair.  I walked into the bathroom and cut it all off.  Unlike Buffy, my hair looked terrible.  I immediately drove the 100 miles from college to have my twin fix the mess I made.  Her only option to correct my hack job was a pair of clippers.  She was very pregnant and berated me throughout the process, after her required payment of Cherry Garcia ice cream I headed back to school. 

Short Hair at E3
When I arrived to our flat/ aka the garage we rented, the hubs was already asleep.  It was a long drive so I collapsed beside him relieved to finally be home.  A few hours later I woke up to screaming.  His screaming.  Imagine his surprise when he woke up beside a person in face down with a buzz cut and had no idea who it was?  Though he never woke me screaming again for weeks his hands would roam to the nape of my neck and find my hair missing.

 But I don’t want to keep long hair just so its there when the hubs reaches for it.  

Big Eyes, Small Mouth

Day 52: Geeks Out of the Closet

A few weeks ago at my sons birthday party it became obvious that either many 30 somethings in Bakersfield are closet geeks or our kids have carefully chosen awesome social circles. One of the dads has WarHammer sleeves tatted up each forearm, and several others complimented my Buffy d├ęcor and choice to name my first born Inara.  

After today I can say with confidence that my daughter is making great friend selections because we just returned from a 6-hour play date and housewarming party.  We were asked to bring a few board games and knew the parents had geek tendencies but were not fully prepared for the evening that unfolded.  Though we went through two turn based games, board games were eclipsed by awesome fantasy scenario designed by our hosts.
Shadow Hunters  post RPG 

Synchronized Play with Strangers

Tonight we embarked on the start of an RPG BESM campaign with five strangers.  So for those who read my blog and do not understand alphabet soup:

DM= Dungeon Master (the narrator or architect during the game)
RPG =role playing game
BESM =Big Eyes, Small Mouth (aka the book that sets the rules for our story)

To simplify, we were basically playing a story telling game like dungeon and dragons.  Meanwhile, in real life our collective kids battled with moded cosplay nerf guns.  While we battled the reprehensible underworld in a Bioshock-like world, our children laughed and played animatedly at their own imaginary games of pretend.

Epic Love and Lamination  

The husband and wife duo that hosted were equally matched in their commitment a role-playing night.  The husband and DM had selected combat sequence music, character voices, and even laminated skill cards for each character. The wife helped each player with assigning skills and introducing players both in and out of game.  This game night was so successful because two people who love gaming, and love each other, came together to share a fantasy world with friends.


Our hosts this evening made me aspire to new heights as a married gamer.  Though my complete lack of domestic skills will not have me crafting laminated skills cards anytime soon, it has raised the bar.  Shout out to Jen and Tom, a gaming couple who remind me why I married a fellow gamer and embarked on these 100 days. 


Friday, February 27, 2015

The Laundry Goblins

Gamer mom fights back against laundry goblins
Day 51: May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

As every person with small children understands, the laundry wars are real and there are casualties.  Last week my partner purchased new socks for the kids because the unpairing, holes, and growing feet overwhelmed his senses.  But my resolve rarely allows me to wave a white flag at Target; instead I will wash and fold each stitch to its maximum capacity.  Yesterday, I realized that the two baskets of sorted clothing were not waiting to be washed but instead just needed to be put away.  Well played laundry goblins, well played.

Running Diablo and Laundry at Midnight

Last night the hubs played Diablo until almost midnight while I held the line of defenses against the laundry goblins.  Even though we faced different foes being together in the trenches is an intimate situation.  Having risen from bed at first dawn our joints and eyes ached from exhaustion.  We kept going, executing rehearsed tasks and taking our bodies to their maximum capacity.

The Next Mission

Sleep deprived selfie
I just received a call that one of my kiddos is feeling ill.  That means that the laundry goblins called in re-enforcements and I must equip my Lysol can.


Tip: Marriage and gaming are not for the faint of heart.  It takes vinegar, resolve, and Lysol.  But even on the longest, monotonous days, you can still level up as a couple.  It is the days you face foes like laundry goblins that you find out what you really made of.  49 days to go.    

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tales of a Wannabe Slayer Part 2

Day 48:  You can’t take the sky from me

In the comment section of my blog someone asked me to reflect on my personal faults that have brought me to this place in my life and marriage.  A few aspects of this answer include that I am brutally honest (that some people would also describe as being mean), and I know how smart I am, and I am stubborn.  It took me a long time to achieve these qualities and requires a lot of work to maintain my honesty, intelligence, and stubbornness.  Proceed in reading with caution and note that even if my personality has gotten me to where I am today, I have no plan to change anytime soon. 

Ambien versus BtVS

We all have self-care rituals that help us unwind at the end of a long day.  Some women can’t wait to soak in the tub, have some wine, snuggle, or review their DVR.  Although none of the previously mentioned options sounds off putting to me the most calming activity for me at the end of each day is to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

After my last blog post I realized my consumption of Buffy is both sacred and habitual.  I find it difficult to sleep without the teenage angst and poof of vampires exploding into dust in the background.  Recently, I have tried to watch Alias, Lost Girl, or Xena (all equally acceptably kick-ass girl power shows) but they do not soothe me.  Only Buffy with a side of Mal can ever get it done for me.

Stubbornness

I am open to new experiences but once I find something I like it is hard for me to change.  Once I found Iyengar Yoga all other yoga just lost its shiny-ness for me and I became a devout follower.  Together with the twin, I have ordered the same sundae from our local creamery for over 20 years.  Mac not PC.  No time soon will I be aspiring to obtain a girl card from Sephora.  This list could go on for a while, but it will take anyone about 10 minutes of reviewing my blog to realize I am set in my ways. 

Tales of a Wannabe Slayer

Into every generation a CCB is born: one girl in all the world a chosen one. 


To borrow some words from recent online trolls, I am a Buffy-obsessed “dirty harlot” and “feminist tool.”  And it does not really matter if you like the woman described in this blog who also writes this blog.  I am living my destiny.  I am moving forward wearing my brown coat, and you can get on board with my mission, or get out of my way.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tales of a Wannabe Slayer

Day 47: Life and Death According to Joss Whedon 

“Passion…it lies in all of us.
Sleeping. Waiting.
And though unwanted, unbidden…
It will stir…Open its jaws and howl.
It speaks to us, guides us.
Passion rules us all and we obey.
What other choice do we have?
Passion is the source of our finest moments.
The joy of love…the clarity of hatred..
and the ecstasy of grief.
It hurts sometimes more than we can bear.
If we could live without passion,
maybe we’d know some kind of peace.
But we would be hollow.
Empty rooms: shuttered and dank.
Without passion…
we’d be truly dead.”

 Angelus - Passion (2:17 episode 29)

Transitioning

I feel differently about my priorities today then I did at the start of this year when I first started blogging. I still have a passion for games and the hubs but I am not sure what that means anymore?  

For years I have watched BtVS every single day.  I have watched the episodes: Tabula Rasa, Buffy vs. Dracula, Family, Becoming Part 1 &2 at least 200 times a year.  When I was pregnant with the kids they would both be soothed by the opening riff at the start of the show and stop wriggling in my belly.  Yup, I am completely obsessed with all things Buffy.

There is nothing in my life that I have not been able to understand through the lore of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Like most 90's girl power feminists, I could dedicate a lifetime of blogs aligning my life to the Whedon-verse, but that blog probably already exists.  Instead I will share a few lessons that apply to my current quest:  Friends keep you alive longer than your destiny might predict.  There is always a big bad, sometimes its tangible, other times not.  There is real magicks.  Love is pain.  Monsters can always be identified with research.  And when preparing for an apocalyptic battle, sometimes the best thing to do is play DnD.  

Unfortunately, I am a Blogger not a Buffy  

I took a few days off from writing because last week this world lost several awesome people in some tragically horrible ways.  Simultaneously, several people have approached me regarding my recent posts and I have learned that my blog, much like my personality, has a polarizing effect on people.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the prayers and blog traffic as it makes me feel like less of a crazy person.  Just because you have read my blog does not mean you know my story.  Just because I write my blog it doesn’t mean that I want someone to rescue me.  It just means I am trying to make sense of my grief.

Sitting in the corner of my living room is an unopened highly anticipated Buffy the Vampire Slayer board game.  I have been afraid to remove the plastic wrap.  The events of the last week have escalated that fear.  It occurred to me for this first time that this story of daily gaming might not have a happy ending.  We have beautiful kids, I have a can-do attitude, and a geek husband—but that does not mean we will live happily ever after.  My prayer is now that I will have a Slayer’s strength and that God will reveal a path.  No matter the outcome, I will keep blogging.

 I will strive to be a "Leaf on the Wind."