Monday, October 7, 2013

Halved to become a whole.

If you've read some of my older posts, you probably picked up on the fact that I had previously been in a long-term, serious relationship, and that relationship was something I believed to be incredibly wonderful and positive.  He was (still is) a really great guy: nice, considerate, handsome, helpful, smart, funny--

Alright, that's enough.  I'm not here to verbally fellate my ex; you get the idea.

When we were together, it was like this, almost all the time:

Honest.  Our friends were always complaining about how cute we were together.  We had plans to retire into a retirement community and participate in water aerobics.  We named our future dog.  A sizable list of vacation destinations.  Knew where we were going to look for our first house.  Even at the end of three years, we were still holding hands, giving back rubs, and kissing hello and goodbye.  I loved him more than anything.

Not to say we didn't have our issues.  He had his, I had mine, and we both wore blinders.  I had no idea how unhappy our relationship was making me, and if he was unhappy, he never expressed it.  So we got engaged, and shit got real.  I started really thinking on what it would be like to be together forever, tried and failed to address some things, and we broke up.

For the greater part of six months, I was DEVASTATED.  Yes, even though I ultimately made the decision, I regretted it so intensely that I hated myself for making it.  I thought about him every day and was miserable being alone after being coupled for so long.  It was a legitimate, DSM-IV-TR defined depressive episode, including change in weight, change in appetite, change in sleep patterns, depressed mood, and loss of pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyable.

I thought I had thrown away the most amazing and most important relationship I would ever have, and magically, I couldn't even seem to remember why.  I could conjure up memories of small issues, but they seemed so ridiculous and insignificant that I couldn't believe I'd let them affect us at all.  How could I have gotten upset over that when he was just THE MOST PERFECT MAN ON THIS EARTH WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!?!?!?!

I didn't even notice when I started writing again.  Or started making plans with friends again.  Or started enjoying driving alone in the car, singing at the top of my lungs.  I didn't drink as much.  I did things on my own.  I started trying new things that I had previously written off.  I bought clothing that I thought was cute, regardless of whether someone else might like them or not.  My self-confidence came back.  I flirted with whomever I wanted to flirt.  I started going on dates.  I did what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, and there was no anxiety or loneliness or need to check in or desire to be with someone.

Suddenly, being single felt more like this:

I didn't have to worry about anyone but myself.  I did whatever made me happy, and it was okay to be 100% selfish all the time.  No sharing the TV, no arguing over what to have for dinner, no obligations for someone else, no stress.  Life on easy street!

Over time, without me even noticing, everything had transformed.  Being single went from an extreme loss to an incredibly profound sense of freedom.  We all know that relationships are a lot of work, but when you spend three years doing all of the work by yourself to try and keep things going, ending it really untangles you from some unbelievably heavy chains, and find yourself feeling lighter than a feather.

Dr. Viktor Frankel, one of the most amazing men to ever grace this earth, said that despair can be defined as an equation: D = s - m.  Despair is suffering without meaning.  Sort of like suffering through a relationship that, despite your partner being a great person, should've ended a long time ago.  After a while, there is no meaning to it, nothing to learn, and nothing productive to be gained from keeping it going.

I still love my ex, very much, but I very much regret ignoring our problems for so long and continuing on just because my logic told me he was a great guy and no one would treat me better.  Unfortunately, I needed things from him that he wasn't willing -- or perhaps, even capable -- of giving.  It put me in a very dark place, but even that, I am grateful for, because now I can recognize it for what it is and get out of a situation before I ever get there again.  I wasn't myself, and I didn't even know it.

But now, I've accepted who I am, and have realized that if anyone else doesn't, fuck 'em!  If we don't connect, we don't connect -- it's no one's fault, it just happens.  And if we DO connect, well, that's a story for another day... (dun dun DUNNNN, foreshadowing)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A slut, by any other name...

Okay, OKAY, so twenty minutes is a little fast.  Even for me.  I prefer at least a few hours, I mean really.

Joking.  But listen, I have no problem admitting that, since the end of my very serious relationship with my Marine, I've become, what some might call, an "easy" woman.

M'I'Rite, ladies?

I have, and it doesn't bother me.  I see something, I want it, I go after it, and I get it.  I believe that's the definition of ambitious.  What I happen to want just so happens to be sex, and for a woman to chase men like sex objects is somehow taboo.  It doesn't make any sense.  It's completely non-sensical.

Absolute nonsense.  That's all I'm saying.  WHY is it okay -- nay, encouraged -- for men to try to nail a woman as soon as possible, or to get a beej from a stranger in a bathroom, or bang a bar skank in the backseat of a car, but it's not okay for the woman to do these things?  The dude gets a high five from all his other dudebros, and then they all sneer at the so-called slut that was on the other end of the P.

A coworker of mine told me that I should hold out as long as I can, because my vagina is the most valuable thing I have, and to give it to a man is a gift I should only bestow on someone willing to wait.  This was another female.  A fellow woman was suggesting that my intelligence, sense of humor, values, skills, and every other part of the glorious package that is me absolutely pales in comparison to my cooch.  That a man will never value me as a person unless I hold out on him, because once he has it, he doesn't care about the other stuff.  God forbid a man bring an easy chick home to meet his mother!

And you know what?  For a while, I was embarrassed.  Ashamed, really.  I racked up quite a few notches in the bedpost quickly, and that was wrong, somehow.  I didn't tell anyone, and if I did mention getting laid, I inflated the amount of time we'd spent together before doing the deed to make it sound like I was a proper lady.  But WHY?  Why should I be ashamed to satisfy my basic, primal, human needs just because I'm a woman and not a man?

Sure, there have been guys who have slept with me once and made it clear they're not interested in a commitment (see previous post for an example of one such douche).  That's cool; I don't want to settle down with a man like that anyway, so it saves me a lot of wasted time and heartache.  And I know it's not something I'm doing wrong because they always call again.  Guaranteed.  I think, of all the men I've been with in my entire life, there was only one who didn't call me again, though he did send me a Facebook message that just read, "Hi."  It's not me, it's them.

And that's the case for most women, even though we're taught by our oh-so-evolved American society that it's always our fault.  He never calls you again?  You should've/shouldn't have put out.  He cheats on you?  You should've put out more.  He doesn't pay attention to you?  You must be terrible in bed.  And my favorite: You two broke up?  You must've been naggy and prude.

That's fucked up.  I'm sick of this stupid stigma against women who like to have sex.  And the hate comes from both sexes, which is doubly bad!  Do you REALLY think I'm going to try to bang your boyfriend because I like to get laid?  PLEASE.  There is waaaaaaay to much effort to do that, versus taking home a single guy.  And if I meet him out somewhere, and he tells me he's single, THAT'S NOT MY FAULT, IT'S HIS.  HE'S the one that's cheating on you; how could I possibly know! (For the record, I've never nailed anyone's boyfriend.  That I know of.).

Girls, could you imagine what life would be like if we stopped fighting and hating and ostracizing each other?  If we could just get along and be honest with ourselves?  I mean, who understands what it's like to be a woman more than another woman?  Why do we allow society to turn us against each other?  WE ARE THE SAME.

What I'm saying is, it's okay to be a woman, it's okay to want and go after the things you want, and other woman are not the enemy.  I'm pretty sure that's one of the many messages feminists try to get across all the time, but no one seems to be listening. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bitches be CRAYZAY!

Recently, I started spending time with a man I’ve been interested in for a while.  We met at work, but he was indirectly my supervisor, and our company has a pretty strict fraternization policy.  However, over the last few months, we became very friendly, spending a little too much time talking together, getting coffees and lunches, hanging out in his office, and so on.  It was exceedingly obvious that he had mutual feelings for me, so when he secretly informed me that he was interviewing with another company, I was thrilled.  As soon as he had secured the position and put in his notice, I pounced, and things were looking good.

And then we slept together.  I had a sneaking suspicion that he was going to get a little distant once we had crossed this milestone, and to my great unsurprise, he did.  A few days later, I received a text message from him, informing me that he didn't want "anything serious" and just wanted to "make sure we're on the same page."

Phew!  Good thing he told me early so I could return those matching wedding bands!

It’s not the fact that he doesn’t want a relationship that bothers me.  It’s not even the delivery (a text, I mean, really?!).  What really irks me about the situation is that he assumed, as most men seem to, that I was going to get clingy because we slept together.  Frankly, I’m insulted.

I do, of course, realize that many women tend to get more intense feelings after reaching that level of intimacy with a partner; it’s an evolutionary trait (honest, it really is; look it up).  However, men seem to assume that ALL women ALL the time are going to turn into crazy, needy banshee creatures that will swoop in and ruin their lives.

This guy isn’t the only one.  In fact, the last two pseudo-relationships I’ve started have gone the same way – we go out a few times, everything is light and fun, and then, when I finally give in to their advances, it suddenly gets weird.  Is it just too soon?  How long are you supposed to wait?  Why does it even matter?!  AREN’T WE ALL ADULTS HERE?!?!

Here’s the thing about me: I like sex.  Wait, no, sorry – actually, I love sex.  When I'm comfortable with and attracted to another person, it's something I could do three times a day, every day, and not get bored.  Even if it's pretty much the same moves every single time, I still want to do it.  Beyond the physical awesomeness, I really enjoy that insanely intimate connection, especially if he's into kissing and looking into each others' eyes and being all passionate and shit.  Or hair pulling and rough stuff.  Or gentle, sweet, tender stuff.  It doesn't matter!  I love that the things I do makes the other person feel pleasure, and I just love... well, sex!

On that note, I can -- and have -- had wonderful, sexy, exciting one night stands.  I don't make it a habit, but every once in a while, the opportunity comes up, and why say no?  I generally don't intend for it to be just one night; it just works out that way.  And that's cool.  I'm not going to be blowing up anyone's phone or driving by his place; if he wants it again, he knows how to get a hold of me.  If he doesn't, it's his loss.

Besides, I'm all like...

I'm not looking to get married.

I'm not clingy.

I'm not jealous.

I'm not high maintenance.

Men overthink things.  A lot more than they like to admit.  Just relax and enjoy how awesome I am.  Holy hell.

Monday, July 29, 2013

This is why I love Reedus.

I really can't explain it.  This is just the perfect GIF.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Sean Clark VIP Experience!

Mister Sean Clark has produced and written a whole bunch of stuff, but if you've ever seen him it was probably on his show, Horror's Hallowed Grounds.  Basically, he goes around and visits the famous locations at which scary movies were filmed, something I think is awesome, because I've loved horror ever since I was a little 'un.  My personal favorite is the episode for the original Nightmare on Elm Street, (the first scary movie I ever watched):

My favorite part is right around 8:00.  I giggled ferociously.  Also, the bloopers at the end are great, especially the twisted tongue at 20:48 or so!

I met Sean the first time in Philadelphia -- if you read my post about it, you'll remember that he followed me on Twitter and waved to me a few times throughout the day.

As I mentioned previously, I gave him some sour gummy candy at the NY convention, because I wanted to get him something and I was informed by his official stalker (@ClarkStalking on Twitter) that those are his favorite.  I neglected to mention that when I gave him the candy, he didn't take my autograph ticket.  I'm not sure if he forgot, or if the gummies were a bribe to get an extra autograph for free.  Either way, woo hoo!

Around 2pm of the NY convention, I was sooooooooo bored that I started scheming to get a picture with Sean.  I tore off a piece of the convention schedule and scribbled, "Can I get a picture with you, please? :)"  Then, I asked a volunteer if I could give it to Sean, and she directed me to the security guard who said no.  I did my damndest to look sad without actually pouting, which must have worked, because he quickly added, "But you're a VIP, so you can just cut right into line here and talk to him, if you want."  If I want?  Duh!  So I hopped back into line behind the next two people to go up.

Sean said, "What can I get you?" As a response, I laughed, and he looked a little confused.  I told him I was really at the con to see him, and that I could care less about Norman (well, I guess I cared a little... but I really was there to see Sean!).  The surprise on his face was almost comical, and he was like, "Oh, wow, I'm flattered!"  I asked if we could take a picture, and he said, "Absolutely," then had me stand off to the side so he could usher a couple more people through to Norman -- "Can't hold up the line!".  Then, he slipped around the table, wrapped an arm around me, and said, "Who's got the camera?"

I said, "I do!" and pulled out my phone.

He said, "Do you want me to take it?  We could do it like a selfie."  I was incredibly amused that he used the term "selfie," and I said yes, mumbling something about his arms being longer than mine.  I'd already set the camera to use the front camera, but Sean hit a button and somehow managed to open a search window (how the..??  I'm still not sure how he managed that), so we had to pause while I backed out of that and got the camera up again -- not that I minded in the LEAST, because we had our arms around each other the whole time.  I bet he's a fantastic cuddler ^_^

So this was the super cute result (ignore the bags under my eyes; I'd stayed up until 2am, gotten up at 5, and driven the 3 hours down to NY)!  He handed my phone back to me, gave me another quick hug, then scooted back around the table.

I was about to thank him and go when he said, "Hold on!"  So I stood there, and when I realized what he was doing, I said, "An autograph?  For me?"


"For free?"


"I can pay for it, I have money."


He made sure he spelled my name right ("Is it Jamie, J-A-M-I-E?"), wrote, "Much Love!!" and drew hearts all over it!

I thanked him a bunch of times, and then snuck back out of the line.  I framed the autograph, ordered prints of our selfie, and now Sean is on my bookcase.  He's even in front of Norman! O.o

I have a new love.  Too bad someone already put a ring on it; I'm late to the game :(

Also, he totally answers Twitter DMs.  Because he's just that awesome.  <3>

Fallen from Grace

I decided that, since my Philly experience was so fantastic, it would be a good idea to meet Norman Reedus again at the Wizard World in Manhattan.  I went down on Saturday, June 29th, getting up at 5am so I could leave by 6 and try to beat the crowd.

I beat some of the crowd, but it was already crazy busy when I pulled into the parking lot at 9:24.  The staff was doing valet parking, in order to try to fit everyone into the parking lot.  While waiting for them to park Sheila (that's my car's name) and give me my ticket, I chatted with the attendants' supervisor.  He asked if I was there to see Norman, and I said, "Is it that obvious?"  His explanation was that I don't look like a con-geek, but rather, a normal female, so he had to assume.

The conversation then somehow turned to the celebrity cruise from the previous night.  This guy had been on the cruise (working, of course), and basically told me that Norman was "partying hard."  I asked what he meant, and he said, "He was... partaking in... things."

Naturally, my response was, "Drugs?"  His response was simply, "Hey, the guy used to model for Prada, of course he does some fucked up shit."

Oh, well.  That's... huh.  Okay.  So the day started off on an uncomfortable note.

The VIPs were allowed inside early, so having already looked up the location of Norman's booth on the map beforehand, I headed straight back there to get in line, and wasn't terribly surprised that there were at least fifty people already waiting.  So I got in line, made friends with two girls that were, awesomely enough, also from Massachusetts, and waited patiently.

Sean Clark showed up at about quarter past ten, and I snapped a few pictures of him because he's wicked awesome and if he asked me to marry him, I'd say yes.  Just saying.  P.S. Sean, if you ever read this, I like solitare rings.  Thanks.

They set up the booth and sorted out security and where to direct the line while we waited patiently.  Sean seemed a little anxious, especially as 11am came and went and there was no sign of Norman.  He wandered around talking to people in line, which was nice.  He was probably worried we were going to riot if Norm didn't show, and he didn't want us to toss him on the pyre while we were at it.

It was mildly concerning that he didn't seem to know where Norman was.

But ho, Norman popped in through that double door at about 11:30 and slipped into the booth.  The line started moving pretty steadily, and I was up to Sean in no time.

He asked me what he could get me, and I said, "Nothing! I have something for you!" and handed him a bag full of several different kinds of sour gummy candies (which are purportedly his favorite, according to his Twitter stalker, @ClarkStalking).  He seemed excited about them, saying they were going to be eaten immediately, and when I wasn't looking, he slipped around the table and hug attacked me!

If I hadn't already had a bit of a crush on him, I would've developed one then!  He gives really good hugs -- no butt-out or one-armed junk hugs, but solid, two-armed, body squeeze hugs.  I loved it!

So after that excitement, it was my turn to see Norman.  I was proud of myself when I managed to form coherent sentences, saying hello and asking for a hug (which was a one-armed, across-the-table hug, boo).  After he signed my picture, I showed him my phone and the picture of me licking him from last time, and asked what we should do for this one.  His response was that he didn't know, and he guessed I'd have to go with a kiss on the cheek.  I didn't really say anything, but I thanked him for the autograph and left the line.

Fellow fangirls, please forgive me; I'm about to say something you're not going to like.

I lost some love for Norman.  The way he spoke, his slow reaction times, and his apparent difficulty in processing speech made me think that he was under the influence of a substance.  I don't know what substance, but I know he wasn't speaking or acting at all the way he did in Philly.  Considering what the supervisor outside had told me, I can only imagine it was some kind of drug, and I'm hoping it wasn't something he'd used before the convention, but that maybe it was just a residual effect from the night before.  Regardless, the very idea that Norman Reedus does drugs is a horrible one, and I hate thinking it at all.

I wasn't entirely convinced until later.  There was so little to do between the signing and the photo op that I ended up spending a considerable amount of time sitting on the floor against the wall (I migrated to a new spot every so often).  Around 4pm, signing was done, and Sean and a few security guys were escorting Norman over to the photo area, and I watched them from the spot I had staked out near their booth.

It was a huge chore for them to get Norman to focus and just walk.  He was super distracted and Sean had to keep reminding him to keep walking, c'mon, let's go, we have to keep moving.  He was just kind of all over the place, and I was super disappointed.  I ended up leaving before the photo; I gave my VIP pass and the photo ticket to a nice-looking family who seemed very appreciative, so that was a plus, at least.

Still, though, I feel a little heartbroken over this, and I wish I'd never gone.  HOWEVER, if I HADN'T gone, I'd have missed out a picture with Michael Rooker:

I told him that I'd hated Merle for SO. LONG, and that I was really glad he went out the way he did, and he laughed, gave me a squeeze around the waist, and then we got the lovely photo.

Also, this awesome little experience:

Story to come in the next post!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


This is an unflattering picture of my grandfather.  I took it June 14th, not quite two weeks ago.

He died this morning.

I can't say it was unexpected -- he had COPD, and his lack of proper oxygen certainly didn't help his failing heart, liver, and kidneys.  Note the toilet chair in front of him; that was about as far as he could move before utter exhaustion.

My uncle is relieved.

I'm devastated.

See, this man raised me -- he's biologically my grandfather, but he's played the role of my father since I was born.  I spent every other weekend and all school vacations with him, he took care of me and my mother financially when she couldn't, I stayed with him the many times my mom was admitted to the hospital, and he adopted me when she died.  I lived with him between the ages of 13 and 22, moved out for a couple years, moved back in for a year, moved out for a few more, and then moved back in again.

The problem is, as is often the case with death, is the course of our last interaction.  And, as is also often the case, it was fairly negative.

See, I work overnights, and then I do four or five hours at my internship.  When I come home, I go straight to bed to try to get a full seven hours before my next twelve hours of work.  Yesterday, I got home after 1pm, so I was lucky if I was asleep by 2.

At 7pm, I wake up to my grandfather yelling my name.  As I groggily roll out of bed, he yells it again, so naturally, I start to feel a little alarmed.  I rush downstairs and ask what's wrong.  His response?

"Feed the cats."

.......... He can't be serious.

I spend a few minutes reminding him that I sleep during the day, and that the cats have access to crunchy food all day long.  That there is no reason to wake me up two hours before my alarm to feed them; they can wait.  Regardless, I feed the damn cats their stupid, supplementary canned food, all the while mumbling angrily under my breath and slamming dishes and utensils around the kitchen.

As my foot landed on the first stair of the staircase, Grampa says, "Wait.  I want an ice cream cone."

Still irritated -- and more so, now, because there shouldn't even be ice cream in the house (diabetes) -- I throw together a vanilla ice cream cone and hand it to him.  I don't respond when he thanks me.  Then, something weird happens.

He apologizes.

I realize that, if you're reading this, you probably don't know my grandfather.  But he's the really old school, "suck it up and stop being a pussy" type.  Of course, he's an army vet, and he's gone through three heart attacks, a stroke, open heart surgery, prostate cancer, emphysema, and all the crap at the end without batting an eyelash.  I've seen him cry once, ONCE, in 27 years, and it wasn't even when his sister died, or when my mom died, but rather, when the stray cat he adopted died.

So when he says, "Sorry for bothering you, I just have no energy," I'm too flabbergasted to even process it, and I just go upstairs.  Thinking about it now, I'm trying not to get trapped in the guilt trap of realizing that I really must have been being an asshole to make him say that.  It's really hard not to wallow in the awful idea that the last thing I ever did was make him feel bad because he wanted an ice cream and couldn't get it himself.

Sigh.  No matter how many times you go through it, this stuff never gets any easier.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Philadelphia Wizard World 2013

I’ve never been to a comic convention and I never wanted to… until I found out Norman Reedus would be at the Wizard World Con (2013) in Philadelphia.

So I spent an inordinate amount of money on a VIP pass, which includes an autograph ($40), a photo op (more than $40), a sweet NR badge, and a “speed pass” to the front of the lines.  I recruited my best friends, Robin and Mike, we reserved a hotel room, and off we went.

We arrived around 1 PM on Saturday, June 1st, and the place was crazy busy.  Lots of nerds, lots of cool costumes, and lots of merchandise.  I spotted a huge banner saying PHOTO OPS all the way in the back of the center, so I beelined it to the back and quickly spotted Norman’s booth (it was easy because it had the longest line; there were, very literally, hundreds of people).  I asked a staff member about the VIP pass, and he brought me right up past the General Admission people and to the very short VIP line! I made friends with another VIP, Peter, and he ended up being my VIP buddy for the day.

Waiting at the end of the table, I chatted with Sean Clark, who is always with Norman at events, but otherwise, I don’t know anything about him.  I was like, “I follow you on Twitter,” which was a lie, and he asked if he follows me back, and I said no, so his response was, “Well, there’s probably a reason for that,” which cracked me up.  Then he handed me his phone with Twitter open and was like, “Here, fix it. Find you and follow.”  Super nice!  Every time I saw him around after that, we smiled and waved at each other.

*I change tense here because it was amazing*

So we’re getting closer, and his manager-lady tells us we can take pictures of him signing, but we’re not allowed to take any with him while at the table, boo!  Peter and I make a deal that I’ll take pictures of him with Norman, and he’ll take ones of me after.  I decide I'm going to ask him about living in Georgia, tell him he inspired me to start writing again, and thank him for being so good to his fans.

Peter yanks out this huge Daryl Dixon poster, and Norman is like, “Where did you get this?!” before taking a picture of it with his phone.  He signs, they chat a little, and Peter moves.  I’m trying to hand him my phone while balancing the book I brought for Norman and pulling out my pictures for him to sign when I hear, “Hey, sweetheart.”  His voice was so gentle, like delicious melted chocolate.  I’ve got the photo in my teeth when I look up, and I freeze.  It was ridiculously akin to a deer in headlights, and I was taken aback that Norman Reedus was looking at me, he'slookingrightatme.

I must've looked a little crazy or terrified for him to look over at me like that!

After a moment of me just staring at him, he says, “I’m Norman.”  My idiotic response is to thrust my picture at him and ask, “Will you sign two?”  He asks if it should be written to anyone, but I’m dumb and don’t answer, so he starts signing mine as I pull out the other one I brought for my boss, and I’m mumbling something about how she loves him, too, but she couldn’t come – I was just rambling because I was freaking out.  He points at the little one and says, “That’s my bathroom!” and I start rambling about how much I love when he poses his action figure weird and posts pictures of it on Twitter.  After he signs both photos, he looks at me again and does a come-here kind of motion, and I just stand there staring at him until he motions a second time.  Naturally, when he hugs me, I fangirl right in his ear, “Oh my god, you smell SO good.”  Cue forehead-slap.

I wish I knew what I was saying to make him ponder at me!

I collect my pictures and move down to a little empty table, where Peter is rolling up his giant poster.  As I’m putting my bag down, I realize I’m still holding the book, and almost scream, “Peter, I forgot to give it to him!”  Thank goodness for my VIP buddy, because he yells,” Go back and give it to him!” and gives me a push.  I completely interrupt the girl behind me (who was super bitchy in line, so I don’t feel bad) and push the book at him.  He turns and goes to sign it, so I slide my hands onto the cover, and when he looks at me, I stutter, “No, it’s for you!”  He picks it up in both hands, still looking at me, and quietly says, “Thank you.  Thanks so much.”  It’s so sincere-sounding that I get freaked out again and turn and run away.

According to my friends, the moment that I turned away from him, my eyes rolled back in my head and I made an orgasm face.  I don’t remember this, but I don’t doubt it in the least.  Experiencing the Reedus will do that to a girl.

Yay, beer!
Next, Robin, Mike, and I took a little break and went to the Hard Rock Café to get a beer, during which I completely forgot about and missed the entire Q&A panel for Norman, Michael Rooker (Merle), and Jon Bernthal (Shane).  

My friends walk me back to the hall, but then I abandon them to wait in the VIP photo op line with Peter.  I’m not exaggerating when I say there were at least a thousand people waiting.  Peter and I were in the second line, and there were thirteen more lines after us, each with at least a hundred people in each (they were LONG).

The photo op was supposed to start at 5:10pm, and we were in line before five o’clock.  We're still standing in the same spot at quarter past six, and they keep announcing over the PA system that the hall is going to close at seven, and we all need to leave.  Peter and I agree that Norman would never abandon us, and we're right!  The line ahead of us suddenly starts moving super fast -- the photos were going at light-speed, just *click* NEXT *click* NEXT *click* NEXT!

I walk up to the tape line on the floor, the staff guy says, “GO!” and I kind of skip over to Reedus.  He puts his arm out for me to step under, says hello again, and I blurt, “Can I lick you?!”  

In an absolute certain, deadpan voice, with no hesitation whatsoever, he says, “Yes.”  So I do, and they take the picture.  He tasted a little salty, and his facial hair tickled.

Norman giggles -- no lie, he GIGGLED – at me, and turns toward me like he’s going to say something.  AND I RUN AWAY AGAIN.  WHY WOULD I RUN AWAY FROM HIM.  *bangs head on wall for all eternity*

The photos print slowly, and the staff wants us all OUT, so they tell us we can get our pictures outside in the registration area.  Then, they announce that Norman will be signing AGAIN out there!  Peter and I rush out, and it’s a HUGE clusterfuck.  There were several different fan groups, no one knew where to stand for what thing, and there are those hundreds of people all looking for their pictures.  I grab Peter’s bag and he leads us through the crowd, and yells at someone, “Hey, guy in the red shirt, hand me my picture!”  I notice a guy nearby who keeps looking at me, then at the table, back at me, and back at the table, so I say, “You see my picture, don’t you?”  He says, “I think so,” and I go, “I LICKED him!” and he grins and grabs my picture for me!

Peter and I charge over to the impromptu Norman booth in the corner, and a staff member motions us into the VIP line, which is super short!  After a while, once everyone in the photo line is through, Norman comes out.  We all cheer as he’s walking toward us, and he holds up an orange like he’s super proud of it, which was adorable.

When I get up to him again, I force myself to say, “Hi, I’m Jamie, and I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself before but every time I try to speak to you, nothing comes out but this weird little noise!”  He smiles and signs my name and a little heart and his initials.  He looks up, still smiling, and goes, “You’re so cute.”  Then he puts his hand up for a high five, and when I give it to him, he closes his fingers over mine!!!  His hands were so warm, but not clammy, just wonderfully warm.  AND I RAN AWAY AGAIN WTF!

From what I hear on Twitter, he stayed until everyone was finished, a couple hours after the convention was over.  He’s so, so, so incredibly sweet.

I think June 1st, 2013, was the best day of my twenty-seven years.  Seriously.  Never been so happy.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Empathetic empathy

Empathy is an ability, a skill.  Sympathy is an emotion.  That is the difference between the two.  Everyone knows what sympathy is; your girlfriend sees a dead cat by the side of the road and she cries, because a poor little kitty is dead.  Those with empathy might think of the fear the cat experienced while a vehicle was bearing down upon it, or the pain of the little girl who wonders where her kitty went.

Empathy is an ability, but it is also a curse.  It makes you experience emotions -- usually negative ones -- when you, personally, have no reason to feel badly.

It seems that empathy is my life skill.  I have this uncanny ability to put myself into others' shoes, even though I haven't experienced much, myself.  Sometimes, it's helpful -- I tend to be a pretty good judge of character, and I've been told I give very reasonable advice.  But I always smile when work clients tell me I have no idea what they're going through, because I have never experienced a severe drug addiction.  They're right, but also wrong.  That smile is a rueful one.

Sometimes, I wish I wasn't at all empathetic, that I could be like everyone else and have no consideration for other people's feelings.  I wish I could just flip that switch and focus on myself.  It's so much easier that way.  Those kind of people have no idea how lucky they are.

Instead I've consigned myself to work in human services forever.  I'll work long, extremely draining hours making a sub-par salary, in an attempt to improve lives because I feel for them.

Empathy is a shit skill to have.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Norman, my Norman.

This man fascinates me.  I mean, utterly, completely intrigues me.  And, believe it or not, it wasn't his good looks that caught my attention first.  It was his acting.

If you don’t know, Norman Reedus plays Daryl Dixon in the extremely popular AMC series, The Walking Dead.  Daryl is a redneck with incredibly developed survival skills, and a similarly talented, but far more malicious older brother, Merle.  Though I was hooked on the show after just two episodes, Norman didn't really catch my eye right away (he doesn't actually appear until episode 3).  In fact, I didn't even recognize him as the actor who played Murphy McManus in The Boondock Saints.  (Though, to be fair, TBS came out in the late nineties, and I hadn't seen it since it exploded all over my college campus back in my ungrad years.)  Daryl seemed, at first, to be every bit the asshole his brother was, and who likes an asshole?

But then, as the season went on, and Merle disappeared, Daryl’s character began to seem different.  It seemed like there might be a spark of humanity under the cruel façade Reedus portrayed so well.  It became clear that he was starting to care for some of the others in the group, however unwilling, and it was obvious that his distance was only a defense mechanism to protect himself.  He began putting effort into helping everyone, contributing and being useful.  As the first season slipped into the second, he began to seem more like a member of the group, rather than just a guy following the people with the supplies.

There was a defining moment for me, when my entire view of Daryl transformed.  **If you haven’t watched through season 2 yet, I’m about to reveal a spoiler.**  After the group discovers Sofia in the barn, Daryl regresses completely, maybe even overcompensating and becoming even more angry and withdrawn than he had previously.  After all the effort he put into searching for the girl, his already ragged and wounded ego couldn't handle the blow of losing her.  He put himself out there, and he got burned, just like he must have been, many times through his life.  That pain, and his harsh, abrupt reaction, left me in awe of the man behind the character.  Obviously, the writers have the main hand in producing the script, and the director sets up the scenes perfectly, but it was the phenomenal portrayal of Daryl’s reaction that has me so intrigued with Mr. Reedus.

Norman put an entire back story to Daryl’s character without ever putting it into words.  Such a feat is already incredibly impressive, but the fact that he was given a sort of free reign with the character, and he chose to take it in that direction -- and was ridiculously successful! -- blows my mind.

I've watched countless interviews, panels, and Q&A videos, and read dozens of articles and written interviews, and I only become more and more impressed.  I wish I could sit down with him and pick his brain.  I want to know his history, and the experiences that make him so humble and nice.  I want to know what made him who he is today, because it seems clear to me that so much of him is in Daryl’s character.

Like I said, fascinating!  And yes, I did use this as an excuse to post copious amounts of photos :)  Here's one more for the road!  Oh, captain, my captain!