5 Things I Learned at Planet Comicon

There are nerds everywhere. There are other people just as nerdy as me. Nerdists, unite! It was so much fun to see other people just like me, who work normal jobs, have a family, and who truly enjoy immersing themselves in the imaginary world of sci fi and comics and fantasy. Even in the hotel bar Friday night, where the Big 12 Tournament fans were gathered, we found other sci fi fans who we talked to about the merits of this franchise or that franchise, the deep meanings imbedded in Star Trek, and a bunch of other stuff. Mary and Bob, it was nice to meet you!

Cosplay at Comicon

Cosplay at Comicon

I’m not too old to do fun things. People at Comicon don’t care how old you are. There’s no such thing as being too old to do something. If you want to dress up as a character from Star Wars and build and race R2D2 units, go for it!

Age is irrelevant. There were folks there younger than me, and folks there older than me. I was able to chat with an elderly woman who could scarcely contain herself as she waited in line to meet Lee Majors just as well as the teenage kid who built his own Starship Enterprise out of plywood and PVC pipe.

There’s a club for that. I was amazed at the club presence at Planet Comicon. There’s a group of folks that build R2D2 units (I’m soooo going to build a pink one . . . ), steampunk groups, Star Wars “dark” clubs and Star Wars “light” clubs. No matter what you are into, there are others out there just as into it as you are. Find something you like, get involved and meet other people who share your interests.

Art doesn’t have to be hoighty-toighty. Art is so much more than incredible works from the likes of Picasso and Monet and Manet. The comic book artists at Planet Comicon were sketching and drawing and coloring things that I would be proud to hang on my wall. There were metal sculptures, tiny fairy figures, costumes, bags, wall hangings. My very favorite booth, though, was a guy from Colorado who paints these amazing Star Trek and moonscape oils. We ended up buying a couple of prints from him, and our favorite is now hanging in our dining room.

Art by RICK MITTELSTEDT

Art by RICK MITTELSTEDT

The Importance of Art

Link

The Importance of Art

I met this artist at Planet Comicon. Absolutely fell in love with his art – amazingly detailed with rich, deep colors. My favorites were, of course, his Star Trek oil paintings, but I was also drawn to his images of astronauts finding bits of the Marvel Universe on the moon. If you have a moment, check Rick’s site out. He has some amazing stuff.

5 Things I’ve Learned from Geese

Snowmaggedon 2011

Snowmageddon 2011

  • Avoid bad weather – every winter in Missouri, the hubs and I wonder  why on earth we continue to live somewhere that experiences cold weather and snow. We watch the geese fly south, and know that those geese are so much smarter than we are. After all, they feel the weather change and say, “I’m outta here!”
Flock of Geese

Flock of Geese

  • Travel with friends – I know it’s hard to see in the photo above, but see all those specks of black in the photo above? They’re geese. A big flock of geese. They stopped in at a field a few miles south of us on their way north. Seeing huge flocks of geese heading north is one of the signs of spring that I most look forward to. I always wonder how they know where to go, if they take the same route every year, and if they hang out in family groups.
Honk, Honk! (thanks to HVargas with WANACommons)

Honk, Honk! (thanks to HVargas with WANACommons)

  • Encourage those around you (honk, honk!) – the next time you see a flock of geese flying overhead, listen to them. The geese behind the leader honk to encourage the lead goose to keep going. We all need encouragement.
Geese in Flight - Compliments of WANACommons (mikeinwayne)

Geese in Flight – Compliments of WANACommons (mikeinwayne)

  • Mate for life – geese mate for life. It’s truly for better or worse. The two geese raise goslings, migrate and survive together. If something happens to one of the mates, another couple will “adopt” the single goose. Think about that the next time you see three geese together.
Goose Arrow (via WANACommons / rawdonfox)

Goose Arrow (via WANACommons / rawdonfox)

  • Work together (and occasionally switch up who takes the lead so you share the load) – the next time you see a V of geese flying overhead, pay attention to the lead goose. He is taking the lead, cutting into the wind so that it is easier for those following him to fly. But he isn’t the only one to lead. As the flock flies, the leader occasionally drops back and another takes the lead. They share the burden and work together, so that they all reach their destination together.

Menopause Sucks

Emergency! Engine 51! I swear, I woke up about 4 this morning on fire. (by the way – bonus points if you can tell me the name of either main character in Emergency). I couldn’t get the comforter off quick enough, and nearly tossed my Mini Schnauzer on the floor in my rush to uncover. My nightshirt was soaked, the sheets were soaked. Yick.

Then I laid awake. I should blog about this, I thought. Could I create a gif of someone hosing down a steaming woman with a firehose? Would there be copyright issues? Can I even find a little video like that? What the heck are gifs anyway, and why do we like them so much? (there are several options, as it turns out. Here’s one I found. Not at 4 am. I waited until the sun was up.)

But I digress . . .

Menopause sucks. Been going through it for about 6 years now. It’s got to get over soon, right? The night sweats are horrible, but at least the daily hot flashes have subsided a bit. There’s nothing quite as miserable as sitting at my desk in the office and suddenly feeling the inner furnace kick on. The heat spreads up my body and through my face. Folks walk past me and look at me oddly, then ask if I’m okay.

Lori Robinett

I’m Mr. Heatmeister. . .

One of these days, I’m going to jump up from my desk, twirl around on one foot, then break into song . . . “I’m Mrs. Heatmeister, I’m Mrs. Sun . . . ”

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me . . .

My birthday, 2010

My birthday, 2010

Birthdays are supposed to be happy occasions. When we’re little, we put on crowns or tiaras and hit pinatas and have cake and ice cream. But what happens as we get older? Personally, my birthday is now tinged with sadness. My best friend from high school passed away (cancer) several years ago and I spent my birthday at her visitation. My birthday is now a reminder of loss and how short life can be. To make it worse, this is the first year without my daughter at home.  So . . . what to do? How do you celebrate a birthday when you don’t feel happy, happy, happy?

Simple.

You live in the moment.

You look around you and see all that you have to be thankful for. Family. Friends. Pets (after all, what says unconditional love more than puppy kisses?). Your health. Don’t give me any BUTS. But nothing. You have family. Extended family or adopted family. You have friends (and if you don’t have friends, get off your sorry rear and reach out because there is SOMEONE out there who needs a friend just as much or worse than you do). You may have health issues, but there are those out there who are worse off. Even when our daughter was in the NICU and we didn’t know if she would make it, there were others worse off. We considered ourselves lucky.

Take a deep breath and allow healing energy into your body. Breathe out the negative energy. Picture whiteness entering your body, and darkness exiting.

Take care of yourself. Do what works for you. Personally, writing helps. Scrapbooking helps. Curling up with a good book helps. Making a cake and licking the beaters works.

Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a sad post. I am not sad today. I feel blessed to be living in a house that is nicer than I ever imagined I’d have, with my husband of nearly 20 years (who surprised me with a Browning .22 this morning – what says love more than a firearm?!) and my puppies around me, and I will get up tomorrow and go to a job that I truly enjoy. Life is good.

But I also recognize that there is an undercurrent of sadness and loss that I feel today.

I feel the sadness, identify it, accept it. And go on. Because life IS good.

Beauty of Nature: Snow Geese

The past couple of days I’ve seen huge flocks of geese. On my way into work yesterday I pulled to the side of the road and snapped a pic of a flock of snow geese. They were amazingly beautiful. Awesome – in the true sense of the word. The sound when I rolled my window down gave me chills.

Snow Geese

How many times do we pass right by the beauty of nature without appreciating what is there?

Being an Adult

I’m tired and frustrated. I am so tired of seeing and hearing about young people who want to be treated as adults but do not act like adults. I am so frustrated with almost-adults who have no concept of personal responsibility.

In my job, I sometimes work with collections for a university. It is amazing how many parents call wanting to “fix” things for their child. I’m not saying I haven’t tried to fix things for my kids, but I generally encouraged them to fix things on their own or at least tried to talk through options with them.

But here’s the rub – at some point, that child is no longer a child. He/she is signing contracts as an adult and Mommy and Daddy aren’t always going to be able to fix things. That online college application that “Little” Joey clicked through may well have been a signed contract agreeing to do X, Y and Z or pay a penalty.

We’ve all heard of helicopter parents. I get it. The parent doesn’t want the child to face dire consequences, doesn’t want the child to be hurt (physically or <GASP> emotionally). But it’s gone too far. Now there are snowplow parents who bulldoze a clear path for their kids. (sorry – kinda mixed my metaphors there, but you get my drift. Get it? Drift . . . Ha!).

Somewhere along the way we’ve forgotten that children grow into teens and then become adults. At what point do you clip the apron strings? Even worse, how does the child survive if he/she decides to sever those apron strings and launch into the world at 17 or 18? Does the mother who told me she had to pay someone to give her son a job really doing him any favors?

Mother Hen (courtesy of WANACommons)

Mother Hen (courtesy of WANACommons)

And so I offer these tips both for the parents trying to prepare kids to leave the nest, and for the kids who are flapping their wings.

Being an adult means:

  • Living on your own, whether it be an apartment or a dorm. A dorm isn’t totally like living on your own. It’s kind of like a halfway house for probationary adults.
  • Checking your mail. That’s how bills get to you. That’s also how you will receive old-timey communications like greeting cards.
  • Reading what you sign. Contracts and housing contracts aren’t going to be limited to 140 characters and they’ll contain actual words instead of “OMG, U R prolly going 2 B L8 w the rent & B evicted.”
  • Paying your own way. Your parents and student loans aren’t always going to be there to pay for your granite counter tops and flat screen TVs.