Monthly Archives: August 2016

Don’t Talk to a Woman Wearing Headphones

Woman with Headphones

Wow, I’m so not sorry that Dan Bacon used to be hopeless with women. I’m not sorry for picking apart his article about “How to Talk to a Woman Who is Wearing Headphones“. I am sorry [not sorry?] for any woman who has fallen for his bullshit.

Listen, if there’s some sort of emergency, I get it, make me take my headphones off. But other than that? The article insisting that there is a way to get a girl wearing headphones to talk to you is obnoxious.

I don’t care why a girl has headphones on. I don’t care if she’s walking, or jogging, or riding public transportation. No matter what, don’t force her to interact with you. And that’s what this article is about – forcing a woman who is doing her own thing to interact with you. So in regards to talking to a woman who is wearing headphones…

  1. Don’t stand in front of her. That’s threatening.
  2. Smiling is fine, but her smiling back doesn’t mean that she owes you anything.
  3. Don’t wave your hand at her like she’s less than a person for not paying attention to you.
  4. Don’t order her to take off her headphones. Oh sure, you can act like it’s a request, but it’s not. Just don’t do it.
  5. You won’t have to “acknowledge the awkwardness” if you don’t cause it.

Compliments and confidence don’t mean anything if you’ve ripped a woman out of her safe zone. Again, whether she’s walking, jogging, using public transportation, or something else, you’re bothering her. Leave her alone. Don’t assume that she will be “flattered by your compliment and impressed by your confidence”. Most likely she wants you to leave her alone. If she didn’t she probably wouldn’t be wearing headphones in the first place.

And hey, if she doesn’t want to be left alone? Teasing her by saying that you have somewhere to go, after interrupting her in the first place, is probably the worst idea ever.

As for the “mistakes” guys make when approaching a woman with headphones?

  1. Approaching in a nervous manner should be the way you approach, because any decent guy will recognize that they are very likely bothering the woman.
  2. ALLOWING HER TO IGNORE YOU IS A MISTAKE? That isn’t a MISTAKE, that is her RIGHT. Whether she’s wearing headphones or not. I can’t even imagine how anyone could rectify this.
  3. ALLOWING HER to take control of the interaction??? “No matter how confident or challenging a woman might behave, she still dreams of meeting a guy who is more confident than her.” I’m not speaking for every woman who exists, but I am speaking for a lot of them – we don’t want someone more CONFIDENT than we are. We want someone who is our EQUAL. This isn’t the 1950s. Or before. Get over yourselves.
  4. Oh wait, you shouldn’t stick to polite conversation? I mean hey, yeah, I agree that you shouldn’t ask too many personal questions and all, but you wouldn’t really be in this position if you hadn’t BOTHERED THE GIRL WEARING HEADPHONES IN THE FIRST PLACE!
  5. Flirt with people who [don’t] want to be flirted with. Again, perhaps not all girls who are wearing headphones want to be left alone…but honestly, the fact that you are assuming these woman are okay with being bothered in the first place is a problem in and of itself. Attempting to flirt with them is just beyond.

As for the idea that “Most women are open to being approached”?

While many women don’t usually go around approaching men, there are many different reasons for this, and none of them are anyone’s business but their own. I’m not saying don’t ever approach a woman, but approaching a woman wearing HEADPHONES? And following the steps listed in this article? Disgusting. Never assume that “Most single women wait and hope to be approached by a guy so that they actually have a chance to meet a confident alpha male.”

We are our own people, and for fuck’s sake, if we’re wearing headphones, don’t push it.

 

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Two Weeks ‘Til Dragon Con 2016!

I’ll be honest – this year, it’s been really hard for me to “get into” Dragon Con. I’ve been out straight with traveling in general as well as being a Guest at MegaCon over Memorial Day weekend and a Pro at SDCC last month, not to mention some major personal changes that I’ve made (so far they’ve all turned out fairly well, so yay to that!). But now there’s just two weeks until DCon – and less than that before I actually arrive in Atlanta – and needless to say, I’m feeling the crunch. Before I get into all of that, though, here are the panels where you’ll be able to find me!

Game of Thrones: Concepts of Honor – Saturday 9/3 at 2:30 PM
Netflix, Cable, and the Mainstream – Sunday 9/4 at 11:30 AM
The Expanse: Politics and Priorities – Sunday 9/4 at 5:30 PM

All of these panels are with Dragon Con’s American Sci-Fi & Fantasy Media track and if they’re in the same place as the past couple of years, the panels will be in an M300 room at the Marriott 🙂

As for cosplay, while about half of my costumes are ones I’ve worn before and the new ones don’t involve much work, several of them are still only listed as “possible” costumes because I’m just not sure I’ll have the time or money to finish them all properly.

For instance, why can’t I button up the tuxedo jacket that I have? I don’t know, and I’m afraid to do too much to mess with it because it seems that’s not what it’s made for, even though that makes no sense to me. I mean, I’ve never worn a tuxedo jacket before, but I assumed they are all meant to be buttoned up if you want to wear them that way, and apparently I was wrong about that. I suppose I can always just pin it shut…because cosplay, ha.

(Really though, don’t even ask me how I’m going to pull off Bunny Hutch Effie, because I’m not at all certain about that, either.)

So here is my tentative cosplay list so far, as it were:

Dragon Con 2016 Costumes

 

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Blog Transfer: “Kissing death and losing my breath…”

A Geek Saga SDCC 2016

Taking back San Diego Comic-Con v2.0

It’s going to be very rare that I transfer something to this blog from my previous one, but in light of the two-year anniversary of when I finally checked myself into the hospital to get the help I needed, I wanted to make the following post as visible as possible.

 

You see, it’s been two years. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and what is loosely known as “inherent anxiety”. I won’t get into the specifics of my diagnoses, but let’s just say that while the hospital didn’t help much back in 2014, some of the patients I met there did. I’ll also admit that after that questionable hospital experience, I was more open with my therapist and psychiatrist than I’d ever been before, which led to a faster diagnosis and the beginnings of a path to treatment.

 

I still struggle. I still have days when I just want to lay in bed and cry. I still go out and end up having to rush home because my anxiety about being in public and around strangers overwhelms me. But I’ve gotten the help I needed. I’ve found some medications that work for me. I’ve cut toxic people out of my life. And I’m going out of my way to read as much as possible, to watch all of the amazing TV shows that have been suggested to me, to write, and to just generally focus on the things I love, like planning conventions or even just wandering around hitting Pokestops, catching Pokemon, and hatching Poke…eggs.

 

My life isn’t perfect, but it is better. Still, I can’t ignore when I hit my lowest point. I don’t think any of us should. Therefore, here is my original blog entry from August 12th, 2014. Word for word.

 

So much has happened in the past couple of months, but it’s only now, hearing that a beloved celebrity took his own life, that I am finally going to admit the truth.

Just over a year ago I posted an entry about my struggles with depression, though looking back now I wonder how I did so in an almost lighthearted way. I suppose because at the time, I assumed that what I was feeling would be fleeting.

Only it’s been a year and three months since I wrote that entry, and instead, it’s gotten steadily worse.

I wish that I could pinpoint some actual beginning to what’s been going on with me, but the fact is that I’ve struggled with depression time and time again for as long as I can remember. Sure, it manifested itself differently when I was in middle school versus when I was in high school, and again it wasn’t the same in college as it was before that. And this more recent bout – which has been the longest one I’ve experienced by far – is different still.

In fact, I went back to try and find a picture of myself from a time when I remember I was truly happy – consistently, too, not just because I was on vacation or something – and I had to go all the way back to January 2012.

And I still had to choose a picture from when I was on vacation.

I’m not going to say that I’ve never had a happy moment since then – I’ve had plenty of them. It’s just that the prevailing emotions have been that specific cocktail of anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness that make up my personal version of depression – which I suppose has always been there, like in those Abilify commercials…but until recently, I was able to cope with it. Usually. For the most part.

A lot has happened in the past two years. Some of it involves others – things that happened, things they did – whose personal information I won’t divulge, but most of it involves me, of course. There have been things I can’t control, like my health; things I possibly could have controlled, like the illness and death of my beloved cat Lilo, gone too soon from this world; and things that I did control, like some terrible decisions that I made. The latter are mostly due to the way I was feeling, but I refuse to use that as an ‘excuse’. I made my bed, now I have to lie in it, and all that.

In the beginning it was a combination of having my hours cut at work (thus resulting in a fairly significant difference in my salary), along with the fact that about that time I started singing with a band and having an amazing time (TOO amazing, really), only to have that swept out from under me mere months after it began. I think the problem is that I never really FACED the way I felt about those things, not really, and so as time went on all the negativity just festered, even long after I was working 40 hours a week again and realized that the band had been more trouble than it was worth.

And then suddenly it was one thing after another – the ceiling falling in at my house in the spring of 2013, and the subsequent repairs and renovations that followed – and took far longer than they were supposed to (to be completely honest, they’re still not totally finished). Spending a huge portion of last fall traveling for what were essentially volunteer jobs – covering conventions, mostly, which I loved…but which cost a lot of money and kept me away from home and my pets. Sure, it was all very fun, even glamorous at times, but it wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle – as I learned to my detriment.

My health was the next thing to take a turn. I found a lump in my neck, and now, not quite nine months later, there are three in my neck and two in my pelvic area. All lymph nodes. At the moment they appear ‘safe’, but it was only after about 5 months of testing and ultrasounds and check-ups that the doctor would tell me as much – and I just have to hope that they don’t get bigger.

We found a lost cat on the verge of death in April. She only lived for another week, though we worked hard to save her.

Two weeks after that, Lilo passed away – suddenly, and almost violently.

And all that time, I was just keeping myself busy. Distracting myself with work and writing and conventions. Never really sleeping or eating properly. No real vacations, and days where I spent at least fifteen of my eighteen-ish waking hours on a computer.

Looking back now, I’m surprised I didn’t have a breakdown months ago.

It became second nature to hide the way I felt; if anything I was overcompensating for my depression.

It took the betrayal of a friend – the likes of which I hadn’t experienced in a good five years – to force me to rock bottom. But that was just the catalyst for the illness that has always been there to mix just right with everything that’s gone wrong in the past two years and then, for lack of a better word, ‘explode’. (Or maybe in this case I should be saying ‘implode’…)

Before I crashed, though, I’d been socially isolating myself – not just from a few people, but from everyone, including my closest friends and family. I lost nearly 30 pounds in about seven months, which may not sound like a lot, but is when you’re built like I am. I was tired all of the time, stressed all of the time, and irritated for most of it, as well. I stopped enjoying any and everything I’d once loved.

Speaking of love, the outpouring of support that I received when I told a handful of close friends that I was going to the hospital to get assessed for a mental health program was amazing. It hurts me that for so long, I avoided these people who care about me. Simple things like someone changing their profile picture to one of me and them the day they knew I was going to the hospital are what I remind myself of when I inevitably have those moments, hours, days, when all I want to do is lay in bed and cry.

I found some solace in understanding family and friends. In running with my dogs. In riding my bike downtown to read and write and ruminate in our beautiful park. In driving up to the mountains and losing myself in a long hike in the summer heat.

One night, when I was at my worst, I made myself get up off the floor – literally, I was laying on the floor – and write the names of those I love – and who I know love me back – on my little chalkboard. I wrote names until the wave broke, and then I laid down and slept better than I had in weeks. Months, even.

I’m getting help now, but I can’t pretend that any of this is easy; I can’t pretend that I don’t read these articles about Robin Williams and am at turns saddened and repulsed by them (depending on the ‘spin’ the writers put on them).

I’m getting help now, but there are still days when only the biggest things (like some children dropping a stray dog off at my house) can pull me out of bed.

I’m getting help now, but there are still times when it seems like a chore to remind myself to breathe, when simply leaving the house brings on a panic attack.

The one thing I wish is that it hadn’t taken me this long to face my illness. I was lucky to have the right person to talk to at the right time, but if I hadn’t, I would have made my way over to the hospital and checked myself in. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand what suicide does to a loved one’s family and friends; the fact that I was still thinking those thoughts scared me into action.

Please, please, if you reach your low point – whatever that is – or maybe even when you realize you’re careening towards it…call someone. Friend, family, hotline. Or go to the nearest hospital. I would never claim to know exactly how anyone else feels, but allow yourself to at least hope, if not know, that the depression is feeding you lies, and that help is available in one form or another.

If you aren’t struggling, please just be patient with those who are. Don’t forget the old adage that says something along the lines of, ‘be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know what they’re battling’.

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SDCC 2016 Highlights

This year I attended my third San Diego Comic-Con, and it was by far the best yet. I experienced a few great moments at SDCC 2014, and last year was definitely a lot of fun – but 2016 bested both of those years.

Due to work schedules and money, I had to arrive late Thursday night and depart Sunday night, but despite not being there for Preview night or anything on Thursday, and despite missing the Friends of Comic-Con dinner Sunday night, I can’t imagine having had a better time. And that also includes the fact that I, err, shut off my alarm on Saturday morning and missed the couple of things I wanted to attend earlier that day. The thing is, all of the things that I *did* get to do more than made up for that 😉

A Geek Saga SDCC 2016

I was lucky enough to room with my good friend Ashley, and our mutual friend Amin helped us with the rooming situation by setting us up in USA Hostels on 5th Ave in the Gaslamp. It was about half a mile from the convention center, surrounded by restaurants and bars (and Pokestops!), and actually within my budget. I’d never stayed in a hostel before, but honestly, the bathrooms were extremely clean and my only complaint is that we got one of the rooms that didn’t have an air conditioner or a proper window. But the people were friendly, there was free breakfast, and again…it was in my budget. I’m sure having a great roommate helped, as well.

Friday we got up early and headed down to pick up my badge and get in line for the Steven Universe singalong/panel combo. It was an hour and a half long and worth the hour and a half that we spent in line – especially considering that Kevin Smith and Greg Runberg delivered donuts! That said, my boss and close friend Angel from The Geekiary got there much earlier than we did and I still owe her a coffee for that.

SDCC 2016 Greg Runberg donuts

The singalong and panel were of course amazing. I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed every second that I was there. I just wish that so many people hadn’t asked questions that couldn’t be answered…but then, I guess that’s kind of a staple of Comic-Con. (At least in my experience.)

SDCC 2016 Steven Universe

Ashley and I also checked out the Nerdist and Geek & Sundry Camp Conival for a bit, where I got to interview Zachary Tyler Linville, author of Welcome to Deadland. It was awesome meeting him and great to talk to a fellow former Orlando resident!

SDCC 2016 Zac Linville Welcome to Deadland

Later that day I met up with Diamond Select Toys Marketing Supervisor Zach Oat to check out some of DST’s Comic-Con exclusives and new reveals…so many awesome toys! I even came home with their SDCC 2016 exclusive Spider-Gwen PVC statue

Spider-Gwen Diamond Select Toys

Now, while I had an awesome time all three-ish days that I was there, I have to say that Friday was probably my favorite overall. Not only because of what I’ve already mentioned, but because later that evening Ashley and I met up with my fellow Geekiary staff member Erin and went out to a couple of different bars. We met new people, saw some celebrities, and other than one problematic situation, had an amazing time.

But before I get into the good parts of that night, let me remind any man who is reading this that buying a woman a drink and offering her food – when she hasn’t asked for either and even tries to decline both – does not entitle you to anything. A woman starting a conversation with you doesn’t entitle you to anything, either. I have to praise the men who apologized to me when they saw their friend freak out on me for choosing to go somewhere with my ladies rather than going anywhere with him, though here’s another reminder – being drunk isn’t an excuse to treat a woman that way.

SDCC 2016 Nobu

Okay, that said, we did get to meet Aly Michalka (Peyton from iZombie), and when we ended up at the Hilton we had drinks and wonderful conversation with a gentleman who essentially works on the set of American Gods. Sadly, all this out-and-aboutness and the fact that none of it included food after about 2 PM caused me to ignore my alarm on Saturday and sleep until 12:30…and then I couldn’t do anything other than shower (no air conditioning means at least one shower a day) and finally get some food. My bad, my bad.

SDCC 2016 Aly Michalka

But once I had some food in me and was walking around in the [much cooler] outside air, I eventually felt better, and it helped that we also had an amazing time with our panel, the “A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Fan Discussion” featuring three Podcast of Ice and Fire hosts and yours truly 🙂 You can check out the full audio from our panel – along with an intro about mine, Ashley’s, Amin’s, and Kyle’s SDCC 2016 experiences, on the Podcast of Ice and Fire website.

SDCC Ice and Fire Con

After the panel a big group of us – panelists, attendees, and local friends – went to Basic for pizza and drinks. It was a good time and we hung out for quite a while before finally going our own ways (for the most part). This included Ashley and I going back to our room to freshen up for the last big night of Comic-Con, including a trip to The Pool Club at the Hilton for drinks with Admin Angel and Erin from the Geekiary, as well as a few other friends (both ‘old’ and new). I even got to meet Bear McCreary. I’m a huge fan of his music on The Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica, but he’s also known for the music on shows like Outlander, Black Sails, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and more.

SDCC 2016 Bear Mcreary

Soon enough we had an invite to a Geek and Sundry pop-up party, so Angel, Ashley, and I headed to Fluxx for that, and it was a BLAST. I even ended up dancing with Matt Mercer from Geek and Sundry’s Critical Role, though I had no idea that’s who he was until someone told me. (I’m really bad at recognizing celebrities, okay?) Seriously though, I just thought I was dancing with a fun dude, and that’s exactly what I was doing. I’d love to actually sit down and talk to him sometime!

SDCC 2016 Geek and Sundry Critical Role Matt Mercer

Yes, it’s a bit blurry, we were dancing in a club! 🙂

I’ll be honest, it was a late and messy night and it was worth every minute, even if having to roll out of bed and get out of our room before 10 AM the next day was a bit rough 😉 I blame Angel and Ashley. Not myself at all, no no no… (Yes, I’m kidding.)

SDCC 2016 Geek and Sundry Fluxx

Thankfully I still got to do a few fun things and attend some great panels on Sunday before heading to the airport for a rough red-eye flight home. My absolute favorite moment that day was meeting author Pierce Brown, who wrote the Red Rising trilogy (which I’m completely obsessed with at the moment – SEVROOOO! RAGNARRRR!). I got my copy of Morning Star signed, and was even able to get a copy of Red Rising signed for my bf Bekah. Oh, plus he complimented my hair (hopefully it was an actual compliment, anyway) and took a picture with me 🙂

SDCC 2016 Pierce Brown Red Rising

I also attended Nerd HQ’s Sherlock panel and it was amazing. I’ve attended one Nerd HQ panel each year (The Walking Dead in 2014 and Bad-Ass Women last year) and the Sherlock one this year did not disappoint. After that Ashley and I also went to the Bisexuality and Beyond panel run by BiNetUSA.org, which was wonderful.

SDCC 2016 Nerd HQ Sherlock

And that was basically the end of my SDCC weekend, though we did a bit of wandering around after that last panel and I got a few more awesome pictures. So I’ll leave you with those, and – for the first time – with hope that I will absolutely be able to attend SDCC next year!

 

SDCC 2016 American Gods

SDCC 2016 Ghostbusters

 

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