Rollin’ with my homies

Now that my husband and I have re-entered the world of Having a Social Life (nerd version), we’ve gotten back into RPGs–roleplaying games–and it’s taking some reorienting on my part.

I used to be able to create a caster character practically with my eyes shut and my hands tied behind my back. Need a blaster caster? Yep, I’m your gal. Healer? Yeah, I can do that. Buffer/debuffer? No sweat. Now? Now I’m making stupid mistakes in my character creation that are more than a little embarrassing, at least for a geek. Miscalculating stats, forgetting to buy certain special items that are practically necessary, forgetting major bonuses…yeah, I’m out of shape in that category. Last night’s game wasn’t a total loss, though; I blew the majority of the bad guys away in one fight, so at least I remembered how to utilize the spells I chose.

There are other social activities that we’ve been engaging in with our friends, and it’s weird to be back in that kind of mindset. Even my husband, who works from home and thus is virtually dying to get out of the apartment when he’s off work, has complained a bit about being worn out from all the go-go-go-go-go that we’ve been doing. Mondays are one thing (well, three for him really, two or three for me depending on when work ends), every other Tuesday something else, Wednesday and Thursday evenings have something on the schedule, and Fridays, Saturdays, and even Sundays each have at least one social activity with friends planned out on a regular basis. To go from zero to chock-full in a very short amount of time like this can be pretty exhausting, as we’re discovering now.

It’s cool to have friends to hang out with again, though, and I’d rather be exhausted from having too much of a life outside of work than exhausted from having no life outside of work. So I guess I’m not really complaining…more like stating the obvious.

Our friends are pretty cool, too. They have a lot of the same interests that we do, they’re encouraging, and they’re all-around nice guys. I’ve already learned a bunch from them and I can tell they’re going to provide a wealth of information in the years to come. And who knows? Maybe I can impart a little of my limited wisdom on them as well.

That’s how Having a Social Life works: You hang out, you have fun, and you just roll with it.

Can’t beat the heat

It’s mid-June. In Arizona. I’m about to head on a road trip in a sweltering car for three hours to a town that’s about ten to twenty degrees higher than our little mountain town.

WTF is my problem???

Guess I’m just a masochist or something. The conference/event/thing I’m going to is semi-mandatory for me (& not for pay), but I think it’ll be fun despite the weather. Meeting new people, learning new things, all that jazz. Plus I’ll have friends there, and my husband, so I won’t be all by myself. So that’s cool.

We’ll see how far I can take this peopling thing. I’ve been more socially active the past few months that in, like, the past decade. Not sure that’s really much of an exaggeration, either. Quite possibly literally a decade. And ​for a socially-awkward introvert, it should be interesting to see how I adapt. So far so good.
Right now we have friends in the car with us. I’m about to post this and then get social.

And melt… because the car temp gauge thing says 100 degrees.

HIITing it out of the park

Yesterday was my first day doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) at the local park with my friends, and it was great. It was exhausting and tough, but it was great. I’m hoping I can make at least two out of the three days a week that we all plan on doing, but with work it’s hard to tell what days I’ll be able to make it. The five o’clock meet time isn’t always feasible when patients sometimes don’t end until 5:15 or 5:30. Still, even an extra day or two of exercise should help me get more fit than I currently am…considering my baseline is no days of exercise lol

It’s good having good friends to hang out with again. After a long dry spell of being friendzoned by once-close friends (or having friends move away), it feels nice to have people who want to spend time with me and my husband on a regular basis. Dinner, movies, gaming, etc…it’s taking some getting used to, especially after such a long time of having nothing really going on during the week or even on weekends. It’s cool, though. Those dry spells of inactivity make me appreciate my friends even more. Like, really appreciate them. They’re huggy, affectionate people who seem to “get” me even on my off days. They understand if I’m a little down, or if I’m sore from the RA, or if I’m exhausted from a long work day/week.

Always appreciate your friends, people. They’re precious and rare and worth every second.

Ironing out the details

Once again, I must get cracking on my husband’s cosplay coat. There’s just one little thing that’s halting my progress the past couple of days:

Ironing.

It’s not that I don’t know how to iron; it’s just that my most productive time of day is first thing in the morning, and sometimes I’m too tired to be productive then. Like, so tired I should not be operating an iron. Burns = bad.

Once I get the interfacing all ironed on the pieces it goes on, though, it’s gonna be crank-out time. Sewing away in the mornings and on the weekends, busting butt to get it done.

My husband is working on a leather bracer, a sort of “flamethrower” for my costume (since Dark Phoenix is all about the telekinetic flames). It’s great that we have some friends who are willing to help us out with our cosplays, because without them we’d have been lost on the leatherworking with these latest costumes. Our skills have increased since we began this project, though, which has me feeling pretty good about things.

Having a circle of friends again (after having gone so long with no one really to hang out with) is weird. Like, all of a sudden we have a social life. Plans. We’re going out and doing things. With other people. Who like spending time with us. Weird.

I gotta admit, it’s a little exhausting, especially with all the cosplay work (and the day job) on top of the new social activities. Suddenly we’re doing something on almost every day off–and even some workday afternoons–and it’s a little overwhelming. Not that it’s not fun; I have a blast hanging with our friends. It’s just, like…surreal.

The funny thing is, the most fun I have is when we’re doing rapier practice. Yeah, I get bruises out the wazoo, but it’s exercise that I actually enjoy. And it’s a blast. Fucking swordfighting in the 21st century. Wicked. I wish I’d known about this when I was younger, before age caught up to me and my metabolism ground to a halt. Maybe, if I’d been fighting with rapiers earlier, I wouldn’t be the fatty that I am now. Yeah, yeah, big is beautiful too, but I want to be comfortable with my weight. Which I’m not at the moment.

And I just realized something that has my cosplay panic revved up to a new level of panic: We’re going to have house guests (apartment guests?) after Comicon for a couple of days. I have to clean up the craft room as soon as I’m done with hubby’s coat.

Crap.

Not too chicken, after all

Okay, so maybe I didn’t get up and talk to many people. Maybe I stuck to my friends a little too much. Maybe even the few attempts I made at mingling flopped. Still, in the end, I had fun. I even won something!

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That’s right; even though I didn’t “win” the Weird Weapon bar fight, I got an A for effort prize–and a weird weapon of my own for next year. 🙂

I wore that chicken with pride the rest of the night, and I received several compliments and congratulations from people on my prize.

Conclusion: The SCA can be fun even for a major introvert like me. There were several points in the day when I felt left out or out of place, but overall I had a great time. I plan on expanding into needlework and possibly illumination (decorating scrolls for awards), but first thing’s first: Phoenix Comicon.

Now that we’ve had our first SCA event as fighters and we have our protective garb for rapier practice, I have nothing holding me back from powering through the cosplay sewing and getting shit done. I’m going to start on the corset next (to give myself plenty of time to order the boning I’ll need) and then the skirt, shirt, my husband’s coat, and, if I have enough time, some bloomers for myself (because I feel really uncomfortable in skirts when I don’t have something underneath). After designing and finishing two three-layer tunics in less than two weeks (with the initial design being for two layers, which meant quite a bit of finagling to get the third on after I had already started), I’m more confident that I can get it all done.

Getting down to dressing up

This next month and a half–hell, this next week–is going to be jam-packed with SCA and cosplay work.

I have to make two Viking-esque tunics that are suitable for rapier fighting, then I have to get cracking on the rest of the steampunk cosplays.

I keep telling myself I can do it (as I’ve said many times here), but time is flying! How did two months turn into a month and a half? Geez-o-Pete.

Thankfully the tunics shouldn’t take too much time (famous last words), but the cosplay sewing is going to be down to the wire. I really want to be able to try my hand at rapier fighting at the next SCA event–which is in two weeks–so I have to do the tunics first.

Though it’s made me super busy, I’m glad I finally let my husband talk me into joining the SCA. We’ve got some great friends there who also enjoy a lot of the same non-SCA stuff we do. Like gaming, for instance. We’re getting together to play Pathfinder tonight. It should be interesting. 

Writing will have to be put on hold for a while… at least until Phoenix Comicon is over. 

Social malfunction

No post yesterday (weird how I posted for the Ides of March but not St. Paddy’s Day!), but that was because I spent most of the day either at work or celebrating with some friends and their friends.

Now, I’m admittedly a quite socially awkward individual. I don’t “get” a lot of social situations. Like, for instance, the barbecue last night. I spent a lot of time sitting/standing around and staring because I ended up in a room with people talking about subjects I either didn’t understand or had nothing to contribute to. And I didn’t know how to go to the other room where the other half of the group was chatting because, like, wouldn’t it be rude to be sitting there and then just get up and walk away for no reason? Or how do you cut into a conversation to say “Hey, no offense, but I want to see what’s going on over in the other room.” Like, I’m pretty sure that would be rude, too. Wouldn’t it?

The true irony? I was mainly among geeks, some of whom I’ve known for a while, some of whom I’d just met, but geeks = family, in a way. I don’t know if non-geeks can understand it, but geeks tend to get me better than the average human. Many of them understand social anxiety and such. So none of the people who knew me would probably have minded if I’d just randomly gotten up without a word and wandered off. And I certainly hope they didn’t mind me not participating in the conversation much. Or kind of awkwardly playing with my phone. Or trying to subtly cover my ears when the overload of sensory input from several people talking at once at a rather high volume got to be too much. I really didn’t want to cover my ears–I’m 99% sure that is rude–but sometimes I just can’t deal. It’s hard to explain.

Another irony: I had a major panic attack on another St Patrick’s Day several years ago due to that same kind of sensory overload. I was at a game shop playing Pathfinder, and there were several different tables of people playing different Pathfinder scenarios (as well as a couple other games going on). The volume levels of the voices were high and the overlapping conversations, and I freaked the fuck out. Too many people talking at once too loudly. I had to close my eyes to focus on the voices of the people at my table so I could keep playing, but it finally got so bad that I had to leave the game and go out to the car and cry for a bit because I was just freaking out too much. It was kind of embarrassing, but my husband was super cool about it and didn’t give me a hard time.  He understood because he knows me so well, so he let me have my moment of bawling and covered for me.

Last night I wasn’t quite at that point, but it was a close one. I really really really wanted out. Like a fight-or-flight response kind of thing.

Why are social situations so goddamn hard? There should be, like, a manual or something. Come to think of it, there probably is a manual. There are self-help books for damn near everything these days.

But I fucking hate self-help books. So I’ll just suck it up, buttercup, and get over myself.