Depression Lies (but I’m Not Falling for its Nonsense)

“Depression lies.” I’d never thought about depression in those terms until I started reading Wil Wheaton’s blog,* but it’s so true. It’s not just that the feelings (or lack thereof) that accompany a bout of depression (often with a healthy side-helping of anxiety) are temporary, it’s that they’re not true.

The awful patina of dread that accompanies pretty much every action when I’m depressed is real, yes. But it’s not true. There’s a subtle, yet important, difference. There’s no question the feeling is real. It exists. I can’t get around that. I’m stuck smack dab in the middle of it. And yet somewhere, deep inside where I can’t find it anymore, I really am happy about all the amazing stuff in my life.

I have the best, most supportive partner I can imagine, a family I love and can rely on, a group of friends who are second to none, a job I enjoy and am good at, and several podcasts I am incredibly proud of. I couldn’t be happier! Except that when depression comes calling, I’m not. Or at least, I can’t remember that I am. It’s crazy how knowing something and feeling it are two completely separate things.

So when I do hit a rough patch, Continue reading

The Notebooks (A Father’s Day Poem)

Erika's Dad

A few weeks back, I wrote a post for Mother’s Day. Well lookie here, it’s Father’s Day! If my mom gave me my fandom, my dad gave me something equally important–my words. My cohost Deb often says words are her “kung-fu”, and I’ve stolen that phrase more than once. I’ve always been a writer, even when I wasn’t doing much with it in the sunlight, so to speak.

One of my strongest memories of growing up is going through a particular closet in our basement and discovering a stack of old, faded spiral-bound notebooks. They were the old-fashioned collegey kind with the formal-looking covers. I’d never seen anything like them before. (I was pretty young.) But my fascination at the covers was nothing compared to my delight when I discovered what they held. They were my dad’s, and they were filled with poetry. I can still picture his artistic, slanted, flowing handwriting filling the pages with amazing and magical and touching words. (And a few delightfully doodley drawings.) Continue reading

Snap Judgements – Avoid the Negativity Brain-Drain

BMX

The other day, I looked out the window and saw a kid on a bike waiting for the traffic light to change. It was one of those BMX-type trick bikes. As he waited for the light to change, he balanced on one foot, on the side of the bike, as he held it nearly parallel to the ground. He managed it for a while, but then he slipped off and had to get back on and start over. My initial thought upon witnessing this display was an uncharitable Hah! Lookit the showoff douchebag fall off his silly bike!

Then I took a (mental) step back.

Why did I immediately assume he was showing off? Or even that he was an unpleasant human being? Continue reading

On Family

Family

They say blood is thicker than water. Well that’s just crap. I mean, except for literally. I suppose blood does have higher viscosity than pure water, but as for as the colloquial meaning of that saying, right now I kinda want to punch it. Because it’s So. Completely. Wrong.

“Found family” is a concept I’ve thought about a lot since I met my “Doctor Who family” and started going to conventions. Don’t get me wrong, I love my biological relatives. But the idea that I love other folks less, simply because their DNA doesn’t match mine closely enough, is patent nonsense. In fact, when we actively choose people to bring into and then keep in our lives, I think it’s a much stronger statement than an accident of amino acids and meiosis. Shared experiences create a stronger bond than a similar pattern of nucleotides. Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day, Fangirl Prime!

Renae-young*

It’s Mother’s Day!** I’m not a big fan of “Hallmark holidays”, but I’ll happily take any excuse to celebrate the awesomeness of my mom. Especially now that I’m 1500 miles away, it’s nice to have a reason to think and talk about how lucky I am and how great my mom is. Not that I need a reason. I’ve extolled the virtues of “Fangirl Prime” on Verity! more than once “just because”.

Renae and E-DW Shirt***

My mom taught me how to be a fan. Deb is the one who coined the term “Fangirl Prime” for my mom, and it’s really perfect. Mom was the first person I ever witnessed participating in fandom. She subscribed to fanzines and was a member of fan clubs. She went to Doctor Who conventions. She videotaped the show religiously–going so far as to rent a hotel room to do it when it conflicted with an Important Packers Game. She coveted a Tom Baker scarf for years (until I learned how to knit to make one for her). Continue reading

And So it Begins…The Audio Guide to Babylon 5

Editor’s note: The first part of this post is spoiler-FREE! Even if you haven’t seen B5, you may read without fear. The spoilery part is well-marked. In addition, my customary footnotes appear before the spoiler territory, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally reading something while scrolling past. You’re welcome. ;)

B5AG

So it begins, indeed! I could not be more excited you guys. Seriously. Not only is it exciting to be doing (yet) another podcast, but to be talking about Babylon 5 (my second*-favorite thing in the universe) every couple weeks? I’m like a kid in a candy store. Or better yet, like a tourist in the Zocalo!

Okay, let me take a step back here. Pure squee got the better of me. Allow me to start this over in a more sedate and coherent manner. Thank you for your patience.

Dear reader, I have some news for you! There is a brand spanking new podcast out in the wild for your listening pleasure. That’s right, the dream that is The Audio Guide to Babylon 5** has finally been given form! Every two weeks, Chip (of Two-minute Time Lord fame), his wife Shannon, and I get together to talk about one of our favourite sci-fi shows of all time. That’s right folks; I can do more than just Doctor Who! Continue reading

The Death of a Good Book (Series)

Robin Hobb Books

Right now I’m between books.* In fact, I’m purposefully taking a break before I start reading something else. I recently finished reading Robin Hobb‘s entire Assassin/Liveship/Tawny Man/Rain Wild series. There’s probably a more proper name for the whole thing, but it boils down to this: three trilogies followed by a tetralogy, all taking place in the same world with some characters overlapping from series to series.

I’d read the three trilogies before, and once the final book in the recent tetralogy came out last year, I decided it was time to jump back in. These are some of my favorite fantasy books ever, so I had no qualms about re-reading them all, and despite a busy schedule, I managed to whip through all nine in a matter of a few months.

When I finished that ninth book, I started drafting a blog post that somewhere along the line got lost. I dug it up today, and it brought back the same feelings I had when I wrote it: Continue reading