Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Spontaneous Adventure Part 1

I just realized I haven't posted in a while. My disappearance has nothing to do with starting Trivially Crucial. It's more related to not having much to say and also going on a spontaneous adventure.

If you know me personally you might be thinking "spontaneous? Mandy? Doesn't that go against her very nature?" And the answer to that normally would be "yes, yes it very much does." I've been told in the past that if you look up "creature of habit" in the dictionary, my picture would be next to it. And for the most part this is very true. I'm the sort of person who orders the exact same thing at a restaurant every time I go. If I want something different, I go to a different restaurant. (So basically there is one thing I order at each restaurant. It's weird. I know. Creature of habit, remember?)

Despite my creature of habitness, I've done spontaneous things in the past, due to the awesome influence of my friends. Especially in college where I had a whole coterie of awesome peeps who encouraged me to do things outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes that was with great success. This will be my sixth year at Dragon*Con, because my junior year one of my guy friends broke up with his girlfriend and didn't want to go alone. The rest is history. Sometimes it has not so great success, which is pretty much why I will not go to any park that has roller coasters with most of my friends. (There are tragic tales of me crying on the ride platform that I don't want to go and my friends not letting it go. I DO NOT LIKE GOING UPSIDE DOWN. IS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO UNDERSTAND?)

However, since moving to New Mexico, far away from my awesome college friends, my creature of habitness has gotten worse. There are a lot of reasons for this that mostly boil down to me not having people to encourage me to go and do adventurous things. (Mostly because they are all married/in serious relationships and they go do adventurous things with their spouse/partner and only think to invite other people who spouses/partners and I really really really detest being an odd numbered wheel.) So with no one to encourage me to do awesome things, I don't. And I end up doing the same things week after week, day after day. 

And that sort of mundane life gets tedious after a while, even for me.

At some point, you find yourself staring at your computer screen, revising the same chapter for the fifth time while the same movie is playing in the background, knowing you have to go the same event you go to every Tuesday night and think "Is this it? Is this my life? For the rest of my life?" And then you want to bang your head against the wall or something.

But what do you do? Go on vacation? How? With who? Vacations aren't exactly the sort of thing you can do by yourself, especially when you're a girl. Oh yes, let me go to New York City all by myself, that sounds like a brilliant plan.

So you try to plan something with your sister or your other single friends and somehow it never materializes into something new and you're still just doing the same thing over and over and over and over again. This is the point where you sort of give up and think "yep, this is my life. Monotony. Ok. I just need to accept it."

And then out of the blue, in my life of same schedules that are like clockwork, something crazy happened. 

I have a friend, Paul, who is sort of going through a quarter life crisis. He quit his job and is going back to grad school in the Fall (grad school in FRANCE! I'm sooo jealous). His plan is to travel across America in the meantime, in his epic adventure truck that is laden with a kayak, mountain bike, camping gear, and basically all the things he needs to have a super adventurous summer.

I knew he was coming to Albuquerque at some point this summer but I didn't know when, so when he did come we had a small adventure (went hiking to a place right here in New Mexico) but we didn't do anything too crazy because I already had plans and, you know, had to go to work. (Luckily he had no problem joining in my plans because they were all awesome things like going to see Man of Steel). 

And then he was like "I'm going to Moab after this. You should come."

And I was like "uhh....I have to work."

So I went to work on Monday (while Paul went mountain biking) and my boss asked how much we liked Tent Rocks (the place we went hiking here in New Mexico. He was the one who suggested it, that's why he asked) and he asked what we were up to next. 

Me: Paul is going to Moab.
Boss: Why aren't you going to Moab?
Me: Uhh....because I have to work?
Boss: Mandy, go to Moab.

So...I went to Moab! I CAMPED! I HIKED! A KAYAKED! I had never camped or kayaked before this trip so this was way out there for me! An honest to goodness adventure.

Seriously, my life became a New Adult novel for a week. 


Look forward to Thursday's post with the details of what we actually did in Moab. :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trivially Crucial

Remember that not-so sekrit project I mentioned last week? Well, it's finally been unveiled. My friend Michael and I have started a podcast and associated blog called Trivially Crucial! I'm really excited about it, and hope you guys will check it out.

However, I will definitely still be maintaining this blog! Though there is some overlap on the two blogs (since here I blog about almost everything), Trivially Crucial is focused on a more narrow range of things. So I still need this blog to talk about my writing, life, cosplay, geekiness, etc.

So what is Trivially Crucial about?

Well I could write something new and shiny or I can steal the "About Trivially Crucial" I wrote for the site. It's not really stealing if I wrote it.

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all. –Isaac Asimov
Here at Trivially Crucial, we believe that fiction stories are critical to how people experience and understand the world around them, regardless of the medium. Whether it is the ancient Greeks listening to Homer or the people of today flocking to see the latest Marvel film, stories inform our worldviews. Different tales can have different meanings depending on whether a person is a creator or a consumer, or even depending on a person's current stage of life. We believe that interpretations of stories are, for the most part, equally valid.

Stories have had a profound impact on our lives, and we love to dissect and discuss tales in every medium. Our joy and love of the story is not destroyed by dissecting a story but rather the process of pulling it apart helps us appreciate the art of storytelling. It also makes for interesting discussions when our interpretations of stories vary.

So welcome to Trivially Crucial, where we believe every camera angle, comic pane, word choice, and boss battle is important and critical to our lives no matter how unimportant a story may seem.

So in essence, Trivially Crucial is a podcast/blog about stories. Here when I talk about stories, it's mostly the art of writing or how a story impacted me. At Trivially Crucial we will talk about all sorts of stories, across mediums, not just writing. 

Our first podcast is up, and it's an episode where Michael and I basically talk about what Trivially Crucial is. It's not very long, less than 40 minutes (which is short for a podcast). You should check it out and give it a try. You can find it by clicking this link, where you can subscribe to it via RSS feed or iTunes, or you can search for it in iTunes. 

We also made a "post show" where Michael and I just kept talking after the official podcast is over. It's mostly about the different media we'd consumed (i.e. read/watched/listened) to in the past week. You can find it by clicking this link, where you can subscribe to it via RSS feed or iTunes, or you can search for it in iTunes as well.

I hope you'll check it out! And please do let me know what you think if you do.