LIFE: North American International Auto Show

As a perk for working with GM, my office purchased tickets to the Auto Show in Detroit. We took some time out of our day to ride the people mover over to Cobo Center to check out all of the new vehicles.

It was my first time ever attending, since I never really cared much about cars until I started working in the automotive industry. I was ill prepared to take photos of my experience (left the DSLR at home) but I did manage to snap some pics to share on my instagram! Overall, I had a pretty fun time walking around and seeing JUST HOW MANY CARS COULD FIT IN ONE BUILDING.

Then, I suddenly won a free ticket for having the most social media posts at work and ended up going again, this time with Eddie, Nancy and Jay. Our double date was, and while this time I chose not to bring my DSLR (because I really didn’t feel like carrying it around) I had way more fun.

Overall, would I want to go again? Maybe not for the cars (since I’m honestly not a huge car person) BUT I loved the photos that I was able to take and for that reason I’d be happy to go again in the future.

 

 

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Life: Living with Emetophobia

TRIGGER WARNING: This blog post may contain topics, words, and experiences that may trigger anxiety or panic for those with emetophobia.

 

I think it would be safe to say that winter is the worst time of year for someone with emetophobia. Flu season is in full swing and it seems like everyone around you is sick. Catching a stomach virus and vomiting seems like an inevitability, and my anxiety is always telling me that my luck is running out.

I’ve been living with a fear of vomiting for almost 20 years now. It was something that I developed as a child and continue to struggle with on a day by day basis. For the longest time, I thought I was crazy. I was the only one I knew who had this fear. I didn’t even know there was a name for it until I was in college.

Imagine my surprise when I suddenly stumbled upon a website (this one to be exact) that opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t crazy or alone in the world. As Anna S. Christie states on her website:

It is a fairly common phobia, manifesting mainly in women and more acutely in adolescents than adults…symptoms range from mild disturbance to acute panic attacks (rapid heartbeat, rush of adrenalin, difficulty breathing, choking sensations, derealization, dizziness, fear of dying, numbness, sweating, trembling). Most emetophobics….would rather die than vomit…In severe cases, emetophobics will show symptoms of OCD and agoraphobia. Since the phobic fears her own body, this disorder tends to be particularly debilitating. Avoidance of the stimulus is impossible, and thus without treatment the emetophobic is continually re-traumatized, ritualistic behavior intensifies and the condition worsens.

Imagine fearing something that is a normal bodily function, something that your body does to remove toxins from your system to save your life. You can’t run away from your fears like someone who may be afraid of mice or clowns. Your fear is your own stomach, your own mind. Continue reading

2017: Year in Review

With all of the holiday parties I’ve attended in the last few weeks (seven in total if I’m counting correctly), I haven’t had the time to write a proper blog post. There were quite a few big events that took place in these short 12 months, and everything seemed to fly by. Here is a brief review of the milestones for this year as we look forward for 2018!

January – March:

  • Went through an Escape Room for the first time, and survived!
  • Started playing the Neebs and Associates D&D Session.
  • Saw Aaron Carter in concert.
  • Nancy and I got engaged to our boyfriends within a week of each other!!
  • Saw Green Day and Simple Plan in concert.
  • Shared an Artist Alley booth at Shuto Con.
  • Met Mystery Skulls!
  • Won a signed copy of The Burning World by Isaac Marion.

April – June:

  • Mark and Catherine got married!
  • Saw Aaron Carter (again)
  • Saw Markiplier’s Show.
  • Bought my wedding dress!
  • Nancy got married, and I was one of her bridesmaids.

July – September:

  • D&D Birthday Celebration.
  • Went to the 89X Birthday Bash with Jen.
  • Eddie and I purchased our first home together!
  • Went to the Ren Festival with Nancy and Brianna.
  • Took a two-day vacation to Toldeo and Sandusky, OH.
  • Started new Social Media position

October – December:

  • Went to a Lions Game with work friends.
  • Halloween House Warming!
  • Youmacon
  • Five year Anniversary
  • The Art of Falling was published!

LIFE: Five Years with Eddie, Eight Years of Youmacon

Last weekend I celebrated my five year anniversary with Eddie. It’s crazy to think that we’ve been together for five years, since it feels like not much time has passed.

For those who aren’t familiar, Eddie is my best friend and husband-to-be. He’s a Pisces, a youmafan of football, reading, D&D, and anime. While we grew up only a neighborhood apart (him going to Chippewa Valley and me going to L’Anse Creuse), as well as having several mutual friends, we didn’t meet until our paths crossed in the Creative Writing Club at Macomb Community College. Eventually he convinced me to join his Improv Comedy Club, and while I didn’t actively play any of the games, I was a committed audience member. Our first date was at the local mall, where we walked several laps, drank lemonade, and had our first kiss. Our second date was at Youmacon, where we spent the entire time roaming the convention (while I was dressed up as Danny Phantom.) Our courtship lasted a few days, and we were officially dating within the week.

Since then, we’ve been through so much together and have grown as individuals and as a couple. I’m very blessed to have him as my partner, and I can’t imagine a life without him in it.

Now, enough with the sappy stuff and onto Youmcaon recap! This year I had the pleasure of working Press with Team Final Rush to take photos with some other photographers. While they focused on cosplays in the halls, I focused on the cosplays that participated in the Masquerede Contest. Below are a few of my favorite shots taken from the night:

Continue reading

LIFE: Halloween House Warming!

This year has been filled with many big life changes. Eddie and I got engaged in February and have been wedding planning,  I recently got a new job in the Social Media Department at GM, and Eddie and I purchased our house in August.

We officially moved in at the beginning of October, right as I was starting training for my new job. Eddie was able to take a week off work to start the long painting process, and I would come home after work to assist.

When we first moved in, the house was a lot of beige and green colors which reminded me a lot of my parent’s house. They LOVE those colors, and while they were nice, we wanted to make it look like our place. So, we went with a cool gray color, along with a bright blue and pale yellow to lighten up the rooms. I love how they turned out, especially the rooms where we had some fun with the walls. My favorite space is definitely the family room, where our mosaic/geometric design really steals the show. I also love the color of the gray and teal stripes in the office, and the light purple and cream of the bedroom. If I had to change on thing, I probably would make the guest bedroom a lighter color. The peach that we were going for turned out a bit pink, and a little brighter than we expected.

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We were ambitious to try and get everything done in a few weeks, since we wanted to have a Halloween House Warming Party. However, we managed to pull everything together! We live on a corner lot, so there was plenty of parking space for guests. And while it was a tad too cold to utilize our private backyard, we were able to comfortably fit all of our closest friends and family inside. Our friends visited to wish us good luck with our new house, providing some much needed gifts to help us out. We had great food, fun conversation, and plenty of space upstairs and downstairs for everyone to sit and relax.  I hope everyone had as much fun as I did hosting our first party in our new home.

I can’t believe that we’re officially homeowners, that Eddie and I have a place for ourselves where we’re going to grow together as friends and as husband and wife.

Now that house hunting is over, it’s back to wedding planning in full force. Only seven months until the big day!!

LIFE: A Very Productive Summer!

This summer has been so busy, with every moment of every day being spent to house hunt, plan for the wedding, and work. However, I did manage to find some time to squeeze in some fun events. Below are just a few of many things I did this summer.

JUNE

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Held a bonfire with old friends for the Summer Solstice!

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Had a date at the Cider Mill to pick fresh strawberries! Eleven pounds worth!

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Congratulations Nancy and Jay Lasky on your beautiful wedding!

JULY

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Spent the weekend with my family in Grand Rapids to celebrate my cousin’s high school graduation!

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Celebrated Eddie’s little brother’s high school graduation!

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Date night with Eddie to see Demetri Martin at Meadowbrook Amphitheater.

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Had my 24th birthday playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends!

AUGUST

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Went to the 89X Birthday Bash with a friend from work, whose birthday was just a few days before mine!

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Work on some Youtube videos with Team Final Rush (as well as complete one of my own speed paint videos)

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Eddie and I bought our first home on August 11th! (More information on that to come once we move in later this year.)

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Had the bridal party hang out and get to know each other better in the form of a pool party!

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Went to check out a new zoo!

And lastly, we took a ton of engagement photos! You can get that I’ll be posting more of those when I get the proofs back.

LIFE: Musical Earworms

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The Life, put on by Oakland University on October 15th, 2014.

“Gentlemen of the jury I’m curious, bear with me…”

“I used to slam on the brakes…”

“I’m hot, and pissed, and on the pill…”

“Now I’m stuck on a level and I want to move on…”

I have had a major ear worm stuck in my head for the last eight months. The rare type that isn’t just one song, but an entire collection that skips and transforms into a new melody whenever I think of a different trigger phrase or word.

Sometimes it was “satisfied” or “blue.” Other days, it was a phrase my fiance and I would share, like “now if you don’t know, now you know, Mr. President.” Then, it became “window,” and “bathroom,” followed up with “IT’S FROM JAPAAAAAAAAAAN.”

If you’re unable to tell, I’m talking about the musical quartet that has taken over the internet and filled youtube with the most amazing animatics. I’m talking about Hamilton, Heather, Dear Evan Hansen, and Be More Chill.

GOD, I wish I had the skill, to just be —

Stop.

What I mean to say is: GOD, I am in love with these musicals. So much so that I literally can not stop hearing them in my head. My fiance and I sing them constantly, to the point that we’re driving our parents nuts (although, Mom finds it charming how I now feel comfortable to do such things in public.)

I remember my first musical was Wicked. My science teacher had mentioned it to me in passing, and loaned me his CD to listen to after class. I immediately burned myself a copy of it so I could listen to it over and over and over. 

I ended up buying the book (perhaps a bit mature for an 8th grader) and read it over the course of a few days. I fondly remember him waiting patiently to let me finish the last page before starting class. Over several years, I saw Wicked at the Detroit Opera House three times, and every time I cried during For Good.

So far, my collection of musicals include (in order of how I recall being introduced):

  • Wicked
  • Chicago
  • High School Musical (yes, it counts.)
  • Hairspray
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Rent
  • Avenue Q
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Holy Musical B@man!
  • Starship
  • A Very Potter Musical
  • Twisted
  • Carrie: the Musical
  • The Life
  • She Loves Me
  • Assassins
  • Legally Blonde
  • Hamilton
  • Heathers
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Be More Chill

Many of these I have seen performed live, while others I’ve only seen the movie adaptations. Of these, the only one that I haven’t watched (because it wasn’t recorded and posted to YouTube) is Be More Chill. Maybe that’s why I can’t just seem to let this one go. Thankfully, a lovely artist on YouTube is animating the entire thing with the audio. Bless them.

In the end, what I love the most about musicals is not the catchy songs, but the craft that goes into writing them. I am in awe every time I listen to Hamilton and hear the ingenious play on words, or when the motif of trees in Dear Evan Hansen makes me cry. How can one actor put so much emotion into singing a song about sitting in a bathroom, or begging their girlfriend to take him back?

The mere idea of writing the plot and musical score is something I can’t even fathom, and I am so very honored to have the privilege of seeing so many in person. It is an art that I hope never dies out, and one that I can share with my loved ones.

And I am always looking for more! So please, leave a comment and let me know your favorite musical and productions. I would love to get to know you better by knowing what you enjoy listening and watching.