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For Me, Mass Effect is More Than a Game
It’s N7 Day and I figured why not post about why I love Mass Effect so much? My love for it is beyond what most think of as “normal.” I have a lot of friends who love geeky stuff like I do, so they get it, but I also have friends who have no idea what I’m talking about when I make jokes about calibrations or emergency induction ports. When I tell them that I am beyond obsessed with a game series titled Mass Effect – a game about a Commander and a crew of humans and aliens out to save the galaxy from these things called Reapers, threatening to destroy all intelligent life in the universe – they raise an eyebrow. Then they find out that the tattoo on my forearm is the Spectre logo from the game. Then they raise both eyebrows.
I do love Mass Effect. I adore it. I’m obsessed with it. On it’s own, it’s already a fantastic game series that everyone should play, but it has a special place in my heart. For me, it’s more than a game.
Read the rest by clicking here —>

For Me, Mass Effect is More Than a Game

It’s N7 Day and I figured why not post about why I love Mass Effect so much? My love for it is beyond what most think of as “normal.” I have a lot of friends who love geeky stuff like I do, so they get it, but I also have friends who have no idea what I’m talking about when I make jokes about calibrations or emergency induction ports. When I tell them that I am beyond obsessed with a game series titled Mass Effect – a game about a Commander and a crew of humans and aliens out to save the galaxy from these things called Reapers, threatening to destroy all intelligent life in the universe – they raise an eyebrow. Then they find out that the tattoo on my forearm is the Spectre logo from the game. Then they raise both eyebrows.

I do love Mass Effect. I adore it. I’m obsessed with it. On it’s own, it’s already a fantastic game series that everyone should play, but it has a special place in my heart. For me, it’s more than a game.

Read the rest by clicking here —>

PHOTOSET

Thanks to these people I had a lovely weekend. Even if my husband acts like a perv sometimes. Also - the one of me solo is because one of my lovely friends loaned me the dress I am wearing. <3

Back to reality and no weekends out for the next three weeks thanks to school and work. Boo!

PHOTOSET

Thankful-

I already had a bachelorette party in Vegas this Summer, but some girlfriends I invited couldn’t make it and organized an in-town bachelorette party for me. The next day they took me to the Vinter’s Market as an early birthday gift (my birthday is this Friday, the 23rd).

I’ve talked about my ex-friends and what happened with that before, and how I was struggling with putting myself out there to make friends again. I was really hurt. But four years later I have met and, despite school keeping me indoor most days, making friends with some really wonderful women. These ladies showed me a fantastic time last weekend and I’m so grateful for them (one even did my hair!).

I went from trying to get back to school then being kicked out by my Father for no reason, dropping out, living on couches, being terribly unhappy, not taking care of myself (I wouldn’t care and would just engage in risky behavior that could have left me dead), manipulated out of what little I had at that point by who I thought I was my best friend and thinking that I was worthless and that perhaps the world would be better off without me…

to

A friend reaching out and being kind enough to let me live for free until I could get back on my feet, talking me through the emotions I was going through, including exposing the fact I was being manipulated (at the time wouldn’t allow myself to think that  someone who was supposed to be my best friend was capable of that, even though they were doing that to me).

Living in a new place and thus meeting new people, including me soon-to-be husband. Finally taking care of myself and CARING about myself (that dress I am wearing was altered for me and even I am surprised at what I see in the mirror now). Having a better relationship with my parents (it took a bit, we still work on it, but it’s much better). Making new, genuine friends. Returning to school after a long hard road. And honestly when I see these pictures from last weekend I can SEE that I am happy. My friend gave me the greatest gift of starting my life over.

And now? I can see that the change, and thus happiness, has completely made me over from the inside out. 

I am so, so very thankful.

Drag Queens and Why I Love Them

note: I am writing this from my own perspective and how it may apply to women. I realize a lot of these things, like insecurity, can apply to both sexes. Just wanted to throw that out there. :)

I almost titled this why “we” love drag queens, but I don’t want to make assumptions about others. Whether or not this applies to other people, that’s for them to decide.

I adore drag queens, but I didn’t really get exposed to queens until I moved to San Francisco. I immediately fell head over heels in love. Anytime I see a queen perform or even just getting ready for a performance, I wish I could be her. But why exactly I love queens is something I could not quite articulate.

Just a few moments ago, I was reading the 2012 State of Drag survey on Next Magazine’s website when suddenly, it hit me:

I adore and idolize these elements of queens mentioned in the survey!

They are confident. Beautiful. Sexy. They have been made fun of EVEN WHEN THEY LOOK AMAZING. But even after going through being mocked and insulted, they still answer that they feel confident, beautiful and sexy (and by the way almost half mention they feel just as confident out of drag). They make no apologies. Not only that, they view each other as friends. Sisters. There is camaraderie. 

All those elements aren’t just something I noticed due to this survey. I am friends with several queens. It’s just seeing it in writing and in this survey format that I really “get” why I love queens so much.

What woman has not felt unsure of herself? What woman has not gone through insecurity? There have been times when I was feeling confident, or good about myself, only to be mocked or insulted. It happened as far back as 3rd grade, continued to happen and It still happens to this day. Don’t feed the trolls, I know, but it’s not like a troll NEVER made me doubt myself.

When I think about someone mocking queens, I am flabbergasted. Drag queens are beautiful! Amazing! How could anyone say anything bad about them?!

And when I think about it, I imagine that these queens may doubt themselves in that moment of being mocked too, just like I have. They are people, after all. But the difference is that they brush it aside and keep doing what they are doing despite the jerks.

When I see these beautiful queens - each beautiful in her own way - full of confidence and obviously feeling sexy and certain of herself, I am in awe. It seems almost effortless. And when I see all the queens considering each other sisters, supporting each other, it really makes my heart swell. 

I adore queens and strive to be like them. I think all women, especially those that struggle with confidence, could take some cues from the amazingness that is drag.

On that note, here are some of my favorite queens EVER:

The Rice Rockettes and Peaches Christ

(Some of the queens in the Rice Rockettes I am friends with and squeeeeee <3)

A few more of the Rice Rockettes:

They seriously are my most favorite. Their performances are so above and beyond from the choreography to the song choices. I die.

Other queens (mostly from Drag Race - watching the show makes me feel more attached to them! haha):

Latrice Royale

Carmen Carrera

Raja

Sharon Needles

Raven

Honey Imaman Moahogany

Shangela (who you may have seen on Community … “Pocket Full of Hawthornes”!)

Pandora Boxx

Jujubee

And last but not least, and OBVIOUSLY A FAVORITE, RuPaul:

p.s. RuPaul lived in San Diego and has said that she felt like she never truly belonged there, and felt that Atlanta was truly her home. I’m from San Diego and then I moved to San Francisco and the bay area and feel the SAME WAY. Not only is she fabulous but girl I feeeeeel youuuu. :D

PHOTOSET

Vanity post. I realize there are a lot of photos but let me explain: I was testing out taking shots of my outfit utilizing the webcam, so these start out relatively normal. You all know I love me some cute clothes.

Then I start goofing off to get a shot I can photoshop (hence the looking the side, scrunched up one).

Then it got even worse because I have so much hair that any bun on top of my head is starting to get kind of ridiculous…

When my friend has quotes about love and marriage hanging all over her house

myfriendsaremarried:

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I am loving this blog! Even though I am getting married in four months, hahaha. Sorry for the flurry of reblogs. I can’t help myself. :P

This is also my reaction to quotes about love and marriage around a household. With a mix of this:

To each their own though…I guess. :P

note: in case you are wondering “Well what the heck do YOU guys have in your house hold?” here’s your answer - we have Spaghetti Western posters, retro Sci-Fi film posters and video game posters all around our house. Also, Star Wars stuff. Now you know why I agreed to marry him. 

Video

This is what I do with my time when I’m A. tired and B. waiting for my pb and butter mix to cool in the fridge…

PHOTOSET

Our Weekend in Photos

So maybe I couldn’t make PAX, but I did a lot of eating this weekend and it was awesome. I have friends who are great cooks, too. The one with my nails is because I enjoyed my first gel manicure, but they only lasted me one week and 6 days. I love pretty nails but it’s like I’m incapable of keeping them nice! Also went to an A’s game and the free event Hiero Day really made this weekend a bit more enjoyable even though I was jealous of the people at PAX. :)

PHOTOSET

Quick personal photo dump.

Bottom to top: A night out with lovely Drag Queens, who also happened to alter my wardrobe. Ahem. I went to Outside Lands! The best part was Stevie Wonder, of course. Then some affordable fashion finds. I love that red jacket so much and I’ve been wanting captoe shoes, and those flats fit the bill.

First photo = I changed my hair color. 

OK BYE.

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An Update About Our Goddaughter Mari
Thanks to the help of amazing family, friends and even kind strangers, Mari&#8217;s family was able to raise over $13000 for a medical plane!
Though the original price set goal was $15000, the medical team with the plane decided to take the $13000 and tell them that they will bill them later for any leftover. Thus they were able to schedule a flight within 24 hours of the donation page going up! Pretty amazing.
She arrived back in Seattle yesterday morning. Above is a photo of her leaving the plane. The medical team on that flight all volunteered their time so Mari&#8217;s parents will not be charged for their particular services.
She is now at the PICU at Seattle Children&#8217;s Hospital where her main team of medical personnel reside. She still requires a BiPAP for oxygen and cannot be without it for longer than an hour or so, but they are working on transitioning her home for hospice care. Not ideal as being back at 100% but it&#8217;s better than living in the PICU for several more weeks or months! Her nurses and doctors will come to her at home once they make the transition.
Thank you to the people that follow me that shared her story and donation page. I appreciate it, her parents appreciate it, Mari appreciates it! We are very happy that she is back home.
Now hopefully she will have a speedy recovery. &lt;3

An Update About Our Goddaughter Mari

Thanks to the help of amazing family, friends and even kind strangers, Mari’s family was able to raise over $13000 for a medical plane!

Though the original price set goal was $15000, the medical team with the plane decided to take the $13000 and tell them that they will bill them later for any leftover. Thus they were able to schedule a flight within 24 hours of the donation page going up! Pretty amazing.

She arrived back in Seattle yesterday morning. Above is a photo of her leaving the plane. The medical team on that flight all volunteered their time so Mari’s parents will not be charged for their particular services.

She is now at the PICU at Seattle Children’s Hospital where her main team of medical personnel reside. She still requires a BiPAP for oxygen and cannot be without it for longer than an hour or so, but they are working on transitioning her home for hospice care. Not ideal as being back at 100% but it’s better than living in the PICU for several more weeks or months! Her nurses and doctors will come to her at home once they make the transition.

Thank you to the people that follow me that shared her story and donation page. I appreciate it, her parents appreciate it, Mari appreciates it! We are very happy that she is back home.

Now hopefully she will have a speedy recovery. <3

Please Help Bring Mari Home

Hey everyone. There is now a fundraising page for our Goddaughter Mari (I posted about her condition in this post).

There are several concerns about her staying in the hospital so far away from home. First and most importantly, Mari wants to go home. Second, it’s where the parents support system is — they do not have family in the bay area nor their main team of Doctors to help Mari. Three, because Mari may be hospitalized for several more weeks or months, this will put a serious financial burden on her parents if they are not back home so at least one parent can continue working while the other cares for Mari.

Unfortunately, Mari’s insurance will not cover the medical flight home. This means that her parents are in dire need of help to cover the medical flight out-of-pocket. 

If you can, please help bring Mari home!

Our Goddaughter Mari

I’ve made a lot of updates on twitter about our Goddaughter Mari and how she is currently in the hospital right now in critical condition. Many have been asking about her and what’s wrong, so I figured a blog post would be the best way to explain everything. Her Mom also asked me to work on writing a blog post for a website that they have that is all about Mari in order to keep everyone up to date, so I will crosspost additional updates here if her parents OK it.

My fiance met Maya and Jamie (before they were parents) about the time he first moved to the bay area. I met him around a month later and through him I met Maya and Jamie. We had a few mutual friends between us all and over the years we all become very close friends. An entire group of us went to Mari’s baptism in Seattle (where Maya and Jamie are originally from) and we all love and adore her.

In July of 2010, Mari was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1. From her parents journal entry at the time of her diagnosis:

Her condition means that the nerve cells in her spinal cord are being damaged over time, and eventually she will succumb to this disease. It starts at her feet and works its way up her body from there until she is too weak to breathe, and swallow.

It also means that when Mari gets sick it’s much harder for her to get better than the average person. Hospital visits have often been necessary to ensure that she has help to get through the sickness as her condition makes it more difficult. Due to Mari’s condition, Maya and Jamie made the decision to move back to Seattle to be closer to family which was of course the best decision for Mari’s health and happiness.

When Mari is not dealing with sickness she is a very vibrant, happy, animated little girl. She is incredibly smart and even has the advanced verbal skills of a four year old! She loves books and animals and is even quite the fashionista, always rocking bright colors, stripes, polka dots and animal print (a girl after my own heart). 

Her parents decided to come back to the bay area for a visit. They got in to town on Wednesday of last week. The next day, they noticed a change in Mari’s mood and a large increase in her sleeping habits, and knowing their little girl so well, they knew this was not normal. They were concerned and took her to the hospital. 

From her parents journal after going to the hospital:

Initially, it looked like she had pneumonia, and a partially collapsed lung. The doctors, kept us overnight and we planned on getting the first plane back to Seattle. During the night she went into respiratory distress, and was transferred to the PICU at Children’s Hospital. 

Today, we found out that Mari actually ended up catching the common cold. In the past, she has been able to fight off such sickness before  (she even fought off pneumonia not long ago) and eventually she would get well again and return home.

This time for some reason it does not seem to be getting any better and unfortunately they were not able to go back to Seattle because she is in critical condition. They discussed possibly getting her back home via med plane, but Mari’s body is still not getting enough oxygen without a BiPAP machine, thus she is not stable enough to be sent home at all.

We also found out today that because her conditioned worsened, she will likely be hospitalized for weeks, possibly even a few months. 

This is especially awful news because — and this is incredibly hard to get out and write — if her condition worsens and she doesn’t get better, her parents decided a while ago that it’s best to focus on Mari’s quality of life. That she should be comfortable rather than on machines for the duration of her life. 

It is very difficult to imagine what her parents must be going through. They are amazing people and really above and beyond amazing, loving parents. It is an extremely, terribly awful hand that they’ve been dealt. It’s difficult to imagine a  child who is so incredibly young, wonderful, vibrant and overall incredible to go through this.

As Mari’s godparents, we of course have been doing all we can to be there for her and her parents through this tough time. We love her, as do many others.  For those of you who are reading this: if you pray, please pray for Mari. If you believe in the power of positive thought, please send those positive thoughts and vibes out for Mari. She needs those prayers and thoughts now more than ever.

PHOTOSET

Hair

I had a traumatizing hair experience when first moving to the bay area. I had been growing out my hair and asked the woman I went to that I wanted a trim and to please keep it long. I spent over 2 years getting my hair long only to have her chop it off. I could barely put it in a ponytail. 

I don’t know what it is about an attachment to hair but of course I burst into tears after that. It’s one thing if I CHOOSE to chop my hair off. It’s another if someone does it without asking me.

So after many trials with new hairdressers, I had better luck in general (they certainly didn’t chop off all my hair) but I was hoping to be blown away by a cut and style. Finally, I found the one: Scotty from Oxenrose in San Francisco.

After a session with Scotty my hair gets brighter, shinier and happier. Seriously. Also, I can go a full 24 hours or more without washing my hair and it still looks really great. I don’t know how he does it but it’s like magic.

I highly recommend Scotty - especially for long hair. He’s so good I thought he deserved a blog post. I already wrote a review for him on Yelp but maybe this will help if someone is just searching on google. If you’re in San Francisco, see Scotty at Oxenrose. He does not disappoint! :)

PHOTOSET

My Weekend in Photos

Had a girls night on Saturday so that meant I dressed up all fancy utilizing one of the fun dresses I have found for under $25. :) Then the rest of the weekend I spent eating myself into oblivion. I also found some new Hello Kitty sunglasses. 

So in other words, a great weekend. 

p.s.  If anyone is wondering who the pretty redhead is in the photos, that would be Amanda. :)

Zelda and Nintendo t-shirts