Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Origin of a Geek

I just finished a fantastic weekend! Planet Comicon 2014. It was an incredible weekend and I met some of my favorite Sci-Fi icons. This experience actually caused me to do some self-reflection. How did I tend to this secret love affair with Science Fiction and what caused me to finally come out of the closet? Well, it goes back to the days of the original Star Trek.

As a young girl, I would sneak in episodes of Star Trek. And yes, I mean sneak. I was absolutely captivated by the encounters of the crew with different life forms and the multi-cultural nature of the crew. I was always hungry for the next episode, but didn't want anyone to know. It really wasn't acceptable for a young girl to be interested in such things. Especially a young girl from St. Joseph, Mo. I remember actually pretending NOT to watch the show while soaking in every single minute.  I never discussed the episodes with my family, nor was it a topic of conversation with my friends. There was just something empowering about "boldly going where no man had gone before." But it wasn't just men. There were women, too.

By the time I hit middle school, I was very proud to be a straight A student, but I was also feeling a little rebellious. I proudly declared a Cyndi Lauper day in which I was promptly sent home to change clothes because I was causing a disruption to our learning. I didn't really mean to disrupt learning…I loved learning. But I also loved socializing. I was able to socialize by being on the yearbook team and through cheerleading. These were quite "acceptable" activities for a young lady to pursue. I easily became friends with people from all walks of life. I particularly enjoyed talking with some of the guys about D & D. I was actually lost during most of these conversations, having no background knowledge of D & D other than what I was taught at church. I was taught that D & D was of the devil, yet I found myself being reeled into their conversations regardless. And while some people might have called these guys nerds, I found them to be some pretty cool friends.

I participated in honors classes in High School, but most of the people in my classes were much smarter than me! I could not figure out who the heck I was! I was a cheerleader, in Biology Club, Latin Club, Show Choir and the High School Musicals. I was on the school newspaper and excelled with my History and English classes but struggled a bit through my Science and Math classes. Ok, well I struggled A LOT with my math classes. I was working desperately at being who everyone expected me to be. But I left the most important person out…me.

Many things happened between High School graduation and Comicon 2014. Most notably, I became an avid fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation and did not hide it, I began playing D&D (Pathfinder, actually), completed my Ph.D., binged on every episode of Big Bang Theory, caught up with Firefly, watched Monty Python, as well as several other Sci-Fi shows. I have planned and hosted several themed-based parties (Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Zombie Apocolypse, Secret Agent, Steam Punk, etc.) and dressed all out for every single one. I jumped up and down with glee as I hugged the neck of Jonathan Frakes, and got a tear in my eye as I shook the hand of Marina Sirtis. These people represent a part of myself that I have learned to embrace whole heartedly. It was actually quite spiritual.

The passing of time has given me the gift of confidence as I no longer try to play the roles expected of me by others. Instead, I have learned to embrace who I am and not worry so much about what other people think. I must also thank my husband for allowing me to evolve. He and I spend endless hours talking about everything under the sun. He is a brilliant game master who has been patient with me as I learn the intricate rules for D & D. He doesn't think I am goofy when I want to dress up (as in costumes) for events. Heck, he doesn't even mind when I make up events just so I can wear a costume!

I know that some people must look at me and scratch their heads. I am fine with that. I love this part of me…just as I love my "peace, love and happiness" part of me…my performer/vocalist/dancing queen part of me…and my serious educator part of me. Somehow it is just all goofy me. Amy Casey. Boldly out of the closet!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I Got You Babe ~ The Secrets of My Happy Marriage

Nothing like a snow storm to give me time to think and write! Today I have been thinking about Mr. Casey and the things that make us work so well together. I thought I would take a moment and share. :)

1. We don't NEED each other, we WANT each other. When I was younger, I thought I needed a husband to make me complete and happy. My head was full of all those sappy, romantic books that promoted the idea that you could find true happiness if you could only find the right partner. I believed that somehow I was incomplete as just me. I needed someone to complete my soul…blah, blah, blah. After my first marriage of 11 years ended, I was stuck with just myself. I took some time to explore who I truly was and fell in love again. Only this time, it was with Amy Dragoo. I was actually a pretty cool person. I became exceedingly independent and knew exactly what I wanted and didn't want in a relationship (that doesn't mean I always got what I wanted, however). By the time Shawn Casey proposed to me, we both had a good idea of precisely what we wanted in our marriage. We were both independent people who were quite capable of taking care of ourselves and we didn't necessarily NEED another human being in our lives, but we sure WANTED one another.

2. We don't try to change each other. We dated for two years before getting married. I knew, for a fact, that Shawn Casey loved to play computer games. A lot. He knew that I loved to sing. A lot. There are times that he might play computer games into the wee hours of the night, but I am not going to nag him about it. It is his thing and he really enjoys it. It brings ME joy to see HIM enjoying himself. There are times that I sing into the wee hours of the night. He doesn't nag me about it. He knows that performing feeds my soul. He loves to see me happy.

3. We bring balance to one another. I am an Aquarius. All the way. My head is often in the clouds. I love a new adventure and I am deeply spiritual. Shawn is a Taurus. He is reliable, predictable and deeply intellectual. That is not to say that Shawn is not spiritual and I am not intellectual - but when we interact with one another, we have a way of balancing each other in the most complimentary way. He is the earth to my air ~ he grounds me and I lift him up. He is my safe haven and I am his thrilling expedition.

4. We keep our money separate. I know this doesn't sound terribly romantic. It has nothing to do with trust or the lack thereof. It goes back to point number one. He doesn't need my money and I don't need his. We seriously NEVER argue about money.

5. We laugh. We play. We try new things. Sometimes we chase each other around the house. I have this weird thing about my belly button. I don't want anyone touching it. He acts like he is going to touch it...but he doesn't. Then we laugh. (I know…we are weird). We play "name that tune." I dance and he laughs at me. He dances, and I laugh at him. We use puns, we tell really horrible jokes. We love trying new restaurants. I started gaming (role playing) with him. We go to fun places on vacation. We have great sex! We zip lined. We go on float trips. We go camping. You get the idea.

6. We spend time together. See number 5.

7. We talk to each other. And I mean a lot. We talk about religion, spirituality, politics, education, technology, Big Bang Theory, diversity, racism, Network Engineering, vegan diets, books, zombies, Ayurveda, yoga, fitness, Star Trek, Obama, Pathfinders, music, wine, scotch, beer, vacation, Key West, charities, friends, relationships, sex, parenting, the devil, God, chakras, crystals, computer games, gadgets, family, the environment, climate change, gardening, house projects, science, evolution, wellness, heroes, dreams…the list goes on and on.

8. We have little rituals. Sunday mornings are sacred for us. We sleep late and then partake in numbers 5, 6, and 7! We love cooking together. We go to the Bier Station and he orders the newest craft beer on tap while I order the Malbec wine every single time. We like to game on Sunday nights. We love to watch "Hell's Kitchen," "Master Chef," and "Big Bang Theory" together. He washes the laundry and I fold it. We text each other every single day.

9. We have left some mystery in our marriage. Basically - we do not perform bodily functions in front of one another. As far as he is concerned, I don't do that. Even after being together 14 years! LOL! :) That may be "too much information" for this blog - but - I am totally serious. I like having a little mystery!

I am sure there are many more things that I have not thought to share here. Perhaps I will come back tomorrow with number 10. And I am sure if you compare this list with the "research," you will find some similarities and perhaps you will find some oddities. Nevertheless, I am certainly blessed to be married to my very best friend on planet earth.

[HIM:] I got you to hold my hand
[HER:] I got you to understand
[HIM:] I got you to walk with me
[HER:] I got you to talk with me
[HIM:] I got you to kiss goodnight
[HER:] I got you to hold me tight
[HIM:] I got you, I won't let go
[HER:] I got you to love me so

[BOTH:] I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe