Tuesday, November 21, 2017

PAX Unplugged

[I posted this on Facebook but I want to share it with the world. 💖.]

PAX Unplugged was this weekend, and it was one of the best weekends of my life. The first time I saw a “Welcome Home” banner at PAX Prime, I cried, because PAX truly felt like my home. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was home. So to have a PAX in my hometown was one of the most magical experiences I’ve ever had.

I can’t even name everyone, so I won’t try, but I will attempt to say some of the things I loved: being on three panels (and even moderating one of them!) filled with people who are superstars and my own personal heroes and heroines; going to amazing parties and hanging out with some of the greatest people; demoing and signing SO MANY of our own games; running a Lazer Ryderz tournament that was full of fun, laughter, and sick guitar shreds; playing games and eating meals with people I adore; crying when I heard people’s stories about how I inspired them and helped them get where they are today; watching some of my closest and best local friends interact with my con family; and, most of all, turning and seeing my husband, smiling at him, and being filled with joy at having taken this journey with him. My heart passed out so many times I should have just carried around smelling salts.

This industry has given us so much, and it makes me happy to know that I am able to give back to it. Being at PAX Unplugged and being able to see both the people who helped me get where I am, and the people who came to me for help, made me feel like I was in the center of a circle that never ends, full of humble, talented, incredibly beautiful people who are now a part of my life.

Thank you all for making me feel like a superstar. Thank you all for being my friends, my family, my life. I couldn’t do this - and I certainly wouldn’t want to do this - without you.

Welcome home.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Cleaning up!

I've been having an amazing time on this week off, though I feel like I should have taken off much longer! I have taken a lot of time to rest and relax, as well as to play as much Persona 5 as humanly possible. But on top of that, I've done some cleaning out, and right now I'm trying to find a new home for some action (and inaction!) figures! Here they are:

 Big Ass Silent Bob, signed by Kevin Smith:


 Some Inaction Figures, one signed by Kevin Smith:

Grifball figure, signed by Geoff:

 Star Wars Galactic Heroes figures, some signed:

I have no idea how to sell action figures! I've never sold them in my life. Does anyone know how much these dudes are worth? I have someone interested in the Dogma figs, and the Galactic Heroes Dengar and Boba Fett. From what I can tell on eBay, they're worth:

Galactic Heroes Dengar and Boba Fett, signed - eBay, between $20-40 unsigned
Dogma Jay - eBay, between $10-20
Dogma Silent Bob - eBay, between $20-30
Dogma Silent Bob, signed - none signed on eBay, but one other Dogma fig went for $70 signed
Dogma Bartleby - none on eBay, others went for ~$10
Dogma Golgagthan - eBay, between $10-20

I'm not sure what are fair prices to ask. Does anyone have any experience with this?

I'll write a proper update later! I also had my first experience with Buffalo Exchange, which went well! I sold some clothes and donated the rest at Philly Aids Thrift. I have lots more clothes to go through, and I also want to purge my books, video games, and board games, but that will take more time than I have left on this vacation. It's a slow process, and I'm trying to feel good about what I did do, rather than lament what I didn't!

But ok, I'm going to play some Persona 5 and then get down to business. Hope everyone's having a great Saturday!

Monday, March 27, 2017

You were right about Titanfall 2

Whoever told me to stick with Titanfall 2, you were right. I had analysis paralysis the other day trying to decide which game to play next, so I decided to go back to it, since I hadn't played it in months and really did want to finish. I got to the Effect and Cause chapter today, and wow. It was freaking amazing. I would play an entire game like that. I think I'm nearly done it now - hopefully I'll finish it tomorrow or Tuesday and go back into an indecision spiral.

Oh, and we went back to Supernatural, after not watching that for months. We were at the very end of season 10 - I think we have one more episode left now. And we did a freaking ton of work this weekend. I'm so exhausted but I also feel pretty great and productive. But also exhausted.

I hope you had a great weekend, my friends! *heart emoji*

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I definitely understand technology

So, yesterday, my friend Gina sent me a $75 gift card to Modcloth as a congratulations on getting a new job. SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS! That is too much money. I slammed the reply button and sent her an all-caps reply:

(The link goes to this awesome thing, in case you were wondering.)

So great story, right? Except one second later I received an email from Modcloth saying they'd opened a ticket for my email. Because I sent that email to support at Modcloth and not Gina. And then forwarded that email to Gina and told her in all caps that I was literally dead from laughing.

Because I was.

The end.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'm leaving Drexel!

Wow! It's been years since I've written in this thing. So much has happened! So much has happened in the last week. This has been an intense year so far. Last year was also super intense. Maybe I should just write about right now to start.

I finished graduate school! Well, I handed in my last two papers on Thursday, and I consider myself done. I don't think there's any way I could have failed those classes, but stranger things have happened. Anyway, barring any disasters, I am now an MS in Library Sciences. It's been a long road, and I can't believe it's over.

"So, Nicole," you might be thinking, "Are you going to go for your PhD now?"

Yo. Can I live?

I got a new job! I never thought I would leave Drexel. Ever. But here I am. A few weeks ago, I received an email from the Department Head of CCI, asking if I was interested in a research position at a company, and giving me a small description. I was interested, and sent her my resume. They contacted me that day, and I had a meeting with them a week later. A week after that, I went in for an assessment test. Wednesday of last week, I went back for a follow-up, and they offered me the job the next day... right after I submitted my last papers for grad school. In a few weeks, I'll be starting my new job as a Research Analyst.

I'm terrified. But also excited! But also terrified. But also excited. I've been at the same job for 15 years - 20 years if you include the years I went here as an undergraduate. But I'm super excited to move on to a new job and get out there and actually apply what I learned in graduate school.

That all happened last week. But there's lots and lots of other cool stuff going on, too!

We have another board game coming out! We were approached to make a game for IDW in their new Atari line of board games. We're making Centipede, of course. It's been a much different process than we're used to, but it's been a great experience. Here's my favorite image on the Internet, which I'm stealing from Mashable:

That is badass.

We went to PAX East and UnPub! Yes, we went to PAX East up in Boston, and then I had to finish up two term papers, and then we headed to UnPub down in Baltimore. It was totally worth it, but, real talk: I can't believe I survived it. I'm freaking tired.

OK. and that was all from recently as well. But there's been so much other stuff going on. The last time I wrote in here was October of 2014! I don't know if there's a good way to list all of this. Maybe with... a list?

  • Anthony and I moved in together earlier that year, and our first game, RESISTOR_, got into the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX Prime that year as well. It was also in the IMB at PAX East in 2015, and we launched our Kickstarter for it, and got picked up by a publisher, Level 99! 
  • In 2016, our next game, Lazer Ryderz, got picked up by Greater Than Games. 
  • For gaming, we went to a ton of events in 2015 - 21 - and then upped that in 2016, when we went to a whopping 28 events!! 
  • Two of my estranged family members died - first my grandmother in February, and then my father in October. 
  • I taught for the first time in my life, as an adjunct at Moore College of Art and Design. 

Oh hey, also, in August, Anthony and I got engaged! We plan to be married this year, but with everything that's been going on, it might get pushed to 2018.

Of course, there are tons of things I'm forgetting. I'm giving you the quick and dirty of the last two and a half years. I've made tons of friends, some of them best friends I want to see all the time but only get to see at events, and others local friends I can't spend enough time with. I've played a lot of board games and video games, read loads of books, and even got into writing more - I started a bullet journal and got back into writing poetry (oh noetry!). I can't even begin to get into it all. But hopefully, if I keep to this, I won't have to. It'll be more organic. I guess we'll see!

Also, Colleen wanted a mention, so she gets one:

That's all for now. Oh, and I'm still fascinated by Juggalos.

Like you had to ask.

Much turtle love!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

remember that time i talked about surgery

wow i have been so insanely lax here... the last time i wrote was in january (over nine months ago!) when i wrote about medical issues. i never wrote what happened after that - nor have i written ANYTHING since. so, here goes!

in january, the doctors mentioned SURGERY, and i just about had heart failure. i went back in february, and saw a specialist, and the first thing she said was that they absolutely did not want to perform surgery, because i'm too young and it's dangerous. she laid out all of the options:

1) surgery. don't want to do that.
2) nothing. really don't want to do that, either.
3) IUD. no no no no no.
4) hormones.

now, with the hormones, there were four options as well:

1) IUD. already nope.
2) the shot. kinda didn't want to do that.
3) the implant. didn't really want that, either.
4) the pill.

i've had some mixed results with the pill. i went on it when i was 19, and was on five different ones between then and 28 - nearly 10 years. by the end of that time, i was getting vicious, blinding migraines, and while i was terrified to not be on them - who was i, without them? - i was glad for the pain to stop.

well, it turns out, horrible migraines are a really bad sign when you're on the pill - in fact, it is a pretty clear indicator that the pill could cause a stroke. the doctor told me that it's the estrogen that causes that, so she wanted to put me on a progesterone-only pill. and so in february i went back on the pill again for the first time in seven years.

at first, it was horrible. i mean just the worst. my periods were painful and my flow was heavy, and i had moody PMS. now my period wasn't as painful, nor was it as heavy, but i was getting it once every two weeks instead of every four. then i was getting it every other week. then it would be just a few days in between periods. and my mood swings were absolutely crazy by that point. my hormones were out of control.

by july, i was at the end of my rope. i couldn't stand it anymore. i called the doctor, crying, and they told me to just hang in there until my ultrasound... which turned up fine. my cysts and fibroids were gone, meaning the pills were successful. my period was still coming fast and hard (and often), but i'm glad to say that - finally! - this month, it seems to have become somewhat normal. i got my period this weekend, and the last time i got it before that was a full month ago, so... yay!

in other health news, my stomach issues are seemingly more under control as well. i actually ate cheesecake today - CHEESECAKE!! i haven't had cheesecake in four years. i couldn't believe it. i think it's partially because - while i've still had a lot of stress - i've gotten my anxiety more under control. i've even been able to gain weight - i'm back to the 145 i was years ago before i was diagnosed with gastroparesis. sure, all the clothes i've been wearing don't fit anymore, and i could use some working out (i've been trying to walk to and from work when i can), but i'm actually happy.

there's lots going on in my life other than that - we're getting RESISTOR_ ready for kickstarter after showing it off at pax prime and boston fig, we've done lots of traveling, i've been playing tons of games/reading books/watching stuff (aaagh american horror story), and after having very little time to do so, i've been writing again - and hopefully will keep it up.

but right now, it's time to finish up some laundry and work on dinner. oh, and finalize our halloween costumes, because, you know, it's in two weeks. but i wanted to get my medical information out there, because people have been asking me about it. so, yay! :D

Saturday, January 11, 2014

in which i give a lot of information about medical stuff

warning: there is going to potentially be TMI here about my lady parts. seriously. don't read if you don't like hearing about periods, uteri, and words like "gynecologist."


ok! so yeah. i have had a pretty poor history for the last, oh, i don't know, 15 years of my life? when it comes to my lady parts. when i was 19, i had an abortion, and afterwards i found out that i have a tilted uterus, which is why i have such horrible pain and bleeding. to counter that, the doctors put me on the pill, which worked on and off for ten years. in 2008, after years of having horrible migraines and trying to work out what medication would work best, i decided to stop taking the pill. my migraines stopped, but wonderful adventures in terrible pain had just begun.

as each year goes by, as each month goes by, i'm never sure what's going to happen. my period never comes on the same day each month; sometimes it comes five days early, sometimes it's a week late (that's always fun). the pain has become worse and worse, to the point that in november it was so excruciating - and the bleeding was so heavy - that i went to the gynecologist.

i guess i should backtrack a bit here. when i was 21, i was diagnosed with HPV, which was terrifying. i had to go to the doctor every three months for constant checkups, and in 2007, i was told i had CIN 3 cells, which is pretty darn close to cancer. i had to get a LEEP done (DO NOT RECOMMEND MUCH PAIN), and after that, i needed to have my birth canal scraped, because they thought the cells had passed through there to my other organs, and that i was at high risk for cancer. (again, fun weeks.) my HPV cleared in 2010, which meant i could go back to normal yearly visits. but i started having horrible pain and terrible bleeding, and had to go in on an off-time to get checked out. the doctor recommended an ultrasound, in which they found nothing - from my descriptions, they think i had a small cyst which may have ruptured. GOOD TIMES ALL AROUND.

so, in november, i went back, complaining of the same pain and heavy bleeding. they did an ultrasound and found two masses - one they said was possibly a cyst, and the other was possibly a "degenerating fybroid," i think was the exact term. she wanted me to come back in 60-90 days, right after my period, to try to see if it was still there or not.

i went back this past monday. the larger mass was still there.

now, i went back monday thinking they were going to say "yup, no big deal, it's gone." instead, what i got was a phone call from my gynecologist, saying that the mass was still there, that it could be an endymetria, and that she wanted me to make an appointment with one of the physicians there because they might want to perform surgery to remove it.

i just about had heart failure when i heard her say the word "surgery."

i haven't done what i usually do, which is google the shit out of this stuff to figure out what exactly it is, because i am currently paralyzed with fear over it and am doing my best to try not to think about it at all. the soonest they can see me for a consultation is february 6th, so i'm just going to do my best to not freak the fuck out about it and go about life as usual. but it's been really difficult to concentrate, and even things i normally do to zone out have not been successful.

so i guess what i'm saying is, if i seem stressed out, or distant, or just flat out disappear for hours/days at a time, or i don't get something done that i should, please don't take it personally, and please feel free to prod me if you need something. i'm a little distracted right now.