Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The One Where I Introduce Cody

First things first, it's been well over a week since I last posted and said I would post again. Here's the thing. I just had finals this past week (and I'm anxiously awaiting my grades!) and that was my focus, which is as it should be. Friday was truly the first day in which I could have posted would have been then, however I used the day to consist of not wearing pants and being a lazy lie-about.

Okay, mini-maintenance completed, onto the ACTUAL blog post.

If you actually know me, you should know that I game, in particular, I larp. (For more information on what larping is, check out Lizzie Stark who is an authority on the subject; she's even written a book Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role Playing Games, due out in May 2012. Get a copy!) I love immersing myself in someone else for awhile and living in some other world than my own.
For a long time, larping was a way for me to escape. To get out of my life which regardless of the fact that I have had a relatively good life, I hated. After awhile on top of the escapism (Something which I am not endorsing. Deal with your problems people, ignoring them is like ignoring the fact that you just fed your passel of Mogwai pizza after midnight and maybe they won't turn into gremlins who are going to murder you in your sleep) I started using my character(s) as a way to better myself.

Enter Cody Capulet-Kane.
Cody, left (played by me) with her 'sister' Chance, right (played by Kristin Tone)
Taken at DREAMATION 2005
Cody is a loud mouthed young woman who is a super hero. She's 5' 1" (the size of Kristin above), runs fast, punches hard and is in a near constant state of motion. She cares deeply about her family and friends. She is a woman of faith, a faith in the universe that it will make things right in the end and that she has the ability to make those things right decisions. I could go into her motivations, her loves, and her favorite color (it's a soft blue, in case you were wondering), but I won't today. 

Why am I introducing your to her? Well while I was thinking about things to blog about (see how this all comes full circle? I totally meant to do that ya know) and I started thinking about Cody and the cadre of characters who I've played over the years and miss playing (or in the instance of Cody still play to some extent). So, my brilliant idea is to start blogging sometimes as them. I'll be starting off by introducing the character (like I am doing here) and hopefully posting a piece of fiction about the character. The Cody story I'd like to share today is one I wrote back in 2005 (shortly after this picture was taken, actually). 

So in the end, expect to see Cody on here from time to time.

Vital Stats
Full Name: Cody Marie Lang Capulet-Kane
Age at Creation: 16
Current Age: 24(ish) 
Where is she from? Buffalo, NY
Game System: The Avatar System
What does she do? Cody likes to help people, more frequently by protecting them from those who would hurt them.
Hobbies: Paint, play the drum
Past Loves: Miranda "Di", Sigma Caine
Family Life: Mother raised her with the help up her older and way cooler brother along with his ragtag group of friends. When she entered game she was effectively cut off from her family and had to therefore be raised by her Aunt (who is a Goddess / Manifestation of the Nexus), a multitude of uncles, an adoptive father figure, two adoptive sisters and a six-foot tall cat.

Story behind the cut. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The One Where I Taught 7th Graders Adjectives

First off, I am stealing the subject line concept from Friends episodes. Cope. Second off, not going to be able to blog again until at least Sunday, more likely Monday. However, I’m actually putting up a third entry in one week. I consider my plan of SpiteBlogging™ to be a roaring success.

This past semester I’ve been working with a government funded program tutoring 7th graders at an at risk school. We are there twice a week working approximately 45 minutes with two after school programs. Since we started back in October I haven’t really felt like I’m making any sort of difference with the group I’m working with in the first set of kids. I end up feeling like a glorified babysitter, not really helping any of them learn anything. Pretty much I make sure that they are working on their homework.

Yesterday however the girls were oddly subdued. They weren’t as peppy as normal and seemed rather defeated. I sat down at the table and asked what everyone was so bummed about. Apparently they had taken an English test and the average grade for everyone in the grade was a 61%. The girls were so upset and so completely overwhelmed with their work load, especially going into their winter break.

I let them talk for a bit, about their frustrations, about what they need to do to learn what they need to learn. We talked about action plans and how to not feel so over-whelmed. Eventually one of them asked for help with adverbs and adjectives. We settled in and before I knew it I had seven of them clustered around me.

We worked for a few minutes before one of the teachers came along telling everyone to put their books away because “homework time is over now”. The girls all gave me this look of “but… we need more time.” I asked them if they wanted to keep working. They all nodded with a chorus of “yes please!” I asked if they wanted to skip their activity so we could continue to work. Big nods all around. I asked who I needed to talk to about them staying, and they told me.

Off I went to find the person in question to ask if we could continue working. The look of shock and disbelief actually startled me. He said 1) of course they could and 2) that they had never asked for something like that before. I collected the girls and moved us over to another table, away from the growing swarm of hormonally crazed middle-schoolers.

I have to say that the remainder of the session was like magic. They were getting it, being engaged and honestly learning. When one of them was having trouble, I asked one of the girls who was understanding to explain it in her words and that finally helped the girl who was struggling. It was fun and productive and generally a really positive experience. When the finally stopped to go to Choir practiced they each hugged me tight and said they were looking forward to next week.

What I still don’t understand is WHY a teacher would be encouraging a group of students who are obviously working hard to STOP working hard. They wanted to continue and they did. I really feel like I helped them to succeed a little, get a firmer grasp on their studies and maybe, just maybe I may have made a small difference. At the very least, I made their Thursday just a little brighter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The One About Musical Memories

Lookie! I’m posting a second time in as many days. This must be a miracle or something. I think mainly I’m trying to keep this up out of spite. And really, if that’s the thing that’s motivating me to actually keep up with this blasted thing, then I say it’s a good reason.

This morning when I was getting ready to head out the door I decided that I just HAD to find my Seth Glier CD. Couldn’t find it so I quickly looked on the rack of CD’s (as well as the piles that seem to have accumulated on the shelves nearest the CD shelving. On sheer impulse I pulled out Sublime’s “40oz to Freedom", something that I haven’t thought about in literally years.

So away I go with my handy laptop to school in order to conquer APA style formatting (by the way, how I loathe APA formatting), popping in the CD right before I hit the highway.

By the time track two started playing I was singing along, lost in memories of the summer of 1999, when I believe I first got the album. I remember long drives in my 1991 Toyota Corolla with the windows down, a Marlboro red in my hand and the music cranked up. I actually looked up to the ceiling of my car to see what type of material it was because I was thinking about all the writing, doodles and graffiti that was the ceiling of my first car.

As screwed up as my head was in those days (and let’s be honest, it’s still pretty screwed up), I have to say that the summer of 1999 was pretty decent. I don’t think I was working much or at least I don’t remember slinging a lot of ice cream. It was also the year that I actually started playing White Wolf’s “Werewof: The Apocalypse" something which I can honestly say changed my life.

But I’ll save that for another day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's this? A Blog Post? Yea, that's right I have one of those...

It’s been almost two years since I actually wrote anything for this bad boy. Every couple of months I’ll pull up the page, read it, get all nostalgic and swear that “tomorrow I’ll write something, post it and maybe get into the swing of writing a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly/OMGSOMETIME blog. For a long time I had a draft in my email listing possible ideas for me to talk about. Like being poly or having fibro. Thoughts on Joss Whedon or gay rights or being vegetarian. But I never did. Eventually I just deleted the thing because it was depressing me.

Basically, what I’m going to do here is just start talking. Not explain anything really because my life has completely changed. For one I’m a full time student going for my BS in Media Studies. No I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Yes I watch movies and write papers on them. I love the classes I’m taking and maybe one day I’ll be able to apply what I’m learning now to something relevant in the working world.

Today on my way to tutoring I was talking with my car buddy Yoshi (hi Yoshi! Told I’d post something!) about her blog which she recently started. It got me to thinking about this dusty old thing, about how I start so many projects and never really see them through. Hell, I just mentioned to Avie that I was writing a blog post and her response was, “you mean the one you never post to?”

Yeah, that’s the one.

So here I am at 11 at night typing away into one of my many empty word files that lie around my desktop, listening to the clicking of Avie typing away in her plush chair.

It’s Christmas time here and the house is all a bustle. Yes, I just said that don’t judge me. Avie and Vinny have been busting their asses getting all the presents wrapped, the house clean and basically being little hyper active elves on speed who occasionally run into each other, scrap, kiss and run off again to their respective Christmas cheer.

Me, I’ve been writing papers, which aside from my Management paper, I’ve been enjoying. I feel like I’m actually making sense in my film papers, like I’m not just filling it full of bullshit or regurgitating other research but actually referencing my observations and applying it to what I’m covering in class. I have to say that by doing that I feel, oh I don’t know… smarter? More like an actual student instead of an adult playing at being a student?

So that’s where I’m at, posting randomly on a Tuesday night when I really should be curled up in bed or working on a conclusion to that damnable Management paper. I wanted to send something out there to the internet that other than Facebook or Google+, I have other thoughts. Other stuff is happening with me other than being a flibbity jibbit.

I’ve played with some of the blog links (like removing the character blogs which are pretty much defunct) and blogs I don’t read anymore. I went ahead and added Yoshi cause I could as well as “Hyperbole and a Half”. Maybe I’ll add my facebook info as well as my Google+, though not tonight, it’s already late and like I said, sleepy time!.

So theres that. Let’s hope I keep this momentum going actually do something with this space. Or maybe it’ll be another two years till you hear from me. Who knows.