1

The Year of Enjoying What I Like

drawn-sand-beach-new-year-43591827

This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2014 and looking forward to 2015.

This was a rather good year geeky wise for me.

Movie wise: I saw 18 new movies in theaters (plus a few older ones thanks to the Alamo Drafthouse) including Guardians of the Galaxy five times. Yes this ties the record with The Avengers for most time seen in theaters. No I did not spend a ton of money doing this. One highlight was seeing Interstellar in real IMAX at the Smithsonian. Definitely worth it.

TV wise: All my shows I watched were great. Gracepoint was good enough for me that I want to switch to Broadchurch (this is a compliment). Peter Capaldi was wonderful on Doctor Who. The Walking Dead was gross and wonderful and will the next half please get here soon?

The shows I watched for Entertainment Weekly were quite good (ok, Metal Hurlant Chronicles wasn’t a fave). It’s a crime Selfie was canceled (it really was) but The Musketeers will be returning later this month. I’ll also be recapping Veronica Mars from the beginning as I watch it for the first time.

Book wise: I read a lot this year. I surpassed my goal and read 229 books in 2014. Here’s a breakdown of what I read.

(Numbers are a bit off because I kept losing track when counting repeatedly)

Christian Fiction 135

General Fiction 17

YA 37

Graphic Novel 19

Picture Book 1

Non Fiction 10

Diversity – 34 books written by males (All White Males)

3 books written by POC authors

Diversity wise I failed horribly. Most of those 34 books books were graphic novels so a lot were by the same authors. Also this just shows that Christian fiction is written almost exclusively by white females because that is their target audience.

But graphic novels in general are outside of my normal reading habits so I’m hoping to read more in the future.

Goals for next year?

Reading wise: I’m going to read a lot again next year. I still have a goal to read at least 200 books but I’d like to go outside of my normal reading for a change. I want to read more non fiction and I want to read out of my normal reads. This doesn’t mean less Christian fiction but more intentionally finding books outside of that genre. My “what books have you been reading” posts are quite popular so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

Movie wise: Oh 2015 is the year of two Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (including new Avengers?), Hunger Games, James Bond, and a new Star Wars movie you say? Well you know where I’ll be.

Blog wise: I want to do something different on my blog this year. While I still want to keep my schedule of what I post on MWF, I’d like to incorporate a new feature for Geekness Fridays. I don’t want to plan out a set schedule of what I’m going to post every Friday because I do enjoy spontaneity. But for this year, I’d like to try something new with my favorite band ever.

Once a month I’m going to listen to a Beatles album and spend a Friday talking about it. I’m not a music expert by any means, just a huge fan. There are twelve studio albums so I’ll be talking about one once a month. It’ll be fun to try something different and I’m looking forward to listening to all the albums in their entirety again.

So yeah. That was 2014 and those are goals for 2015.

2014 has been a good geeky year and I have no doubt that 2015 will be just the same if not better.

Because I do not need these to be a geek: 20140919_162811

0

The Year of Learning Life Lessons

drawn-sand-beach-new-year-43591827

This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2014 and looking forward to 2015.

We all know I’m a slow learner. I learn things well. It just takes me a while to realize it. I learned a lot of lessons this year. While a lot of you may have known this from the day you entered this world, for me 2014 was the year I finally understood what this all meant.

  • The moment you start wanting/trying to impress someone is the moment they stop caring or noticing.

Almost all of us want to feel affirmation, confirmation, validation that we’ve done something important. Usually what happens is that we want certain people to give that to us. And usually that person just won’t do it. Sometimes they purposely aren’t going to give it. But really most of the time they have no idea that we even want their attention. You will pretty much kill yourself trying to get their approval. The thing is that even when they do, it’s fleeting and it doesn’t last. You want it again and again. Guess what? It’s impossible to keep that momentum going. Stop looking to other people to validate yourself. Having all the likes and toasts and favorites isn’t going to make someone love you more. You will never be good enough for someone else if you don’t love yourself first.

  • Until you learn to forgive someone, trying to stop being angry at them is impossible.

I spent a good portion of the first half of 2014 very angry at someone in my life. I was furious with how they had treated me and how it wasn’t fair that they just walking around like everything was ok but it really wasn’t. Because what they had done (or hadn’t done) hurt me very much. I wanted to erase them out of my life but because of my anger to them it seemed impossible. Then I finally realized that I HAD to forgive them or else this was going to haunt me the rest of the year. It took a while and a LOT of prayer but finally I was able to forgive them. Guess what? The anger disappeared and they did seem to fade out of my life. Now at the end of the year, I look back and it’s amazing the viewpoint of which I hold them now vs. then is a complete 180. This is not to say that they were not wrong for what they did. But because I forgave them, it’s better for everyone. Even if they never realize or own up to their own actions.

  • Sometimes you have to hear the truth in order to move on, no matter how much it hurts you.

I had a long talk with a friend over the summer. And words were said that hurt me VERY much because they were words that I had always suspected about myself but didn’t really want to hear. And it was painful to hear those words said from someone I trusted. But the thing about hearing that was it was what I needed to move on in that certain situation. Sometimes in order to be a good friend, if you know what is truly best for someone you care about, you have to be truthful. Don’t lie, don’t sugarcoat, don’t delay it. You can be blunt without being cruel. Because sometimes that person just needs to hear it and then everyone can move on from there.

  • It is totally cool to be your own person and not be like everyone else.

I know. You’re thinking, “you seriously just found that out this year?” Hey, I just said I didn’t want to be like everyone else. It’s taken me a while to find out who I am. And sometimes I feel VERY different from everyone: how I look, how I act, how I think, what I do, what I like. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong and hence why I feel like I need validation a lot of time. But really, just because I do things differently from the people I am around a lot DOES NOT make me a weird (in a bad way) person that shouldn’t exist. Different is good. You don’t want to be just like everyone else all the time. Rejoice in not being basic! And if people don’t like you for that very reason? That’s on them. NOT you.

  • Stop asking “What did I do wrong” all the time.

Sure, there are times when it really is your fault and you really are to be blamed for something. But truthfully, 99% of the time, you KNOW this already. If you honestly can’t figure out what you’ve done wrong to offend someone, make them stop talking to you, make them mad at you, etc. and they aren’t telling you, then guess what. It’s something with them, not you. It sucks because it’s again usually someone you care about a lot, whose view of you means a great deal to you. But if they don’t have the courage to confront you on what you did and instead give you the silent treatment and ignore you? Forget them. Don’t sit around wondering about what’s wrong with you. Either you’ll realize it eventually or there never was anything you could have done anyways.

  • God knows what you need and even then He’ll give you more than you expected.

2014 was the year I was The Impossible Girl. Despite not knowing at all what this year would bring and knowing that I would be trusting God completely with everything, there was still some things that I wanted to happen this year. I saw it as pretty damn near impossible for them to actually happen. It would have required a lot of work from God and none from me.

Instead something else happened. Something that I also thought would be impossible.

I’ve seen God work in my life in so many ways. In the beginning of the year, I had a job that I was told would last me at least 2 years. Instead it ended up lasting only 4 months. Thus I became unemployed again for the second time in less than a year. Definitely not fun at all. There was a lot of having to trust God this past year. It started getting to the point where I literally began to worry that I wouldn’t be able to even live up here anymore.

There were a lot of times when I kept questioning God this year. Why did He keep blessing other people and I was left sitting here? Why were other people’s prayers getting answered and I’m left wondering what I’ve done to displease Him so much? Why was He giving people things that they didn’t even really want or giving others EXACTLY what they wanted and I’m praying every day for things to happen and they aren’t? Why do I have these desires in my heart if He possibly doesn’t want me to have them?

But then something awesome happened over the summer. I thought it was going to be the worst summer ever because I was unemployed, had no money to spend and I’d be at home all the time with nothing to do. Instead, I kept winning everything under the sun. I’m sure people got sick and tired and annoyed every time I posted that I won something. But to me, it was like God saying, Let me show you how much I love you. BOOM BOOM BOOM. Every week it was something different. Heck even sometimes several times a week. Once, it was several times a DAY.

It didn’t stop. Just when I was giving up all hope of a job ever coming, I randomly got two interviews within a span of a week to places I had long since given up hope but where I REALLY wanted to work. The funny part about the two jobs? Several years ago I had interviewed for both these positions and was turned down. It was like reliving my life all over again. It was like God saying to me, You thought you wanted this back then and it was only half as good as what it is now. Let me show you something that’s even better than what you thought you wanted. And I got the job from the place I really wanted and it’s been beyond excellent. Better than I could have ever imagined.

My other prayer? Well I think for right now God wants me to just keep waiting on Him. It’ll be ok. I’ve been through a lot this year and after letting things go and closing doors, I can finally move forward. So yeah, sometimes you think you want something and it seems like it’s meant to be. And maybe if the timelines were different, yeah it would have worked out and been perfect. But maybe it’s not the right time now or maybe it isn’t ever going to happen. Whatever it is, I know that God’s got it all figured out and I really should just let him handle it.

I don’t know what is going to happen this upcoming year. This is the first time in years that I have nothing holding me back. And it’s scary. But I’m going to embrace the unknown and I look forward to it. I don’t know what kind of girl I’ll be next year but I’ll figure it out soon enough.

So to 2015? BRING IT.

1

The Year of Making Lemons into Lemonade

drawn-sand-beach-new-year-43591827

This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2014 and looking forward to 2015.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

That is pretty much how I could sum up 2014. But we’re not going to focus on the worst of times today (or any time at all this week). We’re going to look back and see the good that happened to me this year.

  • Became a contributor to Entertainment Weekly
  • Got favorited, retweeted AND replied to by Josh Groban on Twitter.
  • Also was replied to by John Cho on Twitter.
  • Saw Josh Groban twice in concert. (Sadly he did not see me)
  • Got to be bridesmaid for the first time and saw two of my best friends get married to each other.
  • Was quoted in an article for the Wall Street Journal.
  • Had to get used to being called and referring to myself “Aunt Debbie” (unofficial aunt, not actual aunt) to one of the cutest babies ever
  • Finally got to visit Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was able to cross off another item from my bucket list.
  • Went to my first MLS game.
  • Got to dog sit/house sit several times throughout the year and was able to pretend I owned a house for a while.
  • I ran my first 5k.
  • Actually played D&D for the first time and beheaded a sleeping wolf.
  • Won a crap ton of stuff during the summer. (Too many to list)
  • Saw Buzz Aldrin in person.
  • Did a Goose Island scavenger hunt in DC for my birthday. (Did not win but two of my best friends got 2nd place and a staycation!)
  • Was surprised by my girlfriends with a birthday dinner. (Seriously, was completely caught off guard)
  • Tried many fantastic beers throughout the year. (Too many to list)
  • Received a “signed photo” of Paul McDonald as a Christmas present
  • Saw Guardians of the Galaxy a total of five times in theaters. (And it was wonderful each and every time)
  • Saw God work in my life a lot. (More about that on Wednesday)
  • Got a job that I absolute love. #blessed

So all in all, I’d have to say that it was a pretty good year. (Still didn’t get to learn how to be Katniss but whatevs. Over it.) I’m hoping that 2015 will bring in a lot of new adventures (good ones) and I’m ready to face them all.

Also for fun and giggles these were the top 5 posts on this blog for 2014.

  1. When Someone is Mad at You and You Don’t Know Why
  2. Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible
  3. That Time that God Hit Me in the Head
  4. For the Love of Superman Ice Cream
  5. Celeb Fangirling: The Josh Groban edition

Actually it makes me sad at how many people have come across the first post. It seems A LOT of people have felt that same way.

0

It was a good year to be a geek

2013_2014-in-Sand-724x479

This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Monday’s post was about all my firsts for 2013 while Wednesday’s post was a deep thinking look back at 2013.

2013, despite everything else that was going on in my life, was a very geeky year for me. While I didn’t get to go to any cons this year (mainly due to not having a job), I still got to experience a ton of geeky things that I thoroughly enjoyed.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read 200 books in 2013. Now to most of you, that sounds like A LOT of books. But if you used to read my old blog, then you’d think 200 is a small number for me. I mean, I used to crank out 400-500 books a year, and one year I read 624 books. Then life got in the way, and my reading decreased dramatically. I think in 2012 I read maybe 50 books? So I knew for 2013, that I wanted to get back to reading and I set a goal. There were A LOT of times throughout the year that I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But I also realized that without the pressure of book blogging and review deadlines, reading became pleasurable again. And it was just nice to read stories and information for fun. My final numbers for 2013 were 217 books. I will admit that I reread the entire Harry Potter series and the Alice McKinley series but you know a book is a book. My goal for 2014 is 225 books .We’ll see what happens. Oh and don’t ask me what my favorite book was. Unless you have more than a few minutes.

I found new favorite TV shows this year. And I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing me talk about them. But I’m going to. AGAIN. That’s right. 2013 was the year of Deborah discovers Doctor Who and Breaking Bad. I binged watch BB like WHOA. So good. When I finally caught up with the live episodes, it was torture seeing them and not knowing what was going to happen. There were many times I screamed at the TV.

And now everyone knows that I’m a Whovian. Yes, I started watching Doctor Who because it seemed like the thing to do only to find myself slightly obsessed. So. Many. Feels. I really love this show. It’s so British and geeky and meta. And so many other things. I binged watched throughout the year so that I could catch up in time to watch the 50th Anniversary special with everyone else. That’s A LOT of episodes mind you. And along the way, I also learned a lot of about the history of the show and the impact it’s had on pop and geek culture. It got to the point that I became a bigger fan than all my other friends who had tried to get me into the show previously. I will say though, I wasn’t a big fan of the Christmas episode. The 50th anniversary special was SO awesome. The Christmas one bored me. But that’s ok. We’ll just see what next year brings when we get to see what Peter Capaldi will bring to the table. Also my friends and family have realized that I love the show so much that I received quite a number of Doctor Who Items for Christmas including TARDIS knee socks, TARDIS fleece blanket, and a TARDIS journal. When I find a new geek fandom, I tend to become quite easy to shop for during holidays and birthdays.

If you know me very well then you know I love movies and seeing them in the theater is quite awesome. In 2012, one of my best friends and I were always going to see movies. It became our thing Plus I did this thing where I saw The Avengers six times in the theater *cough*. In 2013, we still did that, but not as much. However I did get to see some awesome movies this year. Everything from sequels such as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Catching Fire, Loki 2 (I mean Thor 2) and Star Trek 2 to extremely funny comedies like The World’s End and This is the End to just awesomesauce like Gravity and Frozen. 2013 wasn’t the best year for movies IMHO but it was still a pretty good year. I have a feeling my movie going will cut back a little but I’m still looking forward to seeing my upcoming favorites on the big screen.

Tabletop gaming became a THING as game nights became popular among my group of friends. I will just say that expansion packs are like the gifts that just keep giving.

And finally, the geekiest thing I probably did all year was become all Nick Fury like and assemble an Avengers worthy team to participate in a geek trivia contest sponsored by ThinkGeek. I rounded up seven of my best geekiest friends and we became “The Darkest Timeline” and our evil selves took over (kudos if you know the reference). We trained in advance and realized that between the eight of us, our skills and knowledge were vast in all forms of geekness.

When we got there, we donned our beards and soon became immersed in a very intense and fast paced contest testing our geeky limits. We actually did quite well answering the most obscure of questions of geek trivia. There was even a bacon eating contest where contestants from each team had to eat what was a pound of bacon when uncooked the fastest. And this guy, became our hero, when he won. It was our team’s shining moment as we got a huge amount of bonus points for that round. When the final round came up, we were in second place. It was a Final Jeopardy question. The topic was literature. I got sent up because I read the most, though I argued this fact that as this was a geek trivia night, sci fi/fantasy would be more prevalent and we should send up Bacon Master instead. No one listened to me and so I was sent up on stage and risked away all our points. The question ended up being “What two authors wrote Good Omens?” Heck if I know??? And I see Bacon Master slump his head as he DID know the answer. I randomly picked two authors in the genre, Terry Brooks and RA Salvatore while every other person on stage knew it was Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I still get teased about it to this day.

But it was ok. Because we still had a blast. And it was the geekiest thing any of us had ever done and everyone loved us and our beards. And we even returned months later for our revenge though sadly the same thing happened again when we lost it in the final round again. But still, it’s one of my most favorite times of 2013 as several of my closest friends and I were able to be our true selves for a few hours and have a blast doing it. We were loved so much that ThinkGeek made us their cover image for the next event.

1238851_10151847911597074_148936021_n

The Darkest Timeline posting with Steve and Timmy the ThinkGeek Monkey of Think Geek. We made Timmy a tiny beard during the next trivia night as well as one for OUR mascot, Tommy (Timmy’s Evil Twin)

And yes, in this group, I’m the only girl who is a geek.

So that’s just some highlights of my geeky year of 2013. Oh! I didn’t even mention I got to see and meet Chris Hardwick aka Nerdist or host of Talking Dead, in person! I would say it was a pretty nerdy year. I hope that this year continues to be so. At the very least I’ll make it as geeky as I want it to be. Maybe I’ll finally get to learn how to REALLY be Katniss this year! (Subtlety should be on my New Years Resolution list…but it’s not. Not this year.)

3

2013: It was the best of times, It was the worst of times

2013_2014-in-Sand-724x479

This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Monday’s post was about all my firsts for 2013 while Friday’s post will be about how geeky 2013 was for me.

I made my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 in a ski mountain resort in western Maryland where 5 of my closest friends and I had spent the past few days enjoying winter activities (or for me falling continuously down a mountain). My New Years Resolutions for 2013 were:

  1. Go out of my comfort zone more
  2. Read at least 200 books this year
  3. Be more awesome

It’s safe to say I did all three of them. I’ve briefly talked about #1 on Monday. We’ll talk more about #2 on Friday.

2012 had been a really good year for me. It’s one of the few times in my life when I can honestly say I was happy for almost the entire year. 2011 had been such a crap-shoot year that 2012 was such a wonderful blessing in how awesome it ended up being. Sure, there was that one month that sucked really bad but other than that, it was one of the best years of my life. (Although when I look back at that crappy month, there may have been something good that came out of it, but only time will tell.) And I had hoped that 2013 would be the same way.

But to be honest, 2013 didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. There were so many ups and downs this past year that I’m surprised I didn’t throw up from having motion sickness. Then again, how many times can one really say they got everything they wanted? Still, overall I would have to say it was a rather good year. A solid B+.

I’m not going to go over EVERYTHING that happened this year. This is already a long entry as it is and doing that would make it a LONG LONG LONG blog post which you don’t want to read and honestly I don’t want to write.

I turned 30. It wasn’t so bad. I celebrated twice with my best friends. It was quite awesome.

I started paper journaling for the first time in many years. I talked about it in an earlier post but since I started writing in actual journals this year, I’ve filled up seven journals. Writing in them has been very therapeutic as it helps to keep the initial emotional outburst from not being put on social media. Which that eventually led to the creation of this blog. For which I’m really enjoying writing and I hope you’ve been enjoying reading.

And in case you wanted to know, these are the top most-read posts of this year (and basically since this blog started):

  1. The Girl Who Waited
  2. Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible
  3. The Elephant in the Room
  4. Silence is Golden…or Is It?
  5. It Comes in Pints?!

I lost my job in March and was unemployed for almost seven months. That was a very rough time for me. A deer hit my car during those months causing the car to be totaled and forcing me to buy a new car. It was absolutely rotten timing. But even through all the frustration and disappointments of job searching, interviews, and lack of funds coming in, I knew that God was going to provide and protect me throughout the entire process. And I KNEW he was going to give me a new job before the end of the year. Even though there were other parts of my life I was freaking out over, I always remained confident and at peace about my job situation.

Like I said on Monday, I had a lot of firsts. And I’m really proud at how many of them there were. I’ll just state this again, I’m a completely different person now than I was just a few years ago. And I’m really happy at how far along I progressed in 2013.

2013 was the first year of being completely single in almost a decade. Well, maybe not emotionally single for part of the year.  But God has finally closed doors on where they needed to be closed and in His timing, new ones will open.

When 2013 started there was something I wanted to happen this year. It was something I prayed about constantly, not that God would MAKE it happen but for Him to just guide me throughout the entire year to either prepare me for it or prepare me to not have it. I was told by a friend “Make sure you don’t put God in a box. Make sure you’re not telling him that he has to do things a certain way before you proceed.” Good advice.

My faith has increasingly grown throughout this year. Through all the ups and downs, through my frustrations and struggles, through the good times and the bad, I’ve kept turning to God through it all. And He’s never left me or forsaken me. He’s brought people in my life to help me get through the not so fun times. He protected me from any bodily injury when a deer hit me and totaled my car. He’s given me clarity and wisdom to get through all these times. And even when I still don’t understand why things happened the way they do, I’m trusting that He knows why.

As I stated above, my most read post this year is “The Girl Who Waited”. And that’s how I’ve seen myself this year. Last year I was “The Girl on Fire”, this year I was the girl who waited. I feel right now that’s what God wants me to continue being. Instead of rushing to make things happen immediately, I waited on a lot of things this year. Everything I waited on didn’t always happen the way I wanted it to but God has shown me wisdom throughout the waiting. I’m not saying I’ve mastered patience (far from it!) but I know God’s been walking with me throughout all this wait. And I feel that at this very moment, he wants me to wait just a little bit more.

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

I don’t know what 2014 is going bring into my life. There is a lot of uncertainty but there’s also a clean, fresh slate. I learned a lot of lessons in 2013. The goal for 2014 is to learn from those lessons. I approach this new year with hope. Yes, it could be awful. Yes, the world could end this year. Yes, there is a chance I will look at a bow and arrow and still wonder how to make it work. But there is also the chance that things could be really good for me this year. And Lord willing, I’ll be ready for whatever happens and that He will be with me throughout every step of the way.

So, 2014? BRING. IT. ON. Challenge accepted.

1

You Never Forget Your First

2013_2014-in-Sand-724x479

This week, my posts will be taking a look back at 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Wednesday’s post will be a deep thinking serious look back at 2013 while Friday’s post will be about how geeky 2013 was for me.

2013 held a lot of firsts for me. It was a very good year to try out things it seemed.

After going through my Facebook feed (because there is no way I can look at all my tweets from this past year), in no particular order here’s a list of things that I did for the first time this year

  • Turned 30
  • Trying hookah
  • Learned how to play Dungeons and Dragons
  • Had my car spin on ice and get damaged
  • Bought my first computer on my own
  • Played an April Fool’s Day prank on one of my closest friends
  • Had a job interview at ThinkGeek (didn’t get the job, but getting the interview was awesome)
  • Saw a Beatle (Paul McCartney) in concert
  • Made the initiative to get to know some awesome new friends
  • Took my friend to SuperH Mart for the first time
  • Saw and met Chris Hardwick
  • Ate Korean food for the first time
  • Did a scavenger hunt in DC
  • Got together a team of supergeeks to participate in a Geek Trivia Contest
  • Got into tabletop gaming like whoa
  • Had someone pay it forward for me at a toll booth
  • Hit a deer
  • Bought a car
  • Learned how to play Magic: The Gathering
  • Smoked a cigar
  • Became Internet Famous by Think Geek
  • Started a new blog and bought a domain name
  • Had to say goodbye to our family dog
  • Received my first cubicle with name tag
  • Participated in my first murder mystery
  • Had my first chai latte
  • Signed up for online dating (well, sort of)
  • Bought my first pair of skinny jeans
  • Started wearing scarves as an accessory
  • Took a lot more risks

That’s quite a lot of things. I’m quite proud of myself for doing so many new things and not just keep sticking to the same old thing. It’s been an interesting year and I’m looking forward to trying out even more things in the following year. There’s still a bunch of new things I want to do next year (ie. learning how to shoot arrows *cough cough*) so here’s to all the new things to try out in 2014.