Ironically, the last time I did one of these 5 Fandom Friday posts (created by my friend Megan at The Nerdy Girlie) was around this exact time last year. And it’s pretty much on the same topic. One day I’ll do these weekly. But for now tis the holiday season, and as such, here is another nerdy wishlist from yours truly!
こたつ! Kotatsu! I’m cheating a little because I know I’m getting one (that you Mommy!!!), but this traditional heated Japanese table is the number one thing on my wishlist for the past six years… basically ever since I had to leave mine behind in Japan. It’s a table with a heater under it, and you put a blanket between the heater and the table top and then you find nirvana. It’s the coziest and happiest place on earth, and when you live in a basement apartment like yours truly, it’s a must in the winter. If you’d like more of an explanation and history of the こたつ you can check out this adorable video.
2. I can’t drink wine. I’m either allergic or very intolerant to tannins in addition to having an alcohol intolerance to most of the world’s adult beverages (it’s a sad and very long story), but I love this glass. I spied it on Your Joyologist and just fell in love. I try to challenge myself daily, to do the scary or the crazy thing. So this mantra is something I both live by and need to hear ever so often when I get cold feet. Plus it’s classy as fuck.
3. Gudetama!!!!! The lazy egg from Sanrio is the cutest and weirdest thing. When I was in Japan in September I discovered him with help to one of my former students. It was love at first sight and I now own quite an array of Gudetama merchandise. I don’t know what it is about him, but he gives me life. I only have a few Pop! and Funko figurines, but he needs to join them. He had a series of shorts thanks to Sanrio on YouTube. They’re all delightfully odd.
4. Nug Plush! If you’ve spent any time here, especially on my twitter, you know I’m obsessed with Dragon Age. Nugs are the cure little wrinkly rabbit-like things that parade all over the place. I seem to have a thing for odd yet cute things… hmmm. I can’t have a real Nug of my own, but I can get myself a fuzzy plushy one from the BioWare store.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR (Canon) A repeat from last year because one day I’ll be able to afford a nice camera again, and when I do, it’ll be from the Canon Rebel line… because they’re the best. Fight me.
Tomorrow is Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, the day where our world and whatever notion of the afterlife/Veil/Fade you believe or don’t believe in are the closest.
I’m spending Halloween in Gettysburg with a friend and fellow history buff. We’ll picnic on the battlegrounds, roam about the adorable and historically significant town, and then we’re going on a ghost hunt (followed by a midnight showing of Crimson Peak). A ghost hunt you say? Yup. We’ll be given paranormal equipment and everything apparently. When she first asked me my immediate reaction was “oh god I’m such a chicken.”
I don’t do horror. The Shining has scarred me for over a decade. I scream at anything that jumps out at me. My sister use to have long hair and would stand outside my bedroom door as Samara from The Ring patiently until I opened it. Multiple times. I always fell for it. She’s probably still laughing at me. I scare easily. I made the mistake of watching the first season of Supernatural in the dark (it was freaking SCARY in the early days). I’ve watched ghost hunting shows… well parts of them, before having to change channels (either from being freaked out or laughing at the ridiculousness of it). The radio series I’m writing actually deals with ghost hunters, and I’m some sort of masochist because this involves a lot of me researching horrible hauntings and things, which just freak me out. Despite all this, the world of the “beyond” still intrigues me.
After having a rather enlightening discussion with this same friend about spirits, ghosts, and what we believed or didn’t, it got me thinking about what I actually thought about what happens to people (and animals) after passing on.
As expected, the answers were pretty evenly split. Just as much people think the idea of the existence of ghosts is rubbish as many claimed to have had their own experiences with the supernatural.
As for me? I’m one of those obnoxious people who isn’t quite sure. On one hand, I only believe in hard facts, things that science can prove. On the other hand, I’ve had more than one occasion where I’ve been unsure, that my gut is telling me something vastly different from my brain. I don’t know if I necessarily believe in spirits waltzing around with unfinished business, but I do think there can be remnants of someone left behind, especially in traumatic death. I’ve been places where suddenly everything would feel… different. The energy would change. I’m empathetic by nature, so I’m already sensitive to other people, so perhaps i’m sensitive to this sort of thing too. I don’t know, I can’t explain it, but I would feel something odd and just need to leave. And I know I’m not alone in this.
I’m easily spooked. Just a few weeks ago I was puppy sitting and the two were going absolutely ape-shit barking at this one spot in this one room. They would not stop. They wouldn’t go in there either. The house made a lot of weird noises that night and I was so convinced there was something that I slept upstairs instead of in my bedroom down below. Was my mind playing tricks on me? Probably most definitely. Was I still weary of the fact something was roaming about the house? Yup. My overactive imagination has trumped my rationale on more than one occasion and my general cynical nature had beat myself up about it even more.
I’m also a very superstitious person. While a lot of this I believe stems from my panic and anxiety disorders (I will seriously fret over the most innocuous and ridiculous of things), I can’t deny that there is something more to it as well. I have rituals I go through every night to ask for protection of those I love. I don’t even know who I’m asking or what, but I can’t imagine not doing the ritual because then something horrible will happen. It just will. In this same vein, I’m a big believer in charms (called omamori): all of which I’ve gotten at Shinto shrines in Japan. Shintoism is big on ritual, and even all Shintoists don’t necessarily believe in the spirits/gods (kami), but believe in the power of ritual (offerings, prayer to wish good luck and get rid of bad luck) and “energy.” The same energy that many people spoke of possible believing in or understanding that certain places can have that weird energy left over after death. I don’t claim to ascribe to Shintoism in any vein, but I find comfort in the rituals of scarring bad spirits away to make wishes, of fortunes, and of the charms they sell to believers and non-believers alike. I keep a charm warding against evil in my wallet and gave happiness charms to my mom and sister. My sister still has a safe driving charm she got five years ago and claims it’s helped her on more than one occasion. We all believe they work and really, as I suppose with any faith or superstition (or what-have-you), the personal belief is all that really matters.
So if you believe in ghosts, whether you have had your own experiences or not, that’s cool. If you think this and everything I’ve just said is batshit, cool beans. You’re allowed to think that.
So we’ll see what this ghost hunt brings. Perhaps it will be super hokey and we’ll spend the whole time laughing and shouting out into the dark if some poor Civil War soldier has anything to say. Or perhaps or ghostometer thingie will start beeping and I’ll run away screaming. The movie will probably scare me out of my mind because well, creepy ghost things. But at least, at the end of the night, I’ll get to see Tom Hiddleston’s ass, so that’s something.
My work with The Baker Street Babes has afforded me a lot of amazing opportunities. I’ve been on red carpets at award shows, I’ve interviewed actors and authors, I’ve gotten special passes… tons of stuff. It’s insane and I’m always so very thankful and humbled by everything we’ve been able to do. A few weeks ago we at the BSB and some friends filmed a bit for Japanese television about their new Sherlock Holmes puppet show. Just found out it aired.