My friend Peggy Rae died.
I just got the news last night. I got home from the mountains super late, and I couldn’t really process it until today.
The first con I ever went to (Capclave) is one of the cons Peggy was always heavily involved in. Capclave set the bar high (it still does), and I have compared every con I have attended to that standard. Every con I went to that had Peggy Rae working behind the scenes met that bar, or set it higher.
There’s no point in freelancing unless you take advantage of some of the perks.
So when it was freezing, rainy, and miserable in Chapel Hill yesterday, I headed to Wilmington. Not only was it twenty degrees warmer in Wilmington, but my friend and teacher Matt White opened for Orlando Jones at TheatreNOW.
Zura was perched on the railing of my loft, surveying her kingdom from above–as feline overlords (or overladies) do. She was having a photogenic morning, so I snapped this photo.
Then I dared to touch the royal fur and was reprimanded with the growl of displeasure. I guess I deserved it.
Yesterday, the world became a little less bright. Yet I hardly noticed because John Madigan left so much light behind.
John died after leaving for more than a year with glioblastoma—a cancer so vicious most oncologists will estimate your remaining lifespan in months rather than years.
With that cancer, he wasn’t supposed to make it to Christmas. Of 2013. Yet here we are, marking his passing in 2015.
Yesterday’s tragedy at Charlie Hebdo is weighing on my mind largely because I have experienced first-hand the vicious judgment of “religious” people. The folks who picked on me weren’t likely to escalate their taunts to violence, yet I never ruled out the possibility. Some folks just want to control everything–an odd perspective coming from people who claim they are dedicated to an all-powerful God.
When cats get bored, they get curious.
And by curious, I mean stupid.
Behold, a cat who has never gotten himself stuck in a tree managed to find an indoor equivalent.
Per the trope, he couldn’t get himself down.
My cat Zura has dedicated her life to three things: Sleeping, eating, and hating on my other cat, Disco. But the third thing is a total act. As much as she acts like she despises him, I know in her heart, beneath all that thick, orange, floofy fur, is a kernel of affection for him. They sleep together and, when Zura is feeling particularly generous, she gives him a bath.
If that’s not cat love, I don’t know what is.
I’m at a point in my life where I really don’t want to be anyone but myself. Expending energy to please people who will never like me for who I am, for people who have judged me to be a lesser being because of how much I weigh, how I dress, and how I choose to live my life, is not a goal of mine. There are too many other important things to do.
At the same time, I am seeing what this path is costing me in terms of opportunities. Whether we like it or not, “fitting in” is an integral part of business and the world in which most of us live our professional lives. Being the odd person out, the “weirdo”, is not an easy position to be in when there are unwritten rules related to speech, dress, and conduct. Because when you’re the “weirdo”, people perceive that they need to exert extra effort to understand you and very few folks are inclined to make their lives harder unless you have some sort of talent they respect or need to further their own goals.
Over the past few weeks, I have been largely absent from the world because I have achieved a new level of busy. Some of it was my doing. Some of it was life pummeling me with lemons faster than I can make lemonade.
I’m not even that big of a lemonade fan.