Of ice buckets, ALS, and missing grandmothers

My father Allen Tharpe took the “ALS ice bucket challenge” today. While it was hilarious, it was also sad…

His mother, my grandmother whom I never got to meet (but apparently very much resemble) died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. That, in short, FUCKING SUCKS. June Tharpe was — from what I’ve learned over the years — a bad-ass. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to meet her just once, let alone to have gotten to deeply know and be shaped by her, as I have with my other wonderful grandmother.

I admit, I’ve been confused by the challenge. So… every time someone dumps water on their head ALS doesn’t get money? (Thankfully, like my father, people have been doing both.) And I’ve cringed watching people from California waste gallons of water during a drought. (So I made sure my father didn’t challenge anyone from Cali.)

But what can not be confused, what doesn’t make me cringe, is that ALS research just received something like 11 MILLION dollars. That is amazing. That is wonderful.

That gives me hope that one day another girl won’t have to cry every time she’s reminded of the bad-ass grandma she so much resembles that she never got to even meet. It gives me hope that another child won’t have to, not just watch, but nurse his dying mother whose body is giving out way before her time. Because with all these ice buckets and donations, one day, hopefully soon, we may be that much closer to finding a cure to this shitty no good disease.

Anyway, all this to say, I just skipped the ice bucket and donated money to ALS research, and if you want to do so as well, here’s the link: http://alsa.org/donate

Turning 33 and trying a different kind of birthday celebration

My favorite photo from my birthday weekend.

My favorite photo from my birthday weekend.

My 33rd birthday is tomorrow. I don’t have any “big plans.” Last year, post-disappointing-turn-out-birthday-party, I decided that I was not going to attempt any big birthday party plans again until I turn 42 (the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life).

But I have been having mini celebrations with friends throughout the weekend. This will be a boring round-up of activities that will probably only be interesting to me. But it’s mah burfday so indulge me… Continue reading

Because… internet, costumes, drinks, and HODOR!

because costumesRemember last year when I went to an internet-themed party and paid tribute to my favorite expression on the interwebs “X ALL THE Y!” I use that phrasing all the time in my writing, so it made sense that I should celebrate by cosplaying as Ali Brosh’s comic of herself. Well, this past weekend was round two of the “Children of the Internet” — the birthday party for my friend Brittany. And I had to stop and think “which internet expression do I want to celebrate this year?”

Of course! My favorite thing to happen to grammar, because internet.

because internet costume

But I couldn’t chose which word I would use as the noun… because internet? Because Brittany? Because nerds? Because party? So I decided to just write “because” and bring a flipbook of options. Which came in handy when I met one huge nerd celebrity… Continue reading

Why I’m never taking my dogs to the vet again

He's wearing this muzzle because I can't control MY behavior.

He’s wearing this muzzle because I can’t control MY behavior.

There’s no better testament to how much owners influence the behavior of their dogs than the vastly different experiences Aaron and I have taking Jackson to the vet.

Aaron is the default parent (yes, I’m using the term “parent” because “owner” sounds so sterile) to take the dogs to the vet during emergency situations because I am NOT good with blood and panic-y situations.

But I started taking the dogs to the vet for non-emergency purposes because I’m the parent who works at home. In theory, it’s easier for me to be the vet person.

Now, Aaron always reported perfect behavior from Jackson during his vet visits. But the last few times I took Jackson, he’d get panic-y in the waiting room, cowered from vet employees, and bared his teeth at our usual vet!

WTF, Aaron, you liar!? Our baby is a god damn monster. And he really hates our vet. I have no idea why — she’s a totally sweet lady who always speaks gently to him and treats him well. And he’s NEVER been one to hate people. Other dogs while on a walk, yes. But people? No. (Well, except for that one crazy guy once… thank gawd.)

So this time, when Jackson’s weird neck wounds from two months ago refused to heal up completely and seemed to get worse, I begged Aaron to resume his role as “the vet person.” Jackson behavior and my anxiety was making the visits way to stressful for me. And I suspected that my anxiety may even be triggering Jackson’s mood.

Aaron obliged, and took off work to be a good parent. I wished him luck today as he left the house, even suggested he take the muzzle that had come in handy last time.

Guess what… Continue reading

Hey look! A post I never finished from a year ago

I found this post in my drafts folder. I wrote it this very day a year ago about a fun weekend I had. It made me smile to find photos of what is now cute memories of a fun weekend.


This is not a big thinking-type post. It’s mostly a brain/photo dump, in honor of the fantastic weekend I am having.

OH MY PUPPY-LOVING GLOB! The bday flowers @2bestill sent me are the cutest in the whole wide world!

It all started with the awesome birthday flowers my sister-in-law had sent to me. It totally reminds me of the Ayla flowers that my housekeeper/tiny Oaxacan mom, Elsa, made.

Seriously @2bestill, this flower puppy face is KILLING me.
This flower puppy face just kills me!

I'm not a cat person, but neither is Diego, so we're buddies.
Almost as cute as this face.

@mr_blackicing and I in danger of being crushed by a Jawa.
On Saturday, Aaron and I went to Meltdown Comics for SUPER*MARKET, a “gathering all of the most awesome nerd gear in So Cal to create a metropolis of kickass shopping in one place.” Meltdown Comics is just a few blocks away from us, so we took a nice walk over and got our shop on. Aaron bought me a succulent terrarium decorated with gold-painted plastic lions. :)

Taking in the live Defective Geeks podcast (with @punkagogo) at Meltdown Comics! :)
There was a live Defective Geeks podcast. The girl on the left, on the stool, is Dianne, we met at Geek Girl Con almost a year ago, and I adore her. And, yes, those are unicorn horns on the girls on the left. There was a lively debate on unicorns v. mermaids. It ended in tie. Though I’m staunchly on the unicorn team.

Um. Best combo ever? #TARDNTY (time and relative dimension next to Yoda?)
Um. Best combo ever? TARDNTY (Time And Telative Dimension Next To Yoda?)

Goat or donkey!? :)
On my walk home I got to pet my neighbor the goat!

Fantastic Mr Fox and Clive Badger cosplay

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 10.49.12 AMI’m in the midst of a crazy week: My best friend is marrying one of my oldest friends on Saturday and I’m throwing them each a different (bachelorette and bachelor) party on the same day… this Thursday.

BUT! I wanted to take a minute to show off my latest nerd party cosplay. (Would you call this cosplay or costuming? What’s the difference? I feel like it’s not “professional” enough to be cosplay, but I definitely put a lot of effort into each look. Anyway…)

Last time I was Allie from Hyperbole and a Half, at the Meme Party. This time my friend Ken and I were the kick-ass team of Fantastic Mr. Fox and Clive Badger for our mutual friend Matt’s Bill Murray Party.

Fantastic Mr Fox costume:
* Furry Plush Animal Hat in Fox
* Dickies Poplin Short Sleeve Shirt
* Dickies Women’s Stretch Twill Capri in Desert Sand
* Orange and gold striped tie
* Platform Lace Up Boots in Dark Tan

Here are some pics of us from the night…
Continue reading