LJ paid account, including 100+ extra icons: $29.95/year
Rename token: $15
Being LiveJournal's bitch: PRICELESS
So back when I got into HP fandom, and Internet-based fandom in general, I swore that I wasn't going to put any money into it. It was embarrassing enough that I had found myself completely obsessed with what most people thought was a children's book series; it just wasn't something I could justify putting money towards. Lots of time, yes, although that was something that sort of sneaked up on me. But money, no. I had purchased a $20 Gryffindor cloak and a $15 Gryffindor scarf, but my excuse was that they were for a Halloween costume -- and indeed, in October 2005, I went to a party as Hermione. (With my curly/wavy hair that can be frizzed by just running fingers through it or brushing it, I figured I'd be a natural.) But the rest of my costume was completely gratis: I borrowed a sort-of-Gryffindorish tie from my husband and wore a white shirt and kind-of-but-not-really-schoolgirlish skirt of my own (as well as my own knee socks and black shoes). Even my props were things I had lying around the house: I happened to have a lifesize orange cat doll that I had bought for a friend's child nearly a decade before, but had never ended up sending to her, and my wand was a stick that had been holding up one of my husband's orchid plants.
That's why, up until a little over an hour ago, my LJ name had two underscores. When I created the account, I wanted to be "miss_sophia",1 but that name belonged to a journal that had been deleted and purged, and to get that name, I'd have to pay $15. And there was no way I was going to pay money to participate in fandom, so "miss__sophia" I became.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!
It was the icons that began my downfall.
Two paid LJ accounts (this one and one of my RP accounts) later, I had succumbed. And that doesn't count the expenses for a whole shitload of other things related to fandom. Shall I list them?
1 HP con in Las Vegas (airfare, hotel, food, etc.)
1 top-quality Gryffindor cloak
1 Gryffindor patch
1 hand-whittled wizard wand
2 white button-down shirts
1 more-schoolgirlish skirt (although it's short and plaid and VonDutch, and what I really need is a knee-length gray one)
1 Gryffindor vest
1 Gryffindor tie (as seen in PoA, GoF, and OotP)
1 Gryffindor scarf and tie set (as seen in SS and CoS; the scarf I had originally bought is from PoA and GoF, so now I have full sets of both)
1 paid JournalFen account
1 trip to New York to meet RP pals
Ridiculous amounts of BPAL
I feel like there's got to be more (perhaps I ought to count tickets and a trip to New York to see Rufus Wainwright in concert, since it was through LJ that I learned of him and became a fan), but that's what I can recall for now.
Anyway, after putting all of this money into my fannish obsessions, what's another $15 to get a better-looking LJ name? It all comes full circle, and now, one rename token later, I am miss_sophia.
1 Just in case anyone's wondering, my name is not actually Sophia. ;) "Miss Sophia's Diary," the name of my journal, is the name of my favorite short story. It's by Ding Ling (insert penis joke here), who was a feminist author in China in the 1920s. The protagonist, Miss Sophia, is actually a rather awful person. Her closest guy friend, Weidi, is crazy in love with her, and that drives her nuts, so she does things like say stuff she knows will hurt him and manipulate him into catering to her whims. (Granted, she is sick with tuberculosis and does need people to take care of her at times, but she purposely uses Weidi just because she knows she can, and when she's feeling depressed, that small triumph makes her feel good...until it makes her loathe herself...which makes her want to do more hateful things...and so on.) And then Miss Sophia falls for this dude who's smokin' hot, but turns out to be kind of a jackass. But she's so drawn to his looks that she doesn't care about his jackassness...until she finally has a chance to act on her attraction to him, at which time she finds herself grossed out by him after all, and that makes her disgusted with herself, and...yeah, I know, it's like, why the hell would I name myself after such a character? Hey, man, I just like the story and think the name is pretty.
In other news, yeah, the two times Meghan slept through the night last week were apparently flukes. We're back to waking up every two to three hours, even with her sweet potatoes at night. So now I have wretched sweet-potato baby farts, but no sleep to show for it! *flail!!!* I've noticed a pattern, actually, which is that after I've reached my wit's end with her crappy sleeping, she'll have two wonderful, amazing nights in which she breaks all previous records for longest stretch of sleep. First it was that she had done four hours in a row (this was back around her 4-month birthday). Then, two weeks later or so, it was six hours in a row. And then last week, we hit two nights with about eight hours in a row. But between each set of record-breaking days, her sleeping slowly slides back until it's every two hours. So when she did the six-hour sets, it then slipped to five or four hours, and then three hours, and then two hours, and then there were nights where she woke up EVERY HOUR. I was ready to pull my hair out...and then she gifted me with two eight-hour nights...which slipped to six, then to four, then to two....
*siiiiggghhhh* I guess sleep will just elude me for a while. And I don't know if it's worse to have shitty sleep every single night or to get these wonderful long-stretch nights that get my hopes up that we're finally leaving newborn-sleep territory, only to have the hopes smashed to bits as her sleep worsens over each successive night.
I've even waited out most of her wakeups to see if she'll go back to sleep on her own. A few times, that's actually happened, but most of the time the crying escalates, and I have to go feed her. (And she does tend to eat, at least for a little bit. And when she's clearly not sucking milk out anymore, I remove her from the breast and put her back in her crib. At least she tends to turn over and go right to sleep, as long as she's not wide awake, which she usually isn't. It sucked even more when I couldn't put her down anywhere else but on me or in my bed.)
It often feels like I will still have the baby monitor next to me 18 years from now, and when she cries, I will rush over to her college dorm and help her fall back asleep. I know it won't be that way, but it's often hard to remember that this is not a permanent state of affairs, that I will get a full night of sleep at some point during her early childhood. (Of course, depending on just when that is, I'll probably be trying for a second child, so my nights of good sleep will be short lived anyway! GAH!)
My mom says I was a terrible sleeper as a child, too, and that this is payback. If Meghan's crap sleeping habits are some sort of somnambulatory karma, then she just may be
In other Meghan news, avocados have joined bananas at the top of the list of foods that apparently taste like dog shit to her. Peas are tolerable. Oatmeal is growing on her, and she continues to enjoy rice cereal. But nothing beats the sweet potato. If only it would work its magic once more and grant me a good night of sleep!
I have high hopes for tonight, actually, because our evening dinner plans caused her to get to bed late: 9:45, as opposed to her usual bedtime of sometime between 8 and 9. In addition, she barely napped all day -- just a few 10-minute catnaps. And when I nursed her just before bedtime, she actually detached herself from the breast when she was done, turned her head to the side, and passed out! Usually, she tries to stay attached to the breast, and it takes a while for her to fall asleep enough that I can remove her successfully and transfer her to the crib. But this time, she turned away, I put her in the crib, and that was that! So she's good and tired. Maybe this will mean a good, long stretch of sleep? I've got my hopes up, even though I know that's a dangerous proposition!
Luckily for her, she's extremely cute:
(Yes, I know, that was gratuitous of me, but hey, I'm a proud mom. :) )