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Defend your vice. How did you start? Why would you quit?

A vice.

Hmm.

Well, I don't smoke, I don't really drink, and I don't do drugs. Those are the big three vices, right? I guess there's also food-related vices. However, even if I wanted to give in to the cupcake vice, or the pizza vice, or the cookie vice, it's not really like I can, is it? I don't gamble, I don't consider porn a vice, and I don't go hunting.

So, what do I do, then, that could be considered a vice?

Fandom!

It's not really fandom in general, id est, the people. It's more what fandom contains. The stories, the analysis, the vidding, the medium itself...

It all started the summer after Grade 10, when I watched Claire Kincaid die on Law & Order (I sound so cavalier about it, but in truth, I spent much of that summer sobbing hysterically at inopportune moments). I discovered there was a thing called "fanfiction". Incidentally, I also discovered there was a thing called "depression." It was... a summer.

Then, that fall, I took on Crossing Jordan, because I was madly in love with Jill Hennessy. I'll always remember that the pilot was pushed back a week, and I don't think anybody can quite forget why (I went into Grade 11 in 2001). I'd never watched CNN before, but spent days and days watching it after 9/11. I discovered I could mourn for a city that wasn't even in my own country. Incidentally, I also discovered I could fuck up a knee for 8 years by dislocating it turning a corner.

Later that fall, I started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on TNN (good--good Lord, what a terrible channel that became; fucking Spike). This wasn't on purpose. The actress who played Elizabeth Olivet on Law & Order guest-starred twice, and who doesn't want the opportunity to see her with massive 80s hair? I discovered I liked science fiction. Incidentally, I also discovered I wanted to be a psychologist because of Deanna Troi (hey, I followed through on one of my dreams! Ish. You know, since I only minored in psychology. But, wooo? Woooo!)

The next spring, I took on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, as natural progressions of TNG. I had 'ships on every Star Trek I ever watched. Incidentally, I never watched the original series. I would gladly have labelled myself a Trekkie, thank you very much. I happily labelled myself a nerd that year, and dreamed of having an earring like the Bajorans wore, or an outfit like Deanna wore, or hair that I could put up like Seven of Nine's, or a voice like molten chocolate like Captain Janeway's. Incidentally, I did not dream of having a date. Or a relationship with other people. Unless they were female, because I was pretty sure I knew just how gay I was by then.

The end of Grade 11 and beginning of Grade 12 brought CSI, the mainest main fandom I ever had. I blame it entirely on my parents, because they watched it. I'm not sure who I blame Grissom/Sara on, but I think my parents discovered I was a little more clairvoyant than they thought, when I did a little jig in Colorado Springs, after watching the Season 6 finale.

The next year brought ER, NCIS, JAG, and SG-1, in roughly that order. I'm surprised I did as well as I did, for my first year in university, as I spent the last semester buried in fanfic for shows I hadn't had the opportunity to watch yet (incidentally, weird). I discovered being *part* of a fandom, when I joined the Grissom & Sara Yahoo mailing list. Good times were had by all.

Second year of university brought back the depression in. Badly. It was partially Co-op, and just a hard set of classes. I figure that if I hadn't had SG-1 that year, I might have ended up in the psych ward. I made my decision to strap Psychology onto my degree, and felt way happier about everything by May of 2005. Then, you know, I got a job at Safeway. I cried every day I went to work. But every time I came home, there was SG-1. *sniffle* I love you guys.

Third year brought the same depression in the winter, craziness brought on by my stupid roommates, and eventual moving home to finish my year. SG-1 was having its ninth season. I was discovering Atlantis. Incidentally, all my As ended up with little circles at the top, in every piece of homework I handed in.

Third through sixth years brought a plethora of new shows and fandoms, and I blame everything squarely on Lisa. Who made my life inestimably better by being in it.

These past few years have brought Sanctuary, Lie to Me, Leverage, and Harry Potter (the fandom) into my life. I'm awesome for being a part of them. Everyone else is awesome for being a part of them, if a little batshit crazy.

I made friends, I lost friends, but most importantly, I gained something of a life, all thanks to fandom.

Now, what was the question?

I would only quit if it began to affect my health adversely. You know, more so. And from the way I've pulled back from being squarely in the middle of Sanctuary to more along the edges, I think I tend to know when that happens. I generally watch shows and join fandom because it makes me happy. When it stops making me happy, or at the very least, cheerier, then I know it's time to leave it behind, if only for a little while.

And that's how I spent my summer vacation.

Word Count: 958
Word Count to Date: 47190

February 2012

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