Archive for the ‘Strength’ Category


“Sorry, I have no space left for advice.  Just do it” Donald Westlake


Well, so much for the ‘mull it over’ process. I have officially registered for school in the fall. Assuming financial aid comes through (I applied past the deadline), I will be attending a small community college starting August to get my general credits out of the way.

I go back and forth between being really confident about it, to being completely unsure. On one hand, it’s necessary if I want to progress in my field. On the other, I spend at minimum 11 hours a day out of my home at work/commuting to work, and have several other jobs / volunteer endeavors that take up another 1-2 hours each night.

One of my managers and I were discussing it this morning, and she mentioned the reason she hasn’t gone back and finished up was because she also makes the same commute, and knows that she wouldn’t be able to devote all the time she needs to it to make sure she gets good grades.

When I was going to school in the past, there were a lot of negative things going on in my life that took my attention away. I was working all the time, taking care of my drug addict mother, trying to make sure my brother and I had dinner, and that his homework was done. School wasn’t a priority, life was.   Now I am in a place where mentally I am much healthier, but so far as time goes, things are still just as busy, if not worse.

The support I have received from my friends has been overwhelming. So many have come forward and given advice, talked about study sessions, and offered help in the subjects I know will suffer (I can’t math). I am very blessed with that, but also know that it relies on me.

Either way, we will see how this adventure pans out come August. First thing is I have to make sure I can get aid this semester. If not, it will have to wait until the winter semester.


In the meantime, it’s back to Faire this weekend for The Royal Ale and Art festival. Anyone who wants to see what it is we do can check out our etsy page at https://www.etsy.com/shop/alinkabove

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“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it” – Hans Selye


It’s been a while, I know.   If you’ve followed my blog for a bit, you know that is the trend.   I come, I go, I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I promise future blogs and then stop. Awful, dirty, liarses.   For those of you looking for the last installment of my Captain America raving, sorry, it’s likely never coming.   I did fill two blogs of squeaking though!

Faire season has come again. I don’t currently have a list of 10 things I’ve learned from the season. I assume that will come along as we progress. This is the second year of helping run the booth. This year considerably less crazy since we’re not digging up the ashes of a loved one’s house, but still crazy in its own way.

When you take on as much stuff as I do, it is balance that is key. You would think after being the type of person to constantly take on more than one necessarily should, I would have figured out that balance. That’s adorable that you have that confidence in me.

Every year, it is a new challenge in finding a way to make everything work, fit, and run smoothly. A big part of that is also learning to choose one’s battles, which I also haven’t learned, but am working at.

The Renaissance Festival is the peak ‘busy season’. A season that lasts until January, and then starts up again in March. With as much as goes on, Faire is always the craziest. I am usually working 7 days a week. This year I have altered things a bit so that I am at least not at the booth the full weekend.   Sundays are my day to input receipts, adjust inventory levels, and help catch up on missing product.

As it does, the universe has also blessed me with a promotion during this time. Last year (my first year helping manage), I had just started this amazing job. Now, this year I have moved in to a new position with the financial department.   I love the new department I am working in and what I am doing, but I am also needing to focus on new things while trying to work out everything else in the other areas.

With this new position has also come the realization that I have to go back to school if I want to progress in the field I have started in, which I do.   This now adds trying to figure out school funding while trying to establish a down payment for a home so we can stop renting.   I find renting abhorrent. Not investing my money in the place that I live drives me crazy. It’s just throwing hundreds of dollars away every month. That was compounded by the resigning of my lease and the $130 they raised my rent by.   We do not live in a nice apartment, so the prices they are expecting are absurd, but are currently unable to move, so this is just something we have to take in stride.

The plan was, no, is, to have a home in the next two years. I have a dear munchkin who I want to have enough space for when she turns 18 so she can come down to a safe environment and go to school and start a real life for herself. I was blessed with folks who did the same for me when I was getting out of the shitty situation I was in, and it is truly important to me I pay that forward.

In with all of that news, GISHWHES is coming! This is the most fantastic part of my year, and I am so glad that it’s close. With the new position also comes the uncertainty of if I will be able to take the time off that I had planned, and if the dates remain the same as hinted on the website, the hunt will actually start the final weekend of Faire. Even with both of those minor roadblocks, I am still bouncing off the walls. Our team is already mostly assembled last year, and everyone is pumped and ready to go. If you have never participated in this amazing adventure, I highly recommend going to http://www.gishwhes.com and consider it. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be stressed out of your mind, and it will be the best experience of your life.

I feel like all of these things; faire, Mischief Managed, work, GISHWHES, charity endeavors, impending school, and trying to figure out a house should have me going bonkers, but right now I am actually pretty calm and ready to go.  The rent hike is the only thing on that list that really has me stressed. Everything else I am just ready to go with. I want to think that could mean that I am learning to balance, but deep down I know that all it is, is me being ornery and planting my feet against the impending stress induced snap.

In the meantime, this is your resident currently positive attitude, signing off from this long winded update.


Till next time, m’loves!

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“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

When I was growing up, whenever I was asked the popular question ‘if you could have one super power, what would it be?’ my answer was always the same.  If I had one super power, it would be the ability to affect change.   I never failed to get funny looks, or have folks tell me that isn’t a real answer, or that I should be thinking of more fun things.

If you asked me the same question today, that would still be my answer.

The ability to affect change is a super power.  One that lays dormant in a lot of us.  It’s like the mutant gene, only unlike the X-Men, our super power can be ignored, and so many people make that choice.

People are so quick to assume their voices don’t matter, or that their actions mean nothing.  It is those thoughts that have played a major factor in leading the world we live in to be so apathetic to everything happening around it.   They either don’t care about the situation because it’s not at their doorstep, or they see such a devastating disaster and don’t feel that they can do anything to help something so huge… and they’re wrong.

We cannot change the earthquake that wracked Haiti, or the levees breaking in New Orleans anymore than we can stop the fires or the floods wreaking havoc on Colorado, but we can change those people’s situations.

Random Acts raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Haiti, and helped fund the Jacmel Children’s Center that provides a school and home to children in Jacmel.  Tom Hiddleston lived below the line to help bring awareness and funds to the impoverished, Nathan Fillion helped bring thousands of dollars worth of donations to bring water to folks that need it, but you don’t have to have a million twitter followers to be a part of changing the world.

That center would not have happened without all of you, all of us.  All of the folks that cared enough to have a voice and work for that change.   Same with the water, and the funding for the impoverished, and every other major charity endeavor that anyone anywhere has stood behind.   We are the change.   You are the heroes.

It is your love and caring that changes the world.  It is the fact that you see the homeless person on the street and don’t just look past them like everyone else.  You’ve seen the apathy of the general populace and you have decided that wont be you.  In case no one’s thanked you for that today… thank you.  The world needs you.  All of us need you.

Endure for Kindness is coming up in November.  We are to do whatever we choose for as long as we can in a 24 hour period.  The folks of Team MMAD and I will be baking bread for 24 hours straight, and then all bread baked is going to be taken to folks in need in our community.   Attached to the bread will be notes of love, and caring.  Just a few words to let them know that they are not alone, and there are folks out there that care and want to help.


Here’s where you come in.  This is also a fundraiser to help support Random Acts.  This is the same charity that made the Jacmel Children’s Center a possibility.  The same charity that brings shoes to children who’s family can’t afford them, waterheaters to those in need… they’ve filled homes for a family that has tried their damndest and things just didn’t pan out and inspired thousands of people aren’t the world to do random acts of their own.

I cannot imagine a better charity to raise money for, and I am so excited to be participating in this.  If you, or anyone you know has anything they can spare to fund this wonderful group, or help spur us on 15 hours in when we are wondering why we are insane, please help us out at:  http://www.crowdrise.com/endure4kindness/fundraiser/ameliaemberwing

Thank you for being the change you want to see in the world… we cannot do what we do without you.




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“Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism.”


12 years ago today our country was attacked.  I do not know a single American who cannot tell you where they were or what they were doing when it happened.  Many lives were lost that day, and many more in the war on an ideal that was to come of it.  We will never forget, and all those lost will always be in our hearts.

Please read that first paragraph a few times to grasp what I am about to say – Be wounded, be angry, mourn our loved ones, feel the appropriate level of discomfort by the boundaries that they breached… and move forward.  I am not saying forget.  No.  When history is forgotten it is doomed to repeat itself.  Remember, but step onward.

So much hate is spewed out today, every year.  There’s always hate, and inevitably, its best friend ignorance.

I understand the rage and the want to defend our home.  The problem is, so many people fail to understand something:  A race did not attack us.  It wasn’t a culture, or a religion attacking us.  It was a terrorist group.  Be angry at them, hate them, but do not scream your intolerance at a race or religion as a whole.

There are so many Muslims here in America just wanting to live a peaceful life.  Far too often, these people are met with hate or intolerance.

Those who are the hateful and intolerant will tell you that they are not racist, they’re just cautious.  Unfortunately, that’s just completely untrue, and that is, indeed, blatant racism.

We as a country will never be able to fully move forward when these people are around preaching their hate.  They spew it out every year on this day (and some all year round).  You’ll hear about it on the news, or they’ll tell you themselves over social media.  They’ll protest their mosques, their faith, their culture, anything.

I know this isn’t a new ideal, and that I am not the only one who feels this way.  I know most of you reading this blog feel precisely the same way I do.  With that, please help.

There are so many people today preaching hate.  Help me preach love.  Nothing will ever change when those with good in their hearts sit idly by.

Help the world understand that a turban doesn’t equal a terrorist, and as always, remember those that we lost.

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My last blog post before I dropped off the side of the Earth was about the shooting at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora.  I find it appropriate that my first one back discuss it as well.

In situations like that one, an unfortunate thing always occurs.  Few people can tell you the names of the victims, but everyone can tell you who hurt them.  It’s infuriating and absurd, but that’s how our media today works.  I’m not here to rant about that today though.  I’m here to talk about moving forward, no matter how difficult that may be.

It is rare that people who play your heroes on screen do things in reality to be worthy of that title, but without prompting or question, Christian Bale and his wife hopped on a plane to come see the victims.


When I say see the victims, I do not mean he popped in to a room filled with them and waved and walked out.  He went to them individually.  He sat with them, had conversations, and when he was done with that, he went to the memorial site to pray with those there, specifically requesting that the media let him be and make it about those they were there to pray for.


In light of tragedies like these, it is simple to just give up.  To lay in despair, and to shun the places where the unthinkable have occurred.

Alex Sullivan was at the theater that night to watch his hero save Gotham.  It was his 27th birthday, and it was the night that he died at the hands of the monster who destroyed the lives of so many others.  One could not possibly fathom the pain that his family, or that any of the other families went through upon hearing the news, but despite his son dying on a day that was to celebrate his life, Tom Sullivan encouraged anyone that could to make their way down to the theater’s reopening.

Just last week, the Century finally reopened its doors to the public.  During the months it was closed it underwent a complete remodel, and I would like to mention that during that time, they continued to pay their employees.

Through all the mess, the tears, the funerals, the physical therapies, the attempted suings, idiots using the disaster for their political agenda, all of it, I have to say I was truly blown away when we arrived for the Re Opening.  So many people had shown up! Some were donning ribbons, some were just there to catch a movie, but regardless of the ‘why’, they were there.


Many of the families, and even citizens with no ties at all to the victims were outraged by the theater opening its doors again.  They called it macabre, outrageous and insulting.  Several of the families called for boycott of the theater, and were disgusted by those who planned to attend.

These people have the right to grieve however they need to, but I very much think that they were and are wrong.

The monster who killed those people does not get the power to keep us from any particular place.  They do not get the ability to make us live in fear.  Everyone who went to that theater stood against people like the shooter.  They said that they would not give anyone the power to divert them from enjoyment.  They said while a part of them was afraid, they would still rise as a community.  Rise against people like the shooter, and rise for those who could not.

This post is in remembrance, and in love, for those who were lost or injured.  This post is to tell them, wherever they may be, that we will always rise for them.


To see statements from Tom Sullivan, please see – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/tom-sullivan-whose-son-wa_n_2410579.html

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For some people it takes strength to show who they truly are.  For one reason or another they are ashamed of themselves, or what people will think.  I haven’t had that problem since a very young age, and I am very thankful for that, but on the flipside I am graced with one heck of a personality to deal with.  I marvel at the people who are brave enough to be who they truly are, and that person is a kind, mild mannered, delightful person to be around.  Seriously people, I aspire to be you!

I am loud, and opinionated.  You have heard me talk in the past about how I’m kind of a guy a lot of the time, and I treat my friendships as such.  If you don’t understand what I mean by that, my brief explanation is always this: Men treat friendships like a football, and they last forever.  Women treat friendships like a glass slipper, and they shatter with the smallest of falls.  Another personal favorite is men spend their friendships trading insults they don’t mean, women spend their friendships trading compliments they don’t mean.

With all that being said, I’ve put together some simple tips for mastering that strong personality of (mine) yours, so (we) you can find a way to walk that delicate line of having a strong personality, and being a giant bag of jerk.

1.)  Location, Location, Location!

This is number one for a reason, kids!   There is a time and a place for that strong personality of yours.   Corporate world?  Not one of them.   You have opinions, that’s fine.  Shut up unless it’s your turn to be talking, and to be clear, if you’re not sure, it’s likely not.   I am in many situations where my temper and personality need to be shoved in to that deep, dark corner of my mind until we’re done playing with the other kids.   It’s not gonna be easy, and that’s okay, get over it and do it, or you’re going no where in this world.

This brings me to the next place:  Facebook/anyothersocialmediasitethatmakesyoufeellikeyou’retoughwhenyoupostyourbigbritchesopiniononit.   Guess what, princess?  You’re not tough, you’re talking trash over the internet.   You have opinions, that’s fine, and if you want to post them, that’s also fine.  Your butt better be respectful when you do, and don’t get all upset if someone disagrees with what you have to say.  You’re entitled to your opinion, and they’re entitled to think you’re an idiot for it.

2.) Being Ornery has its Place.

Remember how I was just talking about how guy friendships are?   My friends say some mean crap to me!  I say some pretty mean crap back.  None of us ever mean any harm,  it’s just kind of the relationship.  I spend more time beating on and insulting my brother than  I do saying nice things to him, and I honestly think he’s one of the greatest people on the planet.   That mean behavior doesn’t have a place with someone you’ve just met.  Everyone’s different, and you need to get a feel of how your relationship with that person is going to be before you go throwin’ around the playful insults.  Words hurt, and if someone doesn’t know you well enough to know you don’t mean it, you could actually hurt them.

I also have friends who I’ve known forever who I don’t have that type of relationship with.  It’s not that we’re not close, it’s just that’s not how we are with one another.  Every relationship (whether you have a tough personality to deal with or not) needs to be evaluated differently.

3.) Let Them Know You Love Them.

If you have an abrasive personality, that makes it even more important to remind the people in your life that you love them.  Even if you know they know you care, you still need to remind them.  They’ll likely make fun of you and you’ll poke at each other about it for a while, but I promise you, it’s important.  Do it.  (no Linda!)

4.) It’s NOT the Same!

“I’m not rude, I just have a strong personality!” is the same as “I’m not fat, I’m just big boned!”  Sorry sweets, you’re rude, or fat, or possibly both, but for the purpose of staying on topic, you’re probably rude.   Having a strong personality is not an excuse to be a rude jerk to everyone you meet.  You say please, you say thank you, you mind your bloody manners, or you are just rude.  Rude is not good.  Fix it, or go crawl in a hole.  Thanks.

5.) Be Who You Are.

This can be hard when some people have a tough time dealing with your personality.   We have all lost friends at one point in our life because our personalities simply did not mesh.  If you’re a healthy human being, you go through a period of introspection to decide whether it’s you, or it’s them.  Or whether your behavior is acceptable.  Again, that’s healthy.  You should evaluate yourself on a constant basis to better yourself as a person.   With that being said, if you have healthy relationships with several people, and this one person (or one clique of people if you’re really unlucky) has decided they don’t like you, you need to think of the possibility that it could be on them.   If you like you as a person, and the people you love and care about like you as a person, then don’t change just because one person couldn’t deal with you.   There are gonna be people who can’t.  In fact, since you have a strong personality, several people probably wont like you.

It’s a hard line to balance.  I am lucky having a wonderful support group of friends and family filled with people who smack me upside my tiny, thick skull, when I become a twit.   On the flip side,  they poke, prod, beat, and nurture the heck out of me.   Which takes me to number 6.

6.) Acquire the Right Friends.

This is important for everyone in life, not just people who are occasionally a little hard to handle, but I mention it here because it is so important for you if you worry about that balance between being somewhat of a spitfire, and being a complete jerk.    Again, I am graced with a fantastic group of people who back me when I’m right and smack me when I’m wrong.   When ever I’m concerned about that line, or having a sad introspective day of  “oh no, is it me? doom/gloom/whine!”, they are there to give me the honest truth.   It’s usually one of three things: a-Yes, it is you, chill out, don’t be stupid, and come back when you can play with the others, b-no, it’s not you, don’t worry, or c- Yes, it is you… but that’s okay!  And that takes us to 7!

7.) Yes!  It Is You, and that’s Okay!

I can not stress this enough, and this is to people with all types of personality, not just ones that are sometimes hard to handle.  Some people just aren’t gonna like ya.  I can name five people off the top of my head who have never done one thing to me that I just do not like for one reason or another, and I can name far more who I can’t think of one thing that I could have done to piss in their cheerios (and trust me, people’s cheerios are like my favorite tree some days), and they just don’t like me either.

Not everyone you meet is going to like you.  Get over it, right now, all of you, regardless of personality.  I am so serious.  You will live a far, far happier life when you get that cold hard fact through your skull.

You have countless things against you. Pharamones, Hormones, xylophones, conditioning, environment, really, the list goes on.   Some people just ain’t gonna like ya.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little list I decided to make at 5am this morning.  Find your balance, be happy with you, and always remember that Dr. Suess had it right:  Be who you are, and say what you feel.  Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

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