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“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

 

I have tried to write this several times now.   It’s hard only because there is so much to say, and I am not sure how to say it in a cohesive, intelligent manner.  If I run all over the place, you’ve been warned.  Hell, if you know me, you’re probably pretty used to it.

Toward the beginning of 2013, I found this group called Random Acts.  This guy I followed on Twitter named Misha posted about it.  If you watch Supernatural, he’s the angel dude.  You know, the one that when you try to impersonate him you sound like Bale’s Batman?  Yeah.  That guy.   So anyway, he posts this tweet about this thing called AMOK.  Immediately, I start bouncing around like Sara Jessica Parker in Hocus Pocus.  If you don’t understand my reference, please get off my blog right now and go educate yourself.  I DIGRESS!  He posts about AMOK, so I follow the link, because I was mildly entertained.

This link took me to therandomact.org. On their website is a description of the event that is basically just ‘Hey, do something nice for someone today, because, BECAUSE! That’s why!”

I sat there staring at the page for a while.  I thought the concept was perfectly amazing, but when I tried to think of what I would do, nothing came to me.   I didn’t want to do something small, but knew I didn’t have the funds to do anything completely grand.   I can tell you, I didn’t stop thinking about this for the weeks leading up to the day of the event.  That day came, and still I had absolutely nothing. 

That weekend I was down with my sister in the Springs and we were just wandering about really.  We walked around most of the day, myself still frustratingly idea-less and this went on until we were leaving the grocery store.  Out in the parking lot there was a nicely dressed woman with a little boy in her arms.  She was standing next to her car, which was more or less just a normal sedan, looking a little frazzled. 

I need to pause the story here for a minute to explain something.  I am not friendly.  Everyone argues this point, and that’s because they are already my friends.  Seriously though, I am not.  I don’t talk to people I don’t know unless I am forced or they’re a friend of a friend or something along those lines.  Human beings terrify me.  BACK TO THE STORY!

This woman is there, by her average car, in her nice clothes, clutching her little boy looking frazzled. I saw her, and before I knew what was happening I asked her if there was anything wrong. 

The woman just stared at me for a moment, then told me that I was the first person to ask her anything like that.  She went on to explain that she was driving through town coming home from a funeral and that her wallet was stolen or lost wherever she was before.   Since this was on a Sunday there was no way for her to get to a bank to explain her plea, and no way for anyone to wire her any money until the following day.  The woman assured me that her husband would be sending some funds then so they could get home all safe and sound, but in the meantime, they were staying in the car because the hotel they had planned on staying in on their way home was unsympathetic to her problem.

We did not stay and talk long at all.  Once again, I don’t really know how to deal with folks I don’t know.  Before we left though, I recalled that I had taken some cash out, and there was a cheap hotel exceptionally close.  By the time she had finished telling her story I had my wallet out and was handing her the money.  She gawked at me a moment before accepting, which I am convinced she ultimately did because of her son.  Thanking me profusely, we parted ways, both of us with huge smiles on my face.

It was at that point when the name Random Acts made sense to me.  Clearly I had known what it meant before, I am not an imbecile, but like River said ‘she understands, but she does not comprehend.’  I knew what Random Acts meant going in to it, but I really, truly, genuinely… didn’t.

And that’s the starting point that takes me to the now.  Since that day in March I haven’t been the same.  Hope to Haiti happened.  I am still beyond heartbroken that I wasn’t able to go meet the children and work on the center with my own hands, but some marvelous folks went instead, and I know in my heart that there will be other adventures.  In the meantime, despite not going, I raised a decent amount of money for a wonderful cause, and met so many fantastic people.  People that I cannot express what they mean to me, mostly because it baffles me.  Not in a ‘why are they important’ kind of way, but in a ‘how can I feel such a connection to someone I have never met’ kind of way.

In the hope of avoiding sounding stalkerish, I want to tell you a little bit about these folks, because damnit, the world just needs to know.

 

There’s Rea.  Rea was the first person I talked to throughout this crazy whirlwind of what are my feels towards Random Acts.  Rea had raised her 5K to go on the trip to work on the center, but she needed a little bit more to travel so she set up a personal page to help travel costs.  I shared this on a whim, because I wanted to help her out, so she thanked me, we started following each other, and since that point every conversation fills me with a warm kind of joy.  Everything she says is genuine, and kind, and I am so thankful to know her.

 

Then there’s Katherine.  I don’t remember how we started talking, but I know it was because of Haiti, and I know she was ridiculously supportive the whole time.  Let me tell you people, this woman is ridiculously inspirational and brave, even though she will tell you that’s not so.  She’s involved with the ACFFC now too, so stay tuned for news about that.  http://www.crowdrise.com/endure4kindness/fundraiser/katherinebullock

 

Shelley’s from Australia, and she makes chainmail too! She’s a timelord, but her iTunes hates her.  Because she is a timelord, she has two hearts, and let me tell you, they’re both HUGE!

 

Postalpixxie is in there too.  Forgive me, I don’t know her name, but seriously dude, Wonder Woman in roller skates.  We haven’t been talking for very long, but she has been unbelievably supportive without knowing me at all!  http://www.crowdrise.com/endure4kindness/fundraiser/NicoleGillespie

 

Kerry crochet’s sock monkey hats!  Kerry is very kind.  I haven’t met her either, but she makes me smile a lot.  And she crochets hats.  http://www.crowdrise.com/endure4kindness/fundraiser/kerrykittleson

 

Last but certainly not least is Erin.  We’ve been talking a lot lately.  She’s a little shy, but has a huge heart, and I am very blessed to have met her, just like the others, throughout all of these wonderful missions.

 

 

Random Acts has filled my heart with so much.  Filled it to the point that it’s stretched and it now requires so much more to fill it.   Now we’re moving in to the mission of Endure for Kindness (you can find the links to the other folk’s fundraisers as well).   My wonderful team and I will be baking for 24 hours and taking the bread to those in need around our community.  For those of you being inundated, I hope this post helps you understand a little bit. 

 

If you want to know a little bit more about Random Acts, you can visit them at http://www.therandomact.org/

 

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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.

Random Failures

“I’m not after fame and success and fortune and power. It’s mostly that I want to have a good job and have good friends; that’s the good stuff in life.”

 

 

As mentioned in a previous post,  I really love my job.  So, on days that I feel like I suck at it, it really upsets me.  I realize we all have those days, I realize a lot of it’s in my head, but it has me in a massive, frustrated, funk right now.

Earlier today I upset one of our oldest customers simply because he can’t communicate.  By the way, when I say ‘upset’ I mean I ticked him off to the point that he hung up on me and called our founder.  That was my morning.  Then, when he finally called back after said founder telling him to shut up and calm down, neither me or the dev team could fix the issue.  Way to prove his theory of incompetence there.

To add on to that, one of our account owners talked to a guy that I have been having a really hard time with  for weeks and calmed him down in moments, and got him to be a really pleasant human being.   There has never been a moment in our several phone conversations where he wasn’t a completely rude jerkoff.   People tried to make me feel better, rationalizing that there are some folks that just don’t want help from a female, and that will always be a thing, but that isn’t an acceptable answer.

I am just stuck in this ‘why do you fail so hard’ kind of mindset right now.  I think it is partially because I am really tired, but the fact that I am stuck in a rut makes me FURTHER upset.  Today is just an obnoxious kind of day.

With all that though, one of the folks very high up in the company pulled me aside a couple moments ago to tell me that every piece of paper I have sent across her desk in the past 48 hours has been completely correct.  I have taken over helping our billing department set up new accounts, and input training and cancellation information, and it is a huge process to learn, with about 45 steps total.  That made me feel a little better.

Our founder also shot me an email to let me know I was doing great and to not feel discouraged.

I truly do work for a wonderful company and a wonderful bunch of people… but holy crap I am irritated today. Maybe once they hire a new person and I don’t have to be up at 4:00 AM… or once we get this guy’s problem fixed.  I don’t know.

Endure

I am excruciatingly awful at keeping up with this.  Let me touch on a few events of the summer.

First, my sister lost her home in the Black Forest Fire here in Colorado.  Many people came forward and helped us dig through the ashes, and help them financially.  It was quite inspiring to see.  Even saved a couple relationships that I had thought completely doomed, because sometimes, there are just things that are more damn important than petty grudges.  Anyway, they are now mostly back on their feet, and just received orders to Japan.  That will be something I touch on in a future blog, because there’s just too much emotion there to handle it now.

Due to my sister losing her home, I was also running our chainmail booth at the Renaissance Festival.  Thankfully I had a lot of help from a wonderful team of folks, but that ate up a ton of my time with making pieces and trying to keep the parts that I was responsible for running smoothly.

Along with both of those major situations going on, I got a new job.  Said new job has been the best I have ever had, and I truly count my blessings every day.   I am now working with a small software company in the automotive industry.   I am in their IT department, and as of late I have also been working with billing, setting up new accounts.   Never have I worked for a better company, and I very much look forward to spending my career with them. 

Now, with all those excuses out of the way, I am really going to try and keep up with this more.  Not only to keep in touch with my out of town folks, but because of the crazy events that I take part in that just take up too much of my heart to stay inside.

That video illustrates one of them.  Back in March many of you came forward to help me raise money for this amazing cause.  Together, we raised $660 for these kids and this cause as a whole.   When I saw that video above, I couldn’t stop the tears.  Magic was made for those kids, and in a small way, we were a part of that.   I can’t think of anything better I could possibly do with my life.

 

There was also the phychotic-ness that was GISHWHES (The greatest international scavenger hunt the world has ever seen).  Though not directly involved with Random Acts, it is put on by Misha Collins, and we do work in conjunction with RA each year for certain submissions.  This year we helped fill a home that was being built for some folks that luck just hasn’t liked as of late.   Throughout this event we spread joy, kindness, and killed the crap out of normal.  Here, have some pictures!

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One of the submissions was to do something you’ve always wanted. So we had a food fight. This is the aftermath.

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I still have acne from this.

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Yes. That is us in a dumpster. Yes. It was gross. It also gave me the biggest bruise of my life.

For more of these shenanigans, you can see my album on Facebook. 

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Now we are moving in to a whole new event.  Endure 4 Kindness.  Myself and some of that crazy bunch of folks you see above will be baking for as long as we possibly can and then taking all of the goods to those in need.  I will be giving more updates on that mission as we get closer to it. 

In the mean time, we are moving in to a new apartment, and we have a show coming up shortly as well!  Speaking of all of that, I need to hop back to packing.  I promise not to stay gone for too long this time!

 

 

Hi there everyone,

Not much new to report.  Lately it’s been all working on Social Media for several groups, which is the purpose of this post.

Khatovar Chainmail, the chainmail company I work for, has a shop on Etsy.  We’re trying to get it as advertised and out there as possible.

You can click on that badge to get to Khatovar’s Etsy shop, A Link Above.
If you’d like to follow me on other sites you can find me here-
Twitter- Browncoat_Auror
Instagram- aemberwing

Rise

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Le Gasp!

I live, I promise!

So– a quick review of things missed:

-Despite the efforts of the owner, Faire was survived.  Not the best season, but a few new friends were made through the crapiness, so that’s something.

-The shooting… that happened.   I thought about writing a blog immediately afterward.  I was a furious little bundle of rage.  Still am, but at the end of the day decided I didn’t want to give it more publicity at the time.  Long and short of it– we weren’t at the theater, we found out when we got home, went to the vigil later to protect the families from the Westboro Baptist Church, ended up on TV (did not want -.-), families were able to mourn in peace, douchebag rotting in prison, the end.

-Babies, babies, babies!  Everyone is having babies!

I do believe that’s about it up to this point.  

The political season is in full swing, and unlike most, I adore this.  I hate the mudslinging, but I do love politics.  Right now that means I get to hear Obama speak more, which I adore, and I can get involved at home.  I thrive in it!   More to come on that later though, I am sure!

Updates on this will likely be sparse again for a while.  Our finale for Avistrum is quickly approaching, Khatovar has a show, and I have undergone a new project with a coworker– which will be to sufficiently geekify another coworker.   You should follow her, she is updating on the shenanigans with us!  http://tiannahurtado.wordpress.com/

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