Domestic Abuse Awareness…Awareness Isn’t Enough

As some of you might have noticed from Mimi’s comic earlier in the month…October, which is almost over now, is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month (among other awarenesses).

I come from a family that sees a lot of domestic abuse. Many of my aunts go from one drunken ‘provider’ to another. I know of relatives who have quit jobs because they were too ashamed to go to work with the black eye, so they just claimed they wanted to spend more time at home and called into work to put in their “I’m not coming in, ever again” notice.

So this article about a woman who was fired by Chipotle because she had missed work, due to her boyfriend beating the living shit out of her, hit close to home. It wasn’t so much her particular story, as infuriating as it may be, because many of my relatives voluntarily either go back to their abusers because they refuse to listen to reason, they just like the ‘bad boy’ image of the guy who beats the hell out of the them, or some other stupid reason.

They get abused because they won’t stop the abuse, no matter how hard anyone tries to help, not because they can’t. That’s an issue of itself, but that’s something that has to be changed within the person in question and perhaps within society, itself. I know too many people who stay in bad relationships for stupid reasons and won’t listen when you point out how stupid their reason is or how bad their relationship is.

The wife and I had a friend who was in an emotionally toxic relationship. We still can’t explain why he was still with her. She was an 18-year-old and was going through her first sexual peak. They’d been dating for three years and hadn’t gone past the fondling stage.

Hell they didn’t even do that, to be honest. Their sexual activities basically came down to them finding some private time and her either giving him a hand job or a blowjob and then them listening to music or him leaving.

One night, they had the entire house to themselves. She put on a sexy outfit and they started making out. She was very shy and had low self-esteem, but she presented herself to him like a lioness in heat. She pulled out her breasts and started kissing down his neck.

He pulled out his dick and starting jacking it while she suckled on his neck. He didn’t grab a handful of boob, he didn’t even look at her boobs, he just beat off. It was over in five minutes and then he decided to go play video games at his neighbor’s house while she sat in a dark room and cried. Just another Friday night.

Did I mention the part where they were together for three years? When they did finally have sex he refused to do it vaginally and made her roll over so he could screw her in the butt. She was so sex-craved she agreed and she managed to get close from it. He came in about two minutes and when she asked him to finish her off his excuse was, “I’m too tired. I think I’m gonna go home and play some games before I go to bed.”

Still pointing out that she stayed with him for over three years. That is until he finally dumped her for another woman and admitted that he’d cheated on her a few times while they were dating.

Did I mention the part where he was a 19-year-old with no job and she was a full-time student, also working a full-time job, and she paid for everything that his parents didn’t already pay for. If they went on a date, she paid. If they hit the movies, she paid. Wanna go to a concert? She paid for their tickets and travel expenses/lodging. If he was hungry and his parents weren’t home to cook for him, he’d call her up and ask her to go on a date; and she paid.

This is something that I have no idea how to fix. She would complain about how he mistreated her every time we got together and hung out. To the point that it was 80-90% of our conversations with her, the rest being either how much she hated her university or how much she hated her coworkers.

Like I said, something I don’t know to fix. These people need to be empowered, but you can’t empower those who refuse to seize power.

You know what I do have a solution for, though? A really easy one, at that! People being fired for getting the shit kicked out of them by a spouse/suitor.

The article I linked to says that only 7 states in the U.S. have laws that protect abuse victims from being fired because they were abused. Only 18 of the remaining 43 states allow an abuse victim to collect unemployment if they are fired.

Only about half the states in the country even have laws to protect abuse victims from being evicted by their landlords for calling the police. Imagine that, losing your home because you had to call the police to protect you from a nutjob who wants to hurt you? Happens every day.

Abuse victims are already in a vulnerable state, they can’t afford to lose their jobs, their benefits, and their homes on top of the abuse. I’ve heard of cases where a woman left her abusive husband because he finally took a swing at the kids and that was too much for her. But with no education, no credit, no job, and no home, they took her kids away and gave them over to the father.

The laws need to change. We protect hate speech as a constitutional right, but we don’t protect people from getting the shit beat out of them by someone they trusted? Next time you see a man or a woman with a busted lip, shuddering every time their spouse looks at them remember that it wasn’t really that victim who let that happen most times…it was the busted country we live in that let that happen.

~RCS

 

Spelling Bee-Itches!

A random conversation that the wife and I had recently was about Spelling Bees. She said her high school hadn’t held them except as an extracurricular activity. I told her about how my old elementary school held a class-wide one for 2nd grade.

It wasn’t like watching it on TV, trust me. We weren’t spelling Lecithin, Dimorphic, or even Nomenclature.

"Danny your word is…Nomenclature."

“Danny your word is…Nomenclature.”

 

The hardest words we got to were things like…School, Science, Bagpipe, and Sparkle. Six years before my round in the 2nd grade spelling bee my sister had her run of the competition (you now know how much older than me my middle sister is) and she always showed off her trophy. She got 5th place. She boasted about how she managed to get 5th place.

There had been fifty students, out of those fifty she took 5th. That means she was in the 90th percentile for spelling in her class. She detested the word that had beaten her…Yellow. There she was…standing in front of everyone when she got the word ‘Yellow’. “The school’s colors are Green and Yellow.”

She smiled cockily and said, Y-E-L-O-W!

 

BZZZ! Wrong, bitch; sit down!

BZZZ! “Wrong, bitch; sit down!”

 

It stuck with her. For years.

 

And now…it was my turn. I was far ahead of the other kids in my class. Two years earlier, in kindergarten, I had been the only kid who could recite the entire alphabet, count to twenty, and tell time on an analog clock!

No way any of these other forty-nine students were going to beat me.

Even if I had to go to extreme measures.

Even if I had to go to extreme measures.

 

So first up we had the initial elimination round. Everyone stood up at their desks and they were given a word to spell. If they succeeded, they got to stand for another round. If you spelled the word improperly, the teacher would correct you and you were forced to sit down…you were out of the competition.

Oh woe for the students who fell out on their first word…

 

Teacher: Your word is…Cheese.

Student 1: C-H-E-A-S-E!

Teacher: I’m sorry, it’s c-h-e-E-s-e. You may sit down. Next up your word is…

 

Each class had about twenty-five students in it and there were two classes. Each class would continue going around the room until only ten children were standing, then each of those ten would go on to the finals.

The finals were held in the school’s auditorium, for all the parents to see. We went around the room once…we were down to about eighteen students by the time I got my second word, maybe? I didn’t receive a third one before I was in the top ten of my class.

The game was over, I was going to the championship division. A few weeks passed and there we were…standing on stage in front of everyone’s parents and older siblings.

The rules were just as simple as before…only now there was an added modicum of horror. You walked up to the mic when your name was called, stood in front of literally everyone you knew in the world, and then spelled the word.

This wasn’t the beginner’s circle anymore; no sir! The teacher did not correct you this time. This time you were given a word and if you spelled it right, you got to go back to your seat on the back of the stage…outside of the spotlight.

Okay, so it was an elementary school gymnasium that doubled as the auditorium, there were no spotlights…just fluorescent light bulbs high on the ceiling above. But you get the idea of the horror we all felt!

If you spelled the word wrong, though? The judges would tap a bell; the ding was your signal to quietly walk off stage, find your parents and siblings, and…

 

"Sit the fuck down like the failure you were!"

“Sit the fuck down like the failure you are!”

 

So there we all are: The Magnificent Twenty. Or perhaps more like the Lucky Nineteen…graced with their moment in my presence before I took home the (unnecessarily large for a 2nd grade spelling bee) trophy that sat on the table beside the judges.

The first person stepped up, they received their word and the contest was on for realsies! Word by word we either returned to our seats, or walked off the stage with a melancholic disgrace.

Poor Kevin…there he was, so proud and determined. He had studied harder for this than anything he’d ever studied before. Kevin was a tall kid, he had hit his growth spurt early. In a room full of 2nd graders standing around four feet tall he was already five feet in height. He towered over everyone and was lanky like a stick. He probably had a BMI of about nine in those days.

He walked up to the microphone for what must have been his second or third word. The competition was tough and the judges said, “Hangnail.”

“…can you define?”

“A small, torn piece of skin, next to a fingernail or toenail.”

“…c-can you…use it in a sentence?”

“The hangnail I got on my hand really hurts, today.”

“…uhhh…H-A-N-G-N-A-L-E…”

Ding! went the bell. Kevin looked into the crowd…and broke out into a shrill bawl. Clutching his face in his hands he hurtled the stairs down from the stage, I don’t believe his feet touched any of the steps, and with his bawling intensifying with every echoing footstep on the hardwood floor he made his way toward the back of the room.

The, otherwise totally silent, room. His mother ushering her way out of the aisle just as he ran past her. She started following him toward the back of the room quietly calling, “Kevin…Kevin c’mere honey…KEVIN!”

All the way to the back of the room where he burst through the closed doors. They slammed shut just before his mother so that she could dramatically burst through them again!

They did not return that day. And the greatest irony? Kevin was chewing on his cuticles in between each utterance he spouted.

So anyway, enough with twelfth place, nobody cares about poor Kevin. Let’s get back to the championing at hand…my story.

Competition is pretty stiff, to be honest I’m getting nervous…I may have to settle. Settle for a narrow victory in a dramatic finish, instead of just traipsing over all these scrubs.

Okay actually I’m suffering from crippling self esteem issues due to two straight years of violent bullying and this is the only thing I’ve ever competed in where people expressed faith in my abilities. I am dead set on proving myself. I’m already in the top ten, and my only goal is to get a higher position than my shit-grinning sister and her 5th place trophy.

Ninth place goes down, the person before me spells their word, and I go up to the mic.

“Your word is Evry.”

“Evry?”

“Yes…your word is Evry. Evry person in the room hopes you’ll do well.”

Well you can’t compete with a sign like that. Here we go with my next victory…

“Evry…E-V-R-Y…Evry.”

Silence for a moment. I take a step back to return to my seat, when my greatest fear comes true…

A hundred goat-sized spiders fell from the ceiling and declared the planet their dominion, taken for themselves once they exterminate humanity!

Hmm…okay, so maybe not my greatest fear. But at that moment in my life my second greatest fear happened…

 

"Ding!"

“Ding!”

 

Or as I heard it my mind…

 

10575683

 

I quietly and stoically took my place at my mother’s side, I had received 8th place. The next person came up…and to advance, she had to spell my word correctly.

“Evry…e-v-E-r-y…Evry.”

Wait a minute…there’s a second e in Every? But…that’s not how the judge pronounced it. That’s not how anybody I knew pronounced it! I had been cheated out of my glorious victory by a country accent!

And oh did I hear about that. My sister paraded her trophy about…

“Did I ever tell you the story about how I won fifth place in the Second Grade Spelling Bee? What place did you get…oh right, eighth place. Do they give trophies for eighth place losses? No…but they do give trophies for fifth place victories. Did I ever tell you that?”

 

Yes…yes you did. E-V-E-R-Y chance you fucking had!

 

~RCS

 

P.S. She works as a receptionist, and I’m a published author. How’s that trophy feel, bitch?

Did I Get Hit On? Part Deux!

It’s no secret that I’m not all that great at telling when people are flirting with me.  Lady Police Officers or Gay Male Cashiers.

Back when the wife and I were still early in our relationship we were going out to eat and decided on Olive Garden for some dinner.

obamagarden

Olive Garden: Obama Approved!

This wasn’t exactly an uncommon thing, but it was the first time we had gone to this particular Olive Garden.  We usually went to the one on the other side of town.

As usual the food was delicious, especially the desserts.  However there was one strange facet to this particular visit:

The Waitress!

Who, me? Tee-hee!

Who, me? Tee-hee!

 

She was everything I was looking for in a waitress.  She was good-looking, she was friendly, and most importantly…she brought me food.  However there was just one problem with her.  While she looked me in the eye with a pleasant smile and listened intently while I ordered my food, she would then turn at the hip and give Mimi a disinterested look while she scribbled down whatever the wife said.  And here’s the kicker; once Mimi would order, the waitress would turn her head back to me and stare at me as if asking for permission.  Once I nodded, then she would dash away to get our drinks, food, etc.

She would cheerily chat with me as she sat my food down, and then always as an afterthought she would drop the wife’s food in front of her with a curt, “Careful, plate’s hot.”

So basically we had this going the whole meal…

What I saw…

3ugoxf

 

What the Wife Saw…

waitress2

 

But if you think that’s a kicker, wait until we hit dessert.  I ordered my dessert and then she started to walk away, only for Mimi to stop her with a polite ‘Ooo, wait‘.  The waitress turned her hips as Mimi ordered a piece of cheesecake.  She then turned her whole body to face me and silently gave me this look…

waitressface

She stared at me for about 30 full seconds before I nodded.  Then she calmly wheeled about and went to get our desserts.  Once everything was said and done we paid and were preparing to leave.  I calculated the tip out, and if I recall it was about $8 at 20%.

I asked the wife how much she wanted to leave for the tip and got a similar reaction as the waitress gave me.

shitwaittip

 

I explained very calmly that I had received fantastic service, myself.

 

"But I suddenly see your point. Very well."

“But I suddenly see your point. Very well.”

In the end we compromised.  I only left a $1 tip and Mimi didn’t divorce me.  We also didn’t go back to that Olive Garden for almost a year.

~RCS

A New Haircut!

In the past I’ve donated my hair to Locks of Love a few times, maybe 2 or 3 if I remember correctly. And I was really starting to get the urge to do it again recently, but I had found out that Locks of Love had been doing some shady stuff, like making kids pay for the wigs, not actually dealing with cancer patients, even throwing away most of the hair or selling it for profit. So I really didn’t want to deal with them again. But I still wanted to donate, so I waited and searched for other options, but couldn’t find any.

 

But one day Rich and I were watching a Game Grumps Q and A with dinner and luckily someone sent in a question for Danny Sexbang.

The one and only.

The one and only.

The question was if Danny was going to donate his hair to Locks of Love. And he said no, and stated all the same reasons I just told you folks. But then he brought up Wigs For Kids. Rich and I looked into it and found that Wigs For Kids was much better than Locks of Love. But, I did have some issues with getting my hair cut.

 

First: I really, really wanted to cosplay Haku, from Naruto.

Haku_(NARUTO)_full_512464

Every time Tekko would be announced, I would get excited and think “Yeah, this is totally going to be the year for Haku!” But something would always come up; didn’t plan ahead in time to order a costume, didn’t really have the money, or I would get so nervous I’d almost have panic attacks.

 

Second: I was honestly also trying to see how long I could put up with having long hair and see just how long I could get it.

Definitely not this long, though.

Definitely not this long, though.

Third: I kinda liked how I looked with long hair, even though most of the time I would just put it in a bun because I didn’t want to deal with it turning into one giant knot. But I still thought it looked nice and was worried with how I would look with short hair.

 

So, with that in mind, I was hemming and hawing for about two weeks or so, going back and forth on what I wanted to do. I was definitely going to donate, I just didn’t know when I wanted to do it or how short I wanted it.

 

Until one night I just had enough. It was a really hot and humid night, I got out of the shower about an hour ago and my hair seemed at least somewhat dry enough to put up into a bun. But my hands and back were so sweaty that my hair just stuck to everything! I almost ripped it out. I decided that night that I was going to get my hair cut as soon as possible. I wasn’t even worried about how I’d look with short hair anymore; I just wanted it gone! And once I actually started looking at pictures trying to find a style I wanted, I was super excited! Everything looked really nice, but they weren’t exactly what I wanted, so I started looking at anime hair styles. And I finally found one that I liked.

 

tama

Kawazoe Tamaki from Bamboo Blade.

 

I’ve never seen the anime that she’s from, but I really liked her hair. So I went with it. Rich and I looked at the Wigs For Kids site to find a place to donate and found one pretty close by, Salon Iaomo. I called to set up the appointment and they said they would handle sending the hair and they would take before and after pictures too! I was as giddy as a school girl.

 

IMAG0019

IMAG0021

IMAG0023

image1

I had about 20 inches worth of hair that came down to my ass. No one, including the hair dresser (Jess) thought I had so much hair. I just usually kept it in a bun because it was quick and easy. Jess assumed my hair was going to be just past my shoulders. I guess being wrong in this case wasn’t a bad thing, though. I think it was like an hour for poor Jess to do all the cutting and styling and such.

image2

 

This is how Jess styled it.

This is how Jess styled it.

And this is how I usually wear it.

And this is how I usually wear it.

IMAG0037

So finally, after all my flip flopping, I got my hair cut and I am super happy with it! It’s so much easier to take care of, less brushing, less drying, and so much less pain. I really like donating my hair, but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it again. That 20 inches took me four years to grow. I don’t know if I can deal with that again. But, I’m going to at least try. I’m going to see if I can last a year without getting it cut, and if I can do that I’ll try to put up with this crazy hair to try to donate again.

image4

Ͼ-Mimi

7 Years of Happiness (For Me, At Least)

I just felt like pointing out that today is the 7th Anniversary of the Wife and I getting together.  It’s kind of funny because we had so many dates to choose for our anniversary date.

There is July 31st when we actually started dating and transcended just being friends to actually become a romantic couple.

There’s some random day in February (the 13th, maybe?) when I proposed to her.

There’s August, I dunno, 23rd-ish when we announced we were actually getting married and had our witnesses sign our marriage license forms.

There’s also September 11th, the date we actually put on the marriage license because if we signed it on the 23rd we would have received a $50 fine (Pennsylvania has some weird laws).

But we decided a long time ago that the most important day wasn’t the day we signed some papers, it was the day we declared our adoration for each other and joined our lives together as one; July 31st.  So here’s to 7 happy years together.  And, who knows, 93 more?

Oh god...what have I said 'yes' to?

Oh god…what have I said ‘yes’ to?

~RCS

Flag Folding Rant

Hey folks, I’m going to try to keep this one short, although I make no guarantees.  So let’s get started and for good effect we’ll start on a downer.  My Great Grandfather recently passed away.  He was born in 1917, so yeah…97 years old at time of death; only a few months from 98.

Now, being born in 1917 that means that when World War II broke out he was 24 years old.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the war.  When I was a child I had to interview him for a school project and summed up his war-time service as, “…pushing papers in California.”  Even so, being a war-time veteran he is afforded certain posthumous honors, such as a flag encasing his casket at the funeral and said flag being folded up and given to his eldest surviving daughter (my grandmother).

This is where the rant begins.  You see, this is the American flag:

US_flag_48_stars_svg

In case you aren’t aware there is a very specific way you are supposed to fold it.  It should wind up looking something like this when you’re done:

And handing it to the widow(er) or child of the deceased.

And handing it to the widow(er) or child of the deceased.

The Army had sent two E-6 ranked soldiers (Staff Sergeants) to oversee the flag ceremony.  For those completely unknowing of how the army works, the ranks only go to E-9.  In order to get to E-6 you must be a good soldier with about 6 years or an exceptional soldier with about 4 years of service in the Army and have an opening in your MOS (your job class).

So we’re looking at between 8 and 12 years of combined Army experience, if not more.  And they butchered the ceremony.  These two dolts had no idea what they were doing.  Here are some basic directions on how to fold the American flag:

Flag_Fold

Did you read the directions?  Congratulations, you now are more qualified to perform the ceremony than these two Staff Sergeants were!  They started off by putting the blue field on the top and folding it over so only the stripes were showing.  They managed to figure out their error and corrected it, starting over.

They got it all folded lengthwise, then one of them began bringing up the triangle pattern.  He got to the last fold, step number seven on that picture, and they both just stared at each other for a moment, then they just kind of…wrapped the extra over the edge and crimped it tightly in their hands, like it was a piece of paper they could just fold and crease to stay in place.

Is this what the Army sends to Veteran’s funerals nowadays?  Really?  I’ve seen cub scouts fold a flag way better than these two sods did!

Good god, if they had been my cadets, back when I was in ROTC?  I would have made them do it again, apologize to the next of kin both orally and in writing, and then had a flag put in their profiles for the next promotion cycle so they couldn’t go up another undeserved rank.

And that brings me to how poor of a commanding officer they have.  You really send this kind of trash to oversee the funeral of a veteran?  Turn in your stars, bars, leafs, or whatever you don’t deserve to wear and take off the uniform.  Turn it back in to the quartermasters and just leave.  Go someplace unimportant, like Suriname.

Even you couldn't screw up folding this thing!

Even you couldn’t screw up folding this thing!

~RCS

I Do Not Want A Shrubbery!

Raise your hand if you own a home, plan to own a home in the future, and/or currently rent.

For anyone who didn’t raise their hand.

For anyone who didn’t raise their hand.

Well as you all probably know, the wife and I bought a house a couple years back.  Our back yard had a border made up of hedges.  The hedges grew uncontrollably and we had talked about getting rid of them since before we actually bought the place.

Everyone in our family advised us against this.  They told us we don’t want to get rid of the ugly hedges because…

  1. It offers privacy in our back yard.
  2. It’s a security measure against theft and home invasion.
  3. It will keep unwanted people out of our yard.
  4. It’s prettier and easier to maintain than a fence.

 

take a fence

So let’s take a look at some of these points.  In reverse order…

  1. It’s prettier and easier to maintain than fence.

What the hell are you talking about?  These things grow exponentially.  We would have to trim them at least once a month to keep them from getting out of hand.  Absolute minimum?  Twice a year, and that’s going to have some pretty growy times in between.

A fence needs random maintenance to fix breaks and maybe paint it every few years.  If you know how to buy paint and how to apply it you don’t need to paint it or re-seal it every year.

 

  1. It will keep unwanted people out of your yard.

Who the hell is wandering into your yard?  Six foot high hedges mean nothing when they’re connected by a two-foot high gate, as it is in my case.  Not to mention a fence works much better.  Drunk neighbors can stumble through the hedges.  And if you’ve got a rosebush on the inner side of the hedges and they fall through the hedges into it, they can actually sue you for the price of the stitches.

You know what keeps people out of your yard better than hedges?  Land mines.  I don’t hear anybody telling me I should put those around my yard.

 

  1. It’s a security measure against theft and home invasion.

They’re hedges, not a door.  Tall hedges in your backyard can actually make home invasion or theft more likely, because it gives the thief a hiding spot to pick a lock, break a window, or kick in a door.  Hedges also attract spiders, raccoons, and snakes.  Two out of those three things are not wanted in our yard.  The Wife’s got a thing for reptiles.

"Hi, I'll be highly venomous in about three weeks.  Thanks for the invite!"

“Hi, I’ll be highly venomous in about three weeks. Thanks for the invite!”

 

  1. It offers privacy in our back yard.

What are you doing in your yard that you don’t want anybody to see?  Is my family full of exhibitionists that like to boink in the back yard that just don’t want their neighbors watching?  And really, they just don’t want their neighbors on the first floor watching, because plenty of my neighbors have two-story homes and can see right over the hedges.

You know how you make your backyard private?  Surround it with walls and put a roof over it.  And while you’re going that far, you might as well cement the floor, since the grass isn’t going to get any rainwater or sunlight anymore.  And you might as well either make it a garage or put a nicer floor in it and turn it into a spare room.

And, once you’ve remodeled your backyard into a spare room you can build a window or two.  You can even put up some curtains in the window to block your neighbors’ view.

Or, y’know, just put a plotted plant in front of the window.  Maybe a shrub of some kind?

~RCS

Who’s On Twentieth?

I’m going to say something here that might be considered rather controversial.  First of all, and this will alienate half of my potential fanbase, I support Feminism and am a Feminist, myself.  I support women’s equality in media and in real life.  If you’ve read my book, Escort, or played any of the games we’ve produced through Nic3Ntertainment you might already have an inkling of that.

Now, the rest of this post will probably alienate the other half.

An organization of women want to change the face of the person on the $20 bill from Former President Andrew Jackson (in case you don’t keep up with the news, he was a two-term president in the early 1800s) to a woman.

I suppose this…I mean, I opport this.  Hrmm, let me try to finagle what I’m trying to say.  I do partially support their endeavor; however I disagree with the premise on a base ideal.  Now let me explain what I mean.

They have decided, after rigorous polling, to push for Harriet Tubman to be put on the $20 bill, in the year 2020, the centennial of the Women’s Suffrage movement.  I personally would have chosen Alice Paul, myself, had I been invited to partake in the voting.  Tubman was a great American Hero, there’s no doubt, but to celebrate Women’s Suffrage they choose…an abolitionist hero?

But, regardless of my personal preference on what order women are to be named as national heroes, I disagree with replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman for a very simple and base reason: Tubman was never president.  I, personally, feel that U.S. Dollar Bills should only have U.S. Presidents on it.

Now, I know what you might say in response to that:

You sexist pig, you just don’t women on money!

And that’s not how we achieve a positive dialogue.  The more moderate of you might actually say something like this:

What about Alexander Hamilton?  He was never president and he’s on the $10 bill!

US_$10_Series_2003_obverse

You are absolutely correct.  Which is why I support removing Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill and putting someone else on it.  Like Teddy Roosevelt or perhaps Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Or even John Tyler, who was the tenth preside—I can’t even finish that sentence, Tyler doesn’t deserve the honor, don’t put him on any money, please.

One might even recall, were they wealthy enough to see a $100 bill recently, that Benjamin Franklin is on it.  Also never president, although I know that comes as a surprise to some people.  So there we go…we could replace Hamilton with FDR and Franklin with Teddy.  I’d be perfectly fine with that.

 

Now the ladies of the Women on 20s organization do have a surprisingly meritorious argument for removing Jackson.  Andrew Jackson is a war hero, there’s no denying that, and he was certainly a badass.  But he did sign the Indian Removal Act that caused the Trail of Tears and numerous other atrocities against the Native Americans.

Again, my main argument is that I already want the non-President people stripped from the money, I don’t want to be adding on to the problems.  Now, once we get rid of Franklin and Hamilton, we can look at replacing Andrew Jackson with another President.  Maybe one that even the Women on 20s could get behind…

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~RCS

Drive To The Blood Drive!

The Tekko panel videos coming out along the next two weeks (How To Avoid Bad Writing Part 6 comes out tomorrow and the next day we have the full hour long panel if you don’t want to watch it in parts).

 

So with all that going on, I figured we could talk about something else. Let’s talk about the life saving art of giving blood. Now I’m a little ashamed of the fact that I am unable to donate blood because of Enetophobia.

Yeah, a fear of pins and needles. Also could be called Trypanophobia, Belenophobia, etc. depending on the particular type. Either way it equates to a fear of needles. I don’t fear many things, but spiders and needles are two things I do fear.

Maybe this, too…y’know, if I woke up to it in my face.

Maybe this, too…y’know, if I woke up to it in my face.

But my wonderful wife enjoys giving blood. Once she donates she almost can’t wait for the next chance to donate. Well she hasn’t really had the opportunity to give blood because of our schedules in the past year or so.

But at work there was a donation run and we went in and she dropped a pint or two in their hands. They told her the next time she would be eligible to donate was February 14th. We opened our schedule for the next day off after that date and scheduled her an appointment at one of the local hospitals, 2:30pm.

Well, unfortunately my wife came down with an infection a week before the donation period and she called to reschedule it. It was now the end of March, plenty of time to heal.

Also plenty of time to catch a cold, two days before the donation time. They told her they’d just have to pitch her blood anyway, so let’s shoot for April, instead.

And there we were at Tekko. The Tuesday after Tekkoshocon we were scheduled to head to the hospital at 2:30pm so the wife can donate blood.

Tekko’s over, we get Monday to rest, and Tuesday afternoon we go into the Hospital.

Now let me take a moment to tell you a little story about this hospital.

Please, don't?

Please, don’t?

A few years ago I shredded my ankle in a fight. It was a bloody fracas, a bar room brawl with knives and clubs and baseball bats covered in nails. Actually it was a sparring match in a dojo, but that’s beside the point.

Point is I went to this Hospital, we’ll call it…screw it we’ll call it what it is: St. Clair Hospital. Apparently their banners say it is rated #2 hospital in the country or some crap like that.

Well I went in there using an old cane to support myself because I only had one functioning leg. I checked in and they told me to hobble to the end of the hall and wait in the waiting room.

Yeah…hobble. They didn’t offer me a wheelchair and just kind of glared at me until I stood up and hopped out of the room. So I hobbled to the end of the hall and found an empty seat in the packed waiting room.

Three hours later a nurse finally comes out and says my name. Now it’s back down the hall. After I hobble to the door he looks at me and says, “Do you…need a wheelchair?”

“Yeah, that’s be nice, actually.”

“Okay…go sit back down and I’ll get you one.”

…seriously. At least he actually came over to my seat and helped me get in the chair when he brought it out.

So he takes me back into the radiology department, and they tell me to climb onto this high table and brace my leg on it. They take a few x-rays and tell me they’ll be out once the x-rays are developed.

Now I’m no expert on x-rays, but it was another three hours before anyone came out. They gave me a pair of crutches and some kind of plastic thing that they called an air-cast. They told me to suck it up and sleep it off, it wasn’t broken so I should be able to walk fine in a day or two.

Wouldn’t even give me a work excuse for Monday (I had hurt it on Friday and gone to the Hospital on Saturday when I realized it was more serious than the sprained ankle I had thought it was).

Sunday evening I get a call telling me they were wrong, someone reviewed the x-rays and said the ankle was totally shredded. I need to make an immediate appointment with an orthopedic if I ever wanted to walk again.

Skip ahead seven years and I’m back at this terrible hospital so my wife can donate blood. We pull up to the parking lot and see a fancy sign…

 

Parking Rates: 
0 - 2 hours:  $2.00
2 - 4 hours:  $3.00
Greater than 4 hours: $4.00
Lost tickets will be charged the full $4.00 rate.

Yeah…I know of some places that pay people to donate blood. Not St. Clair Hospital, though. You want to save someone’s life? Better bring your pocket book, bitches!

So we go in and walk up to the front counter. The wife had talked to three different people from Central Blood Bank to schedule this appoint. She was finally healthy enough to donate blood, again!

We had been told to just go to the hospital and that ‘we would be able to find it once we got there’. Unnecessarily vague, but okay. We walked up to the information desk and told them my wife had a 2:30 appointment to donate blood.

This was the look I was given.

This was the look I was given.

Yeah, apparently the blood bank only operates there on Saturdays and like one Friday a month, maybe two. They called around and nobody had any idea what we were talking about. No blood drive today. No idea why three employees of the blood bank told us to go there at 2:30pm on a Tuesday; there had never been a blood donation drive on a Tuesday as long as any of the four people at the front desk had worked there.

Now I’m perturbed. I’m going to get charged $2.00 to be told that blood bank employees are idiots? Great! I love this hospital even more than before.

Now, to their credit they told me that you don’t get charged for parking less than 20 minutes. And when we pulled up to the gate to leave the guard just hit the switch to let us out.

I should have known the blood bank employees were off their rockers when the nurse in charge of the blood donation drive that we did manage to be part of remarked that she couldn’t tell the difference between a pigeon and a goose, “I don’t know anything about birds, I just know they’re scary.”

Lives depend on these people? Yeah…check please, I’m done!

~RCS

Tekko 2015 Merch Post

The wife’s been keeping the site going with her nifty comics while I finished the videos and this stuff.  This should be the last official post on Tekko 2015.

So as has become the norm after a convention, I’m putting up all the nifty stuff we got this year.  First of all, a quick rundown of the things we got Far East Boutique in its going-out-of-business sale.  We got an awesome wall fan (it takes up half the couch in the photo), two samurai statues, a bag of assorted bento box parts, a nifty coin-purse kind of bag, and a cute kitty bag to go along with the kitty clutch purse the wife got last year from them.

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Next up are a few cute little chibi post-card style pictures made by Lily Cernak.

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Castiel because we’re huge Supernatural fans, Dr. Horrible because that’s one of the best short series I’ve ever seen, and Loki because he arouses my wife. 😉

And from the same booth as Lily was Alan Cernak.  I’m not sure which one did the following pictures, but they aren’t listed on Lily’s deviant art so I’ll just assume it was Alan for now.  Either way, I like the old woodblock-style art of the latter two a lot.

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Here’s a Fluttershy scarf from Nightengale Needles.  They caught our eye because they had some pride stuff on their stall and then the wife looked at the scarves.  It’s long enough that you can actually wrap it around you and make the ends hang at your hips like a cutey mark.

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And here we have, clockwise from top-left, the Goddesses of Eternity, Death, Moon, Remembrance, Sun, and Rebirth by Carriations.

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And when we passed Miho Studios she was having a sale on prints, buy two get two free.  So we got four prints.  The wife wanted the Jack Frost one because she got insta-horny looking at it.  She keeps asking to put it in a glass frame so she can kiss it without ruining the picture.  And of course, Thor and Loki holding hands in the first picture.

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Those were the two we bought, then the free two were Queen Elsa from Frozen and Sailor Moon.

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The last store we hit was Knights of the Classroom.  They make all things chainmail and have a pretty cool presentation available, too.  When the wife was working with the Boy Scouts she got to witness one of their educational shows.  We bought a set of earrings and a new stretch-chainmail bracelet for the wife.

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At that point we ran out of money, so we left the Exhibition Hall before we could try to buy anything else.

So that’s everything we bought this year.  Walked away with some nifty art and an armload of oriental knickknacks, so the merch was definitely a good end to the weekend.

~RCS

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