Sobering News This Morning

I don’t normally post such things but I feel, more and more, that I need to include something with a little more substance than just my running, my planning, my dolls and bracelets and my goth lifestyle out to the world and HOPEFULLY someone reads it, listens, researches it and my post has made a positive difference. Going into 2017 I think you’re going to start to see a lot more of this from me.

Sobering news this morning as CNN reports that officers shot and killed in the line of duty this year has INCREASED 68% over last year alone. 68% folks. Think about that for a moment. When you accept a job, you do it knowing certain pros and cons. When you’re in EMS you expect that you are going to deal with drunks, with drug addicts, with those that abuse (on all levels) and don’t view laws or rules as necessary. If you are a nurse, a doctor, and EMT you know that there is a very minuscule risk that something ‘life threatening’ can happen to you – blood born pathogens, aggressive patients, etc. When you’re a firefighter you go in knowing that one day the fire -may- win and knowing that you will at least inevitably deal with it reminding you at some point that it’s a force of nature. But when you’re an officer, you go in knowing that someone may attack you solely with the purpose of killing you because of what you represent now. You accept that there are those that wish to do you harm, and even possibly eliminate your life solely because you accepted the uniform and badge. But you do it because you want to make a difference…..you want to help the victims of those that I mentioned above, you want to protect those that are innocent from those that want to watch the world burn even if that means your life is forfeit. Think about that for a minute.

Then remember this article as proof of that in this day and age. 68% increase in officers SHOT to death. The Officer Down Memorial Page (OMDP) reports that as of right this minute, there are a total of 137 officers who have been killed in the line of duty (meaning on shift) since the 1st of the year. Of those, 64 have been from gunfire alone. More than DOUBLE the number of officers shot and killed this year, year to date.

As we go into this holiday season, please do me a favor. Thank an officer…better yet more than one. If possible go to your local law enforcement department and do something positive to show your gratitude for the check that they’ve signed when they swore that oath and accepted that badge. Our law enforcement, day after day, is making the same promise that our military does in offering up their lives for ours to ensure peace still holds true in this county over chaos. SHOW them that you appreciate that sacrifice and please, PLEASE realize that is exactly what it is. Law enforcement isn’t what most of us think it is, or even what we think it SHOULD be anymore. Until we as a society recognize that, and take the necessary steps to also protect those that watch over us, I fear that these numbers will unfortunately continue to grow.

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New Doll Available!

After a bit of a hiatus, I have started repainting dolls again for offer in my Etsy shop! This one has been done for a bit, but life is finally allowing me to post her. For some reason, I really love working on freckled dolls, and they also seem to be pretty quick sellers for me which tells me that others like them as well!

I have another work in progress (WIP) that Ishould be finishing up soon and hope to get her photo’d this weekend for posting.

Thanks and enjoy!

 

 

 

Planners, Stickers and Organization, OH MY!

Tonight I set about the seemingly daunting task of tackling, honestly, customizing my planner. I had a Day Designer Blue Sky Edition Weekly/Monthly Planner that I got from my beloved Target. Thing is LARGE and bulky and I even went and got a larger purse to try and accommodate the beast that is the 8 x 10 mass of hourly, daily and weekly loveliness.

But alas, as is generally true with the ghosts of planners past, I started to use it and discovered that either I don;t know how to effectively  use these things, or else it was just NOT the right style of planner for me and I needed something different. Then a friend made mention that she was printing planner stickers out and using them to customize her planner because (paraphrasing) if it’s not interesting or pretty she isnt going to open it. That’s when the light dawned on me! I just need to pretty-fy my planner.

Thanks to Etsy, there isn’t a drought on those offering interesting, fun, elegant, kawaii, or just plain WEIRD planner stickers. You can purchase them pre-cut or purchase the downloadable printable variety (though as an Etsy seller myself, PLEASE make sure you read the descriptions to know which you’re getting and what to expect!)

My first run selecting,cutting and use the stickers didnt work out to well. Again because first time and because I’m using this BEHEMOTH of a planner! Now, I overall like the layout of the Day Designer. I like being able to track things hourly because I will use that for things like doctors appointments, product launches on things I’m interested in, etc. I also like that they have daily quotes in there, and a gratitude portion. I just didnt need SO much space.

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So I went out and got myself a smaller, almost mini version.

Now, being September 29, I shall tonight tackle printing and cutting new stickers to be placed carefully and lovingly into my most favorite month of all – OCTOBER! Of course, the options are rather endless and make it so I’m a bit indecisive about which ones, exactly, I want to invest in and use. But, as Tatiana would say…CHOICES!

I have so much to get organized, new prospects on the horizon and things I want to get in order.

I’ll post my updates once I get them accomplished and let you know how it went. In the meantime, if you’re a “planner person” – swear by Happy Planner or Erin Conden, want to be a planner person or else just have some ideas, please share!

 

Cross-Posting from Professional Goth – New Vlog! Larger Gauge Jewelry

So over the weekend I had what could have been a potential set back with my helix piercing – it wasn’t responding well to the 20 gauge jewelry we used at all and was trying to heal by swelling around and over it. This is something that does occur regularly in some individuals, and given my metal sensitivities and the sheer fact that my physiology should probably be studied by science its not necessarily unexpected.

I went into my lovely and beautiful piercer, April, to have her assess and provide a plan of action. We decided to install a larger gauge labret bar with a flat back to allow room for swelling and assist my cartilage with draining properly. There was almost instantaneous relief and results and two days later I’m already seeing a significant decrease in swelling, redness, and an increase in drainage and a return to what my natural ear looks like.

Wanted to get some immediate thoughts about the process of putting in a larger gauge bar out there for others in case you’re in a similar situation!

New Vlog! Cross Posting – Piercing Update, Planners and Make Up

I posted a new vlog for your viewing pleasure!

Last night I discussed how my piercings are healing and what they are doing. So far so good, though they of course are throwing me for a loop here and there. I also touched on one of my newer obsessions, which is planner organization! I have ALWAYS had a think for stickers – for those of us that grew up in the 80’s collecting stickers was an actual thing and I have to say, I still love it. This just makes it adult acceptable on a whole new level and when you add it to the fact that I happen to be a sort of connoisseur of office supplies….well, even better!

I do NOT recommend purchasing printable planners sets though unless you have AMPLE amount of time and patience to cut the damn things out yourself. I spent a good near part of 2 hours cutting out the two sets I purchased. Wont be doing that again. Far more patient to wait for them to come to me pre-printed and cut in the mail I think.

But without further ado…

Reposting from my other blog – Professional Goth (for all things gothy, professional goth, and finding my way in a professional world!)

Did a quick little video last night that got finalized today for everyone to see! Got to review some products that I have wanted to try out (and still search for the ever elusive and highly recommended Tarte Shape Tape Concealer!) as well as some thoughts on things I’m trying to accomplish and get organized. So much going on in my head to get out. Thank you for following along and please remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel to get updates on new videos and view new content!

Thoughts on Kaepernick, Patriotism, Law Enforcement, and Race in the US

I don’t generally post things of a polarizing or contraversay-esque nature on my boards. I tend to focus more on internal development, progress and stay away from opinion editorials; especially on subjects that may ellicit a lot of negative push-back. But something that has come up a lot lately is Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49er’s, and he has certainly caused a ruckus.

If, for some reason, you’ve been under a rock and haven’t seen the plethora of reports lately on the subject, Kaepernick refused to stand during the regulatory playing of our nation’s Anthem during the team’s pre-season games. I don’t watch football, and even I have heard about, followed and read into this particular news nugget.

His reasoning is “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” (source: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem)

His comments referenced the shooting and subsequent killing of various African-American individuals by law enforcement – something which some feel is murder and others view as law enforcement either protecting themselves, others or following approved levels of protocol for actual/potentially violent situations. My opinion on which it is for the sake of this discussion is irrelevant.  His action, or lack of as the case may be, is his form of protest.

Now, there has been plenty of discussion surrounding this, as well as recently his choice to wear socks depicting cartoon styled pig wearing police hats during practices. (source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/49ers/2016/09/01/police-reaction-colin-kaepernick-pig-socks-san-francisco/89715672/) The socks, he’s explained on his personal Instagram, are something he’s been doing for a while and are worn during practice – not during the playing of the game itself – though it’s called into question the NFL’s stance over all on law enforcement when the Dallas Cowboys were denied the ability to wear decals on their helmets in honor of fallen officers and their support of Beyoncé’s Half-Time Performance during last year’s Super Bowl which appeared to be a sort of homage to the Black Panther Movement. Honestly however, if it’s practice than the NFL doesn’t truly have any legs to stand on, as they can wear what they like for practice rounds be it on or off the field. If he tries to wear them during a game, where uniforms are regulated – then it would be comparing apples to apples with the Dallas Cowboys (which, in my opinion, should have been allowed to do what they wished – though I also see the NFL’s stance of being consistent with their requirements for game day rules.)

There have been numerous posts on social media of prior fans, or rival teams fans, burning his jersey in counter-protest to his comments and actions. His patriotism as an American has been called into question. Comments akin to him leaving the country have been rampant in reply.

Which, I understand. But will also rather bother people I think is that I also understand where he is coming from as well. To clarify – I don’t agree with his beliefs or opinions and there are some aspects of things that make me stop and think for a moment about his comments and their similarities to things that all of this racial tension is stirring up – but I understand WHY he’s doing it and in all honestly, more power to him for doing so. He is, though many would hate to agree with this, exercising his right and privilege as a citizen of this country to voice his opinion, protest an injustice he feels is taking place and while using his celebrity and position – do it PEACEFULLY on a national scale to illicit conversation, debate and hopefully POSITIVE change for this country.

There were those that were claiming he was being disrespectful of our country, our flag and those that serve. Sure, I understand and see that point. But I myself never state the words “under God” when I recite our Pledge of Allegiance because I don’t agree with it; it wasn’t how the pledge was originally written and I whole heartedly feel there needs to be separation of church and state as the original Founding Fathers intended. (That is obviously a whole other discussion for another time) but that’s in itself a sort of silent protest – and one that many would claim was disrespectful of our country, and those that serve.

Kaepernick has clarified his stance – in particular surrounding those that serve in our military – during this past weekends game where instead of sitting, he took a knee. (source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/sport/nfl-preseason-49ers-chargers-colin-kaepernick-national-anthem/index.html) He means no disrespect to those that have fought and died for his very right to do exactly what he’s doing – and I commend him for that as much as I do his realization that needed to be clarified. Now, the comments I think are interesting are the ones where he states he has two uncles and various friends that are in law enforcement – which to me somewhat harkens to those that get riled up when someone states that they have family/friends who are black. To me, it simply shows how EVERYONE attempts to justify their actions against those that disagree with them and we ALL need to learn something through that.

But, this whole controversy does bring up some excellent and thought provoking points. In addition, I believe more and more of those that agree with Kaepernick will start to do the same as he has – and you can agree or not with their reasons. That is the glory that IS our country.

He can, and should, do exactly what he’s doing. More to the point, he’s literally doing it in a way that is beneficial – it’s peaceful, it’s obviously bringing attention nationally to the issues he wants to shed more light on, and he’s also doing it in part to protect the same said friends and family of his that are in law enforcement from those that would ultimately tarnish and disrespect the profession while hopefully fostering more equal and civil race relations in a country which OBVIOUSLY hasn’t disintegrated racial boundaries are well as it thought it may have through previous generations. There is far too much finger-pointing and lack of responsiblity on BOTH sides of the coin for it to be any one issue or reason – but again, that’s a conversation best left for another topic.

Those yelling for him to be fired – well, you have every right to that opinion, but you certainly don’t have the place to call for it nor should you. In all honesty, by his very action, he’s honoring the ideals that our men and women over the years have fought for – and indeed is doing it in a far greater way then any riots or violent protests would. He shouldn’t lose his job for his beliefs, as he’s not in a position which warrants being impartial. Sure, he may be a role model – but honestly I would FAR rather a children look up to someone willing to do something like this instead of the alternatives we’ve witnessed.

My thoughts are this – there are LEO’s who make mistakes and, given the nature of their profession, the outcomes of those mistakes can be deadly – lest I remind you that can go in EITHER direction. They know this. They accept this. They still go out there and do what we civilians expect of them. There are, as with any profession, a miniscule percentage of officers that are ‘bad’, ‘crooked’, ‘power hungry’. But of the roughly 700,000 officers in this country, we’re talking literally about a handful numerically and again, in this profession the unfortunate side of that is that the other 99.5% of officers, like Kaepernick’s uncles, who ARE doing this job for the right reasons, get painted with a broad and disastrous brush. One that they (the 99.5%) as well would like to eradicate.

We all, regardless race, gender, orientation or religion, have the right to voice our displeasure with the system and we all have the ability and resources to affect change – in either a positive or negative direction. We all can agree that there are aspects within both law enforcement, our racial issues and within certain subcultures that need to be addressed and corrected in a way that will be BENEFICIAL to everyone in question – not one person or group over another. We can also all agree that no one person or group has all the answers. If we did than we wouldn’t continue to be here. But we all need to LISTEN to BOTH sides of the equation before any resolution can be had. Until we do that, no progress can be made in EITHER direction.

I certainly don’t have all the answers either. But what I can say for certain is that the next few years, or even decades, will be a roller coaster and that in many ways, we’re going through a sort of renaissance in this country. One that I can only hope will bring about a more empathetic, positive and genuinely even country – both for those in law enforcement and how they are able to properly do their required jobs with all of its ugliness, trauma and stress, and for race relations so that we can be the nation we espouse ourselves to be. The USA is still the greatest nation in the world, I truly believe that. We have the resources available to make it better – if we take the time to listen.