Update on life ||
I was approved for twelve more sessions of physical therapy! My last session went very well and I am finally starting to feel some improvement in the amount of pain and weakness in my arm. I'll be going back every Friday morning just before work, given a new set of stretches and treatments to do at home, and I'll have my progress documented. If I don't improve enough for them I'll likely be refereed for a shot having tried other treatments first. I was told that I no longer have to bind my wrists in braces during work. In fact, the suggestion to do so thanks to the original neurologist was more harmful than good. The problem was never in my wrist, but in a nerve inside my elbow. My fingers are clawed on my right hand and the muscles in my wrist have atrophied so badly that it's contributed to weakness and pain. I have strength building exercises in addition to stretches to help the nerves loosen up a bit. I don't expect to ever recover fully but it will be nice to be able to consider going out and kayaking on the water, doing art for hours on end, and just -working- will be amazing. Thank you for everyone's prayers and well-wishes in this regard!
My sister will, hopefully, be graduating next month with her BA in psychology. She's a little worried right now because her gpa is .06% too low so she's working with the school to find a way to make up for that via extra credit or re-taking a few assignments. When she graduates, she will need to find a job almost right away. Neither of us has a savings built up and her student loans will need to be paid rather than supporting her (and myself) in paying rent on our apartment. We have a new manager and a lot of the changes to the facility have not been positive ones. A friend of ours moved here and is looking for a place. When she inquired after an apartment here, she was quoted $100 more a month than my sister and I pay for the exact same size. We're anticipating a price hike soon and if that's the case, we need to find somewhere more affordable to live. Currently, we're looking into a three bedroom town house so our friend, myself, and my sister can share the financial burden and still have our own rooms to retreat into. (This is a -must- for me. I -need- space sometimes.) My sister likely won't be able to contribute much financially until she can find a job. Myself and my friend will be shouldering the brunt of it but neither of us have been given full time. We both work for the same man, but within different companies. I know if we hit hard times he'll look out for us. He's a very strong character but he cares deeply for his employees and is a God-fearing Christian with a heart of gold. He'll not let us fall on hard times if he can help it. It may be a little tight for a while, but I think if we can just get into a place we'll be alright. We may have to go for food stamps (and I hate even considering that) for a while but I think we'll manage.
Freedom of Religion ||
I wasn't going to comment on this but it's become such a big deal no matter where I go online or even just around my small town that it's impossible to ignore. My state has fallen victim to judicial activism and has thrown the vote of the people out the window along with several others. We as a state, a very blue state mind you, voted to protect the true definition of marriage years ago and have it preserved in our state constitution. We allow civil unions with the exact same benefits and tax breaks but this allowed the churches to refuse services that went against their faith; be them a catholic church, a mosque, a synagogue, or the little baptist church on the corner. It let us co-exist without anyone having to throw their convictions to the side in order to avoid punishment. Of course, the nation heard about the bakers from Gresham. Two women, from Portland, sought out this small Christian-run bakery and drove 40 minutes from a city filled with bakeries that would not only have done their cake but celebrated their lifestyle, to find a small place that held a more traditional viewpoint. The bakers did not decline them, they simply did not want their product, their artwork, to celebrate something that went against their faith. The couple made a national spectacle of this little bakery and people drove for hours to come and protest outside. They recieved death threats, their business was vandalized, and their children were even threatened with their lives. The family had to close their business, take their kids out of public schools, and spent months living in fear of these 'tolerant, open-minded' individuals. They couldn't turn on the TV without hearing some of the most hateful garbage from national news networks and television personalities. All the while the bullies in this case were lifted up as beacons of love and tolerance, they were touted as the victims of hate. Using this whole situation an activist judge with her own investment in this matter over-turned the vote of the people and declared that churches and businesses had to allow these ceremonies through their doors.
Now this nonsense is happening on a state level. These activists are literally shopping for these stories to throw them into the mainstream. It's not promoting love or tolerance, it's promoting fear and hatred.
Here's the thing- these 'hateful people' are artists. They spend hours, days, sometimes even weeks on the products that they provide. As artists, we sit and dwell on the content of the work we do. We look up references, we try to understand the spirit of the work we're doing to that our customer feels like it was made just for them, so it has special meaning and reflects them. In the case of wedding cakes, the cake makers will often spend hours interviewing not only the bride and groom but their friends and family so they can get an idea for color scheme, flavors, and little personal touches that will make the cake perfect for the ceremony. Photographers actually have to be present at the ceremony, surrounded by people celebrating the ceremony, and take photos that they will have to sit and develop. An artist should never be put in a position where they have to be a part of a piece of artwork that makes them feel uncomfortable or conflicted. An artist should never have to make the decision between using the talent that they believe God gave them for a purpose that's clearly against God and his design or putting food on the table for their family. An artist should never lay in bed at night hoping that those death threats are empty threats. A father should never have to worry about his daughter's life because he refused to go photograph a celebration that spits in the face of his beliefs.
Little food for thought in this regard. It's not just Christians refusing service based on their beliefs. A reporter posing as a man requesting a cake for his civil ceremony went into a Muslim bakery and was refused. Where's the uproar? Multiple homosexual-run bakeries refused to make cakes that say "Marriage is between one man and one woman." Where are the social justice warriors crying foul? You know something? Good for those bakeries. Good for the Muslim. Good for the homosexuals. No artist, no person, no business should be intimidated and bullied into violating their convictions. The activists have very pointedly picked out a group of people who refuse to fight back, and I find that absolutely detestable. It shows the true colors of this movement. It's not about love or tolerance, it's not about freedom or equality- they have all of that already. It's about forcing an agenda, punishing those who go against it, and propping them up as a warning to any insurgents that may question them. They ignore the fact that over-seas under the name of another religion their people are being thrown off of buildings or buried alive for their choice in lifestyle.
We've lost the battle for the culture, we know that. Between the judicial activists and the media making martyrs of everyone who's asked to find their business elsewhere we're having our rights to even speak out stripped away from us. At this point we honestly just want the freedom to sit in our corner and live our beliefs. We aren't being given even that much. Instead we're stripped down, our businesses closed up, our churches attacked, our names plastered on the television, we're being tarred and feathered, and we're being told that it's all in the name of love.
I stopped taking open commissions a while ago because of this nonsense. Just my refusal to spend hours drawing something that I felt personally convicted against was a call to arms. I lost friends, I lost respect, I lost customers, and there are places on the web where I can't show my face so to speak. I'm sure I've upset a friend or two with this journal entry but that's the world we live in. You can be open with your opinion- but only if that opinion is that of the mainstream activists. This is not a good road that we're on, people. It's a slippery slope and once we've started sliding down, there's no way we're going to claw our way back up.
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
"The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us."
"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world."
"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
"What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it."
Commissions & Trades I'm waiting on:
Some of these are pretty recent but there are a few that are slowly gathering dust. I'm leaving them up as a reminder to myself (and hopefully the other artists involved).
At this point...these sit here as "Buyer Bewares":
Two character full body lineart from
- My end of the trade is complete as of September 14, 2009
Five Chibis from
- Paid on December 29,2012 | 1/5 received |
Latest ParaChiMar Artwork:
Seriously! How beautiful is this?! I cannot thank
enough for giving Thalion some life this year. He's one of my oldest, most dear characters and she's captured him perfectly. Thank you so much! ;A; He's stunning!
Legacy of Para group on DA!
and myself decided it's about time we start up a group for ParaChiMar: The Legacy of Para. For those interested this group is pretty much just a good place to dump all of our LoP artwork, trades, commissions, and fanart into. I've also made a small stamp collection to celebrate. Check us out. :3
My buddies & Artistic Heros ||
Religion & Politics ||
Role Playing ||