build these walls

9

Wip - Bait/Tackle Shop

I did manage to fix the foundation (did what @baufive suggested and saved the color preset. Had to click ALL of the pylons till one took) but it doesn’t stick. The next time I save and reload the game it’s right back to the original. I’ll just live with it for now. 

In the meantime, don’t y’all want some dead fish carcasses from my refrigerator? lol Had to work with what I have for fishing cc (side eyeing you Sandy @aroundthesims. Just kidding) If I add anymore to the lot it will be too much. It’s set for provisions to be sold  when the time comes. 

Rick Riordan won a Stonewall award today

for his second Magnus Chase book, due to the inclusion of the character Alex Fierro who is gender fluid. This was the speech he gave, and it really distills why I love this author and his works so much, and why I will always recommend his works to anyone and everyone.

“Thank you for inviting me here today. As I told the Stonewall Award Committee, this is an honor both humbling and unexpected.

So, what is an old cis straight white male doing up here? Where did I get the nerve to write Alex Fierro, a transgender, gender fluid child of Loki in The Hammer of Thor, and why should I get cookies for that?

These are all fair and valid questions, which I have been asking myself a lot.

I think, to support young LGBTQ readers, the most important thing publishing can do is to publish and promote more stories by LGBTQ authors, authentic experiences by authentic voices. We have to keep pushing for this. The Stonewall committee’s work is a critical part of that effort. I can only accept the Stonewall Award in the sense that I accept a call to action – firstly, to do more myself to read and promote books by LGBTQ authors.

But also, it’s a call to do better in my own writing. As one of my genderqueer readers told me recently, “Hey, thanks for Alex. You didn’t do a terrible job!” I thought: Yes! Not doing a terrible job was my goal!

As important as it is to offer authentic voices and empower authors and role models from within LGBTQ community, it’s is also important that LGBTQ kids see themselves reflected and valued in the larger world of mass media, including my books. I know this because my non-heteronormative readers tell me so. They actively lobby to see characters like themselves in my books. They like the universe I’ve created. They want to be part of it. They deserve that opportunity. It’s important that I, as a mainstream author, say, “I see you. You matter. Your life experience may not be like mine, but it is no less valid and no less real. I will do whatever I can to understand and accurately include you in my stories, in my world. I will not erase you.”

People all over the political spectrum often ask me, “Why can’t you just stay silent on these issues? Just don’t include LGBTQ material and everybody will be happy.” This assumes that silence is the natural neutral position. But silence is not neutral. It’s an active choice. Silence is great when you are listening. Silence is not so great when you are using it to ignore or exclude.

But that’s all macro, ‘big picture’ stuff. Yes, I think the principles are important. Yes, in the abstract, I feel an obligation to write the world as I see it: beautiful because of its variations. Where I can’t draw on personal experience, I listen, I read a lot – in particular I want to credit Beyond Magenta and Gender Outlaws for helping me understand more about the perspective of my character Alex Fierro – and I trust that much of the human experience is universal. You can’t go too far wrong if you use empathy as your lens. But the reason I wrote Alex Fierro, or Nico di Angelo, or any of my characters, is much more personal.

I was a teacher for many years, in public and private school, California and Texas. During those years, I taught all kinds of kids. I want them all to know that I see them. They matter. I write characters to honor my students, and to make up for what I wished I could have done for them in the classroom.

I think about my former student Adrian (a pseudonym), back in the 90s in San Francisco. Adrian used the pronouns he and him, so I will call him that, but I suspect Adrian might have had more freedom and more options as to how he self-identified in school were he growing up today. His peers, his teachers, his family all understood that Adrian was female, despite his birth designation. Since kindergarten, he had self-selected to be among the girls – socially, athletically, academically. He was one of our girls. And although he got support and acceptance at the school, I don’t know that I helped him as much as I could, or that I tried to understand his needs and his journey. At that time in my life, I didn’t have the experience, the vocabulary, or frankly the emotional capacity to have that conversation. When we broke into social skills groups, for instance, boys apart from girls, he came into my group with the boys, I think because he felt it was required, but I feel like I missed the opportunity to sit with him and ask him what he wanted. And to assure him it was okay, whichever choice he made. I learned more from Adrian than I taught him. Twenty years later, Alex Fierro is for Adrian.

I think about Jane (pseudonym), another one of my students who was a straight cis-female with two fantastic moms. Again, for LGBTQ families, San Francisco was a pretty good place to live in the 90s, but as we know, prejudice has no geographical border. You cannot build a wall high enough to keep it out. I know Jane got flack about her family. I did what I could to support her, but I don’t think I did enough. I remember the day Jane’s drama class was happening in my classroom. The teacher was new – our first African American male teacher, which we were all really excited about – and this was only his third week. I was sitting at my desk, grading papers, while the teacher did a free association exercise. One of his examples was ‘fruit – gay.’ I think he did it because he thought it would be funny to middle schoolers. After the class, I asked to see the teacher one on one. I asked him to be aware of what he was saying and how that might be hurtful. I know. Me, a white guy, lecturing this Black teacher about hurtful words. He got defensive and quit, because he said he could not promise to not use that language again. At the time, I felt like I needed to do something, to stand up especially for Jane and her family. But did I make things better handling it as I did? I think I missed an opportunity to open a dialogue about how different people experience hurtful labels. Emmie and Josephine and their daughter Georgina, the family I introduce in The Dark Prophecy, are for Jane.

I think about Amy, and Mark, and Nicholas … All former students who have come out as gay since I taught them in middle school. All have gone on to have successful careers and happy families. When I taught them, I knew they were different. Their struggles were greater, their perspectives more divergent than some of my other students. I tried to provide a safe space for them, to model respect, but in retrospect I don’t think I supported them as well as I could have, or reached out as much as they might have needed. I was too busy preparing lessons on Shakespeare or adjectives, and not focusing enough on my students’ emotional health. Adjectives were a lot easier for me to reconcile than feelings. Would they have felt comfortable coming out earlier than college or high school if they had found more support in middle school? Would they have wanted to? I don’t know. But I don’t think they felt it was a safe option, which leaves me thinking that I did not do enough for them at that critical middle school time. I do not want any kid to feel alone, invisible, misunderstood. Nico di Angelo is for Amy, and Mark and Nicholas.

I am trying to do more. Percy Jackson started as a way to empower kids, in particular my son, who had learning differences. As my platform grew, I felt obliged to use it to empower all kids who are struggling through middle school for whatever reason. I don’t always do enough. I don’t always get it right. Good intentions are wonderful things, but at the end of a manuscript, the text has to stand on its own. What I meant ceases to matter. Kids just see what I wrote. But I have to keep trying. My kids are counting on me.

So thank you, above all, to my former students who taught me. Alex Fierro is for you.

To you, I pledge myself to do better – to apologize when I screw up, to learn from my mistakes, to be there for LGBTQ youth and make sure they know that in my books, they are included. They matter. I am going to stop talking now, but I promise you I won’t stop listening.”

There’s a lot of shitty, hateful things happening in the world right now. But despite feeling utterly powerless, we should keep marching and talking and drawing and shouting until we’re heard. Don’t be silent, compassion is all we’ve got. Fuck racism. Diversity is beautiful.

#RefugeesWelcome #BuildBridgesNotWalls #StandUpToTrump 🖕

10

Baylor University suspends fraternity after “Cinco de Drinko” bash with sombreros, maid outfits

  • The racist Cinco de Mayo antics have begun early this year.
  • Baylor University’s chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity was temporarily suspended on Monday pending investigations by the university and the fraternity’s national organization, the Dallas Morning News reported.
  • Photos circulating on Twitter showed partygoers wearing sombreros and serapes while DJing, drinking and dancing at the “Cinco de Drinko” party.
  • According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, students reported that partygoers also dressed as construction workers and chanted “build that wall.”
  • On Monday, hundreds of students voiced their disapproval of the party with an on-campus protest, according to the Baylor Lariat, a campus newspaper. The protest was called “Love Thy Neighbor.”  Read more (5/2/17)

follow @the-movemnt

TAURUS: lately life has felt like a carnival ride that you stumbled onto by accident and you don’t understand why everybody else is having such a good time. why everybody else has open-mouth smiles and bright eyes while you’re clutching your lap-bar praying for something to end. it won’t always be like this. the ground isn’t going to perpetually swing around you, stealing your balance and your ability to move as if your existence is something flimsy and disposable. this will all slow down eventually. please stay until then. the view from the top will be worth it.

GEMINI: you’ve taken every offhand remark to heart since the day you were born and your chest has become so heavy that it’s hard to breathe around all of that hurt. you know you don’t have to keep it all hidden, right? storage units exist for a reason: humans were never meant to bear all of their belongings. I know that your statuesque stance is one you’ve been practicing for centuries, but it’s okay to ask for help. nobody is going to be mad at you or think of you as weak for doing so.

CANCER: you’re holding something beautiful and this is the most terrifying thing you’ve ever done. because you’re so used to watching watching eggs roll off the countertop and kisses slip off of your cheek that everything worthwhile seems fleeting. fragile. forced. like the universe is playing a game to see how good you are at playing catch with crystal balls. but you’ve gotta believe in the potential of durability. if you’ve managed to exist for this long without giving up, you must believe in something, and it must be pretty special. don’t lose it now. not after all this time.

LEO: maybe it feels like the april showers will never stop pouring down on you. maybe you keep trying to fix new things with old instruction manuals and end up getting frustrated when the pictures don’t match what’s in front of you. maybe you’re starting to realize that not everything is going to work out the way you need it to and that scares you. it scares you because the last time this happened it almost killed you. but the key word here is almost. you’re more than the rubble you’ve had to sift through and the photographs you’ve had to throw out. you were never meant to burn out. you were designed to endure.

VIRGO: so, you ran away from home. you’re playing hooky from your life because every scenario you’ve found yourself in has ended in blood. and you’re sick of it. you never asked for any of this. but then again, has anyone? I can’t imagine how tiring it must be to build those walls around yourself every morning, before your coffee and your nicotine, before you think about the lover you left behind. have you ever visited the grand canyon? you should. it’s time you found some beauty in what’s below the surface. look at how easy it is to see the sky from here. but please don’t try to fly until you’ve looked down once or twice please.

LIBRA: you ran into the past while crossing the street and you didn’t stop to say hello. were you scared? or were you just waiting for what you abandoned to make the first move? either way, you didn’t say hello and that’s okay. you don’t have to feel shameful about the ugliness of your progress. not everybody’s carriage stays a carriage when the clock strikes midnight. that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real or valuable. you ran into the past while crossing the street and it didn’t hurt you. not this time. not you.

SCORPIO: everybody around you seems to be darting across the universe with their hearts on their sleeves and it makes you feel as though something is wrong with you. as if the molasses town your feet are submerged in is something that you asked for, that you wanted. you know, you don’t have to travel at the speed of light in order to get out of bed in the morning and that’s still something miraculous, especially when every part of you is begging to pull the covers over your eyes and dream a little longer. I’m proud of you for fighting that feeling. I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard.

SAGITTARIUS: I think that it’s time for you to start believing in fairy tales again. do you remember being smaller? looking for magic around every corner? that spark doesn’t leave once you outgrow the disney themed bedsheets and wear holes in the light-up sneakers. nobody needs you to be the grown-up all of the time, it’s okay to let yourself feel lighthearted again. go pick some daisies or buy some gelato. take care of yourself the way you would’ve before the world showed you its shadows.

CAPRICORN: the monsters under your bed have been keeping you awake for months but you don’t have the heart to drive them away. you’ve kinda liked the company. you’ve been throwing them scraps from the dinner table that you couldn’t finish and have taken pleasure in listening to what you couldn’t stomach be put to use. but, baby, you don’t have to be kind to the things that make you shudder in the night. you’re not obligated to give to the things that take and take and take until there’s nothing left. reclaim your bedroom. this, this is yours. it always will be.

AQUARIUS: sometimes you find yourself thinking about the cost of living. how much of yourself you’ve had to trade in order to stay alive. it’s really easy to get angry, when you see that other people have traded so much less and gotten so much more. but don’t let yourself get caught up in the what-if’s because that’s a maze that’ll never let you leave, no matter the strength of the compass you bring with you. forgive yourself for what you’ve had to do to survive. it doesn’t make sense to be ashamed of all you’ve gone through, when everyone else just wants to watch you succeed. we’re rooting for you.

PISCES: you’ve become an expert at mending the bridges that people have burned in your wake and I hope that you see the beauty in that. the talent it takes to reconstruct a pathway between two islands is immense and you’ve forgotten this in all of the excitement. you’ve accomplished great things in such a short time, and it’s breathtaking. truly. when you were born everybody in the room must’ve held their breath, because how could they not see what they were bringing into the world? sure, you’ve caused a few accidents. but you’re working to fix the damage. you’re trying. that’s enough.

ARIES: the clocks have all been telling you that you’re late for figuring yourself out. which is another way of saying that it feels as though time itself has been harassing you because you don’t know who you are yet. and hey, fuck ‘em. time is a construct: while you? you’re here. you’re breathing. you’re taking the alarms and setting them for 12pm because this is your life and you dictate what it’ll be filled with. don’t worry about the calendars or the deadlines. you’ll find yourself when you’re ready. take as many seconds as you need.

band members as things i've heard at school
  • patrick: i may be "tiny," but i can still kick your ass. don't try me bitch.
  • brendon: i'm not gay but i do have a major man crush on nick jonas, not gonna lie
  • someone: i thought it was ryan reynolds?
  • brendon: oh yeah. him too. also harry styles, justin bieber...
  • pete: i haven't slept in three days but i should be fine, ill grab a coffee at lunch
  • pete: *falls asleep on his desk literally 10 minutes later*
  • ryan: sorry i took so long, i was having a breakdown in the bathroom
  • gerard: *whispering* oh my god what the fuck is she thinking? double denim? what is this, the fucking 80's?
  • andy: i love you guys but can you please, please not?
  • someone: build!that!wall!
  • joe, loudly: HOW ABOUT NO, THANKS?
  • dallon: i'd literally rather be dead than hang out with you tomorrow
  • dallon: so yeah sure we can hang out, when?
  • frank: i'm a simple man, i love dogs and i like boobs
  • tyler: you ever come to the realization that school is kinda like prison? we're forced to do things, we have to eat at certain times, we're forced to interact with each other..
  • josh:
  • josh: you just blew my fucking mind
I’ve never stopped loving someone I wasn’t forced to. I don’t get bored with people or fall out of love… I don’t crave excitement or traverse ever expanding social circles… if we are close then you’re one of a select few and I’m content with the status quo pretty much indefinitely.
My head is never turned by someone better looking, my opinions are never swayed by someone more charismatic and my affections are never bought by someone’s wealth… so if I distanced myself from you emotionally it was because you were hurting me over and over until my back was to the wall and I was left with no other option…
Because I’m the kind of person who only ever stops feeling when it hurts too much and my forgiveness has long since run out. Even then, it has always been a gruelingly painful process of systematically shutting down the emotional connection layer by layer for my own protection until there was nothing left; not hate, not anger, just… nothing. So if you didn’t see it coming then you should have because it takes time to build walls and shut people out… And if you’re hurting then I’m sorry but the simple fact is that if you’re on the outside I didn’t put you there… you did it to yourself.