we volunteer

nothing to lose, pt 2

[PART ONE HERE; collab with @pipedream]

summary: andrew minyard and nathaniel wesninski meet on the titanic in 1912. neil’s a rich runaway who’s finally being made to atone for his crimes against the family, and he feels like there’s nothing left to live for- until andrew promises to show him that there’s more to life than just survival.

word count: 5444 / 11836

trigger warnings: major character death, homophobia, suicide, guns, knives, violence, murder, death

  • there are voices approaching the cabin, so with a quiet question, neil takes andrew’s hand and leads him to the elevators, running to evade the valet
  • he chases them, no doubt on orders by riko, through the halls and down elevators
  • neil feels lighter in a way he’s recognizing only proximity to andrew makes him feel
  • he tightens his grip on andrew’s hand as they make their way through the ship’s incinerators and when andrew glances back he looks years younger than usual
  • somehow, they make their way to the cargo, and neil is done with running. all of his life, he’s been running, and even though it’s different with andrew by his side, it’s time to stop, just for a while
  • he sees andrew’s eyes catch on a car, one more expensive than andrew would probably ever be able to afford, so neil slides into the back of it with as much pomp and circumstance as he can muster. it’s the closest thing he can do to granting andrew permission to get into the car
  • andrew looks around, as if checking they haven’t been followed, then seems to concede that the back of a car isn’t a bad place to hide for a short while, and he climbs in next to neil
  • the silence isn’t tense, but it’s heavy, and neil doesn’t want to waste a second with andrew if they’re numbered
  • “tell me about your family,” he says, because they’re the only thing he really knows about andrew, and he doesn’t know enough
  • andrew doesn’t seem offended by the question, but he gives neil a considering look nonetheless. “what will you give me for it?”
  • “are we doing a truth for a truth again?” neil says, the hint of a smile on his lips. “anything you ask.”

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Switch purchase? Switch jobs.

Back in 1983 my high school library was a bit of a joke. It seems we never had more than 2 copies of any book the county put on its required list. What this meant was that everyone was frantically trying to get the same books to complete papers with. Before I could drive this meant getting my poor mom to drive me to every library in the area.

One day our library started asking for volunteers to do a fundraiser to get more materials and namely more copies of the required books. Some of us jumped on board and sold everything from donuts to coupons. We would also hold bake sales, car washes, and etc. We were elated when at the end of the drive we had far exceeded the goals.

We were all promised that we would have our dreams realized over the summer. The school year starts up and we are giddy to see the new books. Imagine our dismay when we get into the library and find that most of the books are gone. Bare shelves glared at us as we went along the rows. Thats when we noticed that the holy grail of the library was also missing - the card catalog file. In its place was two computer terminals - mind you not computers.

We went to the front desk and asked the librarian what was going on. She had decided to get a fancy computer system ‘to make her job easier and cut down on theft’. We were stunned because we did not have a theft problem. Certainly some books would get lost or damaged but not very many. The books were mostly missing because they had been sent to a company to 'have security embedded in them’. The worst part is the librarian overspent and therefore, you guessed it, was not able to purchase more books.

We felt the shame of being used, lied to, and screwed over. It was at this point that we knew revenge was in order. It took myself and a couple of my fellow computer nerds 15 min to figure out what they had done to the books. The security tag was a RF tag (like at stores) on the card pocket of the book. The new cards themselves had metal foil in their center. Without this foil the tag would receive energy from the newly installed gates at the library door and set off an alarm.

I decided to test our knowledge. I grabbed a reference book, threw a gum wrapper in the pocket, shoved it in my bag, and hit the door. I passed out the door without a peep from the gates. After that day we threw our plan into action. We would steal as many books as we could and hide them in any location we could find.

At first we used storage rooms by boxing them up and soon ran out of space. We then started using empty lockers and even putting them in the ceiling on top of divider walls. By the end of the year the librarian was getting frantic. She could not balance her inventory with the new computer system and she was being called out on it thanks to our many complaints. Another genius move was to have then boxes labeled as other textbooks and sent to the warehouse over the summer. This was easy to do since WE were the volunteers that wrote a program to do it and would print the labels.

The librarian ended up losing her job and being investigated for fraud since there seemed to be some missing funds as well. Over the summer the county finally spent the money to fill our book request due to the uproar. It was not until a week before the start of school that they started discovering library books in the extra boxes several teachers received.

This was just the beginning of us getting revenge on some of the teachers. In the end we got our revenge and the original items we worked so hard to get.

Extra: the books never left county property. We boxed most up and sent them to the warehouse. They came back next year.

Also the company finished the other books they had and sent them back midway through the year. This worked to our advantage because the librarian could not see how many were gone until they placed all the secured books on the shelf from the final shipment.

6

Cassian Andor Appreciation Week  
Day One :: Favorite Scene
“We’d like to volunteer,” Cassian said.
She didn’t trust him. She didn’t trust anything the galaxy could throw at her. “Why?”
He smiled, and it died on his face. “Some of us—” He hesitated, waited until Jyn’s gaze had met his. “—most of us, we’ve done terrible things on behalf of the Rebellion.” He spoke matter-of-factly, as if it were the most obvious truth in the world. “We’re spies. Saboteurs. Assassins.”
Jyn spared another glance at the soldiers. They were looking at her, one and all, as if awaiting judgment.
Was this a confession?

This is Sister Norma Pimentel, the Executive Director for Catholic Charities in the Rio Grande Valley. She’s standing in the Parish Hall of the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, which she converted to a makeshift supply center for migrant families in 2014. At that time the surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America had overloaded Border Patrol facilities, and they were releasing families where the parents were present in order to make room for the unaccompanied kids. 

Sister Norma opened this center so those families would have somewhere to come for clothing, food, water, and showers, before continuing their journey. 

“We welcome them the moment they walk through those doors of Sacred Heart Parish Hall. We have our volunteers clap and say ‘welcome, bienvenidos.’ And just that moment starts a transformation of the family where they feel for the very first time they matter, that their lives are important to others…And they feel overwhelmed with gratefulness because of the fact that for the very first time in their journeys, of what they’ve been through, they finally arrive to a place that’s caring and compassionate. And the volunteers are wonderful in making sure they get everything they need so that they can truly restore their dignity after the great journey and hardships that they went through.”

– Ravenna 

(Photo: Samantha Balaban/NPR)

reasons why my middle school english teacher is one of the most #iconic people i’ve ever met

  • added me on facebook when i was a junior in high school with the message, “i was wondering if it was okay to add you, and then i was like, eehhhhhh screw it, she’s not my student anymore”
  • when i made a status saying “i used to be a straight a student… now i’m not even straight…” she commented “same”
  • once got an entire class period off-track because she wound up explaining the difference between being trans and being a drag queen to a group of 12 year olds (this was when i decided i liked her)
  • commented “YAS” when i shared the carmilla season 3 trailer
  • had a reputation for being a hardass but let me eat lunch in her classroom when i didn’t have any friends
  • also she wasn’t even really a hardass she just expected people to do the work???
  • an actual conversation we had: “Can I use this book for my book report?” “You’re supposed to use an ‘age-appropriate’ book out of the school library, this is for adults. “*tiny susie groaning*” “I know. It’s a stupid rule. You should be able to read what you want, you know?”
  • one time my friend and i were at a local arts festival, which just meant it was a gathering place for stoners, gays, and broke college students, and we got shanghaied into volunteering to pick up trash, which naturally meant the second we were alone, we started fucking around and NOT picking up trash, and when we were swordfighting with the trash-pick-uppers, someone yelled “HEY! GET BACK TO WORK!!” and we both jumped and turned around and my middle school english teacher was there, with her girlfriend and a huge-ass bong, laughing her ass off and going “i’m kidding, i’m kidding! what’s up, susie?”

truly an icon, tbh

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Planned Parenthood has 9 million activists, supporters, and donors working to defend and advance reproductive rights. Here are some of the stories from our volunteers in North Carolina. 

Learn more about jobs and volunteering opportunities at Planned Parenthood here >>

anonymous asked:

what is it exactly that all the lawyers at airports are doing? i understand that theyre there for refugees/immigrants/those affected by trumps ban, but how can they help them in that moment at the airport?

Great question! 

What happens is that information has to get to the attorneys on the first level. We do that multiple ways: we have attorneys (like me) and translators who roam the international gates, asking if people have been waiting for 1.5-2+ hours for their family or friends. If they say yes, we know that that’s kind of at the sweet spot for someone who may be stuck in secondary inspections, or detained, and do our intake. Another way attorneys get the information is that their numbers have been circulated enough that people who are traveling or have family traveling call ahead and let the attorneys know when someone’s flight gets in, and other pertinent information. Also, we coordinate with other groups that are involved, such as CAIR and other immigrants’ rights groups, who get us info from people who have contacted them about either traveling or having family/friends travel into that airport, at what time, why they might be at risk, and so on. 

All of this information gets catalogued into a database (we’ve been using GoogleDocs because in the beginning, especially, it was such a loose operation of volunteers that we needed any system in place ASAP.

What happens then is that the attorneys work in different groups. On teh first level, you have to triage it. Some cases get priority: obviously, five children from Jordan on visitors’ visas who have been held for 6+ hours get priority over a single male from, say, Mexico, who has been held for 2 hours. These are judgment calls by the attorneys. It sucks, but not everyone can be first.

Other attorneys reach out to Customs and Border Patrol about certain people being held in secondary inspection or detainment. They get whatever information they can out of them, and keep the pressure on them to let them know attorneys are nearby and watching. 

A lot of it is fact-finding; pregnant women, for example, coming in on a visa may first be required by CBP to get checked out by a doctor. Attorneys have sources in place with nearby clinics and the like to be able to know when people are being taken there, and that way they can advise worried family members and sometimes even speak to the people directly. 

Some peopel are being detained. At a certain point, a right to counsel is triggered. For green card holders, for example, they have a right to due process. Someone traveling on a visa, not so much; they’re treated different as far as what their rights are and what attorneys can do for them. For green card holders, LPRs, US citizens, etc, attorneys get back there and give them advice: for example, don’t sign that I-407, dont’ sign that waiver, etc, etc. (An immigration attorney knows this part of it best; I am not an immigration attorneys so i cannot give advice about this.)

Part of it involves negotiations with CBP and other agencies, to get the person out. A big big part of it, though, is honestly just keeping the pressure up. It’s important, very important, that attorneys are staffed at national airports from 6am to midnight (which is the OHare schedule). Constant attorney presence, or near constant, tends to help law enforcement behave better. Not that they behave perfectly and follow the law 110% adn stop being jerks and racists, but they fear, rightfully so, they won’t be as easily able to get away with it. 

Other attorneys, when they know someone is being detained, write motions (injunctions, declaratory jdugments) or petitions for habeas corpus, which are meant to get a person who is being detained subject to immigration laws out of custody ASAP. These get taken directly to federal judges who then have to make a decision. In Boston it was reported that tonsof attorneys, mostly female, and many dressed in their Saturday night out on the town outfits, entered a federal court house at 10pm with motions and petitions for the duty judges. 

Attorneys also help coordinate the media push, which is very important because reporters on the ground are able to share stories quickly adn update as they go. Shaping the narrative is a huge part of any large scale national fight, and attorneys can be very skilled in that manner. For me, personally, I was trained that way by my boss. I know how to deal with the press, even though I hate it. Think themes, speak in soundbytes, answer hte question YOU want to be asked, not the question you were actually asked. Things like that. 

I have the pleasure of being friends with teh woman heading the operation at Dulles. Fantastic immigration and criminal defense attorney, and an Afghani Muslim woman. CBP at Dulles were the worst in the nation - they ignored the court order my friend was able to obtain (with the work of the attorneys that worked under her) that staed that they had to let attorneys back there to see the people being detained. 

She did get a brief chance to speak to people, though, eventually, and if there’s anything we attorneys are good at, it’s synopsizing complicated advice and rights and options into succinct orders people can follow. “If they try to drag you onto the plane out of this country,” I know she said to those being detained at Dulles, “you sit your ass down on the floor.” 

This is kind of a broad overview; I’m sure an  actual immigration attorney can flesh out the legal advice part better. I was not there as an immigration attorney; I was there as an attorney to insist. Working for a solo practitioner has taught me vertical representation, and how to do intakes adn gather all necessary info from a stressed and upset person. You’d be surprised, but a lot of attorneys that work for really big powerful law firms don’t know how to do this. At their firms, they know one small part of a case really really really well, but may not know much else. They may not even deal with clients directly. I did notice at ORD, for example, that most attorneys sat there and worked on their stuff, but no one was out gathering information. I think they thought people knew to come over to the McDonalds area? So me and my friend just walked back and forth for hours, doing intakes and getting that information over, which got that part of the process cemented so others coudl replace us as the shifts turned over. 

Attorneys fight this ban in many ways, on many fronts, and the ones at the airports are all volunteers. Immigration isn’t in my bag of tricks beyond the basics, but I can take directions, and I’m happy to work under attorneys who knwo more than I do (because when the tables are turned, other attorneys work under me and do what I tell them to do). We have certain skills, and the ones that are at the airports, we feel called to use them in a way that helps people instead of hurts them. (There are more than enough lawyers who hurt people, including the disgraces to the Bar that are part of this administration.) Hope that helps!

college boyfriend!minghao

Originally posted by mountean

  • bless the cutie that requested animal shelter volunteer minghao, i ended up meshing it with another request for college bf!minghao bc i can do whatever i want
  • sfklasjd jk jk
  • now, minghao has always had a strong connection with animals
  • ever since he was a kid, he always just had this intense empathy for animals, so much so that it kind of drove his parents crazy???
  • like minghao would grieve for hours if he accidentally stepped on a bug, or he’d take a whole hour out of his morning when he knows he has to get to school just to help a momma dog and her pups get somewhere safe away from traffic
  • i mean the boy just loves animals to death
  • loves them more than humans tbh
  • so it’s no surprise that minghao became an avid animal shelter volunteer from high school well into his college career

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Hunk and Lance Appreciation Meta: On the Importance of Support

(I’m crying because I lost the first version of this post, but here we go again)

I have never written something as long as this before, but I had rambled on some time ago about my precious boys Hunk and Lance and their importance on/to the team, especially the role they play in the team dynamic in relation to their bayards and their being Voltron’s legs. I might miss a lot of things as I admittedly didn’t have the time to focus hard on all the eps and comics, so if I gloss over anything, please feel free to point it out. (Also, fair warning as this is long, and may be image heavy. Also, I don’t pride myself on cohesive thinking, but I try my best.)

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ausdogkora  asked:

What's the protocol for when the power goes out at the aquarium? And do you have advice of what to do to keep fish (and filter bacteria!) alive if the power goes out? :)

Okay, staff at the aquarium actually get questions like this frequently from visitors. This is because visitors are often quite shocked to realize that many of the animals they saw during childhood visits are still there, in spite of Hurricane Sandy and all the damage it brought to the Jersey shore. They start asking about how we weathered the storm.

The truth is, we have major plans in place for handling any emergency or power outage. This is how the aquarium staff (at the time of Sandy, I was still just a volunteer!) did so well. By having plans in place and reviewing them, it greatly helps with most issues.

Minor power outages or rolling brownouts are a common enough occurrence during the worst of summer heatwaves or storms, no matter where you live NJ. While modern upgrades and redundancies to the power grid has removed much of the risk of significant power loss, it can happen.

To deal with minor losses, we have a few hidden treasures tucked away. While the building has emergency lighting to assist with human navigation, every free-standing exhibit has a flashlight or lantern tucked underneath. Why? Well, every extra bit of light is important to help us pathetic humans navigate in the dark. We employees and volunteers know our aquarium and the terrain pretty well, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be hazardous in the dark. This means helping everyone get around safely to a secure area or possibly exiting the building if external conditions warrant is priority 1.

These lights are also crucial for our sharks and their tank mates. Successfully keeping larger sharks with fish requires working with their natural tendencies. Sharks tend to be more active with hunting at night. One of the biggest tricks to keeping sharks in aquaria is making sure they have a nightlight. It need not be bright enough to disturb, just bright enough to prevent them from getting into that hunting behavior and starting to look at their tank mates as a possible snack. So, a big job is specifically ensuring that there are lights on our sharks.

Side note : I picture this whenever we talk about power outages and shining flashlights for the sharks. I’ve never experienced a power outage at work, but I have a feeling this will be me if it happens while I’m around the sharks.

Originally posted by oneangryshot

In addition to hidden flashlights, each and every free-standing exhibit has a hidden emergency kit underneath including a battery operated air pump, line, and stone. If the power outage will continue longer than a minor inconvenience, these little battery operated pumps can be set up to keep some circulation and surface disturbance in the exhibits.

This plan for dealing with minor outages is only as good as our prior preparation. So, these pumps and flashlights are frequently checked to ensure that everything is in working order and that they all have good batteries. We have a cache of batteries in our lab, as well as a huge tote of spares.

If a power outage looks like it is going to persist for longer than a few hours, then we have a bit of a challenge on our hands. Temperatures on smaller exhibits (especially terrestrial ectotherms) may begin to slide, and prolonged stagnation of water through filter media may cause the beneficial bacteria to consume all available oxygen (and die). The aquarium has generators on hand for this very emergency. We may not be able to operate ALL life support systems, but our generators can handle ensuring that critical systems are functioning.

Where it gets interesting is our water quality monitoring. In our day to day operations, the aquarium alternates between two systems from Hach and YSI. These are both battery operated, handheld devices with internal lighting that we can use to go from tank to tank and monitor for temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and pH (on the YSI). As we test, the data is displayed on the device in use and is also stored for later retrieval. So, although I need a computer to upload data and make our pretty spreadsheets for logging purposes, I could still easily go around and ensure that each tank is sitting within a reasonable range for general parameters.

Our aquarium has two levels, and our upper level has been known to turn into “tent-city” when a prolonged outage is expected (or a significant storm). Staff has camped out there and spent the night to ensure that nothing goes awry. I am told, however, that the seals make bad roommates (they can be active and noisy at night, apparently!).

We also put in a ton of prep work if we suspect an event will cause us to lose power, such as a hurricane or other major weather event. This may include things like setting up the generators, putting pumps into place, etc. By being ready in advance of the power going out, we’ve already done much of the hard work. I also like to think it gets us in the right mindset for when the power does go out, no different than having a fire drill.

Okay, I think this is long enough for one post. I’m going to make a second one for home hobbyists dealing with power loss.

things i imagine when i’m trying to fall asleep

I live on the Blanket Planet.  The entire planet surface is covered with many layers of soft pink fleece blankets.  Some are loose on one or two ends, so you can slip underneath to sleep.

The Blanket Planet has no native plants or animals, but it does have humans, descendants of settlers who landed long ago.  They do not have much in the way of technology, because the planet provides for all their needs.  In places a pink liquid seeps to the surface and pools; this liquid has all the nutrients and water a person needs to live.  Near the pools there are holes that go far down into the blanket layers, where waste can be tidily disposed of.  (Are the food seeps and the waste holes connected, deep underground, by some kind of microbial food chain?  Best not to think about it.)  Bands of people gather around the nutrient pools and live quiet, cozy lives, wanting for nothing, spending their days resting or playing on the warm blanket landscape.

I am an astronaut.  I have been sent out into Earth orbit with only my mattress as life support.  This is not as bad as it sounds; my mattress provides perfect life support.  Tiny fibers in the mattress, too fine to cause any pain, slip through my skin and attach to my surface capillaries, and gain access to my bloodstream.

The mattress balances my blood chemistry perfectly.  I do not need to breathe, because it removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen.  I do not need to eat, because it infuses me with nutrients; I do not need to go to the bathroom, because it removes all wastes.  It warms and cools me as needed.  (As far as radiation and vacuum hazards, it, um, let’s say there’s a forcefield?)

I float in space, and watch the world turn underneath me, mattress at my back.

I am a different kind of astronaut.  I have been tasked with a long-range, long-shot mission: to find a new habitable planet.  I am part of a new kind of space mission, Operation Grapeshot.  Thousands of volunteers were loaded into tiny single-person capsules and fired out into space in many different directions, toward any possibly useful exoplanet.  We understand that most of us will not make it.  Most of us will die in space, millennia from any potential landing site; many more will find their landing site uninhabitable. But we volunteered because there is a chance, however slim, to be pioneers.

In the meantime, the capsule is comfortable.  It is small, the living space barely enough to turn around in, but well-stocked with food and entertainment.  I can watch any movie ever made, listen to any music ever recorded, as I fly through the void to my uncertain destination.  Or I can simply rest, and savor the luxury of truly free time.

Eventually I will land.  Not today, not tomorrow, but it will happen.  And I will step out onto a surface of soft, pink fleece blankets.

anonymous asked:

Okay. I've officially reached the point with Supergirl where I would like to know who will volunteer as tribute to go to the SDCC Supergirl Panel and do whatever people have to do to ask questions, and ask why the show runners decided to put Supergirl in an abusive relationship. I doubt we would get a satisfactory answer, but it might be public enough to get something done... but at great personal risk to the asker, since who knows what Karamel shippers may do.

AIGHT WE NEED A VOLUNTEER

Alright so please consider this if you’re an American person  commenting “prayers/hope are useless” and “Syria has war, not internet” on supportive posts for the people of Syria:

  • Either come up with a better solution and implement it, or stay off those posts with your cynicism. Explain this to me: Your words carry the exact same weight as a message of support. So if your opinion is that they have no weight, why comment? And if you believe that they do have weight and you comment anyways, ask yourself why you are actively trying to discourage people from supporting peace whilst simultaneously contradicting your own statement.
  • America is home to many people of Syrian descent, Syrian Americans, and others with family and friends in Syria.
  • Why is this important? Because our president is literally spewing an absurd rhetoric of hatred, fear, and vitriol about the nebulous concept of ~Syria.~ Last night in his speech, he dropped the “we are against the people who harmed the Syrian civilians” line alarmingly fast and replaced it with just “Syria.” If you don’t see how scary that is or how damaging to Syrian people who live here, I don’t know what to tell you.
  • Words matter. Words. Really. Matter. I literally don’t understand how you can say that they do not. If you say “words don’t matter,” I will assume that yours, personally, are empty, which is sad. Without words, you wouldn’t know that this was going on, or have the capacity to form an educated opinion on it. Words are a call to action. Words tell people they’re not alone. Words can alienate us or bring us together, and our president is doing his damn best to alienate. I refuse. Because that’s the thing about words, they’re only powerful if you give them power. So give power to words of support and peace. Resist. 
  • Words do not equal inaction. 
  • WORDS DO NOT EQUAL INACTION. 
  • Please stop pretending that countries affected by war have no technology and/or modern facilities. No one is imagining that an injured child is reading these posts and being inspired by them so please just stop with that line, which is clearly meant to make the act of Giving a Damn™ seem like a ~snowflake~ maneuver. That’s why we also donate when we can and volunteer.  But for people to do that, they need to be mobilized. They need to care. And to donate, means are necessary. Not everyone has those means, so please don’t act like those people should just sit down and say nothing unless they can donate or volunteer. That’s absurd. 
  • Peace and hope should not be seen as a part of a party agenda. If you see the majority of the left as soft and weak for being anti-war, go talk to someone who has served in active military duty and ask them if war is something to be desired.

Words matter if you decide they do. So make them count.

TalesFromRetail: My one and only day in retail

Hello there, long time lurker, first time poster.
This is a story that happened two years ago when I was still a university student. During my studies I worked as a waitress sometimes, but never really in retail.
I was active for a student team of a certain charity organisation though, which means we volunteered some of our time for organising events to make money for the charity. Sometimes we would also do so-called ‘work actions’, meaning we would work for an employer for one shift or one day and the employer would give the money we made to the charity. These are quite popular with every kind of student organisation in my city, really.

We did one of those 'work actions’ for a supermarket in the city. There were 6 of us extra workers (in a pretty small supermarket), we were supposed to only stock the shelves and if we were asked questions, we should send the customers to the regular employees. We were also wearing different uniforms from the regular employees and had no name tags.
Still, I got questions by customers every 3 minutes and if I could answer them myself I did, but to the rest I had to explain that I am not a regular employee and then I looked with them for someone who could answer their question. Most people were a bit confused, but patient.
Not everyone though.
I was approached by SL(spaghetti lady) and her boyfriend. By the way, I admit that I could have chosen my words a bit better in the following dialogue.

SL: 'Excuse me? I found this pack of spaghetti. It is ripped open on this side, see? What do I do with it? Does it get thrown away? Or can I get a discount on it?’
Me: 'Ah, I’m sorry, I don’t actually work here. Let me get a colleague, who knows what to-’
SL: 'WELL I DON’T FUCKING WORK HERE EITHER!!!’
She then threw the spaghetti on the floor and stomped off. I heard her boyfriend imitate me ('I don’t work heeeere!’) while following her. Needless to say I had to clean up the spaghetti that had spilled over the whole floor.

So yeah, this was my one day (actually even only 4 hours) of working in retail. I was quite happy it was my only one.
Edit: words.

By: finilain

My Clexa Con Experience

I have taken a few days between the Con ending and now, I figured it would give me time to process what exactly happened that magical weekend… Turns out, it only made the job harder.

To articulate what happened, what I and many who attended the Con experienced- is near to impossible to do without sounding cheesy or ideological. But it was. That’s exactly what it was.

We created a space where everyone was accepted. We created a space where people of all ages, races, sexual orientation, gender identity, and belief system felt loved and accepted. Above all, we created a safe space where people could be vulnerable without fear of judgement. For those three days we had created a sort of Utopua for ourseves; no one fought, everyone was respectful, there was constructive conversations about race, representation, and how we could make our world a better place.

I arrived to Bally’s not expecting much, maybe 200-300 people- what I was met with was a convention center filled and a line that went on way past my wildest imagination. I picked up my camera, slapped on my “staff” badge, and I got to work.

Walking around the convention center I was met with so many beautiful faces. I tried to strike up a conversation with everyone I met before I take the picture- you can look in the eyes of anyone I had taken a picture with over that weekend. It’s my firm belief the difference between a good shot and a great shot is the relationship you build between a subject and yourself, you can see it in their eyes exactly what they’re thinking… If they like you or not, if they’re comfortable or not, if they want to be there or not.

I hope when my photos come out you can see what I saw through that lens… A group of amazing, passionate, beautiful women from all walks of life and all places.

Now getting to what I assume all of you have read this far for: Yes, Katherine, Dominique, Natasha, Elise, Elizabeth, Rachel, Zoie, Sarah, Amy, Jasika, and everyone are some of the nicest, most sincere people I’ve ever met. But I want to talk about a particular couple right now… WayHaught, or Kat and Dom. Listen to me when I tell you- I have never met two nicer, down to earth, smart, beautiful and incredible women. When Dominique talks to you, you feel like you two are the only ones in the room, she engages you in a way that’s almost hypnotozing, she makes physical contact to make sure you know she’s genuinely listening to what you’re saying… And Kat, where do I even begin. If you’ve ever watched an interview or a video of Kat talking, you can hear the kindness in her voice. When you talk to her you feel an almost safety blanket put around you, that she’s there for you no matter what.

The Shoot, WayHaught, and Hollstein panel was absolutely insane- and you could tell thqt the actresses thought it was just as bonkers as we did. I also want to take a moment to recognize all of the amazing panelists/interviewers- you guys made a hard job look easy. And Dana, having Elise and Natasha read from Clexa/Xena and Gabrielle/Carol scripts was one of the greatest things ever done on a panel EVER. It was unbelievable. Everyone I met over that weekend kept repeating the same question over and over… “Is this really happening?”

Yes. It happened.

I also met many people in the industry that I’ve long admired, notably Emily Andras (If you know me well, you know I was on board with Wynonna Earp since day one). I also took her writing class, the central theme of it being a WayHaught wedding- (she knows us too well 👀) and I learned so much valuable writing/industry rules to follow and goals to keep working on that I will never forget… Least of all my favorite piece of advice, “You know you’ve made it the first time you say ‘no’ in the writers room.”

Oh… And did I mention Sara Ramirez showed up? So, let me tell you a little story- on Saturday I worked about 10 hours, just photographing everyone and everything. I realized I had to finish a 5 page paper due for my English class that I had to get in before midnight, so at 10 p.m. I get to my hotel, write my essay and send it in… I then get peer Pressured into going into the “Sinful” party (Thanks Evan and Sam 😜) and didn’t get back to my hotel until around 3:30 am… So I slept in and unfortunately missed the Queer POC representation panel (the one I was really looking forward to) but by pure luck they were doing a part 2 later on! So… I get to the panel, and I use the term panel loosely as it was more of a very large group discussion about everything from race to safe spaces and who shows up? Sara Ramirez in all of her beautiful Bisexual glory. After that, she sort of became a panelist as well- talking about mental health (which hey ClexaCon 2018 how about a mental health panel!) And the difficulties growing up Bisexual and biracial. After the panel the entire room had a group hug.

Believe me when I tell you, Sara is one of the most charming people I met that weekend- and I learned more than I could ever thank her and the panel for. Being a queer white woman I know of many things, I know about mental health issues because I’ve suffered them, I know what it’s like to be in a wheelchair for an extended period of time and the difficulties that entails (and I also know how hard it is to re-learn how to walk), I know about being gay, and I know about having white privelage.

What I don’t know is race, what it means to be biracial, trans, Bisexual, asexual, gender non conforming, and many many other things. And I will never pretend that I do. Because I can’t possibly know what I haven’t experienced. That’s why as a screenwriter and someone who tells stories it was imperative for me to ask the amazing and diverse people in that room what I can do to help tell their stories and if it was okay to ask for them to help me do so, what they wanted to see in strong female characters that represents who they are. They were so gracious and kind, they gave so many wonderful suggestions and guidelines to work on that I will always keep in mind. I didn’t say much during the panel but that was the entire point of being a white woman in a room about Queer POC representation… It was my job to shut up and listen to them. And I’m so glad I did.


To Alexia, Sam, Lisa, Evan, literally ALL of the amazing organizers and volunteers- we have made something that will last for years to come. I hope to see you all next year for ClexaCon 2018, because there’s no way we’re letting this little piece of Utopia go.


-Rachel Kom Fotokru

Originally posted by alyciadebnamgifs