Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NFL Admits Mistake with Husain Abdullah Penalty

You see that thing about the Chiefs player, safety Husain Abdullah, getting a 15-yard “un-sportsman-like conduct” penalty for his prayer in the end zone? Like, what the eff? Seriously, refs? Abdullah is well known to be a devout Muslim, and he had indeed before promised that if he ever picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown, he would “prostrate before God in the end zone.”

To be honest, the penalty probably only happened because it was a Monday Night Football game. Because you know, we don't have religious freedom in America. And the media and referees love the New England Patriots and didn’t want the almighty Pats being shown up. I’m a Patriots fan and I was perfectly okay with Abdullah keeping his promise to his Lord.

The NFL doesn't need any more controversy. He did something perfectly OK with me. It’s not like he did anything negative. The NFL didn't fine him or anything. It was an in-game "un-sportsman-like conduct" call, just a 15 yard penalty assessed on the kickoff. But it’s the very concept behind calling it. For years, you've seen players praise God after great plays. This is no different.

Actually, thankfully, the NFL did respond the right way to the incident...

Read the rest of "NFL Admits Mistake with Husain Abdullah Penalty" on Sports Break!

Understanding and Working on Self-Awareness

When I think about what it means to work on Self-Awareness, it's about the ability to be aware how and why you make particular choices in response to certain things. As I've noted before in my introduction to the seven ideos, it’s about learning what your triggers are, and it's not necessarily learning how to prevent whatever those triggers are. The idea is to learn how to better react to certain situations or how not to react to them at all. But without simply focusing on the negative triggers, you always want to consider what you react positively to, as well. It's figuring out how to balance yourself in a way that you can have a cool approach to everything.

Tempering Your Expectations

One thing that might sound a bit odd at first is that you can actually react too positively to something. Many times in my life I have looked forward to a particular event, whether that be a new show being aired or some big new project being given to me that can net me lots of money.

Well, sometimes that show ends up being a let-down and then you react quite negatively to that disappointment. I'm fairly picky in what I watch, so my disappointment is usually kept to a minimum. But some people really get bent out of shape when their expectations are let down. Fortunately, this is an area that myself I consider that I have a strength. I tend to keep my expectations of television shows and movies to a minimum.

I will go into a film without many preconceptions, which is why I tend to avoid reviews - especially ones with spoilers - before actually viewing anything. It's not that spoilers will necessarily ruin the viewing experience for me, but then I will go into the viewing with more precise expectations than I would have otherwise. Understanding how you handle expectations is one of the first things to do when working on your self-awareness skills. Because now that I've shown you a strength, I will show you a weakness when it comes to my expectations.

Understanding Your Circumstances and Putting Them in the Correct Perspective

As I've worked in freelance writing for some time, I can tell you that many times you're going to have projects fall through for one reason or another. Truthfully, the only expectation that I have with a project is that it will pay me money. I've taken far less in rate pay oftentimes just to get work and this often leaves me feeling like I'm giving away more of myself than I should. Well, if I'm so well-aware that I'm short-changing myself, then why do I do it? Because I have long had the expectation that if I ask too much, I won't get the project. If I ask too little, people will wonder why I'm doing it so cheaply and have the same reaction.

Perhaps I should give a more concrete example. At this moment, I have a pretty big website project that I will be helping someone complete. It's moving an entire website from one platform to another, the latter which the client of mine is more familiar with. But my client is completely redoing his client's website and needs it to be in this other platform because it's what he's more familiar with. This works for me because I'm also well-versed in the platform that the site is being moved into. I have expectations of how easily I can transfer the content and how long that will take me. I have a certain idea how much I will be compensated for that and can adjust any other work that I do accordingly to give myself the most flexibility in completing this rather large project.

But when this project will start I am not entirely certain. The problem is that there's been a serious lull in work for me lately, which is part of the reason why I've been so into personal blogging, something that I dabble in from time to time but not on the full-time basis in which I suddenly have found myself participating. I'm well-aware that I'm afraid of the entire project suddenly evaporating - a fear that I'm not proud to admit that I have. But I have had plenty of past experiences where work was offered and I either mulled over it too long or I didn't really offer much enthusiasm and lost the work. But this isn't that. I'm very enthusiastic because this is going to be relatively easy work for me - it's just going to be extremely time-consuming. As you'll learn in freelance, though, as I work for an hourly rate most of the time and not a flat rate - the more time-consuming the better.

At least I am aware of how I am handling a particular situation. Obviously I should not be banking on this one opportunity, but pickings are so slim right now, as this tends to be the slow season for freelance content work until the holiday season really picks up. You would think there was more call for Halloween content, actually. But of course, the holidays I'm talking about are the ones where you buy a lot of presents that no one really wants anyway. Perhaps I should have made self-control part of the ideos, but Self-Awareness I think can serve as an umbrella for that concept.

Being Aware When Things Are Getting Off-Track

OK, now I've really gotten off-track. See, even I have to work on self-expression! But see, I'm also aware that I get distracted and off-topic from time to time. Was it really that off-topic? Perhaps not. I'm aware of how important a project is to me based on when it is being offered. The other work available to me right now is not all that lucrative to the point that I'm shunning the few measly dollars I'd earn in order to produce this series. I've had a lot of "failed" projects, too, recently. You don't always win and how you deal with failure is going to be discussed a lot when we get to Self-Forgiveness - that's going to be quite a doozy to talk about! That's the one I'm most aware of needing the help on.

So sorry for being a bit scatter-brained about Self-Awareness today, but as you can see, I'm aware of a lot of my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to my understanding of how things affect me. My meanderings around this article were not intentional but are being left intact to demonstrate that I myself have a long way to go in better learning how to self-express - something I claim I'm super good at. But if I meander that much, well I guess a bit more focus is in order!

I really meant to focus on the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of decision making and how aware you are of these things. How have you made some decisions today? Have they been more from the heart or your head? Or did you do something just because you needed a lift?

Trust me, every day, I need to write to satisfy all three. At least I'm strongly aware of that much!

- Ami <3

Photo credit: Pixabay, public domain

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Open for H.U.G.S!

Who doesn't like hugs? OK, there are some out there who don't like hugs much at all - feels that they are a violation of their personal space. Actually, hugs have been scientifically proven to be good for your well-being. But when I say I am open to H.U.G.S, I'm not just talking about physical cuddly embraces.

Recently, I've been watching a lot of my good friends and their friends struggle through some pretty awful hardships. A lot of them, obviously, are far out of the reach of my loving tender arms, so I need some way to be able to bring virtual hugs of a sort to them. As my clever head seems to do, I come up with a lot of acronyms. I don't know how it came to me, but I started thinking of the phrase Humans Undergoing Great Stresses. I think it needs a bit of refining, but let's be honest. I wouldn't have thought it up were I to think it weren't totally necessary. But it's straight and to the point and "Open for H.U.G.S!" just sounds adorable and quite obvious what the intent is.

I don't know if I should start a Facebook group or a whole dang website, or just have it be like #OpenForHUGS or #NeedSomeHUGS. Them hashtags going viral would be nice. But it's something I want to pursue further - it seems a worthy cause. We all need to band together through these critical times of need, brush off the indifference and pure hatred from the rest of the society at our various woes. We must stand together! Sort of like Nickelback said.

Yeah, I said it. I like a Nickelback song! Get at me.

Anyway, I'm always Open for H.U.G.S. And snuggles :)

- Ami <3

Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grumpy Cat to be Voiced by Aubrey Plaza in Lifetime Movie

Of all the celebrity kitties there have ever been, Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat) is easily the most well-known. She's adorable - it bugs me that people still call her a he. Well, now we can have that gender confusion silenced forever as Aubrey Plaza will be voicing our beloved Grumpy Cat in the upcoming Lifetime movie, "Worst Christmas Ever."

Wait, Lifetime movie? I thought we were getting a major motion picture? I think with how absolutely massive the Grumpy Cat meme has become, I think the budget would be there for the returns you'd get at the box office. The good news here is that if you have Lifetime, you can see it for free. I do have access to Lifetime, but I know a lot of people don't - it should be available on DVD and Blu-Ray anyway soon enough.

Anyway, who is Aubrey Plaza? I don't watch much TV, so I'm not familiar with her. It does seem that people seem very positive about her casting, however. Entertainment Weekly went as far to say: "Today in casting so perfect it's like God himself did it, Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza will lend her voice to Grumpy Cat..."

That's right everyone. God is a huge fan of Lifetime movies involving frown y-faced kittens.

This is what else EW has to say about the film:

"The movie, written by Tim Hill (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Jeff Morris (The True Memoirs of an International Assassin), follows a lonely cat (played by Grumpy Cat herself, Tardar Sauce) who becomes, well, grumpy living in a mall pet shop. That is, until a 12-year-old girl named Chrystal realizes she can talk to the feline. On Christmas Eve, Chrystal rescues her after the mall closes.

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever will premiere on Lifetime Saturday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Hmm, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The True Memoirs of an International Assassin - that's quite a combination. And why do parents insist on throwing unneeded letters into their poor children's names? Crystal is a perfectly beautiful, wonderful name as it is - don't go throwing an H in there needlessly! I hate this movie already!

But I'll be watching it anyway.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, it's what Aubrey is known for that apparently makes her perfect for the role - "her dead-pan style of comedy" as her Wikipedia page puts it. I've never heard her voice before, but I'm looking forward to seeing how she plays the role. If she nails it as everyone seems to think that she will, we may have a franchise on our hands.

Finally, a Christmas special that I actually want to watch! Only because of Grumpy Cat.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons - Photo taken by Gaga Skidmore

Friday, September 12, 2014

Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Domestic Abuse in the NFL

Adrian Peterson was on the fast track to the NFL Football Hall of Fame... was...

It has not been a good time for the NFL recently. All-Pro Running Back Ray Rice was recently released by the Baltimore Ravens, who stood by him all off-season until the video clearly depicting him punching his wife released by TMZ (yes, that TMZ) that the Ravens claimed they had never seen. The NFL upped Rice's original two-game suspension to an indefinite suspension. I think they handled it correctly. I have absolutely zero tolerance for domestic abuse. He's a great player, but who wants him around with that sort of publicity? Clearly, he has issues as a human being he needs to work out...

OK, then, America. Now we can get back to enjoying some football... Adrian Peterson has been indicted for whooping his son with a tree branch. Wait, what!?

Yes, you read that correctly. Adrian Peterson has been indicted by a grand jury (after the first grand jury dismissed the case) in Texas on charges of "reckless and negligent injury to a child." Also known as child abuse.

OK, I am very much against the concept of spanking and physical punishment of any kind towards children. But I think we can safely say this was not a spanking. Just take a look at the pictures and you can clearly see that this poor kid is going to have some scars to show for this. No life-altering injuries, but this is a "whoopin'" he'll never forget.

What the hell could this poor 4-year old kid have done to prompt this? He certainly didn't deserve it. He's four effing years old for Crap's Sake!

"The punishment happened after Peterson’s son pushed another one of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game, the report says."

You've got to be kidding me. Yeah, he definitely did something wrong. And, yes, spanking children is definitely not unheard of in Texas, especially with a switch. But not with a tree branch and not leaving cuts and lacerrations like that. Kudos to the boy's mother to getting the police involved.

OK, what makes me really angry about this is what Peterson's response to this whole situation has been. He's been completely cooperative and truthful about the situation. He's also said that he felt this was perfectly in line with teaching his children discipline.

Excuse me? Um, no, good sir. That's child abuse. Spanking is one thing. Even a switch is another. This is definitely going too far. As far as he's concerned, though, he'd do it again. You got to admit, at least he stands by his principles... Yes, I'm being sarcastic. I'm just so angry. He's lucky that's all he's being charged with. This wasn't negligent at all. It was completely intentional. Discipline is one thing. This is a beating. I do beleive that had this not taken place in Texas, the charges would be far more severe.

The Minnesota Vikings have deactivated Peterson pending further investigation. I don't know what else there is to investigate. He's confessed and been 100% proven guilty already. The only question now is what will be done with him.

My favorite NFL team, the New England Patriots, will be happy not to see him this Sunday.

A lot of people will be happy not to see him this Sunday.

What do you think will happen to his career? As far as I'm personally concerned, this is just another case of domestic abuse. That might sound rather harsh. But I think this is even worse than what Ray Rice did. You know why? Because that kid can't fight back.

This incident is going to incite quite a storm. I'll say this. I've lost all respect for Adrian Peterson. And I kind of hope he never plays another game in the NFL. So much for a Hall-of-Fame career.

But justice must be served. And apparently the NFL is full of a lot of abusive people.

Let's hope this is the end of this. I really want to just watch some football.

~ Ami

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Oh What Tangled Webs are Spun!

As someone who has bounced from writing site to writing site, I've dealt with some fine communities of people. But I often have left due to poor payouts - pennies per article - or because the site was terribly spammy and it simply would make me look bad to have my content on there. I am a bit proud of my writing and if it's being associated with "spamminess" in the least, I want nothing of that.

Recently, someone quite dear to me joined a new writing site. I won't mention the individual's name or the website in question, but apparently someone who is quite active on the site is parading around acting like she's some incredible speed-writer. She somehow can rack up something like $10 a day by whipping out post after post. Of course, you know how this happens? Spun content.

Now I've seen my share of plagiarism. It's a crime that's been around for centuries. Online it's become a sort of epidemic. Oh, but it's even worse than that. Spun content is put through some sort of program that jumbles things around just enough that duplication checkers don't red-flag it. Apparently, this lady has the gall to be sweet and sociable and people are thinking she's LEGIT? Oh, look I need 10 more blog posts today. Who do you know who can write TEN posts a day? OK, I could probably do it, but seriously, if you look at the site, it's OBVIOUSLY spun. Some are easier to catch than others. But the "author credit" does it for me.

My dear companion is very torn about it. Apparently this member is one of the top earners on this young site and is so clearly getting away with it. She's apparently already been reported and nothing's been done. Should she be called out? I can't see why not. I just know I won't be joining any site where that's happening without any sort of consequence. If it's said that it can't be proved since duplicate checkers won't work, just look at the content. It's clearly not written with the same voice.

Oh, my, that's right I'm a real writer. I guess only we real writers could pick that up. Seriously, dude, if you're going to run a writing site and you see how suspicious that person is "writing" clearly very random content that has author credits on it that link to nothing, um, yeah, red alert? All crew to battle-stations?

I'm just sad that people are just gaming these sites. No wonder they fail. Yet many keep letting the webs be spun, stealing the revenue from people like moi who actually put blood, sweat, and tears into her words.

I'll take that bitch for a spin... She won't like it! But I will!

~ Ami

Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life Happens

I have not been writing quite as much lately as I perhaps would like. There are many reasons for this, first and foremost, this thing called life has been happening. It has not been a beautiful and melodious time. Musicals will not be inspired by the events of the past week. Okay, maybe one could be, but it would be some mix between emo and death-metal and the lyrics would be screamed in the highest possible pitch that a human voice box can produce. It's been hell.

But there is the future, yes? Things have not been falling into place for me so much. However, I am determined to keep my eyes looking forward. I found an interesting little diversion today to lift my spirits, a little app called BitStrips. I'm having a ball with it. Too much of a ball, in fact. But believe me, after the stress of the past month, I'm happy to finally sit down and maybe write a few things. I've had topics on my mind, but I've been a bit jumbled as far as what seems to be the priority to get out. I've dealt with a lot of conflicting passions lately, and some rather terrible bouts with anxiety and depression. I'm not perfect. I am not having a good time. But I need to pull myself together. I have some friends going through a lot of trouble, a couple of them dealing with suicidal thoughts and overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. A couple are somehow keeping a positive outlook and staying the course. (God, I feel like Gee Double Ya Bush saying that...)

I've always tended to be a bit pragmatic and very much sarcastic. I tend to have a rather dark sense of humor but I know that love is still my favorite currency in the universe. I never seem to have a lack of it. Has it bought me happiness? No, not quite, but my tendency towards affection has given me some friendships that I could never imagine living without. I intend to stand by my dear friends. One is doing far better, and I'm looking forward to help promote her new book that should be published soon. At least the universe is favoring someone. Hopefully, the All Powerful Feline Overlord - or whatever omnipotent, omnipresent diety you'd like to believe in that's mucking up our daily lives with all these trials and tribulations - gives the rest of us a break soon!

OK, I'm gonna go take two Fuckidol and call it day!

Love always!

~ Ami <3

Friday, September 5, 2014

Scarlett Johansson Welcomes Baby Rose Into the World!

Congratulations to Scarlett Johansson and her fiancee Romain Dauriac on welcoming Rose Johansson-Dauric (or whatever her last name ends up being) into the world yesterday! I'm really glad that they named her something normal. These days celebrities usually call their babies the most ridiculous things just to be "unique."

I'm glad that conservatives haven't gotten crazy yet - that I've been able to tell - that Rose was born "out of wedlock" and that's some horrible thing. They've been engaged since September 2013. They hadn't gotten married yet due to the fact that Scarlett has been extremely busy filming lately with "Lucy," "Chef," and "Captain America: the Winter Soldier." It also made sense for them to wait until after having the baby to have the marriage. They're going to try to keep things private as possible, and good for them!

It's nice that Scarlett will be able to settle down for a bit. This is her second marriage, of course - with her famous divorce from Ryan Reynolds. But it seems like these two are going to work out, so I think Rose is in excellent hands.

Again, congratulations to Scarlett and Romain. I hope this is the beginning of a very happy family!


~ Ami