Name A Thing That Made You Happy

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Inqe
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Inqe » 01/30/16

Congratulations!

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Lily
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Lily » 02/01/16

Sibelle wrote:Got it!

I wish, SO badly I could share what it is I will be doing but I am very happy!
Yay you! *hugs*

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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Rahfel » 02/02/16

One of my fave relatives making it here early, despite the plane delays and struggles
Plus two late but seriously appreciated Christmas presents:

Image

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Sibelle
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Sibelle » 02/15/16

Trying to maintain some positive thoughts here.

1 - My dad really wanted to see Walking Dead, he was looking SO forward to it. We watched it every week when it aired as a family. When he lived with his friend, they did too. Tonight was the premiere of the new season and it was the BEST one I have seen in years. So good, I know he would have loved it which is sad but we all got to watch it together - they had come down and we've been all really enjoying one another's company and it has helped. There were sniffly parts - especially what Glenn says in the episode (no spoilers) but most of the sniffling was just realizing how much he would have loved it and that he wasn't here, but maybe with us in spirit.. watching it. The only really crappy part of this day was that it was also my mom's birthday and she lost her mother around the same time when she was 8 years old. Her birthday is never a 'good' time of year.

2 - While this is immensely silly and freaked us the fuck out.. We were all talking about how my cat brought me a baby scorpion once, and a baby garden snake another time.. roughly around 3am on different days almost a year ago...

...I ended my shift at 3am this morning and THERE WAS A BABY SNAKE IN MY KITCHEN. At first glance - Coral Snake, sudden panic and googling and trying to get him so we can safely extract him from the curious animals and verify what he is, because the babies are hard to see their pattern clearly and the light was bad.

He is not a Coral, he's a scarlet kingsnake. So I have a cute new friend on my desk in a container atm, not sure if he's really hurt or not but I just can't bring myself to release yet.. Or if he's well enough, I might try to tame and keep. Probably not, but he's so cute I just have to look at him a bit more.

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Kiarryn
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Kiarryn » 02/15/16

Tash!! That's kind of a trend.

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TashMonster
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by TashMonster » 02/15/16

KIA!! And the best Valentine's Day EVER!

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Kiarryn
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Kiarryn » 02/15/16

Dark violet red hair, I have it! Professional enough for the office, fun enough for me!

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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Scrattch » 02/28/16

Buckle up, boys and girls... because this is going to be a long one.

/incoming wall of text

To be honest, I'm not certain exactly where to put this... it has elements of a Sling and a Kudos and... well, it did make me Happy, so I figured this is the best place.

I don't post much, but I rather need to get this one off my chest and it's complicated.

I'm an entertainer, by profession. A magician, specifically. It's always been a hobby, but when the economy collapsed in 2008, it became a profession. It hasn't always been easy. I've devoted literally decades to honing my craft and I started out on the bottom.
In this case, on the streets- literally.

Street entertaining is very difficult, very brutal. It is also a great way to hone your stuff, because people have little sympathy or attention anymore. You 'earn your chops' quickly, or you burn out and quit.

I earned my chops. I got a prestigious scholarship to only one of two schools who teach professionally what I do.
I sacrificed time that could have been spent with my late wife while she was dying in pursuit of this, during a time when she needed me.
She also wanted me to do so- but it was very, very hard.
However, once in a lifetime opportunites seldom come around.

Long story short, I went. The experience was transformative in more than one way.

Shortly after, she died. Cue the guilt and other plethora of emotions that are naturally attendant on such things.
Now here's where it gets a little... odd.

On the way (literally) out of the mortuary, I found, sitting on the ground... a fully paid ticket to the local Renn Fest.
Now we had went for years, and when your world has just shattered, you need things to busy yourself with.
I took it as a sign, and went. When I was there (by myself) I fell into conversation with one of the workers/entertainers there.
She invited me to audition when the time rolled around.
Well, I did.

In between, I also had the great fortune of meeting and falling in love with my second wife. Light began to come back into my life and I slowly began to learn to live again. It wasn't always easy and the emotions were very complex- they still are, but we need to live in and for the future, not the past. Her patience and steadfast love have literally brought me back from the edge and back to life.

I'm an extraordinarily lucky man and there's not a day that goes by when I don't realize it.

I digress a little, but it all ties together.

So, I auditioned. I was accepted, too... but not in the way I thought. You see, as a professional, I'm used to dealing with agents and agencies as well as private clients. I've always tried to be thoroughly professional. I put a great deal of time and energy learning my skillset, and I expect to be compensated for it appropriately. Like any entertainer, I am sometimes willing to take a short term loss for a long term gain.
That's the nature of the business.

What I thought I was getting was hired, as a professional. What I got was something entirely different.
Now Renn Faires are a curious animal as it is- its an extremely diverse group of people who all hold varying beliefs (or lack of same). All of this is ruled over or 'directed' by the Entertainment Director, or ED.

This person's job (ostensibly) is to find new entertainment for said Faire and sign them up, work with them and encourage them to grow, right?
Sounds like a fairly straightforward proposition whereby everyone wins. They give new talent a chance/environment and the talent in turn makes them look good, right? Win/win.

The trouble with this is when the ED just... doesn't... give a shit. About their job, doing their job, or the talent (especially local talent). They've utterly lost whatever spark of joy they once had in their jobs and forgotten the reason they're there. They surround themselves with people who tell them what they want to hear, or what they think they want to hear. Or they don't speak out at all, out of fear. These ED's just look on performers as warm bodies and give them even less respect than you would an animal. We're expendable commodities to this type.

You can guess by now which type I got.

For 3 years now I've tried to have a simple conversation with this woman... just 15 mins to sit down and tell her why I do what I do, why it means what it does to me, and maybe brainstorm on how I can help provide quality, unique entertainment for her patrons. For 3 years I have emailed, called, left voice and text messages as soon as possible to discuss performing on stage. The messages, emails and texts have went unanswered for months at a time. Follow the logic; as an ED, would you not want to line up your acts as SOON as possible for the next season? Would you not be scouting for fresh talent? Encouraging and working with that talent you already have, to the benefit of everyone?

Seems simple enough.

Not this one, though. Each year, she has literally waited until less than 2 weeks BEFORE OPENING DAY to even say yay/nay we want you back this year/are you available? This, after I contacted her MONTHS in advance to be considerate. I don't know about you, but this reeks of unprofessionalism. I probably should have caught wise the first year, but underneath all this crust, I actually am still an optimist.
I figured I just needed to pay my dues and work my way up. Fair enough.

1st year: No pay. Took over a $400 loss, too.
2nd year: Pay, for the first time. No, not just me, EVERYONE. No, seriously... I'm not joking. Other than the Nationals (these are the large acts that tour from Faire to Faire) and a very few cast (king/queen) nobody had been paid before now. This from a Faire that sees attendance numbers in excess of 18,000 people on a SLOW day. Tickets are $22 a person. You do the math.
Oh, how much do they pay us now? $20 a day.
Yes, you heard me. A day. And that's if you're lucky. Most are only getting $10 to 15 per day. For those of you keeping score, that's under minimum wage. The food workers that sling turkey legs make more. Really motivates you and makes you feel valued, doesn't it?

Oh, I forgot. You can't drink alcohol at the Faire if you're working it. Our Faire (and one other owned by the same person) are the ONLY ones in the US who have this policy. Now honestly, I don't drink anyway, so this never really bothered me... but here's why I mentioned it:

Our big reward at the end of the season? A 'cast party' (where everyone, including the food service workers) that provides free food (that day's leftover/unsold food from the booths) and wheee... you get to buy your own booze. Ostensibly it's free, but if you don't tip enough, well... people get cut off quick. And some of them actually need to be cut off, but that's another story. Total party time? Maybe 2 hours before they throw you off site.

Oh, did I mention that you can't drink at your campsite if you're staying on site? And that there's a $40, non refundable site fee? And drumming, playing instruments is not allowed?

3rd year: This year. Pay same as last year. I submit as STAGE entertainment. I make no bones about it. I get 3 stage slots/performance times over 2 stages (neither of which are in 'good flow' areas) but... on the contract I'm still "lane act". Okay, I figure. I've fought long and hard to get here, I'm ostensibly getting what I want... I can blow off the fact that I'm being underpaid (I wouldn't do 2 gigs for what they offer, much less a 2 month run) and undervalued again because, by goodness, I've busted my ass and earned it.

I'll just be so big and so good that they'll be forced to recognize me. All good things come to those who work hard and wait, right? Yeah, I'm really pushing my health and actually sacrificing it, but it *matters*.
Hah.

I have a GREAT opening weekend. I get one day into the Presiden't Day weekend and I'm infected by some dumbass who can't read/follow the rules which say IF YOU"RE SICK, STAY HOME. Don't come to Faire and infect someone. This causes a cascade effect.

When I try to get ready the next day, I'm running a fever so high I'm hallucinating and I'm so sensitive to touch/hurting so bad from my DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease- I live in constant, agonizing chronic pain) that my poor wife can't even touch me without me screaming.

Since then, I've been in the hospital for the nastiest upper respiratory tract infection I have ever had or heard of. It's spread to everyone in the house in one form or another, too. It's also spreading through the Faire like wildfire. God bless my wife, I don't know how she's managed to keep going like she has when this damn thing has nearly killed me. I''m not exaggerating that too much, either- I had a fever of over 102 for over 2 weeks. My skin is so dry from it I have cracks around my eyes, nose and mouth. I've been stripped of what fat I had on me, which wasn't much. I've lost muscle mass in my legs. I'm coughing up blood clots from deep in my lungs daily.

Baaaad timing, right?

Maybe not. Turns out this was all for the best, because during this time, I had a LOT of time to think about things. About why I've been doing this for 3 years. About self-respect and self worth.

And I came to several conclusions.

One.
My sense of self worth is not dependant upon what some lazy hack of an ED thinks of me. I don't need her approval to feel good about myself.

Two.
I didn't waste my time when my first wife was dying. I'm damn good at what I do. I proved this by drawing damn good crowds and getting some decent tips during my (albeit) brief run this year. I have *nothing* to feel guilty over.

Three.
I have been allowing this woman, this pitiful excuse for an ED, to abuse me for 3 years. She has been rude, condescending, unprofessional and abusive.

Four.
I am not going to allow her to have power over me anymore. I will not be abused anymore on the hope of some scrap thrown my way that might further my career, somehow. I have given this woman FAR too much power over me for far too long.

That is MY fault, not hers. But it stops now.

So today, when she began pushing at me again, lying about not seeing my "out sick" notice, lying about texting me to see what was going on... and generally being the nasty bitch she is, I basically told her to stuff it. That I had already ended up in the hospital because of pushing myself too hard for her (I'm leaving out a VERY nasty email she sent after the first weekend demanding that I was hired as Lane act and she just was "nice enough" to "throw me a few stage slots") and that I wasn't going to end up back in the hospital by returning too soon. I told her that I couldn't give more than a day to day appraisal and that if that wasn't good enough and she needed to cancel my contract, to do so.

I left it there momentarily. Leave the ball in her court, right?

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was just temporizing.
I had already made my decision.
I knew what needed to be done.

When you have become a victim to someone, when they are abusing you, you hit a point when you have to stand up and say "enough." You have to stand your ground, look them in the eye and take back your power.

And that's exactly what I did. I messaged her back and told her to cancel my contract. I told her everything that I needed to say. I told her everything I've laid out above and I did it without anger, too.

I proceeded from a place of calm- because if you're angry, you're still giving your power away.
I wasn't angry anymore.

And... I'm not. Which is a big thing for me.

So yeah, to sum up:

Slings to that woman who no longer has power over me, because she's just going to keep doing it to others. At least I told her the truth and maybe, just maybe, that seed might grow.
Kudos to me for realizing that I've been allowing myself to be abused.
Kudos to me for doing something about it.

And last, as negative and unpleasant the whole thing has been- this turn of events makes me profoundly happy.

Yay me!

Now, on to bigger ponds.

I have an invitation from Jeff McBride to perform at his Wonderground club in Las Vegas that's been overdue for acceptance.
I'm ready now and I'm not giving my power away anymore. I'm going to go to Vegas and knock their fucking socks off.

/walloftextoff

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Sibelle
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Sibelle » 02/28/16

I splurged a bit on myself yesterday. There are a pair of wonder woman converse coming to my house. They will arrive the day after my surgery so it will be a nice little pick me up.

For the record I like DC and Marvel. These just match a lot of my clothes very well. I am pleased.

Inqe
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Inqe » 02/29/16

*hugs to Scrattch*

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Sibelle
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Sibelle » 03/02/16

To those who were wondering - I am fine. I did have an extensive amount of dental surgery today. Five hours straight in a chair is not an experience I recommend to anyone and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

I have lived and I will tell the tale when I am slightly more aware of what is actually my face and what is not my face. Right now it feels like my it is fact a giant nose. However according to mirrors and my hands it's still a normal face. We'll get there.

There were some complications - namely 4 unplanned root canals, lazer usage and other things. So I am going to take it easy for a few days, obviously.

Maybe my face will return to feeling like a face tomorrow. I can dream.

It also looks really good.. I still have a long, long road but I can smile and that's huge.

Ceela
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Ceela » 03/07/16

Church. Heard stuff I needed to hear and for a spiritual recharge.

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Maelgrym
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Maelgrym » 03/07/16

That is awesome Ceela :) *hugs!*

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Rahfel
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Rahfel » 03/09/16

Workout yesterday, and was brought home some fresh sashimi a bit ago by family as a small kudos gift for the pulled muscles and jelly leg events of yesterday. <3 was worth it, though!

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Sibelle
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Sibelle » 03/10/16

I get to meet my sister for the first time.

Ever.

She's 13.

It's not til next month but my chest is tight and I'm so nervous. We're all sharing a hotel room so I am going to have the most important slumber party of my life next month.

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Caymin
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Caymin » 03/10/16

Happy to be working for a company that shares its success with its employees. :)

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Sibelle
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Sibelle » 03/11/16

There are some seriously shitty people out there. Con Artists, everything.

But then there are some glorious people who remind me that not everyone is out to make a dollar off of someone. Today, such a person and I spoke and he is sending me some paintings and items relating to my father that are irreplaceable to me and would not be worth very much since they aren't related to what my dad is famous for - but in anyone elses hands, I know they would have been sold.

To say that I am thrilled is an understatement.

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TashMonster
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by TashMonster » 03/12/16

I bought my FIRST EVER BRAND NEW CAR today!! A 2016 Mazda 3 Hatchback! Fully loaded with all the features!

I am FINALLY in a position where I can actually do this! It's such an amazing feeling! Up until now I've always had to settle for the scraps of the used car lots, the things no one else wanted or which were cheap enough that I could dredge the money to afford. But no more! Now I get one fresh off the lot, in the colour I want with the features I want and I am so giddy!

I get to pick it up Monday after work! *sqees and is maybe dancing around the house a bit*

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Morenin
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Morenin » 03/12/16

Sixx A.M. is coming to my hometown and I just got my ticket!!!

Inqe
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Inqe » 03/13/16

Six AM came to my hometown this morning too, an hour earlier than anyone wanted. Even the birds were sleepily chirping and the squirrel was probably wishing there was coffee beans in the feeder.

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Sibelle
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Sibelle » 03/15/16

Got to speak to my sister for the first time on the phone.

As in, the first time I have ever spoken to her out of text... She's 13 years old. My heart wants to explode.

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Morenin
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Morenin » 03/18/16

My kitty is home from the hospital!

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Rahfel
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Rahfel » 03/19/16

Easter candy sales are finally at hand around here!!
...and so are a whole envoy of cadbury eggs, as of last night ^_^

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Cyla
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Cyla » 03/20/16

Getting 6 month old twins to nap, at the same time, for 3 hours solid.

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Farriene
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Re: Name A Thing That Made You Happy

Post by Farriene » 04/01/16

Thursday was my husband's birthday and we spent the entire day doing things together. I mean, we're rarely apart, but we spent the day playing the new board games we bought for his bday (Mysterium and Five Year Mission), going out to a local diner, and playing couch co-op video games. It was a really lovely day.

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