Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
Today is World Mental Health Day so please remember your mental health & emotional well-being are just as important as your physical health is.
Mental illnesses are as real as physical ailments & just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean a mental illness doesn’t exist.
I talk about mental health a lot because I want others to feel like & know that it’s okay to talk about it. You’re not alone, not a freak, not weak, not broken, not a burden, not useless, not crazy, not less worthy as a person in any way because you’re struggling with a mental illness. It’s a disease, not a character trait or flaw in your personality.
It’s hard finding courage to speak up & reach out but YOU CAN DO IT. If you can’t face to face tell someone, do it over a phone call. If you can’t find the words to vocalize, write it out. If you don’t feel comfortable or safe talking to anyone you know, there are helplines you can call & online chat services you can use.
Mental illnesses can make you feel like no one understands, no one cares, no one will miss you, the world would be better off without you & your problems & all of that is so very wrong. I care & I’ve met so many other people like me out there that care & we care even if we barely know you because we know how painful, isolating, heartbreaking & damaging it is to feel like no one cares or understands. We know what it’s like to battle our own thoughts & feelings & we just don’t want to see anyone thinking they have to go through it alone.
Also remember that you’re never being selfish for putting your health first & taking care of you. You need to fo that the same way you need to breathe and eat to keep on living. Anyone that tells you you’re being selfish for taking care of you in whatever way you need to is not someone you need to listen to.
People who make life changes to physically better themselves are praised for it while people who have depression, anxiety, ptsd, bipolar disorder, eating disorders & other mental illnesses are told to get over it or told to not talk about it at all. It shouldn’t be that way & I’m fighting to see a change made in how mental illnesses are seen & treated. The more we talk, the more we break down the barriers of stigma that surround mental health & the people struggling. The more we break those barriers down, the more we normalize what should be a regular topic of discussion for our own health and well being. The more we do that, the easier it will be for people to open up without the fear that they’ll be judged, ridiculed, dismissed, labeled, written off or ignored.
Lastly, remember if you think someone you care about is struggling, reach out to them & ask how they’re doing. Kindness is free. Sometimes just knowing someone cares helps so much.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Monday, July 11, 2016
CN: Harassment, assault.
Very long post.
I'm so tired of seeing people say things such as "but what was she doing that caused the man to harass her" or "she probably provoked or lead him on in some way" as if provocation is an acceptable reason for harassment and/or violence against another human. As if there's reason to blame the victim. As if there's any way to justify a person harming or threatening to harm a human being that isn't doing anything to harm another.
Example: I was at a club with my boyfriend and a friend. I left them at a table to go to the restroom which happened to be upstairs and on the other side of the club. I was at the elevator waiting for it to come down when a guy at a table near the elevator got my attention and motioned for me to come over to him. I stayed where I was and he tried to call me over again. I was a little drunk and for some reason thought he must have thought I was a waitress. I informed him I didn't work there and willed the elevator to hurry the hell up. He got angry. "Bitch I know you don't work here. Get the fuck over here." I declined and told him to leave me alone. He stood up and said, "bitch bring your ass over here" and started moving towards me. The elevator finally came down but I nearly ran in my heels back to our table so I could get my boyfriend so I could hopefully go back and get safely to the restroom. As I walked back up to the elevator this man stood up again and started to address me again before he noticed Shane standing there. He sat back down and left me alone. Later, this man followed us out to the patio and didn't address me. He apologized to Shane because this guy didn't realize I was there with a man already and said he wouldn't have said anything to me had he known. Shane told him I was the one that deserved the apology. The guy mumbled at me before going back inside.
Another instance. I was at a BBQ. A guy I had only met when I had arrived with a friend to this BBQ came to sit next to me on the bench I was sitting on. My friend was on the other side of the yard playing volleyball and I was just relaxing and people watching. We talked for a little while mostly about sports and music. He said something funny and I started laughing. Then his hand was in my hair and he was sitting much closer to me. I told him to stop touching my hair. He did but then put his hand on my knee. I told him not to put his hands on me at all. He asked me if I wanted to go to his car and "have some fun." I told him I didn't and told him he had the wrong idea. I told him I was not interested. He put his hand on my thigh and asked if I was sure and told me we've been having a good time so far. I removed his hand for him and told him not to lay a hand on me again. I got up to go join my friend and he grabbed my arm to stop me. He asked if I was seriously leaving him there after he had just spent a whole twenty minutes talking to me. I again told him I wasn't interested and didn't want to continue spending time with him and told him to let go of me. "If you see me naked, you'll change your mind" was his response to that. He tightened his grip on my arm and I remember leaning down quickly, pressing my other arm into his throat and telling him to let go of my arm. He immediately let go and called me a crazy whore before shoving me away from him and moving away.
Another instance. I was walking through an outdoor shopping center when two men tried to call me over to them. I ignored them. They continued catcalling and yelling at me. I told them politely that I'm not interested. They started following me. They don't stop when I tell them I'm really not interested and request they leave me alone. They still follow me and started insulting me, angry that I wouldn't give them time and attention. I ducked into a large retail store, scared and looking for security. The two men didn't follow me into the store but they loiter around outside on the sidewalk while I figure out what to do. I call the police. No one ever came. I didn't go to another store and started shaking once I got back into my car and locked the door.
Last example. I was in a bar with a group of friends. I was dancing with one of my friends while our other friends played darts and pool. A guy that was friends with one of my friends older brother came up behind me and started dancing. I had met this guy before at a house party but didn't really know him. Dude started grinding up against me immediately. I put space between us and told him I didn't want him touching me. He responded with, "well you're in a club dancing so you're basically inviting people to be on you." He tried to close the space between us and I again moved away telling him to stop and telling him to leave me alone. He said something about me playing hard to get and was back on me. I shoved him away from me. He grabbed me by the hair and spat in my face. I grabbed his wrist and twisted his arm around hard to get my hair released from his grasp. He cursed at me and started screaming. A bouncer came over to seperate us and then my friends and I are kicked out of the club 2 minutes later. Creepy guy happened to be friends with the man that managed that club. We left and dude followed us outside to call us names and taunt us for a moment before his manager buddy came out to collect him. I was 18 when this happened and it was the first time I'd experienced something like that. Unfortunately it wasn't also the last.
I have dozens upon dozens of stories of men yelling at me, men catcalling me, men threatening me, men getting angry because I wouldn't give them the time and attention they felt entitled to, men harassing me, men stalking me, men reacting violently and men ignoring and disrespecting me and the boundaries I set.
And there are people that still want to ask, "well what did you do to provoke them?"
Exist. I exist and that's enough. People have it in their heads that men NEED some kind of provocation, some kind of reason for doing things like this. Maybe because it's easier than accepting that it can happen to anyone and without provocation, just because. Because someone felt entitled to time and attention from another person. Because someone felt they'd earned something they were being denied. Because someone simply wanted to.
There is no excuse for harassment and violence. Stop making excuses and placing blame on anyone and/or anything that isn't the person comitting these acts as they're the person that should be held accountable for their actions and choices.
Friday, May 27, 2016
Monday, December 21, 2015
Here is the final Toys for Tots post for 2015! This might not look like a ton of toys but that's in part to my amazing placement skills. This year was the biggest year yet in terms of funds collected and toys purchased!
This year makes the 7th year in a row that I've done the TFT Fundraiser. I LOVE doing this each year and am so happy I took the chance to see what would happen that first year back in 2009. It's a lot of work but it's so worth it and I couldn't do it on such a large scale without so many awesome people supporting me through paypal, cash and toy donations. This year I was also able to round up some awesome prizes to give away to all the awesome people that donated something which made me even more happy. I appreciate you all so much. I really wouldn't be able to buy this many toys without all of you helping out.
This years totals:
That averages out to about $5 per toy. I'm so serious every year when I say it only takes $5 to make a difference and help.
A few people have asked how the shopping part works and also about the items I buy so I'm going to explain a little bit. Skip this next two paragraphs if you're not interested in reading that. ;)
I plan it out so I can take advantage of sales and coupons so I can really maximize the amount of toys I get with the money raised. I actually do a lot of planning with this so I can stretch every dollar. Each shopping trip also takes me at least 90 minutes to get through so I can carefully look through everything and take advantage of any coupons, sales or deals I have available to me. This year, I waited until Target was doing a buy one get one 50% off sale that included brands like Barbie, Marvel and Disney.
Another question a good number of people have asked about is why I include makeup, nail polish kits and items that look geared towards "older kids." That's because most TFT campaign sites are able to assist children up to the age of 12 and nail polish, make up, craft kits, model car kits and board games are things they request but tend to not get a lot of. Also, several local communities (mine included) offer extended support for ages 13-16. Most people tend to focus on younger children and the 10+ age range ends up being the group they need more things for because they don't get much donated for that age range. They do use their cash and online donations to help fill in the gaps wherever the needs are as well but I like to include a variety of everything.
If you want to see final results of the fundraiser from years passed, you can check all of those out here:
The final results from 2009: Here
The final results from 2010: Here
The final results from 2011: Here
The final results from 2012: Here
The final results from 2013: Here
The final results from 2014: Here
Ready for some 2015 pictures? Of course if we're Facebook friends, you may have already seen these since I uploaded them there the day I delivered the toys. I've been so busy with work (because bakery jobs in December are HELL) that I haven't had time to get this up here yet. I've been doing it a little at a time as I've had the free time.
If you want to see the full album then just *click here* to take a look at the Toys for Tots 2015 Flickr album to view the rest of them. I think there are 60 photos total.
As for the prize giveaway, most of the prizes were mailed out last week (or given out for the people I know IRL that won stuff) although there are still a few I need to get sent out (I promise, soon!) to people.
I want to say thank you (again) to those of you that donated this year. Whether it was the first year you donated or the third or the seventh, thank you so much! Whether it was $5, $10, $25, $50 or more; it doesn't matter. I appreciate it and I know the families that benefit from Toys for Tots doing what they do appreciate it, too. I have so much fun being able to do this. I've donated to Toys for Tots since I was a little kid and my mom let us each buy a couple toys of our choosing to give to them and kept doing so for as long as I can remember. So blame her for getting me started into this one. ;) Doing it on such a large scale the last 7 years has been so awesome. I couldn't do it without all of your help so thank you. I also want to say thank you to everyone who posted on their blogs, tweeted links, pestered people on Facebook and otherwise
Until next time!
Sunday, December 13, 2015
It's Toys for Tots time! For the SEVENTH YEAR in a row! :) I really can't believe it's been 7 years since I started doing this but here we are. I've gotten so much help and support through the years from some amazing people. I wouldn't have the success I do without each of you so I hope you all know how much I appreciate your help. We have around 5 weeks this year because I'm not procrastinating as hard as I did last year and I'm in a much better place than I was this time last year.
This year will also be a little different than previous years because this year, everyone that donates will be entered into a contest to win some gift cards. For every $5 you donate, you get an entry into the contest. So $5 gives you one entry into the drawing of your choice. $20 is 4 entries into the drawing(s) of your choice. I say drawings because I have gift cards and some rad handmade items to give away and if you get multiple entries, you can either put them all towards one thing or split them up between multiple things.
Give away items:
$25 Game Stop Gift card
$15 Studio Movie Grill gift card
5 $25 Sonic Drive-In gift cards
$20 Tiff's Treats gift card
$50 Tiff's Treats gift card
$20 Amazon.com gift card
$25 Target gift card
$25 Barnes & Noble gift card
$25 Twisted Root gift card
$25 Best Buy gift card (digital, will be transferred via email)
$15 Starbucks gift card
Mini Viva La Juicy perfume by Juicy Couture
Too Faced Stardust palette
Urban Decay Ammo Shadow Box
Urban Decay Smoked palette
6 sets of Cinemark movie passes (2 passes per set)
Handmade soy candle trio in Key Lime scent, 2 large, 1 mini
Handmade knit scarf (I'll post a picture once I receive it)
6 Sweet Boxes (one dozen fresh baked cookies)
Handmade soap set in Citrus Punch, Spearmint Scrub and Cinnamon Oatmeal
Some of these gift cards are to local businesses so only people that live locally will benefit from trying to win them. And of course the physical items will be fine for anyone to try and win. And there are a few more items I'm working on adding to the list of give aways. (If you want to be generous and donate something to be given away, contact me at amorousrocker [at] gmail [dot] com)
Drawing will be held after the fundraiser ends in mid-December and items will be shipped out to the winners in January. Winners will have a week from drawing day to claim their prize and provide shipping information before another winner will be selected.
Once you donate, I'll need to know which item you want to be put into contention for and you can do that by emailing me to let me you donated and then letting me know which item (or items depending on the amount of entries you get) you want to be entered in for.
I need to have the donation turned into the Toys for Tots warehouse by December 12th so they have plenty of time for sorting everything out and delivery. So we have around 5 weeks this year to get going! I’ll probably go shopping for toys on December 11th so I’ll need all PayPal donations in by December 9th at the very latest. Then the 12th I’ll be taking everything out to the warehouse for delivery.
Every year I donate some toys to Toys for Tots. I pick and choose other things to donate to as well through out the year. I don't think I can make a big dent of change in the world but I can do little things to make things a little better for other people. Be it with toys during the holidays, money for food, donating clothing, etc. I bitch about things that I wish I could fix but really, all that bitching does nothing if you're not willing to step up and do something to help make it better. So, I do what I can when I can to help out. It makes me feel good to know I've done something good and I help out with a lot of different things.
In 2009, I got an idea to do a Blogger Toys for Tots Fundraiser. I got the idea damn late it the year though so there wasn't much time to work with for Toys for Tots. I did it again in 2010 , in 2011 in 2012, 2013 and last year in 2014 as well. And now I'm doing it again this year. Don't know what Toys for Tots is? Let me inform you before I get on with the rest of the post.
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fund raising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
Like I said, I donate something every year. Sometimes in toys and sometimes in money. Sometimes more and sometimes less. Sometimes I don't have much money to spare but I do a little bit anyway because I know even if I'm hurting a little, some little kid and their family is hurting more. I prefer doing toys, though. I like going in to a store and picking out toys that I know will make some little kids happy. I never see the kids who get these but I always wonder if they liked what they got or if they were just happy for something, anything.
In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 I did a Fundraiser for Toys for Tots on my blog. The results were far better than I had expected in 2009 and they were amazing in 2010 and surprised me yet again in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014. I was beyond touched at all of the help and support I've received with this endeavor year after year. I got so many people who donated little amounts and it all added up to so many toys that I went and purchased. I take plenty of pictures and get it well documented on the blog because it's important to me (and lots of you!) to get pictures to show that I was doing as I said I would. I had so much fun going to get the toys in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014.
This year, I'm doing it again. :)
The final results from 2009: Here
The final results from 2010: Here
The final results from 2011: Here
The final results from 2012: Here
The final results from 2013: Here
The final results from 2014: Here
If you want to see more posts with more details and pictures, then just click here or go to the Toys for Tots tab at the top of the blog on the tabs section.
On the right side of this blog on the side section above my profile, you will find that there is a PayPal donation button there. There's also a Toys For Tots tab up above that. The email address you can paypal donations to is amorousrocker [at] gmail [dot] com. Easy peasy, eh? :)
If you want to donate money to help buy toys for Toys for Tots, just use that or CLICK HERE.
I will take all the money that gets donated and go buy toys. For proof that I'm doing what I say I'll be doing with the donations, there will yet again be pictures of the toys as I buy them and pictures of all those said toys being loaded into the car and more upon being delivered to a Toys for Tots location once I'm done with the fundraiser.
I know some people see this and think about donating but think they only have $5 or $10 to spare and think that's not worth it. Well, that's incorrect because through the years I've received tons of $5 and $10 donations! Every little bit adds up to something bigger!
With $5 I can buy an action figure, toy cars, Legos, a stuffed animal, various kinds of dolls, PlayDoh sets and various other things. $5 will buy a toy and in some cases more than one toy. I can get 8 or 9 Hot Wheels cars on $10 so no amount would be too small. If 15 people donate 5 dollars, I have $75 and that will buy quite a few toys to brighten a child's day. You can do something to help and leave all the work up to me.
And yes, I know Christmas isn't about the toys and other presents but imagine being 7 and not looking forward to waking up Christmas morning because Santa couldn't bring you anything this year. It's a bummer.
If you want, please feel free to post about this on your blog with links and send people over. I would appreciate that quite a bit. If you do pimp this post out on your blog, email me after you do so with the post link so I can include you in a post that's to come later on. Also feel free to tweet about it or post it on Facebook. A few dollars from a lot of different people goes a long way. :)
This post will stay at the top of the blog for quite a while. Actually, it will be up at the top until the time I'm done with the fundraiser. The cut off date to take donations via paypal will be December 10th. I'll go shopping and deliver the toys by the 13th. I know that there isn't a lot of time for this (as I touched on previously) this year but any amount is better than nothing at all in my opinion.
There's also a tab Toys for Tots at the top of the blog if you want to go check out all the previous posts and pictures from the previous two years.
The tab just has pretty much what this post has plus links to the posts I did last year including all of the pictures as well as a donation link.