Religious Freedom?

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed through the state Senate yesterday by a vote of 40 to 10, thanks to the heavy Republican support.  The act will allow individuals and businesses to refuse services on the grounds of their personal beliefs.  It basically legalizes discrimination against LGBT individuals.  Supporters of the bill state that the bill is actually just strengthening the 1st Amendment rights of freedom of religion.  The bill is currently at the House of Representatives for debate and vote, where I hope it dies.

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I am 100% in favor of freedom of religion.  I do not enjoy being told what I should or should not believe, and I imagine the rest of the world feels the same way, regardless of their religion or lack thereof.  What boggles my mind here is that my state wants to give the green light to businesses to boldly discriminate against LGBT individuals and couples while hiding behind a religion they may not even be that serious about.  This opens a door for hateful people to simply be hateful, denying services to others for the simple reason that they don’t agree with who they love, sleep next to, and spend their life with.

This bill is not protecting anyone’s freedom of religion.  This bill is destroying equality for every individual who chooses to live outside the norm of “man marries woman.”  This bill is hurting people who simply want to be free to be who they are.  This bill teaches children that being gay is not okay.  It sends a message that the LGBT community is less than the rest of us.  It sends a message to all that the popular belief is homosexuality is wrong, is a sin, and all who identify as such will be going to hell.

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I don’t want to live in a world where I can go get a coffee, have my haircut, and get a massage while someone else who happens to be gay can be refused those services over what they do behind closed doors.  In a world where we worry about the rights of recently released prisoners, who have raped and murdered and done unspeakable things, why are we so preoccupied with sexual orientation?  How does anyone else’s sex life affect us personally?  I don’t agree with polygamy, but I sure as hell don’t oppose it.  It’s not a choice I would make, but I’m also not affected whatsoever by any polygamous couple anywhere.  Their daily life has no impact on mine.

We need to come together and accept that being gay, transgendered, or bisexual is a fact of life.  I was born straight.  Others are born gay.  Some are born in the wrong body.  Some are gender blind.  We can’t help the way we are born.  A gay person cannot help being gay any more than I can help being a woman with brown eyes of average height.  Hate, on the other hand, is something we learn.  We are taught that certain things are wrong.  We learn to detest characteristics and choices people make.  We build a hatred towards things we don’t understand.  THAT is what we need to work on changing.

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This issue is as important as the issue of racial equality, if not more so, as sexual preference doesn’t stick to certain races or nationalities.  People would be outraged if a business refused service to every Hispanic person that came through their doors, yet we are going to be okay with the same business refusing service to a lesbian couple?  These are foolish and stupid things to judge people on and it needs to stop.  My husband pointed out that it wouldn’t be okay for a business run by a gay person or people to refuse service to straight couples, and if a bill was passed allowing this to be done, people would be enraged.  No matter what the discrimination is, be it skin color or religion or orientation, we should be doing all we can to fight against it, not be passing bills in support of it.

Some may argue that this is needed because children shouldn’t be “exposed” to certain things.  I grew up knowing what cross dressing was, understanding that different people have different skin colors, knowing what being gay meant, and accepting different religions and social/economic differences.  I am a better person for being exposed to so-called harmful things.  Drag queens aren’t going to go away, so what’s the harm in your child seeing one and asking a question?  If you want to argue that it’s inappropriate, then you better start shielding your child from Kim Kardashian, every 20-something during the summer, Facebook, Instagram, TV in general, The Walking Dead, professional wrestling, public places, college, popular music… you get the idea.  When it comes to harmful influences, the label of GAY doesn’t automatically qualify as harmful.

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We need to stop acting as if being gay makes someone a bad person or an affront to any god.  We need to stop calling it a perversion, as we all know that straight people can be more perverted than can be imagined; being into unusual things isn’t based on whether you are gay, straight, or bisexual.  We need to stop thinking that pedophilia is something exclusively affecting the gay community and sticking that perverted label to them.  We need to stop being such assholes, plain and simple, denying basic human rights to people based on things that are none of our damn business to begin with.

I currently have and have had gay friends (and family members), straight friends, bisexual friends, confused friends, slutty friends, repressed friends, and every type in between.  The only time the love/sex lives of any of them affected me is when a friend of mine decided to bang my boyfriend at the time.  Otherwise, they do them and I do me and everyone is happy as pie.  Unless someone is being a nuisance about something, I’m not bothered.  Who they sleep with, pray to, or what country they would travel to if they wanted to visit ancestors is of no concern so long as they are a decent and honest person.

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My mother once told me that if I ever brought home a black man, she would disown me.  One parent among many who will turn away from their children based on who they love.  One person among many who think its acceptable to deny rights, goods and services, or even kindness to another based on characteristics that don’t define character.  My son will likely grow up unable to say that he lives in a world where an LGBT individual receives the same rights and privileges as a straight individual.  In a country that loves to proclaim it’s the land of the free and of opportunities, how utterly pathetic is that?

 

 

Woman In Professional Wrestling

Jamie C. Baker:

There is a major imbalance when it comes to male and female wrestlers. Check out my latest post on facetoheel.com

Originally posted on Face To Heel:

On February 23rd, Stephanie McMahon tweeted the following:  “Thank you @PattyArquette for having the courage to fight for #WomensRights on such a grand platform. #UseYourVoice.”  This was accompanied by a photo of Arquette with text reading “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights.  It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States Of America.”  In response the next day, AJ Lee tweeted to Stephanie “Your female wrestlers have record selling merchandise & have starred in the highest rated segment of the show several times, and yet they receive a fraction of the wages & screen time of the majority of the male roster. #UseYourVoice.”  Stephanie replied with “Thank you @WWEAJLee, I appreciate your opinion. #UseYourVoice.”

This exchange came at a time where #GiveDivasAChance was…

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Baby Got Back

I’m a little annoyed right now.  I found out from a friend on Twitter that Iggy Azalea recently quit Twitter, giving control of her account to her management team, due to online bullying.  Apparently, people went crazy over a photo of her in Hawaii wearing a bikini that displayed her large assets and her cellulite.

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Quite honestly, I am disgusted.  I’m ashamed to live in a world where the photo above is so revolting and so horrific, that people can’t help but reach out to the subject of the photograph and let them know they should wear multiple layers of clothing to hide their gross body from the world.  Are you kidding me?!?

Let’s look back at Kim Kardashian’s “break the internet” photo of her giant, oiled up ass.  No cellulite to be seen, right?  Of course, when you use photography tricks, perfect lighting, and countless other ways to alter the photo into something artistic and flawless.  No body is perfect.  Photoshop can turn even the most horrendous looking person into someone aesthetically pleasing.  But that simply isn’t reality.

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Do we really have nothing better to do with our time than hurl insults at someone for the tiniest of flaws?  Especially flaws we all have ourselves?  Are we that insure with our own bodies that the only way to feel better is to degrade famous people for not being free of flaws?  How pathetic are we?

I’m not some die-hard Iggy fan who is angry that her favorite celebrity got her feelings hurt.  I personally don’t care for her music at all and have zero interest in her personal life.  My focus here is on our sad society.  It’s one thing to have an opinion.  We all don’t have to agree on who is beautiful.  We are allowed to think certain people are hideous.  What isn’t okay is to purposely target the person and make them feel lower than a piece of shit.  Famous or not, that isn’t okay to do to anyone.

We are all flawed in some way, but flaws are what make us beautiful.  There are some things that one person considers a negative and another sees it as a fantastic positive.  No two people look at one thing the same way.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to beauty.  So the next time you feel like calling out someone directly for wearing the wrong thing or looking the wrong way, take a second to think about why you’re acting like such a hateful twat and maybe keep your opinions to yourself this time.

Seth Rollins Exposed

Jamie C. Baker:

Dick pics never work out the way the sender hopes, do they? Please check out my latest article on FaceToHeel.com regarding WWE Superstar Seth Rollins and his unfortunate mishap.

Originally posted on Face To Heel:

Monday Night Raw was filled with matches set up to lead into the Fast Lane Pay Per View, which included the worst Sting imposter I’ve ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes on.  But the real show was unwittingly put on by Mr. Money In The Bank, Seth Rollins.  At midnight following Raw, Rollins tweeted “I would like to apologize to all the WWE fans and my family and friends for private photographs that were distributed without my consent.”  This apology follows an apparent hack of his Twitter and Instagram accounts.  A nude photo of recently signed NXT talent Zahra Schreiber was posted, followed by nude photos of Rollins himself.  His fiancée, Leighla Schultz, later took full responsibility for posting the photos via Twitter before going on to post negative comments about Rollins on Facebook.  To make matters worse, the photos posted to WWE’s website, as they automatically pick up…

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Unpopular Opinion: I Don’t Like Katy Perry

I watched the Super Bowl last night as I lay dying on the couch with my husband.  Both he and I came down with something, and our poor boy was upstairs throwing up everywhere, as the kid has no aim to speak of.  So unfortunately, no Super Bowl beers were had, no amazingly fatty snacks were served, and paying full attention to the game was not happening.  The halftime show featured Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz (for about 20 seconds), and surprise performer Missy Elliott.  It was nice to see a halftime show with people who are still relevant and young, but I was not over the moon about it like everyone else seems to be.  I simply lost my taste for Katy.

As I quickly learned via Twitter, saying anything except “OMG KATY WAS AMAZING” means that you are a hateful, soulless being who doesn’t appreciate art, music, and is simply jealous of the brilliant talent that Katy Perry is.  It wasn’t as if I was saying she sucks or can’t sing.  I own one of her CDs that I specifically went to Best Buy to purchase.  I enjoy a couple songs.  I’ve just moved on from her.  That’s not to say she’s a bad musician, only to say that she isn’t for me anymore.  Sorry.

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As far as the performance itself, it was oddly entertaining, emphasis on the odd.  I appreciate a good show but I’m not a fan of this new trend of being as weird as possible.  I don’t get the dancing sharks and funny face beach balls and acting like a cartoon character.  I feel the same when Miley Cyrus goes overboard.  Good on her for daring to be different, but as an adult, I don’t long to feel as if I’m on Sesame Street when I see a musical performance.  Was it a good show?  Yes.  Did I enjoy it?  Not until Missy Elliott appeared.

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This is my opinion, it’s not going to change, and no one sharing my opinion should be crucified for having it.  It would be a very boring place to live if we all rallied around the same musical acts, watched the same movies, and read the same books.  Differing opinions are what makes the world interesting.  My husband opened me up to some amazing musical artists that I would not have listened to on my own, as well as suggested books I would never think to touch that turned out to be amazing.  I have friends that have suggested places to go I’ve never heard of, things to do I wouldn’t have considered on my own, and I’m grateful for it.  I have no desire to hang around clones of myself, so I appreciate the differences between myself and the people around me.

I don’t enjoy Katy Perry and that is perfectly fine.  When it comes to musical preference, there is never a right or a wrong way to feel.  Music can become something very intimate and personal; it’s very common to hear someone say a song or album changed or saved their life.  Katy may be your entire world, but to me she’s just another artist.  I’m not wrong.  Neither are you.  Let’s all just take a deep breath, embrace our different opinions, and move on to more important things, shall we?

All Work And No Blogging

Back when I worked for the National Guard Finance office, I spent a healthy amount of time writing about the various people I observed and the events that took place.  Tubberpottimus, the bane of my very existence, was a frequently covered topic, as it was either write about her or go absolutely insane.  Now that I’m out of there and settled into my new position, I find myself wanting to write about so many things but being 100% unable to do so.

We have very strict policies in my office.  Cell phone usage is strictly prohibited except in break rooms or outside.  This includes talking, texting, or even taking it out to check the time.  Training materials, notebooks, and anything else with company information on it or written in it cannot leave the property.  Unless you have a photo pass, like I do, you cannot take pictures or record videos.  Even with my badge, I cannot take a photo on site and post it to Twitter; it has to be a photo for on-site company use.

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The days of forwarding my husband funny emails I receive are over.  If someone decorates my desk for my birthday, you won’t see it.  And as much as I want to share some of the insane things that happen here sometimes, I have to keep my mouth shut.  It drives me absolutely insane.  I love sharing crazy stories from the office, and we have more than enough here on a daily basis.  But because I love this job, there is zero workaround, so you guys are going to have to miss out on a lot of WTF moments.

At the end of the day, I’m just glad to have a job that I love.  It feels like it’s been forever and a day since I was able to say that and mean it.  I work somewhere that changes lives.  I support and help run an office that is bringing amazing things to the world.  And I don’t answer phones, deal with customers, greet clients or visitors, or file a single thing.  As far as having to keep my mouth shut… who knows, maybe I’ll write a book.

What You’re Worth

I got my first job when I was 16 years old, working the fry station at Chick Fil-A.  After a week of grease burns and sore fingers, I was put on the front register.  One week after that, I got moved to drive-thru, which I often ran alone.  Within a month I received a raise, which wasn’t much to talk about.  At barely over minimum wage, I wasn’t exactly overflowing my bank account every two weeks.

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I’m 33 now, with very brief period of unemployment between Chick Fil-A and now, thanks to moves, a kid, college, and unexpected life events.  During those years, I’ve seen a lot and learned a lot.  My three years working at Shoe Carnival was where I learned the most about customer service and employee relations.  My time at Health 1st was where I learned to be a leader.  But wherever I’ve worked, regardless of the business type, there were always three very distinct types of people around me.

The first is one I unfortunately see a lot; the employee who comes to work simply for the paycheck.  They may make $15 an hour, but they put in an effort that isn’t even deserving of minimum wage.  More often than not, you can find them taking a smoke break, texting friends, or wandering around instead of doing their job.  If it’s not getting half-assed, it’s not getting done at all.  These are people who take no pride in their job, regardless of how important or trivial it may be.  This attitude and work ethic succeeds in getting you absolutely nowhere.

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The second type is also very common; the employee who earns their paycheck to the penny.  They’re reliable, efficient, and get the job done.  They aren’t habitually late, absent, or away from their assigned area.  Most employers I’ve had fit into this category, and about half of the employees I’ve worked closely with do as well.  It’s a good place to be, especially when working in a team environment where the success of one determines the success of all.  I feel confident knowing that the people I work with are putting in a solid day before clocking out and heading home.

If you fit into this category yourself, that’s fine, but simply striving to earn your paycheck can cause issues.  If you’re entering into a company, making $12 an hour, and all you do is put in $12 an hour’s worth of effort, how can you expect to ever advance?  If you feel that you’re underpaid, which is common in retail and fast food establishments, does that mean your effort decreases because you feel undervalued?  Not looking past the paycheck towards bigger and better things is a huge hindrance.  Even if you don’t see yourself with your current company for the long haul, extra effort can go a long way into giving you a glowing reference when you finally get a new job.

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The final type is one I strive to be and hope to become more consistently; the employee who works towards the salary desired, not the salary earned.  This is the person who goes in and does a million dollar job nearly every day.  People are fond of saying that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  Why not also work for the job you want?  A suit and tie alone isn’t going to move someone up the ladder; they must have the work history and drive to back it up.

Right now, I am lucky enough to be in a place where I can work towards a salary I want, not the one I have.  When I started work here in late August, I was making $13 an hour.  It was barely enough money to get me by week to week, but I busted my tail and am now making considerably more than that, having moved from temp status to full-time employee in record time (average times are generally a year or longer).  Now that I’m getting paid more, I have noticed that I’ve automatically pushed myself to work even harder.

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I’m by no means the hardest working person in the building, but I never leave this place wondering if I did enough, regretting not finishing certain things, or feeling as if I slacked off.  My counterpart here is the same way; the two of us are forever busy and never standing still.  Whatever the position, whatever the goal, it makes so much sense to suck it up and give it your all.  I can choose to be annoyed by my workload or I can choose to enjoy it and tackle it with passion.

It shouldn’t matter if you’re in a job that you consider a career or if you’re in one that is simply a pit stop along the road to your dreams.  A little bit more effort goes a long way.  The obvious benefits to your employment aside, it does wonders for your self-esteem and self-worth.  Is anyone really proud of themselves for trolling Facebook all day on company time?  Bragging about getting paid to do nothing sounds foolish.  It IS foolish.  There is room for fun in every job, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your quality of work.  It’s all about deciding what kind of person you want to be.  A ten buck an hour guy your whole life, or someone worth twice their weight in gold?

Total Divas Fails To Deliver

Jamie C. Baker:

Two episodes into the new run of Total Divas, and I’m less than impressed. Read more at FaceToHeel.

Originally posted on Face To Heel:

On January 4th, Summer Rae and Naomi/Trinity bid farewell to their Total Divas lifestyle in order to make room for Paige and Alicia Fox.  If you recall, when Total Divas first premiered in July 2013, we knew most of the ladies by their real names.  Brie, Nikki, JoJo, Natayla and Eva Marie all go by shortened or slightly altered versions of their real names, while Naomi and Cameron ditched the Funkadactyl labels altogether and became Trinity and Ariane.  Season 1 and 2 guest star Alicia Fox has never strayed from her in-ring name, and neither did Summer Rae when she joined the cast in S2.  Rosa Mendes, new S3 member, is Rosa to everyone except for Nattie, who refers to her as Rouck, a short version of her real last name.  With Paige joining the cast and Fox going full time, billed under their ring names rather than real, it’s…

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Boom

So much has happened over the past few months.  In August, I lost my job working as a contractor for the Army National Guard, thanks to some shady behavior by a bitter coworker.  No more riding to work with my husband, no more cushy job that I was grossly overpaid for, and no more paycheck.  I’m not ashamed to say that I completely panicked.  My husband and I had just put down quite a bit of money to get a home built, and this was a serious blow.  It took nearly a month for me to find a new job, and when I did, I had to settle for almost half of what I had been making.  But at least I had a job.

unemployment-job-work-110414The nice thing about my new job was that it was only a couple of miles from our apartment, plus the hours allowed me the perfect amount of time to drop our boy off at school.  The downside was that I was stuck driving my mom-in-law’s Suzuki, which was on its last leg.  The thing hates the cold, won’t run if it’s a drop under half a tank of gas, and rattles if you go over 40 mph.  But it ran.  So I worked, collected my meager check, tried to get used to not having PTO or paid holidays, and drove my husband crazy.  We emptied out our savings, went crazy selling things at yard sales, and somehow were able to pay our overpriced rent, plus finish saving up for our down payment on our home, which was getting built quicker than we imagined.

On October 27th, we closed on our new home, and it was a fantastic feeling.  Moving only a couple of miles down the road should have made it easy, but even with five days to complete the move and get out of our apartment, we cut it close.  It might have been easier if we had been open with what we were doing, but we decided to keep things under wraps until the house was officially ours.  The weekend after we were settled in, we had a wedding to attend, and the weekend after, a baby shower.  I was exhausted, but happy to be in our new home and able to spend time with people I don’t nearly see often enough.

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Things were going well, but trying to get used to a smaller paycheck wasn’t easy.  Things got worse when it began getting cold outside and the Suzuki decided that it was fun to take ten minutes to start whenever it was 30 degrees or below.  It was time to get a new car.  That I couldn’t afford.  We found someone who could work with me and would accept the Suzuki as a trade-in, but I still had to come up with cash to put down, plus deal with a higher monthly payment than I was happy with.  But it was either this or nothing.  Without picture perfect credit, I wouldn’t get a monthly payment I could live with.  So I signed the papers and got a “new” car.  The next day, the Suzuki caught fire, so I felt slightly better about my decision to upgrade.

As a contingent worker for my company, I am not afforded the same benefits and perks as our full time employees.  The fact that this place is fantastic definitely helps, but the pay just won’t work for the long term.  Goes without saying, I did a virtual backflip when my boss asked me if I was interested in going full time.  I did a few more after she told me that my interview went well and they wanted to make me an offer.  I about passed out when she told me the salary offer.  As of January 5th, I will be a full time employee with benefits and a beautiful paycheck, and I could not be happier.

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My husband always says things have a way of working out.  They always work out for us, and he reminds me of that fact quite a bit.  I lost my job.  My car caught fire.  But I got into a new car loan that works to build my credit; the company specializes in doing just that.  I got a new job that I absolutely love and that is close to home.  My husband and I finally got a house that we adore.  And, thankfully, I got an offer for full time employment that solves my financial issues.  It doesn’t come in time to have a normal Christmas, but we’re working around it and hitting the casino instead (our boy is with his grandparents, thanks to a court order, so he will miss our first Christmas in the house).  Things have been hectic as all hell, but I’m so grateful that they are coming together beautifully.  I have everything I need to have the best Christmas ever.  My husband, my pup dog, my boy returning home soon, a beautiful house, a car that isn’t on fire, and a kick ass job that will come with amazing pay in 2015.  I’m a lucky lady.

2014 Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (And Stairs) Review

Jamie C. Baker:

Please take a minute and read my first ever live review for FaceToHeel.com!

Originally posted on Face To Heel:

Tonight, I will be writing my first live review, and I’m excited to be able to do it for Tables, Ladders, Chairs & Stairs.  The TLC kickoff featured Paul Heyman on commentary, with his typical “why am I here with these fools” expression.  Our preshow match is a tag team battle between Gold and Stardust and Big E and Kofi Kingston of A New Day.  To quote my 9-year-old, “What is this? I don’t get it.”  I don’t have a good answer that properly explains what A New Day is doing, but I am enjoying Stardust’s new green hue.  This is a better match than I imagined, but it’s a shame to see Kingston and Big E fail to expand their moveset in order to fit their new characters.  Stardust is looking strong, not letting either New Day member really get off the ground.  Big E eventually comes in like…

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