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Chris Sutton
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Check out my Indiegogo for The Bear Summoning, a bear run planned for this August!

Can't sleep, might as well make a post.

It's becoming increasingly clear to me that simply voting is not enough to ensure that my rights as an American citizen are protected.

I voted for Bernie in the primary. Bernie lost. I voted for Hillary, as Bernie requested. Hillary lost. I did everything I could as a voter, including discussing the matter with my coworkers - my only real social circle with people outside of the local LGBTQ community here in Columbus. (I'm starting to think I need to work on this.)

Honestly, if you went and voted for a legitimate candidate participating in the race, good on you. If you did a write-in for Bernie Sanders, or voted for a meteor or a dead gorilla, you are part of the problem. Apathy doesn't change this country - it's a vote for the status quo.

For those who voted for Trump - you voted against LGBTQ rights in the United States. Understand this, and understand that this will ALWAYS be the case, as long as the Republican party continues to make it a ballot item.

I did not choose to be homosexual. I don't know why I am homosexual. That shouldn't matter, anyway. We live in the 21st century. The developed world has made great strides for LGBTQ rights. Yesterday, the USA took a step backwards.

"But Chris," you say, your brow furrowed with concern, "we saw Trump holding a rainbow flag!"

True. You also know who he picked as his VP.

http://time.com/4406337/mike-pence-gay-rights-lgbt-religious-freedom/

(In case you need a reminder.)

In the near future, I am going to attempt to be a vocal minority. Protesting, blogging, whatever it takes to make it clear that I won't be complacent when it comes to the rights of my queer brothers, sisters, and all those who defy labels. This doesn't stop with us, though - the minority populations of the US, including blacks, Muslims, Latinos, and women, will all feel pressure under this presidency, House, and Senate.

To the winner - you promise to Make America Great Again. Let's hope that's for all of us, and not just some of us.

PS - this post is public. For those that don't know, I rarely do this. It's just that important to me.

Inertia of the Soul

So after my decision to switch from #writeeveryday  to #writeordie , I promptly dropped the ball on writing entirely. Go me!

Honestly, the original problems still exist - work has simply become too busy to allow me adequate free time for creative writing, and low energy/motivation outside of work makes it difficult to become inspired. Bad sleep is still my biggest hurdle. Even today, I'm at work on somewhere between 3 and 4 hours of sleep. I may have to consider seeing a doctor about it again - I'm due for my yearly physical anyway.

Still, I'm doing my best to avoid being discouraged. I know that the key to achieving my goals is to persevere despite setbacks. I think of it like Newton's First Law - a soul at rest stays at reset, and a soul in motion stays in motion. It's easy to be a complacent consumer, to absorb constant stimulation from social media, Netflix, reddit, and all the rest. I'm not content with that anymore. I want to contribute, and be a part of the world, rather than a passive observer. I've been slowed down, but I'm not stopping. I know I am capable of pursuing my dreams, so long as I continue the pursuit.

I'm not giving up, not even close. I don't know how many people actually read this drivel, but I hope that I've inspired or enriched your lives in some way (or at least proven mildly entertaining). Thank you to all my friends, family, and loved ones for supporting my efforts. 

#writeordie  - (NOTE: this is a work of fiction, and the people referenced are not real.)

**AMBER ALERT**
NAME: Cassandra Palmer
ALIAS(ES): Cassie
AGE: 9
ETHNICITY: Caucasian
HAIR: Blonde
EYES: Amber
LAST SEEN: Friday, July 13th, 2013 1:00 PM at her home, playing her backyard in Allegheny, PA wearing a pale green sundress and pink sandals. If seen, contact the Allegheny PD @ 555-1313.
**AMBER ALERT**

Squeak doesn't know how long she lived in the giant's house, or even how she got there. She remembers being locked in the cage with Eek, the brown mouse boy. She hated Eek. He was mean, often biting her and throwing things at her out of anger at his own imprisonment. She remembers when the giant would pull her out and put her on stage, telling her to dance and climb and tumble. It was that, or get eaten, so naturally she would. She remembers eating the bitter, foul cheese she was provided each day for her meal (except when Eek stole it). She remembers the day she forgot her name, because that was the day she became Squeak. She remembers when her tail grew, and how she tried to cut it off with the gate... it hurt so bad that she couldn't dance for two days, which made the giant very cross... she doesn't like thinking about what he did to punish her. 

That was the day Squeak ran away. She feared what would happen if she failed, but she knew she would die or go mad if she stayed. She told Eek her plan, and they prepared to leave that night. Naturally, Eek betrayed her, calling for the giant as they exited the cage. When the giant came to investigate, Eek proudly confessed the whole plan, and that Squeak had beaten him to make him play along. However, to Eek's dismay, he realized Squeak was not outside the cage at all, but clearly still sleeping inside, with the cage lock firmly in place. Eek didn't have much time to consider how it had happened, as he was promptly snatched up by his tail and eaten.

In the commotion of Eek's digestive demise, Squeak made her true escape - a hole she had dug under her nest. She made her way through the walls of the giant's house, and into the garden, where she found the Hedge. Even at her small size, the thorns tore and hurt her, and she almost passed out from the pain... until she heard the giant's roar, and her fear drove her forward to freedom. She found herself in the woods near her house, and ran home, crying all the way.

There was a problem, though... "Cassie" had been found a week after her disappearance in those very same woods, and was living quite happily with her family already, so this strange girl with the large, fearful eyes and white hair and overbite was obviously somebody else's little girl, and a rotten liar, at least according to "Cassie". Her parents were obviously concerned for her, but they didn't recognize her at all after her ordeal. They were in the process of calling the police when Squeak disappeared, forever..

At least, as far as they knew.

Last weekend, I went to a Buffalo Wild Wings to watch an international sporting event, drink booze, yell at the TV, and consume copious amounts of wings. Most people who know me personally will be wondering at this point when, exactly, I had been replaced by a body snatcher. However, the sporting event in question was a bit off from the norm – it was The International, an eSports competition hosted annually by Valve for the game Dota 2. This year, the prize pool was $18 million, which surpassed the previous year’s $11 million to become the highest prize pool in eSports history. Participants from five continents participated in this year’s competition. The event took place in Key Arena in Seattle, Washington (a venue with ~15-17k occupancy), and tickets sold out in five minutes. Needless to say, it’s a pretty big deal in the gaming world.

(Note: I dunno how many Dota 2 fans I have following me, so I will just give a blanket warning that the rest of the post will contain spoilers for the outcome of the event.)

This year, the finals were between Evil Geniuses, a predominantly American team, with a Canadian and a Pakistani teammate filling out the roster. Their opponents were CDEC, a Chinese team that started as a wildcard, and went all the way to the finals undefeated (even beating Evil Geniuses once along the way). Ultimately, Evil Geniuses won the tournament 3-1 in a best of 5. It was a fantastic match, and displayed the considerable skills of both teams.

The event I attended was held at a Buffalo Wild Wings – a bit corporate for my tastes, but the staff were friendly at least. The guys running the event did a decent job, raffling off goodies between the game rounds. About the only complaint I could give was the occasional buffering – an unfortunate and common issue when you’re trying to live stream. On a related note, I’m hoping that eSports will start to pick up more legitimacy in the states. It would be nice to watch a big gaming event like the International on cable as opposed to having to stream it through a laptop. With $18 million prize pools on the line, this very well could come to pass.

Oh, and it’s about time the US won!

#writeordie

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"Such fascinating energies!" #theinternational
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I'm scared.
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Buckled in for safety, of course. #imanadult
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So, obviously I have not been living up to the rules of #writeeveryday. That's not to say that I've given up - it just means that my current (bizarre mixture of lazy and busy) lifestyle has made it impossible for me to live up to this. As such,  I will be retiring it, for the time being. I will be taking measures to earning the right to claim it back again, but in the meantime, I will be using a variant...

#writeordie
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