Aaron Burr

It’s been, what, 3 years? since Alexander Hamilton came back into the minds of anyone but history majors and polysci majors and I dunno who else. All because of Lin-Manuel Miranda who’s amazing play and soundtrack entered the lives of all who would hear it, even going so far as adding to movements and pushing them to the forefront. Immigrants – We get the job done. While I’m not American, the issue of immigration seems pretty relevant to us in Trinidad, with Venezuelans and Guyanese, and small islanders coming across. I swear I get upset when people I thought I knew end up dropping some pretty crass and, quite frankly dehumanizing thoughts about the people coming in doing what they don’t wanna do, if it means what they see as a better life.

That isn’t the point, though I mean it is relevant, and that’s what’s amazing about Hamilton. No one can say it hasn’t influenced our culture since it’s inception.

Now, I’ll let to the crux of the matter.

Y’all know I’ve already dropped posts about the 2 characters that I love, for reason because they are decidedly not the besthated, even (Reminds me, I have to revisit Wicked to address Glinda as a Slytherin and Elphaba as a Gryffindor – maybe Gryffindor. I am convinced, but I’m gonna need proof. Glinda is def Slytherin tho.)

But Mr Aaron Burr.

I fully agree that Hamilton is written as though Eliza’s doing research into the men that Alexander served with, and looking into his writing and  every written piece surrounding him. She also interviewed the people that survived him, enemies and allies. There has to be something more to Alexander’s story. Believe me, as much as I love Aaron, I do sympathise with her. Also, she’s a better woman than me.

I think that a lot of this, the entire play is written as if through Burr’s eyes, and we see it. He introduces the play. He leads the chorus. Much of what we get from him is personal. We get insight into his thoughts, into his fears, his desires, and his personal recollections of events.

What’s personal about Alexander, I believe it’s only made known because of what was written, either from what Eliza found or experienced herself, or what was published. We get a more intimate account of Aaron’s  beliefs and motivations, where Alexander’s were presented as the narrative hero almost? I wonder if that’s the trope I want to use. But he is a hero trope.

Aaron Burr may be the antihero, but he is not a villain.  He’s hella relatable. He takes caution. He understands that everyone has hidden motives. He has his own. His motivations are human. He doesn’t want to hurt people for the sake of hurting people. He wants to advance, but not at the cost of another person’s death. At least not immediately.

He’s competent, but he’s thwarted and frustrated by Hamilton. Not to say that he doesn’t appreciate the dude. He does. But there’re some things they could never overcome. It’s a clash of impulse vs caution. Overt vs covert. It was natural that they would butt heads.  Expected even.

I maintain Burr was not the villain. He did shoot Alexander. But he immediately regretted it. He says it in the opening song. He screams even as he pulled the trigger. He looked at the scene immediately after as people rushed to get Alexander the help he needed.

Honestly, he reminds me of Javert. They both kinda do. Alex and Javert’s tunnel vision toward an end. Aaron and Javert and the antagonistic role a good man was assigned, even in their own experiences.

I think there’s nothing more frustrating that realising you’re not the protagonist in your own life.

But at least Aaron survived. He’s a lot more well rounded than Javert, luckily, understanding the nature of men. So he’s less likely to commit suicide. (just murder.)

I adore slimy characters. But that’s not Aaron Burr. Poor dude was frustrated by an upstart turned peer, who at one point could’ve been considered a friend. They had many civil conversations, about life outside of the war, and outside of the workplace. Alexander even considered him an ally. So they were friends, just vastly different.

I just love him so much, you guys!

It’s sort of like my love of Hawkeye, even if the things  I like about them are completely different. I could come up with all sorts of examples of what  I like about both, but if I had to write a thesis about it, I’d try and fail. (See above)

But ohmaigawsh do I love Burr.

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An extended rant for the first quarter of 2018

Forgive me, I’ve been on a Dungeon Mastering high and there was Critical Role going on (finally finished the Vox Machina campaign and then there’s the new one-) and then there’s work, and planning my own world for my players, where they can develop and everything away from the world that I underdeveloped for my brother and I,  and maybe planning to foster newbie DMs, where I’m the foster Mommy, despite only being somewhat competent at the role for about …. yesterday, if I’m honest.

What I’m saying is Dungeons and Dragons has taken over my life!!! Not to say that it isn’t fulfilling, but to be completely honest, I need a bit of a palate cleanser.

There really isn’t anything more satisfying than planning a session – one shot or otherwise – and seeing your players fully immerse themselves in that world. Conversely there’s nothing more stressful than planning for it and then seeing it fall apart.

(Yesterday’s oneshot about the upcoming Alias con took a turn for the better/worse but it was my high elven sorcerer who finally took down the Archfey that fed off fans’ energy since Alias Entertainment started, and – well, real life bled into the session)

Okay, I think  I ranted enough about DnD.

I do have a couple things on my mind, and I’m not entirely sure what I wanna make this post about? That there’s so much going on in my life outside of DnD is something that I regularly try to avoid, since there’s so much real world, life-affecting decisions to be made.

First of all.

Church.

I’ve been neglecting it so much, and it really just happened so long ago that even bringing it up now just seems like I’m making an excuse. Which I sort of am. Still. I mean. I mean, really, just getting disillusioned with one of the key locations in life, where you’re supposed to get a sense of peace and guidance, it really does take you so far from where you need to be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, even in terms of real life goals.

So sad to say, it’s probably been close to 2 years since I’ve been present, physically and/or mentally in a church service. (As I said before, DnD is taking over my life.)

But recently, I’ve been going to another church. Not gonna lie I had my reservations about going there since there pretty much was a mass exodus from my home church to this new one. But all things considered, I fully believe that considering that I’m feeling rather in a stage of transition in my life, I’m considering making that new church my home church.

That being said, I don’t want to condemn my old church. Like other things it’s going through its own transition, and it’s a really painful process. If it should grow from it, it will. But I really think it’s no longer for me.

I feel like there is much I need to return to, to move forward. I need to go back to prayer and fast. Been feeling it for a good while. Been feeling the 21 day fast, Miles Munroe style. (Okay I tried it with all good intentions, but I think –know– that I went into it dry. That went as well as you’d expect. Still, there was breakthrough, considering what I was fasting for. The 2 days I managed to do it before I got completely hangry and aggressive did what I wanted – just faster)

I really feel like I need to recover, first of all, then take it more seriously. Wean off the food a bit, get less junky. And take in the scriptures on prayer and fast and meditate on it. Then start back the fast. Maybe with something less intense than a full 21 days sans food.

Still. I mean. There is something to be said about prayer and fast. I’ve never gotten a true breakthrough before this. And I think it’s because I’d never believed in it as much as I should have. Don’t get me wrong. I fully believe that prayer and fast works. I’ve witnessed and heard testimonies about it from other people’s experiences. But I’d never really felt convicted to do it for a real purpose. With this last one, I did and geez did it work. Even for 2 days worth it really worked.

Another pressing thing that’s on my mind, my friend brought up something pretty interesting yesterday about me that I never saw. That def is a rant for another post, but tl;dr, the way that I grew up – transitioned from  the last developmental point she saw me at – to where I am now, it is significantly different from the other people in my friend groups, intimate and extended, if I think about it. I’m honestly not too sure how myself, since I grew up around me, and as far as I can see, I really haven’t grown up as much as I should by now. It’s def something to look at, a bit of introspection.

To be honest, if I’m doing that rant (which I probably will), it’ll feel like homework, since she brought it up with a purpose. Still…. has to be something there. She’s like the third person to tell me that.

Maybe I did grow up. The question is how.

 

“No living man am I! You look upon a woman!” 5 things I experience as a female role-player

The Dork Ages

For those of you who don’t recognise it, the quote is from The Lord of the Rings, specifically Eowyn’s response to the Witch King of Angmar (just before she kills him) when he tells her that he can be hindered by no living man. I think its relevant for a couple of reasons: firstly because people are still surprised when they meet women who role-play, and secondly because she’s the kind of awesome armour-wearing, sword-wielding woman you tend to find in RPGs.

In general, role-play is still male-dominated and in any given game you’re lucky to have one woman in the group. So, with this in mind I wanted to share a few things that I’ve noticed happen to me as a female role-player that I don’t think happen to my male friends quite so much (if I’m wrong, feel free to correct me!) This won’t reflect every woman’s experience…

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Christianity vs Life – Identity crisis

What’s so amazing, so bloody amazing is that for the first time in a year, I actually don’t feel like bible study has become a chore for me. It has, for the first time in a year, become something that I’m excited to get into more and more, and I’m a little upset that I have to work in a couple hours, so I can’t get into it more right now.

That being said, the little bit that I did do just…. mind blowing, how the things I had to force myself to read earlier, (took me 9 months to read 9 days worth of scripture. I’m still not done there) now come into play, with examples.

Lemme – beginning.

Anyone who knows me, knows that for years in secondary school,  I was a fan of Vic Mignogna. I still am, but  I’m not as vocal about it anymore. He’s an amazing voice actor, and a fun guy, and I still really appreciate him. What I do admire about him and will always do, is that he is a Christian, and strongly, never hiding his love of Christ. It’s why I’m a Ranger ^~^a

I was watching his video at Colossalcon this year (2017 for the archives). and he was talking about how God loves us, and how He would give us a chance to accept Him. Our identity as His creation, and reaffirming this, in spite of our bouts of low self confidence. About how we find satisfaction and contentment in  God.

After that I was listening to one of Joyce Meyer’s sermons about how our thoughts affect our walk with God. To me, these two videos were unrelated. Honestly, I just clicked them both thinking 1) I haven’t listened to Vic in a while, and 2) if I’m probably gonna keep missing church because work and any excuse, I may as well listen to a sermon, so Joyce.

And yet, as unrelated as these two people are, they both talked about the same topic at different events  to vastly different groups.

After the videos I looked into the scriptures that Joyce used to back up her topic, and you see more into the persona of God, about His characteristics,  about His actions for the sake of Humanity. You see the relationship Man has with God, where David speaks directly to Him in the Psalms. You see in Jeremiah 29:11 where God speaks directly to humanity where His plans for us can only benefit us. You see where humbling yourself (1 Peter 5:6) isn’t necessarily about subjugation to Him,  about submission before a fearsome god, but about trust in Him and belief in His Words. I haven’t gotten too far in the list yet. I did intend to sleep, but I started thinking about this and well….  ┐(‘~` )┌
I’m thinking about how in Jeremiah 29:11, God speaks directly to mankind. I have… for you.  I started thinking how belief in God’s Word and His promises and that implicit trust could only benefit us. 1 Peter 5:6 – humble yourself before God’s mighty hand and in time He may life you up.  Jesus humbled Himself. before God. Jesus did,  humbling Himself and trusting in the promises of God for mankind. Noah did  the same in Genesis , and believed the Word of God and he got life (survived the flood) prosperity and benefited. He wasn’t perfect, neither was David, but both were blessed following the Word of God. I started thinking about – David had that relationship with God. He knew God’s actions were for Man’s benefit. He knew that God’s thought  were for us and about us. He praised God for this remarkable reason. It’s mindboggling  that He’d think about us. About a single person. About me.

So both videos talked about knowing our identity as God’s loved ones, about our identity in Christ. If we were not sure about who we are as Christians, as believers, as followers in Christ, we’re probably either doing something wrong, or we just don’t understand. We really do need to get into the Word to see the scripture to understand the message and , even, I dunno, pick out examples that proved it.

I think what excited me was the fact that — for the longest time, for more than a year, I’ve steadily felt less encouraged in church, and more empty.  Which was aggravated more by the fact that shift work makes it hard for me to go, even though I’d try to push to go when I can. Steadily growing dysfunction at home isn’t helping either.

I’m not gonna lie, I started to question who I was anymore outside of the church. I think I blogged about it before. I felt that outside of church, outside of ministry, any time away from a strong foundation left me feeling so out of it. I did, I did say  I felt like I started to regress, and head back into things I’d previously left behind. Lately, I’d also picked up new things (D&D!) which, while really fun to plan, and play, and just do, it started to take up most of my time. I started being a little afraid of it. Not much, not intellectually, but spiritually, I knew I was using it to fill in for what I was missing.

So to get this little bit was so much to me. I’m so grateful, and honestly, I’ll take what little I can. Because even a little can be a lot. Crumbs from the table can be satisfying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids’ say

My friend has a kid who’s adorable as he is an old man at four. You could see the influence his mother’s family has had on him so far and dammit, they grew him up nice. You could see he’ll be a little heartbreaker when he’s ready. 

He also has hair that’s the perfect texture and length for a tasteful, cute little rat-tail of a braid. If it was any of his other aunties – my friends, who all know his family – yeah I’d attack their hair. We’ve all known each other for a decade-plus. We’re all pretty comfortable with each other

But this kid, it’s literally the second time in life he’s ever seeing me because location and schedules, so I’m like, “I wanna do this thing, but I’ll wait for his mother and ask her before I ask him if I could”. That confused my friends, which baffled me.  Dude I’m not gonna just start randomly playing with his hair. He doesn’t know me. I’m a stranger to him. And even then. What if that makes him uncomfortable? What if he doesn’t like it? What if his mother -sensibly- raised him not to let random people play with her child’s hair for their own amusement?

I mean, I guess I get it? One of my friends was raised to be respectful and affectionate toward adults and just-people in general. The other one basically sees children as the equivalent of adults, but tiny.

Still, I know that would freak me out at 26 if one of my parents friends, especially if this is the first time in years that’s I’m meeting you, and I barely knew you the last time, played with my hair.

(That actually happened at a conference that I  went to a couple years ago. Other attendees touched and petted my hair. Freaked me out. I played with my hair trying to make it more comfortable, like a cat licking its fur after being petted. They meant nothing by it, but still)

But that’s just it. Kids have a right to consent, just as much their parents have a right to say yes, you can play. 

I didn’t ask, and I forgot about it, until we left. Didn’t matter anyway. Everybody was so busy anyway. 

The parents do have a say in who interacts with their kids and how. It shows a level of trust between them and the ones that allow to act a certain way toward their children. But I think children have the final say. They know what they like, they know who they trust. 

And you have to know your boundaries. 

We are all Edmund

Yes, I’m referencing a tumblr post, found on Facebook, on a WordPress blog, that links back to tumblr. Ain’t dissemination wonderful?

Everyone on tumblr who comes across any post have at least once used an Edmund gif as #relatable, #me, #tbhMe, etc. Also, he’s indeed sassmaster supreme. 

But he’s more relatable than we think. Sure he’d rather not spend his time outside. Yes, we all think his siblings insufferable sometimes. And yeah, we like to come off better than we feel to others. 

But I really think the description in the text post actually sums up my point. All of this is true. And a little on the nose for C.S. Lewis. Aslan as the model for the Christ figure. Yeah, it’s not a boop to the nose. It’s the full palm. 

His other siblings clearly show admirable characteristics- bravery, honour, wisdom and caution, truthfulness, kindness, responsibility. Edmund doesn’t. Not immediately. He’s childish, immature, a liar, even if for fear of being babyish as Lucy was perceived despite both of them experiencing Narnia. He sold out his family for sweets. 

One of the easiest things to do would be to sort them by the Hogwarts house systems. Sweet, innocent Lucy, who believes in the good of the beings around her, but who would fiercely oppose Evil – Hufflepuff. Susan, who looked at things with logic, caution,  and common sense could easily be Ravenclaw. Honour-bound Peter looked after his siblings, saw to it that he fulfilled his responsibilities, and rallied them no matter  what they did is clearly Gryffindor. Edmund knew the reality they faced. They were displaced because of war. His family is separated. He’s upset and makes it known, even if he can’t express what the problem is. He knows what he wants to be perceived as, and aims to portray it. He sold his siblings for sweets. Yeah he’s Slytherin. 

But it’s more than that. 

He was all those things. He did all those things. Those characteristics and his past experiences only helped make him “the Just”. He learned where he went wrong in Narnia. He wanted out. 

He wasn’t perfect. Far from it. I’m sure he had his faults even after the battle. ( Honestly, I’ve only ever read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

He faltered. He had his moments of doubt. But he looked to Aslan, and saw what Aslan did for him. He forgave Edmund. He allowed him Grace. He died for Edmund. Edmund found out, constantly, that he was worth it. And those are things you can’t come back from after the implications of that hit you. And you can’t help but love the person who would give his life for you without an second thought. 

As I said, Aslan as the Christ figure is well on the nose. 

You know when you’ve been just out all day, and you can’t really function, and you know you need to just wash everything off and change, but you’re so exhausted that you’re just tempted to drop on the floor and stay there forever? I’ve been there spiritually for a while. It had to take this exact text post for me to try harder at getting clean and refreshed.

I’ve tried to be Lucy. I’m too much like Edmund. But like Edmund I have that second chance. Way too much, but I’ll take it. 

On this day in history

I hate letting people know when my birthday is generally. There are a lot of reasons why I don’t, and it all stems from how awkward I feel about it.

Still, for the sake of this Post, that’s the context. Tonight’s my last night as a 25 year old.

So what have I learned?

Well, from tonight’s drinking game with my siblings ( at home, where I could easily wimp out and leave, as I did) I learned several things. One, that this would make an excellent blogpost.  Two, that as a Christian, these things have lessons, despite the obvious “drunkenness?!?!?”aspect. Three, that there are some things that I’m too old for, and I was right years ago when I decided that my one drink limit was enough.

And these are the three that I could think of at this point in the post.

Let’s start with the easiest to address – age and alcohol tolerance. I don’t like drinking tequila. I don’t like drinking generally because I hate the buzzed, then uncomfortable feeling afterwards. I prefer to take one alcoholic drink, if any at all, then compensate with bottles/glasses of water to clear my head.  It’s safer, and I don’t feel to throw up immediately after. Unlike tonight. Luckily, it was at home, with siblings and in a space where I could wimp out and get comfy before I sleep. At 25, hours away from being 26, I’m too old for drinking games. Also, I think I inherited my father’s tolerance for alcohol. (It’s hella low)

I’m an old lady, I shouldn’t be playing with these young’uns. Not with these fancy social activities of theirs. I’m lucky tho. I knew when my limit was coming up. I even told my siblings when that limit was coming, then breached. But because I’m either too scared or to vague to say anything outright, I still had to vomit, then walk around a few times before I officially admitted defeat.

So, age, preference, and tolerance level equal not qualified for being an alcoholic. So yay. Factor in the fact that I remember all my drunken adventures(“adventures”) yea, I’m not gonna become an alcoholic anytime soon.

Christianity. It’s not a black and white issue. Alcohol as an issue is extremely vague. Paul talks against it for people serving in the church(1 Tim 3:8), and those who are drunkards are described as people to not associate with(1 Cor 5:11). But alcohol can be useful in medicine (1 Tim 5:23).

Moderate use of anything is good. It’s excessive use that gets us in trouble. And, as low as my tolerance for alcohol is, I believe that I probably crossed my limit long ago. The nausea and throwing up proved it.

I’m just glad that I was in control of my senses to stop before it got worse than it did. Luckily it was comically bad instead of, “holy shit, I think she’s dead” bad.

Most people, being human, can’t control their urges, and they end up giving in to these urges, which quickly become addictions. Alcohol is addicting. It can be destructive when it gets to this point. Which is why I could understand why many Christian leaders tend to abhor it, and strongly advise against, and openly condemn it. The youth in me is saying, but, just know yourself and know your limit. Moderation is key. The old lady who strongly just wants to not regret her decisions say just ignore it altogether. You act as if you’re drunk anyway, just be aware of the crap you’d say and have more control over yourself. Because you could be aware, but still be reckless with your words under the influence of alcohol.

Which segues nicely into my next point. (Ad-libbing) A drunken mouth speaks a sober mind. Which happened tonight. Making everyone, including myself, aware of issues that I still need to sort of probably. Or address. To myself and with others. I’m not complaining. I’m not regretting saying it or revealing it. But don’t think me callous or cruel.  Regret for me tends to be forgetting it or ignoring it, pretending it didn’t happen. Since I’ve revealed it, I could now address it and try to fix things.

This goes back to Christianity. One, excess is bad, leading to sin. And for lack of a better word, self sabotage and disrepair.  But, I’m admitting where I went wrong. I went well past my personal limit, leading to excess and discomfort. Two I said things I would have been better off addressing or staying quiet about. That could have led to a fight, but luckily it didn’t. Thank God. Because two alcohol fueled parties fighting never leads to anything good. Three, well, since I’ve put it out there, bringing this up does make the problem real, more….. corporeal? More…. yes, real. It can be addressed. Which is good. If issues are made clear among people, things can be made new and whole. It puts it out there, ready for a solution to be made.

I’m sobering up pretty quickly given the time since I decided to write this post, coupled with the almost immediate throwing up I did. Which I don’t mind. Tequila is horrible.

So, in this moment of decided (spiritual) weakness, there can be strength. Remember, all have fallen short.

Sigh

I’m just happy that my method of drinking then sobering up means that I don’t get hangovers.

I’ll remember it though. I remember each and every one of these times….. 😳