Prompt Page 013: I Didn’t Pass



Prompt by The Learning Network to combat WordPress.


Today’s Topic:
Could I pass a basic religion test?




How did I do on the test?



This was interesting. The test online was only six questions for me. I answered three of them correctly, but I was pretty alright with that. The ones I got wrong I was torn on the answer.


Brain: Should I go with A or B? I think it’s B… but I’m going to answer A because I’m second guessing myself and that always leads to a right answer…


… Said no one ever.


Oh well. For not being Christian, having never read the bible, I think I did pretty well, and I got all of the questions correct about other religions. And those words sound really big and cool until you go back and realize it was only six questions…


How much do I think I know about religion in general and about my own faith in particular?

I think I know a decent amount about a decent amount. Sad that I feel like I know more about other religions than my own. But there’s the truth of it.


Why is that?

Because I grew up Christian, and because Christianity the major faith of my country, I feel I have the most exposure to it. As I journeyed through my own faith I picked up bits of knowledge here and there. Things I heard, things I read. Things other people told me about their faith.


Freya clicked with me, and I did a fair amount of research in the beginning to make sure the feelings I felt were right.


Should I explore my faith more? Of course. Along with learning C++, creating a new demo reel, working out 6 times a week instead of 4, sleeping more hours and more consistently, cooking every meal instead of skimping out the handful of times I do because going out is faster than doing it myself, working on personal projects, drawing everyday, practicing aikido and taekwondo, putting time into my homework assignments, and a whole slew of other things that I should, aught to, need to be doing on top of all the things I already have to, need to, must do or else my world falls apart, like showing up to work on time.


… I’m out of breath just typing all of that, much less doing it…


I’m doing the best I can. My faith is important to me. Am I a master of it? Could I recite everything about it word for word? No. I couldn’t. But apparently neither can 3,400 other Americans, so I feel I’m at least in good company.


I know enough to feel comfortable and at peace with my choice.


Would I be interested in learning more? Why or why not?

Yes. About everything. Always. I love learning. I love nifty, interesting facts. I like being able to compare and contrast different belief structures. How are they similar? How are they different? Who mainly practices? What regions is it prevalent in? Has it spread to other areas, and if so, how? How has it changed? How has it affected cultures?


I find the evolution of cultures fascinating and I feel religion is interwoven into that. I feel I will always be interested in expanding my knowledge of other people and cultures, and that includes their religion.


Prompt Page 013: More or Less?



Prompt by The Learning Network to combat WordPress.


Today’s Topic:
Are you less religious
than your parents?


I’m pretty proud of myself that I have almost completed the morality and religious section writing prompts. Only two more to go, not including this one. For some reason it feels a bit like an accomplishment.


I almost skipped over this one, thinking it wouldn’t be captivating, but I read through the article and it did end up sparking my interest, so here I am. Thinking. Pondering. Letting my fingertips dance over the keyboard as my thoughts move around.


Do I consider myself affiliated with a particular religion? Do my friends have any religious affiliation?

This harkens back to a prompt just a few days ago. If pressed to pick something it would be Odinism, but I don’t feel that is the right term and so inside of my head, no, I don’t really consider myself affiliated with a particular religion. I follow Freya. I don’t need that to be called or considered something for it to feel right to me. I also pull mentalities from many religions and philosophies. There isn’t a specific name that encompasses the hodgepodge of things I believe in, at least I don’t think there is, and I’m ok with that. I don’t need a name or term for my beliefs.


My spiritual beliefs are for my inner peace, not for societal classification or acceptance.


As for my friends, they’re pretty all over the place. I have friends who are Jewish, Christian (lumping all sects into one overarching category, no disrespect meant), Pagan (again, larger category containing many different branches), atheist, and agnostic. I love them all and I’m grateful for the unique perspectives their religion, or lack there of, gives them.


Have I noticed that my generation is less religious than my parents’ or grandparents’ generations?

Yes. I have. I find that, at least with the people I tend to befriend, that we are more interested in science than religion.


Why do I think young people are less religious than in the past?

I find it hard to stand behind someone who claims faith above science, rejecting the reality we live in, and I feel that is something I share with a majority of later generations. We were raised to be educated. To go to school. To learn facts. To prove things. And I think that emphasis extends itself to religion. If it can’t be proven we have a hard time accepting it as a truth.


I understand faith is important to people. My faith is important to me. But I do not let it blind me to how the world words. The world isn’t flat. We are not the center of the Universe. Clouds are made of condensed water particles and, to date, no airplane has ever seen angles playing harps as they fly through the clouds. To date, no scans of the Earth’s core have found a pit with demons tormenting souls of the damned.


That’s not to say these places do not exist in some alternate dimension or Universe, or other as of yet unexplained thing. We just discovered gravitational waves. How amazing is that? How fantastically awesome that we are still discovering how our Universe works and that mysteries are still being found and unraveled.


Faith doesn’t have to be proven, or “right”. Who am I to say that Jesus or God isn’t real when I can’t prove Freya isn’t just as made up or legit? To me, faith is just a collection of ideas and concepts, and people are fully allowed to believe what they want as long as it adapts to accept the undeniable facts of our reality.


Do I think young people are expressing their values and morality in other ways, outside of the attendance at worship services?

Yes and no? I think some people do. I also think that attendance to worship services doesn’t show any type of morality. It shows discipline maybe, or devotion. But the act of going to a service doesn’t really prove that you live by any sort of moral code.


Some people do more than live their own life. Some people go out of their way to make the world a better place, which does express their values and morality, and I think that’s the important thing. As in the previous post, I don’t think religion is needed for people to be moral or to prove their “goodness”. There are some religious people who do awful things, and then there are some atheist who do outstanding, commendable things.


I think instead of encouraging religion we should encourage compassion. But that is because I believe morality and religion are separate things.


What do I think the decline of religious affliction among young people means for America?

I don’t think it means anything bad if that’s what this question is asking. I don’t think I am a bad person even though I don’t consider myself very religious. In fact, at the expense of sounding a bit arrogant, I think I’m a pretty good person. I like to think, for the most part, that I am a logical thinker. I try not to overreact. I try to think of the larger picture and how everyone fits into the situation. I try to think about fairness and equality.


You don’t need religion for that. You need compassion.


So, do I see my culture falling into turmoil and destroying itself due to lawlessness and sin from not going to church every Sunday? No. I don’t. I would like to think that the decline in religion has a correlation to the rise in education and science. Educated people, in theory, make better, more informed decisions.


I’ll let you know if I still believe that after the elections. I swear if Trump wins all of my faith in humanity will be lost. At least the humanity of my country.


I’m counting on you America. Don’t fuck this up or I’ll pray for Odin to smite you where you stand.



Daily Post 097: Movie Night


Yesterday was pretty awesome. As expected the dishes were my greatest accomplishment. Every time I got around to thinking about going to the gym it started raining again. Not the light drizzle of, “oh no, my hair is going to get frizzy” type of rain. More like, “Yep, I live in Florida and oh look. It’s the daily monsoon,” sort of rain.


Not that invested in swimming out to my car to go workout around people I really don’t want to see. Sorry humanity, not sorry.


Zane slept most of the day, which left me to my own devices. No complaints. The alone time was amazing. I played Hoard for a little while, then wrote. I chatted with mom for about an hour. She’s found a condo that she applied for and got, so she’s in the process of unpacking. She’s having some issues with the car so that was in the shop during our call. Lio was going to take her to pick it up later in the day. She’s settling into her new job. She’s working at a retirement home instead of the hospital. She says it’s way different, but she likes it, and with working roughly 48 hours in two weeks she’s pulling in enough money to not have to work more. She’s super ok with that. She also mentioned that it’s a three bedroom condo and that if I wanted to move out to Vegas or something there may or may not be a room for me.


Subtle hint, mom. >.>


I woke Zane up around 4 in the afternoon. He played Uncharted 2 for a bit since he’s already beaten Uncharted. The games came free with the PS4 when we got it, he’s been focusing on other games though. Like Fallout 4. While he did that I poked around on IMDB. I actually made a profile and started adding movies to my “Watch List”. There’s a lot of movies I haven’t seen…


We ended up ordering pizza and watching Into the Woods. It was alright. The only song I really didn’t like was the one with the princes, but I figured I wouldn’t like it as soon as it started. It wasn’t my favorite musical, and it wasn’t my favorite story, but it wasn’t bad. If you’re into that particular type of movie I would recommend it just to be able to say that you’ve seen it and to have it in your arsenal for later comparisons. But the movie alone wasn’t anything super amazing or awesome. It also felt extremely long towards the end.


I went to sleep not long after the movie while Zane stayed up for a bit. Because he slept literally all day he had a hard time sleeping last night. He’s currently at work right now and has already messaged saying that he’s groggy and that it’s shaping up to be a busy day.


I hope it goes smoothly for him. I’m worried that it’s going to be rough because of the break he took. He had just gotten done with 401k training. I’m not sure how well he’s going to recall the information and procedures for his calls. Sending good vibes his way.


Today is a bright, sunny day. Windy, but not cold. Zane mentioned it was supposed to rain so I’m assuming the forecast was for later in the day. I’ve had breakfast and coffee already while sitting outside soaking up some warmth. Currently I’m inside sitting in one of the chairs in the living room surrounded by the disaster that is the apartment. Only a few more days. So close and then I can steam clean the carpets and structure things a bit, returning order to the chaos around me. >.<;


Once I’m done writing this post and most likely a prompt page I plan to bike to school to drop my backpack off then go to the gym for a strength workout before going to work. It’s a Shading and Lighting lab tonight so I’ll be with Frank.


And that’s about it… off I go to get to it.

Prompt Page 012: Morality



Prompt by The Learning Network to combat WordPress.


Today’s Topic:
Can you be good without God?




Where does morality come from?

Topics like this are why I’m so interested in psychology and sociology.


Morality is what we use to dictate proper behavior as an individual or within a group, and what is “right” and “wrong” is something we learn. Right and wrong can, and does, vary from one social or cultural group to another.


Because of this I do think most of morality is nurture verses nature. I also feel a lot of morality is subjective.


The concept that certain words are “bad” is learned. Certain clothing is improper. Having multiple sexual partners is wrong. Tattoos and piercings mean you’re a rebel and buck against authority, or a tramp depending on where they are located.


These are all learned concepts. These examples are just a few from American culture. These are things my society tells me are not ok. I can choose to accept or reject these “rules”, which dictates how I am viewed by the rest of my culture.


I do think there is a baseline of universal morality though. Most religions essentially say the same thing. Don’t be an asshole. Or in more positive words, be a good person. But really I feel that’s what being human should be about.


What guides my thinking about how to act?

The Golden Rule. Always and forever.


I treat people how I want to be treated. I don’t like being lied to, or stolen from, or disrespected, or abused, or any number of other things. So I don’t do those things to others. If having an action done to me would make me feel bad, then it would most likely make someone else feel bad, too, and I don’t like make other people feel bad.


It really is that simple inside of my head. Would that action make me feel good? No? Then don’t do it to someone else.


Do I choose to act morally mostly because of the promise of reward or the threat of punishment – from God or from some other authority?

No. I don’t. I choose to be nice because that’s that I feel is right. I think about the other person, what it would be like to be in their shoes. Would I like it if someone did this to me? If the answer is no than I try my best not to do it.


The threat of punishment or the temptation of reward reminds me of being a child. I did something like clean my room because I would get in trouble if I didn’t. As an adult I shouldn’t need the promise of a reward to not be a jerk. I shouldn’t need a book with a list of rules telling me what is and is not ok to do to others.


I should be compassionate and empathetic towards my fellow human because even if we’re different, we’re the same. We’re all just organisms trying to survive, and that’s hard enough with shit like debt and relationship woes trying to fuck us up all the time. We don’t need to make that task any harder than it already is by being inconsiderate to one another.


Do I agree with the writer that living life ethically is even more important if you are an atheist, since there is no God to forgive you?

This has to be the most fucked up question I’ve read in a while.


No. I don’t think it is more important. I think it is equally important for everyone to live ethically, morally. It is everyone’s job to be a good person. You don’t have to do crazy rituals or backflips or blood sacrifices to empathize with someone, to understand suffering is bad, and to avoid causing that type of pain to others.


You don’t have to be religious to do the “right” thing. Saying someone has to do “more right” than someone else just because of a learned belief structure is bullshit, in my humble, mostly biased opinion, regardless of what belief structure is being used. Everyone should do his or her part. It is everyone’s responsibility to correct the negativity and hatefulness in the world. We’re all in this together, regardless of how much we try to divide ourselves up by culture, race, age, sex, religion, blood type, sexual orientation, hair color, or favorite pet.


We’re all human. We all mess up. We all have a life we’re trying to live. Even if we’re different, we’re all the same, and I feel we all have a responsibility to, at the very least, not be jerks to each other.

Daily Post 096: A Bunch of Nothing


Today has been a mostly rainy morning, which I think is adding to my low energy.


I didn’t do all that much yesterday. At least it doesn’t feel like it. I keep having to tell myself that crazy awesome sex should count as a workout, or at least count towards not being a slacker. Too bad my brain is set on not counting it towards anything so at the moment I guess it’s a battle of wills inside of my skull.


Because of the specific type of quality time Zane and I had yesterday I didn’t go to the gym, or bike to work. I used the car instead because I can only imagine what I would have felt like after a seven mile bike right on top of everything else.


Dead. I would have felt dead I’m pretty sure.


I finished up the grading I needed to do once I got to work then cross stitched while Frank chatted with me for most of lab. Pretty uneventful day. He did mention how Game of Thrones was going to be starting up again soon. Can’t wait. At the same time, I totally can because waiting each week for an episode to air is going to suck. It will be nice to have a routine of watching it with everyone while we eat dinner though. I miss how we used to do that when I first moved in.


Dinner last night was mostly ready by the time I got home, which was great because I was super hungry. Zane asked me to stop by the gas station for soda, but that was the only detour I had to make. We had sriracha chicken sandwiches topped with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a light spread of mayonnaise. Super simple but completely satisfying.


While we ate we watched Victor Frankenstein. Amazing movie. Watch et!


I went to sleep not long afterwards.


As for a Dragonvale update… I’m pretty sure I got a Spring dragon, which is another limited dragon. I have either another Sun or a Rainbow dragon breeding right now based on the time left for the egg. I’ll know what it is once it moves over to incubation, but that won’t be fore another 32 hours. My Okenite has a handful of hours left to go before it moves over to incubation as well. So I have some pretty awesome dragons on the way, but I basically have 24 hours before I can do much other than grow food and collect money. At the moment I think I’m pretty ok with that.


Like I mentioned, today has been a pretty lax day. It’s my day off since I work Saturday. I wouldn’t mind going to the gym at some point. The sun just started coming out, though it still looks windy and icky outside. Even at that, I want to work out, but the thought of having to go anywhere doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe Zane and I will go for a walk instead. Still pretty worn out from yesterday. Maybe a walk and yoga to stretch out my hamstrings. Oh man. Stretching sounds awesome right now. Or maybe just going and sitting in the sauna for a while… so many options.


Zane is still on vacation and is currently asleep still. He goes back to work tomorrow and Friday. John is still set to move out on Saturday. Mom and I have plans to talk later today.


I’ve already unloaded and loaded the dish washer which I think will be the most productive I am all day aside from scavenging for food and the potential workout, whatever that ends up being. Just one of those types of days. Nothing much I need to do, and nothing much I want to do. Chilling on the couch doing a bunch of nothing sounds pretty good in my book.

Prompt Page 011: Fated


Prompt by The Learning Network to combat WordPress.


Today’s Topic:
Do you believe things happen for a reason?



Do I believe things happen for a reason?

Yes. I find it interesting that in the article most atheists answered this question similarly, which sort of negates the thought that this is a religious belief. I, myself, do not think the events in my life are laid out by a higher power. I’m not even sure if I really believe in “fate” in the sense that I do not have control over my actions because everything is already predetermined.


I think we choose our own path. We are given choices, branches, forks, and we ultimately decide which one we travel down. It is up to us to be open enough to learn from those experiences, to find meaning in them, whatever that may be.


The abusive relationships I have been in taught me to love myself, to value my own well-being. They taught me what I wanted, or didn’t want, in a partner. Moving away to go to college taught me how to live alone, to be responsible, and the value of a buck. The type of school I went to solidified the concept of “work first, play later”. It also ingrained the “work hard, play hard” mentality, but we’ll gloss over that… >.>;


We can look at events and people as negative, a waste, some sort of stain on the pages of our lives, or we can look for how those events built us up, and why it was important to experience them, even hardships.


I choose to look for what I gained rather than what I lost, which reminds me of a quote.


“Someone I loved once game me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

~ Mary Oliver


What psychological purpose does this belief serve for humans?

I think it gives us a sense of security, comfort. It’s nice to think that there was a reason for the pain, heartache, and stress. It’s nice to think it had a purpose and it wasn’t just because the Universe is a kid with a magnifying glass and a sick sense of humor.


I would rather think that the trials and tribulations I went through helped to make me a more compassionate, empathetic person. It makes it easier to keep going that way. To keep pushing through the hard times, the dark times. Without a purpose, why keep going? Why struggle? Why strive? If it’s all meaningless then why do anything at all?


I would rather think that the situations in my life lead me ever closer to enlightenment and understanding. It gives me comfort and honesty, I really think that’s all beliefs are meant to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, I accept it as a truth in my world and it works for me. Everyone else can believe what they want because that’s what works for them.


Do I agree that there can be danger in believing everything happens for a reason?

Yes. I think some people can use that as an excuse to not better themselves or to leave things as they are rather than trying to change a situation. Just because something is happening doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do something about it, or blame others for it. It’s not ok to think, “well obviously they deserve that,” or, “they’re supposed to learn a lesson from this,” and to wash your hands of helping people when they legitimately need help. I don’t believe people deserve to be homeless, or hungry, or raped, or beaten.


I don’t think it’s ok to turn a blind eye to hate and suffering. Things do happen for a reason. Maybe that reason is for other people to step up and be a compassionate human. To care more for others and to show that kindness through action and effort.


Which sort of leads into this last question.


Do I agree that the events of human life unfold in a fair and just manner only when individuals and society work hard to make this happen rather than karma punishing and rewarding individuals?

I do believe in karma. I also believe that karma works through people. My random act of kindness may be karma rewarding the other person for something they themselves have done for someone else.


I do not take it upon myself to rain down judgment and punishment on people. When I am wronged I try my best to move on with my life. I try my best to be happy and to think of all of the others things I have going for me.


If a person has wronged me the only way they can continue to affect me is if I let them. I do not have control over their actions, but I have control over mine. I have control over my thoughts and emotions. I can distance myself from the situation or person. I can try to remove as much of the negatively from my life as possible.


I don’t feel like it is my place to use their actions as an excuse to be a raging bitch even though sometimes that would be really awesome. I try my best to let it go and let life figure itself out. I can either stop and stand there and fight a battle of wills which ultimately will make me feel worse even if I “win”, or I can let go and keep moving forward to the things I want, leaving the stress and whatnot behind me where it belongs.


Through all of the events I have experienced in my life so far, that is the path I choose to travel down more often than not now, and that’s one of the lessons I have learned. My peace of mind is more important that getting back at someone who was an ass-hat to me.


Daily Post 095: Dragonvale Ramblings


Not a lot to catch up on.


I forgot to put the chicken into the salad containers before I left for work so my salad was pretty lacking in the protein department. It was still good though, mostly because I make a bitchin’ lime sauce.


I got all of the projects graded during the second lab, which was fantastic. They still sucked, but they’re done. Even David stayed after lab a little bit to vent about his set of projects, so at least it’s not just getting a bad draw on my part. Actually… I’m not sure if that’s better or worse. I mean, at least I wasn’t the only one to be frustrated, and while I know that may sound bad, it is nice to know that someone else understands how I feel. At the same time, if the majority of the class had crap projects then what happened to the awesomeness that was there at the beginning of the month? What happened for things to change?


The more I think about it the less I think it has to do with the events on campus. The Hall of Fame schedule specifically had our assignments due before the week of events began. Students had just as much time as previous months to complete their work before anything else would have required their time and attention. So even though the schedule was a little screwy last week, I don’t think it should have had any impact on the projects. And if that’s the case, than what did?


I would like to say that all of the grading is completely, 100% done. Unfortunately I have two more assignments that Clavan gave me last night after I had finished everything else. Mildly lame, but I have a game plan for those later today. Finishing off a majority of the grading meant I didn’t cross stitch like I wanted to, but since today is mostly clear now I’m ok with the way things worked out. I got a lot of other things taken care of while I was at work as well. Productive day, woo. Cleaning out my notebook I think was the best part. I’m almost through my current one, which means I get to pull out a new one in the next week or so. New notebooks always make me feel better. They’re so fresh and so clean, clean.


I am not responsible if that song gets stuck in your head. >.>;


Zane and I are in the middle of a spat, which might be why there doesn’t feel like much to say. I’m thinking about using the car today since he’s off and going to the gym, after which I would go to my sports bar for their lunch special. After eating I could grade the two remaining projects before going to work and stitching until it’s time for lab.


The only reason I’m thinking about not executing that plan of awesome is because I would miss out on seven miles of biking. Though I guess I could bike at the gym along with doing my strength routine…


I also should be a responsible adult and eat the food here rather than going out. Maybe I can save it for Saturday when John is moving all of his stuff out of the apartment. It would be an good excuse to not be around and in the way. Friday is payday, too. Blarg. Where’s a q-tip when you need one? Damn you, Left Brain, and all of your logical bullshit raining on my parade. >.<;


I spent a bit of time restructuring my dragons in Dragonvale last night. I also have a new strategy I think. I’m going to be focusing on getting two of all of the normal dragons first before seriously trying to get all of the rarer dragons.


I’m pretty sure I’m doing well in the game. I just got an Okenite match this morning. That’s the one that’s been giving me the hardest time, but with a 3% chance I suppose it’s understandable. The Amethyst dragon I’m probably going to miss out on, which sucks. I won’t be able to get that one until next February.


I want to get a second Carnival dragon while I still can. It’s also a limited dragon. Another Jet would be pretty awesome too, which is going to be the one I push for after my new Frostfire and Ash dragons are bred.


The idea is that if I have two of each dragon I can have two breeding pairs going for the dragons I’m trying to get, which will increase my odds, also my income since I’ll have more dragons in my park. Getting them to level 11 is fairly easy for me now, which increases their chances of breeding rarer dragons. The chances increase further if you level them to 16, but that’s still sort of hard. It takes roughly 15 million dragon cash to get from level 15 to 16 alone. At the moment that’s roughly a days worth of savings for me. Lame.


Having a handful of pretty epic dragons has been super helpful with getting me to where I’m at. I know I’ve seriously lucked out on a lot of my matches. One that was pretty awesome was getting a Bronze dragon on the day of my Warrior Dash. I know it’s sort of silly but it was like winning a second medal. It was something memorable and gives me warm fuzzy feelings still.


I feel like I made some pretty strategic choices during the Valentines event as well, which has helped me out. My Moonstruck dragons pull in almost as much as my Galaxy dragons, which I have three of. I also got a Sun dragon fairly early in the game, and I have a second one incubating right now, so in another day I’ll be pulling in an additional 250 per minute, which will make it easier to afford to grow more food, which means I can level my dragons easier, which means I can get better dragons, which gives me more cash, rinse, repeat.


I’m sure none of that makes any sense to anyone who doesn’t play the game. It’s what my mind is focusing on right now though. I have about two hours before I can do anything further in the game, so in the mean time I guess I should do things and stuff. Like figuring out if I’m still doing lunch or not. Being out of the apartment would be nice. It’s another amazing day outside. I want to enjoy it.