Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Letter - UPDATE #3

Christina and her father finally met last Sunday. He drove to Pensacola to take her and her husband, Bobby out to dinner. Dinner went well and was served with an invitation to go to Biloxi/Gulfport the next day for a "real" dinner at an expensive restaurant. So off to Mississippi Christina and Bobby went the very next day. They were treated to a $600 dinner and Christina was toasted with a $250 bottle of champagne. The conversation stayed away from politics and religion, but Donnie seems fixated with recalling things about me. I'm trying to figure out if he feels obligated to rack his brain for details to tell his newly found daughter about her mother.

I think she's finally getting used to the idea of having a father. Up until the time she actually met her father, she was a nervous wreck. I had to deal with a severely frazzled Type A person and Donnie got a quietly-composed, well put together and quite lovely if I must say so 40 something year old who he says favors me. So all and all, things went well and my little girl finally has exhaled. The holidays are already being discussed, so I sat her down to tell her that I really don't mind sharing her and that she doesn't have to worry about hurting my feelings. When I told her that I exhaled also. I wondered if I would get possessive, but that's not what I've been feeling. I really do feel as though I did the right thing by tracking him down and now they can bond.

I jokingly told her that he owes her 43 birthday presents and 43 Christmas presents and that brought a smile to her face. She claims she can't say that to him, but I bet she sneaks it in a conversation in the future..."my mother said that you owe me 43 birthday and Christmas presents" and if you need suggestions I have a wish list on Amazon. Now, that's the princess I know and love dearly.

She did ask me why I felt the need to finally connect her with her father. I said that part of it was because my health isn't great and part of it was that I needed to do the right thing. Doing the right thing was absolutely scary, but I've lived hidden in that fear long enough. It was way past time for giving both of them the opportunity to know each other. I was wrong in my initial decision to run for cover and to weather the storm of parenthood alone. I don't have to do that any longer and knowing I have made two people happy makes me happy also.

The Mildred Ratched Stupidity Award Winner #1

Stupidity comes in all shapes and sizes. When I was a kid I loved telling people "if you had a brain, you'd be dangerous." Little did I know how true that statement really is in some cases. Because I have certain medical conditions that require taking various medications as a form of management of those conditions, I subscribed to which send out alerts from the FDA regarding drug recalls and safety alerts. So far, these alerts have been very informative and beneficial. Most alerts don't pertain to me, but in some cases, I have been able to pass along the info from these alerts to people who might benefit from them.

Friday, I received an alert that made me almost fall over laughing. The title of the alert was: Caution When Using Pen Needles to Inject Medicines: FDA Safety Communication. I assumed it was going to be about some defect in the manufacture of pen needles and all I would have to do is check the Lot number on my boxes of pen needles.

Upon reading the alert, I discovered that some people go beyond stupid and are a danger to themselves and if they had a brain they'd be a danger to others as well.

The part of the alert that gave me a true eye roll moment is the following:

The FDA has received reports of patients using standard pen needles to inject insulin WITHOUT removing the inner needle cover. In these cases, the inner cover stopped the needle from entering the skin and the patients did not get the insulin. Some patients developed high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) because the inner needle cover stopped them from getting insulin. One patient was hospitalized and died because of having blood sugar that was too high for too long.

Seriously? Are there really people out there who don't know that they need to remove the inner needle cover to inject their insulin into their body? Wow! Take the cover off? What a novel concept! The CDC may think Ebola is deadly, but I think stupidity has got it beat by a mile and I'm really hoping that kind of stupidity isn't contagious.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Please Help BJ

This is not a shakedown and I don't ordinarily do this, but this is something that touched my heart because I'm a mother of a child who went through a period of being bullied in his younger years. The next three paragraphs are what I posted on my Facebook page along with BJ's GoFundMe link. BJ writes about the incident there so people will understand her GoFundMe request and her son's plight. 

We all have made mistakes in life. From what I see, this young man's only mistake was making a threat to bring a weapon to school, yet he had no actual access to a gun. He was simply trying to get his bully to leave him alone. Sometimes psychological warfare works, but in BJ's son's case, it backfired. Once again, the bullies of the world win and her son's bully is free to go on bullying others while her son sits incarcerated.

When my youngest son, Matthew was in elementary school many years ago (during the 1980's) he encountered bullies. He continually came home from school crying with bumps and bruises. Because I never condoned violence, I told him to use his head against his bullies. Soon after my son received my advice, I received a phone call from his principal asking me if my son has AIDS. At 6 years old, Matthew didn't know what AIDS was, but he did know at that time no one wanted to be around anyone who had AIDS. Kudos to Matthew for using his head! My point is that kids retaliate in whatever way they can when the pressure and the pain get to a breaking point.

Please donate whatever you can to help this young man. BJ is a friend of my daughter, Christina. This young man's family is worried sick and needs your help to get their son safely home again where he belongs. Thank you!

The Time Is Now

Not until the men of the world come out and talk about their personal experiences of being sexually assaulted when they were younger and why they were unable to report it to the police or to anyone else will things start to change. Not until our brothers in silence stand up and finally speak out will people see the true anatomy of sexually abuse and how sometimes it takes decades to be able to talk about something so horrific and damaging. Not until those males who bear the shame of something that remains unspeakable to many will ALL who have suffered from sexual assault will be believed and helped with their recovery. Our stories may vary, but the feelings we share are the same. Please be brave enough to speak out and keep speaking out until things change and future victims won't have to suffer in silence. My heart is with each of you and I truly do feel your pain.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

And The Rockets Redglare...

Michael Morra aka Rockets Redglare had a personality that was larger than life itself. His mere presence filled any room he happened to enter. I met Mike many years ago before he was known as Rockets Redglare. We both had the good fortune to find our way to the same drug rehab center tucked away in the woods of Northern Maine. Our friendship formed when we discovered we had a very similar twisted sense of humor. He always called me his "Pig Sister" and he was my "Pig Brother." Somehow we extracted these terms of endearment from William Peter Blatty's, The Exorcist (the movie had yet to be made). Many people at the rehab role-played as cheap form of entertainment. We had to do something to keep our sanity or what was left of it by that time.

When I close my eyes, I can picture Mike strutting across the stage doing his rendition of Mick Jagger. The truly funny thing was that Mike did Mick Jagger better than Mick did himself. While Mike belted out Midnight Rambler, for a few minutes we, his captive audience were transported magically to someplace else...a magical place far from Kinsman Hall. Sometimes that was all we needed to get through another day. Thank you, Mike for those moments of joyful surrender. I was pleased when I find out Mike had gone on to act in several movies and was a stand-up comedian in the Lower East Side of New York City. The thought of that larger than life personality entertaining others seemed like a natural progression to me. Whether it was selling drugs or making people laugh, Mike was a natural at everything he did.

Like many friendships our friendship fell by the wayside. I don't think everyone who enters our lives is meant to go the distance. Knock! Knock! Who's there? And then they enter. They stay awhile sometimes making a lasting impression on our hearts and souls and then they leave us with memories to always cherish. Our lives had simply gone in different directions after we left rehab. For a short while, we stayed in touch and then silence. Pig Brother and Pig Sister were no more. Many years later, I watched a movie made about Mike's life. As the tears streamed down my face, I knew that we, the residents of Kinsman Hall who knew and loved Mike had gotten the best he had to give and all those years he spent after we knew him was a steady, tragic, downward spiral until Mike died from kidney and liver failure caused from a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse.

Mike was a junkie before he was ever born. His mom was a fifteen-year-old addict who passed her addiction to her son while still in utero. They had to put methadone in his baby formula. Michael's father wasn’t any more of a positive influence than his mother. A career criminal, he was not afraid to conduct “business” (including murder) in front of his young son, and was eventually deported back to Italy after robbing a local post office. Left to support her family and a drug addiction, Mike's mother
turned to prostitution for income. Mike eventually left home when his mother took up with an abusive ex-boxer, who eventually beat her to death. After his mother died, Mike changed his name to Rockets Redglare. He was a true American original and was as bright as his new name...Rockets Redglare.

Many people in and around the New York City's drug culture believed Mike was the person who killed Nancy Spungen (girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the punk rock band, The Sex Pistols)  Mike was one of Sid and Nancy's local drug dealers who had been in the apartment the night Nancy was murdered while Sid was passed out elsewhere in the apartment. Whoever killed Nancy stabbed her once with Sid's knife and left her to bleed to death. The next morning, she was found dead. The roll of cash that was in the apartment the night before mysteriously turned up missing and suddenly Mike was out buying drinks for people, an act he never participated in doing before then. When asked by a close friend where he got the money, he admitted to stabbing Nancy and ripping off Sid.  Whether or not that was the truth, no one will ever know for sure because the truth died with Nancy, Sid and Rockets Redglare.  All else at this point is pure speculation. I'd like to believe my friend is innocent, but I know how drugs twist and deviate a person until they're unrecognizable.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Tiptoe Nimbly

Occasionally, I attempt to do Words for Wednesday which started quite awhile ago and has been kept alive by many people. Each week new words are given to be used in whatever creative style speaks to you. I usually choose poetry [poorly written poetry], while others write short stories. When I do participate, I'm usually a day or two late. Sorry! So if this is something you'd like to try, check it out on Mumblings [the person who started Words for Wednesday] or on Drifting through life to get the weekly words. 

This weeks words are:
perfume, blanket, blue, market, voltage, feline
exotic, throttle, oven, comprehend, toss and trespass
Tiptoe Nimbly
Tiptoe nimbly past her exotic market of many delights
Ignore the NO TRESPASS sign and the flashing neon lights
A sleeping feline in a soft, silky blue blanket smiles
Knowing they smell the sweet, seductive perfume vials
Comprehend and toss humanity in that self-righteous oven
Voltage on! Throttle Up! Feel the heat of forbidden loving.
Tiptoe nimbly down the path, tiptoe nimbly beyond the signs
Tiptoe nimbly, always nimbly to where a smiling feline dines.

The Woman With The Purple Cane

Some people dread going to the dentist, but for me, it's going to the doctor that causes me major anxiety. At least with the dentist, a tooth can be drilled, filled, pulled, cleaned and polished. That's not the case with going to the doctor. Okay, so you know something isn't quite right. You may be feeling poorly or have a pain where previously there was no pain, but going to the doctor doesn't always fix the problem. If the problem isn't something a prescription can fix, you may be looking at weeks and sometimes months of tests and various methods of probing followed by getting the "results." For most, waiting for the results means going through a period of having your head run wild while you google every symptom you're having or you run to WebMD for answers. Unless the results show you only have a fart crosswise, you just bought a raffle ticket for a lifetime of going to the doctor and repeatedly getting bad news. So you see going to the doctor is definitely not my favorite thing to do. Can I get a "AMEN" up in here?

Another reason in the past that made going to the doctor so unpleasant was their selection of what they choose for their patients to watch while they [patiently] wait to be seen. In the past, it seemed like the most popular choice was the Fox New Network. I pride myself in being able to tolerate most anything for short bursts, but after about 5 minutes of Fox News I'm ready to pull my hair out and bang my head on the wall. I was pleased when most offices changed their selection from Fox News to HGTV. I guess enough people complained about what they were being subjected to in the waiting room or someone figured out why so many patients were partially bald and had large lumps on their head by the time the doctor was ready to see them.

Today, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into my neurosurgeon's TV, just silence. It was like I had died and gone to heaven until another patient came over to me and started talking to me. Initially, the exchange was pleasant enough. She complimented me on having a cane and a purse that matched. I didn't plan it that way, but my cane is purple with a paisley design on it and my purse is purple. I guess I was making a fashion statement without even trying. [You, go girl!]  I should have known better! Her compliment to me was just a slick way to start talking about the morning news show, Fox and Friends. She gleefully told me that she was so glad when they started matching the floral centerpiece to what the people on the show were wearing. Jesus, I almost slipped up and wrote "news anchors" or "reporters", but after searching the darkest recesses of my brain for a word that isn't too offensive, I decided to settle on referring to them as "people." See how nice I can be?

Because I don't watch Fox News Network, I wasn't familiar with the change she was talking about so I had nothing to add. I was so relieved that the nurse came out and called my name just as I started to blankly stare at the woman. I wanted to tell her that I wish someone would put duck tape on ALL their mouths and zap them with an electric cattle prod until they stopped spreading hate and fear to all their loyal program viewers. BUT I heeded what my son, Matthew told me the day before when I made a statement while being in an office that had The Weather Channel tuned in. Lo and behold who do you think was on The Weather Channel? No, not Jim Cantore wearing a Speedo! It was our wonderful President claiming how everyone is with the people of North Carolina after Hurricane Florence and  how he will make sure they get whatever they need. I almost choked! I rolled my eyes and said out loud, "yeah, like you did with the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria" When we left, my son kindly told me I wasn't old enough yet to be able to just say whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to say it. I laughed and told him that I had a cane and could back up whatever I wanted to share with people. He laughed at me. I guess the thought of his mother kicking ass was a pretty amusing image.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Me Two! [Part 2]

I'd like to thank Brett Michael Kavanaugh for inadvertently tearing through my rather tough scar tissue and causing some ugly wounds to reopen. I remember a time when I couldn't be in a room if there was something on TV about sexual assault or molestation or if the topic happened to come up in a group of people I instantly became invisible in fear I'd be asked to contribute something to the conversation. God forbid, if someone made a tasteless joke about the subject...I'd die a hundred silent deaths without anyone knowing I was in pain. I think it's common for people with any deep wound to eventually learn how to skillfully mask any visible pain they have.

So here I sit wide awake in the middle of the night alone with my thoughts recounting my episodes of sexual abuse. That's not a good thing for anyone to do, but as the old saying goes "you can run, but you can't hide." Do you remember how I once wrote that I'm an emotional cutter? I guess this is one of those times. So consider this an invitation to stroll down memory lane with me as I cut away and have an emotional blood bath.

Before I get started, I'd like to make a few comments regarding Judge Kavanaugh. The first comment is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. He knows that better than anyone. The second is that it's far too common for people in power or people who lead a privileged life to abuse their power or their status in life. The last thing I'd like to say is that I hope justice is served in this instance and I hope if Judge Kavanaugh did what he's being accused of doing that he does the honorable thing and helps his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford end her years of torment. If you're guilty, admit it, make a sincere heartfelt apology to Professor Ford without any justifications or excuses (oh, but I was young and if that makes anything okay) and step down immediately!

Like so many other women I, too have a story. Mine isn't unique, but it's mine to tell. It's mine to remember and it's mine to deal with in the way that works best for me. When I was just a child I was repeatedly molested. I could write a dissertation or more on this, but I won't for many reasons. Regardless of what my molester tells himself or others, he knows the truth and so do I. He permanently altered my life and helped me form some twisted thought processes and behaviors. For that, I want to thank him! [Please pardon my Maine's just a lovely little defense mechanism I have.]

My next experience was getting my bare bottom spanked by the good Preacher I Like Young Bare Butts and for what? I didn't memorize some Bible verses! The holy man of God, Pastor Weaver may have enjoyed the experience immensely, but I didn't. I can definitely say he helped sour my views on organized religion and God in general. For that, I want to thank him!

When I was in Junior High School/Middle School I had stayed after school to watch some wrestling matches. It was already dark as I made my way home carefully watching each step I took because the sidewalks were slippery from the snow and ice. You see, I wasn't smart enough to wear boots so the price I paid for being "cool" was that I walked like a drunken sailor on my way home hoping I wouldn't fall.  As I approached my house, I passed a nondescript man bundled up in dark winter clothing walking in the opposite direction. Before I knew it, he had turned around and pushed me into the snowbank and quickly ran his hand up under my dress and grabbed my crotch. I was stunned and the only thing I could do was to yell at him to "get the fuck off me" as I pushed him as hard as I could to get him off me. As Mr. Let's Grab A Pussy (no, it wasn't Donald Trump) went running away up the street, I gathered my composure and made my way inside my house. I never said a word to anyone about what had just happened several yards from my front door, but I never went without boots again in the winter. For that, I want to thank him!

The next thing that happened on my chronological list of scars was a year or two later when the guy who I had a mega crush on got a little carried away tickling me. It took a few people to pull him off me. Yes, I wanted his attention, but not like that. My close friend and partner in crime, Joyce and I talked about it afterwards because she knew I was really upset. We both came to the conclusion that he hadn't meant to hurt me. We were both high and things just got out of hand. Maybe that was true...maybe it wasn't, but thank you, Jimmy Crane for teaching me a valuable lesson. 

Next, came Mr. I'll Make You Wicked Hot who decided while having me tied up for some sexual brouhaha that burning my breast with a lit cigarette was a what needed to be done in order to get him off. That little adventure not only caused me emotional trauma, but it caused physical pain as well along with a nice well-placed scar now long since healed and faded, but still quite visible to anyone looking at my breasts. Thank goodness, these days that scar is only visible to me as a reminder of what a fool I was at times. For that, I want to thank him.

When I was in my early 30's I became a member of a volunteer fire department. One evening during our weekly training session, the assistant chief, Bobby Pliar sent everyone off to do various jobs and had me stay behind to show me how to change the oil in one of the fire trucks and how to man the pump on one of the trucks. As he begun showing me all of these things, he motioned for me to come over to where he was and when I did, he grabbed my breasts. I usually have a quick comeback for everything but I was stunned and absolutely speechless. All I did was stand there and look at him while he had both my breasts in his hands. It took me a few days to tell my significant other who was also on the fire department. He was furious and was the type of person who believed in revenge, but revenge wasn't what I wanted. I didn't want it broadcasted because I knew I'd get "I told you so" from all the people who didn't feel it was a woman's place to be on a fire department. That's small town good ol' boy thinking for you at its finest! After thinking it through, I felt my worth as a fire fighter was much less than his worth because not only was he assistant chief, but he was a EMT as well. I got an apology from Bobby, but shortly after that I quit. For that, I want to thank him!

During my 40's, I had a few incidents of men who felt because they bought me dinner that I needed to repay the favor with a blow job or a hand job guided rudely and forcefully by them and strongly deferred by me. Nothing says "hell no" quite like someone trying to force you to perform sexual acts in a parked car or in a movie theatre while they lean back and digest their dinner. Needless to say, I never accepted a second date with any of these men. It always puzzled me why anyone would assume sex was repayment for the cash they dropped on dinner. What I really want to know is do I really look like an after dinner mint? For that, I want to thank them.

Now, I stay my ass at home and out of the line of fire! That may be the wrong thing to do, but it works for me. I'm sure many people wonder why I gave up on men and put myself in permanent time-out. All these things combined with a few relationships from hell made me see that a troglodyte's life is for me. Nothing in my cave will ever hurt me except maybe the cave itself...

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Me Too! [Part 1]

You see it time and time again. Some woman, any woman, maybe even some woman you may know personally experiences any sort of sexual assault and as soon as she gets the courage to speak out about her experience, she's immediately confronted with opposition instead of support. Sexual assault/abuse comes in many forms (anything from some unwanted groping to being raped) and every form of sexual abuse/assault causes permanent scars. These scars aren't visible. The scars a woman carries with her from sexual abuse have been hidden away, yet under close scrutiny those scars are worn with everything she thinks, she feels and she does. All one needs to do is open their eyes and see the pain.

I totally understand why it takes some women years to be able to speak about their experience. I understand the years of self-hatred and shame they bear. I understand the feeling of knowing how speaking out will open an ugly can of worms devouring maggots and once it's open, it can't ever be closed again. I understand the feeling of knowing how some people will think you have an over active imagine, you just want to cause trouble and of course, some people will do the worst thing possible. They'll pity you and try to keep you in the "victim" box. It's especially damaging to anyone who has managed to move past being a victim to be constantly stuffed back in that cold, dark box by everyone around them.

I understand being reluctant to say anything because once you say anything, a barrage of questions follow. How could something like that happen? Are you sure it happened that way? Why has it taken you so long to say something? Why didn't you just say no? Why don't you remember all the gory details? Being the center of attention is the last thing anyone who has been sexually assaulted wants.

I understand how people question how it's possible to forgive the person who assaulted you. Forgiveness has little to do with  the person who caused you pain. It has more to do with taking back your power and allowing yourself to heal. In order to do that forgiveness is required. That forgiveness includes forgiving yourself for being too weak to stop the assault or for putting yourself in harm's way. How many times do you hear "well, she asked for it?" No one asks to be sexually abused unless they're a masochist. For most, sexual abuse is a horrifying, crippling experience and it takes a lifetime to heal.

Imagine in some cases having someone you know and trust sexually assault you. Imagine not knowing who to tell or how to tell someone because you don't know if anyone will believe you. Imagine feeling conflicted about saying anything because you know if you say anything it will cause pain for the person who assaulted you. Why in hell should that matter? Trust me, it does matter, A twisted sense of loyalty can form to protect the person who assaulted you if you know and love that person, but along with a twisted sense of loyalty a permanent sense of dread forms as well. If someone who's supposed to love you would harm you in that way, then what is the rest of the world going to do to you? What are all those faceless nameless individuals who don't care about you going to do? You feel ss long as you protect your abuser, you protect yourself as well.

Being constantly on guard takes its toll on a person. Sometimes the person lets that guard down and says "what the hell!" Some people become promiscuous as a way the deal with their pain. They see having sex as a way of being in control. So the more sex you have, the more control you have. Some people turn to drugs and/or alcohol to numb the pain. In the end, nothing works. The pain stays with you staring you in the face each and every day.

I understand that it's an ugly topic to discuss. People who have been subjected to sexual abuse would like nothing more than to keep that ugliness hidden away, but the longer it's hidden away, it festers and affects how you look at the world. It affects every relationship you have and often times, it prevents you from having a lasting relationship. Many people who go through this experience spend their entire life seeking something they just don't know how to have or where to find it.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Lie To Me

This week's song selection for Sing Along Saturday is Jonny Lang's Lie To Me. It's hard to believe Jonny Lang was only 15 when he recorded this amazing blues song. Remember to pump up the volume and to sing along like you mean it. Let me hear you rock the house!

Lie to Me

Lie to me
and tell me everything is all right
Lie to me
and tell me that you'll stay here tonight
Tell me that you'll never leave,
And I'll just try to make believe
That everything you tell me is true
Lie to me, go ahead and lie to me
Lie to me, go ahead and lie to me
Lie to me
it doesn't matter anymore
It could never be the way it was before
If I can't hold on to you
Leave me with something I can hold onto,
For just a little while won't you let me be
Anyone can see
That you love him more than me
But right now, baby, let me pretend
That our love will never end
Lie to me, go ahead and lie to me
Lie to me, go ahead and lie to me
Lie to me, go ahead and lie to me
Lie to me, go ahead and lie to me

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Letter - UPDATE #2

My daughter did as I suggested and pulled herself together long enough to return her father's phone call. She said the call went well even though she's totally freaked out right now and that he wanted to meet her, her husband and her son sooner than later. So good folks of the blogosphere, they have plans to meet on the 22nd and the 23rd of this month. So far so good and now, all I'll have to contend with for the next several days is listening to my daughter obsess over what she's going to wear, how she should wear her hair and what she should call her father...etcetera, etcetera, etcetera  I'm so thankful that Donnie wants to do the right thing and have a place in our daughter's life. I can't wait to find out his reaction is when he finds out that his oldest child is a true princess. I hope he's as dazzled by her presence as I've always been. Someone asked me once how come I'm not a princess and I told them I say "fuck" too much to be a princess. Besides, I'm the queen and I don't need to try to control anything because I AM IN CONTROL. period!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Letter - UPDATE

I hung onto that damn letter for a few weeks before I actually mailed it. I needed to give my head time to actually process what I was about to do and how it might change several people's lives. I needed to feel it was okay to do that. On Saturday morning that time came. I was ready, so I mailed the letter. I sent it certified so Donnie had to actually sign for the letter. I did that so I knew the letter would reach his hands. I'm not saying anyone would have "forgotten" to give him the letter if I sent it via regular mail, but I know how females operate (I'm assuming he has a significant other in the picture) and I wanted to make sure he'd receive the letter that has caused me so much angst in the last month.

I gave my daughter the receipt with the tracking number. I told her that she could track the letter's status, Yesterday, she called me to tell me that the letter had been delivered. I asked her if she was okay and she assured me that she was fine. My daughter's "being okay" lasted until this morning. She called me sobbing. She was at work and had just gotten a call on her cell phone, but couldn't answer it because she was in the middle of a work-related call. The caller left a voice message and when she listened to the message she came unglued.

You see, my daughter is a Type A personality...totally unlike me who flies by the seat of her pants. My daughter tends to stuff her feelings down. I tell her all the time that doing that shit will kill you. She laughs at me and goes about her business. Today, she got a good taste of being human. Her preparation of what the letter would do/change was nothing....N-O-T-H-I-N-G! She was totally prepared for her father to be an asshole and just file the letter in the garbage can, but she never considered the possibility he'd get in touch with her.

I made sure that the letter I wrote included her contact info. I gave him her cell phone number and her email address. I didn't give him her physical address. I figured she could give him that if she wanted him to have it. I did that so I wouldn't have to be the middleman. Since both Donnie and my daughter are adults, I didn't feel that I needed to be a part of their relationship if a relationship is what they decide they want. What happens between them is all on them at this point.

I guess the moral of the story is to always see that every coin has two sides and every picture tells a story. Don't automatically assume everyone is going to be an asshole. Sometimes people do the right thing. Donnie did the right thing. He contacted his daughter, his first born within 24 hours of getting my letter.  But my daughter...our daughter (I need to get used to saying that) was totally unprepared for being surprised. She hates surprises! That damn Type A personality really sucks when it comes to emotions! I tried to raise her to deal with everything as it happens and to accept that some things are out of her control. Not every outcome can be orchestrated as she sees fit. Some melodies have a life of their own.

If you keep both your eyes and mind open, life is a continual leaning experience and what my daughter learned today today is that her father is NOT an asshole and she wept.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Am I Being Too Snarky?

I just read a post on Facebook entitled These 9 Places in America Will Pay You to Move There.  I have to admit the title piqued my interest enough to check it out.

Here's Mildred's review of the 9 places, but please remember the following reviews are written by a transplanted Maineiac living on the Redneck Riviera with a HUGE attitude...that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it:

Tribune, Kansas - When Horace Greeley said "Go West, young man," was he smoking crack? Tribune has a population of less than 1000 people and after living in "Nub City," I think I'll pass on Tribune even though Dorothy Gail and Auntie Em hail from Kansas. I seriously doubt I could live in a state that was poisoned by the evil Minister Fred Phelps. Okay, I know he's dead now, but his followers are still lurking somewhere keeping the "God Hates Fags" philosophy alive and well. I don't wish harm on anyone, BUT one well placed tornado might show those idiots God's wrath for hate groups.

Marne, Iowa - They offer free land. Wow! Can you imagine how excited the 120 people who call Marne home are when someone accepts their generous offer. I wonder what people from Marne do for fun. Maybe they dream of moving to the big city of Tribune, Kansas. If you look carefully at the hay rolls in the picture, you'll see all 120 Marne citizens hiding behind them. The question is...what are they doing behind those hay rolls?

Curtis, Nebraska - Here's another booming metropolis having a population of less than 1000 people. If a frontier living fantasy is on your bucket list, this might be the perfect place for you to live. Just don't forget to bring your golf clubs so you can conquer Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course which claims to be "Nebraska's best kept secret" and beware of the cornfields and the children lurking within them.

Harmony, Minnesota - This town dubs itself as the "biggest little town in Southern Minnesota." Nearby attractions include Slim's Woodshed: Wood Carving Museum, the Amish Backroads Tour and Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum. I don't think I need to comment any further on this town with an awesome name. If it's good enough for the Ingalls, then it should be good enough for anyone who likes reading by candlelight and tromping through the snow to use the outhouse. Okay, so they have indoor plumbing now and electricity, but obviously what they don't have is a booming population.

Baltimore, Maryland - This is a great place to live if you're a Ravens or an Orioles fan, but Baltimore's real claim to fame is being a "truly filthy, over-priced, crime-ridden hole." Want to join a gang? Baltimore is a great place to call home. Unless you plan on a career at John Hopkins Hospital or want to attend Artscape's free art festival each summer, I think you should stay where you live now. Okay, so Francis Scott Key wrote our hard to sing Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry in Baltimore and Edgar Allen Poe hung out there, but Baltimore these days is a truly filthy, over-priced, crime-ridden hole. And nothing says "home" quite like some well-placed filth.

New Haven, Connecticut - They offer up to $40,000 towards college tuition. At Yale, that'll just about cover your books (for a semester), but the view from East Point Park is guaranteed to blow your mind. Rumor has it that New Haven's Sugar Bakery has cupcakes so good you'll want to slap your mama. It may be difficult to ditch the pretentious snobs in New Haven, so when in Rome do as the Romans do! Be a snob and enjoy New England Ivy league style.

Alaska - I have to admit Alaska is pristine and just as majestic as you imagine it would be, BUT unless you like a place colder than a witch's tit, I'd stick to the lower 48. Alaska offers programs to encourage veterans and live-in caretakers of the physically or mentally disabled residents to move there. Wow! I didn't know goofy Sarah Palin is looking for a caretaker. Isn't she a little young to be suffering from dementia? I wonder what the job pays and what the benefits are. Maybe she'll take you wolf or elk hunting from a helicopter to sport kill animals or dazzle you with her quick wit and superior intellect. Remember, you can see Russia from Alaska and when Putin raises his ugly head you might be able to mistake him for a wolf or an elk. I hate when that happens!

Colorado - Now, you're talking! Legal wacky weed and the Rocky Mountains is definitely the way to go, but you have to have a permanent disability to qualify for their down payment assistance program. I wonder if insanity or being fugly (fucking ugly) qualifies as a permanent disability. Colorado might not be the place for you unless you're a sports enthusiast. If you love skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking Colorado is definitely the place to be. Everywhere you go is a Kodak moment, so if you're a hermit or don't enjoy being awed by scenery, don't move to Colorado.

Wyoming - This state might be the most peaceful place on Earth...low population, no honking cars or cursing pedestrians, but they have the highest rate of traffic fatalities in the country. Perhaps they should stick to riding horses. In Wyoming, you can leave your door unlocked and the keys in your car and not be murdered in your sleep and your car will still be where you parked it the next morning, but never leave your horse unattended! Are people really that wonderful in Wyoming? Here's a place where everyone is a cowboy or at least dresses like one and your children can ride to school on their horse. Hey, how backwards can Wyoming be? Jackson Pollock was born and raised there and look how he turned out.

    Saturday, September 08, 2018


    Here's a catchy little number for your Saturday night enjoyment. It'll stick with you like a freshly picked booger. Let's all sing it together...are you ready? Here we go...a one and a two and a three...

    Creole Lady Marmalade

    If you've been up all night and need a little something at 5:30am to keep your motor going...

    Thursday, September 06, 2018

    The Summer Of Love - My Quest For God (Part 2)

    The summer of bible camp was "the summer of love."  How ironic I thought, while others everywhere were tuning in, turning on and dropping out, I was trying to understand basic human nature and to find out if God really does exist. From a child's perspective, I grew up thinking if the people who claim they love me and want to protect me will hurt me, then what will the rest of the world do to me? That isn't actually the right stuff to guide a person into adulthood, but nonetheless it guided me into being clueless where romantic relationships are concerned. The "funny" thing about it is that I've gone through life waiting and wanting someone to prove me wrong, but to date no one has. My logic says since people are human and humans are flawed, anyone is bound to hurt/disappoint someone else, but on a deeper still filled with idealism and good things that can't be destroyed by this cesspool called life, I choose to hold onto the belief that love is a good thing and in many situations is the only thing that keeps us afloat. So until love comes my way, I'll just stay in my canoe and hope I don't lose my paddles. 

    After that summer when I fell short of receiving God's grace, I turned to trying to understand evil instead. When Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible was hot off the presses, I purchased one and read it from cover to cover hoping for a lightbulb moment. Needless to say, it was just another book filled with words written by man and it didn't explain the great mysteries of life any more than the Christian Bible had. My spiritual journey I suppose some would say was corrupted by my inability to believe what I couldn't see. Instead of blindly believing, I questioned EVERYTHING instead. If God loved us so much then why do bad things happen to good people? Where are the miracles? Why are there wars, fathom and disease? No one seemed to be able to adequately answer these things through the Biblical verses they would throw my way. I needed more than meaningless words on a page to help me swallow anything I was told about God. I needed more than just empty written words to make God a reality.

    Eventually my salvation was found in my experimentation with drugs. As that experimentation deepened, I found certain drugs had a numbing effect. That feeling was one my whole body craved.... especially my emotions. Nothing bothered me as long as I stayed high, so by the tender age of 14, I stayed high ALL the time. I could easily sit back and blame my choices on my genetic background. I'm sure the long line of alcoholism that runs on both sides of my family would be enough of reason to say I didn't stand a chance not to be a substance abuser. Yes, the odds were against me, yet somehow I know that's not why I changed the path I had walked as a small child. I didn't begin life as an addict. You see, I actively sought out finding something that would make me numb. It took me many years to realize that without drugs I would have been a much uglier statistic. I choose drugs. They didn't choose me. 

    Looking back on it, I call the next 16 years of my life "my leap of faith". They say God looks out for fools and drunks, but I think He/She has a special fondness for all addicts. Addictions, whatever they may be, cause an emotional bankruptcy in the person. No love is greater than that of a person and their drug of choice. When I say "drug", I include food, sex, gambling, shopping, work or whatever it is a person uses to escape. All other things in life come second regardless of what we try to tell ourselves and everyone else who is in earshot. That moment, at the climax when nothing else matters, I found freedom from pain and a facade that made me think nothing could ever hurt me again. Many years later, when the truth stared me in the face daring me to look elsewhere, I realized the truth and only the truth would set me free. 

    I Will Fear No Evil - My Quest For God (Part 1)

    My first exposure to religion was as a young child. At the age of 5, I was baptized into The First Congregational Church in Brewer, Maine. For all those not familiar with the Congregational Church, a quick history lesson should refresh your memory. Does the word Puritan mean anything to you? It was a quaint church overlooking the Penobscot River. The beautiful stain glass windows illuminated the interior as the morning sun rose in the sky. I went to church with my family on Sundays, sat quietly and very still on the pew mimicking what the others did when they did it, yet I can't remember a word of what was ever preached in that church. My only memory is the feeling that there was more to it than what I was being told. I wanted to be touched by the real hand of God, but somehow, I always eluded His omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent grasp.

    By the time I was 11, often, I walked to church alone or with my best friend, Margie who I asked to accompany me after she'd spend the night at my house. Her mother was dying from Hodgkin's disease, so she sought comfort elsewhere during that time in her life. My door was always open and I welcomed her companionship (and still do after all these years). One Wednesday night she asked me to go to church with her. But it was Wednesday...who goes to church on Wednesday? I soon found out. The Baptist preacher bellowed from the pulpit condemning all sinners to burn eternally in the flames of Hell. As he spoke and thumped his fist on the pulpit to drive home his words, I was certain he was speaking to me personally. I was doomed to burn in Hell if I didn't seek out Salvation, so when my friend asked me to attend Bible camp with her during that summer, I eagerly accepted. Maybe God would reveal himself to me at Bible camp.

    We met in old army style tents outside a host church on Eddington Pond for various daily religious classes and activities. Each day, we were expected to memorize a new Bible verse. When that feat wasn't accomplished, off the person went to see the preacher. They always would return subdued and extremely repentant. When they upped memorizing the verses from 1 to 2, I panicked.  I had trouble focusing and remembering the words. So naturally, I froze when I was asked to stand and recite my verses. My mind went blank and the interior of the large tent seemed darker and filled with impending doom. I felt true shame as I walked to the preacher’s office inside the church. I remember my long, slender legs shaking and feeling weak as I entered his office after knocking. I stood before him looking down at the floor.

    At first, he spoke softly, and I lifted my eyes to meet his. He peered into my soul and I shivered. He stood and walked around me, then laid his hand on the back of my head. I trembled as he prayed for me and it seemed my fear ignited something in him. His voice slowly became louder and louder until it filled the whole room. I was a sinner and without a doubt, I was going to burn in Hell for all eternity.

    As the tears ran down my face, I was instructed to kneel. I felt almost relieved to stop standing. My legs were weak and trembling. I cried and prayed and asked God's forgiveness. My pleading was frantic. I asked God to enter me and fill me with His Spirit. I truly wanted His Grace, but the only grace I would receive that day was being bent over a desk and being told to bare myself. As the pastor spanked my bare bottom, his voice trembled as he prayed for me. Each time his hand met my flesh, it lingered for a moment. When he finally stopped, he stood behind me while I repeated the verses.

    I could feel the intensity of his eyes gazing down upon me. Each time he said, "say them again," his voice trembled, and his breathing quickened. Suddenly, his voice changed and the words that came from him were ones I had never heard before. He was speaking in some foreign language I didn’t understand. And then silence. It was finally over! By the time I covered my bare bottom, my skin was so tender it hurt to have the fabric of my panties brush across my bottom.

    As I walked back to the tent, the realization filled me that something had just happened, but I wasn’t quite sure what that something was. Did God finally “touch” me? Had I finally received His Grace? It wasn't until many years later when I awoke screaming from a nightmare that I realized what had happened that day and I wondered how many others like me had been filled with the good pastor’s Spirit of God.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2018

    Happy Birthday To Me

    Back when I made my very first grand appearance it was on a Monday. I was born on Labor Day (pun intended). Just ask my mother she'll tell you all about her labor day that year and how she was blessed with finally having a little girl after having 3 boys.

    Being born on Labor Day really sucked when I was younger. Yes, I know most kids look forward to their birthdays, but not me! I always dreaded celebrating mine. My birthday always meant breaking in new uncomfortable shoes and wearing freshly pressed clothes to start another year of cramming useless information into my sponge-like brain.

    Summer was over and it was time to get back to reality. No more bare feet or leisurely swimming in any of the nearby lakes. The leaves would start to change color and the crisp autumn air would feel refreshing after suffering through the miserable heat and humidity that accompanied the dog days of summer. The biggest and most meaningful thing about my birthday was the attitude I had and when I say it was huge, that's no understatement. In Maine as with many Northern states, school started the day after Labor Day. That meant from time to time my birthday and the first day of school fell on the same day.  [insert sarcasm and eyeroll]What a perfect way to spend summer's last brouhaha and to celebrate the day of my birth! 

    It's funny how strange little things stick with a person. I believe it was my 8th birthday and my birthday party included a trip to the movies. My friends and I saw a Saturday matinee rerun of The King and I. Oh no! Not the Jodie Foster version. I'm taking you WAY back to Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr . I always loved hearing Yul Brynner say, "When I sit, you sit. When I kneel, you kneel. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!" Who knows why that has always stuck with me, but the thought of it still makes me  smile.

    Now, my birthday falls during the peak of hurricane season.  Given the choice of having a hurricane blow through for my birthday or having to start a new school year, I'll take a new pair of shoes and a freshly starched pinafore any day.

    Here are some of my useless birthday facts:
    I was born on Labor Day.
    My youngest son, Matthew was born on Labor Day.
    The doctor who delivered him was born on Labor Day.
    All 3 of us were born 25 years apart.

    And for anyone wondering how old I am today...I'm 13 and a virgin! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!