disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The best gift you can give is a gift you want for yourself?

My husband bought me exercise equipment, something I wanted until I was like ouch it hurts. I bought him a smoker, something he wanted until I ended up with free time to play with it. So the best gift is the one you want for yourself, right?

Anyways, while I haven't any ancient Pacific Northwest Homesteader relatives, I still feel I'm channeling some hereditary thing because I am loving smoking things. Just like I love (but often fail) to garden.

I am not at all a hopeless romantic, but I find some poetic, simplistic, romantic notion in making your own food the old fashioned way- canning, smoking, gardening. I could never live "unplugged" as I enjoy, fear too much, ambient temperatures and would hate to live without heaters and air conditioners, refrigeration, and the like. But nevertheless, slowing down and putting your own effort and love into a food, for example, is rewarding.

Heck I'd love to smoke some elk, but, I'm too chicken to actually kill an elk and too squeamish to prepare it for smoking. I guess I should be vegetarian but I much prefer the alienated approach to meat, with styrofoam packages from the butcher counter. However, I do promote hunting over slaughterhouses. I mean, I've been past "cowchwitz" aka Harris Ranch in California where beef cattle sit unshaded in the hot sun atop their own feces, crowded together like sardines, stinking the air for miles and making a very obvious methane cloud. How awful for those poor cows. Bounce, bounce, bounce through the brush, bang you're dead for, say, a deer, is far more humane.

My mom disagrees and is refusing to tell us when hunting season is in Oregon cause how could we hunt an animal? Meanwhile she munches down on a shredded beef burrito. Hypocrite.

But anyway, just like my 6 hour fennel pork roast and roht kohl cabbage meal, smoking meats is an all day experience with lots of need for patience, lots of room for both oops and omg there's no turning back I screwed up, and some sort of food zen. When you can get a cheeseburger in ten seconds from a drive through, there is a certain joy in, say, brining a salmon for 24 hours, drying it for 4, then smoking it in cold smoke for 8 hours before you get to enjoy it.

Part of me wants to live on some ranch or country acreage where I have to hunt and garden for a living, except yeah I enjoy the convenience of the grocery store....sprinkled with my own small (like 100 square foot at most) organic garden of goodies.

The simple life.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Misses Clumsy's mad ninja skills

Shh....I'm a ninja.

Sure, I've sprained my ankle 6 times, and was so clumsy and non-sporty in elementary school that the teachers asked my mom if I should join adaptive P.E. (P.E. for the handicapped childen). But I have mad ninja skills when needed, apparently.

I was watching a movie called He Never Died (a graphic dark comic type movie) with an actor, Booboo Stewart in it whose Native American looking appearance reminded me of a dark memory of my past.  So.....sigh....here goes.

I certainly had my dark days of being a party girl, which most who know me will find quite surprising, but it is true. My group of guy friends and I went to a  popular Spring Break  destination along a river adjoining a Native American Reservation. Geez this blog post is so dull right now but trust me there's a whammy coming up.

So we partied. Too much beer legging makes you have to pee, but the only restrooms they had were the glorified porta-potties where they're holes in the ground with a toilet seat, and I have a not so irrational fear of them because, well, eww. So I did my best to avoid using them but really really had to go. A rather attractive Native American guy had joined our festivities and said he lived nearby, so I naively asked where to go pee in hopes maybe there was a 7-11 in the middle of nowhere, because, beer doesn't equal logic. He motioned to the mesquite bushes by a hill and I was like, screw it, if you gotta go you gotta go, but I still wanted some modesty so I walked rolled down the hill a bit before finding landing upon a perfectly pokey mesquite bush to pee on, and all that with only minimal lacerations!

I limped back to the campsite and probably drank some more. And then, yep, I had to pee some more, but I wasn't in the mood to go tumbling into bushes again so I mustered enough courage to go to the glorified porta-potties.

As I excited, a pickup truck of guys began to speed past and slammed on their brakes upon seeing me. I was too drunk to properly pee in the bushes or probably form a coherent sentence, but my spidey sense yelled "DANGER!", but I had nowhere to run between the potties and the truck. I don't recall every specific which is probably for the best, but suddenly there were arms all around me and I was in the back of the truck while some cretin began to undress me. OH HELL NO I thought. I knew where this was headed, but I was stuck, half-naked in the back of a speeding pickup truck.

And that's when my ninja skills kicked in. Just like when in high school, my cousin and best friend conspired against me to try and grab me and throw me in the lake at midnight, and little 90 pound weakling me began to kick and thrash mid-air (My best friend to this day will tell you, "she freaking levitated and did kung fu!"), my ninja skills came to power.

I somehow got pissed off or frantic enough for my ninja survival skills to kick in enough for me to wrestle myself away from a bunch of frat guys hell-bent on rape, and I did a tuck-and-roll jump out of a moving truck into a dirt road and ran like hell back to camp, screaming "help help".

My boyfriend's best friend saw me first, and while I was a dramatic drunk (and he often became my babysitter), he knew somehow this wasn't just me being dramatic and he ran over to me. I explained what had happened through tears, and he vowed to find the %^&* that tried to rape me. We went on a little walk and walked over a ridge to find the guys by a fire pit. I know it was them.

Whether for better or worse, my friend put a hot fire poker on the main assailant's arm and told him something to the effect of him keeping his "parts" in his pants and not messing with women, and that hopefully his new scar would forever remind him of his mistake.

Phew. After holding in that story for 15 years, it feels good to let it out.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Parasites, or how not to make friends

"Well you can't have chicken pox twice", said my doctor, suspiciously eying my welted freak of a body.

Let me back up.

I was never the "cool kid", instead being the girl with coke-bottle glasses, pink moon boots, and an oversized army surplus camp jacket, trying to somehow fit in with the other fifth graders.

But when we all went to summer camp a week before fifth grade began, I hadn't a clue I would sign and seal my fate as an "untouchable", nor did I know I would have the worst vacation ever (well, until 8th grade, then college, and, well, let's just say most vacations are epically awful).

It started when my best friend at the time demanded she get the coveted top bunk, and I was too painfully unassertive to speak up, and then, get this- she hid her Haribo gummy bears. I would eagerly await Christmas for her German Granny to send her a package and share two or three sweet jewels of Haribo with me, and she HID THEM FROM ME. This began the end of our friendship. 

Then, each camp cabin had to design its own flag with endangered animals and I was like (insert nerd snort) I'm all over this, I totally know all about endangered animals; heck I read the entire Audobon Encyclopedia last year. So I chose the three-spines unarmored stickleback, a cute little minnow fish native but endangered to our local streams. But all the girls thought fish were "eeew" and chose a panda bear. Much to my chagrin, not only did they veto my fish, but since I was artistic, they voted me in to be the artist of their dumb panda. In retrospect, I should have dressed up the panda in a stickleback outfit, but I thought of that 25 years too late.

Then, we had to do square dancing, God's cruel joke on any awkward child, child who cannot dance, shy child, etcetera. Being the last to be chosen for P.E. (always with a groan, do we have to pick her?) I was the last picked for the dance, and told to dance with some other social outcast, a chubby boy who "had a boner, eeew" giggled some popular girl next to me. I wasn't sure what a boner was, but I was cautious and figured it had to do with his clammy hands. It was the longest 3 minute dance ever and right after, I ran to the only telephone to beg through choking tears for my mom to come get me NOW. She declined.

And if that wasn't enough...

We had a communal shower, and I went in for my prescribed shower time and a gaggle of girls turned at me in horror, screaming "you cannot come in here, oh my gosh eeeeew just look at you!" I looked down near my lady bits to which they were pointing in horror and saw scratched-up bumps and redness which seemed to be spreading. I was banned from the shower for the entire week and told I could only use the toilet at specific times. 

So now I was the nerdy girl with some weird rash who smelled awful. Great.

I called my mom again, choking back tears, and this time she came and got me right away when I said "bumpy rash", since my mom and I both have severe allergies that can go from rash to anaphylaxis in minutes.

"You can't get chicken pox twice, so it can't be that"  mused my doctor, suspiciously eying my welted freak of a body. "Must be scabies. Tell her to stay away form road kill next time" he said, and ushered us out, after handing my mom some kind of stinky salve. Great, now I would smell like antibiotic cream, just what I needed.

"Mom, why did he tell me to stay away from road kill? I don't touch road kill", I asked as we walked to the car. "Well, because your dad had scabies once from touching road kill, remember all those scabs he was always scratching" she said; "maybe its from the hide on your sled, or the raven in the freezer" she exclaimed, as if mentioning the weather or some other small-talk idea and not rotting animals around the house.

See, my dad collects roadkill. There was indeed a frozen raven snuggling up to the Haagen Dahz, and a rotting buffalo hide stretched across my snow sled by the front door. Totally normal. And I had to beg my dad to shake off the rattle (from a rattlesnake) off the frozen peas so I could make dinner.

It's odd how twenty-some years later, you look back in reflection and think, did I really have scabies? So you "ask Dr. Google" (Never go down that path, you will diagnose yourself with too many rare, incurable diseases. Why yes I do feel a little sleepy, OMG I have typhoid fever!) and find out...

a)    It was totally chicken pox because now research says in rare cases you can get chicken pox twice, take that Doctor Cibelli.

b) It wasn't scabies. I am not denying that scabies is little creatures that burrow into your skin and freaking lay eggs. Bug. Eggs. In. Your. Skin. I mean I totally admit I've had dysentery and tapeworm s http://disorderlywanderlustblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-tale-of-tijuana-tapeworm.html but it wasn't scabies because the only symptom I had was creepy bumps, whereas I had all the chickenpox symptoms. 

c)   Don't google chicken pox or scabies if you have  trypophobia (fear of holes).

d)    Don't google how to spell trypophobia unless you want to have to drink away the creepy images that burned into your mind all night after having seen it on the computer

e) I know why I have trypophobia.

I have trypophobia because yes my dad did pick at his scabs but no it wasn't scabies. See, people who snort methamphetamine get side effects (really? Snorting bleach and sudafed has side effects, who knew? And who came up with meth, I mean I'm not going around mixing pills and cleaners and thinking whoa I could totally get high off this, OMG my are my nostrils bleeding). One side effects is you hallucinate that your skin is crawling and the itching is so real in a sense that you scratch holes ingot your body, which then scab over but you think the bugs are still in there and so you scratch the scabs, a never-ending cycle of trypophobia-induced horror.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Social Anxiety and Awkwardness

So I decided to get a makeover today.

And then un-decided

And decided again

And un-decided

And had a few out loud arguments conversations with myself to convince myself to go.

Hell. It's my birthday I deserve it.

Nope. My husband didn't spoil himself on his birthday, I don't deserve it.

Yes you do.

Make-up is dumb.

Why not look pretty for your birthday?

I will look weird. People will stare, like, why is she all dolled up like a weirdo? And they'll give me a bad makeover like when I got married and had a black fuzzy caterpillar unibrow. A waste of $50. Yes. I can spend or save $50. Total waste.

------  I forced myself to drive the the salon-----

I walked in and it was like a megaplex of makeup. I am a makeup novice so it was like entering a foreign world. I just recently began to put on tinted moisturizer and mascara, folks. In my 30s.

I walked towards the salon part, eyeing all the weird things and....

Walked promptly into the cash register area for workers only. OMG people are looking at me, I already don't belong here and look like I don't belong here, all makeup off, doe-eyed, afraid, and now I'm where only the employees go. Crap.

So i turn around and end up...staring....crazily....at the employees doing people's hair.

I think, Hello, I have an appointment...but I don't say that because I don't want to. I'm too scared to. I don't want to disturb them. And besides I should know the whole process for a makeover appointment, so I act like I know what I'm doing. I check my phone, the introvert or socially awkward person's escape hatch, but its a dead zone. No!!! A dead zone! But I pretend like it isn't, you know, to not look weird. Then I decide standing here, staring, looks funny so I walk over to a counter of makeup and pretend like I know what I'm looking at. Some Romanian beauty product for like $50 a bottle. Wow. I don't drink wine this expensive. It says "tester" so I'm like hey I'm just casually browsing and know what I'm doing, here let's sample it. It is for acne cause who isn't socially awkward without acne?!?! Except its like neck acne so I dribble some onto my neck and it smells like vicks vapor-rub. So now I'm thinking OMG I totally don't belong here and I'm too scared to announce my appointment because I don't know how this all works and now I smell like I have the flu.

A hairstylist leaves her customer mid-hairstyling to come help me and i'm like sweet Jesus I'm that bad of a case? I haven't any makeup on, my hair is a mess, I smell like the flu, I'm staring at people, I'm going to get kicked out of here or arrested! She asks if I need help (where's the little chaise lounge to sit on and reflect about my problems with depression?) and I explain I have an appointment.  "Oh, Heather is busy but will attend to you soon" she says, waving her hand generally at the salon full of employees while I awkwardly state again....who is Heather? Does she look like a Heather? Does she? I mumble out "oh umm...ok I'll just....look at hair product till she is done" and quickly dart to 5 aisles of product. Five aisles! I browse around, catching a glimpse of my haggardly appearance in the mirror and realize my hair looks like I'm Kurt Cobain. I didn't wash it since it was 24 degrees with 50mph winds, and well, it looks as such. So I think, hey I've seen ads for dry shampoo they have to have that here. Except it takes me ten minutes of staring at every item, reading ingredients, going back and forth through the aisles multiple times, to find a dry shampoo and it is a spray version, so I flop my head down. shake out my hair like a wet dog and pssssshhhh spray my hair. Then again. Now I smell like the flu if the flu were flammable. I then realize I need to look inconspicuous so I go over to a different part of the salon and it is a skin care section. I hear two women casually say "yeah this is the best wrinkle cream. Who knew those nasty snails had a virtue? It's all the rage, snail excretions for skin care!"


Snail excretions....snail trails...on your face. And it probably costs $100 for a teaspoonful. Hell I'd just rather lay in the dirt and let the snails slime over my face for free. Or maybe not. I hurriedly text my husband "celebrities are paying top dollar for snail trails as a beauty treatment" and the stylist calls my name.

I've had makeovers before and the stylists often say, "so what do you want", not as a question per se but as a directive. I'm like isn't it obvious I totally have no freaking clue what I need and could probably only identify the item and purpose for 1/1000th of the products here? Just make me look pretty!! Except of course I don't say that.

It took 20 minutes to apply eyeliner to my eyes because I couldn't look up and left but down and stretchy, correctly.

I felt very out of place. As usual.

I did not like my makeup mid-way through but just like my wedding unibrow caterpillar event, I said nothing and faked a smile.


Oddly, a real smile came about once the makeover was done. I actually liked the work done. I felt pretty. And not too awkward or clown-like. I felt like maybe I looked, kinda, sorta ok. And I smiled.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I am from the planet Zorbloq

I am from the planet Zorbloq. Or maybe just my parents were yet they brainwashed me into living a Zorbloquian childhood. Either way, it took me three decades and a book by Jenny Lawson (the bloggess, check it out she does;t know it but we're soul sisters  http://thebloggess.com) to realize perhaps I am from another planet.

I should have known in college when I went to my boyfriend's parents' home for dinner and they had a baked chicken, rolls, salad, and rice and afterwards I felt all embarassed and told him in privacy, "You can tell your parents to lay off,; I am not some foreign dignitary, they don't have to prepare a holiday feast for me". That is when he informed me, rather confused, that the night's meal was normal. People normally eat like that and "fend for yourself" night -or merely eating cereal or microwaved peas -not both, that would be a feast- wasn't exactly, well, normal. Crap I'm an English teacher but feel that sentence is incorrectly formatted but I'm clueless on how to fix it. Gaaah!

I should have known when I knew more on how to buy drugs than how to hold a conversation with an adult, thanks to my upbringing. Instead of "Wear This, Not That" I needed "say this, not that".

I should have known when I told my husband how I used to impress my friends (who then never came over again, mysteriously) after telling my dad to go use gunpowder and blow stuff up tom, as stated, impress my friends. I mean my dad's one-legged schizophrenic homeless meth-head friend thought it was cool, why didn't pigtailed Ashley with all the latest Barbies, whose mommy owned a brand-new Thunderbird, find the use of IEDs as impressive? Geez.

For better or worse, I was raised by a bunch of stoned hippies. err...people who used drugs as medicinal drugs. Cause hello waiting to get high until your friends came over is medicinal, I mean, doesn't your friend totally wait till the clubs open Friday night to take her diabetes meds? And your mom certainly waits till she is off work, in the mood, and in need of feeling good before taking statins right?

Whoa, a bit of a tangent there, but my parents did claim hot boxing on road trips made me poetic and that when I complained of nausea from the stench, that pot cured nausea and I had it all wrong.

But you know, they loved me and did everything for me so its all good. Sorry. I have some bitter edges there. I'm just a little pissed that it took me, an intelligent adult, thirty-some years to realize my childhood was rather unusual and probably damaging and that I was ill-prepared to function in this human, adult world. When my husband says I need to stop acting so naive, like some sixteen year old, I remind him I left my parents at 18 (but summered and weekended with them until I was 22) and so really I did not join society until my twenties, so really, I am about sixteen. Give me a break. (As I storm off and slam the door to my room and blast some music.)

But related to that..I went through a major depressive episode about a year ago (fun times!). I am clinically diagnosed with dysthymia (which I constantly mispronounce) which is basically the DSM IV term for "feeling meh and stubby all the time" with occasional maor depressive episodes. See, as I said fun times! Anyways my "episode" was triggered by the epiphany, the coming out of absolute naiveté, that I may have have food, shelter, love, but that put that aside and my childhood had some messed-up, damaging parts. I started to wallow in self pity and memories and it overcame me. I started to struggle to do much of anything, just moping around the house in self-loathing. My poor family had to pick up the pieces.

Then I found God. Or He found me. It didn't cure it all. But it helped a bit, like, when my mom taught me to put clear nail polish over a tear in your pantyhose. I mean you can still see the tear, and it might cause you ti rip some hair off your leg when you remove said pantyhose, and more holes may appear, but hey its kinda sorta fixed.

There's one song that is my mantra, my jive, whatever you want to call it. It means that all my f***ed up parts and happy parts, the girl who wants to look like a 1950s bombshell girl and yet learn to target shoot, the good little Christian who likes wine and curse words a bit too much, the snuggly kiss mommy of two who wants to take over and change the world career wise, the girl who loves sappy Dido music and heavy metal, the poet and the pick-up truck driving angry chick, is me. I have a sordid past and no one would ever hope to try and label me or explain me and I am quite complex..... wait where am I going here? (See my anxiety has got me overthinking and over explaining things!) I am...me. Everything happens for a reason and makes me, me. So this song makes me go, heck yeah I'm a social reject weirdo awesome super cool crazy sane nice mean punk rock country frumpy nerd girl. And it is ok.

I would embed the video to automatically play if I were tech savvy enough but I'm not so hey here's a link! click it...or something! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLZkf6HvO2Q

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Asthma antics

Asthma sucks.
My poor son has been home from school for an entire week, mecascramblint to create lesson plans from wscaratch while my books lay unused in my classroom.

Some kinda joke of asthma, think of chunk or whatever his name was from Goonies.... But...it's real, folks, and it can be scary and life threatening.

Wednesday, my son okept coughing the asthmatic type of cough so he stayed home with daddy. It got worse as the day progressed and he vomiteed, which can happen when our asthma is bad. In fact, years go when inhalers and their medication (albuterol or similar) did no exist, doctors would use epinephrine and then ipecac to make you barf, often helping clear the airways just a bit.

So he, and I, stayed home from work Thursday and we went to the doctors where he got a refill on his inhaler. While waiting for the prescription to fill, my husband went to Sears and my son was going to stay on the car but he had to potty. He went in al excited, yay shopping! And ended up walking slowly like an elderly man before he even got to the restroom. Needless to say we stayed home Friday. We didn't even attend church Sunday.

Monday. Was like dangit I am going to work,and he has asthma still but seemed better. Hack. Hack.he started to decline. Ten minutes from wek,he was wheezing and whining and hacking non stop. He had a life-lomg chain smoker voice. We called the doctor, made an appointment for 1.5 hura from then, and he got worse...we thought about the ER but knew the doctor appt would actually happen sooner. He then said his tummy hurt. We pulled over and he barfed again. This meant he felt a bit better but was in no shape for school.

The doctor gave him a nebulizer with inhaled albuterol AND steroids. I told him it was a cool dragon smoke machine. He is to have it once nightly for the steroid and as needed for albuterol. He needed the albuterol this morning and yep...I ddi nt make it to work.

My work was both understanding and understandably pissed at me.

Our truck has a 120 volt so his nebulizer  can be plugged into the truck so he will get a treatment tomorrow on the way to school and then at lunch.

I want to finish the semester or school year. I have not moved a job so much in a while if ever. I come home al excited about my day and ready for the next.

But my son comes first.

I don't know what the future holds...if iget fired or must quit or if my son impoves and this is all forgotten.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Time I told a Death Row Inmate to F*** off

Ok, my title is a bit of an embellishment, as writers love to do - that is part one of my disclaimer, as the inmate is actually not on death row (but is in prison for life and then some). Second, I'm not disclosing the inmate, not to protect him but just to try and disassociate myself from the story...even though I am telling it...

I knew someone who made national headlines for raping and killing. A friend of mine dated him for a while, and he was part of our group of friends. I had been to his home once, many parties with him there, and we knew each other by name, so I'd say we were acquaintances.


I recalled, before he even made national headlines, a very vivid experience from high school, overshadowing the nicer memories of him.

I always felt this weird feeling in my gut around him, but everyone adored him, so while I knew my feeling was strong and meant something, I just kind of pushed it down and decided not to judge.

One day, we were hanging out in the band room and he said "want to play chicken?" I hadn't a clue what it meant but I did not even have time to decide before he put his hand on my knee. Then an inch up my thigh. And another. And another.

That feeling that always was in my gut got stronger. I cannot explain it, except, I KNEW that SOMETHING was wrong, very WRONG. I had had boys grab my boobs, still a form of sexual harassment for sure, and hadn't had this feeling. It was this feeling of panic and fear and death and flashing ringing alarms. I felt frozen and speechless, yet, I knew I could not sit still. I grabbed his rather large hand (he was a large, tall, muscular guy plus the whole crazy part; I was maybe 110 lbs) and told him to F*** off (or go the F*** away, something with the F-bomb) and I quickly darted away.

Lucky, I darted away with my life, my virginity, my well-being.

I mourn for the women he raped and killed, because I only had the most minute touch of what awfulness they experienced, and it was more than enough. Somehow, the funny, docile, big-brother meets-oaf of a guy everyone loved was not such a person and I saw it. I knew it. But I never told. And I feel sad that I hadn't ever told, because I figured he was just a jerk guy and that I was over-reacting. But now I know better.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Maslow Makes Meth

Oh my this will surely give me an interesting feed of search terms which begot this post. Anywho...

I was thinking back to a year ago when I had a sort of "aha" moment with my counselor over my childhood, and how I had another "aha" in church a few months ago. About how my family is, well, special.

Today I was spying on our heroin-addicted neighbors (Yeah I'm totally gonna be that crazy old lady who peers out her window at them crazy whippersnappers and knows everyone's business and has the cops on speed-dial...) as they conduct another drug transaction, cursing to myself under my breath when I realized, hmm, I can go do the laundry while druggie #1 talks to druggie #2, because drug deals take time.

Then I stop in my tracks, dish in hand, and go holy moly, how do I know this crap? I have NEVER done drugs, never will, so how can a little dorky Christian straight-edge mom know this?

Because, my stay-at-home dad took me to his "friends" to score weed and, for a while, speed. Is speed meth? I know you snort speed, and I know how long a drug deal lasts, how you do small talk and have to work up to the deal, but I don't know my drugs apparently.  I remember going to "Steve's" who had a shiny white car and nice new home (complete with a room just for his cats!), and I would sit and read his 40-year collection of National Geographics and pet his cats- I loved going to his place. Then there was Jim who was Disney's Goofy incarnate, if Goofy was 6 foot tall, 120 pounds, and missing teeth. Then there was the one guy who had a rottweiler named Killer (or something to that matter) who ended up becoming a sweet cuddly puppy dog (he previously had lived up to his name) after I was stuck outdoors for quite some time during a deal, so I made do and chatted it up with Killer and some stray cat living in the roof.

So yeah...I was recalling how, sure, I had a family with a mom and dad my "original" mom and dad, and we had a car, my mom had a steady job, we had health insurance, cable (except that one time we stole it and got busted...), clothes (even if from Goodwill)...we had tons of books, went on vacations, owned our home, and my parents told me they loved me all the damned time. Therefore, in my mind, and in their telling me, I met "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs". They had provided me a better life than their own (to which I am actually grateful), did their best, yadda yadda. Even in college, upon reading psychology and child development books, I had a darned good little textbook-happy childhood.

Somehow Maslow missed out on the fact that you can have a picture perfect family, but they can have been painted with rotten paints, or some analogy like that. It took me three decades to realize I had some screwed up stuff in my life. Like when I reflect back on childhood and share it with my husband, and am met with a blank, open mouthed, OMG stare...

"Was that the year I went to the Grateful Dead Concert? The heat and weed gave me a migraine... no...that happened the following year..."

"Yeah the drug dealer had the best danishes in the morning!"

"Oh parents pick their kids up at school? My dad parked behind a tree a quarter mile away"

"No, my dad was definitely camping, not homeless, he had a tent"

"No, I don't like Harley's, they scare me, like when I went for a ride with the biker gang when I was 6"

"meth looks all neat lined up on a mirror,  and I thought that's why some mirrors had decorative cracks and specks in them"

"It was awesome, my mom kept bows and arrows in the trunk of her car and we'd shoot them in the Kmart parking lot"

"My missing dress was found, on my mom's one-armed mannequin, Natasha"

"The rotting buffalo hide, attracting flies, hung on the fence totally scared the Jehovah's Witnesses away"

"Yeah we took a photo with guns, ammo, camo, and food supplies for y2k as our sole family portrait and Christmas card ever made"

Stuff like that makes me realize....

Well, I dunno what it makes me realize other than, "wow".

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Tale of the Tijuana Tapeworm

As my family picked at some spaghetti squash with much speculation and fear, my husband says, "Gotta go to the gym soon. Hmm.... this squash will give us some strange poops!"

You know, cause maybe it is an ADD thing but my husband is like .....(see the dog photo to the right), so we can talk about going to the gym and squiggly squash poops all in one breath.

Anyways, I am getting ahead of myself.

I'm no stranger to food poisoning / parasites like salmonella. They seem to like me.

When I was nine, we were at an airport in Puerto Rico and I was hungry, begin my mom for what else but ice cream? I mean, I was nine and we were in the tropics! But my mom is one of those healthy hippies (no, we never had tofu loaf, but we did cook without salt and never were allowed to eat Kraft Mac and Cheese, Hamburger Helper, or really anything processed) and so she put her foot down. No ice cream! Airports aren't exactly havens for health food, so she directed me over to a fried chicken place, better than all that sugar and artificial stuff, right?

That night we had arrived to my grandma's home in California and she ordered pizza. Pizza! Grandmas are awesome! I love pizza (loved, at nine, and still love) so I was totally into it. Until the pizza arrived and I lay on the couch moaning in pain. Turned out I had salmonella. I was so sick that I didn't want to open my Christmas presents or birthday presents the next few days!

I also got dysentery, aka Montezuma's Revenge, in Tijuana in my early 20s. Those street tacos were the first Mexican cuisine I ever liked, and on a budget, the only food I could afford and I ate tacos like nobody's business. And then I got not the regular old variety of dysentery mind you, but a four month long diarrhea fest. I recall it beginning somewhere near San Diego, me barfing out the side of the car, smearing parasitic taco all over my car and the 5 Freeway. I couldn't keep more than rice or broth down for months, and had to nap after every class to keep up.

On my first year marriage anniversary, I lay in bed moaning yet again. I ended up having things come out of both ends at the same time, and got so ill I was in and out of consciousness. MY husband rushed me to ER (I do not recall going, just him picking me up off the bed and suddenly I was in ER, like that transponder thing in Star Trek), hooked up to IVs.

A little bit after that bout, I was healthy again and went to the theater to watch a movie with my husband. I had to go to the restroom part way through, and as I went to flush, I gasped. My poo had....something...oh my God.... I ran out at lightning speed, probably white as a ghost, and went into the dark theater and began to pull my husband's arm. "I know this is gross but please. Please come with me to the bathroom" I pleaded, in tears.

He followed his sobbing wife into the women's room and into the stall and...

"Oh. You had hot and sour soup right before the movie. It's the bamboo shoot. Let's go finish the movie"

See? This is why I love my husband, he left a movie, snuck into the women's room, and looked at my poop. What a hero.

So flash forward about nine or ten years, to tonight.

As we pick at our squash, he says, "remember that poop you had me look at years ago? It was a worm". I pause and ask, "uh....you're joking....?" And he nods no and continues to pick at his meal. I ponder it a bit and repeat myself, "you're joking, right" and he nods no again, rests his fork on his plate, and says, "yeah I didn't want to scare you. I've been to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, I've seen tapeworms in jars. More than I would have liked to. It was totally a tapeworm. That medicine for that food poisoning must have killed it. It was a good sized one too, man, impressive. Well, I gotta go to the gym, see ya" and he grabbed his keys and left.

A. tapeworm. was. inside. me.

Monday, July 13, 2015

When in Oregon....

My parents are pot-smoking hippies (they will say they aren't but I would be hard-pressed to find anyone who says they aren't pot smoking hippies), so, they retired and moved to the Pacific North West (Oregon) to join the rest of my mom's hippy family.

So my mom, as un-hippy as it is, equates loves to possessions, as that is how she was raised. So, she loves to still take me shopping and out to lunch on her dime, as if I'm ten. But I mean, I cannot complain, she gets warm fuzzies and I get a new shirt or a taco. It's all good I guess.

She went to Macy's with my grandma and I guesss they bought me a new wardrobe for me new job. See, I hate shopping, so I haven't bought more than a kids-sized crappy t-shirt or pair of PJs in five years...as a SAHM, why buy nice things? Especially if you hate shopping? Hence, my mom made it her obsessive-compulsive mission to buy me a wardrobe.

Except, she is in Oregon and I'm not, and she is a bit skinnier than me so who knows if the clothes she chose a)fit  b)look ok... so...instead of wasting money to mail them to me and having me return what I don't need, she is taking photos.


She is an "artist" and so she has to use her expensive camera, set at the highest resolution of like a gajillion pixels to take photos of each outfit. In each swapped condition as in, white shirt with blue jeans, white shirt with black skirt, same white shirt with green skirt, add blazer, subtract blazer and add necklace...you get the idea.

She refused to let the clothes just "hang n hangers", so she was going to dress up her mannequins.

Her name is Bridget
Yes. She has mannequins. Plural. She has a whole creepy room downstairs filled with old dusty paintings rusty metal sculptures, and naked antique mannequins. And they all have names.  Her dream is to paint one green, put deer antlers on it, and display it in the yard. My should-be-commuted-crazy dad is probably why there isn't a horned green naked mannequin in the yard, because even in his insanity, he is probably like "hell no, that can't go in the yard, what do we look like, freaks??" (The answer is yes, because you also already have a broken door with Chrismas lights, weird wooden humanistic feathered "effigies" in the yard, etc....)

Anyways where was I other than lost in the craziness that is my family? My mom was going to put my new outfits on the mannequins to take photos, but her sister and mom were in town at her mom's cabin, so she ended up with the trunk full of clothing at their place.

So they call me tonight, stoned and drunk, asking how to upload photos.

"Mom, click the paperclip, select the photo, click send"

"Send? How do you send an email?" (I face palm, Mom, you send email all the time!)

"you put in my email in the long rectangle box that says to and-"
"I give up this is too hard!"
"ok mom try Facebook, go to the little talking boxes icon to send me a message"

'i don't want it posted all over the internet. Since I didn't have my mannequins, I wore the clothes and posed. I don't want that all over for everyone to see"

" mom, the world won't see it in a private message."

"Forget it, I'm spending $40 to have staples upload them and email them"

"But you can't waste money to mail them to me?"

"just...we are fried. We tried for an hour to email you. We are done"

No mom, You guys were too high and drunk to figure out email. And don't tell me this digital native crap. I didn't have a remote control TV until 1997, we had a circly-spinny-rotary dial phone until 1992, and all our lighting was circa 1950 and before. I am digitally stuck in 1965, mom....

When in Oregon....

Get high with your hippy sister, paint your mannequins, and get confused how to send an email.

sigh. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dating for an introvert

I'm a total introvert, as in, the Myers-Briggs test is 100% "I" for " Introvert" for me, and to think I've come out of my shell.

Come out of my shell....I have many report cards from childhood which dote on my intellect and sweet personality, but how I need to come out of my shell. It's nice in there, dammit!

I was so shy that I was seen as cold and reticent my freshman year of college... you know, college speak for bitch. Before college, I was also so very shy that I did not even get my first kiss until 17.

Do all introverts have a short list of dating partners? Cause I do. I still have never (and since I am married, never will...) been on just a date, you know, cute Billy asks you out and you go on a date and eat at Applebees, or Jill sets you up with her cousin Jay and you go out for coffee, or whatever. I've never been on a flippant type date or "dated" someone causally for say, two "dates". Never.

I date long-term. Kinda with the intent to marry, but then don't we crazy women all kinda have that thought? Remember writing your name, in a heart, in fancy handwriting, with your new last name (that cute boy in third period who doesn't know you exist, but Lilly Haversham sounds so much fancier than your current name of Lilly McSnuffles). But my intent to marry was more fatalist, as in, I'm so invisible to men that this guy is it, it is him or being a crazy old maid forever.

So I dated a Canadian for over a year, no actual set in place plans to marry, but we were steady and serious and I just knew that even though he wasn't physically attractive and refused to move to the USA and was a total stoner, it was as good as it gets, so be it.

Then there was the totally awesome fun....umm....wait...no...manic depressive alcoholic who showed his very bad side once I was already entranced in the love net. But hey, chances for love are so seldom, gotta stick with it, right? Until I realized after hitting rock bottom too many times that this was a codependent relationship from hell.

So I signed off relationships all together, old maid I would be, some idyllic nomad, a free-lance National Geographic cultural anthropologist. Screw it.

I mean, it is so hard to find a date, long term or short. Sure it seems easy, flirt with opposite sex (or same, hey we are progressive, more on that in a moment) and date. But for an introvert (add in some anxiety disorder, too) and it is like this huge maelstrom of hell, of what ifs, second guessing, conversations in your head that you plan out and never execute.

So in my new found "freedom", and a car, I travelled the local area just....being. I was a poor college kid with nowhere to go, on purpose.

One day, the lesbian couple who ended up in the non-super-hippy dormitory as my dorm neighbors for a week, showed up at my door looking like deer in headlights, teary eyed, "the college screwed up and put us here, we are scared", as if I had a solution. I told them it would be fine, and hey, since my roommate was not here yet and I knew their room had a bed with bedsprings poking out (It was my room the prior year), they could switch it for the better bed of my missing roommate (who was holed up in a hospital, addicted to vicodin, after she got in a car accident on the way to Coachella, back when it was an underground rave destination).

So the college figured it all out, and the couple moved to the hippy dorm and my druggie roommate got the pokey bed. Later on, one of the lesbians said hey want to go to an art exhibit with us and some friends? I'm an art nerd, and when I heard where it was, I was all in.

The art exhibit was at this coffee shop about 30 minutes away that I had gone to once in high school, when my mom had to go to County Records down the road and I decided to wander downtown instead. It had artisan coffees, French pastries, a little coffee shop library, cushy chairs, and an art gallery. I was in love. It was just like my favorite city, Portland, Oregon, inside....a place for modern beatniks and weirdos, intellectuals and foodies to kick back and relax.  So when I was invited to go back I was like yes please!

So a group of college kids and I toured the basement gallery, I got inspired, and then we had some coffee and pastries. And then....one of the girls in the "couple" said hey, that girl over there is checking you out. The lesbian-I-sorta-knew's partner began to side-eye me like I was trash.

That's when I realized holy moly,  this was a gay coffee bar (hey I; was from a small town I was sheltered and naive) and the one girl was both trying to set me up with a date and flirting with me. Talk about awkward, and, man, I couldn't get a man to even look my way (unless he was a toothless senior citizen pappy or transgender Filipino, the only kinds that seemed to like me) but here I was with two lesbians crushing on me. Whoa. So I had to politely decline, and soon as I finished my coffee (hello, it was delicious!) I got the heck out of there. Looking back, it was such a Portlandia episode.

Back to dating....so..I was going to be an old maid. I even signed up to teach English in Japan, to just jump head-first into a nomadic old maid lifestyle (and be able to afford it). Meanwhile, I had a group of college friends who kept my mind off my fatalistic nomadic adventures, friends to just hang out with, guys, gals, whatever. Even a guy friend who was best friends with one of my best male friends from high school. This friend of a friend had good beer and even occasionally tossed fast food my way; not my food of choice but when you live off of $20 a week, you take any food you can get.

So one sunny day, I drove to L.A. to finish up my paperwork to teach in Japan. I got lost in downtown (101,110, I-10 all different directions can play hell on you if a)you're a bit dyslexic b) from a town without even a stoplight)  ...I barely made it. But I did. After my meeting, all that was left was a recommendation letter and physicians form, and they would send me my info on where I would teach and one last final signature would send me on my way. But something held me back.  Partially, the anxiety-ridden what ifs, I mean, Japan has volcanos and earthquakes! Partially, this je ne sais quois that held me back.  In my fatalistic darkness, there was this kind of warm but faint little pull, nearly indiscernible, that glimmered hope and happiness yet I couldn't put my finger on it.

So, I stayed. I never signed that last form. And I kind of sat back and waited, for what, I did not know.

A few months later, I found myself trying to avoid dating that friend of a friend, because, I was done with people.  But that little warm fuzzy pull kept getting stronger and suddenly...

...well, a few months after that, I started dating that friend of a friend.

And now we have been married almost eleven years.

And I'm not settling.

But I still do have a nomadic spirit. I even wonder sometimes, as I peruse random Google Street View places in my spare time (it's travel for free!) I try and guess where in Japan I would have ended up and where my life would've taken me. I've even entertained the idea of writing a book about it, except I have been writing a different book for 6 years and counting.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Creamy Dijon Chive Chicken

Living in a small town with just a pizza place, burger place, Mc Donalds, and Subway (with any other food 30+ minutes away) means I can't really just "grab a bite to eat" with my lovely old gluten intolerance. Choosing a boxed meal or "semi homemade" kind of meal isn't easy. Even just chewing a recipe online isn't that simple, especially when many gluten free recipes call for amaranth flour and anthem gum, expensive ingredients that don't exactly exist in my grocery store (which doesn't even have a single Indian-Subcontinent type of food, isn't that crazy???)

Anyways where was I? Oh yes. It is hard to have a restricted diet in the middle of nowhere. Add in my broken foot and sprained ankle and two kids under 5 to chase around and...I wasn't exactly being a culinary queen. I managed to lose weight just sitting on my ass eating potato chips while everything healed.

Finally, I'm mostly healed! Unable to drive yet....but...able to stand, hobble around, and COOK!

So I found a recipe online that looked really good except it had drasted wheat flour, and chicken broth (which is usually gluten free, but I realized I didn't have any on hand anyways). Nevertheless, I went for it, minus two ingredients, and was very pleased with the results. I would certainly make it again and if it were served in a restaurant, I'd "yelp" about it. Here goes....and...I do believe a little chicken broth or that better than bouillon stuff would make it better, but it wasn't lacking without.

4      chicken breasts or thighs, or a few more of those scrawny tenderloins (whatever you have on hand)
3-4   tbsp olive oil (I love kalamata oil)
1      tbsp butter
1/4     cup white wine
??   chives.... I used probably 5 or six chive strands? chopped,
pinch   salt and pepper to taste
splash of chicken broth, optional
2      diced scallions or, in a pinch, half a small red onion
1/3 c    sour cream (i usually loathe "light" things but prefer light sour cream. non-light yogurt would be even better!
1 tea  dijon mustard (I use Trader Joes garlic aioli mustard, it is even better than dijon imho)

warm a large saucepan and season your chicken, add some of the oil to pan, sauté chicken until golden. Remove from pan.

Add more oil and sauté the scallions/onions until translucent.

Deglaze pan with wine and add the chicken (splash of broth if you have it) and add chicken back in. Cover, cook 5-10 minutes until sauce reduces and chicken is fully cooked if not already.

Mix sour cream and mustard in a bowl, use a spoon to spoon in a tbsp of the cooking chicken-sauce stuff into the sour cream mixture ti temper it. Mix. Add in the cream sauce into the pan. Stir, simmer a few minutes until mixed and warmed. Sprinkle on your chives.

Serve immediately

I like it over mashed potatoes, with a side of green beans or peas.

Mountain Folk

Ever wonder why people move to small towns in the middle of nowhere?

My parents moved to Running Springs to    a) escape society   b) commune with nature
And so, I grew up there in a quaint little cabin nestled among the peacocks. Yes, my parents had peacocks, owls, alligators, skunks, basically any "pet" you could think of, due to loose county ordinances and the whole rebel-to-society-meets-hippy-communing-with-nature-meets-crazy-recluse thing.

I grew up in a small town of about 5,000 people at 6,000 feet above the smoggy, crowded, urban sprawl of the Inland Empire and Los Angeles. Going "down the hill" to the city was something to be avoided at all costs, put off until a medical specialist appointment was imminent, or if we needed some odd contraption from Home Depot to use to control the wolves- pet wolves.

A small mountain town such as mine truly shaped me as who I am today. Sure, we weren't living in one of those small, fly-in only towns in bush Alaska, but to your normal Angelino used to three Starbucks, seven ethnic restaurants, two Gaps, and seventeen fast food joints in sight, and concrete jungles abound, my town was pretty "hick" and remote. I mean, to see a doctor, buy clothes or toys, buy or register a car, basically do anything, you have to drive thirty minutes to an hour to do it, all the way down a winding road to the city. We get bears in the garbage, mountain lions in the yard, and six-foot-deep snowstorms with 115 mph winds, and this is "normal". My husband and I just laughed as we passed movie star Ron Perlman on his way to the posh grocer's; we role=played my husband on a conference call, "yeah, executive co-workers, Ron and I hate how slow Richard Dreyfuss drives on the way up the mountain, yes, Rom Perlman and Rich- crap- gotta go there's a mountain lion outside my window and I smell smoke".

Yes, our little mountain burns down. A lot. Slide fire, Old Fire, nameless fires that evacuated my family in the 80's and 90's.... living among drought-ridden timber and a bunch of crazed people nearby spells disaster. As you watch the news coverage from afar, seeing familiar places burn, you shed some tears as your lovely forest and town turn to ash.

Yet, you return. We say, if you survive a year up here, you will never leave. The mountain either scares you away in moments...I mean, OMG everything is so far away! You have to learn to cook and start a fire and shovel snow! You should own a weapon in case of wildlife attack or because there are at most six sheriffs for 135 square miles, with a holiday-vistors plus regular-resident population swelling up over 85,000 people! You have to deal with rock slides and very very dense fog and huge snowstorms and crazy fast Santa Ana Winds! And there's only one Starbucks and no malls whatsoever!!!!

Yet, you return to the idyllic towering pines and quiet solitude. Some people even commute two to three hours each way to the city just to come home here. And as much as I hated begin a teen up here (I was the OMG no starbucks or mall? type girl sometimes), I came back.

Amanda Moments
I came back to raise my boys right. I want them to see that mom can shovel snow, garden, hike, fish, and rough out a storm. I want my boys to climb trees instead of climbing overpasses to graffiti them. I want a quiet, close-knit small town environment, filled with nature and solitude. And so, I returned.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cervical LEEP and Broken Foot part two

Just a brief follow up post....

It has been what, 3 or 4 weeks since my LEEP? Three I think, Anyways; I barely bled at all afterwards. Then tmi (but this whole topic is tmi), I shed some weird skin looking thing which put me in a panic, but it is just from the iron stuff they used to seal my wound and stop excess bleeding. Some people lose it in a giant creepy chunk like I did. Then,  I got my period. Then, no issues for two days and now, not heavy bleeding as in oh my gosh call the doctor bleeding, but it is fresh blood and at the level of blood a period would be at, so it if lasts more than a few days or pain accompanies it, I will go to the doctor, as my doctor said don't worry unless there are clots and the like. So I am hoping all is well, even if I have a bit of panic!

Then, my broken foot and sprained ankle.....it has been 4 weeks and I thought I could at least bear weight on it since I have a weight bearing/walkable Cam Boot cast thingy. Nope. I tried to bear weight just for a moment so I could step in the shower (I am sick of not begin able to even bathe/shower on my own!) and OUCH. The pain in my ankle, well, there wasn't any but my whole foot, even my heel, had pain. The pain was at the level which mirrors the pain of a I-just-a-second-ago-sprained-my-anke level pain, pain which I know well since I have sprained my ankle four times. Apparently it is a family thing, my cousin sprained her ankle six or eight times! So yeah....

The doctor said oh bear weight on it when you can, walk on it when you can, see you in six weeks. That made it seem like I'd be bearing weight and walking on it, given his advice and the walkable boot I am wearing. And I'm no pain wimp, having given birth without any painkillers, having had my head sewn shut (13 stitches) without anesthesia as a child, having not gone to the doctors until 12 hours after breaking my foot and not taking any prescription pain killers.... I'm not a pain wimp and just bearing weight HURTS.

I am disappointed in my healing time for all my issues and its getting the best of me.

Friday, June 5, 2015

cervical LEEP surgery

I searched in vain for people's experiences with the cervical LEEP procedure, but all were too vague or clinical. So, here is my experience but each woman's experience is her own and can differ from mine.

”” I was diagnosed with HPV 16 a few months ago per an abnormal pap. Women, PLEASE GO GET YOUR PAPS REGULARLY, I cannot stress that enough. Had I not dragged myself to my Gynecologist, things could have turned much much worse.

My HPV is HPV 16, one of the two kinds most responsible for cancer, and is aggressive. I had a cone biopsy and it came back as CIV3, the worst of the worst of cervical abnormalities one can get without actually having cancer. So I felt relieved yet kinda worried, like, eek I have the worst case! Thank God I did get that pap when I did.

So I got scheduled for a LEEP procedure. I am truly the biggest medical procedure wimp and was honestly very nervous and scared.

I went in and layed on the pap type table with stirrups, undressed from the waist down, with a little courtesy sheet to, for me, shield my view of stuff.

They inserted the speculum or whatever it is, the one for this procedue is larger than the one for a PAP so it is not exactly painful but rather awkward and uncomfortable. Then they did that click click click bumpy thing they do in a pap but it was more clicky and lasted longer and verged on kinda painful. Then I got a shot in the cervix.

...actually 4 shots of anasthesia, and I felt all 4. Its a dental type needle so it feels like a dental anasthesia needle and usually you only feel one, not four, lucky me. The 4th one was the twingy-est and i gritted my teeth.

It anesthisised my cervix but the rest of the vagina was not anesthised. So you feel the speculum and the insertion of tools, none of which hurts but it just reminds you of what' going on inside, so it is hard to ignore. But luckily you dont feel the actual chop chop of your lady bits.

Bring an ipod. Well even then you HEAR everything but it is at least kinda dulled by your ipod music. Oh did I tell you, you get a giant silver bandage to ground you so you don't get electricuted?

The doctor uses a vacuum, I guess because there is smoke or fumes from the procedure. I am not certain, as I didn't ask because fumes and smoke from my vagina was far too freaky for me to think about. The vacuum is as loud as a carpet cleaner, but for me was strangely good. It was white noise I could zone out on.

After the anesthisizing, I was shaking like mad. As said, I am such a wimp. I was pale, my blood pressure skyrocked, my breath got shallow. The doctor suggested I could try full anasthesia, it was an option but meant longer procedure and recovery, but I get panic attacks from it so I declined. My doctor taught me relaxation techniques, rest your hand on your navel and breathe in 4 seconds, so you feel your hand rise. Breathe out 4 seconds to feel your hand fall. Repeat. Vacate your mind.

So back to the procedure, I felt tools and hands and maybe the microscope go in and out and around....some iodine and alcohol and water to cleanse me....and then a high pitched squeeeeeeeee. I did my best to convince myself the squeeeeee was part of the Pink Floyd song on my ipod, because I did not wish to think hey thats some tool chopping off my cervix, squeeeee, just like the band saw I used in metal shop in 7th grade.

Each time the vacuum shut off, my shaking returned cause I was like, omg did they just turn off the vacuum because they just accidentally chopped off my labia? Am I bleeding to death? Did they remove the wrong thing? Am I dead? But no. It was just normal procedure.

The surgery seemed to last forever due to my nervousness, but once it was over I was like, its over? Already?

All the nurses kept asking me, are you ok? I guess my super nervousness made them worry. I must have looked like I saw a ghost. Apparently, I really was a nervous freakazoid.

I have a follow up appointment in 4 weeks, and am told I can have pain, like menstrual cramps, for a few days or so. I can take tylenol or advil and get stronger stuff if I call the doctor.

Afterwards, I had some pain but not cervical pain. The un-numb parts of my lady bits hurt. It feels like, well, like I had a giant, wide, metallic device shoved up me for a half an hour withojt lubrication because that is exactly what happened. To add to things, due to a broken foot, I cannot shower on my own and decided to use a diaper wipe to clean down there for a few days and wowza. I got a mild chemical burn so my exterior lady bits hurt. The doctor said to put coconut oil on a soft towel and dab the affected areas so hey...even if you did not wish to know about my chemical burn, now you know how to treat one if you get one. See? I am all about passing on knowledge,  a true teacher at heart.

I can have on and off heavy bleeding for up to four weeks! And strange colored discharge (mostly blood and iodine), and to only freak if I have clots come out. No sex, tampons, or heavy lifting for 4 weeks because, as the nurse said, "basically you have a gaping wound". Gaping wound, doesn't that sound lovely?

I am quite tuckered out today, not need-a-nap tired, but ran-a-marathon tired, where my body and mind just want to slip away into another less sore and tuckered out existance. No one told me I would feel like just laying in bed doing nothing afterwards. Maybe having the broken foot and sprained ankle is just compounding the issue. Maybe it is that I somehow lost 6 lbs since my foot injuries, and so my body needs more calories since calories are energy? Who knows but I am dog tired. I wish I could get myself into my jacuzzi!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

go ask alice

As her head hit the pillow and her eyes shut, there was a rumble outside but it did not disturb her as she drifted to sleep.

The harleys quieted, and the guests stumbed inside, the meth layed out, divided, snorted, almost to the beat of the Rolling Stones from a tinny single-speakered record player.

Awoken by the commotion of a late night party, the little girl looked over the landing, a birds-eye view of drugs, mirrors, beer bottles, and crowds of bikers cavorting. She liked the music playing; the Doors, and she hummed "when the music's over, turn out the lights". She was awake, bored, and decided to tiptoe down to the busy living room to look for some toys.

At the turn of the stairs, she could see her parents, back turned, and then a sudden rush of the crowd towards the door, screams of "shit!" And "no!" Echoed up the staircase.

Her parents ran out, oblivious of her, and she began to step off the last steps as she saw a woman approach. Red and blue lights reflected off the wall, red, blue, red, blue, mesmorizing her. She felt like she could get lost in the sparkling lights, but the woman smiled, bringing the girl out of her daze. The woman had long brown hair and a 1970s style rusty-yellowy sweater, and she sat down on the step, beckonjng the girl to her lap. The woman felt warm, safe, motherly, and the usually shy girl sought the woman's comfort. The woman grabbed a toy, an Etch-a-sketch, and the two began drawing geometric patterns. The chaos seemed to drown away, the flashing colored lights were no longer of interest, just the sense of love and security, the joy that an adult had taken time to sit down and play, almost child-like, filled the girl with a memorable warmth and peace.

Many years later, the girl asked her parents about that night. They swore she stayed asleep in bed and that unfortunately someone overdosed at the party and an ambulance showed up, but that her memory of the party and the lights must hsve been something she overheard, a manufactured memory. And the woman? Her parents both swore there wasn't even a single brunette woman there, let alone one im a sweater. Another manufactured memory.

That is, until the now-grown girl flipped through a dusty shoebox at her grandma's; photos stashed away of grandma's ex husband, that pig. Mixed into photos of the hated ex was a photo of a woman, it was black and white and dated to 1930. Aside from the curled up-do and tailored dress, and obvious lack of coloring, the now-grown girl gasped and with a shaky hand, flipped over the photo. "Alice" it said.


Her great grandmother who passed away decades ago.


Alice had comforted her that scary night.

It was definitely Alice, with a different hairstyle and outfit, but the likeliness was unmistakable.

Alice, Alice the angel, sent to comfort and protect her great grand-daughter, a relstive she had never met since she had passed away years before, but a girl she knew she needed to protect.

A girl who, relatives say, reminds them a lot of Alice.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Prey

"Such a lovely, well mannered, but quiet girl"
"Needs to come out of her shell, but otherwise, perfect student!"
 "Shy, but sweet and smart"
The loopy cursive may be faded and smudged on pink carbon-copy paper, but the same messages echoed back through a dozen years of report cards- a quiet but lovely girl. What every parent hoped for. But inside, she felt alone and scared. Insecure, a victim without circumstance.

The perfect child, she would sit cross-legged on the Persian rug and watch the static black and white TV, blasting out Leave it To Beaver or Walter Cronkite, a well-adjusted girl with secrets going on right there on the couch behind her, behind seemingly invisible veil.

Emotional abuse. Schizophrenia. Methamphetamine. The illegal gun trade. Discussions of overdoses, the KKK, prison, prostitutes, and blacking out, all the while she seemingly was oblivious. The quiet, perfect child.

Demons danced in the shadows unabashedly, whispering in her ears with their raspy voices, "are you afraid of the dark, little girl?" She feared her room, yearned for the comfort of home; felt abandoned by her parents yet drawn to their hugs and false security.

A host of haggard untouchables, toothless, legless, hopeless, came in and out like the pumping of blood through veins, seeking the illegal goods provided in her family. At age eight, she could (if she had ever wanted) negotiate a drugs or arms deal, but not explain the meaning of family, religion, safety. She saw the TV world as just that, a pretend world where there were three square meals, smiles, kind words, baseball games, and slumber parties, a world beyond her reach behind the fiberglass of the television.

In a world unfit for children, she existed quietly, afraid to shake up a volatility not of her understanding.

The worst experiences, by far, were those haggard men. They would mention, while standing over her, "Hey she's gonna make a hot wife!" while their stinging alcohol breath wafted down like poison gas. They would swoon over her beauty, her hair and eyes and how she was a looker. All the while, her parents turned a blind (or imtoxicated) eye. Nothing much ever came of it, but every day she could feel predatory eyes, imaginary lips licking over her luscious prepubescent body, the demons lurking in every corner, and appearing in reality daily to get their score and more.

The predatory demons left their scent for decades, wisps of fear leaking into everyday interactions, like a permanent tattoo, an ominous unshakable presence. When her collection of psychologists asked her, "what's wrong, ehy are you here", it all came back to her and she wanted to recede into her shell even more, in hopes hiding from life would hide her demons.

...Work of fiction after reading a psychological thriller...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

broken part 2

My tablet is wonky so my last post ends midsentence, i cant add any more or delete or....so here goes... .....
something about cleaning! My bff swept and mopped the floor! It looks so nice and she cleaned off the kitchen counter and I was like ahhhh...i feel less mess-twitchy.

So anyways. 12 hours after the soft cast and dr visit, my big toe cramps up. I am trying to sleep. It cramps worse and worse until I am choking back tears, and I finally wake my husband (I hate asking people for help) and he takes off my cast. imstant relief. The next morning we put it back on and a few hours later, I have migrzine or childbirth level pain in my toe. I call the nurse hotline and am advised to just loosen stuff. Luckily it worked as wowza it hurt.

I hate hate hate asking people for help. It goes back to some odd psychological issue of, if I don't ask for help, I dont cause any negative feelings and can just become the wallflower that I am, meets, the huge moral I was taught and have a complex for, dont ever hurt anyone's feelings and that includes not even asking them for help.

so here I am needing help for everything. Help...no...more, someone must do an entire task for me. I cant clean the cst litter or pick up the sock on the floor or shower on my own. i cant drive a car, chase after my boys, water my garden, or reach the bowls and plates and cups. I cannot do any of this for at least 6 weeks and must rely on others to do it all for me.

I refuse to use my crutches as they are cumbersome, deadly-teeter-totter-y, and hurt my armpit and boobs. So i have an office chair I can wheel around in, but that still restricts me to 200 square feet of chair-scoot-able space. And my good foot and leg are tired of scooting. You exert a lot of energy, surprisingly, when you can only use one leg. It is exhausting, oddly, to be stuck in bed or a chair all day.

I am a calm but anxious and ADD type restless person. I realize in a normal ten minutes, i have probably checked facebook, gotten a snack for myself and juce for the kids, let the dog out to pee, turned off a light, rescued a child from imminent danger (repeat that twice), broke up a wrestling match, let dog back in, changed seating positions, searched for a toy, put shoes on to go imto the garden. I realize how ADD active I am and how oddly soothing it is, like a drug fix...must...do...ten...things...at...once. suddnely I cant do that.

I now have A cam boot, it weighs a ton and makes me itchy. My foot looked bruised and tan but the tan is actuslly a bruise. Im sitting right now Without the boot as I removed it to itch my ankle and....4 hours later am still cast boot-less, against doctors orders, because my husband disappeared into his office to work 4 hours ago and it requires 2 people to put back on.

Soon, my husband has to travel for work. I will be stuck alone with small kids and well, I am basically bed ridden. My mom will drop by "for a few hours one day" which I am grateful and bitter about...like...thanks, 2 hours of you chasing the kids and  reaching a cup for me so I can drink water totally doesnt make up for days of me praying my kids will just sit still, and that I can somehow feed and clothe and bathe them and myself all on my own. Oh and that darn cam boot cant come off, so i will reek because I wont be able to wash it or myself. Or any clothes.

And I get to be on crutches, dont walk on the broken foot, for at least 6 weeks. My mom has delusions of grandeur of us shopping. Suuuuure, I will park 400 yards away from kohls, and crutch-hobble while she pushes my reluctant kids in a stroller, all around the store, placing prospective outfits...somewhere....and onto the next store....sure mom.

I know I know. Complaining doesnt help. But this sucks!

After 23 days where we never saw the sun (but did see snow!) The fog has lifted and summer is here, beckoning my kids and I outdoors. Screw you, inviting summer I cant enjoy!

My mother in law uses a cane to walk, and seems to actually enjoy ordering others around while she rests in the chair. Not me.


Oh! But there is more!

I get half my cervix chopped off and drilled into next week.

Because why not, right?

all the joys of broken

Yeah....the title is gramatically incorrect... No one ever told me how much of a pain in the ass crutches are. How splints and boots anD the like itch like mad. How pain,well, hurts, and how being handicapped sucks. A few days ago, my clumsy self decided to ski down the 45° board on the side of the stairs, full weight on the ankle bent sideways, then boom, land on the ankle and foot full force on the non-carpeted floor. All I can say about that is white hot. And the world's loudest, longest, F word. I felt pain as bad as The worst part of childbirth (which I did unemedicated) but yet different, more sharp. I saw a flash of blinding white, nothing else which slowly faded to real vision. Heat and light, like being struck by lightninG. I painfully rolled myself to my back, and grabbed a (luckily clean, fell out of the hamper) shark mop pad which was within reach and bit down. I did not even cry because it hurt that bad. My husband rushed down, my youngest son crying (perhaps he knew something was very wrong, or I frightened him with my loud cursing). I was uncontrollably shaking, and my husband scooped me up and plopped me on the couch, covered me in a blanket as I shook and shivered like mad, and put a shot of tequila to my lips. I am trying not to drink alcohol, but it did not matter, I needed to numb the pain or my mind or something before the gone missing advil could be found and take effect. I hopped to bed and slept. In the morning i did a weird backwards butt crawl thing upstairs for breakfast and kept eyeing my foot. I finally decided, yes, I hafe sprained this very ankle twice but the pain wasnt nearly as bad and i could gently bear weight on it and this time, no. So off to urgent care I went. I sat in a wheelchair that wasnt a self moving one, so someone else had to wheel me. The secretary called for my copay and luckily someone took mercy on me and wheeled me over, because I got stuck! Once in an actual patiet room, I had to pee. Of course. So I was wheeled in, door shut, and had to figure out how to get out of a wheelchair, pants off, onto the toilet, back up, to the sink, and paper towels (omg why are they so far away?!?!) And back into the chair without falling and injuring myself more. I succeeded and pulled the nurse button-cord and got yelled at for not turning it off (hello the off button would require me to stand!) off to xray and... Fractured metatarsal bone and a severe ankle sprain. I got a "soft cast" and an appointment 3 days later. I got crutches, too. Crutches suck big hairy rocks. The slightest incline or step results in a death defying teetering maneuver, and even on flat surfaces, you realize you are essentially an untrained circus stint walker. With injuries. And they say dont rest the crutch in your armpit and they mean it!! Dont!! Even when I try not to, my armpits ache as if they have swoolen lymph nodes. The crutch even made a breast cyst of mine get all...cyst-y so now that hurts, too. I havent seen the downstairs of my home for 3 days. I do know the mess down their is hoarders-meets-tornado level, and I can do nothing about it. I just want the toenail clippers hiding down there. I know, its the little things! I have bad swelling, so I am stuck most hours of the day in bed or on the couch, foot raised. My tailbone (which has a sciatica type issue) aches from this. I cannot just get up and go pee or grab a snack. Oddly, as much as I loathe housecleaning, I miss it. Or rather, the mess makes me feel all twitchy and stabby and not being able to fix it drives me mad. Luckily my bff came over and man if I could just not be jealous, and have her as a sister wife (plus other complications...) she rocks. My tile floor upstairs is sparkly clean, she fed my kiddos some lunch, and..ok that was

Friday, April 24, 2015

the new F-word

Fuck the word fuck and all the wussy, wimpy, petty little things that come with it.

Cancer. Cancer is totally the new F-word.

I went in for a pap smear a few months ago and got a call. They found HPV, you know, genital warts. Eww, I thought. I wanted to hide it from my husband, I mea, eww, but told him. I mean, till death do us part, so he took it pretty well, until they said "follow up".

My husband jokes and calls me Misses Followup. Anyone would look at his plumper shape and my jow-the-hell-did-you-give-birth-twice-and-fit-in-your-high-school-clothing self and label him the follow up gug, but it is me.

Well over a month later, I found myself in a clinical surgery room sneering at medical oxygen tanks and scalpels and thinking, BREATHE. It did not help that the surgeon was an hour late, because bad thoughts love these empty room full of surgery equipment moments.

They put a microscope up my lady bits, a bit uncomfortable but hey I gave birth without pain meds, this procedure is my bitch, y'all.


Until, you have HPV 16, that and its bff 18 account for like 80% of cerival CANCER. Suddenly, fuck looses steam. The nurse holds my hand, pets it, gives a look of pity as the doctor does a biopsy (another word to replace fuck). I turn white.

I see a chunk of iodine-blackened flesh floating in a pee cup, and "a week or so for results"  echoes in my brain. "Abnormality, like daggers, invades my thoughts and stops my breath for a moment. I am too young. I have small childrdn Oh Dear God, I think. The doctor lets me sit there "in case I am faint" and says upon results, we will develop a plan, discuss steps. My blood boils. I pray like mad and keep my composure, somehow.

I think of facebook posts , post this if you support cancer research, lost a loved ond to cancer. Cancer was some far off idea. My grandpa died of it when I was four, but he was a chain smoking alcoholic. My other grandpa passed when I was a teen but I had only met him once, also a chain smoking alcholic. Not than anyone deserves cancer, but they kinda had a heavy hand in the roulette game.

But suddenly it was me, a mom and wife, woman in my 30s, nice dorky little Christian stay at home mom with fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Abnormalities, the type that leads to most cancer, CANCER.

I await my results. I am strong. I am  woman hear me roar (while I wipe back tears).

Cancer. It is the new four letter word.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

if only I explored Montreal

I was watching a travel show about Montreal, and most everything made me think, cool, why didn't I know that?

Perhaps it is because when I visited Montreal 15 years ago, it was (counting wind chill) both -40c and -40f, and the month I stayed there, I was both poor and shacking up with a recluse.

I did not try the Montreal bagel, or poutine, or smoked meats. I did not eat any meat, being vegetarian at the time.  I did enjoy peanut dumplings from some Chinese place, and a lot of cheap NY style pizza and falafels. I drank overprided cheap wine woth french bread. I froze my ass off.

Did you know that buildings are heated to 70-something, mandatorily, in winter? So you go from -40, your scarf frozen to your chin, your eyelashes frosted, into a sweldering indoor inferno. Your glasses fog up, even. Yet it is so cold outside, peole plug in their cars. You see medusa-like tentacles wiggling out of third story windows, a dangerous electric tangle.

I saw the Notre Dame cathedral (I think that is the name? Just like in Paris?) From the outside. I went near the top of Mount Royal, at dark in a snowstorm so I saw nothing. I walked past old town. There ends my touristy adventures.

I rode the metro and the busses, often with the poorest of poor. I saw a Vanilla Ice concert, because it was free. I sat inside a basement apartment, on a yoga mat on the floor, in utter squalor, sighing as my boyfriend at the time smoked pot to inspire some guitar playing - my anti-drug self saying, love triumphs all, yes? Whilst trying to motivate him to go to class, let alone, leave the apartment.

I stayed in Notre Dame de Grace, on a street infamous for violence and drug trafficking. I never saw anything more exciting than my boyfriend smoking pot, but I felt utterly alone, the building's tenants spoke no English or French, rather strange Russian-esque languages.

I think Montreal could be a neat place, especially not in January. A neat place if I had spare money, someone not high to explore with, and an appetite for the typical foods. Someday, perhaps, my family and I can explore the city.

Monday, April 6, 2015

if only it were a trend

Like OMG Kim Kardashian totally avoids all things gluten, and did you hear that even Miley Cyrus is "GF"? Totes!

Just shoot me.

A true condition has gone Hollywood and beyond, like all the trends before; Atkins, ombre hair, the macarena...the only dance I'm doing is to the restroom. Gluten free diets have become glamorized, the "it" condition to be afflicted with.  Who knew hypochondria could be cool? Your grandma was ahead of her time, and that time you read part of her Merck Manual, you, too were certain you both had typhoid, smallpox, multiple personality disorder, and phantom limb. Now all you need -shove granny and her Merck Manual aside, is a celebrity and bam!  That celeb is totes legit and you hashtag gluten free like no ones business, you trendsetter.

All the marketing and celebs aside, being gluten intolerant or having Celiac Disease is anything but hip and cool, glamorous, fun.

Here is where I "totes go tmi" so if you have a squeamish side, don't read my next spiel.

When your ankles and calves itch from the inside to where you bruise yourself just trying to soothe the itch, and you get covered in dermatitis herpetiformis (nothing with herpe- is pretty) scabs and look like the local herion tweaker, you think to yourself....I doubt Kim looked or felt like this. When you have four days of sheer liquid stinky oily diarrhea with specks of fresh blood and you can't leave the house let alone the restroom, you think, fuck you Kim Kardashian. I hope your trendy celeb gluten free diet blows chunks. Literally. I hope you get some karma and end up actually with celiac disease you whore.  Sorry. Four days of diarrhea have made me have no tolerance for much of anything let alone someone hawking some trend.

Why? Because then when you tell someone, sorry, I can't eat that sandwich or, excuse me, can I check the ingredient list for wheat? People Either roll their eyes or nod, yeah, like I totes lost ten pounds cutting out gluten no wonder you're so skinny!

No. I am skinny because my body decided to react to gluten and make my intestinal villi not wiggle. I no longer absorb nutrients, so I am in a sense one of those famished malnourished third world folks you see on TV except I have plenty of food to eat and medicines at my disposal. It just so happens, no medicine cures my problem and your cupcake there is a delicious death sentence.

Some people will treat a GF diet as just that, a diet. "Dude, it's Chrissy's baby shower, c'mon you can have a cheat slice of cake, it's a celebration! "
"Tee hee, I'm on a diet too but YOLO right? And those Christmas cookies are to die for so what d'ya say, let's have a few and hit the treadmill tomorrow, m'kay?"

No. Just no. It is NOT a diet. One little cookie isn't gonna disappear on the treadmill, it will render me stuck on the toilet, crying, itching my bruised scabby ankles as I pop another immodium, wailing "whyyyyyyyyy?"

I do admit I am human. I suck. I thought, hmm, maybe it is all in my head. Maybe it is a phase. Screw it. I want an In N Out burger and hey look pierogies My favorite! Sure I will have a bite of your pizza, yum!

And I ended up the next day at my pre-scheduled physical, trying tp stay seated (not laying down in fetal position), eyes open, to talk to my doctor. Stupid wheat. But...but....doctor, why? Why did my blood test give a negative for A wheat allergy and Celiacs, when I suffer like this with wheat? Why does the elimination diet work if the blood work, my medical record, says I can have all the killer brownies, crusty french bread, fettucine, pierogy, naan bread I could ever dream of? It seems to all be in my head since it isn't in my record but heeeeeeelp I am suffering.

Luckily, my doctor rocks. The only reason I have stayed with my very crappy, neglectful, wait over six months to see anyone medical network from hell is him. He actually listens to me. We have actual discussions. A visit isn't "temperature, blood pressure, how ya doin', here is a prescription, crap I spent three minutes with you, must hurry to the next patient". Nope. My recent visit lasted 25 minutes - a minute or so for weight and blood pressure and stuff, and the rest, discussion.

Where am I going? Hello? Tangent anyone?

He said, well you are healthy as can be except for adrenal fatigue (stupid network refused to renew an asthma steroid, sending me into a very bad place called adrenal fatigue) and gluten. (But doc, it says I am cool with wheat). Apparently, if you take an allergy test or celiac test but have not had wheat, you get a false negative result. The only way to "prove" your gluten problem is to gorge yourself on wheat and then take a blood test while having gluten allergy issues. Since they don't draw blood while you are on the pot for obvious reasons.... My test results were wrong. Let me clarify that the test had been done when I was NOT eating wheat, because I knew better than to eat it and suffer. At this very appointment I had had a lapse in judgement and decided wheat was a delicious food and screw it that fluffy burger bun and those pillowy pierogies and that spicy saucy pizza HAD to get into my mouth pronto. And my doc and I both agreed adding a bloood draw to my already miserable adrenal fatigue, seasonal allergies, and gluten death was a bad idea to simply prove what I already know - Gluten hates me.

So. As I write this, I still dream of certain wheaty foods. I know, I know part of the whole commercialism thing has made GF foods totally popular and accessible. Yippee! But nothing will replace the crusty european sourdough rolls I love to dip in soup, and most GF bread tastes like cardboard or some really sad remake of white bread (which is ick to start with), but luckily there is pao de quiejo cheesy bread rolls. I will miss my pasta machine, and rice pasta tastes like nothing (so much nothing that it takes away flavor, like a black hole, suddenly your bolognese on buttery fettucine becomes not bolognese on gluten free rice noodles, but, red colored wet air.) Luckily corn pasta works, for spaghetti, but I still want my penne pesto and butternut squash ravioli and pierogy. And don't get my started on quinoa as a replacement. I hate quinoa. There. I said it. Ive tried to love it (nutty, seedy, hell I could eat my weight in sesame and sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds...) but somehow it is just....no.

To conclude my long winded manifesto, hi. My name is _________ and I cannot have wheat. Any wheat. If you roll your eyes at this inconvenience, or hand over a "cheat cookie" with a wink, or tell me how you are on it too, just like Kim and Miley, I won't hold back. I will give you every bloody detail of my diarrhea and dermatitis herpetiformis and give you nightmares.

Cheat cookie my ass.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

going home

I remember her curls, unusually tight and a strange melange of copper and silver, clinging to her lifeless head as they wheeled her into the bedroom. Sure, she was alive and somewhat breathing, but she was a ghost in a shell of sorts, in limbo between this world and the next, her appearance even different as if part of another reality. No longer did I see Grandma Val circa 2015 but some strange scarecrow version of her, crafted by a stranger. She was just a vessel.

My dear "Nanny", my Grandma Val, resided on this earth for almost 94 years. Multiple falls and infections tried to pull her away, pneumonia and a heart attack rendered her to the unrecognizable vessel I saw but a glimpse of. Hospice took over, and she stayed here in body for two more days. But she was already on her way somewhere else.

The wedding was when I glimpsed this shell of a grandmother, holding on to one last precious memory. Hours later, her oxygen stopped and so did her heart, but she was revived. She clung to life long enough to talk to her son she hadn't spoken to in a year or seen in dozens, my father. Mere hours later, she made the transition.


She went home.

My cousins and uncle said she was cognizant until the moment of death; she knew she went to a wedding and recognized attendees in the photos, knew she spoke to her son. But no one could convince her, as she lay in a makeshift hospital bed at home under hospice, that she was home. No familiar object or person could quiet her request: "I want to go home".

At 11:30pm March 17, my dear Nanny got her wish. She went home. Rest in peace my dear. You are missed but not forgotten.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

microstory: whose side are you on?

On the edge of the precipice
darkness stewing
the light quietly whispers against the smothering black which cloaks itself in familiarity
 a weapon of comfort
the shackles are but life, it says
while the light shines from afar
 of which I yearn

Monday, March 2, 2015

microstory - succubus

The rum's all gone
Conversation's over
I told you no
How you hurt
How you suck the life out from me
You used caveats and excuses
And distorted it all
Twisted my mind
The bottle's dry
I yearn to heal you

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Surprise, I brought you flowers

The eighty-degree February sun glistened on the wet grass as we slowly drove around the cemetary and approached the masoleum. That's when i realized she was in there. Somehow, walking atop the dead is fine but a whole building full of them is nightmarish to me. I could not turn around now.

"Isn't this a bit morbid honey? Sure you want to do this? It is kinda....dark...all these ancient graves, with the kids, on a sunny day...."my husband's voice trailed off as me saw me stifle a grimace at the sight of the masoleum. I slowly opened the car door and slowly mumbled, "ok then I will be right back gimme the camera."

"What? You? Go in alone? By yourself?!?! The kids and I are coming. You can'tvgo in alone, you morose girl you" exclaimed my husband. So we all slowly ascended the stairs and walked into a silent, hot and stuffy, marble and brass sarcophagus. It's a sarcophagus, right? A giant stone tomb. Names of people long gone, some forgotten, were written on plaques in every direction. My children, young and innocent, ran around and enjoyed their voices echoing off the walls, reverberating and brwaking the austere mood of the place. I squinted and scanned the walls and couldn't find her. Little brass vases held dust and cobweb covered fake plastic flowers on some plaques, a place time had forgotten. About to give up, I found her tucked in a corner. The light filtered in the windows, light and shadow playing, my son chasing the reflections. "This is kinda weird uh....I will take the kids, do your thing but hurry" my husband whispered, as he rokunded the corner and made his way down the hall.

How do you do this? Why must so much of my life be so unscripted? There's no "situation x y z for dummies" book on most topics I encounter in life.

"Hi, Selma. You are my morsmormormor, my great great grandma. You were born in Sweden. Your daughter, Selma, had a baby. No one knew. She is my grandma. so I am  your relative too. Hello. Sorry for the surprise. Uhh....bye." And with that, I turned to leave, hoping I didn't upset her. I mean, what if she never even knew this huge family secret? Or what if she spent her life hiding it and here I come all, hey, your daughter did some naughty things and the secret's out, here I am! Or what if she knew and had always wondered? Man. I should have brought a photo of her grand-daughter. Or should I....

My thoughts were interrupted, and I stopped in my tracks (so much for a hasty escape) when my husband asked, "smell that?" I sniffed and smelled a floral scent, Easter Lilies to be exact. "Yeah, so? It's a cemetary. People bring flowers" I retorted. "Yeah, but do you see any flowers? Any real flowers? And did you smell them before? " I nodded no and looked back towards Selma's corner, and grabbed my son's hand. "Let's go home" I proclaimed, leaving Selma and friends behind. Who knows. Perhaps she (or someone else) tried to make a visit, it is often said certain strong scents can be a sign of the supernatural.
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Friday, February 6, 2015

laughing at your past

I do not mention it much but almost 15 years ago, I dated an asshole. He had a charming side, and then, a bipolar alcoholic emotionally abusive side. I got trapped in his web for two years, hopelessly in love and yet in misery and fear. Thank God (and my husband) for saving me. Except, see, my past haunts my dreams...but luckily it is the past and it stays in my dreams. Until...today. I decided to check my linkedin account and wow six people looked at my profile?!?! Future employers maybe? (Four years of under employment and under employment mean I get giddy in the hopes I will be "discovered" online). I then saw a familiar name. Shit. There is a reason (him) that my "name" on social media is not my own, from his prior virtual stalkings of me and his freaky threats . I suddenly thought, I have to block him. So to block people, you have to visit their profile. Except I could not find the right button to click to block him. Fuck. Now it looks like I stalked him back because he will log in and be all, "ooh she looked at my profile". And then begets my fear I wilk run into him in public or he will find where I live, as he is the type to be that kind of crazy. So then I decide screw it. I need to know something. I put up with his emotional prison

Friday, January 30, 2015

there are no coincidences...and...fyi I am not a creepy stalker.

My half brother whom I have never met (we are FB friends) is expecting a baby! Well his girlfriend is but same difference right? So I had to google her name, make sure she is a good person for my brother and neice/nephew. All I could find was an address. But holy moly omfg can it be? THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES. She lives or lived....wait let me back up. In the early 90's my brother and his aunt, uncle, cousins on my side whom he hasnt a clue about lived a half mile away from him. They probably saw one another often and never knew. So fast forward to now. His girlfriend lived or lives in the SAME HOUSE as his & my aunt, uncle, cousins lived in. THE SAME EXACT HOUSE. I am floored.