Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

It's one thing to fuck with me.  I can take shit that's been thrown at me.  Granted I might get really down, depressed, and feel plagued by demons of doubt, but I always bounce out of it.

But when it comes to my family, you don't fuck with them. We might have our problems with each other, we might speak ill of one another, but when it comes to someone attacking from the outside, you'd best be sure to run the other way. 

There is a world of shit that's coming down soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Clothes Makes The Man, But Mini-Pads Makes The Woman

Thursday morning held a lot of promise for me. I had lined up my first interview and had the potential to make some really good contacts within the high school sports community.Wanting to look snazzy and semi-professional, I opted for khakis and a sweater instead of the usual yoga pants and sarcasm-laced t-shirt.

Dropped The Kiddo off at school at 8:25 and realized I had to be at my meeting at 8:30. Strike One. Crap.  My first instinct was to call and reschedule the appointment, feigning car troubles.  Then I realized .5 seconds later that launching a paper and being the Regional Manger meant that I had to pull on the big girl panties and do it, even at the cost of running a few minutes late and looking like a fool (at least in my eyes).

After all, I was meeting with the head of the athletic department and it wouldn't be fair to waste his time just because I was freaking myself out.  Seriously, everyone runs late.  The Kiddo's school is 4 minutes down the road from the high school.  As I drove sped towards the school chanting 'calm the fuck down' to myself and mentally giving the bird to several drivers, I hopped out of the car and strode into the main building with false confidence and poise that impressed me.

The receptionist gave me a glance usually one reserves for trash in the gutter and told me to sign in.  Fortunately the coach appeared and ushered me to a side room before I started shooting dirty looks back at Ms-Cranky-Mc-Answer-The-Damn-Phone-Pants.

So I sit down, pretending to be poised and calm, when I actually wanted to piss myself.  I think I said "I appreciate your time" 5 times before I flipped open my notebook.  The noise in the hallway was going to make conversation difficult so I leaned back in my chair to nonchalantly close the door.  Except, I almost wrenched my arm of out my socket.  The door was held in place by an industrial strength magnet.  Strike Two.

No big deal. I mentally adjusted myself and flashed a broad smile as the director stood up to close the door while I rubbed my now strained shoulder.  I reached into my brand new purse and fished around for my pen and my cell phone because I had planned on recording the interview.  My memory isn't worth two licks at times, so I wanted to play it on the safe side, lest I forget a crucial piece of information.

I grabbed my phone and dropped it on the table.  Oh, and I managed to flip a mini pad onto the table at the same time.

Strike Three.

Mini-Pad meet Table.  Table meet Mini-Pad.

I glanced up quickly and our eyes met.  Without missing a beat, I swiped the pad back into the purse, gave my most charming grin, and proceeded on without any additional hitches. 

10 minutes later I was out the door and laughing all the way home.  I might not have the grace and poise of Ann Curry, but I'm a scrappy little fighter.  I might not know what the hell I am doing, but I sure will try.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Now Taking Applications For Assistant To The Regional Manager

Like the logo?  If you don't that's okay, because I didn't design it.  But it's the official logo of the on-line newspaper I'll be heading up.  The site isn't live yet, but it should be by Wednesday.  I'll be busting my ass big time over the next 8-10 weeks.

While I don't have an official title at this point, the owner said I might be called "The Regional Manager" which my immediate very un-adult response was to shriek, "I need an Assistant to the Regional Manager!"

When my boss told me to pull up YouTube so she could show me a video, I assumed it had something to do with marketing.  I was wrong.  And I couldn't stop laughing. 

My boss?  She's 50PlusSomething and is from England.  

This new path in the journey of my life is going to be awesomely insane. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

For My Next Act I'm Gonna Be A Female Version of J. Jonah Jameson. (Except Less Pissed Off At Toby McGuire, I Mean, Peter Parker)

Just As Colorful, But Less Inspired.
Once upon a time a little girl lived on a dead-end street down by a river, but she didn't live in a van down by the river.  She had a great imagination and was so full of confidence that she believed that everyone on the street would enjoy reading a newspaper that she created.  So throughout one summer she made up stories about neighbor's houses catching fire and lost dogs that never existed.

Having no access to a mimeograph machines (kids, that what we called copiers back in the day) she painstakingly re-wrote each article in perfect D'Nealian handwriting and illustrated each copy.  Critics would later likened those surviving first editions to St. John's Illuminated Bible. 

Days passed.  The little gazettes were ignored by most neighbors.  The papers, lovingly bound with rubber bands were mistaken for mass mailing flyers and were tossed in garbage cans without a second look.

The little girl saw all this.  Her labor of love and creativity trashed.  She pondered for a moment and thought, "Well, there goes two days of work for nothing.  I'm gonna swim now."  Because really?  What kid wouldn't want to swim in the neighbor's pool?

Twenty plus years later, on this particular day, this now older girl (because she maintains she will NEVER GROW UP) met up with two editors.  Between these two editors their resumes spanned the globe: NY Times, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Tampa Tribune; they had worked in Germany, South American, Thailand, India.  To say the least, it was an impressive meeting.

What began as an interview for a recurring column on health, fitness, and dog care (how those go together, she wasn't sure), turned into an offer to be a manager of a regional newspaper. The editors were impressed with her background, her skills, and her adventurous spirit.  Her first business meeting will take place on Saturday and by Monday, she'll hit the ground running.

And she lived happily ever after.  Until she couldn't fall asleep because she was so excited!

(So these are the details of the story.  I had answered an ad on Craigslist that advertized a position of a writer for the Dade City community for a on-line newspaper.  After speaking briefly on the phone to one of the owner and playing telephone tag over the holidays, I wasn't too convinced that I wouldn't be meeting up with two retirees who decided to take up on-line news reporting as a hobby.  However, I kept the appointment and the rest is as above.

Long before we had giant news corporations, towns and communities put out their own papers.   So my job is to launch the Dade City version of this newspaper.  It'll feature local events and people.  And seeing as we all have a natural propensity towards narcissism it shouldn't be too hard to have the highschool kids phone their sports scores to me, soccer moms to email pictures, and the garden club to wax poetic about their spring blooms.  People love reading about themselves.  Small businesses will get exposure on a level that they couldn't afford before.

I have to sell ad space in addition to managing articles that need to be published, editing documents for quality, and making contacts within the community.  And I think I really can do it.

The wonderful thing about these editors is that they understand the meaning of community.  15% of each client's ad fee will go into a community slush fund.  Once a month, 10 members from the community will decide where that money will go, whether to a needy family, replacing flower beds around city hall, or improving existing buildings.  

I'm going to be helping small businesses develop.  I'm going to know that children will smile when they can point to an article and recognize their face from the action shots captured during a game.  It'll be amazing to know that whatever ad revenue I can pull in will go to help those who might not be in a good spot, places that I've been in before. 

It's going to be a lot of hard work, especially in the beginning.  But I can still work from home, (yea for yoga pants!), set my own hours, and keep working with The Band.  This is an amazing chance for growth for me.

I know I will still have my days where my demons want to drag me down into depressive, anxiety ridden pits of self-doubt.  I know that I will freak out and get writers block.  But I know that I can keep fighting through it.  I know I can do it.)

And I know that I have you, dear readers, to thank.  Your comments, your warm wishes keep me up.  Thanks for believing in me thus far.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


How can frozen shrimp be bad? My stomach is crying. So much for writing my post about being part of the Traveling Red Dress Project and having a great talk with a wonderful person.

Diet fail. 

And I have a newspaper interview in the AM.  Uhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggg.

Refreshed and Revived

First of all, I must say thank you for all the love and warm words sent my way yesterday.  There is so much I want to say, but I know I'll start tearing up again if I try to wax eloquently.  I've spent most of today crying.

Screw it, I've tried typing several times and I can't get the words out right.  So to sum it up I'll do it in pictures tonight and explain it tomorrow.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Sacrifice

I have been trying to talk myself out of a panic attack since last night. So far, I've kept the crazy feelings down, but they are fighting to get to the surface.  I hate putting this down in binary code, because to me, I sound like a pathetic broken record.  I hate that I just can't "get over it" (as I've been told to do) some of the residual anger that festers in my soul.  I hate that after 6.5 years I still long to be back up in VA, not the state that I was raised in, but the state where I 'grew up.'
I know I am sick and run down from taking care of The Kiddo. I probably have walking pneumonia if not my chronic sinusitis acting up.  I***know***that in a day or two I should be doing better.  I'll have been seen by a doctor and hopefully given something I help me kick this illness to the curb.  I just ***feel***like crying.

I am excited about going to VA in 87 days (but who is counting) yet terrified of the feelings I am going to have to deal with. I miss living up there so much. I had to give it up when I had my son. It has been such a sacrifice.

One one hand, my family is here, we are surrounded by a great group of people from our Church, and the Kiddo is getting a great education. He's lacking for nothing.  I do not regret choosing the life of my son over my desires.  I love him so much and know that his life is responsible on so many levels for me getting my life together.

But I am so alone down here. There isn't anyone I know down here that I can talk to, that has SOME of the same interests as I do. I stick out like a sore thumb. I'm not going to apologize and hide who I am like I've done before, but I'm just so tired of doing it alone.  In this area, if you aren't a good ole' country gal or a pretentious country club groupie/doctor chaser, than that's it.  This town, cute and quaint as it may be, isn't big in diversity. 

One of my cousins said I should move to Asheville because there are so many artists. I'd probably feel right at home, though what I gather from Portlandia, I'd be happy there too.

I'm so tired of being lonely.

I'm still angry that my son's father cowed under the pressure we faced.  That his parents paid for me go away, but wouldn't help me when I was sick.  We weren't together when I conceived.  I had realized that our relationship as a couple was a toxic combo.  But we had been friends for years before we had ever become involved.  I'm so pissed that he couldn't stand on his own two feet and ran to his parents like a baby.  I'm so angry that I had to give up living in a place for me that felt like home. 

I'm so tired of carrying this anger and hurt around.  I hate that I hate living where I am.  I hate that I'm not happy here. I hate knowing that I would hate myself  if I took The Kiddo away from the only life he's know just to satisfy my selfish desires.

The Road To Parenthood Is Paved With Good Intentions

When I was the little Diatribest, my parents did what they could to protect me from what they deemed too mature or inappropriate by heavily restricting what I viewed on TV or listen to on the radio.  I didn't view one-eighth of the movies that may classmates saw (Willow? Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead?) and I wasn't allowed to listen to modern music, so I grew up on the classics, the oldies.  Yet somehow I managed to view The Graduate before I was 11 (which I didn't and still don't understand).  Also, it turns out hearing a little girl belt out "Brown sugar, why do you taste so good, brown sugar, just like a young girl should" is a bit disturbing.

And I respect that.  I hated them at the time, but I understand now what they were attempting to do.  As a parent I attempt to do the same for the Kiddo.  There are some things that I won't let him view because I find them to be downright disgusting, inane, or insulting to children viewers and the adults that created them.

For instance, my parents wouldn't allow me to watch the Chucky Trilogy. (clip NSFW).  So what I gathered about the movies from my classmates was that a little boy had a doll that came to life and killed everyone.  Sounded creepy, but I could separate fact from fiction.  I wasn't afraid my Cabbage Patch doll, which lay on the end of my bed every night along with 30 other stuffed animals, was going to wake up and kill me. 

Then Playschool came out with My Buddy and Kid Sister.  And I confused the murderous doll with a lame doll aimed at friendless, siblingless children.  The kids across the street had a My Buddy, which I swear would follow me around the house.  And it didn't help that the older girl told me her visiting cousin was possessed and would kill all the newborn kittens if I didn't sit on the bed and be quiet.

I'm almost 31 and over-sized dolls still scare the crap out of me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nothing. No Thing.

I've got nothing right now. 

My insecurities are popping up again.  I have a fairly easy assignment that would take all of two hours, if that.  I'm feeling to paralyzed to do it.  I need the $100, but I can't put the words together that I need to write an SEO article about an SEO company that wants to sell you their SEO algorithms.  Ughhhh. . . .Even typing that makes me want to shoot myself. 

I'm totally drained.  I've spent the past 30 days nursing my son through a nasty virus which turned into a sinus infection.  I was sick for a good while during his bout and haven't healed properly.  I've been wheezing today which makes me concerned.  Now that he has returned to school, just for today and tomorrow, I want to collapse.  First thing I did after dropping him off at school was to crawl into bed until noon. 

Because that's what winners do! 

I'm feeling lonely.  And a bit jealous too.  And really insecure about writing what is on my mind.  I wish I had the courage to let it all come out, much like The Bloggess did the other night.  Her piece on depression and self-harm was so moving, I would have cried if I could have, but I'm too dead inside right now. 

Emotions, Sometimes I Could Deal With Less

I spoke with a friend this evening who's been having a rough go of things.  It appears that things have taken a turn for the better.  I've cared so much for this friend and didn't realize how heavily these things weighed on me.

Now that I know that my wonderful friend is on the mend, the emotions that are welling up from the dark corners of my soul are astounding me.  I didn't realize how strongly I have been holding my friend in my heart.

Tears, foolish drippy droppy tears, are and having been rolling down my face this evening.  I guess they are tears of sweet relief.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Somewhere, Someone Is Laughing

January is named after the Roman god Janus, know for having two heads so he could look forwards and backwards at the same time.  If Janus was so good at seeing forward and backward, then it would have been nice if I'd gotten a heads up that I would want to drink away memories of today. 

Tuesday 3, 2012--You suck.
  • The Kiddo can't return to school today because he is still, still, still sick.  His illness has not resolved itself in a month and since a momma knows her kid best, I knew something more than just a 'viral infection' was up at this point.
  • Made a fortuitous call at 7:45 this morning to discover that there was an opening at 11:30 at the pediatrician's.  Perfect. 
  • Did a work assignment only to discover that the email address I was attempted to reach was coming back as undeliverable.  WTF?  I've done work for this person for the past 5 days.  I'm expecting my first paycheck on Sunday, small tho it is, it'd be enough for half a tank of gas.
  • I try calling this client.  Contact him at both numbers.  Realize that both numbers are forwarded to the same mail box.  No big deal, right?  I have to get the Kiddo ready for the appointment, return a few emails, and put out a few new feelers.
  • Arrive at the doctor's 15 minutes early.  After 45 mins told that the doctor is on call at the hospital.  That's okay because I can just enjoy the honky-tonk Ebola reunion that's going on in the waiting room.  Every boot wearing member in the county walks through the door smelling of stale cigarettes and Super Gulps.  There is much hugging, number swapping, mucousy smokers coughs, and promises to get together.  The tiny infant two chairs away is covered in such large spots that I can only hope the family dog has a bad case of the fleas. 
  • At quarter to 1, doctor arrives, chats with us for a few minutes, calls out a prescription, and we're back out the door.
  • Grab a $2 Happy Meal for the Kiddo, pick up a few groceries and off to Wal-Mart to pick up the meds.  
  • Stand in return line for 10 minutes.  Discover toy did not originate from Wal-Mart but SUPER Wal-Mart.  They won't accept it.  ~~~Sigh~~~~
  • Wait at pharmacy window. 12 minutes til their lunch break is over.
  • Window opens 5 minutes late.  They haven't filled the prescription.  Told it will be ready in 30 minutes.  Know this is a lie because the same damn line is being spoken to 5 other customers.  And there is only one pharmacist.  I can do the math. 
  • Decided to go home and eat lunch.  Having passed up high fat, high calorie Micky D's I am now so ravenous that I eat a monster roast beef sandwich, a bag of salt and vinegar chips, AND a dill pickle.  
  • Drop a tomato, squat to pick it up.  RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP.  I am now the proud owner of fully ventilated jeans.  
  • Try to call the client who owes me $$ a call.  Once again, I get creepy, crappy voicemail.
  • Do a bit of work, bundle the kid back out to the car.  It's been 3 hours, the medicine must be ready by now.
  • First and only person in line at the pharmacy and it's still ANOTHER 20 MINUTES!  They have to mix the medicine.  For the love of cheese and crackers!
Time to close the curtain on this day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Dregs of 2011--Or--What Was I Thinking Part 2

When I was writing last night, into the early hours of this past morning, I got kicked into the drafts folder after the computer hiccuped.  I discovered I have a hell of a lot of posts that need to be trashed because even looking at them a second time, I have no friggin idea what my original  intent was.  Want to take a guess as to what I thinking?
  • LA Ink Barbie--I hate Barbie and I don't know any thin, tatted up blonds.
  • A Physically Banged Theory--Okay, What???
  • When I Hear Hoofbeats, I Always Think Elephants and Zebras-- Was I trying to illustrate how I jump to the worse conclusions? 
  • Monique--Who the hell is that?  The actress?  Why would I write about her.
So, this post is pretty shitty.  I've tried to write as I watch Hoarders, which is just wrong to begin with.  Hoarding has got to be one of the most pathetic mental illnesses I've ever seen.  When I was a teen, I cleaned the house of a deceased woman who was a hoarder.  I found canned food from the 70's, sweet potato tubers on bookshelves, and three copies times 70 of the same Harlequin novels.  Poor old woman.

I did manage however snag a really neat (read: tacky) red knit scarf that was later used as a murder weapon in a play. 

Well, I'm done for the night.  My resolution to write EVERY DAMN DAY has been fulfilled for the second day in a row. For The Win, Y'all. 

Rules: You're Doing It Wrong

This post deals with child rape, pedophiles, and religion. 
If you'd like to leave a comment, I will be moderating this time.
The opinion is mine.  I am entitled to it, just as you are to yours.
That being said, here goes. 

I am a church going Catholic.  I may not always understand or agree with some of the doctrine and teachings but I choose to still remain faithful to the Catholic Church.  Here's the way I look at it.  If you want to play regulation basketball there are certain rules that MUST be followed. No traveling, no double dribble, no shooting from the bleachers unless you are a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Motto: We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Rules

If you want to run in the 400 meter relay for the Olympics, you have to stay in your own lane and not cut through the center field.  If you're on Iron Chef and are told not to use any onions, then you can't use the fucking onions because it will disqualify you!

Now, I have NEVER claimed to be perfect, to follow all the rules all the time, to even like some of the rules.  I've broken some (See: Sex, Premarital), been tempted to break others (See: Theft, Do Not Do It), and at times really hated following others (See: The Sabbath, Go Celebrate It). For instance, some Sundays I'd rather bite off my finger than attend Mass; sometimes I'm in no mood to give thanks and celebrate The Lord's Ultimate Sacrifice because I'm in a bad mood or I really want to sit around in yoga pants and play on the Interwebz.   

However, I can choose to do or not do these things.  To follow or not follow the rules.  If I'm not following the rules then I'm not acting like a Catholic should act. And if I'd rather do push ups on the basketball court, rather than do a free throw, I'm not following the rules and therefore not playing basketball properly.

So I choose to remain a Catholic, even when I don't feel like it.  And when I've broken the rules, I (eventually) muster up the courage and humility to go to Confession.  That's it.  The Catholic Church, like other organizations whether it be sports, academic teams, or cooking contests, has a set of rules that must be followed if one wants to be considered a Catholic.

When it comes to the rules of priestly celibacy, Karl Keating states "It is true that Catholic priests in the West may not be married, but no one is obliged to become a priest. Marriage is not forbidden to them as human beings, but as priests. A Catholic man is free to choose the celibate priesthood, the married life, or even the single life (which also is celibate). Celibacy is forced on no one." (Emphasis mine). 

This vow is not easy and is not entered into lightly.  It means sacrificing progeny, companionship and physical comfort of a spouse.  It means going at life alone.  It also means having a flock of people as your family.  It means bringing comfort to a family when a child is in a coma.  It is blessing the little couple that has been married for 50 years.  It's restoring a fallen Catholic in persona Christi back into the church.  It is commemorating the death and resurrection of Our Lord.

I have gone to school with some wonderful men who have joined the priesthood.  One of my favorite college professors was a priest, hard ass and impossible to please that he was.  The pastor at my church is a fun, loving man has sat down to dinner with me, beer in hand and who dispenses solid advice to guide me when I walk astray. I have been blessed to know some wonderful priests.  

So it has been troubling, gut-wrenching, sickening, maddening to discover that for decades there have been priests who have raped and molested innocent children.  Rather than being held accountable by the Church and by the State, these men were often shuffled off to another region of their diocese or order where they continued to wreak havoc on more lives. 

These men broke the rules and vows they took.  What they did was wrong on every level.  There is no excusing it.  In my world, these men with other rapists, molesters, perverts, monsters of the world would be tossed on Alcatraz, air dropped food and supplies, and left to fend for themselves.  In my mind, there is no one deserving of mercy for the crimes committed against children. 

So when a priest/bishop/deacon/monk have been exposed for the horrible actions they have committed, the first thing under scrutiny is the priestly vow of celibacy.  Many times I've heard the argument in the news and from family and friends that "If your priests could get married, then they wouldn't have to rape little boys."  (As if to say, it's wrong to rape a child because you are a sexual deviant, but it is okay to act on your deviancy on a companion)

First of all, as the survivor of rape, it's not about sex.  It's about power and control.  The need to hurt and belittle someone because the rapist is lacking, twisted, sick, and incomplete.  So even if priests were permitted to marry, it doesn't mean that these actions may not have occurred.  There are sadly too many examples of rapists and molesters that were married: John Wayne Gacy, the couple that abducted Elizabeth Smart, along with Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo.

Most will agree: rapists are sick people.

So when I heard of the allegations against Jerry Sandusky, my heart broke for those innocent children whose lives were shattered.  I was sickened.  Angry at those who stood silent while they were aware of the abuse.

But at the same time, I breathed a sigh of relief.

"See!" I want to shout.  "It's not just priest and ministers and bishops that abuse children.  It's not celibacy that drives them to do that.  It's not Catholicism.  It's about being a deviant!"

More stories of abuse are coming out of other sports organizations as I type.

Sandusky was married when these abuses began.  We can't blame celibacy on his actions.  Even if he was in a loveless, sexless marriage I can't imagine that a person who enjoys raping little boys would be adverse to visiting a male or female hooker or have a mistress. 

Rape is not about love or sex.  It's about power and control, things which these men, priest and married men alike, have abused.  It's not Catholicism and celibacy that forces these priests to do these things. 

It's just plain sickness and deviancy.  And sadly, no one area of our lives, has been unaffected by it. 

I don't have to be a Catholic, I don't have to follow the rules set up by my Church, but I choose to.  Just as Jerry Sandusky choose to rape those children.