Saturday, August 29, 2009


When I got divorced I moved into a miniature shit hole apartment close to work. I spent my first Christmas alone, well, alone. Christmas Day 2001 found me sitting on my sofa with oodles of junk food watching all 5+ hours of the A&E Pride and Prejudice. It's never been said directly to me, but apparently that wasn't acceptable. Because I never spent a holiday alone again.

Right there <------ is Livvie and Jonas's Gramma Jess. Gramma Jess is of no relation to us, but I trust her with my children more than anyone else. Even blood. I couldn't tell you why, because I haven't analyzed it. Maybe it's because she raised two amazing kids who aren't even close to being as fucked up as Rich and I can be. I do know that while I've felt minor tugs of misgiving or irritation at handing my children to other people, I've always been able to just offer them to her, let go, and not have a worry in my head. To offer an example, yesterday Livvie tried to drown herself in the pool. Her Gramma Jess plucked her out of the water, and while she was wigging out and saying, "All done???" Gramma Jess kept her in the pool and let her realize nothing bad was going to happen. No coddling. Just a matter of fact, you're ok. My cortisol levels didn't even raise a hair.

When she took Jonas into the pool -----> I actually ended up having to take Livvie in the house for awhile and had no worries whatsoever.

I haven't been the best of adopted daughters since Livvie was born. I have no excuses. There really is no excuse for not being there more often. For awhile I didn't want to impose. And then simply staying at home became easier. They live less than 1o minutes away. Yesterday I realized that the relationship I have with this family is one of the main reasons why I haven't come apart at the seams on occasion.

I would rather that home be where they choose to take me in than have to take me in.

The past few holidays we've stayed home and celebrated alone. It's nice, but it isn't the same. Livvie's first Christmas was spent at that house. Hopefully this year Jonas can at least spend part of his first there. I think he'll love it.

Besides, I want Green Bean Casserole.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I lost my ever loving mind the other night. It was like a tornado or freight train. I saw it coming and there was no way to stop it. So I stood outside myself and watched myself snap at everyone in the house, and when that drove everyone away from me physically I watched myself throw things around as hard as I could. NOTHING had set me off. There was no trigger. It just happened. Rich said, "What's going on? You were smiling and happy 15 minutes ago." and I snarled, "No I was NOT fine. I am NEVER fine!!!" and he picked up Livvie and carried her into our room and shut the door.

And I finally ate some food for the first time all day and then held it together long enough to calmly get Livvie to bed.

So I was simmering instead of boiling. And I went to apologize to Rich. I apologize more than any human I have ever met.

And then my brain stretched past my skull and it was physically painful. And I only wanted to die. And somehow an apology turned into an argument, and I blurted out that I had to die.

And my husband stood his ground. He told me exactly where talk of that type would lead. And he let me sink into a sobbing puddle without bending to me once. He was a thousand year oak, and I was a sapling. And I wallowed. Still he stood. And while this was going on something amazing happened.

I tapped into his strength of will. I could feel my brain feeding off of it. And I calmed down. And then even more amazing, my brain shrank back to normal. Normal human brain right here. Not happy, not sad. Just being. So when I was clearly sane, he held me in the dark and we just breathed.

And yesterday morning I woke up feeling better about myself than I have in who the hell knows.

He is one of the smartest men I have ever met, in thousands of different ways. But his ability to react, or not, in any situation is something that I find astounding. Three days ago I would have thought that I don't deserve to be so lucky. Today I find myself thinking that I need to start proving that I do deserve it.

I will be starting to do yoga every night, for at least 30 minutes, after Livvie goes to bed. There are corners of my mind that need to be cleaned out. I will not automatically assume I will fail. If I do fail I will try again.

I can do this. And I have the best possible trainer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Truly the End of an Era

I was in Dublin in November of 1994. Some of us were sitting at the bar in our hotel when a bunch of very well dressed people came into the lobby surrounded by law enforcement. We were curious, so one of us asked the bartender what was going on. He told us the government had just fallen. And then we finally looked up at the TV screens around us. A few of them were turned to a soccer (football) game, but the rest were turned to a news channel. So we got to talking with the bartender, and he laid it on the line. He said, basically, that the problem with Americans is that when it comes to politics most citizens are completely apathetic. The Irish, however, eat, drink, and breathe politics. Even the most lowly and poor citizen with no access to the wireless world knows exactly what's going on at any given time.

And this is one of the reasons that back in the very early part of the 20th century the Irish in America bludgeoned their way into government.

Maybe bludgeoned is a poor choice of words. No wait, it's precisely a good choice of words, because the Irish were not averse to using less than honorable means to their ends. In the beginning it meant physical force. And then it meant money.

Joe Kennedy Sr. made a lot of money. Regardless of the fact that he was so fortunate financially, he dealt with anti-Irish bias regularly. But like any "good" Catholic man, he knocked up his wife a bazillion times and had 9 kids. And by the grace of God, 4 were boys. So he set about making sure, by any means possible, that his son would become President of the United States.

Oh no, not that son. Joe Jr. And then Joe Jr. died in a plane crash in WWII. But he had emergency backup sons. So attention and money and power turned to Jack. And it worked. An Irish American man became president. A little over 60 years prior there had been signs posted in shop windows saying, "Help Wanted- Irish Need Not Apply." But now here he was, a Catholic boy with even bigger financial reserves than his libido. And he was the most powerful man in the world. And then in November of 1963 some fucktard gunned him down. BUT. There were still 2 more emergency backup sons.

So son number 3 went for it. And Bobby, who had been, regardless of questionable behavior regarding the opposite sex, probably the best example of humanity that Joe Sr. produced in his sons, was also gunned down in 1968. And oh Dear God, that left Teddy.

Everyone has a Teddy in their family. I don't care who you are. If you have more than 2 kids you get the baby of the family. And the baby ends up with certain issues. If you're the youngest SON, well goodness knows... So everyone turned to the baby boy of the family who had grown up protected and coddled the way youngest boys can be. And wouldn't you know it? He fucked up. It was a colossal fuckup. SO colossal that the incident became synonymous with politicians' fuckups to this day. At age 37, old enough to know better, he let a woman die. Unfortunately he had no brothers left to fall back on for help. So he had to dig himself out of the mess himself. And he did.

Teddy Kennedy went from being a joke to being one of the most respected senators in the history of this country. 47 years. FORTY SEVEN YEARS the people of Mass. kept him in office. He pushed the Civil Rights Act into law. He pushed the Voting Rights Act into law. The Americans with Disabilities Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act.

There were still jokes made about his obvious love of alcohol and his rather amusing accent. But they came fewer and farther between. Because this man had realized he needed to do a job. And he got it done.

Looking back, he was the lucky one for more reasons than having had the chance to die of natural causes at a somewhat elderly age. He got to spend decades affecting change and serving the public to the best of his ability. If he had been elected president? What, 8 years at the most? Followed by the public speaking circuit? Oh I'm sure he would have done something good. Foundations and charities etc. But almost 50 years of pushing the government to do what was right instead of what was easy is an awesome legacy to have.

So we've lost a prime example of the Irish passion for politics and government. And what it can lead to in the best and worst of circumstances. Safe Journey, Teddy.
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Life is so bizarre

Shiva speaks to me. LMFAO

I have lost every modicum of spirituality I ever had, and I'm a selfish white chick who was raised Catholic who really likes to eat cows.

But there's this God in the Hindu pantheon who likes to give me a nudge now and again. It's annoying sometimes. But it always works out for the best. Dammit.

I generally operate under the opinion that people who say they talk to God are crazy or dangerous or both. And I still believe that folks who claim to have full on conversations with him in English are batshit demented. I'm not talking about prayer. I'm talking about, "Oh, you say all gays are damned to hell so I should assist them on their way by blowing up this nightclub? Done."

The first time I ever heard of Shiva I was about 9 years old and reading my first Destroyer novel. The main character is believed by another major character to be an avatar of Shiva. So I looked him up, because even then I was a hopeless info-nut and since Google didn't exist I had to go to the library. Turns out this guy Shiva is believed by many to be the supreme and one of a trinity. He's not one to fuck with. "In the Mahabharata, Shiva is depicted as 'the standard of invincibility, might, and terror,' as well as a figure of honor, delight, and brilliance." I think he might be Bipolar.

Many years ago I found myself burning myself constantly. Every time I turned around I was burning myself in the oven, on the stove, with steam, pretty much anyway one can. And then one night I had a dream that I was in bed with Shiva and his wife walked in and said, essentially, "Who is this bitch?" I was terrified, and he basically told me that I knew what I had to do.

So I overhauled my life. Out with the crap. I embarked on a new me. I met Rich and married him and had Livvie. I eliminated a lot of the bullshit that had been tying me down. Shiva creates from destruction. So I would too. Things went pretty well.

Lately he's been popping up again. I'm not burning myself, but I've been in serious pain for almost a year now in one way or another. It's an attention getter for sure. And then recently I've been seeing his name everywhere. In an effort to avoid another nocturnal altercation with Parvati I'm listening now, before things progress.

The irony of being someone who no longer believes in God and yet is taking to heart headbutts from the divine is not lost on me. It's aggravating. But then, none of this began this time until after I had settled in my heart that we are truly alone.

So I'm about to start a new journey. I don't know where it will lead. But I'll keep you abreast of all developments.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dumb Shit I Did

The earliest memory I have of being stupid involved turning a bicycle over onto its seat and handlebars and pumping the pedal to spin the wheel. Did you ever do that as a kid? Well, I had it going really fast, and the spokes became invisible. Something, probably being descended from my dad, prompted me to stick my right index finger in. THWACK-SPURT. I cut my finger down to the bone. My father asked me what I was thinking. I'd have the chance to ask him that exact same question a few years later.

Our neighbors across the street had been painting the house with white latex based paint. They had paint trays in their garage on a shelf with paint congealing in them. For some reason I rounded up every kid about my age on our street and we decided to paint each other with it. I got the worst of it. It was all over my face and in my hair. And my dad took a rag soaked in turpentine to me to get it off. God that shit burned. I was crying. We all got grounded. Every single one of us. And having been the ringleader, I got a spanking.

My dad used to snag refrigerator boxes from the hardware store for me to play with. I figured out if you got inside of it at the top of the front steps on my porch and had someone else push it over you could roll down the steps in it without getting scraped up. So we did that. A lot.

We had a crabapple tree in the side yard that I used to climb almost every day. And one day I climbed it and the limb I was on broke out from under me and I threw myself against the tree and clung on like a lemur. And yelled for dad. Over and over again. I don't know if he hadn't heard me or was just screwing with me, but I hung on for over 15 minutes. And he had to climb the tree to get me back down.

I had a 3 speed purple bike with a banana seat and hand brakes. Our street was a hill leading down to an intersection that led to the crick. And one day I was riding my bike downhill and hit the hand brakes as hard as I could, and I flipped over the handlebars and landed on my back in the street in front of my bike. RIGHT in front of Johnny Palin. Who was my arch-nemesis.

I was over my friend's house swimming one day and I decided to do a back flip off the board. So I bounced a few times and leaped backwards. And slammed my spine into the board, knocking the air out of me, and slipped into the deep end. She jumped in and dragged me out. I should thank her for that again.

There's a whole list from the adult years as well. But I think this is enough for now.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I have stolen the idea for this entry from my best friend.

Early childhood memories. What are your strongest?

I posted on her blog that I remember vividly falling out of my crib at around age 2, landing on my head, flopping over onto my back, and staring up at my parents' concerned faces and saying, "Hi Mommy!!"

I remember when the wooden railing on the front porch gave way while I was leaning on it and I fell through and landed in the fire thorn bush. Also age 2.

I remember at 3 I hopped down the front steps on my hoppity horse and landed on my head. I did a lot of landing on my head as a kid. Imagine that.

I told my mother today that one of my strongest memories is of hearing about midnight snacks all of the time, and how I said I would never get to have a midnight snack. So one night at midnight my mother woke me up and led me to the kitchen where a peanut butter sammich was waiting for me. Have I ever mentioned how awesome my mom really is?

There was a radio in my room above my bed. And they had it set to a local AM station. And every night at 10pm they would play "Honey." Do you remember that song? Manipulative piece of bullshit it was, but I sobbed every night when it came on. I dreaded 10pm. I would watch the clock and tense up and then "Honey" would start. And I'd bury my face in my pillow and cry my eyes out. I hate that song.
One day while I was not at home
While she was there and all alone
The angels came
Now all I have is memories of Honey
And I wake up nights and call her name
Now my life's an empty stage
Where Honey lived and Honey played
And love grew up
And a small cloud passes overhead
And cries down on the flower bed
That Honey loved

Seriously. What the hell?

My mother used to cut out shapes from construction paper and glue them onto a larger piece of paper for me into little scenes. She did a Christmas scene one time complete with fireplace, stockings, teeny candles on the mantel, and a small orange cat in front of the hearth. I loved those.

When I was 3 years old one of the bigger kids across the street put a tack in the front tire of my tricycle, and I cried and cried. It was a solid wheel. It didn't matter. He abused my property. That stuck with me my whole life. I have never harmed anyone else's property because I remembered how that felt.

I remember when our cat Butch bit me and I ran crying to my mom. "Butch bit me!!" "Oh yeah? What were you doing to him?" Ah. Yes.

I remember VERY vividly being at a 4th of July party at my aunt's house, and I ran to my Uncle Joe and gave him a big hug. Then I looked up and it wasn't Uncle Joe. I think it was one of his brothers who I didn't know. I burst into tears and ran off and hid.

The first fish I caught, at age 3 in the crick in my aunt's backyard, was a pregnant catfish who proceeded to give birth while I had her on the hook. Talk about freakouts. Gross, man.

I wonder what my kids will remember.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, titled "Dumb Shit I Did."

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Apparently instead of discovering colossal typos on NPR's website such as this one tonight:

Webb met with Myanmar's reclusive Senior Gen. Than Shwe in Myanmar's jungle capital of Naypyitaw and came away from that meeting with Yettaw's release. It was the first time the reclusive general had met with a senior U.S. official, according to The Associated Press.

The senator is expected to take Myanmar to Bangkok on Sunday.

And getting peeved about it because this is a NEWS website for crying out loud and there's no way in hell I can get a job proofing for the idiots who enter the text into these websites (huff puff puff)...

(Seriously. I see this crap on WRAL's website all the time too)

Rich thinks I need to just STFU and start writing.

Where the hell would I even start?

I have nothing to write about.


What am I good at? Catching retarded mistakes in articles.

What am I bad at? Ideas.

What pisses me off? That the dope who types up the stories for the reporter will insert some words twice, neglect some completely, or even, on occasion, repeat entire PARAGRAPHS makes more money than I ever did in a year.

I have no idea where I'd even begin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Golly. Where do I start?

Last week I said to Rich on the deck, "Why do I have so few friends? I just can't relate to most people and feel uncomfortable."

And he said, "Because people suck."

And yeah, my entire adult life I've operated with the mantra that people do suck. Individuals surprise me all the time. But in general I'm socially retarded. I've never been comfortable meeting new people or going to parties with a large attendance. I always feel like I'm faking it. And I know people can tell.

I have very few close friends who know a great deal about me. And I'm not comfortable with superficial friendships. I never have been. I'm almost at 120 on my Facebook friends list, and I think I can count on one hand how many people on there I would call if my shit hit the fan. I'm sure more than that would be happy to help, but I'm not comfortable letting too many people into my business.

I've only had one long-term relationship with a guy who wasn't anti-social too. And I married him. We got divorced.

It's been tough having a toddler and not being comfortable in the company of others. Most of the moms I've met I haven't been able to relate to at all. I don't know if it's a lack of shared life experiences or what. I recently found two moms who can get me. One was Livvie's developmental therapist. The other is the office manager at her preschool. I'd say both of them are as screwy as I am. In the best way possible of course. And both of them are blunt, no bullshit women who I would describe as broads.

Maybe that's the issue. There's a decided lack of broads these days.

There's something decidedly refreshing about tossing a Starlight mint to a chick so she can go pick up her kid from preschool without reeking of the beer she just slammed with you in your kitchen. Or knowing that I can casually drop the F or C words in front of them and not risk horror. It's hard to find that in a person.

I remember back in 1999 I interviewed a broad for a job at Borders, and during our lengthy conversation I realized I had found The One. No pressure, Xris. When I was talking to her I sensed deep down that A.) we'd get along fabulously, and B.) she was No Bullshit. I was tired of bullshit.

As of this month I will have called her my friend for 10 years. This is the longest friendship I have ever had. There has been no drama. If I act like an ass she calls me an ass. I do the same.

Maybe if there were more chicks like this I'd have more friends.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


If I weren't already married I would never do it again.

I was adamant about having a small "wedding." The wedding was not nearly as important to me as marriage itself is. I had been screwed royally by my ex, and if I was going to do this again I wanted it to last. I even distinctly remember when Rich and I started seeing each other that I said I had no interest in ever marrying again and he agreed. Apparently though, according to his mother, shortly after we began seeing each other he told her he wanted to marry me. Everybody say, "Awwwww."

Right now it seems like I'm getting bombarded with failing marriages.

There are multiple reasons these marriages are failing, but I would say that the deep down reason is lack of proper love. I remember when I asked the ex for a divorce he said, "Don't you love me anymore?" and I said, "That isn't enough." And I did love him on some level, but not in the right way. I know that in a marriage there are times when you're "in love," and times when you are not. But at its heart, the love you have for your spouse should surpass the type of love you have for your friends. And mine did not.

Rich and I have had our share of issues, almost from the very beginning. It didn't help that he married a crazy-woman. In the beginning he thought my lunacy was endearing I think. But it gets old rather fast. And I managed to marry a man who will flat out tell me when I'm being a complete moron. And it happens often. One has a tendency to try things that have worked in the past, and I've tried my special brand of bullshit on him on more than one occasion. He doesn't let me. He's blunt and to the point, and while I get absolutely furious at being called ridiculous and accused of not making sense, after I storm off to cry I realize he was right.

We have never not hugged and kissed after a fight.

I'm not saying we haven't gone to bed mad. Because we have. But even when that happens we make sure to kiss goodnight. And THEN turn our backs on each other until the morning when everything looks different, the anger has passed, and half asleep one of us will reach out and put a hand on the other.

We also never call each other names angry. We call each other plenty of names in jest. But except for once, very recently, I have never insulted him in anger. This matters.

I consider us very lucky these days. We're still crazy about each other. It's been 5 years. Universe willing we will still be crazy about each other in 40 more. So I sit here and look at my husband, who is an amazing Daddy, the best provider he can be in this recession, and a fantastic life partner.

And I think I'll make him a lasagna.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


My mother is here.

She arrived Tuesday afternoon.

Bless her heart for attempting to help. Seriously. However.

I called Rich yesterday and informed him that we were filling the beer cooler and moving to a motel until Monday. Unfortunately we don't have the funds.

Last night at 3am when Jonas woke up to eat I had to deal with the dulcet tones of Fran Drescher blaring from the living room.
If (when) my hearing starts to go I will be marching my ass out to get a hearing aid post haste. I refuse to put anyone through this.

Jonas gets upset and starts fussing and Mom refuses to take any of my advice on how to calm him. So she keeps trying different things that don't work. Including jiggling him on her knee right after he eats. Which ends in barfing.

She keeps pestering Livvie to completely finish her meals. As long as Livvie at least tries everything on her plate I'm ok with her not eating all of it. I do not require a clean plate for her to leave the table.

She gets on my case because I had a second glass of wine.

I didn't tell her it was my third.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Well folks

I'm going to be taking this blog private soon.

If you would like to remain a reader, please email me at

I think Safari fixed the problem where it kept crashing my browser.

When I get your email address I will add you as a reader.

Thanks to all. :)