Thursday, December 5, 2013

Read a Damn Book, Dumb Ass

One luxury of my current position is that I am able to read during work hours.  When the study hall students are all well-behaved and studious, I just sit and read, and I love it!  This may possibly be the best part of my job. I also read voraciously in front of my students in order to serve as a positive role model.  Reading is incredibly important, and a large population of our youth has discarded this activity and replaced it with video games and social media.   

Earlier this year I had a student inform me, “I read enough, Mrs. Ryan.  I always read status updates on facebook.  I don’t need to read no books.” 

While I was encouraging and non-judgmental externally, internally I was thinking, “Shit, this kid is a moron.” 
Okay; I will admit that I am a literary snob.  I tried reading Twilight when it was popular; I really, really did, but it was truly insufferable.  I’m thankful that the Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy is actually an engaging read, and am far more pleased with the popularity of this series.  Katniss Everdeen is hands down a better role model than Bella Swan. 

In order to relate to my students and make appropriate reading recommendations, I can often be spotted reading young adult literature, though of a higher caliber than Stephanie Meyer.  I hold John Green as the nerd-fighting king of YA Literature; his writing is fantastic and he’s definitely a favorite.  One of my strongest arguments in favor of reading is that it allows us to feel connected.  We know we are not alone when we relate to a character – actual or fictional.  Further, reading enhances critical thinking, vocabulary, and empathy.  It expands our world view and grants us a greater understanding of different cultures and time periods. 
NOT Zelda Fitzgerald!

My current reading selection is a biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, as opposed to the YA choices I usually read while at the high school.  Nancy Milford’s Zelda is a thorough, engaging, and brilliantly composed biography.  While it’s unlikely I would recommend this book to any current student, I also did not expect the following question: “Zelda? What are you reading Mrs. Ryan? Is that book about the Legend of Zelda? Like the video game?”

 I couldn’t subdue my amusement and thus laughed out loud at his question.  I didn’t know who Zelda Fitzgerald was at age fifteen either, but I probably would not have assumed that the book with a faded sepia photo of a young debutante gracing the cover was about a Nintendo fantasy game franchise.  So, after my unsuppressed chuckle, I explained, “No, it’s a biography of Zelda Fitzgerald – wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby.”

As The Great Gatsby was a major motion picture release starring Leonardo Dicaprio just this year, I thought there might be at least a slight hint of recognition regarding my response.  Rather, the student then replied, “Well, who the hell are those people?”

 His response is just one more reason reading matters – so that one possesses a basic cultural and academic knowledge and doesn’t say dumb ass shit to his or her teacher.  Please, parents, make sure your children read! That kid might have known just who the hell the Fitzgeralds were if he put down the remote control and picked up a damn book every once in a while.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dear Self-Doubt ,

Dear Self-Doubt,

Nailed it! I finished National Blog Post Month, so suck it you bitch.

Love, Angela


End of Post.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rich and Hot: Your Questions Answered

Earlier this month, I asked for help on facebook in order to finish out National Blog Post Month.  I had friends and followers send me questions they would like answered about me.  Here, I chose my ten favorite questions and provide the responses.  Thanks so much to those of you who participated.  I’m still in a turkey coma and could not have written another creative, inspired post today.

1.       How do you manage stress?
Wine. Lots of wine.  I also love my Jacuzzi tub for long hot baths with a good book.
2.       What is your favorite book and why?

 My favorite book is The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.  I just fell in love with this story and the writing.  I developed true empathy for Wang Lung and his family.  It’s such a well-told piece of historical fiction; it’s one of the few books that actually made me cry.  I went into mourning for some time after this I finished reading this book; I did not want it to end.  Having said that, however, I believe the best book ever written is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  Every individual should read this book and try to emulate Atticus Finch.
      3.       What is the cutest thing your child has ever said?  
My daughter has said an abundance of cute and hysterical things.  She cracks me up on a daily basis. I think the sweetest thing she probably ever said, though, was when I said to her one morning, “Emily, you are so cute. How did you get so cute?”  She shrugged her shoulders and then I said, “Did you get so cute from Momma?”  She replied, “No, from Jesus.”  That just melted my heart.

4.       What is your perfect afternoon?
I’m going to refer to some of the above here and include wine and books.  The perfect afternoon is a warm summer day on my deck with a good book and good wine, with the birds chirping, the flowers smelling sweetly, and my dog lying on top of my feet. Perfection.

5.       If you had a movie made of your life, who would you cast as you?

      My old standard response was Winona Ryder; I was often told we looked alike.  Further, when I just now asked my husband, his response was also Ryder.   When the film She’s All That came out, I saw it in the theaters and some teen girl came up to me afterwards and said, “Hey, you look just like the girl in the movie before she got hot,” so I suppose Rachel Leigh Cook might be an option as well. I like Megan Mullally because she could pull off my personality, but she’s a bit too old now, so it would have to be time machine Mullally of twenty years ago to have the right look too.  I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this.  When I once took an online quiz matching my appearance to celebrities, I was told I most resemble Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees, so there’s that too. It's the dimples.   

6.       How do you think your high school peers would have described you?
Oh, Angela? Yeah, she’s kind of weird, isn’t she?  I don’t know if she’s supposed to be hippy or grunge or what. She looks like Blossom with all those crazy hats.  I’m pretty sure she gets high all the time, but I think she’s like super smart.  

For the record, I did not get high all the time.  In fact, I got high never while in high school; I just dressed strange – I kind of wanted to be Courtney Love (yeah,  WTF?).  If any of my high school peers actually read this, I would love to hear your perspective on this one too.  Is my description accurate? If not, how would you have described me?
7.       If you hadn’t studied English Education, what other major would you have pursued in college?
This is easy.  The answer is definitely psychology.  I briefly flirted with a major change, but I was always drawn to teaching from such a young age.

8.        What color are your toe nails painted?
Purple. Of course purple. It’s my favorite.  I’m like a little kid whose lunch box and boots have to be her favorite color.  My coat is purple, my purse is purple, and my toes are purple.

9.       What is your earliest childhood memory?
It has always worried me that I really have very few memories from my early youth.  I do, however, remember scenes from kindergarten.  I remember making stone soup and having naps on colored mats back when the milk came in plastic bags even more difficult to correctly puncture than Capri Sun.  That milk packaging was just mean, and that’s what I remember.

10.   If Kaley Coucou showed up as a genie like in those Toyota commercials, what three wishes would you ask for?  

I know this sounds awful, but my first wish would be for money.  I just know how much financial security would benefit other areas of my life.  My husband wouldn’t be miserable because he hates his job.  I could spend more time with my children. We could travel.  We wouldn’t have to worry about paying the bills.  We could have cable again so Emily could watch Paw Patrol (she’s an addict and it’s the first thing she asks about when we go to Grandma’s). I could open my dream business with my best friend and she wouldn’t have to marry the autistic doctor who lacks empathy.  So, yes, financial security would definitely be my first wish.

 My second wish would be health for my children.  Of course I wish this anyway, but money still outranks this wish because often we gain strength from our struggles and this wish feels too much like interfering with nature.  Okay, I think I’m just justifying my money wish to myself right now.

My third wish would be to have back the body I once had.  I had a hot bod, and I didn’t appreciate it like I should have.  I don’t want to work for that body though.  I want to be able to eat nachos and cake every day and still have a hot ass and tight abs. 

 So, what did we learn from this? World peace? Nah.  I want to be rich and hot, bitches!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Thanksgiving Wish

While today is nationally celebrated as Thanksgiving, today is also special in our household as it is my daughter’s third birthday. To make sure she has a special day all to herself, though, we will be celebrating on Saturday.  More than anything else she wants, including a Doc McStuffins doll and a live puppy (sorry kid, so not happening), she keeps informing me, “I want Paris home for my party.”  I was also told, “Guess what, Momma? Paris is my cousin, but she is also my best friend. I want Paris at my party.”

 I still haven’t had the heart to tell my daughter that Paris can’t make it home for her party because she’s too young to travel without her mom and we don’t get to see Aunt Kelly over the Thanksgiving holidays -- ever.  

Once my sister took a management job for a popular retail chain, that was the end of our whole family sitting around a table eating turkey and drinking cheap wine.  Black Friday became the outranking, capitalist celebration that pulled my sibling away from her family.  It has been more than five years since she has shared a table with us for Thanksgiving.  

We must buy all the things! Buy all the things!
 Despite not being able to drive the distance to be with family as she had to be ready for a seven am opening -- then a five am opening -- then a midnight opening -- at least she has been able to cook her own small feast for her immediately family.   This year, however, she must be at the store overseeing sales on Thanksgiving Day itself.  I don’t blame her employer for this decision, though.  I blame the whole of society.

 When did we decide that saving a few dollars is more important than building memories with our families?  When did we place consumerism above companionship and camaraderie?  With each passing year, it seems that more of our traditional values are tossed aside or burned up in fiery flames of greed.  Perhaps I believe this simply because I am aging.  Maybe it’s me that is changing, rather than the world about me.  I don’t believe that one bit though.  

 While change is inevitable and can often be positive, this change was avoidable and is most certainly negative. The choice to open store doors on Thanksgiving is an ugly mutation of traditional American values.  Who would rather be at a Best Buy pushing a cart through gathering crowds when she could be seated next to a warm fire with a glass of hard cider in one hand and her other hand holding onto her parent or partner?  Who would rather storm his way through the sliding glass doors of Wal-Mart for a large screen TV when he could be cheering on his favorite team with his family? Aren't we suppose to be thankful for the blessings we already have instead of trying to acquire more, more, more?

 I know not everyone has a perfect family, and most Thanksgiving memories don’t play out as they do in Butterball commercials or Lifetime movies.  I have a grandmother that will complain about all the damn dishes piling up, and I have a drunken uncle that will make inappropriate jokes and curse in front of my young kids.  Still, I would far rather have these moments than be tramping through crowded parking lots for a bargain.  Money can’t buy the things that we should really treasure most in life -- family, friends, and laughter.  I can’t buy back the sister I will be missing this Thanksgiving. 

That Furby is mine, bitch!
Most importantly to me, though, is the thought of my disappointed young daughter.  While she will be opening up a Doc McStuffins doll, she will desperately be missing her cousin and best friend.  I can’t give her the gift she most wants because our society places more value on objects than relationships. 

 I want my sister and my niece home to celebrate Thanksgiving and my daughter’s birthday, and that’s why I want you to reconsider what you most value in life.  Is your emphasis in the right place?  Should you be putting on your coat and picking up your purse, leaving your family in pursuit of a great bargain?  Or, rather – maybe, just maybe -- should you stick around until the last piece of pumpkin pie?  Should you stay and speak with your aging grandmother, even though she’s told the same stories repeatedly all afternoon? Should you eat, laugh, and be merry? That’s what I intend to do, and so my Thanksgiving wish is that you choose to make merry with your loved ones too.  Choose connections with friends and family instead of surrounding yourself with strangers in crowded stores.  If enough of us make that choice – maybe, just maybe -- we can restore what’s right and I can see my sister again.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I WON!!! Wait ...

“You just wait,” I told my husband defiantly and confidently, “you just wait and see.  This won’t be a waste when the fucking Prize Patrol shows up at our door, alright?”

This was my defense after he expressed his justified anger given all the money I had wasted buying junk gifts from Publisher’s Clearing House.  Earlier this year, I had myself completely convinced that we would win PCH.  I even made plans with my best friend about how we would quit our jobs and run a business together.  I would like to share my business plans because they’re totally fucking awesome, but I don’t want anyone stealing my brilliant ideas.

In order to help make this dream a reality, I began purchasing PCH items.  I bought the damn Wax-Vac, which doesn’t work worth a shit.  I bought the damn OrGreenic pan, which works just the same as any other pan, but it’s green.  I bought those damn food safe rolls too – you know, the plastic rolls with a slide cutter that make it easier to remove your Saran Wrap as if it was so complicated in the first place.  Well, it was hard for me – so lay off!!

Quite rightly so, my husband was less than pleased with my purchases and the corresponding plan of winning PCH.  But today I got to tell him, “I told you so!”

YES!!! That’s right! Can you believe it? PCH called today to inform me that I had won 2.5 million dollars!

“Hello,” the man on the line said, “Is this Angela?  Angela, we’re calling to inform you that you have won 2.5 million dollars from PCH." 
“Okay,” I said, a bit hesitantly.  Who could believe such good luck?  Who could believe my delusional dream was actually becoming a reality? Could it really be?

“Ma’am,” the man asked, “You have won 2.5 million dollars.  Are you not excited?” 
This Prize Patrol doesn't look Jamaican to me.
“Sure,” I said, “I’m excited if this is real.”

“Oh, yes, ma’am, this is surely real.  Let me get my manager.”

The manager then went on to inform me that I had won 2.5 million dollars from US Make a Million, and they would be delivering my check publicly, along with a camera crew, a state trooper, and a company representative within the next few hours.  All I had to do to receive my check was go to Western Union and transfer money to Marvin Bent in Trelawny, Jamaica in order to receive my wonderful prize.  Isn’t that just the best news ever? 

Yeah, I didn’t send the money.  I did, however, call my bank immediately after getting off the phone.
I dialed up my own hometown bank (not the non-existent Bank of America branch that would reportedly be delivering me a check today) and explained the situation.  I then asked, “So, could you please let me know if everything with my checking and savings accounts looks okay?” 

She kindly obliged, informing me, “Well, there are a lot of charges to recently.”

“Oh, yeah, well, that’s just me,” I explained.  Everyone who knows me in real life knows I spend too much damn money on amazon because I’m addicted to books.  I had already completed the vast majority of my holiday shopping online too. 

“Well, Angela, everything else looks good then,” she warmly explained, “Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  Sorry you didn’t really win the big bucks.” 

I’m sorry too.  My regrets, however, are related more to my inability to say “I told you so; suck it!” to my spouse than they are about the missing million dollars.  If nothing else has been gained, at least my family members can look forward to receiving a Wax-Vac as part of our white elephant gift exchange.  My purchases shall not be a waste one way or another!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Potty Time with Trouble Kitty

I don’t feel like writing tonight, but I’m not depressed or uninspired.  In fact, I began two posts today.  So, I suppose it’s editing that I’m actually avoiding.  Besides, you’re probably all getting real sick of me with National Blog Post Month.  Therefore, I am instead choosing to post the Christmas letter I just transcribed for my two year old daughter.
Dear Santa,
I have been a very good girl all year.  I learned to go poop, and I sleep in my big girl bed. It’s right over there.  I got a blow up bed too.  I read books that are special to you.  I go to school and I play with my friends.  I been learning Christmas songs at school and all the puppies love to go see you.  I sing “Santa Coming to Town.”  I sing Frosty too, yeah.  Frosty is a snowman blub blub.  Santa bring me a kitty.  I will name my kitty Trouble Kitty.  I also want another kitty that I gotta name Charlie.  Can I get that Charlie now?  I want a castle and a camera.  Isaac is my little brother.  Please bring Isaac a choo-choo train.  I like Isaac because he loves puppy books.  Isaac drinks bottles.  Momma lives in my house and two one eight nine.  Two times.  What’s in this box, Momma? Momma, what in here?  There’s nothing in here.  I can’t see nothing in here, Momma.  Oh no.  Open this.  Open! Open! My favorite movie is Madagascar and my favorite book is a puzzle book.  Puzzle book, Momma.  I like to draw on there and Dora loves me.  I’m sitting in my home right now.  I’m sitting in my home.  Hi.  Daddy goes to work.  How does this box open, Momma? This making me crazy! Two, one, one, two.  Uhm … uhm … I need to go pee!
Trouble Kitty? Could be.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Raindrops on Roses

Quite often, it seems, my personal favorite posts end up going widely overlooked while others that I spent little thought in putting together become highly popular.  Most certainly, I never anticipated that a post titled “I Googled Man Sniffing Panties” would become one of my most read.  I suppose I should have really seen that coming given how many perverts populate the internets.

Because I have so often misjudged the success of my posts, I feel National Blog Post Month is an excellent time to showcase some of those overlooked, but favorite posts.  These are the posts I am most proud of.  These posts are frequently the most emotional and revealing, and lack the dripping sarcasm present in my more oft-read work.  So, if you just started hanging around here and want to get to know a little bit more about me (why wouldn’t you?), please take the time to visit these posts.

1.       Sometimes …
I think this is my absolute favorite post so far.  It’s the post in which I feel I was most honest and closest to accurately depicting my struggle with mental illness.  As ending the stigma surrounding mental illness is one of my personal and professional ambitions, this post means a great deal to me.

2.       Five Minutes

This was the first post I wrote specifically for the lovely tribe over at yeah write.  This post reveals a bit about my first marriage, and I really like the way it came together.  I thought it held a lot of emotion in a few words.  I want to thank all the folks at yeah write for helping me bring out some of my best writing.

3.       Anywhere Other than Here
This was yet another brave, bold post written for the yeah write weekly challenge grid.  With this post, I opened up about the first time I was raped.  I was proud of this post due to the immediate response I received in personal messages and other contacts.  With this piece, I knew my writing truly made a difference in the life of others, and that gave me immense satisfaction.  I addressed the response  in an equally important and rewarding follow-up post – Right Here Now, and Absolutely Happy.

4.       The Purple Tutu Project
If you’ve been here before, you have probably noticed a few facelifts to this page.  The purple tutus are in reference to this particular post.  In this post, I talk about the wonder of youth and my attempt to capture that unabashed happiness and joy of childhood as I deal with my own personal struggles.  I think we should all try to view the world in such a manner.

5.       Sing, Momma, Sing
This is a relatively simple post about the love I have for my daughter, but that love is so immense that I feel it every time I read these words.  Being a mother is undoubtedly, without a question, the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me.  This post reminds me of how blessed I am.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

No More Writing in the Nude

I have been challenged to write today.  I have a handful of ideas scribbled down in a journal, but none of them are inspiring me at the moment.  I have very little energy, and just feel completely clouded in a heavy depression.

I’ve attempted to start a few projects around the home, but find myself getting distracted and pulled by a heavy desire to crawl back into bed. 

Often, when I ‘m feeling like this, I cope by retreating into the bathtub with a book.  I did just that today, but it didn’t relax or renew me as it normally did.  I wanted to transport myself onto the pages of the piece of fiction I held in my damp hands.  And when I let the water out of the tub, I somewhat wished I too could disappear down the drain. 

Despite such damning emotions, I still possess a determination to fully complete National Blog Post Month. I just need to know that I can do it, even when I’m in such a miserable state.  If I can do this, no matter how insignificant the success may seem, perhaps it’s demonstrative of all the other demons I can defeat and dreams I can achieve with a little will – and a whole lot of fight. 

So, I’m trying.  I sat down at my lap top immediately after getting out of the bath.  I quite literally mean immediately – anxious to accomplish something for fear of falling back into the bed and failing.  Because I felt such an urgent need to get something on the page and posted, I took a seat on my stool while wrapped in only a towel.  

I sat staring at a blank Word document for quite some time, then announcing to my husband, “I don’t know what to write.” 

 “Yep, I got nothing either,” he mumbled, as he remained slumped on the couch watching football.

When my daughter realized I was out of the tub, she happily announced, “Oh, my Mommy's up!” and stopped snuggling her father on the couch in order to approach me.   As she neared, she realized my lack of apparel.  She then stopped dead in her tracks, and yelled, “Aaah! Momma, you naked! You got to go get some clothes on!”

So, for today, I suppose I leave you with that, having so been instructed that next time I try to write I must be fully attired.  Hopefully, with clothing on, I’m also more inspired.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friendship is Magic: A My Little Pony Education

“Hi there.  How is your day, ma’am?” asked the young man who began scanning my items in the Wal-Mart check-out lane.
“Just fine,” I said, removing the value size box of tampons and placing it on his check-out belt, “And how are you?”
I should not have asked this question.  I should have just nodded thanks and told him all was well.  No, I had to ask how he was, not realizing how anxious he was to share.  Then this happened.
“Well, thanks for asking me because today is a pretty great day,” he beamed, “There’s a new premiere of My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic.”  Yes, the approximately twenty year old male Wal-Mart employee was now ecstatically intent on providing me with a proper education of My Little Pony.  I shit you not.
“Oh, yeah,” I nodded and smirked, “I’ve heard about you people.”  He didn’t seem at all daunted or upset with my snide comment as I clearly referred to him as the other – you people.  “What do you call yourselves again – Bronies?”
“Yeah,” he quietly acknowledged, “I don’t usually use that term, but yeah … so you know about the marvel of the show then.”
 I nodded politely back at him.  I don’t know if he had just been waiting all day to talk about his fanboy fascination with My Little Pony, and I was simply the first customer to ask in return how his day was, or if he saw something in me that made him want to spill his guts about this guilty pleasure.  I seem to have an aura about me that alerts others (accurately or otherwise), “I want to hear all about you.  Go ahead.  I won’t judge.”  Truth -- I was judging.  
“Yeah, well most of us who are big fans are also computer geeks, so we understand the astonishing amount of work that goes into that animation.  It’s really quite impressive, you know.  That was the first thing that drew me to the show.  But, I mean, it’s just so great in so many other ways.  Do you want the two year extended warranty on this, Miss?”
“Hmmm …?” I had to ask as I had begun to drone out his praise of My Little Pony.
“The warranty? Do you want the warranty?” he said, referring to the Leap Frog purchase I had made for my daughter’s holiday gift.
“No thank you,” I said, and then, in the hope that I might detour him from further adulation of My Little Pony, “Don’t you find their voices obnoxious though?  I have to admit the show kind of annoys me.”
“Oh, I suppose I see where you’re coming from.  Cheerilee can be kind of irritating at first, but once you fully understand the show, you just ignore that because the content is simply brilliant.”
BronyCon -- Yeah, this is a thing.
I arched my eyebrows and nodded my assent again, quickly scanning to see how many items remained in my purchase to assess how much longer I would have to endure his lesson.  
“Yeah, I mean, it actually includes a great deal of satire.  You do know what satire is, right?  Well, yeah, and it alludes to a lot of great novels and television shows.  They have made references to Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I bet you didn’t know all of that or you would really appreciate the series so much more.  Yeah, I’m just kind of bummed I’m at work today and missing the new episode because I can’t afford TiVo.  But, usually the creator will have new episodes up on YouTube the next day.   I don’t know how he does that either.  I don’t know if you understand how impressive that is.” 
I suppose I did not understand, but I now began to pay more attention to his speech realizing what a wonderful opportunity for a blog post he was now presenting me with.  These people are for reals!  Grown ass men have a serious addiction to My Little Pony, and they apparently have no qualms in sharing their obsession with complete strangers. 
“The coolest part, though, the thing that really cemented for me how amazing this show is was when one of my favorite actors voiced a villain in one of the best episodes ever.  Do you know who John De Lancie is?”  
I shook my head negatively as I began filling my cart up with bags.
“You don’t? Wow.  Well, he played Q in Star Trek.  Most people know that.”  Now I suppose he was insulting me, but I really didn’t mind either.  This comment was definite evidence that my friends and his did not travel in the same circles.  “Well, he played one of the villains and it was amazing.  Of course, the ponies won because they have the power of friendship on their side.  It really teaches us to value our friends, you know?”
I was most definitely valuing my friends right now.  I prized our conversations about music and literature, and cherished even more the absence of long, extolling exchanges about cartoons. In my circle of friends, cartoon-centered dialogue was more akin to this, “If I have to watch Dora’s holiday special one more fucking time, I’m going to gouge my eyeballs out.  Ugh, would you order me another martini?” 
“Well, you have a nice day now Ma’am,” the Brony finally told me after I had made payment.  “Oh, and always remember that friendship is magic.”  Okay, okay, he didn’t really say that last part.  He just wished me a good day, but I thought it sounded far grander the way I wrote it.  So, you too now know that My Little Pony is the most epic cartoon ever and friendship always conquers evil.  Have a nice day, and also know to never ask the Wal-Mart employee how his day is.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Some Days

Some days you want the world to melt around you, for everything to wash away.
Some days you feel glued to the bed, completely incapable of rising.
Some days you need to shut the blinds and pretend there isn’t a world outside those windows.
Some days you want to deny that there are bills to be paid and children to raise.
Some days you crave complete silence, and even the sound of the alarm clock sends you into a rage.
Some days the bed is your favorite companion, and you hide beneath the sheets from reality.
Some days you hate the skin you live in, and you wish you could shed your sorrow like a snake.
Some days you want to scream at the top of your lungs that it’s all just too much.
Some days you just want to curl up into a ball and cry.
Some days you want none of this – not the crying – not the screaming – not the hiding – but it’s all you can manage because the illness is winning. 
Those days are the ones when you most hate yourself.
Today is one of those days.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

An Open Letter to the Men of Online Dating

Thanks to another migraine this month, I currently lack the energy for writing a new post. Luckily, I had a guest post in my back pocket.  This was originally written as a two-part rant on facebook.  When I saw it, I immediately messaged this outgoing gal to ask her if I could combine her rants into a full guest post for my blog.  She was happy to oblige, and I’m very grateful.  You see, my request could have been super awkward given that the following post about the disaster of online dating comes from my former sister-in-law.  Some marriages just don’t work out, and that’s no reason for us to stop enjoying one another’s brilliant wit and humor.  Maybe some worthwhile individual will enjoy her humor here and seek a connection; she sure as hell hasn’t had much luck so far.  So, without further ado, I now present an open letter to the men of online dating:
As a newly single woman, I have been encouraged to try online dating, or what I am now kindly referring to as "selling yourself to the lonely guy with a bad case of swamp ass.” I mean, seriously! Is there anybody comparatively normal out there?  If I have any hope of finding a possible relationship through this service, I need to make a few things clear.  It’s time to listen up guys; I’m talking to you.

Dear 58 year old Geriatric,
NO! Just NO! Don't you have some Depends to change? For the love, I’m 26 years old!
Dear Gamer,
Get your ass off the damn couch. Kindly clean the potato chip sludge off your Minecraft t-shirt and find some non-virtual friends.
Dear Felon,
I’m all about “seeing the light” too; I just don’t want it to be your taillights after you steal all my shit.
Dear guy who's tag line says "good guys finnish last", Maybe it's because you can't spell...that, or you're from Finland.Dear Guy whose tagline says “good guys finnish last,”
Maybe you’re finishing last because you can’t spell … that, or you’re from Finland.

Dear Guy who has a webcam followed by a winky face emoticon,

You're not fooling anyone. Have fun with that carpal tunnel.

Dear 20 year old who's "ready to settle down,”
Go get yourself some ADHD meds. That oughtta settle you down. 
Dear Guy whose introductory tag line reads, “I like to wear cargo pants and shirts with funny sayings,”
Yeah, so does every other virgin.  Next. 
Dear Guy who is holding knives in his profile picture,
That image doesn’t scream “cool” like you had hoped.  It screams “serial killer.”
Dear Former SPED Student,
I’m going to let you down easy.  I know I said I’m a Special Education teacher in my profile, but after five, I wanna be off the clock.
Dear Guy that wishes I lived closer to Milwaukee because you don’t have a car because you “don’t see the need for buying one,”
I’m not buying your story.  TLC said it best, broke son. I don’t want no scrubs.
Dear Guy who doesn’t use a lick of punctuation,
Your letters of professed love are going to piss me off. It will never work.
Dear Guy that called me “thick,”
Is that really intended as a term of endearment? It just makes me want a cheeseburger. Stat.

Dear felon, I'm all about "seeing the light too", I just don't want it to be your tail lights after you kife all my shit.

Dear past special edu student, I'm going to let you down easy. I know I said I was a special edu teacher in my profile but, after 5 I want to be off the clock.

Dear guy that wishes I lived closer to Milwaukee cause you don't have a car because you don't see the need for one, Ain't buying it. You broke son. TLC said it best. I don't want no scrub.

Dear guy who doesn't use a lick of punctuation, Your letters of professed love are just going to piss me off. It'll never work.

Dear guy that calls me "thick", Is that really a term of endearment? Cause it just makes me want a cheeseburger. Stat.

What is this? Craigslist for virgins and morons? I’m out.
With Love, Britt

Actual Dating Site Profile Picture.
You can't make this shit up.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Free Porn and Cat Videos

When I first started this blog, it was at around three am a little over a year ago.  This was also during the height of a manic episode.  A great deal of cursing spewed forth as my fingers rushed across the keyboard, and I also felt a stirring of guilt with each profanity I typed.  However, I liked my words -- they were real, honest, and raw.  I mean, I curse, -- big fucking deal.  I did not curse in my professional life though as a former full time AP English Teacher and Debate Coach.  Due to my fear of having this blog potentially block me from future employment, my title became a bit of a warning: “Not Appropriate for All Audiences.”

 In my mind, this somehow translated: “Dear potential employers, I get it.  I know not everything I write here will be school appropriate, but this writing is not intended to be seen by students.  I can separate my worlds and be a professional when the situation calls for it. So, students, parents, potential employers, and probably most grandparents -- just don’t read this shit.  Good? Good.”

 When I first started this blog, most of what I wrote was also snarky, sarcastic, and comical.  As the time has passed, this blog has progressed and changed too.  In fact, some of my favorite posts aren’t satirical or obtuse with profanity.  They’re sweet and sentimental.  They talk about my love for my children, or my battles with bipolar disorder.  Every word I write is genuine, and some of it is perfectly appropriate for all audiences.  You see where I’m going here?  The title just doesn’t make sense anymore -- and it’s simply too damn long.  Therefore, I have been contemplating some new blog titles in my head.  I record ten alternate titles here, and kindly ask for your genuine feedback.  

1.         The Purple Tutu Project
        Tag: Choosing Happiness in a World of Chaos

This title comes from one of my favorite posts, one that I hoped would be far more popular than it actually was.  I like the concept that I’m going to survive and choose happiness when I am able to, despite all the chaos and crazy in life.  I had hoped it was a concept others could get behind too, and we could make a movement. So … let’s get going here folks.

2.       Type Through This
        Tag: Documenting Life’s Ups and Downs
Not yet quite as crazy as Courtney Love
Alliteration was my first draw to this title (I’m a geek), and the rationale is that I write through many different emotions and struggles in my life, and finding the energy and inspiration to write (given my mental illness) is often quite challenging.  Further, it’s a slight allusion to Courtney Love and “Live Through This,” only I’m less gross and don’t let random dudes suck on my nipples at the Burger King (such behavior is only acceptable at the Dairy Queen, as everyone knows).  

3.       The Illuminati Runs this Blog

I really don’t like this title, but I figured it would bring in readers like hotcakes (who uses that phrase anymore? What am I, 90 years old?)  I have learned that the World Wide Web (another outdated phrase) goes loco for the illuminati.  My post about the illuminati and the rap industry, which is not even particularly strong writing, has more readership than any other post.  People are quite frequently brought to my blog due to interest in the illuminati.  Imagine how popular my blog would be if I mentioned the illuminati in the title?  I conceive it could be excessively popular if I considered joining forces with this occult master group, but I’m not markedly interested in getting ass-fucked by Satan at this time.  I might reconsider in a few months.

4.      And Now This …
             Tag: Declarations and Disappointments

When you read this title, you have to imagine the tone in which I would orally state it.  On one hand, I would be making this statement in the fashion of a newscaster, reporting “And now this … Ann Coulter is a cunt.”  On the other hand, I would be announcing it with a defeated puff of air, “... and now this,” like I’ve got just another pile of shit, or one more fucking illness, to deal with.  You might imagine it like this, “So, I’m manic-depressive, I have PTSD, I have colitis, I have carpal tunnel, and eczema, and now this! I was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia! Argh! How am I going to deal?” Imagine me looking like a frazzled Cathy comic as I deliver this line.  Got it? Good.

5.       Bitch, Please
             Tag: Some People Have Real Problems

I often find myself thinking such phrases internally.  The first time I believe I ever used this phrase aloud was when I returned to university as a non-traditional student and overheard the following conversation: “I know my roommate is using my computer.  I mean, I’m like, sure of it, and she will not admit it.  So, do you know what I did, Callie? I took a strand of my hair and I placed it right atop the shift key, so when I get home from class, if that hair is, like, missing, I know it’s her.”  Bitch, please.  Some people have real problems.  Communication might be a better fucking approach.  At any rate, I thought this title could cover both my snarky and more serious side.  

6. Just Write

This is simple, but I like it.  My fear, however, is that it’s probably already in use a thousand times over.  As many of you probably know, this title is appropriate as I so often doubt myself and my abilities, and then stop writing for periods of time.  However, writing makes me happy and it’s naturally cathartic.  I also hope that my readers find my words enjoyable, so I should just write.  Simple, right?  I wish it were simple.

7.  This Blog is Bipolar

As my blog is a representation of me, quite naturally, this blog truly is bipolar.  One day I will write a post about the top celebrities I most want to fuck (hard) and the next day I write a sestina about my love for my newborn daughter.  I’m all over the map, and so is this blog.  My fear with this title, though, is that it might actually contribute to the stigma surrounding mental illness, which is really in direct opposition to my desire to properly educate others about depression, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, and the like.  

8.  Sarcasm Font Needed

If you’ve read this blog before, you know I use this three word phrase quite frequently.  Although there are immense benefits to online communication, it also allows for more misinterpretation.  As tone cannot as easily be identified as with verbal communication, errors and misunderstandings do occur.  Therefore, I firmly propose that the United States of America adopt a sarcasm font.  It’s like using CAPS when you’re PISSED OFF.

9. Dear Terri,
          Tag: Things my Mother-in-Law Probably shouldn’t be Reading

Other than the same friend who encouraged me to write this blog (who has admitted to anxiously awaiting new posts), no one reads this blog more regularly than my mother-in-law.  I know most folks make jokes about their awful, insufferable in-laws.  You might expect that from me, but I’m lucky and I actually adore my mother-in-law.  However, this still doesn’t mean I want her to read everything I post here.  I want her to still like me, and sometimes I make that difficult. She admitted she wasn’t especially fond of the post talking about her son’s poor suffering existence due to his infrequent receipt of hand jobs. 

10. Free Porn and Cat Videos
             Tag: Offering Everything ‘Murica Loves About the Internets

My mother-in-law may not be too excited with this title either, especially with my admittance that this one was her son’s suggestion.  After attempting to offer me encouragement by stating that my blog was “more than adequate,” my husband then offered, “Well, if you really want more people to read it, you should title it ‘Free Porn and Cat Videos.’  That’s the shit people are always searching Google for.”  Clearly, my husband is a genius, or maybe I need to more carefully check his search history. 

                                                       'Murica Cat                                                      


So … let’s hear it! I would so greatly appreciate your feedback.  Do I make a change to one of these titles or leave the blog as it is?  Do you have another brilliant idea for me?  I want to know! Thanks in advance.