Thursday, August 30, 2012


I have been wavering on moving my blog, but for some reason, I haven't quite gotten around to converting completely and instead am maintaining two identical blogs, which is a bag pain.

So I think I am going to finally do it. You can find me here:

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Politics of Rape and Why I Don’t Like Chocolate Cake

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve been hearing a lot about rape lately. And most of it isn’t good. Not that rape it ever good, but hearing about educating girls, protecting women, punishing offenders are all good stories about a very bad thing. But no – instead we’re hearing about idiots who are so profoundly stupid that they are trying to spread a whole bunch of nonsense about what rape is and its effect on women (and society in general, for that matter).

I won’t go on and on about it, since unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard it all already. But I will say this. I am outraged and sickened that – in 2012 – we have people who:

A) believe that women’s bodies have some sort of magical, bad-guy-rapist-fighting secretions that keep them from getting pregnant (and lest you think that the latest asshole, Akin is the only one, this has been going on for years – for YEARS, assholes have been telling us that “rape causes a woman to ‘secrete a certain secretion’ that kills sperm”, that “women do not get pregnant when raped because ‘the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work’” and that “the emotional trauma of rape upsets the possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy”), and

B) are seeking to “define” rape. Let me help them out here – rape is defined by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) as:

“Forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object. Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.”

Got it? There is no “legitimate rape” vs. well…I don’t know what the alternative is – illegitimate rape? I don’t know what they are thinking with that one.

And while we’re on the subject, we don’t need to call it “forcible rape” either – because by definition, rape is always “forcible” – otherwise it would just be called sex.

And we don’t need to qualify the circumstances either. There is no date rape, or acquaintance rape – calling it by those names diminishes the severity of the crime. If sexual activity is forced on a woman (or man), knowing the rapist, dating the rapist – being married to the rapist doesn’t change the fact that it is rape. We need to stop this nonsense and start valuing the rights of our women (and yes – men, but let’s be honest, if men getting raped were more common, this would likely not be an issue).

I had an incident when I was in high school that the “rape qualifiers” would call (attempted) date rape (actually, “acquaintance rape” because he wasn’t my date, but he was a classmate at the same party) – and that offends me. Because the phrase “date rape” sounds like two people who decided to fool around and then one felt guilty afterward. It’s basically a way of condescending to the woman who has experience, while winking at the man and saying, “We know it wasn’t really rape.” This is not what happened to me. I was physically restrained, touched without my consent and nearly raped, and only a lucky break of circumstances stopped it. It was violent and terrifying and to this day – nearly 30 years later – I can remember how I felt and how he looked and what he tasted like. It was no less serious than so-called “forcible” or “legitimate” rape. I wrote about it before, but the whole “going (more) public” with this blog has made me lock some entries up for privacy. But here is an excerpt:

He was harmless. Or at least I thought he was until he grabbed me and threw me on the bed. He got on top of me and starting kissing me. He tasted like chocolate cake. I was terrified and gagging and trying to protest, but he kept shoving his tongue down my throat and rubbing himself on me, grabbing my breasts, trying to get his hands in my pants. I fought him off as well as I could and then he got his knees on my arms and pinned me down. I wanted to punch him in his disgusting, ugly face, but I couldn’t move. He was trying to simultaneously get my pants off and take his penis out. Or maybe I should say his dick or his cock. Penis sounds too innocuous. Those words do a better job of getting across the ugliness. I couldn’t scream because he kept covering my mouth with his. I was crying and thrashing around and thinking that this was it – he was raping me. I wasn’t a virgin at this point but I was pretty close to it – sex was still something special to me and I sure as hell didn’t want to share it with this asshole.

Just then, a group of girls came into the room and he jumped off me. One of those girls was his date – a long-time friend. Another was a very good friend of mine. The third was a girl who hated me. And immediately, even though they saw with their own eyes the position I was in and even though they should have been easily able to hear my protests and even though my face was covered in tears and my clothes were in disarray and even though I had angry red marks on my arm, they looked at me and yelled, “Gina! What are you doing?” In that one instant, I went from being the girl who was almost raped to the girl who tried to fuck her friend’s boyfriend at the prom picnic. I’m not sure which hurt worse. At the same time, I hated those girls for treating me that way and was grateful that they stopped what almost happened. But mostly, it was like buckets of salt on a fresh, gaping wound and I hated them. I hated him, I hated them, I hated everyone.

And I stopped eating chocolate cake.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Veggie Babies: A Cautionary Tale

Recently, someone gave me some zucchini, as people often do when they grow 25 billion more than they will ever use. Unfortunately, they were enormous, which makes them not so great for anything other thasn baking. I did eat one for duinner one night and it proved to be exactly as not great as I thought, so when the girl asked if she could play with the other one, I said yes (despite the fact that I had no idea what she wanted it for).

A few minutes later, she came into the room, carrying this:

A veggie baby. Yes - my child dressed a humungous zucchini in doll clothes and carried it around the house all night.

The next day, she asked if she could take it to day care with her. At first, I told her no, since it's a freaking zucchini dressed in dol clothes, but she wore me down & I finally agreed. I warned her that a zucchini baby was not destined to live a long life and that she would have to throw it away in a day ro so, befoe it got mushy and disgusting. Her response was the typical 8 year old "I know, Mom"

Fast forward to 4 days later, when I got in my cart after work. I'm driving to work and suddenly there is a fruit fly in my face. Then another. Then 57 more. At every stop light I'm looking for the old apple that she must have shoved in the door console, or the half finished juice box jammed into a cup holder (can you tell I speak from fruit-flies-in-the-car experience?) to no avail. I couldn't for the life of me find the source of those damned pests.

Until I noticed a basket that she often uses to carry her dolls and remembered the last "doll" she had in it. Zucchini baby!

Needless to say, the next night when she asked, "Mom, can I have this potato?" the answer was no.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

16 Days of Crazy

I am an Olympic addict. Other than football &  hockey, I don’t do a lot of sports watching on TV -even the sports I like. And most of the Olympic sports wouldn’t hold my interest at all during the other 1,445 days. But during these 16? I’m like a crackhead. Every night, I end up staying up too late because I can’t stop watching. And the next morning, I am scouring the TV and internet for more, before dragging my tired ass to work. It’s out of control, this exhausting myself over shit I don’t even care about.

There are very few sports I don’t get excited about during the Olympics. These are usually the (what I consider to be) non-sports And sometimes basketball, because I’m sorry – I just can’t feel the Olympic spirit for a bunch of millionaires. I know it’s hard to distinguish between professional and amateur athletes nowadays – especially given how different countries treat and support their athletes – but with basketball, it really bugs me. I have a tendency to root for the underdog when USA is playing. I guess I should have more USA spirit, but meh. They can go home and cry in their great big piles of money.

I was disappointed last time that there are no pornstaches on the Romanian men’s gymnastic team like there were in Athens, but I'm holding out hope for London. Because that shit was funny.

And one other source of olympic-related entertainment? Diver package shots. No really:

And on to the non-sports. Don’t let me say right off the bat that I am not talking about the actual athletes here – they ARE athletes and most of them could probably kick my ass. But the “sports”? Not so much.

Rhythmic gymnastics – I’m looking at you. Sorry, but I just don’t get it. I used to be a gymnast and I have a hard time comparing a full twisting double back flip with dancing with a ribbon. Besides, I can’t help but to picture Will Ferrell in Old School. I’ll admit, the way they balance that ball with their body is cool but it’s more Cirque de Soliel that Olympic Sport.

Synchronized swimming is another. I don’t care for it, and I picture Martin Short in a life jacket and nose plugs ("Hey! I know you! I know you!"). Seriously – if you have not seen the SNL skit with him, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer, you are seriously missing out.

I have warmed up a little to synchronized diving, so I'm taking it off my non-sport list, but it better watch it’s step or it’s going rght back on. Because it’s cool – I mean – it’s hard enough to dive alone, much less in tune with a partner. But it’s still a little Bob Fosse.

Trampoline. Fun. Not a sport. It’s a tool that is used by people training in other sports. Divers and gymnasts use trampolines. I’ll admit – the tricks they do are pretty cool and are definitely hard, but still.

Badminton? Well, it’s a backyard game to me, but I get to say shuttlecock a lot. Also – rowing IS on my list of sports, but I had to mention it because, “coxswain”!

Ping pong. Seriously? You can call it table tennis all you want but it’s still ping pong. It’s in my basement. And if it’s in my basement, it can’t be an Olympic sport. Otherwise, I would be a medalist in Olympic Laundry Avoidance.

Anyway - see you in 17 days!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Defending Disney

Surely by now, you have seen or heard the story of Santa Claus being kicked out of Walt Disney World, but if not – here is the gist of it: A man who looks very much like Santa (and often plays Santa professionally) went to Walt Disney World and was asked to change his clothes to look less “Santa-like.”  Now people are all up in arms over the poor, dear, sweet, selfless Santa, and all the poor kids who witnessed this.

Fuck that noise. The fact is that there are people who hate Disney – they will jump all over any perceived fault and beat it to death. There are people who just like to complain. There are people who are simply…well…dumbasses. And those are the people who are most vocal about this – it’s now become a national story (Poor, dear Santa). 

The problem is that those people would have you believe that this sweet old man was just minding his own business, enjoying his day in the Magic Kingdom, and those evil corporate bastards who feel they own the rights to all costumed characters attacked and abused him, then dragged him forcibly out of the park. And that is very much not what happened.

See, Walt Disney World has this rule about people in costumes – unless it is the Halloween party, adults are not allowed to wear them in the park (kids are fine). People have been asked to change or leave in the past over costumes. And while it’s easy to believe that Disney is just trying to keep us down, censor and oppress us (poor Santa), the fact is that the rule is there for our safety and the safety of children.

Think of it this way – if I walk into Walt Disney World wearing my Snow White costume, little kids – expecting to see Snow White in the parks, may think that I am the “real” (or official) Snow White – they might ask for my autograph. They may want photos with me. Sounds harmless right? Well, what if I touch one of those kids inappropriately? Or give them some tainted candy? Or drugs? Then I waltz out of Walt Disney World free and clear and leave a harmed child in my wake. Now who is going to get blamed? Disney, that’s who. Even if it becomes clear that I was not a cast member, the public will rail on about how Disney should not have let me walk around in costume like that, because how are people supposed to know that I was an evil child-harmer and not an official character? And in fact, when I wore that very costume during the Halloween party, despite having 20 years and 60 pounds on the “real” Snow White, several little girls still thought I was her.

Thus the rule!

And here’s the thing. When something like this occurs, Walt Disney World is generally kind and tactful – they will often offer to provide the person with a park t-shirt free of charge, just to keep their guests happy and coming back. They don’t walk up to someone and scream at them to “CHANGE OR LEAVE!” They will discreetly approach the person, let them know about the rule and the problem, and give the person  chance to change. That’s what they did with this man (Poor dear). They explained the situation to him, and he basically decided that he was Santa and fuck them - he decided to leave rather than stop doing what he was doing.

Oh yeah – see – he wasn’t just hanging out, minding his own business and looking like Santa – he was meeting and greeting and taking photos and signing autographs, claiming to be Santa to these kids – reportedly “ relishing in his role”. I mean – if someone looks like Santa and they go out wearing “holiday themed clothes” in July – they WANT people to think they are Santa. And I’m sorry – most of the time, a person who does that may very well be a sweet, dear old man, but as far as I am concerned it’s creepy. And it’s a damned good way for a pedophile to get his hands on some kids. I’m not saying that was the case with this guy, but it could happen. Just because someone claims to be harmless and simply love kids, just because they wear the costume of a beloved and harmless kids’ character does NOT mean that they are harmless.  Remember John Wayne Gacy? Probably not because I’m old as hell, so let me tell you: John Wayne Gacy was a lovely man who used to dress up like a clown and entertain at children’s parties. Harmless, right? Ask the families of the (at least) 33 boys he sexually assaulted, murdered and buried under his house.

Suddenly Disney’s rule doesn’t seem so bad, now does it? And anyone who truly care about children (like poor, dear Santa man), should understand that Walt Disney World did what they did to protect kids, not to oppress this guy. Besides – one grown man’s widdle hurt feewings cannot even compare to the safety of an entire park full of children.

Instead of just following their rule, this guy decided to leave the park and go to the media. Doesn’t sound so selfless to me. And let’s be honest – do you  really want this guy hanging around your kids?

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weighty Issues

The first time she criticized my weight, I was 104 pounds. It seems weird that I would remember the exact number, but it’s not something you forget – the first time the one person who is supposed to see you only in the best light looks at you with disdain. It was the beginning of my long struggle with my weight. Not physically – I stayed thin for many more years – more than ten. It wasn’t until after I met my husband and stopped working two jobs and going to school and started cooking gourmet meals and eating at nice restaurants that the extra pounds found their new home on me. But mentally – emotionally, my issues surrounding weight and food started right there, in my living room, when my mom was disgusted that I was 104 pounds, but my friend Kelli was only 103.

Suddenly, she was aware of every inch of me, every pound, and every morsel of food that crossed my lips. She turned me into a closet eater - figuratively, as I snuck around with my friends to the local pizza shop, or diligently searched the car for McDonald’s sesame seeds before returning it, and literally, as I hid food in my closet, to be eaten away from her judging eyes.

In those days, I never really believed her accusations that I was fat, but I knew she believed them, and that was enough. I avoided getting undressed in front of her, I sat on the couch or in the car with a pillow or my purse in my lap to hide what I knew she perceived as my bulging thighs.

I became a liar. I lied about what I ate, answering salad to every (inevitable) inquiry. I ate salad for lunch, salad for dinner, always salad. Afterwards, I spent years hating salad – not really hating salad, but the idea of salad – no matter how much I really liked it, I refused to have it as a meal. hated myself for lying (I hate liars and I am terrible at it), but self-preservation was key. There were too many Christmases with a huge pile of new clothes bought a size too small because she “though I was on a diet.” There were too many screaming matches as I was trying to leave the house for school in the morning, because I was “too fat to wear that” (usually the clothes she herself bought me and said looked good). There were too many threats that we "wouldn't go on vacation if I didn't lose five pounds by Friday." There were too many humiliating meetings with the majorette captains or sponsors, begging them to bend the rules and allow me to march in that night’s game or parade, despite the fact that I didn’t wear the required sweatsuit (size extra small) – after all, it was white and everyone knows white makes you look fat – she couldn’t allow me to leave the house looking that way. So I lied.

Even as I got older and started obviously gaining weight, I lied. I was an adult, living away from home, and still she controlled me. I reported all the “salads” I ate. I cut the tags out of my clothes before I went home to visit, because “they were itchy,” (but I assured her, they were a size eight. Or ten. Or twelve. Whatever size was one or two smaller than the tags in the garbage truly said).

Over the years, I lost and gained what feels like a million pounds. The first time I joined weight watchers, I easily (I was in my 20s) got down to a size four. I looked great. I felt great. Until I didn’t. I was proud of myself and I liked the way I looked. But then I noticed how much better my relationship with her got and it made me mad. Instead of appreciating the positive change, I felt ripped apart. It was more clear than ever that her love was conditional. It would have been easier to accept that she just didn’t like me. But it turned out that she didn’t like fat me. After years of calling me fat, I became fat, and suddenly skinny me was OK to love. And it pissed me off, because the “me” in fat me and skinny me was the same. I was still me – still a kind, loving, companionate, sensitive person – only in a different package.

It’s not as if I literally said “screw it, if she can’t love me fat, then I don’t want her to love me at all,” (after all – I liked being skinny and I wasn’t kidding anyone – I wanted her to love me), but that’s where I ended up. A little part of me kept testing the hypothesis, always hoping that it would change – that I would feel worthy even though I wasn’t skinny. But again and again, that hypothesis failed. For the next 17 years, I lost weight and then gained it back, each time gaining a little more than the last, until I almost couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror. Until I started avoiding mirrors completely. As they left me feeling sad and sick. Look through my photos from the past 6 or 7 years and you’ll be hard pressed to find many of me. What a horrible way to live – what a terrible legacy to leave my kids. Memories of a mom who hated herself and no photos to remember the person they loved and who loved them the most.

And that right there – not my own feelings, definitely not her opinion, but the love I have for my children is what has motivated me to try again. To succeed. Never again will I let myself go down that path. Never again will I look in the mirror and cringe. Never again will I refuse a photo of me with my children. I won’t let diabetes or heart disease or hypertension ruin my children’s lives. I am making a change in my life and in theirs. I am proud of myself and they are proud of me. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve come a long way already and I plan to succeed.  I look in the mirror and there I am – the me I remember – the me who disappeared under the weighty issues – and I like what I see.

This is what losing 18.2 pounds does to your face:

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Putting All That Drama to Good Use

CLO Academy Annie Camp was a HUGE success

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Irresponsible Reporting and Blaming the Victim

There was a news story this week about a male teacher who was arrested for having sex with a 15 year old female student. He was a teacher from another school hired to help produce the spring musical. This happened in my school district. It happens everywhere and it’s just as upsetting, but when it’s right in your own back yard, it seems to hit a little harder. Maybe it’s because you know the victim. I mean – even if you don’t actually know who the victim is, it’s a small town, and a small school, and you have son the same age, so whoever she is – you know her.

Honestly, I don’t think I would want to know who she is. If there’s anything that this girl deserves, it’s privacy. But I think we all know that privacy is probably the last thing she will get. It’s a small town. People gossip and this is good, juicy, scandalous gossip for those who thrive on this type of thing. I knew as soon as I heard the news story that I would end up pissed off at more than just the sick asshole that did this. And sure enough, I was right.

First, I saw the very brief story in the paper. But soon afterward, I saw a version on wpxi’s website which gave more information. WAY more information. In fact, they gave enough information to identify the victim. I won’t share that information here, but suffice it to say, people from the area knew who she was immediately after reading the article, and even those not from the area wouldn’t need more than a few minutes and some wifi to figure it out. WPXI has never been my favorite of the local news (they’re fond of the shock value non-stories, like “what’s lurking in your lunchmeat” or “Look what germs we found in your bathroom”), but this is downright irresponsible. Some states can and will restrict the media from releasing information on sexual assault victims – particularly minors. But in Pennsylvania, the only official policy is to “urge the news media to use restraint” in revealing the identity or address of child victims.

This is a bullshit, cop-out policy. This is a big part of why so many sexual assaults go unreported. People – especially those who have gone through a horrible experience like sexual assault – don’t want to be put in the spotlight. But despite the lack of a law restricting them from doing so, WPXI should be more responsible, more compassionate than to give out any identifying information.  The thing is – they got it wrong. The person identified by their information was not the actual victim. But it doesn’t let them off the hook, because now there is ANOTHER family that had been caused trauma by their irresponsibility. Several people tweeted them directly and more sent emails (I did both) asking about their policies, but of course, they’ve not replied. They’re probably too busy checking out local board of health restaurant ratings and getting lab results on our kitchen sponges.

Then, of course, the finger-pointing starts. I have seen grown women on facebook talking about how the girl is equally to blame, because she is old enough to know better (apparently this was a consensual thing). Fuck that noise. Let me give you a list of reasons why these people can go fuck themselves:

1.       Legally, whether she consented or not, she is unable to consent. She is younger than the age of consent. So even if she begged for it – she did not consent.

2.      When one person is in a position of power – especially one that allows them to have a reward of some sort to offer (in this case, roles in a performance) – the entire concept of consent goes out the window. Even if he didn’t say, “Sleep with me and I’ll reward you,” it is always implied. This is why even in colleges, relationships between teachers and (of age) students are not allowed. Even without the explicit statement of coercion, she may have felt coerced.

3.       It may have been (technically, not legally) “consensual,” but have you ever met a 15 year old girl? Fifteen year old girls may half-ass their homework or half-ass cleaning their room, but the one thing that 15 year old girls do NOT half-ass is love. I have been a 15 year old girl and I speak the truth. At that age, they are in the absolute height of love fever. They want more than anything to be loved. They want to be seen, not as a child, but as an adult. They will do anything to live out their dreams of romance and fairy tale happily ever after. Have you ever known a 15 year old girl who says she “likes” her boyfriend? Or “likes” whatever pop star is on top at the moment? Or “likes” her best friend? No – teenage girls LOVE. They LOVE their boyfriends and LOVE their friends and LOVE One Direction and LOVE their new lip gloss and OMG LOVE rompers and flip flops and puppies and the beach and on and on and on. Love is what is important to a teenage girl. So maybe she thought she loved him. Maybe she believed he loved her. When it comes to love, a fifteen year old is like a toddler. You don’t leave a plate of cookies in front of your unattended 3 year old and tell them not to eat them. Just the same, you can’t put a plateful of love – especially grown-up love – in front of a 15 year old and expect her to walk away.

4.     Finally, the most important one. Regardless of anything else – He is a teacher (and an adult). She is a student (and a child). PERIOD. I don’t care if she stripped naked in front of him and begged him to have sex with her – it is HIS responsibility as a teacher, as an adult, as a fucking human being to not act on it.

So to the gossipers, and the finger pointers, and the dumbass reporters: Think about what you are saying and doing – it could happen to your daughter or sister or best friend. How would you feel if the tables were turned?

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Have You Hugged a Teacher Lately?

We have reached the time of year that I think of as Mom Needs A Drink Season. Between end of year activities, Memorial Day band & scout stuff, picnics, parties, spring band and chorus concerts (also known as those times when I think about hanging myself with my camera strap), cheer goings on, and new this year, CLO camp, and dance recital - May and June are KILLER.

Somewhere in the middle of that, there will be a short beach vacation, during which I will drink every last weight watchers point in rum.

On Wednesday, I volunteered to help at the big end of year luau party at the girl's school. They have crafts and a dance party and inflatables and "minute games." I was assigned to a minute game called "This Blows." True story. Someone at the school thought that "This Blows" was a perfectly good name for a game played by 5-11 year olds. Personally, I didn't really care because I have a foul mouth and little class, but I am sure there are some parents out there who might not approve.

It wasn't the name of the game that bothered me - it was the game itself. You had to blow up a balloon and then use the air to try and shot down a pyramid of cups. This resulted in me and my partners in misery to have to restack those fucking cups approximately eleventeen billion times. Mostly while kids blew them back down before we finished. Again and again. And again.

And if that wasn't fun enough, let's talk about balloons. You know what you get when you add kids and balloons? Spit, that's what. Lots and lots of spit. The younger kids couldn't blow up the balloons on their own, so they'd spit all over one, then shove it in your hands to blow for them. We would throw those spit bombs away and get fresh ones. And then dip our hands in a vat of hand sanitizer. Or they'd spit all over a balloon and decide it was "broken" and put it back in the pile, then we'd have to dive in and retrieve it before another little germ factory came along and shoved in in THEIR little spit hole.

The older kids did a better job of blowing up the balloons, but then they'd point them at the cups (and us, sitting behind the cups) and blow their spitty, germ gas all over us. Then we'd bathe in hand sanitizer again. Repeat eleventeen billion jillion times. In between groups of kids, they would ring a bell to let the kids know they had to move to the next station, and I came about thisclose to tackling the bell handler about 40 times and ringing the fuck out of it.

After it was over, I walked up to a group of teachers who were standing around talking (probably praying and planning their human sacrifices to speed up the time until school is out and they are free), and said, "I don't know how you are not all raging alcoholics." Seriously, y'all - find a teacher and HUG THEM. And then buy them a drink or two. Or twelve.

The spit is invisible, but I assure you, it was there:

I need one of these in my backyard: 

She didn't weigh enough to stretch that cord at all:

But in the end, it was worth it, because it made this girl smile:

Unrelated - eclipse!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Depression is a Thing with Tentacles.

If hope is a thing with feathers*, depression is a thing with tentacles. Depression is sneaky. It creeps up behind you and taps you on the shoulder. And when you jump and turn around, it’s gone. “Whew,” you think, “Close one!” But what you don’t realize is that when you turned to the right to look for it, it didn’t actually disappear – it just moved to the left. And when you turned to the left, it moved right. It was behind you the whole time. Pretty soon, it taps you on the shoulder again. And again.  And pretty soon, both shoulders. See, depression is like an octopus –with more tentacles than you have arms. So as you are brushing one off your shoulder, it’s got another on your arm. So you brush that one off, too. But before you’re through, it has one around your calf and another around your waist. And while you’re thinking about those, there are two more back on your shoulders. And not long after that, it has you by the neck and pulls you in until you are too tired to fight. Or at least too tired to fight it off completely. You may pull away from some of those tentacles, but there always seems to be one that has you by the wrist or ankle.

Depression is a liar. It tells you that you are just being a baby. Depression tells you that you don’t have friends. That you aren’t worthy. That no one wants to hear about your feelings. Depression tells you that you are wrong about everything.  It makes you believe the worst about yourself. Depression tells you that you are hopeless, and then it feeds on your hopelessness. Depression grows strong as you grow weaker. Depression is an asshole. Depression is a thing with tentacles.

* Hope    
By Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Random WTF

The things that perplexed and/or pissed me off this past week:

At the girl’s soccer tournament (where she was an absolute BEAST in goal), there was a mom sitting nearby who was fair skinned & red-haired and looking like a lobster in the sun. Another mom and I told her she was getting burned and offered her some of our sunscreen, and she said, “Thanks, but I want to burn. I put a bunch of oil on before I came so I can burn. I like to burn. I never peel or anything – just burn.” Um…OK? I'm glad you don’t peel or anything. How about skin cancer – do you get that?


I generally like the soccer games – you don’t get the drama you have with some of the other sports & activities (I’m looking at you, cheer), and all the parents get along. But I can’t say the same for the other teams’ parents. We have had several games in a row where parents have encouraged their kids to play dirty – tripping and elbowing, have made fun of and harassed kids on our team, and  - my favorite – one mom who actually said she was going to “punch [one of our seven year old girls] in the fucking face.” Klassy!


Speaking of cheer drama – the mom of one girl is insane. She talks shit on everyone, including little girls. Everyone avoids her like the plague. Her favorite insult is “trash.” She loves complaining about the trash in town and she was very upset about the trashy kids who would end up on the team because there were no tryouts for the football squad. The irony n these statements is that this same woman had photos of herself on facebook a few years back that would fall right into what I would categorize as trash. Like, not just nude photos, but Hustler-like photos. Graphic, actions shot photos. So apparently, I am confused about the definition of what trash is. Or she is. One of those.

Then, after her daughter didn’t make it for the competition squad (there were tryouts for that), she unfriended the moms on facebook whose daughters did and made a grand statement about how we were all ugly on the inside (and the outside, too), annoying, and we need to get a grip and stop living through our kids. Um, Pot? Meet Kettle.

We had to take the girl to the emergency room for x-rays on Saturday evening (nothings broken, but she is enjoying her crutches nonetheless – crutches are a MUST HAVE in the second grade circles). Anyway, they were concerned about her growth plates, so we had to head back to radiology several times during our visit and sit in the tiny radiology waiting room until it was our turn. One of those times, we had to share the waiting room with a woman whose son was getting an x-ray. While she waited, she decided she would eat her big, stinky sandwich. With her mouth open. While making as many chewing, slurping, licking, chomping sounds as possible. While dripping ketchup all over the cloth couches in the waiting room. My favorite part was when the nurse wheeled her son out and stopped outside the door so she could follow them back to his exam room, she said (through a full mouth of disgusting, chewed food) “Hold on,“ and proceeded to put MORE ketchup on her sandwich, then FINISH the sandwich while the nurse and her son waited n the hallway. She made me feel good about my own parenting.

And speaking of the ER – Lord help me, but I want to punch those people who bring their kids in for the sniffles. 

On the way home from the hospital, we stopped for something to eat, since we hadn’t eaten all day and were starving and as we sat in Steak & Shake, we saw a sight to behold. A mother and daughter who looked like that crazy tan lady that was just on the news.  I wanted to post a photo, but then I remembered this:


 I put it on a shirt and I'm wearing it everywhere.

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