joannebest











catfight

Okay folks, let’s break this whole thing down as succinctly as possible without offending anyone since that seems to be the criteria for friendship these days.

In case you haven’t heard, we had a Presidential Election over here in the good old US of A. It’s something we do every 4 years and it comes with a 2 term limit. (In my opinion, every political position should have term limits but that’s for another day or, perhaps, never)
We The People cast our ballot then we cross our fingers hoping “our” candidate wins. There is a peaceful transfer of power on Inauguration Day and then we all go on with our lives.

Nah. I’m only kidding because it doesn’t work that way anymore.

Now it’s a free-for-all regardless of the outcome. I’ve lived through quite a few Presidential elections, I was a baby when John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated but I have a memory of crying adults and a sense of unity, then again, to my mini-brain, it was the exact day my cousin was born so I felt only happiness and love.
Until a few terms ago, I never paid attention to politics, it was something the adults talked about in quiet tones while my older brother and I would play “The Six O’clock News”, where we’d take turns making believe we were newscasters by coming up with our own news stories. It was one of the few times we’d take advantage and use the bed as a stage to stand on when it was our turn to announce the news of the day. Of course it always turned into an excuse to jump up and down on the bed, a children’s game I never understood but took full advantage of until I jumped so high I banged my head on the ceiling but again, another story for another day.

We The People are now tearing each other apart in the name of politics and it is breaking my heart. I look at the usual suspects of social media, Facebook, Twitter,and just about every comment section in nearly every site that allows comments. Not only is it scary, it’s a bloody blood-filled bloodbath everywhere I turn.

Lifelong friendships are being reduced to rubble, families are falling apart, and I’d wager the “unfollow” button has never been used as much as it has these days, all a result of this latest election.

I am not here to talk about who won, who lost, which Party has power, which Party is right on whatever the issue of the day is, although I believe these things are important to discuss.
What concerns me now is We The People and how we are treating each other.
And how we are treating each other right now is, dare I say, deplorable.

Personally, I have gone out of my way to keep my opinions to myself. I remember a time when who you voted for was pretty much a private thing, much like your religious beliefs. We were lulled into a deceptive sense of free speech meaning just that, freedom to say what you want short of yelling “fire” in a public place when there is no fire.

This is no longer the case in my opinion. Now we must first weigh our options, think about what we want to say, think it over again, and, at least in my case, wind up saying nothing.
Believe me, there isn’t much I love more than a good debate backed up by facts. I even enjoy playing “devil’s advocate” because I want to know all sides of whatever it is we’re talking about. I always thought it was a good thing to discuss different issues because usually, I learn something new I wasn’t previously aware of.
Now? As the kids say, NFW. No f***ing way.

I have good friends on both sides of the aisle. I don’t judge anyone by their vote as I believe we all have our own personal reasons for who we vote for. There is a reason we are given privacy when we cast our ballot. We have an obligation and a right to vote our conscience. There aren’t that many countries afforded the freedoms we have/had. We are lucky to be living here and yes, nearly every single one of us have ancestors who came through Ellis Island seeking a better life. I know mine did, most left Ireland and were greeted with signs that said “Irish need not apply” as well as other things too hostile to say. But that was the way of the world, so they did what they could to feed their family, inevitably working in the bowels of the earth coal mining. Black Lung disease took out quite a few of my people back then. But that was my experience, we all have our own stories.
Every single one of us is different, and every single one of us have different reasons for who we may or may not support.

What I don’t understand is this new test of friendship, if you voted for X then you are a racist bigot. If you voted for Y then you are a racist bigot. If you voted for X then you don’t know what you’re talking about and you are directly responsible for this, that, and the other thing. If you voted for Y then you don’t know what you’re talking about and you are directly responsible for this, that, and the other thing. If you voted for X you are “unfriended”. If you voted for Y then you are “unfriended”.
I’ve been watching silently as friends and family are giving up people they claim to love, but that love is not unconditional, that love is contingent, subject to change at the snap of a finger, that love now comes with a questionnaire that requires 100% agreement or you’re an evil racist bigot and that applies to both sides.

Think about it, imagine you were in a life threatening situation and needed a blood transfusion, or perhaps an organ donor.
Would you thank whoever that someone is willing to donate whatever it is you need to survive, or would you first ask their political affiliation and if it wasn’t the same as yours, would you turn down their offer to help save your life?
If your next door neighbor fell down in front of you, perhaps suffering a heart attack or a stroke, would you help them only if they voted the same way as you or would you step over their body and leave them to possibly die because they voted for Y when you voted for X?

What has become of us? When did we allow personal points of view to transform us into this mob mentality?
There is nothing in this world that 100% of people agree on. We are all different, we all have different needs and different ideas. The world is burning and We The People are being controlled, not by politicians as much as by the media.
The media is stirring up as much turmoil as they can in the name of money, going so far as to intentionally lie to further their own agenda, and their own agenda sure as hell isn’t We The People.
Celebrities, being paid obscene amounts of money are lecturing us, chiding us, encouraging civil discourse and who is suffering the most for this? We The People are, innocent Mom and Pop stores being set on fire, looted, destroyed just because people are riled up and taking their anger out on whatever is nearest to them, both sides of the aisle rumbling like they’re acting out West Side Story, not caring that this is real life being destroyed. Not seeing that we all bleed the same color. Not caring that we are being used, distracted by a media who no longer report facts without bias, and somehow all media outlets use the exact same buzzwords, the exact same phrases because they believe they are all knowing. They are the ones sitting in their expensive towers looking down at us, patting each other on the back because they’re stirring the pot so much we are reverting to primates, beating people to a bloody pulp on nothing more than an assumption that if you love your country you are a racist bigot.

Let’s face it, for the most part, people in power do not care about us. We The People have been reduced to voting blocks to further the agenda of the powers that be.
They don’t care that we are fighting amongst ourselves, in my opinion they are happy, the more discord, the more “news” they can report, leading to more discord, more fighting, more separation, more hatred and I’m sorry, but this is not who we are. They are controlling us and we are letting them get away with it.

Do you want to be politically involved? If so, it begins at the bottom. It begins with your local government. I live in a town where we have had the same Mayor for 16 years. Sure, he cares for the people so much he is driven around in a limousine everywhere he goes. He has bought up more than half the town, owning a good portion of local businesses but you have to dig deep to find out this information. We can’t just wake up every four years for the Presidential election, we should be involved from the bottom up if we truly care about the political system.
But most importantly, we need to stop the hostility towards each other. It’s ugly and accomplishes nothing but more division, more hatred and zero tolerance.

We The People need to realize we are one family. Yes, we can disagree, yes we can get frustrated, but I see nothing good coming out of the behavior I see grown adults engaging in, what kind of example are we setting for our children?
School age kids are fighting each other over politics because that is what they are seeing around them. Parents, teachers, neighbors being nasty to each other, these are some of the examples being set for young minds unable to completely understand the complexity involved in making that decision we make when we enter a voting booth.
They will have a lifetime of worry ahead of them, but we are taking away some of the pleasures of childhood and frankly, scaring the hell out of some of these innocent young minds.

When did we become so unaccepting of other points of view?
Are we going to continue down this path until we kill each other because we may disagree on one issue?

I used to believe we were a tolerant, accepting people. I used to believe we could have vigorous debates without being blacklisted, discarded, unfriended, ridiculed by people we thought were friends.

You may have noticed I have not stated who I voted for. Why? Because I am not here to endorse anyone, I am here to express my disappointment in We The People. You may think you know who I voted for, but you may be wrong.
You see, I personally don’t care who you voted for, you voted your conscience, you voted in your best interest as it should be. I will never judge you for who you vote for.
All I ask is that we all try to do the same.

catfight1

My name is Joanne Best and I approve this message.

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kindness of strangers

“I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers”

A few mornings ago, I woke up sobbing. And I’m not ashamed to admit my weakness.
I am beyond overwhelmed and I am guilty of intentionally adding more to my burden-filled plate. I am also guilty of misdirected anger and extreme disappointment while trying to mask my feelings.

I miss my Mom and I miss my Dad and this whole dissolving of the estate also know as ripping my heart out and tearing it into three equal portions, is slowly killing me.
Or a reasonable facsimile thereof…
It freezes my usually warm heart knowing that we are already showing the house to realtors when my Dad died a month today, and it hurts me to the core seeing our childhood reduced to nothing more than a dollar amount.
From the age of 5, when we moved from Newark NJ to Sayreville NJ, up until this very day, that home has been the ‘no place like home’ security blanket that always made me feel safe, no matter where I was.
Now it’s all about numbers and “get rid of this” and “curb appeal” and “throw away all this stuff” aka get a dumpster and discard every bit of memory and character left in your heart, um, I mean house.

Let me be clear, I am the least money-hungry person you may or may not ever meet in your life.

To me, money is a necessary evil we need to survive.
I am simple to please, a roof over my head, a cup of tea, a couple of cats, a million books and a place to write are enough to keep me happy and thriving. Okay, maybe an occasional Carmello bar thrown in there once in awhile doesn’t hurt.

But.

I’m grieving.

And I can count the number of family members who care that my Father died on one hand.
If you have no respect for the death of my Father, that’s your business and also your right. But don’t you think you should have a little bit of respect for me, a grieving Daughter who loved BOTH of her Parents unconditionally?

And did it ever cross your mind that perhaps taking joy from the fact that my Father died and being vocal about it might just hurt me a little bit? Did any of the guilty parties ever think that perhaps, upon hearing the news of my Father’s death, telling his adult children you would get up and do a jig if you were physically capable of doing so is beyond disrespectful? Never mind how much it hurt to hear something like that from someone you have loved and looked up to since the day you were born.
I’m not naming names and I’m not pointing fingers, it’s more like a wave in your general direction. I do this out of respect for family ties, which have been reduced from a capital F ‘Family’ to just plain small letter ‘family’ even though whoever it is I’m referring to will most likely never see these words.

Since this is more of an update/babble, there is no order to my thoughts, no beginning, middle, or end.
There is no message, no point, no lessons to be taught or learned, more of just a purge of stuff that has been weaving through my brain, not all of it of course, because when it comes down to it, I’m more of a ‘don’t say anything if you can’t say anything nice’ kinda girl, and at this moment in time, I can’t think of anything nice to say upon hearing all the negativity toward my Father.

I guess some people think they are perfect and have decided slamming a man who, along with my Mother, practically raised them during their childhood, for reasons.

I have a lot of anger issues.
Not one sympathy card or phone call from anyone on my Mom’s side of the family*, while my Dad’s side, consisting of 3 cousins, have been more supportive than everyone else put together.

My Mother would be so disappointed in the branch of her family tree.

Things have settled down between my two brothers and I, after a long face to face talk, we’ve come to terms for the most part, so at least I feel a bit better knowing that we three are on the same page.

So while I am still an emotional wreck, at least I am an emotional wreck with two brothers who love me as I love them.

I have discovered that it’s really true, blood doesn’t make family, but loving and caring friends can become more of a Family than blood relatives.

And while it is very comforting to know that I do have a support system, it saddens me to know how the people you expected to be there for you are nowhere to be found.

I will end this now, because I’m verging on whining, but one last thing: I have met some of the best friends I could ever hope for as a result of writing, it doesn’t matter that I have never met a lot of them in person, they have still showed me more love and concern than I’ve received from blood ties.
So dear friends, if I haven’t made myself clear enough, you, and you, and you too, my writerly-friends, have made a tragic time in my life a little bit easier, just by being there for me when I needed someone more than ever.
I thank you and I love you with a love usually reserved for family, because you are now my Family.
This fact alone has made it easier to sleep at night.

*a few of my cousins commented on my Facebook status when I posted that my Dad had passed.

family4



{September 3, 2015}   I Am A Rug, I Am A Carpet…

walkonme

… and a rug feels no pain, and a carpet never cries.

So I woke up extra early (for me) yesterday morning, 5am, and figured I’d write for a few hours then spend the rest of the day trying to straighten out this financial mess my Father made because, male pride and I’m a girl.
Had a few cups of tea, did a few things around the house, got all the paperwork together I need for the financial finagling I needed to do so I could just pick it up after I wrote for awhile.
Then my Father calls.
Nothing unusual about that, but this time he’s telling me he needs me to come down right away, something isn’t right, he says, he needs me to take him to the hospital, now. I’ve got him on speakerphone as I dash around the house locking the doors, making sure the dogs are in and no cats snuck outside and I ask him to tell me how he feels. “Just hurry”, he says and hangs up the phone.

I’m in a controlled state of panic and run out in my yoga pants and t-shirt, slip on a pair of sneakers, stuff all his paperwork into a bag and fly out the door with my Ray Bans covering my worried eyes after first splashing water on my face and putting on some lipstick.
Don’t judge, Ray Bans and lipstick make me feel better in all circumstances.

I make the ride in record time, pull into his driveway only to find all the doors locked and my key to his house back home on my other keychain. I knock loud and call out to my Dad, all the while my brain is figuring out which window I should crawl through, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager but luckily I’m still able to fit through. Window-crawling mission aborted as I hear my Dad yell “come in”.
“The door is locked,” say I.
“Wait a minute,” he replies as I hear him slowly shuffle to unlock the Dutch door.
Each second is an hour as I imagine every horrible scenario possible, remember past emergencies, generally freak myself out until he finally gets to the door and unlocks it.
I burst through the door, “Dad! What happened? Are you OK? Tell me what happened, let’s get your wallet and go to the emergency room.” I babble the way I do when I’m nervous and he just looks at me.
“Let’s go,” he says. “I want to get some money out of the bank.”
“Don’t worry about money right now Dad, let’s go to the hospital first and I’ll go to the bank after a doctor sees you.”
I’m impatient, worried, thinking ten steps ahead and I realize he’s looking at me like I’m a crazy person.
“Dad? Are you ok? Let’s go! We need to get to the hospital!”
“Hospital? I just want you to take me to the bank.”
Silence for what seems like forever.
“Dad,” I say calmly, “You told me you needed to go to the hospital, what’s going on? Are you ok?”
“Wait, let’s go sit in the living room,” he says as he shuffles away.
It all begins to sink in.
Manipulated once again.
I can see the gears turning in his head as he attempts to concoct a believable story.
He doesn’t succeed, he can’t talk his way out of it because he knows I’m catching on.
“I didn’t feel like driving to the bank,” he admits.
By now my head is pounding due to rising blood pressure yet I remain calm.
Outwardly calm.
We’d already had it set up for me to go to the bank for him on Friday/today (I’d already been to his house Monday, Wednesday, and now Thursday). This day was meant for me to get the SBA on the phone so I could talk them into not holding back 15% of my Dad’s Social Security checks due to him missing a few payments of $53 per month. I used to take care of this particular loan payment from Hurricane Irene’s destruction but Dad insisted he wanted to take care of his own bills so I had no choice but to turn it over to him.
After spending more than half the previous day on the phone with the Department of Treasury I was told my Dad now has to pay the DOT $485 per month in addition to losing 15% of his SS checks. The loan was taken out when my Mom was alive so my Dad’s income alone barely makes it, coming up with an extra $400+ is undoable. The man at the DOT was very nice and told me if I had the gift/power of persuasion I might be able to get the SBA to change it back. Which was what I was going to take care of before dear old Dad told me he had to go the emergency room.

I’m rambling again.
Back to the non-hospital trip: he wanted me to go to the bank, take out some cash and go to the corner store for the newspaper and lottery tickets.
I remained outwardly calm, drove to the bank and noticed my car was verging on overheating. Over 90 degrees outside and I’m driving with my windows open and the heat blasting so it wouldn’t overheat.
Drove around town getting his cash, his newspaper and lottery tickets, all the while dripping sweat.

When I got back to his house, I channeled my Mother and exploded.
Respectfully exploded.
Although the F-word did escape my mouth a few times, I explained that all he had to do was tell me the truth, I would have stopped at the bank and store on my way down and gone merrily on my way. I told him it was unacceptable, the lies I mean. Because he’s been known to stretch the truth before, I sat him down and explained thoroughly the tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I explained that his health is better than mine and if he continued to play games like this (because he found the incident funny) there might come a day when he really needed me and I wouldn’t be there, because I don’t know anymore when he’s telling the truth or lying. I explained the mess he made out of everything, and asked him who else helps him besides me, the answer being nobody. He drove my younger brother away by constantly treating him like garbage and my older brother, well, he flat-out doesn’t care to help in any way shape or form. I think he’s still pissed at me because he hated the idea of the house being fixed after Hurricane Irene, he wanted them to sell the house as is and move them into an assisted living place but they wanted their house back. Truth is, I don’t even know my brother’s phone number or address because he moved and never gave me the information.

I’m a nervous wreck still worrying about my Dad, still making excuses for him, and still being taken advantage of. I know I’m lucky I have at least one Parent still alive but at this rate he’ll be burying me instead of the other way around. If that sounds cold it’s not meant to be. I told my Father I love him and always will but if he continues to lie to me my Mother’s dreaded saying would come true, he will live the rest of his life a lonely old man. I think of all the times I defended him to my Mother and compare them to all the knife wounds in my back.
I try to make him understand that we’re all we got, it’s just us now, and I asked him if he’s actually trying to kill me, death by stress.

So yes, I am a rug. I am a carpet stepped on again and again and I’m wearing thin.

Can I please stop being the adult?

walkonme1



{August 7, 2015}   Where I’ve Been (And Why)

morning2Write what you can write when you can write else you may never be able to write again.

Substitute any word that may apply to you and your passion and never ever neglect it, because you never know when your passion, or your ability to pursue your passion, may be taken away from you.

My recent passionless existence began with a near-crippling case of carpal tunnel rearing it’s ugly head a few months ago. I’ve already gone the surgery route but all I got for my trouble was two wrists more painful than before surgery and two hands constantly reminding me that I have to choose where when and how I use my small windows of pain-free time.

So I stopped writing.
And began a downward spiral.

Fibromyalgia, once closed off in a box somewhere in my mind escaped much like Pandora’s Box, only this time, hope fled as well and I experienced the most excruciating fibro-flare I’ve ever had.

I shut myself down, nearly every part of me, shut down. Caring about anything became a distant memory. I couldn’t even fake it anymore. Nothing made me smile. Nobody made me laugh. I stopped believing in anything good ever happening to me again. Ever. Sleep became the only thing I looked forward to and the sound of the phone ringing made me cringe. My computer may as well have been nothing more than a dust collector because I had no interest. In anything.

I may as well have stopped living because whatever it was I was doing, going through the motions, was not in any way shape or form a life.

Grief.
I thought I would have been over it already. I mean, it’s been over two years since my Mom died, why does it still feel like it happened yesterday?

My whole world has changed without her and I have a new understanding of the effects of grief. My family has imploded. I used to have two brothers but now I have one, my older brother has basically cut me out of his life, guilt-calls my Father maybe once a month while I twist myself pretzel-like to do everything I can to help out my Dad. He’s going on 89 and while he can still be as sharp as a tack, he’s fading away. Lost without my Mother, he’s reimagined their life together, turning it into a Love Story For The Ages. And while I know the real version was nothing like he wants to remember, I agree with him as my heart breaks a little bit more every time I see him.
My younger brother and I have become closer than ever, as my older brother doesn’t talk to him either. The eldest, as far as I understood it to be, was supposed to step up and help us out. Instead, after taking my Father to his lawyer and having a will drawn up with him as the executor (not my Father’s wishes, but as the only one of us who went to college, his opinion seems to be the only one that matters) my older brother, when he was still talking to my younger brother, told him if anything in the will was changed, he would take me to court and say that I forged documents. He has some resentment towards me because when Hurricane Irene destroyed our house he wanted to put my Parents in an assisted living place while my Parents just wanted their house back. I, with the help of my younger brother, moved Heaven and Earth to make that happen and it pissed him off that I, a girl who never went to college, was able to get them back home.

So I’ve been dealing with a lot health-wise, and the three things that made me happiest disappeared. No more daily phone calls and Mother/Daughter getaways, my BFF became my occasional F due to, well, life, and my writing became a distant memory. With virtually no one to truly confide in anymore, I began to think of myself as worthless, cold and uncaring about anything. Basically, I make myself sickeningly pathetic and I’m sick of it. I sometimes wish I could just breakdown and cry my eyeballs out, but my feelings have frozen and I feel unmeltable.

Even my Birthday came and went without fanfare, it took me weeks to open the Birthday Card my favorite Aunt Judy sent me, as if I wasn’t even worthy of a card. I feel like an idiot for allowing myself to fall this hard and I realize I’m the only one who can save me.

And then something happened to wake me up. Out of nowhere, I received something in the mail from some very special Miscreants. There was no return address so it wasn’t until I opened it that I realized what it was, a fun pack that to this very second still makes me smile, hard.

Somehow, I’ve managed to babble about nothing important to anyone but me myself and I, but I have to admit, I feel a little bit better.

I was Blessed enough to attend two Facebook events this past week, one was a release party for
Anastasia Vitsky‘s new book Taliaschild and the other was Decadent Publishing 5th Annivesary Party.

They both gave me life. Inspired me. Woke me up. Stirred something in my soul to remind me who I am.

I’m back, and this time, I’m back to stay. No more not answering comments, no more ignoring life. It’s time to live again, and a great part of my resurrection is you. And you. Also you.
While these words are not my own, the sentiment is a perfect truth : “Love is all that matters.”

This time, I will not forget that.
And one last thing, I apologize to everyone I’ve seemingly ignored, it wasn’t you, it was me.
Love. It is once again in my heart, I would like nothing more than to spread it around.

a me I want to go back to these days (my Mom in the background, me and my Uncle)



{March 21, 2015}   Enough Is Enough ~ A Semi-Rant

writer1

I’ve run out of excuses.
Yeah, I know, legitimate or not, excuses are just that, excuses. And they’re getting me nowhere fast.
I mean really, I’m resorting to clichés on top of it all. What’s up with that?

I am like the moon.

Not only do I go through phases but I’m also rather loony on occasion. See previous moon comparison, I’m a damn Cancer with an emotional rollercoaster attached to my feet and the very few who know me well enough know I hate the whole moon comparison. It’s a joke actually, only not so much with the funny these days.
I’m scatterbrained beyond belief lately and my brain has more holes in it than Alpine Lace Swiss Cheese. You know, the really tiny holes that lets the mustard seep out onto the bread making it soggy.

My brain is soggy.

My phone rings on an average day anywhere between 10 to 26 times, every single call from my Dad.
No rhyme nor reason, no certain time of the day or night, whenever the urge hits him, he calls me. Don’t get me wrong, I get it, he’s lonely since my Mom died and he’s a stubborn, rigid, sticks-to-his-ways 88 year old Navy Vet. He never knew his Father and doesn’t remember his Mother, she died when he was around 2 years old or so. He won’t really talk about his family or much of his childhood, although he frequently mentions that he was a twin but his twin brother died at birth. When he talks about it to me in the way he does, trying to make a joke out of everything, he tells me it’s his fault because he weighed more than his twin so he must have killed him.

I can’t imagine walking around with that thought in your head every day of your life.

He talks about how he was roller skating when Pearl Harbor was bombed and enlisted in the Navy the day he turned 17. He tells the same stories so many times I can repeat them myself. I don’t need more than one hand to count the amount of relatives who like him, but he’s my Father and that alone is reason enough to fall into his trap and pick up the phone every damn time.

My life would be so much easier if I could ignore him but I wasn’t raised that way. Plus I’m a Cancer and a middle child.

I have a memory of being taught to always hug and kiss my Parents when I left the house, and I never end/ended a phone conversation with either Mom or Dad without saying ‘I love you’. Although there was also a little bit of guilt manipulation when I neared my teenage years because what if something happened and we never saw each other again?
And they wondered why I cried until my Aunt Berta would call them to assure me they didn’t get in a car accident on the drive home when I’d sleep over my then-only girl cousin Chrissy’s house.

Huh, we’re all pretty much fucked up people, aren’t we?
Nah, we’re all just human I guess.

writing13

I don’t really have a point to this aimless babble, I think I’m tip-toeing my way back to writing consistently again. Publicly. Because I need something to shake me out of this endless winter – I mean really, a snowstorm on the first day of Spring?
Point: I should be writing. And not just about how I should be writing but really writing.
I have no one to blame but myself at this point, I need to establish a schedule and attempt to get my Dad to understand I can’t write when the phone keeps ringing .

writing12

C’mon me! Get your obsessive ass in gear and start re-obsessive writing!

Enough is enough.
NO MORE EXCUSES!

writingexcuse

This rant has been brought to you by Guilt-B-Gone.

guilty3



{January 30, 2015}   Warning – Rant Ahead

rant

Warning: the following rant will most likely include profanity, snark, anger, venting, and a general sense of crankiness caused by, well, stuff. Unless I hit overload and wimp out.
Today was one of those days even before I knew it. Because it started off stress-free and lovely, which should have been my first sign. I mean aside from the ever-growing pile of used tissues and the lack of a voice when I first woke up because, bronchitis. Again.
Oh, and the snow outside, especially the icy lump in the middle of the driveway daring me to drive over it so I could take Father Dear to get his stitches removed. (I dropped it into first gear and the icy lumps lost. I was not about to allow my car to get stuck in the snow.)
It was the first time I left the house since before the Blizzard Of The Century That Wasn’t.
I live a very exciting life you know, especially in the winter when I get one of those inner-battles where my immune system always gets it’s ass kicked and I’m a puddle of lethargy trying my best to hide it.
(I’ve noticed a distinct lack of rant-ness going on here because too much time has passed since I wrote the first sentence. Never a good sign when you’re trying to rant.)
First Main Street was closed because of a fire, making me late-ish due to a stupid detour down a barely plowed road followed by a lack of my cousin who said he’d shovel Dad’s driveway and even do his laundry (mighty nice of him since he coincidentally only shows up when he needs to do his laundry or store his tools) while I took him to the doctor.
Obviously, my cousin didn’t show so I’m running up and down the basement steps to get the laundry started before we leave because yes, I actually have things of my own to do and laundry wasn’t in the memo.
This led to me unable to find my car keys for a good ten minutes, when I finally gave in and asked Dear Saint Anthony to please come around.
As usual, he did and I did. Find my keys.
Next, the awkward social situations I’m forced to improvise in the name of damage control when my Father is in smartass-to-strangers mode, his brand of humor.
Then the inevitable suggestion that we go to Burger King, the restaurant of Dear Daddy’s choice, and the drive-thru compromise because time is seriously not on my side.
A stop at Krauszers for Dad’s newspaper turned into a driving clusterfuck as a teenager girl driving the brand new car someone else paid for wouldn’t stop blowing her horn as my 88 year old Father was struggling to get out of my car (he refuses to let me help him or go in the store for him, plus there was enough room for her to drive around me, also, emergency blinker thingys were flashing).
It took everything I had to keep myself from jumping out of the drivers seat and having a word with the young miss.
Not really, it was more the sight of the neighbor up the street who happens to be a cop. I knew my Irish would take over and it wouldn’t be pretty.
I’m not confrontational but do the slightest thing to hurt any of mine and I go ballistic.
I’ve been known to grab bikers by their leather jackets and slam them into walls for wrongly harassing a friend while girl-shouting in his face.
But instead of a cat fight, I lit my first cigarette in awhile, bronchitis be damned because otherwise someone or something was going to see my fist. Or I would yell shrilly.
Back to Dad’s house to finish the laundry and move his car for him so it would be easier for him to get through the snow and what do ya know, somebody who shall remain nameless did a fake-out shovel and I had to shovel a path through the kind of snow that has a thick layer of ice on top. Did I mention I have bronchitis?
Sigh.
I can’t even muster up enough energy to rant properly.
I’m all flannel pajamas and piles of blankets trying to write with Fang Face Willy, no longer a kitten in size but still in attitude, diving into Drusilla and biting her neck while she speaks in cat-tongues I’ve never heard before but her grumbled growls really do sound like words. She puts her paw on his head, holds him in place then frantically licks his face till he submits and dashes off to try and have his way with me.
Since I’ve been interrupted so many times since I began writing this nearly 35 hours ago, I’m going to chalk this up to a rant as bad as everything that led up to me wanting to rant in the first place.
Kinda like a boring diary entry but here’s the thing, I’ve been spending way too much time writing and not posting I have decided to throw my hands in the air, not even reread this damn thing and post it to break my too-long-since-I-posted streak.
Maybe tomorrow I shall awake bronchitis-less, full of energy, a clear mind, no vampire cat trying to write his own rant.
I know! I’ll do “research” and read!
That’s a thing you know, gotta read if you wanna write, right?
I’m gonna regret posting this babble, but if I don’t break this non-posting streak, my regret will increase tenfold.
I’ll just throw on another comforter, cozy up with a book or ten and lose myself in someone else’s words so I can find my own.
I have a Love Spanks Event to attend next week, I have to stop being sick! Also, write. Ok, over and out until the next time dear ones.
https://governingana.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/announcing-love-spanks-2015/
cropped-spanks-lovespanks-amazon-2015.jpg



{January 19, 2015}   High School Redux

You. Yeah, you over there. Let go of my Eggo and your Ego.(with a side of fever)

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Yeah, I know, I guess pretty much everyone goes through this phase with the ever-expanding, always-changing, out-of-our-own-control, time-eating cyber-version of high school.
Like most of our high school experiences, it’s a mixture of good and bad but I have to admit, sometimes FB flat out makes me cranky.
I’m happy to be able to talk to Family I haven’t seen since I was in the single digits, good friends I’ve lost contact with as everyone scattered to live their own lives, start their own Families, you know, the good.
Meeting new people I never would have met in real life without Facebook, wonderful people from around the world and sometimes folks who lived in my own town whose paths never crossed mine. Or maybe we never had things in common until we became whoever it is we became.
That’s part of the good.
And then there’s the bad, aka High School Redux, where the same cliques in high school pick up from where they left off and carry on, still forever 17 in their minds.
You know who I’m talking about; those girls who turned their backs on you because you weren’t cool enough to be a cheerleader (somehow it never occurred to them perhaps I didn’t want to be a cheerleader), those same girls stuck in a time-loop as they post pictures of themselves in their cute little Halloween kitty-costumes that are no longer flattering but dammit, they’re divorced and the zillionth class reunion is around the corner and “sigh, maybe he’ll be there and this time I’ll get the football hero…sigh…”.
Selfie-Queens who post pictures of themselves like it’s a popularity contest and they aren’t satisfied until they get 1000 ‘likes’ from 1000 strangers feeding their ego.
As you may have picked up, I’m not big on the whole selfie thing.
Maybe I’m camera shy. Maybe I don’t want to splatter my ‘wall’ with pictures of me. Maybe I don’t have an out of control ego that needs to be fed on a constant basis. (No, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about you.)
Whatever the reason, I don’t really care to be the center of attention which is a weird thing for a lead singer to say. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in fact I love seeing photographs of my friends and Family, I love seeing pictures of new people I’ve ‘met’ and learning more about them and their lives.
But it’s just part of my personality to observe, stay in the background and figure things out, fill my mind with stuff so I can spew my own words onto the paper/screen.
My lack of selfies has been commented on (behind my back of course, just like high school) by a girl who was once my BFF until we lost touch. She has decided I put up pictures of myself like “those girls who hide behind their hair so you can’t see their face”. Apparently, this once-former model, who used to worship my every move, has no use for me anymore because she looked at my political leanings and decided I’m scum.
I’ve been stalked, hacked, backstabbed, ignored, you know, just like high school.
That’s the bad part.
I guess in the long run, the good outweighs the bad because I’ve ‘met’ some of the most awesome people anyone could hope to ‘meet’.
Maybe I’m just playing favorites because I rather spend more time here at WordPress than Facebook, or maybe I’m just cranky because my cold turned into bronchitis which translates into a good couple weeks of me being sick.
And I’m cranky because even though I’ve been writing every day I’ve been saving everything to draft instead of posting like I should.
I wonder if the 17 phone calls a day from my Dad has anything to do with my bad moody?
Or I’m picking on Facebook because I sometimes let it eat too much of my time, and I also know that FB can cause a lot of destruction to real-life life when it turns into the high school cafeteria and I’m standing alone with a full tray and nowhere to sit.
Maybe it bugs me to realize someone I once traded secrets with is now as one dimensional as a photograph.
Yeah, I’m a weirdo, an outcast, a rebel without a cause and plain old stubborn. And yeah, I really don’t like to have my picture taken, I prefer to be the one taking the pictures and capturing the moment, not because I’m trying to hide behind my hair, not because I don’t look good in pictures and don’t spend money on cosmetic surgery in a desperate attempt to look forever 17. But because I’m beautiful just as I am, as we (almost) all are, inside and out.
And the fact that I know this to be true will not be rattled by the words of someone who is still living mentally in high school.
I know who I am.
And thankfully, dearest readers, so do you.
And since we’re on the subject of high school and pictures, here’s me when I was a senior in high school, not hiding behind hair. I’d put a ‘selfie’ taken right this very second, but I think that means the terrorist win.
Or something like that.
I was 18, cut me some slack!



giles
Because everything.
Can’t watch the news because it’s full of shit and non-news, editorial views now pass as headline news, journalism is dead and Politically Correct runs the world only it’s running the whole damn thing into the ground instead of letting the happy shine through.
Or as Giles put it in both the first and last episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, “The Earth is Definitely Doomed.”.
~
I’ve been writing and writing and not posting, saving everything to draft and hating everything I write between running up and down the stairs twenty times a day to mess with the router/modem/anything internet related since obviously Mars is still in my retrograde. It’s exasperating to stop my flow of thoughts because those stupid white bars keep showing me the yellow triangle with the exclamation point and just as I finally get back online my phone rings again because my Dad wants to tell me what’s on Turner Classic Movies for the seventh time that day so I grit my teeth and pretend I’m really glad he told me and yes of course I’ll be watching it thank you very much and yes I’ll talk to you later.
Of course my train of thought is gone and I forget what the hell I was about to write which, of course, was the most brilliant thing ever written except now it’s gone forever. So I save to draft and pray for a miracle.
~
I want to write about the fun, the good stuff, my vacation to the shore (including tornado warnings and much rain), the awesomeness of finally meeting http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/ in person (even though I arrived fifteen minutes late because the library was so big I couldn’t find the right room – plus I had to pee. Shut up, it’s a long ride from Carteret!)then leaving (too early for my liking) to go to my niece’s baby shower (where I stood for the most part because that’s what I do) while my feet were throbbing from the inevitable sunburn I got down the shore regardless of the number 90 sunblock I used – the fair Irish skin might have something to do with that but it sure didn’t make any of my shoes less painful.
~
Dental appointments to fix the root canal a previous dentist had botched leaving 3 root tips and a foreign object in my gums weren’t very much fun but at least I finally found the root of that problem and that was totally an unintentional pun.
And did I mention I’m a routine kind of girl who hates when my apple cart gets upset and my usual go-to’s are gone? I mean even the television shows that make me happy are on hiatus and if that freaks me out imagine how freaked out I get when my usual crutch gets pulled out from under me and I’m nothing but a ball of confusion?
~
See? I’m a lunatic when I don’t write and I stupidly let myself not write.
Bad, bad, me.
I need to get back to my routine of writing every day and stop putting everything in draft and stop putting every damn person in the world ahead of me. I’m going to have to start getting a little more selfish and stop letting every thing else pull me apart like taffy.
That, my friends, is the easy part. The hard part is actually doing it.
The sand is running through the hourglass faster each day. It’s past time to kick it into gear and get on Team Me.
I also want a unicorn.
unicorn2



{May 23, 2014}   Ignorance Is Not Blissful

ignore
Writing.
Reading.
Paying attention to life.
I’ve been slacking off again and I have no valid excuse. Reasons? I got a million of them but valid excuses? Well they’re just nothing but that, excuses. And I’m kinda getting sick of excuses. I want to grab myself by the cuff of my neck and give myself a stern talking to followed by some sort of punishment….
Wait. I should stay on topic. And that would only be funny if you were me.
Ok so everything is piling up as far as my To Do List is concerned and do you have any idea how exhausting it is to fake your way through every day as if life actually is a bowl of cherries? And did I already mention all the cherries in my bowl have worms inside them? Metaphorically speaking.
I have a screaming toothache I’m desperately trying to ignore because I have a dentist appointment next week and I’m determined to tough it out till then. I have an earache that is playing tag with my toothache, another thing I’m toughing out since I know they’re related. My stupid fibromyalgia has decided now would be a good time to rear it’s ugly head without consulting me first and all of my go-to people aren’t here to go to anymore. Mostly.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve been truly all-the-way 100% happy and yes I’m well aware that it’s my own fault.
I know I need to grab the reins and steer myself back onto the right track, wherever that is.
And I get that I have to do this myself, that nobody else can do it for me, but…
There’s that word, “but”, because there’s always a “but” and that’s just another word for excuse so I really shouldn’t use it, but, I kinda have to.
Because the but here is this: it’s really hard to yank yourself up when you’re so far down you can’t even see yourself anymore. When, for the most part, the role of The Go-To Girl normally played by me is now being played by An Imposter who doesn’t care about anything.
I want my life back.
I want the pain to go away, all of it. The outside pain and the inside pain.
And I know none of it will go away until this me, the real me who isn’t an imposter, does something more than avoid everything on my To Do List and instead, you know, does something about it.
Maybe I should start with actually making a To Do List.
to do



hacked3
Hacked.
Cyber-raped. Penetrated.
Ugh, I feel so violated.
It started on Friday when I found myself locked out of my own email account. Ok, thought I, just another bout of bad luck so I went thorough the motions and changed my password for the zillionth time.
Only this time, it didn’t end there.
This time, and don’t quote me but, this is my story and I’m sticking to it; this time my router got hacked too. I think. Because when I tried to go online I couldn’t, no way no how nada nothing. Locked out of my own world, or my “whole other life” as my attempts at writing have been called. Allegedly.
There were scans involved, rebooting, me having to do things in the correct order plus over four hours straight on the telephone with tech people I could barely understand because I don’t speak computer-ese.
Long three-day-story short, I got fucked in all the wrong ways and all I got was a lousy case of the blues with no outlet to, umm, let out my whining blues.
It’s kinda creepy, knowing there are people in the world who intentionally intrude into your life for no good reason. I can’t wrap my brain around it, why someone I don’t know goes all evil on me when I’m already in no mood.
Or as Queen Victoria said, we are not amused.
Not much amuses me these days.
But I digress.
My point: hacking bad, writing good.
My other point: now that I’ve been offline not-writing for eleventy two days I’ve become hesitant about writing anything. It’s not really writer’s block because I’ve got plenty of words swirling around this head of mine. It’s more like writer’s detour, or maybe writer’s rest-stop, like I’m sitting idle waiting to rev up my engine but the emergency brake is stuck in the on position so I can’t get moving. All of which keeps me static. Immobile. Nonmoving. Guilty.
After all is said and done, somehow, it’s my fault.
You know, because isn’t everything?
hacked



et cetera