Saturday, October 30, 2010


Today is that magical music Saturday I promised. Yeah, we ride this merry-go-round every Saturday just because. Just because it's fun. I have a few newbies for this Saturday, so this is the dish on this event: every Saturday I pick one 80s artist who impacted MTV. That means they rode MTV or MTV rode them to success. MTV was this magnificent vehicle for the artists who figured out how to harness it. As a teenager when MTV came out, I can attest that it was very much like crack cocaine to the teenage brain. I can't tell you how many hours I spent glued to the set watching video after video. So, it is safe to say that MTV in its heyday was a success. Music Television. MTV has forgotten its roots and has taken the M out of the TV, so we are reliving its glory days here.

The other part of what happens today is that I pick a song that speaks to me today. I usually end up picking said song today. I picked a song by Cher about a month ago, and said something like you should never count Cher out of The Game. As soon as you do, she is back In. I recently went to see The Easy A (hilarious movie if you are going to just zone out and laugh), and there was a preview for the movie Burlesque.... starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. I did an internal high five with myself. Yep. She's back and hotter than ever. So, prepare yourself for some Cher awesomeness because she is about to blast us into space again. This woman just gets better all of the time. When I decided I wanted to be Cher when I was seven, at least I chose well. She has got it all. So, here she is with one of my favorites. It is designed to get all of your senses heightened so that you are fully prepared for the onslaught of magnificence headed your way. Okay, hit it...

Okay, so on the days that I don't want to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I still want to be Cher. Man, she can SING. I can't wait for her new movie because she can also ACT like nobody's business. And DANCE. The woman is a triple threat. The trifecta. She probably really is a vampire slayer in her free time. Okay, got to move on...

Well, there are always so many artists to choose from that I have trouble narrowing the field. I decided on (drumroll please) Bryan Adams. I almost went with John Cougar Mellencamp. That might be next week. The only thing that prevented that this week was my including one of his videos in my Thursday lineup. It just gave me a taste for some John Mellencamp. And then last night we went to the local pizza joint for dinner and they had karaoke in there. OMG. I couldn't believe it. I hadn't done any karaoke in forever. So... I took the plunge again and again and again. I even sang a John Mellencamp song. Yeah, it was on the brain. But, it made me think about Bryan Adams. They all came out about the same time. And then I remembered the video for this song, which is one of my favorites...

Which made me think of this video. Anyone look familiar?

Now that is exactly the sort of deliciousness that made teenagers want to just jump up and down and scream for more. What happened next? Well, my fellow youtube addicts... I am not telling. You will have to go searching yourself to see if they ever answered that story, or if it all just disappeared into the mist. However, the strategy was brilliant. Everyone was waiting for the next Bryan Adams video. It was better than a soap opera. And it was this sort of brilliance that shot Bryan Adams to the top of the music charts. Not saying he isn't a great singer, or that the songs weren't awesome, but just that he is the whole package. People who are smart enough to use everything that they have and make it all work for them deserve to come out on top. They are THINKING. Rolling concert footage of yourself is just lazy. Gimme some genius. Thank you Bryan Adams for that blast to the past. And thank you MTV for the good ole days. You might think about revisiting them in the present and cut out the reality crap. Everyone has enough reality in their actual life. It is called MTV for a reason. Just sayin'.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Well, I was just going to write one of my regular pseudo-crazy posts, which means a post like every other day of the week, until I found I was showcased as Blogger of the Week here. That sent me into a brain spin. You don't want people who have never read your blog subjected to your normal every day crazy stuff. However, it is an awful lot of work to try and trot out something else when you're going to revert back to the same old, same old come Sunday. I have my Magic Music day tomorrow, which is a totally different level of insane altogether. It is more fun crazy.

So, to catch the new people up, I suffer from a lot of chronic illness, the worst of which (most of the time) is migraines. I am in the process of filing for SSD, since I have had THIS migraine since January of 2003. Yeah, that wasn't a typo. The source of the migraine was my ex-husband. By the time I got rid of him, I didn't have the health insurance to get rid of the migraine. Life is just filled with irony. I tried living a life of no stress for four years. If anyone finds one of those, please email me the location so that I can go there, because I have yet to find that. My doctor says three years of zero stress will cure me in lieu of no insurance (or crappy insurance, which is what I currently have). Along with good diet, vitamins, and some Rxs.... I was able to manage all of it but the zero stress, so I am still here with the chronic migraine and filing for SSD.

I did give it the ole college try, though. I really didn't want to file for SSD. Really really really didn't want to file. We are at the Land of Last Resort. Not a pretty place people. *Breathing in and out slowly* However, I have become accustomed to living with my mother and step-dad. Been doing that since 2006. Don't ever say you won't go home again. You just never know. Parents, no matter how successful your kids become, don't breathe easy. They can lose it all and move back in on a dime. Stand ready and be prepared. This is another blog that isn't going as planned.

I call what has happened to me "falling through the floor." All of this chronic stuff that I have going on really tracks back to my failing adrenal gland, and an extremely weakened immune system. I was treated for years by various doctors for the migraine alone, because it was the most acute symptom that I had. When your head feels like it being pounded in by an anvil, it is pretty much all you can think about. However, none of the traditional migraine meds did anything to alleviate it. That didn't stop the doctors from prescribing the stuff, though, or digging any deeper into the root source of the problem. Eventually, I changed doctors (repeatedly). Even I knew that if the meds weren't working, something else was wrong. By the time I got to a doctor who agreed with me, I was really close to falling through the floor. I financially fell through the floor at the same time she correctly diagnosed me. That was a bad news/good news situation. I finally knew the answer, but I no longer had decent health insurance to solve the problem. It is tempting to curse right here, but I am really trying to quit.

Instead, we went with generic Rx (as few as possible), the best vitamin choices, and that stress free life (yeah right). I moved to FL, and in with my parents, and tried to find that stress free existence. I am a freakin' magnet for stress. You can read about it in my previous blogs (or not). I mean who really wants to read about that crap? Not me. Head hurts thinking about it. But, it is all right there for your whatever. Most people shake their heads and leave comments like, "Why Robin, why would you get involved in that mess?" Yeah, like I have a good answer for that. Dumbass comes to mind. And there went the cursing. So, no, I didn't find the stress-free idyllic life in Florida. And things got worse, hard to believe (I know), when we all moved back to Georgia. So, that is where we are. No, I don't really live here. Nice house, though...

Everyone should be up to speed. Yeah, this blog is finally starting. I will try to keep it short. All of this mess has made it very clear that there needs to be a website out there of doctors who actually LISTEN, TREAT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM, and THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX or THINK ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE WORKS. So, I bought a domain name after weeks of writing down domain names searching for just the right one. It was somewhat excruciating. The goal is to actually start a non-profit organization with this mission statement: to assist people in their journey from illness to wellness. Short and sweet, right? According to Peter Drucker all non-profit mission statements should be right to the point, and something that everyone can claim to be theirs from the volunteer to the CEO. The long-range goal (as long-range as I can see it right now anyway) is to build houses all over the US for people who have fallen through the floor, but didn't have family, like I did, to catch them. There are a lot of people who have been misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. These are working people who get sicker and sicker until they lose their job, their health insurance, their house, and become homeless. Why are they homeless? Because our healthcare system let them down. Hopefully, the site will stop many people from falling through the floor. But, we have to do more. We have to pick up the people who have already fallen and give them the tools to get well and get back to work. I believe in this site. I believe in the people of this country. One day we will be building houses for them. You heard it here first. I hope that you will be one of the people who helps to make it a reality.

So, one day fairly soon, you will be seeing something from me that will be in the form of an email asking for doctors who meet this criteria. The site needs those names. And it will ask you to copy/paste that email and send it to everyone you know. We want to help people all over the US, and the only way we can do it is if the email travels all over the US. That is the first stage of getting this project off the ground. I have decided that I can be sick and not make a difference, or I can be sick and help other people. I am voting for the help other people. I hope that you choose that, too.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today is the day that I celebrate all of the amazingness that you contributed to blogland this week. Yep, it is that day again. What day is that you ask? How can you have forgotten? Drum roll please. It is HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY, of course! The very best day of the blogging week. It is the precursor to the best day of the work week.

Here is what is going down: this is a weekly event. The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. If you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... If you are having trouble watching the entire video (meaning it is being cut off on one side), click on it a couple of times and it will take you straight over to youtube. If you click on the four squares at the bottom corner of the video, it will enlarge it to fill your screen. The escape key will bring it back to normal size. The back arrow will bring you back to my page.

Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

This one is for everyone:

This one is for Carol the Gardener:

This one is for Phoenix at Res Ipsa Loquitur (the actual vid starts 35 seconds in):

This one is for Mitzi at Daily Reflection:

This one is for Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla:

This one is for Pam at live, love, laugh with the pondering princess:

This one is for Kyann at Sanity is Overrated:

This one is for Liza at Middle Passages:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This is the promised follow-up to yesterday's post. So, if you haven't read that one, you really should go back and read it before this one, or this really won't make much sense. That implies that my writing makes sense as a stand alone, which I am convinced is relative to the reader. Now I am confused. I think it would be wise to move on.

I hope that you watched the 60 Minutes interview. It is no fun to break down an interview if the people reading the post are not on the same page. I want to say this first: I watched this video several weeks ago, and felt one way about it, and watched it again yesterday, and felt differently about it. I know that is strange. I suppose it takes some time for some things to process. Let me rephrase. It isn't that I changed my mind altogether; it's more that my viewpoint wasn't as passionate as it was before.

I liked the fact that they started at the beginning. Yesterday, Coffee Junkie said that she had no idea who Marshall was and that the blog was enlightening for her. That would have been me several months ago. I would have been "Marshall Who?" If you aren't into hip hop, the guy is a total mystery. So, starting with the basics of what his life was like was a good start. I did that yesterday in my blog. It actually is common knowledge. (Thanks again Wikipedia) However, Marshall Mathers, despite all his fame, came off to me both times ~ still ~ as a shy person by nature. When he is doing his hip hop thing he becomes somebody else. Once again, as I said before, it is like assuming a part in theatre. He takes on a role and becomes someone else. But, if you watch his body language when he is just walking and talking, he is not coming off as this overconfident, cocky guy.

In fact, when he talks about his life as a teenager you can see the kid inside the man. I could imagine that guy getting pushed into lockers, getting beaten up in the bathroom, ambushed walking home from school, etc. Before they visited one of the underground clubs, Marshall explained what those clubs were about: boasting, bragging, coming up with the best rhymes. It was all about bravado. Playing a game. Can you see how hard this would be for a kid who spent his whole life being bullied and beaten up by primarily black kids (since he was a white minority)?

Now, add to that, these people did not want a white guy playing in their clubhouse. Marshall has been the subject of reverse discrimination his entire life. Think on that for a while. This was a black people's "game" and they did not want him to play. I do believe I mentioned that he had to punch through the floor because they wouldn't let him in the door. (My own little rhyme) Yeah, I do think it pissed him off. And he was already angry about a lot of things. However, let's get back to the problems he had to overcome in these clubs, aside from the fact that he was white. Boasting, bragging, and bravado were things that did not come naturally to a shy kid who probably got a swirly in the toilet every other day. What he did have was this way with words. His problem was getting them out, being heard, getting past that fear of crowds, and standing up to the people who scared the bejesus out of him. He had to keep telling himself that he was smarter, faster, better, stronger, quicker, and had something that they would never have. He had to keep telling himself that until he could throw down. Fear can consume you. So many people do not get past it. He spent years in those clubs working his way through it.

I love the section on rhyming. It is one of the things that makes Marshall Mathers unique. I call it the pure vs. impure rhyme. He calls it bending words. It doesn't matter what you call it, because it is the same thing. He hears words differently than most people. Songwriters tend to get hung up because they stick with the pure rhyme. The idea of bending a word doesn't occur to them. If you were reading it, of course it wouldn't work. That isn't the case here. Impure rhymes are brilliant because you can bend them and work them into the beat of your song and they are pure enough that no one notices that it isn't a pure rhyme. In so doing, you have a huge arsenal of words at your disposal. Essentially, nothing is off limits for you. Marshall Mathers writes in color, while everyone else is still stuck in black and white. That is why I called him wicked smart in my blog about his song on NO LOVE. It was a Saturday blog with one of the funny names with NO LOVE worked into it.

I was surprised that Marshall Mathers read, or maybe still reads the dictionary. That is a love affair with words. It explains how he knew what triple beam meant in NO LOVE, and why I had to look it up. You have to really love words to read the dictionary.

When Marshall pulled out his treasure trove of notebooks and Anderson said that the other instances he had seen of people doing this sort of thing were crazy people, it really pissed me off the first time I watched this. Marshall just said that maybe he was crazy, and didn't seem fazed at all. The second, and now third time, that I have watched this, I am not sure how I feel about it. I don't think I would like it as a writer if I pulled out my best stuff for an interview and the interviewer suggested that was crazy behavior. Writers do that kind of thing. They think of stuff and write it down. I have a notebook with all kinds of stuff in it. It isn't written on the diagonal or in all caps or whatever. But it isn't necessarily related to anything, either. I just get an idea, and I think I might use it someday, and I don't want to forget it, so I write it down.

Marshall on settling scores: I think that writing is therapeutic. Writers do that. I have done it here. I know that my blog doesn't have the reach that Marshall's writing does, but he writes what he thinks. You can like him or dislike him for that. I think that he calls it how he sees it. That may not always be right, but it is as right as he knows it from his perspective.

Marshall on cursing/children: He was called out for bad language and the damage it does to children. The camera focused on a young child in the audience at a concert. Hello! All of his CDs have explicit stickers on them and children have no business listening to them. That parent should not have brought the kid to the concert. Marshall was right in saying that he is not responsible for parenting other people's children. Parents have to take responsibility for their kids. Parents need to know what their kids are doing, what music they are listening to, what TV shows and movies they are watching. etc. Parenting is a job and they need to be doing it. He says that he doesn't talk that way around his own kids. Music is his art/job.

Marshall on saying hateful things: Marshall has thrown a lot of anger and hate out there. Slim Shady is very popular and the people love it when Slim Shady gets all worked up. Honestly, that says more about our society than Marshall Mathers, in my opinion. Whatever. The focus ended up landing on the word faggot, but it could have ended up in numerous places, because there was a lot of ground to cover here. Marshall's response to this was that, at that time, all hip hop artists were throwing down with the same sort of material, and they were not getting the same level of hate thrown back at them. He didn't understand that. A friend of mine said that he was lucky that the interviewer didn't push that one further, and go into all of the horrible songs he wrote about his ex-wife. She has a point there. The same friend said, "Everyone else is doing it," seemed like a cop-out answer to her. Another point. Of course, he could have mentioned his performance with Elton John and their ongoing friendship since said performance, but he didn't.

For some reason, Marshall Mathers is still on the fence about shaking Slim Shady and Eminem. On the one hand, he wants you to know it's a show. On the other hand, he is afraid to let go of the show. What if people don't like Marshall Mathers sans Slim Shady and Eminem? In my opinion he isn't asking the right question. What if your only chance at real recovery is dropping Slim Shady and Eminem? What if the only way to be real is to just be Marshall Mathers? Your best songs have already been written as Marshall Mathers. No Slim Shady. No Eminem. Turn the corner already.

Here is Not Afraid (this is for Coffee Junkie to help you catch up):

People don't want to change. They really don't. Oftentimes the only reason we change is out of necessity. We are forced to change. Chris over at A Deliberate Life just wrote a blog on this very thing. It was change or die. She spoke about an experience in her own life where that was the choice. Change or die. I've been there. Change or die. Marshall Mathers went there when he overdosed. Change or die. He had been to drug rehab already, but not because he thought he had a problem. Someone else thought he had a problem. It only works when you want to change. After he almost died, he tried to quit on his own. Couldn't. Then he went to rehab voluntarily because he knew he had a problem. Change or die. These experiences fundamentally change you.

I mentioned being on Eminem's official site. I thought I would gain something. I did. It notched up my migraine. I can't do crap on that site. I still visit as a visitor and not a member. I have my login info, but it ticks me off because I can't figure it out. The one thing I expected to see was a tour schedule for Recovery. I kept coming back to the site waiting for it to pop. It never popped. It still hasn't popped. I don't think there is going to be a tour for Recovery. He talks about the huge arena concert in this interview. Imagine doing a concert for 40,000 people and being clean and sober for the first time in forever. He talks about seeing the faces. He didn't see the faces before. He is still that shy kid who can now see the faces. He can say that he is not touring for his kids or any other viable reason. That may be partly true. However, touring would very likely jeopardize his recovery. The pace is terrible, the faces in the crowd, the stress of the thing... well it is all of the things he doesn't say. That is why he isn't touring.

Here is the behind the scenes stuff from 60 Minutes:

Right now you are in one of two places. You are bored out of your mind or you are more curious than ever about the puzzle that is Marshall Mathers. This is, in my opinion, one of the best songs off of Recovery. There is no video, so you just have to listen to it. However, it illustrates VIVIDLY so many of the points made above. Marshall Mathers writes what he feels and thinks. Not only does he make other people look bad, he doesn't cast a halo on himself. He does tell the truth as he sees it. There is something to be said for that. The song is appropriately titled CHANGES.

all images found at

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It has been so long since I have able to write on a topic of my choice I thought I might come up empty today. Turns out that once I started thinking about it, I had LOTS of ideas. Who knew that so many things were stirring around up there itching to come out? In fact, I have one post that I probably should break up into 3 posts, just so that your eyeballs don't fall out or glaze over. I can get just a bit long-winded. In fact, while I was in The Think Tank it occurred to me that non-profits are all about being human change agents. It stands to reason that a lot of the things that work in successfully running a non-profit would also work in successfully running a life. In other words, if you are wanting to be the source of your own change, some of the techniques in this book would work on you. It actually could be a self-help book. Weird. But totally cool.

So, let's get down to the first of what is likely to be a three-parter. I have been wanting to talk about this for weeks now. I am just not sure where to begin. I have so many new followers AND this is a topic that is relatively new for me, so I am really jazzed about it. More so than I might be if it were old hat. Marshall Mathers did a 13 minute interview on 60 minutes. I will probably end this piece with that. And pick up tomorrow's with my breakdown on the interview. Maybe. I never understood UNTIL NOW why there was a breakdown about what the President said after he gave a speech. It always ticked me off. I would mutter things like, "Do they think we are stupid? We just heard him say that."

Well... I totally get it now. They have to give their interpretation of what was said. And what was not said. Sometimes that is more important than what WAS said. The thing is that I didn't major in political science, and it only makes me mad to listen to it all the time, so... I miss the little details that are actually really important. I could start listening, but that would super stress me out, and then I would be like that old lady in the commercial who has fallen and can't get up. I would be banging away on the emergency button for a rescue, and cursing like a maniac. I can't see that ending well.

My apologies to anyone who find this little bit of stuff a rehash. I have been researching Marshall Mathers on Wikipedia (btw, I love wikipedia), have yet to see 8 Mile (but I really want to), found out he wrote an autobiography (and now I must own it!), and have been doing the best that I can to piece together the person with the music and the facts. Oh, and I watched a ton of old videos until I finally figured out the whole Slim Shady, Eminem, Marshall Mathers deal. That about drove me nuts until it sank in. Lira sent me a hint of a comment on this (thinking that I knew something about it) and Phoenix sent an extended comment trying to break it down. Misery pointed me toward some songs to further confuse me. Ha! Seriously, it is confusing. For those of you not in the know, this is how I finally pieced it together in my head....

Marshall Mathers is living on 8 Mile in Detroit. Things are sucking. Always have. However, he now has a wife and daughter to support and the only thing he is really good at is hip hop. He gets words. There are natural born writers and cultivated writers. He is the former. He hears something that most of us don't. He hears the break in the syllable and goes for the impure rhyme that makes most impossible to rhyme words possible. The thing is that he keeps knocking on the door and no one wants to let him in. It pisses him off. It happens again and again. He knocks on the door until they force him to punch through the floor. And he comes up angry. And they like it. Anger works. Slim Shady is born. It is a show. It is theatre. But you can't be angry all the time. So, what comes after? Apology. And Eminem is born. Who arbitrates? The only real person there, of course. Marshall Mathers. I finally got it when I watched one of his videos from The Eminem Show. (He even called one of his records The Eminem Show.) I think he did that because people weren't getting it ~ that it was all a show ~ that he wasn't Eminem, that he wasn't Slim Shady. He had to write a song saying "I am Marshall Mathers." People still don't get it. Eminem doesn't exist. All that anger that he wrote wasn't real. It was part of the show. The same way a playwright would do a play or a writer would a book. If there is a villain in the cast, it doesn't mean that the author embodies that character. It is fiction. Moving on...

The Fame Game destroyed his personal life. He has now admitted to various addictions. He did use his music as a platform to hurl some viciousness around at specific people. He really let his ex-wife have it. He and Mariah Carey went back forth numerous times. No, the man is not perfect. He has done an excellent job at keeping his kids out of the media. It is darn near impossible to find current pics of his kids. The most common google search for my blog is "what do Eminem's daughters look like now" or some variation on that. It has been like that for months. I was curious so I googled it myself. There are no pics out there. Good for you, Marshall, on keeping your kids out of the press. You chose this life; they did not. And shame on you people who have no business checking out celebrity kids. They are KIDS. Get over it.

You can thank or blame Misery for my interest in Marshall Mathers. She posted NOT AFRAID on her blog. Since I post so much youtube footage, I feel obliged to watch other people's footage. Honestly, I expected to hate it. Hip hop is so not my thing. I watched it three times. He followed that up with I LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE with Rihanna on the hook. That is a disturbing song, but nothing about abuse should be pretty. Next up was NO LOVE. I hated it on myspace. I am a member of Eminem's website, but I honestly do not see the point, because that is one more site I cannot figure out. So, I knew it was coming (NO LOVE, I mean). I listened to it on myspace. Hated it. Hated it. Hated it. Too fast. Couldn't understand anything. When the video came out, it featured childhood bullying. Okay. I'm back in. I went to The thing was that it wasn't about childhood bullying.

I wrote a blog about this on a Saturday. I didn't come out and say this part, because it has been on simmer, but I think that MM got dragged into making a video about bullying because it is a hot topic. This song is about the Record Machine trying to bully MM. Probably someone specific at the label. That person knows who they are. MM couldn't make that video, so he went with this one. The best things about this song are the WORDS. MM shows how wicked smart he is in this song. I did say that in my blog. Never before have I had to look up a word in the dictionary to understand what a SONG meant (or a line in a song). Kudos to you, Marshall Mathers. I said it in that blog, but I will say it again. You are a better writer than I am and I majored in English. On the one hand, that depresses the crap out of me. On the other hand, it really makes me admire you. Not sure which hand is typing right now.

This album was going to be Relapse 2, but you changed in mid-stream and decided on RECOVERY instead. It shows. All of your previous albums are tied somewhat to a central theme. If you look at this one you can see the break where you flipped the switch. It is like you were walking down a street doing the Relapse theme and you just couldn't take it anymore and decided you wanted to turn a corner. Except you couldn't quite make the full turn. So, where you are now is at a crossroads. You have one foot on one side of the corner and one on the other side. Your next record will tell the tale. Will it be relapse or recovery?

Aren't you dying to watch that 60 Minutes Interview now?

all images found at

Monday, October 25, 2010


Dear Reflection In the Mirror,

This is the last of the letter series and it is one to me from me. I really don't think it is meant to be all about what I see when I look in the mirror, but I guess we can use that as a jumping off point and see what happens. You still need to do something about your hair. Of course, that problem is now really a problem. Once again, a new medication has caused your hair to fall out like you're a cancer patient. For the record, I am not a cancer patient. I would be suffering from severe anxiety about this, except it happened before, and it does thicken back up. Slowly. Very. Very. Slowly. Compared to the other side effects I am dealing with the hair loss is relatively minor. Yeah, I am getting off that medicine. I will get the pain back that the medicine relieved; it seems like this whole thing is always about trades. Trade this pain for that pain. So, I am not going to pay much attention to my hair right now. I am going to imagine it the way I want it to look. That feels much better to me.

In fact, I have been doing a great deal of visualization lately. I am a firm believer that in order to get what you want, you have to be able to imagine yourself living that life. In your mind's eye, you have to be fully there. So, in my visualizations I am a healthy person who lives within the parameters that I need to in order to sustain a healthy life. The fact that I don't know what they are is irrelevant. I just know that I do it. My website is successful. People have come into my life as needed in order to make that project come together. There is a board of directors who share the vision. Everyone does their part for the whole to be successful.

I am still reading Peter Drucker's book on Managing the Non-Profit Organization. I recommend that you buy a copy of this so that you can reread it as many times as needed. You can't just continue to check it out from the library indefinitely. In fact, I think you will refer to this frequently over the next few years. Non-profits differ from other businesses in so many ways, but the biggest is that they don't sell anything. Its product is a changed human being. You can't sell that on ebay. When you are starting up, all you have are ideas. You fundraise like crazy and ask people to trust you that you can change a human being if they will support you with their money and/or time. I look in the mirror and think "not yet, but it will be here before I know it."

I was reading the aforementioned book yesterday and stumbled across this: "The non-profits are human change agents. And their results are therefore always a change in people - in their behavior, in their circumstances, in their vision, in their health, in their hopes, above all, in their competence and capacity. In the last analysis, the non-profit institution, whether it's healthcare, or education or community service, or a labor union, has to judge itself by its performance in creating vision, creating standards, creating values and commitment, and in creating human competence. The non-profit institution therefore needs to set specific goals in terms of its service to people. And it needs constantly to raise these goals - or its performance will go down."

I wrote that down in my notebook when I found it. I ended up with a hand cramp. Turns out that was the most writing I have done all in one sitting in a long time. I haven't even filed the papers yet to become a non-profit, but I know that is where I am going. I also know that I need an attorney to wade through that muck, and I have no idea where to find one. I am trusting that it is one of those things I will stumble upon. Right now, getting my website onto a host site is taking precedence. I think I about have that nailed down. I wrote down the email by hand today. I am sure I will tinker with it a bit. I bet you're wondering how all of this fits into my reflection? It is how I see myself and where my life is going.

That paragraph from the book was huge. It felt huge to me. The non-profit is a human change agent. It does all sorts of things, but above all else it must help people in terms of their competence and capacity. As someone who has been chronically ill, I felt the force of that statement hit home. Wham. When you are unable to take care of yourself and/or your family, it is decimating. Not only do you physically feel bad, but mentally you shatter. Your competence is gone and your capacity to be effective is gone. When I hit that place, I mentally referred to myself as a "waste of space." I was a financial drain on anyone who loved me and the world would have been better off without me. Yep. That was where I was living. Competence and Capacity. People must have these two things. The non-profit is not doing its job if these two needs are not being met.

I don't see myself that way anymore. I know that I needed to feel those things in order to understand those feelings. I needed to live where the people are living that are chronically ill. I needed to know the illness on all levels. If you don't know that, you can't help nearly so well.

I read over the comments from yesterday's letter. Thank you to all who commented. It has occurred to me that H-Girl might gain a lot of insight from this project. While her father will not let her live with me, he is always happy to hand them off for the summer. When this thing gets off the ground and my summers are spent on the road fundraising and/or building houses for chronically ill people... well, that would be an eye-opening experience for her. It would also give me the time that I need to have her see things from a different perspective.

As for you loyal readers, if you know anyone who is a non-profit attorney who works pro bono or for seriously very little money, send that person my way. Also looking for someone who knows various things about building a website. Yeah, I can use some help there.

This letter is kinda sorta all over the place. Well, I guess that tells the tale!

You're Nuts, But In A Good Way,

P.S. And here is something fun for those of you who hung in until the bitter end....

image found at

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Dear C-Man and H-Girl,

I wish that I could tell you all of the secrets about how to get through middle school and high school without getting emotionally scarred. Unfortunately, I can't. It isn't because I don't want to, but because I just don't know how to protect you from those landmines. I wish I could say that I had the answers because I once was in middle school and high school. However, things have changed. I never once worried about getting shot, stabbed, or physically hurt at school. In junior high I was under emotional and verbal assault daily, and that was very traumatic. However, I never felt forced to try drugs or sell drugs. I never had to walk through a metal detector to get in or out of school. Teachers still had control over their classrooms and paddling was allowed. Just knowing that you could get paddled made paddling virtually unnecessary. In my three years of junior high school, only one instance of paddling actually took place. That news spread like wildfire through the hallways. I am sure that the echoes of that paddling squashed future bad behavior for at least another three years. That kid probably got another paddling when he got home.

When I was in school, the parents picked up where the school left off, instead of raking the teachers over the coals for not giving their kid preferential treatment and other b.s. Taking the threat of paddling out of the school system is one of the worst things that they have done to you. I know that you might not see that right now. But, it has allowed kids to take over the school. And that is why they felt confident enough to smuggle in knives. And the parents supported their kid's bad behavior. And then it was guns. And now it is out of control. And everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else. It all went to hell when the parents took the power away from the teacher to discipline the kids in school. The threat of a paddling used to be enough to hold everything in check. Now it is all flying fast and loose. We need the police to guard the doors and monitor the metal detectors.

C-Man, things are different for you because you go to a fine arts magnet school. You aren't dealing with that sort of crap. Everyone must have top-notch grades and an interest in art, dance, or theatre to be there. (I would have loved going to your school.) I love the fact that you love the theatre and are leaning in that direction. You are taking Theatre 2 this year and Stagecraft to learn all about the backstage stuff. It is easier for me to help you with your "problems" because they are more like what my problems would have been. How do I prepare for this part? What monologue do I choose? Is this over the top or not enough? You are also writing short stories already and they are good. You understand how to write dialogue. Wow. That shocks me whenever I read your stuff. The things that will break your heart will be not getting the part that you know you were meant for and that will hurt so much. Or it will be the girl in drama who is just a friend but that you want to be more. I know how that feels. These are the problems that I can relate to, but I have no idea how to overcome them. I ran those same circles myself. It is ground I know well. All I can say to you is to do the best you can with what you have. That pain of not getting the girl will work for you in some other part somewhere down the line. Remember that feeling so that you can channel it later. It will be amazing how it will come right back on demand. I am sorry I don't have anything more to make your life better. They call it schooling for a reason.

H-Girl, we have not talked since the last letter I wrote you. I have thought about you a great deal since then. I have weighed this against that and tried to sort out what I think is going on. In some ways you are like your brother. If you were going to a magnet school, you would also be very involved in theatre. You tend to imitate whoever you are around. When you came to live with us, you were the diplomat. You felt it was your job to soothe C-Man because he got so angry. He was so angry because he couldn't stop the abusive situation he had been living in. He was already feeling it was his job as the oldest son to protect his mother. Of course, that was impossible. He was four years old. So, he got angry. And your biological mother did what she could to protect her children from her husband even if it meant taking the hits. She was the diplomat. She tried to soothe the angry man. And that is what you did when C-Man got angry. Your job was to try and soothe the angry little boy.

When he became less angry, you then started to become more like me. You were the person who was very aware of what was going on at all times. You knew who was where when. You were the little mom. You were my thoughtful, sensitive to others, gentle spirit of a child. Now you have been living with your dad for the last five years and you have become like him. I see that now. The reason you don't know how to do your school work is because you have manipulated your brother into doing it for you. You have been taking lessons from your dad on how to get things done. You are a quick study. The thing is that it isn't serving you well. I cannot fix this for you. You are surrounded by landmines. I cannot even tell your father how this has happened because it will force him to look in the mirror and see that you have merely copied his bad behavior. My previous line of thought was that you would have to carry a terrible burden when you understood as an adult that you manipulated and bullied your way through school. Now I understand that manipulative adults didn't just become that way all of a sudden. It was a learned behavior that started in childhood. What happens to that childhood bully on the playground? They become a manipulative bully as an adult. Of course they do. Unless a force bigger than them steps in and forces them to change their path, that is exactly what happens.

I am so sorry H-Girl, because there is nothing that I can say that will change your circumstances. Your father has tied my hands as far as what I can do. You would have to come live with me for me to make the difference, and your dad has already said "No" to that more than once. On top of that, even if I got a "Yes" now, you have spent the last five years mirroring how to manipulate someone to get what you want. It would take me several stressful years before you accepted that I don't play that. My body can't tolerate that stress. Your dad nearly killed me with the stress he doled out, and I bet you have taken his skills and maximized them. You always were street smart. You are running rings around your father and he doesn't even know it.

The only thing I know to say to you is this: look at how empty your father's life is. People don't like being manipulated. Eventually they realize you are pulling their strings and they leave. Not only do they leave, but they leave mad. You can continue to model after him, but your life will look exactly like his. It will be empty. People will do your bidding until they figure out what is going on and then they will walk away. Right now all you are seeing is how much fun it is to yank everyone's chain and watch them perform for you. If you are going to continue to model after your father, you need to look closer. He drives everyone he loves away from him. I wish I could tell you that, but you are going to have to figure it out for yourself. It is going to be one of those really painful lessons. Unlike your father, I hope you understand what you're doing and make the changes so that you can actually have a life with real people in it who love you.

I love you both, forever and always.


image purloined from Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos

Saturday, October 23, 2010


These Saturday posts are killing me in a totally cool way. I thought that I was completely prepared for today. I had my stuff all ready to go on THURSDAY. I was actually organized and prepped in advanced. This week there was not going to be the usual scrambling at the last minute. Turns out that I was half right about that. It turns out that a song can be inspirational to me on one day and then not so much two days later. How about that? Who knew? So, my 80s stuff was set and ready for blast off, but the jazz me up or speak to me music... that was no longer happening. Huh. So, it was back to youtube.

I am going back to the regular format for today. That means we are starting with my song. The one that speaks to me. Yeah, the one that I just spent about 40 minutes looking for on youtube. Make that 30 minutes on youtube and ten minutes sitting here staring at my computer with a dumb look on my face. This is yet another case where some of you will only appreciate the song, and that is totally fine because the song ROCKS. I didn't go with the original video because I might pull it out and use it when I finally get to this artist as my 80s pick of the week. This is one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs. Yeah, I am tipping you off on purpose.

However, I picked the clips set to a totally awesome TV show that was cancelled way too soon. In fact, the fan outcry was so loud that they tied up the storyline by turning it into a major motion picture. I don't know when the TV people will just learn to trust that Joss Whedon is a freaking genius and give his shows at least two seasons to make it. Each time they cancel his shows without giving them two full seasons it is like shooting themselves in the wallet. They did it most recently with DOLLHOUSE (FOX network, you are a bunch of dumbasses, pardon my language). And before that they did it with FIREFLY (SCI-FI channel, same goes for you!). FOX, you are a bigger group of idiots than Sci-Fi, because you should have learned from their mistake. I don't know who is running that network, but you need someone to shove a high heel up your rear. Just sayin'. I know I already said it. I felt like it needed reinforcement.

Rewinding back to the fan outcry... if you watched the movie SERENITY, but missed the TV show FIREFLY, you missed out. It was an amazing show. It lasted one season. I am feeling the need to curse again and I am really trying to quit. It is not coming back. Nathan Fillion's amazingness is now on ABC's very successful show, Castle, on Mondays at 9pm or 10pm. I can't remember because I DVR it. Anyway, it is a homerun. Love love love CASTLE. But I miss FIREFLY. So, this is to cheer me up. One of my favorite Bon Jovi songs set to FIREFLY/SERENITY clips. It just doesn't get much better than this...

Wasn't that a treat? It was better than ice cream. Seriously. Joss Whedon is pure genius. How could anyone doubt the man? He created Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. What is wrong with these network yo-yos? I feel myself moving backward instead of forward. Let's really move backward, like into the 80s backward, so that we can move forward. Are you still following me? Good.

I have been wracking my brain trying to remember exactly when I heard U2 for the first time. I think I was in junior high school and the first song was Sunday Bloody Sunday. However, The Joshua Tree was the first cassette tape that I bought and Rattle and Hum got so much play that I wore the music off in places, so that certain songs would no longer play. Yep, I really loved U2. As you might imagine, I had a great time surfing youtube looking for U2 videos. I hope you enjoy them as much I as I do.

I miss MTV when it actually played MUSIC!!!! Plus I forgot how SMOKIN' HOT Bono was in the 80s. I think I was too young to fully appreciate him then. That has to be it.... Wow. I think I burned my retinas. I need a cold washcloth for my eyes. I will have to read ya'lls blogs later... when I can see again.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Dear Reed,

I almost decided to not write this letter to you. This letter almost was written to my current doctor (Dr. Julie Dahl-Smith), because this is a letter to someone who changed your life. It didn't specify who changed it the most; it just said someone who changed your life. Dr. Dahl-Smith probably saved my life, which would definitely mean she changed my life. She stuck with me until we got to the root of my migraines. The fact that we haven't been able to knock them out really isn't her fault. I kinda have to look in the mirror and suck that one up myself. She said no stress and I kept the stress, so there you have it. Moving on...

I bet you are now wondering why you are getting this letter. Clearly it is because you changed my life. The weird part about this whole thing is that I didn't even know that you had changed my life until YEARS after the fact. That summer selling books door-to-door in Colorado was hard. In lots of ways it was brutal. That first week I really thought I might die. I hated it. The work schedule was grueling. Knocking on a stranger's door at 8am is just stupid. I thought it was stupid then and I still think it is stupid. No one is in a good mood at 8am. And if they are, it is broken by someone knocking on their door trying to sell them something. It also rained steadily that first week. It was actually cold. Cold and wet. Working a 12 hour day with a brief respite for a sandwich brought from home is not my kind of day. 8am-8pm rain or shine. Come on. I will never forget when the diarrhea hit me after about eight days and I was HAPPY. I was THRILLED. Never been so happy to have diarrhea in my life. I could go HOME. No one can work with that. Ann, my actual manager, called for numbers and I told her the sad truth. I was struck out of the game by a bad case of diarrhea. Her response was, "Why didn't you take Immodium?" Well that was met with silence. The obvious answer was that it would take my precious diarrhea away. I was happy to be on the bench. I was exhausted. I needed a time out. Ann and I never really got along after that. In fact, she stopped calling for end of day numbers when Karen quit and Diana moved to Colorado Springs.

After that, I heard a lot more from you. You were a manager, but you weren't mine. However, you would call me several mornings a week just to see if I was awake. I got really good at sounding like I was awake when I was actually sound asleep, and you had woken me up with your call. However, you never believed me. You always thought I was sleeping. That was irksome when I actually was awake. So, I guess I wasn't as good at sounding awake as I thought. Hmmmm. Sometimes, out of the blue, you would tell me to jump in the car and drive down to your territory. I was going to follow you that day. That was fine. It was nice to have company. Sales is lonely, and you were funny. The thing was this: I never got why you took an interest. You never got paid for helping me. I wasn't one of the people on your team. Calling me didn't financially boost you at all. Making sure that I succeeded didn't help you. I know that you didn't "like" me because you had a girlfriend who was there, and it was very obvious that the two of you were very into each other. But, you continued to kick me in the butt to try and make me better at every opportunity.

I know that I irked you because I got to the point that I pretty much told you the truth. Lying gets tiresome when someone continues to invest himself in you. So, on one those days when I would follow you around and you asked me how I ran my day, I finally told you. I started at about 10am. That is about the time I would be okay with my door being knocked on. I kept at it until I sold something. I had figured out if someone was going to buy the books I was selling, they would buy big. I sold them everything. Why go for the small sale when you can get the large one? Once I made that large sale I could go home and watch my soaps or go to the cheap movies. After dinner, I could work until 8pm and pick up the couple business. Sometimes I accidentally sold stuff. I made friends with my customers and would hang out with the people my age. I was going to a movie with one of them and I hadn't sold the neighbor across the street, but she recognized my car. While I was waiting, the doorbell rang. Turns out the mom talked it over with her husband and she wanted to buy the whole package. I left and made my sale and then I went to the movies with my new friend. Yeah, I am just good like that. I remember you just looking at me and shaking your head.

You said, "Can you imagine how much money you would make if you actually tried?"

I said, "Yeah, but then it would feel like work. I did that for a week when I got here and it gave me the runs. Too stressful. This way, I am making more money than most of the people who are working all day long, and I go to the dollar theatre three or four times a week. Plus I stay caught up on my soap. If you would stop calling me at the buttcrack of dawn, I might could get a decent amount of sleep."

That just earned earned me an evil eye and you didn't stop calling. In fact, I think you called more. You were determined to make me pick up my pace. Looking at it from this perspective, I think that you saw all of this sales potential going to waste and it drove you a little nuts. If it makes you feel at all better, you drove me a little nuts by calling me all the time when I was trying to sleep in. I wasn't going to knock on a door before 10am no matter when you called. You just ruined my extra sleep.

When the summer was over, we had this big party, and we all wrote our names on our Styrofoam cup, so that they didn't get mixed up. You wrote on mine, "Made more $/HR than anyone else." We had all been drinking a bit by then. I am not sure if you meant it as a compliment or if you were still ticked by my lack of incentive, but I decided to take it as a compliment. Anyway, I never forgot it. That was the summer of 1988. Ten years later, my life was going to hit a fork, and I was going to have make the Big Decision: What do I want to be when I grow up? I was an English major who no longer lived in New York, couldn't finish a novel, and didn't want to go back to school to teach. In fact, I didn't want to be a teacher. At that point, it came down to, "What am I good at?" I thought about that cup a lot, and I knew that it was sales. I was good at sales.

It took a couple of different sales jobs to figure out what kind of sales job I liked, but it was sales. I am not sure that I would have known that if it hadn't been for you. You and your constant phone calling when you weren't my manager. When you weren't making any money off of my performance. When you called and said, "You are following me today. Get out of bed, get showered, and get in the car. Hustle." I would hang up and mutter that you had no business telling me what to do, but I still did it. And I always learned something following you. The thing was that you didn't have to take an interest in me and my potential. You gained nothing from it, but you still did it. So, thank you. I admire you more than words can say. I will never forget the words you wrote on that cup; those words changed my life. They gave me a career. When I get well, I am going to have the biggest selling job of my life to do. I am going to have to sell the world on hope. On me. On believing that we can give people the tools to assist them in their journey from illness to wellness. It is going to take millions of dollars. I am going to have to sell the people of this country on an idea. You believed in me. It made me believe in me.

Because of you I know it can happen. All it takes is a few committed people and you can change the world. And that is how you changed my life.

You Are Better Than The Best,

image snatched from Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today is the day that I celebrate all of the yumminess that you contributed to blogland this week. Yep, it is that day again. What day is that you ask? How can you have forgotten? Drum roll please. It is HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY, of course! The very best day of the blogging week. It is the precursor to the best day of the work week.

I notice that I actually have some newbies for this event. How exciting! Well, here is what is going down. This is a weekly event. The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. If you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... If you are having trouble watching the entire video (meaning it is being cut off on one side), click on it a couple of times and it will take you straight over to youtube. If you click on the four squares at the bottom corner of the video, it will enlarge it to fill your screen. The escape key will bring it back to normal size. The back arrow will bring you back to my page.

Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

This one is for everyone:

This one is for Martha at A Real (Upstate) New York Housewife:

This one is for Corrinne at Everyday Gyaan:

This one is for Nicole at Destination Unknown:

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) @ Yahoo! Video

If you have trouble with this video click here to watch this version.

This one is for Charlene at Writing. Mine. Join Me.:

This one is for Chris at A Deliberate Life:

This one is for Pam at live, laugh, love with the pondering princess:

This one is for Purple Cow at "Australian" In Athens:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Dear Stranger,

I wish I could remember your name, since you gave me such a lovely afternoon in Berlin. My traveling companion on my Europe trip was still stuck in meetings, and I was touring the city on my own. I knew that would be the case so I had a plan. I was armed with a guidebook to follow the Berlin Wall around the city. I had no idea how long that would take. I also had no idea how sad that would be. The day before I met you I followed the inset stones weaving around the city. I learned so much. Mostly, I learned how ignorant I was. I had no idea that there were actually two walls and that the space in between was called No Man's Land. In some spaces the two walls were close together, and in other places they were far apart. No Man's Land was where people died, because snipers shot at people that tried to escape from one side to the other.

Along my walk that first day, I found an entire section of wall that was still standing. It was hard to get to and backed up to a fence. It made a much bigger impression than the pretty stones inset into the pavement. It was littered with graffiti, and radiated the frustration, anger, and misery of the people. I hoped that it never came down, so that people would have something to look at, so that they never forgot. The pretty stones in the road did not give off the same feeling as this wall. The wall was tall and forbidding. Pictures of the wall were not enough. I stood there for a long time with my hand on that wall so that I would never forget.

The next day I met you. I had a lot of stuff I wanted to see that day. There is always more stuff to see than there is time. Honestly, I can't remember what line I was standing in when I met you. However, I think it was the Alexanderplatz. You were such a nice young man (as in younger than me) and your English was excellent. That was a good thing since my French was nonexistent. All of my other languages pretty much suck, too. My Spanish is fair to poor. However, as I recall, you didn't speak Spanish, so we were pretty well stuck with English. You were also traveling or were a student. I really can't recall the details now. However, we were both doing the touristy thing alone and it was nice to have someone to share conversation.

I can't say that you made the experience of looking at the crosses of the people who died in No Man's Land any sadder. However, it was nice just to have someone standing there feeling the futility of the whole mess. People can be so inhumane to one another. So cruel. We didn't talk about it and that was also nice. You knew a lot about Berlin, so it saved me having to look up every building in my travel guide. That was a welcome change. You also knew some background stories that were funny. It felt good to laugh about anything. After all of the sadness of the last day and a half, laughter was good. We even took a brief tour through the Volkswagen dealership. We weren't car shopping, but I was curious about a dealership that had every single automobile inside. It must be interesting to test drive those babies. I thought about inquiring, but then decided that would be really just mean, and I would probably wreck the car driving on the wrong side of the road. Karma works exactly like that. However, it was really fun looking at all of the cars indoors. It was like Barbie and Ken's cars for grownups. It was really weird. Of course, you had warned me that it would feel odd, so we both burst out laughing as soon as we made it outside.

I was really disappointed when it got to be late and you needed to go, and I needed to get back to my hotel for dinner. It was an excellent afternoon. You were the sunny side to Berlin. The rest of that trip was all sadness and tragedy and death. So, thank you for coming along and making the end of my day in that city something that was nice. I am so sorry that I can't remember your name. I want to say that it is some variation on Michael, but that could be wrong. I suppose it doesn't really matter. Your name isn't important; it was, and is, all about the spirit and harmony that you carry around. Thank you for being a bright light for me back in the summer of 1999.

Best Wishes,

image found at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Dear H-Girl,

I don't know how to make your world better. Your grades are not good. That is an understatement. Your grades are terrible. However, this is not a surprise. Your grades have been moving in a downward spiral for years. I have been telling your father that it is an unreasonable expectation for your math grade to improve when you still don't understand the math from the previous two grades. It all builds on the principles that were not learned in the preceding grades. The fact that you are unable to do the work is not a surprise to me at all. When your dad moved during this summer, changing school districts, I told him that this would be an excellent opportunity to allow you to repeat 5th grade without anyone knowing. You would already be going to a totally new school.

As usual, he didn't listen to me, and enrolled you in the 6th grade. So, you were not only in a new school district, but you were in middle school. A new school. Middle school. And you still didn't understand 4th grade math. Your reading skills were also hovering in the 4th-5th grade range, and everyone is puzzled about why you are failing in all of your classes. Everyone but me. I know why you're failing. You don't understand what you're reading in any of your classes and the math is WAY over your head.

This academic disaster is compounded by the fact that both of your brothers are "A" students. C-Man is so smart that your father is going to let him take the SAT in January just to see how he scores on it. He tested so well on something at his school that his teachers think that he will test as well as most seniors in high school. He is in the 7th grade. Therefore, it is not surprising that you dis C-Man at every opportunity. In fact, I get the sense that you try to make him feel left out on the sibling wheel. You and J-Man are the cool brother-sister act and C-Man is just not cool. It makes you feel better. Fortunately, I think that C-Man has a healthy self-esteem and can take your abuse.

However, it makes me wonder what is going on at your school. I ask your dad and he says that you aren't talking about school to anyone. Everyone has tried to get you to open up and they aren't getting anywhere. You won't talk about your classes, classwork, teachers, friends, nothing. The grades are telling the story about your classes. You are not getting it. I have gotten a glimmer of how you treat people that you feel threatened by (i.e. your brother) and that wasn't a pretty picture. I let you know that you could talk to me about anything, and we would keep it just between us. We sealed the deal with a pinky promise. However, I haven't heard anything from you.

All of this has me very worried. H-Girl, you are pretty, probably popular, and I've been on the receiving end of some of your hurtful verbal jabs. Please tell me that you aren't that mean girl that is slicing and dicing other girls in your class to make you feel better about you. My "mom" radar is buzzing very loudly that this is a strong possibility, and I am so worried for you. This will be a terrible burden to carry some day.

I love you. I really want my sensitive, sweet girl back.


image pillaged from Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos

Monday, October 18, 2010


Dear Teachers,

This letter is supposed to go out to a person going through the worst of times. Here's the thing about that: everyone goes through the worst of times at some time. It is you, the teacher, that doles out the pain. Granted, it is we, the student, that signed up for the class. You must understand that sometimes you sign up for a class not knowing how hard it is going to be; in theory, it looks not so bad, but the reality is that it slices you open, and you just don't know how you will ever get through it. I know that there are no takebacks once you sign up for the class; no drop/adds. I get it, but teacher, I have to tell you that sometimes your class is a biotch.

For instance, right now I am aware of several people grieving the loss of beloved family members. One of them is grieving the loss of a child, and the other is grieving the loss of a matriarch. Another family is struggling because they have a child who has a very rare disease. At this point, there is no cure in sight because the disease is so rare. Each day is a struggle that transcends tough time. There are so many families who have children with ADHD. For those families it is a tough time all of the time. Another online friend posted that her husband was laid off from his job and she was very worried. Their belt was already very tight. What were they going to do? Times were already tough.

Insofar as I know, there is an online friend who still hasn't been diagnosed, but has been in unbearable pain for months now. She described it as being on fire. I would call that a tough time. A friend of mine in Florida lost four family members to various death/accidents within the last year, two of them were her children, and now her grandchildren live with her. She has a brain tumor, and worries about who will take care of them when she passes. I consider that a tough time.

My mother's best friend has Parkinson's disease and it is getting worse. She also has cancer. The cancer seems to be getting better, but the Parkinson's is not. She is convinced that her husband and children are conspiring to kill her. For the record, they are not trying to kill her. They love her very much. My mom's other best friend's son also was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and is now going through chemo and radiation. The cancer was a very aggressive one and so is the chemo and radiation. His ex-girlfriend is taking him to court to try and take away his business and home since he is in this weakened position. Yeah, she's a prize.

My brother and sister-in-law have remodeled the first floor of their house so that her parents could move in. Her mother is ill and was living in a nursing home. Her father was not doing well living alone. This solved both problems. However, it will make life very different for my brother and sister-in-law. My mom talked to him yesterday. They moved in this past weekend and he was already stressed to the max. I really hope things settle down for them soon.

I know that all of you heard about the miners in Chile who were trapped for months and finally were rescued. All of them were rescued! For a long time they had it really tough, but people refused to give up hope. In fact, people were brought in to solve this problem and those miners were saved. The only thing that gets people through a tough time is hope. That is it. You lose that and you have lost the war. So, when the tough time finds you, and it will find you, hold on to Hope and don't let go.


image pirated from Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos

Sunday, October 17, 2010


As promised, I took a look yesterday at today's letter topic. I was less than thrilled when I saw that it was the person who gave you your favorite memory. I seriously began to question if the person who made up this list was 16 years old. Seriously? The person who gave you your favorite memory? I would have had a difficult time with this one at 16. I can't even see 16 in my rear view. In fact, should I be spontaneously catapulted back to the age of 16, it would be disaster. Thinking beyond everything I have forgotten about higher math, I would have no clue about my locker combination, and I don't need any more challenges.

Therefore, I was still stymied about this post when I was in The Think Tank (aka the shower) where I do my best thinking. I began the mental review of my life, and was affirming everything I already thought about this post idea (it's really dumb), because most of my closest friends have been talked about, or had letters written to them. All of my major relationships have been covered. They had their good and bad points. Okay, some of them just had bad points disguised as good points, but it took a while to figure that out. And then it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Ally McBeal meets The Seinfeld Years. That is what I call that bleak period from 1995-2001. It would have and should have been longer if I had said "no" when my ex-husband asked me out. But, alas, it isn't and wasn't.

How does this end up being my favorite memory? It doesn't , really. It just gives me something new to write about. And I loved Ally McBeal. That is a favorite memory. I also really liked Seinfeld. So, it counts, too. Let's trek back to my thinking process in the shower when it hit me that this is where this letter should go....

Well, then there was that time after I broke up with My First Love that I became infatuated with country line dancing. It was a phase. I go through phases. I loved it. I went practically every night. I became really good at it. I never drank alcohol, because the key to the dancing is remembering the steps. What made me good at it is that I have an excellent memory. Well, I had an excellent memory pre-migraine. Anyway, I made lots of line dance friends and we would all sit together. There was this guy who kept coming over and talking to me. Kept asking for my number and I wouldn't give it to him. One night he tells me that he has figured out why I won't give him my number; it is because I am running from the IRS, because I am dodging paying child support. I couldn't quit laughing. I told him he was wrong. He asked for my number again. I wouldn't give it. He was convinced I was a mom who'd ditched her kid(s) and was on the lamb from the IRS. That is why I call them The Seinfeld Years.

When Ally McBeal came on, I was hooked. It was like looking at my life on the TV. I know that it wasn't the same. I was now in commission sales. She was a lawyer. Her First Love broke up with her. I broke up with mine. She had to work next to hers. Mine was in another state. The thing in common was that we both had this "plan" for our lives and it wasn't happening. Instead we were living The Seinfeld Years. We ended up on screwy dates with bizarre people when we finally would go out with someone. She said and thought the things I thought. I didn't have hallucinations, but I felt all of the feelings.

And then the *magic* happened. Larry Paul arrived and we both could breathe again. (That is Robert Downey, Jr. for the non-Ally watchers.) I know that it is crazy, but I thought that if someone with as many issues as Ally (and me) can find someone who gets her and it works out, then all is not lost. There is hope here. Maybe The Seinfeld Years are coming to an end. Maybe the years of going out with someone and having them say things like this, "The guy behind us stopped in time. But I waited until the last possible minute to hit my breaks so that he might hit us. Had that happened, you should say that your neck hurts even if it doesn't. If you don't say your neck hurts at the scene, you can't sue him later." WTF??? Obviously, first and last date... the dating pool is terrible, peeps.

So, yeah, Larry Paul gave me hope. It was like pouring oxygen into a room that had been really flooded with too much carbon monoxide for way too long. And then he got arrested for drugs. Robert Downey, Jr. Not Larry Paul. However, that prevented Larry Paul from staying on the show. The courts were nice enough to allow the show to give him a chance to make a storyline exit. Not a good storyline exit. It was a heartbreaking, painful, and wrenching storyline exit. Ally never recovered from that devastation. Me either. They brought on Bon Jovi to try and revive her and she was like meh. I didn't get Bon Jovi. Ironically, though, that was my ex-husband's first attempt to get me to go out with him. He asked me to a Bon Jovi concert. I already had plans. I had forgotten that until just now. He asked me to see Bon Jovi and I was meh.

So, I suppose in a twisted sort of way Ally & Larry gave me some of my favorite memories, because what they gave me was hope. I was living The Seinfeld Years. Every date I went on was one epic disaster after another. Every guy I met was bizarro strange. I began to feel like a magnet that attracted the crazies and oddballs. I watched Ally do the same thing for years until she finally got a Great Guy. That was huge. I was beginning to think that they were all married, gay, or my parents' age.

If there is any wisdom to be had from this post, it is this: don't give up and settle. Hold out for that person who makes you happy, smile, shares common interests, someone you love and respect, someone who shares the same values. These things are important. That is how you will get the best memories for yourself. I am counting on the fact that MY best memories are still to come!

Here is some Ally and Larry Paul action:

image found at