June 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm (AZ, Empathy, Family, Music, My Travels, Nate, Relationships, T-Bird, Work, Writing)

So, as always when working on blog posts, I run into the problem of cats stepping on the computer and erasing everything I’ve written. Now that I’ve written it once, I don’t feel like writing it again. That Stream of Conscious has hit the River of Thought and is gone.

I was writing about my brother and my son. My relationship with my brother will never be what I want it to be because my brother doesn’t want a relationship with us. And, my son suffers from education depression and is unmotivated.  There isn’t anything I can do about the first, but the second I’m working on. I have a feeling his 504  next year will look very different than last years.

Nate has more motivation now, motivation to learn, but that doesn’t mean he’s excited about learning and learning to his potential. If that makes sense. I’ve been reading a book that my friend Vince recommended called, “The Mind of Boys,” and it has been very helpful. Although I wish I had discovered it a long time ago. It is also very helpful for someone who will be teaching boys.

Things are sort of… up in the air right now. Although I’ve had my issues at work, I do love my job. However, I also need to teach for my graduate degree and I’m attempting to get my feet under me to accomplish that. I need to make a decision but don’t feel I’m in the position to make it yet. Argh!

I haven’t mentioned AZ for a while. We see each other for lunch on occasion and he wrote one of my recommendations for graduate school. It made me teary-eyed. I think one of the most important things he put in there was how inspiring I was to him. I chose to believe him instead of  thinking he was bullshitting.  When I think back over the course of our very long relationship, I can see why he would write that and the small strides he is making toward being the person he wants to be instead of allowing himself to be tossed about by everyone elses currents.

T-Bird went back to school and she is searching for a job. Even in our job market, which has not taken the recession as hard as others, this is tough. People are so desperate for jobs that she is getting low-balled, even with the experience and job training that she has had. It’s scary.

Things on the relationship front have changed since my last post. I’m not sure how to characterize it. One of my guests that I’ve known since I started working there asked me out. We’ve always had a good relationship and I like him, plus he really is a good kisser. I’m not sure though, I think he’s a bit too… something.  Problem is, he’s such an open book and I’m so good at reading him empathically, I know what he wants and what he’s thinking before he does.

Therefore, I already knows where it’s going, which I’m okay with. I’ll figure out more when we go out Friday. I don’t see it having long-term potential, which I’m also okay with. Most of the time, even more often now, moreso than before, this is the kind of short-term ride I pass up but this time I’m just going to jump on.  It’s too intriguing not to.

I have a feeling that once he figures out I can’t be fooled, he may just move on. 

I also like the fact that I can feel again. For long I’ve been blocked. I still am but only to a degree, only to the degree that I chose to be. For too long I’ve viewed the world through dispassionate eyes because it was easier than feeling the pain.  The pain isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I suppose, thus far, I’ve lived through the worst of it. Losing my pets, AZ’s marriage,  the Court case with Jeff, all of which produced literal physical pain in addition to my emotional pain.

Now, I’m back to trouncing through it, roiling it up, and kicking its ass instead of fearing it.  One of my co-workers refers to me as Sarah Connor – not bad, not an ass, but badass.  I’m more Sarah Connor, flawed, human, and badass, and less like Wonder Woman. I like knowing I can be Sarah C0nnor and I don’t have to be Wonder Woman, although I do love the boots. But, combat boots will work too.

I need to go mow the grass before the storm hits.  I’ll leave you with some music and SURPRISE!  It is NOT Alice in Chains. One of my favorite lines from this song was what I posted on Facebook:  “Here we are buck naked, yeah, but where should we begin, when its not the flesh we’re after but the howling ghost within?”

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May 16, 2009 at 1:13 am (Alice in Chains, Black Stone Cherry, Crazy Shit, Music, Nate, T-Bird, The House, Work)

Today has been one of the most angst filled days of my life. If have trouble finishing my food, you know, something is wrong. I got a voice mail on Monday or Tuesday wanting to know about his visitation with Nate. I didn’t answer.  I went over and over in my mind what I was going to say, and somewhere along those lines, my thoughts changed from what I was going to say to him to what I was going to write in the Court papers.

I started it out longhand, sitting at the Chef’s Table at the restaurant between shifts. I thought a lot about what went into that paper. Then I sat down and wrote it out like it should have been written. Then I went and picked up the 12 additional pieces of paper I needed, and I filled those out.

I was nervous and upset and scared. I felt like I had a basketball in my throat and iron-tipped butterflies in my stomach. But, I did it anyway.

I know what he’ll say in his response and some of it may be partially true and some of it will be outright lies and I really don’t care. I’ve been through enough that whatever happens, I’ll survive that too.

What I’m totally amazed by is what I can accomplish when I’m not having to deal with him. I, for the most part, have my house cleaned, at least, the important parts. That’s even after I spent MY DAY OFF at Nate’s school and MY OTHER DAY OFF at my parents’ place, went to Nate’s band concert, made three trips to the Courthouse, a trip to the YMCA, called my counselor, called Nate’s doctor’s office twice, wrote the petition, filled out 12 pages of information, made copies, took care of my cats, the dog, made sure Nate took a shower, had his homework finished, went to Wal-Mart, took T-Bird to the unemployment office and her doctor’s office, I blogged, went to the grocery store, twice, actually made dinner, twice, and I slept. 

All that, even after I worked 99.97 hours on my feet in the past two weeks.

And in four hours and 51 minutes (or around about then), I’m leaving for Rock on the Range. I’ll not get to go to both days, but by golly, I’m going to see Black Stone Cherry and I’m going to see Alice in Chains!!!!

That doesn’t mean I’m not being hyper-vigilant and that I’m not nervous as hell, but, it will be really nice just to get away for at least one day.

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Food Groups

March 19, 2009 at 12:53 am (Attitude in Overdrive, Cats, Fitness, Relationships, T-Bird, Work)

Hooo-eee! A lot going on in this neck of the woods:

First, T-Bird’s eldest, J1, was admitted to the hospital yesterday for an emergency appendectomy. I went to sit with him today when T-Bird had to go pick up the little ones and drop them off with her sister (their egg donor). She told me J. had to walk from the bed to the door in order to get to go home tonight. Well, after much cajoling and little moves, J. made it into the hallway and was sitting up in the chair when she got back.

She called me later and asked, “Just how the hell did you get my son to do anything?” Obviously he was feeling less than cooperative once I left. I told her I probably just nagged him so much that he finally just did it to get me off his back. He’ll be spending another night. Send some healing vibes his way, and send T-Bird a little patience please.


Its March Madness mah pups. I’ve got my bracket filled out and await the insanity. I’ve picked North Carolina to take it all.


Jirachi is healing nicely. I think that he’s healed wrong though. Like, his scrotum is going to be permanently attached to his backside. It just sort of granulated that way and that was about it and … I’m not fucking with it. If the doc don’t like it she can cut it when she neuters him.

All I know is he’s happy as hell that we’re loving on him again, he doesn’t reek of the stench of a 1000 rotting carcasses, and he’s gaining weight again. Woot!


My boyfriend is really irritating me. Last night, he decided to text someone in front of me, and when I looked over, turned the phone so I couldn’t see what or who he was texting. I’m sorry, but if that doesn’t make anyone suspicious, male or female, I don’t know what does. If someone calls, I don’t care who or what gender, I’ll take that call in front of him. Whether its Jeff or Troy or Jimmy or Kevyn, I take the call in front of him because I have nothing to hide.

Men, remember, you have to sleep sometime and I’m a mother. I’m USED to not sleeping. And let us not forget that I have estrogen and a pulse, therefore I am evil.

Plus, day before yesterday when I was leaving work, he kissed me on the cheek. I gave him a, you gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me look. Granted, one of the kitchen guys was outside when I was leaving, but, please, its not like everyone at Le Restaurant doesn’t know I’ve been balling him for four months and its not like we haven’t given each other a quick kiss goodbye in front of other employees before (at the smoke hole, not inside.)

Cut bait, young Padewan.


I’ve really got the dance itch. Its because of Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Many moons ago, Kenny Wayne and his band put out a CD called “Live On.” You may remember a song from that CD called, “In Too Deep.” However, its the second song on that CD called, “Was” that I’ve wanted to do a tap routine to forever!

“She was a crazy thought, a madman’s walk, she was. Oh no, she was.”

I would add the song but I can’t figure out how to do that.

Anywho, before I shell out for tap shoes (again, my first were smoke logged), and tap lessons (again), I’d better find out how much its going to cost to get Nate’s braces. Ugh.


I am continuing with attempting to consume more vegetables and fruits in my diet and less red meat. I loves me some red meat. I limit myself to  consuming only three types of liquid:  coffee, water, and red wine. However, I have been limiting myself to two cups of coffee, down from three, and I only drink red wine when I’m going to be off the following day. I’m off tomorrow… why am I not drinking wine? I haven’t had any since … Sunday. Be right back.

No need to let that Black Swan Merlot go to waste. Ahhhh.

Anyway, I guess no one thought to tell me that if you consume more fruits and vegetables, you don’t need to drink AS MUCH WATER. So, if you continue eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, even just a serving more, you will go to the bathroom more because, duh, fruits and vegetables have MORE WATER.

I drink a lot of water. On a typical shift, I drink anywhere from 2-4 16 oz. cups of water. I put it in my little styrofoam cup (so good for the environment!) and as I walk by I take a pull from the straw. Last night I had a huge salad from Mickey D’s (after scraping off the chips and dressing), and their fruit and walnut snack.

Then this morning, I went to work and drank 2 cups of coffee and then had the beginnings of a 16 oz. cup of water. I was ran to the bathroom a lot. This can be quite uncomforable when you’re busy and don’t go when you should.

I was reasonably good today. I had the worst chicken noodle soup of my life, mainly picking out the chicken, a Mediterranean panini, with eggplant, squash, and zucchini with feta and chevre cheese, fruit, and a salad with onion, cheese, tomatoes, peaches, and cottage cheese. 

In my quest to lessen the red meat in my diet, I had pecan fried catfish. Okay, so fried is bad but that’s not the point. Half a baked potato, and a big fat ugly hot fudge cake and ice cream, because I know how to eat healthy. ICE CREAM IS A FOOD GROUP!!!! The point is, there was a cherry on top, and we all know how I’m trying to put more fruits and vegetables in my diet. This is why a glass of wine two days a week is a good thing. Wine is a vegetable, I mean, a fruit. How much have I had?

I also had five Tagalongs, because you all know Girl Scout cookies, along with ice cream, red wine, and chocolate, IS a food group. Plus Tagalongs have peanut butter in them, which ups the iron and protein content of said cookies. Hey, I read labels mah peeps!


Jirachi really does coo like a pigeon when he purrs. I know this because he’s eating my earlobe as he purrs. For him, earlobes are a food group.


Sometimes I give my co-worker, Emile, a ride to work. I have her hooked on the new Nickelback CD, especially “S.E.X.” I mean, who’s not hooked on it. It was playing when she got in the car this morning and she said, “Oh man, I was hoping you would have this in and I would get to hear this. It pumps me up.”

Guess what the song is about? Yeah, imagine that. My favorite line from the song is:  I love to try to set you free, I love you all over me, love to hear the sound you make the second you’re done.

Emile just likes hearing Chad Kroeger scream: YEEEESSSSS!

Okay, maybe I am a little hooked on that as well.

We also listened to “Burn it to the Ground” and then heard “Something in Your Mouth” while listening to XM at Le Restaurant. I may have to make up the first rock ‘n’ roll work out video. I’m so tired of canned music. “Burn it to the Ground” would be a great song to include in a kickass fitness video because we got no class, no taste, no shirt and shit-faced.

The warm-up section includes a shot of Crown. As a matter of fact, all workout videos should include shots of various types of alcohol as part of the routine. If you’re still standing at the end of the video, well, you’re fit.

Alcohol is a food group, along with red wine, which is fruit.


Speaking of alcohol, once you get people lit, you can tell them anything and they’ll believe you. Such as, a guest asked me what the difference between Cuervo 1800 and Patron tequila was. Instead of saying, “A shit-ton of money,” I said, “Well, Patron is a higher quality, meaning it has less impurities, is better filtered, aged, and stored.”  Which means, I don’t fucking know! Maybe they keep the desert rats from pissing on the agave.

Next, we had a dude ask, on St. Paddy’s day, if we had any Irish Scotch. Dude, Scotch is whiskey made is Scotland. No, we do not have any Irish Scotch. That’s like asking if I have any Arkansas Bourbon. NO! Bourbon is whiskey made in Bourbon County, Kentucky and they are the only ones allowed to call it Bourbon, everyone else has to call it Whiskey, except for the Scottish who call it, SCOTCH.

Its like calling a yam a sweet potato. A yam is not a sweet potato. A yam is a yam and a sweet potato is a sweet potato. They come from different plant families, different plant groups, have different flowering characteristics, the sweet potato is over 50,000 years older than the yam, and the sweet potato is healthier for you as it is high in beta carotene, just like a carrot.

All of these are the vegetable food group.

Well, I’ve sucked the last of my fermented fruit from the glass and its almost one in the morning so I shall bid you adios. Drink more agave!

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You Know You’re Desperate

December 11, 2008 at 8:40 pm (AZ, Black Stone Cherry, Nate, T-Bird, Work)

when you eat a piece of pecan pie leftover from Thanksgiving. It wasn’t me. Well, maybe it was.

‘Tis the season for upgrades. Everytime I log into my e-mail or WordPress someone has changed something to make it new-fangled and supposedly better.

I’m finished with Nate’s and my Dad’s Yule shopping, haven’t got jackshit for anyone else. I’m broke.

Nate is grounded until Christmas Eve. When I picked him up from school yesterday he said, “I would just like to make my Last Will and Testament.” He bequethed his video games to Cam, his Legos to Buddy (ETW’s son), and anything left to T-Bird’s son. I’m pleased to report Nate is still alive, although he may die of boredom before December 24th.  Sometimes you just have to put the fear of Mom into them.

Things with Jace are fine and dandy.

Troy is probably going to be getting a divorce in the New Year.

T-Bird and I have been talking. Nate and I went down on Thanksgiving and we had a really nice time.

I’m working the super double shift on Saturday – 8:30 a.m. to close.  Things were “tense” today. The GM is ticked off. I only got half a story, I’m sure the rest will come out sooner or later.

Today is AZ’s birthday. He’s still older than I am. Today is also John Fred’s birthday.  He’s still younger than I am.

I took Jirachi, Little Man, to the vet on my day off. He got his ears cleaned, bad ear mites, and a wormer, because he has round worms, and some viral inhibitor for his continously snotty nose that won’t respond to antibiotics. 

Heed my warning, keep thy childrens contained in a restaurant or leave them the fuck home. As hyper as Nate was/is as a child, I always kept him in a high chair or otherwise contained in the booth in a restaurant. It is very difficult to lift a 50 lb. tray under normal circumstances, much less while worrying about whether you’re going to trip over the 2 year old hiding underneath it.  Frankly, I don’t think a three hour adult Christmas party is the place for a 2 year old.

A party of 17 is difficult enough without the 2 year old, who was totally cute, just way in the way today. It came to my attention that when the dad left the room with him that he let him run amok for my co-workers to deal with as well. Its just flat fucking dangerous.

Plus, if you’re going to subject me to four courses, special menu, packages, wrapping paper, and other debris blocking my way, extra well done beef, your long winded boss, and a 2 year old, you could at least tip worth a shit, which you didn’t.

Thank the Goddess for wine and other alcoholic beverages.

And thank you sweet baby Jeebus for the awesome sex I had last night so that I could face the day.


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The Bitter End

September 21, 2008 at 8:15 pm (Alice in Chains, AZ, Black Stone Cherry, Crazy Shit, Music, T-Bird, Work)

Thank you for all of your comments and support. I’ll not try to kid myself nor any of my readers about my state of mind right now, which has some to do with not going to Arizona but has more to do with my life in general.

They say like draws like, so I try to keep a positive attitude and regularly give myself pep talks. It wasn’t lost on me that I was where I was supposed to be, and that wasn’t in Arizona, but catering a party for 100 people and making enough money to buy Nate’s medicine this week and have some left for cat litter, gas, and eye makeup remover. Although the reason for being here instead of there has not yet revealed itself, unless the real reason is that the Universe is truly trying to make me as fucking miserable as possible before revealing this “big thing.”

For some reason, my thoughts have been on AZ, not the state, but the person, a lot this morning and afternoon. Perhaps the reason being that his first wedding anniversary approaches and with it, a lot of baggage I wish I could just stop, drop, and roll on. A part of me wonders if I should tell him how I feel and have felt for a long time. Just get it over with and have my say. I’m not sure what that will accomplish. However, one of the new Black Stone Cherry songs covers my feelings on this subject. Its from the song “The Bitter End” –

I will never forget
All the things you said
I never heard you say you’re sorry
I hate you for leavin’ me dead

I did see T-Bird at her son’s birthday party where I was inundated with negativity and a list of her ongoing medical problems, and the inevitable embarassment of half the people in our group using some of the seven bad words in front of other families in a packed house of the kid’s restaurant with the rat for an icon. Oy vey. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been away from someone or something for a while, and then you’re around it again, and realize how much you don’t miss it? Kind of how I felt last summer when I went back to being a paralegal again for two days and I was ready to have my head examined?

I’m not going to lie and say I can’t use all of the seven bad words in one coherent sentence, nor am I going to lie and say I haven’t, however, when in a crowded, kid-friendly environment, I’ve been known to watch my mouth. Some people, including T-Bird, her family, and some of her friends, obviously don’t give a shit and they’re not quiet about it.  So, that situation is still squating there like a toad.

My friend’s relationship with the Greek Adonis is progressing. Guess he decided the “male code” did not apply (and it doesn’t). I’m pretty surprised at how much hearing her talk about it is bothering me. I guess a year of noticing all of his fine qualities, like his manners and kindness, in addition to his good looks, hasn’t really gotten me anywhere. My reciprocation of his manners and kindess didn’t get me anywhere either. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

I’m sure I’ll have a dose of bitterness tomorrow also over one of my co-workers. I have a great deal of affection for the young chef – not the aforementioned young chef that went back to culinary school, but the one who has been there since I started. He turned 18 last Tuesday. Last night at the catering, he was basically head chef, as he was our only chef, taking direction from owner chef, but then left on his own to woo and wow the masses. As his helper, I took direction from him and I was pleasingly surprised at his maturity and grace under pressure. (Especially when one lady, not happy with the ginormous portions of grilled flatbread and the ackee dish we had on the tables, decided to help herself to the salads and fruit we had covered on the table.) Ackee, by the way, is the national fruit of Jamaica man. It is de-lish!

Not that I haven’t flirted with him before, because I’m not bashful, but I honestly have a lot of affection for him, which everyone frowns upon because I’m 20 years older than he is and because I chose to treat him like the mature young man he is, versus my child or kid brother. I may be no Demi Moore and he’s no Ashton Kutcher, but I have a feeling I’ll be telling my co-workers to butt the fuck out of my friendship with him. I have no vile, evil intentions and they can just get over it.

And that prayer thing that Vince mentioned in my last comments, yeah. Well, I can’t say my faith hasn’t been shaken quite a bit in the past 22 months. I’ve prayed a lot, and I’ve told them and myself, that I know there is a purpose for everything that has happened. I’ve told myself that “God doesn’t like a quitter,” nor anyone who sits around waiting on life to happen to them, that a knight on a white horse isn’t going to show up and rescue me and all rescues should be self-induced. Sitting around in my house isn’t going to accomplish anything so I make that effort to go somewhere other than work and home, whether it be here or beyond. And, there’s the whole positive-attitude-white-light-projecting-pep-talks and the vile job of shaking off negative baggage and dealing with crap instead of just stuffing it further into the deep confines of my heart and psyche.

I mean, who wants Mr. Right to show up and me in the Wrong Place emotionally?

In as far as Mr. AZ, well, I learned a lot from that whole bullshit. I’ve definitely learned that I do have the capacity to hate someone with every sub-atomic particle in my body. The problem with that, is that you have to really care to hate someone and I really do care. The rest of the lyrics from “The Bitter End” tell a tale of love and hate.

(Through these times)
I’ve always held your hand
(By your side)
Everyday you couldn’t stand
(I’ll hold on) to see you rise again
(I’ll still love) You ’til the bitter end
‘Til the bitter end

I’m ready for the bitter end, okay? I know why I haven’t moved on past this yet and its because I had a huge emotional investment in AZ. I spent a greal deal of time walking around indifferent and numb and now I’m just pissed. I am very angry because I feel as though he took advantage of my love for him and used me at his discretion. I hate the fact it still bothers me. I hate the fact I fell for it. Its EMBARASSING to be played so fucking hard and buy into it with your whole fucking soul. Which is exactly what I did.

After Kevin died, he and I spent a lot of time together and on the phone. She wasn’t around and he and I did what couples do to console one another, emotionally, mentally, physically. And later he said, “I asked her not to be there and she said for me to take my time and she would be there when I was ready,” like she was some kind of saint. Oh, after I get him through the screaming, crying part of it, she can take the spoils of war. I told him, “Its not about whether she’s willing to be there for you, its about how much you’re willing to let her be there for you…” and he looked at me and the “like you are” was spoken.

Pretty powerful shit there. Don’t get invested in that. It didn’t mean shit, at least not to him, because two weeks later, he asked her to marry him. That’s what I meant to him – nothing. To believe anything else, regardless of what he did for me after the fire, regardless of all of the talks we had, the porch time, the backrubs, the blowjobs, the pussy lovin’, the laughter, the blood, sweat, and tears, the hugs and kisses, to believe anything other than it was a big fat fucking head game and that I EVER meant anything to him is detrimental to my recovery.

Given that I would rather not make this mistake again, and given that I would prefer not to carry this sort of baggage into another relationship, I’d better get crackin’ on making this the end. I’d like to truly get to the point where I am indifferent, not numb indifferent, just indifferent, because the opposite of love isn’t hate, its indifference. Its past time for the bitter end.

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September 8, 2008 at 9:52 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, AZ, Beading, Crazy Shit, Friends, Music, My Travels, Nate, T-Bird, The House, Work, Writing)

Does anyone remember my good ole days of writing? I used to write funny shit, light-hearted stuff, stuff about work and Nate, and even when I wrote about Jeff it was more out of a funny pity than cold, hard hate. When I wrote about religion with fervor and belief?  When I still loved AZ and had stars in my eyes?  Remember when I used to really write? Like poems and short stories and novellas? When I researched and put a hell of a lot of work into my writing instead of mere stream of conscious stuff?  When I would spend multiple posts, sometimes a months worth, explaining the who, what, when, where, and whys of Jeff, AZ, and T-Bird?  When I made up my own spells at the ends of posts and spoke of magick?

I just went back and deleted all of the doubled posts from when I transferred over from Blogger, so I took a peak into my former life. I can say its a lot of the same angst, but in there somewhere was a lot of snarkiness and passion for the written word. A reminder that I used to write fiction, long ago, and enjoyed it. That I used to post pictures of my beadwork, that I used to bead a lot more than I do now. I wrote about my experiences with my friends and my travels to see those friends. Well, I guess some things haven’t changed.

I still quote lyrics in my writing. I can still be snarky. I still use writing as therapy. I can still put together a mean blog post.

I can’t help but remember though, that it seems my life lost a lot of its light when Kevin died, when AZ got engaged and married, after the house fire. 

And, I still haven’t spoken to T-Bird about her e-mail. Frankly, I haven’t found a way around the pain yet. I don’t know if I ever will. I have supported T-Bird almost unconditionally, keeping my opinions and criticisms to myself for the most part. And when I did speak up, it was gently, without malice. Keeping silent, when I could have said so much because, “one should be kind in their words, as they do not know the battles that someone else is facing.”  To attack me, my son, and my parenting skills in one fell swoop, well, she may as well walked up and stabbed me in the heart.

To respond in the fashion I wish, would make me no better. We all have failings as parents, as humans, and as humanity. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a HUGE SOFT SPOT where my only child is concerned, but I’m not oblivious nor blind to his failings either. However, something has to be right, or wrong, if the only people who find fault with him are his father, who is the most negative, dreary, look for the worst in every person on Earth kind of guy, and T-Bird, who is so fucking anal about her kids, especially the one she gave birth to, that you can’t breath wrong around them that she isn’t up in arms.  It almost cost us our friendship once, I’m afraid it has cost us our friendship this time.

Like I told her when she e-mailed me about responding to her first e-mail, “There’s very little I can say to make this situation better, but a whole lot I can say to make it worse.” And I mean it. You may say, “But, Nanner, if you respond honestly, she may learn something.” Since when is it my job for people to learn something? I’ve learned that my best friend could ball up 12 years of friendship and knock me in the gut with it. That’s what I’ve learned.  I really don’t give a fuck what she learns.

Unfortunately, its the kids who are the losers in all this, and I don’t mean mine. I mean her’s, who call me Aunt Nanner. Especially the little ones, who saw me more than they see their own biological mother. I miss the kids. But, T-Bird was big enough to invite me to her son’s birthday party, and I will be big enough to go because I wouldn’t disappoint him and selfishly, I want to see the little ones.

So, no, I’m not the person I used to be. I wish I could find her again.

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Ridin’ the Storm Out

August 26, 2008 at 9:08 pm (Alice in Chains, Black Stone Cherry, Friends, Music, My Travels, Nate, T-Bird, The House)

Low Pressure System Fay is expected any moment and is expected to drop 1-2 quick inches of rain on us. Whoo hoo.

It seems as though my possible trip to Arizona coincides with our bartender’s wedding. Even if I gather the funds for the trip, there’s a chance I may not get the days off to go. I almost cried. Talk about deflating my balloon. I have not been in a very good mood since. However, all hope is not lost. Not yet…

Nate had a great first day in 7th grade. He said something to the effect that he won’t have any homework this year. Then he backed up and said, “SOME teachers won’t be giving homework.” Ahhh, but I bet the rest will!

I was inundated with memories of the fire today. Its the 26th, so… perhaps my cell memory is working overtime while I’m not paying attention. On the 28th it will be one year and seven months and three months since Hermione died. Sometimes, it seems like yesterday. Sometimes, its just another day. Last month I barely recall the 28th of the month. I know I found Leslie, our pine snake, under the planter the day before, so my thoughts were full of snakes and beetles and wolf spiders.

I’ve been listening to the new Black Stone Cherry CD, which has nothing to do with fire. Although I was supposed to see them within days of the fire… but I’ve listened to BSC a shit ton of times since the fire and not had the weepy, flashback effect. I have not heard “Home” by Daughtry, which is guaranteed to bring back bitter memories, since it was so popular during the time Nate and I lived away from home.

Somewhere, deep inside, we boil, and when we boil, things come to the surface to be recycled.

Remember Nette? T-Bird’s friend that I helped rescue from her boyfriend back at the beginning of this month? Well, after her boyfriend’s friends came and picked up her stuff, Nette didn’t have a couch, a chair or anything else to sit on, so I gave her my loveseat. Hell, it only collected crap anyway and I need a place to put my curio cabinet (if I ever find another one that I like). It makes my living room much roomier and, well, fuck, whatever. I knew Nette didn’t have the money to buy something new (or even used), so I just gave it to her. Pay it forward, ya know?

I had mentioned that I had the loveseat while I was up there last weekend waiting on the guys coming to move the stuff (before we realized we had the wrong date). So, Nette and I, while not bosom freunden, have established a friendship. She called me a few minutes ago and asked my advice about getting back some money T-Bird owed her. I told her that T-Bird and I weren’t talking and when she asked why I gave the vaguest answer I could. While I may involve you, bloggers, involving someone much closer to the source is not something I want.  No sense and no use.

I made up my mind a while back about T-Bird that if she asked to borrow money, I had to decide whether I could afford not to have it paid back. I had to ask myself if I could give and give freely, because the chances of reclaiming said money was extremely slim. So, if she asked to borrow money, if I didn’t have it, I didn’t have it, and if I did, I did, and if I needed it back, like $20 or $50, I made it clear that I needed it back.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you the amount of money she’s helped me spend over the years, especially in the past… year and seven months, since her nephews moved in a day or two before my fire. Probably enough to fly to Phoenix First Class and stay at the Hilton for two nights. However, I did it and I did it willingly and without remorse. I can’t take it with me anyway.

And yeah, I think she played me some. Maybe a lot. Maybe a lot more than I’m willing to admit.

I’m also having to see Jeff everyday again. He’s done quite well over the summer. I don’t trust him not to start some bullshit though, but, I let him know very quickly that I have other options for picking Nate up from school. A thinly veiled threat? Why, yes, thank you for noticing. Its like dancing with the devil in the pale moon light.

I think I’ll be in need of some Jerry counseling tonight. Jerry has a song called, “S.O.S.” It stands for “Shit on a shingle.”

Both beard and my face growing longer,

The stench of decay growing stronger,

Reality and dream intermingle,

Contently swallow shit on a shingle.

That was sort of random, but its what I’m listening to right now. Just… ridin’ the storm out.

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August 13, 2008 at 11:12 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Nate, Relationships, T-Bird)

Things between T-Bird and I are… not so good. I basically refused to respond to her e-mail, especially around the anniversary of the death of her daughter, 11 years ago. I called her yesterday to tell her I’d been thinking of her and Little T.

I guess that might have gone okay had she not taken her digs by saying, “Well, at least when my kids do something wrong, they get in trouble.”  This is her whole problem with me and Nate, that I don’t discipline him the way she wants or when she says so or for her reasons, not mine.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but when children are together and separated from the parents of said children, all children involved will point the finger at the other children when things go wrong.  So, I ask you, other parents, what is your first inclination?  A) Believe the other children B) Believe only yours or C) Try to determine what actually happened?

Also, parents, when involved with children of different age groups it is common sense not to allow older children to pick on or hurt younger children. However, if the younger children, say in the 3-6 age group jump on the older children 9-12 years of age and hurt them, would you expect your child to A) come and tell an adult B) Take it because they’re older or C) Retaliate. Now, lets forget what we would all like to happen and tell me in your experience what actually does happen.

Then, parents, I want you to tell me what its like when other people tell you how to raise your children. I want you to tell me what its like when they make negative comments about your parenting style or your parenting skills. Then I want you to tell me what it feels like when they tell you how horrible your child is and how they would raise him/her differently because they don’t agree with your parenting style and they obviously could do so much better. And, I want this to all happen after they spend a grand total of 3 hours a month with your child, if that.

My son’s triumphs and not so glowing moments have been chronicled here. He’s not an easy child, he’s a very complex child, with multiple facets. How and when I decide to discipline him is my business.  Only in extreme cases does he respond to a good old-fashioned spanking. He’s gotten plenty and I figure he’ll have a few more and I’ve popped him in the mouth a few times for sassin’ me.

However, as he grows older, I find it more important to actually take a moment of my life, restrain the fact that I want to throttle the life out of him, and actually make him think about what he’s done, the consequences, and the feelings of those around him. I don’t even tell him what I expect out of him anymore, I just say, “You know what I expect from you.”  When we went to walk/train my friend’s dogs (a ginormous Newfoundland among them), I told Nate, “I expect you to act like a little gentleman.” He asked for clarification, which I gave. He didn’t disappoint me.

When the moment calls for it, I jerk a knot in his ass. He is left with NO, and I mean NO questions as to what he’s in trouble for and why immediate action was taken.

I assure you also, he will push your buttons. He is the kind of kid that will see just how far he can push you but he also has a great respect for anyone who stands up to him. I know this to be true because he came up against Cybele, and I know Cybele had to let him know who was boss and she wasn’t going to be pushed around. He adores her and he adores her because she put her foot down in a calm, rational manner (although I figure she wanted to kill him in the morning *inside joke, folks, no need to call Social Services*) without yelling at him, shaking her finger in his face, calling him names, or spanking him.

Perhaps you don’t agree with the fact that I give Nate a perameter in which to operate in. Every year that perameter gets a little bigger, not because he gets taller or older, but because he matures. Perhaps you don’t agree that I chose to guide rather than control. I’m sure we would all prefer that our children not make mistakes, but I assure you, without mistakes, and consequences, they won’t learn a damn thing. Perhaps my consequences aren’t the same consequences that you would have. That’s your business.

I like to recognize that children learn by playing with other children. That means the high-five after a great shot or it means they may bicker or get pissed off at each other, but there are important social clues involved in that process. I don’t believe it should progress to physical confrontation, but I’m willing to let things progress so that they learn to work things out without adult intervention. I have bitten my tongue a number of times to keep from refereeing and allowing that social process to work itself out. I think it has done Nate a world of good to learn from those interactions because it came from his peers, not his mother.

Jeff and T-Bird are the exact same kind of parent in that aspect.  Control, control, control.  A child will never learn to think for themselves if you continually think for them.

Let’s get to my last pet peeve… Nate’s hobbies. Nate likes to read Harry Potter and he devoured “Bridge Over Terabithia” while we were in AZ and he likes for me to read to him as well. He likes to paint and draw, he plays the clarinet (and would play a psaltery if I could ever afford one), singing, and playing Rock Band drums. During the summer he’s a total water dog and although he has stage fright, which cut short his modeling career, he has expressed interest in the theater, He likes to fish at my parents farm and go out with my dad on the four-wheeler, hike with Mom in the Grand Canyon, and basically any puzzle intriques him. He loves our cats and plays with them and he likes to watch TV, but that comes and goes. He collects Pokemon cards and Bakugan figures and he and his friend Cameron play games that I don’t understand with them.

But, Nate’s greatest passion is video games. He loves video games, whether its Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, Pokemon, Rock Band, or Guitar Hero, NATE LOVES VIDEO GAMES. He got a PSP for his birthday and Lego Indiana Jones to go with it. He was thrilled this evening to reach 4,000,000,000, yes, four billion, in fake money. That’s as high as the game will go and he beat it. He’s rather disappointed that his PS2 has hit the skids because he loves playing the Rock Band drum kit and singing the songs, alone or with a group, he’s all about it.

He goes through cycles. Sometimes he’ll watch TV, like Total Drama Island on Cartoon Network and he’ll go for a week or so and not even play a video game. Then he’s all about it again. Think what you like about video games but for hand-eye coordination (I can’t even begin to play the drums or guitar on Rock Band) and to increase his attention to detail, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

He doesn’t play violent video games. You won’t find Grand Theft Auto in this house although he’s lobbied for it. He’s totally psyched to have used his allowance money to put the upcoming Lego Batman on hold at the mall. He’s learned how to buy-sell-trade old games for new games and as you can tell from his pictures, he’s neither obese nor pasty white.

I hope your children have hobbies that they enjoy as much as Nate does his. I may not agree with your child’s hobbies, but they’re not my kids. I can’t stand wrestling, boxing, or ultimate fighting, have no love for it, no more so than I have for Grand Theft Auto, but if your kids are into it and that’s okay with you, that’s okay with me. I don’t feel as though I have a right to tell you what your kids should like or be involved in. Good for you and for your kids if they play four sports a year, my kids likes swimming, video games, and music.  Maybe you’ve got an Andre the Giant or LeBron James, maybe I’ve got a Michael Phelps or a Bill Gates.

I don’t think that Nate’s interests make him more special or less special than any other child. I don’t think it makes me a bad parent to allow my son to come in, climb up on the side of my chair, and say, “Wow, Momma, check this out, I got FOUR BILLION on my game! FOUR BILLION MOM!”  At least he knows what a BILLION looks like! The Lego games have definitely reinforced his ability to accurately read numbers.

So, all in all, raise your children the way you see fit. After all, you know them best. I’ll do the same with mine.

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August 4, 2008 at 12:57 am (Attitude in Overdrive, Crazy Shit, Friends, T-Bird)

I hope you all know that just because T-Bird and I are fussing that life doesn’t go on as usual. Meaning, I still went to her nephew’s birthday party on Saturday and hung out by the pool with her mom and the kids, and this morning, when I was on my way for my morning coffee and a pack of cigarettes, she called, hysterical, and I flipped my car around asking for details.

Its one of those long stories with unhappy endings which lead to this situation. To keep it novella length… T-Bird, at some point and time, has babysat practically every child within a 20 mile radius. One child in particular, is now old enough to have a child of her own. Nette is 21, her daughter is three, and Nette grew up without a mother of her own, brought up by her hell-raisin’ Daddy, who is now doing life in the State Pen for first degree murder.

I know her Daddy. Charismatic but bad-tempered. Violently bad-tempered, which is why he killed his girlfriend and dumped her body out by the river. That’s always a pretty sight. Nette was 16, maybe 17, years old.  Then she gets pregnant and has her own daughter, by herself. At one point T-Bird took them in because Nette was homeless. I guess T-Bird is as close to a mother as Nette has ever had, even though her Dad was married for a long while, it was still T-Bird who took care of her because, frankly, no one else could handle her.

Anyway, I just asked, “What’s wrong? Tell me, what’s wrong.” Nette’s ex-fiance decided he was going to toss her around a bit and then hold her hostage in her apartment. One problem… we don’t know where the apartment is exactly and she wouldn’t or couldn’t answer the phone when T-Bird called her back. It seems as though Nette had called T-Bird to help evict the ex when he started whaling on her and broke the phone. All I know is what the apartments are supposedly called and their in the Highlands, not to be confused with the Lowlands where I live.

T-Bird, in the meanwhile, has called 911 and is trying to get Nette some help, then calls me, then calls her sister to find out where these apartments are, which aren’t even the name we were given, but that’s what everyone calls them… fat lot of good that does me. T-Bird calls me with directions, I hit the right street (damn, even not knowing where I was going I was within two blocks at one point), and I gunned up the street. I didn’t know which apartment, just it could be 18 or 118 or something with a 1 and an 8, which is all T-Bird got before he started in on Nette.

I pulled into a parking space, knowing now it couldn’t be 118, because there aren’t 118 apartments up there. I heard a knocking noise and looked up. Nette was at the window on the 2nd floor right in front of where I parked. I told T-Bird, “I see her. She’s okay.” T-Bird lost it, again, and just sobbed. I hung up and called 911 myself so I could tell them that I was there and exactly how to get there and no, he wasn’t letting her out of the apartment because when I motioned for her to come down, she mouthed, “He won’t let me out.”

Once the 911 operator said, “They’re on their way. We have two deputies in route,” I walked back to my car to wait and watch the window. I wanted to go upstairs and just take care of it myself. In other words, drag that piece of shit out of the apartment and beat his ass all over the hill. But, that’s why I didn’t stop and get T-Bird, because that’s what she would have done and it would have been a violent, bloody mess, which is what I was trying to avoid.

Three minutes later two deputies pulled into the parking lot. I directed them to the window where I had seen her. They pulled on their black gloves and entered the building. They brought him out first, Nette a minute later. I went over to her and asked if she was okay. Now, you might think she would be really, really upset and crying, upset, or just relieved… but she was cold stone poker cool. I hugged her and asked her where her daughter was, with her grandmother (this is good). 

Her ex is, well, an idiot. Nette isn’t 90 pounds soaking wet and he’s complaining to the cops about how she fought him to get out of the apartment. The cop just layed into him, telling him she wasn’t his child and he had no right to tell her whether or not she could leave, and no right to lay his hands on her and destroy her property. He bought himself a ticket to the clink. And it was satisfying to hear the sound of the handcuffs click.

Of course, by this time, T-Bird has shown up with Ang, who I had passed while she sat on her porch wondering what the heck I was doing in her neck of the woods. Yeah, she found out. The police asked if she knew about filing a domestic violence petition (a DVP) and Trina turned and pointed at me and said, “She does!” Okay, like I do this everyday. I was just on my way to Go-Mart for coffee and cigarettes people! The deputies outlined everything and said that if we could get there fast enough, they could still serve the petition while he was in jail.

Amazingly, Nette turned to me and asked, “You want to ride with me to the Courthouse?” And I say “amazingly” because, although Nette and have known one another for the same amount of time I’ve known T-Bird, about 13 years, I don’t KNOW Nette. We have often passed like ships in the night, sporadically running into each other at T-Bird’s over the years, but definitely haven’t had a close, bonding relationship.

I said, “Of course I will, but I need coffee and cigarettes.” I joked with her that had the cops not shown up when they did that I was going to show her ex-fiance exactly how grouchy I am without my morning coffee.  She said, “I was kinda worried, but then I looked outside and saw you. I knew… ” Her voice trailed off and I said, “That the calvary was here?” She didn’t say anything, she just sort of nodded.

We talked on the way to the Courthouse about her dad, their relationship, and her own relationship troubles. She’s self-aware enough to know she has relationship troubles because of her own relationship with her dad. She knows its not healthy and is trying to break that cycle, which she’s in counseling for. She’s a very complex young woman, reminds me of someone I knew back in the day, someone I look at in the mirror.

So, we missed the magistrate by about 15 minutes and Court didn’t reopen until 8 p.m., which meant, ha, he didn’t get a chance to make bail until he was arraigned at Night Court. We went to pick up her daughter and as Nette walked up into the apartment, her slim shoulders seemed to have the weight of the world on them. She’s tough, very tough, her daddy raised her that way, but I can tell its getting old already, and no amount of vibrato will hide that from someone who has been there.

I went in and checked her apartment and I asked her if she wanted me to go back to Night Court with her and she said, “Yeah, if you don’t mind.”  Don’t mind at all. So after finally getting my coffee, cigarettes, a trip to the Courthouse, and finally back to the store to pick up some cat food, I made it back home and layed in the sun, hung out with Beanie, and then went back to the Courthouse at 9. Bob, T-Bird’s ex-but-still-hubby, went with us. He’s known her dad for close to 30 years and he’s about the closest thing she has to a dad outside of prison.

The rather matronly deputy in charge of Night Court has been there forever. I told Nette she was there when Jesus was crucified. It only took an hour or so for us to wind our way through the Halls of Justice and I had barely been home for 15 minutes when Nette called me, a little panicked because she realized that her ex didn’t have his keys with him, they were in the apartment, and what was she going to do about his vehicle, etc.  I gave her the standard, “DON’T TALK TO HIM, DON’T LET HIM COME UP THERE! speech” and then got real and told her how to go about doing all of that without having contact with him. And stressed the importance of following through with the DVP and the court hearing on the Domestic Battery charge.

I also impressed the importance of giving ALL of his shit back and not giving him a reason to keep harassing her. Nette, she’s got a little mean ass wild streak in her… she comes by it honest, no doubt about it.

Just pray for this young woman. Pray that she has the strength and the will to allow those who care about her to help ease her burden and that leaning on others is not a sign of weakness, but simply a sign of being human. Just pray for her. Many of you know exactly what she needs, send it to her.

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When It Rains, It Hails *Updated With Photo*

June 22, 2008 at 10:04 pm (Beading, Cats, My Travels, T-Bird, Work)

Yeah, we had a massive hailstorm today. First one I’ve actually experienced in person. It was… scary, but cool. I was just glad the hail was not big enough to do a lot of actual damage to homes and cars, it just damaged the vegetation.  We got about an inch of hail in 10 minutes.  North of here they got 2-3 inches, looked like winter time.

Friday, T-Bird and I left for Washington, D.C… and we all know how much I love D.C. traffic. I hauled ass up there, knowing we would get stuck in rush hour traffic since T-Bird couldn’t leave until noon. We had to be at the DAR Hall at 7:00 for our evening with medium, John Edward. No, we didn’t get read, but it was totally worth it. The folks in front of us were read and that was exciting enough. John was talking about carrying around grief with us and how its like 500 lbs. of negative energy. When he talked about that, I knew I was done and I had heard what I needed to hear and I could enjoy the rest of the show.

We stayed with Troy and his wife afterwards. It was Troy who actually got us to the DAR Hall in time, well, with two minutes to walk a block and a half. We went out to a local bistro afterwards and it was good but not any better and probably not as good as where I work.  We hauled ass back to WV on Saturday morning.

I woke at 6 a.m., not by choice, but fell back asleep and had a dream about Napoleon. Not the little guy from France, but my cat. I woke up with a very good feeling although the dream was kind of skewed and now Tango has decided to take on the Napoleonic traits of purring loudly and licking! I HATE LICKING! Ever try to sleep with a cat licking you??? Yeah.

I took a nap when I got home and then went to eat at my restaurant, as I’ve never eaten dinner there. It was so freakin’ good! Oh my hell! I wish I could afford to eat such good food all the time!

This morning, Nate was determined that I rise and go to watch the implosion of some old smoke stacks at the Dow plant… at 8 a.m.  One of the towers fell as expected and the other stubbornly refused to budge. It was anti-climatic.

I joined Eharmony. I did meet someone and I have gotten quite a few matches. The problem is… so many of them don’t put enough information in their profiles. I keep wondering if these guys are as boring in person as they are on paper… I just close the match and move on. Chuck wasn’t boring. His profile made me laugh and we talked on the phone yesterday. He lives in South Carolina and he’s a bartender.

My former Assistant Manager had this to say:  Well, you know how bartenders are, they can get laid any time they want.  I wouldn’t say that’s a good move to make.

I told her, Ms. I-attend-three-churches, exactly how judgemental I thought she was being, especially not knowing him. Not that I do, but if I start making judgement calls like that, I’m in for a hell of a rough road. I pointed out that, I, indeed, am a bartender and I’M NOT GETTING LAID! At least not regularly. Hell, at this point, I’m lucky to get laid AT ALL! I recently broke my dry spell… however, I want something more.

It really pissed me off, especially considering she’s still a “newlywed,” which she pointed out at family meal the other morning and then grossed us all out by referencing her husband and nookie, which I didn’t find palatable family meal conversation… considering her husband has a serious case of Dick-Do, meaning his belly hang out far more than his dick probably do.

She’s seriously gotten a complex since she stepped down from management. I’m working my first “Manager on Duty” shift on Friday. Because she was previously the Assistant Manager, if both the GM and Exec. Chef were gone, she took the MOD shift, but they decided that I should, since I’m the one who is actually Quasi-Management.  Trust me, I had nothing to do with it.

Anyway, she said, “Oh, I’ve been demoted.” I said, “No you weren’t, you chose to step down from management because you wanted to spend more time at home and with your horses.”   She’s driving me a bit crazy.

I made an awesome find at the local antique mall!!! I found a French steel cut beaded purse, hand-loomed, about 100 years old, in fantastic shape. I took it apart to access the damage.. a few rips where it was attached to the frame (which is brass), and some rusting, which I worked on today with a soft nail file. I also got some Naval Jelly, which is used to dissolve rust on antiques. I’ll try it out tomorrow on what is left of the fringe. I’ll have to invest in some matching antique beads so I can remake some kind of fringe on it.  It is very beautiful, heavy as hell, but beautiful. Once I restore it, I’ll probably be able to sell it for triple what I bought it for.

Life is good.

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