Monday, September 30, 2013

Just love

It's been over two and a half years now that my father has been gone. Though the times that he finds a way to let me know he is still here are fewer and further between now, he does it when I seem to need it the most.

He's been around more lately, with the songs and the clouds and the vivid dreams.

I know why.

My mom is dying.

God, it hurts to type that.

I've known for a while now that this day would arrive. That eventually her body wouldn't be able to fight anymore, that at some point all the medical science in the world wouldn't be enough. I knew this.

I've prepared for it more than once, in reality.

I've kissed her goodbye a few times, never knowing if she would wake up from anesthesia. I've sat at her bedside for hours, heard the direst of news from doctors and nurses. I've been on the receiving end of panicked phone calls. I've stood sobbing alone in a parking lot clutching my stomach as the helicopter lifted off in an attempt to save her again, not knowing if they would be able to, not knowing if I would get to where they were taking her in time if she didn't make it.

She hasn't so much been living these last few years as she's just been staying alive.

I think a part of her went with him when he died. Too much of her.

November, 2009
Weeks after he was diagnosed

She's tired.

I think she is ready, though I can't say for sure.

I can't say because I don't know.

She moved far away just over a year ago now, and I haven't seen her since. She's been in and out of hospitals and rehabilitation places and care units most of that time. She's in the care of hospice now, and for that I am grateful.

So grateful.

There has been so much heartbreak and loss, so much pain and suffering. I hope with everything in my heart that there can be peace now.

The last few years have been full of conflict, it's true. Things haven't been the way that they should. We haven't been a normal mother and daughter, whatever that means. Nothing has been normal.

None of that matters anymore. When you strip away all the rest of it, there is just love.

Just love.

I love you, Mom.

We all do.

Friday, September 27, 2013

That time that I went on a date with Adam Levine

For as much as I adore almost all types of music, and for as many local concerts and shows as we see, we don't get to headliner type concerts all that often. Mostly because it's hard to rationalize spending that much money on something like that...at least for me it is.

That's why I was a little bit shocked when my husband told me a few months ago that he got tickets to see Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson.

And when I say shocked, I mean it in the best way possible. I mean, I don't care if you're young, old, male, female, straight, gay or purple, Adam Levine is one of the hottest men on the planet. You can try and tell me that you don't drool a little bit over the guy, and I'm going to call bullshit.

I mean, seriously.


Everyone has a folder of Adam Levine pictures on their computer, right? That's not weird. No.

Anyhow, he told me he got tickets a while ago when they went on sale. Which was pretty good considering that the concert sold out pretty quickly. And for good reason.

I've seen enough live music performances to know that some people who kick ass in the studio can't hold a damn note in person, that editing makes some people really famous, and that stage presence is totally separate and apart from singing ability for some people.

I was a little leery of both of them, to be honest.

Kelly is a power vocalist, always has been. I sang for a hot second back in the day and I know how hard it can be to maintain range, clarity and tone. Adam tends toward the falsetto a LOT, and that shit is hard to pull off in a studio, let alone live.

So, as a music critic, I was curious what would happen.

Mostly, though, I was hoping he would take off his shirt. Sadly, a breeze picked up about halfway through their set and he never felt compelled to remove it. I know. I'm sad too.

BUT HE HAS A BEARD NOW. DID YOU KNOW THIS????


You guys. It's bearding season. Hot damn.

We got to the concert venue a little bit later than intended, mostly because of traffic and kids who had to be picked up from school and real life stuff. It wouldn't have been such an issue, but our seats were in a general admission portion.


We ended up literally in the back of the place, like that is the wall right behind us, but towards the end of the night I was actually grateful for that because standing on grass for four hours is better than standing on concrete. And you just weren't going to sit down.

Kelly was on stage over an hour, and I have to tell you that she is freaking adorable in person. I've always liked her since way back in the American Idol days. She's humble and grounded and real. I love that about her.

I was pleasantly surprised by her banter on the stage though. She fully makes fun of herself in the most hilarious self deprecating way, and I freaking adore that. She poked fun at herself for being single and crazy, for being engaged and crazy, for being a crazy cat lady, for being really pathetic and sad sometimes, for being ridiculous other times.


That, and girl can sing. Like holy crap. Her voice was a little raspy in the beginning, but as she got further into the set, she was hitting the high notes like you wouldn't believe. Then there is the issue of all her songs that make me cry, and I'm standing there among thousands of people sobbing like a fool. She was awesome.

Which makes sense. I mean, her name is Kelly, so I'm sure it's some kind of prerequisite. Kelly, Kelly, Kelly....

My husband may or may not have yelled I love you, Kelly at the end of every song.

That might have happened.

Then Maroon 5 came on stage. They were up there just about two hours straight, and played songs from their entire career. The lead guitarist James Valentine is pretty damn amazing. I feel for the guy, and for the rest of the band in general, because they really are like an asterisk next to Levine. He's taken front man to a whole new level.

I mean, I guess I wouldn't mind if I got to ride those coattails and all (especially if it meant that I got to stare at his ass all the time), but most of the band has been together since high school. Seems like they're all cool with his insane fame and all since only one of the original members left though, so I'm not asking any questions. Just don't break the band up, please.


Like Kelly, Adam is pretty funny live, and has a bit of a problem with the swears. Which...I'm totally okay with.

Towards the end of the show, a little girl next to the stage gave him a bouquet of roses, which he thanked her for...then shared with the audience. He bent down to give the last rose back to the little girl, and warned everyone around her not to try and steal it from her. Don't you break a little girl's heart. Don't be an asshole. 

Swoon.

They left the stage for a minute in their fake show ending, because everyone knows they are coming back out for an encore. The encore ended up being like five more songs or something. I have to say that I was impressed with the stage production values, the special effects, the entire band, and with him. The Voice.

Man, can he sing. He sounds just as good live as he does on the radio, and I'm not kidding.

He even covered I wanna be your lover by Prince, and sang almost the entire thing in falsetto. That part was hilarious because the couple in front of us was there with their teenage kids, and dad broke out in his falsetto to sing along while dancing quite enthusiastically. Dad. Stop. Oh my god. Daaaad.

As he was taking his last bow, Adam told me he loved me.

Okay, so he loved Denver.

Whatever.

Imma count it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Writer's Workshop Wednesday - Surviving Life by Anonymous

Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday! This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.

I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.

Today's piece is an anonymous submission from a writer who opens up a little bit more about her past every time I see what she shares. 

This is a bit of her struggle, an explanation if you will, of how she came to be the person she is today. 

With love and respect, her story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have been through a lot in my 30 years on this planet. I've been sexually abused 3 times (twice by family), I've been stalked, I've been tormented. 

While not actually seeing the use, I've seen the effects of an addiction to crack. I was raised by a single mother. We were poor. She didn't always have a job and, if she did, it didn't pay that great. 

I am 7 years older than my brother. I remember being 7 and watching him. I learned, from a young age, how to change and take care of a baby, because my mother was often at work and his Dad wasn't around. 

For a few years, she had a boyfriend that I grew to love, but he was a mama's boy and that ended up not lasting very long. After we'd relocated to Florida, my mother picked up her crack habit again. She worked and she met a man that worked, yet our lights were always getting shut off, we came close to eviction several times. 

Birthdays came and went without much of a gift, if any at all. When we got evicted, we moved in with my aunt. I was 15 and I shared a bedroom with my little brother and cousin. When my grandpa died, we moved back to Kentucky. 

That's when she married the drunk and the beatings began. He never hit me, but he beat my mother on a regular basis. I remember one time, after my appendix ruptured and set up gangrene, I had a to let it heal from the inside out. I wasn't even allowed to go to school, but one bump could cause the healing to come undone and my insides to come out. He started a fight with my mom and I found myself in the middle, hitting him and clinging to his back. 

I admit, my childhood wasn't the best. 

My mother wasn't the best. 

But I'm telling you all of this for a reason. We all have demons in our lives. We all have struggles. Some are bigger than others. Our past can often shape our future. What that shape is depends on you. 

Far too often, people use their past as a scapegoat. I hear it all the time, especially in my family...."I'm the way I am because of my past." "My childhood was so bad, it's natural I'd have a crappy adulthood." 

I'm sorry, but that's absolutely BS. We've all lived our lives as much as we've survived it. Life has given to us as much as it's taken from us. The problem most people have is that they choose to be victimized by their past and use it as an excuse for weakness. 

I decided not to do that. I let my past strengthen me. 

Not many people can say that they've never done drugs, even smoked marijuana. I can. I've NEVER done anything that wasn't prescribed to me. Even then, I only used what I needed and nothing more. My addictions include food and caffeine. I don't smoke, I rarely drink. 

Life isn't suppose to be rainbows and sunshine. It's hard freaking work. And if you've had a crappy childhood, then you might have to work a little harder. But come out of it saying that you SURVIVED. Because that is an amazing feeling and a true test of strength.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the health insurance, mercy rule and new normal edition

The Bizarre World of Insurance Coverage
I struggle to make sense of many things in this world, not the least of which is the logic with which health insurance companies operate.

It seems that with each passing year, we are made to pay more for less coverage and our deductibles go up with every opportunity. Navigating any changes in plans requires something akin to a circus act - you're in the middle of it all, with the ring of what you need over here and the ring of what they will cover over there, wondering where and how often the two shall meet, trying to figure it all out backwards and upside down while wrangling a lion with one hand.

Many years ago, when my oldest was a little guy, we pursued speech therapy at the recommendation of his pediatrician. He had a frontal lisp/tongue projection that took only a few months to correct, though it still squeaks out at times when he isn't feeling good or is tired. At the time, we had fabulous insurance that covered everything with only a small co-payment.

Fast forward to many years later, when my youngest is unintelligible in his speech. Again, we sought private speech therapy due to the reality of what happened a few years ago when another of our children was screened for early intervention by the school district. Then, we were told that she absolutely needed help, but that we didn't qualify because we were married, spoke English, lived in the same household. Simply because we weren't receiving government assistance for anything else, she was ineligible for help that they knew she needed. They literally handed me a diagnosis and a pile of paperwork and told me to work with her at home because their hands were tied.

I didn't bother even going through that frustrating process with the youngest. We just went for a private evaluation, first ensuring that speech was a covered benefit by our insurance company. He has articulation issues, and started to benefit from therapy almost immediately. He can already pronounce many things correctly now after only a short time of work.


Our insurance company is refusing to cover what they told us was covered now, saying that because his diagnosis is a developmental speech delay, it's not covered even though other forms of speech therapy are. So, we now are looking at a huge bill for services we were told were covered, to treat a correctable condition that has already manifested benefits to the patient. He would, at most, require six months of therapy, but they won't cover it.

In a world where insurance covers all sorts of medications, office visits, procedures and surgeries for adults who make bad decisions, why isn't something that could change the life of a child included, especially when benefits are almost immediate and treatment will be short term???

I could appeal it, sure. I know it will do no good. We'll end up on a payment plan.

NCAA football - today's David and Goliath
It's football season, y'all. I love college football, truly, like all the way down to my core...but I've been increasingly frustrated at the blatant unfairness in it all.

First you have the NCAA picking and choosing who and what to sanction, slapping some players and teams on the wrist, but handing out sanctions of five years or more to others. There is no rhyme or reason to it, no fairness, no transparency. Nothing.

Second, you have a system that wants to believe that a $100,000+ scholarship/housing/food/travel/expenses arrangement in exchange for playing a game isn't paying players, but if that same kid takes a $1,000 for signing autographs, they are to be condemned for soiling the sport. It's asinine.

Third, you have a system that hands out basic, minor scholarships to almost every kid on the field, if they are even scholarship eligible, and throws a few kids up on a gold plated pedestal. Those kids up there on the pedestal? For the most part, they come from privileged backgrounds, have been groomed to be football players since they were six years old, played at private high schools and have been catered to and told how awesome they are since birth. Then we wonder why kids like Johnny Manziel think they are invincible....because the entire system encourages it. Don't worry, the 99% of other football players will go out with some kind of major injury, or just use up their years of eligibility, or lose their position and figure out how to live life in the shadow of the pillar standers.

Fourth, we refuse to push for an actual playoff for a National Championship, and instead rely on this bizarre BCS system that is biased towards the schools we decide in advance were worthy of attention. Now, all that matters is the team's record, so you have the best schools padding their schedules whenever they can, playing against opponents that never have a chance against them. Coaches allow their teams to run up the scores in these games, to make a statement somehow. Because shutting out an opponent 21-0 isn't good enough if you can score 76.


So, now the smaller schools are left with a choice - refuse the games and miss out on national television coverage and the money it brings, or agree and get their asses kicked. Getting annihilated in front of a few million people is always a confidence booster for an 18 year old kid, right? Oh, that's right....no one actually cares about the players. Football isn't about the sport anymore, it's just about money.....just don't say that to the NCAA. They seem to be the only ones who haven't figured that out yet.

The Massacre We Already Forgot About
12 people were killed in yet another shooting this month. It was the lead story on the news for a couple days, then we collectively shrugged our shoulders and went on with life.

It seems like with each of these shootings that occurs, we get a little less outraged. A little more complacent. A little less affected.

We've accepted this as normal.

We spend more time arguing about gun rights versus gun control than we do analyzing actual data about gun ownership in this country, or the consequences of it. We ignore statistics about guns that tell us that owning a gun increases the chances of it being used against someone in your home, whether through homicide, accidental discharge, assault or suicide. We'd rather believe it will only ever be used for self defense because that gives us a false sense of security.

We go round and round and round about the gun issues, ignoring the mental health component that seems to run through most of these situations. We look back at the suspects and can often see red flags waving in the past, chances when something could have been done, times when a system should have caught something being off.  Red flags that were ignored, or red flags that we couldn't do anything about.

If all we do is make half-hearted arguments that get us nowhere, get outraged less and less with each occurrence, become totally desensitized to it, this WILL become our new reality.

You could make the argument that it already is.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Why I love Stephen Colbert

The Colbert Report took home two Emmys last night, for writing in a variety show and best variety show, in what was otherwise largely a boring and unexciting show.



It was also the first time that The Colbert Report beat The Daily Show in those categories.

See Jon??? You can't just leave for a few months, grow a weird beard and think that things won't change.

I have loved both shows since the dawn of civilization, and insist fairly regularly that one or both of them need to hire me as a staff writer. True story.


As much as I love them both, though, The Colbert Report has always held a special place in my cold black heart because of the fact that on top of being a comedy news show (and often more reliable than anything the mainstream media puts out), the entire show is spun with a false political slant. It makes everything the writers do that much harder, and relies on his flawless comedic delivery and timing.

What amazes me after all these years is that there are people who still don't seem to get the fact that Colbert isn't really super conservative, and that the entire show is satirical. I especially laugh when elected representatives are on the show and never figure out that he's totally messing with them.

He's funny and irreverent and topical and has some of the best writers in the comedy world on his staff.

Hire me.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wonder(ful) Women - Jackie Speier, Geena Davis & Kris

Welcome to the Wonder(ful) Women series! This is my newest, and most fabulously kickass series yet, because I'm featuring real-life female superheroes every week. My hope is to bring awareness to stories in the news, and make the women I know in person realize how much they inspire me and everyone around them.


Off we go.


Jackie Speier
Yesterday, the US House of Representatives voted to cut $40 Billion dollars in food stamp assistance, but not before Rep. Speier had her say. If only those who voted to cut the program had actually listened to her, had seen the glaring hypocrisy and done the right thing. If only.

What did she do, you ask?


She stood in front of the House with a steak, a bottle of vodka and a jar of caviar, attempting to make a point that no one seemed to comprehend.

Members of Congress routinely get their meals paid for when they are traveling, sometimes well over $100 per person per day....and they won't even give poor people $5 a day to live on.

Keep up the fight, Jackie. Please.

Geena Davis
You know she's an actress and all, but did you know about all the other super awesome stuff she has done?

She was a semi-finalist for the women's US Olympic archery team and can do some sweet tricks. She's a member of  MENSA. She's been a vocal Title IX activist for years and launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, which focuses on reducing stereotypes in the film and television industry.


And she was so completely taking selfies before they were popular.

Kris 
This is one of those women that I am lucky to call a friend. We hardly ever see each other in person anymore, but through the wonder of the internet, I still get to peek in on what she's up to.

She is a youth minister for a local church and works almost constantly to help others.

When the floods started, she took action almost immediately. I am not sure she has sat down or slept to be honest. She's been coordinating volunteers and running food collections and more.

When a medical crisis hit my family, I knew she was the person to call for guidance and wisdom and peace in those moments. I don't think I could ever thank her enough for what she did.

When our circle of friends lost one member unexpectedly, she was the rock we clung to, the one who found the words we all needed to hear.

Kris, thank you for being you. Thank you for being an unending source of positive energy, for lending help to anyone who needs it, for always being there for your church, your community, your friends.

I am blessed to call you a friend. I love you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Perspective

Everything is relative, or so they say.

I am not sure that it's always that simple though.

I truly believe that how someone experiences the world has as much to do with their experiences as it relates to what they choose to experience.

Some people see everything around them, they take it in. They internalize it. They can imagine what it might be like to be in the shoes of someone else. They see need and they address it. They help.

Some people, too many people, are capable of just shutting it all away. They can't see the truth, they can't see reality, no matter how urgently it is thrust in their faces.

I see this play out here again, as I've seen it so many other times in so many other circumstances.

It's something that happens everyday.

Some tragedies are small and intimate, personal in scale. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, when I lost the baby, when my father died....it felt a little bit unfair that everyone else carried on as though nothing had happened. My world may have stopped spinning just then, but theirs didn't.

When the tragedies are so small in magnitude, as horrible as they are to endure, there is no reason to ever expect that it could or should affect other people, for the simple fact that it didn't.

When the tragedies occur on a larger scale, though, there should be pause. Or at least it feels that way. It's harder to ignore something that happens to entire neighborhoods. Though this most recent disaster didn't physically alter the landscape on this end of town, though it didn't flood homes and destroy everything on this side, though no one was trapped and alone waiting for help right here, it's still real.

Just a few miles away, all those things happened. They are still happening.

But you can choose not to see it.

And many do.

Too many.

Far too many.

I've learned the hard way though that it's not worth trying to motivate people to care about others when they just don't know how.

I can't waste my time trying to make people care, not right now, not when there is so much else that needs done.

Perspective.

To see it, you first have to be willing to open your eyes.

Are you willing?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I held a lifetime in my hands today

In my hands today, I held an entire lifetime of memories.

Then I threw it away.

Pieces of a life built over decades and decades.

In my hands today, I held mementos of vacations, trinkets from a career long over, first editions of books printed nearly 100 years ago.

Trade journals and huge volumes and certificates that had once been proudly displayed. Gone.

In my hands today, I held film reels and photographs and journals filled with handwritten pages.

The delicate letters that I traced with a gloved finger, refusing to read it out of respect, and yet taking it all in.

Most of it, unceremoniously, added to a giant and growing pile on the street to be picked up by huge heaving machines.

With every piece thrown in there, my heart broke a little more.

I accompanied my son's Boy Scout Troop to one of the neighborhoods most affected by the floods today. We showed up and just asked who needed help. We quickly realized how much help everyone needed.



If you could have somehow overlooked the piles of debris everywhere, it would have appeared to be a normal neighborhood from the street. The damages were inside. Below the ground. In the basements, where the sewer lines backed up and flooded every single house.

In the home we spent most of our time, the elderly couple who own the property. Sitting in a chair in the corner, his head in his hands, the man. Milling about from time to time, trying to put on a tough face, his wife.

She stood, watching total strangers try to save what we could from a basement that contained a lifetime of things and five feet of contaminated water.

I tried the best I could to organize what could be washed and saved.

I cringed with every book that was pulled out.

I carried muddied frames and albums holding photographs of an even older generation and fought back the tears in my eyes.

When I handed a dripping, brown pile of frames to their daughter, I just said that I was sorry. I suggested ways to save the pictures with rinsing in clean water then laying them out flat. There were so many, she may have to hang them. I don't know if it will work, but I know how much she wanted to try.

I know that I would.


Some of the things lifted out of basement window wells today were just that - things.

Most of them weren't.

Most of them were pieces of a lifetime that we couldn't save.

I don't know their names. I didn't want to intrude more than it already felt like we were. I held tiny bits of their entire lives in my hands, a complete stranger.

Dignity is incredibly important when you lose so much else.

I tried my best to respect that.

I didn't pay attention to the address. It doesn't matter. I don't know who they were or if I will ever see them again.

I want to believe that we helped today.

I know that what we did will never be enough.

I know that some things just can't be replaced.

To the couple who owns the house, I am sorry.

I am sorry this happened to you.

I am sorry you lost so much.

I am so, so, so sorry.

Transparent isn't a bad thing

I lack a filter.

Most people who know me well enough know this about me.

If something pisses me off, in all likelihood, I'm going to say something about it.

If something is awesome, I'll tell the world.

If something unjust is happening in my city, my state, my country or the world, I'm going to drag out a big giant spotlight and shine it on.

This is just who I am.

I don't sugarcoat things. I don't smooth the rough edges of the truth. I call it like I see it.

Which is, I'm sure, the reason that the boyfriend of one of my best friends was more scared to meet me than he even was of meeting her father for the first time.

Should I be offended about that? Or proud? Or maybe a little bit of both?

This personality trait of mine is also why people tell me things. It's why people come to me and tell me the things they see wrong with the world. It's why they quietly hand me papers and send me messages and texts and emails. It's why I have unique insights into the goings on of the world. People tell me because they know I won't keep quiet about the things that are wrong.

They know I will find a way, somehow, to shed light on situations.

They also know that I will find a way, somehow, to do it without ratting them out.

I keep a lot of secrets for someone who spends so much time revealing things that are wrong, because I have to. I will go to the ends of the earth to protect those who confide in me.

I will also be the first to call them out for doing something stupid if they do it.

I'm honest, to a fault.

Which is why I literally laughed so hard that I fell off the couch the first time that I saw this commercial.


I am Grandpa.

I laughed until the commercial came to a close and the voice piped in that sometimes being too transparent can be a bad thing.

I don't think it is, actually.

I think the world would run a lot more smoothly if people actually told the truth more often. If people didn't do the passive aggressive baiting that they do. If people didn't walk around telling little white lie after little white lie all day long. If people were open about what they want and need from their relationships with other people. If we didn't tell half truths instead of the full truth.

If everyone was honest with other people.

If everyone was honest with themselves.

Imagine.

A world full of Grandpas.

I don't think it would be a bad thing at all.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the Miss America, Hungry People, Flooded Wells and First Amendment Edition

This one is gonna catch me some hell. I know that ahead of time, but I'm doing this anyway because I was basically triple dog dared yesterday by someone who pulled the you have to do this because you're a writer card, then promised me whiskey if I did it.

I don't turn down free whiskey.

You should know this about me.

Off we go. Gulp.

Miss America is a terrorist, but we aren't racist
Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America Sunday night. She was born outside of Syracuse, New York, studied brain behavior and cognitive science at the University of Michigan and hopes to be a doctor like her father. She danced for her talent and looks amazing in an evening gown.

She's also of Indian descent.

Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
Twitter blew up almost immediately. About how she is a terrorist. About how you should have to be American to win Miss America. About how this is somehow akin to her holding a weapon. Ignorant assholes online are one thing, but then Fox News had to jump on the bandwagon too, when commentator Todd Starnes tweeted "The liberal Miss America judges won't say this — but Miss Kansas lost because she actually represented American values. #missamerica".

Never mind that Miss Kansas started drama all her own because she became the first contestant to open display tattoos during the competition. The traditional pageant community isn't totally a huge fan of hers. 

Nothing like a non-white winner of a beauty pageant to bring out the worst racists in the country. Just don't call them racist, because they totally aren't. 'Murica.

Hunger in the name of fraud protection
Tomorrow, the House will vote on The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act. Bill proponents want to cut $40 billion dollars from the program, which would strip somewhere between 4-6 million people of their benefits. House conservatives claim that the bill will only affect able-bodied adults, but the actual text of the bill has not been released, so no one knows for sure.

The SNAP program historically has been tied to the Farm Bill, until that connected was severed earlier this year. The logic historically went a little like this...if we are going to help the farmers make food, we'll help the people who can't eat at the same time...helping both ends of the spectrum. Until now. SNAP is left to defend itself in a hostile environment where people believe that the system is filled with fraud and waste.

Is there fraud in the use of food stamps? Sure. There is fraud in anything, but that isn't a reason to force millions of people to starve.

My challenge to you all is this.

Go to the grocery store. Watch. See the woman who has to pay with the paper slips at the register. The one that the checker has to call over a manager to help. The one who fidgets in place, who fights back tears of anger and frustration at a system that resents the fact she is hungry in the first place, then accuses her of gaming it. She just wants to eat. She just wants to feed her kids.

This month is also Childhood Hunger Awareness month. I happen to think that awareness is great and all, but people are hungry all year. Kids are hungry all year. There are kids in your area right now who don't have enough to eat. Maybe their parents get help, maybe they don't qualify as it is, maybe they are too damned ashamed to ask.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a country that has the means to wage billion dollar wars overseas, that doesn't tax some of it's largest corporations at all, but willingly lets hungry people starve. Just feed the people.

Flooded Wells, Ruptured Pipelines, and it's all okay
I live in Northern Colorado. In a city that banned fracking. Surrounded by counties that want to secede from the state because they don't want oil and gas drilling restrictions. You don't have to look hard to find drill sites around here, just outside the city boundaries. New ones pop up all the time, almost overnight it seems. They get in, they frack the area, pull the natural gas out of the ground, and leave. In many ways, it's the strip mining of this decade, it just happens underground where we can't see it. It's a fast way to extract natural resources, and oil and gas companies are pushing pretty hard in the area.

The commercials run on television here all the time.

They claim it's safe, but won't tell anyone what chemicals they are using. They tell us that the wells are sufficiently walled so that there won't be contamination of ground water, but most of them are so new that no one really knows what will happen down the road.

In addition to fracking, this is a fairly heavily drilled area using more traditional methods as well.

I also live in an area that is experiencing a tremendous amount of flooding right now. Many of those drilling sites are underwater. There are retention tanks on their sides. Wells are inundated with water.

And no one is talking about it.

No one is talking about it because everyone is scared to death of the oil and gas folks. They have a lot of money, and a lot of money buys a lot of influence. The elected officials aren't saying much, even when pressed, and honestly it's hard to blame them. Two elected officials were just recalled last week for passing gun control legislation.




After a few days of people taking pictures like these ones, some of the local news media is picking up the story. I shook my head though when they said last night that all the industry officials are certain that the wells are safe and that there is no contamination. Of course the industry officials are going to say that. I'm sure that they are hoping everything is contained. Maybe it is (doubtful), but what if it isn't? 

The images sure seems to suggest otherwise, and many people near wells say that there is fluid leaking into the flood waters. At least one pipeline has ruptured already.

We're all supposed to believe that everything will be okay, when the truth is that no one really has any idea how much damage has been done.

No one here was prepared for a flood of this magnitude. Including the industry.  The main concern for contamination is the leaks into the floodwaters themselves, as well as the silt being left behind. It will likely be a very long time before we have a full picture of the environmental impact, if we ever actually get a full picture.

On that note, I may lose some of my First Amendment protection soon...
I've been told more than once that some of my fans only hear about things that happen because I write about them. I cover many issues that the main stream media won't touch, but I'm not employed by any newspaper or magazine or news site.

I'm just a blogger.

Which is great, in many ways, to be honest. I'm not beholden to anyone. I can write whatever stories I want. I can be objective. I don't have to worry about getting fired for writing things that are controversial.

That's also exactly what is wrong with being a blogger. That's exactly why it is perceived as a threat.

The Senate is working on legislation to protect journalists....or so they say. The bill would shield reporters from having to divulge their sources (and supposedly would prevent intrusions like occurred with the AP phone records being infiltrated), but only if they are "real" journalists.

Bloggers aren't in that category unless employed by some type of news gathering organization.

The bill only exists because the current administration overreached with the AP, and now it's being used to draw a line in the sand about who is protected and who isn't.  They say that bloggers will still retain the freedom of speech, but not the freedom of the press....not that the press has even retained that as of late.

I guess exposing stories that aren't getting enough coverage isn't legitimate enough for me to deserve protection.

Whatever.

I'll keep doing what I'm doing if you keep reading.

Monday, September 16, 2013

How not to be an asshole during a crisis

Part of living through as many natural disasters as I have means that I've also seen both the best and worst sides of people.

When tragedy strikes, we want to believe that everyone will rally together and help one another, but that is not always the case. Often, the opposite happens, and people begin to worry only about themselves, even if that comes at the price of others.

It's not pretty, I promise.

There have been some amazing stories coming out locally about things people have done to help others, who have rescued each other, who have gone above and beyond. The emergency responders are always amazing, and one of these days, I plan to drive to Boulder myself to hug the Sheriff. No one signs up for this much responsibility.

Close friends of mine spent hours in the thick of it moving other people's horses to safety. Local people have gone up in planes and helicopters every single time the weather cleared to get aerial shots of the flooding, often being the best source of information about road conditions.

Then there are the other people.

The ones who are bitching that schools are out most of this week. Because it inconveniences them. Because they have to go back to work. Because the school their kid goes to is fine. Because this is just ridiculous. Never mind that some schools suffered a lot of flooding damage, that many teachers and students are evacuated, trapped or have lost everything. Never mind that the schools with damage need water pumped out and water intrusion damages repaired or that the buses are being used to evacuate people.

The ones on this end of town who are pissed because they wanted to go to Target in the middle of the storm, but the police and fire departments were just impeding their travels and shutting down roads. Don't they know how important it is to run menial errands in the middle of a catastrophe??? Never mind that the roads were flooded or in danger of flooding. Never mind that bridge integrity is an issue. Never mind that no one gives a shit about your weekday trip to Target. Lives are in danger. People lost everything. Whatever.

The ones who just had to go out in the thick of it because they wanted to see what was going on. Who needed to stop on the side of the road and block traffic so they could take crappy pictures with their cell phones. Some of those people got stuck on the other side of the river then complained that they couldn't get home. Some of those people were pissed at the police and fire fighters for worrying about stupid inconsequential things like public safety. Some of those people probably lost their cars when they flooded and had to be saved. A fire truck was lost east of here saving people who shouldn't have been out. Fortunately, no one died in that rescue, but that rescue never should have happened in the first place. Stay home, stay safe. Don't endanger other people or divert resources because you're an asshole.

The ones who can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that the road conditions are changing constantly because of the river flows, that roads that were closed five minutes ago may be open now and vice versa, who can't comprehend why the city doesn't have an accurate map, updated every five minutes. The people who work for the city have their hands full, dammit. Give them a break.

The ones who take this opportunity to find some flaw in the local government's handling of the disaster, because that's going to do anyone any good at this point. A tragedy on this scale simply cannot be adequately prepared for. Social media is a blessing and a curse, because it allows quick dissemination of information, both correct and incorrect. It gives people a platform to distract from the immediate needs of others.

The ones who don't understand that although their house is safe and they are largely unaffected, this is a regional disaster. The roads are not going to get rebuilt over night. The water isn't just going to disappear because it's in your way. The bridges probably won't all be fixed for a year. A year. Instead of whining about how you have to drive half a mile out of your way to get to the other side of town now, think about the people who's only way in and out of their home was destroyed.

The ones who just don't get it. The ones who don't think it is a big deal because they aren't personally affected. Who live just far enough away that it's not their problem. Out of sight, out of mind. Empathy is dead, folks. I hate to say it, but it's true. If something has to effect you to affect you....that's a problem.

Then you have all the people who don't actually live here, but who come to visit this beautiful place. The ones who are more worried about their reservations and vacations than whether people are trapped or dead. Sorry, your vacay isn't our top priority right now. Lives need saved and towns need rebuilt first. The mountains will still be here indefinitely, honest.

p.s. the leaves will change next year too.

There is also this huge component of stuff largely ignored by the media, and I have to talk about that too. I've lived through enough of this shit to know that it's not just this disaster. It happens all the time. The media goes where the money is, where the good shots are, not where the story is. During the Cedar Fire in San Diego, we saw tons of shots of expensive coastal homes burning because it made good TV. People out by us were dying because there was no news coverage of middle-class east county.

During the Northridge earthquake, no one outside of town knew that the soil in neighborhoods by us liquified, swallowing houses, or that our high school was closed for months, or that if the earthquake would have happened during the day hundreds of us would have died. FEMA didn't even show up for a few weeks. My house was five miles from the epicenter, as the crow flies, but we didn't exist.

It's happening again now, and reminding me that when disaster strikes, you have to truly be prepared because help might not be coming. The cameras sure won't show up unless you've got something happening that they deem worthy. The Today Show is broadcasting from Boulder today, apparently. On day 5 of this event, when the biggest threats are over here, but the situation is worsening out east. They have helicopters and all the money in the world. They could fly into Lyons and show what happened there. They could come to Longmont and show the damage here. They could talk about the entire neighborhoods trapped and isolated by water east of here. They won't. They'll set cameras up in some beautiful part of Boulder and make it look good.

Those of us who live here, who understand what happened, who get it, will be fine. We'll help the friends who need dug out. We'll be patient about road closures and bridge inspections. We'll conserve resources when needed, give what we can without being asked to. We won't seek credit or photo opportunities when the hard work of rebuilding starts. We won't criticize and complain about inconveniences, we'll understand. We saw what happened here, even if the world didn't.

It's alright.

Living through enough of these disasters, I know the truth.

We got this.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Emergency Preparedness, Evacuations and Survival

In this world we live in, we like to believe that we can outsmart and outrun Mother Nature. We cant.

Here in Colorado, we are being reminded of that yet again.

No matter where you live in the world, there are always risks of natural disasters. In some areas, those risks come in multiple forms, from different places. Some disasters are more easy to prepare for, others are almost impossible.

Instead of believing that it won't happen to you, assume that it will. Do what you can to protect yourself, your family, your home, your pets and your belongings.

What you need to do will obviously be dictated by the specific threats in your area.  If you are coastal and need to worry about storm surges, how you prepare your home will be different than if you are in the foothills and worry about wildfires.

Sometimes all the defensible space in the world won't stop a fire. Sometimes all the boards and sandbags won't stop the water. Sometimes the most sophisticated storm shelters won't stop a tornado. Sometimes building codes won't stop an earthquake.

Respect the power of nature. Prepare for what you can, but also be prepared in the event that you can't protect your house.

Prepare to evacuate. Keep a mental list of absolute essentials that you would take. You should be able to grab them within a few minutes or less.

More than anything, though, prepare your family.

- Keep supplies of water and shelf stable food on hand at all times.

- Keep extra blankets, ponchos, shoes and coats on hand.

- Have at least one radio that doesn't require electricity (we have a hand crank radio/flashlight).

- Always have an ample supply of flashlights and batteries.

- Keep essential medications in the same place so they can be easily located.

- Practice safety drills, how to evacuate your home, where to seek shelter both indoors and out.

- Designate a meeting place with all members of your family if you get separated.

- Keep crates and kennels, cages and leashes for all pets in your household. Keep extra food as well.

- Know where your water, power and gas shut offs are located.

- If the water supply is in question, fill containers before the supply is shut off.

- If you lose power, conserve the cooling effect of your refrigerator as long as possible by not opening it unless absolutely necessary. If the food warms to over 40 degrees for more than two hours, throw it away.

- Respect and follow all instructions by emergency officials. If you are told to evacuate, go. Staying too long does not just endanger you, it endangers the emergency officials and diverts resources.

- Stay out of the way of emergency workers. Stay off emergency phone lines unless you have a legitimate emergency. Let them do their jobs.

- Stay safe. Be smart. Be aware. Stay prepared.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th, the day Colorado created islands

When you've lived though as many natural disasters as I have, you get used to being prepared.

I've been through several wildfires, the worst of which was the Cedar Fire in 2003 when we were evacuated for days. I've lived through a massive earthquake, Northridge in 1994, which damaged our home significantly and cut us off from services entirely for days. I've been on a cruise ship in the middle of a hurricane, on my honeymoon no less. I've been through blizzards and watched a funnel cloud form over my head.

I've seen things, you guys.

Mother Nature can humble you in a hurry.

When my phone started blowing up with alerts the night before last, my mind immediately went into planning mode.

I live in Longmont, Colorado, the city that has declared we are experiencing the 500 year flood. The river that runs through the middle of town has divided the city, making it impossible to get from one side to the next. There is no way in or out of the city right now, as the St. Vrain and all the other rivers around here swell and rage. The interstates and highways are closed. Many roads washed out completely, destroyed by the water.

We are an island right now, surrounded on all sides by water.

We are safe, our home on the higher side of town. We are lucky to have all our utilities still working. I know many people under mandatory evacuation orders, many more under recommended evacuations. The town of Lyons, directly to the West of us is in far worse shape than we are, and I hope that all those trapped on high ground there get out safely when the waters recede.

The city has shut off the wastewater treatment facility. They say the water supply is still safe, but just in case, we have filled our 5 gallon jug and the bathtubs.  We have hand crank flashlights and camping stoves.

We don't know how long it will be until the waters recede, and as I type this it just started to rain again.

Here are some pictures from the last few days, and links to information. Many of the sites have crashed repeatedly. Many other parts of the state are having flooding as well.

The state website for road conditions
Longmont Office of Emergency Management





If you have to evacuate, leave. If there is a chance you might come under an evacuation order soon, prepare ahead and put the irreplaceable things in your car. Some shelters are not allowing people to take their animals, so prepare for that as well.

Stay off the roads unless you absolutely need to be out. Rescue workers don't need to be rescuing sightseers.

Stay safe everyone.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Nerdsday ~ This is what happens when you get sucked into a vortex

I have this love/hate relationship with the internet.

Because cats and memes and photoshop and Reddit.

I have compiled here for you some of the most nerdtastical stuff I've seen lately. Maybe you've seen some of it. Maybe you haven't.

This is what happens when I'm online.

I'm a HUGE fan of challenging stereotypes, and have written before about how the world of the superheroes needs to be more diverse, so when a friend IRL posted this link about Captain America in a turban, I was like YES.

I'm wicked pissed at DC right now, but this is still hilarious...and includes plenty of Marvel folks too.


One of my biggest pet peeves in the world is atrociously bad grammar. I'll be the first to admit that mine isn't perfect, but at least I know when to use there/their/they're. This makes me squeal with delight, and I'm forcing my oldest to watch it so he learns in a way that he'll actually remember.


So, there is this little girl, and she's mad that the female heroes don't get made into the cool toys like boys, so she said something about it. It's pretty awesome.


Thor 2 is coming out fairly soon. The geniuses at io9.com decided to shop a movie poster. This is the best.


Who doesn't love giant hamsters? I mean, really. Whoever dreamed up these commercials was probably high, but I'm okay with that because they are awesome. The fact that this one has the music of Lady Gaga in the background just makes my kids love it more. They really are little monsters.



Darth Lundberg.

You know you want to do this.
No, really. He probably is.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

All The Things He Will Never Get To Be

It's a somber day as it is, this one.

It's cloudy and dreary here, the sun hasn't come out yet.

Normally, I love the rain and welcome it whenever it comes. Today it just seems like it was supposed to be here.


It rained the day of my uncle's funeral.

It rained the day of my father's too.

They say it never rains in Southern California.  Oh, but it does when it's supposed to.

After I dropped off all the kids and the carpool had completed the last lap of the morning, I found myself with a little bit of time to burn. Normally it's not raining here, so normally, I find a bench in a park or near the river when I get little bits of time to myself.

Today, that wasn't going to work.

I ended up going to McDonald's of all places for a coffee. Pulling into the parking lot, I knew why I was there, but I went in anyway. I took my book, telling myself that I would be able to read a few chapters while I waited. The car drove itself there, I'll swear to it.

I found a small table and sat down. Took the lid off the coffee and opened my book. Trying so hard to plunge into my fantasy world, I couldn't.

I couldn't because I was completely surrounded by them.

By the things he will never get to be.

Every table, every booth in the place, occupied by little old men. We joke that it's like a convention every weekday morning in there, because it is. They come in groups, they come alone. They don't come for a few weeks and the others notice. They sit and they sip their senior coffees for hours and hours.

They tell stories about the wives they've lost.

They tell stories about their grandchildren.

They tell stories about the jobs they used to have.

They tell stories about being in the service, the places they've been, the things they've seen.

Five days a week, they do this.

I sat, alone on this bizarre geriatric island, suddenly overcome with emotion. I was fighting back tears and I immediately knew why.

My dad will never get to be one of these men.

He will never be old.

He will never be widowed.

He will never crave the hours of time with the only people who really understand him.

He will never tell the same stories over and over again.

He will never walk past a lonely girl in a sea of gray and smile.

This is just one of the things he will never get to be.

And it's not fair.

Writer's Workshop Wednesday ~ Jennifer from The Hoare, with An Open Letter To My Dead Husband

Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday! This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.

I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.

Today's post is from someone I just had the pleasure of "meeting" for the first time online last week. Jennifer writes at The Hoare. You can find her on Facebook here and on her blog here

She sent this to me, and I was instantly drawn in by her words. She lost her husband in 1999. Grief is such an important part of life. Here, she shares with you all this vital part of her story. This is beautiful and real. Thank you, Jennifer, for this.

With love and respect, Jennifer. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Open Letter To My Dead Husband

Dear Dead Husband,

I can recall a time when I counted the number of days that had passed since the rainy September morning when you cried out for me before finally letting go of your ever-weakening grasp on your cancer-riddled life. Eventually, it was easier to transition to counting weeks, and then months. And now, I count the years.

Next month will mark the 14th anniversary of your death. I find this nearly impossible to wrap my brain around. In so many ways, it seems that I should still be in the day counting stage of my grief, as I don’t know how much headway I’ve really made since your departure. I still feel as if you could still walk through the door, or ring me up on the telephone.

Of course, I’m remarried now, so this would make for quite the awkward situation.

Yet, I find myself clutching to you by a thread, not wanting to let go lest our brief and wonderful life together unravel, and leave me with nothing but photographs reminiscent of who we once were. And while it’s true that I’ve moved on, I have never really accepted that you are, in fact, dead.

I’ve kept you alive in myriad ways. At first, it was by refusing to rid our closet of your clothing. For months, your shoes sat by our front door, waiting for you to casually step into them. Or perhaps, metaphorically I was waiting for someone else to step into them. As years passed, the shoes went unfilled, and the clothing was eventually donated, (however, I still have your favorite Tommy Hilfiger dress shirt hanging behind my winter coat. You know, the plaid one that we bought on a trip to Orlando for our honeymoon).

I’ve kept you alive with the photographs around the house that my current husband so understandingly tolerates. I’ve kept you alive through silent conversations that we often have when I’m lying in bed at night before I drift off to sleep, hoping that you’ll show up in my dreams. You seldom do.

Mostly, I’ve kept you alive by projecting the relationship we once shared onto every man that has entered my life in the last 14 years. I’ve unfairly had expectations of my current husband to be the husband that you had been. I expect him to react that way that you would in a bad situation. I expect him to know the right things to say and do, and I've expected him to help me recreate some goddamn fantasy that I still have that marriage. Like it never went away... Like you were just recast, like fucking Darrin from Bewitched.

Dead Husband, I guess the point that I’m really trying to make here is that I really must release that thread and acknowledge that you cease to exist. I need to understand that while I can carry your memory with me every day for the rest of my life, I need to let you rest. My incessant attempts at your revival must exhaust you. Your soul can’t sleep, because I won’t allow it to do so.

Dead Husband, I don’t want you to worry about me anymore; I’m going to be okay. I’m no longer going to fantasize about meeting you in some illusionary afterlife where we spend eternity playing fucking harps, or drinking Heineken while belting out Grateful Dead tunes. I refuse to continue to beckon your assistance for every arbitrary crisis that I encounter. I’m going to let you find peace.

I’m finally going to let you die.

After all, while I’ll never regain the same concept of marriage that I shared with you, I have a new, different marriage now. It’s unfair to punish this wonderful man simply because he isn’t you. I have our children to raise, and a life of my own to carve out, just like you hoped I would.

Dead Husband, I bid thee farewell.

Sincerely,

Your Still Grieving Wife

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the forced abortion, sledgehammer licking, canceled wedding, planned suicide, mustached edition

There's a lot going on in that there title. Bear with me. There's a lot to cover this week.

Worst Boyfriend Ever
So there was this couple. And they were madly in love, or so the girl thought at least. Then she got pregnant and her boyfriend freaked the fuck out.

p.s. that part happens all.the.time.

What happened next though, doesn't.

She was sick and needed to take antibiotics for an infection. Her loving boyfriend gave her the meds, except he didn't give her the right ones.


He gave her something else. He gave her abortion medication. 

She lost the baby. The doctors at the hospital inspected the medication after she was admitted for abdominal pain and bleeding.

He pled guilty this week and accepted a plea deal that could include as much as 13 years in prison.

Miley, Miley, Miley
I'm starting to really like this chick. Her most recent video is causing all kinds of debate in the online universe, and you people know how much I like a good debate.

The song isn't for children, the video isn't for children, and she's no role model, but she might be a genius, and she's proving one kickass song at a time that she really is a talented musician.


For those of you who don't understand why she is naked or why she is riding a wrecking ball or why she is licking a sledgehammer, I say this. Congratulations.  

Truly.

You don't understand because you obviously haven't been in that relationship, the one that strips you down to nothing and beats the hell out of you emotionally, that you keep coming back for because you can't live without it.

I'm glad you don't get it.

Instead of focusing on what she is wearing or what she is licking, imagine a world where you get it. Where the song rips your heart out and you end up in tears because it's about you. Imagine that.

Then we'll talk.

Canceled Weddings and Suicide Girls
D.C., I'm pissed.

You don't just work for the fanboys, in case you still haven't figured that out.

You work for us too. The fangirls.

And we are pissed.



Not only did you cancel Batwoman's marriage to her lesbian partner, hiding behind the mantra that heroes can't have happy endings, you actually are running a drawing contest for amateur fans where you want them to draw Harley Quinn planning and executing her own suicide.


What in the actual fuck are you thinking?

I can't even say more about this because I am so fucking disappointed in you.

Did I do that?
I feel like there is this epidemic of assholery, and at the same time this epidemic is hitting, there is this total lack of awareness by the assholes that pictures on the internet get shared and passed around, and eventually everything shitty you do will bite you in the ass.

And yet, this happened.

A woman is suing the hospital and doctors involved in her surgery at Torrance Memorial hospital in California after they put stickers on her face when she was under anesthesia and took pictures.

They gave her a mustache and put tear drops under one eye.

I wish I was kidding.

It's an epidemic, I tell ya.

Monday, September 9, 2013

National Suicide Prevention Week

Like most people above a certain age, my life has been touched by suicide.

Some close to me, some a little further away.

Some of those who took their lives were young, some in the prime of their lives, some already nearing the end.

For all those who succeeded, there are the ones who tried, but lived.

I know that for me personally, it was an attempt that changed everything for me. It made me realize how broken the mental health system is. It made me understand how important it is to close those gaps. It made me understand how quickly people can feel like there aren't any other options.

I know that I'm supposed to be doing my duty right now to spread awareness of suicide, of the warning signs, of the hotline numbers and all that. And I will.

Sometimes, though, I'm just a girl who wants to stop everyone who thinks about it and ask them if this is what they want the last memory for everyone left to be. I want to tell them that no matter what their intentions are, no matter how helpless they feel, there is someone out there who loves them. Someone who will struggle to understand why. Someone who will never make sense of it. Someone who will shoulder blame that they shouldn't.

This decision in this one moment won't just end your life, it will change theirs. Forever.

If you or someone you love needs help, don't wait. There are crisis centers all over the country, and you can find one nearby here. You can also call 877-273-TALK

So Tired

There is a powerlessness to where I am at right now.

The kind of powerlessness that pulls you away from everything and sits you on a bench far, far away, to a place where it seems as though you're being forced to watch things play out over there, too far for your actions to do any good, too far that anyone can hear you begging and pleading for things to be different.

The kind of powerlessness that strips you down to nothing and leaves you out there, alone, bare, exposed.

If there is any lesson I have learned more in recent years than another, it is that we are not in control of what happens around us.

Even and especially the things which we would wish the most to change.

We are at the mercy of rhyme and reason, of fate and time.

We are at the mercy of the choices of others.

We are here, on the bench, far away, screaming into the wind that silences us.

I am tired.

I am tired of being the strong one.

I am tired to doing what I must.

I am tired of being the one hurt.

So tired.

Some of My Most Popular Posts