I Weep for the Future

Oh, 1986…what a great time to be an 8 year old.  I couldn’t have told you who was the president, but I certainly would have known how to make a diamond out of a lump of coal.  My parents took me to see Ferris Buller’s Day Off in the movie theater and I heard the snotty Chez Quis maitre-d’ proclaim his concern for how my generation was going ruin everything.  Of course, it had zero impact on me then.  I was more concerned about how many cats Alf would eat that week or what crazy hijinks PeeWee would get up to in his Playhouse (speaking of sad futures).  As I got older – and especially from college to present – that line would pop up over and over in my head as my horizons broadened and I became more aware of the world around me.

Today, as I write this, I am afraid.  Not the I-might-get-caught-skipping-school kind of fear, rather, the what-kind-of-world-am-I-leaving-for-my-kids type of terror.  After I broke my ankle, I sunk into a heavy depression.  I was also on some pretty powerful pain killers.  Somewhere in the fugue state, it dawned on me that I should probably take a break from Facebook.  For the first time since I signed up in 2007, I disabled my account for 2 weeks.

As the healing process continued and my medication usage decreased, I began to feel better about life in general.  After two weeks of radio silence, I reactivated my account and felt like an asshole when I saw how many messages and alerts I had missed. (By the way, how is that a thing?  I thought if you didn’t have an account anymore, people couldn’t tag or PM you.  I was wrong.)  My faith in FB humanity had been temporarily restored as I rejoined my online communities and thanked people for reaching out when I needed to hear from them the most.

But then.

I continued to scroll.

In the beginning, when Donald Trump becoming president seemed as likely as Ferris being a fry cook on Venus, I had one or two distant acquaintances declare their support.  Those were some of my first – and easiest – unfriendings in my FB history.  As this nightmarish campaign continued and sane people across the land continued to chuckle at the thought of this (I can’t even use the term “man”….even “person” seems generous…) lump of skin becoming the leader of America, I witnessed a few more folks in my feed appear to be in his dirty, orange corner.  This time, instead of cutting ties, I decided to keep on eye on things.  You know, like view the world through the eyes of a bigot?  But now, today, when the two mainstream choices are who they are…there are too many in my feed to monitor.  And their posts are just too disturbing.

I understand why people are so emotional about Hillary Clinton.  I am not happy that our first potential female president is surrounded by so much corruption and controversy.  There are SO MANY better women role models and potential leaders for me to show my daughter as she grows up – but they won’t make history like HC has and possibly will continue to do.  The Clinton Foundation is like a beautiful red Ferrari – it looks great with Ferris and Sloan in the front seat.  But don’t forget that Cameron is hiding under a blanket in the back.  So that’s how it is in their family.  I understand people having powerful feelings against her being in office, I truly do.  However.

Here is where my stomach starts to turn.  If I read a “Killery” comment about the shadiness of her deleted emails, I understand the passion and concern of that writer.  Questioning her motivation to be in power and wondering how the Clinton’s amassed such a fortune since Bill was in office?  I, too, will never quite understand how that all worked out.  But the first time I saw the “If Hillary can’t satisfy Bill, how can she satisfy America” meme – I cried.  I shed huge, angry, frustrated tears of disbelief.

Because it wasn’t her fault her husband cheated on her.

Because I can’t even imagine how painful that time was for her.

Because her abilities or inabilities in the bedroom have an effect on her partner’s actions?

Because if she’s not good at pleasing a man sexually in a satisfactory manner, she can’t be president!

(Oh, and the poster of this degrading propaganda?  A woman.)

But her opponent, OH HER OPPONENT.  Is a pig.  Is a sniffing, snorting, oinking, interrupting, mansplaining, disgusting excuse for a man.  HE can say or do ANYthing to women that he wants to.  HE can cheat on wives, be married multiple times, make outrageous comments about his attraction to his own daughter,  assess the worth of women by their weight, and flat (chested) out call certain females disgusting.  HE can openly admit to proudly sexually assaulting women.  HE can.  HE just can.  Why?  Is it because he promised to build a wall?  Because he’s rich?  Because…Miss America?  Because he’s supported by the KKK?  Because he not a career politician?  Because of his vague promise to make America great again?

Because he’s a man?

I am upset at America for letting this happen.  I simply can’t believe this is the best we could do.  By no means am I any kind of political expert – FAR from it.  Which means I have no idea what goes on in back rooms, behind closed doors, under that blanket.  I don’t fully understand how we got here or how we’re going to get out of this mess.  I’m preparing myself now for how I’m going to apologize to my children when this all blows up – which it will regardless of which candidate wins.  And although I tried to lighten up my dark feelings with some 1980’s related references, I hope that hasn’t taken away from the genuineness of my dread.

Truly, I weep for the future.


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Filed under Facebook, Parenting, Rants, Uncategorized

More Misunderstood Song Lyrics

When I was a kid and Wayne’s World was all the rage, one of my favorite bits they used to do was about misunderstood song lyrics.  The CCR picture above has probably my all time favorite.  I sing about the bathroom on the right every time I hear Bad Moon just to make myself chuckle.  I then went on to marry the KING of getting the words wrong.  Coincidence?

This summer I was fortunate enough to go camping with my family, college BFF (J) and her husband (S).  The topic came up around the campfire of how when the very popular song Cheerleader came out, (S) thought they were saying, “I think I found myself a jellybear.” We all agreed….that’s not even a thing.  I told the story about when we almost named our daughter Layla based almost entirely on Wilford’s (if you haven’t read my other posts regarding why I call my husband that…oh well) thinking the Eric Clapton song was called “HeyLove.”  And that he thought Van Halen was signing about Cannonballs not Panama.  On and on we laughed.

Today I woke up super early – hours before my alarm – and not feeling very well.  My ankle hurt a lot and I’ve weened myself off the hard pain killers so maybe that had something to do with it.  Wilford was still sound asleep, which I can openly admit, I was super jealous about.  As I’m tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable enough to drift back off, he’s next to me intermittently snoring and cutting the cheese.  Both at an impressive volume.  After an hour and a half of his symphony, I shook him awake and asked if he was supposed to be up and moving by now.  He said “yeah, probably” and then with his next breath IMMEDIATELY started sawing logs again.  Being the wonderful wife that I am, I nudged him and said, “By the way….your musical tops and bottoms are really on point this morning.”

Now we were in the darkness of the wee hours and I was waiting to see what he had for me next.  I wasn’t expecting the following exchange, but here it is:

(W) Hey….honey?

(Me) Yes dear?

(W) Did you know…….that every rose has it’s thorn?

(Me)  I’ve heard that somewhere before I think.

(W) Oh, okay….But did you know….that every night has it’s dawn?

(Me)  Um hmmm….sounds familiar.

(W) Alright…..Also….every player sings a sad, sad song.


(W) *singing off tune* EVERY PLAYER…

(Me)…Are you saying PLAYER?

(W) Yeah.

(Me) Like play on playa?

(W) No, like maybe he plays the harmonica in the band.

(Me) Wilford, it’s Cowboy.  It’s every COWBOY sings a sad, sad song.

(W) Are you sure about that?

(Me) I, as well as anyone has ever heard the song EVER, even once, is absolutely sure.  It’s the cowboy who sings the song.  THE COWBOY!


(Me) *sighs heavily*

(W) I win, player.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m one lucky gal.  Sorry ladies, this cowboy is taken.  The line forms to the right….where the bathroom is also located.

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Filed under humor, injury, Marriage, Musings

Hey, did you just break your ankle?

Did you just break your ankle?  Are you in bed, elevated, popping pain pills and googling things like “pictures of broken ankles,” or “how long until I can walk again,” and “ankle surgery stories.”

Stop it.

I’m serious.  Right now.  You are only going to make it worse.

I broke my leg and ankle on Thursday, September 8th during roller derby scrimmage.  I had to look up the exact date because my head is still a little scrambled and my concept of time is even worse than usual.  On the 9th, I went to a surgery center and they scheduled me for Monday the 12th.  The following Monday, I thought I was going to be able to drive my 3 kids to their 3 different schools.  I was so very wrong.  I made it, but in such pain (I didn’t take the meds because I was driving) that my oldest kid called my parents and asked them to please come over and help.

During the following week, when I again had to call on friends and family to get my children to school and back, I sunk in to a pretty horrible depression.  I felt like life was never going to be the same again and that I was going to be useless forever.  I hid in my room and cried.  No blogging, no lifting the weights I bought right after I came home from the ER – just resting, elevating, sobbing.

But guess what?  This Friday, my husband drove me to my post op doctor’s appointment.  It was painful for such a squeamish person to see her ankle looking like frankenstein and then have the staples removed.  I shed some more tears, lost 3 pounds of anxiety sweat weight and got a new purple cast.  My X-rays were incredibly cool with the plates and screws…plus everything is back where it’s supposed to be!  After the appointment, my husband took me out for breakfast and my leg survived being down the whole time.  My depression lingered, but I could feel myself actively fighting back against it.  A couple of my favorite derby teammates came over with liquor and laughter – my two favorite things!  I cried a few more times, but they totally understood….and that made life better.

This weekend was full of little victories.  Yesterday, I DID lift my new weights.  I worked out for about 20 minutes doing things my doctor told me I was fine to do.  When my toes turned into little sausages that matched my cast color, I stopped and put my ankle up.  I went downstairs by scooting on my butt and joined my family for pizza and movie night for the first time in forever.  AND – I went UP the stairs using my crutches.  I also walked through my gardens, watered a few things, and elevated my leg in the warm Fall sun.

So if you just broke something and are falling into the same in-horrible-pain, googling-stuff, thinking-you’ll-never-recover-funk – know this:

You are not alone and this is temporary.  Give yourself the time to heal.  Find a doctor and surgeon you trust and then listen to them.  Take time alone when you need it, but let your friends and family help.  Cry.  Laugh.  STOP reading online horror stories of all the things that can go wrong in the recovery process.

But I think most importantly – learn and grow from this sucky experience.  Find something constructive to do in your downtime.  Make sure when disaster strikes someone you love that you take them a meal for their freezer, a treat for that day, and spend time talking and listening.  Reach out to them because you remember what it felt like to be falling.

Second most importantly – seriously, stop googling stuff.  Unless it’s more of my blogs.  Then have at it.  You’ve got some time on your hands anyway, right?


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Filed under Fitness, humor, injury, Writing

Let Me See Some ID

I’m still in bed with my ankle propped, trying to decide what to write about today.  If you have read anything I’ve written about the Facebook before, you should know there’s another rant brewing there.  I won’t launch into the whole thing, I’ll only mention my decision not to post anything about my current situation.  No selfies from the ER, or thumbs up pictures as they were wheeling me into surgery.  Not even a sad-faced closeup with #nomakeup.  Trust me when I tell you, I have a series of ADORABLE pictures involving my dogs snuggled up to my cast that would bring the house down, but I’ve refrained so far.

I’m doing this to see how many of my “friends” would still remember that I was hurt without me constantly reminding them with staged pictures and whiny updates polluting their newsfeeds.  I feel very fortunate being able to say that I’ve had a steady stream of friends (no quotations, see) send me well wishes.  I’ve even had a few of my favorites come and visit me.  They have kept me from falling into a complete state of depression and when this is all over with, I’m going to send them handwritten notes to tell them how much they mean to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I told them that when they were here…but I was also fairly medicated.  At some point, I’ll probably write a post for each of them – but right now I’m going to start with a great story involving today’s visitor.

A million years ago, at age 25, I started working at a police department.  It was there that I met Amy. (No, that’s not actually her name – but we went through an Amy Winehouse period together and so this alias feels right.)  Upon meeting her, I knew that we would one day be friends but that day would take some work getting to.  The tale of our first conversation has been told many times to many audiences…but I feel like it’s fodder for it’s own blog, so I’ll wait.  Let’s just say she didn’t like me immediately, but I grew on her.

Amy was, and still remains to be, one of the toughest women I’ve ever met in my life.  She had worked for the PD for YEARS – from a patrol officer on up the ranks to Sergeant.  When I met her, she was a detective.  I remember watching her work though the cameras in the interview rooms and being absolutely in awe of her ability to speak to people.  Amy always seemed to know when to go hard at a dirt-bag or appear sympathetic to get them to open up to her.  The soft way she spoke to children and terrified victims brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.  I admired her both on the clock, and afterwards – when she took off the uniform and was my friend.  I was going through a horrible period in my personal life and she was there for me every step of the way – knowing how to talk to me the way I needed, too.  She knew when I needed serious advice, but could also always make me laugh in the middle of what felt like my world crashing down.

Another important detail you need to know about Amy is that she is beautiful.  When I first met her, she was in her early 40s, but people mistook us for sisters all the time.  Oh, the smile that would spread across her face when she’d proclaim, “Sisters?  I’m old enough to be her mother!”  We usually made a scene when we went out together because we were pretty fun…or at least in our minds, anyway.  Amy got me started running and training for triathlons (ALSO another story there!) and we did our first 5K together in Seattle, circa 2008.  That’s where this event takes place.

Amy and I have a million funny stories of situations we have found ourselves in over the years.  Getting patrol cars stuck places, locking ourselves out of houses, being stuck in elevators, using cookies instead of spoons when eating pudding, picking each other up off of dance floors when a big move had gone awry – you know, the usual.  But of all our adventures, I find myself telling this one the most often as it can also serve as a cautionary tale for women ages 25-45.

We decided to hit the town and checkout the Seattle nightlife.  I put on a ridiculous pair of purple high heels – because that’s what you should wear to walk downtown the night before a race – and we were off.  The evening started innocently enough, as they always did, with a few drinks at a classy establishment near our hotel.  Soon we were bored with that whole scene and decided to wander around, almost as if we were looking for trouble.  We found it in the basement of some really rough looking Irish pub.  We had only taken two steps into the dark and noisy room but were already whispering to each other that this might have been a mistake.  Before we could make an exit move, a HUGE dude from the other side of the bar yells, “Hey!  Hey you two – stop right there.”

We froze as he started lumbering through the crowd towards us.  “Let me see some ID, right now!”

So Amy and I did what any normal woman would do in that situation.  We panicked but tried to play it cool. Fumbling through our purses, we nervously reverted to our normal dialogue for when we got carded (I was 30 at this point, Amy 48).  It was a high-pitched mix of, “Oh my!”  and “How flattering!” with some “He just wants a big tip later!” and a “He must card everyone that comes in!” sprinkled on top for good measure.  Well, I’m not sure which of these over-the-top exclamations pissed him off the most…what I do know is that he stopped short of us, turned around and headed back towards the bar.

Confused and still holding my license, I yelled after him, “Hey, I thought you needed our IDs?”

Without any hint of emotion, he shouted back, “Yeah.  That was before I saw you up close.”

Ladies, here is what you should take away from this –

  1. Everyone needs a BFF like Amy in their lives.
  2. Don’t break in new high heels the night before a run, no matter how bangin’ you think they are.
  3. Do not use the term bangin’.
  4. Keep your mouth shut and give the bouncer your ID.

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Filed under Facebook, humor, Musings, Writing

Things I Accomplished Today

Let’s see.  I managed a shower with my new fancy cast cover thingy.   (If you or someone you love very much breaks a bone, get them one of these.  For under $10 you give them the gift of hygiene.  I’m serious, get one right now.)  I got dressed after much trial and error in the “let’s see what fits over my massive foot” game.  Possibly while cursing, I did some of my husband’s laundry.  Oatmeal was made and consumed in the kitchen so as to avoid working my crutches with a molten-lava-hot bowl in my hands.  An icepack was placed lovingly on my splint, despite the fact the wrapping is so thick I don’t even know it’s there.  Doctor’s orders, you know.  I’m sure it’s helping?

I painted my fingernails purple.  Watched the second disk of Season 1 of Bob’s Burger my college BFF sent me.  This was especially awesome because I didn’t realize there were two disks and thought I’d already run out of episodes.  I sewed together a couch cushion my dog chewed for about the 19th time.  On a crafter’s high, I went on to stitch together a furry bathroom rug to a memory foam rug to form a SUPER RUG for me to stand on in front of my washer and dryer.  All that before noon!

I guess you could say I’m winning at the broken ankle game.  Obviously.

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Filed under humor, injury, Product Review, Writing

My War in Iraq

I’ve started writing this story at least 8497 times in the last 12 years.  This is my 3rd attempt just this morning.  I’ve finally decided that I’m just going to jump in and start recording my thoughts, memories and stories as best I can and organize them properly later.

For years now, I have been telling my husband that I’d like to write about how the war in Iraq shaped not only the story of our lives, but those who are still closest to us.  He is humble.  And angry.  Plus a whole host of other emotions about the things he went through.  His response was that our experiences really weren’t unique or worth writing about.   I explained for the millionth time that I wasn’t talking about a documentary detailing just what his unit did during combat, but rather the personal stories that were involved with his fellow soldiers and their families.

I intend to experiment with different writing techniques in attempting to describe events and repercussions.  My hope is that collectively, they will help people gain a perspective they wouldn’t have had otherwise.  I feel like sometimes people and situations get lumped into categories (this is a story about combat, this is a story about the crumbling of personal relationships, this is a story about adjusting to life after war) that are too broad to be relatable.  I want to break them down to be personal in a way that helps people to truly understand the lasting effects that wars have.

I also hope that anyone who is involved with the war currently or is struggling to reconcile past experiences might find comfort knowing what others have gone through and how they came out the other side.  Not all of these stories have happy endings.  Also, many of these journeys aren’t over yet.

And now, with that longwinded preface,  I can finally get started….which might actually help close a chapter of my own life.

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Filed under Iraq, soldiers, war, Writing

When the Other Skate Drops

I had this plan.  I was going to get the kids back to school last week – the oldest one in 10th, middle kid in 4th and my baby…MY BABY… to Kindergarten.  I made it through all the stress of figuring out which new schools, supply shopping, registrations, orientations.  I WAS ALMOST THERE!  And once I dropped the little one for her first day on Friday, oh the things I was going to accomplish.  After a good cry, of course.

The housework – it was going to get done.  AWL of it.  But a little at a time, see?  I figured I’d spend however long it took to do all the laundry and then pick one room to really focus on cleaning until the whole place was sparkling.  On Wednesday and Thursday when the two boys were back in school, I got more done than you would even believe.  Area rugs were shampooed, every stitch of laundry washed, dried, sorted.  Pantry – scrubbed and reorganized!  Meals planned, dishes done, oh yes – the plan was off to a great start.

Arts – there was going to be time for projects now!  I was going to give myself an hour a day for my creative side.  Candles (I had orders to fill), window art, furniture refinishing.  Hell, I might even paint a picture for our house.  So in between my cleaning, I got my wax orders made and started planning projects using some reclaimed wood I came across.  Check.

Fitness – beyond the running I’ve been doing and derby, I was going to join the local gym  on Friday. I took the summer off from lifting because my old place was now 45 minutes away and the fitness centers around here have no child care.  I couldn’t WEIGHT (oh, my sides) to get back into the swing of things, get stronger and lose a few sneaky summer pounds.

Reading – I have so many books to get caught up on.  I’ve started at least 3 different ones that I need to finish because they are great, I just haven’t had a chance.  An hour a day to expand my mind.  That would be doable with ALL MY TIME.

Writing – oh, the blogging I was going to do with these magical 6 hours.  Hell, I might even start in on the two book ideas I’ve had swirling around in my head for I don’t know how long.  Fine, you got me.  I had days last week and I didn’t get around to that part.  But I promised myself I would fix that on Monday.

Then do you know what happened Thursday night at roller derby scrimmage?  I became a statistic.  I took a strange fall on an ankle I sprained back in May and I broke that bitch in two places.  I’ll save the gory details of the ER trip, but let’s just say I was unable to take my beautiful little girl to her first day of Kindergarten on Friday and I didn’t do any of the other things on my list because I had surgery yesterday to put my ankle back together with plates and pins.

So here I am, laying in bed with my ankle propped, hoped up on pain meds and feeling sorry for myself.  I’m not supposed to do anything physically taxing for at least a week after surgery…and even when I am cleared for more – what exactly am I going to do?  I mean other than wallowing in self pity?  I guess get caught up on the blogging and reading?  Which would be better than what I have been doing….watching crappy shows on DVD because we don’t have high enough bandwidth to stream stuff.  And binge eating.

This was not part of the plan.


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Filed under humor, injury, Musings, Roller Derby, Writing