Jun 19, 2012

Teach Your Children Well

There is a girl that our family has kind of "adopted".  She's a good girl but doesn't exactly have the best home life.   For all intents and purposes we will call her, "Mimi" (shrug).  During a conversation today, it came out that "Mimi" has been informed that she will not be allowed to graduate High School when the time comes.  She will be given a certificate, but not an actual diploma.  Why?? you ask... Well because as an 8th grader,"Mimi" can barely read past a 3rd grade level and does not have the skills to do math on a 1st grade level.  We are talking simple addition and subtraction here folks. 

Now, this came as a shock to me because just the other day, her mom was bragging about how "Mimi" got all A's and B's on her last report card.  My husband and I told her how proud we are of her-- which we were... and still are.  But, now I have to question... "How does a child who does not possess the basics get A's and B's in 8th grade?  Surely it isn't because the school systems have failed this child.  (insert sarcastic comment here)

Not to mention but.... what the sam hell is wrong with her mother?!?!  Why has she not demanded a better education for her daughter?  Why hasn't her mother sought tutoring for her?  Why (so many why's to ask at this point)???  I have a feeling that I know the answers to these questions, which may very well be the reason why I'm not even going to bother to ask.  It would probably result in me going spider-monkey on this woman and beating the stupid out of her.

What it basically comes down to is this-- My husband and I have decided we are going to help her.  We are going to tutor her, make sure she has the skills that she needs to be successful in life.  Good gravy!!  Hasn't her mother even thought about her own child's future?  (FRIGGIN FRACKIN SPLATTER RIPPIN!!!)  If no one else is going to care about "Mimi's" education and future then come hell or high water-- WE WILL.   
I will do everything I can in my power to try and make sure she gets a diploma when she graduates High School.  Even if it doesn't work out, then no one can say that "Mimi" was completely failed.

It burns me that so many people have failed her-- that so many have allowed her to slip through the cracks.  This will not do.

Mar 17, 2012

3 Years to 40

5 hours..... and counting.

Countdown to 37.  Thirty-friggin-seven.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this, and kinda understand why most women would have stopped the clock 12 years ago.  Don't get me wrong-- I am absolutely stoked that it's my birthday!  But 37??  When  How did THIS happen?!

When I was a kid, on my birthday, I was always asked, "Well, do you feel older yet?"  And truth be told, I still don't feel any older.  I still have the heart and spirit that I did 20 years ago.  So why am I freaking out about a number?? I have never done that before.  It didn't happen when I turned 30, I am not freaked out about being 40..... why now?

Well, it could be because I realize that the average life expectancy is between 75-85 yrs old.  (At least in my family it is).  I realized a couple weeks ago that my life is about half over now.  What the crap have I done in the first half of my life?  I have 3 fantastic kids that could drain the sanity out of any normal mother and a beautiful and fantastic husband that finishes off the sanity that was left after the kids.  (I love each of them with every breath in my body.)  But I don't really have much to show for the first 37 years of my life and I think that is what has me a bit freaked out.

I'm not really one to get caught up in monetary items or keeping up appearances.  I'm not concerned that I don't have the newest car or the biggest house.  I am just thankful that I have a roof over my head and a way to get from point A to point B.  Those are not the things that make me the person I am.

So what do I have to show for 37 years of life??  After contemplating (for the last 6+ hours) this is the conclusion I have come to.

1. I have lots of gray hair; The first of which I found at age 26.  This is a result of stress that has been survived.  Each one of these pigment-challenged hairs have been earned.  They are my badge of honor (that I keep hidden away in a box of hair color.  Hey!! If military men can hide their medals away in a box, so can I!)

2.  My spirit is strong and stubborn.  I'm not saying this to say, "Oh look at me", or "Oh poor me" or downplay anyone else's burdens but seriously folks-- I have been through hell and back-- multiple times. (Refer to #1) I have survived crap that would make some people down some "Judy Garland Trailmix" or slit their wrists... But, I am still here and I am still fighting.  Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is my theme song.

3.  I have ah-maz-ing friends and boy could we tell some stories!  I wouldn't trade one of them for anything in the world.  And some of them, for all intents and purposes, really shouldn't even be friends with me.  My ex-husbands wife?? One of my best friends...  Ex-boyfriend's family (from 20 some years ago)???  Some of my closest and best friends.  Our friendships defy the odds and I am amazed every time I think about them.  

4.  I have a post pregnancy belly (multiplied by 3) and stretch marks that could put the Pennsylvania Railroad to shame.  These are earned as well, but unfortunately I cannot hide them away in a box.  Each one of them represents 120 weeks of kicks, turns, flips, punches, etc. while housing the life of 3 children.  

Really the list could go on and on about what I have to show for the first half of my life.  When God finally calls me home, I will not die rich nor will I be famous.  But each year that I live I gain a little more wisdom, I love and am loved a little bit more.  

I can live with this.  

So celebrate your life.  It's not about the money, cars, clothes, jewelry-- it's about who you are, what you have overcome and who you love!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

Mar 3, 2012

Red Dress Moment Brought to You by the Color Blue

So I guess that would make it a "blue" red dress moment?   (In case you are wondering what the whole "Red Dress" thing is about... you can catch up here and here

I am slowly allowing my true colors to emerge.  Literally.  In my heart, I have always danced to the beat of my own drum, but outwardly followed the tune of what is socially acceptable. Until recently.  

I'm kind of at a point in my life where not only do I say that I don't care what others think, but am actually starting to live it. The past (almost) 37 years of my life have been spent "acting" according what other people said I should look and dress like.  Why do we always have to fit into someone else's box of normalcy?   And who determines what is normal??    I am ready to start doing the things that make me happy (within reason of course).

And this........

This makes me furiously happy.

So, throw caution to the wind and do at least one thing that you've always wanted to do, but were too afraid to do it.  In the end, it's not about how others see you, it's about how you see yourself when you look in that mirror.

Feb 26, 2012

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

As I come out of my slumps and funks, I try to listen to a lot of music.  Music that helps me stay mad, then music that helps me cry and get it all out and then finally music that helps me pick up the pieces, woman up and move on.

This is what I have been singing and listening to the past few days. And because I am entirely too emotional, I even get a little choked up when I listen to it.   The lyrics don't always have to fit your situation perfectly, but instead the main message behind the song and how it applies to your life.

Moral of the story.... it's okay to be down.  It's okay to yell, scream, cry, throw things, have a drink if ya need it, pray...... do whatever it takes to get it out of your system.  It's not about how you handle crappy situations and depression, it's about coming out on the other side-- stronger.

I know that because of my past, people get rather concerned when I go through my slumps.  And I appreciate everyone for loving me enough to care.  All I need is a little bit of patience and time to get it out.  Instead of letting it kill me, I will let it make me stronger.  

Feb 25, 2012

Alcohol and Neurontin-- Cure what ails ya


And suddenly, ya just don't care anymore. BONUS! it was all perfectly legal for me.    For once I was thankful for my Frankenfoot (my old blog) and the medication that I will most likely be prescribed for the rest of eternity.  

The combination of tequila shots, and 2 behemoth sized fuzzy navels (aka schnaaps with a splash of O.J) to wash down my nerve medication was just what the doctor ordered.  Can't say that I am completely out of my slump, but....  At least I'm not wanting to shoot chirping birds anymore or flipping off the sun for shining it's brilliant beams through my window.

Things were getting entirely too real and heavy around here and I just needed to not give a crap for a while.  And for about 3 hours, I didn't.  In the words of our great Steven Tyler, "It was beautiful man, just beautiful".  

Feb 24, 2012

Depression Sucks

Not your every day, "Eh it's dreary outside" depression.  I'm talking about the kind that makes you not even give a crap that you are depressed.  The kind that makes you realize that you have so much you want to scream out but can't even find the voice to do it-- and even if you did, you wouldn't tell anyone anyways.  So instead you just melt into a puddle of tears if you can even find the strength to cry.  The kind that makes you ask if you even remember the last time you were truly happy.  Which makes you feel even more like crap and guilty for feeling like that which in turn makes you more depressed.  Depression is a never ending vicious black hole that sucks everything out of you.

I realize that there are many people who have never experienced what I'm trying to describe, but it's not something that you just snap out of.  And for the record, telling someone to cheer up is a really shitty thing to say to them.  You don't just wake up one day with the sun shining and the birds chirping and suddenly all is right in your world.

 It takes a long time to come out of this shit-- alive.

And it sucks.  


Feb 17, 2012

Marriage-- The Leading Cause of Insanity

Lopsy (the cat):  Meeeeow.... Meeeeeeeow

Me:  What's wrong ki'y kitty?

Tim:  She's going to puke

Me:  She is??  No, I think she will be okay.

Tim:  No, she is going to puke and you need to get her onto the linoleum before she does it on the carpet

Me:  Um... no

Lopsy: *puke*

So I got up, went to the kitchen and grabbed paper towels to clean it up.

Tim: I don't understand

Me: What?

Tim:  You would rather clean puke up off the carpet than pick up the cat and move her

Me:  I don't want her to puke on me in the process of moving her!

Tim:  (makes motion of picking up cat and moving it... then shakes his head)

One hour later-----I read this..  

Me:  Yeah I just saw your Facebook post

Tim:  I was wondering when you were going to see that

Me:  Well I just now saw it

Tim: I posted that a long time ago

Me: I just now saw it... and commented

Tim:  What did you say?

Me:  Go look

This is what I said

Tim:  You seriously would rather clean it up off the carpet than to pick her up?

Me:  I. did. not. want. her. to. puke. on. me.

Tim:  If you hold her away from you....

Me: Then she still might puke on my foot which would not be kewl.

Tim:  So you would rather clean it up off the carpet than your foot?

Me:  Yes, because if she puked on my foot, then I would have puked all over the carpet and that would not benefit anyone.

Tim:  You amaze me.

Me:  One would think you would realize this after 13 years-- I am the same person who won't even touch raw poultry or pork with my hands.. What makes you think I would be okay with cat vomit on my foot?

Tim:  Shakes head
So you see my dear sweet husband.. If in fact I am insane, it's because I am married and after almost a decade and a half, you still have these conversations with me.


P.S.  He has since responded to my reasoning..

Touche sir... Touche.

Feb 9, 2012

Why people do illegal drugs or break from reality

So, one of my classes this semester is Communicative Speech Disorders and we have been assigned a group project that is due at the end of April.  Please allow me to stress the word--- GROUP.

1.  I truly hate group projects because,
2.  I always end up with people I would rather kick in the throat than work with.

And this group is not an exception.

I will name my partner anonymous.  She has me on the verge of changing my phone number and dropping the class.  She goes into panic attacks if I am not in the class room before she is, calls me every. single. day. sometimes twice a day only to complain about the professor or God only knows what else.  Truth be told, I block her out within the first 30 seconds of the phone call-- if I even answer the phone.

Just to give a brief idea of what I'm being subjected to--Tuesday, I decided to have a cigarette break in between my classes because I had time.  When I walked into class, "Anonymous" was in freak out mode.

Anonymous: Oh thank God you are here, I was just getting ready to call you.

Me:  Um..... Okay?  Why?

Anonymous:  Because you are always here before I am and today you weren't.  I was going to call you to see if you were coming to class.

Me:  Um... really?? Because I got here a few minutes later than normal??

Anonymous:  Well I didn't know, I just knew you weren't here when I got here.

Me:  Well Lord knows I need all the nicotine I can get before I sit through this class.  And honestly, you are lucky that I wasn't shooting heroine to make it through this class period knowing you are here. 

Then she called me last night... And for the record, I didn't have her name programmed into my phone to warn me that it was her.  It's programmed now so I know not to answer the phone---

Anonymous:  Have you checked blackboard yet today??

Me:  No, I've had a pretty crappy day and the last thing I thought to do was check blackboard.

Anonymous:  Oh.  Well, I just checked it and do you know wha that heffer (referring to our Prof) has on there??  Notes from Feb. 2.  Katie what were we doin Feb. 2?? Takin a test.  I swear she is just stupid.

Me:  Um, no.  Feb. 2 was last Thursday and we had lecture which is why she put the notes up.  Feb. 7 is when we took the test. Shoot me just SHOOT ME NOW... IN THE FACE!  

Anonymous: Oh well..  I just don' know what to do.  I am thinking about switching the class because she is stressin me out fo real.

Me:  Oh... do you know how to switch classes?? This is how you do it.... (and I proceeded to tell her because remember?? I HATE group projects)

I pretty much tuned her out after that.

This morning, she told me that she's in it for the long haul and cannot switch classes.  (banging head on desk)  And I shit you not-- she had already called my house today before I got home.  Thankfully, my husband did not answer the phone or he would be subjected to it.  So I have emailed my Prof to beg her to please find another group to put me in and that I'm on the verge of either dropping the class and/or changing my phone number because I'm on the verge of homicide/suicide.  Okay so I didn't use those exact words, but she will get the gist of my urgency.

This woman makes me want to cry while eating a gallon tub of ice cream by myself.  Or do illegal drugs.. maybe both.

Fingers crossed that I make it out alive!



Feb 6, 2012

Free at last, free at last!!! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!!!

For the past 13 years that I have been with my husband, his ex-wife has made our lives, my life a living hell.  And the pinnacle of this living hell was the court system allowing enabling her to do it.  For 13 years, we have walked on shards of broken glass and bit our tongues.  The few times either one of us lost our temper, she would retaliate and take my husband back to court for more child support-- and would lie her skank ass right off.  She would tell the courts about how she wasn't working and couldn't work while the whole time she was working for cash under the table (i.e babysitting.... hooking.... dealing . Okay maybe not that far, but it's just my opinion. )  It got so bad that at one time, my husband was paying $600 a month in child support-- for one child.  Did she provide a stable living environment for her child?? Noooo.  Did she provide her child with clothing?? Noooooooo.  Did she pay utilities for her child to have heat and other amentities?? Noooooooo.  So what did she do with it, you ask??

So much for child support going to support the child huh?? Tell me how one affords a vehicle like this while "unemployed".   

So many other things that I could go into, but I will instead fast forward.  Today we had another friggin "retaliation" meeting.  Only this time, it was in front of an actual judge.  And I think for the first time in 13 years, someone FINALLY saw through her bullshit.  Instead of ordering more child support, the judge instead emancipated their 18 year old son-- a high school drop out.  (This will be relevant in just a moment) On our way home from court, I shed a few tears of joy and relief that this long drawn out mess is finally over.

Now is my time to let it all out.  Thirteen long years of bullshit that I have buried deep inside me that I am going to spew now.

Dear Sherry Harmon (and 3 other last names),

I remember many years ago when you told me that your problem with me is that I was irresponsible with children and that I was a shit parent.  I remember you saying how my kids were better off without me and that they would probably grow up to be worthless because of me and my irresponsibility.

How do those words taste now? In my opinion you are nothing but an imbecilic, dirty, used up cunt sack.  I'm irresponsible??  Bitch puh-leeze.  I have calendars marked full  with each and every time you moved.  All 18 times in just a 2 year period.   In the 13 year period that Tim and I have been together you have been married twice and engaged 3 times.  I still have a recording on my answering machine from a debt collector stating that they were going to prosecute you for check deception.  Your oldest son has dropped out of high school-- TWICE!  I mean really.... I have never chosen to provide shelter for my meth manufacturing and dealing brother over my own child.  You are such a worthless parent that your second ex husband won't even let you keep your youngest son overnight.  Oh Sherry, why couldn't you have just succumbed to your cancer all those years ago???

Can't say this is absolute fact (more like an opinion) but maybe-- just maybe,  if you would have spent half as much time being a parent as what you did lying on your back and spreading your legs to the Warsaw, Goshen and a little bit of the Indy and Muncie population, you would still be getting child support and your child would have higher than a 7th grade education.  And yes, we do know about you looking for women to hook up with on adultfriendfinder.com.  Pretty pathetic really.  Found all the men within a 150 mile radius with no morals or standards so you had to move on to women?  Smh.

Remember how you came to my house while I was pregnant and begged Tim to go back to you because his unborn child and I were not his family?? The same night that you put your hands on my (then) 3 year old child and I threw you out of my house??  Sure ya do. The reason why he wouldn't consider it (even if he didn't have the best woman on earth), is because he's too afraid he would contract something that Ajax and an industrial buffer won't get rid of.  He may look like Mr. Clean with his bald head but, pssssst... even Mr. Clean would run away screaming like a girl from all of that.

So please, feel free to choke on your own lies, retaliation and bullshit.  I doubt I shed a tear.  I will most likely be the one in the bar buying the first round of drinks.  Have fun figuring out how to live on your own now.   To quote the great Martin Luther King, Jr. (appropriately during Black History month)  "Free at last, free at last!!!  Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!!!"


Feb 1, 2012

Love, Peace and Soul

As I have mentioned before, my first true love was music.  But what I haven't shared is that I had two favorite shows as a kid-  American Bandstand and Soul Train.   American Bandstand instilled my love of disco and Soul Train instilled my love of soul and funk and solidified my love disco.  I loved the music and wanted to sing it-- and I did.  As best as a 4-5 year old could sing.   I couldn't wait to grow up so that I could rock my fro and platform shoes on the dance floor of American Bandstand and Soul Train.  You could say that my identity crisis started at a very young age.

And to listen to the deep, silk smooth voice of Don Cornelius was as good as any music.

Sadly, Don Cornelius passed away today from a self inflicted gun shot wound.  I never did have the opportunity to rock my fro while dancing to sweet funk and disco music.  We have lost a legend in the music world.  But, I'm sure there was a Soul Train that came for him to meet his maker and he passed through a line up of dancers wishing him farewell.

Thank you Mr. Cornelius for everything you did to promote and expose soul, funk and disco.  Rest in Love, Peace and Soul.

Jan 31, 2012

A girl, a red dress and a Harley-- Katie

My husband is a little "homesick" for the road since he has not been able to drive semi for almost two years now  and it's beginning to take a toll on him mentally. So, we have been kicking around the idea of getting a new motorcycle and taking a two week road trip over the summer.   He benefits by being on the open road and I will benefit by being able to visit the two places on the top of my "must do before I die" list--- NYC and New Orleans (among many other cities).  I almost get a little choked up at the thought of possibly being able to go to these cities, finally.  If we are able to make it happen, this will definitely be a red dress moment for me.  I have dreamed about seeing the Statue of Liberty, the boroughs, Ellis Island, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, maybe a Broadway show in NYC and seeing the French Quarter, the cemeteries, the architecture, the crypts and all of the other wonderful and beautiful things that would satisfy my inner goth since I was a child (breeeeathe).  It's all so overwhelming to think about!!  You have to understand.. I am the same woman who cried standing in front of different exhibits at the Country Music Hall of Fame because.... I was there.  I was looking at music greatness- in person.

So why not go all out and really make it a true red dress moment?  I do believe that if our road trip happens, I may have to buy a red dress and wear the hell out of it-- on the back of a motorcycle.  There will be pictures... Oh yes, there will be pictures.

Jan 30, 2012

My 4 red dresses of 2011-2012 (by:Katie)

Almost two years ago, Jenny blogged about her red dress moment (take a moment to read it.. I will wait) which inspired women around the world to stop neglecting themselves and finally do the things they thought unimaginable, silly, unnecessary and the like. This woman is seriously my hero.  Right next to Scarlet O'Hara.

 After reading it, I wrote about my very own first "red dress moment" which involved a ginormous red lighter that left me open to questions like "What on earth are you lighting with that thing?!"  But I wanted it and love it, and still have it to this day.  And every time someone asks to borrow my lighter, it becomes a conversation piece for a couple minutes and that is a good thing.

Then yesterday, Jenny revisited her traveling red dress and I sat in retrospect over my past year and wondered if I continued to have my own "red dress moments"-- and, in my own way, I have.

Red Dress Moment #1.  College.  This past fall, I went back to school after 16 years to earn my Bachelors Degree. I did this for two reasons.  The first is because I want my children to go to college and I don't want them to look at me one day and say, "But you didn't go".  The second reason was to prove to myself that I am smart enough and I can do it.  It may take me a little bit longer to achieve this goal, but what the hell?  I've already waited 16 years.

Red Dress Moment #2.  My first true love.  Originally, my degree was going to be Photography.  But I decided that I was going to get my degree in my first love-- Music.  When I was younger, the only thing I wanted to do was sing but I let too many people convince me that I wasn't good enough, or that my dreams were unobtainable.  Now I'm at a point in my life where I can say, "Screw 'em" and I'm doing it.

Red Dress Moment #3. Overcoming one fear at a time.  Because of the negativity I faced as a kid, I developed a horrible case of stage fright and am terrified of auditioning to be formally accepted into the Music Dept.  But on March 18th, fail or succeed, I'm auditioning.   This is the song I will be performing for my foreign language piece.  It's not my best and I messed up a couple of times while recording it-- but I hope to work out those kinks before hand. I am actually still in the process of debating whether or not I really want to leave this link here for everyone to criticize it.  I still have many fears and demons that I need to face and overcome, but--- baby steps. 

Red Dress Moment #4.  Publicly admitting embarrassing and sometimes humiliating body flaws.  For National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I decided to publicly admit, online , that I have severe asymmetrical breasts and have a prosthetic boob to correct it without having surgery.   And if admitting it wasn't enough-- I posted pictures of my prosthetic which I have affectionately nicknamed Diadoma.

So as you see (in the words of Jenny)

The traveling red dress isn’t always red.  It isn’t even always a dress.  It’s anything you’ve always wanted but denied yourself because you thought it was too silly.  It isn’t.  Joy is always worth it.  Go and find your personal red dress, my friend.
And wear the hell out of it.

Tonight, Jan. 29, 2012 at 12:10 a.m. I am making a promise to myself.  When I am finally handed my degree from Indiana University,  I will be wearing an actual red dress as I walk across the platform and you better believe I will be wearing the hell out of it!

Thank you Jenny for reminding me (again) that I'm worth it.