If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Apparently some subjects have no accompanying song

As I get further away from where I had been, I can see...sometimes too clearly...how I may have been wrong...acted badly...oh who am I kidding...I feel like a dirty, dirty accomplice and I don't like it. It is interesting how in the moment you don't question the integrity of something. Somethings just seem like whatever, then boom here I am feeling like a huge schmuck. I had an opportunity to say I am sorry. Just two people though, I am sure there are more.

Some day, I will write so much more on this particular topic. It's not straightforward by any means and that's no excuse but I don't think I have enough in me tonight to do it justice.

I am sorry.

I am sorry and sitting in here unable to distract myself or redirect with any sort of appropriate song.

Quiet contemplation and remorse that I am guilty by association and by deed of being a huge jerk.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

'Cause we all know art is hard When we don't know who we are

I am sharing this today mostly because I like the lyric I used as the title of this post. I concurrently swear that I have never heard this band until recently and I have always known them. They feel familiar, like they soundtracked hazy memories of time passed in ethereal post-Civil War crackerboxes and late model cars. For as much as I can relate to these lyrics, I could go either way as to if it is reflective of a piece of my soul or exactly what I would write to a certain musician in my life.

Musicians. It's the STD they don't tell you about in health class but that's a topic for a different post.

This post...this post is about me randomly sharing that my renewed creativity is a sign to me that I am on the right path. There's volumes I could write and will write someday about all the twists and turns and whatnot that lead me to letting it all go for lack of a better word. I have struggled with a life-long lack of confidence that kept me from fully sharing what I was fully expressing. When I went off to college once upon a time, in a galaxy oh so far away, I didn't appreciate what it meant to be one of 6 chosen to be in the incoming design/tech class nor did I quite fathom what the financial backing behind that meant.

As of late, when I ponder with friends what I should be  when I grow up and everyone points to some sort of path with a creative tinge. Ffs, I had a random encounter with my 10th grade English teacher, whom I adored, who after all these years made the comment that she was surprised that I wasn't writing and getting paid for it.

Art is hard when you don't know who you are. Or perhaps better stated, art is hard when you think your voice doesn't matter. Art is hard when so many voices keep asking you how you are going to take care of your kid. Art is hard when it's the mortar filling the cracks of your day as an office flunky. Art is hard when you have dealt with continual rejection. Art is hard when you feel like you can't be who you really are, can't use your authentic voice. Art is hard when you and your husband have "Voices Carry" moments about your self-expression.

Well, art was hard because I made it that way. I listened to voices that weren't mine and took paths I was never meant to take. I tried to shy away and defer comment but those who know me and even people I meet, they keep seeing the spark. I am funny. I am thoughtful. I am creative. Sorry, I forgot about that. Sorry, I got swallowed by the sea of misguided adulting.

Sorry I have to go to work because I really want to write today. I want to write in a manic, frenetic state of scribble I haven't felt in a long time. God help my co-workers today, I am a artist in need of an audience and I will give six shows an hour today because it mother fucking makes me happy.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Start of My Healing Journey:Trigger Happy Jack

Maybe "Trigger Happy Jack" is not a song that some people would pick for a post about healing but I find it pair well. I mean, I guess, I could have picked The Carpenters "We've Only Just Begun" or that wore out, played old disco song that everyone latches onto after a bad break up. Nope. This song by Poe is the one I want to write to tonight.

Although I have made some effort in the last three years to get closure, mend the broken bits and arrange the pieces in the right order, it didn't really start to happen in any meaningful way until a few weeks ago. Counseling helped but the focus was all wrong. I am not a person who likes or even clings to labels, except maybe for mom, I pretty fond of that one but other wise I would prefer not to cling to a label or whatever, so that being said I guess I kept tightening my bootstraps and marching on.

I am okay. I am fine. There's nothing wrong with me. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I am as okay as woman living in southwestern Ohio who has a trigger of overweight, unfortunately featured blondes can be. I am sure it's perfectly normal for any sort of colored paper attached to my front door or car to incite a complete loss of all sympathetic functions. And dude, it's totally funny, it's part of my schtick that I can't remember shit from the moment I walk from one room to the next. I am okay. I am okay.

I am not okay. (Yes, I thought about MCR but it was entirely too obvious a song.)

When I read that Sparkle book, my jaw dropped for real and not in some underhanded click-bait sort of way when I read about what trauma is by definition in the mental health community. It's not just my divorce that needs triaged. What I have called life for most of the last seven years has been acute trauma wrapped in upheaval, and I am sure that it leaves you wondering how I didn't realize sooner. Shrug. I didn't. I deal with life and I keep moving forward and THAT, my friends, is a bit of a character defect. I wasn't admitting the pain so rather than healing I just got a seriously of poorly healed scabs.

I have been picking at them. A few of them need to be opened up by a professional and properly repacked but I am not there yet. I have had amazing synchronicities happen with resources coming along and that has been tremendously helpful. I am learning to look out for me in a way that I probably (honestly) never have. I have spent an inordinately dreadful amount of time operating at less than. It's time to get up to speed.

Not too quickly though because as much as I want to be on the top of my game, I am seeing the value in being still in this space and taking the time to have a proper cry (literally and figuratively).  I can appreciate the concerns that I may be isolating myself. Boundaries need to be drawn. I am in regular contact with my own personal Justice League and yes, we are considering costumes. I have skipped over proper healing at so many other points in my life that I thought that maybe it was time to make time to be fully better.

This book I am reading as part of the book launch is phenomenal and I am only 30% in to it. Thank God that the Kindle highlighter will never run dry. It's nice to have some validation that I am not losing my mind or otherwise crazy. While I am finding that I do have to digest this slowly because some sentences bring a flood of memories, I am eager to finish the book and take positive steps forward. I am praying that this book continues to be a positive and pertinent tool for my healing journey.

So, tonight I raise my glass of water and propose a toast: here's to the end of Jedi mind tricks and all the other bullshit I have let drag me down for 25 years. 25 years based on having my first date at 15. Totally sure there is older drama but Jesus, I am not going to for sainthood...just sanity.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Timeless Classics: Sade - No Ordindary Love

There is no substance to tonight's post. It's just a memory wrapped in a daydream sprinkled with dreams. For whatever reason, this song is bouncing around my head. I could post some deep and exposing speculation about why it is this song is looping but it is merely speculation. It's only ever fully applied to one person at this point and you know it's whatever.

Whenever I hear this...suddenly, I am 17 again, visiting my friend during her freshman year at Wright State. Someone played this somewhere on her floor while I was there, I am sure of it. I let life soundtrack itself whenever possible and it being such a strong association with the visit I know, knowing me that I had to have heard it. My memory is just someone on the floor jamming it with their door open. Such a good weekend. I do have fond memories of it...and pictures to fill in the blanks.

This song, such a hauntingly fucking awesome song, that I can't even fathom why it is choosing to haunt me now.   Like I said, only one person ever in the history of my life of affections and affectations has ever been worthy of Sade. One. A perfectly good waste of Sade considering where he stands on the matter.To some degree it's just my subconscious picking brutally truthful lyrics to wrap around things I am pretending I am okay with, not that it really matters. It is what it is, right?  Stupid heart, stupid subconscious.

It's so awkward to have a stalkerish song on my mind when I haven't the least bit of energy to stalk anyone. I have spent a lot of time the past week or so verbally and mentally and every other way letting go of everyone who needs let go of and clearing my mind of any and all intent relationship-wise. I am notoriously bad for overactive romantic rumination which really isn't that great when I have marginal self-love and penchant for self-deprecation.

Somebody got Sade and it is so akin to setting a table with Wedgwood for a dude who could hardly appreciate paper plates. How does that happen? (Rhetorical question. I don't have the professional or libational support to write that paragraph right now.)

I don't know what the point of all this is except to work this particular Sade song into a post. Everything else is irrelevant. I seriously misjudged someone in a seriously fatal way. Merely a flesh wound but early 90s trip hop soul, that's forever.

People Are Strange When You're A Stranger:Thoughts on "Finding Dory"

I realize it's been out a month. I only saw it the other night at my daughter's suggestion. People are strange is a good overall theme (and I am going to go with the Echo and the Bunnymen version because it's my blog.) 

So, I read nothing, watched no previews, had no opinions other than my daughter's going into the movie. Truthfully, I didn't care for "Finding Nemo." I strongly dislike Marlon and I kind of felt like the Nemo movie had this undertone that broken people should settle for dysfunctional relationships. (Roll your eyes if you want but you tell me that if Marlon and Dory were in human form and in your circle that you wouldn't find their relationship in the first movie a bit offputting.) 

Dory hit me right in the feels. It hit me in the place that still feels weird and awkward after all these years, sure. Oh, but the place in my existence that so deeply identified with Dory's parents, I can't even type the sentence without welling up. Without giving too much away, although the reasons all that resonates with me are different from Dory's parents, the emotions and reactions are the same.

Life feels hard when you feel like you don't belong or that you are somewhat less than because you are differently abled. My friend, Statler, and I were talking about it last night. We have this pervasive feeling that awareness as it manifest itself these days does more to divide than include. It is almost as if people become some obsessed with their label that they champion it to the exclusion of any sort of meaningful relationships. Also, it seems that if there isn't a ribbon or celebrity endorsement for whatever makes you an alleged outlier in society, then you slip further in the cracks.

All this from a fish movie...a fish movie that made me cry and secretly want to the space in the hall by my door with shells. I hope that I am not the only one who sees it who gives pause. Faces do look ugly when you are alone and what sort of cruelty is it to ostracize or ignore because lack of understanding or egocentric perfectionism. If I have learned nothing from scrolling through Facebook, I have learned this...

Be kind. Everyone is facing a hard battle.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Can't Write Too Busy Enjoying "Beyond Control" by Kings Kaleidoscope

Seriously, I had a head full of words tonight. Multiple tabs open, trying to decide what which topic would be tonight's winner. Turns out tonight is not a night to write but to listen. Kings Kaleidoscope is one of my favorite bands that you maybe never heard of and a few weeks ago they released "Beyond Control".

The first track I heard was "A Prayer", the explicit version, an awesomely powerful piece that is causing a bit of controversy amongst the Pharisees and those with stones still cocked between there thumb and forefinger. I have been in that place where the fear is exactly as described in the song. Everything you know to be true challenged by some dark night of the soul. An agonizingly lonely place where people throw you platitudes or dismiss your pain as silliness or overindulgence. A space where the bridge of this song was my prayer because I was definitely getting more than I could handle and life felt more like incineration than a refining process.

But I am not in that place. I am in a place where I am going to drop all my plans and listen to this album. (That would be Proverbs 16:9 from the New Jenny Abridged and Implied Modern. Haha.) This Vevo playlist does not contain the explicit version and I don't want to tell you how to live your life but I'd listen to that first and then dig into the album.

Insert wistful, peaceful sighs here. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Inspiring, positive, awesome...

Those were the three words I used last night to look at content suggestions on Hootsuite for my Facebook page. I was not sure what my next post was going to be about so I decided to choose fill-in content based on those three words. Well, there must have been some magic in that Hootsuite planning round because if I had to pick three words to describe my day today I believe I would pick those three words.

I am going to bed with a warm glow and a contented heart. I would write more but my eyelids are so heavy.

It is going to be okay.

Everything is okay and getting better all the time!

Sweet dreams my friends!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Take Rest, A Field That Has Rested Gives A Bountiful Crop - Ovid

Friday night has me kicked back and mellowed out, even with having a Mountain Dew about an hour ago. I am sitting here in my living room, feet up, jammies on, Soundscapes playing on the TV, totally in the moment with myself, yet talking to you all in this blog.

Rest. Beautiful rest. So neglected, so misunderstood. We live in a society that demands that we must always be on the go or something is wrong with us. There is the pervasive idea to be still is too be weak or lazy or wildly unsuccessful. I have live a large portion of my life burning the candle at both ends, trying to light the middle. I have lost peace and piece of mind wrapped up in some crazy tornado of insistence that "things" must get done. I have driven myself crazy overextending my boundaries as if people genuinely needed to have Kwik-E-Mart access to me for reasons I am still untying.

Untying. It seems to be a bit of theme in my brain tonight. I originally thought I might use a lyric from the Micheal Penn song,"No Myth" but I couldn't pare it down enough. Besides my time would probably be better spent learning to pray the Rosary so that I can fully pray the Our Lady Undoer of Knots novena. (Before you go there, I like to say I am Catholic on my dad's side. It's a trick I learned from some Baptists friends who called themselves as such despite never setting foot in church. Neither here nor there so anyway.) I think it's years of running around half cocked at full throttle that account for a lot of the knots but not all. I have some knots that I should have promptly untied but did not so the little knots caused a lot more knots.

That brings me back to rest. There is no healing without rest Rest is vital. I am so seeing it clearly the past few days. Turning the engines off and drifting a bit doesn't mean your journey stops, it only changes the journey. When I was a kid my grandparents moved to a lake and whenever we visited my brothers and I would spend a lot of time on the lake in the pontoon. Tooling around the lake on a pleasure cruise was always a lot of fun but so were the times that we would just float, or drop anchor. It's the same with life.

I am very glad that I have reclaimed this space in time for myself. Always doing and never living I was. Spinning my wheels and burning daylight because of all the shoulds and need tos. Drowning in a sea of escalated commitments, then a few weeks ago I just stopped. I had a rare weekend day off with no plans and very briefly contemplated the laundry, the dishes, and every particle of dust in my tiny apartment. I opted instead to cocoon myself in my bed with a soda, jelly beans and Bad Grandpa.

I couldn't remember the last time I laughed so hard or felt so relaxed.

Since then I have been taking more time for myself. I have learned to use all the fancy tools on my phone that allow me to limit incoming calls and texts. I have taken luxurious tub soak in lieu of pushing my tired body to complete household chores. I just finished a book and am actively involved with several others with a stack on deck, something that I haven't enjoyed in sometime. I went to The Greene tonight with the sole intention of unwinding with window shopping and people watching. I am finding I have more energy and focus now, and I promise you it isn't the Mountain Dew talking. I am slowly starting to feel human again. I am learning to like myself again. I was genuinely worried that I had lost my center and going to spend the next 60 years off-kilter and wore out.

A field that rest gives beautiful crops because the soil is given time to heal, replenish. I forget who said it but there is a meme that surfaces all the time that  reads,"You only live once and if you do it right it's enough." We are all running around like overwrought toddlers at a Chuck E Cheese birthday party. So many of us so scattered that we make Waffle House hashbrowns look orderly. Rest with me friends, so that we can get back to giving our own beautiful crops. Clear your calendar, your heart, your head and believe with me that, indeed, the best is yet to come.

#BookReview of Don't Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle:How to Break Free of Negativity And Drama by Doreen Virtue

If you know me, you definitely know. If you follow me, you have probably figured it out. I am a sucker for sparkle. So, it should be no surprise that when the opportunity presented itself for me to read "Don't Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle" I judged a book by its cover and dove right in.

Written by Doreen Virtue, author of the best-selling book Assertiveness for Earth Angels, this 248 page book is broken into three parts. Part one deals with the science, part two offers practical suggestions about how to regain your sparkle with part three helps you to sparkle around others. I found this book to be insightful, well-researched and genuine. I never felt that regaining my sparkle was unattainable nor at any point in the reading did I sense that I was not worthy of sparkle.

Admittedly, I did have difficulty with some of the science portion as well as some of the remedies. Although, I fully understand the chapter on "Histamine Addiction and Intolerance" and why some of the related remedies are what they, I guess I just don't know if I am quite sold on the validity of it all. Perhaps it's my own ego talking, perhaps it's just hard for me to wrap my head around why I have all these patterns and habits and food propensities am not necessarily as physically unhealthy as the science chapters lead me to believe I should be.

Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Ms. Virtue has a warm, engaging style that lends itself to discussing the darker sides of negativity and drama without leaving you feeling bogged down. With the ink barely, dry on my divorce papers, I am looking forward to utilizing the tools and methods outlined in the book to detox from the drama of the last three years of my life. This book really empowered me to continue to remain sensitive to my intuition and hopefully navigate or eliminate the unhealthy relationships in my life.

This book is currently available on Amazon in hard, soft and Kindle formats. Follow the link to pick up your copy today and get your sparkle back: http://amzn.to/29ZacC5

Thursday, July 21, 2016

For once, for once, for once I get the feeling that I'm right where I belong Why am I the one always packing up my stuff?

Originally written 7/5/16
Well. Yeah. So I think last I wrote I was going to do some major renovations, etcetra, etcetra

Tonight, in some strange full disclosure, I am lounging in my undies with all my jewelry still on. I have had a great day. Seriously. But 100% maybe because I am 100% focused on the positives. And I keep repeat playing this song. Oh, who are we both kidding, I am belting it out like I am some sort of diva. On a label like Fueled By Ramen, it HAS to be good. No joke. I find bands and then find they are on Fueled By Ramen and have a totally well duh moment.

Sooooo, yeah, no, seriously, repeat play.

I had something going on. A prospect, if you will. After a planning meeting, yeah, that a planning meeting, something felt off to me. I pushed it out of my head and the next day in not thinking about it, this song haunted me.

This. Yes, this. "For once, for once, for once I get the feeling that I'm right where I belong Why am I the one always packing up my stuff?"  It hit me like a huge load of bricks. And the question was, in fact begged, why am I the one always packing up my stuff?

I have been remiss with the play by play. Sorry. But know, friends, that the undercurrent has produced this wave where I find myself asking this question. Why? Why am I the one always packing up my stuff?

It's a shitty realization. That realization that..once again,,,you were more "all-in", more willing to make sacrifices. Why? Seriously, why am I the one who is always packing up my stuff?

No, really.

And I know I am the one because for 22 year I didn't drawn clear boundaries. So watch me as I get out my super broad Sharpie and go to town harder than Harold with that purple crayon of his.

Admittedly, where I am is not glamorous or red carpet but it is what it is and I know as of like five days ago I fully resent any person, place or thing that stands in judgement  again me and my Dayton.I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with the Gem City. I will fully admit that. Regardless, it is where I am at and the Eight Ball says that the outlook is hazy as to any future relocation.

Begin current commentary...

I didn't originally post this because I had gotten called away from posting and just didn't get back to it. It happens. A lot with me. I have a completely irregular work schedule, a scattered life, exhaustion and a myriad of other things keeping me from getting back on my A game.

I don't know why I am always the one packing up my stuff. Well, not anymore. If I go anywhere anytime soon it's going to be the much sought after Orchard Park neighborhood. (Really that should be in quotes because it was from a rental recording I had listened to once upon a time.) The town I grew up in a close second, but in the long run Orchard Park wins because it's kinda the same thing without having to relive childhood trauma. But I am getting off track here.

I have always been made fun of to some extent for my relying on gut feelings and intuition.



I am right where I belong.

I am a piece in a rather mammoth Jenga puzzle. Pull me and other pieces aren't as supported and the whole deal crumbles.

Besides I no longer own a suitcase for all my stuff and I fully see that I can't go all in on anyone who isn't all it with God.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Here I Go Again On My Own...

Queue pyrotechnics.

Pyrotechnics go.

I have had a wonderful day and as I relax here at home, I find this song running through my head. Tonight, I feel like David Coverdale was given divine revelation when I was 7 that one day, I would come home from a wonderful day and need a song such as this to belt out as I watch my son play Minecraft.

This song is actually on my "Video Girls That I Aspired to Be" playlist on YouTube. Neither here nor there but it probably says more about me in nine songs than you might get out of me in nine days of interrogation. Although, it's by no means an exhaustive list. But like I said, neither here nor there....

So, here I go again. I have pretty much been on my own for three years but I am finally settling into it, I guess. I went to a food truck rally and bocce tournament tonight with my son and it just really solidified for me that I am perpetually a mom first and pretty much a drifter alone. (Fun fact: in the original recording of "Here I Go Again" the lyric was "Like a hobo, I was born to walk alone" but it was changed in the 1987 recorded lest people mishear it as "Like a homo.") Not at all unhappy with the evening. Ran into some acquaintances which was great because they were genuinely excited to see Wesley and I knew we were in for a long haul at the playground when after moments of being there a kid formally introduced himself.

Before I met my husband, I was on my own. I dated and what not but I was pretty much a free agent and pretty particular about the contracts I considered. I think up to the time I met him the closest I ever got to marriage was in French class in high school when we did mock weddings as an excuse to have a party in class. In that situation, mon mari promptly started exclaiming in French that he wanted a divorce and listed out a whole sordid list of reasons. It was probably the most mon ami studied for French the whole time we were in, proving that a well-timed gag requires careful planning.

 Alone is not a dirty word unless you're cheese, then it seems like a set up for some taunting. Shrug. I am not saying I am like 100% woohoo look at me this is awesome but I am sure fuck not going to die. Sure, I'd like a tighter, more cohesive tribe. We all do but getting pissy about it isn't going to make it happen. Single with kids is a weird, awkward place to be. You have to be more discerning because the people you bring around do affect your kid. Sometimes you get lucky and you find another single parent who is of a similar disposition and you can live happily ever after as wingman and homeslice but it is a hard place for me to find. Especially now. Not my first rodeo and I am older and wiser and certainly a harder match in this my second rodeo.

This is to a large degree the only road I have ever known. If we count 18 as the start of adulthood, I have spent 14 of the years since then as a single parent. That's 64% of my adult life so far as a single parent. I could make a case for that being bigger because of the way my husband sometimes operated. It's a well-worn groove. Sure, I have days I resent it but mostly, like tonight, I marvel at moments where we spend a little and have a lot of fun. The resentment would be better channeled into writing volumes about how horrible society as a whole treats a single parent...even in this day and age.

But just like the song,  sing stanzas like this all the time:

Tho' I keep searching for an answer
I never seem to find what I'm looking for
Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on
'Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams
 My sailor mouth is a thorn in my side but trust me when I say I could give a fuck less about snark and sarcasm directed toward my faith. I wish that I had this level of faith 20 years ago, or even a fraction of it. Sure, there's the rub that I had to go through all, every last thing that I have gone through to get to this place. This strange and beautiful place where, although I do get temporarily ruffled, I always come to this kitty cat landing on my feet place where I remember all the amazing ways that God has shown Himself to me and ways where things that seems unfortunate, really did work out to my good.

It really does work that way. Too many Puritanically lineaged cooks spoiling the stew of life. We're all fearfully and wonderfully made and so flawfully human but God loves us nonetheless. And God is such a swell guy, He'll meet you where you are. He's meeting me tonight as I sit here overeating a bag of Beanitos, having a glass of wine, listening to Garbage (actually). As I have thought of my day and my alonenness, I have thought of a particular verse and it gives me comfort and the strength to carry on.

Learn to find the blessing in your singleness (or whatever other -ness you have that is weighing you down. Even awesomeness, because it's a terrible burden to be awesome all the time.) Queue the lights. Queue the pyrotechnics. Queue your own version of someone rolling on the hood of your car. Queue whatever you want my friend and hold your head high in whatever -ness this season of your life brings.

Being a drifter is not so bad.

Thinking that you are absolutely nothing because of where your life is at is.