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I know I really don’t use this platform anymore but I feel that I need to get a few things off of my chest and I really don’t know where else to do so.
First of all, I am totally fed up with so many things in my life. I finally have a decent job and was told that I would be taking over for the person who is retiring (which scared me but I have come to terms with it and have been working hard to learn and perfect more and more of her duties). I have now come to find out that they are going to hire someone from totally outside the company to be my superior. Plus, I wasn’t even told by anyone in my department, I overheard some of the girls in the call center talking about it.
Way to inspire loyalty and commitment! Plus, they have doubled my work load without a penny more in income to compensate for all of the shit I am going through and I’m sure I’m going to have to at least partially train my new boss. Yay! FML!

While this situation is harrowing enough, the thing that’s really eating at me is our finances.
I’m very glad that beldar has a job. We both wish it was full time but part time is OK for now and he’s been promised full time hours soon (they were to start in January but as you will see, we’re not holding our breath).
So far, he has had two different paycheck’s bounce. This has caused much hardship and financial juggling between the two of us. But what’s really driving me crazy is that he is not being paid at all now. He is currently owed 1½ months’ worth of back pay and I honestly do not have enough money coming in to cover our basic bills let alone pay for gas or food. Not to mention my meds that I need to keep me sane and seizure-free.
We have been quite patient but I just don’t know what we can do. We both agree that is work is vitally important and we don’t want him to leave it if possible but we just can’t afford for him to be working his ass of as a volunteer. He’s going to try looking for another part time job (or maybe even a full time one) but things are so hectic I just don’t know what to do.

Note that I am not writing this as a plea for financial help or anything, I just want to be able to get these feelings out of my system. I’m honestly tired of sitting at work and smiling on the outside while I am struggling inside to keep it together and not break down in front of everyone.

If you have made it this far, thanks for that. I do feel like I may be using this platform more in the future. If only to help me remember the day to day things that I am constantly forgetting.


Please Listen; Don't Devour Me ...

My answering machine (yes, I am that old) has three messages blinking on it. They've been there for a while (the oldest is from September of 2010 or 2011) and I have yet to listen to at least two of them. I may have listened to the third but I don't want to listen to any of them so they are just there at all times reminding me that I need to get around to dealing with them. The main reason they are there is that I am not entirely sure I am ready to hear the first message and one of the others is just my Aunt telling me to listen to the first one. The first one is from my father and they really all boil down to "Call your Dad!" While this may seem pretty straightforward to most of you, my family life is very complicated.

My father married my mom to keep from being sent to Vietnam. I was also conceived for the same reason. They honestly did try to make things work but Mom was very sexually repressed. He kept having affairs and we moved around a lot because of them. They were divorced in 1972. Even without Mom's strong Catholic background, throughout all my school years very few other kids had divorced parents so this was just another thing that they picked on me for.

About a year after the divorce, dad married Agnes. She brought along two athletic teens that he could be proud of. He finally had the family he had been wanting all along. I was forced to visit them periodically and always had a horrible time. The only good memories I have are when I first ate duck and getting to sleep in a canopy bed (which I had always wanted but never got) and wearing two of my stepsister's old tutus together to make one for me. I loved that because I had always begged for dance lessons and was always told we couldn't afford them. Also, Mom never allowed me to wear skirts for any reason. I had one dress which was made for my Baptism and then became a Halloween costume and that was the only time I was allowed to wear it. These visits were mostly horrible as Agnes felt I was beneath her station and my stepsister & stepbrother lived to torment me at every turn. That, however, is a story for another time.

After missing a Junior High science class trip which I really wanted to go on because I had to suffer through another visit, they finally told me they wanted nothing more to do with me. I was not sorry about that. I was pretty darn happy to not have to be reminded constantly what a fucking disappointment of a child I was. This was the last contact I had with my father until I saw him at my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. I hadn't set eyes on him for almost a decade by then. We didn't speak much but that was OK with me. He mostly told me how wonderful the lives of his family members were. Again, I was fine with that.

Maybe he was still mad about the fact that I never sent him an invitation to my High School Graduation. The reason for this wasn't spite or anything, it just never occurred to me to send one to him. I didn't even realize the oversight for more than a month after the fact.

I do know that it hit him very hard that when Mom died nobody called him to let him know. He found out by reading her obituary in the paper. I know this may seem cold on my part but I hadn't planned on it being this way. I told my Aunt & Uncle to call him and tell him but we forgot in all the planning and such. Also, Mom's best friend's father died the day after mom did so that also threw things in a tizzy. Still, when he came to the house after reading about her death, I honestly didn't have any idea who he was until right before I opened the glass door to let him in.

Over the next year, he showed up on my doorstep three more times. Never calling or anything to let me know he was coming, just appearing there and being very annoyed that I was either leaving or so busy with whatever I was doing to allow him to stay for more than a minute or two. Then, nothing more for several years.

The last time I saw him was the summer of 1992. I was pregnant, homeless and had $2.78 to my name. I asked for help and advice. He told me to either abort it or get rid of it some other way. He didn't have any time for me. He had to go home to his perfect little family and his little Grandson.

At that moment I, basically, considered myself to be an orphan. I had no more family that cared about me and that was that.

Anyway, back to the calls. When I first came home and heard that the message was from him, I just left it. My first thought was, "I ain't giving him a kidney!" I figured I'd listen to it in a day or two and deal with it then. At first I didn't want to listen to it by myself but whenever beldar was home, it never seemed to be the right time and then my life went straight to Hell and I was in no shape to deal with one more thing in my broken mental state.

Hence, the constantly blinking notice of his message. With as much time as has gone by, it's very likely that he is now dead. Of course, since my Grandparents' will left their farm to be split amongst the grandchildren and the laws of Arkansas require that all person's named in an inheritance must sign off on any disposal of the property, that might have also been part of why he called. Still, since I am only just now beginning to be able to deal with so many things in my life, I realize that I'm going to eventually have to listen to the message. I'm just still not ready to do so.

I know that I should just break down and play the damn thing but I just still haven't. I realize that it's irresponsible and infantile to ignore the issue but I just have a hard time bringing myself to find out what sort of shit he was trying to bring into my life. Of course, I could always just erase the damn thing but I am honestly curious as to what caused him to lower himself to find and contact me. Plus, the fact that it's been so long since it came, whatever urgent issue it involves is moot but I still don't want to have to listen to what I'm sure is a relentless guilt trip from a man who told me that I wasn't worth his time when I really needed him.

So, that is my story. It is also my constant burden and reminder of how horrible my past really was. I suppose that I will listen to it sometime soon but not quite yet. I'm still not ready to revisit those ghosts of my past.

I know this was quite a long winding story and a lot less positive than most of my usual ones but it's also one of the most brutally honest things I've ever written. I hope you weren't too turned off by it's gloom and negativity but it's honestly something I've been meaning to post about for quite a while now and this week's therealljidol topic of Hair shirt couldn't have been a more apt time to purge myself of this specter. Thanks for reading. I expect to hear a lot of commentary from this one and I'm really looking forward to it all.

It's time to once more beg you for votes in the latest therealljidol's LAST CHANCE IDOL poll.

Here's the link to the poll. I could really use any votes you can throw my way as the bottom 4 are getting eliminated and I am often scraping the bottom of the barrel, vote-wise.

I really appreciate all your support in reading my entries & voting for them. I hope to keep entertaining you for weeks to come.



Won't You Come Out and Play With Me ...

I met Gerry at a College Orientation Dance. I was hanging out with a friend and we both noticed him. Of course, at 6'9", he was hard not to notice. He was kind of cute and all alone. We were both gathering the nerve to go and talk to him when he suddenly got up and started climbing the stairs to leave. I ran after him and she followed. Once I was outside, I yelled after him. I asked him why he was leaving and if he'd like to come back in & maybe dance. He did come back in and the three of us sat & talked for a while. He was very nice and we all seemed to get along.

My friend was more interested in him than I was so I sat back & let her go out with him. Due to her flightiness, she quickly became bored of him. However, I saw him around at school occasionally and we remained friends. She developed other friends and did not have a lot of time for me but we did hang out together occasionally. It is once such occasion that this story revolves around.

It was a Saturday night and we went to the Midnight showing of Rocky Horror. While we hadn't been drinking, we were quite giddy and in a crazy sort of mood. We drove around looking at local spooky places (the House that Glows, the creepy cemetery with the moving gnomes, etc.) since most of these were near Gerry's house, we decided to run by there as well. We drove up to it and were daring each other to go knock on his bedroom window just to see what happened. She went first but chickened out partway across the lawn. I on the other hand, made it over to the house but she said she couldn't remember which window was his bedroom. I knocked on them both & called out his name then ran across the lawn to dive into the car so we could drive away.

However, I was in such a hurry I forgot about the ditch at the edge of the lawn. I fell into it and rolled a few times before grabbing onto the car door & throwing myself in. We then drove away quickly and went walking around the park a little as well as just goofing off here and there. While my ankles were sore, they didn't feel more than mildly sprained, if that. When I finally made it home, I told my mom I had slipped on a wet patch outside the theater and that was why I was limping slightly. Then I went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up screaming because just trying to move either of my legs was absolute agony. When I pulled off the covers, both of my ankles were swollen to double their size. It took me forever to convince mom that I wasn't faking and that I needed medical attention. She finally agreed and took me to the doctor's. He looked me over and the x-rays showed that I had severely cracked both of my ankles. The damage was such that they wouldn't put them in a cast but they did give me crutches to help me get around and told me to ice them & stay off them until the swelling went down & then I could hobble around again as best as possible.

I managed to keep them propped & iced a bit but my mom refused to wait on me and made me continue to wait on her as usual. It took me about a week or so but I did heal up and regain my mobility. I never did tell my mom exactly how or where I fell that night and I really don't think she cared that much. Months later when I was seeing Gerry myself, I told him the story of that night and found out he never knew that we were there at all. We had a few good laughs about it then and I still think of it now.

Gerry and I had a lot of adventures together during college but this one was the most eventful one that he never knew about. We lost touch once he went off to another college but I've heard he managed to find a nice girl to settle down with & start a family. I hope he's still doing well and if he has any daughters he tells them this story in order to keep their ankles in line.

The above story is my whimsical interpretation of this week's LAST CHANCE IDOL topic,
"We are all in the gutter...". I hope you've learned a valuable lesson or at least gotten a good laugh at my girlish stupidity. Thanks again for reading.


This is How It Will Be ...

So, it's voting time again. Here's the link to the poll. Please consider voting for me. I hope you enjoyed my offering this week.

Before I go, I would like to let beldarzfixon know that I am really sorry that he too joined myself & veronica_rich in leaving the main competition. While I am competing to get back into the competition, they have wisely chosen to not do so. I will miss their offerings each week but I also know they were very busy in their real lives & work. I also know that they will continue to write on as they always have.

Thanks to you all for reading and I hope you will continue doing so.

I have absolutely horrible penmanship. Not that I haven't seem worse, but it's still pretty awful to try to decipher. This was made even more insufferable by the fact that my mother's handwriting was absolutely beautiful. In fact, one of them main reasons we sold so many personalized craft items was due to how lovely her writing made it appear.

Now there were numerous factors that contributed to this problem. First of all, since my parents divorced during the summer after I finished second grade, we couldn't afford the tuition for the private school I had been attending. Therefore, from third grade on, I was in public school. Plus, there is the fact that due to a move, had to change schools halfway through the year and ended up in a totally different one starting in fourth grade.

My first school, Echols, was a good place. I really enjoyed it there and loved my teacher. However, they were ahead of my previous school in the fact that they had already been taught how to approximate space between words and I was still using my finger as a spacer. Needless to say, this forced skill (they didn't teach me how to do it, they just told me I had to do it) was not helpful in the least to my writing abilities. But I managed to get through it and did alright after that.

A few weeks before I was going to have to transfer, our class started learning cursive. We were being taught a newer style and I was just beginning to conquer the individual letters and was beginning to work on words when I had to go to the new school.

The school I was supposed to attend was already at capacity so I ended up at another nearby school, Ballman. While I liked the school itself and actually had a close circle of friends (all boys), my new teacher was a demon from Hell.

When I arrived we were having classes in the gym because they were doing some sort of work on our classroom area. She was not the loudest speaker so this made hearing difficult. It didn't help anything that when I arrived they were just finishing their cursive lessons. Add to this that they were being taught the older style and anything not looking like it (i.e. most of the letters I had learned) were considered incorrect and marked as such. Nothing could be done to change her mind about this so I had to spend extra hours at lunch, after school and each night re-learning how to write. It was not easy and I had a very hard time with it but I eventually was able to come up with a passable amalgam of the two styles that would work for her.

I must also point out that I am not a fast writer and I usually press down very hard when writing. Therefore, writing is difficult for me and I avoided it whenever possible.

Now, one of the main reasons I have such hatred for my second teacher that year was that she felt I should write faster and my slowness was holding back the class. This was especially notable on spelling tests. She would read out the sentence we were to write down twice and refused to repeat it anymore nor would she let everyone finish writing before reciting the next sentence. Also, any incomplete sentences were marked as incorrect. Needless to say, my first test was a zero and I managed to make some points after that by learning to memorize the sentence and write it fully, then quickly memorizing the next sentence she read. All of the sentences I was able to complete were correct but I was lucky to make it through 50-70% of the ones read. Not surprisingly, having to write at these speeds helped contribute to my atrocious penmanship.

When the time came to begin fourth grade, the school I should have been in, Bonneville, was able to enroll me so I started there. They accepted my horrible handwriting for what it was and did not penalize me for my slowness. As a school on the whole, they were far from perfect but at least my problems there were not as a result of my writing abilities.

I did manage to teach myself a decent version of calligraphy that I can now use when I need to write something more legible but my overall handwriting is still crap.

As you may have guessed, the above rant was my current entry in therealljidol's LAST CHANCE IDOL. The topic was Crossing all the T's. I hope you have enjoyed my interpretation as well as reading another glimpse into my past. I'm sorry that this one was less pleasant than most of my past offerings but frankly, there are infinitely more stories like this in my background.


I Wanna Know What's On Your Mind ...

Well, since I'm back in the therealljidol mix again with LAST CHANCE IDOL, it's voting time again.

So, here's the link to the poll.

I really hope that you will consider voting for me (you can vote for as many people as you like so feel free to spread the love around). Hopefully, I won't wash out again this time and can build my voting numbers and keep my writing quality up enough to keep in it this time.

Thanks again for your time and I hope you are all doing well and I keep you entertained for as long as possible.



As I've posted before in this journal, my grandfather (Papa - see corresponding tag) was the center of my childhood. I wanted to be exactly like him.

I shaved like him with my toy shaving kit. I would practice spitting like him in his spit-cup & look forward to having one of my own. I followed him everywhere I could. He taught me a lot about farm life and how to do most all of the chores necessary to keep the place running. He even allowed me to go along with the "menfolk" on a hunting trip or two. However, my favorite place to be with him was working in the garden.

I loved the garden. It was beautiful and I loved helping him in all of the tasks involved. I wanted to be down there with him so much that I regularly crawled/dug under the gate in order to be with him. The gate still has two boards nailed to the bottom of it from the numerous attempts to deter me from using it.

Once at my grandparents house, I saw a photo of myself and Papa planting in the garden. I honestly wish that I had that picture but it, as all of the photos of my past, is gone. I don't know exactly when the picture was taken but I have many memories of the subject matter.

Papa would give me some pink beans and he had what he told me was fertilizer but upon reflection I don't know if that was true. He would walk backwards in front of me and drop one of his things and then I was to drop my bean as close to his as I could. I cannot explain to you how much fun this was. I felt so important and could not wait to eat the beans that I had helped to plant.

I also was involved with planting of the other crops (corn, onions, okra, peas, squash, etc.) but it was this cooperative effort that brought me the most joy. Not only was I copying my beloved role model, I was also a necessary part of what he did. Since there were two items that had to be planted together, I knew that we couldn't grow these plants without me to help plant them. I never considered that he could have gone down the row twice or dropped one of them out of each hand. I knew I was absolutely positive that without me, these plants could not exist.

Of course I ate them and the other veggies with great relish. The only thing I wouldn't eat that grew out of the garden were the strawberries. Our soil caused them to be too sharp & bitter for me and I was much too enamored of the wild blackberries that grew all over the pasture to care about missing out on them Plus, most of them were grow for sale to others rather than our consumption.

I really hope that someday I will be able to live in a house with a small garden so that I can once again grow my own veggies and in doing so, relive my happiest memory of my childhood. It would make it even sweeter if I could give the same memory to some of beldar's nieces & nephews before they get too old to enjoy it.

But for now, I will just spend the next few months partaking of the ample harvest of veggies available and embracing the small connection I have with the past in their consumption and the fine crop of basil I seem to be growing this year (it seems to be the only herb I have the ability to grow).

This trip down memory lane was brought to you by the first week's LAST CHANCE IDOL topic of: In the Garden. I hope you've enjoyed this look into one of the very, very few happy memories of my childhood. Almost all of which revolve around my grandparents farm and my Papa especially.


I May Say No, No, No, No, No, But ...

So, they are opening up Last Chance Idol over at therealljidol. Since I had a good time competing in this last contest (until I was eliminated), I'm thinking about going for it. However, if I do this I'm really going to need people to vote for me. Lack of votes was my undoing earlier and I don't want to wash out again because of it (especially since the entry I left on was probably my strongest one ever).

Let me know what you think people. I'm going to link & say "yes" but if I don't hear from some of you that you will at lest read & consider voting for me then it's not really worth even trying.

Let's all see how this goes.


Tear Me Apart and Then Some ...

Now, to explain about what happened at The Phoenix. We went to see their current production, "Miles and Ellie". We were running late but managed to grab two seats up front (my preferred seating area) sharing a table with a very nice lady.

Due to the fact that there were seven shows that opened last weekend, we had to defer this production until this weekend. Also, I did check out a review from the previous weekend and they said that the show was quite funny in places but they were spaced out a bit. Well, that review was quite misleading. The show was a laugh riot. At least, the first act. I had to leave at intermission. I was assured by beldar that the second act was poignant and just as funny.

I feel that since most of you out there are more recent readers, I need to fill you in on some background before I finish the story. I am what is known as "A Laugher". I have a loud, raucous laugh that carries and while endearing to the actors, often annoys other attendees. Also, if you weren't aware, beldar works at an area newspaper and we get free passes to most all of the area theaters to review their shows. This is also helpful because I am still terminally unemployed. In fact, we are currently barely covering our bills so if it were not for this, we would never get to do anything outside the house.

So, now, back to the story. The reason I left when I did was that another patron came over and complained about my laughter. This isn't the first time it's happened. In fact, I am no longer allowed to attend the Broadway touring show because there were too many complaints about it. I was also put on "double secret probation" at last year's Fringe festival for this as well (those complaints came from the performers I was told). So now, when it does happen, I just move far away from them and try to tone down my voice. However, the house was very small and there was no place I could move to. Therefore, I left. I believe she did as well but that isn't what matters.

The reason I left was because I adore this theater. It's my absolute favorite of all the stages in the area (there are around 20 of them too). The people are great and the productions are always wonderful. In fact, I was introduced to several of my favorite shows there. I would never want to do anything to harm them in any way. So, you see, I had to leave. This woman was a paying customer and I was just a freeloader. If I had bought my ticket, I would have stayed but I just couldn't. I sometimes forget when I am out in public that I am not at home and allow myself to be obnoxiously overly enthused. She was right. I was too exuberant. I was detracting from the show and needed to go in order that the rest of the audience could properly enjoy themselves.

You know, normally, this sort of thing would just annoy me but this time it really hurt. Mainly because she verbally assaulted the ticket girl and made her cry (I found out later about this part). I had a book that I tried to read but I just couldn't stop crying and wasn't able to read at all. I got up and started walking and that helped some. I came a across some guys with a sweet little dog whom I petted for a bit and that too helped. Then I walked some more. I was heading for a little area bookstore a few blocks away but before I got there another dog barked a greeting. He was sitting in the basket of his owners bike & was so desperate for attention that I petted him as well (I grew up with a dog and I really wish I could have one again). However, after I left, he barked at the next people walking by and was sternly scolded by his master. Once again, the tears returned. I couldn't bear to be around anyone so I just kept walking. By the time the show was over and beldar called me, I had walked over 1.25 miles. Now, this is quite a lot for me as I have severe arthritis in my right knee and a severe strain in my left due to it. Plus, I'm on a dosage of Coumadin that makes walking painful to start with.

I was just so upset with myself for the whole thing. I just wanted to go back there, apologize to everyone there and promise them that it would never happen again because I would never make them suffer through having to put up with me and my obnoxious behavior. I also felt/feel that until I can afford to purchase a ticket for the show, that I can no longer impose on their hospitality. I'm still upset that I have probably driven away a paying customer who not only won't come back but will surely besmirch the reputation of a theater I truly love. The thought of injuring anyone there in any fashion just breaks my heart.

I really just don't know what to do. I pretty much spent all day yesterday crying almost constantly. Which brings up an interesting item. I have known for a long time that it's very possible to cry yourself to sleep but I discovered that it's also possible to cry yourself awake.

So, now I'm sitting here reliving every horrible moment of that event and the pain I caused to others still stings.

I want to point out that I am posting this more for therapeutic reasons that for sympathy or to wallow in self-pity. After writing this last night, I feel that I have managed to purge a lot of the pain and have finally gotten my tears into check. I just needed to get this out somewhere. I do appreciate you taking the time to read this and appreciate your indulgence. I will do my best to start posting more upbeat entries soon.



Dark Snack
Don't call me "Dubby"!

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