It's All Connected

It's All Connected

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sad? Get a Pedicure!

So, I have this really negative situation going on in my life. Every day I come home from work, check my Facebook thinking today will be the end of all the ugliness, then burst into tears. After the tears comes a large amount of anger that makes me wonder if I am, in fact, ready for it to be over.

I am angry for many justifiable reasons, but one of them is what is on my mind today. I am angry at myself. Not because I think an apology is due from me, because at this point in time that is not going to happen. I am angry with myself because this person purposefully hurt me, and I am letting them get what they wanted by shedding so many tears over it. I am being a doormat by letting this situation overshadow all the good.

As an old friend said, my feelings are still valid, and I do not want to take away from the fact that I am unbelievably hurt, but I need to stop letting those feelings take away from all of the others. So, I am writing this to get those feelings out there, so I can stop constantly thinking about them and move forward.

Because that's what 2010 has been for me. An uphill battle to stop standing still. To stop being afraid of being happy. To stop sabotaging the good things in my life because I believe that by being happy I am somehow betraying my son.

It's something I have been working on for eight years, and I believe it will be a life long struggle. But I do not hold a monopoly on grief and I do not have to carry all of it all of the time.

I try to remember that there are a very few fortunate souls on this Earth who do not feel some sort of loss. This time of year has us all thinking about the holes left by those losses.

I've done pretty well this year, had a few destructive moments I am greatly ashamed of, but if I look where I started and where I am now I am so grateful.

I am grateful for my own strength and for the strength and love of those I hold most dear. I feel as if, through this hurtful situation, I have turned over a new leaf. By venting to Jero and my journal, I have realized I do not have to apologize for who I have become.

I have gone through a sort of reverse metamorphosis. No longer the social butterfly I was. No longer wanting to flit here and there. Now, I see the value of home, of hearth, of family. Making a warm, cozy home for Jero has been so rewarding. I do not see making home-cooked meals as a chore or an obligation, I see it as a gift. I treasure the time I get, wrapped in a blanket, enjoying the home I have worked so hard to build.

I get scared. I've been here before. I've been in the place where it feels everything is coming together as I have always dreamed it, just to have it shattered and scattered. Sometimes that fear makes me lash out at my life, trying to shatter it myself so I won't get fooled again.

In the last few weeks, I really took a look at what I have, and though I feel that dread churning inside of me, it no longer makes me want to tear it all apart. Instead I want to envelop it, nurture it so it can continue to grow.

Does any of this make any sense?

I know this is a switch from the humor I've been writing, but because I felt so ashamed of the pain I am feeling I have been trying to hide it away. Then I started thinking about the title of my blog.

It's all a tangled skein. The good and the bad. The hurt and the healing, the laughter and the tears. Why hide it? Why be ashamed of my pain and anger? On the flip side, why hide my happiness? Why feel guilty of my joy?

I'm sorry for the hurt out there. I am sorry I and many of those I love have experienced far more than our share. But being a human being, I have a biological right to persevere. To evolve. I can't do that if I am a negative Nancy with secret happiness. Nor can I get there if I am a Pollyanna who cries alone in the shower every day.

Anyway. If you are still reading (awwwwkward) thank you for letting me get this out there so I can start writing hilarity again without feeling like a fake. There's sadness under there, as there is in all of us, and I just didn't want to lie about it anymore.

If you need something to laugh about, I'd like to tell you that Giles is seriously giving Ozzie a pedicure right now. I don't know why, but Giles is licking Ozzie's feet, and Ozzie is letting him. Holding his paw up in the air so Giles doesn't have to bend so far. It's kind of sicking me out.


Has he gotten on the couch since I've been home? Is it everywhere and I just can't see or smell it?



I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sickness Almost Always Cuts

I have heard on countless occasions that getting sick is simply a case of mind over matter. As someone whose matter is almost always ill this time of year, I thought I'd put that to the test. Guess what, mind-folks???


Not you, just your theory.

It all started sometime last week. I was working ten hour days, stressed to the nines, eating poorly and getting very little sleep. Also, I switched to a different insulin. I was feeling a little off. My head felt like it had grown twelve sizes and a thick layer of chinchilla fur. My stomach was going back and forth between sharp pains and rolling nausea. My back ached and my eyes felt a little droopy. I think I even said to Jero, "I feel like pooh".

After thirty one odd years, I know my body well enough to realize I was getting sick. Thinking of the repercussions to my paycheck if this thing went full blown, I decided to take a stand. So I concentrated really hard on these words:


Every night before I fell asleep I would repeat those words. In my head, mind you, so as not to make Jero think I had finally gone batcrap crazy. Every morning I woke up feeling the same or a little worse.

On Wednesday, I woke up feeling like leprechauns had taken turns beating me and pouring whiskey down my throat. I crawled into the shower and waited for my head to clear. It did not. I got ready for work and was drinking my coffee while talking to Jero when the nausea mobile rolled up. I think nausea is in a gang because it felt like it was in one of those jacked up cars with the crazy hydraulics and the bass that turns your insides to jelly. I ran to the bathroom and was thankful I hadn't put anything solid in my stomach yet. Still, I put a smile on my face and went to work.

I was determined so many intelligent people couldn't all be SO DAMN WRONG and continued chanting my mantra day and night.

Today I awoke in a daze. It was like Cheech and Chong were reenacting their favorite days of yore just behind my eyeballs. Even after coffee, a Poptart and being at work for a couple of hours, I found that I was still having to focus really hard just to keep myself together.

Still I chanted, but with a little less enthusiasm.

I am NOT getting sick! I'm an effing Amazon. Sick BAD. Mind good. Something about fucking you up...

I decided I wanted to make my homemade mac and cheese for dinner, I told Jero as much which meant I couldn't really back out even though I didn't really want to go to the grocery store and I really didn't want to spend any more time on my feet than absolutely necessary. But I would be fine, because I wasn't getting sick.

Cooking dinner involved doing the dishes. Now, I made stuffed pork chops for dinner last night. Do you know what stuffing that was previously stuck to a baking pan and has now been soaking in apple scented soap for twelve hours looks like?


But not normal dog poop. More like the poop of a dog who has what I have AND Ebola.

I took one look at it and got violently ill.

Somewhere between wishing my bathroom was cleaner and realizing the vomit didn't care there was this little flash. I don't know if you would call it an epiphany, but it was pretty damn close.


It doesn't matter what your brain says, illnesses DO exist. They are not the fucking Easter Bunny or Unibeavers. Viruses are real, folks, and every once in a while they will KICK YOUR ASS.

Sure, you can do things like eat healthy, get rest, drink non-Pepsi related products and take your Fred shaped vitamins to boost your immune system. And yes, the power of positive thinking is also real, but it's not a Godlike power. It's not a genie in a bottle or a get out of jail free card. It doesn't work like grade school where you just had to say "no cutsies" and all was resolved. Did you get that, brainiacs?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poison Control Thinks I Am a Serial Killer

It took me many hours to post that last blog, and here is the story why. Spoiler alert: it involves fantasizing about bitch slapping the Poison Control lady.

While writing that last blog, I decided I could not wear any of my clothes to work tomorrow, and so must figure out if the washing machine was, in fact, broken.

I took the dogs down with me, because I feel like an awful pet owner every time I have to put them in their crates. It turns out, that would have been a much better solution for all involved.

As I opened the door to the laundry room, the dogs rushed in. I flipped on the light, briefly checked for violent sex offenders, and walked to my basket. When opening the door to the wash machine, I noticed my dogs trying to get something behind it. I shooed them away, and checked to see what they were after. To my horror, I found a very smooshed box of Decon.

I immediately panicked and called Jero at work. Because you know there is so much he can do from an hour away. Crying and completely out of control, I told Jero what just happened. He told me to call either Poison Control or the 24 hour Emergency Pet Hotline.

I rushed upstairs with the dogs and Googled "Poison Control", which I promptly called. A woman I will call, Captain Meanie of the Mean Ship Enterprise, Meanie for short, answered. Here is the conversation:

Meanie: Hello, Poison Control, this is "Meanie" what is your emergency?

Me: Yes, I don't know if I've called the right number or if I have to call one specifically for pets but...

Meanie: Normally yes, but our computers are down right now and we are unable to take payments, if you would like to make a donation online I might be able to help you.

Let's just ponder that for a moment. If I had told her that I would not like to make an online donation, would she have hung up on me, leaving my pets for dead? That's fucked up, Meanie, that's seriously fucked up.

Me: Of course I'll make a donation (I did not) please if you could help me.

Meanie: *sighs* What happened?

Me: I went down to our communal laundry room to do my laundry (apparently I turn into Mistress Obvious when I'm panicked. What else would I be going to the laundry room for? Crack?) and it was just a moment, I'm not sure they even ingested any, but my dogs got behind the wash machine and there is Decon back there that I didn't know my manager had put out.

Meanie: *sigh*

Me: I was just wondering if you could tell me what signs I should watch for if they have been poisoned?

Meanie: What kind of Decon was it?

Me: It was in a yellow box with black lettering that said "Decon" on the top. I didn't see anything in the box.

Meanie: *silence*

Me: I don't know if they ate any, I'm just worried. They are like my children.

Meanie: And you don't know exactly what kind of Decon it was?

Me: Dammit, Meanie, I'm a Title Clerk not an Exterminator!

Okay, I didn't really say that, but that's the sentiment of my thinking minus a million expletives.

Me: (For real this time) No, I don't, I didn't put it there. I know this sounds stupid, but...

Meanie: You just don't sound like you are taking this very seriously, and I am trying to figure out why.

Okay, let's stop again. REALLY, BITCH FACE??? I don't sound serious? I FUCKING CALLED POISON CONTROL! I just said they were my children! How much more serious could I be? Would it be better if I was sobbing so uncontrollably that you couldn't understand a word I said? Because I'm about there, lady, and you will wish for the panicked yet attentive pet owner you started out with!

Me: Nonononono! I am taking this very seriously, that's why I called. I don't know what to do or what to look for.

Meanie: Can you call the manager and find out what kind of Decon it was?

Me: Yes, I can do that.

Meanie: Okay, good. First, do you have any fresh hydrogen peroxide in your home?

Me: I have hydrogen peroxide, I don't know how fresh it is, I'll look at the doesn't have a date on it.

Meanie: Is it open?

Me: Yes.

Meanie: Do you remember when you opened it? *sigh*

Me: No, a while ago, I don't think it's fresh.

Meanie: Do you have the ability to go and get fresh peroxide?

Me: Yes, I can do that.

Meanie: Now, first I'm going to tell you to drive safely. This blood thinner takes time to work and you seem to have caught it soon, so that's good. Okay?

Me: (Starting to cry now) okay.

Meanie: What kind of dogs are they and how much do they weigh?

Me: A Puggle, he's about thirty pounds. And a Rottweiler mix who is about seventy five pounds.

Meanie: First you are going to feed them, kibble or whatever. Then you give the little one about one ounce and the big one about an ounce and three quarters. Okay? This should induce vomiting. If it doesn't induce vomiting within fifteen minutes, give them a second dose. Call me after the first time they throw up. You are going to follow this with water. Okay?

Me: Okay.

Meanie: The most important thing is to empty their stomachs, then call your manager to find out what kind of Decon it was. Is the store you are going to close?

Me: Yes, it's a block away.

Meanie: Good. Here is my direct number to call me back. Again, my name is "Meanie".

I put the dogs in their kennels, and rushed to RiteAid. While going there, I called and left a message for my manager. The people at RiteAid looked at me like I was crazy because I was buying Hydrogen Peroxide, two rolls of paper towels, and an iced tea. I was wearing capris because all of my pants were in the wash and sandals because they were handy. I was not wearing a coat because it was also in the wash and it is December in Eastern Washington. I was also shaking.

I don't know if you've ever tried to get a dog to drink peroxide before, but it is a little bit like trying to pour a liquid that smells like dirty feet through the clenched teeth of a wolverine. I was crying, covered in peroxide, Giles was doing his high pitched whining that indicates he is unhappy and would like to not be forced to drink feet anymore. Ozzie was trying to hide from me in our tiny little kitchen where I had them pinned. There was more peroxide on me and my kitchen floor than in their tummies. I was begging them to just drink it, while trying to sound soothing.

Nobody was soothed.

My manager called and informed me that the Decon is very old. That he didn't put it down there, that the previous manager must have and that it is Decon brand Decon. Whatever the hell that means.

Fifteen minutes have gone by and no one had puked. I gave them a second dose.

I sat down at the computer to Google "Decon poisoning in dogs" and I heard retching and a thump come from my kitchen. I turned the corner to find that Ozzie had jumped the gate, Giles was puking and there were three large piles of foamy puke on my kitchen floor. Ozzie was at the door, which meant his was probably the biggest pile of vomit because he knows that he should not puke in the house and always heads for the door when he gets sick. I called Meanie back as instructed.

Meanie: This is "Meanie".

Me: Yes, Meanie, it's Sara again, I wanted to call and tell you that they both just vomited. It looks like foamy dog food.

Meanie: You don't see any of the Decon tablets in it?

Me: No, none. I talked to my manager and he says it's Decon brand Decon and it's been down there for a couple of years.

Meanie: *sigh* So, he can't tell you how much they ingested?

Me: Umm, no, he didn't put it there, a previous manager did. I'm hoping the box was empty.

Meanie: Okay, well it takes 24 to 48 hours for this to kick in, so you'll have to be very vigilant. You'll want to watch for black bloody stools and bleeding of the gums when they eat. Okay? It's good they both threw up. Okay?

Me: Okay.

Meanie: If you notice those things you can take them to a vet and they can do a blood test. There is an antidote. Okay?

Me: Okay.

Meanie: You have a nice night. Bye bye.

Me: Bye.

A nice night? Not only did you just tell me that they may not be better, but I also have a ton of foamy puke to clean up off of my kitchen floor! Oh, yeah, it's a party up in here.

Once calm, I really got to thinking about her not believing I was serious. I get that they must get prank calls because people are idiots and do not understand the importance of Poison Control or 911. What I kept thinking about is what goes through their minds when they get those types of calls.

Did she think I'm in the beginnings of my serial killer days, practicing on animals but unable to wait for the result so I called Poison Control to get a detailed description of what was going to happen? Or maybe she thought I was some hack writer, doing research for my novel about a serial killer whose MO is Decon?

Most likely she just thought I was a moron.

All I know for sure is that my house smells like feet, my dogs won't come near me, and I pray to God I never have to call Captain Meanie at Poison Control ever again.

That and how much fun Jero is going to have examining their poop for the next two days.

The first blizzard comes; even a worm will wish for; a scarf made of yarn.

In a desperate act of procrastination I watched Punkin' Chunkin' 2010 today. Because I didn't want to be doing anything, I actually found it fascinating.

Not because these people are trying to build machines that hurl pumpkins record breaking distances. Though, admittedly that does sound like a virtual crap ton of fun!

No, I was fascinated because these are not just jazzed up slingshots, these things are intricate! If I had a memory other than that of a fruit fly I could tell you the exact distance of the winner, but I can't. I can say it was something like 1,900 ft! That's REALLY FAR! I once jumped off a fifty foot cliff into the Snake River (believe it or not we were being chaperoned by an adult) and I thought, if I multiplied that height by 40, that's about how far these folks tossed that pumpkin! Then I double checked my math because once again, that is REALLY FAR!

Then I got to thinking, what do these people do for a living? And thinking that made me wonder if I am doing too little with my life. Today my plan was to do laundry and finish vomiting Christmas on my tiny apartment. I have done neither. I put the laundry in the basket, hauled it and the trillion pound economy sized bottle of detergent down three flights of stairs, and found this taped to our washer;

"Thought you'd want to know that this machine ate 2.00 dollars of my money. I will let the manager know tomorrow (Sunday!). I found this out after I put the soap in. FYI."

I was distracted briefly by my curiosity about the exclamation point after Sunday. Wondering if the writer is really excited about Sundays or just yelling at me. I love Sundays! They Rock! Vive la Sunday! or Hey stupid, tomorrow is Sunday! How can you be so stupid as to not know the days of the week! You are so dumb you should probably not be doing your own laundry! I think my confusion was justified.

Then I began to wonder what to do. I could walk over to the manager's apartment and ask if the machine is fixed and someone didn't take down the note. But that would involve taking the dogs back upstairs and putting them in their kennels, because they absolutely cannot be trusted alone and free in our apartment for even three minutes. I could try the other machines in the other buildings but that would also involve putting the dogs "away". I could try to find some form of clean clothes including bra and go to a laundromat. But on top of kenneling the dogs, I'd have to actually drive somewhere. I could put my clothes in the washer, being forced to use stranger detergent (which means hives until the next laundry day) add my quarters and see if the machine works.

I decide to leave my basket on top of the washer, return to my apartment and call the manager. When he doesn't answer, I leave a pleasant message asking him to get back to me as to the state of our washing machine. Then I get enraged when he doesn't call back and continue to procrastinate by playing a match 3 game on the computer.

I didn't get to the decorating because Jero left the chair, without which I cannot decorate the doorways, on the balcony and it is dark and scary out there.

The point is, I can barely handle a fifty hour work week and a weekend of laundry and Christmas decorations. How do these people find time (read energy) to have such a time consuming hobby? So, I got to thinking about less time consuming hobbies I could try to get into.

Less Time Consuming Hobbies I Could Get Into:

1) Knitting scarves for worms.

2) One word inspirational cross stitching.

3) Paint by number

4) Sculpting globs of clay into different shaped globs of clay.

5) Writing really bad haiku.

6) Baking not-so-homemade treats. Better yet, not-so-homemade no-bake treats.

7) Speed sitting.

8) Procrastinate by writing really long, not so funny blogs until I don't even have enough time to do the seven things listed above.

I might be able to figure out speed sitting.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peculiar, Awkward and Crick Are Not Real

I don't think my body knows how to handle this day. It's all like, "hey, Brain, dude what do I do?" And Brain replies, "I don't know dude, but you're freaking me out!"

I'm not sure why both my body and my brain sound like surfers.

Today was emotional to say the least, and to put the icing on the cake, I have consumed far more sugar than a type 1 Diabetic should ever consume...hahaha...which is exactly like putting icing on the cake! Don't worry, I've compensated with insulin, but that doesn't mean it didn't still fuck me up a little.

I was sad when I got to work, then two things happened simultaneously to make me feel like the universe was sending me the message that it would just be best if I crawled into a bunker for a few years, just until the dust settles. I actually cried at work about nothing work related.

I'm sure that was loads of awkward for my two coworkers.

They were having a bake sale at the bank, and I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so I bought fudge. Now, when I bought said fudge (which had nuts yet was going to help me feel less so) I spent my laundry money on what I thought would be MINE! But then my coworker also bought treats with the intent to share, and not sharing my fudge when she is sharing her cookies and banana bread is just plain douche-y. Especially when she has told me about her displeasure and financial hardships because I am getting mondo hours while our boss is away and she is not. So, I shared my fudge. Boo. But I got to also eat cookies and banana bread. Yay! Which was my breakfast. Yayboo?

When lunch rolled around I ate my left overs (lasagna and bread) also carbs, and between breakfast and lunch there was one more piece of fudge, then another after lunch, then some carrot cake when I got home.

I feel a little like that girl from The Ring who is really far away one moment and then really close the next.

Why did I write that? Now I feel like that AND I'm scared.


Why did I just write that? Now every Tom, Dick and Harry (which all sound like violent sex offenders to me) will know I'm home alone! Listen up, sex offenders, I have a very large dog trained to attack the nutsack of any would be attackers!

So, I've been pacing my apartment trying to figure out what to write about, but coming up with only really strange things.

Such as:

No one's feet have ever been as cold as mine are right now. Which is a blatant lie. Some poor schmuck climbing Everest is probably losing toes as we speak to the cold. Which just makes me a giant sack of crap for thinking I have it worse than that unfortunate mountain climbing soul.

Why is it ten lords a-leaping? Why are those lords leaping? Are they leaping onto their horses to go rob their tenants of their hard earned money? Why do the tenants take that shit? Why don't they band together and send that leaping lord running for the hills, then form a co-op and all take turns being lord? That's what I would have done. Even in the seventeenth century I would have been a hippie. When was Patchuli "invented"? Hopefully long after that, because that particular fragrance is the one thing keeping me from being an all out hippie. That and I feel cleaner when I shave.

Where did the term yuppie come from? To me it sounds better suited to a very agreeable hillbilly and/or pound puppy.

How long does sugar make you feel like this? I should really know the answer to that particular conundrum, being all Diabetic for nearly three decades. My blood sugar is not high, but I feel peculiar.

Peculiar is a good word, I should use it more often. Does it make me sound peculiar when I peculiarly use the word peculiar in peculiar sentences? Now I don't think it's even a real word. Like awkward and crick. Like that time I wrote an ex-boyfriend's name so many times on the envelope to his birthday card that by the end I was convinced I had spelled it wrong from the start. I had to look at a card he gave me to even start believing Todd was spelled with two ds. And even then, there was a small part of me that thought he may have spelled it wrong to be funny because EVERYONE knows you spell Todd with one d.

Everyone but me.

Why exactly do we teach our children that it is okay to commit breaking and entering if you bring presents? And sometimes it doesn't even have to be a real present. Really, Santa, an orange in my stocking? If I had been a little less unicorns and rainbows as a child I think I would have thought he was just casing the joint AND he would know about all the cool stuff I just got! Oh, he's a patient one, that Claus, biding his time over all these years. But for what? I would have thought he'd strike while the iron was hot that one year I got the Strawberry Shortcake castle. Poor, stupid Santa, it's never going to get any better than that.

Yeah, so that's where my brain is, if you can figure out exactly where that is, you will be one step ahead of me and my body. Maybe he's out catching a gnarly wave.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Time I Stole a Cat From a Cop and Got Away With It

I am no saint. I will never claim to be innocent. I've done things, things you wouldn't believe. This is the story of one of the things I did that you won't believe. Or maybe you will. Maybe you've done things too.

When I was eight years old, running wild with my native bruthas and sista on the Colville Indian Reservation, I had a big gray cat named Fluffernutter.

What? Fluffernutter is not the name a wild hooligan would choose for her mascot, you say? Well, what do you know? Were you a wild hooligan from the rez (Tonya don't answer either Erin!) I thought not, so shut your trap or you won't get your story.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Fluffernutter was my cat. Some would have called her nobody's cat, or "feral" but those people can not conceive of the bond Fluffernutter and my eight year old self shared. She was very big, with long matted hair, and she had this strange compulsion to dig these little burrows for her newborn kittens. She also always gave birth to one still born kitten, in every litter, that always looked just like her. Why I remember that detail is a question for a psychologist, but that's another story.

One day Fluffernutter disappeared. She just vanished. I searched the woods for one of her burrows, to no avail. Fluffernutter had been catnapped. No, not put to sleep for twenty minutes to be awoken for thirty over and over all day long. She had been taken by rival hooligans trying to start a turf war.

I vowed revenge.

Surprisingly, being a rez hooligan keeps you pretty busy, so I forgot about avenging the loss of my cat. Plus I think we had a litter of Cocker Spaniel puppies born that year and who doesn't love puppy breath accompanied by big brown eyes and long soft ears?

It was nearly summer when two boys came to school with a big cardboard box full of something for show and tell. They began talking about their cat, FLUFFY, who when pulled from the box was big AND had long gray hair. Coincidence? I actually think so, but back then I really didn't care.

I knew that Fluffy was not Fluffernutter. Not just deep down, but all over I knew. This was not my cat. But what the hell, she was close enough. Meh, not even really that is true, because you see, Fluffy was a boy. No chance he'd had litter upon litter of kittens, building burrows for each of them. But still I plotted.

After school I grabbed the box and ran to my bus, trying hard to keep Fluffy-ernutter quiet. I talked to him throughout the entire seventeen miles from the school to my bus stop. I soothed him with my chit chat. When I got off the bus, I had already formulated the lie I would tell my mother. There was only one problem, well two. The box was going to make my story a hard sell. Also, the boys who had brought the cat to school were the sons of a local cop, and I was pretty sure that a fat little second grader, running through the halls with a giant hissing cardboard box, would have been noticed. Would I go to jail? Would my permanent record be tarnished forever? I decided it was worth it. I really wanted this cat.

I ditched the box "behind" a "bush" at my bus stop, and carried Fluffy all the way home. When I got to our front door I was so nervous it wasn't difficult to feign excitement. I burst through the door, bellowing for my mother.

This is how it went:


Mom: What? What's wrong? Where did you get that cat?

Me: It's Fluffernutter, Mom! Look! She followed me home from the bus stop!

Mom: Sara, I don't think that's...

Me: I knew she'd come back to me, Mom, I just knew it all along!

Mom: Oh, Sara.

You may think the story ends about here, but it does not.

You see, I was caught. The boys knew who had taken their cat. They told their dad. They came looking for their cat. As it turned out, the story behind Fluffy is that he was a stray. That the kids found him by the side of the road, and the family adopted him. If I hadn't been a hooligan, I probably would have given back their cat and told the truth. That I was jealous and I really wanted the cat. But I didn't. Instead, I lied.

Mom: Sara, you tell me the truth, who does this cat belong to?

Me: Mom, I swear, it's Fluffernutter! You heard them, they found her by the side of the road! She ran away! Mom, it's her! She's mine!

Then I cried.

The boys' dad exchanged a look with my mom that said, "you and I both know your kid is lying, but I never really wanted the damn cat anyway," and I knew I was home free.

I believe Fluffy-ernutter ran away a few months later, but such is the luck of a reservation tomcat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Menstrual Cramps, Thank You for Your Service

So, yesterday I had a particularly rough, emotionally-vampiric day.

I was informed by my brothers that basically I am a lazy bastard who does nothing that contributes to the well being of our mother. A monstrous little troll that is so lazy I wouldn't even lift a finger to scare the three Billy Goats Gruff crossing over the bridge I am lounging beneath. A stupid, irresponsible sack of crap who will never think she is accountable.

Okay, they didn't EXACTLY say those things, but the sentiment was there.

I was so upset I cried until I vomited. Never really a solution by the way. You just wind up smelly, soggy, and hungry.

Today I woke up feeling a little like I drank too much last night. Still tired and sad. Until the mind numbing, killer cramps from outer space took over. They have successfully diverted attention from emotional to actual pain. I found myself wondering if I had enough quarters for Midol and if they would be gone by tomorrow when my week of ten hour days begins.

I texted my BFF that I should write my cramps a thank you note. Nobody follows that little social politeness anymore, do they? But I'm bringing it back. I may even scent the envelope. What fragrance do you think menstrual cramps would appreciate? Summer Breeze perhaps?

My BFF then texted that it may be the only time a woman is ever thankful for cramps. Which then started a thread of when else you can thank your cramps for appearing.

#1) Getting out of a bad date.

#2) Getting out of any unwanted social engagement.

#3) Getting out of work (only works if your boss is male and uncomfortable with the topic of feminine hygiene).

#4) Getting out of exercising (don't look at me like that, I know that certain "doctors" say exercise helps with cramps, but I don't listen to quacks).

#5) Getting out of cooking dinner and/or housework.

#6) Getting out of walking the dogs (though admittedly claiming fear of being raped in the park at night works better).

#7) Getting out of watching any movie without Sarah Jessica Parker, Katherine Hegel, or Renee Zellweger as the lead actress (though this is better aided by bringing in your crazy hormones).

#8) Getting out of sex (yep, I went there).

#9) Allowing you to eat as much chocolate as you want.

#10) Blog topic.

See, cramps are very versatile. Too bad they are also very stubborn. They have a bit of a savior complex and do not go away until they are absolutely certain that all obstacles that could lead to you taking an uzi to your friends and family have been avoided completely. You may have to get tough with them, just remember to be careful what you wish for. You could banish your cramps with pain killers to have your brothers call back and make you want to chew through your own wrists. For now, I think I'm safest leaving my cramps be with a hearty thanks, and I'm not just saying that because I'm out of Midol.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saying Goodbye to an Exceptional Woman

If you've watched the news or listened to the radio at all in the last two days, you may be aware that two vibrant lives were taken from our community, as well as the ripping apart of an entire family.

I knew Rebecca. I believe I can say we were friends of a sort, because Rebecca was a friend to everyone. I work across the hall from her business, The Reclothery, whose sign reads, "An exceptional consignment store". What really made it exceptional was Rebecca.

It became so blatantly clear today that she was the life's breath of our building.

The first time I met Rebecca was when we started doing our visits at Partners for Family and Children. She had a colorful past and was not ashamed to share her story with me. She taught me that we are not our past. That hard work, love, faith, and family can enable you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and hold your head high.

She was so kind to Kelly, who loved playing in her store.

Every morning she'd bound across the hall with some story, her hands flying as she made us all laugh. Her nine year old son, who was also murdered, was just like her. Telling stories with so much excitement and animation you couldn't help but smile.

She helped me find jobs. She gave me suits for interviews, clothes once I was hired, a winter coat one year I couldn't afford one. She knew that none of us could pull ourselves up without a little help.

I was not the only one she did these things for.

This is not about me, this is about Rebecca, and her family.

The news is talking about her murderer. Letting us know he was a graduate in engineering. I want to say that I don't give a fuck. Nobody should. He was a murderer and a coward. He took her life, the life of her nine year old son who was a twin, and tried to take the life of her seventeen year old son, then ran home and took his own life. That's all I need to know to understand that I am glad he is dead. His "mental illness" would have gotten him off in fifteen years or so. The damage he did will last forever.

What the media should be talking about, and they did do some interviews today that I hope they use, is what she meant to the women and children of our community. She was an advocate for both. She never judged. She was compassionate. She was the strongest woman I have ever met. She worked so hard to reunite her family, worked hard to own her own business, and she was taken when she had finally worked it all out.

It's senseless, it's sickening. It's so horribly sad.

I guess there are bloggers out there talking about her past. This is what I have to say to you all...don't write about what you don't know. Shut your fucking mouths, still your damn fingers...she was truly wonderful and that's all you need to write about.

The United Health Services Credit Union has set up a fund for her two surviving boys, one of which has special needs. One of her friends let us know today that she will post a link about the fund on The Reclothery's facebook page. If you can, please help her family that has survived this ordeal. She did the same for women and children all over Spokane.

Rebecca, it was truly an honor to know you, and the hole that is left behind from your murder will never be filled. I know that you are up there, with your one little one, watching over the ones that are left, and I hope that you know they will be well taken care of. Not as well as you could have done, because you were a tremendous mother, daughter...friend.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's like a strip tease in blog form

So, today I did the *gasp* responsible thing and asked my new boss about the memorial tattoo I'm getting for my dad. I have never had a job where this was an issue. And, in all honesty, it should never be an issue. Whether or not my tattoos are visible does not determine how well I can do my job.

But, I LOVE MY JOB and I do not want to lose it. Which is why today I asked if it would bother her if it were on my right upper arm. Turns out, it would. So, I need to find a new place to put it, which is where you come in, loyal readers.

Picture me naked.

Okay, I have my shamrocks on my upper left arm, it's about a quarter sleeve and in color. I have a red star and two smaller stars on my right belly area. Nope, I won't show you, it's the only tattoo I have that I am a bit ashamed of. On my back, both tattoos are on my shoulders. The right is a silhouette of a manta ray, the left is also a silhouette of an apatosaurus .

You can stop picturing me naked now.

The tattoo I'm getting is large. It would have probably been a half sleeve had I been able to put it on my arm. It is a portrait of my dad and I when I was a baby, it will be in color because I love the grainy seventies feel of the picture. There will be a blue feather to represent "Illusions" by Richard Bach, or better said to represent that just like that book, my dad taught me that if I believe it I can do anything. There's also a quote, "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly". The artistic part and how things will flow will be up to the artist and where I put it.

Picture me naked again.

I can put the tattoo in a few places. One is on my right or left thigh. The upsides are that it is a large area, it will always be hidden at any job I will ever have but I can see it without a mirror. The downsides are that in order for me to show it to anyone I have to drop my pants, and it's going to hurt like a bitch due to the nerve damage in my legs. Another place is my left side/ribcage. Pros; well hidden, will look H.O.T., large area. Cons; OW (it's my ribcage for fuck's sake), in order to show it to others I'll have to pull up my shirt and show my belly. The last options are on my back. Now, since I have some already, I don't know where exactly, which is why I had you picture me naked. I'm afraid if I go too low it will look like a tramp stamp, and if I go too high it will not fit in with the silhouettes. It won't hurt a bit, well maybe a bit, but I'll need a couple of mirrors to see it myself.

So, I want to know what you all think. I'm not going to not get this tattoo. I've wanted it for years and years, and I'll finally have the money to do it right, so it's a done deal, just need a little help with the logistics.

Give me your two cents worth so you can stop picturing me naked.

Later skaters.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Screw IMAGE, let's be healthy!

On the 5th of every month, bloggers from around the world are open to write about rights and issues concerning women. First started by Shine and Marie, we’re hoping to bring a variety of women’s issues to the forefront to make people aware of what’s going on. For the month of July, we’ve chosen to write about Body Image. Please join us in telling us your stories, thoughts, and ideas on a monthly basis. To read previous installments, click here.

I have an eating disorder. Now, don't call A&E and schedule an intervention or anything. I am in recovery. I have been now for three years this August.

The first time I made myself sick to lose weight I was in junior high. I can't say why, I really don't know. I don't remember junior high being that bad, not nearly as bad as high school. I just remember that I learned that if I didn't give myself my shots, I could lose a lot of weight very quickly. On top of my body basically eating itself from the inside out, my very high blood sugars made me either too sick to eat or throw up everything I did eat.

I had always been a very chubby little girl, and so me dropping to a size zero was noticeable to those around me. I remember my health teacher having his own intervention, and I denied everything. Said I was losing my baby fat. Tried to convince him I was normal. That Christmas, I received a great pair of jeans from my mom, and I wore them to our family Christmas dinner at my cousin's house. Everyone was talking about how skinny I was, how I looked sick, and was there something wrong with me. I ran from the house crying, and realized two things; I was going to get caught and no matter what I did others were going to think I was ugly.

Now, I know that second thing is not entirely true, but it was enough for me to stop for a while. Nobody likes throwing up, I was always tired, and it was nice to feel "good" for a while.

The second time was when I was twenty years old. I was down to a size four and saving a lot of money on insulin. I was dating Kelly's sperm donor and he used to make fun of me. He'd slap my ass and say, "you don't even eat cottage cheese". Or he'd rub my nonexistent stomach and say, "I didn't think you drank beer". It was humiliating, and I let him do it because I did it to myself whenever I looked in the mirror. I actually thought I was lucky to have someone in my life who wasn't afraid to be honest about the way I looked. Then I got pregnant with my little man, and I no longer had a choice. He needed me to be healthy, so I was. When I was pregnant, I was able to look at myself in the mirror and see beauty for the first time ever.

The last time (and I really do mean that) was four years ago. For three years I had the Tribe telling me how ugly I was on the inside and no matter what I did I could never convince them otherwise. I was really depressed, and every day brought more and more hatred for myself. My marriage had fallen apart, I was making poor choices, and I thought, if I was beautiful on the outside, maybe they'd see the beauty within.

For over a year (the longest I ever abused my body that way) I didn't take my long acting insulin but once or twice a week. I took only one shot of short acting a day, at night, so I could sleep a few hours without having to throw up. I went to the ER at least four times for "uncontrollable" vomiting. I got down to a size two, I weighed about a hundred pounds. Still, when I looked in the mirror all I could see was ugly. Disgusting. Revolting. I was never satisfied. Everyone kept telling me how great I looked, asking me how I did it. So, I thought I was on the right track. If I just did it for a little while longer, others would finally be able to see the real me.

August 2007, I went to my family reunion at Rainbow Beach Resort. I had these horrible stomach pains and this hard lump in my abdomen. I asked my sister-in-law what she thought the lump was, and she said, "it's poop." I started thinking about my body, and what used to be normal compared to what was normal for that last year. I looked up bowel blockage online, and realized what I was doing to my body. I thought about all of the comments my family and friends had been making, wondering if I had cancer or some other illness. I was so ashamed for lying to them, to Jero, to myself for so long. All of the nights Jero spent at the ER with me, when it was all my fault. But I was scared. I was scared to stop getting those positive comments from my acquaintances. I was scared the Tribe would never see ME if I stopped. I was scared I'd get "fat" again.

I told Jero. I bit the bullet. I told him I had an eating disorder. I told him how I was doing it. I told him I needed help, I needed help being held accountable. He told me that he loved me and that if I didn't stop, he'd leave me. I told him I'd try.

I told my mom, who cried, and told me that she had known something was wrong.

They both told me the truth about how I looked. Sick. I had no muscle left anywhere. My legs were as big around as Jero's forearms. My skin was sallow, I had bags under my eyes, my teeth were rotting out from the acid.

I was devastated. But, I needed to be.

Three years now, well, almost, and I have NOT ONCE skipped a shot on purpose. I have NOT ONCE willingly thrown up. But I want to. I want to every damn day. I do not see myself as beautiful. I want so much to be like my best friends and KNOW that I am a beautiful real woman. I want to love my curves. I want to know inside myself that the things Jero says about me are true and not just coming from the man who loves me. Isn't that funny? All I wanted was someone to see me for who I am, and I finally have him and I don't BELIEVE what he says. I guess what I was searching for was for me to see who I really am.

The reality is that I AM proud of myself. When I broke my foot and was unable to walk for five months, I put on a lot of weight. People would say things like, "what about the Wii? That will get you moving. That will help you lose the weight." What I wanted to say back was that, even Wii bowling is hard to do on one foot. That I didn't want everyone else pointing out my weight gain, because I was well aware of it. I was waiting eagerly for the day when I could walk, swim, work. So, I pushed myself too soon. I re-injured my foot twice, which only added to my recovery time. BUT I DIDN'T MAKE MYSELF SICK, NOT ONCE!

I'm getting there. I can walk, I can swim, and I am back to work. I have changed the way we eat in our house. No more fast food (three months!) aside from three times when I've cheated. We eat yogurt instead of sweets (most of the time) we eat one helping only, I drink more water, I haven't had a regular soda in over a year. I am HEALTHY.

I can sometimes look in the mirror and see a pretty girl. I am at least able to look at myself from the neck up and see beauty. But, I know, deep down, that I have to stop focusing on the numbers. I have to stop worrying that I am a size twelve-fourteen. I have to stop thinking that I am 5'2" and weigh a hundred fifty pounds. I NEED to start focusing on how much better I feel.

I feel great! Well, not today because nine hours at Silverwood did a number on my foot, but as for my energy levels, my moods, my insides, I feel like a new woman. I know that I am a good person, and I am slowly getting to where I don't care that strangers and acquaintances don't see it. They see the surface. They see my "situation" without bothering to find out why I'm in it.

I am worth loving, and best of all, I'm starting to love myself.

For all of the girls and women out there who think that abusing your body is the only way to make your outsides match your insides, let me tell you something; those who can't see that it already does do not know you, and that includes yourself. Don't deny your body what it needs, and don't deny your psyche what it craves. If you want a piece of fudge, by golly, eat a damn piece of fudge, just don't eat the whole tray. If you want to have a burger while you're out with friends, have a burger. Denying those urges constantly will only lead to unhealthy decisions. Health is the key, not image.

And for fuck's sake, find out who you are and LOVE HER! The rest will eventually fall into place. And if you ever need someone to talk with, vent to, lean on, I am here for every one of you, there is no shame in banding together.

Later skaters!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Remember the D.A.R.E. guy?

I think it was the D.A.R.E. guy that taught me these things. The most important thing to know is that sometime around the fifth or sixth grade, an officer came to our school and talked to us about Safety First. I may not remember if he was the D.A.R.E. guy as well, I do know he wasn't the Smoky the Bear* guy, but I do remember what he taught us.

Apparently I am the only one.

Last Friday I was given the awesome task at work to go and get the ladies I work with some lunch. Normally, I am all for doing this. It means I get to see the sunshine, and I get to have a cigarette. Friday was different because it was Hoopfest weekend, and I work downtown (enter mutual nods of understanding here).

Now, I don't have anything against Hoopfest. I played in it when I was young, I've watched more games than can be counted, and I know it is awesome revenue for Spokane. I DO have an issue with all of the tourists who don't follow the laws of well...EVERYTHING!

I blamed the experience I am about to describe on such tourists, but after today I believe this stupid biatch was a Spokanite who needs to be sterilized.

I was being sent to Dick's for lunch, and I knew traffic would be horrific and I was nearly out of gas. So, I stopped at Divine's on third to fill up. Now, if you live in Spokane, you know that third is a one way street that runs east. While waiting for an opening to pull out, I look east for pedestrians, not a soul in site, then I'm looking west at oncoming traffic waiting for an opening. Three years later, one appears and I start to go. I hear, "UUUUGGGH, you stupid fucking cunt!" come from the east. I stop and look and here comes some lady on a bicycle. This is where the possible D.A.R.E. guy comes in.

This is what I was taught, compared to what this lady was doing:

RIDE RIGHT, WALK LEFT. Biatch was riding left.

YOU MUST FOLLOW ALL RULES OF A MOTOR VEHICLE. Biatch was going west on a one way going east. She was on the sidewalk. She was listening to her iPod with headphones.

WEAR A HELMET. She was not wearing a helmet...she was barely wearing clothes.

I stop well short of the intersection, she rides in front of me, and I couldn't help myself, I say, "I'm not the one breaking any laws you stupid bitch!" I know, I know, bad form. I should have kept my cool, but come one, she called me a cunt! That is a word you do not use for strangers, it is a very personal insult, and I did not appreciate this fat broad calling me the C word.

I think the blaming of Hoopfest happened at Dick's, because nobody knew how their system worked, and I was there for far too long.

Today, it happened again. Three kids (I'm gonna say punks, because they were being punky) so these punks come riding, on the sidewalk, on the left, with no helmets, and blow through a stop sign like it was a kazoo. I slam on my brakes, because I was the one without a stop sign, and they yell, "Watch where you're going, bitch!"

Sigh. Does the D.A.R.E. guy not do those speeches anymore? Are their parents hoping for a traumatic brain injury because they're tired of raising punks? Ugh, I'm so annoyed.

*Here's a little interesting factoid. Did you know it is against FEDERAL law to take the name of Smokey the Bear in vain??? I've yet to be given a ticket, but it is my lifelong goal.

Later skaters, and remember, that D.A.R.E. guy worked hard on those presentations, so let's show him some respect and follow bicycle safety laws.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Important Life Lessons

Tried to teach my son the skill of mockery yesterday. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Sara, that's a terrible thing to do. Why would you do that? You're an awful mother and you should not be allowed to teach your child anything. Sigh, you wouldn't be alone in feeling that way.

But, all inappropriate jokes aside, there really was an important lesson being taught. I guess yesterday my little man tried to throw his shoe at his other mother. She told him that he couldn't wear his black socks with his shorts, he got mad and threw his shoe. I was trying to talk to him, once again, about respect and treating people with kindness when a basketball player walked by. He was wearing red basketball shorts, a tank top, black sneakers and black socks. So, his Auntie and I mocked. "Look, bud, see how silly he looks with his black socks and his shorts," but my kiddo had tuned out, which he does when he's being lectured for bad behavior. So, you can all breath a sigh of relief that my lesson in mocking did not sink in. Hopefully the rest of the stuff did.

My best friend and I then got to talking about the kind of grown ups we want to be. How we want to be different then the kind of grown ups we grew up with. We want to be a good choice for the kids in our lives to talk to about anything, without being pushovers. We want to celebrate the differences in our children rather than trying to hide them or making them feel ashamed for not being like everyone else.

I was told by my mother and my assistant principal that if I'd only conform to what everyone wanted me to be that I wouldn't get beat up by six boys in our school parking lot. That I wouldn't have beer bottles thrown at me as I walked home from work, I wouldn't get phone calls at all hours calling me a lesbian, a freak, a weirdo. That same assistant principal would no longer give my tormentors passes to get me out of class and push me around the halls.

The point of this is, I never conformed. I refused. I held my head high and I defended my differences and those of my "weirdo" friends. It would have been easy to take that advice and just blend into the background of our small town. But what kind of advice is that really for a child? I didn't want to blend in, I didn't want to be ashamed of who I was on the inside by changing the way I looked on the outside.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I don't care if my son wears black socks with shorts, all kids look a little silly at age nine, and even if they don't, he likes those black socks. He should be able to wear them. He should not throw shoes at his mother, or anybody else, but maybe we all should have been a little more open to the thought of him being perfectly capable of dressing himself at age nine.

I didn't have an adult like that in my formative years. I struggled with my identity because every one I trusted around me was telling me who I was was wrong. Even as an adult, I think twice before I dye my hair with a funky color, or get another tattoo. I think, should a thirty year old woman have pink in her hair? Why the hell not???

The color of my hair does not keep me from performing my job, the size and location of my tattoos does not make me a bad mother, employee, friend, family member. But still I struggle. Still I think, who could this piss off? I don't want my son to feel that way, ever. I want him to have confidence in who he believes he is at that time.

At least I don't have a daughter and I won't have to worry about leggings as pants. Thank God for that!

So, everyone, embrace the children in your life for their quirks. Let them shine! Unless, of course, they're not pants!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The First

Who knew it would be so difficult to just start a blog? I've been blogging about this or that for years now, but it seems that this is the site of choice for the bloggers (blogees?) I know.

It took me far too long to even think of a name. I was thinking strongly about calling it "Emotional Vampire". Those are a couple of words from a song I love, but even more important it is very much how I see myself. If you were to ask those who love me, they would disagree, they would say that is not how they see me. But it is how I feel about who I am, who pretty much everyone is at some time in their life. It's not a bad thing, it's a human thing. We all need, and it is mind boggling to me that so many of us try to hide that part of our humanity.

When I am sad, I need someone to understand. When I am angry, I need someone to rage with me. When I am happy, I need someone to laugh with. When I am telling a story, I need to be the center of attention. I am not ashamed of these things...and many more...because I do not feel isolated in feeling that way. I feel connected with the world, bonded by our universal similarities.

Now I am seriously doubting myself for not naming my blog with my gut. Meh, I figure what I name the blog won't keep me from writing what I want what's it really matter?

Yeah, you know me, I'm far too "OCD" to REALLY think that way. It does matter, because I have to have a reason for why I do EVERYTHING.

I decided on "Tangled Skein" because I'm a nerd. And apparently because I had to add my screen name to the beginning of it, I am not the only nerd out there. Who knew?

"With a Tangled Skein" is the name of a book by Piers Anthony. He writes science fiction/fantasy novels that held my fancy during the most growth oriented years of my youth. It is part of a series that changed my life.

Twenty years and two days ago, I lost my dad to a heart attack. I was really lost for a long time, then I found a church that fed my need for family. But I was still lost, the real me was just floating around waiting patiently to be missed and finally found. When I read this series, it reminded me that questioning what you're told is far better than following blindly.

Though "With a Tangled Skein" is not my favorite book from the series, it's a phrase that I have always found intriguing. To me it represents every aspect of life. It is all connected. The simplest things can change everything. If I'd never joined MySpace, I would never have reconnected with my best friend, or my future husband. Sometimes it's big. If I'd never had that miscarriage, there would be no Kelly.

Our own personal skeins are a tangled HOT mess, even when we think we should take the garden shears to it.

So, that's the point of this blog, that EVERYTHING matters, and I will write about everything. More than likely you'll be thinking, "why would she write about something so trivial?" and my answer will always be, because it felt like more than that to me, and there is always a chance it will turn out to be a major thread in my tangled skein.