DO NOT PUSH THE RED BUTTON!!....No, Not That One - Yes, That's The One.

"You will be praised by fellow right-wing extremists when you successfully attack a clinic which performs birth-control operations on pets."

Is nothing sacred anymore? This morning, I was browsing one of two mediocre-at-best news sites that I can load in a reasonable amount of time between smokes & coffee in my garage. Wow, I really DO have a fetish for run-on sentences....Anyhoo, it was some random mumblings stolen from the AP news wire about symbols & numbers used by neo-nazis. I actually didn't intend on clicking on that story as I was TRYING to load advice on how to combat the weeds in my front yard... Nonetheless, thanks to lacking basic motor skills, there I was - scrolling mindlessly through all the images and characters that could be misconstrued. While there, I thought I'd seek reassurance that numbers I tend to select for PIN's and passwords wouldn't be scrutinized in any manner by Big Brother. Nope. I'm safe. But it leads me directly (in a roundabout fashion) to the point:



We, as a society, feel some sense of entitlement to complete transparency regarding any and all subjects. I'm as guilty as the next - I'll be reading some minimal-intelligence debate on whether or not violently explicit photos should be published (generally two to three weeks after the same photos have gone viral) and distributed to the public at large.... Within moments of growing bored with the point-counterpoint, there I am, googling (or goggling) the photos to see what all the fuss is about (As you can see, I'm never on top of the fad of the moment). Plus, everyone enjoys a good train wreck, no?



One of many resulting problems is widespread exposure not only to "graphic content", but literally step-by-step instructions on how to be a successful criminal. On a far larger scale, those predisposed towards instability, genetically or through circumstance, were just instantly & technologically provided an open door for mayhem. Ever seen one of those little local news quips about some 13 year old shithead arrested for making a pipe bomb immediately followed by the recipe for one? I can recall the reports simultaneously streaming on a plethora of cable news outlets following a certain suspected biochemical outbreak... in the interest of filling time and driving ratings, there were countless round-table discussions attended by mostly mind numbing and ignorant participants "extrapolating" precisely HOW it could have been worse. Even more volatile, mentions of specific targets that WOULD HAVE been catastrophic if involved. They may as well have included the physical address & staffed hours of said targets since researching that shit can often be time-consuming.



I'm taking a stab in the dark that our media, in general, are vaguely aware that these rather informative broadcasts can be picked up all over the world, and not just in neighborhoods surrounding patriotic tea party members "worth" saving? Oops. That was hateful. Eh, too much effort to backspace, so there it is. Given my grandfathered-in right to 24-hour coverage of global events and crises, it seems I'm just as qualified for a job with the CIA as the next guy or gal. Thanks to a vastly litigious society, if what should understandably be kept from us actually is, there will be hell and cold, hard cash to pay.



Ahhhh.... now the downside. Working for the government, I'm well aware that one must dot every "i" and cross every "t" - it additionally helps to "b" every "j" *snicker*. If certain information were actually withheld, prompt argument would be brought to the table justifying the confidentialization of things people actually SHOULD be told. I can picture it now: Millions perish in a freak tsunami because evacuation warnings were only available to those who hold TS clearance, at a minimum. This was the direct result of People vs. Kā-moho-ali ʻ i , which established this was proprietary knowledge reserved for unicorn-caliber sea beasts in the aquatic hierarchy. Nah, that would be silly. After all, animals have no rights!



I believe I've firmly established cause for my daily Mano a Mano with insomnia. I've also established reason enough to either limit my kids' exposure to TV or continue convincing them Cartoon Network and HGTV are the only stations we get via our costly satellite dish :).

When The Chip On Your Shoulder Turns Out To Be A Splinter

" There may be as many as 200 fragments of shrapnel in you, but it is as nothing compared to the bone spur of the great DiMaggio. "

Luke and I were born on the same day, four years apart. I can only imagine his disappointment when, on his 4th birthday, he not only contracted chicken pox, but a pill of a sister as well. Nonetheless, when he wasn't giving me character-building lessons and black eyes, he was really rather patient with me. To this day, I consider him one of my closest friends even when months pass between conversations. Man, the trouble we used to get into was epic. Twins separated at birth and along the space-time continuum.



Today is Luke's birthday. I'm not entirely positive of the time difference, but I believe he is currently visiting the Isle of Skye in Scotland. I wish I knew how I could reach him to wish him a Happy Birthday. 



Leading up to this day, I was in the foulest of foul moods. I found myself jealous of the life my brother leads and absolutely dreading another obligatory celebration of aging. This graduated well beyond my usual pity tea parties and had swelled into a regular ticker-tape parade of angst.



I was fussing with yet another can of Aquanet in the bathroom this morning when there was a miniature knock at the door. I opened it to find my two darling little puffy-eyed and bed-head-sporting angels. What would normally be dripping with sarcasm is completely void of it in this moment. My boys. Wearing hilarious matching PJs and both clutching their respective blue fuzzy blankies. In the distance, Papa was evidently still fast asleep so it dawned on me that it was without prompting or motive that I was wished the most innocent "Happy Birthday"'s in unison. The redhead scored extra points gushing about how I looked just as pretty now that I am 24 as I did yesterday at 23. ***This is the same kiddo who thinks I'm the coolest thing since sliced bread when dyeing my hair - after all, the blue tint of bleach is the same hue as his favorite aforementioned blankie :)*** The glacier which had formed inside broke apart. My heart melted.



I don't really believe I had some traumatically awful childhood. Rather, I sensed that my arrival as the third and final child of the litter was the beginning of the end of my parents marriage. The oldest brother (I often fantasize that every time I utter his name, a Yuppie dies) was born in New Zealand at the crest of their love. He was always intelligent, confident, mechanically-inclined and social. Practically perfect in every way. No doubt he always busted his ass, but every step of the way, he was blessed with the instant gratification of praise & reward.



Four years passed, the heavens parted and a ray of sunlight beamed Luke down upon this planet. Although I understand he was one hell of a challenge to raise and had his share of problems - to this day, he brings seemingly endless happiness to all who encounter him. Where the eldest was intelligent, Luke was downright brilliant. One of those geniuses you read about who lack social abilities as there couldn't be a less important bother. He is also highly sensitive. It was that last sentence that paved the path to come.

Every year, as the frolic-filled days of Summer were upon us, another joint birthday would be at hand. Two toe-headed little cherubs would anxiously stalk the oven where a brownie "cake" would predictably be baking prior to final touches of M&M's for flair and specific groupings of candles positioned at the opposite ends.



As we both aged, the celebrations became more grown up as well. Each year, Luke was asked what he'd like to do, my mom would take the day off work, and we'd venture out on one nature adventure or another. Looking back, I really miss & cherish those times, but I'm afraid I was a bit of a pity-soaked brat at the time. I always longed for those girly parties other girls had. I loved notions of balloons and My Little Pony cupcakes...running through sprinklers with friends and wearing cardboard tiaras before giggling through the night at trite shit while piled about on the floor in pink sleeping bags eating microwave popcorn.



It was all too convenient to imagine I was the forgotten child. My poor mom did everything she could to make the day special for both of us. As she was really rather worried about Luke's fragility and assumed I was pretty happy-go-lucky as long as I was hopped up on rootbeer, I don't think she ever realized the ugliness I kept bottled inside. By choice, my brother didn't have a lot of friends growing up and the few he let his walls down for burned him beyond belief. All efforts to shelter me from the pain he endured only fueled my desire to seek out my own misery. I probably don't want to so much as fathom the karmic hell that would have been unleashed on me if I had a daughter of my own!



After kissing my sweet l'il guys on the head this morning, I stood up and stared at my reflection in the mirror. "Grow the fuck up, you pathetic lout", she mouthed at me.

 I grinned.... I am loved.

Always have been. I was simply too goddamned selfish to realize it. I can name a minimum of 33 wonderful ways this love has been expressed towards me over the years. This has little to do with gifts and material things. It doesn't have to be quantified by the number of times different people utter those lyrics to some random trademarked song. It's not about cake or balloons... no, not even My Little Pony. Last week my boys had a "Trike-A-Thon" to benefit St. Jude's Research Hospital. Christ, I am unbelievably blessed to be simply celebrating another year. Sometimes one requires a swift kick in the ass to stop taking life for granted. In celebration of such, my next step is to design a bedazzled target and promptly fasten it to my backside.



To all of you who make my life extraordinarily special every single day of the year, I thank you, I love you, and I apologize. And I wish an enthusiastic HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear brother! XOXO

“Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home..."

"Go a little bit crazy this week: Get liquored up on cheap vermouth, steal a tractor-trailer rig, and drive it around, steering with your feet. "

***WARNING: Ninja Kitty is going to rant/whine in 5.....4....3....2....

Funny thing about the end result of a once self-declared-free-spirit-of-a-gypsy becoming predictable through circumstance - To stray from said predictability opens doors to paranoid delusions. I am currently kicking myself for slipping into such routine that I now have become a walking target for cheap shots and disrespect. I'm quite sure some of this whine w/ my cheese can be attributed to my upcoming anti-celebration of another year under the 'ol belt. I used to pity those who dread birthdays, but now find myself in that same canoe of woe. (Incidentally, I'm pretty sure some revenge-seeking beaver is responsible for the dysfunction of the oars...)

During the course of the last handful of years, I found myself increasingly subdued, introverted and... well... numb. More significantly, I became predictable. I somehow figured routine would counter much of the chaos until I found myself in a world as seen through opaque-ish glass - gummed up with years worth of grime, neglect, rockchips and cobwebs. In an effort to climb that rickety rope ladder out of this funk, I sought to redefine myself and hopefully reignite that inner spark. Secretly hoping the cogs weren't too far rusted to become a well oiled machine once more. I suppose I forgot to distribute a memo with the appropriate TPS cover sheet as many of those around me met these small changes with horror and suspicion.

For years, I recoiled in nervous panic at the sound of a ringing phone. Although I was provided a cell phone through my work, it mostly served to collect dust when not serving a purpose as the occasional alarm clock. I shied away from social invites and went about my days with clockwork precision. I also grew rather sad and restless. One fine day, I answered the phone. It wasn't for me, but for once, I didn't seek refuge while waiting for the answering machine to pick up. The next day, although weary from the previous days' event, I made an effort to return a missed call within moments of the voicemail left. Gradually - and we're talking painful baby steps, here, I began deviating from routine. I began keeping commitments and not paying as much obsessive attention to the minutes ticking by. I began consciously lowering my heart rate on the occasion or two when I would miss a self-declared deadline, or venture out in public in direct defiance against my fears. What I imagined were healthy changes were increasingly met with disdain.

"You're different." "How?" "I don't know, but I don't like it."

"Different" has been slowly and more thoroughly defined as exhibiting miniature hints of confidence, confronting many of my darkest fears and - as mentioned previously - straying from a state of predictability. I am not entirely willing to reopen the doors I have worked so intently to shut. Perhaps stubbornness plays a role of Devil's Advocate. What breaks my wee heart is that most everyone else has long been allowed, if not encouraged, to make these same strides. I do not seek cheerleaders (I leave that desire to my male coworkers ;)  ), just the benefit of the doubt. Then again, it is altogether possible that I simply place too much emphasis on the thoughts and judgements of others. I mentioned efforts to overcome such obstacles and I may have lost focus (along with my marbles, at large).

Alas, today is a new day. It's a Monday, so there's bound to be some general disenchantment followed by hair of the dog, but I make no apology for my bizarre evolution. Painful as it may be at times, those not able to offer constructive criticism will inevitably require parting gesture.

TRUST FALL!!!!!

"A tragic but not life-altering accident will be all the excuse you need to get menacing hooks where your ring and pinky fingers once were." <---- Awesomeness. And entirely unrelated.



So I was inadvertently invited to a bit of a social gathering as the UBER OFFICIAL THIRD WHEEL. I'm the last person on the planet to decline a free.... umm.... anything - Conduct a survey of the good folks who peddle their wares on Craigslist in Colorado and I'm sure you'll get a general consensus. Anyhoo - The waitress was clearly an undercover Pusher as she handed out the menus and there was a subliminal-not-so-subliminal and other-worldly sign staring me right in the eyes. It could have additionally been whispering sweet nothings, but the music was cranked up a tad, so I didn't catch any subtleties. (By the by, T.G.I. Fridays plays a pretty mean string of catchy ska music on random Thursday afternoons!)



Lunchtime Cocktail Menu.



Oh hell no!

I would say it was all downhill from there, but I'm wearing strange shoes and can't be entirely certain I am proceeding towards a lower altitude. In fact, it feels more akin to an M.C. Escher piece..... While I'm at it - you know, since I am not surrounded by a single "responsible adult" who has had the good sense to physically restrain me due to my current state - I'm inserting a disclaimer a bit late in the game: ***DISCLAIMER FROM THE AUTHOR: Alcoholism is a serious disease which should not be treated lightly. If you suspect you or someone you know may be in the throes of such a disease, please proceed to the nearest facility for treatment. I could recommend a place, but I do believe we all see where this is leading***



Christ, I can't even feign having good intentions when I'm typing at about 130wpm in the hopes that spell check will surely straighten my ass up before the mood moves me to click that seductive bright orange "PUBLISH POST" button down in that corner..... Ya, I'm fucking talking to you! You knew exactly what would happen if you showed up (is "showed" a real word? I'll Google (or "Goggle", as I tend to type when in a rush) it later and go back and edit this post if absolutely necessary since my O.C.D. kicks into hyperdrive when I'm going through a bout of insomnia....) looking the way you do... Your shiny hair and short skirt. Fucking Trollop. OK, can anyone in the audience tell me where in the hell I was going with all of this? *reading back through the post*



Nope. I got nothing. OH! There should probably be some sort of summary tossed about in here:
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE WISDOMLESS:

1. If you're a cheap date, do not - I REPEAT - do NOT consume more than one fru-fru beverage on a random lunch date you were only invited to out of obligatory pity.

2. When breaking the seal during aforementioned obligatory pity date, do NOT tell the little girl who just exited the only available stall that she is absolutely darling and you would love to take her home and tie her up (which was meant as a compliment to her innocent darling-ness).

3. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT return to work.

4. Knowing damn well you disobeyed #3, do NOT respond to work emails.

5. Quit fucking ignoring all this GOLDEN bloody advice!

6. Do NOT answer the phone when your mom calls to let you know her plane arrived safely.

7. DO make extra pots of coffee TOUT DE SUITE!!!!!!

8. Do NOT heckle your boss to the point where she LOUDLY accuses you of being a goddamned Trollop/Streetwalker right before the elevator opens upon a completely silent/stunned audience of company executives visiting for a mandatory training seminar.

So yeah. We've reached the point in the game where Kitty Kitty is sent to the corner for a time-out. Actually, Kitty Kitty refuses to go to her fucking corner until she is absolutely convinced through the cloud of paranoia that she is not about to get canned for aforementioned elevator incident. I blame raspberry daiquiris. And T.G.I. Fridays. And The French. *wheels turning regarding plots to sue all three parties for an undisclosed sum of money*



Ciao for Now My Pets!

Speechless, But Not Uninspired.

Well, My Pets, it doesn't happen often, but I'm glowing and unable to form a printable thought - coherent or otherwise. Perhaps I won't be quite as tongue-tied tomorrow. Anyhoo, here's some cheap entertainment in the meantime. Don't know about you, but makes me wanna go rollerskating :)
Rappers Delight. Hell Yes.

Abracadab-Oh To Hell With It.

" It will be hard to take on the dual role of teacher and parent, but that's the life you'll lead as the enchanted rabbit companion to two plucky orphans. "

I'm utterly convinced one of two things needs to occur post-haste: Kids need to come with manuals, or people need to meet certain qualifications to breed. Really, either scenario will guarantee the award of a Too-Little-Too-Late Trophy. Nonetheless, I take some strange comfort in knowing I never would have passed the final exam for the latter. Dilemma Du Jour?: Magic.



I was notified at the last possible moment (which I sense is just the beginning of such a theme), that my almost-5-year-old's little summer school thought it a brilliant notion to have a talent show. A Pre-K Talent Show. Am I the only one who finds this to be an oxymoron? Perhaps I've just REALLY been slacking when compared to the psychopaths engaged in the pageant mom circuit..... I always figured I was overachieving when it came to clinical insanity. Turns out I was wasting my gifts on hobbies of the non-domestic variety. Anyhoo - he naturally decided to showcase his magic talents.... of which he has none.



As I quantify all the influences taken in by his spongy mass of a brain, it makes complete sense. My Big Bag of Man Candy and I have taken demented delight in brandishing our "powers" since he was born: Mama can point to the microwave and magically make it beep - Papa waves his hand at the traffic signal and VOILA! GREEN!!! There is a very real sense of entertainment to be had while screwing with your kids' heads. That's rather the point of breeding, no? To spawn a miniature fan club guaranteed to be downright dazzled at everything you do? Shit, AT LEAST until they're old enough to know better.... Granted, I wasn't expecting that day to come quite so early....



 Back to the subject at hand - the poor boy is convinced he can point at the garage and command it to close. In the interest of time in the morning, we thought we'd note that his brother lacks this gift so we wouldn't have to wait for the damn door to go up and down again before rushing off on our commute. Thanks to awesomely frightening creativity, he has taken this all to a new level. To a child altogether convinced his parents are gullible twits, the sky is clearly the limit! As such, I was tasked with bringing all this "magic" back down to earth and molding it into a brief presentation suitable for an audience of 20 or so. Off to Zeezos I went.



Confession time. Despite my extraordinary distaste for venturing out in public, I don't need much convincing to frequent Zeezos. That place may as well be a year-round celebration of freaks - A label Yours Truly contently flaunts! Magic supplies, costumes, gags & novelties. I wouldn't think twice of decorating my entire abode with such frivolous treasures! So there we were, mindlessly gawking at all the magical offerings behind the counter - not an easy feat for a broad who is past the stage of qualifying as legally blind - and here he comes to save the day!....



Man, if you ever are in need of feeling like a hopeless slacker of a parent, may I suggest encountering the father of prodigies on your journey. We lamely stumble over explaining that we have no clue what in the hell we're doing as our 4 year old dropped a bomb on us that he plans to display his nonexistent magic skills at the upcoming "Talent Show". He holds up his hand calmly and explains how he has a 4-year-old, himself, so no need to fret. Just as we're ready to breathe sighs of relief, here comes this precious doe-eyed darling around the counter.... sporting a helmet. Oh hell, we both think - the poor dear is prone to Ninja-Kitty-Caliber-Clumsiness! Yeah, no. She has been engaged in becoming Houdini since age 2, and she is also dabbling in competition-level skateboarding.... Wait, WHAT!? Ahhh yes. Top that muthafuckin' cake off with the impressive resume of his 2 year old. *groan* We suck. Look, can we just get a goddamned magic wand and a generic top hat and we'll quit polluting the charmed air you breathe, Sir? That would have been too easy - he performed nothing short of community service assisting us and we left with fool-proof entertainment in a bag. Hmmm... You know... this actually means we come out looking like goddamned heroes for the relatively cheap price of our pride.... Win-win?



So we totally didn't come out looking like heroes. In fact, my 4 year old spent much of the morning sobbing and carrying on. Seems he no longer cared about the magic and just wanted to bring his stuffed puppy to school. Like model parents, we told him it was his teacher that made that decision and if he wanted to be upset, to aim it at her :).  I'm thinking the lesson, here, is that we all do the best we can do. As I'm still feeling my way through the ins and outs of this whole "parenthood" garbage, I can't beat myself up for finding myself unprepared. It'll probably be a cold day in hell if I ever volunteer for the PTA, Cub Scouts, Bake Sale, etc... But if either kiddo ever needs something that can be procured from Zeezos (or the good folks at his preschool hold parent-teacher conferences at, say, the local pub), I'm there.

Lighten Up Francis!

" Someday you'll look back on all this and laugh, you sick, demented, inhuman monster."

It's no grand secret I'm high maintenance. With that well-earned title comes tendencies to over-think and over-analyze literally EVERYTHING. EVERY GOD DAMNED THING. This past Tuesday evening, I woke up on the garage floor and thought "Wow - is this FINALLY rock bottom?" I'll spare you the details of what I found myself lying IN, but it was a sign of yet another mental collapse. As I frantically pulled myself together to make sure the kids were OK, it was clear I needed a break. Thus, I declared yesterday Ninja Kitty Mental Health Day. It's possible this was only observed in Canada, so I apologize to those of you who didn't get the memo.

As is par for the course, I entered Wednesday (AKA Ninja Kitty Mental Health Day) with preconceived expectations. Predictably, those expectations were quickly dashed. All the well-meaning intentions in the world couldn't salvage what I had hoped to accomplish. At the same time, it was precisely due to all of this that I arrived at a long overdue conclusion: I need to lighten the fuck up.

I almost had myself convinced that working through everything going on in this noggin of mine would be of some fabulous benefit. That expressing each fleeting thought thrown wildly out of left field would enable me to make sense of it all. The more thinking I accomplished, the more out-of-control I felt. As it turns out, when one is as unreasonably hypersensitive and empathetic as I, these things are, in fact, best left unattended to. In time, they work themselves out akin to the wrinkles in the dry-clean-only clothes I carelessly toss in the dryer.

Over the past few months, I have found myself increasingly self conscious and further self loathing. The more I strived to be "myself", the more I found myself apologizing for it. Since the birth of my second (and last) uncoordinated midget, I have lost almost 70lbs to date. Not a small feat, and something I should make an attempt at being proud of. Yet with each pound gone, I fell further and further away from whatever vague goal I had set out in search of to begin with. In direct response, I was "motivated" to go to unhealthy extremes while musing at what a dumbass I am for putting myself in a dangerous predicament. To what end?

For once, I'm not going to bother answering that. I'm not even going to make a general attempt at analyzing it. Turns out, that was the 'ol wrench in the spokes to begin with. I won't pretend I'll be able to turn off the most inherent of my quirks. I won't bother punishing myself when I break a random resolution or contradict the "plan" from only moments ago. In fact, I'm going to really put forth an effort at not putting forth such effort. Is any of this making a lick of sense? No? Oh well. Then it wasn't meant to *smile*. Hot damn, I feel better already.

Darling, Your Life Is On The Phone... Shall I Take A Message?

"You'll be green with envy this week, before becoming red with anger, blue with sorrow, and finally purple with complete lack of oxygen."

Try as I might, I can't help but find myself jealous of others for one reason or another. Just yesterday evening my mom begrudgingly told me she's all packed up and ready to head out to the coast this morning for three marvelous days. She sounded miserable about it. The poor dear. Three awful days of fresh ocean air and sipping cocktails on the beach. I would say my heart goes out to her, but I'd sooner punch my own mother in the ovaries for even mentioning this little getaway in the first place :).



Another subject readily able to spark jealousy in Miss Ninja Kitty? Those who have figured out what they want to do in life. What they want to be when they "grow up". Or this used to spark jealousy, anyway - as I believe I have finally found my calling. Shockingly enough, it has nothing to do with nudity, bongos...no, not even notions of becoming a Thai hooker... which still most likely circles back to nudity... but I digress.



Mechanic.

I shit you not. You may or may not have picked up on my long running and sordid love affair with heavy machinery. Add to that the lustful responses to scents of gasoline and grease as well as a very real need for structure in my work to counter the chaotic madness of the extracurricular.... It makes the level of sense that truly makes me kick myself for not arriving at this conclusion far sooner. I daydream of scenarios where I can work with my hands on something that possesses reason. Logical cause and effect. Dabblings in mathematical formulas and the science of liquid chemical additives. Of supreme importance, a sense of accomplishment. At the end of the day, the purrrrrr of a tuned up engine or light emanating from a newly wired creation. Valves, hoses, bolts and organs. A Frankenstein of my own design.



I mused at the reactions of those I have already notified about this bit of an epiphany. Responses ranging from "Ummm... do you still planning on wearing so much makeup?" to "Ahhh... So you think you can hang with the BIG BOYS!"  Perhaps not nearly as amused as realizing I need to procure far more supportive friends/spouse(s) ;).  To answer the first question - you're damn right I do. I delicately apply my face each morning with a Whore Gun and I have zero plans for modification. Who says a gal can't aspire to be a bit easier on the eyes while mastering the knowledge to be useful as well? If an object lacks function, what the hell is the point of form? As for the second, rather chauvinistic question - What's that saying? Ah yes: "Anything you can do, Kitty can do flamboyantly better" *smile*. Can I "hang"? What the fuck sort of question is that? I realize the consensus is that I lack hand-eye coordination on top of basic motor skills, but I've decided to refute my own insecurities of inabilities to learn through action.



The worst-case scenario? I fail. Then I shall simply dust myself off and try again. I'd like to imagine I have stubbornness on my side. And literacy.... "And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice." *snicker*



Make no mistake, there will be hoards of horrified onlookers along the path all too willing to piss on my Cheerios. What they don't immediately realize is that's the story of my life: Simple underestimation. I'm sure the pompous little one-man-Massengil-convention of a clerk at Autozone believes he won our little freon debate the other day. Silly boy. Although I will be sure to pay him a visit when I complete the necessary schooling to do a bit of schooling myself. Karma can be such a bitch, no?

Haunted

Among my eclectic assortment of habits, I am the proud owner of a silly one causing the need to read something while drinking coffee or sitting at the table as the munchkins eat. This can be anything from an epic novel to the back of a Home Depot receipt depending on whatever happens to meander within arm's reach. One would think I would be more thoroughly edumacated by now with such tendencies... One would further be overestimating my motivation to venture out and procure reading material beyond receipt-disclaimers on days the mailman doesn't mistakenly deliver a subscription destined for another recipient.

Anyhoo, I recently flipped through the pages of Newsweek and happened upon an article reviewing the work and craft of various artists. I do not, for the slightest of moments, proclaim to be some connoisseur of art - or anything remotely high-brow, for that matter. My boxes of expired wine will heartily attest to that.... Nonetheless, as the page flipped past revealing the following photograph, my heart sank into the pits of my soul:




This was posted with a brief caption: "Jeff Wall, After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Preface, 1999-2001, transparency in lightbox"

Having read that novel somewhere along the educational timeline, I fully understood not only the significance of the subject, but what it was being illustrated before my eyes. Nonetheless, the effect was far more personal... haunting even, to my psyche. It's not often a photo or piece of artwork can trigger such a deep-seeded emotional response. Even from a hyper-sensitive Cancer such as myself!

Aside from a morbid fascination with viewing highway safety films of the '50's and '60's, I can't say I am normally so entirely captivated - my flighty attention span contributes greatly. The imagery immediately stamped it's footprint on my brain. Feasting on my very cells and causes me to recoil in utter horror behind the safety of the hands I clasp in front of my eyes - not a moment later, my fingers part to allow the peepshow to penetrate my consciousness once again. A vicious cycle of the most disturbing variety.

I was inspired to inquire whether anyone else is moved on a similar level? If for no other reason that some minimal sense of reassurance that I'm not as out of my mind as I might guess. Enjoy?

Temptation: A-Ten-Letter-Four-Letter-Word

" After enduring the false smiles and empty promises of the business world for 22 years, you'll appreciate the candor of the DEA agents assigned to you. "

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not infallible. What!?!?!? Yes - I know. Disappointing, to say the least. After one interesting line of conversation after another this past weekend coupled with recent experience, I thought about a line of a different sort: That between temptation and the point of no return. What is it that drives individuals beyond the brink? Is it something so simple as opportunity? Or does the theory of one's own conscience actually hold it's weight in water? What is conscience anyway? ***Randomly Inserted Disclaimer: The author is well aware the human mind has been studied at great length and a great many conclusions have been drawn. Nonetheless, the author is in a mood and feels like contemplating this shit sans the benefit of any real research***

One could take the above paragraph a number of ways. Not necessarily my concern to clarify one way or the other as one simple formula seems to encompass a common denominator:
When presented with a situation probable to provide a perceived benefit....
With the assumption (imagined or otherwise) there would be no judgement or ill repercussion...
So long as an opportunity presented itself, temptation would quickly become reality.

Where this all becomes personal relates to a "chance happening" of last week. There I was, minding my own business (or so far as YOU know), and there it was: Temptation followed immediately by opportunity. Although none would have been the wiser for my actions had I walked that path, it was an opportunity I mistakenly and quite inadvertently presented that, holyshitthankgod, resulted in that path promptly closing down for an extended bout of construction.

I said "no". But that doesn't change the filthy feeling festering from within. Chalk it up to Catholic guilt or the French - whatever's clever. Even having made the "right" decision, I was left miserable and uneasy. Why? Was it that I was so ashamed in even admitting it was a choice and not a foregone conclusion of taking the high road? Perhaps I was torn as deep down I knew damn well I didn't see a problem with going for the gold - it was only what it would have cost in return that made me wretch. Ahhh - more likely I knew myself well enough to know once that door had been opened, the next such temptation would become easier and easier to reach for until it was no longer an obstacle so much as second nature.... A habit.

In my last post, I mentioned a conversation about books with My Dear Friend that further sparked an awakening. One book, in particular, has my full attention (and not only because I have a shameless crush on its' author) ~ "It's OK to miss the bed on the first jump", by John HOT DAMN, I'M DASHING O'Hurley. (***Not sure if he includes his middle name in the version released to the public.... ***) Anyhoo, for you animal lovers out there, it is an endearingly adorable take on some very poignant observations. The book revolves around the innate wisdom of Man's Best Friend and the lessons we could quite honestly stand to learn from the same. One quote, in particular, has captured my attention: "Self-assessment and goal-definition are often the biggest logjams to the flow of achievement. Many of us are unhappy in our present state and are not fully aware of it. We mask our disenchantment with drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behavior so we are physically and mentally unable to be accountable for it. Sometimes we intentionally become victims of our circumstances in life in an unconscious effort to avoid taking responsibility for a positive self-appraisal." Wow.

As we've established previously, my father is an avid fan of self-help books and tales of enlightenment. On an "unrelated" tangent, he had promised to send me some books he uncovered while unpacking boxes in his new home. This past Friday, the package arrived and I quickly noticed he couldn't stop himself from tucking in two old dusty cassettes of further self-improvement. Amusing to call it "self" improvement, when utilized more along the lines of ammunition for improving OTHERS.... Ah well, semantics, no? It seemed that all of these little gems of information revolved around countering a pattern of destructive behavior. Given my supreme sense of superstition and fancy of fate, I found myself glancing off into the cosmos with a gentle smile and whispering "Point Taken".

Nothing so simple as the consequences handed down from another render a decision right or wrong. It is not the tiny, competing voices of the miniature devil sitting atop one shoulder against the pacing angel on the other. I maintain there is little in this world that unequivocally black & white. Rather, the instinct that having walked that path would have been counter intuitive to all I've struggled to accomplish. It was all the reassurance necessary to turn on my heels and run without looking back. Until next time, you Tantalizing Temptress.

Expressions of Speechlessness

Last night, sleep eluded me yet again. I was lost in thought as the hours ticked off into oblivion. I would fancy up one subject or another to ramble on about in what has become this jumbled diary of sorts. I mentally walked through each bill in pathetic need of payment. There was consideration of what to do for Father's Day or how not to celebrate another birthday. I would giggle at the cat snoring while she was draped across my legs one moment. The very next, I'd inadvertently launch the poor fuzzball off the bed recalling the massive beetle that zig-zagged past my toes earlier in the evening. There was no real stress resulting from endless thoughts. No rise in blood pressure, or gritting of teeth. Much to the contrary, I was pleased to find my thoughts had finally returned to a "pattern" of no particular order.

I went through all the hurried motions of getting ready early enough to allow the devotion of time to dressing, feeding and entertaining My Miniature Munchkins. Still, I was in a bit of a haze. Auto-pilot.

Even listening to an unusual soundtrack that would normally only suit a very morose mood, the morning commute was peaceful. Uneventful. Forgettable, even. I let a stranger through our locked building doors (how's that for maximum security?), kidnapped a container of generic ground coffee from the 2nd floor, even exchanged pleasantries with a handful of coworkers as I navigated the familiar hallways back down to my bastard-children-department's corner of the company. Nothing of note and not so much as a lasting imprint left on my mind. Another Thursday.

Predictably, the coffee pot was fired up, I started my computer, pulled my phones out of my purse and set the volume level for each, briefly touched up some chipped nail polish and by that time, the coffee was ready. I grabbed the closest cell phone, my pack of menthols, prepared a cup of a splash of coffee with my delightfully flavored cream and my friend and I set off for the basement to have a morning chat outside. The same routine. Day after day.

It was while sitting in the crisp morning air and musing about books we have read or would like to when a feeling washed over me that I have not experienced for what seems like ages. The calmest sense of happiness and appreciation. It was in that moment that I gazed out at the forest just beyond the curb and really took in the significance of the day. Fog still dancing mysteriously through the towering trees under an overcast sky. A tantalizing breeze sending soft chills across my exposed arms. The taste of the bitter coffee fruitlessly competing with the sweet deliciousness of the creamer as it passes my lips. It was all like some fantastically cheesy commercial for Folgers. Perhaps more similar to International Cafe.....

In that same moment, I began experiencing one memory after another - recalling such an innocent state of bliss:

 Having breakfast with my mom while sitting on the patio of my favorite ski resort during late Spring.... The birth of my first born - tears streaming down my cheeks and the deafening clamour of an ominous thunderstorm....An anniversary spent up in Estes Park, sitting in the hot tub on the balcony and watching the snow silently fall.... Watering the flowers as a child and catching an angle with the spray of the hose which created a magnificent rainbow as the sun's first beams filtered through the raspberry bushes in the distance.... The sounds of my boys laughing those deep, magical belly laughs at the thinking our dog had miraculously morphed colors only to find out that was the neighbor's dog who slipped under our fence.... Skipping church with my brother in favor of procuring Slurpees, Mad Magazine and candy then promptly escaping to the park at the top of The Avenues....The birth of my second born - an indescribable feeling of relief when the blue-grey hue left his tiny shivering body....Blushing in embarrassment when my dad insisted on holding my hand while walking in a park when he further decided to call attention to us by whistling the theme from Man of La Mancha....

These memories have been increasingly exploding like extraordinary fireworks in my consciousness. Although I'm simultaneously knocking on wood while musing that things could not possibly be worse at work, here I sit with a broad grin as I couldn't care less. I had forgotten about so many of these points in time where my heart was ablaze with joy. I had seemingly forgotten how to let go of the trivial stresses of insecurities, money or tangible objects that flat out don't matter in the grand scheme of things. I am awestruck and speechless. Only able to emotionally vomit all of these realizations in silence across the illuminated screen directly in front of me. Unable to keep it all somehow contained inside.

June 9th, 2011. Kitty has awakened from a coma.

Shit... Did I Just Hit "Send"!?

"You have to stop worrying about what everyone else says, especially nonsense like "You should dress better," "Nice people don't do that," and "Put down the gun and release the hostages." "

As you may or may not know, I have a bit of a fetish with heavy machinery. I'll let that soak in a moment.... Amongst my myriad of job functions, I have the extreme pleasure of overseeing a dwindling sea of vehicles and contractor equipment. Following the closure of a project, recently, I found myself surrounded by many of these delightfully dirty beasts. There were passing mentions of sympathy and obligatory pats on the back as I was now directly responsible for each and every one of them. Through the shrugs and sighs, I was secretly thrilled as not only could I gaze out at My Pets each day, I actually had the keys to them!!!!! (Never a good idea to leave me keys to a dump truck.... or forklift... or really anything, for that matter. NEVER.)

After much "polite" pestering and prodding from each of my four or so bosses, I finally agreed to contract for them to go to auction. I could easily imagine the emotions some creatures experience when sending their spawn off to college. There may or may not have been a tear shed as I handed over the titles (as well as my coffin box full of keys) and watched them disappear off the lot one by one... Little more than grease stains or the occasional rusted-off door handle/transmission left in its place.

The gentleman who ripped My Pets away from my loving grasp apparently saw pain upon my face as he invited me up for dinner and offered to put me up in one of the executive suites to witness the auction. Alas, everyday duties didn't allow such a rendezvous to transpire. I still drool when I picture such a momentous event - $85M worth of vehicles and heavy equipment driving one by one in front of a state-of-the-art facility as an international audience throws wads of cash at each in the throes of excitement. Some of the biggest names in auctioneering talent finding each piece a new home. My Babies were simultaneously broadcast for online bid to upwards of 700,000 eager and overly wealthy peeping toms - a Lot closing somewhere across 49 countries every 20 seconds. Is it getting hot in here?

Well yesterday evening, after I detailed both my cars on some caffeine-induced-high, I received an email. More specifically, an eFax. I waved my hand around carelessly, searching for enough of a signal to open that god-forsaken .pdf file attachment...... Just as the neighbors were beginning to gather at such a pitiful sight, the attachment arrived - The Results.

Words can't describe how proud this Mama was. My L'il Guys were all grown up now!! They fetched some seriously phenomenal cash. I suppose the emotions raging through my body would suggest that I'm more of a Pimp than a Mom, but never mind that.....Pure, unadulterated success!!

My first instinct was to immediately forward these results to each of the heartless bastards who had zero faith in the forthcoming profits. I was filled with a strange mix of joy and rage as I fought to slow my heart rate down just enough not to type like a hummingbird who fancies meth. I read and re-read my words, careful to process each subsequent sentence - So far so good.... I was maintaining a steady pace of professionalism and the subtleties of telling them to go fuck themselves in a manner they weren't likely to detect....

But I'm Ninja Kitty. I'm colorful and flamboyant. I was not surrounded by the usual sterile lighting, manufactured air through a faulty HVAC system and walls suspiciously lined in grey felt - it slipped: "Dazzled". I actually wrote that I was DAZZLED at the results. Who the fuck writes "Dazzled" in email correspondence to the President, CFO, Controller and Legal Department of a Government employer? Me. That's fucking who. "SEND". Fuck. Did I just do that? I closed my eyes just in case I had imagined it. I glanced down again - Yup. I sure as hell did. That sucker was out the door and traveling through space and time to reach the intended recipients.

I read an article this morning about some freak solar storm the sun unleashed. Not since 2006 was so much radiation put off in a single event. It's entirely possible there will be some technological fallout from all of this. Here's to hoping as I still haven't heard a response from even ONE of the aforementioned overpaid execs. Just keepin' it real, my friends, keepin' it real *smile*.

Here's The Deal....

"If the advice of the stars has still somehow failed to bring you happiness, don't worry: There's probably just something terribly wrong with you."

Although I'm not a fan of admitting to being an unreasonable asshole, today it's a tad too glaring to overlook. When I reiterate that my 'Ol Man and kiddos are hands-down the greatest thing on the planet - it's not even slightly in an effort to convince myself. Rather, I look at their sweet faces in utter shock as to why/how in the hell they put up with me.



They say patience is a virtue. This is one such virtue I quite apparently do not possess. If wrath were a virtue, I'd suggest my overabundance of this would somehow offset the others. Alas, this is not the case. Time and time again, I take a mental inventory of my subscription brimming with issues. Time and time again, I declare "officially" that I shall make a conscious effort to not be such a raving lunatic. It seems "effort" is yet another spice someone forgot to toss in with the other ingredients when I was in the incubator. How does one, more specifically THIS ONE, stop the cycle?

Do I have stress in my life? Oh my, yes. Any more than your average bear? No, not really. So why, then, do I still act out like a hormone-ravaged tween when the tiniest thing pushes my buttons? Especially when that same tiny thing is looking at me as some sort of superhero goddess with wee stars in his giant sapphire blue eyes, and all I find myself doing is shrieking like a coked-up banshee and immediately hiding in the garage on a self-inflicted time-out? Further - when the hell did this all happen? I was truly convinced I used to be a pretty easy going, happy-go-lucky sort of creature. Perhaps that was yet another fallacy I dreamt up in the hopes of avoiding the current harsh realization that I'm a prick. It only adds insult to injury when, occasionally, I'm reassured that all this is justifiable because of circumstance. No circumstance could possibly make my mood swings OK!



Here comes the lame ass justification ANYWAY: I fear that much of this is the direct result of the facade I offer up Monday through Friday during business-ish hours. As I've been running later and later each day through fault that is all my own, those hours are continually likely to change. I am at a loss for how to create much needed balance. As is entirely evident through the plethora of posts to date, I am a hot mess. A smorgasbord of dysfunction and contradiction. For the sake of a paycheck, I am just barely able to maintain a professional presence (though the professional appearance has spiraled off into oblivion and the odds aren't favorable for it's return). Even then, I have moments of psychoticness that I promptly patch up through increased levels of caffeine and nicotine.

Have you found yourself in a situation where you need to transport water from one point to another and are completely lacking the necessary receptacle? I picture the water as my own personal chaos. What would normally be anything from a fish bowl to a toilet represents my sanity. With this sanity not readily handy, I reach for, say, a plastic grocery sack only to find that it's riddled with holes from shoving far too many heavy items into it while in the midst of a panic attack at the self-checkout the day before. At the end of a pitiful day, with the aid of knock-off Scotch tape, cleverly placed staples, old file folder labels, even some pre-chewed watermelon bubblegum for flair - the bag has reached it's functional limit and the water bursts out all over the driveway. Beyond the hopes that I at least exterminated a handful of those damned, feisty red ants gathering at my feet, I've come undone.



The almighty $ trumps the emotional health of my family. That's some fucked up shit right there. Only one of the three of them had any say in getting stuck with Kitty. That same one still has yet to pack up in the night and flee. I know this because I routinely double-check. Calgon refuses to take me away because it's been furiously scrambling to secure rescue for the rest. I still maintain it would be easier to contain the madness of one with chains, heavy duty twine or zebra print duct tape, but I suppose I can't be such a control freak when I can't so much as control myself.

In lieu of fixing any of my own problems, I thought it would be nice to plan a vacation for my family. More specifically, my family's vacation from ME. I haven't ran this idea of sheer brilliance by any of them, so the hope is always that the surprise will outshine the shock/horror. I understand travel agents are pretty well required to work miracles, so the first step is to locate some sort of Disney Pixar Cars-themed cruise for the boys. It would naturally have to be staffed by the good folks of The Love Boat. I can't say I've noticed any of them are terribly occupied these days, so that should be easy enough (Did you ever notice they were ALWAYS taking care of random and seemingly orphaned young'uns?).



And My I.D.S.T.? I shall arrange to have him and a "Bro" of his choosing shipped off in luxury with their motorcycles and an endless supply of booze to a safe and professionally closed course in some island location surrounded by pretty, young eye-candy (***EYE CANDY ONLY! NOT TO BE CONSUMED!!!*** I'm really trying, here, so don't fuck with me***) and catered with award winning BBQ delights and constantly streaming ESPN on movie-theater-sized screens (with X-Box capabilities, of course).



Now comes the difficult part.... How long am I willing to release the hostages for, and how much jail time would accompany the sum of money I'd have to "acquire" to make this shit happen? I've said it before and I'll say it again: A gal's gotta dream.

Damn Broads.

"Life will sneak up on you when you least expect it this week, knock you unconscious with a baseball bat, and drag your motionless body into a nearby alleyway. "

Over the past few weeks, our adorable neighbor has been casually prodding for advice with increasing frequency. Yesterday, his ability to beat around the bush had completely vanished. The moment my husband stepped away for a moment, the cards were on the table: "Annie, what the hell do women want!?" My first instinct was to laugh... so I did. A lot. Loudly. Perhaps even a bit obnoxiously. By this time, we were rejoined by My I.D.S.T.. Our poor neighbor would probably be blushing if it weren't for the case or so of beers consumed that had done that part for him. He also knows me well enough by now to understand how I operate. Due to precisely that fact, I questioned what on earth made him think I was qualified to answer that?.... *silence*



And now a bit of back story: This neighbor - let's go ahead and call him Raoul (why Raoul, you ask? In memory of my scorpion and this is my story so I can do whatever I please!) - Raoul is a gem of a guy. And I actually mean that in the sincerest of senses. Any gal would be damn lucky to be with him and my husband and I feel pretty damn lucky to call him "friend".  The trouble? He's a divorced, single father of a kickass 9 year old and he works odd hours due to government union employment. You may be thinking what I'm thinking right now - SO WHAT? I'm most certainly not qualified to give any sort of relationship advice on any level, and I further couldn't be MORE unqualified to speak on behalf of womenfolk. Nonetheless, I'm opinionated, so ask and you shall receive.



"Meeting people" sucks. Be sure to bitch-slap anyone who tells you otherwise. On par with having to teach my 4 year old how to whistle, run through sprinklers or ride piggy back (all of which have happened, by the by), how the hell does one teach someone to be social? Especially when I completely lack all social skills in the first place? As I am apparently a glutton for a challenge, I gave it a good 'ol fashioned college try. I did have quite the chuckle over finding we both clearly read the same bullshit advice columns.... Upon learning that tidbit, I calmly notified him his first task would be to clear his head of all of it. Every last bit. Who the hell writes those things, anyway? Human emotion, reaction and interaction are not black & white. Further, I have definitely arrived at the conclusion that women, as a whole, lack even the slightest hint of logic. I must say I rather pity anyone who has to deal with them on a daily basis!



Getting down to brass tacks, I can't imagine how this cat still is single. Raoul's attractive, responsible, has a good job, is an amazing father, a caring and respectful friend, owns a home and a truck, loves animals, drinks beer, smokes with the caveat of wanting to quit, is great with tools (handy ;) ), has a bloody entertaining sense of humor and couldn't be more humble. What saddens me most is that last part - he has pretty well spent the 4 years since his divorce believing he has nothing to offer and begins most conversations with an explanation as to his lack of confidence. What She-Beast snapped him up in the first place and did so much harm?



Have you ever seen a forlorn hooker walking down the street and thought "Man, if only her daddy hugged her more as a child"? Ladies (and I use that term loosely), if you have an amazing man at home that is beginning to collect dust while you take him for granted, think for a moment about how much worse it could be - imagine going back to *shudder* dating. Go give the man a hug and once in awhile consider giving the guy a break! Not too much of one, though - wouldn't wanna go and give him a big ego or anything :).

P.S. If any of you know a SINGLE (not single-ISH, married, black widow, institutionalized, etc...) and worthy gal out there and feel an urge to play cupid for My Dear Raoul, shoot me an email!

Kitty Knows How To Pick 'Em

Speaking of the treehouse post (there she goes, starting a sentence mid-thought again)... Shortly after I wrote that, a friend of mine asked if I was referring to the questionable place I often speak about in my current town. At first, I laughed as nothing on this planet will ever rival the awesomeness that WAS that treehouse. Then I quietly mused about all the.... well.... questionable places I've called "home" since getting kicked to the curb. I recall a place I had put an application in for - it was fabulous. Quite reminiscent of some creepy B-caliber horror movie hotel setting complete with bordello-red wallpaper and shoddy lighting. Man, it was extraordinary. As luck would have it, another young gal had beat me to it..... Roughly a week later, I came across an article in the paper about her murder. In that apartment. Huh.

The place he actually eluded to was another bit of bizarre perfection. A "four-square" home behind what would have been a lovely little lake in a borderline-ominous section of town. The lovely lake I mention was, sadly, drained due to a sinkhole that claimed the lives of two locals a month prior to my moving in. If you back that trolley up, further, this place was owned by the stalker-tendencies-husband of a nutcase coworker of mine. Who could pass up such a stellar arrangement, right? Another amusing little tidbit: The gal who was moving out to allow me to move in was yet another coworker who offered me her jewel-encrusted handgun as a housewarming present. She made a habit of laying it on the coffee table in plain view of the front window so "visitors" would know she wasn't to be fucked with. I would have gladly accepted the present if her sheriff of a boyfriend didn't advise heavily against it. After all, it was registered in her name and I clearly exuded an air of trigger happy.

It was actually a pretty neat little shack. The "four-square" portion refers to a style of home very popular in that area where there are four, equal size rooms in the shape of a box with a flat roof. A room, bathroom, kitchen, and miniature living room. Mine had actually been enlarged into a six-square so what was once a mud porch was converted to another bedroom and make-shift laundry room. The total lack of safety didn't bother me in the least as I was in yet another strange point in my life and had a massive case of insomnia. I figured if I was to have visitors, perhaps they would at least offer entertainment. And how, but I'll get to that in a moment.

The roof of the "house" - I'm still not sure it qualifies as much more than a shack with Tuff-Shed envy - was quite low so the ceiling was maybe 6.5ft off the ground. Not the slightest issue for a midget such as myself. And this further allowed the assorted skylights to be like neat-o look-out portholes. It felt a bit like the groundhog exhibit at the zoo..... The low-lying skylights also apparently allowed the creepster landlord to spy on me at his leisure as he could easily scale the walls up to the roof without the frivolous use of a ladder. Add this "perk" to my rodent roommates, termite infestation and heating system circa 1913 or so, and a young single bottle blonde truly couldn't ask for much more.

As I look back, I grasp at an answer as to why this suited me so completely. The answer is, in fact, the recurring theme of simplicity. I never needed much beyond a place to crash after a long day. Though, once again, the omnipresent insomnia rendered even that idea null. Even with all it's.... well... let's call it character... it was my sanctuary. The operative word being "WAS".

The poison in this particular cocktail could be easily credited to a gal I once thought to befriend. As plenty of alcoholic trust-fund pixies in this town can attest to, there is simply nothing as "fun" as ensuring an endless supply of flavors-of-the-week, so to speak, for themselves and their gal pals. A horrid notion, no doubt. And one I never had any interest in or use for. Nonetheless, this same dimwitted gal thought it a bit of brilliance to provide detailed directions to my home to upwards of 1/5th of the city's "eligible" criminals.

The proverbial icing on the cake came about at 3am on a random Wednesday morning - mind you, Kitty Kitty was due at work by 7am.... The aforementioned gal was *shock* tanked and bumbling about my miniature abode when she evidently saw something shiny out front. At first, I didn't think much of it as her exploits were reliably soul-draining and I was hardly in the mood. After 20 or so minutes, the realization washed over me that I may now have to avenge her death. *sigh*

Sure enough, she had gracefully stumbled, blithering drunk, into the backseat of a drug lord's old Chevy Malibu. Tinted windows, platinum spinners, conveniently absent license plate - ahhh yes - pimped to perfection, indeed. Upon so much as opening my front door, the gentleman in the driver seat motioned with his gun for me to promptly join my friend. I imagined it too late to explain I truly wasn't very fond of her and any plans they proceeded with would probably earn them the praise of a great many people, not the least of which was her own mother.

Instead, I casually obeyed and joined the dimwit (and 3 other upright citizens) in the backseat. I was instantly overwhelmed with the thick, dreary smoke of glass pipes and crystalline rocks. I quietly mused to myself visions of vomiting on the velvety shag carpet beneath my feet. On the other hand, if I even possessed one, my inner housewife was almost impressed at the cleanliness. Seems shag would be a magnet for lint..... Rottweiler hair, at least. There was one of those as well. Impressively well behaved as he eyed me from the bench seat ahead.

From out of nowhere, and as though I had long since arrived at the conclusion things weren't to get much worse anyway, I was suddenly able to put on a show of a charismatic nature. My personality inexplicably bubbled directly to the surface and I entertained. Not only did I entertain - I charmed, dazzled, momentarily puzzled, then appeased. Without a fresh bullet wound to speak of or even an "accidental" grazing from the passenger's knife, the hostages were released in satisfactory condition. Further, as we were walking in shock back across to my front door, the driver assured me he'd be back the next evening for a date. Outstanding. *groan*

Promptly the next morning, I made arrangements to go back into my own version of a witness protection program as I scanned the classifieds for cheap, nondescript treasures. For a number of years, I was sure to never procure more than I could move in one or two carloads tops. This go 'round, it was out of basic survival. Plus, I wasn't likely to miss that old, scratchy plaid sleeper sofa. I was rather confident my rodent friends would take grand care of the damn thing.

As I wasn't able to move quite with the speed I had anticipated, there were certainly additional visits from my new "friends". When I was naive enough to double-bolt the front door and hide in the shadows anytime they paid a visit, I was sure to find a crudely scrawled note warning me not to leave my front porch light on again with the accompanying consequences. By this point, I was so accustomed to this strange life I could hardly muster more than a chuckle at a Christmas card left in my back door one evening. It was late March. Seems my darling god-fearing old woman of a neighbor who lived in one of the carriage houses that backed up to my alley had noticed I had a regular visitor. The only surprise was in finding it wasn't the motley gang of fools I had met earlier - not even the landlord.... This one was yet another peeping tom. The Christmas card was riddled with "god bless", good tithings, and oh, by the way, I hope he doesn't stab you.

It is with a complete absence of sarcasm that I state my 'Ol Man saved my life. Adventures clearly were destined to be had as I undoubtedly would not appreciate the present with such fervor otherwise. Although I wouldn't wish such character-building experiences on another soul, they helped me prove to myself that, when it counted most, I was - in fact - far stronger than I had ever thought to give myself credit for. Also seems this aging broad can be full of piss & vinegar from time to time.

'Nuff Said

"If Johnny Jumped Off A Cliff...."

" You'll have a hard time finding inner peace, but frankly, you're snorting so much large-animal tranquilizer the stars figure you don't really care. "

I occasionally pass the time imagining a world free of the hindrances of peer pressure. This is a habit borne of everything from observing my kiddos altering their personalities to fit a perceived level of "cool" to the sheep mentality of the public at large. What is the imagined result of conforming or, at the other end of the spectrum, purposefully rebelling? In the larger scheme of things, who the hell cares?



I was watching one of our little treasures off the 'ol DVR last night... I believe the episode was aired in January or so - Either I don't have as much free time as I SHOULD, or I'm just THAT LAZY... In the spirit of erring on the side of caution, we should go ahead and assume the latter -  Anyhoo, this particular treasure is a sitcom that hilariously mirrors my own home life. It's possibly up for debate whether or not that's "hilarious" per se, as it's occasionally depressing and... well... close to home. On the bright side, it seems we fit the mold of some random writer's profit-seeking imagination so perhaps we're destined for the greatness that is reality TV. I'm pretty sure I just threw up a l'il in my mouth.

Back to the subject at hand, the mom in this sitcom was trying to demonstrate all the fun that should be "childhood" to her poor socially-challenged midget. After failing to enthrall the lad with the joy that is the hula-hoop or a pogo stick, she started skipping. She was instantly and delightfully transported back to the careless thrills of her own childhood. A simpler time. And off she skipped into the distance. I was dazzled.



I close my eyes and strain to dream up what chaos would be unleashed should every last inhabitant of this planet live for no one but themselves. Not sway their actions, opinions, tastes or habits based on any influence beyond their own fancy. Clearly, that's not a good idea as it would most likely void the majority of the "laws" out there formed in the sake of keeping some level of order. I'm not saying we all should tell our collective bosses, teachers, parents or cops to "fuck off!", though this most certainly provides some hearty entertainment in theory..... Rather, if we were allowed to become the people we FEEL we are meant to become. If we didn't feel alienated for skipping in public or wearing fuzzy slippers to work. If there weren't month-long, national debates on the harm caused to god-fearing folk for allowing a 5 year old boy to dress up as a girl for Halloween. If we had never encountered "constructive criticism" simply for being ourselves.

If we had come this far in life without being "politely" asked to tone down our personalities..... Hmm....



I imagine the world around us would look vastly different. Which rather blows as it probably wouldn't, in fact, be for the better. The trouble with free thought is that someone inevitably goes and ruins it for the rest of us. "Hey, if he can walk around sporting rainbow-colored socks, I can walk around and randomly take out rainbow-sock-sporting-people with my shotgun because it makes me happy."  Somehow my train of thought has now derailed off onto the subject of Communism. Ain't that some shit? Too many things are great in theory and miserable in practice. Which brings me directly back to the direct conclusion that my "perfect" world is quite evidently a deserted island with a magically endless supply of G&T's. I see nothing wrong with that.

Introduce Yourself

***Disclaimer from the author: This post is not of the snarky variety and it was only after much thought that I decided to write all this down. Although I occasionally dedicate a post with the utmost sincerity towards another, I still write for no one but myself.***

In a previous post, Treehouse Built For One , I made a somewhat cryptic reference to a traumatic event that would forever change the person I am today. Even as I mentally composed this post over and over again in my head, I couldn't help but arrive at notions of a sort of functioning split personality. The very idea of which frightens me beyond belief. Nonetheless, it is one of an assortment of oddities that makes me ME. Long ago, I posed the question at the end of yet another post - I received a surprising level of feedback quietly by email signaling a resounding "real" as the response. This is about as real as it gets.

It was quite late on a Saturday when I was returning to my wee apartment after a night of dancing at a regular haunt of the time. I had just hazily changed into pajamas when there was a loud banging at the door. Lacking much in the way of street smarts, I opened the door and immediately the man on the other side pushed the door open and walked drunkenly past me towards the bedroom. This was someone I considered a friend and even through the tinge of fear, my initial thoughts were that he perhaps needed to talk. Needed a friend. Still, something was somehow horribly wrong. I closed the door and followed him to inquire as to the reason for this strange visit at an ungodly hour. In the very same moment, I was searching for an answer as to how he knew where I lived... Only a small handful of my closest family/friends knew this place even existed, let alone my occupancy of the same.

He suddenly smiled a smile I'm not likely to ever forget. His almost 300lb frame towered over me as he suddenly leaned in for a kiss. His breath warm and heavy with an overpowering stench of alcohol. His eyes were glazed over, though there was still a distinct look of utter madness in them. It was all I could do to feebly try to escape his harsh grasp and he immediately responded by tearing apart the fabric of the drawstring to my pants.

I closed my tear-filled eyes in horror.

From that moment, there are only flashes of memory. A surreal series of imprinted images as viewed through clicks of a strobe light. Like falling asleep back into a nightmare, then repeatedly shutting down again upon awakening. I imagine the reasoning for this must be my own mental preservation taking over where all logic failed. The most vivid image occasionally catches me off guard to this day while I'm concentrating on something else: I'm desperately trying to crawl away on my stomach - the only sensation left is the burning of bare flesh grated against carpet. Everything else has long since gone numb. I bang my head against the frame of the bedroom doorway over and over again in a pathetic attempt to knock myself unconscious. No such luck. Or not that I recall.

I'm unsure how many hours had passed, or how it "ended" so to speak. My next memory is furiously scrubbing the carpet to remove the bloodstains. I am on all fours and a few of the nerves in my body have returned just enough to sense unbelievable rectal pressure. I can piece together small moments of the cause, though the only real thought running through my mind is one of total and complete shame. No time for that now, this is a rental and there is a pool of slowly spreading scarlet fluid laid out before me.

Only fairly recently was I able to face that night with something other than shameful denial. For it was at that precise moment in time that I now realize my psyche split in two. One personality walked a path of heightened empathy. Always exuding intelligence and feelings of kindness, love, understanding and good humor despite deafening overtones of insecurity. This is the one prominent side that draws people close. The side many have come to like and even "adore". The other is far darker.

I am slowly coming to terms with something I can only compare to Stockholm Syndrome. There are still plenty of differences I don't care to elaborate on. The darker persona is distinctly sensual, feisty, reckless and cruel....occasionally defiantly confident. It craves chaos and raw, hateful pain. On many occasions, these paths have crossed with ill result. Those moments of intertwining emotion have left a trail of destruction in their wake. Additionally spurring a seemingly endless search for that aforementioned "blank slate".

To this day I struggle with the understanding that any one person could possibly know and embrace both "sides". I struggle with the fallacy that love has absolutely nothing to do with sex and vice-versa. This is a monumental daily struggle as the man I fell for, married, and have reached a calm enough balance to bring two beautiful children into this world with, is precisely that one person. There have only been 3 others aware of all this who I am lucky enough to still call "friend". In the moments following the intertwining of the paths, I predictably fall into increasingly deep depression. I doubt pretty well every bit of logic or sincere emotion and can only hysterically cover up all the pain with casual joking and fanciful naivete. This has worked like a "charm" for a number of years. I've observed that the exterior has now begun cracking and eroding away. Simultaneously, what is left of the embattled innards have become twisted, rotted and warped leaving little more than a foreign shell of what once was.

In revealing such a hurricane of ugliness, one might be tempted to reach out in pity or sorrow. None of that is necessary or even requested on any level. I seek nothing more than balance and inner strength to overcome a personal hurdle. I am well aware my experience is, sadly, not unique and my hope would be that others take  comfort, no matter how minimal, in not being quite so alone. The reality is sometimes each and every one of us face something clearly beyond our capabilities and, in those moments, there is no shame in seeking help. Seems to me far more beneficial to admit to our shortcomings....even glitches in sanity... than turning to more dangerous alternatives, no?

Kitty

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DO NOT PUSH THE RED BUTTON!!....No, Not That One - Yes, That's The One.

"You will be praised by fellow right-wing extremists when you successfully attack a clinic which performs birth-control operations on pets."

Is nothing sacred anymore? This morning, I was browsing one of two mediocre-at-best news sites that I can load in a reasonable amount of time between smokes & coffee in my garage. Wow, I really DO have a fetish for run-on sentences....Anyhoo, it was some random mumblings stolen from the AP news wire about symbols & numbers used by neo-nazis. I actually didn't intend on clicking on that story as I was TRYING to load advice on how to combat the weeds in my front yard... Nonetheless, thanks to lacking basic motor skills, there I was - scrolling mindlessly through all the images and characters that could be misconstrued. While there, I thought I'd seek reassurance that numbers I tend to select for PIN's and passwords wouldn't be scrutinized in any manner by Big Brother. Nope. I'm safe. But it leads me directly (in a roundabout fashion) to the point:



We, as a society, feel some sense of entitlement to complete transparency regarding any and all subjects. I'm as guilty as the next - I'll be reading some minimal-intelligence debate on whether or not violently explicit photos should be published (generally two to three weeks after the same photos have gone viral) and distributed to the public at large.... Within moments of growing bored with the point-counterpoint, there I am, googling (or goggling) the photos to see what all the fuss is about (As you can see, I'm never on top of the fad of the moment). Plus, everyone enjoys a good train wreck, no?



One of many resulting problems is widespread exposure not only to "graphic content", but literally step-by-step instructions on how to be a successful criminal. On a far larger scale, those predisposed towards instability, genetically or through circumstance, were just instantly & technologically provided an open door for mayhem. Ever seen one of those little local news quips about some 13 year old shithead arrested for making a pipe bomb immediately followed by the recipe for one? I can recall the reports simultaneously streaming on a plethora of cable news outlets following a certain suspected biochemical outbreak... in the interest of filling time and driving ratings, there were countless round-table discussions attended by mostly mind numbing and ignorant participants "extrapolating" precisely HOW it could have been worse. Even more volatile, mentions of specific targets that WOULD HAVE been catastrophic if involved. They may as well have included the physical address & staffed hours of said targets since researching that shit can often be time-consuming.



I'm taking a stab in the dark that our media, in general, are vaguely aware that these rather informative broadcasts can be picked up all over the world, and not just in neighborhoods surrounding patriotic tea party members "worth" saving? Oops. That was hateful. Eh, too much effort to backspace, so there it is. Given my grandfathered-in right to 24-hour coverage of global events and crises, it seems I'm just as qualified for a job with the CIA as the next guy or gal. Thanks to a vastly litigious society, if what should understandably be kept from us actually is, there will be hell and cold, hard cash to pay.



Ahhhh.... now the downside. Working for the government, I'm well aware that one must dot every "i" and cross every "t" - it additionally helps to "b" every "j" *snicker*. If certain information were actually withheld, prompt argument would be brought to the table justifying the confidentialization of things people actually SHOULD be told. I can picture it now: Millions perish in a freak tsunami because evacuation warnings were only available to those who hold TS clearance, at a minimum. This was the direct result of People vs. Kā-moho-ali ʻ i , which established this was proprietary knowledge reserved for unicorn-caliber sea beasts in the aquatic hierarchy. Nah, that would be silly. After all, animals have no rights!



I believe I've firmly established cause for my daily Mano a Mano with insomnia. I've also established reason enough to either limit my kids' exposure to TV or continue convincing them Cartoon Network and HGTV are the only stations we get via our costly satellite dish :).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When The Chip On Your Shoulder Turns Out To Be A Splinter

" There may be as many as 200 fragments of shrapnel in you, but it is as nothing compared to the bone spur of the great DiMaggio. "

Luke and I were born on the same day, four years apart. I can only imagine his disappointment when, on his 4th birthday, he not only contracted chicken pox, but a pill of a sister as well. Nonetheless, when he wasn't giving me character-building lessons and black eyes, he was really rather patient with me. To this day, I consider him one of my closest friends even when months pass between conversations. Man, the trouble we used to get into was epic. Twins separated at birth and along the space-time continuum.



Today is Luke's birthday. I'm not entirely positive of the time difference, but I believe he is currently visiting the Isle of Skye in Scotland. I wish I knew how I could reach him to wish him a Happy Birthday. 



Leading up to this day, I was in the foulest of foul moods. I found myself jealous of the life my brother leads and absolutely dreading another obligatory celebration of aging. This graduated well beyond my usual pity tea parties and had swelled into a regular ticker-tape parade of angst.



I was fussing with yet another can of Aquanet in the bathroom this morning when there was a miniature knock at the door. I opened it to find my two darling little puffy-eyed and bed-head-sporting angels. What would normally be dripping with sarcasm is completely void of it in this moment. My boys. Wearing hilarious matching PJs and both clutching their respective blue fuzzy blankies. In the distance, Papa was evidently still fast asleep so it dawned on me that it was without prompting or motive that I was wished the most innocent "Happy Birthday"'s in unison. The redhead scored extra points gushing about how I looked just as pretty now that I am 24 as I did yesterday at 23. ***This is the same kiddo who thinks I'm the coolest thing since sliced bread when dyeing my hair - after all, the blue tint of bleach is the same hue as his favorite aforementioned blankie :)*** The glacier which had formed inside broke apart. My heart melted.



I don't really believe I had some traumatically awful childhood. Rather, I sensed that my arrival as the third and final child of the litter was the beginning of the end of my parents marriage. The oldest brother (I often fantasize that every time I utter his name, a Yuppie dies) was born in New Zealand at the crest of their love. He was always intelligent, confident, mechanically-inclined and social. Practically perfect in every way. No doubt he always busted his ass, but every step of the way, he was blessed with the instant gratification of praise & reward.



Four years passed, the heavens parted and a ray of sunlight beamed Luke down upon this planet. Although I understand he was one hell of a challenge to raise and had his share of problems - to this day, he brings seemingly endless happiness to all who encounter him. Where the eldest was intelligent, Luke was downright brilliant. One of those geniuses you read about who lack social abilities as there couldn't be a less important bother. He is also highly sensitive. It was that last sentence that paved the path to come.

Every year, as the frolic-filled days of Summer were upon us, another joint birthday would be at hand. Two toe-headed little cherubs would anxiously stalk the oven where a brownie "cake" would predictably be baking prior to final touches of M&M's for flair and specific groupings of candles positioned at the opposite ends.



As we both aged, the celebrations became more grown up as well. Each year, Luke was asked what he'd like to do, my mom would take the day off work, and we'd venture out on one nature adventure or another. Looking back, I really miss & cherish those times, but I'm afraid I was a bit of a pity-soaked brat at the time. I always longed for those girly parties other girls had. I loved notions of balloons and My Little Pony cupcakes...running through sprinklers with friends and wearing cardboard tiaras before giggling through the night at trite shit while piled about on the floor in pink sleeping bags eating microwave popcorn.



It was all too convenient to imagine I was the forgotten child. My poor mom did everything she could to make the day special for both of us. As she was really rather worried about Luke's fragility and assumed I was pretty happy-go-lucky as long as I was hopped up on rootbeer, I don't think she ever realized the ugliness I kept bottled inside. By choice, my brother didn't have a lot of friends growing up and the few he let his walls down for burned him beyond belief. All efforts to shelter me from the pain he endured only fueled my desire to seek out my own misery. I probably don't want to so much as fathom the karmic hell that would have been unleashed on me if I had a daughter of my own!



After kissing my sweet l'il guys on the head this morning, I stood up and stared at my reflection in the mirror. "Grow the fuck up, you pathetic lout", she mouthed at me.

 I grinned.... I am loved.

Always have been. I was simply too goddamned selfish to realize it. I can name a minimum of 33 wonderful ways this love has been expressed towards me over the years. This has little to do with gifts and material things. It doesn't have to be quantified by the number of times different people utter those lyrics to some random trademarked song. It's not about cake or balloons... no, not even My Little Pony. Last week my boys had a "Trike-A-Thon" to benefit St. Jude's Research Hospital. Christ, I am unbelievably blessed to be simply celebrating another year. Sometimes one requires a swift kick in the ass to stop taking life for granted. In celebration of such, my next step is to design a bedazzled target and promptly fasten it to my backside.



To all of you who make my life extraordinarily special every single day of the year, I thank you, I love you, and I apologize. And I wish an enthusiastic HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear brother! XOXO

Monday, June 27, 2011

“Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home..."

"Go a little bit crazy this week: Get liquored up on cheap vermouth, steal a tractor-trailer rig, and drive it around, steering with your feet. "

***WARNING: Ninja Kitty is going to rant/whine in 5.....4....3....2....

Funny thing about the end result of a once self-declared-free-spirit-of-a-gypsy becoming predictable through circumstance - To stray from said predictability opens doors to paranoid delusions. I am currently kicking myself for slipping into such routine that I now have become a walking target for cheap shots and disrespect. I'm quite sure some of this whine w/ my cheese can be attributed to my upcoming anti-celebration of another year under the 'ol belt. I used to pity those who dread birthdays, but now find myself in that same canoe of woe. (Incidentally, I'm pretty sure some revenge-seeking beaver is responsible for the dysfunction of the oars...)

During the course of the last handful of years, I found myself increasingly subdued, introverted and... well... numb. More significantly, I became predictable. I somehow figured routine would counter much of the chaos until I found myself in a world as seen through opaque-ish glass - gummed up with years worth of grime, neglect, rockchips and cobwebs. In an effort to climb that rickety rope ladder out of this funk, I sought to redefine myself and hopefully reignite that inner spark. Secretly hoping the cogs weren't too far rusted to become a well oiled machine once more. I suppose I forgot to distribute a memo with the appropriate TPS cover sheet as many of those around me met these small changes with horror and suspicion.

For years, I recoiled in nervous panic at the sound of a ringing phone. Although I was provided a cell phone through my work, it mostly served to collect dust when not serving a purpose as the occasional alarm clock. I shied away from social invites and went about my days with clockwork precision. I also grew rather sad and restless. One fine day, I answered the phone. It wasn't for me, but for once, I didn't seek refuge while waiting for the answering machine to pick up. The next day, although weary from the previous days' event, I made an effort to return a missed call within moments of the voicemail left. Gradually - and we're talking painful baby steps, here, I began deviating from routine. I began keeping commitments and not paying as much obsessive attention to the minutes ticking by. I began consciously lowering my heart rate on the occasion or two when I would miss a self-declared deadline, or venture out in public in direct defiance against my fears. What I imagined were healthy changes were increasingly met with disdain.

"You're different." "How?" "I don't know, but I don't like it."

"Different" has been slowly and more thoroughly defined as exhibiting miniature hints of confidence, confronting many of my darkest fears and - as mentioned previously - straying from a state of predictability. I am not entirely willing to reopen the doors I have worked so intently to shut. Perhaps stubbornness plays a role of Devil's Advocate. What breaks my wee heart is that most everyone else has long been allowed, if not encouraged, to make these same strides. I do not seek cheerleaders (I leave that desire to my male coworkers ;)  ), just the benefit of the doubt. Then again, it is altogether possible that I simply place too much emphasis on the thoughts and judgements of others. I mentioned efforts to overcome such obstacles and I may have lost focus (along with my marbles, at large).

Alas, today is a new day. It's a Monday, so there's bound to be some general disenchantment followed by hair of the dog, but I make no apology for my bizarre evolution. Painful as it may be at times, those not able to offer constructive criticism will inevitably require parting gesture.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

TRUST FALL!!!!!

"A tragic but not life-altering accident will be all the excuse you need to get menacing hooks where your ring and pinky fingers once were." <---- Awesomeness. And entirely unrelated.



So I was inadvertently invited to a bit of a social gathering as the UBER OFFICIAL THIRD WHEEL. I'm the last person on the planet to decline a free.... umm.... anything - Conduct a survey of the good folks who peddle their wares on Craigslist in Colorado and I'm sure you'll get a general consensus. Anyhoo - The waitress was clearly an undercover Pusher as she handed out the menus and there was a subliminal-not-so-subliminal and other-worldly sign staring me right in the eyes. It could have additionally been whispering sweet nothings, but the music was cranked up a tad, so I didn't catch any subtleties. (By the by, T.G.I. Fridays plays a pretty mean string of catchy ska music on random Thursday afternoons!)



Lunchtime Cocktail Menu.



Oh hell no!

I would say it was all downhill from there, but I'm wearing strange shoes and can't be entirely certain I am proceeding towards a lower altitude. In fact, it feels more akin to an M.C. Escher piece..... While I'm at it - you know, since I am not surrounded by a single "responsible adult" who has had the good sense to physically restrain me due to my current state - I'm inserting a disclaimer a bit late in the game: ***DISCLAIMER FROM THE AUTHOR: Alcoholism is a serious disease which should not be treated lightly. If you suspect you or someone you know may be in the throes of such a disease, please proceed to the nearest facility for treatment. I could recommend a place, but I do believe we all see where this is leading***



Christ, I can't even feign having good intentions when I'm typing at about 130wpm in the hopes that spell check will surely straighten my ass up before the mood moves me to click that seductive bright orange "PUBLISH POST" button down in that corner..... Ya, I'm fucking talking to you! You knew exactly what would happen if you showed up (is "showed" a real word? I'll Google (or "Goggle", as I tend to type when in a rush) it later and go back and edit this post if absolutely necessary since my O.C.D. kicks into hyperdrive when I'm going through a bout of insomnia....) looking the way you do... Your shiny hair and short skirt. Fucking Trollop. OK, can anyone in the audience tell me where in the hell I was going with all of this? *reading back through the post*



Nope. I got nothing. OH! There should probably be some sort of summary tossed about in here:
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE WISDOMLESS:

1. If you're a cheap date, do not - I REPEAT - do NOT consume more than one fru-fru beverage on a random lunch date you were only invited to out of obligatory pity.

2. When breaking the seal during aforementioned obligatory pity date, do NOT tell the little girl who just exited the only available stall that she is absolutely darling and you would love to take her home and tie her up (which was meant as a compliment to her innocent darling-ness).

3. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT return to work.

4. Knowing damn well you disobeyed #3, do NOT respond to work emails.

5. Quit fucking ignoring all this GOLDEN bloody advice!

6. Do NOT answer the phone when your mom calls to let you know her plane arrived safely.

7. DO make extra pots of coffee TOUT DE SUITE!!!!!!

8. Do NOT heckle your boss to the point where she LOUDLY accuses you of being a goddamned Trollop/Streetwalker right before the elevator opens upon a completely silent/stunned audience of company executives visiting for a mandatory training seminar.

So yeah. We've reached the point in the game where Kitty Kitty is sent to the corner for a time-out. Actually, Kitty Kitty refuses to go to her fucking corner until she is absolutely convinced through the cloud of paranoia that she is not about to get canned for aforementioned elevator incident. I blame raspberry daiquiris. And T.G.I. Fridays. And The French. *wheels turning regarding plots to sue all three parties for an undisclosed sum of money*



Ciao for Now My Pets!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Speechless, But Not Uninspired.

Well, My Pets, it doesn't happen often, but I'm glowing and unable to form a printable thought - coherent or otherwise. Perhaps I won't be quite as tongue-tied tomorrow. Anyhoo, here's some cheap entertainment in the meantime. Don't know about you, but makes me wanna go rollerskating :)
Rappers Delight. Hell Yes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Abracadab-Oh To Hell With It.

" It will be hard to take on the dual role of teacher and parent, but that's the life you'll lead as the enchanted rabbit companion to two plucky orphans. "

I'm utterly convinced one of two things needs to occur post-haste: Kids need to come with manuals, or people need to meet certain qualifications to breed. Really, either scenario will guarantee the award of a Too-Little-Too-Late Trophy. Nonetheless, I take some strange comfort in knowing I never would have passed the final exam for the latter. Dilemma Du Jour?: Magic.



I was notified at the last possible moment (which I sense is just the beginning of such a theme), that my almost-5-year-old's little summer school thought it a brilliant notion to have a talent show. A Pre-K Talent Show. Am I the only one who finds this to be an oxymoron? Perhaps I've just REALLY been slacking when compared to the psychopaths engaged in the pageant mom circuit..... I always figured I was overachieving when it came to clinical insanity. Turns out I was wasting my gifts on hobbies of the non-domestic variety. Anyhoo - he naturally decided to showcase his magic talents.... of which he has none.



As I quantify all the influences taken in by his spongy mass of a brain, it makes complete sense. My Big Bag of Man Candy and I have taken demented delight in brandishing our "powers" since he was born: Mama can point to the microwave and magically make it beep - Papa waves his hand at the traffic signal and VOILA! GREEN!!! There is a very real sense of entertainment to be had while screwing with your kids' heads. That's rather the point of breeding, no? To spawn a miniature fan club guaranteed to be downright dazzled at everything you do? Shit, AT LEAST until they're old enough to know better.... Granted, I wasn't expecting that day to come quite so early....



 Back to the subject at hand - the poor boy is convinced he can point at the garage and command it to close. In the interest of time in the morning, we thought we'd note that his brother lacks this gift so we wouldn't have to wait for the damn door to go up and down again before rushing off on our commute. Thanks to awesomely frightening creativity, he has taken this all to a new level. To a child altogether convinced his parents are gullible twits, the sky is clearly the limit! As such, I was tasked with bringing all this "magic" back down to earth and molding it into a brief presentation suitable for an audience of 20 or so. Off to Zeezos I went.



Confession time. Despite my extraordinary distaste for venturing out in public, I don't need much convincing to frequent Zeezos. That place may as well be a year-round celebration of freaks - A label Yours Truly contently flaunts! Magic supplies, costumes, gags & novelties. I wouldn't think twice of decorating my entire abode with such frivolous treasures! So there we were, mindlessly gawking at all the magical offerings behind the counter - not an easy feat for a broad who is past the stage of qualifying as legally blind - and here he comes to save the day!....



Man, if you ever are in need of feeling like a hopeless slacker of a parent, may I suggest encountering the father of prodigies on your journey. We lamely stumble over explaining that we have no clue what in the hell we're doing as our 4 year old dropped a bomb on us that he plans to display his nonexistent magic skills at the upcoming "Talent Show". He holds up his hand calmly and explains how he has a 4-year-old, himself, so no need to fret. Just as we're ready to breathe sighs of relief, here comes this precious doe-eyed darling around the counter.... sporting a helmet. Oh hell, we both think - the poor dear is prone to Ninja-Kitty-Caliber-Clumsiness! Yeah, no. She has been engaged in becoming Houdini since age 2, and she is also dabbling in competition-level skateboarding.... Wait, WHAT!? Ahhh yes. Top that muthafuckin' cake off with the impressive resume of his 2 year old. *groan* We suck. Look, can we just get a goddamned magic wand and a generic top hat and we'll quit polluting the charmed air you breathe, Sir? That would have been too easy - he performed nothing short of community service assisting us and we left with fool-proof entertainment in a bag. Hmmm... You know... this actually means we come out looking like goddamned heroes for the relatively cheap price of our pride.... Win-win?



So we totally didn't come out looking like heroes. In fact, my 4 year old spent much of the morning sobbing and carrying on. Seems he no longer cared about the magic and just wanted to bring his stuffed puppy to school. Like model parents, we told him it was his teacher that made that decision and if he wanted to be upset, to aim it at her :).  I'm thinking the lesson, here, is that we all do the best we can do. As I'm still feeling my way through the ins and outs of this whole "parenthood" garbage, I can't beat myself up for finding myself unprepared. It'll probably be a cold day in hell if I ever volunteer for the PTA, Cub Scouts, Bake Sale, etc... But if either kiddo ever needs something that can be procured from Zeezos (or the good folks at his preschool hold parent-teacher conferences at, say, the local pub), I'm there.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lighten Up Francis!

" Someday you'll look back on all this and laugh, you sick, demented, inhuman monster."

It's no grand secret I'm high maintenance. With that well-earned title comes tendencies to over-think and over-analyze literally EVERYTHING. EVERY GOD DAMNED THING. This past Tuesday evening, I woke up on the garage floor and thought "Wow - is this FINALLY rock bottom?" I'll spare you the details of what I found myself lying IN, but it was a sign of yet another mental collapse. As I frantically pulled myself together to make sure the kids were OK, it was clear I needed a break. Thus, I declared yesterday Ninja Kitty Mental Health Day. It's possible this was only observed in Canada, so I apologize to those of you who didn't get the memo.

As is par for the course, I entered Wednesday (AKA Ninja Kitty Mental Health Day) with preconceived expectations. Predictably, those expectations were quickly dashed. All the well-meaning intentions in the world couldn't salvage what I had hoped to accomplish. At the same time, it was precisely due to all of this that I arrived at a long overdue conclusion: I need to lighten the fuck up.

I almost had myself convinced that working through everything going on in this noggin of mine would be of some fabulous benefit. That expressing each fleeting thought thrown wildly out of left field would enable me to make sense of it all. The more thinking I accomplished, the more out-of-control I felt. As it turns out, when one is as unreasonably hypersensitive and empathetic as I, these things are, in fact, best left unattended to. In time, they work themselves out akin to the wrinkles in the dry-clean-only clothes I carelessly toss in the dryer.

Over the past few months, I have found myself increasingly self conscious and further self loathing. The more I strived to be "myself", the more I found myself apologizing for it. Since the birth of my second (and last) uncoordinated midget, I have lost almost 70lbs to date. Not a small feat, and something I should make an attempt at being proud of. Yet with each pound gone, I fell further and further away from whatever vague goal I had set out in search of to begin with. In direct response, I was "motivated" to go to unhealthy extremes while musing at what a dumbass I am for putting myself in a dangerous predicament. To what end?

For once, I'm not going to bother answering that. I'm not even going to make a general attempt at analyzing it. Turns out, that was the 'ol wrench in the spokes to begin with. I won't pretend I'll be able to turn off the most inherent of my quirks. I won't bother punishing myself when I break a random resolution or contradict the "plan" from only moments ago. In fact, I'm going to really put forth an effort at not putting forth such effort. Is any of this making a lick of sense? No? Oh well. Then it wasn't meant to *smile*. Hot damn, I feel better already.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Darling, Your Life Is On The Phone... Shall I Take A Message?

"You'll be green with envy this week, before becoming red with anger, blue with sorrow, and finally purple with complete lack of oxygen."

Try as I might, I can't help but find myself jealous of others for one reason or another. Just yesterday evening my mom begrudgingly told me she's all packed up and ready to head out to the coast this morning for three marvelous days. She sounded miserable about it. The poor dear. Three awful days of fresh ocean air and sipping cocktails on the beach. I would say my heart goes out to her, but I'd sooner punch my own mother in the ovaries for even mentioning this little getaway in the first place :).



Another subject readily able to spark jealousy in Miss Ninja Kitty? Those who have figured out what they want to do in life. What they want to be when they "grow up". Or this used to spark jealousy, anyway - as I believe I have finally found my calling. Shockingly enough, it has nothing to do with nudity, bongos...no, not even notions of becoming a Thai hooker... which still most likely circles back to nudity... but I digress.



Mechanic.

I shit you not. You may or may not have picked up on my long running and sordid love affair with heavy machinery. Add to that the lustful responses to scents of gasoline and grease as well as a very real need for structure in my work to counter the chaotic madness of the extracurricular.... It makes the level of sense that truly makes me kick myself for not arriving at this conclusion far sooner. I daydream of scenarios where I can work with my hands on something that possesses reason. Logical cause and effect. Dabblings in mathematical formulas and the science of liquid chemical additives. Of supreme importance, a sense of accomplishment. At the end of the day, the purrrrrr of a tuned up engine or light emanating from a newly wired creation. Valves, hoses, bolts and organs. A Frankenstein of my own design.



I mused at the reactions of those I have already notified about this bit of an epiphany. Responses ranging from "Ummm... do you still planning on wearing so much makeup?" to "Ahhh... So you think you can hang with the BIG BOYS!"  Perhaps not nearly as amused as realizing I need to procure far more supportive friends/spouse(s) ;).  To answer the first question - you're damn right I do. I delicately apply my face each morning with a Whore Gun and I have zero plans for modification. Who says a gal can't aspire to be a bit easier on the eyes while mastering the knowledge to be useful as well? If an object lacks function, what the hell is the point of form? As for the second, rather chauvinistic question - What's that saying? Ah yes: "Anything you can do, Kitty can do flamboyantly better" *smile*. Can I "hang"? What the fuck sort of question is that? I realize the consensus is that I lack hand-eye coordination on top of basic motor skills, but I've decided to refute my own insecurities of inabilities to learn through action.



The worst-case scenario? I fail. Then I shall simply dust myself off and try again. I'd like to imagine I have stubbornness on my side. And literacy.... "And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice." *snicker*



Make no mistake, there will be hoards of horrified onlookers along the path all too willing to piss on my Cheerios. What they don't immediately realize is that's the story of my life: Simple underestimation. I'm sure the pompous little one-man-Massengil-convention of a clerk at Autozone believes he won our little freon debate the other day. Silly boy. Although I will be sure to pay him a visit when I complete the necessary schooling to do a bit of schooling myself. Karma can be such a bitch, no?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Haunted

Among my eclectic assortment of habits, I am the proud owner of a silly one causing the need to read something while drinking coffee or sitting at the table as the munchkins eat. This can be anything from an epic novel to the back of a Home Depot receipt depending on whatever happens to meander within arm's reach. One would think I would be more thoroughly edumacated by now with such tendencies... One would further be overestimating my motivation to venture out and procure reading material beyond receipt-disclaimers on days the mailman doesn't mistakenly deliver a subscription destined for another recipient.

Anyhoo, I recently flipped through the pages of Newsweek and happened upon an article reviewing the work and craft of various artists. I do not, for the slightest of moments, proclaim to be some connoisseur of art - or anything remotely high-brow, for that matter. My boxes of expired wine will heartily attest to that.... Nonetheless, as the page flipped past revealing the following photograph, my heart sank into the pits of my soul:




This was posted with a brief caption: "Jeff Wall, After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Preface, 1999-2001, transparency in lightbox"

Having read that novel somewhere along the educational timeline, I fully understood not only the significance of the subject, but what it was being illustrated before my eyes. Nonetheless, the effect was far more personal... haunting even, to my psyche. It's not often a photo or piece of artwork can trigger such a deep-seeded emotional response. Even from a hyper-sensitive Cancer such as myself!

Aside from a morbid fascination with viewing highway safety films of the '50's and '60's, I can't say I am normally so entirely captivated - my flighty attention span contributes greatly. The imagery immediately stamped it's footprint on my brain. Feasting on my very cells and causes me to recoil in utter horror behind the safety of the hands I clasp in front of my eyes - not a moment later, my fingers part to allow the peepshow to penetrate my consciousness once again. A vicious cycle of the most disturbing variety.

I was inspired to inquire whether anyone else is moved on a similar level? If for no other reason that some minimal sense of reassurance that I'm not as out of my mind as I might guess. Enjoy?

Temptation: A-Ten-Letter-Four-Letter-Word

" After enduring the false smiles and empty promises of the business world for 22 years, you'll appreciate the candor of the DEA agents assigned to you. "

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not infallible. What!?!?!? Yes - I know. Disappointing, to say the least. After one interesting line of conversation after another this past weekend coupled with recent experience, I thought about a line of a different sort: That between temptation and the point of no return. What is it that drives individuals beyond the brink? Is it something so simple as opportunity? Or does the theory of one's own conscience actually hold it's weight in water? What is conscience anyway? ***Randomly Inserted Disclaimer: The author is well aware the human mind has been studied at great length and a great many conclusions have been drawn. Nonetheless, the author is in a mood and feels like contemplating this shit sans the benefit of any real research***

One could take the above paragraph a number of ways. Not necessarily my concern to clarify one way or the other as one simple formula seems to encompass a common denominator:
When presented with a situation probable to provide a perceived benefit....
With the assumption (imagined or otherwise) there would be no judgement or ill repercussion...
So long as an opportunity presented itself, temptation would quickly become reality.

Where this all becomes personal relates to a "chance happening" of last week. There I was, minding my own business (or so far as YOU know), and there it was: Temptation followed immediately by opportunity. Although none would have been the wiser for my actions had I walked that path, it was an opportunity I mistakenly and quite inadvertently presented that, holyshitthankgod, resulted in that path promptly closing down for an extended bout of construction.

I said "no". But that doesn't change the filthy feeling festering from within. Chalk it up to Catholic guilt or the French - whatever's clever. Even having made the "right" decision, I was left miserable and uneasy. Why? Was it that I was so ashamed in even admitting it was a choice and not a foregone conclusion of taking the high road? Perhaps I was torn as deep down I knew damn well I didn't see a problem with going for the gold - it was only what it would have cost in return that made me wretch. Ahhh - more likely I knew myself well enough to know once that door had been opened, the next such temptation would become easier and easier to reach for until it was no longer an obstacle so much as second nature.... A habit.

In my last post, I mentioned a conversation about books with My Dear Friend that further sparked an awakening. One book, in particular, has my full attention (and not only because I have a shameless crush on its' author) ~ "It's OK to miss the bed on the first jump", by John HOT DAMN, I'M DASHING O'Hurley. (***Not sure if he includes his middle name in the version released to the public.... ***) Anyhoo, for you animal lovers out there, it is an endearingly adorable take on some very poignant observations. The book revolves around the innate wisdom of Man's Best Friend and the lessons we could quite honestly stand to learn from the same. One quote, in particular, has captured my attention: "Self-assessment and goal-definition are often the biggest logjams to the flow of achievement. Many of us are unhappy in our present state and are not fully aware of it. We mask our disenchantment with drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behavior so we are physically and mentally unable to be accountable for it. Sometimes we intentionally become victims of our circumstances in life in an unconscious effort to avoid taking responsibility for a positive self-appraisal." Wow.

As we've established previously, my father is an avid fan of self-help books and tales of enlightenment. On an "unrelated" tangent, he had promised to send me some books he uncovered while unpacking boxes in his new home. This past Friday, the package arrived and I quickly noticed he couldn't stop himself from tucking in two old dusty cassettes of further self-improvement. Amusing to call it "self" improvement, when utilized more along the lines of ammunition for improving OTHERS.... Ah well, semantics, no? It seemed that all of these little gems of information revolved around countering a pattern of destructive behavior. Given my supreme sense of superstition and fancy of fate, I found myself glancing off into the cosmos with a gentle smile and whispering "Point Taken".

Nothing so simple as the consequences handed down from another render a decision right or wrong. It is not the tiny, competing voices of the miniature devil sitting atop one shoulder against the pacing angel on the other. I maintain there is little in this world that unequivocally black & white. Rather, the instinct that having walked that path would have been counter intuitive to all I've struggled to accomplish. It was all the reassurance necessary to turn on my heels and run without looking back. Until next time, you Tantalizing Temptress.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Expressions of Speechlessness

Last night, sleep eluded me yet again. I was lost in thought as the hours ticked off into oblivion. I would fancy up one subject or another to ramble on about in what has become this jumbled diary of sorts. I mentally walked through each bill in pathetic need of payment. There was consideration of what to do for Father's Day or how not to celebrate another birthday. I would giggle at the cat snoring while she was draped across my legs one moment. The very next, I'd inadvertently launch the poor fuzzball off the bed recalling the massive beetle that zig-zagged past my toes earlier in the evening. There was no real stress resulting from endless thoughts. No rise in blood pressure, or gritting of teeth. Much to the contrary, I was pleased to find my thoughts had finally returned to a "pattern" of no particular order.

I went through all the hurried motions of getting ready early enough to allow the devotion of time to dressing, feeding and entertaining My Miniature Munchkins. Still, I was in a bit of a haze. Auto-pilot.

Even listening to an unusual soundtrack that would normally only suit a very morose mood, the morning commute was peaceful. Uneventful. Forgettable, even. I let a stranger through our locked building doors (how's that for maximum security?), kidnapped a container of generic ground coffee from the 2nd floor, even exchanged pleasantries with a handful of coworkers as I navigated the familiar hallways back down to my bastard-children-department's corner of the company. Nothing of note and not so much as a lasting imprint left on my mind. Another Thursday.

Predictably, the coffee pot was fired up, I started my computer, pulled my phones out of my purse and set the volume level for each, briefly touched up some chipped nail polish and by that time, the coffee was ready. I grabbed the closest cell phone, my pack of menthols, prepared a cup of a splash of coffee with my delightfully flavored cream and my friend and I set off for the basement to have a morning chat outside. The same routine. Day after day.

It was while sitting in the crisp morning air and musing about books we have read or would like to when a feeling washed over me that I have not experienced for what seems like ages. The calmest sense of happiness and appreciation. It was in that moment that I gazed out at the forest just beyond the curb and really took in the significance of the day. Fog still dancing mysteriously through the towering trees under an overcast sky. A tantalizing breeze sending soft chills across my exposed arms. The taste of the bitter coffee fruitlessly competing with the sweet deliciousness of the creamer as it passes my lips. It was all like some fantastically cheesy commercial for Folgers. Perhaps more similar to International Cafe.....

In that same moment, I began experiencing one memory after another - recalling such an innocent state of bliss:

 Having breakfast with my mom while sitting on the patio of my favorite ski resort during late Spring.... The birth of my first born - tears streaming down my cheeks and the deafening clamour of an ominous thunderstorm....An anniversary spent up in Estes Park, sitting in the hot tub on the balcony and watching the snow silently fall.... Watering the flowers as a child and catching an angle with the spray of the hose which created a magnificent rainbow as the sun's first beams filtered through the raspberry bushes in the distance.... The sounds of my boys laughing those deep, magical belly laughs at the thinking our dog had miraculously morphed colors only to find out that was the neighbor's dog who slipped under our fence.... Skipping church with my brother in favor of procuring Slurpees, Mad Magazine and candy then promptly escaping to the park at the top of The Avenues....The birth of my second born - an indescribable feeling of relief when the blue-grey hue left his tiny shivering body....Blushing in embarrassment when my dad insisted on holding my hand while walking in a park when he further decided to call attention to us by whistling the theme from Man of La Mancha....

These memories have been increasingly exploding like extraordinary fireworks in my consciousness. Although I'm simultaneously knocking on wood while musing that things could not possibly be worse at work, here I sit with a broad grin as I couldn't care less. I had forgotten about so many of these points in time where my heart was ablaze with joy. I had seemingly forgotten how to let go of the trivial stresses of insecurities, money or tangible objects that flat out don't matter in the grand scheme of things. I am awestruck and speechless. Only able to emotionally vomit all of these realizations in silence across the illuminated screen directly in front of me. Unable to keep it all somehow contained inside.

June 9th, 2011. Kitty has awakened from a coma.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shit... Did I Just Hit "Send"!?

"You have to stop worrying about what everyone else says, especially nonsense like "You should dress better," "Nice people don't do that," and "Put down the gun and release the hostages." "

As you may or may not know, I have a bit of a fetish with heavy machinery. I'll let that soak in a moment.... Amongst my myriad of job functions, I have the extreme pleasure of overseeing a dwindling sea of vehicles and contractor equipment. Following the closure of a project, recently, I found myself surrounded by many of these delightfully dirty beasts. There were passing mentions of sympathy and obligatory pats on the back as I was now directly responsible for each and every one of them. Through the shrugs and sighs, I was secretly thrilled as not only could I gaze out at My Pets each day, I actually had the keys to them!!!!! (Never a good idea to leave me keys to a dump truck.... or forklift... or really anything, for that matter. NEVER.)

After much "polite" pestering and prodding from each of my four or so bosses, I finally agreed to contract for them to go to auction. I could easily imagine the emotions some creatures experience when sending their spawn off to college. There may or may not have been a tear shed as I handed over the titles (as well as my coffin box full of keys) and watched them disappear off the lot one by one... Little more than grease stains or the occasional rusted-off door handle/transmission left in its place.

The gentleman who ripped My Pets away from my loving grasp apparently saw pain upon my face as he invited me up for dinner and offered to put me up in one of the executive suites to witness the auction. Alas, everyday duties didn't allow such a rendezvous to transpire. I still drool when I picture such a momentous event - $85M worth of vehicles and heavy equipment driving one by one in front of a state-of-the-art facility as an international audience throws wads of cash at each in the throes of excitement. Some of the biggest names in auctioneering talent finding each piece a new home. My Babies were simultaneously broadcast for online bid to upwards of 700,000 eager and overly wealthy peeping toms - a Lot closing somewhere across 49 countries every 20 seconds. Is it getting hot in here?

Well yesterday evening, after I detailed both my cars on some caffeine-induced-high, I received an email. More specifically, an eFax. I waved my hand around carelessly, searching for enough of a signal to open that god-forsaken .pdf file attachment...... Just as the neighbors were beginning to gather at such a pitiful sight, the attachment arrived - The Results.

Words can't describe how proud this Mama was. My L'il Guys were all grown up now!! They fetched some seriously phenomenal cash. I suppose the emotions raging through my body would suggest that I'm more of a Pimp than a Mom, but never mind that.....Pure, unadulterated success!!

My first instinct was to immediately forward these results to each of the heartless bastards who had zero faith in the forthcoming profits. I was filled with a strange mix of joy and rage as I fought to slow my heart rate down just enough not to type like a hummingbird who fancies meth. I read and re-read my words, careful to process each subsequent sentence - So far so good.... I was maintaining a steady pace of professionalism and the subtleties of telling them to go fuck themselves in a manner they weren't likely to detect....

But I'm Ninja Kitty. I'm colorful and flamboyant. I was not surrounded by the usual sterile lighting, manufactured air through a faulty HVAC system and walls suspiciously lined in grey felt - it slipped: "Dazzled". I actually wrote that I was DAZZLED at the results. Who the fuck writes "Dazzled" in email correspondence to the President, CFO, Controller and Legal Department of a Government employer? Me. That's fucking who. "SEND". Fuck. Did I just do that? I closed my eyes just in case I had imagined it. I glanced down again - Yup. I sure as hell did. That sucker was out the door and traveling through space and time to reach the intended recipients.

I read an article this morning about some freak solar storm the sun unleashed. Not since 2006 was so much radiation put off in a single event. It's entirely possible there will be some technological fallout from all of this. Here's to hoping as I still haven't heard a response from even ONE of the aforementioned overpaid execs. Just keepin' it real, my friends, keepin' it real *smile*.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here's The Deal....

"If the advice of the stars has still somehow failed to bring you happiness, don't worry: There's probably just something terribly wrong with you."

Although I'm not a fan of admitting to being an unreasonable asshole, today it's a tad too glaring to overlook. When I reiterate that my 'Ol Man and kiddos are hands-down the greatest thing on the planet - it's not even slightly in an effort to convince myself. Rather, I look at their sweet faces in utter shock as to why/how in the hell they put up with me.



They say patience is a virtue. This is one such virtue I quite apparently do not possess. If wrath were a virtue, I'd suggest my overabundance of this would somehow offset the others. Alas, this is not the case. Time and time again, I take a mental inventory of my subscription brimming with issues. Time and time again, I declare "officially" that I shall make a conscious effort to not be such a raving lunatic. It seems "effort" is yet another spice someone forgot to toss in with the other ingredients when I was in the incubator. How does one, more specifically THIS ONE, stop the cycle?

Do I have stress in my life? Oh my, yes. Any more than your average bear? No, not really. So why, then, do I still act out like a hormone-ravaged tween when the tiniest thing pushes my buttons? Especially when that same tiny thing is looking at me as some sort of superhero goddess with wee stars in his giant sapphire blue eyes, and all I find myself doing is shrieking like a coked-up banshee and immediately hiding in the garage on a self-inflicted time-out? Further - when the hell did this all happen? I was truly convinced I used to be a pretty easy going, happy-go-lucky sort of creature. Perhaps that was yet another fallacy I dreamt up in the hopes of avoiding the current harsh realization that I'm a prick. It only adds insult to injury when, occasionally, I'm reassured that all this is justifiable because of circumstance. No circumstance could possibly make my mood swings OK!



Here comes the lame ass justification ANYWAY: I fear that much of this is the direct result of the facade I offer up Monday through Friday during business-ish hours. As I've been running later and later each day through fault that is all my own, those hours are continually likely to change. I am at a loss for how to create much needed balance. As is entirely evident through the plethora of posts to date, I am a hot mess. A smorgasbord of dysfunction and contradiction. For the sake of a paycheck, I am just barely able to maintain a professional presence (though the professional appearance has spiraled off into oblivion and the odds aren't favorable for it's return). Even then, I have moments of psychoticness that I promptly patch up through increased levels of caffeine and nicotine.

Have you found yourself in a situation where you need to transport water from one point to another and are completely lacking the necessary receptacle? I picture the water as my own personal chaos. What would normally be anything from a fish bowl to a toilet represents my sanity. With this sanity not readily handy, I reach for, say, a plastic grocery sack only to find that it's riddled with holes from shoving far too many heavy items into it while in the midst of a panic attack at the self-checkout the day before. At the end of a pitiful day, with the aid of knock-off Scotch tape, cleverly placed staples, old file folder labels, even some pre-chewed watermelon bubblegum for flair - the bag has reached it's functional limit and the water bursts out all over the driveway. Beyond the hopes that I at least exterminated a handful of those damned, feisty red ants gathering at my feet, I've come undone.



The almighty $ trumps the emotional health of my family. That's some fucked up shit right there. Only one of the three of them had any say in getting stuck with Kitty. That same one still has yet to pack up in the night and flee. I know this because I routinely double-check. Calgon refuses to take me away because it's been furiously scrambling to secure rescue for the rest. I still maintain it would be easier to contain the madness of one with chains, heavy duty twine or zebra print duct tape, but I suppose I can't be such a control freak when I can't so much as control myself.

In lieu of fixing any of my own problems, I thought it would be nice to plan a vacation for my family. More specifically, my family's vacation from ME. I haven't ran this idea of sheer brilliance by any of them, so the hope is always that the surprise will outshine the shock/horror. I understand travel agents are pretty well required to work miracles, so the first step is to locate some sort of Disney Pixar Cars-themed cruise for the boys. It would naturally have to be staffed by the good folks of The Love Boat. I can't say I've noticed any of them are terribly occupied these days, so that should be easy enough (Did you ever notice they were ALWAYS taking care of random and seemingly orphaned young'uns?).



And My I.D.S.T.? I shall arrange to have him and a "Bro" of his choosing shipped off in luxury with their motorcycles and an endless supply of booze to a safe and professionally closed course in some island location surrounded by pretty, young eye-candy (***EYE CANDY ONLY! NOT TO BE CONSUMED!!!*** I'm really trying, here, so don't fuck with me***) and catered with award winning BBQ delights and constantly streaming ESPN on movie-theater-sized screens (with X-Box capabilities, of course).



Now comes the difficult part.... How long am I willing to release the hostages for, and how much jail time would accompany the sum of money I'd have to "acquire" to make this shit happen? I've said it before and I'll say it again: A gal's gotta dream.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Damn Broads.

"Life will sneak up on you when you least expect it this week, knock you unconscious with a baseball bat, and drag your motionless body into a nearby alleyway. "

Over the past few weeks, our adorable neighbor has been casually prodding for advice with increasing frequency. Yesterday, his ability to beat around the bush had completely vanished. The moment my husband stepped away for a moment, the cards were on the table: "Annie, what the hell do women want!?" My first instinct was to laugh... so I did. A lot. Loudly. Perhaps even a bit obnoxiously. By this time, we were rejoined by My I.D.S.T.. Our poor neighbor would probably be blushing if it weren't for the case or so of beers consumed that had done that part for him. He also knows me well enough by now to understand how I operate. Due to precisely that fact, I questioned what on earth made him think I was qualified to answer that?.... *silence*



And now a bit of back story: This neighbor - let's go ahead and call him Raoul (why Raoul, you ask? In memory of my scorpion and this is my story so I can do whatever I please!) - Raoul is a gem of a guy. And I actually mean that in the sincerest of senses. Any gal would be damn lucky to be with him and my husband and I feel pretty damn lucky to call him "friend".  The trouble? He's a divorced, single father of a kickass 9 year old and he works odd hours due to government union employment. You may be thinking what I'm thinking right now - SO WHAT? I'm most certainly not qualified to give any sort of relationship advice on any level, and I further couldn't be MORE unqualified to speak on behalf of womenfolk. Nonetheless, I'm opinionated, so ask and you shall receive.



"Meeting people" sucks. Be sure to bitch-slap anyone who tells you otherwise. On par with having to teach my 4 year old how to whistle, run through sprinklers or ride piggy back (all of which have happened, by the by), how the hell does one teach someone to be social? Especially when I completely lack all social skills in the first place? As I am apparently a glutton for a challenge, I gave it a good 'ol fashioned college try. I did have quite the chuckle over finding we both clearly read the same bullshit advice columns.... Upon learning that tidbit, I calmly notified him his first task would be to clear his head of all of it. Every last bit. Who the hell writes those things, anyway? Human emotion, reaction and interaction are not black & white. Further, I have definitely arrived at the conclusion that women, as a whole, lack even the slightest hint of logic. I must say I rather pity anyone who has to deal with them on a daily basis!



Getting down to brass tacks, I can't imagine how this cat still is single. Raoul's attractive, responsible, has a good job, is an amazing father, a caring and respectful friend, owns a home and a truck, loves animals, drinks beer, smokes with the caveat of wanting to quit, is great with tools (handy ;) ), has a bloody entertaining sense of humor and couldn't be more humble. What saddens me most is that last part - he has pretty well spent the 4 years since his divorce believing he has nothing to offer and begins most conversations with an explanation as to his lack of confidence. What She-Beast snapped him up in the first place and did so much harm?



Have you ever seen a forlorn hooker walking down the street and thought "Man, if only her daddy hugged her more as a child"? Ladies (and I use that term loosely), if you have an amazing man at home that is beginning to collect dust while you take him for granted, think for a moment about how much worse it could be - imagine going back to *shudder* dating. Go give the man a hug and once in awhile consider giving the guy a break! Not too much of one, though - wouldn't wanna go and give him a big ego or anything :).

P.S. If any of you know a SINGLE (not single-ISH, married, black widow, institutionalized, etc...) and worthy gal out there and feel an urge to play cupid for My Dear Raoul, shoot me an email!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kitty Knows How To Pick 'Em

Speaking of the treehouse post (there she goes, starting a sentence mid-thought again)... Shortly after I wrote that, a friend of mine asked if I was referring to the questionable place I often speak about in my current town. At first, I laughed as nothing on this planet will ever rival the awesomeness that WAS that treehouse. Then I quietly mused about all the.... well.... questionable places I've called "home" since getting kicked to the curb. I recall a place I had put an application in for - it was fabulous. Quite reminiscent of some creepy B-caliber horror movie hotel setting complete with bordello-red wallpaper and shoddy lighting. Man, it was extraordinary. As luck would have it, another young gal had beat me to it..... Roughly a week later, I came across an article in the paper about her murder. In that apartment. Huh.

The place he actually eluded to was another bit of bizarre perfection. A "four-square" home behind what would have been a lovely little lake in a borderline-ominous section of town. The lovely lake I mention was, sadly, drained due to a sinkhole that claimed the lives of two locals a month prior to my moving in. If you back that trolley up, further, this place was owned by the stalker-tendencies-husband of a nutcase coworker of mine. Who could pass up such a stellar arrangement, right? Another amusing little tidbit: The gal who was moving out to allow me to move in was yet another coworker who offered me her jewel-encrusted handgun as a housewarming present. She made a habit of laying it on the coffee table in plain view of the front window so "visitors" would know she wasn't to be fucked with. I would have gladly accepted the present if her sheriff of a boyfriend didn't advise heavily against it. After all, it was registered in her name and I clearly exuded an air of trigger happy.

It was actually a pretty neat little shack. The "four-square" portion refers to a style of home very popular in that area where there are four, equal size rooms in the shape of a box with a flat roof. A room, bathroom, kitchen, and miniature living room. Mine had actually been enlarged into a six-square so what was once a mud porch was converted to another bedroom and make-shift laundry room. The total lack of safety didn't bother me in the least as I was in yet another strange point in my life and had a massive case of insomnia. I figured if I was to have visitors, perhaps they would at least offer entertainment. And how, but I'll get to that in a moment.

The roof of the "house" - I'm still not sure it qualifies as much more than a shack with Tuff-Shed envy - was quite low so the ceiling was maybe 6.5ft off the ground. Not the slightest issue for a midget such as myself. And this further allowed the assorted skylights to be like neat-o look-out portholes. It felt a bit like the groundhog exhibit at the zoo..... The low-lying skylights also apparently allowed the creepster landlord to spy on me at his leisure as he could easily scale the walls up to the roof without the frivolous use of a ladder. Add this "perk" to my rodent roommates, termite infestation and heating system circa 1913 or so, and a young single bottle blonde truly couldn't ask for much more.

As I look back, I grasp at an answer as to why this suited me so completely. The answer is, in fact, the recurring theme of simplicity. I never needed much beyond a place to crash after a long day. Though, once again, the omnipresent insomnia rendered even that idea null. Even with all it's.... well... let's call it character... it was my sanctuary. The operative word being "WAS".

The poison in this particular cocktail could be easily credited to a gal I once thought to befriend. As plenty of alcoholic trust-fund pixies in this town can attest to, there is simply nothing as "fun" as ensuring an endless supply of flavors-of-the-week, so to speak, for themselves and their gal pals. A horrid notion, no doubt. And one I never had any interest in or use for. Nonetheless, this same dimwitted gal thought it a bit of brilliance to provide detailed directions to my home to upwards of 1/5th of the city's "eligible" criminals.

The proverbial icing on the cake came about at 3am on a random Wednesday morning - mind you, Kitty Kitty was due at work by 7am.... The aforementioned gal was *shock* tanked and bumbling about my miniature abode when she evidently saw something shiny out front. At first, I didn't think much of it as her exploits were reliably soul-draining and I was hardly in the mood. After 20 or so minutes, the realization washed over me that I may now have to avenge her death. *sigh*

Sure enough, she had gracefully stumbled, blithering drunk, into the backseat of a drug lord's old Chevy Malibu. Tinted windows, platinum spinners, conveniently absent license plate - ahhh yes - pimped to perfection, indeed. Upon so much as opening my front door, the gentleman in the driver seat motioned with his gun for me to promptly join my friend. I imagined it too late to explain I truly wasn't very fond of her and any plans they proceeded with would probably earn them the praise of a great many people, not the least of which was her own mother.

Instead, I casually obeyed and joined the dimwit (and 3 other upright citizens) in the backseat. I was instantly overwhelmed with the thick, dreary smoke of glass pipes and crystalline rocks. I quietly mused to myself visions of vomiting on the velvety shag carpet beneath my feet. On the other hand, if I even possessed one, my inner housewife was almost impressed at the cleanliness. Seems shag would be a magnet for lint..... Rottweiler hair, at least. There was one of those as well. Impressively well behaved as he eyed me from the bench seat ahead.

From out of nowhere, and as though I had long since arrived at the conclusion things weren't to get much worse anyway, I was suddenly able to put on a show of a charismatic nature. My personality inexplicably bubbled directly to the surface and I entertained. Not only did I entertain - I charmed, dazzled, momentarily puzzled, then appeased. Without a fresh bullet wound to speak of or even an "accidental" grazing from the passenger's knife, the hostages were released in satisfactory condition. Further, as we were walking in shock back across to my front door, the driver assured me he'd be back the next evening for a date. Outstanding. *groan*

Promptly the next morning, I made arrangements to go back into my own version of a witness protection program as I scanned the classifieds for cheap, nondescript treasures. For a number of years, I was sure to never procure more than I could move in one or two carloads tops. This go 'round, it was out of basic survival. Plus, I wasn't likely to miss that old, scratchy plaid sleeper sofa. I was rather confident my rodent friends would take grand care of the damn thing.

As I wasn't able to move quite with the speed I had anticipated, there were certainly additional visits from my new "friends". When I was naive enough to double-bolt the front door and hide in the shadows anytime they paid a visit, I was sure to find a crudely scrawled note warning me not to leave my front porch light on again with the accompanying consequences. By this point, I was so accustomed to this strange life I could hardly muster more than a chuckle at a Christmas card left in my back door one evening. It was late March. Seems my darling god-fearing old woman of a neighbor who lived in one of the carriage houses that backed up to my alley had noticed I had a regular visitor. The only surprise was in finding it wasn't the motley gang of fools I had met earlier - not even the landlord.... This one was yet another peeping tom. The Christmas card was riddled with "god bless", good tithings, and oh, by the way, I hope he doesn't stab you.

It is with a complete absence of sarcasm that I state my 'Ol Man saved my life. Adventures clearly were destined to be had as I undoubtedly would not appreciate the present with such fervor otherwise. Although I wouldn't wish such character-building experiences on another soul, they helped me prove to myself that, when it counted most, I was - in fact - far stronger than I had ever thought to give myself credit for. Also seems this aging broad can be full of piss & vinegar from time to time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

'Nuff Said

"If Johnny Jumped Off A Cliff...."

" You'll have a hard time finding inner peace, but frankly, you're snorting so much large-animal tranquilizer the stars figure you don't really care. "

I occasionally pass the time imagining a world free of the hindrances of peer pressure. This is a habit borne of everything from observing my kiddos altering their personalities to fit a perceived level of "cool" to the sheep mentality of the public at large. What is the imagined result of conforming or, at the other end of the spectrum, purposefully rebelling? In the larger scheme of things, who the hell cares?



I was watching one of our little treasures off the 'ol DVR last night... I believe the episode was aired in January or so - Either I don't have as much free time as I SHOULD, or I'm just THAT LAZY... In the spirit of erring on the side of caution, we should go ahead and assume the latter -  Anyhoo, this particular treasure is a sitcom that hilariously mirrors my own home life. It's possibly up for debate whether or not that's "hilarious" per se, as it's occasionally depressing and... well... close to home. On the bright side, it seems we fit the mold of some random writer's profit-seeking imagination so perhaps we're destined for the greatness that is reality TV. I'm pretty sure I just threw up a l'il in my mouth.

Back to the subject at hand, the mom in this sitcom was trying to demonstrate all the fun that should be "childhood" to her poor socially-challenged midget. After failing to enthrall the lad with the joy that is the hula-hoop or a pogo stick, she started skipping. She was instantly and delightfully transported back to the careless thrills of her own childhood. A simpler time. And off she skipped into the distance. I was dazzled.



I close my eyes and strain to dream up what chaos would be unleashed should every last inhabitant of this planet live for no one but themselves. Not sway their actions, opinions, tastes or habits based on any influence beyond their own fancy. Clearly, that's not a good idea as it would most likely void the majority of the "laws" out there formed in the sake of keeping some level of order. I'm not saying we all should tell our collective bosses, teachers, parents or cops to "fuck off!", though this most certainly provides some hearty entertainment in theory..... Rather, if we were allowed to become the people we FEEL we are meant to become. If we didn't feel alienated for skipping in public or wearing fuzzy slippers to work. If there weren't month-long, national debates on the harm caused to god-fearing folk for allowing a 5 year old boy to dress up as a girl for Halloween. If we had never encountered "constructive criticism" simply for being ourselves.

If we had come this far in life without being "politely" asked to tone down our personalities..... Hmm....



I imagine the world around us would look vastly different. Which rather blows as it probably wouldn't, in fact, be for the better. The trouble with free thought is that someone inevitably goes and ruins it for the rest of us. "Hey, if he can walk around sporting rainbow-colored socks, I can walk around and randomly take out rainbow-sock-sporting-people with my shotgun because it makes me happy."  Somehow my train of thought has now derailed off onto the subject of Communism. Ain't that some shit? Too many things are great in theory and miserable in practice. Which brings me directly back to the direct conclusion that my "perfect" world is quite evidently a deserted island with a magically endless supply of G&T's. I see nothing wrong with that.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Introduce Yourself

***Disclaimer from the author: This post is not of the snarky variety and it was only after much thought that I decided to write all this down. Although I occasionally dedicate a post with the utmost sincerity towards another, I still write for no one but myself.***

In a previous post, Treehouse Built For One , I made a somewhat cryptic reference to a traumatic event that would forever change the person I am today. Even as I mentally composed this post over and over again in my head, I couldn't help but arrive at notions of a sort of functioning split personality. The very idea of which frightens me beyond belief. Nonetheless, it is one of an assortment of oddities that makes me ME. Long ago, I posed the question at the end of yet another post - I received a surprising level of feedback quietly by email signaling a resounding "real" as the response. This is about as real as it gets.

It was quite late on a Saturday when I was returning to my wee apartment after a night of dancing at a regular haunt of the time. I had just hazily changed into pajamas when there was a loud banging at the door. Lacking much in the way of street smarts, I opened the door and immediately the man on the other side pushed the door open and walked drunkenly past me towards the bedroom. This was someone I considered a friend and even through the tinge of fear, my initial thoughts were that he perhaps needed to talk. Needed a friend. Still, something was somehow horribly wrong. I closed the door and followed him to inquire as to the reason for this strange visit at an ungodly hour. In the very same moment, I was searching for an answer as to how he knew where I lived... Only a small handful of my closest family/friends knew this place even existed, let alone my occupancy of the same.

He suddenly smiled a smile I'm not likely to ever forget. His almost 300lb frame towered over me as he suddenly leaned in for a kiss. His breath warm and heavy with an overpowering stench of alcohol. His eyes were glazed over, though there was still a distinct look of utter madness in them. It was all I could do to feebly try to escape his harsh grasp and he immediately responded by tearing apart the fabric of the drawstring to my pants.

I closed my tear-filled eyes in horror.

From that moment, there are only flashes of memory. A surreal series of imprinted images as viewed through clicks of a strobe light. Like falling asleep back into a nightmare, then repeatedly shutting down again upon awakening. I imagine the reasoning for this must be my own mental preservation taking over where all logic failed. The most vivid image occasionally catches me off guard to this day while I'm concentrating on something else: I'm desperately trying to crawl away on my stomach - the only sensation left is the burning of bare flesh grated against carpet. Everything else has long since gone numb. I bang my head against the frame of the bedroom doorway over and over again in a pathetic attempt to knock myself unconscious. No such luck. Or not that I recall.

I'm unsure how many hours had passed, or how it "ended" so to speak. My next memory is furiously scrubbing the carpet to remove the bloodstains. I am on all fours and a few of the nerves in my body have returned just enough to sense unbelievable rectal pressure. I can piece together small moments of the cause, though the only real thought running through my mind is one of total and complete shame. No time for that now, this is a rental and there is a pool of slowly spreading scarlet fluid laid out before me.

Only fairly recently was I able to face that night with something other than shameful denial. For it was at that precise moment in time that I now realize my psyche split in two. One personality walked a path of heightened empathy. Always exuding intelligence and feelings of kindness, love, understanding and good humor despite deafening overtones of insecurity. This is the one prominent side that draws people close. The side many have come to like and even "adore". The other is far darker.

I am slowly coming to terms with something I can only compare to Stockholm Syndrome. There are still plenty of differences I don't care to elaborate on. The darker persona is distinctly sensual, feisty, reckless and cruel....occasionally defiantly confident. It craves chaos and raw, hateful pain. On many occasions, these paths have crossed with ill result. Those moments of intertwining emotion have left a trail of destruction in their wake. Additionally spurring a seemingly endless search for that aforementioned "blank slate".

To this day I struggle with the understanding that any one person could possibly know and embrace both "sides". I struggle with the fallacy that love has absolutely nothing to do with sex and vice-versa. This is a monumental daily struggle as the man I fell for, married, and have reached a calm enough balance to bring two beautiful children into this world with, is precisely that one person. There have only been 3 others aware of all this who I am lucky enough to still call "friend". In the moments following the intertwining of the paths, I predictably fall into increasingly deep depression. I doubt pretty well every bit of logic or sincere emotion and can only hysterically cover up all the pain with casual joking and fanciful naivete. This has worked like a "charm" for a number of years. I've observed that the exterior has now begun cracking and eroding away. Simultaneously, what is left of the embattled innards have become twisted, rotted and warped leaving little more than a foreign shell of what once was.

In revealing such a hurricane of ugliness, one might be tempted to reach out in pity or sorrow. None of that is necessary or even requested on any level. I seek nothing more than balance and inner strength to overcome a personal hurdle. I am well aware my experience is, sadly, not unique and my hope would be that others take  comfort, no matter how minimal, in not being quite so alone. The reality is sometimes each and every one of us face something clearly beyond our capabilities and, in those moments, there is no shame in seeking help. Seems to me far more beneficial to admit to our shortcomings....even glitches in sanity... than turning to more dangerous alternatives, no?