Liebster Award

Liebster Award
I am excited to have received the Liebster Blog Award thanks to the support of a wonderful soul and excellent writer of Pullmyfunnybone Blog.

Monday, December 3, 2012


So- tonight we went to IHOP- I was craving the grilled pot roast sandwich, with 2 cheeses.  It's divine.

Peyton was acting nutty, dragging her hands through the whipped cream, syrup, and yogurt. She was not listening or had a come back to each thing I said.

Perhaps, I may have been a bit stern: but NOT to haven't warranted the following note that the waitress gave to me, from the 2 ladies that were seated at the table next to us.

  It read-

"You have such a beautiful lil child and it breaks my heart that you speak to her so coldly.  She is a child (underlined several times) and a gift from God" signed- God Bless You".

Of course, this broke my heart- brought me to tears, actually.

Then- i thought- this person has no idea about me or my child.  Fuck her.

So, here I sit, wondering if she's right, knowing that I can have a sharp tongue (never cussing), but I am quite stern.  I am raising a respectful daughter, not an animal.

I shared it with my husband, who shook his head and ripped it up while stating, "did she have kids with her", I said, "No"- he said, "well then she has no idea what it takes".

Just wanted to share.

Thanks for listening.


Blog Award- LIEBSTER

I have been nominated for the prestigious blog award named, LIEBSTER.  Please copy the LIEBSTER award picture and paste to your page!

Below are my answers to the questions from the infamous, Gwen, author of and I will also ask 11 questions of my own for the other award recipients to answer!  Have Fun!
Accepting the award also involves answering a series of questions so here you go- These questions-brought to you by Gwen-a-licious....
1.  Have you ever been caught in a lie? probably
2.  If you had superhuman powers, which power would you have? the ability to heal
3.  If your significant other gave you a "free pass" - who would be yours?  Jack White
4.  What is your biggest phobia?  Spiders & Roaches
5.  What is the longest you've gone without taking a bath or shower? a week, but i was swimming in a river daily, so it's not like i wasn't submerged in water.
6.  What flaw is enough to make you end a relationship? back-stabbing
7.  Do you have any tattoo's? No
8.  Have you ever looked in someone's medicine cabinet? Of course, doesn't everyone?
9.  Do you pee in the shower? of course, I've even pooped, when absolutely necessary
10. How often do you ignore calls on your cell phone? rarely
11. What's the favorite part of your body? my eyes

 Aubree, author of has chosen the questions below, of which I have answered.

1.) Do you consider yourself to be super-duper fly?  just super-fly, not super-duper
2.) What is your favorite reality show?  i don't watch them, but I do enjoy re-runs of Project Runway & America's Next Top Model!
3.) Do you fear that the Apocalypse or Armageddon will occur in your lifetime? I feel we are on the brink of something.  Nuclear- i hope not, war-Yes and beginning of a global consciousness- God, I hope so.
4.) What is one of your top three favorite quotes of all time?  "It will all find its way, in time"
5.) Who is your Favorite writer?  James Redfield & Maya Angelou
6.) Can you recite any movie in its entirety, and if so, which one?Yes, Grease 1 & 2, and Friday.
7.) What one person has most influenced your life thus far? Tori Amos
8.) What is your favorite childhood memory?  can't remember much, maybe playing softball in Chicago during the summer.
9.) Why do you blog?  to share my thoughts with others.
10.) What is the most terrifying thing to ever happen to you?  thinking that my subconscious could come to a reality at a moment's notice or that it already happened and i am getting snippets of reality.
And finally, number 11) Do you wipe front to back or back to front?when i poop, front to back, when i pee, i pat.

Questions answered!  Per the rules of accepting the Liebster Award, I have come up with eleven more questions of my own to ask the eleven other righteous blogs that I nominate and promote for all earthlings to view. My questions are below"

1.  Have you had conversations with the non-living?
2.  What are your must haves with you, at all times?
3.  How many friends do you consider "true" friends and why?
4. What is your favorite food and beverage?
5. Who is your favorite musical influence?
6.  What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you?
7.  What is your favorite time of the year?
8.  What do you collect?
9.  What musical instrument would you like to learn?
10. If you had to choose between being blind or deaf, which would you choose?
11. What do you quote, on a regular basis?

Now, to nominate fellow blogarians~

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tides- They are a changin'

So, with Hurricane Sandy in full force, I thought I'd write a poem.

Full Moon staring into your eyes
Breezy, fierce wind blowing by
Brewing, boiling, and reaching to the sky

Oceans erupting, swelling, engulfing
Naive people not heeding their warning
Stranded without power, nothing to do but worry

When will it end you may wonder?

I believe it's just the beginning

May God Be Us, always, In All Ways

ALL my Best-


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chasing the Dragon

I will not dwell...
today was hell...
makes me think of diving into the wishing well....

jaws are clenching....
gut is wrenching....
every nerve standing on end....

is going up worth coming down?
we'll shall see..... we'll shall see....

"How long is forever, this time?" Willie

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Feeling Good

Recently I've been feeling really good.  It could be the Celexa working combined with my thyroid medication; which has coincidentally allow me to drop over 20 pounds!  I am trying to not over-think this new 'system' but recognize that I am truly grateful for its benefits.

That being said, I would like to give a big Thank You to all of the world's energies that have come aligned for me to experience this newly felt goodness in my life.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Two-Take Exchange: Take 4

Swap number four! This swap's image was chosen by yours truly, Aubree, and the following is my "take" on it. I don't title these things, but if I were to title this one, I think I would call it "The Vain and the Obliterated."
As usual, you can pick up Jenn's "take" if you wander over to my blog, Akashic Aisles (follow the signs to the basement). We hope you enjoy both perspectives. Feel free to leave comments, unless you are a spam-artist: in which case, we cordially invite you to...suck it.

"Speculate, Perspirate, Suffocate; all the while forgetting to Calculate the odds stamped upon the heavens and delivered unto our hands...both of our hands...without a digit to spare." -A.L.

Basking in a light that is not the sun, while resting on an ocean floor that is now the same as any other surface...dry, and without purpose. Nobody sees it, but it's coming.

So blind is she that she wishes only to use its heat to change her skin tone, struggling as she is to be the card that society flips over in a match to itself.

"Society." This term and its implications will be told - as parables of warning - under an ashy sky to the unfortunate heirs of the Cleansing.

Unfortunate? Who am I to say? There are gifts hiding in the strangest of places: perhaps under a broken shell left behind by a parched and foresaken ocean?

Nobody sees it, but it's coming.

The broken shells on hardened sands will be tools rather than reminders - or novelty bits of decor, for it is true that such luxuries will become naught but smoky memories that will soon enough turn to cold, but fruitful legend. And the next cycle: will they starve themselves of the fruit?

I wonder. 

Is that a magnifying glass that she doesn't see? How fitting. As her hair is caught by flame and fury, she thinks only of the card she aspires to be in a game about to end. "Do these highlights bring out my eyes?"

Even her grand illusion is brought together in pieces - one frame at a time - like the simplest of all puzzles. Still she cannot see the clues meant to remind her of Origin and Errand.

 She flaunts an Armani dress and flashes her best smile.  Silly, distracted girl.

 It is not the mermaid that is fabled.

Never have the fabled been falsities; and never have fairy-tales been stories reserved for any but the young...For there isn't an Old one among us.

Nobody sees it, but it's coming.

Post Written by: Aubree @ Akashic Aisles: The Basement View

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Take-Two Exchange: Take 3

Blog-Swap number three is upon us: I, Aubree (author of Akashic Aisles: The Basement View), am posting my “take” on the below image, while Jenn – who runs this blog, Embrace Your Crazy -  is posting her perspective on the same image across the way at,  The Basement.  And…Voila!  The “swap” has been swapped. 

Before moving on, though:

Already, in three swap-a-roos, I have learned something rather fascinating.  Of course I knew that individual interpretation of all things artistic covers a vast expanse from one person to another.  I did not realize, however, how different the manner in which we discover our interpretations of a single piece can be, and often is. 
For instance, I have learned that I am not detail oriented in my artistic ruminations.  An image does not affect me in parts and pieces; it affects me as a whole…as a story (which, I suppose is not entirely shocking, once considered).  Rather than seeing it as a slow and unraveling depiction of line and color, art impacts me like a tidal wave, and my emotions continue to follow the tale past the point of impact and well into the undepicted village that lies beyond the frame.

Sure, this is an interesting discovery I have made about myself; but that is not why I am sharing it.  I am prefacing the following text with this revelation, because I believe it necessary to do so.

Now, onto the tale: beginning at the point of visual introduction to the simultaneous point of impact….and beyond.

"The masons build, alter, and determine a structure's facade - brick by brick, but be of right mind in knowing that you can fire and replace the masons at will. A continent can be intimidating in its vast and changing terrain, but be of right mind in knowing that the smallest bit of sand and a sufficient wind can change the face of a mountain" -Aubree Luke

I have been given occasion to take the Lookout’s seat in two separate watchtowers, each of extreme gift...and consequence.  The towers have been placed on opposite shorelines on the same continent, but they might as well be galaxies apart, except for what they have in common: the light within, and the misery that encompasses their views. 

The two know of each other, because I know of them – invited as I have been to climb the miles of rickety stairs that exist within both.  Also, the continent that divides them sends tales about one to the other, as frequently and garishly as possible.  Yet in truth, they know nothing of the other that can flaunt more value than the briefest glimpse gained as their lights quickly cross, without stopping.   

If only they would stop…. 

One tower is much larger than the other, and despite its weakening foundation, the masons insist upon adding more stone (these are the same masons that refuse to repair the winding and wobbling interior staircase that leads to the light source).  Without considering the tower’s view, the people that run to and fro - casting havoc throughout the continent that divides the towers - think it within their privilege to throw rocks of contempt at this larger of two towers; yet strangely, no mind is paid to the masons who hurriedly add more and more mortar, brick, and stone…yielding not to the cries of the foundation as it screams under the crushing weight. 

The smaller of the two towers is so much the measure that it is but the slightest fraction in bulk of the larger, and though its foundation remains sound in structure, the small tower sways precariously at the mercy of passing winds.  The inhabitants of the continent between the two towers pass harsh judgment upon the smallest, demanding to know why it does not fight to obtain more stone and mortar for itself.  And, in fury and frustration, the continent’s populace covers the frail tower’s facade in obscene graffiti; however - yet again - the masses do not thwart, nor condemn the masons who have chosen to leave the building materials by the side of the road to be weathered and deteriorated by time and element, rather than putting them to good use for the sake of the small tower (these are the same masons that refuse to repair the winding and wobbling interior staircase that leads to the light source).  No one stops to consider the swaying tower’s view. 

On the exterior, these two towers seem to have nothing in common.  It takes climbing the worn and beaten interior of each to understand the viewpoint that they cast their wavering, but constant light upon.  And rest assured, my friends, it is true that each member of the dividing continent(s) will have the same occasion as I, and eventually, the land between the two will lose acreage as Compassion makes water out of land, allowing the towers to move closer to one another.  Indeed, eventually their lights will not be so eager to pass each other by, and they will share a view of commonality that sows a growing reverence.  Finally, when the masons are given their share of responsibility, the faltering stairs accessing the climb to higher perspective will be restructured with blueprints of safe and nurturing priority. 

The two structures will become one, needing only a single light. 

Yet, understand (so as not to be misled with treacherous idealism) that there will be other Towers with viewpoints divided.  They will rise again and again, until every structured pair has housed every light, and every continent in between is dissolved.  Then - and only then - will we all be at the same castle. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tonsil Stones!

Tonsil stones are known as tonsilloliths which are calcified matter that gets trapped in the crevices of your tonsils.  Nice, huh?

They can weigh 300 mg to 42 g.  Can you guess how much this little gem weighs?  I've added a penny for ease of estimation!

Tonsil stones are putrid, disgusting, cheese-like, curdled yogurt nuggets which I commonly refer to as gag-a-licious, vomitsville, and utterly repulsive.  The doctor says there is nothing to worry about except horrible breath 24/7.  Oh, that's great, it's not like I ever have to talk with anyone on the job.

You can get them out on your own with the assistance of a q-tip and a little nudge on the tonsil or you can visit the doctor and have them pry it off of your tonsil with a metal instrument- when a tooth pick just won't do the trick.

It's good fun.  So, the next time you're bored on a Friday night, have a peek into your throat or stop on by my house.

There's always free popcorn.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Two-Take Exchange: Take Two

Hello to you!  Once again, I, Aubree - fellow blogger and good friend of Jenn, am slinking out of The Basement to do my part in our second blog swap by sharing my "take" on the below image with Jenn's readers, just as Jenn, herself, has taken a break from "embracing her crazy" (ha! as IF) to write her words, as inspired by the same image, on the walls of my Basement.  <---click here to view Jenn's "take."  This is our second "swap" thus far, and I am exceedingly proud of both she and I for our dedication.  I mean, seriously: we could've just jumped ship after the first one, but alas...we are warrior princesses that do not give up so easily! 

I hope you enjoy our two takes (this time, completely different - one from the other - as opposed to the parallel thinking that ensued within last week's "exchange").  Happy reading!

I perceive life...within death.

I died.  And never looked back.  Not much to see, in the end.

I rose above the deafening cacophony that was life…and walked away. 

I walked away.  It was easy.

By and by, the joke is on you, my friends…if you still believe in the boatman.

As it is, ‘tis how it must be.  So, I laugh...

Souls perch like ravens, trying to decide who and what is ominous among them.  Keeping score, even in death.  Fools.

Angels speak only to the living, because the living are the only ones desperate enough not to listen.

I died; I chose a direction.  So will you.

I am not the raven; I am not the water.  I am the boatman, ferrying my own clandestine(y) and collecting my own dues.

And by and by, the joke is on you, my friends…if you still believe in the boatman.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Butterfly Effect

  “and is it right, butterfly, they like you better framed and dried” TAmos

What does anything anyone does matter?  The answer is simply, everything.

I’ve recently thought about this concept and how it relates to everything in the world.  If this is the first time you’ve heard about this, think of the phrases- chain reaction, avalanche effect, chaos theory, and snowball effect and you’ll begin to get the idea.  

As a society, we’re so not in tune with our actions and the implications they cause.  Mostly because we’re only consumed with ourselves, that we barely take the care to give a rat’s ass about other beings, things, or creatures.

I find the quote below interesting.  It shows the relevance of how one simple, natural motion can perpetuate a chain reaction of immeasurable proportions. 

“This is an illustration of the butterfly effect - the idea in meteorology that the flapping of a butterfly's wing will create a disturbance that in the chaotic motion of the atmosphere will become amplified eventually to change the large scale atmospheric motion, so that the long term behavior becomes impossible to forecast”  Quoted by R.C.Hilborn (Oxford Uni-versity Press, 1994). 

So, if we alter the natural course of life, in a very small, seemingly insignificant way, are we altering everything in the world that was meant to naturally occur in the future?  I believe we are. 

Our actions and choices are shaping the future at an exponential pace.  The further we continue to destroy the minutest things we encounter, the less we’ll be able to understand how to forecast the future.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Two-Take Exchange: Take One

Hello to the readers of Jenn’s blog, and congrats on your willingness to Embrace Your Crazy!  I am interrupting this blog to inform you that Jenn and I have decided to - every so often – engage in a “Blog Swap.”  In case you are unfamiliar with the term, it goes like this: We will choose an image of interest and without exchanging any thoughts before or during the process, so as to avoid any accidental interloping on the other’s view-point or “take” (which is why we call it the "two-take exchange") - we will each write a little (or a lot) about what we see or feel, as provoked by the chosen imagery.  We will then trade our perspectives to be posted on the other's blog. This is our very first go at it, and as it happens, I seem to have written a mini-novel on this initial post (what can I say: I just write what falls into place). But I imagine that the tone, texture, and length will vary from imagine to image and post to post, as will the form and genre.  This, of course, is by design…to keep it interesting. Below is my "take" on the attached image.
You can find Jenn's "take" on my blog  <--- Click here and look for the post with the matching image.
So, without further ado, I introduce to you my “Take One…”

The eleventh hour barks a hasty order as false as its own existence.

The old woman's raspy breaths were shallow and growing more and more distant, so as to match the waning depths behind her eyes.  Her family surrounded her in silent reverie, letting the decades of memories they shared with this sweet and selfless woman slip quietly down their cheeks. The only sounds in the stark and indifferent hospital room where the beeps and blips of the machines that measured the short time she had left coupled with the sniffles and pacing feet of her family members that were a precious kind of measurement of a timelessness gone by.

For the last few days, the old woman's adult children and grandchildren had taken turns whispering to her that it was "okay to let go" and assuring her that “they would be all right” without her.

She knew they meant well, but she couldn't help but wonder at what point they had decided that anyone other than she would know when it was time for her to loosen her grasp on the last string that bound her to this world. In a way, it amused her as she thoughtfully wandered back on the time in which she had offered the same well-intended, but misguided "permission" to her own mother…twenty-five years earlier.

‘We can be so foolish in times of impending loss,’ she thought to herself.  Inwardly, though, she was grinning with compassion.

She heard the door to her room swing gently open, and without opening her eyes or having to hear a voice, she knew that the person on which she had been waiting had arrived.

Grief-stricken and tired from a geyser of emotion and a four hour flight from California, her twenty-two year old granddaughter, Maggie, had answered the old woman's unspoken call…across the miles.  She had come to say farewell, after all; she had mustered the strength to face the fading embers of the woman who had influenced her happy life more than anyone else ever had, or could.

The old woman smiled inwardly, again. The rest of the family had felt sure that this was more than Maggie could handle, and Maggie herself had thought the same. But the old woman had known better…truer. 

After the shuffling embraces and whispers of the rest of the family as they greeted Maggie at the door, the room became completely silent except for the old woman's over-burdened lungs and the noise of the machines that everyone thought had been keeping her alive these last few weeks, when all along it had been the promise of Maggie's presence that had filled her old heart and kept it beating.
As granddaughter made her way to grandmother, the two generations between them dissolved with every step, until time seemed an empty and meaningless notion.

Maggie stood over her grandmother and took her old, tired hand into her own tender and youthful grasp. The young woman jumped a little with surprise when she felt the frailty of the hand she held turn to a hard and firm grip. A surge flew through Maggie's body and caught in her throat. She could not speak. She could not breathe.  Her heartbeat was thunder in her own ears.

The rest of the family looked on, unaware.

The blast of energy pulsing through her very being brought with it a vision, a memory.  In a matter of seconds, the young woman relived every detail of her grandmother telling a tale of wonder to a raptly engaged five year old version of Maggie.  It was a story of two doors: one displaying a perfectly vertical sign that read "Dream," and the other was marked with a skewed sign that boasted, "Reality." A little girl - no older than Maggie's five years- stood before the two doors, at the instruction of an angel, trying to decide which to open...which to enter.

"Which one do you think she chose, Maggie-May?" her grandmother had asked.

After a long and focused deliberation, five year old Maggie answered, “I don’t know, Grammy.”  Her young and unencumbered eyes searched the gently lined face of her grandmother, looking for a hint or revelation.

"Well, when you think you know, you come tell me, okay?" And with that, Gram kissed Maggie’s forehead and sent her off to play.  How she loved to watch that child play…and dream.

As the years passed, Maggie would approach her grandmother with an alternated guess, and not just any guess; oh no, Ms. Maggie was a thinker.  She always had been.  She pondered each door with heartfelt reason and warrant, changing her mind from week to month to year, and each time she did and presented her newest guess (and accompanying explanation), the old woman would smile sweetly down at young Maggie, and would utter a thoughtful “hmmm” and nothing more.  The young one would search the old one for any gleam of a hint, but all she ever got was all that was ever offered: a loving smile and a kiss on the forehead.

As the years cartwheeled on, eventually Maggie forgot about the two doors, and her grandmother never mentioned them again. The tale of the doors had become a riddle lost in the folds of life...until now.

Without realizing she had moved at all, Maggie rediscovered her place - in a strange semblance of time - stationed on a chair beside her grandmother's bed, with her head bowed and resting on the back of the old woman's hand, onto which she still fiercely held. Even through the bedsore creams and other ointments, Maggie could smell that old familiar and heartwarming scent of age and wisdom that came with being close to her Grams.

"Look around you, Maggie-May. What do you see?"  It was her grandmother's voice. Maggie snapped her head up quick enough to give herself whiplash. Her grandmother laid there, eyes closed and taking quick breaths that made her chest move almost imperceivably. Looking back at the rest of the family, no one showed any sign of having heard Gram speak aloud.  Maggie turned quickly away from her loved ones: she could barely stand to see the pity that painted every one of their faces into a sad and emotionally wayward distortion.

The old hand tightened its grip on her young hand. And, again, she heard her beloved grandmother speak aloud, except…from within. "Tell me what you see. Look closely, Mags. It's easy to miss…but not for you, my girl. You've always been able to see what others cannot, because you see with your mind. Now, look."

Maggie looked around the room: stark, stale, medicinal. She looked back again at her family, all of whom had moved in closer, surrounding her from behind like a wall of broken hearts. It was almost more than she could stand. As her eyes were in route – with contemplative intent - back to her grandmother's face, she saw it.

Through the window, a beam of sunlight was pushing aside the gray clouds that had thickly veiled the sky since Maggie had arrived back in her home state a couple of hours prior. The ray shone through the window's glass with little effort, and as Maggie followed its trajectory, she smiled slightly to discover that it ended on the left side of her grandmother's chest, precisely underneath which lay her heart.

And then, she was thrown into a perpetual state of déjà vu. No…not déjà vu. Maggie was stumbling around in her own mind as extrasensory activity forced its way outward. She knew that the nurse was going to peek in to let them know that visiting hours were almost over two seconds before it happened. She heard her mother mumble under her breath, saying, "They will have to drag me out of here," moments before she said it. She felt her father's hand on her shoulder a full minute before he placed it there. And she knew the words her grandmother would "speak" just as they echoed in her mind.

"You've seen this before, Maggie." It wasn't a question.

"Yes." And after a moment, "So have you."  Also, not a question.

Maggie knew before he asked that her brother was going to question, "Who are you talking to, Mags?"

She hadn't realized that she had spoken aloud, but it didn't matter. She knew she could have continued this conversation with her grandmother in silent thought exchange, but she did not.  The importance of sound and silence seemed to be as mutually torn as the very fabric of time.
"We've been here together, Gram…haven't we?"

The family stood united in shocked mystery, and then, came her father's hand on her shoulder. Maggie put her own hand up to knock away the sympathetic words her father was about to send out on a breath of pity and misunderstanding. At her gesture, the room became completely still.

Gram's voice filled Maggie's head, "Which door did the little soul choose, Maggie-May?"

"I am the girl?" This time it was a question.

"Yes…you and I and every other soul whose travels have brought them to the same choice; the same...challenge."

"So, if you and I have both been here - seen this - before, then..."

"Yes?" Maggie could detect eagerness in her grandmother's question.

"We chose both doors, didn't we?" A question. "Expecting a difference. "Not a question.

Gram squeezed Maggie's hand, and after a brief moment of pondering, Maggie burst into a fit of laughter. She waved the approach of her concerned family away, but continued to laugh until tears ran free, like rain on a sunny day.

After she gathered herself, and ignoring the worried looks of her family (and a nurse that had entered to investigate the raucous), Maggie sat in silence for a while. Finally she spoke, this time without sound, "But if you knew the truth, why did you pick the other door, too?"

"Because I knew you would.  It was your second choosing, and we all need to walk through both doors to realize there is never a need to walk through both doors.  They are interchangeable.  Two doors: one destination.  It’s seldom that a soul figures it out on the first go ‘round.  So, I came along – a third time - to help you remember…just in case.  It was my choice of sacrifice, and I made it happily…for you.”

"You went through the same experience a third time, even after you had solved the ‘riddle?’"  She looked at her grandmother’s quiet face in disbelief, and then in offense, but she continued to communicate with thought. “What does that say about me, Gram, that you should have so little faith in me that you would endure the bore of a completely foreseeable lifetime?”  She was almost angry. “If others can figure it out on their own, why couldn’t I be expected to?”  Maggie was feeling a lot like a huffy child, yet somehow her inquiry seemed justified.

"Is that what you think?" Gram’s chuckle filled Maggie's head. "Well, there are still many years and lessons before you, Maggie-May, but I will give you a small hint on these matters:  First of all, nobody goes at this alone.  We all have help.  Never forget that.  Secondly, choice will always rise up and meet the ‘foreseeable’ head-on, my love. Always."
Before Maggie could respond, Gram cut her off by necessity, but also because she had a last silent favor to ask of her granddaughter. "Sing to me, Mags. Sing my favorite song as I untether from this world.  I have more doors to open, and I need my rest."

Maggie smiled even as a single tear escaped, and feeling joy and understanding, she said aloud, "I love you Grammy."  Then, she fell comfortably into the melody and verses of This Little Light of Mine.  By the time she sang the last note, Maggie-May had all but forgotten what she had just shared and "heard," and when the machines let the family know that Gram had passed, she joined her family as they embraced in love and mourning.

Thirty-five years, and two (or three?) shared existences later, Maggie sat her granddaughter upon her knee and told her a tale of an angel, a child, and two doors.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rage Against The Machine

(No, not the band.) 

We-the machine, our body-and-soul-the machine, and the every breath we take- the machine.

At times, I feel as if I have a multi-level personality.  I can be content one minute and the next- a raging lunatic, lashing out at anything in my path.  It’s tragic really.  It’s what invoked this post.  I wish there would come a time when I could be completely even-keel, at all times, without the need for a leveling medication.  I am not on ‘that kind’ of medication and really don’t want to be for fear that I would become numb, and all for what; to numb the machine, that’s what. Fuck that. I refuse to believe I have the need for a chemically balanced pill to make it all go away or dull down the crazy.

Maybe I am happy with all of my discontent, maybe.  Maybe I secretly enjoy the aggravation, maybe.  Maybe I need the pharmaceutically induced elixir that calms down the crazy, maybe. I don’t know. One might say a person in this state of flux would take any measure to feel better, right?

I’d like to meet those people that are at ease in life, mainly to karate chop them in the throat, but really to ask them what they’re hiding behind, because I don’t believe for one second that there are people that are TOTALLY OK with life and everything they’re dealt.  Really?  DO YOU EXIST OUT THERE? Hello? Is this thing on?? If you do exist, how do you cope? DO YOU cope or are you hiding? And, if you’re hiding, WHAT are you hiding behind?  How do you release?

After a while, you get really tired of asking questions and even more tired of hearing one-sided bullshit answers.

this post was short, like my temper.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beyond Intuition

I challenge anyone to tell me we haven’t already been here. Even if you tried to convince me otherwise, I couldn’t believe you. I know better. Do you really believe there is such an idea of coincidence or are you more aligned with the thought of Déjà Vu, as it suggests in “The Matrix?” I truly believe some of us are vibrating on different frequencies and that there are a lot less people in the world capable enough to tap in and see it for themselves.

A few years ago, when my daughter was 2-ish, she sat down between my husband and me and put her arms around our shoulders. She looked at each of us and said, “I remember you guys.” My husband and I looked at each other, with a slight tear in our eyes and at that moment we knew she was truly a gift from God. We asked her what she meant, but she didn’t elaborate and we didn’t want to press her for information, as to be suggestive. We were stunned that our daughter affirmed what we already knew!

Last year, Peyton and I went to a folk art festival. She walked up to this lady and her five month old baby and said, “Hi, my name is Peyton….How is your sister?” The lady looked at me puzzled, so I said, “she senses things.” She began to tear up and said, “my sister is stuck in South America and we’re trying to help her get back into the United States.” It was bizarre, but very cool to observe.

Last night, I was out with the girls, so Peyton and daddy decided to make a campfire outside.  He pitched a tent, lit a fire, and began to tell stories.  At 11:11, he texted me, “ I told her she never knew my dad,” and she said, “I remember Chuck.” BT’s dad passed away in 1998. Peyton was born nine years later.

Now, I'm not sure what springs to your mind when you hear mystical tidbits of your past, but we are fascinated by this little creature’s ability to spontaneously hit the proverbial nail on the head about our family and others’ lives.

Call it what you will, but I believe it goes beyond intuition. We're here to remember.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tommy Two-Wheels: Frank Thomas Tholke

He who holds the key can open my heart.

( I have the heart and pop has the key)

How do I even begin to describe the connection I have with my Pop? We have an amazing relationship and friendship that grows stronger with each passing day. We are so much alike, which my mom really loves! They divorced when I was 6 months old and she moved us to Florida, leaving Pop behind in Chicago. For days, he played “It’s not supposed to be that way,” written by Willie Nelson. If I respond to her in a certain way, be it the tone of my voice, or a smart-ass remark, she’ll say, “You sound just like your father.” To which I respond, “Thank you, what a compliment!” She chuckles, because she knows it’s true.

When we talk on the phone, there is nothing but belly-shaking laughter, with occasional gasps for air, only to fall into more fits of hysterical, spontaneous laughter. What are we laughing about you may be wondering? We talk and laugh about nothing, anything, and everything in between, but the conversations are always priceless, to us. 

I tell my Pop everything that is going on in my life, and he tells me what’s in his heart as well. He may have a few stories he’s not ready to share with me just yet: this I know. I can feel it and that’s OK. “It will all find its way, in time,” to quote Tori Amos. We have a beautifully cathartic relationship that no other father/daughter can match, and for this I am eternally grateful. I wouldn’t change a thing.

We often text each other Willie Nelson lyrics, and he gets surprised at my quick responses with the rest of the line to the song. He introduced me to Willie’s music early on. He took me to my first Willie concert by the age of 8. We were always backstage hanging with the crew. We absolutely have a Willie Nelson bond. He loves Willie Nelson as much as I love Tori Amos. Our mutual respect for these two musical artists works in our favor, because WE GET IT -in turn- we get each other. Our father/daughter dance at my wedding was -and my ring tone for him- is “Always on my mind,” written by Willie Nelson. And he is, always on my mind. 

I know he knows how much I love him: unconditionally: most people have conditions. That’s sad. If we’re both having an off-day, we sense the disturbance in each other from 1,232 miles away.

He’s a wonderful soul, a loyal friend, a loving husband, Tok’s- the fisherman- and also fondly known as, Tommy-Two-Wheels. 

He is my pop and most importantly, he is my best friend. Eternally

"I've got a couple more years on you babe, and that's all," Willie Nelson

Tori Amos: Sonic Architect

Music is the soundtrack to the soul. My ears prefer a harmonic register in a minor key; it strikes the minutest nerve of my core.

I will do my best to illustrate my deepest appreciation for Tori Amos.

She has the natural ability to evoke in me the ultimate paradox: happiness and sadness; a raw emotion and release of which no drug could ever take the place. From the first passionate stroke of her Bösendorfer piano, I’m hooked.

There is no fluff in her musical composition or lyrical content. She speaks the ultimate truth, even when -at times- her tongue cuts sharper than any object you may have lying around in your kitchen drawer.

She is other-worldly and is my safe place that I run to when I need soothing, need a reality check, or feel the need to put on my brass ovaries. Whenever her music is playing, I am completely consumed in her rhythm; which in turn, seeps into my being, setting me off into my own rhythm. I dare not be interrupted, or my world turns upside down and I become instantly livid, as it breaks my vibe and changes my frequency. 

She is the opposite of zero point energy.  

Throughout the course of my days -by the minute or hour- there is a meaningful and purposeful lyric, completely appropriate for any situation, and because I GET IT, I internally smile with pride. It is my hope for others that there are musical artists who resonate with their souls.

I am truly blessed to have awakened the connection to incorporate Tori into my life. Her music allows me to see everything in different hues, not just rose-colored glasses. Also, Tori seems to speak a different language. She has an innate ability to deliver a word like you’ve never heard before and ends up giving new life to a word you’ve always thought you’ve known.

Over the years, I’ve realized as Tori matures, so do I. I find it intriguing that she and I seem to be riding on a similar wave, even though we’ve never met. Her metaphors pierce through my heart and soul on a deep and mystical level that is undeniably meant for me. Her voice instantly heals and soothes my soul, leaving me literally aching for her deliberate tones and next breathes that once-heard are unmistakable and incredible. That sounds odd to read and even stranger to write. But, it’s what I know and it’s very real.

Tori’s music has opened a metaphorical door, which has guided me towards my evolution into a strong, confident, fierce, and most importantly, vigilant woman. She’s helped me realize that -under no circumstance- must we settle for anything we’re told to do or be if it does not agree with our own common sense, or if it goes against our gut feeling. We must fight the good fight musically…defiantly, musically.

“Concertina, concertina- a chill that bends, this I swear- you’re the fiercest-calm I’ve been in”- Tori Amos

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Filter (or lack thereof)

A friend once told me that I could make friends at a post-it convention, which I felt was a nice compliment.

What can I say? I am a very sociable, extroverted soul. I will and do engage in conversation with ANYONE, solicited or not. If I sense a disturbance in the force, I will back off as to not go into stranger-danger mode, but if we gel, hot damn, it’s on! 

This is where my fun begins!

I am passionately curious and genuinely interested in people: their thoughts, ideas, personal stories and the overall absurdities they’ve encountered during the course of their lives.

It’s quite the experience when I am with my true balls-to-bones home girls. There is never any need for explanation; and for that, I am thankful to an infinite degree. Anything can set us (me) off: the sound of someone’s voice, the song on the radio, the tasteless kitschy objects at lunch, etc. It’s difficult to appreciate the insanity of my inner-circle: we’re all bat-shit crazy.

Those that do know me and hear my ramblings are secretly waiting to witness the hysterics that will ensue or cringe at the content that will definitely escape from my pie hole.

It’s difficult to pinpoint what happens during the course of my unusual days. Sometimes I feel that I have Tourette Syndrome, but mostly it’s that I have no filter or a lack of a filter, like a Dyson vacuum. I call things as I see them, no matter the circumstance.
I can’t help but call out the obvious stupid bullshit people say, so I ask questions that create more questions.  At times, I completely repel people by voluntarily elaborating on my own personal stories (that I don’t consider too personal, but is apparently TMI for others). When this occurs (which is daily), it’s never in a rude, but most always in a noticeable way.  It either takes them aback in disbelief to what they’ve just overheard, which either makes them want to join in on the conversation because the topic hits home, or sends them running for the hills because they know they’re about to be embarrassed because I would totally ask them a personal question if they were in my peripheral.

Do I really give a rat’s ass HOW people react to my lunacy? Not really. I know I’m off my rocker, but I honestly don’t care. I am who I am. Some people get me, others don’t. I understand that, but it is what it is and for that, I have no apologies. 

We’re all different ‘human’ beings coming from different backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings; but come on, when something is funny, wrong, harmful, or just downright ridiculous, how can you not expose it? You can’t just keep it in like a rumbling fart waiting to explode. You have to let it out or one day you may pop. Can you image the mess that would be?

I have ONE voice; it’s neither indoor nor outdoor: it’s ONE setting, and it’s quite loud. Whenever I begin a story or I am about to comment on something, I preface it by saying, “I’m not yelling!” For example, Asian people don’t get my sense of humor; they think I am yelling at them and being a smart-ass.

Are there really that many personal questions?  I’m not asking the color of their fecal matter that morning (although sometimes I do). However, in a professional environment, I am consciously and constantly aware -at all times- of who is around and their proximity of my bullhorn to their ear. 

I don’t believe in small-talk bullshit such as “the weather’s nice, isn’t it?”  Nobody really cares to talk about the weather; they have real issues they’re thinking about.

It’s a proven fact that people are attracted to others who have shared similar experiences to which they can relate. What better way to know who those people are than to reveal your thoughts and experiences to them?

I’ve learned that once you self-disclose to someone, they unconsciously open up. I love when this happens; it’s like a mental picture of a calving glacier. Their walls come crashing down. I can feel their catharsis and that’s when I like to dig in and probe, like an alien abduction searching for what makes people tick. It’s fascinating and heartfelt. We both walk away satisfied; at least I do.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Poop Chute Report

Welcome to my experience of the dreaded colonoscopy.

While being driven to the hospital, I decided to read through their brochure.  I noticed several spelling errors and word omissions and was immediately riddled with anxiety about their ability to stick tubes up my anus if they couldn't even hire a qualified editor.

Upon arrival to the hospital, I met Beverly.  She was a dear, elderly woman.  I jokingly asked her for a sip of her juice, because I was parched beyond belief. She chuckled, but declined; greedy b*tch.  Anyway, she handed me my check-in form and a laminated number and asked me to have a seat until my number was called (they give you a number as to not call your name out for all of creation to hear). BT and I sat down, and I began to examine my check-in form.  It stated I currently worked at the Hartford (which I haven’t since 2004), that my husband’s last name is Tholke, and that his phone number is the same as mine.  Perhaps for some of you this is not a big deal, but for me, this is set off numero dos before 8:00 AM with no coffee or food for over 24 hours.  I was HANGRY.

To alleviate some frustration, I took pictures of said errors and texted them to my friend in disbelief.

“Number 10,” said Valerie.  Ah! Sweet Valerie… She greeted me and walked me to the automated check-in kiosk to electronically sign my life away.  I began clicking “yes,” “I agree,” and “next” until I completed the process.  Well, as luck would have it, the machine flickered on and off and then powered down.

I said, "Valerie, I’m about to lose my shit.”

Valerie said, “Don’t worry. I am the Patient Experience Coordinator; you can tell me anything.”

To which I said, “GREAT! Well, first your brochure has spelling errors and word omissions, of which I have taken the liberty of correcting for you, IN INK; my check-in form information is incorrect; and this f*cking machine just blacked out on me after inputting information and agreeing to multiple questions. Frankly, I’m not very confident about this hospital!”

“That’s OK,” she said. “I have a hand-held mini-computer you can use to input the same information.”

“OK,” I said.  Just as I signed my name and clicked “next,” like a glitch in the matrix, that lil mini bastard flickered on and off, on and then OFF.  DEAD…the battery was kaput.

I paused, smiled and turned my gaze to Valerie. She said, “It’s OK, I got your information recorded, I’ll just print it out and you can look it over for errors.”

While she was jacking around with the cord on the mini bastard, she said, “Are you an English major?”

“No, just a grammar Nazi,” I replied.  She laughed, but asked if she could call me in the next few days and thanked me for pointing out the errors.  She, too, was in disbelief.

“Jennifer?” I heard. So much for anonymity! “Let’s get you started.”  I started to feel better as I followed Nancy down the hall, but honestly I was mostly excited for the Propofol!!  Two nurses, Marlo and Lisa, began to fire off questions, which sounded like echoes; “What’s your name, who is your doctor, and do you know why you are here today?” (As if I had forgotten). I know, I know, it’s all protocol; I just found it amusing. “Is there any possibility you could be pregnant?”

I busted out into laughter and shouted “uh, No!” Since nurses are not allowed to take your word for it, off I went to piss in a cup and lest we forget, shit like a goose, as I’ve not yet-STILL- stopped shooting liquid out of my anus.

ONE minute later, knock-knock- knock...“Whatcha doin in there Jenn?” asked Marlo.

“Dancing, Marlo-I’m almost finished.”

After the peeing, questioning, signing, initialing, and vein poking, I was greeted by Scatman Crothers to whisk me away. As he wheeled the gurney through the halls to the ‘prep room,’ I noticed literal signs everywhere (God made the heavens and earth and Mother Mary figures illuminated in the halls, etc.). We engaged in small talk, and then I asked him if he enjoyed his job to which he replied, “Yes, ma’am.” He was pleasantly wonderful, so polite, and wished me well when we parted ways.

My next stop on this joyful morning was to meet the wonderful inducer of pleasure, Dr. Purkey, the anesthesiologist (yes this was his real name). God Bless this man. Seriously, please bow your heads. He hooked a sister up! He was a bit of a jokester, but I honestly don’t remember one ounce of that blissful half hour slumber. BOO.

When I awoke in the recovery room (AKA: the bog of eternal stench), my wonderful husband was sitting next to me, laughing at my flatus and when I perked up enough to laugh too, I then became conscious that I might shit myself if I wasn’t very careful. We were literally in a recovery room of fart rippers.  It was hysterical and a pre-requisite in order for discharge; no pun intended.

Finally, the doctor came in and informed me that I was as clean as a whistle and off I went.

In the words of Tori Amos- “Exit 75-I’m still alive, I’m still alive!”