Movie Poster Mash-Up.

Posted in WhatNot on September 15th, 2015 by Diva

These are so. Freaking. COOL.

Movie posters from another time and place.

Can’t choose a favorite, though the thought of Charlie Chaplin in Eraserhead made me laugh out loud.

There’s no saving Ant-Man.

To-morrow, and To-morrow, and To-morrow.

Posted in SoForth on August 25th, 2015 by Diva



The queen, my lord, is dead.


She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

. . . . .

This Was My Cousin.

Posted in WhatNot on August 17th, 2015 by Diva

I wrote the following weeks ago while I waited for a response to several phone calls and a certified letter. There has been nothing.

I’m not surprised, but it’s common courtesy to give people a chance to redeem themselves before calling them out publicly on their bullshit.

If, by any slim chance, I hear from my relatives with a different story than what I share here, I will apologize, update, and ensure this post contains the corrected information.

I’m not holding my breath.


This was my cousin:


She and her little brother didn’t stay in touch with our side of the family after my biological uncle divorced their mother. I am completely unaware of what vitriol lies there; I’ve never been a fan of the “you must choose a side” school of breakup, so I’ve stayed out of it. I’ve got enough baggage with my three divorces without taking on other people’s, you know?

I don’t know why my cousins dropped their own father like a hot rock. I assume, because I know her and I’ve seen it 100 times in other breakups, their reaction was based solely on whatever their mother said about him after they separated.

I was out of state at the time, I stand firmly against a “fer me or agin me” mindset, and therefore never cared who was at fault for what. The decision of whose side I was on was made for me back when my former aunt – remember, who married into our family – sued for conservatorship of our grandmother. In fact, I wasn’t even involved in that until she called our then recently-deceased mother a liar. (You can read all about it here.)

Anyway, two cousins and an aunt we had spent a LOT of our childhood holidays with just … disappeared from our lives. It was weird, but expected, because they never really liked us anyway. We were noisy, lower-middle class rogues with bad manners and worse mouths.

But I think what bothered them most was our supreme lack of envy: they had the big house in the nice suburb while we were in a 3-bedroom apartment in the ‘hood; they knew they were pretty and thin from a young age while we were chunky ugly ducklings who became swans late in life; they had all the latest gadgets and toys while we made due with a lot less.

As an adult, I can see clearly that they were obviously unhappy while we were (if not happy, then) genuinely content. Worse, my parents – and by extension, we kids – didn’t give one useless flying fuck what they thought of us. For people so wrapped up in appearances, that had to be annoying.

Over the years my sister, bless her patient heart, has remained in touch with everyone. She shared the downfall of the marriage and the reasons behind it, what baseball team Kimberly’s husband (whom I have never met) currently plays for or coaches, and the birth of her brother’s kids. Kimberly’s mother/our former aunt even attended our grandmother’s funeral in 1999 and our father’s in 2008.

I write all this to explain the estranged relationships because Kimberly died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in late June.

This cousin of mine, whom I hadn’t seen in person since my aforementioned grandmother’s funeral (where I implored her to stay in touch, but she didn’t – so it goes), made quite a life for herself. You can read about it here. She looks like a perfect image of a kid made by my aunt and uncle, a beautiful amalgamation of genes.

She also looks genuinely happy in her photos. That makes me happy to some degree.

What does not make me happy is neither her mother nor her brother contacted me or any of my siblings to tell us she had died. My sister hasn’t changed her phone number or her address since Dad’s funeral, the last time we saw my former aunt in the flesh, and the remaining three of us are readily searchable online.

When my sister called with the news yesterday, I was miffed. Death in a family, even an estranged one, is a BIG DEAL. Feel free not to invite me to weddings and christenings, even tell me not to attend a funeral, but it’s just unbelievable not to share a death has occurred.

But then the news got MUCH worse: our former aunt (and her son, a presumably grown-ass man) didn’t just neglect to tell us, they had not called our uncle, Kimberly’s own father, until just before HE contacted my sister.




Imagine your child, your flesh and blood whom you love to the moon and back even though she hasn’t spoken to you in years, suddenly dies … and no one calls you. Worse, and I can’t call this anything but a direct and intentional kick to the gut, your name, as her father, is in the printed obituary.

That is some cold-hearted shit. Just frigid.

It’s understandable not telling four (merely) first cousins. BUT HER DAD? Beyond. The. Pale.

It would be unbelievable, except it just happened. His little girl is in the ground and he was not allowed to know, much less show up, send flowers, or offer condolences.

When I shared the news with my love, I felt my psyche being pulled down, down, into the muck, in to an anger I’ve only rarely experienced. I couldn’t speak, so I texted my sister …

Death trumps every issue between parents and children. That’s a lesson we’ve learned TWICE now.

… all the while hearing How dare you? HOW DARE YOU? as a percussive soundtrack in my head.

Problem is, I already know how dare they: These are but the lengths a hateful, petty, spiteful divorced parent will go to gain vengeance. I watch ID channel; some people aren’t above using their own dead child to drive a stake into an ex’s heart. Some parents even kill their kids rather than see them with their ex. Selfishness and narcissism, histrionics and sociopathy, it’s scary what we will do to each other in the name of revenge.

As of this latest affront, though, my siblings and I have agreed to no longer give these terrible people the benefit of the doubt. Even my sister, the keeper of the flame, the bearer of the “it could happen” torch, the only ally our former aunt and remaining cousin on that side had, has finally said, “Enough.”

Congratulations. It took about 20 years, but we’ve all chosen a side now.

This was my cousin:

Kim Facebook 2015

My sincerest condolences go to her husband, who seems nice and well-loved (according to what I read online), and to her friends. She seemed like a wonderful human being, despite her parents.

The letter I’ve written and will send to her mother and brother, in which I express sincere sympathy and question their choice to leave my uncle out of the loop, is the last they will ever hear from us.

Unless, of course, they pick up the phone.

Pick it up.


No phone call was answered, no call returned. I mailed the letter, as promised, in early July. I’m not even sure it’s been read, though it was signed for.

Again, if I am in any way wrong about what actually happened here, I will gladly retract, apologize, and explain.

I don’t think I am, though, and that makes me incredibly sad.

Bristol? Honey?

Posted in WhatNot on June 25th, 2015 by Diva

I know you don’t want to be lectured. You’ve said as much. In fact, I’m sure if pregnancy didn’t show on a woman’s body, you wouldn’t have announced your second out-of-wedlock and unplanned one at all, because you don’t want anyone to judge you.

Please understand I am not judging your sex life here, nor would I ever do such a thing. Humans are built to like sex. It’s a completely natural, biological function and, if it didn’t feel good, we wouldn’t do it. It’s the way we propagate the species. Plus, when it’s done right, it feels A-MAZ-ING.

What’s not natural (because it’s 100% learned) is judging other adults on how we choose to live our sexual lives. It doesn’t matter how many partners a person has, what gender/orientation their partners are, or how they get their rocks off, because those decisions are between consenting adults and whatever deity (or deities) they believe have the final say in such matters.

But YOU, Bristol. YOU went out and preached abstinence. YOU told young people sex outside of marriage is always wrong. YOU insisted that your first child was a hard lesson and YOU would wait to have sex again until it was with a future husband. YOU spread this “just say no” nonsense to a new generation, most of whom won’t live up to the ideal and will spend years beating themselves up over it.

So congrats, you’ve created people just like YOU. And now you have two babies by two different daddies, both born without that ring on your finger, and you don’t want to hear any condemnation for it.

Well I’m here to say have all the sex you want, married or not, with your spouse or not (as long as you’re both cool with that). Rack up numbers that would have made Wilt Chamberlain blush. Mutual masturbation is fun. So is sex with women. Threesomes, foursomes, and orgies aren’t as scary as they sound, if everyone’s open-minded and willing.

Find and watch a glory hole sometime. Ass-fuck a guy with a strap-on dildo – the prostate is a fun button. Try prisoner/guard, secretary/boss, or priest/altar girl roleplay. Read up on BDSM and see if any of it turns you on enough to try it. Explore all of your body and the bodies others offer to you.

You’re a grown-ass woman who can make her own decisions about her sex life and anyone who judges you on any of it is an asshole. That said, the one thing – THE ONE THING – we sexually liberated and nonjudgmental folks WILL condemn you for?

Being a hypocrite.

Practice. Preach. Repeat.


Posted in WhatNot on June 12th, 2015 by Diva

I can’t get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps it’s just imagination

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
It’s time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation
At least there’s pretty lights
And though there’s little variation
It nullifies the night from overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Come back another day

I can’t get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations that
I know will be alright
It’s just overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away

Go Play in Traffic.

Posted in WhatNot on June 9th, 2015 by Diva

I don’t speed through residential neighborhoods. Honestly, I don’t really speed much of anywhere anymore, unless I’m out on the open road.

But when I’m out around town and I see this sign …

Drive Like Your Kids Live Here

… it always makes me think How ’bout YOU don’t let your kids play in the street?!

You want children to be safe, right? So teach them basic safety. Don’t chase a ball into the street, don’t cross without looking both ways, and here’s the basics of riding your bike. Maybe they’ll even learn their personal safety isn’t up to other people, but themselves.

Ah, who am I kidding? No one believes in personal accountability anymore …

I have a dash cam and I’m not afraid to use it.

The Sneer.

Posted in SoForth on June 5th, 2015 by Diva

I was 8 years old and playing in the sandbox alone again. It was an activity I did a lot at that age.

The park was across the street, just behind a row of apartments which were a mirror image of our own. This was on an Air Force base, and all kitchen windows around the park gave a clear view of the playground, so none of the parents worried too much about us out there.

A kid of about 5 approached the sandbox. I didn’t know him and he was obviously younger than me, so I ignored him.

He had brought a toy sand shovel and a bucket and started playing nearby. Within about a minute he had managed to flip the sand shovel – full of sand – up into his own face. I saw it happen. I can’t remember if I laughed, but I probably did.

Face and eyes full of grit, he started to wail and, sobbing the entire time, managed to lift himself up out of the sandbox and head (for what I assumed was) home.

About three minutes after that, his mother came stomping back to the sandbox, kid in tow. She towered over me and asked me why I had thrown sand in her son’s face.

Without looking up from my latest sand project, I said, “I didn’t.”

“Well, he’s gotten sand all in his eyes and nose and it came from somewhere!”

I raised my head. With no defiance in my voice – I’d had many lessons on how adults don’t like defiant children by that time – I looked her directly in the eye and said, “He did it to himself.”

I must have scared her, because she stepped back for a moment. When she recovered, she asked, “Where do you live?”

I pointed.

“Let’s go talk to your mother!”

I don’t know why, but I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t 100% sure my Mom would believe me, but I was sure this random lady was going to set her off.

I was right.

Mom met all three of us at the door. Before she could say a word, random was all over it.

“Do you know what your daughter did to my son on the playground?”

Mom stepped out onto the porch. “What did she do?”

“She threw sand in my boy’s eyes!”

Mom looked at me. “Did you throw sand in his face?”

I looked at my Mom and matter-of-factly stated, “No. He used his sand shovel wrong.”

Mom looked at random lady and said, “Looks like she didn’t do it,” and told me to go into the house.

I stood at the open front door and watched as random lady started to rant at my mother, gesticulating wildly about the indignity her son had to suffer at my 8 year old hands.

My mother held up one hand and smiled broadly, but what came out of her mouth didn’t match the look on her face. Her exact words are lost to time, but her response was something to the effect of don’t tell me you can’t tell when you’re kid is lying, because I can tell when mine is, and this time she is telling the truth, so go back to whatever rock you came out from under or this will get ugly.

Random lady left. We never encountered her again.

That was the moment I learned the value of a good, solid sneer.


I briefly “dated” a boy in 7th grade. I put “dated” in quotes because it lasted maybe three weeks and didn’t involve anything other than hanging out during breaks and kissing a little.

It ended when one of my best friends came to me after school and said she’d seen him kissing some other girl behind the gym.

The next day, I approached the boy, ensuring we met in a secluded spot at school. There were teachers nearby, of course, but they were conveniently just out of sight and earshot. I smiled and asked him through clenched teeth – a sneer of my own, learned from the best – if he was seeing that other girl.

He wasn’t scared of me. He smirked, looked me in the eye defiantly, and said, “Yes.”

I punched him. Shocked, he didn’t have a chance to retaliate as I walked away calmly, that smile still on my face, toward a group of teachers.


My best friend and I were walking between her house and mine when I was 16. It was dusk and as we approached a street to cross, a small car rolled to a halt at the stop sign.

The guy inside the car said, “I wonder if you ladies can help me, I seem to be lost …”

By that time I’d read up on several serial killers and had been warned of girls who disappeared in our own neighborhoods, but we were traveling as a pair, there was no one else in the guy’s tiny car, and we were feeling adventurous.

We walked to the driver’s side window only to see he was holding his erect dick in one hand. He didn’t get the response he wanted, though. We both sneered and started to laugh and taunt him.

“Ooooh, is that all you’ve got?”

“You think girls like the little ones?”

“Throw it back, it’s too small!”

He took off, tires squealing as we continued to call after him.

“So sorry about your weiner, hon!”

“Hey, don’t be mad! Come back when it’s bigger!”


My senior year in high school, the girl who sat next to me in choir was hit by a car and killed. After a very emotional morning in that room, her empty chair beside me the entire time, I meandered my way to my next class in a bit of a daze.

I sat down in my chair and heard the teacher ask why several of us were so gloomy. Before any of us could answer, the class asshole (we’d call him a dude-bro today), who sat next to me all semester, took it upon himself to announce really loudly, “Some stupid bitch got hit by a car yesterday and died.”

I calmly laid my books on the table, waited for our teacher to turn away, and leaned in as close to his face as I could. The sneer was well-rehearsed by then, so it came naturally.

“That ‘stupid bitch’ was my friend, dickweed. If you say another word about it, I will punch you.”

The best part is he had to sit next to me for the duration of the class. He didn’t say a word to me for the rest of the term, either.


I was freshly 21 and met a guy for a date at a local bar. It was early evening and there were just five of us there – me, my date, the bartender, and a couple of barflies. We’d chosen the spot because we knew we wouldn’t be bothered with a big crowd or loud music.

During our “getting to know you” chat, I learned he was a cop. He didn’t tell me initially, because he’d had bad luck asking women on dates after they knew. It didn’t worry me at all; he was hot, smart, and exceedingly polite. I think he’s a retired detective now, in fact.

After a couple of cocktails, my date excused himself to the restroom. The microsecond he was out of sight, one of the barflies approached me and asked, “What’s a purty girl like you doing with dirt like that?” and placed his hand directly on my ass cheek.

The bartender started to move in my direction, but I gave him a genuine smile and a nod indicating I’d handle it myself.

Smile still on my face and looking the barfly directly in the eye, I removed his hand from my ass and moved it, ever so slowly and sensually past my waist, making him think he was going to get a tit in his palm. Very close to boob and fully off-guard, though, he got the sneer as I shoved him to the floor without even standing up from my barstool.

The bartender guffawed. My date exited the restroom, saw the barfly on the floor, and asked if there was a problem.

I laughed a little, shook my head and said, “No problem here.” Then I downed my cocktail and we went to my place.

No second date, but it was just as well. He was terrible in the sack. And this was the opinion of a 21 year old girl, no less.


I found myself without a car for about a year when I was 27, but I was in college and lived close to campus, so I only had to take city transportation to work and back.

One evening on the way home, on a standing-room only bus, I felt a hand creep up my thigh to my ass. I looked down to see a Hispanic man in a seat smiling, gap-toothed, up at me. I grinned, took his hand in mine (my modus operandi at this point it seems), and raised it high in the air while yelling at the top of my lungs:


Humiliated, the man got off the bus at the next stop. Never saw him again.


Same bus route, about a year later, a different Hispanic man was leaning over and hassling a teen girl. Her body language screamed discomfort; she kept pulling her bag closer to her and the window in an attempt to get away from him.

She looked so small and lost, I couldn’t just stand by. I walked up to him and said, “Dude, leave her alone.”

He reeled on me. “I’m just telling her she’s pretty,” he spat back at me.

I raised my voice and out came the old smiling sneer. “She’s more than pretty – she’s beautiful. And she doesn’t need YOU to tell her.”

“Mind your own business, bitch!”

“I will not. Her business IS my business.”

At that moment, two other women left their seats to join me, because it only takes one shepherd for the herd to follow (fucking sheep, don’t get me started). The three of us had him surrounded and were moving him away from the girl’s seat. He protested, but his voice got smaller and less demanding.

As we maneuvered, one of the other women said something so brilliant, I’ve never forgotten her exact words:

“Gone are the days when we women live or die by what you men think of us. “

To this day, I don’t know why she wasn’t the shepherd on that bus. Maybe she became one after that.

The man got off at the next stop, mumbling the entire way about how he couldn’t “compliment” girls anymore. Never saw him again, either.


Concert in 2002. My love and I met up with two new friends, a hetero couple, to enjoy the show.

Sometime during the event, the other woman developed a cling-on. That’s what we call a man, usually a drunk one, who just will not take “NO” for an answer. He followed her all over the place, trying to start a conversation, or just hanging around close enough to make it uncomfortable.

She eventually lost patience with the guy and, while the three of us couldn’t hear the conversation, we saw everything from our vantage point.

She looked around to ensure security and bartenders were busy.

Smile. Hand on shoulder. Sneer. Lean in to his ear to explain some version of lay off or things are going to get nasty.

She walked away toward us, still smiling.

It was the first time I’d seen another grown-ass woman other than my mother stand up for herself with that sneer. That particular incident escalated into involving venue security, but at least she tried.


Just a few years ago, my love and I went out for Halloween. In the smoking area of the club, a homeless man came by asking for cigarettes and/or change.

I don’t smoke and was wearing a full Marie Antoinette costume with no pockets or purse. I told the man I didn’t have anything for him. He persisted. I said, “Where do you think I keep this stuff?”

He pointed to my chest and said, “You could keep it in there.”

I laughed out loud and told him to get lost. He grabbed my arm.

Smile. Pause. Sneer.

I knocked him up alongside the head, open-palm.

Security at the club was on him before you could say “Trick or Treat.”


I am not a violent person. I just know how to deal with certain personality types who don’t respond to anything else. The stories I’ve shared here are also some of the harshest examples; there have been lesser situations, but they don’t make good stories.

The long and the short of it is I don’t put up with bad behavior, not in private and especially not in public. My rule is simple: If Emily Post or Miss Manners would admonish you for what you’re about to do, don’t do it. More than that, though, I can’t abide anyone whose intention is to make me or those around me fearful.

Unfortunately, I am an anomaly. Women who refuse to be trod underfoot, who will ignore fear and repercussion in the face of harassment, abuse, or near violence, women who stand up for themselves regardless of risk or consequence are rare. Problem is, we shouldn’t be.

I don’t mean putting your life on the line. That’s stupid and absurd. I’m talking about handling those moments in public when a hand is on your ass, or you’re being involuntarily “complimented,” or a cling-on won’t leave you alone, all by yourself. If you do it with dignity, aplomb, discretion, just the right smiling sneer, and the will to make the person who is acting uncivilly understand they are in the wrong, you win every time.

Consider for a moment what happens when you don’t immediately cut off the creeper on the bus or in the coffee shop: They get the idea their behavior is, if not welcome, at least not all that bad. Worse, some will continue to harass until they are called out on it.

Yes, a percentage of these idiots will escalate. Stalkers exist. Rapists exist. Murderers exist. That’s why I said to respond bravely in public. I’m not stupid. I wonder how many of them ever heard a solid “NO” before they became a stalker, rapist, or murderer though? Perhaps such escalation could be nipped in the bud …?

Online complaints about creepers, harassers, touchers, and other weirdos help spread the word, of course, but doing absolutely nothing about it – as the harassed OR as a bystander – doesn’t make it stop. It just tells the creeper the person they’ve chosen is weak enough to prey upon again.

You can stand up, step in, and speak out to help make a more civilized society, or you can hide behind a screen, posting about how awful it was and how scared you felt. Up to you. But wouldn’t it be awesome if the anomaly became the norm and the creepers had to either learn a better way to deal with women or return to the bridges they came out from under?

It could happen, if we give up the irrational fear that every man, everywhere, is out to harm. Some do fall into that category, but certainly not all. Most are just clueless about how to treat women. Some have even changed their behavior after being told they’re wrong. It’s true! I seen it!

Listen, life is full of risks; winners calculate the right ones to take and when. If you are indeed a strong, independent, 21st century woman, start acting like one: Risk being treated like a whole human being, with feelings, rights, and freedoms. True equality won’t exist until we demand it, so let’s start demanding.

Find your boundaries. Set ‘em. Take no gumption. Say “NO” and mean it. Give a good sneer.

Watch what happens.

You’ve come a long way, baby.


Posted in WhatNot on May 12th, 2015 by Diva

I am reading an excellent treatise on midlife crisis, MidMen: The Modern Man’s Guide to Surviving Midlife Crisis by Steve Ochs.

Don’t let the title fool you; I’m learning just as much from it as any man would. It’s written with much humor, too, but don’t let that fool you, either; it’s chock full of “what are you doing and what does it mean” philosophy for anyone pre-, mid-, or post-crisis.

I’ll let you, dear reader, guess which end of the spectrum I’m on at this writing.

I’m reading it for various reasons (*ahem* my man the Maestro *cough*), but today I ran across a passage in which the author touches upon one of my peeves.

I don’t buy the ethereal universal balance theory, but if we observe the notion of karma in a very pragmatic, terrestrial way we start to see something logical. Here’s a really easy, basic example that comes up all the time. I will hold a door for some fucking dolt who will walk through, brain dead, without so much as a thank you glance. Okay, so now I have a choice. I can resent myself for having extended this courtesy to someone so undeserving, or I can accept that what I’m doing is making sure that I live in a world where somebody holds the fucking door for somebody by actually being the somebody who holds it [emphasis mine]

Ouch. I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy being irritated at people who don’t notice basic etiquette and don’t respond in kind when really, I shouldn’t care. I should do it to make this world a better place, one small action at a time, with or without anyone else’s approval or help.

Oh, the book also has at least one quiz that made me go, “Aw, shit,” quietly, reluctantly, and out loud.

I’ll let you, dear reader, once again figure which one out on your own.

Worth it.

There But For…

Posted in WhatNot on May 12th, 2015 by Diva

From the ages of 13 through 31 I alternately despised, abhorred, and hated my Dad.

As the oldest of four kids, I have the dubious honor of being the only one who recalls what he was like before the two tours in Vietnam. Back when he was present, when he was a loving, caring man who freely expressed how he felt about Mom and the two children in his life at the time.

As an adult, I know why he made the choices he did. Taking two voluntary (!) tours in Southeast Asia during the height of the conflict had amazing monetary perks. He must have known the bonus could be invested and would result in a little windfall later … but this was unknown to any of us until he died in 2008. Just trust me when I say hindsight isn’t just 20/20, it’s super clear, high-def, and worth a five digit inheritance nearly 40 years after-the-fact.

But that’s not the point of this post.

I was 6 when he returned from the second tour. Subsequently, I had a front-row seat as he deteriorated into the alcoholic asshole he’d become by the time I reached junior high, when he realized he had two young sons watching the two older, teenage daughters he couldn’t control.

What do I mean by “control?” Well, one of us (hint: NOT ME) tried to sneak out of her bedroom window regularly and (just as regularly) got caught (because she has always sucked at that finesse thing). At one point Dad even nailed a bedroom window shut (of course my sister’s) to prevent future escape (great thinking ahead, so glad there wasn’t a fire, Dad).

And he knew, just KNEW I was up to something, but he could never prove it. This is because I have always known how to get away with things. I won’t share my secrets here, as it will only give 16 year olds ideas – you’re welcome, parents – but manipulation is easy once you get the hang of it.

That’s kind of a lie. It was easy to get away with stuff because he and Mom were always drunk and passed out by 9pm.

One particularly awful evening, my sister had been grounded yet again, and I had permission to take the car out. As I backed out of the driveway, I saw her run out of the house with my Dad right on her tail. He tackled her on the front lawn and proceeded to pistol-whip her.

You read that right. The butt of a gun, aiming for her head. And you can say, “What was he thinking?!” just as I do, but I don’t believe he was thinking. He was hammered, as usual, and we all make the bestest decisions when we’re drunk, don’t we? To this day, I waver between “He was trying to scare her and it didn’t work” and “He had finally had it and was going to keep her at home even if it meant shooting her to do it.” I’ll never know, because I never asked him. Hell, I’ve never even asked her, though I think that would make for an interesting conversation over cocktails sometime.

(If you require closure on that story: I gathered up all three of my siblings and drove directly to the police station, where the cops said there was absolutely nothing they could do. We sat in the waiting area for about 30 minutes until a nice officer came out and gently told us to go home. This is how much our society has changed between 1982 and now, kids: they take domestic violence and child abuse a tad more seriously.)

But that’s not really the point of this post, either.

I don’t share to gain pity points or a big “boo-hoo” from anyone, nor to explain my own grown up behaviors. I share because I had an epiphany while watching yet another “girl kills her father” story on ID.

Through all those turbulent, violent, terrible years, even after the one and only time my Dad got violent with me by holding my neck and shoving me into a wall at age 17, I never, not once, considered killing him. Not as a defense, not as a strategy, not as a solution. It simply never occurred to me.

None of the four of us kids has ever gotten a jail sentence, nor have we murdered anyone (to the best of my knowledge, anyway). Oh, I’ve considered it – paraphrasing comic Christopher Titus, if you’ve never seriously considered murder, you’ve never been divorced – but I’d never actually do it. So if my Dad didn’t manage to do everything else in the parenting realm quite right, there is at least that. Though I credit Mom a little more, as the woman had more integrity in her pinky finger than most people have in their entire bodies and a seemingly endless font of patience.

Still, the two of them, for all their faults and foibles, managed to do a great job with us. We are each successful and productive members of society and, if not genuinely happy, at least content in our choices. That’s all a parent wants, right?

Now I said at the beginning my negative feelings for my Dad ranged from age 13 to 31. Thirteen is easy to decipher: That’s the age a kid starts to strike out for more freedom and starts butting heads with the authority figures in her life. The 31, though … that’s when I finally saw him for the imperfect, broken, frail, insecure adult he was. It happens to all adult children, if you’re honest. It’s discomfiting, at first, to discover the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree not just physically, but mentally as well. We truly are our mother’s and father’s children.

And I can’t say I forgave him even then – that took quite a few more years and his first and only grandchild, my niece – but it was a start. He and I never really talked after Mom died and to be honest, I don’t miss him much, but damn if I’m still not having these epiphanies about myself based on my relationship with him.

Life continues to be full of surprises.

If all you have is a hammer …

Back Up.

Posted in SoForth on April 29th, 2015 by Diva

I finally found some time today to back up this site and update the software on which it runs. After 5 hours, I’m giving up.

I tried the original backup program I had, which I had no idea had been failing for months until I downloaded the “backup” and found it completely corrupted.

I then attempted four new and different WordPress backup plugins. Each one took a dump for one reason or another, including one which couldn’t ever authenticate my Dropbox … a phrase that, if you’d shared it with me ten years ago, I would have sworn was some kind of sexual innuendo.

I even reverted to the old school ftp download (!). Seriously, I’m that desperate. It didn’t work, so I logged on and discovered every page of my web host company’s FAQ for ftp settings links to nothing but 404 pages.

I don’t know how IT folks deal sometimes. This is bullshit.

Have you tried turning it off and back on?