Monday, October 31, 2011

Corn Husk Lady

When my sisters and I went to Mount Vernon last Saturday, it happened to be Family Fall Festival Fun Day, or something like that.  That meant that it was rather crowded with people with little kids which was obnoxious.  Not because I mind little kids.  What annoys me are the super parents who are obviously making up for something by being WONDERFUL PARENTS in public in the loudest fashion they can manage.  After we parked the car and were walking to the property, we were sort of in a crowd of people walking the same way, and one of the people was a little girl named Zoe, although I'm almost positive her parents spell it with umlauts, but since I don't know how to make umlauts on the computer, I'll just settle for writing it the pedestrian way, Zoe.  I know Zoe was in the crowd with us not because Zoe was being naughty, or running into the street or anything, I knew her name was Zoe because her dad was being SUPER! and kept saying her name. "Having fun yet, Zoe!" "Zoe, let's race!" "Zoe, hop on my back and I'll run and make really loud plane noises in a fun way that's really irritating to anyone within twenty yards."

Before we even got in the doors my sisters and I gave each other conspiratorial looks that said, "First thing: Ditch Zoe."  Which we did.  It was a gorgeous day to be at Mount Vernon, (but then again, there isn't a bad day at Mount Vernon), so we walked all over the property and saw the gardens and there was a special festival down by the threshing barn and there was a George Washington impersonator talking about the revolutionary war.  He was very compelling, but didn't look like Washington.  He looked like Henry Winkler. (I wonder if it was Henry Winkler? OMG!)

In one of the barns people in old-timey clothes were helping people make corn husk ladies.  Amy and Beth and I made some.  Amy's was perfect.  (I think she makes them in her free time.)  Beth's was weird.  It had a tiny pin head and three arms.  How do you even get three arms?  Mine was okay but only because I re-did it about four times until I was satisfied.  I love her with her crazy hairdo and her nutso face.

I took her with me everywhere.  Here she is in front of the Washington Monument.

Here she is peeking over a wall at the WWII Memorial.

Here she is with the Empire State Building.

And her she is spying on Amy over the bathroom stall.  Oh Corn Husk Lady, you're so silly!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Continuation of my "Gift"

Directions from the sisters on this self-portrait as we were standing in line waiting to get into the Mount Vernon Mansion: "Let's look up (to minimize double chins) and off into the distance (to look contemplative and beautiful and deep)."  Needless to say, it didn't work out!  Son of a bitch!  I don't look contemplative and beautiful!  I look like a dork.  I actually look like I'm honking.  Amy didn't do much better.  She looks crazy.  Beth looks okay, but she didn't follow directions.  Notice the guy behind us giving us the rabbit ears.  If this would have actually turned out to be the only good picture of me in the history of the world, I would have punched him in the guts for ruining it.

Take two:  Not much better.  Amy is still laughing hysterically about take one, I don't know what I was doing.  What is wrong with me?  Beth is actually following directions and does look contemplative and deep.  Good job, Beth.  Connnnnnnngggggggrrrraaaatttuuuuuullllaaaaattttiiiooooooonnnnnnsssssssssssss.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Impressions of NYC

My sisters and I took a quick trip to New York on our sister's vacation.  I have never been to New York before so I was very interested to see what it is really like.  I found it to be very complex and dichotomous.  For instance, the women there are slim and trim and stylish and I'm not.  So I felt like a butterball rube, but at the same time EVERYTHING is so BIG in New York that I felt insignificant and teeny.  So, a teeny butterball rube.  Not the best feeling, but whatev. 

Another thing I noticed was about the cleanliness.  As we were walking the streets of Manhattan we saw people obsessively sweeping, hosing down, and even vacuuming the sidewalk, but take another few steps and you can get caught in a cigarette-butt tornado.  Which was super gross.  Beth got caught in the middle of one and she was trying to run out of it and was waving her arms and spitting.  She said she had grit in her mouth after that for a long time.  Gross.  Important: when you get caught in a cigarette-butt tornado KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.   Also, do you ever notice on shows set in NYC how "gritty" things look?  Like smudges on doors and just general dirtiness that you don't see around where you live?  It's really like that.  It's an amazing place but it's like the general housekeeping of the entire city is the responsiblilty of an apathetic octogenarian with poor eyesight and a bad back.  I don't think anything below hip level has been wiped down in the entire city in at least a decade. 

We went to a few restaurants while we were there and the food is GLORIOUSLY good.  One night we went to Russian Samovar and had real Russian vodka and caviar.  It was so good.  I've never had hard liquor that didn't make me cough and spit but this vodka was actually smoooooooth.  And who knew caviar would be good?  It was served on little pancakes with sour cream, red onions and boiled egg.  Of course, rabbit turds would probably also be good on pancakes with sour cream.  Later we went to a place called Sosa Borello.  We had some appetizers that were heavenly.  In the morning we went to the New Cosmic Cafe for breakfast.  Fabulous.  New Yorkers know how to eat. 

We also saw the Occupy Wall Street protester camp in Zucotti park.  Zucotti park is REALLY small.  I was fired up by the whole thing and was ready to start marching and carrying a sign, but Amy said she wanted to run through the camp and bang on tents and yell "GET A JOB, SLACKERS!"  She didn't do it. 

I have to stop now because I have to catch my plane to go home, but more later on this, Washington, the Sisters, Mount Vernon etc etc.  BYE!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Embracing My Gift

Amy and Beth and I went to Mount Vernon yesterday to bask in all that is George Washington.  Since this is a sister's vacation, it is important to capture the many moments on film (well, not really film, but you know, pictures).  Unfortunately for me; not, apparently, for my sisters; I am the most unphotogenic person on the entire planet.  I think I've taken about three good pictures in my entire life.  I don't know what happens to me.  I don't know if it is because I feel self-concious because I know a camera is pointed at me which causes me to make weird faces, or if I actually am hideously ugly on a split-second by split second basis, but seriously, those of you who have only seen pictures of me on this blog, I am sooooooo much cuter in real life than I am in any picture you will ever see. 

I've decided to embrace this unusual gift and see just how bad I can look in pictures.  My sisters wanted to take a bunch of cutesy pictures of the three of us, but I know I can't do it.  When I try, they look at the picture just taken and say things like, "... What were you doing...with your face?"  Well, I'm done trying to look adorable.  It's not going to happen.  So now I'm going to see just how bad I can look.  I am shockingly good at this. 

This is the first picture that this occured to me.  Amy wanted to take a picture of me in front of a model of George Washington's house.  In a split second this is what went through my mind:  "Oh great, I'm going to look like a moron.  No, I'm going to look like a huge moron because I'm in front of this tiny house.   Like Godzilla.  No, furrier, like King Kong.  Screw it."  And that is when I decided that if I'm going to look like King Kong anyway, I might as well not look like King Kong trying to be cute because that's pathetic, I might as well just look like King Kong doing what he does best.  I think the picture is pretty good.

Then Amy and Beth decided they want to get a cute picture of the three of us together.  It's not going to happen.  It wouldn't happen anyway, even if I tried so now I'm just seeing how bad I can make myself look.  Turns out it's pretty bad.

In my defense, they don't look that great in this picture either. 

This one might have been okay if I could take a good picture.  But I can't.  But boy can I take a bad picture!

More to come!  Much much much more!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My New Cloak

Beth came to Duluth tonite because we are going to Washington together tomorrow for a sister vacay with Amy.  She brought me my birthday present.  It's a faux fur cloak.  When I saw her bringing it to the door I thought she was holding a bear cub.  I tried it on and I love it.

I'm going to wear it whenever I'm with her for the rest of my life.  Kira asked where she got it.  Turns out she got it at a gas station.  (That sounds kind of tacky, but I know the gas station she's talking about and they do have some really cute clothes. I've got other stuff from there.) Then I was saying how warm it is and she said, "I know, I used to wear it in the fish house with Lorin," and I said, "How could you wear MY new cloak ice fishing.  It's only October."  And she said, "Oh, it's not new."  She said she bought it for herself not as a joke but she decided she couldn't pull it off because as she said, "The big-breasted woman looks like a tootsie roll in a brown, stretchy cloak."  Then we were talking and I got a bit of fur in my mouth and I said, "I got a bit of fur in my mouth," and she said, "It's probably dog fur.  Tess really likes to lay on that cloak."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

De De De...Depression

"Where are you?"  I've been hearing that for a while now from my peeps on the internet and now that I'm on my way back, I'll tell you where I've been.  I've been depressed.  (HA HA! OMG, that's such a funny topic for a humor blog!) Well, it's true. In the interest of being an over-sharer with a blog, I'll tell you all about it. I debated writing about this at all because it's about the most personal thing about me, my biggest vulnerability and all, and frankly, that's nobody's beeswax.  But maybe someone out there needs a depression buddy and if so: HEY! WE CAN BE DEPRESSED TOGETHER! ;o) !!!  LOL!  Just kidding.  I'm starting to feel better so don't bring me down with your sob stories.  Just kidding!  Just kidding.  (seriously, kidding... boy, kidding looks like a funny word after you write it a bunch:  kidding kidding kidding, kidding kidding....)

I've had bouts of depression since college, but I could deal with it and had devised methods of pulling myself out of it, but it got out of control after my second baby was born.  I got major post-partum depression but didn't tell my doctor because in my crazy, depressed brain I thought if she had any idea how I was really feeling she would call social services and they'd take my kids away.  I didn't want to go on anti-depressants because I thought that was a cop-out and if I was any kind of woman I could beat it on my own.  Then one day I misplaced the checkbook and reacted (and felt) like I had lost a child.  During this same time period I also tried to cook popcorn on the stove "old-school" and it burned and ruined the pan and I felt like a total loser-failure worthless piece of shit.  Yeah, that's right, because I screwed up popcorn.

Then one day I brought my little baby out for a walk in the woods with me on a nice day because I thought that might help lift my spirits.  While I was out there I kept having self-loathing thoughts and feeling guilty that my beautiful new baby was going to have to grow up with an insane mother and I had a split second thought that she would be better off if I left her in the woods.  Someone would find her and she'd be fine.  She'd be better than fine.  A part of me recognized the insanity and screamed to me to GET SOME HELP, CRAZY!  I talked to my doctor and told her that I had been feeling sad and tired and worthless etc etc. and she gave me a depression screening.  According to the test I was clinically depressed and she said it was totally treatable and she didn't once suggest that maybe I should not have custody of children.  She put me on Prozac.  About three weeks later the darkness lifted.  To say I felt better is a total understatement.  It was like night and day.

I've had people ask me what it feels like to be depressed.  It's hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it.  It's not a mood, it's an ever-present smothering darkness. Here are some of my personal symptoms:

being terrified (constant terrifying "what if" thoughts with feelings of terror totally out of sync with the situation)
feeling incredible guilt for no reason
feeling worthless
feeling like I am a drag on friends and family
feeling like a prima donna because I'm preoccupied with how I'm feeling from minute to minute and trying to find some way to make myself feel better.  Doesn't leave much room for thinking of anyone else.
feeling selfish
feeling stupid
having physical pain: heaviness in my chest, dull leg/back/headache
self-loathing - constantly sick to death of myself and my stupid brain.
feeling irritating and irritated by almost everything
hopeless - this is it, I'm never going to feel better.
helpless - there is no cure, I might as well accept this as my life.
feeling rage
loss of control
feeling mentally weak
Am tired all the time but can't sleep for more than an hour or two at a time at night.  Could sleep all day.
bored with everything
Tears squirting out of my eyes unprovoked at inopportune moments.

The stupid thing about depression is that when you are in the middle of it you don't recognize you are in the middle of it.  You think you can get better if you would just decide to get better.  Since I have been dealing with this for so long, I have become more self-aware and can tell when the depression is rearing its ugly head again.  It usually starts with fear.  I think things like, "what if Kira gets run over by the school bus" or "what if Sam gets hit by a car"  (lots of automobile themed fears).  When I register these thoughts I immediately try to think if maybe I've not been taking my Prozac regularly and most times, sure enough, I've not been the best about taking the meds.  Then, after I get back on and stay on, I feel better again.

I don't want to be on medication.  Who does?  When I first moved to Duluth I was off the Prozac.  I think, if I remember correctly, that after I went on them the first time and got better I thought, "OMG, I'm better.  I don't need medication anymore," and I went off them, and I suppose the stress of moving triggered a new wave of depression, and I then had to find a new doctor. My new (not current, thankfully) doctor insisted that if I wanted to continue with my anti-depressants, I had to have a consultation with a therapist.  I was about as open to that as a clinically depressed young mom can be and I went only because I had no choice.  I didn't see the point because NOTHING WAS WRONG.  I didn't need to talk anything out.  There was no real stress in my life.  My depression was completely biological/chemical/physiological, it was literally in my head.  The guy I went to was a total tool.  He tried so hard to be hippie/liberal/new age.  He had a little fountain on a table and he scotch taped some little plastic turtles to the rim.  He was wearing wool socks with Birkenstocks.  To work.  This was the person I was supposed to turn my mental health over to.  Ugh.  I got through the consultation, and because of the depression screening he gave me and the unstoppable weeping that seemed to make him incredibly uncomfortable for someone who should be trained to deal with people having mental breakdowns, he concurred with the G.P. that I was in fact, depressed. Um, no duh.

Since then, through painful trial and error of going on and off medication, trying less and more medication, I have learned that I will probably forever have post-partum depression.  Pregnancy pushed my already depression-prone brain over the edge.  That's depressing in itself, but what can you do?  Accept it, medicate the shit out of it, and move on, that's what.

If you are experiencing depression you are not alone.  There are LOTS of people that have depression (which kind of makes me feel not-so-spesh) If you have depression, take the advice I gave to myself way back when Kira was a baby, "Get some help,Crazy!"  Tell someone. Do something about it because you don't have to live like that.  Hang in there!

(and when I say "Hang in there" I mean it like this:

Awwwww.... cute!

Not like this:


Btw, I am in no way qualified to give any professional advice or be a spokesperson for depression.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jail: Part II

St. Louis County Jail is maximum security.  Meaning that to get to the where the prisoners are, you have to go through three or four guarded steel doors.  To get in to the first door you have to go through a metal detector that is so sensitive that it always beeps so then you have to be wanded by a guard with one of those metal detecting wands.  There is a long list of things that can't be brought in to the area where the prisoners are even if you don't plan on having them get their hands on it; sharp things, phones, poison things etc, because prisoners are cagey (ha ha, no pun intended) and can do a lot with a little.  I loved working at the jail because it was so interesting, for one thing, and I really loved the women I worked with who ran the activities program for prisoners.  The leader of these women was Robyn.  She was strict and I think now is the big boss at the jail.  

One time Kira found a teeny tiny bunny out in the grass in our yard and brought him in the house and said she wanted to keep it.

It was so small I thought it was a mouse or a baby squirrel or something.  I've never seen a bunny that small.  I didn't think it would live, but I got it a tiny bottle, some kitten formula and read up on bunny raising.  They need to be warm and fed about five hundred times a day.  I thought I was up to the task and I kept up the pace for a few days but then came the one day of the week I was supposed to work at the jail.  I would be gone for 8 hours and I couldn't leave the bunny for that long. The following week we were supposed to take a family vacation to California and I still hadn't figured out what to do with the bunny while we were gone because you can't take a little wild bunny on a plane, can you?  What was I going to do with this little bunny that I had totally fallen in love with?  Kira couldn't be trusted to take care of it, and Mitch wouldn't so I really had no choice but to see if I could smuggle it into the jail. I figured if I could smuggle it in to the jail, I could easily get it past airport security.

I put on my hideously ugly overalls, stuck some velcro on the top of the chest pocket so I could close it so the bunny couldn't poke his little head out and give us away, I put the bottle of formula in another pocket and off I went.  I went through the metal detectors and of course the clasps on my overalls set it off so I had to be wanded.  Thankfully there is no bunny-detecting wand!  I got in and felt like I had just broken out of Alcatraz.  I beat the system!  Now I had to avoid detection for eight hours.

About every 20 minutes I went to the bathroom and fed the little bunny.  I got through the first six hours and was feeling pretty smug.  I wanted to tell someone!  I was just so proud!   Before my last class I went in to Robyn's office with a ridiculous smile on my face. She knew I was up to something.  She said, "...what.....WHAT?"  and I cracked.  I reached in my pocket and brought out the tiny bunny.  The look on Robyn's face was PRICELESS.  She was  stunned, and pissed, and overcome with the cuteness of the little bunny.  She gave me the obligatory lecture about contraband (but Robyn, nobody said anything about baby bunnies that need to be fed every 20 minutes) but then she couldn't help but say, "OOOOOOO!  HE'S SOOOO CUUUUTE!"  and she reached into a drawer and pulled out a perfect sized plastic cage for him and stuffed it with tissue so it was all cozy and comfy.  Apparently I'm not the only one who smuggles in cute animals.  She said I couldn't take him into my last class and I would just have to leave him in her office.  Fine with me.  I gave her the bottle and she snuggled him in her arms and fed him and said, "What were you thinking!"  I told her all about how this was a test run to see if I could get him past airport security and she gave me another lecture about how irresponsible it would be if I did that and he got taken away!  What would happen to him!  She would take care of him!  Jesus!

I went and taught my last class and when I came back to her office it was dark.  I thought she was gone, but she was sitting in there, in the dark, with the bunny.  I said, "What are you doing?" and she shushed me and told me the bunny was sleeping.

So if I can smuggle a mammal into the jail on my person with nobody being the wiser (and notice I said ON my person, not IN my person) what else is being smuggled into jail??? And HOW???  Believe me, you do not want to know.  I'll just tell you one little story.  This guy got arrested and was waiting to be processed so he was sitting on this out-of-the way bench in the booking area and he was handcuffed.  Apparently he was a plan-ahead type of guy, because he was prepared for just such a dilemma.  There was a camera trained on him while he got his pants down and grunted out the handcuff key he had shoved up his anus earlier that day? week? part of his morning routine?, and he unlocked his cuffs. TA DA!!!  It was quite the production which the guards were so fascinated by that they let it go on to see if he could get out of the cuffs.  And then they took his disgusting key away from him and recuffed him.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jail: Part I

My friend Anne wrote to me and said:

"Hi Sarah!  I have a special request for a blog posting from you.  Will you write about your experiences teaching prisoners?  (you really did that, didn't you?  I mean, I'm so gullible that I'd probably believe you if you said that you taught ASL to chimps.) (which would also be a fun post)."

Anne, I really did teach prisoners at the St. Louis County Jail.  I really really did.  I taught them computer basics and poetry.  We even published a poetry newsletter!  I was trying to think if anything really blog-worthy happened while I was working there and I guess I have a few stories. 

I taught a two hour class of basic computers for the men, and then a two hour class of poetry for the women, and a two hour class of poetry for the men.  The guard would escort about 8 or 10 people in to my classroom and then leave and lock the door behind him.  Locking me in the room with a bunch of inmates.  If anything happened I was to use the phone and call for help.  Or just scream.  I don't think I was ever in any danger, but one time during the women's class a couple of the ladies got into a shoving match which threatened to turn into a full-blown fist fight.  I got in between them and broke it up.  Does that sound brave?  It wasn't.  They were both tiny and weak and one was about 6 months pregnant, and the other was about 8 months pregnant. They both had big bellies and they were willing to get in a fist fight.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I thought I was on candid camera or something.  I only had to step between them and say, "Seriously??? You're going to fist fight while you're pregnant?  Really???"  Then they sat down and called each other horrible names until the guard could come and bring them back to their cells.  

I really liked talking to them about their lives.  They were very interesting people.  Some were quite intelligent, but had lives where if there was a chance of bad luck, they got the bad luck.  And some of them were incredibly stupid.  One guy came in and told me that he was so mad that he is in jail because he got busted for being in possession of Oxycontin or something like it.  He said he was already on probation and then he got the Oxy and took it but he didn't get high because earlier that day he smashed his thumb with a hammer and the Oxy only took the pain away from the thumb, and didn't get him high.  He was more upset about not getting high than being back in jail.  Idiot.  

There were some murderers in there with me too.  Guys who killed their girlfriends.  They creeped me out.  There was one guy that was there for over a year.  He was soooooo creepy.  He was in for being 28 years old and having a 14 year old "girlfriend."  I think they call that "rape."  He says they had a beautiful relationship.  I say GROSS.  He was skinny and pale and had a devil beard and he became obsessed with me.  I can't remember the exact details of all the creepiness, but I arranged it so he wouldn't be brought to class anymore and then he wrote me letters.  Ick!  The ladies that worked at the jail were really good about not letting him see me or anything, but in the break room they called him my boyfriend and laughed and laughed.  

One guy was there because he went nuts one night when he was high on meth.  He was having paranoid hallucinations and thought someone was after him so he stripped naked and ran down the fire escape and broke into another apartment and took the baby that was in there and he ran.  Can you imagine how terrifying it would be to see a naked guy come into your apartment and take your baby?  In his drug addled brain he thought he was saving the baby from the people who were after him.  I don't know exactly how it turned out, but I know the baby was returned unharmed and he had to go to prison for about ten years.  Whew!  I actually liked that guy when he was off the drugs.  He looked a lot like Jesus and he had a calming effect on the other inmates. Sometimes they would be rude to me and he could totally defuse any impending conflict and make everything calm and peaceful.  I was really glad to see him every week.  I'm sure he would have scared the crap out of me when he was on drugs.  

There were a lot of drug addicts in jail.  Meth was usually the drug of choice and let me tell you, Breaking Bad makes meth use look glamorous.  It's not.  At all.  It's disgustingness can be summed up in two words; "meth mouth."  People that smoke lots and lots of meth have little, smelly, rotten, black stumps where their teeth are supposed to be.  Apparently it is incredibly addictive because when a new meth head would come to jail, covered in scabs from compulsively scratching at his/her skin while high, the other meth heads would "buy" (with whatever the currency is in jail) the new meth head's scabs, yes SCABS, because apparently if you eat a meth head's scabs, you can get a little meth bump.  Here's a little advice for you; if you are ever in the presence of a bunch of meth addicts in withdrawal and they tell you they are willing to eat another person's scabs for a taste of meth; don't say, "Wow, and what would you do for a Klondike Bar?"  They don't think it's funny.  

I have another jail story but this post is getting too long so I'll save that one for tomorrow!  See ya!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Teenagers are Mean

When my kids were little everyone told me how sweet they were, and then they'd add "just wait until they are teenagers! Whew!"  Yeah right, my sweet little boy who was my very best friend was never going to turn on me. Get real!  

Well, he did.  He finally turned on me and broke my heart.  I know it's probably a normal teenager's reduced brain function, or hormones or something, but hey!  It still stings!  

There is a semi-formal dance at his school on Friday.  I asked him if he was planning to go to it and he looked at me like I was crazy.  No way was he going to a dance.  I thought it was only because he was too shy to ask someone to go along with him and threw out a few suggestions from the nice girls I know in his class.  He said no to all of them.  I suggested he go with his best friend.  He still said no.  What could be holding him back?  I know he wants to go.  Who wouldn't?  So I did the only thing a good mother could do.  I offered to go as his date. I offered myself up but it's not a truly altruistic gesture.  I really want to go to the dance.  I LOVED high school dances when I was in high school! 

He said, "NOOOOOOOO WAY!!!!" He acted like I suggested he run naked through the homecoming game.  What's wrong with me?  I've held up!  I'd pay for everything!  I'd even buy my own wrist corsage!  I told him all the advantages of going with his mom and he was not fazed at all!  Can you believe it!  I even suggested a double date with his friend Andy and Andy's mom. Still, he wouldn't think about it for even one second.  He didn't even try to let me down easy!  What a monster!  It's like I'm in high school all over again. 

But I'll show him.  I am going to find another date to this dance and just show up!  Then he'll be jealous!

Here comes Mommy!  Yay!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kira in the Car

Kira:  Dad, guess what my dream job is.

Mitch:  I don't know.  What is it?

Kira:  Well, it's not really a dream job, but more of a work-related fantasy.

Mitch: ......

Kira:  My dream is to quit a job.

Mitch:  ... okay

Kira: And if I can, I would like to slap someone on the way out.

Mitch:.... huh?  You want to slap someone?

Kira:  It doesn't necessarily have to be a person.

Mitch:  ...?

Kira:  Like, it could be a chicken or something.

Based on this conversation, I can picture Kira getting a job at a factory farm, pissing her boss off, getting into a screaming fight and then slapping her way out of the big chicken pen and a lot of ba-GAWK! screaming from chickens being slapped out of the way.  My sweet little baby wants to go postal in a chicken barn.  When she dreams, she dreams big!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I have an honest to goodness TROLL!

Did anyone watch SNL last Saturday?  There was a skit on about internet trolls, you know, the people who write mean or nonsensical comments on stuff other people have written, and they do it anonymously because they aren't brave enough to even leave an internet handle. Well, I have one now!  I'm kind of torn between being annoyed by it and being happy that I'm getting more comments.  Seriously, comments are so great, even the bad ones are fun to read sometimes.  That said, I am a little annoyed with this person.  I got nine comments from him/her within about 15 minutes on various posts.  I wondered how this angry person found me so I looked at my stat counter page.  Here is their first entry.

As you can see, whoever it is was in Minneapolis, they were using a PC and Firefox as a browser.  They were directed to my blog by googling "girls dad molest" which, Mr./Mrs. Troll, is just a little disturbing, almost as disturbing as the fact that google sent him/her to me.  He/she happened upon a post I wrote about how weird I think Prolife Across America billboards are and his/her first comment was "Thank God we can still kill babies in this country. Fuck ya!"  Well Troll, thank you for the comment, but I don't think you read what I wrote.  I was writing about how weird the "I could ____ before I was (insert fetal age here)" campaign is.  Of course, I'm sure my political opinion on the issue of abortion probably shines through, but that wasn't what the post was about because that is an issue that nobody is changing their minds about.  This is what I can tell about this troll from that very first comment.  He/she capitalized "God" so it is a religious person (probably only when it's convenient, however, because flaming a blog is not something Jesus would do), which probably explains the prolife stance but doesn't really explain the venom.  It is VERY sarcastic, obviously, which tells me that this person is angry in a general way.  I don't really get the "Fuck ya!" Is it supposed to be "Fuck Yeah!" or more of a "Fuck you!"  because I'll take either one, I guess.

Then next comment was made a few minutes later on a post about Kira asking if you startle bees if it makes them poop out a little bit of pollen.   He says to that one:  "Too bad you didn't abort her. She wouldn't be asking such dumb questions."  Okay, more anger but I have to admit, that was a pretty dumb question.  Dumb but funny!  Which is why I blogged about it.  This post has absolutely nothing to do with my stance on abortion, but Mr./Mrs. Troll can't get over that!  Still mad about it!  

The next comment was on another Kira in the Car post.  This one about what kind of plants she would least like to wipe with if she had to wipe with a plant.  To which he says, "Stupid children poopin' up our woods. Get the coat hanger!" which kind of made me laugh because the thought of kids poopin' up our woods makes me smile a little.  Then "get the coat hanger" which taken in the context of the other comments, I am assuming he thinks that I should abort her with a coat hanger for pooping in the woods.  First of all, she's eleven.  I can't abort her anymore.  She's not part of my body anymore.  She's been born.  For eleven years.  Secondly, abortions SHOULD NOT be performed with coat hangers!  I think that's the whole point of the pro-choice movement.  Abortions should be safe, legal and available.  No coat hangers!  Ick!  Dangerous!

Nextly, he/she commented on a post about nightmares I was having while reading the book Roots.  It's a pretty heavy, sad topic so I was having nightmares about babies being taken away from mothers.  My troll said, "Babies taken away? Just think of it as a really late term abortion. See, all better."  No Troll, I don't think you get the point.  If a woman CHOOSES to go through a pregnancy, she can CHOOSE to keep her baby or put it up for adoption.  It's about choice.  The slaves in Roots didn't have any choices about anything at all. Having babies, keeping babies, or anything else, for that matter.  That's what was so nightmarish about it!  They made a baby, loved it while it was in the womb, and then someone told them they had to give it up.  No choice!  Nobody WANTS to get an abortion.  Pro-choice isn't pro-abortion.  It's pro-getting-a-say-in-what-happens-to-your-body-and-your-life. 

A few minutes after that I got a comment on a post about when my niece was born.  My poor troll was starting to lose it and was making less sense.  The post was pretty much a birth announcement and he said, "Fucking abortion, man. I keep telling you but you don't listen. When did the fetus become a person? Oh after its born."  Nobody said anything about abortion so what does this even mean?  A fetus DOES become a person after it is born.  The first several weeks of pregnancy it is called an embryo, then it's a fetus, then after it starts breathing on its own and is separate from its mother, it is a baby.  So, I guess we agree?  I don't get why you're so mad at me.  

Then he commented on a post about what my sister was going to name her baby.  I wrote a post asking for suggestions.  His suggestion was "Abortion,"  which is not a good name for a baby at all.  I think he is still mad at me about the Pro-Life Across America billboards.  At this point I've pretty much decided it is a man who is doing this because women who are pro-life aren't generally so venomous.  This is the kind of anger I have usually seen in men who don't get what they want. 

The next comment was after a post I wrote about possibly the worst day of subbing I ever had.  It was in a remedial reading class full of obnoxious ninth grade boys.  Troll said, "Fucking Sped kids. Failed abortions." which is not a nice thing to say at all.  For one thing, I made a point to say that the kids in the class WERE NOT special ed. kids.  They were just jerks.  I don't think any of them were failed abortions either, but I have no way of knowing.  To be perfectly honest, I don't think abortions fail all that often so I don't know where you are getting your information.  

Next he commented on a post I wrote about how I told Mitch about how sometimes if my pants are tight enough I can make farts come out the top of my butt crack and how he was grossed out about that.  My troll friend said, "marriage abort! marriage abort! marriage abort!" which I don't really get.  What does that mean, Mr. Troll?  That we should divorce over back farts?  I don't think that is grounds for divorce but if it is, don't tell Mitch.  

The last comment was on a post about when Kira asked Mitch what is the thickest piece of beef jerky he has ever seen, which was weird, which was why I posted about it.  The troll said, "Its in my pants" which really made me sure it was a man because I don't think any woman would insinuate that her vagina was like a piece of beef jerky, but then again, why would a guy say his junk was like beef jerky?  Dry, dehydrated, withered and gross?  

So based on the little bit of information I have on my new troll named Anonymous, I think he is probably a man in his 30s living in the Twin Cities and he is mad about abortion because possibly he wanted to have a baby with a woman and she didn't want to.  Or maybe he impregnanted a woman and wanted to have the baby, but she opted for an abortion because sleeping with him was a big mistake, but not enough of a mistake that she should have to pay for it for the rest of her life by being forced to parent a child (poor baby) with him while trying to dodge his anger and venom and drama.    

And because he has a penis like beef jerky.  Yucky!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kira in the Car

Today on the way to hockey Kira was unusually quiet.  Mitch said, "What are you thinking about?"  Here is their conversation:

Mitch:  What are you thinking about?

Kira:  About a pigeon.

Mitch:  What about a pigeon?

Kira:  I want to get a pigeon and sharpen its beak a little bit every day, and feed it a tiny bit of lead every day.

Mitch:  Why?

Kira:  Then when its beak is sharp enough and has enough lead, I'll teach him how to write, you know, like a pencil.

Mitch:  ....But why???

Kira:  Then after he learns to write I'll teach him how to do math so I don't have to do it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, MOTHER!

Today is my mom's birthday.  She is the big 5-0!  Just kidding.  She's way older than that.  Remember?  I'm 41?  I wonder if she would be mad if I said how old she really is today?  I don't know.  Probably not.  Anyhoo, in honor of her birthday I will tell you my favorite story about my mom.  She is very practical and not given to a lot of mushy crapola.

When I was 11 years old, we lived in Australia.  We were visiting the Apostles Islands National Park, which is a series of beautiful cliffs on the coast.

My mom wouldn't let us go within fifty feet of the cliff edge, obviously, but my dad went up to the very edge, and when he looked down he noticed that there was another ledge about three feet below the main cliff and he thought it would be really funny to jump down to the lower cliff because we, being fifty feet back, would think he jumped the whole way down. I think the joke was supposed to be on my mom because Dad told us what he was up to. He went to the edge, looked down, jumped and disappeared. I remember my mom gasped and put her hands to her mouth and then said, "Oh my god! He has the car keys!"

I'd put a picture of my mom up here but she hates having her picture taken, so I won't.  I'll put her Facebook profile picture up instead.  It's not her, it's my niece, but people say that my niece looks just like my mom, so you can use your imagination and pretend you know what my mom looks like:

My mom, however, hardly ever wears a pig hat.  

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, generous, thoughtful, practical, MOTHER!  I love you more than all your kids put together!* 

*suck on that, Amy and Beth.