Yes, I read my horoscope.

And no, I don’t fucking care what my horoscope says. Even when the Fates tell Hades that Hercules is going to die in the Disney version, Hercules survives and saves the girl. Why? Because we are all in control of our own reality. We may not feel like it, and some days we don’t actually believe it, but ultimately: we control a lot of what happens to us. Maybe not actively, maybe only passively, but we play a fucking role.

Alright, now that I’ve caught your attention with anger – and exhausted myself with my own anger – I’m going to move on to the mooshy-gooshy stuff.

So, if I don’t care what my horoscope says, why read it? Why waste the time if I’m in control of my own fate? Well, because sometimes I don’t believe that I’m in control of it: just like you may or may not believe. Sometimes, I sit down with an empty head, and wonder what the hell I’m going to do next.

Horoscopes can sometimes feel like blowing out birthday candles, or throwing a coin into a wishing well: You know Jim Carrey isn’t going to actually go around telling the truth all of the time – or that you’re going to fall in love thanks to the water spilling out of Aphrodite’s breasts in that super famous, Italian fountain – but you have this weird sense of hope; right? You hope that maybe it will come true. Maybe, if you wish hard enough – if you want it bad enough – that you can finally influence that part of life you don’t have control over. And if it comes true, you feel like a badass! On the other hand, when the horoscope sucks, it’s great to walk out of the River Styx holding Meg while you glow gold like the motherfucking bad ass that you are! You just swam with the souls of thousands – if not millions – of dead people; and then survived while they attempted to steal every ounce of life from you! Well, that’s how I feel when I get a shitty horoscope and it doesn’t come true.

For me, even if horoscopes are bullshit – which many probably are – it doesn’t matter. I’m a winner for meeting “fate’s expectations” or, I’m a winner for exceeding “fate’s expectations”.

Either way, I’m awesome, and “fate” can suck it.

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Dishes and Dog Shit

Maybe I’ve decided upon a theme?

“Shit and Stuff: A Practice in Weekly Alliteration”. Does that sound good? haha!

Well, moving on. There is – after all – a point to this blog post.

Mostly, it’s centered around my newfound roommate: my step, brother-in-law. There have been a few nuances to work around, like making sure he knocks before opening our bedroom door, but I’ve already moved in on chore-bargaining.

For me, the ability to chore-bargain with a roommate is not only awesome, but imperative. The best part? I usually escape with the better compromise because I’m willing to take the shittiest job in place of the one job I hate the most. It’s not just chore-bargaining where I pick the worst for what I see as best. I once booked an aisle seat on a flight so that I could trade someone for a center seat. My husband was accompanying me on a work trip, but the flight didn’t have anymore side-by-side seats. I bought the aisle seat, and one of the last window seats for my husband. Then, on the day of the flight, I waited for the center seat person to get on the plane and asked if she wanted to trade. She didn’t even hesitate. Of course she didn’t want to sit between two strangers and give up the chance to sit on an aisle: score. For me, it was a win-win because I would rather sit next to my husband than sit on the aisle. The aisle has too much pressure. I feel obligated to wake people up when the flight attendant comes around asking about drinks and stuff. shiver No thanks!

Well, I used that same strategy for chore-bargaining. I know that my brother-in-law hates doing the dishes (apparent in his avoiding them for 3 days while the parents were out of the house). Here, dishes have to be done daily! There are 5 grown people living in one house: they pile up quickly. But, even with 4 dogs, the yard is big enough that dog poop only has to be cleaned up once a week.

For me, there’s no question: daily dishes 100-percent beat out having to pick up dog shit even once a week. Plus, because there are two of us, my husband and I do the dishes together. We share one room, so we share chores. So dishes/cleaning the kitchen with two people comes out as a better deal than two people having to argue about who will clean up the dog shit once a week: win-win!

What’s your dog shit vs dishes story? What have you offered to do for someone to avoid having to “pick up dog shit”?

forearm tattoo

Cat Shit and Rental Cars

Today we’re moving back to Eastern Washington (again) and – let me tell you – it’s been a hell of a ride so far.

A few days ago, we decided to rent an SUV so that we could move some of our stuff in my father-in-law’s truck, and other stuff in the SUV. It was the best option because we knew his truck wouldn’t fit everything, and our car only fits the gigantic bean bag chair we found on top of a college dumpster last summer (i.e., the most valuable piece of furniture we own).

I booked the SUV a few days ago, a few days later than intended, for a one way trip. I’ve booked through Avis a million times, so I was confident that I’d read all of the fine print. Plus, the pre-pay process didn’t look any different than it’s looked in the past, so I had no reason to think the price I was paying then would not be the final price. Well folks, I’ve learned a lesson for you: ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT! When I went to pick it up today, they let me know that they were planning to charge $27-something for the first 80 miles of the one-way trip, and then $0.30 per mile after that. To avoid this turning into a product review: it was going to be way too expensive and I’m broke AF right now (which is why we’re moving in with my father-in-law), and can’t afford another $100 to move our stuff. Luckily we can get a uhaul trailer for the price of the original rental car price.

But that’s not all folks. I haven’t touched in the cat shit part of the title yet. So let’s get to it.

Last night our cat straight up attacked our dog. We were worried because he’s batted at her face before, he’s landed a nice right hook and claw on her ass before, but he has never attacked her: or anyone for that matter. We locked him in the bedroom and dismissed it as stress from the move.

After 20 minutes or so, we let him out, but this time he was obviously in pain. He was hunched weird and favoring his back, left leg and growling like he was in pain. He was also growling at the back half of his body (uhg – just thinking about it makes me sad again). We thought that his fluffy butt – which he had gotten wet and matted before we could brush his long hair – was pulling on his naughty bits. Checked it out: nothing. So then I did an exam of his lower body: squeezed his tummy, his penis (oh, the life of owning animals), poked where his testicles would be, and final pulled his tail away from his anus. As soon as I moved his tail, he started growling again. It also looked as though there were poop crusties and I remembered that he hadn’t pooped all day. I unprofessionally diagnosed him with constipation. I looked up cat UTI and cat constipation videos on a vet’s YouTube page (Thanks, Internet) and it seemed like a reasonable diagnoses.

Well, that led to feeding him pureed pumpkin, raw rabbit meat from Small Batch, and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, he wasn’t incredibly interested in that. Next, we went to the store and bought Miralax and tuna in oil (all of this at 1am, mind you).

Now, the next morning, I’m sitting in the vet’s office glad that the rental car didn’t work out. We’re at the vet’s office because he still hadn’t pooped this morning and was still a little (but way less) angry at his asshole. On my way here, he shit in the crate. When they took him back to make sure he’s stable, he shit again. And now, sitting next to me in the waiting room, I think he pooped again. But the vet thinks it’s a UTI, not constipation.

Okay, so what do these things have to do with one another?

As I mentioned: we’re broke; AF. The cost of the rental plus the gas (before the mileage debacle) would have come out to around $165-ish. But because Avis has a shitty way of informing their customers about mileage, I got a trailer for the same price, but don’t have to pay gas. And, now I can pay for our cat to get an exam and some antibiotics.

It’s crazy how things that seemed really shitty can magically work out when you need them too. I’m not happy that we have to use a trailer instead, and I’m not happy that our cat is sick, but I am ecstatic that these two things happened at such a time that it’s mutually beneficial for my finances.

Right now, it looks like maybe his penis is hurt. They’re not sure if it’s a UTI (I’m typing this up while I wait for the vet). But either way, he couldn’t have gotten sick at a more opportune time.

Signing off for now. By the time you read this, it’ll have been almost a week since the issue.

Contributor @ Sacred and Subversive

Hello Everyone! Check out my article at Sacred and Subversive: Religious Shame No Longer Defines My Sexuality. I talk how my “religious” upbringing influenced my perception of my own sexuality.

Here’s an excerpt:

“But I was told that it was wrong. Girls don’t like girls. I remember watching countless movies and television shows in which female breasts appeared and then immediately feeling ashamed at that feeling between my legs. Any time it happened in front of a family member, I would look away as though being modest, but really, I didn’t want them to see my face turn bright red.”

Brain Dump: Talking about Gratefulness

Every November, a handful of my Facebook friends do the daily gratefulness-post-thing. Instead of posting my own, I simply read through theirs and admire the wonderful things that are going on in the world for my friends and family.

But this year, something is growing inside of me that is demanding to be shared. It’s part gratitude, it’s part anxiety (sh — don’t tell my happiness), and it’s part … well … I have no idea!

At this point, you might have realized that this is just a word vomit post. Those seem to be the most popular ones on here though haha! Maybe it’s because they’re my most genuine posts.

Guys … being an adult is scary, and I’m going through some changes, and I’m partially afraid to be accepting of those changes. But, I’m also partially accepting that I can’t always be accepting of everything that is happening because I can only control so much of it. Does that even make sense?

Uhg.

Well — I hope someone knows what I’m talking about. I’m just trying to get on track. I feel like I’m starting over – but in a totally different way that I’ve started over before. This is my new life. I know I talked about it before: this is my new life. I have to commit to this starting over thing. All of the events going forward are part of a new chapter in my life. I’ll have to reference previous chapters, but I can only review them so many times before I forget to look at what’s next; right?

Okay, goodnight.

Let me know in the comments below what you’re grateful for. Also, let me know if you’d like me to have a series of posts related to what I’m grateful for this year. It might be a bit intermittent as we move, but I’ll commit to it if it’s something you’d like to see.

Talk to you again soon!

It’s Okay to Cry

As held me on his lap, tears slipping quietly from his eyes as he lost the second woman he thought he loved, my dad was the first person to teach me that it’s okay to cry when you’re hurt.

He had just asked me if I wanted her – a woman whose name slips my mind – to be my other mommy; his wife.

I told him that I loved my mommy; that I wanted him and my mommy to be together again.

He told me that he did too, that he wished it could be that way, but that it wasn’t that way. I asked why. He said because my mommy and him didn’t love each other that way anymore.

I told him it wasn’t fair.

He said he already knew that.

And we cried together on that couch. He held me, his 4-year-old daughter, and he showed me that it’s okay to cry when you’re hurt. If we can’t cry when we’re hurt, when else can we cry? And if our parents or guardians don’t show us when it’s okay to cry, how will we know?

We won’t, because children could cry at many things. We cry at the unfairness of the world. We cry because we get hurt, or when we don’t understand how lightbulbs work. We really need to be taught when it is okay.

I’m glad that I learned from my dad because it’s easier for me to be okay with any tears my husband may cry. It’s easier for me to hold others, and tell them that it will all be okay, and cry with them. I’m glad because my children will one day see me cry, and they too will learn to understand that it is okay to cry when you are hurt, even if you are hurting on the inside and not on the outside.

Theu will learn because they also need to be okay when others cry. I want them to see tears – theirs and the tears of others – as pain, not weakness. And then they will remember that we all have pain, and we all need a little help when we are in pain, so hopefully they will also be good people.

That’s my only goal as a someday parent. And it is my only goal as a right-now human: to accept others as they are, and to help them when they are in pain.

Who are you, really?

“Who are you?”

How do you answer that? Do you start with your career, or something personal? Which is better?

I’ve never known how to answer that question, because the truth always seems to get me in trouble: I’m a woman living with ADD. It’s important for people to know that because my life has gone the way it has because of my ADD. My life, personality, and beliefs are shaped by it.

I ask a lot of questions because I’m genuinely interested in  others’ thoughts, opinions, and lives. But all too often I share too much of my truth on response because I hate superficial conversation.

I don’t actually care what your favorite color is; who you’re listening to at the moment; what you think of the weather; or, what you ate for lunch. That doesn’t interest me. I want to know you for you are. I’d like to understand you so that I know more about why you think the way you think. 

That means I also want you to know about me. I don’t really have a favorite anything; I listen to all kinds of music; the weather is the weather; and, unless we’re sharing, your lunch doesn’t matter. I just want to talk about the important stuff.

I’m inquisitive and I’m honest. There’s nothing more to say, really. I’ve worked on holding back the honesty, in fact I’ve reinforced the verbal dam quite a few times, but it’s getting to the point that I feel like a robot. Pre-determined messages bore me and kill pieces of me a little bit at a time.

I want the world to be good and honest. But that’s because I expect too much of the world.

Call or Fold: Talking to Myself

The “fuck it” pitch. That pitch where you just say, “fuck it, I’m submitting it. Who cares (me) if they don’t like it?”

I’ve had a million ideas like this, I just need the self-belief that I can actually do the work needed to write the damn piece in a way that doesn’t sound like trash.

That’s the part that scares me. It’s not coming up with a pitch, it’s that unstated commitment that you will then write a piece about that pitch.

Whoa, I mean. Aren’t we moving just a little too fast? Look, I never said we were going to get serious [insert editor’s name here], I just said this would be a cool idea! I never said that I would be the one to write it. Sheesh!

Stupid brain. When will you learn to take risks, and stop avoiding a rejection that might not exist?! When? Because your freelance dream is tired of waiting, and your corporate brain already retired, so it’s your move: just make it.

Call or fold?

#itsnotokay

​[trigger warning]

I’m sharing this as a blog because I think it’s important to get this out into the world.

My first experience with sexual assault was when I was 4-years-old. He was my babysitter.

I have no idea how old he was, but I remember him laying me on his chest in his darkened bed room, telling me that we were going to practice kissing. He told me my mommy and daddy wouldn’t understand, so I needed to watch for their car – which they would park across the street’ could be seen from his bedroom window, and was visible from my viewpoint on his chest.

My second, ongoing experience went on from age 12 to 16. He never touched me, but I heard crude “locker room” remarks from him almost daily. My body was changing as I hit puberty, and his “advice” was to sleep naked; even though he would come into my room to wake me up most mornings. He would make me give him a hug as soon as I got out of bed, wearing nothing but a sports bra and panties. I wrote baggy clothes, unflattering clothes, and hid my body as much as possible because I was afraid at home, and ashamed at school. I didn’t want anyone to know what my body looked like because I hated it. It didn’t feel like it belonged to me, it belonged to anyone who saw it, left up to them to judge its worth.

My third experience was with a boyfriend. He was three years older than me. We had met each other in person, but mostly talked online because I was 15 and didn’t have a car. It happened the one night I had gone to be near him. He wanted me to go to his house because his family wasn’t home. I knew what he wanted, and I knew that he could overpower me if he wanted it bad enough, so I declined and opted to stay the night at my aunt and uncle’s as originally planned; he decided to stay over too.

At about 2am, while I was laying awake as normal, he came out to check if I had fallen asleep (thank god I hadn’t). He asked me to go into the bedroom with him, but I told him I didn’t want to. He began kissing me, rubbing me, and then laid me down. I kissed back because I liked him, but it didn’t feel right. I pulled away a few times, but he just smiled at me and pulled me closer. He was stronger than me, and I figured it wouldn’t be a good idea to try to push him away. I did protest a little every time he increased the intensity of what we were doing, but he always just kept going like it was normal for me to say no at first. We didn’t have sex – I had made it very clear that I didn’t want to have sex until marriage – but he did dry hump me and press his knee against my crotch. 

I thought that, because it felt good, I must have wanted it to happen. But it felt dirty, and I knew I didn’t want it to happen again. I broke up with him the very next time we talked online. I told him it wouldn’t work since he lived 20 miles away, and neither of us had a car.

I’ve been lucky to have only had things go as far as kissing or dry humping. Others have had it much worse. I’m lucky that I was never drugged, or unconscious. I’m even luckier to have married someone who has never hurt me, and never would.

But it’s #notokay because it never should have happened. I shouldn’t have to say that I was “lucky” because even those instances are horrible and scarring. This #needstostop.

Confident, or nah?

People know me for my resilience and positivity. I look for the best in everyone and everything. Others’ failures are lessons, and I want them to know that.

But people close to me know that – like many others – I’m my biggest critic; usually to the point of fear.

Where does that come from? Why are we programmed to dislike so much about ourselves? Is it biological? Neurological? Or is it completely social? And why isn’t it okay to like yourself, or think you’re good at something? What’s wrong with knowing what you’re good at in this life?

I think it all comes down to how we talk about it. If we acknowledge that we’re good at something, but then we talk about it in a way that demeans others, that’s when we’re crossing from confident to cocky.

If we talk about our talent, but continue to give praise to those who might not be doing as well as they had hoped at the same endeavor, then we can be seen as confident.

What do you think?