The story of my life

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

...and that's how I learned about assholes.

I first discovered assholes when I was five years old.  I can’t prove I hadn’t run across one before then, but this incident clearly traumatized me enough to earn the esteemed recognition.

As I said, I was five. Several other kids and I stayed with my babysitter Margie. Margie was old school. We either took our asses outside to play or we took our asses outside to play. Those were our options. And we played until she unlocked the door and let us back in, which could be hours. Or worse. Once we went thirty-seven days barefoot in a snowstorm. It was the seventies.

Ok. I made that part up. There was no snowstorm, because it was August in Texas. We actually fucking melted to death and then shriveled up into a dehydrated chicharon pile in the middle of the street. Margie would come out, add water and we’d puff right back up. This is how resilient we were. We were free range children before free range presented you with a complimentary CPS case. It was survival of the fittest out there - no place for sissies. We were combating the elements, navigating complicated relationships with neighborhood bullies, and jousting fire ants the size of house cats.

One particular day I was playing in the dirt by myself. This was pretty customary because the other kids were older than me and had many other valid reasons besides age for not wanting to hang out with me. These reasons included, but were not limited to, my bizarre quirks, social awkwardness and sociopathic propensities. I was always keeping my eye out for a kid who didn’t know me yet so I could have a friend for at least a short bit before their instincts to flee kicked in.  

From my dirt pile, I spotted three new kids I’d never seen before approaching a dividing fence just a few feet away. “Hi!” I immediately called out. They ignored me, continuing their conversation and poking at something on the other side of the fence. I determined that they must not have heard me. “Hi!” I yelled louder, this time waving my arms just in case they didn’t see me.

They looked up at me and then exchanged glances, smirking. Happy they’d acknowledged me, I reached out further. “Wanna play?”

They looked at one another again, this time searching the others faces for a silent sign of unanimity. After a moment, the girl let a burst of laughter out and said, “Sure. Come sit down right there.” She pointed to a patch of ground on the other side of the fence. They two boys covered their faces, chuckling as I approached. “Right there”, the girl reiterated, pointing to the ground. “And we’ll sit over here.”

Their side of the fence was a person’s yard, and the grass was green and plush. The spot she pointed to was just a regular patch of dirt, no different than where I’d been playing previously. I sensed no danger and so I consented, taking a seat across from my new friends. I began to chatter to them about my cat’s new litter of kittens when they began to snicker, and then laugh louder. I was a hit! They must have thought I was really funny. This is what I’d been waiting for my entire short little life; someone to come along and finally see how fantastic I was, as they obviously had.

Just when I was getting to the good part of the story, I realized that perhaps that weren’t laughing at my witty delivery. The epiphany came in the form of a sharp pain on my back first, and then one after another in places all over my body. My brain was still processing what was happening when I looked down and noticed I’d been sitting in a fire ant pile. Remember that the fire ants in Texas are the size of house cats, and I was now covered in them. I jumped up and began to flail my body in such a way to fling them off, which set the evil trio into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Those fucking criminals had set me in that ant pile on purpose just to watch me die.

By now I was screaming actual bloody murder. Grown-ups can tell the difference in a scream that means one is actually about to die or a scream that means one is melting into a recoverable chicharon pile in the street. Margie sensed the urgency and immediately came outside. I don’t remember what she said to those little fucking assholes, but they took off running and didn’t look back. Meanwhile Margie beat the shit out of the ants that still happened to be attached to my body, and then carried me inside to tend to my wounds.

Then she made me a delectable dish christened Margie’s Mess and let me stay inside with her the rest of the week and watch Days of Our Lives. Occasionally I’d look out the window at the poor bastards writhing to death in the Texas heat and hope that they, too, could have a near death experience of their own to award them a little time on the inside.

Looking back, learning about assholes at such a young age properly prepared me for all the ones to come in the future. I was never taken for a fool again like that. I made the Texas heat my bitch, and kicked all the kid’s asses from that day forward.

Not really. Those fucking assholes came back the next week and shot me in the ass with a BB gun. To this day I don’t know who they were, but they taught me who I never wanted to be, and I’ll be forever grateful.

You'll Die. Period.

The is the true story of the time my father explained my period to me. Every time I tell this story, he gets mad because he says it's not true. But it is true, he just doesn't want anyone to know what a heathen he is. And I have always felt obliged to tell it to the world.

When I was twelve, I started my period in Literature class and had no flippin idea what was going on. I had heard some of the girls talk about this secret club they were in, but I was pretty sure this wasn't it, because who'd wanna be in that shitty club?

Back in the day, we didn't get sex ed or health class until sixth grade, so I didn't recall hearing anything about this particular phenomena. I was scared.

So I went home and my dad was lounging in his favorite chair. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Dad, I need to go to the doctor."

Dad: "What's wrong?"

Me: "I'm bleeding."

He looks up, interested. "Where?"

Me: "Uhhh..." I kind of look down. Then back up at him.

He leans up in his chair, very slowly, restraining a half-assed smile. "Uhh...shit. Don't tell me they haven't talked about this at school."

Me: "Talked about what?"

Dad: "Son of a bitch." He laughs for what seemed like a really long time. "Well sit down."

He leaves and returns with my childhood toys. What were once called pirates and ships had now apparently become tampons and pads. Suddenly I realized why my mom got onto me when I played with them on the front porch. Because they were a part of something evil. Tampons and Ouija boards...not to be fucked with.

So my dad tells me a little something about each of them and then goes into appropriate detail on the basic mechanics of how this stuff works. He then assures me he doesn't know the specifics about the fancy ones, like the ones that have wings and such. He tells me I'll have to take that up with my mother, but for now this should do.

scared girl

I guess he thought he was done. That that was the grand finale of this conversation, but I'm sorry. This was a blow to the plans I had for my life. I'm twelve and this thing is bullshit. I had questions!

Me: "Why am I having this?"

Dad: "Beats the shit out of me. All girls have it."

Me: "Till when?"

Dad: "Every month. Till you get old."

Me: "What?! Why?!"

Dad: "Didn't you ever read the story about Adam and Eve?"

Me: "That story was about a snake and an apple."

Dad: "Nothing gets by you."

Me: "I don't get it."

Dad: "Well that's just the way it goes. First your money, then your clothes."

Me: "What?"

Dad: "Anyway, do you have any more questions?"

I did have another question. It was the most important question I had ever asked in my life, and my dad would be the person to answer it. We were about to make a memory.

Me: "Well Dad. Does your blood replace itself?"

He looks me straight in the eye.

Dad: "No. After a few more of these, you'll die."

Wanted: Sick and Twisted Imaginations

I’m currently writing a series of distorted fairy tales that I’ll be releasing on e-book soon. But I thought to myself, now wouldn’t it be funny if I let my readers decide how the stories will be different from the original!

So here’s my proposal: pick your favorite fairy tale, give me a fun, interesting, or sick twist, and I’ll write it into the story. You’ll even get credit for the idea. Go!

How to get away with murder

I’m a pretty positive person. In fact, I’m a very positive person. I’m the person who makes everyone sick by posting inspirational shit on Facebook all day. These posts never gets comments, and rarely get likes. I’m ok with this because I post them for me, not everyone else.

A funny thing happened today. I think it says a lot about the human race, and my friends in particular.

I’ve had a bad few days, which is rare for me, and now I’d found myself having a bad morning, wishing a certain someone would disappear. This doesn’t necessarily mean I want them to die. They can disappear to Cancun for all I care, as long as they aren’t in my midst. I jokingly posted the following:

If you were to kill someone, how would you ensure that you wouldn't get caught?

The reason no one comments on my rosy, feel good posts is that people don’t want to talk about rainbows and kittens. Death and destruction, on the other hand - that they want to discuss. The comments began rolling in.

I’ve listed some of my murder advice in the order in which it was given:

1. “Feed them to the hogs.”

Although this idea is romantic, logistically speaking, this would be an unreasonable avenue for me to take. For one, I don’t even know any hogs. For two, I would leave all kinds of DNA from point A to point B, and for three, how am I going to throw a grown, alive man to the hogs? I don’t think he’s going to be having that shit. So on the surface it seems like a real option, but just not realistic for what I’m looking for.

2. “Sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide will do the trick in as little as a few hours if done correctly but it's not as easy as one thinks.”

This one thinks I’m looking for easy murder, not hard murder. Next.

3. “Actually a few eye drops of visine in their drinks over a slow period of time will kill them and never be detected.”

This idea made my heart swell. This is the kind of solution I was looking for. No blood on my carpet, no dragging heavy bodies and throwing my back out. Nice and tidy. This person is a true friend.

4. "Ice bullets."

This is pretty genius, really. But where do I buy an ice bullet gun? And there’s still the possibility of being caught on camera or leaving fingerprints on the ice bullet gun. And I live in Texas so the bullets would melt and then that would be called a water gun. I don't know about this one.

5. “Thought this through....because you just never know....let's say they just "accidentally" die...it happens...freeze the body, cut up the froze parts...get your wood chipper and take it and your frozen body out on the lake...around a unpopular area in the water...push the parts through the wood chipper out into the lake....fish will love it....dump the wood chipper and the chain saw you used to cut up the frozen parts into the lake....done....asshole deserved it.”

There are a couple of things I really like about this comment. First, I appreciate how she’s thinking of the fish’s feelings. Not many people have that kind of heart these days so that gave me the warm fuzzies. Secondly, I like how she immediately takes my side at the end not even knowing the situation. This shows she has confidence that I thought it through and I’m making a rational decision based on facts. That means a lot. Though I feel like the plan could work, there are too many moving parts to this idea. My luck I’d end up tripping and falling into the wood chipper, and that’s the wrong dead person.

6. “As a general rule a shot gun is a good weapon. Purchase the ammo several months in advance from a bulk sales location (Walmarts are a good choice) and then. ...wait. Um. I don't know. I've never thought about it.”

I agree that a shotgun is going to get the job done. Again, video, fingerprints, or he takes the gun from me and shoots me instead. This has to be a little more sneaky.

7. Call Hillary!

Hilarious! Except she'd want the murder in exchange for my vote sooo...next.

8. A girl sent me a link but here’s the gist: “Carfentanil has made its way into the area and onto Cleveland streets. Carfentanil had already been circulating and killing people in Akron and Summit County.”

This is something I could easily pick up in Bellmead. For those of you who don’t know where Bellmead is, be thankful. This carfentanil is made for tranquilizing or killing elephants. Just a fun little fact. Quick and easy killing. Thoughtful idea.

For me, the clear winners were number 3 and number 8. I felt like these people were really looking out for me to make sure I wouldn’t get caught, and that was the whole point. So maybe people aren't hitting “like” on my inspirational posts, but when it matters most, they’re going to step in and help me get away with murder.

Just when you think there’s no good left in this world.

Enlightenment, by Jim

My dad stops by almost every morning to have a cup of coffee and enlighten me on some matter of life, whether it be how they manufacture bolts, to how to study for a test, to how pigs give birth. All these conversations happened this morning, so I'd like to pass on that enlightenment to you all today.

First let's talk about how they manufacture bolts. The first thing they do is who cares. I wasn't listening to that part. My eyes were glazed over, and I was just nodding my head as my soul died right there inside me. I'm soulless now. Thanks Dad. Next.

According to my dad, anybody can make a good grade on a test if they study the right way. I don't know why we were having this conversation, because I'm pretty sure I'm done taking tests, but if I ever do find myself having to study for one, the secret is, apparently, to growl and get mad at it. That's right.

You look at your subject matter, get pissed, and actually growl at it....GGGGRRRHHHH. According to dad, this is how you study properly. He did demonstrate the correct technique for me so I wouldn't mess it up, and I apologize for not providing a video. In short, you have to grit your teeth, tighten your shoulders, ball up your fists and growl. Now, my dad is almost 80 years old, so it's been awhile since he took a test. I think he may be confusing studying with taking a shit, though I've never growled as I pooped. But to each his own. Anyhow, if any of you are test takers, please try out this technique and let me know how it works. If it causes you to have a bowel movement instead, then I guess we have our answer. Moving on.

My dad LOVES baby pigs. They are clearly his favorite animal since he's been going on about pigs for the last forty years. The qualities that make a pig the best animal, according to dad, include being cute, being cute as a bug in a rug, and lastly, being so cute that you just want to bite them. This is logic that can't be refuted.

Today was a special moment though, when he shared the story of the beautiful experience he had as a child watching a pig give birth. He lived on a farm in Iowa as a little one. He had to walk uphill and listen to terrible tales of how bolts were made. Times were tough.

Anyhow, there he was, hanging out with the pigs, when out of the blue something thumped him on his side. He looked down to find a newly born baby pig. Well that baby pig got up and took off running to "a spicket", otherwise known as a nipple, on its mother. My dad watched in amazement as the pig's cannon vagina shot several more babies out like cannon balls. Pqew!! They made that noise when they shot out of her, and when they hit the ground and rolled they made a throoomp! sound. Then, they'd get right up and take off running to a spicket. 

This whole story seemed suspicious to me. Cannon vaginas? Fully operational brand new babies? I started to Google "pig birth", but then I closed that window down. If this story isn't true, I don't even want to know it. I want to believe a pig's vagina is a weapon, and brand new baby pigs can do shit right out of the box.  After all, I wouldn't want anyone questioning the truthfulness of my stories, because, pft. NO.

Writing requires embellishment, as do my dad's stories. That's what makes them good. My niece is always telling me that I exaggerate eeeverything. Well no shit, Sierra. Writers are big fat liars. My whole job in life is to sit around and make shit up, or at the very least embellish the truth. Funny because people hate liars, but those same people love writers. My dad's stories pretty much drive me crazy, but if he were to write them down I'd think they were fucking brilliant.

His fabrications have rubbed off on me over time, causing me to look at every ordinary situation and wonder how I can make it more interesting. This makes life more fun and writing a whole hell of a lot easier. Revisionist history, if you will. If you want facts, watch the news.

Facts......news...see what I did there?

Stay tuned for more big fat lies and remember; no fact checking allowed.

Jerk in the box

I’ve been going to Sonic every morning for twenty years. I get a Route 44 Diet Coke. It starts my day off nicely, not just because of the drink, but because after that many years you tend to cultivate relationships with the people who work there. I don’t even have to push the button when I pull in. Beverly sees me, comes over the speaker and says something like, “You look grouchy. Need a Xanax?” She never gives me a Xanax, but sometimes she gives me free drinks. That’s the shit.

Beverly is somewhere in her fifties. Her hair is died an unnatural red and it pokes out of her visor like chicken feathers. Her eyes are that super light, damn near evil blue. She’s very tan and has deep wrinkles, but I find her face very pleasant to look at. I enjoy her particular style of conversing and her mannerisms are unusual and charming. Beverly attends NA every single day and is on probation for ten years. I’ve never asked what she did but she was a very bad girl. She doesn’t like alcohol. She has three grandchildren and she likes them. She works hard and doesn’t like when they hire meth heads who are unreliable and always stick her alone on the shift. She was married for seventeen years to Benny who can now fuck off for all she cares. Beverly is a Leo. These are all things I’ve picked up from our transitory conversations in the morning.

Recently, though, my morning drink stop changed to Jack in the Box because Sonic started opening later. This makes me sad because the diet coke at Jack in the Box sucks. The ice is all wrong. It’s big and melty. They put barely any in there so by the time you get where you’re going, you have one giant lukecold sucky drink. At Sonic, the ice to drink ratio is always perfect and the ice is tiny and light and fluffy. It’s a pretty fucking magical experience. In truth, I could go somewhere other than Jack in the Box for my diet coke, and probably get a pretty comparable drink to Sonic, but I don’t really go there for the drink.

I go there for Mike. Every morning when I pull up to the speaker, a deep voice greets me. “Good morning, this is Mike. It’s a great day! How may I help you?” Well good morning, Mike.

It took me a mere three days of ordering before he knew my voice and what I wanted. These are the things that make life worth it.

Our relationship blossomed very quickly. Mike knows me. I know Mike. We are buddies. We have an unbreakable bond. At least until Sonic changes its hours back. And the reason Mike knows me is because he’s always taken the time to talk to me while I wait for my drink. He knows my story. I know his story. He’s my Jack in the Box Beverly. Every morning is special. Until today.

Before I continue, I feel it’s necessary to provide some information relevant to the story.

  • If you wear glasses, you’re smart.
  • If you tie all your hair on top of your head in a ball, you’re lazy and can’t bother taking the time to fix your hair. BUT, if you pull bangs out where they fall down the side of your face, your hair looks so beautiful and you must be going to a ball. This is considered the fancy bun, even though it’s actually lazier than the lazy bun. Go figure.
  • A bun/glasses combo: If you wear a fancy bun with glasses, you are a school teacher.

This morning, I wore a fancy bun, and of course I wore my glasses because I’m a blind motherfucker and nobody needs a Friday morning massacre because I plowed into a pack of hobos at the Jack in the Box. I wore the fancy bun because I woke up late and didn’t have to time to screw with it. And because people would assume I spent hours on it and I was attending a ball later.

When I pulled up to the window, Mike was making my drink and his manager greeted me. I’d never seen this woman before in my life. She was a black lady, probably fortyish, with a big gold grill beaming back at me. “Well good morning! You all ready for school today?” she shrilled.

Ready for school? She looked at me for literally two seconds, made a judgment, and her confidence level was SO HIGH that she was right that she blurted that dumb shit out of her fat mouth.

This may not seem like a big deal to anyone else but this sort of thing really gets under my skin. Who likes to be summed up with one look? Nobody, that’s who.

A school teacher? What if I was a stripper? Am I not believable as a stripper? That shit is offensive to me. I could’ve been on my way to stick my vagina in someone’s face this very morning, lady. Or maybe I’m an assassin. And you’re next. Maybe I’m the CEO of Jack in the Box randomly checking the drive through for quality, and suddenly now my credentials are stripped away and I’m a school teacher. As the CEO of Jack in the Box, you’re fired. Maybe, lady, I run a splinter cell of ISIS, and now you’re gonna be all blown the fuck up for being a judgy infidel.

“Well good morning! You all ready for school today?” She’s grinning from ear to ear, awaiting my response. I could’ve done the same to her - profiled her based off two seconds of information. ”Well good morning! Don’t pop a cap in my ass G, I’m just looking for a diet coke up in here!” or “ Well good morning, you ready to smoke some crack today?”. But I did not do either of those things because I’m not a fucking racist or an inconsiderate profily profiler.

I looked at her, expressionless. “I’m not a school teacher. I don’t even like kids.” Mike grinned at me. He knew that. Fucking Beverly knows that. My nieces and nephews know that. My coworkers know that. Tom Brokaw knows that. But she didn’t take the time to know that, or anything else. Her expression suddenly changed. What? This ratchet bitch doesn’t like kids? She made a rotten egg face. A judgy, rotten egg I’m about to call CPS on you face. At least this time she was judging me based off of some actual information. 

I took my shitty drink and drove away, thinking to myself that this is exactly what’s wrong with the world. People are all too ready to put you in a box based off absolutely no real information other than your skin suit. We have to do better. Tomorrow I will take her a coupon for a weave and see if I can somehow mend this relationship.

In the meantime, Happy Friday! Be good to one another.

Growing pains

There was a time in my life, not so long ago, when I could write about ugly babies and it would bring me much delight. More than it should have. The fact that I’m having a difficult time writing about this leads me to believe I’m growing up. Or something. Let me tell you the story.

I was in Panera the other day with my sister and a coworker. This woman and her unbearably unattractive child sat at the table across from us. I looked at my sister. I looked at the coworker. Neither seemed to be the least bit startled by the little creature. Was I the only bad person in the room? Surely not.

The kid didn’t seem to have any other redeeming qualities, either. It spit and made noises, whined and threw its sandwich at its life giver. I say “its” because I couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl.

What I noticed, though, in observing this little one, was how uncomfortable I had become in acknowledging the ugliness of a baby. I felt guilty about it. Really fucking guilty. A couple of years ago, I would’ve snapped a photo, Facebooked it, and made it my wallpaper. Not this time.

I made a decision to not say anything about the ugly baby. But the longer I ate my soup and mulled on it, the more rebellion set in and the more compelled I felt to bring it up.

Going against my inner voice, I flatly stated, “That’s the ugliest kid I’ve ever seen.” I immediately felt like shit, just like my inner voice warned me I would.

My sister looked at the child, thought for a moment and said, “Well. She has some interesting features. With those full lips and big eyes, she’ll most likely be a very good looking adult. Probably a model with that bone structure.”

Probably a model. My coworker agreed, adding, “She’s already not eating her food, so she’ll be good at it.” Then he quickly changed the subject to his best friend who has the prettiest kids in all of America, supposedly due to the fact that they have a French mother.

As he carried on, I wondered how I’d arrived at such a place where I could no longer feel comfortable noticing the ugly in others. And how had I ever felt comfortable about it in the first place? She was just a tiny little human trying to make her way in the world, just like I was when I was little and ugly as a marmot. I certainly didn’t like when people pointed out my afro, thick glasses or bucked teeth. How had I become such a shithead?

I said a silent apology to the little one on my way out and decided to grow the fuck up. What this entails, I don’t know. I hope it means I can still acknowledge when babies are being assholes, because that would make me sad if I start feeling bad about that. But from here on out, ugly is off limits.

As I pat myself on the back for becoming a better person, I wish you a happy Wednesday. Be kind to one another.

5 Double Standards for Cats

Ah kitty cats. We love them. We spend hours online looking at them. But have you ever really given any thought to the double standards cats have in relation to humans? Let’s take a look.

  1. Cats can kill things and totally get away with it. They are natural born killers. Not only is this quality expected in a feline, but it’s encouraged. They often express their love and affection by leaving a dead bird or mouse at the doorstep of their person. Their person will then reward this adorable behavior with a snack, several kisses, and a bragulatory Facebook post. This only works for cats, though. Suppose a person were to drag a dead carcass up to a loved one’s doorstep. People would get all bitchy about that. Adorable is not the word the authorities would use, and it would not be rewarded with a display of affection or a treat. But cats can murder freely and lick their ass right afterward like it meant nothing. They are cold, sociopathic killers that we trust to sleep at our necks at night because they’re cute. That’s fucked up.

  2. Cats can have thirteen baby daddies and have sex in public and nobody blinks an eye. They are exhibitionists like no other, licking their asses, hissing, fighting and indiscriminately screwing. They have eight babies at a time and leave them at home alone right as soon as they’re born. They are the epitome of what my mother would consider to be a heathen, yet they are the most widely adored animal in the world. Cats have the freedom to behave any damn way they choose and no one will judge them for it. In fact, we happily stay behind and take care of the kittens when mom has gone off gallivanting like she owns the place. When she comes back hissing for us to get away from her kids, what do we do? We get away. Like little bitches. Then later, the same cat will jump up and lay on your face like you weren’t even using it. Again, not something people can get by with.

  3. Cats have nine lives. This means they can mortally fuck up eight times without any real and lasting consequences. People brag on cats for how many lives they’ve used up as if it’s a badge of honor, not a mark of stupidity like it would be for a human. If this were a person, it would be a tearful episode of Intervention where some poor grandma would blabber on about how she can no longer watch Jimmy destroy himself. No one would high five him or give him any credit for still having three legit lives left. They would just read their letters and sob, vowing to not let him back in the house until he straightened up. Meanwhile the same judgmental family would build a hole in their door so the cat could get in and out with its latest victim. That’s just messed up.

  4. Cats don’t have to have any special skills or know the right people to be famous on YouTube. All they have to do is cat things. Even just a regular sleeping cat can cause a rumble across the interwebs. Nobody cares about a regular sleeping person. People have to jump through hoops to get noticed and get famous. A cat just has to be hairy and cute. They need no talents or even a good personality. They can be assholes and go viral in fifteen seconds. Cats can get through life on looks alone. Not people. No, we get wrinkly and old and at some point better either have a good personality or know something. A cat is cute until it’s elderly and dies. It doesn’t have to know shit, be nice, or have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. That is bullshit. 

  5. A cat’s sanity never comes into question when it randomly attacks people and other animals. This is what cats do. They practice for murder. Ankles, other pets, babies and feet in the middle of the night are all fair game, and then some. Afterward, the tired kitty will take a nap. People cannot get by with this shit. Random attacks earn special gifts known as a felonies with the added bonus of a protective order. People just don’t understand when you tell them you’re brushing up on your murder skills. A cat can literally crawl up your leg with its claws sunk into your flesh and you wouldn’t do a damn thing about it. Guess what. I scratch a bitch, I’m going to jail.

These are just a few of the many double standards cats have. Examined more closely, the little bastards aren’t really all that precious.

But don’t tell my cat I said that.

The Offiical Prayer of Hillary Clinton

Oh Hillary, which art a heathen

Liar be thy name

Two Clinton’s come, thy will be scum

In the office as it is in the bedroom

 

Give us this day our daily dread

And forgive us for passing

As we forgive you for passing gas all over us

 

And lead us not into segregation

But deliver us from your bullshit

For thine is the Klingon,

The prowler, and the phony

For ever and ever

Oh man.

Why I don't visit public pools

My phobia with public pools began at the tender age of nine. My parents sent me to the Lion’s Club summer camp that year as a way to spark my interest in something other than murder and mayhem. Since my social life at the time was pretty piss poor because I was such a strange little fucker, I tended to attract the same type of kids. This summer it came in the form of a hefty Mexican gal named Loretta. She had no friends or prospects, so I was pretty much a shoo in.

The thing about Loretta was she had some pretty gross habits including, but not limited to, wiping boogers on her sock and later peeling them off to scratch her arm, being a wet sneezer and not even attempting to cover her mouth, and heavy mouth breathing. Still, I didn’t have any other options so I went with it.

This particular scarring day we sat down to eat lunch before heading out to the pool. My mom had made me a peanut butter and banana sandwich with Ruffles and a pickle. My favorite. Loretta had two bologna sandwiches with mayonnaise oozing out of them and a can of sardines. I thought that was the grossest thing I’d ever heard of, but she loved the combination and scarfed everything up, loudly breathing and smacking down to the last bite. Jesus. I needed better friends. I looked around in hopes of getting lucky, but now people were staring at us and whispering. I’d already associated myself with the oily fish slurping mouth breather. There was no coming back from this one.

We were instructed that it was time to get our swimsuits on and make our way to the pool. Thank God. I was ready to escape Loretta’s company and maybe save a little face with the other kids. Loretta had other ideas though. She wasn’t letting me get away that easy, and pretty much affixed herself like a tick my side. I tried losing her a couple of times but have you ever tried to lose a tick? It’s not so easy.

The next words are very painful and difficult to put on paper. I find myself becoming physically ill reliving this dark day, but I feel it’s necessary for my healing and also to make others understand why I’m never accepting your fucking invitation to the pool so leave me alone already.

I will never claim to be any kind of athlete, but I can at least jump in a pool without drowning. Loretta could not. Her big ass jumped in, took on water, and quickly began to gag and cough it up. She was hacking so hard that the cough graduated to a throw up.  By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late to swim away. Oily, sardine infused mayo began to spew from her mouth into a forceful torrent heading directly toward me. I panicked and tried to swim away, but it was no use. A smelly stream of Loretta’s liquidy lunch had made it to my arm. It was touching me. I swatted at it like a herd of hornets, but then it just got all over my hand and splashed on my face. I don’t know that I can effectively describe how the combination of mayo, sardines, chlorine, throw up, and the piss of two hundred children tastes, but I welcomed death. It did not come.

I wish I could say that was the worst part of the story, but I can’t. Once the contents of her stomach had splashed upon my face, it was all over. There we were, already pariahs, both puking in the middle of the pool.  You’ve never seen children scatter like they did that day. The pool had to be closed down and everyone hated our guts, including the grown ups.

I never talked to Loretta again after that, and she quit trying after a couple of attempts. It was too much to relive, and every time I saw her face it was a reminder that I ate her throwup and I wished I was dead. We finished the summer out as loners, me dismembering flies for fun and Loretta scratching her psoriasis with dried up boogers. Thankfully there was no one at that camp from my school, or my entire life may have taken a different turn. I believe in my heart that if classmates would’ve caught wind, I’d now be a schizophrenic bag lady in WalMart parking lot selling hand-crafted necklaces of fly corpses.

Sometimes I wonder where Loretta ended up. I wonder if she knows that I can’t visit a public pool now, thanks to her. I wonder if she ever started covering her mouth, for Christ's sake. I wonder if she’s a hobo in a WalMart parking lot somewhere. But mostly, I wonder if there’s any drug I can take to block out this memory.

I wish for death. It never comes.

The positive power of cursing

Today I was thinking about how much I love expletives. I know most people don’t find it ladylike to curse. That or it’s just not holy. Well fuck that. It relieves stress and improves mood and I love myself enough to give my body what it needs. If you don’t believe me, there are numerous scientific studies proving this to be true. Still don’t buy it? Well you can perform a scientific experiment of your own.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A pinky toe 

  2. A dresser

Now, go slam your baby toe into the corner of the dresser and say, “darn”. Nothing will happen. Your toe will pound and your soul will shrivel up and die a little. However, if you yell “Mother fuck fuck fuck!” really loud, you can actually feel the pain drain from your toe and your heart will smile with gratitude. That’s true shit.

My parents didn’t really curse all that much that I remember. No, I remember learning my curse words from the twins who lived in the house behind me. Their names were Kim and Becky – they were my age, and they knew all the good curse words; the words with a serious stigma associated with them. Words that grown men only used sparingly, Kim and Becky would holler freely from their back yard. Not only did I learn every curse word in the English language, and some in Spanish, but I also learned the therapeutic value of cussing – a priceless lesson I will never forget.  Thank you ladies.

That being said, I do realize that it’s not always appropriate to curse. In these instances, I’ve adapted to create my own curse words out of regular words. People still get the gist, but since I’m not technically saying a bad word then I can’t get in trouble. I’ll give you a for instance.

My boss’s last name is Berk. He is the source of most of the stress I experience in a day and has his very own pseudo-curse word in his honor. One day, after he’d bugged me for about the 27th time, I finally lost my shit. A coworker asked what was the matter and I told her I couldn’t get any work done because I’d been getting Berked in the ass all day. Because no one likes this man, the term really caught fire. Now, getting Berked has become standard work vocabulary while at the same time fulfilling the need to release pressure without actually cursing.

Some people will say I’m a hypocrite because I’m such a spiritual person, yet I love to cuss. Well guess what. I don’t think Jesus is mad at me. If anything, I think he’s on board with it. Good for your health? Check. Relieves stress? Check. Hurts no one? Check. See? Jesus-approved.

What I love more than anything in this world is to hear someone cuss that never ever cusses, especially if it’s a really bad word. This makes me happier than a pile of kittens. I have a coworker who is the purest, nicest man I have ever met. He’s not judgy though, so I feel a certain amount of freedom to say what’s on my mind with him, but I do try to keep it PG. One day, while bitching about Berk, I said, “that guy is a real butthole!”. My coworker looked at me, fidgeted sheepishly with his notebook, and whispered, “Yeah. Yeah. He really is a mother fucker”.

Well I lost all control and fell out of my chair laughing. It was one of those laughs that I couldn’t contain or stop no matter what I did. The more I laughed, the more he laughed. Soon others came along, laughing at the fact that we were laughing. Berk showed up. He began to laugh, which just made us laugh ten times harder. This went on for about ten minutes, but the benefits lasted the rest of the day. It had been a terrible Monday for everyone, but after that the atmosphere was bright and happy, and all because one little man reached down deep in his soul and pulled out the word mother fucker. He changed lives that day, and that, my friends, is what I call holy.     

There is no wrong or right, just write

This writing thing is something I’ve been doing my entire life. It’s the first interest I can ever remember having as a kid, other than cats and the fly genocide going on every evening on my back patio. What they say about writers is mostly true: they’re a little screwed in the head, most drink a lot or have some sort of substance abuse problem, and most are introverted to an unhealthy extent. All pretty accurate, and so what. Those things can be awesome sometimes.

I got to thinking about this today, wondering why so many writers have gone off the deep end. The answer came to me pretty simply, at least speaking from my own personal experience.

It’s amazing how many people you’ll encounter in a lifetime who are more than willing to tell you that your dreams aren’t possible. They’ll tell you it’s way too hard, that even the best writers only end up living the life of a starving artist. I’ll never forget a boss I once had telling me, “Even GOOD writers probably will never make it, so if I were you I’d get another hobby.” Even good writers. Pft.  Fuck YOU.

When I was a little kid, my dad would always encourage me to write a book so I’d be the youngest author in the U.S. Well, some little bastard went and beat me to it, and after that my dad acted like there was no way it would be possible to do it now, without having some kind of angle, like being the youngest, for instance. I couldn’t possibly make it off of my writing alone. Again, fuck that shit.

You’d think though, that something I’ve been doing my entire life would be so much easier. One would think that the thing I love the most would bring me the most happiness. Hell no. This shit tortures me, day in - day out. It’s a need that I can’t shake, like a drug, but like the drug, it’s something I don’t want to do as much as I want to do it. This paradox is why I could build a decent cabin in the woods out of Franzia boxes.  I could have some pretty fancy light fixtures too, thanks to Tito’s vodka.

It’s a calling that I never asked for. It’s a fix like no other, and a downer like no other. It’s either fun or the reason I drink. There’s never any middle ground. When it’s not fun and I leave it to go do something else, it’s all I think about. When it is fun, a world full of problems just disappears.

I can’t tell you how many screenplays or half-written books I’ve tossed in the trash like they were trash. I’ll never forgive myself for deleting my A Cheeto Named Larry blog that I had for so many years. That blog had thousands of entries. That’s the equivalent of drowning all my babies in the tub. One thousand times. I’m that bitch.

Point is, I’ll never do any dumb shit like that again. Even bad writing by my standards is still writing, and writing is what keeps the monsters away. This is also why the naysayers and negativity from others no longer affects me; because now I realize - I don’t do this with the hopes that one day I’ll make it. I just do this to make it through today.

Diary of a Profiler

A few years ago I had a work colleague named Justin. We became pretty good friends, we ate lunch with the same group of people every day and bonded over the misfortunes of others. I wasn’t a very good person back then. It was a special time.

Often, he’d say to me, “You’ve gotta meet my wife. You’d love her! She’d love you!”. In the back of my mind I’d think, yeah right, she’s probably some kind of faggot. I say this because I had another good friend who always told me the same thing. He claimed his wife was awesome and she’d be my next best friend. Well guess what? She wasn’t awesome. She was a faggot.

I’ve come to realize that usually there’s only one fun person in the couple. Normally one half sucks while the other takes up the slack and stays awesome. I’ve found this to be true time and time again, so I was really hesitant to meet Justin’s most assuredly skanky wife. Screw that cow.

I couldn’t avoid it forever, though. As Justin and I became better friends and started to share some friends in common, there was no way I could dodge them at cookouts and parties. If we did meet, she’d probably think I was trying to steal her man and demand that I keep my ho ass away from him. She might throw dip or potato salad on me, and then we’d engage in an awkward hair pulling match. Either that or she’d be so jealous of my stunning beauty that she’d kill herself, and who needs that shit on their conscience anyway? I had to face facts: my friendship with Justin was about to come to an end once his big steaming pile of wife lumbered into the picture.

Rebecca was her name, but Justin referred to her as Button. Button, the big lumbering faggot. I was ready to get it over with. Rip the band aid. I’d come to terms with it. My husband at the time suggested we have a party and invite them, and so we did. I figured it was best to get the bitch on my turf anyway. That way when the bean dip went to flying I could reasonably put her in a chokehold in front of her children and no one could say they blamed me. 

It’s funny how things work out.

Before meeting Button at our cookout, I hadn’t written anything in a couple of years. In fact the very last thing I wrote was for Justin. He was going to be gone from work for a couple of weeks, so I thought it would be funny to keep a daily chronicle of what we ate that day, who said what to who, who was pissy, and who was wearing something stupid. You know…the standard stuff we’d talk about had he been there. I didn’t want him to feel as if he’d missed out on anything. I’m very thoughtful like that. He’d mentioned to me that his wife thought it was really funny, which I appreciated even coming from the hussy who was about to steal my joy.

Fast forward to the party. When Justin showed up, he wasn’t with his Shrek-bride, but instead with a model looking beauty.

Must be his sister. I was sure of it.

To my surprise, this woman was Button, and turns out she was fucking delightful. She was immediately hilarious, which is a quality I value above saving babies and curing cancer, and she was really different. The good different that you rarely find in people. The different that lets you be whoever you are, she’s gonna be whoever she is, and together you’re gonna be some really funny bitches.

This woman was a complete stranger, yet she sparked something in me that made me need to write. She really encouraged me on just from reading that one little piece of shit memoire I wrote for Justin, and she’s the reason I started writing again and I’m writing now. Anytime I lose my mojo, one simple conversation with her can ignite a nonsensical stream of consciousness that last for weeks. That’s magical shit right there. Also, that means you should forward any complaints you have over to her.

It’s rare that God sends us one of these people, much less two or three. Now, He’ll send us plenty of assholes to teach us things, but every now and then you’ll get a true gift. I’ve been lucky to have many very special people like her come along, and so today I’d just like to celebrate friendship and tell you all to quit being so damn judgy. My fat ass nearly missed out on a blessing because of it. So go be awesome to someone today. And remember, lumbering faggots lives matter.

How to use fear to conquer fear

I had a bad case of OCD when I was a kid. Although this disorder was a hindrance in my life, I discovered that I had a certain amount of control over it. I could make it come and go depending on who was standing there, because I didn’t want anyone to know what a little sociopath I was. I was already a buck-toothed, four eyed nerd that received way more attention than I ever wanted based off that criteria alone. Adding mental illness to public opinion seemed a selfish monopoly of their curiosity. So while I knew I was a little nuts, no one else had to. That’s the genius of crazy people and the reason most people don’t realize others are crazy until it’s too late.

So this is sort of a story about how I broke myself of my compulsive habits utilizing fear instead of doctors, medications, or exorcists.

I’ve found that fear is a two-headed monster. On one hand it’s a great motivator; on the other a debilitating, utterly unrewarding emotion. Let’s clarify the distinction here.

When I was a kid I was in love with a boy named Brad. I would pedal my bike by his house with the hopes of getting a mere glimpse of him. These days they call that stalking. Most days it was a phenomenal waste of time because he was never outside, but on one particular day it looked like all my efforts had finally paid off.  This time when I passed, Brad was outside playing around the family’s motor home. He didn’t see me, so I decided to pass again, a little more obviously this time. I pedaled by like an everyday rockstar, laid back, all cool, my fro blowing in the wind. He didn’t notice.

I passed again. He still didn’t see me.

WELL SHIT.

What was I going to do if he saw me anyway? Strike up a conversation about my ability to obliterate ants by positioning my glasses in the sunlight just the right way? Or how about whether or not I would need stitches, since on my fourth pass I face-planted after hitting a pothole in the road.

Of course he noticed me then.

And being the nice boy he was he came out in the street to help me up. Not only that, but he also invited me over to see his parent’s motor home and GET THIS…even offered me a 7Up.  I was pretty sure he was in love with me.

So there we were, chatting it up like old pals, when suddenly I had the overwhelming urge to pee.

A rare find. Beauty and style. I had it all.

A rare find. Beauty and style. I had it all.

I think to myself how, if I ask to use the bathroom, he may think I’m weird. Or what if he misunderstands and thinks I have to poop? Then I think that we’re having such a nice time, if I use the bathroom, the moment will be lost and when I come back he'll tell me that his mom is calling him. Especially if he thinks I went and took a shit in his bathroom. Mostly I was just afraid to ask. So I didn’t.

This is an example of how fear is a stupid, stupid emotion. Instead of asking to use the fucking bathroom, I peed my pants right there in front of him and pedaled home crying like an asshole.

I never looked him in the eye again and avoided him in the hallways. Had I just asked to use his bathroom, I could have come back, resumed playing and begun planning our June wedding.

That type of fear has no place in our lives, but sometimes fear can motivate us to make positive changes, and that’s good. This kind of fear is why I no longer flip light switches on and off - 8, 10, or 12 times (but never 7, 9, or 11), or why I don't count cracks, or tiles, or breaths. That’s how I discovered how to utilize fear to my advantage actually, standing in my bedroom flipping the light switch on and off, off and on. I remember thinking that I was getting to the age where I may be invited to slumber parties and other functions with kids from school. I was mortified by the thought of them finding out my dirty little OCD secret. I can recall telling myself, you can’t just keep being a fucking weirdo. You can’t be ugly AND crazy. Nobody bounces back from that shit. Just fucking stop counting shit.

It wasn’t overnight, but eventually I broke myself of my OCD habits by reminding myself that being weird wasn’t an option, which now I think is so stupid because weird is interesting and not stupid. Anyway, I imagined myself doing "normal" things like all the other "normal" people. Like making sweet love to Brad at our desert island hideaway, where we were so hardcore the pirates and head hunters didn't even fuck with us. Or becoming the coolest rapper, even cooler than Run DMC. I pretended I was already like all the other girls at school and that soon they would all be my friends.

They say thoughts become things. The intense need I had to cease my OCD activities manifested with those activities ceasing. My desire to befriend all those little bitches in school manifested into more shallow friendships than I could even count! And there might have been uneven numbers of them and I didn't even give a shit!

*Disclaimer* Not all thoughts become things. There is a loophole in the Law of Attraction. You see, despite my deepest longing to marry Brad, he had an even deeper longing to not marry the girl who pissed in his driveway. So HIS thought became a thing. He basically fucking cancelled out my thought. You have to always be aware of this shit. That book won't tell you that part.

I never did end up in any love shack on any island either. And I have a firm understanding that a pirate would fucking kick my ass. I know this now.

So let's just recap here. Fear of peeing is a great example of utterly unrewarding fear, while fear of alienation and severe ass kickings turns out to be quite useful. Can you believe I share the secrets of life with you for FREE? For fucking free.

Ask me anything about life. Go ahead. I will know the answer.

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Your friendly neighborhood NON-ALCOHOLIC WINE REVIEW

Recently I made the decision to take a hiatus from wine drinking because I'd heard stories of others losing all kinds of weight by cutting out alcohol. Because I really, really like wine, I decided to give some of the non-alcoholic varieties a shot so I wouldn't have to completely suffer.

So far I've tried five different kinds and, because I'm awesome and I love you, I'm saving you the time and money by providing a thorough review of my fake wine experience.


ARIEL CHARDONNAY

The first wine I tried was the Ariel brand Chardonnay. My husband found this at the local Twin Liquors and I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. With only 45 calories per 8 ounce serving, I was pretty sure this was going to be a winner. Plus Ariel described it as having a "distinctive combination of buttery apple and butterscotch combined with a toasty French oak bouquet". YUMMY!

Upon my initial swallow of this wine, however, none of these descriptions came to mind. Instead, it tasted more like the bitter tears of starving babies with the nutty finish of death and despair.

To be more specific, and literally speaking, if I had poured a glass of chardonnay one month ago, left it out on the patio table in the rain, then allowed the sun to beat down on it to finish it off, the Ariel Chardonnay would be the result of that.

Ariel says to try it with spaghetti carbonara, mango mahi-mahi, sautéed scallops, or crispy duck. If I were to pair it with anything, it would be a life ending handful of Xanax.

Moving on.


ARIEL CABERNET SAUVIGNON

After the Chardonnay experience, I was very hesitant to try the next wine my husband picked out. I wept silently as he enthusiastically urged me on to taste the Ariel brand Cabernet Sauvignon.

After wiping the tears from my eyes, I was able to make out that this was an "oak-aged Cabernet Sauvignon (with) aromas of black currants, cherry, blueberries and chocolate, with soft tannins and a dry finish". At 52 calories per 8 ounce serving, you're still looking at far fewer calories than regular wine, and if you throw up afterward it's zero! It's always important to look on the bright side of all things.

My first taste of this wine was far more pleasant than dying babies. In fact, it was actually very nice and didn't necessarily taste like it was non-alcoholic. When I had my friends try it, they didn't seem to notice that anything was missing either. I liked it. I drank the shit out of that stuff, and I would do it again.

Ariel recommends trying this with manchego, carne asada, Texas chili, or wood-fired pizza. For this wine, I would choose to live another day.


FRE MERLOT

Fre merlot.png

I decided to stop at the grocery store and see if they carried the Ariel brand wine. They didn't, but they did have the Fre brand Merlot. After a decent Cabernet Sauvignon experience, I found myself looking forward to my first non-alcoholic Merlot and another company's take on alcohol removed wine.

This wine weighed in a little heavier at 70 calories per 8 ounce glass, but I wasn't too worried about that. After all, "with its plush, luxurious taste, and gorgeous garnet color, (it) delivers plenty of style and grace. With seductive black plum aromas and soft cherry and spice flavors, (it's) velvety smooth, with a full, rich finish—a classic beauty". After reading that, I just wanted to make out with the damn thing. My husband interrupted the whole affair by tapping my shoulder, demanding that I quit french kissing the bottle and take a swig for God's sake.

When I did just that, I suddenly felt like a creepy pedophile. I hadn't been making out with seductive and luxurious Merlot at all! I'd been making out with children's grape juice! I called my son over to take a sip. With the discriminating palate of an eleven year old, he described the wine as "unsweet grape juice, tastes like dooky". Dooky, indeed. Unsweet dooky.

Fre recommends pairing this wine with herb-crusted lamb chops, hearty stews, juicy hamburgers, pizza and movie night. I paired mine with the dumpster.

I do not recommend this Merlot, for it is yucky.

Next.


FRE RED BLEND

Because stopping at the grocery store is on my way home and the liquor store isn't, I decided to give the Fre brand another shot with its Red Blend. If I could give Ariel another try after that near death experience of mine, I could certainly do the same for Fre. Sometimes second chances are good.

After having been burned with that fucking Merlot, it was hard to just put my heart out there and trust again. Like the Merlot, it too was 70 calories per 8 ounce glass. My husband gave me the pep talk, told me to quit acting like a faggot and drink the damn wine.

Fre claimed that this wine "offers a deep ruby color and ripe, black cherry scented aromas. Smooth and rich, it offers plenty of bright, grape, and cherry fruit with an intriguing smoky flavor. (It) ends with a long, fruity, lingering finish". I must admit, I was slightly fearful of that lingering finish if it were anything like some of the others.

I decided to just rip the band-aid and take a big swallow. To my delight, I didn't die, nor did I wish to. Instead, in this Red Blend I found yet another reason to live, right behind kittens and payday.

This wine made me want to move to a cabin in the woods, sit by the fire and tell charming stories of that time I found a non-alcoholic wine that didn't make me want to succumb to Tuberculosis.

It's lovely and I recommend it.


FRE BRUT

Last on my list is a little something I picked up from a different liquor store on New Year's Eve. The Fre Brut is non-alcoholic champagne type stuff, and is described as follows:

"From the cascades of tiny bubbles to the effervescent fizz in the glass, our alcohol-removed sparkling wine makes any occasion feel a little more special. A steadily ascending stream of bubbles rises in the glass, releasing a fragrant bouquet. Green apple and ripe pear aromas tickle your nose, while crisp flavors of apple and strawberry delight your palate. Our Brut is beautifully balanced with a pleasantly dry, refreshing finish."

I found this description to be somewhat misleading. In fact, I plan to submit my prose to Fre to replace this bullshit description. What it should say is this:

"The cascades of tiny bubbles are like a motherfucking awesome bomb went off in your mouth. The crisp flavors of badassery and I can't believe it's not wine will easily trick your friends into thinking they're actually boozing it up. This is a no shit winner and is the reason I never actually have to drink alcohol ever again."

I've gone through no fewer than ten bottles of this shit. It's 90 fat-ass calories per 8 ounce glass make it totally no better than wine, but love is blind. Plus you feel all classy and shit, with all those bubbles. People think you're rich. Buy this now.


As usual, feel free to leave a comment and as always, you're welcome.

The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield

As I wind down another weekend of playing HayDay, catching up on soaps, steam cleaning the floors, and not writing, I wanted to share with you an amazing book on the very subject of fucking off. This syndrome of mine is a true mystery seeing as writing is what I enjoy doing more than any other thing, so understanding why I don't sit down and write is an agonizing use of brain cells.

This book helps you recognize and conquer the resistance that keeps us from being creative and awesome. Clearly I'm not finished with it so I'm missing some pertinent info, but what I have read is profound, funny, and inspiring. I will be finishing it this evening. If you have the same problem I do, join me. All the cool kids are doing it.

Part 6 of the Law of Attraction: the Heathen Within

heathen (ˈhēT͟Hən/) An uncultured or uncivilized person. One who is wild and unruly; a disobeyer of laws. A person you just can’t take anywhere, especially the fabric store.

Compliments of my Mother’s unabridged dictionary

When I was little my mom was forced to take me and my sister to the fabric store with her, because even back in the early 70’s it was frowned upon to lock your kids up in the closet so you could enjoy just one singular shopping experience.

The genius that arranged the bolts of fabric had clearly intended them to be used in games of hide and go seek and Marco Polo, not to mention a blood thirsty fight to the death for queen of the My Little Pony display. My sister and I were happy to get lost in Fabricland while my mother picked out corduroy to make our knickers with. Yep. I SAID IT. Corduroy knickers. 70's green. In Texas. I loved those sombitches.

After my mom made her purchases, she'd call out for us that it was time to go. We were much too involved in our shenanigans to bother minding. If we heard her getting close we'd take off running and hide, knowing full well she was about to lose her shit. She'd have to hunt us down and detangle us from the spooling towers of fabric while we resisted and acted like little assholes. As she drug us from the store, we’d stick our tongues out at the cash register attendant who stood, arms folded, scowling in disapproval.

Once my mother had wrestled us into the car, she’d make her standard declaration: “Ya’ll act like a bunch of damn heathens! This is the last time I take you anywhere!” The shrill emphasis on “anywhere” always made my brain bleed and my mom's head pop off, but nonetheless, she said that same thing at the end of every last trip to Hancock’s Fabrics; all two hundred thirty four of them. I never understood why she didn’t change it up a little bit, like... “Look here you little bitches - I will kill you. You’re both dead. Congratulations. Mommy's going to prison.” I feel like that might have been slightly more effective.

While we knew that what we were doing was not going to work out to our benefit, we did it anyway, and the result was always the same. When we’d get home, my mom would make us wash the blinds, clean the baseboards, or perform some other equally shitty chore to pay our penance to the lady at the cash register and my mother’s sanity. I’d blame my sister, she’d blame me. I can assure you it was never my fault.

That story represents the general way I led my life, far into adulthood even. I did everything that didn't serve me, over and over again, and then blamed everyone else for the way shit turned out. It was a lot like the movie Groundhog Day, except I never wised up to what was going on. That's until I really started studying and understanding the Law of Attraction, which is the real news here.

As with most news, there’s the good and the bad, and because you’re a heathen (the fact that you're reading this gave you away), you’ll hate them both equally. Even still, I have confidence that you’ll keep reading because heathen’s love to hate stuff. It probably should be said that if you’re easily offended or insulted, you’re the worst kind of heathen – and my favorite kind. You’re the kind looking for a reason to wallow and be pissed. You’re the kind who wants everything to be easy and wants everyone to say exactly what you want to hear in order to validate your toxic crap. If this describes you, you should probably read this series twice or a dozen times for maximum discomfort.

Let’s start with the good news. It turns out you aren’t as bad as you think you are. That’s because the human condition sets us up to fail right off the bat. This means that a lot of the things that suck about you really aren’t your fault. Don’t get too excited, though.

We’re born into this world utterly helpless and surrounded by complete strangers. That’s kind of a big deal seeing that we can’t talk, fight off pirates, negotiate lunchtime, or control our own bowel movements. We’re cold, hot, hungry, sleepy, sick and inundated with new creatures we’ve never before seen. It’s noisy and chaotic, and as we grow and learn the basics, we find that people are continually trying to take things from us, if not gently, then by force.

Besides these obvious disadvantages, we’re born with no guarantee that our caretakers aren’t filling our sippy cups with whiskey and leaving us with babysitters they hooked up with on Craig’s List. We’re forced to trust, because there is no other choice if we’re to survive. We could be placed in the arms of a serial killer, and our only option is to latch on and soak up what they have to teach us.

But even if we're born under the best of circumstances, you have to figure there are still the nearly seven billion other humans out there to contend with, not to mention natural disasters and the nightly news. We’re overwhelmed with sex, reality TV, death and lies. The world’s negativity is impossible to escape, even for those living the dream. In essence, we’ve all been programmed and have bought into the lies of the world. Those lies tell us that we have no control over our lives, that we aren't good enough, we aren't worthy, we aren't pretty or skinny enough, there's too much competition to make it, we're destined for illness, evil abounds, bad things will just keep happening to us, money was never meant for us to have and countless others. It's not that we want to preoccupy ourselves with these negative and depressive thoughts. It is, however, human nature, and that is what we have to rise above.

I personally don't know anyone who's lived a life devoid of pain or some type of trauma. Everyday bad things happen to good people. There's no shortage of tragedies happening around the world, and some of them may be happening to you or people you know. Everyone has issues of some kind, no matter who they are.

At the risk of sounding cold though, the world doesn’t care about those things. Your life has been uniquely tragic, just like everyone else’s. No one will ever show up on our doorsteps to reward us for our suffering. No company will ever keep us employed because we’ve gone through more hardship than the next guy. No mate will ever desire us with every fiber of their being because we’re more pathetic than anyone they’ve ever met. The guy with the most scars doesn’t win. On the contrary, the best revenge is to live well.

So while the good news is that you're not as bad as you think you are, it turns out that the bad news is that you’re worse than you think you are. Since we know that the experiences that have shaped us aren’t necessarily our fault, it should be made clear that who we are now is totally our fault. I can feel you disagreeing with me all the way over here in Texas.

The reality is that our thoughts, actions, and feelings - our responses to our hardships - are what have made us who we are today. So despite the fact that the origin of our condition isn’t our fault, the fact that we still have the condition is. Generally speaking, we tend to have the fundamental inability to see that what we’re doing, saying, and thinking is perpetuating our unhappiness. You may find yourself presently conjuring up reasons why this isn’t true. Stop that.

The alternative to this is believing that we’re the victims of something or someone and our life circumstances are everyone else’s fault but ours. We can’t control the behavior of others, after all. They have it out for us…right? We’re powerless against our enemies. People are cruel. We aren’t smart enough or good enough. We’re broke and trapped in shitty jobs. The bills are out of control and so is the stress. Sickness runs in our families – we’re destined to suffer and die alone. We aren’t good looking enough, or skinny enough. There’s not enough time in the day! Only cheaters get a leg up in this world. We live in the wrong place and we have no talent. Our marriages suck, and nobody appreciates us. How am I doing so far?

Maybe you refuse to believe that you’ve arranged the conditions you’re in. You may be thinking that I have no idea what you’re particular circumstances are. I’ve never walked in your shoes. Maybe you think I’m a judgmental dumbass. If you disagree with everything I'm saying, you won't hurt my feelings if you quit reading. But if what you've been doing isn't working for you, maybe it's time to open your mind up to the possibility that there may be something to this law of attraction business.  If you're afraid to try anything new because you think you might fail, get back on the couch with your bag of Cheetos. The rest of you keep reading.               

In my particular case, I was so disgusted with where my life was that I was willing to try just about anything, so how quickly things change for you will be directly proportional to how sick you are of your present circumstances. If you’re thinking, well this sounds hard, maybe my life isn’t so bad afterall, you aren't sick enough. Or if you think that maybe you have exactly what you deserve and it won't get better, you’re going to remain unhappy and disappointed. And maybe even get rickets. OK. That last part isn't true. Unless you believe it is.

As you read, keep an open mind. Do research. See what other people are saying. But if you’re really ready for a change and determined to make it happen, the good things will find their way to you. That’s the only possible outcome.

Next week we'll begin talking about how to change the thoughts and behaviors we've been lugging around all these years. Join me for Part 7 of the Law of Attraction: Whoa Negative Nelly! And Happy Monday.