Monday, September 29, 2014

The 6 Thoughts I have While Walking My Dog At 2 A.M.

Given that I’m a night person, walking my very demanding Great Dane at 2 a.m. happens more often than you might think. He’s also scared of the dark so while it may seem like I have the perfect guard with me while I’m out there letting him do his business, he’s actually a big-ass Scooby of a dog who would piss himself and go running for the house as soon as he saw anything that doesn’t belong in the yard.

1. This is how scary movies start.

If a zombie apocalypse started, I’m pretty fucking sure it would be in the cities where congested populations live and cough and snot and things on each other all the time instead of out here where I barely have to speak to anyone throughout my day except for said demanding dog (and the other animals here…and the extroverted kid that never stops talking). But, you really couldn’t convince me of that at 2 am when I hear every little thing in the pine forest across the road and imagine an undead figure stumbling out of the trees wearing a hockey mask and carrying Freddy’s clawed hand under one arm and a hatchet in the other. Whispering “what the fuck was that?????” to the dog like I’m going to get a reply in English doesn’t really do much to help me feel better either.

2. Why do I always forget my pocket knife in the house?

I bought myself a pretty teal Kershaw pocket knife just because…well…you never know. I never remember to have it with me in situations where you never know like if a knife-wielding maniac in a Scream mask came rushing out of the forest. And, let’s face it—even if I did manage to have it on me, I’d probably stop dead in my tracks and piss myself along with the dog before I’d ever even think to grab it and become the knife-wielding dog walker in pajamas.

3. I need pajamas that are less revealing.

I never PLAN on walking the dog at 2 am even though it happens quite often, so you’d think I’d have taken care of this by now. Perhaps I’m hoping I can mesmerize any gun toting mad men with the jiggle of my not-entirely-covered ass cheeks. Perhaps I realize the futility in trying to buy pajamas anymore since the last time I bought anything, my ass cheeks still weren’t covered and the nightgown turned out to be quite sheer ( I swear it didn’t look it in the store). Either way, I’m just hoping the nearby neighbors aren’t insomniacs because they’re getting an eyeful if they are, and I don’t think the old guy’s heart can take it.

4. How the fuck do you even piss that much?

I’m not sure how big exactly my dog’s bladder is. It’s not something I ever felt the need to look up, but it must hold at least 17 gallons of urine. He pees before we even get into the yard all that well…an entire river of yellow. He pees on this spot and that spot and another spot. I scream “not on my fucking trees” 500 times. He pees again. And again. We’re not just talking about marking either because he has a different stance for each. For marking he does a lazy, old man half-mast leg hike (he’s old and has arthritis…poor guy can’t do a full lift) and for regular urination he does this weird half-lean, half-point pose that gives him much more gravitas than he deserves considering the puddle he’s making. But either way, marking or no, I am pretty sure his entire body is a urine cavity while I’m stuck with a bladder the size of a thimble (just ask anyone who has ever gone on a road trip with me). So while I’m waiting on a skulking monster to come streaking onto my property, the dog is leisurely peeing for what feels like 300 hours. It does not bode well for my nighttime-walk anxiety, and I end up yelling “couldyoujusttakeyourdumpalreadyFORFUCKSSAKE??”

5. Did I really just step in that?

Well… that’s the great part about living in the middle of nowhere… You get all the beauty of the stars in the night sky because there are really no lights out here to detract from the view. It’s gorgeous. It really is. But that also means that it’s blacker than Sean Hannity’s cold, cold heart some nights and no flashlight can really give me a good view of just exactly where I’m stepping especially when most of the time I’m using said flashlight to scan the tree line for hipster werewolves in torn skinny jeans and flannel shirts—the scariest of all werewolves.

6. I should have done this BEFORE I had a drink.

I’m not a major drinker…not daily or anything. But on occasion after a long, frustrating day, a glass of whiskey and ginger ale hits the proverbial spot. It seems to me that these are the nights that the dog always, always has to go. These are the nights when I would most definitely fall down while trying to run like every woman in every horror movie ever if anything did actually appear in the yard like the multitudes of coyotes I always hear or a human-flesh-loving Sasquatch or the neighbor’s unsocialized and scary pit bulls (that have gotten loose more times than I can count over the years and even pinned me in a vehicle on occasion like that fucking scene out of Cujo…yikes). And of course by the time I get him out there and he pees 98 gallons worth of whatever he’s been drinking out of the toilet and the sink and my cup then I have to pee and it’s just a big fucking fiasco.

The dog is going on 8 years old which is senior citizen status for Great Danes, and I have yet to see a knife-wielding maniac running from the tree line from the horde of zombies being smashed by the Sasquatch that was just attacked by a hipster werewolf in a hockey mask, but I’m not betting against it. So, think of me when you happen to wake up at 2 am to pee and hope that somehow I mesmerized those fools with my jiggly ass cheeks long enough to get out my trusty little teal pocket knife that I finally remembered to bring with me since we all know the dog left me standing there in his dust to beat me to the house.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Quiet Thoughts and Neverending Yammer

I am an introverted mother parenting the most extroverted child.

There are times when I feel like I am completely out of my league on this. To say I get "overwhelmed" would be like saying I only roll my eyes on occasion during football season on Facebook... With those statements we're getting out of understatement territory and into outright, bold-faced lying.


Anyone who really knows me knows that I love my son immensely, and most of my world is him. But, until I became a mother I didn't know that a person could actually physically talk this much without passing out from lack of oxygen. His mouth never stops. On the toilet, in the shower, in his sleep, while he's watching television, playing a game, and while he does his never, ever ends. He has never figured out that some things can be thought without being said aloud, and sometimes I'm pretty sure he'll never figure it out. This is simply who he is.

To add to that, he hates being in his bedroom or anywhere that doesn't involve being around another person. At times, a pet will substitute, but there always HAS to be someone in the room or with him to listen to his nonstop chatter. I bought a desk for him to do his schoolwork (we homeschool) and every single day I have to remind him that schoolwork should be done at his desk. He will bring his workbook into the kitchen where I'm washing dishes and even though he's too short to do so comfortably, he will damn sure try to complete the work on the counter. Out loud. Even as I start wiping the counter off that he's working on...  After his work is done and has been graded and I have requested some "adult time" to peacefully write letters or work on my own school work while he does his own thing, he would literally rather sit in the living room on the laptop wearing headphones and turn a chair around to face the wall (if I decide to watch something he can't) than deal with being in his bedroom alone. This was actually worse when he was in public school. You'd think that being around children all day would give him his social fix, but he was forced to be quiet and sit still most of the day with no exceptions which honestly wreaked havoc on his brain. It was the ultimate torture. Every single day is spent with him essentially all up in my personal bubble filling it with all the words.

Here's where a lot of people might think that I should have thought about all this before I had a child, but see, that's the thing. You can't predict personality. All children aren't the same, and at 25, when I had him, I didn't really understand the depths of my own introversion either. It's not shyness. It's not a thing I can get over. It's part of WHO I am. Being social and being around others especially in crowds is exhausting to me. It's not that I never want to socialize--I do enjoy it. On my own terms. But, when I do, it wipes me out even if I only visit with a couple friends for a few hours. I prefer my own company most of the time. I loathe small talk and can be kind of intense when I really get into the depths of my conversations. I have a constant inner dialogue, avoid interaction with strangers when possible as much as possible, and I really start to get stressed when I've been active or overstimulated for too long without down time. And that's the key thing right there...It is physically and mentally painful for me to be too overstimulated. I reach a point where enough is more than enough.

My kiddo on the other hand GAINS all his energy from being active and from socializing...and, man, does his energy fucking build just by being in the same room as me. I have come to terms with the fact that just being within inches of my body means he actually absorbs all my energy through osmosis like some sort of life-essence sponge. He can talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere, about anything. He thinks aloud, plans aloud, dissects problems out loud. That's the way he works best. His ideas aren't even fully formed yet, and they're already spilling from his mouth in a sort of word salad...and often it's like the kind of salad a drunk college kid would make when he comes home from a night of binge drinking and throws together whatever he can find in his dorm--cheerios, vienna sausages, powdered donuts, and spaghetti-o's. Oh, and some ramen for texture. That's how his ideas form though... He's not talking to me so much as at me...that's something I had to learn. He surely talks TO me way beyond my comfort zone, but there are just as many times that the conversation is taking place all within the air between us with him having no desire for a response.

The fact that I don't really have to talk back half the time doesn't mean that the constant drone and chatter doesn't wear me down eventually. By the time I sit down to write or work on a class assignment, I'm actually begging for peace and quiet. No exaggeration. He doesn't understand that I could actually want to be alone. With myself. In my own world. His brain doesn't work that way and he can't possibly comprehend why I don't work the way he does.

It's a constant struggle. I reach my limits, ask for peace, he tries to be quiet, reaches his, and we're back to square 1. I don't know the quick fix right now... I don't know how to make it work better than it is. We're working on it, and we'll figure it out eventually. But, I think the important thing is to highlight that struggle because I'd be willing to bet that someone reading this knows someone who goes through the same thing who is constantly being told her (or his) child will grow out of it or that it will get better or that she should have thought about all that before having kids...basically, she's not getting to vent, she's getting no support, and her very real issues are being largely ignored by people who very likely treat her like she has a disorder instead of understanding that it's just part of WHO she is... So to you, dear readers, don't be that dickhead who doesn't try to understand. Capeesh?

And when you see a mother, maybe even a mother like me covered in tattoos with short hair and a long-haired, endlessly chattering boy in tow, don't judge her for not responding to every little thing that boy says. I've seen the looks when I'm in Target trying to get things done and some other mom rolls her eyes and sighs like I'm the worst fucking human being on the face of the planet for not responding to every little thing. I can assure you that I've talked to that kid more than you possibly could imagine in the time leading up to our shopping trip, and I can also assure you that he's not going to shrivel up and die because he's not getting my undivided attention so that we may get what the fuck we need to get done and get out so he can talk some more. There's always more to the story, obviously, than what you can gather in passing a person in the pet food section...

This has been another Sunday Confession with More than Cheese and Beer. Please, please, please go check out the other contributions on the MTCAB page and the anonymous confessions on the Facebook page. Also, check out the Halloween Giveaway (pee-wee scream) that I'm taking part in with this blog and several others. Details here, on Facebook, and on the MTCAB page :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Art of Exposing Douches

As many of you probably already know, I have a second blog that I co-run with Ash from More Than Cheese and Beer called DoucheArt. If you’ve never visited that particular site, in a nutshell, we take messages we receive on dating sites (and reader submissions) that are oversexualized and awful and turn them into kitschy art with a little commentary following the images we post.

This has not always gone over well with male readers. Some comments that we’ve gotten include:

· If you really wanted to help, you could use your time to do so much more.

· Why don’t you just block those guys and not worry about it?

· Isn’t getting revenge on stupid people a little petty?

· Making fun of people who don’t really know any better isn’t productive.

Let me address all those in one big lump. Because they’re all relatively linked and all bullshit.

I’m not sure why the assumption is the only people who send awful messages are stupid, socially inept, and don’t know any better. The facts are that after years of being on dating sites, these messages come from people of all races, ages, socioeconomic classes, intelligence levels, and genders (though from my personal experience, they come from men far more often than women). They aren’t coming from stupid people who don’t understand how to talk to others; they come from people who purposefully send such messages because they have issues. Having issues and not knowing any better are two very different fucking things, and the former doesn’t need to be excused. It needs to be highlighted more often and understood in the dating site context.

See, the thing is…we are trying to help on an issue that far too often goes ignored because so many people feel ashamed and guilty for receiving these kinds of messages over and over again. It can be frustrating, sure, but at the core of it is a very big issue that is ever-present in our society. It’s not about revenge, not in the least. It’s about shining a light on these sorts of messages instead of sweeping it under the rug. It’s about making a statement that this shit is not fucking acceptable, not in the least, and that when a message like this happens, it's evidence of the fucked up views of society manifesting in some asshole with too much time on his hands.

What happens when a man (or woman) sends a message detailing the sorts of things he (or she) would like to do to you without ever having talked to you first is tantamount to sexual assault. It’s not any different at all than a man in a trench coat flashing his flaccid little weewee at old ladies in a grocery store parking lot. That message is sent without respect for the person who reads it and is sent for the thrill of sending it just like the flasher shows off his sad little pecker for the thrill of doing so and not with the idea that it is going to win him a date with double-couponing octogenarians. Blocking the person after the fact is like telling your horrified grandmother to just erase the memory of the tragedy that lived beneath the trench coat AFTER she was flashed. It doesn’t fucking work that way. The damage has already been done.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-v, the criteria for exhibitionistic disorder, one of the paraphilic disorders detailed in the manual, includes the following:

· Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent and intense sexual arousal from the exposure of one’s genitals to an unsuspecting person, as manifested by fantasies, urges, or behaviors.

· The individual has acted on these sexual urges with a NONCONSENTING person, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Exhibitionistic disorder is highly associated with antisocial personality disorder which is characterized by complete lack of regard for others, manipulation, criminal behavior, lying, conning, and impulsivity. Psychopathy is a subtype of antisocial personality disorder.

I provide that information to illustrate that getting aroused by showing off your genitals to random people really isn’t all that different from sending unsolicited dick pics (which happens. often. Some people even try to beat the bots and use dick pics AS THEIR PROFILE PICTURE) and it’s not all that different from sending a woman a message detailing all the perverted things you want to do to her. She didn’t ask for that information. She is NONCONSENTING. The person who sends those messages, as with the person who flashes his weewee, has no respect or concern for the person who sees. He (as almost all clinical exhibitionists are male according to prevailing studies) has no regard for what the other person wants or for the other person altogether. It’s a sick motherfucker who gets online and jerks off while sending a quantity of random women perverse messages. And make no mistake—that is exactly what is happening. It’s not about her or about how attractive she is. It’s about getting off because it’s a thrill to send something like that and imagine the woman’s face when she opens the message. It’s a new era of exhibitionistic disorder that needs to be studied for future inclusion in the paraphilic disorders of the DSM.

And when you get right down to it, this is all an extension of rape culture, of the sense of entitlement some men have to do whatever it takes to get off even when the other person has absolutely zero desire to be involved. It’s about the attitude that, for men, women are here for their enjoyment especially their most base pleasures and that we, women, really don’t have much say in the matter. The Internet has made this mode of thinking (and yes, I know, #notallmen) even easier to capitalize on because there are relatively NO consequences for this kind of behavior and plenty of websites that promote and celebrate it.

This isn’t about revenge as has been said to us. It’s not petty. It’s not about making people look like idiots. This is about highlighting a serious issue that is basically treated, as always, as the woman’s responsibility and her fault. I can’t tell you how many times that Ash and I have heard “if you don’t want to deal with that then why are you on those sites?” like we’re ASKING FOR IT just because we want to network outside of our very limited local social circles. We’re asking to be abused because we have a profile on a website that is not designed specifically for fetish behaviors, hookups, or casual sex but for dating and getting to know people? Right… I’m tired of being told to just ignore the messages and block the person because in the end, that dude is sending out dozens more to dozens more women who all have to deal with it themselves. I’m tired of being told to report it (like I don’t) when I know each and every person who gets reported just makes a new profile. I’ve gotten messages from the same guy who always talks about how much he wants to dominate me with his 10 inches from at least half a dozen different profiles over the last few years.

This needs to be treated like the serious issue that it is and while we sometimes write from a humorous point of view on DoucheArt we do maintain that the Internet community needs to be more aggressive about this issue. The scariest part of this is that sexual offenders often escalate in their crimes. A person who starts out as a flasher or as an Internet scumbag who sexually assaults women with his explicit messages may very well end up a repeat sex offender as the thrills of *just* flashing recedes and the person in question needs more and more to achieve the same state of arousal.

And, even when the person is not messaging a detailed list of all the things he wants to do and he sincerely propositions a woman in the first message, it's still that same sense of entitlement that makes him think it's okay to do so. We really don't fucking care if you have a huge dick. We really don't care that you want to suck on our tits. We don't have any desire to meet you for drinks and a little fun because you want to show our clitorises a good time. When you have no respect for us on a dating site, why the fuck would you respect us when we said "no" in person? And by then it's too late, isn't it?

So, are there really bigger issues I could tackle or more important ones or more than I can do on my “silly” little blog? I suppose we could always do more and strive to be better, but I’m quite proud of what we’re trying to do here and will continue despite the naysayers.

This is another Sunday of Confessions with More than Cheese and Beer (link above). Please feel free to check out all the other submissions and see all the tales of revenge that should follow. Oh and Please feel free to check out this funny older post of mine involving the time my son got revenge on our cat here.

Revenge Or Is It? (Guest Post)

My friend Ryan sent me this story for this week's prompt! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Revenge Or Is It? By: Ryan Hone

Gus Miller, age 47, a man who has it all. He was the first in his class. He was made junior partner at a prestigious law firm. He married his high school sweetheart. He is the father of 3 children. What drives a man to revenge? How does it end? Gus Miller found out the hard way that revenge is a dish best served cold...or is it?

You are now entering the...well you'll know if you saw the show.....

Gus was getting ready to end a long day at the law firm when his cell phone rings.
"Hello.", Gus answered.

"If you want your family to live you will listen to what I have to say." a man says on the other line.

"What are you talking about? Who is this?" Gus responds.

"It doesn't matter who I am Gus. What matters is what you are going to do for me..." says the man.

"What are you talking about? I'm not going to do anything for you." Gus says.

"Oh Gus, you don't even remember my voice do you? That's ok though. I bet you know your wife's voice." the man says.

This is followed by a woman's voice that says pleadingly, "Gus baby." It sounds like Gus' wife. Then Gus" hears a high pitched scream.

"Sound familiar Gus? I can see you breathing heavy so you must believe me now." the man says.

Gus responds, "Please whoever you are, I'll do whatever you want."

"What I want is to not have spent years behind bars for a crime I never committed but we are way beyond that now, " the man says.

"Way beyond what? What do you mean?" Gus says

"What I want is revenge. And tell you what, Gus, inside of your top desk drawer under the file folder is a knife. Grab it." says the man.

As Gus searches through his desk drawer he says, "A knife, but I don't keep a knife in my desk." Gus' hands move the folder aside and sitting there is a Gerber tactical knife.

"How in the hell? I never put this here." Gus says.

"You're right Gus. You didn't. I put it there when I was in your office. Here's what you are going to do. In the next thirty seconds if you haven't cut off your pinky finger on your right hand, I will cut the same finger off your wife's hand. Remember I am watching and time starts now." the man says.

Gus yells, "Wait. How do I know that it's really my wife that you have? Let me speak to her!"

Gus hears some movement and a woman's voice says "Gus, Help me." To Gus it sounds like his

The man comes back on the line, "Alright Gus this is how it's going to go. Don't look around for me because I can see you, but you can't see me. You have 30 seconds starting from when I hang up this phone to cut off your finger. I suggest that you do it."

The phone line goes dead.

Gus quickly weighs his options. He opens the Gerber knife. Breathing heavily, his heart racing, Gus places his hand upon the table. He lays the blade against his pinky finger. He closes his eyes and takes three deep breaths. On the third breath he pushes down with all the force that he can muster. Surprisingly there is little pain...until he opens his eyes and looks at his hand and the blood flowing from his severed finger. A deep throbbing ache begins, and Gus gives a moan.

Gus, shaking uncontrollably, grabs a scarf that is hanging from a hat rack and wraps his hand tight with it. Right when he is finished his phone rings again.

Before Gus has a chance to say anything the man says, "Good job Gus, I see that you used something to wrap your hand up. Careful those wounds can be nasty. Don't think that this is the end though. Now the stakes are going to be raised. I'm going to send you a picture just to show you that I'm serious. After you get this picture we will talk, " the man says.

Gus receives a picture on his phone, and it's of one of his sons with a blindfold around his eyes.

"Alright, I know that you have received the picture. I hope you realize how serious I am. Now as soon as I hang up you will have 30 seconds to cut another finger off either hand. I'll let you choose. After you do this I will let one of your children go. Let's just say the one you just received a picture of.. I am a man of my word unlike you," scoffs the man just before the line goes dead.

Gus can literally feel his right hand throbbing where he cut off his finger. He takes off the scarf from his right hand and almost immediately the blood starts to flow from his severed finger. He places the bloodied Gerber knife against the ring finger on his right hand. Once again he closes his eyes and pushes down with all his might. This time Gus yells out from the pain. In doing so he almost passes out. The room gets darker and little points of light swirl in front of his eyes. Any more of this, he thinks, and he'll never be able to save his family.

Gus curses out loud and grabs the scarf with a shaking left hand to wrap his hand with both of the severed fingers. The scarf is soaked a dark red. As the phone rings Gus grabs the phone with his left hand and yells out, "Let my son go. I did what you told me to."

The man answers, "Yes you did and I'm surprised that you didn't fall over from shock. I said I'm a man of my word. I'm sending you a picture to show you that . Wait one minute and don't do anything stupid. We wouldn't want the fun to end now, would we?" Gus can almost hear the smile in the man's voice as the line goes dead once again.

A minute passes by as Gus tries to hold the scarf tighter to his hand to slow the blood flowing from his hand. The phone begins to buzz. Gus looks down at it and sees that a picture was received. When Gus opens the picture it shows his son with the blindfold now around his neck right in front of a police station. Tears of relief spring to his eyes.That feeling is quickly replaced by dread as the phone rings again.

When he answers the man says, "Don't worry. Your son is now inside of that police station, and I'm sure he is telling them what he knows. This will be long over before that is a concern for me, so I really don't care. I don't want to harm your family, but I will if you don't comply."

"Now it's time for the grand finale. Alright, Gus, here's what you are going to do. I want you to leave your office and go up to the roof. I'm sure that you can make it. I've already made sure that you can get up there. So leave right now," the man says before the line goes dead once again.

Gus says tiredly, "I'm going right now." He walks out the door to his office and makes the short trip to the stairwell already out of breath. He goes up two flights, and in front of him is the door with red letters stamped across that say Roof Access. Gus notices that the lock that has been keeping the door closed has been cut and hangs loose. Gus undoes the cut lock and pushes the door open. Almost immediately a gust of wind pushes the door back in. Gus the door open and steps out onto the gravel layered roof.

As soon as Gus is completely out the door he looks up at the night sky. A sense of clarity comes to his mind through the fog of pain, and he wonders how things could have gone so terribly wrong. Who was this man?

His thoughts are interrupted by the ringing of his phone. "Gus, you shouldn't look at the sky when there are more important things on the ground," the man says coyly.

"What do you want from me? I've done everything you have asked. Please let my wife and kids go. I'll do whatever you want," Gus practically sobs out.

"Yes, Gus, you will. Walk to the edge of the roof" Gus walks to the edge of the roof holding his scarf wrapped hand close to his chest.

"Good. Now, Gus, I want you to stand up on the ledge." Gus stands up on the ledge as the wind gusts against him.

"I told you I'm a man of my word, but here's what going to happen I will send you a picture to show you what I mean." Not soon after he says this Gus receives a picture on his phone. It's of his wife and two children with blindfolds around their eyes and men standing behind them with pistols against their heads.

"Please don't do this." Gus pleads with the man.

"I won't do this if you jump off that ledge. Yes, you will die, but I swear that your family will live. My quarrel is with you. It was never with them. I will have my revenge." the man says.

"At least tell me who you are? What did I do that was so wrong to you?" Gus says.

"It doesn't matter anymore. What matters is right now, I'm watching you, so if you want your family to live, you will jump. I want you to say you will. Are you going to do it?" the man says.

"I'll do it. Damn, you. I'll do it." Gus says with conviction.

"Then this is goodbye, Gus. You will have 30 seconds after I hang up, and I don't have to tell you what the consequences will be if you don't jump." the man says as the line goes dead for the last time.

Gus looks up at the sky. Then he looks at the ground. He sees cars going in both directions and the sights and sounds of the city. Gus closes his eyes and knows that he must do this for his family. As a tear comes out from under his eye, he takes a deep breath and jumps. He thinks of his family, and as much as he doesn't want to open his eyes he does anyway. An involuntary scream comes from Gus' lungs as he falls to the busy street below.

Right when Gus is about to hit the asphalt, his vision blacks out, but he is still screaming. Gus can hear a mechanical whirring and computer-like sounds. He feels goose bumps all over his body.

Gus says almost hysterically, "What is this? I'm dead. Am I dead?"

Gus feels a suction cup sensation against his face as the mechanical whirring quickens. A light enters his vision, and he feels whatever it is being removed from his face. The light blinds him momentarily causing him to blink rapidly. As his vision comes back into to focus, he is able to see where he is.

Surrounding him is an auditorium style seating in a half ring around him. In these seats are what look like humans, but they are clearly not. Their motions are too jerky, and you see blinking lights under there skin. To Gus they look like machines. Eerily Gus can tell that he is being observed by all of them.

"What is this? Who are you? What am I doing here?" Gus says as he tries to move but is unsuccessful. Gus looks down at himself and realizes that he is strapped to the chair and that he is plugged into numerous monitoring devices.

"What is this? Someone please tell me what is going on." Gus pleads out loud.

Gus hears a human-like voice say, "Human subject ready for next phase of testing. Next emotion to be tested is Fear. Testing will commence in one minute."

When Gus hears this he tries to move, but can't do anything; he is too secure to the chair.

"Please don't do this." Gus pleads.

One of the human-like machines approaches Gus and begins to extend its right hand. The right index finger on the machine opens up and a syringe extends out filled with a blue liquid.

"What are you doing? What is that?" Gus pleads with the machine.

The machine doesn't slow down and the syringe jabs into his arm. As Gus begins to get light headed, he hears the whirring he heard before but he can't even speak...or scream. As something begins to block his vision and the lights start to fade he hears, "Fear test in 3, 2, 1...."

Then the light fades completely.

Guest post for Sunday Confessions today. I hope you enjoyed and as always check out the rest of the submissions over at More Than Cheese and Beer

Monday, September 15, 2014

Witchy Halloween Giveaway!!!

I am participating in a totally awesome Halloween Giveaway with the ever lovely Ash from More than Cheese and Beer. Several bloggers are joining up to send out some wicked Halloween awesomeness. Check out the original post on MTCAB here.

How to Win:
Use Rafflecopter to....
Like the Facebook pages of the bloggers involved
Follow on Twitter
Subscribe to blogs via email or on Bloglovin’.

Fans and followers can earn 2 entries by “Liking” each Facebook page, and 2 Entries for following on Twitter (4 Entries if there is only a Facebook page). 

“Subscribe to” blogs via email or through BlogLovin’ for an additional 4 Entries (I WILL be emailing bloggers for verification of this). 

The giveaway opens for entries September 15th and Winners will be randomly selected and announced on October 20th on my Facebook Page More Than Cheese and Beer, tweeted (if possible), and emailed. 

Giveaway is limited to the U.S (Sorry!)

Prizes will be shipped by Halloween (October 31st, 2014).  Winners will have until noon CST on October 22nd to respond to my email, and I will forward their contact information to the person offering the prize.  If winners do not respond, bloggers can do what they want with the prize.  Participants are not eligible to win their own prizes, but are eligible to win prizes offered by others.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Side Effects of Stolen Innocence

I never had the opportunity to have a true, innocent, uncomplicated-by-baggage first love.

That’s just the way the cards were dealt to me this hand, and it’s something that I’ve tried not to dwell on too much, but the facts are that being raped at 13, losing my virginity that way, changed everything. I have no idea what pre-rape sex is like. I don’t know what it’s like to fall hard for someone and make the decision about whether or not to go ALL THE WAY for the first time. That innocence was stolen from me long before I had that opportunity to desperately dwell and overthink that decision and relish in the specialness that comes from sharing that moment with someone in all its imperfect perfectness.

With that loss of innocence comes a lot of bullshit. A lot of emotional issues and physical reactions that affect me as an adult even 20 years later. I’ve loved, surely. I can recall the people in my life that I’ve loved so strongly I thought I would never be able to eat or sleep again when the relationship was over. I can relive with fondness some of the better times we shared and feel a momentary swirl of butterflies when I see them somewhere unexpectedly. I’ve not been in many relationships, and not even all of those were really great, but I know in my lifetime I truly loved and was loved just as fiercely in return. The stark, laid-bare truth for me, though, is that it was never the kind of love that wasn’t tethered by the understanding of what a man could do when “no” wasn’t enough and the primal, unrelenting fear and pain that comes with that knowledge. I have never had the kind of love that is free of that robbery, free of the haunting of an assault that I didn’t deserve.

What I imagine first love to be is sort of like purring bunnies in a field of gummy bear flowers pooping rainbow cupcakes under a radiant boombox sun raining down tasty jams and pulsing glitter all over the place every time the bass hits.

Okay, so maybe I owned too much Lisa Frank shit when I was kid, but either way that image is total
innocent perfection in my mind. Maybe I’m completely off base but that first attempted relationship seems to be more pure than everything that comes after the first gut-wrenching heartache that always follows when you end something with a person you absolutely fall no-holds-barred head over heels for… (and what's more pure than rabbits that eat gummy bear flowers and shit out cupcakes? nothing. not a fucking thing). That’s not to say I think that first love is the best—better than any other relationship you experience in your lifetime, but it’s the only time you start with a clean slate, the only time you don’t bring the good, the bad, and the ugly of every other relationship with you. It’s less weighed down by everything that came before it. In a lot of ways, it’s a fantasy world at least to begin with…people have yet to turn out to be the exact opposite of what you have imagined them to be or break your heart or cheat or lie or fuck with your head. And then when the other shoe drops, it’s perhaps one of the biggest reality checks you face in life.

My shoe dropped before I had a chance to experience the naivety of it all.

I rail on so often about rape culture on social media, in person, on the phone….anytime and anywhere the conversation is appropriate and even when it’s not. The fact that rape goes largely unpunished in our society and that the blame is often laid upon the shoulders of the victim to carry as if she (or he) was not already carrying a heavy load just by way of being victimized means that the big picture of what a person loses and the insecurities a person gains after being raped is ignored. I didn’t suffer a momentary, fleeting fear that resolved itself after the event was over. My entire being was violated and my existence was forever changed while the perpetrator of that death—the murder of my innocence—has gone on to have a life completely unaffected by the fear, the pain, the anger, the shame, and the guilt that has so often peppered the very essence of my being. It has been 20 years since that night, and I still can’t answer the door when I’m home alone without panicking. I never had my innocent, vibrant, Lisa Frank-esque love. I have never been able to set foot in my father’s house without reliving it. And, that will never change… None of it. It’s with me for as long as I live and breathe. We, as a people, have to stop and consider the toll that this takes on 1 out of 5 women (sometimes multiple times) in our lives. Think of all the women you know and how many might have been victims. How many have to live with that memory and all the side effects that come with it? Until we start recognizing how serious the act itself is, how damaging in all manners of life for the length of time the victim lives rape is, it’s always going to be about changing the behavior of the victim because that seems easier…because the act itself seems horrible to the imagination but so few people seem to consider just how depraved and far-reaching it is. Here’s your chance through my words, as vulnerable as they make me here today, to see just one of the many things my rapist robbed me of…. It’s not just a horrible act that can be prevented through modifying potential victims; it’s essentially a murder. The person who existed before the rape is lost and someone almost completely different rises from the ashes of the former self. Like a phoenix with an anxiety disorder and a guilt-complex that keeps it from soaring as high and freely as it could otherwise.

97% of rapists never spend time in prison according to RAINN. Isn’t it time we change that?

And, as always, this is me taking a seemingly light hearted Sunday Confessions prompt and being all preachy about it. That's what I do. But, please check out the rest of the contributions at More Than Cheese and Beer and the always interesting anonymous confessions on the MTCAB Facebook page. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Regrets?

Someone asked me not that long ago whether or not I would go back and do the whole marriage thing over again (if Evan were completely out of the mix…I’d still have the kiddo but not the divorce).

I thought long and hard about that. The whole key to a life well-lived is that on our deathbed we don’t look back with regrets, right? That’s what they say anyway, isn’t it? That when you reach that point where life meets death, you shouldn’t have to think about all the things that you could have done but didn’t and all the things you did do that were a bit on the fucked up side. So, I had to ask myself is that really how I see life? A life well-lived is one without regret? Do I have regrets?

They seem like such simple questions, but in reality, they’re anything but…

Looking back over my life, there are certainly some questionable choices. If I hadn’t, for example, let that kid in my house when I was 13, I never would have been raped. If I hadn’t moved back in with my dad, I never would have been alone in the first place. If I had chosen to go to Georgia State University when I was accepted at 17, I would have gotten out of Small Town, U.S.A. If I had chosen that path, maybe I wouldn’t have ended up getting my heart broken at 21. If I hadn’t had my heart broken, I wouldn’t have taken my first pharmacy job. I wouldn’t have met my ex-husband. I wouldn’t be sitting right where I am right now typing these words.

So, that begs the question…

Do I regret where I am right now, who I am?

I’m supposed to say “no” here right?

      HA. The answer truly is a no, but it’s more complicated than some heart-felt, meme-worthy inspirational
jumble of Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra quotes about living in the present and embracing the now and all that cosmic universal bullshit that makes me roll my eyes so hard I swear they’re going to fall right out of my skull and continue rolling across the ground until they come to firm stop at my cat’s feet.

Truthfully, the whole thing of it is, we are, in part, a collection of our past experiences. When it comes to coping with a fucked up past, people like to tell you that you, as a person, aren’t the sum of your past. You aren’t what happened to you. You’re more than where you’ve been. And, in a way, I suppose, that’s true. The entirety of your being isn’t based on your personal history. But, I can tell you from quite a lot of personal experience in my arguably short 33 (in September) years , that the events of the past, all those questionable decisions and even the parts of my life that I had no deciding power over (like the parents I was born to, the area I was born in) have all shaped the me that I am right now sitting here pondering the concept of regret. As much horror as was involved in some of the darkest memories of my childhood, in that memory of being tackled on dirty brown carpet and pleading “no,” as much pain and sorrow as has pervaded my life at times, I can’t say I regret the way things have gone. I don’t even know that I would go back and change anything if I could.

I suppose from the outside looking in that might seem a bit on the insane side, but each of those events made me stronger, made me a fighter, gave me a voice and a passion to make change and work for social justice. I look back and sometimes I’m amazed at myself. So, I think, perhaps, a life well-lived is one full of lessons that could, from some angles resemble regret if you’re in a pissy mood. And, when you’re on your deathbed, I assume you look back at that life and all the things you learned about yourself along the way and you think maybe it wasn’t perfect but damn was it one hell of a run.

Would I go back and do the whole marriage thing over again knowing the way it ended and the way I lost myself in those years? You bet your fucking ass I would. I learned a lot about myself after it was all said and done—about how strong I really was to make it as a single mom on my own. I learned more about who I want to be, what I want from life, from a partner. It may not have been a fairytale romance, but it certainly gave me a new respect for myself that I wouldn’t trade for anything honestly.

When the time come, I’m pretty sure the last thoughts in my head are going to be full of love…for everything that was.

This has been another edition of Sunday Confessions. As you may have guessed, the prompt was "regret." I hope you'll check out More Than Cheese and Beer for the rest of the link ups and her Facebook page for anonymous confessions. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jeopardy J Style

It's Secret Subject Swap day for September hosted by Baking in a Tornado. There were 11 brave bloggers that joined in today. We each submitted a prompt and were given another in secret to be interpreted in our own way and posted simultaneously today. See the end for the links to all the others and to check out the interpretation of the prompt I submitted :)

For now, my prompt was submitted by and is: Having a chance to be a candidate at the Jeopardy show, what excites / scares you the most? If you could chose the categories, which would you feel comfortable with?

I’ve never really been a big fan of Jeopardy unless the skits on Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell as Alex
Trebek count as fanship. So, that might be my biggest concern being on Jeopardy—the overwhelming desire to make my name “Turd Ferguson” a la Norm Macdoanld as Burt Reynolds or maybe to make jokes about sleeping with Trebek’s mom as was the running gag on those skits when Darrell Hammond played Sean Connery. Who could help it? Celebrity Jeopardy were some of my favorite skits on the show.

I have a bit of stage fright and nervousness being in big crowds. I’m painfully introverted; I’m not an in-the-spotlight kind of girl. So, that, in and of itself, would likely make me a piss-poor game show contestant. I’m not really squealy or jumpy or too excitable.

All my *girl screams* are mostly internal.

I don’t know that I would really be all that excited, but I’d certainly be afraid I’d trip, fall, and show my entire ass to the audience since I always wear dresses. I’d most definitely stutter, forget to phrase my answers as a question, and make those goofball, idiotic faces when I talk like always especially when I’m nervous. But, it could be fun if I could choose the categories. There are some things I know far more about than others. For example, I don’t know a fucking thing about sports, ballet, or opera which are common categories (according to my limited Google research). There are times I’d like to completely avoid Facebook during football season just so I don’t have to see the idiotic “Let’s Go Dickheads” and “We nailed them (even though I never left the fucking couch!!!!!!!!!!)” posts. And, quite honestly, I live in a town of 297 people. Seeing a ballet or opera isn’t really the easiest thing, and if I’m even more honest, it’s not even a thing that I’d make that much of an effort to do. The closest I really want to be to an opera is watching reruns of that episode of Looney Tunes where Elmer Fudd runs around singing “I killed da wabbit….I killed da wabbit…”

So, what DO I know about then?

Classic Rock History: if you ever want to know the history behind Layla or who was even IN Derek and the Dominos, I am your girl. “These classic rock artists all died at the age of 27.” “Who are Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones, Alex.” I can answer questions about Woody Guthrie, Bobby Fuller, Duane Allman, Skynyrd…When I love something, I want to know more about it. it’s just my thing. I grew up on classic rock and some outlaw country but mostly classic rock, so of course, it has always stuck with me and continues to be a big love of mine today.

Obscure bands: Yeah, some people say this would make me a music snob, but I just like to say that I love what I love, and I listen to what I love. Once a true, self admitted music snob told me that I didn’t know a fucking thing about real music. It really pissed me off... In fact, I can’t tell you at the time how angry I was. I have to say it was a good thing he was all the way in Boston while I was here in Georgia on the other end of the phone. He insisted. I argued. Music had always been a huge part of my life, so how could this person say this absolute garbage to me? He told me to listen to a band named Baroness, a song called Couer. So, I did. I downloaded the first couple of EPs and their first full length album. I liked what I heard. I did. I didn’t love it at first, but then the song Red Sky came on. Right from the start, it captured me. Something sparked. A minute into it, I leaned back in my chair with my glass of wine and the whole house around me just faded away. I closed my eyes and felt something stirring in my that had long been asleep, coiled and waiting for the right moment to live and man, did it fucking live that night. It started a musical evolution, maybe revolution is the right word. So, no, I don’t really listen to whatever or whatever comes on the radio typically, but it’s because I worked for it. My asshole friend was completely wrong. I did know a lot about music already, but he set me on the right path to find things that meant more to me….that hit all the right notes, so to speak. I’ve expanded on that quite a bit on my own to include so many genres of music, but I found those on my own, listening, opening myself up to it, and caring about more than a catchy tune… So, I reserve the right to be picky. It’s not really a bad thing.

Death penalty statistics: Having written and helped a person on death row for 7 years does not come without knowledge. Well, I suppose it can. If you’re in it for the wrong reasons, if you only care about yourself then yeah, sure, you’re only going to write. You’ll never get informed. And, you’ll move on to the next one like some execution conveyor belt. I’ve seen it happen. But, for me, at least, writing and helping hasn’t come without knowledge. So, I can tell you exactly what the costs are, how much certain states can save. “$90,000 per inmate, per year.” “What is the cost of housing on average for a death row inmate over that of someone given life without parole, Alex.” Correct. I can tell you the projected error rates and the number of people who have been wrongly convicted who were later exonerated. “145.” “The number of death row exonerees up to September 2, 2014, Alex.” I can tell you about the people who aren’t included in the error rates because they’ve already been executed. “The Texas man wrongly executed for the arson murder of his young children which forensic evidence now shows was not arson.” “Who is Cameron Todd Willingham, Alex.” I live and breathe these statistics. Every time I look down at the callous on my finger from writing so much, so often, I think of them in complete and utter horror. It’s amazing what a country can fool itself into believing is the right thing, isn’t it? (Read more of my writing here and here and here.)

Counseling Theories: I’ve been fascinated by human behavior for decades. Analyzing, wondering, interpreting… It was my friend’s murder and the way I eventually dealt with all of that which eventually shaped my career goals to include counseling inmates. And, it’s not *just* about the counseling…it’s about social advocacy and preparing these individuals (who are often thrown in a cage and forgotten until they’re returned to society and pretty much given zero chance to make it) to come back to their homes or make new homes without returning to a life of crime. It’s not going to be easy. I’ve spent the last few years attempting to earn my master of science in forensic counseling, and much of that time is spent learning counseling theories and how those theories apply to every aspect of the field. We’re expected to develop a theoretical orientation while still in school—a theory or combination of theories which form the foundation of our theoretical approach with clients—so it’s important to know the ins and outs of each before making the kind of commitment that will shape the way you conceptualize every case that you ever encounter and with the fascination that comes so naturally to me, the knowledge of those theories has stuck with me especially since I know how important it is to treat the client as an individual and not stick inflexibly to just one theory. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Cult Movie Quotes: I suppose this applies to any movie I love and not just the ones that have developed a cult following, but most of the ones I do love end up being cult films. Did I mention I’m an ordained Dudeist priest? Yep, I love The Big Lebowski that much. So, it’s no wonder that I often have a movie quote at the ready in almost every situation to lighten the mood or make things awkward. And then even more awkward as I explain that it’s a line from a movie and I’m not completely incapable of normal social interaction which truly shows that I’m completely incapable of normal social interaction. “The snozberries taste like snozberries” was uttered in the back of a police car.” “Well, meow, that would be What is Supertroopers?” Pretty much any Coen brothers or Tarantino film, Guy Ritchie films excluding Sherlock (D’ya like dags?), SLC Punk, Dazed and Confused, Grandma’s Boy, anything with Will Ferrell except that shitty buddy cop film he did with Marky Mark, Scott Pilgrim, Taxi Driver, Rocky Horror, Kubrick films, Pineapple Express, High Fidelity, John Hughes films…oh god John Hughes films should have their own category. I won’t bore you with all the films I love, but the fact is that sometimes when my words fail me, I don’t mind stealing others’. lists: WatchMojo has a youtube channel. I hate this fucking channel. I really do. I don’t even like youtube as a whole. But, my best friend got me started watching these lists. Top 10 Musical Acts of the 90s. Top 10 Cult Action Films. Top 10 Cash Cow Films. Top 10. Top 10. Top 10. What can I say? I’m a sucker for lists. So, that part of me--the sucker, the lover of High Fidelity, the mental mistress of one Rob Gordon--craves her lists. The rational part of me knows that every.single.time. I watch said lists I get pissed off and yell at the TV screen “you have no fucking idea what you’re talking about!” and then I say, “I’m never watching this shit again.” And then I do. The very next day.

Dating Profile Dos and Don’ts: I’ve had dating site profiles for a number of years now on both Plenty of Fish
and OkCupid. In fact, I have a blog project with More than Cheese and Beer at DoucheArt where we take messages we get and reader submissions to make kitschy art. It’s been sort of a social experiment for me in many ways even though I have met some great friends that way. If I honestly expected to meet the love of my life on a dating site, I’d be sorely disappointed, I’m sure. But, after so many years of this, I can truly say that I can no longer be surprised. “This is something you should never send in a first message to a woman on Plenty of Fish.” “What is ‘i no i dnt no u but wld u kcik me in the balls as hard as u can, I lik ur tats.’”

80s and 90s Cartoons: On OkCupid, one of the sections of your profile asks you the most intimate thing you’re willing to admit. Most people skip over this entirely which always kind of bothers me. I mean, why go on a dating profile if you’re going to be so secretive that there’s nothing that comes to mind to add here. Anyway, my answer is that I cannot escape the comfort of the cartoons of my youth. It’s true. I still watch Ducktales every chance I get. Scooby Doo. Pee-Wee’s Playhouse (it still counts). Tailspin, Batman the Animated Series, Tiny Toons, Darkwing Duck, the Wuzzles, Wacky Races, Gummi Bears, the Smurfs, Animaniacs, Doug… I love sharing these with my son and knowing that he loves them just as much as I do no matter how different they look than what’s available today. We laugh at old Looney Tunes and both find comfort in old Scooby movies. I have an entire cabinet full of DVD seasons of cartoons from this time period, and I would own this category. Like a boss.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Generation Video Games: So, maybe I’ve played a lot of video games in my time even though there have been occasions in my life when I’ve criticized the video gaming industry for being a bit misogynistic and one-directional. The time period mentioned extends from the original and unbeatable
NES to the original Playstation. I still love games, but these days I watch more than I play. I stay too busy to play many myself and watching someone else play allows me the opportunity to multitask, so I think, even though my knowledge extends to current era gaming, I’d feel safer with the generations I’ve played myself. I actually read Game Informer, watch a couple of video game channels on Youtube, and learn a lot from those stupid lists that end up pissing me off. And, no, I haven’t fully revealed my nerdery….To do so, I have to admit that I have a pair of Super Mario Bros 3 earrings that look like actual NES cartridges. My love is mighty and would serve me well in such a category. Unfortunately, my bias is strong, and I would probably get into a fist fight with Alex over my beloved games and turn the real Jeopardy into some awful parody of an SNL skit. If any question asked the number 1 NES game of all time and the answer was not Mario 3, it would be on like Donkey Kong.

Stephen King Novels: I have been a constant reader since the age of 13. I preorder them, devour them, complain when the story lines seem similar to prior works, absorb the insightfulness of the characters, reread them—something I can’t do with most novels, and get inspired by them. He’s one of my favorites not because of the genre he so often writes in but the way he uses these insane plots, these horror and sci-fi worlds, to talk about humanity, to reveal something about a person—a commentary on humanity overall at times—that would not have been revealed through every day, mundane life. Is he the greatest writer? No. And sometimes that side of his humanity makes me like his work even more.

Non-chocolate Candies: I get cravings for chocolate like anyone else, I guess. Ok, maybe not as strong as some people I know, but I have zero will power when it comes to fruity or gummy things. If it’s in one of those categories, I’m all over it. “The combination of Haribo gummies that is like an orgasm in your mouth.” “What is Happy Cola and Twin Cherries,Alex.” Correct.

4th Wave Feminism: I don’t think anyone ever has been an expert feminist. That may sound at odds with including this category for Jeopardy. But, what I really mean, is that feminism is a different experience for every woman. We don’t have to agree on every little tidbit. Some people love that Beyonce has embraced the feminist title and I do agree wholeheartedly that she has pushed it and pulled more women into understanding that feminism isn’t the dirty word we thought it was. I had to learn that the hard way myself. But, do I agree with a big fraction of feminists who think that the way she shakes her ass on stage is her display of radical feminism and embracing her sexuality without fault? No, I think it sells more records than it would if she relied solely on her intellect, and I think that’s a sucky image to give to her younger audience. So, there’s no right way to feminist, but there’s no way to come to some sort of agreement enough that any of us are experts. Or maybe I’m the only one that sees it that way. ha. But, I do know enough about the basics that I would love for this category to be a part of the epidode I’m on. “The aspect of modern society which consistently puts blame for rape and other sex crimes solely on the victim and rarely puts responsibility on the rapist.” “What is rape culture, Alex.” I know what feminism is and isn’t and what the myths are. It’s one of those labels I use to identify myself and my beliefs and something I feel strongly about, so while it may be more serious than a lot of my categories here, I think it’s necessary to shine an intelligent light on the truths in a more mainstream light without the interference of those godawful Jezebel writers.

And since we need 13 picks to include final jeopardy, I’m throwing in Privilege: Privilege has become a big deal topic to me. It’s not something everyone likes to discuss, and it surely makes a lot of folks angry to even so much as see that word. Privilege. Privilege is one of my son’s 3rd grade level homeschool vocabulary words…simple yet so misunderstood in the context of sociology. The idea that we’re born into a lot in life that makes it easier for some and harder for others is a concept that people continually try to deny but that has been irrefutably proven to exist in study after study after study. It’s sort of the climate change of the sociological world. All the experts agree but people have such a hard fucking time changing their world view to align with the evidence thrown before them that they shout and scream and rail against it like somehow being loud and obnoxious suddenly makes the truth no longer true. Privilege is not guilt. It doesn’t mean you have to feel guilty for being born White or male or into a wealthy family. You don’t have to feel guilty for not having mental or physical disabilities. The whole point of the matter is that it’s important to recognize that we aren’t all born on the same playing field. We don’t have the same capabilities when it comes to succeeding by whatever definition we think success is measured. Some of us absolutely cannot just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and work our fingers to the bone to make it out of whatever dire situation we were born into… We were sold that idea a long time ago…the American Dream. It seems relatively impossible for people to give up that idea that working hard and buying more stuff is the answer to everything. But we have to and until we acknowledge that systemic racism and sexism and other biases are holding people back from reaching their full potential, until we acknowledge that people are targets of the police and the justice system, this country is going to continue to polarize and divide until we absolutely implode into civil unrest, war, and destruction. So, it’s an important topic to me, a vital one really. And I think it’s one that I would treat seriously on the show…

So, it’s not categories like Shakespeare or Before and After but I think it would make a hell of an episode.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:                             Baking In A Tornado                                           The Momisodes                         Spatulas on Parade                    Stacy Sews and Schools                              Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                   Evil Joy Speaks             Confessions of a part-time working mom                       Someone Else’s Genius                                     Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                       The Bergham’s Life Chronicles