16 October 2013

We Must Be The Change We Wish To See

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights...
—Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world...
—1st sentence of the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Human Rights are commonly understood as inalienable fundamental RIGHTS to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being. The definition is simple. We have rights because we are human. But why are we not equal, in 2013? Why do we STILL have to fight for our human rights that we were born with?

I know people in all parts of the world of all races, colors, religions have to fight for their rights, but the rights I fight for are gay rights. I am a gay woman, who everyday, has to fight for my simple human rights. I am a good person. I have a full time job. I have a partner of 7 years. I do not have a criminal record. So why am I being treated like one? Why am I being robbed of my rights? Am I not human?

We have to fight because people are scared of what they don't know. Things that are foreign to them. Things to which they are ignorant. But ignorance breeds fear, and fear can breed hate, and hate can rip people of their fundamental rights. In 2013, there's no reason we should be acting uncivilized. Everyone is different. Everyone has different beliefs. But everyone is human and if one human can have rights, so can the other, regardless. There's no excuse for prohibiting human rights of any kind.

We have made great strides in the United States in the Human Rights movement, and as of late, particularly the Gay Pride movement. It's crazy that we need a "movement" for anything human rights related, but here we are. People just get scared and think homosexuality is disgusting because it's "sex" related. But is it? Is being gay really all about sex? The answer is NO. Can you imagine if straight people were forced to come out and admit their sexual preferences? Oh, the guy sitting behind you on the bus likes to wear a strap on and give it to his wife in the butt. Or, the waitress at the restaurant where you’re enjoying lunch likes to blow her husband while he takes a shit (that's called a Blumpkin, btw). Or how about your college professor who likes to hire prostitutes to beat him with a whip and then pee on him?  Since when did someone's sex life or sexual preferences become a legal issue? 

What we humans do, as long as we're not hurting anyone or committing crimes, is none of anyone's business. It's time we as civilized nations and societies finally move past the argument of human rights. We all deserve them no matter what. MLK Jr. once said a right delayed is a right denied. So many people in this world are being denied their simple human rights, and it's shameful. We as a world should be ashamed of ourselves for continuing this barbaric, uncivilized, ignorant way of treating people. In the thousands and thousands of years humans have been on the planet, surely we could have figured this out by now.

But since we haven't, we will continue to fight. I, as a gay woman, will continue to fight for my rights. I just hope everyone else out there will continue fighting for their own rights, and the rights of others. It's the right thing to do. It's not difficult to respect others. Others are nothing to fear. Differences are something to be applauded, not judged. We all deserve to be here. We have all earned our spot here on this planet. And we were all born with rights. It's time to recognize our peers as equal, no matter what.

Nothing changes immediately; but immediately, you can make change. Small acts of kindness go a long way. Smile to someone who looks different than you. Open your mind to another culture. Support someone whose sexual preference differs from yours. Change will not occur until we recognize every human being is equal. It starts with us. We humans are in control of change. It's time that humans respect ALL humans and their rights.

True that, Gandhi.

15 May 2013

Awkward Facebook Moments Vol. 1

Let's face it. We all have them. Sometimes you give TMI. Sometimes you offend someone. And most times, you don't use correct grammar. I mean, I always do, but you don't.

But there are more awkward Facebook moments than that.

Take for example Facebook birthday announcements. The opportunity to wish someone a happy birthday, someone on your friends list that you literally NEVER communicate with but are just too nosy to defriend? Do you wish them a happy birthday, even though that's the only thing you will say
to them yearly? Considering you didn't say anything when their cat died, their car was stolen, or they lost their job. You don't say anything about that but you're the mother fucker who wishes them a happy birthday?

I find myself in that predicament daily. Even worse, when there are multiple birthdays and it shows up in my news feed that I wished 2 out of 5 people a happy birthday, and you weren't one of them? Then I look like a jerk, but I don't communicate with you. Ever. So, leave the happy birthday wishes to someone who actually cares. Like the other people who never communicate with you, but still can't NOT wish you a happy birthday because it shows up in their feed.

How about when someone has a major life event and they post it on Facebook? Like, having a baby, getting married, getting divorced, etc. Do you comment on their post and succumb to the thousands of notifications that will inevitably ensue from other people's comments? Do you send them a private message? Or do you just not say anything at all? Everyone knows it's not official until it's on Facebook, so even though I went to your wedding, held your newborn baby, or cursed your ex husband during a night of divorce celebrations, I STILL have to comment, simply because it's on Facebook? In the words of Cher from Clueless, AS IF.

What do you do when someone posts motivational posters and pictures all the time? Do you give them the sympathy they're looking for, or do you hide that shit like I do? Look, Facebook is a forum for all of us to keep in touch, not group therapy. Find an AA meeting if you need justification or sympathy for your bad life choices. I don't see how it's motivating to post motivational posters on Facebook. What does it motivate? People to look at your profile? To see if there's any dirt on what you might be going through to post motivational crap? I'm not saying motivational posters are bad, but in excess, well, it's excessive. I don't really need to see your posters on a daily basis. So, I hide that shit.

Finally, let's talk about the serial likers. Really? Do you really spend all your time on Facebook liking shit? You don't do anything else but like. It's an addiction, I swear. No one likes that much stuff. No one can possibly thumbs up everything everyone posts all day long, every day. Most shit I see, I'm completely impartial to. I'd rather comment on something than like it. Why? Cause it's annoying to be notified that someone liked something I posted. If you like it, why not comment on it? Then, you won't be wasting my time by my clicking the notifications tab just for me to see that you liked it. Keep it up, and I'll put my thumb where you won't like it.

14 May 2013

Closets Are For Clothes, Not People

Pride: a satisfied sense of attachment toward one's own or another's choices and actions, or toward a whole group of people. A product of praise, independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging.

This is gay pride, or rather, a gay pride.

I publicly declared on FB today that I am a proud Midwesterner, what with the state of Minnesota legalizing gay marriage. It is a huge step for the Midwest, considering the only other state to legalize it in that area is Iowa, who is best known for...um, well, I'm not sure. Corn fields, perhaps? Regardless, it makes me proud to see my Midwest area on the right side of history.

But it also reminds me that I'm proud to be a woman, and more, a proud gay woman. I guess you could say I have gay pride. The gay community is open, understanding, and compassionate. It’s a place where you are always welcome, no questions asked because the person next to you has been where you have been. The people in our community have all worn the same shoes (most likely Birkenstocks for women and pumped up kicks for the boys) and can relate our experiences on many complex levels. Our stories may be different, but we all have a collective understanding of the gay experience, both good and bad.

Everyone has a reason to be proud, whether it’s because you are an accomplished athlete, successful in your career, or are just proud of who you are as a person.  For me, I’m just proud to be different, proud of being strong enough to admit who I really am, and who I want to spend my life with.

Gay pride month is upon us in just a few short weeks which begs the question: Why are we as gays so proud? What sets us apart from say, heterosexual pride? Because being gay is different and it takes incredible strength to be different.

There are many reasons I love being gay. Probably too many to count; but for your entertainment, I am going to try and list a few, put this gay pride into perspective. Let me preface this by saying I am not a man hater by any means, but in order to drive home my points, I gotta compare the two sexes.

Men are disgusting and women are beautiful. You all know this is true. Women don’t have that inherent “man reek”. Well, with the exception of my best friend Jes. Girl is naaaasty, but I digress. You know the stench when you walk into a guy’s bedroom? Or a frat house? Or even a man cave? That stale odor of wet socks, ball sweat, and morning breath? G to the ROSS. Thankfully, women like to smell good and use things like candles, exotic body sprays, and often baking to induce pleasant smells. Guys like their natural musk and are often quite proud of it. Women can be disgusting, but at least we try to hide it.

Men are hairy and again, women are beautiful. Yes, women have body hair (in areas some are ashamed of, but that’s what laser hair removal is for) but we don’t have chest, back, or armpit hair. Not typically anyway.

Men do not menstruate; women do; therefore, they understand the pain and suffering on a monthly basis. My wife Emily doesn’t get upset with me if I am not feeling well due to my angry uterus like a man would. She doesn’t blame my crankiness on PMS immediately. Periods are not a mysterious puzzle to be solved, a code to be cracked. It’s just menses guys, learn about it. 

Women are beautiful, or have I mentioned that before? Have you ever looked closely at a man’s genitalia versus a woman’s? I mean, it’s like comparing beautiful golden apples and a papaya to an ugly purple sausage and dried up prunes. The two are simply not comparable. And who doesn’t love boobs? Straight men, straight women, and even gay men love boobs. 

Women know what women want. That can be helpful in almost every single scenario in a relationship. Sex, sharing clothing, food choices, activities, communication, and the list goes on. I don’t wonder what my wife means when she says something. I don’t wonder if I have to read between the lines or make assumptions. She says what she means, and means what she says. Simple as that. 

Being a lesbian comes in handy when in public, particularly bar scenes. Not only do we have the best reason to deny a creeper, it is also a great way to score free drinks. It seems when you deny a creeper’s advances, the cute(ish) guy who hears that you’re a lesbian wants to know more and buys you drinks. Of course secretly, he thinks he’s just scored a night with two chicks, but he really knows he’s going home alone, but he can’t stop his curiosity. Downside, sometimes you have to explain intimate details, but hey, a free drink is a free drink. Ladies, am I right?

We have the option to shop in the ladies and men’s sections of clothing stores. We can mix and match clothing if we choose. This idea extends outside the stores; many gay women also shop in the ladies and men’s department. It’s called being bisexual, and I have done it.

Being a woman in a same sex relationship offers me everything I want. The wife and I have a best friend relationship. She understands everything about me. She knows what it’s like to be female, so she understands why I ask her to help me with a self breast exam, and she knows what to look for. Being of the same gender, we have common interests and we do more things as a couple than some of our straight friends. And women are naturally sweet creatures, full of love, piss, and vinegar. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

We gays have the best gay jokes. Seriously, we do. (See: Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, Neil Patrick Harris, Mario Cantone, et al.)

Joking aside, the best thing for me about being gay is the sense of pride I get when I say it out loud. The sense of pride I get when someone I love and care about introduces me or my wife to someone new and is not uncomfortable doing so. Admitting you’re gay forces you to realize things about yourself you were too afraid to see before. It forces you to be strong willed, caring, and understanding of people who have difficulties. 

I acknowledge everyone has a story, everyone has hardships. But for the sake of argument and to further my explanation about why I'm proud to be gay, I say this: everyone has hardships, sure, but not everyone has had to face adversity, public judgment and humiliation, or estrangement from friends and family simply by declaring their sexual preference, who they like to have sex with, or who they want to spend the rest of their life with. Can you imagine if straight people were forced to come out and admit their sexual preferences? Oh, the guy sitting behind you on the bus likes to wear a strap on and give it to his wife in the butt. Or, the waitress at the restaurant where you’re enjoying lunch likes to blow her husband while he takes a shit. Or how about your college professor who likes to hire prostitutes to beat him with a whip and then pee on him? Yes, these are extreme and unpleasant examples, but sometimes this is what “coming out” feels like to us. It feels like we have to put our sexuality on display to set the record straight. I mean, isn't your sex life EVERYONE else's business like ours is?
Everyone in the gay community has a “coming out” story; some are great, some are not so great, and some are just horrifying. Although coming out is a process to admit your sexuality, a process no one should have to go through, gay or straight, it’s just the way our society is. If you’re different, you have to declare it out in the open for the world to hear and when you do, you have to stand by it and defend it. Coming out is also a way to expose yourself and see your own strengths and weaknesses in the open, raw and vulnerable. For me, it has made me become a better person. I may be proud, but I’m not too proud to admit my faults, work on the way I react to things out of my control, and I attribute my inner growth successes to the fact that I am gay and therefore, proud. Having a great support system also helps that feeling of pride, no doubt. 

I have changed a lot since “coming out” years ago. I still have a temper, but on a scale of 1 to blind rage, I’d say my temper generally falls between 1 and seeing red. Like an alcoholic, I have chosen to accept the things I cannot change; I can only change my reaction and give things meaning if I choose to. I am more selfless than selfish, because I am in love with a girl for whom I would lay down my life. But let’s be real; even with all those positive changes, I’m still an asshole, but at least I’m a cool gay asshole. Settle down gay boys, not that kind of gay asshole. You know where to go to find that.

With that said, being who you are is something to be proud of, regardless of the reason. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Life is too short, tomorrow is never promised, and the best people in life will love you because you’re you.

01 April 2013

Word: 365 Weeks 10-13

Life happens. I haven't updated on my project in a few weeks, and I am still behind in writing some letters, but I will push through and catch up.

I sent letters to almost all family members (a few friends) the past few weeks. Cobi got a letter regarding his upcoming trip to FL. Dylan got a letter just so I could say hi! I sent a letter to my long lost friend Sarah in PA. My old college roommate Kelly sends out a holiday letter every year, a letter I look forward to so I sent her a mini "holiday" letter catching her up on the past few years that we have not seen each other. I also sent letters to June, Shelby, Whitney, as well as my BFF Rachel. Jes & Riley got a letter, thanking them for coming to visit us. Mom & Dad got a letter, of course. Emily's grandma Noreen got a letter for her birthday, and her brother and sister in law Andrew & Lindsay also got a letter. Last but not least, I sent a letter to my sister Erin.

Nothing too exciting. Time to go catch up on writing. Check back soon.

In other news, Emily and I have been spending time on Craigslist looking for used but quality kayaks. Craigslist is awesome, yet insanely creepy at the same time.

Case in point:


Hello, this is my lovely horse legacy. He has been in my family for 5 years. He truly is a wonderful creature. At night, his mane glows like the brightest of juptiers moons. It is what we in the horse world call "magical". I give him daily protein shakes to make sure he countinues to grow big and strong. I don't know when he'll stop growing, he'll probably countinue to until his time comes. Please be prepared to accommodate a horse the size of a small tank if you plan on keeping him for more then a month. I feed him a strict diet of cucumbers and horseradish. Some people say that it's sick to feed a horse horseradish, but sense horse radish doesn't actually have horse in it, I'm sure it's ok.

800 OBO if you have any albino chickens we may be able to negotiate. Or 800 dollars worth of Fred Meyers gift cards so I can countinue to buy horseradish for my other horse.

In order to ensure your not spam, please say "you have a magnificent stead on your hands I'd like to obtain. I'm pretty sure no telephone operator from overseas can say that correctly.
  • Location: Anchorage
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Posting ID: 3599790968

06 March 2013

Word: 365 Weeks 8 & 9

Well, it's been a busy two weeks. I was in WI the last week of February and when I got back, I had to play catch up.

I only wrote one letter in Week 8, which was to my brother in law (condolences for losing his grandmother) and then I had to fly out to WI.

Week 9 was different. I wrote a letter to Jessi Spengler, asking her how her 52 letters project is going. Wrote a letter to my old friend Eva. Wrote my friend Julie a get well letter (she just got a boob job). I, for one, cannot wait to feel her up next time I see her!!!

I wrote a letter to an old high school acquaintance Matt who did something wonderful at a funeral one of my friends had to attend. Two people, Mark and Kaye Juel, perished in a fire on 12 February 2013. It is a tragedy that rocked the community and Matt, who I believe is close with their son Steve, stood outside and saluted in the cold weather during the funeral. These are all second hand details from Jes, but when I was in WI, we discussed writing him a letter, just to let him know someone did notice what he did and that it was an amazing and heartfelt gesture.

Then I got the idea to Google "365 letters" to see who else has had the same idea. I found a blog by this woman Carla and read through some of her posts. She had a contact page with a mailing address, so I said what the heck and sent her a letter too.

I also decided to share my project with The Ellen Show; I know, I know. Wishful thinking. We'll see if anyone ever reads that letter. Along the same lines, I also wrote two DJ's at Kiss Country (they're always about positive projects in the community). Again, not sure if they'll ever read those letters.

I also started to research writing letters to soldiers, and it's not as easy as you would think. Either you have to write to a company who distributes them or pay to get the addresses of individual soldiers, or donate money in order to write a letter online. Finally, I found a company called A Million Thanks where you just write a bunch of letters, send to them, and they distribute them. It was my best option at the time. Hopefully, they end up in the right hands. If not, I guess my letters are floating around there somewhere.

Last but not least, I wrote another letter to Mom & Dad Kelly. It was so great to see and spend time with them, if only for a few short days. Love you guys.

This week, hopefully tomorrow, I plan on doing a random selection of letters by using an old school method. It's big, thick, and yellow. PHONE BOOK!!! I also looked into writing letters to seniors at nursing homes but again, it's more difficult than you'd think. Privacy and whatnot. Dangit.

I will wrap this up by stating this: anyone who knows me knows there's nothing I love more than combing words together to make one epic word. But this is a new one. Thighgina. And I'm just sad I didn't come up with it, but oh so very happy that I came across this today.


19 February 2013

Word: 365 Week 7

I wrote 5 letters last week. But I'm still ahead of the game, so that's good.

In the last two weeks, I have written super nice letters to two of my friends, sent them out in the morning, to only find out later in the afternoon that they had very bad news. I sent a letter to Tone-Loc in the morning, only to find out later that she was diagnosed with Lupus. Not cool. The other letter I wrote to my BFF Jes and sent it in the morning, only to find out later on that her aunt and uncle died tragically in a house fire. Very sad news, on both accounts and I've been thinking about both of them ever since.

I wrote a letter to my dear friend Lindsey, letting her know that although we don't talk all that often and only see each other when I make it home to WI, I still consider her one of my best friends and distance has no affect on our friendship. I wrote a similar letter to my FL friend Rachel. We hadn't seen each other in almost a year even though we live in the same county! But, we saw her on Friday and nothing has changed, which is great.

The last letter I wrote is to my new-ish friend Anna, whom I met through my friend Blue. I wrote her a getting to know you type of letter, since I've only met her a few times. But, she is coming to our game night in a few weeks so she will see the "other" side of me. Especially when we play the game "Cards Against Humanity". Holy balls. So excite.

Well, I am headed home to WI in two days. I can't wait to see everyone! My first order of business is getting the stupid Chinese symbol I have tattooed on my foot covered up with a fun clover/knot design. My sister Kate and I got these Chinese symbols back in college because we thought we were cool. But we weren't. And 10 years later, it's time to cover them up. Then I head home to Rhinelander to see my parentals and some friends. Leave Monday night to see another dear friend and then a couple on my way out on Tuesday. It will be a short, jam packed weekend but I'm looking forward to it. Not looking forward to driving in the snow, which I'm sure I will be doing quite a bit of. Such is life.

WTF pic of the week:

This is Merica, bitches. I'm glad that we have such strict gun laws that a choad with a skullet can pose for such sexy pics such as this. Wow. What a beaut!

14 February 2013

The Mattress

Well, we are in the market for a new bed (currently have a pillowtop queen, but it's not at all glorious; keep reading). But neither of us has ever shopped for or purchased our own bed before. I slept on a futon all throughout college and Emily had a full mattress. When we moved in together, she made me get rid of the futon and we shared the full.  Or double. It could have been a double. Shit, who am I kidding? It was probably a California twin.

Then we moved to Florida and it seemed that everyone we knew had an awesome queen or a king bed. Everyone had grown up and gotten rid of their college furniture in exchange for matching bedroom sets. Everyone except us. Either they already had one or we knew someone who was buying a new bed and needing to rid of their old one. Except us.

And one of those people was our dear friend Sarah.

One hot, sticky day in June, Sarah told me she needed help moving AND she needed assistance moving her bed. She had just dumped her loser boyfriend (the same guy who told her he dreamed about stabbing her in her sleep because she broke up with him and was seeing someone else; not a violent guy, just one of those nerdy types you'd see on The Big Bang Theory) and needed to move out of their apartment pronto. My first thought was to tell her to rent a U-haul but I'm a good person so I offered the use of my SUV. And I didn't want to find out her ex-douche stabbed her with a butter knife while she slept so I knew I had to get her out. And fast.

I was not excited to help her move (she's the type that packs as she moves) on a hot Florida summer day (I was so sticky with sweat, I could have been a honeycomb), but she was my friend and she needed help. Luckily for Emily, she was in WI at that moment so she was exempt from this horrifying day.

When I arrived at Sarah's house, she had a hot pizza on the counter and lukewarm beers she had just put in the fridge. Um, was she unaware this was June? In Florida? And one of my stipulations of helping her move was COLD BEER? Whatever. The sentiment was sweet and she fed and watered me so I sucked it up. Had I known what I was in store for, I would have asked for $1,000, a series of vaccinations (the kind you get when you go to Africa for the first time), and an orgasm. Seriously.

It didn't take us that long to pack up her crap and move it to her new place, which was nice because it was so hot. Did I say that already? Let me repeat. It was HOT AS HELL. So hot I think a cardboard box stuck to the side of my arm and when I went to put it in my SUV, the cardboard had adhered to my skin and tore a chunk off. The bed was the last thing she needed to move, which we saved for evening time when the sun went down. As an after thought, I'm not so sure that was a good idea because playing with ratchet cords and putting mattresses on top of my Saturn Vue in the dark turned out to be less than fun, but at least it wasn't as hot.

We loaded up her box spring and mattress on top of the SUV, miraculously figured out these stupid blaze orange ratchet straps (we had caught a mid afternoon buzz with those lukewarm beers), and drove slowly to her new place, each of us with an arm out the window, holding on to the mattress on the roof. Plus I drive a stick shift, so this was no easy task.

We looked just as, if not more stupid as those lawn care truck companies that are too cheap to provide their employees with ample transportation, so they just shove the sun beaten, decrepit looking workers in the back with the fallen trees, bushes, and what I would assume to be woodland creatures that have crawled in, thinking the back of the truck was a forest. We looked like idiots.

After we unloaded her nice big fluffy queen bed (thanks for rubbing it in) and got it set up, Sarah dropped a bomb on me. She told me we had to go back to the old apartment and get rid of a mattress. I was confused. What mattress? We had moved everything she had? She said it was from a friend (after seeing it, I don't know what kind of friend would unleash something this horrible onto another human being) and she was anxious to get rid of it. She started acting suspicious and seemed nervous when she would speak of this mattress. Later I would learn it's because there are video cameras by the dumpsters where she lived and she didn't want to be caught tossing a mattress in a dumpster where clearly you only toss garbage bags. By the way she was acting, I could have sworn she had committed a serious crime and was trying to rid of evidence. Little did I know, that could have been true based on the state of the mattress.

We arrived back to her old apartment and she brought me to the spare bedroom and showed me the mattress. Words literally cannot explain the horror I felt when I first laid eyes on this thing.

If memory serves me correctly, this is what I encountered:

My first thought was to call CSI because it looked like the mattress had been the star piece of evidence in a violent crime scene. There were stains that eerily resembled a Rorschach test and the thing smelled like and was as old as George Washington's death bed. If I had shined a black light across this abhorrent thing, I would have seen more semen than I ever care to in my life. And blood. And urine. And any other liquid that can weep from a human body. To say the least, this mattress was the nastiest thing I had ever seen in my life, besides the dead, drowned, bloated squirrel I discovered in a garbage can that had filled up with snow and melted during a spring thaw in WI.

I knew there was no way out of it. This mattress had to meet the dumpster that night, which meant I had to touch it. With my bare hands. And probably other parts of my body, like my cheek. When you move a mattress, it's best to let it rest against your body and I knew I would have to not only touch it, but carry it down two flights of stairs and across the parking lot to the dumpster. With my bare skin (I was wearing a tanktop and shorts). It would touch my bare skin. Everything else of hers was already moved, and that includes any hope of yellow kitchen or latex gloves she may have had. Gone. Long sleeves? Gone. Hazmat suit? I wish. Bare skin it is. 

It's really a shame I didn't look like this whilst moving it:

Who knows what kinds of diseases I contracted from that thing. It was a breeding ground for the Hepatitis Trifecta (A, B, & C), a number of STD's, and probably polio. I'm not showing any symptoms yet, but I'm still waiting.

I walked toward the mattress slowly, struggling to hold in the bile that was rising in my throat. Meanwhile, all Sarah could do was laugh at my reaction. I was screaming things like "Abe Lincoln murder scene", "rape/murder victim crime scene", "bloodborne pathogens", and "FUCK MY LIFE" and all she could do was laugh. All I wanted to do was cry. At one point, I even contemplated ending my own life (I was holding my breath for a long time, so it could have happened), but even in death, I couldn't stand to think that I would land on top of this cesspool of germs, crust, and piss.

Three beers later, I finally mustered up the courage to not only approach this mattress crime scene, but to touch it. With my pinky toe. I had to touch it with something and I could spare my pinky toe without being too upset. The thing was a giant "scratch n sniff". It was crusty, soggy, hard, soft, and emitted the foulest of odors that no landfill could even attempt to mimic. I suggested we just start the apartment on fire, but then there's the whole "arson is a felony=jail time" thing, so I quickly scratched that idea. 

Either it happened so fast, or I blocked it from my memory, but all I remember about moving this thing is holding my breath and picking it up, to quickly (and not so discreetly) throwing it on the dumpster. We didn't put it in the dumpster or next to it. No. We were in such a mad rush to get rid of this ancient, diseased, possibly historical artifact that we threw it on top of the dumpster. Looking back, we probably thought we were in serious stealth mode, sneaking through the parking lot undetected while holding a giant mattress, stealthily avoiding the cameras, but in reality, we looked like drunken loudmouthed laughing jerks shoving a mattress on top of a dumpster and running away as if we had just committed ding dong ditch.

Somehow, I survived. I should probably contact Biography.com and see if they're interested in my I Survived story, but they probably reserve those spots for people who are victims of crime, animal attacks, and freak accidents. Well, I know I was a victim, something was attacked on that mattress, and after touching it, I freaked. Maybe I'll qualify.

After listening to another round of hearty guffaws coming from Sarah the entire ride to her new place, she thanked me profusely while I cursed her silently. When I got home, here's a montage of what I did:

After living in FL for two years, we were approached by our friend Andria, wanting to do a mattress swap. She wanted our full box spring in exchange for a queen mattress. They had a full mattress and a queen mattress, but needed a full box spring and she new we were in the market for a bigger bed.

My first thought was "no way in hell am I accepting a mattress from everyone after what I had just gone through with Sarah". To give her the benefit of the doubt, she brought the mattress over and I did a 150-point inspection on it and thankfully there were no stains, odors, or diseases and we really couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a queen bed for the first time in our lives. So we got rid of the full mattress, bought a queen box spring, and it felt like heaven, sleeping on a queen from a full. But that feeling only lasted one night. The bed was uncomfortable and bouncy and it was difficult to get a good night's sleep. But we were poor so we dealt with it because after all, we finally had a queen bed.

Two years later, our friends Julie and Karl moved down here and bought a king bed. We exchanged our queen mattress for their queen (theirs was a pillowtop) and then we were really in heaven. Not only had they conceived their three children on the mattress we now slept on, which just the mere thought of their lovemaking can put me right to sleep with happy thoughts, but it was pillowtop heaven!

Well, that didn't last long either. We had to share the bed with Winkie and a few months later, we got a puppy. So now there's four of us in one bed. Wanks sleeps on my pillow, Kahlua sleeps by my feet, and Emily sleeps wherever the hell she wants. No joke.

On an average night, I probably have about 1/8 of the bed at my disposal. Every night, I claim my slice of mattress and at least 3/4 of my body hangs off the bed. Not only because Kahlua takes up so much room, which is odd because she's small, but Emily is an extreme bed hog. She shoves a pillow 'tween her legs, yanks on the covers all night long, and has violent RLS (restless leg syndrome for you anti-acronym people) and a weird habit of rubbing her feet together to fall asleep. She is also a heavy mouth breather when she sleeps, so I'm always trying to find a way to avoid that. Also, I'm scared for my life when she changes positions. I fear one day I will bounce right off that thing because she treats it like a trampoline. I literally have to hold onto the sheets when she starts moving around otherwise I know I will fall off the bed.

Needless to say, I seem to have bad luck with mattresses. I still have nightmares from the George Washington crime scene bed, I haven't gotten a decent, uninterrupted night of sleep in years, and we NEED a king bed like this:

Or a bunk bed like this:

We haven't decided. And no, please don't offer us your used king bed or I will stab you in your sleep, Sarah's ex-douche style.

My Anti-Valentine

Oh Emily, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (BARF)

Emily is an off-key singing, terrible dancing, tennis ball sniffing, big breasted, smiling silly woman. And today, she is my anti-valentine and I am hers.

I hate Valentine's Day. There. I said it. I think it's stupid. Before you call me a hater, let me explain.

I consider myself to be romantic. Not hopeless, but I like to do nice romantic things for Emily. But I like to be original, unique. If I want to surprise her with a gift, a bouquet of flowers (and never roses), or a romantic dinner, I will pick a random day to do it. A day she's not expecting it. I love her every single day of the year, so I am in no mad hurry to show her that I love her "extra", one day out of the year. Because I don't. I don't love her extra on 14 February; I just love her every day. Plain and simple.

Plus there's too much pressure on people for Valentine's Day. What if I don't get enough roses? What if she doesn't like my gift? I got her a diamond ring last year; what can I get her this year that will top it? Where can we have a super romantic dinner? Um...no thank you. I have enough pressure in my life being awesome, I don't need any extra.

Every year, it's the same thing. People spend way too much money on roses, which honestly, are NOT the prettiest flowers on earth. Nor are they the cheapest. Unless you buy them from the Hispanic guy on the I95 exit ramp. People spend too much time stressing over and picking out a gift. Candles? Jewelry? Vacation? Gift certificates?

And don't even get me started on those people who think it's cute and original to propose on Valentine's day. Dude, that's about as original as making a ham on Easter. Come on.

The only thing Valentine's Day is good for is boosting the economy, helping small businesses (restaurants, chocolatiers, florists, etc.) making single people feel lonely, and helping married couples have sex during the week. In this respect, fine. Valentine's Day: 1. Me: 0. You may have won that battle, but I will win the war about Valentine's Day. This holiday causes more stress, panic, pressure, and heartache than Christmas!

Thankfully, Emily feels the same way about Valentine's Day as I do. In fact, one year she made me an Anti V-Day card that was blue and black and looked like a bruise and it may have featured an anti-love poem. I had never felt so in love before! Girl gets me.

By choosing to not celebrate, there's no pressure on me to perform as anything but myself on V-Day. No pressure to outdo myself every year. No pressure to be über romantic, spend tons of money on chocolate or flowers, or to really do anything special besides tell her I love her, which I do every day anyway.

I love doing romantic things for Emily. I love surprising her with Gerbera daisies (her favorite and way prettier than roses) randomly. I love taking her out on the town, my treat. I love leaving her short notes on the bathroom mirror. Sending her sweet text messages. I love doing all that, so although it's shocking that I don't revel in the splendor that Valentine's Day creates for other people, I just don't see the point in over-celebrating when I celebrate with her every day. I love her every single day and simply don't feel it's necessary to go out of my way, one day of the year, to proclaim my love for her in outrageous ways.

12 February 2013

Word 365: Week 6

Last week I reached a milestone. I wrote my 50th letter. Currently, I have written a total of 52, but that will change today when I send out my next batch. But 50 handwritten letters in 45 days! Holy cripes Batman! Luckily, most of these are short letters.

So, who was the lucky recipient of the 50th letter? EMILY DAVIS of course! She's my person and deserves it. It was nothing special, just a short and sweet letter, but I actually put it in the mail so she was lucky enough to receive a letter in the mail instead of me just putting it on the counter in the bathroom!!!

I also wrote letters to my parents. Last week was a milestone for them as well. As you probably read, Dad finished his last round of chemo, and hopefully the last one forever. I wrote them both nice letters, telling them how much I love them and how proud I am of their strength and positive thinking for the last few months.

I wrote a letter to a couple of my friends last week that I thought could use a pick me up in the form of a handwritten letter. Shelby, Stacy, and Toni were the recipients for those letters.  I wrote another letter to Jess Spengler (read her blog here) because she is also participating in this project. She chose to write 52 letters this year, but I hope and I know she will be able to write more.

My nephews and sister Jen also received letters and stories from me this week. I haven't heard anything from them yet, which I normally do, so either they didn't get the stories or they hated them! Honestly, it could go either way. HAHA

Last but not least, I wrote a letter to Julie just reminding her how much I value our friendship and another to Amanda, an old friend with whom I rarely see or speak to, but our friendship is still strong and we can pick up where we leave off, which is the sign of a great foundation.

I wish I could give you a sneak peek into next week, which would be the letters I'm writing this week, of which there are none yet. Without further ado, I have to get writing but before I go, please enjoy this photobomb.

That kid is multi tasking; photo bombing whilst crapping his pullups and getting ready to take off his shirt. Well done Ese, well done.

07 February 2013

Adios, Chemo!!!

6 February 2013. My dad's last chemo treatment. Hopefully forever. But for now, "for now" will suffice.

Let me back up a bit. 19 July 2012. The day I turned 30. Also my mom's birthday (I won't give away her age). And we all received terrible news. Dad has colon cancer. Needs surgery immediately, then recovery, then chemo for 6 months. Holy crap, Batman!!!

Needless to say, it's been a looooooong 7 months or so. The surgery was a success, recuperation was a bitch, but Dad got through it. Chemo was okay at the beginning, but he felt like death towards the end. But death it is not. Dad made it through, he is soon on his way to recovery and will bounce back to his old sarcastic, snarky, somewhat racist self.

And I for one, cannot wait to have my Dad back.

But Tom Kelly didn't do this on his own. Sure, it was his body, but without the love and support from our family and friends and the power of prayer and positive thinking, the outcome might have been different. So, I'm sending a shout out to all of you who helped my family, prayed, sent positive thoughts, food, gifts, who sat with him at chemo, who visited him in the hospital or at home, gave him or my mom rides, etc., or for people who could do nothing besides keep him in your thoughts. No matter what you did or who you are, just know words will never express our appreciation.

He's not in the clear just yet though; he still needs another colonoscopy, a cat scan, and I'm sure other blood tests in the future to determine if the chemo worked, if the cancer is gone, etc.; but for now, he's good. Even so, keep praying (those of you who pray), keep sending positive thoughts and vibes his way, and just think of us every now and then. He might be 70 years old, but we are not ready to lose him and the power of positive thinking and willpower to live is amazing. Tom Kelly, we still need you around.

I mean, how can you NOT love this guy???

Tom Kelly is one of a kind. For those of you who know him, no explanation is necessary. For those of you who don't, you know you wish you did. He's an incredible father and man, albeit a pain in the ass most of the time. :)

Thanks again for everything these last few months, all of you. It really means a lot. Much love. xoxo.
Made by Lena