Friday, August 26, 2005

New Pictures!!!

I just added two new photographic series to my new Picturebook blog. Check 'em out and let me know your thoughts. I'm trying to develope an "Eye" for photographing things. My friend Carmen is a fantastic photographer but she has a really developed eye and can compose a shot well. I hope to be as good as she is.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Excuses, excuses!

Top 10 Lame Excuses For Not Having an HNT for Today.

  1. Work. I've actually been earning my pay check this week. Crazy, huh?
  2. I can't upload pics from work cause of the firewall.
  3. Had to sort through our bills last night -- such a buzz kill.
  4. Discovered an ant investation in my cat's litter box last night.
  5. Our new bed is too firm so I haven't been sleeping too good and being sleepy made me forget.
  6. Made homemade french fries last night. (After a giant plate of fries I just want to sleep.)
  7. Was feeling non-techy last night and didn't want to turn on the computer and download the camera.
  8. Cat's had late night fight and chased each other across my face! so I overslept and didn't have time this morning.
  9. I've only been fully naked when my camera was handy and it's not called FNT.
  10. I got confused and started working on a Half Nekkid Haiku.

Title: Half Nekkid Haiku Thursday
She gives excuses
A hint of skin unrevealed
Half Nekkid longing

I'll try to be Half Nekkid next week.

Happy Friday-Eve!

Monday, August 22, 2005

My Father Called

When I was a kid my biological father did a brief stint in Rahway State Prison (of “Scared Straight” fame) for burglary and assault. He’s since cleaned up his act, gotten off the drugs that drove him to it, went back to school and is now a Registered Nurse. He’s still not the most responsible person, can’t keep money, a car and jobs are shaky at best. Though he’s actually much loved by his patients (as I can attest from a visit to one of the nursing homes he worked at), just not so much by his bosses. I'm incredibly proud of him. Still though, I guess there’s a part of him that feels his past like constant a shadow over him.

We were never really that close when I was growing up, and there's still an awkwardness between us. I’m much closer to my step-father, to me he's my "Dad." Because of that I think my father kind of feels like he doesn’t deserve me on some level. So whenever he calls me, he’s like a bundle of nervous energy and talking a mile a minute. He called me over the weekend to tell me he’d gotten the invitation I sent him to my wedding. The conversation went something like this.

“Ali? Hey it’s Dad!”
“Oh, hey how are you doing?”
“Good, good. Listen I don’t want to keep you but I was just calling to say I got the invitation. I was just so… so tickled to see it! I really want to come out there.”
“Well, good. I really hope you can make it. It’d be great to have you there.”
“Well, you know I’m between jobs right now. But I’m starting a new one next month so… well I don’t how the money’s gonna be but… I’ll find a way.”
“I hope so. That’d be nice.”
“Yeah, I was over at your Aunt’s and we were just tickled by your invite… She can’t come, you know.”
“Yeah, I know. I talked to her last week and she told me.”
“Oh she did? Yeah, cause they are going to be in Brazil. Oh hey do you sing?”
“Well we were listening to that song on your web site and we were thinking that was you singing and Michael playing.”
“Oh no, that wasn't me. That was my old writing partner from L.A. He hired somebody to sing the song we wrote.”
“Oh, (laughs) Well we had a whole little story in our heads. Anyway, I told your Aunt I was gonna try to get out there. And she said no matter what we would make it happen to get me out there.”
“Okay. Good. That’s great”
“So you know, by hook or by croo… Well, no, no, not by crook. But by hook anyway. I’ll get out there.”

Now am I a sick person that I found that to be hysterically funny? I promise you, I didn’t laugh until I hung up. He’s a sweet man. Really he is. I hope he can make it… by hook that is.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Alibi's 100th Post: My Famous Quote

After my escape from my horrible ex-boyfriend many years ago I made up a "Famous Quote." I imagined it to be the deep words of wisdom that I'd like to be remembered for if I ever get famous and then like ... die or something. So today for my 100th post I'd like to start my own meme as I share my "Famous Quote."

Where you can not be honest, you are not welcome.
Where you can not be yourself, you have no place.
Where you can not be true, you can not belong.

Thank you all for making this blog a place where I can belong.

[I invite you all to try this meme and offer the world your own "Famous Quote," the only condition is that it has to be your own and not some already dead famous person. Have Fun!]

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Patience is a virtue...

On this lovely Half Nekkid Thursday eve, my new digital camera documents for the blogosphere the wonderfulness of my new silicone bra stuffers...

And AFTER!!!

It's long way from the sock-stuffers I used whenI was a budding young girl.

I loved Michael's reactions to them...
"Wow, I could get used to that."
and my favorite...
"Careful woman, don't make any promises you can't keep!"

And in Honor of Haiku Thursday

Title: Insert Breast Here
a woman's own curves
the pleasure of a man's eye
truth is a trifle

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My New Digital Camera.

It's a Casio Ex S500 and I love it like a long lost brother.

These are flowers from our yard.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

100 Things About Me

I keep seeing this on various blogs so I thought I would do it too. Here are 100 things about me.

  1. I am 38 years old but I don’t look it.
  2. I am a college grad.
  3. I live in Vista, CA.
  4. I have two cats.
  5. My fiance’, Michael is really my husband as we were legally married last year.
  6. Only a few people know we are legally married.
  7. Our church wedding will be in October.
  8. I completely forgot our first legal anniversary on July 31st
  9. So did Michael.
  10. Two weddings (Legal & church) is common in my family, at least 3 other family members have done it before me.
  11. I need a manicure and pedicure
  12. I think I am too flat-chested but I wouldn’t ever want to go under the knife.
  13. I have Vitiligo. (What Michael Jackson claims to have as an excuse for altering his skin color)
  14. I hate that I have to refer to Vitiligo as "Michael Jackson disease" for people to get it.
  15. Sometimes they still don't get it. "I am not a pedophile I just have little white patches on my skin! Sheesh!"
  16. I am incredibly flat-footed.
  17. My chiropractor told me it's “amazing that your legs have adapted to allow you to walk straight with feet that flat.”
  18. I have a bad memory for song names and singers.
  19. I can quote practically every line in Flash Gordon.
  20. I think Vin Diesel is H-O-T!
  21. I love hummingbirds and dragons
  22. I think it is good luck to see a live hummingbird or a dragon.
  23. I have never seen a live dragon but I’m still looking.
  24. I’d love to be abducted by aliens just to have a conversation and ask them questions.
  25. I’d try to convince the aliens to give me super powers.
  26. I have two best friends Anne and Carmen.
  27. Anne and I once convinced a woman that we were not only sisters, but twins. (Anne is white.)
  28. I lost my virginity at age 19.
  29. I have 3 tattoos.
  30. I want to get another tattoo (of a dragon) but I want to wait until after I have kids.
  31. I just bought a new digital camera.
  32. I just bought some gel filled silicone bra inserts.
  33. I think I will somehow combine 31 & 32 for Half Nekkid Thursday.
  34. I might even do it this Thursday.
  35. I drive a green RAV4.
  36. I love to shop.
  37. I love to bargain hunt.
  38. I sometimes fear that I’m a shop-a-holic.
  39. I love television.
  40. I have TiVo.
  41. My least favorite chore is cleaning out the cat’s litter box.
  42. I’m a technology fiend.
  43. I almost bought a new video camera yesterday.
  44. I already have a video camera that’s less than a year old.
  45. I didn’t buy the camera.
  46. I would have had to lie to Michael about where I got the camera so he wouldn’t be mad about me buying a second one.
  47. I think lying to him would really make me a sucky wife so I couldn’t do it.
  48. I love sci-fi.
  49. I’m a Trekkie.
  50. I prefer “Trekkie” to “Trekker.” Sue me, fan boys!
  51. I love Battlestar Galactica (old and new.)
  52. The strands of my hair are thin and break easily.
  53. This annoys me.
  54. I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately.
  55. My eating habits suck.
  56. I’m going overboard with my wedding.
  57. I’m obsessing on wedding things even though I act like I’m not.
  58. I’m worried about Michael.
  59. I think he needs to take better care of himself.
  60. I think I need to take better care of myself.
  61. We both spend too much money.
  62. We both love shoes.
  63. In the last month I have bought him eight pairs of shoes.
  64. I can get discount shoes through work
  65. I also get discount clothes
  66. I just ordered some clothes yesterday for me.
  67. I’m probably going to max out my discounts for the year by September
  68. No I won’t order stuff for you.
  69. I had spaghetti for lunch today and for dinner last night
  70. Tonight is “date night”
  71. I think we are going for sushi.
  72. I hope we can go see a movie
  73. Hopefully there will be sex too. :D
  74. I love “date night”.
  75. I hope to get pregnant on our honeymoon
  76. Or shortly thereafter
  77. Or shortly there-before
  78. My priest hinted that we should temporarily hold off on sex until we have our “sacramental wedding.”
  79. Who’s he kidding?
  80. I want to have a daughter.
  81. If I have a daughter I will name her Kennedy Anne.
  82. This is not negotiable.
  83. If I have a son, Michael gets to name him.
  84. He wants to name his first son Paul Michael after his father.
  85. I think his name should be Paul Michael Travis. (after my favorite uncle)
  86. I’d be willing to insert a second middle name of his choice for our daughter if I can get the “Travis” in there for our son.
  87. I think this is a good compromise.
  88. I never actually met my Uncle Travis.
  89. I just loved him forever from his photos.
  90. I have another uncle, Travis Anthony.
  91. I’ve met him. He’s cool.
  92. I would let him think our son was named after him, because he would like that.
  93. I was named after my mother.
  94. I look like my mother.
  95. I like that I look like my mother but I wish I had a different name.
  96. My nickname as a child was Bibba-Gos. It has nothing to do with my name.
  97. I hated that nickname.
  98. My Aunt Patsy made it up.
  99. Sometimes she still calls me “Bib” when it slips out
  100. I will never name a child after my Aunt Patsy

Monday, August 15, 2005

Click Here For My New Blog

Just cause I feel like it I decided to post some of my short stories.

Since they are longer than my regular posts (if you can imagine that) I decided to give them their own blog.

I hope you like it. I probably won't post that often, but I'll let you know when I do.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

FFF #3: "I Promise"

"You thought I forgot, didn't you?” Roddy’s eyes sparkled as he grinned at me.

“Yeah. Hell, I forgot… well sort of… I guess it was… still in the back of my mind,” I said awkwardly as I sat down on the couch across from him. The last time I’d seen him he was in a hospital bed and practically at death’s door. But here he was, looking strong as an ox and cancer-free.

“You look good, Roddy. Healthy.”
“I feel good,” he beamed at me, “My new place is cool. Just up the way from your dad.”
“He misses you. Talks about you all the time. You should talk to him.”
“I dunno. It’s been so long. I wouldn’t know what to say.”
“Just say hello, Neecee. Just tell him you’re thinking about him.”

It was funny to hear Roddy use my childhood nickname like that. Something about his voice wrapped around the name just took me back. We talked for a long time. I pulled out my old photo albums and we went through them remembering and laughing. We talked about Malcolm, my husband; and Simon, my son and the namesake of my father. Simon was back in rehab and I didn’t know if he would stay clean this time either. Malcolm’s knee was mending slowly but it would be a while before he was back to work fulltime. My lousy job was our main income. Roddy listened to me vent. He was always good at that.

At one point I heard Malcolm yell up from the basement, “Denise, honey, who you talking to?”

“I’m on the phone, babe!” I hollered back not even flinching in the lie. I mean what was I supposed to say? I couldn’t very well tell him that I was pouring my heart out to my childhood sweetheart. Should I have said that the handsome man who shared all my secrets since kindergarten and from whom I’d gotten my first real kiss was sitting in our living room with me even though he wasn’t supposed to be there? I just don’t think that would have gone over well.

We talked a little more and then a clumsy silence fell over us.
“I’d better be going,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said.
I walked him to the door.
“Neecee?” he turned to look at me one last time, “Don’t worry about things so much, okay? Everything’s going to be alright. I promise.”
“You promise?” I said smiling.
“Hey, I kept this one, didn’t I?” that mischievous grin I knew so well flashed back at me
“Yeah. Yeah, you did.”

And then he was gone.

I picked up the photo album and stared down at a photo of us taken over forty years ago. His arm around my shoulder and mine around his; two ten-year-olds just goofing around. It was taken by my father just days before the accident. I remember after my dad’s funeral, Roddy and I sat on the back steps of my house and he’d put his arm around me as I cried for my father.

“Don’t cry Neecee. You’ll be together again in heaven,” he’d said softly.
“What if there’s no heaven?” I’d sobbed, “What if he’s gone forever? I’ll never see him again.”
“Look I tell you what,” Roddy said, “If I die before you, I’ll go see your dad and then I’ll find a way to come back and see you. That way you’ll know we’re both okay.”
“You promise?” I squeaked, though I hadn’t really thought it was possible, I’d just needed to believe it.
“I promise.”


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Slammin’ The Spammenters

Since I’m feeling very surly today I thought I would rag on some of the drive-by ad spam we’ve all been seeing in our comments lately. Yeah sure, I could turn off my anonymous comments but then I’d miss the opportunity to beat on these guys properly. I know you all have been hit by them. I’ve seen ‘em in your comments. In fact I decided to do us all a favor and cull a few of the most notorious. I have listed the best of the Anonymorons here (and one with an actual name) in order to allow us all the opportunity to shred them to our hearts’ content. Feel free to add any others to the comments along with a good ripping. Enjoy!

Anonymoron #1
Anonymous said…
Amazing job on your Blog! I'll definatly be coming back. If you're interested, check out my PS3 vs XBOX360 blog that shows unveils all th secrets there are to know between these two mecca systems.
Anonymous said…
Amazing job on your Blog! I'll definatly be coming back. If you're interested, check out my easy money online blog that gives all of the top resources for the easiest money online.
Clearly you are the same Anonymoron as you duplicate the same intro and spelling errors. It’s “definitely” by the way and there’s an “e” at the end of “the.” Now does your PS3/Xbox blog show or unveil? Which is it? You seem conflicted. Tell you what, don’t come back until you know for sure. Oh, and did you mean "mega" systems or are they special Islamic versions of the games?And just so you know a page full of links on how to make money by marketing products through spamming other bloggers with annoying comments is not the best thing to be linking to in your comments. In fact, it’s like house-of-mirrors confusing and just makes me hate you more.

(Although you gotta hand it to this spammenter for keeping his promise to come back – both of these spamments were on the same blog.)

Anonymoron #2
Anonymous said…
Excellent blog! I give it an A+ with a Gold Star!! If you want, you can check out my corvette central blog that reveals many things that nobody knows about how the new Chevrolet Corvettes.
You are either a former kindergarten teacher or perhaps a current kindergarten student; since the grammar is severely challenged here I’m thinking the latter. “...reveals many things that nobody knows about how the new Chevrolet Corvettes…” How they what? How they look? How they drive? How they smell? How they can be used to reaffirm one’s sagging manhood? What?! What?!! And no, it doesn’t reveal a thing by the way. It just has a bunch of stupid links to Corvette sites that I could find on my own by googling... if I cared... which I don't.

Anonymoron #3
Anonymous said…
I love your blog! You did an excellent job! My website is about xbox360 cheat codes if you would like to come and give me a review!
I could care less. Besides I don’t associate with cheaters. And no, I will not be reviewing it. Why don’t you just make up your own reviews? Shouldn’t be a big ethical leap for a cheating spammenter like yourself. You could just leave yourself a bunch of anonymous positive comments and no one would ever know or care. Mainly, because no one but other cheaters like you would go there. See, what do you need me for?

Anonymoron #4
Anonymous said…
This blogging is great fun! Lots of interesting stuff here.chocolate cheesecake recipe
Yes, jolly good fun, it is indeed! Where did you come from? Who talks like that?

By the way when you click on this silly link you find a blog with (currently) 2 posts that are only links to sites that sell recipe books. And between them there are (currently) over 80 comments all from morons who actually believe this person was a genuine blogger and ONE sane comment from someone who “got it”:
tshsmom said…
People, GET A CLUE!!This is a SPAMMER!There is NO CONTENT to this blog, other than an order outlet for the cheesecake cookbook.This IDIOT didn't read your blogs.He said THE SAME THING to EVERYBODY
Hooray for TSHSMOM! Can’t put anything past a mom who’s home-schooling her kid.

Anonymoron #5
Anonymous said...
10Shows Jeff Jarvis started a meme aksing bloggers to list their top 10 television shows and use the Technorati tag 10Shows .Wow! I like your blog! I be back and so will my friends. Looks like you've found your niche. I have a
health and science site.
Come and take a look when you get time.
Am I supposed to know who Jeff Jarvis is? Am I supposed to care? And what the heck is a “Technorati tag 10Show” I’m glad to hear you “be back” but really, don’t. And please don’t bring friends especially if they’re advertising something. By the way just what do you mean by that niche comment? This who I am, it’s not a niche. I’m not some little web boutique selling myself to the blogosphere; unlike some people (i.e. YOU.) I have no time for someone who's so scattered he jumps from TV to niches to health and science without a decent or at least a humorous segue. I will never look at your site. You annoy me.

'Thought & Humor' said...
You have a riveting web log and undoubtedly
must have atypical & quiescent potential for
your intended readership. May I suggest that
you do everything in your power to honor
your Designer/Architect as well as your audience.
Please remember to never restrict anyone's
opportunities for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.
Best wishes for continued ascendancy,

Howdy Editor'
Thought & Humor
'Cyber-Humor & Cyber-Thought
Harvard Humor Club

Whoah there cowboy! Put down the dictionary and back away. Now WTF? You have irritated me in a Jehovah’s-Witness-at-my-door kind of way. So please stop. I can't tell whether you've just complimented me or chastised me for something. I know you're a Christian cause the links lead to some pretty fundamentalist reading but honestly this comment makes you sound like a spaced out new-agey freak or maybe somebody who's starting his own cult. I half expect to see a countdown to the next appearance of Hale-Bop on your site.

(Now to be fair, T&H isn’t selling anything… exactly. But he’s a spammenter because he’s constantly leaving the same damn comment on every friggin’ blog he visits, with little variation. But he’s a busy guy – no time to personalize each spamment. He apparently writes a free email newletter. So he is kinda selling that, only it’s free. And he does have a lot of cartoons and riddles on his blog that are somewhat entertaining. ‘Course woven into the mix is a lot of fundamentalist proselytizing. [See, I got a dictionary too.] But that’s cool. It’s his blog, he can say what he wants. I just wish he’d be a little more original about inviting us all there - I feel like I have to ignore him on principle now.)


Hehehehehe... typical bride.
Always flashing her bling in everyone's faces.

Although seriously, is it time for a manicure or what?
Happy HNT everyone.

UPDATE: John's comment inspired me to add a Haiku to my HNT. I'm not good at haiku; but here goes.

Title: Rock Steady
Glowing in his love
To the universe of blog
I reveal my hand

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dream #2: GWAA of Arabia

I’m not kidding. I had this dream.
The other night I dreamt I was in the desert tent of a Middle Eastern Sheik. We were having an intense but polite discussion the subject of which I can’t recall. But I remember feeling like it was really important. Almost like a negotiation. So I was trying really hard to respect his customs and not insult him.

I was sitting in a chair and the Sheik was sitting on a cushion that was laying on a rug. At some point his cushion sunk about 6 inches. The sand beneath the rug had developed a sinkhole. I helped him up and a he told me that this sort of thing happens a lot in the desert and not to worry.

As he talked, he walked to the other side of the rug and instantly sank straight down into the sand up to his shoulders. I quickly grabbed his hand and managed to pull him out before he was swallowed up in the quicksand sinkhole. At this point we both became concerned but before we could do anything the whole rug we were standing on sunk into the sand. I was able to grab onto something to keep from being buried but the poor Sheik tumbled into the hole and a large couch or bed that was on the rug fell on top of him.

I jumped down into the hole to rescue him, all the while screaming to his men to come and help. Before they arrived I did discover the Sheik all tangled up in his robes and the rug. I couldn’t see his face so I didn’t know if he was alive. In trying to figure out where his head was I accidentally uncovered his butt. Realizing that this would be a grave insult worthy of death if his men discovered me looking at their leader’s privates, I quickly covered him up and began looking at the other end of the lump that was the Sheik.

His men arrived and pulled the unconscious Sheik and myself from the hole. At this point I realized that the sinkhole was really a cave-in of a tunnel that some mercenaries had dug underneath the Sheik’s tent. You see apparently the Sheik kept his treasure buried in the sand beneath his tent.

Somehow I instinctively knew that the culprits were American. I suspected they were government sanctioned and I was certain that they were backed by big money forces who wanted the Sheik’s gold. The dream ended as I rode along side the Sheik’s horsemen following a sunken trail in the sand to find the thieves and bring them to justice. I just remember feeling that if they found out that they were American I’d probably be dead by association. That’s when I woke up

So anyway last night I told Michael my dream.
“Don’t you see,” I said waving my arms in the air dramatically, “I think I represent the American people who want to make peace with the Sheik. But there are people in America who want the treasure the Sheik has. Which... well, that would have to be like oil, you know, since it was buried in the sand. And the theives would have to be the government and the oil companies. So these undermining mercenary, or military or whatever guys are literally pulling the rug from under peace talks by trying to steal oil from the Middle Eastern people. This is like a dream EPIPHANY, honey! I feel like I’ve been given a REVELATION!!!”

“You have the weirdest dreams.” Michael said dryly, “but do you think when you go to sleep tonight you could have a dream revelation about something we don't ALREADY KNOW?”

Yeah, well we can’t all be Nostra-friggin’-damus, can we?

Roll Call

I’ve been lurking and drive-by posting on a bunch of blogs lately and a few have gotten me addicted enough to add them to my blogroll. Because my bookmarks at home are different from my bookmarks at work, I’ve decided it was time for an update to the roll. In addition to the lovely Bren; some other names being added to my newly alphabetized blogroll this week are....

Babbling Brooke
Sense of humor, intelligence, beauty, kindness, creativity and passion for life all rolled up into one woman. (And I didn't even know I had a twin. ;D) She's single, Guys! What are you waiting for?

Go Fug Yourself
Wonderfully catty and absolutely hysterical. When I’m missing superficial L.A. life, it’s where I go.

Blue Matt
A fabulous sense of humor amped up by ADD. And a great interviewer too.

JJ, creator of Flash Fiction Friday. And if that’s not enough he’s a damn good writer and story teller.

81 Vaginas
I suppose I should be offended. But well... I’m not. And besides I love the way he writes.

I have dubbed him the Lord of HNT. Through this one tradition he is bringing blogospherians closer together than ever before.

100 Reasons Why I Hate My Husband. If your man pisses you off. Go visit Christine. You’ll suddenly realize you’re married to prince charming.

(Note: these are just from my office bookmarks. I have one or two at home I want to add later.)

Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't...

but it's not screwing with my blogroll so here it is.

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Brightly in the heavens...

There are times when I pass a stranger on the street or in a store and I am drawn to say something kind or do a gentle deed. I don't know what it is. It's as if at that moment I must be there to give them that gentle nudge. That little bit of encourage that they didn't even think to pray for. It's been done for me too. But I feel incredibly alive for that fleeting moment when I know I am sowing a seed that I may never see blossom.

Other times a person will come into my life and I know instinctively that our paths were meant to cross. It is for me so clear an evidence of the hand of God that I am surprised that we can't dust ourselves for prints and discover evidence of His touch.

In both of these situations I feel as if I am watching a star being born in the heavens. Blogging has made me realize that this curious and beautiful phenomenon is not limited to physical contact. I have felt it here in the Blogosphere among many of you. Frequently in fact.

And this weekend I felt it very powerfully. Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to a lovely star. Her name is Bren. She shines with a bittersweet light. If you have moment stop by and see her and let her know that you see how wonderfully she shines.

Personality Tests

I had to delete my last two personality test result posts because they both fell into the category of one of my blogging peeves. I hate it when you paste something into your blog that inserts large quantities of white space and has so much cell padding that it displaces your side bar with all your post links and blogroll.

Just a note to all those folks writing the personality-test-results code: Smaller is better in this case.

Monday, August 08, 2005

What Lies Beneath...

We moved to our new house back in November. Foolishly, we didn’t hire a moving company. We did it ourselves with the help of family, friends and friends of friends. It took us four days and we ended up begging help off anyone who had free time.

One of the people who came to our rescue was a man named Ron. I can’t begin to tell you what a sweetheart this guy was. He was one of those facilities guys at a local company. You know the kind, the ones who have to do all the thankless heavy lifting and yet always have a smile on their face. Ron borrowed a truck and came and helped us move for two days straight. We tried to pay him for his time. But he wouldn’t hear of it. He thought so highly of our mutual friend that he simply couldn’t take money from us. His generosity, humility and graciousness were deeply moving.

We did get him to accept an old but in excellent condition sofa bed. He was grateful because he was in the process of furnishing a tiny house across the border in Mexico that he had just built for his elderly, infirm mother. He financed it from his meager pay, odd jobs and excess lumber that he’d been given for free from construction sites here in the US. Even co-workers at his company donated what they could. He was just that kind of guy. The selfless kind who makes others feel as if they are in the presence of a saint.

Helping Ron during our move was Danny. Danny is the 12-year-old son of Ron’s “girlfriend” Corine, who works for the same company. I put that in quotes because it was one of those ‘nice guy’ relationships. From what little I gathered from my friend, it appeared Corine was guarding her heart closely and was afraid to let herself admit her feelings for Ron. But Ron was good to her son. He helped her out with babysitting. Took the boy to sporting events, made sure he did his homework and encouraged him the way you want a man to encourage your son if you’re a single mom. Very fatherly. In fact the only way we did finally get Ron to take money from us for the move was to ask him to put it in a college fund for Danny. This long suffering man who’d been wooing his sweetheart for three years, was clearly thinking long term

And Danny was a just a doll. Energetic, bright, eager to please and very obviously fond of Ron. While they were helping us move Danny had a little accident and cut his cheek really bad. Michael freaked out and wanted to rush him to the hospital. Ron was very calm but insisted that they didn’t want to be any trouble. He administered a little first aid, compressing the wound until the bleeding stopped and then bandaged it up. After that and a Tylenol Danny was running around happy as a clam.

I spoke with my friend today. Ron got fired from his job a few weeks ago over Corine. Or more accurately over Danny. It seams Corine found blood in her son’s underwear. Since she doesn’t speak much English she went to the legal department at her job for advice. They did a thorough background check and quickly learned through Megan’s Law that Ron is a registered pedophile. The company moved quickly to fire him (since he’d lied on his application.). Ron moved quickly to get across the border before Corine had a chance to alert authorities (he's got a house there already remember.) Danny is in therapy. Where I’m sure he’ll be for a long time.

My friend was practically near tears as she has been friends with this guy for years. I’m sick to my stomach. There was no sign. I’m telling you none! I keep going over it. On the first day some of the other guys helping us had quietly joked that Ron seamed a bit effeminate. But this guy radiated goodness, I’m telling you, he RADIATED IT! After the first day we all just took it for granted that this guy was an Angel. But we didn’t know that he was raping the little boy who appeared so devoted to him. We didn’t know that the man who built a house for his ailing mother was telling Danny that if he told anyone that his mother Corine would go to jail and he’d never see her again. We didn’t suspect that this patient hardworking church-going man had been pretending to pursue a single mother’s affection for three years while he sexually assaulted her son.

How in the hell are you supposed to know? Was that why he didn’t want to take Danny to the hospital? Was he afraid to have the boy examined by a doctor? Should we have suspected? Was the whole spiel about Corine not wanting to commit (which my friend got from Ron) really a cover for the fact that Ron was more interested in the boy? Should we have read between the lines? And then I think, Jesus, did he agree to take that sofa bed for his house across the boarder because it would a nice comfy place to rape young boys? God, is that house even for his mother or is it some perverted NAMBLA love shack? Does this sick bastard even have a mother?!!

Was there something, anything that should have made us stop and say, “something about this feels wrong.” I keep thinking about it. But I can’t come up with anything definitive that wouldn’t require me to be a raging paranoid busy-body in order to pick up the phone and call the authorities. Because for every meager “clue” (and there weren’t many) there were five reasons not think anything of it. How in the hell are we supposed to protect our children when the pedophiles and predators are so good at duping us? God, I feel sick.

I prayed for Danny and Corine. I truly hope that his therapist, his mother and God's love can help heal that boy. Because he truly is a sweetheart. And even in my anger I have to pray for Ron. This man is truly sick. And it's very possible and even likely that he himself was a victim of this kind abuse at one time. Of course, if he ever shows up around here, I'm pretty certain that Michael's gonna deliver him a good ass-whoopin' between the time I pick up the phone and the time the police arrive. My man may be forgiving but not that forgiving.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

FFF#2: Speak No Evil

I put the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, shut it, locked it, and turned around to find my angelic nephew in a puddle of goo on the floor. Oh yes I said “goo” with all the stickiness that that little word implies. But it wasn’t a repeat of this morning’s projectile pooping diaper catastrophe. No, this was different. There was a thick sweet smell that I immediately recognized as my $22 bottle of Vermont's Finest Pure Maple Syrup.

In the time it had taken me to fill the ice bucket and flirt ever-so-briefly with the cute bellhop; the little monster had gone into my suitcase, pulled out the bottle, peeled off the protective quality seal (how DO you do that when your mother has clipped your tiny nails down to the quick?) and dumped half the contents on his head and the other half into his pampers.

The demon child (his mother’s nickname, not mine) was sitting there giggling up at me as he sucked on his syrup slathered fingers.

“Darius!!!! What the fried zucchini did you do?” I screamed substituting the first thing that came to mind for the forbidden “F-Word”

He yelped happily and laughed as he explored his gooey diapers with one hand.


I carried him at arms length into the bathroom and plopped him down on the bare tiles. I sat on the edge of the tub and started to run the water. But apparently this was a mistake. You see that left him 30 inches away from me. The length of my left arm is only 26 inches. My overnight bag (the one with travel sized bottle of talcum powder that was not quite closed) was only 15 inches away from him. Now, calculating the speed of toddler and multiplying that by the angle at which my head was turned away, divided by the 2.5 seconds it took to turn on the faucet… well you do the math.

The result was one sticky powdered baby and one face full of talcum powder for Aunt Jenny.
“Fuh, fuh, Flying SQUIRRELS!!!, Darius, dance you!”

Now let me explain. I am single and childless.

Not enough? Okay my sister, Abbey, is one of those moms who like to remind people how tough it is to be a mom. Well, okay, she likes to remind ME. Now since I had nothing better to do this summer than be reminded of this daily, I decided to tag along with her, her husband and my nephew on their trip to Vermont. Two days ago I made the mistake of saying “hell” in conversation. A "not-nice" word which my 15 month old nephew instinctively seized upon and began repeating. My sister took me to task for my language and I stupidly defended myself by saying that it’s easy for her because she only has to deal with sweet little Darius every day. I deal with pain in the “nether-quarters” adults in the world of high fashion, thank you very much.

“HA! You’re kidding me right? I love my son, but he is a handful. It takes a lot of self-control not to curse like a sailor from sun up to sun down. Believe me, Jenny you don’t have that kind of self-control. One ice cream stain on your Juicy Couture jeans and you’d be cussing like a mafia princess,” she sat back and "harumphed" matter-of-factly after this smug tirade.

“Puuh-lease, I have self-control!” (I have none, but it’s the principle of the thing when you’re accused like that.) “Just leave him with me for one day and I’ll show you self-control.”

At this point my brother-in-law John perked up, “whoah! Did she just say what I think she said?”

“Yeeeeesss,” purred my sister and her eyes narrowed as a thin maniacal grin spread across her face.

Now at that point I should have known something more was up beyond stepping into a steaming pile of free baby-sitting duty. But you know, my pride was in play now, so I had to follow it down the path to certain destruction. And that’s how I came to be sitting on the cold hard tiles of room 1420 of the Hilton with talcum powder in my eyes and a squirming sticky dough boy in my arms.

You have to understand it had been a long day. Let me break it down for you in prĂȘt-a-porter casualties and near curses:
- Projectile pooping destroys Donna Karan blouse: “Son of a biscuit eater!”
- Mustard stains on new Coach bag: “Fire-me, you little BOOGIE –BOARDER!!!”
- Flying tonka truck obliterates Fendi sunglasses: “God-double-it, shirttails!!!”
- And oh yes, chocolate ice cream on the white Juicy Couture Jeans that dribbled down to the equally white Prada sneakers: “FUCSIA POP-ROCKS-SUCKER!!!!”
I came way too close with that last one and got some really weird looks from the counter staff at Baskin Robbins. “Whadda-you-lookin’-at? You-godda-problem?”
Aw, jeez, I WAS starting to sound like a mafia princess.

At this point I figured it was time to head back to the hotel and kill the rest of the afternoon with some mindless kiddie tv drivel and some frantic calls to hotel drycleaners.

Everything seemed to be going well. Darius knows what he likes, Franklin the Turtle, Dora the Explorer and something called Vegi-tales that quite frankly disturbed me with all the phallic-looking anthropomorphic vegetables. But, hey I’m not his mother? Besides after about two hours my sweet little nephew nodded off to sleep.

I thought that naptime would be the right time to dart out for some ice. Big mistake. Hence the syrup and powder predicament I now found myself in.

Anyway, I now had only an hour to get us both cleaned up before Abbey and John got back. I bathed and dressed my sticky nephew with lightening speed and I think even he was impressed with how good he looked. Then I got out his “craft sack” the one that had the special markers that only worked on the special coloring book pages. I sat him on the bathroom floor and bade him color and “sing Auntie Jenny a song” while I showered. I wanted to make sure I knew where he was at all times.

I disrobed behind the shower curtain and showered as I listened to his sweet voice singing me the abc’s in dubious order. He never stopped. Never a change in cadence. Never a pause. Never. Just that sweet innocent voice.

So it was a big surprise when I stepped out of the shower with the towel wrapped around me to see my brand new Marc Jacobs silk dress on the floor in front of him. It was a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions to see him holding an uncapped bottle of Elmers glue and a handful of sparkly stars that he was apparently using to “bedazzle” the only dress on Earth with the magical ability to make my ass look small and my boobs look big.

“dook!” he held it up for me and smiled proudly, ”pwetty!!”
*Gag* * choke*
I grabbed a spare towel and ran out of the bathroom.
I sat down on the floor of room 1420 buried my face in the towel and groaned as softly as I could.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”
Then I felt a soft little hand on my knee.
Shit, did he hear that? No, he couldn’t have. No.

“It’s okay honey. It’s okay,” I said to the deeply concerned little face.
I dressed quickly and finished my hair and make-up just as Abbey and John arrived.

“So how’d it go?”
“Great!” I said but my voice cracked a little. Abbey raised an eyebrow and John stifled a knowing laugh.
“Did Auntie Jenny teach you any new words today, sweetie?” Abbey cooed.
“Shirttails!” laughed Darius.
“Hehehe, we did a little shopping,” I stammered.
“Anything else?” Abbey fished, smelling a rat. (I knew that if he were to blurt out pop-rock-sucker then the jig was up.)
“fied shookini,” Darius offered.
“Uh..lunch?” I submitted to Abbey’s puzzled look.
“Well, I’m impressed,” Abbey looked at me approvingly.

Yes, thank you God. I was home free.

“tirsty, popa!” Darius whined.
“okay baby-boy,” John said and pulled a juice box from the snack cooler that they carried everywhere.

Darius was thirsty. So thirsty that he squeezed the juice box too hard and the juice went all over his face. He let out a wail and began to sob hysterically.
“It’s okay baby,” Abbey said and grabbed a small towel from the cornucopia bag. As she wiped away the tears and juice a muffled sound came from the little face behind the towel. It was so quiet we almost missed it. Almost.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”

[Dedicated to my nephew Darius who only deserves the name “demon-child” on rare occasions and who thankfully has never done any of this to me... though I wouldn't put it past him.] Join the Flash Fiction Friday fun.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Inspired by Unseen Bloggers “Foul Mood” Rant.

5 Things That Annoyed Me This Week…

My Local Organic Market: They are selling Escolar without warning people of the side effects. Escolar if you are not familiar with it, is a Fat Free fish with a mouthwatering delectable taste and an almost buttery consistency. It owes this addictive flavor and fat free status to a natural, non-toxic oil which cannot be digested by the human body. The result is that your body expels it. How? Well let’s just say if you look it up on the internet you’ll learn that Escolar’s nickname is the “Exlax Fish.” But it should really be called “there’s-oil-leaking-from-my ass fish.” I KNOW they had to know about this. Cause apparently it wasn't available for a while for precisely this effect - people thought it was dangerous (but it won't kill you -- unless you die of embarrassment from smelly oily/crap stains on seat of your pants -- oh yes- it happened to me.) Seriously they are supposed be a health-conscious business. Now I know why the guy at the meat counter was evasive about the fish when I asked him how it tasted.

A Co-Worker Who’s Turning Into a P.I.T.A.: I like the guy I really do. But he just got promoted and he decided to implement new procedures which are actually really good procedures. What annoyed me was he didn’t tell anyone his new procedures. So apparently I’ve been breaking them left and right. So he sends a mass email (clearly directed at me) establishing the new procedures. I kind of took it personally. I think if you’ve got a problem and you’ve established new policies because somebody (like me) is messing things up; go to that person and discuss how you are going to make those changes and then let everyone know. Be a man and don’t hide behind an email. Because frankly doing things his way is gonna make my job harder (though I still think the procedures are sensible overall) which means I’m going to demand a lot more from him since one of the folks he’s there to support is ME. (That was very non-specific I know but I just needed to get it out.)

My Wedding Planner: Last week I called and left him a frantic message because I still hadn’t nailed down a reception space and invitations go out on this coming Monday. All the places he gave me to check out were not available. I wanted him to get me a list of AVAILABLE places to look at. That was last Thursday. Because I’m too anal to wait for a reply I continued to call on my own and by Monday I secured a place. On TUESDAY afternoon he called me to say he was preparing a list of possibilities that he was going to check into (in other words, no he didn’t a call to check availability.) He said his phone was out so he didn’t get my message for a few days. Whatever. Fortunately for him he’s a master of floral arrangements so I’ll give him a second chance. Though he still hasn’t responded to the email I sent yesterday asking other questions.

Another Co-Worker: Again I really like this guy. A real sweetheart, he’s in my department. Now in our department (advertising) there’s the production folks (i.e. graphic artists) and the copywriter (me.) This co-worker is responsible for the production folks. So Tuesday he comes into my office and says, “hey, I’m taking my guys out for an extended lunch.” Now I immediately expect him to say “do you want to come along?” cause otherwise that would mean I’m the ONLY person in the department not going. I even started to reach for my purse. But then he says, “if anyone’s looking for us can you let ‘em know where we are?”

Oh, so let me get this straight! Not only am I not invited, but I get to be your personal secretary while you’re gone too – gee thanks. Maybe I was planning to take my guy (me that is) out for an extended lunch! Ever think of that?! HUH?!! I pretended like it was all cool (I did bring some 3-day old chicken salad so I could get by on that.). But the worst part was that someone from outside our department noticed that I was the only one that didn’t go. I didn’t think fast enough with a lie so I just said “it was just the production group.” “So, isn’t that everyone except you?” she replied. Yup. That about sums it up.

Michael: Yup that’s right the love of my life, kinda pissed me off. And it’s weird that I’m mad about this, because it’s the direct result of one of the big reasons I love him so much. Michael has a huge heart. I mean just gigantic. He wants to help everyone. And he is unbelievably forgiving. Astoundingly so. About 9 months ago he hired this Mexican dude named Victor to help him tame the wilderness that is our backyard. For the first few months everything was great. Victor worked hard the yard looked great. Michael rewarded him generously paid him $20/hour cash, bought him new shoes, gave him a bunch of clothes and some of his extra tools. One night while Michael was in the garage, I was looking out the kitchen window and I see Victor and another guy run from behind our garage into the darkness down the road. I go outside as Michael emerges from the garage. “Wasn’t that Victor?” I ask. Michael has no idea what I’m talking about. I tell him what I saw and he grabs a flash light and runs up the road just in time to see Victor’s car backing down the hill in the dark with the lights off. The next day he asks Victor about it and the guy flat out lies and swears he wasn’t there. To top it off Michael’s brand new table saw was missing. (Note: Our house is the last one at the end of a dead end road at the top of hill. No street lights. No way they were coming from anywhere but our house. Besides what are the odds of another person of the same height and build wearing Victor’s black and red sweatshirt and driving his car just happening to be running from behind our house.) Yeah I must have been imagining it, sure that’s it.

Over my objections Michael let him work for another whole month. Finally, he stopped. While Michael was in Hawaii Victor came around like once a week even though I told him repeatedly that Michael didn’t need any help. (I didn’t say Michael was out of town, only that he was working. It made me nervous that he kept showing up when I told him not to; so I didn’t want him to know I was home alone or that the house was empty all day.) Well last week Victor was back from Thursday to Saturday (at $10/hr this time). But Michael promised me it was only for 3 days. Well guess what! Victor was back again this week. I DO NOT trust this guy. I don’t like being lied to. I don’t like that he brought a friend to snoop around our house and possibly steal. I don’t like that he just shows up and starts working on our yard even before we are awake as a way of pressuring Michael into letting him work. And while I didn’t see him take anything I don’t like that he left on Friday with the keys to our shed. I love my man but he is way too forgiving. I can forgive Victor too but that doesn’t mean I want to put our home or safety at risk. Plus, Michael’s been taken advantage of by others and I don’t want that happening again. I know he doesn't like being mean and saying no, but I just want him to stop being so NICE!!!

Well I feel better now that I vented. Have nice weekend ya'll! And remember... say no to Escolar - unless you're constipated in which case, go for it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Okay Steph here ya go...

A picture of me, though admittedly somewhat incognito. And just in time for HNT. Believe me my mom would say I was half nekkid in this picture. My grandma would be covering the picture with a blanket. My dad would be building a concrete wall around it.

Just meandering through the blogosphere...

I found this. And laughed my ass off.

Love Him, Love Him, Love Him!

My Honey

This was back before his buzz cut. His mom almost cried when he cut off all those curls. I think he did it so he'd look less like David Hasselhof (though I think he had more of a Greg Evigan thing going here). But he's gorgeous, no? (Actually, he used to be a model. For a really brief time.)

And his heart is even more beautiful.
I just love him to pieces.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A long time ago I was a different person...

Well to be honest, I was the same person but you wouldn't have recognized me. I think some of you will hate me after this but then omission can be a lie. And this blog isn't about lies. Besides, I respect you all too much to lie in any case.

14 years ago I moved from NJ to CA. It was the gutsiest thing I'd ever done -- so, of course, I panicked. I met a guy the first week. A strong, confident, opinionated guy that was from NJ too, but had been out here much longer so he really knew his way around LA.

To make a long story short in less than a month we became engaged and moved in together. My family was -- let's just say, "shocked." My friends were like, 'WTF?' It was not a pretty thing. I argued with everyone who loved me and alienated pretty much everybody.

Within 3 months I realized I'd made a HUGE mistake. It's not like I wasn't warned. His own sweet saintly mother told me in our very first phone conversation, "Don't let him RULE you." I laughed when she said it but it haunted me later. This guy was a controlling manipulative, bastard who battered my self-esteem at every turn. His lies and berating even caused me to stop writing; which is for me tantamount to suffocation. He monitored my every move, wanted a report on every phone call and didn"t like the fact that my mother calls me "daughter"when she leaves messages on my machine (why not, I don't have sisters so she doesn't have to specify a name.) He'd go through my things and read my journals. He'd lock the door and make me stand in the bathroom with him while he took a crap because he thought it was funny to make me smell it - "C'mon it smells like roses!" He'd actually lean his ass up against me and fart any time he felt gas coming on even if he had to run in from another room to do it. He said his father does it to his mother and it's sign of love (nevermind that his father used to beat his mother too, so for her that was probably an improvement). "There's so little love in the world, you shouldn't be picky about how it's expressed to you," were his exact words. (Which my therapist laughed at when I told her. That would be the therapist he sent me to near the end of our relationship because "I" had problems; and then told me to stop going to when I finally stopped taking his shit. But all that came too late. )

He "changed" my every opinion to match his own by manipulation, told me I'd be a bad mother because I was too "cold" and he was the "nurturing one", and badger me until I cried if I didn't want to do exactly what he wanted to do. He made me write lists of things to do to make me be a better girlfriend to him, post them on the fridge and read them every single morning. He made me buy most of the groceries even though he made more money. He did everything BUT hit me. In retrospect, I wish he HAD hit me, because that would have woke me up sooner and I could have avoided the path I ultimately took. To top it all off he was a bit... well I guess Sociopathic would be the word. To everyone else he was the sweetest, most generous , most romantic guy and I was "such a lucky girl". He put on a good face. So good I didn't think anyone would believe me if I told them how bad things really were. I was embarrassed and ashamed that I'd gotten myself into this and I made the fatal mistake of not running back to my family and friends for help. I thought they wouldn't take me back. I know now that they would have been my lifeline.

I kept trying to lay in the bed I'd made for 5 more months. Then about 8 months in I got pregnant. By this time I my growing hatred for him had taken root very strongly. But I still didn't admit that to anyone or ask for help. I did not think clearly. I know that. There was only one driving feeling. That I had to eventually get away from him. I could not allow any child of mine to have him as a father and I could not let myself be tied to him forever through my own child. I just refused to do it.

There you have it. My dark confession. The big issue of abortion that's raging all over the news and the blogosphere is my ugly past. But let me be clear. I am fully convinced that this is the single most horrible thing I've ever done. It haunts me. I sometimes wonder if the child I threw away was the only one I was meant to have. Maybe I threw away my only chance. Worse still I now realize I was a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for. I could have done it -- been a single mom. But I didn't even try and I hated myself for a very long time. In some ways I still have a lot of resentment.

I want you know that abortion is not just an "issue" it is an "experience." People don't talk about what it means to go through it. They talk about wrestling with making the choice beforehand and whether you have the "right" or not to do it. They talk about the feelings of loss, guilt and sadness that flood your being for years to come. But they don't tell you about the gripping fear that you suppress and go numb to while you're laying on a medical table fully conscious. They don't mention the sights, sounds and sensations that swirl about you. I guess, it's because so few people debating it have ever actually done it and those who have, really don't like talking about it.

For me it was this: A day or so before I went in. They had to put something into the opening of my cervix to make it dilate. The B-friend told me I was on my own for the procedure. Fine with me. But I had to talk him into picking me up afterward since they told me I'd be too groggy to drive. On the day of, I had to take some drugs ahead of time, I don't recall what for. I got there and they gave me more drugs.

It was a women's clinic so there were lots of women coming and going. I wondered if any of them knew why I was there? I wondered if any were there for the same reason. None of the staff looked me in the eye. (Or was it that I couldn't look them in the eye?)

They took me back to a room and left me alone to strip from the waist down and climb onto the crinkly white paper that lined the padded vynyl medical table. I laid there alone for an eternity of five minutes waiting. The stoic doctor came in and explained the procedure in sanitary monotone. Basically it was going to feel like I was having menstrual cramps and a machine was going to vacuum the "contents" of my uterus. I wasn't shaking. I was very still. It was a "get it over with" stillness. The machine started up and they began; the doctor invisible behind the sheet and two nurses on either side of me averting their eyes from mine as much as possible. (But I didn't want to look at them anyway, did I? Of course, I didn't.)

It was NOT cramps. At least not like any I'd ever had. It felt like my guts were being ripped out -- and mind you I was on a lot of drugs. A tall nurse with long dark brown hair took my hand and held it. I don't think anyone had touched me until that point (other than the obvious and that didn't count.) I just focused on her hair and tried to breathe. That nurse is burned in my memory, her impossibly straight dark brown hair cascading down her back past her waist, standing in the ammonia sterile room, holding my hand so very gently and whispering softly, "just squeeze as hard as you need to."

In less than 10 minutes it was over. Up until then a white sheet across my abdomen and legs had blocked my view. But it slipped down my thighs and I glanced down. I saw the doctor carrying what looked like a large glass mason jar out of the room. It was filled about 1/4 of the way with blood and tissue. That's when I died. Every little bit of feeling just shut down. I stayed like that for a few days. And when I started to feel again the first emotion was anger and the second was guilt.

Even though the b-friend knew EXACTLY when to pick me up he didn't show up on time. The nurses kept coming into the waiting room and asking if I was okay and if I wanted them to call me a cab. I refused. Even when the fucking drugs started to wear off and I thought I could risk driving myself, I just sat there and stared at the god-damned door. I was going to stay there until he came. Eventually he did... 3 1/2 hours later. He took me home and then got pissed when I asked him to make me some tea. He really wanted to go for a bike ride and I was slowing him down with my request - my selfishness always annoyed him.

Now it wasn't really over yet. You see they wanted me to come back in 3 days. Because, get this, they had to make sure they'd "got it all" in case there was like some random baby parts growing inside me. So I had to spend 3 days with the idea of a mutilated fetus in my belly. But my check-up showed everything was a-okay. Right, sure it was. The b-friend asked me 3 questions when I got home.
- "Are you okay?"
- "What did the doctor say?" and
- "Did she say how soon we can have sex again?"
Let's just say that even though it took me more than a year to get my self-esteem back to a level where I could get away from him, the sex was officially CUT OFF!

I could tell you about the aftermath in the sickening waves of alternating guilt and numbness. But I won't. I will tell you that I kept it from everyone for a very long time. Upon my conversion to Catholicism I did confess to a priest. His response was this: "God loves and forgives you. You owe no one any explanation nor does anyone have a right to pry. You've punished yourself enough. Your penance is to go and do a kindness for yourself. Buy yourself a gift, treat yourself to a bubble bath, something, anything. It doesn't have to be indulgent. Just be kind to yourself." Not at all what I expected him to say. But then again he was a Jesuit. While it did provide a certain level of relief, the only thing was, I can't really wash an abortion away with a bubble bath no matter how much God loves me. And even if I don't really owe anybody an explanation I feel like I'm hiding something whenever the subject comes up in conversation. I have some very close friends that are strongly against it and I just don't want think about what their reaction might be. I think they'd still love me, but I don't know if they'd still respect me.

There are about 3 or 4 friends of mine who do know, Michael knows. And my mother knows now too. I didn't tell her for a very long time. And when I did I was terrified. But like the priest her response was wonderfully unexpected. "I love you. I love you more than anything," was what she said over and over as she held me while I sobbed. And I'm crying even as I write about it because I think that was the moment I really began to feel like I could eventually be healed. She said she didn't blame me for doing it, but I don't pretend it was the right thing to do.

Here is the thing. I am NOT the rape victim, the incest victim or the woman whose life hangs in the balance of her pregnancy. I am NOT any of those compassionate reasons why abortion should remain legal.

I AM one of the other ones. The ones they blow up clinics because of and shoot abortion doctors over. No I AM the one they scream "baby killer" at while waving signs of depicting the bodies of aborted fetuses (I'll pass on the souvenier t-shirts folks, I had a backstage pass to that show.) I AM one of those who made the CHOICE for entirely selfish reasons. I know that. I told you about my Ex-boyfriend only so you understand my mindset at the time, not so you would sympathize. I AM one who did it as a form of birth control so that I wouldn't have to deal with the consequences. Well guess what. I was wrong --I still had to deal with them. I still am dealing with it. I will until I am able to hold my first born child in my arms -- if God is willing. But I'd be lying if I said my life hasn't been easier because of it. I've traveled, I have a great job, live in a beautiful house and I'm marrying the most amazing man on the planet. Oh, yeah I've benefited, but that doesn't mean it was worth it. If I could do it over -- well I'd have a 12 year-old right now wouldn't I? But I don't. I wish I did though, even if he or she was being raised by somebody else, I sure wish it. I sometimes wonder if I'd had someone in there with me, someone who loved me, if maybe I would have had the courage to turn around. But "what if" is pretty sharp little knife and you can bleed yourself dry with it if you're not careful.

Abortion is the only sin besides Suicide that I believe is its own punishment. And yes I think it is a sin because it tears down the spirit and anything that does that has a very high "sin" potential. Whether it's a crime or not is up to the courts. For now they say not, and I agree. So here is my position: If a woman who was considering abortion came to me and asked my advice, I would do everything compassionately possible to change her mind (no bloody fetus photos allowed.) But if she still chose to do it I would go with her and hold her hand through it and tell her "Just squeeze as hard you have to." I would drive her home and make her tea or soup or whatever she wanted. I would check on her every day and make sure that she showed herself some kindness even as she dealt with her guilt. In short I would remind her that she is still worthy of love. Because quite frankly that is the first thing you forget.

But how can someone like me, who knows the cost of abortion, support the right to choose? And Catholic at that? Well, maybe I'll try to answer that in a future post if I can. It took me a while to summon the courage for this one.

I know some of you may be disgusted with me now. It's okay. I have days like that, too.