Sacrilegious Scribbles 

Here is an excerpt from a 1994 entry when I decided it best to jot down a very thorough prayer. It’s basically a contract if you write them down, you know. I added some notes because I just couldn’t resist and I figure I’m bound for hell anyway at this point. (Joking. Kinda.)

Dear Lord,

I pray for L****. (A boy who assaulted me in 1993). Please help him with his problems. I love you the most (move over Mother Theresa, coming through). Please forgive me for all my sins (because as a nine year old I’ve got a lot of them). Thank you for everything you’ve ever given to me. (And are sure to continue giving me after that whole ‘love you most’ comment).

Please help the poor and the homeless. Please help Chelsey with what’s she’s going through. Help Dad with his feelings. (Men really shouldn’t have them at all, you know. I hope you can address that glitch) Help Mom. (real specific, I’m sure the angels are gathering in their strategy room as we speak). Don’t let there be a fire or let anyone be sick. Help the people at Oaknoll (a nursing home nearby).

Let everyone get right to sleep and have good dreams (especially me… sorry)… (No, I actually wrote that in my diary.) Let them have a good day and be in good moods. Don’t let there be any erosions (a word I had recently learned and quickly added to my list of worries), earthquakes, hurricanes, tornatos (tornadoes), thunderstorms, rain, snow, or sleet. (Whoa, I’m apparently anti-weather). Don’t let anyone get raped, murdered, killed or kidnapped. (Well that took a turn. But I like how the rain bit took priority). You are the coolest ever (I’m clearly hoping I can flatter myself into his good graces here and avoid that whole fire/kidnapping/snow situation. Worth a shot. He’ll never suspect). I love you. (The most!!) Amen. 

Postponed Postscript…14 years later…

 

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A Crescendo of Counsel: 2016’s Life Lessons (From Least to Most Important)

  1. With hard work, a little planning, and a lot of luck, it is possible to properly prepare for your period and avoid staining your clothing and/or furniture each month. Use one of the myriad available apps to track your cycle and when you begin to crave cheese and chocolate and/or tear up when someone raises their voice a decibel, that’s the time to stuff some tampons and pads in your purse and start wearing the old undies.
  2. It makes no sense to wash your car before a road trip. Even though you may be excited to show the world you are the responsible kind of person who (a) knows where to find the car wash (b) has a spare $10 to spend on a wax and buff and (c) takes pride in a shiny, happy junker, you’ll be throwing your money away on something you’ll have to pay for again at the end of your trip. So screw appearances and drive dirty.
  3. Also, don’t take a 24-hour road trip by yourself when you’re a young female with little to no muscle mass and an anxiety disorder that causes you to carry mace into every gas station and pull over to text your entire family every hour after sunset. It’s just not a vacation if you’re worrying about sexual assault at every rest stop.
  4. It is possible to survive job interviews without shaking out of the hot seat or sweating through your pantyhose. But I recommend preparing as much as possible beforehand. That includes getting enough sleep, eating well, and accepting that you have little control over the questions asked or the outcome. Also, be prepared with at least 5 questions to ask them and take notes during the interview. Treat it like a first date and keep in mind you’re interviewing them too. You don’t want to be stuck with a boss from hell for years of your life. Screen for them.
  5. Don’t make plans with people outside of your immediate family or close circle of friends on major holidays like Christmas day. It won’t work out and you’ll either feel like an asshole for making the plans at all or you’ll make the other person feel like an asshole for making room in their day of family fun for someone who was OK flaking  on them at the last minute.
  6. Back up your hard drive. Just do it. Right now. Before Microsoft or Apple or whoever has the chance to send out an update. Do it, and I’ll take some small comfort that my sacrifice was not in vain.
  7. Even hot rock gods like David Bowie and George Michael are mortal, so take the time to really appreciate their hotness and general awesomeness while you can.
  8. Any article or headline you see about Kanye West or Lena Dunham are not worth your time. Keep scrolling.
  9. Racism, sexism, class discrimination, violence, homophobia, general intolerance, ignorance (and even Nazis for crying out loud) are still present in our country and spreading messages of hate and fear. Combat this with kindness, compassion, and empathy with yourself and others.
  10. No matter how inconvenient your god-given personality may be to you at times, it isn’t realistic or wise to attempt to suppress it to make way for a false persona that you believe will be more accepted and/or financially secure. Financial catastrophe struck in my life, and in the lives of many of my loved ones, after my graduation from college in 2008.  I emerged from those struggles with the new belief that financial security and literacy was my new number one priority.Never again would I find myself sharing a tiny house with one coworker, one “traveling salesperson” who constantly had people in and out of the house exchanging cash, and their newborn son squalling his head off at all hours of the night while I ate Ramen noodles or set rat traps in my bedroom.  From 2009 to 2016, I climbed the little ladder of my small community bank and tried like hell to convince myself that I was practical, business-minded, and tough. And I made myself pretty miserable in the process.

    This was more convenient than admitting that I wanted to spend my days taking photographs, writing, and reading. I thought it was time to grow up. My mistake was thinking that meant giving up my interests and passions and burying my voice and myself in the back corner of a vault where no one would ever find me. This year I realized that growing up meant accepting myself and following my own goals and dreams, while also accepting the reality that in order to do so, I will need to serve my time performing less-than-thrilling tasks at a day job that comes with little pay or prestige. The necessities are taken care of and I have time for the inexpensive hobbies that give my life meaning. That’s worth a pay cut and even a second job.

Tripping on Tryptophan: A Thanksgiving Story

Local Homicide Investigators to Question Suspected Accomplice in Missing Turkey Case 

 ~ The Daily Gobble 

Chief Chicken: She’s coming to, fellas. Stay alert and follow my lead.

Detective Dog & Sergeant Sow: Yes, ma’am. 

Allison: What the hell? Am I in the barn? Jesus, not again. How much  wine did I drink?

Chief Chicken: You are at Poultry Police Headquarters. I’m afraid we had to detain you. 

Allison: Wha?? Ahhhhh!!! Damn! Did you just TALK? 

Chicken: Please refrain from profanity. This will go better for you if you cooperate. You are a prime suspect in the disappearance of Turkey Tom. Several witnesses saw you with Tom in the yard last week. Now, what do you know? 

Allison: Oh my god. It’s finally happened. I’ve lost it. I always knew it would happen around the holidays, just thought I had more time. Wait… maybe one of the West coast relatives drugged dessert again? I hope so. Maybe it will wear off. 

Dog: You say you lost something? Do you have a pattern of losing important things? 

Sow: And did you say you’re involved with drugs? 

Allison: You ALL talk? Whoa.

Chicken: We don’t have time for games. I asked what you know about Tom, the Turkey. We have concerned friends and family waiting for word in the coop. Now tell us what you know!

Allison: Well, yeah I saw the turkey when I brought him in the house last week. I had to get him ready for Thanksgiving. 

Dog: What did “getting ready” entail? A bath? A scratch behind the ears? What?!? 

Allison: No, Wolfy, I fed you scraps from the table. How do you not know what happened? 

Sow: Leave the questions to us. Now, what did happen exactly? 

Allison: Well, uh. Do we really need to go into details? He is in a better place. 

Sow: So you do know where he is? Where is this “better place?” Ohio? Nebraska? Not Minnesota. 

Allison: Look, I don’t know why I have to answer to you, but the turkey is gone. We ate him for Thanksgiving. 

Chicken: You. Ate. Tom? Ate him up…What kind of sick maniac are you? I’ve dealt with a lot of twisted criminals in my day, mostly cats, but…

Dog: What did you mean when you said you fed me scraps? Of Tom?!?

Sow: Good god. I’m going to be sick. 

Allison: Look, it was quick ok. I just hit him on the head and it was over. He didn’t feel a thing. 

Chicken: Well, I guess it’s ok to kill us off if it’s nice and fast. Lord, I’m recommending psychological testing for you missy. Did you all enjoy Tom at least? Was he worth the price you now pay?

Allison: Actually, I got him for a good price from a neighbor. It’s cheaper and more humane than the store bought turkeys. But I’ve never really cared for turkey meat. I eat it, but I have to mix it with the stuffing and mashed potatoes for flavor. I’ve always preferred chicken. But tradition is tradition. 

Chicken: Ohhh. No words. 

Dog: (sobbing) I had no idea. You have to believe me, Chief. Who else have I eaten?!?

Allison: I’m sorry, Wolfy, but you’re a hunting dog. I figured you’d be ok with it. 

Dog: Listen, I better go to the coop and break the news. Least I can do. Then I’ll get to work writing my confession. I will accept whatever punishment you see fit, Chief. 

Chicken: There was no way for any of us to know. 

Sow: I’ll go with you. Leave the Chief to deal with this sicko. (Sow and Dog Exit)

Allison: Look, I gotta get back and find out who drugged the pie. 

Chicken: Technically I can’t keep you here. You’re bigger and stronger and I depend on you for grain. But you ruined more than one life today. The farm will never be the same. 

Allison: Yeah, I hear you. I should really go with ham next year. See you at the coop. I have some shopping to do when I come down. 

The last time I went out to eat, I had plenty of time to sit and think because I waited for over 50 minutes for my food to arrive. During that time, some bus-boys dropped by to refill my water. The server was nowhere to be found. Eventually, I received my order and wolfed it down as though they may come back any minute to announce that they’d delivered the food by mistake. “Ahem, I’m so sorry for the mistake but the richer, more attractive customers two tables down actually deserve their food first. I’ll drop off your food a few minutes before you’re ready to bolt out the door and grab fast food.”

My dinner partner and I quickly ran out of small talk during our wait, so my mind wandered into how other creatures might handle the situation. Would a bear or lion wait around for their meal to appear? No, they would march into the wilderness and take it. So, if I am so civilized and evolved, why do I have to sit around for nearly an hour for some overpriced in-vogue vegetarian crap? I suppose that is the downside to the end of the hunting and gathering era. Sure, we don’t have to expend all of that effort foraging or tracking, but we do have to sit and wait…and wait… and wait.

I take some small comfort in knowing we’re not the only ones in this position. After all, our pets must wait for us to come home and fill their food dishes. My annoyance stems from the wildly differing standards we hold for these lovable pets in comparison to the ones we hold for ourselves. Yes, the pets have to wait, but they don’t have to sit quietly and be polite while doing so. In fact, sometimes they don’t wait at all. I can’t be the only person who has arrived home to find the pets have torn open their food bag or rifled through the trash. But if I marched back to the kitchen and broke open a bag of breadsticks, oh no! Society as we know it would collapse.

I must sit quietly and tolerate the hunger. I must control the urge to grab the plate of food from the large serving platter that just passed overhead tempting me with savory smells. But my cats can tear the house apart, claw my face at 5 am, and eat my utility bills and no one bats an eye. As I watched table after table receiving their food, I decided this just isn’t right. We’re higher up on the food chain than cats and dogs. So we deserve the same forgiveness and understanding for our desperate deeds when hunger hits. I devised the plan illustrated above and I plan to put it into practice the next time my stomach and I are teased and tortured. I’ll post a follow-up to elaborate on the results.