19 July 2014


Adulthood is a lot like moldy cheese. It's gross and I don't like it. And it always smells like butt.

I've been working on that, whataya call it, "de-cor-um", or whatfuckingever. Dealing with situations that require restraint, refinement, and level-headed non-emotional reasoning. AND I'M A GODAMN FUCKING PRO AT IT. Well, nearly there. I still have a little work to do on the restraint. And the refinement. And the level-headed non-emotional reasoning.
Other than that, nearly fucking there.

Everyone thinks they are in control of their children, but could you really be the boss of your child? Would you, in all of your knowledge of their flaws, willingly hire your offspring to serve in your employ? And I don't mean those mom & pop get-ups that put junior behind the hoagie counter, I mean would you, under no obligation, make the decision to add your kid to the team of people you require to complete tasks for meaningful financial compensation?
On one hand, an understanding of work ethic is already well-established. On the other, kids are assholes. And nobody wants the asshole at work to follow you home and bitch about dinner. Then your sonofabitchin kid would steal your lunch too, you know they would. You'd have to stand in the breakroom with a fake smile on your face, trying to convince the skinny bitch from upstairs that you really intended to skip lunch and only brought food to be sure your kid ate at all. 

We don't want our kids to work, not really. We just want them to stop spending our money. We don't want to shove them out there into the workforce. Push them into the world of douchebags and dickheads. The ones you've been dreaming of punching in the face. We don't want them to become bitter and hopeless, no motivation save for the desire to punch people in the face. Or worse, we don't want them to become the asshole that needs punched in the face. 
We want them to stay sweet and optimistic. Full of light and wonder for the possibilities of an engaging career that stimulates the mind and challenges the limit of abilities. We want them to surround themselves with like-minded individuals with a common goal of success. We want them to be young forever, a wonderful source of laughter and joy in our lives, in spite of the burdens of adulthood that weigh us down.
We want them to increase the permission slip to three people.

06 July 2014

Gardening Tips

I've been 4'11" since the 7th grade. There was a brief period in the late 90's where I thought I was taller, but it turns out I was just fat. Not your normal post-pregnancy plump either, I'm talking about real fat. Winded-walking fat. And when you remember that I'm 4'11", it's not hard to see that fat jokes were my wheelhouse.
Because I was as fat as the wheelhouse.
Unlike other legendary monsters, there is plenty of photographic evidence of the mammoth that was my ass. However, I will not be posting one. Instead, here is a lovely picture in which neither my height nor my weight can be conclusively determined.

I don't pee outside near as much anymore. Call it growing up, or zoning laws, or whatever. When I lived up in the Hills to Nowhere there were far more instances when I was comfortable pissing among the petunias. Now that I live in the city I almost always pee in the toilet. And I don't grow petunias. I do have a cactus.

I've lost some weight and obviously I'm all sorts of civilized now. I've picked up a few college degrees here and there, and for some reason I just keep going back for more. Like crack, but with society's forgotten struggles. Labor History, Women's Studies, Civil Rights, American History, Shower Dancing. You know, the fields of study that mean something. I'm over here with my cactus changing the world. One prick at a time.

I write and I run. I enjoy riding a bike. I read and I take classes on American Art and Literature. So what if I want to take a leak on some flowers now and then? 

But, no, times have changed.
Now I keep the fat jokes trimmed down, I limit outdoor peeing to emergency situations (10pm-4am only), and I try to avoid contact with the stupid pricks. Also, I didn't know you had to water a cactus. And I won't pee on the cactus. 

Can't promise booze doesn't change all of those.

I know my weaknesses: I have a propensity to speak my mind and a lack of subject filter. I'm a little fucking crass, or so I've fucking heard. Pussies. I refuse to give up on an argument, a relationship, or a pack of Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies. I've got an icy stare and this one fucking asshole tried to call me a bully once. But it was a bullshit claim, because I'm 4'11". I demand loyalty, intellect, and compassion and have yet to find a single stooge that meets all three. I like three stooges. Sometimes four. And Six. Depends on the month. 
I'm stubborn and I procrastinate. I "have a problem with authority" (SAYS THE MAN). I don't like change, criticism, or the final season of Air Wolf. 
I have an addictive personality and I like to get shitfaced.

Booze is a bitch. 
Or maybe I'm a bitch, and booze is just there.
Booze gets me in trouble. 
Or maybe I get in trouble, and booze is just there.
It's all a blur to me. 

Either way, I peed on the petunias.

12 June 2014

Excite Bike

Stranger things have happened.
I've always enjoyed that turn of phrase. Like some convoluted justification that the nonsensical is norm. Not that THIS isn't strange, you see, just that things could be MORE strange. Don't worry about the absurdity of the situation, think about how preposterous the possibilities COULD be.

Stranger things have happened.
Or, stranger things are happening.
Take it out of the past tense. There's no leaving weirdness behind. Weirdness skips along beside you on a Friday morning filled with excitement for the Monday to follow. Odd never stops. Quirky doesn't quit. Stranger things will be damned if they're going to stop, stranger things WILL happen.

Stranger things will happen?

Sometimes looking at the future of fucked up makes the now seem normal. Often I talk out weirdest-case scenarios just to be mentally prepared. I expect the outlandishly impossible to occur at all times and am perfectly comfortable responding to all situations as such. I recently had a long conversation with a very good friend of mine and he was keen to point out that my logic can easily be described as absurd.
His opinion can be ruff.

Hey, stranger things have happened.
There was this one time we went out to dinner when I was younger; mom and stepdad #2, jake and I. There was this phase, you see, where my mother rode a motorcycle. Her and stepdad #2 (herein referred to as "dosdad") would disappear on their respective lowriders for hours at a time; leather fringe billowing in the wind, each tassel a tiny finger wave as they faded into the distance. When the days came that Jake and I went along for the ride the tassels would gently whip my shoulders as I pressed my helmeted head into the back of mom's leather jacket.
I was a young buck, no more than a decade old at that point, and Jake was already bigger than me at eight years old so he had to ride on the back of dosdad's bike. Not as much fringe over there.
So, off we would go on the bikes; Mom and I, dosdad and Jake. The countryside would pass by in a blur of greens. Probably blues. I don't know, my head was surrounded by all that fringe. I remember the smell of the leather and the exhaust heat by my ankles. I can recall the feel of the chrome, all fancy and smooth. Every once in a while I hear the echo of those Virago V-twins on today's street.
For the life of me I don't remember the rides. I don't think you understand the scope of the fringe. 
People have died under the weight of this much leather.

I remember stopping for dinner. We would frequent small mom & pop "cafes" because my mom was a staunch supporter of family-owned establishments with homemade food. It should be mentioned that "cafe" stands for "countryside kitchen, often in a shed." Sometimes they would have name brand ice cream. Mom didn't let us have any.
If the ride took us far enough, and Jake didn't fall asleep on the back of dosdad's bike, we would come in proximity of Interstate 80 and truck stop soup-bars are my mother's kryptonite. (Along with stray animals, nicotine, stray children, herbal remedies, stray husbands, thrift stores, and stray thoughts).

Truck stops in general are my kryptonite. 
It's all the godamn CB Radios and beef jerky.

Running up and down the aisles of wolf-adorned shiny things that I could never pretend to know the purpose of, ducking behind racks of mudflaps bigger than I was to avoid the boots of an approaching truckdriver. That day the jingle of a chain-wallet was just too familiar for me not to peek my head out from between the silhouette of a chubby naked lady and Yosemite Sam's firing pistols, but I used the mudflaps to conceal my location as I strained to catch a glimpse of the man whose footsteps were approaching.
Should have looked at the boots first. My dad only owned but that one pair of boots practically his whole damn life.
This is the only proof I have that Dad's feet were not surgically replaced with cowboy boots. Although it has never been scientifically confirmed that these are actually his legs. 
I blame Obama on his behalf.

Hey stranger, things have happened.

Running into my dad in a truckstop was not really much of a coincidence, him being a truckdriver and all. The surprise came moments later in the form of my mother's thirds husband (Husband III, for those keeping track). With his arrival at that particular Central Pennsylvania truck stop on a sunny Sunday afternoon, my mama scored a hattrick of husbands.

Stranger things HAVE happened!

A biker, a truckdriver, and a carpenter all walk into a truckstop. One of them is an accountant, one fought in Korea, the other had a soul. They order soup. It's the exact number of husbands you need to pull off a heist. Because the all-you-can-eat salad bar got robbed that day.

I never wondered how my mom's soup tasted. 
(A little iron-y, maybe. Probably got the Minestrone.) 

My love of progressive human interaction was formed on experiences such as this. Awkward could have been another sibling that I was hellbent to ignore, I just never felt it was necessary. To this day the only Walk of Shame I've ever done involves carrying cookie boxes to the recycling bin. I never had to taste that gut-swirling angst that likely seasoned mom's truck soup because she ate it for me. Only as I gain more reflective time (I swear to god if you say "get older" I will cut you) am I able to understand how much bullshit she must have swallowed while sitting at that table. 
Strange how these things happen.

Strange how all things happen. 
Life is a ride.
I miss the fringe.
I am the fringe.

I can't wait to see what happens.

27 May 2014

Fake Relationships Are Hard

Me and Google got in a fight.

I said some things. Google said some things. Chairs were thrown. My website was cast from the internet, abandoned by its host. In the end there was no winner, but I'm clearly a loser.
I searched everywhere for help but where do you turn for information without Google? Hell, I can't even say "Yahoo Answers" in a non-sarcastic tone. And do you really expect me to Bing it out? (note: even spellcheck doesn't know what Bing is.) So I did what any mature adult would do and I apologized for a misunderstanding that was not entirely my fault, and I expected at least as much consideration in return from the enterprise that is the internet. 

I thought surely my website would return from annexation in no time at all. I poured a nice glass of wine and sat down to type out a few notes while I waited.

Days and nights passed before I heard from Google. For weeks I had no creative outlet. I wrote fifty new episodes of Sex in the City fanfiction. My obsession with chic-flit got so intense I HAD TO STOP DRINKING WINE.

Like the wine, I became bitter.
I said other things... may have mentioned that "I didn't need Google anyway." 
Which isn't true. We all know it isn't true.
Then, Google broke up with me for good. I guess maybe I never really thought things would work out, we have such different ideals. But we had a nice simple thing going; a few bucks a year, my crappy posts get thrown at the web. Nobody expected much of each other, and neither of us felt too used. It was exactly what a bullshit relationship was supposed to be.
The break-up period was hard. Google had all my stuff. We did the phone-tag thing; couple angry letters on both sides. I think I drunk-Google+'ed once or twice. 
But who among us hasn't?

Eventually it stopped hurting and I started talking to some other domain servers. Found a few nice little companies with promising features and set up a couple meet-and-greets. Became enamored by Enom and their amazing propensity to have humans answer their customer service lines. Beyond the competitive pricing, the web-host package abilities, or the ease at which they make the switch, the people at Enom ANSWER THEIR PHONES. Like, WHEN IT RINGS.
It surprised me so much the first time that I hung up. Why in the fuck would someone answer the phone, I thought, what are these cats playing at?
And if I had to leave a message, Enom called me back the same day. 
They want me.

I'm going to give them a call later. 
Just to see if someone answers.

15 March 2014

Poems, everybody! (Or, "I expect you to quote The Wall")

So they tell me I'm a poet.

I freaking knew it. There was this dude from Nantucket, you see, and...
Well, that's a story perhaps for another time.
Right now I need to talk about the reason of rhyme.

The laddie fancies herself a poet!

I've greatly enjoyed returning to the writing community and my late-night version of poetry is finding not only a home, but also a peculiar fanbase.
I don't have the heart to tell them that I usually just get drunk and spew nonsense at my computer. I can't help that my blood-alcohol level is an emo fan. It's all a big process where I get shitfaced-wasted and then pretend I'm explaining the idea behind emotional feelings to a partially blind toddler.
I'm betting old Walt Whitman did the same thing, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The freaks.

Here's a quick breakdown;
Step One: Whiskey.
Step Two: Write

That's as far as I usually get.
And then I wake up the next morning to an email that says "Thanks For The Submission" and I add a little What The Fuck Did I Submit to my coffee followed by reciting the Lord's "please don't be boob pics, please don't be boob pics" prayer.
Most of the time it's just poetry.
Thank the Blessed Saint Victoria, Protector of the Secret.
Praise be to the Draft Folder;
Keeper of Failed Uploads, Savior of the Slutty Selfie.

It's likely that the one or two boob pics that snuck through are what convinced them to encourage that I write a collection of poetry. If you think about it, asking that I send work on actual paper is a pretty ingenious way to ensure that I don't accidently send pictures of my tits.
They'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that I still have a Polaroid.
Used here to document the last time I was confident wearing stripes.

There's a lot about poetry that I don't understand. Like, who reads that shit? I write a few verses every single day and I still wouldn't call myself a "reader" of poetry. I hardly even read the crap I write. Also, who in the fuck still publishes collections of poetry? I mean, really, are you going to pull up Joleen Doreen's Collection of Depressing Nonsense, Volume 2 (trademarked, title pending) on your bright and shiny eReader while you're at the beach? Going to put the nice little leather-bound black book of Poems From the Dark Side of Joleen Doreen next to the toilet for light bathroom reading? If you were browsing the bargain-bin of a used paperback store, would you throw down thirty-five cents for a dog-eared copy of Even Your Name Rhymes, Joleen Doreen? (And if it was new would you pay, like, SEVENTY-FIVE cents?)

Well, dear readers, here is your chance to answer those questions and more! (Not really more, just the one question, because I don't really give a fuck about other questions.)

I feel like a marketing tool.

I'm an adaptive person. I know how to make what I have work for me. I've been known to eat ham with a spoon.
The new-found world of creating a shareable form of self for others to buy into is absolutely fascinating in the sense that I think you're all bat-shit crazy for supporting my writing and becoming part of that very peculiar fanbase that I love so much.

I'm learning of the necessary evils of successful endeavors. How to be an old-fashioned writer in a modern world. The new tricks of a dying trade. It's a wicked corporate world of bullshit and it will curl the most poetic mind. There are very few ways to retain your dignity while literally selling your soul.

It feels like it might be an entertaining pursuit, writing a collection of poetry. I imagine there to be a lot of chocolate on the inevitable descent into madness. To say nothing of the booze.
Oh, the booze.

What rhymes with Liver Failure?

12 March 2014


I've been in love before.
On purpose even. 
Feels a lot like the enveloping warmth of a well-lit fire on a cold damp night. Tastes like that sweet first bite of a fresh-baked gooey chocolate chip cookie. Intoxicates faster than all the booze in God's country. As surprising as stepping in dog shit.


No thanks.

Love is for fools, as they say. A nonsensical attachment of emotion coupled with the forging of bonds surrounded by a complete disregard for the logicality of reason and inability to make well-thought decisions. Love is an intangible irrationality with power capable of reducing a grown woman to tears. (Often repeatedly; shout out to the 2nd Floor Ladies Room where I am Belle of the Bawl.) The mingling forces of adoration, obsession, lustful longing, and sheer stupidity competing for brain space with bat-shit insanity.

Love is for chumps.

 At least the monkey on my back is adorable.

Teenage love was the best, remember that? Remember when you felt a stirring, an actual gosh-darn STIRRING, in your goodies that guided your actions and you didn't know why? Remember how it felt worth EVERYTHING to drop all the rules, symbolically running through the field of this new-found affliction? REMEMBER when you used capital letters? Remember discovering how blowjobs end? Remember when your cheeks got red? Remember writing bad poetry? Remember how you were going to be in love FOREVER?
Remember being really excited to do things you didn't quite understand, only to find yourself a lot more disappointed than you were comfortable admitting?

Maybe teenage love was prophetic, in its ability to unknowingly define married love.

We could talk about married love OR YOU COULD TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT.
Funny thing, garbage. It didn't smell that bad at first. There were just a few crappy pieces of emptiness here and there, nothing unbearable. Maybe a few empty wine bottles atop of the shrimp tails left over from the Honeymoon Stage. It festers and boils a little; life adds a few diapers. Kids grow up, more crap gets piled on top. Old poetry gets thrown away. Layers upon layers of  new garbage starts pushing down on the old garbage below until the pressure and stench starts pushing back. 
Competing with each other to mask the issue while ignoring the rot is what I call the "Fabreze Period" of married love.
Eventually someone gets dumped.

That metaphor lasted longer than some marriages.

LOVE love, though. 
It snuck up out of nowhere and slapped you with a metric fuckton of oblivion. Made your soul feel complete. The kind of love that made love understand that love had no idea how to love. The True love. The One love. The LOVE. The kind that could never drag me away from you. There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do..

I really need to stop drinking and writing. Or limit the 80's playlist. 

LOVE love, though. 
It's a bright and sunny day. Or crisp and dead of night, if that's your thing. (It's definitely mine; shout out to the third-shift cleaning lady of the second floor ladies room who calls me "Belle.") Either way, there you are, minding your very own business, when SUDDENLY, out of no where mind you, your heart rears back and kicks you in the balls. 
It assaults all of your senses; from touch to taste to feel and feel and feel. 
Your heart can hear, your mind can see. 
It's real godamn poetry.
LOVE love.

The drug of the feeling is more addictive than the feeling of any drug.

Love is the ultimate pyramid scam.
Being fed into over and over; built on nothing more than promises, empty promises. Every participant brings in another; spreading the infectious optimism what is nothing more than a scheme to help support the tumbling mountain of love. One investor of the heart falls over the side, their place in the Love Matrix snatched up by another waiting heart before the first rebound date; left abandoned and bankrupt by the side of the emotional road to recovery.
Writing fucking godamn poetry.

Love is an Evergreen Forest.
The ridge of the Appalachians churning to meet the valleys without giving pause to the obstacles daring to impose upon it. A river of emotions winding a path of its own destination; narrowly escaping the mountainous confines of stoic conformity. Love is a blinding burst of feeling, erupting from behind a wall that took centuries to create. It is the single dying branch of a small sapling pine, hanging limply in the shaded side of the valley on the ridge of Bald Eagle; desperately clinging to the slightest hint of warmth as it yearns to grow into a feeling that can stand.
This metaphor really hits home.

Love is like a poem.
Four lines; makes no sense.
Doesn't even rhyme.
Only chumps fall in love.

I love Love.

09 March 2014

Half Genius. Half Dopey.

I saw you blush.

The red rising to your cheeks from
the abashed you were taught to feel.
I wondered if it came with
anything else that could be real.

I saw you smile.

Along came the decision I never wanted to make;
               where would this go.
               Who am I to say.

Explanations of the fall sound better in The Fall.

Who’s in charge here?

I saw you feel.
Just for a moment, eyes lit anew.
I saw you smile.
I saw you blush.

This line is one short of eight beats.
I can lie. You should try it too.
We both know you did up until
you didn’t think I would catch you.

I saw you blush.

I know I fucking crave your smile,

It is so nice to hear you laugh,

Does it feel the same when you win?

08 March 2014

Nobody Nose

There is a scar on my nose that has no story.

It's not like the chewed-up version of a left ear that my head holds, remnants of a brother who fancied himself the next knife-throwing sensation. It's nothing as ghastly as the tattered shin of my right leg, a lasting tribute to another brother who was keen to chase me into drainage pipes in the dead of summer's night. It's not even as typical as the repeating skin-puckering of brushburns found across my forehead, a recurring love-tap of sorts from my soulmate.
Here we are in happier times.

There's an E in my "whiskey" because it's E'Merican.

Even setting 'falling out of your standard fat-nutted blue truck' aside, there are still a number of times I've landed on my face in life. Being married, for example. 
But even that didn't leave a physical mark.
And it sure doesn't explain the odd scar on my nose. It runs dead across the thick meaty center, almost a perfect semi-circle rounding from one nostril to the other. For many years I brushed it off as a strange crease mark, a true cautionary tale against the effects of turning up your nose at things. Or, more like a line of separation; the point from where the tip of my nose was just too fat for my nostrils and bursting to escape. The rebellion of a cute button nose on a damn ridiculous face.

A Cabbage Patch Kid come to life.

Upon further inspection, it turns out this mark across my nose is a scar. And now I want to know what happened. Another knifing incident with Jimmy the Great? Dog bite? Game of Got-Your-Nose gone horribly wrong? 

Why don't I remember? Is it an incident I've repressed or was I black-out drunk? When did weed start smelling like fruit? Has the scar been there the whole time? Why has nobody mentioned it? Did politeness ruin my chance of finding out the truth?


Something is rotten. I sense it with my forgetfully scarred nose. There's something going on here and I won't tell me what it is. I know something that I'm keeping myself from knowing. There's a godamn scar on my nose that I must know something about the origin of!

But, alas, I know nothing and I'm not talking.

Even my soulmate is suspiciously silent, although I suspect he holds the proof.
(Woo! High-five for the whiskey joke!)

Booooo (ze).

Nonetheless, there is a scar on my nose that has no story.
 I wonder if I was a spy in a former version of self. Somewhere between wasted potential and cancer-stricken. Maybe I was trapped in the evil sub-plot of a second-act nemesis; barely discernable from every other douchebag on the daily grind save for my brief encounter with an angry lead character who takes a swipe at my nose. 

Stupid scar.

If Harry Potter was a feeling it would perfectly describe the emotion I am filled with right now.

Do YOU know why you do the things that you do?
Me fucking either.

It's like magic.

10 February 2014


It was pretty cold out the night my little brother kidney punched that old dude.

I remember seeing ice crystals beginning to form on the sides of the tiny little puddle struggling to survive under the constant splash-attack of one truck tire after another. With wheels twice the size of my cute little girl truck and an engine with enough rumble to trip your city car's alarm, along they would come. Chevys, Fords, the occasional Toyota; they all slugged down the narrow roadway in front of the bar. The path was pock-marked with scores of water-logged potholes on each side, but those trucks would not swerve, oh no. Those behemoths would claim the road, driving each wheel into the offending obstructions, often slowing down for maximum domination of broken asphalt.
Pothole right side.
Pothole left side.

Pothole right side.

Pothole left side.
Pothole right side.

The trucks would bounce side to side on their suspensions as the tires jumped in and out of holes that had laid to rest many a smaller wheel. Not the trucks though. Back and forth they would rock, giving the sporadic procession of vehicular giants a lumbering gait. Trampling through the puddles with a grumble, like the mammoths they can be.

On the cold nights the trucks were less frequent. Their owners more apt to let the beastly machines rest while they themselves warmed a barstool instead. On the cold nights the puddles would freeze over, glaring coldly at the parked trucks. Ice would begin at the edges and work inward, the pothole's makeshift resurfacing a defiant taunt to the silent engines.

There was definately ice on the puddle that night, so it was cold. Probably puts it somewhere in the months right before he died. December, maybe. January more likely.
(Is that a real year?)
The barstools were full, at any rate, which wasn't typical in December because of hunting season and it couldn't have been February, because Jake was dead by then. And we've determined it was cold. So it must have been January.

 Thanks Science!

I was bartending at the time and watching the migrating trucks was a pastime I enjoyed. I studied their patterns; where they would rest, what time it was typical to see them at the local watering holes, how loudly they informed others of their approach. Each one was unique; some were fast and quickly darted back and forth. Others were powerhouses, approaching slowly with a growl. As a herd they were fascinating. (I was nearly tempted to name names. Someone do me a favor and tell Fatnutz and Noodle that they really dodged a comedic bullet here please.)
I loved watching the trucks come and go. They would often stop for a drink, if you didn't spook them, and I learned how to read the signs that the local mammoths had been around. Which is how I recognized the ice forming in the puddle as a sign that the roadways were quiet that January night.

The old guy deserved it.

My little brother hung out at the bar most nights when I was working and every night that I wasn't. He came to know nearly every other drunk in the small town and could recognize their limits just as well as most bartenders. And he didn't like Gropey Mike.
Well hell, nobody really liked Gropey Mike. He was one of those guys that went from "had one beer" to "whiskey stupid" without pause. Zero to Needs an AssWhoopin' in under a minute.
And he was really gropey.
Gropey Mike would get cut off from every other bar in town (all 3) before hailing a ride on a migrating truck to the watering hole where I worked. No matter who was behind the black and tan bar when Gropey Mike lingered in, he would never get served. (We were under specific orders, you see. And Mr. Shady's word is law.) 
I was not even the barmaid on the particular night in which our pal got bean-punted. Had it been me, I would have quickly enforced the Stay 5 Feet From Gropey Mike rule. Because just as Gropey Mike was known to do, when he was refused a drink he tried to grab a tit instead.

Like a tit is going to get him drunk?

Needless to say, the barmaid was not very pleased and became quite indignant. At which point my little brother drug Gropey Mike from the bar and tossed him into the street. The visibly shaken, and recently groped, barmaid poured herself a double shot before calling me at home, and I quickly walked over.
From my house out back.
I'm saying that I lived behind the bar.
I arrived in time to see my little brother blocking Gropey Mike's access back into the bar. Mike was so drunk he could hardly tell the difference between my little brother, as he stood in front of the door with crossed arms, and the wall; Gropey Mike alternately bounced off of each with little comprehension.
I sighed and called Gropey Mike's son, Little Mike, and began to persuade Mike to sit on a quiet curb until his ride arrived. In a moment of weary miscalculation, I found myself in the grope zone of very drunk Gropey Mike.
I wasn't too concerned, as I've spent way too much time in the company of drunken hillbillies to not know how to execute a perfect motherfucking duck-and-spin. But the act enraged my little brother enough for him to issue one very swift jab to Gropey Mike's midsection.

I'm not an advocate of kidney punching the elderly.

My little brother retreated before Gropey Mike even reached the ground with his one gropey hand still reaching for any available tit.

Rather than watch my little brother walk away, I stared at the slightly frozen puddle just to the right of where I stood. I heard the rumble in the distance that told me the trucks would soon be coming. They would lumber to life and head this way; blissfully unaware of the ice struggling to form in the puddle. I saw the headlights of a Chevy gleam across the tiny roadway, damning the fragile crystals at the edge of the pothole to imminent damage.

I stood there and lamented the impending loss for a second before I finally looked my little brother in the eye.

Eyes so blue.
Like looking at myself.
"Thanks Jake."

Jacob LeRoy 5.31.83-2.10.05

01 February 2014

Bubble Lights

Hey there.
Let me ask you something.

Did you think THIS is where you would end up being?

Half past the prime of your third decade, slinging back double shots of cheap Kentucky bourbon at 8 am while trying to make the tiny words on the screen tell a story. Spent your entire Friday night in smelly pajamas since the cat isn't able to articulate "your ass stinks" into more than a few feeble meows. Slept curled up on the floor of the hallway; the day's dirty hoodie for a blanket and a rolled-up towel upon which to lay your head.
Mesmerized by the way empty beer bottles were illuminated under the Bubble Lights that line the length of the cramped corridor, you fell into a restless slumber only to awaken mere hours later. Blinking away the glow of vintage baubles to see the cat shaking his head in disapproval, images of the night's foolish dreams still swimming around the sides of your head. The bubbles of your childhood Christmas decorations rising in mocking rhythm, each tiny air pocket bursting in a furious attempt to pop an "I knew this would happen if I hung around" into the quiet air.
No? Just me?

Even putting the failed relationships aside (waaaaaay aside, please) I know I'm not the greatest success story in the world. 
Or at all. 
I mean, sure, I managed to squeeze out a pretty decent kiddo and I scrape by on barely making it. I've sold a few written things here and there, enough to fund my beautiful girl's extra-curricular activities. (Who knew that Jazz Band, Marching Band, Color Guard, Indoor Guard, Band Camp, and Orchestra could cost so damn much? I think we may be nearing the point where my teenage years of drug abuse and felony charges were a damn bit cheaper. Fuck.) Eh, She's worth every penny I s'pose.

I guess I've learned a few things along the way. Even your sisters can be whores, for example. Another one would be: don't drink Absinthe on an empty stomach.
Or, Never trust management.
Avoid growing up for as long as possible.
Laugh with your children.
Don't stare at bubble lights.
Be Creepier.
Feed the cat before passing out in the hallway.
(The basics, really.)

But I've never grasped the reason behind long-term positive goals, and now I'm not sure how to start setting them. Do I begin with the obvious?
Don't Die Right Away.
This may seem like the "gimmie" of a long-term goal for most people. But with the killer cooter and the dead brother and the self-destruction, not dying myself has really been something of a tricky task. Each and every time I wake anew I take a second to smile that my eyes opened again.
Sure, sure. Sometimes my eyes are crusted with lousy decisions and I reek of whiskey and regret, but  damned if I'm not awake.
I'd like to keep doing it. Living. Eh, for a while I s'pose.

Ok, that seemed easy.
Let's set another long-term positive goal. 
Be Sad Less. 
Not today or anything. Just overall. 
Doesn't really look good for February though, what with the brother's deathday being on the 10th and all. I will try not to be as disheartened as the day has made me in the past, but you can be sure as shittin' that it'll be a shitfaced occasion. There's no better way to celebrate a deathday. (That bother ya'll? The use of "deathday" like it's a real thing? It bothers my kiddo. Maybe this year I'll forgo the balloons in favor of something more serious. What shape piñata says "my brother kicked the bucket today"? A donkey?) Eh, he's worth the bad day I s'pose.

All this positivity. 
I feel absolutely confident that I'm not screwing up this long-term goal-setting thing at all. 

Alright, I can think of another.
Do Something.
Not sure what. Rather not get too specific. This goal may change.

Uck. You know what else?
Don't Do Something.
You know what. No need to get specific. This goal should never change.

Well, some of the optimism sure seems to have suddenly left the list making process, but since we're down here I'm adding
Don't Fuck Up (as much)
and editing the name to Long-Term Reasonably Attainable Goals, If I Want To Try.
That seems more like me anyway. 
The positivity was making my head hurt.
Eh, I s'pose.

Maybe tonight I will sleep in a bed. I could even move the bubble lights into my room.
I'll make it Goal Number One.

13 January 2014

Felony Rad

A country girl's heart is filled with apple pie.
Made with sugar and spice and everything nice.

A hillbilly girl's heart holds a lot of booze.

With the practice that I've had, one would think I'd be more apt at completing the stages of grieving. Unfortunately, I've never been sober enough to remember how the process ends (uhhh... usually with me face-down in the back of a pickup truck sob-singing random verses of Red Sovine's Teddy Bear while lobbing empties at birds). 
I can do this.
I know I can.
I just need to get over myself before I fall out the bottom.
Jump on the wagon, and then push everyone else off so I have more room to haul my booze. 

Let me kick my feet up and tell ya'll a story.

       The left leg was lime green. The other was stark white. The tread of a bike tire brought them together as it ran down one side of the pants and crossed the ass to the other. The tiny bicycles spattered throughout just made the spandex all the more rad.
I was the most rad youth the Appalachian early 80's had ever seen. The town could hardly handle all the rad that my pants David Lee Roth-kicked into the surroundings. I still remember the stir I caused at the Five-and-Dime when I stole a pack of gum wearing lime green spandex. 
I was so rad they called the cops.
The pants alone were enough reason for Mayberry P.D. to throw me right into the back of that police cruiser and haul me down Main Street.
Felony Rad; 1st Degree.
Maybe not so.
More like Second Degree Stupidity; Sibling Class.
(You were right, James. They did want to hear about you.)

They delivered us to Elwood (Husband III).
  Mom was around later, after "The Man" left. Woody dumbed down the charges. Practically made it seem like the gum stole me. Jimmy though? Well, his was a cry for help; call his dad. "Dispatch to Coyote. The boy's a crook." The brother outlived his charges, but I caved. I caved like a dirty stool pigeon. (I know this because the brother made me watch the godamn Disney Zoo VHS that features the "stool pigeon" for weeks afterward. Bread and Butter.) 
I falsely confessed to the theft of that gum.
 I was ready for my yipes-stripes-fruit-striped-prison-issue-duds.
Elwood wouldn't let me be sentenced.
"Rolo!" he hollered, certain he could distract with the facts.

They never knew who to believe, the authorities, him or me. A gum or a candy, the evidentiary chain seemed so insubstantial. But when it came to calorie-count, apparently it mattered. And as Mayberry P.D. rounded the alley away from the grape vines it made me wonder; if I had copped to the crime of the multi-pack, would they had overlooked the stolen chocolates? Disregarded the covered-caramel like the stolen confectionary was merely a by-product of a hapless youth and it's wayward direction?
Would the gooey truth ever be exposed?
Well, here it is.
i never stole the gum, i confess. 
it was a chocolate-covered caramel.

"ROLO!" I holler, knowing this is the time for my crime.

Elwood was a good man.

11 January 2014


I never let my brain do the thinking. That's how things go wrong. Nope, best to let the decision making up to the real experts; boobs and booze.
Those girls know how to have a good time.

06 January 2014

Hemingway Is My Boo

Floated far above,
  thought I knew about love.
Grown about time,
  Figure how this isn't mine.

All Yours.

Stretched throughout.
  How do I turn that off?
These emotions spout
  Yet here I sit, aloft.


I feel my smile grow.
  You have no clue.
Like you wouldn't know,
  I Love you.


Here it is again.
Nothing that I said
  will make me pretty.


it feels so nice,
  wrapped in your embrace
that for a moment
  I forgot who to hate.


Ass-to-mouth was first pulled on an insecure drunk girl. I can almost guarantee it. An insecure drunk girl's entire existence is ass-to-mouth. It's the one thing, above all else, that an insecure drunk girl will nod to, in agreeance, AS IT IS HAPPENING, that basically sums up her life into a single moment. Ass-to-mouth doesn't bother an insecure drunk girl.
She knows her wheelhouse.

I've driven a stick shift with a dick in my hand. What country girl hasn't?

My Mama isn't a creepy perv. 
It's weird. 
All THIS isn't from her. 
My Mama never did ass-to-mouth.
(Unless you count the fourth husband, and really, who does?)

I only count the third husband anymore.

He was a pretty freaking good guy, Elwood Sheldon. He taught me that it is more than okay to be more than weird. He knew I had spirit. He hid me from the darkness. He brought me back from where I shouldn't have been. He laughed at my shitty jokes.
Mama was married a few more times than most. A couple of them stuck a while; Daddy (Husband II) was around for the better part of two decades but spent a quarter million truck-driving miles a year on the road. The first dodged responsibility like it was the 'Nam draft and the fourth bailed before the frost thawed to bury my brother. 
Nope, it was Mama's husband the third that made the impact on me.

From the hamper full of porn in the upstairs bathroom to taking baths in the three-tub restaurant-sized stainless steel sink, Woody was a bit out there. His 40,000+ collection of vinyl records spread from bedroom to bedroom as the kids left. Every moment of his life was set to some soundtrack that played in his head. Every memory I have is tied to a song. 
He encouraged me to talk to the ghosts that haunted me. 
He believed me when they answered. 

Confidence was beaten out of me at a young age by a bitter father and a mean older brother. Not to say I didn't instigate.. I s'pose you can imagine how my smart mouth never knew when to shut the fuck up. But with Woody (Husband III)  I got laughter instead of teeth-rattling blows at my smartass retorts. His joyous whole-body chuckles at my wit-filled replies made me seek more and more smart responses. I would create troubled situations at a very young age just to make him laugh with my explanations of events occurred.
"Sure, sure. I stole my brother's bike. I was TIRED of walking home." 
I'm still walking home.

Nobody ever felt the energy of JOLEEN DOREEN quite like Woody (Husband III). 

I cried more for his passing than I did for my own father. 
I s'pose it's because Daddy was a cold-hearted man; he outlasted more strokes than every member of the Rolling Stones combined and yet refused to listen to a song that wasn't performed by a Conway or a Cash. I thought he died a half-a-dozen times before he really did. Daddy was a hard man. Not even Death was going to get the upper hand on him.
Woody (Husband III) was different. He was everything Daddy was not. He was jovial when things were extraordinary. He giggled at the wonderful. He argued with EVERYTHING. He was infuriating and so fucking stubborn.

He fostered an atmosphere of weird that helped create ME.

He was a good hearted man killed by a bad heart.

I will miss him more than all these words can tell you.

02 January 2014


I haven't been very keen on the holiday season these last few years. The brother dying really fucked up my festive nature. It's not easy to find a complete set of squirrel-skin stockings and I can't for nothing figure out where he put our old ones.
And making new ones?
In this economy?
Well, I'd just as soon not celebrate at all.

The house doesn't feel the same without Jake's nasty-ass holiday venison & beer farts. A traditional roast just doesn't have the gas.


Working in the shipping industry has allowed me to fill the loneliest holiday hours with hectic hilarity. Double overtime and triple shifts. Can't remember the last shower that didn't involve a nap. Shots of 8am whiskey and bologna breakfast sandwiches. For one month out of the year, everyone smells as bad as my dead brother.
It reminds me of home.

Work and work and work until exhaustion. Work until the thinking goes away. Work until every part of my body feels as broken as my brain.
I work until I feel like I've done something.

I miss my brother. I don't talk about him often anymore. I usta did, back when. But then he got all quiet while I lived without him for a while.
It made me sick.
Everyone shouldered their own grief while mine galloped along on its own. And when it returned it was a relic; a who's who of who isn't who anymore. And the others, well, the others don't much like me as of late so it shouldn't make a lick of difference that I still like the dead one better anyway.
(Plus, Mama means a lot to me, and even Jake, in his grand crown of fuckitude, could see that ya'll judge her like you're Jesus recoming. We've ALL fucked up, ya douchebags, quit acting like your Mama did you worse than YOU did you.)

I can pallet-stack my cynicism. I can unload a trailer full of bitterness. I can pick-off sarcasm. I've labeled all of my misgivings with an Early A.M. sticker and sent them out before the rest of the world arose. I have absolutely no problem pointing at my fuck-ups and declaring them to have missed service.

I am a fucking misload.

This may come as a surprise, but I don't often fit in. I know, I know. Seems weird to me too. But it's true, I've always been a little to the distant side of normal.
I s'pose that's alright with me. I've never noticed, having been way too busy dancing to the music in my head. And then one day I looked up mid-twirl and they weren't laughing at me anymore. Well, they were still laughing at me. But I was laughing too. 
And skipping.
And dancing.
And singing.
And working.
Work and work and work until elation. Work until satisfaction sets in. Work until the sweat smells as bad as the memories. I work until the music stops and my head is quiet. 
Sometimes I find myself on the clock for 24 hours in a row and it doesn't even bother me a any more than a tick on a dead buck.
Probably bothers payroll though.

I see the normal ones, shaking their heads as if they might swish away my crazy. The whispers swirling around in a convoluted web of incomprehension. The "Whys" meet the "Whatevers." The "Weirdos" tend to overwhelm the "AttaGirls." I know people don't understand why I work, and work, and work. But some do.

Some do.

I tend to scare people away easily. I know, I know. Seems weird to me too. But it's true, people can be a little put off by my intensity. (BECAUSE THEY ARE PUSSIES.) I s'pose that's alright with me too. I've been able to keep a ring around myself to keep distance from the people that are just stopping by to witness the freakshow. 
I get a lot of day-trippers. Seasonal workers, if you will. 
They come because the job looks quick and easy and then they crap out when they realize the work is never really done.

 That's a fucking metaphor.