Throwing the book at stigma

Hey y’all. I’ve been here before, and loved it so much I’ve persuaded Scott to let me come back. Not to muck around this time, though – I have something important to share.

 

Graffiti Hair fb

 

Mental illness. It seems to be one of those awkward topics still – you know, one of the ones where there are  overtones (and undertones (and hiding-out-in-the-middle-of-the-blatantly-obvious tones))), which suggest that just maybe, even in talking about it, you run the risk of maybekindasorta identifying with it, publicly.

It becomes something which people either feel they need to brazen out, a bit defensively, or else steer clear of altogether lest they become associated (or worse, implicated) with it.

And that’s a situation which needs more change. Continue reading “Throwing the book at stigma”

Punch a Bill in the Face

[Editor’s Note: I am beyond ecstatic to have my very first guest post on this blog. I’m even more thrilled that it’s Laura A. Lord, who is yet another in a long line of bloggers who have come on to my little space on the web to make me look like an amateur. Laura is a published author and poet whose work I admire. Please give her a warm welcome. And hey, get your feet off the table. We have a guest here. Geez….]

The American people have spoken!

Well, 33.9% of them have. The remainder of the country sat back silently, having prepared themselves with an arsenal of gifs, memes, and hashtags galore to combat the annoying day the school’s closed and they had to keep their children home.

#CantGetAnyPumpkinSpiceShitToday

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So maybe you fell into that 33.9%. Maybe you were an educated voter who knew what you were voting for or against. Maybe this post isn’t meant for you at all.

Because for everyone else who gets their news from Facebook’s trending section (did you know Jennifer Aniston is going sans make-up for a movie? How is this not international news?) I’m here to let you know what you voted for.

Even if you didn’t vote.

Because not voting, IS voting.

So thank you. From one person who gives a shit, to those of you who gave less of a shit. All of your votes counted…all 66.1% of them.


 

I couldn’t be prouder to offer you our first winning candidate! He’s from my very own state! Thank you to those who voted for Michael Peroutka for Anne Arundel’s county council. He’s running an amazing platform that stands on some truly fantastic principles: imaginary civil rights, proclaiming his support of the Confederacy, and finally releasing the gay agenda plan to kidnap your children for their “deathsquad.” Finally…someone who’s willing to open his mouth and say exactly what everyone else must be thinking.

My state was on a roll. Less than 24 hours after being elected into office, Andy Harris, made sure we knew his plan to keep all those campaign promises…Specifically the ones where he said he would use “all the resources” available to him to stop the legalization of marijuana in Washington D.C. I’m glad to know with such silly, unnecessary things on the table like immigration reform, national deficit, ISIS…hell, I’ll even take Ebola…the representative of my state is more worried about what a place that is, admittedly, not his responsibility, is doing. But you didn’t realize that when you vote for someone to represent you, they are also there to look our for D.C.’s well-being. Thank goodness for that. To think those people could actually govern themselves?! Pfft…

But let’s not just focus on Maryland.

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If you’re in the El Paso district of Colorado, you thought the man (Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt) who tried to exorcise a demon from the President of the United States was a good choice for the House of Representatives. Thankfully, he also believes transgender-ed and gay people are possessed by demons. He will be far too busy trying to top Anthony Hopkins’ awesome performance to do any real law-making.

In Minnesota, you’re being represented by a man who argues that the minimum wage is too high, has proposed bills to eliminate the minimum wage entirely, and basically thinks that bullying is a joke. I mean, those kids don’t need protection. Man up! Right, congressman?!

Virginia women voted for more government in their uterus-es! Thank goodness the representative who formerly was a measly little lobbyist for the Koch Brothers now has the real ability to push that law through for forced transvaginal ultrasounds. Woohoo! You don’t even have to bring your own lube ladies…granted, theirs is always so cold.

Wisconsin brought in the man who truly understands the wage gap…because money is only important to men. Silly women. Just make your husband a nice meal, wear a sexy apron, and he’ll surely turn over the credit card.

Colorado also elected a man based on the fact that he doesn’t wear high heels. I mean, let’s be real, those things are killer on the ankles and if he’s going to be grandstanding in the House of Representatives, we really want him comfortable.

And Georgia brought in the man who is going to visit all of our female delegates and make sure they have their permission slips signed by their husbands. Sorry darling, but you know you can’t be practicing politics without permission.

You can’t deny that we are in good hands with this lot. The list goes on and on. I for one couldn’t feel more secure. I even got my husband’s permission to write this post! I’m well on my way to becoming the kind of woman our country is obviously in such need of. Thank goodness most of the country seems to agree and with a Congress that’s finally almost all red, we should be well on our way to actually getting things done!

Right.

Right?

Right?!

So where are they starting? What’s the plan of action?

Obamacare and pipelines.

Woot! Obviously the Republication committee has been utilizing all that fancy new spy gear the President put in and listening to my calls to Santa. Those sneaky old men. They are even working to fulfill my greatest wish…the basic destruction of our Science, Technology, and Environment committees. At least now all those funds can go somewhere more important…like hiding all that messy evidence that world is older than 6,000 years.

I think at this point, I speak for not only myself, but the rest of the American people, when I say that my only real hope is that with the 6.5 billion dollars dumped into these midterms that whole trickle-down economics theory starts panning out. I could really use that cash to start investing in some of those for-profit colleges…

Excuse me while I go punch a bill in the face, like my new hero, and elected representative, Mike Bost!

Meltdown-Mike
Let my people go!…To Starbucks, or wherever else they’d rather be than the voting booth.

 


 

WEBSITE - CopyLaura A. Lord is the author of numerous collections of vignettes and poetry and one awesome children’s book about a T-Rex screwing up her entire day. It’s absolutely a true story. Laura’s work has been featured in The Beacon, The Collegian, Whirl with Words, and Precipice. She is also one of the founding editors of The Reverie – a poetic publication journal. Oh, and Twindaddy obviously loves her enough to let her rant crazy political spiels on his blog. That brave, brave man. If you’re brave, you can find Laura on her blog…over here.

 

Countess Penelope and the Jedi Mind Trick

[Editor’s Note: I am very pleased and humbled to welcome a very talented author to the ranks of our guest bloggers here. Helena Hann-Basquiat is an insanely talented writer whose prose reek of elegance and hilarity, as you are about to find out. I know you’ll enjoy this every bit as much as I did.]

I walked in on Penny doing something I’ll bet she wishes I hadn’t seen. But still, we all do it, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. There comes a time in everyone’s life when you just need to experiment, to see what your body can do, to learn what you’re capable of, and if you do indeed have mental powers.

Yes, darlings, the Countess Penelope of Arcadia (small little moisture farming community just east of Mos Eisley) was trying to use The Force to move her glass of wine to her hand. When I opened the door, she tried to act all cool, as if she were just stretching to reach it, but I caught her with her eyes closed, breathing calmly and legs crossed in a zen-like yoga fashion, hand outstretched and trembling slightly.

“What are you doing?” I asked with a knowing grin.

“Nothing,” Penny said, clumsily knocking over her wine glass. “Oh, now look what you’ve made me do. Dammit, Helena, that’s alcohol abuse!”

“Gee, I’m sorry, Darth Penelopecus. Looks like you maybe should have stayed in Dagobah and finished your training instead of running off to the Cloud City to try to rescue your friends.”

“Hey, you know what? Maybe that explains it,” Penny suggested.

“Explains what?”

“Bear with me, Helena,” Penny began.

“I always do, darling.”

“Kayso, if you could have Jedi powers, what would you do with them?”

“I already told you, darling – I don’t like those movies. And I especially don’t like the new episodes. I’d really rather not talk about it.”

Penny gave me a look that told me that we were going to talk about it.

“Fine,” I sighed in resignation. “Well, as far as Jedi powers go, I mean, you have to give me some guidelines. I mean, are we talking the original trilogy – the ability to move things with my mind if I concentrate enough, or are we talking the ridiculously powerful abilities of the Jedi from the prequels. In those movies, Yoda bounces around like a three year old on a sugar bender, and the Jedi practically fly. But in the original three, Luke Skywalker – supposedly a very powerful Jedi – at best leaps out of the carbon freezing chamber. Now either George Lucas was just drunk on the power of new filming technology and just completely lost his mind, or else…”

“Or else we can only come to the conclusion that in the final analysis, Luke Skywalker was the worst Jedi the universe has ever seen. And why would that be?”

“I’m sure you are going to tell me,” I said, trying to keep a straight face.

“Because he didn’t finish his training!” Penny cried, and pointed to the door. “Now, if you please? I’m trying to concentrate.”

“Okay,” I said with a sly smile, “but I still say you’d have more luck trying to something-else-ate.”

“Wow,” the Countess replied. “Sounds like someone really needs-a-date.”

“I do,” I sighed. “I really do.”

I stood in the doorway for a moment, thinking.

“What are you still doing here?” Penny asked snarkily.

“Well, don’t you want your answer? What I’d do with Jedi powers?”

“Nope,” she replied, and waved her hand at me slowly. “You will bring me more wine now.”

“No,” I said, turning off her lights and leaving her in the dark and walking away. “No, I don’t think I will.”

“Helena!” She called after me. “Helena, turn the lights back on! I’m in the dark here!

“Helena?

“Hey, don’t be too proud of your technological terror, Helena! The ability to turn of the lights is insignificant compared to the power of The Force!”

I just laughed diabolically as I continued to walk away. I may not be a Jedi, but I’m the master of the mind trick. Weak-minded fools, beware.


See? I told you she was talented! Here’s the part where I tell you to go follow Helena’s blog, because all the cool bloggers are doing it. Seriously. Helena writes traditional blog posts in addition to dazzling fiction. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If, however, you are, I offer you a full refund on your subscription fee to this here weblog.

Helena is also a published author! You can find her work at the links below, and I highly encourage you to do so.

Memoirs of a Dilettante Vol 1

Paperback: here or here
Ebook: Here

Three Cigarettes

Under pen name Jessica B. Bell
Here

The Best Medicine

Under pen name Jessica B. Bell
Here

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Twindaddy

[Editor’s Note: Some of the funniest shit I’ve ever seen on TV are the Comedy Central roasts. If you’re not familiar, a roast is when a “guest of honor” is insulted for hours on end by comedians and close friends. It’s all done in good fun, and I’ve yet to see one yet that didn’t leave my gut strained from laughter. So in the spirit of the roast, The Hook is here today to do his impression of a roast on me. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as The Hook does his best Lisa Lampanelli impersonation. Oh, and my rebuttals are in parenthesis.]

Everyone’s favorite bellman, The Hook, here folks, with yet another “gift” for yet another cursed lucky blogger.

Although he has been an open book so far there are a few details concerning the legend of Twindaddy that have remained a mystery. Until now, that is.


1)  He may have sworn allegiance to the Empire publicly but Twindaddy’s heart will always belong to the franchise that speaks to him on a deeply spiritual level. His favorite Strawberry Shortcake character? Bitch Pudding, of course.

(I only eat Strawberry Shortcake with whipped cream. Infer from that what you will.)

2)  Every year, at the onset of the new television season, Twindaddy auditions to be Dr. Phil’s sidekick. And every year he walks away, his helmeted head hung in shame. Better luck next year, buddy.

(We all know Blunt Life Coach could do Dr. Phil’s job better. And in a more entertaining fashion.)

3)  His Rob Ford fan club went down in flames when he revealed his plans for a recruitment drive: Free bumper stickers that read “Honk if you love crack.”

(Seriously, who doesn’t love crack? Look what it did for Whitney Houston’s career. People are lying…)

4)  CBS had originally offered Letterman’s position to Twindaddy but the deal fell though when his list of demands expanded to include the following:

  • His choice of sidekick? Snooki.
  • Guest host? Steve Guttenberg.
  • His wardrobe? The signature helmet, of course – and nothing else.

(Okay, in my defense, Snooki is a wealth of comedic material. As is Steve Guttenberg. And…
blogging naked

…who doesn’t want to see this??)

5)  Twindaddy’s biography, Under the Helmet, due to be released next year by “Yes, We’re Serious!” Books, hits all the highs and lows of his existence, including his allegiance to the Kardashians and his mild burugudoyski soda addiction.

(I just had to Google burugudoyski soda and I’m still not sure what the hell it is.)

6)  He loves to sing Celine Dion tunes in the shower while wearing his helmet. Unfortunately, he has attempted to do so while in Celine Dion’s shower in her Vegas suite…

(Well she obviously wasn’t using it…)

7)  Despite reports to the contrary, he created the Heartbleed virus while building his Strawberry Shortcake fan fiction site.

(*waves hand* Everyone will like Strawberry Shortcake! With whipped cream, of course.)

8)  His choice to play him in the inevitable movie version of his life? Katherine Heigl. In his own words: “She is an underrated angel.”

(Actually, that’s a misquote. It should read “undertalented,” hence why I choose her.)

9)  They threw copious amounts of coin at him, but Twindaddy refused Playboy’s offer of a cover spot and a pictorial featuring his “Little Emperor” in all its “glory”. His official explanation?

“I hear some people have these things called ‘standards’, and so I’ve decided to try them on for size. Now, if a sophisticated periodical like Hustler came a callin’…”

(Seriously, have you read the articles on Hustler? Me either…)

10)  He’s a people person. Seriously. (Quit shaking your head, it’s the truth!)

(And by people person, he means “leave me the fuck alone.”)


My work here is done. I now return you to your regularly scheduled stuph…

FML, Disney Collector

[Please welcome back Emily, of The Waiting fame, who is here to release some pent up anger. This is just the perfect place to do that…

Anyhow, please ensure that after you enjoy this heaping of literary goodness Emily has served up that you head on over to her blog and click on the magical follow button. You know you want to. Hell, if I could follow her twice I totally would.]

Twindaddy knows me, y’all. Knows-knows me. (Ugh, not in a biblical sense. Get your minds out of the gutter. You’re going to have to find today’s big blogging scandal elsewhere.) He knows that even though I write about the syruppy sweet moments I encounter daily as the mama of a toddler, I have a dark side. I have a right to bitch, and today I’d like to extend a hearty thank you to my favorite Stormtrooper for giving me the opportunity to let it rip.

When TD first invited me back to [this here weblog], I had a wonderfully righteous rebuttal to the lady who called her toddler an asshole on the Huffington Post. Maybe her words struck a little too close to home – I daily wonder if my own kid is a burgeoning jerk because at the age of two all people are somewhat horrible – and I was good and ready to give her a big ol’ finger wagging for telling us what we all already knew. Maybe I was just jealous that it was her post that went viral and not mine. Apparently, jealousy makes me prudish.

However, that post is going to take a backseat for now because this morning I learned that something far worse than parents calling their kids four letter words exists in this world, and I feel morally obligated to tell you about it. Knowledge is power, and maybe by spreading the word about this crime against humanity I can do my small part in stamping it out.

Facepalm Moment

After breakfast each morning, my husband and I indulge our daughter a little. We let her select a short video to watch on YouTube before we shovel her off to get dressed and brush her teeth against her will. This morning, as toddlers are want to do, she started maniacally clicking on videos in the sidebar to her old standby, Peppa Pig. I haven’t yet decided how I really feel about ol’ Peppa, but for now, I think she’s not horrible, so I was a little confused why C all of a sudden hated her with the fury of a thousand suns. In her maniacal thwomping of videos, she eventually landed on the most inane fifteen minutes of drivel I have yet found on the Internet:

An “unboxing” video of Disney Easter eggs by some gal who calls herself Disney Collector.

You can watch the video yourself, but I don’t recommend it. I have already sacrificed some of my own precious brain cells by viewing it and I wouldn’t want you to do the same. Instead, let me explain what is going on here.

There is apparently a market for videos on YouTube of people doing nothing more than opening boxes and/or containers. They describe their contents for the onlookers of the Internet, often with absolutely no editorial commentary. These videos are wildly popular, many having millions of views.

Think about that for a moment.

Instead of going outside and smelling the flowers, drawing a picture, reading a classic piece of literature, or hell, even watching a better video on YouTube (and yes, “Gangnam Style” qualifies), there are people who spend the precious time they have here on Earth watching videos of people opening up crap on YouTube. And not just interesting crap. I mean, I have wasted a couple hours of my life on Storage Wars marathons because at least there’s an element of drama and surprise when the folks on that show start rummaging through all the stuff they just bought. But in a Disney Collector video, there are no treasures of actual value or provenance to be opened. Nope, all you ever see are plastic pieces of garbage made in China.

Item after item after item.

The video we watched was fifteen minutes long. (I turned it off after five because watching it literally made my entire life flash before my eyes). Fifteen f*#&ing minutes of the Disney Collector opening up plastic Easter eggs emblazoned with children’s characters and filled with toys that are likely sold for 1000% more than they are worth. In a moment of absolute indiscretion, I checked out the video’s comment thread and and facepalmed myself into oblivion when I learned that the people who watch these video are dead serious about them. Where are the trolls when you need them? We need to sic the folks of Anonymous on Disney Collector and her minions.

Am I missing something here? Has our society sunk to such a place that this is what we elect to entertain ourselves with? I could maybe rationalize the popularity of these videos if a chorus line of puppies came out and did the can-can midway through the video.

What amazed me was that when my husband came in the room, all I had to do was say “I think we’ve made it to the end of the Internet and it is a bleak place,” and he immediately replied, “Oh. Are you watching a Disney Collector video.”

WTF. Even he knows about this.

I really don’t get it. At all.

Dear Stuphbloggers, can any of you shed light on why anyone would want to watch this stuff? Is there some kind of unboxing fetish that I am just not aware of? Do these videos help insomniacs fall asleep? Are they used as torture devices in Third World countries? Please tell me there is a point to this that I’m just missing because, seriously, I’m a tad peeved at humanity right now that some schools can’t get funding for arts and music programs but the Disney Collector is going strong.

 

Manhattan’s Secret World

[Editor’s Note: Everyone gather round and welcome a new guest to this here weblog. Exile On Pain Street submitted the winning entry for the Tag Line Contest, and as his punishment reward, he has chosen to post some of his brilliant work here for you to consume. I’m so sure that you’ll enjoy this enough to navigate the blogosphere to Exile’s blog and click the follow button that I won’t even tell you to because I know you will whether I tell you to or not. Take it away, Exile!]

Twindaddy ran a new-tagline contest and I won. For my just deserts, he has foolishly allowed me to guest post here. I’ve decided to re-post something I wrote in 2010. It’s important to me and it was written long before I migrated to WordPress, so it’s new to you.

~~~~~~~~~~

The current recession has kicked me in the plums pretty hard. For the past 22 months, I’ve worked as a consultant at about a half dozen investment banks, none of whom are in any mood to hire on staff.

Back in 2009, I went through a three-month period of unemployment. Since then, I’ve had scattered 2-3 week outages of work. I consider myself fortunate because I know some folks who haven’t weathered this recession as well as I have, so I’m not complaining. Much. We were never in any financial distress. My Bride and I live frugally and that helped keep panic at bay.

But something wholly unexpected happened during those work stoppages. I tasted what life is like when I’m not obligated to sit in an office all day, every day. And the sweet flavor has lingered in the windmills of my mind. It’s like the time I was gifted a first class upgrade on a flight. It’s the worst thing that ever happened to me! All it did was show me how barbaric coach is.

There’s a lot of life going on outside my Manhattan office window. And sitting at the dinner table with The Daughters and My Bride every night is what it’s all about, isn’t it? But that kind of lifestyle takes money. Lots of money. I’m just a regular guy.

I went for a walk at lunch yesterday. It’s been sunny and cool all week. I wound my way through the Village and as I passed the Greenwich Village Bistro on Carmine Street, I heard music.

GV bistro1

I poked my head inside and stumbled onto this scene.

GV bistro2These three old rattlesnakes—one on a beaten upright piano, one playing a trumpet with a mute and one playing a trombone—were pumping out New Orleans jazz tunes. At 1:00 in the afternoon on a Wednesday! They were masters of their craft. This is why I love this town so much. You can go out for a walk and it’ll show you a magic trick. Presto!

I took a seat at the copper top bar and ordered some split pea soup. The barmaid called me “hon” and chatted me up. There were only two other tables of customers. They were playing to an empty house.

GV bistro3There was one other person sitting at the bar. A soft, pudgy black guy who was working on a music score. At one point he yelled over to the musicians, “I’m gonna sing one, okay?” The piano player started a mid-tempo chug, the trombone came in, then the trumpet, and the guy sitting next to me sang, in a silky-smooth voice, a song about missing New Orleans. I almost wept into my soup.

GV bistro4There was a guy sitting at a table typing away on his Mac. How did he do it? How did he maneuver through life so that he’s able to spend his afternoons in this grand manner? [Fun fact: The waitress in this pic is the piano player’s granddaughter. What a joy it must be for both of them.]

GV bistro5

I think it’s too late for me. Do you know they just opened an Edward Hopper exhibit at the Whitney? I love Edward Hopper! He’s a Raymond Carver short story on canvas. Why am I sitting in an office all day instead of visiting the Hopper exhibit? For the past nine years I’ve spent close to four hours a day commuting. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. I wouldn’t say that I’m wallowing in some Kafkaesque abject nightmare—I’m not suicidal—but life could, and should, be so much sweeter. Don’t you think?

This is the LAST thing I would have expected unemployment to teach me.

GV bistro6

 

The correct response is, “You’re welcome…”

[Editor’s Note: It’s Friday! I’d like to celebrate that fact by having a new guest grace this here weblog with her prose. Please welcome Sofia Leo, who has an opinion and isn’t afraid to share it.

After you’ve learned from Sofia’s wise words, please head on over to her blog, where she is blogging her way through the recovery of an abusive relationship. Please support her by clicking on the mystical follow button, and take this journey with her. She is an excellent writer, blogger, and person. Stop by and say hello, would you?]

Many thinks to Twindaddy for letting me blather on a bit about an annoying habit I see all too often these days on his totally unshitty blog. You rock, Twindaddy! [Editor’s Note: Sigh, I know. I just can’t help it.]

I don’t know how long it’s been going on, having been naval gazing for some years, but I am fed up with service workers responding to my “thank you” with “no problem.”

It goes like this: I order food, or buy something in a store, or make a transaction at the bank and when I thank them for their time and efforts (and I’m a good tipper!) instead of saying, “you’re welcome,” I get an airy, “no problem,” sometimes accompanied by a vague arm wave.

WTF is that supposed to mean? Of course it’s “no problem” – it’s Your Job! I am not troubling you for anything “extra,” not asking you to go above and beyond your job description, and certainly not causing a problem for you to wave off. Gaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

Imma gonna larn ya somthin’ here. I’ve worked in the service industry (I don’t at the moment, but we all know that could change in a heartbeat and I for one will stay in practice) and when a customer (or client if you prefer) thanks me for doing my job, I always reply, with a smile (no matter how douche-baggy they might have been acting) “you’re welcome!” If I thought they needed a smile or a kind word, I also add, “have a great day!”

Now, there is a proper place for “no problem,” and I’ll give you an example:

The Boss: Can you have this project wrapped up by lunch time?

Me: No problem.

See there? Easy, right? He’s asking if I can complete a task within a certain time frame and I am letting him know that I don’t anticipate any obstacles to completing the project on time.

Here’s where another response is appropriate:

Me: handing over ice cream cones, ringing up the order and making change for a customer.

Customer: This is delicious! Thank you.

Me: You’re welcome. Have a great day!

Was that so hard? I didn’t say “no problem” because it’s my fucking job to scoop ice cream, ring up the order and make change! It’s the whole reason I’m standing behind the counter in the first place. It’s the reason I collect a paycheck every Friday. It.is.my.job. It’s not a “problem.”

Maybe I’m just showing my age, but it really aggravates me to be treated so dismissively by young service workers in this way. Older ones, too, now that it has become so prevalent and we Old People are trying desperately to deny our age and be “hip.”

There’s a Big Town Hero sub shop next door to the office that I frequent a couple of times a week. A couple of about my age owns the shop and there are numerous young people who work there. Each and every one of the teenagers has been trained to say, “you’re welcome” and “enjoy the rest of your day” when they bring your order. They are unfailingly polite, well-groomed and pleasant. It makes me want to tip big and be kind. I never hear “no problem” in that shop and it is a refreshing change for the better.

It’s the little things, people! Pretend for just a moment that there are other people inhabiting this here planet and maybe they could use a little cheer as they go about their miserable lives. Put aside your own angst and do something kind. Be polite and proper. Be respectful. Show some pride in your work and your world.

And for the love of all that’s holy, wear a shirt that covers your boobs. The whole set. I don’t want to see your cleavage. I don’t want to see your cute bra. Ever. Really. Yeah, your boobs are great, but I’m not your target audience, ‘kay? (that never happens at the sub shop, but a little Ma & Pa convenience store down the street and it’s equally annoying as “no problem”))

Unanswered questions

[Editor’s Note: It is my great honor to introduce to you the jester, royal humorist of the Matticus Kingdom and wordsmith extraordinaire. DJ is a fantabulous writer whose skills will blow you away. Well, they should. If they don’t your grasp on the English language is tenuous at best. Anyhow, please head on over to DJ’s little blot on the blogosphere so you can have well-written fiction and hilarity delivered straight to your inbox on a daily basis.]

My jaw clenches and I can feel my teeth crunch together, grinding them down further.  The anger courses through my veins.  My hands curl into fists and I force myself not to throw them into the wall.  It is a struggle.

Do you even know what you are saying?

Do you realize how hypocritical you sound?

Do you understand how many people you are insulting?

Do you understand that you are insulting my beloved?  My wife?  The woman I’ve chosen to spend the rest of my life with?

Stop.  You need to stop.  Those words are for me.  I need to stop.  I need to calm down… but I can’t.

How can you say you represent something so pure, so noble, so forgiving, and still be so judgmental of those around you?  How can you let these words tumble from your mouth without thinking about how they sound, how they will be perceived?  How can you believe that your path is the only path we should be walking on?

I can feel my blood pulsing in my temples.  My jaw is still clenched and my teeth grind back and forth.  The sound reaches my ears but I can’t stop.  I can’t relax.  I can’t let it all slide off my back any longer.

You think you know best?  You think you have all the answers?  You think you are doing me a favor?

I think you are acting selfishly.  I think you need to let go and move on.  I think the world is quickly losing patience with people who hold to your, or similar, thought processes.

Stop.  You need to stop.  Again, those words are for me.  I can control me.  I can’t control you.  I can’t keep the disrespect and discrimination from spilling from your lips.  I can’t keep you from continuing the cycle of hypocrisy.

How do those words taste?  Do you like the way they feel on your tongue? Do you like the shape of them as you spit them out?

Do they make you feel powerful, higher up the halo order, closer to your deity?  Do they make you feel good?  Do you enjoy saying things like that?  What does that say about you?

Stop.  I need to stop.  Before I grind my teeth to splinters.  Before I lose control and throw my fists at a wall.  Before I say something that I will regret.  I need to let you be you and just continue to laugh off your comments.  I need to continue hoping that you don’t understand how hurtful your words can be.  I have to believe you weren’t intentionally insulting my wife.

Calming down, I uncurl my fists.  I can feel my heart rate return to normal.  The pressure in my temples is relieved.  But my jaw remains clenched, as is my way, and it will for some time to come, as is my way.  I know me.  I know who I am and how I want to carry forward in this life.  I know I don’t want to feel that surge of anger coursing through me.

I’m starting to think I may not know you at all.

The Missing Males

[Editor’s Note: Please welcome Gabriel to the show. Gabriel has a very, very dark subject to talk about today, so please be warned that this is not a happy post. Be that as it may, it’s something that needs to be discussed, just as all other atrocities committed in the darkness do.

Gabriel is a very talented writer and poet, and is quickly becoming a very good friend of mine. More than that, Gabriel has served our country in war and seen atrocities the likes of which would melt my mind into useless puddle of plasma. Yet he’s still going. He inspires me. What I’ve endured is nothing compared to what he has and he keeps on trucking. It gives me hope.

Please take a moment, either now or when you’re finished reading here, to visit Gabriel’s blog and, if you’re so inclined, click the follow button and support him. Thank you.]

First, I want to give a special thanks to Twindaddy. He has been a huge support to me and I don’t know how I could ever thank him enough for what he does and who he is as a person. Second I want to warn you guys that this is a serious piece and it deals with a lot of adult topics that might be uncomfortable. Nevertheless, TD said I could write about anything so I hope he doesn’t hate me too much for this (haha). [Editor’s Note: Not a chance, bud.]

One day, after frantically searching the internet I found myself in a ball on the floor, a normal position for me frankly.

I wasn’t in pain
No, I was sad.

One in six women is raped. That statistic is from RAINN and if you are not familiar with them, I highly recommend you look into them if you or someone you know is dealing with trauma.

However, that is not what I was sad about, no. I was not sad that 16.67% of women are raped in their lifetime, or that the number is most likely very, VERY under reported. I was not sad that people judge the women, oh, she had a few drinks, or she should not have been out alone, or out that late.

What was she wearing?

My personal favorite, like it is an invitation to be violated; that you are not a person if you show cleavage or wear a skirt that is too short. I was not sad that 75% of the women raped are done so by friends, family, people that know this person, have seen this person, and know that this person is… a human being.

I was sad, curled in a ball on the floor because I am a male.
I am a male and I was raped.

That my friends, is the sad truth of the matter at hand, I was raped; I had no obvious way to reach out for support. Sure, I eventually found some comfort, I am with a lovely women who GETS me. Who understands and is there for me. I take medication and go to counseling to learn how to deal with the trauma and scars that were left behind.

Because not all scars are visible

I had a hole punched in me, in my soul. I was not a person, I was an object a thing used and bartered with like some animal that you could put an actual, literal price on. I was sad, because guys don’t get raped. Guys always want sex no matter what, right?

Right?
Not me…

I was sad because when I look in the mirror I do not know who is looking back at me. I do not know the person that I am seeing. That can’t be me, that isn’t me, I’m disgusting, fat, ugly.

No one can love me!

Certainly not myself, I am a monster. I am a piecemeal golem, a shell; I am nothing. However, I am not alone. I am sad because as under reported as the women rape statistics are. I would bet my worthless life that the men’s rape statistics are even more so under reported.

One out of 33, that is the statistic for male rape victims.

One out of 33
Congratulations, I am part of the 3%.

I would have paid my membership dues but I think they are still being collected. You know I would want nothing more than to come here and write about something happy. Make a few jokes; get a few laughs.

Hey, did you hear the one about my father?
He was the first to rape me, guess he wanted the friends and family discount the cheap bastard.

Yeah, bad joke, I know. Which is why I don’t do stand up. No, these days I do the fetal position more than I stand up. These days I am less a person and more a plaything.

I take that back, these days, these last few. They have been good to me. I am with the woman I love and despite struggles for the both of us, thanks to a shared past, we move forward together. So I’m here to say it does get better, it just does not feel like it at the time.

And to anyone reading this, if you are part of the 16.67% or just like me the 3%. There is help, there is hope and most of all there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am a male, I was raped and I am NOT alone.

STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS

[Editor’s Note: Please welcome my beautiful friend HastyWords. Hasty, as you know from our poetic duets, is quite a talented poet. She makes me look much more talented than I actually am. 

Hasty needs to let a few things out and has sought refuge here where words like shit, fuck, damn, and cock are not only acceptable, but the norm. So this could shape up to be an excellent and foul poem. I like it already! Anyway, if you’re not already following Miss Hasty, get your ass over to her blog and click the ever-powerful follow button for beautiful poetry delivered straight to your inbox.]

I had to step into my alter ego for this post.  I couldn’t bring myself to cuss on my own blog.  It just didn’t feel right at all.  But….Twindaddy encouraged me to find my inner bitch.  Said I needed to take a stand and stop letting others push me around.  Well, I don’t know about any of that because I really love people and I am really forgiving and I really couldn’t stand it if I knew I hurt someone even if that person hurt me…but…for these few moments….I am not me….I am HER.

This is not about one person or one event…don’t even try to guess you know who they are about because it is a mixed-up bowl of fucked up feelings that will never get resolved about many people and events.  My stream of consciousness…

You know that time you wrote to me

Said I was special, that I made you smile

Well funny how those days disappeared

You waited just long enough to hear me say

The feeling was mutual, I loved you…ackkk

That you meant something to me …blah

Those words burn my tongue like acid now

You took the words and set fire to them

Ego inflated…next stop…next girl…goodbye

You know that time you looked at me

After years of knowing you…I finally saw you

It was scary the anger and hostility I saw

All aimed at me, daring me, taunting me

Later I realized that psychopathic stare

I read it right…I am angry I let things happen

That I didn’t understand the extent

Of the evil that hung in the air around you

People were hurt and forever injured

Because I didn’t do something about you

The mother fucking papers…I can’t stand them

The words leap out and cut wounds deeper

In public view they tell the world a story

A fiction that will never be true but is believed

It will live as truth and I find that quite obscene

There is this boy I knew, the boy who said

I will never ever leave no matter how bad things get

Well that is never a promise that can be kept

But I held on to it for so long, I began to believe

The lies it kept, I began to believe the truth of friendship

Then there are those moments spent with those you love

Moments that change things, can’t be forgotten

Moments that happen and turn things rotten

You hit me once, maybe more than that…accidents all

You choked me once…we both cried and said to hell with it all

I confided in my friends…horrible truths…laid myself on the line

The last I heard from you…so long ago…we love you…that is all

Time and again, I am not enough…will never be…enough

It isn’t pessimism that makes me fear being replaced

It is experience; it happens every time, with everyone

I am no angel…I am quite devilish at times…blobbity blah

I can be extremely selfish and full of broken weakness too

I cry…well I used to…back when I actually cared about you

I am a fucked up broken mess…one that spills onto other things

Into other people’s lives and the only thing I regret

Is that I care so fucking much about every single thing

So to end this rant…and this stupid tirade I will simply say

Shit fuck dick piss mother fucking screw bitch whore

Well maybe I will say it again a few more times

But then I will move on…and count these things part of another day