Of Birthdays & Gratitude

I know I’ve ranted about this before. I’m 100% certain that I have, but I’m gonna do it again so feel free to skip right on over this entry.

It royally pisses me off when people (women in particular) whine about reaching a particular milestone birthday (usually 30+). Nine times out of 10 they’re complaining about how they’re old or some other nonsense. Listen up, bitches. Be fucking grateful that you got to see 30 or 35 or 40. Some people, for one reason or another, never will. Little Emily was 24 when she died. She never got to see her 30th birthday. My dad was 62. He wasn’t even (technically) eligible for Social Security. Yet here you are whining that you’re old when you’re 35 & life hasn’t come up roses for you. SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. I’m 34. Am I where I thought I’d be when I was 24? No. I didn’t think I’d be back in school for the second time for a career path that I was 150% sure I wasn’t cut out for. Is my life perfect? Hell no. Did I think my dad would be dead? Absolutely not.

I blame our culture. We put too much emphasis on being young & linear life paths. You’re sexually desirable if you’re 25. You’re successful if you’ve graduated college at 22 & have a career by 23 unless said career requires higher education. I was raised Catholic & spent 13 years in Catholic school. It was drilled into us that you better get married & start popping out babies before you turned 30. I didn’t get married until I was 30. We aren’t planning on having kids anytime soon (though people are starting to get all up our business about that, but that’s another rant for another time). Life is messy. Life is far from perfect. Life isn’t a straight line. If you’re upset that you haven’t reached some arbitrary benchmark by the time you’re 30, then maybe it’s time to reassess your priorities. Think about what YOU want not what a skincare ad or even your religion tells you. Maybe I’m just a rebel, but I’m not going to let someone or something dictate my life when I’m a grownass woman.

TL;DR – Be grateful you made it this far & don’t let society’s arbitrary benchmarks get in your way.

XOXO!

Current Jam: “Danger” BTS

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Of Friends & Don’t Make Me Cut You

I know I’ve probably touched on this before, but I feel like I need to reiterate it.

If you talk shit about the people I love, I will gleefully cut you in the face.

I’m fine with people talking shit about me. Go ahead. Do it to my face. I’m happy to indulge you. The second you cross the line from me to the ones I love is when you’re asking for trouble. I believe I mentioned this in my update post, but the head of the  Medical Imaging insulted the school I went to for my pre-reqs that he knows my husband works at to my face. We were originally discussing another issue & he said something along the lines of “I’d like to think we’re a more rigorous school than GPC”. I played it off, but I was ready to tear his head off. He didn’t just insult me. He insulted my husband & my friends. Don’t. You. Dare.

One of the many things Daddums taught me was loyalty. I’m probably loyal to a fault. Once I care about someone, I’ll do everything in my power to protect them. Sometimes it’s even protecting them from themselves. God help the first person who tries to bully our kids. Both the kid & their parents will be dead before they hit the ground. Love is a powerful thing. Sometimes, in my case, it can bring out the darkness. Things I’m willing to do or say in the name of shielding others. Does that make me a bad person? I dunno. It does make me someone you want on your side in a fight, though.

The moral of my story, dear readers? Hold close the ones you love. Defend them. Support them. Beware of people like me who might be waiting in the wings to defend & support the ones she loves.

XOXO!

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Of Holes & The People Who Fill Them

This is somewhat of a follow up post to the last one.

I found out tonight that one of my best friends is pregnant. She & her husband have been TTC for a while so this is great news. Like bust out the fake champagne & party poppers news. She showed us the first US shot & it actually looked like a fetus & not a blob. I’m thrilled to be Auntie Em for the 8th time. (My first niece is 6. Excuse me while I go take my Geritol). Which brings me to…

She was one of Daddums “core” adopted daughters. He loved all of my friends, but a few of my friends were the Illuminati of his girls. I’ve said it a million times since he died & I’ll probably tell our kids when they’re old enough to understand – the thing that hurt the most about his death was knowing he’d never see our kids. He won’t get to see one of his other daughters’ kids (we’re all rooting for a girl btw). I came home & sobbed. Like battle tested the waterproof mascara sobbed. (It survived. Better Than Sex Waterproof is the way to go for mascara & deep emotional distress). Somehow that process led me to the loss of Little Emily…

For my new readers, I met Little Emily (she was 5’1″ when she got out of bed. I’m 5’9″.) when I was in AA under the mistaken assumption I was an alcoholic & not self medicating PTSD. She was there because she was a heroin addict doing her court appointed meetings. I’ll never know why they sent her to AA & not NA. She was one of my puzzle pieces. We hit it off instantly. Where there was one, the other one wasn’t far. She had her share of trouble while we were friends including getting tossed in jail for 30 days because she violated her rehab terms. She was self medicating bipolar 1. I never blamed her for the choices she made. I never got angry with her. I loved her. I loved her when no one else in her life did. The last time I talked to her (I’d call her when I was stuck in traffic on my way home from work) she told me very clearly “The next time I use, I’ll die.” It was a statement of fact. She committed suicide (by overdosing) on December 8, 2011. She was 24. Her sister called me at work to tell me what happened. I was, of course, a complete mess so my boss sent me home. As I was driving home, I saw a rainbow. There was no reason a rainbow should’ve been in the sky that day. The kicker? It was over where her house was. I’d like to believe it was her telling me that she was okay & I didn’t need to worry about her.

It took 6 years to find a piece to fill the hole she left. I didn’t realize until tonight the magnitude of the hole that she left. Until I realized who she sent me to fill it. She’s not a perfect fit, but she’s damn close. On paper, they’re not even close to the same. As people, they’re both kind, funny, intelligent, loving people who have big hearts & wicked senses of humor. I’ll always miss Emily. One thing my ex never understood was how I would still cry on her birthday (she’d be 32 this year) or her anniversary after the first one. Of course, he was emotionally stunted & probably never loved anyone in his life. You never get over it. You learn to live with the pain.

I have a Daddums sized hole that will probably never get filled. But who knows? Emily’s spot was filled after 6 years. Maybe several people will share his spot. As Mommums said – “Life is long & weird”.

XOXO!

Current Jam: “The Royal We” Silversun Pickups

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Of Puzzles & Pieces

I have a theory.

Much like my father, I have to tell you this story to tell you that story. However I promise it won’t end up at West Point or Netherworld. 😜

There’s something called “Spoon Theory” as it relates to people with depression & / or anxiety. You have a certain number of spoons on a given day & when you’ve used all those spoons, you’re tapped out. Some actions take more spoons than others. Why spoons? Not a damn clue. I’m also too lazy to google it. Anyway…

I have a theory about friendship that’s largely applicable to making friends as an adult. Puzzle pieces. Our social networks are puzzles. We all have people in our lives who make up our puzzle & we’re all missing pieces. In my case, most of my pieces have been in place for years (minimum 15). However, 2018 gave me 2 pieces I didn’t know I was missing. They’re very different people & fit in very different places, but I frequently forget they’ve only been in my life a short time. It’s almost like my brain has altered my memories to add them into a time where I know I didn’t have them. That’s also why eyewitness testimony is extremely unreliable.

I met a lot of new people last year. I met a lot of good people who I liked a lot. They weren’t part of my puzzle. They belong to someone else. That’s okay. Little Emily, who my long standing readers may recall, was a piece I lost. She left a hole that went unfilled for almost 7 years. (The 7th anniversary of her death was last month if you can believe that). Then I found a piece that fit her spot. A spot I never thought could be filled. Obviously no one can fully replace her, but this is a damn good fit. Another was a piece I didn’t know there was a spot for. I love these 2 like I love the ones I’ve had for 25 years. They’re part of my puzzle for better or worse ’til death do us part.

May you find your puzzle pieces dear readers. Your life only gets better as you complete your puzzle.

XOXO!

Current Jam: “Chances” Backstreet Boys (new album drops tomorrow! SQUEE!!!)

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Of Stepping Out on the Ledge & Not Jumping

Y’all were probably expecting the second half of the BSB Drinking Game, right? Well, I decided for my first post in god knows how long, I’d take this blog back to her roots. Mental health & sharing my struggles with it.

Last August, I started at Emory University’s Medical Imaging program (learn how to take x-rays, MRI, CT, etc.) Over the summer, I had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right about the situation. It wasn’t just nerves or worrying about being at a fancyass Southern Ivy League school. It was something more. I chalked it up to Imposter Syndrome & started the semester. For scale – I wanted to be a doctor since I was maybe 10 or 11. Those plans got derailed in college. I went back to school in 2016 to go to pharmacy school. That plan failed because I couldn’t pass calculus. I’d already eliminated being a nurse because of my CNA training. So Medical Imaging seemed like a good healthcare option for me. This should have been right for me. This should have been my place in the healthcare bubble.

I was miserable almost from Day 1. I lost weight, I wasn’t sleeping, the classes were mind numbingly boring, I didn’t like the teachers, & didn’t get along with 2 of my classmates out of a class of 15. I stuck it out thinking that once I got to the last 2 weeks of the semester where we’d have full on clinical experience, it would get better.

My mental health has never declined so quickly in 24 hours in my life. EVER. That includes after Daddums died. I had a breakthrough seizure 3 days into the first week & that’s when I knew it was time to pull the plug. I had suicidal thoughts on & off all semester, but kept them to myself. When I told Mark that I had to quit the program, I told him the truth. I told him the only reason I didn’t do something stupid was because I didn’t want him or Mommums or my sisters to spend the rest of their lives asking why. Could they have done something? Could they have said something? Could they have stopped me? I wasn’t going to put that burden on them, so I lived. Until I couldn’t live like that anymore. I walked away & never looked back.

Immediately people told me how much happier I looked. I could wear nail polish again. I dyed my hair purple. I already knew that I couldn’t fit into someone else’s mold for long. Having to wear black scrubs with a long sleeve shirt underneath to cover my tattoos, no nail polish, & brown hair suffocated me. I got yelled at for wearing fun socks for chrissakes. I was suffocating. I was dying. I may have lost 10 lbs, but it was in all the wrong ways. They stole my identity & for what? A foolish idea that tattoos & purple hair mean I’m incapable of doing my job? That’s not who I am & not how I choose to live. I’m not one to spread sunshine & rainbows, but I do believe that happiness is found by embracing who you are. If that is brown hair, no tattoos, & black scrubs don’t let me stop you. Don’t let someone else dictate who you are or what you should be. It’ll kill you. Trust me, I know.

Another hurdle I had to jump recently was for this past weekend. Daddums has been gone 18 months. It’s gotten to the point now where the numbness has worn off & the pain is more acute. I spent pretty much all of Saturday & most of Sunday sedated. I had to. Then on Monday I got up & had the emotional energy to do my makeup. That was crazy. I took it easy on myself & my body rewarded me.

You’ll all be happy to hear I’m in a much better place now. I’m taking a class with a professor I adore just for shits & giggles. I’m working one shift a week at a part time job I love with people I love. I’m applying to a Master’s program in Applied Linguistics. I have an appointment to meet with a new therapist next week after going without one for over 2 years. Life isn’t perfect. I still have bad days. My brain chemistry still gets out of whack. I’m not standing on a ledge deciding if it’s worth jumping or if I’ll just end up seriously injuring myself.

XOXO!

Current jam: “Fire” BTS

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BSB Music Video Drinking Game: 2018 Version – Part 1

Hello friends! I promised an update of everyone’s favorite drinking game & I’m the kind of girl who keeps her promises. I will actually be playing the whole thing in real time (not with actual alcohol obvs) tonight with a recent BSB convert of mine. Tomorrow is actually the first anniversary of my dad’s death. I need something to look forward to & binge watching BSB videos pretending I’m drinking actual alcohol seems like a good idea. The rules really haven’t changed, though there have been a few additions (like new music! Yippee!) & some deletions. This will still be split into 2 entries as it’s just too damn long to cram into one. Ready or not, here we go.

Zee rules:

  • Set outside. This is including, but not limited to; fields, basketball courts, beaches, & parks. Two shots if a rain machine is involved.
  • Every initial shot of Kevin brooding OR he dumps water / a sports drink / some other liquid on himself like he’s Magic Mike.
  • Every time Nick points at the camera, but only with 1 hand. Two hands is a no go.
  • Every “vomit tease” What is a “vomit tease”, you ask? Grabbing one’s stomach & leaning over OR grabbing one’s stomach & leaning on a wall for support. This can also include leaning over bridges or balconies. Two shots if it’s Brian.
  • Every time Howie has his shirt off or open. Two shots if he takes it off during the video.
  • Every time AJ makes the prayer gesture OR he’s wearing a midriff bearing / fishnet / sheer shirt.
  • Miming the lyrics (maximum of 3 shots. You’ll thank me later.)
  • As always, I am free to add shots whenever I feel like it because there’s some stupid shit that goes down over the course of 21 years (I’m only using their US career).

“Get Down”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (1 Nick point, Miming the lyrics (x2))

Commentary: Don’t ask me how I missed this one on the first round. Maybe YouTube was hiding it from me. I don’t know. Regardless, this one had fewer shots than I thought it would for their early work. Of course, they were also dancing on a CGI disco ball wearing pants that all of them could fit into. Welcome to the early 90s. Nick never fails me with his pointing, though. Gotta love a reliable man (boy).

“We’ve Got It Goin’ On”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (2 Nick points, Kevin dumping water on himself)

Commentary: I’m not gonna lie, I’m secondhand embarrassed for them on this one. The intro, the outfits, the whole shebang. It’s kind of like finding pictures of yourself from middle school (unless you were actually cute in middle school in which case I hate you).  I got to see them live in Vegas in March 2017 & they performed this song. They cheated the hell out of the choreography. Of course, 40 year old knees don’t perform nearly as well as 20 year old knees, amirite?

“Anywhere For You”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Set outdoors, 2 Nick points, Howie with his shirt off, Nick vomit tease, Brian vomit tease (x2) – 4 shots total)

Commentary: This is where things start to get ugly. I know they’re from Florida (3 out of 5 ain’t bad). I know there are beaches. I do not know why you would wear three layers on the beach in the middle of the day. Beyond that, one of those layers is velour. I do miss the days when they all had some serious bling in their ears. What’s really slaying me though is the 90s fashion. DID WE NOT ONLY THINK THIS WAS OKAY BUT ACTUALLY ATTRACTIVE? Mon Dieu…

“Quit Playing Games”

Final Shot Tally: 8 (Set outdoors, rain machine, Howie with his shirt off & takes it off (3 shots total), Nick point, Brian vomit tease (2 shots))

Commentary: Not only was this their first video to appear widely in the US, but it was also their highest peaking single ever (#2. How it beat “Everybody” is beyond me). As Kevin described it, they “looked like a bunch of beefcake”. No sweetie. Beefcake implies way more meat on your bones. Howie might have a shot, but the rest of y’all need to have a couple more cheeseburgers before you can earn the title of “beefcake”. However, “appealing to the budding sexual appetites of 13 year old girls” makes them sound like pedophiles. As you were.


At this point, it’s worth noting that we’re halfway through the bastard lovechild of their European / US album. We’ve still got 4 more to go. I know I’m excited.


“All I Have To Give”

Final Shot Tally: 3 (Howie with his shirt open, miming the lyrics, Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: They also performed this one in Vegas & went out into the audience to do so. AJ was in our section & was 12 rows away from me. 12 year old Emily would’ve fainted & 32 year old Emily was definitely getting the vapors. I admit to getting choked up talking about that show because the tickets were the last birthday / Christmas gift my parents gave me before my dad died. They knew how much I love my Boys & paid for the tickets. Mark was kind enough to take videos the entire show for me so I could actually enjoy it. So I guess I don’t have much to say about this video other than it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to my first love & that show was a gift I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. Sorry y’all. Didn’t mean to kill the mood. Next!

“I’ll Never Break Your Heart”

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Kevin looking broody, AJ’s shirt, Howie with his shirt open, Miming the lyrics (x3), 3 Nick points)

Commentary: This is another one I’m secondhand embarrassed for them. Mostly for Kevin because he had to do that ridiculous spoken intro. The bad grammar is another thing. I want to smack their songwriter because apparently he slept through 4th grade. Also now that I’ve gained the Marriage 30, my cleavage can actually keep up with Howie’s. Go team. The very end doesn’t leave me feeling super confident with Nick & Kevin looking like they’re about ready to punch your lights out. I won’t break your heart, but I will break your face.

“Everybody”

Final Shot Tally: 0

Commentary: You’re Welcome.

“As Long As You Love Me”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (Miming the lyrics, Nick point, Kevin looking broody, Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: I could’ve sworn there was a Nick point in here, but it was with 2 hands. Nick, you failed me. YOU FAILED ME. This also the video where Brian met his wife which is the one piece of trivia even casual fans know. Now that Instagram is a thing & I follow all 5 of them, Leighanne looks like hell. She’s had so much plastic surgery done that I don’t even know where to start. She was cute in the video. There was nothing wrong. Now she looks 10 years older than (I assume) she is. Girl, why? Why? Just let nature take its course. Wear sunscreen, don’t smoke, & you’re set. It’s just sad. At least this dance routine is one that’s held up over the years because it doesn’t require floorwork. It had to happen eventually.

Total shots for the album(ish): 39


We’ve made it! We’ve made it to 1999! Who wants to party? (God rest Prince’s soul). We officially move on to Millennium which I believe sold something crazy like 1 million copies in the first week. I’ll google it later.


“I Want It That Way”

Final Shot Tally: 4 (Miming the lyrics, Nick point, Kevin looking broody, Nick vomit tease)

Commentary: I let the outdoor rule slide because it was only partially outside. This is easily my mom’s favorite of theirs. I know it’s one of their most popular, but it’s probably middle of the pack for me. This should be evident based on the fact I never particularly bothered myself with what “it” is. It also took me 16 years to figure out that the lyrics are reflexive. I was sitting in traffic when I figured that one out. I still like the version I heard all of once where the lyrics went “I love it when I hear you say I want it that way”.  The alluded recently to a rejected version of the song which I strongly suspect was that one. I guess I was outvoted.

“Larger Than Life”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Howie with his shirt off & AJ’s fishnet shirt thingy)

Commentary: I have a theory. The bigger the budget, the fewer the shots. Why? They can afford to do all kinds of crazy shit that doesn’t require outdoor locales, rain machines, or otherwise too much work on the Boys’ part. This video is actually in the top 50 for most expensive music videos EVER made. I don’t think I need to give a lengthy explanation as to why. Throw in a big dance number & you’ve got yourself a music video. Rain machines need not apply.

“Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”

Final Shot Tally: 2 (Brian vomit tease (2 shots))

Commentary: When the intro starts with a dedication to “everyone who has lost a loved one”, I wish I could hit up the wine. It is what it is, it’s part of the game, & it’s only 4:20. [Insert weed reference here]

“The One”

Final Shot Tally: 0

Commentary: This is entirely concert footage, so there’s really nothing to keep track of. The Georgia Dome that held the record for the largest indoor concert in the world no longer exists, but the stadium that stands in its place is itching to take over the title. My mom questioned the structural integrity of the building then & it turned out she wasn’t entirely wrong because it didn’t take that much to implode it. They may not be able to sell out the University of Michigan football stadium anymore (capacity 107,601 and the largest in the country. For scale Philips Arena where the Hawks play has a capacity of 21,000.), but you can bet your ass I’ll be one of the screaming fans on the next tour.

Final Tally for the Album: 8 (enjoy the break while it lasts. The budget is about to go down again.)


Previously, I’d been unable to properly put “Drowning” in the chronology. As it turns out, it was a track added to the Greatest Hits album in 2001. YouTube has blessed us with not one, but TWO versions. A “dry” version & a “wet” version. Yes, the latter is as awful as it sounds.


“Drowning” (Dry Version)

Final Shot Tally: 13 (Set outside, Broody Kevin, AJ prayer gesture, miming the lyrics (x3), 5 Nick points, 1 Nick vomit tease, 1 AJ vomit tease).

Commentary: This one turned into a monster real damn fast. I dunno what I was (or wasn’t) looking at when I did it the first time. My original tally was 8, but upon a rewatch it shot up to 13. I mistook one prayer gesture for AJ when it was actually Brian because they’re wearing the same color jacket. I don’t even know what the hell is going on with Nick, but he set a record at 5 (!!!) points. He may have been making up for ALAYLM. I’m only officially counting 1 Nick vomit tease, but in reality you could start pouring shots at the beginning & just keep going because he clings onto that damn column like his life depends on it through the whole thing. This has now officially tied “Incomplete” for highest shot count. Yikes.

“Drowning” (Wet Version)

Final Shot Tally: 9 (Set outside (it’s CGI, but I’m counting it), rain machine (see previous point), AJ’s shirt, Broody Kevin, miming the lyrics (x3), 2 Nick points)

Commentary: This. Was. Awful. That’s literally all I can say about this hot mess on toast that landed face down on a cat turd. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.

Final Shot Tally for Both Versions: 22


We’ve made it! If you had been playing this with actual alcohol, you would’ve consumed 69oz so far which translates to roughly 2.75 bottles of your liquor of choice or a standard sized bottle of wine. Unless you’re a degenerate alcoholic, you’d probably be dead right now. This is why I don’t advocate playing with actual booze. I’m playing with Gatorade & my sidekick is playing with orange juice (sans champagne).

In Round 2 we’ll tackle Black & Blue, Never Gone, the Dark Years (i.e. those without Kevin), the 2013 reunion, & their new single. Go pee.


XOXO!

Of drama & how it only belongs in primetime

Hola party people!

We got back from Vegas on June 1 & it seriously took almost a week for my internal clock to readjust. It was nuts. Our vacation…wasn’t what I’d hoped. I mentioned in the Cliff Notes version of my last entry that there was some family drama in the wake of my dad’s death. In spite of blocking all of the offending family members in all possible forms, I couldn’t block them from my head. I was in a low key funk most of the week. It culminated in a meltdown in the MGM Grand. Not awesome. Mr Emily exchanged texts with one of the more civil family members to try & settle my nerves. The result was unsatisfactory, though not adversarial. Shortly thereafter, I decided I was OVER IT. I was over their bullshit, drama, &, quite frankly, childish behavior. So I was able to enjoy our last 2 days at least. We saw Cirque du Soleil (Michael Jackson One & Mystere) & David Copperfield. We ate. A lot. We won’t be able to go back until the end of next year thanks to my school schedule because summer semester starts the week before Memorial Day. *sad trombone*

Cut to today – I had the urge to wear my college class ring. I can’t remember the last time I wore it & I harbor A LOT of anger & resentment toward my alma mater. I went with it anyway. I learned a long time ago to trust my gut (including a car accident when I was 17). As I was dicking around on my iPad at work (I work in the on campus tutoring center & we have almost no traffic right now), I looked down at the ring & something dawned on me. That ring is a symbol. It’s a reminder of all that I survived. I survived everything that Will put me through. I walked through hell, I thought about taking my own life (more than once), but I came out the other side. I survived being repeatedly raped & then hearing “I love you” after. I will be DAMNED if I let these people walk all over me (or my mother). I have survived far worse than them. If they want to play this game, then fine. Don’t be surprised when I Cersei Lannister you with a smile on my face

I will also doxx the shit out of them when this is resolved because they earned it. The world deserves to see their true colors. I’m not afraid to wave mine.

😈😈😈

XOXO!

Current Jam: “Boys of Summer” Don Henley (The remake isn’t as good. Apparently they don’t think my generation knows what a “Deadhead” is. Or maybe they don’t. Either way, go OG).

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