Friday, September 25, 2009

This should have been done a LONG time ago. To all who served in the Vietnam War : Thank you. Thank You. Thank You. I'm at a loss for words; how can any civilian truly understand what you went through and dealt with? I can't. Yet you choose honor, integrity, and still have a great love of our country. You put yourselves aside and fulfilled a the duty you were called to do. That takes character, strength, and unselfishness; three virtues not possessed by the hippies, anti-establishment

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Rebuttal To The Attack On My Right To Free Speech

Facebook poll:
Should President Obama show his birth certificate to the American public?

Claire Vecchio Hickey: Yes he needs to show it. He is the President - not the King.

Yesterday at 11:41pm · Comment · / ·

View all 5 comments

Susan Marisi Kerwin
LMAO! UNBELIEVABLE!! I think the Water in Texas is poisoning you! : )I cannot believe that *people* still are going for this bullcrap... WTF?????You are blowing my mind! LOL!
5 hours ago

Claire Vecchio Hickey
Well Susan, you cannot prove what you believe anymore than I can. The water in Illinois is full of shit as well. Isn't it great that we can have opinions(that's what they are) that differ, and neither one of us will be thrown in prison or executed for them? I don't agree with you, but I respect you. :)
34 minutes ago ·
Write a comment...

The previous was a comment written in response to my vote in a poll published on Facebook. The poll is: Should Barack Obama show his birth certificate to the American Public?

If you know me, you know that I don't have a problem when the opinions of others differ from my own. Liberal or Conservative. What is right for one person isn't necessarily right for another. I also believe the Right and Left keep each other in check, while all the others in between keep an eye on them both. And for the record, I refuse to join either party. I like to think for myself without having to check with someone else first, and refuse to be put in a box, so to speak.

Did you read what SMK wrote? First she wrote, "UNBELIEVABLE!!" As if there was absolutely no question about the authenticity of the Certificate Of Live Birth, which is not the same as a Birth Certificate. And that those of us who expect the president to adhere to the same rules as the rest of us are morons, and fools for expecting President Obama to have the same birth certificate as everyone ele born in Hawaii in 1961. Yes, the President finally produced the previously mentioned Certificate of Live Birth. Notice the titles are different? Why is this so?? The Birth Certificate is a long form, including mother's maiden name, father's name, whether or not the birth was legitimate(back then this was included), race, father's occupation, doctor's name, hospital name, date and time of birth. The Certificate of Live Birth doesn't have the name of the hospital, location of the hospital, or the name of the doctor. So you see why there would be some doubt.

I can't speak for anyone else, but as far as I'm concerned, this has nothing to do with Left vs. Right. Personally I don't give a shit which side a person is on. We are talking about being PRESIDENT, not a KING. Presidents are not supposed to be above the law. If it was you or I in Obama's shoes, we'd have to produce the correct document, no excuses. Why not him? And we all know damn well that if the situation was reversed the Democrats would be screaming it from the rooftops in Washington D.C.

Then it got personal. She indicated that there must be something horribly wrong with anyone who voted the way I did, as well as to imply that Texans are ignorant, backward idiots who can't see beyond the borders of their state. Sue has been heavily influenced by ignorant stereotypes and has obviously never been here. Then she tried to downplay her outrage by adding the "LOL" abbreviation in several places. Say what you mean and mean what you say, Sue.

And what about the part that says, "I cannot believe that *people* are still going for this bullcrap...."?? Is she indicating that Texans are not human? What are we then? Humanoid? Are we a sub-species of human? Or a species unto ourselves? What does it mean, Sue? That word refers to me personally so I have a right to know. If you want to believe what you wrote, like I said, you've got a right to your own opinion. But I also have a right to take offense when someone strips me of my humanity. That's low. If that is indeed what you meant.

Most of you have figured out by now that this blog is NOT about whether President Obama produced an authentic birth certificate or not. That argument is moot now anyway. There has been so much uproar on BOTH sides that a counterfeit certificate could have easily been fabricated by now, or the real one destroyed(if you consider what they produced authentic.) Not only that, people will always see what they want to see, even if the truth is staring them in the face. That goes for Liberals AND Conservatives.

That kind of thinking is what Communists and Nazi's ascribe to. How else could all those people live within odor distance of places like Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Sobibor and NOT know that human flesh was being burned in those deathcamps? Not to mention the fact that the Polish locals LIVED THERE. Don't tell me that they didn't see huge areas of buildings surrounded by barbed wire fence, Nazi guards, complete with skeletal human beings working themselves to death and deemed undesirable by the Nazi government? How could they NOT KNOW???? Because they didn't want to see it. For whatever reason.

I also remember learning in school about people being whisked right off the streets, and out of their homes in the Soviet Union and never seen again - all for disagreeing with the government. If someone tried to cry out for their civil rights, or against the Kremlin for any reason, they were taken away from society forever, lest anyone else start getting the same ideas.

Verbal attacks on people who disagree with you, although not nearly as barbaric, is from the same mindset. That's what I take offense to here. These verbal vilifications go from making fun of people, to ridicule, to harassment, all the way to physical violence against the opposition. Individuals like this feel entitled to launch a verbal blitzkrieg against anyone who expresses a dogma that differs from their own. These folks are like a pack of Nazi-pitbulls. There is no room for debate, redress, or modification; Nazi-Pitts are right, everyone else is wrong. They attack by clamping down on the metaphorical neck of the victim with their fangs and shake and shake and never let go. The intent being to rip the voice right out of it's prey and shut them up forever. ~This is the antithesis of what the American mindset ought to be.

I have witnessed this type of belief system in both Liberal AND the Conservatives. I've seen people of BOTH persuasions on the offensive with this type of arsenal. Attacking. Attacking. Always attacking. To retreat is to admit there is a possibility that they, and at least part of their belief system could be wrong. As far as I'm concerned they are all a bunch of control freaks who only make life worse for the rest of us. The attitude of these people isn't worth the scum on the bottom of my shoes. The sewer is too good for those kind of ethics.

Thank God that as Americans we are all entitled to our own opinions, guaranteed by the Constitution(at least for the time being.) And another, "for the record", I do not hate President Obama. I don't believe that he is the Devil Incarnate. Neither do I agree with his socialist ideas. But I have respect for the man. Not for what he wants to do with our beloved country, but because he is President. Like it or not, he's here for the next four years. He is Commander In Chief. Remember, "Render unto Caesar, the things that are Caesar's. Render unto God, those things that are God's"- Matthew 22:21. God commands that we pray for our leaders, He didn't say under what circumstance to do so. He simply said to do it. I won't let go of what I believe to be right, not for anyone. But neither will I stoop to the level of a four year old and bad-mouth the guy. I see nothing wrong with questioning authority. Not a thing wrong with it. In fact I believe it imperative that Americans do so. Every one of us. Why? Absolute authority corrupts absolutely. We need to hold our leaders accountable. ALL of them. No one should be able to escape scrutiny. But there has to be respect along with the questions. Otherwise you are just as bad as you think they are.

So Sue, if you read this, it is not a message of hate from me. The antithesis of love is not hate. It's indifference. There is no hate or indifference towards you in it. Like I said two or three times already, you have a right to your opinion, no matter how right or wrong you may be. And I respect that. What you wrote, though, was a personal attack on my intelligence, my character, and a state you have never lived in. Let me remind you that you don't know me. You don't know anything about me or what is in my heart. I've hardly seen you in the last 35 years. Why do you assume that there has to be something wrong with the water in Texas - if only in a metaphorical sense? I have my reasons for feeling the way I do, as I'm sure you do. But I'm not going to attack you for it. I suggest self-examination on your part, starting with your feet that stink just as bad as mine.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Third Try Is A Charm

9/13/09 - The picture was taken at the Arlington Convention Center when I met Phil face to face. This draft has been a waiting to be completed for some time now. Lots of things have been going on in my life and I have not gotten around to finishing it yet. Here is my attempt to do so:

8/24/09 - Here I am starting this same blog over again. grrrrr........Yesterday I wrote a blog about my experience when I met Phil Harris on Saturday - two days ago. The piece was completely done, and while it was not Pulitzer Prize material, I thought it wasn't half bad. The only thing that was the matter with it was the picture size. I thought it should be smaller and in the upper right hand corner. Before attempting to remove the image, I decided to go to the help section to see how this is done so I wouldn't inadvertently delete the entire piece. What happens? After following the directions completely, at the last second I pushed the wrong button and DELETED THE WHOLE THING!! GRRRRRRR..........%$#^&*^%^!$##%%*&$^%#@!!! Just about every cuss word in the book spewed forth, filling the immediate area around me with conniption and regret. So much so that even Captain Phil Harris would have blushed if he had been present at the time. Why did I get so upset? First, I am a writer. Everything I write has to be perfect. I'm a nit-picker when it comes to this. My work has to have the right rhythm, the right balance, the right words, and be grammatically correct. It took me about three hours just to write a few paragraphs. Not to mention that unbeknownst to me, my gallbladder had the beginnings of an infection, and I was still very excited about meeting Phil. I wanted the blog to be exceptional.

So here I go again. I'm giving it the old college try. This time however, I made sure the picture was the right size and in the right place FIRST. Lesson learned.

Now, I had the thrill of my life on Saturday last when I met Captain Phil Harris of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. I was elated because I have never met a celebrity that I admired before. Or any other kind of famous person. To be honest, I never wanted to meet another one enough to give it a try. I have "idolized" and "crushed" on others before, but this is the first time I have been moved enough to get out of my comfort zone and face the irksome crowds I don't like to do so. Why Phil and not the others? Phil is real, and for real. He presents himself as nothing more than he is: human. Still on the same level as the rest of us.

Right around this time,I mailed the packages that I talked about in a previous blog, and found out that Phil, Sig, and Joshua were coming to Texas. They were to appear at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas in a month's time. Woo! Hoo! Talk about timing! It felt like God had a hand in the whole thing. A fabulous lady and mutual friend, Helen, works for him as an administrator. She graciously let me send the packages to her home in Seattle so that they would be delivered directly into Phil's hands. She was supposed to let me know when this happened and what his reaction was like. I knew ahead of time that he wouldn't get them right away since he has been extremely busy on the road making appearances all over the country. But once I knew he was home, and Helen had seen him, I still didn't hear from her. Since I'm not there I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and waited some more. Finally it was close to the day he would be here so I figured I'd ask him myself. That became the main goal of my venture to Arlington. And although I couldn't wait to be in Phil's immediate presence, I was on a quest to ask him if he had received my gifts and to observe his response.

If the camera died or some other calamity befell us, I honestly didn't care. My only concern was to get to Phil and have his answers revealed. I am not interested in autographs(I think they are pointless and a waste of time), and I wouldn't care if I didn't have any pictures. My labor of love was the only thing that mattered. I just wanted to know if I touched his heart. That's all I want from this whole thing. I don't want to be publicly acknowledged, and I did not do this to become Phil's lifelong friend. I detailed my reasons in a letter that was enclosed in the package as well. They will not be listed here because they are too personal to share. If Phil wants to share them with anyone, I trust (and hope) he uses descretion. I don't want my open heart exposed to the whole world. In fact, I abhor the very thought of it.

Now, getting back to what would happen once I threw the question out there at him?When I told him who I was would he know me? I didn't know what to expect. Remember, I had no experience in this department. But as far as I was concerned, nothing else mattered.

That's the end of the second attempt to finish this blog post. Why do I feel like I'm going to hear the announcer say to turn the page when I hear the bell? If you are under a certain age you would have no idea what I'm talking about.

Getting back on track here. Man, this is panning out just like my quest to learn of Phil's response to my gifts and if there was any feedback from him. For indeed it was a quest. When I met him in person, Helen's name got his attention. He said he did get the gifts, but they were at his house and that he hadn't had a chance to open them as a result of his schedule. And that when he did he said I would be contacted somehow. I thought he said through him. So I waited, and waited. I waited some more. My heart sank. Finally I asked Helen herself. She had completely forgotten about contacting me, apologized profusely and said that he already opened the gifts when Phil's good friend Bonnie and her husband Skip were in Washington visiting him, a week or so before I met him. Helen explained that she and Bonnie - who lives in Amarillo, have become tight friends and that the excitement of meeting face to face for the first time, and spending time together took up most of her thought processes. Why am I not surprised? I work my ass off and then my message is fucked up and the worth of what I was trying to express is lost, or at the very least, deemed inconsequential. At least it seems that way. Nothing against Helen - I totally understand. I would have done the same thing in her shoes. I'm railing against life. Shit happens. And sometimes it doesn't. In regards to Helen finally meeting up with Bonnie, I thought that someday I would experience the same thing when I met Denise for the first time. Eventually her true colors showed themselves and in the interest of self-preservation, I had to disconnect myself from her. But this is not about me and Denise. That's another blog.

I'm tickled that Helen and Bonnie met and spent time together. So anyway, I asked her if he liked his gifts. She said he held up the fleece pullovers and said they had class. He really, really liked them. Unfortunately Gizmo's coat was too small. The AKC needs to change their information on Yorkies. The sizes they gave for a full-grown male Yorkie is obviously smaller than Gizmo - a full grown male Yorkie. I'm so sorry little guy. I would be happy to make a bigger coat, but I don't want to appear too eager, and I don't want to put anyone on the spot. NO to mention that I haven't been asked. Maybe after Phil is at sea next month I'll ask Helen what she thinks.

I asked if he liked the "The Far Side Collection" - she said he kind of held it up and looked confused. She told him to put it on the Cornelia Marie for the rest of the crew. I know that Phil isn't a book reader. That was the whole point of giving him a comic book. It requires very little brain power for when he has down time while fishing. Maybe someday he'll "get it." For those of you wondering, no Phil isn't a book reader, he prefers magazines. And he is a very intelligent man. Trust me. You can't be a successful crab fishing Captain and be stupid or a moron. It's impossible. And he's one of the most successful Crab Fishermen there are.

During this conversation with Helen, I was so excited that I forgot to ask about the Fort Worth Harley Davison t-shirt that I had to send seperately because I forgot to put it in the original package. I also forgot about the letter. So a couple of weeks later I asked about those. Helen said that Phil loved the t-shirt. Also that he definitely got the letter, she saw him holding it, but didn't know what he did with it.

So there you have it. My first and only time to send anything to a complete stranger I see on tv once in a while. I don't plan to do it again. Why? I'm not like the usual viewers. I hate to be called a fan. That word brings to mind teeny-boppers and bubble gum. I don't have Phil on a pedestal. He can't save me from anything and doesn't have the answers to life. He's an ordinary man who is a crab fisherman first and foremost. Yeah, he's on tv, and women all over lust like crazy for him, but I'm not getting in line with them. That's not why I sent the gifts. It has nothing to do with his celebrity or the reaction my hormones have when I see his picture or on tv. I sent them soley for the reasons I spelled out to him in the letter I sent. On the surface it looks like we have absolutely nothing in common, and never did.

Phil, the son of a fisherman, motherless at seven years old, the original latch-key kid who grew up near the sea in Seattle, started driving a car at 10, on his own at 14 or 15, constantly in trouble as a youth, made his first $150,000 by the age of 17, married twice, dumped twice, two wonderful boys, long hair, tatoos, earring in left ear, loves his Corvette ZO6, his big Chevy truck with flames on the sides, a custom made Titan Chopper, and a beautiful Harley Davidson Electra Glide, and one of the most successful crab fishermen on the Bering Sea.

Me, born and raised in the land-locked midwest into a large family, father an electrician, mother a nurse, was "odd man out" and constantly bullied by siblings and neighborhood kids, not allowed to feel or express anger while growning up, always had to be "the good girl" and never rock the boat, uprooted and dragged to Texas at 15, did hair for years while I was still trying to decide what I would do with my life besides wanting to be married, not having the right tools to deal with life until much later than most, terrified to move out until 26 when I was dragged kicking and screaming by my cousin who knew I could do it, proposed to twice, dumped twice, professionally decorating cakes and working in surgery, finally getting married at 31, two wonderful kids; a boy and a girl, now working on becoming a published writer and hopefully making a living at it.

How different can you get than that? But in reading interviews with him and watching him on the show, and reading in between the lines, I perceived that we do indeed share some elements and attributes in and from our lives. What they are is of no consequence here. I just hope I didn't make an idiot of myself by pointing this out. I say that because I never heard anything from Phil. I haven't the faintest idea what he thought of what I wrote to him. It probably surprised him that I had 12 stationary sized pages worth of words to say to a man I had never met at the time I wrote them. Truly, I don't know what I expected. Maybe I hit the nail on the head and scared the shit out of him. When I asked Phil about the packages, face to face, I thought he had said they would be acknowledged. I was apparently mistaken. And for the record I do not want published the fact that it was me who made and gave him these things, and I don't want a pat on the back. In the letter I sent, I told Phil that I don't want anything from him. Maybe he took that to mean any kind of acknowledgement as well. Oh well. I talked to my good friend Jennie about this and she told me of something she learned in school where she's training to become a Fire Fighter. When the instructors, who are all male, like or approve of what you did, they don't say anything. The only time they say anything is if you screw up. It's a male thing, I guess. I read that he's on his way to Fort Wayne, Indiana as I write this, and he just got back from California night before last. Since I don't know the guy and I'm not there, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I just hope he enjoys what I gave.

From Second Grade Hell To Middle Age Revelation

Have you ever been going along, living life, then out of no where get blindsided by a freight train of sorts that sends you reeling, reaching out, grabbing at anything, and trying to hang on so you can get your bearings in order to regain control, so you can figure out what the hell was that? Why the hell now?? That just happened to me.

I was happily reading the main Face Book page when I came across the picture post of my friend Cindy Baranowski. It was her third grade class at the elementary school we both went to, Diekman School, in Dolton, Illinois. I had to have a look. Cindy had Mrs.Metz, I had Mrs.O'Block. She and I never had the same class but we all knew each other. It was great. I remembered a lot of the names she didn't and gave them to her. Then I noticed there were two more elementary classes of hers in her albums. So I looked at them. Next was sixth grade. She had Mrs. Hudik, the science teacher, I had Mr.Fiegel, the math teacher. Again I filled in the names she had left blank. On to the next. The second grade. I was going through and my eyes came to a screeching halt. Timmy Kilboy. If I live to be 100 I will never forget that name. He made my life miserable in the second grade, just as much as my teacher, Miss Sarlas, did. The little bastard constantly picked on me, teased me, kicked the shit out of me, and always seemed to get away with it. I don't remember any time the kid had to answer for his actions. I must add at this point that at this time my Clinical Depression first reared it's ugly head. So here I am, a little seven year old(god we looked almost like babies), suddenly the world is out of focus from depression, undiagnosed depression mind you, a teacher that has it out for me, and a little twerp of a bastard who wouldn't let up on me. I should also mention that my parents were not into protecting their children. It cost them too much. And what needs they did meet were made as we were made to feel guilty for them having done so. The only thing I remember being told when picked on is, "Ignore him/them." I tried. And if instinct kicked in and I tried to fight back I got it even worse. So it just got to where I would land on the ground after having been knocked down somehow, then I'd curl up as best I could and just take it, hoping it would be over soon. I don't ever remember anyone coming to my rescue, or telling a teacher. I never saw any of my siblings while this was happening on the playground either. I don't remember ever telling a teacher myself. I probably figured that if my own parents didn't do anything to help me, why would they.

Oh God this is killing me to write it. Where in the hell was everybody?? I'm sure with the depression that I'm not remembering it completely correctly. But damnit I know that little bastard should have been stopped. My parents should have considered me more important than themselves. I didn't expect from my memory of Miss Sarlas. The bitch. She's the only teacher I ever had that I didn't get along with and I didn't like. Every other teacher, from kindergarten to college, I liked and got along with wonderfully. So I know the problem was hers, not mine. That woman should have not been allowed to teach children. High School maybe, or college. But not second graders. Especially not impressionable second graders who had no protection. Maybe that's why it seemed she always picked on me. She, like others in my life, knew they would not have to answer for their actions.

When, in the past I thought about that part of my life, I never thought about Timmy Kilboy or Miss Sarlas with positive thoughts, but I never had the knee-jerk reaction I did today. As soon as I saw the little, pint sized twerp and thought about how lucky Cindy was to have Mrs.Lindbloom instead of Miss Sarlas, all the anger that was stored in me bubbled up and boiled over. Or more like it came to a head and popped, oozing oil, liquid and solid, pus, and blood like a huge zit. That's where they were stored, in a giant zit in my memory. Then I squeezed, and squeezed, watching all the germ infested rememberances of them squirt out of me, never to have that kind of reaction from me again. Writing continues to squeeze the pustule and clean it out. Then applies the peroxide, to kill any remaining germs. No, I feel much better. And to show that I haven't let them or any others in my past rot me on the inside I'll concede that for all I know Timmy Kilboy may have gone home to parents that beat the shit out of him everyday. Something made him get pleasure out of torturing me. Although I don't feel it in my heart right now, I do hope he changed from that nasty little boy who was on his way to becoming a troublemaker as an adult. Not just for the world's sake, but his as well. And Miss Sarlas? She was middle aged then and not married. Maybe she needed to get laid. She sure acted like it. Something certainly influenced her behavior. Only I hold her more accountable since she was an adult. If I ever meet her again someday I'm going to ask her "why?" I hope she's changed for the better too. And one more thing, when we are all standing before God on Judgement Day, I'm not going to be standing there, pointing at them saying, "Look what they did to me!!!" That means I'm to a point where I can and do forgive them. I'm no saint, mind you, I do it because it frees me. I'm not bound to forgive them since neither of them has asked for forgiveness. But even then, if you don't do it, it will eat away at your soul. Mine has been hurt enough.

Yes, if you've read my "Hell Is For Children" blog you'd understand that this is another chapter in the book of my life. No, I'm not doing this to say, "Oh poor me." If I did that I'd be just like my parents. I do it because writing has always been a lifesaver. Literally. It's kept me from ending my own life once or twice. I also want it on record. I don't fool myself into thinking any of my tormentors will face justice because of this. No. I'm letting God take care of that. He is much better at it than I am. I'm hoping that maybe someone else will see themselves here and realize they have hope. I fought my way out of a pit of hopelessness and despair, and so can they. I also hope that if one of my loved ones has trouble understanding where I'm coming from, this will help. There is a whole lot about me that I WILL NOT share with anyone, except a minute, trusted, few. If I count them on my hand I still have fingers left over. So don't ask.

I'm not even going to ask God where the hell He was when all of this went on. It seems like He's not there for little ones a lot. But, from what I know of my own relationship with Him, and His nature, He is there. Just because we can't see him in person, or by what action we think He ought to be taking, doesn't mean He's somewhere else. Now I'm not going to go into that "God's ways are not our ways.....blah, blah, blah, blah, blah......" bullshit. For that 's what it is. It's a cop-out. The reality is that I haven't the faintest idea why we don't always see Him when we need to the most. I have no earthly idea. You'll have to take that up with Him. Ask Him yourself. Go ahead. Swallow your pride and do it. I did. I don't always get an answer. But in this life we don't always get what we want, do we? Shit happens. It has since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit that He told them not to eat. When they defied the Almighty, sin entered into the world. When that happened, all that it contained came with it.

What?? You never heard this part of the story? When sin came so did disease, so did suffering, so did pestulance, so did abuse, so did genocide, so did man-eating animals, so did war, murder, rape, arson, serial killers, poverty, etc, and anything else that can make a human being or living creature suffer on this earth; It all came in with sin.

Some people think that God was mean to keep the fruit from Adam and Eve, or to throw them out of the Garden of Eden when they ate it. If these geniuses will look close enough they will find out that if Adam and Eve would have stayed in there, they would have died. They couldn't go back and do it over. They couldn't act a certain way to get rid of the sin that infected them. They couldn't wash it away. There was NOTHING they could do to separate themselves from the sin they brought upon themselves. There was no hope. Then, God actually saved their lives by casting them away. Did you know that? We cannot have sin in us and survive God's presence. It's too perfect. Too powerful. I'm sure there are more appropriate words to explain it but I don't have them. Do you think that was easy for God to do? They were His children. Yet He made them leave His presence. It probably felt like He tore part of Himself off in order to keep them alive. And on top of that, He made them clothes. Look it up. God sewed them clothes to give them some kind of protection since their sin obliterated the protection He had given them in the first place. God could have said, "Go on! Suffer! You deserve what you get!" But our Father didn't do that. And He had the perfect right to, unlike our mortal fathers. That's where Jesus came in. To remove our sin nature. Why not right then during the Book of Genesis? I haven't the faintest clue. Life doesn't always work logically and make sense just because we demand that it does, does it?

Every human has a sin nature, passed down to us from our fathers. (We don't get it from our mothers. This is how a mortal young girl could carry the Son of God. Please don't get mad at me if you believe Mary was sinless. I respect that you do, but I don't. Although I believe her to be a woman worthy of great reverence and respect.) The sin nature. In God's presence it would have killed Adam and Eve, and it would kill us. By kill I mean eternal separation from God(not going to Heaven.) We can't do it ourselves. Being good NEVER got anyone there. It's a lie. The sin in us has to be gone, once and for all. Being good didn't wash it away for Adam and Eve and it won't for us. We can't get rid of it ourselves. That's Jesus' job. But I'm not here to give a sermon, or to challenge other beliefs. I just had to finish the thought.

I'm going off on a tangent here. Here's an answer I got from the Almighty. It took 30 years to get it too. I'm glad I didn't know that ahead of time. I would have been too impatient.
My parents moved us to Texas in 1979 just before my 15th birthday. It was a total, complete, nightmare. I was in a place as different to me as if I had been moved to Oz. I was the outsider. I was the freak. And all the time I was in high school there my brother Sam, sister Mary, and I were never accepted. You'd think we had been born with naturally purple hair. And it wasn't just us. Carswell Air Force Base, and General Dynamics(now Lockheed Martin) were in Fort Worth too. So that meant lots of Air Force Brats and transplants whose parents worked at either place. Not one of us was accepted, ever by the local kids who were raised in White Settlement, Texas. The name says it all, doesn't it? We felt like we all died and went to hell. I had never heard of a 15 year old getting married - with the parent's blessing, before. Of course the girl was pregnant. But where I'm from there was no way in hell a 15 year old was going to be allowed to get married. Pregnant or not. 18 was the youngest I had ever heard of anyone getting married. Yet at Brewer High School in White Settlement, Texas, I knew girls that only went to high school to find a husband. ????? Oz. I wasn't kidding.

For years afterward I pined for my real home. I visited it as much as possible whenever I could. Kept in touch with friends and relatives. When I was 18 I wanted to move back but I didn't have the courage to leave home. I had no confidence or self-esteem by that time. In fact, at that time, due to circumstances out of my control, and due to the lack of protection that was mine, I started to think of myself as lower than the lowest human. I wasn't quite ready to say that I wasn't human, but pretty close. An event took place in my life that all but stripped it away from me, and was verified by my family's failure to protect or defend me. I'm not going into it here. So don't ask.
Fast forward throughout my adulthood, I had started to get psychological help by this time, but more happened, good and bad, life piled up and went on. About 10 years after the event of my 18th year, another huge cataclysm took place that caused such devastation in me that I did, indeed start to consider myself an "it", a "thing", instead of a mortal human being. I begabn to really start abusing myself too. I constantly felt like I needed the shit beat out of me. So I took a belt and beat my legs until they were black and blue. I cut myself. Not enough to need stitches. I didn't want anyone to know I was doing this. Why? I was afraid they would tell me what an idiot I was for doing it. And maybe even tell me I wasn't doing it enough.
Again, I'm not going into it, so don't ask. No, I haven't gone into it.
Once again my family abandoned me, mentally and emotionally, and by doing so refused me medical treatment when I was having a miscarriage. They knew what was happening. Still, I dealt with it all by myself. Alone. I bled profusely for three days until I finally passed the baby. I could barely walk. In fact, I would try to do things that would make me bleed to death and have it done with. I didn't want to live anymore.

When life keeps telling you over and over that you are a doormat and that your job in life is to hold still while everyone wipes their feet on you, you start to believe it. Somehow, some way I went on. I even proved my parents wrong and got married. I even have kids. Thankfully I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression in 1999 and started on a wonder drug called Prozac. My life made a 180 degree turn. In 2004 I started with my current therapist, Alan, and in 2007 my diagnosis was upgraded to Dysthymia - meaning I have two kinds of clinical depression at the same time, and started on two new meds, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. I've done nothing but improve since then. Last year the walls of my soul fell like Jericho and suddenly I have all this confidence I never had before. It's real. Not a fly-by-night fantasy. I can't tell you what strides I've made. So much dealt with, so much cast away.
Now, for the revelation I got from God, 30 years in the making? Why did He rip me away from my hometown, friends, family, growing confidence, the only place I felt I fit? To get to where I am now, I had to face myself, and my past. I had to see it for what it really was and deal with it. You know how it's written that, "The truth will make you free"? That's true. A big part of all the bullshit in my soul, heart, and mind had to do with family. Not just immediate family either. I'm not badmouthing anyone, but, if I had stayed in Chicago, close to all the crap I came from? I would be dead now. Or at least in a straight jacket in some psychiatric hospital or in a catatonic state somewhere, anywhere, to get away from the hell I lived in. My Dad's family fought, argued, back stabbed, gossiped, cast you out - my siblings and I affectionately call it the, "Vecchio Bullshit Syndrome." On my Mother's side, the Pearsons, they are known for sticking their heads way up their asses and pretending that everything is okay. Even when evil is staring them right in the face. We call this the, "Pearson Denial Mechanism." I'm not going into further detail of either side. Let's just say that I experienced it to the fullest. And if I had continued to live among all this, I shudder to think of what might have happened.

I can think of lots of different ways to have saved me from that crap. But I'm not God. And I do know that my life would have been worse if I had stayed or gone back. I don't have any desire to ask Him "why?" anymore. I am just glad to be where I am. I'm way off the subject I started with, but maybe not. I spent a good part of my life just trying to grab on to anything that was solid enough to stop the forward motion that was making my life out of control. It took all this time to grab ahold, catch my breath, figure out where I was, then right place to go. After several wrong turns, some with dire consequences, I finally made it to the right road. It's taken me all this time to get where I am now; sometimes I feel like I should have been here a long time ago. But I am where I am. More changes are coming up in my life. I'm not sure exactly what they'll be and when they'll happen, but at least I know how to deal with whatever comes my way. And I know who I can turn to when I can't take anymore. Thanks God.

A Tale Of Two Shirts; Or Claire's Folly

I'll try again. I fucked up the first try. It was deleted because of a misplaced pinky finger. Son-of-a- bitch. Yes, I'm not in the best of moods. If you know me then you expect the filth and foul language that goes with it. Whether it be my mouth or fingers. Either way it comes from my brain. Sometimes my heart.

I'm such an idiot. No matter what I do; I'm a fucking idiot. Why do I think I won't look like an idiot this time? I poured my heart and soul into those fleece pullovers, which is the only way I know how to do anything worthwhile, and he gives them a passing glance. Oh, I'm told he really, really likes his handmade shirts, but I didn't find out about it for several weeks after the fact, from a third party, and only after having to go through that third party to get the information. What's wrong with this picture? Why do I never learn? I must add here that the person who was supposed to tell me when he got them and how he reacted was seriously distracted during this time for reasons I can understand. It wasn't personal, it was an honest faux pas. Regardless, it seems that the gods of giving and acknowledgment have conspired against me.

Why does anything I do never turn out the way I intended for it to? And no, I didn't intend for it to end with Phil and I falling into each other's arms then riding off into the sunset on his Harley. In addition to that, I must have looked like some crazy lady because when emailed Bonnie to see if she would make sure Phil opened his gift before he goes fishing in October, she replied saying, "hope this eases your mind." Eases my mind? I wasn't asking her to ease my mind. I just wanted to make sure the recipient received the package from the sender. And as an added bonus, I wanted to know that the recipient liked said packages. That's all. Nothing else. It makes me think she sees me as some desperate housewife who is trying to get as close to Phil as possible, or is begging for Phil's attention, or who thinks Phil will rescue her from the drugery of her life, or that I believe that Phil has all the answers in life to make me happy, or whatever, blah blah, blah, blah...... My god that pisses me off to no end!! Am I that difficult to understand? I'm a writer for god's sake. I'm supposed to be able to communicate effectively!! Not only that, look at my record on his sites. Is there anything there that even smacks of "obsession", "fanatic", or "mania?" I give up. Fuck it.

Maybe other people are like that, but for the umpteenth time, I'M NOT!!! My life is NOT a drugery, I know that only I have the answers for what will make my life worth living, I do not need to be rescued from anything! and if I did, I'm perfectly capeable of rescuing myself! I don't need anyone else to do that! And certainly not Captain Phil Harris!! I learned to tell the world to fuck off a long time ago. I can't count on anyone to rescue me anyway; because when push comes to shove baby, the world can be a cold, cold place. It's every man for himself.

What do I want? All I want to know is if it touched his heart. That's all. Nothing else. I put a whole lot of time and effort, not to mention my heart and soul, into creating those fleece pullover shirts - and I know that no one asked me to do it. But I just happened to think Phil's heart is worth it. Now I'm not so sure. He knows that these shirts are handmade, and all that that entails, and still he doesn't acknowledge that the shirts even exist, let alone that he likes them. Some people say, "Well, he's a man. What do you expect?" I've seen him recognize other things given to him. No, I don't want mine publicly recognized; and it seems that a private "thanks" would be easier. But then that's just me. And it seems that I've been wrong quite a bit, lately.

If what I read about Phil is true, and what I suspect by reading between the lines is true, he and I have quite a bit in common. Even though it doesn't look that way on the surface. I just wanted him to know that I understand. Validation. That's what this is all about. Even years later, validation is such a salve. I'm not going to go into it. But in reaching out, I exposed myself and I got burned. I knew it was a risk. And I took it. I offered something most people don't understand, and made a fool out of myself in the process. I don't think anyone was specifically picking on me. I don't feel like anyone lashed out at me. I just exposed my soul and no one noticed. Or maybe gave it a just a passing glance. That hurts just as bad as if they had stomped all over it. Now, once again, I have the opportunity to choose how I handle what I've been given. I can admit that I remain invisible. Again, I have no worth or value. Again I'm carted off to the ship of fools, and written off. A passing sound that the main characters barley notice then say, "Did you hear that?" Then with a shrug of the shoulders says, "No? Okay. Whatever." And that's the end of that.

Why does that sound so familiar? Why do I keep doing this in hopes of a different outcome? If I ever get the result I want then does it mean that I'm finally able to be an equal among human beings? I don't know. Sounds like it. But in this case I don't think so. I made those shirts as a result of newfound confidence and self-worth. Come on, before this I was afraid to try to put a zipper in somthing I was making. Isn't that silly? But there it is. And I must say that the zippers in Phil's pullovers look fabulous. If I do say so myself. I'm a giver by nature. And if I stop being a giver I'll die inside. When I give to others, I give to myself. It's food for my soul. And what good is it go give to somone something that doesn't touch their heart? To do less is the same as saying, "I'm doing this only because I have to or it's expected of me and I don't think very much of you and I'm really doing this for show, not because you mean anything to me." I don't know about other people, but if I give you something, it means that I think you have worth and importance in this world. That's why I like Christmas so much. To me Christmas is all about giving, not getting. But alas, I've strayed from the subject.

No matter what I mean to anyone, I have to mean something to me first. I'm trying to teach my kids that. And for them to absorb that lesson, I have to do it myself. Kids don't do what you say, they do what you do. If not I'll have Denise climbing on my back, reaching around and forcing my head up yelling at me that she's not going to let me go down for the count. She can't save me, only I can. But goddamnit she's not going to just sit there and let it happen. She'll kick my ass until I stand up straight too. LOL! That creates quite a picture doesn't it? And the fact that we're both middle aged women makes it really funny too. It's nice to have someone who believes in you. Actually, it's as good as finding gold. Only a real friend would do such a thing. She doesn't think it's all over yet. And she can think that. But I'm not. I'm not going there again. If Phil wants my attention, he'll have to come and get it himself. And we all know that that isn't going to happen. And if it does, I'm buying a lottery ticket.

I said earlier that I don't want to be publicly recognized for anything I've done for Phil. And I don't. I don't want pictures of my gifts for him put on his website. I just want to know that my labor, and the fruits thereof, have touched his heart, and maybe even healed a bit of it too. That's why I did it all. From one kid to another. That and that alone.

Laprascopic Cholecystectomy; Am I Less Of A Woman?

Talk about exciting weekends. Last weekend I got to meet Captain Phil Harris and this weekend my gallbladder beat the shit out of me. Phil Harris is understandably exciting, but a gallbladder, exciting?

First, just because something is exciting does not mean it's exciting in a good way. Meeting Phil was most definitely good. My gallbladder develping an infection and then punishing me for it with excruciating pain, is most definitely exciting, but not good. I feel like someone punched me in the stomach all weekend, now. But when I was having the gallbladder attack the pain was as bad as front labor pains, and appendicitis. I say "front" labor" pains because as painful as it was, and it was , back labor is still worse, in my opinion. At first I thought it was acid reflux and took some Pepto Bismol and Pepcid AC. They didn't touch the pain. Then I tried to make myself throw up thinking that the pain would go away if I could just get the stomach contents out. After about two hours of this, it occurred to me that the problem could be my gallbladder. I seemed to remember people talking about it when I worked in surgery. That's when I decided to go to the hospital. The ER saw me right away and it didn't take long to figure out what the problem was. When they did a sonogram of my liver area they could see gall stones in the picture. As far as I was concerned they couldn't get it out fast enough. But that wasn't until the next day. Until then they kept me on a nice dose of morphine. That was great. LOL The surgery went just like the doctor expected with no nasty surprises. He even took pictures of my insides and the offending gallbladder itself. Cool. Now I know myself inside and out. ;p

I've come full circle with my gallbladder too. When I was working in surgery; of all the cases I ever scrubbed, I think the laprascopic cholecystectomy is the one I've scrubbed the most. When they wheeled me into the operating room I felt like I had come home. As I was scooting over to the narrow operating table I looked over at the scrub tech and his/her backtable and tray. I remember those instruments. The trocars, the rod shaped camera that goes inside your body, hoses, tubes, long electrocautery, sponges.

It just occurred to me that when I was first employed and my supervisor felt I was done being precepted, the lap chole (coal - ee) was the very first case I scrubbed by myself. I remember the look on Dr. Crawford's face as he watched me set up. To me it said,"Oh no! Not a new scrub! Not today!" He didn't seem real happy about it. Well, he didn't have a choice. When the case was over he was pleasantly surprised. And after that I was always one of the people he wanted working with him on those cases.
There's another doctor, who's last name was Wolf, and he always put the radio on the oldies station. When the song, "Little Red Riding Hood" came on and the singer started howling, Dr.Wolf howled right along with him. I always wondered what the patient would have thought if they had started to wake at that point. Even though the anesthesia people would never let you wake up enough to feel anything, your hearing is the first sense to come back from being under the influence of it. Surgery is almost never the way it's portrayed on tv. Another doctor had to have his Journey CD on with the volume turned all the way up. I'm surprised the speakers didn't blow.

I'm home now. I'm sleepy. The pain isn't bad. It would be if not for the Darvocet. Yay drugs! LOL I sure did like that morphine though. LOL Now I know why people do drugs. LOL
For the time being I can't lift anything heavy and I'm supposed to rest. This means that my family has to do for themselves. It's nice to just sit here and watch them do what I usually do.
My sister-in-law Tracy just called to check on me. She offered to bring us dinner on Thursday. I told her I would hit my brother up for some of Grandma's meatball soup. He's the only one who can make it just like she does. yummmm.......... One of the benefit's of this situation is the delicious food you get to eat and you don't have to make it yourself. LOL

Response To Another Post From Captain Phil's Website

On the website, there is a thread called, "Quit Smoking With Captain Phil", with a sub thread called, "Let's Show Some Support".

As always when the subject of smoking is brought up, the comments fall into one of several camps: Smokers, Ex-Smokers, Non-smokers who understand that they have no idea what it's like to smoke or be addicted to it, and then there are those Non-Smokers who I call the, "Holier than thou, I'm better than you, Look down their noses" crowd who think that smoking is a character flaw, and that all smokers are a lower form of life.

Some of those people think they are being nice about telling you to quit because they use nice words, friendly tone of voice, and keep reminding you how unhealthy it is for you. Then there are ones I consider "Anti-Smoking Nazi's" - for that's how they act. These folks feel it's necessary to constantly reconniter a smoker's habit and feel they are entitled to continually tell you that you need to quit smoking, why you need to quit smoking, how expensive it is to smoke, and all about how the second hand smoke from your habit is slowly killing everyone within a 20 mile radius of the cigarette you are smoking. All that with the tone and demeanor of someone who is addressing a 6 year old child.

I had not read the thread in a while so I have not read every comment, but when I did one post made me want to smack the writer upside the head. The subject of Phil's continued smoking came up. While most were sympathetic about how difficult it is to quit, one person named "Sock Monkey" answered with this, "I noticed that he is still smoking, maybe this subject should be deleted from the forum." When someone asked if we should stop supporting Phil because he has not succeeded yet and how hard it is to quit, she was answered, "hmmm, trying? Everytime I see him, he has a smoke in his hand." I wish that person was in my presence so I could verbally rip him/her a new asshole. I can't stand people who have that attitude. Who do they think they are?

Maybe I'm overreacting a bit, but when I smoked I was practically crucified for it. It was my life and nobody else's damn business. I never smoked in homes that weren't mine, I never smoked around babies except my own, and I never threw my cigarettes out of my car window. People who haven't walked in my shoes need to keep their thoughts to themselves and their traps shut. After a while of hearing them blab, you just don't want to be around it anymore. And in this case Phil can't come back and tell the person what he thinks. He'd get into too much trouble if he did. I'm not claiming to know exactly what he thinks, but I have walked in his shoes, so I probably come close. Here's my reply to Sock Monkey and anyone else like him/her. The first sentence is to another poster who answered right before I did, and at the end of her post she wrote, "

"There, I finally commited myself to an opinion on something......if you must throw stones, please aim for my gut, my head is already too screwed up as it is!"

I answered:

"Kim, you are so nice. I smoked for 25 years and have been smoke free for 2 1/2, so I speak from experience and won't sound as nice as you.

I get fed up with people who monitor whether or not a smoker has quit, or how much they smoke. What business is it of theirs? Most of us are here because we like the guy we see piloting the Cornelia Marie every week, and want everything done that will expedite good health to him. Most people would. There is nothing wrong with wanting Phil to quit smoking to achieve that goal. But whether or not he does it is his business. Not ours. I can't speak for Phil, but I'm sure part of him wants to quit because he wants to live, and have a good life. But as an ex-smoker, I can pretty much guarantee you that the rest of him is saying, "Quit smoking?? OH, HELL NO!!" - as his body craves the cigarettes even more than before. I understand this concept very well.

Sock Monkey, the title to this thread is: Quit Smoking With Captain Phil. This implies, at least to me, that the smokers other than Phil are supposed to try to put down the nicotine along with him. It isn't a thread for people to ride his back about whether or not he has stopped his bad habit yet. Why should we delete this thread? To punish Phil?? To send him a message that we think he's a schmuck because he still smokes?? Or is it a call to give up on him completely?? And will any of that make him stop?? Will Captain Phil read it and decide that he better quit so he doesn't let down his fans or hurt anybody's feelings?? What does he owe us, really?? Don't anyone correct me; the man is very generous with his time he gives to those who admire him, and lets all of them all know how thankful he is for all he has been given from this reality, and is always unpretentious about the whole thing. I've never seen him not humbled by his celebrity.

But in reality, he doesn't owe any of us his cessation from cigarettes. If you feel Phil has let you down because he still smokes, you had better examine your relationship to him. With the exception of a few ladies on this board, not one of us is a close, personal friend of his. If he owe's anyone the termination of cigarettes in his life, he owe's it to himself. No one else. Family and close friends do count - up to a point, but he's the one who will pay the ultimate price if he doesn't stop. Are you addicted to anything?? Have you ever walked in his shoes? I have. And I'm telling you that to cut the cigarettes out of your life is like having an extra appendage that will kill you if you don't amputate it. But here's the thing: instead of having a surgeon operate, you have to sever it by yourself. And without anesthesia. Does that sound easy? Especially while there are people all around you waiting for you to be done with it? There are also so-called "nice" people who feel they need to give Phil their opinion about his continued smoking, and they seem to think that he will really be influenced by those beliefs. I have a message for them: He won't be. You don't have that kind of influence on Phil. Not one of those comments will directly affect Phil's smoking habits. If anything, they will begin to piss him off. At least it did me. And again, I'm not speaking for Phil.

All I'm trying to say is to get off the guy's back. He'll quit when he's damn well good and ready. Constant pestering and pronounciations of a horrible future and his death will not help or encourage him or any other smoker to stop. And for those who see cigarette smoking as a character flaw to be looked down upon, I suggest you take a look at your own life. If you turn on the light in your closet you can get rid of all those dusty old skeletons in there.See Kim, now the stones will get thrown at me. You are safe."
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Vacations, Presents, And A New Best Friend

Well, we decided to go to Colorado Springs and Mount Rushmore for vacation. I've always wanted to see the presidential mountain, but didn't know there was so much to do in Colorado Springs. We talked about going to the Grand Canyon, but then I remembered how hot it is there - one of the reasons for going out of state is to go somewhere much cooler than here. We'll make the Grand Canyon trip on spring break sometime. It shouldn't be so bad in Arizona in March.

My sewing project is done, packaged, mailed, and at its destination. Now they are just waiting to meet up with the recipient. I can't wait to find out how he likes them. There's also a "The Far Side" Collection by Gary Larson in the package. The recipient of my gift deals with stress a whole lot so I thought he'd enjoy a bit of absurdity. Gary Larson's comics can make me laugh even when I'm in a deep depression. It's the only thing that can. I've also included a 12 page letter for him, explaining why I did this for him. The pages are "writing tablet" sized. Not big pages. There is also a t-shirt I bought for him that screamed his name at me while at the Harley Davidson store. I won't describe it yet, but I forgot to put it in the initial box I mailed. I didn't notice it until Friday night that it was sitting on a pile of fabric I have to make pj bottoms for my family. So Saturday it was packaged and sped to the post office too. It will probably get there tomorrow. The object of my affection is at home now. So maybe he will get the package this week. I hope it's before I go on vacation. I guess if so, I'll let my contact know where I'll be and how to get a hold of me while out of town.

I've had a lot of doubts about all this, but I have made a good friend, met on the internet named Denise. She has been very supportive of all this. I can't discuss this further until I know the package has been delivered to it's intended destination, and I have a response. There is no guarantee of a response, but I'm hoping. It's not often you meet someone you click with right away - I'm fortunate to have more than one good friend like this in my life. I feel like I can tell Denise almost anything. And she me. We also have an uncanny amount in common. I can't remember everything we compared, but it was unreal. That has never happened before . She lives near Detroit, which is probably one of the reasons why we think alike so much. Both bred northerners. One day we are going to meet, we hope. One day we would like to have a "girl's long weekend" somewhere. That would be the ultimate place to meet. It will probably be in Seattle. woo hoo! We'll have a blast. I plan to invite Mary and Jennie too. What a group we'll be. I can't wait

It's time to go and exercise now. I haven't done it in a long time. I NEED to start up again everyday like I did before. I'm still determined to lose the excess weight - and I will too. I just need to get my ass in gear and do what I need to do to make my desires and ambitions come true.

Depression Episode #3963

Although it seems like it sometimes, I haven't had that many episodes. I haven't written in 10 days so I thought I would. David has to go see the therapist in a bit; I am letting my hair dry some before having to blow dry it. My depression is still in full force. I can't keep my eyes open after I wake up in the morning. I have just enough time to take my blood sugar and eat breakfast before I fall asleep against my will again. When I am up I can't get anything done. There is so much around here that needs to be done. I'm overwhelmed. Does anyone offer to help? Hell no. Not unless I start the ball rolling. Once again I have to have the balls in this family. Still taking my meds, and going to therapy. I'm taking care of the diabetes for the most part - I haven't been exercising like I should. I don't know why. I forget to. Which is unusual because I like to exercise.

God, I sound whiny. I know it's not whining. It's chemical. I guess I gotta do like I tell David and grab a hold of my thoughts and make me focus on another path. I should get out my The Far Side books. They never fail to make me laugh. Gary Larson is a genius. Thinking about vacation helps with this too. Merwyn and I are going to map out our vacation later today. I told him how The Grand Canyon isn't as far as it looks, and he seems to be interested. So we'll see. I'm also waiting for Denise in Detroit to let me know what she thinks of my letter for Phil. I'm sending him a package that will actually be put into his hands, so I wrote a letter to put in the box since I know he'll read it. Everything else is ready to go. I'm not saying what I'm giving him as yet. Not until I hear he got the package safe and sound. Then I'll probably write a whole blog about it.

There are things I can do to help my situation towards getting better, but I cannot completely erradicate it. Medication and therapy has turned my life around 180degrees. And as for the hell I went through, the meds made it possible for therapy to work. I hate this. Why do I have to be in this? Why can't I just go on about my life and not be bothered with depression. Actually two kinds of depression. Together the condition is called Dysthymia. I've got to go. more later.

Oh Summer, What To Do With You? (Withoug Dying Of The Heat)

It's been awhile since my last blog. The kids are out of school now. I have a feeling this is the summer that David and Rosalie learn the sore lesson that I am not responsible for their entertainment. They have been told this since each was old enough to complain about not having anything to do. It's not like there is absolutely nothing to do during this summer. They both have rooms full of toys, friends, and a neighborhood swimming pool. But the Texas heat is often unbearable. Even when the sun is going down. We can figure something out.

I'm trying to figure out where we can go for a vacation. A drive west to LA, then up to Seattle via Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite sounds like a plan to me. There are lots of interesting places to stop along the way. On the trip home I would like to go through Yellowstone National Park, then Utah. My best friend Sharon says it's incredibly beautiful. We don't have to get back by a certain time since Merwyn is retired now. It's the money he's worried about. That's why I'm going to sit down with him to see for myself. I don't trust him when he says we can't afford something. I need to know what is going on with our money anyway. If we can make such a trip, I would like to see an old friend with whom I've reconnected. Michele and I know each other from our old block in the Chicago area. Seattle is now where she calls home. She and her family live on a nice plot of land somewhere around the Seattle area. I found her on Facebook, and looking at the pictures posted there, they look very happy. I couldn't be more delighted for her.

In LA I will finally get to meet Jennie in person. She and I met on the DJMB a few years ago, and have been friends ever since. It's funny, she and I are good friends, yet aside from not having met in person, we have not even spoken on the phone. And that's okay with me right now. I don't feel it's necessary. She doesn't either, otherwise Jen would have said something about it. She will tell you what she's really thinking; there are no guessing games with her. I can't wait to meet her, husband Ian, and their furry children.

If in LA, the first "Hollywood" place I would want to go to is a restaurant called, "Musso and Frank's." This place was there during the golden age of Hollywood. It was a favorite haunt of a number of huge movie stars. After that maybe Mann's Chinese Theater, then I don't really care. To me, seeing the absolute beauty of California is much more appealing than going to a studio or trying to see a celebrity. I would like to spend time up in Napa Valley as well; it sounds enjoyable too. As for other summer activities, I promised myself that I would get the kids swimming lessons this year. They need to learn. I knew how at 7 years old. It's hard to find outdoor activities here because of the sickening heat. Both David and I get heat sickness in no time when the temperature is above 95. There's got to be more to summer here, than this, heat nonwithstanding.

Oops! Just noticed the time. DC is on; gotta go. Until next time.......................

Wrestling With Myself

This hasn't happened in a long time. I'm spiraling down, dragging, for no reason. I'm depressed. Not the kind of depression you can snap out of. Not the kind you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Expecting that is like expecting a diabetic to lower their blood sugar by snapping out of it instead of taking insulin. For those of you who don't understand Clinical Depression, that was for you. I don't want to hear anything else. I'm tired of well intentioned people telling me how to handle this condition. If one more person says anything contrary to what medical truth is, you might as well pack your things and get the hell out of my life. You are no longer welcome here. You don't have to agree with the doctor's diagnosis, but don't ever suggest anything contrary to what the doctor says I need to do to stay healthy.

I've been tired all week; all I want to do is sleep. That's the first sign. I have to remember to look and see when my next appointment with my therapist. Maybe there is a trigger and I'm just not seeing it. All I know is that I don't think much of myself right now. I'm nothing but a big tub of lard that doesn't matter. I don't know how to change this. I have no patience. It pisses me off when spoken to. It pisses me off if someone needs something from me. I want to be left alone. I don't even know that I want to be comforted. What for? It never lasts. Anyone who, in the past, who has shown care and concern soon tire of me and then feel put upon by my life. I'm a pain in the ass to anyone who comes along. I know that is not true, and I'm sure a few people would have their feelings hurt to read that, but it's how I feel. Nothing outside me is going to change me. Only I can do that. And I don't see any reason to. I have no motivation. I don't believe I'm worth it. God won't do it. Or He can't. Merwyn has let me know what a huge pain in the ass I've been to be married to. Even that he never wanted to marry me in the first place. Of course he says he doesn't remember saying that and that he's always wanted to marry me. Oh yeah? Then how come he never asked me to marry him? He didn't. We just started talking about it one day, then started making plans. This was around the time of my birthday. You'd think he would buy me an engagement ring for the occasion. Did he? Oh hell no. He didn't want to. This right there was a warning flag and I was too stupid to see it. Our lives have been all about him since we've been together. I accepted it because I'm always putting myself out for others. Not patting myself on the back here, it's just what I do. And it's one of the reasons for being taken advantage of. I'm too stupid to see that some people don't deserve what I have to give.

I don't know what's going on inside me but right now I feel like I could lose it. Something is pissing me off and I don't know what. I'm probably wishing I could separate from Merwyn but I'm stuck. There's no way out. If I go back to any of my trades I'll either lose my hand function, back health, or my mind. I would love to write but that takes a long long time. I'm also having a hard time taking the hits that come with it. Sometimes I feel like "what's the use?" If I keep feeling trapped like this I may just consider suicide an option again. I know it's wrong, and I'm not there yet. There is just no way out.

Is This A Chat Room? Or Has The World Gone Crazy?

I just got done taking part in a live chat/interview with Captain Phil Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie on Discovery's Deadliest Catch. The event took place on internet radio's MHBradio - it says it is all heavy metal, but there is a whole lot of classic rock'n'roll too. I need to remember to tell Jennie about this station. She'll love it.

I didn't ask the captain anything - made lots of comments because I didn't think there would be a chance to get a word in edgewise; these chats are packed with fans each wanting their piece of the poor man. He never complains, mind you, and his answers always cordial. Somewhere along the chat he always says he loves it. And probably does.

I can't imagine being a celebrity. I would HATE every minute of the experience. I'm very private, and don't like to open up to anyone. I feel way too exposed. And the thought of people prying into my life would piss me off. Even well intentioned people. But Phil seems to take it all in stride. What a man. Of course the guy has been through hell and back and one of the results of it, I'm sure, is a great "bullshit-o-meter." I'm still breaking mine in.

Anyway, the chat room was packed to the gills - if that's possible for an internet chat room - and when Phil came on, it was like the Indianapolis 500 of questions and comments. Had it been in person, they would have ran right over him. The captain would have been steamrolled, all his clothes would be gone, and locks of his hair AWOL. A bald, naked Phil. hmmmm.....I'd still take him. ;) All these people wanted a piece of him. How does he stand it?? Most of these people seemed like good, well grounded people that just wanted a connection. There were also the kooks that actually proposed marriage. There were women offering the captain blow jobs, sex, kinky stuff, etc. right on the chat. Yikes!! I totally understand being hot for the guy - but come on people!!! Do you really think he will say, "OMG! You're the ONE! I WILL marry you!", or, "The line forms at the left.....", whatever. Where do these people get their ideas?? Are they so down on themselves and starved for love that they have to beg their favorite celebrities in chat rooms to fill the enormous void in their wretched lives?? Or are they just whackos? Or are they normal people just trying to get a rise out of anyone participating or reading the chat? I don't know. There were some doozies though. If you think I'm being too hard on these people, I'm speaking from experience. At one time in my life I truly believed that I had no worth or value as a human being and that it was impossible for anyone to love me. I wasn't worth it. I didn't deserve it. That is a whole 'nother story, but even then I wouldn't have asked Phil to marry me, or to let me give him head in the wheelhouse, yada, yada, yada, etc.

One person named "Crisp" kept asking strange and pointless questions and comments. One of which asked Phil if he ever saw a UFO when he's out in the Bering Sea. In another he told Phil that he worshipped him. Then there was a pushy woman from Texas who boldly and obnoxiously kept verbally throwing herself directly at Captain Phil. It sounded to me like she truly thought that Phil would take her up on her invitation to come to San Antonio and spend time with her; meaning in bed I'm sure. He never answered her, which made her even more obnoxious. I don't blame him. If he ever met her she'd be scary, that's for sure. Phil, if you read this, take a body guard with you if you ever get to San Antonio. Don't worry, it's a huge city. And I hope when you get my package you don't think it was me since I live in Texas too. The chat also contained requests for shout outs, employment inquiries, proposals to give medical services - personal as well as for him and the crew when he's fishing, wanting him to fix his sons up with their daughters, what is his shirt size, where can someone write him and be sure he will read it himself,"will you this....,"" will you that....," " can I?," " can you?," etc., etc. yada, yada, yada.

As far as I'm concerned, it's official: Captain Phil Harris has the patience of Job. At least when it comes to his fans he does. Maybe it's due, in part that he wasn't in the actual presence of some of these people. Helen was doing the typing for him. She caught most of it. What a woman. I guess I'm writing this sort of like in "shell shock." It was like a battle in there. And I can't believe the nerve of some people. Or that a person would sell themselves out as a piece of meat. Don't any of these people realized how foolish they look to the rest of the world? Some seem to be complete idiots. I just don't get it.

Maybe I'm being too critical and judgemental. After all, as much as I hate the term to be used on me, I am a fan of his. {shudders} I know it's stupid and prideful but I can't stand the thought of me being put in the same group as the devotee's and proselytes.

I really like Phil as a human being - at least what I've seen of him, of course I'd be lying if I said he didn't turn me on - he does - in spades. And that's where it stayed. Until I read an article in a car magazine about the Captain and his two sons. The story went really in depth; way back to his childhood. That's where I learned that his Mother died when he was 7. Just think, that's the age when a child's fear of parents dying is at it's strongest. Phil's worst nightmare came true. Wow. Think of what that does to a child. I'm sure his Dad did what he could; It said he took Phil on the fishing boat with him since there was no one to take care of the little guy. Later on I read that he started driving at age 10. He seemed to be the poster child of latch-key kids. I can't remember all that I read, but Phil didn't have a lot of supervision during his adolescent and teen years. And lack of supervison also means lack of protection. And that means that he was fair game for evil minded people, wolves in sheep's clothing, and anyone else who wouldn't think twice about hurting a child. It didn't say what happened to him until he was a senior in high school. One of the counselors, I think, voted him "least likely to succeed." Talk about hurt and embarrassment. I know Phil said he was the class clown, but I don't know about anything else. What impressed me was that he went to work on the fishing boats, and after making over $100,000 at 17 years old, he went to the home of the counselor, which happened to be for sale, walked in and put a paper bag in her face with $45,000 in it - the price of the house. He then told her and her husband to get out. Of course they wouldn't sell it to him, but I was really impressed with how he handled that situation. Kids nowadays would have taken a gun to school and killed her. To get to where he was able to deal with her like he did - it cost him a whole lot. What I mean is that, when you've been through the hell he has, you have to choose everyday, to take the right path. Sometimes several times a day. To do what you know is right. Or if you don't know what is right, the correct path will take you to where the answers are. The part that costs you is when you don't feel like doing that. It's like being asked to jump the Grand Canyon by foot. To even try is torture. You have to keep getting up over, and over, and over again. And sometimes you just don't feel like doing the right thing. Fuck this!! You want to do what you want to do - screw everything else. Sometimes you have to go through this process for years before you finally get to where you can live your life reasonably well. Where you can make the right choices for your life without having to think about all of them. Besides fishing and riding his Harley, I don't know if anything or one helped him to get to where he is. With all that is in this man's past, he is still capeable of love, trust, compassion, empathy, and other positive and beautiful emotions and actions. You can see the love for Josh and Jake, his sons when the camera shows them together. He's crazy about his Dad. When he cares about you he's mushy inside. But I have a feeling he can be a person's worst nightmare if necessary.

If you read my previous blog, Hell Is For Children, you can understand why I feel a real connection to Phil. I don't think there is anything magical about it, it just is what it is. My gift for him is my way of telling him that I understand what it cost him to get to where he is now. There are scars on my soul similar to his. I put my time and talent into something for him because I think he's worth it. I don't want anything from him. I just want him to know that I've been in his shoes. Not the same circumstances, but just as damaging. We will probably never meet in real life, but it makes you feel good to know that you are not the only one. Even if you haven't been bothered by your "events" in a long time.

I need to close this for now. I'm not sure if I'm done with the chatting subject. Stay tuned...

Hell Is For Children Part 2

The following is a post I wrote on a website I belong to. The title of the thread is:
Letourneau hosts "Hot For Teacher Night At Bar" - referring to Mary Kay Letourneau, the teacher who had an affair with a 12 year old student. They eventually had two children while he was still under age. She spent time in prison and they got married once she got out.

In the thread, one of the members, Kelby, shows anger and disgust for the whole situation, saying that if anyone tried that with her kids, they'd be sorry. This is not verbatim, but you get the idea. Then one of the other posters to the site(and this is not to knock him - he's a sweetheart) wrote, "turns Kelby down to low heat". I'm sure he meant it as a good thing, and to show he cares about Kelby, but with my background my first reaction was to explain why it's okay for us to be this angry. I do see his point of view too; it's good to not lose control. But here is what I wrote:

Kelby, I couldn't agree with you more. First, there's a reason children are not supposed to have sexual relationships. It's because they can't handle it, physically when below a certain age, mentally and emotionally until they are an adult - even if they enjoyed it. I see it as taking 200lbs.,putting it on a child's shoulders, and then expecting that child to carry it. It crushes them one way or another. It is murder. Murder of a childhood. There is no way to get back that innocence.

One of the other results of this is that it awakens a child's sex drive. And of course a child cannot control such a powerful urges; think of how difficult it is sometimes now, as an adult. This is why Kelby, I , and others seethe with anger. This type of child abuse is more than an adult taking advantage of a child. It's gross to think about a little child as having adult sized sexual urges, isn't it. You never hear about that on the news, talk shows, or in documentaries.

I wonder how that bar owner would feel if his child's teacher had this kind of relationship with his daughter or son? Would he be so non-chalant? How would he feel if his wife was the teacher who dumped him for a 12 year old boy and destroyed their lives. She's got 4 kids from her first marriage, then tore her family apart just because she wanted to have sex with a child.

Like Kelby and Susie, if someone tried this with my child, they would regret it until their dying day. Death is too good for them.

Have any of you ever watched "To Catch A Predator"? It's the same thing. The adults caught on this show are there to have sex with 12-17 year olds. Mostly 13-14 range. And we all watch it with disgust as perfectly normal looking people are arrested, one after another. They don't always get huge sentences, but at least their face has been posted worldwide and their lives ruined.

And one more thing, there is actually a group of men who's sole pupose is to promote the idea and eventually gain acceptance of adults having sex with children. They are the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Yes, they are a real organization of men complete with lobbyists in Washington. Look it up. Sickens you doesn't it? I know this is an older post, but I just had to put in my two cents in. Didn't mean for it to be so long either. But when you get me started.......grrr. Nevermind.

Have a great day everyone. Claire _________________

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hell Is For Children

What can I say? I had a meltdown of major proportions yesterday. In cognative therapy we happened to hit on some old wounds in the process of dealing with new ones. That happens sometimes. It isn't wrong. The old wound is directly related to the new one. Unfortuanately we reached this point just before the session was over. Alan (therapist) made sure I was okay enough to leave, which I was, and I went home. From then on all this anger and rage boiled over like a volcano spews lava and pyroclastic flow. This anger and rage comes from deep rooted wounds caused by neglect and disregard for my life that was the status quo when I was a small child. Of course those are in addition to the sexual, physical, and mental abuse that I endured. Not to mention the absence of protection from the outside world; my siblings and I were fodder for whoever desired us. Mostly me, then my sister. Not only that, there was no one to guard us, no refuge from the torment of being used and abused. We were on our own.

During this time it was drilled into us, my sister and I, that if we were touched sexually in any way before marriage no decent man would want us. We'd never get married or have kids. No one would ever love us. For now, neither she nor I posessed anything that made us loveable. No innocence, or virginity, no love. Our bodies would be ruined - beyond redemption. Our souls forever stained. This was pounded into us all the time. In addition to that I was the neighborhood doormat; I was put on display for any boy who wanted to see what a girls genitals looked like. I did not have a choice in the matter. I was forced to perform blow-jobs against my will for God knows how many people too. I was the neighborhood whore. At least that is what I heard at home. The people who forced their will on me never had to answer for their actions. I did. I paid for their actions. I was told it was my fault and that I needed to be punished, and was. I was used goods. Not good for anything now. Beyond redemption. My parents never asked questions about what happened. They never went and talked to the boys' parents. They did nothing but castigate me for the crimes committed against me. That's just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more. I'll probably write about those events in the not too distant future. Poor Mary was lured into someone's house, stripped, tied spread eagle, and repeatedly raped with various objects from the person's house. The parents were not home; the girl's brother came and watched for a while, then convinced her to let Mary go. As soon as my sister got up, she put on her clothes, and ran all the way home. Then, because she was only 5 and out without our father knowing where she was, she got the snot beat out of her. Not to mention the ugly words that came out of his mouth while beating down his own child. He was too selfish to make sure he knew where his little ones were at all times, and when his daughter came home from being tortured, he never saw it on her face. She wasn't important enough. All that mattered was him. Which was usual. He was the most important person in the house. Life had to revolve around him. We children were parasites that demanded too much of him. "Why do I have to take care of all these kids?"; I always pictured him thinking this. We certainly felt like parasites. We wanted and more truthfully needed his time and attention but we were not worth it. It cost him too much. Sometimes I felt like both parents saw the five of us as animals who swung from the chandeliers. Mom and Dad seemed contemptuous of the five of us because we had needs that were supposed to be met by them. But instead we were led to believe that we put them out and made their lives more difficult because of needs that were supposed to be met; even though we were children and couldn't do it ourselves. I remember being made to feel guilty for having needs that made life difficult for them.
This and probably more is at the root of the struggle in me to believe that I really do have worth and value and should be treated as such. Intellectually I know I have the same worth as anyone else. But deep in my heart lives much doubt. I thought I had dealt with it already. I guess not enough. What will it take to make me believe I don't need to be punished, that I don't have to live with someone who ignores me and my needs. And that if a certain someone refuses me sex for a year again, I will throw him out on his ear. The last time I craved attention, not necessarily sexual, just to look at me and connect with me - I had to cut myself. That is what it took for me to get him to notice me. And then his attitude was, "Oh here we go again. She's whining about something else now." Of course now he doesn't remember any of it. He swears he doesn't remember keeping sex from me for a year. He never remembers any of it.
Much better today. Emotionally exhausted, though. This is a long row to hoe, and, after last night I don't know if I can keep doing it. Last night I really wanted to die. I shook my fists at God and screamed at him. I swore a lot too. This is usual for when I go through this. Thankfully God looks into your heart at what is motivating you. Although I still have doubts about Him guiding my footsteps, I still want to stay on this road to recovery. I'll write more later.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot; And Other Tendencies We All Share

It's the end of the season for DC which means the airing of After The Catch. The first in the series of five was on this past Tuesday night. During the talking, joking, laughing, and general "guy talk" Captain Johnathan made a comment that angered many women. I can't quote verbatim, but it was something like, "When women leave Alaska they are ugly again." It should have been edited out of the segment that aired. Too many people take comments like this the wrong way and get their feelings hurt. Like now.
The first were women from Dutch Harbor who verbally eviscerated John with their words. Evidently they got pissed because they think that Johnathan thinks they are ugly. Captain Johnathan, if you are reading this I highly suggest you stay out of Dutch Harbor for a while. These ladies are on the warpath. Even though they don't like your hair they want to take it from you.

I took the comment to refer to the women who journey way up there from the lower 48. Whether beautiful or plain to the guys who've been at sea for months at a time and in a place where the male population is much higher than the female population many times over any woman is desireable enough to find a temporary companion. Even if said woman looks like Sasquatch on crack. Then when the coupling is over, the clock strikes midnight, and Cinderella turns back into her not-so-pretty self.
This comment doesn't speak too well of the women that chase the crew members all the way to the Bering Sea. I say chase because Dutch Harbor is roughly 2,500 miles across the northern Pacific or 3,700 miles overland - both starting from Seattle and way out of the way from any kind of civilization.

A lot of other women took great offense by this opinion as well. I can see rolling my eyes over it, but to get to the boiling point with your anger because of it? That's silly. That's overreaction at its best - or worst. Like I said before: these women are extremely angry because Captain Johnathan says they are ugly - on national television. Does this make it true? Of course not. And if it did, who cares what he thinks. It's his opinion and he has a right to it. He's not standing on a soapbox trying to convince everyone else that they are ugly. And you know what else? Even if a person, male or female, is what the world considers extremely unattractive, does it mean said person has no worth or value? Even if society says they don't, it doesn't make it true. As far as I'm concerned society can kiss my ass; it gets LOTS of things wrong. No one seems to remember that when you get to know a person, they look different than when you first met them. If a person is ugly on the inside, they will definitely NOT be attractive on the outside -even if said person is a cover model. On the same token, if a person is beautiful on the inside and plain on the outside, they will be attractive. We have forgotten how much our character really makes us look. Character and confidence are the biggest magnets for attracting people to you. Whether for friendship or love, those two things are more valuable than diamonds. Yes, diamonds. Character and confidence can be taken with you when you die. Diamonds can't. Character and confidence cannot be taken away or stolen from you; diamonds can. You can only give them away.
One other woman, a person I'm getting to know around the DC sites, her name is Helen, wrote the best opinion of the whole thing. She mentioned that she chuckled at the quip, like I did, understanding what he meant. And everyone says things that don't come out right too. We have all done that. Of course, right or wrong we all have the right to express our opinions online, paper, etc. because thankfully we live in a place we can do that, still. She also voiced what I think we should all remember, "Shit happens, and this too shall pass." Do your venting and then get on with your life.
With all this uproar all I've heard is Captain Johnathan this, or Captain Johnathan that, how he failed to live up to everyone's expectations(who on tv does?), etc. etc. With all this you know what? I have seen a big heart in him. He feels deeply and is confident in his convictions. You can't convince me that he doesn't love his kids and grandkids; he dotes on his Grandma, is tight with his brothers, a good friend and a boss who knows how to have fun and encourages it in his crew. I've seen him hand over his "end of the season" winnings of $900 to the families of the men lost when the F/V Katmai sank. No matter what he said or how offended anyone got, Captain Johnathan is not the monster they make him out to be.