Let’s take a walk around the internetz neighorhood

There are lots of mainstream websites/blogs that I visit.  Places to find a laugh, a recipe, info, and friends, but that’s not where we’re going today. Today, we’re visiting a few of the ones that “if loving them is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

Let’s see; pepper spray, check; personal alarm, check; big walking stick, check.  Well alrighty then, I think we’re ready to go.

Fuck My Life I’ve mentioned this before but I feel it’s worth bringing up again.  It’s my somebody’s day is worse than mine pick-me-up spot.

People of Walmart I’m baffled as to why people leave the house looking a hot mess. I’m not saying I have my shit together every time I’m out & about but with most of them it’s like, “don’t you have a mirror, family, friends, pets, enemies to ask if maybe you want to rethink that ensemble?” I will admit that every time I’m in the big W, I’m on the lookout for someone to snap a shot of.

Shit My Kids Ruined I usually blurt out “Holy Shit” at just about every other post.  It also makes me appreciate Beana more because compared to the hell these kids caused, she should have wings & a halo.

Awkward Family Photos This makes me want to find any and all photos taken of me and burn them, burn them, buuuurrrrrnnnnnn thhhhhheeeeemmmmmm.  Like those Middle School Dance Pictures, and that one slumber party pic where I……..um nevermind. Anyway shit like this is why I HATE having my picture taken.

Semi-NSFW

Awkward Boners Yeah, reason #438927436293 I’m glad to be a woman. I don’t care that when it’s cold our nips become two pointy beacons.  It’s nothing compared to pitching the proverbial tent at the most heinous of times.

Last but certainly not least the full-on NSFW:

 Way to Suck That Dick A friend tuned me onto this. Despite all the nakedness it’s not really about the porniness.  It just proves that it takes all kinds to make the world go round.  FYI for some of them, you might want to have a bottle of bleach on hand to rinse your eyes out with. *Disclaimer* FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD, DO NOT RINSE YOUR EYES OUT WITH BLEACH. IT WAS A JOKE PEOPLES. SHEESH.

This ends our tour of my favorite “whydeydodat?” tourist spots on the net. Feel free to tip your guide.

Thankyoucomeagain.

Confessions pt. 1

I think most of us over-focus on our flaws, at one time or another. We all have things we want to change about ourselves; I’m working on things I can change & reminding myself that people don’t even notice most of what I find wrong, but there’s one thing I absolutely hate. It’s something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember…..

I am painfully shy.  Always have been.  I remember going back to school each Fall was like starting at a new school.  I had a close-knit group of friends that I was comfortable with, but the thought of new classes, new teachers, & new seating arrangements caused panic attacks.  Given a little time to get used to everything & warm up, I’m fine; outgoing even.  It was the same way at college. I didn’t think I would make it through that first night after moving in  and if my  cousin hadn’t called to check up on me, I don’t know if I would have.  Since I didn’t have my cable hooked up yet, she told me to go down to the lobby of my dorm and watch Martin. That was a guaranteed way to find some black folks.  We were NOT going to miss Martin, Gina, & the gang act like fools. Sure enough gathered around the TV were some of the people who would become my closest friends while I was there.  I even met the chick that would ultimately become my roommate. 

I’ve been called cold, standoffish and stuck up because I don’t just come up and start a conversation with someone.  There are times when I’ve overcome my shyness but those are few and far between.  Even now, with the anonymity of the internet, I can’t shake that feeling. It’s why I suck at Twitter, rarely comment on the blogs I visit (with the exception of one) and why I haven’t been sucked into the Facebook black hole.  Signing up for something where you have to ask someone to “friend” you?  Hitting me in the face with a cast iron skillet would be less painful.  Seriously.

What’s funny is Beana doesn’t have a shy bone in her body.  I find myself envious when I watch my 10-year-old throwing herself into just about any situation overflowing with enthusiasm & courage.  What’s even funnier is that at 35 years old, I wish I was just like her.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Not having a job all Winter gave me plenty of time to think about what I wanted to do once the weather warmed up.  The choice was fairly easy.  I decided to plant a garden; after listing all the pros (save money on vegetables, getting extra excercise, enjoying the fresh outdoors) & cons (there are bugs outside, it’s the South in the Spring/Summer and that = HOT) I could think of, I began planning what to plant & sketching where it would all go. I chose the usual suspects: green beans, tomatoes, okra, peppers (mild & hot), squash, cucumbers, herbs, watermelons, & cantelopes.As soon as the weather warmed up enough to ensure the frost had passed, I began to start working the ground. First, I had my father-in-law till up my space. Secondly, I raked out the large clumps of dirt, mixed in the fertilizer, and figured out where each row would be.     

      

Prepped & ready for plants.

Excitedly, I purchased the seeds and slips. I dug and planted. I watered and weeded.  And I began the hardest part of all; I waited. Considering how impatient I am, it’s a miracle I didn’t say to hell with it . Finally, I began to see some results of my labor; a little sprout here, a little sprig there. Some things, like my tomatoes, parsley, and peppers, took off; while others – okra, cucumbers, cabbage – had to be replanted.  The other herbs were also hit and miss, but I’m not too worried about them.  They grow pretty quick, so replanting isn’t a problem.  I find myself watching these plants for milestones like I did when Beana was a baby.  Crawling=beginnings of blooms, first steps=the little veggie/fruit emerging right before bloom falls off and walking=actual tiny tomatoes, and whatnot.              

Result of hard work

      

My baby tomatoes.

First squash

Baby Peppers

 This garden was a way to jumpstart the climb out of the void I’ve been in.  I can’t wait until I can start cooking with and eating what’s growing in my little patch of dirt.                

                          

Lost & Found

+++Things I’ve lost: My job. Last fall the company I worked for closed its office in my town. We all knew it was coming, eventually but eventually came sooner than expected. I received a call from the home office telling me that I had a week left. They were phasing out everyone & I was the first to go. So I spent the week packing my things, deciding which office supplies were coming home with me, and telling my co-worker bff that I did not want the office self-proclaimed party planner to do the dreaded farewell potluck.

My way. For months I got up in the mornings only because Beana had to get to school. I didn’t want to leave the house, didn’t want to do much of anything other than catch up on old episodes of Supernatural and Charmed. I’m a homebody at heart but even I could see this was borderline hermit behavior.

+++Things I’ve found: Or in this case rediscovered: Photography. As a kid I was known for always having my camera with me, (that and the fact that I enjoyed sneaking up on you and snapping a picture without your knowledge). Well, I decided that I would dip into my “one day I’ll be able to afford this camera fund,” and get a new camera. While it’s not my dream camera, it’s definitely better than the nothing I had. I’m loving being able to just take pictures of the Irises in my header that were planted by my Grandmother over 30 years ago, other things that catch my eye, again.

Luckily I wasn’t the carrion these vultures were after.

Gardening. I planted a small garden in my Mom’s backyard for us to share, and I’m thoroughly surprised at how much I’m enjoying the planting, weeding, watering, & composting of it all.   Next year I plan to increase the size and try something other than the basics.

A passion. The courage to go after a dream.  I’m taking two things I love to do and taking the plunge to turn them into a career. If all goes to plan after about 2 years of school, I’ll be trained and ready.

I still have my doubts and worries but I can see a the path in all the brambles.

Shattered

As a mom to a daughter, I’m constantly trying to drill into her head to be aware of the things going on around her and if she doesn’t feel safe to let an adult know. Hell, even if she’s with a group of her friends, briefly letting her out of my sight at the park or that pizza token game place makes me hyperventilate. I’ve seen way to many episodes of CSI/Criminal Minds/Law & Order not to be wary of places like that, but to be honest, I was thinking more of the future; the times as she gets older and there’s even less adult supervision. I was thinking of those nuggets of wisdom my mom told me. 1) If you’re home by yourself, don’t answer the door or tell anyone that over the phone. Say moms unavailable instead of she’s not here. 2) If someone tries to grab you scream, “Help me, this is not my mother/father. Call 911.” If at all possible fight back; kick, scream, bite, scratch. (Once I got older) 3)If you set your drink down at a party & walk away, never drink out of it again; you never know if someone has put anything in it. 4) Have your keys ready whenever you’re getting into your car or home. Try to remember to hold your keys so they can be used to defend yourself. Things like that. I know it’s not foolproof, I tell her it’s not foolproof, but it’s as the say Knowledge is power and I want Beana to have the knowledge to take back her power if, God Forbid, something does come up. As a parent you try to move Heaven & Earth to keep your kids safe and just when you think you might be doing an all right job at it, you read something like this:

Four boys ranging from ages 9 to 14 took turns raping an 8-year-old girl behind a shed for more than 10 minutes. Phoenix police say it’s the one of the most horrific cases they’ve seen. According to the Associated Press, the incident sparked further outrage after police said the victim’s parents blamed her for the attack and shaming the family. As if the trauma of being raped and having to live with the scars isn’t enough, her punk-ass father adds insult to injury, literally. “The father told the caseworker and an officer in her presence that he didn’t want her back. He said, ‘Take her, I don’t want her,’ “police Sgt. Andy Hill said. When the father was asked by local reporters what he thought should be done to the boys who raped her daughter, he answered plainly, “Nothing.” Maricopa County Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday, the 14-year-old boy, Steven Tuopeh, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and kidnapping. The assailant appeared in court on July 23 and is currently being held without bond. The other boys who raped the little girl-ages 9, 10 and 13 were charged as juveniles with sexual assault. The 10 and 13-year-olds were also charged with kidnapping. Phoenix investigators said the boys coaxed her into an empty shed with bubblegum offerings on July 16. The boys held the girl down while they took turns raping her, police said. “She was brutally sexually assaulted for a period of about 10 to 15 minutes,” Hill said. Officers responding to a call reporting a girl screaming hysterically found the girl partially undressed and the young punks running from the scene. “This is a deeply disturbing case that has gripped our community,” Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Thursday. “Our office will seek justice for the young victim in this heartrending situation.” The victim and the pre-pubescent rapists are all refugees from the West African nation of Liberia. Hill believes the family’s African culture is why the girl’s father has disowned her. In some parts of the “Motherland,” woman are faulted for rape and often believed to have enticed the pervert so much, he has to rape her. Ultimately, women who are raped are shunned by their families.” It’s a shame-based culture, so the crime is not as important as protecting the family name and the name of the community,” said Tony Weedor, a Liberian refugee in Littleton, Colorado. “I just feel so sorry for this little girl. Some of these people will not care about the trauma she’s going through – they’re more concerned about the shame she brought on the family.” The little girl, now in Child Protective Services, is going to have a particularly difficult time healing said Paul Penzone of Childhelp, a group who cares for young victims of crimes. “These four boys used what was a ploy to entice her to a place where they could take advantage of her almost like a pack of wolves,” he said. “And what’s so disturbing beyond the initial crime is the fact that a child needs to have somewhere to feel safe, and you would think that would be in a home with her own family,” not in state custody, Penzone said. This poor girl is forever scarred by the sexual assault she suffered and now the trauma of being rejected by her family. Shame on all four of those boys and her father…they should all be bent over several times and plugged and then see how it feels to be “shamed.” Source

My heart shatters knowing this is the world we live in. Where the innocence of an 8 year old child could be brutally taken from her. Where male children ages 9-14 years old use bubblegum to lure, kidnap & sexually assault another child. Where the child’s own parents blame her, turn on her, and abandon her all while giving support to those what violated their baby. I know in African culture brutality against women and girls goes largely unpunished, it’s not seen as a crime but as an act the victim brought upon themselves. Knowing that doesn’t take away wanting to see those responsible punished – severely. Crimes against children should come with the harshest penalty imaginable, but in this case the offenders are children. What do you do? Punish them like the crime deserves or consider they’re children ingrained with the mentality that rape isn’t a big deal? I don’t have any answers; all I know is that each night I’m thankful that she’s made it through another day in a world that can be so horrible.

Twitterpated Pt. 2 – Alternately Tittled: OH F*CK!

Beana’s Granny brought her a girl bunny (name to be determined) who shares a house with her cousin’s boy bunny. Can you see where this is heading? So she takes me outside to meet her bunny and we get to see porn produced by Animal Planet. Fortunately the show didn’t last long (which kind of made me feel bad for girl bunny), introductions were made and we were able to play.

Once back inside my mother-in-laws house, Beana pulled me off to the side. “Were the rabbits having…..you know…..s-e-x? Resisting the urge to punch myself in the throat laugh, I told her the bunnies were having sex. After glancing around to make sure no one was close enough to hear she tells me “I thought the girl was always on top.” In one of my better “Mom” moments, I blink a couple of times, snort, & begin to giggle uncontrollably. I explained that when animals have sex the boy is on top. I could see other questions forming, but her dad came into the room and her mouth slammed shut like a bear trap. Bullet dodged!!

Apparently my reprieve was only temporary. The following week we were driving home and Beana asks me if the boy is always on top when people do it. With a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel I mentally scrolled through the answers coming to mind discarding the ones that would lead to even more embarrassingly heart stopping questions (real talk: I want to be able to answer all her sex questions in an open manner because I want her to always feel comfortable coming to me BUT knowing my luck I could just see this turning into a Kuma Satrua for Your 9 year old lesson) before finally settling on, “most of the time but not always would you like to go rent movies & get pizza for dinner?” Thankfully Netflix & Hulu haven’t completely demolished the existence of neighbor hood video stores and I was able to distract her with deciding what to get. As we walked into the video store, Beana asks, “Will boys like me more if my boobies are as big as yours?” Since I’m so totally on top of this mothering thing I honestly answered, “Ooooo look High School Musical III, Zac Efron, singing & dancing.” Her tween eyes glazed over, question forgotten. I realize that while I might have won this battle, the war will most definitely kick my ass well before it’s over.

Twitterpated

Birds do it, bees do it and there was that unfortunately timed romp between 2 dogs at a friend’s house. Yes, it’s Springtime and a young man’s fancy turns to love. A little boy in Beana’s class has a crush on her. There have been phone calls, tokens of his affection, requests to be her boyfriend and even a kiss on the cheek. Anytime I’ve seen this little boy at their school, he’s always nice and polite and on the outside I’m cool as a cucumber; sharing Motherly advice like: “You’re too young to have a boyfriend.” or “You don’t only have to play with only Casanova, you can play with all your friends.”* However on the inside……….. I wish I could hide behind the slides on the playground until Cass shows up, and scare him enough that he’ll think twice about putting his lips on my kid’s face again but not enough that he’ll spend the rest of his days wearing a diaper. Thankfully (I think) increased school security prevents Beana from getting tagged with the moniker of “Girl whose mother is batshit crazy.” My mom finds this quite amusing; remembering when she was going through this with me. She laughs mightily when I tell her it’s not the same thing because it’s happening to me. TOOOOOOOOO. MEEEEEEEE. Okay yeah, so that’s a wee bit over dramatic, but that’s just how I roll.

My biggest struggle is how I make my “You don’t have to have a man to be happy” mantra age appropriate for a 9 year old. Let’s face it, I’m as anti-fairy tale as it gets. The bullshit idea of Prince Charming having to come and save the day, while the damsel in distress wanders around waiting oblivious to the danger, makes me stabby. Up until recently Beana’s always been an independent little sprite that would rather get dirty playing baseball, football or basketball; sitting daintily on the sidelines was not an option. Now that she’s been afflicted with the twitterpatted curse all she talks about is Casanova this, & Casanova said that. Daily, I fight the urge to place my hands on the side of my head, and pull out handfuls of hair while screaming expletives at the top of my lungs. I would be totally bald by now if my mom hadn’t step in with Solomon like wisdom and told me, “If Beana sees you freaking out now, she’ll never come to you when there’s really something to worry about. Just stay calm.” So I swallow all my parenting angst and hope she doesn’t realize the tick I’ve developed on the left side of my face is totally her fault.

* When I first typed this I had put fiends, which in the grand scheme of things is an accurate description when talking about gaggles of 8 and 9 year olds.