30 May 2008

Random Friday Thoughts

I've got nothing of importance for you today so you'll just have to listen to my brain dump!

  • Is it spring yet? My lilacs still haven't bloomed and tomorrow is the last day of May.
  • My employer is implementing a 4-day work week beginning next week. It's being offered to reduce commuting costs (gas just hit $4.19/gallon here). The up side? I'll have either a Monday or a Friday off each week. The down side? People are idiots and based on the behavior I've seen in the office (from fellow employees) since this announcement was made I think it's likely that the 4-day work week will be short lived. Why are some people so drawn to screwing things up for everyone else?
  • When we moved out here, I made a conscientious decision to be active in the community. Much of that involvement surrounds the public school system. I went to my first School Improvement Plan (SIP) Committee meeting at the middle school last night. Someone please tell me why the school district would require each school to write a SIP but have ZERO accountability for actually meeting the goals listed on the SIP? How ridiculous is that?
  • I was elected President of the Middle School Parent Volunteer Organization for the 2008-2009 school year. Do you suppose this little farming community would take issue with the nekkid Thursday PVO President?
  • We leave for a week of "vacation" in San Antonio a week from Sunday. It will be me, Husband and four kids between the ages of 12 and 20. I'm pulling my son out of school for a full week. It was originally only the last 2 days of the school year until we had FIVE snow days this winter. Does that make me a bad mom?

If you are feeling geeky today and want to waste time at work challenge your brain, Talisman is hosting an “identify this image” taken under a Scanning Electron Microscope game. She's got some pretty cool prizes for the winners. Go show her that the brainy readers come from my blog.


28 May 2008

HNT - The Girl Who Wears Glasses

“Words, like glasses, obscure everything
which they do not make clear.”

~ Joseph Joubert



Remember my buddy Talisman (i.e. ChemGeek, Tali, Serious Pain-in-my-Ass) Well, she had a bit of a technical glitch that required she move her blog with just three hours notice. If you've been looking for her, you can find her [HERE]


Social Security Number-Only Identity Theft

Have you heard of it? I have smart ass readers, I have no doubt you have, but here's the real question, do you know how this impacts you? First, a little story ...

I was the victim of Identity theft about six and a half years ago. I went to the gym, put my backpack in my trunk, locked my door and went inside to work out. When I came out 90 minutes later, my driver's side window was shattered to access my trunk release and my wallet was gone. I was one of those people who kept their Social Security card in their wallet (if yours is there take it out NOW!). It was two weeks before Christmas and in a matter of hours, these thieves had managed to rack up over $30K in debt in my name, including two $5K instant credit lines (Sears and Best Buy), several thousand dollars in Target purchases and, a $15K car! Yes, they were able to pose as me and actually finance a car!! This is what most of us know as Identity Theft, but there is another Identity Theft beast out there, one that can happen without our knowledge, one that seems "harmless," but isn't.

I've posted about illegal immigration in the past. It is a hot button of mine and one of my top three issues in determining who I will vote for in the upcoming presidential election. Immigration is one of the foundations of this country, and it should continue to be, when done legally.

Each year, over 10 MILLION people pay taxes under incorrect Social Security numbers (the number and the name associated with it do not match). Some of these are administrative issues, but the common thought is that the majority of these tax payments are the result of Social Security number-only identity theft. In my own backyard, for the bargain price of about $200, one can purchase the documentation needed to secure a job here in the U.S, including a "valid" Social Security number.

The scam goes something like this. Illegal immigrants provide a "fraudulent" Social Security card to their employer on their first day of work. This fulfills the employer's “I-9” requirement. Employers can call the Social Security Administration to perform a limited verification of the information, but most just make sure they have the documentation to cover their ass meet the requirements. In other words, it's common that employees’ names and Social Security numbers don't match.

The "You're a meanie - illegal immigration doesn't hurt anyone" argument that I've heard always includes the statement that taxes paid under your Social Security number are credited to your account, but guess what? When the name/number doesn't, match NO ONE gets credit for the taxes paid by the worker. The money goes into a general account at the U.S. Treasury. Even better? Since 1983, more than $500 billion in uncredited Social Security wages have been earned by "no match" employees - $500 BILLION! You don't suppose this might be why local, state and federal agencies drag their feet on this issue, do you?

What's even more bothersome is that when another person is using your Social Security Number for employment purposes only, it's almost impossible to find out about it. It won't show up on your credit report and it won't be detected by credit monitoring. There is also no way to for any of us to inspect the history of their Social Security Number - to find out where and when it's been used.

Disturbing? Yes! It really is time we addressed illegal immigration in a meaningful way in this country!

27 May 2008

TMI Tuesday #136

Just a quick thanks to all of you who stayed around through the emotional dumping of the last week. I know the story was difficult to read at times and that commenting had to be a challenge. Thank you for hearing me out and hanging in there for the long haul!

Now, there's really no easy way to transition back into my "normal" blogging - somehow TMI Tuesday seems kind of superficial, but you know what? It's fun - so here we go!

1. What lines have you used to let someone down gently?

You know, I'm not one who is much into "lines" I'd like people to be honest with me, so I am honest with them. It's a lot more difficult up front, but far easier long term.

2. If I gave you $10K to waste, what would you buy.

I could not "waste" $10K. Seriously! I would have to purchase things that I needed, or put it in the savings account "just in case." It's not my nature to just blow money for the sake of spending. I am sometimes frugal to a fault, finding great pride in seeing just how far I can stretch a dollar.

3. If I gave you $10K, but you had to spend it all on someone else, what would you buy.

This is a bit easier. Spending on others is more to my liking. $10K, right now, would go into my son's college fund.

4. If your partner brought a double dildo to bed, you'd be ____________?

Wondering where my husband was?! Actually, toys in our bedroom, back when we were having sex, were not at all unusual. Now they aren't unusual, it's just that I am the one to bring them in bed AND use them on myself! I'd be thrilled if my husband brought a double dildo to bed, but only if he brought me someone to use it with.

5. What sounds to you make during sex.

It depends on how good (or bad) the sex is *wink*

BONUS: Tell your worst break up story.

Well, if you've been reading my blog lately you know that at the first hint of someone caring about me AND being emotionally available, I'm running away as fast as I can! Since this has become my mode of operation for the past 20 years, break-ups haven't been bad - they occur before anyone has any feelings that they can lose their mind over!

TMI Tuesday


26 May 2008

Rememberance and TFT


From The White House Commission on Remembrance:

The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity (duration: one minute).The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom. It will help to reclaim Memorial
Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In this shared remembrance, we connect as Americans.


Has anyone noticed that new button I put over on the left side? The Tits for Troops link? You really should take a gander over there (it's a bit slow to load, but worth the wait). You might even see a few people that you recognize. Yes, it is a bit of an unusual Memorial Day Tribute, but the site is put together by the lovely Vixen and certainly qualifies as a troop morale booster. Anyone who is interested in participating can read more about it [HERE].


Suicide, The Epilogue - Part 9

If you haven't read Parts 1 - 8, you can find them here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8


I'm not sure how long it was after the funeral that we headed back to Washington. I really have no sense of time for the first six months or so after “A”'s death. I remember events, but not when they happened.

You know those 5 stages of grief? Denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance? Well I went through them fairly rapidly, even skipping the bargaining stage, but I got stuck – really stuck – in depression. It's described as overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, self pity, mourning loss of person as well as the hopes, dreams and plans for the future. Feeling lack of control, feeling numb. Perhaps feeling suicidal. Boy was I stuck there.

Suicide seemed like a logical choice. It really did. The pain would stop, I would be taking control of the situation, I thought about it a lot. When I wasn't thinking about the best way to take my own life, I was drinking ... and driving. About 3 months after “A”'s death, during one of those many drinking binges, I was pulled over and arrested for DUI.

I had been given so many opportunities for a fresh start over the past two years, and I had ignored them, but this time I paid attention. With a great attorney and a judge who was irritated with the sloppy work of a police officer, my DUI charges were dropped even though my blood alcohol level was in excess of .08, Washington's legal limit. I decided it was time to get my life back on track before I self destructed.

In October of 1990 (9 months following “A”'s death), after several discussions with a recruiter and with my uncle who was a colonel in the Army National Guard, I enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Preventive Medicine Specialist. It was a decision that likely saved my life. All of the illegal activities that “A” and I had been involved in never came back on me – the only challenge to my enlistment was the DUI, but once that was clear I was free to enlist. The Army gave me an opportunity to heal – it was a time where I didn't have to make any decisions – they were all made for me. It was the best course of action I could have taken and the one that really set me on a path back to a more productive life.

There have been plenty challenges along the way, some were dealt with, some just went away.
  • There were over $24,000 in medical bills for the 48 hours that “A” remained alive. The hospital did reduce my financial obligation, but I was never able to pay in full. Those bills remained on my credit report for 7 years.
  • 4 months after “A” died, I received a notice from the city that a warrant had been issued for “A”'s arrest for failure to appear in court on the charges stemming from the crash. I sent them a copy of his death certificate with a letter explaining that it might be difficult for him to appear in court.
  • I received a bill from the condo landlord for carpet replacement and bio-hazard clean-up costs to the tune of $2300. I wrote him a letter asking if there was some kind of payment arrangement we could make. He wrote me back telling me he would take care of it.
  • Years later, after leaving the Army, I would find myself back in Minnesota due to a job transfer. Parking tickets that I had received when “A” and I lived in the condo bit me in the ass when I went to get a Minnesota Driver's License. Fortunately, the statute of limitations had passed and I was not required to pay them.
  • When I sold my house in Minnesota and moved to Chicago, I sent (anonymously) a $5000 money order to the restaurant where I embezzled the money. I included a short note saying this money was restitution for events that happened many years ago, but never gave any indication as to who I was or what it was for.

Certainly, there are many ways “A”'s suicide impacted me. The most destructive? I now choose relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable to me. This is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, I don't have to worry about ever experiencing the pain of loss the way I did with “A” I can't love someone that deeply if they are not available for me to love. But, that also means that I have not allowed myself to love anyone like I loved “A.” I made it through that pain once – I really don't believe I could make it through that type of loss again. I build walls – very tall walls – around my heart and if I feel emotions are getting through, or over, the wall I run – FAST.

Yes, I realize this is no way to live. I realize just how self-destructive it is, but I'm not willing to let it go yet. I'm not willing to trust anyone with my heart the way I trusted “A.” I hope to be able to do that some day.

On the good side? Well, once you've been through something like this, very little can compare. Minor inconveniences are just that, minor. I am not intimidated by challenges like going back to school, starting new jobs, or juggling tight finances. I've been through worse – much worse – and I made it out alive. If I lost every one of my material possessions today, I know that I would be fine. I'd make due – I'd get through it. When compared to “A”'s death, nothing seems overwhelming.

I do think that after 20 years, I have managed to make it through that 5th stage of grief – acceptance. Making this story real by publishing it on my blog has brought me closer to forgiveness – forgiveness of myself for the things I did – the people I hurt – the signs I missed – the life I watched self-destruct. I hope that once I allow myself that forgiveness, I'll be ready to lead the life I deserve instead of continuing to punish myself for the “should haves.”


25 May 2008

Suicide, The Formalities of Death - Part 8

If you haven't read Parts 1 - 7, you can find them here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7


*WARNING* Parts of this story are quite graphic and may be disturbing to some of you.


The next days were truly lived on auto-pilot. There were funeral arrangements to be made, obituaries to write and a decision as to whether “A” would be buried or cremated. There was a condo that no one had been in for two days. There was a kitten locked in the bathroom. There was so much more to get through.

When I left the hospital with my parents, we went straight to the condo. My kitten, Scrappy, had been locked in the bathroom for two days. Although she had food and water, I needed to make sure she was alright. We got to the door and it was sealed with yellow crime scene tape. I couldn't go into my own home until the police had finished their investigation. I lost it – again – in the middle of the hallway. I couldn't stand the thought of losing Scrappy - hadn't I lost enough already? We headed back to the hotel where I contacted the police department. They would release the crime scene status of the condo within 4 hours.

We returned to the condo later that night. My parents tried to keep me from going in, but I wouldn't listen. There was something drawing me back there – unfinished business maybe? The last time I was there things were frantic. I needed to find some peace with that space. I walked in the door and the first thing that his me was the smell of dried blood ... and then I saw it. A large pool, right where “A” had been sitting. There hadn't been much blood visible when I found him – it had all pooled beneath him. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I sat in the hallway, against the wall, in a fetal position. It was too much.

My parents took care of Scrappy and we headed back to the hotel where I would write an obituary for my husband.
I took care of the formalities of death. I arranged for “A” to be cremated and for a non-traditional funeral. We would have a small, private room at the cremation center where anyone who wanted to speak, could. I asked that, instead of flowers, donations be made to the National Suicide Hotline. I found a poem that I would read:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,

I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,

I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,

I am in the graceful rush

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,

I am the starshine of the night.

I am in the flowers that bloom,

I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,

I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there.
I do not die.

~ Mary Elizabeth Frye (1904-2004)

During the days before the funeral, it was decided that I would move back to Washington with my mother. I didn't want that – I just wanted to stay where I was, go back to work, pretend like none of this happened. My parents wouldn't allow it. Along with “A”'s family, my parents packed up what they knew would fit in the back of my Isuzu pick-up. My father was tasked with driving the truck back to Washington. There was much left behind – packed up or thrown away. I still don't know who decided what to keep or what happened to what was left behind.

After the funeral, we decided that we would sprinkle “A”'s ashes at Como Park. It was a favorite place of his as a child and seemed a fitting tribute for his remains. I was amazed at how heavy the small cardboard box of ashes was, and overwhelmed by the fact that what was once my husband was now a plastic bag full of gray ashes stuffed into a cardboard box. “A”'s mother, father, little brother and I ventured into Como Park on a blustery, January day in Minnesota and we spread his ashes on the shore of the lake. We left him there, finally at peace.


Tomorrow I will post an Epilogue of sorts, hopefully answering most of the questions you might still have about how I got from there to here, as well as explaining the ramifications of my actions prior to the suicide. I'll also give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might still have.


Sunday Secret

While in the Army, stationed in Korea, I worked in the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Clinic. One morning, after returning from a 2-week field exercise, the guy I was "dating" came into the clinic to tell me he had slept with someone else while I was in the field and thought he might have an STD. I had the doc write him a prescription for antibiotics and I told him he had Chlamydia ... he didn't ...

24 May 2008

Suicide, The Moment of Death - Part 7

If you haven't read Parts 1 - 6, you can find them here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6


*WARNING* Parts of this story are quite graphic and may be disturbing to some of you.


A nurse came into the small room where the family was gathered. She asked if I wanted to see Alan. Of course I wanted to see him, why wouldn't I? She explained to me that he wasn't going to look like himself. Not only were his head and face swollen, but there would be tubes and wires in every conceivable place. How bad could it be? I wanted to see him. She grabbed me by the elbow very tightly. I couldn't figure out why it seemed she was trying to hold me up, I was at least 10" taller than her, clearly I would be fine. Then I saw him and immediately fell to my knees. This couldn't be my husband. This looked nothing like my husband. There had to have been a mix up. They assured me this was Alan, and as much as I wanted to remain in denial, I knew they were right. I was quickly escorted out of the ICU.

Someone called my parents in Washington, and Alan's parents in Texas and California, to let them know what had happened. I don't know who made the calls – I don't even remember giving the numbers to anyone. Alan's family stayed at the hospital with me until the next morning, when the rest of the family was due to arrive. The first 24 hours were unbearable. I was tired – so very tired – but each time I closed my eyes all that I could see was my husband slumped against the sofa with a bullet through his head. If I didn't close my eyes, I didn't see it. I tried not to blink.

My family arrived sometime during that first day. I don't know when – I don't know how they got there. There were questions – too many questions. Were we having problems? Was I pregnant? Didn't I see this coming? I had to talk to hospital staff about insurance (we didn't have any) and organ donation. Organ donation? He wasn't even dead! They made me talk to a social worker who offered to give me sleeping pills or something that would take the edge off. I blamed drugs for the suicide - the last thing I wanted to do was use them now to escape. I just wanted all of this to be over. Why didn't he die? The doctors informed me that Alan had taken a large dose of Xanax right before shooting himself. They couldn't let him die until all of the Xanax was out of his system so they could specify cause of death as a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.

Alan's family arrived. This was much more difficult to handle. I felt a great deal of responsibility to them in taking care of their son and I let them down.  Alan's mother was distraught, and she let me know that she blamed me for what happened. I could have stopped it. Look what I had done to her son. 36 hours into this and I'd still had no sleep and no food. I sat in a wooden armed chair staring at the wall, trying not to blink. As slow as time seemed to be moving, things were happening around me at break-neck speed. It was nearing the time when a decision had to be made regarding Alan's continued care.

I was told there were two options for care. The doctors could perform surgery to remove the blood clot that had formed around the gunshot wound. If they did this, they would also be removing part of his brain. He had done no damage to the part of the brain that controlled breathing and heartbeat, and removing the clot would ease the pressure on that part of the brain, allowing him to breathe on his own. However, all indications were that he was brain dead. What one learns during these times is that doctors will never tell you there is no hope – they will not - cannot - give definitive answers. They talk in percentages that never include 100%.

The second option was to let him go. They were fairly certain that at this point, if they were to remove the respirator, he would not be able to breathe on his own. His breathing would get slower and slower, his heart rate would decrease, and he would die. What? Those are my only two options? There had to be something better – an option they hadn't considered. I couldn't choose between those two things. But as his wife, I had to choose, and it was only my choice that mattered.

I'm sure there was discussion with the family, however it is only Alan's mom's position that I remember. She wanted her son, even if he was in a vegetative state for the rest of his life he would still be alive. She wouldn't have to let him go. I wondered just what she would be holding on to, but she was insistent.

When it became clear that I was going to have to make a decision, my first thought was that Alan would have never wanted to live out his years in a nursing home. Putting a gun to your head is not a cry for help, it's a decision to end the pain. There was also a selfish side to my thoughts. Keeping him breathing would mean that I would spend the rest of my life married to someone who could never love me back. I would be charged with caring for the shell of the man I once knew. There would be no children, no home with a white picket fence. My life, my marriage, would be about caring for someone who likely wouldn't even know I was there, and definitely couldn't give me any care in return. I couldn't imagine it. I decided to let him finish what he had started – it was time to let him die.

When the moment came to turn off the respirator, I wanted to be alone with him, but knew his parents – his brother – would want to be there too. What I didn't expect was that his brother would want his girlfriend there. I didn't want her there. She wasn't part of this family and she didn't need to gawk at Alan's death, but I had no fight left. I gave in and let her stay.

This was my first (and only) experience watching someone die. When they turned the respirator off, there was nothing but the sound of Alan breathing. We stood by the side of his bed and watched as his chest rose and fell slower and slower, until there was no breath left. He immediately transformed from my dear husband, with warm hands and skin full of life, to something, not someone, gray and cold. I believe I watched his soul leave his body at that very moment. I stood there briefly, making sure he wasn't going to start breathing again, then turned and left the room.


I will post my Sunday Secret tomorrow morning (almost as sacred as HNT) and will follow tomorrow evening with Part 8 of the Suicide Story. Monday I will post an Epilogue of sorts, explaining some of the missing pieces of how I got from there to here, what the ramifications of my actions were from the almost 2 years prior to "A"'s suicide, and how his suicide has impacted me - both bad and good (because there are some of each).


Suicide, The First Moments - Part 6

If you haven't read Parts 1 - 5, you can find them here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


*WARNING* Parts of this story are quite graphic and may be disturbing to some of you.


On January 16th, 1990 I went to work as I did every day. I tried to call “A” before I left work to see if there was anything I needed to pick up on my way home. He didn't answer the phone. I had a moment of panic – a premonition? Where could he be? This was out of character for him. I had the truck which left him on foot. I reasoned with myself, there was no need to panic, he was probably just taking a shower. I left a message on the answering machine for him to call in the next 30 minutes if he needed anything. When I didn't hear from him, I left work and headed home.

To this day, the feelings I had, the things I saw, when I walked through that door remain amazingly vivid. They play back in my mind when I least expect them and, no matter how unwelcome they are. I've tried to push them into the depths of my memory, and still they come. As I walked in the door I said, "Hi honey," and got no response. I glanced into the living room and saw my husband sitting on the floor, his back against the sofa, but slumped forward. My mind saw ketchup on the side of his head. I didn't see the gun until I got closer. I muttered, “'A', that isn't funny! Wipe that ketchup off your head!” He didn't answer. It wasn't ketchup. My husband of 4 months had put a .22 caliber handgun to his right temple and pulled the trigger.

I immediately called 9-1-1 and explained what had happened. They asked that I check to see if he had a pulse, but I was afraid to touch him. I could see his chest moving up and down – I knew he was breathing – why did I need to check his pulse? They insisted and I walked over to him and found his pulse. It was then that I found the suicide note. As I waited on the line for the EMT's to arrive, I started reading the note. It didn't make any sense. There was an apology, random thoughts about being afraid he was going to kill someone and a reference to the demons that lived in his head. I didn't even get through the first paragraph before the EMT's, and the police, were at the door. I put the note down and hung up the phone.

The EMT's moved “A” on his back to put him on a stretcher. He started gasping for air and making strange gurgling sounds. I became hysterical. The police moved me out of the living room and told me I needed to call family so they could meet me at the hospital. I had no idea how I was going to do that. What was I going to say?

I called little brother first. I said, ""I don't know how to tell you this but 'A' shot himself in the head." He wailed “NOOOOOOO!” into the phone. In between both our sobs, I told him which hospital to go to. I was worried about him driving to get there.

My next call was to “A”'s aunt. She was quite calm and told me she would take care of notifying the rest of “A”'s family. I was herded out of the condo and into a police car. I knew I was on my way to the hospital and I knew everything would be alright as soon as I was. What I didn't know was that I would be required to make a stop at the police station before going to the hospital.

A funny thing happens when someone is shot, even if it appears to be self-inflicted. Anyone who has contact with that person is considered a suspect in the shooting. It didn't matter that I knew I was nowhere near him when he pulled the trigger – the police didn't know that and they had to consider I may have shot my husband. Instead of going straight to the hospital, we went straight to the police station. I was required to write out my statement before they would take me to see my husband. I couldn't even think rationally, let alone write anything coherent. To this day I have no idea what my statement said. I just wrote as quickly as I could so that the police would take me where I needed to be.

When I arrived at the hospital, all of “A”'s family was there waiting. They wanted answers – answers I didn't have. Why did he do this? What did the note say? I really didn't know. A doctor came down the hallway and asked us to follow him to a private room. It was there that he told us that the .22 round had gone through “A”'s head, but had bounced around before exiting. He had severe brain damage – damage that he would likely not recover from. He needed to know what I wanted to do. They could operate, removing a blood clot from his brain, and he would probably be able to breathe on his own. I was paralyzed with fear. I didn't know what to do and I asked the doctor for time to think.

23 May 2008

Suicide, The Beginning of the End - Part 5

If you haven't read Parts 1 - 4, you can find them here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


When we returned from our honeymoon, I started looking for another job. I was concerned that my illegal activities at work would catch up with me. I was paranoid, and rightfully so. I had been stealing from an employer who had given me a chance when I so desperately needed one.

I found another bookkeeping position with a local chain of grocery stores. The pay was great and the corporate office was within walking distance of our condo. It was yet another undeserved fresh start, and I kept waiting for the past to catch up with us. We never heard anything from the landlord in Wisconsin, and other than nasty letters from a collection agency that were easily ignored, there seemed to be little fallout from our months of of cheating the system in Wisconsin. I should have known things would spiral again.

Just a few weeks into my new position, “A” picked me up from work. The entire front end of the Isuzu was smashed in. The radiator was leaking and “A” was in a panic. He was involved in an accident at the intersection just a few blocks from our home and he drove away. There were other vehicles involved in the crash and he thought people were injured. He had been drinking all day. He didn't know what to do, nor did I. How do you fix something like this?

As we were headed home, there were several police cars and ambulances at the intersection. We took the back way to the condo to avoid any additional attention, but it was when he parked that I noticed the front license plate was missing from the truck, most likely left at the scene of the crash. When we got upstairs we devised a plan - “A” would continue drinking so that he could claim he had only started drinking when he returned from the crash, and I would call the police, telling them I thought he might have been involved in an accident. After about an hour, I did just that.

The police arrived and found our story highly suspicious. They knew, as well as we did, that there was far more to the story than we were sharing. They charged “A” with failure to yield and hit and run – they could not charge him with DUI as it had been over an hour since the crash and they had no way of proving that he had been drinking at the time of the crash, no matter what their suspicions were. It was the beginning of the end.

“A” sank farther and farther into what I now know was significant depression. He even asked me at one point if things could ever get so bad that I would take my own life. I thought it was an odd question - that he must be really concerned about me - but I told him there was always hope. He was worried about the truck, the pending charges for the crash, but I remained positive. The truck could be fixed (we still had it insured) and we would find an attorney to help out with the charges against him. I asked him then and there if he would ever take his own life and he assured me it would never happen. He lied.


21 May 2008

HNT - Memorial Day

“It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”

~ Norman Schwarzkopf

*You know what to do if you want to see more*

Some of you may not know that I served 5 years in the U.S. Army - and yes - those are my original issue BDU's. It's been 13 years since I was active duty, yet not a day goes by where I do not think about those that served before me and those still serving.

During your picnics, barbecues and shopping, please take a moment to reflect on the reason we celebrate this holiday - to remember
and honor those who have given their lives in service to our country.

The National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed in Dec 2000 and asks that at 3 p.m. local time, all Americans "voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence ..." Please do!


Suicide, The Wedding - Part 4

There are parts of this story that I want to preface with an explanation, or maybe a justification. I want to be able to explain away the things I did - the choices I made. This is one of those times. It is extremely difficult for me to share who I was - likely because I've worked so hard to leave that person behind - and yet that person is still very much a part of me. I've promised myself that no matter how shameful the story is, I will trust the process and wait until the epilogue to share with all of you how I got from there to here with a little bit of dignity still in place.


We were able to put the current landlord off long enough to get my first paycheck from the new employer and pay the deposit and first month's rent on the loft in the city. Little brother had moved in with his girl friend's parents and we had packed up what little we could fit in the back of the Isuzu truck. “A” and I left in the middle of the night, in the cover of darkness, and drove to a rest stop in Minnesota. We spent the night at the rest stop, met the new landlord at the loft the following morning, signed the lease
and moved in.

The loft was beautiful! It was part of a warehouse conversion. It had 8' tall windows, exposed brick interior walls and a sleeping loft. It really was an amazing home for “A” and I. Not long after we moved in, “A” finally secured a job. He was working for a landscape company and one of his coworkers lived nearby and provided transportation daily. For the first time in almost a year, we were both working, we were able to pay our bills and we were once again “respectful” members of society. I even had the opportunity to meet “A”'s grandmother and aunts and uncles who were still living in Minnesota. Things were really looking up. That should have been my warning that the bottom was about to fall out ... again ...

“A” was back in touch with some of his childhood friends. One night he decided to go visit them. I had to work the next morning so stayed at home. I expected him home around midnight and became quite concerned when he still wasn't back by 2 AM – then the phone rang. It was one of those calls – the ones that start with, “The following is a collect call from the county jail. “A” is calling, will you accept the charges?” I should have said “No” and walked away, but I was in love, we were making plans for our wedding, for better or for worse, right?

This was the reason “A” had stayed out of Minnesota. He had outstanding warrants for drug possession charges - this was the reason he moved to California. The party he went to on this night got out of control, the police were called and “A” was taken to jail on his outstanding warrants. There was nothing I could do. We were paying our bills, but we had no extra money for bail. There was no way I was going to ask my family – or his – to help out in this situation. “A” spent the next 30 days in jail and was release on his own recognizance pending his court date. I spent those 30 days drinking myself into oblivion each night.

Just a few days after “A” was released from jail he had, what we would eventually learn was, a panic attack. I had medical coverage through my employer, and after a one-hour evaluation from a “mental health professional”, “A” was prescribed Xanax. Now, in addition to drinking, he was taking multiple doses of Xanax. I had no idea the quantities involved until we attempted to renew the prescription and were denied. Xanax is a controlled substance and refills are handed out on a schedule based on the prescribed dosage. “A” had been taking twice, sometimes three times, the dosage amounts. The meth had been replaced by alcohol and prescription drug addiction.

“A” was not the only one out of control. I started staying late at work, drinking at the bar. They let me drink for free and it was fun to hang out with "normal" people. Some mornings I would go into work and head straight to the bar to pour myself a drink before starting my work day. At least twice a week, I was driving home drunk. “A” lost his job due to his time in jail, and I was carrying the family financially again, only we were falling further and further behind with our finances. I started considering other ways to "earn" money from my employer to cover bills and our planned wedding.

There was a lot of cash that was relatively unaccounted for that came through my office daily. I knew enough about keeping books to be dangerous. The first time I took money from my employer, I took $100 dollars. I didn't spend it, wanting to make sure that I had covered my tracks as well as I thought I had. The money was never missed. Over the next few months, I took somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000 – enough to pay for our wedding and our honeymoon, as well as catch up our delinquent bills.

We looked like such a normal young couple to those looking in, but both of us were in the depths of self-loathing behavior. We often talked about what we were doing – how wrong it was – and how we could make amends when we finally got back on track – and I kept embezzling cash.

We planned our rooftop wedding, we sent invitations to the all of our family members, we made reservations for our honeymoon in Las Vegas and we continued living the lie. We were married at sunset on September 2nd, 1989 and we appeared to be happy. My parents were so impressed with the relationship that “A” and I had, and how far we had come since moving to Minnesota, that they set all of their previous concerns aside. I had become an expert at deception and I hated myself for it.

Suicide, Are We Home Yet? Part 3

If you haven't read them yet, here are PART 1 and PART 2


We signed a 6-month lease the next morning and moved what little we had into the small, 2-bedroom home we were renting. The landlord seemed a little concerned, but the house had been vacant for a number of months and he needed the rental income. We had two mattresses, our clothes, a few linens and basic kitchen utensils – everything else had been pawned or sold for drugs before we left San Diego, or left behind when we skipped out that November night.

We hadn't considered that we would also need money to have our utilities turned on, so the new home was without heat, hot water, gas or a phone. With little brother's income from Perkin's, we were certain we could have the utilities turned on in just a matter of days. Now that we had an actual address, it was also going to be easier for “A” and I to secure jobs.

It wasn't long before I got a waitressing position at the local pub/restaurant. I was only working the lunch shift, but the tips were decent and gave us some much needed cash. One of the perks of my job was getting lunch for free. Since most of our cash was now funding our alcohol use, I was able to bring lunch home each day for the three of us to share. The portions were huge, and even though it was just one meal for the three of us, it took the edge off the hunger. At this point, the alcohol was far more important than food, and no one was giving us alcohol for free.

It was during the first weeks of my new job that we had the first issue with the credit card. I went to the local gas station and filled the truck up with gas, got a few food items from the store and went to the cashier to pay. I gave her the credit card. She looked at the card and informed me that they would no longer accept the card for payment. Not only that, but I owed over $400 in charges that had been declined and charged back to the gas station. I didn't have any cash – none – and at the very least I needed to pay for the gas that I had just put in my truck, but I couldn't. I didn't know what to do.

I left the food items on the counter and headed back out to my truck. I knew the clerk was calling the police, but I was out of options. I left, and hid the truck in the back yard of the house we were renting. We had just lost our transportation – this was a small town and the Isuzu truck with the California plates was going to be an easy mark.

When we lost the use of the truck, little brother also lost his job. The Perkin's restaurant was too far for him to to walk, and because of the trouble I was in with the gas station, we couldn't let anyone local know where we lived. I continued working at the pub/restaurant, but the tips weren't covering anything more than beer and a few personal hygiene items. I was stealing food from the restaurant - items that people had ordered but hadn't finished - so that we could eat more than just the meal I was able to bring home "legally." We were still without heat, hot water, gas or a phone.

Rent was due again. There was no way we could pay, nor could I ask another family member for help. We spent that month wrapped in blankets and eating the food that I was able to sneak out of the restaurant. That Christmas Eve, we decided we needed some “normalcy” for the holiday, so after all of the Christmas tree lots closed, we took the truck and stole a Christmas tree. We leaned it up against the living room wall that night and sang drunken Christmas carols. That was about as “normal” as things ever got.

Dispersed through the mayhem, there was a bright moment. I continued applying and interviewing for jobs in the accounting field. One of those applications was at a sports bar - it was a bookkeeping position. I did get the job, but it required quite a commute each day. It was across the border, in Minnesota, so there was less concern about the truck being spotted in Wisconsin, but this was a new restaurant that wouldn't be opening for another 4 weeks.
We continued to just get by, as long as we had our alcohol we were happy, but we knew we had to make plans for another late-night skip. I didn't feel good about any of this, but the landlord was looking for rent and we were no closer to having rent money than we were to having the utilities turned on.

During this time, little brother met a girl and was planning on moving in with her. “A” and I were going to finally be on our own, but where that was going to be remained a daunting question.
I decided to start looking for places to rent in the twin cities. Maybe, if I fudged the truth a bit (deception was becoming second nature), we could get into a new apartment there.

I found a loft condo for rent in the city. “A” and I went to look at the place and it was perfect. It was a huge step up from where we were and it cut my job commute in half. We talked to the landlord – told him we had just gotten into town and that we would like to start renting the following month. He rented to us based on my pending employment and didn't ask for references. All that we needed to do was stay under the current landlord's radar for a few weeks and we'd get that fresh start once again.

This had to be our much needed break ...

20 May 2008

Suicide, Warm Thoughts. Part 2

You can find Part 1 of this story by clicking [HERE]


It was November of 1988 when we headed north to Minnesota. Not the best time to make a trip north, but at this point it was a necessity. We loaded what little we had left into the back of my Isuzu pick-up truck and rented a small U-Haul trailer for the rest of it. We left the apartment in the middle of the night, skipping out on our obligations.

The drive was difficult at best. The three of us (“A”'s little brother came with us) were packed together in the Isuzu, and we were all going through drug withdrawals. About 5 hours into the trip we considered turning around and heading back. At least we knew who to get drugs from in San Diego. Maybe we could just cut back a little bit on the meth until we could quit. Maybe we could still make things work in San Diego. We knew better, so stopped at the next liquor store, picked up a couple of 40's and continued driving. Alcohol would be our way to cope.

We drove and drank – drank and drove. Hours and hours, miles and miles, until we finally crossed into Minnesota. We were all tired, hungry, crabby and a little too sober. I found it odd that “A” insisted we actually drive into a little town in Wisconsin – on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border – rather than finding a place to stay in Minnesota. Months later I would discover why this was so important.

Super 8 was the first motel we came to after crossing the Wisconsin state line. We, checked in, asking for the weekly rate. We had a plan. We would use the motel for temporary housing – maybe a week or two – until we could secure jobs and find a place to rent. Unfortunately, it was another plan doomed to fail. None of us had resumes or local references – not even a permanent address.

Against those odds, little brother secured a bus boy position at the local Perkin's Restaurant within a week and a half of our arrival. We had been looking at places to rent and we knew we could save enough for a deposit on a place with just two of little brother's paychecks. It had been 10 days since anyone had done any meth. Sure, we we drinking a lot of alcohol, but that was different. We were all certain we were on track for success.

At the two week mark of our Super 8 stay, we were told the credit card company would not authorize any additional charges on the credit card. We needed to check out the following morning. We had no where to go and no money to rent a place. We checked out of the hotel the next day in a bit of a panic.

We settled on sleeping in the truck at the nearby rest stop until we could come up with a place to stay. At least the rest stop was safe and had restrooms. We still had money for gas and food – the local gas station wasn't preauthorizing the credit card for charges so they weren't aware that charges were actually being declined. The drawback? November in Minnesota is COLD. Sleeping in the truck was not only uncomfortable for the three of us, but nearly impossible for any longer than an hour at a time. After an hour, the cold would wake us and we'd have to start the truck again to get warm. It was yet another “bottom” and one that I could help us out of.

We found a house in town that was available to rent. While discussing the terms of the lease with the landlord, we found we would need $600 to move in. My family had no idea the direction my life had taken. I didn't talk to them often, and when I did I was very vague about what was happening. I couldn't fathom the idea of asking either of my parents for help. Instead, I decided to call my aunt – one of my mom's sisters that I was quite close to – to see if she'd be willing to help.

I went to a pay phone and made the collect call. I briefly explained the details, leaving out those that were alarming enough that she might feel compelled to share them with my mother. She was able to help and wired the money to the local Western Union office the next day. We would be able to take immediate possession of the rental house as soon as we had the cash. One more cold, frequently interrupted night's sleep in the truck and we would have a “home” to start our new lives in.

19 May 2008

Suicide, What Is Left? Part I

An odd thing happened back in January – January 18th to be exact. A fellow blogger, Real Live Lesbian, started publishing her very personal story regarding her suicide attempt [Click HERE to read it]. The date was significant – it was the 18th anniversary of the day I decided to let my husband of only 4 months, complete his suicide attempt. After 2 days in the ICU, and confirmation that he was brain dead, I gave the doctors authorization to “pull the plug.” No 24 year old wife should ever have to make such decisions.

This story has haunted me since it began and has had significant impact on the woman I've become. This is not a happily-ever-after story, but it is one I need to make real by finally putting it into my own words. This series of posts will be made out of selfishness – an attempt to clear my mind of some of the guilt that holds me back from living the life I deserve. There will likely be parts of this story that many of you find extremely disturbing, and I may even lose a few of you in the process, but I need to do this for my own sanity.

I've got to start at the beginning – where it all started for me. You may learn some things about me that you don't like – you may find that we have some history in common. I just ask that you read with an open mind and realize that I was a well educated, bright young woman who stepped into this life quite accidentally, but didn't get out of it unscathed. This is the other side of the story – what happens to the people that suicide leaves behind.


It was the summer of 1988. I was 23 years old, living in San Diego, working for a construction company as a bookkeeper, and trying to find my way in life after recently ending a 2 year marriage that was filled with emotional abuse and infidelity. “A” worked for the same construction company. He was a laborer who
came into the office frequently, always friendly and always smiling. He invited me to a party, and although my shyness almost got the best of me, I decided to go. It was at this party that I was introduced to something that would rule my life for the next 18 months – crystal methamphetamine. It would be a love-hate relationship.

My infatuation with “A”, and with crystal meth, was almost immediate. They both gave me a wonderful feeling – a sense that I could accomplish anything. Within 2 months, “A” and I, and “A”'s younger brother, moved in to an apartment together. Our lives were filled work and drugs – we worked to pay for the drugs and we used the drugs to stay awake and “focused” so that we could work. Although “A” had many qualities that I adored, it was the drugs that held us together.

Then the world started to come down on us.
Both “A” and I were fired from the construction company due to our drug use, and our drug use kept us from securing new jobs. We began pawning everything we owned to get money for drugs. Bills were not paid – rent was not paid – but we always had drugs. One day though, as usually happens to addicts, we came to a place where we had nothing left to pawn, we had a 3-day eviction notice posted on our front door, and the repo man was looking for our only vehicle. It seemed we had hit that proverbial “rock bottom” and we decided it was best to take what little we had left and move to Minnesota (the childhood home of “A” and his brother). There, we could have a fresh start – away from the drugs – and we could start our life together clean and sober. It was a plan that would eventually take us to an even lower “rock bottom”

18 May 2008

Sunday Secret

At the age of 12, I knew I had become a "big, fat" embarrassment to at least one of my parents when my "mom" asked me to start calling her by her first name when we were in public places so that people wouldn't know I was her daughter ... and yes, she was serious.

16 May 2008

Plus-Sized Model?

I was over at Matty's Meaty Cupboard the other day reading his thoughts on MTV and America's Next Top Model (High Priced Hookers). Now, I've seen this show on occasion - my 13 year old step-daughter watches it incessantly - but it's not a show I seek out. When I ready Matty's piece, I thought I'd see what cheeseburger needing beautiful young girls were in the finals for cycle 10. Imagine my surprise at learning that the token "plus-size" (or as they like to call it in the industry, "full-figure") model was in the final three. Then, imagine my terror when I saw this photo of one of the final three contestants and discovered that she was the "plus-size" model!

What? You've got to be kidding me! This beautiful, healthy, 20 year old girl (Whitney Thompson) wears a size 8 - a 10 on a bloated PMS bad day - and we are going to call her a "plus-size" model? Since when did healthy become "plus-size"?

Much of what I've read on Whitney's win talks about how great this is for young girls - to see that even a "plus-size" girl can win America's Next Top Model. I say bullshit! What this does is distort the perception of "normal" even further.

Do you know what's even worse? For years, men (at the hands of women) have taken the brunt of the blame for encouraging the stereotype of super thin as attractive and sexy, and I don't believe it for a minute. It's not the men that encourage this stereotype, it's the women. I've read quite a bit on Whitney's win, and it's the women who say, "She sure put on a few pounds after they selected her," and "She looked better when she was thinner."

Looked better? She looks fabulous! Maybe as women we should stop being so critical of each other, and of ourselves, and recognize the beauty each one of us exudes.

14 May 2008

HNT - THREE Favorite Parts

It was three years ago that HNT began. What started with six participants in May of 2005 has grown to include hundreds of people from all over the world. I stumbled upon it quite accidentally when just a few months ago, I saw a blog post titled "HNT" and sent the blogger an email asking what "HNT" stood for. A Google search later, a little research on Osbasso's site and I was ready to give it a shot! It's been a short, but wonderful exploration into who I am. As if self-discovery weren't enough, I'm also finding amazing support and friendship through the HNT community.

In celebration of the THREE year anniversary of HNT, Os implemented a THREE theme! I am honoring the theme with a picture of my THREE favorite body parts - my hands, my neck and ... well ... *blushes* ... my breasts.

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci

(click for the original pic)


Shared iPod Shuffle

I tend to be a bit of a mean mom an "old fashioned" parent. Cam, 12, does not have a Wii, or any other gaming console for that matter. He does have a PSP which is currently being held hostage until his grades improve. His cell phone is for special event use only (i.e., I'm dropping him off at baseball practice, he's out riding his bike, etc.) and the poor, mistreated child does not have an iPod, instead he has to share mine!

This morning, as I was perusing Google Reader and trying to catch up on my blog reading, I had a seat on the Big Leather Couch and read Vince's iTunes Shuffle Game post. The "rules" are fairly simple - sit down with your iTunes, iPod or whatever mp3 music player you have, select your entire collection to play, make sure your settings are on shuffle all songs, hit play and record the first 3,4,5,6 songs that come up. I decided on 4 songs. I knew this would be interesting - Cam and I listen to very different types of music, but I got a better variety than I thought I would.

First one to play was his and is proof that peer pressure is alive and well. We live in the puckies rural Illinois where Country and Western is an acceptable genre of music for the pre-teen crowd. Now, you won't find any C & W in our home or in our cars, but it lives on the iPod. I had hopes to avoid videos in this post, but this one was only available in a video format.

The second song to play? Well this one is Cam's as well, although I'll admit to listening it on occasion.

Number 3? Well, I was starting to wonder if any of my music was actually going to show up. Again, this one is Cam's, but I was a little surprised to find that he had downloaded the acapella version. I guess his taste in music really isn't too bad!

Finally! Song 4 is actually one of mine, and a Simon & Garfunkel tune at that!

So what's on your iPod that might surprise me?

13 May 2008

TMI Tuesday

TMI Tuesday

1. Is there a TV show you HAVE to watch? If so, what is it?

There aren't any TV shows I have to watch, but there are a handful I like to watch: House, Criminal Minds, CSI (Las Vegas - the original), Numb3rs and Law and Order: Criminal Intent are my top 5.

2. What is you favorite drink if you are going to drink more than one?

Non-alcoholic? Coffee, but none of that froo-froo-poo-poo soy vanilla whipped blah, blah, blah. Give me a cup of Joe, preferable STRONG, with a little bit of skim milk.

Alcoholic? Grey Goose Vodka on the rocks with a lime twist.

3. How long do you carry guilt around with you?

It depends on what the guilt relates to. I'm not one who generally feels "guilty" except when it comes to my son. When I know I've made a bad parenting decision - something that I think could have long-term impact on my son - I carry a great deal of guilt. I like to think that is somewhat "constructive" guilt. What is "constructive" guilt? It's the stuff that keeps me from making the same bone-headed mistake multiple times.

4. Where is or would be your number one romantic get away spot?

I'm a firm believer that romance is a "crime" of opportunity. It's not about the place - it's about the moment.

5. Have you ever seen a counselor?

Last Thursday!

I've actually seen a counselor at three different times in my life. The first time was in 1990 after my husband's suicide. I went for a few months - I should have gone much longer.

The second time was after I relocated, half way across the country, in 1998 - the result of a corporate buy-out. It was a difficult time for both Cam and I, but a friendly face to talk to once a week made the transition bearable.

Now I'm in round three of counseling and this time it's family counseling. Not sure of the outcome on this one, but having a sane, impartial voice in the process has been extremely helpful to me.

I used to think counseling was for weak people, but then I had an epiphany. It really takes a strong person to step outside of themselves and seek help.

Bonus (as in optional): Last summer the Archives of Sexual Behavior revealed the 237 reasons people have sex and the Top 50 Reasons Men and Women Have Sex. What are your top 5 reasons?

Here you go - in no particular order:

  • I want to give the gift of sexual pleasure to someone else
  • I want to feel desired
  • I am sexually aroused and want the release
  • I want to experience physical pleasure.
  • I desire emotional and physical closeness (intimacy)

12 May 2008

Are You Sure You Want to Go There?

I work in accounting. My job is usually quite routine and doesn't require much interaction with our outside sales force. Quite honestly, this is a good thing because I just don't think they are as wonderful as they think they are. I make sure they get their expense reimbursement and commission checks and everyone is happy ... usually ...

Today is Monday, so we must have an exception, right? There has got to be some asshole sales rep who is pissed off that he didn't get laid this weekend he had a
boring weekend and he's got to find someone to take that out on. I understand that, but next time he might want to choose someone other than me.

See, I am relatively easy to get along with, that is until you decide to be a prick demanding. As is the case in all offices, we have a procedure for processing expense checks. It's not a perfect process - there are a few steps that are somewhat repetitive - but if everyone does what they are supposed to do, expense reports submitted by Monday are paid by Friday.

Now, just because I print and mail the checks does not mean I am the one who is holding up your expense check. When I patiently explain to you where the hold-up is in the process (your local bookkeeper, not me at the corporate level), and then empathize with your whiny ass frustration over the delay, I do not expect you to get shitty with me, make unreasonable demands and talk to me like I'm 12. Remember? I am the last person who has a hand on your expense check before it leaves this building.

Oops! Did I miss the mail pick-up today? What? The delivery address was not visible through the window in the envelope? Really? That was $925.75 and not $25.75? I must have made a keying error! Oh! I put that in the wrong overnight envelope - sorry about that!

11 May 2008

Sunday Secret

I was 10 when I found my mom's vibrator and book on female orgasms in her closet. I had my first orgasm that day and have never stopped!

10 May 2008

It Was a Beautiful Day For Baseball

I figured it was time for one of those "proud mom" posts, being that Mother's Day is tomorrow!

Today was the first day since Cam's season started that it was actually enjoyable (weather wise) to sit on the bleachers and watch him play, and boy did he (and the team) play ... well after warming up and rolling around in the grass!

Cam is playing first base this year. It seems this coach realizes that his height and good glove would be better used at first base rather than at catcher - the only position he had played the previous two seasons. Having moved into the Major League this year, competition for positions is tough, and there were two other catchers who outperformed Cam. He was a bit disappointed in the beginning, but he seems to be enjoying this new found place on the team.

Although this photo doesn't show it, his hitting has been his strong point. Seven games into the season his average is just under .500. In his two at bats today he had a stand-up double and a strike out - and he went down swinging.

His team won today, 1-0 and they are 5-2 for the season. Oh, and we've managed only one rain out which for a Chicago spring isn't bad at all!

09 May 2008

Michael Moore - White Guy Standards

Have I ever mentioned my hatred extreme distaste of Michael Moore? I have always felt he is the epitome of the classic Snake Oil Salesman - spinning the truth in so many directions that it becomes unclear where he even started from. His recent interview with Larry King where he discussed Jeremiah Wright was no exception.

If you can't stomach Michael Moore (which I can completely understand), here is the excerpt from this clip that I find most disturbing:

“[Y]ou have to ask yourself, Larry, what’s it like to be black in America? And what kind of rage would you feel? And if you did feel that rage, what kind of things would you say that, at times, would be outrageous, crazy even, because you’ve had to live through this for so long. And I do not believe, as a white guy, that I am in any position to judge a black man who has had to live through that.”

So, does this mean that all of black American is so oppressed that rage against whites specifically, and America generally, is completely understandable? Does this mean that no white has the right to "judge" Jeremiah Wright's comments by the same moral standards one might judge the comments of John Hagee?

I see this attitude as extremely detrimental to overcoming racism. We lower standards of admission to universities, we employ less qualified individuals for positions based on their race and we blame the high number of black men in prison for violent crimes on white racism. In essence, we are cultivating black victimhood and justifying encouraging black rage against America to continue by lowering the moral standards used to "judge" CITIZENS of this country.

Is racism still a problem in this country? Without a doubt! Is justifying rage against whites the way to fix it? I sure don't see that behavior as the least bit helpful - in fact I would argue that it does nothing more than increase black rage and black racism


Michael, from Daddio's Daily Dose has posted PART FIVE in his series Save Thee? Or Sell Thee? If you have been reading this series get over there and finish it - if you haven't, what's wrong with you? It's a great, thought provoking read!