30 March 2012

Friday Wrap Up


I haven't been so happy to see a Friday in a L-O-N-G time. Why? Because this week was spring break, and a 16-year old man-child with nothing constructive to do for 9 consecutive days is a disaster waiting to happen.

Just ask the mother of "tuck-n-roll Matt". You remember, don't you? The kid I had to take to the ER a few weeks ago after he decided it would be a good idea to jump out of my car - while it was moving - because he didn't want to go home? Yeah ... this week he decided going to a party and drinking excessively (as in he was a babbling idiot) was a good idea because even though I told him he couldn't spend the night during spring break, I would certainly change my mind because calling his mother to pick up his drunk ass would be akin to throwing him under a bus!

I called his mother to pick up his drunk ass.

And if you are curious? Cam did not drink, but that doesn't imply he was an angel.


I had my first (and second) designer cupcake last night. What? You think we have a designer cupcake bakery in Podunk?

Mike brought these down from a shop in Milwaukee.

My first foodgasm was induced by one of those pink jobbers on the center left - Strawberry Champagne. My second (I'm so glad foodgasms come in multiples) was the result of my palate being fondled by a Vanilla Bean cupcake (top right).


Last week, I was reminded once again, of my propensity to cause a ruckus when working with a team of women. See, I don't do the touchy-feely thing well, and generally? Women prefer opinions to be presented in a roundabout, less direct manner.

With a little dash of passive-aggressive.

And a heaping cup of understanding and praise.

Hell! Cam doesn't even get that!



Hey! If you're not doing anything Sunday (and it's not Easter, so don't pretend you are going to church), Mike and I will be hanging out with Jay and Matt on I'm With Stupid at noon eastern time on their show - appropriately titled - Rock the Cradle of Love:

What's it like to be in a relationship with someone many years older or younger? Well, this week Jayman and Matt-Man are going to discuss these May-December loves with our good friends Dana and Mike. They can tell us what it's like to be the Cougar and the Cub and all the ups and downs of being involved with someone from a different generation. So join us as we analyze this phenomenon and even call in with your questions and comments.

This should be fun ...


26 March 2012

One Step, Two Step, Red Step, Blue Step


As husband and I move forward with our lives separately, I've been reflecting on my own grief process. Those 5 steps of grief? Damn if they don't apply to marriages that can't even be classified as 'happy-for-the-most-part!'

Doesn't it always start with denial? I was in this stage long before I ever moved out of husband's house. I continued to question whether the things that were happening in that relationship were 'normal' and 'deserved'. Maybe if I were thinner, prettier, made more money, was a better parent, the marriage would work? Maybe I was making a mountain out of a molehill? I got comfortable taking all of the blame for what was wrong - that was the only way I could justify having any control over making it right.

When I learned that husband's friends, family and co-workers still believed I was living in the house - that the marriage was just fine? That's when I realized just how creepy denial can be.

Then along came anger. I was stuck here for a good year, some might argue it was where I stayed so that I could continue playing the victim. *stomps feet* It wasn't fair! I had given everything financially and emotionally to this marriage, and he had not. I was making 1/3 of what husband earned, and trying to support both Cam and me on that amount, often frequenting the food bank when there was no money left for groceries. I was in such financial ruin that I had to file bankruptcy and yet he complained about covering the $30/month for insurance on my car. I was PISSED!

I was kind of hoping to skip over bargaining, but damn if I didn't land there too! For about 6 months I went on a bargaining binge. I started spending more time with husband - going out on 'dates' - stopping by the house to chit-chat. Maybe this could work if we just waited until Cam finished high school. It was Cam, and my relationship with Cam, that was the problem (Can you see the sarcasm dripping from those words?). Maybe if I found a better job, took off the weight I had regained, we could have the happily-ever-after I had dreamed of, right? Right???
Depression didn't want to be left out either. Depression has been a constant companion of mine for most of my life. Separating from husband brought depression within arms reach again, and once in a while it even decided to sit on my lap. At one point, my good buddy depression attempted to suffocate me, all but putting a plastic bag over my head and securing it with duct-tape. There have been some terribly dark times these past 27 months, and although I still have those dark times, they last only a day or 2 instead of a month or 2.

*sun breaks through the clouds and glitter falls from the sky and inspirational music is heard across the land* 
Ahhhh ... acceptance. Dreams are difficult for me to let go of, even when it becomes abundantly clear that the dream, in its current configuration, just wasn't meant to be. It took some pretty significant events (husband not acknowledging Cam at Christmas, nor on his 16th birthday - husband's refusal to help out (even a little bit) financially to make the Cavy safe for me and Cam to drive, yet spending $40K+ on a new car for himself) for me to realize that my dream was not his dream, and it never would be.

Accepting that - being okay with letting go of that one-sided dream with husband - has allowed me to focus on myself - to work on making myself the best "me" I can be.

It has also put me in a place where I can deal with dissolving the relationship in a businesslike fashion rather than getting all emotional about it, which is a very good thing as I'll be moving what's left of my and Cam's lives out of husband's house in the next 30 days.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a little sad, but the sadness is overshadowed by the knowledge that there will be (and are) good things in mine and Cam's lives again.

Who knew all that it would take to do that were 5 little steps?


21 March 2012

Clicking Is Caring


Slacktivism, defined by the Urban Dictionary (next thing you know I'll be using Wikipedia citations) as:
the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem

Ahhhh ... remember the good old days? If you didn’t like the way things were you really had only two options - sit back and ignore it, or trudge out into the REAL world and fight it (which usually consisted of making picket signs, attending protest marches, writing multiple letters to the editor, and dialing hundreds of phone numbers - gathered from the phone book - using a rotary dial phone)!

No more! Now you can tell the world you support the invisible children of Uganda even though you likely cannot find Uganda on a world map! You can sign a petition to stop free closed captioning of TV programs from being eliminated. That's right! You can solve the world's problems with a retweet or a like/share on facebook!

There is no need to leave your sofa! Now you can be an activist without the risk ... well ... except for that damn carpel tunnel issue.

Just ask the Red Cross. Their national chapter has over 208,000 likes on Facebook and more than 200,000 twitter followers, yet in 2009, actual online monetary donations made up just 3.6% of private donations. In other words, hundreds of thousands of people like what the organization is doing (or at least want their "friends" to think they like what the organization is doing) and feel that liking what they are doing is good enough. Few are compelled to actually ... say ... spend their time or their money to show support.

In Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker essay titled Small Change, he points out that the lunch counter sit-in at the Woolworth's in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina - an event that launched a civil-rights war that engulfed the South for most of the 60's - happened without e-mail, texting, Facebook, or Twitter.

And unlike campaigns launched on social media networks, real change was made.

Funny what happens when the change you are fighting for involves personal risk. Not the risk that you'll be unfollowed by someone you don't even know on twitter, or unfriended by your BFF from high school's teen daughter. I'm talking risk that might cause you to be arrested, lose your job, or even be killed.

Real risk ... for real change ...

Sure, you're reblogging/liking/retweeting of the Kony 2012 video made you look "enlightened" to the 1,782 idiotic followers you have, but those children in Uganda?

Still "invisible".

And the change you think you are creating with your slacktivism?

It's still invisible too!


19 March 2012

When Gated Communities Are The Bad Part Of Town


By now, you've probably heard the story of Trayvon Martin - a 17-year old A/B student, visiting relatives in a gated community in Sanford, Florida, walking down the street with a hoodie on (it was raining) and armed with the ever threatening can of Arizona Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles.

He was gunned down by 28-year old criminal justice student George Zimmerman, the self-appointed head of the neighborhood watch at the Retreat of Twin Lakes, and the proud owner of a 9mm handgun and a concealed carry permit.

Was George Zimmerman's murder of Trayvon Martin (no, Zimmerman has not been charged, but I fail to see how a 250 lb. man with a 9mm handgun can claim "self defense" against a 140 lb. 17-year old armed with Skittles and an Arizona Ice Tea) racially motivated? I don't know, but I do know:

1) Zimmerman, a citizen, had no legal authority to follow, stop or detain anyone for being "suspicious"

2) Zimmerman, while in a vehicle, followed a teenage boy who was doing nothing more than walking on the side of the street wearing a hoodie

3) When Zimmerman called 9-1-1 to report the "suspicious" teenage boy, police dispatch told him to stop following Trayvon Martin

4) Zimmerman, willfully and intentionally, got out of the safety of his vehicle, bringing his 9mm handgun with him

5) Trayvon Martin was unarmed

6) Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin

As the parent of a black son, I know that Cam sometimes carries the burden of other people’s suspicions.  Some of you might take offense to me referring to Cam as black, but you'll have to trust me here, when people look at Cam they don't say, "Look at that half black, half white kid." Their perception is that Cam is black, therefor Cam is black.

I've had parents of Cam's friends say things like, "You know Cam, if you are standing on a street corner people automatically think you are selling drugs," and, "If you dressed more "white" people would treat you differently." I guess that means the responsibility to avoid racial stereotypes lies squarely on Cam's shoulders? That Cam should never stand on street corners and should only wear khaki cargo shorts and pastel polo shirts?

At 15, and just months after getting his driver's permit, Cam was pulled over in our predominately white community. A local police officer followed us (Cam was driving, I was the passenger) from the strip mall in town to our apartment (about 2 miles). When Cam pulled into a parking space in our lot, the police officer blocked him in. When we got out of the car, the officer demanded to see Cam's permit, but gave no reason nor justification for doing so.

My guess? It was that DWB (Driving While Black) thing we white folks hear about but tend to brush aside as those black folks having a chip on their shoulder. Similar to their demands for a Black History Month, it's just something made up - something they need to get over.

I believe it is likely that race (or, at the very least, prejudice) was a factor in Cam's being pulled over for a "permit check". I believe it is likely that race (or, at the very least, prejudice) was a factor in the murder of Trayvon Martin.

This is the reality I send my (black) son into each and every day ... and it scares the shit out of me.


18 March 2012

Sunday Secret



14 March 2012

Lessons Learned Last Night


  • The only thing keeping us from killing our kids when they turn into teenagers is the fact that we've already spent $200,000+ of the estimated $226,920 it takes to raise them through age 18
  • $226,920 would buy a nice home in most areas of the United States
  • It's not just your own teenager you will want to kill
  • Teenagers think walking 10+ miles, on a busy highway, in the dark, wearing all black, is a responsible thing to do
  • Teenagers get mouthy when you pick them up on said highway - at the 6 mile mark - and insist they get in the car
  • It is difficult to drive and simultaneously strangle your teenager
  • Teenagers will jump out of a moving car, when the car is traveling under 5 mph
  • Some teenagers will jump out of a moving car when the car is traveling over 5 mph
  • The success rate for teenagers landing on their feet when they jump out of a car traveling under 5 mph is 100% - over 5 mph 0% (your results may vary)
  • Although all of your neighbors will peek out from their windows and gape from their balconies while your teenager goes on "FUCK YOU! I FUCKING HATE YOU!" raging rant in the parking lot, they won't call the police
  • They will give you "the look" the following morning
  • Teenagers think they are tough punching walls in anger
  • Patching drywall is a skill
  • There is a special tingly feeling you get when calling the parent of a teenager who has just jumped out of your moving car, when the car was traveling over 5 mph, has a lump the size of a cutie on his head and has an elbow that looks like ground beef, to meet you at the local ER
  • The ER staff will act like teenagers always jump out a moving cars when they are traveling over 5 mph
  • There is nothing quite as joyful as hearing the phrase "It's just a hematoma" at 11:37 on a Tuesday night
  • A hand-washed PE uniform will dry in a paper bag in a 300 degree oven(don't ask)

12 March 2012

My Favorite Stalker


Once upon a time, there was a boy who worked as a grant writer in Milwaukee.

One day, he was reading blogs and saw one on a blogroll called Amid Life's Crises. For shits and grins (or was it out of sheer boredom?) he clicked on the link and started reading.

Well, maybe not reading ... maybe more like looking at the pictures.

He eventually did read the blog from cover to cover, more than once. We all know how difficult it is to look away from a train wreck, right? I'm fairly certain that's what happened here, although he tells a different story.

Eventually, the boy started following the girl on twitter. She had no idea when she reciprocated the follow that the boy stalked her knew her from her blog. Over the next few months, they had a few interactions on twitter. One day the conversation got a little flirtatious and the girl took it to DM.

Now, the girl had done this in the past with fairly consistent results. Public twitter conversation moves to DM. DMs lead to exchanging cell phone numbers - texting is so much easier than DM-ing. Exchanging cell phone numbers leads to the girl learning that the flirtatious DMs are coming from a married (or in a serious relationship) boy. The girl is then reminded that she is not good enough for someone who is actually available to her (Don't even start with me. That is how my brain works!).

This time was different.

The boy was single.

The boy confessed to his stalking prowess.

This should have terrified the girl, yet somehow she was strangely comforted in knowing that the boy knew her secrets, knew her past, knew she wasn't perfect, and still wanted to get to know her personally.

They met and have since celebrated their Plastic Straw Anniversary.

I'd love to tell y'all this story ends with a "And then they lived happily-ever-after," but I don't know that. There are many things that need to be taken care of (like my divorce from Voldemort - a.k.a. "husband" - which I anticipate is going to be ugly). I can tell you the prognosis is promising.

I can also tell you that My Favorite Stalker (Mike) has been a surprise addition to my (and Cam's) life. He treats us both with a level of respect and care we've never known.

Sure, he has his "flaws", like his odd ability to store sports statistics in his long-term memory and spew them at unsuspecting passers-by, but I'll take that "flaw" over Voldemort's demand that he have control over all of the car windows any day.

Ya know what I mean?


09 March 2012

Friday Wrap Up


Remember these? 

The little bits of the week that don't quite make up a blog post?

The weekly reflection of posts, comments and life in general?

Funny how rooted in tradition a blog can become. What? It's me who is rooted in tradition? You're kidding, right? I can be spontaneous ... or at least I can use spontaneous in a sentence!


In addition to leaving tumblr (with the door open) I've started spending a little more time on facebook (it's the only way I can play Bejeweled Blitz). As more and more of my family drinks the facebook Kool-Aid, it's also an efficient way to keep up with them ... and let them keep up with me.

The down side? Sometimes my dad talks about visiting porn sites on my facebook wall *rolls eyes*


Back to blogging just one week and I managed to pick up where I left off - irritating people who don't want to be publicly accountable, but do want to spew their vile rhetoric in a public forum.

My name is Dana and I am a troll.

I'm not the ugly kind of troll who hides under a bridge and leaves nasty comments anonymously, or the kind that writes comments and then deletes them so that the public can't see them but the writer can, or even the kind of troll who writes passive-aggressive posts in response to someone else's post never mentioning the person so that they can always claim they didn't say it.

Nope! I'm the kind of troll who will post a controversial opinion just to get people stirred up. The kind of troll who will call you on your shit in front of everyone without asking for your permission. Think of me as a Shrek troll. Shuddup! I know Shrek is an ogre, not a troll, but if he were a troll he would be just like me!

And you know what?

I'm good with that!


I need to do a Cam update (who is now officially old enough to drive and eligible to get his driver's license in June), a Voldemort update (my new nickname for "husband" because I know how much people love it when bloggers use aliases), and a "My-Favorite-Stalker" update (no, not you Kimmeh ... nor your buddy Denis).

Next week!

I promise!


08 March 2012

Gender Reveal Parties?


My friend Jana posted the following tweet yesterday:

I had never heard of a "Gender Reveal Party". My first thought was it must be an event where some of the attendees dress in drag and, throughout the night, everyone tries to guess their gender. After each party guest consumes the mandatory 20 Jell-O shots, someone rings the "Gender Reveal" bell and everyone takes off their clothes, revealing their gender.

Imagine my disappointment surprise when I googled the term and discovered a "Gender Reveal Party" was:

A popular party where an expecting couple, along with their friends and family, find out the sex of their baby for the first time in a creative way. The ultrasound technician seals the news in an envelope, which is then dropped off with a baker. The baker then bakes a cake with the appropriate gender color filling and/or cake color (that's blue for a boy - pink for a girl - gender stereotyping begins in utero now), but decorates it in a non-gender specific manner. At the party, the expecting parents cut the cake to learn the gender of their baby(ies), sharing that special moment with all of their guests.

Are you kidding me?

It seems like a really bad idea to give an uncomfortably pregnant woman, standing next to the man she will be screaming obscenities at during delivery, a sharp knife ... especially in front of a bunch of witnesses party guests.

We know the party guests are not giddy with anticipation of learning the baby's gender. Nooooo ... they are looking at the expecting parents, imagining them naked in the Carnal Crisscross position, which is a bit uncomfortable (and strangely erotic) for Great Aunt Betsy!

Look, I get that pregnancy is an exciting life event, but soon enough that little Crotch Parasite is going to escape from it's protective shell, screaming, spewing unidentifiable liquids from all of its orifices, and inducing sleep deprivation for the next 18 years.

My guess?

The parents are going to wish they attended my version of a "Gender Reveal Party" soon enough.


07 March 2012

When Jokers Go Bad


Seldom does a blog post piss me off to the point that I keep it in my reader for over a month just in case I start blogging again ... but THIS ONE did.

Not because it was written so poorly and was full of ignorance.

If you are going to go bat-shit crazy on Black History Month, you should probably do a little research to learn why it is we celebrate the month. It's difficult to take your post seriously when your argument is completely invalid because you obviously have no clue why it is a crucial observance in this country.

Not because those who have to tell me they aren't racist (his exact words were, "Now those of you who read this post and think I am a racist bastard...well...GO FUCK YOURSELF!") are usually the ones who truly are racist.

Not even because he included pics like THIS in his post.

No ... it pissed me off because I have little respect for people who need to spew highly offensive racial slurs to (attempt to) make their point. Especially when that someone happens to be a person I've met in person, had a few beers with, and who knows my son is half black.

It matters not that he called himself a spic (in case you aren't familiar, a derogatory and offensive term for people of Hispanic descent - assumed to be derived from a Spanish accented pronunciation of "No spic (speak) English") before he proclaimed, "The person who came up with Black History Month is a Nigger."

No ... his ignorance and racism are in no way abated by his clever use of mock self-loathing.

I might have been somewhat forgiving had his blatant racism appeared in just one post, but he decided to carry on the theme with THIS post and THIS post. All in the month that we celebrate Black History. Tasteless would be a great understatement.

He closes his post by stating:
So, in celebration of Black History Month, I say......
FUCK YOU! (emphasis his)
I would rather celebrate Let's be Human Month.......
I've got news for you Denis, if we celebrated Let's Be Human Month? You'd be left out of that celebration too!


04 March 2012

Sunday Secret



02 March 2012

Some People Think Dandelions Are Pretty


Most people think they are pesky weeds that are impossible to get rid of.

I'm a dandelion of the latter variety ... just when you think it is safe to clear me from your reader, I come back with a vengeance (or at least that is the plan).

My tumblr experiment is now over. Archives have been deleted. I wrote one last "Many of y'all are just cliquey, self-important, narcissists" post (Why go out with dignity when you have an opportunity to piss off the cliquey, self-important, narcissists?).


I just want to write.

I miss writing.

I miss the real blogging community.

Micro-blogging is for wussies.

I miss people who have the capacity to form a cohesive thought containing more than 50 words, and that doesn't include a picture of a cat, a saying about beards, or a profession of love for Nutella (that will only make sense if you've spent any time on tumblr).

Is this sounding smug?

Maybe a little bit like I think I am better than those people?


I don't think I am better than all of those people, but I know I am better than most some of them.


Ahhhhh ... it's good to be back!