Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Return of Random Wednesday!

Yeah....don't get all excited like I'm going to be doing this regularly, or anything....
  • I think I can say this now:  I'm sick of Taylor Swift.  Actually, I was sick of her about a year and a half ago, but I never said anything because, gee, it's Taylor Swift and how bad could she possibly be?  Not to say that she's bad, I just stopped caring.  We have now progressed from "Don't Care" all the way to "For the love of God, please stop".
  • It should also be mentioned, any time I am rolling my eyes about someone famous, that clearly I am not famous, or young and cute, or in any position to proclaim myself "better" than anyone who is famous, or talented, young and cute, or any combination of the three, but if you want to tell me to shut the hell up about it, save your breath.  I was a cynical harpie long before Taylor Swift was even born.
  • For those of you following along on Twitter, yes, I mentioned Jack Benny with the assumption that people would actually know who that was.
  • No, the fact that I'm old enough to know who Jack Benny is does not have anything to do with me being sick of Taylor Swift.  Does Taylor Swift know who Jack Benny is?  If she doesn't, can I hold that against her?
  • I'm about to get cozy with my cable bill.  Hold me.
  • Three weeks later, the so-called "Six Hour Afghan" is still not finished.  Can you say "Christmas Present"?  Don't worry, I'll pretend that was the plan all along.
  • The woman in our office who likes to declare "Pot Luck" every third Wednesday must be stopped!!!  I barely get around to cooking for the people I'm actually related to, and I'm supposed to contribute to the office, too?
  • On the other hand....YUM-O!  And thank you to all the people who like to show off their cooking skills at office potlucks...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No, Joe.

The "Mojo" and the "Nojo".

There is this guy in my company--soft spoken Texan--who likes to say that if you're being positive, that's your Mojo, and if you're being negative, that's "Nojo".

I like the sentiment.  In my life, having a positive outlook, or being proactive, or hell, even just being realistic and taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure a good ending in a bad situation, has been something for which I pride myself.  I prefer action to panic.  That's not to say that I never panic, it's just that I'd rather be in a situation where I could take an action to aid in a positive outcome than to sit around ringing my hands because someone else's actions were going to leave me completely screwed.

So we had a meeting...a meeting about the "Mojo" versus the "Nojo".  About how, instead of sitting around complaining, you should check yourself, and, try to contribute to the solution.

You wouldn't think something like that would cause any hardship, would you?  Some innocuous team-building C'mon-Get-Happy corporate workshop?  I didn't think so, either.

What occurred as a result of the Mojo v Nojo meeting was that now anytime anyone raises any kind of concern, legitimate or otherwise, they are being accused of having "Nojo".


Oh....mah-gawd.  I feel like I work in the pages of Animal Farm.  Whatever you do, don't disagree, or the pigs that are more equal that others will Trotsky your ass right out of town....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Straight-Up Nostalgia

This past weekend, I took my almost-out-of-high-school child Out West to look at some of the colleges of my youth--places where the people who would become some of the most important people in my life got their college educations, and where I narrowly avoided getting a degree of my own.
If only I could be a student now, knowing what I know now, and not being the dumb-ass I was when I first went to college.  I'm not one to regret much, but the cavalier attitude I had toward college at the time I was enrolled was certainly worth the lament I'm feeling.  I'm a stupid-head.  I didn't do the school justice, and my daughters are far better prepared to be successful at it than I ever was.
But, what can I say?  I started a career, and that career was way more fun than school, so, what else is a 20 year old going to do?  Pretty easy to figure that out.
What was somewhat striking about roaming around my former campus in particular was that while I felt a great deal of familiarity with the real estate, I didn't have a lot of "I remember whens" that went along with the campus itself.  Our tour took us right past the dorm room that my (still) best friend and I shared 25 years ago, and while I remembered the number (230W Grantham Hall, MSUM), there weren't a lot of "Barb and I had such CRAZY times there" memories that popped into my head.  We just...lived there.  It was the place that I had to go back to after doing radio.  You go from being some oddly popular person that people liked and paid attention to, to just another anonymous student, failing out of Psychology class because you're stupid enough not to get out of bed on time.  
In reality, college was just a back-drop to me when I attended--at least everything after my freshman year, just when classes should have started to get interesting.  It was almost a hindrance to my "other" life.  Now after being out of that "other" life for ten years, I can say with some certainty that I should have paid more attention to school than to radio.  Oh well.  I'm not dead, yet, after all.
Now that I am smart and college makes perfect sense to me, I'd much rather being doing that than the thing I am doing right now.  I guess it's what happens to you when you get beyond a part of your life where everything is handed to you (spoiled) and into the part where it's all up to you.  My kids, for the most part, are already there!  Incredible.  I'll be sure to remind them of how awesome that it when they are groaning about repaying their student loans.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Thing That Happens When You Actually Sit Down To Write

Somewhere on the road between Fargo and Grand Forks, you get about an hour with the teeny-weeny keybaod on your phone while The Kid drives...

--Listening to The Used singing their cool remake of the Queen/Bowie song "Under Pressure" and realizing with some certainty that Freddie Mercury's original ad-lib scat singing is something no other human should try to replicate. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. 
--Also noted on this trip, Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" has always been, and will continue to be a bit of ass-shaking perfection
--Gone the way on the dino, but of no importance to anyone: colored toilet paper. Huh? Anyone? Yeah, I told you it was completely unimportant...
--We toured a college (which will remain un-named for the moment, and you will soon learn why...) that my teenager declared "not pretty enough". And...that was actually one her reasons for not wanting to attend classes there. Yeah...
--I dunno--all of my friends who went to school there are among my favorite people on the planet, so I know it turns out good people...either that or they were REALLY awesome before, and somehow managed to stay awesome in spite of the school?  Naaaah...
--By the way, "pretty enough" by teenage definition is apparently something along the lines of Oxford University. Feel free to toss your head back and laugh at this point. I sure did.
--One more note about college--WOW, have things turned spa-like since I attended college 872 years ago! The food options alone make me wish I was 18 again. And free state of the art fitness center? Uh, Hello!?!?  Not pretty enough...
--Speaking of food options, I ate a seafood enchilada last night that made me rather happy to be alive.
--I have become the second-to-last person on the planet to switch to a flat screen tv...or at least my kind neighbor who intercepted my package delivery yesterday in my absence assure me that there is one of those sitting in my living room right now.  Woo! More couch time!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Keeps The Riff-Raff Out

Sorry about the momentary flame-out on that last post.  Sometimes, the only way to get rid of hateful people is to be mean.

Of course, the meanest thing you can ever do is put someone's ridiculousness on display.  We all have our own ridiculousness.  The difference between sane people and crazy people is that crazy people like to pretend that they don't have ridiculousness.  That's why putting it on under a spotlight is such a powerful thing.

These are the people of my life.  There must be some level of comfort for them in me, because there are a lot of people like that who find their way to me.  Yes, I have actually met the creeper person in real life, and I thought it was hilarious when a friend joked to me that I had a "stalker like those Hollywood types".  To be honest, I don't think there has ever been a time in my life in the last 25 years when I DIDN'T have someone like that in my life somewhere.  It might be the actual psycho hiding in the dumpster, or, it might be someone with a job and a reputation to uphold.  

Those are the scary ones, by the way--the ones with something to lose.

I usually try to blow off bad behavior.  Regular readers don't laugh.  I mean, yes, I get mad, and obviously I rage and vent, but after I'm done blowing off steam I go back to a regular heart rate.  While this is all very good for my mental health, it does nothing to address the crappy things that people do, and, in most cases, it's not my job to address the crappy things that people do--that is, until they show up where I "live" and try to shit all over the place.

Anyway...sometimes, in order to maintain your mental health, you can't turn the other cheek--you have to defend yourself.  When this asshole showed up and declared me an "awful person" because of my reaction to some stepdaughter drama, clearly they no intimate knowledge of my history with that person--they only think they know me because we shared a meal, once.  They don't know the number of hours I spent consoling her father when her mother denied his right to see her and her brother.  They don't know the sheer amount of time spent writing and typing up affidavits and working on the numerous court cases where we fought for custody of her, and how we went into debt to try to get her away from her abusive mother.  

Putting your self and your own children in considerable financial risk to try to save someone else's kid is not something that an "awful person" does.  

And what about when she finally did come to live with us?  This abused child, who acted out, who needed a strong but loving hand, but I was not allowed to do more than advise on discipline because I am not her parent.  Being forced to sit and watch while she stole from my own children, lied, and manipulated all of us, getting basically whatever she wanted, all while blaming my children and me for everything bad that was happening in the household?  All while her father did nothing about her behavior?  Yeah, you're right.  All that turning the other cheek is the sign of an awful person.

Do you think, if you asked her, that she would have even one nice thing to say about me?  Me, the lady that was just trying to keep her from failing out of school and/or getting pregnant or arrested?  Highly unlikely.  She didn't have anything nice to say for the first ten years I knew her, and I'm sure her level of gratitude for the sacrifices I made on her behalf has not changed.

I endured this person, OK?  Endured.  Her abusive, narcissist mother succeeded in producing an almost perfect copy of herself in this child because even though we finally got custody of her, the fact that her father didn't demand better behavior gave her permission to keep strolling down the same road her mother put her on.  I have every right to be annoyed when I hear that her father gave her money again, and that she pissed it away, again, on everything but the rent.  It was especially bitchy the way she didn't even try to hide her shopping spree from the guy who gave her the money, but that's her style:  Bitchy.  It breaks my heart to see the way she and her brother have taken advantage of their father.  He's only trying to help, and all they do to repay him is shit on him.  I have every right to roll my eyes when I hear about her asking her "Daddy" to rescue her from yet another situation she was warned away from, but got into anyway.  The person who came to my blog to nominate her for sainthood because she got into a physical altercation with her boyfriend has spent even less time with her than they have with me.  They know nothing.

I take it back--they don't know nothing.  The learned one very important thing this week.  They learned Shelly will rip your head clean off if you EVER question her integrity in matters concerning her step children.  I gave up everything for them, and got nothing in return.  Don't you dare.  Don't you dare, EVER go there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Number One Fan

In case anyone is wondering why comment moderation has been turned on again...

Here is why:
It's the old, "Write a vile, nasty comment, then check back a million times to see if the author has responded," bit. 

Why don't you just use email notification like a normal person?  That way, when the author responds, it gets sent right to your email!  Oh, wait, never mind...I guess that would take the "Anonymous" out of your "Anonymous" now, wouldn't it?  Luckily, this person is not tech-savvy enough to actually be anonymous, and you can clearly see that somebody logging in from Red Rock Radio in Duluth, Minnesota has entirely too much time on their hands.  I'm not tech-savvy myself, so you know it didn't take much to figure out who this particular "Anonymous" is.  Nicely done.  You don't look obsessive at all!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again....I WRITE this freaking blog and I don't look at it as much as this person does!  So first of all, thank you for your support!
Second, if you are dying to read this every day, like I see that you are, you can also bookmark it instead of doing a daily Google search.  Just sayin'.

Third (and who would know this better than someone in the media?):  All media has an "off" switch.  You think I'm a lousy, awful person, and, I won't argue with you on that, but doesn't it make more sense in life to simply stay away from that which offends, rather than following it around like some crazy stalker?

I had given some thought to maybe saying "Red Rock Radio in Duluth, Minnesota" numerous times in this post in hopes that this blog post would be the first thing that comes up if somebody is looking for your radio group online.  That way, they'd get a good idea of just who they are dealing with.  ( this person going to service my radio advertising account, or spend the day obsessively stalking someone online?)  I thought better of it, though.  Two mentions and photographic evidence of your psychosis will have to suffice for now.

And by the way, I have screen shots that look just like this, going WAY back--almost three years worth--so while I do appreciate the support, I have a mountain of paperwork to turn over to Myron and Ro at Red River Broadcasting if you should ever cross the threshold from "Annoying Creeper" to "Guy Hiding In The Bushes Outside My House".  A girl has to cover her ass these days....just sayin'.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Going To Be Completely Honest, Here...

What kind of an awful person am I?

Let me tell you.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my ex, telling me about a really bad thing that had happened to his daughter, my former step-daughter.

Upon hearing this news, I felt virtually nothing.


No, "Oh my God is she OK?"  No, "Oh that's terrible!"

Tell you what....I won't make you read the archives to figure out where all that cruel heartlessness is coming from.  I'll just tell you.  I do not like this woman.  Don't like her one little bit.  The entertainingly bitchy stuff she did, which made it to the blog, was just the tip of the iceberg in reporting the day to day hell--and I do me "HELL"--of living with her.  The nicest thing I can say about her is that she didn't have body odor.  She lied, she stole, she manipulated, and worst of all, she blamed all of her awful shit on other people, and since my children and I were the closest scapegoats, we usually got the brunt of it.  I actually dislike this person, for real.

A couple of weeks ago, when her father described what an asshole her boyfriend was, I thought, and said, "There are two sides to every story," and I asked him if he had formed that opinion based on time spent with the boyfriend, or on his daughter's anecdotes.  Since she, herself, would never admit to doing anything wrong, certainly everything that could have been wrong with their relationship had to be the boyfriend's fault.  Her father bought into that.  He buys into all of the stuff she tells him--always has.  The fact that her father believes everything she and her brother tell him is actually the number one reason why I am no longer with their father--I couldn't stand to be around it anymore.  No matter what happened, it was always our fault.  

Mathematically speaking, that's some pretty sketchy odds--I is it possible that a person can go through life without ever, ever making a mistake?  But that was the logic his children would have you believe--that they were above reproach, and everyone else was irreparably flawed.  Having conversations with them in which they would blithely make up some incredible, negative untruth about you, then look at you as if to say, "Yeah, I lied--what are you gonna do about it?" produced the most incredible rage in me.  But as much as I hated them for doing that, I hated the fact that I was letting them have that power--that they could push all of my buttons and get a reaction, to make me look like a crazy person for being in constant disagreement with them.  I had been a happy, relaxed person, and then I met those two and became a hyper-vigilant, stressed out, angry person.  It was not a good thing.  I left.

On Sunday, I was advised that my former step-daughter's boyfriend had thrown the woman to the ground, smashed her head on the sidewalk and beat her up.

I was not taken aback.  I was not surprised, or appalled.  The only thought that ran through my head was, "Wow, just think how many times she made me so angry that all I wanted to do was grab her by the hair and smash her face into a door frame, and now someone has gone and done it."  And that's the truth.

Do I sympathize with him?  Absolutely not.  If you feel like beating the crap out of someone, get the hell away from them, like I did, before you do something you'll regret--something that will give them power over you for the rest of your life.  

But I most certainly understand the rage.

I was unable to provide her father with the appropriate sympathetic responses to a woman being beat up, and instead asked questions like, "Did anybody SEE this happen?" because that's how deep my mistrust goes--it would not surprise me one bit to discover that she made most or all of it up.

I don't feel bad about not feeling bad.  She earned my disdain, one lie at a time, over the course of many years.  I'm not glad this happened, whatever it was that actually occurred.  I really wish it hadn't--not because I wish her well, but because some angry person not so very different from me has ruined his life in one stupid, drunken evening.

Her father used to say, when speaking about his children's mother, that if he'd only just killed her when he first felt like doing it, he'd have been out of jail by now, and the world would have one less evil bitch in it.  We all laughed about that because A) He didn't kill her and B) She really was/is a truly awful, evil bitch.  

I wonder if the boyfriend will be saying that same thing 20 years from now?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Here's Looking At Me, Kid

While looking at my blog stats, I noticed that someone visited the blog after finding it by doing a Google search for the word "Shelly".

Please allow me to introduce you to the odds of finding a blog with low readership and virtually no advertising by searching the un-famous author's not-entirely-unique first name.  

Because I'm here for you, I did the research.

Of the 17 million results, the bulk of the first several pages consisted of web sites for a bunch of people most of us have never heard of, with verbiage stating that "This is the OFFICIAL Shelly _(last name)_ web site!" like it means something.   There were the "Shelly, Inc," sites and the Shellys who are actors/TV hosts/authors, and the Shellys who are wacky stay at home moms with "crazy" lives (Tip: if you own a mini-van, your activities are immediately excluded from being considered "crazy".  Driving your kids around and making it home just in time to make dinner is not "crazy"--that's just a Tuesday), and that's all very entertaining reading for a bitch like me, BUT...

I think my personal favorite was the description under, which states "Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here."

I would like to apply that last statement to all of the self-important Shellys on the web, myself included.  I would especially like to say that very thing to the Shellys I found who spoke about themselves in the third person, or peppered their pages with performance reviews declaring them to be the only Shellys we should care about, or those Shellys who appear to be taking themselves too seriously (talking to you, Lowenkopf--you're lucky you're a man, is all I can say. Wait--I would also like to say, Mars, you're cool, so just ignore all that negative shit I just said about all those other Shellys).

There are a lot of singer Shellys, photographer and writer Shellys and, oddly, realtor Shellys on the web.  I'm sure they are all lovely people.  Then again, if they are anything like me, maybe not.

I found a web site for the 2008 Shelly Awards, OK?  The friggin' Shelly AWARDS. point is that I never did find this blog while searching for Shelly.  I didn't even find anyone named Shelly Payne in the first 30 or 40 pages, so, wow, and also, I didn't know Zac Brown's wife was named Shelly!  Cool!

OK, forget that last part.  My real point is...we all get so wrapped up in our little "thing" that we forget that there are hundreds of other Shellys out there, waiting to be found.  

Except for Zac Brown's wife--clearly, she has already been located.  

Many are, like me, in various stages of desperation, depending on what day of the week it is, and whether or not anybody said anything nice about them that day.  Because you've never heard of most of them, you might be safe in assuming that they have more love than "talent" or "luck"--those two wildly subjective things that determine whether or not people take you seriously enough to throw piles of money at you and adore and/or loathe everything you do, regardless of whether you think they should.

But they keep trying, those Shellys...I like that.  I like the fact that there are a bunch of schmo's like me, getting up every day and doing something, and feeling good enough about it to share.  Even better?  There's somebody willing to power through hundreds of pages of search results to find even the most obscure of them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pat On The Head

Did you ever have someone talk to you as if you were very small? 

I mean something along the lines of a, "Wow, you tied your shoes all by yourself!  You are such a BIG GIRL!" kind of thing…

Why yes, just today, in fact.  Why do you ask?

Let me give you a little background, starting with the obvious, that being that I'm a grown-ass woman and any patting on the head that occurs as a result of my miraculously being able to do something any normal grown-ass woman should be able to do is only going to result in me being annoyed at your condescension.

Also, I have been speaking in the grown –up language about grown-up topics for many years now.  Granted, I spent 14 years in radio, so, I was a bit slower in developing my Adult Persona (radio is really all about extending your inappropriateness as far as you can, for as long as you can), but, I stopped doing that ten years ago, and I now know how to behave appropriately in many situations. 

Funny thing is, when I was in radio, everybody assumed I was appropriate when I seriously wasn't.  Now that I'm no longer in radio, they assume I can't be appropriate.  Weird.

Anyway….today, I wrote an email.  It was an email just like the million other emails I write every day for work, and somebody went out of their way to say, "That email you sent to Dr. So-And-So was very appropriate."

As if they were concerned that I would send Dr. So-And-So an email that was inappropriate. 

As if, for my jollies, I like to annoy and confuse our clients, and when I'm feeling REALLY crazy, I create litigation-able correspondence in hopes that I can say something SO inappropriate that my Fortune 500 company gets sued.

(Insert eye roll here)

Does anyone out there have a job where people act like you know what you're doing?  I'm just curious if they even exist. 
Anyone?  Anyone?

I'm a writer, OK?  I write.  That's what I do.  I write.  To assume that I cannot create a simple document is the highest insult.  So I just would like to take this opportunity to very inappropriately say "Fuck off" to the people who do that.  Please also note that the "Fuck off" is located a safe distance from the business correspondence.  Because I'm just that good.  Now please, don't let me keep you from the very important business of fucking off.  Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

They Write About Love


I was archive diving and found this little scribble from June 18, 2008--thought I would re-post.  Ironically, it's a post based on something I originally wrote in 2007, which was, itself, written during the fallout from a chance encounter from late 2006.

You would think I would not miss several years of "emotional mess", but I do.  I am not a drama queen by any stretch, but I do love to FEEL, and I want to feel love, and am not content to shut it off because I'm afraid it's going to end badly.  I have had my share of bad endings.  Yes, they sucked.  They all sucked.  I'm not going to lie--it is a teeny bit depressing to read things that I wrote while "under the influence" of some gigantic emotion while I sit here feeling blank for several months in a row.  It's coming around, though.  Slowly.  And as I climb back up to a place where I can feel those huge feelings again without worrying about my hand being slapped, I am heartened by this post.


Freaky Scene

I just found this thing I wrote back in January 2007--I couldn't edit it in a way that I liked back then, but this morning it seems to make sense.

Love gives you a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong, while simultaneously injecting you with the world's most powerful hallucinogen.  It is the one thing you will need on this earth, in order to be able to experience anything else--any color, any flavor, good or bad.  You can't order it ala carte--it only comes on gigantic, heaping platters, piled high with both things you desire, and things you despise.  It is for nothing terribly poetic, though the very skilled can sometimes create a clever lyric around the concept. It is a requirement of being alive. Simple. Grand. Wonderful. Awful

Clearly, only someone in the thick of obsession could have written that.

I'm amazed at just how MUCH is created as a direct result of falling in love with someone--glorious things, and really, really dreadful things--all smashed together in some chaotic mix in your head.  At the time I wrote this, I would sometimes wake up feeling wonderful, but awful by bed time, or vice versa.  Feelings of exhilaration and joy were almost always followed by the overwhelming notion that I was completely undesirable.  An all day roller coaster ride, only, like every other emotion, its not something that is actually "happening", that others can experience, and no matter how much you talk about it with friends, if you can't express it to the object of your desire, you're all alone in your freaked-out world.  You can't imagine how many times in the last year I have asked my best friend "Am I crazy?  I'm not crazy, right?" while we pick through the minutiae and try to interpret every nuance, in an frantic effort just to keep my head about water.  Obsession becomes the only word that describes it--it makes you f*cking crazy.

What has changed since that time is the pitch of the highs and the lows.  Somehow, I managed to not self-destruct, and reached a place where there really aren't any lows--or at least no lows based on what someone else might be thinking, which is always the worst possible thing to hitch your life to.  I am quite calm these days, and that is a good thing because frankly, I thought my brain was going to explode.

But I still believe those things that I wrote--falling in love snaps you immediately into a perfect perspective, because they say that relationships are like mirrors, and what you love about someone else is actually a reflection of something in yourself.  To say that it gives you a very strong sense of right and wrong is to say that when you fall for someone, you actually find your own values--you might say things like, "I don't even know what it is about him that I like, he just seems like a good person", while your mental Rolodex silently flips through all the qualities that you consider "good" in relation to your own goodness--you relate everything about that person to yourself, unconsciously.  Maybe you didn't think too much of yourself before, but when presented with someone who seems to share your values, it validates them and, by extension, you.  All of those things you have been feeling, those things inside of yourself that you cannot change because they make up the very essence of You, are always ten times more beautiful when you see them in or through someone else.
It is easily the happiest thing in the world to find a kindred spirit.  You're filled with joy, but also disbelief--especially if you've been alone with your thoughts for a while, or you're deep into a "nobody will ever 'get' me" funk. 

(Personally, I have a permanent residence in Nobody Really Understands Me Land--palatial estate, in fact.  The neighbors are friendly, but, for obvious reasons, we all pretty much keep to ourselves.)

While your This-Is-Probably-Going-To Hurt-Really-Bad, logic tells you to approach with caution, every other cell in your body just feels like a moth drawn to the flame--every urge screams MATE WITH THIS PERSON RIGHT NOW! 

And that's the "makes you crazy" part that make you write poetry and sh*t...