Monday, July 11, 2016

Let There Be Peace

     To be honest, this could probably go into the Tough Topics series, but I'm not going to give you a bunch of statistics and research points today. Instead, I'm going to speak directly from the heart and tell you what I think and what I feel about all of the police shootings on black people and the shootings on the police officers in Dallas. It's a long post so you may want to go pee, get a snack, and a drink. But please stay until the end.

     This post will be going live on the fourth anniversary with my boyfriend. On here, he's known as Wolfy because of his obsession with wolves and that was a nickname given to him by his grandpa when he was a little boy. He'll be 30 on September 6th of this year.

     He likes to play video games, specifically story based video games. He buys them when we have extra money or I'll surprise him with a random present sometimes. When he finishes the game, he'll go trade it in to get something else. But he has about a billion games scattered around the house because he'll pick one up, go to play it, and then find another one that he wants to play even more.

     He's extremely creative. We met because we both share a love for writing and creating things. We've even worked on some book type stuff before. It was by doing that, that we became friends. Then one day, I found out somebody in my family was in the hospital and I wasn't up for being creative. So he talked to me all day. He told me stories, he asked how I was feeling, and he just generally supported me in a way I didn't really understand. Because despite having worked together for months, we hadn't really been friends.

     And then he was one of my best friends. We talked all the time. I learned his favorite colors and music and foods and things he's done and things he wants to do. I learned that he was in school to be a veterinarian because of his love for animals, but that he had to put his family and bills over finishing college. I learned that his sister's children are his Godchildren. I learned his favorite phrases. We developed inside jokes. I let him in about my struggle with depression and he talked to me for hours, just wanting to understand me, so that he would be able to help me. We learned everything about each other.

     And then I realized something terrifying.

     Not only had I fallen in love with my best friend. Not only had I fallen in love with a boy 7 years older than me. Not only was I in love with a guy that I technically hadn't even met (despite knowing him for almost two years). But I had fallen in love with a black man.

     Now don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against anyone because of race or color or religion or non-religion or sexual preference or gender identity or education or anything like that. I don't care if you're black, brown, white, orange, purple, or polka-dot. I may care if you're green, but that's only because that's the color you turn when you're about to puke.

     But I was terrified because I lived in the southern ghetto and I saw what people of color went through with my own eyes. I saw them being treated differently than I was. I saw the distrust on people's faces. I saw how people would roll up their car windows or lock their doors if a colored person needed to walk by. I heard the way some people talked (especially the older folks, but certainly not all and not limited to).

     And then he asked me to be his girlfriend and I was so ecstatic that I almost forgot to say "yes". And things were perfect. I never saw him for his race. I saw him for him. I saw him for the person he is, underneath the color of his skin. I felt the love he had/still has for me. I could feel happiness just by talking to him, which I have never felt with anyone in my entire life. I finally understood why people were mushy with their partners.

     I came to visit a few months later. And it was perfect. He introduced me to some of his friends, but never for super long times because of my anxiety around strangers. We went grocery shopping purely so I could have food I liked while staying with him. He took me on my first date with him, and ever, and even gave me my first kiss. Every single night, I fell asleep in his arms feeling safe, for the first time in my life. And when it was time to board the plane home, I cried like I was losing him. He cried with me. We held each other and cried like those annoying ass couples in movies that everyone is screaming at, "You'll see him soon! God! Just stop your blubbering!" We decided right then that I needed to move, as soon as I had been working long enough to make it look good on my resume (another six months or so).

     And when I finally moved, I knew that I could see myself spending the rest of my life with this man. That I could see us getting married, having kids, growing old together and chasing each other with canes. And not a single time since moving, has that changed.

     But there's a problem. A new problem, that came to be over the last few months. A problem that has been worldwide news every damn day for far too long.

     I'm terrified every time he walks out the door. I'm terrified every time he drives the car, because what if he accidentally speeds or has a tail light go out. I'm terrified of him walking anywhere, because what if it seems suspicious. I'm scared of him having a box cutter for work, because it could be classified as a weapon. I'm scared if he goes to a friend's birthday party, especially if there's alcohol, despite us being well over the drinking age.

     He has never done anything wrong to deserve jail time or prison time or any sort of charges. To my knowledge, he's never even gotten a traffic ticket.

     And I'm absolutely terrified that if he has a headlight out, he's going to get pulled over and I'll never see him again.

     I'm not bashing cops. I think what happened in Dallas is a tragedy. Innocent people were killed for the crimes that other people committed, for no reason at all. I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement, our fire departments, our paramedics, and all other first respondents. I think anyone who puts their life on the front line to help others is a hero.

     But you can't deny that there is absolute terror. You can't deny that black people are killed at a much larger rate, while in police custody, than white people are. You can't deny that most, if not all, of that people were murdered and did not deserve to be killed or that another method of restraint was out of the question. If you try to deny it, you are wrong and you need to look up the statistics, the video footage, and imagine that the color of the people on video are switched around.

     My boyfriend's sister shouldn't be scared for her children to leave the house to play with friends. My boyfriend shouldn't be scared to go grocery shopping because something might happen to him. I shouldn't have an anxiety attack if my boyfriend is five minutes late. Nobody should be terrified of having a child, because that child will be a few shades darker, because they're watching grieving black mothers bury their innocent black babies on national news every other day.

     What we need is peace. We won't get peace by being angry. People are already saying that we may cause a race war, but I feel like we're in the middle of one already. What needs to happen is for people to open their minds, put their heart on their sleeve, and choose love instead of hate.

     Please, God, don't take the love of my life from me.

     Please, God, let this hatred end so I never have to have that thought in my head again.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Jamaican Guy

     A couple of weeks ago, I went to the bakery in the food court of the mall so that I could get something to eat before I went to work. From the second I walked out of the house, I had my earphones in playing music at a stupidly loud level. Its the universal sign for, "I would rather not acknowledge your existence and I am perfectly happy with you pretending that you don't notice me either."

     I got my food and sat at my own little table. Music still blaring, zoned off into my own little world. I was already done with my salad and working on my sandwich when the chair in front of me pulled out. I was alarmed and looked up, expecting to see one of the work buddies that I have. Nope. Instead, I saw some strange guy sit himself down without any sort of invitation and proceed to start talking. Which I couldn't hear because I was listening to some loud ass music.

Him: Hello!
Me: Hi... Thinking: WTF do you want bro? Let me eat my food in peace.
Him: Hi! I saw you walking by earlier and I called out to you but I guess you didn't hear me...
Me: No, I'm listening to music... Thinking: I wouldn't have turned around any ways since I'm not a fucking dog...
Him: Oh. Well, I was bored at home so I came to the mall.
Me: Okay.
Him: What are you doing here?
Me: Work. Thinking: Do not ask me where because I will lie out the ass. I don't like lying but you're a complete stranger. GTFO.
Him: Where at?
Me: A shoe store. Thinking: Just be as vague as possible. That's not lying, right?
Him: A jewelry store?
Me: Yeah. Thinking: Okay, fuck it. It won't kill anyone. It'll probably keep him from turning me into a skin dress...
Him: That's cool. Arizona is so hot here. Do you like it?
Me: Yeah.
Him: It's too hot for me. I'm from Jamaica. Are you from here?
Me: No, I moved out here to be with my boyfriend. Thinking: Aha! Now he'll politely thank me for my time and leave! Success!
Him: (seemingly startled) That's cool. I came out here for school. I'm staying with my aunt right now.
Me: Oh. Thinking: This motherfu-
Him: What do you study?
Me: ...How old do you think I am...? Thinking: Please don't be a pedophile. I don't have the time to murder you and still be on time for work.
Him: 24?
Me: Close enough. Thinking: Thank God! At least he guessed over and not under because bro is close to 30...
Him: How old do you think I am?
Me: 20-something. Thinking: F u c k. Shouldn't have initiated conversation. That was stupid. Shame on me.
Him: 27.
Me: Okay.
Him: I study nursing.
Me: Cool.
Him: I changed my major twice.
Me: Oh. Well, it was nice chatting but I have to go to work or I might be late. Bye!
Him: Oh, okay. It was lovely chatting with you. You're very-
Me: Bye!

     Then I ran to a kiosk where I know everyone and he helped me keep a look out to make sure that the guy wasn't anywhere to see which way I would walk. After a couple minutes, when I felt safer, I headed into work.

     I bet you're thinking this is all just a funny story of a guy who couldn't take a hint. Nope!

     You're probably wondering why I didn't just say, "I would rather not talk to you but thank you for your time" or "I'm sorry, I'm taken, I don't wish to engage in this conversation further" or even "Ey, fuck off bro, I'm busy".

     When a woman says "No thank you, I'm not interested", a good portion of the time, they are made out to be the bad guy. They'll be belittled that they should be thankful for the interest, or they'll be told that they're being given a favor, or maybe even called a whore or a slut or ugly.

     When I was 12, I was followed home by a car of screaming teenage boys who told me everything they wanted to do to me, for half a mile because the bus refused to drive up the road to drop me off. When my mom complained to the school, the school said that maybe I shouldn't have worn shorts that day. My mom had to leave work an hour early every single day so that she could pick me up when the bus dropped me off because that same car of kids kept following the bus.

     About a year or two ago, some guys started screaming at me from their car. I screamed right back that they could fuck off because I refused to be treated like a dog. They followed me while I was walking home until I went into a McDonald's and stayed there until the car drove off.

     A few months ago, some guy asked me to send him nudes and when I reminded him that I have a boyfriend and I am not interested, he started sending me abuse online. Name calling, telling me that he was doing me a favor, etc.

     Last week, somebody called into my store and asked about the Now Hiring ad on the mall website. They asked to speak to the manager, to which I said, "I am the manager. How may I help you?" The entire conversation, he kept calling me "baby", "sweetie", "honey", and "dear". I felt sick by the time I was off the phone.

     Two nights ago, I had a nightmare that one of my friends tried to touch me and when I defended myself (which did result in breaking his hand), I was the one everyone turned their backs on. I felt guilty in the dream, despite knowing full well that I was completely in the right.

     How bad is it, that women are basically told that they are not allowed to defend themselves or say "no" because they should be thankful anyone is interested in them? How bad is it, that when women do say "no", they are accused of lying for attention? How bad is it, when women are incapable of saying "no", they are allegedly at fault because they should have been more responsible?

     Now, I'm not saying Jamaican Guy was actually a bad person or even had any intentions beyond a conversation. I'm also not saying that only women are victims. What I am saying is that society is so fucked up that I felt the need to engage in a conversation I didn't want to be a part of and then make sure I wasn't followed, just because some guy kept talking to me. I am a women, this is my point of view, and I truly don't believe all men are sexist. But the ones that are (and the women and non-binary folks that are sexist as well), are yelling so damn loudly that the people who just want equality aren't being heard.

     Raise ya damn voices.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Telemarketers

     Don't get me wrong, I don't hate telemarketers for doing their jobs. It doesn't bother me at all. Considering how much I hate making phone calls, especially to people that I don't know, I almost admire them. Like, props to them for doing an honest job so that they can earn money. Better than being a drug dealer or a black market gun smuggler.

     However, please don't be the person that makes something super weird. Don't say something that's going to leave the person on the other end of the phone wondering how the fuck they're supposed to respond.

Me: Hi! Thank you for calling (name of my store). This is Rachel. How can I help you?
Man: Hi Sweetie! My name is (whatever the fuck he said). I'm a salesman from a window installation company. Is your mom or dad home?

     I didn't even know where to begin. I didn't know if I should tell him that he had called a business that does not have any outside windows and that should he want to discuss windows, he should call the mall leasing office which handles all the windows in the building. Not the store, which actually has no real say over any sort of construction, because my goodness the lease is strict.

     I didn't know if I should tell him that I'm 22, nearly 23, but thank you for saying I still sound young enough to live with my parents. Or maybe it was an insult by saying I sound immature. I'm not sure. Should I have questioned him? I don't know. I couldn't decide.

     What if I had made some crack about putting my fucking juice box down so I could go to the airport, get on a plane, fly 1600 miles all the way back to my mom's house, go knock on the door, hand her the phone, and say, "Mommy, there's a man on the phone for you."?

     I was so dumbfounded that I didn't even say anything for a full minute. When I finally did, all I could squeak out was, "Umm.... I'm the manager of a business. I think you have the wrong number. Can I help you with anything?" to which he got flustered and quickly said goodbye.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Oreo Etiquette

     What is the proper way to eat an Oreo?

     Do you split it open, eat the frosting, dunk the cookies, and then eat the cookies?

     Do you dunk the whole cookie and then eat it?

     Do you just shove the whole cookie in your mouth and hope you don't choke?

     I'm having a debate with my friends. Apparently, doing all of the above is incorrect and they believe that you should go with the first option to fully savior the cookies.

     However, I have a friend who will only eat the frosting and her boyfriend refuses to share Oreos with her because he only gets the cookies and no frosting.

     We need answers. How do you eat your Oreos?

     (And if you don't like them, you can GTFO. Mom, I'm looking at you. I love you, but I'm looking at you.)

Friday, May 6, 2016

A to Z Reflections 2016

     This year, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into for the Challenge. I think this is the first year that I was mentally prepared for how much work it actually is, but I think it's also the first year that I've been the least emotionally prepared. I actually almost backed out, but I decided to do it because it's a healthy, creative outlet and it would keep my asshole of a brain occupied.

     I actually started off really well. I had a full week of posts pre-written and uploaded before April 1st even came around. Then I fell behind because I didn't get the time off that I thought I was going to. (Or rather, my day off was several days after it normally is,) One coworker went on vacation, two had prom, three got sick, one got fired for constantly calling out. and the crazy part is there were only five of us (now four, because, you know, fired the one).

     Not to mention, I ended up sunburned, found out about two deaths, and then ended up sick.

     This last month has been an absolute mess of a time. There were several days that I didn't think I would be capable of writing a post and I wanted to quit so many times that it's more sad than anything else.

     But I stuck through it and I'm really proud of myself for that.

     To be honest, I think that I needed to do the Challenge this year for my own sanity. As hard as it was to manage, it was the only routine thing that I had this month and it was the only way I was able to focus my creativity on something because I just didn't have time for anything else. It was stressful and difficult and I kind of hated it a few times, but that's exactly what a Challenge is.

     It's not supposed to be easy. You have to think and keep trying and sometimes, things fall apart and you have to completely replan everything. And I absolutely love it.

     I think I'm going to start writing my posts for next year now though. That way I can focus more on visiting people than on writing things.

     In the comments, I would like to ask you to leave the best three blogs you've discovered because of the Challenge. Whether it's this year, last year, or even the first year. What are the three best blogs that you've discovered because of the A to Z Challenge? (Please leave a link, if at all possible!)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zip

     At least I'm ending the challenge with a hell of a story. Let me tell you about how I almost accidentally killed a guy today.

     As I was walking to the bank, I was up on a large sidewalk and next to a busy street. I heard wheels and a man call out, "I'm coming up behind you right now!"

     There wasn't much room to pass by and it's harder to do on any form of wheels than walking, so my automatic reaction was to move to the right so he would have more space to zip on by. It sounded like he was going pretty fast anyways.

     I took one step left and heard him swear. By the time my brain registered what that meant, his skateboard crashed directly into my ankle. (Let's pause to say a prayer of thanks that I chose to wore boots instead of flats.)

     Then I saw him do a fucking flip over and he landed on the sidewalk with his head about three inches from a concrete planter. His board went the other way, right into oncoming traffic and an SUV had to swerve to miss it.

     He was more concerned about me considering I was directly hit but besides a sore ankle, I'm totally fine. I was more concerned about him considering he did a mid air flip and almost cracked his head open.

     He shook my hand and said he was fine, everything was okay, and accepted my large amount of apologies.

     I'm still sorry Mr Skateboard Dude Sir.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yikes

     I ALMOST FORGOT TO POST. But I didn't. So yay.

     Also, my boss scared me today.

     She said she was leaving through the back door and when I went back five minutes later, I just heard rustling and walking. Like that dumbass in a horror movie, I yelled out "Hello???"

     There are rumors my store is haunted but my biggest concern is a psycho creeping into the back room where we can't be seen and don't have cameras.

     No, it was my boss, and she was actually leaving. She just had to pee first.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for X Words

     I know this is cheating but fuck this letter. I hated you in algebra and I hate you in the alphabet. Asshole.

     I've literally been googling words that start with X just so I can come up with a topic to write about and it hasn't helped at all because I don't know what any of these are.


     Like, what the fuck is this shit?

     X, GTFO.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Warnings

     Do you know how there are warnings for everything?

     "Caution- Coffee is hot!"

     "Warning- Using hair dryer while in the shower may cause electrocution!"

     "Be careful- Superman costume does not enable you to fly!"

     I've come across some things that I didn't see any warnings for that startled the hell out of me.

     When drinking green Gatorade (at least after throwing up all day and not really having anything else in your system), there's a chance your pee will turn green. (Thank you Gatorade for inspiring this post about fifteen minutes ago.)

     In some states, it is very easy to accidentally end up common law married. (Congrats to you-know-who. Sorry I didn't send a present.)

     And finally, should your store be next to a photography studio that often has laughing children, there's a very high chance your staff will hear laughing children with no children in sight...and they will be convinced the store is haunted. (In a year, I've had about ten girls approach me about it. To be honest, I might make my own warning sign because I'm tired of repeating myself.)

     I'm not even gonna apologize for this. Blame Gatorade and the green pee.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Vomit

     Guess what I was doing all morning?

     Yeah, I'm not doing so well right now.

     I wish you all the best and hope that whatever the fuck I have doesn't attack you through the computer.

     If you'll excuse me, I'm off to drink more water, Gatorade, and Sprite.

     (In related news, I've finally found a type of Gatorade that I actually like!)

Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for Understanding

     Working in retail, I've learned that there is more than one way to be able to communicate and understand each other. Of course, speaking the same language helps quite a bit, but that's not the only way.

     I often have people who don't speak other languages come shop. In my store, they have to ask us for a size for us to get from the back room. They can't just pick up a box and bring it to the counter, unless I've brought that box to them. We have to be able to communicate.

     Since I'm the only one who's not bilungual, my boss was talking to be specifically. He said, "Knowing some small things like numbers and colors can help, but it doesn't matter. All that matters is smiling and being welcoming because they'll feel more comfortable coming up to you to begin with. Be their friend without speaking their language."

     And he got me thinking about why it's so hard for people to understand the simplest things. Even in the same language.

      And then it hit me.

     Not everyone is willing to smile and be welcoming to other people. They won't try to make you more comfortable so that you can understand each other. And those are the people I want to avoid.

     Make friends with the people who smile. Make friends with the people who listen. Make friends with the people who try to make you feel welcomed in and comfortable. Because those are the ones who will understand you.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Things

     Have you ever stopped and wondered what things you actually care about? If you were stranded on an island, what would you have?

     Every time somebody asks me what I want for my birthday or Christmas, I never know what to tell them.

     I've come to realize that I don't care about items. I'm very sentimental and once you give it to me, I'll love it forever, but I don't want anyone to go and spend money on me.

     I would rather we create memories together. Spend time together, get some food, take a ton of stupid selfies.

     Life is supposed to be fun, not spent wondering when you can get more things that'll you'll never even use.

Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Sunburn

     Eight days ago, I went to the zoo with my boyfriend and didn't wear sunscreen because I couldn't find the brand I'm not allergic too. Then I couldn't treat the burn with aloe vera because that's what I'm allergic to in most sunscreens. A friend told me about this burn spray (which kind of smells bad) and it worked so well that she stopped using aloe to use the spray instead. The only other treatment I did was taking a luke warm bath with baking soda to help pull out the heat.


Thursday Night: (no treatment yet)

Friday Morning: (one treatment)

Saturday Morning: (two treatments)

Saturday Night: (just got out of the shower, about thirty seconds after third treatment)

Sunday Evening: (still three treatments)

Monday Night: (four treatments)

Tuesday Night: (still four treatments and directly after a hot shower)


Miracle Spray:

     
Always read the directions first.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for Rest In Peace

     After yesterday, I have some explaining to do.

     Around 11:30 am yesterday, my mom called me while I was at work. I don't make or take personal calls while on the clock unless it's important.

     My step-great-grandfather on her side had just passed. We didn't know him well so we are not really grieving, but we are still saddened.

     My great-grandma has late stage Alzeheimers and Great-Grandpa wanted to be alive to see her cared her in a good home, have her will come true, and be sure her wish of donating her body to science came to be. He never wished death on her but he simply wanted to be sure that her last days, despite having an awful illness, were spent being cared for.

     My Grandma and Grandpa now have to make arrangements for Great-Grandma. She will be in wonderful hands because you could not ask for more loving people. But the fact is, it's horribly sad. It's kind of a shock as well. We knew he wasn't very healthy but we never knew how bad it really was.

     Around 7:30 pm, my mom contacted me again, while I was at home. We had a neighbor where we lived/she worked for about 7 or 8 years. I only met him a few times and he was a very lonely man, but always nice. He also passed.

     I don't know if he has any family. If he did, I'm not sure that they were close. He seemed to be more content alone, which is perfectly fine, but I would hate for him to be forgotten.

     Thank you to everyone who reached out to me, especially Mama Janie. I'm okay. It's just a lot to take in all at once and I'm trying to figure out how to best support my family and best honor the memory of two kind people.

     If you could, I'd like to ask again for good thoughts/vibes/prayers for everyone involved.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for Quiet

     I've had a very long day. A very emotional day. I'll write more about it tomorrow so please stay tuned for that.

     Right now, I need quiet. I need to rest my heart and my mind. I need to rest my body since I'll be working a lot of over time by the end of the week.

     But mostly, I ask that you take a moment of silence for everyone we've lost recently and everyone going through a bad time. Please send your good thoughts/vibes/prayers to those who need it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Perry

     I met a good friend on Twitter. His name is Perry and I think he might actually be me.

     We both love chocolate and all the sugary things.

     We both love pun based humor.

     We're both fucking blind.

     We're both so easily done with your shit.

     But he's Australian, a boy, and also actually much nicer than I am. Because we all know I'm kind of an asshole.

     If you're looking for a nice twitter then you can drop by and tell him hello @pezzanator1 (and if you send him a pun based joke, I think you could be great friends).

     But for real, he's a really good person with a heart of gold, who has both seen some shit and helped me through some shit. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Organization

     Lately, I've been trying to get everything around me more organized so that my head might feel the same way. I feel overwhelmed and like my thoughts are all over the place so I've been trying to figure out the best way to calm that down.

     At work, my coworker has been organizing the front of the store so that things are easier to find for us and things we don't use often are out of the way. She's found two full shelves and completely cleared them so far. She also started with the sale room so that we now have much more floor but it's not quite as organized. Mostly things are just boxed up.

     I started on the rest of the back room on Saturday. I rearranged a lot of heavy boxes and labeled everything so we know what's going on. I'm also going to make a personal to do list for myself to check every day so I don't get home and think, "Fuck! I forgot xyz!" (Note to self: Make bank trips more often.)

     At home... It's a struggle. I've gotten my closet organized again. (By style and color). But beyond that, I don't know where to begin.

     I have to early days off this week. Who has some killer tips that'll help me get my living space more organized without making me lose my mind? I actually quite like organizing when I get a consistent thing going on, but I'm not sure how to do that with several different rooms.

     Also, my biggest problem is time management. I work 6 days a week and the hours vary but normally it's mid shifts Monday and Tuesday, opening shifts Wednesday and Thursday, and 7-9 hour shifts Friday and Saturday (usually either closing or almost closing).

Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Nope

     I went to the zoo with my boyfriend yesterday and I think my most said walked was NOPE.

     While getting slightly lost on a desert path:

Boyfriend: Do you see all these little holes?
Me: Yeah?
Bf: Avoid those.
Me: Why?
Bf: Scorpions and tarantulas.
Me: NOPE.
Bf: Do you see the slightly bigger holes?
Me: ...Yes.
Bf: Snakes.
Me: NOPE, BITCH, NOPE. AW HELL NO. THE FUCK IS THE CONCRETE AT?



     A little while later, when we found the bug cages:

Boyfriend: OH COOL! Look at this tarantula's stripes!
Me: Nope. I'm good over here.
Bf: But it's so cool!
Me: Nope.
Bf: Just come look!
Me: NOPE.



     A little while later when we found the reptile cages:

Me: WOAH LOOK AT THIS BOA.
Boyfriend: So you hate spiders but you're okay with snakes? Weren't you noping snakes back on the trail?
Me: Yes, but boas aren't poisonous and this one is in a cage, so as long as it doesn't Harry Potter me, I'm good.
Me to the boa: Please don't Harry Potter me.
Boa: (turns his head to me)
Me: Bro. Nope. 
Boa: (lifts his head up)
Me: I said nope. Stop that.
Boa: (turns his head away from me, which I assume is his nope)
Some random ass lady: SNAAAAAAKE OH MY GOD SNAAAAAKE
Me: Nope, bitch, nope. Pipe the fuck down. I am done with your bullshit.

     Turns out a wild snake got somewhere in the zoo and was chilling in a tree, just noping all the humans, and this woman caused about 10 people to panic and run. No staff around and we didn't see any for about 40 minutes so we couldn't alert them since we weren't even sure where this snake was supposed to be.

     I am now noping all about my sunburn. (Guess what my S post is.)

Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for My Momma's Cookbook

     WE FINALLY HAVE A TITLE.

     I accidentally named the cook book when I started Tweeting with the hashtag #buymymommascookbook. It just kind of stuck after that, so it's not really an interesting story on how it got its name.

     But!

     We now have an instagram where you can see some pictures of some items that will be in the book. If you wanted to check that out, it's @mymommascookbook and then the email for cook book only things is mymommascookbook@yahoo.com. (If you need to email me personally, it's pertinax_puella@hotmail.com so please make sure you're emailing the right place.)

     The book will be out by the end of this year. We aren't announcing exactly when yet, purely because we aren't sure. There's been a lot of shit happening behind the scenes that has made it difficult on all ends. I was personally hoping for her birthday, but I highly doubt that will happen, so I won't say when that is.

     The plan, as of now, is that when the book is finally edited, we will hold a contest. The prize will be a free copy of the book and maybe something like an Amazon gift card or some other thing, we haven't decided yet, that will start during a cover reveal and will end on the actual release date.

     We also need about ten more bloggers to receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. If you've already volunteered, feel free to remind me, but I do have all the comments saved from the original announcement.

     And! We will be holding multiple contests after the book is released, for various prizes! Some ideas we have come up with are best recreation of one of the dishes, most creative recreation, or best comments on specific things. All will be revealed when the time comes, but it's time to get hyped up because that time is coming pretty fast.

     I cannot wait.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Lies

     One thing I'm accused of is lying, which is ironic, considering that's the one thing I don't do. But the most ironic part is I'm never accused of lying from the weird ass stories I have about my life. I'm accused of lying when I tell somebody how much I love them.

     If I say you're beautiful, I mean it. Just because you don't see your beauty doesn't mean that everyone else doesn't see it.

     If I say you're kind, I mean it. You may think you're just being a decent person, but your heart is made of gold and the fact that you're trying to make other people feel comfortable is amazing.

     If I say I'm jealous of something about you, I mean it. I spent years of my life not admitting when I was jealous and instead I would be angry, so now I try my best to own up to it and respect that you have something that I don't, because that's perfectly fine.

     If I say I'm worried about you, I mean it. Do you honestly think I'm gonna pretend I care and then just abandon you? No bitch. If I'm worried, it's because I can't stand the thought of losing you.

     If I say I won't judge you, I mean it. You can tell me literally anything and I won't judge you. I may not agree with your decision but I'll respect it and stand by you, no matter what.

     If I say I love you, I mean it. I've learned to stop wasting time saying I love people just to keep the peace. And let me tell you, it is hard to get to the place where I love you with my whole heart. But my God, I love you.

     Dedicated to Momma, my boyfriend, Blog Mama, Princess Jillian, and Megan.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for Kids

     Today, I witnessed a 6-7 year old girl have the biggest melt down I have ever witnessed in my store.

     She was screaming, yelling, crying, begging, pleading, running around, jumping, throwing shit, and even slapped her younger brother across the face.

      All because she wanted M&M's.

     I witnessed four other kids who all started trashing my store and running around like it was a play ground, two who left their parent in the store across the way when the oldest was five and the youngest was in a stroller, and upwards of five screaming kids throughout the mall. Just today alone.

     Like, I understand parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world and I respect anyone who chooses to raise a child. However, if you're letting your kid destroy everything in sight, ruin other people's experience, or generally cause a scene, then I have no respect for you.

      My mom would have dragged me out of that store so fast and sat my ass in a corner until I lost my mind from boredom. She never tolerated me to be a shithead and I'm a much better person today because of it.

     You don't have to spank your child, but my God, at least speak up and tell them when even Satan's kids are better behaved than they are.

Monday, April 11, 2016

J is for Jokes

     I've posted before about how I really don't care about politics and I don't know enough to choose a good president, so I won't vote, but I do know enough to spot a bad president.

     I thought Donald Trump running for president was a joke and that he would never actually get any momentum. Turns out, I didn't realize just how much of the country chooses to hate and use violence because some rich bully says it's okay.

      His wife once stated he raped her and later retracted it because he told her to.

      In interviews, he doesn't even answer the questions and will straight out insult anyone (especially women) if it seems like they don't agree with him.

      Nobody knows what his plan is, besides that he wants to make Mexico pay for a wall.

      Countries all over the world have petitions to have him banned, which means that there will be no treaties with them should he win.

      He may be a business man, but he's also cold hearted, cruel, self serving, racist, and sexist.

      Please don't let this joke continue. I'm begging you to do real research before voting and to end a joke that has gone on far too long.

      I'm legitimately scared for the sake of not just my country, but the world, because I truly believe he would cause a Third World War. 

      (Not sure why autocorrect capitalized that. Oh well.)

I is for Igloos

     When I was a kid, I was ALWAYS cold. Always. Because my mom would turn the a/c down super low until I could swear I was turning blue and freezing to death.

     I used to say she was an eskimo who lived in an igloo and that she should move up north where all the snow is.

     Meanwhile, she would say anything above 75 degrees was stupidly hot and that it was going to make her sweat to death.

     Now?

     Well now she has premature menopause and is wearing a jacket in 80 degree weather, while I suddenly find 80 degrees stupidly hot.

     Fate, what the heck though? Why'd you flip those tables?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

H is for Headache

     On Thursday, I had a migraine.

     On Thursday night, I was wrestling with my boyfriend and ended up banging the back of my head on his elbow.

     On Friday, I started feeling the symptoms of a minor concussion.

     It's almost Saturday and I don't feel like writing a post at all. 

     Hope everyone is okay.

P.S. I'm okay. It's very minor. But I do have a headache so please keep your voices down. Any screaming kids or barking dogs will be asked to leave.

Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Good Things

     With all the negativity going on in my brain right now, I thought it might be useful to make a list of some of the things that are good in my life.

     My boyfriend and I have a big date planned for next week. It'll be the first big date since moving here, even though we've had a bunch of tiny dates.

     My hamster is still alive, which makes me very proud. He is huge though. Twice the size of a normal hamster, apparently.

     My aunts, who I only got back in touch with a year and a half ago, are finally doing really well and have a lot of good things going on.

     My Godson took his first steps a couple weeks ago and I am not at all ready for this.

     My mom has a second interview at a job she could really use right now. (Prayers, good vibes, or just a nice thought would be strongly appreciated for her, if you have a spare moment.)

     My friends. I'm not even gonna attempt to list all you fuckers. You know who you are.

     The fact that I'm still here today when I've wanted to give up so many times. I made it this far so I might as well keep going.

      What are the good things in your life right now?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

F is for Filters

     Between recently chopping off somewhere between four and five inches of my hair and discovering the new Snapchat filters, I've become slightly obsessed with selfies. I'm so sorry.


     I'm so sorry.

     If you're not sick of me yet, you can add me on Snapchat at rachel.kathleen because they change filters every day and I'm having way too much fun with it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for Education

     Education is so important, but it's not only found in schools. You don't only learn when you take a class, tests, and get a diploma to say that you learned something.

     I don't have a highschool diploma. I'm three credits short, all math. While I'm working on trying to change that (which, right now, is mostly trying to find time to change that), I can tell you that I'm not stupid. I'm not uneducated. I'm not saying I'm a genius, but I can still honestly say that I'm smart.

     Do you know how to play an instrument? That's not just skill, but it takes intelligent. You have to know about how the instrument works to know how to play it. I don't know about that.

     Do you know about sports? There are so many rules, regulations, plays, even different teams and players to know about. I know next to nothing about sports.

     Do you know about computers? All the programs, how to fix minor issues, little keyboard shortcuts that many people don't know exist. I know multiple people who have even built their own computers. Not my strong suit at all.

     Do you know how to handle people? Customer service is one of the most difficult jobs that you can have. It doesn't take much paper-education, but it takes people skills and knowledge on how to handle situations, plus being able to think on your feet incredibly fast so that you don't get screamed at by somebody. (No, for real, I was screamed at and told my store would fail because I wouldn't accept a pair of shoes back that the lady completely destroyed.)

     Do you know about fashion? Just because it's clothes/shoes, doesn't mean it makes it useless knowledge. Somebody has to be out there designing the next big trend and making new things that everyone likes.

     I don't know much about anything I listed so far, but let me tell you what I personally know about.

     I know a lot about medical and mental illness, especially considering I've never studied it outside of highschool level. I know about different signs when somebody is on drugs and which drugs they're on. I know body language. I know how to rescue a lot of types of animals, but cats are my strong suit. I know about hair and how to take care of it, especially when you dye it often. I know more about rental/leasing than the lady who works in my apartment complex lobby.

     You know things. You know so much. Your brain is a collection of thoughts and ideas and facts. The one thing that you don't know, is how brilliant you actually are.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D is for Don't Send (unsolicited) Dick Pics

     I, by some miracle, have never been sent a dick pic.

     (This is not an invitation to do so because I will report you because I am stating here that it is not, in any way, wanted.)

     If you send a consensual and legal picture of any part of your body, that's fine. Do your thing (provided it's legal and consensual).

     Did you know that even if you're one day before your legalized birthday (check with your location for specific ages) then it is still technically child porn? Did you know that if, for example, the legal age where you are is 18 and you send the picture at 17 years and 364 days, you have broken a law? But if somebody shares it, it's also illegal? Don't break the law, kids.

     Did you know that if you send an unsolicited sexual picture to anyone, that person you sent it to can claim sexual harassment? Did you know that if you sent a consensual sexual picture and they spread it without your permission, then you can still claim sexual harassment? Only do legal and consensual stuff, non-kids. (Kids can't legally do any of that so I'm not including y'all in the thing.)

     Do I think dick pics are wrong? No.

     Do I think porn is wrong? No.

     Do I think twat shots are wrong? No.

     What do I think is wrong? Snapping a sexual picture (with or without being underage) and sending it to somebody who does not want to receive it and/or sharing it with anyone outside of the intended person(s).

     And do not even start with the "well don't take nudes if you don't want them shared" shit. Better not have a house unless you wanna be robbed. Better not be alive unless you wanna be killed. Better not have a car unless you want it stolen and then used to drive around half the population of your city.

     Why is only "dick pic" in the title? Because my friend suggested I write a post about dicks, but we're all about equal rights here, so I had to include a little talk about vaginas too.

     What the hell is this post.

Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Cats

     Why does everyone say that cats are evil or compare them to Satan?

     I've had many cats over my life time. They've all been very cuddly and soft. Some of them liked to play. They all loved tuna. One would arrange some combs on our bathroom counter so she could pet herself. One even liked water.

     Is it because they don't greet you at the door like dogs do? Because I had cats that would do that too. One would jump into my arms every time I got home from school.

     Is it because you think you can't train them? Excuse me, but, litter box. And if you think you can't train them for that, you are wrong. My grandparents (the bad ones on my dad's side) think that. When they got their cats declawed (which I am so not going to have a debate about here), they used the rock litter. Of course the cats wouldn't want to use that. I wouldn't want to walk on rocks if I had surgery on my toes. Try cleaning the box or using different litter (or torn up news paper).

     Is it because they don't do tricks? Use an electric can opener to open some tuna and watch how magically fast your cat appears. That is a trick all on its own.

     Is it because, like snakes, they always seem to belong to the villains in movies? Because cats are pretty chill creatures. They don't care if their human is murdering people or feeding the homeless, as long as they're getting their food and chin scratches too.

     Is it because they don't like their stomachs being pet? Do you like your stomach being pet? No? Me neither.

     There, now you have to like cats. Unless you're allergic. If you're allergic, I strongly suggest that you do not like cats, for your own safety.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for Busy

     I'm so busy right now.

     So busy that was literally all I had time to write when I attempted to start this post two days ago. While I was writing it, I was also helping my mom update her resume, trying to reply back to comments, and still being overwhelmed with comments from a post. On top of that, but I was trying to do the adult thing of making dinner.

     I'm slightly less busy right now. I'm going to order pizza (due to a misunderstanding, I ate the dinner we were supposed to have tonight which was so not enough for two people) so I kind of have to provide food. And I get paid tomorrow so I might as well treat us a little bit,

     I worked this morning for a few hours and I even had time to stop at the salon to get my hair done. I only wanted it trimmed, no more than three inches cut, but my dead ends were so bad that it ended up being four inches just to get it one length from all the breakage and another half-one inch to even that up. On the bright side, my hair should be a lot easier to style now.

     Once I save this post, I'm going to restart my laptop (there's a little pop up box yelling at me) and start laundry. Because I've been so busy that I forgot I probably need clean pants for tomorrow. I'm not sure my bosses would appreciate it if I just showed up pantsless.

     Fuck you, spellcheck, pantsless is totally a word.

Friday, April 1, 2016

A is for Advice

     In an attempt to get back into the swing of things and in trying to not let my most recent battle with depression/anxiety rule my life, I've decided to stick with my original plan on doing the A to Z Challenge again this year. And believe me, I was looking for every excuse not to. But if I do that, then it's something I know I enjoy that I'll just be giving up because my asshole brain is being a lying mcliarface asshole.

     And I wanted to thank everyone who stopped by to show their support, almost all of whom came over because my bloggy mama asked them to. I'm trying my best to keep up with the comments (I will always reply, but sometimes it takes a little time because I haven't been getting email alerts for new comments) and I will be stopping by everyone's blogs to thank them again, but it's gonna take a little bit of time.

     If you ever need advice, please look at the last post I used but scroll down to the comment section. Ignore everything I said and just look at everything that was suggested to me. I won't put it here because I'm trying to keep this pretty short and I can't include everyone, but please, go take a look at it.

     Outside of that blog post's comments, some of the best advice I ever got was from my mom. She told me. "There are some things that you'll never get over. Not in a million years. You have to fight through it and allow yourself to feel and grieve and be angry. You're human." I actually have a plan to get part of that tattooed on my wrist, written in her handwriting.

     My bloggy mama (linked above) Janie Junebug has also reminded me that when you come from an abusive background, the best thing that you can tell yourself is, "It's not me. He's crazy. He doesn't know love. He's crazy."

     My best friend from Alabama told me, "Keep your head up princess  or your crown will fall. And a prince(ss) never lets their crown fall." Because you should walk around with pride that you have made it to today and nothing should ever let you feel like you aren't royalty.

     And countless people that I can't even begin to list have told me that when you feel like locking yourself away because you feel like nobody loves you or wants to help, the absolute best thing to do is reach out for help. Because there is always somebody who cares, even complete strangers. You are so loved and you have so much to offer the world. Please fight through this.

     To anyone struggling, please speak out. I am not at all a trained professional and I don't even have my highschool diploma, but I'm willing to listen. My contact page is now updated so you should always be able to reach me.

     But please, if you're feeling like you might hurt yourself or somebody else, I beg you to call the suicide hotline. Somebody there will be able to help you and give you resources to help yourself.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Harsh Reality

     Before you decide to lynch me for disappearing out of no where, at least read the post. I have some pretty valid reasons.

     Also, hi all remaining two readers! If you're easily triggered by talk of mental illness (specifically depression and anxiety), suicide, or any form of abuse then I would highly suggest clicking away now but thank you for stopping by.

     I've opened up many times before about my battle with depression, anxiety, and other struggles. (Self esteem, bullying, general shitty things that just plain suck.) But I don't know if I've ever opened up about what it's like when you're going through a particularly rough patch.

     It's been a really long time since I've been so mentally broken that I've completely lost motivation and felt like nothing would ever get better. I mean, I've had on and off bad days for years. Sometimes those days will last a week or two, but I can still see the light at the end of the tunnel during those times. For some reason, the past few months, that light is so far away and so dim, that I forget its even there.

      Here's the thing with mental illness. It's always in the back of your mind. That doesn't mean you feel it every single waking moment, but you might. It doesn't mean you don't know its there, because you do. Every person is different and feels different and has a different experience. But for me specifically, I was on a four-year streak where the good out weighed the bad and I could go weeks without a peep from the asshole side of my brain, and when it did decide to make an unwelcome visit, it was short and not as harsh as it used to be.

     When I say it used to be harsh, I mean I was so suicidal when I was 17 that I was willing to throw myself out of a moving car, just to make everything stop. The only reason I didn't was because that was the one time, my dad chose not to speed.

     I was doing pretty well, up until this year started. Before you get too worried, no I am not about to throw myself from a moving vehicle and yes everyone is alive.

     Through a serious of unforeseen events, I basically found out that my dad has never loved me and he fully expects to control me with the threat of being cut out of his will should I choose to do anything he doesn't like. Which may not shock any of my long term readers considering he's a douche battle ship (that's more douchy than a douche canoe) but in my nativity, I still thought that he at least had a little piece of love for me in the black hole that is his heart. And of course, I found this out, about two weeks after having a nightmare about him. That was a hard blow to take and I'm not sure I'm quite over all of that yet.

     His mother is hospitalized due to her own stupidity. (Folks- when a doctor tells you to do something or you're going to die, you should really listen because otherwise there's a very high chance that the doctor is right and you could die. Just throwing that out there.) The last time I heard from her was over two years ago when she called me to chew me out about how she hadn't heard from me in two years, when I hadn't even had her phone number for probably three. I also learned some horrifying things from my aunts (which I cannot discuss because it's not my story to tell) so I cut all ties. But the thought of her dying alone, since nobody will go see her, makes me sad. And I feel guilty that I'm not more sad because she's my grandmother, even though she's a wretched human being.

     I've been working six days a week, or sometimes two weeks straight (getting a Sunday off and working all the way through to not that same Saturday but the one after that). I've also been having to cover a lot of shifts. Without our seasonals, we only have 4.5 employees, including myself. The half employee has next to no availability but she's good at the job so we use her where we can. I'm not complaining about working so much, because Lord knows I need the money, but it's left me completely drained.

     Most of my days take one of the two patterns:

     Wake up totally fine and go to work. Something happens during the day. (Angry customer/Something from my dad's family/Etc.) I slowly sink lower and lower and lower to the point I literally only want to sleep so that I can feel better. Then when I get home, having planned to clean the apartment or write a blog post or something else productive, I've lost all motivation and crawl into bed but I can't sleep so I just play on my phone for hours.

     Or I wake up with this pit in the middle of my stomach that makes me feel so much dread I want to throw up. Then my brain starts screaming that something is wrong and I should check on people or stay in bed or literally do the exact opposite of what I need to be doing. But I have to fight through it because panic attacks don't pay the bills. So I spend the entire day nervous and jumpy, so I get exhausted with in a few hours, and with the exhaustion comes my brain being a grumpy asshole because it's tired and then comes in the self doubt and hatred and anger until when I get home, I'm either completely drained or so emotional that I shut down so I can protect myself and others from a potential melt down.

     On Saturday, I started up my own phone plan.

     On Sunday, I had a minor break down but my friend distracted me for several hours until I was able to finally relax and go to sleep.

     On Monday, I went to lunch with a friend and talked to my mom and my grandma (the good one; the one who isn't in the hospital).

     On Tuesday, I opened the store, I left, and then I was called back in to close and cancel my plans so I had a extremely bad... I'm not even sure what it was. Let's just call it a rage attack. And another friend calmed my ass down.

     On Wednesday, I was sexually (verbally) harassed by someone and took it pretty harshly. (More details on that in another post). But I decided that I would not let that asswipe decide the future of today.

     Today is Thursday. I woke up early and had a nice chat with a friend. Then I cleaned my bathroom. Then I did laundry. Cleaned most of the kitchen. Organized my closet/found my side of the bedroom floor. And in about half an hour, I'm going to make dinner and do the dishes and make the bed (the blankets are in the dryer right now) and then I'm going to shower and watch TV with my boyfriend.

     Because yesterday I realized, even though I've been fighting an unseen monster, the harsh reality is that I'm letting time get away from me and I've been losing that battle without even realizing it. Because I've been fighting to survive, but I haven't been fighting to actually live.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Retail Stories

     I've mentioned many times before that I work in retail but I'm not sure I've ever really told any retail stories. I don't know if I have any long enough for a full post so I'll tell you two of the shorter stories today and if ya'll like this, then I can do some more stories later on.


     The first story happened just a few days ago. After the holiday season, the malls become completely empty. Nobody shops. The only people you'll see are kids killing time and avoiding homework, people who work somewhere in the mall, or people who have to do returns for something.

     I was working with one of my employees. A couple (I think; they were holding hands) entered the store and I loudly called out, "Hello! Welcome to (name of my store)!" As my coworker started to approach them, they turned around and walked right back out. She had only gotten to take about two steps. Quietly, I said, "Okay then. Bye." The guy of the two turned around and gave me the perkiest wave. "Bye! Have a nice day!"

     The music was blaring, I said it under my breath, and they were literally on the other side of the store. My conclusion is that he must have supersonic hearing or something, in which case, shame on you sir for not being a superhero.


     The second story happened a few months ago. It was closing time but it was the holiday season, so our store hours were extended by opening an hour earlier and closing an hour later. On that particular day, it was a week day and I was closing by myself, at 10 pm. I had had a last minute rush right at 9:50 so it took me a lot longer to close than normal. (I can usually be done within 10 minutes.) I clocked out around 10:20-10:30, when the mall should have been empty except for staff. Lights off, music off, literally trying to leave the store and go home.

     The gate of our store is controlled by a key. If you turn the key up, the gate goes up. If you turn the key down, the gate goes down. I like it a lot more than the manual one we used to have which involves a lot of jumping to reach the gate. Anyways, I was off by the wall where the key hole was and I was opening the gate about 1/3 of the way so I could duck under and leave.

     I looked up and saw a group of roughly 6 teenagers.

     Don't do it. I don't know what you're about to do but don't do it.

     They walked past one window and as the gate went up, one of them did a fucking tuck and roll right under the gate and into the store. His friends started laughing.

     "Our store and the mall are both closed. Either you leave now or I'm calling security." I have never seen a teenager run so fast in my entire life. He should be in track, for sure.


     Actually, I've just realized that I met a guy with super hearing and a guy with super speed.

     Guys, ya'll need to get yo shit together and start being superheros.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Guest Post: Jillian's Story Time

     Hello all! This was supposed to be up at midnight but guess who got lazy and didn't do shit yesterday? Yes, that would be me. 

     Today, I want to introduce you to one of my amazing friends, Jillian. Jillian is hilarious and kind and laughs at my horrible jokes when everyone else thinks that I'm insane. The other day, she was telling me this hilarious story and I was like, "Bitch, you have to let me put that on my blog. Holy shit. That's so funny."

     AND SHE AGREED.

     If you would like to go tell Jillian how awesome and hilarious she is, you can find her @JilliebeanT on Twitter. Remember, she is my friend so she is under my protection. 



I don't know how people will take this because it's kind of a morbid topic but at the same time when sad things happen, sometimes there are humorous events that occur during those moments. So here goes nothing. I hope I don't offend anyone and I certainly mean no disrespect to my father. My daughter was born in mid July 1997. Thankfully, my dad was able to meet her and we have a great picture of him beside our Christmas tree, with a huge smile, holding her. Almost one year after, on July 2, 1998, I got a phone call I'll never forget. My ex and I were actually in the middle of viewing the house we would eventually move into. She was checking our voicemail messages and she had this look of shock on her face and she told me that my dad's girlfriend called and advised he passed away that night. When I got home, my apartment manager advised the police were there to let us know that he had passed as well. It's a very surreal moment. We were not close but he was still my dad. We were just starting to rebuild our relationship. Such is life.
Just months before, we sat down together and wrote out his final wishes. He wanted to be sprinkled in the Fraser River which is this gross, dirty, and polluted river in Vancouver. He thought it would be easiest for my 3 siblings and me. As kids growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, we used to go camping in Banff National Park all the time. Not just on vacation, but on many weekends too, since it was only an hour and a half from Calgary. We would always go fishing at 2 lakes. One was Lake Minnewanka and the other was 2 Jack Lake, which was where we camped. There was a little pump house there that we fished at. As my siblings and I discussed what we should do, we decided that rather than the dirty Fraser River, sprinkling him in the pristine glacial waters of the 2 lakes we had good memories at would be what he would have preferred. It was a place he loved in life because it reminded him of his native Switzerland. He was cremated as he requested. It's actually quite shocking that a person can fit into such a small box weighing maybe 3 pounds. It was just grey ash. He sat in my closet for a few years. In 2001 or 2002 we went on the first family camping trip with my 2 sisters, their husbands, my niece, nephews, and our 2 children. My brother opted not to come. Our first dilemma was figuring out the logistics of sprinkling him. He was in this plastic bag and we had to transfer him somehow to some other vessel. We decided on pop bottles. A Rye bottle would have been far more appropriate but none of us drank Rye, let alone enough to get 2 bottles. I thought I was smart and brought a funnel. Well, amazingly, the ash was not quite as fine as I anticipated. As in life, dad had to try to be difficult in death and he got stuck. We found small twigs and tried poking him through but it wasn't working. Some pieces were too big. Damn you dad. This was already unpleasant, why do you have to make it more so? Well, we decided to make a paper funnel which was far more effective. We split him into two bottles. Our plan was to sprinkle him at the pump house where we fished and also to rent 2 boats and sprinkle him in Lake Minnewanka. The pump house sprinkle worked as planned. Nothing special happened. We said prayers and wished him well where ever he may be. His life was iffy, so we don't know. Plus he was an atheist and my understanding is God doesn't look kindly on that. lol We then went to the big lake and rented the boats. We motored out to the middle of the lake. It was windy. As much as it was a somber moment there was also a peace knowing he wasn't in pain anymore. We got to the spot we decided to sprinkle the rest of him at. My sisters and I moved to the front of the boat. We did a count as we tried to sprinkle him at the same time. Caitie, who was 4 or 5, was sitting in the back. My step son was thrilled because he got to steer the little motor boat as we moved slowly through the water. Three, two, one, and our count hit zero and we started sprinkling away. It's really was a lot like dust. We weren't 10 seconds into sprinkling him out of the bottle when my daughter started screaming at the top of her lungs.

“Grampa is in my eyes, Grampa. Is. In. My. Eyes!

The wind carried the ash backwards and right into the poor darling's eyes. We all laughed in hysterics as it totally broke what was kind of a somber moment. Of course in working out the logistics, we never considered that the wind would blow the ash to the back of the boat. In our minds it would just drop into the lake. He will forever be a part of my daughter... lol God has such a sense of humour at times.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Changes Are Coming

     Every so often, I think it's time to just stop and reintroduce myself to you all. Some of you are new readers, some of you are old readers who have been gone for a long time, and some of you have stuck by me since the beginning. But people change all the time and sometimes, it's important to just stop and reflect.

     My name is Rachel. I am currently 22 and I live in the way-too-fucking-hot state of Arizona, with my boyfriend of three and a half years, who is known on here as Wolfy (mainly because I'm extremely protective of him). We have two hamsters- Cashew the one eyed hamster and his little brother Munchies. I also recently learned that hamsters cannot be friends. If you've never heard a hamster growl, I highly suggest you look it up on YouTube. (Example 1 and Example 2 and Example 3),

      My parents divorced when I was six and my mom raised me. I don't have a lot of contact with my dad and I have absolutely no contact with his parents. Out of his family, I only communicate with his sisters and my cousins (one of them being my Godson, who is my entire world). Out of my mom's family, I have her and her mom and stepdad. Nobody likes her dad and stepmom.

     I lived in really nice neighborhoods when I was little and was thrown into the straight fucking ghetto when I was almost 13 (thanks to my mom's dad and stepmom). Considering I was already battling with emotional problems, that didn't go over so well, and I became angry and hateful and just plain mean the majority of the time.

     By the time I was 14, I realized that it wasn't just normal teenage hormones that I was feeling, but it was straight out depression. By 17, I was planning how to kill myself the last time that I saw my dad. My boyfriend (who was only my friend at the time) and another friend talked me down, multiple times, and I'm glad they did. When I was 21, I discovered that I've been dealing with anxiety too- only I've dealt with it since I was a kid. It's not normal for a 7 year old to have panic attacks.

     I was bullied through most of my school life, to the point I even dropped out when I was only in 7th grade. (I'm working on that. If you're good at algebra and geometry, hit me up!) My dad could easily be described as abusive and I've buried so many loved ones that I would literally have to stop and count. For ten years, if I walked outside, there was a high chance of being attacked or sexually harassed (actually- I live in a good neighborhood now and the latter is still a common thing). We (my mom and I) have been stalked, lied to, tricked, and generally beaten down but we've always gotten back up.

     I've had dogs, cats, birds, fish, turtles, hamsters, a Guinea pig, a rabbit, a salamander, a frog... The worst part is I'm not sure if I'm forgetting a pet and I'll feel like an asshole if I do. I've been horseback riding, four-wheeling, swimming in streams, fishing in lakes, hiking in the woods, walking in the desert. I've done modeling for an old school and been asked to write posts for huge websites. I've traveled to several states and even seen Canada from across Lake Erie at sunset. I try new food and try to learn new languages, even though I can't roll my R's. I've ridden elephants and pet alligators (though I have no idea where the picture is to prove it). I'm writing a cook book with my mom and I'm writing my autobiography on my own.

     But nothing has ever excited me more than when I got an email from somebody saying that my blog helped them and thanking me for opening up. Saying that I made a difference in his life and he's going to keep trying because he now knows he's not alone and somebody understands.

     And then it happened again on Twitter. A young girl messaged me for advice. She's barely 14, the same age I was when I was beginning to understand exactly why I was so unhappy. She's been in contact with me about 3-4 times a week since October of last year. Her message to me on New Years was so kind and heart felt, that I started crying, because I actually made an impact on her.

     Then more people started messaging me. Either thanking me or asking for advice. Sometimes both. I get 5+ messages a day sometimes. A few times, I've woken up to over 20 notifications. The crazy thing is, I only have 100 something followers on twitter.

     I am in no way an expert on anything. I mean, I don't even have a highschool diploma. I'm not qualified to give advice. But how can I turn away somebody who needs somebody to relate to or to talk to? That's just not a thing.

     If I've gone through hell and back my entire life just so I can help one other person, it's worth it. I think that's the most important thing that I've learned about myself. If I'm strong enough to survive, I know that other people are too and they just need to know that for themselves.

     Should you ever need professional advice, here is a direct link to a list of all the suicide hotlines. They can either help you themselves or put you in contact with you can, Should you ever need unprofessional advice from a middle school drop out that spends too much time taking pictures of her one-eyed hamster, then you can find me on Twitter @WhenALionSleeps or email me at pertinax_puella@hotmail.com (Honestly, I'll probably see Twitter first, because a lot of email goes straight to my junk folder.)

     Hi, I'm Rachel. I'm bitchy and sarcastic and have a weird sense of humor. I write about Tough Topics sometimes and sometimes I write funny things, but whatever I write, I want to help you. Whether I help you understand that you're strong enough to survive whatever battles you're fighting or I can just make you laugh for a couple minutes, I want to help you.

     I don't want to be that angry person I was when I was 13 and that angry person I was when I started blogging. If you're not up for the changes I'm making and my blog is making, that is perfectly fine, but I'm working on being happier so I want my presence in the blogging/internet world to create more happiness too.

PS Yes, I will still curse, because fuck.

PPS If you know anyone who does graphic design or can help set up a new layout for me, please let me know. I figure a new change should be marked with a new look, but techy things are not my strong suit.