Tag Archives: Texas

The One About Fireworks

The last time I went to a fireworks show was in the days before Facebook. It was just a small gathering on the lawn …in front of the Washington Memorial. I don’t want to get too into it because it was not a happy experience. It was hot and crowded and I was arm-twisted into attending. Add full dark with strangers everywhere then throw in explosions and a very, very abusive spouse sharing my blanket and it was a recipe for the perfect panic attack.

So, you know what? I don’t go to fireworks show any more. If I hear them out in the country, we’ll sit on the porch and watch from a distance. If I hear them in the neighborhood, I’ll call the cops because I’m that asshole. Your happy-fun explosive times are not worth the fire damage you could cause to my house or the damage to my calm.

Man, the older I get, the more awesome I become.

gettyimages-51098541-1

TL;DR: Keep fireworks where they belong and you won’t bother people. Also, you kids get off my lawn. Anything less would be a Rook mistake.

The Other One About Night Terrors

Going to try to get through this without losing my shit.

The other night I am sleeping in the guest room. I wake up in full dark with the certainty that there is someone in the room. My heart hammers against the mattress where I’m laying on my side. I can hear them. Just a little shuffling sound, a quiet breathing.

There are 2 doors out of this room. One to the hallway, one to the bathroom. Both are equal distance from me.

I am still.

I am quiet.

I want hear if there is more than one.

I take a quick inventory. I can reach the lamp on the side of the bed, use it as a weapon, use it to break out the window, use it to light up the room, but that would blind us both.

I know my first movement will give me away. Let them know I’m not asleep any more. At my fingertips is the iPad I used to watch Netflix until I crashed out. If I open it to call for help, I’ve given myself away. While I’m debating, the bed moves – ever so fucking slightly- like someone’s leaning against it, or has sat down very carefully.

I’m thinking: knife. They probably have a knife. I have two very thick quilts- so there’s some security there. I have a small fort of pillows around me – so it might be hard for them to know which lump is me in the dark.

All this time, I do not move. I don’t want to give away that I’m awake and lose the little edge I have.

And then I wonder if I’m right about this person’s location. What if they’re not where I think they are. What if the knife isn’t a knife? What if it’s a hammer? And if I don’t MOVE NOW there’ll never be another chance.

I throw off the covers and grab the lamp, swinging it like a club, putting my back to the closet door.

When I realized I was alone, it took me 49 minutes to calm the fuck down. I walked the house, checked locks, dogs, and kids. Checked the sig-oth. Picked glass out of the carpet.

The adrenaline dumped and I couldn’t shake the absolute goddamn terror. Just writing about it makes my body remember it. It felt real as hell. I was awake laying there freaking the fuck out and believing my family was in danger.2ed799ee2fb77f743847dc4a3b52df8a

TL;DR: Plan and act, people. Even when you’re sleeping. And see if they make tactical lampshades. Anything less is a Rook mistake.

The One About Saying No

As a chick and a parent, I’ve said no somewhere in the billions of times. I’m talking about this:

Bugger bugs.

“Stop.”

Bugger continues, upping their game and laughing.

“No, stop. I’m serious.”

Bugger kicks it into high and taunts.

I raise my voice, lay hands, force a stop.

Bugger gets feelings hurt and accuses me of overreacting.

Brothers, boyfriends, friends, coworkers, even my dad. It’s been omnipresent in my life.

Never really thought much about it other than to be annoyed. Today, being home sick and bored to tears, I watched a couple of movies. Guess what they both had in common.

Scenario One: The woman tells the man to stop because she doesn’t want to get into the water. He chases her, corners her, forces her over his shoulder before throwing her into the pool. The whole time she’s screaming for him to stop. She’s MAD when she gets out of the water and the man stalks off because he thinks it’s NOT FAIR that she’s angry. She runs after him and apologizes.

Scenario Two: The woman has had a traumatic past that has not been disclosed to the man. He puts on a mask and stalks her around the dark house. The whole time she’s backing up, trying to get away, and screaming for him to stop. When she slams the bathroom door on his hand in an effort to lock herself in, he’s pissed. She apologizes to him and explains her traumatic past as a way to make him understand her reaction.

No means no. All the time. Every time.

No, don’t want to go out with you.

No, I don’t want to be tickled.

No, you can’t have a hug.

No, I don’t like to be scared.

No, I don’t want to have kids.

No, I don’t want to get my extensions wet.

And no I won’t apologize to you for the response your actions wrought.tumblr_naqc5foddz1rxmno2o1_500

TL;DR: Stop making this normal. Reject it and don’t fucking apologize for asserting yourself. Thinking men are too fragile to be told no is a Rook mistake. Let them deal with it.

 

 

 

 

Another One About Surviving a Broken System

Went to lunch yesterday at a very crowded burger joint with a coworker and took the only open table. That’s right, I sat in the middle of the room with no clear line of sight to either exit. My back was to the walk way.Wasn’t my best dining experience, but I survived without incident. Yesterday was a good day.

Read about the VA again. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. It’s so broken that nothing sort of a total strip and rebuild is going to fix it. All I can do is be glad that neither I nor any of my family has so far ever needed a transplant. Cause the VA is going to make our life hell if we do.

There are restrictions that private hospitals don’t have. They don’t take organs from non vets. What? Yeah. You’re top of the recipient list and ready to get that new heart, but Transplant Joe wasn’t in the club, so fuck you and your years of service.

Does that sound even remotely right?

Took my info from The Military Times article. There isn’t much info on the VA National Transplant page, but that’s not shocking.

va-meme*

*injuries

TL;DR: Take the VA apart and reassemble using logic and compassion. If you’re stuck with the VA, do your research and don’t take them at face value. That would be a rook mistake.

 

 

The One About My Dad

 

A day late and a dollar short for Father’s Day, but it’s always hard.

I was a bona fide daddy’s girl growing up. There was a  good five years difference between me and my sister, and then another two between me and my littlest brother. That gave me seven years of being the son my dad wanted. And another 5 before the brother got interesting.

By 12, my father had taught me how to hunt and field dress a deer, reload a shotgun because relocating the raccoons didn’t work out, use a couple of hand tools to put a swing set together, how to lose with grace and courage, and how to cuss the son of bitch out who cheated. He taught me to love and to help people. He’d taught me to drive a stick shift, a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, from one end of the pasture to the other while he shot quail from the passenger side window.

He taught me that life goes on when he pulled my brother out of the cattle tank and couldn’t save him.

He taught me that it was OK to cry.

He taught me that, if you’re able, you work. No excuses. No bullshit. And if you’re not, you contribute in other ways and that there will always be people (like him) to help you.

He was a fireman that, on his off days, remodeled houses. He taught me how to put up a ceiling fan and put in light fixtures. He taught me twice why it’s important to turn off the circuit breaker. (Sorry, Daddy, I am still terrified of electrocuting myself.)

He taught me the importance of a tension breaking joke. (LOUD HORN: “Don’t shoot! I’ll marry the whole damn family!) He taught me patience and the desire to do it right the first time – not to be perfect – but just so you can rest later. His favorite thing to say was, “Give your laziest man your hardest job and he’ll find the easiest way to do it.” He thought he was lazy.

He taught me to stand up for others. And to always give someone the chance to do the right thing. And then he taught me to pick my battles. He taught me the courage of not saying anything and letting people make their own mistakes.

Even if he did let me marry one of them.

Before he walked me down the aisle, he turned and said, “It’s not too late. Tell me right now that you don’t want to do this and I’ll drive you anywhere you want to go.”Because that’s the kind of guy he was.

He was.

My dad didn’t live to see my son. Though on his 60th birthday, I gave him a framed picture of my first sonogram. That was July. By December, he was gone.

So, help someone out if you can today. Or maybe cuss them. Do it for my dad.

TL;DR: I miss my dad. 644142_4181073278109_853771843_n

 

 

The One About Opinions

They’re like assholes, right? Everyone’s got one and most of them stink.

Had an argument that left me walking away shaking my head. Discussed these kids who’d  worn masks while flinging firecrackers around campus in MO somewhere. This friend of mine said that the reaction to it was adding to the “pussification” of America.

All the things are wrong with that. All of them.

Mass shootings are not funny. Pretending to have one isn’t funny. These are things I could not get him to understand without the AR-15, 2nd Amendment conversation that I’m so tired of having. He wasn’t ready to listen to the fact that gunfire-ish sounds in a school building was terrifying. It could have set off a plan that the students didn’t know about and maybe even gotten one of them shot.

He could not hear me.

The second amendment doesn’t protect the use of fireworks.

He could not hear me.

When I went on to his use of the word pussification, all hell broke loose.

Women are not weak. Having a vagina is not an automatic second class citizen sentence.

It ended with the thought that if pussy is so terrible, then why does he chase it so hard?

THAT is the only point of agreement we found.

So, fuck that guy in his dirty, stinking opinion.

Unknown

TL;DR: Opinions are fine, but be open to logical arguments. Idiots abound. To think they don’t would be a rook mistake.

The (Late) One About Memorial Day

I know, I know. I suck at blogging. Think of it this way, I write more when I’m feeling the need for a little therapy. No writey, no PTSDy issues.

But now I have to talk about my Memorial Day workout. The trainers thought it would be a hoot to divide our group up into the 4 branches (suck it, Coast Guard) and play a bunch of patriotic music. I’m fine with that. But when we come to the push yourselves phase, there’s a lot of DO IT FOR THE GUYS WHO CAN’T BECAUSE THEY’RE DEAD, but worded in a less offensive way. Spoiler: I still find it offensive. This is after she’s asked if there are vets in the group. (There are) Now, I’m offended that she’s using some of my buddies’ memories to coax the group into doing two more reps or another push up or honestly ANYTHING.

Look, I didn’t raise hell. I didn’t get all butt-hurt and try to ban everyone from going to workout with these people again. But I did talk to her about it in a kind and caring way after the majority of folks had gone home. Civi from a civ family. They don’t get it, man. She thought she was honoring their memory. And to some, maybe she was. But I’m not down with it. So, next year, I’ll skip this one.

images

TL;DR When you’re offended, sometimes it’s just you and that’s OK. Trying to lead a coup against everything that hurts your feelings is a  just another rook mistake.