Sunday, October 13, 2013

Migration Time!

Time to update everyone on what's going on:

  • As we all know my world has been in-flux. Okay, since when can anyone take me down for the count? The fighter is back and I'm roaring my fool head off.
  • Next, my blog is moving...yup, just got the domain name... is going to go live in about two days, so look for me to be moving everything from here to its' new home.
  • Speaking of new homes...yes, I've got a place to rest my head that is safe and familiar.  For the time being my folks have been nice enough to set me up in my old room.  Hopefully it won't be a very long stay, but I'm grateful for their hospitality while I'm cleaning myself up and ridding myself of the final remnants of two years spent with a manifestation of my low self-esteem. 
  • Doc Kat once said, "Change is not only possible, it's probable" and she wasn't kidding.  In just over three weeks I've seen a tremendous positive upswing in my life. I taught myself how to crochet, making myself a gorgeous new scarf.  Also, on Thursday I enjoyed a very impressive performance in a debate.
  • The best parts? Doctor visits. First doctor was a therapist at school who is referring me to a trauma specialist and secondly, a MD who has already taken blood and I'm waiting to get my prescription to put me back on my thyroid meds.

My pal Haley will vouch for me when I said, "The first six weeks post-breakup are going to suck, but check with your doctor as results may vary."

Three weeks and the epic suckfest still hasn't taken hold...

Hmmm...I wonder why?

But, funds are running horribly low. Gotta find work or start taking orders for scarves.  Holler if you want one!

Okay, gotta go.  Success awaits, the only sucky part of the whole thing is that I'm a year behind because of being derailed.  Oh well.

Oh, final note.  With the new domain, I'll be hosting EVERYTHING Photoshop tutorials, my shop (coffee mug, scarf or t-shirt anyone??), my portfolio and of course the rantings, ravings and hopefully future cheer-worthy and comedic moments of your favorite eternal wise fool.

See you on the other side of the migration!!!!

Ladies and Gents, it's time to ROAR!

Sing with me...

Thursday, September 26, 2013


You remember this clip from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, right?

The answer to life, the universe and everything is 42.

Well, being that it's the beginning of my 42nd trip around our star, along with the incredible epiphany I had in the car on the way back from my cancelled Global Leadership class, the clip seemed an appropriate way to start the post.

I'm beginning to think Douglas Adams was right. 42, only a few hours into it, seems to hold a lot of answers already.

You do realize it's a multiple of seven, right?

Well today, oddly enough, I'm in the exact same spot I was in 14 years ago, exactly to the day.

It's also the reason why my Spago tradition exists in the first place.

At 28, I discovered my boyfriend at the time making out with another girl on my birthday. Because of the young man I was seeing at the time, I lost my place to live. At that moment, the only place I had to go to collect my thoughts was Spago.  David, the bartender at the time, at hearing my story, poured me a glass of champagne. A few moments later, a Creme Brulee showed up with a sparkler in it.

I've celebrated my birthday like that every single year since outside of three years in Montreal and sad to say, this year.

At 42, Ace kicked off my day by yelling at me, then when I finally had reached my zenith for his ignorant, tantrum-throwing demeanor, and after seven months of living together in which I watched some of the most horrifying behavior I have ever witnessed, I gave as good as I got and went toe to toe with him, even when he got into my face in a physically threatening posture. When he finally realized I wasn't going to back down and acquiesce as usual (which let him get away with his atrocious behavior), he threw me out.

So, I've lost my place to live again, which is the second time it has happened due to Ace's presence in my life.

Remember when I wrote "The Sophomore and the Precipice?" I never knew how accurate my insight was when I wrote "And that's followed by the sound a death wail from a person that just fell off a cliff and plummeted to their death."

When I began dating Ace, the cliff I fell off of is accurately pictured as one the size of Yosemite Falls:

I don't know of a single human being that could survive a fall from that, so I'm very grateful he tossed me out before I landed with a deafening thud. While you may think I'm strange in saying that, consider this: in doing so he did me a favor that his limited, almost non-existent awareness will never be able to comprehend: He gave me my life back. Which in a sick, twisted way is the best gift anyone could ever give me.

In total, looking at the really big picture, the punchline that follows this experience is rather funny if you think about it because Ace trumped his own Ace and inadvertently made my day by ruining it. But, as my friend Tara would remind me...I'll always be grateful to him; he taught me the virtue of chastity: showing me all of the reasons why we all have to make sure to keep toxic substances out of our bodies. He was a walking example of Marcus Aurelius' lesson that asks 'if we abuse ourselves and show ourselves disrespect, how can we demand respect from others?' He was an actual, physical, tangible, walking example of not only the frailties of humanity but the flaws that are present in each of our psyches, and it taught me tons. Most of all, he taught me how I didn't want to be. I'm very grateful for it because at least I already know I can spell correctly without the aid of spellchecker or the overwhelming need to throw things.

I promised myself long ago that if I survived my relationship with Ace and his deplorable criminal lifestyle, I was going to become a 'non-practicing lesbian'. Lord knows, if I date ever again it will be too soon and I'll need to have my head examined if I do; after my marriage to the ex, then that, that thing, (animal at best) called Ace, it has turned me off of men completely and off the romantic notions of love in general. As far as I'm concerned they are superfluous and not worth my time.  We all know of people who left a 'social' life and became huge successes. But just to be generous, I'm going to make sure that I send him a copy of Time Magazine when I make the cover. Consider me a future 'crazy cat lady' as I'm not going to be volunteering for the company of men anytime soon, and from my perspective that means I'll be single for the rest of my life if I can help it.

When I die, in my casket before I'm cremated, I want Teddy tucked under my right arm and have the Myst Reader opened to page 818 in my left hand. If someone will do that for me, I'll be thrilled because Teddy and I have been together now for 37 years. He's the only guy I know that I'm willing to spend extended periods of time with as he understands my need for silence. And at least he doesn't slam doors, throw things, rearrange things incessantly in a vain effort to gain control over a life that he has clearly no control over, not to mention neglect or being unable to complete anything because he incessantly derails himself every time he goes into an estrogen-filled rage because someone could possibly be smarter than he is.

Among the things I've accrued while under the influence of Ace is a weighted blanket so I can feel held and a 'stunt double' who will fill in without hesitation, just as long as it has fresh batteries. As far as I'm concerned, who needs a man in their lives when there are perfectly acceptable low-drama substitutes?

My birthday may have started horribly and I have no idea where I'll sleep tomorrow night, but at least I can say with a smile that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. It has taught me that while I might not live in a million dollar house, I know I'm worth more than a dime.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


If you're versed in MMO's you might be familiar with the 'misdirection' ability the hunter class has in World of Warcraft. It's as you would expect, the hunter misdirects any attention drawn to them onto another target. Basically, misdirection is used so the hunter doesn't get summarily squished by something large and angry that wields a punch similar in force to a Mack truck.

Now if you ask my buddy Chance, who plays his hunter with deft skill and a certain joie de vivre, there is some fun to be had in misdirecting to someone in order to yep, you guessed it, kill them on purpose. Hey, I'm not innocent at all, I'll admit it. Many a night myself, KP and Chance sat cackling on Ventrillo (our voice-over-IP software) watching Chance misdirect to someone that couldn't play worth a darn and was hurting our group or who had really made a horse's behind out of themselves with prideful and malicious bragging. There were many times where I saw the red spiral graphic that signaled a misdirect go off and keying my mic and saying with a mix of shock and dread, "Nooooo, you didn't," which would of course be followed by a giggle and a "Me? Nope," which of course said he did. Sure enough, it didn't take much time before a bragging mage would be no more than an inkspot and all of us on the other end would be cackling because, come on, we all know someone who we'd love to metaphorically see meet a painful demise with a single hit.
While it's just good-natured fun with a toon made of pixels in an online world, it's not much fun in the real world; actually it's just flat out mean.

What brings this topic up today is a phone conversation I had last night with the most unlikely of individuals...a friend of mine from high school.

Now, for those of you whose jaw just dropped onto the floor, you would be correct with that reaction.  I mean, how many times have I written about how much I disliked high school? How many times have I gone on to the point of nausea about how much I despised the bullies and the malicious hammering I took on a daily basis? Yet, there I was last night for two hours talking to one of the very few individuals who not only befriended me, but protected me ferociously. Of course this comes with the caveat that this person was a senior when I was a freshman, so I only enjoyed a single school year of their very careful protection, after that it became open season on my then-narrow backside and oh boy did I take it coming and going after they left for college - it got ugly fast.

Another point that bears brief reinforcement is that bullies are my hot topic because I suffer from C-PTSD because of malicious attacks by the bullies that seemed to inhabit our school district like some sort of infestation. Hey, it's not fun remembering clothing textures, colors, smells and all of the other parts of the intrusive memories I try to avoid (which make me break out into cold sweats) when I get triggered with a panic attack when I'm reminded of those very hurtful moments from so long ago.

For those not acquainted with PTSD, C-PTSD or Borderline Personality Disorder, you should really spend some time and look them up. I will be the very first to tell you that living with mental illness caused by the ignorance and maliciousness of others is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, much less anyone I loved. It's a very painful illness that is a struggle day in and day out.

Now, let's connect some dots that until this morning had eluded me completely. Remember, with my brain comes the caveat that I don't have common sense to pee on.  Sad but true. Actually, I'm completely convinced that IQ is inversely proportionate to common sense. Think about some genius level, MENSA-type person you often do they grasp things that are extremely simple?  Not often. I mean, I know some folks that tying a simple shoelace is a complete mystery, yet they can do quantum physics in their heads. Trust me, I don't have much of a sense of humor because I completely miss simple, little things; so I end up looking at people like they're half out of their minds when the joke is actually funny - once I sit back and think it through, accounting for the small pieces my brain automatically takes for granted.  Trust me, I'd trade my book smarts for more common sense any day of the week, but alas I'm kind of stuck, so I take it in stride.

As I eluded to, sometimes it takes me a little bit of time to "get" things, so this morning, after my brain had time to process it, there was something about last night's conversation with my friend from high school that really had me going. I won't lie, I'm my own harshest critic, so I have never called myself a dummy so many times in my life as I sat berating myself for spending the last 30-someodd years missing something plainly obvious.. Let me take you through it so you understand why I'm so mad at myself - it's because I could have saved myself YEARS of agony along with having the ability to short-circuit my illness.  But while I can be ticked at the malicious bullies that made me a target, I'm even angrier at myself for not having the common sense to see what was happening until now.

Before I reveal my morning's epiphany, let's talk about bullies for a second and their odious Modus Operandi. As we know, bullies have their own issues. Like my C-PTSD and BPD (which is akin to having unhealed third degree burns on my emotional system), bullies have something that could be deemed just as bad as my illnesses that were caused directly by their actions.

What is it that makes a bully an actual bully? Well, usually very often, they come complete with one hell of an inferiority complex caused by being made to feeling powerless in their own world. Think about all of the overbearing, controlling, verbally, physically and mentally abusive parents or authority figures out there. If you want a better picture of the evolution of a bully, let's take a look at one that is courtesy of Generation X and John Hughes. Take a moment and think of the character Judd Nelson played in The Breakfast Club, a young man named John Bender.  Lucky for us, if you don't remember, YouTube has a clip of "Life at John Bender's House":

Sorry about the language, but just think about what it must have been like for him at home with a father like that. I'm grateful the clip didn't do the follow-up which showed the physical abuse he withstood and the subsequent anger that resided in that young man from feeling so very powerless and demoralized. So, as our case in point, we see only one small example where a bully could be born and bred in some cases (not all), but we also have to take into account that some young people are just flat out mean.  It is what it is and we can only sit back and speculate, merely guessing at what makes bullies tick, but I'm venturing a solid guess that it is because they are trying their best get the attention off themselves.

Personally, I believe where John Bender is a really great caricature of a rebellious spirit (can you blame him?) caused by a dysfunctional home, I also believe he makes a great jumping off point to talk about bullies and misdirection, which brings me all the way back to the conversation I was having with my friend from high school last night.

Of course if you've seen The Breakfast Club you know that each character is a stereotype. While some may resonate with Molly Ringwald's 'Princess', Emilio Estevez's 'jock', Anthony Michael Hall's 'nerd' or Judd Nelson's 'rebel' or 'bully', down deep I always found myself very drawn to Ally Sheedy's 'basket-case', ready and willing to sell my soul or do anything that would make me feel like I had some sort of value that garnered acceptance.

By the time high school had ended for me, I had embraced being an outsider. I'm now very grateful I did accept being a part of "the fringe"; I won't even sugar-coat it, it was a very, very hard existence to live through but it gave me so many more opportunities on the other side because it encouraged me to think differently, proudly becoming a offender of the status quo.

But it was a simple question posed by my pal from high school that set everything in motion that gave me the biggest relief I've felt in a very long time. My friend simply asked me to name names of who bullied me. All it took was for me to say a single name before they burst out into laughter. I sat perplexed and asked them what was so funny.  The reply was one that completely took me by surprise:
"Them? Oh my goodness. That's the pot calling the kettle black if I've ever heard it. I could tell you stories about them aplenty. That's the one person that had no right to say anything for they were just labeling you with what they really were."
At hearing that, I burst out laughing, but it wasn't until I had a good night's sleep and gave it a little bit of thought that suddenly shed so much light on everything that I not only feel better today, but I actually know in my heart that what those bullies did to me was never, EVER about was about THEM, their insecurities and their need to feel like they could exercise some sort of power over someone else, no matter what lengths they had to go to, just so they felt safe.

My pal from high school made me realize that all bullies do (outside of showing that they have less common sense than I do) is misdirect. They take critical eyes off themselves and put them onto their victims because of one reason alone: fear that someone will figure out their glaring faults and turn the harsh spotlight of truth their way.

But, I did give myself a break from berating myself for one simple reason: I realized that in that moment some 30 years ago, I was so busy trying to protect myself, I didn't have time to scratch my backside, much less figure out that a red spiral graphic had gone off above the bullies' heads, signaling that they were misdirecting their insecurities at someone they already knew was hurt.  It's kind of sick, but I'll give them this, it's one of nature's laws that the injured get picked on...

They just never realized I'd turn into a swan with an attitude, who just happens to be toting a 400-pound two-by-four.

Many thanks go out to one of my favorite film aficionados...who was not too much unlike Matthew we always want to...

And of course, the song of the day is one of his favorites...that also happens to be one of mine...

Thanks Bryan Bueller...for the protection and being a've earned a name here, we're just going to call you Ferris and as you said to me the day I met you so many years ago...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Avoiding the Cliff

Disclaimer: As you remember, I had to be reminded that I'm pretty quick because normally I assume I'm the dumbest person in the room. Yep, I tend to see, analyze and solve problems before most people figure out there actually is a problem to begin with; and as I was being reminded about my swiftness on the mental playing field, I was also told that when I look at people and go, "Well DUH!" it puts them off. 

I have no defense, I don't mean to make anyone feel dumb, but me going "duh!" is a knee-jerk reaction. (Reminder: I play in the Myst Universe a.k.a. "The World's Coolest MENSA Convention," so I really am usually the dumbest person in the room. My 131 isn't piddle compared with some of those folks.)

Earlier, I opened up one of my regular trade pubs I get via e-mail, a Smartbrief. Most of the time I breeze through them, picking up a useful insight or two along the way.

Today though, I stumbled upon an article entitled "Mobile Mind Shift, Smarter Connectivity Will Change Digital Marketing."

After reading it, I just facepalmed.

Really? Seriously? They actually posted that article in good conscience? You gotta be kidding me.

So I fired off a tweet with a link to the article.

I couldn't help it! It's so no-brainer.
Portability, if you're not on all four screens, you're missing opportunities.

Well, just slap me in the mouth and call me "dumbfounded" because that tweet got favorited four times a short 20 minutes later.

Good gods, really? To me, that's so blatantly obvious it hurts. That me pointing out something so blatantly obvious that every single CMO worth their salt should have KNOWN - and been executing two years ago - gets favorited by not only one, but FOUR people with 11,000+ followers each?

Excuse my vernacular, but you've gotta be shitting me. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that four people get it, but think for a moment about all those ridiculously high-paid CMO's who don't.

I don't mean to be prideful, but someone that unaware making that much money just makes me cringe. (Yeah, I know...'Welcome to Corporate America', and people actually wonder why I usually don't play well with others.)

I don't know about you, but if I was a CEO that had a CMO that didn't know two years ago that the cross-platform portability of their messaging was mandatory - for viability and survival of their brand(s) - I would give them a kick to the curb so fast it would make their heads swim.

But let's go bigger than that: if I was on the Board of Directors of a company who's CEO didn't catch that behind-the-curve CMO, both of them would have received the 'prostitute boot' and been on the sidewalk in one quick hurry.

I personally think people that far behind the curve or worse - not pushing the edge and able to see this kind of stuff a mile off before anyone else does - proves the point of one of my favorite quotes:
"That's suit thinking. Something happens to a man when he puts on a necktie.
Cuts off all the oxygen to his brain."
Thank you Michael J. Fox! Without Alex P. Keaton's popularity, the world would have never seen John Pankow deliver that fantastic line in 1987's The Secret of My Succe$s.

I was 15 when that movie came out. Do the math. I heard that line for the first time 26 years ago; and to this day, every single time I see a professional Darwin Award-winning move, I repeat it out loud.

I gotta be crazy, because I should get big money for it, but to save myself (and the four other people that get it) some heartache, I'm going to cut some neckties off and get oxygen flowing back to some brains. It's also known as handing out some million-dollar insight for free.

#1 - Get with the times.

Look out of your Maybach window. Sorry to say, the world is not all about you and your kid's private school interview.

See all the people walking into things because they are face-down in their mobile devices? Yeah, them. They are your audience and there are only about a bajillion ways to get to them besides a traditional media buy, a fancy website and a Facebook ad.

If you haven't noticed, while you've been propped up like a prince plugged into your overpriced iWhatever, according to Neilsen, 53% of the mobile market in the U.S. belongs to Android and the Google Play Store is doing a TON of business.

#2 - Facebook is NOT the only answer.

While you've been dining on overpriced meals at Le Cirque and being hand-fed grapes by your staff of Yes Men, Facebook's "Pinky & The Brain" campaign for world domination is not only being laughed at, it's getting one-upped constantly by a rising sea of new mobile apps like Mobli. These new apps are taking whole chunks of market share because smart consumers (read: first-adopters) are sick and tired of Facebook's constantly changing, (read: unreliable) terms of service. Can you say "The Instagram Gaffe Effect"?

Get off your overpaid fanny and get down in the dirt with us plebs and find out how we're communicating.

#3 - Vomit begets vomit.

Yeah, you know I'm right. One whiff of stomach acid and everybody's stomach is doing the churn while the weak stomached are already head down in the porcelain throne following suit.

Vomiting your message on any type of SocMed (that's a Sheri-ism for Social Media to you new folks) begets more vomit because the bigger the brand doing it tells the little uneducated ones it's okay to do so.

Add to your vocabularies (and jobs on your payrolls) "Social Media Specialist." There are college campuses filled to the brim with young job-seekers who live their lives 24/7 in SocMed far beyond Facebook's scope or realm of imagination. Trust them. They know more than you do and can rival J. Edgar Hoover on the amount of information they can gather for you. Most importantly though is that they know how to use the media - they understand that any messaging you want spread MUST be done via CONVERSATION - not vomited all over everyone. Why? Because no one wants a reason to be face down in the porcelain throne having a conversation with the Tidy Bowl Man if they can avoid it.

#4 - Make friends with the books of Al Ries.

Lordy, if you're in my profession and don't know who he is, quit your job and join the Peace Corps. Seriously. Because if you haven't caught up on your reading and don't have in your professional arsenal The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR you are just making life hard on the rest of us.

Whole segments of consumers are not walking, THEY ARE RUNNING away from advertising. They don't want to hear your 30-second elevator pitch. They aren't interested in your bait-and-switch style micro-transaction based app. They are interested in honesty and guess what? A good majority of consumers wouldn't trust advertising if their lives depended on it. The honesty they are looking and desperately longing for is found in the conversations they are having with family and friends. (And the ad-free apps they can download for free.)

#5 - Don't mess with the ghost of Bill B.

Bill Bernbach said, "The only way from the past into the future is an idea."

He's also the man who is going to come back from the grave and slap you in the mouth for adding to the clutter; for not learning the art of "it's not how short you make it, but how you make it short." Hell, he'd ring my neck for this blog post being so long.

But I'll bet dollars to doughnuts he'd kick each and every one of our butts for not having the insight to know that SocMed has a million different faces and for not realizing that what we already know is in the past.

Cross-platform connectivity is not based on how many different SocMed platforms you vomit on, it's carefully choosing which one will work best for you, with you and encourage a message style that happily gives consumers what they want to see...

A world free of advertising that values each individual - acknowledging, accepting and applauding their individuality - on a deep, personal level.  (That means: Hello!  You've got to engage!  And it better be more than just more message spew. If you're not sincere, you're wasting an opportunity to empower a fresh, spanking-new brand ambassador.)

But that's okay, not everyone gets that kind of thinking.  You go right ahead though, roll your window back up if you wanna have a not-so-nice visit with the ghost of Bill B.

However if you must persist in following the clutter-spewing herd off the nearest cliff, do me a favor, wear a parachute. I hate the sound of professional death wails.

Don't be a lemming. Join the Lemming Liberation Front and help me free the world of senseless following...because Lordy, Facebook Home on a Facebook Phone? Really? Do you honestly believe that consumers will not eventually figure out they've signed up to be slaves in the world's largest data mine?

Oh wait, Apple did that already. Yeah, but at least Steve Jobs made iLemmings look cool and wrapped his whole homogeneous iSociety into something resembling Hotel California. Zuck can try to do the same, but Al Ries will only look at him and say:

"That position has already been taken."

Lemmings follow. Mavericks lead with brilliant ideas. You know which one you are and which one you want to be. What on Earth are you waiting for?

Here endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What "lives" in houses.

Ace has been looking for houses. As a born digger who can practically find every little last scrap of information about things, I've been helping out as best I can, going through records, ownership histories, looking for bargains...just an all-around real estate gal Friday.

Well, he received an automated listing from his real estate agent.  In Las Vegas, in a very posh neighborhood to boot, a 4,000 square foot house on a half acre of land was available for the dirt cheap price of (get this) $99,000.

You do realize we all just did the same thing, right?  We all said, "Okay, what's the catch?"

Here it comes.

When he saw that great big house on 1700 Bannie Ave listed for $99,000 he told me about it and we both kind of cocked our heads sideways. Over 4,000 square feet for $99K? 

I went straight to work on it.

It seems that house has a name.  It's called "La Palazza" and oh boy does it have a history!

The house “La Palazza Mansion” located at 1700 Bannie Ave. apparently seems to be haunted, and it’s not good spirits either. Apparently the mafia owned the house and installed a secret room where they would kill people in it. 

Malevolent spirits apparently drove out the last owner in 2009 and it has sat vacant ever since.

I found the first clue on a Travel Channel show called “Ghost Adventures.” Here is the link to the episode on YouTube.

Here is a synopsis if you don’t want to watch it:

Okay, now we all know that I don't fall easily for reality show hype with my disdain for Bunny Foo-Foo and that kiddie beauty pageant stuff, so I went over to the City of Las Vegas Website and to the Clark County Assessors Office and started to dig through public records. 

Originally it looks that the house was 2600 sq. ft. built in 1959.

The last time the house was sold was in June of 2009 for $340,000.  (Remember, it's now listed as available for $99,000. I mean the economy tanked, but it didn't tank THAT bad.)

Here’s where I got freaked. The house was originally built in 1959, right?

Well it doesn’t show to be owned until 1962 when it was purchased by a Doyle E and Lenore M Jordan.

Apparently it was changed over to a trust, the D&L Jordan Trust in 1989.

After that, it doesn’t show any changes until 1994 when it was purchased by a Jonathan A. Allen.

Four years later, in 1998 it was registered as owned by a mortgage fund, Goodrich and Pennington.

In 1999, it was sold to a Jefferey Talley.

In 2004, it was sold to a Ronald Nocum on July 19.

Almost one year later exactly in 2005, it was sold to a Nicholas Joseph Santucci on July 1.

Then again, almost one year later, on August 10 of 2006 it was sold to a Diane Martinez.

This time it lasted a little over a year when it was turned over to HBSC Bank on December 6, 2007.

The final entry for this house is a little over a year later again...June 6, 2009 it was sold to a Keith Resnick.

The current parcel number for the house is 162-04-210-020 when Mr. Resnick (who now lives in Santa Monica, CA) sold to the the Interstar Land Company LLC almost exactly three months later for $10 on September 15, 2009 and has been unoccupied ever since.

Buy a house for $340,000 but sell it for $10?  Doesn't sound like good real estate savvy to me, but can you blame him?

Here’s the link for my source and you can flip through the building sketch, and ownership history yourselves.

Oddly enough, for the vesting of this house it is shown as “no status”, since listed as “Joint Tenanacy” for Mr. and Mrs. Jordan in 1962.

When it became even freakier was when we looked at the comps: all of the houses surrounding it have all been sold within the last two years. Transactions 1000 feet from the house start at $72,000 for 1213 Charmast Ln. which is in foreclosure and go all the way up to $1.5 million for 1250 Shadow Lane. 

Here’s the odd part about the one for $1.5’s new registered owner is DTP Shadow House LLC, but records are only available up to 2000 where it was owned by the Fox family the entire time.

When I started to want to run, not walk, and snuggle my entire body into Ace’s armpit and never come out again was when I discovered that the house on the opposite end of the street, the opposite corner to it, isn’t even a house’s been demolished. 1415 Westwood Dr. is worth $125,000 and sitting vacant having gone through a similar churn as 1700 Bannie.

You know, I used to work at Disneyworld and I knew plenty of folks who worked over in the Magic Kingdom and had a blast putting on their costumes to work at the Haunted Mansion. Well, now that I’ve actually found one, Walt can keep it. 

I told Ace after digging through all those houses that I will be damned if I set toe one in that neighborhood, I don’t give a rat’s tinker how gorgeous the neighborhood is. I’m a white girl that is now whiter than a sheet. I grew up in a haunted house. I don’t like ghosts even though the ones I grew up with watched over us very politely.

Yikes. So before I get even more freaked out, I’ll leave you with that. I’m just glad I’ve got good digging skills because when Ace asked me to look into it and the Google Search came up with “haunted” with the address, the hunt began and sure enough, it’s too good to be true.

Oh and btw, the guy who’s in charge of the listing, has it listed as “no show.” No wonder!

Even if Ace begs, I am NOT letting him set toe one into that house. 

I mean I know I’m a real handful sometimes, but I ain’t nothing on what’s currently “living” in that house.

Mmmhmm...and some people complain about their leaky faucets or having to replace a water heater.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bookworm Rising

Sorry it's been so long since I've updated my blog.  It's been busy, busy around here.

Let's start with a catch-up on what's happening this semester, then onto today's entry:

Spring 2013 marks me being just a few credit hours away from my degree after this semester, so I'm in the middle of the hunt for my minor, Family Studies, or as you'll be seeing it abbreviated, MFT for "Marriage and Family Therapy."

I don't know what the hell I was thinking with a minor in family studies. Given my background, I might as well have signed up for electroshock treatments, but I'll tell you this, it's a sight better than the fascists over in Communications.  Don't ask, I'm not even going to talk about it.  Just sufficed to say my experience with the Com staff was bad, actually, really bad, so let's just leave that alone.  Still in need of a minor, I hollered at a famous face here on the Sophomore, the incredible Doc Cat, and she'll not only be taking me through therapy techniques in MFT 428, but also acting as my adviser for the rest of my time at UNLV.   So, give a cheer, Doc Cat is back, hopefully she won't have to tow me across the finish line in a big heap. Cross your fingers.

With MFT, all semester has just been one, long, triggered nightmare.  I actually had to beg out in the middle of my MFT 350 class two weeks ago because my triggers became so bad I actually had a puddle at my feet with how hard I was crying because my triggers went off so hard.  Of course you know what happens when my triggers go off that bad, right?  Through no choosing of my own, I literally want the blood of the people who hurt me. Given the topic that day, people better be thanking their lucky stars or whatever deity they fearfully worship, because it would have turned ugly really fast if I would have had proximity to a single soul responsible for my illnesses. Doc Cat has been telling me for years that I've been too lenient on the people responsible for my wonderful illnesses and that it is only natural that I am violently P.O.'d.  Trust me, if you think I wake up like a 2-ton bear with sharp claws and an attitude, you don't ever, and I mean EVER want to see me triggered to the point I was a few weeks ago, it makes that bear look like a wimp. 'Too lenient' is keeping me out of trouble.

See, when I'm triggered really hard, all bets are off because nothing on this planet (outside of heavy sedation) will begin to control my defense mechanism which manifests as an uncontrollable flight response. If anyone gets in the way, purposefully blocking me from escaping, that person has taken their life into their own hands; because at that point, my illness doesn't differentiate: it becomes extremely violent because all I comprehend is the raw, unbridled rage of my intrusive memories. Think of it this way, it doesn't matter if it were Santa Claus or the Virgin Mary standing in front of me, I wouldn't be able to tell. All I would see is my intrusive memories and given that I'm a lot stronger than I used to be, things go flying and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if some idiot got in the middle of that, they'd come away with an actual limp.  If I'd be coherent enough to realize it was someone who was actually responsible...oh gods, I don't even dare want to think about what would happen. I'd probably end up in jail.

The worst part of it all? I have yet to see the extent of what's hiding down really deep. With the taste of it I got two weeks ago, then another incident that followed, I actually fear how much anger is in there; and the gods help whatever dumb-ass decides to pull the Darwin Award-winning maneuver of turning it all loose.  I've become Bruce Banner in The Avengers. If you can't quite remember, just take a glance back at Bruce Banner's answer on how he controls his anger. I have the exact same answer.

The best part of it though? Ace. I'm so grateful for him, I can't even begin to describe it because he's helping me with the anger thing. Latent, repressed, all sorts, by now it sounds more like ordering a cup of coffee at Starbucks than an emotional management issue..."Yes, I'll take a Grande Passive-Aggressive Cappucino in a Venti cup with two add shots of latent hostility, fill the rest with the milk of human kindness...mmhmm, that's to-go."

Oh, and here's the funny part...seems as more folks from my adolescence have decided to friend me on Facebook. So, welcome to them.  Coffee, anyone?

Yes Hephaestus, my dear Editor, I hear you...I liked the coffee joke!  That was a good one! I can't help but hear the cat with Sylvester in 'Birds Anonymous', "One little bird! Just one little bird! I gotta have it!"  No iLemming jokes? Oh come on, just one little iLemming? What about a medical spoof about how vicariously living through others leads to ill health effects? No? Oh Pbbbt.  You're no fun.  

But, let's get on to more fun today's fabulous post!

As I've written about on numerous occasions, I'm a really big fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon.  In all the years I've been reading her books about all of her PTSD-afflicted heroes, I've never resonated completely with a singular one of her Dark Hunters. Understood all of their stories perfectly? Yes. Knew 110% where they were coming from? Heavens, yes! Each and every book has been like a trip to the therapist and then some. Nobody writes about what I struggle with every day like she does.

My first Dark Hunter novel was one I actually got as a Christmas gift and it only took me about a week to finish it. Still to this day though, Acheron is a character I consider to be like a brother. I whooped, hollered and cheered my head off when Soteria handed out a long-needed talking-to; I've cheered many an hour for the Kattalakis boys, AND was just tickled pink to find out Zarek and Sundown loved playing Myst Online together!!! I love how she just spins all of her characters up in this huge, paranormal, dysfunctional family. I, like many of her fans, wait with bated breath to see which character is going to be next in the series.

Well, until we delve into the next part of the Chronicles of Nick with Inferno, her latest hero to step up to have his story told is Ren in Time Untime which I'm currently enjoying as my spring break pleasure read. Okay, I can now say there is a Dark Hunter that could easily exchange their story for mine.  I've never cried so hard in my life through parts of a book like this. Some pages are verbatim straight out of my life; so much so that I had to put it down at the end of chapter 7, wiping my eyes with my umpteenth Kleenex, saying to myself, "I can't take anymore right now."

I won't lie, each of her books is really draining for me but really awesome with a healing's one of those moments where you get to let out a sigh of relief and say,"It's good to know I'm not alone and wasn't the only one who went through something like that."

So if you ever decide you need an adventure and Ms. Kenyon and her books seem appealing, have a 'surgeon general's' type warning: When people call Sherrilyn Kenyon 'author goddess', they ain't lying! Good to the last sniffle and bit of runny mascara, except with Bond cars and gadgetry, along with action packed portions that will leave you wishing you'd have learned a classical weapon or some type of martial arts fighting style.

Okay, enough of this weepy, girly crap already. Time to stow my C-PTSD whines and put on my cape so I can go do my 'average, ordinary, everyday superhero' routine.  The problem is...Edna Mode says, "No capes!" So I'll just have to go with the Kill Bill "Clark Kent" analogy. That should lock up more than a few minds for the day.

Double-header of vid for you today, like the description of me turning into the She-Hulk wasn't frightening enough...

First, that little analogy I mentioned earlier (which my ex-husband swears it's so me):

And for those of you who know me really well and have been around for me leaping over tall buildings with a single bound, gimme a 'damn straight!' my sweeties, even with parts that are still broken, this one has been a long time in coming.  The second, by Smashmouth, is the song of the day:

Hey Momma Kitte...this one is for you:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

God and His Sense of Humor

Last night I had the weirdest dream.  Now, y'all know me, I'm not one to talk about religion, well unless those pesky "do as I say, not as I do," Sunday Christians show up beating their bibles but sin their pants off all week long...*shrug*  I might have my opinions and they may not necessarily mesh with yours, at least I can say I'll sit and give you a polite listen.

Well, that dream last night was one of those that well, it's like the Ant and the Boulder. Now I don't know what's up with me and ants except maybe that I admire them because they can carry hundreds of times their body weight without a single complaint in the world.  Maybe I gravitate towards ants because they work together as a cohesive team, one big family making sure everyone makes it through one more day.

But enough about all that, let's get to that dream:

*Ahem* (as I get into a Paul Harvey/Andy Rooney mode...)

Yesterday was nothing eventful or special, so as I laid back into my pillows, I drifted off to a peaceful sleep.  Before I knew it, I was standing on a roadside in Texas watching the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes waving in a warm spring breeze.  As I was taking in a scene I hadn't thought of in years, I heard a man clear his throat, and to my surprise I turned around and it was God.

Anyone who knows me knows the first thing I'm going to say, and of course he looked into my eyes and said, "Yup, it's me.  Now before you say anything, I know you have your misgivings and you're prone to doubt, but I figured just once I'd show up and give you that proof that you've longed to see with your own eyes."

And with that, God waved his hand and day turned into night.  Something about the surroundings gave me a start and God said, "Do you know where we are?" To which I replied, "Hey, we're on Texas Avenue!"  It was then in the far distance my eyes could make out just barely the beautiful letters that spelled "K-Y-L-E F-I-E-L-D."

I turned to God and said, "Hey, I've been up and down this road all my life, we're not a stones throw from my family, cousins and kin."  And God said, "Yep, this I know only far too well, I was there at Central Baptist the day you got dunked and I have to say I loved your giggle when your mom slipped in the baptismal."  We had a quick chuckle, then his face turned solemn. "But I'm sad to see your faith completely slipped away, so I'm here to restore to you a little bit of goodwill.  You see, you could say I'm not a very 'hands-on' kind of guy, so I'll beg your forgiveness when I didn't show up as you cried and cried.  But for you, just this once, I want to show you how special you are to me."

Just then we saw a pair of headlights driving up the road, and well, the worst caterwauling you've ever heard was coming out of the passenger seat.  It was a man and a woman driving along in this little sports car with the woman and one of those little purse dogs both just a-yowling, singing along with the music on the stereo, the woman praising herself for the magnificent voice she had and how incredibly beautiful she was.  As we watched God leaned over and explained the scene to me.  The man who was bunched up and uncomfortable  in the driver's seat had been deceived by that caterwauling thing - and he had begun to see that her claims of love and fidelity were just a ruse to get through to his pedigree (and his family fortune no less).  The poor guy, he just looked miserable in that driver's seat.  Just then God produced a phone from his robes and made a call to a gal who seemed to owe him a favor.  Well, just as God hung up his phone, Mother Nature called on the driver, begging him to pull over and ease his aching bladder.

Yup, you guessed it, they stopped right in front of the home of our beloved Aggies, great ol' T.A.M.U.

Well, as the driver tried to quickly get his embarrassing problem quickly taken care of, that prideful gal went on a sort of well 'verbal tinkle' of her own, I guess you could say.  She scoffed and sneered and made it very clear that she didn't have much respect for the Ag's.  She ranted and raved, saying that her school and A&M had been rivals for years, and how A&M was low class, how the school was awful and so forth.  It was then God reached down and hit his 'Mute' button for us, at which point I looked at God and said, "For Uncle Bill's sake!  Excuse my question, but that accent of hers doesn't sound anything like she went to T.U. in Austin, does it?"  It was then that God gave me a wink and said, "You're absolutely right, that gal's from Indiana, and to blasphem like that, not but a hop skip and a jump from where Tex Schramm made sure I could see my Cowboys play every Sunday!  I'll fix her wagon for being so prideful and vain, she's taken her snide trickery too far I say!"

He wiggled his finger right where her tantrum was the worst.  As she kicked at the ground with her bellows and wails, her foot sliced through a mound of fire ants so red they looked like they had sprung from hell itself!  Those ants went to speedy work not only stinging that prideful gal, but her vain pocket pooch as well! The driver of the car, finally figuring out what was happening, just stepped right to the trunk of that little scrunched up, uncomfortable coupe and fished himself out of his ice chest a cold Shiner Bock.  He popped the top, took a long swallow and chuckled to himself as he witnessed the debacle.  That prideful girl howled and the dog sang along with that too, until a campus cop arrived to find out what was the matter.

That poor man stuck behind the steering wheel for the sake of those two ant-covered monsters, reached back into the ice chest in the trunk and offered that nice officer a beer.  He said,"As you can see, these two have made the acquaintance of a whole mound of fire ants.  I think I can handle it from here."  Well, as the campus cop had a giggle, he turned down the beer and took off wishing the man well, laughing his way down the road away from that caterwauling girl and her silly pocket pooch.

And as the scene wrapped up, the man looked down at his frosty bottle of beer and sighed, "What a waste," as he drenched that poor pooch from fur to skin in fine Texas beer.  With the pooch shivering and quiet, he looked at that vain, selfish monster he had married, looked toward God and said, "What have I done?"  God said not a word, he just looked over at me and then back onto that dreadful scene.

It was then that the poor driver reached back in to the trunk of the car, grabbed two cold ones, popped their tops, sighed,"What a shame," and began to hose down his vain and malicious wife, with one of the few laughs he'd have while married to that terrible thing.  He stuffed both woman and dog smelling of wet canine cologne and marred Texas brew to take them to a hotel where he'd sleep with his head under his pillows to escape those evil two.

It was then God turned and said,"I'm glad you listened when I sent word to you to greet everyone you meet with a smile on your face and love in your heart.  I'm grateful that you're trying your best to lead your life as one of humble service.  But most of all, I'm so glad you know the price of pride, greed, and envy.  For that, dear girl, is why I'm here with you today.  As you could tell, those ants were no accident.  So since I gave you that one chuckle, I think you can have a little faith just this once. Because remember, I might not be very hands-on, but for those who are doing their best, not just talking about it, but really doing it...being their very best not just on Sundays, but every day of their lives.  So I know you're into this little thing called 'a-theism', but do me a favor, one day when you need me the most, give me the benefit of the doubt."

As God turned and walked away, I heard him gently say, "Keep your chin up, I'm never far away and remember...I'm always watching."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bully in the Shadows


As you all know, I grew up in a world silently suffering at the hands of bullies with no recourse - resulting in the illness I aggressively fight against every day.

Bullies rely on their threats and insults to strip power from their victims.  What they never expect is for their would-be victims to fight back.  Because I live day in and day out with C-PTSD and have an amazing support structure, it has fortunately turned my flight response into a full-on, both barrels loaded, unafraid, extremely ticked-off FIGHT response.

It truly breaks my heart to have to post about this, but to allow bullies to go unpunished is not my style anymore.

Yesterday,  as I began to post my spring preview post, I found something quite disturbing.

In the "comments waiting for moderation" was a comment written for the intentional and express purpose of emotionally harming, tormenting and traumatizing me. When I showed Ace the comment he said,"They used one word maliciously three times, that's someone who knows you personally and wants to hurt you badly."

Since the person took the time to use the exact same language as the despicable,  low-life bullies I grew up with, I can only speculate that it is one of them. The ironic tell-tale signature lies in the fact that this would-be assailant posted anonymously, extremely typical of the cowardly bullies I grew up with.

Attempting to verbally assault me via the comments section of my blog was a very lame, amateur attempt to exert power over someone they have no power over at all.

To this poor, jealous, pathetic individual I can only express my deepest pity. That their life is so unfulfilling that they must now resort to cyberbullying someone they've not seen in 20 years is a testament to how small and sad their life really is.

However if they feel the need to persist, I have only one reply, "Keep trying, one day you'll get it."

Oh and p.s.: Get a life.