Funny, God

7 02 2011

My mother is amazing.  Really.

She is incredibly smart, humble, gorgeous and totally naive about the world.  That makes her adorable.

The scene in my head that plays when I think of describing Mom is from Leverage Season 1 where Parker meets Nate’s ex-wife.  Parker says she’s adorable, pats her on the head, then sniffs her and somehow it’s not overly creepy.   And yes, Mom and I did discuss me writing this post so it’s not like I’m blabbing family secrets or anything.  We collaborated on this and decided you should be a part of our phone call.

I don’t know how Mom made it to me being 30 years old and not realizing that apocalyptic stories and prophecies scare me.  I shit my pants at severe thunderstorms and the apocalypse.  I’ve ALWAYS been this way.

It’s no surprise (to me, anyways) that I subscribe heavily to the Joss Whedon and Terry Goodkind school of thought when it comes to prophecy vs. free will.  I figure we’re all going to die anyways so I should CHOOSE to act in a humane and intelligent way because it helps me and those around me RIGHT NOW.  I don’t act right because of the fear of demons from hell shooting through volcano cracks to eat my brains.

My brain can’t comprehend or accept mass destruction so I live in a way I can wrap my thoughts around.  I also believe that so much emphasis is put on how the world ends that we’re busy bringing the very thing we fear to actuality.  If we hadn’t been working so hard trying to outwit it, it may not need to be outwitted.  And if it is true and inescapable then my part is to live my right here and now life decently.  If it all ends in chaos and despair, then the only reasonable thing to do is to live for joy right now.

Mom really leans towards the end of the world stuff and obviously the 2nd seal has broken and we’re all going to die in a blaze of glory or something here soon.  She also really likes to call and tell me about why and how this is coming about.  I want to know how prophets picked out accurate words when they described their vision because they don’t have a lot of room to write down details.  It’s like making life and death decisions based on a Twitter feed.  If a picture is worth 1,000 words and the prophet is so flooded with imagery that they clutch their heads and fall over, then it’s going to take a hell of a lot of paper and ink to write it out.

My eventual response, after fighting down the panic attack, is “Mom, the world’s been ending for a long damn time.”

I told her I’d write this thesis she’s assigned me when she reads The Sword of Truth novels.  If we both did our part, we’d come away knowing quite a bit about how the other one’s brain works.  At that point of the conversation, we just agreed to think about it and talk to God and see how it went.

We also talked about current events, the state of my brain and all the drama that makes up life.  IRL hasn’t been so steady lately and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and agonizing about how this good ship Dollins Family should make enough money to stay afloat for another year.  The whole his job/my job/my health/health insurance/education requirements dilemma.  When a day to day routine exists, there is comfort and safety.  When there’s no routine, there’s anxiety and insecurity.  I’m not so secure or carefree at the moment so a lot of our conversation was tinged with my IRL worries.

This is where God gets funny.

I laid down in bed that night and thought really hard “God, I just need a single direction.  Just a feeling that one way or the other is right.  I feel like I need a compass.”

Then I couldn’t sleep and decided to start on the next book in my reading list.

The Psychology of Joss Whedon: An Unauthorized Exploration of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly

Huh, this entire book is about the characters in the Whedonverse who are contemplating this very issue.

First, I laughed at myself for finding theological truths in science fiction and fantasy novels (but then again – have you ever actually READ the Bible as a work of literature?  It’s as good a sci-fi primer as anything.)  Then I laughed some more because just this year I’ve found and become a total Firefly geek.  Before, I didn’t want anything to do with it – I’d never seen the TV show or the movie, I didn’t have any conversations about it.  I really just thought it was a weird Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica ripoff.  I had no idea.  Now it’s strangely relevant to life.

I read more today and I learned that I’m more like Mal than Buffy.  I tend towards antisocial behavior but its only after I’ve used up the more mainstream ideas.  If things had gone in a more mainstream manner in my life, I’d be a more mainstream type of person.  I’m not only shaped by events, but I live with a more individualized moral code because of those events.  If mainstream included me and people like me, then I wouldn’t have to be something other than normal and a more generalized world view would be relevant.

(Does anyone else think that the creators of “there’s only one way to God” people are just the theologians with a really good marketing campaign?  I mean, it would be a shitty campaign to say “our product rocks but so does everyone else’s product.” I mean, what would you advertise?  The fact that your god was cross-platform and multi-app compatible?  That’s just a quick way to become irrelevant.  It’s all about branding, people!)

Why don’t I just adapt?  Lots of people who go through weird shit adapt.  Why don’t you?  I ask myself that a lot and the only answer I can come up with is “it’s my personality type.”

I’m not that abnormal in reality.  Most of the people I know and willingly socialize with are unconventional.  They live in unconventional manners and with unconventional world views inside of cultural boundaries.  I speak for myself (which is why there’s a heavy I emphasis in this blog – I don’t like speaking for other people) when I say that I have a well formed, rationalized, and stable morality.  I would make a good space cowboy.  I would not make a good elementary school teacher.  I accept these things about myself and move on.

I think my message was pretty clear: learn about and accept yourself, then move forward.  The only wrong thing to do is nothing.

Besides, if the world ends tomorrow, I won’t have to worry about any of this.


Short Letters to Random People

30 11 2010

Dear House,

I regret to inform you that your TV show is no longer my favorite.  Since I was diagnosed with Lupus, that show got a little too real.  Now I listen to Castle as I fall asleep because it’s just as entertaining and it will never happen.  Seriously.  It would take David Baldacci getting writer’s block, and deciding to drop in and follow me around being a stay-at-home-mom. He could make stupid comments while I make parenting look sexy and cool and once an episode come up with some spectacular solution.  David Baldacci once answered my question on a LibraryThing forum and did it without any mockery or stupidity, so I can’t say I see this ever happening.

I will still watch and enjoy your show but you will no longer be top billing in the part of my brain that dishes out pop culture references to serious situations.


Dear Dr. Cuddy,

In the season finale of Season 6 and AGAIN in the first few episodes of season 7, you told House that you being in love with him had nothing to do with wanting him to change.   He told you that you’d eventually start being pissed off at the things he’s ALWAYS done – like lying to you about a patient – and you said “nuh uh, won’t happen.”  Now, you’re pissed at him for doing exactly the same thing he did in every single fucking episode in the last 6 seasons.  If you really don’t want to care about him doing what he does, only assign him patients you hate.  Then if they die from some stupid treatment that will spike your BP, you can at least be comforted in the fact that they are DEAD.

Or whip out the ole “really long consent form” for all his future patients.  “By signing this you agree that you’re about to be treated by a mad genius.  You agree not to sue him or his employers for any retarded, unethical, experimental, insane, and unrecommended treatment.”  You’re smart enough to get what you both want.  It’s just going to take some creativity.


Dear “As Seen on TV” Toy ads,

Thank you so much for teaching my kids the art of creating stupid jingles.  In response, I have taught them about the psychology behind advertising.  At least now they know not to sing me the little tune and beg for something at the low, low price of $59.99 for 2 packs of glorified play-do unless they really want to hear Mommy rant for hours.


Dear Girls,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately.  I know I don’t want you to ever read this because no one should have to carry this with them, but I can’t hold it inside me.  If you ever do find my blog, this is at least an honest recollection from a woman who loves you.

I replaced the last pictures we had of you with more recent pictures of our forever children.  For some reason, God had different paths planned for us and we were only together for a short time.  I spent and I spend a lot of time mad at Him for what happened.  It’s odd to me that I still love you the same amount as I do the children who live in my house.  With them, they get older and smarter.  They make mistakes and grow.  They get more and more like us.  They have opinions – rather loud ones – and desires and needs.

With you, all I ever got was a few months and some pictures to remember you by.  I remember you as 5 and 7 year olds but 4 years and an entirely new family have come for both of us.  With them, I was handed their novel.  With you, I was only given a few short chapters.  I’d like to read more and know more, but it’s best not to pester the author while the story is in progress.  In another 10 or 15 years, hopefully I can learn the rest.

I still have the pictures on the computer I use most often.  Every file I pull up, I see your pictures.  I’m learning to let go – quietly and slowly – but I haven’t made it to the point of putting your photos on an external drive yet.


Dear my fashion sense,

Are you done with your little vacation yet?  I know I spend most of my time in sweat pants and a tank top but I’m ready for that to change!  Do you know that lately I started throwing out DSW catalogs before even looking at them?  Why?  Because there’s no point in buying shoes when I have a closet full that I don’t wear.

Do you hear me?  I rationalized NOT BUYING SHOES.  I’m going insane without you.  I haven’t had a haircut in months.  MONTHS!  I want to start a blog for fashion choices for people with neurological disabilities (or fibromyalgia or anything that comes with dysautonomia or allodynia.)  I can’t do that when my uniform includes navy blue sweat pants, black knee socks, and a crazy colored tank.

Fashion sense, you better get your ass back here RIGHT NOW.  Put down the tropical drink, put on some clothes and clock back in.  You’ve got work to do!


To my children –

Effective immediately, I’m spraying you with Lysol the instant you get in the car after school.  You end up with a virus and get sick for a day or two.  I get the virus and the Lupus tries to eat my face off.

I have been on antibiotics for 10 days now and have 4 more to go.  I taste onions constantly.  Look, even the baby knows “don’t talk to Mommy until she’s had a cup of coffee.”   You try drinking coffee in the morning when all you taste is onion.

The only solution is to stop exposing your mother to germs and I’ve caught you little shits licking tables in fast food restaurants.  I KNOW I’m nuts so I can only imagine what disgusting things the little shits who do not have me as a mom do.  Those kids are sharing their germs with you and I don’t want them.


Dear Levenger,

Stop sending me two catalogs several times a month that have the same beautiful, lustworthy items in them.  Once a month, I get to drool over your leather goodies.  After that you’re just rubbing my nose in the fact that I’m too poor to buy them!  I already send you way too much money for Circa supplies – but now I get to cry a little inside when I see the Bomber Jacket leather card wallet that matches my Bomber Jacket leather Circa cover.  It’s the only thing that makes me want to replace my red leather card wallet that I bought 4 years ago.    The red leather wallet that goes everywhere with me.  The red leather wallet that I bought a matching clutch for so I could tote my lipstick and perfume along with my personalized note cards.

I really love you, Levenger.  I love how Mr. Leveen replies to posts online and writes a thoughtful blog.  I love your customer service.  I grudgingly understand how you’ve had to adapt some of your products to Apple’s tomfoolery.  But please stop taunting me!



With all the love in the world, Cyndi


sketchbook project

25 08 2010

Y’all may or may not have seen my new header.  It’s taken from my 2010 Sketchbook at Art House Co-op.

I’ll be sharing pictures as I get it done on here, on Facebook, and on Art House Co-op’s site.  (Come be my FB friend!  I’m awesome in real time and normally post all kinds of fuckwaddery during the day.)

I’m binding the book with pink and green duct tape.  That makes it automatically cooler than yours.  I also got some plaid duct tape which may go on the back cover.

If you’re doing the project too send me your link.  I want to have buddies.

sort em out

22 06 2010

I’ve been making stamps lately.  This one is of Abbie, our oldest pup.  I think it’s damn awesome but the others haven’t turned out as well.

I need to keep on practicing but something more pressing has come up.  Last week when Chickpea’s aid came out, I was looking at pictures on the kids’ computer out in the kitchen.

We recently traded out the computer due to a hard drive taking a giant shit.  Thank God for home networks.   Let me caution you though – check your settings if you run your own servers.  Check every computer every time you think about it.

Otherwise, your husband will dock the laptop the kids broke the power supply on.  It still works if it’s docked.  The other computer needs a hard drive which means it’s just a short table at the moment.

This laptop was MY personal one.  The one I replaced with my super awesome ASUS netbook.  The one that had wide open settings to the network.  It’s like a 2005 model Dell running XP which means I was expecting it to take the long dirt nap very soon.  New ASUS?  I forgot about the old Dell with the server access.

Then, some random Thursday your kids’ aid will come to the house and you’ll pull up a folder.  Of course the View is set to Thumbnail.  And you absolutely have the best flat screen money can buy with super visibility from all angles.  You’ll go to scroll down to pull up the pictures of the kids’ cousins and all of a sudden in the bottom corner are BOOBIES.

Not just any boobies, but YOUR boobies.  I know they’re mine because I have this little third nipple on the right one.

See, I have this folder on the network for photo CDs that I ripped after the epic hard drive failure of 2009.  I dumped all the files into a folder so I could sort them later.  Yes, I have all my personal pictures on the fucking network but I still can’t find my hentai from that failure.

I don’t know what’s more awesome – having your own naughties accessible or having porn saved to a drive that you can’t find.

Today I’m not making stamps.  I’m sorting photos from my dump file.  Listening to Eminem wearing a wife beater with no bra and no deodorant.  Attractive, huh?  I’m taking my tits off the server and hopefully this time they’ll stay that way.

Anyways, if you accidentally flash someone just keep on scrolling.  What? You saw a nipple?  Naw, that was just some bald kid’s head.  Yeah, that birthmark is genetic.  That other girl in the picture?  Oh, that’s my sister.  She’s got the same birthmark on her head too.  It’s a good thing she’s got hair because she’d look like a giant breast if she shaved it.  Moving on.

prettier in hindsight

21 06 2010

Almost 10  years ago and more than 20 lbs lighter, this is me.  Shaun and I had taken a trip to the island where my family lived.  When we were young and had disposable income, we could do things like drive down for a long weekend.

This trip happened to take place just a few days after a hurricane had blown through.  The ocean was beautiful and turbulent.  Normally, it’s calm and only the most determined surf off the coast.  It was too beautiful to ignore so we set off walking down the beach, looking for shells and little sea animals that sometimes get washed up.

Several years before, we had come across a sea turtle that had been washed ashore and pecked on the neck by some scavenging bird.  We collected the little guy into an ice bucket we stole from a hotel with ocean water.  Then we went to the police station to see if a conservationist could come get him.  In a small town on a small island, the police are the ones who know who to call.

On this trip, however, there wasn’t as much debris – there were just HUGE waves.  (Huge compared to normal – I know other places put our little patch of ocean to shame.)  I couldn’t help it – I dove in and started body surfing, leaving Shaun with the camera.

It was wonderful, but even then my body had started it’s course towards this dis-ease.  I had been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse.  I needed to sleep about 14 hours a day.  I would throw up if I was in the sun for too long.  I wasn’t even 21.  Instead of being young, beautiful, and fabulous I was busy making contingency plans.  Carefree and spontaneous were (and still are) words I didn’t understand.

No matter all that – I kept surfing.  After four or five waves I was getting very tired and decided to go after one more ride then go back to the hotel for a nap.

I dove in and started swimming out towards the waves.  That was the one that caught me – a riptide.  I remember being pulled towards the bottom and my brain started the emergency procedure protocol: don’t panic, relax, swim parallel to the shore.

Initiate survival tactic #1 – don’t panic.  I realized then under the water that I didn’t care very much if I came back up.  I wasn’t suicidal.  I was just at ease that if my life was at an end, that was ok too.  The pain, the fatigue, the grief, the losses of infertility – that would all be over if the ocean kept me.  I saw the swirls of the waves enveloping me and supporting me.

In normal circumstances, I’m terrified of drowning.  Of being pressed from all sides and powerless to reach the top for a breath.  The thought in my head during this was “one breath and it’s all over.”  Instead of terror, I felt relief.

I don’t know how long I was under but the ocean didn’t want me.  It spat me out literally at Shaun’s feet.  The wave pushed me into something solid and then there was a flash.

The flash of a camera held by my husband.

The ocean gave me back to him and it didn’t even take my hat.  That ocean is a pretty cool guy.  I’d like to see him again.

Google Trends on Touchdown Jesus

15 06 2010

Thank you, Google Trends.  I already didn’t know whether it was alright to laugh about a Styrofoam Jesus burning down outside my husband’s home town.  Like…

Can they rebuild in 3 days?

Apparently Jesus prefers soccer to American football.

Now it’s trending topic is “on fire.”

No, I still can’t call it Terminator Jesus.  Let me work up to that.

Update:  After clicking on some of those links, I learned that this was a 16,000 lb structure made with a metal interior.  It was built in 2004 and by its location was the tallest thing around.  It was a lightning rod.

I’m surprised it took 6 years to turn into a giant torch.  I wonder if this was like balloon boy in really slow motion.  6 years ago, they installed this viral media generator and then nothing happened.

They waited and waited and waited and finally on some random Tuesday before Obama drove by, lightning struck.  Or something.

Google is eating my brain.

The What? List

26 04 2010

I think my sister has been praying for me lately so I haven’t been saying the fuck word as much as I normally do.  We’re just going to call this the What? List.  Okay?

I know companies didn’t plan to lose their minds right about the time I decreased the dose on the psych meds.  Some companies need to fire the ad people taking the psych meds because apparently only people on crazy high doses of SSRIs… really just don’t give a damn.

Either no one cares or the psych meds have this virus that goes off when you start to cut down on their profit.  This virus starts streaming “everything is made of suck and fail” at subconscious levels.  Especially things that are in your own head.  The new phone this weekend – doesn’t suck.  The AC being fixed in the house – not sucky!  My brain knows this and unknows it at the same time.  It’s how Time is “hacked” by 4chan and acknowledge it AND write a follow up a year later AND people actually took credit for doing it!

You crazy people know what I mean.  On to the list:

Benadryl Y’all decided to change your box to back to the 1978 color scheme right at allergy season?  Are you kidding?  There are hundreds of pine-sperm covered people in the aisles yelling “WHERE IS THE DAMN ALLERGY MEDICINE????  Oh, I thought that was Pepto Bismol.  Damn.”

But then, you really did it, Benadryl.  You put the type of pill included in the box at the very bottom in a very un-shelf friendly position in this of hot pink.  The normal pill is hot pink. THE PILL I’M LOOKING FOR IS CLEAR! Why? I’m allergic to the dye.  Who told you there was a such thing at 6 pt font?

It used to say “Dye-Free Benadryl” on the box in big letters at the top but no.  Us people ALLERGIC to the dye in the ALLERGY medicine have to hunt through every effing box at the store to find the ones we can take without swelling up.  It’s at the bottom, in the back, because seriously – who isn’t immune to red dye #40 already?  It’s 2010 people – we’re made of red dye #40.  If you go to the hospital for a shot – they’ll give you a syringe full of… clear benadryl.

Needless to say, when the zombie apocalypse comes, my house will be the only one stocked with dye free benadryl.

Apple*:  …proving to the world how many different flavors of suck there really are.  Just look at the news.  Really.

And it sucks even harder that the clock I want for Mother’s Day has an iPod dock in it.  IT’S A FUCKING AWESOME CLOCK BEING PERVERTED BY THIS APPLE SHIT!  Damn fruit infecting every piece of furniture or gadgetry I own!  There’s no way I could buy enough iPods to plug all the fucking docks I already own.

Target: Y’all got real good at creating designer lines in little parts of your store no one shops then putting those lines on SUPER clearance for $3 each.  That’s why I love you.  I don’t love you for signing up to put out these little lines that should be on the clearance rack the instant they hit the stores.  Kinda like WalMart joining Miley and Max Azria (WTF?) but cheaper.

I’m looking at you Cynthia Vincent for Target.

The Nook at Barnes & Noble – and all eBook readers in general:  No, I don’t want to know if it can play FLASH FILES.  Please tell me you did not call your manager down here to show me the Nook and how it flashes. I don’t care if it blings and I don’t want a mirror.

I want to know if the screen goes black between pages.  You know, flash?  I understand we’re still in the early generations here but could they have found a better screen?

People who like books normally know how to read.

Books are made of words and words in a row make sentences.  Sentences in a column make a page.

People who like books turn pages.

Now, I’m not going to buy one of these THINGS until the Epilepsy Foundation puts their stamp on it.  Can you say migraine trigger?  Until then I’ve got a PDF viewer and a netbook.

And you iPad people give me a break!  You know it’s awesome that you have a great screen but I bet Steve Jobs will break in your house himself if you download a single thing from Project Gutenberg.  Even though it’s perfectly legal he’ll send the magic powers of doom to your device to fry its little chips.  Because if you own an Apple product he wants everything to be Apple branded and iGutenberg just isn’t catchy.  That, and how dare something be free to the public domain!  OMG, PIRATES!

That’s why they have a picture of an old ass Palm on their front page that is obviously SOMEBODY’S and isn’t a ripped off stock photo from the manufacturer’s page.  It’s because of crazy legal frenzies between the EFF and Apple being the shit our newspapers is made of.

The end of the mall with Spencers and Hot Topic:  Alright now, if you put too many idiots with single digit IQ scores in one place we’re going to get a vacuum effect and that’s going to be a HELL OF A MESS TO CLEAN UP, YOUNG LADY!

Normal people have to take drugs to get that level of suction going!

And why did some bitch randomly walk up to me and say “awesome, I love ICP too!” Now, Insane Clown Posse could have fathered you, child – back away from the old people please.  Who is apparently me, who actually saw the horrorcore/metal core/rap core phenomena take place.  I’m still not sure if she meant the tattoos or the white wife-beater I was wearing or what.  I could have sworn I walked out of the house styled more like Eminem and less like ICP, but hell, I fucked up the make-up again!

Then the kid who sold me my new phone (and was obviously an Apple fanboi and very flagrantly stoned) said “cool… tattoos huh.  What’s it say? Arson huh?  Like to blow shit up and burn stuff?” How do I know he was an Apple boy?  He told me when he told me the Android phone I was buying from him was a piece of shit and he sold it on the street after a week.   He switched the subject when I declared myself firmly on the Google side of the sea.

Being it was Sunday, I spared him the ridiculously short answer (back to tattoos and off the apple shit, keep up) and gave him the mid-length answer.  “It’s based on Acts 2:2.  In the Bible.”

“Oh… wow… hard core stuff.  You know you can hold fire in one spot with rocks and like stuff.  You got to keep it small.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “otherwise people start thinking you’re a crazy person who walks around really excited about stuff that’s illegal.  Like arson.  And they’re always picking up rocks for their “circle” and talking about keeping it small enough to hide under a bushel or a basket or something.”

“YEAH!” He’s realizing he’s at work right about now and it’s noonish on a Sunday in the Bible belt.  “I wouldn’t want to be a crazy person.”

“But crazy people are more fun to watch!”  After that, he kind of shut up and gave me the side-eye.  That’s right bitch.  I just bought a Samsung.  I do deserve the side-eye.

*Apple also seems to have all the smart service people at their Genius bar in their stores.  Really.  They diagnosed Shaun’s dying iPod and hooked us up with a new one within days.  Days!

And none of it had to do with the fact that his wife took it in for “service” and it ended up being 26 days out of warranty.  The look I gave them did not say “wow, sounds like an expiration date to me.”  I absolutely did not say a word about at least being able to fix a dead hard drive in a non-apple product.

Really, they were really awesome.  I almost wanted to buy one but then I’d have to rethink my gas guzzling SUV and I”m not ready for that kind of commitment.