Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hump Day Hootenanny: Something Different

In 2 1/2 weeks, I am going to be on a beach converting oxygen to carbon dioxide. In almost 20 years, it'll be my first solo trip anywhere.

To celebrate my pending weekend vacation, I'm posting one of my favorite characters from Mad TV, Lorraine. Enjoy, folks!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Day to Remember

Friday, I had the pleasure of being a chaperon on Noah's field trip. It was a day filled with laughter, jokes, and talk. Much needed for both of us, it was a day where I had no distractions from him.

We went to (of all places) Cleveland to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Museum of Natural History. While we weren't expecting the bone-cutting wind coming off of Lake Erie, we were excited.

The Hall of Fame was wonderful. I talked to the kids I was in charge of about different displays we saw and how music was forever changed by those who graced the halls. Not wanting to dampen their spirits, I was tactful in my argument against ABBA being in the HOF before Rush and many other bands. Kids today....

We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe on the waterfront, about a mile away from the HOF. We chaperons relived our favorite musical tastes (usually the 80's) at a table while the kids sat eating and texting the person in the next chair. The day went well.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History was a necessity for the school district to allow the day as a field trip. Trust me. It's not the kind of museum like we have here in da 'burgh. Snoozefest best describes that part of the day.

The bus ride home was long and tiring. The kids on our bus were well-behaved despite the fact that they were buzzing along on soda and energy drinks. Getting back, Noah and I talked about our favorite parts of the day. We enjoyed rehashing memories of the trip. It's a day that will stay fresh in my mind for a long time.

I posted pics of our trip on my Facebook page. To view them, go to:

Thanks for the great day, Noah. I love you, pal.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hump Day Hootenanny: OneRepublic

Recently, I've been listening to the band OneRepublic. I find their music to be soothing and the lyrics appropriate for a turbulent time in my life. This is the song that started it all. Enjoy!

New Beginnings

Monday was our first marriage counseling session. Knowing that this is what will make or break my marriage, I tried to be upbeat and keep a positive attitude.

The counselor seems like a nice man. In his early 60's, he told us that he is a former Green Beret who served two tours in Vietnam and felt a calling to use his psychology degree to help people. The group he is affiliated with is a faith-based group of counselors. A little faith never hurt, so I was okay with that.

We opened the session with prayer. It wasn't a bad idea because I knew things could very ugly in the following hour. And they did.

During the course of the session, the counselor asked a myriad of questions about the marriage. Most of the questions were for both of us to answer aloud individually. I still tried to maintain a positive attitude.

The pivotal moment came when the hubby tried to downplay the extent of his actions over the years. In a calm demeanor, I turned to him and said, "You are an abuser." The silence that followed was deafening. It felt fantastic for me to say that directly to the husband. My strength grew a bit more.

The counselor proceeded to lay some of the blame for all of this at my feet. I told him that I was tired of being made to feel guilty about all the problems at home, and he then told me that the husband can't make me feel guilty because I'm the one in charge of my emotions. If I feel guilty and horrible because of a verbal barrage, he said that it was of my own doing. While I've made mistakes and atoned for them, I don't believe that blaming someone crying out for help is the way to go.

It was also said that it is not 'God's will' that a marriage fail. My question should've been "Is it God's will that a person just take years of abuse?" But, I held back.

I'm definitely not comfortable with this counselor. While faith has gotten him through some very dark times, I don't think it should be the blanket answer to the problems here. We need very realistic and very practical advice if this is going to work. Does that mean that faith gets shoved out of the picture? No. But I've done a LOT of praying over the years that things would get better. They would, then the cycle would begin again.

I'm starting a new attitude in my life. It's about me and my kids. Period. I'll continue to go to the sessions and give it an honest try, but my focus is shifting to the reality that this marriage MAY not survive. I don't know.

I've begun to take time for myself while the kids are in school. I'm going to a day spa today for a wax before my upcoming beach weekend. I'm going alone to just sit and be. I'll leave my carbon footprint by just converting oxygen to carbon dioxide. That's the hardest thing I want to do. I've spent so many years trying to take care of everyone and everything else that I got lost somewhere along the line. I have to find myself and not feel guilty for taking care of that broken spirit. My kids deserve a happy mom, and with the strength of God and friends, I'll give them just that.

No matter what, I think I see peace at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

Monday, March 22, 2010

R.I.P. Freedom: July 4, 1776-March 21, 2010

Last night at the bar, a customer asked if we could put C-SPAN on as the Obamarxcare vote was set to start soon. The fact that we are a sports bar would usually discourage such requests, but we complied with the customer's wishes.

A myriad of people from all socio-economic groups of the American landscape watched intensely as the vote began. I stopped my work doing the weekly beer and liquor inventory to join my fellow Americans in watching freedom slip away.

As the votes started coming in, the chatter started. The majority of people sharing a moment in history were pulling for freedom to once again prevail. Of course, you had your few jagoffs applauding as liberty took its last breath, and there were also the "Who-gives-a-f***" people. A few more drinks, and things would've gotten ugly. I wasn't in the mood to break up a fight; I was in mourning.

The final tally appeared, and those who danced on the grave of freedom quickly finished their drinks and left. The rhetoric as they left was laced with the sarcastic rantings about finally defeating the policies of those mean Republicans. Yes, the entitlement crowd likes to stop at the bar for a few.

I went back to doing my inventory with a heavy heart and little concentration. I had just witnessed the symbolic burning of my beloved Constitution. I questioned whether the Founding Fathers were crying. They were. And their sacrifices and hard work were all for naught last night. I was ashamed of what this country has become.

I pray that a Constitutional challenge is filed posthumously on behalf of the victim here: freedom. It's going to be a long, hard challenge to resurrect freedom once again, but, just like the mythical Phoenix, liberty will rise from the ashes once again. For the sake of future generations, it has to.

One thing you can count on, though. Those who are celebrating today will make sure they're standing there with a fire hose to extinguish the rise of the Phoenix.

It's time to make our stand, folks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Last Try

I know I've been away for a while (entirely too long for me), but, as many of you know, I've been dealing with some personal issues here on the homefront. It hasn't been easy, and things have taken an even more hideous turn in the past day or two.

For some reason, I've become emboldened in my quest for happiness of late. I don't know whether it's been the support of all yinz or the grace of God, but I've actually had the wherewithal to just be honest about my feelings and my take on the situation. Until last night, the hubby's reaction was one of disbelief mixed with a sense of frustration over not being able to make it right in an instant. I kindly explained that it didn't come to this overnight, so it wasn't going to get fixed overnight. He seemed to understand when I said I need to deal with some things in my own time and space. Then, last night happened.

We went to get a bite to eat before stopping by Wal-Mart to get a few items. It was just him, me, and Cheyenne. During the course of the meal, he started prodding me to talk about things. I didn't feel that it was appropriate to have Cheyenne witness all of the potential ugliness, but he kept pushing and pushing and pushing..... It ended up as a screaming match in the dining room and Cheyenne hysterically screaming "Daddy, you let Mommy alone!" Very ugly.

This morning, he didn't go to work because he said he felt sick. I can understand that. Been there in my first marriage and reliving it in my second. He once again starts digging for answers. Not getting anywhere, I decided to go to the mall and clear my head for a while. I didn't hide where I was going and said I'd return in a short while. Upon arriving home, he up and leaves for wherever saying things along the line of he can't believe I don't want to work things out. On the contrary, we're to attend our first counseling session on Monday. If I didn't care, I would've just left with the kids.

When he got home, we decided to take the kids to the local McD's for dinner and some time out. In the middle of eating, he starts again. I left there in tears. Stopping at the bar, I put my notice in. I know it's caving into him, but at this point it's standing on principle or my sanity. My kids need a sane mom.

He calls before I got home (we had taken two cars) and says that he's spending the weekend at his parents' house. He can't deal with being in the same house and feeling like he can't get near me or talk to me, so he's gone for the weekend.

I think the larger problem is that lately I haven't reacted to his pressure the way I normally did. I'm stronger now. Before, I would've done anything just to keep the peace and not rock the boat. Now, I feel like I'm in the last lap at Daytona. I'm hellbent on getting the issues resolved one way or the other, whether that means we fix our relationship or part ways. Either way, I know there is peace ahead.

Thanks to everyone who has been here to give me your loving thoughts and prayers. YOU are part of the reason I'm getting through this. It touches me deeply. I now know that there are people out there who care and that I'm someone worthy of that kind of love. Yinz are my angels.

I'll let you know how Monday pans out. Until then, I'll be thanking God for all of you.

All my love,
B & G

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Night Fluff

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hump Day Hootenanny: Asia

Always loved this one. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The American Worker ID Card: Beware This, Folks!!

Maybe I'm the only one who sees a problem with this, but I think it's worth covering from the perspective of personal liberty.

According to, the Senate is busy crafting an immigration plan that would require all workers in the U.S. to carry an ID card with embedded information (including fingerprints). Anyone else see the potential for governmental abuse should this come to fruition? And people thought the Patriot Act was horrific.

The bill is being sponsored by Chucky Schumer (D-NY) and RINO extraordinaire Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and faces a tough battle in the Senate. In an interview, Schmucky Schumer made the following statement:

"It's the nub of solving the immigration dilemma politically speaking," Schumer said in an interview. The card, he said, would directly answer concerns that after legislation is signed, another wave of illegal immigrants would arrive. "If you say they can't get a job when they come here, you'll stop it."

That's right. Hand over your personal information to the government wonks, and the illegal immigration problem will vanish into thin air. What a moron!

"It is fundamentally a massive invasion of people's privacy," said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We're not only talking about fingerprinting every American, treating ordinary Americans like criminals in order to work. We're also talking about a card that would quickly spread from work to voting to travel to pretty much every aspect of American life that requires identification."

Now, there are issues that I couldn't disagree more with the ACLU, but this ain't one of them. They see the potential for abuse just as plain as day. If this goes through, folks, we are nothing more than avatars in the government version of the Sims. They'll control our lives in ways never dreamed of by the Founding Fathers. And all in the name of curbing illegal immigration.

I've got a boffo idea. How about militarizing our borders??? Or putting a double fence along the border with surplus land mines in between? It worked in Berlin for many years! THAT'S what we should be doing. Instead, Schumer and Graham feel the need to curb our personal liberties once again to seem compassionate to those who violate our laws.

Dear reader, this is another attempt to inject government even further into our everyday lives. I urge all of you to stay informed on this matter and let your representatives in Congress know that you will NOT stand for this erosion of liberty. The freedom you enjoy today could be gone tomorrow if Schumer and Graham have their way.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Honeymoon's Over: Escalation

Here it comes. After days of being sucked up to, the escalation period of the cycle has begun. I dread what I know is coming.

Over the past week or so, I've gone into shutdown mode. Emotionally and physically distancing myself, I've retreated within the confines of my own being. I guess it's some sort of defense mechanism on my part.

The escalation started last night. While chatting with a friend on Facebook (a female friend), the snide comments started.

"I guess I'm the only lonely one around here."

"Guess I'm going to have to get on the computer to talk."

Comments like these are made to do one thing: get me to feel guilty because HIS wants and needs aren't being met. From there, guilt is used to keep me in isolation from the world.

Back when I worked for a large fast-food chain, I had a very close friend whose husband was dying of brain cancer. Being his only caregiver, she suggested that her and I go to Amish country for the weekend to get away and decompress. It sounded wonderful. She needed a break, and I was hungry for a different perspective on the world. The drudgery would've been broken, and she would be able to talk openly about her situation. But it wasn't meant to be.

"Sure, you'll spend time with her, but not me. We never spend any time together, and you want to spend some free time with someone else. What about me? I'm your husband. You should want to spend time with me first." Needless to say, I didn't go.

After so many times of making excuses for not being able to go, friends quit asking. The isolation grows.

Friends haven't been the only ones who I've had to make excuses to. My family has quit asking me to do things because they don't want to piss off the husband and make my life miserable. I have done things in the past with my family, but when I have, my cell rings at least 10 times while I'm gone with the same question: When am I coming home? With each phone call, the tone is a little more harsh. When I'd get home, the verbal assault would begin. And the cycle would start all over again.

I have a knot in my stomach as I type this because I know what's coming. It's like watching a train wreck, and you can't do anything to stop it. Hope seems rare on days like today.

I just pray to God that He gives me the strength to weather the storm looming on the horizon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hump Day Hootenanny: My Current Favorite

I've really been digging this song of late. The video's a little freaky, but the tune's catchy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Whole Lotta Booty-Kissin' Going On

Last week, I started to document my journey to a better life for me and my kids. For those who may not have read, I've finally had enough of emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse after living it for 20 years. I deserve better than that, and, at the age of 43, I don't want to spend my remaining years unhappy.

The honeymoon phase of the cycle has continued. Sickeningly sweet for the better part of the time, I think the hubby has realized that something is amiss but can't quite pinpoint it. He made it a point to make sure I knew that he was taking the kids to church on Sunday. No offers of or attempts made at helping around the house, but it's almost like I'm being sent the message of "Hey! I know something's wrong, but I'm instantly going to be a great person!" Yeah, maybe for now.

The temptation to just chalk all of this up to me having a bad few days and forgetting it is strong. I have to resist the urge to just carry on as before. If I don't, it's only a matter of time before I'm right back to square one, and I just can't do it. I have to focus.

Last night, I got a glimpse into why my backside has lip marks all over it.

I need to preface this next part with an important point. The hubby has been given anything he wants all his life. Sure, he's worked hard for a lot of things, but he's always made sure that what HE wants is paramount. He gets an idea planted in his head, and it turns into an obsession until he gets what he wants. There is no logic behind it. He's a junkie who needs to satisfy a craving.

He asked me last night what I thought of a piece of property that sits immediately off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Primo property, it has been the site of three failed restaurants. I don't know why, but it has.

The reason he asked was revealed next. He thinks it would be a great place to put a franchise restaurant and offer travelers more of a choice when stopping for food. The idea is great, but the implementation is what bothers me. Done the right way, the potential is there to do very well.

Looking into the initial cost, we discovered that it's going to take a total of $1.3 to $2.3 million just to get the doors open. That price includes real estate. My stomach turned.

"WE have to gamble big!!" he said.

"Yes, but when you gamble big, you can lose big. I don't want to lose everything." was my reply.

His solution to the potential loss of everything we've worked for (especially the house)? Move in with his parents. Oh joy. There's something that'll push me over the edge.

While I understand that you don't get anywhere without risk, I just can't back this idea. It falls under the "Does your abuser accumulate debt for you to handle?" category. It makes me sick.

I bought tickets for Wednesday's Powerball jackpot. Pray that "my Limbaugh baby" wins!!! He wouldn't have to worry about anyone else getting half.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fear of Sharia Law Drives British Teacher to Possible Suicide

Imagine this scenario: You are a beautiful, young woman from Britain. Wanting to do your part to better humanity, you take a teaching position at an international school in a muslim country. Your ex-boyfriend, for whatever reason, uploads provocative pictures to your Facebook account and tells a colleague of yours about them. The colleague then accuses you of prostitution in a country where Sharia Law is common. What do you do?

This is exactly what happened to 24-year-old Emma Jones (photo), a teacher in Abu Dhabi. Her former boyfriend, Jamie Brayley, allegedly stole some images of Emma from her computer and uploaded them to her Facebook page. Knowing that she could face potential jail time or death under Sharia Law, Ms. Jones drank a corrosive liquid in a possible suicide. I say "possible" because she apparently was found with her passport in her jeans and clothes ready to be packed as if to return to Britain.

From The Telegraph:

Deputy assistant coroner Thomas Atherton said he did not believe Mr Brayley was to blame for Miss Jones’s death.

Mr Atherton said he could not be sure Miss Jones, a sociology graduate, meant to kill herself and recorded an open verdict.

He said she may have accidentally drunk cleaning fluid from an unlabelled container, mistakenly believing it was water.

He said: "For whatever reason Emma expressed concern she was about to be arrested and put in prison.

"She agreed the best course of action was to leave Abu Dhabi and return to Britain. Her clothes were out and her passport was in her pocket.

“That's not someone who is contemplating suicide."

So here we have a young woman who just wanted to teach killing herself (allegedly; Vince Foster, call your office) because her ex-boyfriend decided to seek revenge in a country where women are possessions and have less rights than animals. And what better way to do it than to use the barbarism that is Sharia Law against her. The man is a scumbag of epic proportions.

We constantly hear about how islam is such a peaceful religion and that women really have nothing to fear under Sharia Law. Oh really? Then maybe those who support Sharia Law could explain why so many women are killed in so-called "honor killings" because they dared to live like a respectable human being with God-given rights. In Ms. Jones's case, however, she chose to take her own life in a horrific manner rather than face the torture that she believed was to be her punishment for nothing she did. Truly a sad story to tell.

While Emma Jones is only one story of fear of Sharia Law, the question remains: How many Emmas are there whose stories we don't hear? How many women commit suicide rather than face judgment by a group of Stone Age men with higher regard for their reputation than human life? I'd bet the numbers would amaze a rational person.