Posted in Good Things, Word Therapy

Saturday Morning Cartoons: We Will Rock You

Because we all need an anthem. Here are a few options to choose from.

Anderson Paak on SNL:

The joy in his performance and the fluidity of his movement. All sealed with that beautiful smile at the end.

The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry in Online Relationships:

Busy Phillips and her Instastories told me to go give this a listen. It got me through my recent reminder. It has humor, a Francis and the Lights like song in I Like America and America Likes Me, and every track could define a scene in a movie. It is an epic showcase of their talent.

The Hannukah Song by Adam Sandler:

I still know it by heart after all this time (it’s been almost 25 years and that is completely unacceptable).

2019 Grammy Nominations:

It has been a great year for music and the Grammy nominees that were announced yesterday morning featured a lot of my favorites: Kacey Musgraves, Childish Gambino, A Star is Born, etc. Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer was also recognized. It is sexy, catchy, and empowering.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Calming the Voices, Word Therapy

A Reminder

I stopped at the red light, careful to take some deep breaths. In through my nose, out through my mouth. The breeze was icy, even though I was sweating under my oversized olive green sweatshirt. I hooked my right foot under the bike pedal, prepared to go. The light turned my favorite color and I cycled off the curb. Once I crossed the street while avoiding the car who had pulled halfway through the crosswalk, I changed my gears to number one.

I started emulating a hamster wheel, feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere. But as the hill became steeper, I started making headway. It was hard. My thighs and butt hurt. My brain kept repeating how much it hurt. But thankfully my cheerleader was on the sidelines. She told me, “Bitch, you got this! (she looks and sounds like P!nk in case you were wondering).”

I concentrated on close markers. A light pole, an arrow on the pavement, or even just the end of a sidewalk. I didn’t miss the irony of the “No Stopping at Any Time” sign. My brain was still on a mission to get me to stop. “Just because you did it once doesn’t mean you can do it again,” it told me. I kept moving.

I tried to stay close to the ditch to avoid the cars whipping around the corner. But if I got too close to the curb my pedal would smack it. Fallen pinecones from the trees that lined the street threatened to derail me from my ride.

I neared the top. I was tired but knew I wouldn’t stop. I leveled out for about 50 feet and then it got harder until I got to the intersection and had to pump my legs their quickest to make the light. I had made it.

My life is now divided into two parts: before Prozac and after. Everything since I started Prozac has been self-awareness. Anything of importance has a light shone on it. I have learned to not feel bad setting boundaries and sticking to them. I have learned that no matter how much I want somebody in my life out of obligation or love, my happiness doesn’t need to come at a cost. I have learned that being the victim only keeps me standing still and prevents me from achieving life goals. I have learned that taking a job to pay the bills doesn’t mean I’m giving up my dreams, no matter how fucking old I am (the anger and curse words are my fuel). And last but not least, no matter how hard something is, it will be okay (even if P!nk is the one who has to tell me).

And one last thing: to the friend who told me, “I hope you keep writing”, you have no idea what that meant to me. Thank you.

Posted in Good Things, Word Therapy

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Social Media Weariness

My phone has this new shaming feature. Every morning when I wake up and decide to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, it first lets me know how long I averaged on my phone the day before. I won’t scare you with the details but let’s just say I have no business telling my kids to get off their electronics. And if I am being honest, I am tired of waiting for good news to come of the U.S.’s current political state (Twitter), of looking at people’s lives that make me feel like I am a failure in all aspects of my life (Instagram), and waiting for people to care about what’s happening our country (Facebook). The following brought me some happiness this week. 

Detective Pickachu trailer

I am pretty sure I rolled my eyes when I heard this was being made. But when the trailer premiered this week, it surprised the hell out of me. I love Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith. And all the cute Pokemons! Yes, I am excited for that other animated feature but I loved to be surprised.

Taron Egerton being trained for Robin Hood

I don’t think we really need another Robin Hood film, especially with Ben Mendelsohn as the bad guy. But this video of Taron Egerton as Robin Hood being trained by Lars Andersen has peaked my interest.

Over the Garden Wall series

This animated series can be found on Hulu and came out in 2014. Recently an author I follow on social media recommended it and I decided to give it a shot. Each episode is it’s own little story of brothers Wirt (Elijah Wood) and Greg (Collin Dean) as they try to make it back home after getting lost. It is creepy, sweet, and weird. My husband and I loved it.

Widows

Just saw this yesterday and I was vibrating when I left the theater. It has a heist, a love story, political corruption, and action scenes that will leave you jarred. I told my hubby before I saw it that I imagined it as a female Heat. But I think it might have been even better.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Fighting for the Good, Good Things, Word Therapy

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Find the Good

Smile at a stranger. Open the door for someone. Put that shopping cart away that is taking up a spot in an already busy parking lot. Hug the hell out of your loved ones. It’s week number 8 million into this rotten white house administration (they don’t deserve my capital letters) and I plan on finding the good and contributing some this weekend. Love you all.

Panic! At the Disco’s “The Greatest Show” cover from The Greatest Showman:

It’s possible I like this cover better than the original. Brendon Urie’s voice is made for musicals (and somebody please put his butt back on Broadway!)

Queen at Live Aid:

Have you seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet? It is a great film that ends with Freddie and the boys giving their iconic performance for Bob Geldof and the world. They were truly a gift.

Missing Link Laika movie trailer:

Coraline. Paranorman. Boxtrolls. Kubo and the Two Strings. All of these animated features are unique, have heart, and are more than just “kids’ films”. The new movie from Laika Studios is about a creature trying to find his family. The trailer made me giggle.

Tuba cover of Hamilton’s “You’ll Be Back”:

Covers of songs from the hit Broadway show continue to astonish me in the best way possible. Lin-Manuel Miranda himself shared this on Twitter this week and it gave me goosebumps.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Good Things, Word Therapy

Saturday Morning Cartoons

The marathon that is the holidays is coming up and we all need our coping skills packed and ready to go (White Fudge Oreos? Check.). Social media can make it even harder but just remember we all have family issues, not all of our friends are there for us, and dogs will never let us down.

Hasan Minaj being Queer Eyed by Tanvir France: I will never call my favorite drink Tea Tea again.

Trailer for Netflix’s Dogs: I just bought stock in Kleenex. You should too.

Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House: Yes, October is over along with the need for scary stories (I am looking at you news channels-PLEASE VOTE 11/6). But this family drama being tormented by ghosts will make you burst into tears, jump more than once, and make your heart hurt. As an emotion junkie who likes to be made to feel things, this was right up my alley.

Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: I mentioned this show a few weeks ago from the producers of Riverdale. I binged it in under a week and it delivered on its promise to be dark and eerie. This story of a strong teenage witch tackles religion, LGBTQ issues, and female empowerment. It does have mature elements but if my Curls decided to watch it I would be right there to answer any questions she might have and help her understand.

Sia’s Holiday album: I told my husband with pride that I managed to take down all the Halloween decorations down this week. He snarkily replied that he was surprised he didn’t come home to Christmas decorations ( I so love my Grinch of a hubby). Whether you are taking the holidays one step at a time or diving head first into the deep end (you do you), this album from last year is my new go to and I am going to do my best to not drive my family crazy by playing it once a day (at least).

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Good Things, Word Therapy

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Let’s not rehash the week and just dive into the good stuff, shall we?

Under the Shadow: Want a scary ghost story without the gore? Under the Shadow is set in the 80s during the Iraq and Iran war. A mom and her daughter live in Iran in an apartment complex where they are subjected to air raids due to bombings by Iraq. As other tenants start to evacuate, the mom finally agrees to head to her in-laws for safety but not before finding her daughter’s missing doll. When she can’t find it she starts to believe a ghost is haunting them and preventing them from leaving.

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2:

I really can’t gush enough about this show, it just makes me deliriously happy. The central characters, Midge and Susie, have an authentic, funny, and strong friendship. Midge’s confidence and enthusiasm as she chases her dream of becoming a comedian is inspiring. The will they or won’t they between Midge and her ex-husband Michael has me fully invested. And good god, those costumes deserve their own shrine with candles lit.

Birdbox trailer:

This upcoming Netflix action/drama/horror movie starring boss lady Sandra Bullock is written by the man (Eric Heisserer) who penned Arrival. The world starts coming to an end when an alien invasion causes humans who see them to commit suicide. They are always on the hunt, forcing survivors such as Sandra and her two children to try and find safety while being blindfolded. Playing on the basic need to protect your own at all cost is at the heart of this tense looking story (release date in theaters and Netflix will be 12/21)

Pink! With daughter Willow for “A Million Dreams”

Oh My Heart. If you don’t already love this song from the wildly popular The Greatest Showman soundtrack, you will after hearing Willow’s sweet voice with proud mama bear Pink singing right next to her.

Andy Lassner and Chrissy Teigen do the The Purge maze at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights:

Every year Ellen forces her producer Andy to survive a horror maze at Universal Studios. This time he was accompanied by model and chef Chrissy Teigen. Andy never disappoints with his reactions and Chrissy’s giggling and trying to console Andy makes them a perfect match.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Fighting for the Good, Word Therapy

Please talk to at least one person about voting today

In March of 1999, I started as a customer service representative in a banking call center. Throughout the floor were tv monitors hanging from the ceiling. CNN was playing on each one with the news ticker scrolling continuously at the bottom, a reporter speaking on the current headlines, and “breaking news” always in some corner. In 2000, I watched George W. Bush win the presidential election over Al Gore (the results are debatable to this day). On September 11, 2001, I sat at my desk on the opposite side of the floor where I started and watched as the planes flew into the Twin Towers. I was talking to my Florida based boss on the phone as he told me, “Oh god, we are going to war.” During the summer of 2004 my husband and I walked through our local movie theater to see Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11 while being booed by other patrons. Five months later, Bush won the presidential election for a consecutive term. 12 years later we were stricken with fear when Donald Trump won the 2016 election. My hubby and I have lost relationships with family members and friends because of our political views. What are our views? We register as Democrats. We feel that the rights of the LGBTQ community and people of color are in dire need of support. We believe in climate change.

Did you know that in two important states right now voter suppression is happening? In Georgia where democrat Stacey Abrams is in contention for governor, there has been 53,000 voter registrations on hold due to Georgia’s “exact match” policy. This means that if the information in the Department of Driver database or the Social Security office doesn’t exactly match the voter registration, it won’t be processed. It has been reported that African Americans make up to 70 percent of these possible voters. And connected to this is her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp. He is the current secretary of state for Georgia and is in charge of enforcing the voter laws. You can read more about it here.

It is less than two weeks to the midterm election. Depending on your state you can still register to vote. If you have registered, can you vote early? Can you mail in your ballot? We mailed our ballots last week. The ballot was a little overwhelming but having all the information I needed in my hand (thanks Google! and Ballotpedia!) gave me no excuses.

I had a dream last night that my family and I were staying in an Airbnb and the next occupants came in before we left. They set up their stuff which included a Confederate Flag. I froze when I saw it. Terror set in. When I woke up, bombs had been sent to Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, the CNN offices, etc., etc. I want to smack the hell out of everybody that said I was overreacting when Cheeto Satan was elected.

We are keeping our heads down and not letting anything distract us. We are donating to those who need it. I mailed postcards to voters to get the word out. This election can change everything. Is there something you can do to help? THERE IS. Speak to at least one person today about voting. I am not saying to tell them who to vote for. Just the simple act of voting can change the direction of our country.

 

Posted in Word Therapy

Tears of Rage and Joy

I forgot to take my medicine yesterday. Woke up today feeling like I had cried all night: tired, puffy eyes, and ragey. The tears want to flow and I have no self control to stop them. Anger at the world is taking up so much space in my brain that I am starting to forget things ( I would tell you what but I can’t remember what those things are). I want to stop watching the news but want to stay informed. I want to encourage people to vote but don’t have enough followers on social media to feel like I will be making a difference. It’s become harder and harder to stay focused. A thought pops in my head and is gone in an instant. The demon voices are louder than the “it’s okay” voices. With my phone in my hand I just keep scrolling with no willpower to just put it down and walk away. This feeling of mania sucks the energy out of me. The walls are inching closer and closer and I am too tired to stop them. I want to give up on writing and take a nap. My nerve endings are at full attention, daring to be battled with as another form of punishment. Music only illicits two kinds of emotions: sadness or annoyance because it’s too much. I am that cartoon where the character walks around with a cloud over its head and a sourpuss face.

I hold my head in my hands for a period of time. I pick up my phone. I read a chapter of the book I am currently reading. The cloud is now impairing my vision. I am exhausted. The rollercoaster of emotions is taking it’s toll but my stubborness tells me to keep writing. I feel like I have nothing of substance to say. At this point I am just spewing verbal diarrhea.

15 minutes later

I have taken a breath. I feel brighter. Watched a funny video on the internet. Feel motivated to write with a plan. Sitting up straighter. Did some internet retail therapy browsing. Ready to dive back in. I know that I can only count on today. Tomorrow is something I can’t control so I let it go. Still feeling tired and not 100% focused. Will breathe until I get it right. Will cry if I need to.

This was all in the span of one hour this morning. It didn’t help that I didn’t make my medicine. But when this storm of top to bottom emotions come on, all I can do is ride it out. I have to repeat, “it will be okay.” Most of the time I believe it. I won’t stop saying it. I will try and be kind to myself. I will not stop being vocal about the injustices of the world. I won’t allow myself to give up even when my brain tells me that all hope is gone.

I am going to go eat a piece of chocolate. Be kind to yourself and others on this World Mental Health Day. We owe it to ourselves if we are going to win this battle. Sending you love.

Posted in Word Therapy

Flags

img_2436

Curls made this flag. She talks to me a lot about the LGBTQIA identities: bi, gender fluid, nonbinary, etc. I don’t know all the different ways kids identify themselves these days. But I do know that it’s ridiculous that people get upset when a Sesame Street writer states that Bert and Ernie are gay. Don’t bring sex into a children’s show they say. By that rationale, shouldn’t that mean there are no couples at all, straight or otherwise?

Acceptance and understanding is not something I see a lot of these days. Shouldn’t we leave Earth better than when we got here?  To come from a place of love and knowledge to try and understand the next generation? The following is a list of LGBTQIA terms and their corresponding flags. I hope it helps.

Asexual: Someone who does not feel sexual attraction or identifies as a sexual orientation.

Asexual flag

Bisexual: When a person is attracted to some men and women.

Bisexual flag

Cisgender: When your gender identity accurately reflects your sex assigned at birth, aka being “straight.”

Gay: People who identify as men and are attracted to some men.

Gay flag

Gender: A set of social, psychological, and emotional traits. Refers to social and emotional feelings and norms. Gender characteristics can change over time and vary across different cultural contexts.

Gender fluid: A term used by people whose identity shifts or fluctuates. Sometimes these individuals may identify or express themselves as more masculine on some days, and more feminine on others.

Gender Fluid flag

Intersex: People born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. Hermaphrodite is no longer an acceptable way to refer to intersex people and is understood to be by some as a slur.

Intersex flag

Nonbinary: A person who identifies as neither male nor female and sees themselves outside the gender binary.

Non binary flag

Pansexual: Someone who is attracted to people of all gender identities, or someone who is attracted to a person’s qualities regardless of their gender identity.

Pansexual flag

Queer: An umbrella term to refer to all LGBTQ people as well as an identity which advocates breaking binary thinking and seeing both sexual orientation and gender identity as potentially fluid. Historically it has been derogatory and can still be viewed negatively by some.

Sexual Orientation: The deep-down, inner feeling of who we are attracted or “oriented” to emotionally, erotically, and/or sexually.

Transgender: A broad umbrella term that can be used to describe people whose gender expression is non-conforming and/or whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth. They may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgerically. People must self-identify as transgender in order fo the term to be appropriately used to describe them.

Trans flag

References: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/style/lgbtq-gender-language.html

https://www.nyu.edu/students/communities-and-groups/student-diversity/lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-queer-student-center/glossary-of-important-lgbt-terms.html

Posted in Wellness, Word Therapy

You are not alone

The first time I tried I was in my teens. The second I was a mom to two babies. I had lost all hope and I couldn’t see life getting any better. Everything that could go wrong did. I tried to lock myself in the bathroom with a mouthful of pills. I was stopped by the person who loves me the most. I was told to look at my children. I was asked if I really wanted to do this. He called family, telling them he didn’t know what to do. I spit the pills in the toilet. Things did eventually get better. I was lucky.

Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and countless others that we don’t know but don’t make them any less important. They took their own lives, no matter how happy they looked to us. “Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide, and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts.”-NAMI

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. If you read or watch the news you know mental health is a hot topic. Finding help and getting the coverage for it is stigmatized. Speaking about it makes people uncomfortable. But we have all felt despair at times in our lives. Imagine feeling so hopeless that leaving this Earth feels like your only option? Here are some stats from NAMI that alarmed me as the mother of two kids with their teenage years around the corner:

  • 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 live with a mental condition
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24
  • 37 % of students with a mental health condition at age 14 and older drop out of school

Follow this to know what the 10 common warning signs are.

As much as I talk about anything and everything, I don’t like to talk about how I got to a place where I tried to end my life. Depression has definitely affected me my whole life but I never thought during those two times that it would lead to making that decision. It came on suddenly with such an overwhelming feeling of desperation. I wanted to do something drastic so I didn’t have to feel what I was feeling anymore. I am grateful every day that I failed. With my medicine, writing, and exercise, I can now identify when I am feeling bad and why. I can see things with perspective. I know I am strong enough to handle whatever is thrown at me. I didn’t before. Back then I felt all alone in the world. But I wasn’t then and I’m not now. None of us are. And if you don’t feel that you can reach out to friends or family, here are some places that you can:

NAMI

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Trevor Project

You are loved.