on day 211 in the year 2014, i hope to have all of our credit cards paid off.  this is less of a dream and actually quite attainable as we have been using one of those credit counselingdebt programs for the last few years and are finally in the homestretch.  by july 30, i should also have my car paid off- WOO-FUCKIN-HOO!  so clearly, we’ll be doing monespend all the moneyy angels on the floor (think snow angels, but in giant piles of crisp twenty dollar bills)!  this will free up about $800-  *mind boggles*… i’m practically salivating thinking about all of that money!

we have been so behind on bills and so far in over our heads in debt for so long- there just still doesn’t even seem to be a light at the end of our impoverished tunnel, but it’s there.  we live paycheck to paycheck, day to day, on a budget of under $400 a month for groceries for a family of three and with ZERO frills in life.  we don’t go out to movies or out to restaurants,  we don’t have fancy cars and don’t have even cable.  hell, we use our neighbor’s internet connection for fucksake.  i can’t remember the last time i bought clothes or shoes and my bras have been reduced to basically some material attached to a string- the elasticity is all but gone.

easter candywe celebrated Thriftmas this year and didn’t spend a penny on anything other than Christmas dinner.  my boyfriend works overtime and i’m working on a second job.  i don’t know how we got so broke- but here we are.  the thought of $800 elevates my heart rate and i honestly get giddy!  i’m not looking at $800 a month for blowing on vacations or ridiculously unnecessary designer bags or clothes, but i WOULD like to buy some new underpants and i’d die of ecstasy to buy a new pair of jeans (i currently only have two pair and i alternate them every day- all week).  we aren’t going to go buy new phones or iPads or even ANY sort of technology, but it will be GLORIOUS to be able to buy MILK ANY TIME WE WANT.  oh.  it will be heaven.

we don’t have netflix or a dvr-thingy.   we borrow dvds from friends and get books from the library.  we play board games and make our own pizzas from scratch.  but these are things we enjoy, so that aspect of our lives won’t change.  but it will be SO AMAZING to say- “let’s go out to chinese” and just go.  it will be nice not to go into a panic when our brakes get squealy, or have a full blown panic attack when an appliance goes on the fritz.  OH MY FUCK! I CAN GET A HAIRCUT BY A PROFESSIONAL AGAIN INSTEAD OF TRIMMING THIS SHAG RUG ON MY HEAD MYSELF!  oh happy day!!!!

we are used to getting by on nothing.  and i mean NOTHING, and that’s ok, we’ve made it this far on nothing.  we don’t need MUCH.  we don’t need all the bells and whistles and frills like most people and have survived for a very long time with NOTHING.  when we FINALLY get SOMETHING, we aren’t going to change, we just won’t need to scrounge and scrimp and forego EVERYTHING.  we can have SOME THINGS.

bath salts

life will change.  it will be so much easier in 190 days.  and better.  and if not, hell, with $800 extra a month?  we’ll just fucking BUY a better life.



Sweet Sixteen

happyI COULD talk about my ‘sweet sixteen’ but that would depress the hell out of me.  while other kids were learning to drive and out shopping for electric blue prom dresses, i was taking care of my family and playing grown up to a failing household.  the situation is the subject to of so many of my memoirs, writings and things that i have read at open mic nights that i just don’t even feel like i can tell it again.

so instead- here is a list of sixteen things that make me smile-

  1. eating a piece of my son’s burnt almond birthday torte and pretending that it is a petit four that i am enjoying at a wedding.
  2.  snow flurries

    beautiful peacock eyes

  3. my son’s sense of humor
  4. meatless monday yummies
  5. a good cup of coffee
  6. finishing something i’ve been writing
  7. peacock feathers
  8. tattoos
  9. the SAW movies-  i think the puzzles and traps are so inventive, created by a twisted mind and brought to life for the world to see
  10. my boyfriend, lucas
  11. plants vs zombies
  12. a clean bathroom
  13. jammies fresh out of the dryer
  14. the smell of freshly baked bread
  15. butterfly gardens
  16. getting to sleep in

so, this list isn’t literature or heavy and deep, but it made me smile. so make that number 17.


Time, Life and My Beautiful He

I let reality wake me this morning. with my head still on the pillow, crystallized white shimmers twinkled and flew by the window. warm face on a warmer pillow, i listened to the gentle resting breaths of the person beside me. so familiar was the face, so connected are our lives, so much in love with the human form next to me.

endlessly dripping toilet. the hum of the refrigerator. clicking heater. home sounds. tucking my feet under extra folds of crinkly cotton comforter, i listen to the scree-ing of branches scraping the frosted windows. outside winter was celebrating with another round of snow, ice and blasting shivering cold. i inhaled deeply, my nose not yet cleared from the dryness of a blowing furnace-warmed room, and placed a hand on the muscled flesh beside me. scattered freckles, dry, overworked hands, prickle stubbled face. bright white cotton tee shirt holding it all in, giving his shoulders, arm and back soft comfort.

my hair is constructed into its usual bun. my face is worn and weather beaten. dry. dry. everything is dry. parched lips, craving bubblegum or lemonade flavored lip balm. tired eyes. i am not the age of my body. too many pounds, muscles unused, neglectful habits, under appreciated flesh. overeager mind trapped in an ungainly, unworkable body. my eyes trying to answer the questions my brain seeks.

“why does he love me?”
“am i good enough?
“am i deserving?”
“how did i get so lucky?”

nine years. nine years of a combined life with this freckly person next to me. short hair, always short, the color of champagne after it has lost it’s bubble. lines of worry, denting his beautiful face, caused by money stress, job stress, responsibility stress, too-much-on-his-shoulders stress, it-has-to-get-better stress. i wonder if those weathered lines will disappear when the money worry is gone. will mother nature erase the damage? will she unfold the creases? will she show kindness on a weary face? does life apologize to those who have tried so hard to succeed? we never get the chance to go back, those that have suffered, those who wade through life’s shit; those among the others in the world that carve our paths through stone.

my mind goes through the TO DO list for today, turning pages as in a child’s flip book. and i glance over at him again, stealing just one more moment of his quiet beauty.



You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

I USED to have a reputation as a party girl. and this fatbitch here lived up to it. i was pretty proud of it in fact. you could lay out four shots of ANYTHING on the bar, and girlfriend here would drink it. again, i’m actually proud of it. i had my very own custom drink at a bar and even would get the old “NORM!”-from-cheers-type of yell when i would walk into certain places. it was a very nice ego boost and helped my morbidly obese self esteem a lot. alcoholic-ally speaking, i realize that’s not really a good thing. eh. *shrugs* i had the reputation of being the first person on the dance floor and was going strong until the house lights came on and the dj tried shooing everyone away with Closing Time by Semisonic. i was a diva and people enjoyed it. i was a plus sized goddess and i had lots of followers (none of which were chubby chasers, thank you very much). i had a reputation. but in a very very positive way. people looked to me for a fun night of dancing and partying. i was everyone’s cruise director; friday night would roll around and i’d get a dozen texts of “what’s going on for tonite?” i was fun. and everyone had fun when they were with me. there was no shame in that. i was an inspiration to fat girls. they saw me dressing the way i wanted to, i got hit on, picked up, always had people buying me drinks, i always had dates, got hookups- you name it. anything us fat girls envied the skinny girls for- i did. and people noticed. it was fantastic. i was a chubby girl hero for fucksake.

now before you go and think i was some boozy slutbag (which in actuality, i was) i was also a good mom. i truly was. not in a Jerry Springer- “I GOT SIX BABY DADDY TO MY KEEDS, BUT I’M STILL A GOOD MOM”-defense-type of way- i really was. i was a proud mom. a boozy partier- mom. go ahead and judge all you want. my former marriage was rough and admittedly i married too young. so i got my second chance. and i didn’t waste a second.   but for as much as people loved the party girl part of me- they also loved how much i cherished my son.  i had a reputation for being an awesome mother.  IN YOUR FACE, NAYSAYERS!  i did it all!  true story!

but that was back in my hayday. i’m pretty much the same person as i ever was- but not really. i’m still a good mom and i still can do four shots without thinking, but i don’t go home with different people anymore. i volunteer a lot and spend more time in my jammies than i used to, but i still enjoy life. i don’t feel as inspiring to anyone anymore, especially fat girls, but, i hope that a younger version of me is out there somewhere, dancing with strangers, having all of her drinks bought for her and living life for all it’s worth.

but beyond good mom and a very active member of the Pittsburgh GLBT community, i don’t have much of a reputation anymore and i’m okay with that. i’m involved in a lot of things and do as much as i can, whenever i can, but don’t really mind blending in with the scenery. i still manage to stand out as i will never fit all of the way in because i’m am an obnoxious loud mouth with a hearty laugh- and that’s okay with me. if that is what i am known for, i’m absolutely okay with that.


I’m Here, I’m Writing, Fuck the Laundry

I feel like i have been stuck in the movie GROUNDHOG DAY since we got back from Ocean City.  get up, go to work, come home and do 4, 521 tasks, crash into bed, wake up and do it all again.  how do other people accomplish stuff? do they have time machines?  do they have personal assistants and elves living with them?  i am nonstop do! do! do! until i fall dead at night, and when i wake up, it seems like someone has fucking ADDED stuff to my list.

the days that i need to go GROSSery shopping, or need to run to target to get cleaning stuff or run errands?  fughedabout it—- i will get NOTHING DONE beyond that timesuck.  i’ve been trying to go to the gym more- but who the hell has the time to waste the 2 or so hours every day?  i know it’s a matter of priorities, and i know i need to take care of myself, but my family also needs clean clothes to function, and meals, and the dogs need attention and i need to SIT and take a break from the insanity here and there. i average 4 hours of sleep a nite for godsake- and i’m ALWAYS doing something… ALWAYS.  i’m trying to write more consistently because i lost my momentum last year with precisely this trap- i’d have to clean out the basement or help someone move or i wanted to get out of the house to get coffee with friends (silly me!)-and the gross-ery shopping and laundry and and and and and—- i just never had enough time……….. so i stopped writing.  and that was sad and terrible and a mistake.  i’m making the effort to NOT fall prey to that again.  writing is so important to my life and my future and just my emotional well being that i can’t lose it again.  so i’m writing.

Not So Much a Hero

Today i’m supposed to talk about a hero, eh?
well, i aint got one. nope. no way, no how. not wonder woman, not spiderman, not martha stewart or even any of the horrible disney princesses. i grew up with a mad crush on Michael Jackson and slept with a giant hard plastic King Kong bank—- does that count? i didn’t think so.

so. hero… hero… um. how about someone i admire?
because that’s an easy one. i admire my boyfriend. i admire his courage and strength. i admire his ability to ignore the assholes of the world. i admire him for having the guts to come out. my boyfriend, of nine years, came out to me this spring as male. let me back up and explain.

way back when, nearly a decade ago, i got a divorce and started what i liked to call, “guerrilla dating”.
being bisexual, i was happily dating both guys and girls, and one crazy night at a favorite club, i ran into the cutest person i can recall having met up until that point. very low-key, very casual, quite gender ambiguous and yes, quite drunk. i was hooked almost instantly. some heavy flirting and a bit of a ‘whirlwind romance’ later, we were in love and together ever since. that tale, however, is very long, and for another time.

through the nine years, i was labeled as ‘in a lesbian relationship’, and by default lumped into the ‘lesbian’ category, despite being bisexual and explaining constantly that one’s sexual identity or preference is NOT defined by their partner or relationship status. i held fast and true to my blatant bisexuality, all the while dispelling the myth that bisexuals are ‘greedy’, ‘confused’ and ‘cannot be monogamous’. i never cared about the gender of my partner. i just knew that i loved that person.

years and years after we met and fell in love, combined lives and built a home together, he bravely came out to me that he finally realized that he was a transgendered male, i.e., born with a female body, but inherently male. he risked me not accepting him, of me breaking up with him, of me not understanding or wanting to continue our life together; none of which happened, because i do accept him and want to continue our life together no matter what. and although i may not understand SPECIFICALLY what he is going through, i will support him every step of the way. so, since he came out to me and started his transition, things have been the same as ever; for me anyways. for him, unfortunately, coming out to me was just the beginning. next he had to tell our friends, which, although seemed easy, wasn’t. he still had to overcome the fear of being questioned, or not being taken seriously. everyone was supportive, however, and for them, as with me, it was all very easy-peasy. for my boyfriend, however, who hates any sort of attention, things weren’t as simple. he was having trouble fielding all of the questions and even responding to the overwhelming support, when he was still just feeling his way around this new step of his life. he had to learn to respond to his newly chosen name, and even remember to use the masculine pronoun when referring to himself. thirty-six years is a long time to just change something simple like your own name, especially when dealing with having to use your ‘birth name’ at work. there was so much stress from trying to decide how to come out at work, or even if he should, or even if he COULD and risk getting fired. it was so hard watching him struggle and be afraid of getting outed. he had to explain the situation to HR repeatedly, and unfortunately his company didn’t even know how to deal with the situation, which didn’t help ease his troubles. at every turn, there was a new scenario, a new situation to have to consider whether or not coming out as a trans-male was the best thing to do. he was under a microscope so often that i saw him crack occasionally, and those cracks lead to more stress. but he always managed to get his chin up and at least fake his way through it. he was so very brave then.

hardest of all, he had to eventually face his family and struggled with the whole situation for a long time. it is sadly a step in his journey that he will constantly have to revisit many more times to come, but at least, the initial conversations are over. i have always known my partner to be brave, but these things took the most courage of all. but even still, with what seemed the hardest part behind him, there were more steps, each more complicated, each another chance for exposure. he cannot hide, no matter how much he wants to. his whole life, he has always drawn attention, despite being quiet and withdrawn. every day he has to move forward, and every day is an introvert’s nightmare; stares and sideways glances; whispers of “is that a BOY or a GIRL?”, constant questions about whose credit card or license he has, and a never-ending stream of screwed up pronouns. waitresses usually seem to address him as ‘sir’ whereas blue collar workers call him ‘a lady’, and when people realize their mistake, it’s more exposure as they try to correct themselves, apologetically. and now, he has the added fear of the BATHROOM DILEMMA. he’s too boyish to use the ladies room, and men’s rooms aren’t usually fully equipped for his current ‘equipment’ and there’s always a fear of being called out, or openly questioned and embarrassed; not to mention the scariness of backwards people who don’t understand the world; people who can’t accept that how we are born isn’t always black and white, or male and female as the case may be.

even more, there’s always an underlying fear of what happened to Brandon Teena who was portrayed in the movie based on his true story in Boys Don’t Cry. i am admittedly nervous for my partner at times, a lot of times actually. there’s always the underlying fear of hate crimes. always. no matter how much i pretend, the fear still lingers, even if just in the cobwebbiest of corners. i want to protect him from everything- the stares, the snickers, the pronoun game, and hate crimes; mostly, i want him to be able to transition quickly, both with legality of paperwork and also physically with surgery. but the reality is, i am not always with him, i can’t always be there to be a buffer when he needs to use the bathroom at work, or when he needs to use his old driver’s license or credit card. i can’t always be there. and at these times, when i can’t be there for him, he has to put his bravest “i don’t give a fuck”- attitude forward, just to do things that we all take for granted. and he is brave. i love him for that. he may not be my ‘hero’, but i admire his courage to just be who he really is.


Colored Colors

When my son was little he used to say his favorite color was ‘RAINBOW’ because he liked all of the colors so much that he didn’t want to have to choose. i always thought that was pretty smart, and not just because i had the same idea, but because, why should you have to choose a favorite? now, if you asked me what my favorite color was now- i’d definitely say ‘violet’ and of course, ‘teal’, but i’m still pretty partial towards ‘rainbow’. i’m a very visual person and each color represents things that are special to me. i’ll go one step further and say that i have a pretty kickass olfactory sense- and definitely relate smells to special things in my life. the two senses together bring me joy everyday.

red- is always apples, and love and valentines. it’s bright fire and the start of my journey to paganism.
orange- is sun and pumpkins and my intense love and connection with the fall.
yellow- is summer and lemon and bright rubber duckys.
green and i have a long term love affair. i have always loved anything green- plants, vegetables, spring, moss, the earth. i am enchanted by gardens and pools of jewel-toned water.
blue- is another favorite, but not enough to be my actual favorite. i love water, and oceans, the sky, pools,rivers, streams— i must stop by any fountain or water displays that we come across- I’ve always thought i belong somewhere tropical- in a hut on the beach, or happily sailing through waves.
indigo- is all of the above, but at night, when the sky turns to ink, to a shade that always love to incorporate into crafting.
finally- violet— very few things in nature are purple, but those that are- i love very much. eggplants, flowers, certain veggies, grapes…. but violet in the sky has to be one of my most favorite things.

colors are a very important part of my life and i have a hard time imagining a world of only black and white.

i didn’t want this to become a ‘raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens’ type post, but alas, i see colors individually, but making up the rainbow as if all of those things i listed were placed there together. and that’s the way i like it.