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Random ramblings of a fellow chocolate lover, need I say more?

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Hello friends. :)

I know that I have been somewhat absent for a little while.  My prescence here has declined greatly over the last couple of weeks and for a little while, I was only really responding to PMs and giving posts a quick-read, just to try and keep up.  I sincerely hope that while I've been scarce, that everyone's doing as well as they can be doing.  While I've been thinking of my friends here while keeping busy offline, the reason for my decreased activity is indeed a good one.  

There is now a high school graduate in the house!  That colicky, fusspot of a little boy that I rocked to sleep every single night for the first several months of his life, has now officially completed the twelfth grade.  I do admit to stealing the title of this entry from a shot-glass at the Christmas Tree Shop.  But I believe it, completely!  It amazes me how much WORK was involved getting him to this point, to get him across this particular milestone.  How many times he'd gotten frustrated, how many times he's expressed his hatred toward school.  There have been countless projects, book reports, science fairs, visits to the school nurse on the days he'd faked sick because he wanted to go home, (the elementary school nurse and I were on a first-name basis) parent-teacher conferences, two previous graduations (from elementary and junior high) trips, and HOMEWORK.  The homework, is of course, in caps simply because I have six more years of homework woes to endure as the Daughter will be entering 7th grade at the end of the summer and through her, it will all continue...she and her brother are SO different, in personality, in movie, music and food tastes, but when it comes to homework, they're the same.  BOTH of my children dread it and do the bare minimum - it's the only complaint I've gotten from both of their teachers whenever the time comes for me to visit their schools for parent night.  "Your son/daughter is an absolute delight to have in class (I'd make sure at this point they were talking about the right kid) however, he/she is missing x amount of homeworks..."  Then the wasband and I would have to remove any and all electronics for x amount of time - one day per homework missed was ideal...this way, while they MADE UP the missed assignment, there would be absolutely no distractions. :) 

But for my son, it paid off.  My only hope is that he feels the same way - and that as he embarks upon a new journey (college), he sees that all of the hard work he's done up until the present time has been worth it.

The big day was Thursday.  On the way to the ceremony, I looked at him while stopped at a red light.  He was dressed in his shirt and tie, had on his cap and gown, he looked so damn handsome!  

"Hey," I nudged him, "I want you to know that I'm so proud of you."

"Thanks, Ma."  I could tell he was trying not to show his nervousness.  He fiddled with his tie, scratched underneath the cap, (those things are itchy) and chewed on his nails.

"I also want to apologize in advance for the ugly cry you're probably going to see when you walk across that stage."

Then there was that grin I love so much, followed by a light chuckle, "That's okay, Ma!"

Surprisingly, the ugly cry happened AFTER the ceremony and tossing of the graduation caps (as well as the frantic relocation of aforementioned cap with attached tassel) when he descended the stairs leading from the school building...carrying in one hand his diploma and using the other to unzip the deep purple gown so he could free himself from the confines of the graduation robe he'd had to wear for the last three hours in a sweltering gymnasium.  Twelve years of school (fourteen, if you count pre-school and Kindergarten) finished in the blink of an eye!  That brought on the tears and I couldn't hide my emotions long enough.  I got a look of horror from the Daughter, who I'm sure, pretended she didn't know me for a full sixty seconds, the usual narrow-eyed wince from Constipa-Face (I expected no less from someone who has not a single sensitive bone in his body) and the "there she goes!" from someone else, possibly Mrs. Constipa-Face.  

The Son, though, gave me a hug.  I kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear, "wait til your next and final graduation...if you think I'm bad now, I'll be a hot mess, THEN!!"  

Lucky for us all, I have another four years.  Now I've got to get around the fact that he'll graduate college before his sister even finishes High School...

And then, to the Daughter, I said, "You just wait, too...when YOU graduate, I'll be crying even HARDER, and I'll make sure there are honking noises when I blow my nose...JUST for you, my darling...and even better, still - you're the spitting image of your Mama, so you won't be able to hide..."

She groaned.  Serves her right for making fun of her mother, doesn't it?

I'm sure I'll be ugly-crying AGAIN when his senior picture proofs arrive.  He took them two days before graduation and I'm expecting those to arrive in about two to three weeks. 

Then, two days after the graduation, I had forty people show up to my house (would have been at least six to seven more people, but I had a few last-minute cancellations) and although I had Oompa staying here for a few days to help out, I certainly got in my exercise...just within my own home.  I lost count of how many times I went up and down the stairs, how many trips I made from the kitchen sliders/upper deck to the newly-set concrete slab one story below.  By the time the night was over on Saturday, I was ready to collapse in exhaustion; my feet were KILLING me and I had some unpleasant chafing in an even more uncomfortable place.  

This morning, I felt a ton better, both physically and mentally - Oompa left early this morning (but not before expressing any and everything that disappointed her at one point or another...while Constipa-Face is good for nothing less than a daily dose of disapproval, my mother takes first place in every single woe-is-me contest that there ever was - even the imaginary ones) and will be gone until the Daughter's birthday, which is in two weeks.  I spent the day with my father, who leaves tomorrow morning and will return for the next party, which is going to be held at the wasband's house.  And since the wasband has effectively demonstrated that it's NORMAL to show up an hour after the party has started, I may demonstrate my own learning abilities by doing the same thing.  (I say 'MAY' only because my Daughter will likely suffer the consequences of my being purposely tardy; and that's not fair to her at ALL.)  Who am I kidding? I'll be there on time if not a little bit early - at least my kids will know I'm reliable while their father is not.

I will be spending the next two weeks attempting to get back that feeling of normalcy and calm - the amount of stress that I've had on my plate was at an all-time high and the lowering of my blood pressure is a vital, necessary thing.  

I'll be posting another update shortly - for now, another good nights' sleep is in order as the recuperation process has begun.

Sending lots of hugs and love to you all - I've missed everyone!!!  

- Capulet


This will be brief, because this is being typed while I can still move. 

Tomorrow, I may be in traction.  Or just very, very sore.  Possibly too sore to go and retrieve the free taco that Taco Bell is offering, while supplies last.  So, if you've got a Taco Bell near you, today, June 13th, is free taco day!  Personally, I like the ones with the Nacho Cheese Dorito shell...

I, however, may be in too much pain to get myself to the car.

I will start you all off with some good news.  The concrete has been poured and I now have my table and chairs set up outside.  The Son's graduation party is almost ready to go.  I'm expecting 40 people to show up for the celebration this weekend.  My niece's christening was this past weekend, relieving me of SOME of what's been on my plate for the past several weeks.

And now for the reason for my (slight) exaggeration.  Today, I spent three hours this afternoon in the yard, collecting and decorating with rocks.  The cement is a 20x20 slab, and there's somewhat of a 'step' up from the grass.  I decided today that it would be a wonderful idea to line rocks along the slab's perimeter, to 'dress' it up a little bit.  And so one by one, I collected large rocks from the wooded area behind the house and walked them over to the slab, placed them down along the outside in an artistic manner, piled the smaller ones on top of the larger ones.  Then I placed the solar light stakes along the path leading to the fire pit.  

By the time J came home, my back was killing me.  

Regardless, she needed assistance lifting a VERY heavy box from her trunk.  A box containing a flat-top propane grill/griddle that we had invested in yesterday morning.  It'll be great for when we have a power outage.  It'll be the only way J will cook outdoors.  She has a not-so-fond memory of lifting the cover off a traditional gas barbecue grill and when she pushed the 'ignite' button, the grill was a little 'overexcited' to be started up and she singed her eyebrows.  Since then, she's been deathly afraid of propane grills, but since there's no open fire on a flat-top, she's happy to share some of the cooking duties with me.  

And the Son, who can lift heavy things, was not home.  Whenever I need help, he's not home.  Always seems to be the case.  But he did have a good reason for not being home - he was taking his senior pictures.  The portrait studio was at his school today and they were photographing the class of 2019 and since he missed the opportunity to have them taken for THIS year, they were kind enough to squish him in between two juniors and I will finally have an updated graduation photo for my wall.  Of course, before that happens, I will need to wait for the proofs to be mailed.

So, anyway, this box must have been at least 100 pounds.  We aren't weaklings but we ARE both almost forty years old and this was quite the feat.  We struggled with the box containing the flat-top, managing to first drop it to the ground, then I pushed and she pulled - until the box has been relocated into the garage. 

Then...we went bowling in our summer league.  Three game set.  I walked in like an old(er) lady.  Managed to bowl 2 good-ish games and 1 trash game.  I throw a fifteen-pound ball an average of 16-17mph down the lane, and yes, in case you're wondering, the high speed does mess with my accuracy!

It probably wasn't a good idea to bowl with a backache. 

But I did it, anyway.  

So therefore, I will probably wake up in knots.  I'm not sure how to describe a delayed injury (or even soreness) any better than basically going to the gym, working out for hours and then waking up the next day wondering what the hell possessed you to do such a thing.

Wish me luck, friends.  I think tomorrow morning will be one of these.

Until next time. 

- Capulet



That's what my daughter asked me this afternoon.  

Ahhh...it's been a crazy-ish week, so far.

For starters, I'm starting to think God has the absolute worst form of colic.  All he does is CRY!  I mean, yeah, looking at today's world, I can certainly understand the need to bawl rather than try and analyze why we're forced to deal with the amount of stress we're destined to deal with - all in one lifetime, too.  We've not had more than two or three days in a row without rain.  

I normally wouldn't care so much whether it rained or the sun was out - I'm not an outdoorsy type at all.  When it rains, I'm usually at home and I busy myself with housework.  When it's sunny, my vampire mode kicks in and I prefer to stay in and relax if I have no other pressing plans.  Oh, and another interesting tidbit about me - I have something called 'achoo syndrome.'  It's really a thing, look it up.  I can't step out into the sunlight without sneezing violently and scaring the living hell out of whoever's standing next to me at the time.

However, this rain worries me.  I'm planning a graduation party for exactly thirteen days from now and my backyard has been waiting (patiently I might add...since mid-April!) for a concrete pour and the ass-clown I hired to do the job will not do it if the ground is wet.  Weather IS a factor when it comes to cement pouring but he's also delayed doing the work on days God was 'happy' (as rarely as that's been lately) and I'm trying NOT to panic at the thought that the yard simply may not be finished in time.  Ass-clown says he will be here Monday and cement should be poured by Wednesday - but honestly, I've heard all of this, before. 

We'll see.  I'm seriously going to join God and cry if this crap isn't done by the end of next week.  The cement is only the first step - I also have to repair patches of grass that the men wrecked during their working moments, and I have to see about some decorating...this, of course, means another trip to Home Depot is in my very near future.

So, the party-planner in me is a nervous wreck.  I'll have about 50 people in my back yard, which, right now, looks like a waterlogged dump.

The Son's actual graduation day is the 12th.  He is in need of a pair of pants and a dress shirt and a tie.  And a shave and a haircut.  Oh, and if an attitude adjustment could be arranged, too, that would be great.  You would think he needed a root canal; he's constantly complaining that he doesn't like wearing 'dressy' attire but it clearly states on his school notice discussing graduation what the Class of 2018 is expected to wear.  Every day since that notice came home, I'll ask him, "shall we go to the Big & Tall after school today?"  And every day, his answer is, "nah, I'm tired," or "nah, I've got homework," or just plain, "nah, I don't feel like it."  We are now nine days away from graduation and he has no pants, no shirt, no tie and no shoes, he's built like John Candy but has Zach Galifianakis' haircut with a five o'clock shadow he's too lazy to tend to.  It's just ANOTHER THING we have to deal with in a short amount of time.  So not only is the cement guy delaying me in several ways, I feel the Son is trying to cut it close, too.

So, before he left to go to the wasband's house, I informed him through clenched teeth that on Wednesday afternoon, we were going to the store after school and we would NOT be leaving until he's got a full outfit for his graduation. I got a very well rehearsed, "Absolutely, Mom.  We will do that."

The sports fan in me is not happy right now, either.  My New York Mets have sincerely forgotten how to play the game called baseball.  My father, whom I inherited Mets fandom from, actually went online to try and get tickets to a YANKEE game.  His reasoning?  "I want to see some REAL baseball!  I feel like I'm watching a Little League team!"  (And he's not wrong about that.)  I just came from watching tonight's game...score is tied at 1-1 for seven innings or so - then the Mets (Mess) decide to put in a reliever with a high ERA (I DO understand the bullpen was getting thin, but STILL....) and the Cubs score six.  And to add injury to insult, the Mets come up empty in the bottom of the 14th.  They've now lost four or five in a row - I forget which, but watching their games is rapidly becoming a risk of wasted time.  Maybe I'll just start putting the games on during the last inning?

The Daughter had me laughing earlier this week, though.  Do you all remember where, in a couple blog entries ago, I mentioned that I was dealing with some private issues?  Well, I'm still not quite ready to divulge all those details but it has to do with her recent behavior and a phone call was placed by the school.  The wasband was involved, of course, but we've NEVER been on the same page when it came to figuring out what was best when dealing with our children.  He simply disciplines while I prefer to talk to them and both try to understand and help THEM understand why they acted in a certain way.  I feel that's the most effective way to parent because you're actually listening to THEIR side, too and they see this - which makes them more likely to come to me for guidance or advice or whenever they run into trouble.  I'm of the belief that if you lose your shit, they'll learn very quickly that you're NOT able to be there for them in a rational, calm manner when it's needed.   And so, I listen and I discipline them AFTER I've heard the full story, I know they understand what they did was wrong and not before.  But the wasband, having come from a broken, unstable home filled with violence and drug/alcohol abuse, has never been one to listen to what the kids have to say but is quick to deal out a punishment.  It's a typical Lion Vs. Lamb situation.  The kids are terrified of going to him first, for this reason mainly.

Anyway, long story short - the daughter has had her phone taken away for two weeks, now, as a result of her latest misbehavior.  The wasband and I had sat her down (was just us three) and we had a discussion.  Before this (pre-planned; 'meet me at the park at 5:00' sorta thing) discussion, I told the daughter that she just had to hear him out and let him say whatever he needed to say - we already knew he'd resort to his usual unreasonable, belittling ways and she wasn't likely to get a word in.  She knows now that even if she doesn't agree with him, she'd better pretend she does because there is simply NO reasoning with him when he talks.  This is exactly how I felt when I was married to him, and sadly, STILL how I feel, even after being divorced for almost ten years.  The path of least resistance is simply to nod and let him THINK he's getting a point across.  She (and her brother) has come to recognize this trait in her father and she was prepared for this meeting knowing that she and I would talk later on when it was just us two.  

So, this is the part that made me chuckle.  The wasband has a very distinct, unmistakeable face that he puts on whenever he doesn't understand or agree with something.  His eyes get narrow, his lip curls upwards.  He'll talk slowly, making you feel like you'd BETTER respond the right way.  Yes, I'm fully aware this is all part of the abuse he's been inflicting on everyone around him for the last two decades or more, but some people, I've learned to accept, simply can't be fixed.  The Son is nearly 18 and will eventually lock horns with his father (won't be a good day, but is inevitable, I think) and the Daughter, at 12, is already forming her own conclusions in regard to her father's character versus her mother's.  Anyway, when this face comes on, he's clearly disgusted with you, he makes you feel as if YOU'RE the crazy one, and whatever you approached him about in the first place, becomes something you simply don't want to address anymore, resulting in the dropping of said topic/subject.  It certainly was a deterrent when I approached him while we were married, and asked him if I could visit a therapist once per week.  That didn't work out so well.

Anyhow, during our meeting, he put this face on.  A face that the Daughter now refers to as the 'TrumpFace.'  We had a very amusing talk on the way home from the park, where in the car I asked her how she felt it went.  She felt she didn't get a chance to explain herself because he simply wouldn't listen to her nor did he present as approachable due to the constant putting on of the TrumpFace.  I think, though, we'll just call it Constipa-Face because to me, it does resemble our current POTUS but also looks as if the wasband is severely constipated and is in serious need of some toilet time.  

On one hand, I'm secretly glad that the Daughter and I have this mutual understanding about her Dad, but on the other, I am somewhat saddened because I do not feel that any child should feel that a parent is not truly there or understanding them and their needs.  I guess in this respect, I'm going to be pulling double duty because Constipa-Face is incapable of change.  

Has a nice ring to it, don't it? :)

So, ahh....yes - when the Daughter came into my room and caught me in autopilot mode, just kind of going down the list of shit I have to get accomplished this week, I looked down and realized that I was slowly feeding tiny bits of beef jerky to the cat.  He was enjoying it, too...it was a tender enough brand of jerky and he was likely savoring the flavor-filled chews before swallowing his treat.  And he'd wait patiently for the next morsel, too, which I'd deliver in between my own little bites.

I suppose I'll find out in the morning if he truly enjoyed it or it ended up irritating his stomach.  

Hoping all's well with you guys.  Until next time. :)

- Capulet


Hi, everyone!

I know I promised this update a few days sooner, but I've had some unexpected things pop up that I'm not quite ready to share with the world, yet.  Please know though, that I am physically and mentally okay and this is simply something that happened that I feel I need to spend some time processing privately before it becomes blog-fodder at a later time when I've got it all figured out.  I also need to scream at Will Ferrell for a little while - because now even HE is asking me if I'm sure I'm handling it the way I should be.  All I can say on that is, I hope so.  

But anyhow.  In my last blog, I promised to let you know whether I met my short-term weight-loss goal.  I did.  So, yay!  Yes, I'm very happy about this - I'm now setting another goal, and when that one is met, I'll keep setting goals until I can say I'm sincerely comfortable in my own body again.  It's been a very long time since that was the case and I feel that for the first time in ages, I've got control over my weight and my diet - which was one of my biggest health concerns.

And now for the apology and the rest...

It was recently brought to my attention that a post of mine in the forums was edited (just a sentence) because providing numbers/amounts of weight lost is against the forum guidelines.  (I'd only confirmed this AFTER the fact, by visiting the specific forum and saw them for myself.  See, when I browse the forums index page, I usually peruse the most recently added topics on the right hand column - I don't access these topics through the forum categories themselves.  And so I was not aware of this specific guideline when I responded to a post about dieting!)  Anyhow - I got a (friendly) note from a moderator letting me know that the post was edited and let me be clear - I am NOT upset about this nor am I upset with the moderator, who is a fantastic person and has always been kind to me.  I was very happy to see that she was doing her job keeping AS a safe place to be and I thanked her for doing whatever she felt was necessary.  It does my heart a LOT of good knowing that there are people out there devoted to keeping this a safe place for us all to visit and to turn to when we need.  So, to my friends who are part of the administration at AS - thank you for everything you do!!!  

I'm generally not a rule-breaker and just KNOWING I'd broken one, although not intentionally, was what bothered me the most.  And then I thought about it in-depth some more later on in the evening, even though my exchange with the moderator ended on a pleasant note...

It hit me that I've been posting a great deal about weight loss in my blogs for a long time, now.  My reason?  Simply put, you're supposed to write about things you think about, your life's challenges, everything and nothing in a blog.  Well, weight is a hurdle for me, always has been.  And my way of analyzing and dealing with this and other such obstacles in my life is to write about them and if I could, share them with anyone who would want to read.  But I realize now that in doing so, I wasn't thinking about others, about YOU guys - weight is a hurdle for more people than I realize, whether they're trying to gain it or lose it, maintain it, etc.  And it never occurred to me to, while I was ranting about my own personal struggle to adopt healthier eating habits, to stop and think about how many others are eating disordered as a result of traumatic life experience and how discussing these things may not be as well received as I originally felt it would be.

And for this, I am deeply sorry.  While my intention was merely to share a personal triumph, I simply was not thinking ahead when I wrote these blog entries and may have come across as selfish.  

Furthermore, I've decided that I'm no longer going to discuss my diet ambitions in my blog or in a post.  I am probably making a bigger deal out of it than it truly is, but this is a decision that I feel comfortable with making at the moment.  I'm pretty sure I'll have plenty of other things to ramble about. :)  If you're among the few that actually likes these (sometimes boring) diet updates, I invite you to inquire about my progress through private messages, where I feel I'll be able to speak more freely and without fear of offending because the topic is asked for and not imposed upon. 

It's been a LONG day and I'm about to turn in...just wanted to get this sent out before I did.  

Thanks for listening and for all the support!  Have a safe holiday weekend!

- Capulet




The sun is shining today!

It has rained almost every day last week.  And when it rains, I'm tired, I'm moody and I'm just plain overall annoyed.  All I want to do is sleep.  Driving in the rain puts me at risk of entering autopilot mode - the wipers squeaking across the window...repeatedly...is what does it.  I'm unsure if this happens because it's a trigger or if it can be filed into the 'happens to everyone' pile.  Either way, I'm not sure what Mother Nature's problem is but she's cried buckets, drowning us all in the eastern states for the last several days with occasional, too-brief periods of reprieve. Brings me back to when I was a child and someone (for some reason, I cannot remember whom) told me that was because God was crying.  And I, being the extremely gullible child I was, would talk to God through the window and tell him that he needed to cheer up so that I could go ride my Strawberry Shortcake bike with the banana seat.    

Ahhhh, the days without electronic stimulation!  Remembering myself as being seven, eight years old always made me smile.  Briefly, but a smile regardless.

Having not much else to do because of inclement weather has forced me to think a lot about childhood days.  Mostly about the happier times.  I think there were a lot of contributing factors, really, other than my own boredom.  My own kids would never DREAM of doing the things I enjoyed when I was younger than they were.  No, they are far too fixated on their phones, their video game consoles, their iPads and any additional electronic devices that prevent them from being able to tell whether or not it's a nice day.  

I was a kid who loved going to the park on nice sunny days.  I loved the monkey bars...most all of New York City parks had a set.  They were the boxy, metal square ones at first, before the builders got more creative and started building sets out of heavy duty plastic.  I loved hurtling myself upside down and hanging like a bat until all of the blood rushed to my head, then doing a gymnastics-style roll/flip back onto my feet.  I loved turning cartwheels in the grass...this was something I was good at, apparently - while I'd never mastered a back handspring, I was pretty lithe and was able to perform both two-handed and one-handed cartwheels, splits, back bends.  I didn't fancy the slide too much - as those too were made out of metal back in the day and if it was summertime, we'd scald our asses along with the back of our legs going down without a towel or something to sit on.  There were also the old fashioned see-saws and you don't see those anywhere anymore.

Swinging was my favorite, though.  Some of my friends had back-yard swing sets and we'd swing as high as we could, until the poles came out of the ground, signaling to us that we'd best recognize our limits.  But in the park, the swing sets were welded into the ground and when there was no limit to how high we could swing, I'd go higher and higher until I was at risk of doing a 360...it felt as if I were flying.   There were times when I'd hold onto the chain links on either side and close my eyes, put my legs straight out in front of me, and lean backwards for an extended period of time.  Swinging while in that position would tickle my stomach.  I also remembered wondering what would happen if I were to let go of the chains.  I mean, I knew that I'd fall.  I wondered how much it would hurt.  Would a swinging midair hurl off of the seat kill me?  Luckily, I didn't investigate that any further since the thought scared me enough to outweigh what was likely childish curiosity.

Then there was the familiar melody of the ice-cream truck - Mr. Softee is still my favorite.  I always preferred soft ice cream to hard.  I never could hear jack shit, but I knew the SOUND of the Mr. Softee that would make hourly rounds.  The familiar horde of children that would run over to the park entrance whenever that sound came blaring through the speakers.  SOMETIMES, my mom would get us each a cone - depending on the mood she was in, of course, or whether she had a few singles on her.  

And sometimes, when it was REALLY hot outside, the sprinklers would be on, there was a little fenced-in pit with a drain where kids could run around in their bathing suits and keep cool while their mothers fanned themselves on a nearby bench.

Those are the memories shared by most 80's kids that lived in Brooklyn.  When it rained, if we were lucky, we had the original NES systems with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt to keep us occupied, but for the most part, social media didn't exist and so we had to rely on nice weather in order to have any sort of fun on summer days.  Hell, some of these kids didn't give a shit about what the weather forecast said or whether or not God was crying - they went to the park ANYWAY.  

I'd tell my kids these things and get all sorts of 'are you crazy!?' looks.  But that's evolution, I guess...we're simply not in the 80's anymore.  Rain or shine, there they are with their phones, their tablets, video games...because who cares about the park?!  It's more important to follow the saga of who's going out, who's breaking up, who's sleeping with whom...it's not just my kids, though, so this is somewhat relieving.  It's just saddening, a little, to know they'll never love these things as much as I used to.  We're just from entirely different times.  Makes me wonder what things are going to be like when THEY become parents!  

There IS also a reason I'm mentioning these fond memories, I know I like to ramble and I thank y'all for bearing with me through all these novellas...LOL.

So...we also had (another) power outage last week.  It went on from Tuesday at about three-thirty in the afternoon until Thursday afternoon.  Two full days with no power.  Thankfully we weren't reliant on running the heat, otherwise we'd have been cold on top of temporarily living the Amish lifestyle.  

I'd been watching television when the storm hit and within a couple of minutes, we went dark.  We'd later learn it was because of a downed tree as a result of tornado-force winds in our area.  You can certainly imagine the kids' turmoil when nothing worked - at least until batteries were 100% depleted.  The wasband had power, though his went out for only a few hours before being restored.   And so for the sake of preserving whatever sanity I still possessed, I sent them over there until things were back up and running at my house.  Luckily, it wasn't like last time - when Snowmageddon wiped out our electricity for five days.  Still though, I cannot stress enough how much tree-inforcement is needed in these parts - the trees are tall and most are so dangerously close to power lines.  All it takes is strong winds and we're shit out of luck for however long it takes for the utility companies to come repair the lines.  But before they can come fix the lines, whatever tree that is lying on top of them has to be cut down and removed, making this a long, trying process in the Pocono Mountains.  And it's happened two times this year already - it being extended power outages.  

If there's anything I miss about city life, that's it.  We paid about as much as you'd pay for a kidney on the black market for electricity and gas, but THEIR outages (unless it was due to a hurricane) were only hours long at most.  Here?  A single flipping tree falls and BAM, 15K people in the dark for three days.  And whenever we have bad storms, that's multiplied many times over, resulting in a surge of restaurant activity and generator sales.  I seriously need a generator...when the power goes out, it takes the running water with it and we are completely, (pun intended here) powerless to function until restoration.

But as initially stated, that's about all I miss about the city.  Even though so many good memories were formulated there and it's where I spent the first twelve years of my life, I don't miss Brooklyn.  I don't even miss the park, and this is probably the saddest part of the whole thing.  Admittedly, the parks here are subpar in comparison and some don't even have swing sets! But my kids simply don't care much for them in general, as their brains have effectively been taken over by the invention of electronics and that thing called wi-fi that I, too, find myself in a state of panic without.  Mr. Softee, since he doesn't cover this area, has been replaced by Rita's - their gelati with vanilla custard with cherry ices in between is uh-mayyyyzing!!! (I won't put down the points value but I do know it for my own reference.)

And I'm thinking there's more to my wanting to close the door and put away these childhood memories that I once loved - because I've come to realize that there are not too many others in existence that effectively fill in the gaps in between.  Not full ones, anyway.  Just snippets here and there, of people I loved and are long since gone...gone before they could and perhaps would have been able to answer my questions about myself as a kid.  Questions that plague me now as an adult.  I also remember places I'd gone and visited, some smells, too.  I can recall little details here and there but not what I felt or experienced during these times.  I'm just more often left with more questions I started with, and so whenever something sends my mind on a throwback, I find myself shifting focus more onto the present and imagining alternate futures that would have otherwise stemmed from perhaps, a more stable childhood.  

I just stuggle with what could possibly have happened to cause these enormous, gaping holes in the canvas containing the events of my childhood?  I want to say that part of me is fine with not remembering the bad parts but I think I'd be lying to myself and to all of you if I said that I didn't want to eventually know the truth.  I know I'm a broken record about that sometimes, but it's simply not something that goes away.  I guess I just have to continue to be patient, I need to wait and see what unfolds with time, IF anything decides to reveal itself, it will be when when my brain allows for it.  It seems that most of my other happy memories came with a darker counterpart.  And this, I don't like at all.  For example, I remember my grandmother's house being a place where we gathered as a family and spent holidays - Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.  And then I remember entering the house after she had died - feeling no remaining evidence of her warm presence.  No, all I felt was a blast of cold, with a side order of hatred toward my uncle who was now the sole owner.  And as I wrote about in a previous blog, this brought forth a rush of a new set of emotions that I'm STILL dealing with, years and years later.

In attempts to understand myself a little clearer, I try to picture an imaginary timeline of my childhood.  

It had all started out sunny and bright.  Flowers in bloom, birds singing, (even though I can't hear them, I can picture the little musical notes floating above in this vision) people smiling, myself and other kids playing, laughing, not having a care in the world.  

And little by little, the timeline weather begins to change.  It absolutely changes for all of us, for it's a part of life.  I'd imagine, as we mature and we transform from being children into teens and then eventually, adulthood, our 'timelines' do, too.  Because, as we grow, we have things to worry about - we have concerns.  We have responsibilities.  Some of us don't have secrets, though, like I feel that I did.  Secrets that even I don't know I had, buried deep inside that fun-loving child that exists only through these few clear memories, now.  

For me, though, watching my own particular timeline unfold, these imaginary skies gradually became cloudy and darkened earlier than it would someone who isn't riddled with suspicion or confusion about things having occurred during their childhoods - for me, there are black patches of a whole lot of nothing.  There are these obvious voids; bottomless swirling holes that I can't make sense of.  Most of them are indeed accompanied by little bits of information - enough for me to form a hypothesis, but not enough to get the full story...I HOPE this makes sense because I don't know how to explain it any better than through this analogy.  

But, yeah...they're there, right along with these occasional bright spots that I do recognize and I can smile about.  As I proceeded down (or up?) the timeline, they remained there, and even though things were cloudy, the imaginary sun still shone through and illuminated my path going forward.  It, however, shone bright enough for me to notice and subsequently, to skip over those black voids - because they simply weren't things that were going to be explained to me anytime soon.  Why sit there?  Why obsess over them?  Why peer into those holes?  I wasn't going to see anything.  In hindsight, I've tried, many times during the course of my thirty-nine years, to stop and peek into some of these holes and have always come up empty.

The rain came during puberty, as I faced unpleasant bodily changes and contended with hormones that I, as expected, didn't know how to deal with the inevitable transformation into adulthood.  Who does, though?  If you asked the younger, child-like me, I'd say that was when God started to cry a lot.  It started off with little droplets and occasional showers before the sky finally opened up following a sexual assault when I was seventeen.  That's when the torrential downpours began, often accompanied by thunder and lightening and otherwise frightening 'weather' in between the usual periods of sunshine (the good days) that would best represent the years I'd spend healing, rebuilding the me that my own personal weather conditions have battered over the years.  

Just like, in reality, while the bad weather occasionally batters someone's home, someone's property, causes wreckage and turmoil (power outages, hello!?) an emotional representation can also be successfully formed, at least for me.  Recovery reminds me of weather, in many ways.  There are good days.  Bad days.  Days where we want to be out and about be productive...and then there are days where we don't want to get out of bed and face the cruel, damp, dreary world.

It's just so, very easy (and at times, appropriate) for me to make these symbolic associations to my past, using rain, gloominess and cloudiness.  I think it's also why I appreciate sunny days more, now that I'm older.  I think it's safe to say that I weathered those teenage-year storms and now, only the childhood voids remain.  And there they will continue to remain until the time comes for them to reveal the information that is hidden in each.  

I do know that there are going to be many more rainy days to come.  That's to be expected of life.  Everyone's life, not just the lives of a survivor.  

(I know I don't need to explain to anyone here that sometimes it feels like MY life is more sullied, tarnished, tainted and at times, 'worse' than other 'normal' people's lives, when in fact, we know next to nothing of what that person deals with on a day-to-day....it FEELS like this at times, though!  This is just me venting, though - I know that these 'normal' people have their own crappy cards dealt at one point or another.) 

Even on these bad days, I make it a point to search for the smallest amount of 'sunlight,' little snippets of positivity that serve as reminders that there are indeed things to smile about regardless of shit weather, both metaphoric and real.  Reminders that even though so many question marks have been applied via (imaginary) Sharpie onto my envisioned timeline, there are still so, so many beautiful people, things, moments that I can stop to appreciate while I wait for the other things to make sense.  Kind of like enjoying the finer bits of life while waiting with a club in hand for the whack-a-mole creature to pop up out of whatever void it feels inclined to pop out of, first.  THEN, I'll hit this poor, unsuspecting mole (hope it's not a cat) on the head and see what unfolds.  It may decide to reveal what's in the gap from whence it came, or it may pop out of a different hole, sending me on a wild goose chase...similar to the one I've been on for the last several years.  

Patience.  It's what I'll have to work on, now.  I can play this game for as long as I need to.  But brighter days are indeed helpful for the overall mindset.

It IS, however, going to rain tomorrow.  According to my trusty weather app, God will shed some tears in the Poconos and it's going to stop on Wednesday and we should have drier conditions for the rest of the week.  Here's hoping.

In closing, I am genuinely hoping you're all well, too.  I will provide a weight update soon but since we missed last week's due to the power outage, I'll simply say that I'm hoping to drop a pound and a half this week to make my grand total an even 30 pounds.  If that happens, you'll hear from me tomorrow at some point.  If not, then I'll plod on and keep trying.  You might still hear from me, anyway.  That's future planning for you. :) 

- Capulet



Hello, all!

A Happy Belated Mother's Day to all of you who are either mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, aunts, godmothers, fathers pulling double-duty, babysitters, to anyone at all who loves and nurtures a child...be it for a lifetime or simply for a few hours at a time, it matters none...yesterday was all about you guys - and I hope someone took the time to let you know how appreciated you are!  The Son and Daughter got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers as well as a lovely card - the card is on my mantle and the flowers are in my bathroom with the door closed, for that's the only place they are safe from the extremely disobedient cat that likes to feast upon the flower buds.

Moving on...

Today was...interesting.  

Interesting in the sense I stepped foot on a college campus with a backpack slung over my shoulder, but not because I'm the one taking classes.  No, that ship has long since sailed.  I was NEVER a good student.  The whole school setting was ALWAYS a challenge for me.  I did complete three years of college before I dropped out when I discovered I was pregnant with my son...and never looked back.  Lately though, I've been thinking about finishing up my Associates'.  Why not?  I can do it.  I'm only a semester or two shy of the degree.  

But this isn't really about me.  It is, but it isn't.  I'll explain. 

My son, the soon-to-be high school graduate, had his college orientation today.  We were, of course, accompanied by the wasband, since this, being a monumental moment in our boy's life, warranted the presence of both of the Son's parents.  Especially since, for the majority of the duration of the orientation, the Son would be traveling seperately with student cluster groups while the parents would be required to sit through six (yes, count them - SIX) separate topic lectures on financial aid, student safety on campus, student financial institutions within the college, managing course loads, a small lecture on what we, as parents, would now expect out of an 'adjusting' college student and finally, a briefing on commuting.  Yes, you may now YAWN, I know I did plenty of that.  

This is where it gets stupid - because upon arrival at the orientation event at 7:30 in the morning, we were presented with a folder outlining the topics of each lecture, and MOST of what was discussed in each 'meeting' was simply read to us by whatever unfortunate professor had been assigned the task.  I mean, did they think we forgot how to read?  

One of the main reasons the wasband was convinced to take the day off is because me + lecture halls = disaster.  In large crowds, theater/auditorium surroundings, I generally miss about fifty percent of what's being said, especially during the end portion of each briefing when hands would shoot up and we'd have a Q & A.  The wasband agreed to join me and be an extra set of ears and during each lecture, he would mumble, "they're just reading from the outline on page whatever-it-was," and he'd be answering work-related emails on his phone.  And so, I silently sat in my seat, and I allowed myself to 'get fuzzy' during those parts.  I think I even closed my eyes a couple of times - to say the whole thing was boring is certainly the understatement of the year.  It's relieving though, I was not the only one - many of the other parents were also sleeping.  When I get blurry, as I sometimes put it...you know what I mean?  You stare at something for long enough, your vision begins to blur as it turns into a non-blinking daydream.  It happens A LOT with me.  I talked about when it happens while I DRIVE, sometimes - I know, it's not safe at all, but it can't be helped.

However....during these fuzz-outs...

I did find myself forced to remember...especially during the moments when the Son and his peers would join the group of parents for certain parts of the orientation event.  I watched him walk into the auditorium in the beginning of the day for the introduction.  I watched him smile (he's so handsome!) when he saw some people he knew from his current school.   I watched him talk to other incoming freshmen, saw him shake a few hands.  I watched with pride as he requested information on campus employment during the information fair walk-through.  

I also saw things in him that reminded me of myself, when I was seventeen years old.  I noticed the clueless face; it appeared at moments when he THOUGHT no one was looking.  But, you know...Mom sees everything.  

It looked so much like my face, guys.  

I saw him shift nervously when he accepted his folder,  when he was given his sticky name tag that he'd be wearing for the day.  I saw the tiny little cringe when they talked about joining one of the dozens of clubs the University had to offer.  

You see, my son is by no means a social butterfly (do they refer to males as butterflies?) and while our reasons are certainly different, it's something I can relate to.  My being 'different' was always something that prevented me from initiating conversation, it caused me to shy away, to simply observe from afar.  If someone approached me, I was always friendly.  I still am.  For the most part, though, it's VERY difficult for me to take the initiative to approach someone else and introduce myself.  The Son, although he's very well liked, also prefers to keep to himself - he likes being friendly with people from a distance.  He spends hours talking to 'invisible' friends by way of his XBOX headset and he prides himself in his ability to have over twenty thousand Instagram followers - but I rarely see him conversing with 'real life' friends.  His idea of a normal day is to wake up, go to school, eat, play XBOX and sleep - rinse and repeat. I, too, felt more comfortable being by myself.  I still do.

The Son's hearing, if you go by the medical assessment, is diagnosed as being normal.  However, he's got a condition that plagues MOST teenagers these days - it is called 'selective hearing.'  The Daughter has it, too - she was blessed with this condition at birth while his, I feel has been gradual.

For the most part, I ignored the wasband and his phone and focused mainly on the boy I raised.  I watched his expressions, his movements.  He's terrified...no more or less than any of his peers, though.  Eventually, my ex's presence faded - I ALMOST forgot that he was even there.

Today, while watching my son, I was brought back to MY freshman year.  This was not a good year for me, as many of you know by now what happened to me in 1996 - and it is safe to say that this experience I had when I was encouraged to 'be social' ended up forever tarnishing my remaining college days as well as the rest of my life.  I'd been told, "Hey, listen...you're in college, now.  It's time to get to know people, have fun, join clubs, socialize."  And it might have been Oompa's voice saying these things since I didn't begin to find Will Ferrell annoying until much later.  And eventually, my mother's voice morphed into my own - I believed all of it and started echoing these things to myself.  I tried to be what others who were less socially inept recommended for me to be, and I ended up putting myself in danger.  Yes, I do know that what happened wasn't my fault - there is no misplacement of blame here, it falls upon the miserable excuse of a man who assaulted me.  I just feel that my way of thinking had been effectively manipulated when I truly wasn't unhappy with the way things were in the first place.  So WHAT if I was quiet and shy?  Who cares?  I had my innocence.  I was simply doing things at my own pace.  Until things happened and my pace went out the window along with any self-caring I had left.

And now, 21 years later, here is this know-it-all professor saying that the way my boy likes to live, the way he's comfortable and content, (eat, sleep, play video games, with the addition of his new college class attendance in between eating and sleeping) is described as the 'highway' way, and he'll find himself bored if he doesn't integrate some University club and social activities into his (already) busy schedule.

What do you DO with that?  My mind at this point was racing.

I wanted to scream at this idiot...let him be who he wants to be, damn it.  If he wants to get up, go to class, and come right back home, then that's his God-given right - no one has any reason to tell him any differently.  If he joins a club, it's going to be because he has a genuine interest in it, not because he's going to be coerced into it for the sake of building up his social resume.  If he prefers quality over quantity when it comes to making friends, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.  If he wants to be socially awkward, then that's what he'll be.  

He's my boy and I love him, dearly just the way he is.  And I'm going to make sure he knows that.  I'll encourage him to be the best person he can be - the choices that lead him onto the path of adulthood will be his own and his own alone.  If he's happy, I'm happy.  

That should TRULY be enough, shouldn't it?

OMG.  What time is it?!  My eyes are closing on me.  I'll be back later this week.

Hope y'all are doing well.

All my best,
- Capulet



Hey, all!  Hoping this finds everyone in good health...mental and otherwise!  As for me, I'm still...well...me. I dare not say for sure that I'm in good mental health because that, as always, remains a matter of opinion. :)  

So...spring has finally sprung where I live...where there were gnarled, menacing tree branches, there are now lovely cherry blossom trees in bloom, colorful leaves growing, grass and flowers sprouting.  Rising temperatures are also lifting my spirits - although we've had more than enough rain, it's still nice to be free of the arctic nightmare that was this past winter.  I'm more motivated to go outside - this week, we're having a little work done in our backyard.  Next week, I'll be attempting to decorate.  The Son's graduation barbecue has been set for five weeks from now and I'm motivated to make our back yard beautiful.  The cherry blossom tree I want of my own is likely going to be next year's project; making the yard presentable is going to keep me busy enough for the next few weeks.

Lost a little bit less than one pound,  bringing my total to 26.1.  Slowly but surely, I'll get there.  My water intake hasn't been what it should.  Will work on that this week.

But, anyway...enough of the small talk... 

Lately, I've been struggling with sleep, again. I thought I had it figured out, but I apparently do not.

Tylenol PM has been deemed ineffective - two nights this past week, I took two and waited, waited and WAITED.  Sleep remained elusive, even though I had managed to cover every single little annoying light in the room.  I tossed and turned for at least another two or three hours before I finally fell asleep - an hour before the alarm roused me to get the kids up and off to school.

I think I know what the problem is.  It's not until I'm trying to fall asleep at night that my brain (which has been inadequately programmed to accept SLEEP as an acceptable and normal way of life) decides that it's time to think about things that I don't necessarily have answers for.  At two or three in the morning, no less.  I'll be tossing and turning, intent on replenishing on my energy and strength and my brain goes something like this: "Pssst.  Hey, Capulet.  D'ya remember the kitchen drawer you meant to re-arrange and organize?  Well, it's getting fuller because you've been neglecting it for weeks.  How much longer do you think it'll be before you won't be able to open it?  And when you finally DO get to it, the knob you pull to open the drawer is loose.  You're going to need a Phillips screwdriver to tighten it.  The screwdriver is actually IN that drawer, too, so you don't have to look far.  You planned for that, actually.  And then when you're done with that knob, you're going to need to tighten at least a dozen other knobs throughout the kitchen and bathroom cabinets..."

So, there you have it...there's me...at three o'clock in the fucking morning, there I am with the screwdriver, because my brain won't shut the fuck up about the knobs.  You'd also think - okay, all thirteen knobs tightened, am I going to be able to sleep now?  No.  Because then it starts with the next thing.  It's like my brain queues thoughts - things I push away when I have all the time in the world during the damn day, and it saves them for when I'm supposed to be sleeping.  But I think I'm a sleep superhero - I've mentioned previously that this was something I've been used to since I was in my late teens.  Sure, the day after, I'm a zombie and the night after, I USUALLY crash accompanying a NyQuil swig.

So, a couple nights ago...I had a pounding headache.  Took a Tylenol PM - (and here's further proof that it simply doesn't work...I either need to take three or four or find something stronger) and headed to bed.  Few minutes in, there's the voice of my brain.  

"Hey.  Hey.  Never mind sleep.  Tell me, Capulet, why do you think you don't like music?"

I punch my pillow.  Oh, my God.  All I want is to SLEEP!  Shut up, brain.  SHUT UP!  I attempt to ignore the voice.  I think of other things.  I think of my beautiful nieces and my handsome nephew.  My cats.  My upcoming house projects.  The parties I'm trying to plan for birthdays, graduations, other marvelous life moments.  I try to "start" a dream...hopefully I'll drift off and finish it.  No such luck that night, though.

"You're not going to sleep until you explain to yourself why you hate music.  Come on.  It's time to think about this and nothing else, because you're NOT going to be able to sleep until you do..."  I want to say Will Ferrell is the voice of my disobedient brain - simply because I can't stand him and find him annoying.  Very convenient, isn't it, to have him narrate my impromptu middle-of-the-night thoughts?

So, I get to thinking about my dislike of music.  It's not because I want to or choose to, it's because Will Ferrell won't let me sleep.

I always thought that it mostly has to do with the fact that I can't hear it.  I can feel the beat, I can hear, through the help of my hearing aid, the sounds.  But I cannot string together the words to a song.  I can't tell if it's a pleasant sound or dissonant.  I can't enjoy it, even in the smallest way.  I don't understand when someone tells me that music is more than hearing; it's an experience.  I don't get it when my fiancee rushes over to me after watching 'The Voice' with goosebumps on her arms and she says, "Oh, my god...their singing...it sent chills through my body...look!  See the goosebumps?"  And sure enough, yes, there they are.  I don't get it when I see people in the gym or jogging in the park with headphones in.  I mean, I guess I CAN understand - for these people, it serves as a distraction...when you can focus on your favorite songs while you work out, the exercise doesn't seem so tedious.  Maybe that's why I fail miserably whenever I DO bring my ass over to the gym. 

I see people with song lyrics tattooed on them.  Lyrics I normally cannot identify the song they came from or who the artist is.   

My mother loves music and enjoys Broadway...she goes to shows often with her (retired) friends.  My father, when he's not swearing at the Mets and their recent lack of baseball talent, loves music and occasionally 'jams' with his (also retired) friends - he plays the organ and the saxophone, for fun.  He's also known to enjoy American Idol when it's on.  My sister (the one who's a bit of a snoot) has been performing since she was a small child and much to all of our relief, she's now just had her second child and is just now focusing on motherhood, something she should have started doing five years ago when my nephew was born.  

My fiancee loves playing her favorite music in the car or in the bedroom...she will attempt to tell me about certain songs, certain performers, and as much as I try, I can't bring myself to care.  In fact, J and I have an inside joke.  Whenever I see people sing, I have to admit to being amused by it and often referring to it as 'people screaming.'   Because, to me, it looks like they're screaming in pain.  Especially the ones who belt out in song and distort their faces so excessively, it reminds me of someone attempting to pass a kidney stone or preparing for childbirth.  And so, on J's days off, I sleep late (most likely because the night before was a restless one) and while she's waiting for me to awaken, she 'watches people scream' with her cat.  It works for me.

And finally, my KIDS love music.  The daughter is constantly playing music through her iPad while she does homework, cleans, takes showers.  A lot of the time, I have to tell her to turn her stuff down, because it's giving me a headache.  The Son, a few weeks ago when I picked him up from school, expressed his sadness that I couldn't hear music.  He said he 'felt so bad' for me, that he found it devastating that I didn't know what I was missing.  I told him that I wasn't bothered by it.  I think I found it more touching that he was of the impression that we'd even have the same taste in tunes...

I've even seen and met other deaf people (and it's safe to say they are just as deaf as I) who enjoy feeling the beat and claim to love music, even watching people sing/perform on television, even if they're not getting the full audio experience they still SOMEHOW manage to gain from music and reading the subtitles as a person performs.  I'll never understand though, how that's possible, either.  But I never questioned it. I don't think I ever really cared enough to do so.  I guess it would be a different story if I'd ever heard music.  If I'd been born with the ability to hear and lost my hearing later in life, I think I'd have been crushed, having something I enjoyed so intensely taken away from me.  I think that's what my son THINKS happened in my case, even though I've explained time and time again - you can't possibly miss something you've never had the pleasure of understanding or experiencing.  

But...I have to confess...I hate music.  When I hear music playing through the radio or through someone's phone or from the TV, it sounds staticky.  It's just loud, annoying noise.  Oftentimes, it gives me a headache because that's what noise DOES.  When you can't make heads nor tails of it, you're left with unnecessary background noise that plays in your head long after it's been turned off.  I can't help but roll my eyes - is it really as hyped up as everyone says?  I mean - I've always said people were entitled to their own opinions, not everyone likes and dislikes the same things.  But almost every single person I know likes music...and I can't help but feel left out because this isn't something I can take joy in alongside them.  Ebenezer Scrooge's 'bah humbug' comes to mind whenever I see someone enjoying music or singing...and I just find myself disconnecting from any and all forms of music.  I allow myself to get lost in thoughts and if the 'noise' gets to be too much, I take my ear out.  I retreat into silence, because, for me - this is more comfortable.

I have another theory, though, on why this is such a torrid topic.  And this isn't an easy theory to recognize but in hindsight, it makes a whole lot of sense.  I am going to issue a trigger warning at this point...okay?

When I was assaulted at seventeen years old, it happened at a party.  I was in someone's bedroom (it was not my attacker's house nor a fraternity house - it was simply someone else's 'folks-are-away-on-European-vacation-so-let's-have-a-rager' house) and my assailant had locked us inside that upstairs bedroom under the pretense of making a phone call to someone who could pick me up since my 'ride' was downstairs and drunk.

Anyway, at one point after things had gone terribly wrong, I was pinned down on the floor, with him on top of me, methodically ripping away my soul.  It was after I had stopped fighting him - any previous attempts to cry for help were not heard nor recognized and the door remained locked for the duration of the assault.  And although I may not have understood it in the moment due to shock and eventual 'check-out', I'd later begin to realize why no one came.  It's because, through the floor, I could literally feel the blasting of the music playing downstairs.  This kid must have had top-of-the-line speakers and stereo equipment because it was the type of loud that one could barely hear themselves in, never mind someone in a bedroom upstairs.  My body (back mostly) vibrated along with the floors.  Surely, no one heard my feet and fists stomping on the floor.  No one heard me scream.  No one came to my rescue because NO ONE HEARD ME.  During that life-changing moment that I will never be able to associate without the presence of loud "noise," I lost not only a huge part of myself, but also the ability to see music as anything but bothersome as well as loathsome.

And there you have it, friends - I want to think that although the hearing impairment is likely the primary culprit, that there is also that secondary reason why I won't open up my mind to music.  I just can't.  Yet, I've been known to jot down some poetry and I was constantly writing things down following the sexual assault.  These were my most common outlets.  Both of these are closely associated with songwriting and with creation.  But for me - there was no musical vision accompanying these words.  While another artist might be able to put 'noise' and lovely melodies to these words, all I can manage, is silence.  I am sure that music in general is a beautiful thing - yet, I can't help but associate it with something so ugly and heartless, cruel, cold.  And this is something I don't like about myself nor to admit about myself, especially since I know that for so many people, whether they are close to me or not, this is a STAPLE.  People have said they don't know what they'd do without their favorite music...for to them, it's comforting.  

As I near the end of this post, I do want to put a little disclaimer here - that if you are one of those who gain comfort from music, I certainly do respect that - I just would never be able to understand it the way you do!  And in no way do I feel differently about any of my friends who love something I dislike so much - for I truly feel we all have our valid reasons for loving/hating something.  I just feel that unless you can effectively explain and comprehend what your own personal reasons are, then you're not justified.  (I don't know if this is even the right word or even fair to say - it's just a feeling I have when it comes to my own likes and dislikes, and it's, as expected, nearly 3am right now so I've surpassed the point of translucent thinking.)  

I truly wish that this was different for me and that I were more open to reading song lyrics, 'feeling' the meaning behind them, etc, but this is not something I can do right now.  If this will ever be possible, I don't know, but I'm not in a hurry.

But, to me, aside from not being able to hear it properly, music is simply just noise...and likely a triggering one.  

I'm not sure if writing this blog entry will enable me to completely understand or even to answer this particular pressing question that from time to time plagues me at odd hours of the morning.  I'm not sure if it's even validation I seek.  Either way...I'll hope that this interpretation appeases Will Ferrell as I hobble over to the bed.  I've taken the swig a few minutes ago and am hoping that shortly, sleep, along with silence, will overcome my otherwise busy, insomniac brain.  I'm sure that in the next couple nights, Will shall be back and he'll be asking me (at 2am) if I've remembered to feed the Daughter's hermit crabs or if I've remembered to transfer the clothes from the washer into the dryer or I've paid a bill or emailed an aunt for her birthday.

My best to everyone.  And, until next time, adios!

- Capulet


Hey, guys!  Me, again.  Did you miss me? :throb:

So...here's a question.  

Have you ever gone on the same drive a million times?  It's usually something as simple as dropping a kid off at school or running to the store for a gallon of milk.  You know, it's a routine at this point...you take the same route, you know where to turn, you've nicknamed the landmarks/street signs/other distinguishing areas surrounding you so that while you navigate and drive, you can kind of 'reserve' some of your attention to scenery or to whatever else is on your mind.  Yes, you're behind the wheel, so you're actually paying attention but at the same time, you've gone into a sort of autopilot mode?  You get to your destination (store, pick up kid, bowling alley, etc) and snap back into reality, "gee, that was quick."  And then you also wonder how you got there in one piece without REALLY paying attention.

That's been happening a lot, lately.  Especially since moving from city surroundings into the country.  There's just less traffic on the road, so I find it far easier to zone off into space while I drive.  

What do I think about?  I don't even know.  Everything and nothing.  

Like, the Son brought home his cap and gown on Friday last week.  That just makes me feel even older than I am.  I think about how I'm going to have to plan a party for him for both his graduation and his birthday, how I've got to soon deal with the pains in my ass that are my family and wonder what kind and what amount of drama I'm going to be faced with in the near future.  I ponder the daughter's continuing childish behavior; and of course, remind myself to check for feathers if she's recently been unsupervised.  I think about the bills, how we need to build back up our bank account some now that taxes were just due.  These little things come to mind when I'm in autopilot mode, I'm feeling my eyes get fuzzy, I'm yawning...I get the shit scared out of me when I run over the grooves in the road, because I'm so deep in thought sometimes. 

And today, I almost drifted off to sleep on my way home from the store!


We can blame it on the Mets, if we want.  They just finished playing the Padres in San Diego, so two games started at 10pm this past week.  But that's likely not going to hold, especially if you know what time I actually DO go to sleep on any normal night.  And J knows that I went to sleep an hour or two AFTER those games ended, because that was simply closer to my 'normal' bedtime, which is now between two and three in the morning. 

*note the time of this blog's posting.  See what I mean? :) 

I suppose I should eventually try and get to the bottom of my sleep disorder.  I think it's safe to call it a disorder at this point because it's simply not normal.  I can't say my sleep patterns have ever been normal.  

Some of you already know about my (ridiculous) sensitivity to light.  I can also say many are amused by it because, well, it kind of IS funny when you think about it.  Me, covering up all the lights, or first getting comfortable in bed, only to whip the covers off and grab a stray t-shirt to cover that damn blinking light on the cable box, because I'll NOT be able to sleep unless I can't see that pesky little green light!  If it's not the cable box, it's J's phone - she sometimes wakes up in the morning and finds her cell phone covered with a sock. (There's only so much I can see in the dark so while rummaging around her side of the bed, that's usually what I come up with...so I apologize to my sweetheart if her phone ever mysteriously smells like feet in the morning...)

That light  sensitivity BS started in childhood.  I would literally NOT sleep if one of my sisters needed a night light.  Or there was a hallway light on that I could see from underneath a closed door.  Nope.  Until that hallway light was turned off, I would feel as if I were underneath a spotlight.  If I could see anything in the room because of these little tiny (LED lights on phone, cable/tv lights) sources of illumination, then I think I knew they could also see me.  Now, I don't know how much sense this makes, because really, how is being able to see me sleep a threat?  It's something I never really put too much thought into.  I'm REALLY thinking, though, that the possible CSA I experienced (and don't remember) has added to the mystery surrounding my sleep, or lack of.

I also used to sleepwalk as a child.  This began at age eight or nine and continued until I started high school.  Thankfully, it wasn't a frequent occurrence.  My parents witnessed it a few times, and I am sure that there were times when they, along with the rest of my family was unaware.  I remember wondering why I was "on the other side" of my bed when I'd wake up in the morning.  (I'd go to sleep with my head on my pillow and wake up with my feet on my pillow.  The pillow never moved, but I certainly did.)  Back then, though, during my high school years, I used to go to sleep during 'normal' hours; I'd bring myself up to bed at 10pm and sleep until morning with few issues.  I even recall sleepwalking when I was a teenager, but cannot recall any other incidents past the age of fifteen or sixteen.  

I should add that upon reading up on somnambulism a bit on Wikipedia, I've also discovered I have RLS (restless leg syndrome)...I didn't know there was a name for that!  In order to go to sleep, or FALL asleep, in addition to the need for pitch blackness, I also have to be moving my leg/foot.  One leg is almost always dangling off the side of the bed and it's moving all the way up to the point until sleep finally consumes me.  

Good God, I'm a hot mess, ain't I?

And I'm a very, very lucky woman, because I've been sharing a bed for almost half of my life.  Thankfully, the wasband and J both sleep like logs and my sleepwalking, talking, shaking, whatever the hell else I'm doing whenever I'm supposed to be sleeping, had/has no effect on their rest.

I'd later add to my growing list of sleep issues when I started college.  After being sexually assaulted (and yes, there I go again with the sugar-coated version of what happened to me in 1996...twenty-one years later,  the four-letter word beginning with 'R,' still makes me cringe.)  I had horrible nightmares whenever I slept too deeply, I felt unsafe while sleeping.  I suppose this part makes sense - when I'm sleeping, I'm not able to hear anything, not able to see anything (thanks to my issues with lights) and therefore, I felt even more powerless and less willing to just let myself sleep soundly.  I mean, how dare I sleep, when this would force me to relinquish any and all control over my body?  Yes, unfortunately, that was my mindset back then.  I avoided sleep by way of caffeinated drinks, sugary snacks and late-night computer sessions.  I think it's also safe to say this was when I got my 'autopilot's license.'  I zoned out during class and traveling through the campus from one class to another, driving back and forth to school, I stared and stared while sitting alone in the cafeteria or I was at home in the safety of my room - it didn't matter where I was, I'd always, ALWAYS find myself slowly losing focus, losing myself.  I'd also find myself "fuzzing" during regular day-to-day interactions with the small amount of friends I had.

Then of course, I had a baby at 21.  When the wasband and I welcomed the Son, I was already used to functioning on less than four hours' sleep per night.  So, when my son was a colicky baby that didn't cooperate nor sleep when I wanted him to, forcing me to sit in the rocker with him until he did go back to sleep, I whittled my amount of rest down to 2-3 hours per night.  I eventually would crash from exhaustion, and once my demon child started sleeping through the night, I slowly got back up to four or five.  

That all being said, let's fast-forward to me, now, my present self STILL has self-diagnosed insomnia.

This is what I don't get, mainly.  I'm in a decent frame of mind.  I no longer fear sleep.  I'm not sure if 'fear' is the correct word, as over the years my attitude toward sleep has evolved.  On occasion and when I'm nothing short of burnt out, I find myself welcoming it.  Maybe it was fear in the beginning, which is certainly understandable and justified.  That was when I avoided sleep at all costs, I would tell myself I wasn't tired when deep down, I knew I was full of shit.  Today, I'm an adult, I'm raising two children, keeping up a house, running errands daily, and I certainly get tired.  I'm exhausted at midnight, yet, I don't retreat underneath the covers until two or three in the morning.  

Explain that to me?!  Because I sure as hell can't explain this to myself!

Sometimes I need the help of my trusty bottle of NyQuil; this will eventually steer me to the bed, especially on nights that I feel the most restless.  Like I would when I was a teenager and a young Mom, I still eventually crash - and when I do, I'll sleep all day if no one wakes me.  I take less than the normal dose - just a little swig to get my eyes fluttering.  That usually works.  I don't like feeling like a zombie in the morning, though.  

But, anyway.  Like most of my other life questions, the answers will present themselves when it's time.  I know I need to learn how to just allow myself to adapt to healthier sleep habits, but I also have to work on my patience.  With myself and with life, because these so-called answers simply don't reveal themselves overnight. (See what I did, there?)

Oh - before I go - today was scale day!  (You didn't think I forgot to update you all, did you?)

I lost just a slight bit under a pound today.  I am now over 25 pounds smaller than I was when I started.  Yay, me!  As for the scale, it gets to live a little bit longer.  What did I do differently this week?  Had a glass of wine with a friend that I hadn't seen in years.  She brought a local sangria that we used to love throwing back together back in the day - she was passing through my area to get to an Expo and swung by on her way home.  We had pizza and wine and while I am sure I could have drank more, I stopped at one full glass.  Believe it or not, wine has points!  And then on Sunday, the Son prepared dual briskets for everyone at his father's house and invited me to dinner.  

That's right, the wasband and I did SOMETHING right - I do think it's because the wasband (as lazy as he is and in attempts to relieve his miserable wife of extra household responsibilities) often places cooking responsibilities onto our son, but the result is a favorable one.  While the wasband and his wife were gone all day on Sunday, my seventeen-year-old chef-in-training seasoned and prepared via barbecue/smoker two beef briskets that were absolutely delicious and ready when they got home.  They sliced them thin and put them between two slices of extremely bready Italian, topped with coleslaw and pickles.  I skipped the pickles and coleslaw as well as the bread and enjoyed my son's meal with a knife and fork.  

So - onwards to the next 25!  As always, will keep you all informed.  (whether you like it or not!)

Hope everyone is doing as well as can be!  Will update again, soon.  My best to you all - and as always, thank you for reading.


- Capulet




As promised, your morning update following last night's novella.

I'm smiling. 

The scale is still alive, so if inanimate objects could smile, then the scale would also be smiling.

Not only did I lose the pound I gained last week, I lost another on top of that!  I am now only a half pound away from my 25 pound goal!  Of course, I'm wanting to continue but 25 seemed like a nice number to set as a starting goal.  Almost there!!!

I'm also pretty happy because not only did I have the steak dinner last week, I finished off a delicious gelati from Rita's.  My bowling friends wanted to celebrate the end of our bowling season and invited us to Rita's.  This place is certainly another one of my weaknesses.  Those frigging gelatis are to DIE for.  They put a layer of custard at the bottom, put a layer of italian ices (you pick the flavor), then top it off with another swirl of custard.  Oh, my GOD.  

Each of those damn things is 19...yes, 19....points. (Oompa: "points!")

They're closed in the winter, which is probably a good thing.  J and I have been known to go to the grocery store for ice cream in the dead of winter should we have a craving but since moving to Pennsylvania and enduring this past winter, ice cream is about as appealing as an ice bath.

Rita's re-opens in the spring.  We were driving by it earlier in the week and upon seeing that it was now open for the spring and summer, I looked up how many "points!" a gelati was.  Nineteen.  UGH.

SO I decided then and there, I'm going to reward myself ONCE per week with a vanilla custard/cherry ices gelati from Rita's.  I'll have to save up my weeklies, and will treat myself to Rita's if there haven't been any other slip-days in the week.  I think the fact that I had one last week and still lost over 2 pounds is yet another small victory; it tells me that I CAN treat myself.  I just have to be super cautious on the six other days.  

So, that's it for now.  Hope everyone's day is marvelous.  Mine's started out wonderfully and I'm off to raid the fridge.  Eggs and toast actually sound GOOD right now.

:peace: & :throb:,

- Capulet



Hello, all.

I'll say this entry is part one of two - I will owe  you all a very brief entry tomorrow morning after I have faced the scale.  Oh, yes, I shudder at the thought; last week's numbers having gone in the wrong direction certainly does a 'number' (pun partially intended) on one's motivation to step back on!  But I held myself accountable for it and I'm hoping that I am ready for tomorrow morning's outcome.  I've taken my usual Sunday night cocktail, hoping that Friday night's steak dinner (no fries on the side, skipped the before-supper unlimited bread and butter, had a salad with my meal, although the dressing was the most lethal part of it, AND I didn't even finish the whole steak!) isn't held against me; I was extra vigilant with my food intake on Saturday and today, hoping that reflects on the scale in the morning.  

I'm also starting this entry now because as I type, I'm fighting off the urge to make myself a bowl of popcorn.  Stomach is growling, likely because I had my supper at 4:30pm.  Usually we eat hours later, but my fiancee brought a pizza home from work when she got out at 3 and we all know the best time to eat a pizza is when it comes out of the oven!  Soon as she got home, we each had two slices and a couple of delectable garlic knots.  I know I have a few more points (insert Oompa's voice here...."points") that I'm allowed for the day, but have decided to skip them if I can, the numbers have more of a chance of being more favorable if I do!

Y'all know I'm good for a brief update in the morning.  Just say a rosary for me if that's your thing! ;)

Anyway, I had a bit of a surprise when scrolling through Facebook earlier.  A friend (and I use that term lightly, explanation to follow) of mine, someone I knew BEFORE I met the wasband, just became a grandmother.  Her son, whom I remember being five or six years old at the time and the equivalent of Hell on Earth, just became a Daddy.  

She posted photos of her brand new grandchild, a little girl.  She posted photos of her and her husband, cradling the new addition.  The years haven't been too kindly to either one of them - she's recently had some health problems and he's looking a bit gaunt.  When I remembered/spent time with them both, they were in their forties already.  He was working at the fire department and she was a SAHM; (stay-at-home Mom) they had a little side company deejaying on the weekends and would invite me to their karaoke nights (which is kind of silly considering I never could hear the music or sing along) and I'd go, for the free drinks if nothing else.  I'd then be drunk at the end of the night and their guest bedroom would be where I stayed until I was sober enough to go home.

Some background information here - I'd met her online, we both volunteered for an AOL sponsored writing forum and upon conversing, discovered we lived 20 minutes apart.  This was back in 1998, just before the two-year anniversary of when I'd been sexually assaulted at a party.  So, that being said, I was NOT in a good overall frame of mind.  I was eighteen, nearly nineteen.  The flashbacks, the sleepless nights, the constant mini-breakdowns were common, and she acted as a sounding board during a lot of those times - she had some CSA issues in her background, and she kept my secret.  My family remained clueless.  Online, I had a small group of supporters - AOL had a chat room for survivors that I would frequent whenever the house was empty and I had ensured privacy - but in person, I had no one.  I kept to myself, I stared at the floor more often than I looked in front of me, I rarely made eye contact with anyone.  I was soft-spoken, I wrote my thoughts down.  My grades had slipped, so I focused more on pulling them back up than I did being social.  I didn't want to be around people who were my own age.

As far as friends went, she was the most available.  The few friends I'd gone to High School with were either away at college or simply too busy to be hanging around with me.  She was home all the time, so whenever I didn't have classes or before/after school, I'd trek over to her house.  We'd to go lunch, go shopping, we'd spend hours talking.  I spent countless weekends at her place, usually following a Friday night karaoke session.  

I eventually told her that I had trouble trusting men.  I shared with her my feelings of a developing bisexuality and told her I felt safer and more comfortable in the company of women.  I would later come to discover that this was true even before the 1996 rape, but it was a feeling that I couldn't shake at the moment.  I remember her laughing at me when I told her that I thought I was 'bi.'  I asked her why she would laugh at that, and her answer was, 'because I'M bi, too!"  So rather than table this conversation for a time when my mental state was more healthy, I allowed her to lead me down a dangerous, risky path that I have spent the last 20 years regretting.  

Now, please don't misunderstand me, here.  I don't for one minute regret the last ten years I've spent with a loving woman.  J and I have a successful, committed relationship and we are happy.  Y'all have seen and heard what we fight about and it's usually nothing more than what we're having for dinner that night.  I don't even regret meeting the wasband - without that fateful blind date, I would not have had my beautiful son and daughter to show for that relationship.  Sure, I would have liked for things to have gone differently and to say that an ugly divorce wasn't a part of my life, but if it ultimately means my life would have improved, then I'm okay with having gone through a (failed) marriage/divorce.  Those are things that happen to survivors and non-survivors alike, so these are things I never use the word 'regret' for.  To me, that's life.  These are bad things that have happened that bring forth some good.

Here's what I do regret, though.  And I do think that I use this word mostly to describe the choices I made while being friends with her.  And if YOU are not in a good frame of mind as you read this, perhaps you will come back later or altogether skip the rest of this blog entry because I am about to share a little bit more about myself and most of it is stuff I'm not necessarily proud of.  Oompa knows NONE of this.  My J, though, knows all of it.  Now THAT's a relationship!

Okay, so...

I regret being weak enough to allow this woman to become my first female sexual partner.  I would have liked my "first time" with a female to have been a little more special than that afternoon.  I was at home in my room when she called me from her house, saying she wanted me to bring over some sign-language textbooks so that I could begin to teach her.  I didn't hesitate.  I grabbed my books, drove over to her place.  When I got there, I let myself in.  At this point, I either had a key or she left the door unlocked, knowing I'd be coming by.  Anyhow, I searched through the house and found that she was in the bathroom adjoining her bedroom, and she waved for me to come in.  I sat on her bed while she blew-dried her hair.  We exchanged some small talk about the usual everything and nothing.  When she was finished, she came into the bedroom, stood over me and asked me if I was going to take my pants off, or was she?  Just like that.  I was so surprised at what she'd just said and don't think I was even able to speak.  But I tossed the book aside and the next thing I know, she's 'showing me the ropes.'

I think my eyes were closed for most of the time.  I didn't participate because, really, I didn't know how.  I don't think she cared, nor minded that I wasn't reciprocating; she kept at it until I managed a weak orgasm.  When she was finished, I got dressed again and went home.  I felt different.  Not violated, because, well, if it was something I didn't want, wouldn't I have said something?  Wouldn't I have told her 'no?'  I didn't.  A part of me felt more mature because now I'd been with a woman and it was an experience that I no longer had to be curious about.  I think I also felt a slight bit of guilt because she WAS married and her husband wasn't 'in the know' of the new nature of our friendship.

I didn't feel guilty for very long.  As time went on, I learned a lot of things about my "friend."  Things that led to more and more of the subsequent "bad choices" that I made.

Not only were we fooling around on a regular/weekly basis (we took a few small road trips, we'd sneak in some activity while her son was in school and husband at work, etc), she was also known to fool around with other men behind her husband's back.  She was overly friendly online and made many of her online flirtations a reality, especially if the gentleman caller of the week was "close by."  I'll never forget accompanying her to meet one of them.  She spent most of the one-hour trip ranting and raving about how attracted she was to him.  Then when they finally met, I sat in the car and waited while she got into his back seat.  No details needed there.  

She also made it her personal mission to promote my sexual health - she'd attempt to set me up with men.  I don't know if this is because she felt the need for me to have an all-the-time partner, just like she had her husband.  I didn't object.  I trusted her.  I was more comfortable with women, but I was also not ready to commit to a long-term relationship with one.  My family would never have understood nor approved of that.  And so, I allowed her to "introduce" me to some of her men.  

I dated a guy who consulted with her on a deejay/karaoke gig.  This was short-lived; we just had very few common interests and he eventually moved on.  She attempted to set me up with various men that she knew from servicing her house at one point or another.  And I only agreed to date the carpenter because he looked like Matt Damon.

(He really did.)

But that didn't work out, either.  

She sent me to meet a car salesman.  I don't even remember WHY...all I remember is going into a motel room with this (older) man and waking up naked.  I don't even remember his name.  His face.  Nothing.  I could have walked past him on the street and wouldn't have recognized him.  Yet, I consented to this, apparently.  I'll later attribute my fogginess to likely dissociation - I certainly don't feel as if I was violated by him.  But back then, I always thought and believed sexual assault to be what I'd already experienced it to be - the crying, the kicking, the screaming.  Not this.  This was more along the lines of my not giving a shit about myself and just doing whatever I thought would help make me normal again.  Whatever she thought would help me be normal.  Help me ENJOY sex.

Whenever she and I were together, she'd make small comments that, in hindsight, give me more questions rather than answers.

"You're like a robot," she would say to me, after we'd been to bed together, "You go somewhere else whenever I touch you in a certain place."

Back then, I had no idea what she was talking about.  Now, I do.  I was dissociating.  I was 'checking out.'  It was my way of blocking out whatever it was that I was SUPPOSED to be feeling.  Because it wasn't right.  It wasn't wrong, we were both consenting adults at this point, but there was always something there that I didn't quite understand, nor could put my finger on.  Something wasn't right.

Just like it wasn't right on the night I was drunk after karaoke at the bar and I'd retired into the family room.  I'd just fallen asleep when she came in, took my hand and led me into her own bedroom, where she whipped the covers off her naked husband.  I didn't object, I simply obliged.  I had sex with both her and her husband that night, all of it a drunken blur.  I can't say I was too drunk to remember what happened.  I could have stopped this if I wanted to, though.  I will not convey details of the 'during,' but the 'after' left me ashamed - mostly with myself for having done what I'd done and furthermore, wondering if this woman really was my friend.  Following that night, there were a couple more threesomes, both while I was lucid, each one leaving me more and more uncomfortable with myself and with them.  I began to hate myself and what I was doing, I felt unclean, I felt more damaged than I'd been at the start of this "friendship."

And, so, I began to distance myself.  I stopped going to the karaoke events she worked, I stopped visiting her home.  I cut down on our communication, saying that school was keeping me busy.

I met the wasband around this time, too.  From the moment he and I began dating, there was no more physical contact between her and I.  

They eventually moved to Florida.  It was a number of years after I'd married the wasband.  By now, the son was a toddler.  She'd send a yearly Christmas card that I'd chuck into the trash when it was time to put away the holiday decorations.  Then, she found me on Facebook and both she and her husband sent me friend requests.  I accepted.  Don't ask me why, I think a part of me felt badly for dropping the friendship, even if deep down, I knew it was an unhealthy one.  Over the years, I've flirted with the idea of deleting them both but haven't done so, yet.  I don't know why.  I don't understand it.  I think a part of me holds onto a point in time when I trusted this woman with all of my secrets and cared about her.  I guess keeping her as a Facebook friend was my way of watching from afar and was harmless - perhaps it's a good thing to kind of know what she's up to without having to spend time with her.

So, here's another thing I have trouble admitting, mostly to myself.  Because from a different, outside perspective (yours perhaps?) it is far more clear.  

I never classified her as an abuser, and I've always had trouble with this kind of thing.  In my mind's eye, abuse is something you don't consent to.  It's rape, something I've experienced, thus making it easier to recognize.  It's violent.  It consists of the yelling, the screaming, the hitting, the crying.  It's repetitive.  I could have said no to her advances/propositions, but I didn't.  I allowed whatever happened, to happen.  I was silent through it all.  I did not cry, I did not experience any violence with her.  Eventually, I began to participate, although slowly.  It's just not something friends do to each other.

I know now that when someone is being abused, a fair percentage of the time, they don't even realize it.  How else do you explain child abuse?  Spousal abuse?  A child is most likely to do whatever he/she feels will please their abuser.  Only they don't understand they are being abused.  A wife will move heaven and earth to appease a controlling husband and say it's because she made a vow to obey and she's afraid of what he'll do if she doesn't comply.  That's abuse.  Mental abuse is abuse, too.  It took me years, YEARS to realize and recognize the many forms of abuse.  And it's taken even longer to figure out which forms I can hashtag, 'me, too.'

I'm older now.  I'm smarter.  I'm not a child anymore.  When she and I were friends, (again, throwing that term out there lightly) I was an adult only in years, but have come to realize that I was a child in so many ways, stuck in a child-like mentality when it came to sex and experiencing sexual things.  Yes, that was because of what happened in 1996, and this wasn't her doing.  However, she knew my reasons for becoming 'a robot' and she took advantage of that.  She hurt me without leaving visible bruises and scars, and with each passing encounter, she further battered my self-respect until, finally, I had none left.  

When I met the wasband, I was a broken down, submissive product of this relationship.  It's hard to call it a friendship now; to refer to it as an 'unhealthy relationship' seems more appropriate.  It makes more sense now that I think about it and am writing about it - why I jumped from one poor relationship into another.  The light bulb, that's been flickering for many years, is now brightly lit.

So, earlier this evening, seeing her picture scroll by on my newsfeed, I couldn't help but stare at the screen in disgust.  It became so much more clear.  She's an abuser.  Whether she realizes this or she doesn't, I can safely say she is an abuser.  And on top of that, this woman is now a grandparent.  

I sure hope people change.  I know I did.  I suppose meeting her and being "friendly" with her for about two years shouldn't be a total regret, either - she taught me a lot, even though some of these lessons took years to be fully learned.  And I think she continues to teach me, even if she raises question after question on nights like this one.  I answer them all, even if just to myself.  And then, I ask them again, again, and again.

On that note, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, folks.  What happened, here?  And how or why was I so blind to it back then?  Or was I just stupid?  (I mean, yeah, I know I made plenty of stupid choices!)  How does someone just do that to someone else?  

In closing, I also want to mention to you all that I've forgiven her as well as myself.  That was something I needed to do in order to move on, bury the bad relationships as far away from me as possible, and proceed onto a happier, healthier union, such as the one I share with J.  I think keeping her on as a Facebook friend is part of this forgiveness/evolution.  No, I will never look back at those times and smile; but I'll at least say I learned a lot from those experiences and they're certainly not things easily explained.

Okay, so...tomorrow's part two will consist of either happy me (numbers down) or pissed-off me (numbers up).  It won't be as long as tonight's entry, I promise. 

For now, good night.  My :throb: to you all.  

- Capulet 



...not to my fiancee, of course!!!  

Guys, I'm not that kind of girl.  Never have been and never will be.  I've been cheated on (likely by the wasband, and likely by other guys that I dated before I married him.  One girl I dated briefly (for a few weeks) cheated on me...with a man, no less.  Imagine that?!

Either way, unfaithfulness and I do not get along.  I've no respect for unfaithful partners, the heartbreak they cause and the re-building of trust that is required afterwards - nope, it's not a road I ever want to go down, nor would I want to go down with anyone who was unfaithful to me.  Because really, that's a deal-breaker.  My lovely wifey and I strongly agree on this, it's a hundred percent over if either one of us were to stray.  I'm sure that a lot of why we both feel this way has to do with both of us having endured abusive relationships in the past.  

So why the (clickbait) title?


Last week, I was unfaithful to my diet.  I admit it.  I'm holding myself accountable to you all.  I'm writing this for a couple of reasons.  First off, I want to be able to come back to this whenever I feel the 'ah, screw its,' because a (small) setback like this one is likely to make anyone think that.  I'm still over the 20-pound mark, but now it's going to be a little bit longer to get to the 25-pound mark, which I'd been hoping for.  

I got on the scale on Monday, my usual weigh-in day.  And yes, this is a big part of the reason I didn't update right away.

I gained one stinking pound.  1.1 to be exact.

After I kicked and screamed at the scale (half expecting it to scream back at me, "What the hell do you expect???  Do you know what the hell you ate this week?!") I rang Oompa to share the verdict.

"Do you know why?" Was all she said.  My mother's had her own ups and downs, if anyone were to understand the frustrations of dieting, it's my mother.  She's been on a diet for as long as I've known her.  

Let's see.  Monday, I want to say I ate normally, eggs for breakfast, chicken for supper.  Tuesday, we had pasta with homemade alfredo sauce (I was sure to use the cream of mushroom in a can rather than buy the store brand jarred alfredo sauce).  Wednesday, I made a pulled pork in the crock-pot and served them on rolls that weren't necessarily the healthy type.  Thursday, we had chinese take-out because the kids begged me not to make anything to do with chicken.  I guess I can't blame them - they've had enough at this point.  And so, the Son requested I make different things this past week, and I obliged.  And I also indulged.  My portion sizes weren't enormous; I can't eat as much as I used to.  However, I still ate mindlessly, without measuring, without being strict with myself, without cutting myself off when I'd eaten enough, regardless of whether I was still hungry.  On Friday, the wifey had a medical procedure done (more on that another time) and wanted a cheesesteak with fries afterwards.  I didn't eat the cheesesteak, but I ordered a chicken parm hero - when they handed me my plate, I think I might have said 'sweet Jesus' a little too loudly.  Suffice to say, I ate about 1/4 of that hero - brought the rest home where the kids devoured my leftovers.  Then on Saturday, we went to my nephew's birthday party and I ate two slices of buffalo chicken pizza.  Then I've got to consider the nights I had (fat-free but not point-free) popcorn for a snack.  I didn't track ANY of these foods - but I don't blame my weight gain on that.  I haven't been tracking via electronic app for weeks, because I was eating all of the same things and it got too easy not to write it all down.

Here's what happened.  Like the kids, I got bored with the same ol' and I gave myself a little too much slack last week.  Lesson learned! 

And yes, guys, I know - it's only one pound.  I do know I could have done a lot worse than that.  This brings me to the second reason I'm writing this and sharing here.  I need to convince myself, too, that it's not the end of the world.  Maybe I just didn't drink enough water and maybe retention is part of the problem.  And I know I COULD HAVE done a whole lot worse.  I was not strict with myself, but a part of me WAS careful and a part of me was doing some damage control - I think the numbers on the scale could have been a lot more grave.  So, while I'm annoyed with myself for not taking care and losing that pound rather than gaining it, I have to remember to also commend myself for having a degree of self-control and minimizing the damage.  

And now, I must go on.

I told Oompa I certainly did know what I did wrong.  There was just too much, so I didn't give her any details.  Not only did I go over my allotted points for each day, I was sure I surpassed my weeklies, too.  

Interestingly enough, I won't admit these little menu details to Oompa.  I don't know why - like I said, my mother likely would understand anything I had to say about diets.  Maybe it's because for years and years, I rolled my eyes at her and made fun of her measuring cups and spoons and recipes...I can't tell you how many times she served me something that looked like cat puke....being a mediocre cook to begin with, her "diet" foods weren't appealing, either.

God, I can't begin to explain why I hear her voice CONSTANTLY when I'm going down the food aisles at Wal-Mart.  "That there, you mix it with this here, and it's three points," etc.  Whenever I see the words on the app - I hear her voice.  "Two points."  "Zero points."  "Points, points, POINTS."  And I'm hearing impaired, explain that!?

She's never scolded me for my dieting snafus.  The last thing she said to me before I hung up with her on Monday was, "It's all good.  Just keep going." 

But I've got no problem with admitting it to you guys.  No one here knows me from a hole in the wall, and yet, sharing little things online has always been far more comfortable to me than sharing in person with someone who knows me.  Someone who can see me.  Tell me I'm not the only one?

So, yeah.  I failed miserably last week, but I'm going to try to get back on track this week.  I'm going to get back into my app and starting tomorrow, pay better attention to what I eat.  I did make a lovely bean soup with white meat chicken on Monday.  Today, I had balsamic chicken with roasted potatoes and vegetables.  Tomorrow, J will be making pasta with meatballs, but I am going to measure what I eat.  And I'm going to be downing the water.  I wanted my popcorn snack while watching the baseball game tonight, but I decided against it.

It's all I can do, really. These little things.

Hoping to have better news for you all next week.  

To myself...I'm sorry.  I screwed up.  I'm going to make it right.

To the scale - screw you.  I'm coming back next week,  and I'm owning you!

- Capulet



Hello, hi, hola....shouting out to you all on this very dreary Sunday afternoon - however, the New York Mets' 12-2 start to the 2018 baseball season has me smiling even if the weather is not. :)  

At least it's not snow, right?  Happy to report that we haven't seen any of that in over two weeks.  Looks like spring has finally sprung and the underboob sweating and rash season is upon us all!  (If you're a woman, you'll definitely understand this.)  J is already trying to convince me to install the air-conditioners but I feel that it's still too early for this.  I have, though, agreed to let her put the ceiling fan on at night.  Aren't I a doll?

I do have some life updates, though.  Not many, but some. 

The daughter's "boyfriend" (yes, you may picture me with the quotations again!) is now just her friend.  Apparently, she made the mistake of telling her father about her "boyfriend" during one of their (usually chaotic) dinner conversations and he immediately insisted that she 'downgrade' their relationship to just 'friends.''  I have to say that I'm not upset about this. She did her share of pouting over it, but now that the heartbreak is over, she's back to face-timing and chatting with him, same thing she was doing when he was her "boyfriend."  When I say she should just be friends, I get an argument, when he says she's going to just be friends with him, she complies without hesitation.  Go figure.

On the same topic of my daughter, she's now "friendly" with that snooty problem child that she's been having issues with since the start of this school year.  So, I'm sure this means there will continue to be drama.  It just seems drama FOLLOWS this kid around.  I try to avoid it at all costs; I LOATHE drama and I just don't have the patience for it.  

One of my baby nieces had a hospital stay over the weekend.  She was admitted on Friday night with a fever and pneumonia.  My niece is the only child of two medical professionals, so I'm guessing there is never a shortage of germs in the house.  My brother-in-law is a Pediatric Dentist and constantly has his hands inside the mouths of germy children and my sister is a Physician's Assistant and works at a hospital.  (Ironically the same hospital my niece was born in and spent the weekend in.)  Fortunately, she had two days of IV antibiotics and she's hopefully going home today.

Saw my nephew and my other infant niece yesterday, at his birthday celebration.  Was nice.  Of course, now I see less and less of Oompa; but in a way, that's also an equivalent of a drama-free visit.  

My mother certainly has her hands full now, with the "younger" grandchildren, and my daughter has resorted to eye-rolling at the mention of anyone in my family, not limited to Oompa.  She's in general annoyed with my mother, because Oompa doesn't see much of her (or any of us) anymore.  It's not entirely my mother's fault, because we DID move two hours away from the rest of them, but a large part of her absence these days is due to the arrival of my two new nieces.  My sister who is a PA enlists in Grandma's Babysitting Service two to three days a week and whenever she's not with that sister, she's with the other one.  Doesn't leave much time for her to spend with us.  So the daughter is in part, jealous, but she's also UIW (Under the Influence of the Wasband) and a lot of damage has been done because of his mouth.  He makes a career out of saying that she is "dividing" our family, giving the ones who live closer priority.  I know, this is not fair at all, but I'm tired, I've no longer got the energy to combat the bullshit that comes out of his mouth.  And so whenever I see him during a kid swap, a quick hello and goodbye is best.  My children are far too impressionable and they unfortunately adopt HIS unreasonable way of thinking more often than they make decisions on their own.  This isn't an update; it's something I've known for too long a time, now, and something I don't have a clue how to fix.  

Little side note: it's taking me a very long time to type this.  I have a cat who insists that I don't give him enough attention during the course of one day.  He's being very demanding and whenever I look busy, he jumps onto my keyboard and insists I drop whatever I am doing until he's finished rubbing his (adorable) face against mine.

I'm almost down a total of 24 pounds, will have a more accurate number in the morning.  Being Sunday night, it's nearly time for me to take my weekly laxative/cleanse pill before the morning weigh-in.  I will be doing that soon, then will watch the Walking Dead with some bathroom pauses, thank heaven for TiVo.

For a little while, we're finished with Friday night bowling.  We didn't do as well as we'd hoped, but there's always next year.  We will just be bowling on Mondays for now, until that league ends and we start summer bowling.  One night a week for the summer; we've got some mini-plans and both my kids have birthdays over the summer, as well as my son's high school graduation being right around the corner (yes, NOW I feel old!) which means at least three backyard parties are in my future...

Leading me to the last thing I'll mention for now - my need to clean up/beautify my back yard.  The people who lived here before us had a pool.  They apparently took out the pool (we never saw it), leaving us with a bunch of rotted wood that was built into the ground (it bordered the area that used to be the pool) as well as a lot of areas in the yard that are lopsided or otherwise uneven, terrain-wise.  I just dropped a little over a grand to have the tree people come cut down some trees that were dangerously close to the house as well as pull up these unnecessary slabs of wood that are no longer purposeful, then they removed a bunch of other debris from the yard and used their Caterpillar to try and flatten the terrain out some, but it still needs more work before I can consider hosting any parties in the near future.  Soon as it gets a little warmer (today was in the 40's) I will be out there trying to finish the job and will soon be seeing about some grass acquisition.  Right now, the yard is nothing to look at - there is a little fire pit off to the side, but the rest of it is a beige rock and dirt mess.

Anddddd that's it.

In a way, I'm guessing it's a good thing that I don't have much to report.  Whether that means life is going well or it means I'm just boring right now is debatable.  I guess this makes me human, we all have our boring moments, right?  Right?

Hoping everyone else's life is boring right now, too.  Sometimes no big developments are enough to call it good news.

- Capulet




Today, I come to you all humbled, because I have no idea how to handle the Jekyll and Hyde type individual that is my soon-to-be 12 year old daughter.  

Last week, she came to me with a smirk on her face saying that there's a boy at school that she's now calling her 'boyfriend.'  At the time, it was 'hush-hush,' meaning she didn't want me to share this information with her father.  It's not information I think needs to be shared right now, so I said nothing to him about this kid.  I did see texts from this aforementioned boy, and he's sending her little heart and rose emojis and being all sweet, to me it looks like puppy love and it's seemingly harmless.  Additionally, my daughter's lock screen on her phone has his picture on it.  I inquired as to what made him her boyfriend at this point.  She said they're 'dating.'

"Oh, really?"  I asked her, "So, he came by on his bicycle to pick you up, then you went to a Disney movie together?"  I'm trying to think of what exactly two eleven-year-olds consider to be a 'date,' considering neither one of them has a penny to their names.

"No,"  (and she added a little eye-roll in there) "We're together at school."

"Oh, so you two share a smooch in between classes?"

"Ewww, MOM!"

I have to say I was relieved when she acted appalled at the last question, but then asked her if she was getting confused between friendship/crushes and a boyfriend, and she says she's not and insists upon labeling him her 'boyfriend,' possibly because, apparently, it's what's cool in middle school.  She talks about her friends having their own boyfriends, so I know it's something that is somewhat inspired by peer pressure rather than on her hormones.  In school, she's mature and she wants to be on the same level as her 'mature' friends.  On one hand, it's good that she and her 'boyfriend' are the same age and in the same grade, and if this blossoms into something a little bit more certain in a couple of years, then I'll begin to worry about the other little things and I'm sure the wasband will be inviting him over to come see his shotgun collection.

Right now, I feel as if I have other things to worry about.  Like my daughter's re-occuring propensity for childish behavior.  On one hand, she likes to feel grown-up...the 'boyfriend' is just one little change; she's also been asking me to have her hair highlighted and she occasionally wants to get acrylic nails.  Then other times, I catch her doing childish things and feel she's in need of the same type of reprimanding you'd give a toddler.  

So, this next thing I'm going to mention also happened last week; although a couple days AFTER she came to me to tell me about her 'boyfriend.'  

She was in our family room playing video games, with her homemade slime and with her phone and iPad at the same time.  (I do think she's undiagnosed attention-deficit-disorder because she can NEVER just focus on one thing.  Even when she's doing homework, she has to have a million things going on at the same time.  It makes for a good future multitasker, but right now, it's not doing her any favors.)  So, she's got all her things out on the couch next to her, she might have also had a snack and drink in front of her.  I know there was also a pillow that may or may not have had a small hole in it before she started playing with that, too, but when I went down to check on her, I found her amidst a conversation with the 'boyfriend,' slime in her hands, game controller sitting idle on her lap, crumbs on the floor and feathers from the pillow scattered all over the floor in front of her.  

"What the holy hell happened in here...???"

"What, the feathers?"

"YES, the feathers!"

"Oh, they just fell out of the pillow."

I can't...I just can't.

I wasn't buying it.  Feathers don't wiggle their way out of pillows.  Nope.  I deduced that she was pulling them out, one by one, because for some reason, doing so fascinated her more than any of the other wonderful things that she had in front of her.  I called bullshit on them feathers jumping out of the pillow unassisted and said a whole bunch of things at that moment, but long story short, I told her that I expected it cleaned up before she left to go to the wasband's for the next few days.  She said she would.

She got picked up on Saturday afternoon, this was the day after she made the mess.  Side note, I'm sure you're all asking - why didn't I go check to make sure?  Simply because I made the mistake of thinking that her age meant she was mature enough to do what she was told?  Well, lesson learned.

Sunday, I went downstairs to fetch a new battery for my XBOX controller.  I had to go through the family room in order to find the Double A's in the garage and when I did, I saw that there were STILL feathers scattered about the floor.  Still a container of slime (thank GOD it was closed) on the couch.  Still the empty water bottle in the cup holder.  Oh, and about the feathers...there weren't that many of them out in the open, leading me to believe she DID attempt to clean up her mess, she just hadn't gotten around to putting the slime away, right?


Already slightly pissed off that she didn't clean up 'properly,' I grabbed the nearby broom so that I could finish the job.  She's 11, I'm telling myself.  I can't expect her to clean the way I would clean.  I'm putting the bar too high.  At least she swept up most of the feathers, the reason I'd gotten annoyed with her in the first place is because I KNEW I was going to have to 'finish' her cleaning job.  Just like when I ask the Son to clean something, I ALWAYS end up in there after him, getting places he missed or just plain ignored.  That's the deal when you have kids...you make them clean up their messes when they're old enough to do so, and even so, that Mommy instinct goes in when they're not looking and you re-clean.  It's a way of life for me.  I don't know if it's because of my existing OCD but either way, at this point, it's expected.  As a result, I never ask them to clean too much - why bother?  I end up fixing it, anyway!

When I went to sweep up whatever was left on the floor, I discovered that there was already a PILE of feathers BEHIND the TV stand.  It literally looked as if she'd swept the feathers and rather than sweeping them under the rug, she accumulated them all behind the TV stand hoping that I wouldn't find them there and accuse her of a job NOT well done.

I flung the broom, narrowly missing a cat. (He's fine, he was just startled.)

Out came my phone, and I texted her, making sure not to make any spelling errors:

"Explain to me why it looks like a chicken exploded behind the TV in the family room?"

I get back multiple emojis symbolizing that she's laughing/crying.  

"THIS IS NOT FUNNY NOR COOL!" I texted back to her.  

"Oooops.  Sorry," she texts back.  

My OCD kicks in again.  I could very well have waited for her to come home (tonight) and made her pick each and every one of those frigging feathers up.  With chopsticks, if I wanted to be difficult and serve up a side order of payback.  Or I could have gotten into the car, driven to the wasband's house, picked her up, made her clean up in the above described fashion, then brought her back over there to finish out her time with him.  That's just even more work on my part than just the usual 're-clean.'  I could have done either one of those things, but no.  I couldn't have those feathers there for even a minute longer, especially in an area where various electronics are plugged in.  So I swept up and disposed of the feathers, all while thinking of what I could possibly do to inspire her to grow up.  

And, by 'grow up'...I don't mean in the sense that I don't want her to be my little girl anymore, that's always going to be something that won't change.  The Son is looking more and more hairy as he approaches 18.  His voice is deep, he's driving, he's heading off to college in September and when I look at him, all I see are his baby-faced pictures and thats' usually all it takes for me to get nostalgic.  Same for her.  Only problem is, she's STILL acting as if she's five years old, and her recent redecorating with feathers is just the last straw for me.  I'm partially responsible, for not monitoring her every move, but in my defense - she's almost 12.  Why would I have any reason to believe that a 12-year-old had to be watched while playing video games?  But as I said before, lesson learned.

I spoke to her again last night about it, after I'd had a chance to calm down and process further what she'd done...and asked her why she'd swept the feathers behind the TV stand.  Her response?  "Because I didn't want to clean it."

I informed her that she'd already done most of the 'cleaning;' it takes the same amount of effort to sweep the feathers into a damn dustpan and then empty the dustpan into the trash than it does to put them in a neat little pile behind the TV for me to find and have a fit over later.  She giggled.  But then I threatened to take out her baby pictures when I finally had the opportunity to meet her 'boyfriend.'

 (And, yes, every time I say "boyfriend" you are all free to air quote!  I do.)

Then her eyes got wide.

"You want to have a boyfriend, you need to grow up," I told her.  "You're going to be 12.  Numbers go up, not down.  You need to start thinking before you act, cleaning up your own messes and learn to set an example for your younger sister!"

I'm REALLY hoping I don't have to have this conversation with her, again.  Chances are, I will, because this is simply her Dennis the Menace personality - she once squeezed out an entire tube of my hand/body lotion into the trash can and on the bathroom walls, 'because she liked to see it all come out of the tube.'  And no, she wasn't five when she did that - she was about eight or nine.  NORMAL children that age simply don't do that stuff.  If they do, then I do apologize for the rant and for being mistaken but something tells me I am not.  I think she's, despite all of the things she has, actually BORED and she destructs rather than does things that can be seen as otherwise productive.

Maybe I need to go into her room, dump a pile of feathers in the middle of her floor and when she got home, there they'd be, waiting for her to clean because I didn't want to clean them, either....  (Oh, DAMN, I should have!!!!  WHY do I think of these things AFTER the fact??)

But that's what I'll be doing from now on, it's time to give this kid a taste of her own medicine.  

Hope everyone's day is going well. :)

By the way, new total for this week - 22.7 pounds gone.  I feel great, I am less hungry, I have more energy.  Looking forward to warmer, sunny days, so I can work on exercising outside more with Dennis, errr....I mean, the Daughter...she's going to try out for the 7th grade basketball team for next year, and I'm sure hoping this will distract her from some of the unfavorable behaviors she's been exhibiting.  We love our basketball hoop, which will be accessible again after tomorrow - Winter Storm Riley decided to droop a tree branch in front of where the hoop is, so a guy from the tree company is coming tomorrow to properly detach the entire branch.

Meanwhile, I'm locking up the rest of the throw pillows until further notice.

- Capulet





Hello all,

Apologies for not having been around lately.  I'm still here at least once a day; checking boards and my inbox, in case anyone's said 'hello.' :) (hint, hint.)

So, I do have a few updates for you all. 

I won't get into too many of the weight loss details, but that's still ongoing, I've dropped 20 pounds and there's still quite a way to go!  But being able to bend and cut my toenails without looking like a circus contortionist is fantastic!  Oh, and I can finally fit inside a regular-sized bathroom stall and I don't have to wait for the 'handicap accessible' stall...you guys know what I mean, the biggest stall that you can find in almost every bathroom.  Mind y'all, I always could 'fit' into those half-stalls, but man, twisting and turning to take care of/clean/wipe certain areas wasn't an easy feat...

On that topic, I haven't bought new clothes yet.  My old clothes are starting to get baggy on me, which is a nice thing to see but pretty soon, I'm going to have to get things a size or two smaller.  I started with underwear last week and am loving my new granny panties!  (I'll always still wear full briefs, I don't think any weight loss is going to change my attitude regarding the butt floss some people prefer - I'm going to be 40 this year, that butt-floss ship has sailed)...

I also bought myself a new XBOX with my birthday money.  My birthday was months ago, but my old XBOX decided that it didn't want to recognize wireless connections anymore.  So my son called Microsoft to attempt to troubleshoot, but the fella on the other end had him reset the console to factory settings (basically wiping the whole thing out) in attempts to fix the problem.  All that did was render the console obsolete because in order to re-install games onto it, we have to have an internet connection.  They wanted me to pay $135 to have it fixed, so I just surrendered my birthday money, plus a little extra toward a brand-spanking-new XBOX.  And for the last several days, I've been playing GTA V.  (If you think I have a potty mouth, you should hear the language coming from THAT game!)  

Okay - moving along...

Most of you know that I have a problem with religion.  I don't understand it.  To me, it's just a set of rules that apply to only a select/elite group of people who believe they're right about whatever it is they believe is going to happen to us all when we leave this world.  Did you know? The Catholics are right about theirs, the Jews are right about theirs, the Christians, Buddhists, Islamics, Hindus, Slavs, etc are all right, too.  Here's my thinking - we're all headed to the same place after we depart this one, and EVERYONE can't be right!  If you ask me, I think the Atheists are right - you just gotta be a good person, the best kind of person you can be, and you're golden.  Sticking with that.

So, holidays in general, especially the religion-based ones, are very rarely seen by me as anything other than an opportunity to enjoy some good food and family or friends.  I always end up feeling badly that I don't even think about the real reasons behind the Easter or Christmas...but then I remember that fact that no one ever feels the same about them and I don't feel so badly anymore. 

It seemed fitting that I'd post a little blurb here today.

I woke this morning at around 9:30; I was having some weird-ass dreams.  Something to do with one of the past Hell's Kitchen contestants trying to jack my wallet.  (As if I had anything in it!)  After I thoroughly checked the house for the thieving contestant and confirmed my wallet and it's contents were still in my possession, I sat down at my computer.

I started thinking about how as a kid, my mother used to dress us in those god-awful Easter dresses with the equally as ridiculous bonnet/hats and we'd go to church before ending up at my grandmother's house for dinner.  My grandmother wasn't the best cook.  In turn, my mother isn't the best cook, either.  Her forte is cookies - she does well with the holiday baking, that's something she enjoys immensely, and partially why she's always on Weight Watchers.  

My grandmother, though, was second generation Sicilian.  (I'm not even sure I'm correct using the 'second-generation' term; what I mean by this is HER parents were born in Sicily, Italy and came to New York before she was born.)  She was a gem of a women, although impoverished, had nothing and raised three children (my mother, aunt and uncle) on potatoes, eggs, and bread.  She didn't know how to cook anything unless it was eggs or pasta.  And when serving pasta, they had what was called Sicilian Meatballs, she used to plop peeled hard-boiled eggs into the sauce (or as she'd call it, 'gravy') and say that those were their meatballs because she couldn't afford the meat.  

When I was a kid, we'd have real beef meatballs, but old habits die hard.  We were introduced to the hard-boiled eggs in the gravy when we were kids and every year on Easter, we'd have one meatball (a real one) and an egg in our pasta.  Gravy on top.  I know it sounds nasty, but when you're introduced to these "weird" eating habits as a kid, you're kind of doomed as an adult to introduce to your own family and friends these little culinary inventions.  I'll never forget when my kids looked at me as if I were crazy (I KNOW I am, I left that one wide open, so...shhhh!) when I asked if they want an egg in their sauce.  So I never did again.  

I have to also mention that whenever I try to remember holidays when I was a kid, every single memory is tarnished; he was always, ALWAYS there.  My uncle, the priest.  As he was my grandmother's son, it's hard to cut him out of these memories.  He was always a presence; he lived in the same house.  I will admit to being adequately blocked-off so much, that I didn't mind him being around.  It was just a way of life at that point, an instance where I didn't have a choice.  It was one of those things that couldn't be helped, because wherever Grandma was, there he was, too.  In hindsight, I can certainly say I ignored the little things.  He constantly smelled like sweat and rotten farts, he had that birthmark on his hand that I didn't like, little things like those were ignored because the younger version of myself simply didn't know how to express or further process my reasons for hating him.  But anyway, he used to cook, (not very well, either) and since HE was a slightly better cook than his mother, our holiday dinners were hyped-up by my mother, his sister...it was usually "Uncle So-and-So is making a lamb for Easter," or "aren't we so excited to have Uncle So-and-So's turkey for Thanksgiving?"  As my grandma got older and older, he took over more and more of her cooking duties until she stopped preparing food completely a year or two before she passed away.  And I know I've previously mentioned that when she passed, a switch within was flipped.  I realized how much I hated this man, and now I feel as if all of my previous holiday celebrations were, well...fake.  

I'm not even sure this makes an ounce of sense.  So I'll stop here.

Just because I have an issue with religion-based holidays doesn't mean that you all should, too - we have different likes and dislikes...for me, it's all about the food and the chocolate and spending time with my children and watching them eat the things they love, but for others, it's going to have a completely different meaning.  I accept that and respect that.  

So, in closing - enjoy your day, friends!  Enjoy the food, if you're partaking.  Enjoy the company, if you'll be with people you love and trust.  Or, enjoy yourselves if you've got plans to spend the day alone - do something wonderful for yourselves, you're worth it!  Either way, enjoy today, in any way you can.

XOXO :throb:
- Capulet 



Seriously, Elsa?  

After dumping a foot of snow and sending trees crashing down onto our power and cable lines two weeks ago, you're SERIOUSLY about to send us more of the powdery, annoying, pain-in-the-ass white shit we call 'snow?'

Guess what???  It's SPRING.  Today is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING.  It is time for you, Mother Nature, to warm up to the idea of sunny and pleasant days.  Pun fully intended, as I'm sitting here in a hoodie and sweat pants.    

Kids have missed enough school in a single winter up here than they ever did during snowstorms in New York City.  The NYC mayor didn't give a shit, we'd get a foot of snow the night before and school would still be open.  But now, because you're cranky, Mother Nature, there's an extra week tacked on at the end of this school year because of the shit you pulled during Winter Storm Riley.  Shit that we're JUST now getting over, just in time for you to get your second wind.

Enough is enough!  I just went shopping too, so if you decide to render us all powerless for another several days, kindly throw a tree on the wasband's power lines instead of mine.  He has a generator.  He can deal with it.  

Chill out!

(And by that, you can assume I DON'T mean send us more freakin' wintery conditions!)

- Capulet






Hello, friends!

Sending my usual apologies for not having updated in a while.  For the first time in several days, I can sincerely say we’re thawed out.  The new boiler is working nicely - we now have heat and hot water in addition to the restoring of our electricity and internet.  The kids went back to school this week; a lot of families in the area didn’t have power for the entire week last week following the winter storm, so the school district had some mercy on us all and closed the schools for the entire week while electric, oil, propane, cable companies all worked hard to get us all back up and running.

Of course, my bank account is going to be quite sad for a while, now that we have to come up with a way of funding the new boiler, which is now on Oompa’s credit card.  I may have to consider selling my eggs.  I make cute kids.

Anyway, amidst all this there was the usual wasband drama.  We never seem to go without.  We’ve gotten to the point where his name is mentioned and all eyes begin rolling.  Mine, J’s and depending on how they feel about him, the kids’.

I cannot express to you all enough how much misery this man puts me through.  Even now, when I’m not married to him anymore and he now has a wife (his third) that he can annoy on a daily basis.  He has a new wife that he can order around, a woman who once was tough but now has succumbed to his endless manipulation.  No, I don’t feel bad for her, but at the same time, I do understand it all because the emotional abuse didn’t stop once the divorce papers were signed.  Because we share two children in common (and that’s about all we share that matters) he still seizes any and all opportunities to remind me that he is right, he knows best, he’s never wrong, and I am one hundred percent wrong, every single time.  Of course, that’s what he says initially, but after the volcano that is the wasband erupts, he cools down and somehow remembers how to talk rationally.  Even then, he wastes no effort in proving why he was right in the first place.  All I end up doing is nodding my head, because really, what the fuck is the point?  Nothing I say is going to be right and I don’t have the energy to argue.  I’m sick of seeing his pissed off face, the look of disgust when I talk to him or even try to tell him how I feel about something, the 'whatevers’ when I know I’m right and he does, too, and he just doesn’t want to give me an iota of credit.  

I’m so tired, guys.  I’m REALLY tired.

Know though, that the wasband came from a broken, abusive home and he’s been on his own since he was a teenager.  Add to that he’s ex-military.  By now, he’s alienated his entire family, and I do have to say that most of it was for justified reasons, but at the same time, it has destroyed him as a person.  He has only the concept of his own family, everyone else’s family is irrelevant to him.  I know he’s capable of being a good person when he wants to, but his need to control everything and everybody around him overshadows his finer qualities, as few of them as there are.  And now, he’s managed to brainwash our children into agreeing with everything he says because they’re afraid of what he’ll say to them if they don’t.  There’s so much I want to say to him, so much I want to scream at him, but I don’t because, what’s the point?  He’ll come back at me with the usual belittling bullshit he’s mastered in the nearly 20 years I know him.  He is truly an ugly, UGLY man, and right now I want to punch him in the face.  All I can do at the moment is hope for another stent collapse in the near future because REALLY, there is nothing at all short of his passing that will free us from this man’s influence.  And then there’s the subsequent feeling of guilt for having admitted that much because that’s just plain horrible of me to say.  

Let’s get this straight, I’ll never hate him.  As much as his behavior is tedious, tiresome and unreasonable, he IS still the father of my children and he provides.  And so, I often have to force myself to soothe their ruffled feathers every now and then but I’m running out of ways to do that.  He doesn’t defend me to them, I’m sure.  Whenever they have an issue with me, for whatever reason, they bring it to him and of course, I get lectured about it and reminded of why I’m wrong.  He actually had the balls to tell me that they were losing respect for me, when ironically, their complaints about HIM have escalated in recent months.  However, when they come to me with problems they have with him, we listen and shake our heads, but we certainly don’t go running back to him.  We don’t get that luxury.  He’d just tell us we’re wrong, so again, what’s the point?

God, I absolutely hate how he is.  I hate how he intimidates everyone around him, including our children.  Right now my daughter is grounded from all of her electronics, TV and social media because he feels she intentionally harmed her little sister when they were roughhousing.  My daughter claims and insists she didn’t mean for the little one to get hurt, but he flat-out accused her.  And so, I tried not to laugh when my daughter gave my phone the finger when she saw her father’s number pop up.  I spoke with the wasband over FaceTime and told him that I truly didn’t believe it was our daughter’s intent to hurt her sister, and he immediately started yelling at me and saying that by saying that, I was enabling her behavior.  

And so I nodded.  Said, “okay.”  Said nothing more for the duration of the conversation.  I don’t think I heard much more of what he had to say after accusing me of enabling her bad behavior.  I saw just his face get all ugly, his sneering, his lip curls.  And so, like a robot, whenever he said ‘am I right?’ I would just nod.  Because I’m not in the mood to carry on this conversation forever because that’s about as long as it would take for him to see anything in the same perspective as me.

You see, my own brain was going a mile a minute.  I know she has been acting out more than usual recently.  She HAS had an attitude lately, she HAS been defiant, she HAS been different since we moved here.  She’s also 11 years old, 12 in a few months.  She’s expressed how much she hates it here, she’s said she misses her friends, she’s unhappy with the way she’s being treated in school.  Not to mention, if she’s anything like me, her first period is likely on the horizon somewhere and she’s hormonal.  I brought up all of these points to him, not only to defend her but because I truly believe that’s why she’s behaving in the manner she is.  But basically, I was told to shut up and that I was allowing her to behave negatively and making excuses for her.  

Thank GOD I have this place to vent, because I’m beginning to reach my boiling point with him and his bullshit.  He’s not only causing problems within his own relationship with our kids, but he’s also the cause of a lot of family drama and almost every issue I have with my family has to do with him in SOME way. 

I’m reminded of the letters my T in the past had told me to write to my abusers but never to send.  He certainly qualifies as one.

Last week’s events have made me think so much of what I’d want to say to him but because I’m still, to a point, afraid of what he’ll do or say in retaliation (For example, would he further brainwash my kids? Turn them against me? Fight me for custody? Make my life difficult in any and every way imaginable because he has acquired enough control over me and groomed me whilst married to him?) and so I don’t say these things.  I’m quiet.  I agree with him even when I truly don’t.  Then when we get home, I’m pacing the floor hollering about what a jerk he is and trying to convince myself not to give a shit because I know it’s not worth pressing whatever issue it is - because I will never win.  

So, I’ll just say it here.

I’d love to say to him - 

Knock it off, asshole!  I’m sick and tired of being a puppet, I’m not your wife anymore, I’m nothing to you other than the mother of your children.  You don’t treat ANY of your children’s mothers with the respect they deserve, not only for bearing your children but also for putting up with you and your fucking mind games for however long they did.  If anything, we should be nominated for sainthood because YOU are not an easy man to be with, yet we tried our best to love you, to please you.  Apparently we all failed at that, because pleasing you often means we have to sacrifice our own personal happiness because all you truly think about is your own damn self.  

Contrary to what you believe, you’re NOT the stand-up guy you THINK others see you as, no one will admit it to you because you’ve made everyone so afraid of you and rather than allow you to belittle them and make them feel an inch tall, the safer route is just to go along with whatever you say.  But here’s the truth.  No one can stand you.  Everyone I’ve met has expressed a complaint about you that I’ve kept to myself out of respect for YOU.  I’ve defended you for the sake of keeping the peace and in return, you continue to treat me like shit.  You treat your kids like shit.  You treat your current wife like shit, and like I was, she’s stuck because you’ve also alienated her family.

You, sir, are going to die a miserable fucking old man with no one (except your children maybe, and that’s only because they have unconditional love for their father) to miss your militant, domineering ass.  And when your kids finally give up on you and decide they’re sick of your shit, too, do NOT look to me for help because you’re on your fucking own, buddy.  Just like whenever I need help with one of them, I’m on my own and then you proceed to ADD to the fucking problem rather than offer up a solution as a co-parent should.  Yes, you provide, and yes, our children have clothes, food, anything they could ever want, but we need more than that.  We need compassion that you’re not capable of showing, we need warmth that you’re void of as well, and we need compromise, whereas with you there is absolutely fucking NONE.  I’m SICK of pretending to like you for the sake of our kids’ sanity, when in all honesty, I hate more things about you than I ever loved.  

In fact, I don’t understand myself for having ever married your ass.  I’ll say it was temporary insanity when others ask me what the fuck I ever saw in you, but you know, when I ask myself the same question, I’m not even sure anymore.  I truly believe you came along at a vulnerable point in my life and it was a time I was VERY easily manipulated and you saw an opportunity and charmed me into leaving home, moving in with you, raising your children.  I THOUGHT I loved you because you, being the master of deception you are, convinced me that you would protect me, you would support me, you actually said you loved me quite a bit back then, and I responded in kind.  But, truthfully, I think I was only in love with the idea of the stability you promised we’d have but we never really reached that point.  We had money problems, we fought constantly, and of course, you won every single fucking argument because you would verbally batter me down to a pulp, as you continued to do even after our divorce.  Thank you for that, by the way.  Best fucking thing you could have ever given me aside from our perfect son and daughter.  We always had chaos, I did most of the caring for the kids with little to no thanks from you verbal or otherwise.  There was ONLY criticism because nothing I did ever measured up.  Or it wasn’t done the way you wanted it done.  Or if I were to argue with anything you said, I’d be in for a fight that lasted all week and it’d be a quarrel that I emotionally couldn’t and wouldn’t sustain, so rather than argue, I went along with every damn thing you said, even if I didn’t agree.  And like a fucking asshole, I still do it, because you’ve trained me well.  But I was truly MISERABLE, you asshole, and even if you did notice it, you did and said nothing about it.  You’re a horrible husband…you tormented your first wife, you were horrible to me, you are currently an ogre to your wife.  You're quick to call other people 'pieces of shit,' but lemme ask you, what the hell do you see when you look in the mirror???  It BAFFLES me that you don’t see what just about EVERYONE else does.  

But, you know, you’ll find that out when you close your eyes for the last time, most likely alone.  I believe that in that moment before death, your life flashes before your eyes and I hope you finally understand the wrath you impose on the people closest to you.  And I hope to hell you regret it.  I hope you truly understand what people who have crossed paths with in life see when they see you.  And guess what, you piece of shit?  It’s going to be way too late to go back and make amends, to right all of your wrongs.  You’re already nearing the point of no return with your own KIDS, how much more of your crap do you think they’re going to take??  Your way is not always the best way, and you NEED to learn to let things be, everyone would be so much happier.  And hell, maybe you’ll fucking LIVE longer, too.  All of the stress you claim you have (and probably blame everyone else for) is mostly brought on by your own damn self.  So…wake the fuck up!


To you guys, I say thanks again for hearing me rant.  I’m sure there’s more that I’d love to say, no…SCREAM in his face, but this will have to do for now, as my own little inner volcano is now empty.  I feel cleansed a little, maybe my former T was onto SOMETHING.  And believe me, she wasn't right about everything.  

Going to try to turn in for now.  Tomorrow (or rather, today) is a new day.  Going to envision his face on my pillow and beat it up a little bit for good measure.

- Capulet


My deepest apologies to you all for being MIA; my being scarce were for reasons beyond my control. 

As some of you know, I live in Eastern Pennsylvania, and we have met our match in Mother Nature.

Last Thursday, which will be one week since chaos had began to ensue, I took the daughter for her flu shot.  You’d think spending three hours at the doctor’s office (waiting, waiting, and WAITING - this lady takes literally an hour on each patient!) would be a forewarning of the holy hell that was about to arrive, pure insanity by the name of Winter Storm Riley.

After the doctor administered the flu shot + two other overdue immunizations, we asked her if there would be any side effects.  To this, the doctor replied, “She may run a fever.  But we’re likely to not have school tomorrow, anyway.”  

We look out the window.  The freezing rain had begun.  

Now, this is a doctor whose office doesn’t even have the proper in-office apparatus to run strep or flu tests, so any throat cultures or flu swabs have to be done at another location, so that DOUBLES the waiting time in most cases.  And she can’t even tell me what my kids have right then and there, I have to go to the lab, have the tests run, then go home and wait for them to call with results and a diagnosis.  In what world is this even right???? 

On THAT, though, she was one hundred percent correct.  The cancellation call arrived at night.  The automated, monotonous message that my kids have grown to LOVE.

“This is a call from the Blah, Blah, Blah, School District.  Schools will be closed tomorrow, March 2nd, 2018 due to inclement weather.”

Both of them high-fived each other.  “AWESOME!”

Yeah, those are my two scholars.  Sadly, they both inherited my hatred for school, although the son does well without trying while the daughter, more like I did, has to work a little bit harder to get the higher grade.

Anyway, we all sleep in on Friday morning, with the exception of J, who went to work for 7am.  When she left, the snow had just been starting.  Snow started early in the morning and accumulated quickly, along with some nasty winds that blew the snow around, making it pretty hard to see past a few feet ahead of us while standing at the front door.  I managed to get ahold of the wasband via text and come to find out that his power had gone out around 11am.   

We stayed inside the whole time; none of us were brave enough to go out and attempt to shovel; I say brave, my son will still say ‘stupid.’  Because, of course, to a lazy 17-year-old, to go out and shovel and then have your hard work erased by more fallen snow, was pointless.  When it was time for J to leave work, I coaxed him outside, though, to attempt to dig out a spot for her to pull into.  But the whole, ENTIRE time… 

“Oh, man, Mom.”

“Ma, look, it’s really bad.”

“Look, Madre, the trees are swaying pretty hard…and I think the neighbor’s Sycamore just fell down.”

“Mom, you know, we’re going to die out here.”

I told him to cut out the dramatics, suck it up and shovel…he did.  But he did also attempt to complain several more times before realizing that they had no effect on me.  We managed to clear the “wall” plowed into the top of the driveway and we went back inside knowing we’d done the best we could.

Let it be known that J leaves work at 3pm.  By 4:30, she still hadn’t arrived home.  She texted to say she couldn’t get through the main road that she takes to get home.  There are about three or four different ways to get home.  Each path she had attempted to take was riddled with downed trees and power lines, cars were pulled over on the side of the road because they were either stuck, or also trying to plan out alternate routes.  She said via text that she was going to get a bite to eat at Wendy’s which was open, and then she’d try a different way after she’d had something to eat.

I sat in the ‘worry chair,’ the same recliner I sat in when I let my son take the car.  Yep, we all remember that chair! 

Then, at about 5pm, our power went out, taking with it our heat and running water.  For those of you who don’t understand that last bit, our well pump is run on electricity, so when there’s a power outage, there’s absolutely no running water.  Toilet-flushing is not possible unless you're a survivalist and have about a dozen gallons stored somewhere in the house, reserved for such catastrophes.  And apparently, no internet, either.

“Oh, my GOD!!!!  My internet isn’t working!”  The daughter is screeching now, likely because her bestie’s face is now frozen on her iPad’s screen.  “Mommmmmyyyy!  There’s no WIFI!”

“Okay, we’re just going to have to wait it out, kiddo,” I’m still sitting in the worry chair.  Where the hell is my better half??  I could just envision her being stuck and getting nowhere, it’s not a pretty thought at all.

“You see?” the son is looking out the window, “It doesn’t even look like we shoveled.”

He was kinda right.  I couldn’t even see the path we’d shoveled for J.  And daylight was beginning to run out, and we were soon to be welcoming darkness for an unknown period of time.

I lit some candles, using whatever little light was left in the house.  I also fired up the fireplace, as that’s operated on propane, in hopes of conserving the heat we had circulating around the upstairs portion of the house.

The son stated he was bored out of his mind (because, really, when there’s no power, cable or internet, what is there to POSSIBLY do?) and retired to his room, stating that I should wake him up when the power comes back.  The daughter too, went to her room and said she was going to TRY to sleep.

At about seven, J walks in, cold, pissed off and wet.  Apparently a 30-minute commute had taken her FOUR HOURS, and had she found herself unable to get home, she would have gone back to work.  Thankfully, though, she made it home before having to resort to returning to her place of employment.

After wifey had changed into comfy dry clothes, we went to daughter’s room to get her, then we dug out board games and a camping lantern we had lurking in the garage.  We ate ice cream for dinner/food since that’s usually the first thing to go in a freezer with no power.  We ate chips.  Anything we could possibly eat, we ate.  Many laughs were shared, especially during a game of LIFE, where J was the big winner and daughter and I retired with about a hundred grand apiece.  We played another board game with the son who came upstairs around nine, in search of a snack.  Got to say, he wasn't happy to see that his nap didn't fast-forward enough time where there was no power.

"We don't have power yet?"

"Yes, darling, we're sitting here in the dark and cold because it's fun.  Should try it, sometime."

We played another game called "Sliders," where we had to knock each other's pegs out of play, tally up points and be the first to reach a certain number.  Then, after a couple more hours, I turned off the fireplace, we all put on hoodies and I was in my bed before midnight!  J had work early, so she was snoring within minutes.

Y'all know about my issue with lights - well, as my room was PITCH BLACK without a single light being on for me to cover up, I left the house phone uncovered, just in case I woke up in the middle of the night.  If, at any point, I were to open my eyes and there was a little red light on, then I'd know power had returned.  

The little red light never appeared.  I could kick myself in the ass for thinking about that too much in place of sleeping.

J left for work early, while it was still dark.  I got up out of bed as soon as I saw the first signs of daylight.  No power.  No running water.  House was CHILLY.

The first thing I did was go outside and begin to shovel the mess Riley left us.  Both of my kids remained dead to the world.  I didn't mind, this time.  I needed a little ME time, I needed to think, I needed to busy myself.  I, too, was suffering internet withdrawals and missing being able to connect with others.  I was worrying about the food in my fridge, food that I knew I'd soon have to throw away because we were more than 12 hours without power and the fridge was no longer cold when opened.  After I'd been shoveling for about an hour, I woke them both up and told them that if they came out and helped, we could attempt to get out of the house and go in search of water jugs (for the toilets, which by now STUNK to high heaven), hot food and cell service.

I think it was the 'cell service' that got them to move.  The son came outside and helped me shovel a path from my car to the end of the driveway.  In the process, I pulled a tree branch a little thicker than a baseball bat in diameter, off the roof of my car, close to the top of the back passenger door.  There is a small dent from where it landed; I suspect it flew off a nearby tree and my car was, unfortunately, in its path.  It's not major damage, so we heaved the branch into a snowbank and carried on.

We went to town, and my son took a number of photos of the devastation.  Driving through my local town was terrifying.  Traffic lights were out in most of the areas without power.  Thankfully, the locals were as nervous as I and people were, for the most part, considerate and everyone was careful.  A lot of "go ahead" hand waves, lots of open windows, blinking headlights to warn of upcoming road obstructions, which there were TONS of.  To be on the safe side, we took the route J had used the night before to come home from work and no matter where we turned, there were downed trees, some rested atop the power lines, some lines completely down, some telephone poles only five to six feet off the ground, some debris completely blocking off a lane.  Total chaos.  It took me roughly an hour to get to a part of town that normally takes fifteen to twenty minutes to get to, but boy, did we get a look at all of Riley's aftermath in the process.  I am going to ask my son to send me some of the pictures he took with his phone; as I was behind the wheel and slowed down in many areas, he took the opportunity to photograph some of the mess.

We found a store selling water (and they were rapidly running out, too!) and I bought ten gallon jugs.  Then, we went to Wendy's, which was packed.  Lots of folks were without power and water, so this was the eatery of choice, being easily accessible and convenient.  Took us another hour to order and eat our food.  Then, we were back in the car, charging all our phones and tablets.

"Shall we go home and see if the power is back?"

"Sure, Mom."

Sadly, our power was not back.  House was getting colder and colder by the hour.  My five cats were VERY confused.  The poor things were huddled together, at least the ones who could stand each other.  

Rather than give a play-by-play of the last five days, I'll just mention the highlights, or this nightmare will NEVER end. 

The wasband drove an hour and a half away and bought a generator from New Jersey.  By the time evening rolled around, my two kids were relocated to his house (and it was also his time with them so I wasn't gypped any of my time) where he now had limited power and running water.  Of course, the wasband was also kind enough to invite J and I to go stay over there until OUR power came back, but we politely declined.  Many reasons, but the two main ones were simply there is NOTHING short of chaos every time we're there, and we didn't want to leave our pets alone in a cold house without any heat source overnight.  

By the way, yes, we do need a generator, and as I told my godchild (wasband's youngest) the other day, it's going to be what I ask Santa Claus for, come next Christmas.  That, and a snowblower.  I just don't have the funds to invest in one right now.  

J and I relocated all of our food onto the back porch.  The milk, eggs, mayo, Ranch dressing, bags of cheese, other containers with leftovers and other perishable foods, all plopped into the snow.  I filled a cooler with snow and threw other stuff in there.  Fortunately, my freezer contents were still hard as a rock, so I wasn't worrying about those, yet.  But, in the meantime, some things were salvaged.  I was also able to fire up the propane grill and make us some meals out of whatever had defrosted.  We had to eat a lot of stuff cold, but it was better than letting anything go to waste.

J insisted we move our queen sized mattress into the living room so that we could sleep in front of the fireplace, which is what we did until last night.  You can imagine what a NIGHTMARE this was for me; the living room is VERY sunny in the morning.  Oh, and trying to sleep in a room shared with five nocturnal feline companions who will use your ass as a springboard isn't easy, either.  Needless to say, the first morning, I woke up as soon as the sun came up.  I WAS still tired so I managed to fall asleep for several minutes at a time before I got up and got ready to go back into town, because that was going to be the only way I could connect with anybody.  Still no power, no running water, no service.  J and I planned at least three trips to wasband's house to borrow a shower.  

We ate a WHOLE lot of pizza.  We ALMOST went to dinner at an actual sit-down place but the local restaurants were ALL packed - power outages for this long has left MANY people defeated and hungry.  Rather than wait hours for a table at a nicer, popular restaurant, we settled for local pizzerias.

Both of our diets have gone out the window, at least for now.  

We had bowling on Monday night.  A lot of the people we bowl with live in areas nearby.  Areas without power and running water.  The alley certainly smelled like everyone's ass.  

Power went out on Friday, 3/2 at 5pm.  It was finally restored on Tuesday night, 3/6 at 8:30pm.

FOUR days of this crap!

But that's not even the end of it.  We were actually at wasband's house, (eating more pizza, taking another shower) when the neighbor texted me those three BEAUTIFUL words:

"The power's on!"

J and I said our thank-yous to the wasband and his wife, and we flew home.  Turned on all the faucets.  "Water!  We have water!!!"  The cats are even more confused now, because J and I are running around like headless chickens.  We checked all the lights.  "YES!  They work!"  

"You go flush the toilets upstairs, I'll get the one downstairs!"  I swear to Merlin, the house was starting to STINK because of those toilets!

We ran into our first problem when we noticed the oil burner wasn't running and the house was beginning to .  There's a button on it that you press to get the thing going again, but for some reason, it wouldn't start.  It actually did once, but then turned off and refused to turn back on, which means - no heat or hot water.  We did have water, just would be ice-cold until we could get the boiler running.

"Well, it looks like we're sleeping in the living room, again," says J...one more night of relying on propane, but we at least had working electricity.  Which is good because yesterday (Wednesday) we were planning to meet Winter Storm Quinn (the next one!) and there were some people, including the wasband, who still had no power.  I had been hoping and wishing all day long that ours would be back because by now, we're DEFINITELY low on propane!  He does have the generator and they are warm and comfortable for now.  I was just glad that my fridge was running now, and before we had another foot of snow dumped on us, we transferred the food from the porch back into the fridge, praying that we didn't lose power again.

Anyway, we ran the fireplace one more night.  While the power was on, it was still SO cold in the house, particularly the lower level where there had been absolutely no heat or activity in five days.

Yesterday morning, we went around the corner to the fire station, which we discovered was an ideal and close-by location to get cell service, and we made phone calls during the 'calm before the storm.'  Managed to get the oil burner guy over and there is good and bad news here - the good news is, he managed to get the boiler going.  The bad news - we need a new one, and SOON.  The way he described it to us was - the exhaust motor was not present and the exhaust wasn't venting properly, the unit was old, for him to fix it this time was like putting a band-aid over a stab wound - we didn't know how long this 'fix' was going to last.  And, so...we consulted with our bank accounts and we have an appointment to have a new boiler put in on Friday morning.  Even badder news - it's going to cost us almost SIX grand to replace the whole system, because the previous owner of this house put the boiler through a BEATING.  He's also the asshole who probably took the exhaust motor with him when he moved, along with the doors and floors.  I mean, WHO does that?!  I don't even need to ask if people are truly that indecent, because I know they certainly can be.

Yesterday, we got about six to eight inches more of snow.  Power stayed on, sans one 'hiccup' where lights were out for a couple of seconds and then came back on.  Additionally, I lost internet and cable a couple times.  Figured I would update this while it was back, not knowing if I'll experience another outage in the next few hours or days to come.  I don't want to say I'm back when things are still quite unstable but I can safely say I'm 'semi' back.  I'm here when I can be, I've been conserving energy whenever I can, although I don't think that stands a chance against a downed tree.  Thankfully winds aren't as strong today, so maybe this Pennsylvania town can begin to recuperate.

I'm hoping we can, too, I think we'll feel better once the oil burner is installed on Friday morning.

So, that's the long-overdue update for now. :)

I'll be back when I can with another!

Love to all.

- Capulet


I spent most of yesterday pouting.

See, on Tuesday, I spent most of the day out...went to visit my brand-new niece, along with my slightly older baby niece and my nephew for a little while when he got home from school.  Of course, Oompa was there as well as my brother-in-law, as the new Daddy is enjoying some paternity leave while they are adjusting to being a family of four.  Anyway, we're currently a dieting family - Oompa of course, is dieting in order to talk herself out of having bariatric surgery, my youngest sister (#2) had her baby four months ago and is now on the bandwagon trying to shed the baby weight, then there's my brother-in-law who is very involved with the Spartan Races and with getting fit, he's lost over 40 pounds in the last year and a half.  My sister who just gave birth (#1) is still breast-feeding so she isn't counting calories just yet, but my brother-in-law has been preparing all of their meals over there and he only cooks healthy foods.

We had a Weight Watcher friendly lunch...some of my bird-ball soup (chicken meatballs and vegs) and #2 brought some chicken patties that were pretty good, Oompa brought the Sandwich Thins.  We ate lunch, then we went on a 1.5 mile (round trip) walk to Dunkin' Donuts and got some low-point beverages. (I'll mention here that having an iced coffee with Almond Milk in place of the heavy cream is just NOT as pleasing...couldn't finish mine, didn't taste 'right.')

So, all in all, it was a nice day.  Then, on the way back, J and I had plans to find a pizza place and have dinner there, being that pizza is a food we can't really do a whole lot of damage to our diets with. J, by the way, has lost over ten pounds as well!  So, we find a pizza joint about halfway home, go in, and order a pie.  It was about 7:30 when we finished and continued on our way home.  Pretty late, considering when we're dieting, we try not to eat anything heavy after 7-ish, especially the night before a weigh-in.

Yesterday morning, I got on the scale.  I screamed when it said I was UP .2 rather than having lost anything.  Since last week.

In hindsight, I don't recommend kicking the scale across the floor, especially when it's made of heavy-duty glass.  ESPECIALLY when you're barefoot.  Yes, that's what I did.  And there might have been a few obscenities thrown in there, too.  Okay, fine....MORE than a few.  But, oh, man, I was PISSED.

"Don't worry about that," Oompa was telling me through texts, "It's probably because you ate late in the evening.  The check is in the mail."

(Yes, she says that ALL the time.  Ever since it was said to her by her Weight Watchers leader, it's been gospel to her.)

"Whatever," I told her, "I'm frustrated and I'm bored."  (The 'bored' part stems from not having too much of a variety, but I'm working on that, currently.)

So, yep.  I was in a shitty mood for the entirety of yesterday.  I was snappy, I was cranky, there were a lot of clanging noises coming from the kitchen of Capulet last night.  J avoided me, the kids avoided me.  The kids aren't usually around, though, they're at the ages where they are in their rooms 95% of the time when they're not eating or using the bathroom.

But I also did one other thing that I don't really recommend as something that should be done more than once a week, but the idea came to me whilst I was feverishly pondering what happened, what did I do wrong this week?  What happened?  It dawned on me that I'd not had a decent bowel movement in DAYS.  At the risk of sounding gross and anything less than human, I decided that was the problem, along with having eaten late the night before.  So, I found a laxative in the medicine cabinet and took two.  This was in the afternoon sometime, and by the time we'd finished dinner, my stomach was rumbling.  Many visits to the bathroom ensued, and I'd have to say my suspicions of the need of a good colon-cleanse were confirmed.

I'll not say anything more about that, like I said - it's gross, no one comes here to read about what comes out of my ass.

So, this morning - took my shower, washed my hair, washed away all the nasty thoughts I'd had the night before.  Did my usual thinking in the shower, too...what's for lunch...what's for dinner...how can I avoid having the same damn things I'm used to eating?  How can I get enthused about this whole journey again, given yesterday's setback?  Oh, and as of this morning, the rumbles are no longer there, meaning, I'm guessing, I'm all clear.  You're not supposed to do this, but I needed to see if this was indeed the problem, so I went to the other end of the bathroom where I'd kicked the scale the day before, and snarled at it.  "Allright.  Let's try this again."  Weighing myself 2x, 2 days in a row, not something we're usually told to do but I needed to know.

I step on and see that I'm now two and a half pounds less than I was the morning before.  

The scale has been apologized to, but as karma has it, my foot has a little black and blue from where I kicked it, so I'll consider us even.

I'm going to work on a little something else for you guys to read later, as I'm going to be true to my word and talk about things other than this, LOL.  But I wanted to share promised weekly progress.

This week, the check was just late.  

And that's what I texted Oompa, too.  She thought I meant the child support check.  Kind of ruined the joke, I have to say.  ;)

Til later!

- Capulet





Hello my friends...hoping each of you are having a lovely day!

I've had a draining couple of days, so please, please (with fat free whipped cream on top) forgive me for not updating this sooner.  Fear not, though - I've spent some time thinking up actual blog-worthy topics non-related to my kids (although they may be mentioned from time to time) or my current weight-loss journey.  

All I'll say about the latter, though, is last week, I only dropped.  One. Stinking. Pound.  Perhaps that can be attributed to my binge on chicken wings the other night, or it could very well be due to not drinking as much water as I did the week before.  I did vent to Oompa and she assured me that 'the check is in the mail.'  For once, I'm going to trust her and listen to her - not because she IS right a small percentage of the time, but because I'm down 12.6 pounds in three weeks - this isn't a bad thing.  It's slow and frustrating when the numbers aren't rolling back as quickly but the weight is STILL coming off.  And I have to remember, I ate my chicken wings and had pizza two days in a row last week and STILL lost that one stinking pound.  

Okay, enough about that.  That weigh-in update is only there because of my once-a-week promise - no one wants to hear about these things in every blog post.  

Now, moving onto other possible topics that I want to share my thoughts on.

I've been seeing a lot of things posted recently, a lot of things that I can definitely relate to and as part of my own healing process, feel the occasional need to discuss.  I'll call it, 'maintenance.'  I define maintenance as simply touching up on these things before it builds up into something more severe, something that eventually I'll slap myself in the back of the head for not having dealt with sooner.

Note, these are not things that I am currently struggling with - I honestly can't say I've been struggling with anything abuse or sexual assault related in years.  However, once in a great while, things tap me on the shoulder and remind me they're still there - but usually, I'll respond with, 'yes, I know you're still here.  I've got too much going on with my life right now, and I'm not going to give you any thought right now.'  And it goes away, for a little while.  It never disappears completely, and that's actually okay with me.  I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect existence; we've all got our demons.  Some of us are just better at completely ignoring these demons in order to function while others have their daily battles.  I like to think I'm somewhere in between - and being  'in-betweener,' isn't something that I consider to be a weakness at all - it just reminds me of the fact that we're all just trying to get through life, we all have our methods, we all have our ways of coping.  But it also reminds me - I've got shit that pops up from time to time and there's never, ever going to be a time when maintenance is not needed.

I'm going to also say that happened to me has made me stronger.  It's taught me more about myself, about LIFE than any schooling ever did.  Some things I cannot remember nor make sense of, but I'm able to, at this point, understand why I'm feeling a certain way, even in some cases, recognize the reasons for my own reactions.  

So...I'm going to keep working on lists of things to discuss in depth - shout out to those of you who have posted about these things recently - it's possible you inspired me. :)  For now though, here are a few things for you to look forward to in future upcoming blogs.

- I'm going to talk about (sexuality) labels and why I don't feel that they apply to me, or to anyone else.  However, know this - if someone else is accepting of their label, I am one hundred percent supportive of that, because my thoughts on it are not going to match everyone else's.  I'm mostly sharing my own perspective on this.  I've been asked what I consider myself.  Am I gay, straight, bisexual?  The short answer to this is - none of the above.  The long answer will be revealed later. :) 

- I'm going to compose a letter to three of the main abusers in my life, possibly four.  And, I'd like to warn everyone - I'm not going to be very nice.  So when you see that particular blog entry, please do proceed with caution and know that it WILL likely be triggering.  Because things like that, well...there's no sugarcoating.  It's pure unfiltered anger, and I'm going to allow myself to be angry.  I'm going to put it all right here where it belongs, and direct it toward those who deserve it.  My thinking is - I've held it in for far too long and it's an important piece of maintenance that SHOULD be done far more often than I've done it.

- I'm going to talk about the old me vs. the me I am today.  I'm going to have a little trouble with this one since I have suspicions of CSA having occurred when I was a child; things I cannot remember too clearly now and only have fragmented memories to support these suspicions.  These suspicions didn't start until I was an adult, so my time-line is now a huge question mark.  I was originally dealing with the before and after the SA that occurred in 1996, now I'm not sure if the 'after' began much sooner than that.  Was I ever normal?  (Don't answer that, I know it's wide open, but...ya know...)

I welcome your thoughts, too - if there's something you'd like to hear my take on, please, please don't hold back and hit the comment link. :)  You'd be giving my already-tired brain a little bit of a break from thinking. 


- Capulet


Not every post has to be about food or kids.  Okay, not MY kids, anyway. :) 

So...ya remember my sister?  The one married to a jerk?  In previous blog entries, we referred to her as #1.  

Well, that sister's water broke last night at around 8pm.  I was at Monday night bowling and heard from Oompa that she was meeting my sister and brother-in-law at the hospital.

I stayed up all night long - I did trudge over to the bed around three-thirty this morning, but the anticipation of my niece's impending arrival effectively kept me from the deep sleep that renders me functional for the remainder of the day, so please forgive any run-on sentences or other grammatical errors.  I'm not all here today and I'm a bit zombie-ish, but still wanted to share with everyone some very wonderful news.

My niece arrived this morning at 6:44am after 10 hours of waiting and countless texts between Oompa and I.  Oompa was there before and during the birth and for the cutting of the cord.  My brother-in-law doesn't do well in hospital rooms, so my mother was, for the second time, able to witness the birth of her fifth grandchild.  

Both my sister and the baby are doing just fine.  Brother-in-law also doing fine.  

I took a nap as soon as the first picture came through.  She's adorable.  Full head of hair.  Big, round, alert eyes.  Teeny-tiny little fingers.  Swaddled in the new-baby blanket that every single hospital in the United States has a patent on.  And the little pink hat they put on her head to keep her warm. Those widdle, teensy toes, too!  

My uterus is tingling, guys.  Oh, my God.

Not too much, though.  It'll pass.  I just SO miss when mine were that small.  The thought of nibbling on their toes NOW, at their ages, truly sickens me and simply wouldn't be right.  LOL.

I'll just enjoy being an Aunt. :)  If we're counting my Godchild, we'll say I've now got three beautiful nieces and my one nephew.  All are happy, in good health and I couldn't ask for more.  

I am very, very blessed, indeed. :)

- Capulet






I have been eating chicken.  A WHOLE lot of chicken.  Every. Single. Day.  Oh, and eggs.  Lots of eggs.  You'd think the eggs were being laid by the chickens I'm eating.  A typical morning for me is something like this:  Get up.  Go through the pantry.  End up skipping breakfast. (I know, it's not recommended but I do it because what else is there to eat but eggs!?)  Oh, and do you know how many points is in a wee cup of cereal and also for the milk you'll put into the bowl???  I don't think I have enough points in a day to waste them before noon!

Sometimes I'll take a nap in the morning so that I don't have to actually put anything into my stomach until lunch time.  By then, I'm noticeably 'hangry.'  

After going through the pantry for the second time on any given day around noon (because, really, you never know, the Food Fairy SOMETIMES puts something tempting in there while I'm napping) it's usually an egg salad sandwich that I end up making myself and eating.  

I take teeny-tiny bites out of that sandwich; even though by now I'm hungry enough to be done with that meal in sixty seconds flat.  I savor every bite - because I'm telling myself that even though I'm still going to be hungry after my lunch, I have enough 'points' left to have a nice dinner that will satisfy. I can have some rice, I can have pasta, of course, there's almost ALWAYS something to do with chicken for dinner.

So, this is the problem I'm running into, now.  

Chicken, particularly white meat, is considered a "free" food.  I can stuff my face with as much lean chicken as I want, but of course, have to allow for the points used in order to prepare it.  (For example, if you sauté it in oil, you have to count the point for the oil, if you marinate it in some sort of sauce, you count the sauce's points.  But the eggs and the chicken, providing it's white meat, boneless and skinless, are both free proteins!)

What the hell do I do when I get tired of chicken...and eggs!?  I'm not thinking eating this many eggs is in any way good for my cholesterol!  But I'm quickly approaching the point where I want to swear off both of these for a while.  There's only so many things you can do with eggs (including teaching myself to effectively make a frittata) and the chicken is rapidly becoming something I'm liking less and less.

I want something different, SO badly.  I've told myself that I'll allow myself a red meat one night a week, as a treat.  I have a frozen steak in the freezer for sometime this week.  I'm just afraid of falling off that damn wagon that I've spent the last month trying to stay atop.  It was recently the Chinese New Year - I would have LOVED to ring in the year of the Dog with some fine Asian cuisine, but the amount of MSG used in their (SO SO tasty) dishes is not going to agree with me when the time comes to step onto (and likely cuss out) the scale on Wednesday.

Yeah.  I'm not really expecting an answer to this little outburst; just being able to sit here and vent is sometimes helpful.  Not just about the things I can't change, because there are plenty of those!   But about these little things that I know I CAN change with a little on-screen thinking aloud.  I mean, I'm sitting here saying, "Jesus, Capulet, no one told you to go on a diet, no one wants to hear you talk about food woes!"  But at the same time, I'm asking myself...what AM I going to do about it?  If it's not food I have to complain about, it's something else.  Every single one of us has something to deal with.  Something that pisses them off on a daily basis.  Something that makes them question, something that makes them angry.  Talking about things, even if I'm not doing it verbally, helps me to put into perspective what I'm feeling and I thank you all for listening, if you've gotten this far.   :)   THAT helps. 

So, anyway....a little while ago, I just got back inside from hangry-shoveling...we had about two inches of snow last night.  The daughter and son have gone back to their father's house and J is not home.  So the big-ass driveway we have got a walloping with the shovel and I have to properly thank the sun for shining today, it made the job a whole lot easier.  So...at least I got some exercise in the process.  My back will probably be screaming at me in the morning, regardless.

And, while I was getting my shoveling done, I made myself a little proposition for tonight's dinner.

Tonight, I'm making chicken (what a surprise!!!!) but am making BBQ chicken wings.  This is not a 'free' meal as the wings have skin and bones but it's a small treat for yours truly considering the 'same ol,' is getting extremely tiresome.  My better half is on a double shift.  And so, that's my plan and my reward to myself.  Chicken wings and maybe a side salad.  Plus, they'll be baked in the oven and not fried so they won't kill the diet.

As a parting note, if anyone would like to come and prepare unique meals for me and listen to me whine and complain, I'll repay the kindness with hugs and a lifetime's worth of gratitude.  Must know how to be creative with chicken and must be skillful at omelette-making. I also have a spare bedroom when Oompa's not here. :)  A full collection of Blu-rays.  What I don't have though, is junk food.  You'll have to bring your own. :)

Furthermore, feel free to send me any chicken breast recipes - even if there's a lot of "no no" foods (butter, oils, etc) used, I can perhaps modify them some with their diet-friendly counterparts.  

I'm having my water now (that's yet another thing - need to come up with more interesting things to drink.  I haven't had more than one or two soda cans in the last week and the caffeine headaches are becoming more frequent!) and relaxing before it's time to prep the wings.  

Hope everyone's Sunday is going well.  Love to all of you beautiful people!  And thank you.  It means a great deal to know that y'all are out there.

- Capulet 





Today's Wednesday...weigh-in day!  Which means, update day!!!!!!  Yay, aren't we all excited?  

(Although I'll try and blog more often about stuff other than my diet woes or kids.)

I had a few choice words for the scale this morning, but it will live to see another week.  See, I lost 1.6, which isn't bad considering we (J and I) had our Valentine's Day date on Monday night.  We went to the local Red Lobster - and everything I ordered/ate was counted in my point total.  Lemme tell ya, it took me about twenty minutes to eat a single Cheddar Bay Biscuit because those fucking things are six points each.  Instead of finishing the biscuit in one bite, I'm using a fork to break off teeny-tiny little pieces of it...praaaaise the man or woman who invented those things.  Why the hell do they have to be SO damn good, so tasty, so worth it..???  Oh, and my fish was grilled, I omitted the butter from the lobster tail and instead dipped the lobster meat into the scampi sauce.  I did my calculating as best as I could. I definitely went over my daily allotted points, but still, I'm allowed to do that every once in a while.

I have to also remember that I'm not going to lose 10 pounds a week.  That's just not realistic, as much as I wish it was.  Weight loss will slow down.  I just hoped it would slow down a little bit later.  It's just further proof that the majority of that 10 pounds was water weight.

We also didn't have any snow this week, so there was no busting my ass shoveling the driveway = no cardio.

"Fine, you can stay this week," I said to the evil scale.  "But if I don't lose at least two full pounds next week, out the windah you go!"


I slept like ass last night.

No idea why.  I'm not triggered, I'm not dealing with any added stress.  It's just the day-to-day BS that by now has become the norm.

I'm also not even tired.  When you're not tired, you don't sleep, right?  My kids have been trying to tell me that for years.  And for years, I didn't give a rat's ass; if I was tired, they went to sleep regardless of whether or not I went to bed.  Now, though, the Son has become a night owl like me; the Daughter is still young enough to force into her bed at a decent hour. 

For a while, I've gotten myself used to a 'swig' before bed; we pick up a bottle of the generic NyQuil whenever we hit up the neighborhood Wal-Mart.  I'm not as bad as J is, though - she swigs EVERY NIGHT.  I swig on the nights following a night like last night.  I swig when I absolutely need to sleep, or else I become that cranky old lady nobody wants to be around.  I'm moody, I'm hangry (anyone else use that word?) and I'm overall annoyed.  So, I do see a swig in my near future although I've been trying to avoid using "help" to fall asleep.  Because today, I AM tired! 

Last weekend at some point, I had a dream that I have from time to time, for as long as I can remember.  It's one of my reoccurring ones.  It's not really a nightmare, it's just annoying.  I keep telling myself it means something, but honestly, there are too many question marks surrounding this one.  I may have posted about this, years ago, but nothing's changed.  I'm still having this ridiculous dream...seriously, I'd rather be dreaming of much more pleasant things, like the food I'm never going to be able to enjoy again without having some guilt.

In it, I'm confronted by someone (I can't see a face, nor can I identify who this is, in any other way.)  I have a feeling, though, that it is a man.  The same way when we dream, we know things, we're afforded a depth of understanding that we can't otherwise explain.  Anyway, this is a man and he's in some way, threatening me.  Even if he is not touching me in my dream, I feel as if I'm in danger and I need to defend myself.  So I clench my fists.

I want to hit him.  I have the opportunity to hit him.  And so, I attempt to strike him, as hard as I can, because I want to hurt him just enough.

But for some reason, I cannot.  It's almost as if an invisible force prevents me from taking a swing.  Instead, it is a slo-mo, ineffective punch that does absolutely nothing to my enemy.  Have you ever punched straight forward, just an air punch that doesn't necessarily land anywhere?  Now, try doing the same thing underwater.  That's exactly how it feels.  Held back, restrained. Limited.  


I'm seeing the image of the cartoon hammer that just goes limp in the hand; ha ha, you're not hurting anyone with THAT!  

In some instances, I try and flee.  But that feels as if I'm underwater too.  My legs don't move quickly enough and I'm weak, weak, weak.  So, no success with running, either.

And then I wake up, feeling as if I've lost.  I've been defeated.  Hundreds of times, every single time I have this dream, whether there's running involved or it stops at my attempts to attack the person I feel is threatening me.

This make any sense to anyone?  Anyone else ever have a dream like this?

About to make my lunch now.  I'm having hangry tendencies.

Until later.

- Capulet



Here's the update I promised you all in Monday's post-Super Bowl blog entry. 

It was either going to be a rant or a rave.  See, I've been down this road multiple times.  The rant will likely come in a future entry, when I've done everything right and the numbers aren't going down anymore.  That'll likely happen when I've plateaued and it's time to incorporate more physical activity into my daily routine.  For today, we've been hit with Winter Storm Liam, so I see some shoveling in my very near future.  The winter won't last forever, though.  If it would WARM up soon, we'll be able to go for walks by the lake we live near - something.  I've got a basketball hoop set up in the driveway for my daughter - next year, she'll be joining her school's basketball team.  While she can sink a basket more often than I can, she needs some work on her dribbling and her defense.  So, I'll probably lose the last few stubborn pounds by teaching her some fancy footwork.  But in order to be able to MOVE enough to do so, I need to drop some weight.

A second aside for a small inside family joke...when my daughter was asked about her ability in sports in general, she shrugged and said, "I have two lesbians at home to help me."  

Now, for the rave...

Ok, so this morning, wearing only my birthday suit and socks to keep my feet from getting cold, I stepped onto the evil scale that had been banished into the bathroom closet since we moved into our house six months ago.  Didn't want to see it, didn't want it to sit there and silently mock me every time I walked past it. Because it did.  I'd see the scale, and immediately flash back to the juicy steak dinner I had the night before.  Doused in gravy, too.  The scale, even though an inanimate, non-living object, knows it too.  I'll bet it just wants me to step onto it so that it can yell at me.  I wasn't giving it that satisfaction, so into the closet it went!  Until last week, I decided to give weight loss another try. 

A few seconds after I stepped on, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I am now TEN POUNDS LESS than when I weighed myself last Wednesday.  Ten pounds, EXACTLY!  In ONE week.  

There was no eating out, no fried foods.  I did binge on chips and (oven baked, homemade) wings on Super Bowl Sunday, but I had my reserve points to fall back on.

Side note:  WW has a point-system.  Point values are attributed to foods, so if you have an 'oops' moment and go over the number you're allowed per day, there are some 'grace' points they give you for the week. 

I calculated and logged everything I put in my mouth with my trusty app.  I drank at least two 64-oz bottles of water for the last few days.  Overall, I do feel better.  I'm bored stupid with my food choices, though, I do have to admit.  I'll gladly talk about these things in depth with anyone if they want to discuss privately. :)  

"You're shittin' me, right?" I'm talking to the scale, that no longer looks like something out of Fangoria.   It almost looks pleasant.  Who the hell calls a scale 'pleasant?'

I step off.  Back on.  Same number.  More talking to myself.

Guys...I CAN do this!

"You and me are going to be friends, now," I say to the scale as for the first time in forever, I didn't feel the need to chuck it out the window.  Then I'm talking in the high pitched voice that I usually reserve for my orange tabby who usually accompanies me as I move from room-to-room.  "I will say hello to you whenever I use the bathroom.  I will visit you once a week.  If you keep the numbers going down, I may even replace your batteries more often than never!  Keep up the good work!"

The scale survives another week. 

And I am back on the bandwagon!  

- Capulet


Wow.  I haven't been paying much attention to my blog lately.  My sincerest apologies.  But in my defense, sometimes having nothing to say is a good thing, right?

Lots happening here.  Nothing major but still, small things worth mentioning for those who delight in reading about my day-to-day insanity.

Will start off with a small story.

I finally (and this wasn't easy) allowed my son to take my car to his father's house - it's a very short drive down the road from my house to the Wasband's.  My stepson (Wasband's firstborn son) wanted to spend the night here and the Wasband suggested sending our newly licensed 17-year-old over to pick up his brother.  

Alone.  Without me.

I knew the Son would be more than willing to do this.  But damn it...I wasn't ready!

So the Mom-worry-machine starts up.  "It takes seven minutes to get there.  Maybe five minutes to put your brother in the car.  Then another seven minutes to come back.  You shouldn't be gone more than 30 minutes.  Am I right?  So, you're going to go, grab your brother and you're coming straight home.  You're NOT going into town to get Taco Bell!  I'm going to be standing in the window, waiting.  If you crash, you're going to have to call J or someone else because I won't have a car to come and save you!  You better be careful of all the ditches!"

(In hindsight, I guess this DOES put me in the paranoid mothers' department and I can see how ridiculous I sounded...so, feel free to laugh at me.  I know my son did.)

So, just before he left, he gave me a hug.  "Don't worry, Mom, this won't be the last time you ever hug me."  

Into the front window I perched myself.  I watched as he got into the car, rolled down the window and waved.  He knew I was standing there.  Then he drove off.

I sat in the recliner next to the window.  I played a few games of Candy Crush.  I counted the number of cars to drive by.  We live in a rural area so, not many.  I checked the clock.  Repeatedly.  I checked my phone.  Repeatedly.  I texted my J that I'd allowed my son to take the car and I was in a panic.  Scared shitless.  And I'll tell you all the same thing I tell him.  It's not HIS driving I am afraid of; it's other people's driving.  We hail from New York City, we've seen the worst of the worst.  I learned to drive there when I was 16 and have to say, if you can drive in the city, you can drive anywhere.  Rural Pennsylvania should be a walk in the park, right?  You'd think so.  But the roads here are hilly, winding and there are very deep ditches along the sides of the roads.  My son is a new driver and gets nervous when a car comes from the opposite direction, he tends to move himself over to allow them (too much) room to pass and he tends to be dangerously close to the edge of the road.  I sincerely fear the "Ma, I'm in a ditch." phone call or text.

J tried to quell my anxieties.  "Ya gotta let him go, you have to have faith in him, you have to give him the chance to get some experience."

I'm still checking the clock.  WHY ISN'T HE BACK YET?!  IT'S BEEN OVER THIRTY MINUTES!!

I think I counted a few dozen pine needles on the windowsill before my car FINALLY drives up.  He's home!!!!!  And yes, he took longer than 30 minutes, but at this point, I didn't care anymore.  He was home, my car looked as if it were still in one piece, and there he was, waving at me because he could clearly see me in the window.  I waved back.  Watched him park the car and when he came in with his brother, he confessed that the reason for his lateness was that the Wasband had been home and he'd spent a few minutes with him before heading back.

"Mom, did you REALLY sit here and watch the window the whole time I was gone?"

"Nah, I did laundry, did the dishes, I mopped the floors... "

He nodded, pretending he believed me, 'uh-huh'd' me and they both went to his room to play video games.  

So that's the little story.  Granted it was a kid story, but it was also about me.  Moving along onto other things

So, guys...I joined Weight Watchers.  Again.  I was on it years ago, and lost over fifty pounds.  I made drastic changes in my lifestyle, but it was a slow process.  I don't want to say I fell off the bandwagon, because usually, when that happens, it's not too hard to get back on it.  No, I took a running leap.  Not sure what happened to make me altogether quit, but I think I put on a couple pounds, then a couple more, then it spiraled out of control from there.  Then just as easily as I'd lost it, I gained it back, and then some more on top of that.  I am now the heaviest I've ever been in my adult life and I don't like it.  I'm too easily short of breath, I'm ridiculously out of shape.

So, the gal we all affectionately know as 'Oompa' was here this past week and stayed for a few days.  Now, my mother's been on Weight Watchers for as long as I can remember.  She's a plump little thing, she's about 4'10.  (Now you see where the Oompa Loompa reference originates!)  When you're that short and you like to eat (being Italian doesn't help) then there's a problem because where does it all go?  We don't have a whole lot of body, so the extra weight tacks onto our thighs, our ass, our boobs.  I have the same problem, although I've got her beat by about three or four inches.  Anyway, I've watched my mother fail at Weight Watchers year after year.  She's at the point where she's considering bariatric surgery because her desire to be thin is so great now that she's approaching 65 years old and she's recently discovered she's pre-diabetic.  My mother weighs a little bit less than I do, I'll have you know that much without revealing my own starting number.  So when she came here, she brought her own foods because she knows the pantry at my house is certainly NOT Weight Watchers friendly.  She brought her fat-free salad dressings, cheeses, all her WW recipe books and even her fitness DVD! (you know, the ones where the people look TOO enthusiastic about making an exercise video....anyone else see a problem with exercise videos featuring skinny, smiling, in-shape people????)  She showed me the program, I'm seeing a lot of foods are not counted toward your daily point total and for the first time in a while, I'm seeing a program that if I stick to it, I can probably have success with it.

Anyway, long story short, barring the exercise video (I'm not ready to jump on THAT bandwagon, yet) I decided to try the Freestyle program again.  I truly want to be healthier so that my son can continue to give me mini-heart attacks with his driving and I'll still be around for my daughter's (she'll be 12) many upcoming milestones.  Diabetes is certainly in my mother's bloodline.  It's also in the Wasband's, and HE is diabetic, which is not good news for my children...they're two times as likely to end up with diabetes.  I am hoping that by eliminating the amount of junk we have in the house, they'll be forced to make better choices as well.  So far, so good.  I'll post on Wednesday, when it's been an official week with the amount of weight (if any) I've lost. 

While Oompa was here, my sister called in hysterics.  I'll never forget it, we were gathered around the kitchen table.  Oompa and myself and my stepfather.  The phone rings and my mother answers.  

*slight trigger warning for suicide* 

We come to find out that her best friend took his own life the day before and she'd just found out from another of their mutual friends.  

I remember this boy fondly.  He was always smiling, always a sweet, loving boy to have around.  He was openly gay and we knew it from back when they were in middle school.  He was ALWAYS around the girls.   My sister, along with three other girls and this boy were thick as thieves, they were tight, tight, tight.  Every year, they got together for Christmas, they were at each other's weddings. (he never did marry, just my sister and one of the other ladies)  Anyway, he and one of the other girls ended up moving to California (not together) after high school and they STILL remained close.  They were together for the last time last Christmas.  My sister recalls he was trying to keep it all together but she and the others could still tell he was struggling.  They knew he had a history of depression.  His father had taken HIS own life over a decade ago.  Still, they had faith in his bouncing back, his being able to pull himself out of the hole he was in.

Still, the call had come that at 29, he'd given up.  He first called his mother, told her he was sorry and that he loved her.  After hanging up with him, she sent the police, but they had gotten to him too late. 

My sister is beside herself, of course.  Along with the other 'widows,' she went to his funeral last week and said goodbye to her best friend of 18 years.  

Guys, this really, really scared me because I know that once upon a time, I flirted with the idea of just giving up on everything, although not seriously.  I resorted to self-injury for a while.  Now, I know you've probably heard this before.  And I know from a family friend whose cousin committed suicide years ago - people who kill themselves TRULY believe that this is the only way to escape their pain.  I don't believe that for a second.  There is ALWAYS another way out.  Always.  So please, PLEASE - if anyone is considering this, PLEASE call the hotline and know that those who love you would rather struggle alongside you than lose you altogether.  Reach out.  Embrace the help and support that people are willing to give you.  It does get better.  That's all I'll say on this.

Want to end this blog on a positive note.  So will toss in a few random snippets to attempt to lighten the mood before saying adios for the day.

- I'll let you all know that I now know where NOT to buy my deli meat.  J and I went to the local supermarket and I was not-so-pleasantly surprised to see that the gal operating the meat slicer was none other than the Whiny lady from my Friday night bowling league who called us cheaters.  We went shopping while Oompa was here so that I could stock up on some healthy foods and there she was, giving me the evil eye from behind the deli counter.  

That's all right.  I'll buy my deli meat at Walmart. :)  They're WAY friendlier there.

- You may already know this but the Philadelphia Eagles have won the Super Bowl, which makes me happy.  For starters, I'd like to apologize in advance to any and all New England fans who happen upon this post - but I do NOT like the Patriots.  I'm sick of them, I'm sick of hearing about them and how their QB is a GOAT.  Then there's that deflate-gate scandal from years ago, it's hard to 'unsee' that.  My J is a Patriots fan since she's originally from New England, so I can't hold it against her, but really, no one wants to watch one Brady Super Bowl after the other.  Now I'm a NY Giants fan by default since that's where I was born and bred.  But now that I've moved to a different state, I've got to choose between the Steelers and the Eagles for a 'local' team to support.  I'm not a fan of Roethlisberger because of some not-very-nice things I've heard about Big Ben, so I've gone with the Eagles if for no other reason than Philly is simply closer to my location than Pittsburgh.  

- J and I recently signed up for a free trial of Hulu and we're caught up on The Handmaid's Tale.  Anyone have thoughts on this?  It's a very thought-provoking show.  I wouldn't recommend watching unless you are in a healthy frame-of-mind as it deals with some questionable issues and some may find it triggering at times.  Otherwise, it was interesting to say the least.  One of those shows that can safely be called 'crazy!'

- Remember the daughter's frenemy I've spoken of?  Well, as originally predicted, they're talking again.  I STILL told her that there won't be any sleepovers with this ungrateful child.  I posted a board about this girl's behavior and something she confided in my daughter - there are no updates on that.  Never got around to discussing with the Wasband on how to proceed.  See, now that's bliss, by the way.  Live with the man, have to hear his mouth every single day.  Divorce the man, the only time he speaks to me is when something comes up with one of our kids.  I can certainly live with that.  

- I shoveled snow yesterday.  We got 1-3 inches during the day, and I knew we were going to be getting freezing rain afterwards.  Stupid me decided to take a bath BEFORE I convinced myself to go outside to shovel the massive driveway.  But I took another hot shower afterwards to warm up after the workout!  Better than the DVD Oompa prefers to play.  That ridiculous DVD...LOL.  

Okay, folks, that's it.  Enjoy your week!  Look for a post (length to be determined based on my mood) on Wednesday after my weigh-in!  

- Capulet



Say it isn't so...a blog entry that has MOSTLY nothing to do with my children. :)  I say mostly because I'll start off by saying a couple quick things about them, just as a courtesy follow-up of my last blog entry.  You're welcome!

The Son is still accident-free, but that's only because we got about six inches of snow this week and he hasn't driven since he got his license.  I refuse to let him drive when there's even a small amount of snow on the roads.  Mostly because I've got about 23 years' driving experience and I'm STILL scared shitless of driving on wet/slushy roads.  Thankfully, he takes after me and hasn't asked to borrow the car, yet.  Small blessings! 

The Daughter is still 'in a fight' with her 'fake friends.'  And as much as I want to stick my tongue out at these petty sixth graders, I am behaving myself and I'm 'staying out of it.'  At the moment, she's face-timing with a 'new' friend.  She's had a rough couple of weeks with these other little shits, so I'm going to let her continue to talk to this new person, even though she SHOULD be sleeping right now.

Hell, I SHOULD be sleeping, but I'm not.  I'm here instead, with something on my mind.

So, let's talk about me for a little while...I actually got this idea from a post I read earlier.  Someone talked about feelings of isolation, of not liking to go anywhere, not liking to be out of their element at all...

Well, folks, this is me.  To a T!

I don't like leaving my house.  Unless J and I have to go somewhere, I am truly happiest being home, being in my own bedroom.  We already know how wonderfully (yes, yes, there is indeed a smidge of sarcasm in this sentence) I do with sleepovers/visits to the in-laws' or overnight stays in places other than my familiar surroundings.  Oompa has been inviting me to stay with her since we moved.  Take a wild guess as to how many times I've obliged. ;)

I HATE parties.  Mostly because there are too many people around and I'm just not socially adept in any way.  I am the most awkward human being you'll ever meet, if it's in a party setting.  I don't recognize music as anything other than noise.  ANNOYING noise.  I'll smile, say polite hellos and make (very) small talk but I'm usually ready to get home and put my pajamas on before the coffee comes out.

I am sure that my reasons for being a hermit stem partially from being hard-of-hearing.  When I tell you that crowds are my worst fucking nightmare, I'm not exaggerating.  I'm okay with SMALL crowds; two or three people, huddled around a table...conversations are FAR easier for me to follow.  Even so, I miss out on a chunk of it...and I find myself laughing whenever they laugh.  I'm also PRAYING no one asks me if I really got the joke, because then I look even more like an idiot when I'm honest and say, "nope, I just laughed because everyone else was laughing."  

There are times where I'll be with a small group of people.  The dinner table at holiday gatherings.  A family supper.  A double date.  Anywhere in general.  Even little gatherings at a restaurant with me and J and as few as one or two others.  I'll find myself being able to follow a conversation for a few moments, but then I'll trail off.  Words become garbled.  The background ambience just overwhelms and I no longer am present.  I'm staring off into space.  I don't mean to LOOK bored but I'm just plain lost.  I'm in la-la land...until someone gets my attention and brings me back to reality.  This will happen a number of times throughout the evening.  Then later on, J and I will reflect, and she'll ask me if I remember when so-and-so was talking about her new job and I'll shrug and say, "gee, must have missed that."  My love will then recap for me.  She's a gem.  My gem. 

Either way, I'm CONSTANTLY avoiding being around other people.  I feel that if I'm not there to begin with, then there's even less that has to be repeated.  A family or friendly gathering that SHOULD be a joyful time, I'll usually dread.  (Especially if they're with my family.  They simply aren't my favorite people, if you hadn't noticed.)

J and I have been together for nine years, so most of our friends are mutual friends.  The ladies we bowl with, mostly, because the bowling alley is where we usually go together and we have made many friends there.  Most of them, we left back in our old state, but we're starting to become very friendly with the couple we bowl with on Friday nights.  The wife also bowls with us on our Monday league.  She's a sweet lady and I'm quite surprised at how comfortable I am at conversing with her or cracking jokes with her in between frames.  

I gotta say, though, bowling alleys are easy.  There is no deep conversation required...you go, roll the ball down the lane...occasionally say, "nice ball!" or "great shot!"  I have to say though, most of my friends from where we used to live were friends who knew that in order to talk to me about anything non-bowling related, they had to first make sure they had my full attention.  

Let it be known that I freaking can't STAND it when people come up to me and start talking before it registers in my mind that they're talking to me.  It takes me a moment...I first have to make eye contact with someone, then my eyes look at their lips...add to that I'm getting old and slower by the year...by the time I realize they're talking to me, I've missed half of whatever they're saying/the beginning of a story.  (I'm also aware that this sentence may need to be re-read a number of times before it makes sense.  It's way past my bedtime as well as the point of legibility.)

So...when I have limited information, the fake laugh and the quick, smile-and-pretend-you-know-what-they're-talking-about reflex kicks in.  And then again, I pray they move on and don't ask for my input...my luck, it's on something they said and I completely missed.  75% of the time, I get lucky.  The other 25% of the time I have to ask them to slowly repeat themselves.  This is something I hate to do...truly.  The Wasband was a pain in the ass and if, God forbid, I asked him to repeat himself more than once or twice, I'd get a snappy "never mind" and an eye roll.  Even J at times, even though she is MUCH nicer than the Wasband, gets frustrated with me.  I get a much nicer, cuter "never mind."  Most of the time.  

I do SO, SO much better online.  Why can't I live online?  Why can't my address be on Dot Com Street?

In a perfect world, everything is there for me to READ.  Everything is closed-captioned!  (I'll take a moment here to profusely thank my family members for not being tempted to turn the captions off on our television...sometimes the words block out parts of the picture and are unattractive in general...still, J and my children leave them on because at this point, television shows are weird without them!  Bless each and every one of their hearts!!!!)

My dreams are closed captioned, for Pete's sake...I don't know how else to explain it.  I'm not hard-of-hearing in my dreams.  Or maybe I am, since there's never been a time when I wasn't hard-of-hearing.  It's just that...people talk and I understand it.  Every word.  There are no "say whats?" or instances of me asking them to repeat themselves.  Everything flows naturally.  They're normal.  Except when I dream of talking monkeys or other impossible things, then I start to question whatever sanity remains.  Maybe it's like watching television for me...when I go to sleep, I'm reading my conversations.  Or maybe because they're my dreams, I have a natural understanding and there's no 'hearing' required...the mind being an amazing thing as it is, I'm leaning toward the latter.

In fact, my two long term relationships originated online.  The Wasband and I met through a mutual friend on AOL, back when AOL was an overpriced, addictive thing.  And you all know by now that J and I met here, once upon a time when I hosted the chats here.  The written word has ALWAYS been my best way of communicating.  I'm pretty good with texting too.   I can follow conversations as well as anyone else, and I NEVER feel isolated.  I never feel alone.  I can be in a ROOMFUL of people and STILL feel as if I'm very, very alone.  I'm used to this, I'll be the big 4-0 at the end of this year (and I'll not repeat that) and this has been pretty much the norm for my entire life.  

I'm not without concerns, though. Or the famous 'what ifs' that I have trained myself to run away from...as fast as I can!

When I was diagnosed with having less hearing than a piece of furniture when I was four months old, Oompa's first mission in motherhood was to instill language into me.  Sign language was not an option; my mother decided that I'd become 'lazy' and I'd prefer signing over the spoken word, and so she did not promote interaction with other deaf children.

(Side note...I just had to correct myself...as a result of my tiredness, I almost typed in 'dead' children.  There would be no interaction at all if that were the case.)

As a result, I never was able to communicate with the peers that were most like me.  I don't quite fit in among people whose ears are in working order either, what I've described above is a perfect example of how isolated I've gotten used to feeling.  So used to it, that it no longer bothers me.  I confess, I LIKE it, sometimes...I can spend HOURS by myself...sometimes DAYS, before the need for company arises.  

I'd love to say that this, like many other things that piss me off on a daily basis, is my mother's fault. I'm not sure if this is entirely Oompa's doing, though.  There are people who hear just fine but still feel out of place at social events.  What's their excuse?  Is this just a thing that God decides for a person before he distributes us into the world to be born?  "You, (enter your name here), shall become a social disaster.  This is is my will, so it shall also be thy will, too," I bet the Good Lord declares upon our souls before he stamps an invisible expiration date on our asses and thrusts us into the stork's possession.  We're then born, and we're all just pre-destined to turn out a certain way?  Or does life occasionally factor in and interrupt what should have been?  I'd like to think that it does at times, and not even a Higher Power can intervene once we're out there on our own.  It kind of contradicts what we're taught as Catholics.  You know, about the 'Big Guy.'  He sees everything, he knows everything, he CREATED everything.  He LOVES us all, his children.  Yet, he 'allows' unfavorable things to happen to us.  I don't even think 'allows' is the correct word and forgive me, folks, but I will ALWAYS struggle with this concept.  I'll just avoid those dangerous (holy) waters; a religion debate is not something I want to get into.  Not now, anyway.  Perhaps in a future blog entry.

So...here's a what-if.  What if I was born with functional ears?  Would I still be this way?  Granted, I would likely be able to follow conversations.  I'd probably be a fan of some God-awful music group that my son would cringe at.  I'd be MUCH easier to talk to.  I might constantly be on the phone.  I might have LOVED to get together with a group of my favorite people, instead of more boring, low-key, one-on-one gatherings.  I may be a party person.  Or maybe not, because I had a very, very bad experience in 1996 that took place at a party.  Is THIS a contributor to my constant self-isolation?  I'm guessing it is.

I wonder though, if there is anything I can do to self-motivate to become more of a social butterfly as opposed to the antisocial caterpillar that I've grown entirely too comfortable being.  You see, I'm safe now.  I know that. I'm not the same naive, clueless teenager I was back then; what happened then would certainly never happen again, at least not in a similar setting.  I am wiser, I am smarter.  In those ways, I've improved, but socially, I am still quite dysfunctional.  I panic at the thought of being thrust into a situation where I can be surrounded by people and STILL feel like I'm stuck in a maze that I can't navigate my way out of.

Yanno, guys...

Maybe I'm thinking too much into it.  Maybe it's okay that I'm the way I am.  Maybe it's time to accept it all as gospel.  Maybe I'm meant to prefer solitude, and fate kicked in and made sure of it in multiple ways.  Maybe there's simply no changing the spots of a leopard.  (Or a caterpillar, if we're staying on topic!)  Maybe it's simply too late for me, at my age, to try and adopt new ways...and this I admit I am guilty of doing because I worry too much about what others may think of me.  And I make myself uncomfortable on purpose, because I, on occasion try to be someone I am not, even if just socially.  Trying too hard usually doesn't end well for me.

Either way...despite many failed attempts at being more 'socially acceptable,' I'm still me.  Take me as I am, I suppose...  

With that, this caterpillar is going to sleep.  I'm fairly sure that tomorrow (at this point, today) I will still be the same socially awkward individual that you have all come to get to know, and hopefully accept.   And I also have to say that as I conclude this entry, I feel a little bit more acceptance for myself, a level of acceptance that no one else is qualified to give me.  It goes hand-in-hand with the notion that before you can allow someone else to love you, you need to love yourself.  Self-acceptance is the same thing.  I consider myself a very lucky, antisocial woman that J wholeheartedly accepts me for each and every one of my quirks. :)  Very lucky, indeed!

G'night, all.

- Capulet