Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween, But ... "No One Will Save You” Muwhahahaha! 💀👻 👽🎃😉

So my title is referring to a Huluween movie (meaning a Hulu original film) called "No One Will Save You," phrased that way just to sound spooky - see what I did there? 😛

So let me just preface what I'm about to say with what I've said before; there are only two things I'm snobby about/look down on - film and architecture.  

That's because I figure if you have the money to do either, do them right - don't just be throwing sh*t up in our faces, assaulting our senses, just to make a buck. 😏

So the movie was definitely NOT in my title because it's necessarily a recommendation.  

Well, it could have been a recommendation, and an awesome one at that - but it so was not - unless you like those "create/interpret your own ending" movies?

I ... do not 😒

Now, I am NOT talking about movies with ambiguous endings, where you don't know, but you do know - movies that don't explicitly spell it out, but you can make some safe assumptions, at least for now.

You know, movies like "The Shining" or "Donnie Darko"   which I actually consider among the best - where someone died, meaning others lived as a result, or even that you find out the main character's  perception isn't reliable, (again, Donnie Darko or Black Swan).

Or like in less horror-genre examples, people decided to go their separate ways, at least for now, but you can hope for the future, or you can safely assume that they got back together or at least are going to give it another try?

No, I'm talking instead about movie endings where you have to interpret an ending that could have several meanings, or you literally have to create your own ending, because they left you THAT clueless.

Movies where you just spent the last 2 hours getting into this movie and caring about the characters, only at the end of those 2 hours, you find yourself saying, to yourself and others around you, "I honest-to-God do not know WTF just happened" -  so you just sit there, like confused. 😂

Because you know you could never get away with that sh*t in a book. At least they give you some indication to make assumptions with.  And some things in books can be left up to artistic interpretation or discussion, but books still have definite endings, even if just leaves you with assumptions.

So how are these "create/interpret your own ending" screenplays  even written, do they literally just say "(Insert Your Own Ending Here)," or does it read something like "Sam looks out the window, then up into the sky, when a look of excited surprise crosses her face?" 😆

Now, you know dang well, if a book ever ended like that, you would go "AND?!?"  

You'd think it wasn't finished, and get all frustrated, having wasted time, right?  

Regardless, ever since the movie "Birdman," which is one of the few films that did this "interpret the ending yourself/create your own ending" fairly well (but it still bugged me) ...

... lots of films started doing this, and not nearly as well.

So it being Halloween, Mark and I recently watched the Hulu original movie, "No One Will Save You,"  because it had an 82% critics' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and I tend to agree with the critics more than the audience score (and if both scores are high, it's a hit and usually worth the watch and the money.)

Not that we won't watch bad horror movies on Halloween, that's kind of the point, but we were in the mood for something truly spooky.

And thus movie had well-deserved praise, truly scary - until the end.

I haven't a clue what that ending was supposed to mean - and it really bugged me lol.  I kept tossing the possibilities around in my head, ultimately landing on nothing definitive, which bothered me immensely, like "It could mean THIS, but it could also mean THAT."

That is not fun for me, that's maddening.  You can speculate all night with your family and friends, and you'll still never know.

I mean, I get it that visual art is always open to interpretation, but you just told me a literal story for the last 2 hours, then abruptly stopped - so the "but it's art, art is open for interpretation" excuse isn't gonna fly here sorry.

Thus, I hereby am renaming this movie, "No One Will Save This Movie."

I don't know why critics love movie endings like this, pronouncing them brilliant, I truly don't.   

IMO, it's not brilliant, it's just ... lazy. 😆

To me, it's even lazier than wrapping up a movie whirlwind fast because you: A) Couldn't figure out how to end it properly, B) ran out of budget, or C) you ran out of time, resulting in leaving ends untied and unanswered questions; not because you were hoping for a sequel, but because you just thought we were either too stupid or too attention-deficient to notice, or you lost the plot and forgot about certain parts of the story yourself lol.

So let me get this straight - you just charged me anywhere from $5.99 to $12.50 - all at once or via subscription - and I just invested 2 hours of my time  in your story, only to not know WTF really happened at the end of that 2 hours  - either because you didn't know how to end it, or you were too lazy?

Therefore, you oughtta pay ME to for having to write an ending for you?  


Monday, October 30, 2023

Matthew Perry 😢

Irreplaceable .... as both an actor and a human being.

I chose this particular photo because I think it captures him well - the sweet sensitive, hiding behind the smirk - because Matthew the person, and Chandler, the character he portrayed, were apparently very much alike.

Though the multitalented Jon Favreau almost got the role of Chandler, only Matthew Perry could’ve nailed that snarky, rapier-wit-to-mask-deep-seated-insecurity-and-sweetness thing down.    

So I guess I needed a couple of days to be sure this wasn’t a net hoax, this really happened, because I can’t believe that any of our favoriteFriends “ are gone! 😢😢😢

Chandler was actually my favorite character from the beginning as the funniest (close tie for second being between Phoebe and Ross - but they were all funny, playing off each other).  Even though the show wouldn't have worked with a single cast member missing, I honestly think Chandler's sarcasm was the glue.

(I just wonder if Matthew knew that, in the end, considering all of his substance-abuse issues and self-esteem struggles.  I wish he could see now the outpouring of love for him, right now - it's like the entertainment world is flying flags half-mast today over him, not just here in the U.S., but around the world.)

In fact, I still remember the show's trailer, with Chandler dancing around singing, mocking Joey's part in a Pinocchio ... "I'm a little wooden boy." I remember seeing that as a summer of fall shows in 1994 as a preview, while pregnant with my daughter.

Mark, on the other hand, initially thought him snarky and arrogant and chose Ross, but changed his mind, saying Chandler grew on him to become his favorite. 

As anyone who knows me knows, Friends is my all-time favorite sitcom, the ensemble-cast chemistry between the six actors, none of them more important than the other, has never been replicated and never will be 😢

In fact, shows have since tried to replicate "The Six" ensemble with some success - The and  Big Bang Theory - which I also loved,  it was like Friends with ultra-nerds - and How I Met Your Mother, which I didn’t  but they were never really able to replicate that fully likeable collective chemistry of all 6 - there was always one in the ensemble you didn't like or got on you nerves lol.

In fact, other shows tried to replicate it even down to the set. Because if you look closely at even the stage setup on TBBT, it was nearly the exact same across-the-hall setup; Penny's smaller apartment on the left of the hallway, Sheldon and Leonard's huge apartment on the right, 

In fact, even the apartments themselves, down to the carve-out  space with large industrial window -  only on left side of the apartment instead of the right.

Monica and Rachel's apartment ...

Sheldon and Leonard's apartment ...

Same exact base set, right?

Don't get me wrong, TBBT is also one of my favorite all-time shows, but it did use Friends as its base premise; and of course, Sheldon is Sheldon lol.

But their chemistry together was special and you can't fake it or we could eventually sense/feel it, if one got to big for their britches or something.  They balanced each other out, worked it out, almost like family more than friends, actually.  I'm sure they had spats, got on each other's nerves, etc., but there was real love and concern for each other there, you could see it.

And I remember hearing long ago, when they renegotiated salaries, it was all or none - all of them get the same raise or no one does, despite other projects. That’s extremely rare, even today.

And as Matthew Perry put it in his book, "Friends, Lovers, and The Big Terrible Thing," during his alcoholism/drug addiction, the rest of the cast treated him - like penguins lol.

“It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.”

Too bad not many humans are like that :(

So Mark was on military tours in the early 90s and just saw a couple of episodes and figured the show was about some rich kids from New York and turned it off, which is kind of true, but not like you think - and they struggled, trying to make it without their parents’ help - and if they ever forgot what it was like to struggle and be less privileged, or whined about petty stuff, Phoebe gently but hilariously reminded them. They reached in and found what’s at the core of all of us - and made us laugh at ourselves.

This is why he told me he didn't watch it when he returned from duty, didn't really watch it until we were dating, and I said "Well, give it a minute, you judge too quickly - there's a reason this was my favorite show of all time, and an average of 25-million-plus viewers; must be something there.  This show is timeless, very few sitcoms are."

He finally watched a full episode, and started laughing his ass off, he was hooked - and now considers it his favorite sitcom of all time, like most people do.

They influenced our culture, even  the way we speak, still today - even the British!

We binge-watched from the beginning, not long ago, and it’s funny how fast things seem to happen when you watch it that way, isn’t it? Like Ross and Rachel were together and “on a break” in the blink of an eye, but the episodes were spread out over weeks and months apart in real time, prime time network TV.

So when I first started writing this post, I was waiting for a mammogram, which is often awkward and uncomfortable, , the tech and I couldn’t stop talking about it, sharing favorite Chandler moments, and the time went by fast.

And she, though my daughter’s age, said that with a few exception episodes, is still fresh and relevant today, and the show was her "comfort show."

Amen, me too!

In fact, I’ve mentioned on here before when I was super sad, like when Marian died, after a few days, I put on Friends so I could laugh again.

Now, we can't watch an episode, or even a clip from an episode, without crying 😭 but we will in tribute, because he gave us so much joy 💓

Poor, sweet man - it's a shame that in the end, his demons may have gotten the better of him, though we don't know.  His health hadn't been good as a result of his past ways.

Rest in Peace, Matthew Perry AKA "OH ...MY ...GAWD. We LOVED you, Chandluh Bing!” said like Janice.  Wish you could see how much, around the world, today.   We miss you … and thank you 🙏❤️😢

Sunday, October 29, 2023

"The Lake Beach" on SNL ....


OMG, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying, because I've seen every single one of these things happen at Southern "lake beaches." 

Three feet of muddy leaves at the bottom, getting stuck to your feet; a dirty diaper floating in the water; nobody watching the toddler wreaking havoc; 10 girls with the same haircut in Daisy Dukes; some big fat guy with a mullet, taking cornhole too seriously; a racoon or possum in the water (dead or alive); somebody getting hurt by unsafe fireworks or fires,  with an ambulance rolling backwards down the hill or boat ramp to try to get to them - all of it!

(Well, except maybe except for the snapping turtle stuck on some guy's stuff, but yeah.)  

And yeah - that includes my grabbing a red Solo cup, thinking it's my drink, but it's actually a dip cup or soggy cigarettes! Ewwwww!

Hahaha, the ambulance rolling in backwards down the hill.  Actually, it usually goes up and back down several times, trying to get to the person, and becomes the entertainment! 

I'm not kiddin' - people'll turn their 70s lawn chairs around just to watch the ambulance try to get down the hill, like, "Errrrr up? Errr ...down. Errr ... up?"

Mark laughed just as hard, being that he has now accompanied me to some Kentucky lake beaches, he has now seen it all, too lol.

Except here's the difference - he's not related to most of them, like me! LOL

That's stand-up comedian, Nate Bargatze, in the center, from Nashville, TN, right down the road from us, so he definitely knows what he's talking about.

PS - In case you're wondering why the hosts of SNL are former cast members, stand-up comedians, or musicians, right now, it's because the writer's strike ended, but the actor's strike is still ongoing/being renegotiated ;)

And that's Dave Grohl stepping is as "Uncle Ned" with the mullet.

Well done, recent hosts, good job! 

Ripley, The Emperor's New Clothes, and the Power of PTSD: What Have I Learned?


(*Editing in progress) 

You may have noticed that I have deleted my last few posts.  That's because I seem to have a knack for innocently walking into situations and witnessing something I shouldn't have, then stupidly asking too many questions out of self-doubt -  and at that point, I may be trouble lol.

I'm not sure how or why I've witnessed so many crazy-unbelievable situations, accidentally stumbling across stuff at the wrong time, but I have - and I certainly didn't seek them out. 

But I do understand why people might not believe it, perhaps because of the sheer number of these events, it must look like to some that I crave drama or something lol. And I even gaslight myself, most days, plagued with self-doubt.

Then again, as it turns out, I was later proven right, over time, in several of these toxic situations that I just walked away from, letting karma do its thing (mentioned below).

Mark says that it's partially because I'm too open and I give people too many chances, too much benefit of the doubt for too long, instead of trusting my own instincts - and that I've been conditioned by my family to gaslight myself and ignore red flags.

Hmm, well, although that may be part of it, I would say that the biggest reason  I've come across so many situations isn't because I love drama or am some kinda genius or am "too nice for too long"   - I think it has to do with the hypervigilance symptom of my diagnosis of PTSD, making me notice odd things in my environment that other people don't notice. 

Hypervigilance can be both a blessing and a curse; it can keep you safer than other people, but it can alienate you from other people and from going out and having fun, cause you to rarely sleep, and generally drive you slowly insane, if you let it lol.

Because people with diagnosed PTSD have hypervigilance for life; heightened instincts and awareness of surroundings, as well as your central-nervous-system alarm bells go off easily - and sometimes falsely.

We of the PTSD become more observant of our surroundings and we can't shut it off, because we needed it to survive; additionally, our brains created new neural pathways as a result, despite the fact that usually, this alarm system isn't necessary in everyday life.

As a result, we don't discount red flags that other people overlook;, we investigate them, so we can be sure it's safe enough to turn the alarm system off!

(*I'm speaking of people with PTSD alone, now, and its associated anxiety and depression - not people with dual diagnoses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, or personality disorders, etc.)

In other words, whereas people without PTSD might witness something odd and just go "Hmm, that's super odd. Oh well" and walk away, people with PTSD will instead go "Okay, my instincts are screaming at me and my central nervous system alarm system is going off.  Let me check it out to see if this is an actual threat or false alarm, so I can shut it off." 

MOST of the time, I can turn the alarm off later after ruling out the threat as false alarm, or at least I assess the threat level as not being serious - but I do need to check it out, first, so that I can safely turn it off without residual questions. 

But as examples of those crazy situations that I stumbled upon that happened to be true?

For starters, here are the best examples of situations that I stumbled into and was gaslighted about, that were later found to be true (which I provide more detail on below):

A shoplifting former coworker - - a former sexually-harassing boss -  - an internet stalker of someone else on the internet, who then targeted me when I stumbled onto them - - what my dad was actually doing for a living versus what he said - -  that something deeper was going on with my mother's mental health than PTSD alone.

I hoped they were one-offs or that I WAS crazy and paranoid and making them up, and even believed the gaslighting that I was crazy, for a while, or "triggering" from past experience. 

It sure would've made my life a lot easier if I was that crazy -  I could've just taken antipsychotics and/or mood stabilizers and it would've all gone away lol.

But in fact, my knack for accidentally stumbling across crazy situations, and getting myself in trouble for asking too many questions, so that I can turn my PTSD alarm system off, is one of the reasons Mark calls me Ripley, as in from "Aliens" lol

Although he agrees that my being conditioned to not trust my instincts/gaslight myself is partially to blame, he also sees some similarities to what happened to Ripley in Aliens.

Because if you've seen the film Aliens, you may recall that the corporation that Ripley was piloting for had written Ripley off as a kook who was making everything up about what happened to her crew, ignoring what little evidence they did have, because the planet her crew had visited contained new resources, and they had just  recently colonized the planet while Ripley was in hypersleep. 

To say that her briefing in front of the board of shareholders for the corporation didn't go well is an understatement; thus, the case is closed, she's written off as mentally ill, and she's demoted to a forklift driver rather than a pilot, because that's all the company will allow her to do for a living.

(Just an background information on the films, it takes place in the 22nd century, where a single corporation and government are now combined on earth, in the future, and not just for the US, but for the world - they control commerce, trade, law, and even the military.). 

As a result of her experiences and not being believed, she stops talking about it, tries to forget about it, and tries to move on with her life -  but she is also having increasingly worse nightmares every night, waking up in cold sweats, and nothing is making them go away.

A year later, Burke, the lawyer who represented her with the company, comes calling  - along with a company navy lieutenant  - telling her they've lost contact with the colony and asking to board the ship with special ops as a special consultant.

Although there's no apology or any acknowledgement that she may have been right, they make her an offer that if she does this, they will reinstate her pilot license.

At first, she tells the company that they can eff  right off  - she experienced this trauma, they made it worse by not believing her, writing her off as a kook and demoting her - but they're now asking for her help?

But then she tells them that actually, her biggest reason why she can't help them is that she can't bring herself to go back, because she wouldn't be any help to them if she did, she's too damaged.

But then the nightmares won't stop - and she thinks about the number of children that were at the colony and worries for their safety - so she signs up, both to confront the thing she fears most, as well as save the colonists, if she can.

But in fact, the moral of this story - and Ripley's biggest threat - wasn't the aliens - Ripley's biggest problem was Burke.

Burke knew all along she was telling the truth, but his plan was to not only save the colonized planet due to its lucrative resources for the company, but also as a private moneymaker - to capture an alien and take it back to the company and sell it to them, so they could study and genetically engineer it to create better soldiers.

He had hoped that he could he could eventually convince Ripley to go along with this plan as restitution for what she endured and what the company did to her afterwards.

However, when she uncovers his plan during the mission, Burke tells her "We could be set for life, Ripley - set for life. I thought you were smarter than this" to which Ripley replies; "I'm happy to disappoint you :)"

Unfortunately for Burke, Ripley wasn't motivated by money and wasn't vengeful or vindictive - she was motivated by caring for the safety and welfare of other human beings, especially children :)

Ripley then realizes that Burke, and other humans like him, are actually worse than the aliens, because the aliens were just trying to survive and reproduce; Burke, on the other hand, was trying to use the situation to his advantage so he could make a few extra bucks.

He was even willing to let Ripley -  and a colonist child, Newt -  become impregnated by the aliens, (which occurs by forced ingestion and then the "baby" bursting out of the chest cavity once gestated) so he could carry them back undetected through customs.

He said he was hoping physicians back on earth could find a way to detach the aliens before "burst-out," despite the fact that Ripley's testimony had included that their ship's physician/surgeon documented surgical removal was not possible without killing the human host.

Or in other words, as Ripley put it:

"I don't know which species is worse, at least you don't see them screwing each other over for a God-damned percentage."

And of course, when she catches on to his plan later, he tries to gaslight her AGAIN, telling the rest of the team that she's delusional.

However, the team knew the company gaslighted her the first time, then enlisted her help for this entire mission.

Also, when she and Newt were sleeping in the lab's safe room, someone clearly knocked over the live alien specimen tube, made by the previous colonists, took her rifle, locked her in the safe room with the live specimen, and turned off all the comms to the room -  and they knew there was only one person who could've done those things, the last person seen leaving the lab - Burke.

Hicks and the special ops team want to deliver justice to Burke right then and there, but Ripley begins to stop him, preferring to bring him back to due process of law and justice back on earth, to set a precedent, and if nothing else to prove that the worst of our species can be humanely handled by the best of our species (but they are interrupted by the aliens arrival to their stronghold in through the ceiling vents.)

Back to me, so like Ripley in the beginning, I often see myself as crazy or too emotionally damaged from my trauma to be of any use to anyone.

But then just like with Ripley, the truth in my situations often came out later to everybody, several months to even years later.  

Well, not every time, at least not yet - but of the above-mentioned situations:

1)  The popular former coworker thief was arrested a year later,  and not just by local police, but by the FBI after a sting, for being part of a regional crime ring that had stolen tens of thousands of dollars' worth of products and sold them across state lines.
I had previously told some of my coworkers that I thought I saw her stick something in her purse she hadn't paid for, and they said I was crazy, she'd be the last person to ever do that, "She's a devout Christian." 
Then they really thought I was crazy when I was on a call at the counter one day, and after the customer hung up, I heard "Recording ended."  
I told my coworkers I heard that, I'm sure I did - but they told me that my pregnancy hormones must be going haywire, because that's crazy. So I asked security, who said it wasn't them, so ask the store manager.  He said they weren't sophisticated enough to do that, even security doesn't even have that ability (in 1994).
But as turns out, I was also right about hearing that phone message, because we were being recorded - by the FBI as part of the sting operation.  They were recording calls coming to and from the department store as part of the sting operation (back before cell phones). 
Needless to say, you can't imagine how many calls I got on my maternity leave, when they arrested her and it ended up in local and regional newspapers and TV news, which people saying "OH.MY.GOD, we really started to think you were mentally ill, but you were right!  I feel so bad, I'm SO sorry!  She had us all fooled, but you.  Even before you saw her steal, you said you didn't trust her. and you refused to go to lunch with her.  That really bothered her, that you refused to go, she was kind of obsessed with it and why.  We thought she was the nicest person in the world."

I was like "Me too! LO! I was convinced I had completely lost my mind until I read that in the paper today, so no worries!:) 


2) The former sexual harasser was fired 6 months after I quit, after doing it again, to another new girl.   I had quit the company, leaving a letter, after being group bullied, everyone believing I was sleeping with the boss (which he instigated, after I rejected his advances).  He was fired after he did it again and a former  employee and victim finally came forward.  


3)  The internet stalker of someone else, who at first claimed to be the victim, then turned their attention to me after catching on, was put on a leash through civil action rather than criminal, 5 years later, because they refused to ever stop.  
It was a civil action rather than criminal, because this person - and their little online helpers -  lived in other countries and could never be extradited, even for terroristic threatening. 
It's a lot harder than people think to prosecute stalkers, if they haven't ended up physically hurting you yet, and the FBI can't help unless it's actual murder across state lines or more than a certain amount was stolen or defrauded, and especially hard if the crimes mostly occurred over the internet and they do not live in your country, or even your state.  Even rape can't get you extradited here from other countries (i.e. Roman Polanski).
I'm told they've been criminally prosecuted since in their country and state, for doing it again to someone else, but I'm not sure that's true, because I still see them around the net sometimes, but it's difficult to say because the sentencing for even proven cyberstalking/hacking/terroristic threatening is nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
4)   My mother was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features (possibly schizoaffective disorder?) after a psychotic break in 2011 - 40 years after I, alone, witnessed a couple of psychotic breaks as a teenager, when my older sister was at college and my little sister was only 4, and no one else was around. 
She went to some pretty desperate, well, abusive lengths to try to hide/deny it and silence me - sometimes employing the same tactics as her abuser, my Dad -  not only because she was as a psychiatric nurse and a trusted charismatic evangelical who believed she could hear from God (and her church believed she could) - but because, I believe, she feared she wouldn't be believed about Dad's abuse if she admitted that, even to herself.
That makes her sound more awful than she is, or at least who she is now - but there is a happy ending to this one - she is currently on medications, has been since 2011, takes them regularly, and is doing well.  She's like a different person, in fact, and quite frankly, genuinely doesn't remember much of it.  
But I never stopped loving her, forgave her a long time ago (though I sometimes trigger from residuals), it's just she wasn't safe for me to be around until properly treated - so it's been very healing for us both, reconnecting :)
She still doesn't own it much, and nobody in the family or her church (except our mutual friend who recently died) wants to admit that I was right or what I went through with her, preferring to blame all of her troubles on the trauma from my Dad. 
But yes, first a family member admitted she was diagnosed as bipolar (with psychotic features), but she just admitted that herself, to me, that this was her official diagnosis to me just a few weeks ago.  
I responded "Thank you for sharing that with me, that's a brave thing to do, and there's no judgment here, you can't help it." 
And you know, that doesn't mean that you hallucinated Dad's abuse - but I could understand your fear of people thinking that, especially back then, they probably would have said that in court. But his abuse of you was VERY real, your daughters saw it, and there is objective evidence of it; the police took photos of your broken ribs  and arms, busted lips, and a school friend's mom took the pictures as the police photographer." 
(My mom chose to drop the charges every time, either out of fear or forgiveness.) 
I also told her "Mental illness it's not your fault, in fact, it's not anyone's fault, although Dad's abuse didn't help it, but you didn't do anything wrong to have it - in fact,  it's some combination of genetics,  environment, and brain chemistry that we don't understand, just like cancer. That doesn't mean responsibility shouldn't ever be taken like the rest of us, but you cannot help it, or control it, without medication." 


5) We're not sure if my dad ever went to prison or not for what his criminal business activities or not before he died, none of us were in communication with him for the last 25 years, and nobody feels like digging too much and finding out, we're just glad he's out of our lives.  We don't even know how where he died or how, just that he did, in May of 2018, when my mom was filing for social security benefits.  
But what we do know is that most people finally knew what my Dad he had really been doing for a living by the time he died.

So though plagued with doubt and lingering questions, in writing that out, actually ... that's not a bad record, is it? 

I have pretty good instincts, just tons of self-doubt; thus, why I stupidly ask questions until I'm in trouble lol.

Mark also says he calls me Ripley, not just because of the above, but because he believes that in emergencies, my bad-ass side comes out, like when it's an actual physical threat or there's an actual emergency or natural disaster. 

I don't know if I'd say that lol - but I'd say PTSD does have its positive side.

Because that is not a testament to me, really, it's a testament to the positive symptoms of PTSD, the power of PTSD.  

Because although we, with PTSD, tend to be all weak and wobbly in everyday, normal life - if there's an emergency or catastrophe, a natural disaster, war, or apocalypse going on (lol) - you really want someone with PTSD on your side, believe me.

That is because our brains know what pathways to go down, now,  they've already been created, because we've been there before when others haven't.

We stop feeling and start thinking. Our problem-solving skills, reflexes, and even our physical strength go into hyperdrive due to adrenaline output - not just to survive, but to keep everyone safe from harm - the latter being especially true if it's a woman with PTSD (but this also depends on the woman or the man, too).

It can almost feel superhuman, but it's not - every human has this capacity, it doesn't make us "special"  - or there wouldn't be so many people with PTSD that unfortunately had to have something, or some things, that were truly horrible to happen to them to get this disorder.

Speaking of which, PTSD symptoms are exactly the same in men and women, but we often study and focus male PTSD because their PTSD is the result of military experiences or first responding, and I get that - not because it's worse, but because there were third-party witnesses, the trauma can be proven and objectively evaluated for study.

However, we really shouldn't discount the severity of the trauma of women, because when trauma happens to men, most of the time - if not the result of childhood trauma or natural disaster - male trauma is the result of military or first-responder situations - trauma induced by complete strangers during war time or crime.

With women, on the other hand, most of time, female trauma was not inflicted at the hands of a total stranger or enemy - it was the result of a person they  loved and trusted; a family member, friend, or trusted person in the community - the Burkes of the world ;)

Making it worse is that women tend to be dismissed and gaslighted, in our society, often with us women helping that out ourselves.

IMO, that is partly due to residual misogyny, and female tendency to be more open with emotions but also because we humans in general like to think we're safer than we actually are in our own community, automatically trust people with money or power as being stable or safe when that's not the correct criteria to evaluate safety.

But mostly, IMO, it's not JUST about misogyny and gender, but also because people don't like to think about or deal with threats in their own community to give themselves a false sense of security so they can get through everyday life.

This is also why some of our politicians don't like to focus on domestic terrorism, and instead focus on foreign terrorists, as if they are worse than what's right here at home, within our own country, race, political party, and even our own religion.

Now, having said that, it doesn't mean I was never wrong, I certainly have been.

And sometimes I jumped the gun without enough evidence, which only tipped the person off, if they were guilty, to now look innocent, just to make ME look nuts lol.

And there are other times, I don't know, I still question myself on, because the truth never came out.

And lastly, there are a few other situations that I'm 100% sure of that happened, the truth just hasn't come out yet - but I have faith that the truth will come out, even if it's long after I'm gone, because the truth always does, even if centuries later :)

But with some of the biggest situations I've mentioned above, I actually have a pretty good track record, in the end, which I didn't even realize until I wrote it out.

So - what have I learned?

Never speak of it again, let everyone think you're crazy and made it up,  because at least you, or the people you care about, will be safe  from any retaliation or harm - then get the fuck out as soon as you can lol.

Also, not to let the injustice of other people getting away with something become your life sentence  - find your joy :)

But a watched pot never boils - you can't wait around for karma or for justice, it can consume you.

And sometimes you're never going to get justice or resolution, and you have to find a way to heal anyway, to avoid a lifetime stuck in pain, bitterness, or even obsession with revenge. 

You just have to compartmentalize it, share the residuals that bubble up sometimes with trusted others, and then let it go again, so that you can just get on with your life and find some joy :)

Also, trying to convince people that don't want to see it, especially if you have PTSD and your CNS alarm system is going off,  will do no good, even if you're holding the proof in your hand - they don't want to see it and so they won't. 

In that case, it will only turn out like Ripley in the board roam - you look crazy and possibly aggressive, helping the gaslighters out yourself - and in certain, more rare situations, doing so can even be dangerous.  

And ya know, they never actually finish that story ,about The Emperor's New Clothes.  They don't say what happened to that kid who pointed out that the emperor actually wasn't wearing any and had been grifted ... 

... but I guarantee you, nobody rewarded him,  They were too embarrassed to admit he'd been right and they'd all gone along with it, with many still clinging onto what they needed to believe until they day they died. 

But I can tell you what probably happened - they either gaslighted him until he ended up in a mental institution or they took him out back and beat the shit out of him or worse lol.

Regardless, Roger that, Hicks ... easing down off the throttle, now. 

 I think you're right, we're out of the woods and we'll be okay.  That is, if I can just follow my own advice above.. 

Love you :)


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

We Withdrew from the Pet Contest (Below Post).

Apparently, someone got overly competitive and downright creepy over it (or their friends did).

Because in addition to creating - or enlisting friends to create - at least one proven fake account to get extra votes for their dog/comment positively about them, they then proceeded to use that fake account to leave negative comments about the other dogs, including my 6-month-old puppy! 

So ... creating a fake account so you can vote more than once and bash your new neighbors' dogs,  just so you/your friends will win a stupid apartment-complex pet-costume competition?

Wow. Too cray-cray for me!

Over something that was supposed to be a fun neighborhood contest to bring the neighborhood together - and they are ALL cute dogs!!!

So rather than confront them, I just wrote an email to management to quietly withdraw from the contest - and they removed Ziggy's post for me (as well as reported the obviously fake profile to Instagram).

You may think that's overreacting and letting them win, but I've learned to pick and choose my battles, especially on the internet.

Also, IMO, why would I want to compete with the sort of person who would create - or enlist friends to create - even one fake account to get extra votes and is willing to diss others' dogs? 

They've already proven they're unstable and will stoop low - why would I want rock that boat in my own neighborhood, here in Guntucky! lol.

Nope, no thanks, not worth it  - I'll just let them have it, FFS lol. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Vote For Ziggy as "Frankenpug" on Facebook and Instagram!


 My little monster, Ziggy, had his Halloween costume pictures posted on our apartment community's IG and FB accounts, as of an hour ago.  

We're not on either social media site (which will probably hurt us), but if you are, and you have a second, give Ziggy a like or a love before October 31st?

If we get the most likes/loves from both sites, we win a prize (last year it was a rent concession, so I'm assuming it's the same?)

The IG website is HERE.

(Or if you have trouble with the link, which some are, more directly to the post at https://www.instagram.com/p/CyytASIR3oY/)

The FB website is HERE.

It appears most are voting on IG, but they take the total from both sites.

Ziggy Frankenpug thanks you!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

The New Governor Beshear Commercial, Also Telling A True Horror Story ...

Just like the last one that I shared. 

Current State Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor, Daniel Cameron, did indeed cosign a letter to Congress to oppose a potential federal law that would protect the privacy of pregnant women traveling out of state for healthcare, specifically for abortions.

The argument was to "obtain evidence of potential violations of state laws" (meaning abortion), as well as accusing the press and the Biden administration of trying to paint them as prosecuting pregnant women as criminals.


Erm - pretty sure you did that yourselves, in that same letter, ma dudes.

Because what other good reason could you possibly have for opposing a law protecting the privacy of the medical records of pregnant women traveling out of state for healthcare than, as you stated yourselves, "obtaining evidence of potential violations of state laws" so you could prosecute them?

Exhibit A of extremist, Trump-style Republican hypocrisy - they claim they don't want to be tracked or monitored or told what to do by the government on things like healthcare (vaccines and masks)  and especially guns - but are A-OK with it when it's a person of color, an immigrant, a non-Christian, a Democrat, or even just someone who is female.

(BTW, if you looked up "Uncle Tom" in the encyclopedia, I'm pretty sure Daniel Cameron's face would be the accompanying picture. He is a person of color, himself, but has been personally groomed by Mitch McConnell to become his protege, allegedly since high school - thus, he really has no choice but to do the GOP's bidding as their lackey, as he owes them much - and he knows supporting Trump is his career ticket at present in Kentucky)

But I digress - can't have it both ways, Republicans - everyone should be equal under the law, justice is supposed to be blind.

Wanting to reserve the right to track pregnant women's healthcare and out-of-state abortions to assess for potential law-breaking is not only the epitome of fascist-style government overreach, it's also just creepy as hell.

You know what I think pregnant women of Kentucky should do, whether they receive their healthcare here or out of state, like in Cincinnati?

Just start sending (bombarding) Daniel Cameron's office with all the office notes from your prenatal visits, making sure that your doctor has gone into graphic detail about every yeast infection, every hemorrhoid, every breast or vaginal discharge, ever bowel issue - all of it. LOL!

He'll think twice before he ever even thinks about obtaining the medical records of pregnant women again! 

Of course, I'm joking. Kind of? ;)

Trump Extremist Republicans - officially creeping us out on the regular since at least 2015.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Here Comes ... Frankenpug!

 So we're having a Halloween Pet Costume Contest in our apartment community, and Ziggy is dressed as Frankenpug!

(It's just a picture-submission contest, not a walk-around or a parade in it - I'm not THAT sadistic!)

The above photo is the one submitted for the contest, but here's the outtake photos ....


Aw, he's still PRECIOUS! 

Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Pete Davidson's SNL Cold Open, Gilda Radner, Laughter Through Tears ... and Restoring the Orange Grove :)

*Editing in progress*

To understand how all of these things in the title tie together, wait for it ...

Dolly Parton once said in Steel Magnolias "Laughter through tears in my favorite emotion" - and she was right :)

With that in mind, I give you Pete Davidson's SNL Cold Open Monologue, both poignant and funny :)

For those who don't know, former SNL cast member, Pete Davidson, lost his firefighter father, when Pete was only 7,  in 9/11.  

With the images coming in this week from Israel, he says he was reminded of that time and knows all too well the affects of terrorism on children. 

He then tells a story about his mother trying unsuccessfully to cheer him up for months afterwards, until one day, she rented what she thought was a Disney movie, which turned out to be Eddie Murphy's "Delirious."  LOL!

Quickly trying to shut it off due to language, she noticed something - Pete was starting to laugh again.

(Big props to Eddie Murphy - if you ever really need to laugh, especially in grief, put on an Eddie Murphy's Raw or Delirious and you will laugh, you can't help yourself, if you can deal with bad words lol)

Then I remembered my own experience of feeling like it was okay to laugh again, after 9/11 -  not only did it feel okay to laugh again, but we really needed to laugh again, after 9/11. 

Two weeks after 9/11, Mad TV ran some reruns and I begin to smile.  Then a week after that, Saturday Night Live re-emerged, featuring Reese Witherspoon, as well as Mayor Giuliani and NYC firefighters :)

I can't find a clip of just the tribute featuring Mayor Giuliani, with Paul Simon playing "The Boxer" just afterwards, without getting the whole episode, except at NBC/SNL's site, which is HERE

Giuliani speaks of the deaths of people from 80 countries at the World Trade Center, as well as not allowing ourselves to be ruled by fear.

Wow, what a far cry and different message Giuliani was giving then versus now, right? 

Now he's all about anti-immigration and fear ruling the day.

That's what raging alcoholism can do to the brain, folks - super sad :(

But I digress - the story goes that SNL's executive producer, Lorne Michaels, asked Giuliani first "Is it okay to make people laugh again?" and Giuliani replied "Why start now?" LOL.

Then the next weekend, SNL received an anthrax letter threat, but the host, Drew Barrymore, as well as the cast, bravely insisted that the show must go on, and by then, we were really ready for some brevity:)

Thus, Saturday Night Live - whether good, bad, or mediocre - has gotten us through America's toughest times; thus, the show is a national treasure.

In fact, Saturday Night Live got me through a lot of tough times in my childhood, as did Carol Burnett.

Laughter is a GREAT coping skill, one that my little sister and I employ often (as opposed to the rest of my family), perhaps sometimes inappropriately, but it was a coping skill nonetheless.

In fact, as a child, I used to do entire skits from The Carol Burnett Show on demand for friends and family :)

I used to tell people that I was raised by good TV - Carol Burnett was my mom and Captain Stubing from The Love Boat was my dad.

Why Captain Stubing?  

Not because he was funny, but because he was a great dad - not to just his daughter, but the whole ship.  He could solve everyone's problems and magically make people fall in love in one three-day cruise -  plus just how cool would it be if your dad was the captain of The Love Boat? 

And then I saw Gilda Radner on SNL :)

I wasn't allowed to watch SNL at home, but while sleeping over at friends, I finally got to see what everyone was talking about, because SNL in the 70s with the original cast was pure gold :)

In fact, this was the episode I first saw -  Gilda Radner, essentially playing herself as a little girl - and and it was especially funny to women because we all saw ourselves at little girls.

Gilda didn't replace Carol, in my mind, but she was a close second.

Because in fact, both Gilda and Carol we're groundbreaking in the same way - they are funny because of their ability to make a caricature out of any personality, real or imagined - and unlike other female comedians even to this day - neither was afraid to contort their faces so as to not always "look pretty," or to be loud -  just as loud as men, if the character called for it - and nobody dared shush them for it :)

I, too, was totally a Judy Miller as a little girl! lol

To include my mom asking me if everything was okay and/or yelling at me for being to loud while entertaining myself in my room, because I was being so loud lol.

It's funny, because at school, I was super shy and quiet around people, and I'm not a loud person now, but back then, at home and with friends outside of school, I was exactly like this - I was a total spaz, making up my own little skits to entertain myself :)

Coincidentally, my mother and I were talking about this just yesterday, how fast I talked and how loud I was at home as a kid, but also funny (whether I intended to be or not).

Guilty? lol

So I went over to my mom's house yesterday to make a wreath for her door (see below).  

(As an aside, my mom and I have just reconnected after being estranged for years and are getting along extremely well - IMO, due to the medications she is now on, she's like a different person entirely.)

I'm not sure how this started, but I reminded her of one trip to Florida, before my little sister was born, in 1977, I think it was. 

I think it was because my Mom often fixates on my dad, who truly was a horrible human being, and I wanted to distract her from getting overly focused on him, so I mentioned that he could be funny sometimes.  It was a rarity, but yeah, and she agreed.

So as a distraction, I told a funny story, a less traumatic, more normal family vacation, Griswaldy type of story, to make her laugh.

So my dad wanted to go to Lake Okeechobee in Orlando, Florida for a bass-fishing tournament, and built up where we were staying to be some sort of luxury plantation estate in an orange grove.

So I'm thinking pretty Greek columns, sipping orange juice on a veranda, right?

Erm - no ...

When we got there, as usual per my dad's stories - promising you the moon and stars versus reality - we found out it was actually a crappy, circa 1960s paneled mobile home - on an old dirt road, with absolutely nothing to see for miles except orange trees - and not the pretty kind of orange grove with lots of green - the trees were separated by nothing but dirt.

So my 8-year-old self was thinking, "Oh, Sweet Lord of Oranges, no - say it ain't so - and where's Disney?"

To make matters worse, there was a a record cold spell that year for the U.S. in general, including a blizzard in the Cincinnati we'd left behind, so it was super rainy all week, and even lightly snowed in Orlando, later that week - and we had no heat.

So my dad couldn't fish, we couldn't go to Disney, and now there's the four of us with very different personalities, wearing all of the clothes we brought to Florida at once, not expecting it to be cold (which is why we brought winter coats the next year), trapped in this trailer trap with each other and trying to stay warm, and I'm just hoping that we can make it through without killing each other, particularly my parents. 

So my sister was reading a Star Wars book, and I was reading a book my mom handed me called  "Preparing for Adolescence" by Dr. James Dobson (a Christian psychologist) - perhaps in the hopes that I'd grow up faster? lol .

Then I got bored and wrote a story, which I'll talk more about below because it's unfortunately still appropriate for today.

So here's my mom, trying to be positive, and suddenly exclaims, out of nowhere, "I think it's getting warmer!."

You know, when you just really, really want something to be true so badly that you imagine that if you just state it emphatically, over and over, maybe it is or will be true?

That's my mom.

My dad and mom weren't speaking to each other at all, by then, clearly upset with each other, and after like the 4th time she said it, my dad said, "Oh, yeah, Marti, you're right,  it's a heat wave, right now!  There's an effing palm tree growing up out' the floor, as we speak."

Then I started to giggle, I couldn't help myself. When something strikes me as funny, I just giggle, I can't help it.

Then they did, as well as my older sister.

His comment was meant to be snarky towards my mom, but it was also just kind of hilarious in general - and they started to laugh at themselves at the situation, and it made things better - proving the power of a sense of humor to defuse an otherwise tense situation:)

A single laugh amongst each other, though rare, broke the tension - and actually, from then on, things went a bit more smoothly on our trip.

This was rare, in our family when together, but it did happen, once in a while :)

Now before that moment, as I mentioned, I had gone into Gilda Radner/Judy mode, to which my mom and dad and older sister told me to stifle it, I was getting on everyone's very last nerve, so I read for a while, then wrote a story.

So the old rickety trailer had an older rickety black-and-white TV with only one local station, that showed old Westerns, which I had no interest in, as well as the national news. 

It was 1977, and the news was about President Carter trying to work with Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt to reach a cease-fire and peace agreement (which was eventually accomplished at Camp David).

So me, being 8, with my child-like/Judy-Miller-like imagination, looked out at the orange grove all around and came up with a story.

This story is one of the few things my mom remembers about me as a child, other than the whole being-in-a-TV-movie thing - and actually, though people thought acting was my childhood passion, it was actually writing - I wanted to be a screenwriter and director.  

I was far more comfortable behind the scenes than I was center stage or on camera and still am (I hate being the center of attention) - but any way I got to be creative and expressive and people didn't shush me for it, I was all for :)

So I can't remember exactly how the story went, but I remember that in my simplistic child mind, it went something like this.


So first, you need to know that I realized that Jews, Muslims, and Christians actually came from the same "branch" of the religious tree, we worshipped the same God, just calling him different names, Yahweh, Allah or just God with a capital G. 
So my story took place in an orange grove, and there were two different orange trees within the grove that could not stop fighting - one led by Menachem BegOrange and the other led by AnOrange Sadat (LOL). 
The two trees were so angry and jealous of what they thought the other had that they felt they had a right to,  wanting to possess it so badly, that they began to shake their trees, as well as all of the trees around them, until all the oranges fell off the tree, lying on the ground. 
Now, they'd shaken themselves on the ground, scattered everywhere, destroying the entire grove until there was nothing left to right about - they'd destroyed everything they were after, themselves. 
They turned to Jimmy Cartorange for help, but even Jimmy Cartorange couldn't fix what had been broken and bring peace and restoration. 
So they had nothing left to do except look up to their same God to help them out of the mess they'd gotten themselves into - and they began to pray. 
They began to pray together to the same God, in their various ways, working towards the same goal and agreeing to share the orange grove together, and it was only then that God heard them - and restored them and the grove to its original glory. 
The End 


It's so absurd and simplistic - and yet contains some simple truths, too, right?

My mom has always loved this story, and thus, I had simultaneously shared with her a time the family broke tension with laughter - and the origin of the oranges story that she does remember and loved so much :)

I couldn't creatively write today, I don't think, if my life depended on it, I lost that ability long ago - but it was fun to remember :)

Then I told her about how on the trip home back to blizzard land, in January 1977, my dad was speeding, so we were stopped by a Georgia State Trooper, which I'd never seen before, in his big hat, looking all authoritarian. 

He was in full dress like the guy on the left, short jacket and all,  and HUGE - super intimidating to a little kids.

Much like this guy (only not this guy, and in the 1970s like the photo above).

He was actually a super nice guy, but I was scared of him anyway, because he was so big - and that hat!

He asked me how old I was, and I said "Seven ... I mean, eight. Am I going to be arrested?" 


I had just turned eight in December of 1976, a month earlier - so I thought I was going to be arrested for giving the wrong age! 

Everyone including the trooper laughed, and then he bent down on one knee to my level and said "Seven, butcha mean eight. Nah, I'll let you slide, this time. Besides, that's a real age, my daughter is seven-but-she-means-eight, too. "

Aw, sweet, right?  :)

He knew I was scared of his appearance and tried to make me less afraid  :)

My mom doesn't remember any of it, that entire trip, or a lot from my childhood, actually - but she laughed and laughed over it, good to see:)

But then she fixated back on him again and said, "What was your dad like, he was terrible with authority?"

*Record scratch*

So I said, "Mom, that's true, but I think even dad knew not to mess with a Georgia State Trooper!  But I don't know, I don't remember - I wasn't giving him a clinical psychiatric assessment at age 8, I was focused on the state trooper.  In fact, let's not go there, it upsets you and me."

"Dad ... is dead. Let's let it go now ... in fact, let's bury him over here, under this fake leaf  lol.

Then I did a little taps trumpet sound like "Bur bur BRRR, bur bur BRR. Goodbye, Dad, see ya!" - to which my mom laughed, despite herself lol

"He can't hurt you anymore, he can't hurt US anymore, so let's not let him ruin this day or the rest of our lives, right?"

She said, "Okay, you're right, let's do that:)"

And so we did :)

And then we made this wreath, yesterday - which needs some tweaks, including redoing the ribbon - but it's almost where I want it to be :)

Mark is holding it up for us here ... 

So speaking of restoration, I feel like my mother and I have a second chance to make better, pretty memories to replace the old bad ones,- and I'm super grateful for it :)