Day 84 – My Favorite Murder saves the world

Yes, I’m posting two blogs tonight (you’re not going crazy). Gotta make up for yesterday’s lapse. Yep, my blog my rules. And I’ve got a damn good excuse.

I came a little late to the My Favorite Murder party, finally downloading and listening to the first episode almost a full year after the podcast began. But I was hooked immediately. I mean, come on…this is the girl who started watching horror movies at age 6, the girl who read Helter Skelter at 11, the girl who took an actual college class studying serial killers (called “Dial M for Murder, thanks Dr. Maida!). This is the girl who is obsessed with the human mind, what motivates people, what gives them purpose, what makes them tick.

Trying to explain this podcast to people who’ve never heard it always elicits a reaction of initial what-the-fuckery. I mean, explaining that it’s stories of murder and horrific true crimes mixed with comedy and the sort of uncensored, real talk that only happens between true friends, between people who really love and trust each other, who respect each other as perfectly imperfect human beings–well, somehow the explanation just sorta gets lost in translation (and frankly, some folks raise a wary eyebrow and tune out after you mention comedy and murder together in the same sentence).

It’s honestly the same reason I’m still deeply invested in shows like The Walking Dead. Because it’s not really a show about zombies–it’s a show about the unfiltered rawness of human nature, about the choices people will make in a world gone to shit to either love each other in spite of the pain or treat each other with unimaginable cruelty for personal gain.

And the only way we can really fight the horror and the cruelty is the talk about it, to stare it in the face and rise up against it and force it back down.

So I joined the leagues of the Murderinos. Karen and Georgia have been my constant companions on my commute to work, while I’m cooking dinner or working out (okay yeah, we haven’t spent a whole lot of time together working out, but every little bit counts, right?) Sometimes I even pop in the earphones when I need to dig into a tedious project at work like tackling the piles of paperwork that need filing or clearing out old emails.

When the 2019 tour was announced and I saw Omaha on the list, I asked Stevie if he would please, please, please pretty please go online as soon as the pre-sale started and get us some tickets after I found out I’d be in a full-day job interview without a break. And if you know Stevie Romano, you know he didn’t just get me tickets…this man-on-a-mission hopped online and managed to get us VIP Meet & Greet tickets. Husband of the freakin’ year! (And to make the day even better, I ended up getting that job I spent the day interviewing for.)

The theater erupted when Karen & Georgia took the stage. And the audience nearly blew the roof off the Orpheum when they thanked us all for coming out to the show in the midst of all the hardship happening around us right now here in Nebraska, and announced that they would be donating $10,000 to the flood relief. We sat three rows from the stage and spent the evening listening to stories and laughing with these two badass women who (at this point three full years into this podcast) feel like old friends.

It was a late night, and we stood in a long line waiting for our turn to chat with the two gracious hosts. And even if we only got a few minutes with them to say hello and share hugs and snap a photo, Karen and Georgia have this incredible way of making you feel like you’re the most important people in the world when they grab you by the hand and ask your name and hug you tight.

Thank you to these strong, passionate women for taking the stage and shining their light out into the world and creating such a powerful community. What an honor to be a small part of it.

SSDGM

Day 81 – The OA Part 2

Yep, I’m phoning it in tonight and I’m not apologizing. The OA Part 2 dropped today and you know I’m binge watching right now. I’ll catch you on the other side.

Day 80 – The way you carry it

I believe nothing is stronger than the human spirit.

Day 79 – Family game night

All we wanted was a family game night.

Electra obviously needs to brush up on the rules.

Day 78 – Character

If you only pay attention to the screaming headlines–you know, the ones that claim our world is overrun with scandal and lies and cheating and horror and greed–you probably walk around with a pretty grim view of this planet and the people walking around on it. I’m not denying that stuff exists. Of course it does. We humans are perfectly imperfect, and we don’t always care about each other the way we should or make the best choices.

But if you take a moment to avert your eyes from the sensational click-bait headlines and turn down the noise, you just might get a glimpse of the big beautiful world we’re all living in just trying to do our best and grab onto a little happiness along the way.

Call me naive, but I’m of the opinion that people are generally good. Deep down, I think we all just want to feel safe and loved. I think we all just want to find our purpose. But I also think we sometimes get lost along the way. We focus too much on ourselves, on climbing some social or professional ladder, on establishing ourselves at the top of the food chain, even if it means clawing someone else out of our way.

I’ve been posting a lot about the floods taking place here in Nebraska the past few days, and if you haven’t taken the time to read any of the stories, I hope you’ll take a moment to do so now. The devastation will tear your heart right out of your chest–the suffering, the pain, the loss. But the stories of people coming together, of communities rallying, of quiet heroes stepping in to lift up their neighbors and their fellow humans–those stories will make you whole again.

Character is the choices you make when nobody’s looking. Character is reaching out to help someone who needs it and expecting nothing in return. Character is loving and respecting other humans because they’re human, and not thinking twice about their race or religion or socioeconomic status or whether they voted red or blue.

Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.

Humans are capable of horrible things. It’s true. I’ve seen it up close with my own eyes. Hell, I’ve been on the receiving end of it. But humans are capable of extraordinary things too. And if you look around and pay attention, I think you’ll probably notice that there’s a whole lot more of the good stuff happening. And the best thing about that is, you can choose what you want to pay forward.

Get out there and spread some love and light.

Day 77 – Stickergate 2018

So, tomorrow is Spring picture day at school. Stevie and I don’t get it. Growing up, we only remember being tortured with school photos once a year, usually in the Fall, and then it was over until the next year. But for some reason, our kids have school photos both in the Fall and Spring.

We’re usually okay when it comes to the Fall pics. It’s the start of a fresh school year, and even if we’re busy with a gajillion other things, we somehow manage to get the kids to school semi-prepared to take a decent yearly photo.

Notice I said “decent.”

Look, I’m gonna be honest. We’re not going to win any glamour awards here. We’ve got two very stubborn children who have a very…uh…unique sense of style. And, quite frankly, when you’ve got a Mom who hates being in photos as much I do, and who has questionable fashion sense herself, you’re going to get a helluva lot more leeway than most of the other kids whose Mom’s spend hours picking out a perfecting matched outfit and cementing their hair in place.

I mean, come one, it’s just a photo. And I’d honestly much rather it actually captures my kids’ goofy personalities than to look like some perfectly-arranged museum piece.

Here are the last couple years of Fall photos so you get an idea of what we’re dealing with…

And then, the Spring photos. Ah, this is where all hell breaks loose (and honestly Stevie and I are at the point we’re sort of embracing it and seeing just how crazy it gets). We affectionately named last year’s Spring photo extravaganza “Stickergate 2018” because somehow, Cadence managed to not only plaster herself and her brother with stickers in the car on the way to school, she somehow managed to get her photo taken WITH A STICKER STILL ATTACHED TO HER FACE!

It’s like the school photographers aren’t even trying anymore. I mean, we thought it was pretty hilarious when we got the packet of photos back and saw Cadence with the giant grin on her face and sticker clearly planted on her cheek.

She looks pretty satisfied with herself, doesn’t she?

And then we opened Henry’s picture packet and nearly fell to the floor laughing because not only is he rocking his old favorite (and damn near too small) U R2 Cool Valentine’s Day shirt with stickers, he also sort of looks like he’s drunk and just stumbled out of bed in time to run to class and get in a fistfight on the way (notice the busted bottom lip from falling off a tricycle at recess the day before). He was also about a month overdue for a haircut and his cowlick had broken free from the smoothing Stevie attempted on the way to school.

Look up the definition of “hot mess” in the dictionary and that just might be the photo you find.

Gotta say, I’m kind of excited to see what sort of Spring photo craziness tomorrow brings.

Stay tuned.