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.


Fitting in my skin

Anyone who met me after my late high school and college years would probably never guess that I once battled an eating disorder. Looking back now on that period of my life, I can recognize it for what it truly was.

It was never really about food. It never is, I suppose.

It was just one more way to torture myself, one more way to try and make the physical pain on the outside match up with the emotional pain on the inside. The more things went right in my life, the more hellbent I was on destroying them.

My friend, Betty, told me once that it was like I was choosing from a Chinese food menu, the way I seemed to pick new ways to hurt myself. It’s true–my appetite for destruction was once insatiable. I chose one option and then moved onto another as soon as it stopped satisfying me.

I slept until I was forced to wake up. I starved until I was forced to eat. I drank until my stomach protested and people began to notice. I got high until I ran out of drugs. I hung out with and dated guys until they actually started getting serious about me. I tortured myself until I couldn’t hide the scars.

I moved back and forth through the menu, either finding some new way to hurt myself or moving back to one I’d tried before. I slept. I drank. I burned. I cut. I got stoned. I starved. I lied. And I pushed away the people I loved the most.

And what did I do in between? I went to class. I had conversations. I went out. I spent time with friends. I talked to Betty and played with her children. I worked.

I lived, just like everyone else.

The eating disorder was just another symptom of my emotional trauma and self-loathing. At the worst of it, in the midst of the binge drinking and the marijuana-fueled mania and the anorexia, I was tipping the scales at just under 95 pounds.

Let me tell you something, folks, 95 pounds on this frame is anything but attractive. I could have had a walk-on roll in season three of The Walking Dead and played a very convincing decaying zombie.

It took a lot of therapy, a lot of love and support and time spent working on myself to repair and damage and rebuild my life. But I made it, and I’m better for it, and I can look back now and appreciate the view.

For the longest time, I was afraid that everything I put myself and my body through in my adolescence and early adulthood would haunt me later, and yet somehow I’ve emerged from it all relatively unscathed. I have battle scars for sure, but they are superficial, and I think I’m a much calmer, wiser, and more intuitive person because of my experiences. I can sit here today, happily married, the mother of a sweet and sassy 4-year-old, surrounded by friends and family, happy with my life and my career, knowing deep in my heart that all is as it should be.

Am I perfect, or perfectly comfortable in my skin? No, not really. And maybe I never will be. I’ve got about 30 pounds of extra weight I’ve been carrying around since Cadence was born that I’ve set a goal to finally get rid of. But that’s okay, because I’m at a place in my life where I can do it and be healthy and feel good about myself. And if I have to do it one ass-kicking dance workout at a time, so be it.

Yeah, I got this.


Elf on the Shelf 2013 – Day 3

Mmmm…chocolate. It’s pretty much a toss up who’s the biggest chocoholic in the house. I probably win, but only by a short margin. Cadence is as fond of chocolatey treats as her Momma, and Steve…well, he may not crave chocolate the way Cadence and I do, but he can sure put a hurtin’ on a buttermilk chocolate cake, and the two of us often go egg for egg during the Easter season when Cadbury Creme Eggs are in stock.

We found out this morning that Cosette is one of us.



I half-expected Cadence to be a little peeved that the mischievous little elf apparently raided her Halloween candy (a.k.a. Mom and Dad were getting so stressed out by the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead that they needed a little chocolate to calm them down and the only thing in the house was the leftover Halloween candy–go ahead, judge us, but if you are a fan of the show, you’ll understand). Yet, Cadence didn’t seem to mind, especially when she noticed that Cosette had only taken one smile bite of the Hershey bar and left Cadence the rest to eat for breakfast.

Nothing like starting the first Monday back from vacation with a bit of chocolate for breakfast. Yeah, that’s how we roll around here.


Something In My Yard Is Out To Get Me

Something in my yard is out to get me.

I sneezed over 78 times today. After that, I lost count. And leave it to my 2-year-old to laugh and make fun of me, running around the house and mimicking me while I’m in the midst of a violent sneezing fit. Little turd.

Apparently, I’m allergic to something. Bad part is, I don’t even know where to begin. It’s like a game of nature-themed Clue outside right now, trying to figure out who’s the culprit. In my yard alone there are over ten varieties of tulips, seven varieties of daffodils, eight varieties of roses, handrangeas, various ornamental grasses, a peach tree, a magnolia tree, a lilac bush, grape vines, ornamental pear blossoms, and several dozen other plants and assorted foliage that I can’t even begin to identify. Hell, the only reason I knew the items on the list above is because the former owners left behind a list of some of the things they planted.

And right now, everything is blooming.

I didn’t always have allergies. Growing up, I never remember having any issues. Except for the occasional cold or flu, and one bout of mono that landed me in the hospital for three days the summer before my sophomore year of high school, I was a pretty healthy kid. I never even had the chicken pox!

It wasn’t until my college years that I began to suffer seasonal allergies. Just about the time that the prettiest flowers started blossoming, my sinuses would revolt and close up tighter than a Venus Flytrap. Boy, I tell ya, there’s nothing sexier than a girl whose face is perpetually damp from the steady flow of liquid draining from both eyes and nostrils. Add a layer of redness around the nose, bloodshot eyes, and enough phlegm to fill a small bathtub and I start looking like one of the animated corpses from The Walking Dead.

I thought it must be something on the East coast–some sort of tree or flower that I just wasn’t used to, sending my sinuses into overdrive–but even now, after moving to Arizona and settling back in Nebraska, the allergies return like clockwork every spring.

Damn you beautiful foliage! I love you, but my clogged head hates you. Can’t we strike a truce?

Until then, I’ll pop a Zyrtec (no more make-me-jittery-and-keep-me-all-night-clenching-my-teeth-ClaritinD for me thanks), and pray that I can make it through another spring without sneezing so hard I pop a blood vessel.

Wish me luck.

365 Project – Day 331 – Why You Should Watch “The Walking Dead”

AMC’s The Walking Dead is, by far, my favorite show currently on television. In fact, if I had to make a list of my all-time favorite TV shows, The Walking Dead would probably rank right up near the top with Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Lost, and Gilmore Girls.

I understand that a show set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse may not exactly be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you can stomach a handful of bloody undead corpses stumbling around as part of a much bigger story, then you need to get your butt to the local BestBuy and pick up Season 1 for yourself. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

See, what makes The Walking Dead so brilliant is that it’s not really a show about zombies…at least not in the traditional horror movie way we’re all used to. This is a show about people, about human nature, about what choices we make when we are faced with unimaginable possibilities. It’s a show about survival.

I’m not going to go into detail here, analyzing episodes and characters and spoiling things for my readers who have not yet had the opportunity to watch the show. Instead, I will just gently urge you all to give it a chance if you haven’t already. It’s one of those shows that you just can’t help but fall in love with, and one that you won’t be able to forget.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the brilliant minds behind both the original comic and the new television adaption of the story. What are you waiting for people? Get out there and support the comic book industry to see where it all began, and then dive into AMC’s hottest new series to see what all the buzz is about. You’ll be glad you did.

365 Project – Day 326 – A Lazy Pre-Thanksgiving

This time of year, it is customary to think about all of the things that you are most thankful for. As I sit here in my living room, dogs at my feet, sipping a margarita, watching The Walking Dead with Papa Shawn, Wendy, Whitney, Collin, and Steven, I think that I am very blessed, and so very, very thankful for my family, my friends, my dog, my child, my life.

Yeah, it doesn’t get much better than this…


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