Bring on the Tacky Shit

“I dream he has his hand around my neck, his face close to mine with that determined gaze of his. I know he doesn’t ever think about me anymore. I know that these dreams are irrational, especially now that the likelihood of us ever being in the same city again is slim – that’s what I tell myself anyway when I wake up in a cold sweat.”

That is a quote from the very first post I wrote about St Patrick’s day. The first time I told the world why I’ve hated the holiday so passionately for the past 9 years. (Oh My God, has it really been that long??? Counting… Math… Yup… Had just enough fingers to figure that one out….)

JESUS! 9 Fucking years!? I wrote that post exactly two years ago, February 17, 2015. At that point – 7 years in – it was still especially intense; as you can see. Even so – 7 years was way too long.

Writing that post was the start of working through it. The start of me recognizing in myself what was really going on in my head, as well as why my depression had gotten so much like clockwork – starting every Lenten/St Patrick’s time frame… and lasting through to April usually. Over the past two years, since I’ve been letting all my shit out on the internet and in my books, it’s been steadily getting better. I’ve let a bunch of emotional baggage free – release that shit y’all… Write it out. Talk about it frankly. Does wonders, I tell ya. Also, getting the resolve to actually do something about your own sense of self preservation does wonders in such cases as well… Particularly, as you can tell from the quote above, cases in which you have a deep seated fears – especially those rooted in abusive situations – kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, MMA… Self -Defense… all those kinds of training classes do wonders as well.

That year was rough, last year was much less so. This year I’ve resolved to get over the hump. I won’t let it be 9 years. Certainly not a decade. I used to adore Irish things in general… Love Celtic music… Irish Gaelic has long been a language I want to add to my list of skills. As a kid I loved the simple pleasure of getting to pinch my sisters if they forgot to wear green on March 17th. Ha… I remember dying my hair and eyebrows green temporarily in 1999 – at the time I was dating Andre. It was supposed to wash out as it was only hair mascara… but my eyebrows seemed to decide that they wanted to hold on to the pigment a tad bit longer LOL.

I didn’t repel from the glittery green this year. In fact, I considered buying something thoroughly tacky. Then I thought, no… Perhaps I would buy something slightly more tasteful. Something that would vaguely remind me of St Patrick’s day, but something I could easily wear anytime of year to remind me of the journey I have taken so far. Remind me that mistakes can be righted, remind me not to beat myself up so much, remind myself never to get involved with a man such as David again. Remind myself never to let a man manhandle me again – not without a fight anyway.

So you wanna see what I got?? 😀

img_32661

While this is a Pennsylvania Dutch hex, it has a shamrock on it obviously. Makes it not overtly Irish – I’ve always like Penn Dutch stuff anyway – and hey Shamrock symbolizes luck here – as do the two distelfinks… so double the luck, hey? 😉

il_570xn-1136950804_rs3z

I also ordered this, but it hasn’t arrived yet… Again not outright Irish (It’s an antique Scottish bangle) but if you’ll notice there are shamrocks in the design around the sides.

So there you go. While I’m showing y’all jewelry, I might as well show you the two items I just got in the mail today – bought them with a gift card my father sent me for my birthday. Note on the watch – I was really considering the Ariel (because Red Hair, duh.) or the Goth Tinker Bell (both similar art styles and style of watch (though different metals) to the one below) …Goth Tinker Bell would have been so me as well… But ultimately I decided on Sleeping Beauty because she was always my favorite princess growing up. It also reminded me of a water color I did for girl I knew for her birthday years ago. That little girl adored me and her favorite was Sleeping Beauty as well. I painted it and put it in a frame and she literally squealed when she opened it… and kept it by her bedside… I digress… I’m sorry… anyway:

I also am all about retro cassette tapes – I have a dress and a jansport backpack with cassettes as well as a belt buckle that I need to find an actual belt to use with it. I was seriously considering the earrings that match this necklace as well LOL.

Okay, well I’ll wrap it up now. I’d just like to note about my featured image… I have very much resisted the urge to display my bitstrips/bitmoji crazy here. Haha, when Bitstrips was still an active app (sooo bummed they shut it down) I would annoy the ever living fuck out of my FB friends with it – though… I must say… I was freaking hilarious. It’s a small comfort I still have Bitmoji to use LOL

That being said… I am super tempted to get it all out of my system and prep a post now with a bunch of my old Bitstrips… HAHAHA ….Hmmm……

There Are Worse Things I Could Do

*Featured image from Pinterest.com

In the car today, I introduced my children to some of my fave Broadway songs – which included a handful from both Grease and Grease 2.

I told my 5 year old son that Grease Lightning is about a car, which peaked his interest naturally… and when they sang “The chicks’ll cream for Grease Lightning,” he piped up excitedly  that they were singing about Lightning McQueen!

…”They sure are son!”

LOL

Anyway, I started to get nostalgic over these movies. I used to watch them all the time with my good friend Courtney when I was 14/15 – in fact we watched them the very night that we took these photos (previously noted I wouldn’t show all these – but hey, what the heck…) :

me

I don’t believe I’ve written about this night on the blog before… Though I have in other more extensive writings about Wyatt – these pictures were taken for him. We were at the hotel I was staying at with my mum and littlest sister just prior to moving to Ethiopia. I got my own room and got to have Courtney come stay for an extended sleepover. We took some similar pictures of her too, just because we thought it was fun… I did find one surviving one of her in the stack of pictures – but naturally I will not show such here as it really is none of my business to share that kind of photo of someone. Regardless of if it was taken with my camera at the time…

Anyway, I got nostalgic and started watching Grease this evening, then discovered Grease Live on Netflix so I watched that too (and am currently watching Grease 2 as I write this lol)

I’d like to note that Vanessa Hudgens played Rizzo in Grease Live last year – Wow. When I realised she was Rizzo it took me aback just because last I really paid attention to her was when she was a goodie two-shoes type clean cut character in Disney’s High School Musical.

She certainly has grown up… and while I would not have initially expected her to be a Rizzo type; she blew it out of the park. I was amazed at her talent portraying such a character… not that I ever thought she was particularly untalented or anything… but… still.

Let me just illustrate here for those of you that haven’t seen it for yourselves – this is Vanessa Hudgens singing my fave Grease song, my fave Rizzo scene as it is:

 

I’ve talked before about Rizzo being my dream role and that I relate to the character, based a lot off of this particular song… I won’t discuss it much further here – you can click on those links if you are interested in what I had to say about that.

I’ve started to think; however, now that I am rewatching these movies for the umpteenth time if there were somewhat subtle influences for me overall – I’ve mentioned this topic in general regarding other movies influencing me on other ideas before – I’m wondering if maybe my penchant for the “bad boy” might have originated here. Though, let’s face it many many of us tend to fall for those types because they give us a sense of excitement – am I wrong, ladies? 😉 Sometimes we may also think we can change them or that they are softies underneath their hard exteriors – like Danny putting on a show in front of his friends in spite of himself. To be fair, I was already dating a bad boy at the time Courtney and I were obsessing over the movies – though I had seen it on stage for the first time a good year before I met him.

I just realised too that Grease 2 has Sharon often handling a cigarette holder:

grease2_still_13

Image cropped from an image on imgarcade.com

That played into my psyche, perhaps… Perhaps I am reading too much into that… but this along with Bullets Over Broadway is the likely reason I decided I myself would start using them in high school. Now I have three. I don’t smoke nearly as often anymore… just socially and usually with a drink in my other hand…

img_31271

In High School I had the same as the plain black one – but that eventually broke, so this is a replacement of the exact same kind. These both have crystal filters which somehow ease my mind that my smoking isn’t AS bad if I’m using them LOL (Don’t smoke regardless, kids… )

I also have a rosewood one that I rarely use simply because i am always fucking losing it! It’s misplaced again… smh… so I’ll have to use a picture from Amazon. It’s hand carved, mine looks most like the darker wood one. I actually love it – even though it is carved and unable to hold filters, it makes the smoke flow really smoothly. I’m gonna have to order extra of them, gosh…

61vsl6sb5gl-_sx522_

I also just realised that in one scene at least, Sharon is using one that has a gold top like my other filter one… except… it’s PINK. OMG. I need that in my life… LOL

Anyway, this post went off in a direction I didn’t intend… so I’ll bring it back around to wrap it up, haha. Basically – I suppose I should say at this juncture: Yes, I have vices. Yes, I can be a sarcastic bitch on occasion. Yes, I prefer the bad boys – I have a gut reaction to lust after them – even though I know they likely won’t ever truly change… and I may have had a pregnancy scare as a teen. I may have contracted an STD in my past… I may have gone with “a boy or two” …But, you know, there are worse things I could do.

And now a word from our sponsors…

I already have two regular posts scheduled for this week – one tomorrow, well in a few hours… and another two days later.

But in the meantime I thought I’d do a little more promotional work on the behalf of a friend. I like to support my friends, you’ve no doubt gathered if you’ve been following me for awhile.

Since I recently spoke of him, and I also spoke to him this morning – his site being mentioned in said discussion – I realised I had supported his site on Facebook, but not here.

Please, everyone, go visit my good buddy JR’s Wildlife Photography Facebook Page! He is a ranger and freelance photographer in South Africa – he recently won Best of Africa’s Best Bird Image 2016:

13872905_10154449255260929_5085451269999158896_n

He captures some truly amazing shots (both the bird and the lion are his pictures) – he is totally worth checking out and the follow! Give my guy some love! 🙂

While I’m here being all promotional and shit – it’s been awhile since I’ve asked, begged, pleaded… I need reviews for my book on Amazon. There have been over 100 downloads, especially early on during the free download promotion, but only 8 reviews. Remember:

11892038_408159229380806_9191722993348904835_n

So please, please help this indie author out and give me some reviews – and, hey, download or buy the paperback if you haven’t already and then leave a review!

The book can be found here. – and for those that may not be sure about it, here are the current reviews on Amazon… See? Worth at least the $2.99 (USD) download at least, right? 😉

img_2854-1

I swear I don’t know all of these people LOL Anyway – I rarely try to bring attention to my book, but I do hope that you all can help a girl out a bit! Especially before I eventually get this next manuscript out to the public. Please and Thank You Lovelies :*

A McDonalds, y’all!

You’d think when I moved here to Alice Springs 3 1/2 years ago a lot would have changed in the previous 20ish years, but when I came back it was virtually the same… A lot of the noticeable changes for me have happened since being back.

Now, as I have one foot out of town, I’ve just been notified of one more big change to my childhood memories…

They are relocating the Bus Interchange to the next road over (the road where my childhood house was located) and making it not accessible for pedestrians. This is the same interchange that Sean Morrison and I would argue at. The same interchange next to the same Food Mart I would buy my lollies at after school.

When I came back to town the only major differences I noted were that a) there were a bunch more roundabouts (there used to only be the one big one on the airport side of town) and b) that the Town Pool had taken away the in-ground trampolines, replaced it with a baby pool,  and built a fancy new indoor aquatic centre – though the main Olympic sized pool and outdoor kids pool I learned to swim in were the same. Oh, and the museum in the upper floors of the plaza was replaced to be Government offices. Oh! and Oh! There were more fast food services – a McDONALDS there’s a McDonalds y’all… haha. Used to only have the Hungry Jacks – which is the Australian subsidy of Burger King – which is still exactly where I left it… At the bottom of Anzac Hill and just at the end of the road from my old school St Philips.

Alice Springs High School was replaced by CSC Middle School – I thought I was going crazy remembering the school name at first. But I had confirmation later that I did in fact have friends go to an “Alice Springs High School.” LOL

There were of course other what I’d consider minor changes due to businesses changing or moving and the town getting built up a little more… But as far as 7th grade Rae was concerned…

What I just realized is kinda weird is that the Plaza used to be where my mum would buy groceries, but there was no grocery store there when I came back… but they have literally just opened a new one in the plaza last month.

Since being back the squash centre finally got a new paint job – different images and colours adorn the brick after 20 – odd years. Several decades old businesses I remembered – like the Dymocks Booksellers – went out of business. The Wendys in the Plaza went out of business – though their cheese dogs didn’t live up to my memories of them, so that was no skin off of my nose HAHA.

Ah! and the rock wallaby place got closed off… At least I got to take my kids there a couple times before they did that so now I have pictures of myself as a kid as well as pictures of them feeding the wallabies.

Used to be that there was a motel up against a rock face where rock wallabies lived. They would sell food pellets and the wallabies were wild, but used to humans and would eat the pellets out of your hand. Since coming back, however; the motel went out of business and the buildings were converted to apartments or something – I understand they fenced it off as well? – but you can’t rock up there anymore to see and feed the wallabies.

Some things that are still exactly the same, besides Hungry Jacks, is that Oriental Gourmet and Outlanders Steakhouse are still as I left them. The Araluen Arts Centre is much the same, though the park next to it has grown as far as playground equipment goes and there is a new café on the other side.

The youth centre still looks much the same – though they ALMOST shut it down a couple years ago… Which would have been a shame as that’s where my PE class had to go for Square Dancing in 7th grade, LOL (No, don’t imagine me Square Dancing, please. Also, please, no need to imagine me as a giggly 7th grader wishing to get the chance to dance with that hottie Luke Van Haren.)

The Todd Mall (open air pedestrian shopping area) looks much the same – though I am sure many of the businesses have changed. After all, many of the decades old businesses that went out of business the last couple of years have been from there.

A handful of friends/friend’s families are still in the area or left and then returned before I arrived.

The Telegraph Station is very much the same as well and I understand that primary kids still go there to camp and live history like I did in 5th grade. I found out recently that I missed a camp in 7th grade after I moved – not sure if it was there or elsewhere, but … Apparently Luke Van Haren went off in the middle of the night with another girl to mess around. Apparently it was *the* scandal at the time, and I don’t need to tell you I am very much put out that it wasn’t me.

HAHA

Now I feel like Luke Van Haren might need his own blog post… LOL

Oh well, anyway, there’s no real point to this post… But I guess that change is bound to happen. I was just thinking about it all and thought it was just …kinda weird that, as far as I was concerned, the main changes didn’t happen until I came back and got to have some sense of nostalgia after 20 years first.

 

That boy in 7th grade

I was thinking about further events to write about as I mentioned in the post I wrote for Carla Louise – this post is about some events in 6th/7th grade when I lived in Alice Springs, Australia. It has some relation to Carla’s series on rape culture, yet is also a little more thematically different so I felt it was better suited to my page… because memories. Boys. Analyzing feelings. Regrets.  All that.  Anyway – enjoy 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was in 6th grade, it was the end of the year and I went to an orientation social dance event at the school I would be attending the next year – St Philips College. It was an event where the current 7th graders would be so all of us younger kids would get to meet them and I guess not be so uncomfortable in our surroundings when we arrived the next year.

I sat on a table that was up against a wall, not really confident in my dance skills. I believe my neighbour Erin was there as well as she was to be in my new class. It was dimly lit, I seem to remember disco like lighting and the song “Turnaround” playing.

A redhead current-7th grader hopped on the table and slid until he was right up against me, putting his arm around me in one fell swoop. He turned on his charm and said “Hey baby,” just as I reacted and pushed him so that he slid right back off the table again. He was put out and said he was just trying to be friendly or something. On one hand I felt a little bad for his failed efforts, but on the other hand… Erin and I laughed.

His name was Neal. The next year, once I had started attending St Philips, he had become less “friendly” towards me. I knew it was likely because of that occurrence a few months prior, but it probably didn’t help that I was now the 7th grader while he was an all-mighty 8th grader.

Our lockers were near each other and he would hang around there sometimes between classes and wait for me when he knew I would usually stop by. That sounds so much more sinister than it seemed at the time… But he did go out of his way to tease me or bully me a bit. The teasing was also often sexual in nature. He would periodically, especially at the beginning, try asking me out or make other advances to make it clear somehow that he liked me…. The teasing supposedly being a front to hide behind, I later realized. Eventually he stopped with the even remotely sincere compliments and requests. Eventually it was all about being mean to me as much as he could.

One day, I was in the library looking at some books during my lunch break. I picked up a book called “Fatima” which was a YA book in a series about a group of teens and their various life issues. Fatima being about a Muslim girl growing up in the West (I can’t recall now if it was a British or Australian book) and her domineering father not allowing her to be a “normal” teen like her friends. I digress.

I was looking at this book and considering if it would be my next read, when Neal called out to me from a table in the vicinity. He said something about his friend wanting to meet me. I turned and another, very cute, boy was telling Neal to shut up in urgent hushed tones. He then looked at me, waved, and told me I had nice hair.

I distrusted his sincerity, likely given that he was with Neal, and gave him a dirty look. Later he approached me and apologized for Neal’s behaviour in the library – in which I believe I made a snarky remark.

This boy’s name was Sean. I do wish I had been nicer to him from the beginning, because I realized fairly quickly he had seemed to be more sincere, yet when he was shot down he started to act more along the lines of the rejected-Neal had, though not usually as frequently aggressive or predatory. Once I started to try to be nicer to him, he now had the reason to distrust my intentions.

We argued frequently, if not at school, we at least rode the same bus for part of our journey to and from school. Memories are more from the bus depot in that case. I remember once offering him a coke I had bought from the food mart that was right next to the depot, I was actually trying to be nice. Make a peace offering of sorts. He threw it away believing I had done something nasty to it and that I was trying to trick him.

Regardless, this boy too, utilized insults and threats that were often sexual or physical in nature. I don’t recall what the argument was about, but he once threatened that he would rape me several times while we were at the bus depot after school.

One other main incident I recall was during a swim day at the town pool – we were on opposing House teams and there were various races our Houses competed in. Our Houses were grouped on separate sides of the pool and we both were periodically finding ourselves on each other’s sides playing tricks on each other… until I poured some suntan lotion down his back… Then he picked up a piece of wood that had a nail protruding from it and proceeded to beat me across the legs with it while he pulled my hair… luckily the nail rarely making contact, but I had several purple welts across the back of my legs.

While it affected my ability to swim after that (my legs gave out halfway through my next race and I nearly drowned), I for some reason didn’t hold a grudge against him for that.

For some reason I had grown to like him – genuinely – and I felt bad that our dealings with each other had ended up this way.

I made some comment to my mother one day about all of this – I didn’t mention the rape threats or the beating me with that piece of wood – just general comments of meanness and I wished we could get along better or something. I don’t remember exactly what I said. I mentioned his full name – Sean Morrison – not thinking that my mother would know anything about him. Some weeks later my mother went to his mother’s house for some dinner party. My mother hadn’t made the connection as she wasn’t aware that Mrs Morrison had a teenage son.

But he poked his head around the corner to get his mum’s attention and she pulled him out and introduced him to everyone. It clicked in my mum’s head and she mentioned what I said to his mum… Laughing. I believe my mum was thinking it was a matter of young love type mean-because-we-like-each-other teasing etc.

The next Monday at school he ripped me to shreds for telling on him and said he had gotten in trouble and was told to be nice to me. He wanted nothing more to do with me. I tried to explain I wasn’t trying to get him in trouble and that when I said something at home I didn’t realize my mum even knew his mum. I apologized, but he didn’t accept my apology.

For a long time I had wished I wasn’t such a snob to either of those boys when I first met them. For a long time I wished that Sean at least would have accepted my apology if nothing else. On the other hand, I do now realize these events weren’t all my fault. It wasn’t my responsibility to make them feel good either.

And hey, now that I’ve written this all down, even if I had been nice and perhaps started something up with Sean… he clearly displayed anger issues (common in boys that age to be fair) and could very well have ended up the first abuser instead of Wyatt. I mean, come on… he hit me with a plank of wood with a freaking nail in it out of anger.

I have once or twice tried to look him up on Social media to see if contact could be made and a more sincere, adult, conversation could be had. I would assume by now he has grown up and these apparent coping mechanisms and teen hormone fuelled outbursts would no longer be an issue. I know I have changed a LOT since that time. I do regret a lot of what I said and did myself…

Anyway, you would not believe how many Sean Morrisons (and other related spellings) are on Facebook. OMG.

I doubt he’d ever see this. I wonder if he’d even remember me or even half these events. Perhaps he remembers the mean things I said much more clearly than I do myself… Maybe my mean words didn’t even matter that much to him and were forgotten promptly.

I don’t know… But Sean… if you’re out there… I’m sorry for my part in all of this. I would hope you’d be apologetic too. Some of your behaviour was understandable to me, even then, some was not okay.

We were both stupid and young and didn’t know how to handle whatever we were feeling. I actually did really like you, and I was dumb and cocky. I’m sorry. I wish we could have been friends at the least.

#WeAren’tJustStats – Guest Post #RapeCulture — The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise

Guest blogged over at Carla Louise’s site again… check out my post “A Woman Only Good for One Thing”

CW/TW: Sexual assault, harassment, abuse, rape NSFW I have recently started a series of blogs following the #TrumpTapes and the #WeAren’tJustStats hashtags on Twitter. The first three, When I Was Twelve, When I Was Thirteen and When I Was Fifteen can be viewed by clicking on the links. In my post We Aren’t Just Stats, there is an explanation as to […]

via #WeAren’tJustStats – Guest Post #RapeCulture — The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise

Fuck it, I dated

Who remembers that book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Josh Harris?

Ah, that’s right… now I can tell which of you grew up in the evangelical youth culture.

I just read a blog that mentioned that book, and man it took me back… It took me back to the evangelical days of my youth in which we were essentially bombarded from all angles with the message “True Love Waits” and that we shouldn’t be worried over traditional dating and falling in love when we had Jesus’ love.

“He chose to love us. He chose to lay down His life for us. The danger of believing that you “fall in love” is that it also means you can “fall out of love” just as unexpectedly. Aren’t you glad that God’s love for us isn’t as unpredictable?”

I did a quick search and found that this book is still widely available. I don’t know how I feel about that.

I can’t say that every piece of advice in the book is bad; but the feeling it gives me overall when I think about the past as it relates to this book is not really a good one. This book was handed to me by my parents, they were sure I’d appreciate it. As was the True Love Waits contract at a different time.

I’m sure they had good intentions.

But.

All it did was make me feel dirty.

I didn’t believe in it all anymore, and I had already become fairly sexually active by that point. I hadn’t yet “gone all the way” as they say… But it was just about there. I did, however; try to make myself believe. I tried to find my spot within the church kid groups and though I found some friends, some semblance of fitting in, I mostly felt like I was looking in from the outside.

“True purity, however, is a direction, a persistent, determined pursuit of righteousness. This direction starts in the heart, and we express it in a lifestyle that flees opportunities for compromise.”

Passages like this did and still do make me feel like less than. It was like most other kids had their purity and not only that – knew they were pure and righteous. I feel like now that I am older I can more easily realize and recognise that they were mostly probably struggling within themselves just as much as I was about something or other… But they at least gave off the perception of holiness…. and often holier-than-thou-ness.

“In the past, the starting point of my relationships was what I wanted instead of what God wanted. I looked out for my needs and fit others into my agenda. Did I find fulfillment? No, I found only compromise and heartache. I not only hurt others; I also hurt myself, and most seriously, I sinned against God.”

I even recall doing a monologue when I was 16 straight out of this book… Way to put forth the effort, Rae.

Anyway, needless to say I no longer even try to believe this viewpoint. The feelings of shame that were pushed upon me were enough to push me away from this culture and its propaganda forever.

I believe dating is a good thing. Dating is for practice and getting to know the other person. Dating is for helping you get to know yourself and what you want out of relationships…

I got to a point of saying “Fuck it” and dating… And I’m glad I did. I’ve found that a lot of the religious ideas about relationships can be damaging – especially when these ideas are taken on and interpreted by youth.

So you haven’t read “I Kissed Dating Goodbye?” You haven’t passed it on to your kids yet?

Then take my advice… Don’t.