the108

Inside the mind of America’s (raunchy, foul mouthed, overly opinionated, sexually aggressive, incredibly offensive, fly by the minute, ridiculously absurd, often times erratic, psychologically questionable) Sweetheart.

Walk Hard December 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 9:48 pm

Yesterday afternoon after a knock down, drag out fight with Dean, I stormed out of the house and took some time to cool off. It was about 20 degrees outside and in my melodramatic haste to get the fuck outta there, I went on foot in nothing but a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. It was fuckin’ cold.

Having no real idea what I was going to do and where, I just kept walking but eventually decided that I’d sneak into a couple of movies where it would be warm and I could kill some time. I really did not want to come home and was in a foul mood and so I hunted down a movie theater. Honestly, I was just sort of thinking I’d go in and crash and catch up on some sleep because I didn’t want to think and I didn’t want to laugh. I just wanted to be pissed off.

The first movie I saw was Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and although I had no real interest in seeing it, I found a seat and curled up to go to sleep. There wasn’t much of anything I wanted to see playing and there was no way in hell I was going to sit through P.S. I love you. The main reason I didn’t want to see this movie is because as a die hard Johnny Cash fan, I was mad that they made fun of his life and the situations he had lived through. Dewey Cox, I felt, could suck my ass.

I laughed my ass off through the whole movie.

More than being amusing, it was impressive. I knew that John C. Reilly could sing because I’d seen him in Chicago and a few other things but the music for this movie achieved something pretty difficult to do. It was meant to be funny but also to be GOOD at the same time and it certainly accomplished that. It is music you can take seriously even though the lyrics have a tendency to make you laugh out loud.

Dean always said that this was one of those movies that Will Farrell was probably supposed to do but had a scheduling conflict. After seeing it, I doubt this was the case and I think that Reilly was probably the first choice being that he can sing. Still, I expected, at the very least, a cameo by Will Farrell and I watched and waited for it but it never came.

There are a lot of other cameos, though including Frankie Muniz in a laughable role as Buddy Holly, Jack Black playing Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd as John Lennon, Jason Schwartzmann as Ringo Starr, and Justin Long as George Harrison. Also making a cameo is The Temptations as themselves for a very brief moment, Eddie Vedder, Jewel, Ghostfaced Killa, Jackson Browne and Lyle Lovett who perform a rendition of Walk Hard as Dewey Cox gets his lifetime achievement award.

I thought the scenes of the movie that make fun of Johnny Cash’s brother’s death would really bug me but they made them so over the top and ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laugh. As much of a mockery of Walk the Line as this movie is,(Dewey Cox frequently gets pissed off and rips the sinks out of bathrooms…. probably about fifty sinks in all) it also pokes it’s fair share of fun at Ray Charles who went blind after going through the trauma of watching his brother die. Dewey Cox doesn’t lose his eyesight, though… he loses his sense of smell, a running joke throughout the movie that climaxes at the moment he gains it back and collapses in a fit of joyous and hysterical sobs. “Oh my GOD!!! It’s a MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!”

Another long running joke of the film is Dewey Cox’s drug use and his disregard for the fact that he has about 25 children that he has no desire to care for, both things that should make you dislike the character, but portrayed in a way where it’s just too fuckin’ funny to think morally. Tim Meadows, who plays Dewey’s drummer, is frequently walked in on in various bathrooms as he is doing drugs and each and every time he exclaims, “Get outta here, Dewey! You don’t wanna get involved in this shit!” at which Dewey enquires as to what he’s up to. Meadows then will go on to try to dissuade Dewey against taking the drugs all the while making them seem appetizing which inevitably gets Dewey addicted to them:

TM: Get outta here, Dewey… you don’t wanna mess with this shit!

DC: What? What are you doing?

TM: This is MARIJUANA, Dewey!

DC: Well… will it get me all addicted?

TM: No… you can’t get addicted to it, but stay away!

DC: Well…. will I overdose?

TM: No! You can’t overdoes on it but you really don’t wanna get mixed up in it! It makes you CALM and happy!

DC: Um… I think I do wanna get mixed up in it

TM: Okay, come on in.

John C. Reilly plays the role of Dewey Cox from the age of 14 on, which is something hilarious and obviously ludicrous at the same time. When his band performs at a high school talent show and all the other members are kids, it’s pretty damned funny. His age is something that is mentioned a lot in the film as things progress at one point showing him and his wife and child living destitute in a house. His wife tells Dewey to give up his dreams because he is a loser and he responds to this by exclaiming, “Yeah, well for a fifteen year old with a wife and a baby, I’m doing pretty good!”

I have to admit that this was one funny movie. As stupid as parts were, they were still hilarious and the music was so good that you almost forget that it’s parody. If you want to laugh and also have a love of music, then go see it. If you liked This is Spinal Tap, then you’ll love this as well.

The other movie I saw was Charlie Wilson’s War which I was sure would put me to sleep. It was funny, too but not as good as Walk Hard. Tough act to follow, though.

If you’d like a taste of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, I have taken the liberty of posting the soundtrack below.

Enjoy!

 

une galerie pour le dimanche December 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 7:26 pm

Just a few photos I’ve taken in the past week or so….. ’cause you know I love it 🙂 “Death of a Nation”(Will the autopsy reveal what went wrong???)

Dean-o

“Beautiful Sunday”
(Matthew’s friend, Whitney)

“Negative Light”

 

ida hacker December 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 6:44 pm

I am an immoral thief and I just cannot help it. Everything I desire, I steal off the internets. I could never do this at a store, but online, I feel somewhat safe and although I know I could probably get in trouble, I’m confident that I could talk my way out of it.

And I have some crazy shit, too, like all the animation programs used by Pixar and the ones used by the guys who make South Park. Then, I use the Pixar programs to make cartoons like South Park. Because I like to be pissed off and frustrated with the stuff I steal for some reason.

When I used to work for Radtke Imaging and Photography, he hired me to do touch ups and after a little while, I was allowed behind the camera. I remember him telling me that I was going to need Photoshop and I told him that that wouldn’t be a problem at which point he explained to me that it was a very expensive program. He said he would get it for me so that I could work from my computer at home as well as his. “It’s okay, I said. I’ll have it within an hour.”

I called him back about fifteen minutes later and told him we were good to go. When he asked me how in the hell I it, I admitted that I ganked it off the internet and he was amazed that that could be done.

“But you need a serial number!” he said.

“Yeah… got it.” I replied.

There is rutha a lot of illegally obtained shit right here under my fingers and I wish I could say that I feel bad about it, but I don’t.

Some people think that pirating music is wrong and although I agree with this, I don’t pay for that shit, either. If I have a really strong respect for an artists then I’ll buy an album but other than that, I just snatch it offline and enjoy it from there. I don’t burn off a million copies and bootleg them but I do burn my own copies. This gets the great music lovers really mad at me. It’s sort of funny, though that the music lovers never have anything bad to say about me stealing movies.

I have Sweeney Todd downloading right this very second.

Most of the great movies I’ve seen this year were right in here in my house the day after they hit the theaters. I am a very, bad girl.

Yesterday, I stole myself a real treat off the internet, the latest version of Photoshop. I had CS2 and now I have that and CS3. As is typical every time I get a new program, I fucking hated it for the first hour or so until I figured everything out.

CS3 is very similar to CS2 with only a few minor changes and some differences in the presets and plug ins. It’s also got some pretty weird new menus and what not but after getting pissed at it for a while, I discovered that they had greatly improved a lot of the selection options and this made pretty much everything I do on it much faster and cleaner looking.

I’m a Photoshop-a-holic. I admit this. I will spend hours screwing around on it like a kid with a coloring book and a set of crayons. I’ll have about 25 layers to a picture and I’ll just be going nuts. If I could honestly make a profession out of “artistic” photography, I would in a second but the problem is:

I can’t steal a decent camera off the internet.

They need to make that possible.

The above picture was taken by me yesterday after Matt insisted I give him a mohawk. I removed his double chin, blurred out the background and added some effects to the whole thing and had it been taken with a camera that knows how to focus, it would have the potential of being a good picture.

It’s frustrating, I tell ya.

Since we’re destitute, we make a killing on our tax returns. We need new couches and I also want to pay ahead on our bills. But, I’m also wondering if I shouldn’t get a better camera and start charging people again to take their pictures. With a good camera and some mad photoshopping skillz, maybe I could make some extra money. Just working as a photographer’s assistant I made twenty bucks an hour. I made about a hundred bucks per shoot to just hand him things and then on the days I was lucky, snap a few shots, and a hundred bucks for three hours of work was great but the real money came from the touch ups. This guy paid me twenty to thirty bucks an hour to do his touch-ups and that equated to a LOT.

I can do my own touch ups so it seems only smart to do the same thing. Only, I won’t have to pay anyone.

The second photographer I worked for was far more of an artist than Radtke was and we did a lot of shoots in the middle of the night with various digital flashes and all sorts of bizarre equipment. Where as Radtke saw me as his touch-up technician, this guy saw me as an asset and frequently had me direct the photo shoots. He also let me take a lot more pictures for him and I was in heaven. I love photography.

Methinks it a good career choice.

 

the transformation December 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 10:43 pm

The child could not see. The child would not allow me to push his hair out of his eyes. The child needed a haircut. Normally, I do not like Owen’s hair short and neither does he. It has been long for the majority of his life and with his penatrating blue eyes and those amazing dimples, he just looks better with a modern “do”.

His hair grows fast as hell and this is why I felt okay with taking him in for a haircut and having the whole mop hacked off. Strangely…. I like it. It’ll take some getting used to and he looks younger and not like the Owen I know… but it looks okay, I think. Here is a before from this morning:

and here is an after from this afternoon:

Whatcha think???

 

plucked out of nowhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 6:04 pm

My two year old daughter, Olivia likes to sit really close to me as I’m applying makeup and, usually, I’ll let her “do her face” so long as she’s staying in the house. I’ll pass her pale colored eyeshadows and lip gloss and she will sit there with me very seriously and make herself gorgeous. I actually enjoy doing this with her because it pleases me that she is interested in being like me and of all the things I do for my kids to potentially mimic, this one will get her in the least amount of trouble. I don’t let her walk out of the house looking like a hooker and she doesn’t make a big mess or anything and so I’m alright with this for the most part.

The downside to this is that she will take it upon herself from time to time to get my makeup out herself and she’ll choose the darkest colors imaginable. She’ll have green eyeliner smeared across her nose and mascara in her hair and it’s a disaster so I try to keep up on her. Really, she has nothing to complain about. I’ll even let her paint her nails and toenails by herself from time to time so long as I put her on a big sheet and keep a very steady eyeball on her. My mom never would have let me play with nail polish. Because, she is a bitch.

Yesterday, Olivia successfully superglued her eyelids to her eyebrows and it is exactly this sort of thing that makes me think, “Where in the fuck did she get superglue? Do WE have superglue??” Sure, I suppose my first thought should be, “Oh my god.. my baby! Her eyes are going to dry out, shrivel up and fall out of her face!” but….no. I’m more fascinated with how in the hell she acquired the superglue in the first place because, frankly, I don’t really keep it around for anything. I’m a hot gluer… something I feel is relatively safe because by the time one of my kids has hunted down the gun and the glue sticks and plugged it in… by the time it has gotten hot enough to glue anything… I have noticed. I’m stealthy like that, quick like a fox, I say.

But superglue….. how in the hell did she get superglue???

However she did it, she applied a hefty amount to her eyes thinking it was makeup. The result was that her eyelids were stuck to her eyebrows. After pondering how in the hell she accessed the junk, it was business time. The eyelids, surprisingly, came unstuck rather easily. The eyebrows, however, are still stuck from the glue. I can’t get the superglue out of them and she sort of looks like Rip Torn because she froze the damned things up and spiky and I’m afraid to attempt to scrape the glue off because I am fairly convinced that her eyebrows will come off along with it.

Is there a waiting period in which it should wear off enough to not fully remove the eyebrows? Is there something I can use to remove it altogether that won’t hurt her? This sucks because Olivia is just so damned pretty. Had it happened to an ugly kid it might have been an improvement but Olivia… she’s just more attractive than most little girls.

But now she looks like the Devil. Sigh.

On another note, I hurt myself yesterday. And I’m really glad there were no witnesses because I was butt neckid when I did it and it was terribly un-graceful. There I was about to get into the shower. I had gotten naked and went to locate a towel. On my way back to the shower (I was in my room so it’s not like I was just gallivanting around the house in the nude) I suddenly caught something between my toes and went flying.

Had this happened in slow motion it would have been pretty disgusting, really. In slow motion, I was flapping through the air with my tits in the wind until my face made contact with the doorway. In a split second, it was all over and with my face aching, I turned to face my attacker.

It was a bullet proof vest.

“Goddamn it!” I yelled at the Kevlar jacket. “You’re supposed to SAVE lives NOT take them, you asshole!”

I then proceeded to stand there naked and furious and yell at the thing as if it were a person. “Just what the fuck are you doing on the floor, then, HUH???” I accused it of intentionally tripping me up to impress his friends who mingled on the floor nearby. I glared at a gas mask before turning to a trenching tool and a pair of desert goggles and shooting them both dirty looks. I spat at a ruck sack in the doorway to the bathroom knowing that that is what would have struck next had the bullet proof vest not taken me down. A pistol belt sniggered in the corner.

Dean needs to pick up his shit.

This junk is, quite literally, all over my house and I am sick of it. I’m sick of the smell of Army all over the place and I’m sick of the never ending amount of sand that comes out of it from god knows where at this point. I’m sick of the kids playing with the stuff and I’m sick of listening to Dean scream at them for it.

The other day, they found the voice changer. I think it goes to Dean’s gas mask but I’m not really sure, but I do know that it costs thousands and thousands of dollars and the kids should NOT be playing with it. I, however, can’t blame them one bit because the voice changer is pretty cool. It’s a very heavy device that screws to your face, somehow… like I said, I think it screws to the gas mask… and with the flip of a switch, you sound like Darth Vader.

I gotta be honest here. Why the hell do they have these things??? Night vision goggles, I understand…. but Darth Vader machines? Why the need to sound like that out in the desert? Of course the kids want to play with it! I think the military needlessly spends money on junk they don’t use sometimes just to have my children dismantle it in seconds.

I would like to fill you all in on a secret that you might not know about. It makes the Darth Vader voice changer seem really, really stupid when you hear this:

When Dean went to the Middle East, they sent along his truck (humvee) to save him. That might NOT sound ridiculous until you hear that his truck was made out of plastic. Guess what does not stop an i.e.d? Hell, guess what does not stop a bullet??? That’s right. Dean’s truck.

Now, I’ve written blogs before about Dean’s shoddy equipment. I’ve written about how he has had, not one… but TWO M-16’s that were faulty enough that had he fired off a shot his head would have been blown to pieces. Let’s put a busted ass rifle in a soldier’s hand and then protect him with a Rubbermaid truck.

Awww… this reminds me of something else. One time, Dean went to lock up his truck for the night and he heard mewing coming from inside. He poked all over the thing looking for the source of the mewing and couldn’t find it. Finally, he popped the hood piece up and inside was a mama cat who had birthed a litter of kittens in there. He didn’t know what to do as it was about ten degrees outside and so he brought the entire family home to keep warm and get healthy. The mama was malnutritioned and the babies were tiny and so Dean nursed them back to health and found good homes for all of them.

Perhaps they mistook his shitty truck for a cardboard box or something. I dunno. It’s certainly possible.

You know, I imagine Dean sitting in his truck at times with his driver or whoever next to him, the two of them fooling around with the voice changer…”Luuuuuke…. I am your FATHERRRR” when a bullet zips through the door and kills him.

I think the voice changer is made of kevlar.

Anyways…

 

the party ninja strikes again

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 1:38 am

New Years is coming and this means one thing: Parties!

As one crafty sumbitch, of course I sit around and plan out ways to make our New Year’s celebration something special and, as usual, I shall share these ideas with the rest of you kids so that you might also engage in some crazy shit, too. This one is an easy one, a new take on an old favorite. I give to thee….

The Disco Ball Pinata:

You will need—

-flour
-water
-salt
-newspaper
-balloon (as round as you can find)
-tin foil
-glittery or shiny wrapping paper
-glue
-blue paint (not required, but adds a nice touch)

***Blow up your balloon as big as you want and then make your paste. Add flour and water and mix it up really well until you have it a decent working consistency. Not tooooo watery, but not thick and gummy, either. Sort of like pancake batter works well. Add a few tablespoons of salt to prevent molding.

Tear up tiny strips of newspaper and dip them into the paste. It’ll be ridiculously disgusting and it’ll smell like shit, too, but it won’t stain anything so have no fear on that account. Layer those nasty strips of newspaper all over the balloon leaving a fist sized hole in the back somewhere. Keep loading that crap on there until it’s pretty thick and once dry will be able to hold the loot but not so thick that you’ll have to run it over with the car to break the son of a bitch open. I’ve made this mistake before, believe me. I’ve had throngs of frustrated children whacking away and sweating their asses off trying to bust these things until an adult had to step in and cut it open with a boxcutter. Take it easy, there. Don’t go too nuts.

Once this thing is a great, big, disgusting mess stick it somewhere for a couple of days to dry. Then, just leave it the fuck alone until it gets hard.

Once… uh… you’ve gotten it hard (snicker) then you get to have some fun.

Get out your tin foil and your shiny wrapping paper and cut little square shaped pieces out. Cut an assload of them because you’re gonna need it. Before you start laying them on you need to pop that pesky balloon and get it the fuck out of there. Then, one by one and in rows that encircle the ball, glue the shiny squares to the ball. If you like, and just to make the whole thing look more polished, you can paint the ball blue before gluing the squares on there.

Do that shit until it is completely covered but before you close it up… you gotta shove things in it. It’s New Years, so go crazy. I like to throw in confetti, candy, poppers, snap pops, and all sorts of festive shit for the kiddies and if you’re having an adult party then you can have some real fun and throw in multicolored condoms, keychain bottle openers, a handful of rohypnol and a few sample packets of the morning after pill. Oh, yeah. And some candy and confetti and all that shit.

Once you’ve stuffed your ball then you get to close it up by just taping or gluing a couple of layers of newspaper over the hole and then slapping on some of the shiny squares to hide it.

Hang the thing smack in the middle of the living room for your party and then once everyone is good and drunk you can reveal that it’s a pinata and get the party started…LOL.

It’s cheap, it’s disgusting easy and it’s fun. Seriously… try it out!

And as a side dish to all the fun, let’s think safety.

Grab a big, honkin’ coffee canister and glue pictures of the mutilated bodies of victims killed by drunk drivers. Write in big letters across the front of it:

KEYS, BITCHES!

Because no one wants to know that they allowed someone from their party to leave piss drunk only to kill my Grand Caravan full of kids on the road. So, if you’re having a party with booze, please have a cab company on call or a room with plenty of floor space and some spare blankets and keep those fuckers off the road. And, from this point until the New Year, expect a post from me every day barating the idiots who drive while under the influence because I truly have a deep, intense loathing for those cocksuckers.

Happy New Years!

 

To My Santas…. December 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 9:11 pm

It was so very hard to wait to write about this on my blog but I wanted to hold off so I could share some photos with all of you who reached out to us this year. I’m going to speak from the heart here and if my blogging history tells us anything… it’s gonna be a looooong one.

As all of you know, this has been just about the worst year of my life. I grew up always being dealt things to conquer and cope with and I was always getting by based on the idea that some day it would all be for a reason. It was an idea I held close to me for 27 years, I’d say, and as each obstacle arose I would face it head on because I truly had faith that things would be worth it someday.

Something happened this past year that completely crumpled me. Not just any one particular thing, but a combination of events that proved to be lethal to my spirit and I suddenly found myself to be evaporating with no way to save myself. I didn’t mean for it to happen, and in the beginning, I tried to hold on until one day it just seemed out of my control altogether. The straw had finally broke the camel’s back, so to speak.

It seems as though I woke up one day and said, “okay… I’m tired of being strong. I’m tired of overcoming things. I’m tired of looking forward to the days when I can just exhale because those days are not coming.” For the very first time in my life, I gave up.

I lost my desire to live and it happened in stages that I tried to fight off as they came. The first wave of these horrid thoughts were squashed by focusing on my babies and how I would never wish to hurt them by not being around. This kept me going for a while and I was terrified one day when this logic faded and a new one was left in it’s place. Suddenly, I was saying to myself, “Okay… so maybe they’d be hurt but they’ll eventually find peace and be okay with it…”. The day this happened, I hid in my room because I just knew that I was disgusting and I didn’t want anyone to see me. I hid in my room a lot after that and I completely ceased being any kind of functioning person. The minute Dean would walk in the door, I’d go to bed and I’d stay there until forced out to care for the children, until I was free again to just go back to bed.

Things continued to fill up my head and the next thoughts that crept up on me were ones that made me feel like a ghost. The notion that my kids would eventually find peace with my death suddenly turned uglier and the thought that replaced it was menacing:

“I don’t give a shit if they’re mad at me. I don’t care if they hate me for it. I just want out.”

I was thinking it but it was as if I were hearing the words race through my head and they were bitter and painful and, oddly, calming at the same time. I saw it as me finally being honest with myself and it was liberating. I was so full of nasty, horrible feelings and was spending so much mental energy on trying to convert those feelings to good, happy, healthy ones that when my mind finally took over and hit me with those words, I actually felt relieved. Let them be mad… what do I care… so what if they grow up without a mother… I won’t be around to see it so why should I let it stop me?….

As comforted as I was by this I had one tiny inch left in my brain that was ME. And what I told myself was a lot different…. I called Dean at work. I burst into tears and told him what was going on in my head and in my heart. How I felt like I was slipping away and didn’t feel like myself anymore. I told him how I was scared to wake up every day because I didn’t want to be hit with anything else. I told him what had been running through my head lately and I told him that I didn’t know if I would be able to fight myself to stay alive. I knew that one day I would do something very spontaneous and I wanted someone to stop me because there was no way I was going to be able to stop myself.

Dean made it home in record time. When he walked in the door, I was a mess. I begged him to save me from myself. I told him, for the first time, everything that I had been thinking and feeling. We discussed me going to the hospital but in the end, we sought out a Psychiatrist to help me and I see him every week.

Now, things are better… not perfect, but different. I don’t focus so much on wanting to die, but on particularly bad days I find the thoughts pummeling away at my brain. I’ve noticed that I have taken a very poor way of handling those thoughts, though. I try to fight them but in doing so, I pick fights and get really aggressive with Dean. It’s like I want to know that I am standing up against myself but I’m doing it to the wrong person. I have become impatient and tactless and…. mean. I became so exhausted from years of biting back every thought or word trying to escape and so tired of holding it together that I started doing the exact opposite and just started flying off the handle. Instead of using my mental energy to try to see things differently or to try to calm down a bit, I just explode and then I feel bad for it. I’m alive, but I’m still not myself. It is something I will be working very hard on in 2008.

It seems that if you push or lean on someone long enough, their strength gives out and they tumble to the ground. If they still have any energy left, they will get back up. I got back up thousands of times in my life and at 29, I couldn’t anymore. I know how crazy and emotional and manic I’ve been in my blog and I want to explain…

I don’t leave my house. I don’t have any friends. I avoid answering the door and the phone because I don’t want to be faced with speaking to people because my mind is working slower than it ever has as it is filled up with negative energy. My only friends these days are my readers and my only outlet is my blog. It is like my window to the world. As I was writing, I would sometimes get some extremely kind and moving comments that held me upright when I needed it. I got cyber hugs and smooches and gropes and silly words that made me smile when I didn’t think I had a smile left in me.

But, I also pushed people away. The words I was writing were extremely uncomfortable for a lot of people to read or hear, especially coming from me, someone who is outrageous and lewd and says just about anything. Dean got a few emails from some of my readers stating that they had stopped reading my blog because it was too depressing and…. I freaked out. At first, I was angry. In my mind, these were my friends and I was angry that they were willing to come around when I was being silly or crude but the minute I needed them to just talk to or hear me out, they ran for the hills because I was a buzzkill. I never did such a thing and never cared what anyone wrote… I would still be there regardless. As angry and hurt by this as I was, I was also sad and, in a way, panicked because I was running my friends away from me. I would try to counter my sad blogs with funny, crazy ones so that people would still come by and not leave me. It sounds pathetic, but I couldn’t stand to lose anything else. My blog started to come off as being really manic. My stats went haywire. As of today, I get between 300 and 500 hits a day on this thing and I haven’t a clue who the hell is reading. There are people out there who come to read my words when they are good and also when they are sad and frightening and I don’t know who they are a lot of the times.

I spend the vast majority of my life feeling really guilty. I feel disgusted with myself that I have left myself vulnerable or that I have fallen so far. This year, I have had so much to say that was unhappy because it has been such a truly frightening and unhappy time. But, this is not who I have been and that itself is a source of extraordinary frustration for me. I have severe depression and it is out of my control. I have tried to fight it in every way a person can by manipulating myself and by changing my focus and I have failed for the first time in my life. I’ve never failed at anything before! I let myself down big time with this one and I have felt powerless. Believe me… if I could be just what everyone wanted and also be….myself again… I would in a second. I don’t want to be this way but it is happening none the less. The only decent thing I have done this year is to try to get outside help before it was too late. That took the last ounce of energy I had left…. but it has been worth it because I truly don’t think I would be alive had I not acted fast against the thoughts that were taking over.

Ask any person on the planet who has ever met me what I’m about and what I’m like and you won’t recognize me at all. The words used to describe me have always been the same: fun, intelligent, always making someone laugh, friendly, patient, compassionate, forgiving, extreme, intimidating, popular, outgoing…. This person inside me is so foreign, so unwelcome and I am working very, very hard to get rid of her. I am not this person. I am STRONG. Aren’t I??? I don’t give up… I’m a fighter, right??? I used to be, but that person isn’t here right now.

The difference in me today versus the person of just a couple of months ago is that I am now at a point where I think I might see her again someday where as before, she was dead and there was no hope of ever seeing her again. I have to get my strength back and where I stopped caring before if that ever happened, now I do care and so I believe that this is a big step.

Now, consider how guilty I have felt letting down my friends and Dean and then you will only be able to imagine how I’ve felt about letting down my babies.

My children are my biggest guilty feeling. In the past, I didn’t have to tolerate pain or ugliness and my feet hit the pavement when needed to save me. For months, I have been bitter and resentful of my children because… I love them too much to walk away. I used to lie in bed at night with visions of their smiling faces on my brain and I wanted to scream, “why do I have to love you so much????” because if I didn’t give a shit then I could run away and not face the pain anymore. I have felt trapped in adoration for my babies and the longer I allowed myself to feel this way, the guiltier I felt for letting them down.

My kids are many things. They are frustrating and aggravating, annoying at times, loud, confrontational, mouthy, stubborn, horrid, little terrors…LOL. BUT…. they are also amazing, smart, hysterical, sweet, loving, creative, imaginative, lovable, brilliant pieces of art who swoop in and make me laugh at all the right times. They are my source of pride. They are my medicine when I’m feeling sick in the heart. They are my reason for staying strong for so long. They were…. the reward I was holding on for.

Any parent knows that children bring out the Bi-polor in all of us and mine certainly do this to me. It’s strange to love people so much and also want to get the hell away from them as fast as you can at times. It’s weird to appreciate so much the things they do and say and you find yourself amazed at every word they utter… but you also want to hold your hands over your ears sometimes and find silence.

It is outrageous to know that for all the times I have wanted to smack their heads together, for all of those moments where I had to count to a hundred to calm down, for the many, many times I have thought, “God, I just want to knock that kids teeth down his throat for talking to me this way!”… for every one of those moments there are also the innumerable times when you DARE someone to hurt your baby. You would die for them, take a bullet for them, suffer at the hands of intolerable pain for them, kill for them….

Kill yourself for them.

That was where I was. I was at “that point” where I believed that these children were better off without me. I saw myself as the one who was hurting them, who was causing them pain and distress and I was the threat that had to be eliminated. I had begun to seriously believe that I had no business caring for them. I was a mess. I was ruining them. And this was something I couldn’t stand to do any longer. This depression was weird to me because it was real. I didn’t feel like some melodramatic teenager who threatened suicide to her friends to get attention. In fact, it was just the opposite. I hid it. I hid myself because I knew that my falling apart was way too obvious to those who know me. I kept it to myself for as long as I could until telling someone would be the only thing that stopped me. It was…. painful.

I want to give my kids every single reason they have to wear the grins that stretch across their faces. I want to be their security blankets and the food they eat and the air they breathe, their “sure thing”. I don’t want them to know it but I want it to be true. I had lost the ability to make my babies smile.

I panicked about Christmas because, to me, not being able to surprise them and fill them with joy just ONE DAY out of a really shitty year was unforgivable. So many people say, “But Christmas isn’t about gifts… it’s about family and togetherness….”

Tell that to an eight year old boy. Try explaining to your kids that Christmas isn’t coming because Daddy lost all of his rank and we can’t afford to eat much less buy presents. Tell that to any normal child this age and he will smile at you and place his head on your shoulder and whisper in your ear, “Don’t worry, Mommy…. Santa will bring us presents… you don’t have to worry about that at all….”

Oh, Santa. How could you do this to me? How could you be the hero savior of Christmas to my babies and then not pull through for them? What will we tell them when you don’t show up? Santa, it has been such a hard year for them… you have no idea. They hid in the hallway and listened in when Dean’s work came to sit me down and tell me that he had been found half-dead in our car. They were there when I spent all of my time in the hospital because of the tumor that might have killed me and their baby sister. They heard every, single word about court and evictions and they lived without power on more than one occasion and not. a. single. bit. of. it. was. their. fault.

Not one time were they responsible.

How do you deny them the one day of the year they look forward to the most? How do you send them off to school afterwards knowing that the other children will gloat about their gifts and wave new toys in their faces? How do you, just now…suddenly THIS year… ask them to see Christmas as anything more than the excitement of giving and receiving gifts? We’re NOT Christians. To us, it isn’t about Jesus or any of that stuff. To us, and I suppose this is the mistake you make when you have money and no clue that you won’t someday, it was about how we felt knowing we could light up their faces on Christmas morning. It was about ending another year with a bang, a celebration.

My kids have slaved away making us gifts because money to them doesn’t mean anything. They are just as pleased with themselves and proud of what they are able to present to us as we are. But this year didn’t turn out so well and there wasn’t any money to fullfill their normal holiday fantasies.

I blogged about it because it was on my mind. Then, someone asked me to have them make Wish lists and I was so embarrassed. I don’t ask for help. This is MY problem and we will figure it out.

This thought lasted about thirty seconds and then a bigger thought crept up on me: These are your babies and you are going to let your pride get in the way of those huge grins you’ll see on Christmas morning?? You really think that you can pull this off without help??? Quit being embarrassed and think of the things you have done to help others and think of the many, many times you have tried to convince people to accept help as well. Stop letting your pride get in the way and LET THEM HELP.

I posted wishlists. I suddenly had no idea what to do. The wishlists were getting shorter and shorter and with the exception of a few who emailed me, I had no CLUE who was buying for my children.

“Vinny… who do I THANK???”

Some of you bought gifts off the wishlists… some of you sent us giftcards…. and, I don’t even know what to say. Here’s what I’ve got:

The military never produced the back pay they promised us for Christmas and so had it not been for the kindness of my Santa’s…. there would be NOTHING. I did not get to buy ONE SINGLE THING FOR MY BABIES. I couldn’t. I had no money. Every single thing under the Christmas tree this morning is from one of you. And… there is a lot. In fact, I’d wager to say that this is the best Christmas yet. No, scratch that… this HAS been the best Christmas yet. I am completely stunned…. moved and beyond speechless by the compassion and the giving of all of you. Because of you, my kids ended a horrible year with excited smiles on their faces. Today, I will allow them to believe in the magic of Santa but some day, I am going to tell them the truth. I’m going to tell them that Santa’s come from all over the world, that they reach out from a place in their hearts to give and bring joy to others.

My children believe in Santa Claus. They, knowing that we haven’t got any money, held close to them the faith that Santa would deliver, that all of their strength and patience during this tumultuous year would be rewarded. The never swayed in their belief that Santa would come…. and they were right.

Santa came to our house this year. He came disguised as kind friends from various parts of the globe. He came cloaked in mystery and anonymity. He came disguised as soldiers who helped add toys under the tree. And, he came to me in the form of hope and long awaited peace.

Oh, and also wedged in the ridiculously sexy, brown shorts of a UPS man who, I think, has the hots for me. A UPS man who I saw almost every day for two weeks.

To me he says, “Jeesh… someone must looooove you!” as he piles boxes into my living room. I look around wide eyed at what is taking place and I don’t even know how to respond to him. “Who is all of this from?” he asks.

“Santa,” I say. “Lots and lots of Santa’s.”

How do I ever repay you? How do I tell you what this means to me? How do I let you know that you saved us from a potential disaster? How do I tell you that I don’t think I could have handled letting them down again?

2008. This will be a year of renewed strength. This will be a year of hope. There will be lots of inner demons trying to win me over but I will pick them off one at a time and I will get past this dark point. I’ll find the fighter in me and bring her back full force. I will continue to be honest in my blog and I will continue to write the things I need to to help myself feel better. I will revel in my newly founded faith in people and the decency of others.

And I will love my babies so much and be stronger for them.

I wish you could have all piled into my living room this morning to see just what you have done but since you couldn’t…. I took the liberty of annoying the shit out of them by snapping a million shots of all the joy.

Thank you for bringing these smiles to their faces…. and thank you for being here helping me through this difficult year with kind words of support. I am more grateful than any of you will ever know…

and now!…. Look at what you did!!!!