Thursday, May 31, 2012


How was everyone's Memorial Day weekend?  Any great adventures?

I had my first vacation in several years, it was great.  The boyfriend and I went to the Illinois River with his friends to camp and float.  I float this river every year, but I don't think I have ever camped out there.  Unless you count spending a night or two in some of the cabins, but those have air conditioning and bathrooms so I really don't.

Honestly, I didn't really want to go.  We had had a few disagreements over the whole idea of the trip.  As crazy as I can be, I don't really feel comfortable around large groups of people I don't know if they're drinking much.  Let's face it, it's the river.  There will be copious amounts of alcohol consumed.  Also, I can be very easily irritated when I'm drinking.  I didn't want to get mad at people I didn't know for some stupid reason or get them mad at me.

I am SO glad I went, however.  I've never met a better group of people in my life.  And I've never had more adventures in four days than I did this last weekend.

We were supposed to have a campsite with electricity so we would have lights for beer pong and be able to plug in our speakers.  When we arrived, however, we had been given one without access to electric.  We talked the office into letting us move to a site where we could bum some off another site.  Then we figured out the tent Dad let us borrow was missing all the poles, and my whole family was in Houston so we couldn't just drive the 30 minutes back to their place to get another one.  Thankfully, someone had brought an extra tent.  Other than that, the first night was pretty uneventful.  My friends B and Joe came out to drink with us for awhile.  I got pretty drunk and ended up opening up quicker than normal.  The boyfriend and I ended up having to sleep on the ground the first night because we forgot to blow up the air mattress. 

We floated the river Saturday.  We were supposed to go the whole 12 miles, however, when you run out of food, beer, cigarettes, and water for an entire group of 15-20 drunk people you tend to abandon that mission.  I ended the trip with a few sets of beads (imagine that!), some scrapes and bruises from being pushed out of the rafts a few times, and a major sunburn.  It didn't help that we all ended up drunk before we even got on the bus to get to the river.  Nothing like ended up hungover in the cruel Oklahoma sun.  It took us 7 hours to go 6 miles, which is ridiculous.  We were all playing musical rafts, shooting strangers with water guns, bribing girls to show their boobs for beads.  It was a lot of fun.

That night, we had a transvestite show up at our camp.  You guys know me and know I have no problem with anyone's sexuality, but this "girl" had issues.  One of the guys brought her over, I assume with the intent to sleep with her, and realized when she stepped under our spotlight that she had at one point in her life been a man.  If the group wasn't made up of mostly redneck-ish people, I'm sure it would have been fine, but we couldn't help but snicker.  She didn't help matters much by being trashed and passing out in the middle of our campsite.

The next day we headed back out to the river.  Very few of us drank that morning.  Boyfriend and I ended up on a raft with another couple the entire trip, which was actually quite fun.  We freaked out when we saw giant catfish in the river and were bummed when we realized the fishing gear was back at camp.  So we rigged up a redneck fishing pole using the straps from the coozies you hang around your neck and a keyring from one of the dry boxes.  We used pieces of sandwiches for bait.  Obviously we didn't catch anything, but we had a lot of fun and got some great laughs from other people.  The boys decided jumping at the fish from the raft was a much better way to go.  It was quite comical.  Again, we bailed at the 6 mile point.  This time we had enough of everything, we were just way too exhausted from the day before to continue.  And the wind was blowing so hard the wrong direction it would push you upstream at times.

Sunday night was pretty eventful.  We got back to camp as the cops were pulling into the area.  Apparently some guy was beat up and put in his raft to continue downstream.  It was supposedly a gang fight (considering how close it is to Muskogee it's possible), however, that was never confirmed.  We were visited by some very interesting gentlemen later.  They were in kilts and tin foil hats.  They asked us to sign their noodle.  Even later, B and I were drunkenly two-stepping and from nowhere we here "I'll teach you to play country music!"  One of the guys had been in his tent with a girl we began to refer to as Fluffy White Chick from the next site over, and he came out butt ass naked.  The few of us that were still awake ended up on the other side of the fire from him as he attempted to piss in the fire.  Then he approached us asking "Who wants a hug?"  Fuckers pushed the smallest person out front...  We ended the night "singing" metal and discussing what groups we like and hate.

Monday we all headed out.  Boyfriend and I spent the night at my parents' house because we were exhausted and didn't want to fight post holiday traffic.  It was definitely the best weekend I've had in a long time!

B and I on night 1

The boyfriend and I on our first vacation together!!  Love him!
Tin foil kilt men with their noodle

Beer pong!

I think we're freakin adorable, just sayin.

No clue what Joe and I are doing here, but it must have been hilarious to the guy behind me.

Boyfriend and one of the guys playing beer pong
Can't wait for our next adventure!!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Would things be different?

I made love for the first time the other night.  I've had one-night-stands, great sex, been straight out fucked, but never until then had I made love.  I don't know if he'd call it the same thing, guys have this strange aversion to the phrase "making love" I've noticed.  But screw what he thinks in this instance.  Yes.  Yes.  It was amazing.  I love the feeling of his arms around me anytime, add that to intense intimacy and you've got me hooked like a cat on catnip.  As much as I'd love to go into details, I'm gonna keep those to myself.

Strange way to start a post that sounds very retro- and intro-spective from the title, right?  Basically, I don't know how I got here.  Ok I do, you don't.  I used to be what some would call a goody-good, now I'm a partier who's always up for trying new and crazy things.  I was the one who got Mom and Bubba going to church when I was in middle school.  I was very devout for several years, was even asked to be a counselor at camp by the dean of the camp.  Unfortunately, I was made to feel like an outcast and like a bad believer for reasons I still don't know.  So I decided to live my life my way and enjoy whatever I could.  I'm happier this way.  I don't feel like I'm not living up to someone else's expectations of me.

I look back on everything I've done, the people I've met, and the things that have happened to me, and I wonder if I would be where I am now if things hadn't been the way they were--and if I were here anyway, would the way I feel be any different?

I moved around a lot as a kid.  We were never a military family, my parents were just always looking for better opportunities for Bubba and I.  Until they moved to their current location, I was never in one school longer than 4 years.  I did live in the same house for 8, but changed schools twice.  After 4 years in Norman, I have to itch to move.  Nothing too drastic, probably just Tulsa, but its still there.  Unfortunately, I don't have the funds and even if I did my lease isn't up for awhile.  Well... that and I found something worth staying for.  Or someone I should say.  Thankfully, we both had plans to move there before we met.  It's early but I think it's pretty awesome that we found each other in the midst of starting plans to move to the same city.  It's better than meeting someone and leaving without them shortly after or staying somewhere you don't want to be just for someone new.  Hopefully things work out well.

I dated a lot of losers over the last few years.  Actually, that's unfair.  I've become friends with most of them since, and for the most part, they're all pretty awesome guys.  Just not who I should be with.  They had their redeeming qualities while I was with them, and I'm sure most of those reasons are why we can now be friends, but meshing with me was not one of them.  That, and they all broke my heart in one way or another.  Oddly enough, I only went into a depression because of one of them, other times it was them.  Strange when you think about it... You hurt me, I leave you, you're the one depressed...  Doesn't entirely make sense now that I think about it, but what in this world really does?  I learned about myself from those guys, so I'm thankful.

With that said, some of the guys I dated messed me up for awhile.  I've been cheated on, used, emotionally and physically abused (not to an extreme on either, but it still fucks you up), and things I don't entirely want to list on here.  Men can be awful creatures.  So can women.  I could be controlling and possessive, I used to be highly jealous person, I'm sure I tore a few guys down.  Some of it was defense mechanisms, other times it was immaturity and insecurity.  I'm still young so I'm probably still going to make big mistakes when it comes to all this, but hopefully I never repeat any of these mistakes.

I've had many good friends over the years.  Most of whom I am still in contact with and very close to even if we don't see each other.  Others have decided I'm not a vital part of their lives anymore.  Almost everyone I'm extremely close to has stabbed me in the back, but I did the same at some point.  The fact that we can get past that makes us even closer I believe.  It hurts thinking about why I've lost some people, most (not all) could easily be fixed by a heart-to-heart that I'm more than willing to have but the idea has not been reciprocated.  I know that means they aren't meant to be a current part of my life, but that doesn't change the fact that it does hurt.  Doesn't matter, they may not know or believe this but if ever any of them ever needed me I'd be there in a heartbeat because of how important they once were.

Looking back on all this, I can't help but wonder: would things be different now if part or all of this hadn't have happened in my past?  Would I have been able to just start becoming spontaneous in many aspects of my life?  I wouldn't have Tank if I wasn't so I wouldn't have my only furbaby.  I wouldn't have bought Cleo either (I miss my Little Bit).  Would I be so open to meeting new people?  I don't think I would have gone bowling recently with a group of people I only know because they are regulars where I work if I didn't feel the need to meet new people and surround myself with people who just want to enjoy life.  Would I guard myself, unlike I used to so that I know if someone is worth having my trust?  Doubtful, I was a naive thing for a long time.

The last 6 1/2 years have made me feel more worldly (though, I haven't traveled much at all).  Maybe "somewhat wise" is the phrase I'm looking for.  I've had some interesting experiences, most of which happened between July and now.  Not all of them were great, but some were amazing.  However, I wouldn't trade any of it.

Because of all this, I have what I have now.  The strongest friendships I've ever had with people who will always be there and vice versa.  My own little family of me and my furbaby who makes me smile everyday of my life.  A job, that while doesn't keep my wallet full, makes me happy at the end of the day and has let me meet some awesome people.  And an amazing man who knows about my somewhat screwed up past; he accepts me with all my quirks and insecurities and makes me beautiful, safe, and loved.  I fell for him hard and fast.  Four months and I can't even sleep without him next to me anymore.  It's insane.

Maybe none of this will last forever, maybe it will.  All I know is that honestly I've never been happier.  And I know things wouldn't be this way if my past hadn't set me on this path.

I know the introduction to this post is still a little unnerving and possibly odd to some.  The point was making a complete circle.  I'm amazingly happy and that experience wouldn't have happened if I hadn't have gotten to this place in my life.  Crazy, huh?  Maybe I would never know what it was like to make love.  Ugh, ok even to me that phrase is awkward and cliche haha.  Oh well, it is what it is.

I'm off to bed hopefully.  The boyfriend, his friends, and I are headed to the river tomorrow for a weekend of floating, camping, and drinking.  Finally!  Time away from the craziness of real life :-D  Huh, oddly enough this fits under Thankful Thursdays (yeah yeah I realize it's 4:30 Friday morning but I haven't gone to bed yet so it's still Thursday lol).

G'night lovelies!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

A personal and painful confession

Let me start this by saying, I know my mother and brother will probably read this, along with others who are close to me, and will not like what they are about to read.  This is somewhat of a warning.  If you don't want your picture of me as a strong, independent person who always has and always will deal with all of life's hardships in a rational way, please don't continue reading this.  This is personal confession, and its extremely hard for me to write and make public.  Don't judge me on my past and what I still fight with every day.  With that said, here we go.

The other day, someone close to me was telling me about their past with a mutual friend of ours.  This person told me that the friend supposedly cut themselves to get attention in a rough situation.  They continued to say that they could never understand why someone would do that to themselves and they would never deal with someone who did.

This broke my heart.

People deal with pain, rejection, failure, etc. in many different ways.  Most people can go through life and more or less accept what comes at them.  Others cannot.  Some do not know how to deal with these things that are part of every day life.  You may think they are desperate for attention or being selfish, but honestly, most of the time they aren't.

I have known many people who were or currently are self-mutilators.  They don't tell people, they get caught.  One of the strongest people I have ever met, once had covered their body in over 200 cuts.  They hid it.  One day someone figured it out.  This person still has issues with different types of self-mutilation, but fights it off every time they get the urge.  They've learned how to deal in a different way.

Oddly enough, other ways can be more detrimental.  I've seen so many people turn to drugs or alcohol after being found out.  That ruins lives faster than anything else.  It also directly affects those around you in how you act while under the influence.

Self-mutilators don't always have a mental disorder, such as depression or bi-polarism either; although, there is a good chance that in most cases the person does have at least a slight case of one or the other.  Most often than not, these people internalize their problems.

I'm one of those people who internalize things.  I have a hard time telling people that I'm upset, especially if they are the person that I'm upset with.  I let it all pile up.  I can handle a lot, but over time it adds up.  This usually leads to a big problem that shouldn't have even come up.  I don't like hurting others, I don't like telling them they're wrong or they've done something to hurt me even when it's small.  At the time, I feel it isn't a big deal and I will get over it eventually.  While I may get over it, it eventually comes back up if things continue to happen.

You would think the little things would be the easiest to talk about, but they aren't.  They make me feel like I seem petty, however, I know it would be better to look that way for a short time than like a crazy person later on.

I say all this because I used to be one of these people.  When things got to tough or too much to deal with, I would handle it by releasing my pain physically.  I don't have scars.  You could search my body over and never find evidence of this behavior.  Like I said before, people know how to hide it. 

I'm not saying this for pity, because believe me, the few people that saw the evidence of it made me feel awful about myself and my decision to do it.  I'm finally saying it because you never know people as well as you think you do.  You don't know how the things you say or do affect them.  No, I don't do it anymore.  Yes, I do struggle with the urge occasionally, but very rarely.  I've found other ways to deal: working out, Tank, writing.  I still have a very hard time telling people they've upset or hurt me.  It seems to always cause more problems.  That is most likely because I don't know how to breach the subject gently. 

Personally though, I feel I shouldn't have to worry about someone else's feelings if I'm telling them that they have wronged me.  If it was a misunderstanding, tell me so.  I'm not going to throw a tantrum, I'll just tell you my point of view.  Don't tell me I'm being stupid or too sensitive, that will make the situation worse.  Just because something doesn't or wouldn't bother one person, doesn't mean it's the same for everyone. 

I know it is hard for people to understand why others to this to themselves.  Those people seem weak and selfish, and I can understand that point of view.  I just wish for once, someone would try to see things from the "alternative" view.  We internalize.  We're afraid.  We don't feel good about what we've done.  We don't want you to know.  For me, the physical pain was much easier to deal with than emotional.  It was like the act released it from my body temporarily.  It's not a healthy way to deal.  It doesn't make life easier, and doesn't make the issues go away. 

Between this and the ways I deal now, I did try alcohol to a point.  Other than giving me a few nights of blackness, it didn't help at all and left me with painful headaches the next day.  Those around me knew what I was doing and worried about me.  I didn't put myself in compromising situations or drive, but it was still extremely stupid.  I've lost a few people I care about very very much because of this behavior.  I may still have a beer or two after a rough day, but I don't try to deal that way anymore.  It wasn't worth making myself sick, having headaches, or losing people.  Nothing is worth that.

The reason I am posting this and making my personal battle public is because people don't realize that by judging those who do these things, they could very possibly be making it worse.  Don't condemn them, talk to them, find out what's bothering them so much that it could drive them to this behavior.  The answer could be surprisingly simple and easily dealt with or complex enough that they need to seek professional advice.  I realize most people think that anyone who hurts themselves needs professional help, but that's not the answer for everyone.  I don't think I could sit there face-to-face with a complete stranger and tell them my problems.  I'm afraid they will judge me or tell me I'm being stupid.  And yes, I realize that they cannot openly say that, but they can think it.  I'm thankful I have a handful of people who realize I struggle with little things and will listen even if I need to bitch about something that may be insignificant to them.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to tell the person who made me feel I needed to write this the truth.  I don't want them to worry about every little thing, that maybe it could make me relapse.  Because it isn't like that.  Yes, I have tiny urges at times, but when that happens I grab a cigarette and try to come up with some way to get my mind off of it.  Usually I end up online or working on my book.  Sometimes I go to the gym.  Sometimes I just cry.  Every situation is different, as is every solution.

Judgement isn't the solution, it doesn't help the person.  Compassion and a shoulder to lean on are the best things to offer.  They do so much more than you could ever dream.  It could save a life, in all meanings of the phrase.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce


Tomato paste
salsa (you can make this if you want, I just didn't have the patience) (any kind that suits your fancy, I used World Table roasted tomato chipotle salsa)
mushrooms (any kind, I used shitake)
canned tomatoes (mine were home grown but store bought will work)
minced garlic
ground pepper
dried basil
onion powder
crushed red pepper

Optional: onions, bell pepper, olives, etc

Basically, mix it all together to taste how you want.  The amount of each ingredient is up to you.  Make sure it reduces so it isn't too watery.

I added my favorite pasta cheeses while it cooked to bring out their flavors.  The salsa isn't something I think could not be left out.  I wanted the spice from it.  Next time, I'm going to try it without it and substitute crushed tomatoes.

No pictures for this one, it looked like regular spaghetti sauce, haha.

Oddly enough, I had several cans of spaghetti sauce in my cabinet, but I wanted spicy, cheesy, and mushrooms which I can't seem to find a brand that mixes all that.