If At Birth You Don’t Succeed

It is so easy for us to suffer from self-pity. We run into a stumbling block, and feel like it’s the end of all that matters.

I am one of those people. I can’t open a jar, I drop something, can’t find what I’m looking for… I ask, out loud, why does everything have to be so hard? Mainly, it’s just the stress talking. But really, life is fairly easy for me. Even though I suffer from chronic pain from back issues, I am able bodied.

Sometimes, I just need that gentle reminder.

if-at-birth-you-dont-succeed-zach-anner

I dragged my husband to Barnes & Noble and perused the store. When I saw this book, I had to pick it up. Turns out it was written by a comedian who was born with Cerebral Palsy (which he humorously refers to as the sexiest of all palsies.)

This guy turns every challenge into a funny story. From his short time with his own show he won in an Oprah contest, to literally shitting himself… it’s funny.

And he has such a great optimism in the face of what would probably destroy most. This book is wildly inspirational, yet amazingly entertaining. I can’t recommend this enough.

You can find the book at Amazon, B&N, and probably many other outlets.

The Perfect High

I’ve never been a huge fan of poetry. I couldn’t tell you why, it just never appealed to me.

But back in the 90s, a cool cat named Ron Barany recited this poem during his gigs at the coffee house where I worked. It was written by Dr. Seuss. I really love this. The moral is there, loud and clear and it’s quite entertaining. Enough out of me.

The Perfect High

There once was a boy named Gimme-Some-Roy

He was nothin’ like me or you,
’cause laying back and getting high was all he cared to do.

As a kid, he sat in the cellar…sniffing airplane glue. And then he smoked banana peels, when that was the thing to do. He tried aspirin in Coca-Cola, he breathed helium on the sly, and his life became an endless search to find the perfect high.

But grass just made him wanna lay back and eat chocolate-chip pizza all night,
and the great things he wrote when he was stoned looked like shit in the morning light.
Speed made him wanna rap all day, reds laid him too far back, Cocaine-Rose was sweet to his nose, but the price nearly broke his back.

He tried PCP, he tried THC, but they never quite did the trick. Poppers nearly blew his heart, mushrooms made him sick. Acid made him see the light, but he couldn’t remember it long. Hash was a little too weak, and smack was a lot too strong. Quaaludes made him stumble, booze just made him cry, Then he heard of a cat named Baba Fats who knew of the perfect high.

Now, Baba Fats was a hermit cat…lived high up in Nepal, High on a craggy mountain top, up a sheer and icy wall. “Well, hell!” says Roy, “I’m a healthy boy, and I’ll crawl or climb or fly,
Till I find that guru who’ll give me the clue as to what’s the perfect high.”

So out and off goes Gimme-Some-Roy, to the land that knows no time, Up a trail no man could conquer, to a cliff no man could climb. For fourteen years he climbed that cliff…back down again he’d slide . . .
He’d sit and cry, then climb some more, pursuing the perfect high.

Grinding his teeth, coughing blood, aching and shaking and weak, Starving and sore, bleeding and tore, he reaches the mountain peak. And his eyes blink red like a snow-blind wolf, and he snarls the snarl of a rat,
As there in repose, and wearing no clothes, sits the god-like Baba Fats.

“What’s happenin’, Fats?” says Roy with joy, “I’ve come to state my biz . . .
I hear you’re hip to the perfect trip… Please tell me what it is. “For you can see,” says Roy to he, “I’m about to die, So for my last ride, tell me, how can I achieve the perfect high?”

“Well, dog my cats!” says Baba Fats. “Another burned out soul, Who’s lookin’ for an alchemist to turn his trip to gold. It isn’t in a dealer’s stash, or on a druggist’s shelf… Son, if you would find the perfect high, find it in yourself.”

“Why, you jive mother-fucker!” says Roy, “I climbed through rain and sleet,
I froze three fingers off my hands, and four toes off my feet! I braved the lair of the polar bear, I’ve tasted the maggot’s kiss. Now, you tell me the high is in myself? What kinda shit is this?

My ears, before they froze off,” says Roy, “had heard all kindsa crap; But I didn’t climb for fourteen years to hear your sophomore rap. And I didn’t climb up here to hear that the high is on the natch, So you tell me where the real stuff is, or I’ll kill your guru ass!”

“Okay…okay,” says Baba Fats, “You’re forcin’ it outta me… There is a land beyond the sun that’s known as Zabolee. A wretched land of stone and sand, where snakes and buzzards scream, And in this devil’s garden blooms the mystic Tzutzu tree.

Now, once every ten years it blooms one flower, as white as the Key West sky,
And he who eats of the Tzutzu flower shall know the perfect high. For the rush comes on like a tidal wave…hits like the blazin’ sun. And the high? It lasts forever, and the down don’t never come.

But, Zabolee Land is ruled by a giant, who stands twelve cubits high, And with eyes of red in his hundred heads, he awaits the passer-by. And you must slay the red-eyed giant, and swim the river of slime, Where the mucous beasts await to feast on those who journey by. And if you slay the giant and beasts, and swim the slimy sea, There’s a blood-drinking witch who sharpens her teeth as she guards the Tzutzu tree.”

“Well, to hell with your witches and giants,” says Roy, “To hell with the beasts of the sea–
Why, as long as the Tzutzu flower still blooms, hope still blooms for me.”
And with tears of joy in his sun-blind eyes, he slips the guru a five, And crawls back down the mountainside, pursuing the perfect high.

“Well, that is that,” says Baba Fats, sitting back down on his stone, Facing another thousand years of talking to God, alone. “Yes, Lord, it’s always the same…old men or bright-eyed youth… It’s always easier to sell ‘em some shit than it is to tell them the truth.”

Shel Silverstein

When a good plan goes wrong

 

This week I started with a plan.  I started with determination.

We are getting ready to list our house so I’ve been packing all non-essential items.  I cleaned and cleaned and… my son told his friend our house smelled “like a flower’s ass,” which is about the best compliment you can get out of an 18 year old boy.

Then, I sat down to take a break and check my email.  All of the sudden it started to smell funny, like bad perm solution.  I started walking around the house sniffing to see what had happened and then… I heard it… the waterfall.

I ran down the stairs of the basement to see a geyser of poop water coming out of the pipe in the ceiling.  HOLY HELL NOOOOO!

Our city has a combined sewer system.  When we finally got some much needed rain, 3 inches fell within an hour overwhelming the storm drains and it backed up into the basement… where my children’s rooms are.  I wanted to scream… instead I found my husband’s rubber boots and waded through turds and dirty water to unplug everything.

It took 2 1/2 days to clean and sanitize everything.  We lost a couch, a laptop and a monitor.  I did more laundry in 2.5 days than I do in 2 weeks.  Because I spent about 18 hours a day in the basement, all the cleaning upstairs went to … well undone is what I’ll say.

I’ve kept a sense of humor about the whole thing, but it’s time to get back to work.

Have you ever had a plan fall to crap?  How did you overcome the challenge.

Creme Cheese Masochism

Building conflict is essential in a novel.  This has been drilled into our heads over and over again.  It’s easy to build conflict with a killer on the loose with real, well fictional, life or death situations.

Conflict… doesn’t always have to be life or death.

I’m the epitome of conflict as I have an obsession with baking in the midst of bikini season.  I mean really, who bakes a rhubarb pie, two loaves of bread and dinner rolls while walking miles each day with her daughter to try to remove the evidence of our creme cheese addiction?

I’m a masochist.  Today, we add weights to our workout routine… and maybe another mile.  I’ve gone up two sizes and if this doesn’t stop, when I walk it will look like two muskrats fighting in a gunny sack when I walk.  I like my cheese on a bagel, not on my legs!

At least I'm adding WHOLE GRAIN

My daughter has put on 8 pounds since the end of school.  But, she was a size zero so she could afford the extra weight.

Someone should lock me out of the oven.  But then again, I’m creative.

I’m considering seeking professional help for my baking addiction.  I’m certain it has something to do with growing up poor and not wanting anyone to be hungry… or the smell of anything baking in the oven…or a nesting instinct…  Maybe I have mommy issues.

HELP?

Any other masochists out there?  How do you keep yourself in check?

 

Not 21 Anymore! My Boob Hurts.

With the spouse working an ungodly amount of hours, summer break here and our half of the summer with our children, it’s been all responsibility and no adult time for weeks.  So my parents took my kids for the weekend, his daughter stayed with friends and his adult son watched the dogs for us.

What did we do?  Oh, we forgot that we’re not 21 anymore.  We partied with friends Saturday night, then slept for a few hours before taking the three hour long drive to Michigan International Speedway.  Tired and a little hungover I figured I could sleep in the car.  Wrong.  I just couldn’t get there with my head bouncing off the doorjamb and Pantera blaring at 20 billion jigawats!

Driving through three hours of rain, it wasn’t looking good for the race.  I had checked the weather the day before and it called for rain in the morning, but it looked like there would be a race.  Now, I wasn’t so sure and in the state I was in, my judgement definitely needed questioning

We huddled under a large umbrella and commenced taking in a little Hair of the Dog.  Thanks to the rain gear and alcohol, we really didn’t care much that it was raining.  We made friends with our neighbors, as we most often do tailgating at any NASCAR track.

The rain finally cleared and we made the nearly two mile walk to our spot in turn 4 of the infield.  Sitting in the sun, I finally was able to doze of for awhile, despite the roar of the race cars.

Poor Joey hit the wall

My girlfriend, her husband and I took the nearly mile walk to the restrooms halfway through the race.  On the way back, my attention span was that of a peanut.  So much to look at, trying to see the cars, fatigue and a little intoxication I wouldn’t have noticed a freight train coming at me.  So when I heard, “Look Out!” it was too late.  I caught a football in my right breast.

My friends were worried.  The football hit me hard.  I kept walking and told the guy as he tried to apologize that I was fine.  I grew up on a farm surrounded by boys and it wasn’t the first ball that hit me.  It’s actually not the first ball to hit the chesticle either.  By the time we got back to our seats, it really hurt.  I took a water bottle from the cooler and tucked it inside my bathing suit.  Truth was, dad may have taught me to be tough, but I was crying inside.  My BOOB?  REALLY?  Not the ta taas!

I’m trying to smile… really I am.

I finally got some sleep, re-hydrated and I’m off and running today.  I have to drop my dog off for x-rays, drive half an hour to get my kids then go clean a house.  The chesticle still hurts a bit today but thankfully, I think the girls will be just fine.

But, I’m too damned old to party like it’s 1999 any more.  My boobs just can’t take the heat!

Pimp and Promote Party!

Got ma’ pimp hat on!

Dropping by August McLaughlin’s page has brought me to the Pimp and Promote party.  To celebrate, YOU’RE INVITED, to pimp and promote your work, and the work of others.

Here are the rules:

1. PIMP: Share a link to a blog post, book or other venture you’re stoked about.

2. PROMOTE: Share a link to a pal’s post, book or other work you think ROCKS.

3. MINGLE: Have fun checking out others’ links, while the rest of the partygoers enjoy yours. Feel free to pop by later or over the next few days to catch links of the fashionably late. ;)

I’ll start by pimping THIS POST, and promoting one of my newest favorite authors CJ West.  CJ is a neat guy who is making it through this world as a writer full time.  I’m actually going to give you a double whammy and link you over to Jillian Dodd’s page where she’s convinced CJ to take it all off for the camera for her MANday post.  She’s still working on getting comments – when she reaches a lofty 5,000 comments, CJ’s going to give us a shirtless pose.  This has prompted some cheeky shenanigans over on Twitter.  I urge you all to comment and force CJ into this arrangement!

On a serious note, I’m in the middle of CJ’s book The End of Marking Time and so far, it’s pretty damned interesting!

So tell us what you’re working on – what you’re excited about – and tell us about someone else.  Mingle, chat, poke fun, flirt.  I’ll be over at the bar!

Things Just Stay Weird

I’m a skeptic.  I never believe something someone tells me.  I always do the research and I believe that qualifies as continuing education.

We now live in a world with real zombies.  I don’t enjoy zombie books or movies, but in the year 2012 we have bath salt eating zombies.  Hooray for us.

We’re a bit different in the Mullican house.  If you’d like to find out why (and maybe get a chuckle) you can find out by reading:  The Reason I do not Write Romance; Where’s my Bio Hazard Suit; When Prissy Just Won’t Do; My DNA Ends up in the Weirdest Places or yes, it’s titled: Shaving my Kitty.   Rereading some of these has given me a good laugh.

If you would have asked me a decade ago, if I would have been on the phone being interviewed by a ghost hunting team, I would have laughed in your face.  But today, I had just such an interview.  Over the last five years or so, we’ve had… issues in our home.  The kids no longer believe the bullshit excuses I’ve come up with so it’s time for help.  Thanks to shows like Ghost Hunters, people are less afraid to admit such a problem exists.

Now I’m certain that if we have ghosts, they think I’m just as scary when they see me Yelling At My Laptop.  This is probably the reason they like to throw stuff around my house.  I’m okay with people thinking I’m bat-shit crazy, nuttier than rat shit in a pistachio factory or maybe just a little eccentric.  Yes – we have ghosts.  I have evidence.  And if you don’t believe in them, stay a night in my house… walk down my hallway without turning on the light.  Grown adults can’t do it.  My kids can’t do it.  The spousal unit and I seem to be the only ones able and I still get the creeps.  I usually talk to the cat on my way down the hallway as a distraction.

Great, now I’m the crazy cat lady too.  Phenomenal.

If you haven’t left yet, welcome aboard the crazy train where lamps fall over, growls come from thin air, my animals chase non-existent things into corners and growl, items lift off of tables and walls, random disappearing people walk down the hall and our imaginary friends crawl into bed with us.  Oh yes, there is a boogey man.  No, I no longer tell my children, “there’s no such thing as ghosts.”  And no – your comforter is not a magical barrier against all things scary.

I think I will start to name the mischievous little bastards.

I cracked a joke via Twitter that with two large breed dogs (1 American Bulldog at 120 lbs and a 5 month old English Mastiff who is now dwarfing the bulldog) and a room full of guns that I wasn’t afraid to be home alone at night, “not even from bath-salt eating zombies.)  Truth is, I can deal with the zombie.  I can kill it.  How do you deal with something that’s already dead?  Something that is frightening otherwise pretty damned brave children?