Friday, April 21, 2006


That's about the only word I can come up with for what I've been lately. Bejiggity. I don't know what my damn problem is , but some would argue that my head is shoved so completely far up my ass, that it's going to be years behind in tanning up with the rest of my body.

Work has kept me quite busy. Between jobs one and two, I haven't a whole lot of time for much else. Normally, this would be delightful in the world of me. But lately, it's just...I don't know...tiresome. Mundane. Not quite what I had pictured for myself at the age of 30. I didn't realize that I've got the "I-Just-Turned-30-Blahhhs" until someone who knows me quite well pointed out that my problem was exactly that about a week - maybe week and a half ago. know what? That's exactly what my problem is.

I'm 30 years old. In my 30 years, I've accomplished what? On the bright side, I've got 3 awesome boys. A husband whom adores me. A non-profit organization that I built from the ground up that while it's successful in it's mission by most public standards, isn't as stable as I would like for it to be. I've loved so hard my heart literally broke right in two. And, I've managed to live without it, too. I've got THE coolest bird in the universe. (Go Rio) I've met some of the greatest people a girl could ever call a friend, and been able to do just that.

But, still, I'm not where I think that I should be at the ripe old age of 30. I don't own my home. I'm not in a position where I even want to own a home right now, as I have absolutely no freakin' clue what I'm doing next month, much less in 10 years. Yet, at the same time, I feel that I owe it to my kids to provide the stability that owning your home provides. In a perfect world, it would be in the country, with a good 10 acres to toss some horses out on them. I do that here, or do I do it in North Carolina?

Do I even want to go to North Carolina? The point of that is to help further the Org along by providing some much needed relief to my NC Director. She needs help. The other point of that is that there are jobs down there. Real, true, get-your-paycheck-at-the-end-of-the-week jobs for Jason. Here, there are not. He went from making almost 50k a year, getting laid off with a bunch of his other co-workers, to now working at Target (for Chrissakes) to making a whopping 19k a year. That's not ok. That's not ok at all. And, this is the best thing that Jackson, Michigan has to offer. There are no shop jobs. There are no blue collar jobs for the experience he's got. And, it's killing us. People are literally fighting to keep their heads above water here. It's not just's everyone. I hear the same story day in and day out at the bar. "Just got laid off", "been downsized", yada-yada-yada.

So, do we make a move we can't afford to make all the way to North Carolina? It's warmer. It's nicer. It's beautiful. There are jobs. I have friends there. Sure...we could do it. It'd be cheaper to live, and chances are he'd be paid more for a job he doesn't hate.

But...then I have to take into account that all of my family, and all of my real, true, honest to goodness friends, are right here. In Michigan. Sure it's colder than hell 70% of the year. I hate snow. I don't even call it snow...I call it white shit. And, I've earned the right to call it that with all the backbreaking hours I've put in shoveling it out of my driveway. I hate a lot of things about this place, but it's home. And no matter where I go, it will always BE home.


Maybe we should look for a different city here in Michigan that has a better job market. Jas is planning to go back to school in the fall, and he's young enough to do it and do it quickly. He's almost done with his bachelors it wouldn't take much time.

I don't freakin' know. All I know is that a lot of the goals that I had set for me and my family...haven't exactly been reached. I have some shit to do, and Lord help me if I don't start accomplishing some of it. I'm 30. Officially, the training wheels are off. I don't have the "Well...I'm still young" excuse anymore. I'm not a kid anymore, and there's no mistaking that I'm responsible for my own actions, my own mistakes, and my own failures.

I've always said that the only person that can shape my future is me. I guess it's time I start figuring out what that's going to be. The "When I grow Up, I'm gonna be a _____________" fill in the blank sheet should have an answer in it by now. I'm pretty sure mine didn't say "Bartender".


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Loooooong, Boring Night...

Tonight was another long, boring night at the bar. After my pool leagues, there was literally 7 people in there, the entire night. Normally, a Wednesday night would be slammed, but we weren't tonight. But...the people who WERE there, were just FUCKING demanding.

Like, for instance, Mandy. Mandy was schnaukered. Just sloshed. And, everytime I tried to make or take a call, to say my boss, or to a friend who needed me to talk to her tonight, Mandy would scream my name at the tip-top of her lungs for my undivided attention. I wanted to smack her. And I may have entertained that idea if she didn't outweigh me by a good 200 pounds and a foot up. Grrr.

Pool leagues were interesting. There's this guy, Will. Will is a nice enough guy, a little on the slow side, but his looks outweigh his lack of common sense at first glance. Anywho, Will sat there tonight, asking me about my kids and my husband. I told him that the boys were doing well, Alex was on spring break, Logan's learning to walk, yada, yada, yada. I told him Jas was home with the boys and is just plugging away at work, getting ready for the move, etc. Right...?

So, Will pops up with: "So, do you think you and I could go out sometime before you leave?" I said "Well..., *ahem*, Will. What time is your girlfriend picking you up?" He says "Oh...I don't know, she should be here in a little bit. She was Pee-issed that I was talking to you last week after pool leagues. You should have heard her all the way home. She was mad!"

I try to defer to another subject. "So, how's work going? Take down any major trees after the tornado? My parents house got hit." A tornado hit Friday, my parents house was trampled by it, and Will works for a tree removal business, and has been slammed after some of the rough weather we've been having. Normally, this would lead him off to the extremes of his work, and I would get to be entertained by near-death experiences he's had whilst on the job, right? Uh huh...NO.

"So, I'll write down my number for you, and you call me. We'll go to the casino or something. That'll be fun. Can you get out for an entire night? You have to remember to NEVER, EVER call me after 4:30 pm. She'll find out and I'll be dead."

I took the poor boy's phone number, waited until he and Sophie, his girlfriend were gone and then tossed it.

Do I have "Slutty-Man-Tender" Written somewhere on my forehead? Is it there? Good Lord. Ask how my children are doing and then in no uncertain terms ask me to cheat on him. Puh-lease. There's a relationship made in heaven, don't you think?

I'm tired. Really tired. I haven't gotten much sleep the last few nights and it's killing me. I can feel myself getting sick, AGAIN. My 30th birthday is Saturday, and I really didn't want to get sick for it. I'm trying to drink lots and lots of OJ and to keep just ahead of it. I'm workin' on it...


Off to listen to some sappy music and think a lot.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

We're Moving.

To North Carolina.'s the story...

As you all know (or should know by now if you've been reading me for any length of time) I founded and serve as Program Director of a Missing Persons Organization.

About 6 or 8 months after I founded the org, I got a call from a woman who had been in the industry for 25 years and wanted to open her own branch of our org. She was certainly qualified, she was sweet as pie, and we hit it off pretty much right off the bat. Her name is Jackie.

Jackie started the North Carolina Branch of the org in 2003. Within the first six months she made national headlines with two major cases that she worked. One of the missing persons that she represented was her godson whom was abducted from the home that he lived in with his Aunt and Uncle.

Anywho, Jackie has continued to make leaps and bounds throughout the industry, and is getting swamped with work. To top it off, she's at retirement age and would like to be able to do just that: retire.

Jas and I really have nothing here holding us back. We have talked about this at great lengths. Michigan is not the place you want to be if you have spent any respectable amount of time at a job only to get laid off with the rest of the pack (like Jas did last year). We are, I believe, if not the highest, amongst the highest in unemployment statistics in the country. Jobs are not out there. GM has laid off most of it's employees. Same thing with all the other shops. Jas worked for Spartan Motors for 3 years only to be tossed to the side with 50 other employees on the same day. He went from making great money to having to find a job, and then eating some big fat crow and taking a job for right around 8 bucks less than what he was making at Spartan.

To top it all off, upon doing some research on North Carolina...the cost of living is quite a bit less than what it is here. We pay 700/month for rent. This house isn't great. Hell, I wouldn't even call it nice. It's a house. An old house, with a dipshit for a landlord. It's an old victorian home that's split into two homes (commonly referred to as a Duplex). For the 700/month we pay here, we could live in a brand spankin new 4 bedroom, 2 bath, fully fenced in back yard, no snow, lots of sunshine, beautiful home in North Carolina.

Jobs...I looked at the newspaper in the city where we're headed to? Yeah, 9 pages of ads, with 50 ads on each page. And they're not bullshit jobs either. They are real jobs, with real paychecks that come attached to them should you get the said job.

I'm getting excited. And, if it sucks...we can always come home.

I've never lived out of state before. But, we're going to a town where we know people, where my org is already successful, where we already have a staff of 350 volunteers that are regular and reliable...

What more could we ask for?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I am a Cheating Whore.

Hello, my name is Shannon, and I am a literary cheater. (Collective "Hi Shannon" with understanding nods comes in from the crowd.)

I did it. I cheated on Frodo with Sandford. I'm just not a strong charactered person. It's true. Last night, I was lying there reading, trying my damndest to stay awake so that I could get up and get Alex on the bus at 6, and Two Towers was boring the shit out of me. I kept glancing at the perfect series, neat and in order in all of it's used glory on my bookshelf at the end of my bed. Mentally, I'd chew myself out, and go back to reading about Frodo's trek to Mordor. Then, I'd start nodding off again, and snap myself out of it, and glance at the series again. So, I got up, you know...just for the sake of looking to see which ones I'd already read. I had read the first 3 of the series, the 5th, and the 6th. The 4th had the return serial killer, Michael Bekker from the 3rd. Bekker's a sonofabitch. But, and here's where I started to falter...he is an interesting sonofabitch. Indeed, a good fast paced maniacal killer will keep me awake! So, there I sat, justifying in my pathetic mind why it was ok to put Tolkien down and pick up a Prey novel by John Sandford. Sandford and I have HISTORY. I owe Tolkien nothing. Nothing! I made the weak knee'd decision to put Frodo down and leave him for when I was reading to try to sleep, instead of when I was reading to try to stay awake. I suck. Yeah, yeah. I know, I suck. Thanks for driving the point home. want to freak out a gas station attendant? Walk in with a huge macaw on your arm, and then have him alarm cry at the tip top of his lungs to let you know that she's there in front of you -- all before she's had the chance to look up and notice that you have a mammoth bird on your arm. Great fun, I tell ya. I probably wouldn't do this to anyone who looks over 50. With the reaction from the under 25 crowd, I'm thinking the over 50 crowd may want to have some angina medication on hand...just in case.

American Idol put on a decent show tonight. I'm an addicted junkie. It's true. People at the bar know pretty much to get their drinks during commercial on Wednesday night during the elimination show.

Here's my picks for the top 4...

I think that Chris Daughtry will probably end up at 1 or 2 spot. The trouble with him is that I think he's getting cocky. The good thing about him is that he brings originality to the cast, and he's his own person. I dig him, and I'll likely dig whatever he puts out after the show is over and he's got a contract in hand.

Katherine McPhee is an obvious choice for the top 1/2 spots. Either or, she'll end up with a fabulous career that I look forward to following in the future. She's got both the screen and the stage mastered, now if we could only teach the poor dear how to dress...

Mandisa....that chick can WAIL. I know that she's not all teensy tiny like everyone likes to see, but was Aretha ever built like a Barbie doll? I think not. She'll be in the 3rd spot.

And, Kelly Pickler, because lets face it...she's just too damn cute to pass up. Mynx: LMAO...she thought a Mynx was a fur coat!

Who I hate? Chicken Kevin kid. He's just effin' irritating to me. I can't stand his little ass, and Ace Young. Ace is a spitting image of what my 6 year old's biological father looks like, and well...I didn't like him much either.

Off to shamelessly read Sandford...


Monday, March 20, 2006

Kisses, Waves, Step-Ups and Sunflower Seeds...

These are what we trained for today. It's not exactly the Olympics, is important to us.

Rio has started his training regimen. I finally figured out a good teensy treat that I can use to reward him with that doesn't take 10 minutes for him to get down, and that I can buy in bulk. Sunflower seeds. Beautiful.

So, I started out with him on my arm, and asked him to do "Ladders". Ladders is me requesting him to step up from one arm to the next, over and over and over again. For each "Step-Up" on to my arm, he gets a sunflower seed. He did this perfectly, but to be fair, he's been doing this since week one of us meeting, but not always with treat. This was me trying to ease him into the routine of performing the trick, getting the reward and moving onto the next trick.

This is also helping to get him to step up for me whenever I ask, instead of just when he feels like doing it. Because, lemme tell you...if he doesn't feel like it, the gigantasaur pinch I recieve on my arm instead of birdy feet...HURTS LIKE HELL.

After about 30 repetitions of the Ladders, I started throwing in a kiss. I'd do a ladder, then say "Can I have a kiss?" and then I'd pucker up. In return, I'd get a beak on the lips, and he'd get a sunflower seed. was working.

I threw in about 10 of those inbetween ladders, and then introduced his "Wave". His wave is actually me saying "Get Ri-Ri's Toes!" where then he'll put his foot up for me to play with. Instead of playing with it, I'd go "HI RI-RI!!!" In my super-duper high pitched girl voice, and then reward him. So, now, when I say "HI RI-RI!" He waves at me with his foot. Sweet, right? We did this about 20 times.

Then about half way through the training session, when he was rewarded with the sunflower seed, he goes "MMMMmmmmmm!" So, of course, I had to reward him twice, because when he uses words in context, he should get a reward for it! He quickly learned that by telling me "MMMMmmmmmm!!!" got him an extra treat. So, for the second half of the training session, he got two treats per trick. He's not a dumb animal. He may be even a little smarter than me, I think...

So, after we were finished, we had trained for about an hour and a half, and I had to go get ready for work. So, I put him in his cage, thinking... "Sweet. We just had a perfect training session and he's happy, I'm happy...that was really cool."

I put him on his cage, then went to the kitchen to grab some apples, grapes, snap peas and sprouts to toss into his fresh foods dish, and I changed his water and replaced it. I asked him to step up for me, and he freakin' DOVE at me! The little bastard tried to bite me, and bite me hard. There was no body language to suggest that I had done something to offend him. Sure...he wanted to be on me and I had other things to do...but I want a million dollars and I'm not exactly biting anyone because I'm pissed about it, now am I? What the hell?

So, I make him go to bed (I tell him "Go to bed!" in a stern voice when he's in trouble and this prompts him to go inside his cage.) and I go about filling his fresh foods dish with his dinner. The entire time I'm doing this, he's striking the cage, much like a bully tries to make the wimpy kid flinch. He was trying to get at me. He was being a BAD BOY. I told him to quit or that I'd cover his cage and he'd have to go to sleep....

From 7pm on, his little ass was covered tonight. And, from 7pm until the time I left, he was calling for me, only to get the response "Mommy doesn't play with birds who bite! GO TO SLEEP!" every time.

I'm hoping that it was just because he was wiped out from training for so long. I'll have to see if shorter training sessions will change the outcome of his behavior after the session. If not, maybe he can hang out on me for a while after the session ends, and THEN go back to his cage. I don' t know... We'll see who wins this battle...

Sunday, March 19, 2006


The title of this post is what I awoke to hearing this afternoon about an hour after I laid down to take a "cat-nap". I thought one of my children had injured themselves and was dying.

Nope...not it.

It was Rio. Apparently, Rio has bitten someone at some point (or at least I am surmising this to be true) and they tried to be calm and collected about the pain that he was inflicting, but as it increased, so did their volume until finally they screamed like a little girl who had just lost her lollipop.

He did this little phrase about 30 times before he finally started what I like to call his "Mu-Ha-Ha" laugh. "Mu-Ha-Ha" is short for "Evil, Spawn of Satan, I've just done something really bad and you're about to enjoy the reward of my deed". Yes, indeed, I have seen that side of him.

But, for the most part, he was in a jovial mood all afternoon. I awoke this morning to him standing on my chest, working on that little stain (teensy mole) on my cheek. Jas must've gotten tired of him calling for me and finally brought him upstairs and delivered him to my bed. Next to my pillow I found a small pile of almonds still in the shell to occupy him that Jas must've put there for him. He's such a good boy that he even took them to the side of my bed to eat them, as all the discarded shell casings and the brown little "skin" that goes on the outside of the almond were in a neat pile on the floor next to my bed.

Today was my youngest child, Logan's birthin' day today. He's officially been breathing oxygen for one full year. Some of his other feats include: pulling himself up and cruising between furniture and toys, saying "Mama!", "Dada", Ala (which is not our God, but our 6 year old, Alex) and "No!", he's licked that whole binky habit (we're anti-binky...there's nothing more irritating to me than to see a 3 or 4 year old child with a damn pacifier in his/her mouth...I just want to smack those parents...), he's on to sippy cups, and he's graduated to actually leaving his clothes ON his body for longer periods than an hour! (I thought for sure I had birthed a Chipendale there for a while...)

We did the whole cake and ice cream thing...took video. Good time. Sam, our 3 year old actually made comment on how messy his baby brother was. "Maaaan! Mom! You should teach that kid how to eat. It's in his hair, and I just KNOW that stuff isn't good for hair." My 3 year old is a bit of a smart ass. Not at ALL sure where he got THAT from...

What else? the end of this post, you will find a bunch of answers to questions that have recently been asked of me. If you have no idea what they go to or why I'm writing them...then never-you-mind. LOL...The person they are intended to go to knows exactly who they are.

Ohhh...I know what I was going to say before I get to that. I'm PISSED. Why am I pissed, you ask? Well, because I'm a spoiled little brat. That's why I'm pissed. About a month ago, I bought a lot of 18 books by John Sandford on e-bay. It literally felt like it was taking forever and a day for them to arrive, right? So, I start reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, thinking that would speed the wait time up, make it go know the drill. Well, today, my books arrive, and here I am, and I'm only 3/4 of the way through the second book in the trilogy. This makes me mad! I WANT to read the new books. But, I'm morally obligated to finish the trilogy that I started before the new books got here. Otherwise, in the strange little world of me, that's cheating. Cheating, I say! And, we can't very well have that. I'd feel guilty the entire time I was reading the new books. Damn you Frodo. DAMN YOU!

Ok. SO. That's that. I won't even give you a bunch of bullshit excuses for why I haven't written for so long. You know why I haven't written for so long. Because I had other stuff to do. I get to it as soon as I can, and you, loyal readers know that. Thanks for stickin' with me...



I don't know why. But, I do too. Frequently, in fact. You are making a mistake in thinking that it was your fault. It wasn't your fault at all, but instead just the way the cards fell. I can't justify it anymore than I can sit here and tell you that all that was there is gone. I'm no good at justifying something I know in my heart and my mind will never, ever make sense to me. I quit trying and just accept that you are who you are, I am who I am, and that together we're always going to be that person for each other. You do that for the same reasons I do. Because you know that I'll get it, I know you'll get it, and it's all we have left. Sad, but it is. We're not strong enough to be around each other or speak to each other, so we do this instead. I don't think it hurts less, or anything like that, but it just lets each other know that we're still there, and really, still there as much as we can be for each other. Everything we did, except for the last thing was right. Why? I don't know. Because we ARE that for each other. Right. If you were the only one, we wouldn't still be having the same thoughts and feelings on the 6th year. You are not the only one, you never have been and you never will be. You know why I've never come. And you know why I can't now. You absolutely do. Every day, in fact. The picture was perfect. PERFECT. What WAS I thinking? Enough would imply that the distance that's been put between us is over. So, no. Not enough. But I do, as much today as ever. You're no fool. You're anything but. I would have to say that you are the most intelligent person I've ever known, but a fool? No. Crazy or Pathetic? Crazy...well, maybe a little. But, if you weren't, you would've never been attracted to me. Talk about insanity...and ABSOLUTELY NOT on the next. Can I be greedy and choose both? Why not get everyone and GO to Vegas? I'm sorry, but I can't answer that today. You're the only one who's ever gotten that answer. It's never been just you. I've always been there 50% in this with you. Rules suck. That's just the way it is. It's a rule in fact... and Dear Lord, I hope not. I look forward to the day I get to see your face and hear your laugh and just be in the same room with you again. I hope this isn't the way it will always be.

That's what I'd say if we were on speaking terms. Thanks on the birthin' day. He's cute as hell!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Schmoopy Lyrics: In case you're all depressed and need inspiration...(I'm feeling schmoopy...)

Alone in this house again tonight
I got the TV on, the sound turned down and a bottle of wine
There's pictures of you and I on the walls around me
The way that it was and could have been surrounds me
I'll never get over you walkin' away

I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show
And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control
But I'm just drunk enough to let got of my pain
To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain
From my eyes
Tonight I wanna cry

Would it help if I turned a sad song on
"All By Myself" would sure hit me hard now that you're gone
Or maybe unfold some old yellow lost love letters
It's gonna hurt bad before it gets better
But I'll never get over you by hidin' this way

I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show
And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control
But I'm just drunk enough to let got of my pain
To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain
From my eyes
Tonight I wanna cry

I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show
And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control
But I'm just drunk enough to let got of my pain
To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain
From my eyes
Tonight I wanna cry

I'm a nice girl.

I am. Truly.

Tonight, I watched Milton, a 23 year old regular sit at my bar, minding his own business, drinking his Captain and Coke get molested by Michelle. Michelle is a 30-something (damn near 40 something) bar-whore who fancies herself one hot piece of tail. Michelle would be a hot piece of tail if she had one ounce of self respect. But...she doesn't.

Michelle's not an ugly girl. Not at all. She's actually very cute. Nice body, cute face. Decent smile. Dresses nicely...

I've been the main bartender and manager of that bar for 7 months. I've worked there for what? 9 months, I think? Since I started, I cannot tell you how many mens tonsils I've actually had the displeasure of watching Michelle's tongue seek out. And...this is rather disgusting to me. One time, I remember seeing her literally (and I'm so not kidding) climb onto an old dude's lap, wrap her legs around his body, and lick his face.

This gets her drinks. A lot of them. Men actually fall for her crap and purchase drinks in mass quantity for her. And, rather than being decent about it and ordering a 3 dollar shot, she always tells them she's expensive and makes them buy her $6.00 Jager-Bombs. (Which, for the non-bar-going readers is a shot of jagermeister in a small shot-glass, dropped into a straight glass of Red Bull).

So, Milton...anyways, she gets up and goes to the bathroom and Milt says "Shan...that chick won't leave me ALONE. She keeps putting her hands under my shirt, and she won't leave me alone!" I said " time she says or does anything uncomfortable, tell her to watch it because you don't want your girlfriend to get pissed and jealous and point at me. She won't know any differently."

So, about three minutes later (she was in the bathroom for 2 of them) she says "Hey, Shannon. Come'ere." I said "Yeah, Michelle. Whatcha need?" She says "Aren't you married?" I said, "Yeah? So?" She says "Well, Milton says that he's dating you and that I better watch it. I said that your husband's huge and that Milton better watch it." I said "Yeah, well...if you feel froggy...jump. You threatening to tell my husband about my relationship with Milton?" She says " I won't if you'll let me take him home with me tonight." I said "I'll tell him myself tonight. Milton's mine. Hands off." (mind you, this entire time, Milt's got a Cheshire grin on his face.) She says "Well, I'll just call him now." I said "You want his cell number, or will you call him on the land line?" with a cocky grin. She says "You're a bitch. I like it."

And with that, gets up, and moves to another table with 3 other men. Within a whopping 2 minutes, the big hairy, tatoo'd biker grandpa that she sat next to was ordering her two Jager-bombs.

Ick. least we know that when we're old and wrinkly, there'll still be the Michelle's of the world to keep us warm at night...

One last thought on it...wouldn't she make more money if she went out and found herself a corner?