Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top Ten Scariest Things about Halloween

10. This is Minnesota. Every year you get an amazing costume and then every year your mother ruins it by making you wear a coat. It's only a matter of time until the psycho gunfire that misfits use to take out schools is adopted by disgruntled trick-or-treaters and the parents are left splattered on the porch next to the jack-o-lanterns.

9. This is Minnesota. Go downtown and you'll still see hundreds of twentysomethings dressed as anything that allows them to be half naked. But really? A frozen slut? Is kind of scary.

8. This is Minnesota. In 1991, the Halloween Blizzard would have buried any trick or treaters alive that weren't five feet or taller. That was scary.

7. This is my life. It's only a matter of time until Mark leaps from beneath or behind something to yell at me. I'm just praying it's not at the top of the stairs again. It really wouldn't look like a murder if I fell down the steps and broke my neck. And that? Is scary.

6. Clowns. That is all.

5. The older kids who bully the little ones and take their candy. Because if your youth begins with mugging toddlers, it's scary to picture you  in fifteen or twenty years.

4. Our jack-o-lanterns are very scary. Not the detail in their faces, but the mold. Guess we carved em too early. Now I'm scared to touch them.

3. The women who just shouldn't. You know who I'm talking about. Go to any bar having a costume contest. They? Are scary.

2. The Unicef pennies. Who uses pennies? Who wants pennies? Has anyone ever met someone who works for Unicef? It's a front for some pervert with a penny fetish. He rolls around in them naked before he gives them out. Now that's scary.

But the scariest thing about Halloween?

1. On Halloween ten years ago, my brother's close friend was murdered after being split off from the group he went partying with that night. PLEASE STAY IN GROUPS. We miss Chris Jenkins and the fact that he was a young, strong college guy when he was overtaken and killed? That's scary.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Miraculous or Creepy? Part 2 of 2

If you missed yesterday's post, start there. It's part one of this story.

The following day was spent in bliss and by bliss I don't mean 'I was magically healed by a prayer on the point' bliss. I mean the resort has a pool and a hot tub and my friend Heather came to visit, too.

That night some of us headed down to the fire pit and that is where the story becomes bizarre.

The fire pit is meant to communal, for the whole resort. Another bit of bullshit to my possessive mind. If I'm going to have a fire at 'grandma and grandpa's', there shouldn't be a bunch of strangers there wrecking it.

But we were alone and my dad, brother, Heather and I built the fire up beautifully. One by one, though, the strangers came. Then it was two by two, like Noah's friggin' ark and pretty soon there were more than twenty of us at that fire.

Small stutter ensued (my version of small talk) and I learned that there was a group of 20-25 earth healers staying at the resort this weekend. Apparently they follow ley lines in the earth and supposedly the land there runs over or through something sacred.

I told them that my family used to own the land and that we grew up playing there as children and they asked if they could say a prayer of thanks to me for 'sharing' my land, which of course isn't mine and never was.

And this is where the story diverges. I'll give you my version of what happened next as well as my brother's for reference, though really his opinion barely counts. He and my dad ran for the hills when the earth mothers came out. They may have been frightened by all the estrogen. Or spells.

My version of what happened next:

I had a severe outburst of emotional diarrhea in which I stuttered at the entire group of people. I felt they needed to know that this land they were saying was so sacred had had horrors take place there as well. There is light and dark everywhere. So, yeah. I stuttered to an group of, oh.....about twenty-some strangers that I (and others) had been molested on this land for years.

Neil's version of what happened next:

I came back from refreshing my drink to see a huge group of people standing silently and listening to Tricia, mesmerized. All I could think of was the Charles Manson girls.

My version of what happened next:

A few of the ladies asked if they could burn sage for me and pray for my healing. I said yes and the next thing I knew I was on my knees crying while every single one of them sang a Native American prayer to the moon and tossed their own sage into the fire in my honor. It was freaky and strange but it was also beautiful and totally sincere. Afterward they came to me one by one to hug me and speak to me and wish me well.

Neil's version of what happened next:

They sang praises to my sister and Cody Bichon (a nickname Neil gave one of the earth mothers because of her curly white hair which did, to be fair, resemble our old dog Cody) had that look on her face when she hugged Tricia. The look. You know, the look. The Manson girls. I'm pretty sure Tricia could have told Cody Bichon to walk naked into Lake Superior under the moon until she drowned and she would have. That's when I ran back to the cabin. I wasn't getting kidnapped by some cult.

What happened next:

I was feeling pretty raw and torn open at that point and Heather and I excused ourselves and went back to the cabin. Curiosity got me, though, and we went back fifteen minutes later to hear if they had anything else to say.

Every single one of them was gone.

There was nobody at the fire.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Miraculous or Creepy? Part 1 of 2

This has to be a two-parter because I'm still digesting the oddity that was this weekend.

The property in the tiny town up north used to belong to my grandparents but now it's a resort. I grew up playing there and some of my favorite and happiest - and also most horrific - memories took place there. I was molested there for years.

Me outside my grandpa's original boat and fish house.
The resort turned it into a game room with a woodstove.

Suffice to say it's both a sacred yet very personal place to me and I'm very possessive of it. I have no right to be, it was never mine. But I've always hated that it's a resort and that anyone can walk those rocky beaches around the bay in Lake Superior.

This weekend we bundled up to walk out to 'the point', a rocky peninsula that forms the quiet bay. I was already grumbling about strangers being out there ruining it.

On the point was a middle-aged couple and they were taking turns snapping photos of each other. I offered to take one so they could both be in it and we began chatting. This is bizarre in and of itself because with my stutter, 'chatting' is incredibly difficult so I really don't bother with strangers or small talk.

The woman said it was the most tranquil place she'd ever seen, and I told her I've had health problems lately and that I was excited to be here this weekend because I believe the water is like medicine for the spirit. She asked if she could pray for me and I said sure, thinking she know. Later or somewhere else.

But nope.

Sunrise over the point, from the beach

This woman clutched me in a hug and began to pray over me for my health. I was stunned but she was warm so what the hell. But then...

Then she started to pray about healing things she couldn't have possibly known and made reference to releasing all the bad things that had happened here at this place 

She released me and asked my name. I said Tricia. "That's my daughter's name," she said. "Not Patricia, just Tricia."

At that point we were both crying and I was kinda freaked out so naturally I wanted to get away. I said thank you and caught up with my family. Mark and I sat and watched the water for a while but I needed to be alone.

The sound of that water is indescribable

I sat on those freezing cold rocks, tucked into a crevice to hide from the wind, and I meditated. And I wondered if I was meant to meet that woman, that woman and her prayer. Or if she was just a kook who prayed over everyone who snaps her picture as a favor.

I don't think so, though, because I saw her yesterday morning as we were checking out. I'm pretty certain she saw me too, but she didn't make eye contact or even acknowledge that we'd met.

But that's skipping ahead, and over the biggest part of the story.

Which I'll tell you tomorrow because I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


When I was a small child I wanted more than anything to be a roller skate for Halloween and my mother told me it was impossible. It was the first of many, many years I went as a punker which no doubt helped secure my future as a pierced and tattooed punk rocker, if by punk rocker we mean middle-aged woman with tattoos who listens mainly to Cities 97 with an occasional blast of Social Distortion when rocking out cleaning the house.

Anyway, the disappointment of that Halloween shaped me as a person. No longer could I be anything I wanted, as I'd believed. Apparently I had wait to grow up for that or something. (More on that disappointment later. Or earlier, actually - this whole blog.)

I can probably trace the roots of all my unhappiness to that singular event. The day my mother crushed my dreams and beliefs. The day she told me I couldn't be a roller skate..

So when I heard of a two-year-old boy named Jayden who desperately wants to be a monster truck for Halloween but has selfish asshole parents with no imagination parents who work full-time and told him it couldn't be done, I intervened. I couldn't send this kid spinning down a trajectory of crushing disappointment and future cynicism. I couldn't bear to shatter his dreams as mine were so cruelly stomped back in my tender youth.

Actually, I'm just on medical leave and can only perform mindless tasks right now. Anything that doesn't require talking, math or safe driving. And I love Halloween. And little kids. So why not make him a truck, right?

I have a lot of random art crap. This was made using three cardboard boxes and stuff around the house. I'm estimating it used $5.00 worth of 'supplies'.

Voila! The JADN8R. Sponsored by his favorite, Cookie Monster.

Fully reflective for safety, sturdy and reinforced, with extra large windows and armholes since this is Minnesota. He'll probably need a snowsuit underneath.

I wish I could see his adorable little face when he sees it. At least, I assume he's adorable. I've never met the kid.  He better not be ugly, because I'm hoping his parents send me a picture of him stuffed inside this thing.

I hope it makes this his Halloween, though. Everyone has one year. One year, one costume. The one that everyone remembers. The one that nobody forgets. Mine was the slutty cowgirl when I was 25.

This Jayden kid, whoever he is and ugly or not, deserves better memories than that.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Ps and Qs of Duh

Remember my gay friends P&P from the well-intentioned yet dubiously worded post about how gay marriage opponents need to wake the fuck up? I say dubiously worded because...duh. The strap-on thing made no sense. Though it proves a point - their sex lives interfere with my life in SO NONE of a way that I can't even differentiate between lesbian sex and gay sex even though I know the basic appendages involved.

At any rate, P1 sent an email to his friends. A sincere, heartfelt and totally respectful email and there isn't a dubious word in it. I copied it word for word here because you should read it. He's far more eloquent on the subject than I. All I know is that weenies and vagges aside, anyone should respect a couple who has loved and supported one another for 26 years. And respect is what this is about.

Also, I really am not certain how to spell vagges.

But on to my friend P and his thoughtfully worded and completely legitimate points.

Dear Minnesota Friends,
Very soon you will hopefully be exercising your right and responsibility to vote in the upcoming elections. On the ballot this year is a constitutional amendment (the "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman" amendment) that is of particular concern to our household and we want to share our thoughts with you prior to you going to the polls.
P and I have been together for 26 years. In that time we have supported one another through all of life's ups and downs: in good times and bad, in sickness and health - all of the events in two people's lives you would expect from such a long time together.
On our 10 year anniversary we were joined in a commitment ceremony. While not an official, government-sanctioned contractual event, it was a loudly stated acknowledgement of our love and commitment to each other performed in front of our family and friends.
As we look toward the rest of our lives together, we know we need to provide instruction and protection as best we can. We have had several legal documents drawn up - everything that we can do to prove we are a couple. Sadly, it's not enough. Depending on where we live, we face the very real possibility that our wishes will not be fulfilled due to the fact that our relationship can be disregarded. Legally.
Currently 1,138 benefits, rights and protections - all based on marital status - are not available to us on a Federal level (as identified by the US General Accounting Office). In Minnesota, 515 State laws discriminate against us. These are very real and imposing facts.
We are now facing the reality that some in our community - and possibly within our own chosen family - believe it is important to memorialize marital discrimination within the Minnesota Constitution. This would be on top of the 1653 discriminatory laws mentioned above. If this amendment is successful, our 26 years together - 26 years of loving and living - is relegated to second-class citizenry. If passed, we are literally thrown to the back of the bus without any opportunity to change it.
Do not let political fear-mongering guide your vote. It has been acknowledged that the marriage amendment was placed on the ballot to increase conservative voter participation. We don't care if you are conservative or progressive - your political leanings are your own. However, for whatever reason this amendment is there, it is mean-spirited and causes real harm to those of us who are in the minority. Voting "NO" is the best course of action to ensure our State embraces the positive values of inclusion and rejects the notion that different is somehow harmful to the community.
When you go to the polls and are faced with the question: "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?" Please think of P and I.

Please remember the most beautiful day in our lives - the day we committed publicly to each other. Remember how we've supported each other during health issues and family deaths. Think about the number of family reunions, weddings, graduations, birthdays, funerals and other gatherings we've attended as a couple. Remember we've planned the rest of our lives together. In other words, know the harm this amendment would cause us and vote your conscience.
Please vote "NO".

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Cat Ate My Qi

I try to meditate during acupuncture because squirming isn't recommended when you're full of needles.

I use a mantra because I remember from meditation classes how important that is. See, that guy's nutsack isn't all I took away from my time at the Minneapolis Zen Center.

Inhale: Blessings In
Exhale: Poisons Out

Generally I get through three or four inhalations before being distracted by the heat lamp or an itch on the tip of my nose. But I am trying.

After each session I feel completely wrung out and yesterday I burrowed into bed immediately for a nap. Gabby had already commandeered my pillow so I head-butted my way in and she curled around me like a shrimp.

A shrimp with a tongue.

A shrimp with a tongue and an obsessive-compulsive licking fetish.

I passed out, sandpaper massage and all and woke to a raw forehead. Only then did I realize.


All the poison out exhalations, and here she was licking the exact spot of my unicorn needle, the one that for some reason always zings like an electric shock going in.

Oh, great.

The cat is going to start stuttering and losing her equilibrium and bitching about muscle spasms all the time.

This place isn't big enough for two mildly retarded invalids. Mark's gonna run for the hills.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shrinky Dinks

All through July I felt funny and after a stroke-like episode that landed me in the ER, I've been plagued with symptoms and undiagnosed. Today marks the third and final time I will submit to a psychological evaluation because I don't feel good and I stutter like a tard.

Ever taken the MMPI? 567 true/false questions designed to identify if you're a narcissist, hypochondriac, psychopath, sociopath or should work for the CIA. I've taken that sumbitch more than once.

Incidentally, my mother pulled out my psych report from age fifteen after I overdosed on four Advil and The Cure. That MMPI? I received an F+. Which isn't as positive as it sounds, what with the plus and all. It basically means I filled in answers randomly so as to not participate. The test was useless.

When the first neurologist in July suggested a psych consult, I balked. They were suggesting my symptoms were from depression, or possibly a conversion disorder (in which immense psychological trauma is converted and displayed through physical distress). But I went to the psychologist.

She said I should push harder for medical testing. Then the neuro said her opinion didn't count so I needed to see a psychiatrist.

The iatrist has a large hairy mole on his forehead and pants that are three inches too short and all in all it was distracting, but he agreed that I ought to push harder for medical testing. He suggested the Mayo. I explained I'm not wealthy or prominent enough to fit their appointment critera. I know this because they considered my case for several weeks before opting not to grant me an appointment.

He said let's do more psych testing so we can prove that I'm not a nutter so the Mayo will agree to see me based on the recommendation of a specialist. So I took the MMPI. Again.

This time I answered honestly. All 567 fucking times. No F+s for this girl. I need a perfectly psychologically balanced score. We're talking higher level than CIA I guess, this Mayo clearance.

My followup was scheduled this morning with yet ANOTHER psychologist.

8 AM.

Monday morning.

Clearly plotting to catch me at my weakest (paranoia - docs, take note).

He was 29 minutes late for my 'first-of-day' appointment so I assumed his theory was to test my patience and see if I would punch holes in the wall or the receptionists.

I did not.

I asked about my MMPI results and he told me he can't review it and file a report until after we've met. We then proceeded to go over the exact. Same. Questions! I've previously reviewed with BOTH other shrinks in the same clinic.

The only real difference was that when this guy asked about my social life he seemed very skeptical when I said I have a lot of friends. Very skeptical. From the dude whose socks most definitely did not match his sweater vest, the disbelief that I am friendable veritably oozed. 693 on Facebook, Dr. Vest. Ka-POW!

And at least a dozen or two in Real Life.

Then I filled out a 40-question 'finish this sentence' exercise with helpful prompts like:

 - I am...................................
 - I failed...............................
 - I regret...............................

I answered them all honestly and thoughtfully including I AM ANNOYED......that you were 29 minutes late for my appointment and I AM the communications among members of your clinic and SPORTS......bore the hell out of me.

So now I must await my report in the mail.

The sacred report that will tell me if I am going to the Mayo Clinic or the rubber room.

Feel free to lay odds in the comments below.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gift Giving Etiquette, Boot Camp Style

My birthday is tomorrow and we were at Target so Mark said "do you want something?" even though he should know that one of my primary Love Languages is Gift Giving. We’re working on our marital communication skills so instead of punching him  for not reading remembering the book (Physical Touch is one of his primaries – ha!) I decided to turn it into a loving teaching moment.

So this training guide was specifically designed with my interests and my husband in mind, but I’m a benevolent sort and figured I’d be remiss in not sharing. Since husbands respond best to concise and clear direction but wives enjoy surprise from time to time, I’ve designed this handy form* as a truce.

The woman fills it out annually, laminates a copy and staples it to her husband’s forehead. Or AmEx, whatever.



Read these rules carefully then carry your form with you at all times. It can be a lifesaver, as you will
clearly forget your anniversary or her birthday at some point until the last moment. You can use this
surreptitiously and she'll never have to know how close you came to blowing it.
Yes, I know.
I said blowing it.
Get it all out now.
The laughter.
1. Wrap it for protection every time. Your protection, so you don't look like a thoughtless douche.
2. They say that poorly endowed men can still please women with the correct motion. I say this because it means small presents can still be effective if packaged and given properly. Which sounds better?
    -OPTION A: $5 coffee card tucked into a (cheap!) cute vase or book and wrapped nicely
     -OPTION B: A crumpled twenty and a fiver thrust at you sheepishly when you admit you forgot        
3. Never select a gift for one woman based on the tastes of a past woman you were with. It's inevitable that you will say something in the future that clues her in and you will piss her off therefore ruining the gift.
4. Don't buy her lingerie. Just don't.
5. It really is the thought that counts. So long as the thought is about her. If the thought is a thinly veiled attempt to think about you instead, she will know and the suffering will never end for you. Just make the effort now, it's so much easier and more painless.
6. If all else fails a judgment free pickup at the bar after sending her out with her girlfriends and a fifty is a nice 'gift' you can actually pass off as being for her (it is) but still reap rewards because most drunk girls are slutty when you pick them up. Or puking. But at least you had the night to yourself, right?
7. Gifts aren't about money. Gifts are about showing someone you love them because LOOK WHAT YOU FOUND/MADE/GOT FOR THEM! Gifts show people love for that reason, not for what they cost.


Trick Anniversaries


Favorite Flowers






Oct 9 1976

Aug 28 2011

Jan 2 2011
(First Met)

Apr 16 2011

  • Lavender
  • MossyGreen
  • Olive Green
  • Rusty Orange
  • Black
  • Lime Green
  • Teal

  • Passion Flowers
  • Hydrangea
  • Spiky Mums
  • Bromeliads
  • Tulips

  • Espresso  Truffles
  • Frango Mints
  • Chocolate Hazelnuts
  • Brownies
  • Crème Brulee

  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Rose Gold
  • Blackened Silver

    • Jewel Tones
    • Deep Oranges
    • Deep Purples
    • Glittery Stones
    • Agates
    Welcome to the Gift Giving Cliff Notes.
    Here you’ll find everything you’ll need to avoid divorce court.

    Also, it’s really not that hard to wow us. In an emergency, simply hand the form over
    to the sales clerk who looks most like she’d get your gal’s style - not the sales girl you’d most like to bang – it’s a small but potentially critical landmine of a difference if this bitch is picking out our gifts.

    Tier 1:

    Beginner’s Level Thoughtful

    Absolutely required for a happy marriage 

    Minimum of 12X annually at random. 

    Higher dosing stimulates faster and  more positive results
    Tier 2:

    Moderately Thoughtful

    - Birthdays
    - Anniversaries 
    - Christmas 
    - Promotions
    - Thank You

     + 10 points for occasional use of Tier 2  level gifts for NO REASON other than to be nice
    Tier 3:

    Panties Off & All is Well

    Damn! Seriously?

    Oh My Gawd, I Have the BEST HUSBAND EVER.

    Ya did good, babe. Come on over here and let me thank you properly.   
    An iced coffee with cream

    A magazine

    Flowers (NOT doghouse flowers)

    Book (tricky, you must pay attention)

    Anything small, cute and dumb you can buy and say it’s because it made you think of me (this is more convincing if you have a ‘reason’ – ex: this pretty little green _____ would look good with your eyes. Use these statements sparingly.)


    Pretty or funny cards
    Staple gun

    Gift cards: Michael's, JoAnn Fabric, Menards, Home Depot, Nordstrom, Target, etc)


    Cooking dinner (this includes prep, setting/cleaning table and all dishes)

    Decorating cards and/or wrapping paper with your little drawings

    Subscription to a favorite magazine

    Dinner and drinks at a place worthy of slapping on some lipstick and a dress

    Sewing Machine

    Gift cards: Mosaic on a Stick, Mosaic Art Supply.Com, Etsy, Fedex Kinkos

    Float Tank certificate at Mpls Wellness Center

    Surprise custom drawing of us (minus blood, gore and superhero themes)

    Weekend getaway (for a sports thing, you die)

    ‘Day Together’ (this means preparing something – tix for this, dinner beforehand here, etc. Simply saying ‘let’s spend a day together’ and calling it a gift is grounds for return to basic training.)


    Positive Example of Gift-Giving:

    Taking a girl out to dinner and not telling her where, then surprising her with a new burger joint because she’d recently mentioned a craving for a cheeseburger
    Example of Improvement Needed:

    Suggesting having other people’s birthday dinners at your favorite restaurant at a date and time that is most convenient to your early bird eating habits 

    Positive Example of Gift-Giving:

    Buying someone’s favorite Aveda lotion for no reason (+10!!) 
    Example of Improvement Needed:

    Getting angry upon arriving home so giving it to her unwrapped and petulantly whilst sulking the rest of evening instead of simply waiting and giving it to her nicely at a different time (-10….see how this works?) 

    Positive Example of Gift-Giving:

    Surprising a lady with jewelry custom made for her because you listen and pay attention to details 
    Example of Improvement Needed:

    Yelling at her when the surprise is (accidentally!) ruined and making her feel guilty about it for eternity.

    *Incidentally, blank copies of the Magic Marriage Gift Giving Cliff Notes are available for free with the purchase of my book. Just fill in your own preferences and training examples! Click the BUY NOW button at the top right of this page. It works, dude.


    Friday, October 5, 2012

    Buy my Bawdy, Beeyatches

    Last chance, guys. You've got until end of day tomorrow to click that mesmerizing button and order yourself a discount copy in honor of banned book week. -->

    Lately I've been sticking my head in the oven a bit, as writers are apt to do. Woe is me and my book. Nobody loves it, nobody buys it, guess I'll eat some worms.

    I thought a contest would drum up some interest so I offered to give away three copies. I had seven entrants.

    My Banned Book Week sale has generated three - count em - three sales.

    And then I saw it, the book bin. With hardcovers in it by writers like Michael Crichton, Lauren Weisberger, Janet Evanovich.

    You know, real writers. The ones I imagine to be rocking on their porches in their secluded zen-like homes full of dusty books, squishy furniture and awards for being awesome.

    Oh, this book bin?

    Was at Dollar America.

    And it included the book featured by Andrew McCarthy in this week's glossy tabloid blurb.

    Needless to say I'm feeling less like a failure and hopeful about the future. Maybe if I sell my books for a dollar I too can become a bestseller!

    Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada) would find our pre-clothing-era home with one closet to be charming, I'm certain. And I do mean one closet. It's a combo clothes/linens/storage/coat closet and it's almost three feet wide with one rod. She may be a best selling author but I have...I have...

    ...something to do*. The oven pinged.

    In the meantime, if you've read this far and still won't buy the book, at least consider forwarding this post to your friends out of pity. I have no marketing budget so viral infection is best.

    *Not suicide. Just baking.
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