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Driving home today, after having a talk with Josh, I had a realization. I hate yelling now.

Despite growing up in a house of yellers (large 4-bedroom, 10 people, majority kids – we were a loud bunch, and yelling was faster than walking all over the house trying to find someone), I don’t like it anymore. I used to be the most vociferous (my grandmother constantly telling me “If I wanted you to yell, I could have done it myself. Get off your butt and go find [insert name of relative]”).

We used it mainly as a means of communication –  not to belittle, harm emotionally, nor rant without thinking of the consequences. Josh’s first 4 years were in this environment and he’s sort of used to me being a yeller, but not like this weekend.

Sure, I have used yelling in those ways before, who hasn’t? Tim used to complain about my yelling in the house to get Josh and Joy’s attention if they were other areas. Again, as a means of (in my opinion, effective) communication. Didn’t your mother ever tell you that you could go as far as you wanted so long as you came running when she called? BEFORE cell phones? Back when we could play outside all day and half the night?  I digress …

This past weekend was hard. The days started with yelling (around 6AM). And it didn’t stop till bedtime (between 9-10PM). And I wasn’t the one yelling. In fact, Josh and I were the only ones not yelling, screaming, crying, or otherwise creating negative energy. It was horrible. Josh called my mom on it, she accused him of yelling and he had to ask her “When do you ever hear me yell?” Because, really, he doesn’t. Except at Joy. But we’re working on that.

Josh opted to leave the house 1.5 hours early for church. I tried napping to block it out. One of my nieces came into my room to snuggle and get away from it. Unfortunately, she was the object of much of the yelling. Not because she’s a bad girl. She drama queen’s as much as Joy does, if not more, and it can be frustrating, but that’s no reason to yell unceasingly at a child.

All this to say that I feel on the edge of breaking. The last time I felt like this was right before I told Tim that I would no longer allow him to take his anger out on me and the kids. I had finally realized and accepted that I was being abused mentally and emotionally and I had had enough. No more making excuses for you. I am not a verbal punching bag. And neither are the kids.

I feel bad for my nieces. They deserve better. I don’t know if my she realizes what she’s doing to her kids. It’s different, but as bad as what her father used to do to her. I feel bad for my son. It feels like we just got out of an emotionally toxic environment.

It’s going to be a long week.


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Not really, I live in America after all. Not that that matters since we have people who starve here. But that’s another post.

I’m affection starved. This is a real phenomenon. Some of you may have heard of it. Yes, it started in my marriage. Before that I had plenty of friends that I could be affectionate with and we never thought anything of it (until later in life when we found out not everyone was as free with hugs and shoulder touches and hand-holding that didn’t mean anything more than “I am so happy to be near you”). Ok, yeah, in High School there was the potential for mixed signals, and maybe even in college, but I lucked out that most of the people I was affectionate with, despite being the opposite gender, had no interest in me sexually. Or if they did, they let me be clueless (thanks guys!)

I’m the touchy-feely sort. I need the positive bio-feedback that I get from being touched, being able to touch, and letting people know how I feel about them — in a purely platonic fashion. What I didn’t realize is what a stress-relief it can be.

I am stressed to the max. There is a lot going on that I don’t want to talk about or deal with. Someone said I am carrying around a lot of emotional deadweight. I can feel it in my skin. My body is crying out to be touched, hugged, something, anything! And not necessarily sex. NSA (no strings attached) sex is too fleeting, too distanced, and doesn’t lead to a positive bio-feedback loop. Yes, been there, done that in the search for affection. Don’t look so shocked. I do some stupid things when I am nearly out of my mind with loneliness and the simple cure is a hug from someone I didn’t give birth to and don’t have to clean up poop after.

So I’m starving and crazy. Welcome to my world.

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May 4 AIDS/lifecycle benefit

Long Beach tweetup

Or how I managed to ruin my son’s birthday

Yesterday Josh turned 15. Last night I was all set to tell the world about what a great, yet small and simple celebration we had. I guess I’ll start with that.

Last year and this Josh didn’t want a party because the majority of his friends are in OR and he wants to go back there for summer. He has friends here in CA, but still considers OR to be his home.

The Setup:
Josh asked me to pick him up a cake, I told him that I was stuck in traffic. What he didn’t know was that I had already ordered a cake and it was safely tucked away buckled in the back seat. There was traffic, but after I passed it – smooth sailing home. During the day Josh had also asked if he could open his present. I told him that he had to wait. Luckily he didn’t press the issue.

Cake and Presents:

We had cake and presents and Josh gave me a hug. Pretty good since he has reached the “Mom is not cool” stage. My son does love me and I love him and everyone knows it. He only shows it in private now, and rarely at that. He had asked for and gotten a new mp3 player.


From Good to Bad:

After cake and presents Josh went back to his room to play WoW. And dropped an F*Bomb in front of his grandmother.  So, S.O.P is to wash your mouth out with soap. My kid hasn’t had to wash his mouth out with soap since he was five. I guess it was time to re-learn his lesson. That would have been fine and dandy except he chose to smirk at me and even talk and ask how long he had to keep the soap in his mouth (we have two hand soaps and he chose Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Foaming Hand Soap). He shouldn’t have smirked. After rinsing I told him to drop and give me 40 pushups.

“But Mom, I can’t do 40 pushups.”

“Too bad, you’re not getting back on WoW until you do 40 pushups.”


Mom counting: 1,2,3, … 20. Josh collapses and says, “I really can’t do 40.”

“Sure you can, and you aren’t getting back on WoW.”

“Ok” does 5 more. I can see his arms shaking, but when you get me to the end of my patience I can be a hard-ass (pardon my French). He got to 29 and practically collapsed.

I finally have mercy on my poor child, it is his birthday after all, and tell him he can do the rest girl-style. All cocky-like he says “Oh that’s easy” and proceeds to have the WORST form I have ever seen on a male or female. I proceed to try to adjust his butt with my foot. My foot connects and down he goes.

But not with his butt. My son is a flat-assed as I am flat-chested. There ain’t nothing there. I had accidentally got my poor son right in the family jewels. And then I made him do 5 more push-ups.

I did get him an ice-pack….


He’s cussing again. I took away the mic. Apparently it’s hard to go on raids without a mic.


Happy Birthday, Josh. I love you. Really, I do.

hannahmontanathemovie_238x257Try it, you’ll like it!!!

My daughter is the big Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fan in the family and she really, really, really, to the nth degree really wanted to see this movie.  And since we didn’t make Shark Nights like I had planned, I promised to take her to see it. I was pleasantly surprised.

Truth be told, I would see it again just for Billy Ray Cyrus and Rascal Flatts. The story flowed well, with a well-written plot. A sweet teen love-story sans sex and (not too much) drama. And a plot-twist or two, some the physical comedy that the TV show is known for, and plenty of songs to warrant me buying the soundtrack for my daughter. Being a Disney movie with a music star in it I wasn’t sure if I was expecting a bad musical or a large screen version of the show.

Blessedly, it was neither. The music scenes carried the movies along like any good soundtrack and enhanced the country feel of it. It was more emotionally mature than the TV show on many levels, but still enjoyable for the 6-8 crowd.

If you have someone in your life in the targeted age group, this is a good movie to take them to. Even the boys in the audience like it. Happy

Did you know there is still time to sign up for this year’s NAB Show — April 18-23 in Las Vegas.

Tuvel Communications has a sweet deal for you, too. My readers can get a free exhibits-only pass.

(My bad for posting this so late) here is the offer:

Free Exhibits Passport Code: TP01
This pass includes access to the exhibit floor and the opening keynote – a $150 value.  Please pass along and visit to redeem!  Make sure to register by April 9th, or an additional on-site registration fee will apply!

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And yes, I will be there!