Politics, My Dad and Me: The Awakening…

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It is August  2008.
My dad and I are still in our bubble of blissful  Fox News ignorance.
We didn’t get our news except for Fox News and our local newspaper and news station, which to be honest wasn’t much different.
We live in the bright cherry red state Tennessee, so I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising that they promote Republican over Democrat.
Just this past few months the local channels were inundated with nonstop Gubernatorial political ads for Republicans Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Bill Lee, and Beth Harwell.
I only saw a handful of ads for Karl Dean, who really didn’t identify himself as a Democrat.
I had to google him to even know who he was.
It could be argued that I should do better research for those running for political office in my state, but most people aren’t going to do that.
Most people aren’t going to stray from their own party unless a polarizing figure enters the fray, which brings us back to the  August of 2008.

John McCain is looking to be our nominee, meaning the Republican nominee for President.
He looked great on paper, but I was concerned about his age and possible health issues.
He was in his seventies!
He was going to need a good Vice President, should anything happen to him during office, of course, this can be said for anyone running for President.
In McCain’s case, I felt that it was especially important.
His VP had to be incredibly smart and tough.
A real take no prisoners type.
He would choose wisely, I was sure of it!

I was so excited to see who it was that I slept on the couch in the living room awaiting the announcement on the morning of August 29th,2008.
Most had guessed that he would choose Palin, but I knew that he was smarter than that.
Even when I saw Palin on the stage, I just knew that she had to be there for another reason.
Right?
McCain wasn’t going to actually choose her.
This was some sort of April Fool’s Joke.
Maybe I wasn’t actually awake and I was dreaming this?
Nope.
This folksy, ditzy, dimwitted, uneducated,cartoon-voiced, soccer mom was supposed to protect our country should McCain fall ill and be unable to continue his duties as President?!
Really?!

Clearly, the  GOP was banking on her hotness and wholesome homespun family image and love of guns.
Republican men would just look at her and go vote with their dicks?
Their wives would vote for her because she is a mom of five and promotes abstinence until marriage, except whoops her eldest daughter, a teenager was pregnant by her high school boyfriend in Alaska?

I panicked!
I liked John McCain and respected him as a War Hero, but I couldn’t vote for that horrible woman!
If we were under attack, what would she do?!
I’m surprised she actually understood enough to know how she became pregnant five times, much less be elected Governor of Alaska!
I certainly didn’t see her as stable enough to handle world affairs or govern our country!

I got on my computer and started doing research.
Lots of research.
I shared my research with my dad.
Fox News has never been turned on in my house again!

My Dad and I realized that my leanings were much more aligned with the Democratic Party, but there were a couple of problems.
We both hated The Clinton’s and the thought of abortion.
I believe this is an issue for lots of Republicans who would otherwise align with The Left.

I had been indoctrinated by years of  Fox News propaganda to believe that abortion equated murder.
How could I belong to a political party that “murdered” babies?

I firmly believed then and I still believe now that Bill Clinton is not only a womanizer but a sexual predator.
I don’t, however, believe that he and Hillary are murderers or that she was responsible for Benghazi.
I have never understood and still don’t understand why Hillary never divorced him.
I would have much more respect for her if she had.
How is she supporting women when she is married to a rapist?

If you are a true Democrat, don’t you have to support both of those things?
Politics is confusing and there is still quite a bit of it that I don’t understand.

During my research, I came across a wonderful man.
Actually two wonderful men.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
This man, these men encapsulated everything that I ever wanted in a politician.
They were compassionate and they had clear goals for the United States.
They were passionate about their love for our country!
They seemed to actually like each other which was another bonus for our country, they would work together for what was best for us.

I came to realize that The Clintons no longer mattered and it was not my responsibility to tell another woman what to do with her body.
You will never stop abortions, you will simply only stop safe abortions.
The fact of the matter is that there are some women who just aren’t mentally or physically capable of taking care of a child or even surviving a pregnancy.
Some just simply don’t want children and accidents happen and sometimes the Plan B pill isn’t available.

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I have come to another realization, not everyone fits into a perfect political box.
Just because I identify more as a Democrat doesn’t mean that I love everything about my party or those handling things in it or that I support every decision that they make.
Just as I am certain that some Republicans probably don’t fully support everything that their party does.

I was even more excited to cast my vote for Barack Obama than I was to cast it for George W. Bush!
Our very first African American President.
My dad voted for him too.
I cried with joy when Barack Obama elected President!
This was an amazing moment in our history!

For eight years I felt safe knowing that President Obama and Vice President Biden were running our country.
For eight years I knew that we as a country were in good standing with the rest of the world.
I feared the day that these two wonderful men would leave office.
Turns out I had a right to be afraid…
There was a foreign power at work that would set our country on a collision course with disaster, a man even more heinous than Bill Clinton would take office and we would become a country divided.

~April~

 

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Politics,My Dad, and Me

 

I  grew up in a middle-class Republican household.
My dad has always had a wonderful work ethic, probably due to being the oldest of eight children and being put to work on various dairy farms at an early age throughout his childhood.
This is one of the things that he is still the proudest of to this day.
When he turned eighteen instead of going to college, he went to work for a local company, and even that didn’t stop him from helping his dad and siblings on the dairy.
He worked his way up from cleaning floors to a higher paying position with a salary that reflected that.
He remained with that company for thirty plus years.

Every Autumn his time was spent watching football and deer hunting, he would hunt other animals as well, but Deer were his favorite and as an avid hunter, he was a proud gun owner with his own small collection of hunting rifles.
He always said that he would never vote for a Democrat, because, they would take his guns away. Back then he didn’t really understand how gun control works.
I feel that is still a problem with most Republicans today.
I will touch upon the gun control issue in another post.

Like most Republicans households we watched a lot of Fox News.
Fox News teaches you that Republicans are good and Democrats are evil.
When I was finally eligible to vote on November 8th, 2000, there was no doubt who was going to get my vote.

Butterflies of anticipation fluttered around in my stomach as my dad’s Chevy Tracker coasted along the highway toward our local Civics Center. It was a warm, overcast day and there was a drizzle, the only sounds were the hum of the engine and the swishing of the windshield wipers.

This would be my first time ever casting my vote and I was beyond excited about it!
I had even dressed up for the occasion.
My hair was a pale strawberry blonde, and I wore red lipstick, nail polish and, shirt.
One look at me and there was no mistaking that I was casting my vote for George W. Bush.
He parked and we made our way past some local politicians with their political signs and into the crowded center. It smelled of old socks and sweat and loud cologne.
Murmurs of excited chatter filled the room, people who hadn’t seen one another were exchanging exuberant hugs and shouts outs, my dad among them.
I remember how proud he was standing with me and mentioning to his friends that I was his daughter and this was my first time voting.
It was AWESOME!

Everyone in this town seems to know my dad.
He has one of those personalities that either you love him or you hate him.
It usually depends on which side you get to see.

The line moved rather quickly and soon we found ourselves in the gymnasium where several fold-out tables with older ladies seated in fold-out chairs sat in front of computers on the left side of the room and on the right were several large voting machines with ropes like you would find at a movie theater and large paper numbers in front of them.
I nervously made my way over to one of the ladies and showed her my voters registration card and ID and was then directed to a  voting machine, while dad headed to another one across the way.

I looked at the candidates and I made my choice for George W. Bush.
I had done it.
I had made a difference!
Dad was waiting by the entrance and I gave him a hug and we made our back through another crowd and out the door, where I kid you not we were interviewed for the local newspaper by a guy named Storme.
He was adorable, like one of the Nelson twins and we gave a quick quote, which wasn’t used, but it was still fun!
Little did I realize that it was all going to turn into a mess of hanging chads…

~April~

 

 

 

 

 

 

How My True Crime Fascination Began

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Early morning sun gleaned off of harvest gold appliances in the tiny kitchen of the small garage apartment that I shared with my parents.  They were huddled together, by the quaint wooden table in the center of the room, the newspaper was open with a mug of coffee nearby.
The warm, bitter smell tickled my nose.
They were talking in hushed voices.
Obviously, they were discussing something that they didn’t want me to hear about.
I couldn’t have that!
I was an only child and I had to know EVERYTHING!
I must have been six or seven years old at the time.
I crept inside moving my sock feet from the ugly indoor/outdoor green carpeting to the pastel linoleum floor.
The late seventies were not the best for time for design.
I was holding my favorite doll, Apricot, tightly beneath my arm.
I took Apricot everywhere.

I snuck over closer and quietly took a seat at the table.
My dad was talking to my mom about a case that he’d read about in the newspaper.
A woman had gone missing and these hikers or maybe it was hunters found a large clump of hair in the woods, but no other human remains were found.
He said that the killer must have left her there and a bear ate the poor woman.
That is my earliest memory of hearing about a true crime story.
I wanted to know more!
Did they ever find the rest of her?!
Who was she?
Why was the hair left behind?
Couldn’t a bear digest everything?!

I don’t remember asking any of these questions though honestly, that would have been unusual for me.
I was a very inquisitive child and I wanted to know everything about everything.
I suppose that I have always had an analytical mind, I have always had this need to understand why and how things work.
If a door was closed I would open it, if I heard something on television that I didn’t understand  I asked questions about it regardless of how uncomfortable that made my mom.lol
Yeah, I was told about the birds and the bees early.

Later, I would turn to jigsaw puzzles.
I never wanted help with them.
I always wanted to finish them on my own as I have my own method.
End pieces and outside pieces first and then depending upon the picture I would decide which tile to add in next. Sometimes I would set aside like pieces and if I was feeling spontaneous I would leave them in the box and just add them as I wanted.
Doing it any other way is just wrong! lol
I enjoyed the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment once I was finished.
I  imagine that must be what it is like for detectives and criminalists when they are working a case.
I would also tear into transistor radios, watches, pens, anything really.
I needed to understand how things worked and to see if I could get them working again.
I was intrigued by all of the little pieces of metal and the electric wires and how it came together to connect you to the outside world or allow you to write or to see what time it was.

My dad used this to his advantage and would have me help him do little projects around the house that needed repair.
I had so much fun and still do!
I have repaired leaking faucets, toilets, wired a stove into the wall, ripped off wallpaper, painted and help lay hardwood flooring and tile, plus countless minor repairs.
Oddly enough I never really learned the proper names for all of the tools though.
I know the basic ones, but the different types of pliers confuse me.
If I see it in the box and it looks like it will help me to get the job done, then I am using it.lol
I like taking an outside of the box approach and most of the time it works.
The same thing can often be said of an unsolved crime.
This is another reason why I love True Crime.
More often then not it is a hardnosed cop or a stubborn forensic scientist that will come up with an alternative method and solve the crime and catch the responsible party.
Several years later on an episode of Forensic Files, I saw a case that reminded me of that day in the kitchen so many years ago.
Michele Wallace was murdered and someone came across her braids in the woods of Colorado and that is all that was found, at least at first.
Eventually, more remains were found and her killer, Roy Melanson was arrested.

My love of True Crime eventually became an obsession and these days there are numerous places for I and other addicts to get our fix.
Entire television networks are devoted to shows about it Investigation Discovery, Oxygen, there are message boards where armchair sleuths can exchange messages and clues.

True Crime can fully envelop you if you wish, but I like most have this feeling of guilt and remorse over loving it.
We are not only gleaning knowledge about science and investigative technique, but we are also finding entertainment in someone else’s devastation and pain.
I often wonder how and why these families get on television and share their stories.
How can they put themselves through the trauma of reliving their pain?
Perhaps they do it as a way to honor the person that they lost?
Show us that they were more than just a victim?
They had full lives and loves and hopes and dreams for the future.
I’m not sure that I could expose myself like that and selfishly I hope that I don’t ever have to make that decision.

~April~

To Mom or Not to Mom…

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My complicated relationship with kids goes back to when I was a kid.
I am an only child, but my dad’s side of the family is huge.
He is the oldest of eight children and everyone one of his siblings had at least two children. Family get-togethers were a big thing, every Summer the whole bunch of us would gather together at the same designated picnic spot and bring an assortment dishes and bottled carbonated drinks and there were cousins ranging in ages from newborn to teenagers.
The older ones were expected to watch the little kids.
I was never particularly happy about this.
I was still a kid, I wanted to play on swings and in the sand and run around and do kid things.
I never really wanted to be saddled with a whiny little sniffling brat.
Why weren’t his parents watching him?
My parents always watched me.
Yeah, my parents were probably to overprotective.
They would definitely be called helicopter parents today.

I was always happier around a dog.
I loved dogs, ever since I got my first one at the age of ten years old.
A Cocker Spaniel named, Buffie
If you stick around, this site, you will learn more about her.
She actually saved my life.

As women from the time we are children ourselves, we are conditioned that we should be moms or want to become moms when we are older.
Look at all of the baby dolls that we get to play with and the little bassinets and the clothes that we can dress them up in.
I did all of that as a child, with my dog Buffie close by.
If a woman doesn’t want children or like them, then something is wrong with her and we aren’t as desirable to men.
Women with curvy figures are seen to be as fertile and great for childbearing.
We are made to feel guilty by women who desperately want kids, but can’t.
Movies and television commonly use the trope of the woman desperately trying to conceive, but can’t or women who don’t have children usually, have careers that make it hard for them to have kids.
What about those of us that have a career that could allow us to have kids, but we don’t want them?!
Well, we are just kid hating monsters!
There is only one television character that I can think of and that is Cristina Yang on Greys Anatomy, but even she at one point was willing to compromise for the man she loved. In the end, she didn’t.
She left his ass and made a great career move.

I would have this emotional tug of war with myself over the years.
Each family reunion as I got older, the idea of watching one of my younger cousins became less and less appealing.
If there was a newborn, I wasn’t excited about it or make a beeline for it like my other cousins did.

Now when I was twelve years old my mom’s older sister at the age of thirty-eight gave birth to her first and only child.
She had a complicated pregnancy and I saw how difficult it was for her.
My cousin was more than worth it in the end.
He was a great baby and I actually enjoyed taking care of him, perhaps because it was more like I finally had a little brother to take care of?
I’m not sure, but I started thinking that babies weren’t so bad.
I still didn’t get as excited over babies as I did when I saw a dog or a puppy though.

Like most women, I would fantasize about how amazing it would feel to have a child growing inside of me and I came up with names for him her or them, in case I had twins.
Beyond that, I wasn’t interested in being a mom though.
All of the stuff that comes afterward.
The diaper changes, dealing with potty training, school, etc.
None of that was the least bit appealing to me.
How would I handle it if he/she/they got hurt or bullied like I was?
Emotionally it terrified me.
I just didn’t want to go there and it wasn’t like I had any men knocking down my door offering donations.
I felt guilty about my decision.
Again, I see all of these women willing to do literally anything to have children and here I can simply decide not to have one.
I must be some kind of a bitch, right?

Six years ago I finally met the love of my life.
I started wondering if I should rethink it.
Part of it was jealousy.
He has a kid with his ex and I wanted to give him a child.
I wanted to have that connection with him.
He is a wonderful father and I could just imagine him with a sweet little newborn on his chest and so I told him that if he really wanted a kid that we could have one.
He put the kibosh on it.
He had one kid and that was enough.
He felt that in his forties he was too old.
I was still questioning it probably because of jealousy and guilt and I would occasionally fantasize about it.
One night we had a close call and were both eager to run to the nearest pharmacy to find the Plan B pill.
I had never been so excited to start my period since I first got my period at twelve years old!
Remember the days when we couldn’t wait to start our menstrual cycle?
You know before the realization of how messy and horrible they were?

A few months ago we met up with some friends and they brought their baby with them.
At first, I was thinking oh shit!
This is going to be awful!
Turns out it was one of the most fun days that I have had in a very long time!
This might be the happiest baby ever!
He was well behaved and he didn’t cry once and those old what if thoughts came into my head again…
What If I made the wrong decision?

Here is the thing.
I didn’t!
Emotionally I am not cut out for motherhood!
This doesn’t mean that I hate kids.
Kids are great.
They just aren’t for me.
I always thought that I would make a great Aunt.
Pity I am an only child…
I will settle for being a friend, instead.

What maternal instincts I do have I use on my dogs.
Before you roll your eyes in disgust, allow me to explain myself.
Dogs are easier to take care of than kids.
I will plan my time around my dogs as I have dogs with special needs and as any responsible dog owner should.
Dogs are not things or possessions, they are breathing beings that need to be taken care of just as you would any other family member.
If you don’t feel that way, please don’t get one.

Do I refer to my dogs as a little girl or little boy or baby?
Do I talk baby talk to them?
You bet I do!

However, I will not ever compare my relationship with my dog to your relationship with your kids.
I know the difference.
Being an actual parent is hard work and not everyone is cut out for it.
I know that I am not.

~April~

 

Reading,Writing, and Me

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I was first introduced to the idea of writing when I was eight or nine years old, by a friend in elementary school. I remember that the both of us were in Mrs. Stevens class. She was writing a story about this creepy old house that was in her neighborhood.

The house resembled every haunted house of every scary movie that you have ever seen.
A huge rambling old farmhouse situated on a lonely dark road.
The siding was dark and the windows were cracked the porch splintering.
As a kid, hell even as an adult, it wasn’t hard to imagine what terrible evils, could possibly have taken place inside.
Of course, as kids, the story consisted of a mean old lady living there and feeding kids, soup made of snakes and rats.lol
I’m not sure what the true history of that house is.
I am sure at one point it was a beautiful home that fell victim to years of neglect, but as an eight-year-old kid, you didn’t think of such things.
I don’t remember what happened with the story or if it was ever finished.
I do remember how excited I got creating fictional characters and getting to know them and controlling what was going on.
That house inspired me to want to be a writer, and it took me on a long and torturous journey that I am still on to this day.
I have tried different genre’s over the decades.
Oh my God I am old enough to write decades, pertaining to my writing.
Eek, I am turning forty this year, moving on…

When I was a kid I was a voracious reader.
I would read at least two or three books a week.
I LOVED book fair!
They would usually set up these shelves of books in the auditorium or an empty classroom. I preferred the auditorium because it was large and it smelled musty and old like a library.
It was at one of these book fairs that I was introduced to who would become my favorite author throughout my teens, R.L.Stine.

I read his Fear Street series until I simply outgrew them!
The first book that I read was The Prom Queen.
I can still see the cover.
Teen girl looking into a full-length mirror, her face a skeleton wearing a peach or coral prom dress.
Every week or month I would have my parents take me to the mall to B.Dalton Bookstore so I could get the most recent release.
Soon it got to the point where I was reading them, so fast that I would have to find something else to occupy my mind and so upon my dad’s suggestion, I tried The Nancy Drew Books, he used to read The Hardy Boys.
The original books, created by Edward Stratemeyer and Carolyn Keene.
I tried the new edition ones and I hated them, but I did discover my love for Sweet Valley High.lol
By this time I was working in the Library at my school, putting away books or whatever else that Mrs.Vergus needed.
It started as a great way to get out of gym class, which I hated and it turned out to be the one thing about school that still makes me smile.
I love the old musty smell of library books and coffee and old wood.
The school library was my safe haven and whatever Nancy Drew book that I couldn’t find there, I would get at the local city Library.

Whatever genre of book I was reading would affect the stories that I would write.
I spent most of my teens writing horror or mystery, because of R.L.Stine and Christopher Pike, and Carolyn Keene.
My later years I turned more to romance novels Danielle Steel and Sandra Brown, Harlequin Romance, etc and that is the genre that I stuck with the longest and I discovered erotica.
I have spent the last eight or ten years focused on erotica and have read some very naughty books, by authors concentrating on polyamourous romance.
My erotica has been published on a few XXX sites.
Don’t worry I am not planning on displaying it here.
I have another blog dedicated to it actually.
I might attach it later on, along with my Anxiously Imperfect site that focuses on my years of dealing with anxiety and depression.

Writing has gotten me through some pretty bad spots in my life, but I will be the first to admit my grammar isn’t perfect. I sometimes rush through due to my own impatience or lack of time and I  have run on sentences and am in desperate need of an editor or at least some good editing software.lol
My love for writing is real and I hope that I can help someone pass some time or bring a smile to their face or help them to not feel alone.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to see you around.

~April~