anniversary · Dad · death · sad

10 years ago today

10 years ago today, at 9:20 pm, in a hospital bed covered with a Pittsburgh Steelers blanket, my dad died.

I was the first family member to make it back to the hospital after he split. Some social worker woman was waiting and gave me a hug I didn’t want. I just wanted to see him.

I laid across his body and sobbed. I was aware that people could hear me, but I didn’t care. It was the floor where people went to die, after all.


10 years later. I still miss him.

I suspect that’s probably never going to change.

Dad. 💙

poetry · winter · writing

A little something I wrote today

I wrote a little poem today for the last day of Winter.

I’m always disturbed by most people’s lack of tolerance for Winter. It actually irritates me. I mean, so–you’d rather wish months of your life away because you can’t handle darkness, cold and snow?

That’s just weird

I love Winter.

Anyway–here’s my poem.


Winter is the kid

who’d bring a gun to school.

Everybody hates him.

They make him feel like a tool.

They use him up for Christmas Day

and then they spit him out.

He has no one else to turn to

so he has time to think about

How everyone says they hate him

Every Single Day

That everything about him

is boring cold shitty and gray

That they wish he’d just be gone

And never seen again.

They hate him hate him hate him-

He has not one single friend

So after today he will be gone

You should be thankful, too-

Because if Winter was a kid

He’d bring a gun to school.

switcheroo · update

Back from Sunny Funny Hell

I’m switching up my blog a little.

My ”Susana Summer of Love” suffered a terrible blow, ran away and has been missing for quite awhile now.

I’ve been to hell and back in the past 5 months.

I’ll write more about all that and decorate this new version of my blog after I get out of bed, go to lunch, come back and put my pjs back on for the remainder of this Saturday.

It’s a rainy Saturday, too.



Hi again.

It’s nice to be back.


birthday · Halloween · Mom · poetry

Happy Birthday

Today would have been my mother’s 81st birthday.

Here’s a little poem I wrote yesterday to share on my Facebook page.


My mama’s birthday was Halloween.

I always thought that was the coolest thing.

That she shared her day

With mysteries unseen

In the spirit world

and on this plane.

Ghosts and goblins,

sprites and marauders

Silly little grandchildren

and silly loving daughters

It’s not been the same

Since she has been gone

But is she really?

I could be wrong.

One thing I know

remains the same

I whisper “Happy Birthday, Mom”

On Halloween Day.

ma graduation

little stories · Proud to be an American · writing

Four American Icons Walk Into a Bar…

National Anthem, American Flag and the Unknown Soldier sat quietly at the bar nursing their beers.

Flo, the sassy high-haired waitress, cracked her gum and placed a gigantic appetizer platter in front of them.

“There ya go, boys,” she said. “Is there anything else I can get you?”

“Would you mind turning up that tv for us?” Flag asked.

“Sure thing, honey,” she answered and then she grabbed a remote and pointed it at the big screen television.

“Should we wait?” Anthem asked the others. A friend of theirs was in the latrine.

“Nah, he’ll be out in a second,” Flag answered, then they all started to dig into the potato skins, chicken fingers, cheese sticks, buffalo wings, pizza rolls, brownie bites and fun-sized candy bars.

A Sunday afternoon football game was coming on. All the patrons in the place turned their attention to the tv and watched, as they stayed seated over their wings-n-things, as the NFL players kneeled on the field instead of standing for the National Anthem.

National Anthem kept watching the show while putting a blob of sour cream on a potato skin and then ate the whole thing in one bite.

“These are good,” he told his friends with his mouth full, reaching for another.

Suddenly, a table full of dudes behind the American icons started flipping their shit. There were lots of cuss words and peanut shells flying all around them.

One guy was especially vocal.

He walked over to the bar, and put his beer down while holding it with white knuckles.

“Look at them millionaire sons-a-bitches. I’d like to kick their asses, disrespecting our country,” he said.

A puff of heated anger streamed from the guy’s nostrils like dragon fire, but, you know, not as cool. His face was as red as his ball cap.

“Ain’t you guys pissed about that,” he snapped at the trio.

Flag, Anthem and Unknown looked at him and then each other exasperated. They had grown tired over the years of people who could never grasp one of the true freedoms of being an American.

“Them millionaires got rich here and now they’re dissing you,” hot-head guy said loudly.

Everyone in the bar was watching and listening now.

Unknown Soldier took a long swig of his delicious craft beer, put it down on the counter, dragged his sleeve across his chin, turned on his bar stool and looked at the guy.

“They’re exercising their freedom of speech,” he explained calmly.

HotHead sneered.

“Don’t get all fancy on me with that educated opinion shit,” he said, moving closer.

“Freedom of speech is what you guys should be concerned about respecting,” Flag explained, starting to flap a little. He was agitated. He had come here for some beer, some grub and a little relaxation. Now he had to deal with this bs.

“You know what y’all are beginning to sound like to me?” Hotheaded guy asked.

“Let me guess,” Anthem replied. “Snowflakes?”

The pissed off guy’s mouth dropped open a little, disappointed because he didn’t get to say it.

Suddenly, the door to the men’s restroom swung open and the 4th friend from the American icon group came out buckling up his pants.

He was a yuge guy—strong, muscular, longish grey-hair, good-looking and wearing little round spectacles that made him look handsomely intelligent.

He looked up to see what was waiting for him at the bar.

And he winced.

“US Constitution!”, the Unknown Soldier hooted. “Finally, dude.”

“We got a live one for ya here,” Anthem said. “Come over here and explain some things to this guy.”

Constitution walked over and stood at least a foot taller than the dude in the red ball cap. That guy looked up at him and gulped.

Constitution’s bicep with the tattooed bald eagle flexed as he snapped up his beer. He held out his hand and shook hands with the other guy and introduced himself. Then he put his arm around the guy and turned with him to go sit at his table with his friends.

Anthem, Flag and Unknown heard him say as they walked away:

“Now, I’m going to be using some big words and explaining some big ideas here for a little bit. I want you to try and listen real good, okay?”

And the trio smiled a little, feeling good about the prevalence of common sense and enlightenment, then turned back to their appetizer platter and 3 fresh beers placed in front of them, on the house, by that snappy little gum-crackin’, big-smilin’ waitress Flo.

The End

eclipse · God · Goddess · little stories · messages


God sat at his desk with his “Mondays Suck” mug full of Sanka. His heart palpitations had started to freak him out lately and he decided to try to go caffeine-free for a week to see if that helped his ticker calm down. Otherwise, he knew he’d have to make an appointment with his cardiologist and he dreaded the thought. That guy was a pretentious pain in the ass, constantly bragging about his luxurious vacations and adrenaline junkie shenanigans.

As if God had never experienced any of those things since the creation went down.

God’s chest began to hurt a little from the stress of thinking about it. He rubbed a spot on his chest, closed his eyes, took a deep breath and focused.

He had a big event to pull off today. It was time to get to work.

Just then, the door to his space office opened and he turned to see his gorgeous wife the Goddess coming into the room holding a tray.

“Hi babe,” she said, sliding the tray in front of him and then slipping herself into his lap.

God looked at the big bowls of Grape Nuts and fresh fruit she brought him. Next to the food sat his Lipitor, Prilosec and a multivitamin.

He gave his girl a kiss.

“You taste like Sanka,” she said as he rolled his eyes and she stood up.

He took a really good look at her then. She had on yoga pants and a tattered Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon t-shirt.

“You are the cutest thing, I swear to…me,” he said.

The Goddess laughed a little and picked up the bowl of fruit and started eating. She had heard that joke about a million times, but it was still kinda funny.

“So, are we going to screw with the humans today?” she asked looking out the giant space window at planet Earth.

“Nah,” God replied. “I don’t really like to mess with them too much anymore. They’re so goofy down there now, they don’t need any more problems. Know what I mean?”

“So you’re just going to press the solar eclipse button and leave it at that?”

God nodded taking a sip of his beverage.

The Goddess stood quietly next to him, her wheels turning.

“Hey,” she said, bending over the keyboard in front of him. Her long wavy brown hair spilled over her shoulders onto his desk. She tucked a wisp behind her ear. 

God admired her big time. He might have smelled like Sanka, but she smelled like summertime. And patchouli.


“Let’s stencil a big message out of the moon for the sun to spill through during the eclipse for the humans,” the Goddess suggested.

She started typing away. 

“Do you want them all to have heart attacks?” God asked, picking up his Lipitor and slugging it down with a spot of decaf.

She leaned back to show him the message she came up with.

In capital letters she typed out 


God laughed out loud. 

“You are bad,” he said. “I like the little witch flying on the broom at the bottom.”

His wife smiled bigly.

“Can we do it?” she asked.

God thought about it for a second and said,

“Yeah. What the hell. Let’s have some fun. They’re going to poop their pants down there.”

“Especially Donald!”


The two laughed out loud as God entered code to carve out messages through the moon.

“All right,” she said as she gave him one more kiss. “Finish up here and come down to the meditation garden. Buddha and some of the others are coming over for an eclipse meditation. I think it’ll do you some good.”

“Hey, were you able to get everyone those special glasses?”

The Goddess stood in the doorway and smiled.

“Duh,” she said. “NASA sent us a boxful last week.”

“Cool beans,” God said as she bounced away. He picked up his bowl of Grape Nuts as he hit the enter button for the special message and the moon started chipping away at itself.

God admired all the heavenly bodies quietly dangling out in outer space. A sense of calm and wonder overwhelmed him.

“It’s going to be a good day,” he thought to himself as he took a big bite of cereal. He sorta missed and a bunch of milk and Grape Nuts spilled all down his shirt.

“Yep, a good day,” he sighed, rubbing at the spill located over that certain spot on his chest.

This time, the pain was gone.

birthday · Led Zeppelin · poetry · Robert Plant

Birthday Poetry for Bob

You know, I’ve tried
But I just can’t
Imagine a world
Without Robert Plant.

Silky hair
Of golden blonde
Lion-headed singer
From across the pond.

Strutting hips
Chest unadorned
Tight-assed jeans
No underpants worn.

Older man now
He’s mellowed out
You can find him jamming
with Alison Krause.

As we wind on down the road
And leaves fall all around
The voice is undeniably
How Golden Gods sound.

So here’s to many more years
May you continue to enchant
Everyone raise your goblets high
Happy Birthday, Robert Plant.

Robert Plant in the 1970s (20)

choices · Goddess · Horses · Patti Smith · tattoos · The Godmother of Punk · turning 50

Making the Right Choices


The event I semi-dreaded for the past year came and went last week.

And what do you know–I didn’t self-destruct.

I turned 50 last Monday.

A joke regarding growing older goes–

Well, it’s better than the alternative!

And yeah. I guess it is.

Anyway…I really did have a lovely birthday weekend. I ate out way more than any human should, and I got to see my grown children and their significant others for lunch on Sunday. On my actual birthday, my son’s girlfriend had him call (how much do you think I appreciate that?) and he told me he loved me before we hung up, and his girlfriend and I got to talk for a little while too, and my daughter wrote a really sweet thing about how much she loves me on Facebook for everyone to see and right before I fell asleep that night she and a couple of friends called and sang Happy Birthday to me.

I spent the evening of my 50th on a date with the man who makes my life a great place to be. We went out for pizza at the place we’ve been going to get pizza from for the past 1 million years.

My special day turned out exactly how I wanted it to be:

Simple. Easy. Familiar. Comfortable. Nice.

I also got to see both of my sisters that night too and that was good.

So, as far as gifts for a girl like me…

If you recall me mentioning before, anytime there’s a gift giving occasion, I pretty much always want the same thing.


I had an appointment to get a tattoo. And I had to put some thought into what I wanted to get because for a long time I couldn’t think of anything I wanted. I had knocked around the idea of getting Mary. You know, the Mother of Jesus? Because out of all of those scary-ass characters I was introduced to as a little girl in church, she was the only one I wasn’t freaked out by. As in–okay, these stories are really scary, but there’s the one lady in the book who wears a scarf on her head who looks like she would hug me and be nice if I got too weirded out by whales and floods and crosses and that devil character.

Also, Mary is beautiful. I like her star halo. I’d wear a star halo like that if I ever got the chance.

I thought about getting her on my arm, but I never really felt 100% gung ho with the idea. I don’t practice the religions she is associated with, and even though she is my favorite in the Bible, I didn’t want anything from the Bible or Christianity on me for eternity. That boat sailed a long time ago and I don’t miss it one bit.

Then I thought, hey wait. How about a goddess? As in, a beautiful woman with a triple crown across her forehead. That’s kinda more my style.

I don’t believe in God as in a real supernatural being somewhere in the universe controlling shit, but when I am super-stressed out and/or in need of comforting, I like to envision a woman out there, somewhere in the stars….

A beautiful grandma-type, who thinks I can do no wrong, who loves me no matter what, sitting in a big rocking chair. She’s always ready to listen to me and whatever I’ve got to say when I need her. That’s my idea of a good God.

That could work as a tattoo, I thought. So I made the appointment to get her on my arm.

A couple of weeks ago, when Bill and I were out to dinner talking about the tattoo I would get for my birthday, I had mentioned I had given a little thought to getting a Patti Smith inspired tattoo. But I didn’t know if it would look good or what. And then I told him about the Goddess idea and he said to me–

Well, who is a bigger inspiration to you?

And I was like, Patti.

He made a good point. He’s good for that kind of thing. So I thought about that for a moment, then we dropped the subject and moved on.

So fast forward to my birthday last Monday. I was feeling weird that morning, just sitting in my recliner, drinking my coffee, turning 50. Feeling old, getting older, feeling blah about it all. I was sitting there scrolling through my Facebook and I clicked on a video of Patti singing Gloria at a show in 2015. There she was with her long grey hair and sweet smile, wearing her jeans and jacket, dancing with Lenny at her side, singing her version of that song we all love, the crowd singing with her, throwing her fist in the air to punctuate each letter

G!  L!  O!  R!  I-i-i-i!  G-L-O-R-I-A!

It was awesome. That chick has so much energy and she’s so cool. Poet. Mother. Artist. Says OUT LOUD what she wants. Watching that video lifted my mood. I thought to myself–What the hell. Would Patti be sitting around, feeling sorry for herself turning 50? I don’t know. Maybe she gets down every now and then. But in that moment, I was inspired, like I always am, by Patti Smith. I thought, I need to quit dicking around here, get up and get going and have a good day.

Before I did, I posted the video on my Facebook and told all 311 of my friends that I want to be like Patti Smith.

I texted my tattoo artist friends later that day and said–hey, can I get a Patti tattoo instead?

So here ya go.

Done last Wednesday by my friend Naomi Fuller-Brown at her amazing shop Thrill Vulture Tattoo in beautiful uptown Westerville, OH.

I have to say, I love it.

I made the right choice.

It’s not Mary. It’s not the Goddess

It’s so much better than that.

It’s Patti fucking Smith!

He saw Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses!

Yeah. ❤

patti tattoo 2

Beatlemania! · Beatles · driving parents crazy · memories · music · ticket stubs · writing · young girl fun

ticket stubs and memories

A couple of nights ago, I was up in my room looking through my books and I started to look for a ticket stub I’ve saved since 3000 years ago. Or, as many of us know it, 1981.

I knew the ticket stub was tucked inside one of 3 bigger Beatles picture books I’ve owned for the longest time. I flipped through the pages, coming across loose pages, and black and white Xerox pictures of George and Paul that my sister and I had made on the copier at our local library.

‘Twas a different time, kids. You had to go places to make copies of pictures. And it was a glorious time, I’ll tell you.

Anyway, I found the ticket stub.

It was for the show “Beatlemania”.

The time was the beginning of the year 1981. I was in 8th grade. My best friend was also in 8th grade. My sister was in 7th grade. We had just discovered the Beatles right before John was murdered. And after he died…do you remember? The Beatles were everywhere again.

And that Fab Four media explosion was just what we needed to fuel our new interest and turn it into full-blown love affairs with the music and the men who made it.

So, if I remember correctly, and believe me–I am reaching way back here–I think we found out about the Beatlemania show the day of the show. And we asked our moms if we could go. Amazingly, my mom said she would take us and my best friend’s mom said she could go with us.

Looking back on it, this was nothing short of a miracle. It was a school night, my mom had to work the next day and it was January (there had to have been snow on the ground).

But sure enough, we 3 silly girls and our hero of a mom went to the show and we had really good seats in the front of the loge at a popular concert venue here in our city.

Beatlemania was a Broadway musical featuring four dudes who dressed like the Beatles and played the same instruments as the Beatles and took their audiences on trips through the 1960’s with images from the times flashing on a screen while the band played the massively incredible and world-changing song catalog.

It was a show designed to take you back, or in our case introduce us to, and enjoy.


Beatlemania wasn’t, however, really a show designed to make you get out of your seat and dance.

Keep that in mind as my story goes on.

To say we loved the show is an understatement. We were located just far enough away from the guys on the stage to help us imagine that they could really be the actual guys if we pretended hard enough. And believe me, we did. Also, the show on the screen behind them was pretty cool, full of headlines and pictures from times before and right when we were born. My BFF brought her camera with her and snapped a few pics throughout the show. We needed documentation of this momentous occasion. I texted her last night (we’ve often talked lately about what if we would have had cell phones and texting back when we were young?! That would have been fucking awesome! But we didn’t, so…) and I asked her if she could remember details from that night.

I laughed out loud when she texted me the following photos:

beatlmania 2

Are these not the greatest photos in the history of photokind?! I remember we were so excited to get these pictures back and when we did we were so bummed out. Hey, at least she tried. After the initial disappointment over not being able to see anything besides the heads and rail in front of us, we laughed and laughed at these snapshots.

We’re STILL laughing about them! I can’t believe she still has them!

So, back to my story….

As we sat with my mom that night so long ago, we really got into the show. People all around us also enjoyed it from the comfort of their seats. It was all a very lovely and civil experience, jamming to the tunes of the BEATLES…

…til we got to the very end of the show and then something happened. My sister, my BFF and I could no longer contain ourselves.

We got up and danced in the aisles.

I am sitting here as I write this, racking my brain trying to remember what song we danced to and for some reason, Revolution keeps coming to mind. I’ve done some Googling, and for the life of me, I can’t find a list of the songs in the order we heard them that night. I’m almost positive it was Revolution.

This would get most people up and dancing, am I right?!

But here’s the funny part–I do remember my mother was not happy when we did this. I think she must have been totally embarrassed. But that didn’t stop us. We kept going. It was like we couldn’t help it. We were young girls possessed.

And it totally RULED.

The thing is, the other audience members didn’t seem to mind. In fact, I think they were digging the 3 young girls shaking it for all it was worth. Hell, they probably wished they could join us.

The dudes playing the Fab Four on the stage saw us too.

I like to think they congratulated themselves after the show on a job well-done. Those crazy kids up in the loge were losing their minds.

And having a blast.

And taking silly pictures.

And loving every minute of it.

And making their mother mad.


And from there, our love for the Beatles grew.

What a great memory.

It still makes me smile.

All these year later.


4th of July · fireworks · humor · karma is a bitch · little stories · writing

Independence Judgment Day

Suburban Neighbor Guy pulled the ginormous box of artillery from the flatbed of his truck.


The night air hung thick between the houses with the weight of hot-ass weather and patriotism. The scent of 10,000 charbroiled burgers and hot dogs bathed the night-time insects and filthy children flitting about over overgrown lawns. The gallery of adults lined in lawn chairs guzzled their economically-priced intoxicants while the vocal stylings of Toby Keith and Neil Diamond roused a sense of All-American feel good-ism.


Suburban Neighborhood Guy’s doughy arms flexed as he set up his array of explosives in the driveway. All the kids surrounded him, spazzed out by Mountain Dew and the desire to run with fire sticks in their hands.


When the prep was complete, Suburban hoisted a gigantic lighter and signaled the beginning of the pyrotechnical interpretative sky dance celebrating the nation’s struggle for freedom.


Then he lit loud firecracker after firecracker after firecracker after firecracker.  For like, hours.


When he arrived at the end of his show, he lit the tail of the biggest one of all. Much to the horror of the residents of Zippo Lane, the big ole Shock-N-Awe explosive detonated prematurely, causing the fire to ignite in Suburban’s face, blowing his body clear across the cul-de-sac.


He arrived at the Pearly Gates an hour later.


Feeling overwhelming sadness knowing he was dead, a huge sense of relief still washed over him because he had made it to Heaven. He exited the bus, checked in at the gate, and walked through the sparkling arches admiring the golden streets and puffy clouds that surrounded him.


Then he started noticing some weird stuff…like all the fire hydrants and bowls of water that dotted the way. There were also bowls and bowls of Milk Bones and Beggin’ Strips. And what the heck was it with all the fur-covered couches and tennis balls everywhere?


Suburban Neighborhood Guy forgot about the weird surroundings and felt a shiver run down his spine as he walked into a big wooden house with a nameplate across the entry that simply said





“This is it,” he said to himself. He shook like a leaf. “I’m about to come face to face with the Big Kahuna himself.”


He walked the golden path with tons of angel-people watching him make the journey. Suburban was nervous enough already, but these people were making it worse. The pitiful looks they gave him, the way they stared at his ripped clothing and the soot all over his body and face. What was their deal anyway? You’d think they’d all be smiling like crazy, being residents of Heaven. And what the? There were tons of winged cats and dogs in the place. He had no idea pets went to Heaven, too. Sure, he had always kinda hoped that they did. But he had heard that they didn’t from some pastor that one time Suburban went through a religious phase back when his small business was going under and he was desperate…


Suddenly, God’s giant gold and red velvet throne came into view.  Suburban Neighbor Guy looked up and nearly crapped his cargo shorts.


He wanted to turn and run, but kept moving forward until he stood at the base of the great chair upon which a giant German Shepherd sat.


“Welcome, Suburban Neighbor Guy,” the Dog boomed into a PA system as he sifted through paperwork on a clipboard. “In a moment, we will review your trespasses. But before we do that, your arrival here today was caused by?”


The German Shepherd and everyone else leaned in to hear Suburban Neighbor Guy’s reply.


“Unlicensed loud and obnoxious neighborhood 4th of July fireworks display accident,” he mumbled.


The crowd, including all the dogs and cats, gasped.


“Oh…so you’re one of THOSE guys,” God said, smiling sinisterly with his black lips and big snout.


Suburban Neighbor Guy went ahead and crapped his cargo shorts.


With that, the giant dog picked up a rubber stamp that read “Redirect to Hell”.


“It’s a good thing you like fire, dude,” God snarled.


And the congregation cheered as he lowered the black ink to the paper like a fresh smear of stinky ashes from dead fireworks on the ground below.