Friday, February 26, 2010


Ever since I reclaimed contact with my extended family by joining FaceBook, I've been distracted. It's gotten worse as the month has gone on. Based on how I'm doing today, after being so distracted yesterday that I couldn't concentrate on just one thing for more than what felt like 5 minutes, I'm getting a little better now.

I think some of my distraction is that my emotions are being all riled up because I'm connecting with people I haven't been around in a long while. Add to that friends from days gone by and delving into my head to write a story I first thought of during college and my emotions are having trouble keeping up.

Then heap on the stress load some part of me seems determined to keep and it's not surprising I'm feeling teary eyed over someone caring about me enough to act like she is my own personal cheerleader. I've overloaded my brain and it's coming out as distraction.

Earlier, Ace helped me with some of my stress and some of my emotions, but I'm still feeling somewhat distracted by them. So, tonight while he's at work, I'll clean the tub and shave my legs and find a few other things to do to keep most of my brain busy and slowly start dealing with the emotions.

Right now, that seems like all I can do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Few Words on Fear

I was just reading some quotes on fear. The quote that struck me the most was "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were for the moment unpopular. This is no time... to keep silent." Edward R. Murrow said that during the time Senator McCarthy was on a hunt for communists.

It strikes me that today we are a country with people living with a different kind of fear. We fear being seen as bigoted or intolerant. So people watch what they say. It's not a bad thing to watch what you say, but no one should have to be afraid of offending others based on what they say. And with no context, a lot of innocent statements sound odd or bad.

I think maybe this is again a time to stop being afraid of one another. A time to see that we need to write and speak freely what is on our mind, while allowing others to do the same. A time to defend unpopular causes. It's a time to speak up and communicate. A time to shed inhibitions. A time to help and to learn from other people.

I know that in saying this I am pushing for people to say things I disagree with. But maybe, possibly, I can learn something new from hearing those things. Maybe those people can learn something new from what I have to say. Maybe people talking will start changes to make this world better. Maybe it'll help everyone see the similarities in us all that they've ignored because of the differences.

And maybe we'll start thinking of other people as people instead of inconveniences. Maybe we'll remember that a car breaking down on the side of the road means there is someone who could use help and that a long line at a store means that there are probably frazzled employees who could use a smile and a greeting from someone with a nice tone of voice.

I know that these things might not happen. If things don't change, I'm sure they won't. But that doesn't mean that I can't hope that someday my words here impress someone and remind them that we shouldn't let fear control what we say. Fear only takes away from our lives. I don't know about you, but I have enough things and people trying to take in my life already (and I'm crazy enough to want kids, who will demand even more). I refuse to let fear of other people's thoughts keep me from expressing myself when I need to. I doubt most people will think about me that much after I'm gone, because they are busy with their own lives.

And if they do, maybe I said something they should be thinking about.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Potato Saga

I promised in my last post to write about how I got to feeling better after feeling guilty the other night.

It all started with Ace wanting ice cream. He suggested that I could work off some of my guilt by dipping us both up some ice cream. Except, I wasn't interested in ice cream. When I mentioned that Ace started staring at me, trying to figure out what was up with me, since I normally love ice cream.

To make everything simpler, I told Ace that the week before my period and at the start of my period, which is when this was happening, I crave salty foods instead of sweet. I told him that comfort food sounded good, but that I would prefer mashed potatoes to ice cream.

Ace offered to buy me french fries, because he preferred to not get out of the car to fill my potato-y comfort. Since I like fries, this was an acceptable substitute. Unfortunately for me, it was 4 in the morning and neither of the two McDonald's near us was open for the selling of fries. Because of that, we went to Wal-Mart (open 24/7, except for Christmas) to buy me mashed potatoes, my original desire.

Ace decided that since we were going inside Wal-Mart, we could also buy what we needed to give him a hair cut (and clean up any hair that missed the trash can). After we got everything we needed to cut his hair (and some scrunchies for me), we started looking for my mashed potatoes. Only we were having trouble finding them.

Right about the time I'm wanting to cry in frustration, Ace gets someone to help us find the mashed potatoes and we quickly grab a tub and leave to come back to our room. So, in the end, I got my potatoes. It only took the better part of an hour. And way more frustration that is generally good for me, even when hormonal.

And that, my friends, is my potato saga.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Hilarity of Spam Part 7

I'm feeling better now, the story of how will probably be written soon, but for now, we'll delve into my spam for another fascinating e-mail from "the FBI".


Why is the IMF involved in my ATM card delivery? And the one I currently have from my bank works fine!

>Attn: Beneficiary,

At least it's not "Hey you,"

>I am Mr. Ron Mills, the personal secretary to the FBI Director; Robert >S.Mueller III. After proper investigations, we discovered that your >impending payment that have been withheld by imposters, claiming to be Mr. >Mr.Lamido Sanusi (The New Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria), Mr. >Patrick Aziza, Mr. Frank Nweke, None existing officials of the Oceanic >Bank of Nigeria and Zenith Bank, UK winning Lottery, Andy Lear of Hsbc >bank, Coca-Cola winning lottery and among a list of others is now under >our custody with the help of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission >(EFCC) and the Local Police Force.

Hello, Mr. Ron Mills. Have you heard from Robert Mueller 111? He's not contacted me in a while. My other question, which has nothing to do with the other emails from "the FBI", is how are all these people in the custody of the FBI? Wouldn't most African nations refuse to extradite those people? I'm not sure if they would even arrest them.

>Investigations revealed that you have spent a lot on your personal earned >money just to conclude the successful transfer of your funds to your >nominated bank account by obtaining transfer documents as requested by the >imposters, costing you a lot of money but all to no avail.

Your investigations couldn't have revealed me doing any business with that e-mail account, as it is a rarely used account (except for spam from "the FBI"). It's not tied to any financial institutions at all.

>The FBI had to send some financial crime investigators from our head >quarters in Washington DC to Africa in other to carry out proper >investigation, after receiving series of other reports similar to yours as >you are not the only person awaiting the legal transfer of funds from >Africa.

1. The FBI's jurisdiction is the USA, not Africa. 2. I never reported anything about waiting on funds from Africa.

>The FBI has giving authority to the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to >assist the Federal Ministry of Finance and all the organization involved; >such as the Central Bank, Zenith Bank, and Legit lottery organizations to >immediately commence with the compensation of all the beneficiaries >awaiting the successful transfer of their funds. With the help of some of >the best Internet investigators attached to the FBI, we traced your >information from the Internet as one of the beneficiaries awaiting the >successful transfer of funds to your nominated account.

I don't think the FBI can give authority to the IMF. I'm pretty sure the FBI isn't over the IMF in any way. Also, you didn't find me giving my information to any scams on the internet for promised money. I'm smart enough to question how someone in Nigeria would get the kind of money they are talking about together, as well as wondering why they want to get it out of the country.

>I am pleased to inform you that a meeting was held as regards the best way >to carry out with the compensation exercise for transparency and most >especially to avoid reoccurrence of the delay in transferring your funds >and the high cost of procuring transfer documents and came to a final >conclusion as all head of organizations involved was duly represented.

But you won't tell me what was actually said, right? How can you insure transparency without being willing to give me transcripts if I request them? Not that I would, government stuff tends to be fairly boring.

>It was approved to be issued to you as a valid international ATM card >cashable at any ATM machine designation in the world. The ATM account has >already being credited with two million, five hundred thousand
>United States dollars. ($2.5, 000, 000.00USD), with a daily Limit of >withdrawal of Ten thousand United States Dollars. ($10.000, 00USD).The ATM >card has already being packaged and approved to be delivered to your door >step via express courier delivery service.

You don't have ATM accounts, you have bank accounts with ATM access. I'll mostly ignore the idiocy of saying ATM machine, because it's a common mistake. They messed up writing out $2,500,000.00 USD, so it looks really odd. My bank may limit how much I can pull out of the ATM at one time, but the allow me to withdraw however much is available if I go talk to them inside, this should be the same at least in theory. If I believed them at all.

>Contact Mr. Richard Williams {Our FBI ATM Rep.} at the ATM PAYMENT CENTER >and reconfirm your delivery information as stated below and your security >code with five digit (24006) number has to be submitted alongside with >your delivery information for security reasons.

I'll get right on that.


The left all the info blank. I am too, as this blog would no longer be blank if I included this kind of info. I'd also expect lots of phone calls to the cell I share with Ace if I put up my number, which would be stupid of me.

>NAME: Mr. Richard Williams
>PHONE: +234-802-524-3188

1. I thought Mr. Williams was supposed to be an FBI agent, why is his e-mail not an FBI e-mail address? 2. That is not a US phone number (it's got 3 extra numbers). I don't trust this spam any further than I could throw Mr. Richard Williams (which isn't any distance, I'm sure).

>NOTE: Under normal circumstances you are suppose to come and collect your >ATM CARD in person and sign some documents as proof of the collection of >your ATM CARD but the IMF and the Finance Ministry insisted that you pay >for the delivery charges of your ATM CARD via western union money >transfer, which will cost you only $180.00USD to cut down travel expenses >in other for the western union payment receipt and the receipt of payment >of $180 .00USD to the nominated courier company that will carry out with >the delivery to your door step to be documented in your file as proof your >collection. We hope that is very clear. A receipt to this effect will be >sent to you and a copy kept in your file for future documentation.

Note: We're breaking established protocol because some people that aren't real demanded for us to. Now you have to pay more hard earned money to get your money instead of traveling to your nearest FBI location to sign some paperwork. Because wouldn't you prefer this than paying for a tank of gas?

>We also advise that you stop further communications with these imposters >and forward any correspondence / proposal you receive from them to Mr. >Richard Williams in other for the FBI to bring justice to does still at >large.

There are does still at large? Does that need justice brought to them? What did the deer do? Are we blaming animals for scamming people now?

>Mr. Ron Mills.
>For: Mr. Robert S.Mueller III

At least this e-mail didn't make it sound like the FBI Director personally writes all his own e-mails to various people who have been scammed. None the less, I'm fairly certain there are people much lower on the FBI's ladder who would really be involved if they were truly investigating this kind of thing, instead of the assistant to the FBI Director.

Purging the Guilt

Tonight, I looked back on things my sister had written 2 years ago. And I felt bad once again for the pain I caused her in the process of freeing myself from the stress and hurt that talking to my mother brought about.

My sister got hurt by her friends, something I couldn't have stopped. I feel guilty for her not knowing that she could call me and talk and I would be there for her as best as I could. I feel bad for things I know I can't change and she is probably long over.

I sent her a message, apologizing for the pain I caused. I apologized, but I still feel the need to purge the guilt somehow. My apology doesn't feel like enough.

It doesn't help that I've got hormones surging through me, making my emotions stronger. It doesn't help that I'm fight off cramps (with pain reliever). I feel bad, like I was a terrible person for finally putting myself first after 10 years of stress.

I know that I couldn't have given my sister good support at the time had I still been talking with my mom, but I feel bad that I put myself first. I know that sometimes the best way to help others is to help yourself. I know this. It doesn't change the fact that right now, tonight, I feel like the world's worst sister for things I didn't know that happened in the past.

I'll have to find a way to forgive myself. Because I'm the one making me feel bad. And it's silly of me. But it's how I feel.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Book Waiting Impatiently to Be Written

I'm working on writing a book. I have my outline done, I think. It's 4 pages long, but it has lots of details. I know when things are happening in the book. I know what things are happening in the book.

I have a couple of things to research as I write and a couple of other decisions to make as I get to writing them. Unfortunately for me, my characters are not leaving my brain alone. They are asking for more scenes to be added to my outline.

I'm having to find ways to distract myself right now, as I'm not currently working on actively writing this moment. I'll work on it soon, but not until later. But this is a story that's been on the back of my mind for the better part of 10 years, so it's ready to come out now. And by now, I mean yesterday, at least that's how it feels right now.

So, if I'm not on as much, it's because I'm busy writing. But I don't expect to finish this book in the next month (unless once I start it all just comes pouring out). I'm expecting it to take as long as it needs to take. I just hope my characters stop demanding additions to the story, for my sanity if nothing else.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Celebration of Love

A few years ago, around Valentine's Day, I surprised Ace with 3x5 cards around the house with the words "I love you" written in different languages. I found 15 different languages and had him guess what they all said when he got to the end (I told him they all said the same thing). He got to hunt them all down (they weren't hidden really, just spread around). The last card was on our bedroom door, with me behind it ready for some romance.

This year, we don't have the ability for me to do something quite so romantic. We're currently in a one room place (if you don't count the bathroom as a second room). Not that I've generally been good with grand gestures.

This year, I want to spend some time praising Ace as a husband here on my blog. I'm fairly sure I do that somewhat often, but it can never be said quite enough.

Ace, you bring me up when I am down. You make me laugh when I feel like crying. Sometimes you make me laugh hard enough to cry. You make anything good seem better and anything bad seem more tolerable. You hold me close when I need comfort and give me space when I'm annoyed. You may not be perfect as a person, but you are perfect for me.

Ace, I love you. I hope to spend the next 100 years celebrating our love with you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Yesterday was a long day. Yesterday, our rent was due for the month and we didn't currently have it. Yesterday, we had to call Ace's parents and my dad to see if either of them would be willing to help us out. Yesterday, we found out who really cares about our well being and who thinks we're just using them for money.

Yesterday I found out, again, what it means to be humble and not proud. I found out that it means asking for something you need that you can't provide for yourself right now. Yesterday I got reminded that my dad would never let me have to do without if he can help it, even if he's going through a hard time himself right now.

Ace has a good chance at getting a job in the next 2 weeks that will cover all our expenses. We just need to be able to hold on here for that time frame and we should be doing well. His current job is one that he loves, a first, and will provide us just extra income over our needs. It'll allow us to pay my father back, as will our staying on the Ramen noodle/sandwich/salad type of meal plans.

Yesterday was a long day. But in the end, we got our rent paid and enough food to last at least until Friday when Ace gets paid again. And right now, that has left us feeling blessed and grateful.

Today seems to be a good day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Falling Somewhere Else

Lately, I'm reading a lot about snow falling everywhere. And it's funny, because it's all places south of Springfield, where we aren't getting nearly as much snow.

It is snowing here. When Ace and I went to get our mail this afternoon, it was snowing. But the snow isn't really sticking around that much. The only indication on the streets that the snow was touching down is the fact that they were wet.

So, we haven't been fighting off extreme cold temperatures. The wind hardly ever seems to blow, which is still throwing us as it blows all the time in Oklahoma. The snow hasn't been causing problems, nor has it been piling up.

It's nice. It's just... different. But I like it. And I'm glad we moved here. Even if it's further north (which is totally not where I wanted to move). And the timing of the move seems perfect for having avoided all the bad weather. That makes me even happier.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

At Least Some Questions Got Answered

Yesterday, after I posted, I got a call from my sister. She had indeed sent the message that caused me to join FaceBook (for which my extended family is grateful). At least over there, we have a chance to become closer.

And now, I have some questions answered. My grandma is fine for now, but will probably continue to have mini-strokes for the rest of her life (she goes home from the hospital today, as well as getting another year older today). They have no idea how much longer she will live, there's no expiration date stamped on her (she's not a carton of milk).

My sister got a little freaked out by our grandmother's mortality. Given that my sister isn't yet 20, it's kind of understandable. I think this whole thing reminded her that she doesn't know when anyone could die and since she doesn't feel as close to me as she did when we lived in the same room (or even the same house), she's understandably freaked out some about that too.

I just wish she had picked a bit better wording. But now she gets a chance to see how I am more often based on my FaceBook status. It probably doesn't feel like much right now, but it's something.

And now I'm going to find something less noisy to do than type, because Ace is sleeping.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Don't Think She Knows What No Contact Means

Back when I stopped talking to my mother, I gave her one simple rule. Don't contact me. She could contact Ace, but not me.

Since then, Ace has only heard from her through me. And she's sent me several cards (the first mailed to my in-laws, the rest sent with my siblings), tried to friend me on MySpace, and called me once (apparently at my sister's insistence).

While I can use that excuse for the phone call, I can't do much to excuse her for sending me cards. Cards with money in them (for Christmas and my birthday), making it harder to just refuse them.

I wanted her to just leave me alone. To let me get over my hurt and anger and to move on with my life. Instead, she keeps trying to pop up at the most random of times. In my effort to avoid her, I've cut most of my ties with my extended family (all my aunts, uncles, and cousins are on her side).

Yesterday, in the wake of what is fairly obviously her inability to let me be (I still have yet to confirm it with my sister, but it's not like I really need to), I did something I never planned on doing. I joined Facebook to connect with my extended family and be kept up to date on what is really going on.

This whole thing has been weird. Before I joined Facebook, I determined that I could make it where my mother couldn't contact me through her own name there. It's not perfect, but at least this way I know that I can connect with loved ones and feel safer about it.

But I have a couple of questions before I go. What does no contact mean to you? And if your children requested it, would you honor their wishes?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Circling the Brain

Yesterday, I listened to a sermon on patience (which is being constant no matter the circumstances). Which amused me, because I wrote about patience not that long ago (in fact, I was still thinking about it).

And then last night, I read an article about difficult mothers from Psychology Today. And my mother started my thoughts about patience a long while ago and was mentioned in my post.

It's like someone has direct access to my brain and is covering things that are in there out here in the real world. It doesn't help me right now that I got a message from "my sister" earlier that doesn't sound at all like my sister (but instead sounds like my mother). It's got all this stuff that was already swirling around in my brain in a tizzy.

I'm being patient. Waiting to find out if this was indeed something my mother sent. I want to talk to my sister first, before I do anything or say anything to any relatives (even my dad). I want to know, for certain, that my sister did not write those things (although, I'm like 99.9% sure of it right now). But for right now, I"m being patient and waiting to hear back.

And for now, I'm letting all this information circle around in my brain. Because there isn't much else I can do with most of it.