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What am I even doing with my life. March 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — buff3 @ 6:14 pm
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You know how you always think “if I just finish this thing, I will be where I need to be”?  Like, finish school, get the degree, land the job, get in a relationship, get married, have a baby, buy the new car you want, etc.?  Well.  Here’s the truth.  None of that stuff makes you accomplished.  How do you measure success then?

I have always wanted to be a wife and mother.  I was trained by the very best Mexican lady and her family.  I cook, clean (not my favorite chore), bake, am nurturing, just a little domineering at times, but I am a good person.  I take care of people.  I handle my business.  I’m good, responsible, hard working, moral, funny, blah blah blah.  Am I successful?  I suppose if you look at the things I have accomplished and am still accomplishing, I appear to be successful.  Do I feel successful?  no, not even a little.  I guess we have this vision of who we expect ourselves to be, and if the life we are living does not match this vision, then we are not.

So, am I happy?  Sure.  I mean, I’m in my 30’s, single, no romantic prospects, and my life doesn’t match the vision I had, but I generally wake up with a smile on my face and pep in my step.  I have a career.  I own a business.  I manage another business.  I have lots of relationships with the best friends anyone could want and a close family.

I don’t have my own kids, but I have the next best thing, my brother’s kids.  They are perfect.  They love me, I love them.  They need me.  I teach them things that their parents can’t possibly teach them, like how to act and sing at the top of your lungs (properly with breath support), how to love Jesus, why being Catholic is cool, lipstick, that girls can be superheroes one day and wear a formal gown the next, or do anything they want to do, and why aunthood and godmotherhood is the best gift ever.  I truly love them with all of my heart.  I get the rewards of parenthood: the kisses, the messes, the hugs, the adoration, at a fraction of the cost!  I mean, they do cost me a lot of money, but by my own choosing.  They are just so damned cute and I enjoy spoiling them.  My life changed the day that I became an aunt.  They are the thing I’m best at.

I guess anyone can sit around and look for reasons as to why their life isn’t exactly how they planned.  I could make excuses.  I could badger myself.  My dad basically told me when I was younger that nobody would ever love me if I stayed fat.  Maybe he was right, maybe he wasn’t.  Maybe that will change, maybe it won’t.  I would hate to think that my future happiness or current happiness is determined by a number on a scale.  I refuse to believe that my happiness will be determined by whether or not I’m in a romantic relationship.  That puts my happiness up to fate and in the hands of another person, and maybe I’m a control freak, but I refuse to give anyone else the power of controlling my happiness.  Eff that.

I’m happy today.  Accomplishments really are more about the journey and not the destination.  You may get the next thing you want: the new shiny car, the new job, the new boyfriend, the new house, and those are just things.  Things can’t make you happy.  You may get a new degree, finish the book you’ve been shelving, or get that garage door painted, but there’s always more that needs done.  Do the best that you can every day.  The new Cinderella movie says “have courage and be kind”, and that’s really all you need to get through the day successfully.

So, what am I doing with my life?  I’m living it.  As adventurously and courageously and deliciously as possible.  BOOM.  There’s so much more to do.  I need to get busy.


Man’s Best Friend February 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — buff3 @ 6:32 am

I remember the day we met. My brother brought his new full breed black labrador puppy to the mall where I worked. I picked her up with both hands, looked into her perfect brown eyes, and said “thanks for the dog, boogie”. I remember him screaming and telling me that he paid $350 for this dog and went to a farm to pick her out. Chloe was the runt of the litter, the last to leave her Mom. She was found cuddling with her dog mom and he decided she was perfect. Yes, she was. Perfect for me.

He worked long hours and I had plenty of time to train our new family member. I remember walking her up and down the drive with treats in my hand yelling “heel”, and she did, every time. I then trained her to sit in the back seat of my car, to sit, roll over, lay down, but Chloe didn’t “speak” for nearly a year. She was a perfect girl.

When she was about 7 months old, she escaped with my other dog who always got out and ran away. The other dog came home, but my little Chloe was missing for 4 long days. I cried each day, and drove and walked around the neighborhood around the clock searching. I eventually gave up, figuring that someone made her their new perfect family pet, until I received a phone call at 2:30AM from my Dad that he drove past the house, and Chloe was sitting on the sidewalk staring at my house. I was never more relieved in my life. I continued to train her, but I never let her out of my sight again.

I remember so many great things that my hammy got to do that not many other dogs were privileged to do. She went to college with me twice, she went to many rehearsals at the Oakland and The Rust Belt Theater, she traveled to Virginia,Chicago, and Michigan several times. She stayed with me at Kenni’s, my brother’s, Auntie Mel’s, Uncle Rob’s, my Sister’s, and she visited many other friends throughout her days. She was in the first Youngstown Christmas Parade in the “Oakland Float” (my car), and walked faithfully with me near Lanterman’s Mill and in Boardman Park. She loved to play frisbee, but mostly I think she just loved to go through the drive thru’s where many people greeted her with a small doggie cone and an ice water. Even the ladies at my bank gave hammy a treat every single visit.

She consoled me when I was sad, she celebrated when we were happy, and she spooned me in my bed or on my couch every day. Hammy preferred to sleep on my bed with her head laid across my neck! She couldn’t seem to get close enough to her people mama.
Hammy didn’t bark often, but I taught her to pray. It took nearly a year to get her to bark, but I taught her to “give a woo woo” and shout “A-Men”! And she was always happy to get wound up and give me a bark. One recent time when she was thirsty she barked, only I couldn’t figure out what she wanted, she went to the bathroom door, sighed, and proceeded to attempt to get water. She always had a way of telling me exactly what she wanted. She ate toast every single morning. She didn’t like regular dog treats and would snub us if we tried to give them to her. When she was mad at me, she would sit in front of me on the floor and stare in the other direction, giving me the silent treatment.

Hammy went to church every October to be blessed, but I was the one who was blessed. I had a best friend who cuddled me even when I wasn’t deserving. I had a companion who loved my company.

In her last few months, she remained a faithful companion even though she had trouble with her back legs. She still wanted to come to bed at night, and to cuddle on the couch. She loved Rached and decided that he would be her person too. She had him trained to let her out when he got home every night.

On her last day on Earth, I received a call from my sister that hammy wasn’t breathing right. I was afraid to make the decision to put her down because I felt that she would go on her own. When I returned home, she was on her seat on the couch and for the first time all day she lifted her head to see me. I went to her and told her I loved her, that she was a good girl, and held her face with both hands. I kissed her nose, and a few moments later she took her last breath.

Goodbye sweet ham, a part of me died today too.


root beer August 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — buff3 @ 8:08 pm

He said my eyes look like root beer.  He is sweet, gentle, complimentary, intelligent, and quirky.  He makes me more me than I remember being for a long time.


My Immortal May 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — buff3 @ 1:48 pm

I am sad to admit that I really dragged my feet about performing in our drag show, “Fundraising is a Drag”, over this past weekend. I am worn out from balancing work with the last several weeks of back to back shows. The money goes to a great cause, funding our Summer Series for this year. The talent in the show was fantastic, but my heart wasn’t in it. After completing the last 2 weekends of When I Knew and How it Saved Me, and the tremendous impact that the show had on it’s audience, it is hard to imagine how a “silly” drag show could make much of a comparison. Until last night….

I performed My Immortal, by Evanescence. I love the song. Even though I love the words and love singing it, I didn’t think it really fit into the show. I didn’t have an elaborate drag costume, just a black pleather skirt and a black shirt, and I certainly didn’t feel fancy. As I was singing the song I noticed a couple in the front row who started uncontrollably crying. I continued singing, and tried to sing it for them. As I did this I noticed that the words started to take a new meaning. After the show, both people hugged me and thanked me for singing this song.

Later last night, they emailed the director and told him that last year their 16 year old son had committed suicide, and that Mother’s Day was a very difficult day for them. Music amazes me. It is such a wonderful gift to be able to share it with others. I hope to remember this the next time I’m feeling lazy…and this song will hold a new meaning for me each time I get to sing it.


What was I thinking? April 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — buff3 @ 7:53 am

I just reread one of my blogs from nearly 2 years ago.  I said I wasn’t settling.  I guess in the beginning I didn’t think I WAS settling.  He swept me off my feet, or at least I thought.  He said I would be the one to save him, that since I was such a “good girl”, that he wanted to be a better man.  Well, guess what?  I settled like a dumbass and he never changed.  Some may wonder why I am blogging about such personal affairs, but to be quite honest it is very therapeutic.  I need to get this stuff out.  I need to make sense of it.  The words scramble in my head like eggs….and i really hate scrambled eggs.

I was sassy and confident and full of life.  I sparkled.  People recognized me by my obnoxious laugh and my smile.  Somewhere in the last few months my sparkle faded and my smile was forced.   It was crooked.  I was crooked.  I had given up principles that I promised to myself I would never budge.  I don’t know how it happened.  I can’t say that everything was bad.  There were lots of fun times in between the rough ones, but in the end, I wasn’t me anymore.  I somehow drifted away from my friends, from activities, and from God.  I didn’t get to know people that I always wanted to get to know better.   I stopped practicing music.  My guitar collected dust, I stopped learning.  I don’t know how I managed to become unmotivated.

I guess we are never done learning.  The process of unraveling was slow, and I picked up many pieces, but I know it is going to take some time to get it all back.  I don’t have any unrealistic or unhealthy expectations of getting in a new “relationship” any time soon.  I know I’m not ready.  If someone cool does come along I wouldn’t mind getting to know him, or hanging out to learn new things about someone else and about me.

I am a lot disappointed in me for letting go of who I was.  I am pissed that I put up with a lot of crap from him and his crazy bitch mother.  Yes, i said it.  And I have no more sympathy left for her, regardless of her “medical condition”.  Ya know what, I sadly have 2 family members with Lupus, and a friend with Lupus, and although they have gone through many painful bad times in their lives, none of them have harassed me or put me through any kind of hell.  I am releasing her.  Neither one of them get any more of my energy.  I bit my tongue for the last time.


getting by with a lil help. April 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — buff3 @ 8:25 am

So, the last few weeks have been rough.  I admit that the last several days have been much better.  I’m starting to feel like me again.  I could have never come to this point without help from my friends.  The closed chapter of my life, that was a painful one, had a really horrid and unfinished ending.  I never planned on any of my personal business becoming public.  Had he not chosen to tell all of facebook a complete lie, including a “photo”, my friend would have never posted the pictures of my war injuries.  The entire incident is embarrassing.  I lied to the police and I lied to myself.  Who was I really protecting?  Truth be told, I was in complete shock right after everything went down and I didn’t want it to become a public story.  When my friend posted the photos of me, I couldn’t hide anymore.  I didn’t look in the mirror for at least 4 days, but with the help of my friends I was able to face the world and myself once more.

A male friend of mine, who is a local artist, mental health worker, and ridiculously great guy posted as his status on FB “I am choosing sides”.  He told me that the person has to be accountable by everyone.  People should not turn the other cheek when it comes to violence, but they should hold that person accountable to the damage that they caused.  He is my hero.

I had a few great girls who checked on me daily with texts, phone calls, and even sleep overs.  I didn’t eat for a week and a half (and sadly didn’t drop one pound due to my depression).  My best friend stayed at my house and made sure I stopped feeling afraid of everything.  He is my angel.  I had a couple of nights sleeping on different peoples couches and eventually stopped feeling afraid.

I have learned through all of this that you cannot be alone when the ship sinks.  No matter what the circumstance, you should try to cling to your support system.  My mother called me and told me to “hold my head up high when I leave the house and to make sure I brought tissues because I might need them”.  She is amazing.

I found a few great books that really helped me to understand his illness, and mine.  I received literally a hundred emails and phone calls from concerned friends as the news trickled down to most people that I know.  I could not respond to everyone, but want them to know that I appreciate every single word, thought, and prayer.  Keep the thoughts and prayers coming, because although I’m getting stronger by the minute, I still have a sadness that I can’t shake.

I don’t know what else to say, but thank you.  To Rob, Brooke, Bird, Kris, Daniel, Denim, Rick, Sean, Stewie, Tom, Boogie, Rachel, Ali (my raging bull sister), Kerri, Gina, Stacey, and God….(and multiple other people that can’t be named), I love you and I thank you for being my bridge over troubled water.


46 minutes. April 5, 2011

Filed under: abuse,relationships — buff3 @ 5:56 pm

So, not that anyone really reads this…I guess it’s more of a journal than a blog really.  I plan on getting back to it regardless just to try to save my level of sanity.  I apologize to my entire education, degree, and knowledge because I know the term “sanity” itself is really a legal one and not a psychological word, nor could it begin to explain my current state.  Anyhoo…it has been a while.  I have recently gotten out of an abusive relationship.  One where I had to walk on egg shells, I lied to myself to make myself feel better about many things that were actually really crappy, and ultimately ended up getting myself physically attacked before finally ending a very difficult and interesting chapter of my “love” life.  So, I will try to discuss as many of the events of the actual nightmarish event that I can get out in 46 minutes.  That is about how long my laptop battery has left, and that is about the exact time it took for my attacker to poop-ice the shit-cake of a relationship I was involved in for a year and a half-ish.

So, we had a fun night.  It was St. Patrick’s Day and he has a history of celebrating it to it’s fullest with his friends.  Although neither he nor I are the least bit Irish, I am always game for a good time.  On our way home, and I must admit I shouldn’t have been driving…he decided to start agitating me, trying to make me swerve in my car and I told him to stop.  “You’re no fun” he said to me, and my reply was “yeah, I know, because DUI’s are so much fun”.  Immediately, as if timed perfectly in a movie, Empire State of Mind starting playing on the radio.  He started talking about how he wasn’t living his life to it’s fullest.  He wasn’t pursuing his dreams of being a big actor who swept Broadway and wasn’t living the life he wanted to be living.  Tears came, and I have to admit that I have grown a little bit cold to inauthentic tears from men.

When we arrived at my house, I let him cry.  We pulled in the garage and I shut the door and I waited for him to open the door.  He did not.  Finally, I went in because I had to let my dogs outside.  While in the house, he called my phone (which I found out much later), and left a crying message about how I left him, abandoned, in my garage.  He came into the house and planted himself on my couch where he continued to cry.  I sat down beside him and covered myself with a blanket, with my hands folded across my stomach.  He continued to babble about how he wasn’t living his dream.  I tried to comfort him.  I told him that he would be making a trip to the big city soon, and he could look for a job, and possibly look for auditions somewhere.  He blew up saying that I wasn’t saying “what he needed to hear”.  He backhanded me across my stomach, leaving small bruises across my knuckles.  He got up from the couch and started flailing his arms about, and kicked the drawer knob off of my end table.  I told him that he would not destroy property in my house, or hit me.  I told him I was going to bed and he needed to stay on the couch until I was sober enough to drive him home.

As I walked up the stairs he followed me, trying to lift my leg to get me to fall.  He is much smaller than me physically, so this was a tougher task than he thought.  He screamed obscenities the whole time and followed me into the bedroom where I sat down on my bed.  I just thought he was going to scream, or possibly spit in my face as he had done several times in the past.  Not this time.  This time he began by pulling my hair back with his left and swinging with his right.  I closed my eyes.  I don’t remember each time he hit me, or the manner of which he did.  Only certain parts of it stick out in my mind.  He grabbed the bottom of my chin as if trying to rip off my face and told me that I was disgusting and nobody would ever love me.

When I reached my hands up to try to block his swinging arms, I incidentally scratched his neck.  I saw a little bit of blood on my finger and thought that he made me bleed.  After he pulled away, I tried to look for where he made me bleed, only to realize that it was my broken nail that scratched him and it was his blood.  Then the beating continued until I realized that his phone was next to me on my bed.  I threw it at the wall.  When he got up to fetch it, screaming that I broke HIS phone, he came back toward me.  This time I stood up and picked him up by his belt and slammed his body to the ground and sat on him while I called for help.  He begged me to hit him, begged me to “break his nose”, and I replied “I do not hit people that I love”.

I waited for my friend to arrive, who gratefully arrived within minutes.  Shortly after she arrived, so did the police.  When they asked me if I had been hit, I lied.  I don’t know why I did it.  I have never been in this sort of situation in my life, and I wanted to protect him.  The officer explained to me that my pantyhose were ripped off my body, my shirt was ripped, and I had what looked like bruising on both arms, chest, and possibly elsewhere, and I continued to lie, luckily they didn’t flash the flashlight on my face that had a large bump that was already turning blue, with what appeared to be a big rash from blood rushing to the surface.  People make jokes about women who say “I ran into a door” or “fell down the stairs”, but these lies became my life for a week and a half while my bruises healed.

The last image I have of this man that I loved, a “man” that I trusted physically in my presence, who abused that trust, who abused me, was of him sitting on my porch with his head in his hands, 2 police cars in my drive, and myself walking into the house and locking the doors behind me.  I sat and shook on my couch until I crawled to my bed and cried and shook, and shook and cried until I passed out for 3 hours of sleep.  More later….