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A Woman’s Rule of Thumb …

Friday night I’ve promised to attend the burlesque debut of @BeingCharlee. Flawed Memory is also supposed to go. He offers for the two of us to ride together since parking will be limited. The plan is for me to drop my daughter off at her pool birthday party, and he’ll pick me up at 8:30.

At 8:30, my phone rings. FM’s car won’t start. So I offer to go pick him up and drive us to the show. This should be easy, right?

As I’m driving out the Parkway, I get this feeling that this Friday the 13th isn’t going to end well. FM’s car won’t start. Social Diva is at a pool party. I’m going out on a Friday (i.e., “Mom”) night (which is rare for me). I try to shake off the feeling as I reach my exit.

And then it happens. As I’m driving through the empty section of parking lot, I don’t see the concrete section/curb jutting out until it’s too late. I wasn’t playing with my phone, but I was searching the parking lot for the broken down car. The grassy area didn’t have a light pole or tree (which was pointed out to me later). I swerved at the last minute, but my front passenger side tire hits and goes up over the curb. Thinking I had damaged my front bumper, I immediately pull over into a parking spot to check for damage and find an immediately flat tire. [I had just purchased these new tires one month ago and DIDN’T get the road hazard!]  FM helps change my tire and guess what? The spare has barely any air! Not only am I ready to burst into tears, I’m ready to scrap my plans for the night. Since we both said we were coming to the debut, he reassures  me that everything will be ok and we head back into town. Fortunately, the spare holds the air while we were at the venue and throughout the night.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I have to drive Vampire Boy to work. The plan is then to take FM to try to start his car which we were able to do by “popping the clutch.” We head to Wal Mart so I can check into whether my tire is salvageable (it wasn’t) and whether they can look at his car (they couldn’t).  There goes $100 I didn’t need to spend to replace the tire.

This wasn’t how I planned on spending the weekend before returning to work after my staycation!

A woman’s rule of thumb: If it has tires or testicles, you’re going to have trouble with it!

We Were On A Break!

So much has happened since my last angry post.  The rebound relationship is no longer, there’s been some progress in the breakdown of communication, and there have been a few nights of serious heart-to-heart conversations that have gone on into the early morning hours (lucky for me that I’m on vacation and can nap at the pool during the day).

I can’t help but chuckle and this clip keeps running through my mind.

I have also learned that my stubbornness is a detriment to my happiness. I need to work on this more.

We’ll see …


I hate hearing stories on the news about domestic violence cases, especially ones that involve young women.

What happened to Karissa Kunco could have happened to me.

At the young age of 20, I became involved with, moved in with, and eventually engaged to a man who was not right for me.  He lived across the country road from my grandmother. I had been infatuated with him since my younger teenage years, and we reacquainted after I wrecked my mom’s car and needed auto body work. My sister had recommended him to do the job, and my only “charge” for the work was a date with him.  As the relationship evolved, I learned just how addicted to alcohol and cocaine he was. He was frequently jealous and it was a volatile relationship. I thought I could change him.

I packed up and moved out numerous times, a few times with just the clothes on my back.  Unfortunately, my moves were across the street to my grandmother’s which was not far enough away from him. Break-ups were always followed by apologies and empty promises. I was young and inexperienced and didn’t know how to break the cycle. There’s more to the story that I’m not comfortable sharing here, but in August 1988, my life changed. I cooperated in the investigation and prepared to testify in front of a judge.  In the end, he accepted the plea that was offered and went to jail. I was left to rebuild my life.

I was a fortunate one. I was able to get away. Unfortunately, not without experiencing some violence and trauma myself, but I was able to break free.  Sadly, Karissa Kunco was not.  My heart breaks for her family.

Hopefully, my experience has taught me the skills to educate my own daughter and to watch for any signs of a controlling or volatile relationship. Having been there, I hope to recognize the signs and be able to share my story with her. If I’m lucky, it will continue to be my secret.

Trusting Tuesday

So I am a day behind for NaBloPoMo.  My body is not adjusting well to the “fall ahead” time change. While everyone is happy about the extra hour of sleep, I woke at 5 AM on Sunday morning. Yes, 5 AM after getting in at 11 on Saturday night and not falling asleep until close to midnight.

On Monday, I checked the “Geek Squad” at Best Buy to research the cost of the possible hard disk recovery of my laptop. Can you say sticker shock? A basic recovery attempt begins around $250, mid-level recovery is around $500, and extensive recovery could run $1600+. I was ready to burst into tears. My laptop is less than three years old. I paid barely $500 for the laptop in the first place. I could not see paying someone $500 to recovery the handful of files I hope to recover.  Did I back up my files? No, of course not. Lesson learned!

This is where I begin to gush about how much I love the Twitter community.

I happened to tweet that I had sticker shock at the Geek Squad’s recovery prices.  In less than a few minutes, I get a reply directed to me from @enophiledude (Ted #1) recommending that @tedwardsdesign (Ted #2) take a look at it. Ted #2 tweets back at me to see what the problem is.  A few tweets and direct messages (DMs) later, we make plans to meet.  Shortly after making these plans, I get another reply from @pghjen volunteering her husband to take a look at it.

I won’t say that I wasn’t nervous handing over my dead laptop to a complete stranger.  But I’ve met Ted #1 and he wouldn’t recommend someone he didn’t know or trust.  So I handed off my baby to Ted #2 with a list of items I hope to recover.  He has even volunteered to research prices for a new hard drive for me.

So dear Twitter, at first I did not understand you. Over the past year and a half, I have become to trust the people who reside behind their avators, whether I have met them in person or not.  Thanks to the recommendation of someone, I am hopeful to recover some of files from my dead hard drive, without having to contact a loan shark or sell a kidney to do so.  It’s a win-win-win situation. If I’m lucky, my files will be retrievable.  Ted #1 will be thanked for the recommendation with beers from Bocktown. Ted #2 will be paid for his time and attempted retrieval, and he’s more than welcome to join Ted #1 and I for beverages.

Thank you Twitter!

Drunk Girl Theater

My first theater experience was when I was when I was in my early 30’s.  Growing up in a small town 20 miles south of downtown Pittsburgh, my parents never brought us into the city and certainly never to the theater.  Now that I am a parent, I want my children to experience all that they can.

Since his freshman  year, Vampire Boy has been involved with theater arts as part of the lighting or stage crew.  In May 2011, our high school’s spring musical production was The Wizard of Oz (I went to see it twice).  Once the advertisements started in May for the Wicked production and it’s performances in Pittsburgh, I knew I wanted to buy tickets for the three of us to go to a performance.   With my tight budget, I decided to get the least inexpensive tickets with the rationale that there isn’t a bad seat in the Benedum.  I also learned the lesson that one goes directly to the box office to buy tickets rather than online ($27 in convenience fees? ouch!).

Finally, September rolls around.  I think I am more excited to see the show than the children are (and I gave up going to see one of my favorite Rock Boat bands, Ingram Hill!). We spend a week figuring out the logistics of how we’re all getting into town for the evening.  We determine (and agree) on a place for dinner.  I leave work early on show day and drive home to pick them up so we can drive back into town.  We have a great dinner at Wingharts Burger & Whiskey Bar (yeah, I didn’t realize it was that small of a place but the burgers? YUM!).

After dinner, we head over to the Benedum to get settled into our seats which are at the top of the Benedum.  The lights go down, the curtain goes up. The kids and I enjoy the first half of the performance.   We’ve been sitting in our seats for about two hours, so at intermission, we get up to stretch our legs in the hall behind our seats.  We’re standing there for about 5 minutes before it happens.   All of a sudden, a young(er) woman (I’m horrible with ages but guessing in her late 20’s) FALLS from the top step into the hallway.  Her friend, who was walking up the stairs behind her, then shoves her, causing her to face plant into the carpeting.  Social Diva notices Vampire Boy and I looking over, so she turns around to see what we were looking at.  Both kids then look at me like “What the hell?”  This woman was so sloppy, shitfaced drunk that she could barely pick herself up from the floor.  She was stumbling around not sure where to go.  Escorts immediately came to her side and guided her from the stairs to the elevators.  Intermission show over, we head back to our seats and enjoy the second half of the performance.

I can’t help but wonder who the hell gets so shitfaced drunk before going to the theater on a Tuesday night? What kind of friend even allows you to go to the theater that drunk? What kind of friend then pushes you out of her way instead of helping you up?  This behavior is the norm on the South Side, but certainly not in the Cultural District.

At the end of the night, the kids and I spent a great evening together. I love sharing these experiences with them.  We had a nice dinner, saw an excellent performance, and had the added bonus lesson of how NOT to behave.