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How much is that spider in the window?

And to end my day, I just spent 20 mintues trying to free a spider from what must have been another spider's web. I saw it while I was .... having a pee, and noticed it was struggling and thrashing around. So I pulled the web out on a broom and sure enough, the creepy as fuck spider was all tangled up.

Using the most advanced surgical tools known to man (a spent match and a tab of cardboard from a box of dryer sheets), I slowly began pulling away threads of web and freed the spider most of the way, checking to see if all of its legs still worked, and trying very hard not to rip the poor thing in half as I was separating bigger chunks. I couldn't get the last bit though, so while it can walk, it's still not free.

Now I'm facing a moral dilemma that I'm really not happy about. It's not free, but it can move, so maybe it can get itself out from there? Or maybe it's still stuck, I just spent 15 minutes terrifying it, and it'll just slowly suffer and die. Maybe I should have just killed it fast, but what if it CAN get itself out now?

To make matters worse, I have an emotional attachement to this spider because [backstory] every summer, a spider builds its nest in the basement window above the sink, and every year, I spare it and name it and talk to it. ........god, I sound ridiculous, but it is what it is. Past spiders have been Wachupie, Wachupu, Penny, and Webster. This year's was going to be Confucius, but I ended up just going with "Spider." [end backstory] I think it's Spider. He's been missing for the past two days, which is unusual.

So yeah. Moral dilemma. Do I go down and put the poor guy out of his misery, or do I hope it can get itself out from there and risk a slow painful death?

I left it on the laundry table. << I'm going to go back down in a few hours. If it's still there, well... that'l be the end.
Good luck, Spider.

And for anyone reading and wondering, no, I did not touch it at any point. Ew. ._.

Oh boy, nothing like starting your day by having a breakdown about your dog who died almost two months ago that devolves into you laying on the floor with her box of ashes and ugly-sobbing uncontrollably for an hour.

Losing Sari has been one of the most god awful experiences of my entire existence, and given my existence, I feel like that's really saying something.

It hurts. All of me hurts.

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Sari,

For the first time today, I forgot that you weren't here.

I was thinking about how to best manage my tax return, how much to save, how much to spend, what to spend it on, and looking up landscaping ideas for above ground pools. Menial, unimportant things. Luke turned around to ask what I was looking at, so I told him I was considering stone mulch instead of wood mulch.

"I wouldn't have to replace it every year," I said. "And the dogs wouldn't feel compelled to poop on it."

The dogs. Dogs. Dogs. I interrupted myself immediately afterward. It was like a punch to the throat. My air cut off and no more words would come. Luke noticed right away, so I laughed it off and said, "Hey, that's the first time I've done that. Anyway..." and continued with what I was saying. But I've been thinking about it ever since.

I forgot that you were gone.
Not that you had been here, but rather, that you never would be again. I think that's harder somehow... than forgetting to be in pain, to be sad, to mourn. It's almost like suffering the loss all over again.

Sometimes I say your name just to say it,
because I like the sound of it,
and want a reason to hear it.

I miss you.

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But oh, how they all take their toll.

Someone sent this to me, and... I thought it was worth posting.

Flashback Not-Friday: Three Pointer

I have no idea why this popped into my head this morning, but it did, so why not write about it?

7th grade was great. I'm glad it was, as it was my last full year of traditional schooling. We were the very first 7th grade class in a brand new middle school, so everything was fresh and clean and in great condition. We also had a lot of fresh and new teachers. Four of my five teachers (6/8 if you count music, art and gym) were as fresh and new as the school was. We made a point to learn all of their ages. The youngest was only 23. That's crazy to think about. The oldest was 28, also crazy to think about.

We also had a new cirriculum. We did "block learning," were divided by grades and performance in all of the key subjects (I was in all of the smart classes (; ), and it was really great. I remember it 100% fondly. There was even a game day every other week, where at the end of whatever class, we would play a game, which brings me to the memory.

Geography was one of the classes where we were not divided by smarts, so we had all sorts there; the bad kids, who were in ISS more than class, the dumb ones (sorry, but it's true), the average ones, and some of the smart ones. Chuck, the "he's sooooo CUTE, omigosh" boy of my school days, was in that class, two seats behind me. We were separated by an ISS kid, so it was usually just an empty seat, and he would use his freakishly long legs to gradually push that desk into my back. I think there's an entry about that somewhere, actually. Anyway.

One of the games we played was an answer and toss game, where if we answered a geography question right, we'd have an opportunity to toss a bean bag into a trash can to gain a point for our team. The class was split right down the center for convenience, and we had three distance markers we could throw from, which were respectively one, two, and three point shots.

The middle point was right next to Chuck's desk, the single point beside mine, and the third pointer way in the back of the classroom.

I usually threw from right beside my desk. I was not physically coordinated, lol. While I could almost always score a single point from the first marker, I has 0 confidence I could do any more than that. Plus, the second pointer was literally right beside Chuck, and I think that kept me from trying. I was very, very shy.

So anyway, we were neck and neck in a game one day and we had just enough time for one more shot. It was me. My turn. We were down two points. I could either tie it up from the second marker, or steal a win with the third marker. Augh. I got my question right (which I always did, everyone expected me to), and went to throw from the second marker, figuring I could at least TRY for a tie. But my whole team  was urging me to go for the win. "Just try it!" They knew the chances were slim since sometimes I missed from just the first marker >_> but what did we have to lose, really? Chuck was one of the kids urging me to try for three, and as he was right beside me and my widdle heart was just a'poundin' away, he was kind of hard to ignore.

Reluctantly, I went back to the third marker, convinced I would miss. CONVINCED but willing to try (or probably just sucumbing to peer pressure).

That's when time slowed down, the angels descended from heaven, my reptile brain calculated some advanced physics, and I tossed.

And scored the point.
To this day, I'm still surprised. I don't know how the heck I pulled that off. Probably more coordinated than I gave myself credit for. My team went nuts, the other team went nuts, and we all got to take dumdum lollipops to our next period. c:

And that was the end of it. There was no hoisting me up onto their shoulders, or moviesque chanting, but it was very exciting and I was incredibly proud of myself. Plus, I got to impress the boy I liked, so that was a bonus for me.

And yeah. Yay, childhood.
Later Days~

The Measure of Remarkable Character

I finally called someone in to help me get the darn rusted bolt off of my toilet. One of Luke's co-workers, Matt Wilson, was kind enough to entrust me with a sawzall, but I could not get the right angle and thus has no luck with the bolt. After a multitude of youtube videos and online articles, days of bathing that thing in WD-40, bruising the heck out of my thumb trying to get the bolt to turn, hurting my apparently extremely delicate wrist (twice), and going balls to the wall and trying to hammer the stupid thing, I threw in the towel and made the call.

An older gentleman called me back very promptly and arranged to come out today, and now getting to the point of this entry; he was truly wonderful. After offering to help in any way he needed, he asked me if I was handy. I told him I had a strong desire to learn and nobody to teach me. He sort of chuckled, and then proceeded to explain every step he took, and why. He was genuinely kind, genuinely good, and he really restored some of my faith in humanity --

-- especially when he told me that he wasn't actually taking calls this week because he'd just had two strokes, but that I sounded like I really needed the help. Then he gave me a tool used to tighten bolts (because I told him I could put the new ones on myself to make it easier on him), and fleed the house before I could think to pay him. When I realized this and insisted on payment, he sent me a text saying, "Myste, I can't accept any payment. I am thrilled that you are doing DIY work and learning some new skills. If you are ever again in a jam, give me a call or send me a text. If we can't work it out over the phone, I'll be glad to stop over and give you a hand. Best wishes."

And me, being the over emotional wreck that I am, cried over this. While I feel I've endured far more than my fair share of hardships and have been saddled with an overwhelming amount of people who are .... not good people, I cannot deny that I've also been lucky enough to find a few who are not only good people, but are exceptional. This was one of those people.

So to anyone present or future reading this; be an exceptional person, because there will come a time where you get the opportunity to do something wonderful for someone who will later cry and write a weepy journal entry about how she has some reknewed faith in humanity because of you

and that, my friends, is a remarkable measure of character.

Later Days

It's technically been Saturday for over six hours now, but who's counting?

I was mindlessly browsing facebook when I came across something that triggered a memory... and it's a memory I'd like to remember, one I feel was too close to being forgotten. It's a memory about gratitude.

I was probably about eleven or twelve when this happened. I know it was right around when Frank really started moving from passive abuse to more straightforward acts. It was either late in the year or early, because it was cold, but I had my window open. I was laying on my bed playing Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland. Why I remember what game I was playing, I cannot tell you. I heard something outside, like a little kid calling for someone maybe, but didn't pay it much mind at first. I kept hearing it though, so I got up and climbed out onto my roof and looked around, and saw nothing and heard nothing, so I went back to my videogame. Some time later I started hearing it again, but this time, the words clicked in my mind and I heard, "Isn't anybody going to help me?"

Oh boy, that jolt of mind numbing adrenaline, it may have been the first of my life. I bolted up, went right past Frank on the couch, and ran outside.

What I found was a little old lady (very old, 80+ I'd guess?) who had literally fallen and could not get up, just a couple of houses across the street from ours. She was laying halfway out her screen door on her cold cement porch, and said she had crawled to her door and had been there for a long time, in and out of conciousness.

I don't know where my mom was. I assume she wasn't home, because I ran back to the house and told Frank about it, who of course went out, called 911, and did all of the adult stuff. Paramedics came, the old woman's son(?) came, the police came, it was a huge ordeal and I was banished back into the house where I watched it all unfold from my window.

They took the lady in the stretcher. Everyone cleared out. Frank returned to the house, and screamed at me for having my window open while it was cold out. That was it. I didn't hear a thing about it for a few weeks, I'd say. Then one day while Frank was away on one of his trucking trips, the lady and who must have been her son came knocking at the door. She told me Frank took all the credit, that she was too out of it to dispute anything but remembers that it was me who had helped her, and she gave me a little bag with an angel statue in it. She said something like... I was her angel that day, and if I hadn't have heard her, she doesn't know what would have happened. She hugged me, the older man hugged and thanked me, and from then on, we always waved to eachother when we saw eachother, and I felt good about myself.

I wish I could thank her and her son for making the special effort to come over and speak to me afterward. That was a dark time for me, because my mom's health was just starting to fade, I'd been told recently that I wasn't allowed to see Pete anymore, Frank's abuse was getting worse, all of that. And to have them come over and commend my character, tell me I'd done a good thing, praise me... I think I probably really needed that at that time, and I wish I could let them know how much it meant to me.

To this day, I have that angel figurine. It's wrapped up in a box somewhere, safe and sound, and almost forgotten.
Not anymore, though.

Later Days~

Girl Scouts, Cookies, and Father Tim

Luke brought home three boxes of girlscout cookies. Having been a girlscout for... *counts on fingers* eight years of my life, as well as the daughter of the troop leader for all eight of those years, let me tell you that I am very familiar with girlscout cookies. Since my mom was the leader, I was required to attend every booth sale. You know what a booth sale is? It's when we set a table up outside of a store in the middle of JANUARY and walk up to people saying, "Would you like to buy some girlscout cookies?" over and over and over again. If I had a cookie for every time that phrase has come out of my mouth, I'd have a lot of cookies, and that's not including all of the door-to-door sales I suffered through.

Anyway. Looking at these new designer cookies and their designer boxes, it got me reflecting on how much girlscouts has changed over the years. For starters, the cookies have lost a good 50% of their mass. Second, they've gone up in price a good 50%. Smaller size = price increase? When I was a girlscout, cookies cost $3 a box. Three dollars for much larger cookies with higher quality ingredients, mind you. Then toward the end of my era, we had a price hike of 50 cents a box. Now they're being sold for as much as $5 a box, and some are more expensive than others. It makes me angry because it's clearly no longer about the girls. Girl Scouts is now a business monopoly whose goal is to make money, then more money, then some more money. That's it. It's basically slave labor, because the cookie prizes are cheap  and dumb as shit (while in comparison, I still have and use some of my cookie prizes to this day) and the troops get back a much smaller amount of money for their work. They now only get 73 cents a box. That's less than 15%. Let's do the math here.

Troop 1054 (my brownie troop <3) has 9 girls in it. Some girls sell upwards of 100 boxes, some only sell 20 boxes, and they average out at about 50 boxes per girl.
50 x $5.00 = $250 x 9 girls = $2250. So together, the troop raises approximately $2250. They get 14.6% of that. At the end of the day, what does the troop take home? $328.50 out of the $2000+ they earned. Divide that between nine girls, that's less than $40 per child. You'd be lucky if you could afford a trip to Chuckee Cheese for your end of the year prize, and let me tell you, that's what it was all about. We worked our tiny little bums off so that we could do something spectacular at the end of the year. My most memorable years were the two trips we took to Hershey Park. Two day pass, two nights in a hotel, food included, travel included, because WE raised the money, because we EARNED it.

These kids couldn't even afford the tickets for one day, let alone anything else.

Sigh.

All of this reflecting made me remember Father Tim, one of the priests from my catholic school. He was the funny one. He really loved kids. He always interacted with us, took the time to really pay attention to us, learned all of our names, even came out and played kickball with the boys or finger string games with the girls, or whatever we did. He was amazing. Another wonderful thing he did was buy a case of cookies from every girl. Not a box. A case. That's 12 boxes, kiddos, from every girl. I can't even imagine how much money he spent every year, and what did he do with the cookies? He donated most of them to homeless shelters and food banks. What a good guy. ;~; It brings a damn tear to my eye. If there's a heaven, that guy's getting in.

With cookie prices the way they are now, I'm willing to bet there are a lot less Father Tims in the world, because goodness, who could afford it.

Girl Scouts has fallen so far. I used to dream I'd have a daughter and be her troop leader, and continue some sort of tradition. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I wouldn't even sign my child up now, though. Between the "transgender kids" (boys) in the troop, and the male troop leaders, it's not a place for girls and women anymore. It's a place for money making and social agendas. It's called girl scouts for a reason. If they want to start mixing and matching, then they need to start up genderless scouts. This goes for boy scouts allowing female troop leaders and girls in the troop as well.

If you're not offended by it, then you probably don't understand the essence of scouts. It's to give kids something to aspire toward; to give young boys and girls role models so that they can become strong and just men and women. In my troop, there were three girls who were being raised by a single father who put them in girlscouts because he wanted them to have a positive female role model in their lives (my mom, who was an excellent choice at the time). He used to tell her all the time how she was making a difference to them. Now we've got girls looking up to their gay male troop leaders, and boys looking up to the 3-way lesbian mom scout masters -- people who were never boy scouts, or girl scouts themselves. Where are the feminists when you actually need them.

It raises other complications, too. How can a man take a gaggle of little girls to the bathroom, for example. My troop had a sleepover at the zoo one year with a dozen other troops. We all slept in one room on sleeping bags. Do you want a male troop leader from another troop (ie: a complete stranger of the opposite sex) around your 5 to 17-year-old sleeping daughter?

le sigh. Oh well. The times have changed and we live in a looney fucking world where gender is a social construct and little girls only get 14.6% of their sale money.
At least I'll always have fond memories of what used to be. And Father Tim.

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...by the way, the prize for selling 350 boxes of cookies this year is a baseball cap.
"Hey kid, you made the company $1700, here's a cheap hat. Sell 150 more and we'll give you a cardboard desk organizer, wow!"

We were getting freakin'... American Girl Dolls... and inflatable recliners, and shit.

Venting.

My mother just started screaming at me because I won't let her drive, and because she wants to gorge herself on cheese curls that she bought while under her dear mother's watchful eye. I'm, "not doing my job," apparently, even though it is literally my job to tell her she's not allowed to drive when the doctor tells her not to drive, and not to eat fatty junk food when the doctor tells her not to eat fatty junk food.

So that's fun.

This is what I live with.

"I'll get your laundry," I said as she went downstairs to get it.
"FUCK YOU," she said to me, in response.

What a life. (:

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Fallen idols, and dirty confessions.

Today, I'm here to talk about Gwen and Tristan.

I reflect on Gwen and Tristan relatively often because of my relationship with my little cousins. I am to Alex what Gwen was to me, and more, so it seems natural to compare myself and that relationship to what used to exist between Gwen and myself.

"Used to" is an important phrase here. I loved Gwen. LOVED HER. I practically wanted to BE Gwen, and this naturally leaked over to Tristan when he started coming around. Tristan became to me something different from Gwen; while Gwen was the epitome of what I wanted to be, Tristan was an older male figure whom I could confide in and trust to protect me, some things that could not be said for any other older, male figures at that point in my life.

Of course, hindsight and the wisdom that comes with age shows me that was not the case. Aside from my abusive asshole of a father (I've been reading some of my old livejournal entries that talk about the abuse, and it's heartbreaking), Tristan probably posed the most threat to me than any other figure in the entirety of my life, and Gwen? Gwen allowed this, bumping her up to a close third.

Now, I am not the perfect cousin and I want to be clear that I harbor no illusions that suggest otherwise. I have let those kids down on more than one occasion. I have told white lies when I did not feel up to talking over the phone, or when I have thought they wouldn't understand why I could not come over on a weekend, and I am not proud of it. I let Alyssa get attacked by, not just any dog, but my dog, while in my care. I am not the perfect cousin.

But looking back, I can say with absolute certainty that I would NEVER expose them to someone like Tristan --

-- because Tristan, was a pedophile who habitually tried to trick me into taking my clothes off for him, and allowing him to fuck me.

There it is. I've said it. It's out to the public now. I bet Gwen doesn't tell her precious little snowflakes about that. Or maybe she does. Maybe they tell them the same lies they told me. Who knows?

So about these lies.

From the age of 10 to 14, I was convinced, and wholly believed, that Tristan was special. A black dragon, a rarity in this world that exists below the fabric of our world. A world that is ruled by dragons whose colors denote their ranking and importance. I was also told that he needs to "feed" to stay alive. How did he feed? By fucking people other than Gwen, specifically young virgins who had reservations about it; ie, me.

I remember on more than one occasion being told by Tristan and Gwen that I could save him if I'd let him "feed" on me. I was the perfect candidate because I was young, a virgin, and was afraid. At twelve years old, younger than their oldest daughter is now, Tristan wanted to fuck me, and Gwen wanted me to let him. I was reduced to tears, being told I was letting Tristan die because I would not let him feed on me, or even take my clothes off and let him look at me. That's right, when they realized I wouldn't let him fuck me (good job, little Myste!), they turned to things like, "Well, he'll still be able to feed just a little bit if you get naked for him because he'll feed on your fear!"

This was all bolstered by the fact that I was special too. Oh yes, I was black dragon as well! One of very few and if I could just overcome my mental blocks, I'd be able to unlock my powers! But uh-oh, if I didn't do it by 18, I'd lose them forever!

So the next time someone drops Gwen up there on her pedestal in all of her weed smoking, parent mooching, narcissistic glory, I hope she remembers what went on behind closed doors with her little, pre-pubescent cousin. No doubt it would have escalated if I had not stuck to my guns.

I want to be clear that I did stick to my guns. I never budged an inch. Never got naked for him. Never let him touch me. Not even once did I allow them to do shit to me, and I'm damn proud of it.

"Where did all of this come from?!"
I have a lot of anger toward Gwen, an increasing amount as I watch her pedal her moral superiority. I'm also concerned for Kayleen, who thinks she's gay, no doubt an idea placed in her head by her parents. So I just want to be clear about those morals, and while I've never told anyone directly, I want it to be out in the world. Part of me wonders if they might engage in sexual activity with their daughters. If it ever comes out in court (which I doubt, but you never know)... let this be a testament.

So here you go, world. Enjoy.
Sorry you had to read that, Beth.