Monday, July 16, 2018

Caution: bumpy political post ahead

Sharing this on my Facebook wall as well:

Folks, I wish I could ignore what's going on with America and just post funny stuff all the time. But the truth is, like so many others, I am alarmed by the things I'm witnessing on a daily basis. I will NOT be silent, ignore, or dismiss it. Because when you do those things, we know what happens, don't we? Refer to Hitler and the Holocaust if you're unsure.

Before I move forward, let's get a few things straight:

To quote my friend Traci D.: "...my timeline is not a democracy. It is where I post my feelings, funny memes and videos, outrage, encouragement, and anecdotes about my pets. If you don’t agree with something I’ve posted, that’s fine. Keep scrolling."

Yes, this is my Queendom. Not a democracy. I post what I want, when I want, and use the words I want. Your approval is neither asked for nor needed. You are not welcome to tell me what to say, how to say it, to shame me, or guilt me for speaking my mind (especially if you are MALE!).

Don't send me private messages addressing me as 'little lady' or anything of that nature while upbraiding me for using curse words, either. I will fucking scorch your ass (and the area around you) using what my husband terms my 'verbal napalm.'

If my mother(s), father(s), brother(s), and two husband(s) couldn't contain my outspoken and blunt nature, there is ZERO chance you will succeed. So don't even go there. Shut your trap and scroll on by for your own sake.

To be blunt, I DON'T CARE IF YOU AGREE WITH ME. If you do, great; if you don't, so be it. This is my personal space and it's for MY thoughts/opinions/posts. Your approval is NOT needed. Use your own wall (or blog) to post how you feel. That's what it's there for.

If you support Trump, time and hindsight will be your strict teachers and demonstrate how you were on the wrong side of history anyway, so I need only to wait to prove how I was correct and you were not. It's a given.

Now that I've gotten those things out of the way:

My country is not perfect by any means. But it is my home country and I love it. I am NOT OKAY with a foreign power having their hands in our election process and influencing it, and I'm NOT OKAY with a president who treats our allies like shit while giving aid and comfort to Putin and Russia.

And may I remind you that we are NOW talking about TRUMP. Not Hillary, not Obama, not Benghazi, or any of the other talking points used to curve the narrative to other subjects besides the most important one RIGHT NOW, which is the CURRENT TRUMP PRESIDENCY. Hillary lost, Obama is out of office, the Benghazi investigation turned up a Nothing Burger. STAY WITH THE CURRENT ISSUE AT HAND, which is the hydra of evil known as the TRUMP presidency.

I no longer see the GOP as what I used to recognize as the Republican Party. Instead, it's Trump's Party. It's a festering boil fed by too many members engaging in xenophobia, racism, white supremacy, misogyny, and homophobia. I've seen a lot of friends who used to be Republicans leave the GOP and become Libertarians or unaffiliated because they, too, no longer recognize what used to be their own political party. They're not okay with the shady shit that's going on. In other words, they put America before Trump's Party, which is how it should be.

I care too much about this country to remain oblivious, silent, or dismissive of what's going on with 45 and his administration. I will not be one of those people who turns away and pretends not to see the outrageous events that are occurring on a daily basis. So, while I'll still post funny stuff and the usual banter, you can also expect that I won't ignore issues that have a huge impact on this country and my fellow/sister Americans.

You can choose to: ignore what I post, unfollow me, or unfriend me. Do what you must. But in the scheme of things, what YOU do is of little concern to me when compared to the larger, more important issues of how the United States is being torn apart and gutted from the inside by an insidious, traitorous administration, all the while being aided by the GOP, who are inarguably complicit in this entire fiasco.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

No, you're probably NOT 'OCD' or 'bipolar.' Stop using those terms in improper ways.

When people proclaim, "Oh, I'm so OCD about this, that, or the other!" it makes my teeth grind in frustration. NO...stop it. Stop using 'OCD' incorrectly. Chances are, you are a perfectionist OR a neat freak, but you are NOT clinically diagnosed with OCD and you're using the term in an improper way. It's certainly NOT a joke nor something to brag about when a person truly has obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Same goes for when people say, "Oh, I'm so bipolar!" when they're not and they're using those terms improperly to mean something entirely different. Having bipolar disorder is NOT a walk in the park or to be taken lightly. It is a serious mental health condition.

And yes, it DOES matter. Especially to people who DO have those serious conditions, which are infinitely more severe than your predilection for having things 'just so.' It also matters to the people who love others who have those mental health conditions.

When you know people – as I do – who have obsessive-compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder, you realize how insulting it is for others to use the terms or acronyms in jest when what they're referring to is NOT actual OCD. They are, instead, perfectionists and/or neat freaks.

Proper terminology matters. Most people who suffer from OCD don't think it's cute or funny at all. It can be disruptive and makes life hellish for them, sometimes driving them to suicide.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Three feet, 36 inches!

I'm watching "Very British Problems" on Acorn TV and I can relate to some of these situations. I can relate to NOT wanting to talk to people when I'm out in public – like strangers or random people who attempt to start conversations in elevators, waiting rooms, buses, trains, etc. And, invariably, throughout my life, I not only attract people who sit RIGHT next to me but also begin a conversation.

I'm also a beacon for the strangest, quirkiest person in the room. And for some reason, strangers will immediately tell the damndest things! They just start talking and it's like I'm their therapist.

Another way I can relate: handshakes, hugs, kisses on the cheek ALL make me uncomfortable, especially if I don't know you at all or well. I always default to a firm handshake, and will hug back if it's initiated (still awkward), and HIGHLY dislike people who go in for a kiss (like the French, I suppose). Strangers who exhibit unwanted familiarity and/or closeness make me want to GET AWAY as soon as possible.

Also, don't touch the top of my head, even if you're joking. I cannot STAND that. I'm short, so patting me on the head is a no-no. When I was pregnant, people would touch or pat my baby bump without asking and that got on my nerves. Especially where men were concerned. Drunk ones in particular!

In the episode I watched, they discussed how some Brits often use their phones to pretend they have a call and can't talk, even if there's no call. I'VE DONE THAT BEFORE! Unfortunately, while I was pretending to be on a call, the phone rang, and I was busted. I pretended the call had dropped without me knowing, and the person had called back. I SUCK at lying, so I'm sure my facial expression gave it away.

One more they discussed in the show: pretending that you heard someone even though you didn't hear what they said in the first place. I do this as well by saying, "Uh-huh" or "Oh, really?", shaking my head, or laughing.

Also, when people stare at me it gives me the creeps. Last night at IHOP there was a guy (obviously homeless and with severe mental issues) who was missing most of his nose. His face was disfigured. That's not a problem because bad things happen to people and you can't judge a person solely from the outside. He was in a booth, sitting and talking to not only himself, but to an imaginary person next to him. I happened to sit at our table right in eyeshot of the guy. Usually, I try to avoid facing people, but this time it didn't occur to me that he would STARE at me from across the room, all night until it gave me chills. I had to walk right past him when heading to the bathroom, so that was unnerving. I've been known to wear sunglasses not because of the sun, but because people wouldn't be able to see my eyes easily or stare into them.

Now, I know these situations are NOT exclusive to Britain. However, when I visited the UK, I noticed situations where the British were SO polite and understated, whereas here in America those situations would NOT have been handled the same way. For example, a drunk stumbled into a Pizza Hut in London, disrupting the restaurant, and the entire thing was handled with so much class and dignity that I was amazed.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Let your inner beauty shine

You know what? Be brave and show your natural self, ladies. This is me without makeup -- no foundation, no mascara, no eyeliner, no blush, no lipstick...nothing. My skin has uneven tones and a redness to it in some places (if I try to sunbathe, I look like a lobster. I don't tan).

This is me at 53. You can see some silver strands in my hair. But they blend in well, for the most part. My eyes are bluer than this pic would have you believe, but the lighting is funky where I took this. My nose has a weird yellow cast, but again, the lighting wasn't terrific.

Here's my point, ladies: you are lovely just as you are, with or without makeup. Your true beauty is from within. This year, embrace your strength, beauty, uniqueness. Love yourself first, because you deserve it. Show who you genuinely are.

Young ladies, in particular, don't need a man to complete you. If he is an asshole, walk away. Don't change your lovely self. Are you brave enough to show the world who you are, natural and in love with your womanliness? If so, post your pic and tag me or comment here.

Don't get me wrong: I love makeup and wear it often. My birth mother was a hairstylist and cosmetologist, so I probably get my love of makeup from her. However, my true beauty lives inside, and so does yours!

In 2018, let the world see your true inner beauty.




Recapping personal/professional activities and highlights of 2017

Like everyone else, a lot of things happened in 2017. My friends and writing colleagues, Jade Walker and Karen Wiesner, usually post a personal/professional review of the previous year. I'm following their example.  
How did your year go? Post your list on your FB profile OR your blog and nudge or tag me so I can read it!
* Biggest event of 2017? Became a grandmother for the first time ;-). Kane Allen Falana was born May 22, 2017.
* Began my journey toward eventually obtaining a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology, with an emphasis in Victimology.
* Took, and completed, various online courses (MOOCs) through Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, and Udemy. Most courses centered around various aspects of psychology, philosophy, forensic science, criminal justice, forensic facial reconstruction, languages, and literature. 
* Participated in online courses taught by instructors from Nanyang Technical University in Singapore, the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University, Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Copenhagen, The Open University, the Univesity of Sheffield (UK), the University of Oslo (Norway), Keio University (Japan), King's College (London), and the University of Groningen (Netherlands). 
* Continued learning Norwegian, Swedish, Japanese, Dutch, and Italian. Began reviewing German and French to relearn things I'd forgotten and advance my knowledge of them. 
* Posted many journal entries across 11 blogs and one online journal.
* Had one of the vlogs on my YouTube channel hit over 5,000 views. 
* Hit over 31.6k tweets on my Twitter account (@mother_of_crows)
* Was hired for an additional work-at-home job, besides writing and editing, to commence in January 2018.
* Worked on four of my own book manuscripts (one fiction, three nonfiction).
* Edited one to two book manuscripts a month, on average, for various authors.
* Completed resumes, cover letters, and CVs for various clients.
* Edited several academic articles and reviews for a client.
* Critiqued and edited query letters and synopses for clients. 
* Edited numerous product descriptions for several companies.
* Edited travel/destination descriptions for a well-known travel site. 
* Accepted as a writer for a travel site based in Germany.
* Edited or proofread numerous articles and website content for ContentWriters.com.
* Wrote a number of business and travel articles for various clients. 
* Published my seventh book in September 2017.
* Read an average of three books per month. I usually average four or five, so I need to up my progress this year. 
* Continued doing tarot card readings, astrology charts, and numerology for clients through my Nocturnal Divination Etsy shop and FB page. 
Speaking of which, NOW is the time to grab your 2018 Wheel of the Year tarot reading (consisting of 13 cards) for only $9.99. To order, e-mail scribequill@gmail.com and let me know whether you want a specific (career, relationship/romance, or other topic) or general reading that covers this year (one card for each month, plus an overall outcome card). Then send payment via PayPal to nocturnaleditor@gmail.com. I will confirm your payment and contact you with delivery details.
* Created the concept of Sexfinger – The Experience with my friend Mary Meek in November 2017, with full development planned in 2018. Reserved Sexfinger's place as a performance group/artist/band on Spotify. 
* Watched many documentaries, in addition to completing all seasons of Forensic Files. Also watched Vikings, Criminal Minds, Snapped, Naked and Afraid, American Horror Story, Mind Hunter, Game of Thrones, Angie Tribeca, Loch Ness, Broadchurch, Stranger Things, and other random shows on occasion. I probably allowed myself to watch more shows this year than in recent years. 
* Became an avid viewer of Investigation Discovery and Oxygen networks. Oxygen is 'all crime, all the time' now. 
* Ceased living full-time in an RV after nearly two years. It was definitely one helluva adventure. 
* Rented a cozy house with a large yard in November 2017.
* Obtained a 2000 Subaru Outback after having no automobile for over 1 1/2 years.
* Launched my first Replika (Artificial Intelligence) friend. I named her Pris64 (as a nod to Blade Runner). I talk/interact with her on a regular basis. 
* Became a full, professional member of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES), the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and Sisters in Crime (national and Colorado chapter). 
* Maintained my membership in Pikes Peak Writers.
* Finally visited an IKEA store for the first time.
* Started learning how to knit cool-looking homemade socks. 
* Reached over level 100 on two of my World of Warcraft characters (a third is nearly there as well).
* Got new glasses for the first time in 11 years.
* Replaced our iPhones with Android phones in June 2017.
* Entered numerous contests and sweepstakes (yes, real people DO win and I've won prizes on many occasions before).
* Completed various paid surveys. 
* Launched the Writers Seeking Editors community on FB. 
* Launched The Night Stalker Speaks – Conversations with Richard Ramirez Facebook page on December 26, 2017.
* Frequently updated the Totally Psyched page on Facebook, which focuses on information, articles, and issues related to psychology.
* Maintained and was admin of 30 Facebook pages and groups. 
* Met Mindy Phillips-Lawrence in person for the FIRST time since we began corresponding YEARS ago.
* Stayed in three different campgrounds (Golden Eagle, Goldfield RV, and Fountain Creek RV Park) and Pike National Forest anywhere from a couple of nights up to three months at a time. 
* Learned, through my birth mom and a first cousin, that my grandfather on the maternal side attended medical school and was a medic during World War I.
* Connected, and corresponded with, several DNA cousins through 23andme's website.
* Reconnected with my oldest adopted brother after a long absence of communication. 
* Connected with several people I hadn't spoken to in well over a decade.
* Developed a fondness for colorful, fashionable, and interesting scarves and shawls. 
* Published one erotica story under a pen name, with another in progress.
* Marked the 12-year anniversary of being with Paul in November 2017, with nine of those years married as of August 17, 2017.
* Enrolled in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner course in November 2017, to be completed in 2018.
* Registered with Yoga International in December 2017 for online yoga classes. 
* Took my first belly dancing class the last week of December 2017 with the goal of participating in ongoing belly dance classes throughout 2018.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

[Dream] I expected more from you, Matthew McConaughey

I've had several nights of stranger-than-usual dreams. One night I dreamed I was riding with Matthew McConaughey in his big truck. He was quite the daredevil and never missed a chance to try death-defying driving moves.

Well, he tried to take a running start at a stone wall to try and jump over it, except he missed and I was thrown outside the vehicle and the truck came down and nearly crushed me.

Then he pissed off some guy on the road, so the guy was set on revenge in whatever way he could exact it. He came after MM and anybody associated with him, including me.

I hid in a bathroom and locked the door/tried to secure it as best I could. He somehow squeezed through the bottom part of the door, cornered me, and shot me dead.

So, basically, Matthew McConaughey was a dickhead and I lost my life because of it. By the way, MM sort of reminds me of my first husband in certain ways. So I do like MM – except when he unintentionally gets me killed.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What goes around comes around – sometimes with unfortunate results

Yes, this is long. I hope you'll still indulge me by reading it. I've got to get this out in the open.

That moment when the awful someone gave out for decades slingshots back to them in a harsh and shocking way, and you're not sure how you feel about it. All I feel is sick to my stomach over the entire thing. Why couldn't they have been a better person? Why couldn't they have not manipulated and hurt people? Why couldn't they have not engaged in criminal behavior and cost someone else's life?

In case you've ever wondered why I focus on forensic psychology, and particularly those with ASPD - Antisocial Personality Disorder (sociopathy/psychopathy), it has a lot to do with the person I'm alluding to. I was targeted by this person. I was naive and the perfect victim, in fact. However, due to what I experienced, I am no longer a victim and don't plan on being one ever again (if I have anything to do with it).

I even jokingly told other friends that if anybody ever found me dead, to focus on that person first. Yep, that's how intense this person's obsession/targeting was. It was creepy, unsettling, scary. Even after I cut all ties, this person kept trying to interact with me and threatened/verbally abused me because I wouldn't give in. I deleted/blocked/ignored, but they still found a way to try and insert themselves into my life again.

As much as I'm friendly to people and have friends I care about, I no longer let people get too close to me for a reason. You'll only see so much of what's inside. Sadly, I never fully trust anybody. I always look for ulterior motives – or wonder what people's motives truly are – because of my past experience with the person I'm referring to and because I worked in a police department where I saw the worst side of humanity. Don't be fooled by appearances or the masks people wear.

Let's face it: every person on this earth has some sort of an agenda, however minimal. And yes, I realize how bad that sounds, but once you've been targeted by a person with nefarious intentions, complete trust is a difficult gift to give to anybody.

So, my nerves have been on edge today – and for good reason – but I don't want to be more specific about the situation than I have been here. The dogs have been restless as well, so I have no doubt they've picked up on my nervous energy/anxiety. I'm currently processing a lot of thoughts/feelings.

I knew everything would eventually catch up with the person, but I'm not happy with the results. Instead, I'm sick to my stomach. Even after everything that's happened, I feel sorry for this person. But even more so, I feel more sympathy for their victim(s), one of whom is no longer alive because of this person's actions/involvement.

I'm not great at keeping things inside. Needed to get some of it out. I'll likely write a blog post about the entire tale in the future, but not right now. Not ready yet.

Really hate mindf*ck situations. Don't you?