I’ve always loved this Steve Martin / Rick Moranis movie from the late 80s. It’s a look at family life by getting a peek at the lives of 4 siblings (and their parents) as they try to raise their own children.

They have problems, anger, sadness, the family black sheep, the anxiety ridden and obsessed, but most of all..and this is important…most of all they have….joy.

The Grandmother in the movie tells this story to Steve Martin’s character, Gil, as he’s struggling the the news that they are going to be having another child. His family is already a mess, he hates his job, his son is having some aniexty/ behavioral issues…typical or lol not so typical (depending on your perspective) homelife… (actually it reminds me of mine a bit LOL)

Any how, Grandma says

Grandma:You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

That is such a wonderful analogy for me. My life IS a roller coaster. There is no doubt about it… and as much as I dread those moments of feeling frightened for not knowing what the next drop is going to bring…I have to admit, I love the rushes it brings me as well. Life is NEVER dull here. There is always some new twist, a new drop, or a race to a dizzing new height…enough to keep me in line…riding.

Merry go round? Sure it offers sameness and security of knowing what come next…but me? I’ll take the E ticket ride please. My life is crazy. No. It’s CRAZY. The drama… and sadness….and heartache… but just like the coasters I love so well, the ride evens out…and the joy of the adventure, outweighs everything.

Don’t sleep. Clowns may eat you.

Some of you may know that I suffer from coulrophobia. Some of you may have even mocked me for it. Openly. One person recently even kept reminding me as I carefully made sure to walk around instead of over sewer grates… “that we all float down here” *SHUDDER*

My only problem with that label is, first, that the word phobia means an irrational fear of something. And seriously, can’t we all agree that there is nothing irrational about hating….clowns. Yes, clowns.

Ok, seriously, I kind of exaggerate. It’s not really a hatred or even really a fear. In fact, I”m not sure how to explain the way I now feel about clowns. I say I hate them…but it’s not “hate” in the purest sense of the word. Imagine if you were walking down the street and some strange man approached you and started touching under your chin. You would want him to get the hell away from you as fast as possible, right? THAT is how I feel about clowns. They are creepy, and they make me uncomfortable.

When I see a clown, I don’t want to hurt them. But… if someone else hurt said clown… well, I would admit to feeling that the cosmic balance in our world was somehow returning to an equilibrium. They somehow would deserve it, right? After all, they are creepy clowns… *shudder*

Like I said above, I know I am mocked for how I feel about clowns and for what I do when a clown is around me. Go ahead. I don’t care. There is nothing irrational about the way I feel. And I am not ashamed. In fact, I am proud of being the only rational person in a sea of people who are mistakenly indifferent to clowns. Didn’t any of you see “IT? Poltergeist?” Come on… I challenge you…name one movie where the clown was nice and not creepy… and Bozo doesn’t count.

The Beginning in the Middle

If you had told me when I walked through the doors of LCJ, that one day I would understand “canteen hustle” or “panty bras”, I would have laughed and said “whatever”.

If you had told me that one day I would look out from my bunk and see friends; people who made me laugh and yes, even cry, I wouldn’t have believed you.

After all, I wasn’t like them. They were crack addicts, coke heads, prostitutes–they used works like “20 rock” and “K holes”; words I’ve only read in books or the daily paper. They were the people mama warned me about–from that side of town. “Quick, lock your doors.” I used to cross the street to avoid them. “Don’t make eye contact. You mustn’t make eye contact”.

They are also the people who taught me about humanity, kindness, forgiveness, and amazingly enough, myself. They may have even saved me from myself–and for that I will be eternally grateful.

I am, in reality, no different from them. I have my own problems, my own pain. I have hurt many with my decisions. I just never realized it before now.

This is the story of my life and what let me here. Funny, raw, mundane, you’ll find it here. This is my story of hope, my story of redemption….my story of recovery.