If You’re Looking For Me…

I am a confirmed Internet Junkie.

Since becoming permanently disabled, I have found one of the beat ways to keep my addled brain from become even more addled is to keep it preoccupied. I do that by keeping myself active with projects that can be found on the web. Like this blog. In fact, I have several blogs. Some more active than others.

You can find me at the following places throughout the world wide web:

Personal Twitter
Manilow Music and Passion BMOFC Twitter
Michelle’s Poetry Blog
My Addled Brain Blog This Blog
The Lyrically Inclined Blog
mwampole Tumblr
Manilow Pic of the Day Tumblr
Not So Funny Politics Tumblr
Not So Moral Majority Tumblr
Proud2B…Me Tumblr Personal Tumblr
Sarcasm Is My Second Language Tumblr
Truth As I See It Tumblr

As you can see, there’s a lot to keep me and my addled brain busy.

Follow along. ♡ツ

Stinkin’ Thinkin’.

This is something that came up in a conversation with a Twitter buddy this morning and it’s been running through my mind the rest of the day.

Anyone in recovery knows what it is, though they may not know it by that name. They know what damage it can do, though.

There are two specific ways stinkin’ thinkin’ can come into play and attempt to sabotage recovery… whether that recovery is about substance abuse, alcoholism, or mental illness. Or a combination of any or all of the above.

On one end of the spectrum, stinkin’ thinkin’ will try to convince you that you are in some way unworthy and unable to achieve and maintain any meaningful recovery. “You’re not strong enough… You’re not good enough… You need that drink. You need those drugs. You don’t deserve to be happy/sober/clean/at peace…”

The other end of the spectrum, you hear these lies… “You’ve been doing great. You’re so much better. You can handle one drink. You can do one hit. A reward.for keeping yourself together.” Or… “You’re fine… you don’t need those meds anymore.”

Of course, there are variations… but they all work to undo whatever you are trying to do to maintain some normalcy and peace on your life.

Take care to listen to what your inner voice is telling you. If it’s anything that might lead you back to using, drinking or neglecting following your treatment plan… brush those thoughts aside, think of how far you have come, how much you have to lose and think of the positives/blessings in your life.

When stinkin’ thinkin’ hits, take a deep breath, tell it to take a hike and just… be. Just be until you get your balance back. Then leave that negative thought process behind and move on.

We all go through it…

We can all get through it.

Hang in there and remember you aren’t alone.

Wheelhouse – Brad Paisley… My Two Cents


I listened to this album the way I listen to all new music… with open ears, an open heart, and an open mind.

I had already witnessed some of the controversy surrounding it over the last several days and heard the song that was kicking up all the fuss, but reserved any opinion/judgement until I was able to hear the album as a whole.

I sat and listened to it this morning.

What I heard is what I have come to expect from Brad Paisley… A weird, wonderful mix of humor, romance, heartbreak, lessons learned and honesty about life, love and the human condition wrapped in country music and tied in Brad’s guitar strings. Sometimes neatly… sometimes not so neatly, as the story being told may demand.

I also heard a man whose personal and musical growth has demanded that he stretch out beyond perceived boundaries (his own and his listeners’) and reach toward.. more… and better.

I think he succeeds. I loved it from start to finish. I just let him lead me on his musical journey.

The song Southern Comfort Zone sets the tone for what follows. Gives notice that things might get a bit bumpy ahead. But it’s necessary as you start to look at and learn about the world that exists around you beyond where you were raised.

“And I miss my Tennessee home
And I’ve stayed away way too long
But I can see this world as I go
Outside my Southern comfort zone.”

Brad invites us all to stretch beyond our comfort zones and see what we can see.

And, yes, a couple of times things got a little… uncomfortable.

My first real “uh-oh” moment was the song Karate.

Don’t misunderstand, I am actually all for the empowerment of women. I’m all for taking back control when you have been rendered powerless through abuse. My discomfort didn’t come from the notion of a woman taking back her control and giving an abusive husband a taste of his own medicine. I wish that could happen much more often in this world. I was more uncomfortable that the “humor” would render the message powerless… much in the same way as.the Dixie Chicks’ Goodbye Earl did. But, it turned out to be alright, I think. Certainly a better balance than Goodbye Earl had. And it’s a bonus that no one dies in this song.

Okay… the song a lot of people are talking about and that Brad is taking an ass-kicking for at the moment.

Accidental Racist

I’m finding it difficult to understand what the issue is. Why is this song so offensive to some people and leads them to call him out saying he is a racist and it’s anything but accidental. Honestly, I think they are just re-affirming the point made in this song.

The gist… A man goes into Starbucks with a rebel flag on his Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt and the barista takes offense.
The song is his apology to the barista. That the only thing he meant to say by wearing the shirt was that he was a Skynyrd fan. Nothing more. Nothing less.

What I take from the song is this… while we are all the product of how, where and when we are raised. A product of the times, people, places and events in and even before our lives, there’s nothing that binds us to that. We can learn, we can change, and we can move on from the past… especially a past that existed before any of us was born.

“I’m just a white man comin’ from the Southland
Tryin’ hard to understand what it’s like not to be
I’m proud of where I’m from, but not everything we’ve done
And it ain’t like you and me can rewrite history
Our generation didn’t start this nation
We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells
Fightin’ over yesterday
And caught between Southern pride and Southern blame.”

“Dear Mr. White Man I wish you understood what the world is really like when you’re livin’ in the ‘hood.
Just because my pants are saggin’ doesn’t mean I’m up to no good
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would
Now my chains are gold but I’m still misunderstood
I wasn’t there when Sherman’s march turned the South into firewood
I want you to get paid, but be a slave? I never could
Feel like a new fangled, jangled dodge in a white hood
When I see that white cowboy hat I’m thinkin’ it’s not all good
I guess we’re both guilty of judging the cover and not the book
I’d love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn’t here…”

This is two people (the counterpoint brilliantly provided by LL Cool J) who recognize they have faulty views based on circumstances created long before they were born and they’re trying to get beyond that to some common ground bit aren’t entirely sure how to get there.

Why anyone would think this song is offensive is beyond me.

But it is doing what Brad hoped it would. It’s opened a dialogue for people to share their thoughts and ideas on a subject that, clearly, is still sensitive even after more than 150 years of history.

After hearing the song and hearing/reading some of the reactions to it, I find myself incredibly grateful to have been raised by a woman who taught me to be blind to differences and to always see the commonalities among all people. When it came to parenting… my Mom got it right.

The only other uh-oh moment was with Those Crazy Christians, but it isn’t the slam the title implies. Listen and you’ll see.

Overall, on a scale of 1-5 stars, this one gets a 4.5. Brad’s musicianship is as amazing as ever, but the limb he crawls out on and takes a leap from is what really makes this one a keeper.

I hope the backlash won’t be enough to deter him from taking that leap again in the future.

Brad… you’re doing it right, man.
Keep stretching beyond your boundaries and stepping outside your comfort zone (Southern or otherwise).
I’m more than happy to go with you and learn and grow along the way.

Sen. Harry Reid Is A Coward

And so are all the other politicians who caved on the Assault Weapons Ban.

I don’t believe assault weapons with clips that hold enough ammo to wipe out an entire neighborhood is what our founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the 2nd Amendment. Assault weapons didn’t exist then… so stop with all this “It’s my 2nd Amendment right to own an assault rifle” bullshit.

It’s your right to own a gun, yes, for protection or to provide food for your family. I agree every American has that right.

But whether it’s a deer or an assailant, if you can’t take ’em down with the first round… you don’t get another shot (The deer bolts and is gone and, if you’re lucky, so does the assailant… unless they kill you first).

The only people who should be armed with assault weapons are military personnel and law enforcement officers. Period.

Let the stone throwing begin!

For An Old Friend…

Wishing you much happiness on your Birthday.
I’ve missed you.

Old Friends

Hey old friend,
Are you ok old friend?
Whaddaya say old friend?
Are we or are we unique?

Time goes by
Everything else keeps changing
You and I we get continued next week

Most friends fade
Or they don’t make the grade
New ones are quickly made
And in a pinch, sure they’ll do

But us old friend,
What’s to discuss, old friend?

Here’s to us..

Who’s like us?

Damned few!

I’m Back… For Now.

I’ve been away from this blog for quite awhile. Financial difficulties have made it impossible for me to keep up with the things I love to do on the internet. I still don’t have any real internet access at home… I’m just doing what I can do via my smartphone.

I sometimes wonder if I will ever be financially secure enough to never have to worry about things like whether or not I’ll have a phone or internet service next month. But living on Social Security Disability… it’s not likely I’ll ever see that day again.

I’ll just be thankful for what I have and hope I’ll be able to keep it for awhile.

15 Years… Remembering Princess Diana


I remember the first time I saw her in the news, not long after Charles’ proposal and before their marriage. She wasn’t much older than I.

Even so young, she was so beautiful and seemed so shy… not very comfortable being the center of media attention. But as she grew up before the eyes of the world, married her Prince, and took on the duties of a wife, a Princess and then mother, she blossomed from shy young girl to a seemingly confident and capable woman. Of course, as time went on, the world discovered the confidence was a well built facade.

It was through her that the world learned, that just because fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending, it didn’t mean you couldn’t rewrite your ending, and that you didn’t necessarily need a Prince to have a ‘happily ever after’.

That’s when the crumbling facade turned into real self-confidence and she really grew into the beautiful woman who is forever known as “the People’s Princess”.

But through all those years, from shy young girl to confident woman, one thing about her never changed… her ingrained passion and compassion for others. That is what really caught my attention about her. This radiance about her of love and caring and compassion for those around her. She was truly a remarkably beautiful woman… inside and out. I ended up having a huge crush on her for years, But how could anyone not fall in love with her?

When I heard of her death… it could not have been more devastating to me had she been a member of my own family. I was crushed. And her loss in this world still feels as it did then… the grief of the world is still felt to this day when you speak of her or her accomplishments. I’m not sure if it’s because her loss was so sudden, or if it was because she was still so young (only 36), or the utter senselessness of how she died… maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. I just know that looking backing and sensing the grief that still exists, this past 15 years feels as though it’s only been 15 minutes. And I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way.

Diana’s was a rare soul… down to earth despite the position in life she found herself in, kind, passionate about family and life, compassionate, sympathetic and empathetic for those less fortunate than she and one who truly believed in putting the welfare of others before her own self interests. It has been amazing to see those same traits continuing on in the lives of her sons. I do believe she would be so proud of them both. Well, she might have had something to say about naked billiards in Las Vegas, but I digress…

Today I remember the People’s Princess… an Ambassador of Hope for the World.

Rest in peace, Diana… you are loved and missed.


What Do I Do Now???

So… I’m in a bit of a dilemma here.

We’re behind on almost everything, but getting caught up. Problem is, we no longer have cable, Internet or phone.

TV… I could care less about that. But I am really missing the Internet and phone, especially the phone.

If you are wondering how it is that I am able to blog… I pick up a very weak unsecured connection from somewhere in the building I live in… one of my neighbors. It works well enough… when it actually works… for me to deal with my email, post a blog, basic Facebook stuff (but no games)… just the basics really. No streaming music or video. But, it’s enough for a temporary fix, I guess.

The thing I miss the most is a phone. It was my main connection to family and friends and it’s gone now. And it’s one thing I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get back. I can’t get a landline because of a bill my ex racked up years ago that I haven’t been able to pay down fast enough to get ahead of all the additional fees other than the actual bill. Basically, I’d just be paying finance charges. So… I gave up on ever getting another landline through Alltel. I used to have a cell phone and I was always able to pay my bills on time and everything was great until I let someone talk me into dropping my service through Boost and getting a family plan with them. It sounded like a good deal at the time, but it’s been a nightmare for almost two years. Again, I have no problem keeping up and paying my share… they have been the unluckiest people with that though. Every few months, they would have to switch to another carrier and get new phones because, for one reason or another, they’re portion of the bill wasn’t paid and the service was shut off. Every few months for almost two years. It’s so frustrating!

Anyway, I really do need to get another phone and plan of my own and I have no problem covering $60 a month for an unlimited plan. My problem is that I can’t afford the $200 or so it would take to buy the new phone and the first month of service together all at the same time.

I have a very tight budget based on my Social Security income… I don’t have much, if anything, left over at the end of the month. It would take me awhile to save up for the phone, but the thing is… just when I’d have some saved,,, something will come up, it always does, and I’ll have to use that money I’ve saved to cover it.

It’s times like this I really do wish there were such a thing a Fairy Godmothers…

I really do miss talking with my mom, my sister, my best friends…

So what do I do?