Fear and (self) loathing in the tattoo parlor

Fear-and-Loathing-In-Las-Vegas-6301As a teenager in the suburbs, there’s not a ton to do. Most kids wind up committing to being jocks or scholars shooting for the Ivy League purely from lack of diverse choices alone. Others just float along and enjoy youth, aka, look for trouble.

The laminate on my driver’s license barely formed a seal before I sped to the gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes. I’d never smoked before – not even just pretending to inhale – but I was an unsupervised, restless teenager who wanted to breathe fire. And in the 90’s, carding for cigarettes really wasn’t a thing. After all, most of the people working at gas stations were classmates from my high school. Continue reading

Def Leppard and the Origins of my Crippling Public Speaking Phobia

I'm hot, sticky sweet.

I’m hot, sticky sweet.

Before I got the ol’ heave ho from Catholic school at the end of my 6th grade year, I had been quite the model student. Hell, even during and after my ousting from Catholic school, I was just about as perfectly behaved of a student as you can imagine. Did I just write “hell”? I guess I’ve come a long way.

My parents and brother did a good job insulating me as a child. And being 7 years younger than my brother and the 2nd child, I had a lot of experience entertaining myself. I spent hours sitting underneath the dining room table and reading books. Or saddling a Strawberry Shortcake doll on one of my My Little Pony dolls and letting them gallop around for a while. Or gaping at the TV. I was a pretty self-sufficient kid. Continue reading

You take the good, you take the bad

The clouds in the background give this statement extra gravity.

The clouds in the background give this statement extra gravity.

At a very young age, I learned that every action we take has consequences. And that we must live with those consequences and accept our reality.

A prime example of this? When I was about 9 years old, I decided that I absolutely had to have the same hairstyle as one of my television “heroes.”

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Growing up in a plaid flannel teenage wasteland

Plaid flannel grunge

Not a day went by where I wasn’t decked out in some plaid flannel

It took me almost 13 years to discover that I loved – that I lived for – music. Blame it on the fact that when I was a young child, my mom’s radio tendencies skewed toward classical music, Neil Diamond or Katrina and the Waves. Or perhaps my dad is to blame for my lack of interest in music as a child. He showed zero interest in music then, and to this day I have no idea if he prefers Dave Matthews or David Lee Roth. All I know about my father’s musical tastes is that he vomited during a Kenny G show many years ago, and for that, I am a proud daughter.  Continue reading