2017 in Review

You know, I don’t typically do these “year in review” things, but this one has been worth it.  I’ve made friends, I’ve lost people I thought were friends, I’ve made important realizations about myself and others.  I’ve learned just how far I can be pushed before I snap and no longer care.  Basically I’ve become a harder, more guarded version of myself.  I’d like to think I still see the best in people, but I’m now much more aware of their evil intentions and brace myself for the impact of their eventual bad decisions.  Instead of hoping in my heart that good will prevail I now take a much more realistic approach and go on the assumption that it won’t, but I still really hope that it will.  Oh, and I say “fuck” a lot.  In fact, I might actually be able to give Deb Morgan a run for her money at this point (sorry, Dexter reference).  It’s freeing.  Of course I don’t say it in front of small children or the elderly, but certainly on a regular basis.  After years of being scared to say bad words for fear someone would hear me I just simply don’t care anymore.  I’m not taking the Lord’s name in vain.  I’m not actually telling anyone to do anything.  I just don’t see where using the term “fudge ripple” in its place is doing me any good.  If this offends you, well, you are probably part of the reason I started cursing in the first place.  I have enough stress in my life without worrying about offending someone with my language.  Get over it or drop me.  I don’t care which.

I no longer attend church, which saddens me.  I am still a Christian. I still read my Bible and pray.  I still love the Lord.  What I don’t love is all the judgement and two-faced people.  I have finally accepted that I will never fit in anywhere and I’m okay with that.  I will still attend on occasion, but I will never be “plugged in.”  No matter how hard I try, I just don’t belong.  There are a lot of us misfits out there. We are okay.  We are misfits together and that’s okay too.  We have our own support network of sorts.  It’s all good.

I have realized that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want your help.  If a person wants to be miserable, then you have to let them be miserable.  You can’t fix that kind of mindset.  You will only drive yourself insane trying.  Sometimes people really are toxic.  In more ways than one.

I’ve been the scape goat in a dysfunctional family problem.  Not my own, mind you, but an entirely different family’s problems.  How it ended up being me, I’m still unclear on, but hey…whatever man.  If that what it took to bring them to solidarity, then good for them.  I’m still puzzled by the motivations of said family and I wish I understood how it is they can sleep at night having done as much emotional damage as they have to so many people, but hey…they have each other and they truly, TRULY deserve each other.  I wish them happiness…far, FAR away from me and mine.

I’ve dealt with my own family’s dysfunctional issues.  I’ve learned first-hand that no matter how hard you try to help and support a narcissist you will only end up damaging yourself.  At what point do you withdraw completely?  That is what I struggle with at present.  You care about the person and you realize that if you leave them on their own bad things will happen but when you try to be there for them bad things happen specifically to you.  So, it comes down to abandoning the elderly whose every decision has led to their current lot in life against the care and advice of every family member involved for many years or the health and well-being of all those family members vs the one who will not listen to anything any of us say.  Again, you can’t help someone who doesn’t think anything he does is wrong.  He would rather listen to strangers than the people who actually love him and give a damn about his well-being and future.  It’s kind of a no-win situation.  I’m almost at my breaking point.  Ah, who am I kidding, I’m past it.

And last but not least, I’ve learned that you absolutely have to stand up for yourself.  If you don’t learn to say no every now and then people lose respect for you.  Learn how and when to use that word and it becomes an effective tool.

So, to all of you who still bother to read this, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.  Look at 2017 like a dog would and kick some dirt over that shit and move on.  2018 holds great promise.  Be who you are, love who you love, and make your life count.  We don’t get any do-overs. I’m just sayin…


Who Do Ya Trust?

Yes, I know, it has been a while since I last checked in. Life has been crazy busy.  In fact, it still is, so I’ll get right to the topic at hand.  Be very careful whom you trust.  I learned this lesson recently.  I’m not what you would call a “trusting” person in the first place.  I’ve always considered myself an open book as far as being approachable.  I am who I am.  I don’t try to hide anything about myself.  I laugh a lot because I learned long ago that you can either choose to laugh or cry in most situations and I am an ugly crier.  I may have to change my ways some though and stay a bit more guarded after recent exchanges.

What motivates someone to be cruel?  What causes someone to play with the emotional well-being of someone else who has been nothing but supportive of them?  Why is it sport to bully a person who has done nothing to you but be kind?  What kind of pleasure is derived from this?  Do you ever have a real friend anywhere in your life?  Do you fall asleep at night with the satisfaction that you have destroyed the psych of another individual?  Why is it also not enough to have been cruel on a personal level, but then feel the need to go on like a cancer and spread hatefulness about that person to others; Things that aren’t true, but can never be verified?

That isn’t enough though.  Once the cancer is done with you, it spreads to other friends and family.  The lies get bigger, more elaborate.  Villains are created where none should be.   There is no motivation for this.  There is no root cause that can be found.  Where does the evil come from?  This person that was trusted and loved and cared about has turned on you and your whole family and all of your friends.

Evil is everywhere.  Always be on guard.  Always be alert to its influence.  Never take for granted that anything you say is understood in this day and age of offenses.  Always be vigil and keep a thick skin.  And remember for your own sake to forgive, but never ever forget.  I’m just sayin…

“Rap” it Up

I need your help, people. Can someone please explain to me why nearly every pop song I hear lately randomly cuts over to a rapper in the middle of the song? Why is this happening? Who thought this was a good idea? Let’s face it, folks; there are two VERY different people listening to pop and rap. I like to think that I’m a pretty open minded person. I listen to almost every type of music out there and like it to an extent. I enjoy everything from classical, to gospel, to death metal on occasion. The only thing that incites me to anger is rap. I can stand only so much and by certain artists. That being said, I have friends who listen to rap who would rather take an arrow to the buttocks than have to sit through an entire Arianna song. Why then is it that these two have decided to merge? Did the pop divas think they could garner more street cred if they infused their nauseously adorable love songs with a rap right in the middle? Are they too dumb to pick up on the lyrics now being associated with their song? Did the rapper think they could be rolling in even more dough by getting a piece of the pop bubble?

Whatever is happening it needs to stop. I mean, honestly, JT, how are you going to bring sexy back by telling a woman you are putting on your suit and tie for her only to have a rap in the middle say out of nowhere for her to “get out ya seat, ho?” Not sexy. What’s next? Are we going to see Luciano Pavarotti “enhancing” the next Florida Georgia Line song? What about if we allow Nick Jonas to add a few lines to a Francesca Battestelli song? Where does this madness end? Stop the insanity! I’m just sayin…


UGH!  I hate politics anymore.  I used to love election time.  I used to get all riled up and do my own campaigning for the person of my choice and it has always been based on a genuine respect for the person running, not just a deep seeded hatred for the opponent.  This is the first election in my entire life that I have actually dreaded.  I’ve never seen a country so horribly divided into hate for one candidate or the other.  It’s ridiculous.

That being said, I am going to give my opinion again on recent developments in this Presidential race.  Like him or hate him, the things that Trump said in the recording are not that uncommon.  I would like to think that they are.  We all would like to put ourselves in another class that doesn’t think like that or use those words, but let’s face reality…men are driven by sex.  Not all men, there are exceptions.  Most though.  If they weren’t, why would every add agency in the world use beautiful women to sell their goods?  Why would every time you turn on the television you see some half naked female cavorting around to sell such stupid things as hamburgers or cars?  That being said, there are some men who take that too far.  There are some men that, no matter how happily married they are will still have their eye on every possibility.  In their minds they aren’t doing anything wrong because they are coming home to the wife and kids.  Now, I happen to disagree with this way of thinking.  I think most right-thinking adults WOULD have a problem with this way of thinking.  It is, however, extremely common.  What isn’t as common is the sense of entitlement that some men feel where this is concerned.  There are some who believe they should have whatever they want because they have earned it.  I disagree with this also.  Let’s also not leave women out.  How many times to we see women getting raunchy and talking about anything and everything like it is a right to do so?  It’s hard to find a TV show especially now where women aren’t acting just as horribly as the men.

The reality is, however, that many men in powerful positions find it very hard to avoid the temptations of the many women who are drawn to power and fame.  Why do you think most Hollywood marriages fail?  The temptation is just too great for some people.  The difference is that with politics women don’t leave when there are “indiscretions.”  Why?  Because it affects his career which affects her status.   Politics is much more about image these days than about actual content.  One only has to look as far as JFK or Bill Clinton to see this.  In the case of JFK he was known to be a womanizer, but the secret service kept it quiet for the most part during his presidency.  He has Jackie for crying out loud!  She was beautiful and confident and kind and everything she should be and he still stepped out on her.  Bill is another known womanizer.  It isn’t opinion…it is documented.  Hell, he even disgraced the Oval Office and society gave him a pass because he was “a good guy.”

All this being said, I’m not in any way defending Trump.  In fact, it sickens me.  What I am saying is that you can’t choose to hate someone based on comments from ten years ago that many men I’m sure at least think.  If we are judging a presidency based on nothing but the lustfulness and filthiness of the occupant, then we lose at least two that were pretty darned beloved.  You can’t choose things to hate about a person just because you want their opponent to win.  You have to look at their track record.  Look at their verifiable data and make your decision based on that because if we just went based on personalities or stupid crap people have said in their past I have a feeling we would be forced to vote for   a piranha the next time around.  Dependable, never talks out of turn, has a look that can terrify his enemies and has a track record of cleaning stuff up.  I’m just sayin…

Next:  Look for more to come on the topic of respecting women and women respecting themselves.


I have tried very carefully to stay out of the political arena because I have friends and family who are so adamant about their side being correct and they don’t always agree on which side that is.  I find that in this landscape of political hatefulness that one more voice weighing in with an opinion about this or that really won’t sway any of the die-hard people anyway.  Still though, there is one thing that I have to disagree with so here goes.

I have heard several comment that there is no way a Christian could possibly vote for Trump because he doesn’t support the open door, caring agenda that so many think we as Americans should support.  I have also heard many fellow Christians say that there is no way we could possibly vote for Hillary because she supports killing unborn children.  The fact of the matter is that as a Christian, I’m having a very hard time with this election in general.  Neither side really embodies what I believe our Commander in Chief should be.  Here is the breakdown though.

As a Christian we are called by Jesus Himself to care for the poor, the sick, the injured, and the widowed.  We are supposed to do those things as His church.  We are to love each other as Christ loves His church.  That is a call to all of us who claim Him as our Lord and Savior.  That is NOT a call to the United States of America.  Nowhere in the Bible does it mention any government programs of Rome to take care of any of those folks.  In fact, they got very little support from anyone.  That’s where we came in.  Many were healed and the rest cared for by followers of Jesus.  That’s showing the love of God.  Government programs are great, but the church should be greater.  The church should be putting the government to shame in these areas…but we aren’t.  We do, in my experience, do our best to take care of our own.  Also, I don’t know of anyone in my church family who would pass up someone who genuinely needed help.  There are food centers, clothing centers, before and after school programs, meals on wheels, etc. all designed by churches to care for these individuals.  I think we do fail with regards to sheltering the homeless.  I think we could open our doors to them or perhaps build on a type of hotel to the churches to care for these people.  Something to help them get back on their feet at least.  Our churches, however, are usually too worried about things getting broken or stolen to ever do anything like that.  That’s our failure.

My point here is that the call to care for each other is an individual call.  It isn’t a governmental call.  If we are to truly have separation of church and state like everyone cries about all the time, then we shouldn’t expect the government to fund these things.  Granted, there are humanitarian reasons to consider, but all in all we need to take care of each other.  An atheist would be incensed if their tax dollars were used to fund a church youth camp so that kids had somewhere to go for the summer.  That would be too much church and state.  However, it is perfectly acceptable for someone on that side of the coin to expect me to have my tax dollars to go programs like planned parenthood.  The only way to truly ever get rid of all these back and forth issues would be to take out the government funded programs of that nature.  Give it back to the churches and the privately funded programs.  Everyone isn’t going to agree on how money should be spent to care for people, so let individuals give to the charities of their choice.  If nothing else, have a place to indicate where you want the charitable part of your taxes to be spent.

Based on this, if you take out the “Christian” equation from this election, the choice is quite clear to me.  You can’t say that one is a liar over the other.  They both lie…it goes with the territory I think.  You can’t say that one person is more despicable than the other.  They have both done some pretty horrible things, some more recently than others.  You can’t talk about who is just in it for themselves, because I think both personalities we are dealing with here are narcissistic.  What I want to see is results.  Who will lead our nation into prosperity?  Who will do the most to defend us from our enemies? Who is more likely to do what they say they will do?  Here are my hot button issues this election, let’s see if you agree:

  1. Protecting our country from terrorism.
  2. Bringing jobs back to America.
  3. Spending our existing tax dollars wisely without coming back and asking for more.

I know I have heard a lot of talk about one or the other having their finger on the button with regards to use of force.  I would rather have someone not afraid to use force if needed.  I never wish to see another Hiroshima, but if it came down to it and that was our best option, would it even be on the table?  I’m certainly not suggesting we nuke anyone, but having someone not afraid to might actually lead to fear on the other side of the coin for a change.  I know what you’re thinking…but THAT certainly isn’t a very Christian thing to do…maybe, but the Bible never tells us to sit down and not fight back.  Quite the contrary…there are so many battles and wars in the Bible that our modern day pales in comparison.  The key is not to simply war for the sake of it, but to do so to defend yourself or others.

The bottom line is that we all just need to pray and pray hard.  There is a reason for everything that happens, so if your side doesn’t win, just remember that.  All we can do is vote our conscience and hope that God blesses us either way for trying.  Besides, either one will be great fodder for Saturday Night Live, so there’s that to look forward to.  I’m just sayin…

20 Years

20 years ago today I said “I Do” to the man I love.  Our vows were pretty traditional.  Let’s see how we’re doing so far:

I, Jolane Harris, vow to take you, Marty Gammon, to be my lawfully wedded husband.  (so far so good)

To have and to hold from this day forward (Yep…lots of holding)

For better or for worse (heaven knows We have seen both)

For richer and for poorer (still waiting on that richer thing)

In sickness and in health (yep, got that covered)

For as long as you both shall live (I haven’t killed him, so there’s that)

Our 20 years has been filled with trials.  We have battled exes over children, raised said children, and even had a child of our own.  We have faced the loss of parents, aunts, uncles, and friends.  We have struggled through lean times financially, when we wondered how on earth we were going to make it.  We have struggled with each other as each of our personalities have evolved and changed into different likes/dislikes than when we met.  We have struggled with pride and jealousy and anger.  We have struggled with aging.  So, how did we get through all of that?  One thing never wavered.  We genuinely love one another.  When you love someone they have a part of you.  Without the other person, you are simply not whole.

We have seen lots of good times too.  We have seen his kids grow into adults with kids of their own.  We have had a child of our own that we adore and enjoy every minute of.  We have moved from apartment, to rental, to a home of our own.  We have made great friends and gone on adventures and built a life together.  We have seen successes at work.  We have found new things to enjoy together as the years progress.  Life is never dull together.

I have no idea what the next 20 years has in store for us, but I know I am looking forward to the journey together.



I’m feeling frustrated these days.  I won’t lie.  There are people all around me who refuse to see the truth for what it is.  For example, if you have a million and one health problems all related to the same thing…but you refuse to acknowledge that thing…how can you ever get well?  No amount of tests or doctor visits or medications is going to help you if you don’t fix the root problem.  It is sort of like me poking myself in the eye and complaining that I can’t see out of that eye, only instead of stopping I ask my doctor to make my eye better with salves and stuff.  It might get better, but if I’m still poking my eye it will never go away.

Also, there are the people who refuse to call a criminal a criminal.  If someone shoots a store and hits someone they are a criminal.  It shouldn’t matter if they shot the store with the intention of killing the person inside or if they shot the store itself for target practice…if they shot the store and someone died they are at least guilty of manslaughter.  Am I the only one who sees this?  So if a person commits a felony, but didn’t “mean to” and then lies about it under oath why is that person not at least charged with perjury?  And why do people just accept that?  Shouldn’t we be outraged?  I mean, even if you like the person who did it and you honestly don’t think they meant to…at the point when they start trying to cover crap up that should be a pretty big neon flashing sign that says they are guilty as all get out, right???

I’m also frustrated in relation to political correctness.  I understand not calling someone a big, dumb oaf on national television, but if I want to call that person a big, dumb oaf in the comfort of my own home or on the street somewhere, regardless of how offensive it is to do so I should be okay to say that.  Yes, calling someone an oaf is offensive to that person, but I have been called much worse.  The difference is that I put on my grown up drawers every day and let that stuff just roll off me.  Not everyone is going to like me.  Not everyone is going to agree with my life or the things in it.  The thing is, I don’t deny them the right to hate me or verbally assault me.  I don’t live with that person.  I doubt very much if that person plans to attack me at some point.  They just don’t like me and want me to know it.  Okay…why do I care?  Why would I take that personally?  Is it someone I really want to like me?  Nope.  Will they in any way effect my job or my family?  Nope.  Then why cause such a ruckus?  Let them be the miserable, sad little person that they are and live in the cesspool of ignorance and hate that they have created.  Who’s the real loser here?  Certainly not me.  In fact, not having that person around me is what I call “winning.”

My point here is that we are currently living in a society that is constantly putting band aids on things instead of treating the underlying severity of the issues.  It isn’t about money or about “strategery” or anything like that…it is just laziness.  Nobody wants to deal with anything.  They don’t want to deal with the backlash of charging someone with the crime they committed so they just leave it alone to keep the peace.  They don’t want to deal with a patient who is angry and stops seeing them, so they just do what the patient wants, even if it doesn’t make sense.  Nobody wants to deal with having their feelings hurt, so they prosecute anyone who disagrees with them or runs that person’s name in the ground for having a differing opinion.  This has to stop.  People need to care again and stop taking for granted that someone else will deal with the real problem.  We need to grow up as a society and stop viewing the government as our mommy and daddy.  Are we broke?  That’s okay…the government will give us free stuff.  Are we offended?  That’s okay, the government will take care of the bully.  Are we sick because of things we did to ourselves?  That’s okay, the government will cover us.  Did we commit a crime?  That’s okay, we don’t have to pay for it if we are important enough.  What kind of a world are we leaving to our kids?  What are our kids going to do with it?  Stop drinking the Kool-Aid folks!  Think for yourselves, work hard for what you have and protect the people you love.  Make a better country for your kids and teach them to make a better country for theirs.  Learn skills that matter and teach them to your offspring.  Grow up and STOP THE INSANITY!!  I’m just sayin…