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Soapbox * Disclaimer – Opinions Are My Own December 23, 2013

soapbox

Anyone that knows me personally knows that I have a slight, if not significant dispute with God.

Actually, it’s quite significant.

I sometimes feel like a hypocrite because I send my son to catholic school, even though I haven’t been to church in years. Not because I don’t believe in God (even though our relationship is very strained.) It’s because I don’t want to sit in the back of church sobbing, that’s why I haven’t been to church in years.

Look, I have rules. The two things I don’t talk about ever on Social Media:

  1. Religion
  2. Politics

Because honestly to whatever, whomever, you do or don’t believe in… I seriously don’t care. If I care about you personally, I will do whatever I can, whenever I can, if you need me I will be there to help you in any way I can.

Then I’ve seen all this crap spewed over Facebook and Twitter over these Duck Dynasty assholes,

Congratulations, you’ve got everyone talking about you. Good for you A&E!

I’m sure the hillbilly’s have never blown anything except a duck call device.

So I suppose I’ll break one of my own rules. Look, my parents paid a lot of money for me to go to catholic school, and I AM PAYING A LOT OF MONEY FOR MY SON TO GO TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL. That, by the way, does not mean that I agree with all of people that call themselves “Catholics” or “Christians” or whatever the hell they like to call themselves these days. It’s been my experience that all the heavy handed “God Squaders” (as I like to call them) are the biggest sinners. They’ll look you in the face and stab you in the back; unfortunately I’ve experienced this first hand.

Shame on you.

That’s right.

SHAME ON YOU.

Have you ever heard the expression “people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” While you’re preachin – you might start thinking about practicing what you’re actually preaching.

So why don’t you (that would be all of you barking up this tree)  just shut up?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t the idea be to LOVE?

Love – Beyond – Politics

Love – Beyond –  Religion

Love – Despite differences.

It’s easy if you try.

I think someone wrote a song about that once…..

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Flakes, Impossible To Duplicate July 25, 2013

basementAnd why would you? I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my best friend of 33 years, Brandy. (Disclaimer – yes, she still admits to knowing me and being my friend.)

I know I met Brandy when I was about seven, but I don’t remember much of it. I just remember that if I wanted to get out of my house and go somewhere else she was about nine or ten houses away, and I was almost always welcome. We grew up together. We went through everything together, from the first time I kissed a boy, to hanging out in a camper when it was well over 100 degrees (just to avoid our parents), a leaky basement that became my home when my youngest sister was born, Maid of Honor in my first wedding (that didn’t last a year), her family moving to Louisville (I felt like I lost her), later looking her up and finding out that she was literally five minutes away from where I lived. We’ve always been together, she has never left my mind or my side when it really counted. There is no one else that I could ever say that about.

That’s why she’s my best friend.

She’s also married to a great guy (that I introduced her to – by the way.) I suppose my only regret about our relationship is that I wasn’t invited to her wedding. It was a complicated situation, and I understand why things happened the way they did. I wish it could have been different, I would have really liked to have been there. It was the best outcome of an impossible situation, she’s happy, that’s all that matters. That’s all that has ever mattered to me.

Brandy is a person that I’m proud to call my best friend. I mean, come on, I’m kind of a jerk. I’ve been less than worthy of this friendship many times, Brandy has stuck with me, that means a lot more than I could ever express to her.

So I think I should thank Brandy in a “proper” way. So here goes 33ish years of dirt that I won’t explain, but Brandy knows what I’m talking about.

1. Fly swatters are a multi-purpose item
2. Ramen is good
3. Being the oldest isn’t always the best, but it prepares you for life
4. Plaid shirt are never really in style at our age
5. You can light a cigarette off of a space heater
6. You can watch a movie over a thousand times and it never gets old
7. Distance doesn’t matter
8. Popping zits can be fun
9. Spray paint is good for the soul
10. Licking the stuff off of Cool Ranch Doritoes isn’t weird
11. Bible papers don’t make good joints
12. Purple Passion
13. You can dress up any dress
14. Best friends will only tell you the truth, it doesn’t matter if you want to hear it
15. We’re only a text away
16. We’re not perfect, and we never really planned on it
17. You were the only person my mother ever believed
18. Skateboarders make horrible boyfriends
19. You can light a wall on fire with Aqua Net and a lighter
20. You can loose people too soon
21. You can forget what’s important, but remember before it’s too late
22. We’re parents??
23. You can get lost coming home from a concert
24. Fuzzy navels aren’t as spectacular as they sound
25. ET phone home
26. Restaurants aren’t the optimal place to grow up
27. When someone tells you “it’s a bad idea” you should probably listen
28. Sump pumps in Broad Ripple suck ass
29. Your braces made you more awesome
30. When I hug you I don’t want to let go
31. You believed in me when no one else ever did
32. You’re a great person/friend/mother
33. Let’s hang on for another 30 years or so, we’ll be crazy as shit, our kids
will make fun of us and we won’t care. That’s pretty awesome.

Thank you so much for being my best friend, I love you very much!

 

What I Wish I Didn’t Wear June 17, 2013

necklace sA necklace.

If you work with me or know me you might have noticed I wear a silver necklace. It’s a longer necklace so the charm on it isn’t obvious unless I pull it out or it makes its way out of my shirt. What hangs from that necklace means more to me than most things do. It can’t be replaced. It’s my Dad’s thumbprint.

It’s hard to believe that my Dad has been gone for four years in September.

People leave memories with us that will last for the rest of our lives. Some of the memories my Dad and I shared were the best times of my life. Teaching me about football, and watching me learn to love it. Kameron being born, and what a great Pop he was.  Mr. D and I getting married, knowing that the third time really was the charm.  Going to Lambeau Field together, our first trip together! Watching the Packers play in Indianapolis, tailgating with those silly Indianapolis fans.  Sunday football, coming over to my house every Sunday to watch the Packers play. Catching my first fish.  Teaching me how to jump a car. The difference between a flat head and a phillips head screwdriver. How to check a breaker and change a fuse. How to buy a car. How to make home made french fries. That Mikesell’s Rippled Potato Chips work best with Dean’s French Onion Dip. And the way to his heart was through my deviled eggs. Those are just a few of the millions of things that he taught me.

The selfish part of me missed my Dad, even though I know he’s in a better place.

The worst part about it for me now is that I know he would be so proud of me (not that he wasn’t before.)  He would be so ridiculously proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. It really has been awesome, and I thank sincerely the people that have (REALLY) supported me (Firebelly Team – Duncan Alney)  -my gratitude and your belief in me is immeasurable. I sincerely from the bottom of my heart thank you. I’m so happy!

Without my Dad there is a space in my heart that can’t be replaced. I don’t get to tell him about the awesome day I’ve had. I don’t have that smile, or pat on my shoulder anymore, he was the one person who always believed in me, no matter what the circumstances.

Things aren’t the same without you Dad, I love you and miss you so much.

I’m kicking ass Johnno, I hope you know.

 

Dogs and Spirits April 22, 2013

Johnno at Lambeau

Johnno at Lambeau

While I was dishing about my Food Network addiction earlier on Twitter something else happened. Some of you might find this a bit bizarre and that’s ok. By now I’m use to the questions or comments I get sometimes after I spill my guts all over the social media world. Don’t mind me while I spill, again.

I’ve heard more than several times in my life that dogs can see spirits, or ghosts, whatever you care to call it. I don’t like the word ghost, especially after my dad passed away. I’m sorry, I just don’t see Johnno floating around in some Casper-like state. Whenever I think of him I always think of him in jeans and a Packers or green golf shirt. That was standard issue Johnno garb. Another thing I don’t see my Dad in is wings. I can just picture my Dad entering the gates of heaven and giving a big “Hell No” to St. Peter as he tries to give my Dad wings. Wings the group he liked, the feathery things, not so much.

I believe in an after life. I believe when our time comes that we will see the loved ones that we have lost in our lifetime. I have to believe that, I have to believe that A LOT. I also believe that every once in a while spirits like to have a little fun with those of us here on earth. Us and our pets.

I have a leather couch it seats three comfortably. When my Dad was over watching a Packers game everyone had their “assigned” seats. They weren’t really assigned, but you would have thought they were if you came over to my house every Sunday. I sat in the middle, my Dad to my left, and Mr. D to my right. I still sit in the middle, and Mr. D still sits on the right. We don’t do it on purpose, we’ve just did it that way for a number of years, I guess it’s a tradition. My dog Shayla takes up Johnno’s now empty spot. It’s where she crashes out for 18 hours a day. Seriously, I think my dog is part cat.

Anyway while I was confessing my Food Network addiction on twitter Shayla was nuzzled up right next to me, which is weird. She really only does that with Mr. D or Kameron, Sam when she’s home. I really hadn’t noticed she was there until her tail started the happy thump. Then she looked up in the air and started licking the air, like someone had put their hand in the air in front of her and she started to go to town on it. I sat and watched her thinking she had lost her mind, but she kept at it, for like two minutes. I said “Shayla what are you doing” she stopped to look at me but went right back to it. I thought of my Dad, he would always pet Sha-na-na (as he called her) when he sat down and she would lick his hand. I decided to put my hand above her to see if she would lick it, nope. When I took my hand away the tail thumping and air licking continued. I closed my eyes and placed my hand on the left seat of my couch, expecting it to be cool to the touch. It was warm, like someone had been sitting there. Then Shayla stopped her licking and put her head down.

I think my Dad can sense when I need him around. Sometimes it’s an unexpected penny. Sometimes the lights go off. Sometimes he plays with my dog. Whenever those things, and other things happen I smile because I know he’s with me. Someday we’ll be together again.

 

Ashley March 8, 2013

My relationship with my sister Ashley has always been different. I’m thirteen years older than her. By the time she was six years old I was out of the house starting my crazy life, she doesn’t remember us ever living together.

ME AND ASH (2)

There was a little while when we were somewhat close. Before I got divorced from Kameron’s dad and before she started playing softball in high school. After the divorce and softball started our lives just went in different directions. Being thirteen years apart didn’t help. She was doing high school things, I was doing more grown up things – like working 50 hours a week – paying house payments – fun stuff grownups get to do.

One thing we do have in common was my son Kameron. She loves him and he loves his Aunt Ashley. She is his godmother, his confirmation sponsor, acting supporter, WWE update listener, sushi eating buddy, along with many other things.

Another thing we have in common was love for our Dad. There is no question that my sisters and I almost competed for our Dad’s affection. What I think the three of us all came to realize and accept is that he loved all of us very much, but had very different relationships with us individually. There is no question though when my Dad died it drew a line in the sand between the three daughters he left behind. None of us realized how my Dad kept the peace in the family until he was no longer there to do it. Devastation sometimes can bring people together, in my case it drove me further and further away from my family. What was already a different relationship between Ashley and I became strained, and then nonexistent.

All of my relationships changed after my Dad died. It wasn’t just with Ashley. I was lost, so lost that at times I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back.

Since I have made it back something unexpected and nice, very nice, has happened.

Ashley has been very supportive of me not drinking. If you would have told me she would be one of my biggest supporters I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have believed that. We also are big fans of The Bachelor. Ashley has come over to my house and we’ve watched a few episodes together. Next Monday (3/11) when Mr. D and Kam will be at the WWE Event, Ashley and I have our own little Bachelor Finale party planned. We’re going to cook a big dinner, talk at the t.v., and bask in all the drama that The Bachelor provides. I think we should bet too..I’ll have to come up with something. Not like bet on who he chooses, but bet on how many times everyone says “amazing” – an over /under thing on that might be cool.

It’s fun to have my sister to talk to and hang out with, who knew right?!?

I would just really like to say thanks Ash for being supportive, and watching The Bachelor smut with me. It means a lot to me!

I love you!

Ash & me

 

Are Choir Girls More Aggressive These Days? November 30, 2012

One of my least favorite things of all time is the car line at Kameron’s school. I’ve seen people literally look like they were going to come unglued in the car line. I have to admit, I’ve said a few choice words to myself about this idiocy. Seems pretty simple to me..you get in line, wait for your child, the child gets in the car, you drive away. I guess there is some book somewhere in the principal’s office with a special drawer; you must have the exact key code to unlock the car line secrets. I imagine unlocking that drawer someday, opening up the book with angles singing in the background as I uncover all the secrets of the car line.

Who the hell am I kidding? We’ll get through seventh and eighth grade and move onto what is sure to be a more complex car line in high school.

Anyway I was sitting in the car line today waiting for Kameron to come out of choir practice. Choir practice ends at 4:00 which really puts a dent into my Dr. Phil time, so already I’m irritated. Did I mention that my son moves as slow as a snail? Especially after a long day at school and choir practice on top of that. Did I also mention that Kameron still doesn’t recognize my car that I’ve had for two months? I’ve seen him walk right past it looking for my Jeep that Mr. D now drives. It’s frustrating.

I caught a glimpse of Kameron in my rear view mirror today, he seemed to be moving, almost speed walking to my car. “Great” I thought to myself. He’s going to blow past my car again. In anticipation of that happening I rolled down my window in order to get his attention which didn’t happen. What I heard from inside my car certainly got mine “Kaaammmeerrroonnn I love you!” “Kameron I’ll see you tomorrow – kisses!” My mind instantly turned into scrambled eggs because I didn’t even notice that Kameron had gotten into the car. Flushed, eyes wide open, with a look of (dare I say) terror on his face he said “Mom get me out of here!” Putting the car in drive and throwing caution to the wind as I drove quickly out of the car line.

I think we were both in a state because I said in a somewhat crazy voice “who was that?” Kameron told me the girl’s name, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you what it is now. “It’s her mom, she says she loves me, she won’t leave me alone!” “I don’t like her like that mom!” I thought “man, choir girls are more aggressive than I remember.” They were always the soft-spoken girls when I was in school. I guess things have changed a bit.

I let Kameron calm down a bit. He was listening to his iPod to some really loud music. I do that too when I’m frazzled. What do I say? What do I do? Last year he can’t get enough of the girls (one in particular.) This year he’s running away from them. I tapped him on the shoulder, he turned off his iPod, he knew it was time to discuss the situation.

I said “Kameron do you know why she’s teasing you and making a big deal about her liking you?” “No” he grumbeled. I said “well, she probably does like you, but she’s telling you and you’re freaking out right?” I got a defeated “Yeah.” In my infinite mommy wisdom I asked him “do you want her to stop?” “YES!” “If you want her to stop ignore her. She’s only doing it to get a reaction out of you. If you don’t freak out after a while she’ll stop.” “Ok Mom,” I could tell he was feeling better.

He seemed relieved and I was too. Now not only do I have a car line problem, it appears I have a girl in the pink sweatshirt problem. Fabulous!

 

“You Can’t Win Unless You Bet A Quarter!” January 21, 2012

Filed under: I am still learning,Stuff — stepheppichdaily @ 7:51 pm
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Not a real quarter, like 0.25.  Quarter is “casino talk” for $25.o0.  At least to Clint, who was our Blackjack Dealer last night.  I asked him if his parents hated him (with a name like that) it was just going to be that kind of night.

“Our” being my Cousin and myself.  I don’t blog about my our little adventures. Not that we’re selfish people, we would like to spread our joy and happiness of what we refer to “Cousin Love”  amongst that masses.

This post is different because, well I have something I want to know.

Many of you know that I grow very tired of the people that my Cousin chooses to date, I basically hate them.  I would say that 75-80% of the people she chooses to spend time with aren’t really worthy of her time.  Not because they’re bad people, I just have a super sensitive sixth sense when it comes to my Cousin.  Like within five minutes I can tell if the guy is gonna make it longer than a couple of months. If he opens his mouth to speak, and something dumb comes out, that time can be cut in half.

So back to our hurah.  Cousin and I haven’t been out for awhile.  We decided gambling was the way to go.  Bright shiny lights, people watching, adult beverages, just good quality “cousin time.”

There is this guy that my Cousin has been seeing for like three months.  I didn’t like him.  He was weird, there is an oddness about this guy that gave me  the heebie geebies.  A couple of people that I know met him and agreed, although we couldn’t put our finger on it.    Anyway, we were going out, he knew that but she didn’t tell him where.  I think the description was, I’m going to her house and we’re going to “hang out.”  The small indiscretions is always a red flag.  Why not just say it?  Are you not an adult that can decide where you’re coming or going with or without the other person?  Especially if they’re as significant as you say they are, can’t you just say – “I’m going to _______ – we have someone to drive us and pick us up – I don’t know when I’ll be home, so I’ll text you or talk to you sometime tomorrow.”  That to me is reasonable, unless you’re dealing with a insecure, paranoid, know her cousin doesn’t like you – man.

We got to the place (Mr. D – who rocks – dropped us off.)  My Cousin cracks me up, “Bye Daddy” she says to Mr. D as he pulls away.   Cousin screws around on the slots, which irritates me.  I’ve never won any money on slots – so I follow her around – and make a few snide comments about her wasting time on them.  She ignores me.  I scope out Blackjack tables, telling her we need to get seated at one sometime soon.  (I mean damn, it’s Saturday night – tables fill up.)

We finally get to a table.  Blackjack tables are interesting places to be.  I like watching the interaction among players as much as I like playing the game.  You get all KINDS of people at a table.  The smelly guy that just got his Friday check sitting next to the guy in a Hillfiger sweather asking the dealer if he should split the pair of 7’s he’s got sitting in front of him.  Cousin and I are having fun.  I notice that she’s texting on her phone, as the night goes on – that’s not a good sign.  Nothing good can come from texting after a few drinks sitting at a casino – I mean – can I get an “Amen?”  Let it be for the night.

I start hearing about the weather, sleet, the roads are turning into a nightmare.  I look at my clock – it’s 10:00 – if the roads are really that bad, it’s going to take Mr. D awhile to get out to our destination, and I want him to be safe getting there, plus I want to get home safe.  Cousin in railing, disappearing, I could have easily sat there for another hour and lost the money that I was up.  I was over it, ready to go.

Mr. D shows up like the soldier he is.  Cousin and I pile ourselves in the car and we make our way back to Acton Road.   We get back to my house where the “COUSIN COME WATCH A MOVIE WITH ME” request starts.  We’re both tired and I know we’re both going to fall asleep within a matter of minutes.  Just for giggles I throw in “Delirious” (Eddie Murphy) and Mr. D are left there to watch while Cousin falls asleep in my recliner.

Now, this is where it gets interesting…

Dude, all I want to do is go to my comfy bed and go to sleep.  I heard the buzzing of Cousin’s iPhone.  I picked it up, and saw it was loverboy.

Total Disclaimer:  I picked up that phone with the sole intention of putting it on the charger and leaving well enough alone.  After a seeing it was the dummy and considering I had a couple of drinks I decided to look.  After all, Cousin said that she wasn’t texting him, and I wanted to see if she was full of it.  Of course she was…and he was, um, feeling insecure – AGAIN.  Ugh, it is such a turn off (to me) to get a text from an insecure guy late in the evening… Validate me..tell me I’m better than those other guys that I’ve mentioned in the text.

I tilt my head sideways and look at it again.  Seriously?  Did he just say that?  This guy is a flipping idiot, plus he insinuated that I would let her just randomly talk, or hook up, or whatever with some guy because “I want to drive him away.”   Is he 12?

I sat there for a moment and thought, since he started it….My fingers responded…… This is exactly what I said at 11:49 PM.

“You know what you idiot, she’s asleep at my house.  have a great night.  Xo, Steph 🙂 ”

I had to add the smiley face.

At 1:20 AM he responded “well, that’s good.  thanks steph.”

Dude, I was in la la land…

The at 1:36 AM he decided to go on his “goodbye Dawn” rant.  Which referenced “tell Steph thanks for ending us!”

Ok, so I was a little whatever.  This guy is saying that he has someone over to change his locks in the wee hours of the morning – it’s sleeting dude – you’re a drama queen, stupid, insecure, pathetic liar.

So, he’s blocked her phone number and her daughters – after he texted her (in the early AM)  and said “you’re mom is going to need a lot of support after she’s realized what she’s done.”   Yeah, cause getting a 17 year old is CLEARLY going to help your case – crazy.

Ok, so I was quazi wrong.  In the grand scheme things – I wasn’t wrong, he’s an idiot.

So what say you?