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What’s The Big Deal? December 5, 2013

Changing your profile picture.

I see people do it every day. I see people change their pictures several times a week, and I think if they can do it why can’t I?

Well the answer is simple to me. It might seem irrational and ridiculous to you, but I can assure you as I sit here writing this, it is not simple. It’s gut wrenchingly painful.

Then you might say to yourself, what the hell is she talking about? Stephanie has changed her Twitter and her LinkedIn profile picture this week, and I would look at you and say, you’re right I have, but not my Facebook picture. In fact there have only been a few variations of my Facebook profile picture over the last four and a half years. You might recognize them.

Image Image Image Image


Ok, so let me stop you right there. In your mind, if you don’t know me, hell maybe if you do, you’re thinking c.r.a.z.y. To me it’s not, I’ll explain. Twitter is where I go to blow off steam, have some fun. I’ve seem some crazy stuff on twitter, and I’ve been a part of some of the crazy on twitter…I’ll be the first to admit that. LinkedIn is a business page and I treat it as such. I share information and updates about social media, hardly ever about my personal life. I mean if you were stalking me LinkedIn is probably the last place you’d want to go. I’ve even been quiet on my blog, not intentionally, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to actually sit and think about things like this. 

The other night I was writing a blog about social media and resolutions for 2014, which made me think, what should I change next year? The thought came almost immediately to me, like my Dad was screaming at me. I ignored it and pressed on, I have deadlines you know. Then again, like he was standing right in front of me saying “enough already, change the damn profile picture.”

I stopped, looked around, and started to cry.

Facebook is where I reside now, it is where I spend most of my time. I do most of my work on Facebook. Facebook is also my personal space. It became really personal a couple of months ago when I found out that my space had been violated.

But I’m Stephanie right? I like challenges. I thrive on variety and change. Dullness and routine is the quickest way (if you’re trying) to get rid of me.

So why can’t I change my profile picture?

Because it’s the last thing.

I have changed the picture, but it’s only been variations of Dad and I together. If I change that profile picture it’s almost like (to me) I’m saying goodbye to my Dad forever.  If my Dad were here today he would say “isn’t that the dumbest god damn thing you’ve ever heard?” If it were someone else I’d say “hell yes.”

The problem is it’s not someone else, it’s me.

So I tried this week. I had Angela take a picture of me in the office this week with my new “geek” sweater on, saying it was to “prove to my sister” that I had a sweater that actually said “geek” on it. Then I tried again, until I found out it was “Unselfie Tuesday” or some kind of crap like that. So I figured it just wasn’t time for me to change it. Until I racked my brain trying to think of a blog to write last night and came up with “Social Media Resolutions.” Clever I thought; until I started thinking about my own social resolutions and the Dad interference.

First on the agenda for 2014, a new profile picture for all of my social media platforms, including Facebook (GULP). I can’t do it because I take terrible pictures of myself and Mr. D is pretty much useless with a camera. I need a picture, and I know exactly what it looks like in my head, and my Dad would be proud of it, and of me, I think he would be proud of me.










Are You There God, It’s Me Stephanie, Again January 16, 2013

I wrote a post last year titled: Are You There God, It’s Me Stephanie

I would suggest reading that post first and coming back to this one. I’m really proud of that post. It was probably one of the first times I really opened myself up and let you into part of my crazy world. I’m about to do it again – so here it goes…

Confirmation. So I decided not to have Kameron confirmed last year. The reason I told everyone else, and even myself, is that it would be nicer for Kameron if he waited and got confirmed with his class. He’s the oldest kid in his class. I decided on a recommendation from the pre-school that he attended to wait one more year before sending him to Kindergarten. He needed to develop more socially, and he was sad because his dad and I were starting what turned into a very long divorce process. Waiting for everyone else to catch up age wise and get confirmed with his class was a much better idea….

Better for me, because I wasn’t ready to have God back in my life.

I wasn’t even slightly interested. Even though my first post had a glimmer of hope in it, and I was hopeful, at least that is what I told myself. Honestly, the thought of going into church again made me sick to my stomach. So I sold Kameron on the idea of getting confirmed with his classmates, and he bought it. Which bought me time, because time heals all wounds right?


At least in my case. In that situation and others I was still fighting my secret battles.

Last Friday email – subject – Confirmation. This email didn’t catch me off-guard like last years email did. I knew it was getting close to time to start having meetings about confirmation. The email confirmed that yes, it was in fact time to start meeting about confirmation. Meeting at school (not church) about the confirmation that doesn’t happen until April/May buys me time. I can do meetings in my sleep. I can do uncomfortable meetings standing on my head. Meetings are not my problem. Wednesday night meeting – sure thing! So I had it in my head confirmation meeting Wednesday night, I can be as enthusiastic as I need to be.

A few hours later I get another email – subject – Meeting Change. I thought I hope it’s not a meeting on Thursday, I already have something going on. A change of plans. Instead of the meeting at the school on Wednesday night, we are going to church to have mass with the Archbishop. I put my head in my hands and said (fuck) very quietly to myself. Mass, that’s my first problem.  With the Archbishop is another problem, the bigger the hat in the Catholic Church the longer the mass. I’m looking at a an hour and a half mass easy. At this point it’s fair to say I would rather stick a pencil in my own eye than to have to walk into church tonight.

I haven’t been to church since my dad died, that’s not an accident. I’m still very upset and angry about the untimely death of my father. Where was God when my father died right before my very eyes? I asked for him, I prayed to him, I begged him on that day not to take my dad away from me. Yet my dad was gone that day, and it changed me forever.

Going back to church to me in a way is like saying it’s all good between me and God again. Which it clearly isn’t.

Then of course there is Kameron. Kameron is young and still has faith. He hasn’t had his faith tarnished by life and its unexpected curve balls it likes to throw at us. Even though he was old enough to understand what happened when my dad died, it didn’t break him like it did me. In Kameron’s eyes “Pop” is in heaven with God, having a good old-time. As time has gone on Kameron’s mentions of my dad have become fewer and fewer. In a way that makes me mad, but in a way I have to be happy for him. Knowing that his school is doing exactly what they’re suppose to be doing in religion class. Teaching that we are all God’s children, and that he loves us, flaws and all.

So I’m going, but I am not happy about it. I’m not going for myself, I’m going for Kameron, I don’t want to disappoint him. I promised him that I would try to make an effort and go to church more often. It was just going to be on my time-table, which kept getting pushed back further and further away. Abruptly, it is in my face and ready for me, scorn and all, at 7:00 p.m.

I doubt I’ll have some kind of epiphany, but if I do, you’ll read about it soon.



No Problem, I’ll Just Call My Dad August 31, 2012

Mr. D and I were very excited that my Jeep was finally going to be paid off in January. That would mean that we would have no car payments – zero – awesome. Anyone that hasn’t had a car payment in a while knows that is a small victory for us multi-car families. It gives you a little extra breathing room with the holidays approaching. Dreaming of vacations, or just a long weekend was definitely in our plans. We were looking forward to it. Seriously.

So January the Jeep is paid off. Mr. D was in an accident recently that didn’t do a lot of damage to the 2001 Toyota. I mean, what else could you do besides get on top of it and smash it up with a sledge-hammer? It serves it’s purpose. Getting Kam to school and Mr. D to and from work. We did decide it was time for some maintenance on the van. Mr. D suggested a tune up, I said whatever. I have no idea what that means nor do I care as long as the friggin thing runs ok?

Mr. D took the van to a shop early this morning. I knew since he hadn’t called me by noon it couldn’t be good news. So I called him around three when I was in line to pick up Kam from school. I was like “hear from the car people?” I could tell by the tone of his voice that it wasn’t good news. He had actually just gotten off the phone with them. He said that the service manager said it would cost more money to fix the van than to just get a new car. (This is not a dealership telling us this.)

You know that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Just then I looked up and my almost paid off (in the car line with all of the BMW’s and Mercedes) Jeep is smoking from underneath the hood. I look and the coolant level is on high and doesn’t look like it’s budging. I frantically said to Mr. D “my car is smoking.” “What” is his answer. He suggested turning the Jeep off while it was polluting the air of the convertible next to me. Starting it up when I had to and pulling it over somewhere to be out-of-the-way of traffic and he in his hoopty van would be down in about 45 minutes to have a look.

I hung up and thought I’ll just call my Dad. Then I thought, he’s not going to answer, and I just started to sob. My Dad was my car guy, he was my problem guy, he was my “hell baby, it will be fine” guy. That guy is gone, and it hurts like hell.

I could feel Kameron’s eyes on me and knew I had to find some kind of solution. I wiped my tears and headed to Walmart that isn’t took far down the road. I don’t know much about cars, what I do know my Dad taught me. Perhaps it was divine intervention but I walked in and said “my car is overheating, I think it needs some antifreeze.” A younger Walmart associate stood at the counter and said I’m sorry mam, but we can’t touch your radiator. An older gentleman was also standing there. He must have seen that my eyes were blood-shot from crying and that my mascara had traveled down my face in epic proportion.

He instructed me to open my hood and look for a plastic compartment in my car, it should say hot/cold. He warned me not to touch the metal cap until it cooled down. If the levels were low I should purchase some antifreeze. I quickly went out to my Jeep opened the hood, sure enough, my levels were low. I touched the metal cap and it was hot – so I grabbed The Criterion (thank God for the Catholics to send out their weekly useless paper) to shield my hand from getting burnt. Poured in the antifreeze, problem solved.

Now we have to shop for a car. One of Johnno’s favorite things to do. He loved giving the car salesmen a hard time. Negotiating prices, he loved it. Now knowing that we have to get a car, I can hear him now. He would say “baby, you don’t know shit from shinola about buying a car.” “Now let your poor old Dad take care of this one for you.”