MotleySu

Hockey remains alive and well at UAH.
GO CHARGERS!!

Hockey remains alive and well at UAH.

GO CHARGERS!!

"Alive in the World"

This song by Jackson Browne seems so fitting today - as I look back and remember how 25 years ago this week, I ended a several-year addiction to cocaine and experimentation with heroin by overdosing on Valium.

I did not want to live, but it seems the Universe had other plans.

Detox, rehab and putting one foot in front of the other, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year leads me here to today, 25 years clean and still trying to find my place in the world.

I don’t always know whether I want to live, but on the days I do, I don’t just want to live; I want to be ALIVE IN THE WORLD.

I am alive

Every day, think as you wake up:

Today, I am fortunate to have woken up.

I am alive

I have a precious human life; I am not going to waste it

I am going to use all my energies to develop myself; to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.

I am going to have kind thoughts toward others.

I am not going to get angry or think badly about others.

I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

~ His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.”
— Erin McKean, You Don’t Have to be Pretty (via hollabackboston)

THIS.

(via wraparoundcurl)

What Flag Day means to me

image

When I see an American flag, I remember military bases in Virginia, Texas, South Korea and (then) West Germany.

I remember my dad stopping the car at 5 (or 6)pm every evening if we were driving on post at Fort Belvoir so we could get out, stand at attention and listen to taps as the flag was lowered for the night. I remember the cannon boom that was the signal for us to get back in the car and continue driving.

I remember four years without my dad as he served two tours in Vietnam and I lived in Korea with my mom.

I remember 3 elementary schools in 4th grade, 3 junior high schools in 8th grade (in two countries) and my dad extending his tour of duty in Germany so I could graduate with my friends instead of finishing senior year at another stateside post with kids I wouldn’t know.

I remember friends following in their parents’ footsteps and enlisting in the military.

I remember visiting one friend at West Point several times, including a memorable weekend surrounding the Army-Navy football game.

I remember working at my first TV station when the first Gulf War broke out. I remember anchoring hourly cut-ins to update the war (even though I’m a producer). I remember editing video of US troops in Kuwait at sunrise, while a radio in the newsroom played the Oleta Adams song “Get Here” and realizing how fitting it was for the situation.

I remember singing the National Anthem at a UAH hockey game versus West Point the night the ground war broke out and having a near-capacity crowd at the VBCC sing along.

I remember writing stories about US troops losing limbs and lives.

I remember September 11, 2001

I remember working at my final TV station when the second Gulf War broke out.

I remember watching constant newsfeeds from CNN and NBC, along with everyone else in the newsroom.

I remember watching CNN even when I wasn’t working.

I remember watching an NBC reporter I’d worked with in Miami and was fortunate to have become friends with, report live for hours from onboard a tank as the US military crossed into Iraq.

I remember reading that my friend had died from blood clots formed from sitting in the same position for hours as he reported live for hours from onboard that tank.

I remember writing countless stories about countless casualties.

I remember our reporters placed in the difficult situation of trying to interview families of servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price for defending our country.

I remember days, weeks, months, years of coverage as the war dragged on and on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I remember “Mission Accomplished” - but not really.

I remember producing interview segments with servicemen and women who suffered physical, emotional and mental injuries as the result of numerous deployments and not enough support.

I remember producing interview segments with mothers who lost their sons in Iraq or because of it.

I remember producing an interview segment with a young soldier who worked through his own demons - and remember his lost brother by painting scenes that were both violent and beautiful.

I remember producing segments with organizations that work tirelessly to help give wounded warriors and their families the help and support they desperately need.

I remember my father’s veterans benefits shrinking as he struggles with health challenges after giving nearly three decades of his life to Uncle Sam.

I remember teenagers enlisting in the military, knowing yet not fully realizing the challenges they face in this changing world.

When I see the American flag flying from every federal and public building, and in many front yards, I remember the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating our Star Spangled Banner.

And I think, the words “THANK YOU” seem insignificant to express the gratitude for centuries of victories, sacrifice and loss that have gone into keeping Old Glory flying.

motleysu:

(written: May 5, 2007)
Mommy.
That’s what she wanted us to call her, no matter how old we got.
She was strict.  She was hard.  She was tough.  And dammit, did I love her!  I pushed all her buttons, and I know she pushed mine.  Criticized me, but praised me behind my back.   She didn’t want me to get big-headed, you see. 
I triggered her temper, on many occasions.  I seemed to have the knack for it.  “Who pissed Mommy off again?”  “Susan.” 
I wanted her approval desperately.  I never knew that I’d already had it.
She hated heavy metal, but she came to see my first band.  We played originals and also covered Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Ozzy.  That night, I forgot the words and swore into the mic, “Shit, I forgot the words to this song.”  She didn’t leave.  After the show, she said, “I don’t know how you stand it!”  To her friends, she said, “My daughter sings in a band.”
I appeared in a video for a band called Raven.  I was in the crowd.  You could only see the back of my head and my arm.  I caught her pausing the video to show a friend.  “That’s my daughter’s head.”
I got a job as a secretary at CBS.  I got the chance to get her and her bowling team tickets to “The Price is Right.”  They got the royal tour. Mommy was treated like a queen.  Her friends told her, “Your daughter must have an important job at CBS.”  She said, “My daughter is very important.”
I got hooked on cocaine.  I lost my job, lost weight, lost hair.  I lived in an apartment without power for several months, ashamed to go home and show my family what I had become.  My father begged me to come home. I finally did.  My mother said, “What did I do wrong that my daughter is on drugs?”  She didn’t say, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” I promised her that I would never do it again. That was almost 19 years ago and I haven’t touched the stuff.
I couldn’t hold down a job.  I had the reputation of staying for a year at a time, then getting bored and moving to another job.  My mother called me “Queen of the Part Time Jobs.”  But she didn’t kick me out of the house.
I moved to Alabama, got a job in TV news.  I got promoted, again and again.  One year stretched to two, three, five.  Mommy was proud. I was moving up at the TV station.  But she missed me, she said. “Come home.”  I said, “No, Mommy.  I found a job I really like.  I’ll see you at Christmas.”  I didn’t go home for Christmas.  I couldn’t afford it.  
The next year, Mommy asked me to come home again.  “Mommy, I’m the 10pm producer now. I’m producing the main show.  I can’t come home.”  My older sister helped me fly home to surprise her for Thanksgiving.  I wondered why our dinner tasted so bland.  “Mommy can’t have salty foods,” said my sister.  “She’s sick.”  Mommy was happy to see me.  When I left to fly back to Alabama from New Jersey, she said, “I love you.”  She rarely said that.  When i would tell her, “I love you, Mommy,” she would say, “Me, too.”
I didn’t go home for Christmas.  I had to work.  January turned to February, March, April.  At the beginning of May, my father called.  “You mother needs a liver transplant.  We’re flying to Pittsburgh for the surgery.”  He put Mommy on the phone. “I love you and everything I ever did was to make you the best you can be.”  I shushed her. “We’ll have plenty of time to talk about that.  You focus on getting better. I love you, Mommy.”  “Me, too.”
But she didn’t get better.  She was sicker than we thought.  She couldn’t have the transplant.   Instead, on May 8, several days before Mother’s Day, our mother left us.  Our strong, tough mother couldn’t beat the illness that ravaged her.
Here’s where I’m a bad daughter. I can never remember whether the year was 1990 or 1991.  Did I have her a year less or a year more? It seems like yesterday.. and it feels like forever.
Dammit, how I miss you, Mommy.

I miss you so much.

motleysu:

(written: May 5, 2007)

Mommy.

That’s what she wanted us to call her, no matter how old we got.

She was strict.  She was hard.  She was tough.  And dammit, did I love her!  I pushed all her buttons, and I know she pushed mine.  Criticized me, but praised me behind my back.   She didn’t want me to get big-headed, you see.

I triggered her temper, on many occasions.  I seemed to have the knack for it.  “Who pissed Mommy off again?”  “Susan.”

I wanted her approval desperately.  I never knew that I’d already had it.

She hated heavy metal, but she came to see my first band.  We played originals and also covered Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Ozzy.  That night, I forgot the words and swore into the mic, “Shit, I forgot the words to this song.”  She didn’t leave.  After the show, she said, “I don’t know how you stand it!”  To her friends, she said, “My daughter sings in a band.”

I appeared in a video for a band called Raven.  I was in the crowd.  You could only see the back of my head and my arm.  I caught her pausing the video to show a friend.  “That’s my daughter’s head.”

I got a job as a secretary at CBS.  I got the chance to get her and her bowling team tickets to “The Price is Right.”  They got the royal tour. Mommy was treated like a queen.  Her friends told her, “Your daughter must have an important job at CBS.”  She said, “My daughter is very important.”

I got hooked on cocaine.  I lost my job, lost weight, lost hair.  I lived in an apartment without power for several months, ashamed to go home and show my family what I had become.  My father begged me to come home. I finally did.  My mother said, “What did I do wrong that my daughter is on drugs?”  She didn’t say, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” I promised her that I would never do it again. That was almost 19 years ago and I haven’t touched the stuff.

I couldn’t hold down a job.  I had the reputation of staying for a year at a time, then getting bored and moving to another job.  My mother called me “Queen of the Part Time Jobs.”  But she didn’t kick me out of the house.

I moved to Alabama, got a job in TV news.  I got promoted, again and again.  One year stretched to two, three, five.  Mommy was proud. I was moving up at the TV station.  But she missed me, she said. “Come home.”  I said, “No, Mommy.  I found a job I really like.  I’ll see you at Christmas.”  I didn’t go home for Christmas.  I couldn’t afford it. 

The next year, Mommy asked me to come home again.  “Mommy, I’m the 10pm producer now. I’m producing the main show.  I can’t come home.”  My older sister helped me fly home to surprise her for Thanksgiving.  I wondered why our dinner tasted so bland.  “Mommy can’t have salty foods,” said my sister.  “She’s sick.”  Mommy was happy to see me.  When I left to fly back to Alabama from New Jersey, she said, “I love you.”  She rarely said that.  When i would tell her, “I love you, Mommy,” she would say, “Me, too.”

I didn’t go home for Christmas.  I had to work.  January turned to February, March, April.  At the beginning of May, my father called.  “You mother needs a liver transplant.  We’re flying to Pittsburgh for the surgery.”  He put Mommy on the phone. “I love you and everything I ever did was to make you the best you can be.”  I shushed her. “We’ll have plenty of time to talk about that.  You focus on getting better. I love you, Mommy.”  “Me, too.”

But she didn’t get better.  She was sicker than we thought.  She couldn’t have the transplant.   Instead, on May 8, several days before Mother’s Day, our mother left us.  Our strong, tough mother couldn’t beat the illness that ravaged her.

Here’s where I’m a bad daughter. I can never remember whether the year was 1990 or 1991.  Did I have her a year less or a year more? It seems like yesterday.. and it feels like forever.

Dammit, how I miss you, Mommy.

I miss you so much.

"Europa" by Falco

Lyrics below - I wish someone could translate them for me. xo

Ich seh Euch allesamt Revue passieren,
Grosse Soehne, grosse Maenner von Welt.
Worueber heute Ihr bevorzugt noch nicht sprechen wollt,
Ist die Farbe, die Euch so gefaellt.
Es weht ein andrer Wind und wer,
Wer garantiert, dass wir uns morgen noch gegenueberstehn,
Um irgendwohin zu gehn.
- Wir werden sehn.

Ich seh Euch allesamt Revue passieren,
Toechter Europas, frank und frei.
Und ich verzicht’ wie nichts auf meine Greencard,
Wenn Euch vielleicht dann wohler ist dabei - es sei.
Worum es mir geht, ist,
Dass Du nie vergisst.
Ich weisws, Du weisst,
Wovon wir sprechen, wenn wir wissen,
Dass wir Europa heissen
Und uns verdammt vermissen.

Nananananananananana…
Europa!

Nananananananananana…
Europa!

Ich seh Euch allesamt Revue passieren,
Dunkle Gestalten, uniformiert in Eurer Niedertracht.
Und wie lange noch steht Eurer Inszenierung entgegen,
unsrer saftgen’ Ubermacht.
Es geht um Mythen der Vernunft,
Und die Boheme bohemisiert
Und deklassiert das Reaktionaer als sekundaer.
Primaer wollen wir die Dame Europa hierher.
Und jetzt und heute noch - sofort und mehr.

Nananananananananana…
Europa

Cutest “Gangnam Style” twins I’ve ever seen!