Q&A 2017 | Buttercup of Doom 2.9

This week I answer questions from the peanut gallery in a year-end Q&A. From opinions on Flat Earth people to pot brownies to tattoos and dinosaurs, pretty much no topic is left unsullied… including the birth of #thepainofthegraze hashtag

Available FREE on: PEN Project Entertainment Network • iTunesI♥Radio  •  StitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors:  Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter)

Merchandise: pillowssockstees, tanks, hoodies, coffee mug or stickerbeach towelphone case

Suggestions/Requests: n/a (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Baby It’s Cold Outside lyrics | Live Specimens | Black Bubbles

Hashtag Hell: #flatearth #pot #brownies #deanmartin #daterape #dreams #xmas #christmas #ornaments #sleepingbeauty #nutcracker #ballet #writing #dialogue #betterthings #oakisland #SSHS #classof87 #tarantino #cusack #dinosaurs #subculturecorsets #facebook #twitter #instagram #PEN #projectentertainmentnetwork #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: location location location – rules – little white lies – and whatever you suggest I whine about. So suggest something, already!


Great American Pastimes | Buttercup of Doom ep55


From sports to movies to books, entertainment is a huge part of our life, our day to day, and it is found absolutely everywhere. From failing role models to the broken wheels of wrongful bandwagons, let’s look at our entertainment and question: can you appreciate the art with distain for the artist? And yes, I talk Kaepernick…

Available FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • and now Overcast

Sponsors: Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter)| 13 O’Clock podcast | Project iRadio’s Patreon | Kelli’s Patreon page

Suggestions/Requests: n/a…  (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Trevor Noah on American Sports

Hashtag Hell: #halloween #sports #giselle #benaffleck #imdb #wiki #dreams #greenbaypackers #packers #jonstewart #thedailyshow #trevornoah #elections #soapbox #kaepernick #oreo #rolemodel #boycott #janefonda #bradleycooper #billcosby #hplovecraft #labronjames #NFL #lombardi #favre #reggiewhite #extracurricular #wattpad #patreon #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: #potpourri #honor …and your suggestions for #halloween #christmas #winter #seasons

This Week’s Rating: R (language) buttercup ratings system info here

Something’s Missing

blacksquare2My dreams often feel like warped, twisted, versions of some sort of reality television show filmed by those who failed therapy, ignored their court-appointed rehab, and haven’t been to AA for so long they think it stands for And Another. My camera man is drunk and my special effects crew is on crack. I’ve said both of those things before. After the last week, I believe it wholeheartedly. Because now it seems the set director is on vacation and the intern doesn’t work fast enough.

But I can’t seem to figure out why, what it means, or even how fast Freud would just give up and lock me into a nice safe room with a snug jacket and fluffy walls.

For instance… See the image for today? How many times did you refresh thinking there was something wrong with it? Nope, there’s not. That’s actually just a plain black box of nothing. And the star of my dreams lately.

I don’t remember the dreams themselves most of the time, which is normal after the first cup of coffee, but I do remember the little black squares. I remember they’re not important or even really noticed during the dream, but afterward I could tell you where they appeared. Very strange. See, these black blocks are speckled throughout and simply provide a nothingness instead of details, in a freaky two-dimensional cut-out construction paper kinda way. For instance, I’ll be able to see everything in the room and talk or move around or do whatever it is I’m doing, but the black blocks will be where the detail isn’t finished. Like on top of an end table, instead of knickknacks, lamps or books. Or on a wall, in lieu of pictures. Or even on a menu, rather than actual choices.

It’s very bizarre and seems to be completely acceptable in the dream. Oh if only I could do the whole lucid dreaming thing and pause all the action while yelling at the design crew to finish up.

Of course, my dreams are still wonky, don’t get me wrong. Just this morning I woke from being out for a drink with the girls, in a restaurant located in an old western clothing store where they never took the clothes off the wall or removed the racks of boleros and cowboy boots. Nikki was pissed off because she was enjoying a cigar in the wrong part of the restaurant, and her boss told her she had to put it out and go stash it in her office—for whatever reason I decided to bring it there for her and set it in a dish on her desk, only to have the maid service ask me if they should dump it or keep it. Drew was in the bathroom milking lab mice and using it for some explosive experiment to get his students to pay attention. And of course, the sewage accident that shot dirty water out a port on the wall—the water retaining the shape of the pipe and chasing people around ala the water worm from The Abyss. Yup, perfectly normal dream for me… except the black squares in the bar at the restaurant, on the fishtank, obscuring portions of the bathroom lab, hiding the other items on the desk, and filling in for the faces, clothes or hands of the people at the next table.

Yeah… welcome to my dreamworld, here’s a black square—just put it anywhere.


Disney, Dreams and Disarray

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.
~ Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Sleeping Beauty…my favorite Disney movie. Hands down. Always has been. I’ve watched the movie a million times (most recently, just last week as background noise at work instead of Pandora). I’ve seen the ballet. Know the words, know the songs, have the soundtrack—with and without the words on the Tchaikovsky selection. And with the new Maleficent movie out, my eleven-year-old self, the dreamer of a girl hiding behind that tomboy facade, is all excited. Thus, I’ve been giving this movie a lot of thought.

I used to think I loved this one because the witch was just a witch. Not a wicked step-mother, no real reason for evil, she just was. And she’s always been my favorite Disney villain. Evil for the sake of being evil (like the original Michael Myers, not that watered down give-him-a-reason-and-remove-the-scary version Zombie did). Petty, bitchy, pissy Maleficent who, for all the script tells us, is so angry she wasn’t invited to the baby’s announcement she curses the child to be beautiful and perfect and DIE. Yeah, I’d like to have dinner with Maleficent and find out exactly what happened in her childhood to make her so damn evil.

For a time I thought it was purely for the Tchaikovsky aspect, as I was in dance class and loved the ballet version of the tale. I knew the ballet version of the waltz, and I knew the movie version. (Yes, I’ve danced with invisible owls dressed as princes in my kitchen, don’t judge.)

Or maybe it was for the fairies. I liked them better than most other fairy-type creatures in the other films. And the magic in this one was fun and wicked and all around accepted as normal.

Nope. Turns out it might just be because of prince freaking charming. I hate to admit that.

What Barbie has done for the body dysmorphia this country suffers, Disney has done for female expectations, and websites like match dot com should really pay them some sort of kickback for convincing people prince charming no only exists, but they can find their own for only $39.99 a month. My eleven-year-old self believed in prince charming and happy endings. By twenty those same thoughts would have been followed by yadda yadda yadda, as the adult put childish thoughts aside and was happy just hoping for the best. The dreams Disney insisted on and instilled in the psyche of little girls everywhere were shattered across a whole generation by the harsh reality of dead chivalry, condom vending machines, and impatience preventing the sweet build of friendship first in lieu of one night stands and “digits.”

However, tiny rant aside, this prince was different and I think that’s why I loved this movie. Let’s look at Disney princes for a moment, shall we?

  • Cinderella: one-night stand, but he returns her shoe and gives her a castle. aka Cindy wins the lottery.
  • Snow White: he kisses a sleeping stranger to save her. Or, molesting unconscious and/or dead girl in the woods is okay.
  • Little Mermaid: this tard doesn’t even notice her because she can’t talk? Then he’s completely sidetracked by a witch in disguise as a hot chick and only gets the girl because her dad changed her fins to legs.
  • Aladdin: not even a prince. A lying, deceiving street rat. Yeah, that’s who we want to fall in love with.

Sad, depressing, pathetic. Yes. However…

  • Sleeping Beauty: Phillip—this prince deserved to have his name remembered—did a bit more than average. He fought to escape the dungeon, battled goblins, cut through a forest of thorns, defeated a freaking dragon, beat the witch, broke the curse, and got the girl.

But most importantly, he didn’t even want a princess in the first place, he wanted the girl next door he found in the woods talking to nature and dancing to music only she could hear (aka he was okay with her being a little crazy). And she didn’t want to be a princesses betrothed to someone else, because she had found herself a nice boy just riding his horse through the woods who actually played well with her brand of crazy. Even though they were unknowingly betrothed, they were much more, they were destined and determined. He didn’t come in armor—hell he had to borrow a sword and shield. She didn’t come with a tiara.

I can’t speak for the rest of the females on the planet, but I’ve never been interested in a prince charming with a white horse and shiny armor. Just a guy comfortable in his own skin, with personal demons and dings in his armor, willing to fight the metaphorical dragons and goblins and witches of the world. Thus while the other Disney princes promise “happily ever after” but base it on almost nothing—giving little girls dreams and hopes only to crush them and fill their empty spaces with disappointment and disarray—Phillip actually works through issues and fights for his girl next door. He wins. This movie wins. Even though it was met with horrible box office receipts upon release and caused Disney to avoid fairy tales again until Little Mermaid years and years later. Win.

So, while my eleven-year-old self excitedly awaits the night I slip out to the theater to watch Maleficent, my jaded adult self agrees to let the innocent youth hiding inside to infect her. Just a little. And hum the waltz while dancing with an invisible owl dressed as hope.

Intrinsic Value of the Existential You

pennyjarSelf-worth comes from one thing—
thinking that you are worthy.
~ Wayne Dyer

Have a yard* sale and you’ll find yourself putting little tags on everything—giving reduced value to things you once thought worth much more than you’re now willing to accept for them. At the end of the day, you’ll count the change you’ve received, the crumpled bills, and the smattering of things even the scavengers didn’t want. And you’ll be richer for it. For the items traded, for the people spoken to, and for the time, entertainment and adventure you put into the day—because life is an adventure with the right attitude.

I’m turning 45 this month. And it’s been an adventure all right. While I’m usually not one to evaluate my life on every birthday or New Year, I find I am this time. I’m divorced. My kids are gone. And I’m not where I thought I would be in this lifetime…at all, on any level. For a while, those thoughts made me feel very alone in the world. So I faced it.

I woke up that way a couple weeks ago as I said goodbye to an era—alone, in a motel room, absorbing my aloneness. And I found something rather strange in the quiet. Me. I remembered not everything that breaks is broken—you have to break a glo-stick for it to glow, you have to break a fortune cookie to get the fortune. And upon breaking me, I found me. Hi world! Welcome to the second half of me.

But the alone continued to sit at the edge of my mind for some time. I felt a little lost, a little scared. The screaming had subsided and the silence was a bit too much. Then a whisper started in the darkness. “Why don’t you do this…?” “Why don’t you do that…?” And I realized I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t old. I wasn’t done. I had just finally matured to the me-portion of my life.

I don’t have kids to worry about on a daily basis. I don’t have a partner to please. I just have me. I can stay in my pj’s all day and write on the weekend if I want to. I can play with my herbs and oils, research the family lineage, read a biography, blow bubbles at WalMart, whatever. I can eat nothing but salads for a week and no one can complain. I can come and go as I please. I can go places I’m interested in without worrying about it being entertaining to others in my life. And I can enjoy myself, alone or in a crowd—with friends, with strangers, or with nobody.

In the quiet, I remembered life is a giant yard sale. Things come and go. People come and go. Sometimes you’re the seller, sometimes you’re the buyer. But you are the only one who can put value on you. No one else gives you worth, only you do. Sure, for a the first portion I was being guided by parents, and the second portion I was guiding others and not worrying about me. But eventually there’s quiet. Eventually, there was just me.

I know my worth. I’m a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a colleague. I’m a concert-giving rockstar in the shower, a dancing queen while cooking, a 12-year old laying in the grass talking to bugs, an old woman conversing with the moon, a mermaid in the water, a gypsy, a writer, and just a girl. My value is a jar of pennies. Some are shiny, some dull. Some are new, some old.  Some worth a penny, some much more. I’ve spent a lifetime filling that jar. I don’t need to count the pennies or show them to anyone, I just need to smile and know I’ve got them. I paid my dues. I’ve earned me-time. And it’s time for the true adventures to begin…


*Garage sale, yard sale, rummage sale… what the heck is wrong with this country that we need 3 different way of saying “buy this crap I don’t want anymore”? And thanks to those on twitter who helped** me decide which to use.

**And by “help” I mean told. Told with force and a waving fist. #loveyamouse!


whiteoutIf you’re going through hell, keep going.
~Winston Churchill

Winter sucks. And by that, and what follows, I do not mean life sucks, just the winter portion. I’m sick of storms and snow and freezing rain and ice and now, this past week, you can add thunder-snow. It’s right up there with, well… it’s up there. Pretty high. Reason number one I relocated to a place that looks a lot like home, but with about four months less of winter.

And at some point during the last barrage of blizzards I had a bizarre thought. Life is a lot like winter.

Not that it is cold and heartless and never-ending. Nothing that grim. More like winter while you’re driving. Whether it’s the hypnotic snow of the image (above) or Pete-forbid “snow fog”, it can be difficult to see the road. Hard to know where you’re headed.

I find I hear my dad’s voice a lot lately, “Never follow someone’s taillights.” I respect the man who not only taught me to drive on ice, but also once made tracks through a blizzard for an ambulance—I sometimes wonder what happened to that patient. And I find his voice echoing even when I’m not driving. Because whether it’s snow, or ice, or rain, or just life, you should never follow someone taillights. Sure, they may get you where you’re going, but they may also lead you right into the ditch. Make your own path, follow the lines the best you can when you can see them, and slow your roll when you can’t.

But even when you slow your roll, keep going. Because really, what other option do you have? Pull over and wait? You can’t wait for life. You have to keep going, even if it’s just at a crawl, a snail’s pace, so slow it doesn’t register on your speedometer but fast enough not to kill you when the semi drives past and blinds you for a moment. You don’t slam on the brakes, you simply take your foot off the accelerator and coast until you can see again. Teeth gritted, breath held, but still moving forward, still coasting.

We can’t always see the road. We don’t always have a map. The future is a big scary unknown in the dark of night with questionable weather, but it’s there. Out there beyond the windshield. Around the next corner. It’s there. Waiting. And we all have a magical gas tank that doesn’t run out of fuel until the car itself is broke down on the side of the road waiting for a tow (okay, that may have been the thickest metaphor I’ve ever uttered, but you know what I’m saying).

It’s not Monday. It’s the beginning of a whole week. Another day. A mile-marker. And no matter how bad the roads are, how shitty the visibility, you have to get to the next mile-marker. You have to keep moving forward. Whether you’re driving at high speeds with the windows down and the radio up, or coasting while you squint at the edge of the road praying to see the line. Keep going.

And never follow someone else’s tracks…

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—· Scares that Care ·—
August 2-4, 2019

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