Graffiti | Buttercup of Doom ep 43

BODep43-graffitiAvailable FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In
and now available on Google Play Music

From spray paint on buildings and brick to ink on flesh, graffiti is all around us, balancing between art and statement and vandalism. Whether you like it or not. Whether you approve or not. Whether society is ready or not… This week we look at graffiti in fiction, physical and metaphorical, in neighborhoods, and in spirit on the body. A short episode, because well, I get a holiday weekend too. Enjoy!

Oh, and for all the writer’s out there, put your “bloody shoe description” here.

Sponsors: Project iRadio’s Patreon Page | Kelli Owen Patreon Page | Arm & Toof

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

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: The Horror Show w/ Brian Keene  • Ben Chen: flicker or FBBanksyDavid ZinnSheppard FaireyKeith HaringAnonymousSarah Sheetz @ Wandering CanvasBenjamin Lloyd  •

Hashtag Hell: #tattoos #scars #qweequeg #mobydick #threadless #anonymous #graffiti #vandalism #gang #tag #gypsy #hobo #smiley #swastika #kings #crips #bloods #banksy #brokenwindowtheory #newyork #nyc #detroit #LA #roku #patreon #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: #moviesVSbooks #keene …and your suggestions?!

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

Nerf the World | Buttercup of Doom ep 32

BODep32-nerftheworldAvailable FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In

Knee pads, elbow pads, brain pads… there’s no adventure left in childhood. No stitches. No scars. No proof of survival. No stories to tell… We’ve bubblewrapped an entire generation, mentally and physically, accepted trigger words, created safe places, and Nerfed the World*

This week, I talk about bleeding on the page vs exorcising demons for public consumption, the disappearance of adventures and scars from childhood, and how much blood is really necessary for a bandaid. Join me, and find out WTF all those hashtags are for…

Sponsors: The Horror Show with Brian Keene | Bizzong (also, as promised: bizzong on FB and Books, Beer & Bullshit Frank’s “other” podcast) | Project iRadio’s Patron Page

Suggestions/Requests: none this week (to suggest/request, use the form here)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Joe Rogan on Marijuana* | The Neighborhood (The Ravine) | BOD ep 2

Hashtag Hell: #bleedonthepage #muse #bubblewrap #nerftheworld #scars #weapons #playgrounds #schoolshootings #iphone #playboy #adventure #seatbelts #creepycrawlers #helmets #kneepads #stitches #latchkeykids #triggerwarnings #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

This Week’s Rating: R (it went all to hell with the language this week) buttercup ratings system info here



“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far”

~ Irish Blessing

Ah yes, all those times we should have shut our mouths and actually listened to what was being said to us. With an open mind. Either by others or our own internal narrators. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Hindsight, that’s the crux. Learning after mistakes rather than in lieu of them. Hindsight that could have easily been foresight but for the lack of insight. If we even learned something from them…

My mom rocks. Sure you guys hear me say that a lot, but you need to understand just how serious I am. Those that have met her will agree 100%. Those that haven’t should be jealous. She’s full of hindsight that can be turned into insight, and yes, foresight. And after one particularly important phone call last spring I went and found this image. And then summer happened and life got insane and I forgot all about it until today.

The thing with hindsight is that it comes with an evil step-sister, fear. Fear is a funny thing. Hindsight makes you feel silly. Fear makes you pause. Keeps you from moving. It holds you in its clutches and preys on your worry to do exactly as it wants: nothing. Hindsight and fear work in tandem to pick scabs rather than letting things scar over.

Fear never met my mom.

During that phone call last spring, I requested she be a friend, rather than a mom, and had one of those really serious adult conversations we have with our parents as we age—you know, like the one where you realize you didn’t know everything, they weren’t stupid, and you are compelled to apologize… sometimes through laughter, sometimes tears. As is true of the wisest woman I know, she was dead-on accurate with both her assessment and advice. And I’m old enough and wise enough myself, to listen to advice when I hear it. One particular gem from that day is this week’s garage talk: Forgive yourself.

She told me to forgive any and all guilt associated with anything in the past that I didn’t actually have control over. To let it go. To clear the blackboard of misplaced blame and be able to move forward. It wasn’t about forgiving those who had wronged me, but forgiving myself for being naive, for listening, for believing, for falling for whatever I should have been wise enough to see for what it was. I listened. I heard her. I nodded, though she couldn’t see me. And when I hung up I sat quietly and contemplated what exactly she meant and how to put it into effect. Hindsight. That’s what it boiled down to. Accepting hindsight and moving forward with it tied up in a pretty little bow, a Bitter Box™ of sorts. A lesson learned. A hindsight to be used as foresight for future situations that may be similar.

For garage talk this week there is no question. I want no stories or tall tales, no tears or anger. I don’t want to know what you chose, only that you chose. Nothing beyond that silent nod I won’t see. This week, I want you all to forgive yourself for some 20/20 hindsight mistake.

Get your coffee. Go sit on the stoop, porch, couch, wherever, and think of one thing from your past that that holds you, but has no business doing so. Forgive something you feel guilty or stupid about, something that shouldn’t be a scab from but a well-healed scar. Something unhealthy to your psyche, to your chi. Perhaps that one thing that is forever a trigger of anger or anguish. It’s in the past. Let it be the past. Allow yourself to have been wronged or a victim or just plain naive about something. Forgive yourself for whatever it was and your part in it.

And then move forward…

In the Beginning

rocker200…I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there.

I wasn’t at my birth either, though I’ve heard the story and it’s quite humorous.

No, the consciousness that is me, wasn’t actually around until about the time of this picture. And yes, that IS me—I’ve always had those dark-ass gypsy eyes and fake smile.

Life, for me, began on a very specific night. I don’t remember much of anything that came before—only faded recollections of memories too far gone and long forgotten to be anything remotely clear. My existence before that night consists of running watercolor canvases filled with the blur of three dogs, the bars of my sister’s crib, and monster-sized blue bottle flies on a window sill. I vaguely recall the smell of a house whose interior I can’t picture, and the surroundings of a glass-topped fishing lure case I apparently danced on with my black patent-leather shoes. And I remember once remembering the chimes of a cuckoo-clock, which mom said was at a babysitter’s, but I don’t remember the sitter or her house, and only “just” recalled that she had a son I later went to school with.

No, me and the memories that make up me started one dark (though not stormy) night.

We had just moved into a new apartment. I don’t remember where we came from, or the act of moving in, I just remember that night, that place.

The apartment had those old ginormous cast-iron radiators. I was standing next to one taller than me, holding the teddy bear my grandfather gave me—which I still have, upstairs, on the dresser. I stared out the window at the moon. It was huge. Bigger than me, my family, our new apartment. Bigger than life as I knew it. Around me were smells I still remember clearly—and almost fainted at when I moved into a new apartment after my divorce and was hit with similar smells thirty years later. The apartment of my beginning had lots of woodwork. Old varnish, new polish, life absorbed by the grains and held tight in the knots—it had a smell.

And a sound. But the sound wasn’t the wood. It was my grandfather, on his hands and knees, pounding the nails down in each and every floorboard to make sure they were flush and wouldn’t hurt our tender little feet. Our. Because even though I don’t remember her that night, I know my sister was there. Probably sleeping in her crib.

That was the night my life started. With the sounds and smells of my mother making coffee in the kitchen wafting through the apartment and mingling with the smell of  wood and sound of grandpa hammering. And the moon. My moon. The gypsy’s moon that hangs in that sky every night and calls to me with its secrets and wise silence. The moon I’ve gone back to time and again.

I remember so many things, from big events to tiny details, from that day forward. That’s where I fell in the mud as a ghost for Halloween. That’s where I cracked my head open on the sidewalk thanks to Billy and Kong. That’s where the lilac tree lived across the street, Trina had a better tan, a mime lived downstairs, the Cottons across the yard, kindergarten started eventually, and grandma lived across the alley—where she made lovely green ice cream drinks for the adults but wouldn’t let the kids have any. It was where grandma made me sit on the Sears catalog because I was short, and then ran me to Sears for portraits when I fell down the stairs and got two black eyes, because that’s how we roll in my family. I remember a ton. Mostly good. Very little bad. My mom’s 8-tracks (sorry for shredding those), and an album with a fairy tale on the cover or a wolf or something that my mind turned into a fairy tale. I remember the claw-foot tub and being afraid to flush at night because I was convinced the monster that belonged to those feet would come up and eat me. I remember “the vice” (sorry Jen), and the awesome-tube, and hiding behind the couch when the wicked witch appeared on Wizard of Oz. Lasagna and mom’s friends. Climbing in the bathroom window because mom liked to forget her keys. Laying in bed listening to the sounds outside, and the voices inside. I remember…

But nothing concrete before it. Nothing solid before that moon and the sound of grandpa making my world safe.

Sometimes, feeling safe is more important that we realize. It can become the beginning as we know it. Sometimes, we take advantage of or get comfortable with the fact that we’re safe. And only realize it when we reach an end. Sometimes, the moon needs to wink and remind us to appreciate it, or seek it out, or spread it to others. Because even when the clouds cover the moon and the comfort of a teddy bear is outgrown, safety is still there, still whispered, in the quiet presence of memory, and everyone should have a beginning.


bear“Adding insult to injury…”
~Anonymous Idiom

Sometimes, random things happen. Sometimes, random twitches are shown in public. Sometimes, random things are said. And Sometimes, I steal them… for character flaws, story ideas, and yes, blog entries.

Kram had a friend over last weekend. Not one of our 70’s Show regulars, but a new boy. Nice kid. Talked weapons and ancient Japanese warfare with Hippie for a while and seems to get the house rules (I don’t care whose kid you are…my house, my rules, and I will beat you with a flipflop if necessary).

I’m not sure what conversation was going on in the house, or how it led to the following, but said child wandered out to the green couch, plopped down in a chair, and point-blank asked, “What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to your head?”

I raised an eyebrow.

“What’s the worst accident or injury you got on the head?”

Hmmm… Interesting question. And before I answered the question, I declared, “I’m stealing that for the blog!” So here it is. What is the worst injury you’ve ever received to the noggin? And to go with today’s chosen quote, how’d you get it? Was it your fault? Got scars? (Because scars are cooler than milk). Tell me a tale of pain and blood and bandages and stitches and whatever else you got…

Me? Ohhh I have two that come to mind. The first one I was 5 years old. Billy Stock, kiddy-corner from us, and I had just finished watching King Kong. He was Kong, I was Fay Wray. I was pretend screaming and walking backwards and he stumbled zombie-style toward me. And then I tripped. I fell straight back and bounced off a broken piece of sidewalk that was jutting up from the ground. I cried, yelled something at Billy about how it was all his fault, and started to walk back to the babysitters… because yes, traditionally as a kid, if I got injured it was while with a babysitter. Halfway there, about the second house in a very short trip four houses down, I pulled my hand away from my head and saw that my entire arm was covered in blood. Then it’s kind of a blur. There was a towel. There was the hospital floor (I think I was on one of those face-down tables). There was a lollipop from the bottom right drawer of the admin’s desk (because yes, by that point and well beyond it, I knew where the lollipops were stashed at the emergency room). I had stitches. I forgave Billy. I still have a love/hate relationship with King Kong.

The second was an even bigger blur. I was in my early teens. Tomboy. Playing street hockey with the guys, as goalie. I saw the puck coming. Then I was flat on my back with faces above me. That’s it. Nothing in between. I had a lovely dent on my forehead and my jaw hurt (I’m sure my teeth slammed together). I didn’t blame any of them. I still played hockey. No stitches required, though I probably had a concussion… I honestly don’t remember much more than oh-shit-puck-coming and then faces above me.

So? What did you do? How’d you do it? I’m betting mine are actually boring. Normal childhood injuries, well, except maybe the King Kong part. One with no evidence it ever happened, and the scar from the other is hidden underneath all this hair. But that’s what I’ve got. Now what’s yours?

Due North

moralcompassAs is the case with many blog entries lately, this was spurred by a chat in the garage. It’s a place of deep conversations and highly emotional rants and gigglefests of pure speculation. Last night it ranged from religion to the gas station and back again.

Apparently, I have “an extremely high moral compass.” Seems if you want to give back the incorrect change the clerk gave you, or any of the other things listed to me, you have a high moral compass. But the conversation turned, and it wasn’t about the compass anymore. It was about the points on the compass. Or rather, who they point to.

Fine, I have a high moral compass. Blame my mom, I do for almost everything anyway. I’m comfortable with it. It’s kept me out of trouble on countless occasions, including a few I clearly remember wishing it didn’t exist for. But it’s MY moral compass. It’s what points me north or south, right or wrong. It’s there to keep me straight, not judge others. And it has shocked me (a few times in the past) to find out that “fear of my judgement” because of my “high moral compass” is possible. Really? This is me. Everyone talks to me, tells me secrets, confides—because above all else, I’m loyal. And shouldn’t that loyalty automatically mean I won’t judge? It’s not my place to judge—it’s my place to love.

Oh wait… Thursday… there should be a question. Sorry, I got all rambly there. I could do a whole blog on judging, which turned into it’s own conversation and moved locations and oy… Hmmm… Ok, how about this:

Do you have a compass? Nah, that’s a given, even if it’s a little broken one, you’ve still got one. Ok, how about: Where’d you get it from? Does your moral compass come from your upbringing? Your faith? Your experiences? Your desires to be a certain way? How did you come to the morals that you hold yourself by?

I guess I answered before I asked this week. I got them from my mom, but also from experiences. There are certain things I will never ever evah do, because they were done to me. They hurt on a level that can never be properly expressed and I would never want to a.) be responsible for making someone feel like that, b.) sink to the level of those that did it to me. My compass is part mom, part me—but sorry, no pink elephant. I personally don’t think an invisible entity threatening my afterlife is a good enough reason to behave in this life. I live the way I do because before I die, I have to live… with myself.

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