Thursday, September 20, 2012

AM~Erica Be Talk'n Like a Pirate

So anyway...

I almost wrote this blog post yesterday, but I decided it might have taken me forever to figure out how to word it all. If you didn't know, yesterday was the 10th anniversary of International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

So...did you talk like a pirate?
Did you dress like one?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you're doing it wrong. However, if you answered "aye" to one or both...then you might have gotten in on some free loot that were quietly or not-so quietly being offered if you participated.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts offered a free glazed donut to anyone who came in talking like a got a FREE DOZEN GLAZED DONUTS if you came dressed in full pirate attire. Any guesses what I got?

All I did was walk in, and they started getting my donuts ready. Seriously! Unshowered, no makeup & with coffee breath. You be more "authentic"...and being short on time. hehe

Then, as it warmed up thru the day, and after I was nice & got all cleaned up, I decided to make the pirate look more feminine:

That's right...that's how I roll on these fun-themed days! And if you know me well know I will get into it!

OK...I need you to stay with me. I promise I'm getting to what I need to say, you just need to know this part first...seriously.

Every week, my hubby & I do meal planning for when we go to the grocery store. This week, we somehow came up one dinner short. We figured we could pick something up thru the week, or see what everyone was wanting. Then it hit me yesterday...we could go out to eat! (Next year I might try to fix something...or not...keep reading...) Because my brain works the way it does, I brought up taking everyone to dinner at Long John Silver's! Duh! And I would still be dressed as a pirate. Duh!

So we went & the crew there were impressed that I was dressed up & that Lil Guy wore the pirate hat (see above pic...but without the flower). Well they challenged us to order in our best "pirate speak". Teen Girl was a no-go, she just ordered. Teen Boy took up the challenge & let a big scary pirate voice come out of him. Hubby ordered for lil guy & pirate speak. Then I stepped up...orderin' in pirate speak. The girl taking our order told me I should be her forensics teacher. *snort* But guess what! Because Teen Boy & I ordered like a pirate...we got 4 pieces of free fish (2 each) with our order!! WOOT!!

Not only do I love me a killer bargain, but I love me some free stuff, too!!

Krispy Kreme highly marketed their TLAP offer. I think it was GENIUS! I am surprised that Long John Silver's did not market so much. We went there just to go with the theme of the day...we had no idea we would get stuff from it.

I wonder how many more businesses may try to get on bandship (yeah, I went there) when it comes to TLAP Day. 

I remember being in St. Louis & wanting to go to the Pirate Fest they have outside of the Ren Fest. I wish they would do that in KC. Maybe on TLAP Day? Hmmmmm...

Now, a few years ago, Facebook added a language you could use for your own usage on your page & browsing. You can change the language that only you see to 'English (Pirate)'. I actually set it up on Tuesday night so that it would already be in use on Wednesday morning. Plus I changed my profile pic to my crazy gypsy friend, Madame Rue. Cuz she's the closest I had to a pic of anything close to a pirate.

I actually started with a different profile pic (I'm about to show you), and used this really big pic as my cover for the day:

(picture taken by Dunn's Cider Mill when I judged the annual scarecrow contest 2010 - winning entry) 

(photo sent to be by Nikki - taken to show me the new artwork at our high school alma mater)

You know...I was always really into stuff & could get into themey stuff for years. But not necessarily the "pirate" mascot part of my high school alma mater. That's right...I'm from a long line of pirates. It's in my blood. Apparently. But I always got into the purple & gold part of the spirit; not really the pirate part of the spirit. Go figure.

Since I really do like to get into characters &/or theme, it should be no surprise that every one of my Facebook & Twitter posts were in pirate speak. I was inspired by the official site of Talk Like a Pirate Day. There is a translator you can use...but it didn't help with everything I wanted, so I made do for a lot of it. And it was fun for me...might have been annoying to others. But that's how I roll. DUH!

I even had a name for my ship. I called her the Sea-Sick Crocodile. Then I asked, on Facebook, if anyone knew what the reference was to; if they knew I'd give them their very own pirate name. My friend, Michelle, got it right off the bat! And...I gave her the name of Snarly Shelly (not Snarling Smelly, like she thought at first *snort*).

I even added a great pirate tune from P!nk. Do you remember when she was on Spongebob? Every time I hear the song, I am so entertained by it!

Isn't that awesome???

OK, all...mark your calendar for next year! September 19th is the day to enjoy all things pirate! (fun pirates...not scary Somali pirates or terrorist types; stick with historical &/or fictional ones to be your best bet) Brush up on your pirate speak, find a Jolly Roger tshirt & wear a bandanna &/or an eye patch, then keep the other eye or a good ear out for any fun offers!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

AM~Erica Continues to Make a Statement

So anyway...

How did we all do on Monday raising Suicide Awareness? Did you wear yellow? Have you written "LOVE" on your wrist? I know that several of you have. I will be making a wrist montage to share soon. Thank you to all who sent your support & shared with me.

But here's a reminder: The week isn't over. This is SUICIDE AWARENESS WEEK. Even though Monday was Suicide Prevention Awareness Day, it needs to keep going. I have been writing "LOVE" on my wrist everyday. And I got thinking...I need to wear a shirt. We must stay loud & get louder with the I made 2 shirts. Let me share with you my step-by-step process.

1. Here's my inspiration:

2. I purchased 2 yellow tshirts (just because they were perfect & on clearance):

3. I got out fabric paint (black & the writing on my wrist), a pencil, paint sponge & paper towel.

4. I begin by figuring where I want my design on the shirt & then pencil it on.

5. Then begin tracing with the fabric paint then smudge with the paint sponge. I suggest focusing on 1 letter at a time:

6. Then use the 2nd color & smudge, like step 5.

7. Once done, let dry.

8. Then toss in the dryer on high for about 20-30 minutes to let the paint set better


9. Then wear to support the cause.

Always remember that you are worth something. Fox 4 in KC lost Don Harmon in November 2011 to suicide. They now have a depression campaign called "You Matter." I think it's very important.

So the rest of this week, please keep showing your support. From someone who's suicide attempt failed, there is more to live for. Really.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

AM~Erica Remembers

So anyway...

As I continue to urge everyone to support SUICIDE AWARENESS WEEK (thank you to everyone who showed their support was beautiful), I pause today for a very important remembrance: the 11th anniversary of September 11th.

Many of us will remember where we were when we heard about it & remember what played out the rest of that day & weeks to come. My heart still sinks & I still get so emotional seeing the images. It's like it just happened all over again.

Do you remember for that moment in time when we all came together as one nation? Side by side with each other? For that moment, it had everything to do with being an American, in the melting pot...not a divided political nation.

Today, 9-11, is unofficially known as Patriots Day. Not sure why it's still unofficial. We all know it will eventually become a federal holiday. It's all a matter of time. As it should be.

And as we do remember, as in Alan Jackson's song, where were you when the world stopped turning that September day? I was on my way to work. News had come on saying that a plane had hit one of the towers, but word outside of New York figured it was a private prop plane & that "it happens". Then...just a few moments later, the news came across that the other tower was hit by a plane & the information began to unfold that they were much larger aircraft than thought...and there were passengers involved. It may very well be a terrorist attack.

I remember getting to work & joining in the shock that had fallen over everyone. Where I worked, at the time, had a travel agency involved since we had a lot of travel that happened within the company. I remember the obliviousness of the head of the travel department...he came off the elevators...whistling. He had no idea what had happened. We turned on radios to keep up with what was going on. I remember standing around a coworker's cubicle as things developed...and the Pentagon had been hit. There were about 6 of us stand around. We all about collapsed from what we'd just heard.

My hubby was on a business trip & was scheduled to come back that day. I had already been on the phone with his job to figure out how we were going to get him back home with the near-simultaneous shutdown of airports nation-wide. My hubby saw what was happening on California...excited to get home while being shocked by what he saw on the screen. He had no thought process that it might actually effect his travel plans back home. I was so relieved to talk to him on the phone, but expressed my concern about travel. I told him I'd already been on the phone with his boss' wife to figure something out. We discussed taking a train, but didn't know how that would work. Good thing...a couple of trains were taken over & derailed, too. So...rental car places had to do something they don't like to do...allow travelers to use the rentals as the main transportation to get them home. It took my hubby 2 days, but he drove to Missouri from California in a rental car. I had never been so relieved to have him back home.

It was a scary time. As parents, it was difficult to explain to young children what was happening. Teen Boy was almost 4; Teen Girl was 5 & in school. Since the internet was still very new in it's was baffling to see the images. And horrifying. So to see the video of everything when I got home to watch TV...with the kids...without my hubby...was devastating. I could just hug my kids & cry. It's all I could do. And remembering hearing on the radio when the towers began to collapse.

The lives lost...the city that was in total apocalyptic devastation...awful.

Not just the pictures of police & firefighters that had to step up that took my heart out of my chest...I think back to Teen Boy at that time. He was this adorable little guy with big glasses & a speech impediment wanting to be a firefighter. We needed to find firefighter gear & stuff for his birthday...but you couldn't find anything with firemen. Until 9/11...then (and still) you could find firefighter gear EVERYWHERE!!! Figures. But that was a positive that came out of it.

I also remember the pictures of people standing on ledges of the towers, just instantly giving up...and jumping...just plummeting to their death that they figured was coming anyway.

It because of the above paragraph that I am in awe that 9/11 is during Suicide Awareness Week. We saw it happening on TV...even live. There are people who made it it's sad to think these people, in that moment, figuring it was all over & took care of what they thought was the inevitable on their own. That is tragic. It's tragic all of the lives that were lost because they were trapped, or hit. I cannot even imagine that...or what their families still go thru. But the jumpers could have made it out & told their story of what happened. We will never get their side of it. They didn't take the chance of the thought they might still have a chance at life. With the thousands that were killed during & because of the attacks...many, MANY made it. We get to hear their stories. That's what helps us attempt to understand what went on during such a horrific act. Civilians, police & firefighters became soldiers in their own right during that situation...and then heros. There were those who died heros, too. But to take your own life in the midst of the spontaneous [to the public] crisis is so disheartening. I can't even imagine their families witnessing what's going on & then realizing your loved one just jumped off the World Trade Center.

People, it was thru all of this that we came together. We were patriotic together. It didn't matter what color, religion, sexuality, size, nationality...or political party we were...we stood as true Americans, side-by-side, cheering each other on to fight for the good of our country.

The mastermind behind it, bin Laden, was determined to tear down our economy & our country. It's 11 years later. Guess the fear that he succeeded? HE'S DEAD NOW & still reaping the benefits of his horrendous & cowardice act...and we are allowing it. How divided are we? How are we economically? The worst part is that we are having a near civil war about it. What happened to flying our flags & being patriotic? Poo flinging of politics because it's an election year? This is what we've come to.

As we focus on today...the meaning behind it...what happened with the bonding between Americans...what good has come of it as we live right now?

The nastiness ensuing during the political war...who's really ahead? I'm concerned it's the terrorists. When you make your pouty right-wing/left-wing posts just trying to tear down other American ideals...think about the divisiveness that bin Laden had hoped for stemming from the 9/11 attacks. Are we better country now?


Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica (<= and I mean this whole-heartedly)

Monday, September 10, 2012

AM~Erica is Wearing Yellow

So anyway...

I made an observation not too long ago. It had to do with the color yellow in songs I've heard over the years. The color, itself, is usually bright & cheery with a lot of energy. Am I right? Yet the songs containing the color seem to be very chill & mellow. Generally, though, the songs & the color tend to be very memorable & leave you very happy.

That's why I think it's a good color to wear today & thru this week. See, today, September 10th,  is World Suicide Awareness Day...and the awareness continues thru this week. It has been raised since there have been so many more in the last few years. Most of the awareness has come from the bullying and NOH8 movements, which I also FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT, and it generally surrounds the LGBT community. But these movements truly transcend just that community. And the suicide rates have also jumped with the low economy including the loss of jobs & self confidence. There is so much more behind some of these people doing so. A black & dark cloud of evil just swallows you. It really does appear to be no way out. People with forms of depression & some mental illness fight this a lot. There's those who attempt suicide & fail...and...the ones who sadly succeed. That is one success I would hope we never truly want to achieve.

When I talked about Mother's Day, I shared a bit of my battle with depression, and COVERED IT A BIT MORE since then.

With this week being Suicide Awareness Week, I thought I'd kick off the week with another  confession about myself: I survived my own attempt. Only a tiny few know about this until right now. Shocked?

I went thru a rough time in high school. I was a horrible teenager. But I had dark things going on that even I didn't know about. Dates & years of the stuff that happened are gone from my head, but I remember them happening. One of those times was my suicide attempt.

Let me just say that I am a wuss. I'm not kidding. So, I didn't want to physically harm myself. So...I decided to overdose on whatever I could find. With one can of Coca Cola, I took a pill with every drink or two. It's a blur in my mind, but I remember asprin being part of the mix, I couldn't tell you the rest. I literally took at least one of everything I could find in the house. And I had enough medication to last me thru the whole can of Coke. I was hoping I could just lay down after that & let the messed-up-mixture take effect & just take me. Instead, I was vomiting for 2 days straight. I missed school because of it, but I didn't reach the ultimate goal I was truly striving for. I failed...luckily.

Looking where I'm at now, I realize there were things ahead of me that I had to finish. Like my husband & children. They never would have come about if I'd succeeded in such an awful action. My hubby may never have answered God's call to ministry if I had not been there to help him answer it. (Side Note: He's a darn good preacher, too! That's not just biased opinion either. Come check out his anointed messages sometime, especially if you haven't already.) And? There are many of you I would never have gotten to meet or know. It's amazing having each of you in my life, no matter how you made it here into my craziness.

Another part of the suicide prevention for the LGBT community is "It Gets Better." Well, again, that can be said across the board. It might seem like it won't...but it will. Keep going...there is a light. My life is crazy, it's trying, and it's GOOD!

It's always good to know there is a support system for you. And you have one. I'm glad I do since I still struggle with the thoughts sometimes. I know where I failed & I know how I would do it "next time"...I can visualize it & feel it when I'm so down. But my plan is that there won't be a "next time". As I am putting this out for all to read, I don't want to succeed in taking my own life. I have a lot to plan for & move forward with that includes family & friends.

Thus far, I have been totally quiet about my "past". Like I said, such a tiny few knew about my attempt...maybe 2 or 3 people. It's not something I just work into conversation. Even with a couple of other friends that I know who have tried to take their own lives...I talk them thru it without ever revealing the idea that I truly understand.

It's also a reason that I get heartbroken & frustrated with flippant "jokes" telling someone to kill themselves. It's crass. I'm sure that's the point...but there really are people who take that to heart. Suicide is one of the subjects I feel should never work its way into a joking & light-hearted manner. There is nothing light-hearted about the heaviness of the world on the shoulders of the one with those thoughts of taking their own life.

Today is World Suicide Awareness Day. You are asked to wear yellow &/or write "LOVE" on your wrist to raise awareness that we are all beautiful & that there is a light in every one of us. Since it is a whole awareness week, and if you missed it today...please participate at some point this week. You are now aware that you know someone who attempted...but did not succeed. Luckily. In this sense, it's good to be a failure.

Join me. Whether you view the color yellow as bright, electric & cheery, or if you see it as laid-back, easy-breezy &'s loved & memorable. So are you.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica