Sunday, October 30, 2011


I have tried, tried, tried to come up with some sort of Halloween story from growing up and I for the life of me cannot remember anything out of the normal trick or treating that ever happened to me.  I think that on last years’ Halloween show, I mentioned my experiences with Rocky Horror and Ouija boards.  And while trying to plan this episode, all I could think about was Rocky Horror and the Ouija boards which confirmed to me, Halloween really isn’t my thing.

So I put some thought into what sort of spooky, weird thing could I talk about.  Then I figured, I would talk about my thoughts on the paranormal.  Again, I know some of y’all think it’s made up stuff, but I feel that there is something out there.  I don’t feel that when we die, that’s it.  I have no proof, but I know what I feel and what I have experienced.

I have always had a fascination with things unknown, except aliens.  I have no interest in aliens.  It stems from something I saw when I was eleven or twelve years old.  I was lying in bed and it was pretty quiet, with the exception of the low buzz of the TV in the living room.  Something made me turn over and look at the closet.  There was a sizable misty thing floating there.  It has a face, I felt it was male.  And I panicked.  I pulled my covers over my head and thought in my head, “Go away!  Go away!  Go away!”   I peeked my head out and it was gone.  This also started my need to have a radio or TV on when I go to sleep.  Somewhere in my twelve year old mind, the music kept the ghost away.

The next night, I kept looking over to the closet area to see if the mystery man and he didn’t reappear.  I was so relieved.  I was too old to tell my mommie that I was seeing the boogie man or whatever.  But she probably wouldn’t be surprised being that I was her child that was scared of Herman Munster walking through his front door, Thriller with Michael Jackson, and Ghostbusters.  Yes, Ghostbusters.  The next night I still looked for the ghost man and again nothing.  I think it was a week before I stopped looking.  I think the night I didn't consciously think about the ghost man, I crawled into bed and curled up with my pillow.  I was half asleep when I got that, "I should turn around" feeling again.  I refused to turn over.  I didn’t want to turn around.  But then something happened that made me turn around.  Something grabbed my foot.  And it didn't really feel like a hand, it was cold and almost claw like.  Or maybe someone with long finger nails.  I turned over so fast, I almost fell out of bed.  There was nothing there.  I got up and turned on the light, looked under my bed, I have no idea what happened.  This occurrence made me extremely curious as to what I saw and what the hell touched my foot!

I would check books out at libraries and read as much as I could and look at as many pictures I could get my hands on.  I think part of my curiosity was I didn’t want to be crazy.  This led into my fascination with séances and witches.  At some point, I tried to have a séance to contact Elvis with my friend Trishauna and my sister.  When I asked, "Elvis, are you here?"  My sister promptly said in her best Elvis, "No, I'm upstairs, taking a crap."  That ended that séance.

My pal Shannon, whom I talked about in my last post, and I were convinced we had some sort of power.   We had found a book on spells somewhere and in it was a spell to stop the rain.  We were in the middle of a drought so we changed the words around to stop the heat and bring on the rain.  It was such a coincidence that it started raining an hour later.  And not just a sprinkle, a full blown thunder storm.   It became our little secret that we were witches.  We would collect stones said to have healing powers and read books on using the elements on talking to the dead and casting spells.  No, we didn’t do drugs.  We were impressionable 14 year old girls reading too much teen fiction.  

All joking aside, my interest in the paranormal has continued and I am still curious about things I see and hear.  I enjoy a lot of shows like Ghost Adventures (which i affectionately call the douchebag show), Ghost Hunters, and Dead Files.  And with recent dreams I have had, it has me more intrigued.  I don’t know that I could do a ghost hunt; the thought of hearing a voice or seeing something petrifies me.  I'm afraid I won't like what I hear and see.  Maybe someday I will grow the balls to go to a haunted house.  Or, I will let the professionals do it on TV.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'll Make a Man Out of You

I was having a bit of a problem coming up with something to talk about and took to the Twitters and Google + to see if I could milk my listener pals for ideas.  My non-sexual life partner Bjorn gave me the idea of talking about trips I have taken or meeting people.  Then I realized that tomorrow is an old friend of mine’s birthday.  And although I have talked about Shannon before, I thought I could go a little more into detail of our friendship and things we did as kids.

A refresher on when Shannon and I met.  We were in the seventh grade.  He mother was an aide for our middle school and she had transferred back.  Shannon was and is a gorgeous girl and was dating my crush Michael.  A side note to Michael is my mom kinda dated his father when I was in high school.  Moving on.  Michael and I talked a lot about his drawing.  Not only was he cute he was an artist.  Shannon confronted me on trying to steal her man.  And me, not being one for confrontation, caved and said oh no, we’re just friends, we talk about art.  And through that, we because close friends and I was close with her parents and younger brother.

A little back story before I get into my first Shannon story.  When I was 13, I met the first love of my life David and his friend Mike.  They were 15 and soooo dreamy.  I think initially, David and my pal Janessa were trying to hook Mike and me up, but neither of us were interested.  But Mike and I turned out to be great friends for a good amount of time.  I thought Mike and Shannon would be a great couple and I made it so. 

The three of us hung out together a lot, but I did know when to make myself scarce.  A lot of dinners, movies, or just hanging out at Shannon’s house.  If there were nights Shannon couldn’t come out, Mike and I would go park in some random parking lot and listen to really bad music.  Mostly Bon Jovi.  He would try and teach me the “joys” of Metallica and talk about how he wanted an Acura Integra.  On the weekends from time to time when Mike had to work, Shannon and/or I would go hang out with him as they closed.  One Friday, my stepdad was going to take  us, but as he drove out of the drive way, the brakes went out on the car.  So Shannon and I hopped on the bus.  We came to find out that the bus wasn’t going its usual route and dropped us off about two miles down the road from the Round Table Pizza Mike worked at.  In order to get there, we had to walk over this bridge that had no lighting.  We were scared that someone was going to come grab us.  So we marched down the road “singing” Ace of Base.  And by singing, I mean loudly screeching.  And we were laughing so hard we almost peed our pants.  But that’s how we rolled; that’s kind of how I roll now. 

When we were sixteen, Shannon had just returned from living in Colorado for a year and her parents needed to go back and pick up some little things that were left behind and invited me to go along.  So Shannon and I climbed into the back seat of their black Pinto station wagon with red interior and we headed up to Grandby, Colorado.  I can say that I have seen the Rocky Mountains and they are quite amazing. 

Once night, on our way to Colorado, we stopped in St. George, Utah.  We were sleeping in a motel 6 or similar.  Shannon and I in one bed, parent in the other, and Ricky (the little brother) on the floor.  At some point in the night, Shannon threw her arms around me and mumbled in her sleep that she would make a man out of me.  I started laughing so hard, I woke he up.  It became the long running joke of the trip how Shannon was gonna make a man out of me yet. 

From St. George we made our way to Virgin River, Nevada.  On the way there, Shannon’s dad, whose name is Dave but I called Cliff joked that he was going to throw us in the Virgin River and if we sank, he knew who was a good girl and who wasn’t.  And while the parents were betting their nickels in, us kids played in the arcade, had $4.99 prime rib dinners, and crashed in the hotel. 

When we finally made it to Grandby, the parents showed me around the very small town.  Took me to little shops, and basically made me fall in love with the place.  I got to meet Shannon’s friends she made in Colorado where they took us out and I bought cigarettes and felt super cool because she didn’t even card me.  We went to some random guys house and drank Coors.  Shannon told me if we sucked on pennies, the parents wouldn’t be able to smell the beer on us.  So like fools, we sucked on dirty pennies.  BARF!  The parents may have known, but didn’t say anything. 

On the drive back from Colorado, Shannon and I decided that we were going to start a band and call it Greg after one of her hot guy friends.  I had found a touristy Sherriff Greg pin at a gas station and of course we had to buy one.  After a while, we both got a little sad.  Shannon missed her pals in Colorado, and I had fallen in love with the place, I was sad to be leaving. 

Shannon and I shared an affinity for music; all kinds.  We used to listen to everything from Pearl Jam, Hole, Elvis, to Garth Brooks all in the same night.  For my graduation, I was given Alanis Morrisette tickets and I took her.  When Violent Femmes came to town, we drove down to the club and rocked out on the beach outside. 

Shannon is in Idaho somewhere with her now husband and their two and a half children.  I said in my show about girlfriends that i wished we were still as close, but things happen, people grow apart.  I am also questioning her taste in music now a days.  But I will always have a genuine fondness for her and hope she's having a happy birthday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I am hesitant to discuss this next topic.  But because I have upset some people with my comments, I feel the need to apologize and give my side of the story.  

The Podcast Awards are going on and a few of my fellow podcasting pals have been nominated.  So I want to first congratulate Ramble Redhead, Cocktails and Cream Puffs, Pod is My Copilot, and Greetings From Nowhere for their nominations.  If you listen to these shows you can participate at and vote for  them.  

Here is where my outlook on this isn't so popular.  My goal has always been to interact with people and get to know them.  That is how I choose the shows I listen to.  I enjoy getting to know the hosts and hearing about their lives.  I have found that in the last four years I have been involved in podcasting, this award show turns a lot of my favorite shows into 30-60 minute campaign speeches and the constant reminders of how I need to vote makes my online life miserable.  The worst part for me is having three of my favorite shows nominated in one category.  I don't want to pick who I like more because they are three different shows that I listen to for three different reasons.  I am afraid that someones' feelings will get hurt.  I don't want to be responsible for that.  Podcasting is supposed to be fun and this is not fun to me.  The only positive I can see coming out of this is more exposure for  Which, in my opinion, deserves the recognition for bringing us all together.  

I know that I made some bitchy comments on Twitter and Google + and they have made people feel bad.  For that I am so very sorry.  I do wish my fellow podcasters the best of luck and I do vote everyday, I just won't tell you who I vote for.  Except for Greetings for Nowhere, those are my girls and they are not competing against any of the other shows I enjoy.

Now with that crap out of the way.

So Derek went for his physical for work and came back with some concerning news.  Now Derek is 5'7" and a huge 138 pounds.  But the nurse informed Derek that his blood pressure was very high.  I believe he said it was 159/90.  I about fell out of my chair.  And with just finding out that one of the contributing factors of my father's death was his blood pressure, I panicked.  Even his parents got loud with him, and they never do.  So I told Derek my fears and explained that he needed to do something about it.  He gave me his same sing song of yeah yeah he'll get to it.  I lost it.  I think me getting loud and pointing out things about how he was feeling that he didn't know I knew, like the getting dizzy when he stands up, really got to him.  And for the last few days, he hsa been trying to wake up at decent times, exercise, and not live on what junk food is within walking distance.  He is also going to try to quit smoking, which I love the idea of.  He stinks most of the time.  bleck.

Other than that, life has been very ho-hum.  Work is great, I am still swimming almost everyday.  And we're getting Derek ready to start work in November.  I think he's pretty excited that he doesn't have to wear a uniform and he will be making a considerable amount of money.  All he wants to do is take care of me and he told me that this gives him the opportunity to do so.  Made me feel good to see him so confident and happy.

So I close out this post with a happy birthday to my pal Nought.  He is 36 today and will always be older than me.  Many happy returns to you my dear.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I took last weekend off from doing the little show, things got extremely hard for me.  And not in the fun way.  I guess I should start with the dream I had.

Now I know some of you don't believe in a higher power, some of you do, and some of you think psychics are charlatans.  I; however, believe there is something out there beyond our understanding, and while some people claim to have some sort of powers, I do believe some people have gifts.  And I do believe that people who have passed do try to contact you.

When I initially started my anti-depressants, I didn't have one single dream I could remember.  I did go to my doctor's to have my dosage adjusted because I was becoming lethargic and numb.  And while I don't want to feel heartache and pain, I would rather feel that versus nothing.

After a few days of the lower dosage, I had a dream that if I hadn't woken up, I would have sworn it was real.  My sister and I were working in a Jack in a Box, but we were owners or a higher up person because we were dressed in business attire.  My sister came to my office and said, "He's here to talk to you."  I asked her if he had talked to her and she said yes.  I walked out into what looked like a hospital waiting room, but was still a Jack in the Box.  There was two men sitting together, laughing.  One older than the other.  I walked up to the younger and cleared my throat.  He looked at me, and it was like looking into my own eyes.  I knew it was my father.  I stuck my hand out and introduced myself.  He laughed and said, "I know who you are."  I said something like, well I haven't seen you in 17 years, I wasn't sure if you would.

He looked at me sternly and said we need to talk and I agreed.  He got up and started walking out the door.  He walked with a limp, but walked fast.  I walked out the door into what looked like a hospital, or maybe a hotel hallway.  My father had walked to a set of double doors that you would find in any major grocery store and I followed.  I was yelling, "Hey, I want answers, I want to know where you were."  We walked through the doors that looked like a parking lot full of green cars.  He turned and said "I was in the middle of nowhere."  Then turned and kept walking.  I again yelled, "I want answers, I want to know why you left."  He turned and kinda laughed and said, "Why does it matter, I'm dead."  I kind of stared at him and stuttered that I deserved to know.  He said, "Vanessa, you deserve a great deal, but you will never get it from me."  Then I woke up.  And when I woke up, I was more stunned that I had waken up in my own bed then the dream I had.

So a few days had passed and the box the coroner sent with my father's belongings arrived.  I wanted to tear it open right away, but couldn't bring myself to do it.  i got some reassurance from my twitter pals that it would be ok to wait until I was ready.  I made it to later that night.  The first thing i pulled out was a picture of a grade school class with five or six older men sitting in with them.  I finally see a picture of my father after 17 years of not really remembering what he looked like.  I handed the picture to Derek and asked him to pick out which one was my father.  I had to be sure I recognized the right man.  Derek said, this is him, you have the same eyes.  Looking at additional pictures, my father had a cane.  He had knee surgery that affected how he walked.  He was also in a wheel chair at some point.  It could be a coincidence that my father had a limp in my dream, but he didn't have one the last time I saw him, why would I give him one in my dream?

Also in the box was pictures of eagles, pictures of military ships, his wallet, photo albums, his hat, his vest, his bible, his jewelry box, a collection of military pins, five or six zippo lighters with eagles on them, an eagle belt buckle, a few random craft things he made.  And as I went through everything, I felt nothing.  I really felt like I just got a random stranger's things in the mail.  Essentially that is what it was.

Then there was his medical records from when he moved to Wyoming and going to the VA hospital there.  What I read was extremely heartbreaking.  My father was severely mentally and physically ill.  He was physically and mentally abused as a child and his father was an alcoholic.  There was mention of multiple suicide attempts, hearing a voice that told him to kill himself, was on drugs for everything from cholesterol to psychosis.  He did reference my sister and I a few times.  He initially said he was afraid of physically hurting us.  He also said he felt guilty for leaving us and losing contact.  He was most recently diagnosed with agoraphobia and wouldn't leave his house, even to go to the doctors.  He had a case worker that had to check on him every so often just to make sure he was alive and taking care of himself.  Which is how they found out he passed away.

At this point, I still hadn't found out how my father passed and the death certificate was not in the box.  I called the coroner and asked for her to either send it or call and tell me how he went.  With everything in his medical records, I was 99% sure that I was going to be told he overdosed and it wouldn't be an accident.

I received his death certificate in the mail yesterday.  I have never been so relieved to be wrong.  He had a heart attack.  And while it can be explained that he did it to himself due to his horrible diet and pack and a half a day habit, he didn't swallow a ton of pills or whatever form of suicide he could have chosen.  And while I am not happy that my father is dead, I am so damn happy I was wrong.

I also received a letter from the cemetery his ashes were buried in that every quarter they have a ceremony for soldiers who did not have a ceremony when they were buried.  They played taps, shot the guns, read his name, rank, and place of birth, and presented a flag in his honor.  That gave me some comfort because I felt guilty that no one was there when he was buried.  No one was there to show any love, grief, or support.  And while my father and I did not have any sort of relationship, he was still a human being who was in the Navy during Vietnam.  He deserved something.

And for the first time since this all started, I can breath without my chest hurting, I can almost fall asleep with no problem, and I don't start crying at the mention of him passing.  I have the biggest sense of relief that I can really stop searching, I really do know where he is, and he had feelings about leaving his family behind.