Five plus years ago when I wrote Black Friday: A Zombie Story, I worked mostly evenings as a people greeter. I slept late, went to work, got off at ten, came home, stayed up all night. I wrote at night when I could have been sleeping. I stayed up because I knew I didn’t have to get up until I wanted.

Now, I have the same schedule, with some mornings thrown in randomly. But I also have a kid now. A wild, rambunctious, hilarious, wonderful little girl who has my heart and my sleep pattern wrapped around her pinkie. If I don’t go to bed when she does I don’t get any sleep. I have to fight with her every night to go to bed. And while the cuddles are to die for, it makes it hard to do anything but picture myself snuggled in my bed.

I used to write at work. I used to carry a little Five Star Notebook, and a pen, and wrote on breaks or when no one was looking (sorry management).

I don’t do that anymore. I don’t write anymore. I’ve tried. I really have. I get ideas when I’m falling asleep or driving or in the middle of something that requires my attention. And I forget them.

Sleepless nights when my baby was a baby and wouldn’t sleep unless held, or those nights I slept in a chair in her nursery (when it had more furniture than toys) I’d hold her and hen peck on my iPod. I wrote “Twisted Tales: Handy Manny” that way. I wrote some “Fiction Me This” stories that way.

I can’t anymore. I want to write so badly. I want to put a pen to paper, hen peck on my iPod with my thumbs, type on my computer. I can’t get ideas. And if I do I can’t write them down or I forget them. Or I’m just so tired.

I’m exhausted. All the time. I left work at 2. I was scheduled to leave at two. I could have been nice and volunteered to stay at least until coverage came in. I didn’t. The prospect of going home to nap uninterrupted for even a few minutes was the most excitement I’ve had in months. And I slept. But I woke up with my hip and weirdly my big toe hurting.

I get off work with every joint below my waist hurting, including my back and the bottoms of my feet. Even when I get off work during the afternoon and I’d have time to write, I tell myself, “there’s other things I could do”. Dishes needing washed. Toys need picked up. I have a million and one projects started that will never get finished.

I started crocheting my daughter a baby blanket almost the moment I knew she was going to be a girl. She’s three. It’s a third of the way complete. It’ll never be done. And I’m ashamed. Luckily she hates blankets (unless she’s playing peek-a-boo).

I’ve started story ideas. Not short stories those I’ve done numerous times. Stories that could be epically long, and never finished them. And the one I fear won’t get finished. The the one that everyone wants me to write.

“The Black Friday Curse” the sequel (?) to BF:AZS has had everyone excited. By everyone I mean the four people who were interested in it in the last six months. But I’m stuck because I don’t honestly see a plausible reason for a sequel involving zombies. Yes. It’s zombies and they’re not necessarily plausible anyway (depending on who you talk to). But with this story (I’m going for no spoilers) and the way it ended I’m not sure how to bring them back. I have an idea but I think it’s lame. But it’s all I got.

I don’t know when it’ll be worked on, much less finished. I don’t know when I’ll get the gumption to work on it. Maybe some day.

I don’t know. As soon as I know, so will you.



The Problem


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It’s a gun control problem.

It’s a hate problem.

It’s a mental health problem.

But more importantly, it’s a human problem.

As long as there are humans there will be a gun violence problem. “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” That gun doesn’t get up and walk up to someone and shoot them. But access to guns makes it easier to do so. It’s a person carrying that gun that makes the decision to pull that trigger.

But why does someone outside of the military and law enforcement need an assault rifle? You can protect your home with an aluminum baseball bat.

My mom once told me a story about my grandmother being home alone with her six small children. Two men broke into (or tried to) their home. My grandmother pulled out the shotgun and “filled their butts full of buckshot”. She didn’t need an AK-47 to protect her children.

My husband and I are not gun people but we have SEVERAL hidden in our home (not assault rifles, thank bob). At least one is easy access in case of emergency. These were inherited when his father and brother passed. They’ve not been fired in years.

I haven’t shot a gun in over a decade. I have shot a .22 at summer camp once. Was an ok shot. I preferred the bow.

I have no issue with people owning guns. That’s your right. While I’ll never understand the need to own a gun that can rapid fire for “recreational use”, I don’t judge people. I do however think that all firearms should be registered, and upon registration you should have had background checks, safety training and a mental health check. Because an individual with anger issues/PTSD/history of violence/etc maybe shouldn’t have access. And those guns should be kept under lock and key and out of the reach of children.

I’m sure everything I have said here has been said a million times over by a million people. I’m sure none of this is new ideas no one has ever thought of. I’m usually slow to the game. But I feel I needed to say it, regardless.

Every other post in my Facebook newsfeed is related to the gun control debate, politics, #metoo, and recipe videos (my husband is bad for those ;). I did not want to add my opinion to the list. When I visit Facebook it’s to see how my friends are. If I wanted to head about all the other things I’d watch the news. I HATE THE NEWS. But I don’t judge, I don’t tell people how what to post, and try really hard to make people laugh.

So there’s my opinion. And that’s all I’m gonna say on the matter!

Thanks for reading!


I really really wanted it.

I recently put in for a “promotion” at work. I’d always wanted the job, and it’s rare that there’s an opening.

It was in an area I had worked in before, for years, and so I felt like I’d be a good fit. Everyone thought I would.

When I found out I didn’t get it, that it had in fact when to the person it did I was upset. Not because of the person. But because if I’d known that person wanted it, I wouldn’t have wasted my time (and energy, and hopes and excitement). Because they are WAY more qualified for it. Considering they had the same job just a different department, way more qualified.

If I’d known for sure that this person was interested, I would have known right then I wouldn’t get it. That way, I wouldn’t have spent time thinking about having the job, imagining what it would be like, the training. Heck, I was packing in my head for the trip I’d take to train! That’s how high my hopes got.

And there’s nothing like that earth shattering disappointment after having worked yourself up for something only to be crushed.

I was even interviewed for the job! I still don’t understand why, even though I know it was a formality. I mean, I felt honored that they even thought I was good enough to interview. But I’m sure they know they’d give it to the person they did.

“Sure, lets just interview Crystal. She’d be good for the position.”

“But it’s going to Soandso?”

“Well yeah, but still. We got to interview someone.”

I don’t blame management or the specific individual who interviewed me. This person made me feel like they legit thought I could do well in the position. That I appreciate. And I know they still had to interview. Regardless of who they gave it too.

But I still kinda wish they wouldn’t have. You know?

I really REALLY wanted it. I didn’t at first. I was apprehensive, it wasn’t gonna be that financially beneficial to me, and I’d be away from my child for the first time in her life, for five plus days for training. I’d be driving away for it where I’d never driven myself before.

But then I started thinking about it. Getting excited. Thinking it would be an amazing opportunity. And I started to lose the apprehension. Of course it didn’t help that everyone said “oh you’ll get it. It’ll be great!”

And I guess I can sorta blame myself too. I let myself get worked up and excited–I do every time. I got excited only to be let down.

It’s just harder because I don’t really feel like I had a fighting chance. Had the person who got it not been interested, I might have. Maybe. But they were.

I hope the lucky person does great and enjoys the department. I know they were great at their other department. I enjoyed it when I was there. I think I might have again.

Thanks for reading.


Grape Chapstick


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Yesterday I spent the day with my mom. She had an appointment with a doctor about an hour away from home and needed a ride. Being the lovely daughter I am, ha, I provided said ride.

I hadn’t driven myself in the area before, but am really the only one able to take her, so I was happy to help. Plus I spend the day with her and nothing beats it.

On the road we talked about many things, including chapped lips (the most annoying thing in the world). We were discussing everyone’s favorite remedy, the Chapstick brand, and I was telling her how my favorite was the new Shea butter Green Tea and Mint.

She mentioned that she’ll always love their grape flavor. She said she loved it when she was young and my dad alway brought her some. It reminded her of her youth.

I remembered she’s mentioned it before. And that over three years ago, when she’d had major bowel surgery, I’d bought her a tube, although she was mostly intubated and sedated.

But I wanted her to have GOOD memories.

So I messaged Chapstick.

It shows that they’ve seen it, but they’ve yet to respond. Truthfully I expected an automated form reply thanking me for contacting them and telling me they’d get to be ASAP.

Let’s see what happens. Ball’s in your court Chapstick!


Ps: I’m not expecting much. Thought I’d give it a shot!

My mom wants me to write her a letter.


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We don’t live far from each other. I talk to her every day.

When I was a kid (because everything before college graduation was childhood) I’d write her letters. Sometimes it was little notes telling her “good night and I love you” sometimes they were longer. My sister and I used to sneak and clean the house while she slept (in those days she was a much heavier sleeper and we were night owls) and I’d leave her a note.

When I went to college they were mailed but fewer and less frequent. If she wanted to send me some money she’d fold it up and put it in an envelope. But she always felt weird about just sending money. She always said she loved me.

She’s been in the hospital since January 3rd. It’s her lungs and they won’t release her until she’s breathing better, which is difficult considering all her issues. But she’s doing better.

She said something, that first night. She said she’d never smoke again.

The emergency room doctor wanted to intubate her. He said she’s struggling to hard to breathe that she’s slowly wearing herself out, and eventually she’s be too tired.

She was less than thrilled. She’s been incubated before and almost didn’t come off it. So they tried something else this time, a bipap (cpap?). The doc said it was a “long shot” and if it didn’t work, then we’d have to go the other way.

Luckily it worked. Though she’s still not where they’d like her before they send her home, she is doing much better and for that I’m grateful.

When my mom is sick she has stages, regardless of the illness, she goes from (1) knowing she needs to be there, (2) feeling better and getting hopeful she can leave soon, (3) getting antsy, (4) wanting something salty to eat, and (5) getting frustrated and wanting to leave ASAP.

She’s been through all these, though I think she’ll be stuck there a little longer. Right now, though, she’s missing my dad. He’s been sick himself with flu, and his just gotten to feeling good enough to go back to work. She hasn’t seen him since Tuesday the 2nd, excluding Wednesday morning and when she saw him for a few seconds when I picked her up to take her to the ER.

Though she’s close to me at her current hospital, I can’t see her everyday, between work and a sick toddler myself. But she knows I, as well as my sister, would be there every day if we could.

Tonight, before I got off the phone with her, she asked me to write her a letter. Because she hasn’t gotten one in a while. She also made sure to tell me to tell “her bug” she loved her, multiple times. Her Bug was running circles around the living room while holding my video camera. So we didn’t get much out of her.

But I got busy, like I always do, and didn’t get around to writing it. The only reason I have time to write this blog at 11:45pm is because I’m using my iPod and laying in bed.

But I will write my momma a letter, and I’ll fill it with whatever I think will make her smile, or feel better. Because I love making people happy, especially her.


My Mom


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I am the mother of a three year old who amazes me every day.

I have written stories that people are actually excited to read.

I was the first person in my family to graduate college.

I’ve had the same job (and done well) for almost nine years.

And nothing has made me prouder recently than hearing my mom say “I will never smoke again.”

Granted she’s 61 and just now affirming it. And she had to feel like she was dying to say it. But she sounds sincere and determined, despite the C-PAP/BI-PAP/”scuba mask” machine on her face.

For years she has been fighting with smoking related issues (COPD, emphysema) gradually making her daily life more and more difficult. For decades we have begged her to quit smoking.

But it took another near death experience to convince her. I’m okay with that.

My mother has raised her own four kids, helped raise some of her eleven grandchildren, helped care for several more kids who were not her own. She’s a major part of so many lives and those lives would turn upside down if she were to leave us.

And if her quitting a 40+ year habit would only add a few years to her life, then, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure sure has all the support she needs.

I love you my momma.


A Hitchin’


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In six (five?) days, on Christmas Day, I will be doing something I’ve never done before.

I will be performing a wedding ceremony.

Yep. Wow.

What started out as a joke ( originally involving sloth and unicorn masks) and entirely my fault soon snowballed into me becoming ordained online and legit agreeing to marry my co-workers.

(I’d also like to add that they couldn’t find anyone willing to marry them on Christmas Day)

And I’m low-key freaking out.

I keep asking her if there’s something special she wants said or done, and all she’s given me is “no opportunities to object”.

I get it. She just wants to get married, legally. I completely understand. But when I do something… I overthink and over complicate to the point of making it harder than it should be.

But I really want to do a good job, and leave them with good memories of the day. Not just an exchange of rings.

So I’m trying to write out something sweet and heartfelt to say, and find the proper vows to make it beautiful.

I’m also extremely nervous about speaking in front of people I don’t know. Lol

Wish me luck!

Love you Haley and Nick!


Valid Photo Identification


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Things I’ve Learned in Customer Service

  1. Everyone has their own definition of what a “valid photo ID” is
  2. People’s moods vary based on season
  3. Everyone is entitled
  4. Situations can go differently than you assumed.
  5. You learn to know which customers will give you crap, and you avoid arguments.
  6. Sometimes people learn
  7. Sometimes people refuse to learn
  8. There actually are still people who don’t know our return policy
  9. People send a lot of money
  10. There are customers you look forward to seeing!


Music Monday


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Where I take the last song played on my iPod and explain why it’s there.

I’m trying to get back into blogging. I’m doing this, somewhat poorly, by trying to come up with daily features, giving me something anything to post.

Today’s post is “Music Monday”. The last song played on my iPod was, as you can see, P!nk’s “What About Us”.

I have long been a fan of P!nk. The first album of hers I ever bought was “Missundaztood” (I had to look at that three times to spell it as it appears on the cd art). It was also the first CD I owned with explicit content. I pretty well kept it on repeat for ages.

P!nk has an amazing voice, a voice like no one else’s. She can do with that voice literally anything she wants. If I had the power to borrow anyone’s voice, it would be hers, if only to sound amazing while singing in the shower.

When I learned that she had a new album out it was immediately on my “must buy” list. I hadn’t bought one of her albums in a while, and I needed this one, I knew that simply by listening to snippets of one or two songs.

I did however purchase “Rose Ave”, the album she put together with Dallas Green, under the name You+Me. In fact I preordered it. I highly recommend it as well. It was also on repeat, my kid liked it while I was pregnant. Serious (might have been because I sang along, and I’m TERRIBLE).

So basically, the reason “What About Us” is on my iPod is because P!nk made it and it’s amazing. Every song on that album is well done, from the title track “Beautiful Trama” (have you seen the video with Channing Tatum? No? Well, You Need To) to the one we can all agree with, “Barbies”.

I like to play “What About Us” when I’m driving alone, mostly so I can belt it out with full power, and not destroy anyone else’s ear drums.

If you haven’t heard “What About Us” (video Here) or the rest of P!nk’s “Beautiful Trauma” album, it’s available on iTunes.


Death and Life


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My aunt passed away yesterday.

My daughter’s 3rd birthday party was today.

The funeral is the same day as my child’s birthday.

My aunt never got to meet my daughter. The last time I saw or spoke to her was at my grandmother’s (her mom) funeral. It was 2 years before I got pregnant.

The distance wasn’t because of any disagreement, disappointment, or dislike. It was Life.

Life gets in the way of everything.

As a child, I went to see family when my mom took me. Now that I’m an adult and a parent, I work, and it’s hard to take time off to see family. And I hate it.

I love my aunt. She was the oldest of six children, my mom being the second oldest. Their father, my grandfather, passed away twenty years ago, my grandmother, five.

My aunt lost her husband, who’d she’d been with for many many years, to lung cancer two years ago. She was never the same.

Now they’re all together. My grandparents, my aunt, and my uncle.

I like to imagine all the people I’ve lost, from my grandpa (the first death to shake me) to my aunt today, all up there, where ever there is, greeting each other with friendly hugs and bright smiles, happy to see each other again. Because they aren’t sad, sick, suffering anymore. Whatever anyone believes, THIS I’m sure of.

Rest In Peace, aunt Portia. You are missed.