InSanity~Normalize, Don't Stigmatize Mentall Illness.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Prayer for Sinfulness!

This (re)post reveals my inner world during a communal prayer on Yom Kippur Day, the culmination of this sacred time. On Yom Kippur, we make final effort after final effort, preceded by just one more effort, to atone for our sins. Moreover, we do so near the end of a 24-hour fast. During this benediction, one taps his/her chest with a closed fist upon reciting each sin, while anxiously anticipating a morsel of something (in my case, chocolate, of course). To all of my Jewish friends and those who love us: Happy New Year ~ 5772! 


Pound! Pound! For all of the sins that I’ve committed by - Pound! Pound! Pound that Jewish bosom with a tight fisted fervor. Pound! Pound with the vengeance of our oppressed people, enslaved and banished by the enemies for nearly 6000 years.

Harder! For the sin of adultery. Pound! Pound! For the sin of blasphemy. Pound! Pound! Don’t stop. The gates of repentance are still open. Pound faster! Pound harder! Pound!

Pound! For gluttony. For greed. For lust. Pound! Pound! Jesus! I mean, ah, Dearest Almighty, give a Jewish girl a break. I only wish I’d committed these sins for which I’m bruising my upper left boob. Pound! Pound! But, no! I’ve paid in the price of divorce, despair, emotional and fiscal bankruptcy, my dreams of childrearing dead with the sea, that holy Dead Sea – the one that’s of no use but to float upon in all of my misery and despair. Pound! Pound!

Oy, had I merely reaped the benefits of adultery along the way! Dayenu![1] But, no. No. It’s been nothing but tsores[2] for me, I tell you. Just my mazel.[3] Pound. Pound harder! This, it isn’t good enough?! Pound! For the sin of lust. Pound! For treachery. Pound! How long must this dreaded dirge go on for, and when was I ever treacherous, anyway? In fact, what the hell – I mean, heck—is treachery?

Pound! Pound! I’m fasting for Christ’s, I mean Miriam’s, sake! My knees are weak. I can barely stand. I think I'm going to die. I need one m&m, just one. For starters. Pound! Pound! Oy. This it is meshugenah,[4] it is.

Almighty, please let me sin as soon as the sun goes down. Oh Holy One, I beg of you to allow some sinfulness here. I mean, it’s all I’ve got. I swear, but not really. Not that often, and only when I’m not feeling lust. I separate my lust from swearing, to thoroughly savor each experience. Trust me.

Listen, I’m quite lousy at sinfulness. I’m good at most things, except, well, driving and sinning. Hmm, driving while sinning, now that sounds delicious. I mean – Pound! Pound! I’d really like to hone my skills without the guilt that has plagued my people for all time. Pound! Pound! For the sin that I’ve committed by not sinning, forgive me Dear One. Grant repentance and a new year chock full of opportunity for some juicy sinning. That’s all I ask, All Powerful One. I won’t ask for anything else. I promise. That’s all this little Jewish girl with a bruised boob requests.

Pound! Pound! Ouch!

[1] It would have been enough. (i.e.,The adultery would have been a blessing of its own.)
[2] Stress and misery. Oy, the stress and, oy, the misery.
[3] Luck, in a bad way.
[4] Crazy nonsense or nonsensical craziness.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Good Mojo for the New Year!

Greetings from Mojo. (Sorry he's faceless and hard to spot. He's sneaky that way. I can't locate him now for another photo shoot, so this will have to do.)

Tonight, the Jewish community welcomes the year 5772 with apples and honey, song and dance, and prayers for peace throughout the world. Whatever your faith, good mojo to you in the year ahead!

[Mojo's holding up the J., Northern California's Jewish weekly publication.]                    

Monday, September 26, 2011

On Why I Choose Celibacy Reasons #131-137: Smartsville and Quit Guys

They keep getting worse. I'm sure you'll agree. To follow are my reasons numbers 131 through 137 for maintaining a celibate existence on this ever-strange planet. As usual, I've posted unaltered samplings of  current internet dating ads with my comments (in blue). Please enjoy...somehow.
REASON #131: What do you call a sleep-walking nun? A “Roamin’ Catholic.” Thank youuuu…I’ll be here all week. What do you call this Jewish gal posting your so-called joke on her blog? Repulsed and annoyed!

REASON #132: I am a quit guy and looking for a girl i can go out with and have a good time with and may be we will get along and have a good time and see where we go from there.  A quit guy, huh? I’m not sure I have the tolerance. Tell me, at what stage do you tend to quit: before showing up for the date, in the middle of conversation, or when you’re – you know –  giggity giggity?

REASON #133: Take advantage of my new lowered standards today!! Interesting tactic, buddy, though I doubt Snooki will respond. She probably doesn’t read.  Good luck anyhow.

REASON #134: Opposites do not attract, positive thinking attracts positive actions, shhh it's The Secret!! Shhh, The Secret (Law of Attraction) sold over 1 million copies, dear, and the theory’s been around for nearly 100 years. Shhh! PS You clearly think you’re cool. I don’t (think you’re cool). Shame we’re opposites.

REASON #135: you could be my next ex wife This may be my best proposition yet. What’s your annual income and who gets the kids on the weekends?  

REASON #136: I like to camp. I hope to learn to read someday. I listen to whale sounds instead of music, you should hear them on drums! I like chocolate on my pants and someone to get it off.  Get off…er, get it off on your own, buddy. That’s one form of chocolate I’m not tempted by. Sometimes when I'm bored, I make model cars out of dog bisquits. I can't wait to learn to use my thumbs, my mommy says it will open up my world. I like dogs. I need to use the backdoor of your home as I am a hippie and not respectable enough to enter the front. Stay in the doghouse, babe. I’ll toss you some bisquits.

REASON #137: nice guy! how about a redneck?    Smartsville, Californiaxxxx kkkkkkkk eeeee eeeeee eeeeee. iiiiii iiii iiiiiiii ffffffff. rrrr rrrrrr rrrr oooooo ooooo oooooo pp ppppppp ppp. ssssss ssssss ssss dddd ddd ddddddd. sssss eeeeee rrrrrrr rrrr tttt tttt tt ttttt  Does your red neck have anything to do with your fingers getting stuck to the keyboard?

Note to my readers: there really is a Smartsville, California and it’s not too far from me. I’m kinda  thinking it may be wrongly named.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Typical Date, Grand Finale, a Saturday Centus

Welcome to my Saturday Centus, a fun and unpredictable weekly writing challenge hosted by Jenny Matlock, extraordinaire. This time, we're afforded 150 words for a dialogue-only piece. I've continued My Typical Date post from two weeks back. The prompt is bolded below. I hope you enjoy, join our class if you haven't already, and visit Jenny Matlock's blog here to read the other offerings. Happy Saturday and weekend.  


My Typical Date,Grand Finale

“Momma, Momma, may I?”

“What? You’d even consider leaving me? A painful 23 hour labor and this is the thanks I get! Your father, may he rest in peace that bastard, is rolling in his grave right now.”

“Um, Robyn, she’s upset. Why don’t we take her along? She doesn’t have to sleep with us. We can get her a cot. And (whispering) I’ll let you ride shotgun.”

“You’d make me sleep in a cot? I told you that wretched tramp was no good for you! Dear God, what did I do to deserve this?”

“Don’t call her wretched, momma!”

“That’s it! I’ve been patient long enough with your sick and twisted relationship! I’d show you shotgun if I had one! Just watch me wretchedly tramp on out of here!”

“Phew. Mazel Tov! Oh, waiter, waiter. Bring another! We’re celebrating!”

“Momma, are you seriously ordering another martini?”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Woman on the Verge of Paradise: Mr. Par's Taunting

  Sign reads: "May you find Paradise to be all its name implies."

Thanks for joining me on the verge of Paradise, as a new chapter of my life unfolds. This series can be found in the Paradise button to the left. While I alter some details as I see fit, I do my best to remain true to place and time. Mojo really is my housemate's cat. How could I change that name?   This post follows from the last. Enjoy.
I’m a misfit too. Scanning the scene, I note approximately two churches per residence and just one little synagogue in the greater area. That’s one temple for over 100,000 people. Further, It seems everyone has a family and works for Wal-Mart or Country Waffles. One does not profess liberal values in Paradise lest one has no regard for one’s life.  Chico’s a bit more open-minded with the campus influence. The city’s full of bronze beauties and young studs who strive to change the world or score some booty at the next frat party. At 45 –gulp- I’m hopelessly trying to find a niche and, admittedly, a man.

I wish Paradise wasn’t about finding the man, but it is. We’re hard- wired pre-birth to believe it. Celibacy is really only my choice when it’s the only sane choice. There we have it. I stupidly equate Paradise with a man. Mr. Paradise shows up on a whim, strutting my way in Armani swag presenting a 10-pound box of Swiss chocolates. I swoon with foolish ecstasy, declare our relationship to the world, and give Mr. Par my all. By the time I sneeze the Par’s gone subpar and this cycle repeats.

Last Wednesday, for example, Mr. Par approached me at a salsa club. He had a pulse, I figured, so I knew our dance would certainly culminate in happily-ever-after. During a second twirl, I could picture our wedding –a quaint ceremony in Vegas with Elvis and a Rabbi, or maybe Elvis was the Rabbi…I couldn’t tell if he was wearing a kippah[1]. That part was fuzzy, pelvic thrusting (Elvis’, not mine) and all.  Upon the third twirl, though, the glow of my partner’s wedding band blinded me with clarity: Paradise taunts!

I know, I know. I’ll find someone in time, maybe. Enjoy my life without the complications and heartaches, etc. And I do. But I can’t ignore Mr. Par when he enters the picture with flirtatious winks.  And I can’t pretend to not be looking for him when I just am. Always. So he’s forever popping into and out of view. When he does, I can't help but stare nonchalantly at such an appealing package.

The experts and Dr. Phil inundate us singletons with mishegosh[2] regarding the need to love yourself first, no one else can complete your life, look inward not outward and blah blah blah and all that other crap I hate to hear. Because it’s true.


Slurp. Slurp, slurp. Damnit. Still nothing.

I pry my lips from the straw and sit back again. Staring at the bottom of an empty cup, I relish in the sweet flavors lingering on my tongue. Paradise is, after all, only eight miles away. Maybe even closer. I guess I just don’t know it.

[1] The little beanie some Jews wear on their heads, especially during worship.
[2] Yiddish for foolishness, nonsense.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Woman on the Verge of Paradise: Slurpage

Thanks for joining me on the verge of Paradise, as a new chapter of my life unfolds. This series can be found in the Paradise button to the left. While I alter some details as I see fit, I do my best to remain true to place and time. Mojo really is my housemate's cat. How could I change that name?  Enjoy.

Its sweetness lingers on my tongue with tingling peacefulness. I lean back on the black metal framed patio chair, the sun’s rays generously warming my face.  Slowly sipping a chocolate chai frost freeze at Chico’s T. Fusion CafĂ©, I’m in paradise. I’ve come home.

Wait, something’s wrong, terribly tragically undeniably wrong. I stare at the bottom of my cup. It’s all gone. How did that happen? Focused on the wide green straw, I slurp with all my might. Then I slurp again. Fellow customers snap their heads to glare at me, clearly offended by my explosive slurpage. I don’t care and keep at it, determined to elicit just one more molecule of flavor. I come up short. Damnit. Life is no longer sweet.

Alas, the dichotomy of Paradise vexes my soul.

Graced by majestic trees, exotic flowers, and glistening bodies of water, it’s an attractive place. People smile with sincerity around here. While jogging yesterday, a car pulled up alongside me. The driver rolled down her window, shouting “Hi Robyn!”  She’s a neighbor three doors down. Strangers offer smiles at Safeway. Home provides a peaceful sanctuary, except when Mojo pummels through my locked bedroom door at 3am, which occurs at least once weekly. It’s unusual to have such attention in the middle of the night, so I don’t mind. I’m appreciating a refreshing novelty of life in a tension-free house. Steven’s friendly and easy-going. Work is good too, despite the need to unexpectedly readjust my course shortly after I moved. I bounced back and like my job. Moreover, I no longer experience an intense frenzy due to traffic, crowds or life in general.

Beneath the surface, though, Paradise isn’t my home. With a population nearing 27,000 it is home to 54 registered sex offenders. Social ills run rampant, hitting extreme levels of poverty, homelessness, substance abuse and crimes of all sorts. Chico’s stats aren’t as alarming, but gang violence has plagued the campus community for be continued

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Almost Paradise, Sundays in My City

Thanks to UnknownMami, I'm back with photos for Sundays in My City. Visit her site here and tour the world. 

Welcome to Northern, Northern California. Today, I take you to the edge of Paradise with roses and chocolate. I hope the sights, scents and tastes are to your liking.

We're in Chico, 8 miles from Paradise.
                              This garden is one of my havens.

My drink: a chocolate chai frost freeze from T. Fusion. Heaven in a cup. Best yet, this one was free. (Tenth one's free. This was my tenth in six months. Well, there were more but I only remembered to get my card stamped nine times.) Try it. No, not mine. Go buy your own. Sorry, I'm possessive about my chocolate. You'll want your own anyway.

Have a lovely, yummy Sunday and new week! xo Robyn

Autumn in California?

What can I say about the Saturday Centus challenge? It's ever-changing. Here's this week's assignment: create a rhyming lyric to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star within only 32 words. The prompt is bolded below. Blame this one on Miss Jenny, who's off on a tangent, and California's lack of seasons. Please visit the other offerings here and join our wacky class. We have great fun. Have a nice, relaxing weekend.
Autumn in California? 
(Sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
In the autumn you can see

Colors changing in a tree

Not so much, I gotta warn ya

If you visit California

Go elsewhere, you can see

Colors changing in a tree.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hot Chocolate Bar Talk

Excuse me for kick-starting your chocolate cravings, but that is why you visit. Right?  Here's a chocolate (re)post to add sweetness to your week. Enjoy. 


Oh Henry, Oh Henry. Give me a Kiss, Big Hunk. Babe Ruth might score the home runs with his Lady Fingers, but I prefer your Whopper to that Dud's Curly Wurly. Let's hit the dark bar for some nibbling. After all, it's Pay Day, and we've got $100,000 to eat up. I know it's been a Rocky Road, Toots, but we made it Twix all the Snickers and Crunch. I'm not into M&M or a 3 Musketeers. I just want S'more of your Nutty self. No Junior Mints or Raisinettes for this Kit Kat. I'm talking the most organic Whatchamacallit this side of the Milky Way.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nothing, 9/11/2011


All I can offer is nothing

Nothing is all I can say.

Breath viciously robbed from so many

In an incomprehensible way.

Safely detached from the horrors

I have no words to this day.

With thousands still living the nightmare

I sip warm tea in dismay.

All I can offer is silence

Silence is all I can say.

With tears for those who lost their lives, and those who lost loved ones, to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Typical Date, A Saturday Centus

The Saturday Centus challenges us to write a piece within 100 words. Miss Jenny's also allowing a picture this week. As images wreak havoc with my blog-feed and I'd be hard-pressed to find one that fits my post, this one's photoless. The prompt is bolded below. Please enjoy. Check out the other pieces here and consider joining our fun class, if you haven't already.

Have a safe, relaxing weekend.  xo Robyn
My Typical Date

Three months into dating, dinner conversation was predictably mundane.

“How was your day?” preceded “I can’t believe this weather we’re having!” followed by complaints about digestive problems, back pains and foot fungus.

I needed to spice things up. “Henry, your 45th birthday’s just around the corner. How about going away for a weekend, just the two of us? We can zip to Tahoe, relax on the beach, wander though pine forests, stay in a cozy lodge for a night or two… ”

Shaking with trepidation, he places his fork down and turns to the woman glued to his right.

Mother may I?”

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Unsure About This One

Because writers might on occasion grapple with insecurities, Alex J Cavanaugh started an Insecure Writer's Support Group for bloggers. We’ll post monthly, exposing our insecurities and/or offering support. Check out his link to join the group (sit by me, please!) and/or to visit others’ posts. It’s popular already, with many exceptional writers and authors. My first insecurity piece follows. 

Interruption, Special Report: I went over to Just The Cheese for an interview today. I think I embarrassed him and myself. It was fun. I hope you go pay him a visit.
Blood surges erratically between every two points of my insides. My heart pounds with the ferocity of Conan. Drenched in anxious sweat, I attempt to breathe. But the walls are closing in on me. We’re all sitting in a stupid circle. Cold faces stare me down like I don’t belong here or anywhere, for that matter. God, I hate support groups!

Alex, our competent facilitator, says it’s time to introduce ourselves.  Crap! I have to talk? Inhaling, I try to remember my name.

“I’m Fluke Insecurity,” boasts the smarmy rude-ass to my right. “I relish in telling Robyn her every writing success is a fluke and won’t ever happen again.” He peers at me with haughtiness. 

“Her two small publications, ha!  Fifteen years apart. We’re talking a decade and a half. Don’t quit your day job, girlfriend. It hasn’t happened since and won’t happen again, at least not for another 15 years. The last publisher said she liked Robyn’s writing so much she waved the submission requirements. Yeah, right. The girl didn’t fully research the publication or send a query letter because – get this!—she hadn’t heard of such a thing. It was a mere act of pity, a fluke of the worst kind. And her acceptance to write for a reputable national website? Fluke! They just needed more writers in Chico, that’s all. It’s a small town. And her over 400 blog followers? A fluke. All of them, flukes, just there for the return follow.”

I’m boiling with rage and can’t hold it in any longer. “Well fluke you!” I get up and reach over to choke his smarmy-ass neck. Alex calmly intervenes and I begrudgingly sit back down, still fuming .

“As you can see, I’m much needed here,” the next jerk chimes in. “I’m ‘I Don’t Know What The Hell I’m Doing’ Insecurity. Check her out. I mean, her grunge attire and explosive temper aside, she hasn’t a clue. She writes short pieces. So what? Robyn has no idea how to write a full story, find an editor, deal with the cover and illustrations, get some CNN or ESPN number or something.”

He faces me to emphasize his point. “It’s not the same as a little blog post, lady.  Give it up. You don’t know what the hell you’re doing!”

“I’ve had enough!” I roll up my sleeves and prepare to kick some – Alex stands up and offers a hand, full of Valium.  The effects are immediate and I begin chanting “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Soon all of my insecurities are humming along.

The last bastard breaks the mood. “I’m Page Fright. Robyn named me. She hates me. The feelings are mutual. I love getting between her and the page or computer screen at important moments, like when she decides to write an article about sex and relationships (personal things that embarrass her). I really have fun then.  Sometimes, she considers sending her work out, and I’m right in her face then too. It’s a blast. That’s all I have to say. Your turn, lady.”

Alex gives me a nod.

Peace warming my heart, I introduce myself. “Hello everyone. I’m Robyn.” 

The bastards stop humming to respond: “Hi Robyn.”

“My birth name is my pen name, Robyn Alana Engel. I’m a writer. Thank you. Can I go now?”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Smorgasblog Post: Happy Tuesday!

Note: I had a photo of Lady Gaga here, but my blog-feed stopped working when I posted it. Coincidence?
Mr. Al Penwasser passed an underwear thingy over to me ages ago. Thanks, Al. Thanks, a lot! I’m not that into underwear, though I tend to wear it daily, so I chose just a few of the many questions I was supposed to answer. Here's a small portion of the assignment:

~What is the worst thing you can think of to make panties out of? Lady Gaga.
~Have you ever thrown your underwear at a rock star or other celebrity?  If not, which one(s) WOULD you throw your underwear at, given the opportunity? Lady Gaga.
~You’re out of clean underwear.  What do you do? Ask Lady Gaga to give back my panties.
~If you could have any message printed on your underwear, what would it be? “If you are reading this, you are way too close. Back off, buster!”


Next, the sweet and lovely Frisky Virgin gave me a Blog on Fire award many moons ago. I removed it from this post because of blog-feed problems, likely related to images. Anyway, I’m supposed to share some spicy revelations. This article, Virginity and Viagra, is the most revealing thing I’ve ever written. I’m sorry--believe me, I REALLY am-- it’s not spicier.

Anyone who wants to play with undies and/or fire, please take either and/or both. To abide by the rules, visit the respective blog. If you're not already following, I recommend you do. Both are very entertaining.

Yeah, this was kind of a filler post. Mainly I wanted to say I’ve been thinking of you. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rare Sightings, Sundays in My City

I love joining Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City. It's a fun way to show off my new hometown and see the world for free. Check it out right here.

Welcome to Chico, CA, home of:
  • nice rude license plates [snobby Mustang driver!]

  • A "GUNS" boat atop three camper shells, and

  •  a telephone booth with a working telephone! 
You thought these were extinct. Didn't you? Nope. Come to Chico with change and use a telephone in an actual telephone booth at a Chevron gas station!

Thanks for visiting. Have a wonderful, safe Labor Day weekend and new week!

Historical Document? A Saturday Centus

The Saturday Centus challenges us to write a piece within 100 words. This week, we're allowed to post a picture too. With the help of my left hand, I offer the following. The prompt is in black crayon. Please enjoy. Check out the other pieces here and consider joining our fun class, if you haven't already.

Have a great weekend and eat yummy pizza soon.  xo Robyn

Historical Document?