How I Ended Up This Way's Blog

{February 21, 2011}   My Daughter Out Ranks Me

Most of my readers are aware I am in the process of completing a book called “Confessions 2 AJ”. Several of you have participated, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It will not be long before I have enough material to submit the manuscript for publication!

If you have already submitted a “confession” please, feel free to submit as many as you like! The more, the better the book will be.

For those of you that have chosen not to participate at this time, you still have time to change your minds! As I have promised you before, all names will be held under privacy protection. As a matter of fact, I will not be publishing names; even when asked to do so. And, I have been asked to include names by some people for their confession.

Anyway, my 14 year old daughter. . . where do I start? Although, she has her own way of doing things, she is sort of a mini me. She looks like me. Especially, when she was small.  She is athletic just as I was growing up (and still am). Even down to the way she runs; just like I did. My mom once asked me, when I was young, “why do you run like that?” Not sure what she meant by that, but I’m sure it was not a compliment. She likes most of the same . . . well, she loves Christian Kane. Need I say more?

My daughter approx. 3 yrs old

Me approx. 2 1/2 yrs old












I want to say, publically, to her: thank you for being my biggest supporter! I love you dearly and I am so thankful you find humor in your mom’s oh so warped mind!

Now down to business. My daughter is so very talented. She also writes. She is much more talented than I am because not only does she write stories, she has the ability to write poems, songs, even rap songs. Some  of her work, I have posted early in my blogs. The first one I posted, she wrote at age eleven. You should check it out, very poignant. It’s called “The Unknown” posted on July 22, 2010.

She is writing a book. Did I say she was 14?! There is a site for teens where they can go and share their stories with other teens. And yes, I read them as well; I keep a tight reign on what sites they visit.  

I am 40 years old. I have some fans/friends. I hate saying “I have fans…” It sounds arrogant to me. But, my daughter has fans. WHAT? Yep, you heard, well, read me right. She has fans. Fans that ask her to read their work and give feedback. Fans that say, “When are you posting another chapter?” She will post at least one chapter at a time. They tell her how much they love “so and so” and how they can’t wait to see if “so and so” will get together with “whoever”. They have actually fallen in love with her story and the characters she has invented. How cool is that!

I knew she was talented and had the ability to be a great writer. What I didn’t fully understand, is she would be implementing that ability this early in her life. I am extremely proud of her and would be, no matter what she chose to do. However, it is incredibly amazing to see her realize this particular talent and actually chose to use it. Can you imagine what she will be able to accomplish? And so much earlier than I have or will. As wonderful as all this is I must admit I will forever see her as the wonderful happy baby shown below. Always the peace maker, she was.


I fully expect to, one day, be out ranked by her in the writing world. And you know what? I am just fine with that.

Until next time……Peace


{January 26, 2011}   Finally…I Got Noticed!!

Hello everyone!

All of us want to get recognition at some point in our life. Whether it is during your childhood or maybe you played on your high school basketball team, it is probable to say part of you wanted some recognition for your ability.

I was no different. Well, up until high school, I just wanted to get through the day. Although I had played basketball since the second grade (they started us very early in the small town of Newark, Arkansas) it wasn’t until my high school years that I became comfortable being in front of the crowd that would gather to watch us play. I finally learned to actually forget that the crowd was even there and just do what I loved to do. Play basketball. Being five foot two, I constantly had to prove myself and my ability to rock the court. This was fine with me. I played point guard and it never failed when playing a new team, who ever was guarding me would cover me from about 5 to 7 feet back. I mean it was clear what they were thinking, “what’s this little thing going to do? She may be fast but she’s just a ball handler. Cover the tall girl; don’t let shorty get the ball to her.”


This mentality really was ok with me. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it. I probably enjoyed it a little too much. To be 100% honest with you, I loved it. I know you’re on the edge of your seat wondering why, right? No worries, I am going to tell you. I love it because I always knew exactly how this would end. I had been through the same situation many times. Once we got the ball, whether it was a rush back to our end or as more commonly, at a slower pace as it was the beginning of the game, I’d call the play (I was also team captain my Senior year) let my team set up, then just as soon as everyone was in position and girl was 5 plus feet off me, I’d let it go . . . 3pts, bam! Needless to say, next time down the court, not only was girl basically on top of me, I could actually hear her couch yelling at her to “get on her!” Ah, but I loved that sound. Do you hear that? Is that the sound of all the short people going “whoop, whoop” I hear?

So, what is this all about? I loved that notice I received as a ball player. Now, I am experiencing the same thrill as I did back then. Yesterday, I ran across something that made me feel like I was set to take that 3 point shot, and yes, I held no doubt I would make the shot. If I can confidently say, without a doubt, it’s that I can play basketball. I have worked hard my entire life for the privilege to be able to say this. Even in my writing, I am confident, yet not as confident as I am on the court.

On October 11, 2010, I reached a new milestone. One of my blogs was published in the online magazine “The Writer’s Daily” ran my Carrie White. I had been in the Daily before, but only in the “tweet” capacity. In other words, when I would tweet something I saw in the news or the like, it would be placed in the Daily. So, I really didn’t count those as they were not my words. Don’t get me wrong, I am still honored to be mentioned in the Daily. Here is the link

When I saw my blog in the Daily on October 11, I was excited, in a state of disbelief that I was actually getting some notice, and very proud yet probably not for the reasons you may be thinking. I was so proud because this particular piece of work was very close to my heart. It was in celebration of my late brother’s birthday. If you go back on that date on my blog, you can read the blog I wrote in celebration for my brother, my protector, my best friend.

However, today, another huge milestone in my writing career happened! And I want to share every step of my journey with you all. You have all been so supportive!

Just by chance, I stumbled crossed something that completely stopped me in my tracks. It was a website, completely unknown to me. Guys, right there, under their “links” on their page was my blog link! Someone, unbeknownst to me, somehow found out about my blog and actually liked it enough to put it in there rotating line up of links! This is a huge step for me as a writer! And I so happy I am able to share this with you. You feel as part of my family. Some of you are my family. Here is the link . You may have to check it a few times as it is a rotating link.

A few other things happened this week that is quite amazing. First, I was asked… actually asked by a musician to write a review of his music. How cool is that! This review is a huge step because it introduces me to the music industry! I am just beside myself. I’m still a bit shell shocked.

Oh, and I can not forget the attention from Edward Burns. A genus in the Independent Film industry! Here’s hoping for a movie! Of course, you understand if Ed wants to do a screen play of my crazy life, the 3 books I have lined up after “Confessions” may have to wait a while. I mean really, do you honestly think I’d put Ed off? Pff…not gonna happen!

I know, wow. What else can I say? I’m a bit speechless! Yea, me!

Until next time……Peace


{December 23, 2010}   Team Dog

I originally posted this blog in December 2010. I am reposting without changing a single word (yes, I see I have some grammar errors in there.. and yes I realize they no longer have Ozzy as their theme some and YES it’s aggravating me…let it go AJ… ) In HONOR of “Team Dog” I am reposting this….

Hello Every one, welcome back.

What do you think when I say the words bounty hunter? Let me rephrase that, take “Team Dog” out of your mind completely. Now, what do you think of when I say the words bounty hunter? A big burly fat guy wearing a white tee shirt, you know, one of the “wife beater” tees? Do you picture a tall muscular guy? Do they both have a smart ass mouth and a bad attitude that radiates “I’m better, stronger and tougher than you, and I can do whatever I want to get you?” Sort of like the pictures below:



Well, that’s what I thought. We had an incident in Jacksonville, Florida several years ago when a bounty hunter went after a suspect. What happened was horrible. Apparently, the bounty hunter either did not check the address, read it incorrectly or just really messed up. The point is, this man, a huge scary man with a loaded gun, kicked in the home of a family with small children. Needless to say, everyone in the house was terrified. As they tried to answer his rude and shouted questions, he barely seemed to listen. All I could think of was, “this is a bounty hunter?” I was watching it unfold and I was scared even though it was on TV.

It would not have been as traumatic had the bounty hunter not mistakenly raided a house that was no where near the home of his suspect and the home he hit, had never heard of this family.

Needless to say, this left a very bitter taste of the term bounty hunter, at least in my mind.

Then here comes this show on A&E featuring bounty hunters. Just wonderful, I thought. All I needed was to see a bunch of arrogant, selfish, jerks who thought they could do whatever they wanted because they held some form of authority and carried guns.

Of course, my dad had to watch the first show. When the music started, my ears perked up; Ozzy? Well, that’s cool, but doesn’t change the fact that he’s a jerk. He was a bounty hunter, after all. They are all jerks, right? However, I continued to watch the show with my dad. Holy cow, there’s a woman on this show! And, well, she has bigger boobs than Dolly’s, but why was she wearing heals? Was she seriously going to go out on a bounty? She’d break her neck in those heels! But, hey, she’s probably a jerk too, so what do I care? Wait, were her nails really that long? HA! It’s going to be funny when she (you know, her being a jerk and all) breaks one of those nails to the hilt! Yes, I realize this was very wrong of me to think and to judge. I’ve learned a lot since then. But I was waiting for these two people get there due. I mean, they were bounty hunters; they were jerks, right?

So, as that first show continues, dude with long dark hair in a braid walks in. Even better, I thought. Not only do we have these two, now they throw this one on us! Yes, definitely, he was a cocky young guy with tattoos all down his arms. Damn. I was irritated that the tattoos got to me. See, I kind of like the bad boys, so tattoos and cocky, I had to check myself. Mentally, I reminded my self, “he’s a jerk” all bounty hunters were. Then he opened his mouth. Oh, Lord, I was in some kind of trouble. He’s cocky, he has awesome tattoos, he’s funny . . . I am doomed with this one. So what if he is a jerk, I’ll let him pass, but only a little.

At the time, I believe it was only the three of them: Dog, Beth and Leland Chapman on the team. But in my defense, I sort of had trouble focusing after I had realized Leland possessed every one of the attractions that I fall for, and was trying to avoid. Who am I kidding, you? Yea, I didn’t think so.

To get on with it, they gear up, no guns? The stalk their prey, they capture the fugitive. Yes! Wait, damn, they have already intrigued me. But my complete 180˚ turn followed right after the capture. Before putting the guy in their car, Beth is….offering….him….food, and on her dime? What the heck? Oh, no! Dude, don’t eat it, they had to have put some thing in it!! They are bounty hunters! Yet the man ate and seemed no worse for the wear. Dog then offers a cigarette before they take him in. Something isn’t right with these people. They are talking to this fugitive, the same one that ran on their bond. I didn’t saying yelling, but talking to him about his future. Specifically, that this is the time he can change his life. I can’t even begin to explain the compassion each member of Team Dog was showing this fugitive, even though the team had to go hunt him down. This had to be a fluke. Or maybe Team Dog was just making good or the camera’s, it was their first show.

I set out to watch some footage of other bounty hunters. Mainly because the compassion Team Dog had shown this man, and how Dog talked to him brother to brother about changing his life. Well, let’s be a little more honest. I wanted to be able to watch Leland (I love that name) without feeling as if I were betraying the Jacksonville family.

Here’s basically here’s what my search led me to:



 1)      An overzealous “I have no neck” bully.



  2)     The old tough guy that doesn’t realize he lost “tough” a long time ago.



 3)     The guy who thinks he so smooth, he can talk his way into anywhere.


 4) And the guy that should have just gave up long ago.


 I didn’t understand how these people could do the same job so differently. I just knew there was something about the Chapman’s. I knew they were the real thing. I felt it each and every time after a capture, their compassion and their will to try to help these lost people. What’s that? Ok, jeez, most of it was being able to watch Leland, trying to play it cool here people!

 It is impossible to separate Team Dog from the Chapman family. They are one in the same. The love between not just Beth and Duane (sorry…Dog) but the love that Duane has for his kids and the love Beth has for her kids as well as Dog’s, well, I might was well say “their kids” because it is so clear that she loves those kids as her own. And it says a lot that they feel the same about her. How do I know this? Although Beth can hold her own, you do not mess with her. If you do, you’ll find yourself on the wrong end Leland’s fist. And that’s only because he can out run all the other boys and he’s the one that gets to her the quickest.

 This is truly the way all bounty hunters should conduct their business, not to mention families in general. Although, I still don’t know how Beth can run in those heels and normally the nails stay in tact. I have always thought Beth pretty, but when I saw the love toward her family and the compassion toward the captured, she turned absolutely beautiful.

 Long live Team Dog!


Until next time……Peace


{December 22, 2010}   A.J.’s Rules Part 2

 GIBBS' RULES — T-Shirt Design — Click To Enlarge


Hi everyone! Welcome back!

On October 25, 2010, I explained to you about “Gibb’s Rules” and introduced “A.J.’s Rules”. At the time, I listed eleven rules I try to live by each day. Go ahead, take a moment to go back and review them. 

Back? Great, let’s jump right in then. I am just going to give you a few rules, and as they pop into my head . . .what’s that? Yes, I know the things that pop into my head and I put on paper are sometimes, way off weird, can you just love that I’m unique and not be so scared of what goes through my head? I promise I won’t let the craziness actually hurt you.

Anyway, back to my rules. Rule #12 if you want me to sign something, or fill out papers, don’t wait until the morning said papers are due . . . because, they will not get filled out. Rule #20, the time limits I set for being on the computer, apply for each and every day. Don’t tell me you get an extra hour today because you didn’t get on the computer yesterday. At midnight, the clock resets buddy. Rule #29, if you see my TV is set to TiVo a show and you stop it from recording because SpongeBob, Percy Jackson, or any of the kind is on, we will have a huge problem.

Wow, can you tell my children are on Christmas break? Before I make a rule of, “no watching TV of any kind” I should stop with the rules for the night. I mean, I don’t want to be unreasonable or anything. However, can I just say, Rule #31 buy one pattern of gift wrapping paper for all the gifts. Because, if your gift is out of the print scheme (all the same kind), it won’t go under my tree, just saying.

   And remember. . .

“A slap to the face – is an insult; to the back of the head-a wakeup call” Gibbs



Hummm….I wonder if I could get a way with that last one. Definitely, have to consider making that an official rule.

Until next time……Peace


{December 1, 2010}   T-Mobile or Verizon?

Good afternoon everyone!

 One day, I tell you, I’m going to have an assistant. My assistant will handle all my “other” stuff, while I concentrate on writing. Hmmm, I should make that two assistants, I do have a lot of pans in the fire and, I do have 3 kids after all.

So, I had to call my cell phone company yesterday. You know that lump you feel in the pit of your gut when you have to call the cell phone company? Yea, I felt it instantly. After all, even though I am with T-Mobile now, I did have Verizon for years. Remember my friend Debbie going off about Verizon yesterday? Yea, literately stole 2 grand from her and she doesn’t even have a phone with them!

This was my first call to customer service since I switched to T-Mobile. Long story, short, my cell bill was . . . ready? $470.00. WTF? I had the unlimited plan on all 4 phones! Suppose to be $160.00. Ok, this will be a huge problem, right?

I call customer service and reached Sharnet (Hi Sharnet!). I explain my situation, which at this point was even worse because the next bill was showing . . . a whopping total of something to the tune of $600.00.  Luckily, I had an email from previous correspondence where I had confirmed I wanted the unlimited plan. However, with no return confirmation from T-Mobile, technically, (meaning if it had been Verizon, they would not have issued a credit) they did not have to retroactive the refund. Not only did Sharnet provide great customer service, she listened to everything I had to say and actually issued a credit to my account, back dating to the confirmation email date. All without having to ask! I know! I was shocked too!

So, I just marked Sharnet down as “one of a kind” customer service reps that love helping people. Let me just say real quickly here, I was in customer service for over 20 years. I know what they go through and I know how hard it is to bite your tongue sometimes.

I had to be transferred to the billing department to make my payment. So I’m thinking “Great, Sharnet was wonderful, why can’t she just apply the payment? Now, I have to deal with someone else and I’d have to repeat the story all over again” You know what I mean. And that representative may not be so nice 

However, Sharnet had made such extensive notes so that I would not have to do anything but make the payment! My mind went blank as the billing rep came online to take my payment. “But . . . I. . . have . . . always had to repeat my problem at least three times right?” That’s the way it always worked with Verizon. And had I presented this problem with Verizon, they would not have issued a credit, believe me.

Sharnet transferred me to Vanessa in the billing department. I hesitated a moment, is Vanessa going to be nice, insistent, uncompassionate or just plain mean. Because, that is the way I was used to being treated by my cell phone company.

Much to my pleasant surprise, Vanessa actually read the notes and therefore, I didn’t have to repeat myself for the next five minutes. And, get this, Vanessawas . . . nice! Yea, nice!

Credit process, payment made and plan corrected! Wow. I actually got off the phone feeling good, my checking account in one piece and not walking like I’ve been  . . .  on a rollercoaster ride. Yea, we’ll go with that phrase.

PS. I’d like to send a message to my 14 year old daughter: Sydney, do you see how I “correctly” used my “. . .” ‘s? Yes, I only did 3 of them and with a space between. So get off my back about it! I love you J

Until next time……Peace


et cetera