The Springfield Vortex

We are absolutely not lost.

We are absolutely not lost.

Me: Are we lost?

SquirrelBoy: Nope, I know exactly where we are.

Me: Okay.

SquirrelBoy: Why do you ask?

Me: Oh, nothing.

SquirrelBoy: We’re going to Target. I know where we are.

Me: I just ask, because…

SquirrelBoy: Yes?

Me: Well, I’m no Magellan, but…

SquirrelBoy: But?

Me: But we’ve passed that police truck four times.

SquirrelBoy: Hmm.

Me: That PARKED police truck.

SquirrelBoy: Oh. Okay, maybe we’re a little lost.

Me: Twice in each direction. We’re going in circles, dude.

SquirrelBoy: Okay, NOW we’re going the right way.

Me: Four times. Look kids! Big Ben! Parliament!

SquirrelBoy: Oh hush.

Me: Don’t put on coffee, we’re not staying!

SquirrelBoy: Stop.

Me: We’re in a vortex. The Springfield vortex. We live here now.

SquirrelBoy: Are you done yet?

Me: It’s the Winchester Mystery House of towns. We just keep driving and driving and we can never leave.

SquirrelBoy: Please stop.

Me: If we go fast enough, we’ll spin in circles so fast we’ll travel back in time.

SquirrelBoy: Look. So we got a little lost. I admit it. I’m sorry.

Me: Look kids! Big Ben! Parliament!

Love, Danielle

Dear Danielle:

I’m writing this to us because we had a bit of a freakout today and kinda lost it on our Boysquirrel. Now that we’re calm, thanks to that lovely Buspar stuff we took to ease the tension, I think we should talk this out. I know the idea of returning to the work force is scary. Really scary. We haven’t worked in years, and the responsibility and the stress of performing well is upsetting us even though we don’t actually HAVE a job yet.

Please stop hyperventilating. We’ll find something. We’ve gotten through much worse than this. It’s really going to be okay. Sure money is tight, and our food stamps got cut in half, (THANKS, CHRIS CHRISTIE, YOU FUCKER) but we’re going to get through this. Just think of everything we’ve done lately. We’re sober. We have a place to live due to the kindness of a dear friend. We have a great network of people who care about us. We’re going to be fine. This is just another fork in the road, and it’s dark and creepy, but we’ve been through the dark before, much more ominous darkness than worrying if you’re going to get some job, for chrissakes. We’ve been through life and death situations over here. A job? A job is nothing compared to the other stuff.

So breathe. Just breathe. We’re not going to starve to death in a gutter half-eaten by Alsatians. We’re going to keep getting our resume out there, and we’re going to find something. Remember how strong we can be. Everything’s going to work out. And I’ll be with you always, holding your hand. We’ve been down this hole before, and we know the way out, remember?

So tonight we’re going to watch The Voice and maybe have a cup of tea and just relax. We have therapy tomorrow, and we’ll talk about all of this stuff there. We’re going to be fine. Trust me. We’ve got this.

Love always,


it's all going to be okay

it’s all going to be okay

Saul And Slick: A Scene From Hell

SCENE: Intensive Outpatient Program
PLAYERS: Room full of addicts, yours truly included
TIME: 10:15 AM
SCENARIO: The PLAYERS are about to watch a circa 1984 VHS educational video about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. This is the third video the PLAYERS have had to watch in three days. Suspect of the ADMINISTRATION’s inability to run a dialogue based group, the PLAYERS are groaning in agony in their chairs at the thought of watching yet another hopelessly out of date video.


PLAYERS: ugggggggggggh.

VIDEO: Enter SAUL, the lecturer. SAUL has a HAND PUPPET.

PLAYERS: The fuck?

SAUL: Hi, I’m SAUL, and I’m here to talk to you all about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

PLAYER 1 whispers to MISS BANSHEE: What’s with the fucking puppet?

MISS B whispers to PLAYER 1: I’ve seen this one a thousand times. The puppet’s name is SLICK. I wish I was making this up.

PLAYER 1 raises hand: I need to go to the bathroom.

ADMINISTRATOR: No leaving during the video.

PLAYER 1: Fuck.

SAUL: This is my friend SLICK. He is the voice in our heads that keep us drinking and drugging. Say hello, SLICK.

SLICK, in a terrible Curly from The Three Stooges voice: Hey SAUL! It’s a-great to be heah today!

PLAYER 1, whispering to MISS B: Are they kidding?

MISS B: I wish.

SLICK: Hey SAUL! Ya know what would be great right now? A DRINK. Ya want that, doncha, SAUL? You’ve worked hard, you deserve it! How ’bout we get a drink!

SAUL: Oh, SLICK, I shouldn’t. I’m in recovery.

SLICK: Oh, SAUL. You don’t have a problem! It’s other people that have problems!

PLAYER 1: I have a fucking problem. I fucking hate hand puppets.

PLAYERS: giggling and writhing in our seats

MISS BANSHEE scans the room. Half are asleep, the other half bent over in pain because we’re not allowed to leave to go to the bathroom. The VIDEO drones on. PLAYER 1 is getting more and more agitated. MISS B is trying to think of ways this VIDEO can vanish discreetly and begins making PLANS to KIDNAP the video in order to DESTROY it.


PLAYER 1, PLAYER 2, PLAYER 3, in unison: I have to PISS!

ADMINISTRATOR: Listen to SAUL, goddammit.

ADMINISTRATOR 2 quietly leaves room because she too, hates SAUL and SLICK.

MISS BANSHEE smiles and crosses her LEGS. Her BLADDER groans.

SAUL: Now what you have to do to stay sober is not listen to SLICK, because addiction only wants to kill you.

SLICK: Listen to me, pal! So ya stopped drinkin’. But no one said anything about a little COCAINE. Anyway, you don’t have a PROBLEM!

PLAYER 1 whispers to MISS B: I’m going to burn this building down.

MISS B whispers to PLAYER 1: You can use my lighter.

SAUL: Now when we listen to SLICK, we relapse. Remember not to listen to SLICK.

SLICK: Listen to me! You don’t have a problem!

PLAYER 2: I have to leave.

PLAYER 3: Me too.

PLAYER 1: I’m getting triggered for violence. Can I go see my therapist?

MISS B thinks: I wonder if Saul has a rap sheet. I’ll Google him when I get home.

TIME PASSES. The VIDEO finally ends with SAUL saying goodbye to SLICK. He is, if we are to believe this monstrosity, CURED of his addiction.

ADMINISTRATOR: Any comments about the video?


ADMINISTRATOR: Be back at noon. That’s break.

PLAYERS flee from room to pee and smoke. No one burns the building down. Everyone is in on MISS B’s plan to destroy the tape like in THE RING.


think this was all made up? I only wish. Let me introduce you to Saul and Slick. 



An Open Letter To Shonda Rhimes: Pull The Goddamn Plug On Grey’s




Dear Ms. Rhimes:

Hi, it’s me, Miss Banshee. So I just wanted to jot down a little note to thank you for the two hour “special” you aired tonight. I have never had a colonoscopy performed with a power drill, but now I know what that feels like. A whole year condensed into two hours. And such riveting hours they were! Screaming burn patients! Richard and Debbie Allen squabbling! Bailey and her husband squabbling! Meredith running away to…somewhere with a beach! A pregnancy that my granny saw coming! My granny has been dead since 2000, Ms. Rhimes, and yet I received a text from her that simply said “DUH” when Mere’s pregnancy was revealed.

But I digress. Packed into those two fun filled hours was endless footage of DeadDerek, who was the luckiest of the bunch, because he is finally off this ferryboat of pain and misery. We have endured over a decade of horrors befalling Seattle Grace Grey Sloane Partridge In A Fucking Pear Tree Hospital, the place where you will either die or have your life ruined entirely. Derek’s sister had some drugs, and although I value my sobriety quite dearly, I not only wanted her to get high as a kite, I wanted her to slip me a couple of them for sitting through that nonsense. And did we for a moment think that SaintlyApril would die? We did not, Ms. Rhimes, because we have watched television before and knew that Jackson would get his happy reunion because he’s super hot.

Now, a word about Karev. Who? Exactly. We have gone through this entire season without the man having anything to do but school interns and be there as a shoulder to cry on/punching bag for his “friends.” Get this man a story line before he up and quits and you have to drop a helicopter on him. ER did that TWICE to a doctor, but I have a feeling you really don’t care enough about this show any more to deter you.

Ms. Rhimes, I am thrilled with your success in a massively predominant white male profession. Thrilled. Your other shows are flourishing, and if you just don’t give two rats’ asses about Grey’s any longer, let it die. Let it die like the burn victim that we grew to love because she was literally the only likable character in the episode. When she sang the Christmas carol to her roommate, I knew she was toast. Burnt toast, if you will. Was that tasteless? Absolutely, but so was this 120 minute droning dial tone you called a “special event.”

There are loony birds on this medium we call the innerwebz who are petitioning to bring Derek back to life, and although again, I wouldn’t put it past you, since I have yet to forget Izzie and Dead Denny doing the nasty for like, half a season. Do not listen to these people. Keep Derek dead. Keep Cristina in Europe. Give Owen a girlfriend who is not irrevocably emotionally damaged. Give Karev a goddamn story line. Bring back the Bailey of yore. And please, PLEASE end this show. Because I have invested so much time and emotion into this program that you know I’ll watch to the bitter end.

And what a bitter end this has ended up being.

image courtesy of Geddy 

Back From The Dead



Soooooo. Hi, everyone. I was doodling around on the internet today and lo and behold, I remembered this little corner of the universe. So I check the date of my last entry and HA! I made it back within a year of my last post! Sure, I only had eleven days before it would have been an entire year, but that’s neither here nor there. I am back, I am better than ever, I am correctly medicated, sober, living with my darling friend A Madison Mom and her beautiful family, in outpatient treatment, and for the first time in forever, I am HAPPY. So much shit has transpired since last we spoke I feel too overwhelmed to get into all of it at once, but let’s just say I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been in, and now I am working on pulling myself out of it. Everything will come out in time. Forgive me that, but it’s just a bit much to regurgitate right now.

ANYWAY. So! How are you? You’re looking GREAT today. Are those pants new? Your ass looks fantastic in them. You got a haircut, didn’t you? Awesome. Look at you, all snazzy with your pants and your hair, being all gorgeous.

Oh, me? I’m looking like this lately. Just so you can put a face to the name. I know it’s been a long time and you probably are all “Who is this Banshee person? I seem to recall a Miss Banshee, but that was eons ago.” A helpful reminder:



I’m thinking of using this as an official headshot. Not for acting again, aw HELL to the no, but as my writing headshot. I dunno, I think it’s a little Jay-Leno-chinny. Eh, I’ll figure it out.

What else? I don’t have a lot of time right now because I am babysitting The Small Human and The Tiny Human tonight and we have big plans. Plans that include ice cream and the DVR’d American Idol. So a real update will come later. I just wanted to say hi and tell y’all that despite everything that has gone down lately, I am really, really okay. Things are changing all over the place and I think it’s definitely for the best. The way life was going before was most assuredly NOT going the right way, so all change is good change right now. I have to believe that.

I’ll leave you with this. I didn’t write it, I think Aaron Sorkin did, but it’s from “The West Wing” and it has stayed with me since I first saw it. It sums up everything that has been going on quite nicely, I think.

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”

Be good to each other, my beloved little squirrels. I’ll be back to write more before ya know it.

The Kit Kat Klub Is Proud To Present: The Broken Soul Of Sally Bowles

Sometimes when I want to wind down and relax, I write psychological profiles of fictional characters. This won’t be interesting to some people, but this is the kind of shit I do for fun. Please to enjoy.

CABARET’s Sally Bowles is the most complex female character in musical theater, and therefore the hardest to play. Many attempt, few succeed in portraying her due to the incredible nuances of the role. For one, Sally doesn’t really exist. She has created a character, someone completely fabricated in name and personality to hide the broken child inside. Slathered with makeup and hair dye, drenched in gin, she flees to Berlin to become one with the stage. Everything from her eyelashes to her smile is unnatural.

She is so afraid of her true self she carves out a personality that is born of debauchery and false joy, her warpaint of red lips and kohl lined eyes protecting her from reality. On stage she is a painted doll, raucous and saucy, but her eyes are always empty. The beauty of the role is Sally’s fragility. She’s delusional, tragic,and sometimes highly unlikable, desperately craving attention but never letting anyone in out of sheer terror of her real self being discovered – a classic case of Borderline Personality Disorder. However she has moments of agonizing clarity.

Her abortion is necessary in her eyes “What a burden for an infant” she mournfully says to Cliff, knowing that she is completely incapable of monogamy or giving up her false sense of security in the theater, because, as she wails in the title song, “When I go? I’M GOING LIKE ELSIE” meaning that the debauchery and sin that has become her entire existence will kill her as it did her friend back in Chelsea. Performed correctly, when she sings this, it should be an agonized, raging sob as she accepts her fate. The broken child will never be healed, the makeup will smear and run with her tears, as she succumbs to never being off stage, never being her true self, and ultimately perishing not because “that’s what comes from too much pills and liquor” but because her shattered inner child cannot be repaired.

The song “Cabaret” should be sung as an impotent rage against the dying of the light. Sally is doomed, her smile a painted rictus of pain. She knows this, but does not believe she has the power to stop it. A broken, painted, dying soul, desperate for love that she is incapable of accepting. As Berlin falls, so does the curtain on Sally’s delusion of a life.

Real American Bloggers: Where Is Our Movie?

Many people are making waves about the “American Blogger” movie that’s coming out soon. I’ve only seen the trailer, which made me almost bust my spleen laughing. And not in a good way. I’m not a movie critic or a studio executive or a screenplay writer. But I am a blogger.

I’m a real life American Blogger. My dye job comes from a box, my food comes from chipping away at the ice in the freezer and excavating a frozen pizza. My “kids” are feline and one is currently climbing the curtains. Again.

I’m a real life American Blogger. I have a soft belly, can’t afford a haircut, my bed is never made, and I’ve been known to eat salad out of the bag. My car is falling apart, my apartment is a mess. I spend too much time thinking my life will never be an interesting Facebook post, and that my non-pedicured nails are starting to resemble a velociraptor.

I’m a real life American Blogger. My parents are getting older, and I’m scared to death that I won’t have them around forever and how to deal with that. I haven’t had a boyfriend in three years, and I had Jolly Ranchers for breakfast.

I’m a real life American Blogger. I’ve been in nine psych hospitalizations, three rehab facilities, a coma, and ICU more than once. More than twice. I take seven psych meds a day, with various side effects. My psychiatrist doesn’t listen to me, my psychologist is a saint. I also have a masters degree in social work, because life is funny that way.

I’m a real life American Blogger. I’m on disability for my mental issues, and deal every day with the stigma of that. People are disgusted by me, call me every name in the book, shamed and humiliated me on social media because they think I’m a waste of space and a drain on society.

I’m a real life American Blogger. I have an incredible support system through family and friends. I have people in my life I have only met on the computer who say they are inspired by me. They will never know how much they inspire and encourage me, even in my darkest hours.

I’m a real life American Blogger. I’ve been writing a blog on and off since 2000. That’s fourteen years of pouring words into a computer because they explode out of me and this is better than writing in Sharpie on the walls. I blog because it has saved my life.

I’m a real life American Blogger. No one will ever make a movie out of my life, offer me advertising space on this little corner of the internet. I may never get married, or have kids. Sometimes I feel that’s a good thing, and sometimes it makes a hole in my heart.

I’m a real life American Blogger. My name is Danielle, and I write. And that’s plenty.