The Time for Hope is Now

I have recently become acquainted with the Hope for Recovery Center located in downtown Franklin NH. Though they have been there for quite some time now, I had never had reason to walk through their doors until a friend of mine decided to use her birthday to help raise funds for them. When I walked in, I was greeted warmly, and thanked for coming. There was food, of course, and cake, but more importantly, there were testimonies given by people who are members of this center; members of my community. Many of whom I didn’t know. One story, in particular, broke my heart three or four times before the young lady was finished speaking. It was a story that she admitted she didn’t quite feel ready to tell, and by the end of it, I knew I wanted to volunteer if I could.

I have never been an addict, so I am not in recovery. This does not mean that I have nothing to learn from these wonderful people. The night after my first experience at the center, they had a family friendly sober dance. I brought my daughters. As we walked through the door, a group of teenagers ran up and grabbed Krishna, and took off with her. Arienette spotted some toys, and off she ran as well. As I sat and watched, (as I am wont to do when surrounded by unfamiliar people) I noticed something; there was no judgment here. These people saw no age, no disability, no class. All were equal here. They formed a circle as an elder woman jumped to the center and danced her heart out, and they all cheered for her as she resumed her place in the ring. Another, younger person took their turn, then another. Nobody asked me who I was, what I was doing there, or anything. I was just there, and they accepted me as one of them. There were many children from infants to teenagers, to people in their elder years. People brought their dates as well. There were raffles and food, and everyone had a wonderful time. These dances have been happening every month.

Hope has been planning a theater group to help young people stay away from substance abuse. The theory here being that young people choose substances to fill a hole in their lives, and that we should give them something positive to fill that hole with instead. Give them theater! Give them someone to be! Help them become stronger individuals by teaching them strength of character and character development.

There is a spaghetti dinner planned for March 10th, and originally, the proceeds were to go to the wedding of Hope’s DJ, though he has graciously offered to donate them to help Hope stay alive. The dinner will include karaoke and probably some other things as well. The people of Hope know how to throw a party.

Yesterday morning, the director found out that the center, and three of the four other branches are set to close due to lack of funding. Yesterday afternoon, the Hope community said “No.” Last night, WMUR was on site to interview and broadcast some of the members who were able to make it out to stand and protest the closing of their center.

Franklin needs Hope. We talk so often, and so much about the drug crisis in New Hampshire, but when it comes down to it, what are we willing to do to help? I know that Hope helps. I have heard the testimonies from the people who have been helped by this center. Hundreds of people walk through those doors every month looking for help. Without Hope, many of these people would still be in the throes of their addictions. They would be without jobs, living on the streets. The truth is, if we want to help stop this drug crisis, we need to put our money where the help is. I know that I, for one, would by far prefer to see addicts find help in recovery than to see them on the streets.

We stand for Hope, help us find a way to keep it alive.

YouCaring page for fundraising





On Charlotesville

It has been several days, and as such, I am behind the outpouring of words that customarily follow such an event. Words of sadness, confusion, love, help, good intent… mostly words of good intent, but also words of anger, hate, vitriol, and even people who deny that this was what even the perpetrators of the incident say it was. In this case, an act of white supremacists, making sure the rest of us know that they are still very much alive, and willing to fight for what they think they deserve.

“Jews will not replace us”

Jewish people have neither the intention, nor desire to replace anyone. There is no “gay agenda”, African Americans are not trying to undermine white people in any way. They are simply standing here saying “Please, can you make some room for us, too?” And when you stand, and shout back at them that you want them to die, or that you won’t let them “replace you” or “win”, maybe you are the problem here.

“Blood and soil

Using an old Nazi chant drives in only one point. That the people shouting it are Nazis. Unless, of course, they happen to be shouting it on soil that they stole from people, while covering it with the blood of those native peoples. Then, a second point is made. The people shouting are either extraordinarily forgetful, or just really stupid. This soil does not belong to us. If it belongs to anyone, it is the Native Americans who were cheated out of their land, pushed into corners and largely forgotten about… and then… replaced. In fact, throughout history, it is the white man who has done most of the replacing.

White people will never be replaced, and they know that. Everyone with any semblance of a brain knows that. That isn’t really what they fear. These people fear having to share, and being made to share equally. They fear having to treat everyone as though they are equal. Being forced to acknowledge that they are superior to nobody.

The fact is, if Charlottesville had been Native Americans or African Americans protesting, even if it were a peaceful protest, they would not have made it out safely. They would have been arrested. Bombarded with teargas and rubber bullets. America is not, and will not be free and equal until this is no longer the case. Until white protesters are given the same treatment as protesters of any other color, creed, religion, etc, we have no equality.

Until we have someone in the White House who can see why Charlottesville was, indeed, an incitement of terror from white supremacists, and not simply “bad on both sides”, we can not come together, and if Pence wants to stand with Trump on his statements on the issue, then let him fall with Trump as well.

We, as a country, need to move forward. We need to move into equality for all. Nothing less can be acceptable.

Dear Clothing Companies

Most of the time, if I am shopping for clothes, it is for my daughters. Arienette is the easiest, she is five. I go to the boys’ section if she needs sweat pants, because they are thicker than the ones the girls have, (yes, really) then, I just raid the girls’ section for whatever else she needs. She loves clothes, so, as long as it’s cute, she doesn’t care what I get her.

Krishna, at 16, is a little more picky. Luckily, we generally have the same taste in clothing,(though sometimes I still find myself thinking WTF??) so, anything I think is cute will generally make her happy, plus anything that has super heroes (or villains), or The Doctor on it will make her squeal with delight. Basically, at her age, as long as she is covered, I am happy.

The problem arises if ever I should deign to attempt to find clothing for myself. Regardless of what store I am shopping at, I walk in already knowing that I am unlikely to find anything I like that is also in my size, and, bu the time I walk out, 98% of the time, I have bought no clothing.

You see, I am a fat girl. (GASP!) For some reason, clothing companies see this, and assume that it means that I do not wish to be seen, so they throw shapeless tops in dark colors and floral patterns with barely any neckline and no flare or imagination at all at me thinking, somehow, that I will be thrilled at the options, when really, they are not giving me options.

This upsets me more than I can tell you. Follow me around the clothing section in any store, and you will invariably hear me muttering obscenities along with things like “do they think that they can just make fat girls disappear by hiding us under circus tents?”, or “Of course, I’m a fat girl, why on earth would I possibly want to look cute?” The thing is, I do want to look cute. I love the clothing I see in other sections. I really wish that someone would make those clothes in my size.

I prefer to wear form fitting clothing. It is more comfortable to me, and frankly, I may be a bigger girl, but I have some kick ass curves, and you can’t see them if I am swimming in one of the shapeless t shirt things that dominates my size range at any given store. I like my clothing to reflect my personality, to show off my goofy, nerdy side, or maybe that day I want to just look pretty. When my choices do not have personality, this is made even more difficult. I just don’t understand why manufacturers don’t see the market for cute, plus size clothing.

I went shopping the other day, and I bought four pieces of clothing. Four. Three tops and a skirt. One of the tops may get returned, because I am iffy about the pattern. I consider this to be a good shopping day. My best, actually, in over a year. I had to look through all of the clothes in the entire women’s’ section twice before I found anything. i had to dig through the racks to see if they had anything that would fit me that wasn’t boring or hideous. This should not be the case.

I am going to end this by saying one simple thing that I think everyone can understand: unless you want a bunch of fat girls running around naked, you need to clothe us. Most of us prefer to look cute. It makes us happier. You don’t want a bunch of pissed off, naked fat girls looking for you, do you? Or, maybe that’s your thing, I won’t judge.

Trick or Treat?

To the person who decided tonight, that my 4 year old was too young for a king sized chocolate bar, and that my 16 year old is too old for candy at all, and then slammed the door in their faces, I ask you to please consider that, for just one night, these children (yes, even at 16, she is still a child) get to enjoy being children, and indulge in candy.

I don’t give my little girl very much chocolate, and I certainly would have saved a larger bar for a time that was not right before bed, but please allow parents to decide whether their kids are too young or too old. I promise you that I can control my children’s chocolate consumption, and I would much rather my teenager be out trick-or-treating with her little sister, than out doing who knows what else she could be doing.

If you are not comfortable giving larger bars to smaller children, that’s fine, grab some snack size bars for them; and what, pray tell, is wrong with a teenage girl enjoying her last few years before she becomes an adult? You better believe if adults could get away with it, a lot of us would be out grabbing free candy as well.

All I ask, is that if you are going to open your doors, you open your hearts. If you are going to judge children too young and too old, who is left to give candy to anyway?

Open Letter to Khloe.


I have never watched your show, I don’t “keep up” with your family, and I know very little about you all. Frankly, the first time I heard Kim speak was on Ellen, and I was shocked that her voice sounded the way it does. I don’t know what I expected, but that wasn’t it.

Anyway, I digress. For a long time, with the little I have seen or read about your family, you have come across as the most real of the bunch. You are unapologetic, you are easier to relate to. You seem to be a very genuine, kind woman. I have long admired those qualities in you. I especially admire your willingness to stand up and defend the people you love with your whole being. Heart, soul, body and mind.

Recently, it has been a mess for you. With Lamar in the hospital, unknowing whether he would pull through, you immediately dropped everything and rushed to his side (I imagine) the moment you heard. You didn’t have to do that; you are not technically still together. You did it because of your love for him.

I admit, since I have admired you most of your family, I have “kept up” with you the most. I saw you fight for your marriage. I saw you struggle to help Lamar get back on track, and I saw you make what had to be the most difficult decision of your life – to end your marriage – when you felt you could not save it. I have held out hope on the sidelines, that your marriage could be saved, silly as it may be to hold out hope for someone who is so far removed from me that you may as well be a character in a sitcom… I held out hope for you and Lamar the way I held out hope for Cory and Topanga watching Boy Meets World in the 90’s. For whatever reason, I believe in you guys.

You rushing to his side like you did shows how much you still love him. Even if you never do end up together again, it is plain that your heart is with him for real. Not for ratings, not for viewers, not for money or cameras or media. You never left his side. That is the most real thing you could have possibly done. I have seen people, media and friends alike, saying that you are doing this to keep up appearances. That you rushed to him in order to get media attention, and that you have called off the divorce in order to get his money.

That is not what I see.

What I see is a woman with a big heart. What I see is that you ran to his side because he matters to you. You flew his ex and his children out there to be with him because you love him, and you love his children, and you knew they needed to be there. You knew he needed the people he loves to surround him. To help him pull through. I see a woman whose heart was breaking more and more each moment. And I see a woman with strength and character, and love. A woman who stepped up to take care of her ex when he needed her. A woman who could have spent minimal time with him. Could have gone home when her family did and chose not to. You chose to stay by his side when you were the only one there.

People will tear you down because of your name. They will tear you down because of Kim and her tape. People are cruel and ruthless, and they will take any scrap they can find and hold it against you.

Don’t let them.

Don’t let them win.

You are truly an inspiration. You could have chosen not to care. Not to go to him. You had no reason to have to be there. You chose to be there out of love and compassion. Hold on to that. Hold on to what makes you human. Hold on to what makes you strong.

Thank you for standing up when so many others would have sat it out.

Thank you for loving unapologetically.

Thank you for giving people someone to aspire to be like.


Open letter to Nickelodeon.

Hello, Nickelodeon. How you doing? Good? Have a seat.

My name is Elizabeth Kopuz, and I was born in 1985. This makes me a proud 90’s kid. I grew up watching wonderful shows like Ren and Stimpy and Are You Afraid of the Dark. I actually own all 7 seasons of AYAOTD on DVD as well as some Ren and Stimpy, and a bit of Hey Arnold. These shows were my childhood. I grew up dreaming of some day being slimed. I would have loved to be on Legends of the Hidden Temple or Wild and Crazy Kids or Double Dare. I never cared too much about Disney, for me, it was all about Nickelodeon. I can still sing Stick Stickley’s fan mail song from memory, and remember my favorite episodes of all of my favorite shows. In fact, if you ask almost anyone from my generation, you will hear a similar story. It is a well known fact that a lot of people think the 90’s was the best decade.

I have a 15 year old daughter, and a 3 year old. This means I have seen a lot of the newer shows. To say they pale in comparison to what we had in the 90’s is giving them far too much credit. I do not have cable due to the fact that I would rather they grow up watching the same shows I did (yes, even Ren and Stimpy). My toddler happens to LOVE Maggie and the Ferocious Beast.

Recently, “The Splat” came to my attention when they followed me on twitter. I believed this was going to be a 90’s channel, born on the coat tails of the recent success of Girl Meets World, as well as the announcement that they will be bringing back Duck Tails and introducing Fuller House. I had assumed that you had seen the success in appealing to the 90’s kids, and wanted to jump in with a channel. I was so excited. I was looking into my options for getting cable simply for that channel.

Imagine my disappointment in learning that it is only a block of shows from 10pm to 6am. Yeah, because anyone is going to reasonably stay up to watch that. Don’t know if you realize this, but, most of us 90’s kids have small children. We can’t stay up until all hours of the night to finally get to watch our shows. This is not a viable option when we have to wake up in the morning, and get our kids together. We have to be able to care for our kids, as well as get our work done.

I can absolutely guarantee that if you were to create a 90’s channel, viewership would explode. Not only would 90’s kids watch, but, guess what? My girls prefer 90’s shows over what is on now. That’s right. A teenager and a toddler would rather watch Aaah! Real Monsters and Angry Beavers over whatever a  Thunderman is.

I suppose, what it is going to come down to, is whether you or Disney grabs the chance first. They are already bringing back and revisiting great shows from the 90’s. When are you going to step up to the plate?


A very disappointed lifetime fan.

For those of you who read this and agree, my petition is here.

Create a CHANNEL for 90’s Nickelodeon shows

Open letter to Ginger Minj

All my life I have struggled with body image issues, self esteem problems and more. There is a huge backstory, but I have a feeling this is already going to be a TL;DR situation, so I won’t go into that right now. (if you would like to know, I will send you the link to that post)

Since seeing you on Drag Race, something inside me has shifted. I turned 30 on the 14th, so that may be part of it, but I prefer to give you the credit. Suddenly I have confidence. I am finding that I am starting to like myself more, and care less about my body shape. I think your song had a lot to do with that as well as the way you conducted yourself on the show. You are a bigger girl, and (see what I did there? “And” not “but”) you are BEAUTIFUL. You consistently looked amazing on the runway, and I was thrilled when you told Santino why you don’t corset. I am happy that you would rather work with what you have than to try to shove your body into a death grip (I have worn a corset. I hate the damn thing, and it makes me look ridiculous).

You have been such an inspiration to me, even outside of your talent and your love for your fans (as previously mentioned) because of your love for YOURSELF. Your love for your BODY. You have helped to spark a change within me that I have been trying to ignite for half my life. For that, I cannot thank you enough. I imagine you have done the same for so many people, and every time I notice someone feeling down about their body, I send them the link to your video. I listen to it every day. Multiple times. It helps to remind me to love myself. Love my body. It helps remind me that I am worth it, and that I am special.

All my thanks.