Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm and a little self focus off the pier

My parents, nervous about the bitch that is Sandy hitting the Carolinas, called tonight just to make sure that we were ok.

Inland, it took a moment to realize what they were talking about as we had just come from a neighborhood Halloween parade and were simply concerned with getting the ninja, witch and ironman costumes off in good enough shape that they are still wearable for Halloween.

We are lucky. It seems that the worst of this storm has missed us, but I know that by the time you are reading this... it is likely that many people will not have been as fortunate.

I titled my blog, 'views from a pier,' because on the edge of a dock or pier the awesomeness of the ocean or the brilliance of a sunset  seem to make everything in life so beautifully simple and clear.  The petty grudges and stubborn views that I held onto with an iron fist seem like sand slipping through my fingers.

Life is beautiful. Be thankful for every moment. Every person you encounter is a child of God. The cliches become easy marching orders and I swear to carry the feeling with me back to the 'real world.'  I hoped to somehow bring those kinds of thoughts forth in this blog.

But, I am a terribly flawed Irish tempered non-yogi type human, and upon heading toward shore, the petty things feel heavier with every step.  'it does matter that she said that,' 'but they are an idiot if they vote for that person,' 'how dare he misrepresent what I said,' etc.

And though, thankfully, I am not at the edge of a pier now, I am realizing that there are other times when pettiness slips away.  Many of the people I've debated with over the past few weeks are now in harm's way and I could care less how they vote, I just hope they are safe.

Mother Nature can bitch slap us back to reality right quick.  And though you have no control over just how unpredictable and destructive nature or fate can be; it is the perfect time to embrace the fact that you have the power over whether you will be a destructive or constructive force in your life and in the lives of those around you.

Awesome are the tides we can't control, but awe-inspiring is the momentum created by a determined heart.

At this point, you should really turn to Oprah... because if I knew how to tell you to become that determined soul that changes the world... well, I probably wouldn't be writing a blog with a beer by my side.

But, what I can offer is this...

I like you.  I think you are great. Maybe its just because I was lucky enough to grow up in a super duper cheesy timeframe of America where we were singing I'd like to teach the world to sing, We are the World, and were all standing in the middle of our streets holding hands as a part of an effort to hold hands all the way across America... but I mean it.  I think you are flipping fantastic and I think you can be everything you want to be.

And if this storm messed you up and you need a place to stay, dude, come here, we'd love to have you and we have a great neighborhood to trick-or-treat in!  And, though you know I love debating, don't worry, if you're evacuated from your home I swear I won't make you defend your political views.

Our country cares so deeply about one another despite the pebble throwing and sarcasm... I feel lucky to live here but am still striving to feel like I deserve the honor.

Whatever this storm, or the next one brings... we can weather it together.

Is that too cheesy for you? well, fuck you, I believe it.

Cheesy ass children of the seventies and eighties unite.  Let's make this world the freaking awesome place it was going to be when we were all looking at the man in the mirror and all held hands across America.

hope you are well, let me know if you need anything,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

the only case for Obama...

I had to let my last post regarding my support for Romney/Ryan percolate a bit before I take to turning off a new batch of people. It's how I roll.

So while I still strongly support the GOP ticket for the presidency, I have to be honest about the one and only issue that holds me back from being a pom-pom waving door-to-door knocking volunteer. 

The gay problem. 

I'm calling it a 'problem' because it causes a problem for me, personally.  It is hard to look into the eyes of my gay friends and tell them that I support Romney/Ryan.  Is the GOP ticket saying your marriage is not completely equal under the law as mine? yup they are. Is that ok? no, it is not.  Do I feel like a schmuck sometimes for aligning with people who think its ok to say that you are not free to love who you want to love? absofreakinglutely. 

So though I have very thorough logical, legal, ethical and moral reasons that I believe in marriage equality, I would like to first share with you a story of the friendship (with my friend's blessing) that changed fundamentally who I am and helped formulate my opinion on this issue. 

I have always been a conservative republican (I mean, always. We named our dog after Alex P. Keaton and I wept bitterly when Clinton beat Bush when I was 11 years old.) I have also always been a devoted (thought questioning) Catholic who was involved in the church through High School and College as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister.  So you may think it odd that I was one of the early people a friend in college told that she was gay. 

Over drinks, I think the admission was actually accidental, but I’d like to think that it was my complete indifference to her revelation that endeared me to her, because from that moment on our friendship strengthened. 

Not long after she came ‘out,’ we were passing each other on the sidewalk between classes and she was glowing. Always beautiful, with long dark hair and olive skin, on this day she was absolutely radiant. When her eyes caught mine, she grinned and said, “I get it!”


“The giddiness! Why you walk around like a moron, asking a thousand times if I thought whatever guy was cute or looking at you was into you... all of it!”

She had a crush. She was, for the first time, letting herself truly enjoy the beauty of the feeling that had accompanied me through most of my life since my first major crush in 3rd grade. You should also know, I am a bit of a romantic (some teachers may have written ‘boy-crazy’ in report card comments.)

In the past, she tried to play the game the way it was ‘supposed’ to be played. She went to school dances and talked about boys. She, as I mentioned, is gorgeous so she was often asked out and she went on dates but thought something was wrong with her... because never once did her heart skip a beat nor did she get caught up in it the way all the girls around her did.

And, when in high school, an upperclass girl caught her eye, she told herself it was simply admiration she was feeling. She waited patiently to find a guy that would make her feel anything at all.
And now, standing before me, she was giggling and rosy and told me all about how she and this crush had almost held hands.

‘It hit me like a truck,' no doubt is a cliche. But it applies as I was absolutely blindsided at the realization of just how incredibly naive I had been. Because, though I had never ‘judged’ her, there was always a part of me that humored the mental debates of whether homosexuality was ‘natural,’ or if it was a ‘choice’. I didn’t ‘judge’; but damn, how I had I arrogantly analyzed.

In that moment, I was dizzy with unadulterated happiness for her. There is no way, the romantic I was, I could ever want anyone to be denied the crazy giddy stupid joy that comes at the beginning of a relationship.  

I could’ve listened to her joy all day. And I’m forever thankful to her for sharing that moment with me. It wasn't until later that day that my heart broke for the fact that it took so much courage and so much time for her to allow herself the same joy most of us know without thinking twice about it. 

She and I became roommates. Like any roommates, we went through ups and downs... with friends, in school and in relationships. It never again amazed me that our relationship woes and joys were absolutely no different from one another’s.

She met my greatest crush of all and was the first to say ‘you should hang on to him.’ And two years later she was in my wedding to him.

Since then, I have come to know the incomparable joy of a life committed to someone, who is in turn committed to you.  Despite its sometimes heartbreaking downs, it is an awesome feeling.  I wouldn't dare try to rob someone of that feeling. 

I honestly don't blame people for not understanding homosexuality, especially people in the generation ahead of us where being open was not as accepted or common (not that it is perfectly accepted now, of course, but we have certainly made strides as a nation.)  And feel like I am blessed because of the courage a friend had and the trust she had in me. 

Try to forget what happens in the bedroom (you don't want to know what your neighbors do either... I learned at a recent dinner party that 50 shades kink is waaayyyy more common than I thought... yeah, I learned I'm a boring wife and I don't ask anymore.)  Instead, just think about the idea of having a partner to share your life with. Tell me that you are ok denying someone you love that feeling. 

I hate this issue because it feels like it could and should be healed so quickly so easily.  I wish I could stop every accusation of bigotry, ignorance, morality and righteousness before it starts because it just seems to fan the flame of misunderstanding. I wish I could give everyone a chance to be me in that moment of seeing my friend’s joy. I wish I could promise every young person that they have every right to dream of their happily ever after whatever it may be because God does not make mistakes and they are not evil or sick for wanting to be in love. 

I want to beg all the same-sex couples that have been couples for decades to come out and be the spokespeople for the movement to show how their relationships have the exact same trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows as straight couples and deserve the exact same rights and respect as provided by the law.

But I can’t, because it’s not their job to be put on trial and show it... it is our job to simply clear our eyes and see it.

For those of you still unsure, 

Look, for all I know homosexuality is an 'abomination to God'... but so may be what my hubby and I do in our bedroom... I mean, I do like the taste of sausage in the morning if ya know what I mean. 

And what I mean is that my husband often makes me breakfast in bed and I like sausage links and eating the flesh of pigs is also perhaps an abomination (Leviticus 11, 7-8.)  What did you think I meant?? Get your head out of the gutter, sicko. (and, btw, that's not strictly forbidden in the bible anyway... )

But most of all, I know that I don't know every opinion of God on every matter... I tend to believe that He is just a tad more complex than we can possibly understand.  So I think He did his best to make things easy for us by saying... and I'm paraphrasing here.  'Look, human, you are not the greatest thing around, I am. So why don't you just chill out, be thankful for me and all I've given you and be nice to the people around you because they're my kids too regardless of what you think about them.'

And, I kind of like the idea that Jesus Himself was the first separation of church and state guy, 'give to God what is God's, give to Caeser what is Caeser's.' (in current terms, if you think gay marriage is a sin... don't get gay married, but that doesn't mean the law has to be in line with your beliefs.)

Ok. so in summary. Marriage equality needs to happen, like now.  But, I'm sorry, I don't buy Obama's support because had he issued his support just one day earlier, it could have made a difference for Amendment 1 in NC... but it could've also pissed off his black baptist voters... so I think he's an opportunist.  So vote Romney/Ryan because otherwise it won't matter who can get married, no one will be able to afford a marriage license. 

Now I'll go to my car where I feel safest of all. watch this and come back next week! I'll go lighter... maybe. 

thanks for reading, 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I am a binder full of women. (my feminist rant?)

First I need to give kudos to the unknown writer of, "Binder full of women? Halloween costume of the year." because that's just good humor.

But otherwise I must presume that women don't want to be taken seriously in politics at all.  Because all of the self-proclaimed feminists that I know get lost in muddles of sound bites and seem to have no idea what any of the actual issues are.

Other than the binder, here are a few recent examples: women forwarding around a photo of the leaders of the catholic church when they were contesting the birth control requirement of their institutions (yes, Biden was full of "stuff" when he said they were not affected.) with some kind of commentary like this:
Appropriately bitchy, snarky and absolutely inane. Way to get us taken seriously.  If you have a problem with the leadership of the Catholic and Jewish faiths being men, then take issues with the religions, but don't be shocked when those institutions that are threatened send out their leadership to defend themselves. 
Photo: Send an eCard to say you won’t go back:
And how about this one from Women for Barack Obama?  Hmmmm. let me get this straight. The government is trying to take over health care... and yet the side saying it should be up to the individuals what their coverage is is the one being accused of taking away control?? It just makes no sense.  When does something not being given for free equal being denied it? Is the government denying me computer rights because I have to pay for my own Internet access and monitor? 

And, all the while, I hear women going on and on about a "war on women."  The only war on women I see is when one of my friends pop on my Facebook page with some sort of assertion that any woman that votes for Romney is voting against all women.  What? really? Women are so simple-minded that there can only be one side and/or one issue that matters?  Liberal women claim that the GOP is starting a war on women and yet they are screaming that all female republicans are either idiots and don't understand what the evil GOP is doing, or they are simply following their master's (excuse me,) husband's orders on whom they should support.  But, that shouldn't surprise me. The same kind of tactics are used on minorities or celebrities should they dare endorse a republican.

Here is why, as a woman, I am supporting Mitt Romney.  I want the economy to get on track. President Obama can brag about signing the Ledbetter Act into congress all he wants, he'll never have to worry about the fallout of enforcement if there are never any jobs to be had.  Governor Romney got panned when he said he'd help women in the workforce by making the economy stronger.  What that said to me is he sees women as no different than men.  The most important way the next president can help women in the workforce is by facilitating the creation of more jobs.

I don't want the next generation to be saddled with debt or to live with an attitude of entitlement.  Again, sorry, I guess it's not a 'women''s issue other than the fact that we are 1/2 of the equation that creates the next generation... and that women happen to also be in the next generation so maybe we should care about them a little bit.

I don't want the government in my health care.  I believe that the decisions I make should be between me and my doctor... oh, does this sound familiar to you? Then Why In Heaven's Name do you want the government taking over our health care?? I'm so confused by people when they say, "a women's choice should be between her and her doctor" and meanwhile they are holding up a pro ObamaCare sign...

And, since ObamaCare was passed, our family's personal insurance has gone up by 20% so, as a woman, my health care has absolutely been negatively impacted in the last four years and ObamaCare hasn't even gone into full effect.

Going back to the fair pay act for a moment, Governor Romney also got panned when he said that women may prefer flexibility.  Guess what, women, he's treating you equal to men once again.  He assumes that you can put your big girl pants on and negotiate your own salary and benefits without mama government doing it for you.  I have been a stay at home mom for a while now, but while I was in the work force, I found out that at two of my places of employment I was making more than other women working there... because I was the only one that said what my salary should be and I asked for raises when I thought them due.  In one scenario I went ahead and asked for raises for all my colleagues because they were all too nervous.  Every one of them (4 ladies) got raises that day -which incidentally happened to also be the one and only day my husband has accused me of being a socialist...

I know I was lucky, I had a business owner father who taught me the importance of a dollar and the even greater importance of knowing your self worth... and I had a mom who was never scared to ask anyone anything... so it may have come more easily to me than many other women... But we should share that knowledge with women instead of holding a gun to the the head of business owners!

So I guess, in short, (too late,) what I'm trying to convey is that as an American that happens to have a vagina, I would like to see our economy in better shape, our foreign policy clearer and stronger, our government spending and reach to be contained and a (flexible) job to be there when I decide to return to work.  I am voting for Romney/Ryan.

And, as for President Obama, I'm simply sick of being pandered to.  And, woman friend that may be angered by reading this, if you still don't think that Obama thinks that you are an idiot that needs to be taken care of... clearly you don't know about the life of Julia... who will be a broke high school dropout and will never get to volunteer at a community garden because she died of some mysterious illness when she was 26... if Romney is elected.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Debate Drinking Game!

I'm psyched! Are you? Tonight is the night that two virtually unknown decent citizens have a meaningful discussion that will help us understand who is the better suited man to lead our country over the next four years.

Wait, what? that is not what is happening tonight?  Oh, that's right... two notorious probably originally decent men turned to feats of great douchebaggery will be repeating catchphrases tonight.  Well, all the better... because that means it is time for the DEBATE DRINKING GAME.

Now, I'll warn you, this is hardcore. Only embark on this journey if you are dedicated.

First, in order to play you:
*should have beer, wine or any alcoholic or non-alcohlic drink you enjoy.
*preferably be watching with a member of the opposite sex that you are comfortable with.
*if you are male... wear a cup... just in case.

OK Ladies and Gents, welcome to the 1st presidential debate drinking game of 2012, keep an open mind, have fun and pace yourselves.

To get started: Pick a candidate. This may not be who you are voting for... just who you think will keep you less or more thirsty depending on your preference.

sip for every person and/or organization he thanks at the beginning.
sip for every time he starts a statement with "Look" or "Let me be clear"
sip for every time he says "added"
double sip every time he says he doubled anything.
chug whenever he smiles awkwardly while Romney is attacking his policies. Finish your drink if the awkward smile ends with Obama addressing the moderator like they are best buds dealing with a lunatic.

sip for every person and/or organization he thanks in the beginning
sip for every time he says "deficit"
sip for every time he says "lost"
double sip for every times he says "class warfare"
chug every time he smiles while Obama is criticizing his policies. Finish your drink if he ends awkward smile with a sip of his own drink.

sip every time anyone says, 'jobs.'
1 sip for 'billion'
2 sips for 'trillion'
finish your drink if anyone says 'gazillion'
Chug for 4.7 seconds if you hear the number 47.
If either candidate says something in spanish, take a tequila shot.
If anyone mentions Bain, say, in your best rasp, "I am batman."
If either candidate mentions 'women's rights', feel a boob.
If either candidate mentions 'men's rights', ball swat.
If you think, for anything said tonight, "that was a good zinger." slap yourself immediately.

And if, at any point, you feel the need to quote something on Facebook or Twitter hoping that these are the magic words that will change someone's mind... finish your drink and go to bed immediately. Do not pass the computer, do not take your tablet, do not take your phone.

Thank you for playing! Have fun and vote responsibly!!