Saturday, November 14, 2009

Please Turn off The Lights When You Leave.


Saturday, November 7, 2009


So my daughter can be one tough cookie. Something that never ceases to amaze me about her is how she deals with sadness. You see, when she is mad or frustrated or just plain tired she can cry like a champion. She could probably compete if there was such a thing as championship crying. But when she's sad about something, she fights crying with everything in her. Like when she really doesn't want to say goodbye to me or if her feelings have sincerely been hurt. You can see her eyes well up and her mouth turns into a frown. But she'll fight the tears. She'll run away, get silent, or even cover her face with a blanket. But she'll refuse to cry in front of us.

Last night was one of the most gut wrenching moments I think I've ever seen as a mom. I was trying to clean up from dinner and get a couple of other things done. The kids were bickering (as they do) and were bored with anything I could come up with on TV. I came across Follow That Bird just as it was starting. Do you remember that Sesame Street movie from the 80s? Well my kids are not regular Sesame Street watchers anymore, but they still love it on occasion and they'd never seen this movie before. My son got bored after a few minutes and went to go play in his room. My four year old on the other hand sat through the entire movie.

It ended just as I finished the last of the dinner dishes. I came into the room to see Cheyanne standing there with her blanky. I saw that look in her eyes. They were filled to the brim with tears and her face was quickly turning into a frown. "What's wrong peanut?" I asked. "Didn't you like the movie?" She ran up to me and buried her face into my waist, fighting the urge to cry. "Ernie was so sad when Big bird was gone..." her voice trailed off and she buried her face back into me.

I whisked her onto my lap and sat on the couch as she continued to bury her face into my chest. I got her to look up at me and all she could say was "Ernie was so sad without his friend.." I said, "Yes, but what happened at the end?" She started to slowly smile and said, "Big Bird came home and Ernie was happy."

I reminded her it was OK to be sad and it was OK to cry. After a moment she hopped off my lap and went back about her business.

This morning I asked if she wanted to watch Follow That Bird again. She said no. I asked why not. She simply said, "I don't want to talk about it" and walked out of the room.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


This is the view from my lap this afternoon. She is third man down in our battle against the evil flu going around. I hate seeing my usually rambunctious kids down like this.

But I'll tell you a little secret, I don't really mind the extra snuggle time I get with them. Something that grows increasingly rare as they grow older.

So I'll take the good with the bad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I No Longer Speak English

Though I guess I can still write in English, as evident by this blog post. Now, I'm not positive, but I suspect that I have lost the ability to speak in my native tongue. In reality it's only one possible theory as to why what has been occurring in my house today has been occurring. Actually scratch that, what has been happening in my house the whole latter half of the week.

My kids no longer understand me. Then again, over the last few days they have had a hard time even acknowledging that I'm speaking to them, let alone understanding what I'm telling them. So maybe it's not that I'm no longer speaking English. Maybe I have wandered into some odd classic Twilight Zone episode where, though I keep talking, no one can hear me. Yes, that seems much more likely.

Heaven knows that it can't be because my kids are six and four. It can't be that because even though they are great kids, most of the time, that there aren't times when they turn into absolute stinkers. Does it make me a bad mom to say this? No, I think it just makes me a mom.

What are your theories when it comes to selective hearing for your children? And also, please leave a comment. Cause the whole Twilight Zone theory kind of freaks me out a little. So it would be nice to know that even though Ive become invisible here at home somehow on the Internet I do in fact still exist.

OK, time to get the kids to clean up for dinner....


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hear My Story: Why I Need Health Care Reform

My friends over at MOMocrats have launched a series called, "Hear My Story" in an attempt to help get the stories of people who are struggling under the current health care system out in the open so others can see the importance and need for health care reform. This is my story.

I've had Kaiser for almost as long as I can remember. Except for the chunks of time when my dad was out of work or working under the table, we always had it. As an adult every job I ever worked here in the Bay Area offered Kaiser as an option and I always took it. My husband has been an independent contractor for close to 9 years now, so my insurance was always the only choice. Both my kids were born in Kaiser hospitals and have been seeing the same pediatrician since the day they were born.

After my daughter was born I made the decision to open up a daycare out of my home and work for myself. This would enable to be home with my kids instead of sending them back to daycare. The price of Cobra was OBSCENE so we made the decision to get our own private plan through Kaiser. This would be cheaper than cobra and cheaper then most of the other plans we had the chance to get.

In the years since making that choice our monthly premium has continued to go up and we eventually had to switch to a deductable plan. This means that until we reach $1,500 individually or $5,400 as a family we have to pay full price for everything. Office visits, tests, prescriptions. On top of paying $524 a month.

I went from paying $10 for birth control to almost $60. Last year my son got sick with a bronchial infection. We were prescribed an inhaler and antibiotics. The price? $300. Now my husband and I are both self-employed. We live week-to-week and just barley make it. When that sudden $300 bill popped up (not counting the $75 it cost for the office visit) in the middle of the rent week, we couldn't pay it. Though that didn't matter to the pharmacy, because they can’t bill you there. So if we couldn't come up with the cash on the spot, we weren't going to get the prescription.

I begged, though tears, for the pharmacist to bill me, but the system flat wouldn't let her. She called my pediatrician and then sent me back down the hall to her office. I dragged my sick son back through the doctor's office and explained the situation to the pediatrician. She rewrote the prescription for a different kind of inhaler and a lesser dose and was able to bring the bill down to $150. We still had to borrow against rent, but it wasn't as big of a chunk as the $300.

That's just one incident. We have a stack of bills for office visits that we can't pay and are always a month behind paying our premium.

Our last year taxes show we make more than what Medicare will allow, even though as of next week I am no longer doing daycare. Not that we'd really want to switch, we love Kaiser. We just can't afford it.

The kicker is that in San Francisco they have a city wide Health Plan. Thanks to Mayor Gavin Newsom, Kaiser is part of that plan. And we would qualify. If we were to live just 40 short minutes away, our Kaiser would be free.

They have options under their plan. They have choices and they are a better community because of it. We, as a nation, need options. We need affordable ones. I need to be able to deal with my children when they get sick without having to worry about how I'm going to pay for the antibiotics or even just an office visit. I need help.

I had private insurance paid for by an employer for years. Then one day I didn't. I chose to start my own business. I chose to work at home so I could be with my kids. Why should I be penalized for those choices by not having an affordable option for health care?

Raise my taxes to pay for it I don’t care. It will still be cheaper than what I have to pay every month or each time someone in my family gets sick.

Do you have a story to tell? Visit MOMcrats and tell YOUR story.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Top 10 Songs to Send Your Child off to School By

This weekend we went out and completed all our school shopping, I can't believe my little man is going to be in the 1st grade. Where does the time go? Well it got me thinking about how I'm just as emotional facing 1st grade as I was facing Kindergarten. So as a tribute to my own son AND daughter who starts Pre-K this year as well, I am posting this piece I wrote last year at this time. For all of you moms out there who are watching there child move from one stage of life into another...

Top 10 Songs to Send Your Child off to School By

I have recently found myself facing one of the biggest milestones a parent can reach while raising children, my young son will be entering Kindergarten. As any of you who have been through this, or will soon be facing it know, it is something that fills you with a myriad of emotions.

On one hand, I find myself brimming with excitement. PTA meetings, school plays, homework, watching my son grow from a boy into a young man. What’s not to look forward to? Other times I look at him, and all I see is that sweet blue-eyed boy that we brought home from the hospital five short years ago. How can I send my baby out into the world? Will one of those little girls running around be the first to break his heart? Will he stand up to his first bully, or have his spirit broke by him? Will he enjoy school, or will he rebel against it?

It’s so difficult to not know these answers, but know that I have to let him go anyway. There are parents out there reading this who are feeling this too. Maybe its not Kindergarten, maybe you’re sending yours off to college, or for some of you, you’re baby is getting married. Whichever one you’re facing, it’s still the same.

It just like when they were toddlers learning to walk. You wanted them to walk, but you feared for them, because you knew that they were going to have to fall before they could walk. As with any other big moment in life, I have a running soundtrack playing in my head right now. These are the songs that I hear playing in my head as I fill my son’s first backpack with school supplies. As I fill out his emergency cards, and shop for his new shoes. As I watch him begin his life.

So for every parent whose little one is starting Kindergarten, college, or simply starting their own life, here is a list of tunes to sneak onto their Ipod before they go.

1. Everything But The Girl-Apron Strings

Being a mom, the term “Apron String:” has a number of meanings, but the strings that are sung about in this EBTG tune are the ones that every mom wishes they could forever keep their baby safely wrapped in for the rest of their lives.

2. Kate Bush-This Woman’s Work

When its time for your child to begin making journeys on their own, without you, it leaves you plagued with fear. Have you done a good job? Have you given them all the tools they need to be strong and to succeed? Those are some of the questions that flood my mind when I hear this Kate Bush classic.

3. Cyndi Lauper-Time After Time

OK, so maybe this is slightly on the melodramatic side, but it truly captures the essence of what every parent desperately hopes for when letting go of their little one. That wherever your child goes they know that we will always be there. That when they need us to go slow, we will always fall behind, when they are lost we will always be there to help them find their way, and when they fall we will always catch them. Time after time after time.

(Honorable mention goes to True Colors)

4. Rod Stewart- Forever Young

One of the classic songs about what a parent feels for a child. So much so, that I’ve heard this song played at weddings, funerals, graduation parties, and baby showers. Its universal message of parental love comes through no matter what path of life you are on. I even used this song in a video I made for my parents 25thwedding anniversary. Now, as I look at my son who is so quickly turning from a boy to a young man, all I see is that young baby we brought home from the hospital about to go to school.

5. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young- Teach Your Children

This tune is pretty much a given. I, like most parents I’m sure, hope that all of my crazy insecurities and quirks haven’t damaged my son too much. And I know in the years to follow he will have so much more to teach us than we could ever begin to teach him.

6. The Cast of Rent-Seasons of Love

It’s so surreal to look back on the years spent watching your child grow. This song always makes me flash on the idea of how many diapers have I changed? How many tears have I wiped away, scraped knees have I kissed? How many tickle fits, time outs, bowels of Mac & Cheese, swings, campfires, nightmares, sing alongs, legos, stories have I read, and kisses goodnight have there been? I couldn’t begin to count, but I could tell you that there have been miles and miles of love, and so many more miles to cover.

7. Kenny Loggins-Return to House at Pooh Corner

I was already past my due date with my son when I became obsessed with hearing this song. I hadn’t heard it in ages and with my son soon to be making his debut, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. So I dragged my very pregnant self to Target and bought Kenny Loggins greatest hits CD and sat in the parking lot and listened to it. I went home and sat in the nursery, decked out in all Winnie The Pooh d├ęcor, and listened to it again. Now as I listen to it almost six years later, with that same little guy about to embark on his own adventures, I’m still as excited as I was the day he was born.


8. Cat Stevens –Wild World

When most people hear this tune they automatically think “break up” song, but when I heard it on the radio recently, it kind of struck me how it’s about all the scary things that are out there. Bullies, mean teachers, broken hearts, friends who turn out to not be friends; all the things that a parent can’t ever protect a child from. It truly is a wild world out there.


9. Beautiful Boy- John Lennon

Though I feel so much that my son is growing up, this song makes me realize the reality is, he’s still my boy. And we do have such a long way to go. And each day life with him gets better and better, and I can’t wait to what the next part of his life will bring.

10. Three Little Birds-Bob Marley

If there was one message I could forever embed into my child’s mind to take with him everywhere he goes for the rest of his life, it would be this. Everything little thing is going to be all right.

For everybody who is entering into a new phase of parenthood, whether it is becoming a parent, sending a child off to Kindergarten or college, or sending them into marriage, I wish you the best, and if music captures you like it does me, listen to these with a hanky nearby.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Life According to John Hughes

As I sit writing this I am listening to one of my all time favorite songs, Pretty In Pink by the Psychedelic Furs. A song that still stirs up so many melancholy feelings and memories that I can’t listen to it without a small lump rising from the depths of my gut all the way to my throat.

It took so many years for me to really be comfortable in my own skin. I was one of those kids that was teased mercilessly when I was young. I was the last one of the girls in the junior high locker room to wear a bra or shave my legs. My hair was a dirty reddish blond and I had freckles. I loved books and music. I wrote letters to Senators. I wrote short stories about time traveling kids and mysterious caves. In the third grade. Yes, I was born a geek.

When I was first introduced to the cliques and groups of the school years, I wanted to be cool. I wanted to hang out with the cool girls and be cool. But I wasn’t cool. At 31, I can look back and say that with much pride. I was not cool then, and I never would be. I’m ok with that now. But I wrestled with it then.

The L.A. Gears, the Aqua Net, and the Calvin Klein jeans, they weren’t me. They never would be. I would always be Levis and converse. Always be braids & ponytails. And I would always be uncool.

When I was in the 8th grade I realized that. And instead of fighting the part of me that was chronically uncool I gave in to it. I died my hair black. Traded in the L.A. Gear for converse and ripped Levis. I sat in my room blasting Psychedelic Furs, The Smiths, and Concrete Blonde.

Basically, I would never be Breakfast Club Molly Ringwald. I would always be Pretty in Pink Molly Ringwald.

Most of you reading this will get exactly what I mean by that.

Yesterday famed director and writer
John Hughes passed away at the young age of 59. He was my hero.

There are a million reasons why John Hughes impacted so many of people in my generation and beyond. And as I sit here to write a tribute to this amazing man, I realize that it would take a year to do so. But I’ll try anyway.

I always responded, even at a young age, to amazing storytelling. And above anything else in my whole life there is nothing I ever wanted to do more than that. Whether it be telling a story through words, music, or film.

John Hughes did, using all three mediums. He was able to bring to life characters that, all these years later, I still hold so very close to my heart. He was able to use music to help breathe life into a scene and make you truly feel in the depths of your soul what the character was feeling and going through.

He was able to make you laugh with every fiber of your being.

The man could tell a story. And he did tell stories. A million of them. He told my story. And that’s what was so personally inspiring to me.

I mentioned earlier about forever being uncool. A huge part of the reason why I was ever able to find some comfort in my uncool skin was the characters John Hughes brought to life, who were also uncool.

Keith in Some Kind of Wonderful was a favorite character that I related too. Never was there a better example of a teenager being cool with being uncool. At least in the end he was.

Even some of the later movies that dealt more with adulthood. She’s Having a Baby (another favorite, this amazingly autobiographical movie was based on Hughes’s life before becoming a famed screenwriter and director). Still gets me. More now then when I was a kid, obviously. I know what it is to be working a dead end 9 to 5 job, knowing that it’s not me. Knowing that I was meant to do more. Just not sure how to get it.

Basically I loved John Hughes because he touched me. He told stories that touched many people and made them feel better about who they were. He made a million teenagers feel comfortable in their own skin.

Well, at least he did for me.

For as long as I’ve been able to put pen to paper and create words, I’ve been a writer.

A few years ago I began getting paid to write. My first paying job was helping create content for a website that was in Beta and needed users to fill it up before it went public. The content? Memories related to music. My own personal memories and the songs that they related to.

I was getting paid to be John Hughes.

In the time I was writing those short stories, I did a lot of soul searching. I came to terms with a lot of things and I realized just how much I loved my life. The good the bad, and the ugly. And there has been a lot of all three over the years. And I attribute much of my surviving it all to the stories of John Hughes. His love of music and his way with words will always be a huge part of me.

The characters he brought to life will always be as dear to me as the real friends I shared my teen years with.

John Hughes may be gone but his legacy will live forever. In the heart of every poor teen who refuses to be defined by their social status. By every jock that knows that he is not better than everyone else. For every prom queen with a soul. For every geek who wears the title proudly. For every man who never quite grows up and for every family living and loving their life in the suburb’s of America.

Will I ever make a living as a writer? I hope so. Somehow, someway. Will I always write? Yes. Because, John Hughes showed me that when your life is full of colorful and amazing people and stories, it’s truly a crime to keep them to yourself.

I’ve always hated labels. I feel like I spent half of my childhood trying to find a label that fit and the other half trying to rip off any label anyone dared to put on me. And that’s the moral of almost every John Hughes movie. We can’t control, how other people see us, but we can control how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror.

In the immortal words of John Hughes (as said by Anthony Michael Hall),

"Dear Mr. Vernon: We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But, we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us, as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But, what we found out is that each one of us is: a brain . . .
And an athlete . . .
And a basket case . . .
A princess . . .
And a criminal.
Does that answer your question?
Sincerely yours,
The Breakfast Club.”

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Enjoy The Silence

As I write this I am sitting near a roaring campfire. The only sounds I can hear is the crackle of the flames, the constant soothing sound of the nearby river and off in the not so far distance the sound of my husbands laugh as he chats with a fellow camper. Occasionally I'll catch the sound of my sleeping children turning over in their sleeping bags in the tent.

These of course are not the sounds I'm used to at home. The sounds at home are the sounds of everyday life and are constantly playing out around me.

When we come to the mountains, as we do so many weekends in the summer, it's like giving in to mother nature. About a 1/2 hour before we get here we give up cell service (even though I'm still able to write blog posts at will on my iPhone). We give up the stresses of money & bills, and the ever growing needs of our family. Not that we don't have needs here on the mountains, they're just different needs.

Like the need to build a sandcastle on the bank of the river. Or the need to read my book. Or the need to have s'mores or go fishing. You know, the kind of needs that are simple and don't take a whole lot of thought.

I enjoy the silence. I know come Sunday the sounds of reality will come washing over of us again, just as they were a few short hours ago. But tonight those sounds are mute. My world is calm and it is silent. And it is wonderful.

I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Frank McCourt

My love of writing is of course a direct result of my love of reading. Over the years there have been a million books that have touched me, entertained me, or made me laugh or just maybe made me cry. And in that same amount of time there have been a number of authors that have truly inspired me with not just their story, but their ABILITY to tell the story. Often times in a way I never could.

In my early years of reading Lucy Maud Montgomery, Judy Blume, Beverly Clearly, and the amazing women who wrote under the name Carolyn Keene all drew me in to their amazing worlds. And inspired me to want to create my own worlds. As I got a little older Thoreau, Keats, Longfellow, and Whitman taught me the music of poetry and how words truly are mightier than the sword.

Stephen King, in my early teen years, would become one of the most definitive storytellers I'd ever have the great honor of reading.

As an adult Chuck Palahniuck became another great storyteller in my life.

But the most amazing storyteller I came to know as an adult was Frank McCourt. Angela's Ashes, as sad as it was, was compelling and beautiful. I read it front to back two times in a row after purchasing it. Funny thing, I've read the book a few times over the years, but still have never seen the movie.

His second book, 'Tis, was even more emotional for me. There was something so absolutely familiar about Frank McCourt to me at that point. I think I associated him with my own Grandfather. A man I loved and respected so very much who passed away long before he ever got to tell me the kind of stories that I was able to hear from Frank McCourt.

And knowing that they were roughly the same age living in the same New York neighborhood. I always figured there was probably a pretty real possibility that my grandpa could have been one of the numerous Irish neighborhood guys in the background of 'Tis.

Even if not, I always felt like 'Tis gave me a glimpse into what life was like for my grandpa. I was able to get that glimpse because of the amazing raconteur that Frank McCourt was.

Thank you Frank McCourt for giving me that glimpse. And thank you for making me want to share stories and my life with others. Thank you for inspiring me, entertaining me, and making me cry.

This is a traditional Irish Prayer spoken at funerals, that I share with you readers today in honor of a great writer, Frank McCourt. And for my grandpa who I still think of all the time.

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breastfeeding Sucks.

Warning: Some Content in the following post may be unsuitable for people who don't like talking about cracked nipples!

That's right, I said it. Breastfeeding sucks. That was one of the greatest pieces of advice I ever picked up as a new mom.

Let me back up just a bit. For me deciding to breastfeed was never really much of a decision. I knew I was going to breastfeed the moment we decided to start trying for kids. When I finally got pregnant I bought all the books, read every magazine article and even took a breastfeeding class at the local clinic. I was going to be the best breastfeeder EVER.

As it turned out the books, the class, and all the magazine articles left out a number of things. What all those great breaftedding articles didn't talk about was my 30 hour labor and my 10lb baby boy. They neglected to mention the effect that a 30 hour labor and the horrific tearing that took 20 minutes to stitch up would have on my ability to sit down and breastfeed on the early weeks. Or how that discomfort would make it harder for my milk to let down so the feedings would take even longer.

They said my nipples might crack & bleed. They said engorgement may cause a little "discomfort." What they didn't say was that the pain involved might actually make me forget about the pain of childbirth.

These resources also listed some of the pitfalls of breastfeeding. Like mastitis, thrush and the continuous leaking from my beasts. They didn't explain how excruciating these things could be, especially when they all happened to me one right after the other.

Needless to say in those early weeks of motherhood I was feeling pretty beat down by breastfeeding. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I also felt like I couldn't get a break. I really wanted breastfeeding to be this beautiful and mystical experience for me and my son. It just wasn't working out that way.

Then somewhere along the way I came across a blog post online, I don't remember where exactly now. But in this post the woman said, "Anyone who tells you breastfeeding is easy is a big liar! But if you stick it out, it gets better."

And I did stick it out. Thanks to ice packs, lanolin, antibiotics and ibuprofen my problems passed. And breastfeeding did turn out to be one of the best things I ever did. I went on to breastfeed my son until he weaned himself at 14 months, even pumping for a whole year once I went back to work.

When I had my daughter a couple of years later I breastfed her as well. Oddly enough other than gritting my teeth through some sore nipples, it was pretty easy the second time around. Then again I think the breastfeeding Gods owed me one.

So why tell this story almost 6 years later on my blog? Because somewhere out there is a new mom with cracked nipples and a hungry baby. And she's feeling like maybe, just maybe, it's just too hard.

Well honey, it is hard. In fact it sucks. But it gets better. And it's worth every ache and pain.

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What we Learned This Year

This weekend I've been jammin to the Rent soundtrack. And the title song, Season's of Love has got me choked up more then once in that time. The main reason of course being that my son just completed Kindergarten, And not to be out done, my daughter completed her first year of tiny tots. It's been a good year. We've all learned a lot. And in the vain of Rent I give you my list of what we've learned in these last 525,600 minutes. Well a little of what we learned this year.

1. Cheyanne learned to write her name.

2. Patrick learned to read.

3. I learned that PTA moms Rock.

4. On January 20 both kids learned what inspiration looks like.

5. Patrick learned that Karma means, "Good things happen when you do good stuff and bad stuff happens when you do bad stuff"

6. Cheyanne learned that when cats hiss, a scratch is soon to follow.

7. I learned that I can't do everything, but I can do all right.

8. Patrick learned to count to 1,000.

9. I learned that my dad is stronger than cancer.

10. Patrick learned to ride his bike without training wheels.

11. I learned that Allen only gets better with age.

12. Cheyanne learned that no matter how much she thinks otehrwise, she's not always in charge.

13. Patrick learned that he's a descendant of a President, and that Abraham Lincoln was a "good man who got killed by some pretty bad people."

14. I learned that T-Ball can do more for the soul than I ever thought possible.

15. I learned that life really is about doing what makes you happy. Anything less is just teaching my kids a bad example.

16. I learned that there is no one cooler to hang out with than my kids.

17. I learned that my family makes award winning scarecrows.

18. I learned that we do know how to grow a great garden around here too.

19. I learned that you don't need money to have a great Christmas.

20. Cheyanne learned how to swing on her own.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One for The Girls

Some people may have read the odd article by Naomi Wolf regarding the Power of Angelina Jolie. There's no need to get into why that makes so little sense when the awesome Julie Roads did it way better than I ever could on her blog. Go read her post now, because the following post was completely inspired by it.

Over the last year that I've been blogging, on twitter, on facebook, and basically just building a network online, I have met so many amazing women. Some I've connected with as friends, some professionally, and some I totally disagree with but have miles of respect for. And it's these women I pictured in my mind as I read Julie's post about Angelina Jolie.

These women I interact with on Twitter and the ones I work with and all the ones that I know in real life and keep in contact with via Facebook.

Women who make me laugh, make me cry, and inspire me each and every day. So to you ladies, I raise a glass to all of you. You who I chat with on twitter. You who I work & collaborate with on different projects. You whose links I "like" and whose status I comment on when I'm reading stuff on Facebook and whose blogs I comment on. In fact if you're reading this, I'm talking to YOU. Naomi Wolfe should take a look at ALL of you to see what true female icons look like. And if any of you are wondering, simply look in a mirror.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Abortion Means to Me

I don’t remember learning what an abortion was. I don’t remember anyone ever explaining to me about Roe VS Wade or the difference between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. I just remember always knowing. I always knew my body was my own. My mom made sure we knew that. Our body was our own and was not to be violated by anyone. Whether it is someone who might try to violate us in the most literal sense or the government in the most legal sense.

My dad was pretty conservative (though I find him to be quite liberal and every bit the feminist I am in his older years, oddly enough) but I’ll always remember one afternoon leaving the local mall with my dad. We had to drive past our local planned parenthood (where years later I would receive my first birth control pills). There was a crowd of people outside as there always was then. We came to a stoplight and came to a stop right next to a group of Pro-life protesters.

My dad rolled down the window. I was expecting him to say something encouraging to the protesters and my little tween heart began to sink. Outside of his window was a woman with a sign that said something along the lines of “Adopt: Don’t Abort.”

“Hey lady!” My dad said. The lady looked at my dad. “How many you kids you have?” She answered something like 4. My dad nodded. “How many of them did you adopt?” The lady looked at him a little surprised. “Well, none,” she answered. “That’s what I thought. Put your sign down. And when you’ve adopted a couple kids, then come back.” The light turned green and we drove away. “Hypocrites” my dad mumbled. I sat up in my seat and smiled.

Another View

I’ve always felt so much anger at the ignorance associated with extreme Pro-life views. So much anger that doctors had to wear bulletproof vests. Anger that these pro-life supporters felt they knew my life better than me. Anger that girls facing the darkest moment of their lives had to do it completely stripped of dignity, privacy, and understanding. Anger is the only thing I can think of to describe how I felt every time I debated the issue with anyone. Anger.

Then I got married. And I had a miscarriage. And another miscarriage, and another. Only they used the term abortion. Spontaneous abortion is what they called them. Each and every one wanted even more than the one before. Each one we prayed God would let us keep. And each one God decided to spontaneously abort.

All the pain and grief I felt washed over my whole life like a tidal wave. And I thought about the girls who were a few miles away choosing their abortions. And I ached for them. Because I knew that even though they had made their choice and God had had made mine, we were both suffering the same loss.

The difference was, I was being showered with sympathy and love from everyone around me. They were being called murderers and being forced to look at pictures of aborted fetuses as they went into the clinic.

From that moment on I took the assault on abortion doctors (no different then the ones who performed my own D&C) and women having abortions personally. Their pain was mine. I knew the weight of their decision and I knew the grief they felt.

Now I have a daughter. And I know that the reality is someday (Heaven forbid) she too may face an awful choice. And anyone who dares to question her ability or right to make that choice will feel my wrath. So help me.

Dr. Tiller

The pro-life extremists have been spreading hate all day. Saying that today Dr. Tiller “the baby killer” died.

No. Today someone’s husband died. Someone’s father was killed. Today, 10 children lost their Grandpa. And each one of them has a parent that’s going to have to explain why.

President Obama talked just a few short weeks ago about meeting in the middle with regards to abortion. Yes. I agree. We should not be talking about abortion. We should be talking about better sex education in schools. Better counseling services. MAKING ADOPTION EASIER. Yes, on all of this.

But I’m not going to be willing to meet anyone in the middle if they’re willing to shoot a Grandpa in the middle of church.

Not a chance in hell in fact.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Skinny Jeans Can Suck It

When you see me running around town in flip-flops & my pajama bottoms in the middle of the day you'll probably think one of three things,

1. “Oh My God look at the lazy slob!”
2. “Wow I sure wish I could ditch these heals & slacks for her outfit.”
3. “Hey look she’s wearing the same PJ bottoms as me, we must both shop at Target!”

What you’ll never think to yourself is, “Good for her for taking care of herself like that! Kudos to safety!”

Well, you may think that AFTER you read what I have to say here. While researching something, I have no idea what now, I came across this article, “Can skinny jeans cause health issues?” Without even have read the article I answered, “Yes of course they do.” Skinny jeans have caused me much grief since the birth of my son. They taunt me. They tease me. And they sit collecting dust in my closet daring me to get back on weight watchers.

But as it turns out mental health problems was not what this article was referring to. It meant physical health issues. I was intrigued. According to the article skinny jeans can cause a very uncomfortable condition known as, meralgia paresthetica.

It begins when tight-fitting jeans compresses a nerve in groin area close to the surface of the skin. Once enough pressure is put on the area the whole nerve reacts, running from your groin, to your outer thigh and down to your knee.

The article then goes on to talk about the joys of bacterial infections that can come from thongs, the countless pains that UGG’s and stilettos can cause your back and of course the dangers of heavy handbags, among a few other injuries caused by fashion.

So to the skinny jeans stashed away in my closet waiting for the day I lose all my baby fat (Does the term hell freezing over mean anything to you?) I have this to say, suck it death pants.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Feminism: Time to Stand Together

I recently read an article in the Nation that sparked a heated discussion over on MOMocrats and then later on Twitter. And though all the ladies involved certainly remained respectful and kind while discussing the topic, it still left me thinking about it all day. And now here I am at almost midnight writing about it.

The women’s movement, or feminism, or whatever you want to label it, has got to be the most frustrating battle ever fought in the history of the world. Why? Because it should be over by now. It’s 2009. We should not have to STILL be fighting for equal pay. We shouldn’t just NOW be writing laws to offer better maternity care and leave. Domestic violence is the dirty little epidemic that should have been drug out from beneath the rug long ago. And in 2009, we should not have to be explaining to women in other countries why being tortured and raped on a regular basis is not how life is supposed to be.

And we certainly shouldn't have to be screaming at the top of our lungs to ensure we see a third female Supreme Court justice. I mean really, even if it does turn out to be a woman (which it better) it’s still going to be infuriating. We’re celebrating only the third, in 200 years? Give me a break.

So why do I think that this battle has not been won? Because the women’s movement has never really been able to mobilize as one group. The closest we saw was the women's suffregge movement and they were a force to be reckoned with. When all of them finally stood together as one voice, they were unstoppable.

They stood up and said, We are moms, we are young single women, we are daughters, grandmas, and sisters. We are women. And we deserve the right to vote, and you’re going to give it to us.

And they did.

That is why now, more than any other time in history, is it important for us as women to embrace the labels we wear. So what if you don’t get the mommy thing. You want your career instead. Great. But you want equal pay to do it too, right? You want the same opportunities that are given to your male counterparts so you can climb just as high on the corporate or political ladder as the guys, right? Of course you do.

And moms. You’re a mom. You want maternity leave, health care, and the ability to work and raise your child, or stay home. You want to breastfeed in public without worrying, or maybe you want to formula feed without ridicule. You want to make sure your children have a good education and are healthy. Right?

Well, these are ALL of our goals. We’re all in this together. But instead of getting that, people have to divide up onto sides. Create this divide that doesn't need to exist. And that’s why the women’s movement still has so many struggles to fight, because we can’t rise up together.

What we, as women, need to do is break the barriers in between us. The barriers of race, of social status, family status, career status, and stand as women. We are seeking the same thing here. The failures and wins of each feminist are the failures and wins of women everywhere.

The time for talk is over ladies. We’ve talked ourselves to death. The time has come for us to stand together once again, like the suffrage movement. And tell the world that we are here and we are not going anywhere. And we are in it together.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said, “Men say we are ever cruel to each other. Let us end this ignoble record and henceforth stand by womanhood."

Amen, sister.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Excuse Me, Mr. Thiel? I've Got A Bone to Pick.

Now I have to be honest and say that I'm a little unclear how to argue that women gaining the right to vote did NOT in fact bring ruin upon the United States. It's one of the stupidest things I've ever felt the need to argue, EVER. So before I continue maybe I should let you get up to speed, here

Now that you're as annoyed, mad, or just plain entertained as much as I was by the incredibly hilarious words spoken by one Mr. Thiel, let me get on with it.

I don't like to throw the term Jackass around very easily, I like to reserve it for people like Mr. Thiel who by all accounts appears to be the biggest Jackass in the world. And that says a lot, just watch FOX news for 5 minutes. We're full of Jackasses these days.

In Thiel's "essay" (and I use the term loosely) he says,
"The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women - two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians - have rendered the notion of "capitalist democracy" into an oxymoron."

This guy is one of the biggest Jackasses to open his mouth. I know that there will always be people like this. No matter what accomplishments women make in the coming years, or any discriminated group accomplishes in the future, there will always be ignorant, heartless, douche bags like Peter Thiel spewing hate.

So if I know and accept that, why does this guy Thiel and his rant bother me so much? Because he's knee deep into Facebook, a site that I use quite often. A site that A LOT of women use quite often. Is this the kind of guy we want as the face of a site that is supposed to welcome everyone? Don't think so. And as I found when I searched his name on Facebook, I'm not the only one.

"Take Nativist Peter Thiel OFF Facebook's Board of Directors" is the name of the group I found, because as it turns out he thinks immigrants suck too.

Man what a douche. Ok, rant over.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And I Don't Deserve Equal Pay, Because...

I have been crafting this post in my mind since yesterday but it wasn't until I clicked this picture of the girl that it really came to me. I want equal pay because my daughter deserves equal pay. There aren't a whole lot of things I can protect or shield my kids from as they grow older, but maybe, just maybe I can do something about this.

With your help we can ensure that the young girls who have yet to enter the workforce won't have to fight to get the same pay as a man. President Kennedy enacted the Equal Protection Act in 1963. At that time women made 59 cents to the dollar of men. Now, some 46 years later, we make 78 cents to the dollar. That's a 19 cent increase over 46 years. Give me a break.

I don't know about you, but I'm not about to wait another 46 years to close the gender gap. I want to close it now. And I want to close it for good.

The paycheck fairness act passed through the house and now awaits Senate approval. It will be a huge step in closing that gap. Not only will it offer incentives to companies who follow Equal Pay laws, but it will help strengthen the laws that already exist and increase penalties of violating those laws. Not to mention it will also make Equal Pay lawsuits easier to carry out as well as improve the collection process of related damages.

What can you do? Well first of all hit up the National Women's Law Center and they'll help you contact your Senators to demand that they support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

You can also head over to WomenCount (if you haven't already) and sign the sign the petition to help get a Presidential Commission on Women enacted so that we know that well have a watchdog making sure those Equal Pay laws are used.

The whole reason today is equal pay day is because this is the point in 2009 when the average woman’s wages finally catch up with those paid to the average man in 2008.

A little disturbing, right? That's why we need to make sure that our voices our heard and the Paycheck Fairness Act comes into law. So that way when my little girl enters the work force Equal Pay Day will be celebrated on December 31.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The City

Growing up in the bay area, though each and every city here has it's own unique personality, it's association with San Francisco is always claimed with pride. I grew up in the east bay area, and though that's a good 45 minutes from the city, really we always talked like it was just on the outskirts of SF.

It's an amazing & beautiful place and it's been far too long since I've been there. That's one of the reasons I'm so excited to be sitting on bart to go spend a day in the city.

We all like to have a place we can call ours. Whose culture and history we can claim as our own. I am still proud to call the bay area my home, and all the richness of it a part of me.

Posted with LifeCast

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game...

I've always wondered exactly why women's baseball has never really achieved any real attention over the years. Women's basketball, tennis, even women's soccer have all had some decent press over the years, but not women's baseball. Having always been a lover of the game I never understood why women seemed to get the shaft of a game, well quite frankly of a game they we're pretty damn good at.

Now this thought has come even more so for me over the last few months since my son has begun playing T-Ball. Now up until 1973 girls were not allowed to play in Little League. Though it is still dominated by boys I see girls on almost every team in our league here. Which is good because it turns out, my daughter has an arm. I mean a pitching arm. At 4 she can already hit & throw the ball as good (if not better) than the boys on my son's team, and she still has a year before she's old enough to play.

But what happens if it is her calling? She plays baseball her entire childhood, knowing that she doesn't have a shot at ever playing in the majors. Well that plain sucks. We may still be a little ways off from seeing a woman in the White House, but hey at least women like Hilary Clinton are on the field!

With MLB, there might as well be a big sign out front the stadiums that say "No Girls Allowed." Well, they kind of did actually. In 1952 Major League Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick decided that women are not to play on major league teams, stating his 'purpose was to prevent teams from using women players as a publicity stunt.' Yea, thanks for the protection. Too bad he couldn't have made a similar rule about fashion magazines, but I digress.

Even the Olympics are getting with the times by adding Women's Baseball to the Bid to reinstate Baseball into the 2016 Olympic games. Women's Professional Baseball is taken pretty seriously in many other countries as well. Just not here.

Even after years of girls playing little league beside the boys and excelling in other ranks of baseball, in fact most people can say they've seen plenty of baseball players that are girls that can play just as good, if not better, then any man on a MLB field today. Yet here in the states, they still run into a brick wall when it comes to stepping out on to that Major League Field.

Well, MLB you better take note, I've got a girl here who can play ball. And in about 15 years her and I are going to be showing up and you damn well better have a uniform that fits.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Catching Butterflies and Lessons in Love

Yesterday my little girl went butterfly catching. She went with a neighbor, her son and of course my son. They went around the corner to the park where there has been a ton of butterflies due to migrating habits lately.

When they returned my daughter was so proud that she had caught one. There was this precious little butterfly in a little butterfly habitat with a few leaves and some flowers. She proudly showed it to everyone she could and we placed it on top of the bookshelf to keep it out of Blossom the cat's grasp.

I asked her if we were going to let it go, and she looked at me with her big blue eyes and said "NO Mommy! She's my butterfly." I figured we'd deal with it in a few days and let it go. This morning the first thing she did was take down the butterfly habitat and laid down on the floor next to it. She quietly whispered to the butterfly, "Hey girl, how was your night?" Needless to say, my daughter was attached.

Later in the day as I tried to round up my daughter for lunch, she refused to answer me. Which is not too out of the ordinary for my little Diva, so I went in search of her. I found her sitting quietly behind the couch downstairs beside our sliding glass door looking out into the backyard. Before I could tell her to come upstairs for lunch I saw the very crushed look she had on her face. AND the empty butterfly habitat beside her.

I asked her what happened and where her butterfly was. With big tears streaming down she pointed outside where I saw the leaves and flowers on the back patio. "I let her go home, and now I miss her!" She said as she ran to me and burst into a hyper cry.

While part of me broke inside seeing her so sad, a bigger part of me swelled with love and pride. My daughter had just learned a life lesson that I could never explain or teach her. When you love something, set it free.

I ached for her, but told her how happy the butterfly was and how happy the butterfly's family was going to be to see her back home. Then we ate lunch, where she got a couple cookies for being so sweet to her butterfly.

4 years old and already she understands something about love that some adults never understand.

I love being a mom.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old Stereotypes Die Hard

In honor of Women’s History Month a lot of publications and websites have come out with articles about the history of the women’s movement and how far we’ve come. And though in some areas that might be true, many women feel we’ve got a long way to go to truly reach gender equality here in the United States and especially in other parts of the world. The current women’s movement is not just about laws and fair pay but about changing a biased attitude that has been around far too long.

Attitudes like the ones expressed in an article in the Vatican’s newspaper titled, “The washing machine and the emancipation of women: put in the powder, close the lid and relax." The article explains how the washing machine has done more for the women’s movement than any other invention in recent history. Including the birth control pill.

Read the rest of my post at WomenCount...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


It looks like if you’re a woman who wants to break into politics, Iowa might just be the place to start. Last Wednesday, Iowa made a bold stand against gender bias by requiring "gender equality" on all local boards and commissions appointed by city councils, school boards and county boards of supervisors.

The Iowa House passed the bill in a 71 to 27 vote. If the bill becomes law, "gender equity" will be required on all local boards and commissions starting January 1, 2012. Women make up 51% of the population in Iowa, yet only 18% percent of current members of four key local boards and commissions are women.

Read the rest of my latest post on WomenCount...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Single Woman

There are so many women that deserve recognition during Women’s History Month (as well as the rest of the year), but Jeanette Rankin’s place in that history is pivotal.

Jeanette Pickering Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives and the first female member of the Congress. She was known as the Lady of the House.

Rankin was a pacifist. She voted against both WWI and WWII, the only person to do the latter.

Read the Rest of My Post at WomenCount's Blog

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Hometown

This morning I heard Brue Springsteen’s My Hometown on the radio. It made me stop and get all weepy & nostalgic, which I think many Springsteen songs do for a lot of us. I’ve written a ton about my hometown, this place I grew up in, over at JamsBio. But it's been awhile.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my hometown, maybe because my son turns 6 this weekend. Six years old. Wow. It truly goes by in a blink doesn’t it? This morning as I ran a couple of errands and saw the gray skies blanketing the foothills of my hometown, I felt my heart swell with love. Those foothills have surrounded me my entire life. And for as many of my teenage years that were spent plotting my ultimate escape of this boring little NorCal town, there have been even more years spent trying to stay here. As the economy continues to struggle so do we, but we keep fighting to stay here.

My dad was an air force brat. He was born in Germany and moved around constantly while he was growing up. When he had his own kids he decided that he would not do that to them. He wanted his kids to grow up in one place and one place only. So even when times were tough he and my mom managed to stay here. My dad would always find work even when times were tough and there was no work to be found. He managed to keep us grounded, to keep us in one place. And all these years later, I’m still here. And I can’t imagine raising my kids anywhere else.

Not too long ago my son and I were driving through downtown and he said to me, “Mom, I love our town.” I smiled and said to him, “Me too kiddo, me too.”

Monday, February 23, 2009

Minty Fresh Breath & Mushy Brains

There have been two marketing campaigns lately that have peeked my interest. The first was one I hadn't actually noticed until I saw an article in media magazine that I thought was pretty cool. Dentyne has their More Face Time" campaign. The idea is to get off the computer and get back into the real world. Hence the "Face Time". They've even gone so far as to put a 3-minute timer on their website to ensure that you don't waist anymore time online than you should. Also on the site is a "Face time Request" where you can fill in some info requesting face time with a friend for anything from coffee to a walk or even a staring match.

In a word, Genius.

These commercials have made me rethink my whole keeping in touch via facebook attitude, and realize that maybe I should just get in the car and go see my girlfriends. Instead of posting pics of the kids, maybe I should just schedule a day to go visit. When a campaign really makes you stop & think, "Hmm. Good Point." It's obviously accomplished something. Now for Dentyne, this campaign makes sense. Kissing, close up chats with friends and basically real life living outside the Twitterverse are all things that would constitute picking up a pack of gum.

Dentyne is going to obviously benefit from more people taking face to face versus instant messaging. It's a great campaign & applaud you Dentyne.

That brings me to the other campaign that has caught my attention lately, Hulu's VERY funny and entertaining Superbowl ad with Alec Baldwin. Funny & entertaining, but also a little disturbing. As someone who did grow up with a parent who did have that "TV will rot your brain" kind of attitude, there is a part of that does attribute TV, and now the Computer, well basically anything that is not involving a book and a patch of sun on a grassy knoll somewhere, as to be a little unhealthy. This is why I face much guilt in how much my life does revolve around the web. And of course I allow my kids to watch much more TV than I would ever care to admit.

So with my own Anti-TV roots mixed with my overreliance on TV & Computers I always wonder if the effects of too much TV & Internet Time might have negative effects on me. Ok, so maybe not always, but I do sometimes have to slap myself and say, "Get off the computer!"

So when Alec Baldwin and the folks at Hulu come up with a campaign claiming that Aliens are behind TV, it is indeed turning our brains too much and is all part of an evil ploy to take over the world, it does not make me want to go visit Hulu. It actually makes me want to live out the Dentyne commercial above.

Funny? YES. I love a Baldwin as much as the next gal. But does it make me want to visit the site and waist even more time watching TV and surfing the web? NO. No, no, no.

So two campaigns both banking on how much we time we spend in front of the TV and computer. One offers a solution to the "Too Much" epidemic, one promises too make it worse.

Ok, I'm done. Now, let's all step away from the computer and get some fresh air and sunshine. Oh crap, it's raining. And there's a 30Rock rerun on.

Face time tomorrow then...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Green Bullet: How to Save the Economy

I have been following the story of Michael Phelps and the infamous bong picture, and have had some very mixed feelings about the whole thing. But finding out he's been suspended, well that was enough for me to go ahead and vent a little bit.

Now, I don't condone pot smoking. I would prefer that my kids not be exposed to inspiring healthy role models hitting the bong all over the news. Kellogg's was right in letting him go. That's not what I want my kids to associate with being a healthy athlete. But at the same time, I also feel the same way about role models who smoke cigarettes too. And for that matter I feel even more strongly about role models who are always pictured with a drink in their hands, or even worse, stars like Paris Hilton who simply personify all the values I DON'T want my kids to have. So relatively speaking good 'old Phelps hitting the bong isn't the worst thing in the world.

In fact it has rekindled something I have felt VERY strongly about for most of my life. I do not think that marijuana is any different than Alcohol or Cigarettes. I've known a number of people who have suffered injuries or death related to both alcohol & cigarette use, but none related to the use of marijuana. The only real dangers of Marijuana are the crimes related to its distribution and sales because it's illegal.

With the failing economy and so many people out of work and scared in these trying times I was inspired when I came across this Esquire article recently. After reading it I suddenly realized that President Obama is right, there is no Silver Bullet to fix the economy, but there could be a Green one that would do just fine.

Legalize Marijuana? Saving the economy? YES.

When FDR completed dinner on the second Sunday of his Presidency, 25% of our nation was out of work. Foreclosures and poverty were plaguing communities in every state across the country, the banks were failing and the Depression was at hand. It’s not very difficult for us to imagine what the general feelings were of the country at that time. There was hope, but it was tainted in fear.

After that Sunday dinner FDR looked around to his table and confidently said, "Now would be a good time for a beer." FDR quickly drafted a document calling Congress to immediately cancel prohibition on beer. That Tuesday it was approved by the House and on that Thursday it passed though the Senate. By Saturday Milwaukee had hired over 600 workers. Detroit heeded the call and within days began building $15 million worth of news cars and trucks for brewers and wholesalers.

Within 48 hours Beer makers had paid $10 million ($157 million today) in Federal, State and Municipal taxes. Talk about a silver bullet.

Now repealing beer that week didn't pull America out of the depression. BUT it did give it the shot in the arm needed to boost jobs, stimulate the dying economy and show everyone first hand that it really could be that easy.

Imagine the money that would be made and saved if the prohibition on Marijuana were to be lifted. More than 500 economists all agree. The savings alone would be epic. With money spent on prohibiting Marijuana, if it were made legal right off the bat somewhere between $10 and $15 BILLION dollars would be saved annually. BILLION.

That's just savings. The money that could be made with the legalization, regulation and taxation by the government is mind-boggling. Not to mention it would suddenly free up police and jails to handle criminals who are committing REAL crimes. Police departments everywhere are low on manpower. Imagine if they were suddenly not bogged down with dealing with petty pot dealers.

Like I said, I don't condone smoking pot. I did when I was in high school, which I think was the last time I had a toke, but not anymore. I don't condone drinking either; I haven't had a drink in 10 years. And I certainly don't encourage smoking. It's been six years since I had one of those as well. But I certainly don't think they should be illegal, and I don't think Pot should be either.

Read more about the economic effects of repealing the prohibition on marijuana.

And this...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Women Count

Join The Call For a Presidential Commission on Women

On the day that President Obama was inaugurated I had a really sweet moment happen with my 3 1/2 year old daughter. After waking from her nap that day (having spent a busy morning watching the festivities on TV) she came in and sat next to me. I was watching the parade and she was quickly enthralled with it as well. So much so that she didn't even want me to change it to Dora. As we watched the new President wave and smile my daughter asked me a question. "Mommy, when I grow up can I be President like Barack Obama?" I could feel pride welling up and I looked at the the TV and then at her and answered, "YES, you can."

I didn't feel it was the right time to explain to her about the struggles of women suffrage. Or Hillary's failed attempt at accomplishing the same feat my daughter was beginning to consider. Its hard to know what to tell her. Because I want her to have as much a chance of being President as any boy her age will have. But will she?

I like to think so. As long as women really come together as they once did to demand the right to vote. I see it on the communities like Twittermoms, Twitter itself and all the other amazing bloggers and other great women that I've come to know in the last year.

Women are coming together and finding a united voice. A voice that is a force to be reckoned with. It seems that now the time is right for women to step up and demand their place in the world and in Government. That's why I was so happy to find

A great group that is ready to take the new Women's movement to the web and help unite women everywhere in making our voice heard. But the message is a new one, because time have changed. 2008 has shown us just how far we've come and how much more we have to travel.

The first step? Well taking the lessons learned in 2008 and moving forward. As taken from the website those lessons are,
• As the economy became the single most critical issue in the election, the role that women play in our economic structure has never been clearer. Women are the backbone of the nation’s workforce and control 70 percent of its buying power.
• The candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, while inspiring women and girls around the country to imagine what can be, exposed extreme gender bias in the media and throughout our culture.
• Women, who make up 56 percent of the voting population, were targeted as never before as the critical bloc that would determine the outcome of the election.

One of the first things President John F. Kennedy did after being elected President was convene the first Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair. That was 47 long years ago. The time was right then, and it's right again.

Join WomenCount and myself in signing your name to the petition to encourage President Obama to create a Presidential Commission on Women. It's our time to take control and make sure that opportunities for women continue to grow. Do it for yourself, for your sisters, for your friends, for your motehrs & grandmothers who fought so hard as well, and for your daughters.

Help me in ensuring that when I tell my daughter that Yes, she can be President, that I am telling her the truth.

Visit TODAY and sign your name so that you can make the next chapter in the Women's movement one that counts.

With last week's historic passing of the historic Lily Ledbetter act and President Obama's pledge to make women's rights's a priority now is the time. Please join me by not just signing the petition, but encouraging others to do so as well! Tweet about, blog about it and let's spread the word ladies!

Our time us NOW!

When and When Not To Impeach

I have been thinking a lot about impeachment this last week. A coupe of things have continued to come across my desk that have kept impeachment as a recurring thought through out the week. Of course there was the very non-surprising impeachment of Illinois' favorite bad boy, Blago. I also began a Political Science class where Ive already been reading about the reasons for the impeachment process. There was also the official statement made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that has made a few liberal head fume, that there would be no investigation of President Bush and that any impeachment talk was "off the table." This coupled with an article I came across in Vanity Fair just got me thinking.

Now I was a teen and a young adult during the latter half of the Clinton years. Good times. During the late 90s I was a DJ at a rock station in the Central Valley and it was my great distinction to have been on the air during many of the highpoints (ha ha) of the great Clinton Sex Scandal that dominated the media for a part of those late 90s.

And just to be clear my feelings on Clinton's impeachment are exactly the same as they were then, what a bunch of CRAP. Do I think he was a good president? Yes. A good public servant with the best intentions when it came to serving our country? Yep. Do I think he was a bit of a dog , and a crap of a husband? Sure I do. Does that change what kind of President he was? NOT AT ALL. My point is that whatever he did with the skanky little intern should not have impacted his ability t lead or be a good president. It was the subsequent impeachment and complete lack of integrity on the part of the media at the time that impacted the country and his ability to be president.

So if Clinton can be impeached for having sex with an intern & Blago can be impeached for "abuse of power", why exactly is George W. Bush not even so much as worth entertaining the idea of impeachment?

35 whopping articles of impeachment against George W. Bush were introduced into the House of Representatives last June and the House voted 251 to 166 to refer the impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee on July 25, where no further action was taken on it.

Now, I'm not saying that I am sure that President Bush should be impeached, because I'm not sure. But I AM sure that back in January 2001 things were cool. Now it's February 2009, and wow, things are kind of a mess. Now if it was ok to impeach Clinton under the ridiculous circumstances in which he was impeached, does someone not owe us, the American people, at least the courtesy of double checking Bush's impeachment? You know, maybe someone could just take a quick look at those 35 articles and MAKE SURE that the country isn't in shambles because of some serious negligence on The Bush Administration's part?

Call me crazy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Color of Hope

Though I missed the early part of today's concert celebrating Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama, I was able to catch most of it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a "Kodak Cryer". Yes, I do get misty eyed at sappy commercials, songs and movies. But nothing gets me more sapped out like a hope & history.

JFK died almost twenty years before I was born, yet I still cry whenever I hear him speak. In fact I even own a compilation of the speeches he made during his political career on DVD. The same goes for Martin Luther King. For years on my desk at work I had a framed picture of MLK with some of his most inspiring words printed on it. I carry it with me in my purse still.

Movie stars, singers and writers can inspire us. But the inspiration that comes from a sincere politician, well that's different. That's magic. That's fate. That's history.

Though U2 singing Pride in the Name of Love was a goose bump inducing moment for sure, for me the most incredible moment of today's celebration was when President-elect Obama came up to the stage and addressed the nation. I was inspired. I was in tears, as were thousands of others.

After September 11th, the one positive thing that happened was the great feeling of community that spread through the nation like wildfire in those days following the attacks.

With the Golden Autumn colors in the fall of 2001 came a wave of Red white and Blue that made our beautiful landscape rich with Pride, love and patriotism. We all cared about one another and our country and our future. All of it was tainted with sadness though. Sadness because it took something like the 9/11 attacks to bring about such change.

Time passed. Over the course of the years since 9/11 those good things that came out of those horrific attacks were again buried. Buried beneath war, civil unrest, economic turmoil, job loss and a complete and utter loss of faith in our Government and each other.

But no more. With one election, that all of us took part in, faith has come creeping back in.

Today, here in California, it felt like Spring. The sun was golden, the air was crisp and the smell of flowers and BBQ were in the air. The sky was a perfect shade of blue and as I watched my kids play outside I took a deep breath. I inhaled the smell and feel of Spring after what had been a long cold lonely winter (yes, I'm quoting Beatles). On TV the sights and sounds of Red White & Blue filled the screen.I swear I could even hear the cries of hope that were coming from the Lincoln Memorial all the way here in California.

Spring is coming. And as the green leaves of Spring return to trees across the country, the Red White & Blue colors of hope also return to the hearts of America.

Happy Inauguration Everybody!