Sonia Sotomayer for Supreme Court? G. Gordon Liddy’s take

I was really excited recently when I heard that President Obama had nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court. Women make up 55% of the population of the United States, so it only makes sense that women should occupy at least half of the highest court in the nation. Not only that, but Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic to occupy one of the seats on the Supreme Court. It feels like this is long overdue considering that Hispanics/Latinos/Chicanos make up 15% of the total population of the United States.

And of course, since her nomination the conservative firestorm as begun. I would like to say though, that at least President Obama picked someone actually QUALIFIED to hold a seat on the Supreme Court unlike President Bush who nominated his friend, Harriet Myers, who had no business even being nominated. In typical fashion, the conservatives are diagramming all of her sentences, inferring things into her decisions that probably aren’t even there, calling her racist for being aware of her own race, and basically throwing their typical baby temper tantrum that they are known for. And dammit, she better answer how she feels about abortion RIGHT THIS MINUTE!

I expected this out of the conservative talk show media. There’s nothing they love more than to complain or make up things that aren’t true (Obama’s coming after your guns people! Even though he’s never said anything about gun control). I expected them to go after her decisions as a judge, her policies, hell, even her personal life. But don’t you think attacking her for the one thing she can’t control, her gender, is just idiotic? Old fashioned, even? Aren’t we past this people?

Conservative talk show host G. Gordon Liddy made a comment about Sotomayer this past week. Let me give you some background on Liddy. Liddy was the mastermind behind the first break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building in 1972. Liddy served four and half years in prison for his role in the Watergate scandals until President Carter commuted his sentence. He has gone on to have a talk show on Sirius and is a regular commentator on Fox “News.” So really, I ask, what kind of credibility does this guy have? Not much in my opinion.

Liddy’s comment about the nomination of Sotomayer:

Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

Really Liddy? Really? You’re breaking this down to “Oh my Go(sh), What if she gets her period?!?!” Not a period! Heaven knows a woman can’t think rationally on her period!!!!!

Seriously dude, your sexism is so incredibly outdated that it makes me yawn.

Just Say No

Can you do me a favor? Actually, it’s really a favor for yourself. When someone comes up to you and asks this 6 letter question, I want you to say “no” and run away in the opposite direction.

What is this 6 letter question?
“Can I give you some feedback?”
No, you can’t. You can keep it to yourself.
What does this really mean? Feedback? Well I’ll tell you. What this means is this person wants to say negative comments about yourself, your outfit, your work performance and you have to graciously listen to them while you pretend it’s not criticism that they’re giving you.
I’m sick of it.
I don’t mind constructive criticism. What I mind is destructive criticism, which I’m finding out is what “feedback” really means. Telling me that I probably haven’t noticed but I’m showing off a little too much in the chestal region is looking out for my well-being. Going behind my back to my supervisor and telling him that you find my cleavage offensive under the guise of “feedback” is obnoxious and solves nothing.
What is feedback, really, but someone else’s opinion. I’ve gotten a lot of “feedback” in my life. A great majority from my peers growing up was negative. Should I believe that this feedback is a good reflection of who I really am because it came from an honest place? These people honestly thought horribly of me. I’ve had bosses who have hated me. And if I listened to their feedback you’d think that I’d never be employable. Thank goodness I’ve had quite a few great bosses whom I respected and so their feedback actually matters to me. And a good number of friends throughout my life who had told me that my peers in Elementary school got it wrong – that I’m not a stupid social outcast with no hope of ever having anyone like me.
On the other hand, I think some feedback is good because it allows you some self-reflection. You can either judge that this feedback is good and internalize it for a good change in your appearance/personality/character or you can reject it judging that either the feedback giver is jealous/evil/projecting.
Here are some examples:
About a decade ago, during my sorority days, I was an officer for Greek Council (the governing body over all the Greeks at my school). Our sorority had a Greek Council liaison and it was her job in our weekly sorority meetings to report back what Greek wide news and activities were taking place. One day, after our meeting, she came up to me and said that it was really hard for her to say this but she felt like whenever it was her turn that I would sometimes take over and this made her feel unimportant. When she told me this, it was not a shock. I knew that I had a tendency to do this because I had information from the inside that she didn’t have. I apologized to her and told her that I wouldn’t do it again. And I never did. Even when the Sorority President would ask me something Greek Council related I would direct her to ask Tiffany. I realized that I was doing something wrong and it gave me the self-reflection that I needed. I was attention seeking and I needed to share the spotlight.
An example of when the “feedback” I got was really just jealous criticism also comes from my sorority days. There was one girl in my sorority who was constantly talking about others behind their backs. I had/have a large chest (God-given, no surgery here) and she had a chest that rivaled a young teenage boy’s. She was constantly making negative comments about my breast size, whether it was that my t-shirt showed them off too much, I wore a strapless shirt and shouldn’t be allowed to do that, etc. It was very annoying. I could have internalized it and thought there was something wrong with me, even though there was nothing I could do to help it, or I could have worn potato sacks so she would feel more comfortable with her own body. I figured that she was just jealous because she had mosquito bites and I have a Marilyn Monroe type body. Sorry, there’s nothing I can do about that.
The next time I hear someone ask me if they can give me some feedback, I’m going to run away. I don’t care what you have to say!!! I don’t go around giving others “feedback” about their clothes, attitude, cleavage, and/or work habits. If you’re not my boss, keep your feedback to yourself. Unless it’s coming from a place of love, and then I welcome it.
I would appreciate your feedback (wink)

Reilley Beth

Eight years ago today this beautiful girl came into my life. And life hasn’t been the same since. She has brought so much joy into my life. But parenthood is never easy and we’ve had our ups and downs. Reilley is fearless. I admire her spirit of adventure and spontaneity. She’s a gifted artist and can draw for hours. She is an amazing friend to all she meets and has a tender heart. She adores her little brothers. Reilley has always loved babies and she gravitates toward them. She is exceptionally good with younger children and has such a kind heart. She always tries her best and that’s more than I could ask for. She is the biggest girly girl I know and pink is her favorite color, of course. I could never fully capture her spirit in just a short paragraph.

Reilley has changed my life. Being her mother is a privilege. She has taught me so much. Most of all she has taught me patience, empathy, compassion, and unconditional love. She will always be my little girl. Hopefully I can continue to be the mother that she needs. Eight years goes by so incredibly fast. I am so proud of my daughter.
In honor of Reilley and this special day I dedicate this song to her:
“In my daughter’s eyes
I am a hero.
I am strong and wise
And I know no fear.
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter’s eyes.

In my daughter’s eyes
I can see the future.
A reflection of who I am
And what will be.
And though she’ll grow
And someday leave.
Maybe raise a family.
When I’m gone I hope she’ll see
How happy she made me.
For I’ll be there.
In my daughter’s eyes.”

Crying is healthy

So, I have to get something off my chest. Which is what this blog is really all about. Letting me vent and express my feelings in a safe environment, while also getting it out to the greater world, that I AM ANNOYED!!!

Last Friday I attended my good friend Jeneane’s funeral. I wrote about her a couple of posts ago. She was a dear dear friend and died way too early. She was only 38 and she left behind two young teenage sons. It’s incredibly sad, no matter how you look at it. It’s also incredibly sad for me because she was just an awesome person. She always made me laugh, put a smile on my face, and treated me like I was her best friend. The world truly did lose a gift.
So this is what bugs me. Her wonderful mother, who took care of Jeneane the whole time she was sick, got up to give her eulogy and basically told the congregation that this was a celebration of Jeneane’s life and not an occasion to mourn her death. I respectfully disagree. There is plenty of time to look back on my time with Jeneane and laugh and thank my Heavenly Father that he put someone as wonderful as she in my life. But right now, I need to cry. I am sad. My heart is broken. I love Jeneane. I am devastated at the loss she has left. Yes, I have the faith that I will see my dear friend again. But for this life, I never will, and for that I mourn. Please don’t tell me I’m not allowed to cry and today should be a party. Today is no party for me. Today I say goodbye to my friend.
With all this happening, and Mother’s Day on top of it to boot to remind yet again, that yes, my mother is dead, I’m really tired of people thinking that being sad and crying is unhealthy. That we must always look at the positive and not one negative emotion should ever enter our bodies. This is wrong. Being a student of the social sciences, I know the stages of grief and you will never get through them and come to the acceptance stage without first being SAD. Sad is okay. I promise. It’s okay to be sad and let your heart break. It means you’re human.
So I just want to say, that although I think it’s wonderful to want to celebrate Jeneane’s and anyone else’s life who has died, I’M ALLOWED TO BE SAD. I’m allowed to cry. If I don’t, I’ll go on denying my feelings forever and never really come to grips with my friend’s death. There is no way to reach the acceptance stage without first allowing yourself to walk through the other stages. Shock, denial, bargaining, depression/sadness, and then finally acceptance. I don’t understand our culture’s fear of allowing ourselves to feel sadness. It won’t last forever. And someday I’ll be able to look back on my time with Jeneane and laugh. Or feel happy that I had a friend who would call me out of the blue to see how I was doing when my Mom was sick. I’ve finally reached the stage where I can think of something funny my Mom said or did and laugh. It’s taken me a long time, but I’m getting there. And I had to walk through sadness first. It’s normal. It’s healthy. And dammit, it’s allowed!

For my Mom

“Beyond all lessons, beyond the model she provided, my mother gave me a parent’s ultimate gift: she made me feel lovable and good. She paid attention; she listened; she remembered what I said. She did not think me perfect, but she accepted me, without qualification.”
-Fredelle Maynard

In Honor of Mother’s Day

I wrote this essay back in the Summer of 2006. I did not know at that time I only had one Mother’s Day left to spend with my own Mother. I dedicate this entry to her.
Baby Mine
When I was a child we were the first family on our street to own a VCR. It was mostly because my Mom wanted to be able to record Luke and Laura’s infamous wedding. Soon afterwards, Disney released most of its cartoons onto VHS. I remember watching the movie “Dumbo” with the same sort of enjoyment any kid would have. To me it was just a story about an elephant who could fly. To my Mom, however, it was a story about what a mother would sacrifice for her child. I remember how my Mom would always cry when the song “Baby Mine” would play while Dumbo’s mom stuck her trunk out of her cage and rocked Dumbo to sleep. I guess the song and the scene hit my Mom hard right in the mommy-heart.

Years later, I brought my first child home from the hospital. While I reveled in our quiet moments of nursing and rocking together, I longed to find a song to sing to her that would adequately explain the feelings of joy and love I had for her. I remembered the song “Baby Mine” and I quickly learned the lyrics. I noticed that my singing never failed to quiet her when she was crying and put her to sleep after she was done nursing.
When my son was born a few years later, I sang “Baby Mine” to him as well. When he was six-weeks-old he was hospitalized for RSV. Even though he was just a tiny baby, and was a month premature already, the only time he seemed happy was when I would rock him and sing “Baby Mine.” His little baby eyes would roll back in his head and he was soon peacefully asleep.
Whenever I have sung this song to my children, my voice always catches when I sing the last lines of the song: but you’re so precious to me, cute as can be, baby of mine. I have never been able to sing the line “but you’re so precious to me” without my eyes welling up with tears. It’s because they are so precious to me. It’s hard to sing that line while I look into their angelic faces without my love for them coming to the surface.
Now that my children are a little older, they sometimes request that I sing to them before they go to sleep. Whenever I ask my two-year-old son what song he wants me to sing, he always says “Baby Mine.” I have even caught him singing the first lines of the song to himself on occasion. Sometimes when I sing it to him and he’s over-tired, he will get mad and yell, “I’m not a baby.” He doesn’t understand that he’ll always be my baby.
I have sung this song to my children, probably over a million times. The last time I did, I looked over at my two sweet angel-babies lying in their beds. Their faces were so trusting and their eyes were filled with peace. It is at these moments that I know exactly why my mother cried when Dumbo’s mom rocked him to sleep in her trunk. Again, my voice catches as I sing the words, “you’re so precious” to me. I can’t help it, the song and my children are too close to my mommy-heart.

With a heavy Heart

I have to be honest. Tonight I have pain in my heart. It’s amazing how grief actually physically hurts. Writing is about the only healthy way I have to express my feelings. Treating my loved ones like crap and caramelizing my pancreas with Mountain Dew aren’t exactly healthy coping mechanisms.

There are two reasons why my heart hurts so badly. First of all is my good friend Jeneane’s death, which I paid tribute to in my last post. I got the news on Monday that she had passed away that day, and after I finished bawling my eyes out, I called the compassionate service leader in my ward, my good friend Deanne. I asked if she knew when the funeral was and she didn’t, but I told her that if there was anything I could do for the funeral luncheon to let me know. Today she asked if I could make a cake. No problem, right? I left work at 8 pm tonight and stopped at the local Albertson’s before making my way home. I literally had tears spring to my eyes as I stared at all the cake flavors because at that moment I didn’t know how I could possibly decide what cake I should make for my friend’s funeral. How do you do that? Jeneane’s been my dear friend for 5 years and I never thought I’d be standing in a grocery store aisle crying while I tried to decide which flavor would adequately convey my love for her. There is no chocolate rich enough. Somehow I made the decision and bought all of the necessary things for this cake. I was going to make the cake tonight since I have to work tomorrow until the funeral. I still haven’t made the cake. Making it makes it real. As did seeing her obituary in print today. If I make that cake it means that Jeneane is really gone and I have lost a friend.

The second reason I am in pain tonight is because of Mother’s Day. I am very close to my mother. I wish I could call her right now and pour my heart out to her over Jeneane. But I can’t. I wish I could run to her and tell her how much I desperately miss her. But I can’t. I can’t do anything but miss her. On Mother’s Day I plan on laying flowers on her grave, but it won’t be enough. I had a mother who loved me, who would do anything for me, and was my best friend and confidante. And she’s not here anymore. Cancer stole her from me. From my children. Mother’s Day is just a big ol’ reminder that my mother is dead. Thank you commercials for shoving it in my face that in 3 days mothers around the world will be celebrated and mine will only be remembered. It hurts. I hate it. I have much to be thankful for, but I also have a huge gaping hole in my heart in the shape of my Mom.

I love you Mom. I love you Jeneane.