An Open Letter to President Trump (Hamilton parody)

An open letter to the fat, arrogant, anti-charismatic, national embarrassment known as President Donald Trump

The man’s irrational. He claims that everyone is in league
With his enemies in some vast international intrigue
Trick, please!
You dont even know what you’re doin’
You’re always goin’ berserk
But you never show up to work
Give my regards to Russian hookers
Next time you tweet about John Lewis’s lack of moral compass
At least he does his job up in this rumpus


The line is behind you, you crossed it again
And the president has lost it again
Aw, such a rough life
Better run, tell your wife
“Yo, my boss is in New York again”
Let me ask you a question. Who sits
At your desk when you’re in Manhattan?
They were calling you a dick back in ’86
And you really haven’t done anything new since
You nuisance with no sense
You would die of irrelevance
Go ahead, you aspire to Obama’s level
You aspire to malevolence
Say hi to the Putins!
And the spies all around you
Maybe they can confirm
You don’t care if you kill your career with your tweets.
I’m confining you to one term
Sit down, Don, you fat motherf***er!


Based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s An Open Letter to President John Adams


The ultimate Tom Cruise rankings

It’s obvious that there are only five movies of Tom Cruise’s that really matter. They are (in no particular order):

1. Top Gun
2. Jerry Maguire
3. Interview with the Vampire
4. Risky Business
5. Rain Man

Honorable mention goes to Days of Thunder, A Few Good Men, Born on the Fourth of July, and The Firm. I only mention them because I’ve heard they’re good, but never seen them, and have no desire to do so, so I cannot critically analyze them. So, you are left really with the top 5 movies of Tom Cruise’s career that I’ve seen.

Tom Cruise winning the “Teacher’s Pet” award for L. Ron Hubbard’s “How to act like an Asshole” classes at the Scientology Celebrity Center

Top Gun

This is Cruise’s role that made him a star and household name. I think it was because he started taking Xenu classes at the local Scientology Celebrity Center and all the L. Ron Hubbard learnin’ really helped him hone his fine skills of acting like an asshole. Let’s be honest, this movie is just a homage to masculinity or homoerotic love (why can’t it be both?). You have a bunch of well-muscled bad ass dudebros, like Val Kilmer and Rick Rossovich, flexing the shit out of them in naked locker room and sand volleyball scenes. Then you have Anthony Edwards and you’re like, “hey Goose, who the hell let you in here?” But Goose has a wife who wants his D on the reg, so it’s obvious he’s a dynamo in bed. Spoiler alert, Goose dies because reasons and that’s supposed to make you cry but really you’re like, “is this necessary? Killing off the only comic relief in the movie?” This might be the best Cruise movie if it wasn’t for the complete lack of chemistry between him and Kelly McGillis. I mean, just thinking of their tongues touching in the “Take My Breath Away” love scene gives me the willies. It’s no surprise that years later McGillis came out as a lesbian. I think a Kelly McGillis/Meg Ryan love scene would have 100% more believable and palatable. 5 Cruise points.

Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire is a movie about guy named Jerry Maguire at his full Jerry Maguireness. He’s a sports agent who gets a sudden attack of conscience (so unrealistic) when he realizes that dun, dun, dun sports is all about making money no matter what! Wow, Jer, that’s super insightful. Glad they made a whole movie about this. Jerry writes a 100 page manifesto in the middle of the night during which can only be described as a manic breakdown. I was worried about old Jerry and I’m sure he could have benefitted from a few milligrams of depakote at that point. Jerry is delusional enough to think his quirky little spiral bound manifesto will CHANGE THE WHOLE SPORTS INDUSTRY BECAUSE OF INTEGRITY! Instead he gets fired and a single mother named Dorothy agrees to follow him to his new agency because she was so inspired by his writing. (Let’s be honest, Dorothy was after the Jerry Maguire D for a while and she knew this is how she could get it). Blah blah blah, Jerry loses all his clients but one. This client is a small football player from Arizona who steals the whole movie from Jerry with his charisma. Jerry sleeps with and then marries Dorothy, like ya do with your employees just because you like their kid. And like every sports movie, small footplayer overcomes to WIN THE BIG GAME and gets his BIG CONTRACT and then everyone wants the Jerry Maguire D! Something something, you complete me, end scene. This movie does get extra points because Kelly Preston is a stone cold bitch, which makes me love her (probably also took the L. Ron Hubbard total asshole classes) and Regina King is almost the best thing about this movie. She and her husband majored in Marketing and they came to play, baby! 10 Cruise points.

Interview with a Vampire

This movie was highly anticipated because of the popularity of Anne Rice’s book of the same name. Ms. Rice was not happy with the casting of Mr. Cruise and Mr. Pitt as her much beloved vampires, Lestat and Louis. I don’t remember much about this movie except for a really weird makeout between Brad Pitt and a pre-pubescent Kirsten Dunst. What I really wanted was to see a makeout between Brad and Tom (Did this actually happen? I’m not sure. It’s been a long time since I saw the movie and I might have made this up during one of my late-night fantasies). Anyhoo, this movie loses points because I can’t really remember it well, therefore it didn’t make much of a Cruise-pression on me. 3 Cruise points. 

Risky Business

This movie is iconic for one thing and one thing only and it’s not the late night boinking scene between Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay on an L train around Chicago. No! It’s iconic because Tom Cruise dances around his parent’s living room in his tighty whities and button down white oxford while listening to “Old Time Rock n’ Roll.” What a card! This movie is totes realistic. I mean, what kid doesn’t think the best way to earn some cash while his ‘rents are out of town is by turning the family domicile into a brothel? My sibs and I always did that when my ‘rents took their yearly wedding anniversary trip up to Glacier National Park  (just kidding, dad. We mostly  just sat around watching TV and eating cheetos). AND OF COURSE you fall in love with the prostitute who is just a hooker with a heart of gold. I mean that trope isn’t tired or overplayed AT ALL. This movie gets extra points for starring Curtis Armstrong as one of Cruise’s friends, Miles Dalby, who is best known for his role in Revenge of the Nerds, which also starred Anthony Edwards of Goose fame.That’s known as coming full Cruise circle. 7 Cruise points.

Rain Man

This is definitely, definitely the best movie Tom Cruise every starred in that featured a Cruise. This movie really is a vehicle for Dustin Hoffman to show off his best acting chops by playing an autistic man named Raymond with an asshole of a brother named, Charlie. Charlie, played by Cruise, also went to the L. Ron Hubbard school of How to be an Asshole by Really Trying. Charlie is a selfish yuppie because it’s the 80s and it’s a requirement for anyone under 30 in a movie. Charlie and Raymond’s father left a fortune to Raymond (who has savant-like characteristics) and a pittance to Charlie because he obviously has the yuppy means of supporting himself, but this pisses of Charlie because, again, he’s a yuppie asshole. They travel cross-country together and eventually Charlie learns that Raymond is A HUMAN BEING TOO! Good for you, Charlie! Developing a soul was hard in the 80s. Honestly I get Dustin Hoffman’s “Raymond” and Sean Penn’s “Sam” from “I Am Sam” confused all the time, so I may not remember all the plot points, but I know it’s a brothers gotta bro movie and we’re supposed to have special feels about Charlie ACTING LIKE A DECENT HUMAN BEING IN THE END to Raymond, because in the 80s people with special needs were only props to teach us how to be nice instead of fully-realized human beings of their own right. I’m taking off points for the disability inspiration porn, but giving points for the actual porniness when Charlie yells at Raymond listening to him porking his road-piece. I mean, give a guy a break. He’s lived in an institution his whole life! I’m sure they didn’t show movies with the humpin’ and a pumpin’ at the Walbrook Institute. 1 Cruise point. 

In conclusion, upon further analysis and dissection of these movies, it’s obvious to see that the true Tom Cruise movie rankings are:

1 – Jerry Maguire
2 – Risky Business
3 – Top Gun
4 – Interview with a Vampire
5 – Rain Man

Fight me.

Misogyny in Health Care


Recently I met with the best breast reconstruction plastic surgeon in Salt Lake City, Utah to discuss a breast reduction. She specializes in breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, so it’s pretty safe to say she knows boobs.

I have been contemplating a breast reduction for at least 10 years. I’ve always been well-endowed in the chestal region, and everyone assured me that after I stopped nursing babies, they would deflate like a balloon and I would be left with two wrinkled raisins on my chest. Only that didn’t happen. Like about a 1/3rd of all mothers, my breasts have only gotten larger as I’ve had more children. What started out as a 34 D in my first pregnancy has become a 34 FF. Yep, I just dropped my numbers on y’all.

My sister had a breast reduction the summer before her senior year in High School (sorely needed) and wasn’t able to exclusively nurse her babies because of it. Because of her experience I wanted to wait until I was completely done having children and done nursing them before I pursued this option. Since the hubs had a vasectomy and we have 4 little offspring ruling our lives, it’s safe to say this womb is now closed. The milk factories have shut  down. It’s time to reduce the number.

The reasons why I would like a breast reduction are:

  1. None of your business but I will tell you anyway.
  2. Even though my breasts are NOT grossly large and disproportionate to my frame (and I’ve been told I carry them well many times – thank you, I spend a lot of money on good bras) I have severe neck and shoulder pain. I see a chiropractor twice a month to alleviate this and have seen one for 10 years now. I see a massage therapist twice a month, to deal with constant knots in my shoulders. Last Saturday when I saw him he said, “Marisa, what on earth did you do to your shoulders?” Nothing. I did nothing. They are always like this.
  3. I do the stretches, massages, stem treatments, adjustments, icing, and Ibuprofen that my chiropractor and massage therapist recommend to me every day. There is not a day where I’m not hunched over my computer where I don’t stop every 2 hours to stretch out my shoulders. And I’m in still near constant pain. I keep a tennis ball at my desk that I use to rub out the knots in my shoulders so that I can keep typing without crying. I have a high tolerance for pain, and I’m at the point where my tolerance is low.
  4. Like I said in #2, I buy really expensive bras. I can’t go in to Target or even Kohl’s and buy a bra off the rack. Nope, mostly I shop online from specialty stores. And the bras I buy are the exact opposite of cute. Function over form. It would be really nice to not have to spend $80+ on a bra that was comfortable and didn’t further worsen my back pain. AND don’t you even dare get me started on swimming suit tops.
  5. My posture is atrocious. Big chested women are not keen on keeping their shoulders back when their breasts already draw a lot of unwanted attention and comments. Also, it really hurts to keep my shoulders back and my spine straight when I got these big bags of flesh/fat/milk ducts/sin tissue weighing me down.
  6. I would like to wear a button up shirt for once in my life without it gaping. So sue me.

However, when my surgeon submitted the pre-authorization to my insurance it took them 3 weeks to get around to telling me that their doctor , who has no specialty in this area, and who is also a man who doesn’t have to deal with breasts, decided my surgery wasn’t medically necessary.

Good for you. I’m so glad a man with no expertise who gets paid a lot of money to deny claims has decided whether my quality of life is worth paying for. I’m glad he decided that the immense back/shoulder/neck pain I feel every day isn’t worth solving.

In 2011 the hubs had a bone impingement in his right hip. He wasn’t in excruciating pain all the time, but it was uncomfortable. The square joint was causing tears in his labrum and severely lessening his flexibility in his joint. The insurance didn’t even think twice about covering that surgery or his 6 weeks of physical therapy. It would have worsened and he would have had to have it addressed sooner or later, but it wasn’t a surgery he had been contemplating for over 10 years. No one ever stopped in the street to catcall him over his square hip joints. He didn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on comfortable pants. No one assumed he was a slut because of his square joints.

BUT I guess when it comes to a man’s comfort, well the insurance will just bend over backwards to make sure that’s taken care of. We can’t have a man suffer, while women are just expected to suffer. I mean, we push babies out of us sometimes with little to no medication, so what’s constant neck and shoulder pain for a woman? Nothing.

However, I’m not going down without a fight. I’ve already contacted the necessary doctors who are going to do their part in appealing this decision. I’ve already called my insurance and wrung ever little bit of information out of them that I can. I know my rights and they are hoping that I don’t and that I won’t raise a fuss. They don’t know me at all. They will rue the day a man with no expertise decided my breasts weren’t uncomfortable enough for me to live with a little less of.

Thing is, I pay over $500 a month for the privilege of having this insurance. Shouldn’t I get something out of it? Shouldn’t I say if this is bothering me my word should be good enough? Especially when uneducated people are making medical decisions for someone like me who deals with this every day.

I will have this surgery. I will get out of pain. And no one is going to stop me.

They will rue the day.

They don’t know ’bout me.

I will not go gentle into this good night.

Eff the Patriachy that has men making medical decisions for women. Eff it.

If a man’s testicles hung down to his knees, the insurance would approve in a heartbeat to get that taken care of. Why is it any different  for a woman?

Because misogyny in the Health Care System.


Medical Marijuana and the LDS Church

Medical marjiuana.jpg

On Friday, February 5, 2016 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints opposed a bill in the Utah legislature brought forth by Senator Mark Madsen that would make Utah the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. citing unintended consequences that could come with use of the drug.

And I am angry.

I grew up being taught that the LDS church was politically neutral. Every election season a letter is read over the pulpit in every Ward in the United States written by the First Presidency emphatically stating that the church keeps out of politics.

However, this past legislative session in Utah has proven that the church’s long-claimed stance of political neutrality is false. Most people outside the state don’t understand how one religion, no matter how prominent, can have such an effect on state policies. But it does. Most of the state legislators identify as LDS and as any LDS person will tell you, when the prophet speaks, you listen, and you do as you are told. Obedience above conscious.

The reason for opposing medical marijuana?

Unintended consequences.

You mean like people suffering from chronic, debilitating, and painful diseases getting relief?

You mean like people who do suffer those painful diseases not becoming addicted to the opioids their doctors prescribe because that’s all doctors can do legally?

You mean like people being high all the time on THC? NEWFLASH – these same people are high all the time. On opioids.

And because they are having to ever increase their opioid use with no legal proven alternative available, it is leading to some patients becoming addicted. Utah has an insanely high opioid usage rate as well as heroin rate. The Utah Department of Health has noted that Utah has an experienced a more than 400% increase in prescription drug use injuries and death in the last decade. An average of 21 Utahns die a month due to prescription drug overdoses. Utah ranks 8th highest in prescription drug overdose deaths in the United States.

Marijuana isn’t the drug you should be worried about, LDS church.

Heavy opioid use for chronic pain also leads to liver damage, digestive difficulties like not being able to keep food down and chronic, and bowel damaging, constipation.

I’m sure the LDS church leaders believe this is a moral issue, so I have to ask…

What’s so moral about letting people suffer?

No one has ever overdosed on Marijuana.

I could see if this were legalizing recreational marijuana use why the LDS church would be opposed to that and taking a strong stance against it.

But this is about medicinal use in oil form. Mormons love their medicinal oils. I’m sure if doTerra was pushing this, all the prominent MLM owning Mormons would jump at having it legalized.

Luckily Senator Madsen is not kowtowing to the incredible and inappropriate overreach of the LDS church into state politics. He has proposed 8 amendments to the law that he hopes will alleviate concerns to the Bill.

Anecdotally, when my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer in August 2007. She opted for chemotherapy treatments to extend her life and it was awful. She threw up constantly. She couldn’t keep any food down, thereby becoming dehydrated. She was in constant pain. Her doctor prescribed for her Marinol to help increase her appetite and deal with the nausea chemotherapy caused. Marinol is one of the cannabinoids.

I wish I could sit down with the leaders of the LDS church and describe to them what it was like to watch my mom suffer an absolute nightmarish hell during her last 3 months on this earth. I wish I could tell them what it was like to sit with her in her hospital room watching her writhe in pain, wake up and look at me with panic-stricken eyes that reminded me of a wounded animal, and beg me, BEG ME, her second daughter, someone she called “girl baby” and nursed at her breast until I was 15 months old, BEG ME to go find someone to kill her. Please tell me how you would feel to have your mother, a light and sunshine to everyone she knew, be suffering so much she begged you to find someone to take her life.

You know that scene in Terms of Endearment when Debra Winger is in the hospital dying of cancer and her mother, Shirley MacClaine, goes and screams at the nurses and demands they relieve the suffering of her dying daughter? Yeah, that was me.

Please tell where the dignity is in letting dying people suffer when oil from a plant…A PLANT that God planted in the ground.. can alleviate suffering? Why are those who aren’t suffering constantly asking others to do it when they have no idea the pain that is involved?

On another anecdotal note, I’m old enough now to have several friends who suffer from various chronic, painful diseases:  Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Anxiety, Erytohmelalgia (or Mitchell’s syndrome), and numerous other autoimmune disorders. THC has been proven to alleviate the pain and other symptoms that these debilitating and painful diseases cause. Prescribing people who are suffering ever-increasing amounts of opioids is unconscionable, and I would argue, ammoral.

So I’m begging the leaders of the LDS church to do the right thing. I was always taught growing up in church to do the right thing and let the consequences follow. I was taught to be honest in my dealings. I was taught to put the pain and suffering of others above my own comfort. Please LDS church, practice what you preach. Again I ask,

What’s so moral about letting people suffer?

Grief and Getting Through

I’ve had a lot of loved ones recently suffer the loss of someone they love. Whether that be a parent, child, grandparent, friend, significant other, etc. My heart breaks for them because I know this pain too well. I’ve been living with the loss of my mother the past 8 years and I wanted to share what I have learned.

Several months after my mother died I attended a grief support group. Everyone in the group had lost someone significant to their lives and it was healing to be with people who knew exactly how I was feeling and it was healing to be able to support each other in our collective grief. One particular night the Social Worker who was leading the group told us that we had to find our “new normal.”

I felt an instant wave of anger at that statement. I didn’t want a “new normal.” I wanted my old normal back. I wanted a normal that included a living mother to help me navigate life and motherhood. I wanted a normal where my kids had a relationship with both their grandmas. I wanted a normal where it didn’t feel like my heart was hemorrhaging at every moment of the day.

Eventually I realized how kind that Social Worker was when she talked about a new normal. Because I didn’t have a choice. Life was going to give me a new normal whether I wanted it or not.

I learned that my new normal was going to be like if someone cut off my right hand and I had to learn how to write and function with my left hand. It’s not easy. It doesn’t feel natural. It’s against my gene’s predetermined hand dominance. But eventually I learned how to write with it. And it was sloppy and messy at first, but over time, it got easier.

And although it’s easier now, it’s not perfect. Every happiness that has come to me since my mother died has been bittersweet. She’s never going to be here for all the births, weddings, birthdays, happy occasions, accomplishments. She’s never going to be able to be a grandma to her grandkids, four of whom she will never meet. She’s never going to call me again and recap American Idol for me while I pretend to be annoyed. I’m never going to cry to her again when someone is mean to me. She’s never going to cheer me on, root for me, or tell me how much she loves me again.

And that’s okay. It’s not fair. It’s not what I want. It’s never going to be alright. But it’s okay.

Despite the bittersweet, there has been joy. And when I do have those happy moments or we as a family have welcomed a new member or enjoyed a family gathering together, we feel her with us in Spirit. If I can’t have her here on earth, I’ll settle for guardian angel.

So my new normal has become honoring her life. I do this by living the best life I can. By being happy with what I have. By helping others as much I can. By raising grandchildren to be people she would be proud of. By making others laugh. By being kind to strangers and children. By leaving the world a better place for having lived in it.

Like she did.