My GOP debate review: good ties, boring topics & the all white crowd

I watched the GOP debate on CNN last night.  I admit I did not watch the whole thing.  I ended up watching about an hour of it.  That was about enough for me to draw these conclusions.  One, the biggest winner of the night was men’s fashion.  Long gone were the traditional dark blue suits and navy blue or red ties.  This goes for everyone except Ron Paul.  I feel like it takes everyone on the Paul campaign to get Ron Paul’s pocket protector out of his shirt pocket, let alone into contemporary men’s clothing.  I applaud them for just getting the old guy dressed.

Tonight the candidates looked radiant in light blue ties and Newt scored with the daring purple tie.  We all know that purple represents royalty.  I guess he was going for American, political royalty with his choice of purple.  American, political royalty, like the Kennedy era, is a thing of the past.  His campaign has turned to that flicker of a candle wick right before it turns to smoke and the flame dies out.  Newt could not even be bothered to sit up straight in his chair.  He was leaning back with his jacket suit open and his big belly hanging out like the fat cat he is.  I felt like at any moment he was going to stick his hands down his pants Al Bundy style.  This is not the image of our next President.  He knows it and we know it, Campaign Newt is Campaign Over.  Somebody hit the gong a la Gong Show style.  Frame that Time Magazine cover and hang it in his man cave.  Newt had his 15 minutes this campaign.

The parts of the debate I did watch were so predictable.  There was the contraception hate off.  At one point Paul decided that all birth control pill were equal to abortion pills.  Dude, the 1850’s called and they want their OBGYN back.  I’m not sure when you practiced medicine, but it is starting to become embarrassing.  Statements like that are just dumb.  Women don’t die from broken hearts and we don’t bleed people as a cure anymore.  Young people may love your idea of freedom, but your points about modern medicine suck.

Santorum and Romney just tried to one up each other about how much they hate contraception, Title X and Planned Parenthood.  We get it guys, no need to continue to beat that dead horse.  It becomes a waste of time.  CNN, you could have saved that time and just said, please refer back to the other 19 debates if you require more information on the candidate’s stance on this issue.  Then they tried to out children each other.  Even more proof that natural family planning isn’t so great at controlling families.  There is the rhythm method part, but then there is the super gross part about vaginal mucus that nobody talks about.  I can’t wait until we have a nation that has to monitor their vaginal mucus for birth control.  That will be awesome dinner conversation.

I think the best part was when CNN’s camera panned the audience.  Note to whoever stages the audience: find some minorities.  Seriously any minorities will do.  Even some white people with a tan would have been better than what I saw.  That was the whitest audience ever assembled.  At least with Herman Cain in the race there were some of his relatives in the audience of those debates adding to the mix.  Like I said in the beginning, maybe I missed the minorities and they were at the back of the crowd and did get to ask questions, but when I turned in I almost had to put on sunglasses to stop the white glare from the audience.  Hard to get the feel that the GOP represents all people when the audience and the candidates only look like they support white people.  Of course, this is just my opinion.

In conclusion, I will miss these spirited debates.  There is so much more to discuss, but once we figure out who the GOP nominee will be then we will get to the actual Presidential debates.  Those will be really fun.  I’m still on the edge of my seat waiting to figure out who the nominee will be.  I think it has come down to one of the two in the light blue ties.  Which one, I have no idea.

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Our military: book burning & wrong flag waving – what’s not to love

I know I’ve been on one hell of a rant lately about all of our domestic conflicts facing this nation.  Our moral and spiritual war has been heating up faster than a Baptist church in the deep south on a hot August day.  The headlines have been exploding and twitter has been on over drive with all of the back and forth of the contraception debate.  Between contraception, Whitney and the start of the Real Housewives of Orange County there has been little else occupying our minds (maybe that’s just me).  We have been so occupied in fact that we have even forgot about our fourth candidate for President; Newt Gingrich.    What the heck happened to him anyway?  He probably is lost in a Tiffany’s somewhere.

Anyway, while we battle on over the right to a woman’s reproductive cycle, the rest of the world could care less about this and continues to deal with famine, disease and war.  I know, I know what does that have to do with us you ask?  That’s over there and we are here.  Well, I think it’s time to stand up and take notice.  See our military has made two little public relations mistakes in the past two weeks.  These two little “oops” are creating some already unstable situations to become even more volatile.  One in particular, when combined with the bomber who was arrested this past week trying to plan an attack on our Capitol, has me a bit concerned and I think you should be as well.

Let me sum both situations up for you.  The first one involves a Marine snipers in Afghanistan posing in 2010 with a flag that resembles a Nazi SS flag.  The surfacing of this photo has caused an uproar and has senior Marines “looking into” why any Marines would pose next to such a symbol.  The explanation so far is that the Marines believed this symbol to be lightening bolts.  Insert Beavis and Butthead:

“Hey Beavis, check this out.”

“Totally cool Butthead.  It’s like a flag.”

“A flag and it’s got like marks on it.” said Beavis.

“Marks like lightening. Yeah, lightening bolts.” said Butthead.

“Let’s take a picture with it.” said Beavis

“Cool, yeah cool.” said Butthead.

And that is what happened.  Do I think it was antisemitic?  No, I don’t.  Do I think it was incredibly dumb?  Yes and I don’t think my tax dollars should pay for things that are incredibly dumb.  Now I know that Israel is our friend, but here is the deal I think they should not be speaking to us, because we are so stupid not because we are coming off as a bunch of bigots in the picture.

This leads to the bigger public relations nightmare this week.  Some Qurans were confiscated in the prisoner barracks this week.  (spell check wanted to fix the word Quran – how interesting.  Now either I spelled it wrong or my spell check is anti-Muslim)  In disposing of these holy books some genius decided to burn them.  The remains of the books were found by some laborers and they reported their findings to the people.  Sure enough you have an anti-American riot on your hands and people are being killed.  The Taliban is already winning the popularity contest in Afghanistan and now this happens.  Way to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

What idiot would burn the holy books?  What idiot would burn any book for that matter?  I think maybe I have thrown away one or two books in my life and I suffered terribly from post throw away guilt.  I have some books that I hate and I still can’t manage to toss them.  Like that book, “Cold Mountain”, half the book is about a guy who was walking.  Talk about boring.  He just kept walking and walking and walking.  Still that book sits on my book shelf.  God forbid I throw it away.

What is the justification for the burn?  The prisoners were writing extremist’s views in the books and communicating with each other.  O.k. that is against the prison rules.  I get that.  Take the books away.  Put them in a box.  Don’t burn a holy book.  Don’t burn anyone’s holy book no matter what religion.  I feel like this is a rule my 5 year old would get.  At 2 we started with, “don’t tear the book.”  Do we need to go there with the military?  Come on people.   I don’t want my taxes going for teaching our military rules they should have learned in public school where I already paid taxes.  Suck on that Santorum and the GOP!

Please someone send out a memo to our military to be on your best behavior people.  Things are a bit tense right now with Iran, Syria and now Afghanistan.  Our world just got a whole lot smaller with the potential suicide bomber caught by our nation’s Capitol.  No more burning of holy books or posing next to Nazi flags.  If you aren’t sure if what you are doing could spark martyrdom just ask your superiors.  I sure as heck would rather no one go for third time is a charm in the next week or so.

Santorum’s twitter intern…you goofed.

Happy Presidents’ Day

Is that what you say?  If yes, then there you go, if no, then I am just acknowledging Presidents’ Day.  I think most people could care less unless you work somewhere that is closed today.  I am self employed so I celebrate every federal holiday.  So, back to my point, Happy Presidents’ Day!

Throughout the day I got the various tweets about Presidents’ Day.  One particular one caught my eye:

“RickSantorum: Today we honor presidents who understand freedom makes our country great.  I understand that.  Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t.”

Do I believe this came from Rick Santorum’s blessed fingers?  No, I am not naive to believe that Rick actually tweeted these words himself.  I am sure there is some young intern at campaign headquarters developing carpel tunnel as we speak typing these little nuggets every hour or so on schedule.  His boss, a late twenty-something, is probably barely looking at these things and did an over the shoulder approval.  Everyone at campaign Rick has been working long hours and the bad news is no one is enjoying campaign relief sex, because we all know that campaign Rick does not believe in sex outside of marriage and even if they do with no birth control there is no room for error so why risk it.  All they have to go on is Starbucks and praying to the Lord above to keep them going.  That’s probably why these things slip through.

Let me explain what’s wrong with this tweet.   Did previous presidents understand that freedom makes this country great?  I would argue that the founding father’s understood more that democracy and representation made this country great.  Freedom wasn’t so high on the list.  I think if there someone who understands and appreciates the concept of freedom it would have to be Obama over Santorum.

Two of our most popular presidents, Washington and Jefferson, owned slaves.  Kind of goes against that whole freedom understanding claim doesn’t it?  They fought hard to create this country and were very much for branches of government and representation, but not so much about every person actually being free.  Then again we get into that fuzzy definition about who exactly is a person and who isn’t in the late 1700′s.

To have a black president and first lady is inspiring, especially ones as smart as the Obama’s.  For Santorum to say that Obama doesn’t  understand freedom when his race was not able to vote until relatively late in history or for that matter wasn’t even counted as a person in some parts of our country until the mid 1800′s is ridiculous.  I think, because of that, I put my faith (something you claim to be very familiar with Santorum) in Obama to uphold.  Obama provides proof of that fight for freedom time and time again most recently with his bold statement that birth control should be something affordable and available to all women.  The ability to make choices about my body and health and not have an obstacle such as money stand in my way is a great example of freedom.  Let’s compare that to Santorum’s example of freedom being that his religion’s definition of what I should be doing with my body should be the law of the land.

If somebody is going to take away a freedom, can we please take away Khloe and Lamar on E!  In the middle of this blog I just turned it on.  Sorry for the brief break on my freedom rant, but Khloe has her bedroom decked out like some sex dungeon and Lamar turns her down, because “he’s had a long week”.  Excuse me?  First of all, I wish I could take my brain out and rinse it off to remove that visual of their sex dungeon bedroom.  Second, what the hell is up with Lamar that he is turning down a sex swing?  Do I sense trouble in paradise?  Hopefully E! will rerun their 2 hour wedding special so I can be reminded of their true love that is sure to last forever.  Khloe, you are worth millions, is it too much to ask for a reasonable color job on your hair?  Maybe Lamar would be a little more in the mood if your hair would decide what color it wants to be.

Ah, I love exercising my freedoms!  Now that I lost most of my male readers to the sex swing paragraph, let me go back to Santorum.  Did I just write a blog that has sex swing and Santorum in the same blog post?  Probably this has never been done.  I will soon feel the power of prayer as many pray for my soul.

Maybe Santorum should spend the rest of this day truly celebrating freedom.  All freedoms; the freedom of religion, the freedom of choice, the freedom of speech, etc.  This is better than exercising his right of judgement.  I get that we have that right, I am exercising that right now, but I am not running for the highest office in the land.  We can celebrate the foundation that our founding fathers set up and then celebrate how much our society has added to their foundation.  I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for what we have added.  Obama was elected, because he was the right person for the job.  I think if there is somebody who understands and appreciates freedom it is him.

Now excuse me while I see if a good nasal rinse is enough to possible reach my brain for that Khloe and Lamar visual.

Now I remember why I let the TSA feel me up.

There was a story that was buried below the aspirin between the knees story and the 24 hour Whitey Houston psychoanalysis that had to do with a man who was about to detonate himself in our US Capitol.   The FBI was in on it and arrested this guy before he became a suicide bomber and met his 40+ virgins in heaven.  I think this is a huge win for national security and I wish the media would spend as much time on this as they are spending live streaming Whitney Houston’s funeral.

Quick side note on Whitney’s funeral:  I listened for maybe 20 minutes today.  What is it about black preachers that they can have me yelling Hallelujah Jesus and agreeing that I am a lost soul that can only be made whole again by Jesus?  The power of these preachers I tell you.  In the middle of my “Thank you Jesus” I remember I’m Jewish.

Now back to national security.  This is such a huge win for our national security and one that could remind us all of how much of a real threat we are to international and national terrorists.  As the memorial of 9/11 passes in time and our memory fades, our outrage of the airport security increases.  We forget why it is we have these measures in place.  It takes us a scare like this one to remind us we are targets; huge and easily accessible targets.

I traveled about two weeks ago and I had a female TSA agent ask if I mind being patted down.  I do not mind and people in this country should get over it and not mind either.  She gently patted me down and then, the horror, she complimented me on my sweater.  Come on people, we have more people brush up against us from a trip in a crowded bar to the restrooms then this unnecessary outrage in the name of national security.  How about when everyone jumps on when the plane lands and inevitably some guy’s junk is right in my face?  Or when I have to get down the aisle in the plane and the beverage cart is there?  I have to step into a seat to let the beverage cart pass and pretty much do a lap dance for some business traveler.  Get over yourselves people.  People are trying to kill us.  The proof of this week was just one in many we don’t hear about.

About ten years ago, I had the pleasure of encountering Israeli security traveling from Tel Aviv to Kenya.  Let me give you an example of how that went so we can thank our lucky stars on how easy our system of travel is.  I left for the airport going from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv at about 4 am and arrived at the airport for a 7 am flight on Ethiopian Air.  Yes, there is such a thing as Ethiopian Air.  I was traveling to Nairobi through Ethiopia.  I was in Israel on vacation, but traveling to Mombasa, Kenya for work (bed net project for Malaria, remember I used to save the world for a living).,dM-HLnbVw9ZxxhxRuNakt-i5gRQNWAiYPUYaSgNtxggDcmhwxfXdlav_MNzT2te1hkQU8Ts0sJuot0bMhLSPgjYzh-H9rExxESY1ctjJEyVIu_KGlzI1qD0TnVrCIoTzS6-Yxg-nR4iLFu3H0woMIOdHvscG5CjzEL5I2XtAaDxMaHzw

Anyway, I get to the airport before the sun comes up.  I stand in a long line to check in.  This is pre-9/11 mind you, but in Israeli there is no pre and post 9/11.  People have always wanted to kill them.  The airport security pulls people out of line to check -in in no particular order.  It is not next in line goes next, it is I call you out of line in random order.  Talk about frustrating.  I think they do that on purpose to see how people react.  I dare not complain.  I am sweating bullets, confused and to be honest, extremely scared.

After probably an hour it is my turn.  I go to the counter and give them my information.  I am traveling to Kenya on work, but I am a young female, American and traveling alone.  I don’t really make sense.  They pull me out of line and ask me to follow them.  They have more questions for me.  They take my luggage and I follow a female soldier.  I have no idea where they are taking me, but it is away from everyone.

I mention that I am going to Kenya on a malaria project to save lives.  I ask if there is a malaria problem in Israel.  Anything I can do to connect and I am talking non stop, because I am nervous as hell.  They go through all of my luggage.  The soldiers ask me tons of questions: where did I stay when I was in town?  Where did I eat?  What tours did I take?  Who was I traveling with?

Not only did they ask questions, they followed up.  They called the hotel, confirmed the tours that I said I took.  My father was there on business and they confirmed the convention that I said he was attending.  My story panned out.  They let me get on the plane.  I would have preferred the gentle pat down and sweater compliment any day.  We have no idea how good we have it in this country.

A few days later in Israel, my dad was walking down a street in a busy market and a car bomb exploded on the street next to him.  He was fine, but shook up.  I was shook up and reminded how dangerous the world was and why Israel is so diligent.  After watching the smoke billow up from the Pentagon off my balcony in DC moments after the plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, I knew instantly everything in this country had changed.  I am surprised things are tougher in this country in the name of national security.  That is probably, because everyone did not see what I witnessed.  That is a good thing.  This suicide bomber is a reminder this week that there are bad people out there who want to kill us.  We need to do whatever we can to protect ourselves.

Ladies who have suddenly become Michelle Duggar modest: we show our privates to more strangers than we like to acknowledge.  Whether it is in dressing rooms, hospital rooms, doctor’s offices, locker rooms or for some at Mardi Gras parades, it’s not like we are suddenly these modest creatures.  An over the clothes pat down is something we can handle.  We are not fragile creatures.  For the men, welcome to our world men.  A pat down will not suddenly make you gay so relax if that is what makes you so anxious.

To the FBI agents, great job.  To the TSA agents, keep up the great work.  I am a big fan.  I don’t think many people say that these days.  The funny thing was I got on Ethiopian Air and made it to Mombasa.  I hope that Ethiopian Air has since updated their on board music selection.  They had one tape that played over and over again the entire trip:  John Denver.   I hear his music and I am always reminded of the toughest airport security I have ever known.


You are under arrest by the liberal police!

I was at an event last night.  It was a small event and it had a lovely table of wine, fruit, cheese/crackers, etc.  I had one of those nights where the cheese and crackers never tasted so good.  I could have pulled my chair right up to the table and feasted as if I were Henry VIII and this was my dinner table.  I managed to rely on the small plate and stack it up with the cheese and crackers in a ladylike fashion so not to humiliate myself with the chair pull up idea.  

After finishing off the white wine bottle and putting it in the trash – relax people I only had 2 glasses it wasn’t a Whitney moment (too soon?) – I threw the bottle away in the trash.  The woman behind me said, “do they recycle glass here?”

“I don’t know.  I don’t really recycle.” The words slipped right out of my mouth before I could yank them back in again.

I froze, she froze and the words just hung there like the stinky cheese I could not stop eating.  Jesus Christ, I am so busted.

The vision that instantly popped in my mind was that two police officers wearing badges that read “Liberal Police” storm in.  I throw my hands up against the wall and spread my legs ready to be handcuffed.  They read me my rights.

You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can be used against you in the court of liberal public opinion.  You will appear before our judge the honorable Al Franken.  You may plead your case before him.

Wait officers!  See I am not such a bad person.  I may not be that into saving the earth one plastic bag at a time, but see I am all about abortion rights, contraception rights, I don’t wear fur, I support free speech, I am against guns, most wars, genocide, I wear sunscreen most of the time, I fight poverty, AIDS in Africa, I love animals except for possums, I speak out on racial issues, women’s issues, poor issues, just maybe not earth’s issues….

Too bad ma’am come with us.

Did I mention I have a wild imagination?

The woman who was shocked and horrified by my confession suggested she take the glass home with her to recycle.  I thought that was a great idea and I encouraged her to do so.  

Now I feel like I have to explain my neutral stance on recycling so I can plead to keep my liberal card. It’s not that I don’t recycle, it’s just not that I take extra measures to recycle.  For me it’s a convenience thing.  If the recycle bin is there, I will put my Diet Coke can in it.  If it is not there, I won’t.  It’s pretty simple.  You may now judge me.  I judge everyone else so please go for it.

I think the earth is a great place.  I have traveled around a great deal of it.  I also know that when the earth wants to it will destroy us almost instantly.  We watched the earth do that to Japan in one massive wave.  When the earth decides to do that, it is not going to care much if I recycled my plastic bags or not.  I know you are choking on your landfill arguments right now aren’t you?  That’s my whole story on recycling. It’s not very complicated or sophisticated.  Should we all do our part?  OK, but I just have a hard time believing that the amount of trash I have will make an impact on the thousands of years of trash to actually harm the earth.  (Somebody revive the environmentalist reading this please)  

What are my other thoughts on nature you ask?  I am not one of those people who is dying to go to Alaska.  I do not get it.  People go crazy over going to Alaska.   If I am cruising somewhere it will involve a temperature over 75 degrees and beaches I can stand in a bathing suit on.  Do I hate nature?  No, I don’t hate nature.  I am just bored by nature.  I have been to the Grand Canyon.  I went there, looked at it and in about 15 minutes I was done.  How long can a person stand and stare at something?

I have seen wild animals and here is how it goes:

“Look a moose.”

Reaction from people in the group. “Wow a moose.”

“Would you look at that.” someone says.

“Wow.” other’s reply.

That’s about it and everyone looks at the moose for about 10 minutes and interaction is over.  Maybe I have nature ADD?  I was traveled through fjords in New Zealand.  Absolutely amazing, but again the trip took over an hour and I was done in about 15 minutes. Vegas on the other hand, never bored.  Maybe there is medication to treat nature ADD.  I could use some.    

Do I feel cleansed by my recycling and nature confessions?  Well, I feel like when Mother Nature shows her fury, I will be the first to go.  I probably deserve it.

Sushi and crime in the burbs

My mother surprised me tonight and we ran out for some quick dinner. She told me we were just running out for some sushi. Little did I know we were headed for the hippest sushi spot in Johnson County, KS. RA Sushi that I always thought was pronounced, “raw” is the most happening place this side of the Mississippi. If not reminded by the street outside draped in strip mall suburbia, one would think they were standing in LA. The place is dripping in blood red and black, the wait staff is hip and the music is rocking. It is beautiful people and raw fish. There I was, standing in the middle of it, no make up, hair barely combed and sporting the latest in Costco outerwear. I fit right in. I do what any extremely confident gal would do, I order a Cosmo straight away.

Extremely beautiful waitress weighing all of 105 at 5’11″ brings me my Cosmo. My sip of relief begins. That’s where I put my daughter’s Capri Sun, I thought. Did Kansas finally pass prohibition again? I know there was some extreme legislation I was raging against just the other day. Religious freedom, anti-abortion, I don’t remember anti-booze, but if there was a drink to represent this movement I was drinking it. Damn it, I let my guard down for a minute and the social conservatives slip an anti-booze policy past me.

“Everything o.k.?” super cool waitress asks.

“Um, no. My Cosmo kind of tastes like fruit punch.”

“Sorry. Let me take care of that for you.” She promptly returns with what she believes is a stronger version. I agree just because I am tired. It is slightly better and I do believe that Kansas has not passed an anti-booze policy. Not yet anyway.

On to the “crime spree” in the suburbs. Today I come home in southern Johnson county to find a nice flyer stuck in my door. Thinking it was the usually roofing advertisement, I grabbed it ready to toss it (um..I mean recycle it). Suddenly, the black text caught my eye, CRIME REPORTED IN THE AREA it read. As I unrolled the paper I expected to see a line by line list of all of the crimes some underground crime group, gang or foreign mafia had been committing on our small suburban neighborhood.

There it was “BURGLARY” listed on one line. The address of the crime listed. It gave a website where I could find the details of the crime. I quickly ran to my laptop to see the details of this terrible crime. Sure enough, there it was on the web: Crime BURGLARY. That was all it said. I could hear the large cities around the nation all erupt in laughter.

See there is nothing funny about crime. There is nothing funny about the crime of burglary, but there is something extremely funny about the fact that I received a flyer in my front door from the police alerting me of this crime. Really police? A flyer in my door? It says I should report anything suspicious. Got the message police. I will report anything suspicious in my over protected neighborhood where you are patrolling and pulling over any suspicious car or van that looks like it doesn’t belong and any person that does not look they belong here anyway.

I think the other amusing observation about the neighborhoods out here are there are so many gates that do not work and so many guard stations built that are not manned. My mother lived in one of these neighborhoods. There were gates and an unmanned guard station. I inquired about this once and she told me that there was no intention of manning the guard station. So what is the point? Just the suggestion that the neighborhood association MAY arm the station with an over 65 guard should scare off the potential criminal. I think these things are symbols to the outside world that at any time these neighbors could ban together and decide to enact these symbols into real life crime protection to keep the potential criminals out. Never mind that the criminals could go the side entrance of the subdivision and drive in that way, because the fake gates and guard station are not positioned there, but the criminal does not have the convenience of coming through the front entrance of the subdivision so there!

Now that leads us to the alarms on each and every house in the land of beige out here in Johnson County, KS. The residence in Johnson County are lucky enough to have the funds to afford home alarm systems. I think they are great and I am guilty of setting off more than one in my lifetime. The ear piercing, heart stopping screech of these suckers is enough to make a criminal crumble into a fetal position until the police come in for the arrest. This is the audio same as a taser. With all of this home security, if one criminal gets by all of this home protection to complete a home burglary in these neighborhoods in broad daylight, there is a small part of me that simply says, “well done”.

When I was living in DC, it would have been lovely if the police would have put a nice flyer on my door every time there was a crime in the area. How wonderful to come home and find a nice note telling me of every burglary, mugging, stabbing or car theft of the week. I wish I could have been warned to look out for something suspicious when the apartment building across the street was swarmed by a swat team and men were dragged out one work day morning. Turns out these men were accused of forging travel documents for the 9/11 terrorists. I think after witnessing that I should have received some sort of police gift basket instead of a nice flyer.

My point is crime happens. Everyone should be vigilant all the time. Police, stop wasting your time and paper on lovely fliers. Instead keep doing what you are doing. I believe you are doing the best you can. I’ll do what I can to help you out by locking my doors, keeping my garage door down and setting the house alarm. No need to alert me of a once in a while crime in the neighborhood. I promise not to panic and realize that I am lucky to live in a neighborhood where these things happen just once in a while.

Whitney Houston: Not you will be missed, but you have been missed for a long time

Unless you have been living under a rock the past few days, you have heard one way or another that Whitney Houston died this past weekend.  Usually my iPhone is attached to me at all times, but when the news was announced I had placed my iPhone down to help wash my child in her bath.  When I returned for the latest in all things news, there it was: Breaking News Whitney Houston has died.  So she finally pulled it off, I thought to myself.

From that point on, hundreds if not thousands of messages poured in on Twitter about Whitney Houston.  Most proclaiming the loss of the greatest singer of all time.  Some under the hash tag #crackwhore with nasty insults about Whitney’s public drug problem.  Everyone seemed to have a comment about her death announcement.  To me, it was if she had been dead for 10 years already.  Her greatest gift was the gift of her voice.  She had not provided that gift for probably 10 years so other than reading about one public embarrassment after another, what else was she to me other than pretty much dead?

I kept up with her, because I am an avid reader of Radar Online and TMZ.  I tried to watch her reality show on television but I could not stand all of the beeping of every obscenity.  There was so much beeping that it was too hard to follow the dialog.  I gave up and instead just enjoyed the television show through Kathy Griffiin’s eyes.  It was one joke after another.  This beautiful woman with every advantage and a God given talent had been reduced to a comic’s punch lines.  All of this because of a raging drug problem played out in the public for all to see, laugh at and pity.  Did she suffer from bad self esteem, depression or all of the other insecurities that say lead people into drugs?  Who knows.  Maybe she just really liked the high.

I keep hearing that the “industry” should have done something.  I am 100% sure the “industry” tried.  The cold reality is that there was a ton of money to be made from Whitney.  All of those beautiful hits made millions.  Money is the best motivator.  I am sure every industry executive tried hiring the best addiction specialists and tried to help her.  There was so much money to be made.  I do not think she went on Oprah to discuss her addition by choice.  Those decisions are usually made by some industry person who wants to sell something and someone’s image needs a make over.  I also sure her famous family tried to help her.  How can anyone stand by and watch their loved one destroyed by drugs?  I am 100% sure those who loved her tried and tried and tried.

Who did not try?  Those who suffer from what I like to call the “Al Roker Syndrome”.  What is this syndrome you ask?  I diagnosed this syndrome long ago while watching the Today Show.  Al Roker goes out on the Plaza to meet and chat with the general public who crowd around every morning.  Now Al is a generally jolly guy and all of the eager general public is excited to be on camera.  Everyone is all smiles and laughter.  Whatever Al says or does is followed by laughter and giggles.  Funny or not funny followed by giggles and laughter.  What a distorted sense of reality Al must have if every time he says ANYTHING it is followed by laughter.  I have heard him sneeze and say, “excuse me”, in his jolly way and people laugh.  This, my friends, is the Al Roker Syndrome.  I believe all celebrities suffer from this syndrome.  I believe Whitney suffered greatly from this syndrome.  She probably surrounded herself with people who told her she was fabulous, her erratic behavior was no big deal and scored her the drugs whenever she asked only because she was famous.  This syndrome if only telling bad jokes is not harmful, but if doing crack can lead to death.

Now her daughter suffers from this syndrome.  How do I know?  Back to my gossip sites for reference.  Bobbi Christina absolutely devastated when hearing of her mother’s death had some alcoholic drinks (girl is 19 – who is serving this girl alcoholic drinks) and then someone in the “entourage” gives her either a sedative or tranquilizer and shocker the two don’t mix and she ends up hospitalized the same day her mother winds up dead.  This is the same 19 year old show has pictures of her allegedly snorting coke on these same gossip sites and it is rumored there is a sex tape out there of her.  I pray that Bobbi Christina does not end up going down the same path as her mother.  I think we all do.

Where is Whitney’s long time love Bobby while his ex-wife is dead and his daughter Bobbi has overdosed?  On stage of course.  He decides that the best place for him to be is grieving in front of his adoring fans.  Who told him this is a good idea?  Now sense is something this character does not posses much of as witnessed by my 20 minutes of watching the reality show.  Wasn’t someone there to suggest to Bobby that his suffering daughter who is receiving booze and prescription drugs from Whitney’s “entourage” might need him?  He is her father after all.  Anyway, sure enough he breaks down on stage in a very public grieving statement.  Of course I read this in a headline which I would not have read about if he were to grieve privately.  Go figure.

Jennifer Hudson provided us with an amazing tribute during the Grammy performance last night.  Singing one of Whitney’s signature songs she paid tribute to her idol and reminded us of many things.  First, we will miss and have been missing the Whitney of about 10 years ago.  The one who could sing with such power and soul.  The Whitney who could make us think, make us feel and make us love.  That Whitney died long ago.  Taken by drugs that ravaged her voice and her body and left her unable to provide us with the joys of songs from her gift.  The other thing Jennifer reminded us of was that there are others who can sing just as powerful with just as much passion and just as much spirit.  Singers like Jennifer and Adele will hopefully be with us much longer than Whitney.  Whitney may have had a gift from God, but it was not God’s only gift.  Jennifer reminded us of that last night.  Jennifer received that same gift from God.   God bless all the singers out there who can still provide us with the beautiful gifts of their voice.  We who do not possess these gifts crave it.  I hope now Whitney can rest in peace.

Catholic hospitals offering birth control – where is the outrage politicians?

I was not going to post today, but something is bothering me.  It has to do with my good buddy Rick Santorum and his victory speech about the war on religion.  I was doing some more thinking about it and how he is rallying everyone behind this belief that religion in this country is under attack.  Why does he think so?  This is based on the Obama decision to have employers make contraception for women be available and affordable.  The shock…the outcry!  The assault on religious freedom, never mind the victory for women or the fairness in no longer having women pay extraordinary costs in planning pregnancies or regulating painful periods.  Anyway, that argument is a little too rational, let’s go back to the argument about freedom.  The attack on freedom (insert big movie music)!

As I was remembering Ricky’s speech, he brought up our founding father’s again and their quest for religious freedom.  I keep having this vision play out in my mind: founding fathers all standing together in Boston Harbor.  One of them gives the same type of speech as Santorum about freedom.  The crowd goes wild.  Everyone is ready to fight the British.  Now founding father looks over at his slave and says, “Hand me my gun, let’s all go fight for freedom!”  My point, this is not about religious freedom for all, just Christian freedom.  The people Santorum are kissing up to want everyone to say Merry Christmas and pray to Jesus in public school.

In all fairness I did two seconds of research about Catholic hospitals and birth control.  If our politicians are fighting against this mandate for women to receive birth control, because of religious freedom then I thought it only fair to check out some of these Catholic hospitals to see what types of services they are offering.  I checked out our local St. Joseph hospital.  Sure enough they are owned by a large Catholic, non-profit.  I know they have a great reputation and they are in a large network of Catholic hospitals all over the nation.  Under this umbrella was a women’s health group of physicians that offered a full range of services included annual exams.  I gave them a quick call.

Sure enough the lovely receptionist told me they offer a full range of contraceptive options including the IUD.  Hold it, politicians in Washington please read this:  this large Catholic hospital has their physicians offering their patients birth control.   If President Obama’s mandate was such an assault to the Catholic church and Catholic hospitals, why are they offering this product from the devil to their patients and making money off of it?  Where is the outrage about that politicians?

Here is the deal politicians, I am calling you on this religious freedom bullshit.  Fine if you are a church and do not want to offer birth control.  I totally get that.  Not fine if you are a church affiliated hospital and you are profiting off of birth control from your physicians and politicians are using you as a platform to gain votes.  Absolutely not o.k.  You owe your employees birth control the same way your physicians are profiting off it from their patients.  Do the ethical thing and call your politicians and tell them to stop using you as a political point.  I do not know how you could live with yourself if you didn’t.  I am sure that is the ethical thing and God would be proud of you for standing up for the right thing.  Of course, I am just a Jewish girl from Kansas.  What do I know.

My thoughts on PR nightmares, Rick Santorum and the Kardashians

Wide range of topics, I know.  Hey, it’s my blog so I’m going to write about what I want.  Well for all three of you who keep up with my Midwest Voices posts, you might have noticed that I goofed.  Not to relive the entire saga, but I wrote about a stupid abortion bill and the bill I wrote about was last year’s stupid abortion bill instead of this year’s stupid abortion bill.  To my horror, the KC Star pointed this out to me and today I wrote an “apology”.  My first lesson in public humiliation 101.  So I am now doing what I normally do when I make an ass out of myself: go through various public figures who have also made major asses out of themselves and wait for my low dose xanax to kick in to alleviate my overwhelming anxiety.

The xanax has not yet kicked in so I am marinating in anxiety.  Let’s go through my list of people who have screwed up worse than me.  First one who comes to mind is Eliot Spitzer.  He hired a call girl while coming down on organized crime.  He ruined his bright future in politics and still got his own show on CNN.  Granted it got yanked for low ratings, but his ego seems untouched and he is still destined to do great things, in his mind anyway.  Second, good old Bill Clinton.  We all know what he did with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office.  No details of my sex life have been publicized and crashed the web so I’m good there.  He did still manage to have an incredibly successful presidency, so there is hope for me yet to survive this latest embarrassment.  I know I am not going to be President, but I can finally say I stopped looking at him and thinking about him receiving a blow job.  Maybe people will stop thinking about me as the gal who screwed up abortion bills.  See where my mind goes with this stuff.  Roseanne Barr, she managed to screw up the National Anthem and Americans went ape shit crazy.  I think she was the most hated woman in the United States at one point.  Now she lives on a nut farm in Hawaii and I believe she is high most of the time.  I hear she is even running for President under the Green Party.  Anything is possible people.

If these people can withstand public embarrassment, then there is hope for me yet.  Maybe a good night sleep, sharing this blog with all 7 of my readers will make me feel better.  Sometimes I wish my ego was Trump sized so I could easily brush this stuff off and believe my own bullshit, but I might need a few happy hour drinks this weekend to get over this one.  Those who come in contact with me, please tell me it’s going to be o.k., but do not remind me I asked you to say that.

One to one of the biggest embarrassments on television: The Kardashians.  I was not going to blog about them yet, but every time I turn on E! the same two episodes are on.  I am taking that as a sign from God that I am suppose to blog about them and who am I to ignore God?  The first one I keep catching 10 terrible minutes of is when Kourtney decides she is going to start “couponing”.  She gets herself a 3 ring notebook and some laminated sheets probably from the concierge service at the hotel she is staying at and starts clipping coupons for things like toilet paper, paper towels and things for darling Mason.  Here’s the deal Kourt, when you have your bellman carry up your great finds from the local warehouse club you do not need to be couponing.  Leave those treasures on the shelf for the real people who do not have a staff in the lobby of their home, a.k.a. a hotel, to carry them up.  If someone replenishes your toilet paper every day because you have maid service in your hotel room, you do not need to be hoarding toilet paper for when times are tight.  I love it when she meets a fellow couponer in the lobby of the W hotel to share coupons.  Does anyone else find this insulting?  She claims her family finds her “frugal”.  Is that because she only buys 2 pairs of Jimmy Choos instead of 3 pairs of Jimmy Choos when the spring collection comes out?

On to the little Ks.  The 2nd episode that I catch over and over again is the Sweet 16 episode where young Kendall is becoming a lady and momma Kris wants to throw her a Sweet 16 party.  Now momma Kris wants to take her and 74 of her closest friends to the Bahamas.  Momma K probably didn’t spend a dime on this little vaca, because the resort probably is picking up the tab for the entire thing.  The resort is no dummy.   They  know they will receive tons of free publicity from hosting little K and all of her BFFs.  Kendall will not have it!  She does not need all of that.  She suddenly decides that it is too over the top and wants to show her family how down to earth she is by having something smaller.  That may be the lifestyle her family has decided to live, but not her.  She is just a regular gal.  Screen shot to Momma K talking about how proud she is of little K showing her what is important. Momma K spends five minutes patting herself on the back for being such a great momma and raising such a down to earth daughter.   Hallelujah and amen, get this girl to the church because I believe we have found the next Mother Theresa.

We end by seeing the results of what a regular type gal like Kendall does for her Sweet 16.  Just like I did (insert eye roll), she has just a small affair on a roof top of one of the most fabulous hotels in the area.  I believe her big sis speed dials one of many rapper friends on her iPhone to keep it real while all of Kendall’s friends jam out.  I am sure that this little shin dig put Mamma K back about $80,000 or so.  Nothing like showing America what it’s like just to be a regular girl turning 16 instead of some privileged Kardashian.  Shout out to Kendall for keeping it real.  I am sure her next stop after this party will be mission work in the Congo.

On to my last rant, Rick Santorum.  I watched his victory speech last night from St. Charles, MO.  Even I was a little excited for him.   I felt like he was Sally Field during her awards speech, “you like me, you really like me.”  Simmer down there Rick.  About as many people voted for Rick yesterday as voted for our homecoming queen at my college.  Don’t unpack the kid’s Ikea bunk beds in the Lincoln bedroom just yet Santorum family.  The fact remains, your campaign is still broke, you do not stand a chance against Obama and nobody is buying the victory speech about freedom.  These victories do buy you more chances to wear that sweater vest and keep going.  The people who declare a War on Christmas every year are counting on you, so keep fighting Rick.  I will just sit back and continue to enjoy the show.

I do feel better now.

Why the American consumer is in debt: my outing to purchase goggles- $101

It’s a normal Sunday. Just a little family fun, swimming at the community pool. The plan is simple. We drive up to the local community center for 2 hours of swimming. It’s $7 each for a grand total of $14 for 2 hours of fun. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday on a tight budget. My 5 year old ends up exhausted, I get a little workout and everyone is happy. In reality: almost 4 hours, $101 and I am the one exhausted and scarred from the experience.

We are in our bathing suits and warm clothes over them on our way out the door.

“Where are your goggles?” I ask darling 5 year old daughter.

No answer.

“Where are your goggles?”

“I don’t know.” Darling daughter answers.

I can see the little pink goggles in my mind, but I have no idea where those little suckers are. The awesomeness of aging is the ability to see things clearly in our minds, but not to actually translate that into reality. This leads to an extra 20 minutes of going through her room, unpacking the backpack with our change of clothes and digging in the back seat of my car. New rule: no more apple juice boxes in the back seat of my car. Apple juice boxes do not go directly from box to mouth. Insertion of the straw into the box almost always has an in between step of juice exploding out of the top of the straw before it enters my child’s mouth. The back seat of my car is a sticky mess that has collected cracker crumbs, small toy parts and pieces of Kleenex in the apple juice residue. After all of this, I’m sweating and we are still goggless.

“We will make a quick stop at Target.” I said.

Here is how the scenario played out peacefully in my mind. I drove in to the parking lot of Target. Park my car at one of three open spots right by the front door. My daughter and I jump out of the car and run into Target, smiling ear to ear as we do it. I head right to the goggle section of the store. We grab the goggles, go to the checkout lane, pay for the goggles and are back in the car. Total Target time: 10 minutes and the cost is approximately $8.00.

Here is what actually happened.

I get to the parking lot of Target and it is a nightmare. I find a parking spot at Target in the back section. The back section is the dividing line where people just give up and stop driving around. We get in the front door and I grab a cart. Goggles don’t need a cart. This was big mistake number one. I think I subconsciously knew I was not just running in. We are on the opposite side of the store from the goggles, the side by the groceries. I picked the wrong door. This is self sabotage.

“Don’t we need juice?” I say.

“Apple juice,” darling daughter answers.

“Hold it, not the boxes.” Those little shits I think to myself as I pry the boxes out of my daughter’s hand and place them back on the shelf.

I grab a bottle of juice, not goggles. As long as it says 100% juice in big, bold letters on the label, not juice cocktail, I figure I am good in the nutrition department. Score one juice marketing department for large bubble letters deciding my choice in juice. Next, we find ourselves in the Children’s allergy medicine section. Last time darling daughter went swimming her eyes were irritated from the chlorine. This is why we needed these damn goggles in the first place. Well, while we are here, I might as well get the allergy medicine in case she has a reaction. Meltaways or liquid? Those meltaways are so cool. Meltaways it is, even though they are more expensive. The coolness factor wins out. God forbid I should measure something. I mean I am a very important professional mom and something very important might come up where I may not have an extra five seconds to measure the liquid.

On to the goggle section, wait a minute, cart slowing to a stop, swimsuits. We are in the girls section and I am surrounded by cute swimsuits. Darling daughter is growing like crazy and all of her swimming suits are just small enough that every time she gets out of the water, the poor suit is up her tushie. I hate it when that happens, so I can’t have my baby suffering. New swimsuit it is. There must have been 20 swimsuits and out of 20 there were maybe four that were one piece swimsuits. Note to Target: my child swims. She doesn’t pose, she swims. When children stop swimming and start just lying on towels like bathing beauties then you can have this many bikinis. Until then, offer one pieces. Seriously!

Dang it! I forgot the towels. Detour to the bath section of Target. We need beach towels. Target may have 20 different swimsuits, but they do not have any beach towels to go with them. This makes no logical sense to me. It would be like selling hot dogs with no buns. Target this is Johnson County, KS. There are many wealthy families supporting the hospitality industry. If you are offering up an entire section of swimsuits in February, you are in on this secret. Offer matching beach towels next time. I am trying to find the largest bath sheets I can find. I envision myself trying to wrap the bath sheet around myself at the public pool to hide my pale white, non-pilated thighs on my 10 foot walk from the pool to the locker room. Maybe a bath sheet will not cut it, but they have yet to make bath quilts. Hot pink and hotter pink stripes should do the trick. No one will notice my thighs under this striped distraction AND on clearance for $2.50. I give myself an imaginary pat on the back for saving $2.00 per bath sheet. Some extreme couponer will be proud of me.

Now we are close to the goggle section. I pass the 12 pack of Diet Coke. Don’t do it Aimee. You gave up Diet Coke. You read the yahoo article on six bad things soda is doing to your body. Remember, the fat particles are collecting around your lungs or something like that. The article said you were a human science experiment. Oh screw it. A lab rat I shall be. I stop and add it to my cart. This week was a bad week to try to give up Diet Coke. I’m too stressed out about this little community pool outing. I need Diet Coke like a junkie needs crack. I know it isn’t cold and frankly I could care less. I’m tempted to rip open the box right there in the store. Again, I’m sweating.

It is at this point my child decides it is an awesome idea to walk backwards in her Crocs down an aisle.

“Honey, you are going to hit something or fall down.”

“No, mom, mom, just watch.” she says.


We make it to the goggle section. My daughter is carefully making this selection with the same level of caution like I chose my car.

“I like these. They’re pretty.”

Yep, that’s about the same way I chose my car. I like this one, it’s pretty.

Finally, goggles are in the cart and we are headed to the check out. After a few more things thrown in the cart on the way to the finish line, we make it. Grand total $87.00 and I am still sweating.

On the way out of the door, we walk by the Target mirrors that line the path on the way out. I am sure that is where the Target executives sit like we all sit at a movie theater enjoying the show of consumers like me with carts filled to the top with purchases that most of us do not need. All of us consumers heading for the exits with scowls on our faces because, like me, everyone just came in for one thing. I glance up to give these executives my “screw you” face and before I can curl my lip, I notice that hanging out of my sweat pants is my swimming suit mom skirt. Yes America, when I am not hiding my thighs with a bath sheet, I attempt to cover the damage with a mom swimskirt. It’s job is usually to distract from my backside. In this case, it was blowing in the wind like a flag from the back of a parade float. It was at this moment I tore open the box of Diet Cokes, grabbed one out of the box, and opened the warm drink and gulped it down in sheer delight.

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