Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two Sides of the Fence

I received the following in an email... so much truth in this list!

If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative is a homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is a homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended."

Well I forwarded it to you so where does that put me?


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Replacing Wu

There is a very important political race being run in my district to replace David Wu who has been our Congressional Rep for 6 terms. David Wu has got to go. He's a do-nothing disaster who does not think for himself or care about his constituents. He simply does whatever Nancy Pelosi tells him to do.

There are three Republican candidates running to replace Wu: John Kuzmanich, Doug Keller and Rob Cornilles.

A few days ago I got the chance to hear from all three of them during the Candidate Forum at the Yamhill County 9-12 Project's monthly meeting.

Prior to the forum, I had some limited contact with each of the candidates, starting with hearing them all for the first time when they each spoke at the Oregon Tea Party protest April 15, 2009.

Since then I have followed both Kuzmanich and Cornilles on Facebook. I hadn't heard much about or from Doug Keller and only recently joined his FB Fan Page.

Prior to last week's forum, I was leaning towards supporting Cornilles. And after hearing more about him and the other two, I am still supporting Cornilles.

As far as the issues and wanting to represent the people better than Wu, all three are pretty equal in my eyes. My choice of preference is more of a personal choice and that I can better envision Cornilles representing us in Congress.

I really liked Doug Keller's campaign manager and also am really impressed by Keller's refusal to take any PAC money for his campaign. He has also put his entire platform right on his website which goes against the recommendations of those experienced in campaigns. I like that he is willing to go against the tide. We need more of that in this country.

But Doug Keller the candidate did not impress me. He was too soft-spoken and seemed unsure of his positions and opinions when answering some of the questions. I just don't think he's ready for a position in Congress yet.

Kuzmanich turns me off for several reasons. One, I just don't find him genuine. I really get the impression that he is just telling us what we want to hear and he's really just after a high-paying job with stellar benefits. The fact that he's a mortgage broker doesn't help his case in my eyes. I know a LOT of mortgage brokers who are now pretty much broke and several that have lost their homes and are filing bankruptcy.

I also closely watched Kuzmanich's face as the other candidates spoke. Several times some not-so-nice expressions crossed his face which to me is a very clear sign of disrespect. I'm not interested in someone who may run a nasty campaign.

Although I don't know if it's true or not, I have heard that the Oregon Republican Party has thrown their support behind Kuzmanich. Sorry, but that's a huge red flag to me and another reason to support another candidate.

Cornilles is a business owner and although I'm sure his business has taken a hit during this down economy, he's not in an industry that has bottomed out like the housing industry has. Something tells me that Cornilles' wallet doesn't "need" this position as badly as Kuzmanich's does.

Cornilles showed respect to the other candidates at all times during the forum, even when Kuzmanich directly accused him of supporting earmarks.

So yes, Cornilles for Congress!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Used to Want a Kindle

I used to want a Kindle....but I don't anymore.

Oh, I loved the idea of getting my books I so love to read delivered to me electronically and often at a cheaper price than even Costco's paperback prices. But I hesitated due to the price of the Kindles.

And then the announcement of Apple's IPad came out and it is obvious that the IPad will far surpass the Kindle very quickly since with the IPad you can get so much more functionality for not too much more money.

I have friends with Kindles and they love them. In two families I know, everyone in the family has their own Kindle. They share an Amazon account so they can all access the Kindle books that any one of them purchases. Sounds awesome.

I looked seriously into purchasing a Kindle but hesitated. Soooo glad I did. I love the look and functionality of the up-and-coming IPad but will probably not purchase one this year. Maybe next year when the next generation is released.

While some families are Kindle families, we are an IPhone family. I'm on my second IPhone and my husband is getting ready to get his second one. I bought my first one in Sept '07 and then upgraded to the new 32Gb 3GS a few months ago. Hubby got his 2G model in Feb '08 and is now able to upgrade to a new one anytime. He's waiting until this summer to see what their next release is like as it is rumored the 4G model will be quite a nice upgrade.

We LOVE our IPhones. Best phones we've ever had. I use mine all day long for both business and personal uses. I text with friends and clients, take pictures, share on Facebook, schedule my personal and business life, play games, and use business apps. I even have a few hypnosis apps that help me relax and get to sleep after a particularly stressful day. The only thing I didn't do on my IPhone is read books. The full books available for the IPhone via the App Store are just too expensive and the list is very short.

Then Amazon released their FREE Kindle app. The app turns my IPhone into a Kindle and it's FREE! So I installed the app and bought my first Kindle book to try it out and see if I liked reading a full novel on my IPhone.

Yep. Loved it. Worked perfectly. And I love having the current book(s) I'm reading with me wherever I go. Whenever I can grab a few minutes, I start up the app and continue reading where I left off last time.

So, no Kindle for me. The free Kindle App for IPhone is all I need.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Overcoming Obstacles

This past Sunday at church we read Matthew 28:16-20 and tonight in my Community Group we talked about overcoming obstacles in our lives. We each shared about a time in our life when we were faced with an obstacle or obstacles to overcome.

Besides the two times in my life when I struggled to stay alive in a hospital room, for me the biggest obstacles I overcame happened during my high school years. I surprised myself tonight (pleasantly) by opening up during Community Group and sharing with the people there what life was like for me during high school.

I developed Crohn's Disease when I was 14. I was diagnosed when I was 16. And my family finally believed me when I was 22.

I spent much of my high school years sick. Really, really sick. And no one cared. I was completely alone, weak, embarrassed and in a lot of pain. And scared. So scared. My father was unaware completely of my illness and my mother did not believe me. She accused me of faking it to get out of going to school.

Looking back that really frustrates me now as I didn't deserve her doubt. I never tried to get out of school. I was a good kid! I really good kid! I never gave her any trouble. I always kept down one, if not two or three jobs at a time and kept my grades very high. I was never out late at night (unless I was babysitting), didn't drink, didn't do drugs and didn't even have my first kiss until the summer after I graduated high school. I didn't deserve the doubt.

I didn't complain. I didn't whine. I didn't cry. Why? What good would it do? So I silently went on day after day and since my disease wasn't visable in that I didn't have a rash all over my body or a giant tumor sticking out somewhere, it was easy to let people think I was fine. I was so completely mortified after being accused of faking it that I set it in my mind that it was my problem to bear and to bear alone. There is no cure for Crohn's and back then there was very little in the way of treatment also.

And I was so embarrassed and ashamed. High school girls are not supposed to have constant and severe diarrhea for four years straight. And pain so awful it would double me over at times. And the vomiting. I was also accused by the school administration of being pregnant because of my frequent trips to the girls' room to vomit. Ha! I'd never even kissed a boy at that time. "No, Principal So-and-So, I'm not pregnant."

There are some memories that apparently hurt me so bad emotionally that I had blocked them out until about 3 years ago. I remember now very clearly that there were several times when I would come home to an empty house as my mother would be out with her boyfriend and was unreachable (yes, there was a time when there were no cell phones). I would be so weak and in so much pain by the time I came home that I would literally just collapse on the living room floor and lay there in the dark for several hours, unable to gather the strength to move into my bedroom. A few times I remember waking up in such a position and hearing the garage door opening indicating my mother was returning. I would quickly find the strength to get up and go down to my room and shut the door before she came in from the garage, knowing if she found me on the floor I would get an earful about being "so dramatic."

I told my husband about this memory a few years ago and he commented that he now understands a little better why I am so fiercely independent now. Gee, I think I do too!

So even though I feel some frustration about those years and feel I was treated unjustly, I also feel some pride as even though I went through all of that, I still graduated with very high grades and a member of the National Honor Society. Oh, and I was also awarded a full-ride academic scholarship to a very good private college.

I have a client now who has a teenage daughter who has Crohn's. I see the love, care and understanding in her eyes when she talks about her daughter. And there is absolutely no doubt in her mind that her daughter is sick and she would never accuse her of faking it. Although I feel some jealously towards the daughter for getting the parental care that I didn't get, I'm also really happy for her that she will not have to go down her path towards understanding and accepting her disease alone as I did.

You probably think after reading all this that I must be very angry with my mother. I'm not. Not anymore. She was pretty screwed up emotionally herself during those years and no one ever handed her a book on How to Parent and especially she didn't have one on How to Parent a Child with a Chronic Illness. I know she loved me. I have absolutely no doubt about that. I also believe she did the best she could at the time.

I don't think being angry about the past does any good. It was what it was and the past cannot be changed. I would love to talk to her about those years and hear from her perspective what was going on with her. Did she truly not believe me or was she so scared about the diagnosis it was easier to live in denial about it? But those questions will remain unanswered as five years ago my mother made the choice to no longer be a part of my life.


Prodigal Son

Ever since I took a Frankenstein class back in college, I've loved Frankenstein stories. So when I saw that Dean Koontz had written a 3-book series on the subject, I snatched up the books quickly.

I'm on Book 2 right now but Book 1, Prodigal Son, was excellent. Throughout the book there are 4-5 different plot lines that all connect to each other and the book consists of fairly short chapters that move among the plot lines.

It makes for a very fast-paced and engrossing read. I highly recommend it.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mommy Issues

So I've been blogging on and off for about five years now. I've deleted all my posts on this blog and started over several times through those five years, always after a long period of not adding to the blog. During all that time, my blog posts have been mostly political in nature with some incidental humorous items from my life thrown in here and there. But it's always been of a shallow nature in that I've never written (and actually posted) anything that came from deep within me. I guess you could say I've kept the blog world at a distance, unsure about getting too close.

I follow many blogs, using Google Reader, and although many of them are of political topics, several are written by relatives and friends and are quite personal. In writing their blogs, these people have invited me into their lives and I get to know them on a much deeper level. I read about their fears, their loves, their hates, their adventures, their misadventures, their regrets, their hopes, their prayers, their triumphs and their failures. I love these blogs and get excited and anxious to read them when my Reader shows a new post from one of them.

So recently I've come to realize... if they can put themselves out there so-to-speak, why can't I? What is stopping me? Am I afraid they will judge me? Dislike me? Be disgusted by me? Pity me? Yes, I suppose I am afraid of all of those. But I don't judge, dislike, feel disgusted by, or pity any of the people whose blogs I read, even if I don't always agree with what they have to say. I still appreciate their thoughts and feelings and reading about the happenings in their lives.

This issue has been rattling about the back of my head for many months now. Often I've wanted to just start writing and see what happens but I was still afraid to actually start with the fear that I would not have the courage to actually post it.

Then tonight I heard something in a tv show that stopped me cold.

After I finished up work this evening and took a nice, hot bubble bath, I crawled into bed with my cat and two border collies and the four of us looked for one of the shows I record on the DVR to watch. Last week's Private Practice was on there so that's what we put on. Luckily the cat and border collies are not too picky about what we watch and are quite happy to let me pick out the shows.

Being the soap-opera-like show that it is, one of the current plot lines has Addison all twisted up. She thinks she's in love with Sam, who used to be married to Naomi, who is Addison's best friend. So in the course of trying to get over Sam, Addison starts sleeping with Pete who has an infant son named Lucas. Pete claims to be in love with Violet who is Lucas' mother but who has given the custody of Lucas to Pete. So Pete and Addison are, in theory, just sleeping with each other to get their minds off the other people they think they are in love with but cannot have. But it is obvious that Pete and Addison are developing something deeper than sex. And Addison is afraid to get too close to Pete as she cannot have children and is frightened of bonding with baby Lucas for fear if they break up she will be left devastated. So, yes, a typical soap-opera mess.

Addison finds herself sharing an elevator with Sheldon, who is the resident nerdy Psychiatrist. Addison proceeds to spill out her guts to Sheldon and demands an off-the-cuff psycho analysis of her problem and what she should do. Sheldon points out to Addison that she is still reeling from her mother's recent admission to being a lesbian and she never really got the chance to bond with her mother. That coupled with her own feelings regarding her infertility results in the current emotional state that Addison finds herself in. Sheldon wraps it up quite nicely for her.

Sheldon: "A few months ago you found out that your mother was living a secret life, hiding her sexuality from you. And because she was guarding this secret, you feel like you never really knew or bonded with her."

Addison: "What's that got to do with my feelings for Pete, the baby and Sam?"

Sheldon: "Well, you might be harboring feelings about connecting with the child as that causes you to place yourself in a maternal role which could be raising feelings of rejection for you. As well you likely project Pete into the role of your father, Sam into the role of a forbidden connection which confuses your feelings for either man. It becomes hard to see past the deep rooted psycho-sexual implications of what you are going through."

Addison: "What?"

Sheldon: "You have Mommy issues."

Addison: "What do I do?"

Sheldon: "Well, since I know you're not going to come to my office and since I now know I don't like being trapped between floors with tall redheads, I'd say...um"

Addison: "What?!"

Sheldon: "You see the problem and that's half the battle. It's up to you to choose. To make the right choices. To attempt to be happy, to be loved, to be whole. Without drama, without hurting anyone."

Addison: "Yeah, but how do I do that?"

Sheldon: "Addison, I'm telling you, it's time to grow the hell up! Okay?"

Ugh. Mommy issues. Holding people at bay. Not letting them get close. Grow the hell up. Ugh. Like looking in a mirror.

Not in regards to Addison's romantic conflicts. That issue of my life, thank God, is just fine. I thoroughly love my husband and know that he loves me back. But I hold other people at a distance, afraid to get close.

I've been hurt, really, really hurt by family members who I was supposed to be able to trust. Completely stabbed in the back and abandoned. And Mommy issues? Oh boy, do I have 'em. BIG ones. And perhaps it's time I start opening up to others about my issues and invite them into my head and my heart. There is no solution to the Mommy Issues I have but perhaps by sharing my feelings, hurts and triumphs, I can be farther along the path of Growing the Hell Up.