Friday, June 13, 2014

My 15 Seconds Of Home Town Fame

Earlier this week, Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review,  interviewed me about the dramatic unseating of Eric Cantor in my district here in Virginia.  She decided to use parts of that interview in her column this week.  This was a fun moment for me for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that I consider myself a dual citizen of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

It's a small world, after all....

Salena is also one of my favorite political reporters, she covers local and national politics with a voice that is seldom heard in the parroting world of media. We could use more like her.

Here's the Article:

Anti-Beltway sentiments cost Cantor job, analysts and voters say

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Process of Grief : More than 140

When someone you love dies it's a natural reaction to want to blame someone, some thing, any thing. I've lost many people I love over the course of my life some through drunk driving accidents, some through natural causes, some after long illnesses, I lost my own parents to a Murder-Suicide.

The one thing that each of these has in common? The pain is the same. You've lost someone who was a part of your life and they are never coming back. (Not in this life anyway) So it doesn't matter what caused the death, the pain remains the same and while many people speak of closure in my experience that is more of an expression than it is reality.

When we're in pain we lash out, we seek answers to questions that no one should ever have to ask, then when the raw scorching pain subsides to a constant dull hits you this is how it will always be.

Some people take issue with God after losing someone they loved in what they perceived was an unjust or unfair fact I've met many atheists who lost their faith this way.  Believing that if there was a God, surely they would not have allowed this tragedy to happen to them.  Not for nothing this is in my opinion a selfish way to look at the world, but I digress. The feeling of course is that if God existed he would prevented the loss, thus they turn their back to him.

People blame inanimate objects Rich Foods, Cigars, Booze, Cars, Knives and Guns for their undeniably painful loss. Heart attacks, Strokes, Cancer, Accidents, Shootings they all are the result of human behavior.   None of these things by themselves cause anyone to die. People and circumstances cause Death, like little else.

Why all the blame throwing? Because when someone You love dies it feels Unfair and Unjust. All you want to do is find a way to fix it. Or know "Why" it happened.

Convinced that peace and that ever elusive Closure is just around the corner, you seek answers. Sometimes you even get them. You pour through all the information available about the who, the why, how it could have been prevented.  Some spend days, week, months even years of their lives reaching for these answers. When you come to the end of that journey, what ever that end may be only one thing remains:  Your loved one is gone.

Grief is a powerful thing. It can be all consuming if you indulge yourself in it. We all know the person who has never been the same since, (Insert tragic thing here). Loss does change you, the question is how does it change you?

I have chosen to Live my life with a capital "L" as my tiny way of honoring the memory of those who shaped so much of my world,  but are no longer alive to share it with me. I've found my faith to be a comfort and a guide on days when all I really wanted to do was give up.

Will you give in to the pull of victim hood or will you move forward the very best that you can as a Survivor?

Each person has to make that decision for themselves, every day, every hour, some times it feels like every second.  But it is your choice to make.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Very First Book Review: Finding Mr. Righteous

I like most of the Conservatives online have been waiting for "Finding Mr. Righteous" by my friend and complicated Conservative girl, Lisa De Pasquale. After reading it and a few of the online reviews I felt compelled to throw my two cents into the conversation. So here is my first book review.  In full disclosure, I do consider Lisa a friend and she has baked for me, so true to my nature this review may be slightly "Biased".

I had talked to Lisa prior to the book coming out and asked what the early reviewers were saying.  She said it was mostly positive feedback but that some seemed shocked by her honesty.  I bet they were. Ann Coulter called it a Christian story disguised as "Racy Chick Lit", well that's part of it. I just thought there was also another message within the pages.  

"Finding Mr. Righteous" gives the world a glimpse into the life of a single girl in the dreadful world of Washington, DC. I found the author's brutal  honesty the book's most charming feature. While other reviews seemed focused on the Religious aspect of the book, forgive me if I think that pigeon holes it just a bit.

Lisa pours her heart onto those pages, her vulnerable, generous, self-conscious heart and it is a beautiful yet bitter sweet tale to which all women, especially those who have searched for "Mr. Right", can relate.  The constant self judgement that everyone feels. The insecurities that keep us from becoming as Oprah would say our "Best Selves".  Lisa shines a bold spotlight on her own insecurities and the lengths she has gone to please others, specifically the men in her life.  We follow her journey of self awareness and acceptance in a world that doesn't always make it easy.

Sharing her most intimate fears and thoughts with the reader, Lisa paints a realistic portrait of the relationship obstacles we all face. All the while weaving a juicy "Inside The Beltway" tell all. Between DC events, happy hours and cocktail parties, She is faced with situations that women face every day. Sometimes She chooses correctly, other times not so much. But throughout you find yourself rooting for Lisa as she stares down the never ending expectations for Love, Career, Faith and Self Acceptable.

Tongues may be wagging in DC this week, as "Insiders" try to identify the men portrayed in each chapter. Who is the Quaker? The Pastor? The Atheist?  For me, "Finding Mr. Righteous" was a journey of learning to value your own worth. Each story a reflection of the writer in the eyes from which she sees the world. This self discovery is heart felt and entertaining in a real voice that I'm certain did in fact shock some of the *Conservatives* who read it. As friend mentioned..."It's not for the faint of heart".

If you haven't yet. I highly recommend a copy for You and any of your single girl friends. Trust me it's worth every Penny!!

***It is my understanding guys like it too, but somehow I doubt they understand all of it!

Lisa will be signing books at CPAC on Friday afternoon at 2pm. 

Follow Lisa on Twitter at @LisaDeP

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In Defense of Miley Cyrus...

It's been quite awhile since I last blogged here, it's been a crazy couple of months. But today I was inspired to write a blog. No it wasn't the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech" and the ensuing events in DC. Nor is it about very real possibility that Obama is going to lead us into War in Syria. It's about Miley Cyrus.

Now I know at this point many of you have probably heard enough about Ms. Cyrus in the last few days to last you a life time. Both the left and right agree:  Miley Cyrus's VMA performance was horrifying. Could peace in the middle east be next?

Here's the thing, Miley Cyrus is a marketing machine. She's made millions upon millions of dollars through her persona of "Hanna Montana". A young perfectly poised pop star that in many ways reflected what fans thought of Miley Cyrus. In fact I'd be willing to bet many saw them as one in the same, She (they?) did do a "tour" after all.

But what Miley Cyrus reminded all of us on Sunday night was that She is not "Hannah Montana". Nor is she a Tween pop star anymore.  She's a grown woman. And whether we like it or not She has changed.  From a purely business standpoint it was simply something that had to be done.

What's truly amazing is that Miley has been able to keep this song and her name in the press for months.  First there was the insane haircut. Then she dropped the single "We Can't Stop" in which there is "controversial" line, "Dancing with Miley". Or so Cyrus claimed, for about a month until she decided to admit what was fairly clear from the start, the real line was "Dancing with Molly". A reference to a fairly popular, yet still illegal drug, Ecstasy.

"We Can't Stop" plays like a theme song for her generation, with lines like "It's my mouth I can say what I want to" and "Forget the Haters cause somebody loves you".   Probably not what you took away after the other night, but still She is now in her early twenties. She isn't 16 anymore. It's about partying, rebelling and new found freedom. Basically the same theme as every other rock or pop song ever written, only with a softer beat.

Still critics came out screeching like Tipper Gore at a rap concert to condemn Miley for "glorification of drug use.".  You know because hit songs are never about Drug use.....Need I remind you of  a little tune called "Cocaine", or maybe you remember "Last Dance with Mary Jane", how about "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds". No drug references there. Not everyone was as overt as to include it in the song titles but let's face it half the songs from the 90's were about Heroin.  Drugs have been a part of popular music since it was invented.

But because Miley Cyrus, a/k/a Hannah Montana sang was literally national news.

I don't claim to know if Miley is using drugs or living a drug fueled party life style or not. What I do know is that videos don't always represent "real life". Often singers are playing a character, just like an actor in a movie. So I don't think it's fair to assume that simply because it's in a video, it's a documentary of her life.

And while "Twerk" was a word used by someone prior to Miley Cyrus, I don't think it had ever appeared in cereal before her video and never on CNN before Sunday night's performance. It's even been added to the Urban Dictionary. So there's that.

Now as for the actual performance on Sunday night at the VMAs.  I was not a fan of it. In full disclosure I had heard the song before and I actually kind of like it. I had not however seen the video, until after the VMAs.  Which if MTV actually played videos anymore, would have probably given the general public more warning.   Miley gyrates around licking things and people and yes even Teddy Bears in the video. So again if MTV played videos perhaps more people would have already known about

To me the whole things was just strange and awkward. Mock worthy no doubt. But at no time in the performance nor in the video does Miley show her "naughty bits". She's entirely covered. Sure the outfits are far from modest, but it's not like she had on pasties or a thong. She basically had on a horrendously ugly swim suit. It didn't come across as sexual to me, it was just really freaking strange.

To the parents who were quick to post to facebook and twitter  that the performance was "embarrassing" or "uncomfortable"  because their children were watching...That is totally on you. The VMAs are known for controversial performances.

Almost 30 years ago, Madonna gave the now infamous performance of "Like a Virgin". It was ten years ago, this week that Britney kissed Madonna on that very same show. You should know better. If you don't want your kids to see the latest version of "Controversial", don't let them watch the VMAs. Seriously. Like Justin Timberlake said "It's not the Grammys".

Now I get that people expect standards of decency, I'm just not sure why You think you'd find it on MTV, home of "Teen Moms".

Whatever you think about Miley's now infamous performance, there were more tweets per minute during her portion of the show than there were during the Super Bowl. People who hadn't thought of Miley Cyrus in years, suddenly have her name on their lips. She is back in business. And as a capitalist I can't hate on her for any of it.

Maybe it was too much...but I don't think we'll be confusing Miley Cyrus with "Hannah Montana" again anytime soon. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just another Epic Media Fail

I struggled with what to discuss this week as the main news story has been the Boston Bombing. My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the bombs. Those in Boston and their friends and family around the world.  As this story broke at first I experienced the shock of another attack on American soil, by some kind of terrorist. Domestic or Foreign really doesn't matter to me. The distinction is lost on me. They are terrorists. Find them. Deal with them. Figure out the "why they hate us" later.

I also came to harsh realization about myself while watching the coverage. I'm becoming jaded. Really jaded. Those who have known me for years would tell you that on a good day I struggle to be empathetic or sympathetic to others. But lately all the tragedy and victim porn propagated by the Media has started to dull my emotions to a point that quite frankly is uncomfortable.   I'm about to sound like a horrible awful person. but the constant parade of victims and "faces of tragedy" is just getting to be too much.

I don't blame the victims. I blame the Media and in many cases the Obama administration. I mean the big story prior to the bombings in Boston was that some of the Newtown parents were getting a ride on Air Force One.

Ann Coulter took a lot of heat for her criticisms of the 9/11 Widows, love her or hate her she at least addressed the subject of bringing forth victims as a way to eliminate any debate. This tactic has become the basis for all of our current political media.

The media exploits the victims that suit their agenda and it's dulling our senses.

It's gotten to the point now that the Media no longer bothers to even wait for the appropriate confirmations before going public with a story.  Today CNN and many other news outlets the AP included ran with a report from a "source" that an arrest had been made, and with in fifteen minutes reports varied from the suspect was in custody and being taken to the Federal Court House and might include multiple arrests.

As Amanda Carpenter pointed out so beautifully, "it was like a giant game of telephone"... the story growing with each retelling.   There was only one problem.  It wasn't true.  There hadn't been any arrests made at all. All of the reporting networks began walking back their initial reports blaming everyone from their "source" to the "fog of war".  I prefer the term: Wrong.  in the race to be first no on bothered to stop and make sure the information was correct.

 The FBI was sending people out to say they didn't even have a Name yet, might be true, might be a case of trying to minimize the damage of the faulty reports.  Which by the way the FBI seemed none to pleased about those "unintended consequences" and openly said so to a few outlets. 

Why does anyone trust these people to deliver the "news"? Credibility used to be everything for a reporter, now that seems to be secondary.

We've complained about bias for years, and now we do have some conservative alternatives. Be we need to demand some accountability and responsibility from every putting out so called "News" or we might as well just read "The Onion" and watch "The Daily Show". 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Change is Going to Come.

So I'm making some changes in my life and on this blog.  Stay Tuned for More Details!