I’m offended by your intolerance, your bigotry, and the protesting sissies who didn’t get their way.


I wonder if anyone else has the same questions I do.
  • What happened to the America where acceptance and tolerance was actually practiced, when bigotry was almost non-existent because of our right to free speech?
  • When did bigotry take over our attitudes and conversations?
  • And at what point did it be come expected that we should be tolerant of bigotry?
Some people may think a “bigot” has to do with race, along the lines of racism.  But the two can be mutually exclusive. One can be a bigot without being a racist, but I doubt that we could find many racists who are not also bigots.
The actual definition of “bigot” from the dictionary says:
  1. a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
  2. a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially :  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
Back in the day, if someone offended you, you kept that little personal fact to yourself, because it was only *your* business if something offended you, unless they directly insulted you.  What grown-ups do is think through why something offended them, and enter into self examination to uncover the potential reason – then do something about it. But that takes courage, something that clearly the majority of this country lacks. I learned a long time ago it’s easier to accept, respect, and appreciate differences. I rarely scream about being offended even when I am. So here is my list of what offends me as a white, middle class, middle aged, college-educated, conservative woman who’s been accused of being plenty of “-ists” and “-obes”:qqkba
  • I’m offended by the intolerance of any religion that’s not Islam. By the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  Does that offend you? Yes, of course it does – because only a bigot can be offended by something considered a friendly greeting and well-wish.  I don’t get offended when someone wishes me Happy Hanukkah, I thank them and wish it back.
  • I’m offended by the intolerance of exercising our right to free speech.  I’m even further offended – and severely disturbed – by the disdain many have toward the first amendment, demonizing anyone who practices it.
  • I’m offended by the fact that college kids are such sheltered, protected, indoctrinated sissies that they have to establish safe places.  You want a safe place? Lock yourself in mommy’s basement and spare us from your angst. And now they can’t go to class because they can’t cope with Trump’s victory. Give me a break. I’m offended by the fact that these sissies will be running things when I’m back in diapers. I’ll probably be the 98-year-old grandma imprisoned for saying something offensive, because that’s the direction this country is headed.  George Orwell had it right – he was just a few decades off.
  • I’m offended by the left-wing indoctrination of our children by teachers, professors, and administrators in our schools and universities.
  • I’m offended by the lack of tolerance for others’ ideas or opinions – the rampant bigotry and lack of respect offends me greatly.
  • I’m offended by the lack of initiative to educate oneself by digging into to supporting evidence for each side of the argument. Case in point, I’ll bet the number of liberals who watched “Hillary’s America” is remarkably small.  If you are a Democrat, you might want to watch it to understand what the party is really about, and the hidden history of its founding.
  • I’m offended by the fact that liberals assume that conservatives support 100% of everything that the Republican or right-wing party stands for.  Guess what – we don’t.  Just like you don’t on the Democratic side.
  • I’m offended by the attacks from proponents on the left for opinions that are on the right, attacks on character, assumptions about beliefs, stereotyping and lumping people into broad categories  because of their beliefs, opinions, or positions. 62ae0f22d972e62c2adf82431326b4cb712ba37ffa72cd3b481f65b9ff8fe837
    • Here are a few examples of what I mean by this
      • You’re a Christian? You a member of Westboro Baptist Church?
      • You voted for Trump? You must be a racist, sexist, xenophobe, and you don’t deserve the air you breathe. In fact, just kill yourself right now, please.
      • You support border security? You must be a racist.
      • You don’t like Hillary Clinton?  It can’t be because of the deplorable crimes she’s committed, so you must be a misogynist.
      • You didn’t vote for Hillary?  You must be a sexist misogynist.
      • You believe the government is corrupt? You must be a conspiracy theorist who believes everything Alex Jones says.
    • This is the same limited thinking and false assumptions as:
    • All Mexicans are illegals (they are not)
    • All African Americans are criminals (they are not)
    • All Muslims are terrorists (they are not)
    • All politicians are corrupt (they are not)
    • All white people are racist (they are not)
    • All police are racist and violent (they are not)
    • People who own guns only want to shoot people. (really.)
Thfullsizerender-213-300x209e rampant assumption that, based upon one person’s position or opinion, they deserve being lumped-in with the worst of the worst of American segments is a testament to the mental and cultural illness in this country concocted, promoted, and facilitated by the left. A sickness and a fear that has run rampant thanks to the establishment media, and the echo chamber leftists have created for themselves by only designing their social feeds and media sources to only expose them to the information that supports their way of thinking. You’ve placed yourself in a vacuum, refusing to broaden your horizons and effectively closed your mind to anything that may differ from what *you* think is the “right” way to believe or think.  And although you are quick to tout your own opinions and views, you practically demonize those who vary from those views, whether slightly or extremely, all the while accusing your “opponent” of being the intolerant one.  You are a bigot, and you expect us to be tolerant of your bigotry.  What you also are is a bona-fide hypocrite.  You’ve done yourself a grave disservice, fashioning for yourself your own little bubble – your own little liberal “safe space.”
letthemeatpie

Click to watch Jonathan Pie explain how and why Trump got elected, and why I wrote this post. I actually wrote it before I saw this video this morning.

The establishment media and establishment politicians have painted Trump as a racist, misogynist, a sexist, xenophobe, and every other “ist” and “obe” you can imagine.  How about considering that he might be a Real-IST?  Just because he wants to secure the border doesn’t make him a racist. Just because he wants to ensure that anyone coming from war-torn, terrorist-sponsoring countries are not actual terrorists doesn’t make him a racist, nor does it make him a xenophobe.  If wanting to prevent people who come here from anywhere with the sole purpose to kill or convert you, me, and anyone else makes me a xenophobe, then so be it. Fine. I’m a fucking xenophobe because I don’t want a Syrian, Asian, Russian, Mexican, Canadian, Italian, Saudi, Iraqi, Iranian, nor Martian that wants to kill me to get into my country.  Ironically, if it’s an American that goes nuclear that I don’t want coming to kill me, that’s just natural, not xenophobic.  I’ll let you in on a secret – I don’t want killers roaming the streets of my country regardless of where they’re from. Period. I do not fear nor dislike foreign peoples, which is the definition of a xenophobe  – in fact, I find them rather delightful. But if I express concern about Syrian refugees being infiltrated by terrorists to get into our country, it makes me a xenophobe in a leftist’s perspective. So see, you can’t win with the left, because they place emphasis on the wrong aspect of the fear: they berate  on the source of my fear (Syrian refugees), rather than my fear of what could happen – terrorists infiltrating refugees so they can conduct terror.

Listen to what Trump is saying, watch his speeches, his videos.  He may have had racist opinions and even actions in his younger years, because he grew up in an era when it was normal and accepted. He had the good fortune to live in a time to see it come down and true, it is difficult to abolish one’s indoctrinated attitudes to which they were exposed in childhood. But, just like one of my favorite Hillary-supporting trolls pointed out in

liesdamnedlies

Click to watch Clinton’s flip-flops – and I’m not talking about her stylish beach apparel.

defense of Hillary’s 180 degree flipflop on every issue she supports today, people change their positions as they learn and mature.  Keep in mind that Trump was never accused of being racist or sexist until he squared off against the Democrats. And there is widespread forgiveness of Hillary Clinton despite the fact that she has flipped to the opposite spectrum on every issue she now supports.  It’s easy to accept her right to change her mind, but anyone else you can’t muster the same courtesy. That’s a little hypocritical and bigoted, don’t you think?

The extreme panic  exhibited by liberal Democrats, Hillary supporters, and millennials since the election is unwarranted and, frankly, childish. I am appalled by the lack of intestinal fortitude these people have when they don’t get their way.
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Give the man a chance.  Lord knows we gave Obama plenty of them.  And we gave Hillary plenty of them, for that matter. But she focused on herself, and herself only.  And she would have continued focusing on herself.  America spoke – no more Clintons, no more Bushes.  I think Trump has the potential to be one of the greatest presidents this country has seen – I’m expecting he will offer the country the compassion, fairness, and equal rights of John F. Kennedy, and the diplomacy and economic smarts of Ronald Reagan.
In the words of Obama to Trump, stop your whining.  It’s what we got, and it’s up to us to speak out against wrongs, accept or abolish policies and people at the ballot box, and make the best of this situation in our own circumstances.  Accept that people will have different views, and it’s OK to disagree – but disagree respectfully, without tearing each other down.  Tearing each other down helps no one, and if there’s one thing we all need is to help each other come to terms with whatever changes are ahead.  I personally think the changes will make a positive impact on the lives of all citizens and guests of our country.  If not, we have an obligation and the power in 2020 to change it. That’s the beauty of America.

I am no longer a republican.


My husband and I are divorcing the Republican party. Given all that has transpired the past few months, and the past week, we have decided that the Republican Party no longer represents our core values and issues in today’s America.  The childish behavior, plotting, scheming, and downright petulance of so-called “establishment” Republicans is the reason. Mitt Romney, the Bushes, McCain, and others is exactly the reason Donald Trump has been selected by WE, THE PEOPLE.  And you have the AUDACITY to try to give us another option. If we had wanted another option, there would be a different frontrunner. 

News flash for the crybabies: Nobody is buying that you want to provide another option in the best interest of the people. I’ll tell you why you want to provide another option: you are terrified of being exposed as the greedy czar you are.

Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump is dangerous. Dangerous?  Dangerous to whom? Certainly not THE PEOPLE. No. I’ll tell you who he’s dangerous for – Trump is dangerous for Hillary Clinton.  Trump is dangerous for Mitt Romney.  Trump is dangerous to every single one of the senators and representatives that have been sucking off the tit of corporate and special interest lobbyists who’ve made them filthy rich with dirty money by buying rules, regulations, laws, decisions, and legislation.  Laws and regulations that directly impact the very lives of everyday Americans just trying to live a decent and comfortable life. Right or wrong, with no regard to consequences, intended nor unintended, decisions are made and passed by senators and congressmen because they’ve been paid off by corporations, activists, and lobbyists. I challenge you to research the net worth of all the senators and congressmen past and present. It’s mind boggling how many of them are millionaires many times over. Now, some of them legitimately owned, ran, and sold successful businesses before running for office, but that’s only a handful. The rest, I ask – where did it come from? How did they get so …. wealthy?  I think you can figure it out.

So, yes, Donald Trump is dangerous. Dangerous to THEM. Dangerous to the government hacks who’ve stolen our country from us. And the fact that the Republicans are trying to scheme a way around Donald Trump, and are willing to hand it to Hillary Clinton in the process, should speak VOLUMES.

Why would the Republicans be willing to lose the White House to Hillary, and endure another four years of Obama-esque executive orders and extreme liberalism? The answer is simple:  at least with Hillary, there will be no threat to their way of life. There will be no exposure of the corruption. It’ll be business as usual, and they can continue tearing down this nation from under the table.  If you vote for Hillary Clinton, you are giving our government officials permission to continue making millions and doing deals at OUR expense. It says you are OK with legal corruption.  That you are OK with our government being bought by corporations. That you are OK with a liar, a cheat, and someone who only cares about her own best interests to the extent that she’ll put national security at risk – leading this country.

The establishment politicians are terrified, because if Trump wins, their way of life ends. And their attempt to run a third party candidate is all the evidence you need. They don’t give a rat’s ass what the PEOPLE want. They only care about their own skin.  They have crawled into a seething bed of iniquity, and are blind with fear that the racket they’ve been running will be revealed, and the truth will come out. Our country is no longer run by the people, nor for the people. Our country is run by a cesspool of extortionists, and you are about to put the worst extortionist, or rather, the best – in the White House. You can count on more corruption, a worse economy, and legislation failures that only hurt Americans if you put Hillary Clinton in the White House. You are giving permission to the ones we hired to DEFEND our liberties to continue to rape us of them.

What happened to By the People? I wasn’t a Trump advocate, and I didn’t vote for him in our primary.  But the American people have spoken. They are speaking for Trump; they are speaking for Sanders. Yet, both sides of the fence cannot come to grips with the fact that Americans are FED UP with the Fed. 

Our country’s “leaders” don’t like what we’ve chosen. So I’ll speak directly to our country’s so-called leaders now: You were put into office by US. You work for US. In fact, 28% of my paycheck goes to YOU to facilitate a government OF the PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE, and most importantly,  FOR the PEOPLE. In the real world, if we don’t like what our bosses are doing, or if we don’t like the new boss who’s been hired, we leave. We quit. We find another job. Or we suck it up and make it work. You have a choice – get behind and support what your bosses have directed, or GTFO.  

So, no. I no longer consider myself a Republican. Because the Republicans no longer fight for what they once stood for – smaller government of the people, for the people, and by the people.  Congratulations to Mitt Romney for being the one to expose that fact, and for being the poster child of everything that’s wrong with our government. I knew you had it in you, Mitt. 

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Declaration of Americanism.


According to the “liberal” mindset, I should be automatically ashamed because I was born white. Forget the fact that I was born with the wrong equipment, as there is still a considerable amount of discrimination in the workplace against women. I don’t give a rat’s fuck what you say, there is. I’ve experienced it. And fuck you if you try to challenge me on it. If you’re not a woman, you have no argument.

SHAME

Well, I’m not ashamed that I was born white. And whether or not I am subject to this supposed “white privilege” that you believe still exists, I submit to you I am at equal disadvantage because there is no such thing as “female privilege.” Fuck your white privileged, self-imposed guilt. You don’t know shit until you have lived with a vagina. Game changes, motherfucker. Game. Changes.  So I am not going to hang my head in shame just because I was born with the same skin color as those born in an entirely different CENTURY who actually oppressed and discriminated against non-caucasions. It wasn’t my personal doing, and it’s not the way I live my life.

So why should I go through life being apologetic and ashamed of my skin color? Does it do me, or anyone else, any good? Does it change anything? No. It doesn’t.  We all have enough to be ashamed about – such as our choices and our words – that is within our personal realm of control. There is no need to pile on additional shame for those things that are out of our control, such as skin color or the choices made by history prior to our own existence. I refuse to succumb to that liberal mindset.

I do not believe, for one second, that my skin color has contributed to my personal success. What has contributed, however, is hard work, and witnessing my mother work herself to the bone to provide for her daughter and son. This is the legacy and work ethic I grew up with.

My Mom was a real estate agent in a small town. In the 80s and 90s, real estate in a town of only 20k was either feast or famine. She put my brother and I through college, paying the bills as they came, without financial aid loans. I received one $800 Pell Grant my first semester, but after that, Mom managed to send checks to the University when tuition was due. I did my part, having a part time job from the time I stepped on campus. I got my first credit card to help pay expenses, and tried to cover as much as possible on my own before asking Mom for money, because I knew it was a struggle.

I got through college as fast as I could so that I didn’t have to be a financial burden to Mom longer than necessary. I graduated in 3 1/2 years cum laude, and had my first “real” job within 1 month of graduation. I’ve been on my own ever since.

Therefore, it greatly offends me that some attribute my success to my skin color.  Bullshit.  My own success is due to the fact that I’ve worked my ass off, and I’ve listened to those who had been there before. I haven’t marched through life waiting for handouts due to my “white privilege.” I was raised under the mantra, “If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will.”  Perhaps that’s a lesson every person should learn, apply, and live by. This lesson sees no color, no ethnicity, no race.  Not in the United States.  Now, I am not saying that racial discrimination does not exist – what I am saying is that it’s bullshit for you to assume that I have succeeded solely *because* of my skin color. I take great offense to that, because you have no clue about the struggles, choices, and sacrifices I’ve made to ensure my needs are met without handouts.

So this brings us to the blame game. Everybody is blaming some thing or some law or some history as the “reason” that bad things, or even good things, happen. These are not “reasons.” These are excuses. Excuses because nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions.  Our generation’s legacy will be the generation of blame. The “Because” generation. The biggest issue with our society today is the lack of personal accountability.

We blame the laws. Blame lack of laws. Blame guns. Blame religion. Blame democrats. Blame republicans. Blame police. Blame the corporations. Blame men. Blame women. Blame friends. Blame family. Blame race. Blame ethnicity. Blame nationality. Blame childhood. Blame drugs. Blame medication. Blame your husband. Blame your wife. Blame your mom. Blame your dad. Blame God. Blame the lack of God. Blame churches. Blame family breakdown. Blame abuse. Blame disease.  Blame prison. Blame jobs. Blame lack of jobs. Blame Christmas. Blame Jews. Blame Christians. Blame atheists. Blame the environment. Blame technology. Blame progress. Blame money. Blame taxes.  Blame entitlements. Blame Fox News. Blame liberal media. Blame a flag. Blame a symbol. Blame history. Blame heritage. Blame Obama. Blame Bush. Blame Khadafi. Blame Castro. Blame the Ayatolla. Blame the Pope.  The list goes on – it’s always someone else’s fault.

Point out personal accountability, and you’re labeled . . . Whether the label is racist.  Conservative. Zealot. Terrorist. Bigot. Hater. Chauvinist. Supremacist. Again, the list goes on, terms that most users of those terms aren’t even using in the right context.

Blaming will not solve any problems. More government will not solve any problems. More laws will not solve any problems. Labeling will not solve any problems.

Taking responsibility for your own actions, your own consequences, and your own outcome, will. So if you decide to shoot up an elementary school, a church, a post office, or a place of business, blame yourself, not your mommy or your daddy or your race or your religion or your country. *You* made that decision. Not the gun, not the government, not the church, not your job, not your parents. You did. Own it. It’s yours.  We all have the gift of free will. Use it for good or evil – that’s your choice.

The fundamental issue is that our generation doesn’t hold anyone accountable for their choices, which becomes a breeding ground for helter skelter.

I am a white American woman. I own my outcome. I own my choices. And yes, I am proud to be an American.


Why Roller Derby Is Exactly the Thing a Middle-Aged Working Mother Needs.


Let’s face it: 40 years old, married, with an elementary school kid and a full-time career. Not just a job, a career. What business does such a person have jacking around with a dangerous, highly aggressive, grueling sport like roller derby where the women are almost half my age? I know of at least one person in my life, the one who claimed to carry the “BFF” title, thinks I have no fucking business with it. So, this is kind of a vent session, because the more I think about her desertion, and forfeiture of our relationship (she just ignores me), I have come to realize that it isn’t me: She overtly disagrees with, and is possibly very jealous of, the choice and dedication I’ve made in roller derby as my hobby. Therefore, I thought I would just get it out, and set the record straight for anyone who does – or does not – know me and the struggles I’ve had.

So, here are the top reasons roller derby is “just the thing” a middle-aged working mother needs.

Identity. Ok, call it a midlife crisis or whatever – feel free to use that label if you dare – but a couple years ago I reached a point in my life where I asked my husband, and the universe, “Is this IT? Is there nothing for me to look forward to? Nothing for me to get excited about? I work, I come home, we take care of our daughter, then do it all over again? Who am I, really?” My only descriptors of me as an individual were his wife, her mother, and a marketing person. I spent every day waiting for something great, something better, to happen to me. I was uncomfortable in my own skin because I didn’t feel like I was unique in any way. I sucked at making shit, I can’t draw or play an instrument, I don’t sing, and writing wasn’t something that really revved my engine. I’m pretty good at photography, but again, not something I craved to do all the time. And I hate running. When I heard about roller derby and saw it for the first time, it’s like I woke the fuck up. Whoa! I skated as a kid, so it wasn’t a new skill for me. And I still had my skates. Finally! Something new to try, something I knew I could do, something I lived for as a kid – skating. Now, I’m still all those things, wife, mother, career woman, but now add to that roller girl. Er, woman. And athlete.

Fitness and health. Mentally and physically. I never imagined that anyone, much less me, would refer to me as an athlete. I’ve been in the best shape of my life these past two years and it’s GREAT. I feel so much better about myself, and what I look like, and how I feel, that I actually WANT to do more and I want to fuel my machine with good food. I was on a path of drinking too much, smoking too much, eating like crap, over weight (by my standards – 160 lbs on a 5’9″ frame) and sedentary, in constant pain, and falling into a depressed state that was painfully obvious. Nothing made me happy. I didn’t even look forward to vacations, or Christmas, or anything. Many thought my marriage wouldn’t last another year. Roller derby saved my life, and my marriage.

Self confidence. Roller derby is not just physically taxing. It’s also mentally taxing – and I have had anxiety attacks during practice. But for every anxiety attack and every doubt I have of myself, my resolve gets stronger. It’s made me a better employee, a better mother, a better wife, a better team mate. Too bad that BFF isn’t around to share in my successes. I’m pretty fucking awesome now.

Setting an example of determination, and never giving up. Four. Four times I’ve gone through the “fresh meat” probationary training period for an elite banked track league. I’m within three weeks of the final evaluation I’ll do a fourth time. The fact that I’m toughing it out a fourth time is setting an example for my very impressionable 7-year-old daughter: never give up, keep practicing, and it takes hard work to achieve your dreams and goals. Plus, the admiration and support of my husband is priceless. He’s my biggest fan, and is there setting me straight when the brain boogers try to tear me down. He’s my eternal rock, and my eternal mental coach.

A community of people who won’t give up on me. This – the anthropology of it all – is the crowning jewel. People I barely know care about what I’m doing, what happens to me, and are there to congratulate and celebrate my successes, and pick me back up when I’m down. You know, kind of like a BFF, but I have 30 of them. And they make me smile Every. Single. Day.

So there you go. Those are the most important reasons why, as a middle-aged working mother, I have all the fucking business in the world to think I can do roller derby. In this community, I’m ageless. And I belong.


Why Breaking My Ankle Was Possibly a Good Thing


I broke my fucking ankle last week.  When it happened, I didn’t think I’d actually broken it but went to the doc-in-the-box just to be sure.  Yep, broken.  Luckily, it wasn’t a “bad break,” specifically a “distal fibular fracture.”  Which means, no surgery, and it should heal up just fine.  I basically pouted as they wheeled me out to my car from the skating center, more pissed off than in pain because I knew that derby would have to wait for a couple months.  I’ve never broken a bone before, and I thought I would be devastated when it happened.  Surprisingly, it’s turned out to be quite an eye-opener for me.  So, I thought I would share the top 10 positive things this experience has done for me.
 
10. Overcoming a fear. Next to childbirth, a broken bone was near the top of my Most Feared List.  It may have been the bone I broke, but it wasn’t near as excruciating as I assumed it would be. Yes, it hurts, but way less than childbirth but more than a derby bruise.  It’s been a bigger pain in the ass than a pain in the ankle.
 
9. Patience. Well, I can’t get from point A to point B as fast as I could, and I can’t do as much, like clean up the house, as quickly and easily as I could. Thus, it has taught me patience through lack of haste and being unable to do much about the house or laundry. I have to be OK with it just being a disaster for now. Nobody ever went to hell or death row for stuff being out of place or a little dirty for a little while.  I’m being patient and remaining objective that there’s only so much I can do, and not letting the fact that things aren’t perfect get to me and make me bitchy.  I’m sure it will rear its ugly head at some point, but for now, I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff. 
 
8. Appreciate my upper body strength. If I hadn’t already been fairly strong in my upper body, getting up and down the stairs and toting my body weight around would have been much worse than the broken bone itself.
 
7.  Pack Mule-ery.  Figuring out how to carry shit upstairs, downstairs, to meetings, etc., has never been more mentally challenging. I have discovered I can carry my cell phone, notebook, laptop, food, purse, backpack, kid’s shoes, stuffed animals, and a fountain drink up the stairs in one haul on crutches. Barefoot. On ice.
 
6.  Down time. I don’t think I realized it, but I needed some derby-down-time.  I had been physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing myself for want of official derbydom for 2 1/2 years that I didn’t realize that I needed to take a break to appreciate it again. I’m looking forward to getting back on my skates in a few weeks in the beautiful late spring/early summer weather.
 
5. Making the right decision.  I was facing a decision whether to try out for the banked track league again, a fourth time, or wait it out and stick with flat a while until the fall banked track tryout.  I was going to decide, literally, the day before. Well, fate made the decision for me, and I was surprised when I found myself totally OK with that.  A year ago I would have bottomed out emotionally because this broken ankle (I actually felt I wouldn’t be able to take it if I injured something and couldn’t continue, like I’ve witnessed so many before me), because I was so anxious to “make it” into the league.  However, I have found that I feel renewed and quite ok that the decision was taken out of my control. I believe everything happens for a reason. For example, I’ve heard things are getting more dangerous in the league, with more major injuries than ever before. So maybe the class they take this weekend will change that, and fall will be a better experience for me. We shall see. 
 
4. Love for skating.  I want to skate really, really bad, so I miss it. A lot – and it’s only been a week. So this experience has made me thankful that I have a physically taxing activity that I love so much, that keeps me in shape, and relieves my stress all at the same time. Therefore, I have a lot of awesome shit to look forward to in a couple months.  Although a little scared, I can’t wait for the day I get the all-clear and can put on my Riedell’s again.
 
3.  My skates need adjusting.  I have mentioned to people several times that I was falling backward – a lot – on these new skates. And they would tell me I’ve just got to get used to them. Mmmkay. Skated on them almost 3 months, and I’m lucky I haven’t broken my tailbone. This time, maybe somebody will heppa sista out and make adjustments that will give me better stability – like, move the plates back some, or get a bigger plate altogether.
 
2.  Love for my team and my league. I miss the shit out of my start-up, mash-up team, and my compadres in the recreational league B group. That community is so powerful for someone like me, who can be abrasive and sarcastic and aggressive and friendly all at the same time. And they love me for it, and accept me for me. I don’t have to prove anything, just be myself, share, and learn.  I’m getting so much more out than in putting in, it seems.  There are no egos, no judgement.  And that is priceless.
 
1. Love of the game.  I think we all start this journey because we love skating, and love the idea of community, and love the idea of letting it all hang out. I think very few actually come to this sport for an honest-to-goodness love of the game itself. I’m no different – skate fast, turn left, hit a bitch, don’t fall down. Right? No – I have discovered that you have to genuinely love the game itself, the idea of getting someone cleverly through a pack of bodies, and scoring points, and being a winner. I wasn’t in love with the game when i started; hell, I didn’t even know how to play it. Liking the game is fundamental to your personal success as a derby player. I mean, if you don’t like the game, why play?  I should say breaking my ankle didn’t make me love the game, directly, but having the downtime and not being able to do it has flared a desire to play that I was missing before. More so, what’s made me love the game, too, has been the experience of joining the flat track recreational league, and playing with people who want to teach it. Had I been chosen for the banked league, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. And had I not had the opportunity, I wouldn’t have broken my ankle the way I did – an experience that’s already taught me 10 valuable lessons in and of itself.  
 

So there it is, folks.  What a difference a few months can make.  I look back on where I was when I started this blog, and the healing I’ve experienced, emotionally, is incredible.  I don’t even know who that person was and, now, I think even with the broken ankle, I’m happier than I have been in many, many years, and I couldn’t be more thankful. 


Executive decisions.


I’ve been on the shit end of executive changes twice in my career. Both times, there’s been a vacancy in the VP of marketing spot when I’ve taken a director role. One was a startup, one was an established company that, unbeknownst to me at the time, has a reputation for a heavily revolving door and suffers a 38% turnover rate.

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The first time it happened was at a startup. I was hired to begin marketing programs to drive demand. I brought on a web designer/programmer, and did the paid search, display, and email campaigns myself. I hired a salesforce.com consultant to train an admin on use, reporting, set up, and workflows. I worked very closely with the inside sales managers to give them what they needed, and garnered feedback on lead quality to ensure that the programs we were running were developing quality leads. When I started, I had one lead development associate who qualified the inbound leads from the web and events. Eight months later when the changes to executive leadership were made and the layoff happened (a company of 36 laid off 7, someone in every department), I had driven enough leads to warrant four lead development associates.

I was hired by the founder and CEO, but as the venture company handed over series B funding, the company’s pockets were burning and the investors wanted them to bring in an expensive new CEO, relegating the founder to a “president” status. As was the “new CEO”‘s MO, he decided to hire an an expensive new VP of marketing he relo’d from Boston. So, when the expensive new salaries came into play, I guess Mr. Big Britches VP figured he could do my job himself and “eliminated” my position. After what I had heard about the company blowing through their funding, I can’t say I was all that surprised by the layoff. Additionally, I had come to my own conclusion that the product was more smoke-and-mirrors than tangible, proven results. I had already begun looking around a bit, but had hoped I could do so casually through the end of the year. Not so. It still pulled the rug from beneath me, and then they insult me by telling me I had only one more paycheck coming – so just two weeks “severance.” It was my first time to be in such a situation, and in 2008 at that.

The second time it happened, in 2011, it had everything to do with a “personality conflict” and the tendency of this new guy to clean house (like the other guy) and backfill with “his own people.” He fired my counterpart in marketing communications about 2-3 weeks in, which put me on red alert. Not surprisingly, he backfilled her with someone who had worked with him previously – the proverbial “writing on the wall,” that was. But, because I had a team that really liked me, it took him longer to decide to File-13 me, too. It was really an amicable parting – although I was upset, they did give me severance pay through the end of the year. Granted, it was only 6 weeks, but better than the two weeks I’d gotten before. I found out recently that he did backfill me with, shocker, someone who worked with him before.

I see this as a way for someone who looks good on paper to cover up the fact that he fundamentally sucks at his job. If he can’t lead “strangers” to greatness, he has to cover up that lack of development skill by bringing in trusted compadres, no? Additionally, I knew there was a personality conflict – he accused me of “railroading” people into my ideas. I called this “grasping for straws,” because most of the time I acquiesced to others’ ideas knowing eventually I would have to whip out “told you so” and try mine. I was there to get shit done, not have a kumbaya or coddle or fluff people. I couldn’t make him happy, no matter what. I would deliver what he asked for, but he would tell me it wasn’t. Yet, he also couldn’t tell me why it wasn’t what he wanted. His description of what he wanted matched exactly what I had delivered. All in all, I couldn’t do anything right, and we had a serious communication problem. Once I was out the door, he had the audacity to leave my network on LinkedIn. That about sums it up for the type of person he is.

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I have met very few executives who haven’t lost what I call “The People Chip.” You know, that part of your brain that remembers what it’s like to be in the trenches. I ask time and time again how these assholes get into leadership positions – I mean, were they assholes on their way to the top or did the Asshole Chip consume the People Chip when they got there? And then I remember – they likely got to the top because they made no friends on the way there. Me, I like to sleep at night, so I don’t shit on people, steal their ideas and take credit for them, step on them, or throw them under the bus. If that’s what it takes to become a VP, well, then, I guess I’m just not VP material. I’ve met very few executives who are skilled at gaining your trust and respect, because they look out for you, mentor you, go to bat for you. A leader is only a leader because their people believe in them and, thus, follow. Developing people is a lost art, I think primarily because many professionals in the work place these days wasted time sitting in a classroom a few extra years instead of getting real work experience. Then, they arrive on the scene with an MBA and think it’s spelled G-O-D. Most MBAs I’ve met, or worked with (primarily men), are pompous, condescending ass-whipes who wouldn’t know real leadership if it was smeared on their top lip. They’re so oblivious to what real leadership is that they don’t realize an employee’s failure is a direct reflection on him as a manager. Leadership roles are handed to them because they have a couple extra letters after their names, not because they’ve laboriously earned their way, with respect, to the top. I had a boss once who was an MBA, supposedly in marketing, and I recall having to explain to him, on three separate occasions, what an “impression” was with regard to online advertising. The innerwebs had only been around, oh, I don’t know – 20 YEARS.

These experiences have defined who I am, but, most importantly, have taught me a valuable lesson when considering a new job: be very cautious when taking a job where the head of the department for which you’re being considered is vacant. Otherwise, you just might find yourself one of the 12.2 Americans on the government’s payroll when they hire their new savior – likely an MBA who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you, nor your talent.


I’m Bringing a Stick to this Shit Pot of Gun Control.


gun controlI have a gun. Two, in fact. I carry my Smith & Wesson .38 Special in the glove compartment of my car. One night, I was glad it was there, when I was flanked in a parking lot by two individuals I didn’t know who we’re trying to make chit chat and get me to go out with them. I didn’t have to make a move for it, but I was fairly confident in politely brushing them off, knowing it was within reach if they became threatening.

I also have a Beretta .20 gauge shotgun I use for dove hunting. In our house, there are exactly 15 total firearms, most are hunting rifles and shotguns. My 6-year-old even has her own pink Daisy Ryder BB gun, and she knows it can hurt someone or some thing. We have taught her about gun safety, and she’s witnessed what a gun can do when she went hunting with my husband over thanksgiving. We are responsible gun owners. The guns come out for hunting, and are locked up in a cabinet when we’re not, and they are locked up with empty chambers, and bullets locked in a separate compartment that takes a different key. The keys are in a box on top of the 8-ft tall cabinet.

In light of the tragedy, the horrible, sad, frightening, shocking, heartbreaking tragedy in Connecticut, the discussion, of course, on Facebook and in the media, turns to gun control. Should there be more, stricter, laws? Should guns be banned altogether? What about rifle sports, like hunting, target, and skeet shooting? Get rid of those, too? Use bow and arrow to keep the wildlife population under control? It’s a controversial topic that gets revisited again and again when some nut goes off his rocker. There are passionate and logical arguments on both sides. It comes up in discussions about politics, safety, terrorism, and laws. It’s definitely an issue, and I don’t have the answers. What I do know is that banning the sale of firearms will not solve the problem. Perhaps even making it harder to buy guns wont solve the problem, either.

Unfortunately, the only people who heed and obey the laws are the good, honest people. People like me and my husband. It doesn’t matter how much waiting time, background checks, security measures, and licensing are put into place – there’s no way to predict if someone is going to snap. And when someone snaps, then they have the will – and therefore, will find a way. PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE GATES OF QUALIFICATION TO OBTAIN A FIREARM. There is a black market, criminal organizations, and just plain stupid-ass individuals willing to sell their guns on an open market to a stranger. It’s too easy to go OUTSIDE of the process to get one. When will people wake the fuck up about that fact??

Do you really think that banning the sale of firearms is the answer to the problem? If you do, you’re an idiot. If you think that the black market wouldn’t explode, then you need to pull your head out of your ass and consider the drug problem in this country. The same exact thing will happen. The black market will explode, and the crazies and criminals are going to have their guns, regardless – and law abiding citizens will have nothing but Cutco and Louisville Slugger to protect ourselves. Like the burglar who hurt himself breaking into someone’s house and sued the homeowner – it’ll be the person defending themselves getting the assault or manslaughter charge, not the low-life piece of shit that got himself shot for being a low life piece of shit. Take away guns, and we are all sitting ducks because the VIOLENT with have them, No. Matter. What.

I saw a Facebook post from some guy that said, “Your gun makes me unsafe …. Level the playing field to no guns.” Really, dick wrinkle? You think it would “level the playing field”? Get a grip. It’ll level the playing field, all right – leveled with the grave sites of people and families who couldn’t protect themselves from an attacker.  So, please, do tell me more about how well criminals obey laws.

I tell you one thing that will reduce the general availability weapons, and that’s laws against the personal sale of firearms. The government should enact a law that says if a weapon was used in a crime, and the perpetrator was not the registered owner, then the onus goes back to whomever was in the records – if there was one – and they go to jail not just for selling a firearm illegally, but potentially charged as an accessory to the crime. Force people who have guns to go to a legitimate dealer to sell it so there’s a proper transfer of the weapon following the laws of licensing. Its called CYA. It still won’t stop the people who appear normal and just snap, but it will make it harder to get a gun if you pre-calculate your crime. Maybe there is already such a law in place, I don’t know – I am not intimate with gun control laws. I do know there is a web site called Gun Trader, but I don’t know anything about their procedures.

I have to wonder if conceal and carry was more widely practiced, how much less would there be armed robbery and mass shootings? If the chances of the perpetrator getting shot by a potential victim were higher, maybe it would make someone think twice about their violent actions. Even still, I suppose in something like this, the perpetrator expects to die. Would it have deterred that douche bag from shooting innocent children at Sandy Hook if it were widely known that all the teachers were armed? It’s certainly an absurd thought, arming our teachers, but probably still would *not* have deterred said douche bag because clearly he wanted, planned, and expected to die.

Is the answer to place armed guards at every school? First, it was metal detectors and searches of personal belongings. Now, it’s down to one way in, one way out, monitors, cameras, IDs, and name tags. My daughter’s elementary school follows the same procedures, and it seems secure. But not to the extent Sandy Hook was. You can still walk in to the front door of the school, and sometimes no one is sitting there to intercept you, and you have to wait for someone. I think I’m no longer comfortable with that “open front door” policy, and I wonder if they will be making changes in light of Newtown’s events.

Like cancer, school shootings in present day seem much more prevalent because of the mass media and readily available information on demand. School shootings in the U.S. date back as far as the 1700s, as reported by Wikipedia in this comprehensive list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shootings_in_the_United_States

sandy-hook-victimsMany of those shootings listed were in the days where every person actually CARRIED a gun, and religion was more prevalent not just in schools, but in every fabric of society. So you can’t blame it on “lack of God in our schools,” either.  Still, it doesn’t make the events of recent years any less disturbing. Part of the problem is the glorification of such criminals in the media. A post from Morgan Freeman on Facebook said [in the mind of the disturbed] it’s better to go out a famed monster than it is a sad nobody. Sensationalist media have made these monsters household names, while the name of not one victim is remembered beyond the first weeks of the event.

No, the issues of what’s happening, and has happened, do not rest solely on the shoulders of gun control. It’s all wrapped into a perfect storm of gun control, sensationalist media, and the stigma and expense of mental health care in this country. If you’ve never sought the help of a psychologist, counselor, or psychiatrist, the MAJORITY of them do not take health insurance. At $100+ per hour, who can afford an hour or two hours per week? The many people who need the treatment are not financially in a place to get it – or, they are in denial that they have problems and don’t seek help or reject it when it’s offered, or encouraged.

This problem runs deep and wide, and it’s up to us and our country’s leaders to aggressively seek out a solution among all those who are responsible – health care, media, and gun laws. Don’t take the easy way out and blame it on gun control – it’s not the only issue at play here.

My heart breaks for the community of Newtown, and those parents.  Maybe this is the tipping point to make positive change to address all the issues, not just the one.


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