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