Politics: How to Circumvent the “Us vs. Them” Mindset

Midterms. The word brings up immediate panic as visions of large pots of coffee and all night study sessions dance through my head. But in this case, we aren't talking about school. We're talking about something much more daunting. Government.

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Yes, this November marks a major election as 35 seats in the Senate and all 435 seats in The House of Representatives are up for grabs. This also serves as a type of midterm exam for the current administration. If the people like what's happening then the Republicans stay in control. If they don't, we may see a Democratic shift in power.

What concerns me most is that our government, and therefore our whole society, has adopted an "Us Vs. Them" mentality. Democrats only vote for bills proposed by Democrats. Republicans only vote for bills proposed by Republicans. Pretty soon they'll be Mean Girl-ing the new kid in the cafeteria and solving disagreements with wet willies in the bathroom. What happened to an individual mind actually listening, weighing the pros and cons, and voting on behalf of their constituents?

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After watching night after night of CNN, which more often resembles The Jersey Shore than news programming, I'm not really surprised that in every day society, and especially on social media, the general public is spouting off hate quicker than a spurned baby momma can take down her guy on Maury Povich.

But here's an idea: Let's be BETTER than our government. Let's be the change we want to see in the world. The next time we are faced with one of these situations, why don't we try something different.


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My First Mystery Blogger Award!

I am very excited to announce that I have been nominated for a Mystery Blogger Award!!! I am so extremely grateful and excited!!!!

OK. But if you're like me you may be thinking, but what does this MEAN? I have to admit that I've heard of the Mystery Blogger Award, even found some really great blogs that way through other blogger's nominations, but I didn't really know what it signified. So the type A in me did some research. According to my Google search it is an award:

"for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get."
Wait. And you're sure I'M nominated for this? My first thought was, "Oh no! I suck. I mean, I haven't even written a blog in like a month, because, um, life." And even before that I hadn't been feeling my usual inspirational self so I had resorted to writing about, well, food. I'm not worthy!!!

But all jokes aside, my second, and most prevailing, thought was one of pure gratitude. Thank you so incredibly much  Love Infusion for nominating me. Please, everyone, check out her blog. She, like me, doesn't take herself too seriously. And once she even wrote an inspirational rap.

OK. Again, I'm new at this and not sure of the protocol so, just like everything else in my life, I'm going to wing it.

Three Things About Me:
  • I love my cat, Logan, so much I'm basically a crazy cat lady. I bought him a Cavs jersey to wear when I watch the games at home. (If you don't know who the Cavs are, they are a basketball team from Cleveland and I am a die hard fan!)
  • I'm currently studying for my first level sommelier exam which I take in one week in Vegas. (part of the reason I haven't been blogging, sorry!) A sommelier is basically a wine expert sooooo... I've been drinking A LOT of wine.
  • I write a column for a magazine called "The Sugarzine". It's a great magazine focusing on women and their careers, and a bunch of other positive ish. Check it out here: The Sugarzine
The Questions I Was Given:
  • What event, if any, started your spiritual awakening? This one is easy as I've mentioned it from my very first blog Who Am I?  Six years ago my whole life pretty much fell apart. I was engaged and we broke up in pretty horrific fashion, I ended up homeless, his dog killed my cat, and I got in not one, but two car accidents... all in one month. It was pretty much Armageddon. I decided something had to change because I wasn't exactly doing so hot. A friend of mine invited me to go see Marianne Williamson teach from "A Course of Miracles" and I was hooked.


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When Government Agencies Make My Head Explode (and not for the reason you think)

It's 7:38 am. I open a letter from Blue Shield Health insurance which tells me my insurance is being denied/and or cancelled because they have not received my whole payment. Which IS A LIE. And it starts. My heart starts beating faster. I can literally feel the heat run down my veins. My shoulder tightens. I soon grow to the size of The Incredible Hulk. And I basically take on the mentality of this Kramer.

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I am lucky enough to get some government assistance on my health insurance because I'm currently unemployed. This is awesome and I'm totally grateful. Except for the part where I have to rely on a bureaucracy to do something right, and in a timely manner. It also tests my tendencies to want to be in CONTROL OF EVERYTHING!!

Here's the story. I originally called to inquire about the Covered California plans late December. At this point I was on a Cobra plan from my previous job and just getting information. But some IDIOT... wait. I'm sorry. That's not loving or enlightened. Some (grimaces in pain trying to come up with something nice) very misguided lady, who was very busy with other important things so she couldn't fully listen to what I was saying, entered me into the computer with a start date of January 1. But I had just called to get a quote for how much government assistance I qualified for. I HAD ALREADY PAID FOR COBRA THROUGH FEBRUARY.

When I realized this, I called back and some other COMPLETE MORON, I mean super nice lady who thought she was being helpful but didn't know what the hell she was talking about, assured me that this was not a problem because I hadn't even picked a health care plan yet so that didn't matter. For my plan to start March 1 I just needed to pick a plan by February 20. This made perfect sense to me so I continued about my business.

So I did pick a plan early February, and when I went to make the first payment it said I OWED TRIPLE for January, February, and March. How I could pay for the month of January on a plan that I didn't even pick until February 15 is beyond all constraints of logic I possess.  So. First stage of hulkness began and I called Covered California, the government run agency that pays for a portion of health insurance for low income residents. I explained the situation to a really understanding and helpful man, who unbeknownst to me was still a HUGE NITWIT. He said he saw what happened and would amend that plan for a March 1 start date. I went onto my online profile for Covered California and it now said I only owed one payment for my insurance to start March 1. Crisis averted.

Except it wasn't. This agent never contacted the insurance companies with the change (I told you he was a nitwit! I mean, a well meaning man who just didn't know he had to follow through.) So I then start getting letters from the insurance companies saying I owe three months of payments. I STILL want to know how they expect me to pay for January and February when I hadn't even received my health insurance cards, therefore couldn't actually use the product they were selling. If this is how consumerism works, clearly I am doing something wrong. And everyone owes me $25 for my book that's coming out next year. I haven't started it yet, but trust me, it's gonna be GOOD.

So I called Covered California AGAIN. And some nice lady (nice, gotta trust nice, because my brain is screaming HALFWIT) told me that they would "accelerate my claim" and send a letter to the insurance companies. But this morning I open the letter from Blue Shield saying my plan was being cancelled for lack of payment. I literally felt like the floor was splitting open and I was pummeling down into fiery lava. Because, surely, this is what Hell feels like. I immediately pick up the phone to call them but, of course, it's still only7:48 in the morning and they aren't open yet. So. I. Have. To. Wait.

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The One Where I Get Competitive (and not in a good way)

My best friend calls. She tells me she just booked an episode of “Nashville.” Wait. Not just one episode. TWO episodes.

On the outside I’m all “CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so excited for you!”

But on the inside I’m like, “FUUUUCCKK.” Because obviously now there are no more jobs for ME. Now the odds of my own acting career succeeding are as likely as Harvey Weinstein becoming a feminist and resurrecting his. Or my mother finally learning how to use an iPhone app. Both equally impossible. All pointing to my inevitable failure as a woman.

Because as women we are taught that there is never enough for us all. There’s always a competition. For jobs. For men. For a thinner waistline and an impossibly unproportional bootie to match. And why, with said proportions, do we have to compete with the likes of Kim Kardashian in order to “break the internet?” It’s not fair. Plus, I’m really bad with computers.

But what if there WAS enough? What if we could truly feel secure that there are so many jobs/men/sexy waistlines that we ALL can win?

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What I Learned On Date Night

It’s Friday night. Led Zeppelin radio is playing through my nifty Beats Pill+. My boyfriend has asked me out on a private dinner date where he is cooking me a short rib dinner, and I don’t have to help AT ALL. Perfection. Until we do that annoying things couples do. We pick a fight over a pan.

Him: “Is this pan oven proof?”

Me: Yeah.

Him: OK.

Me: I think so. I mean, I don’t know. I’ve never actually put it in the oven, but...

Him: So. NO.

Me: STOP YELLING AT ME!!!!

OK. There might have been a little more to it than that. But you know how these things go. Maybe I called him an impatient jerk. Maybe he said I was acting crazy. And quite possibly I then stomped out of the room. Either way, there was intense annoyance over a PAN.

Dynamics of a relationship are always interesting to me. You’re usually not arguing over the thing you’re actually arguing over. And we all develop this little thing called selective hearing. One person says, “Hey, can you turn that music down?” And the other person comes back with, “Stop controlling my life!!!!!” And while this seems like an exaggeration, I guarantee this has happened somewhere. Sadly, I think most relationship fights start over assumptions. Most fights with friends also start over assumptions.  Though I’m waaaay less likely to take it personally when my friend teases me about my sensitivity. If my boyfriend does, there is a full on cry fest over our sushi diner. (I’m chagrined to admit this may have actually happened.)

So how do we navigate relationships?

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