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With Equality and Justice for All

I've been thinking about a way to address the issue of Prop 8 and Prop 2, but, truth be told, this is one of those rare moments when I haven't been able to articulate how I feel to my satisfaction.  I pride myself on my empathy, the ability to see "the other side" of things.  I try to approach these issues by understanding the heart of the opposing opinion...  I can't seem to do that in this context.

My love affair with the United States of America rests in the fact that, although, this nation, like every other, has engaged in oppressive acts, cruelty and unfairness, it's a nation in which the ideal of fairness has always existed.  Throughout our history, this nation has examined itself and generally moved in the direction of fairness and equality.

That said, I see the passage of the current marriage legislation as a step backwards in our evolution.  I wonder if the people who support this legislation understand that it opposes the very principles that allow them to practice their own beliefs as they see fit.  It opposes the notion of equal rights and the basic notion of "fairness" that lies at the heart of the American spirit.

I don't think I can say it better than Keith Olbermann says it in this clip from MSNBC.

Olbermann Special Comment on Prop 8

You may have strong convictions about this issue in your personal life.  I can understand that.  But, if you are an American, your ethical and moral responsibilities should be to defend the equality and fairness that lies at the heart of who we are.

Aww. Poor Wittle Fedewal Wobbyists.

During a briefing today at the Presidential Transition Team headquarters, Obama Transition Co-Chair John Podesta announced the strictest, and most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history. The rules are:

  • Federal Lobbyists cannot contribute financially to the transition.

  • Federal lobbyists are prohibited from any lobbying during their work with the transition.

  • If someone has lobbied in the last 12 months, they are prohibited from working in the fields of policy on which they lobbied.

  • If someone becomes a lobbyist after working on the Transition, they are prohibited from lobbying the Administration for 12 months on matters on which they worked.

  • A gift ban that is aggressive in reducing the influence of special interests.

You can read more about the transition of the superest duperest President-elect ever at

Special thanks to my friend Rahul the socially liberal, Ron Paul supporting, conservative who alerted me to this site.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

I’m completely unfocused, terribly distracted and the complete opposite of a one track mind.  This is why I will always live and die by “the planner.”  It’s as simple as this: if  I do not write it down, it will not happen.

I plan so that I can control the way my day plays out.  First, I make a list of things I have to do.  Then, I fill in the time slots on my iCal.  I print out a hard copy if I'll be home most of the day, or carry around my iPhone if I'll be out.  Minute by minute, task by task my day unfolds.  As each scheduled item is accomplished, I either cross it out in pen with a flourish of satisfaction or scroll down to see what's next.

Only the day never quite unfolds exactly how I want.  So, I'm sure to reschedule items as the need comes up.

Did I mention that I’m a stay at home wife and mother?  That I'm not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company?  My planned out day consists of when I’ll wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean out a closet, pay some bills, play with my daughter, and all of the other stuff that stay at home moms do.

I get made fun of quite a bit for keeping such meticulous records of my day.  But, people, you don't understand, I have to do this.  If I don't, I’ll wander through the day with only half of what I was supposed to do actually getting accomplished.  I’ll sink into bed at night thinking that this day meant nothing, and that I did nothing all day long.  I'll snap at my husband when he, with every good intention in his heart, asks, "So, what did you do today?"

Because when it's all said and done, I don't get to deposit a paycheck in the bank that tells me that I performed satisfactorily.  I need the people around me to know that I did something today.  I need myself to believe that I did something today.

Most days, I check off every single thing I have planned.  I should feel like a million bucks, right?  I mean, I did do everything I set out to do.

But the truth is, I don't feel like a million bucks.  At all.

It dawns on me that the planner is never going to resolve that aching feeling that I’m not accomplishing everything I set out to do.  Not today, and not in my life.  I look at my planner and I wonder how anything I’ve written has anything to do with who I want to be.  Of course, any and all time spent with my child and husband is excluded from that last sentiment.

But the dishes, the laundry, the dinner, the bills, the mopping... this is not who I am.

It is not who I want to be.  For all the control the planner affords, it’s not helping me control this feeling, at all.

A Fun Fact About Faiqa

From pre-K until the 5th grade, I went to a very strict Baptist school.

I always forget to ask my parents what the heck they were thinking enrolling their child there.  I suppose they figured that Islam can be puritanical and so can Baptists, so common ground might exist?  Knowing them, though, it was probably because it was the closest private school to their office.

Anyway, as a result of studying in that school, I'm very familiar with the Bible.  My favorite chapter is the book of Psalms, in case you're wondering.  In the long run, I think attending the school affected me quite positively.  Plus, when I got to public school, I was waaaaay ahead of everyone else in reading.  I'm pretty sure reading and memorizing the King James Bible as a five year old is the reason.

I was also extremely shocked to learn when I transferred to public school that not everyone referred to the period of human history predating 100 A.D.* as "back in bible times."

*Yeah, I know, the "PC" term is C.E., feel free to blame the lack of usage on my "Baptist upbringing".

Madagascar 2: First Trip to the Movies

Last Saturday, I took N. to her very first movie in a theater, Madagascar II.

We had a great time. O.K., the truth is she was completely freaked out the whole time.  I never realized how loud a movie theater was until now.  She kept asking me, "Why is it so loud in here?"

My suspicions have been confirmed.  My daughter is a seventy year old woman trapped in a three year old's body.

This is what she did during the entire movie.  I'm not exaggerating, and, yes, I brought a camera to the movie theater.

I'm no Dawg or Slyde when it comes to writing movie reviews, but in case you're wondering, I thought the movie was pretty good.  It was a little over the top in terms of violence, though.  I know most people categorize violence as someone shooting someone else and blood gushing all over the place, but I'm a little conservative (WHAT??!) when it comes to defining violent behavior.

Remember the old lady that beats Alex the Lion up with her purse in the first one?  Well, she's in this one, too.  And the animals hit her back.  Over and over again.  I thought it was funny, but my daughter, who has been taught that under no circumstances is she to hit anyone ever, was horrified.  She actually asked me why they were hitting each other, and I was like, "Well, honey, it's called suspension of disbelief and even though it seems real, it's not.  And that's why it's funny, understand?"

No, I didn't really say that.

See why I don't review movies?