2016

No More Apologies

I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.  And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

-Hillary Rodham Clinton

I keep hearing women apologize today.

We apologized to our children.  We apologized to our grandchildren.  We apologized to our friends. We apologized to strangers.  We apologized to the nation.  We apologized to the world.

No.  No more apologies.

We have nothing to be sorry for in this election.  We made history.  We did what nobody had ever done before.  We tried so hard and we came so far.  Yet, somehow, we still have farther to go.

We.  Will.  Get.  There.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  So no more apologies.

Let’s get nastier.  Let’s face these next four years head on.  Let’s tackle this challenge in the ways only women can.

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Book Review: Bullet Riddled

Bullet Riddled: The First S.W.A.T. Officer Inside Columbine...and BeyondBullet Riddled: The First S.W.A.T. Officer Inside Columbine…and Beyond by Grant M. Whitus
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I got this book as an Early Reviewer from Net Galley.

In today’s political climate, this book is a travesty. The author, Grant Whitus, is a S.W.A.T officer who has seen some horrific things in his career. However, despite seeing the some of the terrible things that hate and anger can bring about, Whitus himself is a rage-filled, bitter hypocrite. He extols the virtue of justice but at the same time speaks about how he wishes he had gotten to kill the Columbine shooters himself. He writes about how he changed in the wake of the shootings, but his wife left him and it’s “99.8%” her fault they divorced. With all the distrust and fear of police officers these days, Whitus deeply believes he is part of the solution, but his book makes it clear he is part of the problem.

The book reads like a brag book written by a man who thinks too much of himself. His blood-lust and desire to catch all the bad guys and kill the evil made me uncomfortable as a reader. Whitus self-promotes his anger in a disturbing way and describes his need to hold onto the violence so he can do his job better. There is enough anger, hatred, and violence in the world today without Grant Whitus encouraging more from those who are sworn to protect. This book was disheartening and I will not recommend it to anyone.

Book Review: How to Get Run Over by a Truck

How to Get Run Over by a TruckHow to Get Run Over by a Truck by Katie McKenna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was selected as an early reviewer via NetGalley.com

Author Katie McKenna got run over by a truck — and not a little truck either. McKenna gets crushed by most of a semitruck while riding her bike on beautiful day. Somehow, she lived tell the tale in an amazingly refreshing and funny memoir.

McKenna presents her situation with a wonderful combination of gravity and levity that you can’t help but want to be her friend. McKenna recounts her accident and recovery in all its grisly detail — from the feeling of the truck crushing her abdomen, to learning how to walk, to becoming a real girl again — she is strikingly honest. She whines, she curses, she sobs, and ultimately she thrives in her new body and life.

I have, thankfully, never been run over by a truck. Despite this major difference between Katie McKenna and I, I was still able to relate to her and her experience. I have an auto-immune disease that often causes me to be in extreme pain. I have stared down the tunnel with no light at the end and prayed to anyone because the pain is so bad that I can’t possibly be strong enough much longer. While it obviously cannot compare to McKenna’s life-or-death accident, it is always refreshing to know that it is possible to survive anything with enough faith, will-power, and help from friends and family.

Book Review: Smiles and Duct Tape

Smiles and Duct TapeSmiles and Duct Tape by Jesse Torrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was selected as an early reviewer on NetGalley.com

As the stepmother of a “multiply special” child, Jesse Torrey’s memoir Smiles and Duct Tape hits home and it hits hard. Raising a child with so much to overcome often feels like lonely road, and often requires a quirky sense of humor to get to the finish line. People look at you funny and you say things you never thought would need to be said (most involve bodily fluids).

Reading about Torrey’s experiences is both difficult and enlightening and in spite of the painful material, I finished the book in less than a day. Whether you have a child with special needs, or you know a family in this situation, this book is a must read. Smiles and Duct Tape proves “it takes a village to raise a child,” multiply special or otherwise. Finally, Jesse Torrey’s passion for her son is phenomenal and this is by far one of the best medical/family memoirs I’ve read.