I seriously think I may implode. There are days that I feel like a huge percentage of our country must be asleep. Did I miss the memo about when we became a puritanical yet hypocritical society?
The fact that more women are not completely outraged by what is going on right now with their rights is baffling and astonishing to me. I don’t even have a uterus and it infuriates me. But I do have a mother, a daughter, a sister, nieces and lots of aunts, cousins and friends who do. And you know what? I think this all of this birth control debate is a total load of shite. And here is why…
People are couching it around their beliefs as Catholics, but I don’t buy it for a second.
If you are Catholic and still support not covering birth control for "religious reasons", take this simple two question survey.
But I want to better understand this situation which seems to be predominantly backed by the conservatives. You don’t want women to get abortions but you also don’t want to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Oh, and you don’t want to provide benefits for the women who have unwanted pregnancies and then can’t afford to raise the children. So the “solution” is for people to just not have sex. OK, that seems like a likely alternative. NOT! You know what the solution is? Education. Teaching people how to protect themselves from both unwanted pregnancies and disease. It’s 2012. I’m not talking about encouraging your kids to go out and have sex. That’s the LAST thing that I’m saying. But it has been shown again and again and again, that if you don’t talk with your children, they’re still going to do what many (if not most) of you reading this did yourselves. Isn’t it better to arm them with information?
The same education that somehow seems to be a threat to these frightening conservatives like Rick Santorum. The same man whose wife dated an abortion doctor FORTY years her senior. That’s right, the holy roller himself shares a bed with a woman that lived with an abortion doctor. But I’m sure that they didn’t engage in any sexual activity. They must have just played Parcheesi and read the Bible together. Give me strength.
And I’m tired of hearing the remarks about “not wanting to pay for other people’s birth control.” It’s funny that it’s often the people who are either post-menopausal or have been neutered who are making these arguments. Again, ask yourself, when you were fertile, did you use protection? But, now that you’re done with it, nobody else should have it? Puh-lease.
And do you know what the best part is? Many women take birth control for other reasons that have nothing to do with sexual intercourse. (This again is where education comes in.) They could be women who are not even sexually active yet benefit from the meds for other reasons.
So, do you want to a la carte healthcare? Let's do it. Do you know what I don’t want to pay for? I don’t feel like paying for Viagra for old men who can’t get it up anymore. Why should they have sex? Are they reproducing? If not, I’m not gonna fund it. Nope. Not on my dime. Let’s try getting that stuffed into the healthcare bill. How do you think that will go?
Snooki got to her weight goal of 98 pounds. Generally, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about anything that any of the Jersey Shore morons are doing. But a few things annoy me. I bet you’re shocked.
First, as a whole, they completely and utterly soil anything Italian. If I had my way, I’d require them to label their heritage “Guido” because most of us Italian-Americans aren’t like them. We are literate, pronounce the letter “h” when it follows a “t” (ex. “three” is different from “tree”) and we aspire to do more with our lives than achieving a hair height equivalent to the Leaning Tower of Pisa or a skin color that is Hermes orange.
I get supremely annoyed by people confusing the art of Guido as Italian. As someone who has actually stepped foot in Italy more than a few times, let me tell you that there is nearly nothing that can visually assault the eye as much as The Situation, Snooki or any of the other douche bags or douche nozzles that are on the show. Most real Italians are well dressed, well spoken and actually eat more than Chiclets and Vodka.
But besides just how the Jersey Shore morons smear the adult perception of Italian-Americans, there is what happens when kids watch the show. And I say this not advocating that children should watch the show (because I clearly think they should not); but because I assume that some kids are being raised by buffoons who are truly not “smarter than a fifth grader” and don’t understand that their children watching these behaviors may actually impact how their kids behave. Snooki or her other cohorts somehow become role models. (God help us one and all) And then somehow Snooki achieving what may or may not be a healthy weight of 98 pounds becomes an aspiration of young girls. And if their parental role models are of a similar mindset, the worry of idiots becoming extinct is safe for at least another generation.
Do you know what would truly impress me about Snooki? Finding out that her IQ exceeded her weight instead of her waist. Spend more time eating and less time spray tanning.
Now if you’d excuse me, I’m going to make myself an espresso.
In Boston, the comb-over, like the Puffin , is an endangered species. Baby Boomers and GenX’rs alike who count themselves among the hairline challenged have typically opted for a very short “do” or have shaved their scalps to the skin. I applaud these lads who have extrapolated Nancy Reagan’s advice on drugs and have “just said no” to the awful toupees of yesteryear or worse yet “the maybe-nobody-will-notice-that-I’m-combing-hair-from-my-left-ear-to-my-right.”
When I spotted my first comb-over here in Japan, I assumed it was a one-off. But now that I have had time to get a good sample set, I can see that the comb-over is certainly alive and kicking here. If I had the chutzpah to take pictures, I would have enough material to write a book. I even have a title for it – “From Hair to There.”
The best one that I have seen thus far I have dubbed the “Mother of All Comb-overs.” (This picture is not the actual guy but a close approximation.) It wasn’t just a comb-over but a comb-up-and-over. In order to achieve the illusion, the gent used hair from the nape of his neck, brushed it forward to his forehead region and then swooped it ever so slightly to the side. From the front, he looked odd, like a defective Fisher Price character. But it took a view from the back to appreciate the artistry that went into this affront to Vidal Sassoon himself.
One simply couldn’t keep a coif like this together with a mere dollop of mousse. In the event that a strong Tokyo wind caused him to take flight like a parasail, forensic analysis would likely show that there was significant Brylcreem , traces of Dippity Do , and just a spritz of AquaNet to finish it off.
Back west, we often excuse behavior because of the size of the city that one lives in. Just because a city is busy and bustling doesn’t mean that the residents have to be rude and inconsiderate. We’re currently cohabitating with 39 million other people. There are lots of things that I find incredible in Japan. The one thing that really stands out is how courteous people are. As westerners, there are some lessons that we can learn from the Japanese.
Here are some examples:
It just goes to show that people can be courteous, honest, thoughtful and kind; when they choose to be. Next article: It's not all Utopia. Japan has its issues, too.
Tokyo is known to be an expensive city. My recollection from when I was here in 2002, was that costs varied wildly. As it turns out, memory had served me correctly. There are things that are considerably more expensive by American standards and others that are quite reasonable. It's an interesting dichotomy because sometimes the variances can occur side-by-side with no rhyme or reason.
For example, today I was on the very tony Omotesando Avenue which has been compared to Paris’s Champs-Elysees. ( I know that you're shocked to hear that I made it there within my first ten days in Tokyo!) On one side of the street, a cup of coffee at a café was 1000¥ ($12). Directly across the boulevard, you could fetch a Campari for 450¥ ($5). Now I’m no mathematician but it didn’t take me long to figure out I could have two Camparis for less than a cup of coffee. Such a deal!
I have found milk to be considerably more expensive regardless of where it is sold. It is primarily sold by the quart for about 250¥ ($3). Besides that I have yet to figure out if I’m buying 1%, 2% or whole, I’m quite surprised at the difference. I suppose there is less room here for cows than at home. Nonetheless, for $12 a gallon, I feel like I should get to meet the cow or at least see her picture on the container.
The most interesting difference by far is the cost of cantaloupe here. Cantaloupe is a cherished fruit and can range from $85 to well over $120 per melon. Yup, you saw that correctly! It is considered a luxury item. You find them in the fine grocers cloaked in what appears to be a diaper. The fruit is cared for better than some children in this world, having been monitored and coddled from the time it was a mere seedling. It made me wonder what the Japanese would think if they visited Boston and saw them at the fruit stands at Haymarket for about a buck a piece. Would they be very excited at the bargain of it all or totally repulsed by Dante behind the stand, scratching his privates and spitting on the ground?
[I wrote this article up to this point while riding the Metro back to our apartment from Omotesando.]
I’m now waiting to pick up the takeout that I ordered for Greg and myself. An order of shumai and two grilled fish entrees with rice and sautéed vegetables cost just less than that cup of coffee that I mentioned earlier. Once again proving that Tokyo is not always super expensive. It depends what you want and where you are.
The bottom line. .. Outside of the States, the US dollar currently has the value of Monopoly money. You want to play, you have to pay. There are things that are good value and others that are not so good. I suppose traveling to third world nations would be one alternative. But then you would risk catching hepatitis, or worse, no Campari.
The only thing I find more annoying than the Kardashian sisters (for the time being) is the entire Palin clan. Sarah is like that stain that I got on my new shorts. She just won’t go away.
Here’s a big shocker this week. Nineteen year old Bristol called off her engagement to Levi the day that she announced it because things “soured”. Do you know why, Bristol? Because at 19, if you decide to get married to help Mama get elected, there’s a good chance your relationship will have the shelf life of a gallon of milk.
Mama Palin all along has somehow found a way to make her daughter a heroine for getting knocked up at 17. However, if the same 17-year old was from the inner city in Detroit instead of Wasila, Alaska , I suspect that Palin would describe her something like this: “a welfare scamming ho’ who should have kept a quarter between her knees in order to save this country and its god-fearing tax payers’ money.”
It’s just a gosh darn shame that The Bachelorette is on ABC and not on Fox, because my guess is Mama could pull some strings to get Bristol on the next season. But fear not, I’m sure Bristol and Levi will pop up on celebrity reality shows more than Danny Bonaduce .
So, I’m driving down the street today when all of a sudden this guy comes barreling out of a side street making a left turn onto the main street that I was on. Since I’m trying to avoid calling people douche bag , I briefly honked my horn to let him know I was approaching. He then flipped me off! Being the bigger person, I didn’t return his greeting. I will however, rip him to shreds here.
If you read Malcom Gladwell’s “Blink”, you’ll be familiar with his concept of “thin slicing.” It’s essentially the snap decisions that we make about people with the limited information that we have.
Here is what I know factually about him from our brief encounter: he has New Hampshire plates, a mullet and no manners.
Here’s my thin slicing:
Here’s my thin slicing:
** This wasn't the actual mullet sporter, just a close proximation that I found at Distractible.org