Browsing All Posts published on »September, 2012«

Waxing and Jazzling: Some Reasons Not to Do It

September 28, 2012


First it was the women removing every wisp of hair from their private areas.  Now it’s the men, too.  And to make matters even more extreme, men are getting their privates decorated – “pejazzled,” with  “crystals in patterns like stars and dolphins…  affixed on newly defuzzed skin,” writes Rachel Felder for The New York Times.  […]

Impregnated By Rape. And the Rapist Has Parental Rights.

September 27, 2012


Among the comments on my article about Todd Akin’s rape remarks was this, from fellow blogger Kelly Cautillo: “Is it true that the attacker still has parental rights if they choose to have it? This was something I heard, and was mortified…. it would be awful to think that a brave woman choosing to keep […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: On the Road in the Canadian Rockies: Close Encounters With the Rutting Elk

September 26, 2012


By Joan Larsen The shriek started off like the creak of a rusty hinge and shifted to a cross between a whistle and a screaming jazz horn – with the volume set on 11.  A group of geese hurried into the air, scared skyward.  We almost levitated, too, the first time we heard it. It […]

I Never Wanted to Be a Mommy

September 25, 2012


I ran across this really excellent article by Jessica Valenti in The Atlantic:  “Not Wanting Kids Is Entirely Normal.”  Thank you, thank you, thank you Ms. Valenti.  Everyone needs to read this.  It exposes the dirty, secret truth about parenting:  there are a lot of mothers out there who regret becoming parents, who didn’t know […]

Language Barriers and Customer Service

September 24, 2012


Would you expect to be able to move to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, and be hired for any kind of job where you have to interact with customers on any level?  This is an enduring mystery to me.  Not to mention, kind of frightening to contemplate.  I can get by […]

Mike Firesmith on Childhood: RAWR’s Mom

September 21, 2012


By Mike Firesmith I haven’t slept in two days and now it’s Monday. The clutch in my truck dies so getting to work is more fun that it has to be. This will be expensive at a time I am really trying to save some money. Work hits the ground writhing in agony as if […]

One Year After “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Gays Still Not Equal… Anywhere

September 20, 2012


Today, 20 September, is the first anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass” (a lot of people forget that last bit).  As the New York Times trumpeted a few days ago, those who thought this would be a big disaster are looking pretty silly now.  Having served alongside a […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: A Near Tragedy in the Austrian Tyrol

September 19, 2012


By Joan Larsen A True Story The young boys – best friends – had reached almost the top of that mountain in Austria when Bill’s foot slipped and he plunged 200 feet down the rugged mountain side, landing on a small ledge.  From above, my son Steve saw no movement, received no response. What was […]

Santorum’s Scary Mockery of the Elite: Bad Omen for the Future

September 18, 2012


“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”  Rick Santorum’s quote, delivered  at the Values Voter Summit in Washington this weekend, is being gleefully trumpeted out of context, painting the Republican Party as the party of ignorance and stupidity. The remark was taken out of context, all right, but make no mistake:  […]

Kate Middleton, Body Fat, and Biological Clocks

September 17, 2012


Well, two things have happened recently in the press concerning Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge:  first, Katie Couric commented publicly that she thinks Middleton is “too thin”; and second, some intrusive photos of the Duchess sunbathing topless have turned up in the media.  There’s also a third thing that has been bubbling for a while, […]

Strange Justice: Serving Life for Self-Defense

September 14, 2012


Imagine that a disgruntled and perhaps unstable man, who has a history of threatening and intimidating your neighbors, comes onto your property while you are out.  Your teen son calls to tell you about the trespasser, then tells you that the trespasser has pulled a knife on him.  You tell your son to go back […]

Breastfeeding and Babies Do Not Belong in the Classroom

September 13, 2012


American University professor Adrienne Pine is a single mom.  Her baby was feverish so her usual day-care was out of the question.  It was the first day of class, and the morning lecture was coming up fast.  What to do?  How about bringing the feverish baby into the classroom for the first day of lectures, […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: Reaching for Heaven on Angel’s Landing

September 12, 2012


By Joan Larsen The scariest climb It is no secret to my friends that I absolutely live for adventure…  so yes, over the years I have done more than my share of climbing to the heights in so many places in the world.  “But what was the most difficult, the most scary, the most life-threatening […]

Afghanistan, 11 Years On: Why I Want a Draft

September 11, 2012


The Washington Post headline summed it up perfectly Saturday morning:  “After nearly 11 years at war in Afghanistan, US troop deaths don’t evoke sense of shared loss.” As the war drags on, it remains a faraway puzzle for many Americans. Max Boot, a military historian and defense analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, has […]

Egypt: A Pretty Bad Place to Be A Woman

September 10, 2012


When I was a girl of about 12 years old, there was an Egyptian diplomat who lived near us, and had a daughter of a similar age.  We were sometime friends and playmates, and she seemed to blend in with the other neighborhood girls.  She wore shorts, her English was good, we giggled over the […]

Mike Firesmith: I Fought the Lawn and the Lawn Won

September 7, 2012


By Mike Firesmith At seven this morning I was in the yard tossing some limbs and tree debris into a pile while waiting for the sun to get up.  Back in June I could have been mowing already but the sun has only begun to brighten the sky. It’s 74 degrees, humid, and muggy. This […]

In Defense of Thalidomide

September 6, 2012


German drug manufacturer Gruenenthal recently dedicated a memorial to the victims of thalidomide side effects, along with a much-belated apology for their suffering.  Thalidomide became notorious around 1960 for causing severe birth defects, including missing or greatly shortened limbs.  And that was just among those who survived.  Thalidomide UK estimates that for every affected infant […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: Wild Exploration at the Bottom of the World

September 5, 2012


By Joan Larsen Huffington Post 08/07/2012 headline: Antarctica Was Once Home To Rainforest, Say Scientists   OH REALLY… aren’t you a bit late with that news?? At this house, we rolled our eyes… a lot.  For where have those scientists been for the last twenty-five years or more???  We had already photographed and had documentary […]

Ultraconservative Women: Choose for Yourselves, But Not for Me

September 4, 2012


During the Gulf War, I had occasion to get acquainted with some Saudi colleagues and their families.  We were curious about each other; we talked.  The conversation inevitably turned to cultural differences between the US and Saudi Arabia regarding women.  I tried to tactfully convey the idea that I really enjoyed my independence.  One man […]

Wanna Kill Someone in Virginia? That’ll Be $20. If You Do It While Texting and Driving.

September 3, 2012


The Virginia Assembly has some work to do. Following up on last week’s distracted driving article:  remember how we said that texting and driving is so very like drunk driving used to be?  Light penalties, if any at all?  Well, my own proud state of Virginia has just given us a vivid illustration of that […]