Lifestyle

Okay, it’s time for it to be said. For the last 30 years of my life I have attended different japanese buddhist temples’ Obon Festival (a japanese religious festival where we honor our ancestors and traditions) and have noticed a disturbing trend over the last few years. For the first time in many years, I attended obon festival and DID NOT see cosplayers. I was so relieved to not see them, which really got me thinking about how much it bothers me when I see them. Maybe other Japanese people like seeing people dressed up as fictional Ninja Scroll characters at their traditional holidays, but I am just annoyed by it. In a time where I still get exoticized, fetishized, orientalized on a regular basis without even trying, I am not ready to see one of the few chances I have to connect...
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Dear Detective Bryon Vassey, You shattered our world the moment that you selfishly decided that your time was more precious than Keith’s life. An eighteen year old who suffered from a terrible illness but was not defined by it. A young man that on January 5, 2014 was in need of your help. You, who more than likely as a public servant took an oath to “Serve and Protect”. The question this day was, “Serve and Protect who”? Let me remind you...ALL members of the community are under your responsibility and not only your own egocentric self. Your actions on that fretful day ended the life of a beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. Keith had dreams and aspirations. He wanted to be an accomplished musician one day; a famous drum player. Although he would have had to...
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To the teachers who care, and to the students who may or may not~ My personal journey over the past several years has been not only formative, but razing and reformative; some experiences truly tear away pieces of who you are and replace them, making you the man (or woman) you will become. By the second half of my senior year of high school, I had already made the decision to attend community college in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia, rather than go through the process of applying to colleges. There were several reasons for this decision, not the least of which was the fact that I was tired of the red tape and single-file processes that seem to come along with higher education. My plan was a simple one, to rent a house with several good friends, attend junior college, and...
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I've noticed a very offensive hate group who is oppressing the diversity and love children should be able to experience in their lifetime. This group surprisingly has collected a following of around 40,000 members all for the same cause, which I find particularly disturbing. As a socially liberal, homosexual teen male, I'd like to report the hate group One Million Moms. I'll start with the oppressing diversity part. The group of radical Christian fundamentalists believes they are doing the right thing somehow, but really are just recreating a Westboro Baptist Church on a smaller scale. They are particularly antigay–homophobic, even–and I believe it is offensive that they show such disdain for a natural occurrence in nature. The media doesn't create or encourage homosexuality;...
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Dear Sheikh Mohammed You are a rich and powerful man. You are ruler of Dubai and prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. You own the Godolphin stables and stud farms in the U.K., Ireland, the U.S. and Australia. You also host the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race. Your stables have won many races. However 11 of your horses have tested positive for anabolic steroids, a stimulant that has long been banned in horse racing. It is believed many more, perhaps all, of your horses in your UK stables have been doped. You have been quoted as saying: "I was appalled and angered to learn one of our stables in Newmarket has violated Godolphin's ethical standards and the rules of British racing. We will be locking down the Moulton Paddocks stables with immediate effect, and I...
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Dear Mr. Roberts and Mr. Burke, My name is Lou Melgarejo and I am a Comcast/NBCU employee. I have what I consider to be my dream job. I am a married father of three. I am first and foremost a family man. My oldest daughter is a beautiful, energetic, happy and incredibly intelligent 7 year old girl named Bianca. Bianca happens to be autistic. The current autism diagnosis rate according to the CDC is 1 in 88 while a recent study suggests that the number could be even higher at 1 in 50 or 2% of school aged children being autistic. Our daughter Bianca is one of those 88, but we like to refer to her as being "1 in a million". I am writing you this letter on World Autism Awareness Day so that I may enlighten you about our healthcare plan as it pertains to autism therapies. I do not...
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Dear punk-ass Miami Beach bike thief: On March 20, you rolled up on my '80s Italian-made Univega road bike tied to a street post near the Raleigh Hotel on Collins Avenue. It had a dope iridescent purple-and-blue paint scheme, a chrome yoke, and neon-green hand grips. It took me close to six months to sand it down, prime it, and repaint it. I shelled out about 400 bucks to replace the seat, the seat stem, the yoke, the brake lines, and the gear lines. Naturally, an asshole like you was bound to come along and take what doesn't belong to you. I'm far from alone in my rage, of course. There are no stats on bike thefts in Miami-Dade, but anecdotally, just about everyone in Miami with a decent cycle has lost at least one. One New Times editor locked his to a South Beach stop sign,...
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To the churches concerning homosexuals and lesbians: Many of you believe that we do not exist within your walls, your schools, your neighborhoods. You believe that we are few and easily recognized. I tell you we are many. We are your teachers, doctors, accountants, high school athletes. We are all colors, shapes, sizes. We are single, married, mothers, fathers. We are your sons, your daughters, your nieces, your nephews, your grandchildren. We are in your Sunday School classes, pews, choirs, and pulpits. You choose not to see us out of ignorance or because it might upset your congregation. We ARE your congregation. We enter your doors weekly seeking guidance and some glimmer of hope that we can change. Like you, we have invited Jesus into our hearts. Like you, we want to be all that...
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There is nothing worse than teenage drama. I remember it all too well, from my own days in high school. Now I am older, wiser, past all of that...yet I see a great kid, one of my sons friends, going through teenage drama of their own, and it breaks my heart. In school, I was kind of middle of the road. I wasn't popular, but I wasn't not popular...you know, kind of in the "middle". I was a tennis and choir "geek". I had my circle of friends, some more popular than others. My sophomore year, I enjoyed 14.25 minutes of fame when I was crowned Canaltown Queen, but I'm certain many of the "mean girls" at my school wondered how I was able to pull off such a feat....as a matter of fact, one or two even mentioned it to me. (Sigh) Overall, I was able to escape my teenage years...
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Dear Victoria’s Secret, I am a father of a three year old girl. She loves princesses, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and drawing pictures for people. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, cheese and pistachios. Even though she is only three, as a parent I have had those thoughts of my daughter growing up and not being the little girl she is now. It is true what they say about kids, they grow up fast. No matter how hard I try I know that she will not be the little ball of energy she is now; one day she will be a rebellious teenager that will more than likely think her dad is a total goof ball and would want to distance herself from my embarrassing presence. I know that this is far down the line and I try to spend as much time as I can with her making memories of this...
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