Lifestyle

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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I don’t write to dream; I write to stop dreaming, to be more present. To tell my way toward clarity. I think I would be a writer even if I didn’t write. I’d have that observational inclination towards the ordinary—that open-mouthed stare at unprocessed existence going by. I write mostly for the process—of looking, thinking, naming, discovering. I think this is why many who might loosely be called documentarians—essayists, memoirists, literary journalists, photographers, nonfiction filmmakers, even biographical or documentary fiction writers—do what we do. We have an obsessive interest in presenting and pondering ordinary life, the day-to-day flow of things. I bet you take photographs—of a light bulb in a red ceiling, a dinner table just before people sit down to eat, an old man...
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Dear Izz, The hardest thing to do, as a parent, is to let your kid go out into the world on his own, even if it’s just to to kindergarten. Dad and I may talk a tough game about loving that you guys are getting bigger, but if we’re honest, it’s pretty scary. See, we were here before you. We remember when there was no you at all, and then one day we watched the teeniest flutter on a screen when you were just 9 weeks into being something other than ether. You were only a few millimeters long, but we already loved you. And when you were born, you were a mysterious and helpless little lump who needed us so entirely that you weren’t even conscious of yourself as an entity yet. And that was a heady experience for Daddy and me. Never before had we known what it was like to create life, and...
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Note: Ask any survivor about side-effects or working with an oncologist and you’ll receive a notebook’s worth of helpful information. Ditto for managing cancer on the job or with children. But ask them about their relationship and you’re apt to hear variations on this theme, “He never blinked,” or “He really showed me how strong a man he truly is.” In other words, you’re not apt to hear what it’s truly like for some women. While we celebrate relationships where love’s better nature rules, it’s also time to honestly share the kind of stress cancer and its associated treatment brings to many two-income families where jobs, children, carpools and chemotherapy all need to be balanced in the course of a day. I was asked by a woman whom I admire to publish this essay here. It is my honor to do...
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Dear Ms de Boo We all know that things are not great in the meat industry. The horse meat scandal has dominated the news for over a month and it has dented consumer confidence in the food industry. It is clear that there have been cover-ups, corruption, incompetence and turning a blind eye to the problems. There is a now a chance for the meat industry to get its house in order and make sure that what it says on the packet is indeed what is inside. But you have chosen this occasion to raise your profile and that of your organisation to launch an attack on meat eaters. Your sanctimonious outpourings in the media seem to be saying that we meat eaters have brought all this upon ourselves. We are merely reaping a poisoned carcass harvest born of the suffering caused to animals in order...
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When a person has been single for a while, they start to think they’re being pursued by the biggest love imaginable. They think love is coming for them down the street like the Grim Reaper, like an unstoppable madman with an axe. It’s there. They can feel it. They wonder what it is going to taste like, but they think they know. They look into the stars and they see it. They miss their flight and suddenly it’s a sign that the biggest love imaginable will be in the airport at the end of the later flight, waiting to be bumped into at baggage reclaim. Being single is like being left in charge of a library book that hasn’t had a date stamped in it. You don’t know when the call is going to come, just that it will come, because it has to come, this ultimate of ultimates. The single person...
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