Lifestyle

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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Dear Pope and Archbishop, Christmas is a time for sharing. I think we can all agree on that. However, while I am prepared to share the festival you call Christmas Day with my Pagan festival on 25 December, you appear to be reluctant to do the same with me. Just because you believe in the birth of someone you call the “son of God” doesn’t mean you can re-invent history. While there is no evidence whatsoever of the birth of a deity, or even a powerful individual called Jesus, in Bethlehem on any day in December in the year 0 BC, there is evidence that the Christian church effectively hijacked Christmas. For Pagans, the beginning of the end of Winter was celebrated around 21 December; the Winter Solstice. Yule. It was and still is celebrated by Pagans, Wiccans, Celts and Druids....
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With Fifty Shades of Grey changing the way women view their sexualities, has this book been the reason we’ve opened our eyes to experimentation? Vanilla sex. Whether dominating, or dominated, its opened many eyes to BDSM. Vanilla is the middle ground. It’s not very exciting though, it’s a safe option, a simple flavour. In reference to sex, it’s nothing too ‘saucy’. On a scale of vanilla to Christian Grey, many relationships have a little bit more spark than the everyday flavour. A blueberry taste perhaps? But has this book, described as ‘Mummy porn’, been the reason men are feeling inadequate, whilst the women remain sexual professionals that they need to please? The men are judged on their performance, their stamina and skill. Their variety even. Women don’t want to be bored in...
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In the world of women’s magazines, a hell of a lot of the readers are presumed to be straight women. Straight women who want to dribble and stare at the likes of Harry Styles (Eurgh), some goon from TOWIE (Pass me a bucket) or even James Arthur (Don’t even get me started). But what I want to know is, where are all the women at? Nuts magazine, although not my usual ‘read’ has a section called ‘Advice from a fit lesbian’ – Which is always an interesting one. It’s also a very true statement, she is a bit on the tasty side. Men (apparently) love a lesbian. They are seen as a conquest, out-of-bounds sex on legs maybe. But whilst More! has ‘position of the week’ and Heat has ‘Torso of the week’ I am most unimpressed that they ignore gay women. I won’t be burning my bra anytime soon (I...
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