Here’s a Story About How to Stop Eating Bullshit

Here’s a Story About How to Stop Eating Bullshit

Passports are amazing. In 1998, when I received my first passport, it was as though I had a golden ticket that could take me anywhere. I flipped through the pages, dreaming of all the stamps that would one day fill this little blue-covered book. I was an insecure twenty-something who graduated from high school two years late and had just been fired from my low-paying factory job. People like me didn't travel. People like me only visited far away places in books and movie screens. That's what I believed. So, it was funny that I had a round-trip ticket to London, a packed bag, and a Let's Go! guide to Britain under my arm. Other countries were an intimidating and weird magic. I wanted to experience that. During that adventure, I explored various parts of England and Scotland. I took the Eurostar to Paris. I rode the métro. I made an ass of myself. I talked with strangers, got lost, rained on,...
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When it Comes to Marriage, Love Beats Tradition

When it Comes to Marriage, Love Beats Tradition

I've been getting invited to more weddings lately. About a year ago, France legalized same-sex marriage. They didn't stop there - gay and lesbian couples now have the right to adopt children, too. That's something I'm profoundly grateful for. Oh, not because I'm gay or want to adopt a child, but because I'm not an asshole. Also, because I like to see my friends happy and endowed with equal rights. I like to see human beings treated as such and to see children who need homes and love being taken in by people who want to give them those things. While I think it's naive to believe that 'All You Need is Love,' I do still like to see love win. 'Traditional marriage' isn't real. It's not a thing. It's a phrase that usually represents outdated thinking and the meaning of it gets skewed in whatever way the speaker decides to twist it. Whenever someone tries to throw an argument at me about how traditional...
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Hey, Mourning Famous People is Totally Okay

Hey, Mourning Famous People is Totally Okay

Somewhere in 1986, there's a younger version of me. A version of me with skinny legs, knobby knees and no realistic sense of the future or adulthood. That version of me sits in her room, reading books and staring at the posters on the walls, of which there are many, daydreaming and imagining the future she wants. Like a lot 13 year-olds, she has mad crushes on golden movie star faces. River Phoenix was my dream guy. I watched Stand By Me and fell in love. I got older. He got older. I kept watching. When I saw him as a young Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, I got so geeked out and giddy, I thought I might swallow my fucking tongue. Somewhere in 1993, there's a 20 year-old version of me sitting in a sparsely furnished apartment. The couch stinks and is covered in stains. The bathroom ceiling is black with rot and mold; pieces of it fall into the...
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Expatriate, Not Ex-Patriot

Expatriate, Not Ex-Patriot

When my dog was a tiny puppy, she was cute, but hyperactive. She barked a lot and played with her poop. She peed every time she met someone new. She was loveable, but a handful. An adorable, stinky handful. She wasn't stupid, she just needed some teaching and new experiences. We worked on teaching her new words and how to do things. We took her to new places where she could sniff unfamiliar butts and discover the wonderment of poop that wasn't her own. The more she learns, the more she ventures out of her own yard, the happier she is. She's also calmer and smarter for it. Humans will never be able to live and love as well as dogs, but in one regard, we're not so different: the more we learn and venture out of our own yard, the better we will be. Traveling is good for you. It doesn't matter if it's a trip to another region in your own country,...
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The Airplane Personality Test

The Airplane Personality Test

I hate flying. When I was a kid, I traveled by plane often, as many children of divorced parents do. Back then, it was a fun & exciting adventure. Because I was a wee one traveling alone, I received special attention. The flight attendant would bring me a little plastic pin with wings on it. "A gift from the captain," they'd say. I'd read my books & listen to my Walkman. The person sitting next to me was always nice. Or, at least quiet & polite. Over time, things changed. I got bigger. My legs grew longer. My patience, shorter. I take more international flights now. The airlines have changed, too. Now there's a lot more seats crammed into a single airplane in order to squeeze more money out of every flight. Flying anywhere -- even a 2 or 3-hour flight -- has become a fucking ordeal that one must survive, rather than a fun & exciting adventure. It's no longer the happy beginning...
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Not Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Not Wishing You a Merry Christmas

I am not going to wish you a Merry Christmas. I am not going to wish you Happy Holidays, a Happy New Year, or even Happy Ass Slap from an Expensive Hooker. No matter what we say anymore, someone's out there to complain. So, I won't offer you Xmas cheer, a Happy Hanukkah,  Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad or a Happy Solstice. I wish you more than this. So much more. When someone says to you: Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Have a nice Tuesday or a bitchin' Saturnalia, I wish you the clear-sightedness to see when another human is saying something just to be kind, affable & cheerful. I wish you enough common decency to choke down your pettiness, smile & respond in your own kind, affable & cheerful way. I hope you'll be reasonable enough to comprehend how one person phrases something shouldn't diminish your joy; that most battles never need to be fought & that being offended is a meaningless thing. I...
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