It was October 2012. My Australian boyfriend and I had just been on a romantic, whirlwind adventure road trip around Europe. We spent the first month with his parents in Spain and France, and then spent the following month on our own. We zigzagged through Switzerland, Austria, a brief drive through Lichtenstein, Germany, and finally Belgium. We’d been living in London before our travels and this was to be our final trip before we relocated together to San Francisco.
The preceding months had been fraught with anxiety as the expiration dates on our visas approached. As is the the case in many international relationships, my boyfriend and I struggled how to proceed as a couple. San Francisco was my choice, but he was not quite ready to leave Europe. In Bruges, on the last day of our trip, we broke up. We were one day away from going back to London, saying our goodbyes and then going our separate ways to reunite a few months later. The impending separation felt like it spelled doom, and we suffered over what to do. Keep reading »
As a child, I was sick with relative frequency. I remember returning to third grade after a month off with mono, several pounds lighter, and my skin pale from lack of exposure to sun. As I walked in, all Colin from The Secret Garden, the bitchiest girl in the class announced “You’re, like, always sick.”
It had occurred to me that I was sick more often than my peers. True, my mother had a fairly lenient stay-home-from-school policy, but by the time I was 10, I’d had mono, bronchitis, pneumonia, an ongoing bladder reflux issue and several sinus infections. My sisters are the same way. We’re evolutionarily weak. Whatever.
One might posit that having two orthopedic surgeries and a few viral and bacterial infections would foster some stoicism around unwellness. Well, one would be wrong. Practice, in my case, does not make perfect. When I’m ill, I’m a nightmare. Keep reading »
I learned about sweatshops towards the end of junior high and I remember being deeply troubled. A burgeoning activist, I decided to boycott all clothing stores that sold products made in sweatshops. A quick AOL internet search (#old) revealed that my boycott would actually be incredibly difficult — if not impossible — given that I did not have my own money, transportation or sewing skills. The boycott was abandoned. With the exception of the fair trade purchasing when I do when it’s convenient, it hasn’t reared its head since.
Boycotting Hobby Lobby, however, is easy. The first reason is that I’ve never actually laid eyes on one. Frankly, I didn’t know it existed before they took it upon themselves to save all the unborn fetuses of crafty shift-workers of America. There is only one Hobby Lobby in my hometown San Diego, and it’s about an hour’s drive from my family home. The same is true in Boston, the other American city in which I’ve dwelled. In my current home of Melbourne, Australia, there is literally not a Hobby Lobby in the hemisphere. So you see, my boycott is a bit ridiculous but also VERY MEANINGFUL, you know?
I say this because I know that a boycott can be inconvenient. As the tidal wave of shit that is the recent Supreme Court decision drifts further into the past, it will seem less important to drive an extra 10 minutes to buy your yarn. Keep reading »
The UK boasts universal healthcare, tea flowing like wine, and Conservatives who sound like our Democrats when it comes to gun control and reproductive justice. A foreigner unfamiliar with the journalism landscape in the UK would have no reason to question the country’s progressive values.
The Sun is the UK’s widest-circulation newspaper and is read by more than two million people every day. It is published by News UK, a subsidiary of News Corps, and owned by Rupert Murdoch – i.e., it’s about as far right as the UK gets. I never purchased The Sun, but for the entire four years I lived in the UK I saw it most days I ventured out of my house; it’s absolutely everywhere. The paper costs £2 (just under $4.00), boasts amazing sports coverage, celebrity and political news and a TV guide. But where The Sun sharply diverts from newspapers we’re used to in America is on its third page. Page 3 is a cultural institution: in every issue for the past 40 years, there has been a topless young woman on the third page, referred to as “Page 3 girls.”
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