I like to think I discovered using the internet to make phone calls long before anyone else did. The year was 2000, and I was backpacking through Asia and had stopped in Calcutta, India to visit with my friend’s extended family. My friend’s cousin and I had gone out nightclubbing and when we returned to his apartment at two o’clock in the morning, he offered for us to call my friend back in San Francisco, for free. Calling from Asia was pricey enough for me to stick to email throughout most of my travels, and I envisioned us breaking Indian law when I watched him put on some headphones and sit down at his computer to make our phone call. The next thing I knew, I sat like a customer service representative with my headphones and talked to my friend while she shopped through Chinatown. After a quick laugh and a shock to her system to hear from her cousin and me, we noted that the connection wasn’t half-bad and marveled that we could chat for nothing while halfway across the world.
I was hooked. Keep reading »
As some of you know, nearly four years ago, when I still lived in Chicago, I was set up on a blind date while visiting friends in New York. Things went well; my date and I began a long-distance relationship, I moved to New York a year and a half later, and we were married last July. It’s now been almost two and a half years since I made the move from the Midwest to Manhattan for love, and while much of my life is better than it’s ever been, there’s still one void I have yet to fill: I don’t have any gay guy friends in town. I’ve made some girlfriends, my husband and I have plenty of couple friends, but when it comes to the really important things, like karaoke, watching awards shows, and getting an honest opinion on my hair, I find myself in dire need of a few good gays. Keep reading »
Women can frequently be heard exclaiming, “I love her like a sister!” I shake my head. No, you can’t love your best friend like a sister. A sister’s love is separate from any other kind of love. A sister knows not only your entire history, but also what your thoughts and emotions were at every milestone. A sister knows not only who you are, but also what made you who you are. Keep reading »
You are allowed to protect your baby sister so that she remains in a happy, giant bubble, far away from bills, landlords, and men, right? Right? It’s reasonable that she remain approximately 12 years old forever, arguing at the lunch table that the Spice Girls are no good, playing lacrosse, and dating nobody? Perfectly reasonable. OK, so maybe extreme eternal youth is totally creepy in an “Interview with the Vampire” Claudia kind of way. And it isn’t truly what I want for my own little sister, but recently I’ve found my protective-sibling-claws coming out.
Keep reading »
One of the most important parts of life are the friendships you have. Close friends are like a chosen family: they are the people you choose to have in your life on a long-term basis and you love them as if they were your sisters or brothers.
Friends are one of the biggest enhancements to life. They are there to laugh with you, cry with you, and share the ups and downs of life with you. Keep reading »
There’s a certain amount of brouhaha amongst some evangelical Republicans over a minor presidential appointment in the Commerce Department. Amanda Simpson will perform a job for the public benefit that I can’t define. I’m pretty sure most of the American public doesn’t know what the Senior Technical Adviser for the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security does. But, because she’s transgender, it’s prompted an associate dean at the extremely conservative Liberty University to propel himself into the media’s light to proclaim that, “This isn’t like appointing an African-American in order to try to provide diversity and right some kind of discriminatory wrong. This is about political correctness.”
Absurdly stupid. Because, of course, it should be no issue at all, because people are people, and work ought to go to the person whose experience best merits it. And stupidity compounded because I’m unsure how obstinately self-blinded someone must be to believe that transgendered people don’t face deep prejudice. The prejudice is dumb, as it is at all times, but especially so when directed at a scattered group with no agenda other than to fit in and be left alone. But I guess there’s always a learning curve. I had one.
Keep reading »