In the interest of fairness

I have blogged repeatedly about weird shit people are culturally encouraged to do to the va-jay-jay, but I have posted nothing about the penis. That hardly seems fair....more

The Expat Dilemma: Local vs. International Schools for Kids

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” ~ Plato...more

First grade in Moscow, Russia

Note: these are my memories and my interpretations of what happened, which isn’t always the facts.  1989; Moscow, RussiaA little background:...more

Russian Borsch

This is going to be another one of those “my mother told me so” stories that I often find super annoying but have been learning to appreciate more and more as I age. ...more

The answer will always be no

I had a spat with my mom this weekend. Yet again I am avoiding the maternal family reunion. I have strong moral and parental reasons for my boycott. There will be a couple of people there who are known child molesters. One person who is sure to be there has been in prison for the statutory rape of his 14 year old sister-in-law....more

Why Doesn't the Black Community Value Marriage?

Take a good look at this newly happily married couple. Notice something? See the baby bump? Yep, it was a shotgun wedding, but no one was worried about being wounded. Full disclosure: I know the parents of the groom. No way they were co-signing their grandchild being brought into the world illegitimately, but the truth is, that young guy is deeply in love with his bride. Here is another cultural difference that we just can’t ignore: while the out-of-wedlock rate is rising across the races, every other race EXCEPT for the black race values making babies within wedlock....more
tlcarmstead ??  Black people used the most married demographic back then.  Lots of marriages. ...more


Our local park we like to frequent held a little festival this weekend promoting equitable commerce, reduction of inequalities, education, peace, and cultural respect.  Booths from Cambodia, the Caribbean, Africa, and more were brimming with artisanal wares, authentic cuisine, and native clothing.  The rhythms of African drumming, southeastern Algerian, and traditional Flamenco music coupled with the essence of fresh fatayas, empanadas, and dorowat accompanied our stroll through the park....more

The Beholder's Eyes

 Are we the product of our cultures? Or, do our brains' wiring determine how we relate to the subject of "beauty"? Could it be a combination of these two factors?On Claudsy's Blog today, aging is the topic up for grabs. How we age is an individual decision. We can concern ourselves to the strict confines of our bodies and how they are perceived by others in the world, or we can concern ourselves more with our minds and spirits and getting the most out of our lives through our awareness of living. It truly does depend on us....more

Broken Arms and Broken Places: Going Postal in a Chinese Hospital

I am sitting in Hong Kong with my 6 year old and using the word "lovies." It sounds clumsy coming from my American vocal cords, but here in the land of British English, it seems awkwardly appropriate.   This little jaunt across the water started on Tuesday in an unfortunate ripstick accident. A ripstick is a wobbly skateboard. As if skateboards weren't a tragic enough invention on their own.    ...more

Are you Old School or Nu Skool?

Have you ever heard a parent describe their little child as an old soul? I hear it quite often and though I understand what they are saying, I did not always relate to it. I have a sister who fits this category and I’m married to an old soul. Both of them are mature beyond their years and do not seem to have any patience or desire for current trends. I have not quite figured out what the opposite of an old soul is, but it may bring to mind ”kidults” who never move out of their parents homes, or cougars on the prowl for fresh meat....more