Tag Archive for sj rozan

Abortion, choice, and the cold hand of government

I’ve said this before and I’m going to keep saying it as long as I have to. The terrifying thing about abortion bans like Alabama’s is not their manifest contempt for women. It’s what this can result in three or four steps down the road.

If a woman doesn’t have the right to decide to end her pregnancy, then she doesn’t have the right to decide to continue it, either.

These laws put that decision in the hands of the state. Right now we’re in an evangelical, life-begins-at-conception phase. No one can have an abortion; that’s what these laws purport to say. But they don’t say that. They say the state, not the woman, gets to decide. And what happens when our attitude shifts, as attitudes do?

Deformed fetuses. Fetuses that’ll grow into disabled adults. Fetuses genetic testing indicates will be diseased. Maybe we should abort them, whatever the woman carrying them thinks, to save everyone the heartbreak — and cost — of their short, unproductive lives.

The sixth pregnancy of an opioid-addicted woman already on welfare. Maybe we should abort it, whatever the woman carrying it thinks, because she clearly can’t look after the kids she’s got.

Muslims.

Blacks.

Jews.

“JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US!”

They sure won’t, if they don’t get born.

China did it for decades. Every woman who already had a child had to, by law, abort any further pregnancies. Can’t happen here?

Why not?

If the state gets to decide then the state gets to decide EITHER WAY. This is not about banning abortion, not about abortion per se at all.

This is about who gets to make the choice.

 

 

 

The Adventures of Bella the Cat

After the bustle of Edgar Week, hanging with friends, going to events, watching my buddies win awards (and sometimes lose, boo-hoo) it’s back to normal life, or what passes for it around here. This morning, Bella the Cat had to go to the vet.

Nothing’s wrong; it was just her yearly appointment, which was actually scheduled for two weeks ago. However, that day, my technique must have been unsubtle. She caught on to my attempts to stuff her in the carrier, pulled off a daring escape, and sequestered herself under the bed.

So I waited two weeks, during which the carrier was in the living room with a nice dirty towel and some catnip in it. I used a cat-distraction trick, scooped her up, and slipped her into the thing head-first. I got it zipped before she could turn around.

And what a yowling was heard throughout the land! She screamed her head off from the minute I finished zipping until I picked the thing up and slung it over my shoulder.

Then, suddenly, silence. Silence all the way on the 8-block walk to the vet. She peered intently out the front screen and sniffed. She was a feral kitten, was little Bella, and maybe she was getting memory cues of her youth. I don’t know; all I know is, last time we did this the yowling never stopped until she was face-to-face with the vet.

This time, not another peep, even during the exam. When the vet was done she climbed back into the carrier with no complaints, said nothing the whole way home, and contrary to expectations, she seems to have decided I did nothing today for which I need to be held accountable.

I love New York, and

I’m walking behind a young boy, maybe four years old, and his dad. They’re holding hands and talking in Spanish, about the parking place they found and something about Mama that I didn’t get. Then the kid says, “We need ta poo.”

Dad says, switching to English, too, “You just went before we left home.”

Kid: “We need ta poo.”

Dad: “Well, I don’t, so if you don’t, then we don’t.”

Kid: “We need ta poo!”

Dad: “Okay, no problem. We’re almost at the park and they have a potty there.”

Whereupon the kid stops, pulls on his dad’s hand, points to the stuffed bear the little girl ahead on the sidewalk is carrying, and says, slowly and loudly because adults can be so dim-witted, what he’s been saying all along: “WINNIE! THE! POOH!”

I love New York.

I love New York so much I made a 2019 calendar. Get yours now while there’s a discount!

SJ Rozan 2019 Calendar

All the photos except one were taken in New York. Extra points if you spot that one.(Hint: this isn’t it.)

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers fighting against gun violence, against concentration camps for children, against climate change. To fathers not in the fight: look at your children, and ask yourselves how they’ll feel about the world you’re leaving them.

Anthony Bourdain, RIP

Anthony Bourdain’s Twitter bio is one word: “Enthusiast.”

photo by David Scott Holloway

Many, many times I’ve found myself wishing I were living another life instead of the one I have. If you asked me, though, of all the actual people I knew or knew about, whose life would I want, there are few. At the top of that short list was Anthony Bourdain. His love of adventure, food, culture, people, and his access to them all, made me acutely conscious, as I watched “No Reservations” and later “Parts Unknown,” that I was sitting on my couch in my living room while he was Out There.

I don’t know what happened. But typically, he handled it his way, went out on his own terms. I’m so, so sorry it came to that. And I’m grateful he was here.

In his spirit I offer this week’s Food-friendly events from Eating in Translation.

Bourdain said, “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.” So let’s get out and move!

I Love New York

For some reason unknown to me — as the reasons for most things are — yesterday morning’s walk to the basketball gym was rife with discarded items that practically wrote their own captions. Here are mine; you’re welcome to send yours.

Honey… About the dog…

 

Whee! First-class flatbed from now on!

 

It should’ve set off warning bells when he insisted on hanging that stupid self-portrait in the living room.

 

Take this messenger job and shove it!

 

Do you think he’ll get it if I leave TWO behind?

 

 

 

Come study with me in Assisi!

I know you all want to come to my writing workshop in Assisi at Art Workshop International and I want you all there! So to that end, please note that the early bird registration discount has been extended until April 20. Take advantage! Come to Italy!

 

 

I Love New York

Yesterday, walking down a midtown street, I hear this behind me: “Now you have to keep your eyes absolutely shut for the next five minutes. Either that or you can stay here and I’ll come back for you.” The answer: “Okay, I will.” Both voices sound cheerful but this is odd so naturally I turn to see what’s up. A young black man with an enormous grin is leading his eyes-shut girlfriend by the hand. They come to a shop; he takes her in and positions her in the narrow window by the door, facing the street so that even if she peeks she won’t know where they are. But I’m watching from the sidewalk and she’s doing exactly as she promised.

They’re in a jewelry store. Still grinning, he goes to the ring counter. He’s obviously been there before because he knows exactly what he wants. The salesperson brings out the ring he’s pointed to. They have a brief discussion which by the way he rubs his knuckle I surmise is about re-sizing after purchase. Satisfied with the answer, he glances over at his girlfriend, still with her eyes squeezed shut, which he can’t see but I can. He catches sight of me watching. I give him a thumbs-up, both about her not peeking and about the whole business.

He goes to the register, takes out his credit card, buys the ring, and walks over to her. Right there in the window, open box on his palm, he says something and she turns, opening her eyes.  First she looks around and realizes where they are. Then she sees what he’s holding out to her. She bursts into tears. His grin has gotten so enormous it’s sparkling off all the other rings and bracelets in the store. I give them another thumbs-up and leave.

Romance is not dead. And I love New York.

 

 

There’s something happening here…

This is what happened yesterday:

Because Russia, deliberately using a nerve gas traceable back to them and only them, poisoned one of their ex-spies in England, the US Treasury announced new sanctions against various Russian operatives and organizations, though the executive branch has yet to implement the ones voted by Congress last year.

Three-quarters of a million students, including in some places just one lone kid and in others whole classes of six-year-olds, marched out of class to protest the targets on their backs.

A porn star started a crowd-source funding campaign to raise the money to pay the damages she’s threatened with in a probably-invalid NDA, should she speak out about her affair with the POTUS.

There’s only one explanation, folks, and I think somebody has to say it. One of the computers that runs the Matrix has gone batshit crazy.

 

I Love New York

It’s not uncommon here to see plastic bottles and aluminum cans left beside trash containers, for street people to collect and redeem for the nickel or dime. People often place them carefully so they won’t blow away. This, however, was new to me: a pile, worth a couple of bucks, with its own handy carrying bag. I love New York.