My Uterus Is a Bank...No, Really, It Is

This past Saturday, our very own New York Senator Chuck Schumer told the crowd at the Planned Parenthood Rally that the bill to cut federal funding for Family Planning (which passed in the House) would die in the Senate. That bill was fiercely debated in the Senate today, and with any luck, will die an agonizing death. In a nutshell, this bill would obliterate the federal funding of Pap Tests, STD screening and treatment, and breast exams provided by places like Planned Parenthood. So go get 'em, Chuck! But even as Dems in the Senate fight with everything they have to kill this bill on their floor, it's still more than a little mind blowing that funding to provide healthcare for the less fortunate, young, or scared woman is even being questioned in the way it is in the first place. How did we get here, where we even question the importance of funding for such care? Perhaps it wouldn't be so questioned if it were clearer just how important it is.

So. What if we could show the ways in which our reproductive systems are important by speaking in language that is clear to our government--would that help our warriors in the Senate? Would that prompt our leaders to throw us a life preserver and put piles of cash at the business end of a leaf blower and turn the switch to "on"? It might not be enough to merely shout, Hey, this is our health you're tampering with! So maybe it would help if we could speak their jive and stress how vital this funding is by comparing it to an institution or cause they already value.

It's worth a shot.

The Three Most Basic Ways In Which My Reproductive System Is A Bank

1) Deposits and Withdrawals - Banks operate at their best when they are able to conduct both incoming and outgoing business--when they can accept deposits and dispense cash on withdrawals. My reproductive system is eerily similar in that it is at its healthiest and happiest when it is able to both receive outside business like pelvic exams or regular sexual activity, and discard reserves that have built up over time, such as that pesky monthly uterine lining.

2) Regulation - The banks certainly could regulate themselves--but they don't. Instead, banks are regulated by an outside influence, namely government agencies such as the FDIC or the OCC. Like a bank, my cycle certainly has the ability to regulate itself. But on occasion I'll depend on an outside, hormone infused "agency" to oversee the regulation of my internal reproductive workings--you know, that little regulation agency known as "The Pill."

3) Rewards - You get out of it what you put into it. Ain't that the truth? The more business you give a bank, the more involved you are in your personal finances, the more the bank rewards you with everything from interest to frequent flyer miles and vacations. Well, guess what! The same goes for our lady bits. The more attention we can pay to the goings on down there, the more medical care we can lavish on it, the more attempts we make to practice good feminine hygiene, the bigger and better and more priceless the rewards--such as low cancer risks, blister-free body parts, and even the continuation of our whole damn species in the form of safe, smooth-sailing reproduction.

So what do you say, boys, important enough for you? Can we keep our funding now?


The Cover of Elle

This month's Elle has four different versions. The covers complement the issue's big feature, which focuses on 25 year old actresses in Hollywood, and what they think and feel about being 25 in a time where 25 is considered to be an explosive age and a no-man's land at the same time, ultimately causing these women to ponder both serious and lighthearted questions about their futures in love, sex, money, career, and that hooded figure we all know as...

Sorry, I fell asleep describing that.

Anyway, the issue will have four versions, and will feature one highlighted 25 year old per cover--Amanda Seyfried, Lauren Conrad, Megan Fox, and Gabourey Sidibe.

Click through to see the four covers.

Ok. Now forget for a moment that we are all supposed to believe that Elle magazine actually celebrates all body types by putting someone morbidly obese on the cover--this isn't every body type, this is morbidly obese, and not at all representative of the scores of women who fall in between this and extreme thinness. In addition, it's beyond obvious that while the other girls appear in the center of the magazine with space around them, she is photographed as though she takes up the whole thing--only calling even more attention to the fact that she is not your typical cover girl. And by doing that, Elle magazine is not doing anything revolutionary. When any company calls attention to the fact that they are putting someone "different" on their product (remember Dove's bullshit "Campaign for REAL Beauty"?), they are highlighting that difference and therefore excusing it or apologizing for it--putting it in a separate category from what we all know is the beauty standard in film, TV and advertising, whether we like/can attain that standard or not.

Oh oh oh...one more thing. Just because a woman is over 300 pounds and "happy with it" does NOT mean it's okay. That is a coronary waiting to happen. If we are going to think it's a reason to pop the champagne when someone over 300 pounds proclaims he or she is "okay with it", then I can't help but think that's pretty similar to high fiving Lindsay Lohan for being "okay" with the fact that she's probably reached the "I smell homeless" point in her drinking habit. I'm sure she's okay with it--that doesn't mean we should all be clapping.

Ugh, but you know what else isn't healthy? Giving any more thought to a magazine that gives such weight to what people in their twenties think about being in their twenties. I'd imagine they think what I thought--it's, like, fun and stuff. No big deal. And so, I officially mark the end of my consideration for any of this. Time to go back to thinking about my hair. Finally.


From Bobby Darin to Beyonce...wow, really???

My Aunt and Uncle will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on September 5th. This kind of reverence for the institution of union is insane, considering we live on a planet where, for the right price, you can hire Erik Estrada to marry you and your "soulmate" in front of your local Target, then hire Erik again the next day to notarize your annulment. (I have no idea if Mr. Estrada can be bought like this--I just assume that since we have sandwiches like the KFC Double Down available, then this is possible too.)

So, to be married from 1960 (a world that precedes The Beatles, Kennedy's assassination, and M*A*S*H) to 2010 (a world that barely even uses fax machines anymore) is as good a reason to throw down as any, and what better way to throw down than with--five playlists that contain the Grammy Winners for Record (or Song) of the Year for each year from 1960-2010. Which is my gift to them. And in case you were wondering--below is a listing of what that playlist will look like. I have to say, if I were just compiling a 50 song playlist out of thin air, many of these songs would not appear. But this is a fine collection of pop if I do say so myself, and the next time I have to put together a playlist for people whose musical taste I am unsure or even wary of--I'm turning to the Grammys again. You just can't go wrong...especially when it means that I get to justifiably put "Rehab" on a playlist for people who very likely voted for Nixon.

I smile.

1960 Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
1961 Theme from “A Summer Place” – Percy Faith
1962 Moon River – Henry Mancini
1963 I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett
1964 Days of Wine and Roses – Henry Mancini
1965 The Girl from Ipanema – Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto
1966 A Taste of Honey – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
1967 Strangers in the Night – Frank Sinatra
1968 Up, Up and Away – The 5th Dimension
1969 Mrs. Robinson – Simon and Garfunkel

1970 Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In – The 5th Dimension
1971 Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
1972 It’s Too Late – Carole King
1973 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
1974 Killing Me Softly With His Song – Roberta Flack
1975 I Honestly Love You – Olivia Newton John
1976 Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain and Tennille
1977 This Masquerade – George Benson
1978 Hotel California – The Eagles
1979 Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel

1980 What a Fool Believes – The Doobie Brothers
1981 Sailing – Christopher Cross
1982 Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
1983 Rosanna – Toto
1984 Beat It – Michael Jackson
1985 What’s Love Got to Do With It – Tina Turner
1986 We Are the World – USA for Africa
1987 Higher Love – Steve Winwood
1988 Graceland – Paul Simon
1989 Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

1990 Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
1991 Another Day in Paradise – Phil Collins
1992 Unforgettable – Natalie and Nat King Cole
1993 Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
1994 I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
1995 All I Wanna Do – Sheryl Crow
1996 Kiss from a Rose – Seal
1997 Change the World – Eric Clapton
1998 Sunny Came Home – Shawn Colvin
1999 My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

2000 Smooth – Santana featuring Rob Thomas
2001 Beautiful Day – U2
2002 Walk On – U2
2003 Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
2004 Clocks – Coldplay
2005 Here We Go Again – Ray Charles and Norah Jones
2006 Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
2007 Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks
2008 Rehab – Amy Winehouse
2009 Viva La Vida – Coldplay
2010 Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce