Birth Control Matters, Even to Me

Let’s talk about something that’s annoying me right now, and that’s always annoyed me, frankly. The apparent “debate” about birth control.

For a little context for those of you who don’t pay as much attention to the constant barrage of horrible news, a few days ago, the Trump administration decided to roll back the part of the Affordable Care Act (you remember, that thing that Obama got done and Trump hates because Obama got it done) that mandates that employers provide their employees with insurance coverage that includes coverage for birth control. Is the administration physically ripping birth control out of women’s hands? No, but they’re basically saying, “Hey companies who hate their employees, think sex is a sin, and want to save money, go ahead and deny birth control to them! There’s definitely a few bucks there.”

Now a few things. One, now that I live in red state, at-will employment, we-hate-unions Idaho, I’m going to make darn sure anyone I work for has health care coverage for birth control in their employer-provided insurance plans. (I’m confident enough that I’ll be able to find a different job where they don’t hate their female/all employees.) Two, this is the dumbest possible thing. It will mean that people have to pay more to not get pregnant. We all know conservatives love so much when women get pregnant and they have to pay for some fraction of maternity leave, so this makes total sense. (Not.)

But here’s the biggest thing that I’m going to clear up right now. “Danielle,” I can hear a few of you having a total brain fart saying, “you’re gay. Why do you care about birth control?”

People who know me know not to ask terrible questions, but for those of you who don’t, the answer is that birth control is BASIC HEALTH CARE. It’s not a benefit that only slutty girls need, or just “women’s health care,” or whatever other stupid crap you’ve heard from various right-wing idiots. It is BASIC HEALTH CARE. It affects everyone. (And by the way, the people who are trying to get out of providing it to their employees don’t like folks like me. Though it would be interesting if somehow, only gay people wound up working at places that didn’t want to pay for contraceptives in their health insurance plans.) Objectors are trying to control women’s sexuality, which is a critical part of women’s lives. And men’s too, by the way. If they can deny insurance coverage for this basic health service, what other basic things can they deny?

If only women who have sex with men are the ones talking about this, we’ve got big problems.

Guys, we need you saying something, because women are generally the ones who pay for birth control. Until we have an effective male contraceptive that men are happy using (since apparently no one likes condoms and they’re less effective than the pill in any case), if men want to have sex with women, they want women to get birth control in their insurance plans. It’s not an extra goodie. It is BASIC HEALTH CARE. Most women use some method of it, and preventing pregnancy is a public good.

Employers should be obliged to provide their employees with health plans that take care of their employees’ health. That is literally the point of health care and should not be up for debate. And if you think birth control–and abortion, because of course they also hate abortions, no matter how life- or health-saving–is the only thing the religious right is coming after, think again. Although mostly they’re just coming after the gays.


Getting Back to Business


This photo is a summary of my life right now: two large dogs (plus the occasional brown interloper), my wonderful wife, spending as much time as possible in the outdoors, and staring at a pier with only two directions: backwards, or forwards off the edge into unfamiliar waters.

My 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to blog. Then 2017 happened, and I lost all interest/inclination/necessary energy to do so. Frankly, I’ve been depressed, overwhelmed by the sheer amount of crap there is to do to make our society better, and feeling pretty powerless to stop the steady slide of civilization into darkness. But that ends now. There are too many things to talk about, to fix, and I have many strong opinions. Now I’m getting back to business, and starting over again with my writing. Hello everyone still out there. Stay tuned for more really soon as I spend the next week gathering some (hopefully original) thoughts.

In the meantime, I also bought a domain name for myself. So now you can find this blog at (it’s just a redirect as of now, until I figure out what I want to do with the domain). I think this means I’ve officially arrived, and I’m very excited.

Mob Hits for the New Millennium

The other day I was walking the dog with my partner, chitchatting and wrangling the poodle during her twice-daily leash freakout. Somehow the topic of my (only) ex came up. I joked about her family definitely being in the mob.

“I mean, they owned a garbage disposal company in Connecticut. Could it be any more cliche?” I said.

“How come she didn’t put a hit on you?” responded my spouse.

“Maybe she did and I didn’t know it.” Continue reading

The Last 3 Months


Moving is hard work.

In honor of the February 2015 release of the movie musical The Last 5 Years (a musical I adore and played in the pit orchestra for in college) starring my favorite actress Anna Kendrick, here’s a brief synopsis of the last three months of my life for those of you who haven’t been in touch with me.  Continue reading

Best of the Best: Our Top 9 Experiences

Mama in Ko LantaAt the end of our trip, we tried to make a list of our top 10 experiences. Instead we came up with two lists of “tops;” when we tried to come up with the tenth, we decided that there were too many competing for that tenth slot to complete the list. So here are our top nine, to complement the other top 11 experiences. Continue reading

Our Trip’s Second-Tier Top 11 Experiences

Breakfast in MotuekaWell, we’re home. It was a wonderful trip, but we’re happy to be back in the comfort of the United States. But before we get back to the reality of work (or seeking it), I wanted to give you a sampling of our top experiences overall. I’ve broken this into two posts. Below are our second-tier experiences, those that were great but just short of incredible. The next post will have our top nine, the experiences we’ll definitely never forget.  Continue reading

Helping the Homeless Children on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit

Rebecca and I spent a few nights in Bangkok at the end of the trip. But instead of taking in the sights and reveling in its legendary nightlife, we met up with a friend and spent an hour feeding the homeless on Bangkok’s popular Sukhumvit Road. The experience was eye-opening and better explained to me the intersection of human trafficking, organized crime and homelessness in Southeast Asia. Continue reading

Mini-Post: Visit the Unrest-aurant!

thaiWe have a few days in Bangkok before we begin the long journey back to the US. Unfortunately, this is a weird time to be here. Every time we have tried to visit Thailand on this trip, there has been civil unrest. This time, the city is under martial law, as the military successfully executed a coup d’etat two weeks back. Nothing seems to be happening on the ground, but we thought it might be wise to speak with our hostel owner about the situation in case there was something we needed to know. Her response:

“This happens all the time here. There have been like 20 coups that I can remember. It’s too bad the military has stopped the protests; I usually send guests there to get free street food!”

So next time you’re in Bangkok during some kind of uprising, don’t be afraid. Just look for the best snack cart you can find and chow down!

Watching Sports with Your Ears

LA Kings

Courtesy of the LA Kings

I am a sports fan. This should come as no surprise to those of you who have been following this blog, since about three and a half months ago I expounded on the full extent of my sports obsession while lamenting my inability to watch the Olympics. Well, that sad time ended, and for awhile I forgot that sports existed at home. Then the Stanley Cup Finals came, and my wife’s team began its dramatic quest to win the cup. We still couldn’t watch, so we did the next best thing, the only thing we could do: we listened.
Continue reading