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You see one, you’ve seen ’em all

The US has little country churches, Europe has cathedrals, and Japan has temples . . . everywhere. There are small temples . . . And large. Plain temples . . . And ornate. Every village has a temple . . . (This one is actually in Tai O, New Territories, Hong Kong) And cities devote prime real estate to several. (This Is part of the Nan Lian Shrine in Kowloon, Hong Kong) Some temples have gates to mark the way . . . (Lantau province,...

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You want me to pee in that?

I spent most of the month of May in Japan, traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, and points in between. We rode on trains, buses, street cars, and boats. We saw villages, and temples, and huge shopping centers. But the most shocking discovery I made? These! That’s right, girls! The women of Japan still drop and squat. And this particular urinal was not found in some remote wilderness park. Narita International Airport...

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I Don’t Feel so Good

You’re burning up. Your joints ache and your muscles hurt—even around your eyes. You lie down because you’re so weak, but then you sit up to cough, and watery snot rushes from your nose. Poor baby. You’ve got the flu. In honor of the virus that has helped me sell millions of books—(well, hundreds)—I thought I’d give you some fun facts about the flu. Every year, some kind of flu slithers up unsuspecting noses causing untold...

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My favorite rat story

I first realized I had a rat problem when the bread rack in our school’s kitchen was attacked one night. The nasty buggers had gnawed through the plastic wrappers and pigged out on our hamburger buns. For fifteen years, I had been an elementary school cafeteria manager, but this was the worst destruction I’d seen so far.  The rats didn’t choose one pack and eat everything. No, they nibbled through several packs, contaminating the...

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Getting Naked in the ATL

Hubby decided to treat me to a day at the spa for our anniversary. Little did I know that I would end up buck naked with lots of other buck naked women sitting in hot tubs. The Korean sauna (jim jil bang) hubby chose was no hole-in-the-wall Asian joint crammed between a dry cleaner and a Chinese Buffet. This was a Walmart-sized establishment that’s open 24/7. At the reception desk, we were handed spa wear (shorts & shirt), a locker...

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Contagion – Where Does it End?

“The average person touches their face three to five times every waking minute. In between, we’re touching doorknobs, water fountains, and each other.” Kate Winslet’s character in the movie Contagion. I couldn’t agree more with Steven Soderbergh’s premise of single touch transmission, first two people are infected, then four, then sixteen. Within just a few weeks, millions of people are carrying the virus. And keep in mind that...

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I understand what you’re going through

The fallacy of that statement was never more clear than when I was in labor with my first child. I’d just had a contraction so strong that my water broke right there in the bed. As I flopped back on my pillow to catch my breath before the next wave hit, my doctor, (a man) sympathetically patted my knee and assured me he knew what I was going through. I wanted to yank off the fetal monitor strapped to my bulging belly and twist it around...

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