B E C K Y . M O O R E

every story deserves a happy ending


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Apparently, I need my own rocket

rocketI had to chuckle this morning while reading the newspaper, when I came across this quick blurb:

For the last few years during our son’s spring break, we’ve taken big trips. Our favorites have been the last two years: an epic hiking adventure through Sedona and the Grand Canyon; and a countrywide trip through Belize, from the barrier reefs, across the tropical rainforest of the Maya Mountains, and then on to the ancient Mayan ruins of Xunantunich along the border of Guatemala.

This year we’d planned an adventure to Valencia, Spain. Then Mother Nature got involved, and decided to whip central North Carolina through a winter blend of snow, sleet and ice … repeatedly. Over two weeks of school days were frozen, literally. The governor forgave three days, tacked another three on to the end of the year, filled in two teacher workdays, and deleted one day of Spring Break. But by taking away the Friday of spring break, we are relegated to traveling on Saturday … which means we lose another full day of travel getting to a destination, then another full day home.

So, our travel distance has been substantially shortened. We thought, ‘we’ll just go to the Caribbean.’ But we can’t get there from here–at least, not directly. Two or three hops, plus an overnight stay and an eight or nine hour total of time in the air. Then we thought, we’ll just go out west to hike, maybe New Mexico this time. Ten hours. San Diego or Oregon? Eleven hours. Sigh.

But the Russian rocket can get from the Earth to the International Space Station in “less than six hours.” I’m pretty sure that’s much farther than from North Carolina to Dominica. How can I get my own rocket?


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shifting the blame doesn’t make you sympathetic, it just makes you shifty

As a proud graduate of NCSU, down the road (as the crow flies) from Duke University, I’ve watched the story of Duke’s freshman porn star unfold with some indignation on behalf of the woman being “outted.” I was surprised this morning when I read that she had put a face and pseudonym to her story.

And then I was just completely … I don’t know. Floored? Disgusted? She offered one of the most ignorant, insulting excuses I’ve ever seen in higher education:

“If Duke had given me the proper financial resources, I wouldn’t have done porn,” she said. “They have nobody to blame for the scandal but themselves.”

Having spent years of my career as a grantwriter searching for funding and support for men and women living with HIV who also struggled with chronic homelessness, poor nutrition, mental illness and substance abuse, and having to find lurid and morally compromising ways to pay the rent—not to mention a childhood with a mother who lived paycheck-to-paycheck, paying the bills that would “put us out on the street or turn the lights out” first—I find her observations on a university that costs $60,000 annually to be highly insulting. By the way, my mother is awesome, with some pretty good damn money management ideas.

To “Ms. Knox” I would say: nobody held you down and forced you to attend one of the most expensive universities in the nation. Sure it speaks to your intelligence, high test scores and enriching high school experiences that you were accepted at a prestigious higher learning institute like Duke. Good for you. You break that glass ceiling, shatter that Old Boy Network. But take a little credit for your unorthodox approach of income. Nobody at Duke rope-a-doped you in the Registrar’s Office with a surprise balance on the first day of school.

Regular America works in the cafeteria to offset costs. They get Pell Grants. They work at UPS overnight. They become strippers. They go to a more affordable university. They don’t choose to work in high-end porn.

The porn doesn’t bother me. Porn never killed anybody. You’re not going to be struck by lightning by watching it online. You’re not going to go blind from masturbating. Sex is a natural, necessary part of real life. When you do it right, it’s addictive. Fortunately for you, it doesn’t look like you’re filming skeevy movies in Uncle Bubba’s broken down trailer with blacklights and disco balls, with Captain Unattractive. You’re filming A-Squad porn in a clean setting with bright lights, sexy co-stars and an enviable paycheck.

You had my support when you were unceremoniously outted by a fellow student, a thoughtless dude getting his jollies because he recognized you and wanted to be the first guy in his fraternity to gossip. He probably wanted a date with a very advanced, guaranteed happy ending, hallucinating about your willingness and interest in getting straight to the good parts because you’re a porn star. I understand your interest in keeping your identity private; your side job is nobody’s business and because it’s so different than what most folks do, it can easily lead to dangerous reactionary/stalkery situations for you. And Lord knows we’re in the Bible Belt here; let’s not forget about that.

It’s when you blamed Duke University for your payment method of choice that you lost my feminist Fight the Power support. There’s nothing dignified in blaming your university for getting on a plane to fly to LA on breaks “to film.”

And one last thought, because you are clearly an intelligent woman … what the hell are you thinking with unprotected sex? I will never forget my mother giving me the cautionary tale in high school: “every time you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they had sex with, who is having sex with everyone they had sex with … so USE A CONDOM!” Unless you intend to keep every future relationship you have insulated in the pornography industry, you had better think of the cesspool of petri dish nastiness existing in every … pore … of your body. Double-ick.

That advice is free. And it comes from my excellent education at North Carolina State University: $22,184 a year. Boom!


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It’s Great to Travel, but it’s Great to Come Home, too

day1_16 (Large)Hey y’all!

It’s been a busy couple of months, between my horrible concussion in July, the holidays, then a last-minute trip to Grand Cayman with my husband in January … and spring break with our 15 year old last week to Belize. Oh, my, I could totally live in Belize. For real. But I’m finally feeling like my mind is back in the right place, my concentration is mostly back to normal, and the stories in my mind are begging to be told. All in all, it’s a great place to be.

I thought you might like to see some of the images from my trip to Belize. If you’re interested in the full stories, and the captions to give you a sense of story and place, go to my other blog … my secret squirrel Clark Kent blog …
The Doctor is IN.

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Soccer 2.0 … Or, How Many Things Can I Get Back into This Last Year of My 30s?

Pray for me people.

I grew up playing soccer, and LOVED it. I was good. I played striker and roving midfielder because I was a runner. I once scored from the 50-yard line. It was a-maz-ing.

But after a really bad car accident in college, childbirth, and a decade of … living …  it’s been a while since I’ve played on an actual team. But my soul mate signed us up for an adult co-ed (over 30) team. And our first game is Sunday. We’re called the Chaos.

So far, so good, on the practice, though. I’ve been a little sore, but have managed to stay out of the way of the steamroller men plowing down the field. I told my team, “Look, I’m not taking a hit for anybody. Okay?”

When the groaned, I gave them the stink-eye and they smiled and said, “Oh, okay!”

We don’t have a formal coach, per say; rather, we’re just 15 adults who are all bossy and have played before, and forge our path by rock-paper-scissors. One of the women was complaining during last week’s practice. “What kind of a lineup are we making anyway? This isn’t a 4 – 4 – 2!”

I said, “Dude–this is our Chaos play. Every play is our Chaos play, that’s why the name of the team is so badass.”

And that it is. Badass, I mean. So on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm EST, give a little shout-out for the Chaos, and send us some good karma. Oh–and you might want to go ahead and buy one of my books. I may need it to cover the insurance. 🙂