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I have strung words together for The New York Times, Vice, and more. I write and shoot people (with a camera, you guys) from my home in upst...

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The Closing Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics were everything they were supposed to be: all about celebrating some amazing athletics. But if you noticed a tinge of sadness as Take That took to the stage, you weren't wrong. X Factor judge and singer Gary Barlow was performing for the world just over a week after his baby girl, Poppy, came into the world stillborn. The loss of Barlow's fourth child threatened to keep the entire band out of the Olympics event, but somehow he made it out there last night anyway. I don't think I could have done it, but let me just set the cruel trolls of the Internet straight right now.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I've never been able to make sense of drunk driving. Why would you get in a car after imbibing and put not only yourself but everyone else in the road in danger? But the mom who was just charged with a DUI in Florida seems to have taken drunk driving to the extreme. Cops say she did it with eight kids in the car. And it gets worse. Lawanda Lowery-Gale was allegedly on her way to ... wait for it ... the bar.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    That's it. The 2012 Olympics ended last night with a bang (and some Spice Girls!). But at least one good thing should stick around for awhile: the list of teenage role models we can put up the next time our kids start blathering on about how haaaard they have it. If it doesn't sound like much to you, it's time to wake up. Kids we actually wouldn't mind our kids mimicking are few and far between. Look at the television, would you?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    So, a show of hands: who was hoping that Jerry Sandusky being sent off to rot in jail would finally begin the healing at Penn State? Not so fast. Jerry Sandusky may not have been the only adult abusing young boys at Penn State. That's the explosive new child sex abuse allegation that's come out of an investigation into Sandusky's alleged use of the federal mail system to disseminate child porn. A witness is now claiming that he saw Sandusky and another male, a booster for the school, abusing two young boys.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Of all the stars of Teen Mom, Farrah Abraham has struggled hardest to separate herself from her past. And yet the release of her memoir, My Teenage Dream Ended, by MTV's book publishing arm this week rockets you right back to her days on 16 and Pregnant. Only you didn't see any of this in your living room. The Stir got a sneak peek at the book that goes behind the scenes of her life before she got pregnant with Sophia, before she signed on to work with MTV. She gives a full account of her entire relationship with her daughter's father, Derek Underwood, including how she got pregnant, and something more ... an understanding of the petulant teen we've often seen lash out at her parents.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    People love nothing more than to tell a pregnant woman how much her life is going to change after that baby comes, don't they? And they always get that annoying tone to their voice when they do it, right? It's one part smug, one part conceited, all parts annoying as hell. We aren't stupid! We get it ... we are about to have a real live human being in our house! And yet, the "Parent Rap" video that's going around the web this morning pretty much sums up everything you aren't factoring in. Yeah, you become a parent. But you also (dropping to a whisper) grow the heck up. Oh come on, when's the last time YOU ate M&Ms for breakfast? Just watch:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There are no excuses for the OB/GYN from North Carolina who challenged anti-choicers to adopt the "ugly black babies" born from women who don't go through with an abortion screwed up. Dr. Ashutosh "Ron" Virmani screwed up. Big time. Of course, the anti-choice crowd is hopping on the disgusting racist phrasing today. They're using the doctor and the words he used when Operation Save America, a conservative Christian organization, showed up on the doorstep of his house, as proof that they've somehow won a battle in the choice wars. But let me make this clear: no one has won a thing in North Carolina this week.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Jennifer Garner has finally learned the great secret about motherhood. The celebrity mom to Violet, Seraphina, and baby Samuel is starring in The Odd Life of Timothy Green these days. It's the family movie Disney hopes will get moms and kids into theaters this week, and it's one Garner says taught her a few things about being a mom too. Good news! She's willing to share. The female half of one of Hollywood's best loved parenting couples (she's married, of course, to sexy Ben Affleck) took some time to tell The Stir how much of her character, nervous new mom Cindy Green, really comes from her life, and how she's learned to put an end to the self-hating trap moms get caught in and be a little nicer ... to herself.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It would be bad enough that Rev. James Richard Harris sexually abused a young boy. But when the former pastor was convicted of molesting a 15-year-old and videotaping several teens having sex, he could have at least sat quietly and taken his punishment. Instead he pulled a suicide stunt to top all suicide stunts. It turns out it was all a hoax. The "pills" the Florida pastor took in open court after hearing the verdict weren't even real!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Didja hear? Didja hear? We American parents are totally over-the-top wicked awesome at the whole bragging thing. No, really! We are so good at talking about how awesomesauce our kids are that the Wall Street Journal wrote a whole article this week about how absolutely impressive we are at annoying the crap out of our fellow parents. But while they put the blame on the instant gratification we get from posting pictures of our kids' exploits on Facebook, I think it's something deeper.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There's a pretty amazing video that's gone viral this week. Mac Breedlove is a lacrosse player who was caught cutting the early boarding line to get on a Southwest Airlines flight. When his coaches found out, they made the teenager read out an official apology to all his fellow passengers. Please, would these coaches write a parenting book? We have enough advice out there about protecting our delicate snowflakes!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Sometimes watching Teen Mom can be just plain painful. And the latest episode of the fourth (and final) season was no different. Case in point: every time Farrah brought up marriage to the guy she's only been dating for a month and a half, I cringed. They may be adults, but these kids still have so much growing up to do! Look at Catelynn and Tyler. They placed their daughter with an adoptive family so they could go to college, and now they're putting off their education because they didn't do enough research.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I think The Odd Life of Timothy Green came at me at just the right time. I was suffering from vampire overdose. No, make that vampire and werewolf overdose. I'm just a little tired, and then Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton popped up on the movie screen with this sweet little tale of family life that was magical without the same old monsters. At least not monsters with teeth and claws. The monsters in The Odd Life of Timothy Green are the type that exist in every day. A cranky boss. A judgmental sister. A bad economy. Infertility.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Have you gotten the "OMG, my kid got Such-and-Such Teacher, and I hear she's just awful" call from a friend yet? Just wait. Bad teacher stories are as much a tradition as big fish tales, and there's a chorus of them every year during back-to-school season. Moms! Dads! Allow me to be the little voice of reason whispering in your ear. It won't be that bad. Really.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The crime that made Betty Smithey the longest serving female inmate in American corrections history is unspeakable. In 1963, she killed a baby in cold blood, ending the life of 15-month-old Sandy Gerberick. And yet, it's fitting that Smithey is being released on parole this week. Fitting because she's served her time. Fitting because Sandy Gerberick's mother has long since forgiven her former babysitter for killing her child.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Something tells me that when Beyonce put a photo of herself and daughter Blue Ivy up on Tumblr, she wasn't expecting to be drawn into the bottle vs. breast debate. And yet, that's the world we're living in. A mother is seen with her baby in one hand, bottle in the other, and the debate begins. OMG, why isn't she breastfeeding? Doesn't she know how good it is for the baby? How long did she breastfeed? The "nice" response comes in the type of backhanded compliments Beyonce's been getting this week. They run along the lines of, "oh, well, you know, you really should breastfeed for at least a year but I guess it's nice that she did it at all." Ahem, ladies. Were we looking at the same photo?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    You hear a lot out of the court system about keeping families together and restoring the parent/child relationship. Makes sense, right? But the story of the 2-year-old boy who cops say was killed by his own mother in New York City makes me wonder if sometimes they push a little too hard. Afriyie Gaspard is facing charges of manslaughter and murder after cops say she strangled little Izayah Hall. This mother of six allegedly told cops she squeezed the boy's neck to get him to stop crying. It's all sad and crazy enough, but then get this. It seems Afriyie JUST got several of her kids back in March after losing them in a child abandonment case.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    What would you do if your kid stole a car? What if they led the police on a car chase, which ended in a fantastic crash on a highway ramp? Oh, and what if said child was 14 years old? If you're the mother of one particular 14-year-old accused of the above, you tell the media that your kid was wrong. And then you proceed to blame the whole thing on the owner of the stolen car and the police. Yes, this really happened.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    We're down to less than a month before the Glee fall premiere, and you know what that means. Spoilers. Lots of 'em! After the shocking spring finale, we're finally getting an idea of what Season 4 will do to make us feel better about it all. So what's in store? Here's a run-down on everything you want to know about Klaine, Sue Sylvester's baby, and of course the fate of Finchel! So what's going to happen? Take a look:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I'm not sure if there's any toy as fraught with controversy as Barbie. The doll is blamed for everything from decimating girls' self esteem to encouraging them to dress like hookers. The whole debate is enough to give any mother of a girl a serious case of agita before each and every birthday party, lest one of the little gift givers comes walking in with a doll box. But with a 7-year-old in my house who has played with the occasional Barbie (none of which I purchased) and still seems to have a pretty hearty self esteem, I was curious: how much is the Barbie debate in our heads? Do little girls really think what we think they think when we see a Barbie? I decided to find out.

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