from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.


darkness into light

i attended a buddhist teaching/introductory class last night (disclaimer: it made two classes i’ve been to - ever - so if i’m off about something, please don’t hesitate to tell me; but please don’t be offended.). we did a taking and giving meditation. in this mediation, one concentrates on a person’s/group’s/one’s own future suffering: breathing in the suffering as dark, black smoke; allowing it transform within you as it kills your own delusions; and breathing out light and happiness.

what an amazing (if not somewhat difficult to grasp) concept that i could relieve someone else’s suffering. and by doing so, destroy some of my own delusions, which cause my own suffering. *and* breathe out light and love into the world.

last night we were asked to concentrate on those living on the gulf coast. and i thought… now that’s a hell of a lot of black smoke. i was soaked with sweat for a few days lamenting my lack of electricity. these people are swimming past their rooftops. they have lost homes, family members, livelihoods. and it will take far more than a few days for things to even resemble normal. they need our meditations, prayers, thoughts. they are helping each other. we need to do what we can. donating to the red cross is a good start.


follow the music

i usually avoid memes. but, this one just oozes nostalgia and it’s blended with music making it pretty darn irresistible. it was lauren's post that roped me; instructions via the republic of t.

want to play along? go to search the top 100 songs of your graduation year (eg., search “top 100 1993”). bold what you like. strike out what you hated. (um, I can’t figure how to strikethrough the font, so it just says *strike* on those.)

it’s a damn good thing i have no musical taste reputation to protect … this could be very damaging. and, there are a lot of these i can’t seem to remember.

1. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston (okay, i liked it then. but i’ve since developed a mild gag reflex to anything whitney.)
2. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team (heh. absolutely)
3. Can't Help Falling In Love, UB40
4. That's The Way Love Goes, Janet Jackson
5. Freak, Silk
6. Weak, SWV
7. If I Ever Fall In Love, Shai
*strike*8. Dreamlover, Mariah Carey
9. Rump Shaker, Wreckx-N-Effect
*strike*10. Informer, Snow (this one made me want to hit something)
11. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang, Dr. Dre
12. In The Still Of The Nite, Boyz II Men
13. Don't Walk Away, Jade
14. Knockin' Da Boots, H-Town
15. Lately, Jodeci
16. Dazzey Duks, Duice (still a guilty pleasure that i’d not hesitate to put on a compilation)
17. Show Me Love, Robin S.
18. A Whole New World, Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
19. If, Janet Jackson
20. I'm So Into You, SWV
21. Love Is, Vanessa Willlams and Brian Mcknight
22. Runaway Train, Soul Asylum
*strike*23. I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me), Expose
24. Ditty, Paperboy
25. Rhythm Is A Dancer, Snap
26. The River Of Dreams, Billy Joel
27. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Proclaimers
28. Two Princes, Spin Doctors (wow. that’s bad)

29. Right Here (Human Nature)-Downtown, SWV
30. I Have Nothing, Whitney Houston (ref. #1 above)
31. Mr. Wendal, Arrested Development (loved the whole album)
32. Have I Told You Lately, Rod Stewart (a delilah favorite)

33. Saving Forever For You, Shanice
34. Ordinary World, Duran Duran
35. If I Had No Loot, Tony! Toni! Tone!
*strike* 36. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Meat Loaf (if i never heard meatloaf played ever again, it would be a blessing)
37. Slam, Onyx
38. Looking Through Patient Eyes, P.M. Dawn
39. I'm Every Woman, Whitney Houston (okay, seriously. she was clearly just not escapable)
40. Baby I'm Yours, Shai
41. Come Undone, Duran Duran
42. I Don't Wanna Fight, Tina Turner
43. I'd Die Without You, P.M. Dawn
44. Whoot, There It Is, 95 South (um, I didn’t know there were two songs… see #1 above)
45. Hip Hop Hooray, Naughty By Nature
46. Another Sad Love Song, Toni Braxton

47. Will You Be There, Michael Jackson
48. Comforter, Shil
49. Good Enough, Bobby Brown
50. What's Up, 4 Non Blondes (also still a favorite. although old mr. heffer really should have been their single)
*strike* 51. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base (anything from them should be illegal)
52. 7, Prince and The New Power Generation (of course!)
53. Dre Day, Dr. Dre
54. One Last Cry, Brian McKnight
55. Just Kickin' It, Xscape
56. I Get Around, 2Pac
57. Bed Of Roses, Bon Jovi
58. Real Love, Mary J. Blige
59. Here We Go Again!, Portrait
60. Cryin', Aerosmith
61. Cats In The Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe (wow. totally forgot about this one.)
62. What About Your Friends, TLC
63. I Got A Man, Positive K (heh. hehheh.)
64. Hey Mr. D.J., Zhane
65. Insane In The Brain, Cypress Hill
66. Deeper And Deeper, Madonna
67. Rain, Madonna

68. The Right Kind Of Love, Jeremy Jordan
69. Bad Boys, Inner Circle
70. That's What Love Can Do, Boy Krazy
*strike*71. Do You Believe In Us, Jon Secada
*strike*72. Angel, Jon Secada
*strike*73. Forever In Love, Kenny G
74. Again, Janet Jackson
75. Boom! Shake The Room, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
76. When She Cries, Restless Heart
77. Sweat (A La La La La Long), Inner Circle
78. It Was A Good Day, Ice Cube
79. More And More, Captain Hollywood Project
80. How Do You Talk To An Angel, Heights (this was a tv show song … which one?)
81. Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat), Digable Planets
82. What Is Love, Haddaway
*strike*83. To Love Somebody, Michael Bolton (ugh.)
84. Give It Up, Turn It Loose, En Vogue
85. Alright, Kris Kross
86. Check Yo Self, Ice Cube
87. Fields Of Gold, Sting (and anything else sting)
88. Ooh Child, Dino 89. Faithful w/ Go West
90. Reason To Believe, Rod Stewart
91. Break It Down Again, Tears For Fears
*strike*92. Nothin' My Love Can't Fix, Joey Lawrence
93. Three Little Pigs, Green Jelly
94. Livin' On The Edge, Aerosmith
95. Hey Jealousy, Gin Blossoms
96. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Sting
97. Anniversary, Tony! Toni! Tone!
98. One Woman, Jade
99. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Taylor Dayne
100. Two Steps Behind, Def Leppard


oh. blow. off. already.

passing the time
passing the time,
originally uploaded by sunshineandbeyond.
some pictures of during and post hurricane entertainment. more to come.



katrina is already wreaking havoc… it has been aLL aNyOnE has talked about at work today. in the span of a few hours the talk has gone from ‘what hurricane?!’ to ‘we’ll probably shut down the office tomorrow and friday.’ someone made the very excellent point that this is the kind of hurricane (ie, cat 1) you throw a hurricane party for. that’s right.

seriously, there is something a little twisted about being excited for gale-force (technically, greater than gale) winds and torrential downpour. the repent better start immediately.

** on a different note, reports on the proposed iraqi constitution provide excellent practice in identifying contradictions and understanding the true place of women in society. whirled view lays it all out for us with a few simple questions about women in iraq and elsewhere (thanks, feministe)


robertson exposes key budget slashing initiative

the us government is reportedly up in arms about its latest leak. calling for the assassination of venezuelan president chaves, christian coalition founder pat robertson, unveiled key elements of a budget overhaul proposal intended to reduce military spending. a new measure could save up to $200 according to robertson, who spoke from the 700 club studios in virginia: “we don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. it's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.” the televangelist went on to clarify another key attribute of the plan, "it's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and i don't think any oil shipments will stop."'

(fine print: see farce/satire)


the end as we know it?

multitudes of end-of-times predictions notwithstanding, there is a very complex and interesting theory that a profound change will occur in 2012 -- specifically on the winter solstice.

::spiritually, it is described as a major transformation, one that bodes well for those who are aligning themselves with 'love and light'.
:: scientifically, it's called singularity - accelerating technological progress and societal change will form this superhuman intelligence/artificial consciousness in a way that will completely alter existence as we know it (can you say: the matrix?).
::astronomically, on this date there will be a rare alignment of the sun and the equator of the milky way (the milky way has an equator?)
::according to a friend, the sikhs believe devotion to their practice could mean a more positive outcome of this event.
::and apparently the ancient mayans were way ahead of us -- their long count calendar is set to end on the winter solstice of 2012.

this is a rudimentary way of encapsulating a very diverse theory - that ranges from hints of sanity to completely whack. what is perhaps most interesting is that many religious, scientific and spiritual theories about an apocalypse seem to converge on or around this date.


the last blast

hunter s. thompson, long-time rolling stone national correspondent and huge personality, lived an outrageous life. he was the posterboy for gonzo journalism, a kind of writing in which the reporter, the reporter’s viewpoint and the pursuit of the story is as much the story as the subject at hand. he covered narcotics, nixon’s election campaigns, ran for sheriff in colorado, spent a year riding with hell’s angels … having read the march issue of rolling stone - which eulogized Thompson - cover to cover, i find his death as fascinating as his life. toward the end, thompson was enduring painful and somewhat debilitating medical conditions. quite deliberately and, seemingly, after months of planning, at the age of 67 he settled his affairs before deploying a bullet through his head. as reported in the denver post, tomorrow thompson’s ashes will be shot from fireworks launchers over his home in woody creek, while up to 400 of his closest friends watch (presumably libation in hand) from a bar constructed for the occasion. now that, my friends, is one hell of a funeral.



the stories are heartbreaking (jews trying desperately to keep their home in the gaza strip) and photos gut-wrenching (people being physically removed from their homes). in crudely simple terms, israelis in the gaza settlements believe their homeland there is a god-given right, while palestinians there oppose israeli occupation. it’s all part of a conflict dating back to 1917. so much has happened since that it’s hard to decipher right from wrong. ever the great source of fully-detailed information, wikipedia provides a great timeline of the israeli-palestinian conflict. still i’m unable to come up with any comprehensive, concise thoughts on the matter. anyone care to take a stab?

perhaps it’s a key example of why religion and politics don’t mix? in 1917, the british government declared their support of the zionist call for a jewish “national home” in palestine. about a month later, british forces occupied jerusalem. they stayed until israel declared independence in 1948.



perhaps if it had not been a workday, lunchtime sighting, the encounter would have been different, but – today i went to lunch with some co-workers, and (i’ve been expecting this since moving back to ft. lauderdale) i saw a guy with whom i went to middle and high school. after mentally considering the possible scenario involving me approaching his table, and ‘introducing’ myself, i decided against it. but i might have stared a little. and sure i googled the guy when once back at my desk, but it turned up nothing.

it’s something of a conundrum. what’s with the immense curiosity that makes me want to talk to these people, when i know i’m not looking to be friends? and i hated high school, so what’s with the desire to connect to someone who from that period?


the air above rio

close-up, in-air photos of planes are made from a second, chase plane … they fly close together, at slower speeds and relatively low (about 2000 ft above ground). the chase plane flies with a door & window removed for clear shots. in one of the more amazing experiences of my life, i recently flew in a chase plane… it seemed like i could have reached out & touched the other plane - positively exhilarating. here are a few pics from over rio de janeiro. i was not shooting through the open window, so these shots are a bit fuzzy


boa noche

right now i am sitting in the business class lounge (ooh-la-la) for tam airlines waiting for my flight home. free food and drink, squishy chairs and (i couldn´t pass up the chance to hop on) free internet access (dOrKy). i´ll share a bit more about my trip tomorrow.

oh, boa noche is probably spelled incorrectly - but it´s ``good night`` in portugues


unidade movel

originally uploaded by sunshineandbeyond.
in brazil, at least one common excuse for not going to the dentist is out of the question. it’s hard to say there isn’t time when the dentist pulls right up to one’s place of employment. that’s right – this little beauty travels to major places of employment and it's equipped with dental chair and all the necessary wares to scrape, prod and drill right there in the company parking lot.


pack your bindles

it’s time for the (annual) national hobo convention so jump the nearest train and make your way to britt, iowa. they’ll be eating mulligan stew and crowning the king and queen of the hobos.

i'll keep an eye out for hobos in brazil.


northalsted market haze

one good thing about having a tourist among the group is having an excuse to take a lot of pictures. the northalsted market days festival (chicago) turned into a bit of a scavenger hunt to see how many gay pictures we could take of dave. he was a good sport and the boys really seemed to like him …


i [heart] gadgets …

although i don’t have many of my own. lindsay is the first to point out that there is no need for me to have these things because i lose or break them. while there is a great element of truth in this, it does nothing to diminish my desire for geeky gadgets. in fact, I just stopped reading about new-fangled technology in small packages, because it hurts too much. this week, i joyously acquired a treo from work. a lovely little combo phone/palm/messaging device (complete with itty bitty keyboard). this is a treat (if i can just figure out how to use it.)

on the flight to atlanta (a pit stop before toronto) listening to my very own music, playing through my cd walkman, was positively delightful. but it struck me – in my lifetime, the portable, personal cd player has gone from ‘holy cow that’s the coolest’ to old school. then, in a too-cruel blow to the cd walkman, in the atlanta airport we passed a techno-gadget vending machine. that’s right. pop in credit card. push a few buttons. retrieve new ipod from the bin below. there was the mini, the shuffle, accessories … all right there in concourse a. what will they think of next?


current's currency

al gore's current tv kicked off today still claiming it will "democratize" television by allowing viewers to submit their own video shorts (er, pods). submissions that get the "greenlight" from viewers, along with reports from a core group of hired digital correspondents form the programming. see more at bbc.

the nation did a good overview of the original vision for the channel ... seems it started with a nice 'social change' agenda and ended up with aspirations of rivaling mtv (where the money is) ... i just checked out what's playing next - a series of two to six minutes shorts: the trend of young suicides in japan; an inside look at base jumping; parenthood; and career advice from deepak chopra.

... what would you submit?