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

10.31.2005

silver lining

for multiple reasons, the past week has been a lesson in finding the good in any situation. in this vain, five major post-wilma, silver lining moments:

1* a week vacation, with temps in the 70s and cool breezes in sunny south florida

2* the look of sheer relief – and near bliss – on the dogs’ faces once they finally were able to go outside to relieve themselves once the storm ended

3* getting a bag of ice without having to queue up

4* good friends who have electricity and are willing to share their home. among other things this means: coffee; a hot shower; and fresh, steamed broccoli and homemade mash potatoes, after four days of chips and pb&j sandwiches

5* a gaggle of lesbians crowded around a 13-inch tv rigged with a coat hangar for reception get so rowdy watching florida state football on a saturday afternoon that a neighbor asks (not-so-nicely) for them to pipe down. the response: oh, leave us alone you aNgRy QuEeN.

10.25.2005

after the storm

after wilma's wind and rain died down, the weather became a crisp, cool, sunny 70ish degrees. we are very lucky for that.

so, i was sleeping peacefully last night with a lovely breeze flowing through the house. until the dogs began to bark ferociously and i heard voices... iN tHe HoUsE!! a little tweaked out and half asleep i ran downstairs to check things out and recognized the voice.

me: wendi is that you?!
voices outside: give us your alcohol!!
me: you [expletive] girls better be [expletive] glad you're not in my house!
linds: what do they want?
me: our alcohol
lind: hell no ... well are they in the house?
me: no
linds: well then just leave them there and come back to bed.
me: oh.

well, internet usage will be limited to nonexistant for the next few days. be back when the power comes on.

10.21.2005

friday frivolity

feeling a little under the weather this morning, i took my post in front of the computer screen and immediately thought: donuts. need donuts.

the next two people to arrive at work each said they almost stopped to get donuts on the way in. but didn’t. geez. seriously what is WrOnG with people?

finally we all came to our senses and decided someone had to make the run. so there we stood, adults at work, playing a rock-paper-scissors tournament (double elimination-style) with the determination of school kids. the loser would be the buyer and bringer of the 1000 fat grams of sugary, cakey goodness that would start our day off just right.

as my boss walked by…
player 1: hey, we’re playing rock-paper-scissors to figure out who’s going to make the donut run. you want in?
boss: nn-no. i’m too busy. i can’t.player 1: well, okay mister important … we’ll see you at the f**k off table around 11.

10.19.2005

starbucks values

my friends can vouch for the fact that i have a certain, often verbalized distaste for starbucks. sure, think their coffee is too acidic. but the crux of the matter is that the fashionable coffee behemoth is a poster child for big corporations driving mom and pop shops out of business. say what you will, but because for many reasons i haven’t committed to only shop local, starbucks and wal-mart have been my anti-corporate-takeover-of-the-world stake in the ground.

the conundrum…

first, starbucks began offering fair trade coffee. one heck of a step in the right direction.

then, i read about ethos water, a bottled water company owned by starbucks that donates part of every sale to fund clean water initiatives for developing countries. and now, two starbucks vps “are touring the country in a biodiesel rv ” to educate employees about the ethos brand and “hosting three- to six- mile ‘walks for water’ to raise awareness of the daily treks that families in the developing world make to obtain h20.” (business 2.0)

i’m the first to assume these initiatives are purely marketing and profit driven, rather than genuine altruism. but companies are in business to make money plain and simple.

so what is the right balance between local businesses and corporate giants? and, at what point is it a (semi-) conscientious consumer’s responsibility to support the good deeds of capitalism?

and this is just a funny, related, aside.

10.18.2005

simplicity

a good friend of mine has a god son who, i believe, is six. when recently asked what he likes about his latest crush he replied, “she’s in great condition—she doesn’t wear glasses. she doesn’t use a wheelchair.”

what do you like about your latest crush?

10.17.2005

nuclear family

atlanta’s hometown paper has a regular feature in which two women – one conservative, one more liberal – debate an issue. this week, they’re discussing traditional families and healthy children, and whether one necessary for the other. it’s a good read.

what is particularly interesting is that rather than debate the merits of single motherhood or same-sex parenting, ms. liberal addresses the issue from a socio-economic perspective. it’s so much easier for people to blame poor parenting, crime, poor education, even poor healthcare practices on race, and psychological concerns on parents’ sexuality.

imagine what would happen if we actually addressed – in a meaningful and productive way – issues of poverty and class.

10.14.2005

happy friday

if you find yourself wanting to curl up and watch a move this weekend, rent crash. it’s a montage of lives all intertwined, and all deeply affected by race issues. you can’t help but think: holy sh*t that is eXaCtLy the way things are. not to mention it’s rather fun checking out the list of known actors who appear in the film.

10.13.2005

not just for breakfast anymore

next month, three guys in miami plan to open a café where customers can socialize, watch tv, work online, and … eat cereal. “the idea was brutally simple: a starbucks-style cafe that offers clients a choice of 35 different kinds of breakfast cereal and 60 different toppings for about $3.25 a bowl.” (miami herald)

if they can do it with coffee, why not cereal? get ready for a whole new lexicon a la starbucks: venti half–caff mocha soy latte.

cereal alone – like coffee – does not a successful business make. the trick is the combination comfy atmosphere, nifty toppings, free wireless internet, and close proximity to a university. oddly enough … places like this already exist, including cereality in chicago, phili and tempe.

would you like gummy bears or m&ms with your frosted flakes?

10.12.2005

karma juxtaposed

there’s common [western-style] karma –

the new series my name is earl gives a good western view of “karma”: loser strikes lottery gold, then loses it when he gets hit by a car. while laid up in the hospital watching carson daly (nice touch), he realizes that it’s all about karma. that is “fate punishes him for all the rotten things he's ever done in his life; therefore, he then decides to dedicate his life to making amends to all the people he has hurt in his life.”

and then there’s synchronistic karma –

“...it is our individual souls that are conditioned by experience, and through that memory of past experience the soul influences our choices and interpretations in life. these tiny kernels or seeds of memory build up in the individual soul over a lifetime, and this combination of memory and imagination based on experience is called karma. karma accumulates in the personal part of the soul … the actions we take can affect this personal soul, and change our karma, for better or worse.” – deepak chopra, the spontaneous fulfillment of desire

just a little something to ponder.

10.10.2005

taking it off

breezing through airport security is a near science. check for metal: watch, earrings, etc. remove computer from bag. remove shoes. remove, as i heard one tsa agent say, “all garments down to your primary layer.” remove shoes. remove belt. undressing in front of total strangers is becoming commonplace.

last week, while taking off my belt in the security line, i realized that somehow i’d also managed to unbutton my pants in the process. it got me thinking: how long until focus on the family focuses on the fact that the tsa is teaching little girls that it’s perfectly fine to undress in public?

10.04.2005

music and memory

lately i find myself being particularly nostalgic about music. it’s interesting how memory is so closely tied to song.

what do these songs make you think of?

1. sting- every breath you take
2. indigo girls – closer to fine
3. warrant – cherry pie (and don’t even try to say you don’t remember the song)
4. violent femmes – blister in the sun
5. depeche mode – personal jesus
6. they might be giants – istanbul
7. madonna – open your heart
8. dead milkmen – punk rock girl
9. nine inch nails – down in it
10. [insert your own song]