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

11.30.2005

freedom of the publisher

administrators at a tennessee high school snatched up just-distributed copies of the school paper because they said an article on birth control needed to be edited to make it “acceptable to the entire school”. a university of tenn professor cried foul, saying it was about administration control. an article from the local independent media center calls the action censorship.

without getting off topic about ridiculous sex education (er, abstinence only) policies, i’m inclined to agree – it’s censorship. then again it is a school newspaper. technically the school is the publisher, and any publisher has the right to determine what is or is not printed in their own newspaper. so, is it the school’s right, as “publisher” to determine the paper’s contents, even if it means censoring certain topics? or, as a government entity, is a school bound to honor first amendment rights for its students?

11.29.2005

act your age?

i’ve been told a few times too many lately that i act like a mom. regardless of any aspirations of one day being a mom, this coming from people i’m drinking with tends to sting a little. so naturally this quiz caught my eye.

You Are 29 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

11.28.2005

confessions of a crazed (and somewhat embarrassed) devotee

it’s happening. again. i am completely sucked into a life that is not only NOT my own – it doesn’t even really exist. now, before anyone gets out the white jacket: no, i’m not (entirely) delusional.

having missed the season when it actually aired, linds and i are in the midst of the L word: season 2 on dvd. i suppose it’s fortunate we’ve gotten just one dvd at a time and there are just four episodes per disc …

last night i found myself TaLkiNg to the screen as shane – in a moment if uncharacteristic lack of control - blamed carmen for her black eye. i verbally professed disgust at the jenny/carmen and tina/helena coupling. and at the end episode 8, when the girls all surprise bette with family night, we just sat silently on the couch with little lumps in our throats. once the hypnosis was broken we just looked at each other and laughed. it is sad, but we actually get sucked into thinking these women are our friends.

was it like this for those people who religiously watched friends? i’ve always stared in disgust at the people who spend their lunch hours talking about last night’s friends episodes as thought they were discussing their best friends’ latest escapade. or talk about rachel and joey over cocktails.

now i’m one of them. and before anyone goes casting stones – consider whether you knew exactly who i was talking about in paragraph three.

11.22.2005

there’s something about the southland… at thanksgiving

as a child, thanksgiving was synonymous with family reunion. grandmother, great aunts, uncles and cousins came from throughout the southeast to middle georgia where my father’s family owned farmland, a pecan (that’s /p’CAN/, not /p’cahn/) orchard and a camphouse built by my uncle and grandfather. the camphouse sat on a small pond on the outskirts of the town where my grandmother still lived. my family had lived in her home for generations. my father was raised there, across the street from the high school where he played football.

for years, we knew exactly what to expect: we’d head out to the camphouse around noon. a feast prepared in true southern style was laid out – turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls. and desserts – coconut creme pie, pecan pie, cake, ambrosia. before we ate, we’d all stand around while one of my great uncles blessed the food and the family. the grown-ups sat at two large round tables and us kids had our own spot right next to dessert.

after the meal, the grandchildren explored the woods. moms and grandmothers sat together making the year’s chosen craft. uncle red sat by the fire whittling wood. around dusk, we all gathered back for round two of grazing and board games. fire blazing.

it’s been years since we’ve had that kind of thanksgiving. most of those elder family members have passed, and the tradition went with them. but, it always comes to mind this time of year. and it is part of what continues to make my heart warm for the holidays.

happy thanksgiving.

11.18.2005

friday frivolity

speaking of holiday music and songs like, there’s a hole in the bucket, there are those songs that stick in your head and just won’t go away. earworms, if you will. so what happens when several such songs are evoked? which one wins out?

give me your best earworm example, and let’s just see. here’s one to get us started:

tom’s diner from suzanne vega – listen here.

11.17.2005

but we still have one week

as if it wasn't bad enough that the holiday paraphernalia started hitting store shelves months ago …

just now. in the car. little drummer boy. playing on the radio.

is there nO respect for tradition anymore – much less SaNiTy? someone pLeAsE call the fcc pronto and let them know that since they’ve been slacking on the indecency watch, they better make up for it with some sort of ban on holiday music before the friday after thanksgiving.

11.16.2005

will dublin, cali please stand up?

a few weeks ago i set up a statcounter for this site. it gives basic stats about hits. don’t worry, if you like to lurk i can’t tell who you are … just from what city you’re logging on. (although it is lovely when people say hi)

as suspected, sunshine is visited by a small group of friends around florida, as well as a couple in seattle and chicago. other than that (mostly) there are one-time hits from random places (like dublin, cali). these are people all over the world who i imagine surfing the internet via the blogger *next blog* button – unless blogger has some built-in hit/ego booster that makes users feel better about their online narcissism.

amazing really that we can just scroll through the internet for a snippet of one person’s life, half a world away. but it isn’t all that easy to find interesting pages.

what’s your favorite blog?

note about dublin, ca: statcounter (the company) is located dublin, ireland. is there a connection?

11.15.2005

oh. dear.

the type of mildly uncomfortable conversation that makes one replay events - searching for potentially damaging tidbits...

co-worker (at table with several others): so... do you know you have a twin who throws a pretty mean football?
me: is that so?
cw: yep. she even took a dive in the sand.
me: and where did you see this person?
cw: ft. lauderdale beach
me: on sunday?
cw: yep

long. pause.

cw: so, what do you think about having a twin?
me: well, i'm not entirely convinced it was a twin. but i hesitate to let on, because i don't know what else you saw
cw: well, let's just leave it at that then.

11.14.2005

michael moore was in town this weekend for a q&a session as part of the ft. lauderdale international film fest. i wish i’d had an audio recorder, because i’d love to be able to share some quotes. maybe others who saw him will chime in here.

i was most struck by the fact that this man, who has done outlandish things in the name of exposing major corporate and presidential irresponsibility, seems well … moderate. he spoke about americans being more alike than we often think, with the same desires for safety, good environmental policies, fair fiscal policy, fair treatment of all people, etc. and he honed in on the need for us to find a common ground.

a woman asked him where all the hippies went, inferring that our country no longer has this politically charged flower power dedicated to building a better america. even though the hippies have cut their hair, are working in offices, and aren’t taking to the streets, moore proposed that their basic politics haven’t faded. rather, they’re being impactful in small ways, everyday.

when asked who could lead our country out of the quagmire, moore responded simply: everyone in this room.

and his best performance: a spontaneous, full-song duet of ‘o canada’ with an audience member.

11.10.2005

airborne

all week i’ve had problems accessing blogger from my hotel room and from the convention center where i'm working.

i’m posting now from 18,000 feet above orlando, while sitting in the wide, comfy leather seat of a business jet. and it took seconds.

11.07.2005

intimacy of travel

despite numerous trips via plane with complete strangers and business colleagues, travel is something of an intimate experience. particularly travel by car. since i am not a frequent greyhound rider, for me road trips bring out a side generally shared only with girlfriends and good friends. this morning i traversed three hours of the florida turnpike with my boss. he’s a pretty fun guy – not at all stuffy – but i still felt compelled to forego my usual car antics: banging on the steering wheel. singing without consideration for any auditory sensitivity of my fellow riders. rocking and/or bouncing beginning somewhere around the end of the first hour.

go on … tell us all about your bad travel habits.

11.04.2005

friday frivolity

now i’ve heard of bad break-ups and cruelly clever vengeance, but gluing genitals to belly takes the cake. it tops lorena bobbit’s escapade, at least in the creativity department.

in other news of the ridiculous, seems we have a new rapper on the scene. britney spears’ baby daddy has a hit-in-waiting. if federline can do it, certainly anyone can... oh, except for that part about marrying a pop star and gaining instant tabloid fame. apparently you can download the ‘song’ here.

11.03.2005

finders keepers

so, yesterday i picked up a $20 bill from the floor next to my cubicle at work. it was haphazardly folded in a way that suggested it had been stuffed it into a pants pocket. something i am prone to do. i am also prone to losing things out of said pocket. so, i checked my bag and, knowing – i think – how much money i had, and figured the $20 was likely not mine.

there were five men in the vicinity who were possible owners of the money. as i inquired, i held the bill up so they could see it – like people don’t know what a $20 looks like. each of four men looked at the disheveled bill with disdain and immediately pulled out their wallet/money clip to say: no, it isn’t mine. you see … my bills are all neatly folded in a respectable fashion. their shirts were a little sloppy, but the bills were neatly pressed.

the found money bought lunch for my boss and i today. it seemed like the thing to do: i wasn’t sure it was mine. i’d asked around and no one claimed it. asked everyone, that is, except the guy who has made numerous ridiculously shallow and racist remarks, who i hear in heated telephone conversations on a daily basis, and who is generally an all around miserable human being. sometimes i can be a little too honest … i told the boss, “well, he isn’t a good person. and if it is his, i really don’t care if he lost a $20.”

11.02.2005

that said ...

coming back from lunch we watched a van cross three crowded lanes of traffic to make a left turn. we all commented that it was a rather deft move when someone in the car said, “yea, look at that. he went across three lanes without a turn signal… how are we supposed to establish world peace if we don’t even know which direction our neighbor is going?”

as a little addendum to yesterday’s post – a few good ways to pass some time:

halloween in honky tonk? via kottke, a thriller re-creation.

on the opposite end of the spectrum, if you haven’t heard the latest radio expedition on npr, this series is worth a read. it explores vrindavan, an ancient city people of hindu faith believe to be heaven on earth. i want to go.

some interesting thoughts on scotus nominee alito from feministe.

and browsing through random flickr pics is always fun.

11.01.2005

blogged down

according to advertising age, u.s. workers in 2005 will waste (er, spend) what amounts to 551,000 years reading blogs. okay drama queens, really that equates to about 40 minutes a day or less than 2 percent of work time.

how much time do you spend on blogs?