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


the good body

this week, i had the honor of seeing, for the third time, eve ensler perform. she is a phenomenal actor and admirable activist.

ensler's newer work, the good body, is a poignant monologue that explores women’s views of their own bodies. like the vagina monologues, the good body is a collage of stories from women from around the globe, whom ensler has interviewed.

in one conversation, ensler is in afghanistan where a woman invites her for an ice cream outing. this simple pleasure, under taliban rule, is a criminal act. and, they find themselves in the back of a building, shrouded by a curtain, defiantly indulging.

in america, women hide eating for fear of being labeled fat. or for being judged for eating ‘something we shouldn’t’. in afghanistan, women hide eating ice cream for fear of physical punishment or even death.

there aren’t many dates left in this tour. if the good body is near you, go see it. and, if you haven't seen the vagina monologues ... or rent it.


head on a plate

what is it with delis putting boar heads on the walls? ok, so it's a good brand of meat. but is there something about a dead animal's head on the wall that makes customers look at that shrink-wrapped hunk of processed meat and think, 'wow, that's fresh! gotta have it.'

do people sit there, eating their ham sandwich and look up at the pig on the wall and think, 'thanks, buddy!'


this presents an interesting dilemma

the latest proof we vote with our dollars: wal-mart’s move to stock “greener” items in their store “from organic cotton baby clothes to ocean fish caught in ways that don't harm the environment” is a huge windfall for organic and environmentally friendly companies.

wal-mart, like no other company, has buying power that changes the business practices of its suppliers. “[a consultant] said Wal-Mart could bring the same pressure it has exerted over the years on prices and apply that to pushing manufacturers and competitors to adopt more sustainable business practices and larger organic offerings.” when it comes to things like forcing their fish suppliers to maintain sustainable practices, this new policy could have substantial, positive impact.

of course, the skeptic in me says wal-mart also has the buying and lobbying power to alter truly green practices into a meager facade of what were originally. and buying organic doesn’t change accusations of the company’s mistreatment of women, the ways it rips up small town economies and other transgressions.

what they don't know can't affect them

a colleague at work, who is going through a difficult divorce, recently declared that she’ll never marrying again. she’ll simply live with her next boyfriend. that’s great, i said, but what happens when the one you wouldn’t marry ends up being your partner for life? what about rights to health decisions and family-level visitation in the hospital or sharing health care benefits …?

she asked what gay people do. i explained as much as i know about legal ways to establish power of attorney, etc to try to establish same of the same rights. but there are things like raising a child together – and knowing that, in many states, if something happens to the bio mom, it could be a hefty battle to keep one’s own child.

these were intelligent people. one a lawyer. and they had NO idea. it’s not the first time i’ve had conversations like this with straight friends. they simply never put enough thought into same-sex relationships (why would they?) to grasp the fact that our rights are not the same as theirs. and yes, it does have an impact. the ones who do know are the ones who are making it their business to write us out of our rights, if they can.

there are plenty of issues i simply hold my tongue about, particularly at work. but at some point, if we don’t stop assuming and start talking, we’re sealing our own fate. if the people who are on our side don’t realize that there is even an issue, we can’t expect them to help -- to even vote our way if and when the time comes.


still cringing

when i woke this morning i immediately surveyed my mouth for missing teeth. i had one of those dreams that was so vivid, it could have been real: my front right tooth was cracking and falling out and i was mortified. it. just. kept. chipping. away.

the dream doctor (yep, the dream doctor) has a few interesting things to say about this kind of dream. what was your realest nighttime dream?


gluttony: final chapter

a little warning up front: today’s post is a little strange, but it’s what i’ve got, and i’ve neglected the sunshine this week, so here goes…

this whole idea of indulgence in spite of known consequences is so broadly applicable. the thing is, the same way my dog gorges herself on cat poop, and i occasionally drink too much, regardless of the fact that we know vomit and general sickness will certainly follow, there is a much more poignant, and socially encouraged, form of gluttony.

we hunt time and time again for love, despite the knowledge that statistics are against us. we indulge ourselves in the excesses of love – the high, i’m convinced, is the best there is. but we know from experience that, at some point, the hangover is inevitable. it’s also sure, that we will indulge again.



it happens often when i dine out of town and alone: my eyes are too big for my stomach (actually portions are just too darn big), and i’m left there with enough food for an entire meal.

last night i ordered veggie chili and fries at this little dive bar in dc. about five fries into the basket i was stuffed and feeling guilty telling the server, no i didn’t want to take them with me. she put them in a box anyway and said she knew a lot of homeless people who’d enjoy them. fantastic!

too bad health codes and insurance worries keep restaurants from doing this on a more organized level.


it’s not just the drinking…

tomorrow i’m headed to animal kingdom with my folks. sure, they have animals there. but they also have rides. i love roller coasters and when given the opportunity i always ride them. and without fail, by the second or third ride, i throw up.

it’s a little like eating cat poop, i suppose. should i have learned my lesson about roller coasters by now, too?

there’s been a lot of talk of poop here in the past week, hasn’t there? i’ll try to be less shitty next week. but no promises.


first there’s romance, then come boogers and other things

apparently feeling a little like a 12-year-old boy today, i’m commandeering a booger conversation that started over at wander on monday. check the comments and you’ll see that last night it got personal.

the first year into my relationship, we kept all the ugly bodily functions hidden. in our case it was fairly easy because we only saw each other on weekends. but isn’t it this way for everyone?

later on the truth started to eek out. the first was a confession: she always stopped at a fast food joint on the way home because a: i didn’t feed her enough over the weekend; and b: she wouldn’t use the bathroom at my house. (seeing as she’s shared this with so many people herself, i’m clearly hoping she doesn’t get a sudden case of shyness today.) so we decided that on every first date, each person should just go ahead and admit that they poop. and that yes, sometimes it stinks.

in addition to “i poop” what other first date confessions should be standard protocol, just to get it out of the way? clearly any strange nose issues and related habits, but what else? and how would you answer the questions yourself?


because it’s already gone too far

on npr this morning i heard that some scientists discovered this crazy version of a lobster. “it's sufficiently distinct that scientists created a whole new family for it...”

the host went on to talk about how taxonomists tend to lament the fact that they’re under funded, yet they missed a golden opportunity to offer this newly discovered crustacean as a marketing opportunity. the golden palace monkey raked in $650k from its namesake.

so i was thinking: kids can be pretty expensive …

but don’t get too excited, a lot of the best ones are already used gratis.



there has been a nice weekend pattern at home lately. biking in the mornings. days at the beach. sunday grocery shopping, dinner and a movie at home, and quality time with the pet farm (our dogs and cats).

so, when i suggested the titlefirst #6 'glutton for punishment’ it was truly meant as an effort to revive amy’s fantastic little game. i did *not* intend it to be the theme for the weekend. a ridiculously ‘successful’ friday happy-hour-turned-bar-closer lead to a painfully unproductive saturday, followed by a rather ruckus saturday evening. nonetheless, after softball on sunday i had a hankerin’ for some social interaction, so we headed back to the local watering hole for 'just a couple of drinks'.

it’s like this: every time my dog vomits after eating something she shouldn’t ingest, i’m baffled. you’d think that eventually she’d learn that, despite the fact that her demented little taste buds might like the taste of cat poop, her belly does not and it is going to cause her to wretch.


sometimes it's the little things

my company recently re-issued its policy against offensive material on company property, computers, etc. the reiterated policy included the following:

“policy violation” shall mean to have … any files … that are morally offensive and/or … negative comments about age, religion, race, gender or disability.

which prompted me to send a little note to the policy writers: under the definition of "policy violation," sexual orientation should be included in the list with "age, religion, race, gender or disability".

i was pleasantly surprise with the simplicity of the response: you're absolutely right. thanks for the reminder.

and so it was changed.

happy friday.

communal living

this is the kind of lifestyle i romanticized in college. today i prefer my quietly chaotic home.
"Though our daily activities are a lot closer to the Waltons than to the Weather Underground, we keep "In Case of Police Raid" instructions posted by our front and back doors. It is a reminder that houses like ours in other towns do get raided."

read the whole article.


even when it's not in your state

it's hard enough to get people motivated enough to vote in national elections once every four years, much less care at all about state politics.

but south dakota's new legislation making abortion a crime is just a stepping stone in what is likely a strategically-coordinated attempt for eventually overturning roe vs. wade. it's a prime example of why we need to be talking to each other, to the media and to our politicians at all levels.

navigating the everglades

the florida everglades play such an important role in our eco-system – water-supply, flood protection, etc. – that it’s hard not to appreciate and admire the expansive marsh and grass that flows into the world’s second largest mangrove forest. it’s sad that half of the glades has been lost to development.

this weekend i introduced a chicago friend to the river of grass, alligators, and airboats. it’s a view of florida everyone should get at least once, even if we don’t always agree with how the locals make friends with the wildlife.


fascinating or frightening

i really just don't know what to think about this. but i'm thinking it doesn't do much to help 'the cause'.


where is the uprising?

ap has published a report that is surprisingly unsurprising. nonetheless, it makes me feel ill:
On the eve of Hurricane Katrina's fateful landfall, President Bush was confident. His homeland security chief appeared relaxed. And warnings of the coming destruction — breached or overrun levees, deaths at the New Orleans Superdome and overwhelming needs for post-storm rescues — were delivered in dramatic terms to all involved. All of it was captured on videotape. …

The president didn't ask a single question during the briefing but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared." …

The footage — along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by AP — show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

the article paints a frightening picture. but it’s worth reading through.

moveon is calling on us to take action. the thing is, the american public has also been warned – ”in dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms” – about the (at best) abject negligence and (at worst) violent dishonesty of the current administration. this is just another item in a long list of transgressions.

at what point will there be a more palpable backlash? what will it take?