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


far, far away

the conflict between lebanon and israel is so physically removed from us that it’s difficult to imagine. and it stretches so far back in history that – despite thoughts on individual actions – it’s difficult to know who’s right and who is wrong.

i recently heard some first hand accounts of experiences from american evacuees and people with loved ones in lebanon. they praised the care of the american embassy and of our marines. and told stories of feeling the ground shake from bombing.

many fleeing southern lebanon to beirut are piling into cars by the dozens. some are hiring taxis to take drive them those two hours north. instead of the usual $100 for a two hour drive, they’re paying fares from $2500 to $9000 to save their own lives, and their families.



if you’re reading this you are part of an online social network. chances are you have a blog, read other blogs or have a list of ‘friends’ on myspace or linkedin. despite all of this connectivity, according to american sociological review research, we have fewer ‘confidants’ today than we did a decade ago. The survey calls a confidant someone with whom we discuss important matter. funny, considering the massive number of bloggies writing about their intimate relationships, attempts to get pregnant, dating issues, etc.

after considering my own statistic, i wonder how the questions were asked. was there an option for counting a “percentage” of certain people? those with whom one might discuss some important matters but not others? or those who are trusted implicitly, but aren’t regularly consulted simply because of time and distance? a pew research study gets to this “with a notably big figure for what it termed “core ties”: a median number of 15 people with whom respondents said they had discussed important matters, with whom they were in frequent touch or from whom they got substantial help.”

i also believe that some who share intimate aspects of their life online, don’t necessarily share the same information with many of their real world connections. as though despite the fact that we have pictures and geographical locations to identify us, the virtual spectrum still offers this veil of anonymity that makes us more comfortable saying and sharing things than when we’re face to face.

how do you define friend and confidant? how much are you willing to share online? and how does this differ from real world sharing?


what's up, slut?

this sentence – “a promiscuous single man is lauded for being a player or a stud, but a woman who sleeps around rarely is.” – seems like one that should be from an article written in the 50s. but it was front and center yesterday on the article discusses the now popular use of the word slut – it’s thrown around the same way southern women throw around ‘sugar’, ‘sweetheart’ and ‘honey’. yet, the article contends that the male/female sex double standard still holds. (it also explores the dichotomy between the popularization of young girls dressing in sexually explicit ways modeling while being expected to refrain from participating in sexual activity.)

the slut concept is interesting. it seems like an irrelevant term in my own circles – how much and with how many isn’t so important, unless someone is hurting others or herself. i suspect the same holds true for the boys i know (two of whom i know would prefer to discuss their poop habits, but i’m sure they talk about sex too) on the other hand, i know girls who live by the one hand rule – as in you’d better be able to count the number of people you’ve slept with on one hand and the last of the five better be the one you marry.

the collective at wikipedia has a definition for slut, not including parameters. do you think in terms of slut or not? by what definition?



originally uploaded by sunshineandbeyond.
this sign is on a little church in cabbagetown (atlanta). it reads:

the church must fight greed. please cut back on buying gasoline.

just passing the message along.


palindromes, acronyms, and the telephone game

the other day, while enjoying a meal with friends, i turned to one and said, ‘hey, can you hand me a napkin?’ well, someone thought i said, ‘hey, teach me a new acronym.’ thus the game began. (dorky, anyone?)

then we got to talking about funny types of words. like palindromes – the name hannah is a palindrome. and anagrams – those are tough. and onomatopoeias – a word that really ought to be what it defines, but it certainly isn’t. i guess that would be hard.

well as it turns out, it was fun, though short lived. let’s see what we come up with here.

teach me a new acronym? it can be one that’s really used or one you make up.


the right to give birth

an article in the current issue of mothers jones explores the question: is there is a right to reproductive assistance?* the anecdotes include a clinic that refuses to perform ivf for a lesbian couple because its physicians are morally opposed. and another, actually most clinics according to the article, refuse services for couples with factors that make successful insemination less likely – success lures new ‘customers’; failure is bad for business.

at opposite ends of the spectrum: conception is an accident for some; for others it requires painstaking preparation, loads of cash and years of trying.

the idea that clinics can view the process as pure capitalism is disturbing. at the same time, is it not also a natural product of a free enterprise society?

legal, moral, financial and ethical grey areas make reproductive rights, feasibly, the most daunting issue of the day. should a married woman and man who are infertile be entitled to assistance, but a not partnered same-sex couple? should a young, healthy woman be given preference for reproductive treatment over an unhealthy or older (define that) woman? should a line be drawn (and where)? and who should be responsible to pay?

*full disclosure: i’ve only read about a third of the article, so far.



fat american
i bought this t-shirt years ago at a school of the americas protest. it seemed the right thing to wear this fourth of july, but for a blazing hot day in atlanta, it needed a little work.

there are many things i dislike about american society: we’re materialistic; we have a keen sense of entitlement, often at the detriment of others; we’re allowing our freedoms to be stripped away in the name of security and at the hands of the moral majority; and we’re widely apathetic.

at the same time, i appreciate the foundational threads of our country: individual rights; justice; freedom to live our lives as we wish; unprejudiced opportunity. and i have a deep appreciation for those who dedicate themselves to preserving that foundation.

do you consider yourself patriotic?