Archive for June, 2010

My soon-to-be former place of employment really does get their hands into some inspiring work. We partner with this organization every year to screen short documentaries that touch on various issues going on in the world.

I was particularly touched by these two films;  you should check ’em out, they’re only about 10 minutes long:

I am Sean Bell by Stacey Muhammad

Click to watch

Young boys , who seem grown beyond the years, talk about the tragedy of Sean Bell and speak out about their fears and hopes growing up in NYC, where the lives of young men are cut short everyday.

Denied by Julie Winokur

Click to watch

A mother of two struggles to pay for chemotherapy and surgery to remove cancer from her breast and lungs, after being denied health insurance.  After she dies, the U.S. Government then decides to give her family benefits.

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We’ve covered three spots so far, all in Florida, where I grew up and spent my college years.  Now we’re moving on to the year 2005,  when I graduated and stepped into the world of working for the man,  quickly realized it wasn’t for me,  got swept off my feet by a blue-eyed Aussie, and soon thereafter packed up all my shit and left the U.S. on a one-way ticket to London.

England – The Cotswolds

  • Where you can arrive from London in no time, but then realize you are in the middle of nowhere
  • Where there really are bright red phone booths…correction: booth (singular)
  • Where the towns have one shop, one post, and two pubs
  • Where you have near death experiences while crossing the street and looking the wrong way, for at least the first few weeks you are there
  • Where men wear socks up to their knees with dress shorts and vests  to go quail hunting
  • Where men actually go quail hunting
  • Where everything comes with gravy or mayonnaise
  • Where dessert is pudding and pudding is custard
  • Where you eat things like ” spotted dick” and  “bangers and mash”
  • Where you drink tea 85 times a day
  • Where pasty white Brits run full stride to the beaches as soon as the sun reveals itself (it’s a glorious 3 days of the year)
  • Where people say things like “takin’ the piss”, “loo” and “youalright govna”
  • Where horse racing accounts for 80% of the occupations: jockey, horse trainer, horse vet, horse owner
  • Where pubs are the place to go at all times of day
  • Where you better pour Guinness the right way or say goodbye to your job
  • Where you can buy a car for 300 pound
  • Where you can take road trips from to Bath, Stonehenge, Bristol, Oxford and Brighton
  • Where streets are quaint, people are friendly and life is peaceful
  • Where you can find the famous pub and restaurant The Hollow Bottom, home to the friendliest Scottish lads in all of England (except for the crazy chef Charlie, he talks wicked fast in a thick Scottish accent and throws plates)
  • Where I lived for 5 months

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This is what I’m talking about:  Resourcefulness, innovation and returning to the ol’ days. This is what people of the Mississippi Delta are turning to in order to combat a lack of fresh, healthy foods and an increase in health problems such as diabetes.

Check out this Grist article:

Dorothy and Owen stay beside Country Road 32, a half-mile and one left turn out of downtown Shelby. They live in a simple one-story ranch house with similar homes on either side. Yellow-green coco grass covers the front yards, with the greater landscape a mono-color green of soybean or corn. This is the Mississippi Delta, home of the Harvard of high-tech agriculture research stations (the USDA’s Delta States Research Center in Leland/Stoneville), and to the highest rates of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in the nation.

Dorothy believes one of the solutions to these communities’ health issues lies in the backyards and side-yards and churchyards. Behind the Gradey-Scarbrough’s house lies part farm, part folk-art installation. On one acre, Owen and Dorothy raise rabbits (in cages suspended over a compost pile), chickens, and a few goats that climb up and down the upturned baptismal tub that welcomed both Dorothy and Owen into the church as infants.

I hope to see and be a part of advocating for and creating a lot more of this kind of Do-It-Yourself growing and food access solutions in needed areas around the country!

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Check out Part 1 for what sparked this series of documenting my nomad ways.

North Florida – Gainesville

  • Where every single resident of the town bleeds orange and blue
  • Where football literally governs the town
  • Where Tim Tebow is a God
  • Where Thursday is Friday, Friday is Saturday and Saturday is Gameday
  • Where the town shuts down on Gameday, except for bars and restaurants ( and Publix where you will pick up a sub , chips and beer on the way to the tailgate)
  • Where you can drive around town in the bed of a pickup truck filled with water (a mobile swimming pool) while drinking natty light, and not get pulled over – only on Gameday
  • Where you live in a bubble of 18-24 year olds for four years
  • Where you can find people studying in most cafes/restaurants – at all hours (yes we studied outside of drinking and tailgating)
  • Where some of your classes would have 2,000 people in them
  • Where no one scheduled class before noon or on Fridays
  • Where frat boys wear fishing shirts, sandals and sunglasses on the back of their heads
  • Where rent is $400/month for ridiculous townhouses and apartments – take that NYC!
  • Where you could sneak kegs into your dorm room… on a Tuesday
  • Where you can find beer for $ .25 at the bar
  • Where you will learn how to funnel and do keg stands more than you will learn history or statistics
  • Where, while reminiscing on life there, the majority of your memories will involve football and beer
  • Where you will meet best friends for life
  • Where I lived for 4 years

North Florida – JAX Beach

  • Where you ride bikes with cupholders (for beer)
  • Where you walk 2 blocks to the ocean
  • Where everyone wears reefs no matter the weather
  • Where it feels like vacation after work and on the weekends
  • Where Lemon Bar is the place to be on Sunday
  • Where you can rent an amazing bachelorette pad on the beach for super cheap
  • Where helicopters might land in your back yard (to airlift victims of crime)
  • Where I lived for 6 months

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I move around a lot.  Some say I just pick up and go;  roll with the flow;  move with the wind.   I guess it’s true.  In the last ten years,  my tendency to pick up and go has resulted in me living in a few pretty awesome places;  nine to be exact.

Since I will pick up and move once again in the next month and half,  I decided to start writing about these wonderful communities I have found myself in over the years.  So here it is,  a series of places I have lived – I hope you enjoy and hope some of you that have also shared these neighborhoods with me can get a kick out of reminiscing in the familiarity.

South Florida

  • Where there are almost as many shiny white yachts as there are people
  • Where there are shiny people and leathery-looking people
  • Where alligators show up on your back lawn – and eat your poodle
  • Where everyone has a swimming pool (sometimes with alligators in them)
  • Where it feels sticky hot the majority of the time and you need steering wheel covers to protect your hands from burning
  • Where hurricane season is the only thing that brings people outside for longer than a couple hours in the summer
  • Where shopping on palm-lined glitzy avenues or baking in the sun on palm-lined glitzy beaches are the only weekend activities
  • Where people cruise A1A in their suped up Hondas or yellow Lamborghinis, depending on which beach you’re at
  • Where outlet malls sprawl across the belly of the state in giant Disney-like fashion
  • Where reggaeton blares from every car on I-95 and Power96 dominates the radio waves
  • Where you are either a Hurricane, a Gator, or a ‘Nole — ok let’s be real, no one is a Hurricane, they are just wanna be fans
  • Where everybody’s grandma lives
  • Where kids skip school to go to the beach
  • Where swamps are filled and avocado trees bulldozed to create more suburban coral homes with flamingo yard signs
  • Where my loved ones are
  • Where I lived for 13 years

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