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Archive

The titles of all postings, in reverse chronological order.  To see posts grouped by category or topic, please see the category archives link and the topic cloud in the right-hand column on the page.  Thanks!

My Brother’s Keeper – Childhood sibling relationships shift into adult ones; how to fix broken familial ties as well as broken noses.

Popsicle Stick Humor – Sixth grade gym class is the worst.

How to Solve Racism in America: Two Case Studies – Looking at Rwandan and South African case studies on how to best deal with racial tensions in transitional justice.

An International Incident at the UN… Plaza – A fight ensues between cultural norms at the farmer’s market.

Two Definitions of Love – The subtle declarations of love in a non nuclear family.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Say ‘Yes’ – The dangers of refusing to experience life to the fullest and not opening ones’ comfort zone.

What It Was Like to Skydive for the First Time – Skydiving: a bucket list item or something profound about the human ability to conquer fear?

I Was Shot in the Head, But I Refused to Die – Aalia’s Story – An Iraqi woman’s story of how she survived a government firing squad and fled the Middle East for the Netherlands.

Why I Travel and Why I Stop – The things I love about traveling, and why it is sometimes nice to settle down for a bit and make a community again.

In Defense of Alcohol: How Alcohol Brought Humankind Civilization and Other Good Stuff – The effect alcohol has had on civilization and the world’s social structures.

Kagame, the Benevolent Authoritarian? – The mysterious intellectual with blood on his hands: the many faces of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.

A Tirade Against Clubbing – Why I hate clubbing; a humorous account of a night on the town.

The Rwandan Genocide of 1994: What Remains When a Country is Killed? – An in depth look at the Rwandan genocide, and how Rwandans view their own history 20 years later.  A tour of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, among others.

Constructing Narrative: Introduction to Rwanda – How we create narrative to make sense of truth, and in so doing lose some essential essence of that truth.  Also, my first impressions of Rwanda.

The Strange and Lovely Philosophy of Graham – One man’s philosophy on life; dadaist and strange.

The Complexities of Doing Good: When Should One Intervene in Daily Injustices? – It is hard to know sometimes when one should try to help another, and examining the bystander effect.

When the Abyss Looks Back- On Procrastination – Procrastination sucks, man.  How not to do it.

Young Love… Nerd Style – A small story of nerd courtship banter.  Includes flipping gender dynamics on its head.

Why I Hate Pandas: A Tirade Against the Adorable and Fluffy – A completely silly tirade about how pandas are stupid and should die. In the rain.

On Welcoming a New Lover While Acknowledging the Old – My impressions of ex-lovers, and a mantra of how to let a new partner into your life.

Mohammed’s Story: A Boy from Bethlehem  One boy’s story of living in Bethlehem, what it is like to be a Palestinian in the West Bank and my failure to help him.  A hard story for me to tell.

The Morning Ritual – Why my college roommate was awesome; ie. waking up with coffee.

The Bully – Even that childhood bully you still secretly fear can reform.

The Prostitutes of the Red Light District: Amsterdam  My impressions of the red light district in Amsterdam, and of my own complicity in viewing the prostitutes.  Part 3 of the sex work series.  

Hummus Thoughts – A tale of a hummus making disaster.

The Purpose of Art and the Human Need to Create – Why do human beings feel the need to be creative anyway?  What purpose does art serve in civilizing us?

A Life Reaffirming Ass Slap – A story on how a woman slapped my ass in a club, and why it made my day.

The Londoner Tales – The wild, interesting and strange people that you meet when you move to London.

The New Year, Same as the Old Year? – A humorous take on New Years, and resolutions.

Israeli Child, Arab Child… Spot the Differences? – A photo essay on how Israeli children and Arab children are both children.  It’s long past time to stop the Arab-Israeli conflict.

An Unambivalent Leavetaking – A review of the good and the bad of living in Jordan, and my favorite and least favorite things about leaving for the US.

Living in Sodom or Gomorrah – The dark side of being a woman in a Muslim country where sexual harassment is constant, overt and ugly.  How I was circled, had rocks thrown at me, and why visiting Israel was such a welcome vacation. Warning: controversial topic.  I was pretty upset with how I was being treated.

The Bedouin Boy – A Bedouin I met in Wadi Rum tells me about his way of life, his view on women, the dessert, and his future.

A Rambling Discourse on Language – Why it is like learning Arabic and what it is like traveling to so many places where I simply do not understand what is going on.

Escaping the Zombie/Penguins on the Dock – A ‘funny’ story regarding sexual harassment in Aqaba, Jordan.  Seriously.  They were boob zombies.

Dying is Easy, It’s Living that Scares Me to Death – Thoughts on death.  Stories and impressions on this hard and ubiquitous topic. “she asks if I would like to cuddle for a bit / (as I wipe my hands over and over across my face, as if to wipe away the nightmares of nonexistence before my eyes) / I think to myself that it wouldn’t do a dammed bit of good, wouldn’t change anything or stop it /(and can’t she see that’s exactly the problem?) / but I cuddle anyways, and inevitability doesn’t change, but it gets a little warmer and fuzzier.”

Conspicuous Consumption as the Jordanian Dream – Why Jordanians love big gas guzzling cars and other ostentatious signs of wealth (hint: it has to do with the high GINI coefficient of the country!)

Luigi’s Story: An Unemployed Philosopher – Meeting a brilliant, lonely Italian in Rome, and his story.  A tale of unemployment and wasted talent, but beauty nonetheless.

Being Lahalee – What it is like to travel and be sufficient on my own; how Jordanians view solo-ness, as compared to the US.

The Bedouin Bride – My impressions of a bedouin wedding I attended in the Jordan Valley.

The Employment Loophole Known as the “Unpaid Internship” – The unpaid internship is my generations biggest scam.  Why unpaid internships are a raw deal for 20-somethings, and not so hot for businesses either.

The Secret Society – How I found the Jews in Jordan, and how it feels to be a Jewish girl in a Muslim nation.

Thought-Provoking Signs of the World – A photo essay of funny signs seen and photographed in many countries in Europe and the Middle East.

The Vibe of the City of Amman – Amman is a strange and wonderous city for the American to discover.  More descriptions of Jordan.

An American in Amman: In Which I (Somewhat) Successfully Move to Jordan – My first impressions of Amman, Jordan, and the trials and tribulations of moving to a Middle Eastern country.  (And why you should never use FlyDubai as your airline!)

My Godfather’s Pack – Leaving to backpack around Europe, I carry not only a backpack, but my godfather’s love.

The 10 Best Things I Have Learned in Life Because I am a Nerd – Being nerdy is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

The Tale of Two Men – The juxtaposition and tensions of modern city living, as represented by two men and my experiences with them.

How I Ended Up on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno – The story how the one time I go to LA I end up in front of a camera in my bikini, complaining in a fake court case against my best friend.

The Function of Beauty – Why human beings prize beauty, what constitutes beauty, and how it affects the basic foundation (get it?) of our society.

Who Should Safe-Guard Human Rights? – Should human rights be a local or internationally handled issue?  Examined through the application of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.

ThoughtsFromtheMiddleSeat Turns One! – A self congratulatory post on the blog’s first anniversary!  Plus a forum to discuss future topics you want to see written about.

The Red Ribbon on the Mountain – A soldier’s death, a father mourns.

The High School Reunion – So what is the point of having a high school reunion after only five years anyway?

So, Apparently, I Have A Son – Holiday parties can be awkward for the best of us….

And Audrey Was Her Stripper Name-O  An interview and thoughts of a Washington DC stripper from Camelot.  She likes her work.  Part 2 of the sex work series.  

Chasing Down Kisses – How I kissed almost every boy in my 2nd grade class in order to get to that special someone.  The most promiscuous period of my life was when I was seven.

The Death of Qaddafi: Cause for Celebration or Mourning? – The polarizing death of a dictator; the weird politics dictating polite social media use.  Also, a story of why Qaddafi is seen as a hero in South Africa.

The Drag Race – These men were fabulous in DC’s annual drag race near Dupont Circle.  Lots of photos.

How I Met the Wicked Witch of the East in the Girl’s Locker Room – You meet the strangest people while naked in a gym locker room…

How I Discovered Liberal White Elitism / Tips and Tricks from One Unemployed Girl – How liberals can be hypocritical, and an analysis of the unemployment crisis of 2008.  Plus, tips on how to survive being unemployed and the stigma associated with it.

The Girl, the Horse and the Lie – A childhood tale of wanting to ride a horse, and being denied hardcore.

Why the War on Drugs Weakens America – All about why the war on drugs is one of the worst US policies ever, and how it damages not only our perceptions of drugs and our government, but also damages the efficiency and appropriateness of the prison system.

And You Think Dating is Hard for You: Male Adult Initiation Rituals in South Africa – Circumcision and coming of age practices in Xhosa culture in South Africa.

 The Song that Never Ends – How I punished my father by singing a Lambchop song for hours on end.

In Memory of My Godfather, Cow – A memorial to my godfather, Jonathan Brin Tucker, a man I love and respect and miss to this day.

The Symbology of the Prom Dress – Why I wore a daring, belly-bearing homemade dress to my high school prom.

Prufrock- Distractions, Distillations – A Prufrockian impressionistic vignette.

Being Content – What still contentment feels like.

I Challenge ‘Modern Love’ to a Duel – Why articles lamenting the hookup culture have it wrong; not everyone ‘hooks up’ in college.

The Death of Polly, My Imaginary Friend – How I kill my imaginary best friend with flat grape soda.  I had outgrown her.

Let’s Talk About Rape – A Facebook conversation gets ugly, and leaves me wondering: how do we talk about rape in modern day society?

The Religion of Fortune Cookies – Why religions can be hard to swallow, and my belief in fortune cookism (cause why not?)

Life in Coffee Spoons and the Taking of Toast and Tea –  How to live life to the fullest, and be sensually aware of your surroundings.

The Tale of Three Puppies – The journey of one small stuffed animal, and how it survives being buried, being abandoned and being loved.

Happiness as a Sine Curve: Quantifying the Qualitative Life – Quantifying happiness with adorable graphs.  The diminishing returns of kisses.

Small Instance of Humanity Part… oh who remembers? My rabbi contacts me from my old university, just to make sure I have a Passover Seder to go to.

Sacred Spaces – Finding a secret, sacred place where ever you live is important; a way of connecting yourself to the city in which you live.

Janice’s Story: The Ability to Change – An eighty-year old woman who decides that she can still change herself and her future.

Can Men and Women Be Friends? – Interviews of various men and women in their twenties, asking them the popular When Harry Met Sally question: can men and women be friends, really?

The Naked Dance – Watching the Vienna: Lusthaus as a child; how sexuality and nude dancing affected my psyche.

The Psychology of Party Crashing – The high of party crashing, and how easy it is with a little confidence and a smile.

The Greek and the Girl – How once a girl turns 20, she is fair game to be picked up in museums by old men.

Connection FAIL: DC Police are Robots – Me bitching about the police in Washington DC.

Work Hard, Play Hard? Doing the Math – How America’s work-life balance encourages the clubbing mentality, through working its young employees harder than in previous decades.

The Ace in the Hole – My brother cheats at cards.

Just Like a Gypsy – America’s uneasy conceptions of gypsies being beautiful and clever vs conniving and poor.  Anecdotes of gypsy encounters in Europe.

Pretty Things Upstairs – A talk with a shopkeeper who discusses, among other things, aliens (the green kind) and the penis sizes of Asian men.

Small Instance of Humanity, Part Trois – A story of being given a flower, just because.

Explaining Thanatos (The Death Drive) – Explaining how everyone has a little bit of death instinct in them, and a survey of 20-somethings on their interpretations of their own dark urges.

Valentines Past – Why you should love Valentine’s Day, and how holidays serve as mental sign posts of self growth over the years.  Clifford Gertz may feature.

The Ghost, the Bear, and the Girl Scout – A humorous tale of a ghost story gone wrong on a Girl Scout camping trip.

White Beaches  – A South African man discusses what it is like being black in post-apartheid South Africa.

Here’s to Being Average – How hard it is to be merely ‘average’ in modern day America, where being above average is the new normal.

How Sam Sachs Lost His License (A Cautionary Tale) – A cautionary tale about driving over the Canadian border while high and drunk and young.

Exposed – An in-depth look at the male stripper sex trade in Chicago, and an interview with a gay male stripper.  Part 1 of the sex work series.  

Going to Ghana: Why My Brother Doesn’t Trust Me As Far as He Can Throw Me – How beliefs held when you are young can be solidified into a ‘truth’ while being completely wrong.

Schmolie’s Shabbat – A little boy in Israel steals the Shabbat wine with a smile; a funny tale about Judaism, Israel and seven year old alcoholism.

Call Me Sherlock – Figuring out people’s life stories by observing them on the train.

A Small Instance of Humanity, Part Deux – A woman stops to buy a bagel for a homeless man.

Conceptions of Virginity – Survey of 20-somethings on their conceptions of what virginity is, and what sex and its lack means in modern day society.

The Dog Days Weren’t Over – A silly tale of a dog wrecking havoc at a little girl’s birthday party.

The Pavement Business – A meeting with a mob-boss wannabe on a plane trip to Boston.

The IDF and the Twenty-Something Malaise – Why Israeli mandatory military service helps 20-somethings feel like they have agency, and how hard it is to be in your twenties in the US.

A Small Instance of Humanity – A time in DC traffic when a young man helped a bunch of Indian businessmen.

The Mystery of the Dancing Men – The different types of men you find when you go swing dancing.

Being Miffy in Oxford – How class is the identifying characteristic of someone’s value in Britain, much as money is in the US, and family connections are in rural South Africa.  Through watching a Noel Coward play.

And That’s How I Got Kicked Out of Church – Sacrilegious Lego creations gone wrong.

Apparently, My Mother Doesn’t Love Me – Why I talk to strangers.

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