Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Very Short List is very very cool. It's perfect for the cubicle-bound (or those who say they are seriously going to finish cleaning their apartment on Tuesday night, but end up doing a whole lot of...nothing productive).
Why not learn about the meaning of psychological abnormality, or a hilarious website that makes fun of adorable animals , or how to induce your very own visual dilusions ALL on ONE website!?
I'm here to help [you waste time].
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
There's this Palin-tastic website called teamsarah.org and apparently there's been more posts about Obama than Palin herself- many of which have racist undertones. Surprise, surprise, right?
Anyway, I had to check this site out for myself and I have to say that I am currently being VERY entertained by the live chat. They are currently talking about Caroline Kennedy and someone just referred to her as a "third rate clown". (Now, I don't know about you, but Caroline never really seemed very clownish to me. Question her qualification all you want, but a clown? Hilarious.) I have yet to see an intelligent exchange in this chat...
Needless to say, the teeth grinding has stopped and the head shaking/giggling has commenced.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Has anyone noticed that Tom Cruise has been looking hot again lately?
(Don't get me wrong, I still think he's a little nut ball.)
I used to think Tom Cruise was the handsomest man alive. Looking back now, I realize that I probably liked the small man with boyish looks because I was between the ages of 5 and 14 at the time. Oh, and he wasn't obviously CRAZY yet.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I've been getting Chicago Cares emails for awhile now, but just like everything else in my life, it's taken me awhile to actually get moving on volunteering with them.
What is Chicago Cares? Their website sums it up pretty nicely...
"Since 1991, Chicago Cares has been inspiring individuals to serve our community by creating and leading original volunteer programming that addresses our community’s most pressing educational, environmental and social service needs. Whatever your passion, Chicago Cares has a group service project that aligns your interests with the needs of the community! "
If you're looking to do some volunteer work, I highly recommend using CC as a resource. Every month they post a calendar of various events that need volunteers and all you have to do is contact the coordinator of the event and you're in! I worked with them for the first time just this last weekend at a Sunday dinner in Rogers Park. It wasn't far from me at all and I met some really cool people. It was definitely the highlight of an already eventful weekend.
Check it out, peeps!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I have to share Summer Heights High with y'all! It's an Australian show and it is PURE brilliance! It's shot as a "mockumentary" with comedian Chris Lilley (creator and writer of the show as well) playing the three main characters in an Australian public high school. I have to give big props to Rachael for bringing this back from the land of Oz.
The link I included is just the trailer, but I think if you're the kind of person that appreciates things that are outrageous, smart and hilarious, you'll want to see more.
(Youtube search for clips. I'm pretty sure you have to download entire episodes.)
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sorry Mac lovahs, I'm going with a PC.
"Green washing" (among other things).
Apple (a trendy/fab company), is always aware of what is well, trendy and fab and being "green" is all the rage these days (or rather being, "light green"...most folks aren't willing to push to total GREEN). Is Apple making efforts? Yes. But there are many GOOD and GREENER computers. Apple has toxic history (literally) and only after a big Greenpeace campaign to call them out on their shenanigans did they finally start taking note.
Also, Apple's bells and whistles aren't what I'm looking for. I quote Nick (one of my tenants/computer expert):
"...Macs on the other hand can be a little more difficult to become acclimated to if you've ONLY used PCs before. Apple computers DO have more advanced graphic capabilities which is the main reason why they tend to be pricier. The graphics may be good but that's all you'll really get. It's GREAT for those that are in to digital/graphic design, photography and movie editing, etc etc. BECAUSE of those graphics capabilities."
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Originally I wanted a MacBook. They're so sleek, streamlined and seemingly efficient. BUT then I hear maybe I shouldn't go that route. HELP ME!!!
- I want something environmentally friendly (developed with that in mind)
- I want something that will LAST. I know most notebooks are built to crash so you can go out and buy a new one, but I want to make my money go as far as it can. I want my computer to have staying power and strength.
If anyone happens to come across this little desperate blog, please clue me in! (You can comment on this blog if you have gmail, people!)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Boy, do I miss meat!
*Every once and awhile I find it's nice to bring back hip 90's phrases. Keep your eyes peeled for "no duh" in upcoming posts.
Friday, November 28, 2008
By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.
I want to say, "What is the world coming to?", but really...I think it's clear that the world got itself into this abhorrent state awhile ago. "Shop til you drop!" (or til someone else does). This entire season is so off course and the masses/the majority/EVERYONE accepts it, embraces it and partakes. I have to wonder what Christians are thinking as they bust into stores at 4am to get MUST-HAVE deals while maxing out their credit cards all in celebration of the birth of Jesus. Does it occur to anyone that Jesus probably wouldn't be a fan of desperate, angry, consumptive, entitled shoppers?
Wouldn't make more sense to actually give the gifts Christ really wanted us to give? Like love, generosity, and empathy? I know, go figure. I'm at this point in my life where the more I learn, the more disillusioned I become. What is going on here and why aren't more people REALLY disturbed?! My 8th grade teacher used to have a poster on her podium that said, "What's popular is not always right and what's right is not always popular." I still appreciate that basic sentiment, but it seems that a sentiment is all it is.
The warmth of my grandparents' home on Christmas eve, their small, tasteful tree, the smell of spinach casserole and honey baked ham, after dinner walks with Dad and Uncle Jimmie, and my grandma in her red-checkered apron are the memories of the Christmas season that have the most weight in my heart. Why is it that the most beloved Christmas films and stories end with sentiment that the "real message of Christmas" really is love, generosity, and hope, but our society seems to counteract that message more and more each year? I suppose that's just a well-intentioned sentiment too.
You'd think a story about a man being trampled to death by fat, greedy Americans at a store filled with cheap gifts made by exploited people in third world countries would be cause enough to make most folks question what has gotten into everyone...but if his dying body didn't stop the shoppers, why would the story stop anyone else?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"Every relationship you are ever going to be in is going to fail..until one doesn't."
I find it to be realistically reassuring, don't you?
So, to all you fellow Parties of One- I pass along this adage. (I also pass it along to those of you who are in a relationship, holding out for something that you know ain't comin'!)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Well, I'm here to share one that's been working very well for me lately..."Typs".
(Short for "typical")
Now, maybe some trendy scenester has already coined this term, but I'm hear to stake my claim as current "typs" representative in the Edgewater neighborhood (also known as Edubz).
"UGH- that is SO typs!"
"Jeffrey left the seat up again...TYPS!"
It helps to roll your eyes at some point in the delivery. Also, please make sure to emphasize the "p" and the "s". Whoever you're talking to will really feel your displeasure with whatever typs behavior is currently frosting your cookies.
Spread the "typs", love the "typs", but don't be "typs"!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I rarely tune into GMA, but it happened to be on this morning as I got ready for work and I couldn't help but stand in cringing awe of this totally lame, consumeristic segment about the packaging on certain products. At first I thought they'd go into the environmental standpoint of uneccessary packaging, but silly me! They just want to talk about how tough it can be to open those testy little packages on Christmas morning!
"Good morning, America! Here's some useless information about consumer products to distract you from any real, troubling issues that might happen to cross your mind in between Dancing with the Stars and Gossip Girl!"
Oh, and please note "goofy" Diane Sawyer donning construction goggles.
Get out of there, Diane! Get out before you turn into a cartoon!
Friday, November 14, 2008
"The owners of this country know the truth- it's called the 'American dream' because you have to be asleep to believe it."
- George Carlin
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
If that wasn't enough information on the underbelly and sick and twisted world of politics, he then put on Wake Up Call- the New World Order documentary. It's completely absorbing (whether you choose to believe the information in it or not). It's free online if you click on that link I posted.
I share because I love.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I'm disheartened and disappointed in the citizens of California. Was it foolish of me to assume that it'd pass in such a left-leaning state?
Take some time and see what my favorite large-headed correspondent, Keith Olbermann had to say on this topic in his November 10th Special Comment.
And while we're on this topic, I highly recommend the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So. It's a must. You'll thank me.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
As I rode the 147 up Lake Shore, I made sure to remind myself to take it all in- take in this beautiful day in this beautiful city for this historic event. I have never been a part of something so big and so communal and SO positive. Everyone was talking to each other and bouncing around with excitement.
We got into the rally just in time to find our spot and watch the polls go up and up in our favor. We heard about Ohio in the line outside and we saw Virginia's results on the big screen...and then, without announcement or notice, up on the screen it said BARACK OBAMA ELECTED PRESIDENT.
I'm not exaggerating here- this was a top moment in my life.
From that point on it was cloud 9, pure bliss, "pinch me!". I was so surprised by the relief I felt. I expected to be ecstatic, but the relief was the primary initial feeling. FINALLY! These last eight years have been painful, stressful and incredibly discouraging. And these have been the years my generation has come into its own- we've had no choice but to be disillusioned and disheartened with our country. FINALLY- sweet, sweet relief!
It still hasn't full sunk in- the reality of it all. I can't even believe I get to say that I was there! To say I feel lucky is an understatement.
As we walked north up Michigan following THE speech, there was this feeling of community and love and (you guessed it...) hope. Every ten minutes or so a chant would start "YES-WE-CAN!" or "O-BA-MA". Totally thrilling- the best kind of celebration.
This measly blog doesn't do Tuesday night any justice. It was the real deal and I've promised myself to etch it in my memory. Here's hoping all the rest of you enjoyed the historic night as well! And to those of you that didn't...y'all just had eight years- There's a new sheriff in town.
Sign, sealed, delivered- he's ours :)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I am less than two hours away from hopping out of my cubicle and heading down to Grant Park. I am so excited I can hardly focus. I have that Christmas morning feeling…or the feeling I used to get when the Bulls went to the championship and NEVER lost. Remember that? They just HAD to win. And they did. Except…this is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.
A victory for Obama is a victory for all of us. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t have voted for him. It’s been a long road and he’s been steady at the wheel- keeping his eye on the prize. If the way he’s run his campaign is any indication as to what kind of administration he’ll run, we are in good hands.
There’s no denying the historical factor of all of this- we may be on the brink of electing our first black president. Such a victory. There’s no denying the hope that comes along with that. This is not a fix-all, but it is, in my opinion, progress.
Barack Hussein Obama is the American Dream. America is about diversity- whether it likes it or not…and an acceptance and an embrace of a mixed race leader feels so right to me. We are many parts. We are a diverse, complex nation. It seems so obvious that we have a leader that reflects who we are.
I am hoping against hope for a win tonight. I hope I can be there in Grant Park crying tears of joy (because I am a big, political SAP) and shakin’ it while I Barack ‘n roll!
Fingers crossed. Knock on wood. Hail Mary.
Friday, October 24, 2008
It's a must read.
Here are some blurbs...
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”----------------------
Most of my friends were going for Carter, but, as an art major, I identified myself as a maverick. “That means an original,” I told my roommate. “Someone who lets the chips fall where they may.” Because I made my own rules and didn’t give a damn what anyone else thought of them, I decided to write in the name of Jerry Brown, who, it was rumored, liked to smoke pot. This was an issue very close to my heart—too close, obviously, as it amounted to a complete waste. Still, though, it taught me a valuable lesson: calling yourself a maverick is a sure sign that you’re not one.
Hilarious and true.
Monday, October 20, 2008
When I still lived at home and was commuting, I hadn't a care in the world for TV...but now that I'm living alone with more time and a TV staring me in the face, I've succumb to the dirty, rotten world of the boob tube.
Anyway, in my new television trance state, I've found a few confusing commercials...
Check out this one for Luv's diapers. What part of little baby animated hippies going to a music festival would make a person want to buy diapers? And why should little babies be spending time at music festivals? I'm confused.
I'd love to be in the room when they pitch these commerical ideas- "Okay! I got this idea! You want to sell diapers? I know what'll sell diapers...toddlers at a music festival, rockin' out to the sounds of Get Together by The Youngbloods!!!" If I were a mother, the thought of my baby at an outdoor music fest would only make me irritated. That is a very sticky situation.
The second is for Nuva Ring. Now, clearly the people working at Nuva Ring are on drugs (under the influence of TOO much Nuva Ring, perhaps??). Synchronized swimmers in matching outfits in a pool? I get it- they represent the pills in the circular thing...I think. And that song? THAT SONG HAUNTS ME! It's creepy and strange, but it does make more sense than the baby hippies.
I need to start reading again.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
(Rather than watching mindless TV, plop down and read it.)
It's crunch time and this is getting exciting. I caught a clip of Elizabeth Hassleback on The View today squawking about Obama's connection to Bill Ayers and the table also brought up McCain's involvement in the Keating Five. Barbara Walters was right to point out that slander isn't the way to campaign and we should all be focusing on the issues. She's right...BUT! Hassleback didn't Hassleback down! She insisted that this means Obama is palling around with terrorists.
Let's consider this...
Barack Obama once attended a party at Bill Ayers' home in his honor. That's what we know. John McCain, on the other hand, was involved in a huge political scandal that was directly related to the savings and loans crisis in the late 80's. Yes, I'm disgustingly liberal and so of course I'm not completely terrified by the Obama/Ayers connection. But in general, if we are going to actually go back in time and point fingers, shouldn't we be more concerned about an actual accusation- an involved, serious, jeopardizing case that was directly tied to a financial crisis, as opposed to a one time canoodle with someone who was radical FORTY years ago?
Friday, October 3, 2008
It's actually a used bike, but it's new to me! I picked it up at Nearly New Bikes on Broadway and Sheridan. They take and old frame and totally update the bike, so it's...you guessed it, nearly new! It's super lightweight, which has taken some getting used to, but I love it.
I am soaking up the last few weeks/months of ride-able weather and enjoying being soooo close to the lakefront path. It's such a luxury to live so close to the lake and I'm trying to take advantage of it best I can!
My car is on the way out, so it's bike and public transit from this point on. Green transit all the way, baby!
I'm thinking of calling her my Black Beauty...
John and Cindy have nothing on them. Even if I were a (gasp!) republican, I think I'd have to admit these two seem to keep the love alive.
I just took some time out of my day to go through The Obama's Greatest PDA Moments on the Huffington Post. Dork? Yes. Worth it? Totally.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old
Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.
The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.' Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.
The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.' The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. 'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.'
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
There can no longer be any doubt: Sarah Palin is absolutely, positively not qualified to be commander in chief, and she doesn't belong on the Republican ticket. I can't imagine her being ready for a 3 a.m. call on a national security emergency; I can't imagine her fielding one on an economic emergency, either – the possibility Paul Krugman convincingly framed Monday morning.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I was just reading this article on Radar and I just wanted to paste the quote at the bottom of the first page...
"If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world's judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race." - Jacob Weisberg
Chew on that.
It's just plain upsetting, disappointing, and kind of disgusting.
Why, oh why aren't more people bothered by this?
On that note, I leave you with a quote...
"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane"
-- David Orr, from "Earth in Mind"
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
But I’m back, people/Dad!
I return to the blogosphere with good news- I have officially/FINALLY relocated to the great metropolis of Chicago. It’s been a long time coming and I finally got my shizz together and made it happen. Props to my besty for setting me up with a very useful budget on Excel. She now gets to partake in free cable whenever she likes because she’s a mere floor below me!
Anyhoo, I actually LIVE in the building I WORK in, so that’s convenient. I feel like it’s payback for all the years of commuting back and forth to school and work. Commuting helped to make my life much more stressful than it ever had to be.
Here’s where I thank ALL my city dwelling friends for always lending me a couch to crash on. I seriously have wonderful, dependable friends; I never once felt stranded in the city in the four years I’ve been doing my thang down here. I also need to shout-out to Dustin because he is a true blue helpful pal with the move-in. I may not have a boyfriend, but he plays his gay boyfriend role wonderfully.
Also many thanks to mi padres for y’know, everything.
It’s election season, folks and it’s sure to be juuuuuicy. How about that nutjob, Palin? ;)
More to come…!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Click on the link above, and please share in my frustration.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I've never been into this kind of thing. I mean, I'll see it eventually, right? Anyhoo, my friend Michael Schuff invited Rach and myself to come and see The Dark Knight with him and considering my life and summer have been a big old bore fest, I accepted.
Aside from the fact that we didn't get to bed until 4am and I had to work @ 8:30, it was great time and a great movie. Of course I wanted to enjoy Heath Ledger's performance, but ahead of time I was a bit weary that people would give it too much credit because of his passing...instead I left wanting more. He was fantastic. He stole the show and owned each scene he was in. I rarely find that I enjoy another actor's performance so much that I can't wait to see what they do next, and in this case, I did. Unfortunately, we'll have to take what he's left us. I think this is the role where he showed the extent of his range. It would have been interesting to see what else he could have done with that. So yeah, part wanting more was because of just that- the knowledge that there isn't any more.
My other favorite character was "Gotham" itself (AKA sweet home Chi). It was a whole different cinematic take on Chicago- giving credit where it has always been due (too often overshadowed by our less-beautiful Eastern neighbor). Director Chris Nolan took full advantage of the imposing architecture. It was definitely cool to see.
Check out the New York Times review. I enjoyed it (and agree!).
Thursday, July 17, 2008
"Americans live shorter lives than citizens of almost every other developed nation, according to a report from several US charities."
Here are some other interesting blurbs from the BBC article:
- "The report found that the US ranked 42nd in the world for life expectancy despite spending more on health care per person than any other country.
Overall, the American Human Development Report ranked the world's richest country 12th for human development."
- "The US report identifies obesity and the lack of health insurance for some 47 million Americans as the most significant factors in premature death."
- "Some Americans are living anywhere from 30 to 50 years behind others when it comes to issues we all care about: health, education and standard of living.
"For example, the state human development index shows that people in last-ranked Mississippi are living 30 years behind those in first-ranked Connecticut."
- "25% of 15-year-old students performed at or below the lowest level in an international maths test - worse than Canada, France, Germany and Japan."
- "Of the world's richest nations, the US has the most children (15%) living in poverty."
From sea to shining sea we boast that we are the best, the richest and most powerful, yet as our rich get richer our poor not only get poorer, but also sicker. Poor or rich, we are still Americans. This is a sobering reality. There is something to be said about income compared to health and well-being, isn't there? And come ON, people! Even Canada is smarter than us! ;)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Of course I have standards, but I've never narrowed them down to 5 and stacked them up one on top of the other. It's a good idea. (Even the list does get tossed one day...)
3) Informed/involved (left leaning, of course)
4) Funny/down to earth
5) Feels right
((I grouped informed with involved, they go hand in hand...and the kind of funny I prefer is down to earth. Call it cheating but it's my freakin' list. #5 exists to seal the deal.))
Nothing special, I know. I'm keeping it general; specifics paint me into a corner.
I have yet to really meet anyone that has scored a 5. I have an ex that at one point I would have blissfully proclaimed was a 5+, but bliss wore off and reality set in. He was a 4, but no 5.
I'll meet a guy out that's obviously attractive, but obviously unimpressive- completely content with being "normal" and totally "dude/bro". OR I'll come across a really smart, informed individual that just isn't boyfriend-y. (Unfortunately the "dude/bros" are much more frequent...)
My plight is unexceptional, I know. I think that may be the most frustrating part.
Forgive the single girl- I'm sitting in a metaphorical waiting room, getting sick of the scenery. It helps to draw up plans.
(Even if it is just to kill time.)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
It’s time for new jeans.
I will most likely just hit up some of the wonderful consignment shops in the city until I find a good pair. Yesterday I decided to browse the web for some sweat-shop free, made in the
Then I got to thinking…
I mean, let’s consider this- I actually have to search high and low just to find a pair of jeans made in the US by someone who was paid fairly. We are living in a world where finding products like this is difficult!
Does anyone else find that, oh I don’t know, DISTURBING?!
Actually- that’s the problem; very few people actually DO find that disturbing. Very few people know and/or care to learn about the how when it comes to our “stuff”.
This information is courtesy of sweatshopwatch.org:
A sweatshop is a workplace that violates the law and where workers are subject to:
- Extreme exploitation, including absence of a living wage or long work hours.
- Poor working conditions, health and safety hazards.
- Arbitrary discipline, such as verbal or physical abuse.
- Fear and intimidation when they speak out, organize or attempt to form a union.
With tens of thousands of garment factories employing tens of millions of workers in nearly 200 countries, large corporations search the world for the lowest labor costs and ignore human rights. Unfortunately, sweatshops exist in every corner of the world, from
…there’s a lot more where that came from.
Gap, Abercrombie, Forever 21, Bebe, J. Crew, Banana Republic etc. Pretty much every mainstream clothing company partakes in sweatshop labor. Troublesome, huh?
Maybe if the next time someone wanted to go out and by a new, cute top, they had to see where the top came from, who made it and how this individual was treated they might reconsider contributing to that industry. Just a thought.
If more people knew and cared about these facts, it’d be much easier to find an ethically produced pair of jeans. Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s still ignorance.
Monday, June 30, 2008
...If the science of the last few years and the painful reality of a changing climate haven't persuaded the conservative movement of the dire nature of human-caused global warming, I can't imagine what chain of catastrophes would. We've already had record-breaking droughts, heat waves, wildfires, deluges, super storms and flooding at home and abroad -- just as climate science predicted. And we've had far more loss of ice from Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic Sea than anyone expected.
A National Journal poll in June found that only 26 percent of GOP Congress members believe "it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the earth is warming because of man-made pollution." That matches their constituents -- only 27 percent of Republicans say the earth is warming because of human activity. Needless to say, if you don't believe humans are the cause of global warming, you're not going to believe that humans are the solution to global warming.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Today, upon hearing about my friend Ann making great strides in the workplace, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to send her a well-meaning, outrageously cheesy e-card.
Remember the old days of American Greetings and
But what about the rest of us? Why should we be forced into a commitment with American Greetings just because we want to send some gay bears to our loved ones once ever six to eight months?!
It’s just not fair.
I miss the glory days of the internet when we were free to click throughout the internet with the greatest of ease...the days of AOL profiles, buddy lists, passive aggressive and/or uncomfortable away messages and of course, a bevy of meaningless e-cards.
I will most likely recount these days to my children with a wistful, far-off glance.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
My relationship with Oprah is love/hate. I used to just completely love her, but as you may or may not have noticed, her big egO is currently eligible for its own zip code. I think she's too consumerstic and oftentimes hypocritical, BUT she does good and I can't hate on that. Plus, I met her once and found her to be engaging and charismatic (go figure).
Anyhoo, vegan for 21 days, eh? Remember a few years back when Oprah was sued for saying that she'd never eat another hamburger? Well, she said that because she was informed of the hazards of meat and the meat industry by Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy (the book that changed my life!). This was years ago and now she's coming around? She should try it for a little more than 21 days. I assure you that being vegan is not the Mount Everest that most folks seem to think it is.
BUT...better late than never and better 21 days than none at all. Seeing as so many people shun the vegan lifestyle, I can't help but be elated about the positive light this sheds on it.
I'm going to be keeping tags on Ms. Winfrey on her blog. I'm VERY interested to see where this goes!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
PS- I solemnly swear to blog more often!
Friday, May 2, 2008
So, unless you're living under a rock, you've heard about the oil/food/job/overall economic crisis that American has currently found itself in. It's a mess over here!
Anyway, I'm here to share some interesting tidbits I read on the great, big world wide web today...
I got an email from the Union of Concerned Scientists (yes, they email me and no, they have no idea how horribly I did in 9th grade Biology class) and according to them:
"When it comes to most meat, milk, and eggs sold in the
According to a new
CAFOs are supported by misguided government policies. Meanwhile, modern, alternatives are already in practice today that can produce the quantity of food we need, often without government subsidies. These alternatives can safeguard our health while protecting the foundations of our food supply—like healthy soil and fresh water. "
I'm not done yet...
Our fearless leader was in
"This money is going to be very helpful in helping people deal with high energy prices and food prices."
Hmm...that's interesting, isn't it? Because I'm pretty sure that these economic stimulus checks were originally supposed to oh, I don't know...STIMULATE the economy, not help fund the skyrocketing oil and food prices, ultimately just keeping us where we're at.
(Which, y'know, isn't a good place).
I mean, I don't at all pretend to be some sort of political aficionado, but ever since this "stimulus plan" took the stage, I thought it sounded like something an 8th grade student council president would propose in order to help keep the Coke machine.
But! That's just me ;)
Happy Friday, chickadees and doos!
PS- Come to the Fair Trade Bazaar at Broadway and Addison tomorrow from 10-2pm! It's fair and square and I'll be there!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Take a looksie...
Courtesy of- http://www.banksy.co.uk
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I can't quite remember what I expected to find upon entering New Orleans, but whatever it was, all my expectations were exceeded by NOLA and all its glory. New Orleans is a magical place. It's a city SO rich in its own unique culture and vibe. It is self-aware and doesn't lack the confidence that accompanies an understanding of itself. I fell in love. No doubt about it. As we drove away from the city, I had a lump in my throat; I didn't want to leave. I felt not only pulled to the flavor and warmth of the city, but also the great call for help.
NOLA is still hurting and has some very visible wounds. As soon as we landed in Louisiana this was clear. By the week's end I found myself repeatedly having to remind myself that this is America, "Land of Plenty". As we toured the Lower Ninth Ward (the poorest and one of the most devastated areas of the city) I felt like we were driving through a post-war zone. Hurricane Katrina kicked these people when they were down and their own country let them down before, during, and after.
The wonderful group of informed, enthusiastic, and fun-lovin' people helped to make it a good time right off the bat. Our first weekend there we were able to get situated and see the sites- the French Quarter, Garden District, etc. These areas were virtually unharmed by Katrina, thanks to being on higher ground. New Orleans has a lot of rich and a lot of poor, but not a whole lot of middle-class (something the rest of the country seems to be heading towards).
So…what did we do? Well, we were assigned to work on the home of a woman named Dora in the Upper 9th Ward. The home was so badly damaged from the storm that it actually should have been demolished, but after the owner had invested in a new roof, the South Louisiana Presbytery and their grouchy teddy bear named Leroy decided to take on the project. The home had walls and some piping installed, but for the most part it was still a shell. We were very fortunate to have brought along three tradesmen (Liam, John and Ed) and by the end of our second day there, we’d completed most of what we’d been assigned to do, so it was great to be able to do more than expected! By the week’s end we had installed windows, insulation and drywall. We were also able to get some exterior painting done (courtesy of Albs and myself). I actually learned a lot and although the thought of me using large, professional table saws causes my mother to lose sleep, I’m no longer so afraid of them ;)
The whole time I was there I felt so fortunate for the experience. We worked hard all day and came back to good, home-cooked meals. There’s something to be said about eating and sleeping when you feel you’ve really earned it. We were tired at the end of the day, but it was a good tired. One night, we were treated to traditional New Orleans cuisine by a man name Henry- a local and a congregant at the church we were staying at. Henry cooked up some DELICIOUS red beans and rice and shared his Katrina story with us. Henry, his wife and his sister found themselves stranded when the storm hit, so they headed to the Hyatt (where he worked) and they put him up in a room there. It was basically a fortress- no electricity, no running water, just shelter. He told us he could hear gunshots in the Super Dome and that the city was lawless. He mentioned that ice was more precious than gold. Eventually they got out of town and once they did, his wife was in the hospital for a week. I’m not doing Henry’s story justice here. His story and the sincerity in which he told it is something I will never forget. His wife sat by his side and although she’s heard the re-telling many times, she quietly wiped away tears.
Henry was one of the lucky ones. Thousands of people are still displaced; most of them never to return home again. I mentioned earlier that Katrina kicked a whole bunch of people while they were down and I’m reminded of a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. - "It is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man to pick himself up by his own bootstraps." Many residents repeatedly mentioned how grateful they were to the volunteers because much of the rebuilding is thanks in part to them. The federal and local governments were all aware of the inadequacy of the levees and once they finally did break, FEMA dropped the ball. The fact that the government that so many of us look to for protection and safety simply didn’t do its job, makes the situation that much more heartbreaking.
Unfortunately for NOLA, the question of another hurricane is “When will it happen next?”. It’d be easy to just scoff and say that these people should just up and leave, but it isn’t all that easy- this is home and where as Chicago is home to many people from many different parts of the country and world, most of New Orleans’s residents were born and bred there.
On my last day in NOLA, I was standing on my ladder in the sun and I thought that this is exactly the kind of thing we all need to be doing. I have a strong desire to see the world and when I’ve imagined myself abroad, I’ve never even considered that “seeing the world” means seeing all different aspects of it even the parts that are a mere two hour plane ride away.
Almost three years ago, New Orleans was knocked down and dragged through the mud, and it's endurance and resilience is a testament to the hope of its people. I wish I could have volunteered there longer. A week of my flailing a hammer wasn’t enough and ultimately, I left feeling as if I gained more from NOLA than NOLA gained from me. I think it's safe to say we are all pretty blessed to have taken a little bit of sweet, savory NOLA back home.