Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dark Knizzle

In an uncharacteristic move, I actually went to see a midnight showing of a film.

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

U-S-A! U-S-A!

This just in- a report funded by Oxfam America, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Conrad Hilton Foundation have found...

"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


My friend Dustin's newest "man of interest" is 4/5. According to Dust, this means that this guy meets 4 of the 5 dating standards he's set.

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...)

My 5

1) Intelligent
2) Attractive
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

No Sweat

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 USA jeans. There are a few options. Not many.

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

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 China to Mexico and Kenya to Turkey. These workplaces generally pay poverty wages, force long hours, employ child laborers, deny workers the right to form a union, fire women who become pregnant or subject workers to dangerous conditions. Even in the U.S., sweatshops exist. The U.S. Department of Labor found that 67 percent of Los Angeles garment factories do not pay workers minimum wage or overtime.

…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.

Click here for some help from Co-op America