Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Saving the Earth, One Coffee Sleeve at a Time

I recently came across something that I find delightful enough to share with my audience and know that I plan on ordering one (probably the one named Jennifer) because I think it's a great idea.

The re-usable coffee sleeve!

These fabric sleeves slide onto your take-out coffee cup, a la Starbucks, and keep you from burning your tender fingers while refraining from taking that extra cardboard sleeve and single-handedly ruining the Amazon rain forest.

But seriously, I've found myself becoming increasingly concerned with things like my own "carbon footprint" and actually consider "off-setting my emissions" when I fly to Los Angeles for work next week. I partly blame the incessant media chatter about how global warming is screwing up weather patterns all over the world, which it is, and then watching things like National Geographic's recent special "Six Degrees Could Change the World," which chronicles the global carnage that will result with each degree the earth's average temperature increases. If we bump that sh*t up five degree's we're all doomed. I'm not kidding. Global warming is already killing old French people by the thousand. If we hit six degrees, it's like the seven plagues of Egypt or something.

Please people. Recycle.

Even though recycling is among the stuff white people like that make them feel good about themselves, like the Toyota Prius and ethnic diversity.

Back to saving the earth. I've also been noticing that regular non-Whole Foods grocery stores are starting to catch on with greener practices. The Key Foods grocery store near my house is now selling eco-friendly tote bags next to the check out lanes. Yesterday a wine shop gave me a canvas tote to take my wine home. Fancy! So, I wind up advertising the wine shop for free by carrying their bag, but they didn't give me one of those opaque black plastic bags that wine shops tend to use which I'm pretty sure will outlast human existence.

But before I get too bleak:

Humorous Pictures
Enter the ICHC online Poker Cats Contest!

Friday, February 15, 2008

My new obsessions:

Granny Square Afghans.

















Foley + Corinna Tote Bags
















Elijah Craig Kentucky Bourbon



Thursday, February 07, 2008

Donimo Magazine Knows its Audience

I receive Domino Magazine because a lovely friend got it for me as a housewarming gift when I moved, and I think its delightful. I love its modernist yet timeless sense of style and the beautiful things that exist to decorate your home.

Just when you thought they'd found every possible way to separate people from their money with registries and wish lists, Domino takes it to a whole new level.

They've launched Domino Home Register, a "wish list" on their web site that allows you to make lists of things you want "Whether you're decorating, turning the big 3 - 0 or searching for gifts..."

Ack. It's always weird to realize you're someone's target market.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

To Facebook or not to Facebook...

That is the question.

Something that's recently come up in my 21st Century Web 2.0 media universe is the etiquette of Facebook Friending, the process by which one discovers known persons (or unknown persons!) on Facebook and decides to make them a Facebook Friend, giving them access to all of the things you do that frankly, aren't your job, while the hamster wheels in your mind are busy processing exactly how you tell a story about... Stuff.

For example, this morning someone I've never even heard of requested to be my friend on Facebook. This person works in PR and I'm a journalist. A handful of my co-workers were his friends already. I didn't know him from Adam.

Am I supposed to say yes?

Then there's the "Facebook Friends I Work With" issue and whether, upon discovering your boss is on Facebook, you friend him or wait for him to friend you? A brief survey of my compatriots revealed that most people think that the boss should be the one to initiate friending. However, we couldn't come up with any repercussions against being the friend-instigator with higher ups. But it seemed a better idea to wait. And then not to jump on and accept their friend request right away, lest they think you're spending your day on Facebook and not, say, engrossed in the workings of Apple.

A friend, a graduate student with a Facebook profile whose students are all on Facebook has made his profile unsearchable to them and others to keep his adult life separate from his teaching life, which is a good idea and has so far worked out well.

Facebook is, in my opinion, a delightful networking site that allows me to keep up with far-flung friends and family and to share some down time with my colleagues. I don't see it as a business tool or even a business-building or networking tool. There's too much crap out there and there really are things one wants to keep separate from one's work life, like the whole Church and State issue. Oh yeah, and the fact that everyone under the age of 30 has at least 1 - at least! - picture of themselves somewhere on Facebook in which they are drunk or drinking.

And if you don't yet, you will soon. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Extreme Home Makeover Trumps Super Bowl

Okay, I began this evening watching the Super Bowl at my sister's place on the Upper East Side. I came home on the subway (after being entirely unable to find a cab) and was disappointed to find that House had been recording according to the TV Guide, not according to when House was actually on post-Super Bowl. But I digress.

I watched it in spotty chunks via DVR, and then watched tonight's Extreme Home Makeover.

Now, I have friends who see this show as a tremendous waste of resources, but it's all marketing donations and publicity stuff to essentially transform the life of a family. Lately they're taking one family from each state that's suffering more spectacularly than usual. One family had four children who all had the same weird disease - apparently not inherited but obviously genetic - that caused them to treat food like a parasite, children with super-rare immune diseases.... tonight's family however, featured an 8-year old with pediatric cancer, and she had just found out she had a reoccurance when they decided to build her family a new, safer, less polluted by mold house.

So, they send the family and this stunningly beautiful 8-year old to Hilton Head while they build them a beautiful chalet in Oregon, and they come home to a Domino Magazine perfect house and the girl and her 2 teenage brothers freak out. This family is so overwhelmed by the beauty of what they've been given, as most Extreme Home Makeover families are, that they can't actually communicate effectively about how they feel. They have been given a tiny slice of paradise, and they know it.

Now, I have no idea how much they spend or what bargains these families make to get these houses. I like to believe that ABC is willing to dole out this cash and these beautiful homes with new appliances because 1) the appliances, etc. are donated by marketing departments and 2) the show produces way more in ad revenue than it actually costs to build a suffering family a beautiful, safe home (which is a tragedy of a whole different level). I like to believe that it's actually generous.

Yet, tonight they showed an 8 year old girl, for whom they built a beautiful house. But she had pediatric cancer. For the second time.

She didn't have a prayer. How can you fight something so persistent and stealthy?

I lost my best friend to cancer almost three years ago. I watched this show with tears in my eyes. And streaming down my cheeks.

And the show, produced whenever it was actually produced, had a post script... The girl passed away in December 2007. But before she died she saw the tremendous love and generosity her existence and her life inspired, so in one respect, if just that one, she was lucky.