Archive for April, 2007

I’ve gone environ-mental

I’ve rapidly become a treehugger. I don’t know when it really started, I saw An Inconvenient Truth last year and while it opened my eyes to some things, 90% of my attitude remained like “This doesn’t apply to me ’cause I don’t even have a car and I’m not a giant corporation”. It’s one of the reasons New Yorkers feel superior to people – since we live in a city where rent sucks us dry, we can’t afford cars therefore we are automatically slightly more green than you. But somehow in the past month or so I started to get really freaky about stuff. First off, Martha Stewart has a newish magazine called Bluelines, it’s sort of like Martha for the under-30 crowd — people who like to be crafty but not to the point where we are going to sculpt marzipan chess pieces for a Searching For Bobby Fischer themed party. There was a section in there this month called 100 reasons to get rid of it which has turned into a fun project for me. So far I have donated 5 old pairs of glasses and sunglasses to some needy possible diamond miners in Sierra Leone (uniteforsight.org), I gave all my Continental airline miles to HeroMiles because it’s for a good cause and also, when do I ever fly Continental, and I’m sending all my old towels to Cap4pets.org so that some pup doesn’t catch a chill after getting out of the tub. There are also sites that can tell you how to get rid of old furniture, dvds, cars, cell phones, whatever. I know the point of Martha’s article is more about getting rid of clutter but it’s also about not just throwing stuff in the trash because your trash is some homeless puppy’s treasure. See? I don’t know what happened, I am all sentimental about the Earth and crap. I’m sorry I made fun of you in college, devil-sticking, dreadlocked hippies.

Oprah also had an Earth Day special with tips to live greener and you know that when Opes speaks, middle aged ladies and gay men of all ages listen. I’m not going to list all of Oprah’s suggestions because seriously, 90% of people I know already watch the show, but one tip that I didn’t even think to do before was to opt not to print an ATM receipt. If everyone did that, Oprah gave one of those statistics about how we’d save a roll of paper that would stretch from earth to the moon and then 9 times around the equator of the moon and then back and then also there would be enough left over for the world’s fattest man to make a belt. So that’s a lot of paper we can save. Finally, did anyone else notice that Matt Damon looked a little beat on that episode of Oprah? I might be out to save the earth now but I still think celebs should not overlook the importance of concealer and/or catnaps. (That doesn’t change the fact that I loved The Depahted!) In closing, please make an effort to save the earth. As Will Hunting may or may not have said, Reduce, Reuse and Don’t Be Retahdid.

hippie

Advertisements

Georgia Rules.

I literally read this headline thinking that it was about the peril facing the home of a famous lady painter. On second look, I realized I am just kind of stupid and should look at things more closely.

Fires threaten Georgia’s Okefenokee refuge

I know she lived in the Southwest but really, maybe Georgia O’Keeffe had a sense of humor. It’s entirely possible that she named a second home Georgia’s Okefenokee.

Right, painting-as-metaphor-for-lady-business?
g.o.

Positives

My friend Ryan and I both got rejection letters from Tufts in the same week our senior year of high school. It was both of our first choices for college, but it seemed like half my high school class was applying there and the fact that I had slightly above average SAT scores and two AP classes under my belt and not much else in the way of extra-curriculars made me unexceptional in their eyes. We wallowed in our misery together at a concert in Providence…what was it, Frente? Shudder. I tend to block all the bad music stages of my life from memory. A bond was forged between us, despite our questionable music taste.

So I went to Wheaton and started to chart the course of my life as I know it and Ryan ended up at Virginia Tech…he’s the first person I thought of when everything that happened there this week and yesterday he wrote a lovely, sad, hopeful tribute to his school…somehow Wachusett managed to squeeze out a few good eggs and I’m glad to be friends with them.

I’m sorry, co-worker

I said hi to a co-worker of mine today who I don’t know that well and for some reason, instead of just seeing her (literally at the office water cooler) and walking past her to say a quick hello, I stopped to chat despite never chatting with her before. I don’t know why, I guess I figured I’d appear rude if I did a fast “hello” walk-by. Turns out I didn’t have to worry about appearing rude, crazy was more like it. After making small talk about what a busy week she was having, she told me she was from Midland, Texas, to which I replied without even thinking “That’s where Baby Jessica is from!”

Why I know that, I don’t know, but it came from the same brain cells that lie dormant 99.9% of the time and suddenly spring alive so that I can correctly yell out “What is the Pompidou Center?” during Jeopardy! despite having zero education about the Pompidou Center but I know I read something somewhere at some point in my life about it.

Like everyone in America in 1987, I knew the story of Baby Jessica and watched the made for TV movie about her too but if you asked me out of nowhere “Where is Baby Jessica from?” I wouldn’t know. But when I heard “Midland”, brain cells that were happily not firing all of a sudden exploded in a frenzy and forced me to blurt out to a near-total stranger “BABY JESSICA” so that I would appear to have a Tourette’s like problem where instead of swearing, I shock people with my irrelevant, tv-news-magazine-loving references.

“Oh, yeah…I guess so,” she replied politely. And you’d think I would have ended it right there. She was clearly not going to elaborate on Baby J. What normal person would? Who would continue to talk about a baby stuck in a well 20 years ago and admit that it’s something worth getting into? Well, I would. Because uncontrollably, even though my heart was saying “What are you doing? You should just WALK. AWAY. Get out while you can!” my mouth said “Ok, good luck this week and have fun with Baby Jessica!”

baby j

Why? Why?! What does that even mean? Why are some people blessed with the ability to perform miracle surgery or hit high notes and my only skill is social ineptitude with a touch of confounding those around me? Have fun with Baby Jessica? More like “I’m sorry I subjected you to my pop-culture-diarrhea-of-the-mouth, I hope this doesn’t make things awkward the next time we have to work together on a Powerpoint presentation.”

This kind of thing happens to me a lot, this “Why did I just say that?” feeling and it makes me think of a saying (that Google attributes to Abe Lincoln but who knows): “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.

In other words, if I act more mime-like, my worries will be less about people’s opinions about me and my “thinking outside the box”, and more about actually getting out of the box.