My mission today is to give all of you fashionistas a heads up! You simply need to check out my friend Chanel’s fashion blog! With experience in journalism & life lived in London, I cannot more highly recommend anyone to you when it comes to subject of style. She’s got it down. So whether you have an interest in fashion, or you need a little inspiration, she’s the one to see. And, the most recent update at Frock Talk is a guide to this season’s up & coming trends. Who better to take fashion advice from than Chanel? Check it out!
Archive for January, 2010
My appetite swelled, upon commencement of this piece — my appetite for food, at first, then for literature, & eventually, for creation itself. It is an expression of the parallels between the passions of a painter & a poet. Both must materialize emotion & appreciation into something more tangible. We must transform the invisible into visible, & shed a light that allows the rest of the world to see what is illuminated previously only to us, but has always been here, right in front of the eyes of whomever is willing to look. It is our individual struggle to translate for others what has given itself to us.
It is also an ode to our own materiality. To the fact that we, just like a painting, or just like the half-drunk glass of wine in the painting, are just some other thing in this world. We all, collected together, along with our belongings, our homes, & everything in them (right down to jars of coins, or a suitcase that was once left behind by god knows who) are “heavy as history”, & we are no different than any of the rest of it. There are things in our rooms that lay so close to us every day. They wait for us to come home, lay still, wait for us to leave, they don’t move unless we move them. They’ve heard our conversations, watched us cry, seen us naked. And they’re here, waiting, laying, naked, too. Do we see them? Day by day we go places, we see the ground we pace, the papers at work, but when we come home we see not the most intimate things around us. What about the mirror I inherited from my great-grandmother? It stands (stood, now) in my bathroom, it’s seen many generations of me, but have I ever really looked at it? I’ve looked in it, through it, but not at it. The only time we have is now.
Not only the subject matter was enlightening, I also truly enjoyed Doty’s voice: loving & appreciative, thankful & respectful. He finds affection for every thing, & knows that they all — each painting, cabinet, door — have had a long life before he came around to observe them. He wonders, he looks into the souls of the things so many of us ignore (intentionally, or, perhaps, not intentionally at all). & he shows that this is what a real artist is — an appreciator, a spectator. We aren’t so much creating as recreating, so more people can understand the things that we do.
I wrote the other day about how plastic doesn’t easily biodegrade (by easily, I mean it will take thousands of years for each plastic bag, straw, & abandoned toy to do so). And today my attention was brought toward another wordpress article on the same topic. Here you can find an article by the user “PlasticIsRubbish” which delves a little deeper into the explanation of degradation. It’s not boring scientist talk [sorry, Danielle ], but it is a better explanation than I provided last week, so if your ears were perked by that entry I think you should stop by this person’s article to read more on the topic. Pam, the writer of the blog, also mentions tons of ways to change your daily habits so as to be more sensitive to our Earth’s needs in the list of changes she has made. These include cornstarch based disposable cutlery (“disposable” plastic cutlery is probably one of America’s biggest offenses on the green scale), reusable water bottles (another huge offense — even when they’re recycled), and toothbrushes!
She also started to talk a bit about how these tiny little fragments of plastic still effect us even though they’re so small that we can’t see them. We may think that it’s okay that these pieces are still plastic because at least they’re getting smaller so they won’t have as much of an effect…but sadly, it’s just the opposite. The smaller these pieces of plastic get, the more of a problem they become. This relates to our food chain. We humans are basically the top of the food chain. That means that pretty much everything else is food for us even if it’s indirectly. We eat certain animals, who eat smaller animals, who each eat even smaller animals, & it goes all the way down to the plankton & micro-organisms in the ocean and on land. Plastic is now breaking up into such tiny pieces that it is being consumed by these creatures as well as by us & all of the other animals in between. Basically, we eat plastic every day & don’t even know it. Now, most creatures’ bodies can’t break down the plastic in their digestive systems, so for the most part it just comes right back out the other end. However, if there is enough of it the plastic will instead work like a dam, clogging up our systems until we die. Humans kind of luck out here because we have such extensive medical opportunities, so if this were to happen to us we’d most likely operate & have the problem fixed, but I’ve personally seen it happen to an animal before (my childhood pet Fluffy the hamster died because he chewed through the plastic bars in his cage), & it is very much a heartbreaking occurrence. Now think about that happening to all of the creatures along the line to our dinner tables. This is the direction in which we are heading.
If micro-organisms die then the animals that eat them will starve, & so on, & so forth.
It’s so important to take time for yourself to get away from what you are used to. For a lot of us, especially me, I can become overwhelmed with thoughts of work even when I’m not there because I tend to bring it home with me. That’s why it is so refreshing to plan (or spontaneously go on) day or weekend trips. Try to go somewhere new so undesired thoughts can’t tag along easily. The other day Ryan, his Uncle, & I drove down to Hampton Beach, NH to meet with his parents for breakfast. It was just the right distance away for it to be new & exciting, but at the same time not stressful. I strongly encourage this! To help you along ThisPlaceIKnow.com is a great website that will show you points of interest in your area. Here are some of my favourites in New England:
* Sandwich, NH — The Sandwich Creamery
* Plymouth, NH — The Plymouth Watering Hole
* Holderness, NH — Rattlesnake Hiking Trail
* Moultonborough, NH — Castle in the Clouds
* Meredith, NH — Mill Falls Marketplace
* Ogunquit, ME — Perkins Cove
* Portland, ME — Eastern Promenade
Perhaps she needed some (musical) brains & he needed some beauty? Scarlett Johansson & Pete Yorn have come out with an entire album together, & the first single, “Relator“, shockingly caught my ear upon my original listening. I remember awhile ago when she had tried to make it in the music biz on her own, & everyone shot her down. They claimed that she should stick to acting & forget her dream of singing. I never could quite put into words what I felt about her singing. I liked it, on one hand, but didn’t on the other. I couldn’t tell if the only reason I did like it was because I wanted to (I adore her as an actress). But now, thanks to this song, I’m given hope that she really does have the great musical talent I thought I saw, but it just needed some pruning before it could fully blossom. My hopes are high for this collaboration. I’m thinkin’ She & Him all over again — sort of.
What does everyone else think?
A fantastic read! Wiesman has truly done his research here. This book is crammed full of facts about what would happen to the world if humans suddenly disappeared. He takes a look at the changes that have happened to the planet since the human ancestors came about — the extinction of so many amazing creatures including an incredible amount of mega-fauna (woolly mammoths, ground sloths, shortfaced bears), the migration of others (did you know that zebras actually originated in what is now the U.S.?), & the impact that we are having on the Earth itself. It puts into perspective the parasitic ways of our species. He clarifies the damage that we have already done, the damage that, even if we stop right now, will have an incredibly long lasting effect on the land & on animals. His writing style is clear & concise. If everyone could read this book, or educate themselves on the effects of our existence then maybe, maybe we could have a chance at saving this world.
One of the most interesting tidbits that I picked up from Weisman was the idea of photodegradation. Most things (paper, food scraps, wood, etc.) will biodegrade — that is, break down chemically over time so as to become one again with the dirt as it once was, but plastic, being a manmade product rather than nature-made, does not. Instead, it photodegrades. Essentially, this means that it will not break down into its natural parts for, sometimes, millions of years. At least for thousands. Until then it will just continually break into smaller & smaller pieces of the same plastic that it was when it came off of the assembly line. Basically, that plastic straw that you chucked out the car window with your McDonalds cup will only snap in half, then in half again, piece by piece making itself smaller…but it will never disappear.
If you have any interest in history, the environment, or animals & evolution then this piece is definitely for you. If you don’t have any interest in reading this book, you should at least google the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, or nurdles to see what we’re doing to our home planet. You can also read a chapter online here.
Most of us have only the slightest idea of the damage we are causing, but we are all so comfortable with our lives that we have not the drive to change anything. We owe it to ourselves, the rest of the world, & our future generations to do as much as we can now, even though there’s no way we can clean up all of the mess that we’ve already made, even just since WWII.