My Secret Crush: Smart Advertising

The following images represent a few samples from “Catch of the Day,” a guerrilla ad campaign sponsored by Surfrider Foundation, targeting farmers’ market frequenters to educate them on the quantity, as well as the variety, of pollution dumped into our seas.

Styrofoam Bites from Long Beach, California

Plastic Surprise from Galveston Beach, Texas

Aerosol Cans from South Padre Island, Texas

Condom Strips are from Newport Beach, California

Butts and Bits from Venice Beach, California

Brilliant I say, just simply brilliant.


Vigilia di Natale '08

It's Christmas Eve and I'm home for the holidays. Although my father is 100 percent Italian, the authentic Italian traditions that most families have, have faded into the past. But that's something I'm hoping to change.
I've always had a sense of pride about my Italian heritage, which seems strange with a lack of traditions, right? Well, I had a great uncle, my uncle Frank, who was my first real exposure to the Italian language, homegrown food, pasta e fagioli, and the following life lessons: (1) Don't ever tell anyone how much money you have and (2) Be careful of road rage. The man was frugal: he'd use the same napkin over an over again, would travel 20 extra miles just to save a penny and the man practically grew everything he ate--his entire backyard was a flourishing garden. He passed years ago leaving me with priceless family values and my most prized possession: a record player that included records of Frank Sinatra, Italian Disco, Italian Gold and many other audible treasures. For the past few years I've pushed for a Christmas Eve that is full of wine and sauce making like most Italian homes are on this night (although if we were really doing it right, we'd have a fish dinner, but we've got to start someplace). So I've documented the making of the sauce. It's a lengthy process but well worth it...

The Italian Rue: Olive oil, garlic, oregano, onions, salt, pepper, sweet basil and tomato paste.

Sauce needs TLC.

Some diced tomato, more oregano, garlic powder...

And then the addition of the meat. First are the pork chops.
Some fresh parsley....
And then the making of meatballs, browning of sausage, pounding and browning of braciole, 1/3 cup of red wine, more spices, some sugar...


Simmer, simmer, simmer.

We won't be eating sauce tonight, the eve is just for the creating of the sauce. Tomorrow we shall feast on a dinner of pasta and some darn good, homemade Italian sauce. Oh, and lots of vino. I think I'll have another glass as a night cap--gosh I love being Italian.


I'm that person...

I was in line the other day, yes at the grocery store, and there was a father and his young, pink puffy coat wearing daughter. She wandered over to the books, that were conveniently at eye level to her, and pointed to a bright, glittery book titled something like "The Ultimate Sleepover Kit." Her father declined the request to get it and told her to put it on her list to Santa. Then he grabbed a chocolate Santa pop and threw it on the belt. Beep. One stick of sugar purchased. It was immediately handed to the child. "Is this candy?" she asked with excitement. And there it was, yet another parent shutting their child up with candy, a.k.a. baby crack. I wondered if such an act was really necessary. Then I looked at the child's father. He looked worn out. He looked defeated. I began to feel sorry for him. And then decided I should give the guy a break...maybe he just needs a midafternoon respite from the whining, and the "can I, can I, can I?"

Now I know how this man felt, and I will admit I am now guilty of committing a similar act. It's been almost one full week of puppy. There have been early morning pee breaks in the snow, crying for attention, along with sweet cuddles, angelic stares and, well, lots of licking and nibbling. Needless to say, I've gotten a glimpse into the world of parenting a toddler. Although the feeling of caring for someone who is so dependent fulfills a part of you you didn't know existed, there are also occasions where you stop to ponder what you were thinking when you decided to bring this other individual (puppy) into your life. And then those eyes look up with those wrinkles...the little wet kisses cover your face and that puppy smell hits your nose...and you remember.

I had to do some recordings at the TV station only minutes from my home this morning. Afterwards I planned to head to the office, however, it is snowing like crazy outside and I made the decision to just head home and stay in; my company ended up closing at 1:00. Yay, adult snow day! This also means, home alone with pup. She went outside to go dookie and pee, we played...played more...she got excited...continued to keep her excitement and I began to see no end in sight. It was at that moment where I crossed over to a land I'd never thought I'd visit: I reached for her bone, a.k.a puppy crack, and dropped it in front of her. Done. Continuous amusement and gnawing ensued for minutes. It worked. Did I feel guilty? No, not at first. Then I realized I made a selfish decision, and although I'm sure she LOVED having her bone and loved me for giving it to her, I finally took it away. She did a nice job on it. After sniffing for awhile for it she resumed the nipping at my socks.

I still have all my toes, and I've discovered I have a pup that is awesome at fetch at 9 weeks old. It's still snowing filling my view from the window with specs of white, and as I write this last line my pup sleeps quietly in her little den giving us both a much needed cozy winter day break. I think we'll both be ready for playtime, round 2 soon...


I'm a Doggy Mama to the Cutest Puppy Ever...Yes...Ever.

Me and Puppy

Yesterday was the day I became a doggy mama. Not a baby mama, a doggy mama. This beautiful creature is my first pup ever and was an early Christmas gift from my hub--best Christmas gift I've ever received. Those eyes, those wrinkles...I finally understand why people have no shame in picking up their dog's dookie in public; in a matter of weeks I'll be joining them.
She is the most precious thing I've ever set my eyes on--speaking like a true mama. I seriously believe she will beat the cuteness of any future first born of mine ha! At the moment she is nameless. A name is important. It defines who you are and who you will become, well, to some degree. There's no need to name her immediately for the sake of naming her. She shall be named in time and when she is it will be a name that deserves to represent all that this little pup is: playful, adorable, eager and sweet. She's going to be a heartbreaker, I just know it.

See, I wasn't kidding....EVER.


Evil Green Pen

My evil green pen of choice.

It's late. I'm exhausted. I've been proofreading all day. Proofing health care jargon, all written in mumbo, jumbo legal throw up. At least I have my handy sidekick, the evil green pen, to keep me company. Really it could be worse. I could scribble my edits in red. But I choose green. Green looks prettier against the white pages, plus I've always thought red looks way too harsh. Wouldn't you agree? I mean come on. Those of you who use the red marker, give it a break. Who do you think you are? Try a different color. I bet you'll like it. Better yet, I bet you'll find yourself smiling a bit more too.

Okay, so maybe my pen isn't evil, it just sounds cooler "evil green pen" arrrhhh.


nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond -- e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

This poem was mentioned in the Woody Allen movie I watched last night, Hannah and Her Sisters. Although his movies often follow the same love triangle story line, I do feel as though I walk away from his flicks with something. This time it was a poem.


Gotta Love It

Snow.  How can you not enjoy it?  If it's going to be cold embrace it.  Go out in it.  Find the beauty it has to offer instead of dwelling on the negative.  So it's cold and wet, big deal.  There's so much more to that white stuff.  No flake is the same (something that will always amaze me), each one is a magical masterpiece from Mother Nature.  Last night, while watching the world go by with a glass of red wine, I watched the fattest, fluffiest snow fall. It was as if during the journey from cloud to ground, these flakes found one another and decided to enjoy the trip together: those enormous flakes were just hundreds of individual flecks of snow floating as one. I was convinced that I had become a part of some fixed holiday scene in a snow globe; I found myself lost in the moment. I love, what I call "snow globe snow": it looks like cotton balls and floats like feathers.  In fact, the snow last night was falling so slowly that my eyes could catch a falling flake and guide it down until it disappeared into the illuminated ground cover.  The picture below is one I took last night.  I was amused by how the lights inside reflected in the glass front, making it look as if the lights were strung across the street outside.  (Sorry for the quality, it's a camera phone shot.)

On the way home a trip to the co-op was in need to grab some apples.  I don't think I've gone a day without having at least one apple.  I'm a bit obsessed with the fruit...  As I approached the doors I was delighted--and a bit surprised--to see the bike racks outside being put to good use, very good use actually.  I believe there were more bikes there last night than I've ever seen, even throughout the summer months--very impressive Buffalo.  I love this city, not only for the food, the art, the free entertainment and hidden gems tucked in dark corners, but most of all, for the people: they don't let snow stop their way of life.  

Bike on Buffalo!