Monday, June 23, 2008

Too easy to be true?

photo credit:

I absolutely LOVE creative people…those expressive souls who are constantly making you say, “Gosh, I wish I’d thought of that!”

Point in case: San Francisco’s reverse graffiti artists.

They took an art form, considered by a large majority of the public to be offensive, ugly and negative, and flipped it upside into a positive expression of cleanliness and progress.

Too freakin’ cool.

In other news, I have my first tomato on my porch plants!!! I was beginning to wonder if they would ever start popping up, but when I went out to check on them after the monsoon on Saturday, lo and behold, a single green marble of veggie goodness had appeared! Of course I dashed into the house for my camera to document the event (lest any of you be skeptical of my gardening prowess). See photo for proof that I do NOT have the black thumb of death!!! I can’t tell you how exciting it will be to eat that first tomato that I grew, or rather didn’t kill—I don’t exactly have the best track record with keeping plants alive.I have a much better track record with rocking a party until it shuts down and I lived up to my reputation this weekend. Friday night, I drove out to Miss Sophia’s place for Charlotte’s raw food uncookbook club and five course meal.

Photo Credit:
After a delicious sampling of raw delights—carrot ginger soup, pina coladas, tacos, almond cherry tart and a lovely salad with pears and spiced pumpkin seeds—Sophie and I were off to dance the night away to the musical genius of Vikter Duplaix. This dude is a serious mastermind of sound and rhythm. He sings, song writes, produces and spins. A renaissance man—my kind of guy!

So Sophie and I burned off A LOT of calories at Loft 1523, ripping it up with the rest of the crowd, but we couldn’t resist hitting the after party at Hom from 2-4am. That raw food goodness will keep you going long into the night baby! So we popped in to catch Mark Farina’s last set upstairs and then rushed downstairs when we heard Vikter was taking over the tables below. Two more glorious hours of his hot eclectic groove and our feet were killing, but our souls were uplifted. You know what they say, “No pain, No Gain!”

You’ve got to check out Monsieur Duplaix if you get the chance. I’m a bit obsessed with his sound at the moment. Went home and downloaded everything I could find and have been playing it non-stop (well, I had to take a six-hour break for my favorite flick, A&E’s Pride & Prejudice, but you get the picture) around the house all weekend. I guess when something gets into your system, you’ve just got to let it take its course and give into the groove.

The weekend closed out with another Monsoon that closed down Charlotte Symphony’s Pops in the Park event. We got about two hours of music in at the South Park Outdoor Amphitheater before the impending clouds settled over us and began to dump their contents onto the crowd. We made it to the car just in time to avoid getting completely drenched and shuttled home for some well earned shut eye and the start of a new week.

There are times when you look around and experience moments of profound happiness and this weekend was rife with them. I simply enjoyed everything life gave to me over the past three days and I’ve got to say that the feeling of joy is such an energizer! I woke this morning feeling refreshed and renewed despite the fact that my sleep count was severely lacking, my allergies were acting up and the clouds had taken over my clear blue Southern skies. So get out there people! Do what you love! Do what gets into your system and let it take hold of you—mind, body and soul! That’s the secret to finding happiness right there. It’s almost too easy to be true.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Giant Leap For Mankind...

One of the big things that separates human beings from other forms of life (other than obvious physical features such as opposing thumbs and gigantor brains) is our capacity to hope, dream and aspire to greatness. This ability is SUCH a gift. It is really awesome when you think about it. Whatever we can imagine, we can aspire to. And we do. We get it done, for better or for worse.

Today, I'd rather not dwell on getting it done to the detriment of society. We see enough of that in the news. You can check out any of the front pages if you need a heady dose of reality on this lovely Monday. Personally, I need some Life, Liberty and Pursuit in my world. So today my focus is on a community that is getting it done for the better. When their city was completely leveled in the physical/tangible sense by an EF5 (i.e. RIDICULOUS) tornado on May 4, 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, Kansas were crushed. But not for long. Soon, they realized a monumental opportunity lay before them--they could rebuild their city and they could do it using the greenest technology available; they would show the world that the heartland of rural America is ready for sustainable living in every sense of that concept.

Even Leonardo DiCaprio, a Hollywood Champion of sustainable culture, realized how incredibly meaningful this project and this community can be to pushing mainstream America Green. He's producing a documentary series on the transformation on the Discovery Channel/Planet Green, because the word HAS to get out about this. I totally feel his excitement! I mean, think about it!!! The ENTIRE city is going to be LEED PLATNIUM CERTIFIED. Yes that's right, I said PLAT-TI-NIUM. God I love me some Greeny Bling Bling.

I feel at a loss for the right words to explain just how huge I think this is. I have butterflies fluttering around my stomach writing this!!! Such a courageous and pioneering effort; one that will hopefully go down in history as a step akin to the giant leap for mankind we took when landing on the moon. That might seem a bit overblown to some, but just wrap your mind around the fact that this is mainstream, normal, conservative, rural America seeing and acting on the big picture in a way most of us can't even fathom.

And if they get it, so can everybody else. That's why the step is so huge. Walking on the moon was a magnificent feat and proved what humanity CAN do when we sink our effort into something. This step shows what humanity WILL do with all of our power and knowledge.

America was built around the premise of choice. And boy do are we facing a doozey of a decision! Will we save the planet we marvel at from space? Or will we squander it?

Greensburg's vote is in. How will you cast yours?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pot Calling Kettle Black--But In a Most Humorous way!!!

Disclaimer: Watch with an open mind. This is a piece of modern satire and invokes a needed discussion on the hypocrisy (not to mention impracticality) that is the current American political climate. My personal statement is that I think it unfairly sticks it to one party in particular. I believe that the entire political environment on BOTH sides of the isle could use some shaping up, seeing as many of the issues brought up in this little video span back into the last presidency (and beyond) as well. However--It's still hilarious and ridiculousy witty! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Follow Your Own Path--Even If You Cannot Do It Perfectly

photo credit: Lyn Sims
OK, I know I'm posting out the whazoo this weekend, but I came across this while researching bikram yoga (Yoga done in a very hot environment--our room today was 95 degrees Fahrenheit). It really struck me.

"The roots of Vedanta philosophy ask us to believe in ourselves and believe in God. Karma yoga, the yoga of action, is knowing your gift and using it. No one can force you to do what's not for you. In the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna,
'It is better to follow your own calling imperfectly than follow another's perfectly. If death should come while following your own path, this is surely better than living with the fear and anguish of following a false path.' (3:35) When we're forced to do something that is against our own nature, our soul is unhappy, there is no peace. When the soul is unhappy, pain begins to trouble the body as well. Rather than change your ways to conform with the world, you must eventually find a way to express your truth from your heart regardless of the world.

What makes your soul happy? What is your goal? Since the rest of the world doesn't care what your soul wants, it is up to you to find out."


This is the most relevant thing I've heard with regards to what I am going through at this very moment.

I feel so very blessed to have found this passage--and a new way of looking at the situation.

I Guess We Need a Personal Photographer, Cause We Suck At Taking Photos

My friends and I are retarded. We took exactly ZERO pictures on my birthday last night. I wonder about us sometimes, LOL.

Though to be fair, Jennie brought her camera, but the lens wouldn't open. Bummer. But my phone actually has a very nice camera WITH a flash and we still didn't take any pics?! Not to sound ridiculously shallow, but we looked hot last night and I want proof to show my daughters in 20 years. Yours truly rocked a white strapless number that definitely made me strut my stuff all night.

The night started off with uncorking a bottle of bubbly (the cork hit like every wall in our condo LOL!) at our place and then on to dinner at this restaurant called Feast. They could have just named it Delicious. I had an arugula salad with walnuts, beets and green olives. YUMMY!!! I was a bad raw foodie and also had goat cheese on my salad and a bite of Beth's chocolate and banana crepe. Both were AMAZING and soooooooooo worth it.

Then we walked through the mess and maze of Taste of Charlotte over to SUITE (still strutting...John Travolta would have been so proud of me). SUITE, like Feast, is super swanky--which I love. I just loved getting dressed up and going out on the town for martinis, etc. It's kind of the last thing I haven't given up with the whole raw food lifestyle. My last frontier I guess you could say. I just love me a good dirty gin martini!!! I think I like feeling very Carrie Bradshaw in NYC for a few hours, LOL! Someday New York, you and I will be together at last. I feel you calling to me. I'm working on it oh sweet Siren!

But I digress. Back to last night. No pictures at SUITE either. Retarded. Well that's not entirely true. I did take one shot of my friend Dianne with some sparkly table decoration. Random.

So we finished the night dancing ourselves into oblivion (DJ even played MIA which made Jennie happy happy happy), shut down the club and headed to Pita Pit (which we immediately nixed as the line was out the door and spilling onto the street. Waiting 40 minutes for a pita in heels? No thank you. Not worth it).

Woke up this morning and Beth and Jennie gave me my birthday present: A freakin' bad ass Rocket smoothie maker. It's like one of those magic bullet things and I'm so pumped to use it for green smoothies and juices. Traveling especially will be SO much easier. I mean who has room for a giant blender in their suitcase? Not me. That's like four pair of shoes I could have brought. This baby will only take the place of one pair of shoes and I can live with that.

I already tested the nut milk making capacity and it's good. It has a little strainer application that does a pretty good job getting the grit. It's not as good as a nut milk bag or cheese cloth, but who wants to bother with all that in a hotel room? Not me. I'll be testing it for soups and more creamy things later. I want to see if it can actually get things made with soaked nuts smooth.

Which got me to thinking. Why the hell is there no mini-Vitamix? Or Vita-bullet, if you will? I know they make industrial level machines, but the raw foodists of the world would surely appreciate a bullet-esque vitamix for travel. Not to mention people who like to make a single serving smoothie or juice in the morning and take it with them to work or whatever (i.e. me).

Like my friend Tiffany always says--I should write a letter.

So I'll be trying out my new toy all day and predict that I will be very happy about it. Also trying out Maca for the first time. I took some yesterday with almond butter and was totally blissed out for the evening. Put it in my matte this morning and tasted OK there too. I will be trying in smoothies and upping the dose to see what's best for me. Right now I'm at a little under a 1/4 teaspoon. I can feel the effects, but no adverse reaction, so I'll just keep bracketing until I find the perfect dose.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Did That Really Just Happen?

I meant to post this yesterday, but I got sidetracked.

It definitely makes my list of The Top 10 Things I Never Expected to See.

Tree Hugging Former Presidential Candidates: I was watching CNN yesterday and was this close to turning the TV off to head to work, but God I'm so glad I didn't. I saw the most amazing thing: Jesse Jackson and Pat Buchanan doing a commercial for a cause. TOGETHER. And, get this, they were doing a commercial on saving the environment!

I was like....WHAT?!?!?!?!?

I seriously pondered whether my green smoothie was laced with something.

But no, it was real. I suppose miracles never cease to amaze and I'll be honest--I freakin' like this miracle a whole lot. Here's why. This teeny tiny commercial is really a giant step for mankind. It tells me that people are waking up to the reality of environmental consequences and that the cause is transcending political lines. I mean, come on--when Pat Buchanan (Mr. "Right From The Beginning") and the Rev. Jesse Jackson (Mr."Left Conservatism Behind When He Sprang From The Womb") actually AGREE on something AND think it's a big enough deal to willingly be in each other's company, the issue is HUGE. Now I know that, and you probably do to, but there are still so many global citizens who are clueless as to how big the issues of climate change and environmental preservation are (i.e. our current Prez).

And a commercial, admittedly, is not going to solve all of our problems, but there is a major lack of awareness that still exists in this country and beyond that challenge, there is also a lack of urgency. I think initiatives like this will act like alarm clocks for people and let them know that its OK to be a Bible toting environmentalist. That you don't have to be on the far out fringes of the left to love your planet and want to keep it in good health. When the issues moves from the extremes and into the mainstream it is a much better thing for us all. I hope more people with influence will continue to push the message and get it out there for the people that still need to hear that being green isn't just trendy--it's absolutely necessary if we are going to make it as a species for another millennium.

I really really wanted to include the vid for you, but couldn't find it on the web and I'm too impatient to keep looking after 20 minutes. Sorry, my name is little girl I BIG VOICE, not little girl I BIG PATIENCE.

However, for good measure, I have included an extremely relevant ad from the environmental defense fund that I found while looking for the other. Enjoy!