Thursday, October 28, 2010

bumble butts

A few weeks ago, I dragged my weary self out of bed to participate in the 2010 California Coastal Clean Up Day. Normally, a morning of picking up plastic caps, bags and napkins off the ground would give me a warm glowing philanthropic feeling inside, akin to the time my friends and I created a pie* of 1) graham cracker crust 2) crushed oreo cookie double crust 3) Ben & Jerry's half baked ice cream 4) chocolate pudding 5) final oreo cookie layer, however circumstances conspired to ruin my happiness.

Firstly, a horrid heat wave made everything uncomfortable. (And the dress I wore gave me the most absurd tan line) Secondly, my terrible choice in footwear had blisters growing on blisters. To top it all off, it wasn't as if I was picking up soda can plastic rings preventing seabirds and cute ocean mammals from imminent death by plastic, but instead, suffering because I had to pick up countless cigarette butts!

Photo Credit:
In general, the stigma associated with flagrant public littering is fairly pervasive as mainstream society frowns on throwing trash out the window or on the ground. I remember a specific instance in San Francisco where I was in a car at a stop light and glanced out the window. Next to me was a minivan where a woman in the passenger side was finishing up a (delightful) meal from McDonalds. She took the entire bag of trash and dropped it out the window. Just threw it onto the street. Why she couldn't bear to have it in the car until she got home, I couldn't say, but flabbergasted, I recall seeing looks of horror on the faces of nearby drivers.

So why do so many people not find any problem with throwing cigarette butts on the ground?

Maybe they see the sand on the beach and think, ashtray?

Is there really that much of a difference between bags of fast food trash vs. a cigarette butt? Do smokers justify these actions because cigarette butts are small?

Smokers prove the fallacy of size. Size matters.

The unfortunate truth is, as one of the most common types litter found along the coast, cigarettes are absolutely terrible for the environment. As plastic litter breaks down into small non-biodegradable pieces and later chokes some poor sea creature to death, cigarette butts are made up of "12,000 plastic-like cellulose acetate fibers" and contain remnants of toxins and carcinogens that can be released into the soil and leach into groundwater.

In the time it's taken me to put together these observations, I've sat on the steps of a liberal and prestigious ivy league university and watched 7 people next to me stomp out their cigarettes and leave the butt on the ground (and one person spit into a planter).

Age, education, race, upbringing, it doesn't matter, littering butts is a socially accepted practice in smoking culture.

Maybe with scientific progress there will be some way to re-use the nasty plastics and toxins in butts, keep trying China, but the infrastructure alone in collecting and recycling butts worldwide feels insurmountable.

All I know is that after spending hours in the hot sun picking up scores of these, I can confidently say I never want to touch another butt again.

*yes it did happen, yes it was amazing, yes i hated/loved myself for days after.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If facebook existed in the old days...

for the full deal-- check it out here:
and part 2:
pretty entertaining :)


She's only nine years old. Wow. Talk about talent.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Twit Network

The Social Network has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. For all other genres of films, be it horror, suspense, romance, action or comedy, rating tends to be heavily skewed by subjective personal preference. But a movie about the origin of Facebook? Nope, apparently it transcends all genres and finds universal appeal and approval mainly because the topic is so pervasive as to connect and interest so much of the population.

I found the movie entertaining and enlightening in painting the evolution and story of such a social phenomenon, but it fell more into the category of "well, I don't regret watching it but I don't know if I'd want to sit through it again". On the other hand, I watched Nowhere Boy last night and was blown away. I'm sure it's mostly because I'm a huge Beatles aficionado and all, but Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne Marie Duff and even Aaron Johnson (of Kick-Ass fame) did such an amazing job in their portrayal of the early years of John Lennon, I didn't want to the movie to end.

But what do I know? I have amassed an embarassing collection of Beatles biographies, none of which are completed because I always stop reading about 75% of the way in when things get depressing and sad. Can you tell I'm a romantic comedy type of movie lover?

So I leave you with this amusing Twitter movie parody that emerged from the Social Network movie buzz. Especially entertaining for those of you who have seen the movie....

Monday, October 18, 2010

new holiday photo cards - coming soon!

We're pleased to announce our new line of photo cards just in time for the holidays! we've been hard at work getting these designed and integrated into our site, and it looks like we're on target to launch within the next few weeks. You'll soon be able to choose from a variety of designs which feature your personal photo(s) and messaging. Choose your favorite, personalize it with your own words, upload photos, and our professional designers will layout your personalized design and send you a proof of your photo card for approval before sending it to the printers.

Our mailing list will receive a special discount offering. Sign up from our home page to get in on the deal!

On all the photo card backs, you can even add a form letter or short message--

The designs featured here are just two of the many designs that will be available. Stay tuned for our official launch announcement. Of course, we'll also be releasing our usual new line of holiday greeting cards!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Maximize Efficiency

Ok, I'll admit it.

I'm a sucker for efficiency.

I am the person who will google maps multiple routes to see which one is the shortest or is the quickest with traffic layer (trafficlayerisamazing).
Sure I'm no mathematical whiz, but that's why I love those "cost per ounce" comparisons at the grocery store to get the most bang for my buck.
If I could adhere only one adage/expression/idiom to myself it would be "kill two birds with one stone".

Let's face it, the only thing better than winning, is win-winning.

So I certainly got a tickle out of the recent blog from Re-Nest showcasing a neat way to re-use those normally hard to recycle plastic bottle caps.

Photo Credit: One of those annoying chain email FWDS

Apparently it is as easy as:
1. Cutting off the top of a plastic bottle (obviously I assume you all use a Klean Kanteen, but on the off chance you stumble upon one of these poor suckers)
2. Pulling a plastic bag up through the neck of the bottle, folding the bag down over the neck, and replacing the lid.

Viola! A air or water tight seal for your Kirkland signature brand goodies you bought in bulk...because you love efficiency and therefore a good deal!

My favorite thing about this post and consequent re-post on LifeHacker was the follow up comment by StinkyPetethePirate:
Why not just pour the contents of the bag into the empty water bottle, seems like a lot less work
Efficiency to the point of laziness?

True or False: After reading
Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella, I may or may not have reused coffee grinds. Sure sure, some might say there is a thin line between efficiency and frugality, I say who cares when all paths lead to WIN WINNING?

Spoiler Alert: Don't think I don't realize the irony in utilizing a plastic bag to re-use a plastic bottle cap. Boy am I excited to tell you about this cool product I saw at the last UniqueLA show.

**and yes, I made that gorgeous piece of MS Paint Art. This is why bumbleboy won't let me into near the product designs.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Manhattan Vintage

Vintage Clothing
& Antique Textile
Show & Sale

Friday, October 8th, 2010
1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Saturday, October 9th, 2010
11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Show Website

Culture Addict Article

I'm curious to see if this is the east coast equivalent to the Vintage Fashion Exposition that happens in LA and SF 4 times a year.

Either way, vintage is green, holds a great number of independent and local retailers and is a spectacular way to people watch.

Friday, October 01, 2010


For you urban dwellers, I hope you're all aware of the POPOS (Privately Owned Public Open Spaces) near you and have had a chance to take advantage of them, especially if masses of people hinder your enjoyment of taking lunch outdoors. A dear friend, and budding urban planner pointed these out to me and mentioned that some of these public spaces have the best views of the cityscape yet are relatively unknown.

Photo Credit:

San Francisco

New York

Los Angeles
-- Although LA's urban sprawl provides much more accessible space, this article shows an interesting dimension to the fight over beach access in places such as Malibu where private vs. public can be the difference between wet and dry.

Photo Credit: