Sunday, December 13, 2009
On a dreary day like today (whether you are in La or Brooklyn as I am), I know that all I want to do is sit in a cozy chair, curled up with a blanket, a piping hot cup of apple cider in hand, and read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a great new album.
The age old tradition of drinking hot apple cider and eating apple pie during the holidays and early winter has more to it than simple cheer. Apple season is in the autumn! If you've never had the chance to go to an apple orchard and pick your own bags of apples...I highly recommend this experience for next October.
But on a deeper level, looking beyond tradition and holiday cheer, we're really building recipes from apples during this season because that is when they are fresh and ready to eat!
This all begs the question...why don't we do this more often? What if we really were to make an effort to eat foods mostly when they are ripe and fresh and ready to be picked, rather than year round?
I suppose it's about a little bit of sacrifice yes? But when it comes down to it, what if, by eating a food only when it is readily available and not having to be stored or glasshouse (greenhouse) grown, it were to become more special, just like apples in the late autumn and early winter?
I am starting to try to eat more like this myself. Mind you, I have always only eaten blueberries in the summertime when they are far cheaper, and I will buy them in excess and freeze them in order to have them in winter. Certain foods and their prices simply lend to this.
The other day, I was in Trader Joes in Union Square, where I saw strawberries for fairly cheap. I thought to myself, it's freezing here, so where are these from? Or maybe an even better question would be, when are these from?
Have you ever really thought about where the berries you are buying in the wintertime are from? Or the apples in the summertime? The list goes on...but they are probably from South America where the seasons are turned around and the travel is long, or they are not fresh, or are grown in unnatural circumstances, and I'm sure the price reflects this.
But if the majority of you get excited for butternut squash soup in the fall, apple pie and cider in the early winter, and peaches, strawberries, and blueberries in the summer, than why can't we live our entire eating lives like this?
Check out this article about some recent food findings in the UK.
Also, see www.eatinganimals.com for an interesting perspective on the meat and dairy industries (non-organic and grass-fed mind you)
www.farmforward.com is a great resource to find sustainable, healthier food farms from where you may source your food.
Maybe this can jump start a new exploration into your eating habits, whether you are a full meat eater, flexatarian, vegetarian, vegan, or simply on the fence.
Just some food for thought.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Algae is the word! After spending 2 wonderful days at Governor Schwarzenegger's Global Climate Summit: On the road to Copenhagen last week here in La La land, if anyone was listening to the overall message, Algae is undeniably the new most empowered alternative energy source! From hearing it from the West Coast rep of The Sierra Club, to diplomats, the EPA, Chevron, Virgin America, and many many more, algae is bubbling along the environmental green brick road.
Over the past year, the cost of producing algae fuel has dropped 2 fold, and will be potentially commercially viable and affordable at some point in 2011! YAY
The team over at the FUEL film and The Veggie Van Organization has the first ever Toyota Prius to run on ALGAE GASOLINE, that's right, not biodiesel, GASOLINE. They didn't even have to modify the engine of the car, and the ALGAEUS (the spiffy name of the Prius) runs at around 150 MPG.
I WANT ONE!
Sir Richard Branson and Steve Howard from the famous Climate Group just helped them launch the Algaeus and a brand new Green Curriculum for K-12 in New York City as part of Climate Week 2009.
Wait a second...do we see a connection between music and the environment here? Sir Branson of VIRGIN, i.e. originally Virgin Music group...launching the Algaeus and a Green Curriculum...the journey is beginning to come together!
More to come later on the Climate Summit and how Governor Schwarzenegger is rocking the eco-lution, even as a Republican :)
Monday, October 5, 2009
Last night, a Brit changed my life. Who you may ask. None other than the Thom Yorke, lead singer and lyricist of Radiohead fame. His solo show in downtown Los Angeles at the recently rehabbed 1920's Orpheum Theatre, complete with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers as his bass player, was none other than fascinating, awe-inspiring, sinfully delicious, tactile dance music. Words can not describe the epic-ness of this show.
1. Who knew Thom Yorke could dance? And when I say dance, I mean get dooooown. The man knows how to move his hips.
2. We already knew Flea knew how to boogie, but what about Nigel, Radiohead's producer? He had it going on to in the background for sure.
3. A sure way to get a crowd to get up from their plush seats is to tell them you must dance.
The syncopated rhythms, the off-kilter drum beats, the pervasive bass, the lack of guitar at many points, Yorke's powerful keys playing, his unbelievable tenor a la vibrato voice, the beautiful lights flashing different vivid colors behind them, and the overall atmosphere of omg we are the 2000 most on top of our game music enthusiasts who managed to get tickets before they sold out within a day all added up to probably one of the top 3 concerts I have ever witnessed.
Yet to be named, Thom Yorke's side project changed my life. Not to mention the Anne Hathaway sighting (she was pretty wasted if you ask me), the short blurb of conversation with Edward Norton (he mistook me for his friend) and the awkward exchange with Woody Harrelson (thanking him for his participation in FUEL) and the "oh, you're Tobey Maguire, hi, nice to meet you" complete with a handshake (good god i am strange) bit, it was a night of nights. Thanks D Mo!!!!
Song of the day: The Eraser by Thom Yorke
Environmental posting too big to be included, plus Thom Yorke deserves his own post. More to come later today!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Happy Autumn everyone...mind you it sure doesn't feel like it's fall over here in Los Angeles, where it's been unseasonably hot as the fiery fires of, well, anywhere that's on fire, clocking in at 90 degrees at the beach and an ungodly 100 + inland. Some Midwestern rain could come in handy any time now...yeah right. Moving on, loads of exciting goings on in the environmental scene right now!
Over the past few weeks, the documentary film FUEL (see post below) has been on a cross-country tour with a caravan of alternative energy fueled vehicles including the first ever car to run on algae based gasoline (yes you did just read that, algae based gasoline), the Toyota Prius Algaeus. I've been working my bootay off planning loads of their events in different cities, but the coolest one thus far has been their event with my one of my favorite public people, Sir Richard Branson. The Veggie Van Organization, the nonprofit stemming from FUEL, launched their green educational curriculum for schools and ages K-12 in NYC with Sir Branson and Steve Howard from the famous Climate Group, based in the UK. This event was part of Climate Week NYC, which was a week long conference and set of events to prepare the international community for the United Nations Climate Change Conference coming up this December in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ironic that I visited there just this past summer? Me thinks not...
Check out this conference, it looks like it will be an interesting gathering of people, and sure to garner up quite the protesters, of those not only who don't support the idea of climate change, and even moreso, those who do not favor globalization and organizations like the UN (check out what protests have been happening in Pittsburgh at the G20 Economic Summit too http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6848176.ece).
Governor Schwarzenneger will be holding his 2nd annual Global Climate Summit next week here in LA. *Fingers Crossed* I get to attend and cover it with a press pass :) Loads of awesome people will be present including the likes of Tony Blair, many big environmental influencers, people from the UN, the Mayor of Toronto (teehee)...you get my jist!
So enough for current environmental events, here's your:
Environmental Tip of the Day!!!
We all know how bad plastic water bottles really are for the world. Yes, even if you consciously recycle these puppies, there are just too many of them out there, and too few people who actually take the effort to dispose of them in the right way. Has anyone else seen the recent commercials against plastic water bottles where a woman is running on the treadmill and sipping her water, and then the line comes up, "30 minutes on a treadmill, Forever in a landfill..." Yeah, that one hits home for me and all of you exercise conscious people out there.
So what is the best answer to the use of plastic water bottles? I have been using an EcoUsable aluminum water bottle since last December and it has become attached to my hip. EcoUsable is the most eco friendly and has the least chemicals in it's components (compare to the brand Sigg). Not only are they cute, colorful, and come in different sizes, but if you opt for a larger size, you can get an in-bottle-cap filter!!! Yes, this filter supposedly kicks the Brita Filter's mangey butt all the way off of this planet. All you do is fill your bottle up with tap water-yes I did just say tap water- and drink with the filter cap on the top, and Walaaa! you have delicious, filtered, freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (recesionnistas) water! Kudos to you helping our planet. Here's a link to their website so you can see for yourself. If you know me personally and have seen me in the last 9 months (which I hope you have), it's that bright green bottle I have with me constantly.
Now onto the life and times of indie music as of late.
Band that's been blasting out my car and computer speakers as of late would be...
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros!
I had the pleasure of stumbling upon this band back in April, a bit intoxicatedly I must admit, at La Cita, the divey Mexican restaurant and bar in downtown La La land. At the moment, my friends and I had a raging dance party, along with the rest of the crowd, jumping around, hooting and hollering, acting a bit like cave men and women.
Yes, we did appreciate the music. We all had a few moments where we stopped and just quietly listened, breaking out of our stream of consciousness dancing and galavanting to take a breath and ooo and aaaahhhh over Edward Sharpe and his magnetic zeros band. Whistling, playing a gazillion different instruments, invoking classic rock and some 1960s folk fever and passion, this band of 10 happy hippies produces heel stomping, cheery yet provocative and evocative music.
La loves this band, and I'm sure you will too once you catch them live. They are currently setting on a tour across the U.S. (and for my favorites in NYC, they are playing the Bowery Ballroom on November 17).
I like that NPR says that their song "Home" "is enough to make even the tiniest heart grow 3 sizes." Add alcohol and friends and it grows at least 5 sizes, you can hold me to that.
I really like this recent video of their photo shoot for Flaunt Mag on the beach here in La.
Listen to their music at www.myspace.com/edwardsharpe
Oh and guess what!? Did you think I would really write about a band that YOU couldn't see in LA any time soon? NO YOU DIDN'T, so they are playing the Abbot Kinney Festival tomorrow, Sunday, 9/27!!!!!!
I went last year, lots of fun artistic stuff, shirts, food, beautiful people, sunshine, music and an all around awesome time for a random late summer/early fall Sunday in September.
Call me (if you have my number) and want to come with tomorrow to the festival and the Edward Sharpe show!
I'm off to work on a Saturday, unpaid, for the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization event at the Playboy Mansion...yes Hef is going green. More on that next time!!!
peace and harmonies,
Friday, August 14, 2009
Hey there, Hi there, woah there, good golly it's been a long time! Music reviews have been taking
over my editorial life per se, and maybe an added 7 week trip to Europe, a college graduation, a full-time job search, oh yeah, and a lovely case of mononucleosis.
In case you didn't know...
"What is mononucleosis?
Mononucleosis, also called "mono," is a common viral illness that can leave you feeling tired and weak for weeks or months. Mono goes away on its own, but lots of rest and good self-care can help you feel better...
Mono can be spread through contact with saliva, mucus from the nose and throat, and sometimes tears. Because the virus can be spread through kissing, it has earned the nickname the "kissing disease." If you have mono, you can avoid passing the virus to others by not kissing anyone and by not sharing things like glasses, eating utensils, or toothbrushes.
Mono can cause the spleen to swell. Severe pain in the upper left part of your belly may mean that your spleen has burst. This is an emergency."
Spleens are cool. But not when they are enlarged like mine! Oh yeah, I am no longer contagious, so you will not get mono from reading this.
But now that that is done, it's time to start a new day, and a new fervor for this bloggity blog.
First and foremost, let's have a chat about what is going on with biodiesel and the oil industry giants. In February of 2009, The California State Water Resource Control Board decided to announce that through their findings, biodiesel is a hazard when it is stored in tanks underground...alright, groundwater, leakage, biofuel contaminating...you get the idea. But wait a second...isn't gasoline, that stuff we put in the majority of our cars, stored in underground tanks also? YES IT IS. So what is the lovely Water Board really saying here? That sustainable biofuel is more dangerous to our groundwater and subsequential health than gasoline...and that some great small business owners have to be shut down across the state for promoting environmentalism and a different solution to a minority nonetheless.
Ok. Whatever. I mean seriously, whatever. Does anyone smell ahem the oil companies all over this? And if you don't now...
As of late, companies like Chevron, Shell, and BP are investing in the small algae biofuel companies based in northern California and Hawaii. Why? Like I have said before, I am a big proponent of algae as an alternative fuel. At the moment, the production cost is too high, coming in at around $20/gallon and the infrastructure is only just being built. But these lovely oil companies are having the foresight that their precious resource will someday dwindle, or be caught up in more of a political mess than it already is, and low and behold, they are investing in algae :).
What does this have to do with biodiesel and the Californa Water Board? Let's just postulate that the big oil companies don't want any other kind of biofuel out there when their algae is green and ready to go!
Thoughts anyone? I don't even really know what to think of this one myself. Dilemma:
1. Water Board making a faulty scientific conclusion or getting paid off...hmmm, not too far from everyday politics anyway.
2. Oil and Algae companies coming together...good, bad, neither?
More to come on what I will be calling "Algae takes over the world? and no, we probably won't die" Project
Green tip of the day:
In this drought we are having in southern California, use your dishwasher (if you have one) rather than the sink to rinse and clean your dishes. Make sure you put the energy saver drying cycle on as well! Wait to wash your dishes if possible once or twice per week rather than everyday. It doesn't look like rain for awhile :(
Onto new music! Band I like as of late:
This electro, experimental, indie rock band hails from La la land and has been upping the ante on their show schedule as of late. The 3 boys started off together in high school at the ripe young age of 16, and have been living and playing together ever since.
Having toured in the UK and now releasing their Phantasmagoria record available on MySpace, they are worth checking out, both for your audio pleasure and for a quick fix at a live show. I personally have seen their 2 most recent shows, at Temporary Spaces, and at Spaceland with my personal faves, The Local Natives. They've killed it both times, with their energy, their stage presence, their amusing song about alcohol, their use of reverb, and their candor.
Here's the link to their myspace: www.myspace.com/theoutline
If I were you, I'd listen to all of their songs, but if you need to choose, "Dialed Down" and "We're Better Now" are rickety rockin.
They actually have a music release party esta noche at The Mandrake in culver city. You can come visit me there if ya like.
Alright folks, it's good to be back, enlarged spleen and more french speaking and employed and such...have a green and musical weekend!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A quick side note-the award winning documentary film I have been helping with for the past 6 months, FUEL, is playing in theaters in Los Angeles, and soon in New York. GO SEE THIS FILM, it is incredible and documents alternative energy in a way no other film has ever done before. My boss, Josh Tickell, was featured on the Jay Leno Show last evening talking about it. This is an empowering, insightful, educational, fun film....go to www.thefuelfilm.com to learn more about why I have learned to love going green :)