Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sad and Inspired by Roadside Memorials

A recent memorial for John, a high schooler who lived in the neighboring town
When I was a tried and true pedestrian in NYC, I didn't pay much attention to roadside memorials because there really weren't any in Manhattan. When I moved to Florida and became a driver, death at or because of the wheel seemed way to common. I was inspired to create something positive from all the loss.

Nothing came to fruition....the story of most of my "good ideas" -- but I still think about that "good idea" and just wanted to put it out here. It goes something like this....

There is a multi-location one night awareness campaign, taking place in galleries coast to coast.
The event is underwritten by sponsors such as Ford, AT&T, Absolut, Microsoft, etc.

Prior to the event, there is a nation wide push for people to send photos and stories about memorials that they saw everyday. Of course, there is a deluge of response all over the country -- it can't all go up on gallery walls, but it can all be catalogued somewhere else.

Galleries are filled with photos - of all sizes -- of roadside memorials. Perhaps there is some sculpture too. Images are submitted from professional photographers as well as from family, friends, just average shutterbugs. Short stories about the people who died go with the photos.

Crowds will gather at these galleries and make a suggested donation that goes toward education, funding texting/driving laws, MADD, etc. Art is for sale too.

It is be a dry event :( -- I think having the strength to abstain is a very positive message -- but there are exceptional healthful non-alcoholic cocktails and awesome food.

There is celebrity talent involved at each location -- music, comedy, etc.

There are airbrush tattoo artists who decorate patrons with tattoos designed especially for that evening -- ones that get the message of safe driving. So everyone can leave decorated with a message.

The simultaneous events will be live on-line. 

So that's what's been in my head all these years. If you are reading, and think this should happen too, and really have the wherewithall to make it happen, please contact me. I would love to be a part of it. And we will definitely have to have one of the events in Miami. Cool?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rebecca Mieliwocki: Teacher of the Year

Photo from ABC News

The 2012 Teacher of the Year is a 7th grade English teacher from Burbank, CA who calls herself a "goofball." Rebecca Mieliwocki tried careers in law, publishing, and event planning before acknowledging that teaching was simply in her DNA, as both her parents were public school teachers.
Rebecca takes her job seriously and performs it with humor and optimism and gratitude.  She says other teachers have contributed to her success and she feels an everyday obligation to shine. Per an interview in the LA Times, Mieliwocki says, “Our children are our future and that I have a hand in guiding and shaping that future compels me to make every minute, every lesson, every moment with them count."

I have a folder filled with student notes and drawings. If "my kids" have free time, I always let them know that I accept small notes and pictures. I never leave empty handed.
Just for the heck of it I googled "Substitute Teacher of the Year Award." It seems that some states -- such as TX, SC, and OR -- do celebrate the merit of those strangers who step into the classroom at a moment't notice. When I googled "Florida Substitute Teacher of the Year Award," I got nothing relevant. Though there is no award in my state (currently), I will continue to sub and be earnest in my mission to prove that learning is cool. To this day, I remember when a 3rd grader asked, "Hey Ms. D -- this is fun!! Are we learning?"And they were.


Photo courtesy of One Potato
While the entire world is talking bout "50 Shades of Grey," I'm going to tame things down a bit with "Me...Jane," a children's book about Jane Goodall, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, and published by Little Brown and Company. It was a gift from a dear friend who knew the title would  make me smile simply because she knows I love seeing my name -- even if it's not really exactly my whole name -- in print.

Here are 3 other reasons why I really like "Me...Jane."

Photo from
1.Because it's about Jane Goodall whose passion, devotion, work, and beauty I admire so much.

2. Because it's got cool graphics that feel gouache-y, faded, and grayed. Even the typeface is partially worn away and has that time ago look. The end paper features a hand-drawn diamond pattern that would make a great fabric.

3. Because it feels personal. "Me...Jane" was the name of my first business in NYC. I wasn't particularly into Tarzan or anything, but for a while there, in my 20's, guys that I'd meet at bars or parties or wherever all seemed to be named Tarzan. My biz card, decorated with leopard print, payed homage to that overplayed predictable coincidence.

Thank you for my prezzie, Leslie.

XOXO, Me...Jane

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Once upon a time, in the persuasive world of advertising, the word "gay" was used freely. It meant happy, spirited, light-hearted, and fun. Now, not so much. 

Hmmm... "gay night spots in Arizona."
California champagne will make your party gayer. That is good to know.

Love this guy. He looks happy and gay, but hasn't been labelled such.
"Galey" = gaily? this ad isn't outright gay, but I think there is some insinuation.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


While the turquoise, rust, and sand-colored clothing isn't turning me on, there's some furniture, similarly colored, all from Anthropolgie that I can certainly see living with ceiling to floor.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Laurie Lenfestey = Southwest style
I am a method writer of sorts. I get absorbed into a topic by dressing in it. When I was researching the color pink,  I wore only pink underwear. When I wrote about green, I bought a vintage green Peugeot watch for good luck. When I wrote about colors of the Southwest however, I didn't really have anything to put on for inspiration.

I am definitely attracted to certain elements of Southwest style. I love my friend Laurie's layers. I love the way Mary Emmerling piles on the silver jewelry. And I can definitely fantasize about modeling in a Ralph Lauren ad. In reality though, I can see decorating with Southwest style, more than wearing it.

When I went to the mall, everything seemed to be inspired by the Southwest. I saw nothing that I really wanted (otherwise this post would have gone on my other blog -- wantneedxoxo), except for a few images to capture just a smidge of the trend.

Southwest mall style, that I'm not buying, from head to toe:

hats at Charlotte Russe
feather-decorated blouse at Love Culture
cuffs at Charming Charlie
bags at Charlotte Russe
wallet at Dillards

shorts at Forever 21
shoes at Dillards
Sleep cheaply in Southwest style. This comforter was prominently displayed at World of Thrift. I'm not buying it either.

Do you like Southwest style?  Do you prefer to wear it, decorate with it, do both or neither?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Handy Hot Glue: A Shoe-In for a Quick DIY Fix

A festive Easter party calls for fun and colorful shoes, but when I put on these orange, teal, and purple metallic heels they felt weird and made an annoying slapping sound. Oh no! This will not do!

Slap, slap, slap. I took them off and realized the insole was totally separating from the base.

With a few minutes to go before I had to leave the house, I grabbed the glue gun and a skinny hole punch from the craft armoire. I used the hot glue gun to secure the insole and used the tiny hole punch to put another hole in the strap. I felt so resourceful.

Whether you're a crafter or not, these two tools are great to have around the house. They come in quite handy -- or in this case "foot-y."

April 7: Bad Hair Day

Yesterday Sam got her hair cut. It seemed to be going well, until the stylist started tweaking her blown dry hair with a curling iron. I signaled to Sam with a big genuine smile and a thumbs up; she, however, wasn't buying it. Once in the car,  she complained that it looked too puffy. Soon quiet tears rolled down her face. The image of who she thought she was and what that looked like shattered under new hair cut scrutiny.

She's fine today. And so is her hair.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6: Seder in Paris

at Pere LaChaise 1996
Sixteen years ago, while 6 1/2 months pregnant with Dylan, my husband and I went to Paris forPassover/Easter time. He had arranged for us to share the first seder with a religious family in the Chabad community. It was quite different than the reform Judaism seders I participated in growing up. I found the ritual drying of the lettuce leaves fascinating. Each leaf was completely dried so that a droplet of water would not dare to mingle with the matzoh. I don't remember that much more. We got out of there about 2 a.m. I was probably jet lagging.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5: A New Philanthropic Project

2 sample cards from Jennifer Lanne and Valerie Weberpal

I want to be charitable often. Given the status of my checkbook, however, I indulge in philanthropy by plotting creative and cost-efficient ways to raise money.  My latest philanthropic adventure blends art, architecture, history and homelessness. I am inviting 32 people to each put their stylish mark on an Eames "House of Cards" card.

Here's the plan:
- The boxed set of 32 original art cards will come with a color guide book with short bios of the contributing artists. It will be sold via eBay or Etsy, yet I am open to other venues.
- I need a little help finalizing the beneficiary, and I think that since the prize is a house of sorts, I want to raise money for an organization, preferably not religious-based, that shelters others -- kids perhaps since the "House of Cards" is in essence a toy. Please send links to any organizations you really love.
- If you would like to contribute creatively or know someone who would/could --words, paintings, doodles, collages, photos, an autograph (Madonna, can you hear me?????) -- let me know.

There are so many good causes, so many people with unmet needs, and while I (a true Libran) need a little help finalizing details, I am sure that this simple prototype could be the beginning of a repeated idea that makes a big difference for many people.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4: April Birthdays Bring Memories

1981 prom. I am wearing a Betsey Johnson strapless black dress.
 I have trouble remembering my dad's birthday (August 30 or 31st?), yet indelibly branded in my mind are the birthdays of some of my childhood friends such as Linda Rosenberg and Eric Blumenfeld,  born on April 4th and 5th respectively. Linda was one of my BFFs growing up. We had amazing sleepovers at her fab townhouse at 21st and Delancey. Eric was my first real in...well, you know. We were friends for 13 years, went out for six months, and he broke up with me right after the Styx concert in the late spring of 1981. I still can't listen to "Babe" without a bittersweet twinge. Happy birthday Linda and Eric. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3: Just Say Hello

Photo by my friend and favorite design schemer, Kerry Fidler.
While shopping in Miami, I found myself in a store with Simon Doonan, Jonathan Adler, and their dog Liberace. Knowing that I'd be full of regret if I didn't take the opportunity to say hello to two of my longtime style heroes, I pushed my useless and familiar habit of telling myself not to be a bother aside, and said, "Hi." The guys were incredibly warm. We took a photo. I've been smiling most of the day.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2: Weighing in on "Hunger"

 photo from here

I saw "Hunger Games" last week, and I didn't once wonder why the protagonist wasn't more anorectic. I can't believe her weight is a newborn controversy, but since it is, I shall chime in. I particularly love this quote

"her thighs appear functional rather than merely decorative." 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1: Contemplating a Tricep

(As an exercise in consistency, brevity, and just being me, I am going to write here everyday during April. A"Daily Thought" can be about anything but it can not exceed one paragraph and it cannot take more than 10 minutes to write. That's all. )

All of a sudden while peeing in  Dunkin Donuts this morning, it dawned on me, that my right tricep is bigger and stronger than my left because I consistently use my right arm to support myself/my weight while squatting over public toilets. If I remember from now on and if it's not too awkward, I will alternate sides.