Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Doc Review: FLOW: For Love of Water

FLOW is a riveting documentary that covers all aspects of the global water crisis—from chemical pollution that is causing fish and frogs to spontaneously change sexes, to the corporate take over of water supplies, to large scale dams redirecting the natural flow of rivers for greed of the rich, to lack of access to clean and safe drinking water in the world’s poorest communities (where contaminated water kills more people than war or AIDS). “Water=money=power” is evidenced by the fact that only 3 major corporations (Suez, Vivendi and Thames Water) control not only the global water supply, but also created and control the World Water Council, an organization that has taken upon itself to be voice of authority on global water supply. We as Americans rarely think about where our water comes from and where it goes to, but in less than 10 years many American aquifers are in serious danger of being completely drained. Could you imagine having to wait in line for hours with a bucket for the mere possibility of clean water? It may be a reality if drastic changes are not made to our consumption habits. Another staggering statistic: Nestle owns SEVENTY percent of the bottled water brands (such names as Poland Spring, Ozarka, Deerfield Park, and Arrowhead) and supplies these brands by setting up in local communities, extracting the water from the ground and then selling back to consumers. I hope this documentary widens the discussion of who really owns water and how we all need to change our habits to keep it clean and plentiful.
Sign the petition for “the right for water”.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sometimes the world works in very mysterious ways. During my new conscious habit of being more responsible for my actions, I had a rather prophetic experience. After discovering that a PayPal donation I had tried to make 2 years ago did not go through (I don’t check the account very often and when I signed on recently, I noticed the money back in my account and a “declined” letter waiting for me… dated 2006) I was disheartened, because I had no idea that this happened. I could have just walked away, taken that money and moved on with my life. But instead, this week, I went about making it right. I resent the donation directly to my friends at Greenie Films (creators of A Finished Life, the documentary about my late friend Gregg) with a note of humble apology and fessing up to what had happened. Their response was a pleasant coincidence: the amount I sent was needed exactly at that time to pay for the dub of the copy of the film that will shown on HERE TV shortly. Sometimes the world works in mysterious ways, and I am beginning to truly believe the power of intuition.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Accountability of Simplicity

Oops. Okay, I’m ready to admit it. I did it. Picked up a wedding present for a friend this weekend (pushing that Emily Post rule about having 1 year after the wedding to come through with the gift or face social rudeness) and promptly proceeded to puncture a hole and scrape the side of the leather ottoman I had just purchased, not 15 minutes before. Sigh. So I ran through the options, #1- I mean it’s not really that bad, right, giving a wedding present that’s slightly damaged? Um, yes it is. Okay how about #2-head back to Tarjay and say that I didn’t notice that it was damaged when I bought it. This seemed like the way to go, but after sleeping on the decision, I remembered something I had written about in my book, which is that returning things that are damaged or that you have bought just to take parts out of is stealing, plain and simple.
So now the ottoman sits in my living room, and I convince myself that it is a nice addition to the space, damage and all. It serves as a reminder to be more accountable for my actions. I’ve also decided that I need to fill it up with a comparable amount of “stuff” to get rid of to justify its arrival. I’m also going to try to save the comparable amount of money spent, since now I still have to get another wedding present!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"A New Era of Responsibility"

I like the sound of those words. I know there’s all this backlash that people think Obama is god, even when he says the same words as Bush, but I think it all comes down to who you believe more. Or who has not made a fool of the country he claims to love time and time again. I hope everyone takes these words to heart, and begins their own personal quest for responsibility. Owning up to our mistakes, accepting what has come to pass and being accountable for our actions. It’s going to be a long slog through the mire, but I think the only way Americans can make their way through this is to scale back, take control of their own lives and SIMPLIFY!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

To quote Nina Simone:

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good.

I hope everyone is feeling pretty good today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Day of Service: A Simplist's Contribution

So I headed out last Saturday morning for my few hours of volunteering—I had opted for a joint venture between WeChangeLA and Tree People helping prune fruit trees that would be donated to non-profits such as schools or churches to distribute amongst their members. A little trepidation as I roused myself from sleep this morning (as there is anytime you try something new, alone) but a short bike ride to the park where the event was held and I was ready to get to work. We all seemed daunted by the large number of trees waiting for us in the compound, (it looked like a challenge out of The Amazing Race...)but the 15 or so volunteers that showed up made quick work of it (so much so that while we were budgeted for 4 hours of work, we finished it in 2). It turned out to be a wonderful idea, reacquainting me with Tree People (which I had been a member of many years ago but let it lapse after moving away), plus introducing me to the newly formed We Change LA (so new they don’t even have their own website, oh the humanity!) While this 2 hours of pruning might not change the world, it showed me that this kind of service—something so simple and not very time-consuming, can fit into even a very hectic schedule.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Call to Service

So this weekend, our President-elect has issued a call to arms to the American people…5 hours of community service on Monday (for those with the day off—I however will be toiling at the TV Guide Network). So in lieu of having a day off, I’ll use this weekend to do my 5 hours of service. The real task now comes at selecting something last minute that is both worthy of 5 hours of service and "accomplish-able". First stop: checking out for a listing of projects in my area.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm back... finally.

Greetings and salutations… it has been far too long since my last post, and I am terribly sorry for that. I also abandoned my 12 for 2008 resolutions started last January midway through the year and well that’s just unfortunate. But it’s a new year, and a new you…er, me… and a new economy. In just 5 days the Almighty Obama will take office and fix everything…right? Well just in case, I’m going to try to use this year to focus on how to save money and be green at the same time. I’ve always been very conscious of both, but it’s time to dig deeper and see how green and how frugal I can be. It’s time to cut those bills in half! It’s time to kick it into high gear, people!