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T (1655 posts)
Imagine grocery shopping at your local megastore, reaching down into the assortment of dented, limp red onions and pulling out an envelope with the words "This letter is for you" written on it in loopy blue ink. Would you leave it there because you might not be the real "you?" Would you open it on the spot? Or would you look both ways, then scurry off with it hidden in your purse to read later?
This spring, Brooklyn artist Liz Medina has been dropping off these anonymous missives around as part of her Eternally Yours project. She tucks them into bushes and weaves them into the spokes of bikes. She hides them in old antique cannons and on the shelves of toy stores and—just yesterday—in the bill of her restaurant check.
Each envelope contains three things: (1) a love letter that asks how you have been and tells you how wonderful you are, which you are invited to respond to, (2) a drawing that you are invited to add to artistically by drawing or painting or writing on it, (3) a prepaid envelope to send your contributions back.
"I'm trying to address the breakdown in traditional communication, such as with letters and writing," says Medina. "I want to ignite a small spark in people's lives, for them to feel a flash of joy as they go back and forth from work—if not some mystery."
Eternally Yours volunteers now hide letters in states as far flung as California, Texas and Iowa. Medina herself has tucked over 500 on her home turf of Brooklyn. Her favorite response back from a reader was a tiny scrap of torn white paper with the words "try harder" written by manual typewriter. But over 20 other examples are posted on her site.
"I went to art school to paint and draw," she says, "I thought I would spend my life simply perfecting those skills. But when I moved to New York, I decided to act on all the crazy ideas that I think about but never do. I mean, why not, if it makes people happy?"
Her next project is a 20-foot-tall inflatable gumball machine.
Our response: Why not, if makes people happy?
Tell about your love letters—the sweetest, the strangest, the one you wish you'd written...
Imagine my dismay when I
read in this month's O magazine that jet dryers actually increase the amount of bacteria on users' hands—it's because the air inside isn't exactly sterile. Even worse, the dryers blast bacteria all over the restroom (and presumably, those inside), "spewing germs more than six feet." After reading this, the jet dryer morphed in my mind from a
futuristic time saver to a potential weapon of germ warfare. O writer Ramona Emerson explains that the superiority of jet dryers is actually a myth. The hand-drying
researcher whose work she cites says that paper towels are more sanitary, but this still doesn't solve my eco-dilemma.
Here's an idea: We could take a cue from the Japanese, who have taken hand drying (among many other things) to a new level. Many public washrooms in Japan lack towels or dryers, and it is common for Japanese people to carry small, personal hand towels or handkerchiefs (okay for drying your hands, but not for blowing your nose). The towels are so ubiquitous that there's even a museum dedicated to them. By tucking my own little reusable towel in my purse, I'll at least be able to keep my germs to myself. But I admit: I'll miss the roar of the jets.
When it comes to fashion trends, we all make mistakes. Some uh-oh moment flashbacks: harem pants, retro tube tops, the head-to-toe designer logo trend. This summer’s jumpers might not be the easiest thing to wear, what with the bra problem (to wear or not to wear?) and shorts that are just a tad too short. But jumper are fun and flirty, and ideal for summer bike riding or...a tennis match?
Today, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed the jumper that Venus Williams wore at Wimbledon describing it as “open in the back and generally unwieldy” and remarking that “it brought to mind togas, or hospital gowns.” Then and only then did the paper mention her 6-3, 6-1 victory over Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan.
Not to be picky, because Williams clearly dresses to get attention, but does the message for women so often have to be: clothes first, achievement second? This woman has won 43 major tennis singles titles, 18 doubles titles, and earned over 27 million in prize money. She can wear a naked-looking bloomers if she wants. Oh wait....she already did that.
The jumper looked pretty elegant to us, except from the back where things got a little low cut (note to self: remember to look behind you in the dressing room). But at the end of the day, women who know how to risk are usually women who know how to win.
Besides, a certain other woman close to our heart has risked a little fashion ire—and lived to laugh about it.
Grow Your Own Mushroom Garden, $19.95. Cut an opening in the box, mist the soil--made from recycled coffee grounds--twice daily, and within two weeks, you’ll have a pound and a half of oyster mushrooms, ready for stir-frying.
Mattese Elite Happy Hour Nail Polish Collection, $5.99 each. It's cocktail time--for your nails. Paint all 10 with a bright shade that smells like your favorite summer drink. The best part: No hangover.
Tatcha Blotting Papers, $12 for 15 papers. Soak up excess oil with these handmade Japanese blotting papers flecked with gold. Bonus: One sheet is big enough to de-shine your entire face.
TOMS Sunglasses, $135. TOMS shoes now has a sunglasses line as part of their One for One campaign. They donate a pair of eyeglasses for every pair of sunglasses purchased. (We personally love the stripes.)
The longest day of the year is, not surprisingly, National Daylight Appreciation Day. You could take the easy way out and simply turn your face toward the sun (after coating it in sunscreen, of course). Or you could challenge the sun to a game of hide-and-seek, with glorious potential rewards. Here are 10 sometimes-underappreciated ways to see the light:
Today is the summer solstice. You can make the most of it with these quick, fun ways to honor our nearest, brightest star.
Do some yoga. How to do a sun salutation
Try a weird veggie. How to eat/cook/deal with a sunchoke
Make a little music. How to play "Here Comes the Sun" on the ukulele
Pretend you're at Stonehenge, partying all night with sun-worshiping pagans. How to build a backyard bonfire
Boost your IQ. How to measure Earth's tilt using your shadow
As of today, I'm no longer going to try to be a better person. For the next decade or two or three, I'm going to work on a life of minor crime. I'll shoplift candy, park in handicapped spaces and sneeze deeply on the salad bar at my local deli. I may even dress up like an exterminator and inform certain, select neighbors that they have bedbugs when they do not actually have them.
I'll leave the really violent, upsetting stuff to the professionals. Those are the people who will eventually die and be reincarnated as lice or algae. Sadly, I'll also have to forgo the really loving, compassionate stuff. That's for people who dream of coming back as Indian high priests or the Dalai Lama or perfect beings like Reese Witherspoon.
All I want to do is complete enough not-so-admirable acts that I can spend my next life as a lobster.
Last week, The Christian Science Monitor profiled these unappreciated crustaceans. After talking to biologists, the newspaper reported that not only can lobsters live up to 50 years (or more) but also "lobsters don't show any signs of aging."
Lobster do not slow down or weaken. They do not become infertile or get weird brown blotches on their foreheads that look kind of like Canada. In fact, at regular intervals, they shed their shells and create fresh ones, which makes them appear "as though they are brand new again."
The only downside to my new life after death: escaping the hungry seals and cod. On the other hand, fleeing madly to survive, on a daily basis, may leave me with 10 exceptionally toned, sexy legs.
What is it about seeing expenses drift across a screen that is so hypnotizing? Take a look at these numbers from users of the personal finance-tracking site Mint.com:
$8.43: How much money they spend every time they go to the coffee shopA recent video, Eat, Drink and Be Thrifty, documents how much cash Mint.com users spend on food and dining. As the numbers tumble across the monitor to fast electronic beats, they all mash together before ending with one final number—$581.46: the total monthly spending for food and drink.
Seeing the actual dollar amounts of what you spend every month is always sobering, and this video prompted us to do our own back-of-the-envelope number crunching. The figure that jumps out isn't the usual "I spend how much on coffee every month?" rather something we call the Lunch Reckoning. The recognition that, yes, you should be bringing your lunch to work. That you wind up buying lunch more times than you'd care to admit. That you blew $11 on the cafeteria's arctic char platter just the other day. And when you do the math, you realize you could probably have a weekly housekeeper if only you could get a grip on...the Lunch Reckoning.
As we work on this, one lunch at a time, tell us, what's your reckoning? What's the one food- or drink-related expenditure you regularly make, budgeted or not?