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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Helsinki has Heaven-sinki Street Fashion and Outlandish Weddings (mostly UK)

My darling friend (I like to call her my 'childhood' friend though I was 20 when we met) Cynthia and her amazing daughter Olivia (who happens to be 20 herself), sent me these two articles/items separately but I'm putting them together in this post. It's a plus for me that these beautiful, erudite, creative, juicy women live in Geneva, Switzerland, so their bright, enthused, artistic eyes keep mine entertained and inspired on a regular basis. Both picture albums had me sitting up straight in my chair with sluggish blood moving more merrily in my winter's veins!

Cynthia sent me the fabulous Helsinki street fashion show. I am ready to move there when and if the opportunity presents, just from the looks of the delightful creative inhabitants there:


Then Olivia's article and picture album seemed to go on forever but I could not tear my eyes away until the very end, even though it was way past my bedtime and past almost everyone's bedtime in my time-zone. This particular album is entitled 'Awful Weddings.' My opinions diverge wildly from the snarky, mean opinions (in my opinion) of the blogger. She gets huge props for gathering these marvelous spectacular (as in spectacle) pictures, though. Each one is worth at least a thousand words. Most of those words would be droll rather than cruel, however. In particular, she says mean things about the large size of the brides, bridesmaids and children in the wedding parties. Not surprisingly, no men are meanly cited in the same way. Regardless, I love all these people who are pictured here, for creating their vision for their wedding day. Visions which are admittedly weird at times but guaranteed to be fascinating. Fellini would be thrilled! Fasten your brains securely:


Artists! Self-employed! Get More and Different Money with just your Smart Phone!

I've kept this to myself for over a month but must let you all know about this easy cheap way to possibly increase your revenue.

Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter wanted us to have an easier cheaper way to get money by having the ability to get credit card payments. Especially when we all have had experiences that it was credit card $$ or no $$. He created square because he had this experience with an artist friend of his. Here he talked to Charlie Rose about it:

JACK DORSEY: It came about because my cofounder is a glass artist and he sells these beautiful glass faucets and he was selling one for $2,000.  And all he had in his pocket was his mobile phone.  He couldn’t accept the credit card from the woman who wanted to buy this faucet and she didn’t have a checkbook and she obviously didn’t have $2,000 of cash, so he lost the sale.
And we were discussing this and we have these general purpose computers next to our ears and yet –
CHARLIE ROSE: The iPhone-4.
JACK DORSEY: Or an Android phone, or a blackberry, whatnot.  But yet he wasn’t able to accept that credit card.  So we wondered why that was, and we answered it by building this system.
Jack Dorsey thinks that the best technology is technology that disappears. Meaning, you think of it as a natural extension of you, i.e. the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, iPad. I thinks that's why I didn't think to blog about it. It just seemed like air, running water, my car. Natural. 

There's no start up fee, no monthly cost. If you have a smart phone you sign up in about a minute for "Square" and you can immediately take a credit card for payment of your services or painting or 'glass faucet.' Then you can, and will, send for the free tiny card reader that fits in your smartphone. It arrived in two days for me. It's adorable. 

Square takes 2.75% of amount for swiped cards, but if you're in a pickle, thought you'd never be interested in credit card payment, but suddenly need to make the deal on your art work or lose the sale, or whatnot, you can sign up in a minute or two and immediately be paid by digitally entering the credit card numbers. In that case they take 3.5. Or 3.5 if you, say, just lost the cute square reader in the toilet from your pocket at the bar, anyhoo, you get the drift.

Exciting. Adorable. Amazing. Practical. $$$$$

Monday, February 14, 2011

Animals Painted on Lips

Animals Painted on Lips

I'd rather see lips painted this way than seeing overdone female makeup.

If you're a guy doing drag I'm all for the fun, ostentatious faux-female fab-u-lous-ness.

For women? Not so much. Why paint out your beautiful, awesome, individuality?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt and Squirrels are my passions

The revolution in Egypt has completely rocked my world. I thought about taking pictures of the extra clutter that mushroomed in my house the last 18 days while my whole life was watching trusted (not network!) news shows and reading blogs from Egyptians who were in Tahrir square. So obsessed, that my 450 some friends on facebook barely commented on my multiple posts about what was going on. I imagine that many clicked 'hide this person' beside my posts.

During my hearts and minds involvement in the revolution, the one small act that calmed me most, was feeding the neighborhood squirrels. Every day I provide a daily smorgasbord for the squirrels on the ledge of my deck railing.  The ritual started soon after I moved in four years ago. At first it was sporadic. The one constant was that I gave them fresh water everyday in the large dog bowl on the small table by the ledge. There are lots of feral cats in the neighborhood, as well, and as rough as their lives might be, I didn't want thirst to be one of their tortures. Even on winter days when the water was frozen, I would find that some courageous critter or two had licked a groove in the ice with their efforts to quench their thirst. So, another part of my winter wildlife buffet became popping the ice from the dish and filling it with hot water to prolonge liquidity.  Then about a year ago I began the never-miss-a -day food line-up. As far as their usual diet, I found they really liked the corn tortillas I buy in bulk. My recent Celiac diagnosis makes the tortillas my easy bread substitute. Soon I added blueberries that were too flaccid for my taste but were succulent morsels for the squirrels, and on and on.

Recently, I found out that Whole Foods sell squirrel and wild rabbit feed!
It was a great price, too! It cost $6.99 for five pounds of crunchy peanuts in the shell, sunflower seeds in the shell and hard corn. Other stuff too but those are the ingredients that come to mind. I bought a bag and enthusiastically created a tiny mountain range of feed around the wide railing for them. The cats and I watched from the window, hoping to see surprise and maybe delight on their little faces. Best I could tell, they were mostly confused, and if I stretched my imagination a little, the word disappointment came to mind. They politely crunched a couple of the peanuts in the shell and delicately considered the sunflower seeds. Mostly they seemed to be looking around for the fare they had become used to over the years. From that day on I only supplemented their usual banquet with the plebeian 'feed.'

How do squirrels tie in with the magnificent fact of the new hard-fought Eqyptian freedom? I think it comes down to the sense of impotence I feel about wanting to help peace come to the planet. Yes, I called the White House every day to ask them to support the Egyptians in any way possible; I called my senator with the same plea. I encouraged and expressed my love on Egyptian blogs and websites. But my hands buzzed with the emptiness of all they couldn't do.

My nurturing of the squirrels might be just a small act of something I can do, substituting for all that I can't do out there in the vast world.