November 26, 2006

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread


For the better part of a week now, I've been pondering over how to build a philanthropic web site, based on a silly idea. Pete, his wife Heather, and their friend Karys, lucky for us, are much faster thinkers than me: Your Name On Toast :: Your Name, Except on Toast is simply brilliant.

You donate, they toast a piece of bread with your 'message' on it, they post it on their page, ranked by donation, and your piece of toast is a link to your url (in its own way, advertising). "All toasty profits go to Save the Children or World Vision or Christian Aid or Oxfam or something else brilliant. (You can help decide which)."

Have a look at their toasty creations!

November 25, 2006

I like buildings. Especially green ones.

The National Building Museum oddly appears to be mostly vacant, having formerly been the U.S. Pension Building and has a very unfinished -- temporary -- feel to the empty offices and unused rooms.

I did visit a few cool current exhibits including The Green House: New directions in sustainable architecture and design running May 20, 2006 through June 3, 2007 -- complete with miniature models of homes (and a piece about the affordable housing complex on Colorado in Santa Monica). Also, a continually running long-term exhibit, Cityscapes, highlights many items from the museum's vast collection.

Pictures up soon.

November 24, 2006

November 23, 2006

Doheny Thanksgiving 2006

Eileen and I cooked for two days. Just in case a 20-pound turkey was not enough for twelve people, she also picked up a baked ham and a second turkey. "We can't send people home without leftovers!" she cried. We also made two pumpkin pies (even though there was also an apple pie and apple crisp on their way with our guests -- in addition to vanilla ice cream and whipped cream). Our menu below.

Um, there was enough food for everyone. Success.
Doheny Thanksgiving Menu

Pictures of the event to be posted on flickr for viewing soon.

November 19, 2006

Say Yes.

Day 3 Morning with Wavy Gravy
Beautiful Denise and Wavy Gravy on the morning of Day 3.

Spontaneity has its benefits. I used to live by a "Yes" rule. In college, I had the word "yes" in all kinds of colors and hand drawn fonts on the living room wall. People walked in and asked all the time, "why do you have yesses all over your wall?"

For the years I lived in New York City, my rule (third, among one and two) was to always say "yes" to a social invitation or attractive opportunity if I wasn't already obligated elsewhere. This is how I got to go see Neil Finn live in a theater of only 600 or so hardcore fans when I didn't know who he was, how I danced with Columbians in Sydney when I couldn't dance, and ended up living in Italy when I didn't speak Italian.

The last few months I seem to have neglected the rule, choosing personal time (I covet my time alone, a rare occurrence) over social time.

But then I got an irresistable invitation for a three day be-in to celebrate the 60th birthday of a dear friend on her organic farm on the island of Kauai. I hesitated for a day or two. And then I said YES.

So a little more than a week later, I set my bare feet on this lush island, pitched a tent on the grass, and encountered astoundingly kind and beautiful people. It was a remarkable affair of music, community, food and connection. We ate, sang, jumped, hula-danced, tie-dyed, chanted, and swam in the ocean. I bonded with old friends, recent friends and new ones, and I have a collection of memories I'm still savoring. Gotta go back to saying yes again.
Kauai Be-In Day 1Day 4: Jump HanaleiKauai Be-In Day 0Kauai Be-In Day 2Kauai Be-In Day 1Day 2 Kirtan

November 11, 2006

air addiction

So I'm a little addicted to flying... headed to Kauai... eight days later flew to San Francisco for four, on to Santa Monica for two, and am now in Orlando for seven. I move up the coast to Washington and eventually to New York for a visit.

Yet I find myself searching airfare for Cairo, where a friend has recently moved, Italy (my beloved country), and other top cities on my list of places to go. Shockingly, airfare from Rome to Cairo -- nonstop direct on Alitalia -- is a mere $246 (that's with all taxes and fees!!!). Kayak.com is possibly the most recommended place to go if you're looking with lots of flexible search options.

Ed. update: ITA Software is for advanced users searching for great airfare deals.