Friday, May 23, 2008

Green Gadgets and How I Know I'm Getting Old

I wanted to share with you a couple of the stranger "green" gadgets I've learned about this week:

Elephant Dung Paper
Yes, paper made from elephant poop. Supposedly elephants produce enough byproducts to make 115 sheets a day! And no, it doesn't smell.

No! Shopping Bag Bra

I mean, WTF? I'm trying to imagine the scenario at the check out counter.

I also have a green item that isn't weird, it's just awesome. I was complaining recently of the lousy water pressure in my shower to a friend, and she told me she bought a water-saving shower head from, besides being a cutely obvious place to buy a shower head, is more old school than Dunder-Mifflin paper co. You call up the folks at, aka Water Management, and place your order over the phone. As I finished giving my info to the nice sales rep, he assured me, "Don't worry... we'll get you clean." And it sounded like he really meant it.

A week or so later my new shower head arrived in the mail, and I screwed it into place. The shower I experienced next, after six months of limpid streams of water and having to rub the suds off, was pretty much next to heaven. I don't know how they turned my weak shower into a cleansing blast, but boy, what doesn't have in website savvy they make up for in shower head tech skills. As they should, I suppose.

Anyway, the fact that I just felt it necessary to write an entire blog post about a shower head, and that there was a subsequent text exchange between myself and my friend's boyfriend about said shower head (Boyfriend: "Awww yeah that showerhead!", Me: "YES!") means only one thing. I am getting old. These are the things old people get excited about.

[Note: Today I noticed, perhaps due to this post calling their site "old school," now takes orders online! - 9/17/08]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shame Stew, Easy on the Onions

On a recent evening I decided to make myself a nice dinner of beef bourgine, because as usual I wanted an excuse to cook with red wine. My first stop was to Balducci's for fresh herbs, mushrooms and beef. I asked the butcher behind the counter for one-third of a pound of sirloin.

"Three-fourths of a pound?" he asked.

"No, ONE-third. Why? Is that weird?"


Was this butcher judging me? So what if I'm cooking for one? Is that so unusual?

"This is about half a pound," he said, holding up a piece of sirloin.

"Ok?" I replied, not knowing if he was asking my permission to sell me half a pound, or just educating me on the cut of meat. But next thing I know, he's wrapping up the not-exactly-cheap sirloin and passing it to me over the counter. Apparently it's not ok to eat for one.

Indignant, I headed to my neighborhood grocery store for the less-fancy staples for this dish, which included frozen pearl onions. Of course, the store has no pearl onions, but after three passes through the frozen section I did find "Stew Mix." This store-brand veggie mix showed a photo of potatoes, carrots, celery, and abundant pearl onions. That should work! Surely you see where this is going...

Upon opening the "stew mix" at home I found, amid the golf ball looking potatoes and icy carrots and celery, exactly ONE pearl onion. Friends, beef bourgine was a bust -- shamed and duped all in one meal. A single onion for a single girl.