Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hold it in, hold it in!

The Central PA Festival of the Arts closed out yesterday, with the standard Earthtones Concert on Old Main Lawn. For the 3rd year in a row, the show went on without me. I used to love the Festival closing show, but hearing the same set for 12 years ignited my appetite for something fresh. This year, I found it. Jukebox The Ghost is a three man band with keyboards, guitar, and drums. They performed on the Allen Street Stage at 8 on Saturday. Their sound ranges from piano pop a la Train or Ben Folds to 80's punk reminiscent of The Clash. The stage show was lively and entertaining, funny and engaging. Each member of the band worked the crowd in their own way, from making jokes about the stage set up, telling song backstories, to artistically tossing drum sticks to make way for another type of percussion.

If you're into music, if you want to hear something that will get your toes a-tapping, check them out. You can find their website here. I recommend listening to Hold it in to get a feel for their sound, then move on to Victoria or Good Day. Great stuff.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Author Advocate Defense Fund

So, my little super heroes, I'd like to challenge you to get involved in a worthy cause. As you may know, I am a writer. I belong to a wonderful community of writers called Absolute Write, owned by my friend, MacAllister Stone. Mac and some of our other good friends at AW are defending themselves in a lawsuit filed by Barbara Bauer.

Because of the suit, I wont go into specifics. But if you're keen on details, they can be found through the Author Advocate Defense Fund website. The Author Advocate Defense Fund was established to assist several author advocates in defraying the cost of defending themselves in the lawsuit. I would encourage each of you to help out in any way you're able. Blog about it, donate a few (hell-50) dollars, tell your dad, ask him to donate.

Check back for updates on the case. So far, the suit against Wikimedia (yes, she was suing WIKIPEDIA!) was dismissed, but the rest are still in the system.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I want to talk about food. More specifically, I want to talk about the psychology of food. People are weird about food, aren’t they? They’ll shell out 50 bucks for a fake Prada on the streets of New York, or 1000 for the real thing, but you still see them buying a 7 layer burrito from Taco Bell, or dare I say it? Buying conventional produce from the grocery store. Why is it that consumers feel their wallets and lip glosses deserve a fifty dollar home when they themselves don’t even deserve a 4 dollar quart of organic strawberries? They have the latest gadgets, music, books, video games, or what have you, but they can’t be bothered with pouring over labels to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I have a hard time understanding these people, partly because I’m happy with my 6 dollar handbag from Gap, but mostly because I care deeply about what goes into my body and into the bodies of those I feed.

I’m not trying to begrudge anyone a hearty meal or even an occasional treat, but the everyday stuff (or double stuf) that people pour down their throats really disturbs me. Have we, as a society, traveled so far from our agrarian roots that we can only eat from cans, packages, or bags? Okay. I’m being a bit extreme, but have you tried an organic strawberry? Those little red berries of delight are laughing in the face of their conventional brethren. Organic cheese is sharper than its conventional counterpart, and I wont even start on tomatoes.

I would like to encourage as many of you as possible to give it a shot. Try eating organic. Try shopping local. Try to cut back on your processed, packaged foods. Make more than 5 meals a week. I'm talking breakfast, lunch, dinner. Take out the Cocoa Puffs and try a banana. How about some plain yogurt with honey and granola? Give it a month. Indulge yourself in the good stuff and see how you feel. My guess is that, if you keep up with it for an entire month, you’ll come back to report you’re feeling energized, light, refreshed, because that’s how my body feels every day.

Here are a few resource links for you:

Newsweek's Lab Notes. Face Off: Organic vs. Conventional.

Organic Center and their Mission Organic 2010

How Organic Food Works.

A voice of dissent from CNN. (See? I'm a fair reporter!)

I’m climbing down from my soap box, now. But watch for me to step back up tomorrow because I’m going to be talking about a really worthy cause, The Author Advocate Defense Fund.