Royal Scrutiny

April 29, 2011

I felt like I had to wait to post to comment on the biggest event of the year: the royal nuptials! I started out my day explaining over and over to my daughter about how these were real prince and princesses and Sleeping Beauty was fiction, and just when I thought she grasped the concept, she pointed to Kate and William riding to Buckhouse in the carriage and said, “so are they the main characters?” It is all a little unbelievable I guess.

So, to the dress! When I first turned it on this morning, she was sitting and I thought it looked pretty matronly. But once she stood, it grew on me, and she was clearly trying to channel Princess Grace. For Sarah Burton, who took over the Alexander McQueen mantel, to have done it seems at once “of course” and “really?” She is one of the hottest Brits designing at the moment, but there was none of her stunning avant garde on display, which in the end was probably a good thing for Middleton.

I liked that she chose a simple Cartier tiara (that was a joke)…I actually can’t believe people are taking her to task for wearing a tiara as a “commoner.” Give me a break — I wore a small tiara at my wedding. every bride wants a little sparkle and shine up top.

I think the Maid of Honor wearing white was a HUGE mistake. Weird choice. That dressed would have looked fantastic on her in any color, and I really do think it detracted from the bride. For those of you getting married, do not make this mistake. I also wasn’t bowled over by the flowers.

I remember sleeping over my friend Sue’s and waking up at 5 in the morning to watch Charles marry Diana. This time around I almost forgot it was on but I do enjoy the pageantry. Once my kids woke up they were into it — my son wanted to see them kiss before he left for school. I promised them I’d tape the highlights tonight. Unfortunately I haven’t watched in depth to see all the little moments I like — the few I did see were when Harry turned around to get a glimpse of her walking down the aisle, and he said to his brother, “Wait til you see her,” Elton John and Victoria Beckham singing the hymns from the pews, William holding her bouquet so she could exit the carriage using both hands…supposedly a lip reader said that he told her she looked beautiful, which is nice.

How could you watch and not think about Princess Diana, who for all of the craziness surrounding her seemed like a very dedicated and loving mother to both her boys. It’s definitely a shame that she couldn’t live to see her boys become men.

Let’s hope this one turns out better than the last Wedding of the Century…and to be fair, better than half of all marriages in general. Good luck suckahs!!

Katie gets the Hillary treatment

While everyone feels all warm and fuzzy with the wedding we all weren’t invited to, I have to sound off of what I see as supremely unfair treatment of another prominent female: Katie Couric. Why is it that a woman has to constantly prove herself as a serious journalist, and gets taken to task for doing things like Glee and People magazine, but Brian Williams, who I love, can host Saturday Night Live, get drunk with Hoda and Kathie Lee and guest on 30 Rock and no one bats an eye? Come on, it’s so blatantly sexist! In my eyes, anyone who can go from serious to lighter topics and be genuine about it should be applauded. And her takedown and exposure of Sarah Palin was as serious as it gets.

Single of the Week

Here’s Ken:
Britney Spears is the voice of a new generation. I’m sorry, new generation, but she’s it, whether you like it or not. Perhaps you’d like Jon Stewart, Dwayne Wade, Angela Merkel or Tobey Maguire to be your voice. But that ain’t how it works. People were nominated, people voted and Britney came out on top. And by a pretty wide margin, I’ve been told. So embrace her. Find solace in her. She’s light on things like national debt, healthcare, Libyan unrest and high cholesterol, but when it comes to sweaty, sexy dancing, she is the TRUTH. But don’t take it from me:

Etc.

Oh, the weekend…how I love you so!

Have a great one — see you next week!

Is there anything better than Paris in the springtime? No!

We got back from the City of Light late last night, and even though I took today off, I’m not gonna lie: re-entry is a bitch. We planned this trip so long ago that I had divided my life into Pre-Paris and Post-Paris, and now it’s time to get in gear!

But before we go and do that, I must share some of my favorite spots in Paris. I’m not going to cover all of the touristy must-sees, any old guidebook can do that for you. I’m going to list some places that should be a must on your list to make your trip the very best it can be. I can’t remember exactly how many times I’ve been there, but I can count at least 10 trips over the last 20 years, so I feel like I’ve gotten it down!

First, it’s a walking city. Being from NYC, that’s not a big deal, but even still, when I go, I walk A LOT. That’s the best way to see how the neighborhoods relate and connect, to people watch, to see the beautiful bridges and buildings, and to burn off the macarons you are going to devour. On this trip, the first day I walked my husband and kids from our neighborhood in St. Germain/Montparnesse (Left Bank — holla!) to St. Michel, Notre Dame, the Pompidou, down Rue St. Honore for some shopping, the Place Vendome, over to the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe, and then past the Orsay and back to St. Michel, in search of the perfect Eiffel Tower key chain (don’t ask). Take it from me, that is some walk! But it was great to get everyone acclimated, and Addison brought along her Madeline book so she could see all the places her fictional friends frequents. When we needed to we took the Metro, but I still think hoofing it is the best. So wear comfortable shoes!

There are many, many museums. I hate the Louvre. It is a lot of pain to see 3 works: the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. It’s always crowded. The best museums (for art) are the Musee d’Orsay for the incredible Impressionist collection (best Degas pastels), the Picasso Museum and L’Orangerie, which has a bunch of nice Renoirs but the Monet Water Lily paintings that surround you downstairs are the real showstoppers. The fountain outside of the Pompidou isn’t technically in the museum, but kids and adults love it and it’s a nice spot for lunch.

For a ride down the Seine, I like the Batobus which lets you hop on and off all day. If you’re going to go up in the Eiffel Tower, reserve your tix online and save yourself about a 3 hour wait on an actual line. No joke.

Someone said to me that macarons are the cupcakes of Paris, which is kind of funny. Many people are loyal to Laduree, and if you go the salted caramel is pretty fabulous. (If the guy with the glasses waits on you he may give you a free one for a kiss.) Pierre Herme is fantastic too. They make a fleur de sel chocolate bar that gets the salty/sweet mix just right. For bread, pain au chocolat, raisin rolls and butter cookies, Poilane is the place on Cherche-Midi. (Really, there is no better breakfast than French coffee and a pain au chocolat. That is vacation!) The nutella crepes on the street are a fine way to part with 3 euros.

Shopping!! There is an embarrassment of riches in this city. The mother of them all is the Galeries Lafayette on Haussmann. (And only Haussmann. My husband dared to suggest we visit another branch and I let him know absurd that was.) They have just about every single brand under one roof. It’s almost too much, really. If you bring your passport they will give you a 10% off card at the info desk, and if you spend 175 euros or more, you can do tax free and get another 12% back. Save all your receipts and go downstairs to the basement at the very end.

Collette on St. Honore is a gem of a shop — really a shop cum museum, and whether or not you buy anything is really irrelevant. It’s truly a fun place to look and see what is cutting edge. It’s got a little bit of everything — I actually bought some rare Pez. When you carry a bag from there, people will literally stop you to ask what you bought, everything is so special. Bon Marche is a pleasant experience, a bit more high end, kind of like the Barneys of Paris. The sales help are not the friendliest, but the annex building holds all of the secondary lines from designers that are hard to find elsewhere.

I still really like the individual boutiques, too. So what did I buy, you ask? Lots of things for the kids at Petit Bateau. An Isabel Marant red tulip necklace. A perfect little blue and white striped shirt at APC. A fab taupe sweater and pink lipstick at Paul and Joe. Some things for the kids and me at Agnes B. (Her stores on Rue du Jour near Les Halles are the best.) Amazing wedge shoes at Castaner — this is a real find, I must say. They make all the espadrilles and wedges for all of the fancy brands, including Chanel, but they sell their own in a little shop on St. Honore for a lot less. Caudalie and Nuxe beauty products — Nuxe started an organic line called Bio by Nuxe so I got some eye cream to try. A linen dress and cotton shirt from Galeries Lafayette’s Briefing line. A Bensimon bag and some adorable Liberty print canvas sneakers for my daughter. Savon de Marseilles soaps…as I said, an embarrassment of riches. We also bought two small paintings in a gallery in Montmarte, near the Sacre-Coeur, which I love both because the paintings are beautiful and I will always remember this trip when I look at them. And I learned that the only things that are not taxed in France are paintings!

There was a whole chic hippie thing going on, which wasn’t slaying me, but that’s fashion. Sometimes you like, sometimes you just need to find the pieces that work for you. Other brands worth checking out: Zadig and Voltaire, Vanessa Bruno, Comptoir des Cottoniers, Herve Chapelier, Agatha…

Where to eat? Cafe Angelina makes a great lunch spot near the Tuileries. The smoked salmon salad is a perfect light entree for the mandatory Mont Blanc dessert. La Ferme is an organic and kid-friendly spot. La Coupole is the oldest brasserie in Paris and dims the lights for a rousing “Bonne Anniversaire!” from the waiters every time it’s someone’s birthday, complete with a humongous flaming baked alaska. Chez Clemente has delish roasted chicken and unlimited fries or mashed potatoes. Georges on the top of the Pompidou has amazing views of the city. A drink at the Hotel Costes makes anyone feel chic. Le Miroir in Montmarte is casual and tasty.

We found Paris to be an incredibly kid-friendly city. Lots of parks (Luxembourg Gardens is a standout) and most restaurants have kids menus with real food — none of this mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. When there wasn’t a kids menu, it was no problem for them to split an entree. When we were at Charles de Gaulle airport going through security, they even gave the kids a coloring book! Take that, TSA.

I’m sure you’ll find even more places to make your trip memorable. We had an amazing time — don’t overplan so you have time to wander, discover and enjoy. And yes, the weather was just about perfect for us — mid to upper 70s and sunny every single day — but the off season means less tourists, so there are plusses to whenever you choose to go.

Bon voyage!

Believe the Hype

April 15, 2011

A day late and a dollar short, as they say, but that’s what happens when you’re trying to get it together to pack up your family to get to Paris!

I was in Space.NK.Apothecary last weekend, which if you haven’t been to is worth checking out. The idea is kind of like Family Favs but in store form — it’s a British import and the store carries all of the beauty products that founder Nicky Kinnaird likes. Things can get pricey but they do carry some hard to find stuff (like Vincent Longo) and the sales help is actually pretty helpful. (They have boutiques in Bloomingdales as well as free-standing stores.)

I was checking out an all natural line by Tata Harper that I had read about in Vogue and the NY Times, which kind of made me anti because I don’t like to believe the hype. She apparently mixes her potions and lotions in her barn in Vermont. Okay, whatever Tata. But I am always in search of great all natural products so I sniffed at the tester and the saleswoman was raving. I noticed there was a resurfacing mask that seemed sold out, so I inquired. “Oh, there’s a waitlist, but I have a few in the back if you want one.” Of course I would! Jumping the waitlist for something hard to get — irresistible. I think she liked me because I had my 3 year old daughter there.

So I bought the mask, and while I haven’t used it yet and can’t report on it, I have been using the body lotion sample she gave me. And it is GOOD. I always do a test on my rough patch elbows, and within a few days of applying, problem solved.

So I’ll report back on the mask, but me thinks that Tata Harper may live up to the hype. Good for her! (Check out Space.NK online here.)

Single of the Week

Here’s Ken:

This past weekend, I planned on devoting the entire Saturday to playing with the kids. Unfortunately, Austin was busy doing our taxes and Addison was busy with her latest hobby: curing ham. So I powered up our diesel generator and hopped onto the Internet. Amidst the memes, NY-centric culture, comedy, music and American Idol threads out there, I was able to find something that encapsulated all of that into one, sweet single of the week:

Click here to watch.

Etc.

This was a crazy week, the highlight being when Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry’s wife) pulled my name out in a raffle and I won a Stella McCartney handbag.

And it just gets better: As stated, we are headed off to France, so Family Favs will be eating a lot of croissants next week. Don’t miss us too much — we’ll be back soon with all kinds of Parisian recommendations, for your travels real and imagined.

Enjoy!

Customer Satisfaction

April 12, 2011

I could go on and on about my unsatisfactory experience with Verizon last week, but I will spare you. Suffice it to say that it took five different 20 minute calls (gotta love those phone trees) to get them to figure out that the reason I had no dial tone on my home phone was a computer glitch on their end…after they told me to sit home until 6pm on Saturday. So it’s nice to report that some companies get it right. Here’s guest blogger Liz with her tale of customer satisfaction:

I don’t know what they are spiking in their employees’ drinks at Enterprise.  Not only do they usually have the best price on rental cars, but their customer service is also way over the top. This is stating it mildly.

When we arrived in Denver a few weeks ago from Australia, our surreal experience with Enterprise began. The woman who picked us up on the Enterprise bus, Veronica, insisted on hauling all of our luggage (5 giant bags) onto the bus and told us that it was much better than going to the gym. She was so friendly, that not only did we find out all about her kids (one of whom is trying out for the Olympics), but she also had all of the other passengers on the bus welcoming us to the States.

After arriving from Australia, which is not a service culture, this really made us feel good. Then, arriving at the rental car facility, we did not have to wait in a line. There is nothing worse after a long journey than having to wait in a long rental car line. Not only did we not have to wait in line, the rental car rep, a well polished young man in a suit who recently graduated from college, got us coffee, personally walked us out to the lot to choose a car, loaded the bags into our car and then gave us his card – just in case we ran into any problems during the week. It was almost comical and I’ve never experienced anything like it.

When we went to leave the car rental lot, the woman at the check out booth was almost certainly tripping. She greeted us with a huge smile and then made sure to point out in great detail on our map the best directions. As we pulled out of the check out booth and looked in the rear view mirror, she was still cackling and waving a huge good-bye with her arms in the air.

My husband and I both looked at each other like, “are we dreaming?” And, yes, this made us feel really good, again.

On the way back to Australia from Chicago, we violated my travel tip #1 (see my post “Pint Size Travel” – Top 10 Tips for Traveling with Kids from February 11th) – arrive at the airport an hour earlier than you normally would.

We left 30 minutes later than we planned for a variety of reasons, which led my husband to speed. The speeding resulted in getting pulled over by the police. Of course, this now made us very late. We called Enterprise and explained our situation to them. Instead of making us take our luggage out of the car and wait for a bus, as soon as we pulled up, one of those polished young men in a suit got into our car, drove us to our gate and helped us with our bags.

From start to finish, Enterprise delivered and delivered big. They’ve taken customer service to a whole new level.  Whatever Enterprise is doing, from recruiting the right people, to great training and, I would imagine, good incentives and benefits, is working.

And yes, we feel really, really good about Enterprise.

Sublime Key Lime

April 8, 2011

You know, I have always wanted to go to Key West. Blame Jimmy Buffett, or Ernest Hemingway, but there is such allure to grabbing a margarita and watching the sunset there. One day, I say. And when I do go, I’ll refer back to this post from guest blogger Denielle!

I find that as soon as you tell people you are traveling to [INSERT NAME OF ANYPLACE] you discover that everyone and their mother has been there at least once and has great suggestions for you!

This was the case in the several weeks leading up to our recent trip to Key West, Florida. My husband and I escaped for a few days without the kids, thanks to my incredibly generous and capable mother-in-law. She stayed at our house and my girls were treated to more fun in 6 days than they have with us in 6 months, so it was win-win!

Key West is a really unique place. It is the southernmost tip of the United States, which in itself is a pretty cool claim.  It has a rich, diverse history including Spanish explorers, pirates, President Truman, a US Navy Submarine base and a host of famous authors and singers. We flew into Miami and drove 3.5 hours through all the Florida Keys – a beautiful drive – to arrive at our hotel.

We stayed at La Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It was very pretty and the property was on the water.  My favorite part was the popsicles they served by the pool in the afternoon. Don’t let the icy cold treats fool you into thinking it’s a place for kids. While I saw kids there, it didn’t feel like a great family destination (no Kids’ Club, no beaches, no obvious kids dining places). We went snorkeling in a reef that is populated by sharks. “Not the kind that eat people,” we were told. Thanks. Now I feel MUCH better!

There are great restaurants in Key West and 150+ bars.  My top restaurant recommendation is Louie’s Backyard (great food, great outdoor dining overlooking the ocean), followed by Nine One Five (also great food, fun people watching on Duval Street). We heard positive reviews about Sarabeth’s (not related to the NYC brunch spot) and Grand Café but did not try them. A unique hotspot is Blue Heaven (famous for brunch, but all food is good; AMAZING Key Lime Pie!). The seating is outdoors in a somewhat dilapidated looking backyard with wild chickens walking around (they are the unofficial mascots of Key West, brought over by the early Bahamian settlers). There’s always a wait, but there’s a fun Reggae band, a ping pong table and bar. B.O.’s Fish Wagon is even more casual than Blue Heaven and famous for amazing fried grouper sandwiches on Cuban bread. They did NOT disappoint!

It happened to be Spring Break during our stay so we saw lots of pub-crawlers and discovered Key West’s tolerance of open containers, particularly on Duval Street (a commercial street, lined with bars and restaurants), despite it being illegal. Famous, fun bars include Irish Kevin’s, Captain Tony’s and Sloppy Joe’s. I cannot offer firsthand knowledge about all of these places, but if Ernest Hemmingway’s picture on the wall and hoards of loud college kids are any indication, then yes, they are very fun spots.

We opted for the “dessert crawl,” a.k.a the Search for the Best Key Lime pie.  Final judgment: we couldn’t find a bad piece of pie!

The weather was a perfect 75-80 degrees each day.

Thanks to a surprise storm in the Northeast, my trip home was diverted and when I finally arrived, I had to drag my luggage through SNOW. So much for a gradual re-entry from vacation!

Single of the Week

Ken gets it done:

Today’s single of the week by Weeknd remixes a song by Siouxsie and the Banshees from 1980, the year I turned 10 and had my first crush. I’ll always have feelings for you, Walter Mondale.
Watch it here.

(Note that after 3:26 is the completely different and less awesome song, “Glass Table Girls,” which I’m pretty sure does not refer to women who work in factories that manufacture glass tables.)

Etc.

A big week: my huge project at work finished up, I still keep waking up at 4am and I am the proud owner of a new iphone. Fruit Ninja 4eva!

Enjoy the weekend!!

5 Under $5

April 5, 2011

This is 2011 people — the dollar store is selling you poisonous toothpaste from China…allegedly! So I say give up the dollar dream…but under $5, there are good things to be had. So this starts a new semi-recurring post, 5 things that can enhance your life, each under 5 bucks. (And if anyone has anything to recommend, send them in under the comments or to familyfavs@yahoo.com!)

Egg Separator — I like egg white omelettes, and I find myself constantly having the yolk slip in or I’m fishing bits of shell out of the bowl. So for $1.99, I got myself an egg separator from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It hooks onto the side of the bowl and does the work for you. Just crack the egg in and only the whites slip out to the bowl below. Genius!

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap — A bar of this in the shower does a body good because it’s all natural, AND it has a nice zing that wakes you up when you hit the sudsing part. Cleans without feeling too harsh, too. About $3 a bar — I get it at Whole Body.

Union Square Greenmarket Pies — There are a few different vendors that have delicious pies, and their small $3 ones are great. They allow you to try a bunch of different ones, and no one has to agree on just one kind of pie they want! As they say, variety really is the spice of life. I let my kids pick their own flavors and then they get to share — this weekend it was apple, pumpkin and a pecan for their dad. (For those of you not in the NYC area, check out a Farmer’s Market near you.)

Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser — It has been recommended on this site before, but it really takes the cake for getting stuff off your walls. Crayon, pen, grubby finger prints be gone! For about $4 you’ll have the power in your hands.

Starbucks Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte — It’s coming close to the $5 limit in Times Square ($4.45), but it squeaks under. No matter where you are, you can find a Starbucks, which means that no matter where you are, you can find a latte that tastes great, gives you a nice afternoon pick me up and satisfies your sweet craving all in one. I get mine decaf, but at only 130 calories, it’s still a nice treat.

There you have it. So in this installment, for about $17, life will be looking good! Try it all out and tell me what you think.

Really GOOD

I have been working so much lately that I haven’t felt like I’ve spoken to my husband in depth about much of anything. So we headed out for an early dinner to catch up. We went to Good on Greenwich Avenue, which has a great special between 6pm and 7pm every night: Any two courses are $24, three are $29. And they really mean any. So you can choose an appetizer from salads or mussels or flatbread pizza; entrees like scallops, fish tacos or pulled pork, and desserts including chocolate chip banana bread pudding or fresh donuts. It’s a great deal and the food is very good — it got surprisingly crowded that early, so I would make a reservation.

We Don’t Have a Winner

Our son signed up for Little League this year for the first time, and we were surprised when the rules came that THEY DON’T KEEP SCORE. It’s a game! People win and people lose — that is life. When we told my son, even he threw up his hands in the universal “WTF?” sign. I get that we want the kids to learn and the emphasis shouldn’t just be on winning, but I also think that by taking any sort of competition out of the game, whose ultimate purpose is really to have a winning side and a losing side, you’re setting these kids up for a lifetime of unreasonable expectations. I want my son to know that sometimes he will lose. I also want him to feel the burst of joy that comes with a win. But to have every game end with just a shrug and a handshake seems to me to be shortchanging every kid out on the field.

Etc.

Every time it seems spring is on the way, rain comes along to dampen everyone’s spirits. I would like just a plain old delicious 70 and sunny day. No wind, no rain. Just calmness.

I saw Charlie Sheen bombed this weekend at his show in Detroit. Is anyone surprised? I’m not really sure who would buy tickets to that. Not exactly clear on what performance he’s capable of giving.

I took a nap on Saturday, late afternoon, and it was just what I needed. If you’re feeling low energy and have had trouble sleeping, I recommend a nap, pronto. It made me feel like I could function again.

Hope your Monday was bearable!

Converted

April 1, 2011

Guest blogger Tori goes over to the dark side and says goodbye to good old fashioned paper…

My husband did a very sweet thing the other day and gave me a gift out of nowhere: a Kindle. I have to admit that while I was grateful and surprised, I was a little skeptical. It was a cool toy, but as a life-long lover of books, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to make the shift. Could I go from happily thumbing through pages, flipping back to check on things I might have forgotten and seeing my progress mount to simply scanning a flat screen and pushing a button to advance?

My initial reaction was that the actual width of the column of onscreen text was too thin – I felt like the line breaks came too frequently, and it was distracting. My husband predicted that it would take about 2 minutes of reading before I acclimated to it…and he was right. Before very long, I hardly noticed the change.

Since then, it’s been fairly smooth sailing. The “ink” is really easy to read in a variety of lights. I love that I can immediately purchase a new book (or magazine, blog subscription, etc.) on a whim. I’ve never read Jane Eyre (best English major ever over here, folks!) and I got it, optimized for Kindle, for $.99. The “popular highlights” feature, which shows you what other readers have marked as interesting and important, is great if you need to quickly get the gist of something – it functions almost as a crowd-sourced digital Cliffs Notes. I can also use it to access the internet and my e-mail (although I probably won’t since the interface isn’t very sophisticated so it’s more trouble than it’s worth). But it’s nice to have the option.

Regrets? I have a few. I do find it difficult to easily jump back to an earlier point to refresh my memory. I found that the way that it handles footnotes is a little clunky. Mostly I miss the feeling of progress. Sure, there’s a little meter at the bottom that tells you how far along you are in terms of percentage read, but it’s just not the same as seeing and feeling a book’s weight shift from the back to the front. I also wonder about the implications of the Kindle in terms of employing workers in paper factories (I come from a town where there are several nearby) and also the long-term effects of the way we process information.

But tra-la-la, look at how light and easy to read it is! And how accessible new books are!

I have to admit, I dig it. A lot. I think that my happiness with the device has been somewhat driven by the fact that I love the first book that I downloaded: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It’s a novel that reads more like a collection of connected short stories, which look into the lives of various characters who are all linked in some way to an aging music producer/former punk rocker named Bennie Salazar. It’s a really compelling, entertaining and often moving book about music, relationships and the choices people make – I highly recommend it, whether in Kindle or traditional book form.

That's Tori on the left, kickin' it Grand Prospect style.

A Grand Old Time

Speaking of music, shameless self-promotion alert! If you’re a fan of alt-country/ roots rock/folk/ whatever music, please check out my little band, The Grand Prospect, here or here. If you’re in NYC on Friday, April 1, we’re playing at Southpaw in Brooklyn. It’s our biggest show to date, and we’re really excited to play with some amazing bands – Shiv Hurrah, Spirit Kid and Madison Square Gardeners, all of which are worth checking out too. (Perhaps they’re Single of the Week material, Ken?) Enjoy!

Single of the Week

We’ve got even MORE music for you this week! Here’s Ken:

It’s important to help. It’s important to be empathetic and understand that we’re part of an interconnected global community. A small donation or simple act of kindness within your neighborhood is small gesture with potentially larger effects. These are things I constantly think about when downloading free mp3s from file-swapping sites. And I’m not, mind you, downloading just anything. Just cool shit like this:

Etc.

Crazy week, people. But spring is coming, the days are getting longer and there are always fun things to look forward to. Don’t be an April fool — get ready to get out there and enjoy!