Thursday, December 06, 2007


it snowed a ton! and the snow brought me my brother and my dad, too! they're in pittsburgh through the weekend for my swearing-in ceremony. daniel and i went for a walk through the snowy neighborhood and we took this picture:it's not the most high-tech photo ever, because daniel took it with his phone, but i like it nonetheless. it's me! in the snow! and it says snow, but with a heart for the "o" and an "i" on top. get it? i heart snow! and i do! i truly do!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

dear employees of whole foods, trader joes,...

...or any other similar grocery store,

please please please -- for the love of all that is good in the world -- stop congratulating me and/or cheering me on when i say that i don't need a bag for the single item i'm purchasing.

i appreciate your social consciousness, really i do. and i'll even admit to you that in the past few months i've had a really weird obsession with plastic, complete with horrible apocalyptic visions of landfills overflowing with kitty litter tubs and restaurant take-out containers and ziploc bags and tampon applicators and other horribles -- people create a LOT of trash and this freaks me out. so i understand and am grateful that you, too, want to cut down on the amount of waste that we're plugging into the world.

however -- and no offense -- but you're not really in a position to pass judgment. and even if you're offering positive commentary, you're still passing judgment. i don't like this. i don't like when you say, "awesooooommmmmmmme!!!" when i say that i don't need a bag. i also don't like when you say, "right on", "good job", "nice", or "yeah!" basically what i need you to take from this is that how you feel about my decision not to carry my single item or small number of items home in a bag has no affect on whether i will make a similar decision in the future. really, it just annoys the hell out of me.

perhaps you're trying to do some social engineering, but think about it like this -- once the person has responded to the "what kind of bag would you like?" question, you're only affirming what they've already chosen -- you're not influencing them in any sort of way. here's a thought -- maybe instead of asking me what kind of bag i would like, you could say, "do you need a bag for this?" if i weren't already inclined to decline the bag option, that question might make me think about how i really don't need a bag after all. see? see how that works? when you congratulate me after the fact, it's too late to bring about change.

so, please, dear employees, think about this next time someone chooses not to use a bag. that person might be choosing so for several reasons -- efficiency, environmental consciousness, fear of plastic -- but that person does not need you to celebrate his or her shopping decisions. unless that person has very poor self-esteem. and really, if that's the case, it's out of your hands anyway.

thank you,