Posts from January 2007

Wear your Slippers to Work for 'Stress Down Day', February 1st

In the US we have Take Back your Time Day. The UK will have its first Stress Down Day tomorrow Thursday, February 1st.
If your office has a sense of humor and/or a creative bent try wearing slippers to work.

Obviously if you are working on a construction site, slippers are not advisable.
Other activities suggested are cutting down on e-mail and blackberry use, switching from coffee to fruit smoothies and creating a stress free zone.

Firefly Tonics even created a Chill Out Drink for the occasion.

Besides helping everyone reflect on the health hazards of 'bad' stress, the event will raise funds for British charity Samaritans.

Related Piece: Shedding Stress: Busy Professionals Reflect

Frou Frou...Romance her with Cupcakes on February 14

Besides older memories of Casino de Paris and Mistinguett, I thought of the British band Frou Frou, when I discovered London based Fru Fru whose noble aim is 'delivering something beautiful'.

That something is beautiful fresh made cupcakes decorated with butterflies, daisies and stars.
They bake their cupcakes mornings daily and suggest they will be best enjoyed within 48 hours. Fru Fru delivers across London. Cupcakebox
One of their gift boxes  (9, 18 or 30 cupcakes depending on size) would be a perfect choice for Valentine's Day.

I first noticed Fru Fru on Springwise.

Know of other delectable Cupcakes offerings, let us know!

Related stories: All Cupcakes, All the Time and No Wheat Today

Do It Well rather than Do It Fast...The good work according to Jason Fried

You can go back to The Hare and the Turtle by La Fontaine, look at ants or as Jason Fried does, ask what the right way is: A spoon or a jackhammer?
We often tend to want things done fast and cheap and it does not work that way.
Patience and a sense of perspective might not be American virtues.
I do my work steadily and keep weaving and I try not do not get distracted by the background noise.

A day of musings I guess...blame it on my cold...

In your fifties and not too old to rock'n roll

To follow up on a couple of previous posts reflecting on passing the mid-century bar, I was thinking to myself that it feels like not too old to rock' n roll and definitely too young to die.
I think I do not speak just for myself when I say that people in their 50's are not ready to move to a gated community and spend most of their time on the golf course.
Our brains are stimulated by culture, entrepreneurship, technology.
We feel that we are living exciting times and want to live life fully.
We run marathons, ride our bikes, scuba dive and ski and we also travel, cook, eat, enjoy wine.

A personal musing...

Related boomers pieces: Over 50 and you will not find me... and Everybody's Happy Nowadays

'Dancing on Tables in Restaurants'...A favorite thing for Emma Bunton

I love some girl groups but never cared for the Spice Girls.
I still liked the way ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton tells The Observer Food Monthly (in its January 28 edition) about her first time...eating oysters and why she likes dancing on tables in restaurants when the music gets nostalgic and the diners starts singing along to a crowd pleaser such as 'New York, New York' in my neck of the woods.
Singing a distinctly British food tune, in the same article, Damon Gough (better known as Badly Drawn Boy) gives us his Top Ten Fish and Chips Joints.

Amongst other artists sharing their favorite food hangouts are Wynton Marsalis, Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini.

Should we file this under Simplicity.

Related British Flavored Stories: Everybody's Happy Nowadays and From Rock Star to Gentleman Farmer amongst others.

With Wine Press...Squeeze the Data not the Grapes...Get the Best Wine Picks

Unless you have a Wine Cellar with a 1000 bottles, if you are new to the wine world, you might feel intimidated by the selection your local wine emporium offers. A solution, visit The Wine Press.
You can search for wines by type of grape, style, origin, color, price, ratings, price, vintage and also make sure it pairs well with your food selection.
It might sound complicated so check what came up when I selected France for the Country of Origin and Blue Cheese for the Food. The wines suggested were all Banyuls as you will see.

The Wine Press will definitely be a treat for wine geeks and data aficionados.

Want to know more about the wines of Banyuls and Collioure and the beautiful region where they grow (right by the Mediterranean), the Celliers des Templiers gives you an inside look.

Related Stories: A Ride on the Little Yellow Train and Witches and Wizards, Halloween and Wine

Any Takers for the Parasite Museum...A Tokyo Treat

You have realized by now that I keep an eye on what's happening in Tokyo.
The only shortcoming is that a number of websites offer only a Japanese version and things get lost in translation.
My gateway to things Japanese is PingMag and their piece on a show by photographer Bruce Osborn: Oyako - Portraying Japanese Generations taking place until tomorrow Sunday at the JCII Camera Museum in Tokyo sent me looking for some English language information on this event (besides the PingMag piece).

Instead I discovered the Metropolis Visitors Guide covering Tokyo and Yokohama.


Amongst Tokyo most offbeat places (according to them) is a Parasite Museum.
Here is how they describe it:  "Something to gross out nearly everybody, this small shop—started by a Japanese physician—clarifies the nastiness of parasites. There’s a 29-foot-long tapeworm, photos of elephantiasis victims, and fish with bleeding ulcers. Yuck. Their T-shirts and postcards are sure to impress your friends."

For more mainstream interest they list the John Lennon Museum or the Kite Museum (one of their 3000 designs illustrates this post) .

'Why customers don't care about executive meetings' David Lebovitz words of wisdoms

Funny things happened on the way to Sugar High Fridays. I started on Becks and Posh with Sam's Chocolate Raspberry Tart and landed in Paris with pastry chef David Lebovitz.

Besides giving us a wonderful Chocolate Idiot Cake recipe.
He tells us why businesses fail.
Executives spend too much time in meetings, not enough time with customers. They get paid too much while those on the frontline, delivering the goods are underpaid and under appreciated.

The best thing for me to do at this point is quote David: "I was once a consultant for a corporation that owned several prominent restaurants. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out that one of their major problems was that there were a lot of high-paid executives sitting in meetings upstairs, while there were a lot of low-paid people downstairs, in the kitchen, putting the food on the plate. And let's face it: Customers don't care about executive meetings, they care about the food. And that's basically it. When I mentioned this discrepancy to the high-paid executives (who hired me to tell them things like that...right?) we had another round of meetings, discussing things for hours and hours, until I told them I couldn't sit through any more meetings since I had work to do in the kitchen. (Stupid me! What was I thinking? Those meetings were totally cush. Why slave over a hot stove? Maybe those executives weren't so wrong after all...)"

Do check his Chocolate Idiot Cake recipe though and the full piece and the other wonderful entries for Sugar High Friday.

Both Sam and David used ScharffenBerger chocolate for their recipe.

Related topics: Chocolate and Wine: Debunking the Myths

Roots, Rock and Wine...Tony Fletcher's I Jamming

I have to thank British music magazines Sounds, New Musical Express and Melody Maker for contributing to my English language skills and vocabulary.

It might not have made it on my teacher's reading list. Back in middle school-high school (late 60's,very early 70's...ouch!) we were a few friends, all Beatles fan and we bought these magazines to keep up with the News on the Fab Four.
We painstakingly (or should I say painfully) translated some of it from English to French and it was useful in the long run.

After writing Everybody's Happy Nowadays...I noticed that a site named iJamming! noticed my story.
I paid a visit and realized that it was real writing, not a spam/ad grabbing site.
The author of iJamming!, Tony Fletcher just happens to be a talented British expat now living in Brooklyn.
He started writing as a passionate music fan at 13 and then moved on to the magazines I mentioned. Tony also penned books on The Clash, Keith Moon and more.

He is much younger than I am and you can also call him Hey Mr DJ since he also spins 'records' from time to time.
Another way we are connected is his love of wine.

His music writings can also be found on  Rock's Backpages which I mentioned recently.

I am looking forward to meet you Tony.

Related posts: Rock's Backpages,a Treasure Trove

Living Room Theaters: A Movie, A Glass of Wine and a Bite...All in one place

After a long day at work, the last thing you want to deal with is having to do uber planning in order to catch a movie.

If you like Independent Movies and Foreign Ones (you know the type with Subtitles) and want to be able to enjoy the film while sipping a glass of wine with a salad, a sandwich or some pastries, there is a place besides your own home .

The Living Room Theaters in Portland (Oregon) opened its doors just last month. It offers 6 small screening rooms with capacity of 40 and 60 people each and comfy seating.Living_room
Since they are all digital, movie makers can premiere their movie at the Living Room Theaters with ease.
Their restaurant and bar offers light fare and a number of wines by the glass as well as espresso and pastries.
If you want to enjoy a light meal and a glass of wine while watching your movie, order 30 minutes prior to show time.
You can also book their space for corporate or networking events.

Best of luck to Living Room Theaters.

I found out about them on Springwise.

Related Post: Based on Movies and Music you Like Liveplasma