Friday, January 15, 2010

5:00 Fridays

I grappled with posting today. I mean, I feel kinda lousy throwing back a cool cocktail while millions of people are struggling for a simple glass of water in Port Au Prince, Haiti. It is hard to belt out a guffaw and embrace glee while I know so many people are hurting in the throes of despair. There's not enough hyperbole to go around to adequately explain the situation down there. A mere 90 miles from our shores.

I'm one of those people glued to CNN as soon as Bird and Deal go to bed. We make it a point to tune into not much more than the weather when they are in the room. No way do those boys need to imprint such horror in their little heads. While Bird and Deal know there was an earthquake on an island in the Caribbean, they don't know much else. I've made it a point not to talk about it around them, lest I sob. I've always been a sobber, but motherhood has exacerbated my sob reflex. Dude, this commercial makes me bawl.

Today I'd like to use 5:00 Fridays to give a nod to Haiti's culture. With this drink, you'd better make a couple batches and invite over the neighbors. Better yet, invite the neighbors and collect a cover charge at the door. Donate the cash to the people of Haiti. I'll even donate a buck to UNICEF for every comment on this post.

This drink is like a delectable milkshake without the hassle of a blender. What I love is that the Haitians like to serve this rich concoction with pastries or cakes. I'm all about indulging my inner sweet tooth (and outer love handles).


2 (12 oz) cans of evaporated milk
4 (12 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut (NOT to be confused with coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 anise star
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 lime (zest and juice)
1/5 80 proof rum (You read that right. A fifth. The whole bottle)

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot and pour into tall glasses filled with crushed ice. Sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg to fancy it up.

And if you can't be bothered to whip this up, you can order a premade bottle called Cremas Dorobe. I have a hunch this might be a staple in my bar.

I raise a glass to the people of Haiti and all those reaching out and flying in to help them. Peace.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti: "Te a fatige."

The earth is tired.

Words spoken by forlorn Haitian farmers. One cannot help but sigh. Or moan.

From National Geographic: "So what do you do if you live in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, and the price of the primary carbohydrate—'Miami rice' from the U.S.—doubles? Mostly, you go hungry and watch your children do the same."

Such grim conditions are reality to Haitian mothers. Can you even bring your mind to the hell theirs must occupy? I simply cannot. I watched my sons inhale two helpings of sesame chicken at dinner tonight. As I watched them dawdle and chat and chew, all I could think about was Haiti. The people of Haiti. The mothers. And their sons.

Haiti has seen its share of hell. It is the Western hemisphere's poorest country. A long history of war, pillaging, greed, and destruction has made it so.

The recent earthquake devastation reeks of Katrina in its imagery, social classism, and utter despair. The income gap is more a canyon. The race and class divide is astonishing. The destruction is beyond my grasp. Katrina and the tsunami all rolled into one whirling nightmare.

Despite the bigotry masked as Christian righteousness that Pat Robertson spews, Haiti, and her people, did not deserve this. There was no pact with the Devil. Do people really buy this shit? If the Devil does indeed exist, I believe he looks a lot like Pat Robertson.

We are citizens of this planet. We share our humanity. Poor people do not love their children any less. Disenfranchised masses don't deserve less. We waste in one day what could clothe and feed a family of four in Haiti for days. As human beings who have so much, it is our duty to be giving. If you cannot open your passport to join an aid mission, then open your checkbook.

For just one day, I ask you to forgo that latte, Target impulse purchase, or eBay pair of Frye boots. Donate that money instead. What is so small to us makes an enormous difference to those in need.

We're giving here. Stop Hunger Now.

You can also give here:


Yele Haiti (You can text "yele" to 501501 to automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. The 5 bucks will be charged to your regular cell phone bill. It doesn't get any easier than this.)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Text "HAITI" to "90999" to donate $10 to the Red Cross.)

Doctors Without Borders

Charity: Water

And one last thing, don't wait for tragedy to strike or the advent calendar to count down, be giving everyday, in whatever small ways you can. We recently wrote down our family values on a board in our mudroom, an exercise I often do to help my clients define their brand and messages. I figure we represent brand Dirt & Noise so why not give this a shot. Here are the values that define our family:


Now, to make those four little words come to life....

This isn't just about Haiti; it's about Humanity.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Merry Christmas! I'm on it in 2010.

We, rather I, didn't get around to sending Christmas cards this year. Let's be honest. How many husbands are the ones ordering, writing, stamping, and mailing holiday cards anyway? Mac Daddy does an awful lot, but he's never dealt with holiday razzle dazzle of any sort.

And I really did have good intentions.

I had a whole host of photos that I just never got printed into cards. I'd putz about on tiny prints and poke around to find the perfect card. The. Perfect. Card. I'd become so overwhelmed that I just clicked the little X to close the window. My head is in no condition to make such choices during the most wonderful time of the year. Such choices! Wonderful schmunderful.

I like to simply go with the green argument this year. I saved lots of trees and resources by not sending holiday cards this year. While that might not have been the impetus of the year without a card, it sure was a pretty good by-product.

I vowed to make 2010 a banner year. Our year.

I'm getting a jump start on the holidaze.

Merry Christmas from our Dirty & Noisy home!
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