Monthly Archives: February 2012

Starbucks. Can you do better?

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Here’s a letter I just sent to Starbucks.  I really can’t believe that they are still not on board on this recycling/composting thing.  I have to admit, they will never hold a flame to Bittersweet or Paul’s in Louisville – because they have live music and a home-y vibe and gluten-free treats that Starbucks will never be able to master, but if you’re rushed, or you have a sleeping baby in your car, the Starbucks drive through is an actual requirement if you are to make it through this crazy/rushed/screaming/sleeping/road raged western world.  Yes.  I am exaggerating, but hey – we all have our addictions.  Normally I wouldn’t want someone to steal my text, but on this occasion, feel free to copy and paste this (or change it a bit to fit your town) and go to starbucks.com and send them a letter!  I wonder if it’s possible to inspire change in a company that once was that local small coffee shop.  I wonder if we can remind them of the importance of the world.  Let’s try.  It’s fun.  Pass this to EVERYONE!!  I love this planet, and I’ve contributed to its imminent environmental downfall in my own ways.  But now I’m older and wiser.  Having a baby reminds you of how tender all life is, including our earth.  Let’s give her a break, already!  Now, get out there and hug a tree, dammit!

Dear Starbucks,

I remember the day I first saw a Starbucks in Boulder. It moved into an old gas station next to C.U. Then one popped up next door, and across the street, and in the grocery story. It’s a powerful company, and having lived in WA for part of my life, I support the number of jobs this company has created. Starbucks is a goliath at this point, and yet I am consistently disappointed – not by the coffee or the service – but by your lack of respect for the environment. Not only have I never seen a recycling bin in your stores (for the multitude of teens who drink their frappucinos), I can not recycle your hot coffee cups even if I take them home. I have to fill land fills with your lids. This is such a bummer to me. I live in a community that I am so proud of because they provide curbside composting. It’s a small town that has received national attention time and again for being the number one place in our country to have a family. I have to admit, if I have the time, I chose a small coffee shop just down the street from you because they HAVE RECYCLING BINS, COMPOSTABLE CUPS, LIDS, and even the cozy that keeps your hands from getting burned (they also have local Bahkti Chai which is better than butter). I love these people because they obviously care about our community and the world. Starbucks has a business model that people strive for, and a record of incredible success. Why not at least set an example to the world, demonstrating that you can have a SUPER successful business AND care for the planet. I adore the fact that Starbucks is getting more ethical in its choices of coffee, but this could really push the company into new territory. Imagine not only providing jobs in an economy that truly stinks, but not further destroying our planet in the process. I want our small coffee shops to survive around here, and I will keep supporting them when I can. When I’m in a hurry, I’d love to hit the drive through at Starbucks. Make this a more appealing option for me, won’t you? Because right now I feel massive ethical environmental guilt by frequenting your stores. That’s such a drag. An unnecessary drag. Be bold, Starbucks, admit that you can learn from the little guys, and set an example for the others.

COMPOSTABLE cups, recycling bins: Welcome to 2012. Join us. We won’t bite.
– Louisville, Colorado

It’s my ship.

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I love to sing, in my car, where no one can hear me.  I know it’s restrictive and repressive, but I have a strong feeling that I can’t carry a tune.  Perhaps it’s the expression on my dogs faces when I belt out Lady Gaga, or the embarrassment inspired by hearing my outgoing voice mail message.  You know that theory that the phone sex lady is really some swanky, rather overweight creature, chain smoking and eating pork rinds?  There’s a chance I just made that up.  And does anyone even do that phone sex thing anymore?  It’s probably been replaced by an app.  Well, I am the one with the phone lady’s actual voice, the one you would expect the woman to have if you were to see her and not hear her.  So therefore I am SUPER hot.  We’re just going to go with that.

So, I sing.

In places where I hope others don’t hear me.  Although, I have to admit, I have those overtired days in the grocery store where I sing a few bars with Bon Jovi, and unfortunately dance just a bit, in the coffee aisle, before I realize what I’ve done.

Places I refuse to sing include:

  • birthday parties.  Unless I love you more than the sun.
  • church services (mainly because I’ve only been a few times, and I don’t know any words.  Oh.  And my voice sounds like the phone sex lady’s voice SHOULD sound.  Oh.  And I find it entertaining to lip-synch.  You can hear other people’s terrible voices better that way.  Which will make you feel better about your own guttural noises that slip out at the grocery store.).

(where else do people sing in public?)

  • weddings (do people sing at weddings?  They should.  Like a version of the birthday song.  But they should reference the upcoming night of overtired, been on your feet all day, intoxicated, bloated, yet obligatory sex.)
  • Karaoke bars (there is not enough booze on the planet to make this happen.)
  • at the dentist (just seems like a bad idea.  Unless they have nitrous.  Then, who cares?)

But if I were to somehow forget my inhibitions, which would be an ecstatic vacation of sorts from which I would like to never return from, I would sing the wrong lyrics.  This is not intentional, but I think my lyrics are often much better than the original.

For example, there was a good 6 months that I sang that hip-teen-angsty song “All the other kids with the lawn dart kits, better run better run, faster than my brother.”  I pondered this illogical ranting.  I sang it with my kiddo in the car.  I pictured rich frat boy types, playing games of lawn darts (which in my head were like croquette, only with darts), running faster than the singer’s brother.  It made me happy.  And then?  I learned the real words.  Much darker than my words.  My lyrics are better.  “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, better run better run, outrun my bullet.”  Really?  Well, that just sends an entirely different message than the one I was getting.  And I felt a little bad for playing it over and over to my seven-year old.

My best mix up to date (at least that I have discovered) is over 25 years in the making.  How am I supposed to relearn lyrics after 25 years?  C’mon.  My brain does not have that kind of capacity!  Men at Work.  Awesome, awe-inspiring deep sexy weird voice (what does that say about my phone-sex-voice theory?) singing, “Do you come from a land down under?”  My entire life I have belted out the words, “I said, ‘do you speak-a my language?’  He just smiled and gave me a bit of my sandwich.”  Yes.  Why would someone give you a bit of your own sandwich?  I don’t know, but I thought it seemed like a nice gesture.  And the other day I learned something earth shattering and memory collapsing.  I leaned that the tall man did not give him a bit of his sandwich, he gave him a “VEGEMITE sandwich.”  What the fuck is wrong with Australians?  Vegemite?  I love your accents, and your tropical fish, but I can’t think of anything grosser sounding to put on a sandwich.  And what the hell is Vegemite?  And why was this such a big hit in the U.S. if we don’t eat Vegemite?  (I have to admit, I’m not even sure they’re an Aussie band.  I am just assuming…)

And by the way, what are pumped up kicks?  C’mon hip lyricists.  Give me some friggin’ words I am familiar with for Pete’s sake!  What if I had actually belted that out at a wedding?  Everyone would have laughed and discovered that in my infinite hotness, not only can I not sing in tune, but I am incapable of comprehending, let along correctly repeating, lyrics!  Ah.  The shame.  Guess I’ll just keep singing to my dogs and my daughter.  Which reminds me, her favorite song when she was four was Gwen Stefanie’s “Hollaback Girl.”  I knew these lyrics.  It’s not hard to misunderstand a California girl singing “It’s my shit” over and over.  So, because my daughter’s ears have not marinated long enough in childhood to make this mom comfortable hearing her shout “shit” to all her little elementary school friends, I would sing REALLY loud to that song, and cover the word SHIT with the word SHIP.

Yep.  It’s my ship.

And, might I add, completely fooled her.

Score?  Mom : one

Does that make up for teaching her the word crap?