Archive for March, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting….Spencer and me
March 30, 2010

Spencer says....where's the food, lady?

This past weekend…ok, Saturday night, not the entire weekend….I had my first assignment of babysitting my grand-cat….my daughter’s beloved rescue kitty Spencer. This was a big deal…I did not want to screw up. And she is understandably more concerned about Spence these days, as she just learned he has feline CRF…chronic renal failure. The vet told her, “Spencer will not live a normal life span.” It was a real kick in the head….she just adopted him in January, totally fell in love, and now this. So he went home with a prescription diet which cost loads of money of course, and a $300 vet bill. Yeah.  So that’s that…though right now Spencer seems happy and feels good…she just hopes she will have him for perhaps a few more years if all goes well.

You see why she was loath to leave him, but I assured her I have cared for many cats in my day, and was totally up to the assignment…so I decided to stay in her apartment Saturday night…brought in some carry out for dinner, watched Kentucky get their kotuckus handed to them on a platter, turned off the lights from 8:30 -9:30 as per Earth Hour, petted Spencer a lot and just hung out. Her little abode is so cozy and has such a pretty view over Roland Park….though I found outright away why she has a sleep mask on her nightstand….it is bright in there at night with the general glow from all the lights out there. Sleep was….intermittant…Spencer likes to walk all over you a lot, and jump on and off the bed all night, and occasionally nuzzle your armpit for a pet. Maybe she’s used to it.

A pot of green tea, an almond croissant and it.

Sunday morning I went for a walk, and ended up in the Chocolatea  Cafe for a bite of breakfast…such a cute place.  Ordered a pot of decaf Sencha green tea, which comes from the region near Mt Fuji, an unbelieveably good almond croissant, and read a little  Washington Post someone had conveniently left behind.    also does hot breakfasts with eggs and waffles….I didn’t realize that until I saw someone else’s order go by. And while the website doesn’t say it’s open Sunday mornings, it is. Oh, and they do sell some fabulous looking chocolates!

Cute interior of Chocolatea...

Odds and ends department….I was excited to hear from Marshall Chapman, the singer I wrote about last week….she said, “I’m so glad you love my song “Leaving Loachapoka”!
Thanks for the mention.
Love on …

And regarding school lunches and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution program to bring some nutrition sanity to the lunchroom…Diana wrote, ” Hi Donna,
Hope you and others can take a moment to check out the blog by a teacher who wishes to remain anonymous regarding school lunches. What she is doing is right in line with Jamie Oliver. I hope this will get other people involved in doing the right thing for our children called Fed Up With School Lunch…here’s a link. 

Done Diana, done…and it is thought-provoking reading. Thanks.

And Betty wrote, “My friend and I were talking about your blog and she mentioned that you were “fond” of a fat free peanut butter. She said you thought it was great and I should find out b/c she knows I love peanut butter. Would be great to save calories!”

Actually Betty….that is Jennifer Franciotti who digs the  low fat(not fat free)peanut butter …I just texted her for the answer…she says it is called Better ‘n Peanut Butter….she gets it at  Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and  it has 2.5 grams of fat and 100 calories a serving. I asked if it was actually better than peanut butter….she replied, “Well, it’s better than nothing.” But she likes it….

Earth Hour….It’s show time, baby!
March 26, 2010

It's almost time to turn out the lights!!!!

OK, if you didn’t know…and honestly I haven’t heard much about it this year either…Saturday March 27th, tomorrow btw…is Earth Hour. Uh-huh, that’s right…if you want to see why many of us choose to take part and more people do each year….watch this…. 

And here’s the great thing…all you have to do is turn out your lights that night for one lousy hour…from 8:30 to 9:30 PM. Who can’t do that? Why should you is another question…but it will happen all over the world to bring attention to climate change. The Earth Hour movement began in Sydney, Australia in 2007….the next year 400 cities took part…and in 2009, 4000 cities and millions of people voted with their light switches. I joined the Earth Hour movement, about which you can find out more, on this link. The Eiffel Tower will go dark, as will the Sydney Opera House and the Pyramids in Egypt and the Domino Sugar Sign in B-town….also here in Maryland, Baltimore City Hall and 6 other public buildings will hit the off switch, as will the State House and Governor’s Mansion in Annapolis. Care to join in? 

The countdown is on...just reach for the light switch...

 I will break out the candles tomorrow evening( not hard for me as I do that pretty often anyway), but what I don’t do often  is turn out all the lights.  I hereby  grant dispensation to all of you who need to/want to/have to  watch the big March Madness game tomorrow night, I get it….just turn off the lights.  Explain to your kids why you’re doing it…’ll set a good example and save a little moolah in the process…a win-win! 

Join Jamie's revolution!

Update: I forgot to add that a terrific show comes on tonight from which many many many Americans could benefit….Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution at 9 on ABC. It’s all about relearning how to eat in this country…real honest genuine food, that is cooked at home, not heated in a microwave, and that doesn’t have tons of  additives and salt and fat. The cooking that most of grew up on, and need to go back to. Jamie says, and it is true…we are killing our children whom we supposedly love, feeding them crap. Watch the show…it will inspire you to get reacquainted with your stove and pots and pans, and change your thinking about food. I love his recipes.  Ok, over and out…have a great weekend, and come home safe..and play nice!

Leaving Loachapoka….
March 25, 2010

Where, you may ask is Loachapoka? Town of about 165  people as of the last census…about 7 miles west of Auburn. Come on, surely you’ve heard of Auburn, home of the great Auburn Tigers….no? And why do I bring it up anyway? I was inspired by a song I listened to on Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog( yes, bloggers read other people’s blogs too and I love hers, though clearly she has a lot of help.)….GOOP…here’s a link.  She spent some time in Nashville doing a movie and had a list of things to do and see there…and also included some of her fave musicians from Nashville. And while I’ve heard of Marshall Chapman, I wan’t  that familiar with her music, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her song, Leaving Loachapoka.  Give it a listen on the link above.

I think it reminded me a little of where I come from…another small…well, po-dunk  town in Alabama….which I also left. It was a very conservative, very straight-laced area where the rules where hard and clear…I never saw any alcohol growing up. People don’t believe me, but seriously, I never saw anyone…at a high school party or anywhere…drink.  And I remember when I graduated from high school, and an assistant youth minister at my church( where we attended every Wednesday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night…no exceptions) said to me before I left, “Don’t see everything through the eyes of where you grew up.” Honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about…until years later. Even though I was happy there as a child….I can’t imagine still living there, and can’t envision what my life would have been like had I stayed. Who knows?

Anyway if you’re wondering what we do or did in little one traffic light towns like that….when I was growing up, my parents drove us to the Birmingham airport on Sunday afternoons to watch the planes land and take off. And I loved it.   What do they do in Loachapoka where there is no airport? Well there’s Syrup Sopping Day. Really, they do have one. But when that’s over?….here it is best watched of course,  while listening to Chapman’s lovely song about Loachapoka. Enjoy….

My Latisse experiment….
March 22, 2010

Brooke Shield's eyelashes...not mine...

We did a story last fall about Latisse…you know…it’s one of those happy little “stumble upon” drugs. Doctors were using it on patients with glaucoma, who notice that after a couple of months on it, their lashes are much longer, darker and thicker. “Doctor…what’s happening to me?” And one can only imagine the  drug company Allergan, thinking..” Eureka! Forget glaucoma…we’ve stumbled on the holy grail, fellows! A new product that grows lashes and we can charge full cosmetic price for it!! A dream come true for Allergan…and women love it too.

Now let me say right up front, when we first did a story about Latisse last fall, I privately said something like, “Who on earth would use something like that, when you can just put on some mascara ? Ridiculous!”  But time went on and in January I was in a dermatologist’s office doing another story (about another subject), and we started chatting about Latisse….she uses it herself and loves it….so I totally caved. Plunked out $120 and took the tiny bottle home, and began carefully applying it every night.

My daughter’s comment was this(keep in mind, unlike her Mother, she has long dark lashes and full eyebrows)…”I think it’s just a vanity product that makes YOU feel good…no one else really notices…people use it because they notice the difference for themselves.” Out of the mouths of babes….and that’s probably true. I’m at about the 8 week point right now, and while I can definitively see a difference in my lashes, no one has has noticed or commented on them. No one. The doctor said when your eyelashes start hitting your glasses(that hasn’t happened yet)…you can cut back on the product to once or twice a week, instead of nightly application.

So tiny...but it's $120 worth....

But here’s something else I do with LatisseI use it on my eyebrows. My rather sparse eyebrows have long been the lament of Usha Gupta…Baltimore’s premier eyebrow threader…. I just don’t have all that much to thread.So I asked the dermatologist about using it on brows…and she said she thought would be ok…carefully done. And it’s on my brows that I can really see the diff.  I don’t feel the need to use some fill in product as soon as I get up, because….I don’t need to. I can’t wait to visit Usha to see if she can recognize the change without my saying anything. I love it.

Don’t try seeing if you can see a difference in my lashes on the air…oh, try if you like…but I’ve tried myself and cannot.  But …for a while at least, I will continue my little Latisse vanity experiment…just for myself.  Oh, and I just discovered a coupon on Latisse’s website…here’s a link….for a $20 off ….eases the pain just a bit. 


Still Using Crap?? The Yin and Yang of Hair Products….
March 18, 2010

I love you Dove...I don't care what they say...

This whole thing brouhaha over hair products started when my daughter moved out. She took quite a few of her fave hair products out of the shower we both use…and I used whatever was left behind ….that’s how I roll. So at a visit to the hair salon for color a couple of months ago, my colorist(God, love her) was running her fingers through my hair and said, “Your hair feels really nice…soft and it’s in good shape. What are you using on it?” I knew what she wanted to hear…some expensive brand of shampoo and conditioner that usually cost upwards of $20 a pop each. But I steeled myself and told the truth….”Honestly…I been using Dove.” Come on…it is their best formula…says so on the bottle.

dregs of the pricier products left behind....

She just stared at me…actually shocked. “Dove?? Seriously??'” When I nodded yes, she shrugged, and said, “Well, it really does look good…”. And here’s the thing…I love that Dove conditioner…it truly takes the tangles out of my hair in the shower, which the more expensive brands just don’t do….at least not for me. Yes, I’ve been told it’s because there’s wax in some of the less expensive brands, that can build up on your hair…whatever. idig it.

So I was back in for color a week or so ago….and the stylist asked, again fingering my luxuriant locks….(that’s how I like to think of them), “Still using crap on your hair?”  To which I replied, “Yep.”, though I was thinkingand saving my self a bunch of money too!”  But again, she had to agree that the proof was in the pudding…ok, bad metaphor…but you know what I mean. If your hair looks good, and feels good, and is shiny, bouncin’ and behavin’….it’s all good, right?

My nephew Quint...Julie in background...

Oh, and my sister replied to my blog about my recent trip to Pensacola…she was obviously not satisfied with my level of detail….here’s what she had to say…”Hi sis–quint will be upset if you don’t at least mention beyond the piece of a sentence –his wedding and his beautiful bride–”the lovely julie”–(does that term sound familiar??)–and i think the hotel where we stayed deserves a hit on your blog—i loved the bed and breakfast feel of it–NEW WORLD LANDING INN –15-16 individually decorated rooms, wonderful staff, and great place to have a wedding and our family time~–and i know for a fact you enjoyed the HUGE jar of m&ms outside your room! i also liked the fact that it was in the historic district of pensacola–and lots was in walking distance –sooo—i guess i have just blogged about it for you! but feel free to edit! love you–audrey”

New World Inn...loved it...

OK, let me just say this….Quint won’t give a rat’s butt about what I say or don’t say in my blog….what she means to say is that SHE will be upset if I don’t say more…hey, I know my sister. And Julie is lovely…gorgeous actually…she’s the kind of girl who can fit a dress off the rack and make it look like it was custom made for her. You know the type….my nephew is a lucky man, and he knows it.  And as for the New World Inn…I really did like it, and the large glass jars of m&ms were a nice touch. And yes, sweet sister….you blogged it for me…all correctly. Love you too!

Samurai Umbrella…
March 16, 2010

See? Doesn't it look sharp?(not literally...)

OK, let me say this…I am not really good with umbrellas..I tend to lose them, leave them, forget them…no longer be their owner after a short while. But here’s one even I might not lose, because it’s strapped to my back like a….well, like a samurai sword! My first thought when I saw this was to order one for my son who live in NYC…(if you’re interested, here’s a link). One less thing to carry in his hand, when one has a Jack’s coffee in it and the other your man bag…I mean messenger bag.  But then, just as I was considering pulling out the credit card, a brief startling scene flashed through my mind.

Just reach back, and whip it out....

Picture this….my son leaves his apartment on day that threatens rain…he has strapped on his samurai umbrella and is trudging through the streets of the west village, past Marc Jacobs, past Cynthia Rowley, a quick stop into Jack’s Coffee for a latte to go…..and off he heads for the Washington Square/West 4th subway station….noticing people are looking at his umbrella, admiring glances…aren’t they? Probably wondering where he acquired it(from his Mother who has the best taste, that’s where). And down the stairs he trots, hoping to catch the train just as it comes in..he’s running late. Suddenly the sound of heavy footsteps running behind him….the next thing he knows he is face down on some very dirty cement, voices shouting, all he can see is feet running, a child is crying. The person on top of him yells, “I got him! I got him!”  It is some time before the nice policeman lets him up to explain that the weapon on his back… is… just… an… umbrella. Hmmmm. On second thought….

Now would this actually happen? In a pre-9/11 world, probably not. But New York City? I’m not gonna chance it. I still like the  Samurai umbrella, the way it looks and its convenience, (and you may too so here’s a link to buy it)….but I can hear the disdainful words I’ve heard more than a few times from my son when I do something well intended, yes,  but the results are less than stellar…”Good one, Mom“.

For now I’m sticking with the umbrella that I have loved and managed to keep for some time now(after my son left it at my house)….it’s a Callaway Umbrella, and the beauteous thing about this collapsible, is that it is not just automatic open…almost all of them do that..but when you get in your car and the rain is pouring, you don’t have to reach out and pull the umbrella closed, thereby drenching yourself anyway….this one collapses with another touch of the button. Love it….and no one could mistake it for a weapon.

Two Men and a Pig…..yummy….
March 12, 2010

Sure it's hot and smokey...but it's war....

OK, who doesn’t like good barbeque? We were lucky enough to be in Pensacola at the time of the Barbecue Cookoff, in Seville Square….Men who take their ‘cue very seriously were gathered all around the square, tending to their charges on the grill, towers of hickory smoke rising into the Florida sky, mouth-watering smells wafting about….if you weren’t hungry when you got there…it wouldn’t be long until you were ravenous.

I'll have the pulled pork, please.....

The torturous thing was most of the competitors weren’t selling their wares, they were being prepared lovingly for the judges….you could see the guys carefully wiping their styrofoam plates and decorating them with parsley(my thought, why not go all the way and use a real dish…styrofoam? Really?). Anyway, these guys were taking ribs off the grill as though they were delicate works of art that couldn’t endure any jostling. Luckily there were also places actually selling barbecue as you can see in the picture, and while you had to stand in line, the mounds of smoked food stuff  that walked past you as you deliberated your choices, was enough to keep you rooted.

Bad Byron....some men who know their 'cue...

And the stuff was so very very fine…true hickory smoked barbecue with a Carolina vinegar based sauce…served on the side as it should be. I don’t know who won the competition….someone deserving no doubt.

Inside Joe Patti's Seafood....

And now…the best seafood place I may have ever seen. People come from all around to Joe Patti’s Seafood for the freshest filets, shrimp, lobsters, and other seafood around. I love to buy heads on shrimp(on the odd occasion I can find them here in  Baltimore)…if you’ve never had Barbecued Shrimp(poor you)….you must try it. A famous and fabulous New Orleans dish that doesn’t involve barbecue sauce at all….here’s a recipe. It’s pretty easy, but you need a lot of butter….and whole shrimp, which Joe Patti sells for $4.95 a pound. Ok, when you add the shipping charges for seafood it does up the total, but you know you’re getting fresh, wild gulf shrimp. Big difference.

Don't knock it until you've tried it....

And they also carry all sorts of things like  smoked mullet and smoked tuna dip(they are both unbelievably good), and you can get frozen crayfish, and even yes….alligator sirloin.

Hmmm..who knew??

I’m so sorry I didn’t get a cooler and fly some stuff home…what was I thinking? I guess mail order will have to do. Hope you have a lovely weekend, and cook something lovely…what will it be, what will it be?  I now have a hankering for Barbecued shrimp…it’s still good even if the shrimp don’t have their heads on…not authentic, but good.

Get your Fly-Boy on…..
March 11, 2010

early morning at a Pensacola marina....

OK….as my daughter said whine-ily(not a word, I know)  to me some years back as we were on a flight to vacation that would cost us time and money…”What are we gonna DO in San Francisco??” And you may wonder why I suggest Pensacola as a vacation…”what are we gonna DO in Pensacola?” Well, my friends, beside the food, which as I have explained, is kickin’…a bit more on that today. But first…activities!!

Pensacola is home to the Blue Angels...

How about one of the world’s largest aviation museums, which  is right there…with more that 150 restored aircraft from all eras….and more than 4,000 artifacts representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviationThe National Navy Aviation Museum is simply fantastic and get this …it’s free.  This is a place where one could easily spend a whole day…or even two, touring the base and the museum. I took waaaaay too many pictures of all the restored planes in there…and don’t forget, this base is home to the flying Blue Angels…..who practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays….what an incredible sight that would be.

Float planes, bombers, biplanes...they have it all...

Many of the planes in the museum were recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan. You may wonder how on earth did they get there. here’s what happened….during WWII, they built the deck of a carrier on the lake, so that pilots could learn to land and take off from a aircraft carrier….always a risky proposition. Many of those planes went over the side in aborted attempts….and no effort was made to recover them, until they realized it was a goldmine of war planes for the exhibit…..none of which still existed anywhere . They were pulled up and restored by volunteers….took about 5 years a plane. Incredible.

And you can stay in Pensacola the city….like we did…or stay in Pensacola Beach, which is over the 3 mile bridge to the long slender island which is where the beachfront is…..tons of houses and condos to choose from. As you know, I like to do that instead of a hotel if I’m there for more than a few days…because you can cook, and you have a living room in which to gather the family and hang out….VRBO…remember?

And you gotta go to  …..oh, there’s too much to say today and no time left….tomorrow….I’ll wrap up this Pensacola saga….and as a teaser, I’ll tell you where you can order fresh Gulf shrimp, 9-12 size(big), heads on….for $4.50 a pound. Don’t believe me? The source for seafood ….Friday right here.

No Grits, No Glory…….
March 9, 2010

The Fish House in Pensacola....

This past weekend I was in Pensacola Florida for my nephew Quint’s wedding(congrats Quint and Julie)….and not having really spent any time there(except for a hot, week long childhood vacation), I didn’t know much about the place. This I will put out for your consideration….think about going there for a vacation. Seriously. The numerous reasons why I will share with you this week….but let’s start with the obvious…food. You cannot have a good holiday in a town that does  not have good cuisine. You just can’t. And Pensacola has it goin’ on, in that category.

Grits a Ya Ya at the Fish House....over the top!

I decided to do …let’s call it…an informal grits competition….the various ways one can prepare grits. Without a doubt, the most over the top version was at a highly recommended restaurant at a marina, called simply enough, The Fish House. Its humble weathered grey facade conceals the look within….lots of large beautiful aquariums scattered about the room and white table cloths…that kind of place. And on a Sunday night ,we had to sit at the bar it was so crowded, but that’s fine with me. The tuna and salmon sashimi  was impeccably fresh, but the reason I was there was for their famous Grits a Ya Ya….a dish in which grilled gulf shrimp sit atop a saute of spinach, portebello mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon, garlic shallots and cream, over a heaping bed of smoked Gouda cheese grits. Need I say more? One order was plenty for the two of was just that rich…and at $19.95, a relative bargain. Oh, and I found a recipe online that claims to be Grits a Ya Ya….here’s a link….and when you read the ingredients you’ll want to sit down. Oh, ya ya.

The Coffee Cup....slinging grits since 1945....

I had read about a famous dish in Pensacola called Nassau Grits. I had no idea what that was, and it wasn’t easy to find someone who did know….however, in the article about “greasy spoon” restaurant…the Coffee Cup Restaurant was evidently the place that served Nassau grits  by which all other Nassau grits in Pensacola grits are judged(since 1945).

Finally, I've found the elusive Nassau grits...

And as someone else says about the Coffee Cup…..” it’s the place where cops and attorneys, drywall hangers and artists, dilettantes and debutantes gather to eat grits and eggs in the morning“….good enough for me. We cruised by Sunday morning….no luck… closed tight. But never one to be deterred so easily from grits at least, we were back Monday before a flight home….and  in luck. Even at 10 am, the place was packed….and of course nothing would do, but Nassau grits…plus a couple of eggs over easy, and a nice slice of Southern ham. Oh, and easily the best cathead of the trip(cathead is what my late Dad always called biscuits).  When the grits arrived…those suckers were red. Clearly, tomatoes were involved.

Ever had some red grits? Me either.....

Oh, the places you could go....

When I asked the waitress what was in them, she replied a touch wearily, as though it had been a long morning with yahoos like me around…but said, “Tomatoes, onions, green peppers, hot sauce and ham“. They were deliciously different….and just in case you want to make them yourself…here’s  recipe for Nassau Grits. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

Sometimes the simplest is the best....depending on the time of day....

But it was hard(impossible?) to beat the simple grits preparation at The Seville Grill in Pensacola. I ordered the pesto, spinach, mushroom and swiss cheese omelet…with grits, naturally….and they nestled up to one of the best omelets I’ve ever tasted…in their little white stoneware bowl. The waitress had asked, “Do you want cheese in ’em?” After only a moments hesitation, I replied in the afffirmative.  They were topped with cheddar and a diet devastating dollop of butter. In all honesty, you can gild the lily in many, many ways….but stone ground grits(which these clearly were) with butter and a little cheese is ….well…to me at least…a simple dish of true perfection. It was a great breakfast at the Seville. Tomorrow…more on Pensacola and why you should be planning a trip there, right now.

Overpacking..and other wasteful sins….
March 4, 2010

I've just begun...see how tight those suckers are wrapped?

When my late Father said he was sending package my way years ago, I knew I was in for a wrestling session. We had a saying at my house, ……when Bobby wraps a package, it stays wrapped. He used so much tape, the wrapping was barely visible, and one didn’t dare approach it without multiple, razor-sharp implements of destruction. He didn’t make it easy, but there was NO WAY something he sent, fell apart in transit.   No sir-ee.

Such as innocent looking box......

I was reminded of my Father’s endless devotion to over-packing, when I tried to recycle a box, in which a table for daughter’s apartment had arrived. Sounds simple enough, oui? But here’s the rub, gentle reader…or the wrap, I should say. Inside the box were at least 50 strips of cardboard, rolled and then individually wrapped in plastic strips….around and around and around and up and down, in something like Saran Wrap(or cling film as they call it in the U.K.). So to recycle all the cardboard strips under the plastic,(and people who know me, know I’m gonna recycle those suckers…I’ve almost had battles in the newsroom over this)….you had to individually UNWRAP all those little rolls. And they didn’t unwrap easy….there’s another Bobby out there. Sigh.

We love the table, truly…it came from ETSY…the website for people who are selling handmade things they individually make. But I would say this to the owner of Applewood  products……”Dear Mr. Applewood and Decor in Utah: I really love your little table, even though you sent a white one when we wanted a black on…(no problem, we’ll paint it)….but it must be said tha your packing is lamentable. Not that it was shoddily packed, oh no.  Perhaps a greater sin….over-packing. Only a maniac recycler like myself would have unwrapped each and every one of those little  #*&^#*# tubes….I had devote a full two weeks at it …off and on of course…but I did it. However,  in the feeling that we perhaps both desire the same thing….getting something safely to its destination without driving the person who receives said package insane….and in the interest of saving someone on your end much time(how long did it take to wrap those little suckers anyway?), and money(that giant wad of plastic has to be expensive…shall I mail it back to you?)….let’s just agree that there must be a better way. A way that is kinder to your wallet, kinder to me, kinder to the earth(Oh, Momma can you hear me?)…and just, well…better. Biodegradable peanuts? Cardboard rolled but not wrapped? Air bubbles? Yours for a better world, Donna Hamilton.

I'm closing in on the finish...Baby Girl doesn't like the looks of it....

Anyway to make a long story short(I know, too late for that)…I did get them all undone and drug the bunch out to recycling this week. I felt much better not looking at it in my living room, and even better still that MOST of it was recycled…I still have your giant wad of plastic wrap to put in the trash tomorrow. That makes me feel bad, and I don’t like people who make me feel bad. Can’t we find another way? Pretty please?