Thursday, December 21, 2006


I was pretty excited at first.

Since 99% of my shopping is done online, hearing the news of Piperlime -- the newest addition to the GAP family -- was a definite highlight.

Side note: not that anyone could compete with Zappos, but still, a little green-hued variety can never be bad -- or so I thought.

Today, I got the following enticement in my inbox:

"As one of our best customers, Banana Republic is pleased to let you know about a special sale from Piperlime, a fresh new online shoe shop from Gap Inc."

Cool, I thought. I'm totally in need of a new pair of Uggs. Pink or chocolate.

The actual email (the part above was just the intro) continued to promise things like free standard shipping, easy returns and brands galore. So I clicked. And realized that the "website is temporarily closed?"
Um. Isn't that the point of web shopping? 24/7, 365? Clearly, the pipers have some development work to do. Like building a fuctional online presence.

Monday, December 18, 2006


It seems that fans of list-mania must adore the month of December. Books, music, quotes -- everything has a top-10. I'll happily join the band-wagon-crowd, mainly because snippety blurbs are so much more appealing for the mind to digest.

And so, without further ado:
  1. A college whiz kid -- with an uncanny knack for the failures prevalent within the TSA -- created a Northwest Airlines boarding pass site. And although not possible to board simply by presenting his home-made concoction, it did get scores of people through security. Scary? A bit. But more insightful, really.
  2. British psychologists briliantly tested the "honesty" of their fellow co-workers. Above the "help yourself to a cup of joe, but please leave 50 cents in the jar" sign, they added a pic of a watchful eye one week, and a soothing flower bouquet the next. Evidently, even the idea of being fakely watched compels us toward truth. Caffeine-addicts were twice as likely to deposit the half buck when watched by paper eyes.

Nice to know that some people still wear their thinking caps.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Just Better

I'm secretly hoping that all the creepy news about Taco Bell and Olive Garden will finally lead people to healthy (or -ier) food. Sadly, the organic produce section at my favorite grocery isn't nearly as popular as the pro-pesticide aisle.

So perhaps baby steps is the best approach.

If I had to pick one, singular item for a desert isle scenario, it would definitely be organic milk. Preferably Horizon. (Completely realize that breakfast cereals and dairy-spiked coffee would not be available, but just go with it.)

It's hormone-free. Produced by farmers dedicated to making you better products. And aside from the adorable logo on the carton, my favorite brand has a great, informative website.

Go ahead. Toss that white stuff you got at 7-Eleven and splurge.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Critically Not

Eric Asimov, the wine critic for The New York Times, opened his Wednesday column like so:

"What's the best thing to happen to merlot in the last few years? Why, 'Sideways,' the movie that so roundly trashed merlot while genuflecting before the new god of red wine, pinot noir. The movie gave shape to and inchonate movement away from American merlot in the marketplace, and spoke the truth in caustic terms: namely that most merlot produced in the United States is not very good. As a result, the anti-merlot trend accelerated. Fewer people bought it, and producers bottled less of it."

Clearly, Mr. Asimov has not made a trip to Napa in recent months.

While it's decidely true that the movie bashed the m-grape, it actually had the opposite effect on some vino-buyers. A recent visit to Shafer -- whose claim to fame is of the hillside variety -- highlighted that the film, ironically, piqued the interest of would-be buyers and really didn't negatively impact their Merlot sales at all.

So there.

Still. He does get to write a wine blog for a fancy-pants newspaper. Guess that gets him one point.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Diss the Bird

For years, I've insisted on purchasing only organic, free-range chicken. I've avoided it in restaurants (in addition to usually being the bland "chick-dish" -- a double-entendre for sure -- the thought of somehow ingesting even a sliver of a made-for-groceries Tyson brand has been enough to gag.)

Imagine my horror/shock/when-was-the-last-time-I-sampled-a-wing-or-thigh-or-breast panic attack when I read the following:

"Tests by Consumer Reports show that supermarket chicken has an 8 in 10 chance of harboring campylobacter, salmonella, or both, bacteria that can cause illness and even death if the chicken isn't handled carefully and cooked thoroughly."


Aha, you might be thinking. Just more ammo for purchasing the more expensive, fancy variety. Think again:

"Overall, chickens labeled as organic or raised without antibiotics and costing $3 to $5 per pound were more likely to harbor salmonella than were conventionally produced broilers that cost more like $1 per pound."

So yeah. So long cacciatore, curry, stews and anything else remotely calling for chickadees.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Got Milk?

Admittedly, it's a pretty funny idea: thieving from the always-present eau-de-whatever ads in fashion magazines and adding an olfactory element to your standard bus-station advertisement.

The idea, clearly, being that pleasantly scented stimuli might in turn result in addictive consumerism. You smell rose petals and honey dew, you might purchase Lancome's latest essence. If your sniffer detects pina-colada, it might just propel you to a near-by travel agent for a tropical get-away.

That's pretty much what a milk-lobbying group was hoping for when they associated chocolate-chip-cookie smells with their billboards.

Understandably, it back-fired.

Instead of drawing in idle bystanders it evidently caused moral digust by those fighting for the rights of allergy sufferers and -- dead serious -- the obese.

I totally get it. Seems like a fine line we don't want to cross. Just thinking about what advertisements for laundry detergent and football jerseys would smell like is enough to hold your breath.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Competitive Combination

I'm totally a Blogger fan. Not sure how I feel about the big G, but this little application-schmation makes it super-easy to share my clearly fascinating dribble with my devout fans.

(Not an oxymoron.)

But. For my next project -- a much-needed guide to all things Tahoe -- I decided to cheat. I'm opting for WordPress at the moment. Debated using Dreamweaver, but giving this a shot at first. Support ingenuity, and WP definitely falls into that sphere.

Want a sneak peek?

And who said addictively refreshing this site doesn't pay off ...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Shoulder-Perched Parrot, Anyone?

Most likely, one day I'll be a rare, glasses-wearing breed. Despite the fact that I could wear invisible eyewear on a daily basis, I'm rather fond of my diamond-studded Chanel frames.

But yeah. In order to fly down the slopes in my previously mentioned pink helmet, I need something slightly less breakable.

I decided to get my conctacts at Costco. They called the other day, letting me know that my 3-month supply was ready. Cool.

PrincessMalin: "Hi. I'm here to pick up my contacts."

CostcoDude: "Yep, here you go."

Mere moments later:

PM: "Umm ... I just opened these in the car and it looks like these are 6 lenses for my left eye."

CD: "Yes, that's what you ordered."

PM: "No, pretty sure I ordered lenses for both eyes -- so I can see."

A few more moments later later, I exited the super-security-enabled bulk-foods warehouse with refills for both eyeballs in hand. It seems a teensy clerical snafu almost landed me with a pirate patch.

In other news: They're opening a TJs down the hill. Next Friday. Super-exciting.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Current Adorations

In completely whimsical order:
  1. lobster macaroni-and-cheese
  2. otto's ice-cube fanaticism
  3. oskar's intuitive-ness
  4. remembering that we live minutes from the ski lift
  5. my new pink helmet
  6. and matching goggles
  7. the durability of uggs
  8. glittens: mittens & gloves made into one
  9. having high enough ceilings for an insanely tall christmas tree
  10. realm red and whitehall lane anything

I clearly have been under-using lists of late. Luckily, New Year's is around the corner ...