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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Share the wealth (3 ways)

As of tonight, Christmas and Chanukah will both be over (sad face), but that doesn't mean the spirit of giving has to end. Here are three small ways to keep spreading cheer and greenness the world over.

1. Give to Kiva, a non-profit whose mission is to end global poverty. 


With the help of your donations, Kiva lends money to small businesses in developing countries -- a concept called microfinance. Maybe someone is looking to start a general store in Nicaragua, or a rice-selling business in the Philippines. Kiva's belief is that people will lift themselves out of poverty if given access to financing.

All of these businesses are looking for an extra boost to start earning on their own, and all it takes is a few U.S. dollars. The coolest part? Your donation is actually a loan: nine times out of ten, you'll earn back your investment. Which means you can then re-loan to more people in need. So $25 becomes $50, becomes $75, becomes $100 (and so on)...

Learn more here!

2. Pay for someone behind you at the drive-thru.


I love this idea, submitted by Amy, one of our readers. It's so simple, and yet I'd never thought of it.  It's like insta-good-karma.

Next time you're waiting at the drive-thru (as a New Yorker without a car, I'm practically nostalgic for this delightful suburban-y experience) and there's someone behind you, roll out some extra cash at the pay window and offer to cover the next car, too. It's easy and quick, and you can stay anonymous!

3. Enter the Unnaturally Green New Year's Giveaway!

To ring in 2012, I'll be giving away a signed and personalized copy of Unnaturally Green!

The only catch? You'll have to give it away (to someone who really wants it!).

If you'd like to enter, tell me who it is you want to give your copy of Unnaturally Green. Your neighbor who loves show tunes? Your cousin, who's never had a chance to see Wicked? Your fanatical aunt who can recite every one of Elphaba's lines?

Then, tell me about that person by (1) posting in a blog comment (below), (2) writing on the wall of the Facebook Fan Page, or (3) saying it in a tweet (be sure to include my twitter name, @feliciaricci, at the end).

One winner will be selected in the New Year. Anybody in the world can enter! (Yes, you can nominate yourself -- but the whole idea is to spread the greenness. Loophole: if you give the book away, your recipient can always lend it back...!)

Questions? Shoot me an email at felicia at feliciaricci dot com. Be sure to enter! (And tell your friends.)

Peace and love!
--FLR

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas means family, family means weird photos

It's my family's tradition to take a group portrait every 25th of December. Most years, we start off normal:


Then we add the dog(s):


Then we get crazy:


Then we act like "rappers":



We just held one such photo session, this time with two dogs and some signif others. The pics aren't ready yet, but when they are I'll be sure to post this year's iteration.

And a merry, merry Christmas to you!

--FLR

Merry Christmas! Here is a song medley

In 2005, my younger sister Tessa and I wrote a 38-song medley while touring Ireland in the back seat of a van. Being surly teenagers with no attention span, we were bored by the miles and miles of countryside, and so decided the best way to amuse ourselves was to string together songs from all genres in a seamless though nonsensical flow.

Our only rules? No musical transition could be forced, and all had to garner approval by the Medley Board (me and Tessa).

Six years later, and we're still making medleys, even on Christmas. Here is our latest. We filmed it in one take, using no notes. Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Chuckle

Considering my fondness for coat hooks, I'm appalled I didn't think of this myself.



Source: Happy Place. Submitted by Hannah W.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rediscovering greenness

As 2012 approaches, I've been thinking a lot about the direction I should take this blog now that my book Unnaturally Green has been born, continues to grow, coo and spit up his baby food with each passing day. Sure, I'll continue to post book-related announcements, like --


2) A live web chat in 2012! (More info soon!)

3) New York City book event, January 24, 2012, at Housing Works! Hear me and some other theater-book authors talk about stuff! (More info soon!)

-- but what of the day to day? Then it occurred to me. I needed to get back to my roots. This has proven valuable at moments of uncertainty (I call it "Life Lesson 101"). So, I asked myself: What is the core tenet of this blog? What is the essence of Unnaturally Green? And it struck me, clear as day:

To embrace greenness.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DOG IN SWEATER

Recently, I discovered something about myself: I LOVE DOGS IN SWEATERS. Behold! A photo of Domi, beloved pooch of Nic Dromard (my Fiyero in SF Wicked, currently Bert in the Mary Poppins tour), wearing a Canadian sweater. AND WHAT IS CUTER THAN THAT, I WANT TO KNOW.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Neti Pots May Not Be So Awesome After All

This article on Jezebel.com (from a longer one on LiveScience.com) is one of the more bizarre and sad things I've read. Apparently, two unlucky people in Louisiana used Neti Pots -- a homeopathic cold treatment that passes water up through your nose and sinus (watch my demo here) -- and a deadly amoeba living in their tap water burrowed its way into their brains and killed them. Double yikes.

Apparently this is extremely rare, but in light of this, I'm revising my Neti Pot stance from blanket advocacy to PLEASE BOIL THE WATER BEFORE YOU USE IT IN YOUR NETI POT SO AMOEBAS DON'T EAT YOUR BRAINS!

Thank you.
--FLR

Moving shttttinks, here's a diversion

Friends! I just moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan (for those of you who have finished Unnaturally Green, yes from *that* apartment to yet *another* apartment...c'est la vie) which explains why on this blog I've been about as productive as the college freshman version of myself, a time when I used to read all of my English assignments lying down in bed, and so would, on the hour, read 3 pages and sleep for 55 minutes.

As a diversion, let me show you something only slightly interesting, which is the redesigned version of my personal website, FeliciaRicci.com! Check it out and try to forget about the fact that I've been the worst blogger of all time. (Oh, and if you need to hire a freelance writer, like, email me!)



MORE COMING SOON! PEACE OUT, HOMESLICE(S)!

Love,
Felicia

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nonsensical tagging: a retrospective

Tagging blog posts is a useful practice: it helps your readers sort through your articles and search engines categorize your site. Despite my knowledge of its importance, I've freely persisted in tagging all my posts nonsensically and in completely un-helpful ways.

Behold! My ten least helpful article tags! 

All ten of the following phrases I deemed logical post categories. As in, popular phrases that you could use to sort more than one article. (Click on them to visit the corresponding article(s)!)

1. amnio fluids
2. astronauts
3. baby's daddy
4. bribery
5. chemistry 4-eva
6. hygiene is obsolete
7. sash machines
8. never eat at jay's cheesesteak
9. complete useless post
10. crazed nutsos

Hugh Jackman is literally so awesome

Last night I went to see Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway at the Broadhurst theater with my manly yet sensitive boyfriend Marshall. As the near-supernatural theatrics unfolded onstage, we hooted, clapped, and more or less tinkled our undergarments. Why? BECAUSE HUGH JACKMAN IS LITERALLY SO AWESOME.

Let me preface by saying, I wasn't always a Hugh Jackman fan. In fact, on my first date with Marshall, I randomly quoted a then-recent People Magazine interview in which Hugh seemed, to me, too sickeningly good to be true, while Marshall silently thought, I hope it's okay if I later tell this girl that I kind of love Hugh Jackman.

Two years later, the relationship has grown and strengthened -- by which I mean my relationship with Hugh Jackman.

Yes, I've become a convert. Marshall (who is the most unique blend of action-hero junkie, intellectual, and sensitive man-feminist) has helped me to see the light. Together we admire Hugh's unbridled positivity, enthusiasm, and ridiculous all-around talent -- on screen and stage. But, fanatical as we are, little could prepare us for seeing him live -- in a musical theater extravaganza of Jackmanian proportions.

Some of his one-man show comprises personal anecdotes and stories, while the rest is an homage to Golden Broadway and cinema. He sings near-flawlessly, performing both earnest and parodic renditions of several classic songs that made the elder man next to Marshall hum along at sometimes annoying volumes. But no matter! We were all having such a darn good time! When Jackman needs musical-theater-y flair, he's got it: he dances like a long-legged Astaire, donning tap shoes, twirling canes and umbrellas. It got to the point where I couldn't help but keep yelling to Marshall, "WHY IS HE SO TALENTED," which was only partly to get back at the man who wouldn't stop humming.

My absolute favorite number was the Act I closer, "Soliloquy" from Carousel. It artfully showcased his acting and singing abilities, combined in one brilliant song performance. But just as Jackman can pull off such a complex dramatic piece, so can he banter with audience members about -- you name it -- late arrivals, Australian slang, his sweaty white tank top. One minute he's prancing flamboyantly (opening Act II as Peter Allen, in sparkling gold shirt and pants), the next he's showing clips of him popping his neck veins as Wolverine, a freaky man-beast with claws, and then he's performing alongside an Aboriginal didgeridoo ensemble, talking to the audience about cultural understanding.

WHAT!

In summary, I have become a full-fledged fan, and now cannot be stopped. Hugh Jackman is awesome, and I'm going to keep talking about it long after you tell me to shut up!

You should totes go see his show! Hugh Jackman 4-eva!
--FLR