Saturday, March 18, 2006

Changing the world one franchise at a time and a lovely jazz singer

My life in Chi-town is so easy and slow compared to our time in Minneapolis. (Typical day includes a visit to the Y, Starbucks and a lot of cleaning my little house, maybe some painting, a lot of internet time lately and maybe, if I can squeeeeeze it in, some banjo practica...) But when we're here, its a a crazy whirlwind. Today, I had a hair appointment with my cousin Maria to see how my weird little wedding hat is going to look on the big day (answer: Absolutely Fabulous! Did you expect anything less?) Straight from there to a meeting with Scott the head of "Health Store" and the guy we'll be working with and for on the Africa adventure. Stopped to buy some sales tax free denim at the mall and the Byerlies-and-yet-not-Byerlies-liquor-store (absurd Minnesota liquor licensing laws be damned!) for some champagne. From there to my mom's to drink said champagne and a trio of chocolate possibilities for the wedding cake...Then off to Louise's b-day bash, a real Dora the Explorer extravaganza, and then to the night club "Noche" to hear Christine Rheinholdt sing. Now home to blog it up for you people (all five of you dear souls who read my drivel). I hope I don't bore you. This is so much more than I usually cram in at home...

But I have to tell you about this Health store stuff, because I am so thrilled about it. It is such an exciting project to be involved in. Basically, the concept is that the franchise model is hugely succesful in our world, (McDonald' s for good or for ill has a foothold all over the world) and if their business model techniques can be harnessed and applied the world of philanthropy, we can really revolutionize the way we try to solve problems of health care for impoverished people in developing nations. They need to be sustainable models that can be reproduced with ease and efficiency all over the world. Capitalism can help with this, in fact, it can do this best, because its interests are to simplify and economize while at the same time producing a standardized product that the consumer can learn to trust and count on. Eric is climbing aboard ASAP from our home computer, and we'll be involved in a really hands on way when we head to Kenya (or Ghana, or both) in the fall. I'm sure I'll have much more to say about this, but I can say now, that I am really excited about this because it has the potential to have a really vast effect on the planet. We are talking about literally saving thousands and maybe millions of lives using a model that can be infinitely replicated. "Wow!" is all I can say and I feel like this is a way to use my life for something way bigger than just consuming and procreating and getting old and dying. (I really do have a dark side, see?)

I'll leave you with this fantastic woman, Christine, who we saw play tonight and who I am now madly in love with. She wore this adorable bell shaped1930's hat (she has a little flapper bob too, and glossy chestnut hair) red lipstick, little vintage dress with a fur collar, fabulous leopard print four inch heels and a really cool patent leather bag (Prada, darlings). We chatted with her in between sets and she used to be a Chicago Girl who studied at the Art Institute. Performance Artist, what else? She has that great kind of jazz voice which is not too perfect or choral, and there was a "vibe player". Apparently that is what the xylophone looking instrument is called, but it has that under-the-sea sound, like a steel drum. She said it just sounded like magic. Also, I had seen their bassist before, because he studied in Eau Claire while I was there. How funny it would be if he ended up playing at our party. I remember that the night I saw him play was one of the only nights of the two years I was there that I felt I could go on living (there). Anyway, here's to being yourself and discovering a passion that you didn't know about at eighteen. Thank god we don't stay the person we were at eighteen. Here's to being a grown-up and still being alive. Here's to being impefect and gorgeus and drinking a big dirty martini right before you write your blog and being sloppy and putting it out there anyway because its got exuberance and, fuck it, sometimes you just feel happy, and you don't have to explain it.

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