Spring 2005

Aloha Friends,

Welcome to my first newsletter! Right now, I’m sitting in my office, gazing at lush Hawaiian flora and listening to a Putumayo CD titled French Café while sipping Celestial Seasonings’ Almond Sunset Tea with vanilla soymilk. I’m planning to fill my missives with tips, books, secrets, savings, warnings, insights, quotes, jokes, controversies, and embarrassing moments. Here goes…

We don’t watch television. Our TV hides in a corner of the living room under a blue-green pareu—French for “sarong”—that I found in Bora Bora. (Dave and I sailed to Polynesia from Sausalito in the eighties.) We roll it out to watch DVDs from Netflix has thousands of films: foreign, independent, BBC, PBS, National Geographic, and so on. The cost is $17.99 for three movies at a time and Netflix pays the postage each way. You can keep the movies as long as you like.

Last night, we watched I,Robot, starring Will Smith: In the year 2035, technology and robots are a trusted part of everyday life. That trust is broken and only one man, alone against the system, sees it coming. This film employs spectacular visual effects. Listen for statements about “The Ghost in the Machine” and then read Steven Pinker’s brilliant tome, The Blank Slate, one of my favorite books of all time.

I’ve given up a habit: I no longer refill plastic water bottles. I bought four Tazo Tea glass bottles and dumped out the sugary liquid. Everyday I fill them with filtered water from my sink. Drinking from recycled plastic is suspect, especially from bottles left sitting in a steamy car.

I’m collecting tips that simplify our lives. Do you have any? If so, email them to me. I’ll include them in October’s newsletter. With your input, this newsletter could become a forum for exchanging fresh ideas on simple living.

Fashion Tips: I love my stretchy, comfy “Riders” jeans from K-mart. I select the boot-leg cut, a style that looks good on most women…Recently, I purchased one of those trendy, feminine, white-cotton tiered skirts that looks great with all of my colorful tank-tops.

What I learned that I’ll never forget: It took me years to figure out that most of our mental suffering is caused by wanting things to be different than they are.

Look at the word “BLOG” at the top of this page. A blog is an online diary. Right now, click on my BLOG and check out my diary. I add entries whenever I feel like it, about once a week. There are no rules. If you’d like to set up a blogsite like mine—a five-minute task—go to Blogs are free.

Well, I did it! I wrote my first newsletter. Thanks so much for reading it—and check it out once a month. I’ll be sending you an email invitation. Meanwhile, it’s been fun chatting with you and sharing my thoughts.


P. S. I’ve been café-sitting for over 20 years. Cafés, even noisy ones, soothe me. In May, I spent 20 days in wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen cafés. That’s a long way to go for a latte. In the photo below, I’m enjoying the ambiance at Nyhavn 17.

Cris enjoying a cup


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