Be like Italy

bare floor with carpet removed

You’ve been there…

…the Italian-American restaurant with fountains, fake distressed stucco on the walls and ceramic tile roof portions inside.

It’s an imitation, just like Las Vegas imitates reality with their New York and Egyptian themed hotels.

It’s not a bad thing to bring those places to people who may never get to visit the real thing.

But let’s be genuine.


My office building has been undergoing a renovation, mostly because flood damage meant they had to replace the carpets and baseboards anyway.

During the few days between when the old carpet was ripped up and the new carpet was laid, the bare floor was exposed. Then I saw a beautiful patchy, distressed, stucco-like pattern.

Why not leave it that way and skip the carpet?

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Lost in translation

thank you card, written weirdly

Most English speakers would read this thank-you card as “TNY-HKO-AOU.”

The designer who created this lovely card was not a mother-tongue English speaker. According to the ever-trustworthy Wikipedia, traditional Chinese scripts were and are written top-to-bottom. (Nowadays, horizontal and vertical both work.)

The designer of this card was a traditional Chinese thinker.

But I have to say, the Santic Garments Weaving Co., Ltd. was very nice to include a thank-you note with the bike shorts I recently got. Bonus… the thank-you card text was bilingual (Mandarin Chinese and English).

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Why no one wants the Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

It’s ugly.

From the perspective of a Denver dweller, where Porsche SUVs are as common as hamburgers, the Tesla Model X is a fairly rare sight.

They got the proportions wrong. It’s like a beautiful Model S that was injected with way too much Play Doh.

The strange “Falcon Wing” doors are way too complicated (and apparently a bit trouble-prone).

Sorry, I’ll pass. (But starting at about $95,000, I don’t have much choice in the matter.)


Photo courtesy of Tesla.

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What is beautiful?

Dandelions are not beautiful. Or that’s what someone decided a while back.

America spends tens of millions of dollars eradicating this lovely flower from their blandly uniform green lawns.

I’m an American. My family doesn’t spend very much getting them out of our lawn, but we do prefer uniform green blandness. (I have been known to pick the little flowers and throw them in the street — not a very effective method for preventing them from returning.)

Apparently, it’s not just an American obsession. They are also considered weeds in England, Australia and Denmark — to name just a few other cultures that categorize them as a nuisance.

Even the post-flower seed blooms are amazing — uniform spheres of light fluffy helicopters, each waiting to be carried by the wind onto a neighbor’s yard. Ikea took inspiration from this stage of the plant to create their Maskros lamp.

The dandelion’s medicinal qualities are so many that one must venture to at least the third page of Google results until it’s possible to find any reference to them being weeds. (The French word is pissenlit.)

But who decided that dandelions are ugly? Maybe it’s the spiky green leaves — when the English word is translated from sort-of French, the word literally means “teeth of lions.”

Or maybe the flowers blooming so fast and growing taller than the grass around them offends people who appreciate consistency and visual homogeneity.

I vote for a law requiring that dandelions will forever be considered beautiful.

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