Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 30, 2008

For Phillies Fans Abroad

Never before had I felt the magnetic pull of home as strongly as I did on Wednesday night. Text messages, phone calls and emails were flying into my New York City apartment shouting, “We won!” “Go Phils!” and “Phileeeeeeeeees!”

The win wasn’t news to me. At the time I was rolling around on my dusty floor, half crying, yelling the same celebrations. The television was cranked up, blaring the stadium crowd noise and showing player after player jumping on Brad Lidge in supreme jubilation. There was no place I would have rather been than the place I grew up, Philadelphia.

            Having been born mere days before the Phillies won their 1980 championship, and having spent most of my life on a baseball field, I am affected, like most Philadelphians, by the plight of this team. So if there was ever a time to celebrate, this was it.

When I went outside I found the streets empty, as empty as New York streets can be. The chatter at most bars revolved around the stock market, with guys in suits too big for them and ties too tight around their necks cheersing an up day. The televisions had already been turned to analysts bickering over Barack Obama’s evening message. No one made mention of William Penn, Geoff Jenkins, or the Flyin’ Hawaiian.  The flying what? Saddest of all, not one person said, “I remember when…” and went on to talk about where they were the last time they felt this sort of Philadelphia pride.

I’ve traveled to some pretty distant places in my life. But I’ve never felt so far from home, so far from people who “understand,” than being just 95 miles from Center City.

What does this victory mean for Philadelphians no longer living near the Schuylkill? For starters, we finally have something to gloat about – fuel to fight the sports fires of our current resident cities. New Yorkers, Bostonians, whatever people in L.A. are called, get ready. We don’t have to listen to you anymore. It’s our time. And just because we don’t live in Philadelphia doesn’t mean that we can’t act like we do.

But if we want to get the best of both worlds, this is the best reason we’ll ever have to come home – or at least visit. How many Yuenglings have you downed to erase the memory of a last second loss? How many cheesesteaks have you eaten out of frustration? With or without?  You see, this is our chance to experience all that makes us happy with the timing and celebratory energy to boot. There are no qualifiers this week. There are no maybes.  No “Yeah, but…”s.  There is no better time to be a Philadelphian in Philadelphia.

So, congratulations Phillies and the city of Philadelphia. See you at the parade.

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Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 17, 2008

Newsflash: Time Causes an Increase in Age

I’m turning 28 this weekend. No big deal, I thought. With a world lifespan of 66 years I should be just part of the way into a pretty decent run. Then I came across this chart (courtesy of Wikipedia) and I realized that 28 is a big deal, or at least it used to be. Apparently, with this birthday of mine, I would be reaching the peak of senior citizenship in all but two eras listed. In ancient Rome and Greece I would be refered to as “old dude.” Little known fact: Pliny the Elder was 19 and living with his mother when he died. Looking back through time, I would be the Abe Vigota of the Bronze Age; the Moses of Medeival Britain.

Humans by Era

Average Lifespan at Birth (years)

Neanderthal

20

Upper Paleolithic

33

Neolithic

20

Bronze Age

18

Classical Greece

20-30

Classical Rome

20-30

Pre-Columbian North America

25-35

Medieval Britain

20-30

Early 20th Century

30-40

Current world average

66.12 (2008 est.)

How incredibly the advent of modern medicine has changed life expectancy for those off us fortunate enough to have access. It’s something to be celebrated. So this year, instead of toasting myself, I’ll be toasting Penicillin, Preventile inhalers, Amoxacilin, and all the meds that have put me squarely in the percentile of “youthful,” instead of the “old guy with the saggy toga who sits on his front porch widdling wooden chariots and complaining about the empire.”

It’s going to be a party.

Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 13, 2008

Make Feng Shui Work For You

Having recently moved into a new apartment I feel I have gained some credibility in the realm of home decorating. I can tell you of the many loopholes in Bed Bath & Beyond return policies. I can tell you that Yaffa blocks are stupid. And, most importantly, I can tell you that Feng Shui is real and it works.

The apartment is not new. In fact the building was erected in the 40’s and a friend of mine lived here for the last seven years. It’s a small place, must be organized efficiently, and I went along with him when he said that of the things he left (kitchen table, shelves, etc.) and the places he had his larger items (bed, couch, etc.) were pretty much in the best positions possible. What I realized after living here a few weeks is that just like decorations, photos or the clothes in the closet; the layout of an apartment is a 100% personal issue. Orientation of all the pieces has profound effect on your behavior and thus, your energy and mood.

Feng Shui Bagua Chart

Feng Shui Bagua Chart

Without getting too “new-agey” on you, everything from keeping certain items visible and others in closets, how the bed is situated to receive the sunlight in the morning will have an effect. And sometimes you don’t realize the effect until something is moved. Step back and take an assessment thinking not if you like something, but how it makes you feel. Maybe that is getting too new agey. I’ll put away the sage and dream catchers for now and leave you with http://instantfengshuitips.wordpress.com/ and http://www.fastfengshui.com.

Read it and see what happens.

Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 10, 2008

Palin’s Oil-Backing Will Hurt Alaska Tourism

Will Sarah Palin’s backing of the oil industry come at the expense of the tourism industry? I say, yes.

As I listen to her asking for prayers for the pipeline one quote comes to mind: “In the end, we will only conserve what we love. We will only love what we understand. We will only understand what we are taught.” ~ Baba Dioum, African environmentalist

What Governor Palin doesn’t understand, or chooses to ignore, is that increased drilling of Alaska will hurt so many sustainable opportunities to bring revenue to the state. It diverts funding, increasing timetables for anything “green” to take effect, and will even impact the states food sources and secondary exports. In her defense, I do understand that the oil industry is about 80% of the Alaskan economy. It’s tough to ignore the demands of 80% of your state’s economy.

But, as someone who works in the travel industry and has been throughout Alaska’s Inside Passage several times, I am very concerned when people like Palin dismiss scientific studies and back the drilling of Alaska’s great wilderness. Global warming not exacerbated by man’s doing? Please. Preservation and environmentally sustainable energy solutions are the future. Their pros far outweigh the cons. And their benefits will trickle down into everything from increased jobs, higher tourism to stable food prices and lower health insurance premiums.

By funding initiatives to back more drilling she is putting all her (and America’s) eggs in one eroding, unsustainable basket. And the snowball effect that will come from it includes everything from a decrease in wildlife (whales, bears) meaning a decrease in reasons to visit the state, higher health risks for its citizens, higher insurance, higher food costs and the list goes on.

If Governor Palin really wanted to protect the future of Alaska she’d invest in water and wind energy, tourism, and make the state stand out and be an example of where the world can go, not where it already went.

Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 10, 2008

Unsuccessful Space Landing on Gold Course

Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 10, 2008

Direct Marketing Through Tough Times

Recently, I’ve been receving brochures in the mail highlighting massive discounts and unprecidented savings on anything from sweatshirts to luxury cruises. Even though this is classic direct marketing and price control technique through tough financial times, these companies are still shying away from being as direct as possible. I’ve developed the following approach, easily customizable to your company, that puts you, the company in need, in the driver’s seat. It’s time to employ REALLY Direct Marketing techniques.

“If you are receiving this brochure it means that we have your address. That means we know where you live. Some companies talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. At Vandalay Industries we’ll walk.  We’ll walk right up to your front door, knock it down, and make you buy a set of steak knives, a car or perhaps an afgan – any number of products that are collecting dust in our warehouse. So, when you think about it, it’s best to contact us now, buy something and be done with it. You’ll be saving the cost of a new front door. Now how many companies do you know that offer those kind of savings?”

Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 10, 2008

You’ll Find Something

I wrote this when I first moved to NYC. That was a year ago so I thought it was appropriate to break it out again.

“You’ll find something.”
That’s what my barber tells me. In fact, that’s what everybody says when they learn that I just moved to New York City without a job.
They say, “I’m sure you’ll find something,” if it’s a good friend.
“I know you’ll find something,” if it’s family.

“Something” is, of course, many things to many people. For some, it’s an account position at an interactive advertising agency. It’s New York, so I have to mention finance positions. For others, it’s a writing gig. For other others it’s tossing out the spit buckets at a local boxing ring to get some free gym time. You never know. Towel please.

What I’m wondering isn’t if I’ll ever find what I’m looking for – even Bono hasn’t done that. What I’m wondering is why we are all preprogrammed to produce positive generalities when consoling someone in need. So far, no one has told me that I might have to work construction, tend bar, walk dogs or maybe all three and possibly become stuck in a position of dependence. Maybe I’ll have to sublet my place and move to a cheaper one. It could happen.

Could you imagine a friend saying, “If you don’t find something, I know a fabulous loan shark – you know, just in case…” It would be ridiculous. Even absurd advice can’t end so abruptly. What do we do instead? We say “… But I’m sure you’ll find something.”
Why?
This phrase is not intended for the advisee’s benefit, but for our own. We utter things like “I’m sure you’ll find something” or “It’ll all work out” so that we don’t feel inadequate about our advising skills, even if it means it’s not the best advice we can give. The result is more of a pep talk than true advice – heaps of icing to cover up the fact that the cake probably isn’t as good as they would prefer.

When someone tells you that they think you’ll find something in regards to employment, ask them what they would do if they were out of work for a period of time. Make them see the issue from your perspective – from a tactical perspective, and one in need of a solution, not a sugar-coated . This will bring the conversation to a workable level. If you ask the person what they would do I guarantee you won’t hear, “Oh, I would find something,” in response.

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for in terms of answers to our conditioning to avoid hard-nosed advice, but I have learned that the more people you talk to the more perspective you’ll get. You’ll become stronger in the process. If you notice yourself having trouble even finding people to seek advice from don’t worry. Keep at it. I’m sure you’ll find someone.

Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 8, 2008

Why do leaves change color?

I was looking through some old photos last weekend and stumbled upon one I took two years ago at Great Falls National Park, on the Virginia side. Now that was a beautiful fall. But last fall, because of some unusually wet and warm weather, the leaves to pretty much went from green to brown. I thought, what makes leaves change color anyway? Thankfully some people have already figured this out for me.

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html

Great Falls, VA in Autumn

Great Falls, VA in Autumn by Marc Cappelletti

Posted by: Marc Cappelletti | October 8, 2008

Where is John Muir When You Need Him?

After reading John Muir‘s Travels in Alaska, I can’t help but think that we need someone like him to instill an emotional and compelling link between the wellbeing of nature and that of our own. Tuning into the Republican Convention and watching as the masses chant “Drill, baby! Drill!” is quite possibly the most disheartening thing I’ve seen in my life. I can only assume that none of them have ever been awed by nature or inspired by our environment, especially that of Alaska. John Muir was. And he effectively communicated the power of our natural world to those in power including Teddy Roosevelt, who he took camping in Yosemite in order to secure backing to turn the wilderness area into a protected National Park.

As for Alaska, apparently it’s big enough and close enough to the lower 48 to lend credibility to a small town mayor and Governor, but distant enough to exploit its natural resources without remorse. Where is John Muir when you need him?

 

Face of the Glacier

Face of the Glacier by Marc Cappelletti

“Brought into right relationships with the wilderness, man would see that his appropriation of Earth’s resources beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance and begat ultimate loss and poverty by all.” ~ John Muir

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