My phone lights up, spitting out various news sources all saying iterations of the same thing. I stare at it blankly. I couldn’t believe it: Amazon, the online giant, bought Whole Foods Market, the hippie grocery stored turned luxury health nut food store, for $13.7 billion. You read that right. Billion.
Now, I have a soft spot for WFM. I’ve lived in Austin for almost 11 years. WFM is the Austin thing, so the loyalty ran extra deep since I was an Austinite working at an Austin staple during the college days (corn is great 4078! #cashierlife). I was there when the grand news of WFM’s financial success in late 2013 spread throughout the land. I was there when they came out with their first commercial. I was there when the fancy H-E-B location came along and began to make my WFM store a ghost town(ish). I was there when Trader Joe’s came into Austin and slight pangs of worry hit every manager’s face. I was there when the prison labor controversy was running around causing questions. I was there when they put more fruit inside their Berry Chantilly cake (it’s a disappointing three berries and 99% cream now). I befriended many fellas from various backgrounds–including the friendliest porter you ever met and the wackiest guests–even met celebrities (Jesse James was kind enough to donate $25 to one of our donation drives one year and Meatloaf is super nice despite his large size). Days spent among friends during the lunch break exchanging gifts of books, food and music were the best. I’ve seen the stock plunge and rise and repeat, staying in the $30 range.
I was gone by the time their financials were not rising, their overprice asparagus water caused uproar, the closing of different extra aspects of the company is other regions, the stepping down of co-CEO Walter Robb in November 2016, and the opening of 365, the “lower-priced” store that follows a Trader Joe’s format.
I’ll be honest, I don’t shop there as often as I do now. You can’t go back when you had a 20% discount card for two and a half years. I still follow the news though. I cheer when they hit a high point and feel a slight pain of sadness when they lose (except for the asparagus water incident. That was just a “raise an eyebrow and face palm” moment).
I do find the timing a little funny. Texas Monthly just came out with an article called “The Shelf Life of John Mackey“. John Mackey, who is regarded as the “animal spirit” of the company (Robb was the business brains), was interviewed by Tom Foster. Mackey pretty much lashed out at NY hedge fund Jana Partners for trying to buy them out without really telling Mackey. He was starting his book tour for The Whole Foods Diet, his second book, so he considered the move “intentional”. The article is well-thought out and details everything from WFM’s inception to the present day conundrum. Foster even plays out what I call the WFM contradiction: as it got bigger, it became more corporate, less healthy and the core values became more….confusing…Was it a hippie store? Was it a rich people store? Was it a rich hippie store? I’ve seen my fair share of both groups at the store I worked at, so honestly I can’t really tell. I just saw happy folks buying kale salad and kombucha. No need for labels.
Anyway, Amazon. Good on you for allowing WFM to operate under their name. Also, good on your for raising the stock price from $33.06 at 9:30 AM on June 16, 2017 to $42.00 twenty minutes later (I knew I should have bought WFM stock three months ago when it was $29). I hope you can keep the spirit of WFM alive and well. As much as I don’t want the online robots to take over and ruin any chance I have at working at Vogue (print is not dead people!) or open my coffeeshop/bookstore, I guess it’s better than having WFM disappear altogether.
How many actors have a shot at being a part of something that became a part of pop culture? It’s been very rewarding. I’m not getting the 20 million bucks for the new movies, but at least I’m getting warmth and recognition from people wherever I go.
It’s that time again. The office around you grows quiet. People are “this can wait until Monday” slow to respond to your emails and phone calls. You just finished your sandwich with a side of fresh fruit and you begin to feel the heaviness in your eyes, trying to fight it before your brain screams to run to the nearest coffee shop. Time pretty much comes to a halt as you beg and plead with the Time gods to make 5 o’clock (or 4 if you have a state-wide rot rally coming to your area of town and causing traffic jams that forces you out of the office early, like me). Yes, it’s the dreaded (or anticipated) Friday afternoon.
I always like to spend at least a tid-bit of time on myself to keep me motivating and not looking at numbers all day. I will go out and take a walk, doodle or catch up on my reading. Since I forgot my copy of Anna Karenina (on the list for the “30 in 3” Book Challenge), I have escaped to my favorite place in the world: Vogue.
Since I have already read the June 2017 story on Elle Fanning (a beautiful piece that makes you want to be BFFs with Elle), it was time to venture down the list. My eye caught the article titled above. My dream is to be a self-made New York socialite (the casual “nerdy/dorky is cool” type. Not the ditzy type, if those still exist), so I found this article intriguing.
The story, written by a variety of Vogue writers, provides a brief look at five NYC’s latest batch of socialites who are successful, charitable, and, of course, fashionable. I love the theme of red the creators used throughout the article. It gives the element of power, which makes the women all the more grand.
My favorite two are the two that get the biggest pictures on the mosaic below: Nieves Zuberbühler and Amy Sall.
Cécile Winckler, 31
Cleo Wade, 28
Nell Diamond, 28
Nieves Zuberbühler, 29
Amy Sall, 27
Nieves is cool for a) her badass name and b) the fact she works at 60 Minutes and interviewed the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor. How I want to be a fly on that wall! What makes her an extra level of cool is the ease she takes from casual to over-the-top-glamorous. Halloween wedding with 900+ guests and a Brandon Maxwell wedding dress that is made of over 250 yards of chiffon? And not just any chiffon, but satin-faced chiffon? Girl, you know how to live it up.
I recognized Amy Sall from the pages of my J. Crew catalogs. My favorite aspect of her is the fact she was a former UN intern AND has a Master’s degree in human-rights studies from Columbia University. Her main focus according to Vogue is her work on the SUNU Journal, an outlet “centered on ideas of African cultural expression.” I looked up the journal on the interwebs and came across their website. Their home page has “Coming Soon” above the subscribe box, but fortunately they have a mission statement page, which you can find here. Amy Sall, overall, is graceful and fierce, and ready to take on the world of the socialites and the socially conscious.
As I was listening to the hearing, I played around on the New York Times’ website. I know, I should have been doing my work but this was just too good.
I came across an article written in January 2017 by Lesley M. Blume. It’s a short piece on Mary London Baker, a socialite who throughout her life, as the title suggests, received 65 marriage proposals and denied every single one of them. Ironic how this is in the Weddings section of the paper.
She was known as the “shy bride” who denied her first fiance three times in the 1920s and then denied men 62 more times until her death in 1961. “Shy bride”? Really? Highly doubt that. In the article, it mentions that her father confessed Miss Mary was not shy at all but rather a party girl who like to tango with princes and travel the world.
It is interesting to see how her position and status cast her off from the typical role women played in the mid-twentieth century. Her father was a well-known (and very rich) financier, so she lived a very comfortable life. She refused marriage because she could. She didn’t need the support of a man to keep her social status among her fellow socialites or her pampered lifestyle. She was truly free to wander around, fool around and live life to the fullest.
Nowadays, it’s different. If a woman refuses to marry, it’s not because she’s some rich heiress who wants to travel the world and has the privilege (though they may be a few of those still around). A woman can refuse because she wants to focus on her career or because she does not like the idea of being tied down. She wouldn’t be refused by (most) social circles because of her choice. She’d be applauded. She wouldn’t be labeled as a “spinster”. She’d be labeled as a “modern woman”.
Or maybe I’m just stuck in my millennial mindset and trying to justify my choice to not get married anytime soon (or ever). Hey I’m a busy girl with big plans. 🙂
I am not one for politics and told myself I would not involve Zelly & Ol Hem’s with political posts. This though, one can argue, isn’t necessarily about politics. It’s about history, live in the making.
One does not usually see a private citizen as a Senate hearing, but never say never. Ex-FBI Director James Comey, who served under three presidents in senior law enforcement positions, was fired by President Trump last month for possibly, though it’s looking more like “definitely” knowing too much about the Russian involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election.
Again, I am not political nor have a Political Science degree, but I am a history nerd. It’s been a long time since something with this scale of scandalous has caught the attention of the public.
There are many conspiracies wandering around if Trump silenced Comey prior to the hearing. Judging by Comey’s body language and his answers, he is providing his sincere honesty. His answers are a sigh of relief for it is clear cut and the truth, but at the same time troubling. Sure we won’t get the full, 100% information as he continuously mentions some topics should be saved for the classified hearing, but he isn’t giving BS. He’s providing everything he knows and even having a little fun as seen by his smiles when he and the Senate joke from time to time.
The whole thing is uneasy but sits well on the mind. It’s confusing but exciting and scary but full of bravery. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Happy viewing and don’t forget to raise your cuvfefe glasses full of coffee (or vodka). Can’t wait until photos from the hearing circulate. Powerful images from a historic and troubling moment in time.
This beautiful painting before you is a touching tribute to artist Ramstedt’s friend, Eric Theirot.
Eric Theirot was born in Austin, Texas on New Year’s Day, 1995. He lived in Austin for 16 years before moving to North Carolina with his parents and three siblings. He graduated high school and went to the Univeristy of North Carolina – Charlotte. He graduated this past May with Honors, majoring in Computer Science. Two days after his graduation, he passed in a tragic car accident. Eric is a loved son, brother friend, and young man, whose bright future was cut short.
As mentioned earlier, Ramstedt created a lovely and touching piece of work to dedicate his friend’s life. The colors are vibrate and it is easy to tell they were a pair of great friends.
Ramstedt will be selling prints of the piece to help raise money for Eric’s family. You can message him on Facebook, or call him at +1 (512) 983-7860.
Please also help support the Theirot family by donating to their GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/erictheriot). Their goal is to reach $20,000 to help pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses, etc.
I hate the word homophobia. It’s not a phobia. You’re not scared. You’re an asshole.
Today starts Pride Month. Let’s all do our best to welcome each other with open arms and celebrate our differences for differences is what makes our world a little more colorful. Otherwise, you’re an asshole. 🙂