Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mission: Possible

Greetings from San Francisco!
This isn’t any trip to San Francisco.  True, I want to see the Mission murals, eat a Mission burrito and plan a mission to Alcatraz.  But my real mission – which I’ve chosen to accept – is to train with Nobel Laureate and Former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. 
In conjunction with his organization, The Climate Reality Project, I and several hundred other eco-minded individuals, will be trained to give the slideshow presentation Mr. Gore gave in the Academy Award-winning movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
That's the film that inspired this blog, so to come full circle, where I will be the one actually giving the slide show, is more surreal than San Francisco's murals.   

The slide show is meant to bring the facts about climate change to people in order to ignite action.  The objective is to get the conversation going.  In the words of The Climate Reality Project:  “The climate crisis is real and we know how to solve it.” 
What does that mean to me?  Watch out world…this blog is about to explode!
Thanks to Facebook, I’ve already been able to connect with some of my fellow trainees.  People are attending from literally all over the world and I get to meet them today!

The Climate Reality Project has chosen me, along with four others, to live tweet on my experience during the training.

I couldn't be more excited about my Mission: Possible!  So stay tuned…this blog will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

You can follow my live tweets on @MeredithForbes and @ClimateReality from Tuesday, August 21 - Thursday, August 23.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Thrill of Victory - The Agony of De-feet

If my weekly Weight Watchers meetings were the Olympics, and the sport was Going Green, the coverage would go something like this:

Bob Costas
These women have been counting points all week.  Let's see how they do on the scale.  Stepping up now is the woman from the Upper East Side.  She's worked out hard this week and we should see some good results.

Al Gore
Because it's summer and so hot, these women are stepping on the scale without shoes.  It's a requirement by the Weight Watchers Committee to lay down a piece of paper towel before they step on to remove all possibilities of athlete's foot.

Bob Costas

That's right, Al.  However, that towel is no friend to the environment.
Al Gore
It certainly isn't and we will be adding pounds to their weigh-in based on how many towels they take.

Bob Costas
Here is the UES woman.

Al Gore
She's taking two towels. That's a .4 gain.

Bob Costas 
Absolutely. She doesn't look happy.

Al Gore
With these games you work hard all week and something so careless is going to cost you.  Approaching the deck is the woman from Yorkville.  Here she goes for the grab!

Bob Costas 
Four towels!

Al Gore 
This is unheard of.  One is standard, two is stretching it, but four!

Bob Costas 
This is going to cost her, no doubt.  Let's see what the leader adds on...

Al Gore
It's a full pound!  She's adding a full 16 ounces to her weight loss.

Bob Costas 
Unbelievable but deserved.  Watch as she bunches the towels and throws them away.

Al Gore
Coming up next is the visitor from SoHo.

Bob Costas 
She should be very familiar with this practice as they crack down hard over there.  And after seeing what just happened, I'm confident she's going to use just one.

Al GoreShe's looking in her purse.  What is she doing?

Bob Costas 
I can't believe it!  She is using her own socks.  This is unheard of!

Al Gore
She's absolutely losing this week.  Gold medal.  I've never seen anything so perfect.

Bob CostasShe's in it to win it.

This is what went through my head as I waited for my turn at the scale.  Woman after women grabbing paper towels by the handful.

I took my turn – with socks – and headed back to my seat.

The meeting began and our leader announced that this week's meeting topic would focus on the phrase “If only…” because people say, "If only ___________, then my weight loss would be successful."

Still steaming from all the paper towels, the first thought that popped into my head was, “If only we all brought socks to the meeting and eliminated the need to step on paper towels for two tenths of a second.”

The first woman's "if only" was “If only I had someone to clean up after me, I’d save more time.”

To which the leader replied, “You can always get disposable things!”

Before I had time to get mad, another woman said, “I line all my pans with tin foil and then when I’m done cooking, I just throw it away so I don’t have to scrub!”

It was too much...like a green Sanya Richards Ross, I sprinted into action, waving my hand frantically in the air.

The leader nodded to me.

“I’m a huge environmentalist and when you talk about disposable and throwing things away, it makes me want to rip my head off!”

The leader looked horrified and the entire room of women was staring back at me.

"If you do your own dishes," I continued, "and give that pan a little elbow grease, you can earn Weight Watchers activity points.”

The leader did say "Good point," but it was clear I wasn't winning any medals.

I didn't even get the usual smile and a nod when someone leaves early, which I had to do (I couldn't miss the synchronized swimming finals!).

When I got home, I made an Olympic size dinner - used my own plates and scrubbed my own pans.

And I imagined the coverage went like this . . .

Bob Costas
She's going . . . she's going . . . she's won the Green Medal!