Why I’m NOT doing the ice bucket challenge. And you shouldn’t either

Don’t get me wrong. I support giving to the ALS Association or any charity. As a marketing person, I think the ice bucket challenge is sheer brilliance. And do I love seeing all you idiots dump ice water on yourselves. But it’s time to stop.

Heres’ why:
In my Instagram feed, a visually arresting photo. I stop scrolling.

It’s a black and white photo of a a woman filling a bucket from an outdoor spigot. The sort of scene you expect to accompany an article about poverty in the developing world. Or on a late-night, feed-the-hungry Sarah McLaughlin commercial. Only it’s not. It’s right here. In America.

The woman in the photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier for National Geographic (Instagram: natgeo) is filling a bucket at an abandoned house. She has been living without water for a month because her landlord has not paid the bill. She is one of more than 19,000 people who have had their water shut off by the city of Detroit. Shutoff without warning.

Detroit is bankrupt. Yes. It’s also a city where more than 40% of residents live in poverty.

The city’s controversial efforts to reduce bad debt have have left many elderly, disabled and working-poor Americans without clean water for drinking and bathing. The United Nations has warned this is a possible human rights violation.

Seems pretty stupid to dump a bucket of perfectly good water on your head, now doesn’t it?

Think for a moment about that woman filling a bucket at the abandoned house in Detroit. To date, the ALS ice bucket challenge has raised more than $100 million. How many buckets of water is that?

I’ve always thought that when given the opportunity, we should give to a charity that makes the greatest impact in the daily lives of those it seeks to help. And so I won’t do the ice bucket challenge. I won’t waste water when there are so many without it. I will take my bucket of icy water and give it to the people of Detroit in the form of a cash donation to the Detroit Water Brigade.

I challenge you to do the same.

Read the article. Skip the ice bucket challenge. Give to the Detroit Water Brigade.

#ShareWater #DetroitWater


    Sorry kids, summer’s over

    first day of school -- first grade

    You know those cute back-to-school pics where happy kids with wide, toothy grins and perfectly coordinated outfits hold chalkboards proclaiming the “first day of school!” And everyone is so excited to be in whatever grade that they barely contain their enthusiasm.

    That’s totally what it’s like here…In my first-day-of-school fantasy land.

    Reality is more like this:

    Good morning! It’s the first day of school!
    Get up. First day of school.
    Try to put Cypress Hill’s “Jump Around” on.
    Something’s messed up, and the computer won’t play music.

    Get up. You don’t want to be late the first day.
    GET UP!
    Get dressed up.
    Brush your teeth.
    I don’t know why it won’t play music.
    Get dressed.
    Are you dressed yet?
    Get dressed or you’re going to school naked.
    Get your shoes and socks on.
    Shoes and socks.
    Shoes and socks.
    Crap. I have to make lunches.
    I should have prepacked the lunches.
    I don’t know where your shoes are. Wherever you left them.
    Did you brush your teeth?
    C’mon time to go.
    School supplies. We forgot the school supplies.
    Why didn’t we think to put them in the backpacks yesterday?
    Time to go. Get your backpacks on.
    Grab the school supplies. We’ll do the school supplies in the car.
    Time to go.
    Time to go.
    TIME. TO. GO.
    Get your backpacks on.
    Get in the car.
    Get in the car.
    Hurry. We’re going to be late.
    “No 2 pencils” means Number 2 pencils.
    Get ready to get out of the car.
    Okay, get out of the car.
    Get out of the car.
    Get your backpack.
    We’re late.

    first day of school -- third grade

    sad first day of school pics

    And no one will let me take a picture unless I trick them into it. And if they do, they won’t smile. Because they’re not sure about being there.

    As “ready” as we are for school, we’re not really ready. Not ready for waking up early. Not ready to fill out all the same forms all over again. Four times. Not ready for homework. Not ready for class projects. Not ready for the onslaught of papers that come home every single day.

    Then again. We are ready. So very ready for school to start.

    poop you

    One of many notes between the boys. Nicholas: “you suck!!!!!!” Jacob: “Well your a crap”
    The one on the right by Jacob says, “poop you you smell like pee!!!!”



      A weekend in Decatur, Georgia

      While the kids are away, the grown-ups will play.

      While the kids were in Texas swimming and eating mountains of Blue Bell ice cream, we headed to Decatur/Atlanta for a long weekend.

      There are TONS of great things to do in the Atlanta area. Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, the Atlanta History Center (part of which is that mansion from the Hunger Games Catching Fire), the Botanical Garden, the MLK National Historic Site, the High Museum of Art, tons of Living Walls street art, CNN tour, World of Coca-Cola, Braves games…

      Yeah…We didn’t do any of that.

      We ate, drank, stayed up late and slept in. All the things that are better / actually possible without short people. The food was awesome. The beer was awesome. And we’ll do all that other junk later—someday when Atlanta has their MLS team and we go back with the kids. Most of it’s covered with the CityPass anyway.

      I highly recommend the arugula salad and the fish & chips at Brick Store Pub, the Porter Beer Bar, any of the beers at The Wrecking Bar Brewpub but especially the Jemmy Dean Breakfast Stout, Fellini’s Pizza, the fried green tomatoes at Thinking Man Tavern, Ale Yeah! bottle shop in Decatur (great selection, great service and a fun-to-say name? They would not want me answering their telephones.), Hop City in Atlanta for the most expansive bottle selection (seriously, European beers we couldn’t get in Europe) and Red Brick Brewing Company for being consistently good and completely under the radar (outside of lambics and Westy 12, Red Brick’s Beard Envy is one of the only beers I’d want to drink every day for the rest of my life).

      ˜Keep it Indie Catur˜

      keep it indie in Decatur, Georgia