Here’s a fun thing about blogging – when unexpected people find you. For example, my recent mention of THE GREEN, a Robert Redford production on the Sundance Channel, was noticed by their PR person, who responded immediately by inviting me to their DC opening. Voila – FUN! So I blew off my dinner plans, donned my coolest suit and prepared to see celebrities. Maybe even meet some. (After all, I’d seen those Vanity Fair-type photos from THE GREEN’S L.A. and N.Y openings.) The venue itself was flashy enough to dazzle us locals – it was the brand-new home of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Nice, huh? And here’s their snazzy theater.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) gave a ringing endorsement of the new show and I was struck by the night-and-day change in leadership of the Senate Committee on the Environment, after years with Flat Earth Society member Jim Inhofe at the helm.
Nicely loosened up with cocktails, we settled into our stylish and comfy seats to watch an episode called "Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Fuel," which sounds kinda dull but not to worry. Produced by the same folks who bring us "Queer Eye," it was easy watching, very human, small stories about regular folks, all that good stuff. Like the lovable mechanic who’s devoted his life and risked his marriage to promote vegetable oil-burning car engines. Or this gal who loves "bad-ass muscle cars" and found a way to drive them while green through her little business – Biobling.com.
As the prez of the Sundance Channel told us, THE GREEN presents "possible stories," not doom and gloom. You just can’t "do bleak all the time" he said. And this reviewer declares the approach a success. Laurie David was on camera a lot with her usual passion but most air time is given to regular folks doing cool things. This show just might reach some viewers who haven’t seen Al Gore’s movie, which is presumably the point. So another BIG thumb’s up.
And will be there gardening coverage? The May 1 episode about cities includes guerilla gardener Heather Flores, who "advocates for creating green spaces in poor neighborhoods – and makes her own when the city won’t," according to their press release. And on May 15 we’ll learn about Tom Szaky, "a young entrepreneur who uses worms to make a 100% green fertilizer that is packaged in recycled bottles."
So enough about the weighty subjects being covered; what about the gossip? You know, those celeb sightings. Well, not so much, unless you count the senator and Washingtonians want celebrities who aren’t government workers, please. Okay, so how about a chance to schmooze with D.C. environmental folks, my nonprofit buddies? Not a familiar face was seen and I wonder why. I mean if a gardenblogger was invited, why not the river, tree and wildlife peoples? Instead, the crowd was heavily populated with twenty-something Senate staffers (I’m guessing) getting in my way at the buffet table. (And believe me, that’s some high-risk behavior.)
The one bright note on the schmoozing front was the nice long chat I had with Jan Cousteau, a lovely woman who thank God hasn’t seen her 20s in a while. She told me about the totally impervious fake turf being installed in a park near her Virginia home and we exchanged hand-injury stories – mine from using the computer, hers from feeding baby beavers and performing assorted tasks on dozens of expeditions. I’m afraid I embarrassed myself, though, when I asked her – after she’d told me her name – what issues she was involved with. "Water," she replied, as I suddenly thought to check my purse for something I’d forgotten – like my dignity.