Sunday, April 27, 2008

Julia - Bored in Seattle

It takes a lot to impress Julia I have found. First of all, you would think that getting to go to Seattle would elicit some kind of excitement. The closest read I could get from her was boredom. Now perhaps I could agree that the birds in the tree outside her living room window perch might intrigue her, because she certainly was excited when they dropped by. But it seems to me there is a lot of action in Seattle, much more exciting than birds in a tree.

As we pulled off the Interstate, she had that "ho hum" look on her face. I am thinking that this was the fourth trip to Seattle for Julia. Lots yet to see, is what I say.

Oh, she was grateful that I forgot the dull cat food at home and I had to go foraging for a new bag. She was pretty intrigued with this new flavour which has the equivalent nutrition as a Grampa Teenburger, without the bun. Yep, all meat, high fat. Even cats, it seems, are drawn to certain fast foods.

She got to hang out for 3+ days in a 6th floor balcony apartment overlooking Puget Sound. Was she impressed? Hard to say. She walked around, purred, ate, and did the usual shenanigans in the middle of the night.

She was slightly interested in the trip down the elevator on Monday morning when we were leaving for home, and found her spot on the passenger side in the car, the two front paws planted on the arm rest, and looking around.

By the time we reached Denny Way, on our way to REI, she had paced between the front and back seat a few times. When all traffic came to a halt, Julia decided to see what was happening and peered out the front side window. She was alert.

What I noticed to the left was that the traffic on the 2 lanes on other side of the street were being redirected off Denny Way. An accident, I concluded after seeing the police lights ahead. Minutes later, as I was calculating my arrival time back home, I saw 2 dozen motorcycled police coming towards us. Behind them was a SUV, black with tinted windows and two men in suits in the front seat. Yes, they had sunglasses. Then there was another. And another. And another. And the parade was done.

"The Dalai Lama," I exclaimed. We were within feet of him!! Though I must admit that I could not tell exactly which vehicle he was in. Still. And it was only a nanosecond. Still. It was the Dalai Lama.

I repeated it to Julia. She was hunched on the front seat, eyes slightly closed. Clearly, she was not impressed.

"Julia, you were 12 feet away from the Dalai Lama!"

She yawned, the ingrate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

I told someone today that Earth Day was my favourite day of the year! I think it is because there are so many opportunities to think about the planet. My first decision of the day was that I would not be driving my car today; there was some adjusting because my vegetable bin is very scant today, and it is a good day to go grocery shopping since I had no evening plans.

When I was out and about on my lunch hour travels, there was a hub of excitement and energy on our main street. Earth Day dawned with glorious blue skies, and appears to have inspired many of us. A group of bicyclists with a banner that said, "Critical Mass," rode up and down the street.

I remember Earth Day when I lived in Manitoba; each year, we made a pact to implement one new thing to help. One year, I was so delighted to find that Safeway was carrying toilet paper that was unbleached - oh,it wasn't white, it was a brown colour like hand towels in public restrooms. Seemed like a good idea to me. After some time, Safeway stopped carrying it and I haven't seen it anywhere since. It seems like a puzzlement to me. I am not sure why we need to have white toilet paper and not brown; let me assure you, it did the same job.

One year, I decided to compost. Lately I realized that I have composted for close to 20 years. Now I cannot imagine NOT composting. When I visited Bellingham last week, I was delighted to see that the housing complex where my friend BJ lives has a system that taps into the municipal composting.

And here, I have heard of compost material being picked up from restaurants and taken to a public garden.

Is public composting more prevalent than I know?

I have not decided what new practice I will start this Earth Day. I like to think of it carefully, because I would like to make sure I can carry it on.

Happy Earth Day! Here's to celebrating one very groovy place to be!