not last weekend, but the one before, some girlfriends and I went on one of our semi-regular crafty retreat weekends. It was super. I got to try exciting juices like apple mint, and spent lots of time outside in the sun in funny hats:
kayte has pointed out that we don’t do a lot of crafting on these things, and it’s true. I rarely get anything done. Ranger told me I ought to for this weekend, but it just didn’t happen. there was too much lying down:
too much hiking to fabulous view points:
on top of bizarro monuments to an American Statesmen (and tanner):
and too much of watching streams and dipping our toes into the snow-melt run off. (BRR!)
it is so idyllic up there: just six of us making a home together for the weekend in the most friendly and helpful ways we can. just a bunch of girls getting outside of our real lives and living simply and happily through a sunny weekend. I have this thing where I need badly to build community in my life, and I’m so happy to have this one.
plus, on the way home? lorelei and I hit a barn sale jackpot. super!
I haven’t posted much about Japan because I have 650 photos and I’m waiting for Ranger’s before I make a big photo post.
I will say, though, that I went ahead and bought an offset for my flight. I got the terrapass intercontinental, which will cover my trip to TN in the fall and my trip to Japan, as well as a future trip within America (probably to GA to visit gramma and aunts and uncles in late spring/early summer, if they’ll have me). it is awfully cheap – only $37 for all those flights – and I got a free luggage tag, something that I wish I had on the trip (there was one airline counter worker who looked at me with absolute scorn when I said I needed to use one of the paper tags that the airlines provide).
you can calculate your required flight offset here.
I had a back and forth with a coworker when he mentioned that Al Gore has been running into some hassle regarding his Freakin’ Big House and how he buys carbon offsets for it. I am not proponent of offsets as a end-all environmental strategy – I think that conservation is most important. Way more important than most people (Dick Cheney, I’m looking at you. It may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is also sufficient basis for MY sound, comprehensive energy policy*). So Yeah, I think that Al should maybe live in a smaller house. and Yeah, I think he ought to get on that zoning thing so he can put up solar panels. But I think it’s important to offset things as well. You create a market for energy conservation and offsetting acts as a private sector subsidy for development of conservation programs and energy efficiencies. That’s really important, because there sure isn’t much public sector subsidizing of that kind of thing. I think offsets are an important bridge between no conservation and conservation. they show elected officials that people care about this sort of thing, and hopefully, they foster development.
All my transportation for the last year has been carbon neutral. and I LOVE that. being carbon neutral plus the value-added by bringing the recycling home from work in my car (I implemented a recycling policy: more on that later) makes me feel a lot better about my selfish choice to live where I do. This is why I say selfish: I could have chosen to live very close to work so I could bike and not drive ~60 miles per day, but I wanted to live where it would be easy to get into NYC to see my friends, and where I could walk to restaurants and the gym, and where I live across the street from the library. I had to find a balance between my personal life and the environment. so buying a 2-seater hybrid and offsetting all of my travel miles makes my decision to live where I do the right one both for me, and for the environment. the new environmentalism is everyone doing what we can within our means and abilities, right? Right.
* “To speak exclusively of conservation is to duck the tough issues… Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it si not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy. People work very hard to get where they are. And the hardest working are the least likely to go around squandering energy, or anything else that costs them money. Our strategy will recongnize that the present crisis does not represent a failing of the American People.” — Dick Cheney, re: 2001 Bush Administration energy policy, 4/30/2001
today is Kelly’s birthday!
if you didn’t know, Kelly is a superstar and a sweetheart. but I’m not sure how you WOULDN’T know, because it’s so obvious to everyone around her.
I just wish that I could be there for her birthday like she was for mine!
she deserves only the most wonderfulness wonderful today.
Happy birthday dear!
I hate to be the person who is asking for forgiveness and not permission. Let’s get it straight: I DID ask for permission to paint my apartment. I asked and called and never was able to speak to the landlord because the woman who answers the phone is very protective of him and didn’t ever put me through. Finally I asked HER for permission and she said that I could, as I was offering to paint the rooms back or to at least prime.
but my landlord inspected my apartment yesterday and he called me up and told me that I wasn’t supposed to have painted my apartment, and that there was no record in my file of having asked for or been granted permission.
I explained I was planning to prime before I moved and that having painted walls were very important to me as I generally stayed in one place for several years, and also, the walls were very dingy when I moved in – and he said that he couldn’t allow me to paint! that there were liability issues! and workers comp! and special materials! goodness. I’ve never thought of painting in those terms before.
So he’s going to hire people to do it after I leave, and I probably won’t get much of my security deposit back because I painted every room, and the dark colors! but let’s face it — it looks pretty darn good. and if they weren’t going to have let me after all, I’m glad I’m in the position of just asking for forgiveness.
I had a really bang up super duper birthday party on sat. night at the American Legion Post in Rutherford. That place is so super, and I had so many wonderful friends come and share my birthday with me. At midnight we popped champagne and sang happy birthday as if it were New Year’s Eve. There was a dance party and special guests from out of town (Mariss! Kelly! Aurora! Jesse! Cousin John! and Serena, even though from now on she counts as a local!) and I just had so much fun. I didn’t take many photos because I was busy having way too much fun.
so now I’m flirty thirty! or dirty thirty, depending on when you catch me, i guess. super. I’m so happy to have my 20s behind me and am looking forward to #30 being a Year of Beauty.
I got back from a marathon travel day and returned to work yesterday. I think I’m doing ok with the jet lag, but I’m really tired! I think I travelled for about 24 hours straight – I:
- took a train from Ueno Station (Tokyo) to Narita Airport
- Flew for 12 hours to Chicago
- Immigration etc.
- Flew for 2 hours to Laguardia
- Baggage and pack repacking etc.
- Q33 bus to Jackson Heights
- E train to Port Authority
- DeKamp Bus to Upper Montclair, where my car was housed behind a friends house
- Drove home to Rfrd.
I’ve got roughly 750 photos. I uploaded 944 from my camera memory cards last night and deleted about 200 of them b/c they were crooked dupes. Now I need to rename them and put them on teh flickr and my entire trip will be photodocumented in excrutiating detail for you all!
The trip was super great. Ranger and I traveled together very well, there were lots of amazing things to see, and I brought exactly the right amount of things in my pack to not wish I had more things or wish I’d brought less. When I got home and weighed it the pack was 35 lbs, and that includes some really pretty china I bought at the last minute. I feel ridiculously and dorkily proud of this traveling with a backpack thing – I’ve never done it before! and it went so well! being at work, though, not so great. I didn’t have as many emails as anticipated and haven’t spoken to key project managers yet – but hopefully, all is well.
ranger and I are checking our internets in an internet cafe in hiroshima. I wasn:t going to, I mean, I kind of love the part about my 2 week foreign vacation where I:m not in touch with anyone at all. but they would have made me sit out front while ranger checked her emails so I thought I:d go ahead and see if anyone had responded to my birthday party invite. Not many people have, so I:m going to assume it:ll be me and my closest friends in the american legion hall in rutherford.
about japan: we:ve been here for just over a week. it seems longer because we lost two days when travelling — one to travelling and one to the international date line. we stayed in tokyo for 5 days and then kyoto for 3 and we:re in hiroshima now overnight. after today we will go to kobe, because there wasn:t any room in osaka or nara for us to stay.
this keyboard is kind of exciting. the space bar is really short and I can:t make an apostrophe. if I push a wrong button kanji comes up instead and luckily I figured out how to switch back to the roman alphabet! I don:t know if this will come up on y:alls western computersÂ but I could be typing like this:
I just wrote: so, this is totally me typing in kanji. see. see?
we:ve been staying in ryokan, which are traditional japanese style hotels and rooms. we sleep on futons on tatami mat floors and they have yukatas, which are robes, for us to wear. it:s been really great and ranger and I haven:t wanted to kill each other so far, which is super. I obsessively map, she says. ranger talks smack about people from boston, and also, germans. we:re getting along very well and learning new and exciting things about each other. tomorrow we will see the a-bomb memorial and peace site, and then we:ll go to kobe and shop. see? perfect travelling synergy. the night after that is koya-san, where we will stay in a monestary overnight. it might be freezing cold. kyoto was really freakin: cold. koya-san is on a plateau where this guy who brought zen buddism was lead by a two headed dog that he got from a red-faced hunter. see how exciting japan is?
I:m gonna go. tonight I will find out if my 110AC camera battery adapter does awful things when plugged into japans 100AC outlets. ok, 30 min. up.
21. Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt
22. The Changeling by Phillippa Carr (Victoria Holt)
23. The Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne
24. Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles