March 14th, 2007


Two Stories

1. When I was in Venezuela, we spent a day hiking up a low mountain to get a view of the rainforest around us. But the mountaintop was hot and glaring, and I wanted to escape the bugs, so I ate my lunch farther back on the trail, in the cool of the woods. It hadn't rained in some time, and I found a comfortable seat on a boulder that was covered in dessicated moss.

While I was eating, I accidentally slopped some of the water from my Nalgene onto the rock. Within one minute, every frond of moss that had been touched by the liquid had absorbed it, filled out, and turned from pale yellow to deep emerald.

And that is how I feel when I come home to Seattle.

2. My first year in the dorms, I was sitting at my desk, reading a book and listening to music on my computer. Suddenly, without my having even done anything on it, my computer flashed the Blue Screen of Death and crashed spectacularly. I wracked my brain trying to think of what I could possibly have done to offend it...some program, some motion, anything...and the only thing that I could think of was that the song on my Winamp had just changed over. That's all.

And that is why I am afraid of the song "Black Hole Sun."
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BTW, I got to meet Jane Goodall

Okay, I need to catch up on posting.

Last Thursday, mountain_child and I went to WSU to see Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist and conservationist, also credited with the discovery that man is not the only species to use tools. She was in town to talk about one of her latest book topics, called "A Reason for Hope." She spent a lot of time outlining the myriad environmental problems in the world, but followed them up with examples that shows our capability to change things for the better. She also talked about several programs she's founded to do exactly that, such as the Jane Goodall Institute, and Roots and Shoots. I really enjoyed her speech because she seemed like the perfect embodiment of a person who's observed a problem, and gone above and beyond to fix the problem without becoming bitter or jaded. It was awesome.

Because I knew she was going to be doing a book signing, as soon as we had seats (we arrived very early) I jumped up to go buy a book for her to sign afterward. Thing is, I didn't know she'd written so many. I sorted through an huge table of them and found it impossible to choose, because they were all on very interesting topics, and all were written in a very accessible, readable voice. Predicably for me, I went looking for a book and came back with seven.

*Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating
*My Life With the Chimpanzees
*Through a Window
*Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey
*The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for the Animals We Love
*Africa in My Blood: An Autobiography in Letters
*Beyond Innocence: An Autobiography in Letters

I bounced up and down all through her talk, As soon as the talk was over, I skipped the question and answer session and wibbled up to the book signing line, since the line to just buy books before the talk was about 45 minutes long. I stood in the signing line for about an hour, but at the end of that, I got to meet and talk with the legendary Dr. Jane Goodall. She signed my books and shook my hand, and was very nice. She also looked very tired, so I didn't bother her for too long (that, and Tyler was being very tolerant by waiting for me so long).

Jane Goodall! SQUEE.
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(no subject)

On Friday, Tyler and I were invited over to the Kaag's house. Their daughter, Sierra (my age), is presently dating a Bollywood actor from Mumbai, and she knows how to cook Indian food. She invited the two of us to come over and help make a meal so we could learn.

It was pretty fun, although hectic. We had sag paneer (fried spinach with chunks of Indian cheese), which I don't usually like, but I liked this time. We made dhal, which is a thick lentil stew. We made a dish of spiced carrots and peas with cumin, garam masala, coriander, and pomegranate seeds, which was fabulous. We made basmati rice, and I resolved to try sprinkling cumin seeds in my rice in the future. We also made naan, although we had oven trouble and it came out a bit doughy.

Overall, the dinner was absolutely delicious. We even had mango lassis for dessert, although we used mango pieces and they came out a bit fiberous (I like using pulp better). Great food, great company...a great evening. I can't wait to try it for myself. I need an Indian cookbook.

Interestingly, Tyler helped in the kitchen (I love my man), but Sierra's Indian boyfriend did not. Hmmmmmmmmm.
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