05 May 2008

where is your off button? he he

The above still photo is out of my favorite movie, Amelie. Amelie is playing a prank on a man who is trying to watch a soccer game (in peace). She unplugs the connection each and every time a team is about to score driving the man absolutely mad. I feel like that little girl today. Makes me giggle inside. Steven has officially worn me out today. A casual walk home for Steven consists of belly button torturing, complaining how dehydrated he is, gulping down two mini-cups at the water cooler in the dry cleaners that I found with ease and not this big goose chase as Steven so eloquently put it. After leaving the dry cleaners, the small distance to Whole Foods felt like an eternity. I felt like a ball in a pinball machine. Ding, ding, to the left, make a right, no stop, wait don't say that too loud, but... but, I don't know what I want for dinner? I found myself in front of the Whole Foods produce section while we discussed what kind of sausage to buy? I sigh at this strange display of unfettered competition between the two of us. Another few more tugs here and there and I was about to lose it in the middle of the grocery store. I heard voices in my head 'what about this, what about that, what about a red pepper to go with the spagetti and garlic.' Now it was my turn. As we were leaving the store, I grabbed two more strawberries which Steven adamantly told me as I dangled the second strawberry in his face 'NO, I don't want another strawberry.' At the apartment, Steven wanted to show me some youTube videos and in the middle of 'the police vs. skateboarder' video a message popped up saying that my start up disk space was almost gone. I went into panic mode and was like you need at least 13 GB of free space in order for the system to operate normally. The culprit was all the 205 podcasts we had downloaded and the stored music on Frostwire. I have to say the rest of the evening was a little less crazy. Dinner was delicious and it was another excellent episode of House. JASMINE called me to announce her victory over the school year scoring a 3.5 and STEVEN made the Dean's List last quarter. Yay. Here's my list of things to do before my 35th birthday.
1. use my free membership to the Art Museum, expires August, 2008
2. learn to use my camera well and then head to the store... (borrowing)
3. visit Michigan and Georgia
4. buy a bike
5. frame more of Steven's paintings
6. get a snowboarding season pass
7. eat at Lovely Hula Hands
8. continue the bi-weekly Sunday dinner with next door neighbors
9. officially signed up for the Hood to Coast race in August, 2008 (was cancelled)

10. update my passport
11. visit the john days fossil beds and onenta gorge
12. snowboard down mt. bachelor
13. Amtrak it to Seattle again
14. plan a trip with my mom
15. trip to Alaska
16. exercise 3 times a week - and stick to the plan
17. buy lots of plants, the banana musa will be 6ft tall before year end
18. eat at LePigeon
19. send snail mail once a month
20. walk up and down the Willamette until i've run out of steam
21. pay off more of my debts. work towards no debts
22. embrace photobooth Fridays
23. sleep out on my balcony. like camping out. just once.
24. become good at just one thing (what will it be?)
25. don't spend my tax refund and rebate check all in one day
26. make a trip to somewhere Tropical
27. stay the night in a treehouse
28. knit Michele baby clothes
29. finish the scarf for Jasmine
30. knit a save the dolphin or whales hat for Steven
31. be happy with myself and know that not everyone will like you
32. save more
33. organize my photos
34. surprise steven

Steven wrote: I was absolutely shocked and appalled at the enormous scale of this problem. I was also extremely worried that this problem has been largely overlooked by the mainstream media and the community in general. There are so many different invasive species which all pose different threats to Oregon’s beautiful landscape and destroy its natural heritage. Although the migration of species across different landscapes is perfectly natural this process has been made much faster by humans who are largely responsible for bringing them and allowing them to be released into the wild. Although the sheer size and scale of this problem seems too big to do anything about it, I believe it’s not to late to solve this problem; afterall, mankind started it and it’s our responsibility to fix it. I believe it will be fixed because there is a movement of social awakening about the environment, mainly global warming. However, dealing with invasive species is an integral part of the new environmental challenges we face in the 21st century. As long as we move swiftly and precisely this problem can become a thing of the past.

The most compelling and destructive threat in my mind was the Quagga mussels which are native to Europe but have infiltrated the United States via the Great Lakes of Michigan. The main thing I found disturbing was the lack of effort by states like Michigan to isolate and contain this threat. Even as Lake Michigan was being destroyed by these pests there were no warning signals for other states, no public relations campaign and no legislation brought forth at all. I think this was an essential failing on the government's part to act in a timely manner: indeed they barely acted at all which has forced the mussels to spread to Lake Mead, Nevada. Despite the stringent rules such as washing off boats before entering the water the mussels still found a way. These juveniles can be as small as a grain of sand! Clearly, if washing boats didn't work I think the only logical thing to do is impose a ban on using your boat coming from any of these infected states. This would be temporary until we better understand the problem and how to get rid of it possibly using chemical pesticides as a last resort.

I lived in England until I was 16 years old so I have seen English Ivy in all its natural beauty working in harmony with the rest of the natural world. I am shocked to see what it has done to Oregon now that it is lacking its natural enemies. English Ivy literally chokes plants and trees with its rapid growth. It is important to note that it does this in England; however, it only chokes a few trees here and there and not all of them! English Ivy is the only invasive species I have seen during my short stay in Oregon and I must say it is everywhere despite the heroic efforts to combat its spread. Much more work needs to be done to get rid of it but this work is well under way and so I believe that while working to remove the ivy we must turn our concerns and focus to some other potential invaders less they sneak in while our backs are turned. (unfinished).

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