Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The continuing saga of T.A.D. and Fritz

Ah, spring. When young men's thoughts turn to flights of fancy...and mine to my favorite children's book of all time: Make Way For Ducklings. If you haven't read this book, give it a try. This would be a good one to seek out at your local independent bookstore.

Now to the point; the first post I ever wrote on this blog was about a white duck who lives in a pond next to my apartment. I named him (more on that later) TAD, which stands for The Aflac Duck.

TAD has been on his own for two years or so. So when he found a companion, I was delighted. However, I soon discovered that he's actually a she. How did I find out? Well, let's just say ducks are less puritanical about sex than humans. Or maybe they just don't have blinds to close.

Anyway, TAD's a she, and she's found herself a significant other. Fritz is quite a distinguished duck, mostly black with some white. Should they be successful in their procreation efforts, I wonder if the ducklings will be black, white or zebra?

I learned from a brilliant colleague the other day that ducks need a safe roosting place to bring ducklings into the world. Which is why I'm keeping a sharp eye on the nasty geese who like to fly into the pond and shake things up. Fritz gets pretty serious when they show up.

All of this makes me realize just how long I've lived in this apartment by the pond; long enough to have constructed a whole world of drama and intrigue for the ducks who live next door. It's really great to be 30 something and still have a healthy imagination.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recycling makes you (read: me) feel good

I'm not sure why I always feel so sunny and virtuous when I recycle. Today, when I volunteered to take my neighbor's cardboard and newspapers with me to ye olde recycling center, it just about made my day.

Now, I don't pretend that recycling is the answer to the world's problems, but I do have a theory why I always feel better after recycling. It's this:

The world is huge, and the problems we face are exponentially enormous. So it's nice, once in a while, to see how a small action can have, if not a big, then at least a "not small" result.


If I shop at the grocery store 2-3 times per week, and I use my cloth bags that I keep in the trunk of my car to tote my groceries, I'm not using at least 6-9 plastic bags a week. 52 weeks in a year (ok, 50, to give me a chance to forget my cloth bags) and I'm not using 300 - 450 plastic bags each year. Say I live another 20 years (I hope to live more, and hopefully plastic bags won't be around by then, but you get the point), and I have not used 6000 - 9000 plastic bags.

Now that's a stat I can smile about.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Missing an old friend

I've had a good week, both at work, personally and with my family (scattered and far away though they are). Which is why I feed especially glad to have stumbled upon some old emails, written in 2003, by a friend of mine who was killed more than 4 years ago. The emails are vintage "her"; calling on her female friends to connect, enrich and inspire each other. Calling on us to make sure we are fierce, and loyal and vocal about what we, as women, need from the world. It made me smile to remember it, and though I think of her all the time, this time it had a frame around it; a frame of women sitting in a garden in Brooklyn, trying to make an imprint on the world.

I miss my friend.