Saturday, April 22, 2006
Raining and cool
Happy Earth Day, everyone!
What are YOU doing to tend to the planet?
It’s great to have this day for awareness and celebration, but we need to think in terms of everyday stewardship. I’m trying to make changes in what I do each day – it’s a slow process, but by implementing one change, then another, than another, I hope I can do my part.
Because yes, it does affect you, and saying “you don’t have time” is a cop out.
One big transition is eco-friendly cleaning products. That’s a combination of want-to and have-to because I’ve developed allergies to many of them. In fact, I can’t walk down the aisle with the cleaning products in it anymore, because inhaling the scents of that many products concentrated in a small space makes me ill.
I haven’t given up Comet, but only use it about once a month for the most severe work.
What I’m wrestling with right now is the advice to transform light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent light bulbs. I hate fluorescent lighting and it gives me headaches. Plus, I can’t see to work either in writing or sewing under fluorescent lighting. Everything is flattened out and begins to blur. I have to investigate more and see if these are a different kind of fluorescent lighting or what. I want to save energy, but I also have to save my eyes. So that’s a big dilemma for me right now.
The easiest switch was to fair trade organic coffee.
This morning, at eight, a big group of people from the town has volunteered to clean up the public spaces, parks, the brook, etc., as part of Earth Day. Think of me in the rain. I’m well dressed. As in old jeans and a Belmont Park sweatshirt with the rain slicker from Cornwall over it, and Timberlands. And heavy work gloves.
So we’ve got all these people working in the rain today (3 inches expected), and the DPW “can’t” give us garbage bags. We have to supply our own.
And they wonder why more people don’t volunteer! Go out to CVS, guys, buy a bunch of bags, and hand them out. I seriously doubt anyone would question $20 from petty cash for garbage bags.
So that's what we've done. Gone to somewhere to buy bags ourselves. The bag buyer was out looking for eco-friendly bags.Yoga Journal
has a great series of poses to relieve headaches, which I will begin to implement. They also have a “meditation for reconciliation” which sounds fantastic. I’m going to try it during my “100 Days” sit today.
Yes, we’re sitting for another 100 Days, and it’s wonderful. I feel like I broke through quite a bit last round, and this round I’m actually finding some peace.
Not much peace on my day yesterday, though.
Note to parents of badly behaved children: it is NOT cute for your four year old to take the gum out of her mouth and stick it in the well-dressed woman’s hair in the seat in front of her. And it is completely inappropriate for you to yell at the woman who now has to go get the gum cut out her hair before her important meeting, because YOU think she’s making too big a deal out of YOUR badly-behaved daughter’s behavior. You should be begging to pay for her haircut. AND apologizing profusely.
And you better believe I told the stupid cow just that.
If your kids can’t behave like decent human beings in public, leave them home. Or, when they misbehave, let them know it’s not acceptable.
The poor woman with the gum! I felt so badly for her. She was practically in tears.
I went down to the Village. It was tempting to walk around Nina’s haunts (Tapestry
), but I didn’t. I stuck to Celeste’s world.
With a pit stop at the Ash Building (now the Brown Building) on Washington Place where 146 people died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911, because the owners locked the doors to the fire escape. 146 people dead in 18 minutes. Most of them women. Who weren’t considered “citizens” because they did not have the right to vote, and the court basically shrugged off the wrongful death suit brought against the owners. A candlelight vigil was held for the dead, through Washington Square Park and up Fifth Avenue. The police were ordered to break it up, because there were fears of union organization. Instead, the police joined the silent march. Too many of them had watched people die that day.
August Belmont, of Belmont Park Race Track, went to Washington, DC after that, and helped craft our Workers’ Compensation law, which reads much the same today as it did then. He believed if an owner made a profit from the sweat of a worker, he had a moral and must have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment.
It is one of the reasons I am so pro-union. Read about the abuses these women lived through in New York, Fall River, etc. at the turn of the 20th century. And never buy a Wal-Mart blouse again. Because it’s still going on. In fact, several sweat shops in New York City were closed a couple of years ago for the exact same reasons. Fortunately, the city inspectors found them and shut them down before another fire.
I’ve been playing with the idea to write play about it for at least five years. However, last year, I realized that it’s far too vast a scope for a play (from a cost point of view), and needs to be a novel.
So I’m thinking of all this, I turn to avoid a sawhorse, my eyes are still full of the sky and the architecture at the top of the building, and I trip. The sawhorse is partially down, not up, but I couldn’t see it from around the corner, and I fell. Camera went flying, I went flying. New jeans torn, knees and hands bloody. Camera fine, though (thank you, Canon, for such excellent products).
I picked myself up and continued my walk, feeling a bit shaken, and pretty angry at NYU for just leaving that crap there because they’re too lazy to clean it up. Believe me, the barricade wasn’t doing anything except sitting there in the way; it had obviously been just pushed aside and left because it wasn’t used. So put it away already? Were you brought up with servants or something?
Washington Square Park was lovely and in bloom. Took a picture of the arch looking up Fifth Avenue – the arch that low-budget productions try to pass off as Paris in oh, so many film and television productions.
Traipsed around the West Village. I’m trying to decide if I want to set Celeste’s apartment on Minetta St. or on Grove St. I think I found the perfect building on Grove St., with a tiny, fenced in garden to the side.
Le Figaro Café, where I wrote most of my college papers, is still there. All the other corner bistros have changed. I ate at Caffe Del Marre, which used to be the MacDougal and serve great burgers and beers. I had smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and a rather weak coffee. The food was good, the coffee left a lot to be desired. Part of me thought I should have just gone to my old faithful.
Washed out my wounds with soap and water. I regret that, the first time out in the new LL Bean jeans, I’ve ruined them.
Took the subway up to work – missed the E at W. 4th, caught the C express and caught up with the same E at 42nd to go to 50th. That’s NYC subway travel!
Work was fine. My supervisor had some magic ointment (which turned out to be Duane Reade store brand) and the scrapes felt better immediately. Wanted to stop off for a glass of wine on the way home, then remembered it was Friday, and the office workers would be desperately combing the bars trying to hook up for the weekend. So I skipped it. All I wanted was a quiet glass of wine in solitude. I can do that at home and not have to fend off talkative hopefuls who are talking about things that don’t matter to me.
Calgary won Game 1 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs. Go, Calgary!
Emailed LL Bean to ask for a fabric swatch so I could patch the jeans. They emailed me back within an hour – they couldn’t send a swatch, so they sent me a replacement pair of jeans! Now THAT is customer service. You can be sure I’ll order a few more pairs from them in the coming weeks. Not only are the look, fit, and price right, they actually provide customer service.
LL Bean rocks!
Off to pick garbage out of the brook in the pouring rain.Devon