Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

It's hard to believe that 19 years ago today changed my life. Really. At the time I was a Freshman at Simmons College in Boston and went w/ my friends on a gorgeous spring day to celebrate Earth Day on the Esplanade. It was great. I felt a part of something, some sort of movement. It was that day that I decided I needed to do something for the environment and thought I could get a summer job stuffing envelopes for Greenpeace or some other organization in NYC.

About that time, my mom received a call from NJPIRG to renew her membership and mentioned to the caller that I wanted to work to protect the environment. The caller told my mom they had an office in Ridgewood that summer and that I should check it out. Of course, my mom forgot and a few weeks later I was back home, working at Annie Sez and searching the classifieds for something better. It was there that I saw the ad for Summer Jobs for the Environment w/ NJPIRG -- the same group that called to renew my mom's membership.

It's funny how certain things just stick in your brain. I remember that day and the excitement I felt as I learned about what I could be doing that summer. I remember the music that was playing, Simon & Garfunkel's America. I even remember that Eric had been left to fend for himself and conduct all the interviews b/c everyone had gone down to see Gov. Florio sign the Clean Water Enforcement Act into law. Let me tell you, I was hooked!

I spent that summer knocking on doors, talking to folks in Bergen and Passaic Counties about a Pollution Prevent Act that was before the state legislature and how NJ really needed it. I met some amazing people, including Bob who was one of the canvass directors. Bob happened to be digging thru his backpack one day and found a membership card w/ my mom's name on it. Turns out that Bob was the one who called my mom earlier that year to renew her membership.

As I said, I was hooked. After that summer, I decided that I was not meant to major in Art Management and own a gallery some day, but that I was to work in environmental politics! I turned down an internship with the board of trustees at the MFA and got a job w/ MassPIRG. That next summer, I ran a campaign office for NJPIRG in Morristown, NJ and helped pass the Pollution Prevention Act in 1991. That year, I transferred to CU-Boulder, changed my major to environmental conservation and political science, and went on to organize for several environmental groups after college. Now, here I am today, an environmental attorney tasked with enforcing our environmental laws.

It's amazing how 1 day, 1 event, can have such an impact on your life.

So, I hope everyone has a wonderful Earth Day! And with that, I'll leave you with this -- Elmo goes green . . .

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Elmo's Green
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Oh, and I should mention that my friend and canvass director from that summer is now running for Colorado State Representative in Denver's 4th District. Check out: How could I not mention it? Go Jen!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ushering in spring

Today was just a beautiful day. I knew I had to get outside and enjoy it. I headed out for a bike ride along the river, taking advantage of the closed-off West River Drive for the first time since the fall. The high today was supposed to be in the 60s but it was about 51 when I set out around 10 this morning. The headwind was so cold and strong that I actually turned around to go home. But, when I turned around, it was warm w/ the wind behind and I decided to tough it out, knowing that the wind would disappear after Sweet Briar.

As you can see, it was a picture perfect day. The cherry blossoms had started to bloom and I kept trying to take pictures of the trees w/ my cell phone. Bad idea. The cell phone pictures suck. So, after riding 10 miles, I still felt pretty good and decided to run upstairs, get my camera, and head back out for another 10 miles. I stopped a bunch on my second run, taking pictures of all of the blossoms. Below are just a few (?) that were my favorite.

These are my favorite cherry blossom trees. They look like weeping willows and the blossoms look like they are falling from the sky. This picture (above) was taken up near the Falls Bridge.
As you can see, there was a regatta on the river today. Below are some great photos of the blossoms w/ the honey bees. Please indulge me as I display some of my photos.

After my ride, I met Lisa in Rittenhouse Square to soak up more sun, take in the local flavor, and work on some knitting. As you can see, we weren't the only ones out. Rittenhouse was packed today. We had a hard time finding a bench. Of course, the pictures don't reflect the crowds, but that's ok.

We had a blast watching all of the dogs go by. A number of us were entertained by a scrawny squirrel that was selectively stalking a pile of peanuts on the ground and burying them all over the square. I wish I had a picture of him. He was very entertaining.
Aside from frolicking outside, I accomplished absolutely nothing today. No food shopping. No cleaning. No nothing. And it feels great! A perfect Sunday!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Crazy sky last night

Walking home from work yesterday it was quite nice outside, but you could tell that a nasty downpour was on its way. Here are some cool shots of the sky from my apartment window once I got home:

The sky looks like it's about to open up.

Here, I can normally see much further back, but it is pouring
buckets out near Brewerytown.

Check out the rainbow! Beautiful!

Neat shot of the clouds w/ a hint of a rainbow.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Just in case

Here's some ideas for those of you that actually keep kosher for passover and what you can do w/ the extra matzah that you don't want to touch again for another year.