My birthday usually lasts the full month. This behaviour wasn’t instituted by me. It came about because as a teen I lived in one place with lots of lovely friends and had lots of other lovely friends in another city. It meant that I got used to stretching out a birthday in order to make myself and others feel good about not being able to celebrate together on my actual birthday. The practice that started due to geography soon became habit so even now I love stretching out the celebrations.
This year was a truncated celebration. I was away in Jordan during the lead-up to my birthday, in a perfume workshop the weekend of my birthday, and have been bustling away with work since my birthday. The birthday celebration was Sunday night (Nov. 16) and there’s only been a quiet smattering of birthday wishes since. Not my usual full-blown agenda so I was very excited to get a bunch of cool mail this week.
Not in the mail, but stumbled up via Flickr, here’s the photo of my birthday party filling a full theatre row. (Thanks Travis.)
Thursday Andrew Zuckerman’s Creature arrived in the mail. Lovely, beautiful photographs from an amazing photographer. Andrew Zuckerman’s Wisdom is another worthwhile book (watch the video on his site). But Creature is eye-candy for the animal lover. It is about souls beyond human souls.
Friday afternoon my perfume oils from Eden Botanicals arrived. I’m looking forward to playing with the Black Currant.
Saturday morning the doorbell brought this tasty selection of treats from the Sherrett household. Thank you Linda!
Today was the book launch for Wenda the Wacky Wiggler by Christopher Aslan, illustrated by Emily Mullock.
Wenda is a girl after my own heart. She is a wacky wiggler. Even at night asleep in her bed, a tune is going through her head. She wiggles and waltzes, dances and prances, much to the chagrin of the townsfolk who want this dancing to stop. How horrid. Thankfully Wenda wins them over in the end.
Wenda the Wacky Wiggler is published by my friend Meghan Spong, who is a great designer and production woman, and now publisher-owner of Benjamin Brown Books.
There are a couple of books on the list and if you want beautiful picture books with great stories and excellent production quality, support Benjamin Brown Books. Go to a bookstore and ask for Wenda the Wacky Wiggler.
Two years ago, the province of British Columbia committed to protecting a region of the province referred to as The Great Bear Rainforest under a new conservancy. All the
stakeholders—the provincial government, logging companies, First Nations and environmentalists—agreed. They committed to a new approach to resource planning, and it was to be implemented by March 31, 2009. Yes, steps have been made in this direction, but it’s not guaranteed. It’s not a sure thing. A promise isn’t always a promise in politics, is it?
I know about Save the Great Bear because every day (for the duration of the initial campaign) I drove past giant billboards featuring kermode bears with the URL tag “Raincoast.org”. I found this mildly amusing and annoying because at the time I was the internet marketing manager for Raincoast.com. There were interesting traffic mix-ups that I was happily taking advantage of by directing visitors to our ancient-forest friendly webpages (which I’ll tell you about in a second.)
I was also cynical about the “spirit bear” (the white kermode bear) and the emotional pull the initial ad campaign was using to raise awareness of this region, but I was working in marketing (how cynical could I be about a tactic that I would use).
Despite these thoughts, the campaign did work to raise public awareness of the kermode bear, which in turn led to greater awareness of the bears’ habitat. Now that—the habitat—was what really interested me. The company I was working for, Raincoast.com, is a book publisher. Trees are pretty important to the process of publishing books. At the same time as the Great Bear Rainforest campaign was running, we were also working to get other publishers on board with Markets Initiative to print on 100% post-consumer, recycled paper instead of virgin paper made from our boreal forests. This is the “ancient-forest friendly” bit that I mentioned earlier.
Here’s what I can tell you about the temperature rainforest:
The Great Bear Rainforest is the largest tract of intact coastal temperate rainforest left on Earth.
One quarter of the world’s temperate rainforests are in coastal British Columbia.
The Great Bear Rainforest is more biodiverse than most forests and ecosystems in the world.
It covers 77,000 square kms—about the size of Austria.
It’s home to 3 kinds of bears: grizzly, black and kermode (white bear—there are only a handful in the world)
Six million migratory birds live here
There are 3000 genetically distinct salmon stocks in its waters
And many species of plants are unique to the region.
The Great Bear Rainforest is an important part of the world, it’s not just important to BC, and not just because there are bears and trees. This forest is a lifebelt. I, for one, am a fan of the oxygen forests produce. I also love this part of the world. It’s right on my doorstep.
Come on Province of BC! Keep the promise.
Gordon (as in Premier Gordon Campbell), you said you’d put the long term interests of the community first. That you’d protect this part of the world. Please see this one all the way through. Charles gets it ...
If you want to save the bears, save the trees, save yourself, send a message to the government of British Columbia by signing an online petition (non-BC and non-Canadian residents can send the message too, Gordon promised the international community he’d protect the forest, he didn’t just promise us).
Why am I on about this today? Because Debbie, the world’s oldest polar bear died today at the Winnipeg Zoo (42 years old), because I’m from Winnipeg and now live here—much closer to bears in the wild—because I love this part of the world, because I hate when governments make promises they don’t keep, especially promises that involve protecting things that I care about, because, because, because ...
Still don’t know what I’m on about? Watch some bears, look at the forest they’re moving through, check out the stream.
YOU’RE A LION! You’re a curious cross between potent and playful—and on occasion you take yourself too seriously. You have a vain streak, and gazing into a mirror seldom fails to please you. You like to be surrounded by friends, and savour a sense of casual dominion over them. You can move quickly on your feet when you need to, but generally you prefer taking it slow. Through and through, you’re a lion.
Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia, and there’s a critically endangered remnant population in northwest India. The animal is extinct in North Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia. With exceptionally large males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. That might not sound like a vulnerable animal, but it is.
Then we had a cocktail party and went to see the new James Bond at the Dunbar, home of Vancouver’s best popcorn. We filled a row of theatre seats. There was dress up.
R & 007
James made cake. A delicious, chocolate cake.
And today, the Beasts took me and Super Nate, who is also celebrating a birthday, for lunch. We wore our birthday t-shirts. Mine says “Not your average Muggle.” I like this a lot.
I love celebrating my friends, and I love celebrating my birthday. What good fortune to combine the two. Thanks for all the presents and birthday wishes. You all (or y’all, as I understand to be a personal pronoun in some States) make me very happy!
Although tomorrow is Canadian Remembrance Day, I have a story about 2 Americans who faced seemingly insurmountable odds and who chose to sacrifice themselves. The loose connection to Remembrance Day is that one is a wartime story.
Thanks to @ehrenc on Twitter, here’s the link to Victoria Barnsley’s (HarperCollins UK) speech on change in publishing. Read it! She is living and breathing the Web 2.0 world from the position of someone who’s been in the business long enough to remember receiving handwritten manuscripts. (Ok, I’m that old too, but those were really old writers.) http://snurl.com/57cm0