I am happy to report that the Mixed Taste event last night led to laughter and even a couple of gasps from this person right here. Did you know way back when (like, 50 million years ago), our planet had forests from one pole to the other? There were palm trees in Alaska. And there are fossilized tree in Antarctica from millions of years ago. You could go see them right now. Okay, full disclosure here, the gentleman who presented, spoke really quickly, and I was chatting with Brittany at the same time (she was also watching), so while I wanted to retain more exact dates and details about the polar forest talk, I didn’t retain much, to be honest, just a feeling of awe for our world and its history. What I do remember, though, is that the speaker is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Holy moly, that’s awesome. He was sitting in the museum as he gave his presentation, it was pretty neat.
I also learned a bit about soul food and was bummed when the speaker didn’t once mention fried okra. I told Elisabeth about it afterward and her guess is that fried okra is a white person thing and not a soul food thing. Yeah, she’s probably right. The speaker mentioned vegan food as a new soul food trend and that made me smile, although the only vegan restaurant he mentioned was in California and who knows when I’ll be there again. I’m thinking that means I’m going to have to make my own! The speaker was really eloquent and I enjoyed his talk immensely. He has done extensive research into the history of soul food and you can tell, he exudes this easy confidence that made me like him immediately. He also quoted Shakespeare, from memory. And while I don’t really know Shakespeare, I know that I would have a hard time memorizing it, so I was impressed.
While I enjoyed the whole Mixed Taste hour, I think perhaps the best part of it was the poem that Suzi Q. Smith performed at the very end. It’s something that Mixed Taste does for every session – they have a local poet listen to the two speakers along with the audience and then write a poem about what they heard, how they feel, etc. This poem that the poet last night wrote was poignant, emotional, and powerful. She really spoke to me. I hope I can find it somehow because I would love to read it, or to listen to her speak it, again. It was wonderful.
So, that was a pleasant way to spend my evening. I then convinced Elisabeth to go on a walk with me because the sun was setting and it was 70 something degrees out so we needed to take advantage. We wandered the park and enjoyed the amazingly beautiful sunset and when we got back home we found ourselves back outside on the balcony because the sunset was just that lovely. It was something to see and we couldn’t help but stare at it a bit longer. While we were outside, Elisabeth asked me if I had just heard a little squeaky noise that she had heard. I said yes, but we couldn’t figure out what it was until one of us spotted a bat squeezing its way out of the crack of our balcony’s roof. What?!
Initially, Elisabeth thought it was a sparrow, but when they kept coming out in sets of two and we stared at the crack with our full attention, we learned the creatures were bats. There are bats living in our building. Holy moly. It was very freaky. I was both terrified and excited. I kept grasping Elisabeth’s arm and gasping as another and another bat made its way out. The whole ordeal was pretty darn fascinating. By the end of the night, we saw at least 16 bats, and I’m guessing we missed seeing some of them so I’d estimate there’s at least 20. My mind is blown.
I’m starting to think that maybe Elisabeth and I are secret vampires. Like, we don’t even know we’re vampires but these bats do and they’ve come to find us. Maybe they need our help or they’re here to help us transition to our full power. That would explain why the two of us are extremely pale and why we burn so easily. I just hope when I finally turn into my real vampire self I can still go out in the sun. And eat chocolate chip muffins. What’s a life if I can’t walk around nature and eat me some tasty baked goods while I’m at it?
Anyway, while I was working today, I heard somebody on the roof, for like an hour. Nailing something or ripping something up, I couldn’t tell but it made me concerned that whoever was up there was trying to do something to the bats. I’m kind of concerned that our neighbor told the apartment team about the bats and now they’re gone. I’ll be watching the balcony later this evening in hopes that I see my new bat friends to confirm that they’re okay.
I wish I had pictures but it would have been too dark anyway. So this post will end with a picture of Pippin chilling out in my closet: