August 29th, 2005



In college, I had a very tight group of friends. Most of us lived in the same dorm our freshman year and became friends that way, though we had some add-ons from other entries and other years. I wouldn't say I had a best friend in this circle, and dynamics shifted around over the years, but one of the fairly steady subgroups was Kristin, Josh, Scott and myself. Kristin and Josh started dating mere minutes after arriving on campus, and Scott lived next door to Josh our first year. I don't think our foursome really clicked as a foursome until our second year, but as we were all skiers, that encouraged us to spend time together. (Okay, Kristin wasn't really a skier, yet, but she was dating a skier and so it was inevitable that she was on the road to ruin skiingness.)

For several years, the four of us took trips out west to ski in the winter. The first three trips, we went to Denver, stayed with Scott's folks, and skied in Summit County. The next year, we went to Alta, and the year after that, Whistler. I think these trips, and others that we did together, solidified our friendships (and our relationships with each others' families, where we were all welcomed like adopted kids into the families). When we graduated, we all moved to the Boston area. Now, I'm the only one of us left here, and I'm not as good about being in touch as I wish I were, but these are people who I think of as the kind of friends I could call up after not talking for 6 months and say, "Hey, I need your help," and have them move mountains to help me, which is pretty damn special.

Kristin and Josh finally got married a couple of years ago and moved to Philly. Scott finished his MBA at Sloan a year or so ago and moved to Seattle with his new girlfriend, Margot. I met Margot about a year and a half ago at dinner with Kristin and Josh in Philadelphia when Scott and Margot stopped by on their way to NYC from I-don't-remember-where. It was a fun dinner, made more so by the obvious good fit between Scott and Margot. Of all the men I knew in college, Scott was probably the one who was most clearly on track for marriage and kids (though not in a hurry) but had been thwarted in a number of his relationships in heading to that goal. Even in that brief dinner, it was glaringly obvious that Scott and Margot were in it for the long haul, and that they were thrilled with this fact.

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All in all, it was such fun, and, besides, I do love mountain summer weather. I had the redeye back to Boston last night, arriving this morning slightly after 5am. I sprang for a cab and was in bed, delightedly, by 6am. I slept until about 10:30 and now all I have to do is stay awake until 10ish so as to keep my body clock from going completely haywire.

My man doesn't need turtle eggs.

A variety of turtle species around the world are endangered, largely due, shockingly enough, to us people. In particular, all of the turtles that breed and nest in Central America run into the problem that people like to eat their eggs. The mama turtle crawls up on the beach to lay her eggs and then she heads off into the ocean and lets the little ones incubate in the hot sand and then fend for themselves come hatching time. Since mama leaves very clear tracks to the nests, it's easy for people to make a note of where the nest is and go harvest it a few weeks later. This has, as you might imagine, a big impact on the populations of these turtles, and it's a major problem for the endangered ones.

Part of the appeal of turtle eggs is that they're seen as a potent aphrodisiac, something of a natural male enhancer, as Bob Dole would say. A Mexican environmental group has run up an interesting ad in hopes of playing on this myth to encourage men not to eat turtle eggs:

This has caused a bit of a ruckus with feminists who complain that it's playing on sexist stereotypes and exploiting women as sex objects: (anonymous7/anonymous7)

I happen to think it's a splendid gimmick and I hope it gets a few turtle-egg-eating-men to stop. To the feminists, I say: Pick your battles, people! As kcatalyst commented, "It makes a lot more sense to have a scantily clad woman in this ad campaign than in basically all of the other ones."
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