Tales of My Travels…

I’ve been doing some travelling to new and exciting locales recently.  I even carried a little notebook to take notes of interesting and funny things to tell you about.  However, in typical “Viv” fashion, I’ve misplaced the notebook (and the purse it was in for that matter).  Thus I’ve got to go on memory. 

My first journey was to Seattle, the birthplace of Grunge (this may be as strange and exotic to the younger crowd as Disco is to those of us born in the 70’s…however; today I saw a 10+ year old kid wearing a “Guns n Roses” T-shirt…because he’s  “into them”…that seems wrong…like, they are a vintage act to be enjoyed the way some folks are into Motown…I’m too young for the music of my youth to be “appreciated” by anyone other than those who were alive to enjoy it during that time period…)…  Anyhow, I went to the land of Kurt Cobain, Starbucks and those weird folks on “America’s Got Talent” that stick hooks in their eyeballs. 

In order to prepare for the trip, I watched one of the defining movies of my youth: “Singles”.  Kiera Sedgwick (who hasn’t changed at all), Matt Dillon (who’s changed a lot), Brigette Fonda and Campbell Scott (what happened to them?), with cameos by 90’s music icons like: Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains.  I really wanted to live in that little apartment complex… (and to this day, I’m not sure my hubby has ever said “bless you” when I sneezed….you have to see the movie….)  Watching Eddie Vedder mesmirized by the bee documentary is priceless… Of course, my 7 year old wanders in at the exact (and only) moment when the TV screen is full of boobs, resulting in some immediate employment of  frantic “kid distraction technique”. 

Anyhow, my friend Jennie who has been my pal since 10th grade when the cowgirls in PE  used to threaten to beat us up because we were bad at volleyball.  (we were really bad, that ball hurts when you hit it!) 

The reason we went to Seattle was that the American Veterinary Medical Association had their national meeting there.   Thus, I could fulfill some of my continuing education requirement AND go to a city I’ve wanted to visit forever all in one trip.  Jennie was along for the ride and some girl time. 

First stop: The Spa.  I got a naked massage and facial.  I totally don’t do nudity at all, so it was very awkward (I know they tell you to undress to your comfort level but Jennie kind of made fun of me, so I had to go all out nekkid..under a robe of course).  I was finally able to relax, thank God the ladies were super nice and didn’t laugh at me when I fumbled around nervously because I don’t know anything about spa etiquette.  What do you do in the “lounge area” sit there in your robe all naked underneath and eat cherries and drink water and read???  Weeeird.  Where do I put my shoes? Glasses? At one point I tried hopping  on to the treatment table when they weren’t ready…And what do you talk about with these people while they’re doing all this stuff to you while you’re naked?  It seems rude to just sit there?  So I sat there, not relaxing, trying to think of stuff to talk about…

Anyhow, next day was the first day of the meeting.  We got protested by PETA….that was cool.  Made the news and everything.  They were mad because the Pikes Place Fishmongers were throwing fish during a presentation in the opening ceremonies.  The PETA people thought that was disrespectful to the dead fish (how would you like someone throwing your dead grandma?….well, she’s not a fish, and much heavier so it would be difficult to throw her…).  So anyways the PETA folks dressed up like mermaids and laid in front of the Convention Center, having their pictures snapped by curious tourists. 

So I went to some lectures, learned some stuff.  I had my trusty notebook so I could tell you some of the funny things I encountered, but as I said, I lost it.  I’ll tell you about them if I find the notebook.

Did you know that the worlds second most unsanitary tourist attraction is right there in Seattle?  They have a wall of a building that is totally covered in chewed up gum.  Yes, I did add my little wad to the collection.  (In case you were wondering, the #1 attraction is the Blarney Stone…)

I also took an acupuncture lab while at the meeting.  I’ve been seriously contemplating taking the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society’s class to get certified for this.  About an hour into the lab I came to the realization there is no way on God’s green earth I will have time to do that.  It’s like taking all of vet school and cramming it into 4- 40 hour sessions.  As crazy as my life is right now, can’t fit it in.  My head was swimming and I had that old’ familiar queazy feeling I got the first day of vet school when I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of crap I had to learn.

It was fascinating.  The Chinese approach to a patient is 100% different from the Western.  For example, the physical exam: the cornerstones of an Eastern exam are the Tongue and the Pulse.  Different diseases make your tongue look different and your pulse feel different.  There are whole books on tongues and pulses!  

PLUS, I had to stick an acupuncture needle in MY OWN HAND.  I literally thought I was going to pass out right there.  I had to keep telling myself to breathe.  You see, I don’t do well with needles when they are penetrating my body.  I can do the animals all day, I can even watch my kids get poked, but come at me, and there is a good chance I may go out cold.  I did it though and I swear my hand hurt for a day or two, probably because I was so tense…

Thus, I have the name of a good, already certified veterinary acupuncturist if you need it (I do believe in it, and maybe someday when the kids are grown, and don’t need me I’ll take the course, but not now)

We did some other cool touristy stuff, but this is going long, so I’ll tell you about it and my trip to Belize next time…

Oh, but before I go: check out this website:  http://www.theartofcats.com/

This guy is a “Busker” at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.  Those are the various street entertainers located in the market.  His whole act is (drum roll please…) really calm cats.  He charges money to pet his cats.  He has a little stand built for them, and the cats just sit there, no leashes, just hangin’ out.  Bear in mind, the market is REALLY crowded, and the cats just sit there, cool as a cucumber.  I thought they were drugged, but he says no…Pretty interesting…


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