The quake, rice ball, hedgehogs vs foxes and audacity

We are currently cat and house-sitting for our friends, Matt and Dori. They are in Tokyo. I almost never watch the news anymore, so I was VERY surprised and concerned to receive an email from Matt saying that there was an earthquake but they are okay. (I realize that Taiwan is north of Japan, but yesterday, I thought about my BFF, Lilliane who lives in Taipei. An email confirmed that they are just fine (they were actually at a wedding when she emailed back), but you never know.)

I now sit here with Sean watching CNN and watching the reporter from “The Economist” try not to freak out as an aftershock rocks his building while he is trying to talk t o Wolf Blitzter. From the quake, and then the tsunami, there is billions of dollars in damages, thousands of missing people, what could be up to 1800 dead, possible nuclear crisis and shortages of fresh water, food and fuel – people are lining up.  But get this, despite all the chaos, everyone is calm. No looting, no freaking out. I suppose that’s a testament to the Japanese culture. Being uncivilized just wouldn’t do. Everyone is helping each other and they recognize that turning to the negative just won’t help the situation.  As the West Coast of North America was affected to a degree, though BC not at all – though the Island was worried, it makes me realize that I really should complete the earthquake kit that I started for our apartment.

I think my least favourite part of situations like this (aside from the mass destruction and devastation) is when they send the reporter and camera to the airport and stick the mic and camera in peoples’ faces and get in the way of their personal moments. Seriously, give these people their privacy. I know it makes heartwarming good news, but come on.

Meet Musubi – he is the reason we are house-sitting in Matt and Dori’s lovely apartment in the Riverport area of Richmond. (My favourite part of this apartment? The soaker tubs – bubble bath heaven – and two bathrooms. Sean’s favourite part? The gas stove. We are both super happy campers.)

Musubi apparently means “rice ball” in Japanese and he is the cutest thing. Once he got over the shock of us being there, he was not shy to “talk” to us, play and sleep on our feet. He’s still a kitten so he has all this energy. One minute he’s on one side of the living room, the next he’s bounding over to jump into a box by the door. He likes Sean’s toes, so it makes it interesting for us to get to sleep. He experienced Hurricane Yasmine on Thursday morning when I was running late (surprise!) for a morning appointment. The first full day of house-sitting is always fun because you don’t know where ANYTHING is, and of course I wasn’t finding anything. The cat was following me at a cautious distance looking slightly awed at my speed and extremely amused. I swear he was laughing at me.

Are you a hedgehog or a fox? I know, random question. At my work’s International Women’s Day celebration on Friday, I discovered that I am a hedgehog – after initially thinking I was a fox. This renewed my need to read the book that has been sitting in my desk overhead bin since August – Good to Great by Jim Collins. He has a theory about the hedgehog and the fox and when I finish the book, I will  blog about it because I will probably discovered and realized a few more things.

We had Silken Laumann as the keynote speaker at our event, and I have to say, she is AMAZING. So inspirational and a true bright light. So deserving of every accolade she has been given. She encouraged us to be audacious as opposed to ever realistic. It was a great speech and I plan to be more audacious in some aspects of my life because every now and then, you need that. 🙂


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