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Tag Archives: zoo

The doing of all the things

Yo, people, s’up. I have been doing a million billion things, and have been attempting to put together a coherent post, but my brain’s not cooperating. So instead, I’ll give you a recap of what’s up around the old Lucy’s Football homestead, which might be interesting to…I don’t know, no one? Maybe no one. But it’s about all I can do, sadly; larger topics and/or themes seem beyond me at the moment.

I went on a my first internetty date. I am not going to go into detail, because that seems rude. Let’s just say that we weren’t a match, and that seeing one another will not be repeated. But, in more cheerful news: I now know I am capable of going on a date, like a normal human being, and carry on what is mostly a normal human conversation, and eat food without spilling it all over my top. All of this without dying of an anxiety attack. So, although it was far from a win romantically, it was a win personally. Will I be attempting this again? Um. Let’s just say that’s up in the air for the moment? There might be more craziness out there in the world than I’m prepared to take on at this particular moment. Or ever, actually. But we’ll see.

Do not like. Do. Not. Like.

Do not like. Do. Not. Like.

I saw the Book of Mormon. It was one of the best musicals I’ve ever experienced, and I can’t stop singing the music at inopportune times. Which is…well, most of the times, because if you know the songs, you know they’re kind of vulgar, in the most cheery way. It was an amazing musical, and had a great story, and the production was flawless (but of course it was, it was one of the touring companies coming through town, they don’t do shoddy work, and if I told you how much I paid for my ticket, you’d probably choke on whatever foodstuffs you’re currently consuming) and it made me smile so much my teeth dried out at one point. There was a rude asshat in front of me who insulted the nice retired teacher sitting next to him, and I wanted to punch him in the smug American-Psycho-lookalike face, but other than that, just a perfect evening. The show’s worth all the hype, but if you don’t like cussing, don’t go (or you’ll end up like the people at intermission I heard talking in the hallway, all “This is so VULGAR! Did you know it would be so VULGAR? It’s just so VULGAR!” Yes. Yes, it is. The South Park guys wrote it. Did you think it would be about rainbow kittens? Come on now.)

Here, this will make you happy. “I Believe” from the 2012 Tony Awards. (Don’t worry. This isn’t one of the naughty songs. Totally safe for both work and more easily-embarrassed ears.)

I got to see meet Christopher Durang. If you don’t know who this is, you’re probably 99% of the population, so don’t be upset. Christopher Durang is a playwright who was very popular in the late 80s/early 90s (although he is experiencing a resurgence and won the Tony for Best New Play this year) and I was in two of his shows in college (and did a scene from a third in acting class.) He’s absurd, and sarcastic, and hilarious, and intelligent, and remains one of my favorite playwrights to this day. He came to one of our local colleges to give a talk, and I got to see him talk, and then he did a book signing afterward – and I didn’t even freak out. Well, inside. Inside I was freaking out. But I was calm and charming outside, and that is a TOTAL win. That’s the first time I didn’t freak out and make one of my idols think I wanted to wear their skin as a suit. I’ll blog more about it on the book blog one of these days.

He totally looked just like a normal, ordinary guy. I like that when you meet a hero in real life they can masquerade as a typical human.

I went to a science museum with The Nephew. We saw a planetarium, where the presenter was asking questions none of the kids could answer, so she opened it up to the adults, and all the adults were afraid to answer, so I totally answered, because I like being a smartypants and I have no shame (and The Nephew was SO IMPRESSED with me – “you knew that!” he said. Yep, kiddo, I totally did. I am a nerd. We know all the things) and we saw many exhibits about how light and sound and waves and energy work, and a butterfly house (but The Nephew was not impressed because the butterflies weren’t landing on him, so he was like, “I’m done with this now!” and ran out) and gigantic Lego pieces so you could build a life-size house, and many train sets to play with, and one of those machines that makes your hair stand up if you touch it but it didn’t work on me because my hair was already a mess but it did make me all static electric so I was shocking people if I touched them. We had a day of adventure.

Me & my best little guy being beautiful butterflies. He LOVED this thing. Something about putting his face in a butterfly face entertained the heck out of him. He's a blogger's dream.

Me & my best little guy being beautiful butterflies. He LOVED this thing. Something about putting his face in a butterfly face entertained the heck out of him. He’s a blogger’s dream.

I am living through a winter apocalypse. This is the strangest winter ever. GIGANTIC SNOWFALLS! ICE STORMS! POLAR VORTEXES! (Vortices? I don’t ever remember the correct plural of that, and I’m too tired to hit the Googles at the moment.) Yesterday it was 45 degrees here. today it’s 20. It’s enough to give one whiplash. I’m so ready for spring. (And in funny news, I’m hearing from some of my friends who live in places that usually get a lot of snow that they DIDN’T get snow this year. I think we got all their snow. Awesome. Of course we did. Dumb snow. Dumb ice. I couldn’t even get in my car to go to work Thursday. It was iced shut. Took until about noon or one to even thaw enough to get in. SO ANNOYING.)

OK, it wasn't this bad...

OK, it wasn’t this bad…

For the first time in, eek, I don’t even know…almost ten years?…I submitted a piece for publication, and am working on others. I’m attempting to do some writing this year. If it works out, awesome. If not, I’ve written some things I’m proud of. I forgot how much fun it is to write things for potential publication. Fun and scary, all at once, actually. I’ve decided 2014 will be the year for trying things that are a little scary. So far, so good.

Dumbcat has been up to shenanigans – his latest thing is that he jumps on the bed at random hours like 2:21 am and 4:32 am and says “MEOW! MOM MOM MEOW!” and I say “oh, no no, Dumbcat, it is not time for this at all, Mom’s sleeping” and he said “meooooow” and I say “no no no” and he kind of sad-meows like “meoooooooow Mom you are the worst meoooooow” and then goes away for a little while and then comes back a couple hours later and we do it all over again. I’m not quite sure what this is all about. I think he just needs some attention, but it’s not so much fun when a person is attempting to sleep. Also, the other night my throw-rug in the living room was all rucked up and I went to straighten it and there was a dead mole under it. A dead mole! OK, a., how’d that mole get in my home? And b., why’d Dumbcat kill a mole and then hide it like a serial-killer trophy under a rug? (Also, moles are really kind of cool. They have velvety fur and you can’t see their eyes and they have little chubby paws and short tails. No, I didn’t touch it, but I had to pick it up with a paper towel to send it to its final resting place over the porch railing into the snow and so I took the chance to look at it, because how often does one get a chance to look at a mole?) So I’m somewhat impressed with his murdering prowess but also kind of sad about this poor little soft-looking mole who somehow got lost on his way to finding, I don’t know, grubs to eat, or whatever.

Clearly is wasn't THIS mole. This is a cheerful mole; my mole was a DEAD mole.

Clearly is wasn’t THIS mole. This is a cheerful mole; my mole was a DEAD mole.

I’m going to the zoo! After the science museum, The Nephew told his mom, “I want to go to a zoo with Aunt Amy next” and she said, “maybe in the spring, the zoos are closed now” and he said, “no, the animals aren’t gone for the winter. Call Aunt Amy. She can find us a zoo. I know she can” and you know, that kind of blind faith in me, that’s amazing stuff. So did I find a zoo? Bet your bottom dollar I did. We’re heading out of town to visit one next Sunday. There will be lions, and owls, and zebras, and sea lions, and ZOMG A HEDGEHOG!, and many tortoises, and SUGAR GLIDERS!, and teeny pygmy goats, and lemurs! The Nephew has never been to a zoo. So that means I got to take him to his first play AND get to take him to his first zoo. I’m pretty jazzed about this. Don’t worry, I’ve promised there will be many photos of us making animal-faces, and if I promise it, I’ll deliver. You know how much I love zoos and animal-faces.

Oh, I hope it's this one! This is a FANCY hedger! Look at her bling!

Oh, I hope it’s this one! This is a FANCY hedger! Look at her bling!

There have also been other things, like dinners with friends, and all the working, and various projects I’ve been working on, and this, that and other things. Busy, busy me. But it’s good-busy, for the most part, you know? Just busy. Happy-busy. And with all this busy-ness, the winter’s flying by…which means spring’s almost here, and you know what spring means. TRIP TO EUROPE! I’m only 69 days away from my trip now (from the time of me writing this, I mean.) That’s like nothing. Just a little over two months from now! I AM ALMOST THERE!

HERE I COME, MAGICAL FINNISH ISLANDS!!!

HERE I COME, MAGICAL FINNISH ISLANDS!!!

Happy week, you guys. Hope you’re all in the midst of grand adventures. The best kind of adventures at all. Hope to be back soon.

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Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Three

OK, here we are with part three. On the THIRD day, we did SO MANY THINGS.

First, let me tell you a story about A. Did you know A. is a championship bike-rider person? YES! IT IS TRUE! He runs a whole bike TEAM! And rides in RACES! And has all kinds of MEDALS! That clink pleasingly when you walk past them! I’m being a little facetious, but it’s totally all true. Here’s what’s the best about this: A. is so passionate about this. It is so much fun to listen to him talk about it. I am all about people having passion about things. I think passion is what makes life interesting. And people WITH passion about something – and I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s not scary and hurtful, like murder – make me happier than happy. Do I know anything about bike racing? Nope. Have I even been ON a bike in like, twenty years? Nope. Was I totally happy to listen to A. talk about HIS love for it? Absolutely. Could have listened to it all day. Because it made his whole face light up. And that made me overjoyed. People with passion are AWESOME.

So on Saturday, A. had a big race, and when I told him “YOU WIN THAT RACE!” he could NOT win, he was in the race to make sure that another guy on his team won, and to knock other people out of the competition. “By throwing gravel at them?” I asked. “No. No gravel-throwing,” said A.

His big race meant it was me, R., and Baby CeeVee for the day! And where were we going?

THE ZOO!

Luckily, R. is a member of the zoo, so we got to go through a special MEMBERS-ONLY gate! There was no champagne. I thought there should be. Membership has its privileges, you see. But apparently, the only privilege was going through the good gate quickly for free. That’s pretty cool. I’ll take it.

You take a shuttle to get to the zoo, or you walk. It’s a long walk. We had a stroller. We took the shuttle. It was so vibratey I’m pretty sure people could use it in place of a washing machine to get afternoon giggles, seriously.

When we first walked in, immediately, there was…

A red-foot tortoise! He was very active and crawled all around. I liked that. Tortoises make me happy. As do turtles. All happy shelled animals are my favorites.

First, something for Jim!

The ravens that are the ACTUAL RAVENS that are the mascots for the Baltimore Ravens! Aw, Jim, you LOVE the Ravens! What? What’s that? You actually HATE the Ravens? Oh, sorry. Sorry about that.

Ravens are very cool and larger than you would think and they have really sharp beaks. One was eating a chick. No, really. A baby chicken. There were feet dangling out of the raven’s mouth.

Here’s the other raven. I liked the ravens. I would like one as a pet. I would set him against mine enemies.

This was an arctic fox. He was taking a little napper. He also smelled like a skunk, but I don’t think that means he was a skunk in disguise. I think it’s just a thing, like how bearcats smell like popcorn.

There was a children’s area where you could do children’s things. Also if you were an adult who has the heart of a child, I suppose. So, in honor of that…

…I of course had to conquer a giant turtle and point at him menacingly as if he’d been naughty.

Mostly I was going to take a photo of this sign and say something snarky like “Don’t you tell me what to do, SIGN,” but then I realized this rock is kind of totally a euphemistic rock, right in the middle of the children’s area. Someone’s totally aware of this, right? Like, this is totally a man-made structure. SOMEONE DID THIS ON PURPOSE.

This is a regular fox. He was also sleepy. All foxes must have gotten the memo to take a nap at the same time. FOX MEMOS! I like foxes. They seem both debonair and also crafty.

It’s kind of hard to tell, but these are INTERSPECIES FRIEND SNAKES! There are two snakes all curled up together here. One’s the redder one, and one’s the brown/cream one. They were the best of friends and possibly in love. These snakes were in a cave that was kind of scary and dark and also there were bats in there and R. did not like the bats, even though I told her that they were actually very good for us and would not really get tangled in our hair like on television and ate all the insects. I learned this from Andreas at the Central Park Zoo. That’s why it’s nice to have a sciency friend.

OK I WILL THANK YOU!

(SIDE NOTE: I actually couldn’t, because in order to be a turtle, you had to get into a very small turtle shell on the ground and put your arms and legs out the arm and leg holes, and I’m a grownup lady and would never fit in that turtle shell. “I think calling A. and asking him to help get me out of a child’s turtle shell would be a bad move, right?” I asked R. “Yes, probably,” R. said. We were both sad. Think of the photo op, right? Sigh.)

So instead, I did the next best thing. The sign told me to be a turtle, so be a turtle I would, dammit!

A zoo’s not a zoo without a cut-out thing to put your face in and pretend to be an animal that’s really for children but you do it anyway because you’re Amy. Nice job, Maryland Zoo!

These are itty-bitty baby pygmy goats. They were a little over a month old and SO WEE. Look how little! I said I wanted to pop one in my purse and bring it home and I don’t think the zookeeper approved.

Then R. and Baby CeeVee went into the petting zoo area. All that was in there was goats. Why not sheep? Confusing.

Baby CeeVee was highly interested in these goats.

SO interested! She didn’t even look at the camera! She was watching the goats instead! I think she thought they were large kitty-cats. Because she has a cat at home and that’s her reference point for furry things. Also, isn’t R. beautiful? She’s just as beautiful as she was the day I met her. I think she has a portrait of Dorian Gray in her attic.

GOATS GOATS EVERYWHERE GOATS! You could not feed the goats. Probably if you did, there would be a feeding frenzy and the goats would swarm you.

Out of the children’s area, into the Africa area. Where there was…

A TERRIFYING BUZZARD THING THAT LOOKS LIKE IT IS MADE OF PLASTIC IT IS SO SCARY.

These things were the worst, seriously.

There was supposed to be a tortoise exhibit, but instead, we had this.

TEMPORARILY CLOSED! This is worrisome. I’m really going to hope this means they’re either updating the exhibit or the tortoises are somewhere breeding, not that the tortoises died.

As I was taking this photo, a man dropped his phone into the rhino enclosure and was going to go over the wall to get it but he was convinced to ask for help instead so two zoo employees went over the wall for it. I kind of wanted to see a rhino cellphone stampede that resulted in the rhino taking selfies with the phone he won fair and square in one-on-one combat, but was denied.

Also, the rhino couldn’t be bothered. He was too busy eating all the things and showing us his bum.

Then there was an awesome bird sanctuary thing in the middle of the Africa area. It was cool in there and so pretty and the birds made awesome sounds and it was all shadowy and they’d just been fed so they were nomming on all the fish.

I tried a million times to get a photo of the spoonbill, who was ridiculously funny. He’s the one at the bottom of the photo looking at us. He was very funny scooping up fish from the water with his big old spoon of a bill.

This was a pretty African duck. I am a sucker for ducks even though when we were in New York Andreas told me that ducks were actually kind of evil. But look at his pretty red head!

This duck was separated from all of his friends so he was making the best peeping call and then a duck from all the way across the enclosure was returning it and when I made the call back at him he looked at me like we were besties. I ALSO wanted to pop this duck in my purse. I feel like that’s an internal struggle I deal with every time I’m at the zoo. I want to bring everyone home with me.

These were the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil ducks, all in a row. One was on one leg and all balancey. Hee!

ZEBRAS! Aw, hi, zebras! They did not want to be photographed. They hated the paparazzi.

Then one came out for his photo op! Hi, little guy, you’re all famous now!

SCARY OSTRICH! Ostriches scare the crap out of me. Because they’re so huge and also because one pecked my dad’s BFF at the drive-through zoo in Canada when I was little and we all kind of shrieked.

I couldn’t get a good photo of this thing. It had a scary beak, and like a dent in the front of his beak like he got in a car wreck? He looked like a mistake of nature, and therefore I loved him.

OMG YES PLEASE WHERE DO I SIGN UP FOR THIS HONOR?

Do you think Dumbcat would like a cheetah-friend?

Especially one as sleepy-purry as this one?

This was the sleepy cheetah’s girlfriend. She was also sleepy, but she was on the lookout for prowlers.

She could only stay alert for so long. Then she nodded off, too. It was sleepytime at the zoo.

Next was the monkey house. You know how sometimes people say things smell like a monkey house? Um. Yeah. There’s a reason they say that. WHOO!

I am not a fan of monkeys, especially ones that look like creepy old men. These were kind of cool because they’d just had a baby so every once and a while, a baby monkey would pop its head up and it was very small and almost (I SAID ALMOST!) cute. I couldn’t get a photo of it. Too small.

Tiny yellow frog! The tank was all, “THESE ARE TOTALLY ALMOST EXTINCT!” but there were like fifteen of them in the tank. Maybe they’re almost extinct because you guys have them ALL!

Happy fast lemur-things! This is the best photo I could get because they were zipping all over the place. There was ALSO a lemur-thing baby! It was TOTALLY adorable and was riding its mom’s back and we were so scared it would fall off because its mom was leaping around all fast, but it was clingy!

This is not the best photo, but it’s the mom and the baby lemur-thing. As you can see, I’m VERY scientific with the names of things.

We saved my favorite things for last.

GIRAFFES!

I was totally the giraffe whisperer. This one watched me the whole time. It TOTALLY wanted me to take it home. There were three giraffes and I gave them all names. I think this one was Raoul.

I love giraffes. I totally bought a giraffe necklace at the gift shop and have already worn it and I love it.

Elephants! They were far away but so pretty. One was getting a bath and most were just standing around doing elephant-things.

Elephant butt!

Prairie dogs! They made us laugh. They freaked out about EVERYTHING and then would all disappear into their holes and then slowly peep at each other and pop their heads back up. They were cheerful.

Finally…what’s last? Any guesses?

PENGUINS!!!

The penguins were just hanging out. Some were swimming. Some were waiting for fish at the little fish-door. They were very laid-back penguins. And they were OUTDOOR penguins! Not behind glass! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen outdoor penguins!

This penguin was way high up on the rocks and didn’t seem to know how to get down. I made a penguin-voice for him. “Guys? Hey, guys? A little help? Guys? Can anyone even HEAR me?”

Swimming penguins!

Waiting at the food-door penguin!

Just hanging-out penguin!

We might have spent an inordinate amount of time with the penguins.

Then it was time to go home! We had more plans that evening, and we had to see how A. did in his race, and also, did he throw gravel at the competition? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

I was PLANNING on telling you about the rest of the day here, but it’s already half an hour past bedtime and I’m kind of exhausted, so soft-core porn will have to wait until tomorrow. Oh, whoops. Spoiler-alert, I guess.

OH! Also, there was a squished-penny machine at the gift shop, but the selections weren’t stellar. It was all, “check out other squished penny machines around the zoo!” but I had not seen any! So I got an eagle. Which wasn’t even a thing that was AT the zoo. BUT, on the way to the car, there was a squished penny in the parking lot! And it was a LION! Which WAS a thing at the zoo, only they were hiding (R. is convinced the lions are an urban legend; she has never once seen them out when she’s been there, and she’s been there a LOT.) So it was like it fell from the sky! Just for me! Aw, providence smiled on me!

Happy Thursday, people of the blog. Tomorrow: soft-core porn and more literary adventures, this time with FOOD!


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