Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dearly Beloved


Monday, September 17, 2007

My Last Post as a Single Woman

Four days. FOUR DAYS!!! Four days!!!

I am so excited, I could just burst. Things are mostly finished except for little stuff like making favors and placecards. Our wedding rings were delivered to Ash's mother's house on Saturday, and now I'm fixated on the idea that she might forget them. This is, of course, ridiculous, but I actually dreamed about it Saturday night.

One of the things that I'm really looking forward to is the arrival of Luneray, who I haven't seen since 2005. I'm so happy that she's able to come for the wedding, and extra happy that she'll be here for a few days before so that we get to spend some time together. It sucks that there's most of a country between the two of us. It would be so great to meet at the pub for a pint or two, or maybe to go to a festival or a museum, or even just to hang out on someone's couch together. Naja, who knows what might happen in the future?

Lots of other family and friends are going to start drifting in on Wednesday, so it's going to get crazy fast. But the good kind of crazy, you know?


This is going to be such a great time. I get to marry the most amazing man on the planet, the one who was made for me AND I get to have a huge party AND most of the people we love will be there, surrounding us with love and well-wishes AND there's a pretty dress involved?! FANTASTIC!!


Monday, September 03, 2007

Let's Go to the Zoo!

Happy Labor Day!

Ash and I spent a fabulous day at the Zoo.

Elephants are my favorite animal.

Then we saw the cuddly monkeys.

And African wild dogs, which are NOT HYENAS, as the woman next to us repeatedly informed everyone in about a fifty yard radius.

The poor kodiak bear did not seem to care for the heat. It was a brutally sunny day today.

So we ducked into the aquarium... with approximately 5,477,309 other people, at least 3,694,946 of whom were pushing gigantic strollers. While I was standing in front of the seadragon tank...

... a particularly classy member of our society bellowed "EXCUSE ME!!!!!" and shoved past me with her triple SUV stroller-- empty of children, who I presume were among the teeming mass of brats banging their hands against the walls of every available tank in the lobby. Poor fish.

Luckily, once you got past the first couple of tanks, the crazy thinned just a little and you could actually get to and see the exhibits, which were really cool. Most of the tanks were little tiny worlds with lots of different species interacting, including some small amount of "nature red in tooth and claw", such as these two pescetarians:

We lucked into feeding time at the penguin exhibit and watched as the keeper hand fed a big flock of penguins, who waited patiently for her to toss a fish down their throats. One lone chick stood off to the side, half-molted and timid. We moved on before the keeper finished feeding, so I don't know if she also fed the chick or if the mama or papa penguin would take care of it or what. I didn't get any pictures of any of that because the jostling crowd was just TOO MUCH.

However, I did get two very cool pictures of the jelly fish:

One of the largest tanks held an amazing amount of color and motion. I oculd have watched it for ages.
The more I looked, the more things I discovered, hiding in shadows and crevices...

And this ferocious looking fellow:
I love how you can almost sense the motion, the zipping, swirling life in this picture:

This very friendly ray came right up to the side of the tank anytime someone stopped next to it. I guess it was just as interested in us as we were in it?
I don't think you can really get a good idea of exactly how big this fellow is. I would guess he's at least three feet long.

The polar bears were surprisingly frisky, given the heat today.

A tunnel under their exhibit gives you a different view.

The sea otters are in a neighboring tank, separated by a hall of sorts... which, by the way, you can rent for weddings and such. That would have been kind of cool. It's also kind of pricey, especially once you look at the menu for their exclusive caterers. Oh well, I guess our guests just won't get to meet this little show off at our wedding:

The petting zoo portion of the zoo had several exhibits where you could walk into an enclosure via a double door system and hang out with various "free range" animals. For some reason, the GIANT FREAKING SIGNS explaining the double door policy were not sufficient for some people-- and not even foreigners who might have the excuse of not understanding English. At a couple of exhibits, the zoo had posted staffers to keep people from opening both sets of doors at the same time.

One enclosure held whitetail deer, which surely don't seem to me to be the sort of animal that needs to be kept in a zoo, especially 'round here. We regularly see them standing on our front lawn, in neighbors' driveways, on the sidewalk... Anyway, one of these deer had plopped itself down smack dab in the middle of the path so that everyone could pet it. Ash and I waited our turn and stroked it. I must say, I always thought they'd be softer for some reason. And now I won't feel the urge to try and pet the little spotted fawns that keep wandering across the road in broad daylight.

They also had a kangaroo enclosure, but these guys were staying well away from the paths and from the fences.

So was this guy. However, he was very keenly eyeing the passers-by, as though he had trouble in mind.

This one's a little blurry, but people, this tiger was separated from me by nothing more than a sheet of plexiglas. And that was damned cool.

He came over, checked us all out...

Then meandered off... see what this guy was up to...

Turns out, he was chewing on a PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE that someone had THROWN INTO THE TIGER EXHIBIT. Seriously! WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

Apparently, though, plastic water bottle = great tiger toy, because the tiger who came to check us out at the other end of the exhibit tried to take the bottle away from the other tiger, who did NOT like that one bit.

And on that note, we left the zoo behind. What a great day!