May 19, 2003
First, let me admit that my weekend was not wacky; I just like the alliteration and the word “wacky”. I apologize in advance to any of you who followed a link from my journal home page or archives thinking you’d get to read a tale of hijinks and hilarity. (I told you liked alliteration.) You won’t be getting that in this entry, unless you’re the kind of person who thinks leaving a meeting early is fine mischief.
The meeting in question was the quilt guild. Erica picked me up far too early for a Saturday morning, but these guild ladies like to make a day of it. She surprised me with a loaf of cheddar cheese bread from the farmers’ market– I hadn’t even realized it was open yet for this year– which she’d remembered was my favorite. It took some self-control to not eat a slice or two as we drove to the meeting. We sat through the business part, which always comes first because if it came last very few people would stay to hear the announcements from the newsletter reiterated, and then it was time for the speaker. Now, maybe I was just not in the right mood, but almost as soon as this lady started talking, I wanted to leave. She spoke too loudly and her presentation wasn’t focused or entertaining, and I very quickly got the sense that I wasn’t going to be informed or inspired by her. If I’d been at the end of the row and by myself, I would have snuck out during the first set of slides. When the speaker asked us to get up and stretch because physical movement is important to her, Erica and I both stayed seated because by that point neither of us liked her. Petty, yes, but it felt good to rebel. We fled as soon as we could, going to a little quilt show nearby and then on to lunch, assuaging our frustration with the poor speaker with Cooker’s tasty, tasty biscuits.
The tasty tastiness for the day didn’t end there, though. I talked Mr. Karen into going to the zoo Saturday afternoon– hey, I’m a member now, so it doesn’t matter that we’ll only have a few hours there before they close for the day. Upon arrival, I headed straight for the capybaras– with limited time, it was going to be necessary to prioritize our viewing, and capys are my favorite– but when I saw that the Dippin’ Dots stand was open for the season, that became our first stop. Once again I could partake of the strange and wonderful frozen treat I’d first tried last September. The capybaras were lounging when we arrived at their enclosure, much like Bubba, their smaller domesticated cousin, does in the afternoons. We lingered long enough to see one stand up, eat some grass, and lay back down, then it was on to the polar bears. During our last visit, part of their fabulous still fairly new exhibit was closed, so this time I was hoping to get the full Arctic Ring of Life experience. There was water in it this time, but only one seal felt like taking a dip during the time we were there, and all it seemed to want to do was float with its butt facing the glass. The polar bears were making themselves scarce; we only caught a glimpse of one up top before it too ambled off exhibit. (Mr. Karen joked that they were probably in their offices doing paperwork, catching up on their time sheets before the week ended.)
After the polar bears, it was on to the third essential stop in any zoo trip, the snow monkeys. On the way, we caught sight of one of my favorite non-exhibit animals at the zoo, a black squirrel; they’re fairly common in some parts of the state, but we don’t have them in our neighborhood so seeing them is a treat. When we got to their enclosure, the snow monkeys were occupying themselves by sleeping, grooming each other, and digging in the dirt, since the weather was too warm for hot tubbing. Neither Mr. Karen nor I had a watch on, but we thought it was probably getting close to closing time, as evidenced by the frozen lemonade stand shutting down just before we got there, so we headed back to say good bye to the capybaras. Our route took us by the prairie dogs, which I’d completely forgotten about because they were nowhere to be seen on our last couple of visits. This time, though they were out in force, and boy, were they cute. There was so much perching and scuttling and digging and running going on that it took a little while for us to notice all the babies around one side. Man, the adults are cute, but the babies are adorable. I’m not sure the prairie dog parents shared our delight, though, especially when the little ones bit their tails or tried to grab the food they were eating. We spent a long time enjoying all the antics before we continued on to the capys. As we approached their exhibit, I just caught a glimpse of one hopping out of the pool and running over to join his (her?) buddies. There’d evidently been a communal bathing time we’d just missed, as most of the capys were still wet and enjoying a good wallow in the mud. Someday I’ll have to bring a book and settle in by the capys all day, because I still haven’t seen one swimming. I should make a 50 by 50 list so I can put that on it: see capybara swim. Maybe I should make it a 15 or 5 by 50 list so I don’t stress myself out. I have enough to do lists as it is, I don’t need to be thinking up more stuff just so I can fill up 50 slots.
I’d love to wrap this up with some pithy observation, some neat conclusion that turns my weekend story into a commentary on the world in which we live, but it’s Monday and I’m tired and all I can think of is: furry animals are cute. Oh, and if you’re going to speak to a quilt guild, you might want to talk about your quilts instead of telling rambling stories about camping trips you took. Save the rambly stories for your online journal, m’kay?
One year ago, I was doing a first draft of A Brief History of Me and Weight.