I loves the aminals at da zoo!

Yes, my title is neither grammatically correct or spelled correctly. It is indeed a reflection of my childishness and very silly personality. As my friends have learned and you might have already too, dear reader, I have trouble with being serious for too long and revert to my pre-adult tendencies of asking random questions, posing ridiculous premises and arguments, and being mesmerized by the dryers in the laundromat for at least a full minute before realizing I am staring at laundry being dried.

Today my little neighbor, we will call her Munchkin-Neighbor B, turns six years old (that is, as of midnight of MLK Jr day). We wanted to give her a great birthday gift and about a week and a half ago was on a certain social network (where I am a stalker of the Oregon Zoo‘s page) I saw that on MLK Jr Day it was going to be free admission to the zoo, with donations accepted (but not mandatory) for those in need. We donated four cans of hearty food and were excited to get a chance to see the animals (only for the cost of gas to get there and back! Oh.. and our packed lunches, which consisted of more food and snacks than we could eat, but sharing is always nice).

Well, I was going to wear a home-made, medieval-inspired dress on a dare and was going to make a similar dress for Munchkin-Neighbor B (Let’s call her MNB now…) to wear if she wanted to. We went to Wal-Mart at about midnight to get more fabric because I didn’t have enough. I didn’t bother with a pattern since I work best without one, and started work. As these kinds of things turn out, the 1.5-2hr dress ended up taking a lot longer (thanks to issues with my sewing machine. Or perhaps the thread doesn’t like me.) and my husband and I went to bed at about 4am. We initially had planned to leave at about 7:30 so that we didn’t have to wait in long lines just to get in. Allowing two hours for rush-hour traffic (cushion time with regular travel time), we would be there about half an hour or more before the zoo was supposed to open. We had heard from someone that the lines last time there was a free day were terribly long and the person had to wait “two hours” to get in.

We left at 8:45 and there was hardly any traffic so we arrived at 9:45. Yes, we usually leave about an hour cushion time when there is supposed to be heavy traffic. I guess we left late enough to avoid it. They had already opened the zoo so we just got our free tickets and walked right in. After depositing our donation in the donation box we decided to peek into the zoo store. I wanted an umbrella since it had been raining a lot and I neglected to grab my rain-resistant coat. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I bought the umbrella the weather cleared.

We started in the Great Northwest and went from there, making the long circle around the zoo.

Zoo Map

Hey! Here is a map of the zoo! Doesn't look like it should take as long, but there are wonderful exhibits to stop and look at.

We managed to see everything in 4.5 hours, including eating lunch near the primates area, and walked and walked and walked. I love the zoo, so I was just as awed as our now-six-year-old neighbor. MNB enjoyed the exhibits and learning about the different animals. I tried to see the baby cougar, but we didn’t get to. I think it hid from all the traffic that started to accumulate. We did get to see the new leopard, as well as the young bear that the zoo has.

Many of the exhibits were cadywompus and out of place because of maintenance: nets needed replaced, ponds needed fixed, etc, etc. I think one of the more fun exhibits we went to was the Lorikeet Landing. We purchased a little cup of some sort of juice – one sign said juice, the other said nectar. The jury is still out on that one – and went inside the exhibit. The Lorikeets were all over, and if you stood still long enough they would come and sit on you and eat the nectar/juice stuff out of the cup. MNB was a little afraid of their beaks, so we had to show her that it was just tasting her to see what she was. After being shown it didn’t hurt, she was tickled (literally and figuratively) to have the birds lick her hand. Neighbor B and her husband (let’s call him J) were there, too, and had lots of fun. I even had one land on my head! I was so glad it flew off before it decided to excrete…

It was a blast to spend time with Neighbor B, MNB, and J at the zoo. MNB enjoyed her birthday present immensely. She picked out some stuffed animals at the end and one was an orangutan, to remind her that the orangutan in the exhibit had tried to eat her iced cream through the glass. I missed that encounter, but it sounded fun. There were a lot of exhibits were the animals interacted with the people, like the baboon who stared at the people staring at him. Haahaa.

Afterward I took a nap. On only 3 hours of sleep? I wanted a few more to finish off the day with some vague sort of awareness. After a 2-hour nap (bringing my sleep hours up to five!), Neighbor B, MNB, my hubby, and I went to the laundromat to do some much-needed laundry. There, I was disappointed that a “four-load washer” only did what was normally two single loads in the washers at my apartment complex. But the latter were in a laundry room that was locked and laundry needed done, so we went further afield to this laundromat. The only annoying things were 1) it used the refillable, pre-paid card system, and 2) there were no plugins, no wifi, and not much to do for MNB.

I still need to finish the dress that I started, but I will let that happen tomorrow between job-searching and her party. It should only take me about another 45 minutes to complete, maybe 1.5 hours if I add the extra panels (so she can wear it longer… kids sprout up like mad!). I have more of the pretty blue fabric so I am not too worried about that part. I also think I will “86” the sleeves, because it is cuter as it is without them. (Random sidenote, where did “86”ing come from?)

In another tangent, I have been re-reading the “Politically Correct” series by James Finn Garner and giggling hysterically because the truths and fictions contained therein are both serious and ridiculous and great food for thought. Man, I wish I knew where to find more of those stories. He tries to be politically correct by saying old people are “chronologically enhanced” or “advanced,” mean people are “kindness-challenged,” and by pointing out the male-domination and patriarchal hierarchy of traditional bedtime stories. He tries to look at the story somewhat subjectively, saying that the wolf in red Riding Hood is simply “not confined by society” because of his traditional role as an outcast from it. He calls children are “pre-adults” and he attempts to gender-neutralize or gender-correct words such as “wommon,” “womyn,” and “persun.”  Overall, I would highly recommend these books to pretty much everyone (except those that are extremely tradition-oriented, and persuns easily offended by views that are not within the framework of their own, though entirely valid, way of thinking). Yep, that aside is modeled after his work, which I really do enjoy. The series includes Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, Once Upon A More Enlightened Time: More Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, and a Christmas-themed one that I cannot remember the title to because I am a somewhat linear-time thinker and only think to read it at the socially accepted “proper time.” Having found his website online, I will have to look into the other works and read the web exclusives! Lovely humour and light reading.

Speaking of web exclusives, here is a taste of his work [PDF].

Here is the cover of one of the books. I do really enjoy them! I will be immersing myself in his website a great deal in the near future.

And no, I do not want to discuss MLK Day (which should be MLK Jr. Memorial Day). It is all over the internet and I don’t want to talk about it more. He lived, he was a rebel, he stuck it to the man, he was assassinated, and now we have a holiday for him and echoes of his “dreams” and endeavors in our political, legal, and societal system. The end.

And, for my sister (who I was sad was unable to go to the zoo because she and my nephew are sharing a bad sickie right now): “Once Upon A Time…”


About N B

Artist, critic, friend, and rambly-ponderer.
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