Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm not taking this crown off yet

The birthday was nice and mellow and cut short by my don't do Monday's policy of being super cranky that the weekend is over and tired from work. I think Monday's poison me because really, there were 2 naps in a row and relaxation so why am I so bloody tired on the first day of the work week? Who knows.

But since the previous day was filled with animals and ice cream, the actual day of my birth didn't need to be the 4-day extravaganza of last year. And there's still Disneyland which will be my official official birthday celebration and I'm milking this fucker as long as I can.

Thank you to everyone who left salutations here and especially to my friends who sent flowers (thank you Tru!) and e-cards and e-mails and phone calls. It really made my day which I topped off with more ice cream.

The precursor to Monday was a very nice weekend spent doing some of the things I love. I had a great ride on Saturday with lots of jumping on one of my favorite horses who tried to kill me straight-away by spooking over a dandelion or some such lame thing, but being the most excellent horse-woman I am I thwarted the situation and laughed if off while silently vowing to change my pants later. Cuz that ascared me a little. I made up for it with a shopping trip for cute & comfy pants appropriately low in the rise and a kicky new shirt.

We woke early on Sunday and found the kitty to be slightly improved. It's still a touchy situation and all breath is being held, but I'll take what I can get. Even if it is her normal behavior of yelling at me for looking in her general direction without permission. Awww, she detests my existence. What a relief.

Whitey and I decided that a trip to The Wild Animal Park was in order. The weather looked decent and we had a free pass for the boy, since I'm a member and get in for free. Hoity toity me. I took a crap load of pictures but only 3 turned out nice, in my opinion. I must have sweat on the lens or something since even though the temperature was doable we ended up walking like 25 miles uphill and I pour like a pig just from brushing my hair let-alone hauling my butt across the African freaking plains.

We had a great time feeding some Asian deer-type things and I think the little critter was an antelope. One was missing an eye, ew and aww, she got extra treats. We watched meerkats wrestle each other, looking like spry old men, then freak out at a helicopter passing overhead. They had WTF looks on their faces clear as day. Too funny. We also got to see a couple of the new lions and I think the male was looking at me picturing my juicy ass in his mouth, but hey, who doesn't.

We fed some very, very noisy, beautiful birds and didn't get shit on once. These are called lorakeets but they should be called lorascreaminyourears.


We tried to spot the new baby elephant but he must have been put away so the workers could scoop the poop in the enclosure. Not a job I'd like, thank you, and dammit, I wanted to see the baby. We saw a cerval up close and personal and had some excellent timing to watch the always-hiding cheetah come up for some wads of raw meat. She was beautiful and had a decidedly Garboesque quality as she finished her meal, posed for a minute with her held head high then retreated to her private quarters. She vanted to be alone.

I'm telling this all out of order but it's because the very best part of the day was the giraffes. When we arrived at the park and scanned the map, which I thought I didn't need since I've been there a zillion times, I was surprised to see "giraffe feeding station". A what? You mean people get to feed them? I had to get a load of that.

We could see the giraffes from the lion camp and they were obviously very close to people so we decided to hightail it over there. What should have been a 200 yard trek turned into god knows how long since the park forced me to exercise by making us walk a bigass long trail. By the time we made it to the feeding station all the giraffes were full and gone. I was royally bummed. We saw a bunch of other cool stuff and took a snack break and relaxed a bit. I decided to give the giraffes another try and I'm so glad I did.

When we approached the spot we saw people lined up buying leaves and a bunch of long necks hanging around. I was so friggen excited. I shoved some money at whitey and garbled something about getting food for me and walked up to the "white line". I guess giraffes are shy and don't like people too close to them or making sudden moves. A kid even got shushed by a trainer for loudly whining and generally being a pussy for not wanting to feed the giraffe.

I found this fact of their timidity to be weird since they're HUGE. And I don't mean, wow, that's a big animal like when you're looking at a 100 pound dog. I mean, these things are freaky freaky HUGE. But I guess size really doesn't matter in this case.

One of the biggest males was hanging his long neck and giant head over the railing and gingerly taking leaves from people one at a time. I was blown away by his beauty and bizarro head. Who the hell put these animals together anyway? It's like a bucket of random body parts fell on the floor and 4 different animals were mashed into 1. Somebody had a sense of humor. Another case in point: moose.

I've seen giraffes in person many times, but had never been eye to eye with one. I couldn't get over how big his head was and how breathtakingly gorgeous they all were. They are regal creatures who move with grace and purpose. Blinking thoughtful eyes. Viewing the world in silence.

When it was my turn, he reached for the leaf I was holding, his long purple tongue lightly brushing across my hand and quickly backed off making sure I wouldn't try to sneak in a pat to his nose. Which I so wanted to do. So, so bad. I could have watched him for hours, but soon after I'd taken 14 more crappy pictures, he'd had enough and mosied over to his group to feast on a large eucalyptus branch.

These are the only shots I liked. The rest will have to live in my head.



I was positively high from that experience and after picking out a souvenir, we both decided our feet were done and so were we. The car trip home was a short one since I live closer to this incredible place than I usually remember, and we walked in the door before 5:00. There were hours left in the day for a cold shower and a nap. The perfect end to an awesome day.

I can't wait for Disneyland. I told you I was milking this fucker.

No comments: