My family had a fun game night. My niece apparently really likes to come see me. Apparently she carries on long conversations with the picture of me hanging on my parents' wall. And she didn't shut up in the car on the 80 mile drive down from my parents' place to mine - "we're going to see Aunt Brie…we're going to see Aunt Brie". Poor girl was put down for a nap nearly as soon as she arrived at my house- and cried and cried because she wanted to see me. Once she was up, she was much happier.
I had my first birthday party since I was five on my birthday. I was shocked. My parents quit making a deal about birthdays early on. And between moving and being shy in school, I didn't make many friends in middle and high school. In college, I made friends, but they apparently were more the fair-weather variety. I tried throwing birthday parties, but my friends would either ignore my invitations, say they would come and not show up. (If you don't want to hang out with me, just tell me.) Another common thing was the complete ignoring of my birthday. (One year it was, "we'll celebrate with M's" (his is less than a week before mine), but not a single one even said happy birthday to me (except M).) Is it so bad to want people to acknowledge my existence just once a year? So to have my best friend throw me a small party was about the shock of my life - but a happy one. Even more of a shock was that I got two phone calls. One from M that was a birthday wish/guilty we haven't been better about getting together voicemail. The other was from Breana. I was so shocked to hear from her, I couldn't express to her how happy I was to get the call. And several friends emailed me birthday wishes. So it was the best birthday I can remember. Thank you to everyone! I just wonder why I had be 27/28 before I found friends that actually seem to care that I exist.
Enough of that pity party. I went to the zoo today. It's much smaller than other zoos but still plenty of exercise thanks to the steep grades. The views were breath taking and exhibits are really well done. The last time I was at this zoo I was 11. I asked my parents for a zoo membership for Christmas and finally had a chance to use it. I had a pretty good time, even though it was sprinkling about half the time I was there. I really should start taking pictures of the exhibit signs. With a digital camera, I don't have to worry about film prices. And I would really like to remember some of the different monkey types.
- The preening peacock was very pretty. I never saw the peacocks at the Denver zoo take the time to preen like that.
- I carried on a semi-meaningful conversation with a monkey (Black Mandalay type? Here's why I need pictures of exhibit signs.) for several minutes that ended up garnering me an audience. I was talking to it about its diet and it picked up different vegetables and showed them off and then proceeded to show me various parts of it cage when I named them. And it waved back at me when I waved to go off and look at other exhibits. (Well, Sa did say that the monkeys in the zoo missed me…)
- The wolves were out! When I'd go to the Denver zoo, they would never be out. The wolves were playing like puppies. Their exhibit is heavily wooded, steep and huge, so my pictures of the wolves are from a major distance.
- The tigers also have a huge, steep, heavily wooded exhibit - and it allows the tigers to easily hide. All I saw of the tigers was one of their butts.
- The baby gorilla was out with its keeper. What a cute little guy.
- The monkeys and apes in general were mugging for the camera quite nicely.
- The Wallaby Walkout exhibit was pretty cool in general. I didn't pet any of the animals, but I had fun watching a red kangaroo mugging for camera and trying to steal the shirt of a guy next to me.
Next time I get to the zoo, I think I'll take my sketchbook with me and take some more time observing.
Finally, Breana seems to have infected my camera. I told my software to delete all the pictures off the camera after transfer. The software transferred the picture of Breana and me twice. Also the camera deleted all but one picture from the memory card - the picture of Breana and me.