For Me

I think I’m going to cancel both GWR applications I currently have on the go. Both are pretty amazing ideas, but they also require a little help from a lot of other people, and I just don’t think I have it in me to count on other people anymore. Not right now, at least. I have so much else on the go that lighting a fire under the asses of the masses just isn’t sitting well within my current energy spectrum. It’s too bad, because if done well, the benefits of the one in particular would far outweigh the effort involved, but it’s that whole “if done well” part that kills all of my big ideas. I just can’t get anyone to see a similar big picture to what I see, so I spend my time trying, instead of doing.

And we all know what Yoda would have to say about that.

In an effort to be less vague, one attempt is for Largest Online Photo Album of Animals. I wanted to tie it in with the zoo, and fill it with photos of those who call the zoo their home. I thought it would be a fun way to highlight the zoo and its residents, and bring other zoo-goers together by having everyone contribute as many photos of zoo animals as possible to the album. The current record is just over 104k, and while I could probably break it on my own, the guidelines state that more people have to contribute, and that all of the photos are then compiled by one entity. In my mind, I saw the zoo getting involved and helping to get the word out, and visitors from all over adding their photos to the online album to push us way over the top in celebration of all the amazing critters who live there. Then the album would be online for all to see whenever and from wherever they wish, while the zoo gets a tiny spot in history. Maybe even for longer than my first Guinness World Record.

If it was done well.

The other attempt is for Longest Line of Paper Hearts. I was really excited about this one, too. I envisioned getting people to help by cutting up tons of paper hearts and mailing them to me or bringing them to me, and then having some kind of small event – maybe a launch for the children’s picture book about hearts I keep meaning to work on – wherein all the hearts are strung together and laid out and measured officially for Guinness, and pictures taken and fun had by all. Maybe even display the chain into a giant heart of its own after the measurement had been taken. Then once I was the official record holder, it would also be great promo for my book.

But again, there are time limits on how long you can go between having your application accepted and actually making the attempt, and even though I’m sure I could cut all the paper hearts myself and figure out the rest of it alone, too…like, why? When I already have so much to do (both need to do and want to do), why would I take all that on, too, unless it were to serve some larger purpose?

Like, not change the world, or anything, but do something positive for me; expand my knowledge or skill-set, market myself in a new way or to a new audience – even just be something I enjoy doing when it’s not for a record. Cutting out paper hearts? Not so much. Taking pics of animals? Always, but preferably without a set time-line or target number of photos I need to take in order to not feel like a failure.

Basically, I want to do more things for me, and I’m not sure these particular things fit the bill anymore.

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Zoo Two

For the first time in my life, I went to the zoo two days in a row.  Not for long either time, though stayed until close both days.  And went later than usual both days, which worked out well crowd-wise.

Emotionally, not much had changed, and physically I was in more pain from hurting myself yesterday a bit.  The animals uppermost their game a bit, and gave me new experiences at every turn, in particular the gorillas and the lynx.  I didn’t even see Juno or Nandu, which is weird.  And I had some toast before I left (while doing laundry), and a small blizzard from Dairy Queen while there, and otherwise haven’t eaten today, though my heart still hurts enough that it doesn’t make much difference.

We also saw a cat at the zoo for the first time.  Like, not a big cat resident type cat.  A house cat.  Or barn cat.  Young, but not remotely timid or acting like it was in a strange place.  Looked quite at home and seemed to wonder why we were paying so much attention to it.  Cute as a bug, too.

Home now, watching TV, drinking rum.  Feeling defeated.  Or something.

My angel card tonight is about animals, though.  That’s cool.  Will have to keep that in mind over the next week in particular.

I just don’t really feel like talking.

And still have to put away my now-clean socks.

Zoo Day Okay

First day of a four day long weekend for me, so tried to sleep in a bit, then went to the zoo for a while.

Headed out later than usual to avoid the school crowd, and that actually worked out pretty well.  More people were leaving than arriving, by that point.

I’m still not in a good space, and even he happiest place on Earth couldn’t cure my blues, but it still had its moments.  I decided to not visit the pandas because I needed something more immediate than a half hour wait for thirty seconds of time, so I headed straight for my friend, Juno, the polar bear cub.  Back in her big brother’s day, it was the Tundra Trek where I spent the beginning and end of my day, so it seemed a better fit.  I tried taking a few deep breaths once I was in the relative quiet of the Core Woods, too, just to try and wash some of the “me” off of me.

Juno is really freaking cute.  She spent a lot of time trying to get her keepers to bring out some more food once she had emptied her bowl (saving some on her nose for later like the delicate flower that she is), but did come over closer a few times, and I got some golden shots of her adorable little face.  She’s getting good at taking a running jump up onto her rocks, now, too.  I still have yet to see her in her pool, though.

I swung by to check on a few other friends – the giraffes, white lions, Watusi, penguins – but I spent a great deal of time with the gorilla troop.  I was even there for most of the keeper talk, and then spent several minutes chatting with the keeper more after, too.  I love being around that family.  They never fail to just calm the world down.  My heart was so down today that I had tears in the corner of my eyes more often than not, but still…they are just so much love.  And Charles is such a big kid when it’s treat time during the keeper talk.  Totally chill, but so kid-like he makes me heart explode sometimes.  Don’t even GE me started on Nneka, either.  That baby girl, man.  She is really something else.  I will miss seeing her and Nassir together, but she’s really growing into a sweet, hilarious, Independant youngster, and I’ m enjoying watching her interactions with everyone else, now, too.

Baby Lynx, a  zoomobile ride through Eurasia, Dairy Queen, time spent with a friend, and then home to the critters I love most.

With the very real possibility that I’ll do at least some of it again tomorrow.  Maybe by then I’ll be able to enjoy it more, too.

Harambe

Harambe.jpg

Ugh I’m so torn!

Do I join the rest of the uneducated masses spewing forth ignorant, empty of thought opinions online about the whole gorilla thing? Or do I continue to bite my tongue and hope my simmering rage will subside on its own before it boils over and spews out on its own? Haha

Such a quandary!

I mean, on the one hand, my opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else’s, even though I’m pretty sure most people are just wrong. Haha

But what would be gained from my babbling rant being added to the rest of what’s already out there? Nothing. It likely wouldn’t even change anyone’s attitude nor opinion, and would instead preach to the choir, just like everyone else. And you know how much I hate being like everyone else.

So given that what I think isn’t more valid than what anyone else thinks, what about the benefit of remaining silent and moving on about my daily life? Surely there are many good reasons to do that. Except my opinion isn’t less valid, either, and with so many voices out there loudly decrying the opposite of mine, it’s hard to believe that I should be the one remaining silent when so many others are selfishly putting theirs out there. And you know how much I hate being like everyone else if no one else notices how delightfully different I am.

I guess the deciding factor is really in the notion that I’m sure some people think they know what I think, and as that is not necessarily the case, it’s probably best to do my own talking on the subject, rather than let anyone else do it for me. I don’t really have time to put my thoughts into any coherent order, or articulate them very well, so this is pretty much all reaction to the public reactions I’ve been seeing all over the internet since the incident occurred. There is, as always, a boatload of judgement flying about, and should-haves and accusations and finger-pointing at where blame ought to be laid. Many are using it as proof that their soap-boxing ideas are correct, and most seem to see it as a black and white issue; a blanket for all animals, or parents, or children, or zoos, or zoo staff, or whatever. I don’t even know. What I don’t see is much discussion about a) this particular incident with this particular animal, and b) alternate viable solutions other than the occurring result.

So, let’s see…couple of quick things, I guess.

  • To those who say Harambe (he had a name, and a personality, which is weird considering he wasn’t a person by definition) and all animals should not be in zoos, he was captive-born, so what you are really saying is that he should never have been born at all. And if that’s what you think, then you have no right to be upset that he has now died. If you think he had no right to live in the first place, then how he lived and how he died are none of your concern. Move on and find another argument to waste everyone’s time with.
  • To those who say zoos are terrible, unnatural places for animals, I can counter your blanket statement by pointing out that they are better, healthier and allow for more natural behaviours that nursing homes, seniors residences, group homes, orphanages, foster homes and any institution which house our physically and mentally challenged citizens. Those statements are both true in some cases, but in many are also false. Each scenario should be judged on its merit alone, and not all lumped in together into one general assumption. Inform your opinions. Seriously.
  • Human lives matter more than any other species. To humans. Pretty much every other species would say the same. As always, there are exceptions to every rule, but even for me, while logic dictates that the member of the NON-endangered species should have been killed instead, my biological instinct, or whatever, is to save the child, even though there are a billion more just like him on the planet already.
  • I get why tranquilizers weren’t used. They don’t take effect immediately, and would instead agitate Harambe further, along with all the screaming and crying from the hairless apes around him. What I wonder is, given that things like this happen ALL THE TIME (not just in zoos, either), why no one has worked on finding other quicker alternatives to outright killing. There is a good ten minutes of middle ground in there. Why aren’t we looking for methods which would fit in between tranquilize and kill? Is it because killing is so often our first option that we don’t bother to look further?
  • What did the wee tyke learn from his trip to the zoo that day? A healthy respect for non-human animals? Doubtful. A greater awareness that rules are in place for a reason, and that they actually apply to him? Also doubtful, considering the number of grown-ass adults who also climb over fences at zoos these days. I suspect that all that will be retained in that kid’s still soft skull of his day at the zoo will be whatever other people tell him. For sure he wasn’t punished for going somewhere that’s supposed to be off-limits to him, so he won’t even have learned that, either. Those are the kinds of things that are supposed to be taught before going places – following rules, being a member of society, that sort of thing. Of course, most of us grown-ass adults also don’t abide by such general rules, either, so it’s really no wonder that kids don’t ever learn.
  • More and more, we have to protect animals from ourselves and from other people, not the other way around. Your dog should not have to be muzzled so he doesn’t bite some kid who hits him with a stick. But he is, because it’s easier than teaching the kid not to hit. People expect that zoos are there to entertain (they’re not), or to teach children to respect wildlife (if only their parents would learn that respect as well and pass it on themselves, instead of expecting zoos to do it for them), but the way I see it, they are there, for the most part, to protect wildlife from human beings. We poach, we destroy habitat, we trophy hunt – it’s our fault that so many species are on the brink of extinction, while we spread across the Earth like a cancer, consuming everything in our path. And yet, even in captivity, or sanctuaries, or reserves of any sort, we just can’t seem to keep them safe from us. Maybe because we can’t all agree on the best way to go about saving them. Maybe because we can’t even agree to disagree on the best way and try a bunch of different ways in the hopes of attaining the best results. We’re too busy arguing with one another to bother thinking about the animal in front of us; the one we put there with our own greed and ignorance.

There’s more, but I am out of time for today.

Rest in peace, sweet Harambe. Thanks for saving that kid’s life, even at the expense of your own. I’m sorry some people think you should not have been born; I’m not one of them. I’m glad you were here, and that your final moments highlighted one of many ugly truths about the human race.

We’re still making it all about us.

Re-Zoo-Venation

Okay guys, full disclosure.  I had an amazing day – but I am totally wiped, and fully distracted by this interesting beverage concoction I’ve created and the Survivor episode of Price is Right I am watching on my PVR.

So this will be short.

Today was the first day of my 4-day vacation, and my plan was to go to the zoo, weather permitting.  I knew rain was called for, but it wasn’t expected to be a wash-out of a day, so I took a chance and went.  The construction guys (aka Doozers) outside my window start sawing concrete blocks at 7am, so it’s not like I can go back to bed after Brody and I go out for a walk.  May as well stay up and be productive.

Or, in the case of today, go for some much needed animal therapy.

I was grumpy when I arrived, because there were throngs of school groups at the gate, which made for a long wait to see panda cubs for a very short period of time.  But the little fools are growing up without me, and I can’t abide that, so I made sure to see them first.  A walk through the Eurasian Wilds calmed me right down, though, as I had the whole place almost entirely to myself.

Up next was some time with baby girl Juno.  Er…Private Juno.  There were several people there, but not too crazy, and the best thing about little kids is how quickly they get bored and move on.  The second best thing is that they are short and I can shoot over them.  Also, the kid was putting on a show – a clinic in adorableness – and from there, the rest of my day just stayed on a high note.

Baby lynx…oh my word.  Grizzly bears playing in their pool in the rain.  White lion cubs who I haven’t seen in months – so big now!  Until they stand next to dad, Fintan, of course.  My faves, the gorilla troop – some high drama there with Johari and Nassir battling one another for a gorilla stuffie they were given to play with.  Baby girl Nneka got involved, too!  And when did she and Nassir get so much bigger than I remember them being?!

Throw in a hot dog, Steve’s arrival after his shift was over, Dairy Queen, more time with the Lynx babies and finishing off our day in the company of Asha and young Nandu and being kissed by the sun…it was perfect.

I had to grab a couple of quick things on the way home, and all told was gone for about 12 hours.  Whaaat?  That was twice as long as I’d expected, but totally worth it.  I am exhausted yet rejuvenated at the same time.  I have no words.  And…totally distracted, as I said.

More soon!

Rambling Mind

I don’t understand what’s going on. At all. Maybe nothing. I have no idea. There is, of late, a huge disconnect between my inner and outer realities. Add a healthy dose of PMS into the mix and the confusion is overwhelming. So isolating. Perhaps I am just succumbing to my usual paranoia and uncertainty. Though it’s often been right in the past – can it still be deemed paranoia if it ends up being correct?

Meh. Questions without answers, really. Better to just keep plodding along and wait for my next break.

I have my next MRI on Sunday. While I’m technically hoping it will be a quick session, I feel it’s much more likely that it’ll be one of the long 45-minute-IV-with-contrast-material types, instead. It makes more sense, since it’s just my annual check-up type one and they’ll want to get as much detail and cover as much territory in the scans as possible. I just really hate those ones, and am running out of ways to entertain myself while in the tube for that long. However, at least it’ll be over with, and since Monday is a holiday, I’ll be able to just relax and do nothing, if I want, the whole next day. That’ll help. Usually I feel more than a little off once I come out of the machine. I know it doesn’t do anything to me physically, but my mind feels cloudy, anyway. Maybe from focusing on remaining still while not letting claustrophobia set in.

There should be a law against cologne – or artificial scents of any kind – that I can smell even if I am not near you. Seriously people. What kind of nastiness are you trying to cover up by dousing yourself so completely in something else?

Anyway.

I’m frustrated at this whole not working Saturdays thing. I know, sounds weird, but there are several reasons why I’m feeling this way. Aside from the fact that it’s a shorter work day, and earns a longer weekday off, which is sometimes enough. But it would give me the opportunity to do other things I want to do sometimes. Like go to the zoo. I hate going on weekends, through the summer at least, because of the hoards of sweaty hairless apes in my way, ruining my Zen thing. But if I want to go on a weekday, I have to burn a vacation or sick day to do it. I got turned down for volunteering at the Wildlife Centre because the weekend shifts are first to go, and those are the only ones I could do. I probably wouldn’t be a Big Sister again anyway, but that’s another thing I can’t do. Not the in-school mentor program, at least. I can see my therapist if I book an appointment first thing and then head to work after, which doesn’t always have me in the greatest headspace for the rest of the work day. Sometimes it’d be better if I could just go home after and process. But I can’t, unless I am willing to burn a sick day, o vacation day, if I know far enough in advance that I won’t feel up to coming in that day.

Overall, it’s fine. I’ve just been feeling lately like I am having to give up a lot of the things that I’d enjoy or look forward to or benefit from in some way in order to continue receiving a paycheque. That is, of course, the most important thing, because without that I’d have far less opportunity than I do now. I guess I’m just sad that this seems to be all there is, and I am struggling to make even that much balance out. It’s depressing sometimes.

In other news, Mr. Brodykins has an appointment with the groomer on Saturday! He will hate every moment, except the ones where he gets to hang with Momma Kristi and ride in the car. Probably on her lap, if he gets his way. That’s his preferred mode of travel, after all. I hate leaving him there, knowing how miserable it makes him, but he does love being picked up after, and being told how utterly adorable he is. He likes to show off a bit, at that point. Maybe I’ll see about getting him some kind of little special treat for being a good boy. Because he’s always a good boy. He hates the whole grooming process with the seething fire of a thousand suns, but he doesn’t fight it. Instead, he freezes in his silent misery, and tolerates it all until it’s finally over. And then gets unnaturally excited when you put his collar back on.

Bless.

I love that little guy.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just so in my head I don’t really know what’s accurate or real anymore. Or maybe my instincts are good enough that I’m getting the hints being put out there, but am just not certain enough to react. Maybe there’s nothing to react to at all. Regardless, I feel dumb, so hopefully I can figure out at least some of it soon. It’s seeming pretty manic, really. I’m still here, though, so as much as I am trying to sort some things out, I’m also trying to, like, live day to day life. It’s all I can think to do, sometimes.

Long weekend coming up finally, and then next weekend is the first one I booked off for myself. Four days in a row! I don’t know how I’ll manage NOT to give myself so much to do that I won’t get it done and then be disappointed in myself…but I’m going to try not to give myself so much to do that I don’t get it done and feel disappointed in myself.

A co-worker just asked if it was Friday yet – it’s like he’s reading my mind. I was just thinking how far away Friday still is, but that it’s kind of a good thing because I have a lot to do in the meantime.

I was looking up screenwriting contests yesterday to see if there were any deadlines I could aim for but realistically meet. I realized that I’m not anywhere close to ready to start writing the updated adaptation of my first book, though. I need to sort out the changes that will be made and how they’ll all go together with the parts of the story that are being kept. I’ll work on a new outline first, and then consider starting the script.

Why can’t things in our heads just come out on paper automatically?

What I CAN Say Is This

So many exciting things going on in my world right now…and I can’t talk about any of them here yet!

Haha

Ah well…I’ll find something else to babble about…let’s see…

Got through another March, and am finally into April. And payday. So that’s good.

I’ve managed to have a pretty quiet week so far, which is good. I’ve been spending more time at home, in part because I’m exhausted, and in part because I like it there. The animals all seem to appreciate it, too, especially after I spent the majority of the long weekend with them, and after I’d spent the rest of the month of March only home to sleep, for the most part. So we’ve been able to spend more time together this past week, and it’s been more relaxing for all of us, I think.

I think I’m going to a movie tonight, and then a beer or two. Possibly the zoo tomorrow, because I’m really starting to suffer withdrawal now. I mean, I haven’t even met the rhino baby yet! What kind of person am I?! And all of the babies are growing fast without me being there to witness it very much, which is just unacceptable. Even if I just go check in on everyone for a bit and then go back home to get things done, that would be good for my soul. It’ll probably happen, depending on how much sleep I get tonight and how whiny I feel in the morning.

I am beyond excited that I get to meet Lil Bub and her dude in person in a couple of weeks! The work they do to raise money and awareness for animals with special needs is unparalleled, and they helped Tim and I break our Guinness World Record back in 2014, so the fact that I get to meet them in person finally is ridiculously thrilling for me. Plus, I have nothing but admiration and awe for Bub’s fierce determination and incredible adaptability – along with her dude Mike’s unending love and perseverance – in getting her to the place she is at now, health-wise alone! It’s insane! They said she wouldn’t be able to walk, and yet now she can run, and climb and jump! What?! Science and magic, indeed. I love that little critter. Bub’s a beast at life.

New TV shows on my watch list are The Catch (of which I’ve seen and enjoyed the first episode), and possibly The Path (of which I have recorded but not yet watched). Because, you know, I don’t have enough on my watch list as it is. Constantly freaking behind. Blah.

AND what is up with everything I watch ending after this season?! I mean, not everything everything, but still a lot! Already gone are Haven, Continuum, Lost Girl…Defiance? I think Defiance is done. Motive is ending. Rizzoli and Isles is ending. I can’t even remember what else.

Maybe I am just tired of saying goodbye.

Same with celebrity deaths, though I have been less affected by most of them this year than many people. Alan Rickman was a pretty big one for me. And Patty Duke – I think I am still processing that one. When I was younger, I dreamed of marrying Sean Astin – in part because GOONIES, and in part because I wanted Patty Duke to be my mother-in-law. She and my mom would have gotten along great, and my mom would have been thrilled to have a friend who was even shorter than she is! As I got older and Sean married someone else (no hard feelings – he wouldn’t even meet me until a few years ago), I decided there should just be a way to adopt more parents for ourselves. There’s no limit on the number of children people can have or adopt, so there shouldn’t be a limit on the number of parents one can have, either. At least as far as paternal-like friends go.

I don’t know. I just really adored everything I learned about that woman. I wanted to know her. I wanted to be her. I wanted to learn from her. I wanted to just be around her and hang out and try to make her laugh. She just seemed like such a true and complete person, even when she was struggling to feel that way herself. Maybe especially then, because no matter what, she never gave up. She always fought for something better. She always fought to be better. I want that kind of energy in my life; that kind of inspiration.

Which, I know, can really only be provided by me.

But I’ll sure miss having her there, off in the distance, to look to when I feel like I’m losing my way.

I’ll miss having the dream of knowing the real Patty Duke to hold on to. Guess I’ll hold the memory of the dream instead.