Thursday, September 07, 2006

Where we leave off we begin again

Hang tightly - I'll be right back. Famous last grammatically correct words. I meant to come back. Honest I did. I mean, I was just running out for a pack of smokes and a carton of milk, ya know? Really, baby. Honest. I did mean to come back... but something came up.

Anyway, enough silliness. An entry is due to you people because I promised. There are several things I must cover.

First... Steve Irwin.
In my last entry, I stated that I was pretty shocked and sad when I woke up incredibly early Monday morning and learned with coffee in hand that he was dead.

I mean, the guy was a maniac. He ... defies description. Really. He had a manic love for what he did, even if it was a bit more than a tad unconventional. I enjoyed his enthusiasm, his "Crikey! She's a beaut!" calls from the muddy slopes of an outback river as a croc was trapped and replanted somewhere farther away from people or at his zoo.

He built an empire. Starting off with a tiny little zoo of reptiles and crocs with his dad. A tiny little roadside sign to start with, and now a multi-million dollar business. Complete with camera crews who followed him step by step through his life. His wedding, the birth of his babies, his bizarre dancing baby trick in the croc pit (which got him in a lot of hot water) and finally, a camera crew was there to film his death.

Thing is, I always knew this guy would meet his end at the hands of nature. Whether a croc would bite him in half, or some other animal would bite him and antivenin wouldn't be administered in time, I knew deep in my soul that this man would die doing what he loved.

And he did.

When I heard the news, I thought of a Barenaked Ladies song that always made me smile. It is basically about working doing what you want to be doing for a living, not doing ... what has to be done to make money.

I never spent a single day in retail telling people what they want to hear
telling people anything to make a sale
Eating in the food court with the old and the bored

I think never is enough (yeah never is enough)
I never want to do that stuff

And he never had to do that stuff. Ever. And in the end, you want to know something... I admire that. Greatly. How many of us, honestly, if we died AT WORK would die in the middle of doing something that we loved.

Hats off to Mr. Crocodile Hunter. You lived the life that you wanted, and I wish your wife nothing but solace in your absence -- may she carry on doing good work for animals, educating people, and raising those cute wild babies you left behind. God speed, brother. God speed.

Second... Aquarium.
On Sunday when we went to get Gonzo we went to the Mystic Aquarium. It was hugely crowded with eighty billion people there. We pulled in the parking lot, and because my son has the same disease I have he was studying the license plates of each of the vehicles.

He noted "there seem to be a lot of New York plates here today."

"We'll try to have fun in spite of that," replied his father.

The aquarium was alright. It wasn't the BEST aquarium I've been to (cough, Shed Aquarium, Chicago, cough) but it was good. They had beluga whales and that was worth the price of admission. They were so bizarre and beautiful. At once, they looked like huge lumps of sugar cookie dough swimming back and forth, and they also looked like white, ghostly angels in the beautiful green-blue water. I wanted to fall in and be like them, swim like them... and my trance was broken by New Yorkers trying to take pictures.

Geoff tried climbing a rock wall there. The line was really short, and he got half way up where the wall juts forward and you have to really work to get past the jut, and he gave up. They give you two tries. And he wanted a third. I'm wondering if I shouldn't find him a place where he can actually work at this and accomplish it. Get to the top. Me too. It'd be fun, hauling my 200 plus pound fat ass up a fake rock wall. I keep telling myself it'd be fun. And it would be if I were 120 pounds. Sigh.

Anyway -- he enjoyed it and I could see a hunger. We'll try it again sometime.

The boy who went before him had one of these helicopter moms who stood under him and told him EXACTLY where to put his feet and kept yelling encouragement to him. I wanted to push her down and stuff my fist down her throat and say "Let him figure it out. Trust me. Later, you'll be thankful for it." He made it as far as Geoff did, with all her yelling. She was disappointed when he came down, and told him exactly what he did wrong.

I, better parent (ha!) on the other hand, stood silent on the first try. I told him on the second try to "Stay to the right, there are more foot and hand holds on that side" and then I shut my mouth. When he came down I said "That was amazing for a very first time ever up on one of these things. You should be so proud."

God knows, I was.

Anyway. After the aquarium when we were driving home with Gonzo dog, I saw a Nebraska plate on 495 in Lowell, MA. But Doug was going 100 or so, and my camera was in my bag, and it was night, and flash photography on the highway at night freaks other drivers out, so ... I didn't get the plate.

My mind did, but the Flickr Set didn't. Such is life.

Third... Musical Instruments.
In fourth grade, the children begin their adventures in musical instrument instruction. With all the Guster Geoff has been listening to, and the fact he's got a spirit of a drummer, I figured he'd go for the drums.


My son wants to play the Flute.

Yes he does.

And you know what, we're gonna let him. Yes we are. Laugh if you must. But when I asked him which instrument he thought was the best he said "Oh! The flute is so awesome!" And he was so into it. And I immediately thought of Leroi Moore of Dave Matthews Band and his kick ass work with the little silver tool, and old Stephen Page rocking out on "Who Needs Sleep" and even Jethro Tull... and I said "Okay. I'd rather you take drums, but if you want to try the flute, so be it. If you hate it, we'll see if we can switch."

God help him. I don't want him to be teased for his choice. I don't want to prevent him from picking the one thing he likes. I want to encourage him. And bitches, it is CERTAINLY much better than the damn trumpet or clarinet, where my ears will bleed nightly with him trying to play. Oy.

So he's going to sign up for flute. Pray for my son, that his classmates won't be total dicks. That he'll enjoy it. That it is, indeed, the right option for him.

Fourth... Gonzo Update
Well, in our last entry, Gonzo hated Brodie. Still does but not as violently. He tolerates her, he lets her near him. When he is hiding under this very desk, and she gets up in his grill, he growls. I've grabbed him, flipped him over, Alpha Dogged his throat with my fingers. He just hates her.

I'm feeding them at separate times. Which is working out. Also.... Gonzo will not eat their dog food. I keep their dish on the floor. He likes his raised up to about a foot and a half. So their dish sits there, full, and he won't bend over and snarf it up entirely.

Score. My dogs can still graze. Sweet.

He is doing a good job of listening, isn't nearly as barkey as I expected, and he's done a good job of barking at me when he is hungry (when I come home after 5pm he sure lets me know I'm late)... and when he needs to go pee.

The one bad thing is dude can jump our fence. Our deck out of the back door has a 3 ft fence on either side. Dude can just jump right over that bitch. It sucks. He's done it every day since he has been here. We are going to need to make some adjustments to that side of the deck to prevent this. Stupid escaping dog. Pisses me off.

Well. That's about it. I know there is more stuff, but damn if the Steelers aren't on, and it is opening day for football, and my ass needs to be downstairs. With my ketchup and Geoff and his terrible towel. Representin', yo. (sorry Nance).

I made Tots to go with our ketchup. And life is good.

More later. I promise.

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