Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GIBBONS!!! and 2 Sloths. Awesome and sad zoo and The Tap

So, Wednesday I woke up at my usual fricking 5AM. Christ. I'm on vacation.

Anyway, I just stayed in bed reading for a few hours and got up after Jonny went to work.

I checked the interwebs to see if there was a bank (need to deposit the rent) in the area, an independent coffee shop, and some bread products (Jonny has peanut butter, jam, even hummus but NOT a single cracker or crust of bread in the house...I had a cup of tea and some peanut butter on a spoon for breakfast...actually, that's not that bad of a breakfast).

When I google mapped his place, turns out he is 10 blocks from the Denver Zoo. Cool.

Let's start with the bad:
KIDS. I hate kids and they were everywhere. Busloads of them. Screaming. Don't they have "adults only" hours at the zoo like they do at the pool? And the animals really don't like the screaming. I agree with the animals. Anyway, they sat down to eat at noon so I just kept going.

These animals had enclosures that were too small and showed signs of stress from the caging: bears, rhino, hippo, elephants, giraffes, various "hoofed" animals from africa, eagles and a condor in a cage less than 30 feet high and less than 100 feet long was sad.

Seals didn't look too pleased either.

BUT...some animals seemed to be doing OK. There had been some work on the primate area and most seemed to have enough "enrichment" that they were relaxing rather than pacing or rocking or throwing poo.

Anyway, the gibbons ROCK.

I have a video on my phone but don't know how to put it in the right format.

Then, I'm walking through the bird building which I was going to skip but thought that inside and without kids (they were not that jazzed about the birds). One docent was SUPER chatty which usually annoys me, but this one pointed out sloths that I hadn't noticed! In with birds.
The cave bats and fruit bats were behind glass in another building and I kept ducking when they came to the window. I hate bats.
They had fantastic turtles. The alligator snapping turtle would scare the b-jeezuz out of Pam (Hi Pam), but was very cool.
They have a surprising number of toucans. Who knew?
They have quite a bit of conservation and "anti-extinction" information around which is nice. Several zoo-keepers were available for comment while they worked in the food prep rooms. There were windows in to the rooms and buttong so you could ask them stuff.
I hope they can remedy the cage situations for some of the bigger critters soon.
At the zoo I had no portable cup and eventually gave in and got a lemonade. The plastic cup (DAMMIT) was made of corn. Corn is such a high-petroleum-input crop that I'm not sure it's worth it. I hear that corn plastic decomposes and I did carry the cup (with lemon slice) around for the rest of the visit and kept refilling it at drinking fountains. I did use drinking fountains without a cup for much of the visit, but I was getting woozy from the all protein breakfast and the heat and needed a bit of sugar and flavor to avoid heat stroke (I'm very heat stroky).

Now for a new dilemma. It's easy to get regular skin grease without a plastic bottle. I can refill the ones I have or get shea butter in tins at the Moscow Food Co-op and will look in to ordering larger quantities of shea butter (unrefined) online. BUT: where does one get sun screen without a plastic container? The shea butter has some variable sun screen properties but my nose is already peeling. I didn't even bring a hat or a bandana so the ears may go next. I kept moving the part in my hair to avoid scalp burn. I'm such a moron sometimes.

This was funny. I'm in the primate area and am wearing my black keen shoes with the newly applied retreads, brown carhart pants, a dark green un-marked t-shirt, and the blue removable sleeves shirt I got for christmas a couple of years back. I had the zip-off sleeves zipped off. A kid, about 5 or 6, says "What are you?" I looked confused. He said, "Are you a person who works here" I said "No, but I am an anthropologist". He was not impressed and his mother just walked off. I don't think they realized that that meant I could actually answer a question or two about the mandrills we were looking at.
OH! and this was the best best best. At the main potty room by the entrance/exit gate, they play environmental information in the bathroom (e.g. you help the environment if you shut off the water while you brush your teeth). AND the door of each stall has a picture of an animal head on the outside...and that animal's BUTT on the inside of the door. Awesome. I was in the mandrill stall.

I made some pasta for dinner for Jonny and me and then we went to see Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer at the Paramount Theatre here in Denver. AWESOME!!

They were hysterical and Christopher Guest is a seriously good musician. They did all their big songs and a few more that we hadn't heard much or at all before. Big Bottom was redone as a jazz bit with only Shearer on bass and McKean and Guest snapping their fingers and reciting/singing the song. A woman in a black leotard came out and did a free form jazz dance to the song. Disappointingly, she was very thin and did NOT have a big bottom. I would have much preferred a Beth Ditto type in the role. Oh well.

I did have to run out and pee during Stone Henge (no dwarves or props) and used that time to get a t-shirt.

We were in the 7th row on the aisle and could see very well. It was fabulous. Money well spent. we're going to wear the t-shirts to the clown museum on Saturday.

Today (it's actually Thursday because I was too tired last night to get it together and finish the blog) we're heading out to Twin Lakes Reservoir and the Mines and Ores or Ores and Mines B&B. Should be fab as well. Friday is the alligator farm and Walsenburg and Saturday is the clown museum and back here. Sunday the green festival is in town and I'm hoping to go to a bit of that.


Fly Right said...

Wow. It sounds like (aside from the lack of starch) you're having a great vacay! You MUST take many pictures at the Clown Museum. But you knew that. . .

Pamela said...

Thank you for not posting pictures of the turtle. But I'm sure you took plenty that you can frighten me with later.

Just for comparison- my phobia is NO WHERE NEAR this woman.