I like rainy days, especially since we continue to have a little "issue" around water to our courtyard. As previously mentioned our water supply is controlled by an irksome neighbor and after pushing us to file with the insurance company they found that we were in no way liable for his damages when the valve in his unit failed. Hello? So now he’s mad with his and our insurance companies and doesn’t want to let the pipe be repaired. Condos, with fine lines between what’s owned and what’s common space, are complicated affairs that I’m only now in life learning about. Stick with single family housing if you possibly can. As long as it’s raining and keeping every thing lush, I’m going la-de-da on that one.
Mondays are zoo days and when it rains the zoo stays fairly quiet. I have been very busy working my way through the testing process on the various houses and exhibits and education carts and making good progress. But the effort reminds me that a forty hour a week paid position is probably not the right choice for me right now. Also, I heard back from the hospital (which was very nice considering they say right up front on the application that they are too busy to respond unless they are interested in you) and there were two problems: one, I am "over qualified." They don’t want to pay a salary commiserate with 35 years of experience. (Hey! I work for lunch!) AND I don’t speak Spanish. Bi-lingual was, in fact, one of the qualifications and I just sort of checked no and skipped on.
You know, that dates me too. Back when I was in college it wasn’t necessary to be fluent in anything but English and then barely so. We were so egocentric that English was the language of choice and the rest of the world could damn well learn to speak to us if they wanted to. So I took my two years of college French reading little bits of French literature and never conversing at all. I’m glad that has changed. First of all, it’s just too presumptuous. Secondly, the world is more fun if you can get to know people where they live. Abby knows ancient and modern Greek, she’s a nationally recognized Latin scholar, she speaks Spanish and Russian (and has a Russian e-mail account) and I suspect she’s learning Bulgarian. This is because she’s been dating some person named Ivan. I need to take a little trip to Florida in the near future. Just sort of drop in, ya know? I also need to hop around the corner to St. Vincent de Pauls and peddle my volunteer wares; perhaps I can learn Spanish on the job.
Mondays, when I arrive at the zoo, Adelar is usually standing tall and advertising his status with a series of mighty roars. The comical thing is that he always sort of tapers off into a conversational tone and continues on for any number of minutes before flopping down on his big rock. So it goes something like this: ROAR! RROOOAARRR! RRRRR-OOOOOOR! Roar! roar. roar. rah! ra. ra. ra- ra. Flop.
You really have to be there, but this is Adelar, going ra. ra.
Then I pass Molly, who sometimes does that thing that cats are want to do: she forgets to pull in her tongue.
This morning I did my test on penguins and seabirds and this afternoon I went on to a two hour one on one test in the McCormick Bird House and the Regenstein Birds of Prey Exhibit with the resident bird expert. Sixty seven species, top to bottom, up and down. I like the free flight room of the bird house with 14 species flying and waddling here and there in amongst the trees, bushes and rocks. This Nicobar Pigeon is a darn sight better looking than the ones that are fowling/fouling up the city streets and this Golden-breasted Starling is quite stunning, yes?
There’s also a bit of a mystery in the bird house. Over the weekend nine Mandarin ducklings hatched and they are darling balls of fluff- but eight look like Mandarin ducklings and one looks like a barnyard chick. Hmmmm…I’ll post pictures next Monday but in the meantime, here’s papa. And wish me luck- I’ll be doing a one-on-one in the big cat house. Who is felis and who is panthera? What is a melanistic leopard? And how many school children can simultaneously go potty in the downstairs bathroom of the Lion House? I’ll also be giving the operant conditioning talk in the great ape exhibit and then I think I’m more than two-thirds done. I got measured for my Steve Irwin jacket today.
My sweetie (the human trash compactor, soul mate and best friend) and I are going Sideways for a few days later this week, to visit friends in Napa, California. Toni was a friend from BCMA and our sons played the North Seas Jazz Festival in Den Hague together when they were fifteen- so we go back a ways. They moved from Ann Arbor the year before we did and we haven’t seen them since so this will be fun. Time with Rich, good friends and winery tours. What could be better? Rich says golf in Napa Valley so he’s taking his clubs. I’ll take my camera and post pictures.