Tag Archives: zoo

2016: The High Points-Ranked

3 Jan

There was more bad times then good this year.  Or more accurately, a lot of the bad points overshadowed the good.  Or their were the normal good times, but the daily grind had a lot of negative.  But here, I have happily remembered many of the good.  From awesome to major thrill, here is my Top Moments Countdown:

Honorable mention:  The Trampled by Turtles concert with Lorn Huron as opener.  They put on a wonderful show (see review blog) but the venue totally ruined the whole thing.

trampled-by-turtles

11-Kelly Coffey circuit workouts/running on the trail in the summer

Cool has gained so much ground on this front, and it makes it fun, quality time instead of a chore.  It’s really nice to do it together.  And even though it was very hot (sometimes 104F) we both ran well AND had great attitudes about it.  I hope to continue our fitness stuff for a very long time.

10-Balloon Races/kayak

This went from the top spot last year to 10th!  But not because it was bad or anything.  I packed the car to the brim, but forgot one bag.  The one with all the cute outfits I had lovingly put together over the prior weeks and weeks.  It was a fun trip, as always, but even though there were technically more days IN the visit, we were way more rushed.  We didn’t even get to play yard games!  We have to plan better next time.  And some lady chastised my family when we sat down at Dawn Patrol.  Even though there’s no tickets and no seating arrangement.  She got ugly about it, saying “we’ve been here since 3AM.”  False.  They don’t open the gates until 4 AM, and shove it up your ass, lady.  I had fun, and I always love the balloon races, but we were kinda running around.  Plus, my mom was still recovering from her radiation/surgery.  And my dad was having trouble walking around so much.  We will do it better next visit!

lauurel-remax

9-Cool’s birthday in Park City

I bought Cool (and me) a massage package in Park City.  So we could try out being fancy (that’s not our life).  It was fun, but I just don’t think I’m a massage person.  Example:  They have a sign-in sheet and it asks what you don’t want in the massage.  I wrote “awkwardness.”  My gal was like, what do you mean you don’t want awkwardness?  Long pause.  What is awkwardness to you?”  Umm, THIS conversation.  And there was a hair treatment in the massage.  But that meant either you have to walk around with straight up oil in your wet hair–or shower.  So I had a weird semi-private shower, which I’m never a fan of.  So the massage was good, but I just am not going to submit myself to any more of that.  We did get to window shop in Park City and eat at High West, so that was nice.

boss-moose

8-getting the impossible raise

My worth ethic is unparalleled.  And my department under-pays so there is high turnover.  I ended up doing way more then my share (as I have always done) on a consistant basis.  The difference was, they keep track of checklists, so I saved them and wrote everything down.  Everyone in the company, everyone, everyone gets a standard 40 cent raise at their yearly review.  Everyone.  No exception.  But I worked more so I deserved more.  And I asked for it.  My supervisor said no no straight away.  I persisted that I worked very hard.  And they couldn’t deny that.  So the head of the department said he could try to ask for more, but it had only ever happened on very few rare occasions.  I said we could at least try, and he said he’d talk to his boss, but don’t get my hopes up.  I didn’t.  But the next week, he said I got it!  I got more than the standard 40 cent raise!!!  One of very few–nobody in recent memory.  But then, because he’s a douche and he doesn’t like me (because I caught him red-handed talking shit about me to another random employee AND went to HR about it)  he ruined the moment by saying, “You got lucky.”  No, you mother-fucker, I did not get lucky, I worked hard and earned it.  And Cool further ruined the occasion by picking one of our biggest fights ever.  So this should be higher on this list, but *sigh* other people. . .  I DID buy myself a really nice fitness tracker as a gift to me.  And it is hands free/cord free/phone free music.  Right on my wrist–with no other device necessary.

7-Zoo Brew

Best idea ever!  With or without alcohol.  The zoo put on a 21 and over event, which is genius.  I don’t always want to have kids pushing me, deal with screaming, and have little people running around scaring the animals and tapping on glass.  As long as you look at the zoo before the adults get out of the alcohol lines, you can see the animals before the adults start to exhibit (pun intended) this behavior.  It’s the first time we ever saw the palace cat out, because it was actually quiet.  Love!  And we went to the very first event, so nobody knew if it yet, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  Subsequent events were fun too, but word had spread and it was more crowded.  That May event–perfect!

giraffes-are-tall

6-my birthday:

I went extravegent for my bithday.  Not because it was a milestone year (33) but more because I had a job where I can take (paid) time off.  So I used it to my advantage and did bunches of things all week.  I got my hair dyed special. mussel-shooters-with-quail-egg She took the color out, then did a rinse so it was subtle, purple highlights.  I loved it!  And as soon as I catch up on money, I’ll get that again.  On your birthday you get to eat whatever you want, even if the other person doesn’t like that kind of food.  Cool is a very picky eater, so I always have to go without a lot of foods.  So I chose sushi.  The restaurant was cute, and had a mural and live music too.  I got a whole platter, which I never do, but it was my birthday, and I had to load up from the prior year of no sushi and the next year of no sushi.  And I got mussel shooters, which are fun to eat!  My actual birthday we paid for Red Butte gardens ($13/person and a total rip-off) which is MUCH smaller than Spokane’s free Manito Garden.  I won’t go back lizlard-wave-up-frontunless there’s a free day.  We went to Red Robin’s for lunch, which I wouldn’t choose, but my blood sugar got low and we had no other recourse and Cool panicked and got irritable.  Then we went to an independent theater and saw one of the films that had been at Sundance Film Festival.  It was “Swiss Army Man” see my review.  I liked it, and figured it out, so felt cool.  Then we had a Grapefruit Ballist Point beer on a patio and it was wonderful.  We had planned to go to our library’s coffee and chocolate class but some obnoxious lady sat immediately next to me, wouldn’t stop engaging me, and when she belched in my face I called it quits and walked out early.  Then sent a long complain letter to the event’s organizer–who turned out to be really, really sweet.  Signed us up for the next month’s (super competitive) class, gave me coupons for free coffee at the library shop, and gave me a birthday gift of 4 artisan chocolate bars!  Like, really sweet and very apologetic (that’s not usually my life).  Anyway, so we went to an oyster restaurant instead.  I like oysters, but found the restaurant very over-priced.  The day after my birthday, Cool had paid for an experience at the aviary.  I got to go in a private room with a parrot and a bird trainer.  The bird painted me a picture.  Well,  actually she went dab-dab dab with the sponge then looked for her food treat.  Then saw she had to dab more to get more food, so quickly dab-dab-dabbed in order to get more treats.  I got to take pictures right up next to her and took my painting by her home.  It was really neat to get up close and personal and she was a cute stuff.

painting-with-picaso-birthday

5-Halloween Costumes

We loved the year we were trick-or-treating, and I’ve always loved Halloween.  But usually, one of us is stuck at work.  This year–neither of us were, so we wanted to do something really big.  A couple’s costume!  So on Sundays we brainstormed and brainstormed, and researched, and planned.  The best, easiest thing for us to do was “Lions Tigers and Bears–Oh my!”  We bought more then we wanted, and made some cool accessories.  Then, I face-paintedgracies-contest-004 gracies-contest-026my little heart out!  It took forever, but we looked good.  We had signed up for a fun-theme-run, so we dressed up for that.  And the zombies chased us.  Cool body-slammed a zombie, and outran the children.  At the end, they had voting for best costume.  Except, they forgot to call us up (they said if you think you’ll win just get up there anyway) so we had to push through the crowd–which Cool is never good at.  There was no raised stage or anything, we were just in a parking-lot, and as short people, we were probably obscured to anyone not in the front row.  And the dope-DJ who was running the thing didn’t say our name properly he called us “a lion and a tiger.”  The voting was by audience cheer.  We got second place, but after all the afore-mentioned factors, I think we were robbed!  And I think the first place winners had stacked the crowd.  So we felt we could do better.  When a local restaurant announced they were having a costume contest for cash prizes ($500 Sunday night, $500 Monday night–when it had been one night the year before for $1000) we had to try!  Even though it meant taking time off work.  So I requested a partial day off Sunday (working corporate and having not only paid vacation, but as-needed employees to cover shifts is so nice!) to gracies-contest-025get ready and go.  I did my very best face-painting work and we hung out at Gracie’s waiting for the voting.  And some ten foot tall tree man took our prize!  With some king and queen getting 2nd, and that Tim Burton wig head dude and his gal-friend taking 3rd.  Disagree and disagree.  We should have at least gotten 2nd!  So we tried one more time and dressed up for work on Monday.  Because their was a contest and a secret prize, and our boss encouraged everyone to dress up.  He didn’t encourage us for work-spirit or anything.  That douche is a nerd and his big hobby is making and dressing up in costumes–even though he’s like, 50.  He has a batman, that could legit-be used for one of the movies.  That’s how much time and money and effort he put into it.  That is an old costume of his.  This year, he was working on a Captain Sparrow costume.  Which I thought was only so-so.  How hard is it to get a mscl-halloween-contest-copydred-wig, a sash, and buy tall boots?!  So we thought we’d at least win the work contest and beat him–cause who doesn’t love a group costume?  But alas, our boss won the whole contest.  And some gal painted herself silver and wore deer antlers (big deal) and beat us for 2nd place.  We didn’t even place at all 😦  So we had fun, and looked good, but this didn’t rank higher because nobody knows how to properly judge a contest, and we should have won, but didn’t.

haunted-5k-186

 

 

4-my thousand day in a row mile

I ran so many days-in-a-row that I made it to #1000 this summer!  To commemorate the occasion, I made flyers at work, inviting people.  Even though I knew those duds and douches wouldn’t show, I was excited and there was an off-chance someone might share in that excitement–plus, I could get acknowledgement of my huge accomplishment, and tie it to my resume that way.  As part of the work in-a-row-2event, I made it a coin drive fund-raiser so we could adopt a bird at the aviary.  The money goes towards feeding and care and they give you free aviary passes, a plush of your bird, and a certificate.  Only my supervisor came to my mile, but I really hadn’t expected anyone at all, so that was OK. I wore my running skirt and felt awesome.  And I used our concert window chalk and painted my accomplishment all over Rusty.  On the way from the fundraiser to work, I was stuck in traffic.  I don’t use my air conditioner–ever–in order to save money, so my windows were both down.  I heard a, “I promise I’m not hitting on you.”  Firstly, I didn’t expect it.  Secondly, I thought–that can’t be for ME.  Thirdly, I was like–do I really want to engage with this?  So after a long time, I turned my head, and some guy stuck in the traffic jam beside me, asked, “Did you really run so many days in a row???  That’s cool!”  So that was nice.  While I was at work that night, our Hispanic cleaning gal brought her whole family inside our lab.  They all looked really happy, and they asked if any of us spoke Spanish–none of us do, all of us randomly speak German, if any second language at all.  Her husband had his phone and somehow conveyed that they wanted to buy a car.  I heard “Isuzu” and realized what happened.  They saw all my window paint, but couldn’t read English.  So they assumed I was selling my beautiful Rusty for $1000, and they were ready to take it that night!  I was like, “No, no,no, not for sale.”  And they looked very disappointed.  And everyone in my lab teased me that I broke their hearts for the rest of that week.  Only like 3 people at work donated to the coin drive (I TOLD you I work with duds) but 2 of them donated $20s.  So we got to adopt a bird for $50.  I chose a black vulture 1) because vultures are important to our world and Andy N. Condor has enlightened me to their cuteness and cause. 2) Little Chewy and Vader of Tracy Aviary didn’t have any sponsors for 2016, and that made me sad for them.  3)  Our lab is SO vulture!   We are the clean-up crew of the medical industry as we have to sniff out mistakes and correct them.  We deal with icky samples.  And–we’re all anti-social and sort of put-down upon by the hoity-toity management and the super-social client services and phlebotomists.   I hung the flyer, the certificate/facts, and the vulture plush in the lab.  Everybody likes it and we named out vulture plush, Culture, which is appropriate for us.

1000th-mile-in-a-row-003

3-Brandi’s concert

Brandi always makes our list.  She always puts on an exciting show that you come away from amped up.  But the venue was awesome!  We were right in the middle of the Deer Valley bunny area, with mountains and trees all around.  And Park City is always fun–we of course snuck into their mini Arts-Fest (only for 2 min) and ate beer cheese pretzels and drank cocktails at our fave- High West.  It also made it the best time because we packed our own tailgate and pic-nic.  We had greek pitas, watermelon-rum slushees, salads and s’mores in (separate) mason jars.  It was delicious, and topped off the day nicely.  Oh, and we got the very best parking spot where we could exit the concert first, and easily, because one of the Deer Valley maintenance workers gave us a good tip.

brandi-date

2-Utah Arts Festival

It was bigger and better then I ever expected!  There were booths where we got to see SLC’s creative side.  The live music was cool, and we got to see Beats Antique–a legit band that made my countdown–at the end, right in the park.  The highlight of the day was getting a sampling of foods from there different food trucks.  And we came home with Rogue Bear and a beautiful pinned moth.

power-lunch

1.rodeo

We wanted to do something on our holiday weekend, but didn’t know what exactly.  At that time, we lived right pioneer-days-rodeowithin walking of downtown, but lots of things were closed, and nothing pioneer-days-rodeo-2016spectacular was going on.  But they do convert the whole arena each year for “Pioneer Days Rodeo.”  We thought we’d go check it out and kill some time.  We both wore our best cowgirl outfits and walked down.  Out front we stumbled on to a signing!  It was my dream at pretty much every event I’ve ever attended to have a meet and greet with the main person, but that’s not my life.  And here, we were standing in the middle of a meet & greet, but we didn’t know who any of the rodeo people were. . .  Still, the main guy invited us to get autographs, gave us a magazine to get signed, we had hats for them to sign.  They talked, and took pictures.  Everyone was really nice!  And inside the rodeo we had a lot of fun and excitement watching all the events.  We had no idea we would like the rodeo so much!  We had SO much fun that while we were sitting in the stands, we used my phone to buy tickets for the next evening as well.

 

So that’s the best of 2016, and I look forward to an very very much better 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poke’-tarded

17 Aug
My coworkers are my least favorite part of my job–the administration a very close 2nd.  They bring the new social acceptability of being an anti-social nerd  to life.  It’s like “The Big Bang” but in person antisocial behavior is not funny/amusing at all.  If someone sneezes, it’s met by silence.  If you say something to your neighbor, they won’t even give a grunt of acknowledgement-they’ll just straight up ignore you if they don’t care what you said or don’t feel like talking.  I’ll ask questions regarding Utah places or events and nobody will answer.  They all grew up in Utah, but they don’t know because they are up all night playing video games and talking trash online.  Then, they sleep in their Mommy’s basement all day til work.  None of them have many social skills, or if they have them, choose not to use them.  Our boss is one of the worst-you’ll come into the lab and he’ll ignore you.  No hello or anything–just like you don’t exist.  Our supervisor has mostly good intentions, but is socially oblivious, and is always making (faulty) assumptions.
I’m not a fan, and whenever I’m out in public, at a restaurant or appointment, I find it delightful that it’s not me.  When you’re just locked in a room day after day, it starts to feel like you.  But it’s not me, because people in the outside world are hospitable and sometimes even friendly.  They have manners and manage to hold a conversation.  It’s only in the lab their is this blanket weirdness.  There’s a reason people work in a lab, away from people.
So my coworkers were my first introduction to the “Pokemon Go” phenomenon/trend.  Suddenly, these people who laid on the couch during breaks were outside.  They would venture out to chase Pokemon.  And I think it’s good that video game designers try to make their games useful and productive.  We don’t need a bunch of fat-ass kids sitting and looking at screens 24/7.  Anything that gets them moving is good.  Getting them outside in the world is even better.  And benefiting businesses is good.  Well, done Pokemon Go designers.
Except, I feel that people should do these things anyway.  And on their own accord.  I think you’re super-lame if you never get off your ass.  I think it sucks if you don’t go outside just because there are things to do out there.  And I am incredibly annoyed that people aren’t going to zoos and avairys simply because they are there.  They are awesome!  They should be appreciated because they are fun and serve a purpose and they’re still available in the world!  Not because your video game told you to go there.
And how stupid that these people aren’t paying attention to the world when they are on the chase?  Seriously–people have fallen off cliffs and are getting run over??!  Like we’re lemmings?  I’ve seen my co-workers come in all fat, McDonald’s in hand, and talk of never sleeping in until work at 5PM.  Then discussing their screens they stare at all nightlong.  Like, get a life!
Here’s my Facebook trash-talk:
Can I just say I hate this already?! I can’t go 2 seconds without hearing about it. And seriously–it takes a game to get your fat/pale ass outside? And you’re going to the zoo to stare at your phone??? Super-annoying–Ugh.
Which I got a lot of $hit for saying “pale.”  Like it’s a race thing.  I’m not bringing race into it–all kinds of people can be guilty of screening 24/7.  I’m stigmatizing pale, like you’ve never ventured out of Mommy’s basement, never seen the sun.
And here’s my zoo rant, because animal organizations had to resort to pandering to the hype to get money:
I disliked the event, because it upsets me that people don’t want to [without virtual enticement] support a non-profit, see beautiful, exotic animals, learn, and give to conservation just because it’s available. I am glad the zoos are capitalizing on this trend, but really–should they have to? I think people should want to go to a zoo simply because it is there–and I think they should pay attention solely to what’s important (the real animals that are endangered) when they do go. You are so lucky to have such a nice zoo close to you, and you’re wasting it, or trivializing it by going because of a game. I’d like people to do things for the right reasons, that’s all. Now let the thousands addicted to the app blast me for my opinion, as I’m sure they will.

Like · Reply · 6 · July 21 at 4:15pm
And I think my point is 100% correct.  But I’m at a disadvantage saying it behind my screen where all the people I’m talking about are living their lives.  I’m totally out-numbered.  And people can’t admit they’re bing $hit-heads and guilty of my accusations, they are addicted to the game, and addicted to screens in general so they trash-talk me.
Aquariumplantsuk
Aquariumplantsuk totally correct 🙂
Like · Reply · July 21 at 7:00pm
Cecilia Alexander
Cecilia Alexander I understand where you’re coming from sweetie but also recognize the good that this app has done for those will mental illness and terminal illnesses. Some people don’t want to leave their house because of these illnesses and now that they are they’re being bashed. I’m sure the zoo is making a ton of money off of this so there is no losing.
Like · Reply · 2 · July 21 at 8:59pm
P.S.  I think it’s totally condescending to call a stranger “sweetie” and I hate that.  Also, her point is ridiculous, because people with mental and terminal illnesses should be motivated to get out of the house without an app telling them to.  Why should some app be the key factor getting them outside?  They should be motivated by the imminent extinction of these beautiful animals.  And by the fact these things are available even without the app!  So I’m calling B.S. on the illness card, though she is totally right about these non-profits benefiting from the game.  But it’s unfortunate they have to depend on some app to lure people in–shouldn’t people just want to go anyway?!
Ryan Alexander Milstead
Ryan Alexander Milstead It’s just an idea to get people to come to the zoo that usually wouldn’t. Maybe those people have a great time and become regular visitors or even members. People might be encouraged to come by this event, but if you don’t enjoy zoos, you’re not gonna go just to play Pokemon Go (cause you can do that literally anywhere).
Like · Reply · 1 · July 22 at 5:56pm

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker Quit your bitchin’ lady. The world doesn’t revolve around what you like and dislike.
Like · Reply · 1 · July 23 at 3:05pm
Then I retort:
Tyler Baker way to keep it classy
Like · Reply · July 23 at 11:24pm
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker I could care less about keeping it classy. You just need to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around your opinion, or what you like and/or dislike. Posting about why you dislike this event won’t change anything. Just being a realist. I really don’t care if I’m classy or not.
Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs · Edited
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker You’re welcome for that life lesson.
Like · Reply · 16 hrs

I want to tell this Tyler asshole where to shove it so he doesn’t think he “won” but I know arguing with a fool–makes two. And it would just spur him on to shit-talk more. But ahhhh–totally annoying!  I saw a stand-up comedian talking about how Millennials are all ritious and enable their own opinions or call it bullying when other’s say an opposing view.  If anyone dares make a point or disagrees with them, instead of having a conversation they spew some hate and navigate away from the page or block the person.  And I see here how that’s true.  I wrote an earnest blurb, because someone on Facebook was like, “I don’t get why people are disliking this Pokemon Go event at the zoo???”  So I gave a sincere, well-thought reason why.   And this Tyler-20-something year old is an ASS!  WTF with all that “schooling me” and everything.  I wanted to scratch eyes.  And re-reading this makes me too riled up to even write a decent conclusion to this post.

I guess I will just hope he Pokemon’s himself right into the lion’s den at some zoo and gets eaten. . .  Maybe my coworkers will be lemmings and follow him.

Red Butte Gardens: Zoo-Tunes Reloaded [Brandi Carlile part 2]

24 Aug

I hated Zoo-Tunes.

I thought I would love it. I love the zoo, and am happy to support it. Seattle is a wonderful concert city. The weather is usually mild, and I enjoy the outdoors. And who doesn’t love a pic-nic? Especially AT a zoo, and with top-of-the-line musical entertainment.

And I knew what I was getting into.  I had researched the Zoo-Tunes ticket:  Members go for an outing, not the music.  People talk over the music.  People sneak in alcohol.  It’s lawn seating = crammed in.  But I had been ready for it.  I bought VIP tickets–I would not have to deal with pushy people, or taller chairs in front of me.  I paid my way out of the crowding, and probably the talkers too.  I was confident.

But that’s not how it went down.  Events in zoos are not for the music.  And even paying VIP prices didn’t buy me out of talkers.  People stood in front of me and weren’t told to sit.  It was fairly obnoxious, only being redeemed by the Indigo Girls’ showmanship–they know what they’re doing and can capture even an unruly audience’s attention.  By the end, even those who weren’t there for the music, and hadn’t heard of the Indigo Girls were captivated by the show.

Amy across the quad

Still, I’d never go back to Zoo-Tunes.  It’s annoying.

I knew Red Butte Gardens would be much the same.  And I was not going to camp in line.  I did not want to get there extremely early in hopes of securing a good seat.  I knew people would be drunk and talking.  I knew people would probably stand in front of me, blocking my view.

Thus, my expectations were low.

I drove to the venue several weeks ahead of time to find the route and scope out parking.  The lowest lot, farthest away from the venue, had an North exit.  everyone else would cram into the closer parking lots and leave by the Western exit.  I would rather trek up a hill in the beginning and walk back down, past all the slow drunk people blocking the roads on foot.  And past the snail-trail of drunk-drivers slowly leaving past police escorts.

Also, I was in no rush to get to that line.  I knew, even if we had gotten there at 8AM, and camped in the heat all day, that in the end the pushiest people will get the best seats.  And Cool and I are not those people.  I also knew from Zoo-Tunes experience, that even if you are lucky enough to make it to the front, the center, or an otherwise primo location–pushy people who come late will squeeze you out.  And you can’t belly-ache about it without looking like a super-douche.

Even though doors opened at 6PM, we strolled up to the line at 5:45PM.  Something old, pre-planning, overly-anxious me would never have done!

red butte gardens 4But as I expected, all the pushy people made it to the best lawn places.  I saw people coming in half hour after the opener started, when nearly everyone had their sport secured–making their way to the front center and squeezing in.  That’s just how it goes.  People will be late and pushy–there’s no fighting that.  And we got a good enough seat with a side view of the stage near the far right.  And it was fine.  And people weren’t severely crowding us.  And we were lucky not to be next to any really inconsiderate drunks.

We had our picnic, sitting on a Lion King blanket while enduring the opener.  Then, set-up for Brandi seemed to take forever, and I suspect they were intentionally waiting for dark to optimize their light show.  It seemed a long wait for the band to get up there.

But they opened with my favorite song from the new album, “Firewatcher’s Daughter.”

Brandi- Red Butte Gardens Aug 2015Brandi was sensitive to the crowd, as always, and really gave the feeling that she personally loved the venue and cared about each individual as fans.  She did the obligatory city-pandering saying she loves Salt Lake City, which I always find disingenuous (from ANY artist) but know is how you play the game.  Best of all, she was not tired or fatigued from the big show she WAS excited for-Red Rocks-just the night before.

I was happy they dug out some older tunes and didn’t just stick to the new album.  “The Story” is always amazing live and those Bear Creek selections are my personal favorites.

There were many references to “testify” “pray” “faith” and churcyy-themed stuff.  I’m not a big fan of that, and10857914_10153344619528936_124799587122048377_n I’m glad I’m not FROM Salt Lake City, because I guess that stuff comes with the territory here.  Literally.  You can’t escape the Mormon history or current LDS influence.

I had heard the live version of “Turpentine” on the symphony album, and she played it for us.  I have to say any talking on live albums is interesting for the first listen.  Maybe it’s funny for the first 3 listens through the CD.  After that it gets tedious and repetitive–you’ve heard that story before.  And even though I knew about the audience signing harmony–and was tired of hearing the set-up for it on the CD–in person it is spectacular.  You really feel a part of the band and the whole audience has this connected, magical feeling.  It was really cool to be a part of.  I’m glad she’s still trotting that out.

The night was nearly perfect.  Sure, the set-list had been done before.  Talk about gay marriage, talk about the darkness in the love song, all that hadn’t been the first run-through.  But though it was not fresh and innovative material, it still felt like the band’s truth.  And even rehearsed, that’s special to see played out.

I wish Brandi would play something more upbeat at the end and in the encore, but all 6(?) of her shows I attended would wind down.  I think it would be better if instead of starting on a high note and working her way downward to quiet songs, she did more like DMB and played one slow, and one fast encore song.  Because by the encore, I’m all jazzed up and wanting to end on an energetic one, not 3 slow sappy ones.

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But aside from those teeny observations, just the feeling of the night was as close to perfect as you could get.  It’s this intangible thing, separate from the seating, the setlist, or the talking.  I would go to a Brandi concert any time!

 

 

Zoo [UU AuD Interview Part IV]

19 Mar

Post Interview Wind Down:

-As you remember, Friday evening I was tired and dehydrated from the 6 hours of interview stuff.  But we were in SLC and we were going to maximize our time.  It was back to the Cheesecake Factory for meal #2.  Friday night was the most crowded that we saw the mall/restaurant.  Our wait to get in was 60-90 minutes.  But our waiter was the best we had.  A nice and cute gay (I’m assuming) fellow who was prompt, and lovely.  I got the salmon rolls/sticks as a lighter meal since I’d overindulged to such an extent the day before, and since I’d already had a big sandwich.  It was good, but there were only 4, so I’m glad bread was involved.  The cheesecake was the lemon mousse one.  Which was also, obviously, good.

-We went to bed around 10PM.  You see how my sleep schedule got all messed up but I reverted to morning person almost immediately?

Saturday

I did pop up at 12:45AM and couldn’t get back to sleep for an hour.  Then I woke up at 4:45AM and had to coax myself into light surface sleep until 6:30AM.  The only reason I didn’t just get up is I knew I had to run first thing, and I didn’t want to do it (at all, really) in super-cold weather.

-I ran out in the EconoLodge parking lot for the 3rd day in a row.  Since it was later, it was slightly warmer.  But my shin-splints were terrible.  Also, I didn’t like people spectating–umm I can SEE you lingering around watching me.

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-Traffic was light–especially for 9:30AM on a Saturday when most other places are busiest.  I have no idea why no one was about, but I was glad it was congested and we didn’t have to mess about.  Mormons–what happens on Saturday that no one is driving around at peak weekend hours???

-the Zoo was empty–especially for a Saturday–I LOVED it for me.  It was great not getting pushed and blocked.  And there was no loud, unruly kids ruining my time.  It felt really chilly though.  The temp was probably 45-49 F, but the wind was whipping about.  I recognized that chilly NV wind, and I hadn’t missed it. . .

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-They had a lot of turtles–I always love a giant turtle, and this one had a baby next to it.

-I liked the pinned insect display that showed regions too.  UU interview 079

-I always like all the wild cats.  UU interview 080Sand cats are like kittens with big heads.

-Black footed cats are like tiny ocelots–smaller then Choco-Luv!  And they snuggled each other.

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-The male lions were sectioned off at the time (for cleaning?) and very unhappy about it.  They roaredUU interview 118 and it was so loud!  That would be scary out in nature.  The female lion started out alone, then they let another female out and they were so happy.  They chased and played, and it was cute.

-The bears were funny to watch.

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UU interview 041-Their wolf looked a lot happier then Woodland Park Zoo’s, as did their elephants.  UU interview 100

Rhinos are HUGE!

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-There were tiny primates with itty bitty faces and hands.  They ran amuk, but knew to pose for our cameras and did so with much experience.

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UU interview 072-The orangutans recently had a baby, who was 4 months.  The older sister carried him over to a window to see someone’s fast food.  She showed him off, and he was already climbing.  Seeing the two interact was really special.  It was also really special that instead of running, screaming, and pushing I saw two different little kids go hug the gorilla statue with love.

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-I want to get the sticks of lion shirt and the orange tiger ball cap some time.  As it was, my luggage wasn’t going to accommodate much more.

-At cheesecake Factory meal #3, Saturday was randomly the LEAST busy, as was the mall.  I don’t know if this is an anomaly, but I hope not.  Again, do Mormons do something on Saturdays?  I got the chicken scampi in a lunch portion (a mild dish to avert any stomach issues before I had to sit on a bus UU interview 009for 14 hours), and was super-confused when the sausage pasta was delivered.  Did they bring it to the wrong table or was my order wrong?  I don’t like wasting a perfectly good plate of food, and I’m OK with spicy sausage pasta, so I just took the plate they gave me.  Our waiter acknowledged my dish was wrong and asked if I wanted a free cheesecake.  The order was wrong, but I didn’t want to be all pretentious and make a big deal about it–it’s really not, and I liked both meals–so I said no.  Then I was regretful, because who turns down a free cheesecake???!  He should have just told me that’s what he was going to do, instead of putting it in my hands.

-I got the peanut butter, butterfinger, cookie(?) cheesecake and it was my favorite of the ones I tried.  It also turned out to be free which was awesome!  Well, I didn’t actually try it until we were on the bus Sunday, so I’ll tell you more on this later.

-The 2nd nice outdoor shopping center was cool, and featured a nice fountain.

-At the Walking Company they test your feet.  I didn’t know I have super high arches.  And apparently I pronate, which will eventually hurt my knees.  It doesn’t bother me yet.

-We went to the Planetarium, but were too tired to pay to watch a show–I would have fallen asleep in a dark room with a comfy chair.  The planetarium was busy and had a lot of interactive things, but I was soon paranoid of germs–a sanitizing station would have been good.

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-Just like people in my program said, the homeless were all congregated in one area 400 x 400 (outside the planetarium).  I liked that we didn’t see them everywhere like we do here.

-We initially set out to find the coffee shop by my program, but forgot a road, so ended up driving around.  It was good to explore the city.

Next up:  Our long, long, long journey home.