Friday, December 16, 2011


This week was nuts! I'm a big fan of coming home after work, showering and plunking myself into my chair to hang out with my kids, pets, husband and computer. This week I had meetings or activities every night. The two highlights were Kaylin's winter band concert and my work Christmas party.

Kaylin's concert was Tuesday night. It was rainy and I was cold and wet from work and forced to rush home and shower, change and eat as fast as possible. Logan was a complete disaster, whining and making excuses about why he shouldn't have to go. I believe in family support. I mean, how many baseball games did Kaylin attend? It's not like she loved them! I told him he could take his DS game and that Grandpa and Grandma would be there. He had worked himself into a frenzy when he offered me $20 to stay home. This is the kid who NEVER spends any of his money. Ever. At this point he had made way too much of a jerk of himself to take it back. HA! I was going to teach him a hard lesson. I accepted the money and he went to his room, stunned.

We went to the concert, laughing all the way about Logan's bad move and how we bet he never would have thought I'd take his beloved money. Then the concert started... The three levels of band played. The band director went on and on about some new piano thing the PTO bought and then had two kids play very long demos to show how wonderful it is. Then the choir performed with much more talk about the new piano that had some other name and is extremely wonderful and loved and the best PTO purchase in the history of the world. Wow, this concert is getting long! Time for the four levels of orchestra. I don't think the director talked about the new piano, but his accent was so thick I'm not positive what he talked about. He talked and talked and talked and then individually tuned each student's instrument. Then he talked between each of the songs and retuned instruments and took as long as band, new piano demos and choir combined! After a long day of physical labor and being on my feet, two hours glued to a bleacher bench was torture. I felt like every muscle in my body was tensing and I had to keep standing and stretching. The concert finally ended and I'm a little surprised the orchestra director wasn't attacked! I have never heard such rumblings of discontent from an audience of proud family members. The kids all were wonderful and did a great job, but it was the worst concert ever!

We arrived home to a happy boy cuddled in Gene's chair with the dog, watching his favorite show, Storm Trackers. I admitted to myself that NO lesson had been learned and that the $20 was probably the best money Logan had ever spent. I donated the money to a good cause and life goes on. Now I just wonder if I can pay Kaylin $20 to get out of her spring concert?

Thursday night was my work Christmas party. It was another night of rushing home to shower and change to try to get there by 6pm. The party location was right up the street from the zoo so I had hoped to just go straight from work, but I helped with a vet procedure that left me covered in feces so showering/clothing change were not optional. It absolutely amazes me how much our staff has grown in the past few years since the Africa area opened. Including significant others, I bet there were around 40 people there. Colleen, Roz and I sang my stupid Christmas song and then we had our annual white elephant gift exchange. We play that you can choose a new gift or steal an opened one, with two steals before the item is out of play. I drew number 3 which is sort of a bummer because even if there's anything worth stealing, it will likely get stolen again. I unwrapped a John Wayne DVD and figured Gene would probably like it. Later, someone unwrapped a boxed set of Pez presidents. I was shocked because I never even knew it existed. Man, I wanted those Pez. They were immediately stolen once. A few more people took their turn and then my boss stole the John Wayne DVD, leaving me open to make the final steal on the Pez dispensers. Thanks, Boss! It's a set of the first five presidents and is really cool. I usually end up with some hideous doll or figurine (or a whole bunch of them) that make their way to Goodwill. The party itself was fun enough but walking out with a set of Pez presidents made it even better!

Saturday I'm participating in the Christmas Bird Count. I'm meeting my team at Forest Park Nature Center at 5:45am and have no idea what to expect. We cover a predetermined area, but I don't know exactly what the area is or if we count from dawn til dusk or for a few hours or what. I'm really excited because we're going early to look for owls. My favorite!

Speaking of owls, I was driving to the zoo dump the other afternoon around 4pm. It was getting dark and I was looking for birds. I had just thought "It's a good time to look for owls" when a barred owl swooped in front of me and landed on a tree. I watched it for a minute before it moved on. Very cool! I've also had a bald eagle perched in a tree right outside my building several times this week. I've seen plenty of eagles flying over the zoo and park, but have never seen one perched in a tree right off the main path.

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