Monday, June 28, 2010

I Scream for Ice Cream

Foods that I love unconditionally:
Home-Run Pie
Cheeseburgers & Fries
Iced Florentines (Technically, it's a drink - but I'm pretty sure I survived on them from 2001-2003)
All forms of delicious ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, etc.

Today? I was introduced to a delightful subspecies from the ice cream world.

Delicious Frozen Greek Yogurt.

I pigged down as much pomegranate blackberry frozen greek yogurt as I could stuff in my cheek at one time. That's the good news. The bad news is that I spent the rest of my day chasing the FroYo dragon.

I tried to take my mind off of my new addiction by watching "Under the Tuscan Sun".

It is an AMAZING movie. Possibly one of my favorites. (I'm watching it for a third time as I type.) (Are you sensing an obsessive streak to my personality?) (It's all in your head.)

That's the good news.

The bad news is that there is a character in it named Katherine who has a love for ice cream that she displays on camera several times. One scene even revolves around her ice creamy affair.

It's like trying to quit smoking and EVERYONE around you seems to, not only be smoking, but loving the shit out of it!

To get my mind off of it I needed to call someone to talk me down. My topic of conversation? How tremendous this movie is.

I almost called my sister - who used to live near where the movie takes place. I knew she'd just gloat so I opted to call my friend Lindsey - who has spent enough time in Italy to know the streets of Florence and Rome better than I know the streets of Denver.

I gushed about the movie. She informed me of how she hasn't seen it out of protest for how touristy Cortona has become since the release of Francis Mayes' memoir. I think I convinced her to netflix it.

Then I made the mistake of asking her what she was up to . . .

Well, she had ordered several things from the market, like blueberries and rhubarb, and she was now going to put them to use. In ice cream form. That bitch is making her own ice cream.

THEN she was telling me about how it could be a habit after just returning from Rome where she had gelato on a non-stop basis.

Right about now is when I started fantasizing about a scenario in the future.

In my fantasy I'm speaking on the phone to Lindsey when suddenly she goes into renal failure.

What do I do? Hook myself up to dialysis and describe it to her in detail. I'd throw in comments like "I don't even need it - but what the heck." or my favorite "God! My blood feels so filtered and clean!"

Lindsey started telling me that her ice cream was turning out "disgusting". Then she told me that she had just said that for my benefit and it actually looked DELICIOUS. This? Is totally defeating the point.

Lindsey is kind of a big bitch.

So I made her stay on the phone while I walked down the street and made her help me pick out what flavor of frozen yogurt to get.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chad's Guide to Going to the Zoo

When I was in Mississippi I met my dear friend, Natalie's cousin Kinna.

Kinna is a zookeeper in Kansas. She is in charge of pachyderms. How awesome is that?!

Kinna knew I was a zookeeper as well so we had lots to talk about. Thank GOD, because I was totally feeling like a douchebag poser when we first met. Our introduction went something like . . .

Kinna: Where do you work?
Me: The Butterfly Pavilion in Denver
Kinna: That's cool!
Me: What do you do at your zoo?
Kinna: I do husbandry and training of the elephants. What do you do?
Me: Spiders. (Shame)

I love my spiders and and I love my job SO much - but how do you compete with elephants?!?!
You can ride on elephants! My animals don't even have a backbone . . .

We seriously bonded over our mutual intolerance for stupid visitors who can't seem to read. If you can't read, an establishment with animals that may or may not be able to harm you seriously is not the place for you. There are places for those who can't read - it's called Six Flags.

I'm going to use a section of my work called "Water's Edge" to illustrate my point.

When I am atworking the "Waters Edge" section that displays underwater invertebrates I'm usually standing right behind a starfish touch-tank and a sign that says "touch gently with the back of your finger". If that is too confusing for you - don't worry - it's also illustrated with a picture of someone touching a starfish with the back of their finger.

However - half of the people that approach the little starfish just itching to touch it do one of two things. A) They poke it (and then I poke them) or B) they say "how do you touch it?"

This is when I roll my eyes and I show them, by reaching OVER the illustrated sign to demonstrate, how to touch a starfish. Then, as I pull my arm back, I show them the sign, just hoping that they'll feel stupid for not bothering to read something 6 inches above what they so badly needed to touch.


Also at Waters Edge is a horseshoe crab. There's a sign above it, and guess what it says. HORSESHOE CRAB. Does that stop hundreds of people a day from saying "Look - a stingray!". No. No it doesn't.

I can feel the stupidity taking over me and I have to remind myself to breathe.

The last thing at Water's Edge that irritates me once every 4 minutes is a toy starfish. It's out on a counter and there for really little children to pick up and look at. Guess how many adults see it and ask if its real. Enough that we had to take a magic marker and write "TOY" on it. Guess how many people still ask. If I told you that the same amount would you believe me? One person actually told me that someone wrote "toy" on our starfish! Yeah? Those rascals! They also put copyright information on the bottom. . . You butt head.

One last little piece of advice that will prevent Kinna, myself, and zookeepers around the world from wanting to break your nose is to listen. Especially if you ask a fucking question.

Here's an example from MY job:

Visitor: What kind of turtle is that?
Me: She's a red-footed tortoise.
Visitor: (usually to a little kid that they are passing their stupidity on to) Look at the turtle! Isn't he pretty!

I'm sorry. Did you not hear me? She is a red-footed TORTOISE.

I want to call child services on these people and report that they are raising their children to ask questions without listening to the answer just to be as annoying as possible. Or perhaps to become reporters for Fox News?


Eventually zookeepers will meet their patience threshold and stop being as helpful and just start laying on the passive aggressive attitude.

Here's an example from Kinna's work:

(I should mention that the only species of buffalo in the world are water buffalo. The buffalo we think of are bison. Kinna's zoo has bison, but not water buffalo . . .)

Visitor: Excuse me. Where are the buffalo?
Kinna: We don't have any.

It's an honest mistake, but lets face it people. Those who don't read and don't listen have ruined it for everyone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Terms of Douchebaggieness . . .

My writers block is a Kanye West. (Who scores somewhere between Kevin Federline and George Bush on the Douchebag continuum)

I'm trying to finish writing a scientific research article for publication.

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to do so . . . don't.

Writing scientific b.s. is a pain in the hooha. Remember in school when you had to write long LONG essays about stuff you just don't care about? Remember how agonizing it was? If you were like me you found yourself trying SO HARD to get through it.

I recall a high school discussion and debate class I took. My teacher gave us an assignment and I don't know what it was. It's not that my memory is bad - more likely I didn't know what the assignment was at the time. All I remember is that instead of showing up and giving a presentation like the rest of the class I created a 1 page flier to pass around to everyone illustrating my point.

"Save the Binturong" was my subject.

To make my assignment even more questionable? My "work" (1 page flier) didn't even really contain any information. I believe I had pictures of Golden Age film stars to whom I gave dialogue bubbles to promote the binturong.

Me: Why, hello Mrs Gibson. Here's my assignment!
Mrs. G: What is thi- - -
Me: I hope you notice that it's on time this week!
Mrs. G: This is just a picture of an animal.
Me: It's a binturong. I'm campaigning to save it.
Mrs. G: Is that Marilyn Monroe next to it?
Me: Yes. Yes, it is. She really takes this issue to heart.
Mrs. G: " . . . a binturong is a girl's best friend?" This isn't - - -
Me: And you? Are welcome!

Yeah. I'm not sure how I graduated.

To make matters worse. This assignment? (Or as I like to call it: My Binturong Debacle) was a team project! That means I was able to find someone just as motivated as myself to do as little work as possible! (Cue my cousin, Melissa. Laziness must be in our blood.)

I think we were hoping that our teacher would think we were suffering brain damage. Perhaps from a gas leak at home. And give us pity Cs.

I think she did.

ANYWAY. That's the same level of motivation I'm having right now.

I spent almost 2 years doing research. With recent news relating directly to the topic of my article this is the perfect time to submit. AND if I don't there's always the risk that I'll be "scooped". That means that someone will print my findings before I do. Because I'm unmotivated. Also - I think because I just used the word "scooped" I am an Ashlee Simpson (Who falls between Victoria Beckham and Kevin Federline on the douchebag continuum).

Well, I suppose I should get back to what I was doing . . . looking around my apartment trying to determine which of my inanimate furnishings like me the least. (I think it's the chair in the corner.)

Wish me luck.

**Cousin Melissa, if you should happen to read this would you help me come up with a plan? This is for publication, so we're going to have to pull out the big guns. I'm thinking it's shoebox diorama time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hello Again!

For the 4 of you out there who haven't given up on my bloggy blog I offer an apology.


Poor sweet Chad has been living in and out of suitcases for several weeks. But now that I am back home I am at your mercy to help you live your life a little better by avoiding the horrors that I face daily. Teehee.

Right now I'm doing what I do best. Being very productive in every aspect of life except the one I'm supposed to be working on.

I'm sitting here writing my first blog in over a month and watching "Stranger Than Fiction" when I should be working on my article.

Case in point people. Case. In. Point.

I promised myself that I would lock myself in my apartment and get SO MUCH written! It was going to be a-mazing!

Here's what the world beckoned me to do instead:

I folded/hung about 80 pounds of laundry. Then for good measure I reorganized my shoes.

I picked up The Mists of Avalon again. It's taking me FOREVER to read it because I read it for a week and then I don't for five. I'm really into it today. Did you know King Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere had a threesome? If I had known about this I would have read it a long (LONG!) time ago!

I completed my passport forms so I can mail in my renewal instead of having to go into a post office to deal with their big bag of b.s.

This led to my having a small breakdown over my new passport photo. A good 20 minutes was spent trying to pinpoint who I reminded myself of in this awful picture. I have narrowed it down to 3 finalists:

#1 - Rodney Dangerfield after spending a winter in a Nazi concentration camp

#2 - Bobo from the movie "Nothing But Trouble"

#3 - That movie, "Supersize Me" (the one where the guy eats McDonalds for 30 days and his kidneys shut down and he gains like 30 pounds and his girlfriend is in serious need of some make-up?) if the star had been the movie character, Powder - then after the 30 day fast food binge . . . that would be me.

Hmmmm . . .

Anyway. THEN I sat down to write.

And by "write" I mean eat a quart of Brown Cow maple yogurt and watch Disney's Robin Hood.

Seriously? It's amazing and I'm really excited about it right now. (It could be that everything is just more entertaining than writing scientific articles.)

Oo De Lally, Oo De Lally.

Okay - it's time to write now.

But then Zahra calls and asks if I want an iced tea. She'll bring me one if I do.

Maybe Zahra is stuck in a terrible situation and needs an escape and I'm her only option, but she can't say so because people are listening so she must speak in code.

"Would you like me to drive downtown to bring you an iced tea from Wendy's?" is TOTALLY code for "I need a reason to leave and you? Are it."

Then I got around to thinking about work. I may as well research endangered tarantulas for the next thing I have to write.

(You know - because I'm doing so well with this one.)

Tarantula research brings me to looking into finding an endangered tarantula to procure FOR work!

Which also led me to go outside with a Kerr jar to hunt down insects.

I got 3 German cockroaches.

While I'm supposed to be writing I'm outside in a dark alley with my Wendy's iced tea scooping up roaches in a jar.

I double dare you to name someone that can procrastinate with such tenacity.