Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's always fun to meet and hang out with people who write the blogs that I read. I count them among my friends, but I've never actually met most of them. This is Ty. I first "met" him when we were both posting on a message board, and then we started reading each other's blogs. And THEN I found out that he is from Alexandria, Louisiana, but he's living in Mimasaka, Japan. And NOW he's home for the holidays. So, needing to get out of town, I took the drive down to Alec (as we like to call it, though it's more like Elec) yesterday to play with him. We ate pizza and visited the surprisingly beautiful and fun Alexandria Zoo.

As Ty and I made our way through the zoo, we started to notice that all of the big cats were really fat. Ty noted that that's probably just to help them through the winter. Maybe so. I'd never been to a zoo in the winter time, so I don't know what standard procedure for keeping animals warm is. Well, we finally got around to the white bengal tigers' um...cage, and I noticed what could be contributing to the large roundness of the cats. Click on that picture to make it bigger. I know it's not the greatest picture in the world, but you try to make a tiger pose! You see that metal thing? A beer keg! In an effort to make the cats' holiday season (I'd say "Christmas" but I don't think Bengals are christian.) merrier, they've given them beer bellies. Also, that particular tiger was agitated and ready to start a brawl.

If there hadn't been glass between me and this guy, I probably wouldn't have a face today. When Ty and I first came upon this bird, he was just sitting there squinting and not being bothered that we were standing there. Then I squated down so our heads could be on the same level. That irritated Mr. Owl because he went from squinting to full alert! I moved as close to the glass as I could get, and he really bowed up and made like he was going to fly at me. So I pulled back. Some people came around the corner and told us about how he took off at them, and when I turned to look at them, Mr. Owl tried to take me by surprise. I heard a loud thud. Ty pointed out claw marks in the glass.

We saw some animals we'd never heard of before. They're called tapirs. I didn't get a pic of them because the battery on my camera had run out of juice, so I found this one online. Because they have an odd number of toes, they are more closely related to horses and rhinos than to pigs and elephants. They make a cute little whistling noise. At the zoo, one was following the whistling one around. The one making the noise seemed annoyed at his/her stalker and kept spraying stinky stuff at it. It was really gross. I was offended. The stalker continued on his/her quest.

We had a fun time. We discussed Japanese people at length including our disgust for Gwen Stefani's entourage of Mexican-gangstah, Japanese girls. He gave me some fine Japanese chocolates and chopsticks. Who knew that a KitKat could be so fancy? Wine flavored? Noir? Ooooh... I tried out both flavors last night. The wine flavored are weird because they do taste like wine for a brief moment, and then they go back to the white chocolate taste. They're also pink in color. I can actually see people loving the "noir". They're pretty tasty. I used my chopsticks to try the chocolate. I wanted to get as "into the culture" as I could.

So, it was a good time. It was a pleasure meeting Ty. He is a fun fellow to go zooing with. Also, check out a video of a black panther (?) and my story of a recurring dream I had when I was about 4.


At 21:20, Blogger Laura said...

Oh, that sounds so lovely!

Also lovely is Ty in that hat and a shirt with a tie. Who knew that a fellow who can recognize a cup that comes from a drive-thru daiquri place could have such class, heh. (I kid, I kid - Ty rules.)

At 23:51, Blogger Kiki said...

I stole that pic from his site.

At 05:55, Blogger The Walrus said...

I've never seen a tapir- I am jealous!!!

At 11:01, Blogger April said...

I wish I could visit Japan! In college I had a roommate from Japan, and she let me try numerous Japanese goodies. Including some kind of peeled plum packed in salt. I gagged. Also, stay away from their seaweed snacks. She gave me a package of incense that I still use. Smells heavenly.


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