Saturday, January 28, 2006

tee-hee! i saw the PANDA!!!

photos courtesy of the National Zoo at


Actually, I saw all THREE pandas at the National Zoo!

As I've blogged about before, I've been obsessed with the National Zoo's Panda Cam ever since little Tai Shan was born this summer. (Of course, he wasn't named until 100 days after his birth, a Chinese tradition for Giant Pandas.) Anyway, way back in December, I reserved tickets to see Tai Shan and today was the day!

I wasn't actually expecting to see Tai, because I know that he is sometimes in his den and away from the public. In fact, the tickets had a note on them, basically saying, this ticket allows you into the Panda Habitat, but you're not guaranteed to actually see the cute, furry little (I mean, BIG) creatures. So I went today expecting to see lots of cute animals (like red pandas and lemurs!) and not-so-cute animals (like naked mole rats, ugh!).* I even thought, Ooh, if I'm really lucky I'll see one of Tai's parents, mama Mei Xiang or papa Tian Tian!

But I was so lucky today, I saw all THREE PANDAS! First I saw Mei sunning herself atop her den of rocks. Then a nice person pointed out to me that Tai Shan could be seen from the other side of the viewing platform. He was tucked behind a rock, in his little plastic tub! (If you read the panda cub updates, like I do, you'll know that Tai LOVES his tub!) He was all curled up in his tub, and then he stretched, rolled over, and splayed out on his back, with his belly showing, and his legs out! Eeeee, how cute! Everyone viewing the pandas let out a collective "Awwwww!" as he rolled over and bared his belly!

After my 5 minutes of viewing Tai shan were nearly up (I actually didn't use all of my allotted 5 mintues, because a little boy was wanting to see the cub, and I was blocking his view, so I let him get in front of me)...I then noticed as we walked away from the panda habitat that Tian Tian was sleeping in his enclosure, also on top of his den of rocks! Lazy pandas!

It really was the BEST ZOO DAY EVER!

And I got a Tai Shan souvenir!

photo courtesy of mobtown blues-see all the zoo photos here!

*side note: if you really want to get grossed out, check out the Naked Mole Rat Cam!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

a-dict-ive vid-e-o gamessss...

So one of my favorite game sites is Miniclip, where I play Tetris obsessively. Then this weekend, at the social after the sing, my friend's twin boys were playing the Monster Truck game on Miniclip, which I tried as soon as I got home. It's very fun. But I think my strategy of just flooring it and going as fast as I can isn't a good strategy. I usually end up with my monster truck flipped over and burning. Which is okay. I enjoy the "eh, eh, it blowed up real good" appeal of that.

Then last night, being sick and playing lots of video games, I was perusing the games on Miniclip, and came across Cow in the Shaft. Oh. my. god. It is SO addictive. You must try it. Oh, and check out the Help page -- it's written by Germans who know English much better than I know German...but still very funny. You can actually hear the German accent as you read it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

big mouth strikes again...not

I have a killer case of pharyngitis and laryngitis. So blogging and emailing is my only form of communication. Seriously. I have NO voice. Today at work I kept opening my mouth and nothing at all came out. It's such a weird feeling.

I'll tell you what though. Nothing gets sympathy from people like laryngitis. Like, for once, people don't think you're faking. All of my co-workers have been giving me the "poor thing, you should go home" speech with sad eyes and a pout. Today I went into work just to go to a scheduled meeting. When I got into work and checked my email, the meeting was cancelled. So I turned around and went back home. Mobtown is sick too and came home early as well. Both sick together. So sad!

The laryngitis is worth it, though, for the great singing we enjoyed this weekend at the 7th Annual Keystone Sacred Harp Convention. I was already sick with this chest cold/sore throat combo I've been suffering with since before Christmas (it just won't go away!). But I sucked on enough Hall's Menthol Eucalyptus honey-lemon drops to sing for all weekend. Including a wonderful time singing after attending a service at a primitive baptist church near the convention. My voice held out! Yay! I was hoarse as soon as we left the church.

Singing at the Southampton Primitive Baptist Church, post-convention: After we sing, we sing some more!

Monday morning, I woke up with no voice.

It's quite challenging for a big mouth like me!

But I'm really enjoying being sick & resting...without being as sick as I was around the holidays and 2 weeks ago. I'm at the point where I'm too sick to work and be out and about and all, but I'm well enough to sit up and read and crochet and watch tv. And blog. Lucky you!

So, let me just say a word about my new favorite tee-vee show: ISAAC!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my god, DARLING. It is WONDERFUL. You must watch it. Mobtown HATES it. I mean, HATES it. But I LOVE it. I've realized while watching it that Isaac shares all my conversational mannerisms and sayings.

And I realized.

Underneath it all, at my core, at the true essence of my being.

I am a gay man.


So, after you watch the Isaac show, which you will ADORE, you must send out Isaac cards to all your friends. I especially like the "Feeling Chubby?" one.


Isaac! Isn't he fabulous?!?!

Monday, January 02, 2006

i love soap operas in *any* language

So, the lineup on cable TV this evening was so positively dreadful, so yawn-inducing (c.f., men's figure skating on ESPN number whatever) or stomach-churning (c.f., The 700-lb. Man on Discovery Health Channel), that I found myself watching Univision's newest mini-series soap opera, Alborada. What made me really stop surfing the channels was that I noticed everyone was wearing colonial Mexican dress. Oooh, a period drama! My heart always skips a beat for those. I just loved looking at the pretty costumes and soaking in the melodramatic over-acting. Who cares if I only understand every 5th word? I'm such a sucker for period dramas as well as soap operas. This is both! Besides, some of the guys were hotties, in a kind of cheesy, feathered-hair, Latin heart-throb way. And I somehow realized that the plot had something to do with this chick's son. So I found a plot summary and review from a Florida newspaper online and now I'm all caught up. Basically. I'll be speaking Spanish in no time!

Oh, I forgot to include on yesterday's resolutions -- improving my Spanish skills. Univision to the rescue!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

new year's resolutions

I apologize to those people who do check my blog now and again (who knew?) and have complained about my lack of updating. Now that my life has calmed down a bit, I think I will be able to update more often. So visit frequently!

Here are meerkat's quite reasonable and attainable new year's resolutions:
  1. update my blog more frequently!
  2. get to work on time, at least 4 days out of 5
  3. pick up the violin again
  4. play the piano more often
  5. do yoga at least once a day, preferably twice -- every morning and evening
  6. join some professional organizations -- SAA and MARAC, most notably
  7. finally get my thesis bound and send out copies to my advisor, school, and local archives, museums, and historical societies who were helpful in my research
  8. learn to knit -- without forgetting how to crochet
  9. take a pottery class
  10. make a budget and stick to it -- for the most part
  11. save up $$$ for a down-payment on a house or condo
  12. join the YMCA and take an African dance class (I took it last winter and loved it - I hope they have it again!)
  13. keep the house (fairly) clean & straightened
  14. spend more time with my niece
  15. spend more time with my friends

Wow, I think that's plenty!