Exit, stage

I haven't been writing much lately, even by my own lowly standards. It's not because there hasn't been anything to write about. Stories still happen, whether we want them to or not. I've simply chosen to let them pass by, because nothing makes sense without a context. And my context was in flux. Phantom of the Opera isn't the same production when you put Michael Crawford on the Great Wall of China. The story fundamentally changes. So as we come out of this intermission, I need to let you know that the set has changed. Divorce papers have been filed. No commentary will be offered nor accepted. I just needed to address it, so that my stories make sense. I need to usher this elephant out stage left, and Ghenghis Khan along with him so that I can blog again.

I'm not good at this stuff. Can we just talk about the zoo now?

When your time with the kids has an imminent handoff attached, it sure makes you look at Xbox in a whole different way. Instead of being a lifesaver, I now see it as my competition. Good thing there's wildlife. Last weekend, I took the kids to a local museum that rescues animals and teaches you about them, too. Luckily, some exhibits are like videogames. You have to wean the kids off their natural environment first.

Lessi and Fury had a great time observing local wildlife, some alive and some stuffed. I had the pleasure of seeing my first-ever live bald eagle. Lessi had the pleasure of learning that because of our species' opposable thumbs and abilty to harness the power of gunpowder, she can take pictures like these without becoming a tasty snack.

Also, I get to do this:

Unfortunately, this museum was kind of small, and high fiveability aside, stuffed animals aren't that exciting. We decided to go to the Oakland Zoo instead. But not before spotting a rogue exhibit on the way out.

The Oakland Zoo was a storybook come alive for Lessi. The first animal she saw was a monkey. As adults, we take monkeys for granted. If you could translate childhood wonder into words, she said "WTF, those things are REAL??" Although Fury has pretty much seen it all, you can always count on a full-blown chimpanzee fight to brighten a 10-year-old boy's day. Also, a 40-year-old's. They also witnessed an elephant pooping. That's zoo admission ROI right there.

And I take back what I said about stuffed creatures. They can be pretty cool. Meet Lessi's new Otter, which she named Butter, because "I like butter!" 

She took this picture in front of the otter exhibit. She wanted Butter to see where he came from. That, or she's into being all meta and stuff.

If picking the blog up again was this hard, I can only imagine the long road to the new normal. For everyone. It'll take a lot more than zoos and monkeys and high fives, but at the end of the day, if it's about these two being able to smile like this, it's a small step in the right direction.