September 3rd, 2003


a trip within a trip

Whoever thought that leaving Dulles Airport at 5pm and then driving to Toronto, stopping for a few hours to visit friends at Carnegie Mellon, didn't know what they were talking about. After several stops, including a brief catnap, and taking one of the highways in the wrong direction for a short while, I finally made it to my sister's house by around 6. And then slept all day.

I liked the wedding. The program for it included explanations for each part of the tradition and what it signified (as well as what had been modified to make it more egalitarian). fanlain liked the whole thing so much, she talked about converting to Judaism. (Of course, everyone there was quite happy about this, even offering that she might be able to keep eating pork.) The musical support was nice, too, with a string trio at the wedding and a band at the reception. Though I was a little surprised to hear the strings do "Yesterday" and the band play an instrumental version of "Don't get around much anymore." Anyway, everything went off smoothly, other than the best man losing his car keys, but even those were eventually recovered.

Yesterday (was it only yesterday? It seems so many hours and kilometres ago) we visited the D.C. Zoo, with flymistress and her sister. The high points of that for me were the price (free) and the small mammal area which included all sort of interesting and cute creatures. They even had a cage for rock hyrax (whose name I keep forgetting), though I didn't see one in there. The golden lion tamarins were very pretty. I took some photos, will upload them Real Soon Now. Then there was the exhibit on animal thinking, including their use of tools and language. The door had a special warning saying "you may disagree with some of the things in this exhibit, or even find them disturbing." What I did find disturbing was seeing some of the animals unhappy. The giant panda was breathing heavily, not sure why, the caracal kept pacing its too small cage, and the elephants kept getting poked with "elephant hooks" by their trainers so that they would do tricks. It was certainly much nicer to see many of the same animals at the nature preserve in Zambia. Though it's certainly harder to get out to areas like that, and even they have problems with poachers.