February 10, 2004

I took Monday off so we could take Miho & Miki to Zoo Atlanta. We arrived to find the parking lot blissfully uncrowded. It was cold, and a Monday, so we didn't expect a crowd. We paid our $17.50 each to get in and walked in the park. The Flamingo exhibit had a trenching machine in the middle of it, and the fence was replaced with yellow caution tape. No worries, we expected to see tropical birds taken inside when the temperature drops. But as we continued on, it did not get better.

We saw two elephants, a rhino and a couple of giraffes, and we only passed two people in the park. We followed the lion roar to the "Simba" paddock and pointed out the "Big Kitty" to Matthew. Yes, there he was, a big lion sitting in the cold, not so much roaring as much as couching up phglem or a king-of-the-jungle-sized hairball. Continuing on, we saw no stands were open. This wasn't a big problem in itself, since we surely did not need an ICEE on a day like this.

But then, there was nothing. No Gorillas, No birds (except for the obligatory two mallard ducks that seem to get into every zoo's rare bird colelction somehow), no Orangutangs, nothing. We thought that the Reptile house would be open, since they could keep it warm for them inside, but it was closed for rennovation. Melissa wanted to talk to someone about this, suggesting we paraphrase the line from "Jurassic Park" ; "Eventually, you do plan to have ANIMALS on your animal tour, right?"

After bothering the in-house McDonald's to fry up lunch for us, we made our way past the rest of the closed exhibits and construction zones to the exit. Melissa went to ask for a refund while we warmed up in the gift shop. Fine, it's cold and an off-season, but if there are going to be no shows, half of the exhibits are closed, and the other half are open construction areas, either inform customers of this up front, or charge half-price admission.

While waiting in the gift shop, I overheard the cashier talking on the phone, attempting to convert the person on the other end to her particular sect: "Well you GOTTA consider the source, and since God talked to these men, and they were imperfect, the words they spoke were imperfect as well, and we gotta get them up outa there." After promising to call the person back later, she counted out her till, repeating lines from her speech to the caller, and agreeing with herself.

We got our money back and had better luck with the Coca-Cola museum at Underground Atlanta.

We rested up at the house, dropped Matthew at Ron & Brenda's, and headed off to The Cheesecake Factory with Craig in tow. Now Miho loves cheesecake, and when she heard that there were different kinds of cheesecake, she was excited. When we took her here last year and she saw around 30 different kinds, her head nearly exploded. Same reaction with Miki. We all finished half of our meals, boxed the rest up and had some gut-busting-good cheesecake. (I didn't eat the crust, so this is Atkins-Friendly, right?)

One for the "It's A Small World" file: Who should wait on us, but Tariq, fellow groomsman for Joey Googe's wedding in November! Miho & Miki had a picture with him before we left, to remember the one who brought the cheesecake.

(aside): Blogger.com is a great blog host for intentionally-separate personal histories, perhaps not wanting to be read by too many people. LiveJournal.com is more a community blog site, where you can have blog-buddies and read the aforementioned blog-buddies' rants daily. Or, you can just go to LiveJournal.com and click for a RANDOM Blog. Could be some tweenie girl from the midwest who has a crush on some boy named Shane. Could be a transplanted lonely starving artist in Maine who hates everybody's accent up there. Some of them are even in Russian. Needless to say, I am addicted to this like Rush Limbaugh on Painkillers. Delving into random strangers' lives. No commitment, no emotional connection, just reading what's going on in people's heads. It's mental voyeurism. God, I love it. For me, there's no better way to spend lunch break.

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