August 8th, 2009

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Poem for Saturday

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We got the kids up early for a summer vacation Friday because Paul took the day off so we could go see all the new babies at the National Zoo. We took Adam's friend Daniel because we knew he would want to go to Meet a Kiwi -- the bird featured, Manaia, is not a baby, but he was born at the zoo and we met him when he was six months old the first time we ever went to Meet a Kiwi. The keeper talks are always interesting and we always learn something new...today it was that there are only 34 kiwis outside New Zealand and the zoos are trying to breed them via artificial insemination because they mate for life so genetic diversity isn't high on their priority lists, but it's very difficult to get sperm from the male birds.

The baby gorilla and mother were resting, but that was made up for at the Great Ape House because the orangutans were dozens of feet above our heads on the O Line, the high-wire bridge that lets them travel from their home to the Think Tank (where they use computers and do interactive activities). And we saw the baby cuttlefish, rheas, anteater, and wattled crane, plus the pygmy and Nile hippos which will soon be leaving the zoo to make room for the new elephant trail. The outdoor flight cage was open for the first time we've been there in ages, and we got to hear the keeper talk about the red pandas, plus we ate lunch in the picnic area and got to watch interloper birds try to eat our breadcrumbs.


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My mother took my niece back to New York but ended up getting home in time for dinner, so we had pizza with my parents, who have decided that it would be insane to take the kids to Williamsburg next week when it's supposed to be a hundred degrees -- we are trying once again to see if we can figure out something at the beach. At home, by Daniel's request, we put on Help! (since we don't have A Hard Day's Night in the house) and howled our way through it...you don't have to lecture me about all the varieties of racial and ethnic offenses, all I can say in its defense is that in parodying James Bond it manages to be both less sexist and less racist than most actual James Bond films, and the hilarious parts are still hilarious (Ringo: "What was it that first attracted you to me?" John: "Well, you're very polite."). Also, Paul was really, truly adorable then.