Archive for the ‘Yakkin’’ Category

From a friend, upon viewing my wish list:

The whole list started as a jumbled assortment of the oddest combination of stuff I could find on Amazon. It was a joke, busting on internet attention whores who think they deserve gifts from strangers simply for existing. (Or perhaps showing their tits; either way, not interested.) Then people started actually buying me things from it (anal beads, duct tape, fake vomit, etc.) so I figured I ought to add some real things too. The chicken purse isn’t exactly one of them, but it’s the kind of gift I’d probably carry once to be funny and then it would sit in my closet for several years.

Yes indeed, Amazon played me like a rusty trombone… which you’ll notice is not on the list.

The seahorse exhibit has some distant cousins visiting for the summer: three alligator pipefish. (Yes, the link from the Shedd Aquarium was more informative and had better pictures than the Wikipedia article. Their amazingly full collection of sea life is one of Chicago’s few saving graces.) Not surprisingly, these fish look like a cross between a seahorse and legless alligator. They have prehensile tails and eat the same stuff seahorses do. Welcome, alligator pipefish!

Now that it’s summer, the aquarium is jam-packed with strollers, hyperactive kids, screaming, crying, etc. I went out to the pier to get some air and an elderly lady approached me.

She: “Can I ask you a question!”

Me: “Sure!”

She: “I was interested your volunteer program. There are so many nice volunteers here and it’s just wonderful!”

Me: “Thanks! It’s a great program. We have a pool of about 700 total, and that includes regular shift volunteers, life sciences, beach naturalists, program leaders, and teen volunteers.”

She: “So do you think you’ll pursue marine biology after this?”

Me: “Well, I’m 30, and I’ve been working in the technical field for the last 10 years, so I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with that.”

She: “I thought you were a teen volunteer!”

Some slightly uncomfortable laughter and many looks of shock on both our parts were exchanged. I thought the youngins are supposed to flatter the old ladies, not the other way around. Then, like the mature adult that I am, I went inside and had a teen volunteer paint a seahorse on me:

I am the toughest mermaid under the sea!!!

“You’ve done a lot for someone who’s only 29. I want to see you again as soon as possible.”

It’s always nice to hear, but less so from a psychiatrist.