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All posts for the month July, 2016

Summer Thoughts Vol I

Published July 30, 2016 by sarcasmica

1. Husband: “Babe! I hear The Sandman coming! He’s real!” 

Me: “Hides dry summer sandal feet in socks.”

2. I wonder how long i’ll be married before I come to bed to find my husband has changed the sheets and made the bed. 

Probably as long as it takes to hire a nurse to care for us both…and change the sheets.

3. How many days til school?!?

4. Am I really ready for pumpkins already? (Yea..i kind of am) 

5. Why dont we have a pool or a/c?! Oh yea…Washington.

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Desert Dolphins

Published July 30, 2016 by sarcasmica

I recently went on a trip to Las Vegas with my husband. As I am a terrible gambler, I had to find things to do that didn’t cost much money, and if I could practice taking pictures, even better! When I was in Vegas “a little while ago” after turning 21, my friend and I did a sort of animal tour of the strip so I thought I could revisit some of those spots this time.

First up, MGM Grand for the Lion exhibit. It was indoors from what I remembered, which was a bonus in the 106 heat of summer. I uber’d over just to find that the exhibit was closed in 2012. I felt a little annoyed at my useless trip to the casino, but was then relieved on behalf of the lions. Perhaps they ended up in a place more suited for their species? Maybe they were sent to a grand enclosure where shade, food, and entertainment were plentiful..?

I also did the Shark Encounter at Mandalay Bay. These guys were housed in a nationally recognized aquarium inside an air conditioned building. Not too shabby.

We concluded our animal tours with Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden at The Mirage. I was sort of remembering the dolphins being outside, and was desperately hoping the tigers were inside. Did I mention it was 106? Do you know what 106 in the desert feels like? Open your oven while you’re waiting for your pizza to go in. That’s what it felt like. Parched, dry, sort of like you’re a piece of meat walking around a spit being slowly cooked. If you found shade, it was crowded with other sweaty meat bodies and never lasted very long.

So my husband and I walk out to the courtyard of dolphin pools. The first reaction when someone sees a dolphin is always “aawwwww”. How could you not? Those permasmiles, that inviting playfulness, those happy fins.

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But quickly I began to wonder, “Where’s their shade?” This is the desert, for crapsakes. It was 106 that day, but the following weekend the temps were expected to hit 113!

The crowd was certainly making sure they were covered. The amphitheater seating was  covered and there were a few umbrellas set up around the pools to shade you if you wanted to get closer to the animals. I was among a throng of onlookers that was crowded under the umbrella. Any skin that snuck outside the shade was instantly singed.

There were three pools total, I believe. Only one had something resembling a false coral reef, the others were bare pools. Totally empty! Not to mention zero shade. Zero. I’m no marine biologist, but I know a little something about the ocean. There are different layers, and marine mammals are equipped with genetic diving gear. If they want to avoid UV rays and intense sunshine, they can dive to get away from it. In these pools, there was nothing.

In one area there’s a huge diameter pool with more than a handful of dolphins. I’m sad to say I did not get a picture of this pool myself. Frankly, there was nowhere to stop in the shade to take a picture! A quick search online provided this one:

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What’s interesting to me is that they call this a “habitat”. According to dictionary.com the definition of a habitat is this:
the natural environment of an organism; place that is natural for the life and growth
of an organism

I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time I saw a dolphin swimming in a natural habitat that consisted of a shallow pool with zero ecosystem surrounding it. Not to mention living in the shallows 100% of the time all day, all year, all life long. I heard one of the trainers explaining to the crowd that they don’t give them commands, per say. They simply toot their whistle which gives the dolphins “freedom to choose” a behavior. They do whatever behavior they want, and then get their reward.

My takeaway from that is that the dolphin is still expected to do something to spark a “Oooh!” and/or “Wow!” to get fed. They are smart animals. That is why they are contained and imprisoned, actually, so they can prove their intelligence over and over and over for our enjoyment at the expense of their entire natural lives. If only they could be allowed to thrive in a natural environment, imagine the quality of entertainment – if that’s the goal – or research or study. Whatever label the check-signers need to put on it, just make it a humane and understandable life. Give the equivalent to yourself or your own family. Would you be happy to live in a square cube devoid of any stimulation except what is given at the time you are expected to perform a trick for someone else?

Looking back on the pictures a thought occurred to me; what if we could tear our eyes away from the charming “smiling” mouths that constantly reassure us they are, in fact, smiling and focus on their eyes. We like to think because their face happens to be formed in a natural smile that whatever situation they are in must mean they are happy, right?! Do you know anyone who is depressed? Do they walk around with a cloud over their head popping pills so everyone knows the state of their mind? Likely not. These animals have a face that lends itself to always looking playful and happy. It does not mean they are. I showed a few pics to my 5 year old just now. I said nothing about it, but asked her “Do they look happy to you?” Her response: “Kinda … ” I asked her why, “because their eyes are kinda like *this*.” She made a pitiful look that affected her whole face to manipulate her eyes to look sad… because that’s how human faces work.

So now look at these dolphins and try and take into account what their very intelligent eyes are showing. I wonder what you will feel?

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With all the hooplah surrounding Sea World and Blackfish (which I saw and also wrote a post about) I am really surprised to find that there seems to be one Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/LasVegasDolphins
and one change.org petition which actually has some sad and interesting information
https://www.change.org/p/no-more-dolphins-swimming-in-las-vegas

I am not proud that I gave money seemingly supporting The Mirage and their exhibit, but on the other hand, I’m glad to know this exists and needs to be understood so it can be changed. The change.org site makes some glaringly obvious points that I wont parrot here, but really, do dolphins belong in the desert? At that, do they belong in a desert at the heart of a filthy, bustling, city surrounded by highways, pollution, and skin-searing heat?  

Midnight Musings

Published July 25, 2016 by sarcasmica

This is what I should just call my blog since it’s the only time I have the ability (i.e. Peace and quiet and completion of one whole thought) to write.

Throughout the day I have lots of inspiration for entries. Something will happen or pop in my head but then life happens and it gets pushed aside. Right now, for instance, I have about 879 different random thoughts I want to put down, but no common thread to string them together for a “worthy post”. So Im sort of just warming up my writing muscles right now i guess.

Summer is actually going by very quickly. I still have 6 weeks and 1 day, so of course it feels quick! Im sure in about 4 weeks i’ll be wondering if there was a statewide time reversal causing everything to move at a snail’s pace. For now, it’s hunky dory.

I found some relief- painful relief- at the chiropractor/massage therapist today. I wasnt able to get it 100% back in place, but it was enough to give relief. I can lay in bed and turn without crying out in pain and only on ibuprofen, no muscle relaxers. Woo hoo! 

I did find out my first “pull” was actually a rib popping out and back into place. So i’m not crazy. That’s always a nice thing to hear 😊. 

Right now in this moment, i think i just felt the need to document the happy. Nothing major has happened. We havent won anything. We arent in the middle of an idyllic family escape. I havent miraculously lost 100lbs. But im still right now in this moment “happy”. 

My husband is home. We laughed together despite him working late and missing family dinner. My kids are safely in bed sleeping. No one is sick. 

Hell, i even feel a headache starting, but im happy. The bills are paid, my body is slowly getting fixed, school is on the horizon, I am loved and (mostly) appreciated.  Neither kid was happy about the dinner I made, but there was food for everyone. I did not put away any laundry today or wash a toilet and I still feel great. 

Im not going to hope the same for tomorrow because that will have to take care of itself. I’m sure I will feel many ways about the day when it comes, but right now im going to enjoy laying in this bed nearly pain-free, typing on a new-ish iPhone, listening to the blissful sound of a quietly content house. 

Goodnight interwebs, and sweet dreams.

Summer Wine

Published July 24, 2016 by sarcasmica

Tricked ya! It’s summer whine.

My body is betraying me. How’s that for a melodramatic opener, eh? 

After narrowly escaping death twice in Vegas – what? You didnt hear? I had an Uber driver pull into an intersection in front of an oncoming sirens-blazing firetruck. Not the side excursion I was hoping for. Then there was the taxi driver who literally fell asleep driving my husband and I home from the airport. Yup. Totally happened. 

I get home and second night, my 5 yr old ralphs all over her bed. Not just a little stomach acid vomit, NOOOoooooOO beefaroni vomit. That is a special kind of nostril burning smell. It’s so bad your eyes are probably watering just reading this. Orange as far as the nose can see.

Poor kid. It was a rare moment my husband was actually home to experience the 3 ring barf circus. 

The next morning I reach in the shower to turn it on like I have done nearly every single day and something just tweaks in my back inside my shoulder blade. Pinched nerve, pulled muscle, no idea. All I know is moving a hair the wrong direction and all the wind is knocked out of me from the pain. 

I had 2 muscle relaxers in a 12hr period. This morning I woke up feeling like I wanted to conquer the world! After leaving the house with Barfenstein and getting our nails done, my lower back was caput. Done. Searing pain. My father would point out how great that i no longer felt pain in my upper back! 

To make it all extra special, i’ve discovered a fun new side effect to my braces – that’s right, 39 years old & i have braces – searing tooth pain if anything cold is in the vicinity of a front tooth. I’ve never had a cavity, but the root depth slow burn that spreads up through the tooth and into my face seems equally painful. 

I turn 40 in a month and i am feeling like an 80 yr old about to go in for hip surgery. 

I have an appointment for my therapy massage and chiropractor first thing tomorrow. This means all the most painful parts are going to be elbowed and cracked. ..but hopefully it’ll all be worth it! 

Wasnt this a great fun light summer read? I have become the most lame mom and wife ever.

It’s no wonder my kids are bickering and whining and bugging. At least they come by it honestly. 

Post Vegas Life Syndrome

Published July 22, 2016 by sarcasmica

PVLS. It’s a thing. I was in Las Vegas for 6 days recently. In fact, I just got home yesterday. My brain has not fully restarted yet. I feel like there was an update that only partially downloaded. Driving around with my bickering kids in the car I realized there is a term for what I’ve been feeling. It’s PVLS. Post Vegas Life Syndrome.

The smell of stale cigarettes, over-sprayed air freshener and sweaty feet is still lingering in my nostrils…also, it could be from the laundry basket by the bed. I havent quite managed to get to all of the laundry yet.

Which brings me to my next reality. There was no laundry washing in the hotel. Clothes were put in a pile “over there” where you dealt with them only when they had to be shoved into the thin, celophane laundry bag provided. At home there is no magic drawer or suitcase  producing clean pairs of undies.

There are no dinging, flashing music boxes eager to eat my money at any and every hour of the day

I have children?!? 

Where is the pool?!

What do you mean you arent my Uber driver?!

Shit, it seems, has to get done not by an underpaid and over judgy staff, but by my own self. 

I am mostly having to adjust from doing what I wanted when I wanted and for no reason other than I wanted to do it back to doing things for these small versions of myself and then eventually managing what I want in the wee hours of the morning after everyone else has been made happy.

So it’s like going from Dad back to the Mom

😆

I will acclimate to these familiar surroundings once more. Hopefully the natives will accept me and begin to see the wisdom in waiting until i’ve had coffee before dismembering each other and screaming their needs at me.

Campy

Published July 7, 2016 by sarcasmica

I survived another summer camping trip! Huzzah

Here’s what I learned

1. Backup sunscreen is only uselful if you apply it

2. Need to generate heat after your first cold night camping? Sunburns. We all had one by night #2, and our tent was like a sun 

3. Dont sleep on a cot. It’s not, in fact, a bed. It’s not a hammock. It’s a slab of concave brick tricking you into a 5 am inner thigh charlie horse. 

      Truthfully, i’ve been through some painful things in my life. Waking up to a twisting cramping searing leg and shoulder ranks just below child birth and right above T-boning a Durango at 25mph. 

3a. Air mattress.

4. If you are hoping for a perfect family activity where every day ends with a feeling of satisfaction and contentment go alone. Seriously, just leave the kids at home. If you want to test the limits of your sanity and capability to endure and overcome and persevere, bring the kids along. 

5. Alcohol

5a. Instant coffee -you’ll be thankful for it at the time

6. A true partner makes it even more enjoyable and memorable. Who else is going to love you after 48hrs sans shower with a sunburn and fire pit smoked hair?

7. 2 nights can seem deceptively short from a dry, electrified, warm computer desk when you make the reservations

It was truly a good trip. We had some obstacles and bumps, but the kids have another summer memory and I have a new respect for weather forecasts and air mattresses. ..and liquor. 

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