Life is Good!

Certainly for the first half decade of her life, it could be said that, to some extent, that Ari had two dads, being raised by primarily by Jon and I. Even though Jon’s major role stopped about five years ago when it shifted to being just me living with her, they still see each other and yesterday spent the afternoon fishing (as you know Jon is of Fishing Fury), as they have done many times. I guess it must have been a lot of fun, because she wanted to go again today — which I must admit was my first time fishing with the exception of sport fishing in Mexico, which I don’t think counts, so perhaps you could say she took me fishing, not the other way around. We picked up some bait and headed down to High Park, and over a very enjoyable hour she caught three little fish (which we tossed back). It was amazing how many fish they’ve stocked the pond with — you could almost scoop them up with a bucket in some areas.

I enjoyed it much, much more than I ever thought I would and I’m sure we will go more times over the summer.

I am very happy to say that despite the scare when she got very ill with a “mystery disease” while living with her mother over the school year, necessitating her early return, she has been in absolutely perfect health here. Not a single problem, and like I said, according to the doctor, as long as we stay active and keep eating healthy, it’ll stay that way. It’s very hard not to be angry and upset about that, and I have to admit that I have a great deal of worry that this problem will reoccur the next time she spends time away from me and goes back to a life of being ignored and sat in front of a television and fed unhealthy food… All I can hope is that a lesson was learned because I do not enjoy gyrating between deep sadness and anger. Don’t enjoy it one bit. I get that it’s not easy caring for a child when you’re not feeling well yourself — obvious I of all people understand that — but when you become a parent, your number one priority has to be your child. And to be honest, it shouldn’t be hard, because you should be driven by Love to simply do that automatically. I admit that I was an absentee (and too often high) parent when my daughter was a screaming baby, and that’s one of my deepest regrets in life, but I’m trying to pour every last bit of life and stamina that I have left into enjoying what I can and being the best I can be. And I don’t think I deserve any kudos for that either!!!

Speaking of health, let me update you on my leg, because today I made new jewelry. You can click this picture to see it bigger and from more angles, assuming you didn’t already see it on my Facebook page, which has practically become a modification blog (seeing as the legal restrictions on my ability to post such content finally evaporated last month).

The jewelry was handmade by me, carved out of a 5/8″ solid rod of aluminum (which should be relatively body safe, at least for my body, and is quite light). I don’t have a metal lathe these days so it was rather time consuming but if it works as well as it seems to so far, I will make two more similar pieces. They have several advantages, for example being better at holding the bar perpendicular to the skin (you can see the middle one is a bit off right now, although they’re easy to adjust), and another being that the wide brim covers up the slightly nasty looking edges. Hopefully they’ll be prettier when fully healed. All-in-all this experiment is still successful, although it is slower healing than I’d hoped. I am curious to see whether the new jewelry will speed that up, because silicone can sometimes be non-ideal for healing because it can’t “breathe” as well as other materials. In some way, a nice hardwood might be best.

Hopping back to High Park, I’m mostly happy — and unsurprised — that the free zoo there got its funding. Nefarious always enjoys feeding the three emus (holy om nom nom do they like dandilions and clover and so on). Last time there she also got to spend a long time petting one of the reindeer, although some busy-body woman actually had the nerve to come over and rather violently grab her arm and yank it out screaming at her that she was going to get hurt — even though the only hurt was actually from this woman’s tight pinching grip! If I didn’t want to avoid another jail visit, I’d have told her off in a much more frightening manner, but this seemed like the sort of person to hysterically call the police. There are always foolish people at the zoo — we also got to listen to a woman explaining to her child that the emus “were chickens, and this is where your eggs come from”… and I am quite certain that she was not joking. What out-of-touch-with-animals world do we live in that people get emus and chickens mixed up??? The zoo also has some baby capyberas right now, just a few weeks old, and they’re gloriously cute!

I do have sort of mixed feelings about the zoo though, because it’s a little sad. The reindeer and buffalo and yak and so on, cooped up in outrageously hot weather often far removed from their native habitat, are clearly unhappy that they can’t find proper shelter or range the way their instincts tell them too. Hell, their prison isn’t even big enough for them to run. That’s not good for their bodies. I looked at their hooves, and because they can’t cover any distance, they are long and painful looking and have not been trimmed. I have real concerns about how the animals are cared for.

When I see the yaks, I am reminded of the story of one of the Dalai Lama’s visits to America. Because the yak is some sort of sacred animal to the Tibettans, they made sure to have a bunch of them waiting for him at the airport to greet him. He was of course very gracious, but inside his heart was breaking because he knew that when you take them out of their native environment, high up in the mountains with rarified air, and place them closer to sea level, their lungs don’t function properly and they only live half as long… Stories like this haunt me when I walk the length of the small High Park Zoo. I only hope that these animals’ sacrifice serves a greater good.

But all-in-all, High Park is such a wonderful resource. So pretty, so big, so much wildlife and forest paths, and nice play areas, and of course lots to climb. We have been going there since Nefarious was just a baby, so over her life we’ve easily spent thousands of hours there.

Anyway, the summer is going great. We’re having a wonderful time, even though my body is taking a hell of a beating, and if I didn’t know better I’d think my pain medication was getting cut by how physically taxed I feel. I really feel like I’ve been hit by a truck, and it’s worse every day. By the end of the summer I’ll just be one happy but pain filled husk, likely to dissolve into a quivering pile of blood and calcium. But plenty of fun summer stuff like running through sprinklers to kill the heat, and soon we leave for Hell Boy Camp in Portland, and we’ve got Drama Camp, and swimming lessons, and so much great stuff coming up. Nefarious has been getting buff at her four-time-a-week trips to the gym with her fitness classes (which earns her a pleasant walk down to the local ice cream parlor). Big stuff and little stuff, and often the little stuff is the most fun — for example, we just washed Caitlin‘s 1973 Mach I Mustang, and boy that beast is a joy to cruise around in (although I have to admit that the newly fixed air conditioning in the zombiemobile is hard to resist).

Oh, and I hadn’t thought that we’d be able to make it, but they extended the showing so we were able to get tickets to Cavalia’s Odysseo, the live horse circus, for tomorrow night, so I’m expecting that to be a highlight of the summer. Nefarious comes from a horse family on her mother’s side, and has been riding all her life and absolutely loves horses, so I am sure it will be a hit. I just don’t want to think about how much it cost, yikes! But I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

And now to quickly pop into Facebook, then read some comics, and get some sleep, because every day is a long day.

One Comment

  1. Twwly wrote:

    I don’t remember the last time I went to a ‘zoo’ and didn’t call the local SPCA afterwards.

    Feet need trimming, animals need shearing, and though the candy machines dispensing corn & empty grains are in front of sheep & goats, neither are designed to eat them…

    Numerous neglect calls, made after letting the staff know their animals are in need and getting ignored. Animals can’t dial a phone or write a letter, therefore…

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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