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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lying Eyes

So much to say....

Despite the football team falling to 7th in the Pac-10, we still get to go the second place bowl, which seems totally ridiculous to me.  Just another sweet gig this year that just fell into our laps.  And people are going to whine about the bus trip and whatnot, it's a different trip, to a different city, playing a different team, what's not to love about this?  We shouldn't even be in a bowl game since we're 7th, and we get grateful.  And the way I found out, by Steve Sarkisian tweeting that UW was headed to San Diego, is exactly why I even have a twitter in the first place haha. for sports and more sports that espn simply can not give me.

Anyways, there's other stuff that happens before this though.  Finals are next week, which is lame, especially because I have two on Tuesday morning, after a Monday night band rehearsal...yuck.  Oh well.  And the Icecats game against ASU is next weekend, and people are coming to visit, it's gonna be quite the couple weeks down here in Tucson before heading back up to that white place called Flagstaff for Christmas.

And back to the original purpose of this silly blogging thing, I go back to the zoo two weeks from today!! :)  I'm so excited to be back there on a weekly basis, and to see what's changed over the last few months.  I'm glad I can go in once before Christmas just so I have an idea of what's going on there before being a regular again.

It's time to not let anything that anyone says bother me and just live life the way I want to, and not let them hold me back or ruin the experiences that are about to happen.

I thought by now you'd realize, there ain't no way to hide your lyin eyes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We Both Go Down Together

It's actually almost time to start making this thing about the zoo again!  I found out late last night, after what was yet another dreadful November 13th, that I will be working at the zoo again next semester :)  Not on hoofstock though, because they're combining it with elephant, but that's probably a good thing so I can become more diversified for when I have to find a real zoo job in 6 months

Yeah, 6 months....I graduate in exactly 6 MONTHS!!!  Class requirements met, paperwork sitting on my "desk" to fill out to get my diploma, everything is ready to go.  It was a very satisfying feeling to walk into my advisor's office, and she says, I need to give you graduation stuff.

I haven't posted on here in a while because nothing's really been going on.  Life is consumed by drumline, and this year has been extra stressful.  Playing with Calexico at Rialto on Day of the Dead was easily the coolest thing I've ever done in drumline....outside of the Holiday Bowl trip last year.  And since the Pac-10 is so ridiculously weird this year, the Holiday Bowl looks fairly likely again, which is perfectly fine with me :) But if we ended up in Vegas, and we played SDSU, I wouldn't even really know who to root for haha.  And the Aztecs definitely look better than us, especially since they almost won at #3 TCU last night.  Gronkowski just got his third TD of the game for the Pats against the Steelers too...I wish he was here.  The Oregon game would be 1 vs 2 I think if he were still around.

Last night, Lane Kiffin ran by me while I was on the field, and I thought to myself, how can so many people hate this guy?  There's just this vibe coming off of him that says that he's gotta be great at what he does, and given that I've only seen one game of his in person, and it was USC owning us in all facets of the game last night, I would say he's probably at least ok at coaching.  And that Matt Barkley guy...he's gonna be like Carson Palmer...good for a little while, then not good anymore haha

One month from tonight I get to see my friend who moved to Sacramento for the first time since she left in June.  Talking to her twice a week really helps life stay in check, and knowing that she'll be here in a month is such a relief.  I just want this month to go by fast.  One last football game in Arizona Stadium....except it's on a Thursday, which is kind of lame for a last home game, but I'll get over it.  And two presentations, two papers, and tons of tests until then.  Plus a possible assignment to preceptor a bio lab next's gonna be a long month, but hopefully positive

And while the seagulls are crying, we fall but our souls are flying

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bleeding Love

So, this weekend had the greatest September football game in the history of Arizona Stadium.  DOWN WITH THE HAWKEYES!!  Everything was great, the game, the drumline, the band in general....everything just went well.  It was a little stressful going into the game because one of the bass drummers wasn't there, but it all worked out in the end.

In other football news, the Bucs are 2-0!   A lot of people predicted that they would go 2-14 or worse, so this is another Padres situation for me, which is exciting, at least for now.

As for the Padres....ugh X a billion.  I almost can't watch Padre games anymore because it's just so stressful.  And Mat Latos on Friday....are you serious?  1.1 innings and 8 ER.....what happened?  Maybe this inning thing is real.  At least Chris Young is back and looking pretty good.  And Adrian is still clutch, but other than that, I'm just not sure at all.

In four weeks, I get to go to San Diego for a weekend for a lab credit, so I'm starting to get really excited about that.  Camping on the beach, boating, aquarium.  It should be incredible.  It's nice only having three classes this semester, especially after having six last semester....a lot of free time to just hang around and relax, which is awesome.

The next two weeks will be sweet, Pac-10 play starts, NL west coming down to the wire.  Should be exciting times here hopefully....

I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Boys of Summer

I haven't been on here all summer, and I'm not really sure why, so here's a quick recap.

The two muntjacs, the male rhino, and the old zebra mare all died this summer.  Easily four of my favorite animals at the zoo, so that was kind of rough.  The rhino may have been the worst though because I had to clean up after the destruction that happened to the yard after his passing.  I got to work with two new keepers, so hopefully that helps me out when I'm looking to get into the zoo business for real.  Otherwise, I just did pretty much the usual hoofstock stuff all summer at Reid Park.

I went to Florida for a week.  Two best days were the day we went to Animal Kingdom, and the day we went to Daytona for the NNS race.  Daytona International is just an incredible place to go, and on a race weekend, it was absolutely ridiculous.  A little disappointing still that Cup qualifying was rained out that day, but Junior winning the race in the Wrangler car definitely made up for it.

I got named drum captain of the drumline this year.  It feels good, but it was really stressful for a while, but now it's starting to be ok, and doing the little extra things is actually kind of nice because my class load is really light this semester.  I also became the marching percussion instructor at Desert View High School in Tucson.  That'll give me something else to do and will definitely fill up my Tuesday and Thursday nights.

And, last but certainly not least, the Padres still have the best record in the NL :) The Angels might be awful this year, but the Padres have made up for it.

So maybe I'll start doing this more, even though I'm not sure if I'll be at the zoo this semester, but drumline will probably be able to fill this up fairly easily, and baseball of course.

Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach.  I fell it in the air, summer's out of reach

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Swing Life Away

Happy Easter everyone.  I still don't fully understand what Easter is, or what exactly happened and why Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday all exist, but I digress.  To me, the real holiday today is OPENING DAY FOR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL!!!  Finally, it's here, and couldn't come at a better time for me.

Anyways, zoo's still going good.  Normal hoofstocky things the last two weeks for the most part.  I did get to do the tortoises all by myself last week, so I felt kind of legit when I was doing that.  I'm sad that it's almost over, but hopefully there will be a way to stay there for the summer at least.  I really do need the zoo in my life right now.  It keeps me going when school and personal stuff gets in the way.

In the kitchen I made tortoise and bird diets and did inventory and helped make a couple popsicles for the Easter festivities at the zoo.

In two Saturdays I'm going to be on a completely new area, so that's something exciting! :)  But that's about it for now.  I still enjoy petting rhinos, and picking up tortoises and watching zebras run around.

If love is a labor I'll slave til the end, I won't cross these streets until you hold my hand

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life After You

It's been a while, so here's a recap of the last few weeks.

Kitchen is still mainly tortoise diets and some bird diet stuff.  This week I went out and caught birds in the aviary, and the week before I went and cleaned the macaw night house, fed the otters and cleaned their pool, and cleaned the giraffe barn.  That was a nice change of pace, especially feeding the otters.

I've missed a couple hoofstock days, but the one day I was there, the male rhino was being fussy about taking his meds, and he rammed into the female rhino pretty hard.  That was crazy to see, since usually they're both really quiet and gentle.  The other stuff going on in the area was fairly normal, just cleaning and feeding and all that good stuff.

Went on the carnivore side one day since I have been missing all these Saturdays.  The muntjac is still my favorite animal on that side, even though we only go see her once, she's still the best.  Really funny and comes right up to you.  The tiger is still cool to be around, and I really need to figure out a project to do for him.  The pigs are neat, and so is the sun bear.  The sun bear is fun because she likes to get fed grapes.  I still really like the Muntjac though.

In other life news, baseball is back! After Sunday I will have been to 7 games in two weeks.  I love you baseball.  And school's crazy busy and crazy hard.  That's why I haven't really done this in a long time.  And I'm now 21.  That's pretty much the gist of the last month....

All that I'm after is a life full of laughter, as long as I'm laughing with you

Sunday, February 28, 2010


So, this week at the zoo was totally different than ever before, so that's a nice change of pace.  Especially since I have to miss next Saturday because of section leader tryouts, so luckily I'll have a good taste in my mouth for a while.


There was some kind of giraffe keeper conference thing in Arizona, so a bunch of giraffe people were coming to Tucson that afternoon.  So everything had to get done fast because all the keepers had to join them on the tour at 2.  So I did tortoise, bird and dry feed stuff.  And three school groups came in during the morning, so it was a very busy morning.


No hoofstock, but carnivore area this time.  I was a little bit surprised, but hey, I'm down for seeing new stuff.  Getting all the food prepped is kind of ridiculous because there's way more to do, and there's a lot of birds, so there's a lot more bowls and stuff, so it's slightly out of control, and I would definitely have a hard time remembering all the different things that we had to take out there.

The first stop was the bird run, where we fed everything but the parrots.  The bird run is a little short, so I have to kind of hunch over just to walk in it at all, which is sort of annoying.  And there's a lot of birds, which isn't really that great.  The cockatoos can talk, so I had a really long conversation with them by just saying "Hi" and "How are you?".  So bird run, not very exciting.

Next we went over to the muntjac.  It's kind of like a deer the size of Kingston, just to give you an idea about how small this thing is.  It was really funny though, it likes it when people scratch its neck for it because it can't reach it with its short little legs.  There's some turtles in there too, but we just have to count them.  Then we went over to tiger, which was really cool.  Got right up next to it and I got some whisker and nose from it through the chain link fence.  He was funny though, he has a cool noise when he's happy, and he's happy when he's eating his big plate of meat.  While he was eating, we went in and cleaned, I cleaned the windows, and then sprayed cologne and some other scent everywhere, and rearranged his toys so he would have some new and exciting stuff to do.

Next up was Warty pigs and Sun Bear.  The sun bear is really funny.  She comes up to the fence and hangs on while you feed her.  She doesn't like to go outside because she's old and is blind in her right eye, so that's kind of sad.  The warty pigs are kind of weird.  They have this huge complex social system, and there's only three of them haha.  We fed all these guys and cleaned up their exhibit.  There was a dead bird in the warty pig pool, so that was kind of interesting.  After letting everyone out, we went over to elephants.

Elephants was just as cool this time as it was the first time, except I didn't touch its foot this time because it wasn't Cassie in charge of elephants.  They're so big! It's really ridiculous to stand there next to them.  After the two elephants were out we went back to the bird run to change out the water and feed the rest and hose down the floors.  Once again, bird run is not my favorite part.

When we were done with the bird run for the day, we went back to warty pig/sun bear to clean up the back area, feed the sun bear its lunch, and do some warty pig training.  But before training we went back to elephant where we put palm and bamboo on the fence for them and then watched them go around and pluck it all of after we were done putting it up.

The last thing of the day was to give the tiger a bone and clean out its back area, so we brought him inside, put the bone out on exhibit, and let him back out.  That was interesting because it was in a giant trash can, so he tackled the trash can, go the bone, ran across his little stream and went to town on his bone.  Then we cleaned out the back area, which took like 30 seconds because it was already pretty clean, and that was it for the day.

Only kitchen next week, but then the week after I go four times in a week, so that should be fun.

How many times can I break til I shatter?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

If You Could Only See

So, this week was pretty straight forward, so here's a list of things that are different than normal


Did dry food prep for the next day.  Other than that, just bird and tortoise diets.


Got all the animals out on time!

Picked up a tortoise to move him to his food.  That was kind of fun.

Went on an extension cord hunt for the zebra heater while Susie went to elephant.  Yeah, I missed out on elephants, but she promised me next time I would go, so there's always that.

If you could only see how blue her eyes can be when she says, when she says she loves me

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Smile Like You Mean It

Crazy week, mostly full of studying, and some more studying, but there was zoo time, so I did have some fun this week

Tuesday was a kitchen day, however, I made bird diets instead of tortoise diets, and we did giraffe feed again, when I saw the baby zebra on exhibit for the first time.  But giraffe feed was different this week because Stacey decided that we should clean up the ledge of the exhibit and fill the hay feeders, so we went to the giraffe barn and she gave me the quick tour (it's really really cool), and then when into the exhibit with the giraffes and filled up the feeders.  I wish they liked being petted, because it would be the greatest thing ever to stand there and pet them, but you can only get a quick little tap on the lower jaw before they pull away.  But that was way cool, and one almost knocked me into the exhibit with his neck.

That was pretty much everything on Tuesday, so exciting.  So today, Susie was late because her dog broke into her kitchen while she was in Flagstaff this week (yes, she went to Flagstaff), and so I was on my own to start getting the food and cart ready, but I didn't know if the rhinos were still getting special meds, so I didn't know how to make their food, so I got stuck early.  But luckily she wasn't too late, and we were still relatively fine timewise.

We went and pulled the male zebra off exhibit since he was on overnight and fed him in the back.  Then she dropped me off to clean up the exhibit while she went to go feed everyone else.  I took a wheelbarrow instead of a bucket, but the wheelbarrow broke, so that was interesting.  I couldn't get it back together for a while, so we didn't really make up much time since I didn't get much done while she was feeding.

After that we cleaned out the rhino exhibit, and then let the rhinos and gazelle out.  I love petting the rhinos every time we do this.  Then we went over to let the zebras and ostriches out, but we didn't know until after we put them out that the ostriches weren't supposed to be out with the baby, so we had to chase the ostriches back into the barn and rearrange everything in back so we could clean their area up a little bit.  And poor Konan was back there by himself in this little area all day.  I feel bad for that guy.  So we cleaned a little bit of ostrich and then went to clean out gazelle and rhino.  When we finished cleaning gazelle Susie let me hand feed one of the corey busters some fish, so that was kind of neat.

Then we put out the tortoises, fed them and took a short break before going to clean out the zebra barns.  In the middle of cleaning the zebra barns, we had a birthday party for Sue the supervisor, so I got to eat cupcakes and hang out with the keepers.  That was fun, they seem really fun and really cool, and most of them are probably in their early to mid 20s, so I feel like I can actually be friends with them, which makes this internship even more fun.

When the party was over we finished off the zebra barns and then it was time to go back to the real world.  The zoo is definitely the best part of my week every week, and I really need to find somewhere to apprentice and then become full time, because getting paid to do this would be a dream come true.

Dreams aren't what they used to be, some things sat by so carelessly

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It's weird how songs on the radio on my way home match up with what happens that day

Today was somewhat different than normal.  Starting out with getting all the feed, but the rhinos needed more than normal because they have more medicine now.  We went and fed them first and then fed ostrich and zebra. After feeding them and watching the foal for a little bit, I went out in the zebra exhibit and started cleaning while Susie went and fed gazelle and corey busters.

After cleaning zebra, I started cleaning rhino while she went and put Konan (the male zebra) and the ostriches out on exhibit.  After we were done cleaning rhino, we put them out with gazelle and the corey busters.  We actually had all the animals out around 9 today, pretty sure that was a first.

Once everyone was out on exhibit, we cleaned up all the barn areas, just like normal, except when we were done cleaning up the rhino back area, we went and got the giant ball that's been being passed around the zoo since today was the rhino's turn.  So we walked through the zoo, fed the giant crane in the rhino yard, and went over to lion to get the ball.  Once we had the ball, I rolled it through the zoo, trying not to run over any little kids with it, which was kind of difficult.  That ball is huge and heavy.

We dropped the ball off by the rhino barn, put food out for the tortoises, and went to clean up the zebra barns.  This took a little longer than normal because of moving around the baby and mom, so we didn't finish before it was time to put the giant ball in the rhino yard.

This was a big snooze.  The rhinos didn't even care, and I got to fill out an entire page of info that said pretty much that.  But I didn't have to spend that time sweeping up zebra poop, so I guess it's ok.  Plus while I was watching the rhino, the polar bear was pacing in his area that's right next to there, so I really watched the polar bear for most of the time.  And I got to hang out with the other keepers for a couple minutes, so that's always fun.  After I finished the evaluation of the ball usage, I went to the rhino barn to help finish up cleaning in there.  This didn't take very long, so I still had some time before the big intern meeting, so I got baby zebra watching duty for about half an hour.  This is just sitting in a chair and staring at the baby zebra to see if he poops, pees, runs or nurses, so luckily it wasn't for too much longer than half an hour even though I love that little guy.

And then came the intern meeting.  It was nice to see Sarah since I hadn't seen her since orientation and she's like the only one I really talk to, so I had a friend again :) The one girl that wasn't at orientation was there, and she looked and sounded like she knew way more about animals than I could even imagine at this point.  We all talked about different ideas, and this is when I realized I got hosed with my placement.  I never really leave the little corner of the zoo I'm in, and I'm really only out on grounds once a week while everyone else is out twice.  So I now like this opportunity, but now I know it could be so much more than what it is.  So that's slightly disappointing.  And I need some help coming up with an idea for hoofstock enrichment, so if you have any ideas shoot them my way....PLEASE!

After our meeting we went to the back area of polar bear, so I got to see one of the polar bears up close and personal, and he did a couple of commands for us, so that was pretty neat.

I somehow find that you and I collide

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mysterious Ways

So, originally I decided I wasn't going to do Tuesdays on here by themselves, but this Tuesday was so much fun I thought I would go ahead and post it, all be it two days late (physio and ochem raped me this week)

When I showed up in the morning, no one was in the keeper's quarters, so I just signed in and went straight to the kitchen, where there was tons of action and lots of stuff going on, but nothing for me to do.  So we went back to the other room for the meeting, where I learned the baby zebra almost died over the weekend :( but he was starting to pull through Tuesday so hopefully there is still a baby there when I show up Saturday morning.

So once morning rush was over, I got to help do monthly inventory instead of make diets.  It was interesting to see how little of each different food the zoo uses, and it was freezing cold having to stand in the freezer for like ten minutes counting mice and rats and all kinds of weird stuff.

When we finished inventory we did worms and crickets, which is always exciting.  But after that, we got to go work giraffe feed.  Climbed over the fence into the zoo and stood there in the giraffe feeding area, fed some giraffes, and gave biscuits to little kids that threw their's so they could actually feed the giraffe two biscuits.  About halfway through feeding time, the male zebra started following close behind one of the females, and then we realized what was happening.  Let's just say he was up and at em.  He never actually jumped up to mount her (which I think would have been awesome to see), but he did do enough to disgust me, and I'll just leave it at that haha.

On our way back, Cassie, the keeper that I see the most that I don't actually work with, needed help moving the giant ball that I saw in the elephant yard on Saturday across the zoo from tiger to lion.  So we rode over to tiger with her, picked up the ball, and drove over to lion.  I didn't see lions, but that's ok.  Then she drove us back to the kitchen, where I helped do capybara and tapir diets before I had to leave.  Overall, much better than normal, especially because I got to feed some giraffes :)

It's alright, it's alright, alright. She moves, in mysterious ways

Saturday, January 30, 2010

(S)he will be loved

It's a boy!

Last night, a baby zebra was birthed at the zoo!  So this morning, I was surprised when I wasn't there before Susie, and she left the keeper's quarters just as I got there, and then a minute later she was on the radio screaming there's a baby, there's a baby.  So a few of us went out there, but I didn't get to look then.  I went back and put together the rhino and zebra food dishes while Susie did a bunch of stuff.  When I was done with this we went out there, and she dropped me off in the zebra yard to clean up while she started feeding everyone so we would have more time to move zebras around since there was a baby now.  While I was cleaning the exhibit I caught my first glimpse at the new little boy.  He was soo cute.  When I was done cleaning we let the ostriches out so it would be easier to start moving zebras around and cleaned out their barn so we could move the mother and newborn into that area.

After we did that, we cleaned out the rhino yard really fast and got the rhinos and gazelle out before we started messing with zebras.  Then we cleaned out their back areas and went back to the zebras.  We put the male one out like normal, but kept the older female separate from the mom and baby.  When we got everything sorted out Susie started calling everyone that was off that needed to know there was a baby, and slowly all of them started showing up in the next half hour or so.  We just sort of watched the baby for a little while to make sure he started functioning properly and then we left to go do some tortoise and rhino stuff before more zebra time.

Cleaned out the tortoise areas and put out the new food, and then brought them out of their houses.  While we were up in that area, Susie tried feeding the crane again because he didn't eat very much early in the morning, but he didn't eat much again this time either.  It was kind of fun talking to the zoo visitors and being able to actually answer their questions.  I felt kind of important.

So we went back to the zebra area to start cleaning that out, one little pen at a time.  But right when we started there was a call over the radio saying something about the elephants, and Susie wanted to make sure that they told us when they started what they were going to do.  So we cleaned for about ten minutes and then went out into the zoo and went to the elephant exhibit.  The zoo had just bought a giant ball, and some of the keepers put it in the exhibit this morning, so we all gathered around to see if the elephants would play with it.  The Asian wanted no part of it, but the African played with it for a little bit before going to find food.  It was kind of cool to see them see a new toy for the first time.

When we went back to the zebras to finish cleaning there were a couple other keepers sitting and making observations minute by minute of the baby while I finished cleaning out the different zebra areas.  I got to see the placenta up close and personal, that was really cool but kind of gross at the same time.  That was pretty much it for the day.  Very zebra heavy, but totally worth while.  The baby was having problems nursing and stiff rear legs, so hopefully he's feeling better before I go back Tuesday.

Tap on my window, knock on my door I, want to make you feel beautiful.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Her Diamonds

Alrighty, another Tuesday done, another couple things learned.  Tuesday's still not too interesting, but whatever, it's still the zoo.

Started off with a keeper meeting where they talked about when and where certain trees are getting cut down over the next week.  Sounds like quite the project.  Then me and Stacey sat there while we waited for everything in the kitchen to settle down.

After a few minutes we went to the kitchen and I started on the tortoise diets while she was ordering stuff and on the phone and all kinds of weird stuff.  When I finished up the tortoise diets I put sunflower seeds and peanuts into little bags, I don't know why, and then filled up the containers of food.

Then we took the delivery of worms and crickets out of the boxes and put them in their places.  Playing with worms is interesting to say the least.  Then she had me help her a little bit with putting the bear diets together, and then I made the bucket of elephant treats for the training, which I saw Saturday so that was kind of neat to make the stuff that I saw being used earlier this week.  Once we finished that up we went to the city storage area which is right across the street behind the right field wall of Hi Corbett.  There's a store and maintenance yard and all kinds of weird stuff that she showed me, and it's all behind right field which is even weirder.  And that was the end of the day.  Exciting, right?  At least Saturdays are awesome....

And I don't know what I'm supposed to do so I sit down and cry too. But don't let her see

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Gotta Feelin

Yep, back to song names as titles for these ;)

Sooooo, Saturdays at the zoo are way cooler than Tuesdays.  Today started off exactly like last week, except way less intimidating.  I kind of had an idea of what I was doing, and I knew where I was going.  Started off with my keeper telling me to find some extra rubber boots that were big enough for me because the entire zoo was a swamp after all the rain that we had this week.  So I found some, luckily, and then we were off to start the day.  She had to go check on the tortoises to make sure they weren't too wet, so I mixed the vitamins and medicine into the rhino and zebra food while she did that, and then we loaded up the cart with all the other food and we were off.

First up is the rhinos.  I took their two food containers in and she brought the grain and pellets.  I fed the male one first since he was already in the barn and Susie started cleaning out his eye while the female came in and then I fed her.  Feeding them this week was way faster than last week, and of course, got some petting in while I could.

The next animals that get food are the ostriches and the zebras.  Ostriches are weird.  They just look and act dumb.  The entire back area was puddles from all the rain, so the animals weren't really moving around too much.  After the ostriches got their food the zebras got theirs, all in their separate areas, and the really old female getting a different diet from the other two.  The pregnant zebra looked fatter this week compared to last week, so that baby is coming and it's coming quick! So excited for when that actually happens.

Next thing on the to do list is to clean out the zebra/ostrich exhibit.  I started this while Susie went and fed the gazelle and carnivore birds (I always forget what they're actually called).  Cleaning exhibits is interesting when there are lakes in the middle of them.  Everything looks so much more disgusting.  Some of the wooden border decorations had fallen off too, so there was a couple gaps in the fence today.  After this we cleaned out the rhino exhibit.  That was even more disgusting.  The only place they poop in the exhibit was covered by water, so all their poop was underwater and we had to kind of muck it out.  But it turned out to be alright cuz we didn't have to get all of it.

This next part was the highlight of the day.  We left the big cart over between the rhinos and zebras, got in a fresh cart and went over to the elephant area! I didn't know I was allowed to even go anywhere near that area, but my keeper and the other one that was on elephants today let me in, so of course I went in.  To get to the place where they clean the elephants' feet, you have to go through the night barn and out to the kind of quarantine area, where they more the elephants into this little barred off cage where the gates are automatic and open and close to move the elephant through and keep them still while the keepers are doing stuff.  Kind of like an airlock I guess.  The two keepers told me exactly where they wanted me to stand as they brought the first of the two out, the Asian elephant.  This one is shorter but thicker than the African elephant, and apparently meaner because they wanted me to stand as still as possible, and my keeper Susie can't touch him because he doesn't like her very much, but she could use this whistle that they use to tell the elephant when it can put its feet back down when they're done cleaning it.  When he was done, they let him out into the exhibit and brought the taller African elephant out.  She's apparently nicer, so they were both doing stuff and then when they started doing her back feet they brought me around and let me touch her feet and scrape off some of the sand.  That was awesome.  I touched an elephant's foot!  And then, if that wasn't enough, they did some kind of tail training and wanted me to be an extra person to touch it for the elephant's training.  So I touched its tail too! Its tail hairs are really hard, kind of like a wire brush thing.  It was incredible to do that though.

When we went back to the main hoofstock area, we took the tortoises their food and then cleaned out the rhino, gazelle and that bird yards.  Then Susie had to go back and do other stuff with the elephants, so I started cleaning the zebra area while she was doing that, and then when she came back she bleached the girl zebra barn (girl zebras poop in their barn but the guy zebra doesn't, guys are obviously cleaner).  When we were done cleaning out the zebra area, she put the females out on exhibit and brought the male back in and that was the end of my day.

So, obviously, the most exciting part was the elephant part.  Hopefully that happens more often than not haha.  I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of it and hopefully next week we'll get everything done even faster.

I know that we'll have a ball if we get down go out and just lose it all

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Kitchen Day

Today was my second day at the zoo, the first one with my other keeper, Stacey.  She only works in the kitchen so that's where I stayed all day.

The day started off with her telling me to just stay out of the way and watch til all the keepers had their food and were out of the way, so that's exactly what I did, while eating a cookie that one of the docents brought.  When that was over, she finally acknowledged my existence and showed me around the kitchen and the warehouse area.  Then she gave me a fatty binder with the diet of every animal in the zoo listed inside of it.  She told me to read all of it, so I did.  It took about 45 minutes along with some other distractions including talking to the community service lady who also works in the kitchen.

After I was done reading, Stacey told me to make all of the tortoise diets, so I did.  A lot of salad and fruits and vegetables, and now I know the difference between a zucchini and a cucumber (I think). Seriously, they look way too alike to be completely different things.  After I was done making the different diets and putting them in the right refrigerators, the weekly delivery of mealworms came in, so I had to help put them in containers for the rest of the week.

When the worms were put away we cleaned up the kitchen and that was pretty much it for the day.  Vet visits are on Tuesdays and Fridays, so hopefully I'll get to be around those more often than standing in the kitchen and making tortoise diets...but it's easy work and for credit. And it's still working at a zoo, so it's not bad, just not as exciting as petting rhinos and getting chased by giant meat eating birds.

I can't walk and I can't talk anymore since you, walked out the door

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My First Day!!

So, this is easily the best thing that I've ever done.  I may have found my true calling in life this morning. :)

When I got there, it was a little strange because I was early and apparently not very many zookeepers get there early on a Saturday.  One of the older ones kind of introduced me to most of them, and then eventually Susie, my Saturday keeper, showed up.  Right away we gathered up all the food as she was explaining to me that they basically feed all the hooved animals a horse's diet.  We then started loading up our cart with all the food that we were going to need for the morning.

We went to the rhinos first.  It was awesome when she started tapping on their fence with a wrench and they came from their house to their different stalls to eat.  As she was treating one of their eyes, she told me to just stand there and pet it while she took care of everything.  Coolest thing ever!  I just stood there petting a rhino for a solid ten minutes, and it wouldn't be the last time!

After that we drove over to the ostriches and zebras and fed them.  The ostriches are kind of crazy, and the zebras are pretty funny.  One of the zebras is pregnant, and she's having the baby in the next month or two, so I'll get to experience that too! After feeding them we went into their exhibit and cleaned it out and fed the different birds that are in there.  When we left there, Susie told me she was going to go get something and sent me back into the exhibit by myself to go retrieve an ostrich egg that they had found.  So that was the first thing I did at the zoo by myself, and apparently it's the weirdest looking ostrich egg that they've ever seen.  So that's kinda fun.  Then we went back to the barn area and let the ostriches and zebras out into their area.

The next thing we did was check the temperature of the tortoises.  They were warm, so we opened up their house to the outside world, and let them cool down for about an hour before putting them out for the public to see.  After that we cleaned out the rhino/gazelle exhibit area and then let them out into their exhibit just as people were starting to show up.  When the rhino was leaving he stuck his head through the fence so I could pet him again. :)

When everything was out in their exhibits and everything was going well, we started cleaning out their night areas, gazelle first, then the rhinos.  When we were just about done cleaning the rhino barn, it was time to give the rhino his daily foot check up.  So I got to watch that happen, and stand there and pet the rhino the whole time so he would stay put and be happy.  That was the last time I'd see Bobo today (he's my new best friend).

The rest of the day was spent sweeping and raking the zebra/ostrich night area.  If you painted a horse with black and white stripes, it would be the same thing as a zebra.  Manure's the same, hay's the same.  Kind of ridiculous.

All in all, today was awesome!  Learned so much about the zoo and the different animals.  I'll probably forget some of it before next Saturday when I'm in hoofstock again, but that's ok.  I can already tell this will be the most incredible thing I've ever done.

Mr Jones and me, tell each other fairy tales

Monday, January 11, 2010

Orientation Day

On January 10, 2010, I officially became a zoo intern here in Tucson.  The first day was not very exciting in itself, but I am the most excited I have ever been for a semester.

When I got there, two other girls were there, Sarah and Jessica.  They were just standing there, and looking kind of confused.  Later on I found out that the zookeepers had been walking by laughing at them because we weren't allowed to go inside until all 5 of us were there.  So we stood there for about another 15 minutes waiting for the other two, Catherine and Adrienne.  Apparently Adrienne's been working at the zoo for a while in the education department, so she already knows all the keepers and where everything is, so that's sort of an unfair advantage.

When we did finally go in, we went over policies and safety and those kinds of things, and then got a quick tour of the back area, like the keeper's lounge, kitchen, vet area and other things like that.  Then we were assigned our first team activity.  A scavenger hunt around the zoo.  It was fun because I ended up with Sarah (who I had ecology with this past semester) and Catherine, and they're both really nice.  The other two are already kind of friends and they seem like they're going to exclude us 3, but that's alright.

So the hunt took as all around the zoo, and showed us the special gates to get to the perimeter road that we'll have to use a lot probably.  The zoo's not very big, and it's separated by geographical regions, so getting lost will probably not be too big of an issue the first couple of days there.

After we finished up the scavenger hunt, we were done for the day, but while we were walking on the perimeter road we got to see a tiger up close, along with a vulture, heron and a zebra.  We got our sweet volunteer shirts, and were officially done.  Those last encounters definitely got me even more excited than I already was.  After this semester is over, hopefully I know exactly what I want to be doing, and that being working in a zoo full time.

I will follow you into the dark

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Holiday Bowl Trip

Since I start working at the zoo for real Sunday afternoon, this will probably be the last post that has to do with something other than that, but what an awesome trip San Diego was. Let's just go through it day by day here.

Sunday the 27th: Got back at about 1 in the morning from the Coyotes game the night before. Woke up feeling sick to my stomach. But, I got everything packed and loaded up, bought a sandwich at Circle K, and went to the stadium to load the truck and stuff. Found out when I got there that our rookie bottom bass drummer couldn't find his uniform in his house, so he had to check out one that was three sizes too big haha. Before we got on the buses Scott called us over and told us we were getting sweet free shirts. So that was exciting.

On the way there, I got to sit by myself since there were a lot of people just meeting us in San Diego, so sleeping was a lot easier. Listened to Coldplay the entire way, non stop. I know, it's sort of ridiculous, but they're so awesome. When we got to the hotel, everyone had a different idea of what we were supposed to do, so it took a lot longer than it should have to get to the room, but once that was settled we dropped everything off and went downstairs for pizza/football watching. That night we wandered around Gaslamp and did magic tricks with a mime in front of Ghiradelli's. And I made the mime talk to me, so that was the victory for the night...

Monday the 28th: Quick breakfast and then off to the naval base. We were ultra late in getting there so we didn't have any time to warm up before the first time playing on drums in two weeks, but it still went pretty well. This is where we got to see the Nebraska mascot for the first time, which is a moment I will never forget. That thing is ridiculous. Also saw Ndamukong Suh walk onto the boat while we were playing. First time I saw him in person too. We didn't get to go on the boat, but it was still a good time, and definitely the best parade rout ever...out onto a pier.

Then came rehearsal. It was long, it got cold towards the end, and my knee stopped working towards the end, so it was painful. After rehearsal, we had the band banquet, which was long, hot and painful. The drumline wore tacky christmas sweaters though, so that made it better. But the main downer at that thing was that the montage video from the entire year didn't have the drumline in it at all, so that was really disappointing. The banquet went so late there was no time to go do anything afterwards, so we sat in the hotel and stared at what we thought was some dude not moving in the tower across from us for like an hour and a half, and one person named all the cleaning people. It was fun and ridiculous. Turns out it was a mannequin since it was still there the next morning. Oh well...totally worth it.

Tuesday the 29th: The first thing we did was the convention center, where we warmed up in a spot with the best warmup view ever, and we saw the high school band representing Nebraska for the first time. Also saw Suh at this too, so that was twice before the game even started, which was exciting for me. After playing all kinds of tunes, we left and headed for Sea World. That was awesome. There were way more people watching us play than I would have imagined, and everything sounded good. It was a really great time there. Then we got some free time there until some of us had to leave for a pep band gig. Did all the stuff I did there in the summer basically, except I saw Shamu this time, which is always a great time.

After Sea World, a small drumline had to do a pep band gig, and I was a part of that small drumline. We went to the Hyatt where the teams were staying, and they kicked us out early because we were so loud. This gave us extra free time for the rest of the night. We went to a restaurant called Ponchos de Charly, and our server was Don Octavio, so you can imagine how awesome that dinner was. Then we just wandered around Gaslamp some more, found an awesome candy store, and I had the greatest shake of my life at Ghiradelli's. We went back to the hotel kind of early because the next day was going to be ridiculously long.

Wednesday the 30th (Game day): Woke up bright and early to go to the Holiday Bowl Parade. Best. Parade. Ever. So many balloons, so many high schools, it was great. And we warmed up facing the ocean again, which I want to do every time we warmup now. We played Vader for the Star Wars people, so that was kind of funny, and we played Band Yell with Ironwood Ridge High, and that was really loud. The parade was great, so many people the entire route, and then we went to Broadway Pier for a "Battle of the Bands", where SE Lincoln High played Nebraska's fight songs, and we played everything. Then we walked probably 20 miles (that's what it felt like) to Seaport Village, where we had an awesome catered mexican food lunch. Just sat there and stared out into the bay. It was sort of cold, but not too bad. Then we went to the stadium.

It started raining when we got there. We unloaded everything and headed out to play at three tailgates. It was kind of a mist the entire tailgating time, so it actually felt pretty good. After making a complete lap around the stadium, we went into the tunnel where we stood for at least half an hour with IRHS and SELHS. There were lots of shoes hanging from the piping above us, so that was kind of odd. We finally went out onto the field to do pregame, and it was awesome. Qualcomm doesn't hold very many people, but it feels a lot bigger than Arizona Stadium or Sun Devil Stadium. It stopped raining for pregame and the first half, but started again at halftime. During pregame there were parachuters that landed on the field. That was amazing. And then we went up into our ridiculously great seats. Right on the field, lots of room. So much better than a home game or at ASU, or even Vegas. The game itself was horrendous. We never really stood a chance, but we still had an awesome time in the stands. Halftime was the greatest halftime show of all time. We played part 1, then a montage of music with the high school bands and fireworks everywhere, the drumline even danced to Love Shack.
It was great.

After the game everyone was really hungry, so a group of us went to TGI Fridays. It took a long time to get food, but when you're with fun people it really doesn't matter that much. After eating we just went back to the hotel since it was after midnight by then.

Thursday the 31st: Just got up, packed, loaded the buses and left. We stopped in Yuma for lunch, but ended up having to unload the equipment truck because it broke down just as we got there. That was the only exciting part of the trip back, mostly because I slept the whole way from Yuma to Marana listening to Five for Fighting. After we got back to Tucson I cleaned up my house and then went over to the staff's house for midnight, where I got the year off to a good start with friends. It hasn't stayed that great, but hopefully it will turn around soon.

So that was the best band trip ever. So much fun the entire time. Truly incredible. I hope we go back again next year. That's up to Foles and crew I guess.

Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight