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Saturday, February 03, 2001

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Boris and Natasha

I went to see Boris and Natasha, our brand new polar bear cubs. Well, actually, they're a year old and weight about 300 lbs each but they've only been in Tucson a week and are quite popular. It was a beautiful day and people were lined up to get into the zoo, which was more crowded than I have seen it in a long time. I felt rather superior about going to the members only window, flashing my card and getting right in while everyone had to wait. I don't go to the zoo a lot but enough to justify the membership, plus I feel that it's a good cause.

The bears were more brown than white as they were rolling in what looked like a mixture of dirt and wood chips but they were fun to watch as they are still exploring their new home and not pacing, like you see so often. All the kids were telling them to jump in the water, but they didn't while I was there.

The otters were also out and very playful. There are two graceful young giraffes. I'm not sure how old but they are only half the height of the adults. They are so cute but look like they could fall down at anytime. Giraffes always look so vulnerable.

It was interesting to watch the young families. They are looking younger all the time and looking less like the tv or magazine family. There seemed to have more tatoos (major tatoos), various piercings and unorthodox hairstyles than ever before. They all stood there though saying "look at the monkey (elephant, bear, whatever)" to their children who generally looked wherever they wanted. There also seemed to be more fathers standing by the women's bathroom waiting for little girls to come out. Women can always take a little boy in the women's bathroom but it seems to be less popular for the father to take a little girl in the men's room. Probably all those guys standing at the urinals. Can you imagine all the "what's that, Daddy?".

I've noticed more father's on the bus with babies. It's rather touching to see someone with a nose ring trying to control a tiny child. I wonder if there's a problem with the nose ring? I know my kids always seemed to grab for my earrings and I've talked to women who had their pierced ears slit when a kid grabbed a ring.

I walked through Reid Park on my way home and noticed several birthday parties going on. There was one in the zoo, in fact. There are always birthday parties here. It's so nice to watch the kids running around. The rose garden is still bare but in a couple months should be blooming. I'll have to remember to go back and check out the new blooms.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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