Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Elephants in my Backyard

This past weekend Cayton and I went down south to Hugo to see my parents. Blake had taken the weekend to go to Vegas as a sort of last ditch effort to recapture his youth before Vivian makes her appearance. Really though, it was a well deserved weekend away for him and a good excuse for me to head home and soak up some attention and pampering from my parents.

As usual, Mama cooked everything that I ever thought I might want to eat. It was all so delicious that I really had to tear myself away from the table. Mama is a great cook and it really does a soul good to wake up to some biscuits and gravy and hot coffee. Plus, given that I currently don't sleep well, I woke up early both mornings and was able to spend some time with Mama just chatting and relaxing.

On Saturday morning, despite the cold, Daddy and I took Cayton to the annual winter festival at the local elephant sanctuary. Yes, that is right, the local elephant sanctuary. Hugo happens to be the winter headquarters for several circuses, so it's not completely random that there would be some elephants hanging around town. But, it might surprise you to find that Hugo is home to the second largest herd of Asian elephants anywhere (this is according to their literature). In fact, I think there are maybe 23 or so elephants at the sanctuary and the herd even includes two very cute babies. So, my small little hometown is cooler than yours.

Anyway, Cayton had a wonderful time checking out the animals at the festival. Just to recount, there were literally tons of elephants, a baby hippo, baby goats, llamas, a camel (rather reluctantly providing rides to the kiddies), a burro and some kind of bovine creature that I'm pretty sure isn't native. There were even some gorgeous performing horses doing their thing in the circus rings that were set up. All in all, it was a great experience for the five dollar admission price. I'd encourage you to check out the Endangered Ark for more info and to donate to their goal of preserving and maintaining the Asian elephant population in North America.

Here are some pics from the excursion --

How many kids can you cram onto an elephant?

One of the baby elephants (no, that isn't me...)

Cayton and some really cute baby goats

Performing horses

Cayton and Daddy

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Always Waiting

I went to the eye doctor this morning for my yearly eye check up. Sometimes, this seems really pointless to me. Aside from the fact that my eyes actually refuse to do their one job, which is SEE, they are in perfect condition. According to my doctor, I have beautiful retinas and perfect eye pressure. I'm really flattered, but how about some eyeballs that WORK??? Oh well, I think this is something I should really take up with God someday, so I'll let the doc off the hook.

Anyway, the part of the appointment that really irritated me was the two hour wait in the waiting area. Seriously??? I usually expect to wait a bit when I see the eye doctor since the average age of eye patients is about 92 and cataracts apparently take a lot of explaining, but this was totally ridiculous. After about an hour and a half, I started to think that maybe somewhere in the high-tech patient sign-in system, something had gone wrong. I walked to the desk and asked how much longer I'd have to wait given that I did need to go to work at some point.

"Oh, what is your name?" I told her and her next question was "Have you ever been here before?" Now I ask you, what in God's name does that have to do with anything. Would I have gotten in more quickly if I'd been a new patient? If so, I call shenanigans on that. Anyway, she said, she was sorry and that she hadn't seen me sitting there. What? I know someone else that needs their eyes checked. Given that I'm 31 weeks pregnant and was wearing a houndstooth maternity coat, I think the astronauts on the space station could have seen me.

Anyway, when they finally called me back, the nurse/assistant/whatever, said, "Are you ready?" I'm thinking, oh yes. Given that I had two hours to get geared up, I think I'm finally emotionally ready for this eye exam. She seated me and then started in with the tough questions, "What is your name?" Jesus, Mary and Joseph! You have my chart AND I actually did make an appointment. I should have come up with something really funny here, but I was actually pretty pissed, so I was in full Gwen Cayton (my mom) pursed lip mode. Then, with a question that shored up my faith in the medical community and their powers of observation, "Are you pregnant?" Maybe they should make medic alert bracelets for pregnant people just so there is no confusion...

Oh well, at least they made every effort to get me in and out once I mentioned to as many people as would listen, "I've been waiting over two hours". What I really wanted to say was something like, "I'm 31 weeks pregnant, I have a three year old and I haven't slept since maybe 2005 and I'm finally pissed off and tired of waiting. Can we hurry this along???" But, really, what would that have accomplished? Every time I have ever blown up and made an ass of myself, I've felt so bad about it that I've concluded that it isn't worth it. I can just exorcise my demons on this blog and use my anger for entertainment value (at least I hope it's entertaining).

After all of this, I was a bit sensitive to waiting for things and I started to notice that a good portion of my day consists of waiting for things. I got in my car and headed toward work and spent what seemed like an eternity waiting to get through traffic. Then, I stopped at Panera to grab some soup for lunch and stood in line waiting for someone to have mercy on me and take my order. Again, I was apparently invisible despite my condition. After that, it was hurry up and wait for a parking space in my parking garage and then wait for the ancient elevators in my building. I just get so tired of all of this stalling, waiting, and being patient. Maybe this is all just some kind of plan that God has to teach me to be a better, more patient person. But, really, I don't think learning patience is possible for me. There is just too big of a learning curve.