Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Evening Thoughts

Where to start?

Let's start with the cat, since that'll bore everyone to death. Inkwell has learned to sit when I'm preparing his food dish. He recognizes that if he's sitting, he'll get the food faster. Inkwell has also found a new spot to sit. I used to have a garbage can next to my chair under the table. I moved it to the other side of the table. Now Inkwell sits where the garbage used to be. And sometimes bites my arm. Just because.

Yesterday I had two events to cover in the schools. One was an afternoon assembly at a local elementary school, the other was a couple of basketball games at the high school. The afternoon assembly featured The Reptile Man, who brought a number of reptiles (who'da thunkit?) to the school. The first animal he brought out was a snapping turtle that was large and actually somewhat terrifying. He also brought out a blue-tongued skink, then the snakes. The kids ooh'ed and ahh'ed at each new animal, sometimes squealing.

He asked for a volunteer, and a young lady put her hand up without thinking it through. She very shortly after had a boa constrictor wrapped around her. She was terrified. The curious snake put its head in her face to "taste" her and she looked absolutely petrified. When the Reptile Man explained how to untangle yourself from a snake and asked her to take the snake's tail while he held the head, she kept squeaking every time she touched the tail and it moved. Eventually they got the snake off her and she bolted back to the stands.

About seven volunteers got to hold a large python. They were very impressed. Then there was the alligator, Lucy.

Lucy came last. As the Reptile Man brought her out, she started to pee profusely all over the gym floor. This, of course, got the children laughing uproariously. He said Lucy would go to sleep on the count of three... that didn't quite work, but he explained it as "alligators aren't good at counting." At the end of the program, he allowed every single child in that gym to pet Lucy, if they wanted. Some didn't want, but most did. I got lots of good pictures. And, after the children left and I was chatting with the Reptile Man with a teacher, Lucy let loose another stream of pee... fortunately it hit the teacher and not me.

Later I went to a couple of basketball games at the local high school. I was warned ahead of time that one of the players on the girl's team was about to break the school record for most points scored over the course of her high school career. My boss wasn't sure how many she needed to score, but told me to get her picture. So I focused on her every single time she got the ball in the first half. Which was often. The "problem" is that this particular team is really selfless... if they think someone else is in a better spot to score, they will dish the ball to that person rather than take a bad shot. And so the scoring was really spread out among the various players. Just before the half, the player scored 10 points and very nearly scored another time. I saw how every administrator and the refs tensed up when she did and realized her next bucket was the one.

As the third quarter started, I was totally focused on the player. I ignored every other player, thus I got a picture of the shot where she passed the record (10 had tied it). As soon as she made the shot, the refs called a time out and she was presented with the game ball. I jumped out onto the court and got some pictures of her crying. Later I also got a picture of her holding the game ball... after the game and after she'd had time to fix her makeup.

The boys game following was a letdown, but I didn't stay for long. I got my photos and left.

Today was a bit more tame, including a meeting tonight. Overall, I'm just exhausted now. I'm going to go to bed real soon.