Zoo, and Romanians.

Goodness! Fun times. I haven’t worked since I last wrote, which is unnerving, but nice for now. John was also not working, but on vacation and not doing anything with it, so I hung out with him a bunch. We went to the zoo again on friday, which was great. At the siberian tiger place, they were setting up to film a little thing about tiger conservation, and some summit happening soon with all the countries coming together and pledging to better protect their tiger populations. So we, being well-mannered adults, got to stay while the herds of screaming children were ushered past. Best of all, to keep the tiger cubs (oh, yeah, did I mention there are cubs right now? It’s awesome) in the background of the guy being interviewed, they had someone on the roof throwing meatwads down for the tigers. In between takes I got some really good pictures. 

I have a really great one, but I entered it into a contest to win a fancy camera that I’ll either give to John or sell (or maybe use. But I’m so in love with my pentax, and this beautiful lens that I just got that I don’t want to switch to another) and they have some rule about the pictures not having been displayed in a  public whatever, and it’s somewhat unclear as to what that means, and I think it was decided that stuff on facebook was okay, but I’m not sure about others. In any case, I figure it’s safer not to post anything that I used until after the 29th.

This contest is making a photobook on a particular website, and is judged half on creativity and half on originality. Those are also really unclear. I’m hoping that I have a good chance because aside from having some fantastic pictures, I haven’t seen anyone else have them of wild animals. So many people did their family, or babies, or friends, or maybe pets or flowers. None of those are original, especially when 80 people in front of you just submitted one of those. I figure those are sort of out no matter how cute or artistic the pictures are. There were a few that I saw that did interesting things, though, one in particular of broken down things. We’ll see. I don’t particularly think I’ll win, but I gave it a go, and I had some great pictures.

Speaking of. There were also fighting deer, and monkeys, and a funny faced turtle.

All in all, an excellent day. Then we went back to his house and ate and watched Great Migrations.

Yesterday was John’s brother, Craig’s engagement party. Oh my god. It was like a freaking wedding reception. Everyone else had spent the night before setting up. John and I had driven the fiance’s grandparents there, dropped them off, and then attempted to find parking for about half an hour before we were told they didn’t need us and to go home. I’m not sure we were even needed to be a taxi service, there seemed to be enough seats in other cars, but whatever. So yesterday, John and his sister Lauren and I got there really early. It looked really nice, all the tables set up, nice centerpieces. There was the main table dias overlooking everything, and apparently siblings of the couple were supposed to be there (assigned seating for everyone!) so I was supposed to be up there too.  Around that time was when I got the idea that this was more like a reception than an engagement party. But what do I know. The big table ended up barely being used. A few of us ate there, Craig never even sat down, and Lauren totally abandoned it.

John hasn’t been to any family functions in over 10 years, so there was lots of meeting and catching up, and apparently whenever I left people would comment on how great I was, which I figure was at least partially politeness because I just kind of stand there and smile and occasionally said something or other. I always feel pretty awkward when I don’t know anyone in a place. But it was fun in general. I did know a few people and kept up with some conversations, the food was pretty good. I had been hoping to polka, since there was an accordion player, but all the dancing to that was Romanian circle dancing. Which I learned a little of! The most basic one. Then they took off with the rest and it was crazy. Lots of little fast footwork. Apparently Diana and her cousins are or were all on the Romanian dance team, and always won first place against all the other Romanian dance teams. Who knew. That was a lot of fun to watch. The music in general was sort of atrocious. The Romanian stuff was live, and good, but earplittingly loud, and while the DJ did play some pretty good stuff, he also played it earsplittingly loud. Which would have been fine if everyone had been dancing. But when 90% of your crowd is milling around talking to each other, you need to recognize that. Apparently behind the scenes there was a lot going wrong with various things, and Craig spent most of his time trying to make stuff happen and yelling at the people who had been hired who seemingly weren’t doing anything. No fun. But the rest of us didn’t really notice, and it went well. John had work but was going in late, so he and I left at about 11 30. Apparently the Romanians were going to keep going till 6am. Or until the moonshine ran out. Yeah. One of Diana’s relatives makes this plum brandy that they call moonshine.

I took home a centerpiece. I should have kidnapped some of the left over deserts, too, but they were so overly sweet. And I would just end up eating that all day and not getting around to real food. Speaking of. Time for breakfast.


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