We took Lilly to the zoo on Saturday and I was again impressed by how my parents managed to get me out of the house to do stuff when, for me, it feels like one giant nightmare to go anywhere outside of half a mile where a child is involved.
In this case, we were driving all the way to San Antonio (about 45 minutes).
Actually, Lilly is not badly behaved, but damn, she's almost two. I'm sure I was a pain in the ass in a car seat when you tried to take me anywhere for distances more than 30 miles. Did they even have car seats back in 1977? Maybe I just thrashed around in the back seat, loosely strapped into a seat belt and the concussions were what kept me quiet.
The trip wasn't so bad, actually, but when we got to the zoo, it was so damn hot, people. I'm from Texas. I've lived here most of my life. I know hot. I don't usually complain. But the combination of the heat, the stench of flamingo doo-doo and other exotic waste products, plus dealing with a rambunctious toddler who under no circumstances listened to anything we said made it like Hell, but without the entertaining nudity and hot pokers.
This is what I sounded like for most of the day: "Lilly. No. Lilly. Come here. HERE. Give me your hand. No. Your HAND. HAND. Manita. Give me your hand. Come back! Wait. Over here. HAND! No, don't throw that water bottle at the ducks. Stop! Want me to carry you? OK, well, stop running, NO! HAND! LILLY!"
She wanted to run all over the place by herself and didn't even seem to mind that it was 100 degrees and the world was melting around her.
The zoo itself was pretty cool, but we lasted less than two hours before we were nervous, exhausted parental wrecks. Seriously, Mom and Dad, I don't know how you did it. I feel like I owe you some money or something.
We shot a little video at the zoo (I've been testing out a Verizon MiFi device for work and was seeing how well it played with iPhone video streaming). It's an incredibly boring video unless you are her parents, but it was a live broadcast, so we had no control over how interesting she'd be at that moment. There's a picture below, too.
And I got mentioned in the most recent Austin Chronicle. It was weird because it was another in Kevin Brass' seemingly neverending series of hit pieces about the paper where I work, yet I got complimented in the article in a backhanded way. Despite having written some not-nice things about me in the past, Brass seems to think there should be more columns by me in the paper more times a week (even though I'm not a columnist) and that the paper is ignoring me by not allowing me this opportunity.
I immediately told one of my editors, "But I don't WANT to write multiple columns a week!" Our publisher, who follows me on Twitter, saw a comment I made about it where I said I asked if this was what it feels like to experience an unwelcome crush and wrote me a very nice e-mail asking if I was feeling neglected.
Hell no. In fact, every day, I feel like I'm racing myself to catch up with all the things I want to say and write and do. I haven't yet had the experience of working on things I care about that the paper doesn't want to run (whether it's online or in print).
But thanks, I think. Maybe I just don't know how to accept compliments from people who constantly belittle my friends and co-workers.
If that's weird, then I guess it's my bad.
One more thing: although we're off to a slower start than we anticipated, our comic Space Monkeys! is still in motion. We had a comic that went up late last week that I neglected to mention. I still love those monkeys.