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Another Day in the Life

Yesterday I got up to no e-mail and no cellphone reception! Oh, horrors! How could I survive?
Good thing the kids and I had decided that on this day of our “Staycation,” we would go to the Aquarium. So without further ado or hair-pulling, we were off to Monterey, where they had both Internet access and cellphone reception. From Medieval to Modern, just across the bay.
We have a membership to the Aquarium (the only one we keep up from year to year and income bracket to income bracket!). So going there is seldom dependent on any particular exhibit or event. We just go.
When we got there, I was pleased to see that the Aquarium, at least, seems to be recession-proof. When I was being “bad Mommy” at the end of our visit, giving in to my kids’ craving for more stuff to leave on their floors, the cashier told me that indeed, they were doing well. “I’m glad it’s still going OK, because I need this job,” she told me. “My brother-in-law just lost his. They’ve got kids, a house. We might end up having to do the communal living thing.”
She pointed out that is something they should have considered before. Think how much money they’d have now!
We were halfway through our usual stops when I remembered the seahorses. Oh, yeah, new exhibit, gotta see it. It’s replaced my favorite old exhibit, the jellies, and it’s done a great job. Jellies are weird and alien. Seahorses are just weird. They are definitely of this Earth, but odder creatures it would be harder to find.
First of all, some of them look like horses wearing camouflage. They’re covered with leafy things that hide them among the kelp. Gorgeous and very strange.
I love how they wrap their tails around the seaweed to anchor themselves, and then, for apparently no reason they let go and drift to another location. That little fin on their back ripples and propels them at a sedate and very dignified pace.
They had a video of seahorse love, which was fascinating and beautiful. I thought at first that it was an animation, because it was so perfectly beautiful. But it was real: a male and a female doing a dance, linking tails, moving their heads in unison, then doing the belly bump for a brief instant.
In that instant, she deposits eggs in his belly, and he carries them and births them.
Now that’s equality!
There are gorgeous pictures and information on the website, so if you can’t make it to the Aquarium soon, take a look at least. I would recommend waiting. If the rest of the Aquarium was bustling for a Thursday afternoon, the seahorse exhibit was positively stifling. It was the first time in the Aquarium that I got concerned about pickpockets — people kept bumping into me, my purse got snagged on their backpack, their stroller bonked against my shins. It was a hushed, reverential madhouse in there.
We got back into our car (I had great parking karma: I’d snagged one of those 12 hour metered spots), and drove back into Medieval times. We stopped at my parents’ farm to take a look at the garden and chat with my mom, and there she was in her office, brow furrowed, cursing dial-up. Trying to do a job for a Japanese client on deadline without broadband. What’s a modern woman to do?
But the kids and I, unfettered by computers or cellphones, made our way back home. We played Take Four, an excellent game we got at the Educational Resource Center. It’s like Scrabble on fast-paced steroids. I plan to write a review of it on EduSource, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Will do.
I’m off to finish off our Staycation with a seder with friends. At Jewish holidays, I impersonate a Jewish mother. Our Jewish holidays, thus, have all the good stuff and anything that doesn’t work for me forgotten about. That’s one way to do it.

Posted in Homeschooling, Parenting.


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