Saturday, February 6, 2010

Turns Out, Five-and-a-Half Months Is "The Age of Aquarium"*

*Oh: It's Age of Aquarius? OK, whatever ... I've got half a pun there and I'm sticking with it.

NJ had a delightful time today at the Seattle Aquarium. She laughed a bit and cooed a lot, smiled a bunch and drooled a gallon. She loved the indoor exhibits -- exotic fish swimming in front of wildly colorful coral reefs, and there was a column of bubbles lit by fluorescent light that she absolutely adored.

(Trust me -- the digital flash does not do this column of lit bubbles justice. It was pink with hot-pink bubbles.)

(And, seriously: Look at her in that hat and pea coat! Who's cuter than that? No one! Who could even be cuter than that? Maybe two, three people, ever, in all of human history -- tops. Perhaps Cleopatra as a child; there's no photographic evidence, but ... maybe. Bottom line: Cute as all get-out.)

NJ also enjoyed the outdoor exhibits, the seals and otters. Slightly less, though, because the bright lighting of the indoor aquariums are more engaging (to an almost six-month-0ld, I assume) than the outdoor venues that house the mammals and birds. Also, she sees Willie the Lab at home, and he is a dead ringer for a seal and/or an otter. So: Been there, done that.

NJ was in good shape after checking out the entire aquarium, so we went across the street to a big antique store. Dad Solo was hoping he might find something the last time he was there, four years ago -- a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt that would look awesome on his office wall, next to portraits of Babe Ruth, T-Bone Walker, Thelonious Monk, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, Muddy Waters and several other great Americans. Of course, FDR -- our greatest president -- would have made a fine, worthy addition. Sadly, the portrait was gone; I just hope a patriotic American bought it instead of some loony Teabagger hell-bent on using it to make some sort of sick, twisted, misguided fascist/socialist/communist comparison. After all, FDR saved our bacon in the 20th century more than any other American, even Elvis Presley. It's a shame how some people are trashing his memory: NJ will know him as a hero, not as anything resembling the dishonest caricature that a small, uninformed minority are portraying him now. (Our Lab, Willie, is a fan,too -- "I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog" rings true to any self-respecting canine.)

NJ was an angel throughout our antique store prowl, but once we got home she was extremely reluctant to take her afternoon nap. The Wife has had trouble putting her down for naps lately, but I think there might have been something else going on: All the talk of aquatic life got her riled up. Lately she's developed a crush on a completely different fish than the sort you'll find at your more respectable aquariums. I think she was pining away for Fred, who hangs over our kitchen doorway. Whenever NJ is in the kitchen, she can't take her eyes off this guy. He's something of a Svengali. Or Fishgali. Whatever. All I know is, when I'm in the kitchen busting my butt to entertain this kid, all she can do is stare up at this ceramic fish. I mean, really: All that thing does is hang there, looking exactly the same, 24/7.

Oh, not that I'm bitter. Any friend of NJ's is a friend of mine.

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