oh panda my panda
tommy, charles and i hit up the butterstick exhibit today, and boy howdy, it was great. not that i'd have expected anything else. we had to wait in line for about ten minutes, and there was palpable tension between the 12:20 group (us) and the 12:30 group when it seemed apparently that some from the later group might try to sneak ahead of us devotees who DESERVED TO BE FIRST. i thought a panda riot might break out.
anywhere, when we got in the viewing room, butterstick had apparently ensconced himself behind a rock, impossible to even get a glimpse of, and the guide told us to wait for a few minutes for he would surely come out. my heart sank when nothing happened, because i definitely thought the zoo would shrug and say, tough shit, panda lovers, you'll have to come back another time because we are sure not as hell going to disturb our goldmine of panda fur from his beauty rest. but they did! yay! a zoo worker came in, scooped up butterstick and brought him to the front of the glass for a walk-by viewing. the collective "OOOOHHHH" that escaped from everybody's mouths, from the 3-year-olds to the grandpas, was truly adorable. i told tommy that if only we'd send baby pandas to iraq, everything would be hunky dory there in a few days. then the zoo worker placed him on a rock where he rolled about and collapsed his head in his paws, like, "holy CHRIST, these people, with the camera flashing, do they EVER FUCKING STOP?" then he rolled himself off the rock into a pile of hay and went to hide behind a different corner. butterstick was sleepy. we all went to the panda video monitor station and watched him on the tv as he tried to find a comfy position to nap in. he was beyootiful. then i went and bought a butterstick magnet from the shop, though i could have had my choice of 32 billion iterations of the stuffed panda. not to mention butterstick xmas cards. too bad i already bought mine.
after the panda viewing tommy and i went a little crazy and visited the great apes, the small animals and the reptiles, along with the bonkers toddler elephant who spent the entire afternoon maniacally playing with a hollow metal ball chained to the wall. guess things get lonely when you're not the adored baby panda. aw.
UPDATE: unrelated, sort of, but the flickrblog pointed me towards these amazing monkey photos - go here, enter the site, and click on the monkey photo. go through them all - they're really profoundly strange and beautiful.