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Birth Week 2017, Day Two: Wolf Haven -- but first . . . - The Literary Exhibitionist
Birth Week 2017, Day Two: Wolf Haven -- but first . . .

Sheesh, can't organizers plan these major marches a little further apart? We just had the Tax March last weekend! And much as I'd like to, I can't go to them all. Although I still went to this one, sort of. We didn't actually march, but we walked through and by the rally, which netted me 16 photos -- all of which you can see by clicking the above image of the rally, at Cal Anderson Park. I guess the plan was to march all the way down Pine Street from there to 4th Avenue and then through Belltown on 4th up to Seattle Center. All these different marches are taking different routes.

But Shobhit and I had more important things to do -- like get to the clearance sale at the American Apparel on Broadway, which was now selling everything they had left at 90% off. "Everything" is a word I use loosely. Anyway, they opened at 10:00 a.m., which was also the time the rally was scheduled to begin. At just about any other time -- as in, not during my Birth Week -- I would have gone and participated. But for this, since Cal Anderson Park is literally three blocks from our place and also right in the middle of the walking route to American Apparel, we walked through the park and I took several pictures.

American Apparel appeared to have only 10% of their inventory left. We should have gone in there four days ago when I saw the signs saying 80% off, but then I spaced it. Oh well: we still got a few things at incredible prices. I've had a solid blue Levi's T-shirt for years that I've needed to get rid of because of a barely noticeable stain of some kind on the back, but wouldn't throw out until I got a replacement. And we found a medium sized blue T-shirt! Regular price $24, 90% off. Shobhit found three other, larger T-shirts for himself. They were also selling off their hangers, 20 for $5, but now on sale for a dollar. When I looked at the receipt once I purchased everything for less than ten bucks, it said "You saved $72." If that's not worth blowing off the March for Science, I don't know what is! (Okay I'm kidding. Sort of.)

From there we walked down Broadway to the Bartell Drugs on Pike and Broadway so I could pick up something related to a little something Ivan is going to get for his birthday (which you may recall is the same day as mine). We then walked back to Pine so I could get a few more photos of the rally, which had not yet embarked on the march. It was much more crowded now, and that was when I got the above shot of the crowd gathered inside Bobby Morris Playfield. I probably could have gotten some great shots of the actual march, but we had other plans.

I did see something while we were in the area of the rally that gave me an idea, though. When we were walking down Broadway, I noticed volunteers in orange vests picking up litter with their extended trash grabbers that prevent them from having to bend over to pick up crap. Hmm, maybe I should do that at one of these events sometime? I fully support these events and I also hate later and love Seattle and want to keep it pleasant. I may look into that. Especially if I get to use one of those fun trash grabber things. Maybe I'll demand it. "I'm not doing shit unless I get a trash picker!"


We were back home for less than an hour before we needed to leave again -- although just long enough for me to edit and upload the 16 photos from the March for Science rally. We then packed up our snacks and a few other things for our 90-minute drive that went through Olympia and on down to Tenino (pronounced "to nine oh," as I had to inform Shobhit), where Wolf Haven is located. I was hoping maybe I would see the March for Science actually underway from the car, but going down Madison to the freeway, we were always just a couple blocks too far for me to see anything.

We used GPS to get there, as always, and because it's a zoo-like animal facility (a sanctuary rather than a zoo, for which there is a pretty big distinction), I guess the Maps app uses the same little icon for all of them: a little silhouette of an elephant. That cracked me up, since this place has only wolves. But you know, wolves, elephants -- close enough!

Shauna brought her friend Linda from where she works, seen at far right in the above photo. That gray wolf statue is right outside the gift shop. It's not as obvious in the above photo as it is in the photo I took with it by myself while we were waiting for them to arrive, how that wolf and I have exactly the same hair color.


I keep going back and forth as to whether to color my hair again. I was especially averse to doing so for my 40th year, for two reasons: the biggest (and probably dumbest) reason was that it was too cliché to color my hair for my 40th birthday. The other reason is that after a few years of it not happening much, I get regularly complimented on it again. The shade of gray I have now is something that actually looks good. Shobhit still prefers blond but I would never change my hair color just to please him. Other people seem to like it. Even yesterday, when we stopped at Costco on our way home, as we were leaving the store the young black lady who was checking our receipt smiled at me, gestured around her face and said, "Beautiful!" I took that to mean she liked my entire look (hair combined with eye makeup), just like that other guy on the street last month. But, I also like variety. So I may do highlights with foils when I get my hair done next Sunday. We'll see.

Anyway! We all got tickets for the last of four timed entry guided tours of Wolf Haven, at 2:30. Shauna and I made plans to aim for meeting there at 2:00. Shobhit and I made incredibly perfect timing -- leaving at 12:15 just to give an extra buffer in case traffic should slow us down; stopping at the Costco in Tumwater to pee; and arriving at Wolf Haven at 2:00 on the dot. Shauna and Linda took another half hour to arrive, apparently because after starting in Lynnwood and getting on the express lanes, ironically the express lanes had the heaviest traffic and it slowed them down at the beginning of their drive. I suspect they still did not time their departure as carefully as we did, but whatever. They still made it on time, barely.

It didn't give us much time for actual visiting -- this was the first time I hung out with Shauna since Shobhit has moved back and ended any need for Shauna to take me grocery shopping, so I had not even seen her since December 4. They had other plans when we were done at Wolf Haven, and so she wants to get together for drinks soon too.

It was still fun to have her with us at Wolf Haven, though. You can click either of the wolf pictures above for the full photo set on Flickr -- although at present I don't have any of yesterday's photos captioned. Hopefully I will soon. The statue is the closest thing to a close-up shot I got of any of the wolves, although I still got a few pretty good shots of the other ones -- maybe four enclosures, each with two wolves in them, that were on our guided tour. I brought my umbrella and we did put it to use a few times, but it only rained occasionally and never hard. Shauna and Linda both seemed fine in their hooded rain jackets.

I know I had been to Wolf Haven at least once before, but it was when I was a kid, so it was probably in the late eighties. I asked the tour guide how long Wolf Haven has existed, and she said they opened in 1982. They house a whole lot more animals than the ones we saw on the tour, which were apparently the only ones that aren't so skittish they completely disappear when people come around. And even these guys kept their distance, with one exception. The tour guide said another had come to the fence during an earlier tour, but they were napping now. It was all amusingly like the plot of Jurassic Park at the beginning, actually: a large gate opening up to start the tour, Linda even commenting then how it felt like Jurassic Park (I almost said, "What have they got in there, King Kong?" but I refrained). And then, also like Jurassic Park, the first enclosure on the tour had no visible animals. I guess I should take that back -- if you walked to one tiny spot by the end of the fence, you could see a tuft of fur in the back of the enclosure.

The second enclosure's two wolves were both visible, but again pretty far back; I got a semi-decent shot using my zoom. The third enclosure had red wolves, and they remained surprisingly visible for a few moments before this mama and her cubs skittered to a little shed in the back. The fourth enclosure had the only one with a wolf actually walking along the fence, so I got several shots of that one. And then there was an enclosure of coyotes, which they use to draw distinctions between them and wolves, which are their natural predators because wolves are so much bigger. I guess coyotes also have larger ears relative to their heads. Also, wolves are afraid of people and are exclusively carnivores; coyotes "have no such fear" and are omnivores. One of the more memorable things our tour guide said was about coyotes: "Coyotes are survivalists, they will eat anything. They'll eat french fries, or ... your cat." Not my cat, they won't! Unless a coyote manages to get through four different doors in the secure building I live in.

When the tour was over, the four of us took a little walk over to the huge wolf graveyard they have there -- I guess they've housed over 200 wolves over the past three and a half decades. Shauna and Linda went back to the gift shop while Shobhit and I took a quick jaunt across the prairies to the "Grandfather Tree," which was very cool and I got some nice photos. We got back to the gift shop again just before they closed at 4:00. I bought a Wolf Haven calendar, having not had a calendar on my bedroom wall the past four months and now it was on sale for only five bucks. I knew Shauna would like one of the children's books they were selling, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, and after I pointed it out to her, she wound up buying herself a copy of that.

Then we parted ways, and Shobhit and I drove back home, doing our requisite shopping along the way since I got paid on Friday: Costco first, then over to the Columbia City PCC since it was closer on our way. We got home and put all the stuff away, made a quick dinner, and then we settled in with Ivan in the living room to watch my library DVD copy of Death Becomes Her, which I had been very surprised to hear a few weeks ago he had never seen. And indeed, of all the movies I have introduced him to, he laughed at that one the most. I've never seen him laugh so much at a movie, actually. It still wasn't excessive, mind you. He just doesn't often really crack up, and he did several times at this. He had also expressed interest in this show playing on Hulu called Harlots, and so we watched two episodes of that after the movie. I asked Ivan if he was going to watch more of them, and I guess he wasn't overly impressed: "Probably not." I was, though, and intend to keep watching. Shobhit likened it to Deadwood, which was an apropos comparison -- it's just that this time the setting is London in the eighteenth century rather than America in the 19th, and the sex workers are the main characters instead of supporting ones. And a shift of focus onto the women is always something I like.

Then it was past 11:00, though, and I still needed to edit and upload the Wolf Haven photos before going to bed. Then I got up this morning, wrote this entry, and now I need to get in the shower so I can be ready in time to meet Dad and Sherri down at MOHAI when that place opens at 10 a.m.


positive energy please