Monday, July 14, 2014

in the South

We went to San Diego primarily to see B's sister, who's been ailing - but who is, thankfully, both surviving and cheerful. That made it a rather hermetic trip and there wasn't much else done, but we did get out for a couple of things.

1. We saw Geeks! the musical, which is set at ComicCon and plays through it to the middle of next month. We knew we were in for a low-rent job when we could hardly find the theatre, tucked behind a dry cleaner, and when the doors didn't open until the supposed showtime. On the other hand, the show then got started in ten minutes, which you can do in a 60-seat theatre on a slow Thursday when it's only half-full.

Cast quality was mixed - it's not good when your worst singer, not even ready for a high-school show, is the male romantic lead - but the music was lively and the plot and script very clever, with references to lots of media favorites, including Buffy and, yes, Tolkien ("Have you ever actually read him?" "No, but I saw the movies"), and a whole song in which one enthusiast tries to teach the rest of the characters the sequence of Doctors Who. B liked a couple of the performers and the song in which the two female characters extolled female heroes, but she was otherwise underwhelmed, either wincing (at the bad singing, or the in-your-face depictions of sexuality) or holding her ears (the recorded keyboard accompaniment was too loud). I was more tickled by the script and pleased by the acting, which was better than the singing.

2. The Safari Park, out near Escondido, which is no longer merely the tram-ride through imitation savannah that it was when we last visited some 23 years ago, but now incorporates a full zoo as well, almost though not quite as large as the mother ship in Balboa Park and considerably less steep in terrain. Like the mother ship, it has three walk-through aviaries, which are my favorite kind of exhibit in zoos. Here, one of the aviaries is devoted purely to lorikeets. You can bring in nectar to feed the lorikeets, and then they'll sit on your shoulder and poop down onto your foot. But they're great to see. And the staged bird show - at an amphitheater nearby - is fabulous, much more fun than the cheetah run, for which you have to grab a space 45 minutes in advance if you hope to see anything, and which is then over in literally five seconds, a 540 to 1 ratio in time expenditure. Throughout the zoo, many fabulous animals you've never heard of, or at least I haven't: my memory dredges up some of the names as the Hydrox, the Blobel (that can't be right), and the Gerund.

It was a hot summer day, and the lions were living up, or down, to their name by lyin' around. So were the meerkats (that's one meerkat and three reflections). On the other hand, we followed around with fascination the adventures in the lagoon of the mother duck and the two tiny newborn ducklings, so cute.

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