Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Friday, October 22, 2004

Jan Brett, Jillion-Legged Arthropods, and Jet Fighters

Jan Brett is a wonderful author and artist who creates children's books with the most amazing and intricately detailed illustrations.

She surrounds her pictures with borders containing still more pictures that add elements to the story that are not verbalized and provide clues to what's coming next. The illustrations are so detailed that it is possible to read one of her stories many times and to come away each time with something previously unnoticed.

Steven has wished to meet her since he was in kindergarten, and we had the opportunity on Saturday to attend a book signing event where Steven and Sean got to see her in person.

After we left the book signing, it was time for a reptile show where all sorts of reptile breeders get to show off their exotic creatures. The highlight of the show for us was when a very large iguana (probably 20 lbs or so), who had been patiently allowing passers-by to inspect him at close range and pet him, suddenly leapt off the table and made a run for it. The floor was polished concrete and the poor lizard couldn't get a decent foothold, meanwhile, mass panic ensued among the passers-by, some were actually screaming as they tried to escape the bloodthirsty iguana they'd been petting just moments before.

As it turned out, the poor iguana really wasn't bloodthirsty at all, he was just tired of being inspected and was ready to go somewhere else. It would have made a great photo, but it seems we never have our camera on hand for those really great moments.

I'm not sure how it ever happened, but we are a reptile sort of family now, being the owners of a California king snake and two bearded dragons. And after last Saturday's show, we now have an arthropod in the family, an African Giant millipede with about a jillion legs, give or take a few zillion. Her name is Sabrina, she's something like 8 inches long, and you won't find me holding her anytime soon.

On Sunday we attended the annual Miramar Marine Corps Air Station's air show, where we got to see firsthand some of the cool stuff we've been buying with billions of our tax dollars.

One of our favorites is the Harrier, which looks like a regular jet fighter until it stops dead in midair, and hovers, motionless, then slowly lowers itself vertically to the ground.

The show was capped off by the incomparable Blue Angels, who fly their jet fighters mere inches away from one another as they perform death-defying acts in perfect synchronization.

This weekend Doug and the boys are off on their annual Indian Guide foray to Catalina Island. This is Steven's favorite Indian Guide campout, he missed it last year during radiation in Memphis.

As I was packing them into the SUV of another Indian Guide family, I asked them if they were going to have fun. Steven, Sean, and the other two boys all screamed, "Yes!". As they were driving off, I could hear one of the boys yelling, "OK, now, everybody burp!".

Here's to hoping they have the time of their lives and get all the burping out of their systems before they come home on Sunday...

- Kathleen


Blogger Sleeping Beauty said...

Oh, how cool!!!! i was eating salad while reading your post and when I saw that million leg thing it just creeped me out. I think I'm going to have nightmares.... lol

October 23, 2004 8:50 AM  

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