Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life Is A Highway

If there’s one thing I really like to do, it’s drive on the highway. I should probably clarify. I enjoy driving on the highway when there’s not a lot of other traffic, traffic jams and construction. Living in Chicago, that doesn’t happen often, but late at night and sometimes on the weekends it can be accomplished. I’m not a speeder, but there is something very soothing to me about going about 60 without having to stop and just cranking up the radio until you can feeling the beats pulsing through your body.

I must say, I’m really enjoying doing this is our slightly used/new-to-us Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. That ride is sweet! And the stereo, well, lets just say it does Bon Jovi proud and my ears are still ringing from my trip today, which is somewhat of a miracle because I thought for sure they had fallen off from frostbite somewhere near the alligator swamp.

As many of you know, I have been in the house for months. Not even "the house", I’ve been held hostage in my bedroom because I can’t seem to sit on any of my existing furniture since my back surgery. I’m a far cry from The Rock Chick prior to the herniatied disc. I’ve become freaking Goldilocks.

This chair is too hard. That one is too soft. I can’t sit on any of my dining room chairs, nor any of my couches. The only thing that is “just right” is my Tempurpedic foam mattress. (Seriously, if you don’t have one of those, get one!)

In a last ditch effort to maintain my sanity, I decided to seek out the advice of the only creatures I felt could honestly help me...bears, of course. Doctors seem useless at this point. In desperation, I, totally not a winter person, bundled up, got on the highway and shuffled through the zoo in search of the bear with the “just right” everything to see if he would loan me his chair. I wouldn’t have turned down his porridge if he offered it to me, either. It was 23 degrees while I was headed to the zoo. Balmy compared to the -23 degree temperatures we’ve been experiencing, but whether I’m Goldilocks or The Rock Chick, that is “too cold”.

Slipping on sleet, shivering through my layers of clothing and wiping my drippy nose, I found two polar bears who wouldn’t even talk to me. The one looked up at me and went back to knocking some old box around the exhibit. Bitch.

There were no other bears in sight and I know when I’m not wanted, so I headed over to one of my favorite places in the whole world to cheer (and warm!) myself up. The Western Lowland Gorilla Exhibit at Brookfield Zoo.

If you’ve never been, you are missing out. The gorillas reside in the Tropic House along with many other types of primates, including one of my other favorites, the orangutan. Brookfield Zoo, located right outside the city of Chicago is an amazing place and has gained international recognition for using moats and ditches instead of cages to separate the people from the animals.

One of the places you can get the closest to the animals is in the Gorilla Exhibit. Surprisingly to me, they completely ignore the people there gawking at them. Sometimes, they will look at you, but most of the time, they just rest on branches and scratch themselves. This exhibit made world wide news about ten years ago when a three year old boy fell into the exhibit. He was knocked unconscious and a female gorilla named Binti, with her baby on her back, cradled the child and picked him up and took him to the handler’s door where the trainers could retrieve him.

Even though sometimes the gorillas are just resting on branches, I love to watch them. I love how they interact with each other, how they play, how they care for each other and I especially love to watch the mothers with their babies.

I also fancy myself a gorilla photographer. Well, that’s my dream, anyway. In reality, I’m really more of a gorilla ass photographer because they always seem to move just as I’m shooting. They do this on purpose, I know it.

I did get a couple of good shots, though. This is Binti, the hero gorilla, with her three year old child.

This poor guy looks like he had a rough night.

Either that or he’s wishing we’d all get the heck out of his house, I don’t know.

One things for sure, I was happier than heck to get out of my house. Last year was a rough road to travel. I promised myself that this year, no matter what, would be better. I would make it better.

This year, I won’t allow time to slip by me without doing things that I enjoy, come hell or high water, heat waves or sub-zero temperatures.

Sometimes things will be too soft and sometimes they will be so hard that I wonder how I will pound through, but regardless, I’m going to keep pushing until everything this year is "just right".

Life is a highway and I want to ride it all night long!!!


This Eclectic Life said...

Ah, sweet! I like that attitude. Mind if I borrow it? Last year was a b**** at my house, too. I need an attitude like that. I'll remind you, if you remind me, OK?

I'm glad you found the gorillas. I like them better than bears anyway. You didn't show us any of your gorilla ass photos? How do we know whether to believe you?
Binti is my hero.

The Rock Chick said...

YOu may borrow anything of mine that you like!!

After all this time, I need to prove things I write here in my blog??? Ok, well, I guess it would be an interesting post. The Best of My Gorilla Ass Photos...

I'll see what I can do ;)

A. Jannelle said...

Try a zero gravity chair. I love mine and it is about the only thing I can sit in at my house. My local sports store had them much cheaper than they are in online stores.

The Rock Chick said...

A. Janelle, I've heard of those chairs but have never tried one. We have several sports stores near my house. I'm going to test one out! Thanks for the info!

Dustin said...

You know, I really like primates too! There just something about them that makes them fascinating. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy your time out!