sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-08-28 11:10 pm

When you look down and see that you were playing upon the greatest oceanic truth

My niece loved the sharks and rays at the New England Aquarium. Every time a cownose ray slid under her hand with its silt-soft fluttering wings, she let out a shout of delight. She also enjoyed the tidepool touch tank where she held a starfish and listened for nearly twenty minutes to a presentation about penguins, which was considerably more attention for an adult talking than either my mother or I had expected. She seemed indifferent to the lionfish, but loved the harbor seals doubling like dappled pewter between the rocks; ran around two turns of the giant ocean tank to follow a sea turtle, but was really enraptured by an exhibit of yellow garden eels swaying like seagrass in the sand. She wanted me to sign with my fingers to the cuttlefish, but I explained that I was not going to insult a total stranger just so that it would change color. We will probably go back for the special exhibit on sharks: she had worn her shark T-shirt special, but after nearly three hours we ran out of time and had to return her to her parents, which was fine because she had run around happily looking at other pieces of ocean instead. I took some pictures, of which my favorite is the accidental blurred reflection in which she appears mer-like. I got her a small green glass sea turtle which she is still too young to play with, but I told her it was a Glixman sea turtle. The Glixman turtles were invented by my mother in a set of stories she would tell her siblings in the '50's and '60's: because they moved so often, California, Arizona, Mississippi, New Jersey, Kansas, Oklahoma, I may have left a state out, they had to carry their homes with them. At least one of the written stories survived into my childhood. I remember the turtles were very fond, like Paddington with marmalade, of Spanish rice. So far my niece's life appears much more stationary, but I think it's still a good tradition to have access to. She associates it besides with the baby sea turtle rescued by Moana when she passes the sea's test. The toy she got to play with was a blinky translucent blue rubber shark, about which she announced to strangers as we left the aquarium, "I love my shark!"

(She wanted to listen to the soundtrack for Moana (2016) all the way to the aquarium and back, which posed occasional problems when we had to put the songs on hold in order to navigate Boston. I explained this was urban wayfinding, but I think she was unconvinced. At the moment her idea of "How Far I'll Go" mostly consists of shouting on the long notes, but she appears to be making a commendable effort to learn the Samoan and Tokelauan as well as the English of "We Know the Way" and I would love for her to succeed. Sure, right now it's phonetic, but so was Yiddish for me when I was a child.)

In other news, the last forty-eight hours are evidently some kind of jackpot of butch women, since tonight on the 87 I saw a woman who looked like Burn Gorman as Hermann Gottlieb in Pacific Rim (2013). Minus the parka, but she had the plaid, the tight cheekbones, the lean mouth, the short russet hair, and the glasses on a string. The configuration of the bus was not such that I had an easy way to approach her and say anything, also she had her instrument case in front of her and few things in life are more awkward than peering around a stranger's cello (or, God forbid, double bass), but that is a thing that really happened. One writes these kinds of characters, but does not expect to encounter them on public transit. I hope she does cosplay. All she'd have to do is show up.

umadoshi: close-up of a sea turtle's face (sea turtle 02 (furriboots))

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-08-30 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
The whole aquarium visit sounds so wonderful. *^^* Hooray!

I wonder if that's the aquarium that was probably my first-ever--when I was little there weren't direct flights from Halifax to Newark, so my mom and I used to have stopovers in Boston, and at least a couple of times the stops were long enough that she took me to the aquarium before our connecting flight. (Assuming I'm remembering correctly! I was Very Small.)
umadoshi: (sea turtle 01 (totaldevotion))

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-08-31 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Do you remember anything about the exhibits or the aquarium itself?

Very, very little other than impressions too vague to try to describe. The only thing I remember at all clearly is that there was a sort of...petting-zoo kind of tank, probably pretty low down so kids could reach it, and that I held a starfish.
umadoshi: (ocean 01)

[personal profile] umadoshi 2017-08-31 12:22 pm (UTC)(link)
The actual name is much cooler than "petting-zoo kind of tank", I must say. ^_^