better than a fly, I guess

My how summer's flying by. It's hard to believe my second summer gig is nearly over (not to mention my first, but more about that later). In fact, I finished the teaching assisting on Friday. This week I'll have one final meeting with each of my mentees in addition to checking out a final exhibition of their work on Friday. The mentoring proved to be more rewarding than the teaching assistant component, and I'll miss seeing what the adolescents are up to each week, but I have to admit, I'm looking forward to a much more relaxing August.

Last weekend I worked, but this weekend Neal and I enjoyed a visit from my bro' and his family. Despite rainy weather yesterday (and some mighty thunderstorms through the night) we managed an afternoon at the Pope John Paul park (one of my local favorites that I've blogged about before), followed by candlepin bowling at Dorchester's own Boston Bowl, and a trip to the Franklin Park Zoo today.

It's no San Diego Wild Animal Park, but the zoo was quite enjoyable and the niece and nephew seemed to enjoy it. The park itself is incredibly lush and green from summer rain and several of the animal exhibits are fairly clever. For example, the lion exhibit includes a safari-style vehicle parked halfway through the glass. You can sit in the driver's seat and watch the sleeping lion from a vantage point ever so slightly closer than behind the glass wall.

I always like watching the big cats, usually napping, but found myself equally mesmerized by these red beaked hornbills. Frisky little critters with very fluffy, fur-like feathers underneath their wings. The Butterfly Landing was another highlight. I learned that butterflies live a short, short life, only about two months (Monarch butterflies can live up to a couple weeks longer) from larvae to caterpillar to butterfly. Better than a fly, I guess.

We enjoyed a late lunch at local chain Bertucci's so we'll probably share a bowl of popcorn later and, if we can't come up with anything better, possibly tune in to Big Brother. I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to watch, and I'm not going out of my way to do so, but I'll admit I have caught a couple of episodes. So You Think You Can Dance is still my favorite summer reality t.v. fix. I was so pleased that America sent Dmitry home. So long to his freakishly hairless torso. I was a little sad to see Martha go - she's a great dancer, but, in the end, no match for the other four girls in the top ten. I was surprised Natalie was in the bottom two. It must be mostly girls doing the voting. At any rate, the top eight dancers are sick with a ph. Each week, it'll get more and more difficult to vote for my top guy and gal. I think Donyelle's my favorie all-around girl, although Allison's awfully good. As far as the guys go, Benji wins top all-around, for now at least, but I like Travis a lot, too. I guess we'll just have to see how long America and I agree.

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