January 19th – “Don’t you dare stay home. Get dressed and get out there.”

Last night, I went out into the world and explored the city science museum. It was packed because on Thursday nights the museum has comedy shows, food, and lots of booze.

The museum was filled with the usual natural history stuff (or taxidermy animals), live and dead sea creatures, a mini rainforest dome, gems and mineral, and a planetarium with a show narrated by George Takei. His voice is very soothing and he enunciates very well!

One of the highlights of the live exhibits is Claude, the albino alligator. When we visited him in what looked like a 20 x 20 feet tank, he was laying on a giant slab in the middle of the artificial swamp.  Claude was surrounded on all sides by people gazing at him as music blasted on speakers. I was tempted to take a picture of him, but I didn’t. It didn’t feel right. I don’t know how long Claude had been living there, but he turned 21 last September.

I have mixed feelings about museums, especially those with live/dead animals in them. Part of me appreciates the ability to see such wondrous creatures in my own convenience and comfort. The other part of me has strong sense of empathy for these collected animals, destined to live out their lives in captivity.

I expressed my uneasiness to my friend, “I feel bad for the guy. He can’t even get a quiet night alone!”

“He would die out in the wild. Here, he gets fed and gets to live,” he argued.

I replied, “I would rather be free and dead than live this kind of life!”

It was good to know that I still have some fight left in me.

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