When you’re old and married with a kid like I am, it’s very important to spend quality date time with your husband so that the two of you don’t end up sitting on the couch in your sweats watching tv every night (five nights a week is enough for that). Between work (especially as we are on opposite schedules) and life and parenting it can be difficult, but lucky for us, my daughter spends three nights a week at her father’s house, giving us plenty of opportunities to go out and have Date Night.
Our most recent Date Night was actually a Date Afternoon. Last Sunday Taylor and I crossed the bridge to go check out the Ravishing Beasts taxidermy exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver. It runs until February 28th so if you live here you should definitely take the time to go check it out; admission is only eleven dollars (cheaper than a movie!) and the exhibit itself is amazing.
“No animals were killed for this exhibition. They were already dead.”
This dog was at the bottom of a glass case and when I bent down to look at his dog face I almost burst into tears, he looks so sad.
I loved this piece; the picture really doesn’t do it justice. It was in a really dim area and all the reflections on the dark plexiglass look strange. It’s a kind of large-scale diorama of a coyote- you can’t see it but at the bottom there are rocks and fake plants and resin poured to look like a little stream.
This little fellow was from the same section.
There are tons of other displays, including the sad old lion from A Night at the Museum, a huge rhinoceros head and an even huger moose, some intensely creepy bears, horrible specimens preserved in jars of alcohol, an entire wall of mounted antlered/horned heads, a passenger pigeon, and a great horned owl with a wonky eye that made him look like my fat cat Claire. Most of the pieces are really old (the earliest is a swan from 1896) and rife with arsenic so you can’t touch them, but there was one mounted deer head that you were allowed to touch and it definitely made me feel very uncomfortable to do so.
We also checked out the permanent exhibit, which is a history of Vancouver from the mid-nineteenth century up until the 1960s. Here I’m pointing out our house on a map from the 1890s.
I’ll start by saying that originally this blog was going to be called The Starlight Life. Why The Starlight Life? “Life” is obviously because it’s going to be about me and my life, and I got “Starlight” from the name of my business, Starlight Family Childcare.
I chose Starlight for my child care in August of 2006, after months and months of agonizing over the name. I wanted something a little cute, a little whimsical, but I didn’t want to go the Fuzzy Bunny Cuddle Buggy Kozy Kiddie Korral route. At the time I was working at a clothing store with a lovely girl named Amanda, and she suggested I chose a name from something from my own childhood, like a cartoon or a favorite toy. The first thing that sprang into my head was Jem and the Holograms, and Jerrica Benton’s record label (Starlight Music) and foster home for girls (Starlight House). Perfect, I thought, Starlight it is.
Fast forward to November 2009. I was trying to name a blog and having all the same trouble I did back in 2006. I mentioned my “Starlight” idea to my husband and he gave me a horrified look. “Well then, you think of something,” I said.
All his ideas were pretty silly, culminating in his pièce de résistance: “Giraffe Jetpack.” His logic was that he thinks I’m awesome, and he thinks jetpacks are awesome, so therefore jetpacks are representative of me. I’m not sure what the giraffe was about, but my reply to “Giraffe Jetpack” was “Unicorn Parade!” So did I run to the computer and register that name? No, I did not. A few hours later I decided to just go with my original idea of The Starlight Life, but when I tried to register it WordPress told me my email was already in use. That’s odd, I thought, I don’t have a blog yet. I did a password retrieval and when I opened my gmail there it was.
I logged in and looked over the profile information. It was definitely mine, created in February of this year. How mysterious! So why did I create this blog and then immediately forget about it? What was I going to post here? How did I come up with the name and what was the meaning behind it? I had no idea, but I thought it was too serendipitous to just abandon. So there you have it. Unicorn Parade.