Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Woes and Perks

So today was my UI appointment. I trudged downtown and found myself in line as soon as I got off the elevator. Most people were busy filling out the forms that we had received in the mail, and I narrowly avoided being the receiving end some big-time fury when I accidentally nudged the woman behind me with my bag. So I whirled around and said in my most polite Canadian "Oh, I'm so sorry"! Hashem was with me, because her glare softened ever so slightly, and that was that.

It turns out that in New York, they do a combination of what they do in the South. On one occasion when I was living in the northern part of the state, they had me attend a group session, but then when I moved to the southern part of the same state, I had an individual appointment. Well today, first we had a group session, which consisted of instructions on how to complete our forms, and then we met individually for an interview with a Benefits Associate. The group session was not bad, simply boring. My enemy of a few moments before actually wound up sitting at my right, and we became friendly amidst the boredom of waiting for one of the 15 available Associates to fetch us for our one-on-one interviews. Unfortunately, it seems that of the 15 associates, 13 were on perennial smoke break, so between that and the fact that 2 group sessions were being conducted concurrently, it wound up being only the gentleman who handled our group session who came to fetch a lucky few for one-on-ones.

B'H', I was one of the lucky few. He was an affable individual, and actually very encouraging. Plus, I appreciated that when he asked me where I had been interviewing and I took out my job search spreadsheet, he said "Wow, that's so organized!". For a yekki Virgo, that's a high compliment. :=) Anyhow, my appointment with UI wound up being unprecedented: relatively short (clocking in at an hour and a half) and surprisingly uneventful.

Since my birthday is this week and my husband's day off was today, we went to the Bronx Zoo. After two years of talking about it we finally made it! The only snafus were that there was no mention about the steep price of parking ($12? It's the BRONX!) on the zoo's website, and we arrived at the standard time for anyone in my husband's family- late aka 2 hours before closing. So it was a bit of a mad dash. I think our favourite animals for this zoo (aside from the tiger, which if you know me, you could predict I would love), were the anteloupes and the giraffes.

Despite the zoo being incredibly relaxing though- you are immersed in nature as you walk in hilly woods with gurgling brooks and beautiful lakes- I was oh so slightly disappointed by the outing. Maybe after two years of anticipation, disappointment was inevitable, because that's a lot of anticipation. But I found the exhibits to be nothing special. I loved seeing the animals, but even the animals were blah in demeanour. Almost every last one of them (and there was only one animal for many of the exhibits) were at the back of their enclosures, if they were out at all. The giraffes however were a notable exception on both counts. The mama giraffe came right up to the front of her enclosure and ate from a bush a foot away from the crowd of enraptured onlookers. That definitely made the trip worthwhile! I just wish I could've seen a bit better overall, not to mention see both the species who were MIA and more interaction amongst the animals, i.e. two or more per species. But hey, at least I went to the Bronx Zoo finally. And with my husband no less.

In short, a pretty good day (B'H')!

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