Non Birding Bill and I are going through our Holiday traditions. Yesterday we went to the Mall of America to watch all the men scramble last minute for gifts for mothers and wives. There weren't as many men as in past years. I really do hate going to the MOA, but NBB loves it, and since I'm not going for the purpose of shopping it wasn't so bad. Plus it helped that NBB brought along a flask of whiskey that I used to add flavor shots to my coffee.
I have to say one thing that I REALLY miss about working the bird store is helping all those lost men. Helping them select their gifts. We hung out in a few book stores and every time I meandered to the nature section I would run into someone trying to work their way through books as a gift. Before I could stop myself, I immediately went into retailer mode and helped give them books, "No, you don't want the Reader's Digest bird guide for a beginner. They live near Yosemite? Go with this either this Sibley Western Guide or better yet, check the bird store on the third floor of the Mall, sometimes they have a Birds of California book in stock."
"You grandson likes that fantasy owl series? This Owls of the World book that came out last year has tons of great photos and easy to read info. He should totally dig it."
"Okay, your mom likes nature books but you don't know what she has? Two new ones that are really popular right now are Letters from Eden or All Things Reconsidered."
After all that helping, we decided to try out the new sushi restaurant at the Mall called Tiger Sushi. Did I mention that I travel travel about with my boingy boingy santa hat (above)? I love this hat, it bounces with every step and you can't help but be in a good mood when wearing it. The crowd reaction is great too. I think that helped put people at ease when I was helping them select books.
We are in the process of watching the Star Wars Holiday special--nothing says Christmas like a bunch a wookies and Bea Arthur. Since NBB took me to the Mall yesterday, I'm taking him this evening to see all the short-eared owls hanging out at Carlos Avery. He gets to be the tipsy one this time.
Meanwhile, we're having a bit of a problem under the tree: