I Like Turtles

As your average animal lover, there are few species that I don’t like.  I’m not a fan of bugs and when I was 2 years old a cat bit me in the face.  I’ve come around a lot but still have some trust issues with felines.  Also – I love going fishing, but really like to throw them back so they can reunite with their families.  I love cheese too much to be a viable PETA candidate and if the pet owner humane societies knew how much I liked to dress up my dog they would probably take her away from me.

When I was little we ran the gamut of random pets.  Goldfish, chicks, hamsters, a butterfly, hermit crabs – when we lived in Philadelphia we would dig for worms and keep them in the garage lovingly until they dried up.  When we lived in New Orleans we would catch frogs – many of whom met the same fate as the worms.  I would pretend the stray dogs who loitered around our house were mine.  That explains a lot, I know…  I had a bunny that I loved dearly who was killed by our exterminator.  I can’t count the number of therapy sessions which resulted from that one.

But you know what were really fun pets?  Turtles!  The experiences never ended well.  I think we had two and if my memory serves me correctly, they both escaped.  But I always thought they were fun to watch.  The way they could shoot back into their shell before you could blink an eye.  How slow they seemed but how fast they could go.  They couldn’t bite me in the face, they didn’t make much noise, so they were great listeners – the solid American turtle is underrated as every little girl’s best friend.

Yesterday, while on a beach walk with my mom, we took a detour down towards a bird sanctuary.  In the middle of the path there was a turtle in a hole.  My immediate reaction was to yell “of course you can call me Mommy! You’ll love your new sister Darcy!”  But I resisted so we could creep up and investigate what was happening.  The turtle was laying eggs!  It was so neat!  It was like watching a science experiment in real life.  And I never liked science – I just wanted to try and save the fetal pigs or bring the chicks from the incubator home with me.

I named her Bethany

I named her Beverly

We walked on to give her some birthing privacy.  I know if I was having babies I wouldn’t want two over curious women watching the process.  When we came back, she was covering up the hole.  Just with her feet.  Animal instinct is an amazing thing.  I do a lot better when people tell me how or when to do something – there was no one there with positive words of encouragement or providing direction.  She just knew.

Once we got home we Googled how long it would be until they hatched.  She left them in a hole right in the middle of the trail down the center of a bird sanctuary, so their chances of survival are questionable.  But my mom and I debated setting out beach chairs and getting some books or learning to knit with some vodka tonics while we were on turtle baby watch – if they can do it for the Princess, we can do it for a turtle.

Word to the wise – for the future – keep your eyes open.  Science is happening around us all the time!

And in closing – remember this kid?  I always felt like we had a connection, but I feel even closer to him now:

Cloudy with a Chance of Cabernet

It is gross out today.  Deep down, I always love a rainy day – but I can’t get away with describing the weather as “beautiful.”  I’m nowhere near as clever with as I am when I’m in my roof office with a glass of wine and the sun blazing down on me.  My brain works best when bronzing. So I struggled a little this afternoon with what to write about.

sunny

I finished training and started working on my own at my new job today.  It was very exciting and empowering to feel busy and responsible again.  And I had to be there super early.  I was in the studio by 5:18 AM.  So you can imagine that I was exhausted when I got home at 1:30 PM.  Darcy and I went for a quick walk, read the news, and took a nap.

When I woke up a couple of hours later, I was groggy and starving.  The weather had only gotten worse.  Which again was alright, every so often it’s nice to have a chilly rainy day.  As my plans were cancelled on account of no one wanting to leave their couch, I decided it was a night for one of my favorite meals… Pizza and wine.  I love making my own pizza, but the only ingredient I have in my fridge is mozzarella (your cheese drawer should always be fully stocked in order to ensure daily satisfaction) and food always tastes better when someone makes it for you and your kitchen remains in tact.

This should be the case across the tri-state area tonight

This should be the case across the tri-state area tonight

So I set out.  I distracted Darcy to the best of my ability (covered a lot of toys with a lot of peanut butter) and quietly sneaked downstairs (fun fact – ‘snuck’ is not really a word) and made my way outside.  Once I got there, I realized I didn’t have an umbrella, so I would have to make a run for it.  I jogged to the pizza place and got a couple of smiles and a head nod on the way there when I realized – these silly people who did remember their umbrellas just think I’m dedicated and going for a run – rain or shine.  My poor unassuming neighbors – having so much confidence in me. Little did they know I didn’t want to get wet and really just wanted my pizza faster.  I didn’t render the same approving looks as I jogged home with a pizza box.

Never start a meal with this much red without an anti-acid on hand

Never start a meal with this much red without an anti-acid on hand

Regardless – I was happy.  And technically I got some cardio in too! I got back to my apartment, was greeted by my very stressed out puppy, who had apparently realized I was missing, and took the next step towards dinner of letting my wine breathe.  It’s been a successful evening.  I’ve somehow written almost 500 words about my love of pizza and secret acceptance of rainy days, enjoyed some great wine, and even gave Darcy a little piece of pizza.  According to the internet it’s going to kill her but she seemed very pleased with the decision.

I hope everyone else’s rainy day was as cozy and comfortable as ours has become.

comf darc

FIFA and Their World Cup of Lies!

I love international soccer/football/futbol.  The World Cup is my favorite sporting event ever and I wish it happened regularly.  However, I think the charges against FIFA executives are hilarious and long over due.  For anyone who thought Qatar was granted the 2022 World Cup for reasons such as their extensive world wide fan base and vast array of tourist attractions and love of modern Western cultures…

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fifa

The Best Twitter Day Ever

This morning, I was laying on my couch, watching my bible, Today with KLG and Hoda.  They were showing submitted #twinning photos of mothers and daughters that were dressed the same or looked alike.  Precious.  Kath and Hoda then said they wanted to see photos of people who look like their dogs.  It is always hilarious when people look like animals.  I love that Progressive Insurance commercial when Flo says “I didn’t turn your daughter into a chicken – she just looks that way.”

I don’t think of myself as someone who necessarily looks like my dog – primarily because I have all of my feet and I’m far more than 12 pounds.  But I do love dressing the same.  And considering Hoda can appreciate a solid Saints fan I figured I would Tweet a photo at them and give it a shot.

To my elation, they saw it!

Both of them.  And the show.  AND the Saints.  Now – do they all have assistants managing their social media?  Probably.  Does Drew Brees closely monitor the Saints Twitter feed? Unlikely.  Will Matt Lauer now read my blog every night before he goes to bed? Ehhhhh…  But I have 3 new followers and 23 likes and 3 retweets and that many more people know how great my dog looks in a Saints jersey.

Check it out.  I was like an hour long Twitter sensation.  #BestTwitterDayEver

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The Smells of the Shore

I do my best thinking in the two places where it is most difficult to pen my thoughts: my shower and my car.  It’s unfortunate and typical but maybe explains why my entirely alone and uninterrupted thoughts are the best ones.  The problem, though is that as a result of my late in life ADD diagnosis and my outrageous imagination, I forget 90% of my best material.

The good news today is that the idea for this post followed me around all weekend.  Everywhere I went,  I was reminded about how much I love the smells of the shore.  Your sense of smell brings back some of your strongest memories as it is likely the first sense developed by the human body.  I’m not going to put together a bibliography for my research but you should be able to find my resources by typing in “smell and memories” and reviewing the initial headlines that pop up on Google. What I’m trying to say is if you were taken to the beach as a baby, it’s likely you will always have fond memories that flood your heart and soul the minute you walk into a beach house these days…

beach

My favorite smell of all time is sun screen.  Particularly Coppertone.  I still picture the pink bottle with the little girl in a bathing suite being chased by a dog behind her.  It was very much for babies and very much 80’s.  But I love the idea of it.  I remember the torture of having to put sunscreen on your face when you were little.  And the horrific idea that it might not have been perfectly rubbed in.  And then your teenage years when you’re far too good for sunscreen – you won’t burn – in fact, you want to burn.  And then eventually you become a real adult and realize it’s good to wear sunscreen because you really don’t want wrinkles or skin cancer and it is really a bother to be burned. I love sunscreen.  And I could smell it all day long.

The smell of the beach is incredible.  Particularly when you’re driving towards it with the windows down and you’re tired and have been sitting in traffic and all of the sudden you realize for the first time you’re within smelling distance of the bay and ocean.  And everything is okay again because you’re at the shore.  Work isn’t there – your messy room isn’t there – the drama with your ex isn’t there… It’s you, it’s a Corona and it’s the sounds and smell of the sand and the ocean and nothing can ruin that.

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The smell of beach houses.  Especially the showers.  I feel like beach houses just smell like happiness.  Save for the area where my brother and his friends are camped out, beach houses usually smell like a mix of sunshine and relaxation.  I wish Febreze would bottle a “Shore House” scent that I could spray on my couch in the city.  Or for others to spray in their cubical or cars for commuting.  When stepping into the shower at the beach the first thing you smell is sand that has been washed away and Happy Hour calling.  And the feeling of getting into the shower after a long day in the sun and washing off the sunscreen and beach breeze is just amazing.

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The shore is amazing to all senses.  I could listen to the crash of the ocean until it dried up.  I love to people watch on the beach.  The feeling of the sand between your toes or warm ocean water on your knees is magical.  I don’t really like to taste either of those… But being down the shore always seems to justify ice cream or cocktails – whichever suits you at that time.  I hope that for all of  you this is the beginning of a fabulous summer time that spikes joy out of all of your senses.

Small Miracles are All Around Us

Walking to training class today, I was thinking to myself about how Darcy was never going to graduate.  And how it’s a huge bummer because she is very good at home.  She listens like… maybe 70% of the time and she’s great at her commands.  But she won’t perform in class and they’re never going to believe me when I tell them she  listens.

However, when we got to class, a miracle happened.  Darcy sat on command.  She listened to her name.  She laid down while I stood up (since clearly we both had to lay down for learning purposes.) She stayed.  She attempted to heel.

Today – my little dog GRADUATED OBEDIENCE 1!!!

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When the instructor made the announcement I said “Stop! Are you serious?!  I never thought we would graduate!”  Demonstrating strong confidence in my dog’s abilities.

Mutual thrill level

Mutual thrill level

As a reward we bought a duck foot treat.  She didn’t put it down the whole walk home.

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Therapy Dog Certification – we’re so close!! Just a lot of more steps to go!

Napa Valley Extravaganza: Part 1

So far so good. The first day of this bachelorette wine adventure has gone with only a few glitches. After de-boarding the ultimate boring plane ride I had the opportunity to eat a fantastic bagel sandwich, nap and shower- so I was like a new woman once our journey to wine country began.

The ride wasn’t bad with the exception of a few casualties. The first of which was a black bird. He was flying along with his group of other black birds, innocent and unsuspecting, when he was whacked in the right side by a 2004 Honda Civic. It was a pretty traumatizing experience. My friend the bachelorette, who will be referred to from here on out as “Wonder Bread,” never saw it coming. Any other bird would have flown above the car, but this one flew into it. There were bird brains on the windshield. Talk about natural selection at work. 

 

sorry little buddy…

 

Her sister in the backseat witnessed the aftermath as the bird’s body ricocheted into the grassy vineyard besides us. We screamed a lot. But I guess Napa is a good place for things to end. Amongst the grapes…

Secondly, Wonder Bread forgot her wallet. Note to all readers- credit cards, cash and your license are vital pieces of your bachelorette weekend puzzle. Try your hardest to remember them when embarking on a weekend of binge drinking freedom. It wouldn’t hurt to have your insurance card too considering the amount of wine expected to be consumed. 

  

We had a lovely dinner and checked into our fantastic and spacious hotel. The concierge assured us there would be a bottle of wine in the room and was good enough to remedy the situation when we called immediately to say we had checked every nook and crevice but it was not here. Problem number three was the cork screw provided. It took four girls to figure out how to open one bottle of wine with this impossible cork screw. But don’t worry- we got there and everything was resolved in the end.

  

Tomorrow morning 6 more girls arrive and the fun continues… Stay tuned! 

Air Travel Excitment

I am so bored. So so so so so so bored. I’m currently on a flight from the east coast to the west coast and it is not exciting.
Eventually I decided I needed a drink. Being bored is better when buzzed. Someone should put that on my gravestone. Anyway- I got up the nerve- which was necessary since it’s the crack of dawn. Let the cute Asian sitting next to me judge all he wants- some of us didn’t bring perfectly fitted ear plugs and an eye mask. It was actually a delightful ordering experience because the flight attendant didn’t charge me for the 50 MLs of vodka that was going to be my savior and I could have kissed her.

 
I’m scared to drink it though in case I have to go to the bathroom. I’ve already had to wake up the guys next to me twice in order to take a stroll to the lavatories. Mainly just because it’s something to do.
Candy crush has been kind enough to  letting me win a number of times in a row. I’ve never really been able to understand how it keeps me so entertained. I figure it’s the bright colors. And I like when the fish swim over at the end. But if I lose one more game I’m cut off for however many more minutes so I’ve never been more focused or dedicated to winning something in my life.
 
WOO that drink is too strong.
Status report- I lost candy crush. 13 minutes until I get another shot. At Candy Crush that is- this will be my only vodka. I want to put up the shade on my window and wake up the rest of the passengers and scream SOMEONE PLEASE HANG OUT WITH ME but if I did we would probably have to do an emergency landing and then they would leave me in Sheriff custody in the Grand Canyon and I wouldn’t survive an hour in a wilderness jail, let’s be real.
 
It also doesn’t help that I’m freezing. My mom told me to wear longer pants and I didn’t because I had new not-whole-leg leggings that I wanted to wear because I thought they made my calves look tan and toned and because new clothes are exciting. But I have a winter coat covering them and three layers on up top and sneakers but apparently your calves determine your entire body temperature.
The guy in front of me just opened his window. I don’t think he’ll be my friend though because of how many times I’ve kicked his seat trying to get comfortable.
This airplane is super cramped and I’m not thrilled about it considering the cost of the flight. No wonder they were pushing first class on me so hard. But I didn’t need it since my drink was free anyway!! Boom!!
 
I’m on my way out to Napa Valley for my best friend’s bachelorette party so I really can’t complain. If this is the worst part of the trip I am just fine with that. But I woke up at 4 AM, I’m flying for 6+ hours, I’ll get there at 9 AM and am going to kill time in San Francisco for 5 hours. I therefore had pretty strict plans to sleep the whole flight but it didn’t work out since my calves are cold and I’m sitting on top of all the people around me.
Time to add more Titos.
I can’t drink this too fast because then it will be gone but I can’t drink it too slow because then I have time to think about how bored I am. There’s no internet. My computer is dead. The TV in front of me just keeps playing promos over and over for Deadliest Catch but I turned it off because I feel bad for the crabs.
It’s hard to write without a word count. I’m trying to cut back to smaller and more frequent posts so hopefully this doesn’t go over my limit.
I bet the guy next to me thinks I’m talking to myself or writing in my diary or something. Then again, I guess that’s what a blog is…  It’s a shame I’m doing this now because I was going to write about all of this when I was hanging out with myself for 5 hours but I’ll have to find another way to kill that time.
 
 
I miss Facebook. I miss Twitter and Instagram. I miss texting and SnapChatting. I feel so lonely. I’m not in the mood to start my book. I am hungry. I wish there was some caffeine in my cocktail. The guy behind me is using my seat as a punching bag.
They just announced we have 40 minutes left. I guess I can handle that. I’m going to use this time to finish my drink and play virtual solitaire.  Let the countdown to excitement begin…

Who Needs Pants?

My roof deck has a lot to show.  My apartment building is located right in the heart of Old City Philadelphia so I can see the skyline, I can see the bridges, I can see New Jersey.  A little further back you can see Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field.  It’s a great place to sit up during the Fourth of July or every Friday when the Camden River Sharks are in town to watch fireworks.

All of the sights I can see from up here are fantastic.  But nothing that I have mentioned yet can hold a candle to my favorite roof deck neighbor.

This man is the best – and I apologize for the less than ideal photos but I’ve never really been able to document his greatness because of our roof proximity.  My guess is he is in his late 60’s or early 70’s.  He has a gorgeous roof deck – it is huge, there is a big skylight in the middle – so his apartment must be amazing.  He has plush red furniture and speakers, a hook up for a hose – it is probably a lovely place to entertain.  But I’m really the one being entertained.  Because this man lays on his roof deck in nothing but his white brief underwear on a regular basis.

At first I thought it was a Speedo.  Not that that really changes things. But then my Roommate made me realize, nope- just tighty-whities (is that a word?)  I actually love it because this man is living his Dream.  He couldn’t care less who see’s him.  He’s at that point in his life where he probably gets up in the morning and thinks “Pants?  Who needs pants?”  And then he heads up to his roof to bronze his entire body- wearing just enough to avoid being arrested, but also the perfect amount that he doesn’t need to feel weighed down by tan lines.

We should learn a lesson from underwear roof man.  One day I hope you are all so secure in your lives and yourselves that pants just become a necessity only when visiting your country club or riding on an airplane.

Just a guy who doesn't need pants untangling his hose

Just a guy who doesn’t need pants untangling his hose

Crazy Love

There are two types of couples who get engaged.  There are the types that you sort of hope won’t work out – and then when they do, you grin and bear it and go along with the motions and wait until things start to fall apart and you’re called in to be the shoulder to cry on.  And then there are the types who make you wonder why they had to live their first twenty-something years of life apart from each other.

I know both types of couples but am fortunate that the majority of my close friends fall into the second category.  One great couple that I know got engaged in Paris at midnight on New Years Eve last/this year.  One of my girlfriends was taken by complete surprise on her childhood-dream wedding date when her now fiancé popped the question.  Another got married in November, 2014 and is having their first baby in October, 2015.  My girlfriend who used to send me “do you think this will ever work” emales (as we called them) about a guy she had a crush on is marrying him next month. Love stories are a beautiful thing.

I mention this now because of a particular couple that I am friends with.  We’ll call her “Bedazzled” and we’ll call him “Abs.”  They met because he was the cute ab instructor at her gym and she wanted to get his attention.  She did a great job; they started dating, everyone loved them together, they became roommates and always talked about the future.  The future has always been inevitable with them, but a lot of us couldn’t help but wonder… after all these years… where was the ring?

Until last night.

You might need sunglasses to read the rest of this post

You might need sunglasses to read the rest of this 

Abs surprised Bedazzled with a necklace, a love note, a gold-dipped rose, and a photo album of their lives together.  He added captions and memories and in the end the book held a photo of her dream ring.

“You know it’s funny,” Abs told me, “I worked so hard on that book, and after I gave her the ring, it was like it didn’t even exist.”

Bedazzled said, “I just kept looking at him and saying ‘Is this for real?!  Is that mine?!'”

They were just so happy – at lunch today they didn’t stop smiling.  And the ring is just so fabulous.  It’s exactly what she wanted and he waited until that was what he could give her.  Good things come to those who wait.  Great things in this case. Call it your average love story – but like many of the couples mentioned before, it’s more than mediocre when two people get to affirm that they’ve been spending their years waiting to be with each other.

My favorite part was when I asked if he was nervous before proposing and he said “Not really – she’s been saying yes for the last three years.”

If this is a preview of the rest of their lives, I can’t wait to see how it continues.

Congratulations to all of my friends who have found that person with whom to share such Crazy Love.

There is no lighting where it doesn't sparkle

There is no lighting where it doesn’t sparkle

It even looked nice on Abs' finger

It even looked nice on him!