Now We’ve Got Bad Blog

Before I started working my favorite part of my day was waking up to blog.  That’s an exaggeration – my favorite parts of my day were sitting on my roof, playing with my dog and justifying drinking before 4:00 PM.  But blogging was in the top 5.  Now I feel like I never have time to do so.  And that isn’t true at all – two part time jobs does not equal the end of retirement.  I didn’t work at all yesterday but did I blog?  Nope… I think it’s because I feel like if I write a bad post I’ll get criticism or people will stop reading.  Wrong – people will stop checking if there are no posts and therefore they forget to read.  And out of sight out of mind is worse than in sight, in mind and disappointed, right?  I’ve never been one for outlines or goals or any of that nonsense, but maybe if I promise some upcoming posts, I’ll have to follow through with them.  Otherwise, how will The Young and Retired be read by English Royalty and American celebrities and then be picked up by Penguin Books and turned into a world wide best seller before being picked up by Paramount and turned into an Academy Award winning Blockbuster?

The following are the topics I plan to cover over the course of the next week:

Dating:  This will clearly have to be a whole series. I’ve only been on a handful of dates lately, and needless to say, I’m still single.  But I’ve been on a lot in the past and I think it would be beneficial for myself and all of the other single ladies to dive into the hilarity that is dating in 2015.  And all of those who are in healthy fun relationships can read and send sympathy.

Weddings: Wedding season deserves a series devoted to it as well.  This is my first big wedding year.  Over the course of the 13 months between November 2014 and December 2015 I have 6 weddings.  So far they have been fabulous and all so different.

Vagabond Summer: From working in a crazy restaurant to working in a calm quiet gym to sleeping all day on a Thursday, this is without a doubt the most unconventional my life has ever been, college aside.  Maybe we can analyze further what it’s doing to my mental state and how it’s helping (or not at all) my bank account and get into the plans for the future.  There are big plans coming up – it just seems more appropriate to make sure the details like living and jobs are confirmed before plastering them across the WWW.

The Subway:  I have some really deep thoughts about public transportation

That’s all for now – more to come.  Look at this, I just wrote a full blog post about needing to buckle down and write a blog post.  This isn’t so hard!! Now for the inspiration to dive into the others… I promise they’re coming if you promise to stay tuned!!

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So Much Sacred in the Month of June

I’m in a great mood this morning.  I don’t know exactly why.  Maybe it’s because my sweatshirt smells like sun screen.  Maybe it’s because of how precious my dog was as she tried to keep her eyes open when I took her out before work.  Maybe I’m delusional from only getting four hours of sleep?  Maybe it was the awesome girls training me last night who secretly tipped me, or the super sweet note the girl before me at the gym left.  Maybe it’s because my current responsibilities include wearing work out clothes and listening to Britney Spears Pandora. Maybe it’s because the Phillies beat the Yankees. Who knows?  But it’s nice to be happy about waking up in the morning.  Being happy is fantastic. IMG_5188 I love the month of June.  It’s officially summer.  Days are longer.  You wake up to sunshine.  When you walk out of a building at night time the breeze is warmer than the inside you just left.  It’s almost my birthday.  I love birthdays.  There are beer gardens galore.  People are out and about.  I can bring Darcy with me almost everywhere.  And I love being with Darcy.

FullSizeRender Even if something happens in the next hour and today goes horribly wrong, I’m feeling sentimental about this moment. I feel at peace with this moment. It’s a long lost feeling that we need to take a step back and recognize more often.

This is one of my favorite songs of all time.  I think it’s perfect for today.  Enjoy – I’ll be listening to it on repeat.

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor

Thanks for writing that song for me, America. Retirement is getting exhausting. I decided the first part time job I had wasn’t enough so I picked up another. However, at this point I’m working every day and have still only seen one pay check. I don’t miss my old job at all. I don’t miss my commute. I don’t miss the crazies. I don’t miss the cubical. But I do miss having a normal schedule and regularly getting paid. It’s funny the things you take for granted. It seems so nice to be able to have all this time off now and then but when you don’t work 9-5 jobs you find yourself working at 5:30 in the morning or trying to get your shift covered on Saturday for a wedding. Someone asked me out on a date this weekend and I couldn’t tell you the next weekend I would be free for such an event. It isn’t bad- I’d rather be working than not working- but it is very different and something to get used to as we dive deeper into the Summer of Me. 
This is the only thing I’ve really been able to come up with for posts this week. I’ll think of more but my sleep patterns haven’t done any favors in exercising my brain. I guess I could have gotten pretty elaborate on how fantastic the Taylor Swift concert was or penned some precious story about my dog, but you’ve heard that all before. Basically this is how I have been feeling: 

 
Always leave it to Michael Scott to know the right thing to say! 

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:

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…

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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.

Happy Memorial Day, Y’all

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Memorial Day weekend for me is filled with family members, cases upon cases of Corona, reading, country music and massive amounts of College Boys.  My parents rent a house down the shore and it’s over taken by my youngest brother’s college friends, high school friends, baseball friends, illegal friends, underaged friends, hungry friends, alcoholic friends, cute friends, vagabond friends, etc…

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My mother spends the majority of her vacation cooking for a revolving door of young men, half of whom are introduced to her as they enter the kitchen.  “Mom – you know (insert name here) from (insert the time in my brother’s life when he was last relevant.)  Can he have breakfast too?”

My father has assumed the vital role of beer supplier.  He brings down a car full of cases when they arrive and still spends each morning traveling to the nearest beer distributor to replenish the depleted supply.  Keeping a refrigerator stocked with beer in a house full of boys is like trying to keep your gas tank full during a road trip.  Literally impossible.

My parents do a decent job of staying out of the boy’s line of fire.  The master bedroom is usually upstairs along with the kitchen and the downstairs is transformed into a smelly, empty beer can filled, tank top infested frat house.  You’ll find plenty of empty Wawa bags, askew towels, sand, Bose speakers, etc.  What you won’t find is someone’s cell phone, someone else’s license, someone’s wallet, or someone’s keys – because every one of them has lost at least one item that is imperative to their trip.

If you make the silly decision to venture down, you’ll hear rumblings of stories that start with “Dude I was so blacked out last night” or “Uh, no, she is not good looking” or “Did I get tan today?” When they come upstairs it’s more like “Is there any food?”  or “Yo Dad, can I get the (insert something valuable that was lost here – keys, money, phone charger.)”

One thing is for sure – these kids are fun.  They are a lot of fun.  And they don’t judge me for always having a beer in my hand.  I may be retired but that doesn’t mean I can’t use “I’m on vacation” as a reasonable excuse to drink all day on the beach. My 21 year old brother lost his license almost immediately upon the arrival of Memorial Day weekend.  As a result, the college boys came out to the bar with my other brother and friend and me last night since we figured that by banding together we could sweet talk him into the bar.  Power in numbers.  Numbers of alcoholic beverages that had boosted our confidence.  But it worked.  And once inside it was great.  The College Boys knew everyone who walked by. The bar tender was someone’s little league basketball coach.  The shady guy at the end of the bar was someone’s sister’s high school boyfriend, the girl on the patio was someone’s prom date. The more you know the more drinks that are handed to you.  Well done, College Boys.

We made it in!

We made it in!

Maybe I give them a hard time for being lazy and smelly because I’m jealous.  I don’t have a revolving door of friends taking over my parents vacation home over the course of the weekend.  But that’s okay.  It’s great to watch and makes you feel so clean and pulled together.  Thank you College Boys – you sure know how to make a day off to salute our military awfully entertaining.

Quick Trip to the late 1990’s

It’s finally beautiful in Philadelphia.  Here’s another thing about being retired – when my soul was sold to corporate America, I never had the opportunity to sit on top of my office in a bikini and bronze up while I worked.  So add that to the Dream I was talking about living earlier.

Anyway – I decided to grab sunscreen on my way up to my office and went under my Roommate’s sink to see what she had in there.  It’s funny because she always complains about her fair skin and how she burns so quickly but today all of her problems were solved.  You see – the last time she bought sun screen, Bill Clinton was President, TLC was at the top of the Billboard charts, the St. Louis Rams were winning the Superbowl she was in the 6th grade…

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