Monday, July 28, 2008

Fish Are Friends, Not Food

If you ever find yourself down South-- more specifically in Atlanta--do yourself a favor and visit the Georgia Aquarium… Jamie and I went together in the spring and we just loved it. Yesterday, we went back with my sister and my niece and loved it again. The pictures here don’t do it justice (neither does my photography) but will give you some idea of the scope of what is there.

My favorite exhibit is the Coldwater Quest. Aside from the touch pool, (where you are allowed to touch sea anemones and other critters) you can see sea otters, sea lions and African penguins. The most breathtaking of all, though, are the beluga whales. The first time we walked in I was amazed (of course, none of my pictures came out well enough to post here). They are beautiful, playful and huge. I could watch them all day long.

Other exhibits include the Tropical Diver, River Scout and Georgia Explorer. The latter includes another touch pool that holds stingrays and sharks. Touching them to me is like touching wet velvet. Kids will say “slimy” and “euuw!” and “icky” but I think it’s awesome.

Finally is the largest of the exhibits, Ocean Voyager: Giant stingrays, grouper, hammerhead sharks and whale sharks are on display along with hundreds of other species. I took my chin up off the floor long enough to take some halfway decent photos:

Ol' Hammerhead if my favorite pic from the day:

A big freakin' grouper... Gee, for some reason I'm hungry?

And lastly...

...I don't know why, but the fish refuse to hold still while I am taking pictures. I was trying to get another shot of the hammerhead here, but at least you can see from the people in the foreground how absolutely huge this place is.

Anyway, if you are ever in the neighborhood, please do yourself a favor and visit--even if you don't have kids this is a spectacular place. Oh and to make the idea even more enticing, my friends: I'm just a little more than an hour down the road, I have huge house with three extra bedrooms and I am a good cook! I'll even drive if you dare let me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Make Me Laugh

(I originally posted this in April, but after watching some more of my Billy this morning I thought I'd share it again...hope you like!)

There's something about laughter, isn't there? No only is it a wonderful release, but to me it's just a big, fat turn-on... One of my favorite funny men is Bill Engvall, and probably because he seems to hit the nail on the head every time, no matter what he's talking about... He might be losing some of his hair, he might not have the bod of whatever man is on Hollywood's A-List right now, but if I had the choice between being locked in a room with him or Brad Pitt, I'd take Billy Boy in a heartbeat... So here he is, talking about two of my favorite subjects: Boobs and wieners.

Hope you laugh, too!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Wonder If There Are Any Men Available For Adoption, Too?

So last time I wrote I was talking about our weekend and what a great time our dog, Honey, had playing with all of her new dog friends at the lake... On Monday I was catching up from the weekend's newspapers and came across the "Pet of the Week,"a feature our paper does on dogs available at our local animal shelter. I saw and was taken with the photo of a pup they had named Chaz, a Border Collie/Husky mix. I don't know what it was about the little guy, but I couldn't stop thinking about him. On Tuesday, he became our newest family member!

He didn't look like "Chaz" to me, though... I messed with the idea of naming him something that would go with Honey: "Graham," "Moon," or "Nuttin'" were some that crossed my mind, but after I got him home and played with him for a little while, I knew he was "Teddy," because he's such a sweet little teddy bear!

So now we are four: Two boys, two girls, and we are having a ball! I feel so good about this and am so happy to have been able to provide a home for Teddy. He and Honey are great together, and despite the fact that he's only four months old is quite mellow. The two of them are sitting at my feet right now as I type... So here they are, Honeybun and Teddybear!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Dog Is Cooler Than Your Dog

We had a blast this weekend! Jamie and I were invited to a lake about an hour and a half from here to join a big group of friends and family. I’d been to that area a couple of times before, but have to say that this time was da bomb.

I called my neighbor on Thursday to find out if she’d mind looking after my dog while we were gone, but it turned out she already had plans. I thought about it and the group we were going with was pretty dog-friendly so I called to ask if we could bring along ours. Turns out that was fine...

Our dog is Honey. She’s a Border collie mix and is the sweetest dog in the world. She is also very active, but I didn’t realize how much until we arrived at the lake. I was a little apprehensive at first, not knowing if the other pooches would welcome her, but after the initial butt-sniffing was out of the way it was aces.

When we drove up we were met by dog number one: Cujo! Cujo is a scary-looking, all-muscle Boxer. He is the farthest thing from scary-acting, though… He lives at the camp with the caretaker and another dog, Ruby. Ruby is a Lab mix, very old, quite rotund, but a good old gal…

We weren’t there long before we all jumped on the golf cart and headed down the road to check out the boat landing and the beach. Jamie, Honey and I jumped on the cart and Cujo ran alongside, barked at the cart and tried to bite the tires. Honey lasted all of two seconds in her seat. She was having none of this just-sit-here crap. We slowed the cart for her to jump off and she went hauling ass down the dirt road, pausing only to sniff something occasionally and check to make sure we were still there. She beat us all to the water, including Cujo. That was their thing the whole weekend. They must have run up and down that road together twenty times. It was really cool to watch Cujo and Honey run together, He all flappy-lipped and muscular, she a streak of fluffy black-and-white-and-brown.

By the time we got back to the camp, more people and dogs showed up. In total, there were seven dogs there: Honey, Cujo, Ruby, Buddy, Bo, Pogo and Mico! The great thing about it was that none of them fought. So I’ve already told you about Cujo and Ruby… Buddy was The Humper of the crowd. Poor thing. Couldn’t get any no matter how hard he tried. (I feel for the guy). Bo is one of those low-to-the-ground mop-looking dogs whose tongue seems to always stick out about halfway. Pogo is a Schnauzer who usually looks like a black footstool but since he’s gotten his summer cut looks like eyebrows on a stick. Mico is a Pug, and is one of the most adorably ugly dogs I’ve ever seen in my life: Bug-eyed, curly-tailed, and sounds like she could use either an oxygen tank or some serious decongestants. What a gang.

Saturday morning when it was time to head to the water, we loaded up kids and dogs and coolers and off we went. After that morning’s race with Cujo, Honey went immediately for a dip and stayed in the water when she didn’t have another dog to chase. At one point, Jamie decided he needed to be “rescued” from the inner tube and Honey actually let him hold her tail and swam him in. This went on all afternoon. Almost everyone commented on what a sweet dog she is. It’s funny, that made me feel like a proud parent but they were right. She is really cool!

Honey came to us after a friend of a friend found her but could not keep Honey because of her cats. I always knew we’d get another dog, but wasn’t sure if it was too soon after our Chocolate Lab died of bone cancer last October. (He was an awesome dog, too!) We’ve had Honey since Thanksgiving and I think that so fitting. I’m thankful for the person that rescued her, thankful that we were able to take her, and thankful for all the loving fun she’s provided to so many, especially Jamie.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Cup Runneth Under

Of my many vices, Diet Coke has got to be my worst. People give me a hard time about it just about every day, but until it’s illegal I’m not quitting. Really, I think—wait, I know—I could quit smoking before I could give up my beloved DC. It is very rare that I don’t have any in the house, but yesterday I had to decide whether to put a gallon of gas in my car or buy some of my bubbly beverage, so I sucked it up and bought the gas. Today, though, knowing that my direct deposit would be in bright and early I made sure I was, too, so that I could stop and fill up my 44 ounce cup on the way to work and hit the same sweet high I guess addicts experience when that first hit of whatever hits their bloodstream. I swear I am that bad when I take my first sip. I don’t go anywhere without my cup or at least a can in hand, so the bigger the receptacle the better as far as I’m concerned…

I also needed some Tylenol. I don’t often get headaches, but I developed one yesterday morning that wouldn’t budge. I decided I’d grab one of those single dose packs that you can get at the convenience store along with my drink. When I got in the car and started to open the Tylenol, I noticed the package said “drinking cup included.” Hm. What kind of cup could be in this little thing? Turns out, this was:

Ha! Is that great or what? I guess it depends on one’s definition of “drinking cup,” doesn’t it? Funny, I don’t recall reading “drinking cup for a garden gnome” on that package anywhere. They do clearly point out, though that it is ANOTHER INNOVATIVE IDEA FOR THE "PEOPLE ON THE GO." What a relief that was to see because I should hope they'd get some credit, might as well give it to themselves... So this is their idea of a cup, huh? I think it’s a cruel prank. Finally, you are going to get some relief from your ache or pain and there is room for just enough water in there to lodge the Tylenol perfectly half way down your throat. Great! Now you are choking. “Well just refill it you say,” right? Wrong. I’m guessing since this “cup” has about the thickness of toilet paper that it’s a one-shot deal.

Go ahead and tease me all you want about my giant cup, people. At least I can take my Tylenol.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I've always been a fan of the 4th of July... I think because it's summertime and usually my activities include something to do with being on or in the water and this year will be no different. Then, of course, there is the ooohing and aaahing that happens around 9 that night. Fun! It's one American tradition I never get tired of. This year, as the 4th approached it got me thinking about traditions. Most have meaning behind them (why else would they be traditions, right?) Others, not so much...

Somehow, somewhere, we Americans have established other not-so-meaningful traditions that just bug the crap out of me. For what ever reason they are accepted as part of life and most of the time we go on and ignore them. I am, however, a big pain and I am going to point them out.

Take, for instance, the day after Thanksgiving. You will not catch my big butt anywhere near anything shopping-related on that day. I think it's freaking nuts and why we as a culture torture ourselves just so say "we were there" I'll never know... What we do all know is that the malls, parking lots, restaurants, movie theaters, everything will be jammed. It's a given. So why is it necessary for some poor television reporter to be camped out at the crack of dawn (or even midnight in some cases) on post-turkey day to tell us that yes, the mall is crowded, yes, people are buying their Christmas presents, and yes, parking is a bitch... Of course, the sign-off always being, "on this, the busiest shopping day of the year!" Bah! Humbug!

Next, if I ever find out who the first person was that decided that an integral part of raising money for whatever cause via car wash required cheerleaders/band members/scout groups to stand on the side of the road with poorly designed signs yelling "CAAAR WAAASH! CAAAR WAAASH!" at traffic, I will hunt them down and make them eat a piece of neon orange poster board. Oh, look, honey, there are some young people with hoses, buckets, and large sponges massaging that vehicle over there. I wonder what they are doing? "CAAAR WAAASH!" OH, I see! Thank goodness those youths were kind enough to yell out to us that it is indeed a car wash. I would have spent my entire day pondering that.

This last cultural phenomenon never affected me until I moved to the South, and hopefully it won't spread. Now, it is my understanding that the turn signal on a vehicle is designed to do just that. It's my way of telling you, the car behind me, that I plan to turn in this direction or that one, therefore momentarily allowing you to slow down to allow me to do so and go on your merry way. It also allows you, the car behind me, to ease around me should the coast be clear. I expect you to do the same. Down here, though, the natives are run amok with Southern Hospitality and want you to know that the car in front of the car that is in front of you will be turning this way or that momentarily. Do you see what I'm saying? Signaling me (number three in line) via number two (you, dumbass!) that car number one (the one that is actually doing the turning) IS TURNING!!!!! NO. NO. NO!!! Please, stop it.

Happy Independence Day!