Tag Archives: animals

A Day in Tarpon Springs

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As weird as Florida may be, it’s got some pretty cool places to visit, many barely a day’s trip from Orlando.

 

A couple of my friends invited me on a day’s trip to Tarpon Springs, a cool like Greek settlement turned tourist attraction. For more about Tarpon Springs and its history you can simply google Tarpon Springs, or read a little bit here: http://spongedocks.net/tarpon-springs-history.htm.

 

Anyhoo, I took a few pictures of my day and wanted to share. That’s all I’ve got today people. 🙂

 

A cool diver mosaic on one of the buildings.

Visiting one of the Greek bakeries. This place was hoppin!

Our new friend we made during our visit. 🙂

Another cool mosaic from the antique district.

Trying to convince the BFE that we should give up everything we have and move to Tarpon Springs. he could be a diver, and I’d sell sponges and drink limoncello!

I have nothing to say about this.

Cool kitchsy stuff from a gift shop.

Further evidence to support my theory of Florida as a giant wildlife preserve… and the people are just food!

Ahahahahaha!

I was feeling all, like, artsy and stuff, soo….

Introducing Our New Team Mascot, The Florida Fighting Conch!

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My muscle man. 🙂

 

My fiance, the BFE is truly the best. He cooks, he LOVES vacuuming, he doesn’t mind cuddling, he kills spiders when I find them scary, and he even cuts his parents’ grass for them. He really is a good guy.

 

 

He also makes high-pitched screams like an emotionally hysterical woman when faced with a simple ocean mollusk in his hand.

 

This past Mother’s Day weekend we headed down to SoFla (that’s South Florida for you non-Floridians) to visit his parents, soak up some beach time and generally enjoy a mini-break away. The morning of our first full day, BFE and I headed to the beach as soon as we could wipe the sleep and crust out of our eyes and whip on our bathing suits.

 

It was a beautiful day at the beach. A light breeze, the soft lapping of the waves, crystal clear water , only a few geriatric snowbirds walking the sand for shells, and powder white sand. It was great.

 

We waded out into the ocean, using our water proof camera to take pictures under the water and explore. Things were fine until I mentioned that my foot scraped over a weird shell. Moments later, BFE ran over it too, and dove down to investigate. It was this beautiful shell! So pretty and intricate. BFE turned it over in his hand, and we realized that the shell was home to …a CREATURE!

The pictures we took are REALLY bad, so I found this on the ‘net. See the eyes? They bore into your brain and steal your soul.

 

It stuck its little eye stalks out and peered up at us, while we huddled together, peering back. BFE insisted that it was a hermit crab that was missing a leg, but before I could decide, the shell disappeared from BFE’S hand!

 

The creature had reached out of the shell with its “toe” and tried to touch him! In sheer blind panic, he threw his head back and SCREAMED “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” while flapping and tossing his hands about in the air with complete abandon of composure and tossed the shell further out into the water. It was a high-pitched womanly scream reserved for Hitchcock horror films. The whole episode happened in seconds and the shell was gone.

 

I couldn’t believe it! It was the coolest thing we’d ever found at the beach and it was just… gone. I railed at him, calling him a “woman” for screaming like that. In the meantime, he utterly ignored me and had already booked it halfway back to shore, telling me that if I wanted to see it again, I needed to find it myself.

 

I did find another one fairly quickly, and was examining it while calling for the BFE to grab the camera when it TOUCHED me with its “toe”.

 

The TOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s coming for you BFE!!! Eeeeee!

 

 

In a repeat performance of BFE’s epic meltdown, I screamed “yahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and tossed it up in the air, which the shell landing back in the water with a big plop. I flew over to BFE, yelling “Omigod omigod omigod it TOUCHED me! It touched my hand!” While hopping up and down in the water waving my affected hand around like an idiot. I made a huge scene, but I did not care. The creature TOUCHED me with its TOE.

 

In the meanwhile, BFE just stood there, shaking his head and, in a move that was clearly borrowing some of my sass, said “mmhmm… who’s the WOMAN now?”

 

We found a third shell and this time I tried to buck up and hang on to it while he ran to our umbrella area on the sand to grab our camera. When it wriggled in my hand, I dropped it AGAIN. As I’m digging in the sand and water to find it again, I use our sand pail and shovel (yes, I brought a sand pail to the beach. I’m five) to pick it up and walk to the shore. The whole time I was making my way to shore I hopped to and fro while yelling omigodomigodomigodhurryupbeforeittouchesmeagain.

 

Keep in mind that until then, we were on what was probably the quietest part of the beach.

 

My antics caught the attention of an older woman and her husband, who had a blanket near ours. She came over and explained that what we’d found was a Florida Fighting Conch, and the “toe” that touched me was what it used to pull itself across the sand on the ocean floor. She said that putting it on the sand would kill it and we really shouldn’t attempt to take it home. Home?!?! Like we’d found a new pet or mascot and wanted to keep it?!?! Puh-lease. We took pictures and released the conch back into the wild.

 

Seriously, though. Doesn’t “Florida Fighting Conch” sound kinda like a slightly lame college mascot?

 

 

For the rest of the weekend, I couldn’t look at the BFE without thinking of him screaming like a little girl and tossing this tiny little three-inch shelled creature away from him because it “looked” at him and tried to touch him.

 

When we got home, I told his parents, and it became the running joke for the rest of the night. The next day I called my mom while she and my dad were driving back to Georgia from a family visit in Illinois, and she laughed so hard and so long that she woke my dad and eventually had to pull over to the side of the road so she could recover her composure.

 

The BFE is still the best, he just lost a few man points, although he did gain points for humor and scream creativity. I know I shouldn’t have laughed so much, and I probably shouldn’t have told both sets of parents and written a blog about it, but honestly, what would you have done???

 

Go TEAM FIGHTING CONCHS!!!!!

Facebook Faux Pas(s)

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  1. Posting vague and emotional updates that just make everyone ask “are you ok?” “what’s wrong?” To me that just screams “I NEED ATTENTION! I AM SO EMO!” To the helplessly emo, I say “perhaps try blogging? Or maybe get a cat?”
  2. Posting status updates that are really just inside jokes so only you and 2 other people will understand. Seriously??? That’s what text messages are for. Inside jokes should stay inside.
  3. Hashtags on Facebook. Those are twitter-only, people! (although I have committed this sin myself)
  4. The post where people feel the need to announce that they’re going to start deleting their friends on Facebook. Just effing delete them and move on. No need to prompt a discussion and ask people to vote on whether they should be deleted. Just for that, I am deleting you.
  5. The posts where people announce they’re leaving Facebook. We don’t care. PEACE OUT.
  6. Whenever Facebook changes, like a FONT, everyone starts complaining about the changes. (also a sin I have committed. but no longer!)
  7. People that update their Facebook status every time they breathe in or out, go to the bathroom, turn on the tv, etc. Again – as I twitter user myself, I refer you to the world of twitter, where you can share your farts to your heart’s desire. Or possibly? Maybe keeping the running commentary where it belongs: in your head.
  8. Attempting to “re-friend” someone after you’ve been “de-friended”. I know people who are scared to de-friend folks because of the verbal backlash they’ll receive the next time they see the person. I also have personally received “refriend” requests by the same person THREE TIMES. Should I send a memo?
  9. Please don’t make me “like or repost this status” if I like child abuse, animal rights, your particular religious views, cancer, etc. Firstly I don’t “like”  child abuse or cancer, no one does. Secondly, it makes me seem like a douche for not supporting cancer patients when in reality I don’t want to post your grammatically incorrect status on my Facebook.
  10. Farmville, Farmtown, Sorority Row – STOP sending me requests to get bejeweled, bedazzled or grow tomatoes. I don’t want to join your vampire coven on facebook nor do I want to build a shopping village. DELETE.
  11. YouTube videos… ok, this one gets me hot! As in mad. I can’t stand it when I open my feed to read what my friends are up to, and 1/3 of it is taken up by some asshat who is posted links to music videos on YouTube to express how they feel. One or two is ok, but seven? SEVEN? In a row? Excessive youtubing has resulted in my hiding friend feeds before, because I simply COULD NOT TAKE ONE. MORE. FRICKING MUSIC VIDEO.
  12. Creepers on Facebook. You know who you are. ’nuff said.

 

Anyone else got  a Facebook faux pas they’d like to share? Or am I a giant jerk for letting this stuff bother me enough to spark a blog post?

It’s not that I don’t care…

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There are a couple of people that, whenever they talk about their kids or pets, I mentally check out.

I think we all know people like this – God help me, I feel really bad about this, but I can’t help it.

Somehow oblivious people tend to mistake that pleasantly amused look on my face as giving a rat’s ass about their dog’s birthday party, therapy new collar or funny new shape his poop has taken.

PLEASE don’t mistake this as an “I hate kids and puppies and rainbows rant” because that’s not it. This is directed towards a VERY SPECIFIC GROUP OF PEOPLE that inflict the mundane habits of their family life on the unwilling. I LOVE dogs and cats and children, I really do. Correction: I LOVE the dogs and cats and children of my friends and family members and various people I care about.

When one of my close friends had her first baby I went by her house on a regular basis to watch her son and keep her pets company so she could take a shower or nap. I encouraged her to call me if she needed a babysitter, and have extended that same offer to many of my friends.

I dog-sit regularly for a friend’s dog whenever he’s out of town.

When my best friend’s son has a new accomplishment, I get just as excited as she does – even if that accomplishment is learning the chorus to Rihanna’s “S and M” song.

Another friend has a dog that gets so excited when I come to visit that he pees on my foot, every time, without fail. I fricking love that dog, and try to steal him when her and her husband arent looking. He cracks me up. If he didn’t pee on me, I’d assume something was wrong.

My boyfriend makes a point of dragging me away from cute little kids clothes in the target, or from cooing over little kids dressed up like princesses and pirates when we go to Disney – I think it’s because he can hear my uterus pulsating or ticking or whatever. He also changes the channel whenever the commercials about abused animals come on because I reach for the phone, ready to adopt one of those poor blind kittens… and maybe a legless puppy… and that sad starving child in Indonesia.

What I’m saying is, I have quite a few friends that have kids and pets, and I LOVE those little rugrats – I really do! What I don’t like is when people turn any conversation, every conversation, to somehow be about their kid or dog.

Example #1:

 Me: ” Hey what do you think of the whole Occupy Wall Street thing?”

Ignorant Exuburant Parent: “Speaking of streets, Fido just loves taking long walks down the street but sometimes he gets sad. I wonder if he needs a pet therapist. At his doggy birthday party last week he just didn’t seem as perky as he normally does…

Me: “Um… what?”

Example #2:

Random Conversationalist: “Have you seen that new R-rated movie that came out last week?”

Ignorant Exuberant Parent: “Oh yeah! We went to the 9:30 show and took our little (8-month old) daughter Sally with us! She loved that movie! She laughed and cried all the way through it! I think other people really enjoyed seeing a little kid having so much fun… they kept staring at us…

Ok, maybe I am being slightly dramatic.

I worry though, when I just zone out on conversations about people’s kids that I don’t care about, if I’ll ever be that person. Or worse, does this mean I’ll be a bad parent? I like little kids, but I think my level of caring and interest in their achievements and bowel movements is based on how much I care about their parents and how close friends we are. I feel more invested and excited when a good friend tells me she’s pregnant than when a random co-worker/ associate starts talking about her morning sickness and baby constipation in the breakroom.

I get it, you’re excited about your offspring and want to share that joy with everybody – but maybe gauge their reactions before diving into a story about mucus plugs and diaper genies? I work with a LOT of women, and it’s pretty common that 3-4 are pregnant at a time, so this is something I face every day… it’s a good reminder to take my birth control pill every day, FAITHFULLY.

In one of the many pervers turns that my life takes, this subject (interest in other people’s babies, NOT birth control!) came up during a conversation with my mom last weekend. She took that as an opportunity to share with me some funny baby stories about me and both or my two sisters.

Now, anyone that knows me also knows that I see this as a form of karma coming back like a boomerang to the face. How do you tell your own mother that you don’t care about her own baby stories? Especially when YOU’RE THE BABY???

The Milk and the Cow

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The other day, I had a rather frank conversation with my mom about my relationship with the BBE (best boyfriend ever) and where we were headed. I was very honest and told her that we were considering moving in together. I’m not a serial dater – I have never lived with anyone I have dated, EVER, so for me to even consider this step is pretty huge.

And she said the infamous phrase:

“Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

Wha??? Who says stuff like that? What is this, the 1950’s??

I am an intelligent college graduate with a full-time job and my own car. I am (fairly) responsible and I try to live a fairly morally compassed life. In this day and age, you think she’d be happy that I haven’t covered my body in tribal tattoos with a tramp stamp on my butt crack, dancing naked under the full moon and posting soft-core videos on YouTube. I mean, I’m not going all Kesha on her, just wanting to have a healthy relationship with someone that I’d potentially consider having little swirly babies with. I think this is reasonable.

I have to admit, I was a little surprised, and then again, I wasn’t. She was being a mom and wanting the best for me, but at the tender age of 32 and a half I have to start being the person that decides what works for me.

 I’m like…a penguin. When I mate, I want to mate for life. I have seen too many of my friends go through the stress and heartbreak of divorce. I don’t want to rush into any decisions… I also don’t want us to take 5 years to decide that we want to get married (I think my eggs expire before then) however I don’t want to date for just 3 months and then get married. That’s not how I roll. So in order to ensure that I’m making the right decision I want to try the living with him thing first – why is that so bad? Isn’t it better to realize that it’s not going to work and have to separate a few personal items, than to get married, realize it doesn’t work and have to separate two lives?

And let’s talk about “milk”… people are seriously perverts. I know I’m guilty of looking at pregnant women and thinking “you know they like, totally DID IT”. Conversely, it never occured to me that the thought of a couple living together conjures up thoughts of all day orgies, like we’d be shag-shag-shag, left right and center all day. I just don’t have the energy for those kind of shenanigans. And what makes yall think we don’t make milkshakes already?? 🙂 When I think of living together I think of sharing expenses, learning how to live together without wanting to kill each other, putting our lives in sync. I am 32. I’m tired. I like naps, watching Super Nanny and getting lots of sleep. I get excited about new flowers blooming on my hisbiscus bush. BBE had me the moment he agreed that a nice relaxing afternoon involved us both sitting quietly reading our own books. When we first started talking about the living situation, BBE didn’t immediately run to Walgreens and buy a turbo-sized box of condoms so I’m taking that as a good sign.

Furthermore, why is it that I’M the one giving the milk away? Why is it always about the girl putting out? Why isn’t he the one that’s giving the milk away??? And if he didn’t want to “buy the cow” (and I resent being referred to as a cow – I am working on my fitness thank you very much) do yall really think I would live with someone that was just interested in the milk? Seriously? Have you people met me? And if he was just interested in dairy products then he probably wouldn’t have initiated the loving together  conversation, since that’s big committment just to get a little “milk”.

Obviously I feel very strongly about this, and thus I’m a bit rant-y.

Did I mention that I’m lactose-intolerant??

Hmph.

The lady doth protest much

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Driving back to the office after lunch and I pass some protesters outside of the SeaWorld entrance… The weird thing is that they’re not your typical angry protesters, they’re WAVING at all the cars, like Wal-Mart greeters.

Isn’t that odd?!? Aren’t they supposed to be waving fists or holding clumps of dead fish or something?

And why hasn’t someone told them it’s too hot today for that??? #justsayin

Gahh!!! What the Hell!

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What in the world??!?? I was in this total like ZEN state and it just got ruined by a lizard. Again.

Let’s back track a bit.  So on Monday afternoon, in an attempt to get back on track with making exercise a regular part of my routine I decide to take a walk through my neighborhood after dinner.

Can I just say? I live in like, a fricking Stepford paradise sort of. I mean, our neighborhood’s really nice… mellow… pretty. Ok, maybe Stepford’s the wrong way to describe it, but when I walk down the streets listening to my iPod I’m struck with how lush and inviting everyone’s lawns are (except ours). The front porches have cute patio furniture (except ours) and plants (except ours). There are swaying palms and lovely magnolia trees. It’s pretty nice by any standard.

Ok, maybe I’m making our house sound like that trashy one on the corner that has weeds 8 feet high and indigenous vermin living in the bushes nesting in old tires with broken bottles and Four Loko cans littering the steps. That’s entirely untrue. We get the weeds cut at least twice a month and I removed the Four Loko cans after the HOA complained a few times.

The point of all this is, my neighborhood lulls you into this relaxing sense of calm and peacefulness, something I’ve come to appreciate. I’m walking around, down the garden paths, past cute little houses.

But speaking of vermin – I get home and run a nice bath, read a few chapters of “Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife” by Linda Berdoll (MUST READ IF YOU LOVED Pride & Prejudice and want it a little on the dirty side) and just as I’m slipping into my nightgown, I feel something SLITHER down my backside. It was the Christmas Lizard from over a month ago! He was chillaxing in the folds of my nightgown when I put it on. Eeeek!

 I jumped about 3 feet in the air, flapping my airs like a fool before I gained composure. By the time I pulled it together to grab a shoebox to catch him, he was gone, back into the depths of my closet.

FYI – Later that night I was startled from a deep sleep convinced that he was back in my pajamas again. I had to turn on the lights and peek under the bed and shake out the covers, like I was a kid scared after watching too many Freddy Kreuger movies.

Ok, so let’s fast forward to last night. I get home after an AWESOME date (and no, details will not be disclosed) feeling like, totally zen, and walk into my closet, only to see this:

 

WTH?!?! Am I like a lizard whisperer now? Am I running a reptilian nightclub? Disco? Cocktails? Happy Hour? I mean I appreciate them for keeping us bug-free, but seriously, give a gal a little space.

I grabbed him up into a shoebox and released his free-loading butt out onto the porch.

It has been suggested that Mr. Lizard (let’s call him Mr. Geico) has MATED in my closet and now has a little lizard family in there, from whom I have separated him. First of all THANKS for that alarming visual, and I want to know if anyone else would have done different?? Are yall gonna call DFACS on me??

It is a little ironic that I’m a Geico customer.

I’ve seen the same lizard two nights in one week… are we technically going steady now?