Sunday, September 25, 2016

I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen - A.A. Milne

This month marks 14 years for us as a couple, and today is our sixth wedding anniversary. We've known each other since seventh grade. There's a lot of water under this bridge.

We've gone through tremendous changes in the past three years of our marriage. All for the better, but big changes just the same. I'm proud of how we've acclimated and adapted, how we've supported each other, and how we've hung in there even when it would have been easier to not hang in there. 

So often internet discussions of relationships focus on the great and sweet moments, which of course I love because who doesn't love great and sweet moments? But just like in every other area, I'm a realist when it comes to love and marriage. Some days are diamonds and some days are rocks. Both serve a purpose but one is so much prettier so we tend to focus on those glittering diamond days when things are so good it almost hurts to look at them straight on. Then you have the days where someone's an asshole, something is hard, things are boring - the rock days. Not so exciting, not pretty or special, not often mentioned.

Honestly? It's exceptionally easy to be married when everything is great, but you're going to be shit out of luck if you can only co-exist on the high have to be able to survive time in the trenches together as well.

That's why I've never tried to pretend we have the perfect relationship. I'm too proud of the hard times we've come through and I wouldn't let them go for anything - they've made us just as much if not more as the diamond days have made us. Besides, perfect relationships are a) a farce b) boring as fuck to even contemplate. We are imperfect people in an imperfect relationship living an imperfect life and it's pretty damn great. To those of you out there doing the same, I see you. 

Here's to another year of making dreams come true, of tenacity, of shit MFD said, of being real and true with each other, of support and encouragement and understanding, of love, and of adventure. 

A collage of the past 12 months:  (click on this to see 2015's collage and 2014's collage).
1 - In Grand Teton National Park on September 25 last year; 2 - October 2015 after signing papers on our shore house; 3 - November 2015 PanCan walk; 4 - An oddly warm beach day in December 2015; 5 - Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in January 2016; 6 - New Orleans in February 2016; 7 - Shawn & Maggie's wedding in March 2016; 8 - Back on the beach in April 2016; 9 - Chinese Lantern Festival in May 2016; 10 - before the Paul Simon concert in June 2016; 11 - Biking on the boards in July 2016; 12 - Tubing on the Delaware August 2016; us at Lucy the Elephant in Margate earlier this monthy

Happy birthday to Amanda today, one of our BFFs!

I'm off tomorrow, so maybe TWTW tomorrow night, or maybe Tuesday. I'll surprise you.
 photo green_zpsc25796d6.png

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - r o c k in the U S A

1. Tired, fearful, and loathing: how we felt about Monday in our house. 
2. The skies around the Harvest Moon make my soul burn.

3. Lots of fighting on the internet about what it means to be a patriot in America. Everyone who knows us knows both MFD and I are very liberal. MFD always posts things with political or social implications on facebook and he has a host of trolls who dogpile on the rabbit and like to talk to those who lean a little more left in a patronizing manner, as if we are children or people who don't understand how the world works. They call us libtards which seriously? Boils my fucking blood. If you are friends with either of us on facebook and you see me ever comment on one of those posts, you know I have reached fuck this shit o'clock with the patronizing bullshit and am flying my ship right into the Death Star. No matter what side you're on in any issue, remember this: civil discourse is still a thing. People who think differently than you are not your enemy, you don't need to de-friend or block them. You don't need to attack or get personal. You can discuss matters like adults or you can, I don't know, refrain from engaging. Grow up. And remember: it's not just your rights that are important. It's all rights. 

4. In other news of the week...we have a systemic racism problem in this country that will not go away until we all acknowledge it. If you cannot see how black America is different from white America, do some reading on slavery and what happened during it, who owned who and how it ended; then move on to segregation, and what happened to people during those protests; then go to mortgage discrimination, which was still happening up until the late 1970s and is a major contributor to the urban decay we accuse black people of causing; then you look at crimes committed and lengths of sentences and you look at criminals in general and how we approach and talk about them...then you tell me with clear eyes and a honest heart how we all have the same opportunities and are treated the same across the board. If you tell me those things, I'm going to be asking some questions to make sure you actually did the reading. Do not discount how huge of a thing opportunity is in our lives.  Someone who planted bombs in NYC and NJ and had a shootout with police this weekend was brought in alive. These people are being gunned down in the streets for getting out of their cars. What the fuck is going on here? There is injustice and I will not be quiet about it. If you feel there is injustice, I hope you won't be quiet about it either. 

5. Now that my Public Service Announcements are over...I'm loving my newest Alex & Ani Jill gave me this weekend. It is the perfect addition to my collection and one that I identify with right now. Your friends just know sometimes, you know? Thanks Jill!

5. I finally got my food prep shit together despite Whole Foods fucking me and forcing me to use chard instead of spinach in my spinach muffins. I did egg muffins with asparagus and goat cheese, turkey tacos, and steamed asparagus with baked chicken thighs for lunches. Snacks are grapes, bananas, and noosa yogurt. 
6. The above was accomplished despite Whole Foods sucking. I use Instacart grocery delivery when I'm in a pinch - I need things for dinner that night and don't have time to get to the store. That was the case Monday. I worked late, my fridge was totally bare, and I had to get some food in the house. Instacart shoppers and service are great - but the stock at Whole Foods is awful. They never have anything. I ordered 12 items and 7 had to be replaced or flat out not fulfilled. Luckily Amazon was delivering the bulk of the groceries the next day so I could put the Whole Foods fuckery behind me and get on with the food prep. 

7. This is MFD's favorite old woobie shirt. We do our own laundry, but whites are done jointly because we don't produce a ton of them. Whenever I'm the one to do the whites and I lay hands on this shirt, I consider hiding it. 

8. I didn't watch the Emmys on Sunday, and I didn't scour the Internet for Emmy fashion. Who am I? p.s. I was all up on the fall of the Brangelina Empire. Team Jen for life. 

9. Important. 

10.  E-card of the week...Lots of know it alls on the interwebs these days. 
First day of calendar fall, Bs.  

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png

Stuff, Things, etc.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Any book worth banning is a book worth reading

That's what I think, anyway. Sunday starts Banned Books Week, also known as the annual celebration of the freedom to read.

According to Banned Books Week was started in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. According to the American Library Association, more than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials based upon the objections of a person or group. Not just them expressing their opinion, but actively trying to remove material from curriculum and libraries, restricting the access of others and threatening freedom of speech and choice. A banning is the removal of those materials.

Like many of you, I cannot imagine a world in which I would possibly stoop to tell others what they should not read for moral purposes. However, there are many fearful assholes in the world, and those people would and do want to tell others what they can and can't read.
Thanks to organizations like Freedom to Read, we are fortunate enough to be able to lay hands on the majority of these banned books. I donate to them yearly, this year in memory of Gamma as she was one of the readers who shaped my life. The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to express our ideas without governmental interference, and to read and listen to the ideas of others. The Freedom to Read Foundation supports the right of libraries to include in their collections and make available any work which they may legally acquire.

The American Library Association is all up in Banned Books Week, of course. As they should be. Librarians are typically badass warriors for the right to read. Next week, from September 25 to October 1, the ALA will be running pieces by authors on its Intellectual Freedom Blog. Be sure to check those out.

As the ALA states, it's not only the librarians, though: it's the entire book community - librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers - who support the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Personally, I like to read a banned piece every year during Banned Books Week, and next week it'll be Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I bet a book you loved has been banned or challenged - check out this list of classics, or the top 10 most challenged books of 2015 here.

First, just be aware that there are maniacs who think they should be able to tell you what to read. Go ahead and give them the finger.

Second, consider celebrating next week by reading some banned titles...because you can, thanks to advocates for freedom to read and those like us who insist on that freedom.

 photo redsig_zps5103b6e2.jpg

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Summer 2016 by the Numbers

Thursday is the calendar beginning of fall. Thanks to Jana for this post idea, in which I attempt to enumerate summer from Memorial Day - September 20.

Weekends at home - 3.5
Weekends at the shore - 11.5
Weekends at lakes - 2

Concerts attended - 4. Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel & Sting, Counting Crows, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Missed Dolly Parton but had tickets.

Minutes Bruce Springsteen played - 244. North American record, bitches.

Books read - 51.

Blog posts written - 75. This one is number 75.

Beach sunrises I was present for - 14. 

TV shows watched in their entirety - 2. Stranger Things, Political Animals.

Number of rooms painted - 1. Powder room in the efficiency at the shore.

Cans of paint that went AWOL - 1.

New recipes I tried - 5. (baked pesto chicken, one-ish pan chicken, cilantro lime riced cauliflower, golden turmeric paste, personal portobello pesto pizzas)

Movies seen in a theater - 0. 

Additions to aunt army - 1. Elizabeth J! Michael B. narrowly missed the summer season.

New restaurants I tried at home - 3. (Green Eggs Cafe, Villa di Roma, O Wow Cow ice cream)

New restaurants I tried at the shore - 10. (OC Surf Cafe, Ike's, Cousin's, Ready's, The Crab Trap, Angelo's, Yianni's, Varsity Inn, Frankie's on the Bay, Arlene's on Asbury, Katrina's)

Most blocks biked in one day - 56. 

New appliances - 2. A dryer at home and a dishwasher at the shore

Zumba classes skipped - all. 

Tomato sandwiches eaten - 479. Give or take.

Times I cared if people stared at me while I was pushing a dog stroller - 0. Zero times, zero fucks given.

New loves - 7. (Amazon Fresh delivery, Ellie's Best nutmilk bag for iced coffee making, Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea, Kindle Paperwhite, crazy comfortable poplin pants by Lou & Grey (no longer available), crazy comfortable simple pants by the Gap, Sanuk Overboard Loafers)

What does your summer look like by the numbers?

 photo green_zpsc25796d6.png

Monday, September 19, 2016

TWTW - the one with the framily

Friday afternoon traffic sucked the balls again so I took back roads to the shore, sunroof open and Bruce Springsteen wailing away for company. MFD and I gorged on  all you can eat crab legs at Frankie's on the Bay (and their iced tea/lemonade/strawberry fucking amazing drink), then rode up to the beach to see the spectacular harvest moon before retiring to the porch with the dogs.
I finished a book around 1 am which made a 5:50 alarm tough, but Mr. National Geographic insisted that we had to haul ass over to Sea Isle Saturday morning to see a beached humpback whale. It's sad to see a magnificent creature die. The sunrise...not sad. Balloons released into the wild...super sad. They end up in the oceans, river, streams, etc., and they kill the things that live there. Gus sniffed these out and I took them home to the trash. 
I did some chores then met MFD for breakfast outside at Arlene's on Asbury, followed by coffee at Drip N' Scoop, a stop at the bike store for more reflectors, and some porch time with the dogs. Saturday's weather was tremendous.
Cut to a long afternoon at the beach. Jill & Frank & Tebow, Frank & Amanda, & Joe trickled in throughout the day. We missed Lauren & Kenny and the boys and the Diva, but we'll be doing it again many times in the future. I'm on a Manco & Manco strike in their stores but still enjoy it via delivery, which is what we did for dinner. At night there was some boardwalking, leftover cake eating, fishing, and lounging and gabbing. I fell out around 11:30 and slept the sleep of the dead. 
Easy like Sunday morning with coffee on the porch and brunch at Sunrise Cafe (the chip beef is great) in which we had girls and guys tables and handed our check right over to them.  
Joe headed home and the rest of us took in the salt air cure. It was a lovely afternoon on the beach talking, laughing, reading, and eating pumpkin spice froyo to really blend the seasons. 
The backdrop was a corvette show on the boards. Corvettes as far as the eye could see. 
And then there were two. We closed it out at the beach, did some cleaning up at home, then had dinner at Katrina's and rode home along the boards. Out of season = bikes on the boardwalk whenever you want. 
I was supposed to stay over and go to work from there Monday, but heavy rains were predicted and I did not want the agony of that commute so I arrived home at 10:30, put some laundry in and trash out, and called it a day. I'm glad I did because this morning was a shitshow just getting to the train station.

Weekly food prep did not happen. I took some chicken thighs out of the freezer this morning, and I am placing an Amazon Fresh order ASAP. The fridge is bare. So I'm sort of winging it but thinking chicken and veggies for lunches, egg muffins for breakfasts, and tacos and baked chicken with sweet potatoes for dinners. Still exploring restaurants in Ocean City on the weekends, which has me off my not eating out much cooking game.

 photo weekend_zps2e919702.jpg

What a weekend. I love relaxing with my people in a place I love. 
How was yours?

Today is my youngest brother's birthday. Love you Swan! Happy Happy! 
Happy happy to our nephew Drew today as well, and my longest life friend Jen yesterday. 

 photo green_zpsc25796d6.png

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips
Pin It button on image hover