Friday, July 29, 2016

Top Five of the Thirties, Frank Style

Taken yesterday, July 28
If it's Friday and you know it, clap your hands. Clap clap. The humidity has seeped into my brain. Today is our BFF Frank's 39th birthday! Happy birthday Fronk. Every year, Frank is gracious enough to do a birthday guest blog for me (see 2015, 2014, 2013). This year I asked for it at the last second because I forgot it was the last week of July until Tuesday. A clear case of mind vacation, an affliction common in summer months. I told him to just consider himself on retainer for a July 29 blog every year in case I have brain slippage again, which is probable. Regardless, Frank pulled through for me as he always does, and this is this year's guest birthday blog.

**********************************************
Today I turn 39 and enter my last year of a pretty incredible decade. I read Steph’s blog earlier this week about this topic and I agreed with everything that she said, especially the highest of highs and lowest of lows. My 30s have changed me in so many ways that the list would be way too long for this post. I am happy to say that these changes have led me to finally feel like the man I always hoped I would be when I was slogging through my 20s. I love a good top five list so here are my five favorite moments from my 30s:

5.  Joining the Fralinger String Band. This was a huge life change for me that I knew was going to hurt a lot of feelings but it has done so much for my confidence and my talent that is has been more than worth it.
4. Road Trip to Chicago (aka my 2nd date with Amanda).  Everyone thought we were nuts but our trip had it all. From the never ending conversation, to exploring a great city, and ending with Pearl Jam. I knew it was the beginning of something special.

 3.  My Honeymoon. Without a doubt the best trip of my life. We stayed at Excellence Riviera Cancun with upgraded VIP accommodations. It was a perfect end to an avalanche of love that we received during our wedding. (I will admit to crying when we had to leave).

2. My Wedding. I had never in my life had a weekend that was perfect until that weekend.  Our family and friends went well above and beyond anything that we could imagine to make that weekend what it was. If you were there you know! I have never felt that much love directed at me and to share it with the love of my life was overwhelming. (editor's note: true story, it was fun and full of love)
1. Becoming a Father.  Due to circumstances that led to Eva having to be born two months early I cannot say that the night she was born was my favorite. I have never been more scared of anything in my life. That said, being her father is the best thing that I have ever done in my life. I had a vision of the man I wanted to be, like I am sure we all do in our 20s, and Eva has made that vision finally become reality but well beyond what I thought it could be.
So there it is. I know it's long but if you know me I am sure you aren’t surprised!  Thank you Steph for letting me do this.

                                                     ****************
No, thank YOU, my friend, for your guest blog every year. And happy last year in our 30s!

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - DNC in the hizzy, may contain politics

1. You know what I'm sick of? I know, I know...here we go. Men patronizing women in political discussions. No, we do not need you to mansplain things to us like we have no idea how the world works. Your air of superiority is unfounded and ludicrous. All aboard! The next ship to Asshole Island leaves soon, carrying all passengers who patronize women.

2. I'm also sick of: the word "libtard," sweating, SEPTA's unfixed regional rail issues, chipped nails, fruit that goes bad too quickly, wasting a day on a pain in the ass wild goose chase, stupid questions, forgetting items at the store when I do actually make it there instead of ordering online.

3. Puppies and kittens puppies and kittens. Here are photos of my dogs riding home from the shore. And a fucking hilarious photo of Meryl Streep done up as Trump. I've been laughing like a hyena ever since I first saw this.

4. Tuesday I took a cab over to Rock the Vote's Truth to Power pop-up art exhibition at 990 Spring Garden. Powerful. I wish I could share everything I saw, but we'd be here for days. Rosie Perez sighting: she stepped in a photo I was taking and apologized. LOL
5. It's been very cool to have the DNC in town. It has been a pain in the ass for car traffic, but perfectly okay to get around on foot. I'm really proud of what I've seen this week - the professional, composed, and engaged PPD diffusing situations/giving directions/helping people, all in the heat, with a smile and nod for people as they walk by, even those who are actually protesting police; protesters exercising their right to assemble; people standing on the street corners talking politics with citizens from other areas of the country (the gentleman in the patriotic jacket below is a Bernie delegate from Palm Beach, we chatted on Market Street); and feeling people just engage. I was at Truth to Power Tuesday and walked around the City Hall area to get back to my office. Today I'm going to see what's up around Independence Hall. Some snippets from the streets:
6. I feel like Jon Stewart popping back every other second like a manic fool with yet more political commentary. What can I say, I'm a political animal and I think this is an intensely interesting time in our country. I believe third and fourth political parties will emerge in the next decade. People on both sides of the aisle are ready for it. I also think the people might be ready to re-engage and do their part to ensure that the government is not the inmate who is running the asylum. Bernie chose to run as a dem because even that progressive knew that an independent was not going to win this race. Senator Sanders showed heart and class and tremendous love for country this week. And he will continue to work for the people like he's always worked for the people because that's what Bernie Sanders does. It's what he's about. To the Bernie Bros, I absolutely understand feeling devastated when your person doesn't win and wants you to now believe in another person. I also believe in standing on principle but not when a Supreme seat is vacant and at least one more will likely vacate this presidential term. I do not want a racist, misogynist, bully, probable rapist, screaming xenophobe and his buddy the woman hater to be filling those seats almost as much as the rabid Killary haters don't want her in the White House. How do I feel about Hillary? Sort of like this. I'm not voting for her because she's a woman just like I never voted for anyone else because they were a man. What a fucking weird thing to be accused of. It's not the penis or vagina club, it's the fucking presidency. I'm voting for her because I think she's the best person on the ballot for the job. I won't tell you you're fucking crazy for voting for Trump if you don't tell me I'm fucking crazy for voting for Hillary. I will ask, if you're voting for Trump because he's a businessman, please read or listen to Bloomberg's speech at the DNC. The beauty of this country is voting for whoever the fuck you want because you're still allowed to do so at this time. If Trump wins, it might be the last time. Use it wisely.

7. A little mid-week food prep of egg muffins with asparagus and shredded cheese and greek orzo salad with tomatoes/cucumbers/kalamata olives/goat cheese/olive oil. I meant to make other stuff but we need to eat our farmer's market haul AKA eat 609 pieces of white bread toast as a vehicle for tomato sandwiches. I also made a big batch of cold brew iced coffee.
8. I strongly identify with this from The Reading Room.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week.

Seems fitting.

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Shit MFD Said: Vol 31


After dinner out
MFD: You don't have any toothpicks or tooth floss do you? 
Me: It's called dental floss.
MFD: Tooth floss.
Me: Dental floss!
MFD: It could be tooth floss too.

Holding up an article of clothing after a few weeks not at the shore
Me: Look, I forgot I had this here.
MFD: What is it?
Me: A bathing suit coverup. Duh. 
MFD: It looks like Pancho Villa's nightie. 

Before I bought him these
MFD: Do you have wet wipes?
Me: Yes.
MFD: So...do you have any nail clippers in there?
Me: Mike! No!
MFD: What? I don't know what you have in there.
Me: It's never going to be nail clippers! Ever! I've told you that every time you've asked. 
MFD: I thought maybe you did your nails here.
Me: In my car? Stop.

Yelling up from downstairs as I'm trying to go to sleep
MFD: Steph!
Me: What.
MFD: Do you know what I'm watching?
Me: No.
MFD: Fart: a documentary.
Me: Did you say FART?
MFD: Yes. 
Me: That's what I thought.
 Later
MFD: Steph!
Me: What.
MFD: You gotta come watch this.
Me: No. 
MFD: They're talking about farting in front of your spouse.
Me: I'm familiar with that. I'm going to sleep now.

Eating dinner
Me: What are you doing?
MFD: Scraping this off.
Me: Why?
Mfd: I don't like rosemary that much.
Me: There's not that much on there...this is like a toddler eating.
MFD: Says the person who can't have their food touch on their plate.
Me: Touche.

On the way home from the shore
MFD: Do you want to stop and take a picture in front of that big Alred E Newman looking thing?
Me: Should I?
MFD: I don't know. I think it's kind of cool. 
Me: Do YOU want your picture taken in front of it?
MFD: Maybe.


 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png
All read and approved by MFD before they go live...
Shit MFD Said Vol 1Shit MFD Said Vol 2Shit MFD Said Vol 3Shit MFD Said Vol 4
Shit MFD Said Vol 5Shit MFD Said Vol 6Shit MFD Said Vol 7Shit MFD Said Vol 8
Shit MFD Said Vol 9Shit MFD Said Vol 10Shit MFD Said Vol 11, Shit MFD Said Vol 12, Shit MFD Said Vol 13, Shit MFD Said Vol 14, Shit MFD Said Vol 15, Shit MFD Said Vol 16, Shit MFD Said Vol 17, Shit MFD Said Vol 18, Shit MFD Said Vol 19, Shit MFD Said Vol 20, Shit MFD Said Vol 21, Vol 22, Vol 23, Vol 24, Vol 25, Vol 26, Vol 27, Vol 28, Vol 29, Vol 30



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Don't fear the thirties

Jeep tour in Cozumel with Kim & Debbie less than a month after I turned 30
I've seen a lot of people creeping close to their thirties announcing the last years in their twenties and wondering how their thirties will treat them.

Honestly? Awesome, if you're like me and a lot of other people.

People seem to fear entering the thirties, like that's when you have to grow up. False. You have to start being responsible much younger than that. As for growing up, I hope a part of you never does. The things that are on the less glamorous side of being an adult - paying bills, people dying, physical aches and pains of aging, etc - those things are not the fault of the thirties, so don't lay that shit at this decade's feet. I have about eight months left in my thirties, and I have to say they've been amazing - huge highs and devastating lows, big life events and small changes that have led to me being the me-est me I've ever been.

I can't say I've hated any age, but the twenties were trying. I feel like I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels, reinventing the wheel, throwing the wheel up against a brick wall, and wondering why the fuck the wheel seemed so hard to reach when I am an adult and I was promised access to the wheel. I also wondered if I was working at the right job, living in the right place, being with the right person, doing the right things.

Very simply, for me the thirties signaled an end to the wondering. I trust myself, and I know what's right. Sometimes I'm on the wrong path, and even then I know that's right because of the lesson I need to learn on that path. I don't always listen to that inner what is right knowledge, but I don't wonder any more. I am no longer adrift. I am where I should be right now, and if I want to be somewhere else, I know what moves I need to make to get to that place.

I feel secure and mighty, safe in harbor but willing to tear ass out on a boat at any time. Aging has not made me risk averse, but it's caused me to be more picky and calculating in my choices.

The thirties have taught me so much about the world and through that, about myself. I've fallen in love with them...but that doesn't mean I won't fully embrace the 40s when March rolls around. All signs point to more adventure ahead.

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png



Monday, July 25, 2016

TWTW - the one that was quintessentially down the shore

Old glory and tie dye. That sums up my weekend. JK of course. Friday night we celebrated MFD's cousins Steph & Brenna's graduation from high school. It was nice to see the family and the theme was tie dye, so I was totally all in. It was right across from Lola's house so I dropped off this little I had to get it onesie. We arrived at the shore at around 12:15 and were up until after 1. 
 There was no relief from the heat at the shore on Saturday. I biked up to get something on the boardwalk and was dripping with sweat when I got back. I did get to finally use the invection cooktop from Meem & Doug. I loved it. After doing the turnover, I spent the day inside...after shopping local for our fat asses at Crazy Susan's cookies. Otherwise I finished a book and we all napped before MFD headed to Stone Harbor for mummery.
I did get my shit together and shower, eventually. I also caught a spectacular storm rolling in over the bay. When MFD got home, we rode down to the beach to watch a lightening storm over the ocean, which is one of the best things to see. We spent a few hours on Megan's porch visiting her and Gail and we have this shitty selfie to prove it. Megan is going to join me on my quest to taste all the coffees in OCNJ. Another 1 a.m. bedtime. Who are we?
We slept in until 8:30 Sunday and it was glorious, followed by an equally glorious slow start on the porch.
Breakfast at Bob's was followed by a bike ride on the boards. I've never done it and it wasn't my favorite, but now I know I can do it and not kill myself or others on my bike. Holler. We quenched our thirst at Drip-n-Scoop and rode home through the alleys. I love riding the alleys. MFD loves riding far ahead of me and yelling back ya alright back there? every other minute because I am still a bike newbie.
Instead of going to our beach, we went to the North End so MFD could fish. It was quiet, not crowded, and full of boat and jet ski drones but also, strangely, serenity. I finished another book. We stayed until 5:30. Well, a little after. I had to get some swings in on those swings after we dumped our stuff at the car. 
After a dog walk and showers, we rendezvoused with Jed and family on the beach, had dinner at Ike's , and of course topped the night off with Kohr Bros because we're fat asses. 
Weekly food prep: I have pretty successfully transitioned to mid-week food prep, but it was a struggle for much of the summer. I am solidly entrenched in my Sunday food prep routine and it was hard to move it.

 photo weekend_zps2e919702.jpg
It was a great weekend, and it's feeling a little more like settling into real life down here. I do have some alarming heel issue that I need to attend to though. Nothing says back to real real life like you don't have an old lady foot doctor down here

I'm working from home today, and home in this case being the shore. We'll leave sometime tonight. Instead of stinky hot DNC-crazed Philly at lunch, I'll be walking my dogs by the stinky bay.  

How was yours?

 photo green_zpsc25796d6.png





Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday Thoughts da do ron-ron-ron, da do ron-ron

1. I should not be laughing so much at this stuff because it's insane that this shitshow is real life, but I can't help it. Thanks to Michelle for sending me this one yesterday morning.

2. I don't understand why people think you support police OR the black lives matter movement. It's not an either/or thing. A few bad acts by minorities don't make all minorities bad. A few bad acts by cops don't make all cops bad. I support the hell out of good cops and people of any and all colors standing up for social inequity. I've seen people make "defriend me" declarations over this, and man...I just don't know how we continue like that. When have we ever solved a problem by slamming the door in the face of others? I also don't know how people can't see what black lives matter means versus all lives matter. I don't know what else to say but I know I don't want to stay silent. I don't think that helps. I don't want to stop talking to people who think differently than me either. I do want the violence to stop, even though I am aware that grand change doesn't often come about without it. Hopefully we can move forward by talking and listening and stopping the violence as all it does is perpetuate stereotypes on both sides of the line. Maybe we can move forward like this, or by reading and embracing the words of Montrell Jackson, murdered Baton Rouge police officer. I'll help heal you if you help heal me. Deal?
3. My happy smiley precious genius niece Lola Jean is back from her two week vacation. I was so happy to see her on Tuesday night. It's amazing to watch her figure things out and see how proud she is to do things on her own and how much she loves her own reflection. My dream is that she is always proud of herself, independent, and loves who she is. I think that dream will come true -  she has encouraging, loving, patient parents and a full family of people on both sides who absolutely delight in her. Love is so powerful and a tough as nails binder of people as they're being formed. 

4. I've been getting into bed relatively early but not falling asleep. Tuesday night I made myself a mug of go the fuck to sleep tea (AKA Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea, mug from Lola, book I finished Tuesday) and I think I've got myself back in a good rhythm. 
5. MFD was at the shore yesterday to have a new dishwasher installed. I'm still in the trenches battling it out with Samsung to get a refund for their shitbox dishwasher. Between the dryer at home, the double window air conditioner shitshow at the shore last weekend, and this dishwasher, I'm hoping that's three appliance things and done for us.

6. Midweek trip to Marshalls? Don't mind if I do. It felt nice to stroll the aisles in an empty store even though they didn't have the thing for which I was searching.

7. Excuse the weird contortion. I had to get a pedicure yesterday and I said fuck it and got my nails done too. I tried that new OPI Infinite Shine on the nails, it's supposed to be shiny for 10 days but doesn't require any lights or special removal. I'll report back on how it does. Toes: OPI I Manicure for Beads. Nails: OPI Pretty Pink Perseveres.

8. I love fake dinosaurs. Video from a walk past the Academy of Natural Sciences, which is going all out dinosaur this summer. Local parents, your kids might like to make a visit if they're into dinos. 


9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week. Asking for tomorrow...


 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A is for Agreement...and Aniston



I've always liked Jennifer Aniston, inasmuch as a person can like someone they've never met. She seems pretty grounded, and also like someone with whom I could go out for Mexican with in a group of friends.

I think this even more after reading her blog entry For The Record on Huffington Post.

Obviously I have no experience being stalked by paparazzi - more like I am the actual paparazzi always taking pictures of every blessed thing - but I was happy with what she had to say about women and how society scrutinizes us. What the world at large thinks it is allowed to weigh in on in the lives of women. The thing she touched on that resonated with me the most is how much we define a woman's value based on her marital and maternal status.

It's time for questions about when someone is going to get married or have a baby to stop. Those things are really intensely personal. You should not be asking the questions, period, of men or women. If someone volunteers the information, the conversation may proceed. If they don't, it's off limits. Personally I find that the people who ask me these invasive questions are not my family or close friends. They're random acquaintances or people I don't even know well. Step off.

Some people don't want to get married. Some people don't want to have kids. You don't deserve to know their reasons for either. Hell, some people CAN'T have kids, and you poking your nose around in something that's likely already a huge source of pain to them to satisfy your own nosiness is thoughtless and cruel.

I know that these rules are quite different than what were acceptable topics of conversation even less than 40 years ago. I know we're still changing. Slowly changing. I know it's a hard thing for people to adapt to, the notion that you are not privvy to a woman's reproductive plans. When I was younger, it was most certainly expected that you would grow up, get married, and have kids. And that people would ask you when you were going to get a move on those things. That's not the case anymore.

In 2016, we're finally in a place in the civilized world where people are making active choices in their own reproduction. You can have no kids, one kid, three, five, six. What you can't do is tell others the appropriate number of kids to have. You also can't publicly ask people like me about when I'm having kids without getting your ass handed to you. It's not your business and I don't have to be polite or nice in response to that question.

As for the parent vs. non-parent bullshit: You can't act like you're more if you are a parent and someone is not - you're not more exhausted, you don't have the capacity to love more. Likewise, you can't act like you're more if you're not a parent and someone is - you're not more evolved, you're not more focused. Neither of you are better. You've simply made different choices. Choices are awesome. We as women need to be supportive of the choices of other women. And we as a society need to let others be exactly who they are and not lay our conceptions of gender roles on top of them.


Marriage and motherhood are not the only two things a woman has in life. She might have a job outside the home, an in-home business, an etsy shop, a blog, a book club, a passion for tennis, so many other things not to mention the intangible things: her thoughts and dreams and hopes and ideas about the world. We are, each of us, so many things. We are all worthy of love. We all have value. None of us owe anyone an explanation of our life choices. Whether you're a wife and mom or not, it is so crucial to maintain your own identity outside of any role you play, and to practice self-care and love and not feel guilty about any time you take to do that. You'd can't fill anyone else's cup if your cup is empty.

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png



Monday, July 18, 2016

TWTW - the one with the girls at the shore

Second girls weekend in a row, what what! Change of scenery (shore instead of lake), change of girl crew (knottie girls), same gratitude to have such fabulous women in my life. 

Friday I was at the airport by 7:10 to get Mush (Kristen) and head to the shore. A good use of time in the cell phone waiting lot: painting your nails (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Ablazing!). We hit Bennie's Bread for breakfast when we got there, waited for AEB (Amanda) to arrive, and hit the beach. 
We got back to the house around 4:30 so I could meet the dishwasher repair-man. Surprise! No repair. The dishwasher (purchased and installed in October) is cracked and needs to be replaced. FYI to those in the market: if you purchase Samsung appliances, they are the only ones who can repair them, and you need to wait a while for them to get around to you. This is not ideal in a rental property, obviously.
We took the Shore Shuttle over to the Deauville, our wedding venue, for drinks & dinner at the Beach Bar. It seemed fitting since I met these ladies on the Knot wedding boards back in 2009. I also wanted to test out the Shore Shuttle in case any renters asked me about it. 
One thing I miss about having cable is not happening upon Dirty Dancing. When we got home, Mush found it, but my brain was too zoned out to stay up for it. Baby...so awkward. I love it.
Saturday morning AEB & I walked down to enjoy the sunrise. 
Then we went home and had coffee with no idea of the shitshow that was about to go down.
I wish there were photos, no, video of this turnover. Alas, there are neither so words will have to suffice for this week's adventures in property management story. The tenants checking out tell me they had a great week but said, "Can I tell you something about the air conditioning?" Please do. And so at 10:10 a.m. with people checking in at 2 I found out I needed to replace two window air units. I was all ahhhhh you should have told me this week, I would have gotten someone to replace them. As in people who were not me and my two girlfriends. Seriously, I would have been up shit's creek if I was down there alone, so I am hugely thankful for my peeps. In short order, we had to get sheets off the beds (tenants paid to use ours), remove towels, and vacuum between sofa cushions. AEB measured the windows and I called Rite Aid, who happily had window units. It's across a busy street and a block away. We go over and are overjoyed to find they are the correct size. How to get them home? AEB has the brilliant plan to use the carts to get these back to my house. On the way, I ran over my toe, AEB almost tipped, and Mush was directing traffic and trying to put out both cart fires while all passerby on foot and in cars were gawking at us. AEB and I hauled them to the second floor, Mush figured out installation. Teamwork makes the dream work. AEB & I removed one old ass leaker to the driveway, then she carried the second new AC to the third floor and I slid the old one in a box down three flights to the driveway. All done, we got the hell out of the cleaning crew's way and sat in silence and sweat and WTFness for a few minutes. I returned the carts to Rite Aid, with my phone in one...of course I left it there and had to go back to get it, and of course someone was using it. I ran around the store until I found it, staggered out looking like a sweaty insane asylum escapee and bummed a smoke off of a teenager. No fucks given, stress relieved. Girls on fire! Bonus: Someone asked if they could have the old ones if they worked even a little bit. Have at it, my friend. 

We got our shit together and strolled down Asbury, making a few purchases, stopping for refreshments, and seeing some questionable items for sale. I'm looking at you, acid wash jean shorts.
It was a lovely afternoon on the beach. Perfect people watching/judging opportunities, good views of Seagulls Gone Wild, good talks, and AEB is even reading my favorites. 
Saturday night boardwalk strolling. I will never understand why people get huge plastic Shriver's taffy things and blow them up and carry them around. They look like inflatable tampons. Faces blacked out to protect the innocent who may not know what tampons are yet.
Sunday sunrise with Mush. I always walk/bike past St. Damien's on the way back home after sunrise and think church...I've just been to mine. I'm usually up for the day at that point with dogs needing to be walked but today I went back to bed and we all slept until after 10. It felt decadent and disorienting all at once.
The girls went to Wawa and AEB brought me back my favorite pepperoni & provolone on a bagel. We strolled the boards and enjoyed the breeze before we left. I did end up getting that sign
L.E.H. Soap Company bars on the bottom right
I never get a lot of face time with these women and I'm so happy that we did this weekend!

Weekly food prep is not happening until tomorrow. I don't need lunch today as we have a staff meeting, and I have a breakfast burrito from the freezer and some power breakfast muffins to hold me over until tomorrow.

 photo weekend_zps2e919702.jpg
I came home to a clean house and tidied up yard. MFD rocks. 

How was your weekend?


 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