Happy Birthday Mother Nature!

Credit: The Go Green Blog (thegogreenblog.com)

As I drove to work today and belted out Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” not only did I become aware that the people passing me were giving me funny looks but I also realized that I hadn’t decided on a goal for Earth Day today.  A few days ago I started seeing articles and other reminders that Earth Day was coming up and I figured I should do something (even if it was small).  I hadn’t done anything since elementary school when we were forced to take home little twigs with roots wrapped in wet paper towels inside zip lock bags to plant at our homes.  The zip lock bag totally defeated the purpose but I guess it was the only way for us to bring it home.  Of course, most of our little twigs ended up in the trash because our parents weren’t interested in the project and didn’t want us ripping up their lawns in order to plant the little branch. 

These past few years I’ve been taking small steps to help the environment.  I already recycle like a fiend, I’ve almost stopped using plastic wrap and foil to cover my lunches, I bring my own reusable bags when I go grocery shopping, I use a reuseable water bottle, and we use Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs in our home. 

I decided that my goal is to volunteer for at least one beach cleanup in the state of CT this year.  I find the ocean to be fascinating and beautiful and it’s a shame that our waste ends up in it.  I’ve never done a beach cleanup but I figure it’s a nice way to help out and meet new people.  Ocean Conservancy has a lot of information on what they do, what kinds of rubbish they find during their cleanups and how you can help.  I’ve signed up for their 26th annual International Coastal Cleanup taking place Sept. 17, 2011.

Take the time today to wish Mother Nature a happy birthday and reflect on your relationship with her, she’s irreplaceable.

My Day of Burgers and Bullets

Credit: George

My boyfriend, George,  has always wanted to take me to the shooting range.  Today I finally gave in and surprisingly had a great time!  We first stopped at a mom and pop burger joint called Merritt Canteen. I had no idea that this was Bridgeport’s hidden secret and it was recently featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network! I was a bit overwhelmed with all their menu choices (because I had been expecting a basic burger, cheeseburger, fries, and milkshakes menu).  George said this was the after-school hang out when he was in high school and he recommended we get the mac N cheez bites.  The woman at the order window was amazing with how she remembered our order and multi-tasked by filling/serving others orders (props to her because I don’t know of anyone who could multi-task like that!). Very reasonable price with just the right amount of food.  The milkshake was super thick but whatever we were able to suck up tasted like heaven!  The burgers were not messy (which is something I always look for in a burger) and really tasty.

Ready. Aim. Fire!

From there we went to the Bridgeport Shooting Range.  There was a bit of a wait but it was nice because George had time to go over gun safety with me.  The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the noise.  Every time someone opened the door to the firing line it sounded like, well, a gun going off.  George bought ear plugs so I put them in right away since I have sensitive ears.  He also got me a cute pair of pink safety glasses.  When a lane cleared, it was our turn to go in.  George purchased 2 paper targets for us and they were really cool because they are black, but when a bullet goes through, a different color appears depending on what part of the target you hit! 

My Instructor

I was super nervous but he was really patient and encouraging.  He said for a first timer my aim was really good.  I’ve never been a fan of guns because I find them to be scary and just an addition to violence which I’m against.  George said his reason for wanting me to experience it was to learn the basics and get a first hand experience for safety and responsiblity.  I’m glad he did and I’m glad I went.  I not as afraid anymore and I found out I had better aim than him his first time.  Bragging rights?  You bet!

Top: Georges Bottom: Mine

Rain: My Allergies’ Savior

New England had it rough a snowpocalypse this past winter (see: Remember actually enjoying snow days as a kid? ), so for weeks I longed for the sun, green grass, flowers, and the sound of birds.  Although, there was this one morning when those birds woke me up 10 minutes before my alarm and I wanted to shoot each and every one of them.  Anyways, how quickly I’d forgotten that with all these wonderful things comes my worse enemy…springtime allergies!

I’ve never been tested so I don’t know the specifics of what kind of pollen I’m allergic to, but I do know that it’s the most annoying thing ever!  I can barely breathe at night.  My eyes and throat are all kinds of itchy and the sneezing, coughing, and nose blowing become somewhat exhausting.  I usually reach for a Claritin (loratadine) which helps with the itchiness, but this year someone recommended Zyrtec (cetirizine hydrochloride) so I’m trying that out to see if that helps with all the symptoms.  For those of you who can relate, is it just me or is the pollen really bad this year?  Pollen.com is a helpful site where you can type in your zip and it gives you the pollen forecast for you area and information on allergies.  It’s convenient because it reminds me to grab my bottle of Zyrtec and pop it in my bag if the pollen conditions are going to be high so I’m not dying all day.

When I’m in my allergy slump, and there are days where even the meds don’t seem to be working, the one thing I look forward to are spring showers.  I love the rain, mainly in the spring and summer when it’s refreshing and not freezing like winter rain.  It forces all that pollen to settle and then washes it away.  The mugginess/humidity before the rain is the worst but as soon as the sky opens up I’m breathing easier and sneezing less.  It’s relief, if only for a little while.

Congratulations Huskies!!!

Very much regretting that I didn’t even have them making the final four this year but I’m still super proud!!!

I Still Believe in Mermaids.

Okay, maybe not anymore but they’re the one thing from my childhood that still fascinate me.  I saw this article on entertainment weekly and I got really excited reading it.

My FAVORITE Disney Princess

 

2011: The year mermaids swim into movies, books, fashion, and maybe your local swimming pool

 by Stephan Lee

New_Pirates_4_Mermaid_Poster
With the interest surrounding killer mermaids in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, mermaids are having a bit of a pop culture moment. As far as fantasy creatures go, it’s safe to say that vampires dominated entertainment from 2008 to 2010 (although zombies also made a big impact), but looking forward, there are plenty of fishy-tailed women on the horizon in the next couple years: A live-action Little Mermaid is in the works; a spate of mermaid novels are coming out this year (even Stephenie Meyer is writing about mermaids now!); Mermaids of Hollywood, an app-turned book, will feature celebrities like Ginnifer Goodwin, Anna Faris, and the Kardashians photographed as mermaids by Mark Anderson; and rumors have popped up of a TV show based on the YouTube series The 3 Tails (errr, not sure about this one … maybe TLC could give it a season).
To understand this unusual trend on the rise, I talked to author and expert on all things mermaids Carolyn Turgeon, who released the aptly titled novel Mermaid earlier this month. Her extensive research on the subject became bigger than her novel, turning into the basis of her fascinating, comprehensive blog, I Am A Mermaid. She also plans on writing a nonfiction book about the appeal of mermaids throughout history and the current practice of “mermaiding” — which is basically putting on a tail and swimming around in oceans or local pools (more on that later). Her research has taken her everywhere from Iceland (which is apparently merman central — who knew?) to Warsaw, and she’s spoken to a sirenology expert at Wellesley and even Tim Gunn about mermaids in our culture. More

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