This year my parents celebrate 34 years of marriage. I was going to post an adorable picture of them in celebration, but since both are extremely paranoid that revealing anything about themselves on the internet will result in identity theft, nay, a made-for-TV kidnapping, I will instead relate a CIA quality Top Secret version: After we exchanged ______ at my _____, we went to ______ and enjoyed lots of ______. And here's a dramatic reenactment of what Mr. and Mrs. ___ look like, with some slight airbrushing to keep their identities secret.
This is one of my best pals, Kieran Walsh. We have a history of going on random, wild trips together. So when he called me and asked if I wanted to head up to the historic Dade Battlefield, I couldn't refuse. "See you at 6am" he said. On a Saturday? Ouch.
Before the battlefield, Kieran took us to this junkyard in Inverness. Why the owner dude bought a missle, I'm not sure. In the back of the place was a motorcycle graveyard. Kieran was like a kid in a candy store. Fortunately, the stuff was over priced or I would have been helping Kieran load some of this crap into his pickup.
A mine. No expalanation. But if I owned a junkyard, I would have bought two of these.
This natural cathederal is on the way out of Inverness. Finding roads in rural Florida with arching Grandfather oaks is a real treat. We don't see this enough.
We got lost because both Kieran and I have a terrible sense of direction. After leaving Inverness, we ended up 20 miles south, somewhere close to Dade City. On a rural route, Kieran spotted some cages down in a ravine. We stopped, snooped around outside of some barbed wire gate and got close enough to snap some shots of what we saw. First, some testy baboons. These things were not stoked to be in a cage.
Next to the baboons was a black panther--the first one I have seen. Another animal not pleased to be caged--the poor thing was walking in circles. After snooping around for a bit, we checked out about a dozen white-tailed deer, a black bear, and some Spider Monkeys. We were drawn to a deep bellowing noise coming from somewhere in the back. After about 15 minutes, some guy rolls up in a car to ask what we were doing--he thought we were trying to jump the fence. Satisfied with our explanation, he told us that the place was a private animal rescue that had just opened about five months ago. . . and the bellowing was from a lion.
Although we never made it to the battlefield, missles, mines, rednecks, and exotic animals were a much better substitute.
I want to thank Kieran for driving and always being down for random adventures. Many more to come...
if I razzed him on the blog. So I'm taking his offer of immunity to point out his grammar gaff: Ariel and me, not Ariel and I! I sometimes wonder if he does that on purpose to drive me insane. Like when he says, where's the cat at? Why the at? Who needs the at? Stop the madness!!!
Also, you've got to be joking about working out to that video. That's our wedding dance, dude.
We have found the ultimate work out mix. Wamm? No. Boy George? Maybe. Michael Jackson? Real close. Imagine Ariel and I, on a Sunday afternoon, learning the dance moves off this video. Behold, Indian Thriller:
I'm a stressball. People who don't know me very well probably can't tell how crazy I am, but my friends and family know how insanely intense I get. More so than any vitamin deficiency or hormone imbalance, strees is probably the major cause of my migraines and meltdowns. Last year (and with Matt's financial assistance--thanks, baby!), I joined a gym to try to keep some of that stress from tearing my face off. I don't go as much as I'd like to, but I've discovered that I really like cardio as a way to take the rough edges off. I mean, who has the energy (or salt) to cry over a $600 car repair after a butt-kickin' spin class? So why did it take me so long to figure out that not only can I actually do cardio, but also that I like it (or at least its effects?). Because I'd never really been to a gym before! Turns out all I needed was central air, music videos with skinny pop stars shimmying around (and by that I mean Iggy Pop and David Bowie during their heyday), and no worries about getting hit by a car to bring me over to the sweaty side. Also, I love that no matter what I do, I'm never going to fall off my stationary bike, no matter how hard I ride. Maybe I can learn to take care of myself after all ...
So I thought to keep me going I'd try to run in my alma mater's 5k in the fall. It's no marathon, but it's still a good goal. Last night it took me 48 minutes to jog/walk 5k. Women my age were running it in TWENTY MINUTES. Now there's a goal. Gulp. I've posted my new favorite song to sweat my guts out to. If anyone's reading, give me some suggestions for songs to jog to. Preferably something that will help me forget I'm a wimp.
I just took my friend John to the airport today. He spent 8 days in Florida, more than half of those in Tampa. Being bike riders by trade, it is our duty to travel to cities far away to scour for "spots." The term "scour" in the bike world entails pedaling through all the nooks and crannies of any given city to find optimal places to ride--so called "spots."
Yesterday, John and I covered all of downtown and Ybor. Even though I've been riding this area since the early nineties, new spots (usually due to construction) will always pop up anew. Beyond the act of riding, traveling through the city-scape of Tampa always proves to me why I love this little neck of the woods so much. In perfect, winter cooled air, John and I checked out the campus at U.T. with it's Russian minarets, Tampa Theatre with its 1930's facade still in tact, the giant ships in Port of Tampa (I always revel in the thought of something that massive being built to float), and the old, red brick Cigar factories of Ybor.
So unique is this town. I can never get enough...and neither can John--he's flying back to New Hampsire into 3 feet of snow. Sorry man.
School is back in session tomorrow, so I'm gearing myself up by eating my body weight in delicious, diminuitive Clementine oranges. Normally I hate eating fruit I have to peel myself or that makes my fingers sticky (I'd probably eat everything with a fork if I could), but somehow getting these wee things all over me and under my nails doesn't bother me.