yards that make my yard look good

Dear Neighbors,

You are so kind. I can't believe the lengths you've gone to to make your own front yards look disastrous so that our long-neglected yard appears halfway decent in comparison. Such a thoughtful, selfless gesture on your parts. From the bottom of our grass-infested dandelions, thank you.



meet eliza coupe

This is quite possibly the funniest Twitter bio I've ever read. Eliza Coupe is the genius who plays Jane on Happy Endings. I also love that she, like yours truly, hails from the great Granite State. 

Max (guy in the plaid shirt below) is the funniest character on TV. Period. If you don't watch this show, I'm sorry for you.


effie trinket toes

You know how I get. It's hard for me to like things only a little bit. I have a proclivity for slight obsessions (obviously).

Like half of America right now, I'm all wrapped up in The Hunger Games. Want to have a 20 minute discussion about the discrepancies between the book and the movie? Call me. Want to debate Team Gale and Team Peeta? Or dissect Katniss' outfits—and those fabulous tiny feather eyelashes she wears at the end? Really, call me.

So after I saw the movie for a second time (with little brother Biggie) and we found ourselves at the nail salon, I was drawn to this outrageous color. It just screams Effie Trinket, don't you think? 


sugar and spice and everything nice

That's what little girls are made of, right?

I just realized that all I've blogged about for the past few months is football, cars, and guns. Not. very. girly. I'll attempt to balance it out. 

Meet Patricia (the one in the purple bucket). Her mom Nyang Nyang has been one of my English students for the past year. 

I have such a baby crush on Patricia. Every time I see her, I just want to scoop her up. I should add that this doesn't indicate any secret wish for a baby of my own (sorry Mom). But this little girl is so damn precious.

A few Sundays ago at Kroger, I ran into these two. They were trying to find the items on their assistance check—and as you can imagine, this is fairly difficult when you barely speak/read English—so my intended quick in-and-out trip became an hour of pacing the aisles with them trying to find all the right things. 

A bit of a detour, but so worthwhile. Especially to see little Patricia smile. Awww. Estrogen levels back to normal yet?


between a glock and a hard place

Standing in front of this table on Saturday morning, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. Five of us stood inside a small cinderblock building looking down at this display. Luckily, one of us was a State Trooper. The other four—myself included—were there for one purpose: To learn how to shoot a gun.

Let's pause for a moment. I should give a bit of context.

Disclaimer #1 
I'm not a violent person. Although I have an Italian temper and bad history with chipmunks, I have no real desire to inflict harm. 

Disclaimer #2
A few weeks ago, a friend bought a Groupon for an indoor shooting range and asked if I was interested. It wasn't on my bucket list, but it seemed like an interesting thing to add.

When we arrived at the range, they asked, "Have you ever fired a gun before?" And since we hadn't, we were turned away. You see, the Groupon was for shooting guns; instructions for shooting were not included. 

Not ones to give up, we started brainstorming... Who could teach us? And it just so happened that one friend's friend is a State Trooper. 

Which brings us back to where this story began—in a gun shed, behind a police station.

After a brief lesson with the unloaded weapons, we walked out toward the tall U-shaped hill that served as a practice range. I squished my bright orange ear plugs in as far as they'd go while I waited. And then it was my turn.

I couldn't tell if my arms were shaking because it was 33 degrees with errant snowflakes floating around, or because I held a loaded 9mm Glock 17 pistol in my hand.

I closed my left eye, trying to focus on the tiny X on the target, and pulled the trigger. I knew it'd be loud, but it was LOUD. What I didn't expect was the way the bullet casings flew up and landed on my arm, bounced off my head, etc. It was a bit unnerving to have little metal pieces—even if they're harmless—flying at your face after you've just fired a gun. I tried it with my eyes closed a few times so that I wouldn't flinch.

In the end, I fired a 38mm Sig Sauer (which we called "the cute one" because it was like a tiny spy gun), and a 45 caliber 1911 (which was "the big scary one" because it had a helluva kickback when you shot). After the initial shock wore off, it was actually pretty entertaining to see how accurate our shots were. Side note: I didn't really shoot the car below, but it made for a pretty good photo opportunity.

You will never find me hunting. You probably won't ever find a gun in my house. But will you find me at a shooting range this summer? Maybe.