We Really Need to Get Out More…

I don’t watch Game of Thrones (don’t @ me), so it’s been a relatively slow week for me, but today two adorable things happened and I need to share them with you all.

First, a dear young friend of mine emailed me and told me to search for “Turtle Chases Rabbit” on YouTube.

It was easily the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Until I moved my gaze over just a few feet and saw this:

IMG_4215.jpg

Apparently she really loves turtles. Or bunnies.

It’s actually not the first time we’ve caught her watching TV. She absolutely loves it when we watch nature documentaries, so sometimes when we need her to sit quietly for a bit, we’ll do what all parents do: pop something on the tele. While for some kids it’s Peppa Pig, for Aloy, it’s Planet Earth (and now Netflix’s Our Planet). We hit play and before we know it, she’s up on the couch, chin on the armrest, and she’s focused.

We’ve learned that she loves chase scenes (which is probably why this one, even in its slow nature, caught her eye) and birds, but fish and bugs don’t do much for her. Lizards and snakes are hit or miss.

Either way I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed? On the one hand, it’s kind of a cool party trick, right? On the other hand, have we domesticated our animals so much that they’re even learning to become tv-watching couch potatoes who are more likely to experience nature on our televisions than in real life? One of the big benefits of having a dog is that they get us outside, right? Now all of a sudden, nature is just her toilet. And now that I’m thinking about it, I woke up this morning to find a giant poo on our kitchen floor, so maybe I’m not even doing that right…

In all honesty, though, I think this is the perfect solution for when the weather is crappy and we can’t spend a lot of time outside. While the dogs and The Mr and I all love the snow, we all tend to agree that winter camping isn’t for us. So… we go out for an hour or two to play in the snow, and then we come inside, snuggle up with tea and a bone, and watch the world from safety and comfort of our homes and internet connections. And at least we’re all learning more about the planet, right?

Now, of course, the days are getting nicer and the ability to get out and do stuff is growing, which thankfully means that our couch time is shrinking.

But I have to say, on rainy days, I’m really grateful for this amusing party trick.

And let’s be honest, she doesn’t seem too upset either.


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23 things to make you smile. Right now.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I've been making more of an effort to spread cheer and optimism over there. I don't really know what started this, but for some reason lately, I've been trying to broadcast happiness on a grand scale. Maybe it's because the headlines lately have been exhaustingly sad and rageful. Or maybe it's just because I like happy things and I honestly don't think the world can have enough happiness. Either way, yesterday, I asked people on twitter to only tweet about the good stuff happening and using the hashtag, #HappyTweets. Now, I'm not a person with a ton of followers, so this didn't take off quite as much as I'd hoped it would, but that's okay. I still managed to tweet happy things, and I'm going to keep this going, even here on the blog. So... in the event that you just need a reason to smile, here is a list of things to be happy about in spite of what the news tells us:

  1. Puppies. I tweeted about this yesterday, but how incredible is it that we live on a planet on which puppies exist? Puppies, possibly the cutest things ever, happen all the time. They're just all around. And then, on top of them being cute, THEY LOVE EVERYONE. Have you ever met a puppy that didn't want to snuggle or play? Many books have been written on the love that dogs give us, but I think puppies deserve an extra boost right now because we are so lucky to live in the same universe as them. Just soak that incredible fact in.
  2. Artists. Okay, so I'm also floored by just how amazing it is that we are living at a time when people like Jenny Lawson, Hank Green, J.K. Rowling, Hannah Hart, Ben Folds, Rainbow Rowell, etc. all create stuff that we get to enjoy and learn from. Every day, there are amazing artists of all types creating things that we just get to sit down and be like "THIS IS A THING I ENJOY" and then we get to walk away feeling inspired by those people and things they do. Especially now. Now we are in a time when content is just constantly available to us - and often for free. This brings me to the next thing...
  3. The Internet. Okay, I know: The Internet can be full of terrible people, but you know what? It's also full of amazing people and amazing communities. Before the Internet, the only people available to you were just the ones physically surrounding you. If they weren't into the same stuff you were, that was just the pits. Now? Now you get to go online and log onto some forum or social media account and say "HEY, I'M REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT FAKE LIZARDS MADE OF SAND AND WAX." and someone else could be like, "OH MY GOD, ME TOO!!" and now you have a new friend who is in a totally different country. The Internet is an amazing place for people in search of community and friendships. I met the love of my life because of the Internet. I'm able to write and have a small group of readers because of the Internet. I'm currently listening to music because of the Internet. All the jerks out there? They are nothing in comparison to the awesomeness that I find on the Internet.
  4. Books. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES OUT THERE TO READ. FAIRY TALES AND REALISTIC FICTION AND MURDER MYSTERIES AND SCI-FI AND HISTORY. IT'S ALL OUT THERE JUST WAITING FOR YOU. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
  5. Flowers growing through cracks in the sidewalk. This doesn't need any explanation. Tiny, delicate, beautiful things emerge and break through the toughest of materials. As cliche as it is, this metaphor is wonderful and we should all remind ourselves of it daily.
  6. Music. No matter your taste, music is out there for you to fall in love to and with. Perfectly timed melodies and beautiful lyrics come to us in all sorts of ways and we get to apply them to moments in our lives as though someone is building a soundtrack for us. I just love it.
  7. Coffee. 
  8. Your ideal weather. For me it's 77 degrees and immediately following rain. I love rain, too, now that I'm thinking about it. Sure, weather can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but when it's also kind of amazing. Just picture your perfect day, weather-wise.
  9. Details in architecture. This one comes from my bestbian, Leah. She loves walking around the city with her headphones in and just looking at buildings and trying to notice their unique details. She's the best.
  10. Having a best friend. Many of us can think of our best friend(s). That person is someone who we can call whenever and just vent to. Best friends are the people who like you anyway. They're the best.
  11. Riding trains. I'm sure many of us have different feelings about train travel, but there is something so very classic and, as Leah puts it, "British" about the experience. She and I love British things, so this is in our happy column.
  12. Good television. We are in an age of amazing television right now. Shows that are beautifully written and make us think. This is awesome. I, personally, love great dialogue. Great dialogue is great.
  13. Crawling into a made bed at the end of the day. Oh man, is there anything more relaxing?
  14. Wearing an outfit that you know you look really, really good in. Admit it. You know what outfit this is and it is the thing you feel best about yourself in. Because you are really ridiculously good looking in it and you can do anything in that outfit.
  15. Pajamas. Duh.
  16. Making other people smile. 
  17. Rivers, lakes, and oceans. Bodies of water always seem to make me happy. I don't know why, but they're lovely. I've always really liked that line from Pocahontas where she says "my favorite thing about rivers is that you can't step in the same river twice." That has always made me smile.
  18. I know I said puppies already, but let's just give a shout out to all baby animals. Baby animals are just the best.
  19. Hugs. Good hugs are great. Even if you're not a hugger, somewhere out there is a hug that you love. I believe in that.
  20. When everything is where it should be. I personally hate cleaning, but I love when everything is clean, so I force myself to go through the grueling process of getting it there because I know the reward is worth it.
  21. Checking off everything on your to-do list. I rarely get to do this every day, but man isn't it awesome when it does happen? Yes. Yes it is.
  22. Live shows. In an age of digital everything, there is something even more amazing now about seeing something live. Last night, Fiance and I were lucky enough to see Ben Folds in concert and I'm still on Cloud 9.
  23. Love. This will be my last one, because ultimately, it is the most wonderful thing in the world and it is everywhere. Sometimes we struggle to see it clearly, but at the end of the day, when you're feeling really crappy, I think it's nice to remember that love is out there. Even if you're not feeling it, I think it's nice to know that it's there. It's nice to think about what you love and who loves you in spite of yourself. I think it's nice to love yourself. It's nice to remember that there is a puppy out there who will love you. Love, as a noun and a verb, is something that constantly amazes me. The fact that we are able to love and feel loved is something truly remarkable. Random acts of kindness are random acts of love and if you really sit back and think about it, isn't that just the most lovely thing of all? I think it is.

So that's my list as of this very moment. It's incomplete and constantly changing and being added to, but I invite you to write about what makes you happy in the comments. Tweet at me with happy things using #HappyTweets. Don't let the crappy headlines win. Flood the world with joy whenever possible.

Ready? Go.

Now I Know How the Trojans Felt.

Okay, so last night I found this hilarious comedian while I was watching TV. This comedian started off his whole bit with a heavy dosage of nerd/Harry Potter humor. So, naturally, I texted Nigel, who I knew was still awake and bored. Me: Okay, so bummer that you don't get to enjoy the hilarity that is hanging out with me tonight, but there is a really funny stand-up comedian on TV right now. Just sayin'.

Nigel: Haha, right on, but I'm playing video games right now.

Me: Fine, but he's doing Harry Potter/nerd humor.

Nigel: Tempting.

Me: More like irresistible...

Nigel: I'm checking it out now.

Okay, so at this point, this comedian switched up his routine and started talking about having sex with animals.

Nigel: I expected nerd humor and I got dog f*cking. I blame you.

Me: Wait! No! There is nerd humor!!! I did not see this coming!

Nigel: Thanks. I stopped playing Super Smash Bros for this.

Me: Just give him one more chance!

Nigel: I will.

So the commercial ended and the comic kept going... it still wasn't back to the nerd humor, but it was more decent than the bestiality jokes.

Nigel: God, thank you so much for convincing me to watch this. My life is considerably better now and I owe it all to you.

Me: Sarcasm?

Nigel: Just a little.

Me: Whatever. You're lame. Plus, his nerdy humor was the Trojan horse. Now he's talking about vagina grooming and its weird.

And that's when things got even more bizarre.

Me: Oh my gosh, did you just see that commercial about the dog tracker??

Nigel: I'm playing my game again.

Me: Okay, well it was a commercial for this GPS dog tracker, and their slogan was literally "Keep your dog off the pole." I kid you not.

Nigel: I am so bummed I missed that.

Me: You should be. It was weird and now I have no one to revel in the strangeness with.

Nigel: Such a tragedy.

Me: It really is. P.S. This conversation is so going in my blog.

Nigel: It's because I'm awesome.

Me: Sure. That's why.

Nigel: The amazing Nigel they call me.

Me: I feel like you're lying.

***

Happy Saturday, everyone! Now I'm off to have brunch with Pixie Stick! Yay!