Chipmonkey Porn

Let me tell you, the Chipmonkey gets an awful lot of action, and all across the globe, too! You may remember the monkey-on-monkey love in Kenya, for example:


Chipmonkey’s adventures continued when I finally got Chip-the-human down to my home away from home, the Florida Keys. We stayed here:


Or, more specifically, here:


I won’t do the day by day recap, because it’s been a while and it’s kind of a blur, but we managed to go ocean fishing …


… although we didn’t catch much. I had a big one on the line, but the reel popped off (!) as I was trying to bring it in. Operator error, I’m sure. Chipmonkey fished a little too:


He caught nothing … apparently his inter-species proclivities do not extend to marine life. He did make out with a blue and gold macaw at the docks, though!


We ate too much too often …



The most important moment of the trip, however, occurred when we finally spotted the elusive key deer that I’ve heard to much about but never seen (I know they’re elusive because the Internet says so). Naturally, Chipmonkey had to get in on the action.

Here, little deer. C’mere …


That’s it … a little closer …


Don’t eat the Chipmonkey! Looooove the Chipmonkey …


Good deer.

As always, Jeff and Misty were gracious and welcoming hosts, and I don’t think I’ll have any trouble convincing Chip to go back. I’m pretty sure the monkey won’t mind, either.

Farewell to Facebook

I recently decided to disable my Facebook page. I only created an account to track down a novelist for a school project in the first place, and aside from the general privacy concerns and bevy of reasons you can read about here, here and here, I found that it was a negative influence on my life in general.

For example, I recently realized I was getting most of my news from Facebook. When something major happened, like a war breaking out or an earthquake, I’d read about it on Facebook first. This means a couple of things: first, I was only getting the news that the 300+ people on my friend list found compelling (and there are really only 100 or so who post regularly). Given that a large chunk of those people are folks I grew up with or went to school with, this means I’m getting the vast majority of my news from people who are, essentially, exactly like me in regard to socioeconomic class, race, etc. That’s not a very good way to learn about the world around me. Second, as was the case with the Casey Anthony trial, I was not only getting the opinion my friend group supported, I was getting it over and over again.  I’m not above being influenced by public opinion, so when I found myself parroting Facebook posts as truth I became understandably concerned.

While the “people just like me” argument applies to socioeconomic class and upbringing, I am a very different person than I was when I hung out with all these people.  Since I attended Catholic schools, most of my “friends” on Facebook are Catholic. I’m an Atheist, and it was often a struggle not to impart MY belief system on those around me the way others’ beliefs are often imparted on me.  However, that brings me to my next anti-Facebook concern: drama.  If I had a nickle for every time a conversation involved the term “Facebook,” well, I’d have lot of nickles. People getting upset in the “real word” about posts, pictures and relationship status updates that all take place online … it’s just gotten a little silly.  Also, I ended up “friends” with people I barely knew and oftentimes didn’t even like very much, but I hesitated to delete them for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. I also refrained from calling them out on their often misguided or completely uneducated ramblings, because I didn’t really know them well enough.  That left my news feed filled with drivel I’d rather do without.  I know you can hide posts, but eventually that, too, becomes silly.

As many anti-Facebookers will note (but I feel bears repeating) Facebook is just a huge time-suck.  I realize I should be able to police my own online activity and stop myself from getting sucked in when I have better things to do, but I’m a master-procrastinator, and Facebook provides just the type of distraction I like to abuse.  At a certain point, I could predict what people are going to post, how often they were going to post … hell, I could probably have told you what they were going to have for breakfast. Do I really need this amount of information about people I haven’t spoken to in ten years? Nope. Do I really need to get worked up because some ultra-conservative Christian Republican who I met ONCE is dumb enough to support Sarah Palin? Definitely not. I’ll save my spikes in blood pressure for more worthy adversaries.

In the end, it was Facebook’s decision to use its considerable power to stop protests in Israel that made me angry enough to  disable my account. That sort of action just goes so far above and beyond what social networking sites should be allowed to do, I found it appalling. My decision was reinforced by Facebook’s disable process … it would NOT LET ME disable MY page with MY information without telling it why. I filled in the answer “I shouldn’t have to.”

Anyone who really wants to stay in touch with me shouldn’t have much trouble doing so. I may give Google+ a fair shake, if for no other reason than to see if someone can get it right when it comes to social networking. Regardless, I imagine my friend list will be much shorter on Google+ than it was on Facebook, and it isn’t going to include people I don’t actually care about.

Facebook Killed My Blog

Here’s how blogs happen:

People have stuff they want to share.

People create blogs so they can share interesting information and photos with others

People read blogs.

That’s pretty much it, but since Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites have become so popular, the need for a blogger to share her or his thoughts has become superfluous. When the “Cliff’s Notes” version is conveyed via Tweet or status post, who needs the full volume? And photo uploads are much easier via Facebook than WordPress. However, since no one in my family will deign to join Facebook, I will continue to post the odd summary of my life here and there.

There were four drafts in my WordPress dashboard when I started this one; I haven’t been able to find the time or the attention to finish one. I’m going to combine them and hit the highlights of the last few months, so that the three people who read this blog will have something to look at other than Chip’s traffic cone imitation.

I swam with dolphins during my last visit to the keys. It was incredible.


We got an early morning visit from a wild dolphin too. I was amazed by the number of people who responded “in the wild?” when I said I’d gone swimming with dolphins. They don’t *generally* swim up to the boat and offer rides, folks.


You’d think I’d get tired of taking sunset sailing photos, but I don’t.


I highly recommend Bahia Honda if you’re ever in the keys; it’s beautiful.



I really wanted to find these kayakers so I could give them this picture … another postcard-quality shot from the keys.


For a full account of my adventures in the Keys, read Misty’s post, because there’s just really no point to typing that up again. Sooner or later I’ll post the photos the Dolphin Research Center folks took, although you can see some of those on Misty’s blog too.

I also visited my parents, and found an amazing pear tree collection just a few streets from their house.


Just turn your head to the side when you look at it. I’m busy, okay?

I have enjoyed a very brief reprieve from school work, but Summer Term starts Tuesday and I already have reading to do. While I’d like to promise I’ll be a better blogger in the future, we all know how that goes.

Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer

I gave Kory his first driving lesson today. Chip tagged along, even though there really aren’t supposed to be other people in the car, because we needed a pylon.


Just kidding. But, wow, that is one orange shirt.

Anyway, the day was perfect for the maiden voyage of the as-yet-unnamed Subaru. The sun was actually out for once, and since Wright State University’s women’s basketball games are, apparently, poorly attended, we had access to an almost empty parking lot.



This is the Nutter Center. That’s right, Nutter. That name has always made me laugh.


Kory shows great promise, and I’m certain he will be an excellent driver. 🙂 I hope he will have a better sense of direction than his mother. Fingers crossed.

We also visited Tara and her lovely daughter Addison last weekend. Addison is growing SO fast, and she’s utterly adorable. She was fascinated with Kory’s hair, and really, who wouldn’t be? I love her face. And she loves her lamb.



Tara is expecting another daughter in June, to be named Molly. I am expecting Molly to be just as cute as her big sister.


Glimpses of Paradise

If my friend Misty ever invites you to stay with her, say yes.  Don’t question it, don’t hesitate, just pack your bags and go.  It’s not just that she lives on a gorgeous sailboat in the heart of the Florida Keys, it’s that when it comes to playing hostess, my girl Misty is the bee’s knees.  Or some other, less goofy way of saying she’s the best.

First of all, Misty met me at the airport with a fruity drink to welcome me to Florida, effectively ending my lifelong embargo on grapefruit juice.  I thought Ruby Red was legitimate grapefruit juice; I was mistaken.

For a few days I got to see what’s it’s like to live on a sailboat, and I have to say I was surprised.  One of my first questions to Misty was “so, what do you do all day?”  She gets that a lot.  Trust me, there is plenty to do when you live on a floating vessel, even when you don’t have a vacationing guest to take care of.  Besides keeping the boat stocked with water, which involves hefting full tanks from the dinghy into the boat, meal planning and food storage is tricky business due to limited space.  However, “limited space” doesn’t necessarily translate to “cramped.”  I love all the nooks and crannies that are built in to boats, and even though there was an extra full-sized adult person on board in addition to Jeff, Misty, and Janus (my boyfriend for the weekend), we didn’t really step on each other’s toes very much.

This is Janus.


He’s a very attentive boyfriend.


In addition to running the boat like a streamlined little household (which is pretty much what it is) Misty is an indescribably good cook.   In fact, it was eating her cooking in the early years of our friendship that inspired me to start cooking more often, and I will confess to copying more than one of her recipes.  It was no surprise that she has managed to adapt to cooking in a tiny galley with minimal power … everything we ate was delicious, and I came home with a few new tricks to try.  Lobster, however, is not going to be one of them.  I will leave the lobster killing to other, more capable persons.



We toured the harbor, ate fabulous sushi, listened to great music, practiced yoga by the water, and scouted some local wildlife.  We stayed busy, but it certainly still felt like vacation.  Did I mention that I didn’t fix my hair or wear makeup for five days?





Misty DID make me walk down the most terrifying ramp I’ve ever seen on our walk to Pigeon Key.  I was increasingly convinced that the rotting wood planks were going to give way under me, four ton weight limit or not.  She calls it wusification; I call it a well developed sense of self-preservation.



While Jeff had to work for part of my visit, he was kind enough to indulge my desire to get out for a sail and photograph his little floating palace on a beautiful, if not terribly windy, Sunday afternoon.  I showed uncharacteristic restraint and only took 300 photos of the Sailing Vessel “Exposure.”  It was nearly impossible to narrow down which to use here, because they all look like something out of a dream.







This is Karen.


Karen is h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s, especially when she’s a little sleep deprived.  She was my pilot for the afternoon, since operating a camera and a dinghy at the same time is beyond my expertise.  I was only a little nervous when the dinghy ran out of gas and Karen said “what plastic thingy?” in response to Misty’s instruction to “use the plastic thingy” to pump the gas from the can to the tank.

This is the funny little dragon boat that belongs to one of the other locals.  He had a little too much fun that afternoon, so it’s probably best that we woke him and suggested he head back to the harbor.  I only took 150 photos of his homemade boat … obvious restraint, again.



I seem to have caught what Misty calls “Keys Disease” during my stay.  No, that’s not a rash.  I simply fell in love with the ease of living and the abundance of sunshine, so it has become my new goal in life to own and live on my very own sailboat.  I’d have turned around and gone right back (after coming home to 17-degree temperatures) but Kory wouldn’t let me.  Fear not; the kid’s gotta leave for college some day, and then you can all come visit me on my very own floating palace.

One at a time, please.

What’s a Little Weed Among Friends?

Quite some time ago, maybe three or four years, Joe Lynch gave Kory a cute little book full of dog tricks.


Isn’t that a cute book?

Kory forgot about it for a while, but he recently picked it up while looking for some new things to teach Riley. Hello, Riley.


Kory was a little taken aback, and highly amused, when he reached the chapter on How to Teach Your Dog to Detect Marijuana. Go ahead. Enlarge the photo and read a little.


The reference to the “friendly neighborhood drug dealer” and the claim that “everyone knows someone who smokes grass” were my personal favorites. And not just a little grass, either:


And then there’s the actual training:


I can’t help but laugh every time I imagine Kory out in the yard with Riley and a bag of pot, calling “Where’s the grass? Find the grass!” I’m sure the police station up the road would be enthralled. Either that or the neighbors would think my brain damaged son was trying to get the dog to identify the lawn.

I honestly thought the book would have been published some time in the sixties, but it came out a little later:


Lucky for us, Riley is not interested in becoming a drug dog.


She thought the book made a pretty good pillow, though.

Wedding Highlights

If you were to happen upon Chip’s photo gallery and see the folder titled “Ariana and Ryan’s Wedding,” you might not think it had any wedding photos in it at all. Therefore, I offer you some highlights:

Ariana’s hair was incredible:


Ariana didn’t really drink very much:


Bells and Cooks get along quite well:


Monkeys are, in fact, allowed to attend weddings:


Old friends are often the best friends:


Little girls love to be upside down:


Newly engaged couples are often adorable:


Small children dancing are ALWAYS adorable:


And, we all witnessed the marriage of a couple who will last forever. Congratulations, Ariana and Ryan!



I’ve been lax about posting photos lately because the upload process, frankly, sucks.  Unless I work from Chip’s house, the pics only halfway load and the process takes forfreakingever.  Therefore, these photos are a little old, but still worth posting.

Chip and Kory ran the Sugar Maple 5k … Chip went on to run the mini, so this is kind of anticlimactic, but it was still an accomplishment.



Right after this shot, Kory turned to me and said “Oh dear God, this hurts.” He hadn’t run in a while.

I took the smart route and walked. That hurt too.


Later that day, Chip enlisted the help of my friend Anna to give him a new ‘do, and let me tell you, she enjoyed it.


If you can’t tell, my friend Anna is kind of a badass. She’s a three time cancer survivor and she’s committed to helping cancer patients, so Chip’s tail went to make hair for someone else.


The beard went too, and here’s the new Chip!


I’m only guessing that enough people have seen him now that I’m allowed to post these. If not … sorry Chip!

Because You All Want to Hear About My Weekend …

I had a very nice weekend in Louisville, where I got to have a girls’ night, host a baby shower, and see my beautiful niecii. There are three now, in case you weren’t keeping track.

I don’t have photos of girls’ night, but I had a wonderful time hanging out with Laura, Melanie, and Julia. I didn’t even mind the fact that they made me watch U of L play – it was a good game, and I’m glad the Cards pulled it off.

The shower was for Kory’s cousin Matara, who doesn’t much care to have her photo taken, but I told her she’d thank me later. Little does she know I’m a photo addict and can’t help taking pictures, no matter who the subject is. (Yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. I’m almost done with the quarter, so deal.)

Anyway, the best photo I have of Matara refuses to upload properly, so I’m using the second best.


And here are all of the lovely ladies who attended:


Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s Chip’s house (where he kindly allowed us to host the shower) but I really like that photo. Everyone looks great.

My absolute favorite photo of Riley also refuses to upload properly, so you’ll have to settle for this:


If you didn’t already know what cute looks like, that’s it. For further proof, see the following:




I would also like to point out that Riley has gone from this:


To this:


Goofy dog.