It's been a while! While the blog has been silent, my summer has been full and crazy, with plenty of New Things to fill my sunny days, and many more to come. Below, some of the highlights, complete with beaches, weddings, diving helmets, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Went to St. Pete Beach, FL and saw, sat near and stood in the Gulf of Mexico. It was my very first Gulf! My foot really enjoyed it, especially since this particular gulf is framed by the whitest, finest sand it's ever had the pleasure to walk on. I have yet to see for myself whether the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Aden are surrounded by such loveliness. Now the word gulf sounds weird. Gulf gulf gulf.
Went to Tarpan Springs, FL, home of the world's largest population of natural sea sponges. Those, as well as super cheesy tourist tochochkes, are the main trade in this charming Greek fishing village. It is the site of childhood memories for both Kevin and my dad, and thanks to the area's timeless charm, their memories aren't all that different!
Gave a speech at a wedding.
Somehow, though I've been in six weddings and served as MOH twice, I'd only ever given very brief toasts about how the couple "is perfect for each other, and um, yeah, I hope you two are very happy, and ... cake. Yeah!" but at my sister's lavish, extremely structured wedding, I was actually given a time slot, a microphone, and the center of the dance floor. So I had to make it good. I spent a few days beforehand compiling a list of words, phrases, grunts and inflections which make up Kathleenese, a rare language spoken by an extremely small percent of the world's population. But in hopes of doubling the speakership, I gave her husband a crash-course so he'd know what the heck his beloved is saying on any given occasion. (Sampler: "Boodoo" is 3-year-old Kathleen's version of insults like "meanie" or "poopyhead." At the time, she thought it was a terribly vile thing to say. She still says it to be retro.)
Rowed boats on the Lake in Central Park. Well, not so much "rowed" as "was rowed by lovely friend Keyren's cool boyfriend" as part of what turned out to be a completely heartwarming reunion with dear old friend Meghan, who was in town from Chicago. The boat rowing was plan B after we tried and failed to get tickets for Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park, as was a trip to the zoo and afternoon snacks with yet another wonderful old friend, who brought along her baby and husband.
In what was perhaps the most out-of-left field New Thing I've done since the year-long project, I went to a taping of Regis and Kelly, with fill-in host Jerry O'Connell and guests The Real Housewives of New Jersey But Not Danielle. I was in the company of three very rabid RHONJ fans, Katina, Michael and Margot, who waved at the ladies during commercial breaks and wordlessly adored them from our front-and-center VIP seats. Michael, especially, has a unique bond with the H-wives, as he keeps a video blog where he dramatically reads excerpts of Cop Without a Badge, which is apparently so hard to find that after the show, Jerry O came tearing down the hall after us to ask us to take a photo of him reading it, so he could send it to his wife, Rebecca Romijn. It seemed perfectly natural to me, as fill-in hosts seem to be my thing. Plus, with friends like mine, nothing ever seems all that weird.