Happy Fish

There's plenty of Florida I haven't yet seen, like Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium

Fish make me happy. Watching them, learning about them, even eating them.

(Yeah yeah, I know, fish are friends not food...but dolphins do it, and they're much smarter than us.) 
She enjoys being a fish.


Unburied beach untreasure.

Between Mote's main building & its rehab hospital, there's a bird sanctuary, Save Our Seabirds, Inc.

Yet another reason dolphins should rule the world.  

Ugly scavengers need lovin' too.

I want a bird mitzvah.
A very Life of Pi experience: lots of animals, lots of religions.


#FridayReads: Committed

As an impoverished writer, I'm the last person I buy books for (though they're my favorite presents to give).

But on my recent vacation I spent more on books, for myself and others, than on food. Don't let my waistline fool ya, I'm kind of a pig.

Because my travels were as much about break-up recovery as reconnecting with old friends, one of the books I bought for myself & devoured in flight was Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed.

To quell her own marriage fears, the author researched the history of marriage, and explored its place in Western society as well as other cultures, like the Vietnamese Hmong.
Liz asked and answered her own questions about the multi-millennial-old institution: Why do we humans have it, why do we still need and want it? Did the Christian Right invent it?

Most people I know do not have good relationship role models from their youths or in their lives now. How else are we to learn the right way to be happily married?

I think Committed is a great guide for those of us who may be scared but haven't given up, and want a manual for next time.

I found both flying solo & bad marriages to be lonely, so this sequel to Eat, Pray, Love helped with my journey(s).

Committed is a fine map for getting back on the horse. Even if you never had a horse, or had one a long time ago but forgot where you parked it.


A Healthy Public

To keep my brain moving at a happy pace (it gets sad when bored & unchallenged), last semester I overloaded it with two classes as a non degree seeking graduate student in USF's College of Public Health.

I'm still unsure of which flavor MPH I'd like to earn. There's the policy track, which could turn me into the C-SPAN nerd of my dreams while giving me the tools to help improve health care & access to care for all Americans.

Then there's the behavioral track, which I'm drawn towards more each day I drive through the city and see panhandlers, disabled vets and other homeless folks, not to mention people with obvious mental & drug issues.

We wouldn't allow someone with a bleeding stump to sit on the sidewalk and bleed to death (I'm assuming, but refer to my aforementioned access to care comment).

So why has our society turned their collective noses up at mental issues, especially drug and alcohol addiction, for so long?


Dear Next Boyfriend: Please Be Ryan Gosling

Image kindly shared by Danielle at

Feminist Ryan Gosling

When I worked at the public library, the assistants &  librarians alike were all pretty choosy about the books and other media we consumed.

Me: Do you like Nicholas Sparks?
Former County Librarian: No! Well, I don't know. Never read any of his books. But I'll watch The Notebook.

There's just too much good stuff to be distracted by the less than pristine.

Conversely, my BFF, a book/movie critic, once tutted me when I railed on about crappy entertainment & light-hearted fare. She pointed out that fluff has a purpose too.

I push myself because I'd like to be more informed than I am. I want to read every book on the Iraq invasion so that I can explain to my (thus far unconceived) children what we did wrong so they can attempt to make it right.

We live in an increasingly superficial culture where strangers can bond in the grocery store line as they bash quickie celebrity marriages, but they fail to hold their politicians & business leaders accountable for bad decisions that affect us all.

That makes me want to work harder to pick up the slack. But by necessity, I have come around to see my BFF's point. As a wise woman once sang:

I can't carry it all/I got a lotta troubles of my own

When the weight of life gets heavy, I'd rather just float around in the shallow end of the pool.


My First Book(store) Tour

Who needs to publish a book in order to embark on a four city book(store) tour? Not me!

I didn't get to stop into all of my favorites, but I sure did fit a bunch into one week. And I even had a fan to greet me.

Occupy The American Dream

Change is uncomfortable, but it can lead to a better way of life for us all.


Very Happ(ening)y December

My first blog post via iPhone as I wait for my flight from PHL to SEA, so excuse any format weirdness.

As I embark on the final phase of my DC/Philadelphia/Seattle trip, I can't believe that I even attempted to pack all this into a one week.

But my MO wasn't the travel itself, rather I'm on a post-divorce mission to check in with many of my long lost girlfriends. People who remind me of (what for sometime seemed like) my misplaced awesomeness.

I often complain about my closest friends being dispersed around the country, but that's what you get when you make a habit of moving every few years.

I'm incredibly fortunate to have made & kept a close girlfriend or two in each place I've inhabited. I'm also looking forward to next week when I'm back home in Tampa, where I have many amazing ladies I'm in need of catching up with too.


I Should Be Packing...

Yet some how playing with Photoshop seemed a better use of my time. 


Small Business Saturday

Some of my favorite places in Tampa to spend my hard earned dollars.

Rollin Oats: Good Food for Good Health
Outstanding staff & author events at Inkwood Books
Coffee at Buddy Brew
Good music, brew & company at the Independent