Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've Been Thinking About Turtles...

I've been thinking about turtles a lot lately. I'm mildly entertained how an obsession starts. Something sparks a thought, then like a Bon Jovi song, it gets stuck in your head. These turtle thoughts have been so prevalent that this morning I decided to not just think it, but to analyze it. "Why the heck do you keep thinking about turtles?"

It started 3 weeks ago when Abe sent all of us this funny youtube video. Actually I take that back. It really started 3 months ago on a trip to Isle Mujeres, Mexico. While on this island Ray and I went to a turtle preserve and hatchery. It was a disappointingly small preserve, but it was the spark none the less. Not much of importance happened at this preserve except I did learn that Ray feels rules are meant to be assessed, then maybe followed. I also learned a portion of lemming still hibernates in me.

It started out like this. I thought he was just looking, but then I realized he was just waiting for all the people to leave.

It progressed to this. Just a finger in the water.

Then a finger in the water stroking their backs.

I look away for a minute and return to see he has a knee up.

Then he does it. He goes all-the-way.

I was panicking because these signs were everywhere, and I'm categorized with the Rule Followers. Rule Followers don't pick up turtles at turtle preserves. Rule Followers don't even need signs. They just know. The little bit of lemming in me was exposed by me taking pictures of it all.

So that was the spark

THEN, Abe sent us this youtube video.

I know it's a long video, but it is SO worth watching.

The turtleman said it best, "They think I’m crazy, but they can’t help but like me.”

Here's our dialogue that followed:

Cali: That was funny. I found the man quite endearing. He just loved his simple life and snapping-turtle-catching is a true talent. You go Turtle Catching Man.

Abe: My favorite part was when he said, "Sometimes I scare up snakes." And the camera man replies, "... and typhoid." And he said back, "Nope, just mostly water snakes."

Ande: He reminds me of Smeagol from Lord of the Rings. Endearing yes, like how Smeagol is endearing. I love people.

Mom: Yeah, I agree with Cali about him being "endearing." That's why I was nervous he was going to pull up a crocodile instead. You just have to love and appreciate a man that lost his front teeth to a chainsaw and doesn't mind green pond slime on his cheek.

The image of him telling us how he lost his front teeth from a chainsaw made me laugh outloud yesterday... and it's been 3 weeks since Abe sent the video. Anywho, this video has added to the rampant turtle thoughts.

THEN, I saw a documentary on reptiles this week. That's where I learned about Lonesome George. He is a Pinta Island Giant Tortoise from Pinta Island of the Galapagos. He was found in 1971 by a snail biologist, after it was believed that all Pinta Island Tortoises had been extinct for over sixty years. He just wandered out from wherever he'd been hiding and declared himself the last survivor. He's 60-90 years old and could have another 50-100 years of bachelorhood life left. I thought it was humorous that one of the reasons these giant tortoises were extinct was because sailors found out that they can live for up to a year without any water of food. They would haul them onto their ships for fresh meat. I just found it comical to picture a ship sailing in the ocean with giant tortoises wandering around the decks.

So, from all this analysis, I realized that sometimes obsessive thoughts don't necessarily add up to something profound. They just consume a lot of thought space. Maybe waste is a better verb. I have 3 books on how to raise turtles/tortoises at the library waiting for me.

This year... or at least in the next five years we are definitely deciding to take on the responsibility of a turtle. I'm pretty sure we're definite on this.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Many Happy Returns

Yesterday was the Ides of March, and we were sure to celebrated it.

Ray recited a moving line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "Et tu, Brute?" (And you, Brutus?). That's what Caesar says once he's been stabbed by his senators and realizes that even Brutus was involved. It was so moving in fact, that instead of a standing ovation, I kissed him good and long, then accented it with a little bit more.

I produced an Italian/Roman feast: Spaghetti pie, garlic bread, we even ate a Caesar salad.

We only fell short by forgetting to give Julius Caesar a minute of silence in reverence of his death. We were too busy celebrating.

We also mused on the fact that SHOULD a person be born on the Ides of March, they would be very lucky to have such a famous day of death associated with their day of birth.

The highlight of the day (for me) was hearing Ray recount 3 things he had learned since last year's Ides of March. The satisfaction and pleasure of marriage was "thing" number one.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Ray's head is shaved... or actually buzzed without any attachments on the clippers... so basically shaved. We're now "discussing" his next BIG body image adjustment. Currently its the Idaho Falls Airport mustache that's sweeping out all competing options. There's a good chance he'll lose credibility at work if he attempts it. Good thing is, even if he loses his job he'll still have one awesome MANstache.

(I outlined it so you could see how incredible it really was)

We were both very impressed with this man's ability to grow such a complete mustache. I saw the covet in Ray's eyes. I heard somewhere that Sea Otter's have the most hair per square inch of any other mammal; not sure that's the case.

The sweetest thing about all this shorn head business is that Ray did it for his sister Melanie, who was diagnosed with lymphoma a few weeks ago. When she got tired of her hair falling out slowly, she decided to try the clippers without the attachment. Ray and his three brothers followed her lead within a day or two. Melanie told me, "I used to hate when Ray would ask me to buzz his head when we were in college together. He was so tall and skinny back then, he looked like an Ethiopian; like what he really needed was a hug and some food. I gave him both."