Apples to Apples, Kayaks, new birds and old

And now, an update on our complex emotional and professional lives. Ok, ok, I'll admit it. Mostly what we're doing is playing this game Apples to Apples, every chance we get.

My mom introduced me to the game after she'd played it at a "fun day" in her office. The rules, as with any game, are kind of hard to explain if you're not actually playing, but basically, everyone gets a bunch of red cards that list people, places, events, etc. The judge - a new player every round - picks a green, descriptive card which features an adjective - "melodramatic," for instance, or "cheesy" or "scary." The players then each throw in a red card that they feel best fits that description.

The point of the game, of course, is to figure out what that particular judge will find the funniest, or most ironic, or truest, or whatever. And it doesn't always make sense. You just have to get it, you know? So, like, when we were playing a couple weeks ago, and Max was the judge, and the green card word was "arrogant" and Jennifer put down "Helen Keller," she won. Because that, you see, is very funny.

And, honestly, if this September hasn't yet been remarkably productive in terms of...I don't know...becoming a totally famous writer and all...well, it has been a great time to hang out with our friends and try new things, like Apples to Apples, our new favorite game, and kayaking around the Bay, our new favorite water sport. Ok. The only type of water activity we've ever attempted out here, fine. But the point is, we're branching out.

first kayaking venture

I'm sure those of you who find J's birdwatching habit as, um, charming as I do are curious to find out if he's spotted any new species since we've been living here in southern Maryland. Any, you know, California Condors or Snowy Owls or anything. And the answer is no, not exactly, although he did see some little songbird that had him jumping all over the place with the binoculars this morning, and then declared that it flew away too fast for him to "positively ID it," whatever that means.

For people like me, though, those of us on a level way below even "amateur birder," there's plenty to look at - the stuff that's always been here - like seagulls, and osprey and, my favorite, the statuesque Great Blue Herons that land on the pier and just sit there forever, so peacefully.

And then just as you're really getting into the beauty of the Chesapeake, the dogs come gallumphing up to you, smelling awful because they've found some dead fish to roll around in. Which is completely disgusting, but mostly pretty funny. And giving them a bath, sure, it's not like winning the Pulitzer or anything, but it's something that really needs to be done under the circumstances, and thus, whether choosing perfect adjective-noun pairings while playing board games or dealing with nature, every day is a new challenge.