Sunday, July 31, 2011

In on the Seacret

It was Kelly's 21st birthday last week so we ventured down to her father's beach home for the weekend to celebrate. We went out to a beach bar the first night and enjoyed overly priced beers and a small sandy dance floor.  The next day was spent bronzing on the beach in between dodging patches of scattered thunder storms.  

Then the night we had all been awaiting, the legendary Saturday night out at Seacrets. 

For my non-OCMD-ers, Seacrets is the DJais, Bar A, Karma, and Tiki Bar of the NJ Shore combined into one giant party zone.  "Jamaica USA," as the bar boasts, is a city within the city of OC. With about a trillion bars, four dance floors, a pier, and three venues for live music, it is a beachy heaven.  

Probably less known for their food than for their frothy blended drinks, Jamaica USA still provided a delicious dinner for us to begin our night.  The food was surprisingly delectable. What was even better was my Jamaican Bobslide (triple espresso vodka and coffee frappe,) my Pain in De Ass (Rum Runner and Pina Colada) and my Dirty Banana (a daquiri, but better, with an entire banana blended in it.) 

I was forewarned that this was a breeding ground for middle-aged white trash. However, I think what I liked most about the place was the people.  While I observed my fair share of 40-somethings bearing freshly burnt noses and a sway in their swag - obvious signs of prolonged Seacrets exposure - the place was also filled with my peers, my parents' peers, my grandparents' peers, white people, black people, rainbow people, you name it. As Jillie so eloquently put it, these people were "just like, real people." 

Most people enjoying themselves in bikinis weren't size two models and there wasn't a single old man to creep out packs of Teeny Boppers.  Everyone fit in for a common cause: to get drunk and dance on the beach.  

I think that's the Secret - no discrimination as long as you're having a good time. And you'd have to trying pretty damn hard to not have a good time. 

Oh and it opens at 8am. Closes at 2am. What are you waiting for? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bathroom talk is for bathrooms

I almost forgot how naive, uninhibited, raw and well, childish, the humor of a five year old can be. Lately we've been faced with a bathroom-talk epidemic in the Purple Room. 

The boys of the class have recently discovered the phenomenon that is making fart noises with the convenient pairing of a hand and an armpit.  They also discovered it doesn't have to be your own armpit to make this magical music. I anticipate this habit will end shortly after the first boy develops odorous sweat glands, but I have faith and hope that it will end sooner.  

Nothing is funnier than when someone passes gas during meeting.
 "I don't know why you're laughing, this happens to everyone. Please put bubbles in your mouth and continue listening to the story," I say.  
They look at me as if I'm nuts. Maybe I am. I have to suppress my giggles too. 

Two students were laughing to themselves in Dramatic Play. "What's going on over here?" I ask. 
"Nothing." Followed by more giggles.
I glare.
Dennis (the Menace):My brudder said naked.
Lil Genius: Yeah and I know what it means.
They continue to repeat the N(aked) word back and forth until I decide this is a battle I'd rather just walk away from. 

Yesterday we were on the carpet playing Build-a-Person, the politically correct and therefore preschool friendly version of Hang Man, when a student guessed the first letter to the Builder's four-letter word. "P." There were two.  For the love of God no one guess an O. 

One of my students decided it was acceptable to pull his pants down mid-tag to urinate. On the sidewalk. Next to the slide. He proceeded to pull his pants down and continue running from whoever was "It." Not okay. 

Whenever a student feels the urge to use "bathroom talk" I ask them to go into the bathroom. Bathroom talk is for the bathroom, please only those words there. However, sometimes they simply can't bear to wait for the bathroom. Walking back from the pool today I asked two misbehaving students to stop their "not nice words" and separate. The boy whose hand I took looked straight at me with a sly grin. "Butt. Butt Butt Fart. Poop!" There was nothing I could do; the words were said, and there was no bathroom for me to send him to between the pool and the CYC. Boy, did he have a S-word grin on that face! 
Stupid is the S word for five year olds, in case you were wondering. Except for Mr. Know-it-all... he'll correct any tattle-taler when they complain someone called them the "S word."  I constantly have to make some obviously loud clamor to protect the innocent ears of his peers... Sometimes I question honest parenting. 

Who am I kidding? Bathroom humor isn't limited to five and six year olds. It's still damn funny otherwise I wouldn't be blogging about it. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Week-long Re-cap

My handsome boyfriend made a trip down to MD to see me this week.  He showed up Tuesday afternoon with his roommate while I was still at work.  I got off of work at 5:30 that day and the hours seemed ten times longer with my built up anticipation for hanging out with them.  As soon as I got off of work, I brought the boys to the gym.  We got our work out on, showered, and had a fun dinner out.

Unfortunately I had work early Wednesday. The boys navigated their way through campus while I was at camp and worked out on their own, visited the pool while the Purple Room had pool time ("Whoa, Ms. Palensis those boys are strong. I've never seen anything like that before" -Curious Purple Roomer) and surprised meat the CYC where they got an impromptu tour of that happy place! (Their comments and observations were more than amusing, to say the least.)

Photo Cred: Lauren Levine 
In the evening we drove to DC to go out for the beautiful Kelly's 21st birthday dinner.  Dinner was on the outdoor patio of an Irish restaurant, complete with "tubes" of beer and yummy food. We had a great time celebrating with friends, despite the scorching temperature. Love ya Kell!

Mike and the Pie he bought before dinner @Dangerously Delicious 
Thursday my boys had to leave me. I hated that they had to leave, but I am so grateful they drove down to spend the time they could.  I went to work feeling a little sad, but was immediately refreshed babysitting the cutest 3 year old around to be followed by a night out on the town with my roomies.

Sarah kicked GRE butt earlier on Thursday so we popped some bubbly and got all dressed up to dance at Cornerstone. It was a blast. And now I am paying for it in the 110 degree weather at summer camp.

Oh well. It's almost 5:30 and then I venture down to Ocean City, MD for more of Kelly's bday celebrations!! Woot-woot.

Sorry for the mild post this week. I've been clearly preoccupied as hostess with the mostest and fiesta friend. Hope everyone is having a great week too!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday! I won't share how old he is, mostly because I am unsure myself, partly because it is irrelevant.  

No matter what age, today marks the day my generous, warm-hearted, intelligent, persuasive, funny Daddy was born. Today we shall celebrate how often he made us all question our habits, wonder about facts we thought we knew, broaden our musical horizons, and laugh at his inappropriate humor. 

My Dad is one-of-a-kind. He is smart, funny, and would put me and my sister before anything. All girls should have a Daddy as generous as he. 

Happy birthday Dad!  I owe you a Muffaletta. 

PS- I once beat him in Trivial Pursuit. It's true. Not many people can say that. 

Movie Review Monday - Love and Other Drugs

I was going to entitle this post "Weekend Recap" but then I reconsidered. My weekend was boring and uneventful (other than my emergency trip to the Patient First Clinic to be put on antibiotics for an ailment I won't allow myself to share on Blogger.)

I babysat twice. I laid in bed. I was filled in on Emily's birthday celebrations of which I did not attend. I sulked. I prescribed myself some retail therapy at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

The movie I rented from my trusty 7/11 Redbox was the romantic comedy "Love and Other Drugs" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.  Jake Gyllenhall was dreamy. So so dreamy. I fell in love with his dimple and his chisled bod, but his acting - eh... your typical rom-com hunk of an actor.  Anne Hathaway was great. Boy did she grow up since "Princess Diaries." I loved that she wasn't the typical blonde actress usually seen in romantic comedies. I also loved that her character's name was Maggie.  What I didn't love was that the script did not leave a single scene out where someone marveled, stared, or mentioned her breasts. I didn't notice them ... Why did they have to play up an asset that she (in my opinion) is less than famous for? 

Maggie is a snarky artist with early onset Parkinsons. She is not dying, just slowly deteriorating with the only visible symptoms a hand tremor when she becomes nervous.  

Jaime (Gyllenhaal) makes her his catch of the week after coming in unexpected view of her naked boob. To fulfill his predator reputation, he chases her until she accepts his courting. The agreement is that their relationship is purely sex. No feelings, no dating, just sex.

And so it works for the first week. Then of course they eat Chinese food on a couch in a dimly lit living room and fall madly, irrevocably in love because that's how it happens. Eat Lo Mein out of a cardboard box with a sexy man and he will devote himself to your every breath. Thank you Hollywood. 

Seriously though, I really enjoyed the movie. But I like rom-coms. If you don't, don't waste your $1.06. 
Or do, because the actors are beautiful and easy on the eyes.  It's painfully predictable and mildly funny with a cast to please any female viewer and a plot line sappy enough to leave these same viewers in tears.  I'll admit I cried for the last ten minutes. And then I called my loverboy to tell him I loved him and I want to eat Chinese food with him... I'm pathetic. 

Also, if I could live in one store for the rest of my life it would be Nordstrom. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine

I had an exhausting morning. After a 7:00am spin class, a swift jog to work (running late as usual,) a walking field trip to the Creek with seventeen 5 and 6 year olds, I felt depleted.. dizzy.. empty.. pooped. 

Likewise, my roommates had rough starts to their days. Jill is struggling through a nasty cold-like infection, Sarah is stressing over the GRE's, and Lauren, well, Lauren is in baby heaven watching her infant cousin all day in DC...I already regret including her in this post of woes. 

Any who. Any casual matters we were brooding over at the beginning of the day were quickly erased with impromptu girl talk in the living room - rightly so, most of our extempore hangout sessions occur on the cushions of our tiny couch. It's simple and homey and I don't mind putting my feet on it.

We laughed for an hour straight. My abs were sore when I woke up this morning and now they are simply in pain from being over-worked. These girls had me laughing so hard that I achieved my ever-famous laugh-turned-hysterical-sobs bit. 

We laughed about Jill's lime-buying compulsion. She never leaves the grocery store with just a single lime. No, she needs 12. Because everyone needs at least one whole lime per day, and if we're being realistic, at least two whole limes when we're drinking. But there are only four of us living in this aparty-ment so if my math is correct this still leaves an excess of limes.  So if you ever feel you are in need of a lime, come over to our place. Except not tonight. Tonight we had to throw out the 9 rotten limes no one used from the last grocery trip.  By Sunday Jill will bring home another dozen limes. I seriously love that girl so much. 

We reflected on our freshman year and laughed at our freshman selves, certainly not for the first time. 
- Remember how exciting it was to pick out our Bed Bath and Beyond comforters?
- Why did Sarah put up with a measly cot for an entire year when Jill slept next to her in the lap of luxury in her down-adorned bed of clouds?
- Why did Turtle ever close? We never made complete fools out of ourselves there. Or anything ridiculously dangerous. Never. Not once. 
- How awkward were we trying to get to know each other the first week of the rest of our lives? If only we knew how close we would become. 

We laughed at my endless Summer camp stories.

Lil Genius *looking up to no-good* whispers:  "I know what NAKED means."
I ignored him.
 He laughs uncontrollably. 

We laughed at Lauren and Jill's Chevy coworkers and their comedic bitterness.

We laughed at the new home for our cooking oil: wedged between the wall and the refrigerator. Because Jill thought it was nice there. And because why not?

I am now in high-spirits, Jill is feeling healthy, Sarah had a well-deserved study break and Lauren has more fuel to make her happy. Whoever said Laughter is the best medicine couldn't be more right. 

Today I helped some CYC summer campers water the garden. We noticed one of our first crops popped up - about 3 teeny-tiny green tomatoes. 

Me: "Do you think these tomatoes are ready to eat?"
Missy: "Ha-ha! Ms. Alensis you're silly... tomatoes don't eat!!"

Touche, little one. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Purple Room Fun Facts

My students are a lot like Snapple Caps; they hold a lot of information for their kindergarten-sized containers, but it's hard to say which info they spew is phenomenally true and which is indubitably false. 

My students are clever. They are talkative. They are certainly intelligent. And nothing makes them beam more than making a teacher interested in something they have to say. With that being said, they often vie for my attention with countering their peers' stories. 

Luckily for them, nothing makes me happier than absorbing their lessons (fictitious or not.) 

Today, lunch time: 
B*: Did you know what Pope Benedict's favorite drink is?
Me: Um, no, I don't.
B: It's Fanta. He loves Fanta. It's like Orange Juice but way better.

Yesterday, Morning meeting:
Me: What can you tell me about WATER?
Lil Genius: It can go in your lungs and then you will suffocate and die. I won't go in the pool you can't make me.
Me: Huh... fair enough. 

Monday, Pool time:
Diva: Do you know I can jump so high?
Me: No way.
Diva: Uh-huh. One time I was in Florida and I jumped in the pool so high I scratched a bird.
Me: Wow. I bet you jump really high Ms. Diva.
Diva: Yep.  I kept it's feather. 
Me: You're so silly! Are you telling me truth or telling me a story?
Diva: It's true!! You don't believe me? Ask my cousin. He told me to keep it for my collection. So I did. But I asked him to hold it for me first because I needed to pet my neighbor's dolphin. They have a dolphin in their house. 
Me: Ok. 

Don't tell me it's an easy job distinguishing the honesty from the farce. It certainly is not. 
Some days I leave the CYC feeling more like a student than a teacher. I learn a lot from these kids, even if it's just a refresher course in using my imagination. 

*Once again I have changed names to protect the wit and intelligence, and ultimate identity of my Purple Roomers. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Madness

Remember our Yellow Room Pet, Little Sweetheart? 

Let me reiterate the fact that although the students adoringly named our new hamster friend "Little Sweetheart," the animal is not remotely sweet nor little as the name suggests. 

Due to Little Sweetheart's nasty personality and tendency to bite everything in sight, the children are not allowed to touch her. Due to Little Sweetheart's nocturnal nature, she stays secluded in her cave throughout the entire school day. Basically, Little Sweetheart prefers not to be watched nor touched. The children love her nonetheless.

Today, Little Sweetheart escaped. The Summer Camp teachers in the Yellow Room showed up this morning to an open cage. I was terrified. A mean, smelly rodent is the last thing I want to run into on a Monday morning. I hate rodents as it is, let alone a vicious hamster the size of a small dog with a bad case of the runs.

It reminded me of the time a few years ago when my neighbor's chinchilla, Bob Tequila, escaped from his cage and we had a neighborhood watch for him. This I can not make up. Not unlike Little Sweetheart, Chinchillas are typically nocturnal and are rarely affectionate pets.  Apparently they also require excessive exercise, which he certainly was not getting in the cluttered basement space he called home. Chinchillas also require a body temperature of under 25 degrees celsius, hence his basement-style living. Imagine the worry we felt when he went missing. All we needed was an exploded Chinchilla in the house. Actually, it would have been better to have about 100 dead chinchillas because then we could have at least made a coat...but that's not here nor there.

For a good two hours, the entire CYC was on the lookout for a not-so-little ball of white fur which would probably be gnawing at something inedible. Like the wires of our beloved copy machine. Or a child's precious lunch bag.

Moments before we were going to call Pest Control to bring a trap for our furry friend, Little Sweetheart was discovered in the office FOUR doors down from the Yellow Room. Take a guess who's booth? Yep, mine.

Little Sweetheart is lucky I wasn't the one who found her.... my shriek would have been enough to blow her ear drums if my instinctual kick didn't kill her first.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Very Special Day

If you were born on July 10th you were in good company. 

Today is the beautiful Jessica Simpson's 31st birthday. Don't tell me she doesn't look a day over 26. 

My cousin Steven is celebrating his 21st birthday with a hangover this morning. Welcome to the club, Steve.

Great-Aunt Emma turns 97 today. She claims she "doesn't celebrate birthdays anymore." Because of course she doesn't. 

Also, Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts celebrates his birthday today.

And although irrelevant to birthdays, Carrie Underwood celebrates the second anniversary of the day she married her husband! 

Gosh I love July 10th. So many reasons to celebrate. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday Randomness

"Jason's Sub Shop" on East West Highway is subtitled "Chinese Restaurant." Confusing and intriguing all at the same time.


You know those people who just have to get the last word in no matter what? I hate them. What's even worse is the texting-version of last-worders. Take this example:

A contact texted me a question about an event on Monday. 
I promptly responded with an answer and coincidentally another question.
This person replied with a quick "Thank u!" and an appropriate answer. 
I politely gave my thanks, and put my phone away.
30 seconds later, my phone buzzes with the words "Yep." 

Yep?? Really? Save your fingers from the carpal tunnel and just leave it at that. 
Please just don't send me one word texts in general. It's annoying and unnecessary.


I just realized how impossibly terrible my posture is when I sit at the computer. I need to be more conscious of my body in general before I start looking like a hunch-backed slob. 


A love/hate relationship exists between my favorite silver hoops from Nordstrom. I LOVE them because they are the perfect size. I have yet to find another pair with the precise circumference to thinness ratio. I HATE them because they always break; I am already on my third pair. Thank gosh Nordstrom has such a great return/exchange policy. 


Today's work week was only 4 days long but it felt twice as long as last week. What's up with that? 


If you were to translate this post into simile form:
Maggie is like an LFO Song: nonsensical ramblings in lyrical structure. 

I'll steal yo honey like I stole yo bike.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving...

My Purple Roomers. They are obedient, curious, fun, and so darned cute. I miss my Yellow Roomers more than words can say, but I can't complain with the group of in-coming first graders I have this summer.

The mini-aerobics class I taught to the second graders at camp today. I think they had a lot of fun, but not as much fun as the teachers peaking out of their doors giggling at me... can't say I blame them!  It only lasted 15 minutes but I got a way harder workout in than they did. Next week I start teaching for Group Fit again! Woo hoo! 

Clean sheets. I slept in fresh out of the dryer clean sheets last night and it was phenomenal. 

That I get to see Loverboy and my family this weekend! I feel like I miss out on so much when I'm at school, and I can't wait to catch up with everyone. 

That this week is only a four-day school week! Although I love my campers, I'm exhausted by the end of the week! Yay for a Wednesday that feels like Tuesday!

Yoga. I just wish I had more time to practice. 

The memories of my Fourth of July weekend adventures. Take me back...

Bikram Bootcamp

Tonight I hoped to detoxify myself from the gluttony of the weekend by means of my fourth Bikram Yoga class.

For those of you who are unfamiliar: Bikram Yoga is a cult formulaic yoga practice. Each studio is set to precisely 105 degrees with approximately 50 percent humidity (although this evening when I glanced at the thermostat it read 107 degrees with 63 percent humidity...) Each class is composed of 26 different postures, each posture repeated twice. Every Bikram room is carpeted, with at least one wall of mirrors, no music and no escaping.  

Apparently, it's not only the Eastern European Yoga Nazi instructor at the studio I go to here in MD that threatens participants into making them believe they can't leave the room despite nauseau, dizziness, fainting, etc.. Luckily I've never fainted nor came near fainting, but I will say it was definitely hard to persevere and stay in the room throughout my entire first class. 

Now, four classes in, I was able to place my mat in the front row (reserved only for advanced(ish) Yogis) and I completed all 26 postures without having to rest. I was upgraded from being referred to as "Jersey" (or "Jezzy" as the foreigner pronounces it) to "Meggie." The hour and a half felt exactly that instead of the 5 hours I seemed to spend in the sauna my first Bikram experience. 

 I feel tired, dehydrated, yet cleansed, flexible and successful. I feel stronger than I did last week and for the moment I feel thin having sweat out half my water weight. 

I'm still unsure about some of the beliefs Bikram holds but I plan on returning tomorrow for my final class of the 5-day Groupon deal I purchased. ;)
My favorite pose. If only I looked like that when I did it. 

What do you think? Should I continue to give Bikram a chance or go back to my Hot Power Yoga?? 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

The Fourth of July might seriously be my favorite holiday of the year. Aside from the obvious (sparkles in the sky, parties with family and friends, cheesy festive outfits) here's why: 

Today my calves are sore from literally running up the inclines that lead all the way to the tippy-top of the home of Terrapin Football: Byrd Stadium. 

I've had a stomachache all day, probably due to an overdose of grilled food (sausages, onions and peppers, burgers, etc.) and the war the American (Bud Light) and Mexican (Corona Extra) beers are battling inside me currently. 

My body felt uncomfortably restricted by the boundaries of real clothes.  Since Friday I woke up every morning and put on a bathing suit. The first weekend in July is the perfect excuse to leave pants behind. 

Looks like hours in the sun can really take a toll on you physically. And not in the good bronzed-skin kind of way, more like the I-can-barely-keep-my-eyelids-open long enough to finish this post kind of way. I knew I was exhausted this morning when I couldn't wake up for my favorite 7am spin class and I impatiently snapped at a few of my students mid-afternoon. Sincerest apologies from Ms. Yelencsics. 

The morning of the Fourth of July I thought I wasn't going to make it to celebrate my favorite holiday.

I almost surrendered the Fourth of July to hardcore celebrations of the First, Second, and Third of July. In this way the Third of July is comparable to Cinco De Mayo: It's simply an excuse for Americans to drink more beer with no significant reasoning, with consequences felt on the following day. The only difference? The Fourth of July holds importance that the Sixth of May does not. 

Thankfully, an excited Jillie pulled through and got me back in the pool-going, parking-lot-grilling, adventure-seeking spirit. Phew. 

I spent the afternoon napping at the pool, tailgating in Lot 1 for the College Park fireworks (which, btw, were the best best best fireworks I ever did see) and eventually sneaking into the football stadium to cross one more thing off my Bucket List: Climb to the top of Byrd Stadium after dark.  (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I was terrified. But we succeeded.  After climbing two fences, hurdling a bike rack and running for what seemed like years, we made it to the top... only to be met by flashlight-bearing Police Officers demanding we "Sneak right back on out whatever way we snuck on in." 

Sarah mesmerized by the BYRD's eye view
Whatever, it Not only were we close enough to the fantastic show on campus to feel our hearts beating with every explosion, we were also able to see fireworks from Downtown DC and Greenbelt.  It was magical. Despite the terror I felt being confronted by two big police officers (I'm such a baby), the soreness my body aches with, and the overwhelming exhaustion, I wish I could relive this weekend over and over again.

Mark my words: July 4th 2012 will be conducted with greater than or equal to as much beer, possibly less desserts, and another trespassing attempt to enjoy the best firework spectacular and thrill of my life. 

Oh, and I love my friends. and America. God Bless us all. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Observations of an Outsider

I like to think of myself as an optimistic person. Despite the serious lack of funds with which my four-week unemployment left me, I used the unemployment opportunity to my advantage and turned my free time into beach time.  I studied and practiced the strategies that create exceptional Jersey Shore experiences. I became a Beach connoisseur. A professional Jersey Shore girl.

Then I moved back to Maryland. Although I was excited to start working (broke was an understatement) and to see my roommates, I couldn't help but feel slightly depressed to move so far from the shore.  After 24 hours I was already stressing about when the next time would be when I could lay in the sand and soak up uninterrupted sun. "I want to go to the beach this weekend!" I declared the minute I returned from my five hour work day on Monday. Luckily, Katlyn understood my deep desire and replied with the procurement of house keys to her parent's beach home in Western Ocean City.

Driving to a beach other than in Jersey felt funny. I felt like an outsider, an alien in a foreign land, a Jersey Girl in a land of Skater Bros and Surfer .. er, girls.

For the curious non-Maryland native, here's the low-down on Ocean City through the eyes of a loyal Jersey Girl:

  • The beach town is  l o n g. Instead of splitting into separate beaches (like how Belmar turns into Spring Lake after a certain block) it lasts over 145 blocks.  And there is only one main drag you can drive from first street to one-hundred-forty-something street with insane drivers and traffic lights every block. 
  • People make u-turns. No jug handles; just balls-to-the-walls u-turns around medians between drivers going 60 mph. You would never see one of these on Ocean Ave back at home: 

  • I ordered a sub one night. The woman with six teeth behind the counter looked like I had six heads. Oil and Vinegar? An Italian Roll? You would have thought I was asking for a winning lottery ticket. Impossible. Instead I got Turkey, lettuce, and tomato on a soft roll without the mayo the server tried to make me feel stupid for resisting. 
  • Like Jersey, there were a ton of tan shirtless boys walking the streets. The difference was these boys are "bros" with short red shorts and long, sunkissed hair blowing in the wind.  The Guidos of Belmar wouldn't be caught dead with shorts that short. 
  • Almost everyone put a blanket down, and their towels on top of the blanket. Why?
  • Scopes. Probably the most bizarre concept an outsider looking in must attempt to grasp. Here's the general idea as relayed to me by roommates: A "Scopes" guy or girl lives at the Ocean with a gang of other "Scopes" kids and spends their days (9-5, 7 days a week) walking their designated area of sand, camera bag and obnoxious key chains in tow, begging vacationers to allow them to take their photograph. Because if they do, they can forever cherish a memory of their family posing unnaturally on the beach by peering into a a 1"x3" mini-telescope that can double as a keychain. Rumor has it that they're ridiculously expensive to purchase.  Locals are visibly annoyed by the constant prodding by "Scopes" workers and onlookers just laugh at the poor Foreigner or new Mom who gives into the Scope Pressure. 

  • Exhibit A:I will say that while I would never want to spend my time on the beach lugging a giant camera bag and begging families to allow me to take their photograph, I am envious of the tan and toned legs these Scopes kids procure by endlessly hiking on the beach by the end of the summer

  • The beach is FREE. Everywhere! I see two potential outcomes if this became the case in NJ: a) I would be at least a seasonal-badge worth richer every summer, yet, b) There is no saying who and what kind of creepy crawlers would end up on our beautiful shore, currently ruled by the fortunate beach-badge owners. 
All in all, it was an amazing weekend. I spent two days with my best friends, eating boardwalk junk, drinking cheap wine, and showing MD my best bronzing efforts. Not to mention, I obviously learned a lot.

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