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jb: This adorable little guy was my “neighbor” on the beach one day. He’s about one and demonstrated mastery of three words – “hi!”, “bye!” and “doggy” – none of which (thankfully, in the latter case) he used with me. Instead, he repeatedly marched over to my blanket where I was reading, knitted his brows together seriously, pursed his lips into the sternest face someone with cheeks like a puffer-fish can muster, looked me straight in the eye, pointed one chubby finger very decisively at the ocean and just GLARED at me. No amount of “hi!” or smiling or any of the things I normally do to win kids over worked with him. (It was both intimidating and adorable, much like a hissing kitten.) He stood steadfast and determined. He didn’t say a word, but his message was clear: “Look – it’s the ocean, the world’s biggest puddle and your favorite place on earth! Stop reading and go play in it before it’s time for you to go home and you realize how much you miss the ocean. And yes, that hat DOES make you look ridiculous. And for heaven’s sake, reapply sunscreen before you get wrinkles.”

When he was sure I’d finally received his message, he toddled off on his chunky Michelin-man legs, back to the world of his beach blanket and sand-digging, satisfied that his day’s work was done. Clearly, he was wise beyond his years.

j: Okay, so of all the GORGEOUS pictures I took while on vacation in Humboldt and Mendocino, I chose this one to share. It’s because I’ll never post it anywhere else, and that seems a shame (though I’m not sure why). Here’s the thing. I walked by this car, parked at the curb. I read the Sharpie nonsense philosophy words, passed on, then went back and took the picture. I imagine this car got hit because someone was following too close, trying to read all the ways she could spell “realize.” At the moment of impact she was thinking, “Huh. That’s so…” and she didn’t get a chance to finish her thought. Interesting? Stupid? A waste of Sharpie ink? We’ll never know, but the duct tape adds a nice touch, don’t you think?

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