Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Graduation Edition

In this week’s edition of Go F**k Yourself Friday, I’d like to dedicate the column to parents of kids all over our country celebrating one of the biggest milestones in their life. Well, some of them are. But for the others, this one’s for you.

Go F**k Yourself to the Doggy Obedience School who Has a Graduation Ceremony -Truth be told, when my puppy got to have her picture taken with a graduation cap for learning how to sort of not pee on a carpet, I was pretty excited for her graduation but then reality set in. I paid about $200 for a class where my dog still wasn’t house broken, she was tough to walk and constantly whined until we gave her a treat. Then there was the time she ate my computer keyboard and had the runs for a week. That’s like allowing someone with a D average to graduate. Totally not cool. The good news is, she’s finally house broken but she recently ate a piece of tin foil. No matter how hard we try, Santana will never be a straight A student.

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Go F**k Yourself to Pre-School and Kindergarten Graduation – Another cute as a button moment that truly trivializes what it means to graduate from school. Honestly, if a kid can’t even read yet, then they don’t deserve to wear a cap and gown. Let’s stop celebrating kids every time they get a year older so that by the time they do graduate from high school or college, they will really appreciate it.

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Go F**k Yourself to Parents who Buy their Kids Cars for Graduation – Seriously? You had to buy your kid a convertible Jeep for graduation? I’m sure your kid is thrilled with his new wheels but you just make it tough for the rest of us who have to explain to our kids that they’re just going to have to share the car with us until we qualify for social security.

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Go F**k Yourself to Bills, Bills and More Bills – The high school graduation is a distant memory and you’ve already got an email from your kids’ new college that the tuition bill is due. The next thing you know, your kid is hounding you about getting all their dorm stuff together and within seconds, you’ve just dropped several hundred dollars on a monochromatic comforter and a few throw pillows from Dormify. Then there’s the marathon shopping spree at Bed, Bath & Beyond where I forgot my coupons and we bought the wrong size sheets. Seriously, I know graduation is code word for kiss your money goodbye but I wish these schools would give us a day or two to breathe in between graduation, orientation and move in day.

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Go F**k Yourself Uber – For parents with kids who have graduated high school and are now enrolled in college, Uber will become the bane of your existence. Every time you look at your phone, you will inevitably see that Uber notification pop up and that’s probably because your kid doesn’t want to walk to class in the rain; went to a late night party or just felt like ordering Uber Eats instead of using the money you have already set aside for their meal plan. I never realized how something so convenient could totally suck away cash I wasn’t intending to spend in the first place. A word of advice to parents of kids with an Uber account – make sure they link it to their bank account and not yours. Trust me, they’ll be walking a lot more once they realize that the Uber is on them.

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If you’re the parent of a recent graduate, I want to wish you only the best. Enjoy this very special time before they move on to the next chapter of their lives. And if you’re the parent of a kindergarten graduate, make sure you start their 529 plan and don’t introduce them to Uber until they get a job.

Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Jug Handle Edition

After spending a weekend in Florida and then coming back to NYC to frigid temps and faulty GPS, I decided to devote this week’s column to the things that drive me nuts when I’m driving anywhere that’s outside of my neighborhood. For those of you who can feel my pain, this one’s for you.

Go F**k Yourself to the person who designed “roundabouts” – If you’ve never driven around a roundabout, here’s my beef. Your GPS might tell you to make the third right turn after the roundabout but if it’s late at night and someone just rang your phone and your struggling to see where you’re going, you will miss that exit and find yourself being re-routed – over and over again. I have officially decided that if I ever do retire to Florida, I will not live near any roundabout. I guess that means I’m never moving to Florida.

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Go F**k Yourself to the person who designed Jug Handles in New Jersey – if you hate roundabouts, you’ll probably hate jug handles even more and here’s why. You already missed your exit while on a long road that’s filled with strip malls and all you want to do is make a U Turn but you can’t do that for miles. That is, until you hit the jug handle – which always comes up out of nowhere and if you miss it, you’ll be forced to keep driving for another five miles until the next one pops up. Come on New Jersey! Just let me make a U Turn. Why does it have to be so difficult?

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Go F**k Yourself to Whoever Hung the Highway Signs in New Jersey – I know I seem to be taking aim at the Garden State this week but if you have ever tried to drive on the Jersey Turnpike, the signs are some of the most confusing ones I have ever seen in my life. Even my GPS gets confused too. Go right. No I mean, merge left. Take the express route then merge into the local lane. Go towards the Holland Tunnel but then before you actually drive into it, make a sharp left. OMG – just fix the damn signs before I wind up in Staten Island or Downtown Brooklyn!

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Go F**k Yourself GPS that Doesn’t Work in Downtown Manhattan – I know that working downtown is totally the place to be these days, but if you struggle figuring out where to walk after you’ve taken the subway to your destination, then I feel your pain. Just yesterday, I took the subway to Fulton street and then set my GPS so I could walk over to Liberty Street which my map told me was an easy breezy eight minute walk from the train station. The problem is, GPS doesn’t work really well downtown so instead of walking down Broadway, I went the wrong way down a narrow street and wound up by City Hall. I then hopped in a cab which got stuck in traffic and couldn’t go down a bunch of the streets and the next thing I knew, I was 20 minutes late to my appointment. AARGH!!!

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Here’s to a jug handle free weekend for you. Even better, just stay inside and don’t drive. It’ll do wonders for your blood pressure.

Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Holiday Edition

It’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but in the past week, I’ve seen stories about how people have the most heart attacks during the holidays while others are totally dreading having to spend time with relatives who don’t share their political views.  For those of you who are completely stressed out this time of year, this one’s for you…

The Holiday Music Militia: Go F**k Yourself to all the people insisting that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” be banned from the radio. I really don’t mind that song at all and am not offended by it, but after day 35 of non-stop holiday music, I’d like to ban radio stations from playing holiday music 24/7 just to torture everyone this time of year. By Christmas Eve, I’d like to get plenty more songs out of my head right now, starting with “Santa Baby.”

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The Holiday Letter Writer: I know it’s taken you at least three weeks to craft your “year in review” letter that you’ve decided to share with people who haven’t actually seen you this past year, but a serious Go F**k Yourself goes out to the people who recap the wonderful year they had by sharing all the amazing things that happened to them in 2018. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so annoyed about your letter if I had actually experienced one of those incredible moments with you. News flash: Time to prune your mailing list so you don’t send your stupid letter to people who you haven’t actually spent any time with in years.

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My Fat Cells: Yes, I know that fat cells are not a person but since they have been my nemesis my entire life, I’m going to give a big old Go F**k Yourself to my fat cells that I know will be expanding this holiday season and will probably set me back again as I start the new year. I’ve been working hard to shrink all of you but I’m also a sucker for baklava, butter cookies and anything else that’s sweet and a billion Weight Watcher points. I know I’m going to hate the fact that I can’t fit into my skinny jeans come January 2nd so I’m just cursing you out in advance.

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Restaurants that are closed on Christmas Day: I totally get that you need to close down or else we’d be serving ourselves this time of year, but still, Go F**k Yourself to restaurants that leave people like me with little options other than Chinese food and movie theater popcorn.

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People Who Wait to the Last Minute to Buy Gifts: Truth be told – I deserve a big old Go F**k Yourself for this one too since I always wait until Christmas Eve to buy gifts. I know I totally could have bought stuff in October or when I bought a new coat last week that was on sale at Lord & Taylor, but no. I’d rather trek out in the pouring rain, circle the parking lot five times to find a spot and then walk a half mile without an umbrella to Barnes & Noble just so I can buy a book I totally could have ordered on Amazon if I actually thought about it a few days ago.

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In all seriousness, I hope all of you have an absolutely wonderful Christmas and New Year. Enjoy the craziness, the gifts, the food, your family and friends and most of all, enjoy the fact that there will be plenty more Go F**k Yourself columns in 2019 to keep you entertained.

Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Ghost Edition

Today’s post goes out to all the people who disappear into thin air thanks to social media. In 2018, we call this practice “ghosting.” I’m happy to say, that this post is a collaborative effort since so many of us have experienced ghosting firsthand and are annoyed by its most prodigious practitioners. If you are among then, go f**k yourself … but first hit reply. Your soul could use the exercise.

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The I Refuse to Text You Back Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to the brainiac who doesn’t realize WE CAN SEE you’ve read our message. Duh. Either you don’t want to reply or it’s gotten lost in the sea of insipid, unanswered texts and emails swimming in your inbox. Life is hard, we know. Hitting send hurts.

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The Didn’t I Used to Work with You Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to former co-workers with whom you once worked close but now won’t recognize your name if it was blasted in an Amber Alert. Hello? Bueller? We only sat next to each other for 10 years. Just pretend you know, m’kay? And then respond. Amnesia’s moment is over. 

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The Job Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to the HR dimwit who sets up interviews with a promising candidates and excitedly suggests a follow up interview. Then disappears faster than a sexual harassment complaint. Hate to break the news, but this is YOUR JOB. Recruiting, meeting and hiring employees is what you get paid for, and if the job isn’t a right fit, SAY SO! People talk, and nothing leaves a worse taste in your mouth than the vanishing human resources rep. Put the “human” in your title and just act … human?

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The Sorry But Do I Know You Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to old friends who joined you in climbing up the ladder, and continued climbing long after you left and now can no longer see anyone below. “Hello … hello … hello (echo sound) Remember me? I was holding your hand when you gave birth in the elevator. Still no? Hmm, maybe I have the wrong email. Or am going into the spam filter. Perhaps there’s an assistant pruning the in-box? Or maybe the former “friend” is just a phony who is too important to call back. What goes up must always come down (except Cher, she can survive anything).

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The Ghost Thief: Go F**k Yourself to the brand or business that reaches out to you for help with their business, fawns over your creativity, then steals your ideas without so much as a phone call or email  No problem, have at it! They’re all yours! It’s not like anyone needs to make a living or anything.

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The Half Ghost: Go F**k Yourself to the “friend” who you reach out to for a small favor or question, only to get a useless, one sentence reply that is as helpful as a drunk guy giving you directions to JFK. Thanks!

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Go F**k Yourself Friday, the Trip Down Memory Lane Edition

I’ve been on this planet for a pretty long time now and as a result, there have been a lot of things that have happened in my life that have pissed me off. I have shared a few of them in some of my FU Friday posts but today, I have decided to take a trip down memory lane so I can share some fresh Go F**k Yourself Friday love with some pretty crappy people from the past.

Go F**k Yourself to Tony Robbins. Yes, that Tony Robbins. While I was excited to be motivated by you to be my very best self and even fist pumped Gayle King at your event, I will never forget the time that I spent more than 12 hours in a freezing cold room with thousands of other people as I felt myself getting sicker and sicker by the hour. By 1 am, after I couldn’t think straight anymore, we were led outside and I lost complete control of my senses when I was instructed to walk across hot coals. Now bear in mind. I am the person who hates riding scary roller coasters, yet something in my brain snapped and I race/walked across burning hot coals and wound up with blisters on my feet and a lung infection – not from the hot coals, but the sub zero temperatures I endured inside that day. Plus, my husband got totally pissed off at me because I didn’t call him for 12 hours and he was about to send out a search party for me. Thankfully, I resurfaced, came to my senses and never attended another Tony Robbins event again. Instead, I am hopelessly devoted to Mel Robbins because she’d never make me walk on hot coals. Maybe she’d share a hot coffee with me, but coals, never.

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Go F**k Yourself Aladdin Capital for firing my husband almost 10 years ago. Since the company is now out of business anyway, I felt like it was a good time to give them a piece of my mind. There was one point in my husband’s life where he thought he was going to spend the rest of his career at that company. They had just given him an incredible bonus and he even convinced me to take a chance, leave my stable job and start my own my company. But then, they pulled the rug out from under him and his friends after the market took a downturn (hello 2008), and we were like a couple out of the Roaring 20’s.  Bye bye Lexus, hello Hyundai. We’ve survived despite our brush being on easy street but a serious Go F**k Yourself goes out to his bosses at the time who seriously turned our American Dream into an episode of Sanford & Son.

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Go F**k Yourself to the former client who kicked me out of a limo when she was having a bad day.  I had just started working with her and my team had lined up a bunch of interviews to promote the new season of her show. Unfortunately, as the day wore on, a few interviews we had scheduled fell through and by the time we got to the end of the day, she got really pissed that things weren’t going her way and proceeded to yell at me and threw me out of the town car we were riding in. I then walked to the train station in tears and vowed never to work with horrible women like her again. While I was convinced to come back for the rest of the season, after witnessing her torture more of my colleagues, I finally decided to reclaim my dignity and walk away. I have also vowed to never work with toxic people again and damn, that does feel good. 

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Go F**k  Yourself to my old boss who, while going through a midlife crisis, bought a convertible sports car and waved me on one day while he was pulling out of the parking garage next to our office building with one of his friends. I was nine months pregnant and trudged along as I walked to the subway station that was several blocks away. I later found out that he had told someone that he didn’t want to hire anyone else who was planning to go on maternity leave because it was more trouble than it was worth. He has since retired and embroiled in a scandal that he’s going to have to probably deal with for a very long time so karma, thank you very, very much for all that you do. 

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Go F**k Yourself to the Person who mistakenly sent me a really mean message about me that was meant for someone else. I will never forget the searing words she used about my sub par writing abilities and that she also labeled me a “serial bridge burner.” If you happen to know who you are and are reading this, consider this one of those bridges burned.

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Thanks for the memories everyone! Now make it a good day and if not, well you already know the alternative.

No Matter How Old Your Kids Get, the Worry Gene Never Fades Away

I was up again last night at 1:53 am checking to see if my daughter had sent me a text message. She was pretty stressed out and I was hoping to find out if she was able to head back to her apartment rather than spend the night at art school. She was struggling with one of her projects – she’s in a glass blowing class and every time she kept trying to finish, it broke – over and over again. Each time that happened, she called me after she had already shed tears with one of her classmates. I felt so bad and before I went to bed, said a silent prayer to the glass blowing gods that this time, the project wouldn’t spontaneously shatter and she could finally go home and rest.

At 2:00 am she texted back that she had indeed finished the project and had also finished a project for her Fibers and Materials class where she was embroidering my denim jacket, a sock and a shirt with a symbol that was empowering to her. I hope when I eventually get my jacket back, it’ll be empowering to me too.

I’m sure if you have a child away at college, they may not be fretting about glass blowing but instead, it could be molecular biology, or statistics, or their pre-law classes. No matter how old our kids get, we just can’t stop worrying.

But it doesn’t stop with finals week. On the weekends, when she’s out with her friends at parties, I check my phone in the wee hours of the morning to make sure she’s taken an Uber back to her apartment and she’s sound asleep in her bed. I send her silly bitmoji messages during the week telling her good night and I love her just so she knows I’m always thinking about her.

When it comes time for her to come home, I worry when she’s under our roof – especially if it’s 3am and she still hasn’t returned home and it’s raining or snowing outside.

Recently, my daughter informed me that she’d like to study abroad the first semester of her junior year. The location she’ll be studying in is Rome and I know it’ll be pretty amazing when we get to visit her, but then I’ll be worrying about her from thousands of miles away.

Sometimes I honestly wonder if it was easier being sleep deprived with a newborn than sleep deprived with a child approaching adulthood. 

I know I should just trust everything will be fine and not worry so much but it’s hard to turn that switch off in my brain. I even have the location services device activated on my phone so I can check and see if she’s safe in bed if I haven’t heard from her late at night. I’m sure you probably think I’m nuts, but my kids mean everything to me and I just want to make sure they are getting enough sleep, know they are supported and also be there if they call or text no matter what time it is – especially if she just wants to let me know she’s okay.

If you’re a mom of an infant or toddler or preteen I’m here to let you in on a little secret. While your relationship with your child will change in amazing ways over time, the part that never gets easier is the one where you worry about their lives, their future and their mental well being no matter how old they get. Try as we might, as parents, we worry. I guess that’s our jobs. Here’s hoping that one day, I’ll be able to worry just a little bit less.

My Girl Crush: Michelle Obama

I’m not gonna lie. I have a crush on Michelle Obama. So much so, that out of ever female speaker on this planet, the only person who I have seen twice is Michelle. The first time was when I was invited to the White House for a private event for mom bloggers where she appeared as a featured speaker and the second was with my daughter while she was on tour for her new book Becoming.

I just want you to know – if you are deciding whether to buy the book, my advice is to buy it so you have it as a memento but then download it on Audible.com and listen to Michelle narrate her life while you’re walking the dog, driving to pick your kids up from school, riding to work, shopping at the supermarket or riding the subway. It’s 40+ hours of pure inspiration, laughter and a twinge of sadness too. 

What I loved most about the book was that it was relatable on so many levels – whether you grew up in a neighborhood much like Michelle’s on Euclid Avenue on the South Side of Chicago where her family experienced racism first hand as neighbors began moving away as a result of “white flight”; to the high school guidance counselor who told her she wasn’t “Princeton material” and she was determined to prove her wrong – earning degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law School. Then there’s her courtship with Barack, who she mentored when he was a summer associate at the law firm where she worked; and her early years raising her two girls while she balanced her career as her husband pursued politics in Chicago and on the national stage.

Michelle Obama truly epitomizes every working mom I know. We grew up with a fire in our bellies determined to succeed but when we became moms, we realized we had to figure out a different path to pursue our passions while being there for our kids when they needed us most. I also loved the fact that she truly found her passion after meeting Barack – he was her “swerve” which led her to let go of the frenetic pace of climbing an unfulfilling corporate ladder so she could do something much more impactful with her life. 

Michelle Obama is not only inspiring to my generation, but to my daughter and her friends as well. There was a sea of mother/daughters at the Wells Fargo Center last week and we were all giddy with excitement. In fact, many of us met on the SEPTA train headed to the event and I joked that this was our version of the World Series. When we were standing in line to get into the concert venue, there was a camera crew out front and a woman couldn’t contain her excitement sharing why she was so thrilled to have the chance to hear Michelle Obama speak. It was like an Oprah Winfrey moment…You get car! You get a car! And You Get a Car! The energy surrounding all of us was positively electric.

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At the heart of it, we were all aching to be inspired again. Many of us are just tired and shell shocked by the last two years and we are so ready to believe that things will turn around for the better. For my daughter, I was thrilled for her to hear sage words of advice from the former First Lady about the importance of ignoring the naysayers because once you do achieve your dreams or gain acceptance to places that are oftentimes occupied by people with mediocre intelligence at best, you will come to find that you might just be the smartest person in the room and that will feel damn good.

I feel lucky to have been able to share this unforgettable experience with my daughter and cannot wait to see what she achieves in her lifetime. As for me, as I write my next chapter, I’m taking everything Michelle said to heart about what I am becoming. I’m trying my best not to have regrets about the decisions I have made over the years, only planning for the future as I focus on things I love to do while exposing my own kids to opportunities and experiences that will help guide them towards whatever it is they’re supposed to become. 

So thanks Michelle. I will forever have a girl crush on you. I do hope to see you again someday. Something tells me if I keep dreaming, doing and becoming, I absolutely will. 

How to Snap Out of it When You’re in a Funk

I don’t know what it is about this time of year. Maybe it’s the fact that I have to keep my space heater on at all times in my sunroom because the frigid air is managing to seep through the window frames. Or I’m sitting in front of a computer sending out emails to countless contacts in my industry and no one seems to be responding. Or the to do list I set out for myself today seems to never get done.

Whatever it is, I am officially in a funk and haven’t really been able to snap out of it for several months. Now let me be clear. I have a really good life – a loving husband, great kids and parents too but that’s what you see on the surface. I’m also in the midst of a sandwich generation situation where I’m dealing with the fact that my parents are getting older and not doing that well health wise while my kids are headed towards their late teens and almost 20 and dealing with tougher issues that I never thought I’d ever have to deal with in my life.

In a word, I’m tired. Okay, that’s two words but you get the gist. I have also been trying to reinvent my career which feels as if it has stalled but in reality, it hasn’t. I just don’t know what I want to do next and am being uber cautious about every single step I take. 

So how do you get out of a funk you ask?  Here’s my advice:

  1. Do not spend the entire day working in front of a computer. That’ll get anyone depressed.

2. Write a list of what you want to accomplish that day and always include something that feeds your soul – whether it’s exercise, singing, dancing or writing. Whatever it is, just do it.

3. Get off social media. The minute you get sucked into the vortex of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you can kiss at least 1-2 hours of your life away. Plus, each time you scroll through your feed and see people doing things you used to be able to do in your career, don’t start getting wistful or angry that you’re not included anymore. Suck it up buttercup and focus on you!

4. Walk the dog. If you don’t have a dog, then get outside and just take a walk. The more you change your surroundings, the better you will feel.

5. Turn off breaking news notifications on your phone. Every time I see my phone light up, I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. So turn off those notifications and if you want to check in from time to time, then great but otherwise, what you don’t know at that second is not going to kill you.

6. Call a friend. Yes. I really said pick up your phone and don’t text someone. Go old school and call them to say hello.

7. Plan a vacation. While you may not have any money to go away, it’s never too early to start checking to see how many points you have and use them wisely. Maybe you can plan a getaway on points and that will definitely make you happy.

8. Volunteer. I know you’re busy but there are so many people who are less fortunate than you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, get out there and help others because honestly, that totally feeds the soul.

9. Bake. I used to hate cooking and now whenever I’m feeling down, I head to the kitchen and start cooking. In fact, I think I may just whip up a banana bread tonight while I’m feeling blue.

10. Binge watch your favorite TV show. Whether you want to slip under the covers and escape back to your 20s with “Friends” or you just want to catch up on last week’s episode of “This is Us,” there really is nothing better than ditching your to do list for a little mindless TV streaming. 

Wouldn’t you know it, I think I’m feeling better already. Now it’s time to get back to work. Then again, maybe not.

Go F**k Yourself Friday…The Pet Edition

Thanks to my cousin Jeff, today’s post is inspired by our pets, Santana, Hazel, Jasper and Guapo. For the most part, our pets are some of the most pampered on the planet, but they do get pissed off at us from time to time. So I’ve decided to give our furry and scaly housemates the floor today so they can finally share what’s on their minds…

Hazel’s Side-eye: Go F**k Yourself Grandpa for kicking me off the kitchen table this morning so you can drink your morning coffee and eat your toasted bagel with peanut butter. Don’t you know that I enjoy lying across the placemats while Beth watches MSNBC on her phone in the morning and Darin is out walking Santana? There’s nothing better than sprawling out on that table especially when I know the coast is clear and I’m not going to have to pole vault into the dining room once the dog comes back into the house. I know it seems unsanitary, but I seriously clean myself 20 times a day. You have nothing to worry about, except maybe a few cat hairs in your black coffee.

Hazel gives Grandpa the side eye

Guapo’s Rant: Go F**k Yourself for keeping me cooped up in a fish tank for the better part of seven years. I know you tried to make the place look nice. You gave me beachfront property and a window view of the backyard, but seriously, I’m three feet long now and would really like to relocate to Florida. I hear that Boca is quite nice. Maybe next time you drive down there, you can drop me off so I can find my long lost bearded dragon relatives.

Guapo plots his escape to Boca

Jasper’s Revenge: Go F**k Yourself Santana for chasing me and Hazel away from the bedroom because you are clearly the favorite. That’s okay. We were here first and we will continue to taunt you by sleeping in your dog bed and drinking from your water bowl. You can’t scare us with your silly bark. You know we have the upper hand since no one ever trims our nails and we can use them like ninja steak knives if you piss us off. 

Santana vs. Squirrel: Go F**k Yourself mailman, Fresh Direct delivery man, UPS driver, landscaper, Uber Eats guy and anyone else who attempts to come to my front door and I don’t know who you are. Don’t worry, I don’t actually bite anyone who comes in the door but if you do not let me kiss you on the face or pet me, I will keep barking until you hit the road. Oh and FU too squirrel who always manages to taunt me on the porch. I will get you one day. I just have to figure out how to bust out of the sunroom.

Go F**k Yourself squirrel. I see you taunting me right outside the sunroom. Not funny. Not funny at all.

Thanks for stopping by this week. Hope your pets treat you as great as ours do. And on that note, time to walk the dog…

Photo credit: Jake Danishevsky