Pictures From the March in D.C.

Here are some images from the March For Our Lives. I plan on writing more about the event and will do so later today. For now, please enjoy these images. What an amazing weekend. I am so glad I shared it with my children. I am so grateful to our youth.

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We also took the boys to see the Obamas’ portraits. They took some time to play in the water scrims in the Kogod Courtyard.

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Tshirt

I designed a t-shirt using the sign I created for the march. All proceeds will go to March for our Lives. I have a men’s available and a women’s.

March For Our Lives

We drove to D.C. yesterday to take part in March For Our Lives. The boys and I created this sign for the event. I had the idea on the drive down, designed it in Illustrator in less than 15 minutes, uploaded to my Staples account and within three hours the Staples on H Street in D.C. had it printed, mounted and laminated. Crazy.

We are getting read to march and I will report back with pictures later.

Enough is Enough.

Artboard 1

We Have Such Little Control.

I love when nature takes over and puts everything in its place, stops us all from the constant hustle and worry and fretting over nothing—a bunch of human created drama. And why?

We humans spend so much time considering the dumbest shit. We create deadlines that don’t include anything remotely close to actually dying but instead get in the way of living. I am notorious for this. I lose my way daily.

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I have been told that if I live to see 75, I will have spent about 25 years sleeping. (Although my kids are the worst sleepers and I’m not so good at it either, so I’m not so sure that number is correct for me, but OK.). I know that some people consider that a waste of one’s time spent here on planet Earth. Like, if we didn’t spend so much time asleep, we could do so much more!

Of what?

Most of us would probably just spend that time needlessly worrying about things that don’t much matter. We’d schedule our kid for another activity and then complain about having to drive them there and they would complain about having to go. And then we’d fret over how big of a failure we are when, at 3 PM, straight off the bus, our kid absolutely refuses to do anything more than what he just did—school. So it’s 4 minutes before he needs to be somewhere you paid 150.00 for and it’s a 20 minute drive and so, well that’s not happening. And you watch the family next door and they do everything, and I mean everything.

The even all ski.

Very well.

I dunno. Maybe sleeping for 25 years isn’t such a bad thing after all.

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I’d like to say I will one day change this about myself—that I won’t worry so much or compare myself to everything going on around me. And that I will convince my kids to not worry as much as I have. But I know that’s not possible. So on days like this where nature steps in and says, “Not so fast, you silly humans! You think you have control? Oh no. Your cars don’t matter. Your grid is delicate. Your roads are falling apart. Your houses are temporary. Your very existence here should be cherished every second of every day.”

Nature is there to remind us of this.

I like days like today—where what actually matters isn’t what we spend most of our time actually doing.

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I Give Up. You Win, Squirrels.

Late last week, I put all the candy, snack bars and pop tarts in a giant glass jar with a super heavy lid hoping to keep all the squirrels out. I left a note for them that read: “For Humans. Not Squirrels” hoping they would get the point. I also left some snacks out for the squirrels in a bowl with a sign that read: “Eat this, Squirrels.” It didn’t work. So, I’m done. This fat bastard has officially won. I give up.

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This didn’t happen previous years so I don’t know what the hell is going on with the squirrels this year.  I will try again next year and hope for the best. This year, I will stick to beverages, hand warmers and tissues because they don’t seem to give a crap about that.

You win, squirrels.

Thieving Squirrel Videos.

Copyright © 2017 Michele Boudreaux. All rights reserved.
For licensing / permission to use, please email licensing(at)mihow(dot)com. Thank you!

Someone from NBC contacted me after I posted this story on our local Facebook page. They asked if could have the videos in order to put together a cute little segment for their website. Here is what they created. It’s cute! It also made the 11 PM news but that’s WAY past my bedtime, so I missed it.

Update: The lovely Ali Bauman from CBS New York stopped by last night for an interview. She watched the Boudreaux family in all its glory at our home here in Maplewood.

And apparently this squirrel is now internationally famous.

Canoe covered the story as well. And I sea that Sea Girt is experiencing similar issues.

The original videos with a great deal of my commentary.

Since I am clearly losing this battle, I left him a note and some treats so he came for the gum.

Day five. I think I’m just going to let him win. I give up. Eat up, squirrel.

BEWARE OF MY DOG, SQUIRREL!

I don’t even know what to say anymore.

Then he ate the pop tart in front of me.

 

Suburban Thieves Are Little Bastards.

Every year, we put out a tray of treats—water, soda, tissues, lip balm, hand warmers, chips—you get the picture. We do this for the many delivery people who come to our house during the busy holiday season. (Frankly, I’m not sure how my mother got through Christmas with three kids without the help of Amazon, but I digress.) We tip the usual suspects; the mailman gets an extra bit of love, the trash guys, too. But this is for all the outsourced work, those third parties.

Last year, I had it up for two weeks and replenished whenever things went low. Not once did we have an issue with anyone stealing everything or taking too much.

On Monday, I put out this year’s treat table and—NO JOKE—within a few hours, ALL the Ghirardelli chocolate squares were gone. I couldn’t believe it. Why would someone do such a thing? And why would they take the most expensive chocolate on the tray? Why not rob us blind of all the Reese’s and Mini Snickers since I can’t seem to stop eating them because holy crap, trash candy is so damn good and I totally don’t choose Us Weekly over Time while in the waiting room.

But, no. This thief took the good stuff. And I wanted to cry. It was day one and already two packs, like 25 pieces, of Ghirardelli squares had been taken from us.

My husband, being an anti-surveillance nerd who is aware of all the myriad ways HUMANS are tracked constantly, decides to set up a small camera. Not that we’d do anything about it, should we find the thief. We aren’t like that. The chocolates are free, after all. It was more about KNOWING who would do such a thing. Who can eat that much Ghirardelli?

So, the camera goes up yesterday and I head out with my husband to take the dog for a walk. It’s midday, right around 1 PM. The sky is overcast and we’re enjoying the weirdly warm weather. We walk for a while then return to the house.

That’s when we spot the FATTEST squirrel. I mean, this squirrel is so obese—a jolly ol’ chap—he must be prepping for a decade of winters. Even my rat terrier dog took one look and said, “Nope.”

So the fat squirrel is standing on our step stool, furiously digging through our wooden tray. He’s digging and digging and digging and then he TAKES OFF toward our backyard carrying whatever he possibly can.

“You don’t think… I mean, no way, right?” I say to Toby.

Sure enough, every piece of chocolate is gone.

Toby tries chasing the fat bastard through our yard to see where he’s taking all our goodies but the thief makes a successful getaway.

At this point, I am still not convinced that a squirrel ran off with THAT many squares of Ghirardelli. I mean, that’s insane. What is he doing with them? Building the most amazing nest, a rodent palace consisting of fine chocolate?

This morning, I head out to take the kids to the bus stop and I spot an unopened square of Ghirardelli on our driveway. When I return, I decide to comb the perimeter of our yard, because NO WAY.

Sure enough, I find three other unopened squares of Ghirardelli.

This squirrel went from being the biggest jerk ever to becoming the greatest fuzzy freak I’ve ever not quite met.

We now have our chocolate in a jar that requires opposable thumbs.

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Update: He cleared me out of chocolate. (All on video). Then the snack bars. Then the Ricola. NOW THIS!???!!

 

Watch more of this little dude in action here.

Copyright © 2017 Michele Boudreaux. All rights reserved.
For licensing / permission to use, please email licensing(at)mihow(dot)com.

Better Days.

Yesterday a friend of mine reached out on Facebook saying he’s hurting. And not the normal type of hurt everyone experiences. He’s become completely consumed by depression.

Comments poured in. Many gave virtual hugs, letting him know that unequivocally no matter how badly he feels he will never be alone—that our homes are open should he need to see a friendly face. Many of us explained that we also suffer from this type of depression—the all-consuming kind—and at times it can be downright debilitating.

Then someone wrote, “Better days are coming.”

And I cringed.

This is a perfectly reasonable thing to write. It comes from a kind place. It’s innocent. I have written this very sentence before. It’s been said to me before. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing this.

But.

I found myself thinking, “Are better days coming? What if they aren’t? What if we have to figure out how to deal with these days—the days we are currently experiencing, the right fucking now days? What if a “better day” is a day where you are strong enough to post on Facebook saying that you’re hurting?”

I realize that’s horribly upsetting for many people to read. Because why would anyone want to be told, “Hey, you know what? This might be it, dude. Your brain may try and make you feel this way for the rest of your life.”

I have stopped telling people to cheer up, not because I don’t want them to. I have stopped telling people that everything is going to be OK. Because I can’t assure them that everything will be. I don’t know what their brain is like. I don’t know how deep their sorrow runs or what their inner voice is telling them when they’re trying to find the will to get up and make all the necessary mundane life shit happen when all they really want to do is sleep or escape into that book.

I know at most what fits into the head of a match.

I think the best thing we can do for those suffering from depression is to listen. Maybe tell them that they’re not alone. Definitely let a person know that there is absolutely no shame in asking for help, whether it be taking medication; seeking therapy; electroconvulsive therapy; meditation; training for a marathon; climbing Mount Everest; weed—whatever helps that brain—I say go for it.

Sometimes the quest for “better days” can become a little too overwhelming, like somehow we’re constantly failing at attaining the elusive better day.

I don’t know what to say about better days, but I do have something to say about bad ones. On bad days, I just want someone to sit with me at my empty lunch table in a cafeteria full of people. You don’t even have to talk me.

On a bad day, I just need to know I’m still orbiting another human heart.

Green

I was visiting NYC looking for a full time graphic design job. I was 24-years-young. I was invited to stay on the floor of a one bedroom apartment in midtown for one week. It was through a friend of a friend and that apartment couldn’t have been more than 500 square feet but to me it was perfect.

A few days after I arrived, I decided to go shopping for a new outfit, something special. Something hip. I had a suit I wore to interviews and portfolio drops-offs, but I was going to meet up with friends later in the week and I wanted something other than the jeans and T-shirt I rode in on.

So I picked out this cool black pair of pants, a bright green and black striped shirt—I think it may have even been a little shiny—and a long black sleeveless cloak. I purchased it in SoHo. Of course it was cool.

Thursday evening shows up and I’m off to meet my friends at a bar on the Lower East Side, three guys I’d known forever. We talk about the latest season of Felicity and our time spent together at Penn State and they tell me that living in NYC is awesome but difficult too. There was much laughter. It was an awesome night. I left feeling like I could conquer that damn city.

Heading to the subway to catch an uptown train to an apartment owned by a couple I would never see again, a car pulls up alongside me, beautiful people inside, New York plates, none of that Jersey bullshit.

“Hey! Hey you!”

I turn and look.

“Yeah! Yeah, you! You work that shirt, girrrl! You work that bright green shirt real good!”

They laugh and pull away.

I was, of course, mortified and could NOT have gotten back to that tiny apartment fast enough. I felt like every single person on every single street and in every subway car was looking at my green shirt. My stupid bright green shirt.

When I got back to Pennsylvania that green shirt and a chunk of my ego were discarded. (The cloak survived for a few years.)

Years later, age 33. Living in Brooklyn. I am having the “good kind of cancer” removed from my upper lip. They need to stitch me up and I’m alone and I need to take the subway home. I’m a little uneasy about this, having a massive wound on my face, black stitches running from my lip to my nostril. I ask the doctor if she can give me a bandaid or something.

“Oh, honey. This is New York. No one cares about your bloody face stitches. Not a soul here will even notice.”

I took two subways home that day, my many bloody stitches in full view, and no one noticed or cared or maybe I didn’t and I guess that’s all that really matters.

There’s something youthful and necessary about falsely believing everyone around you is paying attention and there’s something comforting and momentous about realizing it’s all bullshit and letting it go.