(Another) open letter to my dog:

Dear Molly,

I just wanted to say thanks for all you do to protect the family. Your relentless devotion to keeping the backyard safe is a real asset to the neighborhood and we don’t take it for granted.

For example, when you hear the city’s recycling trucks circling the area every Tuesday at 5 a.m., your deafening barks and frantic racing throughout the house are completely justifiable for such a disturbance. I mean–let’s be serious—those trucks could be dinosaurs for all we know. The fact that that they arrive at the same time and day each week, every week, makes it no less terrifying.

And the way you alert us to the presence of an emergency vehicle by howling louder than its siren? That’s a real gift. We never have to worry about being the last to know there was an ambulance four blocks away from us.

I think we most appreciate the way you never fail to let us know when there is a cat outside the house, by showcasing your impersonation of a rabid hyena. It’s cool, Molly; I don’t like cats, either. And they definitely don’t have permission to lounge on our front lawn.

Your reactions to these unnatural forces make it easy to understand why you’re deathly afraid of thunder and lightning. I mean—those are much more legitimate dangers—nature is scary business.

Despite any idiosyncrasies, we love you. You make our lives better and we will always appreciate your quirks.

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Kids don’t even know what film is.

Yesterday I saw a commercial for Sprint that stated, among other things, that more photos are taken on iPhones everyday than on any other camera. I don’t have a clue how this statistic was substantiated, and sort of feel bad that it’s anyone’s job to figure that out.

I picture a bunch of camera researchers (you know that job exists) sitting around a conference room in glasses and white lab coats reviewing pages and pages of data. Desperation engulfs the room as the team fails to draw any factual conclusions. Then quietly, one brave soul simply shrugs and meekly whispers, “Come on you guys, it’s obvious. No one uses their regular cameras anymore. Kids don’t even know what film is.”

It’s a cultural pandemic and I LOVE it.

If you’d told me back in high school that within a decade my cell would fit in my pocket and take better digital photos than anything I’d find at Best Buy, I would not have believed you. But behold, the smartphone!

Anyway.

I take photos obsessively, and the world keeps giving me more ways to forcefully share them with others who may or may not want to see them. So whose fault is it, really? Those filters on Instagram aren’t going to use themselves, for crying out loud. We’ve been subliminally coerced into hyper-documenting our lives under the guise of an artistic pursuit.

I love documenting the little things that make life entertaining and unique. I’m home sick today and started sorting through the  hundreds of photos on my iPhone. I came across some great memories and hysterical moments I’d forgotten about.

Here’s a selection of what I found today:

1. Tomorrow is Michelle’s birthday. I sent her flowers. The florist decided to change my name from ‘Jess’ to ‘Jeff’ on the card, and this photo was how she told me.

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2. This text conversation that occurred after a recent cross-country flight. I’m creepy, I know that. But still.

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3. On Cinco de Mayo I ran into the Dos Equis man at the grocery store.

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4. Facetime brings the iPhone’s camera goodness to new heights. Like, for instance, when you and your friend force your dogs to interact while thousands of miles apart, because that’s normal.

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5. The moment when we understood we’d made a poor choice in restaurants, because we were the only two people in a completely empty dining room.

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6. Neighborhood lemonade stands that my husband insists we support.

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7. Realizing we may have over prepared for a three-night camping trip because no people could fit in the vehicle.

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8. The all-knowing wisdom of Words with Friends #yankeessuck

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9. The art of healthy snacking.

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10. Coffee predators.

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11. Looking back while moving forward.

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12. Dogs who offer moral and physical support.

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13. Blood donation entertainment and distraction.

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Happy Birthday, Bruno!

Bruno turned four on Christmas day, here’s what he had to say about it:

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The picture below was taken two weeks earlier:

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But look at how cute he was at eight weeks old. Seriously. Who can be mad at that face?

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*And yes, as a matter of fact, our previous home did have pink carpeting. A true 1970s disaster relic. It was a rental, end of story.

An open letter to my dog

Dear Molly,

I’ve tried talking to you about this, but I’ve found that frankly – you aren’t always open to listening. Sometimes I swear you even pretend to be asleep when I lecture you, which is entertainingly clever, but also frustrating. You see, I have a problem with the way you crowd me when I try to work on my laptop. I understand that you enjoy snuggling, and that your sole joy in life is licking my face, but you are – how do I say this politely – a little heavier than I think you realize. It’s your pitbull genetics, surely not your diet, but it makes it a little awkward to have on top of me while I’m trying to type. It dawned on me recently that maybe you’re just doing your part to support awareness of your breed, and the fact that pits have a false reputation for being aggressive (I know, hard to believe for me, too). You are indeed a motivating ambassador for this effort, with your incredibly gentle nature, but dude – I’m already on your side. You don’t have to pin me to the couch and wag your tail until it knocks over my water glass to prove this. I’m hoping we can reach some sort of compromise moving forward. Maybe we designate a certain amount of time for snuggles every night, but then when I sit down to write, you spend some time doing doggie things and give me some space. I promise this is more about me than you, and it’s definitely not your breath. And I hope this helps explain why sometimes I have to put you outside in the yard at night, and discourages you from howling like a rabid wolf when I do so. On the same token, when you feel like you really need a walk or human food, I’ll do my best to make it happen. I love you dear puppy, and only want to make sure we’re both respectful of each others’ needs.

Love,

Jess