How not to go fishing…

Because you should totally listen to me, I caught 1 fish in 3 hours..and that makes me a pro….

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I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, of mind, body and fisherman’s soul, left Killeen a fishing novice, devoid of all aquatic knowledge, but now, I stand before you today (metaphorically speaking of course, this is the internet) a changed woman. You see my friends, last night I stood above a fish that I had drug out of the gulf, named, screamed at it, made my husband remove it from the hook, and then set him free. I of course, would have never made it that far had it not been for a few key choices I made early on in the night. The following is the fisherman’s quick guide to hearty pier fishing.

1. Dress to impress-Pier 91 in Galveston doubles as a semi-professional runway, plus, no self respecting fish is going to be caught dead (or alive, excuse the pun) on the line do someone dressed like a shabby Shane.

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2. Wet wipes are your friends– no matter what the “veteran” fishermen say. Who is the wuss now when your touch Id on your iphone 5s won’t work anymore…

3. Sing Loudly-particularly show tunes. The showery’ the better. Not only do the fish love it, but so do the other people on the pier. If your good enough, they will reward you by showering you with /throwing at you any extra bait they have..you know, to help you keep up with all the extra fish you will have. P.s..don’t forget to be polite..”why thank you sir..I needed the extra fish heads!!”

4. Come with a strategy -to make others bait your own hooks . Mine was “are you kidding me! I’m not touching that…” It worked like a charm, feel free to use it as your own.

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5. Be inventive-Simple word games help you kill non-fish catching times. A favorite in Galveston this time of the year is (and if your a frequent reader here..you may already know it..) very similar to duck duck goose…seaweed, seaweed, fish. Or the adult version, seaweed, seaweed, shark, fish.

6. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize-Did you know that 200$ coach purse doubles as a tackle box? I bet the salesperson didn’t tell you that when you bought it.

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7. Know your wind direction– this is probably the most obvious piece of advice I can give you, but it bears repeating for any newbies. You can’t properly cast a selfie if the wind is blowing your hair the wrong direction.

8. Location, location, location– Go to your local Red Lobster, and find the little back book on the table that’s says “fresh (ish) Fish, close your eyes, point your finger, pick one and call it a day. 🙂

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How Not to survive a day at the park….

Because you should totally take advice from me, the Ariel of six flags hurricane harbor, Arlington Texas.

First and for most, I must say I had a blast with my girls, De-bor-ah and Liz lemon, celebrating Debbie’s birthday!! The bond we share, (the side eye, awkward laugh, this is why I love you, what had happened was, no ma’am, donut getting, know what the other one is thinking or looking at without having to say it out loud kind of bond) is a friendship like no other.

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Second, before I begin, I just want to make it clear that you will not see any mocking of swim suits and the bodies they are attached to in the post. I am the LAST person that needs to be making judgment calls based on beach ware as I once received an epic wedgie’ from a massive water slide that went unnoticed for a half hour. Your welcome  for that intense visualization in advanced.

1.) Sun tan lotion and sunscreen….know the difference. Make the wrong decision and it becomes the deciding factor between sun kissed beauty and fried lobster.

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2.) Choose a friend with a good attention span and great spatial reasoning to apply your sun screen. If you choose wrong the consequences could be scary and psychedelic. My friend Debbie here, selected the wrong sunscreen buddy (Cough Cough Liz Lemon) ,and will be living with the side effects of tie dyed skin for weeks to come. Lets all share a moment of silence for Debbie and her sunburned back.

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3.) If your bored while waiting in an hour long line for a 30 second ride, play fun games like iSpy or a new family favorite, appendix, appendix, no appendix (Similar to duck duck goose and reflector reflector, DEER if you read my last blog).  Its fun, simple and you don’t even have to be a brain general surgeon to play!

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4.) Fix your hair in a way that won’t leave you frustrated and irritated the whole day. Nothing more obnoxious that fixing a pony tail every 3 mins. With this warning I give you another. If you pick a hairstyle as classy as cornrowesque twist’s tight in the top of you head, please wear sunscreen (not sun tan lotion) unless you want to look like a college ruled note book with a chance of bad dandruff in the weeks that follow, please head my advice.
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5.) Find a place you can relax. Many would choose the lazy river for this..well I am here to tell you that in some cases, this is not the place to go. The lazy river is the only place in the park that you can go from relaxed to kicked to groped (on accident) in less than 25 seconds. For tense situations such as this, I have borrowed techniques from other frustrated and disgruntled adults before me ( shout out to Marc Antony/William Shakespeare) and have written a simple speech that shall be read upon my entrance in to said lazy river. “Friends, Parents, Children, lend me your ears. The lazy river is for relaxation, not hyper-ness. The splashing and running you all do, will follow behind you, as I am bigger than you and can splash 10 times harder…take heed and take cover”

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HOW NOT TO PREPARE FOR A 18HR CAR RIDE..

….because being practical and flying is soo 1903..

Ahh, the great American road trip; hours of ispy, rock, paper scissors and STOP TOUCHING ME, that childhood memories and divorces are made of.  Nothing tests the strength of your patience and marriage more than sitting side by side in a car with someone for 18hrs.

4 years ago when I married a private pilot, I thought my long distance driving days were over. I could not have been farther from the truth. So today I bring you  6 steps to prepare for your long journey that will not only secure your marriage but your sanity.

1.) Proper sound is track required. Now I know I mentioned how important it is to save ones marriage in this impossibly long trip, but you cant win all the battles and in our house hold, music is where there is definitely a dividing line. We agreed when we left Texas that who ever was driving picked the music on the radio. If you want to listen to 5 hours of Jimmy Buffett and George Strait (I don’t care if you are honoring his last concert) that is fine by me, but you better be prepared for 7 hours straight of Streisand, Bel Biv Devoe, Neil Diamond (#sogood, #sogood, #sogood shout out to Amy Lambert) Frozen and Fiddler on The Roof. Nothing wakes your senesces up more than Singing shouting the hills are alive with the sound of music at 3 in the am.

Speaking of music….

2.) Scientists and country music artists everywhere have proven that your vocal talents really sound the best at three am. Its a mix of confined spaces, tired enthusiasm and deep tenor snoring accompaniments that make a Grammy performance . So don’t be afraid to turn that radio up…and find your favorite rumble patch along the road and give the best Bob Dylan impression you can do. (Ps for better acoustics or for more daring musicians/driver, the Bob Dylan effect also works great on railroad tracks.. preferably abandoned 🙂

3.)  Become better at recognizing the difference between deer eyes, large white wild flowers and road side reflectors. You know the game duck duck goose..this is similar..reflector reflector.. DEER!!!

Speaking of road kill….

4.) Issue all warnings and memos to wild life prior to departure, you know, just in case your “reflector, reflector, DEER, skills are rusty. I find that in cases like this a simple ‘form letter’ will work perfectly and can be adjusted to the particular state and wildlife you are aiming to reach. Feel free to use mine.

“ To the deer and other medium to large sized wild life residents of Arkansas, don’t think for 1 second that I did not see your beady little eyes staring at us from the side of the road. you stay put and I will do my thing and you will do yours. Please let the dead raccoon next to mile marker 215 serve as your one and only warning…good day” ©

5.) Scented sachets make your car smell great from just sitting there, but by placing them over defrost vents makes your car smell even fresher at 430 in the morning when your husband, who has been snoring for an hour, passes gas and you are left with no way out. Just flip the vent from air conditioning to defrost (full power for those hard to tackle stenches) and  BAM..your no longer in a stuffy dodge journey in the middle of Arkansas reliving last nights tacos, but now in the middle of a Kirkland’s, Bath and Body Works or  Yankee Candle Company.

And finally the most important step of them all…

6.) Have your imaginary brakes serviced. Even the most novice of back seat/front seat drivers, know the importance of fake brake control.  The imaginary brake is like the Schrödinger’s cat (Schrödinger who? read about him HERE..)of long distance driving. Unless you press the fake brake you may be either dead or alive.