Friday Five

1. Happy 4th! Many of my neighbors and I gathered on the roof deck to watch the Macy’s fireworks display. People were out on the roof decks of the buildings all around us. There was a lovely breeze and it was a clear night. The lights of the city were almost twinkling. It’s a bit odd to watch fireworks from such a distance and without “Yankee Doodle Dandy” or something like that playing in time. First, you see the sparkle of the fireworks, then it takes a good 8-10 seconds before you hear the boom. We all clapped when it was over. This was the best photo I could get with my phone, but it wasn’t bad considering I was zoomed in and it was so dark. The Empire State Building is the one on the right lit in red, white and blue.


2. Imagine.  A nearby high school had this mural painted on the wall overlooking the soccer field. Not much more I can add to that…

3. Little Bruno. For months I’d had very good intentions to stop by the Sean Casey Animal Rescue to volunteer. It’s a small rescue center without much space to move around, but somehow they’ve been able to work magic. In 2010, they plucked 2,000 cats and dogs out of the city (read high kill) shelter and found homes for them.

When I saw their mobile adoption van outside the pet supply store last week, I knew it was time to go. Unfortunately I picked one of the hottest days. The dogs were panting up a storm before they even got outside, so I only got to walk one dog, Little Bruno. He is maybe 25 pounds and has a lot of puppy energy. He never jumped up on me, but he definitely wanted to get where he was going and was intrigued by all manner of squirrels. If it hadn’t been so hot I would have had him practice “sit” and “down”.

It had been too long since I last volunteered at an animal shelter (read about my trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary) and it was a wonderful experience. I plan to go back very soon. When I got home, Reggie was very curious about where I’d been…

Don’t you just love how one ear stands up and the other flops down?


4. Speaking of Reggie… this is how he looks at me when I’m eating yogurt. Yes, his head is resting on my leg. Doesn’t he look worried? You’d think he hadn’t eaten in a week. (It had been 20 minutes.)

5. Mini book review: Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. It’s true that after reading Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, I went online looking for hiking boots. It’s the kind of story that makes you want to follow in the author’s footsteps, that makes you believe, if she can hike 1,100 miles alone on the Pacific Crest Trail, well goshdarnit, I can too.  (Under no circumstances should I do this. If I buy a tent, someone please intervene.)

Cheryl is at a low point in her life when she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at age 26. Her mother passed away from an aggressive cancer, the rest of her family scatters and her marriage disintegrates from the stress. Looking back on the experience, she can see that “everything I am is borne from everything that I gathered back to myself on that trip.”

The trail is the most powerful metaphor of all. There are always only two choices, Cheryl notes, you can either press ahead or go home. That makes decisions very easy when she, for example, loses one of her boots over the side of the mountain.  Or when she is traversing snow and ice in the high Sierras on hands and knees. Or when she stares into the face of a black bear. And always, she continues to put one foot in front of the other (sometimes sans boots). In that decision to move forward, she rewrites her fear story.

Here is a clip of an interview Cheryl did with Oprah where she reads one of my favorite passages in the book.

I would understand if you’re wondering how a book about could hiking be remotely interesting. I mean, for days and days, the trail stretches ahead of her with no one to talk to. But trust me when I say there is not a dull moment in Wild. Perhaps because there is somewhat of a monotony of the trail, it allows Cheryl the space to show how she is changing with each footstep. I’d like to write a longer book review because, for me, this was a seminal memoir, but for now, I’ll leave you with another favorite passage that exemplifies what I mean.

Miles weren’t things that blazed dully past. They were long, intimate straggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and screeched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The PCT had taught me what a mile was. I was humble before each and every one.

Have a great weekend everyone! Are you reading a book that you can’t put down? 



  1. LOVE that look on Reggie’s face. What a hoot. Isn’t it funny how our dogs look at us when we’re eating something they imagine must be good?
    Hope you and Reggie manage to stay reasonably cool this weekend!


    1. I bet Ralph and Lucy have their “please feed me” faces, too. 🙂

      We’ll certainly try to stay cool! I know the heat has been suffocating in your neck of the woods. My mom told me temperatures reached 108 last week. 😦


  2. I really think you should give Reggie some of that yogurt. LOL! What a mug! How do you ever resist it? Adorable.
    I’ve yet to read Wild, but your review makes me want to read it even more. I love a good life affirming read, don’t you?


    1. Wild was such a good read. A memoir with this premise could easily cross the line to navel gazing or preachy, but I never felt that way reading Wild.
      If you get to pick up a copy, please let me know your thoughts!


  3. That photo of Reggie made me laugh out loud. 🙂 So adorable!

    Have never watched fireworks in NY, but would love to sometime. We also watched them remotely this year, from our balcony. So much easier!

    The book sounds amazing.


    1. Watching the fireworks from the roof deck is the no-muss, no-fuss way to celebrate the 4th for sure!
      They used to launch the fireworks from the East River which made them a bit easier to see (for those of us in Brooklyn at least), but now they launch exclusively from the Hudson.


  4. If Reggie just started talking one day I don’t think I would be at all surprised! Thanks for the tip about the Wild book it looks right up my alley. There is a really good book called Tracks by Robyn Davidson about her camel journey across the Australian desert which you might like also.


    1. If Reggie could talk I would not be surprised if his first words were “Feed me.” 🙂

      Tracks sounds so interesting. The last I read about the Outback was written by Bill Bryson. He has a few chapters in his book “In a Sunburned Country” about his foray into the Australian desert. (The book might be titled “Down Under” where you are. I don’t know why the publisher chose to give it a different title here.)


  5. Jackie, Reggie does look worried. I laughed out loud! You will be such a blessing to the pups at this shelter. I hope you can watch him get adopted one day. He is adorable. Just finished reading Gone Girl and now will pick up Wild.


    1. Bruno is such a sweet little pocket pittie. Those ears! That nose! I hope he finds a nice home soon.

      One note of caution about Wild for you: there’s a short scene with Cheryl and her horse that was difficult to read. But you can skip it if you need to and it won’t affect the rest of the story. It’s such a great story about courage and overcoming fear.


  6. Oh my stars!!! Jackie, the picture of Reggie is priceless!! I say with complete sincerity… may I have a copy? Oh, if you would email the file to me, I would upload it to my Shuttefly account and order a print of that snapshot. His facial expression (which is all eyes) is just incredible. Love it!

    You also did a great job on the fireworks picture. I took some, too. Those suckers are hard to capture.

    I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I certainly enjoyed your Friday Five.


  7. Reggie has real heartbreaker eyes…. I bet he did get yogurt.
    I admire people who have these type of shelters. We once got a dog from a shelter like that. Bruno is a cute one with his two different ears.


    1. He did, Caroline! He likes to lick the yogurt carton for the last little bits after I’m finished. 🙂
      I got Reggie from a shelter so its nice to help out the other dogs who are in need and haven’t found their forever home yet.


  8. I always love each and every one of your Friday Fives, but the picture of Reggie is priceless. You could put it on notecards and sell it! 🙂


  9. Oh, how I’ve missed Reggie! (And you, of course, my dear!) I’ve been up in Maine and off the grid for two weeks. What a wonderful welcome home your post is. And what a doll you are to volunteer. You’re just wonderful. Hope you and Reggie are basking in the city summer and indulging in cool treats as much as possible!


    1. Reggie is sweating a bit from the heat wave we’ve been having. He would love to come to Maine for a bit and go off the grid too.
      Before he commits though he would like to make sure you have an ample supply of yogurt. 🙂


  10. That roof deck is incredible, Ms. C… I’m even more jealous of you for that than the yogurt. Speaking of which, maybe Reggie and I can work together on that. Please tell him I’m willing to split any yogurt we can get our hands/paws on right down the middle. 50/50.


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