Jennifer Aniston: Cursed by Rachel Greene? Monday, Jun 27 2011 

No, not the haircut.

(photo courtesy of friendswika.com)

I was re-watching Friends from the beginning (of course), this time to induct my fiancé into the wonderful world of Central Perk from the very start, when I noticed something interesting. The first time we see Jennifer Aniston on screen in her most famous role ever, she bursts onto the scene in a white wedding dress in all its poufy 1990’s glory.

It’s no secret that America’s favorite actress has had a bit of a rocky love life, as we all love to drool over when the daily tabloid rags proclaim new scandals about her. For all her TV and movie stardom and financial success, it seems that in real life, Rachel just can’t find her Ross.

(photo courtesy of celebritylaundry.com)

Sniggers and Brad Pitt jokes aside, seeing a young, doe-eyed and a touch plumper Jennifer exude adorable innocence after fleeing from the wedding chapel sheds a different light on the past several years worth of Life & Style fodder. She’s gone through several eligible bachelors- Vince Vaughn, John Mayer (what?) and Bradley Cooper to name a few- and the queen of Hollywood can of course afford to be picky when choosing a mate. Since he most loyal male in her love, beloved dog Norman, recently passed away, is it time for Jen to seriously think about settling down with a human companion?

Sure, she’s worn a wedding dress since that day on set, and sure, she’s lived a life glamorous and enviable enough to make her the target of cruel late night jokes as well as titles like “Sexiest Woman Alive”. But has the real-life Jennifer been able to capture that same capacity for love and commitment that Rachel finally found with Ross after? Hey, it took Rachel long enough. Maybe art is imitating life is imitating art. Or maybe Jen just needs to keep looking. I believe that one day, she will find her “lobster”.

(photo courtesy of allthingsd.com)

(lobster photo courtesy of charleston.com)

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Cat People, Dog People Sunday, Jun 26 2011 

I am a cat person. Evidenced by the two sleeping felines contently curled up at my feet. I even have those adorable pink “Crazy Cat Lady” socks that I bought myself from a Prudential Center kiosk for fun.

(photo courtesy of my iPhone- this is my black kitten Ares. He has the biggest saucer eyes ever!)

Yet I remember a time, circa 1998, when my fifth-grade altar ego claimed to like dogs better than cats once. Oh, the peer pressure of art camp. Remember that stupid cartoon thing CatDog? Well, I couldn’t stand either the cat or dog, so when the idiotic idiosyncrancies were weighed against each other, I didn’t really come down on the side of the drooling canines (Sassy from Homeward Bound, anyone?) But choosing dogs was the overwhelmingly popular choice. I just kind of went with it, perhaps exhausted from all the oil painting to explain my preference for purring creatures yet again.

Dogs seem to be the more popular choice, or maybe it’s just that dog lovers are more vocal about popularizing it.

I love seeing people walk their dogs. I love walking my parents’ beloved yellow lab Crockett. It’s a very outdoorsy, healthy, California lifestyle thing to do. Walk on the beach, go for a hike, or hit up the ever-popular dog parks. Dogs are a great conversation piece- they allow people who have nothing in common except a four-legged, panting best friend to create lasting conversations and really bring people out of their shell. It’s hard to be grumpy and anti-social when you’re walking your dog. But to venture outside with your four-legged friend boasts a different dynamic than staying in your lovely home, curled up reading (or writing) with a tiny ball of fur for delightful companionship.

(photo courtesy of my iPhone- this is Crockett at his favorite place in the world, Wild Harbour Beach- he is sadly only allowed there in the off-season!)

People outside walking their dogs are in the mood to talk to other people outside walking their dogs, either talking about their walks, their dogs, or something completely unrelated to walking their dogs. It’s a time when you can interact with others while also quietly reflecting to yourself during those long stretches of sand when you’re throwing the ball or waiting for the one hundredth fetch.

(photo courtesy of my iPhone- Crockett with his most prized possession)

People inside snoozing with their cats are content enough to just sit alone with their own thoughts. It’s more of an introverted, personal, private mood that beckons the sandpaper-rough tongues of Egypt’s former rulers.

(photo courtesy of my iPhone- my princess Nimi, fast asleep in a little ball of silk)

(photo courtesy of my iPhone- Ares asleep, dreaming of mice maybe?)

The best part about animal companionship, though, is that we don’t have to choose to be just a private or a public person. We have days when we feel like taking a marvelous adventure out into the sunshine to have fun with our friends, or just driving with the windows down to give your dog a treat. Or we can have days where we want the world to leave us alone, and we can remain in constant control of who we share our day with. That’s when kitties are really the best companions in the world.

(photo courtesy of my iPhone- Nimi when she was a baby – so alert!)

Here’s to man’s best friends- one for each and every mood! So reach out and pet your favored fur baby:)