On this gorgeous spring day, let’s chai up at dawn and head 10 miles south of downtown Dallas, with Stromae’s Bonne Journée (Have a Good Day) setting the tone for our excursion. We’ll walk the trails at a restored prairie pocket bursting with birdsong.
The Trinity River Audubon Center sits atop what was once a landfill of construction waste. There’s no hint of this facet of its past in the beautiful building and surrounding trails — the result of generous endowments for facility construction and efforts dedicated to prairie restoration. Bird-shaped in its aerial view — so fitting for an Audubon facility — the LEED structure serves as the starting point for trails that will take us into natural habitats, including wetlands and a primitive forest.
We’ll hear chickadees and cardinals and sparrows and spy sun-worshipping turtles all lined up on a log. We’ll see a great blue heron take flight from a pond named after it.
We’ll even trade our view of the Reunion Tower for that of a dandy orb!
Let’s take the Wetland Trail and hang out in a bird blind.
Look, this bird blind comes with a picture window!
We can head back into the building and enjoy the exhibit with its mockup of the Trinity River floodplain, recorded bird calls, and prairie views.
Peep the green messaging in ceramic fixtures on the restroom countertop.
The signage around the center offers ideas for using less and treading lightly on the planet.
No one’s too young for love. Giving and receiving Valentines typically starts in elementary school in the United States. Classmates and teachers exchange candy hearts and other innocent tokens of friendship.
The grown-up version of the holiday wears the thick makeup of commercialization – V-Day merch everywhere, overpriced flowers, gifting pressures, and restaurant staff hustling like mad. What sweetens the holiday for me is the plethora of puns no farther than the seasonal section of the grocery store next door.
The origins of Valentine’s Day trace back to 270 A.D. If you’re curious how it all began, History.com notes that the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival on the ides of February, drew people who were looking to find a mate. The oldest known Valentine that still exists today is a poem “written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife, while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.” The poor duke couldn’t just pop into Kroger for a Papyrus card.
The vast jukebox that is the internet means access to love songs in every language imaginable. Lata Mangeshkar’s Piya Bina, is one of several beautiful numbers in the Hindi movie, Abhimaan (1973), with lyrics written by Majrooh Sultanpuri and music by S.D. Burman. “Without my beloved, the flute won’t play” is the opening line of Piya Bina.
Listen to ThoseGood Old Dreams by the Carpenters or Eva Cassidy’s I Know You By Heart. Cole Porter’s Let’s Do It is a songwriting masterpiece, marrying playful lyrics with sprightly piano playing. Go all the way with the romantic comedy the song is from — Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, an airy confection packed with beautiful music and plenty of laughs.
If a blog is on the internet, but there’s no one to read it, does it really exist? You, dear reader, are the only reason I come back with posts, month after month.
If you’re not a fan of all the hoopla around Valentine’s Day, you can still find ways to make the holiday your own. Slice strawberries longitudinally and pair with chocolate for an easy treat that fits the occasion. Take a walk in nature to spot heart-shaped items, like clouds and rocks and stones.
I found leaves in that familiar shape on a stroll through the Galatyn Woodland Preserve in Richardson, Texas. Today, I celebrate your love of reading.
More like “ooh, aah!” at the creativity in this eco-friendly promo piece from a Dallas dentist at a company health fair. As you might expect, it contains items for your pearly whites, like a travel toothbrush and toothpaste.
Aaaaaand a pun-adorned tin of mints and tube of lip balm!
It’s Halloween! Dressing up and sugar-bingeing are the name of the game in the United States, with stores amping up the candy, costume, and prop action in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Check out the creativity around where I live.
The Crave Yard at Kroger
See Ghoulty Pleasures tucked away on the side? 😀 And Brock Lee and Anne Chovey are among the dead because Sue Kroze kicked their ass?
Hyde and Eek Boutique at Target
Target doesn’t disappoint on the wordplay front, and this year is no eekception.
This last one I found in my quest for a third Halloween pun about an hour ago. It isn’t in the same vein as the other two, but it’s an uplifting message on the heels of Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights!
Big D, the city I call home, surprises and delights when I’m least expecting it. Check out these lovingly rendered signs around town.
The puns in this one put the happy in Happy Hour for me. So do the lettering, colors and illustrations.
Centric Bar and Grill, June 2017
Anyone else see the subtle TGIF around the wine glass (top left)? Or is it just me?
A lot of care and creativity went into making these Dallas Comedy House menus:
Dallas Comedy House, May 2017
So fun! I love “Key & Peele Lime Pie” and “the Such a Ham sandwich”! I also like “IMPROVISE your own.” But my favorite has to be “Nom, nom, nom” under Food. See it? Truly great puns, like this one, are stealthy. They do not call attention to themselves. Nom, nom, nom sits there perfectly happy if you see the obvious reference to food but leaps off the board to tickle your funny bone if you uncover the hidden joke (nomination, in this case).
The list of libations:
Dallas Comedy House, May 2017
The DCH signs are high up on walls, and the angle of this shot makes this sign harder to read. My faves from this board:
SarahDay Night Live
the Woo-ie CK
😀 😀 😀
For being a teetotaler, I left both venues in high spirits.