Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, MA

The good news or the bad news first?

The good news is that I visited the Marine Biological Laboratory today. When I was a kid, my parents brought me to the lab and I wore the “future marine biologist” shirt they bought me around for a decade. Yeah, I was cool. Today, I returned to the MBL to spend time with Dr. Roger Hanlon. Dr. Hanlon is famous in the world of cephalopods. He studies octopus and cuttlefish camouflaging. Cool, right? He gave me lots of things to think about in the interview. You should definitely check out his TED Talk “The amazing brains and morphing skin of octopuses and other cephalopods.”

The bad news is that after driving three hours in heavy traffic to Woods Hole, I made an expensive parking error. I may be able to maneuver around an Amish buggy safely after living in Pennsylvania, but I’m a bit rusty with parallel parking. I parked a foot from the curb, bringing on a $300 parking ticket in Woods Hole, a town that doesn’t have any public parking. To park, I circled the town for 45 minutes before I found an open meter. I have a feeling they don’t really like visitors and my orange out-of-state vehicle was ripe for picking. It was a foot from the curb—I’ll give you that Officer—but he found a way to give me three citations for the distance. (No, I don’t understand the codes written.) Meanwhile, I left with an hour still left on my meter and the giant truck parked in front of me—which wasn’t parked like a western Pennsylvanian—stuck out into the road more than my incorrectly parked car. Parallel parking used to be a strong talent of mine, so this hurts my pride.

To decompress after the parking debacle, I made the hike back to Provincetown and went to Race Point Beach to watch the Perseids meteor shower. I saw 20 shooting stars and wished for health and happiness for my precious ones, and comfort for my Great Aunt Hazel who lost her husband, my Uncle Jerry, this week. I may not ever win the lotto to buy that multi-family mansion in La Jolla, but I hope that we all maintain our health and find things that bring us joy. I challenge you all to go outside tonight, find a dark place without light pollution, and just look up.

Stars at Race Point Beach

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