Hi, Monica. How are things at the aquarium?
Busy, as always. We just took in several more turtles in our rehabilitation center. They’re green sea turtles afflicted with the fibropapilloma virus, which causes tumors to grow on their flippers, face and other soft tissues. They’ll be scheduled for laser surgery to remove the tumors. And we admitted a couple more turtles—a loggerhead and a Kemp’s ridley—that required endoscopic surgery to remove the fish hooks they swallowed. It’s a tough time to be a sea turtle, that’s for sure.
I know you have a special affinity for sea turtles. Have you always loved them?
Yes. They’re all my babies and it hurts to see them sick or injured. I grew up in San Diego, so my family spent a lot of time on and in the water and I grew to love and respect all sea creatures. But turtles have always been my favorite. It’s been said I have a better rapport with turtles than I do to people, and I can’t argue with that. But I’m making progress on that front.
You’re very upfront about the fact that you used to be a real...well, not always nice person.
You can say it. I was a flat-out bitch at times. I’m not proud of the way I used to act, and it was a rude awakening to have my own sister, who I love dearly, call me on my bad behavior. I’ve had to eat a lot of crow and it doesn’t go down easy, let me tell you. But it’s been worth it because I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.
Would you attribute your glowing aura to a certain hunky co-owner of Nauti-Toys watercraft rentals?
Absolutely. Cosby Williams is the best man I know. He doesn’t let me take myself too seriously, and believe me, I really needed to lighten up. And I love his two nephews. I think the youngest has a bit of a crush on me. They’re both adorable. So is Cosby. I could brag on him all day.
Any chance you’ll be Aunt Monica to those boys?
Shhh. Don’t jinx me! But I’d be thrilled if that happened. All in due time, I guess.
How are those three pilot whales that you and your coworkers from Gulf Shore Aquarium helped rescue?
They’re holding their own and are still under 24-hour care in GSA’s marine animal hospital.
What’s going to happen to them? Will they be able to go back to the Gulf?
We’re not sure yet. Our chief marine mammal veterinarian, Kelsey Kramer, and Sitara Patel, the head of our rehab unit, and many others are working hard to nurse these beautiful animals back to health.
If I can get personal for a moment, Cosby was asked in an interview to name his favorite place to seduce you and he said wherever he can get you alone. He also mentioned the shower as a great place for hot and sudsy fun. Do you have a favorite spot for romance?
Oh boy, that gets me excited just thinking about it! I definitely enjoy the shower. We’ve been, shall we say, together in every room of our apartment, so I’m not picky as long as I’m with Cosby.
With this next set of questions, I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?
As I'll ever be.
Who's your favorite actor?
I have to say Charlize Theron, since people tell me I look like her, which is a huge compliment. But I think she's really talented.
Miranda Lambert. I never expected to like country music because I thought it was still that twangy stuff my grandparents listened to. But then my friend Dani Davidson talked a group of us girls from the aquarium into going to Miranda's concert in Tampa and I was hooked.
Favorite TV show?
Well, USA Network just cancelled Covert Affairs, which I'm still ticked off about. I had such a girl crush on Piper Perabo's character, Annie Walker. But I've started watching Agent Carter and I just love Hayley Atwell. Shows with intelligent, kick-ass women lure me in every time.
I make a mean Asian-marinated baked chicken. It's nothing fancy, but very tasty. You soak the meat overnight in soy sauce, ginger, garlic and a little brown sugar. Then you bake it for 40 minutes. So easy even a marine biologist can make it.
Favorite dessert or snack?
Blue Bunny's Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate ice cream. And I have to say, I love whipped cream. Especially if I can eat it off Cosby's...never mind. Whew! Is it hot in here?
I'm fanning myself, that's for sure. Thanks so much for doing this interview, Monica. It's been fun.
I enjoyed it to. Hey, everybody, drop by Gulf Shore Aquarium anytime and say hi. I’m always eager to introduce folks to the wonderful people and animals there. And if you like hunky guys, well, you’ve come to the right place.