Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Dad

I’ve taken a long break from Sticky Jam Hands because there is something I’ve needed to write and I haven’t figured out how. I still don’t know but I’ve decided its time to do it anyway.

The Eulogy

On 4/2/18 my father Edward Neumann Watson died. At the moment of his death the first thing I felt was relief. Relief that his struggle with dementia and congestive heart failure was over. Relief that those of us that had to care for him and watch him struggle no longer had to. Was I sad? Absolutely, but my sadness didn’t have a landing mark. Was I sad because I no longer had a father – maybe? Was I sad that he died alone in a place that he hated not having fulfilled all of his dreams and desires – definitely but not entirely. But, I pushed that sadness to the side, I boxed up his possessions and put them and his cremains into my laundry room and whenever that sadness came creeping around the edges I countered it with anger. Anger at the Dad who terrified me as a young child. Anger at a Dad who was all but absent during my adolescence. Anger at a man who hurt my Mom both physically and emotionally. I went about my daily life feeling a gap but not acknowledging it. I took back my Wednesday’s and used the time I would normally spend with him doing mundane things like running errands and cleaning.

Cavalier. I became cavalier about something that maybe I should have thought deeper about.

Months later I attended his memorial service, I dressed appropriately and made plans to go to the pool when it was over. But, as I sat and listened to his life and watched pictures of the 87 years that he was alive a thought occurred to me that hadn’t before – that my version of him was not the only version of him. For 79 of his 87 years on this earth he lived a life separate from mine. As I sat at the memorial and watched pictures of him as a young man, as a young father taking his young children to the beach it occurred to me that he was older than I am now by the time I became a somewhat unwanted figure in his life.

Does this excuse his behavior or invalidate my feelings of relief of his death or anger over the relationship he had with me? No. But it certainly did complicate things. Did it soften me a little to think about the circumstances and tragedies that shaped how he was? Yes. Does it take the edge of my anger and round the corners a bit of the animosity I’ve always felt? Yes. Will I be sad in a different way going forward? Most certainly.

If anything his death makes me more worried about my own future, I pray everyday that I wont ruin the relationships I have with my own family – there are times I feel a rage that I am sure I inherited from him simmering to the surface and I need to walk away and remember that what started his undoing was allowing that rage to escape.

If I could go back knowing how I feel now I would ask him to explain/ defend himself for the way that he was; I’d like to know what it was that made him do the things that he did. It makes me wish that I had the courage to ask the hard questions.

Goodbye Dad.

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Macro Vs Micro Parenting

I work with a lot of really smart people, people that seem to know a lot of things about a lot of things, and recently after desperately trying to understand an article I was cataloging I asked one of our economists about it, he looked at me and said “oh, I have no idea, that’s microeconomics and I study macro”.

Huh, isn’t that nice to be able to segregate your focus on one smaller portion of something- kinda like going to the hair dresser and being told, “oh you want bangs, you gotta talk to the front of the head girl – I only handle what’s in the back.”

Anyway, this entire exchange made me start thinking about micro vs macro parenting (go with me on this). I’m constantly struggling between trying to be a good disciplinarian and trying to compensate extra love for the relative cruelty of the world at large.

Micro parenting looks at the day to day – did you eat your vegetables? Did you clean your room? Should you be allowed to go to the pool if you talk back to your mom?

The microparent operates like parents from generations past, no lip, no excuses – direct punishment, direct reward. Do something wrong and there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Macro parenting looks at the bigger picture – how can we forgo an afternoon of fun when terrible things could happen at any moment? Why say no to going to the beach when the climate crises tells us there won’t be a beach there for much longer? Why am I worried about your room being clean when Donald Trump might be our next president!

Macroparents watch a lot of news and can’t help but see the world around them in future terms, they may also read a lot of post apocalyptic literature. Macro parents weigh the severity of their children’s wrongdoing against societies wrongdoings.

Which approach is better, who knows? Can we achieve a balance and not completely screw yo our kids, who knows? What’s the point of this post, who knows? Where do I work – at a shoe store.

Updates from the Couchside, vol III

Spring is sprung-ing all over the place up in here. There are crocuses in the yard and buds on the trees and it’s not even the ides of March yet. I am thrilled and I’m thrilled that daylight savings time is back and once again the clock in my bathroom is set to the correct time. I know a lot of people moan and groan about losing an hour of sleep, but I say to those people, “shut the hell up, it’s going to be light until after 7:00 tonight!” And besides you aren’t really losing an hour, your just finally giving it back for the extra hour you got back in November.

I took a new pair of jeans I bought last week to the cleaners to get hemmed today, I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it kind of is. I’ve never ‘altered’ a pair of pants. I mean generally speaking I don’t usually spend more than $19.99 on any one item of clothing, doesn’t seem worth it to have them tailored just for me. I went and just got them measured feeling incredibly decadent and frivolous and after getting my slip I discovered it only cost $14.00. Fourteen dollars! not have to walk on the hems of my pants! Holy shit, I should have been doing his for years…

This past weekend I threw myself a birthday party which was (as the kids say) off the hook (do kids say that?) and with it came birthday cake. I don’t actually have any recollection of eating the cake at my party- it was served late at night after a copious amount of alcohol, but photographic evidence shows that I did indeed try it. This morning I had a piece for breakfast – is there anything better than birthday cake and coffee first thing in the morning? I don’t think so; it also aligns perfectly with my ‘getting-in-shape-for-spring-break’ initiative that I keep talking about. Honestly I don’t know how anyone is supposed to slim down when there is so much cake in the world.

Hello Spring!
Hello Spring!

 

Updates from the Couchside, vol II

I have been spending a considerable amount of time watching the election coverage on TV, much more than the FDA would recommend (I’m guessing). Probably more than some professional political analysts have been.  It has turned me into the person that yells at their television. I’m not proud of this, I’m just telling you that if you happen to walk by my house in the middle of the day and hear yelling just keep walking.

I’m starting to lose hope that HGTV is going to call and offer my the 2016 HGTV dream home, I wonder if I should write some sort of essay to them “Why I would like the HGTV dream home” in 500 words or less.  I’m sure they would appreciate getting mail from me, I mean – who wouldn’t?

Wednesday I went sandal shopping for Lucy because its nearly springtime, and today it snowed and I guess it’s my fault. Sorry y’all. (I just said y’all).

Spring break is quickly approaching and that means bathing suit time. Bathing suit time in March seems UNFAIR. My soft Pillsbury dough body isn’t ready for this, in order to do something about it I’ve been sitting around thinking about how I should do something about.

That , my friends, is that.

dough boy
This is a real image I stole off the internet

 

Why Facebook is an Asshole

Remember when Facebook was a fun and entertaining place where you could log in and see pictures of your high school classmates, find out who just had a baby or who didn’t and spent their Christmas break in Hawaii?

Yeah I remember that Facebook, before I had a smart phone and I would log in one time a day and oh and ah over baby and/or puppy pictures and feel pretty good that even in my most introverted moods I was still connecting with humanity and hadn’t yet completely fallen off the grid.

Slowey and with what seems like ever increasing frequency my feed has become a virtual marketplace. Honestly, if RoseGal offers to send me a seemingly beautiful ball gown made out of 14 carat gold for  $1.75 in USD one more time I’m going to scream. This shit drives me crazy, I don’t go on to Facebook to shop, I go on it to stalk old boyfriends and research potential dog walkers.

But the sponsored ads are just a small part of the problem, inspirational quotes and inspiring message also drive me nuts. Honestly WordPorn mostly just makes me feel like my relationships aren’t deep enough or spiritual enough. Instead of making me feel better most often these quotes just make me feel more shallow and superficial. Thanks to Facebook I now know that I am not living up to my potential. Awesome.

But what I hate more than anything else that happens on the internet (yes, that’s the ENTIRE internet) is when photos/ articles of sick and dying children pop up and I’m told that if I don’t repost or like it than I’m a terrible person. Yesterday I was happily scrolling through ads for Wayfair.com and Oil of Olay and I came across a picture of a girl about Lucy’s age with a giant tumor in her chest and under it is large letters were “IF YOU SCROLL PAST THIS YOU ARE HEARTLESS”. OMG – Facebook? Why? First of all, I can’t possibly read articles about sick children, I don’t think any Mother can. Things like this ruin my entire day – just seeing headlines of things like this ruin my whole day.

So here’s the deal Facebook – I can’t save every starving animal, I can’t cure all of the sick children out there. Not sharing all of these stories, doesn’t make me heartless it makes me aware that my friends also don’t want to feel your passive aggressive guilt trip. We ALL know that terrible things are happening in the world, but there are terrible things happening in our own lives and our own communities and I think we all try very hard to help solve the problems we can and help the people we know, but to make us feel bad about things we can’t help makes you heartless not me and not my friends.

Despite all of this I still log in about 14,867 times a day (don’t judge me, I don’t have a job) its my link to the world outside my living room. If only I had enough technical skills to create some kind of anti-facebook where there would be rules about this sort of thing.

Rant over.

I Really Hope I’m Not the Only One

This week I am learning all about depreciation schedules and vacation accruals and so many accounting things that make me want to run my hands through my hair and put my head down on my desk. I don’t think there’s anything that makes you feel more adult than trying to manage an audit (Maybe performing surgery, I imagine doctors feel very adult all the time, but as anyone who has seen me handle a butter knife before knows I was never cut out to be a doctor) Also, I’m not really good at adulting either (about as good as I am with knives). I have a tenuous grasp (at best) on what I’m supposed to know as it relates to my professional career. And as a Mom I just fake that I know what I’m doing and stay grateful that Lucy is still too young to have caught on.

I am a giant faker, but I don’t think this comes as much of a surprise to those close to me. I don’t think anyone has ever uttered the words “Let’s go ask Becca, she really has her shit together.” And you know what, I am totally okay with that. There are people that are expected to know things and be in charge and then there are those of us whose parents are just glad that our decisions in our early 20’s didn’t land us in some sex trafficking fiasco.

Sometimes I get home from work at night so bewildered by what is going on that I have trouble processing Lucy’s Kindergarten homework, “if you have three friends on the playground and two more show up how many friends do you have to play with” whoa, back up a minute how did you get to the playground?

This makes me wonder how many of us just wonder around all day, going through the motions of adulting hoping that no one calls on us to explain the reasoning for what we are doing. In my dealings with humanity in general, I imagine that this is most of us – glassy eyed, questioning how we got so far in life without falling down a well or accidently ingesting something that poisons us.

It makes me a little sad that our civilization has evolved in to a place where most of us are too scared, anxious or reticent to be the silly, light hearted, playful people really want to be, at least until we get home at night and change into our sweat pants and allow the real us to come out.

Maybe instead of adding rules to the handbook of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles we should use our collective efforts to build some kind of giant adult size bouncy house where we can spend our days having fun and connecting with each other the right way.

We only live once people, go forth and build that bouncy house.

 

 

This one is ALL over the place

Hey, it’s that time again where I have to pay for another year of my domain name and therefore begin to feel guilty about spending that money on something I’m barely using.

For those of you who know me well I think you’ll excuse my absences on this website, there’s been a lot of shit going down recently. For those of you who don’t know me well – you should call more and then you’d totally get it. And for you random people in Germany that follow me to either help improve your English (not the best platform, btw, my grammar is terrible) or are attempting to live vicariously through an American suburbanite (again, not the best platform, you should really find someone able to stay up past 9:30 in the evening and actually you know, does stuff). You Germans just have to trust that there is a lot of shit going down, shit that I’m not going to post on the internets.

See, the last paragraph was an English teacher’s worst nightmare (I do not think a comma means what you think it means) excerpts from The Syntax Princess Bride – you know the movie where Buttercup and Wesley fall in love over perfect sentence structure… ah, I love that movie.

Oh my god, what am I writing about?

I have many annoying habits (ask my husband!) One of them is that I leave half drunken (dranken?) cups of water/coffee/wine laying all over the house, so many in fact that sometimes I run an entire dishwasher load of nothing more than found glasses. But sometimes I never even drink them, sometimes I will pour a cup of coffee and heat it up in the microwave only to find it hours (days?) later sitting there neglected, probably scared of the dark and wondering how long it will be before it gets to hang out with its coffee cup friends again. Sometimes if I remember how long it had been since I first attempted to heat up that cup of coffee I will do it again, the chances of me drinking it improve with each consecutive reheat. Something like first attempt = 30% success rate, 2nd attempt = 50% success rate, 3rd (and always final attempt) = 90% success rate. Typically if I have vested enough time to reheat the coffee three times than it’s almost a guarantee that I really need/want it and I’m probably standing right next to the microwave tapping my foot doing my best Homer Simpson impression – “30 seconds! But I’m tired now!”

This cycle of incomplete tasking extends to other things as well, take laundry for instance – I’m not sure how I’m expected to NOT ignore clothes that are two flights of stairs down in a dark subterranean room. Sure if I’m doing multiple loads and there is a waiting line of laundry to get in to the dryer than I‘m all about getting it out of there but the last load? That can sit for up to six days before its time to start the process all over again.

All of this might seem like incoherent babbling but I’m getting to my point and that is that the coffee and the laundry are like a metaphor for this website, I click out of this website to browse Etsy or buy bulk pig ears on Amazon and next thing you know 10-15 days later I do a search for how to remove unknown sticky craft supplies from my daughters school uniform and Google brings up stickjamhands.com and viola it’s like opening up the dryer… What I need is some sort of annoying dinging reminder.

Actually what I need is pie, pie and coffee. I should go check the microwave…

 

Anniversary Gifts, Kindergarten Woes and Mental Health Disorders

Last weekend marked my seventh wedding anniversary – yes, for those of you reading that attended this social event of the season it was seven years ago we made you drive down a long windy dirt road in the middle of nowhere Maine. For seven years my husband has had the privilege of putting up with me every day. Traditionally the seventh anniversary is copper… ugh copper. To begin with I am a terrible gift giver (honestly, terrible) but throw a material like copper at me and I might as well just write you a check and call it a day.

I would like to offer up this suggestion – let’s update the traditional wedding anniversary gift schedule – instead of paper, wood, iron, copper route I would like to suggest something a little more modern (go with me on this):

Year One:  “The Princess Bride” theme anniversary – anything remotely related to the movie (or book) will do.

Year Two: bathroom renovations, for this anniversary you will need to call a contractor to install a double sink in your en suite (or build you one if it doesn’t already exist)

Year Three: Separate vacations, for your third year you are both allowed to take a long 4 day weekend away from eachother.

Year Four: Weekly cleaning services. For the fourth year, you pull together all of your gift giving resources and sink that money into someone who will clean your house for you.

Year Five: “The Star Wars” anniversary, anything remotely related to any of the movies (the ORIGINAL three) will do

Year Six: If you have children your sixth anniversary present should be sending them to their grandparents for a week. One whole week – kid free – happy anniversary.

Year Seven: King size bed.

Year Eight: Job switch – for your eighth anniversary each of you gets to spend one day at the others job, this way you can FINALLY understand all the venting at the end of the day

Year Nine: craft projects – for your ninth anniversary you both get to graphically show your love using nothing more than macaroni noodles, cardboard, glue and glitter.

Year Ten: Diamonds, diamonds for everyone.

~

Next week my little baby girl will start kindergarten and I’m all flummoxed by this, how did it happen? Did we enter some kind of wormhole? Did I waste her early childhood by forcing her to hang out with disinterested daycare workers? How do we build a time machine and go back in time?

Lucy is ambivalent about the whole thing, she’s worried more that she has to wear a uniform than she is about attending ‘big girl’ school, she excited that she gets and iPad and that her friend Grace is going to be in her class but I guess that is the difference between someone standing on the precipice of something as opposed to someone looking back at it from the other side. I am excited for her and the experiences and adventures that she will have the older she gets, I am also terrified of said experiences that she will have. Ugh, parenting.

~

Sometimes when I am bored at work* and think that I should spend more time writing on my blog (only I can’t because of the stupid ridiculously high firewall in my office) I read other people’s blogs instead – clearly the agency I work for is cool with me spending my days reading about other people’s experiences on Tinder (Oh my god – check that out) or stay at home parenting. But through all of my time reading pieces of other people’s lives I can’t help but notice that there is a high rate of serious depression going on with bloggers around the world. I notice that some of my favorite writers are always saying things like “I was in a funk last week” or “I was too depressed to get off the couch”. Now, don’t get me wrong depression is a terrible thing and those that struggle with it really struggle with it but it makes me realize that it is yet another barrier to me never quitting my day job to become a famous writer. Yes, that’s right to get what I really want from life I need to suffer from a debilitating psychiatric disease. If only I had to struggle to get out of bed every day and cope with my life… if only.

 

It’s sad really, I have so much potential.

 

*If we work together – I’ve never been bored at work, ever.

 

 

How to explain robots to a four year old

We went to a Halloween party this year where someone had taken a big cardboard box and made themselves a pretty cool Wall-E costume. Cool until he realized that he could not get food or drink from his hands to his mouth due to the limited mobility of being trapped inside a huge cardboard box.

Based on this one point of reference Lucy jumped at the chance to watch Wall-E this weekend when it came up in discussion during the pizza and movie night movie selection. My husband and I were thrilled because Wall-E (as I’m sure you all know) contains not a single princess. We started watching the movie and this happened:

“Mom, where is Wall-E? Is he inside that robot?”

“No, sweetie Wall-E is the robot”

“What? How could he get inside the robot?”

“No, sweetie, Wall-E is the robot”

“Is he hiding in there? Will he come out soon?”

“No sweetie, Wall-E is the robot”

“Mom, I don’t understand when he is going to come out of the robot?”

“Mom, why does he have wheels – robots don’t have wheels, how does Wall-E have wheels?”

“Wall-E is a robot, robots are machines, they move I many different ways – like the car, the car is a machine that has wheels.”

“Our car is a robot? Is there someone hiding inside the car too?”

“Be quiet and watch the movie”

“Mom… ”

“Yeah?”

“When is the princess going to come out of Eve?”

The end of the Internet, Stuff in my Bra and the Latest Addition to our Family

I read last week that the internet is full – there is something like four million IP addresses left. I’m not sure that I really understand what the problem is – why not just add four digits at the end, you know like the post office did? But part of me thinks, ‘shit I really better utilize my little corner of the internet to its fullest’. You know?

This spring has been very busy for us, with both work issues, new house projects, and  questions like “how many numbers are there?” and “How do ants take a bath?” I also vowed a few months ago to be more creative with my evenings and started painting which has paid ten fold when Lucy told me last week that when she grows up she wants to “be an artist like Mommy”.

Sometimes I fool myself in to thinking I really have it all together. Today I went to work, after a stop at the dentist for a thorough teeth cleaning. I worked all day, picked Lucy up , stopped by the vets to collect a very very pissed off cat (more on that later). Went home, played a rousing game of CandyLand before making very healthy Asian chicken lettuce wraps for dinner. I managed to clean the kitchen, coax the cat out from under the guest bed and was feeling  pretty proud of myself… Until I found three light bright bulbs in my bra. In my bra? It raised so many questions: had they been there all day? Why three? Was this the object of the dental assistants snicker as she laid me back in the dental chair? Was this something Lucy sneaked in to my shirt when I was letting her get to CandyLand before I did? How did I not notice that happening? Or had they been living inside the lining of my bra for months? I honestly cant remember the last time I let her play with the light bright. (Note to all my friends with small kids – the light bright is not a good toy for anyone under ten.)

Whenever you think your finally a step ahead you should really take a closer look in your underwear and reevaluate the situation. That’s my gift to you.

In other news there is a new man in my life:

Spalding Grey-kitty

His name is Spalding Gray-Kitty and he is both handsome and sweet. He came to live with us a few weeks ago and I really couldn’t be happier. He is so much different than Ruka and I think that’s okay, she would have hated him as she hated… almost everything – but with Spalding I can put my feet on the floor and not be afraid that they will be instantly bitten, he doesn’t wake us up at 4:00am with his insensate meowing, and I have to bribe him to get up on the furniture.  But he’s already attached to us, he follows us around the house and waits by the door when we get home, of course all that could change depending on if he ever forgives me for the castration I subjected him to today… tough love Spalding tough love.

The rest of our life is pure chaos and non stop talking that it is nice to sit and pet something warm and quiet. One night last week I offered Lucy $1,000 for five minutes of silence. Just five minutes, she didn’t last 15 seconds, which I guess is good since I would have had to pay her in grapes and she’s smart enough now to recognize that grapes aren’t money. Stupid three year old savviness – there was a time just a second ago that I could have convinced her pebbles where currency. It’s all down hill from here my friends.

Unexplained Phenomena

There’s something really weird going on with me lately and I seem powerless to stop whatever it is. I feel like I’m too young for either a midlife crises or the ‘change of life’, but then again perhaps I’m deluding myself when I estimate my life expectancy to be 120 years.

Three major things have stuck out in my mind. I’ve started painting again. This is unusual because while I try to inject some type of creativity into my day to day routine, it has been over 20 years since I had actual tubes of paint and good brushes. I haven’t gessoed a canvas or thought about perspective in several decades. In fact it took me over an hour to simply remember how to put my easel back together… It’s weird but not entirely without merit, here are my first two mini projects that are the first part of a bigger project I’ve been ‘commissioned’ to do:

Red Flower

Blue Flower

I wouldn’t say I’m ready to have a showing but perhaps I’ll open an Etsy store and make some extra cash to pay off my looming student loan debt. And wouldn’t it be ironic if the six months of art school I was in before I dropped out went to pay for the six years of undergrad and graduate work that I did?

The second most disturbing thing that’s happened lately is that I attended my first official Yoga class. Now, I’ve done Yoga before especially when I was pregnant in the privacy of my own home where all new age-y things should occur, but last Wednesday in an effort to foster a better work/life balance I donned a pair of yoga pants mid day and headed to the University gym to downward face dog in a room full of 19 year olds. Nothing makes you feel older than this scenario. And just for the record, I don’t think its for me, it took FOREVER and the 20 minutes we spent relaxing and clearing our mind was 20 minutes I spent anxious over work piling up on my desk… (I may have missed the point). Next Wednesday I’m going to kettle bell class which is only 30 minutes long and I have a feeling will burn just as many calories and not make me feel like I’ve spent an eternity with younger more flexible versions of myself.

The third and last weird thing is that I went shoe shopping this weekend. I went shoe shopping for like an hour all by myself. I’ve been hoarding gift cards (thanks to my super generous in laws) and I decided it was high time that I spent them. And I ended up buying these:

sandals

I love them, they are beautiful, impractical and kinda hurt (although I’m hoping they only need to be broken in a little). I’ve worn them non stop since I got back home Saturday evening. Any one who knows me or has heard my ‘practical shoe’ speech before knows how totally out of character this is. It might be totally out of character but when I’m in them I can reach things in the cupboard on top of the refrigerator.

I will keep you abreast of any other personality anomalies – I know this is ‘edge of your seat’ sort of stuff…

 

 

Death to a three year old

Last Saturday we buried Ruka in her favorite trivial pursuit box on the side of the house under some unidentified tree/bush that may or may not be a rhododendron or a forsythia or lavender… come April it will be a surprise to all of us.

I did a lot of research before telling Lucy about Ruka dying and everyone seemed to agree to be straight, honest and brief and let her come up with her own questions. Here is a smattering of what I’ve gotten so far:

  • Now that the cat’s gone, can we get a dog? (this was the FIRST thing out of her mouth)
  • Can she come visit? Well, if she can’t visit can we talk about her? Can we also talk about the dog that we are going to get now that Ruka is gone?
  • If we are going to bury her in the ground will she roll around and play with the worms?
  •  Can we just plant her in a flower pot instead? We could plant her and grow growberries on top of her. (I have no idea what a growberry is)
  • How did she die? Did her heart stop bleating?
  • “Mommy, before we bury her are you going to take her legs?” “No, why?” “But how will she run?”

I miss my sweet little kitty but I have a feeling we are all going to be just fine.

Frankenstorm

I really love natural disasters. Definitely not the part where people get hurt and dreams get shattered, but I enjoy the sensationalism of it all. I equate calamities like Hurricane Sandy with events like the Olympic Games. Nothing brings society together better than potentially devastating weather events or world wide athletic ceremonies. It’s like for a small time we all stop focusing on our own problems and  concentrate our collective attention on something greater than us as individuals.

For this reason I have spent the last 48 hours glued to the TV, flipping between 24 hour coverage of the storm on the Weather Channel and 24 hour coverage on our local channels.  Hanging on every word of every press conference, tracking wind speeds here.

At one point my husband walks into the living room and informs me that there cant possibly be anything that I don’t know – that meteorologist should start calling me for updated information.  I had to hand him the remote as I admitted that he needed to change the channel because I could not physically do it.

For all intents and purposes Hurricane Sandy was a non-event in my small section of Philadelphia, but that doesn’t detract from anything except maybe the let down that there wont be another 48 hours of aftermath coverage. Of course if it was bad enough to have two days of aftermath coverage chances are I wouldn’t have electricity to watch it.

I am contemplating a generator for Christmas…

A couple of disconnected thoughts

Today’s piece of useless knowledge on my iGoogle homepage is “The male sea lion may have more than 100 wives.”  It’s interesting because I had no idea that sea lions had a marriage ceremony.

Today I registered a new student to our schools whose name is… Remington Steele. Really? It makes me think of this: http://daddy-drinks.com/2012/09/24/name-envy/ every new parent should really think twice…

I decided a little while ago that in an effort to make my commute more tolerable I would start listening to audio books and now I am obsessed with audio books… I just finished my first one and am anxiously awaiting my next. The only problem is that I have completely lost touch with the real world. The radio was my last tenuous  connection to anything remotely newsworthy. I only watch DVRd TV in the evening, I fast forward through commercials like its an Olympic sport, I am barely conscience of the upcoming… um… election. This morning I had a sad reality check when Perez Hilton told me about Amanda Bines’s last hit and run… these are events I need to know about people.

Because I love muppets

I think I’m going to start referring to myself in the 3rd person – you know like channel my inner Elmo, except I’ll say things like:

Becca doesn’t really want to go to work today.

Becca is all out of wine.

Becca is a super genius and you should give her lots of love and money.

Do you think this is weird? I really feel like it will catch on.

non sequitur

While visiting my lady doctor this morning for my yearly violation I was asked by her medical assistant what I did for a living. I paused for probably like 5 seconds too long and then said (for the first time ever) “I’m a… librarian” I thought for a minute that maybe she wouldn’t believe me – that she’d think I was trying to deceive her. I pictured in my head a scene right out of the  Princess Bride where she turned to me like Miracle Max and yelled “LIAR! LIAR!” and I ended up mumbling dejectedly “I’m not a witch – I’m a librarian” I don’t know why my mind always reverts to things like this… I am mean I am a librarian it’s just that I’ve never uttered it out loud until now. But instead she looked at me and said “oh, cool.”

Did you know it’s cool to be a librarian?

Back when I lived in California I had several lesbian friends and their code word for lesbian was ‘librarian’. They would invite me places and I would say things like “This isn’t one of those librarian parties is it?” (It always was).

I’m afraid for the rest of my life every time I say I’m a librarian everyone is going to secretly label me as a lesbian.

Sometimes I just need to get out of my own head.

Progress

This winter has been exceptionally mild and easy to deal with and I know that I have very little room for complaining but I am so excited nonetheless for the resumption of daylight savings time. I feel like everything gets better when the days get longer, you have more time to spend with friends and family, you don’t have to put on sweat pants and huddle under a blanket promptly at 6:00pm. It’s like a new lease on life and I am thrilled THRILLED it is here. Big *sigh* of happy.

I am hoping this spring also brings the end of the uncertainty of unemployment, either by finally finding that perfect job or by the arrival of publisher clearing house and an over sized check. However it plays out, I am ready to move on and not spend my days in flux wondering what’s coming around the next corner. Being home with Lucy and watching her grow during this amazing and transitional time has been priceless but I am quickly falling behind on my five-year plan and the small enjoyments of day-to-day life with her right now are somewhat inconsequential if we fail in our big plan.

Oh the sad realities of adult responsibilities.

On a lighter note, I know Lucy is growing up because last night when she peed on her carpet, she pointed to it, said “mess” and got a washcloth out of her clothes hamper and tried to wipe it up…. It makes a Mother proud 🙂

To Nook or Not to Nook

Recently my friend Susan wrote about her love/hate relationship with her newly acquired Kindle. I have to admit that this is something I think about a lot. I have always been obsessively in love with books (see the masters degree in library science & years of my life spent as an underpaid bookseller at Barnes and Noble) I love them like a fat kid loves cake. I have spent most of my life building a collection that I spend a great deal of time rearranging – alphabetically, by subject, by size & color. I moved across the country and shipped something like 20 boxes of books, it cost a small fortune.

Recently, however, space has become a premium, I live in  small house that needs to hold lots of things more important than books – you know like water heaters and children and radiators. I have gotten to the point where when one book comes into the house one must go out – I have started stopping at the library sales only to drop off, not to pick up. It is a sad state of affairs.

Despite all of this, I was still very very against e-readers, how do you give up the feel of books in your hands – the ability to flip through the pages, the freedom to arrange them artfully on your bookshelves? Then one day I met Susan for pancakes at Sabrina’s  and she let me play with her kindle and it felt good… It felt dirty, but in a good way. I hated myself that I liked it so much – the satisfying click of turning a page – the knowledge of exactly what percentage of the book you where through.

I went home from brunch and tried hard to forget the comfortable feeling of the e-reader in my hand. For months I pushed those dirty dirty thoughts out of my head. But then came Christmas and one of our nephews got a Nook color, the kind that is backlit, the one that would allow me to read in the middle of the night – you know the nights when I don’t over medicate with NyQuil and I wake up unable to turn a light on, because I love my husband and don’t want him yelling at me.

I could take a Nook to work (you know if I had a job) without having to change purses based on the book that I’m reading. I could dress up in a unitard and be a sexy nerdy officer of the USS Enterprise while I pretend to use it to check out our current coordinates.  There are clearly a lot of advantages to owning an e-reader.

Despite these advantages I still have reservations, besides not being able to let go of a life time of obsessive book hoarding, I worry that it would be too easy to begin hoarding electronically. I am afraid that I would simply start collecting books (you know the Nook can hold 1,500) until I can no longer recall why I wanted to read something and I move on and forget to go back to things that I have stored. At least when they take up physical space I have a limited amount of it in my bedside table.

There is no point or final outcome to this post – I just thought you all should know the conversations I am having with myself.

Deep thoughts on Sesame Street

Things aren’t like they used to be. ..This is not about walking up the hill to school in the snow both ways – although I did do that for a while in third grade, except school was downhill – I walked uphill in the snow to get home and that sucked just as much. No, what I would like to talk about is sesame street and how it’s ruining the youth of today.

When I was a kid Sesame street was a place, a comfortable stomping ground you visited every like day at 10:00 am (I might be getting some of these details wrong.) But my point is, it was a familiar place with familiar people who taught you to spell and count in catchy repeatable rhymes that stuck with you and made you smart. I remember curling up in front on the TV with mashed eggs in a bowl (this was my childhood’s equivalent of egg salad, because my Mom is way TOO smart to ever tell me I was eating salad – thanks Mom) and sing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 and watch the ball roll around the screen and it was cheesy and fun.

The sesame street of 2011 is barely recognizable anymore, first of all you get no sense that they are on a street or even in a neighborhood – the intro song is basically a rapped out version of the original song (and not in a good way). The whole show is a nightmarish collection of small attention deficit segments where they cut from fairy school to Elmo’s world, back to some inner city play ground. There is no homey feel of muppets hanging out together and learning valuable life lessons from Gordon and Maria – half of it is animated and rarely to you see the best characters at all – you know snuffleupagus and the count (who, by the way, when he is shown  has undergone a serious transformation and barely resembles the count of the late 70’s).

Maybe I’m getting old and jaded – maybe I’m not real good with change (actually I can attest that both of those things statement are completely true.) But, I really think that a lot  the problem with today’s youth and one of the reasons that there are so many of them diagnosed with ADD and put on medication, might just be that  the TV shows they watch have  reduced their attention spans to a miniscule amount. When I was an undergrad I took a communications class where my professor lectured about how the average american adult only really has an attention span of a half hour at most because that’s how long our “shows” are, but what happens when our kids only have to pay attention for 3-5 minutes at a time, what happens when they go to school and their teachers lecture for an hour at a time?

I don’t have any answers. It’s clear I should probably go play outside.