Category Archives: Random stuff

Apparently it’s called Solipsism

Oh look – I have a blog! I’d like to say that I haven’t been around because I’ve been diligently and single mindedly focused on my soon to be published book, but this would be a giant lie. The reason I haven’t been around is due entirely to laziness and procrastination, two areas I excel in above most others… Couple this with the fact that I can’t get to this website through my new employers firewall and it spells disaster for getting anything done.

So… how are you?

I’m good. I recently I attended a professional baseball game something I enjoy going to every five to seven years mostly to sit in the sun and drink ridiculously overpriced  beer, but also to keep me humble. Let me back up…. You see I have always imagined that despite physics and science in general that the universe and most everything in it has pretty much revolved around me. Well, that makes me sound like an asshole, let me start over – as a kid I assumed that everything that went on around me was somewhat holographic and since I was the only thing I knew to be 100% without-a-doubt real than I must exist in the center of my own universe. (I was a very philosophical preschooler). Unaware that Descartes formulated this same thought in the 15th century* I thought I was remarkably ahead of my time.

For most of the time this theory holds true – how do I know that people and events actually exist when I’m not there to observe them? I’ve always been present at everything I’ve witnessed. This isn’t a ruling manifesto of my life – it’s just something that helps especially in face of tragic events, I can somehow deal with thousands of people dying in earthquakes half a world away from me because there is a part of me that doesn’t really believe that they exist at all.

But my theory gets pretty debunked when I’m at baseball games. My baseball game attention span is approximately 3 minutes 17 seconds long. After that I have to scan the crowd for people I know, post selfies on facebook or go find the ladies room to make way for more ridiculously overpriced beer. But you know what’s amazing? When I’m in line for the ladies room and out of sight of the game, it still continues to play, people still cheer and boo and points are scored or not scored as the case may be. It amazes me every time that the players know how to keep going even when my mind isn’t focused on them.

Baseball games remind me of the time I was (probably) about 12 or 13 and home sick from school and I turned on the TV only to see Sesame street and I thought, “how is this still on, I stopped watching this years ago…” huh.

So, if you random internet reader, are anything like me (the master of your own unique universe) I would highly recommend an outing to an event that are not that interested in (this works well for all professional sports, as well as parades or Operas) to keep yourself in perspective.

You’re welcome.

*I actually just learned that this is true, thanks Internets for no longer making me feel alone. 

Pre Schooler’s Course Catalog

With a nod to our friends at The Ugly Volvo I have decided to write my own Pre Schooler course catalog, these are the classes we will be offering this semester:

 

SLOW DINNER 501: MWF 6:00-7:30

Think you took a long time sucking down toddler food? Think again! In this course we will teach you how to take forever to eat your dinner. We will bring in a world renowned chef and cook you a delicious and wholesome meal – if you finish it in less than 90 minutes, you fail.

 

GETTING OUT OF BED 20 TIMES 101: TR 8:00-10:00

This course is offered in conjunction with another class entitled “How to ask the most ridiculously inane questions – especially late at night.” We will focus on teaching you how to sit in bed and holler for your parents so loud that the neighbors across the street will be able to hear you, we will also teach you how to sneak out of your room at least 10 times before you fall asleep.

 

GAMES ON PHONES 206: S 11:00-3:00

This course is designed to introduce you to the world of stupid kid games available to you on your parent’s phone. Want to dress up a Unicorn? Or Make a Fish fart? We can do that. For this class the final exam will involve seating you in the back of your Parent’s car and asking repeatedly if you can play a game on the their phone – the longer you can keep it up for, the higher your grade will be.

 

WHINING 701: MWF 5:00-7:00

This is a Graduate level course, where we will hone your whining skills to the level of professional. We will concentrate on peak times of the day, like directly after your parents get home from work.

 

SUDDEN MOOD CHANGES 101: S ALL DAY

This course is designed to teach you to go from ecstatically happy to unbearably miserable in the blink of an eye. We will also help you to recognize that the reason for these sudden mood changes is all the fault of your parents and we will show you ways to blame them for making you unhappy.

 

SOAP IN PULBIC BATHROOMS 201: F 6:00-7:00

Don’t have to go to the bathroom? Of course you do! You don’t know what color soap might be in there! Sign up for this class and we will explore all the different kinds of soap dispensers available in restaurants and stores in your area.

Because I look really good in flannel pajama bottoms

I returned to work today after a glorious thirteen day break, below are some statistics I compiled in those thirteen days:

  • It takes approximately five days off in a row to digress to my adolescent self where I stay up until 1:00 in the morning and sleep until 10:00am
  • If left alone without the pressure to entertain or be anywhere on time it takes approximately 27 minutes for our house to go from clean and ‘organized’ to complete chaos and disorder.
  • Without the burden of work or commitments I could easily spend eight hours a day coloring in princess coloring books.
  • I may be an alcoholic – this is less of a statistic and more of a general understanding of myself based of the ridiculously large quantities of wine I have consumed in the past two weeks.
  • In the past thirteen days I believe I have taken four showers and one bath (that’s a 38% bathing rate)

I have exactly 17 hours left to work at my current job (more on that later) and besides shredding all of the paper on my desk and forwarding client inquires to my new replacement I’m kinda at a loss for what to do. I have extensively researched the new HGTV dream home – I have rearranged some furniture in my head to make it perfect for my family when we move in there – I have decided which window I will set my easel up against… Come on HGTV – if you pick me to win I will totally change this blog to be all about living as a hermit in my Martha’s Vineyard dream home and spending my days drinking wine and painting the ocean… everyone would want to read that, am I right?

White Girl Problems

I have some kind of universal balance where I am not allowed to have all my shit together at once. I have a system of losing things, important thing you know like wallets, keys, driver licenses, my husbands social security card… Honestly, I’m surprised that I’ve managed to hold on to Lucy for four years and not leave her on the top of the paper towel dispenser in Chilis.

Several months ago I lost my work ID, the ID I need to get in to my building, to go to the gym, to do just about anything in or around campus. I didn’t really worry about it at the time, I go days without ever leaving my desk and who wants to shell out $20 for a replacement card if they don’t have to?

The only problem is that I get to work really early, like before almost everyone and in order to get in the building I wold loiter hooker-style outside until someone more responsible came along and opened the door so I could sneak in behind them. This went on for some time until I realized that I took the train with a vice president of something-or-other that also worked in my building and if I walked from the  station with him I could guarantee myself entry.

This worked well until he realized that I was shadowing him the three blocks to work, on purpose. Being a nice and reasonable fellow he began walking with me which meant that I now needed to make small talk with a vice president of something-or -other at 7:15 in the morning – every day. Ugh, I wont even talk to my husband at 7:15 in the morning – I only grunt and push him out of the way of the coffee maker…

Several weeks went by and I realized that I had to finally give up the $20 to regain my freedom in the morning and so one day I went to the ID office and received a new card with a truly shitty picture of me on it (think autistic child molester). I thanked the 17year old co-op as I wondered what it would take to change jobs with him and my hand to god not five minutes later I discover that I had lost my monthly train pass, my $135 monthly train pass.

I was so annoyed with myself for losing my pass and with SEPTA for charging me $135 to ride on a loud, hot, crowded. uncomfortable train for an hour everyday that I decided not to replace my card but to start driving to work instead. I figured if I get in to the city early enough I won’t have to pay for parking and somehow between all the free parking and the really good gas mileage I get I might end up even or maybe a little bit a head by month end.

And it went well – I realized that because of my hours its actually less time in the car than in the train and I don’t have to pay to park my car at the station and I can leave work and go directly to pre school without any delays.

Maybe I got cocky, who knows but just a few days after realizing that maybe I don’t need a train pass I was getting out of my car one morning and my phone mysteriously jumped out my of suit pocket and landed on the cement sidewalk instantly shattering in three places.

I swear to all of you it was like some kind of cosmic miracle – I never touched the phone, it sits in that pocket all the time and has never once jumped for no reason.

The good news now is that I believe I have once again regained stasis – I can get myself into work (and I suppose the gym if I ever find out where it is) but I can only see about 17% of my phone screen. Maybe if I get my phone fixed I can trip and fall and throw our garage door opener into the creek behind our house…

I’m a god-damn hero

Over this past weekend I attended a wedding of a good friend of mine. It was a beautiful wedding, in a beautiful garden, filled with beautiful people. It was only marred in one way – my husband. Now, my husband has a history of getting inappropriately drunk at weddings and thus being referred to as “that guy”. As in, “Oh yeah, your husband was ‘that guy’ at my wedding.”

For this particular wedding I inexplicably decided to try and beat him at his own game. After the ceremony and during cocktail hour I stood in the bar line double fisting some seriously souped up gin and tonics, I didn’t stop there, once seated  I spent more time making trips to the bar than I did socializing at our table.

I knew that this would not end well, but at the tine I seemed powerless to stop it.

My favorite part of the evening came before I lost all control of my senses and had made my way to the ladies room only to discover someone’s grandmother (I assume she was with the grooms family as her grasp on English was tenuous as best ). She was struggling because somehow she had gotten the zipper of her dress caught in her underwear.   Next thing I know I am undressing this sweet little old lady on my knees of the bathroom (cocktail still in hand) as I worked her zipper out of her giant granny panties and thus somehow saving the day. It was as close as I got to intimacy that night being too tired and incapable of doing anything other than falling in to bed, completely dressed, when I finally did arrive home later in the evening.

Sunday arrived much too soon and for the first time in her entire life Lucy was awake and in our room at 6:25am, I wanted to crawl inside myself and never come out, her Dad clearly felt the same way. It was a long day for all of us and by far not my proudest moment as a Mom but I think what we all need to remember here is that I got to second base with the grandmother of the groom…

 

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…

 

 

Thanks millennials for keeping it real

I know it seems lately that my entire life is completely filled with dealing with my strongly opinionated melodramatic daughter, but alas this is not true. I have an entire 40 minutes I spend on the train everyday where I can contemplate things like politics, the environment or the personal grooming practices of my fellow riders.

Usually I spend this time immersed in any number of poorly written chick-lit books as to stop the real world from seeping in to my candy-land colored existence. Oh – how I hate you reality. But every once in a while, despite my constant vigilance, real world events seep into my paradigm.

Take for example the “polar vortex”. First, WTF? I know that most people really don’t care about science. I know that money to support scientific research can be hard to find.  Because of this I think scientist everywhere try to invent fancy names for things. Fancy names to make people care. Fancy names that back when I was a kid were simply referred to as “winter”.

Now – I don’t have an exceptionally good memory of my childhood – many events and day to day occurrences are blacked out and hopefully never surface unless through hypnosis or deep psycho analysis (neither of which I would ever subject myself to). But I do remember some things, I remember getting ready for school in the morning and hoping against hope that the thermostat outside would reach a double digits (because it’s so much warmer at 12 degrees than at 8?).

I remember walking to the bus stop when it was so cold that it hurt to inhale air into my lungs. I remember finally getting on the bus and my hands would be bright red and would burn the entire 35 minute ride from the cold outside. Now admittedly, I was too cool or just too dumb to properly attire myself during this time in my life. I wore an unlined leather bomber jacket most days, a jacket that my Mom inconceivably bought for me at some fine outdoor clothier like ‘fashion bug’. I wore this with no gloves or hats or scarves. I was cool damnit.

And yet, I survived, I survived despite my stupidity, I survived despite the fact that we lived in one of the coldest areas in the contiguous United States. I survived even though school never closed because of the cold. The colder it got the more impervious we acted. It’s honestly amazing the tips of my fingers aren’t black…

But now that I am older and oh so much wiser I have invested in a warm sub zero winter parka and all the accessorizing trimmings that go along with it. Earlier this week when I was all bundled up and the mercury never got above 20 I still saw students walking around campus in short shorts with nothing heavier than a hoodie. It warms my heart.

If you give a three-year old a muffin

If you give a three year old a muffin chances are that she’ll want to help you make them.

So you let her help, and she will immediately pour milk all down the front of her.

So you’ll send her upstairs to change her clothes.

She’ll come back 27 minutes later in a pair of underroos and stripped leg warmers.

You’ll send her back upstairs.

She’ll come back with a matching pink tutu and a tiara, she’ll ask for a snack.

You’ll remind her you are making muffins, because by now she’s completely forgotten.

She’ll ask you what kind of muffins your making, you’ll tell her blueberry.

That will remind her of Blueberry’s for Sal and she’ll run back upstairs to get it.

Two minutes later you’ll hear her yelling “no stop it! Stop it!”

You’ll go upstairs and find out that she’s screaming at her evil twin that lives in the mirror in her bedroom.

You’ll remind her again that the mirror is simply a reflection of herself.

At this point the smoke detector will go off from the burning muffins you also forgot about.

Your three year old will freak out and try to run outside in her underroos.

You will hold her in one arm while climbing onto the living room side table to turn off the smoke detector.

Right at that moment she will remember the muffins and want one really bad.

So you will drive to Starbucks, buy her a blueberry muffin while you doctor up your vanilla latte to get rid of your raging headache.

burnt muffin

A distressingly quick digression

It’s become abundantly clear that I cannot get my shit together and I really apologize to all of you for that. If I was a better blogger and better person in general there would be an accounting of our recent  wild and crazy endeavors. There would be dozens of pictures of the world cutest kid – oh wait looky there:

20131005_114227(0)

And there would be daily updates of all the crazy hoops we are currently jumping through but alas I am not. Sorry to be such a major disappointment. Someday I will get around to writing an actual newsletter. Someday I will publish lyrics to all of the songs that Lucy has recently made up that are priceless and very catchy. Someday I will have more time. Someday.

In the meantime know that we are okay – that my silence is just a way of building up better fodder for this website. Know that in a moment of shear adrenaline we made several rash and kooky decisions. Not the least of which was cutting off all my hair. I wonder if  this some kind of coping mechanism. In my 20’s whenever I ended a relationship with it went all my hair – since I’ve been married the removal of it has taken on a different life of its own. I’m so glad my neuroticism involves a trained professional and not a box cutter and an empty bathtub.

How quickly we go from cute made up songs of a 3 year old to cutting yourself. Good god, my brain is a mess. On that note – my love to you all, have a wonderful Halloween and mark my word I will return to regularly scheduled updates sometime – seriously… some unspecified time in the future.

XOXO

Michelangelo would be proud

Most of the time my office is pretty crazy, it’s like I get to work and 50 people are yelling “run Becca, run faster! Run up that hill, run! run! run!” and I spend the morning sprinting and sweating and in general feeling like I’m not fast enough. And then there is a sweet hour in the middle of the day that is just for me – and during that hour my one friend at work and I commiserate how much all of the running sucks and we give each other pep talks and eat lots of frozen yogurt to build up our strength and then we put our heads down and run back into the melee.

But this week we seem to have hit some kind of mid summer research doldrums, like we are in the middle of the Atlantic waiting for NSF to call… So, I have had some down time which has been weird but nice so I thought I would pay some attention to this website. Not that I’m writing this at work – if you are reading this and I work with you I’m totally not writing this at work, I’m sure that violates some kind of University policy, also if you read this and I work with you how did you get here? You should not know this page exists and I am not the Becca that you think I am.

Tomorrow  my one friend (see above) leaves for vacation and I am frantically trying to figure out how to fill my one sweet hour in the middle of the day.  I’m afraid if I don’t plan some things than I will end up working at my desk and forgetting to look up and take a breath, like that one time when she called out sick. To that end I have made  lunchtime appointment to get some waxing done. This reminds me of my favorite blonde joke:

A man sits down next to a blonde on a plane, she is reading the newspaper and visibly upset, he glances at the headline which reads “Six Brazilian dead in plane crash” She tearily looks over at him and says “How many is a Brazilian?”

I can say these things, I’m totally blonde – also I wanted a nice segway to telling you that I’m getting all of my lady parts waxed. I’ve never done this before and I’m terrified, not of the pain or the procedure but because the woman who I go to scares the ever-loving bejesus out of me. Her name is Mila, she from somewhere deep inside the soviet bloc, she once called me a baby when my eyes watered while waxing my eyebrows. There are few people who instill fear in me as much as Mila and now I have an appointment to take my pants off in front of her. Good lord.

I’m doing this mostly because it scares me and its been over a year since I had to undergo any serious and painful surgerys and at least 18 years since my last tatoo. Sidenote – I also really want to get another tattoo but I’m indecisive and about what and where, I feel like I might be too old and too Mom to really go crazy. Also did you know you could get your tounge tattooed? I have so many questions about this photo but the first one would be ‘why not the sistine chapel?’ – be classy people!Crazy Tattoo Tumblr

Because I know you are on the edge of your seat….

It seems irresponsible of me to write a post about quitting my job and then never follow up with what came next… I am here to set all of your minds at ease that I have not grown out my hair and moved under a bridge to start asking travelers to answer my questions three (although this option has, occasionally, occurred to me). In all honestly I haven’t had time to adequately grow my hair to a length that is required for a career as a troll.

So. I quit my job and it was cathartic and liberating and all of the emotions that are involved with no longer having to report daily to a place that exasperates you –  not to mention the end of two hours in the car every day where I felt all of  the good years of my life where slowly being wasted.  I worked there for almost exactly one year and when I left I was able delete my cashe file, pack up my starry night mouse pad and  drive away like I had never existed. In my head it feels like years since I’ve been there.

I managed to talk my way back into the institute of higher learning which I had previously worked for. This return is a little weird for me like a new beginning at somewhere very familiar. I imagine it’s like buying your parents old house and moving your new family in to it. You know there are skeletons in the closet but you are not the same person in the same circumstances and some of them bother you and some of them don’t.

When I came back I was given the same log in and same email account I had used previously, the first time I opened it I had over 3,700 messages that had been sent to me in the last 18 months, some from the day I left – missives from colleagues that where sad to see me go, it would have been nice to have seen these as I was applying for unemployment and wondering what I was going to do and how I was going to make ends meet.

But that’s neither here nor there and now I work for different people at a different office and I’m simply going to move forward instead of looking back. My experience so far has been nothing but positive and the twelve minute commute between my office and Lucy’s school allows for free time with her that I haven’t been able to enjoy for a long time.

Mostly, right now my new posting seems to simply be a platform that allows me to go out to lunch and reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a long time. I know at some point I will be required to start participating and getting my hands dirty, but until then I am enjoying my honeymoon phase and slowly packing on extra weight from all of my lunch dates.

It’s like the freshman fifteen all over again.

I remember a time before she could talk…

A conversation in high volume traffic this afternoon

“Mommy”

“Yes?”

“Mommy”

“Yes, honey”

“Mommy, I have to tell you something”

“Ok”

“Mommy”

“Yes”

Mommy, I have to tell you something”

“Ok”

“Mommy”

“What honey?”

“Mommy, you need to look at me.”

“Ok, hold on”

looking back over my shoulder

“Yes honey?”

“Mommy, I have something to tell you”

“Yes?”

“Mommy”

“Yes, honey”

“Mommy, I have a window!”

 

 

Senility, March & Rash decision making

I recently ordered  2001: A Space Odyssey through my book club on audio CD to listen to in the car. I thought about how I never really cared for the movie but have always been a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke and it was probably time to ‘read’ it. I listened to the first one and a half discs and this morning began thinking that this story line seemed a little too familiar when suddenly it flashed through my head in vivid picturesque details how I had had this exact same thought while rummaging around the basement sale of my local library a few years ago – I saw the tattered hardcover I bought for a quarter, I saw myself lying in bed reading it. I wonder if this is the same feeling that Alzheimer’s victims have during moments of lucidity when pictures of them playing with their forgotten children suddenly burst through their minds.

This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve picked up a book that I’ve read before – I do read a lot of books, its not disconcerting to think I might forget one or two here and there. What is disconcerting is that I listened to 90 minutes of this book before the memories managed to claw their way to the front of my cerebral cortex.

I need to get a subscription to luminosity or maybe do what a friend of mine does and start spelling words backwards… but who am I kidding I can barely spell them forwards…

~

This morning I woke up promptly at 5:15 and could not get back to sleep – I immediately reached for my phone to see if anything important had happened overnight that my phone thought was important enough to tell me. Nothing had. But immediately my eye was drawn to the calendar icon and a big number ‘1’.  It’s March! I nearly shouted to my empty bedroom. It’s March!

March to me means the end of winter, the start of daylight savings time and a renewal to everything that is good and happy. In my mental calendar that is essentially just a giant circle March first is the start of the upward curvature that takes us out of the dark and bottomless winter and ultimately culminates in the pinnacle of the year on or about July 1st.

I was so excited I dressed Lucy is a flowery skirt and top that is totally inappropriate for the actual weather outside. I put on makeup and actually shaved my legs in the shower. Its like a springtime miracle.

~

In the past couple weeks there have been some developments in my quest to find new employment that will allow me a better work/life balance and rescue me from the daily commute that I detest.

Tuesday I gave notice at my job. It made me feel like a complete jerk when my boss asked me to please please reconsider and refused to accept my letter. Wednesday I stood firm and resubmitted my letter.

I felt assured Tuesday morning that I had other options solidified enough that alerting my current boss to my upcoming departure seemed like the correct and respectful thing to do. Time to be a free agent and go where the universe would take me.

Wednesday morning I also felt assured that this was the correct and appropriate action. About five minutes after reaffirming my decision I got the uneasy feeling that perhaps I had acted to irrationally, or at least too soon. Because within those  five minutes the universe seemed to  stop responding to me.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Either way a new chapter is going to open in my life. In the meantime if you would like to wire  me cash or buy me food, or take over my student loan payment until it is all straightened out I would gladly accept your donations.

And then there was this…

For those of you who don’t follow me on twitter* or stop by the house from time to time you might not be aware that last Thursday I flew out west for some fish tacos, breakfast time bloody marys and yes and some much-needed face time with my west coast friends. It’s been three years since I have either not had a child in me or hanging off of me in some fashion and with the blessing of my wonderful husband I decided to make this vacation happen – unencumbered and completely irresponsible. Go me.

I am still on vacation and when I return I will post amazing photos of our weekend stay in Catalina and of the many cocktails that have made most of this trip a hazy feel good mirage that I will some day look back on with confusion and dim understanding.

In the meantime I need to share one very very important that with you, something I nearly stumbled upon during my educational forray through the botanical gardens of Catalina.

The elusive penis cactus:

It's only for looking...
It’s only for looking…

I guess it’s natures answer to safe sex.

Anyway, believe it or not this wasnt the best part of the island, I just thought it was the most newsworthy – right now.

*I’m not really on twitter.

That’s Mr. Guinness to you…

Every time our dog Guinness feels like he isn’t getting enough attention he fakes injuries. I know… I know, but hear me out. The first time it happened was when our 18-year-old cat hurt her shoulder and she limped around the house for a few days until we decided to take her to the vet. Not being pleased to travel she spent her time at the vets blinding two assistants and setting fire to the exam room. On the way home she peed on me and ripped the shirt I was wearing entirely in two – I decided that she must be feeling better. When we got home from the cat vet Guinness (unaware of the anxiety riddled visit) started limping… and I could just see the little wheels in his doggie brain spinning:

“Wow, Ruka gets an awful lot of attention when she’s hurt, she even gets to ride in the car!”

He limped for a day or two and then we made him an appointment as well, in his excitement to get to go for a car ride he forgot he was supposed to be limping and bounded into the back seat, ran into the vets office and after a thorough check up was pronounced completely healthy.

Last night while Jason was packing to leave on his trip Guinness started limping again, looking dejected and following him around the house…

“ouch my paw… you can’t go anywhere it hurts so bad

We examined his paw and there was nothing wrong with it. And then as soon as Jason was out the door this morning he looked at me, as if resigned, and started walking normally again.

Any of you who have ever met Guinness and knows he really is just a pretty face are probably stunned by his cunning, I know I am.

Call it anthropomorphizing  if you want but I think some day we might all being praying to his statue.

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.

This is what happens when I go to the post office at lunch…

One of the 43,000 things I do not understand is why postal workers feel compelled to educate you on the inner workings of the priority mail weight calculations or the exact regulations of what qualifies for media mail. Does this happen to everyone or do I simply look exceptionally interested in the mail? I once had a job where I spent hours/days/weeks at the post office and everyday it seemed like I was lectured to about bulk mailing weights and whatnot. And then, of course, there was the time where I was practically forced to join a crooked pyramid scheme (but that’s another post for another day).

Today I went to the post office and was schooled on how California has a different way of calculating first class mail and how I could pay less if I wanted to mail something heavier. I told her I didn’t have anything else that needed to go but at that moment I had a brief insight into her life outside of the USPS, sitting down eating dinner with her husband as she chirps excitedly, “today we got an internal memo that California is going to start calculating their first class mail differently – we had to re-calibrate all of the scales…!” as her husbands eyes glaze over and he reaches for the remote and she decides that perhaps she should impart this wisdom on someone actually AT the post office. It’s probably a lot like being a nuclear physicist, who else can you talk to but other nuclear physicists?

In other news, I stopped at Wawa to get lunch and decided on a fruit & cheese platter with hummus on the side, apparently my brain was already on happy hour mode at 11:45am.

Yet another reason we need to move to a better school district

I have spent a life time answering stupid questions, perhaps it’s because of my career path and all the years I worked in customer service, but now that I am a librarian it’s gotten 100 times worse. People come to me to ask me all manner or bizarre and often times droll questions (i.e. “what’s a synapsis?” “what’s a thumb drive for?”) and it makes me wonder what they are teaching in high school these days.

But, last week I got one that made me do that double look “Whaaa?” face. A student was in the library buying hair extensions on-line when she turns to me and asks, “How come they are still making iPhones if that guy is dead?”

Hm. What?

So, I saved the retention report I was working on and took a moment to explain how Apple is a huge corporation that still employs many people who are working on manufacturing and developing the iPhone. I tell her that it wasnt just Steve Jobs sitting in his dining room constructing each phone by hand.

A look of pure shock & revelation came across her face and says “Oh, I never thought of that before I thought it was just him doing it.”

It makes me want to revive my love of calling random strangers and look up the number to the Philadelphia Public School system and call them and ask them where they went wrong.

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.

Return of daily* random thoughts

I love bacon – I’m not really sure why more things aren’t infused with it – like butter or kale. I don’t think I’m alone in my dream of one day being able to walk into my local Target and picking up a bottle of bacon scented bubble bath… I think when people argue whose the bigger super power, us or China they should keep in mind who invented the loaded bake potato.

I do not have many skills, when people ask me what I’m good I really need to reach and say things like “I have very neat penmanship” or “I can drink an entire bottle of wine with dinner”  so far, none of these ‘accomplishments’ have landed me a job or gotten me a date (ok, maybe that last one)… Some people can speak multiple languages, or operate on new-born babies. It makes me glad that no one has had the need to put me in charge of the UN or insisted that I cut them open.

Ever since my surgery I feel like my the amount of random chin hairs that sprout on my face from time to time has dramatically increased. It makes me wonder if there is a connection between ones small intestines and facial hair follicles.

*Daily in this instance equates to sporadic

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.

Stir Crazy

There are days since I have been unemployed that I relish in my hermit-like tendencies. I will keep the shades drawn and not even think about getting out of my sweats until after lunchtime. I think about how little I miss the stress and demands of holding down a job and speaking in complete sentences. I bond with my friends of HGTV and utilize text messaging to keep in touch with the outside world. There is definitely a part of me that yearns to live in an experimental bio dome or on the international space station with limited social interaction.

But there are other days, the other side of me that wants to badly to have a purpose and responsibility again. Part of me that craves conversations with adult human people. Conversations that do not center around if the dishwasher is clean or dirty or how many diapers we have left.  On these days I want a reason to shower everyday, to put on pants that aren’t jeans and feel like I contribute to our household.

Recently I have had many more of the later days than the former. Maybe it was because just a week and a half ago I was in the final running for three really good job opportunities.  Thoughts of getting back into the work force and dusting off my black pants had gotten me excited and pushed my inner-hermit into the back seat. Now, I am down to one option, the other two being ‘very sorry’ and wanting me to know ‘it was a tough decision but…’ I am holding my breath and not going anywhere without my blackberry.

Yesterday, going completely stir crazy I decided that I needed to run errands that didn’t really need running, I just had to talk to people.  Ironically after three different stops I never actually uttered a word. I pumped my own gas,  I scanned my own groceries and spent some quality time with a drive-up ATM machine.

I wonder if I should call NASA and see if the space station needs a librarian.

I would call it ‘designed to work’ or maybe ‘job hunters’

Since being laid off I have watched more HGTV than any 22 normal people should. I like the fact that every show is only 30 minutes long and do not require my full attention. It’s programming that only needs 2 minutes in the beginning and another 2 at the end – 4 minutes is really about all I want to devote to TV while I am applying for jobs, or folding the laundry or gazing aimlessly into space. Also I really like that there is no anxiety producing shows, I mean no one is getting hurt, there are no murders to solve and I find myself relatively unconcerned if someone makes a wrong color choice or mixes patterns incorrectly.

Because of this immersion  I cant help but compare my search for a job to certain HGTV programming… I feel like six months ago I was a dated ranch house put on the market sure that my charm and character would win over any potential buyer, I mean employer. After three months on the market I finally broke down and contacted my career coach (aka stager) she completely updated my online presence, my resume my cover letter style – she branded me and  I reluctantly allowed myself to be made over.

It was clear that is worked, suddenly my phone was ringing more often – I was in demand. In other words my dated 70’s ranch was suddenly transformed into the 21st century. I am currently in contention for three serious offers, nothing concrete yet but it makes me feel like a house hunter saying things like “well #1 comes with a bright spacious office and center city views, #2 is a quiet cubicle in an unknown corner of a back office & #3 is a desk directly behind an open counter where students will congregate all day long.” Location, location, location…

If only I could call Suzanne Wang and have her help me decide.

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.

La la la … I can’t hear you.

I have a seriously overactive imagination, and because of this I limit myself to the kind of television I watch. Several years ago when I accidentally got hooked on the show 24, I went around for months looking over my shoulder convinced someone was following me, everyone I saw on the street was quite obviously a terrorist with an overly complicated plan to take over Philadelphia all of which hinged on taking me out. I began taking long winding detours to get home so that it was harder to trail me.  This was back when I lived in the city and it got a little bit out of control – a 15 minute walk home from work would turn into 40 minutes or even an hour…

This self editing also applies to books – I like to read science fiction and fantasy novels because if I am unable to relate the story to reality than I worry less that the particular situation will somehow crop up in my life. It is a rare day I encounter dragons or get involved in intergalactic ‘situations’.

Some people might consider this avoidance cowardly but I am okay with that, I really prefer to live in my own bubble where it is inconceivable that people can kill other people, or violent crimes against humanity have the potential to happen.  I like to watch CNN headline news in the morning, because ever since CBS and Time Warner bought them out their focus is less on real world issues and more on the outcome of dancing with the stars… thanks CNN.

I was pretty sure that my husband understood my need for a rose-colored outlook (every time he turns on law and order I leave the room) so imagine my surprise when I realized just a few days ago that the next item in our netflix queue is the first season of the Wire. I don’t know much about the Wire but I know that there probably aren’t any hobbits in it and probably deals with real life gritty situations that are going to make the voices in my head sing real loud and distract me from whats going happening on the screen… I have to say I’m a little disappointed in my husband right now – and I should probably go apologize to all of my neighbors because in a few weeks when we are knee-deep in season one I am going to start assuming they are all rampant drug addicts.

A small peep show into my brain

Below are randomly coppied snippets of emails sent from me between yesterday and April 2010. There is no logical reason or need for these and they are in no particular order. Someday I will get my act together and write a real post in the meantime…

Did you know that Mr. Clean magic erasers will take the finger nail polish right off of your fingernails? I think this is something you should know and something I just recently discovered when I became obsessed with cleaning the shit out of my stove this morning and went through two entire extra strength erasers and one very pretty, very red christmas manicure. Please make a note.

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My husband is, at this very minute, in the kitchen grilling me up some giant slab of steak and making creamy mashed potatoes with enough butter to stop my heart. I love that man. I have gotten myself all ready – wearing sweatpants and a hoodie – actually I am wearing sweatpants because I spilled like half a glass of wine on my favorite jeans when I was feeding Lucy dinner and I took them off instantly to clean the stain and throw them in the wash because I have no money to buy new favorite jeans…

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Thanks for liking my new website – do you have any idea how much jam and wet paper towels I went through to get that shot that is the header? A lot, a whole lot – Lucy was sticky for days – well for one day, she does get a really good bath every night. Although if I ever decide to give her giant globs of jam to play with again I will do it in the evening you know right before bath time and not right after breakfast so she’s sticky all day. My friend Jen was over that afternoon and says “Um, why does Lucy have jam in her neck?” huh. weird.

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P.S.I just reread this email – it is a grammatical nightmare that just rambles on and on – please note that I am on my 5th glass on wine. I would retype it but I’m too lazy and I’m not sure that it would come out any better…

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I have back heartburn – do you ever get that – it kinda feels like someone is stabbing you from the inside right between your shoulder blades? I hate when the people who live inside of me get mad – it hurts like a son of a bitch.

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I am very excited because in a crazy panic today I went and got my hair cut (when don’t I get my hair cut in a crazy panic?)… Anyway – its all cute and blown dried and I have bangs, I have bangs like this photo of Reese Witherspoon…. I actually just went in there and said “Hi, Lisa – my hair has been in a pony tail for 12 months now – please make me look like Reese Witherspoon”… Never having met Lisa before she was a little taken aback… But whatever she gave me a great haircut and then I got my eyebrows waxed – apparently EVERY woman in the world does this… the woman who waxed them for me took one look at my face and said “good god” and then basically asked what was wrong with me – I told her I thought that when they were plucked for my wedding they looked nice and she raises an eyebrow and says “you still married?” (in her crazy, thick Ukrainian accent). And then when I was done she said “You see – you have pretty eyes, they are blue – I did not see them before…”

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Today may or may not be your birthday – if you were paying attention yesterday you would know that despite my remarkable memory and my knowledge of useless facts like that sea turtles can’t produce offspring until they are 25 years old… I cannot for the life of me remember which day your birthday is. Maybe it was yesterday and you went out and had a great time and drank so much that you forgot to email me. In which case I forgive you, if yesterday wasn’t your birthday and you didn’t go out and party like it was 1999 than I’m super mad and will never forgive you – because you know I need my daily email.  Anywho – Happy birthday if its applicable.

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At home, things are fine – last weekend we finally bought good patio chairs – swivel mesh rocking things – they are so comfy that I’m trying to spend as much time outside as possible especially since its getting nice here. Lucy continues to get more and more adorable and I am now thinking that it probably would have been easier/better to have an ugly kid since I fear this is only going to make trouble for all of us as she gets older – but there’s really nothing I can do about that since I am unwilling to burn her with acid or anything.

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I’m starting to feel better – like my cold has gone, which is kind of a bummer because there, too, goes my excuse for daily shots of nyquil. I would continue to take it anyway except I’m pretty sure Lucy gets a healthy dose of it for breakfast in the morning – it does make her mellow and easy, but I worry about ‘development’ you know – because I read stuff.

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And that about brings you up to speed – I just went to get my afternoon cup of coffee and poured a whole quart of milk all over the hallway (carpeted) in the office. That really illustrates how my day is going…

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I guess that all the news from the east side – I feel like I should have more exciting stuff to regale you with – but I can’t think of anything. I’m tired and pregnant and live from one meal to the next (I had a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast and a grilled chicken pita for lunch if you would like to know) I plan on having leftover chili for dinner tonight.

Tuesday’s observations

My poor cat is at an age where sometimes I think I’m being really optimistic when I buy the 48 pack of wet cat food when shopping in bulk at  BJs. But still she surprises me – I might have to lift her into the bed at night but when she decides she’s mad she can still bite me like she’s 10 again… Thanks Ruka.

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Now that the weather is turning cold I find that my favorite thing is the seat warmers in my car and it makes me wonder why this technology hasn’t made it to other areas of my life – why doesn’t my couch get warm or my jeans? Apparently life is a lot better when my butt is toasty warm.  I wonder how hard it would be to install a TV in the front seat of a Honda so I can hang out in there more.