Category Archives: Stuff that sucks

An Open Letter to Devin Wenig

Dear David,

I must first apologize for posting this letter on the internet but if there was an option to actually communicate things to your customer service department I would have gone directly to them.  Not only can you not submit written questions/comments  but I’ve never seen your hold time as anything less than 18 minutes and seriously David, who has time to sit on hold for that long?

I don’t like eBay,  honestly I don’t know anyone who does but you did do one thing right and now you have ruined it. I do not think I’m using hyperbole when I say that to book and non-digital music lovers Half.com was the best thing on the internet. Last year alone I ordered 100s of books, it was quick,  easy and I was always able to find what I was looking for. I also sold a lot of books on Half.com,  mostly textbooks from when I was in college,  it was a great way to recoup some of the enormous amount of money I shelled out.

A few weeks ago I logged in to order a book recommended to me by my sister and to post some children’s books we don’t read anymore (to help finance a trip to Disney world) only to discover that the entire site had been shut down.  WTF David, no notice? No email to your loyal customers?

I tried going to eBay proper but I couldn’t find what I was looking for and I certainly didn’t want to bid on anything.

I know your company is struggling, I know that it is frustrating because you have the customer base but no one shops with you anymore, and who can blame them when you can go to Amazon and just one click purchase things without having to hope you won the item you want.

I’m so disappointed in you and your decision to ruin every book lovers day, I won’t be back to eBay,  I’ve created an account at Powell.com. I just thought you should know.

Unhappily,
Becca

Advertisements

How to Fix the World with Kittens and Beer

The fact is there is nothing good to read on the internet. Seriously, I scroll though blog after blog on wordpress and you know what I find? A lot of political ranting, some uber feminist babbling followed by more political ranting. Sometimes there is a side note in there about environmental ruin and the destruction of life on earth as we know it.

This makes me feel personally responsible for bringing joy and light to my fellow human beings, which is hard because I’m not really full of joy and light, mostly because so many things piss me off.

Also, why do we need so many blog posts about politics and the environment? Seriously, if you have been alive for… (I’m guessing) 20 years and have paid attention to anything than you already know that we, as a species, are ruining everything and that we cannot collectively elect a leader that makes anyone happy. I don’t really see the point in belaboring these facts by blogging about them. That is what the news is for. Want to see how terrible everything is? Turn on CNN.

I know I’m coming across and trite and glib but fo’ real – in a world of mass shootings and terror extremists what we really need to do it shut the fuck up and stop feeding in to it. We need more pictures of kittens, we need more stories of families and communities coming together for something good (like beer).

We should all go out right now and buy some random person a beer and hear their story and if we all did that everyday than we’d all be happier and probably 15 pounds heavier and have lost our job because I’m writing this at 8:42 in the morning. But honestly people, if your job doesn’t support you buying strangers beer before breakfast than you need to rethink your job.

I have no proper ending to this post; here is a picture of a cute kitten:

kitten

Myruka Watson Sells 1994-2014

Ruka
Dear Ruka,

Remember the afternoon that you walked through my sliding glass door in that horrible townhouse I was renting across the street from the post office? Remember how it was just a few days past my 20th birthday, the birthday I bugged all my friends, roommates and anyone who would listen that all I wanted as a gift was a cat? Remember how you strolled right in like you owned the place, jumped into my lap and stayed… forever? We slept with the sliding glass door open for days ( virtually inviting any other wandering stray animals to come in as well) but you never left. Sure you’d sleep on the patio, warming yourself in the hot southern California sunshine but you never left.

Remember when we moved to that cute little 1920’s apartment on Choctow street? The one just a few doors down from the blind shut-in who used to fry you fresh chicken livers every afternoon? I wondered for a long time where you disappeared to everyday and why you weren’t all that interested in dinner until I ran into to her and realized I could have saved a lot of money on cat food. That was also the apartment where you used to catch lizards – little lizards by the dozen, I would come home from work in the late afternoon and there would be 6, 8, 10 tails on the front stoop.

We left there and eventually moved – just you and me – to our little one bedroom apartment over the garage. A garage just a few feet off very busy University avenue where you cried relentlessly every day to go outside. I eventually let you go because it seemed mean to lock you up when you were so obviously street smart. I’d come home from work – you’d go out for a couple hours and always show back up right at dinner time. Except one night when you didn’t come home – one night when I spent the entire evening canvassing the neighborhood for you. The night I even enlisted the help of my landlord – my landlord who did not like cats and was none too thrilled that you were living there – but he helped.  He helped and eventually late the next morning you came home tired, dehydrated and covered in cob webs (I can only hope it was some late night Tijuana kitty rave). It was the only night we have ever spent apart. You and I lived in that little apartment over the garage for years like two old spinsters – keeping each other company, finishing each other’s ice cream. Remember one lazy Saturday afternoon when I inadvertently threw a crumpled up dollar bill across the living room and you fetched it for me – it began a two or three day game of none stop fetch. You are the only cat I know that has ever done that.

Remember the time when you caught a mole – a mole half the size you were and you tried to bring it home and I pretended like I didn’t see you standing at the screen door – half dead mole in your mouth? I felt bad but I didn’t let you in because you were really good at catching things but not so good at killing them. It had only been a few weeks prior that you had run inside with the biggest lizard I had ever seen, let it go and since it was still alive and only slightly injured it ran under the TV stand. I missed a Spanish midterm that night.

When we eventually left California for the colder and decidedly less sunny east coast you were not thrilled, but still you never gave up on me – you nearly ran away in Phoenix but you decided to stick it out. You traveled in the hot un-air-conditioned twelve year old Toyota Camry for six days refusing food and water and the comfy big bed I had outfitted for you in the backseat. Instead you opted to be hot and thirsty under the driver’s side seat – for 6 days in July – through Texas.

When we finally settled in Philadelphia we shared a wonderful house with your Aunt Beth and Mr. Furry pants. Remember Mr. Furry pants? I wouldn’t say you two were ever the best of friends, but you tolerated each other and found your own spaces and made it work. You were a real trooper and we had many good times all together in that house.

When you and I decided to leave and go our own way we moved into the top of Towne Pizza. Remember Towne Pizza? There were so many mice there – you kept a lot of them at bay just by your mere existence but every once in a while one would sneak in and you would be on it. I could always count on you to protect me. In that apartment we had a big shallow sink in the bathroom that you liked to nap in as it was the perfect size Ruka bowl. I would move you while getting ready in the morning and you would sit on the counter and watch me in stunned disbelief. One morning I dropped my ring down the drain and without hesitation you climbed into the sink, reached your paw down the drain and retrieved it for me. You were magic.

Remember when I met Jason and I brought him home and the three of us used to watch movies and he would always invariably fall asleep on the couch and become your personal cushion? Remember when the three of us got that little house on Rodman street the one next to the nosy super-gay neighbors? The neighbors who FREAKED out the first time I let you outside. Freaked out so bad that I never dared let you outside again when we lived there. You weren’t too happy about that.

Remember when the three of us moved to East Falls and the first day you were there you went next door to say ‘hi’ to our new neighbors and two minutes later all I heard was ‘Steph come quick there’s some crazy cat out here!’ because you tried to get INTO their house. And remember when their German Shepard chased you down the street and you climbed up half a sycamore tree to avoid her? Remember – it took weeks for your nails to grown back.

Remember when Guinness came to live with us and you were weary at first and didn’t want anything to do with him, but remember when you became friends and the two of you would sit downstairs at night after we had gone to bed and keep each other company? Remember when we brought Lucy home from the hospital and Guinness tried to pee on her and you just looked at me with silent dismay? You were not her biggest fan but you grew to love her and today when you had to pick a spot for your last and final nap it was her bed you crawled in to – not mine and not yours.

I had hoped when we moved you Swarthmore that you would once again get to go sit outside, explore nature and nap in the sunshine, alas it was never nice enough for you to get the chance to do that…

My dear sweet friend I am going to miss you so much. I have never met a cat that was more sociable, more friendly, more willing to greet me at the door when I came home from work as you were. I never wanted to have to make ‘the hard decision’ with you but in the end you wanted to fight more fiercely than your body would let you and couldn’t stand to see you suffer.

Already the house seems emptier. I hope you are in a place with giant lizards. Rest in peace.
XOXO

Call your friends – call them now.

Ten years ago I landed a gig shelving books and telling people where the bathroom was at Barnes and Noble. It was a thankless job but it allowed me to manhandle books and drink really cheap coffee all evening long.  Hands down the best part about being a bookseller was the people I met.

Emily Morris and I met at cash wrap early one Sunday morning when we were both under-caffinated and surly, we immediately realized that a.) we both had the same intense obsession with good books b.) we both intensely hated Sunday morning book shoppers and  c.) we lived four blocks from each other. I was drawn to her, she was so sarcastic and so dry and had the most amazingly infectious smile. Unlike myself, with my weird social anxieties Emily was friends with everyone in the store, and I think we were all glad to be part of that club.  There was no subterfuge with Emily, she told you how it was – even if the truth was that you were being a total ass, she told you with a smile but she told you.

We spent a lot of time hanging out, discussing books – rummaging through thrift stores, eating, drinking – I valued her honesty and went to her when I needed a solid opinion.

One fourth of July Jason & I spent the day at her childhood home in Lebanon, we lounged by her pool becoming much better friends with her dogs than her parents (who I think were secretly horrified we showed up with a case of beer for one afternoon), and when it got dark she drove a drunk Jason and I  to some random cow pasture to watch fireworks off of the hood of her Volkswagen –  it was the best fourth of July ever.

There came a point when we unknowingly grew up, Emily moved to Norristown and became the first single 20-something I knew to buy her own home, I got married and knocked up. Our communication became sporadic, we would email and talk and not nearly often enough I would drive out to Norristown to check out her crazy DIY projects.  And of course I was always invited to her annual birthday bash that she threw every year on her birthday – Groundhogs day

But we continued our shared interest in books, Emily was a writer and when I started this blog she became one of my number one fans, it was amazing because I longed for her approval.  Last year I started a book club and as soon as she caught wind of it she asked to join – I was thrilled that this meant she was obligated to hang out with me once a month, we emailed back and forth and made plans and then life happened and the meeting got cancelled and then I got sick and then and then… I emailed her a couple of times but never heard back – I assumed she was busy, besides writing for two newspapers she also taught community college courses and spent a lot of time fixing up her house and vacuuming up the fur from her English Springer spaniel and three kittens.

In December I sent her a Christmas card and a few weeks later I got a message via facebook from a friend of hers telling me that in April Emily died in a horrific car accident.

I have never known anyone as full as life as Emily – no one who has laughed louder or harder, no one who exuded the kind of energy force she did. I cannot even understand or wrap my head around a world that is so cruel in its randomness.

Its been hard for me to accept or share with anyone – how do you begin? I do not know. All I know is that Saturday she should be turning 32 and she should be at home, with 47 of her closest friends, handing out free Punxsutawney Phil paraphernalia  My phone keeps reminding me its coming up – how do I delete that?

I miss you my friend.

Descent into Darkness

If you take a poll most people will tell you that Fall is their favorite season. Not me. Not that I dislike it – I enjoy apple picking and all things pumpkin flavored but I am, hands down, a Spring girl. Fall is so fleeting, like someone blowing out a candle – you only have the briefest of hints at autumn crispness, a quick glance at crimson and ochre  before it all turns simply cold and brown.

And above all else Fall means one thing – the end of daylight savings time. Oh how I hate (to quote Hans Christian Anderson)  to go to bed at night and dress by yellow candle light. Perhaps it was growing up in Maine where it gets dark at approximately 3:15pm, or maybe its my recently acquired phobia of wintertime driving but right around now, every year, I feel a tightening in my chest; a hard time catching my breath. A feeling that life is short and getting shorter. It makes me want to eat my weight it pumpkin scones and Halloween candy and tuck myself into a small ball inside my extra soft and warm duvet and hibernate until the rejuvenating powers of  March swoop in to save the, once again, longer days.

I have been diligently working on eating as much Halloween candy as possible, but I have yet to get approval to take the next three months of work off… Maybe I could figure out a way to migrate instead. I hear Argentina is really nice this time of year.

A brief mid-life freak out

I’ve never worried too much about getting old. I grew up in a large family where, no matter how you ran the numbers, I always ended up being the youngest; always sat at the kids table. I’ve been referred to as “Babydoll” and now, “Aunt Babydoll” for as long as I can remember.

Every birthday I think – it’s okay, I might be 30 but I am still younger than… fill in any family name here.

This all changed yesterday, when upon my arrival at work, I went to bathroom and found…

wait for it…

my first gray hair. Gray hair? WTF? Babydoll’s do not get gray hair.

What’s next spider veins and age spots? Is it one quick slide from here to liquefied diets and adult diapers?

I don’t want to appear melodramatic but I’m not sure there is that much time left between now and when I find myself being fitted for a new set of teeth.

Ah!

Dear Internet, it’s me Becca

I don’t want this to turn into one of those posts where I just complain at all of you about things that you don’t want to hear about and have no control over. But I have very little to talk about except the fact that despite my upgrade to a post surgical bland diet and the ability to eat food like flan I still have had one crappy week where I haven’t felt good for longer than an hour at a time and only then because I took more medicine than was advisable.

I don’t really know what to do or why I’m writing to the internets, like some grand pull of strength from the world wide web could somehow heal me; I can only physically endure so much discomfort, only so much of not being able to pick up my daughter, and only so much of asking my Mom to fetch me things that I need, before I have to start venting about it to the world at large.

Today we were going to try to go out to lunch, out while the exterminator came to destroy our new wasp population (it’s all fun and games here). But after attempting to get out of bed multiple times I gave up and barely made it out to sit on my porch while the man with the noxious chemicals dispersed them throughout the house.

To add a little salt to the already fetid wound, I got the first bill from the hospital – I’m pretty sure that common decency requires that they give you enough time to properly heal before asking you for money.

Again, I don’t know why I’m bothering you all with this – maybe somehow my current situation can simply make you feel better about what ever is going on in your lives.

 

 

28 days to go

Oh Jillian Michaels – how I hate you so… In the spirit of new beginnings and life changes, I have decided to transform my Pillsbury dough boy body. So you know… I don’t have to keep avoiding mirrors when I’m nekkid. In an effort to do this I have purchased Ms. Michael’s 30 day shred program and I am on a mission to get it the hell over with.

Today was my 2nd day and I must say that even though I was barely able to heft myself out of bed this morning because EVERY singe muscle in my legs were screaming in pain – I managed to get through it with only 4 or 5 breaks for water and breath catching. This is an improvement over day 1 when there were 8 or 9 breaks for water and breath catching.  I am seriously struggling with some pretty basic things – you know like getting all the way to the floor when doing push ups, I have about an inch and a half range of motion, but it’s a start right? Push ups I can work on but there are other things that really annoy me that can’t change (aren’t there always?) like her voice, it’s like nails on chalk board and if she tells me one more time to stop ‘phoning it in’ I might just start screaming and never stop.

Really, my new goal now is to get in shape and fit enough to jog my way out to hollywood and kick her stupid monkey ass just to show her how strong and in shape she made me. Okay, reading that line over again I do realize how totally messed up that is, but whatever – the heart wants what it wants.

I have managed, unwittingly, to set up some road blocks for myself (awesome). The biggest one being the GIANT bowl of Halloween candy taunting me from the dining room table. You see, our neighborhood is serious about Halloween and every year when get HUNDREDS of kids grabbing handfuls of reeces peanut butter cups from our giant fruit bowl. So, this year I went out, like usual, and bought two army sized bags of candy. What I didn’t realize is that if we go out trick or treating there would  be no one  here to hand out candy and it would all be sitting here, taunting me…

 Despite my idiocy I am determined to finish this thing and to stay away from the candy so my husband can stop poking me in the stomach to hear me giggle.

All offers will be considered

When I was little I had a god father – Uncle John. Uncle John was a very old man who lived in a huge mansion-y type house somewhere quiet and beautiful. My Mom used to take my sister and I there to swim in his pool and play in his secret passageways. This sounds creepy and weird but he actually had one of those houses where you could open up the grandfather clock in the front hall and take a secret passageway to the ‘study’ or the ‘lounge’ or the ‘billiard room’ – I don’t know maybe I’m confusing my childhood memories with the board game for Clue. But either way he was a rich old man who lived in a giant mahogany paneled house with an awesome swimming pool and questionable ties to my family. I don’t really know why he was my godfather – you would think my parents would have chosen someone… younger and maybe related to us …

‘Uncle’ John died when I was very young. I don’t remember this happening, I think I was probably told about it well after the fact. But next thing I know we were relocated to Maine and Uncle John was never mentioned again. When I became a teenager I started to wonder who inherited that house and all of the money that I assume went with it? I am the god daughter after all – maybe when I turned 18 I’d get an inheritance? Maybe when I was 21? 25? 30? Maybe when I got married? All of these milestones have come and gone and still no mysterious call from a lawyer I don’t know asking me to come to his office… I’m starting to lose hope.

I haven’t been updating this blog very often because really the main subject in my head has been my general annoyance and frustration about my job. And I know you all have way more important and amusing things to do that read a bunch of posts about how I hate my job. My ‘aloha feeling’ has definitely crawled out the window and jumped to its untimely death.

Since I doubt very much that there is any Uncle John money sitting in a bank vault waiting for me and my daily lottery tickets haven’t panned out – if there is anyone out there who would like to offer me a job, or a grant or a fellowship or become my benefactor now would be a good time to contact me. I could return your kindness with sarcastic witticisms and cute pictures of my child. My strengths are a good sense of humor, a delicious lasagna, and fantastic accessorizing.  I’m a decent driver and have really good penmanship.

Hoping to hear from you soon!

Intermission

When I was younger I craved change – I would move every time my lease was up, rearrange my furniture every three or four weeks, I would dye my hair all manner of crazy colors. But now that I am older (and I like to believe a little more mature) I like consistency, I like to know what’s coming – that I have a routine, a routine that I can alter and mix it up if I chose, but a routine nonetheless, I like knowing what I’m going to be doing a day a week, a month from now and that when I get up in the morning I’m going to go to a familiar place and do familiar things.

In the face of impending change I am trying to be cool, you know channel my inner Fonz. I mean there is a large part of my personality that is much too lazy to get stressed out over anything. It’s tougher now because now there is a mom part too and the Mom constantly worries about everything – nutrition, education, climate change, economic indicators, severe weather, crime, terrorism – you know, just to name a few. And that part of me is having a complete meltdown – I feel it mostly smack dab in the middle of my stomach

But today it’s Saturday and I’m not going to worry about anything I’m taking a break from stress and taking this one to the zoo.

YAY ZOO! Grrrrr

Because I’d be really ugly if I didn’t have a nose…

When things start to get extra super annoying here at sticky jam hands I like to stop and reflect on how bad other people have it – so that in relative terms I can feel better about myself, here are some things I like to remind myself:

1.) I am not shoveling coal into a large steel cart 300 feet below the surface of the earth.

2.) I have never been forced to go through the foot binding process

3.) I have never lost my nose to severe frostbite

4.) I have never been stabbed by a shiv in the shower of an all female prison

5.) I do not suffer from Pica

But the most important thing – many people have ugly babies and I’ve got her:

It’s all good

Overwhelmed

I would like to create a t-shirt that says “I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment” and sit at my desk and not even pretend to do any work. Then people would know ahead of time not to ask me for anything. Maybe this would even work at home when my husband asks me things like “Are you going to stop drinking so much wine and do the dishes?” I can sadly shake my head no and point to my shirt.

Sometimes I yearn for my mid 20’s when expectations of me where minimal and simply making it through the day without falling on my head was a major accomplishment. Now, I have to worry about performance goals, and my five year plan. I need to follow the housing market and vote for a new mayor … being a grown up is such a pain.