A sign

A sign

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Basic Information: Things to do

So, I've decided to start writing little things that come up.  They aren't full page stories. But, they are funny and odd, and I like them.   I am calling this line of not so stories: "Basic Information". Here is the first of these. It's called Things to do

Miles and I went to dinner last night. He is in a research group for school.  This group has students, post docs, and the professor that leads it.  Whenever one of these people graduate or finish up with their Post doc, the whole group gets together for a dinner to say good bye.

Miles had never attended these dinners before.  Both because of his lack of funds and because of his disinterest in social gatherings (Turns out the professor pays. Miles missed out on SO MANY free dinners). We went to our first one a couple of weeks ago.  Miles knew the kid well and felt bad not going, and we were going to Ethiopian food...so it was really a no brainer. This is where we found out that it was free, and where the Ethiopian place in Rochester is.

Last night we went to an Italian place. It was good, it would have been better if I could have had red wine...but, fetuses are lightweights.

On our way home, or rather, about one second away from our house, Miles remembered that he was supposed to go back to the lab and shut off a reaction.  He gets overwhelmed with the idea of this and I can see him trying to talk himself out of going back.  This never works with Miles.  He would have ended up going back to lab no matter what.  Whether it be now or in two hours, when he can't get it out of his mind.  We go.

At the lab it takes about two seconds to get everything done that he wants to.  He is still frustrated with the fact that we had to come back when he remembers something. He is locking up the door and freezes.  He glances at me. He sighs. He puts one hand on the wall and his head down, visibly frustrated with something. He wants to do something else, but he also just wants to go home.  There is a battle taking place in his mind. He looks at me, closes his eyes, and says:

"Listen. Do you want a lambs wool sweater?"

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Dad Got a New Phone

My dad decided that he wanted a phone that he could talk to.  My brother shows off his phone's ability to write and send a text via the user speaking to the phone. (My brother demonstrated this by saying to his phone "Tell Becky that she's ugly." Shortly after I received a text message...*) My dad was jealous. Obviously.

Let me just say that I do not have a smartphone.  I probably will never get a smartphone. I am both old at heart and have a lot of issues with phones that aren't really humorous.  I'm bad at navigating phones and have considered buying one of those models that are advertised in the back of National Geographic, with giant numbers and "easy to understand symbols." My dad would have realized my lack of phone motor skills (or interest) if he ever looked at my phone. It's fanciest feature is the "slide technology" that allows me to text using a full keyboard...I know, I'm a big deal.

He did not realize this.  EVERY conversation we had revolved around phones. Things like what model he should get, the size of each model, who has each current model, those various people's reviews...other things I'm sure, I just stopped listening.

So he gets a phone.
 He is very excited.

"Bridesmaids" comes on TV.
I am very excited.

He reads the manual (yup, the book that comes with the phone. He read it.) He learns about all sorts of features this phone has. Including...turning the TV off (we hate him), he then couldn't figure out how to turn it back on (more hate). So we yelled at him.  He retreated to the other room.

I guess he learned that the bluetooth headset he has can control the "speak to the phone feature." He starts looking for the remote to the T.V. in the other room (my parents have 2,000 TVs). His phone apparently does not have a "find remote" app. He comes out of the room with a full telemarketer style headset on, phone in hand, searching for the remote (clearly we are talking about a master of technology). Finally locating the correct remote (they are all exactly the same except for one has red tape to indicate "living room remote") he begins his training in the art of Smartphone Mastery.

We ignore him.

I assume he mastered it. He can call his contacts by simply saying their name, he can text, turn the TV on and off, pretty much anything that he could have done with a button, now he can do by pushing a button, and then using his voice. Amazing.

I thought that he mastered it.  I was wrong.  I learned that he was wrong by being woken up at 6:30am to the sound of my dad, downstairs, almost yelling:




I hate smart phones. And my dad.
* My brother is an asshole.

Note:  Apparently my dad called (attempted to call)  a different farm location that morning. I don't know which one. All I remember is yelling, him repeating himself with more confusion and frustration with each demand, and me- crying into my pillow.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Giving Thanks and a Battered Grandmother

Miles and I walked into his Aunt's house on Thanksgiving.  We were super excited because today was the day we were announcing our pregnancy! We had made small photo books that had pictures of our wedding and the last page said

"The Next Photo is DUE June 2014...

It was amazing, and we couldn't wait to see everyone...and then we did.  Most notably, his Grandmother. We call her Zatta. I don't know why. Anyway, the woman had a black eye and scrapes all over her face.

Yup. Battered Grandma. 

I saw her, gasped and said 


She said "I was waiting for someone to notice."

Literally, a beaten face. EVERYONE NOTICED. She told me vaguely that she "fell" with no further detail. I was stunned, Miles' mom nudged me to hand out the books (she knew since I was 5 weeks, and I was 12 weeks at the time.  She was DYING to talk about it.) She kind of snapped me out of shock.  Miles' sister (who seems to always know what I am thinking) started laughing at my reaction, and I think stayed in the room only to watch me interact with her abused Grandmother.

So, I handed out the books.  I told everyone that they were just pictures from the wedding, and I figured they would appreciate having copies of their own.  So his Aunt and Grandmother are looking through them at the same time. It's like 5 pictures. The Aunt gets done first, gasps, puts the book down, hugs me, etc. Miles cousin wants to see what's going on, so she picks up the book.  (Zatta is still looking) His cousin gets done.  She gasps, and then asks me 

"So wait, How many weeks are you? When is your due date?"

Zatta is still reading. I say that I am 12 weeks(still reading) and that Dawn (Miles mom) has known since week 5 (still reading). Then Dawn pipes in and takes about how excited she is (still reading), 1st grandchild!! (still reading) 

Finally, She yells. 

Then she looks around and sees everyone smiling, with random hands on my stomach.

"Wait!? Everyone knew?!"

It was amazing. I've never seen so much obliviousness to what's going on around someone, so much confusion, and so many bruises on one face, all at once. 

She later told me that she though it was a boy because I was "carrying low"  (I wasn't showing).  When I left she came up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said 


It was a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Yard Work vs No Yard Work

Miles and I are the new couple in our neighborhood, and we suspect that everyone hates us.

We are in the burbs now.  A place where people have lawn flags for each season and repave their driveway once a year.  They have electric hedge trimmers, riding mowers with bags attached (for their 20ft of lawn), driveway brooms, garage brooms (they're different), leaf vacuums, and enough salt to kill every last slug on earth. Each person obsesses over their yard. We can't tell if this makes them happy or distracts them from the fact that they're not so happy. Either way- Miles and I don't fit in.

The other morning it was 20 something degrees out.  We were taking Chicken for a winter walk together and being cute.  Miles said that today was the day that he was going to rake the yard (it wasn't).

"But, we're so close to winter! The snow will hide everything!"

"Every time the wind blows, all of our leave fill up everyone else's yard.  
They're starting to hate us."

So, ambitious Miles decided to go for it.  When we got home I talked him into eating breakfast before he went out to work (all part of my evil plan to not work all day).  We made maple fried sweet potatoes, bacon, cinnamon raisin toast, bits of cheese and fresh pear. I made two huge cups of coffee and we snuggled up. 

...and then we fell asleep.

When we woke up, Miles was a little mad. He wanted to get so much done today and nothing worked out. I proclaimed that today was our indaygence! It was a FULL day of indulgence, and no yard work should hold us back. I said in Braveheart style

"We deserve this! Why is everyone getting rid of their leaves the second that 
 they fall on the ground? Why are they cutting their grass so short it's like
green tinted dirt? They take away all natural fertilizer (like dog poop
and leaves) and bag it up, throw it out, and get confused in spring that
   their lawn isn't picture perfect. Then they buy gallons of Miricle Grow 
     and grass seed- just to murder it again the next year! We are doing our
yard a favor! We are letting nature happen!"

"I'm still going to rake the leaves...it will just have to be tomorrow."

"Oh. You still want to lounge around though, right?"

"I mean, I don't have enough time to do any work."

"Awesome!" (I'm an asshole.)

We ate more snacks, caught up on some T.V., he opened the bottle of wine that I wanted to give to his mother as a stocking stuffer (fuck it- indaygence). We went full on Lounge Crazy. 

That night it snowed, and iced, and rained. The leaves soaked up every last bit of gross, cold, wet winter...woops.

Each bag of leaves we made weighed close to 100 lbs. We raked up mud and worms (we saved them-don't worry) we soaked our clothes.  But, we did it.  I even trimmed those hedges- without electricity! Our yard is done.  We are productive members of society again.  And Miles knows to never trust me when I offer him breakfast again.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I Joined a Book Club

Just to answer your question, no, I'm not 48 and rediscovering my purpose in life. I just wanted to make friends! I just moved to a new city (if you could call it that) and I know NO ONE. Literally (this may have also contributed to my developing insanity (noted in 1st post)). I told my family about it. They laughed at me. My father said to my mother

"Wait. Becky joined a book club?"


"There are such things as real book clubs?"


"Oh, I thought that was just something a husband would say 
to his wife if he was having an affair."

"I guess they really are a real thing."

I'm blowing their minds.

Anyway, last night was an interesting meeting to say the least.  It was one of the "social events" that run in between the book discussions. These are usually held at a restaurant, and a few people come out and get to know each other- without a book getting in the way of deep conversations (like potential nicknames for each other and the fact that disliking cilantro is genetic).

So, we met at a "tex-mex" restaurant (which sounds like it could be terrible(especially the next day)but it wasn't). The girl that recommended the place (who is now formally known as "Jen Garden Center") explained the menu and that it was vegetarian/vegan friendly. This prompted another member to say "I don't believe in vegetarians." Now, I didn't get offended by this comment (I'm sort of vegan, it's a long story, whatever) I just got confused. In middle school I met a girl who didn't believe in dinosaurs, she said that they weren't in the Bible and that they were made up by scientists that hated Christians. I wondered if the anti vegetarian girl was like that. Like, she didn't believe that vegetarians exist, maybe she thought that they were made up by hipsters that hated rednecks. 

Well, I was so preoccupied with this thought process that I didn't get a chance to ask her. I just sat there silently thinking about hipsters and scientists and all of their creatively expressed hate, and missed out on any conversation they may have had about it. I moved on. Also, five out of the seven people ordered tofu- so, they probably talked about it and I missed it. 

After eating we still wanted to hang out. We went to a wine bar a block or so away and talked about racism, social demographics, and child birth...obviously. The anti-vegetarian was bored with the conversation and left to talk about skiing or beer. The cop/antique dealer (I know!) had to leave for work, so it was just me, Jen Garden Center, Stefani Super Cunt (she is not a super cunt, but she said (after putting up rules on the book club wall) "great, now people will think that I'm a super cunt" and I thought that was hilarious and that she should get a cape with that on it. People will either think that she is real mean, or that her cunt is actually super"), and Elissa my sister wife (her husband's name is Myles with a "y" (I guess I don't have to say that if I wrote the name...woops). So it was just us four. We decided to wrap it up, we left the wine bar and exchanged numbers.

As we kept trying to say goodbye something else would come up and our conversation would spiral out of control again- leaving us standing on the sidewalk for 30 minutes unable to walk away.  We were standing in (what we thought was )an impenetrable circle. All four of us were listening to Jen Garden Center tell us something (I can't remember now) when she froze and said that she was distracted. 

What happened next has bonded us four for eternity.

We were confused at why she was distracted. We looked around. We screamed and jumped into each others arms. Stefani Super Cunt Saved my life.   She really is super.

Directly behind my Sister Wife and I was a very tall, very large, (very quiet) man. about an inch away from our faces. I don't know how we didn't see him- but holy shit. Stealthiest man ever. Now that I think of it, he might be a ninja.

Elissa Sister Wife thought that he was a clown (...obviously). Once she realized that it was just some guy, her fears were put to rest. The rest of us thought that it was A MAN STANDING AN INCH AWAY FROM US SILENTLY STARING. We were not comforted by the fact that he wasn't a clown. I yelled at him. I asked him if he was wearing slippers because he was so effectivly silent in his approach. He was not.

He ended up asking for money (surprise, surprise) and stating that he wasn't a "cracked head, is that how you say it?" We gave him what we had (One dollar and lots of change) and he left, thanking us. 

We decided that it was time to leave, lest any other "cracked heads" sneak up behind us looking for money. 

Luckily it wasn't a clown though. 

So, join a book club. You don't have to have an affair on your significant other, you can meet real people that don't believe in things that obviously exist,  and you can get startled by a "cracked head" or "method head" (depending on where you live).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Husband Doesn't Like My "writing Style"

Whenever I ask Miles what he thinks about my work he makes a sour face and sits silently for a while.  With anyone else in my life I would immediately think "IT'S TERRIBLE!! BURN IT DOWN!!!!!"  But Miles is very bad at expressing himself (even though he loves N.W.A.).  So I ask him what his face means.  He then said "IT'S TERRIBLE!!BURN IT DOWN!!!!!"...just kidding (but not really).  He said that my writing style is very blunt, like reading a manual. I asked him "If you weren't part of the story and didn't know what was happening, do you think that you would find it funny?" this is when he paused and finally said


So I am ignoring him and carrying on as if he never said that. I'm going to pretend he said "obviously!" and told me that I was the best, most beautiful, amazing person that he has ever seen in his life. This is what I do. (He is actually critiquing this post as I type.) How do I manage this, you ask? 

Honestly, I don't know. My strength shocks even me. 

Footnote: Miles isn't mean or lame or terrible. He is a crazy skateboarding Chemist that hates attention and doesn't know why I internet/write/invite people over for dinner/do anything.

A walk with my dog

My dog's name is Chicken. This is her:

She is really cute and makes me feel okay about being so weird. One thing that you should know about me is that I talk a lot. Even when no one is there. I just talk to my clothes or my computer or (now) my dog.  She is not an inanimate object, so I feel like it is perfectly normal for me to talk, sing, serenade, or dance to her. I do this all the time.

 My husband knows that I do this, but he isn't fully aware of how extreme it has become (he was surprised the other day when he walked in on me dancing to her and singing "Chicken what you think about it" over and over.  When he asked me in a confused tone what I was doing, I said (obviously*) "I'm asking her what she thinks about it.")  

Due to his constant shock over realizing how weird I really am, I don't tell him about my day to day embarrassments over my talks with Chicken. 

This week I was walking her around my neighborhood. It is a cute little suberb-y area.  There tends to be people out in their yard or walking their own dogs (whom I'm sure they talk to as well), I just usually notice them.  Not today. I was walking with Chicken through a huge leaf pile on the side walk.  I was kicking the leaves at her and she was fighting off their attacks. I thought that this was hilarious and proclaimed 


I did not see the man washing his car in the next driveway (isn't washing your car a summer thing?). I laughed, he looked away, clearly afraid of my fierce, leaf killing dog.

I didn't tell Miles (my husband) about this. Until yesterday.

Yesterday I went on a walk with both Miles and Chicken.  This is when I feel most at ease.  These two know me, they have accepted me, I'm going full on crazy. So instead of saying "good girl" after Chicken sat at the crosswalk- like a normal person, I decide to sing.  I sang:

"Good work Chicken, How'd you get get to be the BEST BEST BEST?"

I sang it pretty loud, like a yell, maybe. Miles laughed and quietly told me that the jogger across the street enjoyed my song.  I looked up and saw a man running faster now, away from the drunk girl (I wasn't drunk).

A few minutes later, after I had forgotten about said embarrassment.  Chicken had to poop (this was the whole point of our walk). She was circling around a spot, and I sang, again.


Miles laughed even harder, and told me that I was crazy.  It was then that I told him about the "LEAF SLAYER" incident. He was impressed with how far my crazy had come.  

In short: It's all Chicken's fault that I am crazy. 

*Parenthesis in parenthesis are cool