Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Scene In Which, If I Tweeted, Today Would Look Something Like This

When Twitter first became popular, I started and briefly tweeted under my corporate name.

Then I realized I liked making flowers much more than I liked tweeting about them.

Plus it wasn't easy to do, because I don't have a smartphone, because, ummmm........I break nice things.


But today, if I tweeted, would look like this (and yes, I know these are more than 140 characters. Deal. #perfectionist):

Dear makers of doggy "doody" meds: something about the medication to make the Fab Finn stop pooping is making him throw up. #thanks side effects

Dear moms of Indy: Just drove past a dad pulling his twin toddler daughters around in the snow with a rope attached to those "silly saucer" activity seats. #genius #parenting FTW #not recommended use

Dear driver of large van: yes, we are playing chicken due to the unplowed side streets, however, turning left directly in front of someone else is still not allowed #rules of the road #moments of douchery #snowplow fail

Dear week: you have missed the memo regarding vacation and general ability for laid-back-edness. Also, please add at least ten hours to yourself tomorrow. #back to work

Dear patrons of 4-way-stop-signs: here's how it works. The firstperson who stops is the first person who goes. I totally acknowledge that you've safely stopped and counted to one-onethousand two-onethousand three-onethousand, however, it is still the other person's turn first if they were there first. #rules of the road

Dear unnanamed Mass Ave restaurant: no matter how good they taste, brownies are not made from vanilla cake mix and I remain a teensy bit disappointed #dessert fail

Dear Cute Boy: I can't wait for our date tomorrow night to see Wicked. I <3 you! #oh the cuteness

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!!

From my little bloggy family to yours, have a wonderful holiday season! I look forward to sharing more stories, book reviews, failed craft projects and what-have-yous in 2011.

- Becky, Cute Boy, Finnigan, Princess and the "That Wasn't..." gang.

PS: Enjoy a little something I've been driving everyone nuts playing and singing this holiday.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Scene In Which I Think My Dog Is Actually A Small Child

Our foster friend Princess has been with us for about three weeks now, and if the present situation is any indication, we're in for a lot of fun and snuggles with this one.

And a lot of patience.

I think she may actually be a small child, and by that I don't mean the "children of the four-legged sort," I mean there might actually be a small child going through her terrible two's while teething, crying and going through a destructive phase hiding inside my dog.

See, here's the thing. The last time I had a PUPPY was in the second grade when my family brought home Molly the Border Collie (yes, we'd actually refer to her as such on occasion). When I was in high school, we found Bennett, our first rescue golden, in a park. After Molly passed away Benson came to live with our family, another golden rescue. And when Bennett passed away, we took home Maggie, a -you guessed it- golden rescue.

Even Finnigan, despite his blindness and relatively young age at time of rescue (we think he was about two) came fairly housebroken and well-behaved. Sure, he peed in the house a few times, but he got over that pretty quickly, and he has been known to make some messes playing with a toy, but big deal.

So when we got Princess, I figured, "hey, whatever." She is at least 6 years old, so I figured the puppy-energy was gone, and as long as she was housetrained, we'd be fine.

Holy crow.

I was wrong.

In fact if there is any sort of good indication as to just HOW WRONG I WAS, it might be that I'm finding myself relating to my two favorite mommy-blogs as they write about all the weird things they've said outloud to their kids this week.

(Random sidenote? My favorite is "I don't believe you when you say you're afraid of corn." HILARIOUS!)

Because if she isn't actually a child, I'm pretty sure this dog, in fact, has been sent by the angels to teach me what it will be like to have toddlers one day.

Or she's a demon.

Either way.

Overheard at our house this week:

"Please don't bite him."

"No, that is Finnigan's food, not yours."

"My glove is not a chew toy."

"No, this is Finnigan's treat. You just ate yours."

"My hat is not a chew toy."
"NONONONONONONO!" (Peeing on the rug. AGAIN.)

"My hairbrush is not a chew toy."

"No, this is Finnigan's food. This is yours."

"What do you have? Put that down. Don't put it in your mouth."

"Hey! Drop that! Gimme that. Gimme that out of your mouth. Open your mouth."

"That's his food. I said THAT'S HIS FOOD! Hey, that's HER FOOD! Come on guys-that's not your food! Ok, if you want to eat out of each other's dishes that's fine. Whatever."

"My underwear is not a chew toy."

She's lucky she's stinkin' cute.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Scene In Which It's (NOT) Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Towards the end of last week/over the weekend I was feeling like a Scrooge, big-time. Normally, I am ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS.

Just not this year.

Ahem.

'Twas the night weeks before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a Many a creature was stirring, not even a mouse thankfully except for our mouse

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care (oh fudge it, I STILL can't find mine. I found the dog's. I bought Cute Boy a hockey-skate one. But mine? Gone. Gone. Gone.)

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there would stay the eff away until I have time to finish shopping.

The children dogs were nestled all snug in their beds running amok through the house

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads chewing every dog toy, sock, pair of underwear and the occasional pen, plastic bottle, and OH FUN, paycheck into a soggy heap.

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my (new adorable) cap, (now covered in dog slobber)

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap effin' glass of wine

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter didn't much notice amongst all the chatter.

THAT'S WHAT IT'S BEEN LIKE AROUND HERE, FOLKS.

Scrooge. Scrooge scrooge scrooge, that was me.

I wasn't done shopping, I hadn't started wrapping, my cards were not done, and I was NOT FEELIN' THE HOLIDAY LOVE, ok?

That was then.

Since then I've put up some more decorations in the house, wrapped some garland around the outside, managed to snatch all my underwear back from Princess' hiding places (SERIOUSLY DOG, you have gotten waaaaay too used to cushy indoor life waaaaaay too fast) and addressed, if not written, my cards.

And I've been reminded that the holidays are about love and joy and the opportunity to be with one another, and I'm filled with the shiny happy holiday spirit.

So if my house is more cluttered than usual (it is), if I am using a tupperware ornament container instead of a coffee table because we haven't brought the coffee table back out from storage after Thanksgiving yet (we are, and we haven't), if the combination of new dog and old dog is producing an unholy amount of hair despite vacuuming (they are), and even if I STILL can't find the freaking stockings, or a perfect gift for Cute Boy, or the opener for the wine cork........it's ok.

Wait. Not the opener for the wine cork.

I need that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Scene In Which We Do Not Pee On That. Please.

I love talking on the phone to my friends that have kids, because they are possssssssibly the only people more distracted than I am at any given moment. In particular, I love talking to my friend L, who has two kids and absolutely none, zero, nada difference in vocal inflection when switching between phone conversation and kid conversation.

This would be a lot less hilarious if her kids, particularly her oldest, didn't do some really funny things.

For example.

L: Hello?

Me: Hey! Sorry I just missed your call.

-General pleasantries exchanged-


Me: So what's up?

L: Aside from the fact that I'm pretty sure I'm going to drink this entire Wine Cube tonight?

Me: What's a Wine Cube?"

L: They're from Target. They're like four bottles of wine in one cube.

Me: Neat.

L: Yeah. Normally I try to wait until the kids go to bed but I'm not sure if I'm going to make it tonight.

Me: I may need to get one of those.

L: Well, I was actually calling to see if you had any good ideas. I'm trying to think of a good title for my new blog, which I'm thinking is going to be something about the kids, and me, and my job, and stuff like that.

Me: Ok.

L: I was thinking "My So Called Life," but that was kinda already taken.

Me: Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's taken.

L: So then I was thinking something funny, and I thought I'd ask you because you're witty, and you can have more food if you want it but I'm not going to feed you, 'cause I've already fed you a plate and you can feed yourself 'cause you're a big boy.

Me: Whaaa?

-Kid Noises-

L: Ok, then are you done? If you're done you need to go get in the shower, because we're starting the movie at 7 and you need to be showered and in your pjs by then. So get naked!

-Kid Noises-

Me: Wh-

L: Get naked!

-Kid Noises-

Me: Is tha-

L: GET NAKED!

-Kid Noises-

Me: -laughing hysterically- I'm pretty sure you're the only person who calls me to yell Get Naked at me.

L: Thanks Beck.

Me: So you need a name for the blog. Maybe it should be something funny that you say.

L: Like what? I don't really know of anything. Please don't pee in the shower.

Me: Huh?

L: Oh my god. Seriously? He's PEEING IN THE SHOWER. And believe me, it's not anything classy like the water's already running or anything; it's just pee and a shower. It looks like a urinal in there.

Me: I definitely think you can name your blog something you yell at your kids.

L: Like what?

Me: I don't know. In the past five minutes I've heard you say "I'm not feeding you, get naked, and don't pee in the shower." I like the last one.

L: Yeah, I don't know...oooooh Rudolph, I gotta tape this shit.

Me: -LMAO- you have to tape this shit?

L: Haha, yeah, and oooh, the Grinch, gotta tape this one too.

Me: I think you should name it "Please Don't Pee In The Shower."

L: But he pees on other things too.

Me: Seriously?!

L: Well, you know, he's a boy. So he sort of pees at the park....and sometimes in the yard......and sometimes in the wastebasket.....and, well....

Me: I feel like "Please Don't Pee On That" might serve you better.

L: I'll think about it ohhhhh sweet Jesus.

Me: Oh no.

L: He's taking a bubble bath.

Me: ......

L: In the shower.

Me: Oh god.

L: With an entire bottle of Bath & Body Works stuff.

Me: OMG.

L: I gotta go.



Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in welcoming "Please Don't Pee On That" to my blogroll...and hopefully to yours!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Scene In Which We Kind Of Have A New Dog

In case you don't follow me on Facebook (which would mean I don't actually really know you)(which would be kind of strange)(which is fine), you may not be aware of the addition of a certain adorable blonde to our home.

A 60lb, shedding, kissing, barking, whining, cuddling, food-stealing, food-nomming, rug-pooping, toy-destroying, water-bowl-splashing, absolutely adorable little angel :)



SERIOUSLY, THIS FACE.

Did I mention she sleeps on the floor right next to our bed at night?

Sigh.

Did I also mention she's (justifiably, as she's spent the first five years of her life living outdoors) sort of just about, but maaaaaaybe not completely housebroken?

SIGH.

But it's still absolutely worth it. We are currently fostering her for an elderly neighbor. Though very, very loved by her owner, she has been an outdoor dog for her entire life. Despite this, she's rapidly become accustomed to two tasty meals a day out of her own brand-new ceramic bowl, a comfy bed to sleep on of her very own, and a bucketful of squeaky toys (Finnigan could care less about them, so they just sort of stockpile).

The squeaky toys are the best. This is a dog who (again, though very very loved) has probably not had many toys in her life. She loves them. ALL of them. ALL the toys belong to her.

She tosses them up in the air to herself.

She noses them around the floor.


She cuddles them.

And then she tires of them, rips their heads off, and disembowels them across the rug.

It's a little disturbing.

But seriously. THE FACE.

It gets me.


It gets Cute Boy too :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Scene In Which I Do Not Want To Fly

I have to get on a plane, and it's freaking me out.

Before you ask, no, it's not for Thanksgiving (tomorrow). It's not even for Christmas (a month away).

It's in MARCH.

More specifically, at the END OF MARCH.

But in my family there's something to being prepared, and kids, let me tell you, I am prepared to be completely f-ing freaked out, especially since I am already f-ing freaked out.

I haven't always been this way.

There was a time, and not all that long ago, when the idea of flying didn't freak me out. Airline travel was something interesting, even fun.

Then I moved to Indiana and my allergies got bad, which made my ears react sort of the way a five-year-olds might and develop weird vertigo-ish tendencies during take offs and landings.

Sort of making me feel like the plane was crashing at any given second during both events.

Super.

Then I was in a couple flights in a row where there was really bad turbulence. Also not helpful.

I'm pretty sure that my solo flight home from San Diego following an AFP conference two years ago was the actual first panic attack. Descending into Denver during a thunderstorm? Not cool. Still owe huge gratitude to the grandfatherly gent who talked me down (literally: he talked to me during the entire 20-minute descent into Denver).


Followed closely by my horrendous, weather-delayed, turbulent voyage to Omaha during which the on-leave, 19-year-old cute little Marine had to distract me (read: poor freaked out old chick) during the entire turbulent flight with stories about how he was injured by an IED. Seriously.

And then this happened.

(From a Scene in 2009 describing our flight home from Paris): "during which we encountered the type of turbulence that makes the pilots yell for the flight attendants to sit, the aforementioned attendants to squinch their eyes closed, and for half of the passengers to actually scream as we nose-dive several hundred feet in, oh, about two seconds."

Oh yes, that's right. I was ON A PLANE THAT FELL OUT OF THE SKY.

So it shouldn't come as a total surprise that I'm not that excited about getting into a TIN CAN and being LAUNCHED THOUSANDS OF FEET INTO THE AIR in the hands of WHOEVER THE DUMBASS AT THE HELM IS and being at the total mercy of the elements.

NO THANKS.

Since the lovely flight to Paris I've only gotten on a plane once, to head to Florida. I seriously didn't know how I was going to go through with it. Thankfully, Cute Boy and xanax came to the rescue.

But I'd like to avoid this in the future, particularly as "taking xanax" for the purpose of air travel might aaaaaaaactually mean "taking one xanax the day before, taking one xanax the day of, having a couple glasses of wine before the flight takes off, staggering out of the airport three hours later, and puking out the side of the car on the way home."

Theoretically.

I need a solution, kids. And I need one now. So I don't have to spend the next four months freaking out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Scene In Which I Ramble. And Apologize. And Ramble Some More.

Other than some trip updates lately, I haven't been blogging too much.

Sorry.

I think about writing a blog.

Sometimes I write down an idea for a blog.

Usually on my hand.

Usually its something about how I really shouldn't write important things on my hands because then I wash them and lose the idea.

Then I wash my hands.

It's kind of a vicious cycle.

I really need to work on my lawn.

But I've already blogged about that.

I really need to get caught up on Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice and omg, Sons of Anarchy, can we talk about how much I love Sons of Anarchy?

THIS MUCH.

I need to watch the first couple seasons.

I also need to get my house and the studio cleaned up.

They're kinda messy 'cause I've been kind of busy.

Which is also why I haven't blogged.

Sorry.

Busy is good, though. Lots of weddings this weekend.

Just not a lot to blog about, 'cause I didn't really do anything funny like fall down the stairs carrying a box of flowers or anything like that.

Oh wait.

I did do that.

I also fell up some stairs. That was kind of funny too.

I thankfully did not fall off the 25-ft ladder I climbed up and down about 35 times.

That would not have been funny.

Speaking of funny, how funny is it that we're actually having a fall season?

I'm from Chicago.

"Fall" is what happens on the day that starts off sunny and pleasant at 70 degrees and drops to 30 by nightfall. The leaves plunge suicidally. Two days later it frosts. That's fall.

So this whole "chilly morning, warming up in the afternoon, leaves gently turning color" thing is kind of weird.

I really like it.

Ideally it would never get any colder than this. I'd like to avoid winter this year.

Let's make that happen, mmmmk??

Thought I would like Thanksgiving to come.

I'm going to be hosting this year.

I think it's going to be fun.

And a lot of work.

And fun.

And work.

I think I'm going to head to bed.

You may have noticed that I'm a bit tired.

But I felt bad because I hadn't been blogging much.

Sorry.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Scene In Which We Hit Beale Street

After a more-than-adequate dose of Elvis, we checked out some other areas of Memphis and started our nightly entertainment of sampling the nightlife....aka, drinking!

The boys had chores at their hostel, so K and I hung out at the "Cafe Ole" having a drink and waiting for them. It was right at the Cooper/Young neighborhood- so cute!

Staying at the Peabody, we naturally had to see the famous "March of the Ducks," so headed there next to observe the 5 PM show. For those unfamiliar with the tale, twice a day the trained ducks who reside at the Peabody march down and into, or out of and up, to the lobby fountain from the hotel roof where they spend their evenings.

The music plays a march, the "duck wrangler" puts down a set of stairs, and the ducks hop out of the fountain, march down the stairs, march across a red carpet, and hop on the elevator to go to the roof.

It's as freakin' cute as it sounds, if not cuter.

Following our dose of cuteness (and yummy martinis!) we ventured back to Beale Street to sample a little more local cultural- in the form of bar hopping from 7 PM- 2 AM, eventually landing at five or so places.

Including one where we saw this guy.

Dr. Feelgood Potts.

If you ever get down to Memphis and have the opportunity to hear him, DO IT.

Then, go have more drinks, eat some fried green tomatos, go to the karaoke bar, and watch your cousin sing "Suspicious Minds" in a town that reveres Elvis (thankfully, doing it much justice), watch your other cousin sing "Son of a Preacher Man" and bring the house down, watch The Tall Brit sing Oasis, and watch an amazingly drunk biker babe wife join her buddy onstage for a theatrical rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody," complete with hand gestures and dancing, then head back to the Peabody at 2 AM and have this conversation with the bellman on the way to your room in an otherwise still hotel:

Cousin K: "Howdy!"

(Howdy?!)

Bellman: Hi.

K: Quiet in here, huh? So where's the staff party?

Bellman: Um, hah (nervous laughter) ah, have a good night....ah, hah.

Me: Seriously? What's your next line, 'I carried a watermelon?' "

And then you've done Memphis.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Scene In Which I Go To GRACELAND!!

I've never considered myself a huge fan of "The King," but when I said yes to a quick trip to Memphis, I knew Graceland would have to be on the agenda.

(Because really? It's AMERICANA at its absolute best. When am I ever going to see this again??)

And Graceland? Is awesome.

We arrived fairly early in the morning in an effort to beat the crowds, though Mondays appear to be the best time to go to Graceland to do so regardless.

Especially if you're over 70.

Just sayin'.

Graceland is amazing in that it's an entire museum and gift shop extraordinnare cobbled together on what once was a normal street. Despite the fact it stands a mere 100 yards or so away, you must board a short bus (having donned your self-touring headphone set) to be escorted across the street and up the driveway, where you are greeted by a Graceland employee who assures you that you'll be able to tour the house "at your leisure," while lining you up to enter and directing you to take your photos when you're done with the tour, NOT before, because they are UNLOADING THE BUSES HERE.

The house itself takes a relatively short time to go through, as you're not allowed to go upstairs, and definitely introduces you to the sense of reverence people in Memphis get when they talk about The King. This is NOT the Elvis of Vegas- this is their BOY.

Their boy with a 15-ft white leather couch in his peacock-themed front room.

With a fully carpeted kitchen, ohyesthankyou, all the rage in the 1970s.

With a pool room completely covered in pleated fabric on the walls and ceilings, otherwise known as "quite possibly the best place on the planet to do LSD."

And of course, the Jungle Room.

I have to confess, not what I expected. Along the way I'd sort of forgotten that Elvis' house was basically just abandoned and then preserved in the 1970s, and that what would have made something cool back then does not neccessarily mean cool....now.

Like green shag carpeting.

Carved fake wooden tree trunks as furniture.

It was awesome.

Elvis is actually buried outside the house, along with his parents and grandmother, and a marker (though not the remains) of his twin. Here's the part that amazed me: all the FLOWERS! Apparently, flowers still arrive daily from various fans and friends around the world. The week we were there, flowers arrived from his Italian fan club as well as several South American clubs.

Graceland goes on to showcase the grounds, the racquetball court-turned-trophy room, the museum in which all his gold records and other accolades hang (seeing the actual gold record for some of his songs?!? awesome), the car museum where the PINK CADILLAC is, along with about 10 other amazing cars, a showcase of his various costumes, and of course, his two private planes.

One of which features a sink with inlaid gold.

You know, just like mine.

We stayed at Graceland for a fairly serious amount of hours before deciding that we were Elvis-ed out, not in the least because Elvis tunes were being piped through our self-guiding-earbuds as well as the speakers around the place the entire time we were there. Little did we know that later that night, we'd see a performance channeling the King.....

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Scene In Which I Go To Memphis

A few weeks ago (and yes, just getting to blog about it now) I found myself driving to Memphis, as the direct result of one of those "seize the moment" conversations between myself and my cousin K a few weeks prior.

K: Hey, I'm going to be driving back to N Michigan from Texas in a few weeks. Can I stay with you in Indy on Tuesday night?

Me: Sure.

K: I'm gonna stay in Memphis Sunday and Monday and check it out.

Me: Cool!

K: Hey, you want to come?

Me: YES.

So I wrapped up a wedding on Saturday, packed my bags, picked up my rental car, and drove 7 hours to Memphis via southern Indiana, southern Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Yes, Arkansas.

Because the most efficient route to get to a state located directly south of me is, in fact, to drive through five different states in one day.

(It actually is. Check it out.)

I arrived and got picked up by my cousin J, K's brother. He had also decided to seize the moment and drive up from Atlanta, so yes, you're correct, three cousins from three different states had all decided to converge together in Memphis, of all places, for two days. He'd also brought L, who for the sake of no-more-initials we're going to refer to as The Tall Brit.

Because he is, and is.

We got settled in at our respective hotels (K& I at the Peabody!!) and the boys came over to pick us up for dinner. Hilariously, both K and J chose to announce themselves at the Peabody by not merely knocking on the door, but announcing "Housekeeping!" in a loud falsetto. Siblings.

We hit Beale Street for an amazing big-band performance and tried to go to BB Kings for dessert, only to realize it was closed because BB King was PLAYING A CONCERT RIGHT THERE. We stood on the street and listened for awhile- awesome.

After long drives for all of us (or long nights in Nashville the previous day for the boys), we headed to bed early.....all the better to be up and at 'em for GRACELAND the next day! More to follow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Scene In Which Apparently Gardening Fails Me

I have two very major confessions to make, friends. Be gentle.

First. (And this, if you know me and have, say, driven past my house in the recent weeks is not so much a confession as an acknowledgement.

MY YARD LOOKS HORRIBLE.

Seriously, summer has wreaked some HAVOC on the yard. Dead. Crunchy. Brown. The flowers have all gone to seed and past it. The bushes grew out of control and resemble sea urchins. The phlox is spiny and woody and brown (and half-dead thanks to some overzealous mowing by one of my neighbors, but it was on his side, so that's not even contributing to the awfulness).

And I just need to get out there and clean it up. I know I do. (And I don't want to hear that if I stopped writing this blog and just did it it would be done, because this blog only took me 7 minutes to write and my yard is going to take many, many more minutes than that thankyouverymuch.)

Confession #2 is not really a confession but a confirmation of what you already might know having seen my yard, and that is that I really like color palettes in the purple/pink/green range. Purple phlox. Butterfly bush. Lavender.

I like THINGS TO MATCH.

Naturally, the potted plants that dot my porch also contain pink and purple plants throughout the summer months. But as the summer dried those suckers up faster than you could've fried an egg on the sidewalk some days this August, last week I decided I was going to put my fall plants in.

I happened to be at Lowe's with time to kill and hit the gardening section, where I was promptly disappointed by the lack of creative fall offerings. There were mums. And....mums. And....wait, wait....mums.

For someone who was craving some ornamental cabbage, maybe a few fall grasses, and such, it was a letdown.

Nonetheless, I rebounded, and even did something that for me (the person who likes THINGS TO MATCH!) was way crazy.

I picked twenty small mum plants off a buy-one-get one shelf with absolutely NO color indication. The photos ranged from pinks to yellows to reds and oranges and purples. I even went so far as to deliberately pick plants off different shelves and from different pre-packaged flats. I was determined to have a colorful splash out front, if only to make up for the hideousness that is the rest of the yard.

So I eagerly went home, planted all my mums, watered dilligently, and waited for the first signs of color.

This weekend, they began to bloom.

They are ALL YELLOW.

Every. Single. One.

Friends, I swear, I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Scene In Which The New AT&T Commercial Is Exactly What's Wrong With People.

It's a bold assertment, to be sure. But really, how can this NOT be indicative of how our society is heading down a thorny path of bratty behavior, requiring instant gratification to be "happy?"

The commercial centers around a guy named Steve. Steve has gone out for a long bike ride on a beautiful day.

On his long bike ride Steve starts to get worried. What if someone is trying to reach him with better plans for the day? What if one of his friends gets concert tickets? What if he's missing out on something cooler to do?

Luckily Steve has AT&T! So he ducks into the nearest coffee shop and checks in via his laptop. He is relieved to find out he isn't missing out on anything and can now thankfully finish his ride in peace.

Steve? Sucks.

Seriously, folks! When did we come up with this theory that it is unacceptable to simply enjoy an activity that WE HAVE CHOSEN TO DO?

Why is it hard to imagine that, on a beautiful day, Steve has chosen to simply take a bike ride- choosing to forego other opportunities that may have come along? Besides, what if those opportunities don't come via social networking or mobile devices? Sure, Steve's friend could call his mobile phone, but what if he JUST STOPS BY THE HOUSE?? Can we ever leave the little bubbles we've created knowing that we might miss out on something if we do??

Secondly, WHY must we be tethered by these little beepy things constantly? Sure, I'm as bad as the next person about getting on Facebook while I'm at my computer or being sure to take my cell phone with me when I leave for the day, but really Steve? A LAPTOP ON A BIKE RIDE? If the whole point is to get out and enjoy the beautiful day, here's a radical thought- GET OUT and ENJOY the beautiful day!

And finally, the idea that only when he's been assured he's chosen the best option can he truly enjoy it? Really, Steve? Can you imagine the horror he must face every day having to constantly ask whether he can be happy with something when there is a possibility that there is SOMETHING! MORE! OUT THERE! Even choosing a muffin at that Starbucks he was forced to stop in so that he could check his precious messages becomes an issue. Maybe he wants blueberry. Maybe he wants raspberry. But maybe he even wants a pumpkin scone! And it's the last one! And if he orders it they are going to bring out a tray of something else and maybe he'll want THAT MORE!

I rant, yes.

But I rant because the first time I heard this commercial I was taken aback. And the second time I heard it I started to get alarmed. And the third time I heard it I started wanting to punch Steve and tell him to grow a pair.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm off to take a bike ride. And celebrate switching to Brighthouse.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Well readers, it's our fourth Not Me! Monday and I've got a bit of a dilemma. Because I took forever to get on the Not Me! train, the train has in fact left the station. As in, MckMama's moved on from the idea for awhile, and since it was kind of a group-blogging-thing to do, I feel weird stil doing it when, ummm, no one else is.

Not that that's ever stopped me from doing anything before.

See "perm," circa 1995.

See "bangs," circa 1986.

So I need some feedback. If you're reading, do you enjoy the Not Me! Mondays? Want to see them continue, albeit without the nifty logo? Don't care? Weigh in!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Scene In Which My Dog Has Developed A Potty Mouth

Has this happened to anyone else?!?!

Finnigan The Blind, my absolutely fantastic, lovable, sweet little rescue pup who has been with me for three years (count 'em, THREE YEARS. THIRTY SIX MONTHS) and has never, ever, ever, EVER done anything like this, has suddenly developed a potty mouth.

More specifically?

His new favorite water bowl is my downstairs toilet (NEVER before. EVER.) and, worse, he has developed an innate ability to ferret out and EAT! CAT! SHIT! from the feral cat who counts our house as one of her roaming sites.

So lately, the peaceful silence around my house has been broken with phrases like this, which I actually just said to the little beast a minute ago when he tried to kiss up to me on the couch after a feast of cat about 20 minutes ago: "Don't even think about kissing me with that cat-shit mouth, buster brown."

Help!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Scene In Which I Have Possibly Found The Cure For Cancer. In My Fridge.

With summer coming to an end, the last few weeks had been pretty busy at the condo. As a result, the refridgerator hadn't been getting its normal level of attention - the kind that comes when you are home regularly and eat the food you've purchased and consume the leftovers that are lurking inside and generally keep things clean.

But Younger Brother and I have been traveling a bit, and I've been slammed with end-of-summer weddings and have been eating via the grab-and-go method, and in general, the fridge just needed a little attention.

Especially because....(cue Jaws theme).....there were......FOIL WRAPPED ITEMS.

Lurking.

Any person who has ever cleaned a fridge out knows foil wrapped items are the worst. Tupperware is the best. With Tupperware, you can at least see what you're getting into when you discover the leftover taco meet from two weeks ago or the other half of a now dessicated can of chicken noodle soup. You can even make the enlightened decision, as I've been known to do a few times, of chucking the entire Tupperware container into the trash without the benefit of opening the lid and debating, via smell, whether the container is salvageable or not. But foil, now, well, foil's another story. And mysterious foil-wrapped packages are the worst. And here's the thing about them- at least for me - you Can't! Not! Open! Them!

It's just not possible!

I've GOT to know what it is I'm throwing away! After all, I could be mistakenly throwing away something that was wrapped in foil only yesterday. It could be a brownie or two! It could be CHEESE!

Or it could be something that perhaps once was meat that I'm pretty sure my brother cooked for dinner a week ago. Ew.

It might even be the cure for cancer.

Though unlikely. But I'll check.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Scene In Which The Hair Dryer Dies

This week marked a sad moment at my house as we laid a dear friend to rest.

My hair dryer.

Dramatic? Yes. But seriously, ladies, you know how it is, right? One minute you're happily humming along to whatever song's playing in your head as you point that piece of heated plastic at your scalp, and the next, the device that's given you confidence and style for the past two years starts starts making The Death Noise.

nnnnnnnnnnrrrrrrrrrrrrr (regular noise)nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnrrrrrrrrrrrrr.............. (spark spark spark spark)NRNRNRkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk kkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappppbbbt.

Guys? You with me? It's kind of like an Indy Car that gets a flat one lap from winning it all but still miiiiiiight pull it off and yet you're torn- because you're cheering like hell for the little guy to putter it over the finish line to glory BUT you're also keenly aware of the fact that sooner or later, homeboy's gonna burst into flames.

So yes. It was a sad day when we laid Ol' Dryer to rest. And composed this ditty in its honor.

sing it with me (to the tune of American Pie)

So bye bye, Turbo one-eight-seven-fiiive
Had a good run while it lasted but now my hair you don't dry
And when I turned you on and scary sparks they did fly
I knew today it'd be to Target I driiiiive.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

It's another Not Me! Monday and boy, has it been a week for it...though I am super impressed by myself that I have my post ready to go at 8 AM! Woohoo for getting into the method of writing things down as they happen instead of trying to remember them all when I actually get a chance to sit down and compose a post.

This week, I definitely did NOT lock myself out of my house by breaking my key off in the door. Nope, not me!

After NOT doing that, I did NOT go to my hair appointment (with greasy hair) only to find I'd scheduled wrong. Upon learning that I definitely did NOT have to beg another stylist to wash my hair for me, since I was locked out of my house. Nope, not me!

On Friday night, my friend definitely did NOT open his door to find me standing on his porch, leaning forward, and frantically trying to shake/swipe a bug out of my, um, chest area. Nope! Because really, WHAT are the odds that at the exact second I'm carrying a heavy vase of flowers up the stairs to someone's house a bug is going to land on me, and really, WHAT are the odds that the same bug is going to fall down my shirt?

And what did YOU not do this week??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Scene In Which I Do Not Have The Day I'd Planned

Today, I had one of those days that just kind of turns out to be a clusterf***.

You know, the kind where you wake up late with greasy hair 'cause you didn't wash it yesterday 'cause you're getting it cut today.

Lock yourself out of your house 'cause your key breaks in the door as you're trying to pull it out (needless to say, this happens while in "locked" mode, not "unlocked," 'cause that would be easy.)

Get to your appointment and wind up not getting a haircut 'cause you wrote the wrong day on your calendar and your stylist is on vacation.

Beg a random stylist to wash your hair 'cause it's a greasy mop and now you're not sure how many meetings and things you're going to have to attend today in your shorts and t-shirt 'cause you're locked out of your house.

Blow dry and style your own hair even though you're at a salon 'cause if one thing goes right today, it's gonna be that you don't look like crap.

Realize you've got to call your afternoon meeting and reschedule 'cause your files are locked in your house which you are locked out of.

Realize you've got to call someone else to get the number of your afternoon meeting 'cause the number is locked in your house which you are locked out of.

Realize you've got to call a third person to get the number of someone else to get the number of your afternoon meeting 'cause the number is locked in your house which you are locked out of.

Make said calls.

Get excited about being able to run errands instead of having a meeting because you really need to return a few things which are, oh yeah, locked in your house which you are locked out of.

Get excited about having the time to shoot some photos for a meeting that you need to do and you just need to grab your camera which is, oh yeah, locked in your house which you are locked out of.

Get excited about getting some much needed work done except that you just need your laptop and it is, oh yeah, locked in your house which you are locked out of.

Go to Lowe's and buy a new lock 'cause you know you're going to need one 'cause you've needed one every other time this has happened and you're going to be all AHEAD OF THE GAME this time.

Get home and meet the lock guy who is able to fix the lock without using the new lock you've just purchased at Lowe's 'cause he's just better than all the other locksmiths that have been summoned in the past.

And this is why my blog is called "That Wasn't In The Script." Because sometimes, friends, IT JUST WASN'T.

But at least I have nice hair.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Scene In Which I Have Spent $23. On Something.

Earlier this week I got my credit card statement, and like most months, gave it a quick perusal to be sure nothing was out of the ordinary. Sure enough, it all seemed legit- a couple tanks of gas, a few (or four...or seven...or eleven) trips to Starbucks, some purchases at Lowe's, and of course, the $23 I'd spent at the "Family Name's Feed and Mercantile" in Some Town You've Never Heard Of, Indiana.

Whaaaaa?

I racked my brain.

I rifled my reciepts.

I tried to remember WHAT I could have POSSIBLY spent $23 on at a FEED STORE somewhere in East Jesus, Indiana.

And I couldn't.

So I called my credit card company and spent about five minutes on the phone explaining to the nice young man that, in fact, I had not spent $23 on something at a Feed Store.

And then I got on with my life quite nicely until today, when I went to grab a few things out of my purse so that I could put them in another purse.

And felt the crinkle of a shoved-down reciept.

For $23.

To the Feed and Mercantile.

Whaaaaaa?

I racked my brain.

I rifled my (now found) reciept.

I tried to remember WHAT I could have POSSIBLY spent $23 on at the FEED STORE somewhere in East Jesus, Indiana.

And I couldn't.

So I called my credit card company and spent about 5 minutes on the phone explaining to the nice young woman that, in fact, I had spent $23 on something at a Feed Store.

But, hand to God, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Scene In Which I Ruin The Cashier's Day

Today I was out and about running several errands on the northside, and though I was still a bit far from home, stopped at a Kroger up there to pick up a few items.

(Side note: HOLY HELL, are northside groceries nice!)

I grabbed the couple items I needed and proceeded to the checkout, where I chose the "5 to 15 ITEMS" line because I had 6 items, thankyouverymuch, and didn't want to wait in the "UNDER 5 ITEMS" line or the "ALL OTHER ITEMS" line.

And met "A," the cashier. (Names have been shortened to protect the innocent.)

Who, I now feel, may have been strategically placed in the 5 to 15 item line. Because his pace reaaaaally wasn't fast enough to placate someone with only 1 or 2 items and, forced into the large-item-load line, might have spontaneously combusted with indignation. There was a liiiitle bit of an OCD thing going on.

At any rate, after uttering a string of phrases that I could only assume related to paper versus plastic bags (though possibly not, since unable to understand I just said "Paper!" to his inquiry, and wound up with plastic), he asked, "Kroger card?"

"No, actually, I don't have one." I replied.

Which is strange, because being that it's one of the larger grocery chains in the city (including one literally within walking distance of my house) so you'd think I'd be able to produce one from the depths of my purse.

However.

What you've got to take into effect here is that my closest Kroger hasn't earned the nickname Kroghetto on it's own. No, friends, it's taken YEARS of sad neglect to accomplish this mean feat. I'm not even kidding, there aren't words to describe the depression of shopping there. I literally get in my car, drive PAST it, and go to another grocery store 10 minutes away for groceries.

Lest you think I'm dramatic, I challenge you to come down here and shop here, holes in the floor and all. And deal with interactions like this one, circa 2007 or so:

Me to Employee: "Hi. Do you have citronella candles?"
Employee: "What are those?"
Me: "They're larger candles to burn outside....they keep bugs away?"
Employee: .......
Me: (Seriously??) "They're probably by the bugspray? If you have that?"
Employee: "Well, I don't KNOW if we have them, but if we do, then yeah, they'd probably be by the bugspray."
Me: (Wow. You don't say.) "And where's that?"
Employee: "By the seasonal stuff."
Me: (annnnnnd that would be where......?)"Ok....."
Employee: "You're welcome!"

Given this level of customer service it's rather unsurprising that I choose to shop elsewhere, and that I haven't been offered a card when I've stated that I didn't have one during checkout. IN FIVE YEARS.

So you can imagine my level of shock when A stopped what he was doing, secured me a card, scanned it,and handed it over.

I was elated!

Until he handed me the registration form to fill out.

Which I don't like to do.

Because, I mean, COME ON. I hate these things. You'd think it would be enough to know that I prefer to buy organic bananas over any others. That I am bizarrely fond of Asian Sensations General Tso's frozen chicken. That I buy milk nearly every time I'm at the store but rarely buy cereal (oh my god, what does she use it for? she never buys cereal!). That I have a fondness for mild cheddar cheese and that I have not purchased a caffienated drink since October BUT NO, THEY ALSO WANT TO KNOW WHERE I LIVE.

Well, tough.

So I filled out my first name and last initial, and my zip code. Because I'm not above giving the folks what they need for demographic research, I just don't want my mailbox filled with junk.

A took this as a personal affront to his kind gift of a card.

"Can you fill out your address please," he requested.

"No thanks. Not if it's not absolutely required for a card," I said, reasonably I thought- especially as I KNOW it's not required, it's just PREFERRED, so that the store and/or their "affiliates" can track my information and use it to back up studies of why we should increase the amount of cage-free eggs at my local store because many people in my age range that live there buy them. And then send me mail regarding the fact that they have them. And coupons. And mail about other unrelated products.

Unfortunately, this may have triggered the OCD a bit for A. Because, I'm sure, the employees are trained to do everything they can to GATHER! THAT! INFORMATION!

"Can you JUST FILL IT OUT?" he asked, growing agitated.

"Nope, I really don't like to. Is it required?"

"LOOK," he said, "WE DON'T SELL IT, OKAY? JUST WRITE IT DOWN."

"Thanks, but I'm fine with this the way it is."

"FINE," he relented. "BUT PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER."

"It really won't help anything," I said (because I do have a number that I give out that's not actually a number I use.) "It's not tied to an address, and I don't have a phone extension hooked up to it."

"WE DON'T SELL YOUR NUMBER!" he practially spewed. "JUST WRITE IT!"

"Yes, but I'm just not going to do that. You can have the card back."

"IT DOESN'T MATTER!" he said....though to what, I don't know.

Muttering what I can only assume were curses under his breath, he snatched the card out of my hand and made a dramatic show of crumpling it and tossing it into the trash at his feet.

And that's the story of how I'm pretty sure I ruined A's day.

But I did save $1.98.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Each week tons (well, tens) of people gather over at MckMama's blog to share what they have- or haven't-done that week. And because no one is perfect, least of all me, here's mine!

I definitely did NOT forget to write a Not Me! Monday post last week after being all hyped up to finally do one the week before. Nope, not me! I always follow through with everything I start.

And because I definitely did not forget that post, I also definitely did not spend five minutes in the shower this morning racking my brain for something funny I did not do last week.

After that I definitely did not realize that I had completely neglected to pick up vases from one of my weekend wedding venues on Sunday...

....only to get over to the venue today and discover that I definitely, absolutely, positively had not forgotten that the bride's family was going to take charge of that task. Nope, not me! I always remember little details like that and save myself from going an hour out of my way.

Finally, I did not make a list of at least three good blog posts over the past week, including FINALLY posting renovation photos, and then not get around to posting any of them.

And you? What did you not do this week?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

One of the things I've always loved about the blogs I read is this little thing called "Not Me! Monday," started by the hilarious and insightful mother of 5 known as MckMama (how she manages to be this funny or write this often on top of having 5 kids I do NOT know, especially when I can't even muster a daily post.)

I always catch the "Not Me!" post on Tuesdays, upon which I always think "Darn! I'm going to catch that next week."

For A YEAR NOW.

So, with that in mind, when I realized I was on MckMama's blog and it was STILL MONDAY! I had to jump on the chance to write my own Not Me! post.

Here goes!

This past week, I definitely did not use the fact that the bathrooms are currently being remodeled as an excuse for not cleaning the house. Nope, not me! I definitely clean up every day, especially when the house is getting daily doses of sawdust.

On Friday, I definitely did not eat my weight in State Fair food and swear to burn the calories off the next day cleaning the house......and on Saturday, I definitely did not forego cleaning the house to have a casual day with Cute Boy playing scrabble and drinking Saturday afternoon wine coolers.

Finally, today, I definitely did not oversleep and not shower before the contractors showed up, and when I discovered that they had turned the water off to the house, definitely did not simply spray some perfume on and forego showering before heading out for a lunch meeting. Nope, not me, and certainly not in the midst of this lovely heat wave!

What about you? What did you NOT do this week? Link up over at MckMama's!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Scene In Which The Shower Is Done! (aka Renovations Day 10)

The shower is done! The shower is done!

Yesterday (Day 1o) Eric and Eric came to install the final touches- the shower and tub fixtures! (Aren't they pretty? Major kudos to Cute Boy on these! I had never liked this finish, but now I LOVE IT!)


So without further ado, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere it is!


For those of you who have never lived in a historic home, you may not notice the tiniest detail, but those who have will notice the placement of the shower head! Which you can now stand under! Without craning your neck at ungodly angles! OMG!

Oh the simple pleasures.

Detail of the tile pattern on the back wall:

After Eric and Eric finished, Jason and Avery loaned me the power drill (I think they were skeptical at first but then gracious once I told them mine was just at the store.....and I had actually successfully used one before!) and I put up my cool "curved bar" shower curtain rod (making the tub even wider when showering!) and two matching towel hooks on each side. Yes, the hooks are deliberately off-set so that one is about two inches lower on the wall than the other. Aesthetics. Definitely aesthetics. Definitely not the fact that I knew I'd never get those suckers evenly lined up.

The final result!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Scene In Which This Is Starting To Get Complicated (aka Renovations Day 9)

A shopping list.

Kitchen sink, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, one more towel hook for the upstairs bath.

"Ok, here is the can light I bought for the downstairs bath above the toilet."
"Yeah, that's not going to work, it's too deep."

A shopping list.

Return can light. Kitchen sink, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, one more towel hook for the upstairs bath, new light for the downstairs bath above the toilet.

"So, here are the lights I purchased for the upstairs bath and the kitchen."
"Yeah, these will work for the kitchen, but not for the upstairs bath."

A shopping list.

Return can light. Return upstairs bath light. Kitchen sink, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, one more towel hook for the upstairs bath, new light for the downstairs bath above the toilet, light fixture for the upstairs bath.

"Then, what I was thinking we could do is use the light from the upstairs bath for the downstairs bath over the sink and use the faucet from the upstairs vanity for the downstairs vanity."
"That should work."
"That won't work."
"Why not?"
"The downstairs bath takes a single-hole faucet and this one's a double."
"Ok. Will the light work?"
"Yep."

A shopping list.

Return can light. Return upstairs bathroom light. Kitchen sink, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, one more towel hook for the upstairs bath, new light for the downstairs bath above the toilet, light fixture for the upstairs bath, single-hole faucet for the downstairs bath.

"Here's the light I got for the kitchen."
"That works. We'll take this one down."
"Hey, would that one work in the bathroom over the toilet?"
"Yep."

A shopping list.

Return can light. Return upstairs bathroom light. Kitchen sink, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, one more towel hook for the upstairs bath, new light for the downstairs bath above the toilet, light fixture for the upstairs bath, single-hole faucet for the downstairs bath.

"This new kitchen light looks really nice. Where are the bulbs?"
"I have some upstairs. It takes regular ones, right?"
"Um, no."

A shopping list.

Return can light. Return upstairs bathroom light. Kitchen sink, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, one more towel hook for the upstairs bath, new light for the downstairs bath above the toilet, light fixture for the upstairs bath, single-hole faucet for the downstairs bath, fancy new lightbulbs for the kitchen.

"By the way, you're going to need to touch up the ceiling paint in the upstairs bath since we'll have to put some putty over a couple areas. Also there's going to be some touchups needed to this wall paint (unspoken: this 5-year-old, ugly somewhat yellowed-white wall paint)."
"So really I just need to paint in here."
"Well....yeah."

A shopping list.

Return can light. Return upstairs bathroom light. Kitchen sink, kitchen faucet, dishwasher, one more towel hook for the upstairs bath, new light for the downstairs bath above the toilet , light fixture for the upstairs bath, single-hole faucet for the downstairs bath, fancy new lightbulbs for the kitchen, paint.

A shopping list.

Lottery Ticket.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Scene In Which I Interrupt These Renovation Updates To Make Fun Of Myself

I realized a few moments ago that I hadn't given you all a fun, old-fashioned, let's-laugh-at-Becky-as-she-does-stupid-things story in awhile.

I may or may not have realized this as I was standing in my front yard watering my porch plants and getting soaked from head to toe in the water that was spraying every which way out of my (previously unrealized) somewhat non-correctly-secured garden hose.

Wearing a white shirt. You know, the kind you can see through when it's wet.

And linen khaki shorts. You know, the kind you can see through when it's wet.

And, ahem, certain undergarments that were perhaaaaaaaps not either of those colors.

I'm not sure what was funnier (and I mean this in a funny but yet slightly sadly pathetic way):

1) that I actually didn't care much because OH, MYLANTA it is hot out there

2) that I actually didn't care much because most of my neighbors could care less about seeing me in see-through garb

3)that I actually didn't care much because most of my neighbors are used to seeing me in see-though garb (thankfully, not true, though anyone around at 7 AM usually gets a peek at whatever I threw on to walk the dog in the morning....regardless of color, pattern, normal purpose of the clothing, or time of year.)

4)that I actually didn't care much because I couldn't wait to get inside and post the story for you all to laugh at.

The worst part? The only reason I was watering at this particular moment was so that all the little birds could get some water from the planters. What's up with me and the birds this summer?!?

The Scene In Which I Am Starting To Smell (aka Renovations Day 4, 5, 6 and 7)

Hey renovation fans! Sorry to leave you hanging over the weekend as I ignored the massive mess in my house and drove off to Toronto for a wedding.

As for the title of the post, fear not: I AM, in fact, showering elsewhere for the duration of my own shower being ripped apart.

At any rate, Day 4, 5 and 6 brought a lot of slow, steady process as the flooring was laid in the upstairs bathroom, then partially grouted over the weekend, and the downstairs was grouted as well.
My front porch was also turned into a makeshift workbench, complete with wet saw for tile. Pretty sure my neighbors thought this was the coolest part :)




Today (Day 8) Eric from Jensen Tile is finishing up the grout upstairs and then the tile guys are DONE! New fixtures also go in today, as well as the upstairs toilet being hooked back up. With any luck, we'll have two functioning toilets, one functioning shower, and one functioning sink (kitchen) before the end of the day.

Tomorrow Jeff and Jason from M-Wood come to assess all the work and set a timeline over the next couple days for the odds and ends they are doing- changing out some of the vanity fixtures, installing the new downstairs vanity, changing out light fixtures, etc. I'm VERY excited to see the new wood trim for my bathroom, as it was the only place in my entire historic home where the trim had been painted over the original color. (Though I'm luckier than a lot of my neighbors in that regard!) They'll also be doing some work in my kitchen- namely, installing a new dishwasher and sink for me!

With that, I am off to purchase said kitchen updates.....and I'll be posting more photos of the FINISHED SHOWER later!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Scene In Which I Am Out Of Title Ideas (aka Renovations Day 3)

Can you guess what THIS is?


If you guessed "my awesome new shower," you'd be right! But you'll have to wait for at least one more day to see the end result, 'cause it's not quiiiiiiiiite finished yet.

Since we're on the topic, though, have I mentioned how much I LOVE JENSEN TILE OMG?

Because I do.

I also LOVE M-WOOD CORPORATION OMG.

Because you asked.

And since you asked, here's the story of how I came to know and love both these companies.

Awhile back (like 5 years ago when I moved in) I knew I'd eventually renovate the 1.5 bathrooms in my condo. As the years passed I'd get around to a place where I had the time and cash to do so, and inevitably, something else would crop up on the priority list....big time.

Stuff like ceilings falling in.

Anyway.

I finally came to the point where I was ready to have the bathrooms done and called in Jeff Morgan from M-Wood Corporation. Being that he's the husband of a Butler pal, and has done amazing work for his own home and other clients, he was a natural choice. Over several drafts of design plans and estimates, we crafted a solution that combined total renovation with the ability to save some cost by doing the materials search-and-purchase myself.

Since Jeff's talents lie largely in the woodworking arena, he often brings in Eric Jensen with Jensen Tile to do that aspect of it. Several weeks ago, both of these guys as well as a couple members of the crew came over for a walk-through of the project and a brainstorming session- which I can't rave about enough. I had a fantastic time plotting out some of the ideas I'd had for the shower and bouncing ideas off the two professionals, who (as you'd expect) contributed some amazing thoughts as well. Given the materials I'd already purchased, they came up with a basic design.

Before Eric started this week, I laid the tile out on the floor of the living room and played around with the area that would be the mosaic center of the shower- and as soon as Eric walked in on the first day, he got right down on the floor and started checking out all the ideas! With his knowledge and expertise, we came up with a great design- and I loved that I was able to really see what I'd be getting on my wall. That especially allowed me to trust his judgement on other tile decisions.

AND I'M SO GLAD I DID.

Can't wait to share more photos with you tomorrow!

The Scene In Which They Are Making Progress (aka Renovations Day 2)

Sorry for the lack of update yesterday, but by the time I got back from a 2 1/2 hour trip to Lowe's - and because of the stomachache induced by the mid-trip dinner at China Buffet - I lacked the energy to do an update.

However, energy is one thing Eric, Eric, Josh and Josh have NOT lacked over the last few days! Yesterday (Day 2) they created and installed a new subfloor in the upstairs bathroom and completely built the shower.


Photo!


Today (Day 3) I'm told exciting things are in the works- and because I haven't left for the day yet, I know it's true! Fingers crossed, today the entire downstairs bathroom will be ripped out (they're already half done) and re-tiled, with the toilet installed. Also today, tiling will commence (and possibly finish) in the upstairs shower, and well as getting started on the floor. Eric and I have been working with a couple shower layout designs that include some cool mosaic tile I found, and I think we've hit on a neat solution. No sneak peeks though- just the real thing, hopefully today or tomorrow!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Scene In Which The Floors Are Sloped (Aka Renovations Day 1)

Day 1 is complete as Eric, Eric, Josh and Josh (nope, not kidding) have finished the tear-out of the upstairs bath.

While I'm happy to report the tile came out easily (money-saver) I'm less thrilled to report that they discovered the floor actually has a gradual slope to it. And by "gradual slope" I mean there is a difference of nearly two inches between the door and the wall 6 feet away. So we'll have to fix that (money-sucker).

I've been waiting to purchase the "little things"- shower fixtures, lights, dishwasher, sink - until the biggest part of the tear-out was done and I knew how much it was going to cost (not knowing what was under the floor, we faced a range that spanned almost $1000 dollars!) With that in mind, I have an A-, B-, and C-list of the things I'd like, and it looks like we'll be going with the B-list items in order to make up some of the cost that will go into fixing the floor, now. Luckily, there are still some good deals to be had and I'm off to get them!

Photos!

The Scene In Which The 1930s Leave The Building (aka Renovations Day 1)

Contrary to many home improvements that I've made over the years here at my historic condo (built in 1890, renovated in 1980, and worked on ever since), THIS week's projects have actually been in the works for several months.

Unlike the replacement of both furnaces, the time my kitchen ceiling fell in, the leaky skylight, the leaky roof, or the cat-attacked third floor carpeting, THIS project I actually WANTED to do, PLANNED to do, SAVED to do, and had a TIMELINE to do.

For this place? That's pretty unheard of.

Oh, you want to know what we're doing? Crazy!

(drumroll please)......this week, BOTH BATHROOMS are being completely torn out and re-done, as well as a couple other miscellaneous finishing tasks around the house!!

Our list includes:

1) Installation of a new kitchen sink that matches the appliances and decor better (changing from a silver sink in a white-and-wood kitchen to a raised-edge ceramic farm-sink-esque look)

2) Installation of a new dishwasher that (wait for it, waaaaaait for it...) WORKS.

3) Installation of a new piece of trim around the step-up kitchen, which has been 5 years in the making after the dudes from Lowe's just put the old, non-matching-but-already-cut-and-we-don't-care piece back up after redoing my kitchen before I moved in.

4)Installation of a new light in the kitchen- an item that was added this morning after the demo in the room above caused the bulbs to, um....fall and shatter. Which became the final straw for a fixture I didn't install and have never loved, whose bulbs cost me $10 to replace. Gone.

5) COMPLETE RENOVATION of the downstairs bath, including:
- Ripping out the ugly built-in fiberboard vanity
- Ripping out the cute, but dated and nonmatching to the rest of the house, 1930s blue tile
- Ripping out the 1980s built-in fluorescent tube lighting. No, I am not kidding.
- Repairing the rotted subflooring (the impetus, in fact, for this room getting redone)
- Laying down new ceramic tile
- Installing new light fixtures
- Installing a new freestanding wooden sink unit with awesome ceramic bowl
- Painting over the paint job I did when I moved in back in 2005 (this is my DIY for the space)

6) COMPLETE RENOVATION of the upstairs bath, including:
- Ripping out the cute but dated 1930s tile
- Ripping out the ugly AND dated 1980s shower, which was conveniently tiled OVER the 1930s tile for extra work. Rock on, 1980s contractors.
- Removing the trim in the bathroom, which was/is the ONLY location in the house where the previous owners painted the historic trim white (Thankfully). This trim will be stripped and re-done to match the wooden trim in the rest of the house.
- Completely re-tiling my floor with two sizes of ceramic tile in a pinwheel pattern
- Adding four posts to the shower's corners
- Completely re-tiling the shower, including the addition of three built-in shelves, and some awesome mosaic work.

I am so excited to see this all come together!! More updates to follow!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Scene In Which I Am Cool FAIL.

For some reason totally unbeknownst to me, the word FAIL has crept into my vocabulary over the past week. And not fail as in the "not achieving something" definition, but as in FAIL, "the ironic use of the word to indicate a situation in which you did not WIN."

You know, FAIL. That thing that was like, totally popular to say.....five months ago.

I caught myself using it to describe "not taking a photo with ratface FAIL" and "using the flash properly FAIL" when captioning photos on Facebook this weekend.

I also just used it in a status update, but to be honest, when the topic of your FAIL is a five-gallon bucket of paint cracking open in your car, it's ok to use no matter how long ago it was popular.

I may or may not have used it in an actual, human conversation yesterday. FAIL.

I'm totally behind the times. FAIL.

I just thought you'd like to know. In case, you know, you were under the impression I was like, totally rad or something. ('90s Valley Girl reference? No? Still uncool?)

The Scene In Which I Review Things (Pillsbury Brownie Minis Edition)

Occasionally I have the opportunity to try new things, and as you'd expect, more often than not I have an opinion about those things. This would be one of those times.

I've been trying to be a little more cost-conscious lately, so when I saw a coupon for Pillsbury's new "Brownie Minis" I thought, well heck. Why not.

I finally got around to making them today, since I am (ahem, ahem) actually cooking dinner tonight and figured they'd be yummy to have for dessert.

With that, here's the Pros and Cons of Brownie Minis.

PRO: Two recyclable trays are included to make the brownies in.
CON: Two unreuseable, plastic, wasteful trays are included to make the brownies in.

PRO: Recyclable trays lessen clean up time.
CON: They recommend you put a tray underneath to catch drips, which you still have to wash.

PRO: You don't need to add eggs, just water.
CON: That means there's some kind of synthetic egg crap in them. Gross.

PRO: You can lick the bowl since there aren't any fresh eggs in them.
CON: You can't lick the bowl...unless you're willing to forfeit 1/12 of the mix.

PRO: You can make only half a batch at once.
CON: WHO THE HELL makes only half a batch at once?

PRO: They're neatly divided into 12 individual servings, and if you only eat 2, it's only 150 calories!
CON: WHO THE HELL only eats two??

PRO: With a coupon, they cost less than regular brownie mix.
CON: With or without a coupon, they produce less than regular brownie mix.

PRO: They cook in half the time of regular brownies.
CON: There's really no con to that. But seriously, who cares about the extra 10 minutes? Are you THAT desperate for brownies?

My verdict? Skip the minis, buy a regular mix, and use a reuseable mini-cupcake pan to bake them if you want the individual sizes. Better overall for your wallet and your world. Plus, FTW, the clean-up time you'll have burns calories, which means you can eat more brownies!

This review was unsolicited and uncompensated. Pillsbury definitely did not request that I try or talk about this product. KThanksBye.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Scene In Which I -Heart- Canada.

We're back! (And by back I mean REALLY back....because I forgot to post this last week after saving it!)

Thanks to the falling of 4th of July over a weekend this year (read: no weddings for Becky, extra vacation days for Cute Boy) we were able to take off for a vacation to Canada, where Cute Boy hails from.

And I -heart- Canada.

We stopped in Detroit for an evening to see my cousin, her husband, and her two cuties B & E. Speaking of things I heart? Those kids.

In preparation for our trip, I'd gone to Nuture to pick out baby gifts for her two kiddos, as well as two little girls we'd be visiting in Canada.

Because I don't have kids, I kind of forgot that clothes aren't the most exciting gifts to recieve when you're 3....especially when you're a boy.

After recovering from the nearly-tearful letdown, we managed to scarf some yummy pancakes together before Cute Boy and I headed out to drive the rest of the way to Toronto.

Apparently in Canada they celebrate this wacky thing called Canada Day. It's three days before our Independence Day and basically celebrates the same thing with the lighting of lots of fireworks.

Which, since you asked, we got to watch from the 23rd floor patio of Cute Boy's good friends who dwell in downtown Toronto. Heart their condo. Heart their friendship.

Speaking of things I heart, small-towns-that-you-can-nearly-miss rank right up there in fondness for vacation places, so I was pretty happy the next day when we hit the St. Lawrence Market for some excellent provisions, loaded up the car, and headed up to Apsley, a blink-and-ya-missed-it town northeast of Toronto.

Anyplace with driving directions that include "when you get off the highway, keep going until you turn at the Coffee Time" is pretty much awesome with me.

We spent a yummy weekend basking in the sun and lake at Cute Boy's aunt's cottage, hanging out with several of his uncles and five of his teen-ish aged boy cousins. Heart. Heart them tons. Had a blast getting to be surrounded by all that energy all weekend. (Seriously? These kids have endless energy.Possibly fueled by their ability to ingest entire refridgerators worth of food in single gulps.)

Beyond boating, breaking tubes (ahem...ask Cute Boy about that), and grilling lots of yummy things to eat, we also achieved such milestones as 1)learning how to turn on water 2)learning how to start a boat 3)learning how to lock and unlock doors.

It was a big weekend.

Heading back on Monday, we chilled in Toronto another night before heading out to the 'burbs to "Nine & Dine" (golf & eat) with friends there and stay with Cute Boy's uncle and aunt for the night. Because we're awesome like that, it was the hottest day of the year in Toronto. Great day to golf :)

All in all, an awesome vacation!! Thanks everyone who hosted us!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Scene In Which We Have One Year, Interns, Cute Puppies and Other Shiny Things

I meant to write a witty introductory motif this morning, but I'm too distracted by the cuteness of Cute Boy, who is stomping around on an air matress "deflating" it.

So far it's not working.

It is, however, amusing our friends' 3-month old Goldendoodle puppy Marty, or, as I prefer to call him, "the cutiest squishiest smooshiest teddy bear puppy baby EVER!"

He's yipping and play-bowing to a sweatshirt right now. Be still my heart.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need to have a Goldendoodle at some point.

At any rate, I've been feeling a bit neglectful of the poor blog lately, but for good reason- business has been busy!! Last weekend brought three weddings for the flower biz, and thankfully my mom came in to help me and my intern out.

What's that? Did I say intern? OH YES I DID.

Because I have one.

And she rocks. She's super creative, a fast learner, and absolutely the best first employee I've ever hired. I'm going to cry when she leaves me to go back to high school in the fall but I'm really hoping I'll get to keep her on some Saturdays since she lives nearby. If you want to check out a project aside from flowers she recently helped with, check out Becky Gets Crafty! (It'll be the aprons, when I get around to posting them.)

Speaking of the biz, big milestones there! In June we hit our official "Becky has been self-employed for ONE WHOLE YEAR" mark- woohoo! The studio is nearly finished and we've got a grand opening coming up in about two weeks.

Also celebrating a year last week was.....drumroll please.....me and Cute Boy! It's hard to believe that it has been a year since that cute guy who lived in the condo behind me informed me (not asked, informed) that I was going to a concert with him and some friends....and that the rest would turn out to be history. Speaking of things cutesy and smooshy, we had an awesome one-year dinner at Dunaways, where minus a few cocktail drinkers at one point, we had the entire rooftop to ourselves. Score one for Wednesday anniversaries and impending thunderstorms!

And now we're hanging with some friends, celebrating Canada Day today and getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July this weekend...more blogs to follow later about our trip!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Scene In Which Jane Has An (Everlasting) Heart Condition

Meet Jane.

Jane's got a dream. She's got ambition. She's got "that thing" you can't help falling in love with.

Which brings us to another thing Jane's got.

A heart condition...one that many of you are probably familiar with.

Love.

And Jane? She fell hard.

She wrote about the experience and let me take a sneak peek into one of her diaries. This entry, from 2009, was written shortly after Jane moved to the Big City of Chicago.

-------------------------------

October 15th, 2009

OKAY! So I have officially living away from everything I've ever known and loved for exactly 2 months 5 days and 4 hours...something like that! I am finding myself to be someone that I don't recognize anymore, sort of. Does that make sense?

My roommates Becky* and Les are great, well I don't see Becky that much but Les is one of the best friends I've got here. He is amazing! The other day he was making me breakfast, which was awesome by the way, he was saying something and I just remember getting lost in what he was saying all I could see was (prepare yourself for some awesome cheesiness) his giant smile! Seriously he just.....just...he brings me to a loss! He is one of those people that walks into a room and makes that room just a little more enjoyable to be in. When he's not home all I wonder if or when he's gonna get home....and who he might bring home(which is a whole other thing). I am sure I am just feeling this way because of the recent break up with Noel and moving to a new city blah blah blah. I mean just because I think he's amazing doesn't mean we have to "be" together ya know? Plus he is one of those guys/people that breaks your heart over and over again!

So my two goals this month are 1. Put Les in the friend zone 2. Find publisher in Chicago 3. Word of the Month: feckless.

-Jane

PS: Noel won't stop calling me!
PSS: Noel has made feckless attempts at getting me back....(I think that's right...hmmmm...)

*Becky who writes this blog is not Jane's roommate.

--------------------------

Now, if you're anything like me, you want to know what happens to Jane. Does she get back with Noel? Does she fall for Les? Is Les the guy who breaks her heart? Does she use "feckless" correctly?

I know I want to find out what happens to Jane, but if you want to know, here's what you have to do:

Fund the ending of her story.

You see, while Jane is a love-loving loveable gal, she's also the brainchild of writer Stephanie Wyatt, director Drew Pientka, and producer Kelli Weber.

And without YOUR help, Jane may never find her love....or finish her film.

So what can YOU do? Log on to Kickstarter.com and pledge to donate $10, $50, $100, $1000, or whatever you can afford towards Jane's condition. The film needs to raise $15,000 between now and July 18th.

If they do, you'll get to find out how Jane's story ends.....and if they don't, you'll be left wondering forever (though, as a cool Kickstarter feature, if they don't reach their goal you won't be charged what you pledged).

You can watch an unedited teaser of the film, plus an interview with Stephanie Wyatt and "Les" (Matt Devine) on the site, plus learn more about what they need- namely, as Matt says, for everyone to "pony up some dough!"

Please join me in backing Jane in her crusade for love!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Scene In Which My Sacrifice Has Not Pleased The Gods (aka...Baby Birds Part 2)

Here's the thing.

I'm really starting to worry that the birds are out to get me.

It started last year, when devoted readers might recall I survived a vicious seagull attack while vacationing in Italy.

I'm still mocked for this.

Then, as you may recall, back in April I had an unfortunate run-in with several baby birds (if you haven't read the story, it's about halfway through the post) resulting tears, guilt, and the worst trip ever to Lowe's.

In an attempt at karmic retribution, I slaved over making this for the birds who call my yard home, and modestly thought that my offering, though humble, would appease the wrath called down upon me.

IT HAS NOT.

Because now, an adorable robin has decided that the wooden planter on my porch would be an excellent spot to build a nest.

And lay eggs.

And NOW, I have more baby birds on my conscience. Because every time we leave the house, we scare Mom off the nest. Every time we come home, we scare Mom off the nest. Every time I let Finn out, I scare Mom off the nest.

And from what I hear, when Mom's eggs hatch she's going to become a protective sort. The sort who, rather than just flocking to the nearest tree for a moment, is going to start dive-bombing me as I try to enter the house.

So I'm going to scream and wave my arms around like a crazy person. And then I'm going to scare her away with my smell and Finnigan is going to scare her and the cute little eggs that have hatched into cute little babies might die and I'm going to be responsible and I'm going to cry.

So you see, I need to appease the birds. And quickly.

Suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Scene In Which Apparently Asian Porn Stars Are Reading My Blog

If you've made a comment lately, you've noticed that I've taken away the "unmoderated" comment ability and replaced it with the "Becky will have to approve this comment" notification.

This is because Asian porn stars have been reading my blog.

Or, rather, Asian porn star website bots have been automatically commenting on my blog.

Because, you know, I don't really think Asian porn stars are reading my blog.

And while I do enjoy that they take the time to write witty little mots ("Forgive others, but not yourself!" was a favorite- awesome for the self-esteem) I'd rather they just left my little bloggy alone so that the rest of you non-porn-star promoting peeps could comment without the hassle.

Do you have a blog? If so, how do you get rid of this while still allowing for the "conversation" that comes with blogging?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Scene In Which The Insects Are Taking Over

Has anyone else noticed that, regardless of where you hang your hat these days, it's been a really buggy spring and summer?

(Ok, maybe not totally regardless of where you hang your hat, because I'm betting that in, say, Antarctica the mosquitoes aren't stinging too badly yet- but who knows!)

In our house, it started in early April with the minor appearance of about ten ants on our windowsill in the kitchen. We put out a trap, sprayed some Raid, and voila- problem solved.

Yeah right.

Pretty soon the ants were taking over where the mice left off this winter (thankfully) turning the kitchen into their new playspace.

A call to Circle City Pest Control remedied this mess with a natural solution safe for pets (awesome).

But it's not just the ants. Ohhhhhhh no.

(Cue the dark, ominous music.)

We've had two large spiders (and by large I mean, put your thumb and forefinger together in a circle type large) one of which I'm pretty sure was a wolf spider and, according to Cute Boy, virtually exploded when he whapped it with a magazine.

We've had a ton of moths, about ten times as many as we usually do, congregating around the outdoor lights and trying to find their way in.

And speaking of things flying around, OHMYGOD are there FLYING ANTS?!?! Because I'm pretty sure that's what those things look like and EW! Killed a good thirty or so of those in the last few days around the door.

(Cue scene of me crouching down to unlock my door and rushing inside frantically shaking out my hair after slamming the door shut.)

Can we talk creepy-crawlies? While I -thankfully- haven't killed any earwigs in the house this season, they HAVE take up residence in my new cedar birdfeeder. I'm not sure what to do about them and, as a result, haven't fed the birds in about a week.

(Side story: as I write this, my skin is LITERALLY crawling. I've stopped a good three or four times to shimmy around and scratch my arms. Eeeeeuuuuugggh!!!)

Luckily I have the Internet at my disposal (that is, until the rabid mutant bugs chew through the lines outside....) and have found this great list and these good tips for ridding yourself of common household pets.

However, I'd really love to know if everyone else is experiencing a buggy season right now, or if I'm due for another application of pest control to the outside of the house. How are the bugs at YOUR place this year?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Scene In Which We Have A Perfect Day (And Then Lose Some Brain Cells) And Other Random Things.

Today was a lovely day!

Following some drunken debauchery fun times at a wedding last night, Cute Boy was feeling a bit rough this morning. Having enjoyed myself as well - on top of delivering two events and setting up a wedding that morning - I was a little slow on the upstart too.

(Random side story? I did NOT have sore feet, because at the wedding last night, they had awesome baskets full of flip-flops for all the girls to change into! BEST IDEA EVER!)

Back to the morning.

First off, I slept in.

Which means "later than 7AM."

It was awesome.

Then I made amazing french toast with the world's best cinnamon bread and we crashed on the sofa, tuning into and then (wait for it) actually watching the entire "Amy Fisher: My Story."

I blame french toast coma.

At any rate, around hour 3 of laying on the couch I started to feel like I was in danger of my ass becoming permanently glued to the seat, so I dragged Cute Boy up and we headed to Holiday Park for a walk with Finn, who, ohmygodLOVED running in and out of the river.

(This exists!! In INDIANAPOLIS!! Doesn't it make you think of strolling around in European parks?? Love.)

(On the pillars at Holliday Park - my new favorite quote!)
(Finnigan is so stinkin' cute!!)
We met up with Cute Boy's sister and her pup Olly and then had a looooong late lunch at Plump's in Broad Ripple, which BTW? two thumbs up on the wraps.


And then we came home and turned on - wait for it - The MTV movie awards.

And for the past hour have been watching and listening to such brainiacs as Nicole "Snooki" from Jersey Shores (who, when outside on the red carpet, presented an award prior to the show and then looked behind her for the celebs to appear to collect it ROTFLMAO) and Kristin Stewart, who is really excited about winning her award "I guess."

I really, really, really do not want to watch Jersey Shores in Miami this summer, but I have a sinking feeling I'm going to wind up hooked.....if only so I can see it if that crazy short girl gets punched again. Who's with me???

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Scene In Which I Laugh Every Time I Read This

For those of you who have never lived in Chicago, John Kass is a fairly hilarious columnist. This column was one that someone forwarded to me several years ago. I've recieved it a couple times since then. This morning, as I was cleaning out old emails I found a draft of it that I apparently meant to forward to someone (several years ago, truth be told!) and thought you'd appreciate the chuckle. I believe this first printed in 2002.


"MEMORY STUDY FORGETS THE MALE 'UH-HUH' FACTOR"
-John Kass

American universities are once again aggravating the heck out of me with another foolish study.

It belongs in the Women Remember Everything and Are Smarter than Men Department, as if men didn't know this already.

Neverthless, researchers at Stanford University were determined to rub it in.

The showed groups of women and men a series of photographs designed to evoke emotional responses, and the shrinks then used scientific gadgets to measure blood flow in the brain.

Pictures included fire hydrants, landscapes and a corpse- even a horrific bathroom scene. "A picture of a dirty toilet prompted a strong emotional response, especially from the women subjects," said a professor.

Men didn't get too worked up. I'm absolutely amazed.

Here are some of the findings:
1) Women have better memories than do men when it comes to emotional issues.
2) Women's brains allow them to recall these emotional issues with a finer degree of precision than do men, who really don't care.
3)Ergo, women remember spats with their husbands from 15 years ago and what their husbands failed to say, like "I'm sorry," and so it's always the guys' fault.

Which prompts me to offer my own conclusion: When it comes to remembering spats, men can't because we have tiny brains. And as we're being pelted by rememberances of things past, men's brains switch off involuntarily.

This prevents us from remembering what women told us. And women know when mens' brains have switched off because men say, "Uh huh, OK, yeah, uh huh," which infuriates them.

Clearly, the Stanford study is flawed. Though men dislike dirty tolets, women unfortunatley get stuck cleaning more of them because men are, well, selfish and evil.

And there are other flaws. For example, fire hydrants simply don't excite men.

Instead, they should have shown photos of a slice of Freddy's pizza in Cicero, the Chicago Bears logo, and a tasteful picture of Penelope Cruz.

The study "advances our understanding of the link between cognition and the underlying brain structure," researcher Diane Halprin said in a recent Associated PRess report.

Once she finished spewing shrink jargon, she got down to the fundamental issue: Women have infinitely finer memories for arguments than do their husbands.

"One reason for that is that a marital spat has more meaning for women, and they process it a bit more, "says Halprin.

They process it a bit more? Thats like saying China has a lot of Chinese people living there. As men sleep and snore, women lie awake at night, processing. They spring it on you when you're vunerable.

I've been with my lovely Sicilian bride for almost 20 years. And she teams up with my mom to remind me of what I can't remember.

Me: Hey! Let's go to the Sox game.

Lovely Sicilian: But we're all going to your cousin Nick's house for dinner.

Me: You didn't tell me. What cousin?

LS: Nick. We talked about it every morning this week. You kept saying, "Uh huh, OK, yeah uh huh."

Me: I don't have a cousin named Nick.

LS: Yes you do. Not the two Nicks from different restaurants, not the Nick the lawyer, not the Nick the bartender. The other Nick.

Me: Aw, can't we just go to the game?

LS: He married your cousin Angie. Not the Angie who's the artist. Not the Angie at the health club. The other Angie. We were at their wedding, remember?

Me: Of course not.

LS: We had an argument that morning. You wanted to go fishing instead, even though we RSVP'd. And you never apologized.

Me: When was that??

LS: Ten years ago this coming Saturday.

Me: You're making this up!

My Mom: No, she's not! I heard it. You agreed to go, and you said, "Uh huh, OK, yeah uh huh."

Me: I never said any such thing!

Mom: And in a fit of rage you demanded to go fishing, and you hurled a piece of toast with raspberry jam to the floor, scattering crumbs all about.

Me: Aieee!

LS: So there.

Mom: So there.

A few minutes ago, my wife called to warn me about today's column. She hates it when male columnists write about their wives, particularly when I do it.

"You're so unfair," sh said. "In these columns, you always play the child and I'm the mean adult and that's so untrue. And you always do it on slow news days."

Me: Really? I don't remember.

Ls: Yeah, there was the time when you were terrified of mice and the time that....

Me: Uh huh, OK, yeah uh huh.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Scene In Which I Review Books

A little over a year ago I started my first blog, "Just Can't Stop Reading," with the big, shiny idea that I was going to review books. And eventually find fame and (possibly) fortune as an online book reviewer. In my dreams, that fortune came in the form of free newly released hardbacks, a thought that still makes me shimmy a little.

I lasted approximately three months and about four book reviews.

Ahem.

As many of you know, it's been a crazy year doing this whole "be my own boss" thing. But I feel like that's finally getting under control. So last night, I finally got back on the book review track.

And if I last long enough to write another review, I hope you'll join me over there in reading them, commenting on them, and otherwise participating in the cool online world of blogging.

Happy Reading!