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Generally speaking, I think memes are as interesting as dry toast, so I tend to avoid them. If anyone really cared much about “which Disney Princess I am,” I’d begin to wonder about your sanity, Pranksters. I’m used to seeing that shit on The Facebook (along with invites to Farmville – which, if I want to have a farm, I will plant real crops in real dirt) Once a year, though, right about this time, I am compelled to answer the same questions I’ve been answering since I chipped out my homework on a tablet of granite and road a dinosaur to school.

Despite my dislike of answering mundane questions about myself that no one cares about, I admit that I am a weeeeeee bit compulsive. As in, for the year I barely blogged, I ran around The FBI Surveillance Van flapping my arms like a chicken, not knowing what to DO with myself. And since I do this every year, I do this EVERY motherfucking YEAR.

(Pointless aside: As proof that I do not actually have a life, I offer this spectacle of year(s) in review: 2012 here, 2011 here, 2010 here2009 here, 2008 here, 2007 here, 2006 here. I have 2005 somewhere in an email, which is where I’d gotten this stupid meme in the first place)
 
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Papered my walls with the souls of the gnomes that power my refrigerator. Oh. Um. Wait. *chuckles uncomfortably* I didn’t MEAN that.

Whelp – hrms. I got my own insurance card. That’s kinda rad.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My resolutions is usually fairly preposterous – two (three?) years ago, I vowed NOT to turn into Lil Wayne (that link is SO worth it, I promise) because every time I try and make some lofty goal, the Universe flips me the bird. And guess what? I still wake up every day and am NOT Lil Wayne! Way to GO!

This year, I vow NOT to visit the state of Delaware. Not because I have anything against it (shit, I don’t even know anyone who lives there) or some bizarre personal vendetta, but because it seems like something I can resolve NOT to do.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Every year it alternates – The Facebook V. The Twitter in the amount of blurry ultrasound images that are PROBABLY of a baby, but could just be an ultrasound image of a neck or something. This year, The Facebook is pregnant. ALL of it. Even the floating fetuses (or necks) are pregnant.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unless you count the death of my dream to marry my television husband, Dexter a death, no.

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A pet squirrel.

6. What countries did you visit?

According to the official statement released by the FBI Surveillance Van, the answer is “none.”

Quotes intentional.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

Um. I ate a cookie yesterday. That was pretty awesome.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

 Not turning into Lil Wayne. Or *shudders* Lady Gaga.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not taming a squirrel to be my best friend, confidant, butler, or minion. I did feed one once before I realized it was boring as fuck.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I fell off the train. My pride has yet to heal.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Reasons I know I’m turning into an old fart – I bought a new winter coat that’s all super warm and shit. And it made me happy in the pants. How pathetic is that?

(on second thought, don’t answer that)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Um. The squirrel who decided that I would NOT make a good housemate.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

C’mon, Meme – are we 12? Oh. We are? In that case: TERRORISTS. I’ve heard they don’t even like BACON.

Also: The Hamburgler. Who the fuck steals someone’s hamburger? AN ASSHOLE, THAT’S WHO.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Renting the FBI Surveillance Van. When I renewed my lease, I didn’t even get a new air freshener shaped like a wee whimsical merry tree. I should sue somebody. Anybody.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My vagina is totally tickled pink that my girl Britney is doing a show in Vegas because LET’S GO TO VEGAS, PRANKSTERS!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

 “The Monster” from Eminem and Rhianna.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?  Happier.

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner.

iii. richer or poorer? Well, I’ll tell you this: last year this time, I was working as a freelancer. Now? I spend my days in an office (a real one, not my bathroom) writing. All day. I’ll let you guess which one I am.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reminding myself that things work out – one way or another, they always work out.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about the future.

20. How will you be did you spending Christmas?

Dave and the kids came over to the FBI Surveillance Van Christmas morning to open a metric fuckton of presents and eat chocolate cake for breakfast. Then, we hightailed it to my parents house with the kids because it’s TRADITION, Meme.

21. There was no #21. I don’t know why there was no 21.

I’ll make up my own question:

21. Why does the term “designer drugs” conjure up an image of a bunch of pills hanging out wearing tiny Chanel and Prada clothing and snappy accessories?

Um, I think that’s the point of the name – to make you feel you’re better than the wino down the street whispering “fucksticks” at every passerby.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Only if you count “every time I looked in the mirror.”

23. How many one-night stands?

More than you can count. My vagina was like a revolving door for penises (penii?).

Actually, none.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

The Following. I hate to admit it, but I’d sorta lost my lust for Dexter in the past couple of years.

*whimpers* Please stop throwing things at me.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

The Hamburgler, obviously. And anyone who manufactures gravy in a can because that’s just fucking wrong.

26. What was the best book you read?

Grey’s Anatomy. Seriously.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

How can one “discover” music that’s been written by someone else, produced by another person, then promoted by a third entity?

28. What did you want and get?

I’d wanted to find world peace. Instead I got peed on.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

The last time I saw a movie in the theater was in 2009 (+/- a year). I did see Skyfall and, like most James Bond movies, I loved it without understanding what it was about AT ALL.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 this year and hid under the bed, only to emerge for some tapas and champagne.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Owning a unicorn that farted Skittles.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

“Whelp, this shirt doesn’t involve swearing – guess I can wear it to school conferences.”

34. What kept you sane?

Sanity is overrated.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Kim Kardashian’s ass. I fancied the HELL out of that.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

“Butter side up” versus “butter side down” had me awake more nights than I’m comfortable admitting to.

37. Who did you miss?

Billy Mays.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Dan. He’s pretty swell.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

“Smart Water” doesn’t actually make your IQ increase.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (because this Meme is apparently written for tweens):

“Dumb ways to die; so many dumb ways to die.”

—————-

The rest of the meme says I should tag some people but, eh, I don’t tag people. It makes me twitchy. Mostly because I’ll forget someone and then, then I’ll feel sad in the pants.

INSTEAD.

I’m tagging each of you. If I can do one Meme a year, SO CAN YOU, Pranksters.

Happy Happy New Year, Pranksters.

Time to show your work and link this shit UP!

Dear Pranksters,

Normally, I wouldn’t bother to write out a long-winded and boring explanation for my absence from my blog (I’ve been active on The Facebook and The Twitter, but that is neither here nor there) because frankly, it could read “Been busy, cat knocked over computer, broke my toe making a sandwich,” and it would have as much impact as the words I’m typing now. But since you have been my family for as long as I can recall, I wanted to explain why I’ve been silent and moreover, how much I’ve missed the fucking shit out of you. When I started blogging, it was to feel like I wasn’t alone in the universe. What I found was so much more – I found you, my Pranksters. In the process, I found myself, too.

(insert “My Heart Will Go On” – muzak rendition, natch)

While it seemed as though I’d fallen prey to the whole “I don’t blog any longer” phenomenon that seems to happen to bloggers after a certain timetable, the reality is that you were never far from my mind. So many years I spent pouring out my brain into an empty WordPress box, it was impossible for me to not come back to it. It just had to be the right time.

The time is now. (imagine me fist-pumping in the air)

I’d stopped blogging when the whole D-Word came into the picture because a) I didn’t want to somehow get my blog into the prying eyes of a judge and 2) I felt like I didn’t have anything left to say (okay, that’s presuming I had anything of any importance to say in the first place, which is debatable). When I announced that I was getting a divorce, I know that some people – myself included – were taken aback by it. I hadn’t really shared my struggles with my marriage – or even let anyone in on the whole “I’m separated” thing – because if I said it, that would make it real. And I was SO not prepared for that. No one goes into a marriage to get divorced.

So I continued blogging from my [redacted] box, which grew smaller and smaller as time went on. I didn’t want to put it out there that we were struggling, so I stopped writing anything I cared about. When that happened, I stopped blogging. Yeah, I was busy, yeah, I burnt my tongue making toast, yeah, the cat knocked over something or another, but no, honestly, that wasn’t why. I could feel that my heart simply wasn’t in it. So I stopped, knowing that one day I’d return.

And now I can safely say that I am ready. I’m done living a [redacted] life and I’m ready to get back into blogging. Just bear with me as I get my sea legs back.

Thank you, my Pranksters, for being there for me, for being my friend when I felt alone and for picking me up, dusting me off, and reminding me that things will be okay. I’d love to thank every person who reached out to me, who sent me a sweet care package, and who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, but the list would be three pages long. I promise to do better in the future and thank you in a timely manner.

Without your support, I honestly do not know if I’d be here today, typing these silly words into this empty WordPress box. Together, we can take the world by storm.

Love always,

(your) Aunt Becky

P.S. As I’m doing some spring cleaning (early or late, depending upon how you want to look at it), please let me know if I need to add you to my blogroll. If you’ve sent me an email and I haven’t replied, go ahead and send another one to becky.harks@gmail.com

P.P.S. I’m thinking about revamping my crappy advice column – Go Ask Aunt Becky. Thoughts?

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P.P.P.S. I’m going to try something new. I’m always bragging about how I have the best readers on Teh Internets, so I’m gonna test you. Every Friday, I want to put up a guest post from one of you guys. Doesn’t matter if you blog or not. If you’ve got a great, hilarious story, I want to share it with THE WORLD. Throw me an email with GUEST POST in the subject line so I can easily tell that it’s not trying to sell me Viagra to becky.harks@gmail.com and we’ll go all EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING TIGER on this shit.

P.P.P.P.S. Since Google dumps everything that is awesome and good to develop garbage like Google Glass, I’ve lost all my RSS feeds which makes me sad in the pants. Do you have any good suggestions for feed readers?

P.P.P.P.P.S. Now is the time to throw your link into the comment box so that I can add it to my new feed reader. I gots to keep up with my Pranksters! And you know what? Everyone deserves a little self-promotion. NOW IS THAT TIME, PRANKSTERS. SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY.

Also: I realize that I left a number of unanswered questions behind when I stopped blogging. If’n you have a question, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

When my kids were little and we’d get onto an elevator, they’d get this horrified look on their face like, WHATTHEFUCKISHAPPENING? And I was all, I know EXACTLY how you feel.

See, eleventy-niner years ago (rough estimate), I worked for a much-hated insurance company. While the company was a hot pile of bullshit, my job was actually to look for loopholes in insurance plans to allow people to cheat the system. While my title wasn’t “System Cheater,” like I’d regularly petitioned, I wasn’t one of the total assholes. At work, at least. Still, that didn’t stop people from regularly coming up to me and saying, “Wow, you work for Evil Insurance Company? I’d like to take a machete and cut off your fucking head and shit down your neck hole.” Didn’t EXACTLY boost morale, so when I quit, it was kind of a relief – at least my head would stay atop my spindly neck to annoy another day.

Anyway.

While I was usually one of those bring your lunch people (read: I bought a bag of baby carrots and diet Coke and ate them at my desk), occasionally my co-workers would strong-arm me into popping down to the bottom floor to eat lunch at the semi-pathetic cafeteria there. Normally, I was into taking the stairs because sitting at a desk all day, pouring over insurance plans to find ways to cheat the system wasn’t exactly getting the old heart pumping.

But when I took lunch with my friends, one of them had a problem with her knee and couldn’t exactly take the stairs without running the risk of falling down and smashing her head open like a melon. So I’d take the elevator with them, feeling like a total lazy-ass for going down four fucking floors when I had perfectly functional legs.

One day, we all piled onto the elevator like a bunch of puppies and pressed the basement button. We chatted idly about who would win American Idol that year, how the rain was good for my garden, and what a raging cuntbag our big boss happened to be when it happened.

A screech of metal gnashing upon metal, the lights flickered, and the elevator car fell for a couple of feet before grinding to a halt. Never having been one to be fearful of elevators (despite my fears of other things such as the color orange and fish – all fish), my heart began to pound. Desperately, we pressed the “DON’T TOUCH THIS UNLESS YOU MEAN IT” emergency button – the very same button my kids ALWAYS try to press because you’re not supposed to press it – and waited, sweating and panicked for someone to respond. The tinny voice coming out of the box informed us that the fire department would be there as soon as they stopped busting teenage smokers or whatever it is fire departments do in boring towns.

We settled in for the long haul. That is, all of us but one settled in for the long haul. As I sat on the floor, bored and hungry, there was that one guy. THAT guy. There’s always THAT guy. And this time, it was a girl.

I tried to be understanding, I really did. Getting trapped in an elevator wasn’t exactly how I planned to spend my lunch break either. And shit, I was a little claustrophobic, too, but I was determined not to be all Chicken Little and Panic! In The Elevator because I knew it would make it worse.

I don’t fault her for the panic. I do, however, wish she’d managed to control her screaming “WE’RE GONNA DIIIIEEE!” replete with pulling out her hair and clawing at her face, mostly because it seemed histrionic rather than genuine fear. Luckily, the fire department got there and pried the doors open before she could begin to eat her shit, as she’d been screaming she’d do. Why? I don’t know. Apparently that’s what some people do when they’re scared.

Me? I smother myself in condiments and try to get at least ONE person to wrestle me in a vat of baked beans.

Different strokes and all that.

What do YOU do when you’re scared o! Pranksters, my Pranksters?

—————-
How have you been my Pranksters? I’ve missed you so much! C’mon over, grab a nice cup of coffee and tell Your Aunt Becky what’s been going on in YOUR world.
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