Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Solving for Zero


Sorting through my stuff after I’d moved into the FBI Surveillance Van, I came across a picture taken many years ago. One of my Pranksters had suggested that I find a truly happy picture of myself and put it somewhere important to remind myself that there is happiness to be had again, so I slapped it onto my fridge. That way, when I go for my diet Coke, I’m stuck looking at a happier version of me.

The picture had been taken years ago, during a party at my parents house.

Being a server meant that, because everyone else on the planet was snuggled up in their wee beds, we were like an insta-party – just add booze. Every night, we’d go out to clubs, bars, or (rarely) party at someone’s house.

That night, my parents were out of town, which meant it was party at Becky’s. We managed to invite everyone – bar patrons, serving staff, friends of friends, restaurant managers, you name it, we were there. The picture from that night had been taken by one of those old disposable cameras, and clearly shows me with my arms around a dude, smiling brightly into the camera, his arms still in the air, caught before he’d had a chance to put them around me.

It’s a fitting picture, I think, for our relationship, which had begun years before.

I’d met Mikey at my first job: an upscale dining establishment that had been around since the beginning of time, where I, not yet 18, was a hostess. He, also not yet 18, was a busboy. We struck up a friendship of sorts, at least, the sort of friendship you have with someone you are also crushing on. And boy, was I crushing.

The guy had everything that made my young heart go pitter-patter in my chest: he was wryly funny, clever, could, upon occasion, be sweet, was kind, and showed me the little things in life.

Once, I remember, when we were both old enough to serve liquor, we spent the 4th of July working the outside part of the sprawling restaurant complex, serving beer in plastic cups and nachos with day-glow cheese so bright it nearly glowed in the dark. I’d just come out of the bathroom, where I’d been sneaking a smoke, when he grabbed my arm and led me across the pond, not speaking, refusing to answer my question, “Where the fuck are we going?”

Eventually, we stopped. He turned my shoulders so that I was facing North.

“Look,” he said. And I did.

From that vantage point, we could see the fireworks going off in three separate towns, peppering the sky with shimmery reds, whites, and blues. I breathed in, deeply, happily. It was beautiful.

Mikey was always doing shit like that. When I dyed my hair a terrible shade of red by accident, he insisted that I come over for an inspection right away. There, in the hot sunlight, he peered at my hair, studying it. “I like it,” he finally said. “It suits you.”

We stayed friends after my first son was born, he and I driving around late at night, the baby strapped in the backseat, soothed by the music I played and the gentle rocking of the car. We’d get out, now and again, to look at the stars, far away from the lights of the city, the silence filling the air deafening as the baby slumbered on.

I often pictured life together, he and I. Raising my son. Helping each other grow and learn. Relying on the other to remind us to do better; be better. I never spoke these words to him, of course, because, I suppose, I didn’t know if we could solve for zero. Knowing that some words, once spoken, can’t be unspoken.

With him, I was never sure where I stood. Did he like me? Did he like me as a friend? Did he respect me? Did he love me?

I couldn’t answer those questions. In small part, because I didn’t want to know the answer and in larger, more annoying part, because I don’t think he even knew the answer. Trying to decipher Mikey was like trying to solve for zero – impossible unless you know the other factors. And I never did.

Eventually, after seven years of friendship, it happened. One drunk night, we hooked up. It was nothing I’d dreamed of. No romance, no courtship, no flowers, no nothing. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Entirely unlike either of us.

After that night, nothing was the same. I wanted more. He did not. But, of course, these words remained unspoken, probably because we finally understood where the other was coming from.

Things finally came to a head seven years after I’d met him. I’d been invited to an unveiling of Sam Adams Light in the city and G Love, one of my favorite bands, was playing. Having some extra tickets, I, of course, invited Mikey. Ten of us crawled inside the limo that was already full of booze and we began the party before the party began. By the time we arrived at the club, we were all toast.

Mikey chose this opportunity to start hitting on my friend and coworker. I pretended not to see.

That is, until he began to tell me, in his drunken stupor how much he liked her, and began to grill me for her phone number. Disgusted, I took off and wobbled in my heels down to Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s to “catch some air” and “eat a cheeseburger.” When I returned, he was still all over my friend, who was trying her best to dissuade him.

I rolled my eyes.

In the limo going home, we were all silent. That is, except for Mikey, who was still drunkenly hitting on my friend.

The next time I saw Mikey, we’d gone out to the golf course where we’d once watched the sunset on the 9th hole, a couple of friends along for the ride. Once again, he asked after my friend, specifically for her phone number. I stared at him.

Seven years.

Seven fucking years.

For seven fucking years I’d held this guy in the highest regard, never solving for zero, never asking after the formula, always assuming that we were “meant to be” or some happy-crappy bullshit.

At that moment, I knew that it was over; I’d never solve for zero, not with him.

He continued to look at me as I stared, not quite understanding my behavior. Finally, I spoke, “Mikey, you’re either an idiot or an asshole. Either way, I don’t need you in my life.”

Flipping the bird in his general direction, I turned heel and walked off across the perfectly maintained lawn, chastising myself, knowing he’d never follow. It simply wasn’t who he was.

Slamming my foot on the clutch and starting the car, it dawned on me.

I’d finally solved for zero.

  posted under Dating Sucks, But So Does Becoming The Crazy Cat Lady | 17 Comments »

Like Chatroulette But With Less Wang


Do you remember Chatroulette, Pranksters?

I only came across it back when I was writing online sex shop reviews for Toy With Me and searching for an angle to cover. If you have NO idea what I’m talking about, lemmie give you the very briefest of rundowns to the very best of my dwindling brain capacity.

Chatroulette was created by some college kid in (I believe) Russia who had the grand idea to create a site in which you could talk to various people around the globe via webcam. Neat, right? But you do see problem inherent, don’t you, Pranksters? THIS IS THE INTERNET WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.

If you have no idea what I mean by that, well, let’s just say, Internet = Penis-Galore.

So you could pop on your webcam and, in theory, make friends across the globe, so that you and your new-found globular friends could join hands and sing “We Are The World” a-Capella. In theory. Like communism. In theory.

If you got bored with the person you were talking to, you could simply switch to someone else to chat with…. except it didn’t work out so well. Basically, a Chatroulette session showed many a teenage girl what, exactly, a creepers pervert and his trouser snake looked like. Over. And. Fucking. Over. Sometimes, the mystique was, you’d manage to meet a celeb. IN THEORY.

This probably explains Chatroulette better than I can (is safe for work. Probably):

What you just saw, Pranksters, is Chatroulette at it’s finest. Apparently, the site’s still around to disgust the masses (just like this one!)

(holy long-winded intro, Batman!)

When Google Plus came out, I was all, why the balls am I getting invites to another social media network? Is this Google’s version of The Facebook? Why does my cat wipe his ass on the carpet? What the fuck is a hobby?

(pointless and un-pithy aside: I’m a firm believer that one can be good at between one and three social media platforms, but no more).

Most people who signed up with Google Plus were all, “daar, this isn’t Facebook,” and rather than just go back to where they came from (read: The Facebook) to continue playing with their fake farms, they complained bitterly about how G+ wasn’t Facebook. All over G+. That’s a fuck-ton of energy wasted right there.

Initially, I gave G+ the good old “meh,” and went back to The Twitter to spew my garbage in 140 characters or less. I had a couple G+ accounts because I have 76 email addresses for no good reason which meant that I inadvertently had 76 G+ accounts. But considering half of what I saw on there were those lame-ass picture quotes (like so):


Okay, so generally the quotes are more like this:

Chatroulette 2

Erms, sorta.

In my head it went something like this: “G+ is like Pinterest but with dudes.”

That was, of course, until the night of the Sandy Hook shooting. Since, as most of you are aware, I work for The Band Back Together Project, we decided that it would be a good night for us to do a G+ hangout to discuss our grief. That lasted 10 minutes before a bunch of people showed up and we got to know people, literally, around the world.

We’d been using G+ to conduct our board meetings for ages, but somehow, we’d never managed to connect that to the idea that there might be new and exciting people on Google Plus who did new and exciting things, like “NOT SHOW THE WORLD THEIR PEEN.” It was a fucking Internet Miracle.

If you have any doubts of it’s randomness, check out this video (skip to minute 1), taken by a friend of mine who’d been live-screening this G+ chat on YouTube (if you skip around, you can see how bizarre it is).

So if’n you’re ever on G+ and want to chat, here’s my page and my profile. I’ve made a couple of communities for us (one for mah blog and one for Teh Band) so we can hang out together and, quite frankly, I’d love to meet you, Pranksters. The Band community is hosting a hangout tonight at 7CST and I’ll be there.

Gaps in geography means that it’s hard to really hang out, unless, of course, we do it online. And so, we make our way into the future. A future with less peen and more community.

I gotta say, it looks pretty bright from here.

  posted under Beaver Talk With Aunt Becky | 16 Comments »

Like Some Passing Afternoon


There are very few questions I detest more than “Are you okay?”

(Runners up include: “Where are your pants?” “Why do you hate thousand island dressing?” and the statement, “I’m worried about you.”)

I must’ve asked that question to thousands of people over the years, especially when I was serving. The standard greeting of a new table was something like, “Hi, my name is Becky and I’ll be taking care of you tonight. How is everyone doing?” 999/1000 times people would reply with the standard, “We’re doing fine” or “What the fuck kinda name is “Becky?””

When you’re in the weeds, slammed beyond control, have one eye on the three tables you haven’t yet greeted that are looking around for you, the bartender yelling at you across the restaurant that he’s somehow out of sour mix and you just heard your second set of dinners hit the line, you don’t really have the time for more detailed interaction with people.

That 0.001% of people, though, responded with something to the effect of, “I’m alive,” or “do you really want to know the answer to that?” When you’re juggling three sections and dealing with half a kitchen that’s doing the YMCA (en espanol)(which really makes you want to join them) instead of cooking your food and you can’t find spoons for the coffee you just brewed after dumping out the last of the coffee and cleaning the maker, and trying to figure out how, exactly someone drinks an amaretto stone sour without yacking, you don’t have the time for personals. Even if you wanted to.

Because you walked in that day wondering if you’d be making enough to cover formula, diapers and gas to get to school, you’re worried about your own problems: does my son have autism? What am I supposed to do about the dude that’s stalking me? What do I do with the rest of my life? You can’t really handle any problems besides what’s directly in front of you: get food, drinks, and merriment to your tables without having to sing Happy Birthday with the few cooks who don’t speak English and your manager who thinks singing to customers is dumb, but they asked so you gotta start begging the cooks and the busboy and the brand-new dishwasher to help you out here, please? And you look up from your soggy birthday cake and notice that the inept hostess is now triple-seating you at 10:30PM on a Thursday night.

There’s simply no time to be a counselor. Which is why I still hate the question.

“Are you okay?” most people want a reply that sounds positive, “why yes, I’m delightful, thank you for asking! Little Jimmy, the highest human pedigree of child, well, he’s just been enrolled in NASA’s young genius program, I’ve been promoted from CEO to heiress, and I just bought the most gorgeous 874,623,722 foot yacht – you should come over for a sail and I can regale you with perfect stories of my very perfect life.”

(okay, that just sounds like one of those Christmas card letters, but you know what I mean).

No one wants you to reply to “Are you okay?” with “No, not really.” Simply put, they don’t exactly want to know if you’re okay; it’s a formality, something that fills the space between “hello” and “goodbye.” I get it – I’ve been there and I understand that there’s not a lot of room for the truth.

Which is why I’m no longer able to really answer that simple question. The qualifiers, stories, the explanation is far longer than most people care to hear – especially when your primary response would be (if you actually said it), “No.”

Because while I’d love to come here and type you a wonderful story of how much better my life has gotten since July, it’d be a lie. Things are different, that’s for certain, and not always in the best of ways. I’m getting a crash-course on Living Alone 101, and it’s one motherfucker of a ride.

There are good moments and bad. Feeling liberated and feeling defeated. Darkness and light. Continue obnoxious comparisons ad nauseum.

But the truth of the matter is this: I’m not okay. I’ll be okay again, but I can’t tell you precisely when or how. Making the right decision doesn’t always mean that it’s the easy one.

And for now, for this very moment, and, I’m certain, many moments after this one, I’m not okay – I’m simply learning to be okay with not being okay.

That’s the best I can do; it’s the best we all can do.

We grab a life raft where we can, hold onto the hope that this, too, will pass, and that someday, this will all be a time we can look back upon as The Time Things Weren’t Okay. We’ll wake up each day hoping to slay the dragons, hoping the darkness won’t win, and we fight to do better; to be better.

There’s growth to be had. There are changes to be made. And there are things to be done. Life will, once again, be good.

Some day, some passing afternoon, in the not-so-distant future, I know that I will be able to once again answer the question, “how are you doing?” without feeling as though I’m lying through my teeth when I say breezily, like our endless numbered days, “Oh, I’m fine.”

And mean it.

  posted under Free To Be You + Me | 34 Comments »

It Is Always Better To Stare Stupidly At A Problem Than Actually Fix It


Being 32 years old, I’ve had experience with cars. Primarily driving them, occasionally riding in them, and very rarely scoring a makeout session in one (ah, Junior High, how I miss thee). And while my father made it his mission in life to both capture every fucking event 57 times with his camera, he also wanted to push a daughter out into the world who could do… erms…. stuff -n- things. Like change a tire or hammer something.

I never did learn how to fix a tire (although I can hammer like a motherfucker).

Once my father realized that I routinely fell UP the stairs, he decided “use of a car jack” may be better suited to someone like, oh, I don’t know…. my older brother? He never fell up the stairs, or if he did, he’d yell at the stairs for getting in his way (to be fair, I did too.). Being unable to properly change a flat tire was problematic, considering my form of therapy for many years was to take long rambling drives alone through the country and down dirt roads, just to see where I’d end up.

In the age before cell phones didn’t require a brief case, I’m kinda amazed that I didn’t fall victim to some serial killer in the woods or something. Just the occasional exhibitionist, but that, Pranksters, is a story for another day.

But because my meandering lead me down some interesting paths, I often had flat tires. Didn’t matter who’s car it was, I managed to get one of the tires flat.

In fact, my parents eventually deduced that I was a fugitive at large and driving over those road block things, which meant they refused to entertain the idea of “Mooooom, can I borrow your car? It has gas in it and mine doesn’t.”

My second car, a red Honda Del Sol, had problems with the battery one winter. Dutifully, I saved up for a new car battery and clutch, a pair of jumper cables riding shotgun. The problem, was (and still is) one tiny, pesky detail.

I’m colorblind.

So when the directions say, “connect the red thingy to the other red thingy and connect the black thingy to the black thingy,” I still become confused. Which one is red? Which one is black? I know, from The Internet, that hooking up these cables is one of those things you don’t want to fuck up or you’ll probably die or wind up booted off The Island, so instead of simply finding another person and expertly linking the colors before happily restarting my car, I stand there.

I’ll stand, hovering over the open hood of my car, looking inside, hoping that this time THIS TIME, there are a bunch of flying gnomes that will pop out and spell, “THIS ONE IS RED” in proper flying formation. Honestly, if I can’t have the gnomes, I’ll settle for a neon arrow pointing down to the red side of the car battery (although to be honest, that seems less trustworthy).

Sunday, because I am not just annoying but stupid too, I left my lights on for upwards of two hours in my parking lot. Apparently the dingy-thing that’s supposed to be all, “TURN YOUR LIGHTS OFF BITCH,” wasn’t working or I wasn’t paying attention or something. Either way, it’d been a short enough time that I hadn’t been particularly concerned by it.

Bad move.

Apparently, that’s the sort of thing that makes car batteries REALLY MAD.

Which is why I found myself searching the back of my truck for jumper cables before realizing, “oh fuck, I need help with this shit.” I trotted over to the apartment office and asked after jumper cables, feeling like a total dweeb. Who doesn’t own their own jumper cables? (answer: me).

The lady told me that while SHE didn’t have any, one of the maintenance guys would, and they’d “be back” in a couple of minutes.

Now, rather than going to sit in my apartment and wait for them, I decided the best course of action was to go stand near the car and appear to be thinking about something.

Me: “Oooh, yes. Good plan. Open the hood.”

Me: “NICE! The hood’s propped open. I totally look like I got this: goes back to the lesson I learned very young – half of being competent is looking as though you know what you’re doing. HIGH FIVE, Becks, HIGH FUCKING FIVE.”

Me: “I can’t high five myself. I’d look crazy.”

Me: “Okay, craziER.”

Me: “Man, it’s cold just standing here, staring at this open hood. I bet I look smart, though.”

Me: “Woah, some critter made a nest in my hood. MAYBE IT CAN BE MY FRIIIEEENNNNDDDD!”

Eventually, the dude came by with his car and a set of jumper cables. I balanced myself on the YOU STOP HERE concrete slab, trying to look all nonchalant, like, “oh yeah, I got car trouble, but it’s because I don’t have jumper cables, not because I can’t see red.”

The maintenance guy handed me the set of cables to hook up to my dead battery and rather than confess the truth, “I can’t see red,” I simply asked, “Can you hook them up? I’m afraid.” Which, to be fair, being unable to see red properly, meant that it was the truth.

He smiled and laughed a little before expertly hooking them up to my battery, then his like it was nothing. When he was done, he said, “go ahead and start your car.”

So I did.

And it worked.

Next time, the gnomes are going to have to help me.

  posted under Daddy's Little Girl Loves Disco | 15 Comments »

Geese Are Probably Dumb


Back when I was a wee Aunt Becky, I loved animals. Okay, scratch that, I STILL love animals, but not with the same intense fervor I once did, mostly because picking up animal shit is gross. But back then, in the days of wine and roses, I didn’t have to think about Kitty Shitters or anything other than OMG CUDDLY SO CUTE.

So when my parents, always semi-closeted nerds, decided that what we REALLY needed to do that weekend was to go to Fermi Lab, a mere ten minutes from my home and look at all the smart people doing smart people things, I was all for it. Mostly because it meant a romp in the woods and the opportunity to see OMG CUDDLY ANIMALS OMG. I could’ve cared less about the smart people, although I do remember being fascinated by how many of them wore socks with sandals, which I’d been told was a fashion sin times four hundred basquillian. Apparently, THEY did not get that memo.

Fermi Lab has a whole range of wild buffalo and prairies and stuff, but for some reason, since my parents wanted to look at smart people doing smart people things, they simply sat by the big pond in the front of the main building and allowed me to run amok. So I did. Artfully dodging piles of goose poo so green and white that it’d have been pretty had it not been totally gross, I ran around, looking for OMG CUDDLY ANIMALS OMG.

What I found were not cuddly cute animals. No. They were geese. Of the aforementioned geese shit.

Oh well, I thought, I bet one of them WANTS A CUDDLE! I thought about telling my parents that the goose over there wanted me to take him home and live in my room and go to school with me like a pet goose. I wanted to name him Mr. Poopy Pants and have him cuddle me to sleep at night and go roller skating with me on the weekends. My parents were too engrossed by Smart People Watching (I’d swear they had binoculars) to pay any attention to my new pet, so I decided it was time to bring him over for a visit. Just y’know, so he could meet the fam.

It was time to grab Mr. Poopy Pants and bring him home.

The only problem was that every time I got close to him, he’d take a couple steps backward. “Oh,” I thought. “He’s playing hard to get. I CAN WIN AT THIS GAME.” Instead of backing off and feigning nonchalance, I decided that the best way to solve this problem was to march my way through it.

And so I did. For at least an hour, I chased Mr. Poopy Pants around the pond until, at long last, I’d backed Mr. Poopy Pants (who may or may not have ACTUALLY been the same Mr. Poopy Pants I’d set my star-crossed eyes upon, into a parkbench. I reached my wee arms out as far as I could so I could grab his neck and give him a big hug, when it happened.

Mr. Poopy Pants, my loving, rollerskating goose, well, he didn’t want a hug. At least, he didn’t want a hug from me. But I wasn’t going to let that deter me. No sir. I opened my arms, closed my eyes and moved forward until I was within arms reach of him.

Suddenly, my feelings of pink puffy hearts were gone and I felt a searing pain in my finger. I opened my star-crossed eyes and saw my beloved pet goose, Mr. Poopy Pants, gnawing on my finger.

I was crushed.

Tearfully, I returned back to my parents, still using their binoculars to look at Smart People, and held out my finger. “*sniff, sniff* Mom! I got bit by Mr. Poopy Pants. *sobs*”

My mom looked at my finger, then at me, then back at my finger and then finally at my dad.

“Well,” she said. “What did you expect, Rebecca? He’s a GOOSE and you’ve been chasing him for an hour and a half.”

“He was *sobs* my bestest friend,” I tearfully sputtered out.

My parents couldn’t contain their laughter.

“What?” I stomped indignantly. “HE WAS.”

“You go ahead and believe that, Rebecca, but there’s no way I’m allowing a goose into my home.”

I flung myself on the bench next to them, examining my war wound and pouted. I couldn’t BELIEVE my parents didn’t want a goose in their house.

Finally, I decided that they probably hadn’t considered that he might take me roller skating. But by that time, the geese had moved on to shit on another area of the wildlife preserve and I was left with the memories of my best friend, Mr. Poopy Pants.


While I was not left with memories of a rollerskating goose best friend, I was left with an intense hatred of geese. Cute? Sure. Cuddly-LOOKING? Sure. Things that shit every-fucking-where? Fucking SURE.

So I’ve made it my personal mission in life to give every goose I see the You’re Number One finger, in the vain hope that one day, I’ll manage to flick off Mr. Poopy Pants’ relative.

Which is why yesterday, when I stood outside basking in the 45 degree weather and debating the merits of putting on a tank top in January, when I heard a flock of geese squonking across the sky, I looked up, gave them the finger, then began to laugh.

Those motherfuckers were flying North, not South.

Fucking stupid fucking geese.

  posted under Daddy's Little Girl Loves Disco | 18 Comments »

When Acupressure Mats Attack


According to the website, if I ordered this “acupressure mat,” I’d be able to feel restored blood circulation and endorphins which are like the sex hormones, and WOAH, who doesn’t want more sex hormones? Also: increased blood circulation is probably good, although I admit that my back hasn’t felt particularly necrotic.

So I ordered one. I figured, “like sex but without condoms and conversation” + “increased blood circulation” would equal a whole lotta RADNESS.

When it arrived in the mail, I clapped with glee. My back blood was practically NOT circulating (lies) and I hadn’t had sex in forever. I just KNEW this mat would change my life. It’s like one of those As Seen On Television Products, where you’re all, I KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE A LIFE CHANGING BOOGER CLEANER, and really, it’s just a bulb syringe they give new babies at the hospital, when they should be giving their MOTHER’S more pain meds.

Alas, I digress.

Carefully, deciding to take a break from The Job Hunt, I laid the mat on my bed, ready to get my endorphin on. Being the sort of idiot who hears “don’t do this,” which somehow translates into my three remaining brain cells as “you should totally do this. All the COOL kids are,” I touched one of the spiky things figuring, “hey, if Imma lay on this, I should know what I’m up against.”

The motherfucker totally scratched my hand.

Oh well, I said to my cat who was sitting on the other half of the bed, staring at me as though I’d suddenly turned into one of the Olsen twins, let’s get my endorphin on.

I stretched and squinched, trying to figure out the best way to mount such an obstacle without scraping the skin off my back entirely, eventually deciding that log rolling onto it was probably the best course of action. I was wrong. The acupressure mat, now covered in bits of my skin that were, moments before, minding their own business, won. But because I am not only annoying, but stupid too, I decided to lay there, shirt off, on the thing for the ten minutes the instruction book suggested that newbies try.

The pain wasn’t as immense or intolerable as I’d expected, considering how damn sharp the things were, and I was pleased that I hadn’t tried acupuncture – not because I’m afraid of needles (see also: large tattoos) – but because I was afraid that the ancient acupuncturist* would be all, “OH MY STARS – YOU HAVE NO QI! GET OUT DEVIL WOMAN!” I figured that since acupuncture and acupressure SOUND the same, it was probably similar results… minus the ancient man yelling about my Qi.

I laid there on a mat of plastic nails for awhile, waiting to feel the rush of endorphins. Instead of feeling all “I just had an orgasm,” my back began to feel as though it had turned to liquid. I half-expected the blood to begin seeping onto the sheets, especially once Basementless Kitty decided that now was a mighty fine time to splay his 35 pound body atop mine, pushing me further into the plastic nails.

When I finally peeled my warm back off the mat, I was particularly shocked to discover no blood.

Cools, I thought. I gotta use this motherfucker AGAIN. My back is NICE and toasty and even though I don’t feel as though I’ve had an orgasm, I bet it’s helping with my non-existent Qi.

And so I have. During the day, I’ll take a 15 minute rest on it while I meditate about cheeseburgers and before bed, I lay on it, waiting for my sleeping pills to kick in. I’ve yet to feel endorphins, but I’m hopeful.

A couple of days ago, after a particularly long and brutal day, I set up my mat, as always, and laid down upon it, day-dreaming about a particularly delicious cheeseburger. And like BAM, I was out. Down for the count. Fast asleep. Probably the deepest sleep I’ve had in years, which = rad.

….except for the part in which I’d forgotten to remove the mat from underneath my body.

Because four hours later, I woke up, my squirrel bladder tap-tap-tapping me to empty it, and realized I was still on the thing. When I sat up in bed, the mat sat up with me, clearly affixed to my back, which was now thudding a dangerous-sounding thud. I’d clearly over-circularized my blood, which is probably not even a real word. With great pain, I peeled the mat off my back, inch my inch, like the world’s most painful band-aid, and put my shirt back on.

It was all I could do not to shriek like someone had suggested that my boobs would make an excellent table-lamp. I limped to the bathroom, the blood clearly dripping from my back, and examined my back. I had a perfect representation of the mat done in black and blue and red. I’d have been more impressed if I’d seen the Virgin Mary, but still, it was pretty awesome. If I’d had my wits about me, I’d have taken a snap of it just because.

One should always attempt to capture their stupidity on camera. Or so America’s Funniest Home Videos tells me.

By now, most of the bruises have subsided, and the cuts have formed delightful looking scabs, so I look sorta like a recovering plague victim, which is why, from now on, I plan to keep my camera on and charged at all points in time. You can’t let an opportunity like that pass you by.

And I’ll continue hoping, in vain, that I’ll feel those “endorphin” thingies, because obviously.

*All acupuncturists are ancient and shriveled in my mind.


What was the dumbest thing YOU’VE done lately, Pranksters?
  posted under Aunt Becky Has VD | 17 Comments »

Ashton Kutcher Totally Lied To Me


Dear Christopher Ashton Kutcher,

Did you know, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, that your name is not spelled “C-R-O-T-C-H,” but Christopher Ashton Kutcher? I do now. Wikipedia told me so, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and we all know that Wikipedia NEVER lies. When I Googled “Crotch,” Christopher Ashton Kutcher, the Wikipedia entry showed two pictures – one of you and one of me. THAT is how I know that Wikipedia – and the Internets – never lie, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

UNLIKE YOU, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

Anyway, I’m not here to discuss your name, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, although I do find it odd that you’d not go by your full name – Christopher is a FAR less douchey name than “Ashton,” which just makes me think of THAT GUY, you know, Christopher Ashton Kutcher? THAT GUY is who you’ve played in every movie, every television show. In fact, I couldn’t watch That 70’s Show without evoking night terrors because we all know THAT GUY, and *shudders* and you Christopher Ashton Kutcher, play him to a “t.”

(whatever “to a t” means)

Now, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I was willing to cut you a break on playing THAT GUY because we got married around the same time and I thought it was pretty rad, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, that you’d married an older foxy lady. Demi Moore – she’s quite the catch.

So I knew we’d gotten married around the same time, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, because I remember going to see a movie with my new husband, back when saying, “husband” was a total novelty because OMG I’m A MARRIED LADY. BEFORE the previews, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I recall that there were commercials and shit, which dismayed me, because then I had to wait through 47 minutes of commercials + previews to watch the movie. But in those commercials, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and you told me about a camera. A camera so fool-proof, even my dumb ass could use it. I mean, you even showed a BABY taking a picture.

If a BABY could do it, I could, too, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

I mean, photography is sorta in my blood, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and I figured you weren’t lying to me about my newly acquired Nikon D50. See, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, with my father, grandfather, and brother all fighting over the light to get the angle justright for every fucking family picture, I’d sorta thought that I’d be blessed with the photog gene. Like osmosis and shit. Okay, so it has nothing to do with excrement, but you know what I mean, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

Turns out, for all the fancy doodads and whirlygigs on my new camera, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I was still a shitty photog. Sure, I LOOKED radder when I was walking around with the camera, but I could pick up a smoking habit and look just as cool.

But then I had a baby of my own – not like the one in the commercial who was a fake baby – Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and I was all, I BET IF I TOOK MORE PICTURES OF HIM, I’D BE AN AWESOME PHOTOG, JUST LIKE MY DAD.

I clicked and whirred and adjusted buttons, always screaming about “the LIGHT HAS TO BE RIGHT,” even though the only beings nearby were a baby and a cat. I just wanted to “get in character,” and my character was “photog genius,” naturally, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.


THIS IS NOT THE WORK OF A PHOTOG GENIUS, Christopher Ashton Kutcher!

It was then that I realized how you’d lied to me, Christopher Ashton Kutcher. Not only were my pictures atrocious, but no one seemed to care if I screamed about the light or bought a fancy-pants camera bag. You know why, Christopher Ashton Kutcher? It’s because you can put lipstick on a pig but don’t just BECOME rad at photography.

My inability to be a photog was made worse by becoming a blogger, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, (blogging, Christopher Ashton Kutcher,  is just a fancy way of saying, “I write drivel on the Internets.”). Apparently when one becomes a blogger, they should also be a fabulous photog and take pictures of their perfect families doing perfect things, while I take pictures of my kid’s boogers.

WHO WANTS TO SEE UP MY BABY’S NOSE? Answer: NO ONE. See, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, the kid is not even flicking me off, which would’ve made the snap eminently more tolerable and handily proved maternity.

So, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, while I appreciate your role in such cinematic masterpieces as “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and that show about pranking rich people, I’m never going to believe you again, even if you DO tell me that next point-and-shoot is going to be life-altering. BECAUSE IT WON’T. PROBABLY. AT LEAST, I THINK IT WON’T.


Aunt Becky

  posted under Christopher Ashton Kutcher | 15 Comments »

Happy New Year! You’re Still An Asshole!


The morning of my eighth birthday, I woke up to the sounds of my tone-deaf brother’s singing. See, when I was a kid, my brother’s favorite game was to wake me up as obnoxiously as possible, which meant that that day, I awoke to the lilting strains of “Rise and Shine and Bring Out The Glory-Glory,” accompanied by two pots being banged together for the rhythm section.

Getthefuckouttahere,*” I mumbled, my mouth still full of pillow.

“OH NO!” he exclaimed. “It’s YOUR BIRTHDAY! You don’t GET to sleep in lazybones!” He then launched into a a-Capella version of “Lazybones” accompanied by one of our dogs howling.

I paddled my way downstairs in my footie pajamas and threw myself on the couch with the funny pages from the Trib.

“Happy Birthday, Rebecca!” my dad boomed cheerfully as he read the sports section of the paper.

“Thanks,” I mumbled, my head still full of The Sleeps and dreams of reinventing the Babysitter’s Club books so that the characters were all mutant zombies that looked a lot like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“How do you feel?” He boomed loudly, always trying to annoy me with his loud-ass voice first thing in the morning, when all I’d wanted was five minutes of peace to wipe The Sleeps off my face.

“Uh, okay.” I replied, wishing he’d shutthefuckup already.

Knowing he was annoying me, he kept going, “How does it feel to be EIGHT years old? Do you feel any different?”

Finally I put down the funny pages, which had been obscuring my view of my father, in the vain hope that he’d forget I was there and assume that one of the house plants was reading the comics. I let the question bop around in my brain awhile.

Did I feel different? Was I supposed to? Was there some climactic event that happened on one particular day that I should be aware of? What was different about today as opposed to yesterday? I mean, I guess I’m older, but that’s not really much of a deal. Over and over I mulled the question – did I feel different?

At last, I replied with the only answer that seemed appropriate. “Well, I only have one more birthday until I’m in the double digits.”

He laughed before handing me a present to open – more Sea Monkeys for me to experiment upon.

And I went about my day, not feeling even one stinking inch older.

That’s, I think, what bugs me about New Years so much. Not only is the age bracket for having fun between 15-23 (the ages in which puking bar pretzels out your nose is considered “quality entertainment”), but it’s this big pivot point for most of the people I know. This year, I’m going to lose X amount of pounds, or quit smoking, or breastfeed llamas in the Swiss Alps. The resolutions range from the sublime to the absurd.

Take for example, last year’s resolution for me: “DO NOT BECOME LIL WAYNE.” Perhaps this year, I should aim to “BECOME LIL WAYNE,” just to be contrary.

I woke up yesterday feeling exactly the same as the night before, with the exception of my eyes – the sun was being too loud for them. I’d gone to sleep after drinking wee champagne bottles with my friend Paul, who was visiting from one of those states that starts with a vowel. Ohio? Iowa? Kansas City? I didn’t know.

I’d watched both The Facebook and The Twitter exclaiming how they were “so happy 2012 was done” and “2013 was going to be OUR YEAR.”

Since I’ve been using “this is going to be our year!” every year since I was a wee tot to describe my beloved Cubbies, who haven’t won the world series in 104 years (if Jimmy Wales is to be believed), so when I see it applied to the new year, I’m always baffled. If the Cubs can’t break a losing streak for 104 years, how the nuts are we supposed to believe that this year will be any different?

I’m not even wearing my pessimistic pants today – I’m just not sure that the changing of the calendar will do anything to make us different and/or better people. I woke up today in the same shape I woke up yesterday and the same shape I’ll wake up again tomorrow. Life goes on. The calendar changes. We keep on keepin’ on because that’s what we do.

Only thing different is that I’m going to have to stop signing checks 2008.

And come up with another absurd resolution, natch.

*As my brother was ten years my senior, my parents allowed me to swear in the house after I’d complained bitterly that he could swear but I could not.


Do you make resolutions, Pranskters? If so, what are they?

  posted under Daddy's Little Girl Loves Disco | 26 Comments »

Next On Fox News: Rolling Blackouts Drive A Family of Three To Bed!


Last week, I’d gone outside to get some air because my apartment was approximately 78 basquillion degrees and, quite frankly, I’d gotten a bit tired of playing Batman. Unfortunately, my apartment is no longer nicknamed “FBI Surveillance Van” in part because I don’t have anyone to stalk, and mostly because my kids are all “IT’S THE BATCAVE!” Kids, man. Their originality is bogus.

That being here nor there, I’d been happily admiring the twinkly Christmas lights because OMG SPARKLE IS TOTALLY A COLOR when I heard a BAM! and suddenly half the lights in my apartment complex went out. Now, it had been snowing in the most minor of forms – really a dusting or sprinkling if you prefer, and while it was cold as balls, the conditions didn’t seem quite right for a blackout.

I went back inside where my kids were screaming about the DC Superfriends or something, and as I sat on the couch, preparing for my role as Poison Ivy, the power flickered for a second, then went out completely.

My kids, being lovers of light, were all, “Oh Em Gee, what the hell happened?” to which I responded, “I think it’s a rolling blackout.” I really just wanted to sound smart in front of them, because I don’t actually know what a rolling blackout is – I assume it’s some sort of black ball that squashes people until they black out before moving on to squash someone else.

They looked at me quizzically, or at least I think they did – I couldn’t see anything beyond the flickering of the candle I’d been burning before the night became oh so exciting.

“Okay,” Alex stated, taking uncharacteristic charge of the situation. “Let’s play the Wii.”

“Um,” I said, as I was looking for more candles and feeling mighty dumb about not owning a flashlight. “The Wii needs electricity, J, and we don’t have any right now.”

The two of them frowned in my direction before deciding to change tactics: “How about My Little Pony?”

“Guys,” I said, as I panicked, realizing my phone had been left uncharged and the kids had been using it to watch Curious George, which always baffles me. Why would you want to watch television on a screen roughly the same size and shape as a pack of cigarettes? I can’t get a straight answer out of them, and they don’t seem to mind that it drains the phone’s battery like WOAH, so I just let ’em strain their ocular muscles and shit while I watch the television-shaped television. But that meant my phone was near-death and my only means of communication with the outside world.

Naturally, I panicked.

“What about dinner?” they whined, having forgotten that we’d eaten ten minutes before, as they headed to the refrigerator.

“Guys, we can’t go in there right now – we have to keep the cold inside the refrigerator until the power’s back on.” They moaned histrionically, before deciding that the source of their ire was, in fact, electricity, or lack thereof.

“I hate electricity,” Mimi declared in the candlelight, her arms crossed and eyebrows furrowed so deeply that I couldn’t help but giggle. She’s hilarious when she’s mad.

“ME TOO,” Alex chimed in. “It’s so stupid.” I imagine he rolled his eyes as he said this, but my back was turned, lighting yet another candle.

“This is fun!” I tried to explain, knowing that this did, in fact, suck ass, especially since it was likely we’d be without power for awhile, which meant no Internet porn, no House, MD marathons, no phone calls, and no, well, dinner.

The three of us gathered at the window, noting the shiny red/blue/white cop car lights clearly sitting in front of the entrance to our complex, because we ALL know that gaping makes the power return faster.

“Wow,” they breathed in. “That’s pretty.” And they were right – between the snow slowly falling from the sky and the shiny lights flickering nearby, it looked sorta magical. Or it would’ve if my heat was capable of returning The FBI Surveillance Van into a toasty oven again.

“Mama,” Mimi said. “I’m cold.”

“Me too,” Alex chimed in.

“Me three,” I replied to them both. “Let’s bundle up and snuggle in bed like baby kittens.”

And so we did. We fell asleep together in a pile on my bed, huddling under the blankets for warmth until 1AM, when the power was magically restored. Awakened and entirely freaked out by the sudden blaring of the television and lights, I peeled small people off my person, and went to turn off the appliances.

I turned up the heat on my way back to the bedroom, laughing quietly when I realized that the two small people had taken advantage of my absence and had filled my empty spot with their spider-like limbs.

Carefully, I disentangled their limbs and crawled between them. As I was closing my eyes, ready to head back into the land of nod, Mimi, then Alex, each threw one of their gangly limbs over me. I smiled as I drifted off to sleep, the sudden increase in temperature making us all sweat like we’d been running a marathon, happy to be firmly ensconced between two of my favorite people on the planet.

Until, of course, they began kicking my kidneys with their sharp pointy toes.

Can’t win ’em all, right?

  posted under The FBI Surveillance Van | 9 Comments »

2012: A Space Oddity


Once a year, every year since dinosaurs typed out blog posts with their wee flailing dinosaur hands on their gigantic Stone Age laptops, I do a Meme. Generally speaking, I do not like Memes. I do not think that my Pranksters give a fucking shit how I best like my coffee or what is in my purse right now.


I am compulsive. And since I do this every year, I do this EVERY YEAR.

(As proof that I do not actually have a life, I offer this: 2010 here2009 here, 2008 here, 2007 here, 2006 here. I have 2005 somewhere in an email list, which is where I’d gotten this stupid meme in the first place)

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I started over again. Oh, wait. I said “again.” Hrms. *thinks* I bought a headboard for my bed, which is actually the first headboard I didn’t receive as a hand-me-down.

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

I’m not much of a “resolutions” person, so no, not really. Last year I (jokingly) vowed for total world domination. This year? I hope to read more and stress less. I hope to find stability and look for wonder in the smallest of places.

Okay, that was deep. SOMEONE GIMMIE A FART JOKE.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

If my timeline is to be believed, I’m pretty sure The Twitter was pregnant. All of it.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My good friend and coworker on The Band Back Together Project passed away on Christmas Eve. Misty, we’re already missing you.

5. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

A bejeweled princess telephone.

6. What countries did you visit?

My head is a scary enough place to exist.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

July was the month of change.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I can effectively figure out how to work the television.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I’ll allow the Internet to pick that one apart. Let’s just say, “a lot of things,” and leave it at that, Meme.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had the flu. It was pretty awesome if you’re into the whole “sweating balls while you sleep.”

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A new microwave. It sounds like a jet plane taking off.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Since I can’t name one person without naming everyone, I’ll go with my daughter, who began to sing a song called “Stubborn Asshole,” a phrase she did NOT pick up from me, which means that she’s going to become a magnificent swearer.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I always hate this question – it’s so 7th grade. If I wanted to write a slam book, I would. Thankfully, I do not.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Moving-related expenses – turns out, moving is kinda a bitch.

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

Learning to use the television. ALSO: Band Back Together Project is NOW a federally-recognized non-profit (501 (c) 3). That’s pretty rad.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

With Arms Outstretched, Rilo Kiley.

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

i. happier or sadder?  Some days are better than others. Some minutes are better than others.

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner.

iii. richer or poorer? Erms. Can I answer that? I don’t feel it’s appropriate.

Okay, Meme, let me take a stab at that:

i) more or less like Justin Beaver – less, obvs. Don’t have the kicky hairs.

ii) more or less likely to decide inanimate objects looked like boobs – more. Bring on the boobs.

iii) more or less likely to watch Glee – More – I can accept how bizarre the show has become.

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

Pranking The Internet.


Taking over the world.

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

Sweating from my eyeballs.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

With my family, Dave and the kids. I even got a pashmina afghan, although it was not, in fact, nautical themed, which was probably wise, considering that we were not on a boat.

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

I’ll make up my own question:

Why are you so annoying, Aunt Becky?

Baby, I was born this way.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?


23. How many one-night stands?

Every year, I feel like less of a floozy when I have to admit that I had none.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Reruns of NBC’s Life. Fucking shame that show got canceled.

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


26. What was the best book you read?

Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.

And, of course:

Drinking Diaries

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

“Chocolate Rain.”

28. What did you want and get?

Coffee. I learned to make coffee.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I’m not a movie person in the same way I’m not a sandwich person – but I did see the last of the Batman Trilogy, and while I have no earthly clue as to what it was about, there were some rad action scenes.

That sucked. I’m going to make up a new question:

Where are your pants?

Like I fucking know. Ask Siri. They’re probably on their way to Vegas with my sanity.

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

I turned 32 and had a nervous breakdown. It was not, perhaps, my best birthday ever. I think next year, I’ll aim for a December birthday and ignore the month of July entirely – it’s a bullshit month.

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

A more comfy pillow. Hey, it’s the small shit in life, Pranksters.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

“It’s totally okay to wear pajamas out of the house.”

34. What kept you sane?

Um, I write a blog on The Internet where I call myself “Aunt Becky.” I haven’t been “sane” in years.

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

The ShamWow guy.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The great “Get up” or “get down” debate.

37. Who did you miss?

My sanity? Oh, you said “who.” Hrms. My pants? Wait. No. Um.


38. Who was the best new person you met?

You. You, mah Pranksters. Always you guys.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

Snorting Smarties does not, in fact, make you smarter.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”


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


I’m tagging each of you. If I can do one Meme a year, SO CAN YOU, Pranksters. DO IT. It’s full of the awesome.

Happy Happy New Year, Pranksters.

I added a linky for you guys to add your posts, if you do this one! Why? Because obviously we want to hear about YOUR year, too.

  posted under As Navel Grazing As I Wanna Be. | 21 Comments »
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