Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Funday Wrapup!

It's the Friday Funday Wrapup! Let's get to it.


First of all, I'm completely at a loss for things to read. I've been reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for 3 months now and, shockingly, it's not an easy breezy read. I've been making a list for my Christmas break of other books from the book blog that I'll be reading, but otherwise, do you guys have any suggestions? Because for real - in the meantime, guess what?

This happened.

The other night, CB and I landed on something that we're unlikely to forget anytime soon. We'd managed to avoid it for this long, but in a state of weakness and desperation during one of his "we can't ever watch commercials so I'm going to frantically flip through every station I have until something is on" moments, we happened upon "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."

I know.

First of all, does anyone else see the irony in the fact that "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" is on The Learning Channel? I'm just asking. Perhaps we're starting to nail down the problem....

This doesn't require a caption of any kind.
Also, could someone please tell me why they don't have real names? From what I gathered, there's Honey Boo Boo, Pumpkin - one of the sisters? - and Sugar Bear, who's the dad of Honey Boo Boo but not the others, right?

Whatever. When we landed on this show, I said "Oh no, we are not watching this!" and then we became transfixed almost immediately.

Uh, and we had to look up where they were from because this might be the first show I've ever watched where people who are speaking English are being English.

Also, CB made me promise never to tell anyone that we watched it for a few minutes and I assured him that I could never keep that promise.


As I mentioned last week, one of my best and dearest friends participates in the New York City Walk with Us To Cure Lupus Walkathon each year. I wanted to thank those of you who donated after reading last week's post - this means the world to me, Matt, and the millions of others suffering with this disease. 


If you're still interested in learning more or making a donation, please click here. Thank you for helping us spread the word!

Love it, if for no other reason than because of what happens at around 1:27. Enjoy!


And now for the video of the week! If you want to check out the others, click here and here. 

But this week, let's just shake it out, people, and enjoy your weekend!

Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Death, taxes, and my voice: three things everyone really looks forward to.

You know how they say that there are two things in life you can count on: death and taxes? Well I have one more to add to that list. The third thing you can count on, at least if I’m in your realm of living, is that I’ll inevitably talk. A lot. And loudly. And most of the time.

When I was in elementary school - ok, and middle school and high school -  the one constant thing my parents could count on was that every semester, without fail, I’d have at least one comment from the teacher that said “Socializes excessively in class.”

To be fair, they had, like, a list of 10 things to choose from, so they were quite limited and, if you ask me, not very creative in their critiques of my social abilities.

Like two peas in a pod. Also, you can
kind of maybe understand why the
teachers were a little bit
disappointed, right? 
But I know that they had other choices. Not because I ever saw any of     them on my report card, mind you, but because my sister was one of those who always got the “A pleasure to have in class” and “Always willing to help others” and crap like that. So just below “Always willing to help others” and “Your kid is a genius” was the not very creative “Socializes Excessively in Class” and “I wish your kid wasn’t in my class but I drew the short straw this year.” Also, it was always a tremendous bummer to my new teacher when they’d realize I was “Amanda’s Sister” because that obviously meant that I was an incredible test-taker and really well-behaved. Then about three weeks into the term they’d be like “Wait, you’re Amanda’s sister?” 

I know, right? It’s like we’re the same person!  

However, if I’m being totally honest, I kind of always loved getting that “critique.” Also, I never knew it wasn’t just a super nice compliment about how friendly I was until my parents would be like “Seriously, could you maybe try not to talk for, like, ONE SEMESTER?” And I’d be all like “I can totally do that.” And then halfway through the next day I’d break. It was like mental waterboarding to challenge me not to speak.

Whatever, I’ve totally embraced that side of my personality, much to the joy of CB, all of my co-workers, and strangers on the subway.

For example, recently, while CB and I were having what I thought was a relatively quite night at home hanging out and listening to music, I was telling what I can only imagine was a really riveting story about something that happened to me or someone that I knew. And CB, as always, was listening with bated breath for the next twist or turn in the story. Also, I never drag out stories and always immediately cut to the chase.

Anyway, I like to sometimes remind him that we’re “MFEO” because it really makes him happy when I quote “Sleepless in Seattle” and say or do anything unnecessarily mushy. It’s one of his most favorite things about me.

And then this happened:

Me: Blah blah blah a really funny story blah blah
CB: You know what we are?
Me: What?
Me: No, it’s “MFEO!”
CB: No. We’re “made for ear plugs.” Hahahaha
Me: Um, you are never funny.
CB: That is untrue.

And then I proved how I could absolutely not fill every silence with the sound of my voice and totally proved all of my past teachers wrong. And then realized I’d never told CB the story of all of the comments on my report cards growing up, figured he couldn’t go through life without this knowledge, and filled him in on all of the details. Whew! That was a close one.

Happy Hump Day, everyone! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Everything I need to know I learned from Sunday football.

Dear Santa, Please let the Lions win.
Just one game. Please. I hate to see
my dad cry every weekend.
Love, Becky

For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Michigan.  Home of the auto industry, the Great Lakes, and the familiar sound of my dad’s voice every fall saying “You know, this year could definitely be their year.” And of course he was talking about the Lions. And of course he was never, ever, ever correct. (regardless, though….Go Lions!)

So instead I learned to love all things Spartans. But really more for the tailgating and trash-talking than anything else. And because I love cozy sweatshirts with Sparty’s face on them. Obviously.

Basically what I’m trying to say is this: until I entered the world of CB and his family’s Sunday Funday Jets-Watching Extravaganza, I didn’t know what being a true NFL fan was like. Also, while they don’t officially have their Sunday’s named this, I think we should rally to make it so – and have t-shirts made immediately.

Anyway, here are a few of the life lessons I picked up during my first Sunday Funday experience:

1. Being popular might help you a little, but it won’t get you in the door every time.  

Let me preface this by saying that CB – as well as the rest of his family – warned me for a few months now that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into regarding dating any member of this family during Jets season. But I just thought that they were using hyperbole for comedic effect. Turns out, though, that they were underplaying so as not to scare me.

You see, while they might really like you, that has nothing to do with the serious business of football watching. Why? Because your presence in the room could very well affect whether Sanchez has a good or bad game. Obviously.

So if I’m in the room and we win, guess what? I’m in that room every Sunday for the rest of the season. And if I have plans or a work trip, I better just go right ahead and cancel that now because I need to get my priorities in order already! However, if I’m in the room and we lose? It’s possible that I’ll not only not be invited back, but I can envision an intervention-type sit-down with CB where they start to question why he’s dating someone like me in the first place, and does he really want to see the Jets lose all season because of that girl?

It could happen.

2. You must look the part. Period.

Like I said, I didn’t grow up a Jets fan so I don’t have any Jets gear. I figured this wouldn’t be a problem since I could just pop on an MSU green and white t-shirt and call it a day. Same colors, the thought is there, I’ll be good, right?


Me: I don’t have any Jets gear for the game. That’s ok, right?
CB: Uh, no. My family won’t let you in the house.
Me, laughing: Yeah, that’d be funny.
CB, not laughing: No, I’m serious.
Me: For real? I have to go out and buy Jets gear?
CB: Do you wanna come on Sunday?
Me: Yes!
CB: Then we better go shopping.

3. Nobody is nice all the time. 

Yesterday’s game was rough. There were times I honestly thought most everyone in the room might be on suicide watch. There were also times where I honestly thought that most everyone in the room was having the best moment of their lives. It’s very up and down and I was told that the feeling of nausea and excitement wouldn’t really go away all season.

Also, something to keep in mind here is that this group of people are some of the kindest, most generous, most considerate people I’ve ever met. They’re also ruthless and will lock you outside if necessary in order to get a win.

Case in point:
During one of the quarters of the game yesterday, CB’s mom and aunt stepped out onto the deck to enjoy the gorgeous weather. Soon after, the Jets scored a touchdown or something and I believe the screen door was locked and they were promptly told to stay out there for the rest of the game. At one point a few people even mentioned how it was lucky that there was a fire pit on the deck to keep them warm during the colder months of the season if the Jets continued to win.

So basically, family schmamily, we have a game to win, people!

Also, it’s important to note here that his mom and aunt were totally down with this plan and simply asked that we keep them stocked with wine and blankets! Now those are hardcore fans.

4. Delivery is key. 
There was a point during the game that I noticed a direct correlation between the change in volume and language and how good or bad the team was doing. I also realized the power of the f word.

It seems to help if you yell really loudly and passionately whether your team is winning or losing. I think they may have actually been able to hear us. And they were playing in Florida.

Oh, and it is very important to get up from your chair if they score so you can high five everyone with enthusiasm and a bit of aggression. These fans don’t f around. Also, I may have fractured my wrist.

5. Listen to and learn from those with more experience than you. 

It’s important to note two things here: (a) CB and I had attended a wedding the night before and may have, inexplicably, been over-served at some point and (b) I’m not that quick so I might never learn that vodka and I don’t mix.

So when we got to his parent’s house at noon on Sunday, wine and beer and delicious food was abundant. But after one too many spicy meatballs, I decided that crackers were my friend. And water. And soda. And while I felt ok, I wasn’t quite right and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally, almost in unison, CB, his cousin, and his sister said “Seriously. Drink a glass of wine. We promise you’ll feel better.”

However, this logic seemed counterintuitive to me. I mean, why on earth would I want to put the exact thing into my body that it was difficult for me to even think about? It made no sense. But after several “hair of the dog” references and his sister literally pouring a glass and putting it in my hand, I decided it couldn’t hurt.

And you know what? They are all geniuses. Also, perhaps they’ve done this before.


All in all it was an experience I’ll never forget and hope to re-live again soon. I mean, we did win, so I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that my presence was obviously key. I mean, the team can’t just win on skill, talent, and a little bit of luck alone, that’s ridiculous. They need their fans to have their back! And that may be the biggest lesson of them all. Well that, and making sure you have the right t-shirt on. And really, if those aren’t two key life lessons, I don’t know what are.

Happy Monday, everyone!

I'm totally going to wear this next weekend. I'll just have to convince three others
to be the E, T, and S. CB will be endlessly pleased with this idea, I can feel it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Funday Wrapup!

Ok, let's get right to it! It's the Friday Funday Wrapup!

So, remember earlier this week when the lower half of my body joined the navy?  Well, a friend of mine sent this to me and I think it's so fitting (1) because of the aforementioned joining of the military, obviously and (2) because the original video was the video of the week last week.

Also, let's get real. Watching a bunch of Navy guys dance around in their uniforms? Not a bad way to spend a Friday.



One of my best and dearest friends (who corrects me when I refer to him as a friend and not family - my bad) participates in the New York City Walk with Us To Cure Lupus Walkathon each year. And I, as well as many other friends, family, and colleagues, have been walking along side him every year as well - and this year is no different.

An estimated 1.5 million Americans suffer from lupus, including my friend Matt, making the disease more common than leukemia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis.

  • The exact cause of lupus is unknown
  • Lupus has no cure

As Matt so eloquently puts it, one of the biggest reasons he (and we) walk each year is to help ensure that his children won't have to deal with this disease in the future. And honestly, I can't think of a more important reason to walk and help raise awareness!

While Matt and his family deal with the realities of lupus every day, I use this as my opportunity to help show support. I know that economic times aren't easy for many, and that's entirely understandable. But if you feel compelled to donate, we will be eternally grateful. If not, I just appreciate you spreading the word to help raise awareness about this disease.

I usually save this blog platform for all things ridiculous and (hopefully) funny, but this is far too important to me not to mention. So, please click here to donate and/or learn more about ALR. And thank you!  


Ok, so I don't know about you guys, but this pretty much sums up how I feel on most Fridays!



And now for the video of the week! I mean, you really can't go wrong with Ben Folds Five and Fraggle Rock! Happy Friday AND last day of Summer, everyone! Go out there and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

They call me the Rain Man of Love.

Today I accidentally rested my hand on a strange man’s behind for about 7 minutes. In my defense, I didn’t know I was doing it and it was very comfortable. Also, there were a billion people on the train and I was using his behind accidentally so as not to fall over every time the train lurched.

Yes, I just said “behind.”

Anyway, when I finally realized what I’d been doing, I apologized, took it off, fell into him, and then put it back. We had an unspoken agreement that feeling him up was better than knocking him over. Whatever, there are worse ways to start your work day. And again, it was very comfortable!

But this is on the heels of a conversation I had with CB last night where I told him that he’s lucky to be with me now and not when I was first learning how to interact with the opposite sex. Because, for real, I don’t know how I didn’t get diagnosed with some social disorder as a pre-teen. And if you think I’m exaggerating, just know this: even my own sister called me The Rain Man of Love for about 3 years at one point. We have a very close bond and never point out each other’s flaws. 

Who wouldn’t want all of this goodness? 
It’s a mystery. 
Ok, it’s not so much that I’m awkward if (a) I know you really well or (b) we’ve already established that we totally dig each other. It’s just all the stuff that comes before that really seems to throw me off. Or did. I’m totally down with how it all works now, so don’t hate the player. Also, don’t ask CB if that last part is true because sometimes he lies.

For example: when I was 13 or 14, I had a crush on a guy who played the french horn. I know, right? Who didn’t. Anyway, he was one of those dangerous french horn types who totally had a leather jacket when he wasn’t playing Mozart and I’m pretty sure he smoked cigarettes, which was just about the height of rebellion to me at that age.  

So obviously I decided that he should love me back and devised a really genius, fool-proof plan. I’d just go to where he went to school – you know, casually like people do - hang out and wait for him to come outside and then woo him with all of my skilz.

Inexplicably, that didn’t work out so well. I know, it’s really shocking.

I enlisted the help of a friend, who honestly must’ve thought either (a) I was way more skilled in this department than I actually was or (b) she’d be in for a good laugh. Either way, she was totally on board with the pre-internet stalking days of “casually” waiting around for someone for an hour so that you could bump into them. And we had a whole plan: he’d come out, see me, obviously be struck by the rom-com nature of this happenstance meeting, strike up a really witty conversation about brass instruments, and then we’d fall in love and have babies after he stopped smoking.

What actually happened went a little something like this:

Only three minutes 'til Wapner
 so let’s just sing this 
out so I can get home. 
French horn guy walks outside, sees me, and starts walking towards me. Friend jumps up and down really subtly in excitement. I get that weird, queasy feeling of love or food poisoning. French horn player approaches and says hello.

All normal up until this point, yes? Yes. Then I start singing “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors at him until he walks away really confused.

What? Yeah. That actually happened. I actually started singing a pop song at him instead of talking like a normal human person. And, hard as it is to believe, he wasn’t charmed.

I swear to all that is holy, to this day I still can’t figure out what the f I was thinking.

When I told CB this story last night he shook his head, didn’t look at all surprised, and said “Seriously, what’s wrong with you?” And then he said a secret prayer of thanks to the Smoking French Horn player who totally missed out on all of this. He’s so lucky.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I totally won an award for not being stalked by you guys.

So Scary Carrie over at The Travelin-gineer gave me the Liebster Award. What? Yeah I know, I'm kind of a big deal. Or, I have less than 200 "followers" and she felt bad for me. Regardless, it's awesome and she rocks for doing that.

Also, feel free to "follow me" (sidebar). I have, like, 18 people following me. That makes my heart sad. OR I just realized that that's a thing (being followed) and I'm kind of really honored that 18 people want to follow me at all. Thanks, guys! Plus, I was just excited that the pageviews things was high, and was feeling all happy about that, and now I realize that people can follow me, too, and that that's a thing? What? This is all very stressful. 

Anyway, let's get down to it. I was asked 11 Questions by Scary Carrie and so I feel obliged to answer them because of all of the award-having and such. So here goes nothing: 

Questions Asked to Me

1. What's the weirdest Halloween costume you've ever had?
Uh, I was The Log Lady in middle school. Don't know who she is? For shame. She was awesome and so was Twin Peaks. Also, I got to wear a sweater and carry a log, two things that aren't uncommon in October in Michigan. Don't be jealous of my life. 

Can you see the resemblance? 

2. Which high school stereotype were you? (nerd, jock, cheerleader, etc.)
Ok, I know this sounds weird, but I'm not sure I fit any of them because I'm not very self-aware. Like, for example, I'm athletic, but I also play the violin. And my friends were all over the place in what they did, too. They were on the football team, basketball team, in National Honors Society, in theater. We were all over the place. Also, we were awesome. OR, we were giant losers and didn't know it. Remember when I was the Log Lady? You decide. 

3. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person for sure. Poor CB. 

4. What do you do when you have writer's block?
Um...I don't write anything. Also, then I usually go online and watch Tina Fey accept her Mark Twain award and, if I'm not inspired, at least I laugh a lot. No joke, I do this at least once a month. 

5.What's your favorite children's book?
The Giving Tree. OR The Missing Piece Meets the Big O (that sounds dirty but I swear it's not.)

6. What's one TV show you are embarrassed to like?
There are several, however, I believe I watch many shows that should embarrass me but don't. I'll admit, though, that I have recently watched three entire episodes of Married to Jonas and I'm really ashamed of myself. Like, for real. (also, new episode on Sunday!)

7.Where do you really want to visit?
Ireland. Greece. Fiji. My parents. My sister. My friends who live far, far away. Oh! And London. And Paris. And Brazil. And Tokyo. And China. And Iceland. And The Netherlands. And Costa Rica. And....

8. What is one way you consider your blog to be successful?
If people get a laugh here and there to help them through their day. 

9. What super power would you love to have?
Ok, for real, this question came up at the Christmas dinner table last year and I made the whole thing really tedious by explaining that I've never been able to come up with an answer to this question and it stresses me out. And then my family proceeded to name every super power they could think of just so I could tell them why I wouldn't want it until everyone at the table secretly hated me and my inability to just have fun with this question. Finally, after hours (for real), I decided that I would like my super power to be the ability to change super powers whenever I wanted. I'm a genius. Also, I'd like my super power to not be a complete pain in the you-know-what during every waking moment of my life. It's a tall order. 

10. Would you prefer to work in a circus or be an astronaut?
Is this even a real question? Obviously the astronaut one and the reason is twofold: (a) everyone is terrified of clowns, and by association, everything having to do with the circus (except cotton candy) and (b) Apollo 13 has been on a lot and I totally want to be an astronaut in the 60s. 

11. Why did you pick your topic for your blog?
Because I have an unusual amount of stories about my underpants. Obviously. 

Thanks again! I'm going to keep an eye out for other bloggers who are deserving (and not followed!) and will pass it along! 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

And then half of my body became an admiral in the navy.

So this weekend I totally became an admiral in the navy. But only on my lower half. Let me explain.

One of my best and dearest friends is married to a naval pilot who is not Tom Cruise. He’s way taller. And for the next few years we are lucky enough that they’re stationed nearby-ish. The “ish” is because we have to take a car to get there, and so basically if I can’t get to you by foot, you’re in the “ish” category.

Sadly, nobody was playing topless volleyball during our visit.
Luckily, they also weren't telling us about the tenants
of Scientology. So, let's just call it a draw. 
Anyway, two of my other best and dearest friends, plus their two kids, plus CB, plus all of our stuff and coffee and breakfast sandwiches, piled into a sporty minivan and made our trip down to visit for the weekend. Also, you may think that “sporty minivan” is an oxymoron, but I have two things to say about that: (a) you are incorrect and (b) in the dark, they sometimes look just like a sporty SUV (don’t ask).

So I don’t know how much you guys know about navy bases, or really any military base in general, but for some inexplicable reason they don’t just let any old person on base. You can’t just be like “Hey, I’m here to visit and drive around and look at tanks and go to the on-base Pizza Hut.” They get all picky about rules and are like “Um, ma’am, step away from the gates and the men with guns and camo. Come back when you have a proper ID and someone who actually lives on base to vouch for you.” And so we totally showed up prepared and made Not Tom Cruise come to the gate to get us.

All was going fine.  NTC was in the driver’s seat and the rest of us were sitting quietly, proper identification in hand, totally not raising any red flags that any of us was a weirdo. Until the very last seconds when I couldn’t hold it in any longer.

Gate Guard (not sure if that’s his official name or not) salutes Not Tom Cruise, NTC salutes back, and then, just as the car is kicking into drive, I have some sort of weirdo military Tourette’s Syndrome outbreak and salute the Gate Guard from the back seat.


Yeah.  And the worst part? I totally threw poor Gate Guard off, who saw my Tourette’s salute and started to salute back until he realized that there’s no way the military would ever let me into their fine establishment and put his half-salute away while I started to fumble around in my brain for why that just happened.

Friend: “Did you just salute the gate guard?”
Me: “Yeah, I think I did.”
Friend: “Why on earth would you salute him?”
Me: “I don’t know, I panicked! He was saluting and I just panic-saluted back!”
Friend: “But he wasn’t saluting you!”
Me: “I know! But by the time it was happening it was too late to stop it!”

Whatever. In my head, that totally almost counts as being accepted into the military. But what really sealed the deal was when I found out what my rank could be someday.

Cut to: later that night, sitting around the fire pit, talking about the panic-salute and re-living every glorious moment.

Me: “So does that mean I’m part of the military now?”
NTC, not sarcastically at all: “Yeah, I definitely think that’s what that means.”
Me: “I could totally be in the military.”
Everyone else: ignoring that statement.
Me: “What would be my title?”
NTC, realizing I don’t like to drop things once I’ve picked them up, and laughing: “I think you’re a Rear Admiral Lower Half.”
Me: “That’s not a real thing.”
NTC: “Oh yes it is!”

And then he went on to describe how someone in the military actually has the title “Rear Admiral (lower half).” And if you haven’t already figured this one out, there’s also a “Rear Admiral (upper half).”

This. Is. Amazing.

I've obviously been preparing for this moment
all my life. But if you're a Rear Admiral (upper half), you don't get
the red sparkles on your hat. I can see how that'd get confusing. 

And then the conversation spiraled into one that isn’t appropriate for children or blog readers. Also, we perhaps had some spiked drinks in our hands and no children around and so it was totally fine. Plus, I’m a Rear Admiral (lower half) and that’s just how we roll.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Funday Wrapup!

Happy Friday everyone! Let's get right to it.

So my boyfriend sent this to me a month or two ago, predicting this guy would be huge. He was right. And since some of you have mentioned to me that you think part of the Friday Wrapup should include a video of the week (since it kind of usually does anyway), I have decided that this will be the first official launch of it.

I can't get this song out of my head, even though I have no idea what he's saying. But it's better than having "Call Me Maybe" on loop in my mind, so I'll go with it. Also, I'm totally dancing like this at the wedding we're going to next week. CB is going to be SO excited! And impressed with my skilzzzz.


Dear Halloween Candy,
Quit showing up earlier and earlier in every store that I shop at. I have avoided you thus far, but it's only the middle of September and we all know I'm not that strong. Also, I would like to not have to buy all new clothes that fit only because of their elastic waistbands, so could you PLEASE go away until, I don't know, the middle of October? I'd really like to not get diabetes before my birthday.



So yesterday I was talking with a friend of mine, and somehow the subject of sex and sex ed came up. Inexplicably. Not sex ed in school, but rather sex ed as we got it from our parents. She told me about a girl who's mom explained sex to her by showing her a biology video of, like, frogs or something, and it was all very scientific and straightforward until it got to the actual "bow-chica-bow-wow" part. At which time the video cut to a man and woman ballet dancing.


Yeah. So this was obviously hilarious and reminded us both of this Julia Sweeney video we'd seen about when she first had the birds and the bees conversation with her daughter. And then I immediately watched it and laughed out loud. Enjoy.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And then all of my underwear disappeared.

So I was talking to a friend of mine last night and the subject of underpants came up. Obviously. He mentioned that a photo I’d taken a few years ago of his underwear had been picked up and tagged or something on Flickr. I say “or something” because I don’t understand a lot about what happens on the internet or how to properly use Flickr to its fullest potential. But I like to look at pictures on it that my friends post sometimes, and so I suppose that’s good enough.

Anyway, you might be wondering why on earth I’d take a picture of a friend’s under garments. To be clear, this isn’t a habit of mine and usually I totally respect your underpants privacy. However, I believe said friend lost his right to privacy when he decided to leave his grody underwear on my towel.

I know, right?

Case in point. 
Perhaps I should’ve been flattered that he felt so comfortable with me and our friendship to be doing such a thing. Or perhaps you might think that he was raised by a pack of wolves. Either way, our friendship survived this indiscretion because I’m a kind and decent human being. Also, because he lives in LA and I no longer invite him over.

Regardless, the whole point of this rambling is because he mentioned that the guy who tagged this picture is named the Underwear Bandit or something like that, and that reminded me of the actual underwear bandit that raided my home and my delicates back in 1999.

First of all, I think it should be noted that I lived with four other girls and it took us about a week to realize that we’d been robbed. To be fair, we were all very busy doing very busy college things, and second of all, paying attention to detail or the obvious was not any of our strong suits. Apparently.

But you’d think our first clue would’ve been that our back door had literally been broken so that the Underwear Bandit(s?) could get in. But we all just thought that our lock was a little loose/not working and that that’s what happens with old houses. You know, old houses just sometimes inexplicably dislocate locks from the door frame and stuff. It could happen. Or maybe we were haunted by angry ghosts who hated doors.

Whatever, the point is that it took us some time.

The second clue should’ve been that my room had very clearly been ransacked. Granted, when I say “room” I mean “the enclosed porch I lived in with all of my miniature IKEA furniture”, but it was still mine and it was lovely. Also, when my roommate and I walked in and my stuff was thrown all over, shades eschew, etc., we just thought that one of the other roommates needed to borrow something of mine in a rush. And then had, I don’t know, a psychotic break that prompted her to, like, knock everything else in the room over on her way out. Or something.

Anyway, as the week wore on, so did my growing concern over my lack of underwear. But since this is a weird problem to have, I decided not to say anything to the other girls because maybe I just lost all of mine? I mean, maybe it was…hiding? I wasn’t sure what I thought happened, to be honest, but it took about a week until I was finally like “Ok, for real, where the hell is my underwear?” And thus, the floodgates were opened.

Apparently, two of the other girls were in the same predicament and we were all walking around all ladylike not wanting to say anything, yet doing our laundry every two days. Finally, we put the broken lock, my ransacked room, and our lack of delicates together and called the police.

So could you describe to me the
type of lace again? I want to
make sure I have this all right. 
However, the City of East Lansing only added insult to injury when it sent its hottest and youngest police officer over to our house to take our statements. We for real couldn’t form words. I mean, we were 21 years old and describing our underwear to a hot cop. Unfair, universe, unfair. Unless HC decided that any of us was cute and asked us out and then this would be one hilarious and amazing rom-com meet-cute.

But then this would be an entirely different story and I wouldn’t have been walking around commando while talking to a 23 year old police officer about my porch room and underpants.

In the end, we never did figure out who took our underwear and why, though if I was the betting kind, my money would be on HC. I mean, obviously. And regardless, in the very beginning I did promise you all stories about my underpants. So there you have it. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A not so typical Tuesday post.

In light of the fact that today is the anniversary of 9/11, this blog post will be slightly different than the norm. We’ll get right back to the randomness and (hopefully) laughs later in the week, but each year at this time I take a moment to step back, remember, and reflect.

Many of you know that I moved out to New York back when I was 23 years old and fresh off of the farms of Michigan State University (literally and figuratively). One of my best friends and I ventured out on our own for the very first time in our lives, leaving all of our friends and family and comforts behind, driving the U-Haul some 700 miles with our goldfish tucked safely in his bowl in the front seat. It was the end of August 2001 and we could not have been more excited or nervous for what life had in store for us.

We didn’t have too much: no phone, no cable, and a one bedroom apartment so narrow you couldn’t pull out the sleeper couch without moving the tv into the kitchen. We. Had. Arrived.

So on the morning of September 11th, I was just excited to be in the shadows of the city. I was excited to be going into my second week of work, walking what was quickly becoming my “usual route” to the PATH train, thinking about how I couldn’t believe I was really here. But as I got closer and closer to the train station, something felt different.

Garbled announcements were blaring over the loud speakers and people looked quite literally dazed and confused as they filed onto an already over-crowded train and into an air conditioned car, out of the muggy September heat. Some guy on the train kept talking about how one of the towers of the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane, maybe flown by terrorists. It was about 9am and we really couldn’t be bothered with "the crazy guy on the train," so everyone kind of shuffled away from him, rolled their eyes, and held their papers a little higher to avoid eye contact. I obviously wanted to be just like the other New Yorkers, so I turned away from him and tried to settle the unease that was growing in my stomach.

And then I stepped onto 6th avenue.

That view I’d so quickly grown to love was covered in black smoke. There weren’t any cars in the streets, there were sirens in the distance, and there was an eerie calm of a seemingly abandoned city. I continued to walk, faster now, as I made my way south down the avenue, staring up at the blackness that took over the sky.

I will never forget the next moments of that day: the vision of the South Tower falling, the sound of my mom’s voice when we finally got through to each other, the feeling of complete and utter hopelessness as we were told we couldn’t get off of the island, and the absolute surrender to whatever was to come next.

But that's not all that stays with me now when I look down at the newly rising tower on the south tip of Manhattan. That’s not what stays with me when someone starts talking about that day or reminisces about their own personal 9/11 experience.

What stays with me is this: on that day, in that moment, for a fleeting time in our history, this city was united and people came together. It’s actually something I’ve tried really hard to hold onto.

When I first got to this city, it was shiny and new and filled with possibilities. It was also grungy and cold and filled with strangers. It was the place I’d dreamed about and nothing like I’d thought it would be. It was the city I figured I’d play in for a few years and then leave to get on with my "real" life. But it’s the city that ended up cradling me during the craziest and most exciting decade of my life so far.

I’m not interested in debating the politics of what lead to or came after that day. I’m not interested in the conspiracy theories and the what if’s that will forever surround that moment and this country. What I’m interested in is holding onto that feeling of being united and remembering that it’s possible. Not in some Pollyanna, “let’s just hold hands and sing Kumbaya” kind of way, either. But in the practical “I’ve seen this happen, I know it’s possible," kind of way. And I consider myself one of the lucky ones, because lots of people can go through their entire lives wondering if it’s possible or not. And now I don’t have to wonder.

People can be incredibly kind and generous and people can be horribly malicious and cruel. And on that day, in those moments, I witnessed both in their purest forms. I saw it in the crumbling towers and felt it as I was guided through the city by a man covered in ash and rubble from the North Tower from which he ran.

So today, just like every year on this day, I choose to look at the skyline I’ve grown to call home and remember the darkness and the light. To know that it’s possible, to take a breath and relax as tourists stop in the middle of the sidewalk in awe of the city I sometimes take for granted, and to remember those who don’t have the luxury of being here today to know what’s possible.

None of us will ever forget, I don’t even think we could if we tried. But what I hope we can also remember is that it’s possible to come together, it’s possible to be just a little bit kinder, just a little bit more patient, just a little bit…more.

It’s possible. Please don’t forget. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Funday Wrapup!

Friday Funday Wrapup! Let’s get to it.

So it can be a bit intimidating to walk around New York City this time of year, what with all of the goings on of Fashion Week. I walk out the door in SoHo and am surrounded by 6 foot tall models. Actually, I don’t even have to walk out the door because there’s a fashion studio in the building where I work and so they’re in the elevator with me on an almost daily basis.

I'm never going to find this
at the Gap. Thanks a lot, 
Fashion Week.
But this time of year you can’t escape ‘em. They’re like really well-dressed Gremlins. 

Also, CB keeps asking when he can come and “visit me” at work, but by “visit me” I think he means “ride the elevator all day long in the hopes of meeting Adriana Lima.” But I’m fine with that because she’s on his freebies list and I’d totally high five him and send him on his way if he got that opportunity. Good going, CB!

The downside to this time of year for me, though, is the fact that I still shop at the Gap and so I kind of maybe don’t quite have a leg up on all the latest fashion. Though, to be fair, Michael Kors is definitely still stalking me. The upside, however, is that it’s New York City. All I have to do to feel better about myself is walk around the block once or twice until I run into the guy who wears an ice cream cone hat and yellow pants and I’m all better. So, it’s a give and take with this town, really.


Maybe this would be better for a Monday, since we could all use a pick-me-up then, but really, couldn't we use one on any old day? Enjoy. 


I want to thank all of you who have emailed and commented on my post about kids earlier this week. I had no idea it lit such a fire under so many people! I must say, I'm lucky to be surrounded by some pretty adorable and really well-behaved (and non-organic) kids. But man, if I could blog about some of the stories you people have emailed me about in the last 24 hours, I'd for real be able to start my own "I'm not a mom but I have great mom stories" blog. Who knew?

Also, if getting your emails and comments wasn't enough of a reason to write this little blog of mine, the emails that I get from my father alone would suffice. I've laughed out loud several times regarding his comments about various things I've posted. And reading almost an entire email completely dedicated to the song "Call Me Maybe" is reason enough to keep blogging. 


Thanks for reading, everyone, Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

An incomplete list of why kids today worry me.

So today I was walking behind some moms and their kids, though I have no idea how old these kids were. Let’s just say that they were old enough to walk on their own and young enough that they’re still being supervised by parents. As we’ve firmly established, I struggle knowing how old kids are until they’re about 25.  Anyway, as I was de-tangling my headphones, I started listening to the conversation between the mothers about all things parenting. Usually this is just like white noise to me because, well, I don’t have kids and so it’s pretty boring to listen to unless you do. And maybe even then? Not sure, just guessing.   

Anyway, one of the moms was talking about the organic milk she just found at some store in the city. The other mom then talked about some article she read about the various types of organic food you should be feeding your children and how she won’t shop at the grocery store anymore because she can’t imagine putting that stuff into her kids.

Question: if you don’t go to the grocery store, where do you get your food? The organic farm on your fire escape? I was intrigued. Also, if by “that stuff” she means Oreos, then I consider that child abuse and those kids should immediately be removed from her house and sent to mine until they start to crash from the sugar I give them, at which time I will then promptly send them back.

Meanwhile, their kids may as well have been wrapped in bubble wrap. (sidebar: if/when I have kids, they for SURE will be wrapped in bubble wrap, but that’s merely because they will be the spawn of me and, to be fair, I really should have bubble wrap on at all times to protect myself and others. ) Anyway, the one boy who looked between the ages of 5-15 was wearing a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and a vest. The vest had some sort of reflector on it. It was daytime.

The other kid, roughly the same age-range, was wearing all the same stuff except the reflector vest, but wasn’t riding a bike. Or walking along side one. I’m guessing they were sharing? No idea. But boy was he prepared for any kind of trip or fall!

And that got me to thinking: kids today, fresh with the challenges of youth and all things digital, are maybe missing out. Why? Because they totally don’t know what’s coming to ‘em. And what better way to parent than to completely terrify your kids about the realities of the cold, cruel world and let them fall off their bikes and scrape their elbows once in a while?

I should totally write a parenting blog.

So, since I have a really exciting commute, I compiled a list of a few things from my childhood that my niece and all future Becky Kids won’t have the pleasure of experiencing.

Let’s proceed:

Not winning all the time.

When I was a kid, I lost at a lot of things, especially anything math related. And it was all good. Know why? Because when I actually won something or excelled at something, it felt great. But nowadays it seems that everyone wins a trophy! Uh, not to brag or anything, but I totally won a trophy in the form of a piano glass when I was in elementary school because I had the best costume during our piano recital. I was Holly Hobby - obviously -  and that glass is still somewhere at my parent’s house and I still remember how awesome that felt because that outfit was killer.

Be jealous. 
But I digress. The problem, in my opinion, with everyone winning a trophy is that, while I think healthy self-esteem and encouraging kids to find their true selves or whatever is really important, I think it’s also really important to know that when you walk into work on your first day, fresh out of college, you don’t get a raise for knowing how to turn on your computer. Unless my job would like to start rewarding me for doing such a thing, in which case I take back #1 and parents today are totally doing it right.

Falling down and feeling it.

Maybe this is mean and perhaps the reason why the universe has kept kids away from me up until this point, but I think maybe it’s ok sometimes to fall off your bike. Ok, I’ll give you the helmet thing; closed head injuries are bad all around, and boy should I know. But c’mon, it’s called a calculated risk, people! It’s a bike, it’s not motorized, your kid needs to learn some balance already and nothing teaches a kid balance like a few scrapes and bruises.

Future Mother of the Year? Obviously.

And if you’re really intent on getting some sort of lesson out of bike riding that they can take with them that they won’t use against you when they’re in therapy later in life, you can make up some Oprah-esque thing about how riding a bike is like a metaphor for life, and throw in something about balance and learning how to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. OR you could just tell them that sometimes you fall off bikes and sometimes it hurts and that’s what Band-aids are for. Whichever approach works best for you. 

The art of the written word.

Alright, so I’m about to blow some minds up in here, but do you know that kids today (yep, that just came out of my mouth) don’t learn how to write in cursive!!!?? What?? How is that possible???? It boggles the mind. But I think what might be even more disturbing is that they aren’t learning how to communicate like human adults. Or really humans, period. And I’m worried for their future! Because if they don’t know how to even send a proper email, complete with proper punctuation and words spelled out in their entirety, I shudder to think about future work transactions and our ability to survive as a nation.

Also, I realize that I am officially a 344 years old AND an alarmist. But I own those titles proudly, so let’s move on. 


I will admit that I struggle with this and I grew up in the 80s, long before bike helmets and organic Oreos, so perhaps we could all learn from this one. But remember the days when you had to wait for a show to be on at, like, the time it just came on the tv? No Tivo, no On Demand. If you missed the Cosby Show you had to put up with everyone else talking about it the next day who didn’t forget that yesterday was Thursday.

If you wanted to listen to music and remembered that one of your favorite songs was track 5, you had to fast forward, rewind, or flip over the tape to do so. And you listened to entire albums, usually out of sheer laziness, but hey, it worked for us. Also, it’s the reason I can still recite every single lyric to every single song from the “Merry Merry Christmas” album by the New Kids on the Block. But whatever.

“We owe you one, tape players!” 

Oh! And you had to look stuff up in a book! I know, right? Again, I struggle with this one, too, since we all know my love for all things Google. But kids today (there it is again!) don’t even know what the Dewey Decimal System is! For shame. And I won’t even get into the days when we all had to wait a week for our film to get developed and ended up with 22 doubles of my mom’s left index finger and a picture of our family cat running in front of the one shot that came out not blurry.

And there you have it. An incomplete list of things that worry me about “kids today,” complete with non-anachronistic examples! Win/win. Also, highly important to all parents, I’m sure, and something that will likely turn the tables of parenting as we know it. Obviously. So if you have anything to add to the list, let me know!

Happy Hump Day! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Nicki Minaj invented iced coffee and why I will now listen to the radio for the next 14 hours to show my love.

This isn’t a costume.
Sometimes this is just what I looked like
after drinking some mom-brewed
cold coffee.

I think we should all take a minute and reflect on the amazement that is any of us having the ability to do anything that requires any amount of time or attention since the Internet was first invented. And then send Al Gore an email asking him for a lot of money in advance of all of us losing our jobs because we can’t focus on anything for longer than 17 seconds.

This just happened:

I was typing an email when my mind started to wander and I thought about how much I was liking my iced coffee this morning. Then I started to wonder when iced coffee first became popular because when I was a kid, I don’t remember anyone walking around with iced coffee. I remember my mom leaving the coffee she was drinking out on the table for a while, and then me drinking it and thinking that cold coffee was way better than warm coffee, and then my mom regretting that she’d left it out because now I really was never going to stop talking and definitely wasn’t going to take a nap. But I didn’t then go out and start the iced coffee craze at 5 years old. Or did I? Because we all know how my mind just makes stuff happen.
Anyway, then I decided to Google “iced coffee genesis” because I like to use big words in case I’m being watched and/or judged by someone who will be impressed with my ability to come up with a more pretentious word for “beginning.” Fast forward to 20 minutes later where time found me reading about how Michael Clarke Duncan died and why Nicki Minaj might be voting for Mitt Romney. All of a sudden I saw my work email staring me in the face and I was all like “Work email, how’d you get away from me like that?” And I got right back to it.

Until I realized that I never found out how iced coffee was invented and went back to finding out about that.

Also, and totally unrelated, did you know that some people call it “ice coffee” and they’re wrong? Which then got me to thinking about an ongoing, decades-long debate I’ve been having with my friends about whether it’s “mix tape” or “mixed tape.”

First of all, people who were born after 1990, tapes are things we used to listen to before cd’s were invented and whatever else people use to listen to music now. Also, quit reading this blog because you make me feel old.

Second of all, I realize this might be a moot point since tapes are no longer a valid way to spend hours upon hours of your precious time putting together just the right songs to express to someone how you feel about them while also making sure that the DJ’s stupid voice doesn’t come on right at the end and then you have to wait until it comes on 3 hours later again to see if you can get a better take.

Whatever, all I’m saying is that it’s a mixture of songs and that they’re all mixed up and so it should henceforth be known as “mixed tape, Kyle.”

Anyway, moral of the story, I think Nicki Minaj invented iced coffee and Al Gore is a Republican. But I’m busy and need to get back to work, so quit bothering me, Interweb!

Happy Tuesday!