Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Candy Do's and Don'ts.

Let's get real. I pretty
much nailed it early on.

I think I’ve just about aged out of the period in my life where I’m deciding what I have to be for Halloween and, instead, am deciding how close to Halloween it’s appropriate to start buying candy in bulk “for the kids who might come to our door to trick or treat.”  

Also, the other day some co-workers started laying down bets that I won’t be able to “say no to free food and/or candy” three months or less prior to my wedding, as I said I would.

At first I was offended and then I was quietly proud that I’m known for something so unanimously among my peers.

Anyway, as it’s the Eve of Halloween, and since I’m your candy connoisseur extraordinaire, I will proceed to list the five best and worst Halloween candies to give out tomorrow. Please take careful note and pay no attention to the five foot nine woman-child who may show up at your door dressed as Miley Cyrus’ foam finger tomorrow.

Let’s proceed:


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This is a given and people with peanut allergies really miss out. Also, nobody had a peanut allergy when I was a kid and so I call foul on this one. Just eat it. It’s soooo good. Plus, if it’s the last thing you eat before you die, win/win?

Gummy Bears*. These are delicious. Even after my vegetarian/vegan friends remind me that gelatin is the work of the devil, I am impervious to a moral high-ground when gummy sweetness is presented before me. The little bags are a tease as well, but I’d rather have five happy bears staring back at me than none at all. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, people. (*can be replaced and/or complemented by: Gummy Worms, Swedish Fish, or Sour Gummy Bears – though that last one is risky for the more sensitive mouths out there.)

Candy Corn. This is a very controversial statement, I realize, and I’m pretty sure that there isn’t another candy around that elicits such a visceral response. “Oooh, candy corn!” or “Ew, candy corn!” Also, the other day I brought in Halloween cupcakes for my coworkers to enjoy and fashioned them with a side container of candy corn in case they wanted to decorate said cupcake with additional refined sugar.

Then a colleague told me that if you light a piece of candy corn on fire it’ll burn like a candle. And then I contemplated lighting a fire in my workplace before he told me he was just kidding and also questioned my ability to live on my own without professional supervision.

Anyway, candy corn is the best.

M&M’s. Plain, peanut, peanut butter – you cannot go wrong. The plain M&M’s are familiar, safe, and delicious. The peanut and peanut butter ones add a twist to your bag, though, as above, may risk killing a few randoms. It’s a risk I’d be willing to take.

Full Sized Candy Bars of Any Kind. When I was growing up we would always try to go to the “rich subdivisions” where they gave out full sized candy bars. Because honestly, a “fun size” Snickers is really just the opposite. It’s a tease. It’s not fun at all to bite into a candy bar twice and have it be gone, having to savor the nougat and contemplate what nougat is.  

I mean, don’t get me wrong - better a fun size than no size – and I won’t even tell you what kind of candy bars to buy (though Snickers and Three Musketeers are a safe, traditional bet of champions). No child (or adult) in their right mind will scoff at full sized. It’s ambitious, it’s unexpected, and it guarantees respect from 9 year olds dressed as a Promiscuous Princess.


Good n’ Plenty’s. Please don’t give these out because it’s the candy that gets left at the bottom of the bag, not even taken by the parents who are “checking your candy for razors” (remember the 80s?), and then gets eaten sometime in April when you’re frantically searching for anything to snack on at 11pm at night. And when you find it in your pantry you’re like ‘ew I don’t like these,’ but then your need for any candy substance wins over and you grudgingly eat it in the dark. Or something.

Pennies. I realize this isn’t candy, but please don’t give out pennies. I remember as a kid there would always be some nice, older lady throwing pennies into my bag and then I was left to wonder if maybe they were penny chocolates. They were not.

Apples. We’ve discussed this several times here on the blog about how fruit is not dessert. Which would immediately disqualify it from being included in a Halloween bag as a treat. I mean, I realize that the childhood obesity rate is skyrocketing – as is the adulthood obesity rate – but this just makes kids think you’re a downer who hates fun. And no matter how cool your decorations are, nobody wants to go to the apple house. It’s just not done.

Raisins. Also not candy. See above.

This candy.  This is the candy that you find at the bottom of your purse that now tastes like keys and you’re like “no seriously, WHERE does one buy this candy?” And then you put it back into your purse for safe-keeping.

What do you think? Have I missed something here? What are YOU giving out this year? 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Conversations from Cohabitation

Last week while I was walking to work, Harvey Weinstein passed by me in a black SUV with the window rolled down so I could be all like “Oh my God that was Harvey Weinstein!”

And then I texted CB:

Me: “I just saw Harvey Weinstein! And he checked me out.”
CB: “Haha, that’s great. Watch out, he just had a kid this year so I don’t doubt his drive is still there.”
Me: “Ew. I can’t tell whether I should be flattered or creeped out.”
CB: “Both. He just had a kid in April and is married to a 36 year old. And he’s 61.”
Me: “You know an unusual amount about Harvey Weinstein.”
CB: “Some stuff I knew, like his having a kid this year…But the other stuff I looked up.”
Me: “And he thinks your fiance is hot.”
CB: “And that.”
Me: “You won’t find that on Google!”


Each weekday morning, I watch “Good Morning America” as I’m getting ready for work. CB used to sort of grumble about this as, for some reason, George Stephanopoulos bugs him and he thinks everyone is too cheery in the morning.

But today I saw him laughing at something my dreamboat Sam Champion was doing, clearly enjoying his forced morning programming.

Me: “See, you do like watching ‘Good Morning America’!”
CB: “It’s not bad…except for when they go outside and all of those people are screaming.”
Me: “You are one billion years old.”
CB: “Why do they have to scream first thing in the morning?”
Me: “They’re not screaming, they’re cheering.”
CB: “It’s the same thing when it’s 7:30am.”
Me: “You should just do what I do.”
CB: “What’s that?”
Me: “You should pretend that you’re a celebrity and they’re cheering for you as you walk out of the bedroom.”
CB, staring at me.
Me: “I’m serious! I sometimes pretend, while I’m walking around getting ready, that they’re cheering because I’ve entered the room. You know, like Ellen.”
CB: “Your mind is a scary place, woman.”
Me: “Join me, it’s fun in here!”

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Wrapup!

It's chilly! I'm happy! It's Friday! Let's get to it.


Speaking of chilly, it's been in the 30's at night, which makes me endlessly blissful, and to celebrate that bliss, I open the bedroom windows to let the cold air in. However, CB sometimes then gets pneumonia and wonders why he wants to marry me. But until he complains, I open the windows and lay there happily while he bundles up with several layers and a down comforter.

Anyway, earlier this week I had a really disturbing nightmare that bolted me awake in the middle of the night. CB was stirring himself, so I whispered "I just had a really scary nightmare."

And then this conversation happened.

CB: "Oh no, you did?"
Me: "Yeah, it was really freaky."
CB: "I just had a nightmare myself."
Me: "Wow, really?"
CB: "Yeah, I was dreaming that it was freezing....and then I woke up and realized that it's just my reality."

What a comedian.


If you are cold, dark, and dead inside, skip this video. If you have a soul, watch it.

Also, do you think that CB will let us go as Mei Lun and Mei Huan for Halloween? We'd be a hit.


So, this week's book is one that I just finished reading after it sat on my shelf for years. Courtney will say "I told you so" because she promised me I'd like it and I fought her on it because sometimes I like to be difficult. Just like when she assured me I'd like "How I Met Your Mother" and I was like "I'm never watching it." And then started watching it three seasons in and was like "Why didn't you tell me about this before?" Which she wasn't at all annoyed by.

But whatever, she also told me I "had" to read Twilight (I did not), watch "Scrubs" (I did not), and listen to the Andrew Sisters (she's one billion years old).

Anyway, "I Feel Bad About My Neck," by Nora Ephron, was worth the wait. It was funny, short, and one hundred percent Nora Ephron. If you're a fan - or a woman over 30 - you'll likely laugh out loud at least once, and probably feel a little bit embarrassed when she so accurately verbalizes all of the stuff we internalize about ourselves on a daily basis.

Click here to check it out for yourself and peruse the site for other great reads! It's getting cold out...time for a good book!

(um, speaking of good books, Tori Spelling just came out with a new one - SPOILER ALERT - I just ordered it off of Amazon and so look for it on the book blog in mid-November. You're welcome.)

A huge THANK YOU to those of you who donated to the Lupus Walk last week. You guys rock.


And now, the Video of the Week. I chose this because I like it. That is all.

Happy Friday, everyone! Bundle up!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Conversations from cohabitation

Last night we were watching “Biggest Loser” because CB insists that we watch it every Tuesday and I’m like “fine.” Or, because I’ve been making him watch it for the last few years and he has turned it into the opposite of a drinking game where we have to do 10 pushups every time someone on the show starts crying.

Um, have you seen that show? My arms will be ripped by December.

Anyway, much to his dismay, CB finds himself commenting on the show and getting into it even though he really couldn’t care less.

CB: “You know who would be great on this show?”
Me: “Who?”
CB: “The mom from ‘Honey Boo Boo.’”
Me, laughing: “Oh my God she WOULD be great on this show! Ooooh she’d be so funny!”


Me: “What does it say about us that we’re watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ and talking about ‘Honey Boo Boo’?”
CB: “That we’re the biggest losers.”

Getting ready for work this morning:

Me: “How do I look?”
CB, not even looking: “Great!”
Me: “No really!”
CB, turning around to look at me: “You look great! I like that skirt.”
Me: “Really? Because it kind of makes a lot of noise when I walk.”
CB: “But it’s quiet in here.”
Me: “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Silence. CB leaves the room. I’m staring at myself in the mirror. CB walks back in.

Me: “I don’t look chubby?”
CB: “No, but you do look crazy.”
Me: “Right, but I’m serious!”
CB: “So am I. You look beautiful.”
Me: “You have to say that. I mean, thank you, but you have to say that.”
CB: “Then why are you even asking?”
Me: “Because you need to tell me the truth! I depend on you to make sure I don’t look dumb when I walk out of the house.”
CB: “You look great.”

Silence while I stare in the mirror.

Me: “I think the skirt makes too much noise.”
CB: “If it’s going to bother you all day then don’t wear it.”
Me: “You don’t like it?”

CB leaves the room. Five minutes later I come out with a totally different outfit on.

The best part? He doesn’t even mention it.

Happy Wednesday, you guys! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

12 Things Not to Freak Out About While Planning Your Wedding

So as you all know, we’re in the midst of wedding planning. Which, if we’re being honest, is the equivalent to becoming bipolar overnight because you’re both exhilarated and terrified – excited to be marrying this great guy who totally gets you, but terrified that the Wedding Police will show up at your door to tell you that you’re doing it all wrong.

Also, you may find yourself vaguely relating to Carrie from “Homeland” and being like “That lithium thing really seems to do the trick!”

I mean, there’s the rational, sane part of you that’s like “Suck it, WP, I’m doing things my way!” And then there’s the irrational bride part of you that’s like “Oh my God I need to order reception sparklers for everyone to carry around at the reception when CB and I leave the grounds!”

No, Bipolar Bride, you do not. It just looks really cool on Pinterest and in The Great Gatsby because that’s how Pinterest and Baz Luhrmann operate. DO NOT ORDER 200 SPARKLERS FROM THEKNOT.COM. Put down your laptop and move away slowly.

However, I think turning (sometimes) rational, (sometimes) logical, (sometimes) normal, grown women into lunatic, taffeta-laden psychopaths is a wedding conspiracy out there created by and for women to try and convince all brides-to-be that we’re DOING IT WRONG OH MY GOD YOUR LIFE WILL BE RUINED IF YOU DON’T HIRE A LIVE BAND.

Do I sound like Carrie yet?

Whatever, I’m definitely onto something, and my point was proven earlier this morning when this article appeared in my inbox.

 “Wedding To-Do: 12 Things Every Bride Must Do Before The Big Day.”

 Let’s take a look, shall we?

1. Plot a back-up hair and makeup plan. One that you can carry out yourself with your own makeup and hair products just in case your stylists don't do what you ask or you suffer some sort of mascara, faux lash or hair extension malfunction on the Big Day.

Ok, this sounds terrifying to me on a number of different levels. First, if I suffer a mascara malfunction on the day of my wedding, I might have to call the whole thing off. Mainly because I don’t know what a mascara malfunction is. Did I get some in my eye? Did I put it somewhere other than my lashes and then it got awkward? Did I cry because I realized I’m a crazy person who is worrying about my mascara malfunctioning and now it’s running all down my face? I’m very confused.

1. Water-proof mascara, 2. Glitter eye
Second, can we all just get on board with the notion that I probably shouldn’t put any fake hair on my eyes or my head the day of my wedding? We all know that either my eyelashes will get stuck together and then I’ll have a weird stroke face while walking down the aisle, or my hair will start to fall out halfway through the evening and will end up being part of my bustle or something. And then I’ll just look like I have an auburn tail and it’ll be weird in the pictures.

And finally, let’s also agree that nobody wants to see my backup plan for hair and makeup because it’ll end up being my hair in a ponytail and some glitter eye shadow to match my shoes. 

2. Have a heart-to-heart. Preferably with anyone -- mom, dad, sister, best friend -- you think may be worried their relationship with you is at risk of changing once you're a Mrs.

Really? I mean, I’m all for heart-to-hearts (preferably via text message), but I’ve got to believe that my friends and family are all pretty secure in the fact that things can only get better for them once I’m a “Mrs” because I will no longer be their problem. Legally, CB has to listen every time I want to have a conversation about who the best Golden Girl is (Rose) or rub my head when I have a headache. If anything, someone should probably have a heart-to-heart with him to double-check that he’s aware of all legal stipulations in this love contract.

3. Taste test any and every food or drink you can that will be served. Gotta make sure it meets your/your guests' standards! Plus, yum!

Ok, I kind of like this tip because it involves me being able to eat and drink. So I’ll leave it be.

4. Have a date night with your fiance. During which you do what he'd like to do and talk about what he wants to talk about -- no wedding drama chat allowed, unless he's interested in going there, of course.

Wait, am I marrying Don Draper? Why are we only talking about what he wants to talk about and doing what he likes? Are we assuming that I’ve become so unbearable that every conversation we have is about the wedding? Because if that’s the case, I’d like to break up with myself and save him the trouble. I’m the worst.

5. Buy a comfortable pair of flats or flip flops to change into. In case your shoes start to kill you by the middle of the night and you want to dance!

This sort of goes without saying, but we all know I’ll be in sparkle flip-flops by the cocktail hour, right?

6. Discuss the logistics of walking down the aisle with a bouquet and a train and linking arms with your father on one side (and if you're Jewish, your mother on the other) or whoever is giving you away. A moment you might never imagine could be so tricky till you try to carry it out!

I’m going to give my parents the benefit of the doubt that they know how to walk in a relatively straight line while linking arms. Also, if this is “tricky” for us, maybe we shouldn’t be trusted to walk on our own?

7. Sneak in some solo time. To just be with yourself and not plan and not freak out over table numbers and seating charts and allow yourself to truly breathe!

I’m not gonna lie, if I’m the woman being described in this checklist, nobody will really want to hang out with me anyway, and so finding some solo time might not be one of my bigger problems.

8. Bond with your closest girlfriends (bridesmaids?) in a meaningful way ... that doesn't involve wearing a fake veil or neon penis necklace or doing blow job shots.

Wow, you guys, I’ve been doing bonding wrong for more than 20 years!

9. Discuss joining finances if you haven't already. Once checks start coming in, you don't want there to be confusion about whose account they should go into.

I didn’t have anything witty for this because if money coming in is one of my problems, I’m pretty much loving my life right now.

10. Do an engagement shoot. Or several! At one or a few of your favorite places. It doesn't even have to be formal with your actual photographer. Enlist a friend and their iPhone. Because as a former bride and close friend once said to me, you can never have too many photos of you and your fiance looking young and in love!

I beg to differ. First of all, we’re not that young and so we may just decide it’s better to glance back at pictures of ourselves in our 20s doing blow job shots with our friends during bonding happy hours. Plus, those pictures will be way more interesting conversation pieces during dinner parties than a picture of the two of us jumping into the air on a pier while high fiving and blowing each other a kiss.

11. Confront any fears, stress or concerns you have about marriage -- head-on. With and without your fiance. Because no matter what fairy tales and society say, pre-wedding anxiety is totally normal, and most of us understandably feel it at one time or another before making a lifelong commitment!

Again, I think this might be more of a concern for CB since I’ll be busy worrying about my mascara and bonding with friends and family over how to plan a date focused on what he wants to do and say. I mean, I only have so many hours in the day, people!

Also, if I have stress or concerns about marriage, should I, I dunno, talk about those with my fiancé?

12. Practice "the kiss" with your fiance. A lot. Can't hurt!

Ok, I’m going to let this one go because the author clearly ran out of ideas by number 12. Also, I try to practice this all the time and CB is always like ‘Oh my God get away, woman!’ and then I’m filled with love and joy and comfort about our pending marriage.


So do you see what I mean? Why are we trying to stress out over things that aren’t things? I’m very good at doing that on my own so I really don’t need anyone’s help from the Huffington Post.

But am I alone here? Have you guys experienced BB syndrome, too? Should we form a support group or something?

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Wrapup

I'm so happy it's Friday that I feel like dancing! But since that'd likely disturb my co-workers, I'll just do the wrapup instead. Let's get to it!


As I mentioned last week, it's that time of year again for the New York City Walk with Us To Cure Lupus Walkathon. Tomorrow, something that happens about twice a year will occur, and only because of pure love and dedication: CB will get up at 8am on a Saturday so we can head out to the walk with our best friends to support Matt. If that's not love, I don't know what is. 

An estimated 1.5 million Americans suffer from lupus, including our friend Matt, making the disease more common than leukemia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis. So, while I usually save this blog platform for all things ridiculous and light, I have to make an exception because 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!  


This week's book is one that I debated with my dad over last night because he was all like "Nobody's going to want to read about environmental stuff and the Great Lakes." And I was like "Um, just because I'm your daughter and I write about my underpants doesn't mean my audience is not multi-faceted and environmental." 

So, if you want to prove me right, click here to check out "The Great Lakes Water Wars." Being from Michigan, it's obviously a fascinating topic for those of us directly affected. But lets get real - water is the new oil (like orange is the new black), so I think this is a subject we'll be hearing more and more about as the years go on. Get ahead of the curve, people! (and, again, prove me right). Enjoy!


Now, the Video of the Week. And it's a twofer you guys! The first video is courtesy of CB because this morning, on our way to the train, we heard this song on the radio and it took us both back to middle school when we rocked rooster hair and pegged pants. Also, CB likes to point out that he had moves even back then and girls would "line up to dance with me." And then I supportively roll my eyes. 

But I'd never seen Part I of the Video of the Week until he told me about it, and so perhaps you have all missed out as well. 

And then obviously, the Video of the Week.  Enjoy, and happy Friday, everyone! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Conversations from cohabitation

So, I kind of forgot on Monday that it was Monday because I was one of those fortunate people who had the day off to honor someone that kind of did a lot of bad things and also didn’t actually land in North America? But since the Christopher Columbus poem about 1492 is maybe the only poem I’ve ever memorized all the way through, I decided to allow my company to give me the day off and also forget that it was a blogging day.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I’m both lazy and maybe not as vigilant about genocide as I should be. But mostly lazy.

Anyway, sorry I didn’t post, but it was because I was busy having this conversation.

Me: “If you had to watch a tampon commercial or a douching commercial, which one would you prefer to watch?”
CB: “What is wrong with you?”
Me: “I’m just saying that you squirm pretty much at the sight of blue liquid on the screen or any mention of feminine anything. So now you have to choose.”
CB: “I don’t like this game.”
Me: “Choose.”
CB: “I don’t know, I just watched a tampon commercial a few minutes ago.”
Me: “So tampons?”
CB: “Yeah, I guess. But I really don’t ever want to watch that commercial where they talk about an uncomfortable feminine feeling “down there” for women of a certain age ever again.”
Me: “God I wish I would’ve been in the room for that one.”


Me: “You know, just in the few months we’ve lived together, I feel like I’m desensitizing you to things like this.”
CB: “No, I’m just becoming dead inside.”
Me, laughing: “No, you’re getting in touch with your feminine side.”
CB: “I don’t think that’s happening. I think it’s more likely that I’m becoming like those guys who have been married for 40 years and just kind of sit there with that blank stare on their face. You know that look I’m talking about?”
Me, still laughing: “Yeah.”
CB: “Those are dead eyes.”
Me: “I love you, too.”

Happy Wednesday! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Wrapup

It's raining, it's chilly, it's fall, and I've got a long weekend must be Friday! Let's get to it. 

Ok, so this week I'm recommending this book to CB because (a) I think he'll really enjoy it and (b) I want to read it after him, but I have a long list and so I'll give him first dibs on this one. Check out "1491" by Charles Mann by clicking here and peruse the site in general for some really great suggestions (if I do not-at-all-humbly say so myself.)


It's that time of year again! One of my best and dearest friends 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!  


Um, last night I walked into the bedroom just as CB was turning off the light. I assumed he'd just finished reading, but as he started tossing and turning I was like "Dude, cut it out." and he was like "I shouldn't have done calculus right before bed."

Come again?

So it turns out that CB is even weirder than you already thought he was for choosing me as his wife. He voluntarily did calculus "for fun" last night to "see if I could still do it." And then I made gagging noises because math is my nemesis and he started showing me the piece of paper that had the evil math on it. And I was like "I don't even know how we're in the same bed right now. It's like I don't know you at all."

So I'm taking a poll: do people actually do math for fun? Is this a thing? Or can I continue to tease CB about being a math nerd at each turn? You tell me.


Oh! And while we're taking polls, should I be watching "American Horror Story"?


This needs no explanation. This is the Video of the Week.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Part II of why the United States and Canada fought over who wanted me less.

Ok, so in the thrilling conclusion to Monday’s post, we find our heroine (it’s me, you guys!) successfully in Vancouver, British Columbia. And a little something you should know about said heroine (still me) is that she woke up that morning at 3:45am in Philadelphia, where she’d been up late presenting at another meeting the night before.

So I took a cab, hopped a plane to San Francisco, ate lunch at 9:30am those people’s time (or so a receipt says (I DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING BECAUSE OF BLOCKING OUT MEMORIES THAT MAKE MY STOMACH HURT) ), and then hopped another plane to the mountain-friendly West Coast Canadian city where I kept texting friends about it being like “Back to the Future” because time was going backwards and I kept experiencing the same thing. And finally Courtney was like “I think you’re thinking of ‘Groundhog’s Day,’ stupid.” Which is why we’re friends, because I was totally thinking of “Groundhog’s Day.”

Anyway, at this point my body thought I’d been up for about 14-15 hours, even though the clock told my body it’d only been up for 11-12 hours because it’s a vicious liar. So my body was like “Let’s head to bed” and I was like “Nope, gotta go have meetings where I’ll dazzle people with my brilliance and not fall asleep talking to them with my eyes open.”

Ok. So fast forward to a few hours later when I finally got to the hotel to check in and go to sleep during daylight hours.

Hotel Clerk: “Um…I’m sorry, ma’am, but your credit card has been declined.”
Me, not even blinking at the word ‘ma’am’: “No, it works….” 

And I slid it back across the desk to her like a crazy person.

Hotel Clerk: “No, ma’am, it says that it’s been declined.”
Me: “That can’t be. I just used it!”
HC: “The only thing I can think of is that, since this is Bank of America, they’re pretty strict about international travel.”
Me: “Oh crap, Canada is another country!”

HC, staring blankly at me because most adults know that.

Me: “I totally forgot to call and tell them I was traveling internationally.”
HC: “Would you like to use another card or call your bank?”
Me: “I’d like to call my bank because this is nuts.”

So, HC dialed the number to my bank from the back of my debit card and slid the phone over to me. Meanwhile, I was furiously checking my bank app to see how much money I had.

And then I lost my mind.

Me: “See, look! I have money! I have money!”

Um….so……I was shoving my phone in her face from across the desk to show her all of my US money. Because that’s normal.

HC, nervously wanting me to quit crazy eyes’ing her: “Yes, I see that….”

Awkward silence.

BOA person: “How may I help you?”
Me: “Hi, I’m in Canada but I live in the United States and I just tried to check into my hotel and my card got declined.”
BOAP: “Did you call to let us know you were traveling abroad?”
Me: “Um, no. That’s why my card got declined.”
BOAP: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience, ma’am, but unfortunately your account has been frozen.”
Me: “I understand completely. So…let’s go ahead and un-freeze that, please.”
BOAP: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we won’t be able to un-freeze the account.”
Me: “Ever???!!”
BOAP, laughing: “No, but not while you’re in Canada.”
Me: “Ok, well, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. And I don’t want to sleep outside tonight, so could you please just un-freeze it?”
BOAP: “I’m sorry, I don’t have that power. But I can transfer you over to the fraud department to see if they can help you.”
Me: “That makes zero sense, but ok.”


Another BOAP: “How may I help you?”
Me, explaining everything again but sleepier and more crazy.
ABOAP: “I’m sorry to hear that, I think I can help you.”
Me: “Thank you so much! What’s your name?”
ABOAP: “Um…Mike.”
Me: “Mike, you’re my new best friend.”
Mike, not knowing what to say because that's weird.

Silence and keyboard clicking.

Mike: “Ok, so before I can go ahead and unfreeze your account, I’m going to have to verify the last few transactions with you.”
Me: “Sure, no problem. Whatever you can do to so I can get into my hotel room. Because otherwise – and I’m not kidding – I will literally sleep on the lobby floor.”

And then the hotel clerk looked scared because she could totally tell I was serious. So, Mike started to go through all of the Becky-approved transactions and stopped at one.

Mike: “There’s an $80 charge here from NYSC?”
Me: “Oh yeah, that’s my gym.”
Mike: “Do you get a personal trainer with that?”
Me: “What? No, that’s just my gym membership cost.”
Mike: “Wow, New York is really expensive.”
Me, laughing: “It is…..why, what does your gym cost?”
Mike: “Twenty four dollars per month.”
Me: “WHAT? That’s crazy! Where do you live?”
Mike: “South Texas.”
Me: “Oh, that’s why.”
Mike: “I love New York, but I don’t know how anyone lives there.”
Me: “Well, I actually live in New Jersey but work in New York, even though I go to the gym in both states. And honestly, New Jersey isn’t that much cheaper than New York. I mean, I'm pretty sure New Jersey has the highest taxes in the country, and everyone would think it's New York, but they'd be wrong.”

And then Mike sort of half-acknowledged all of that because I gave him way too much information while small talking about a gym.

Super-long story short, my funds got unfrozen, I didn’t sleep on the lobby sofa, and I made my way to my room. Of course, since I didn’t leave the people at the front desk terrified enough, as I got into the elevator and pushed the button for my floor, the doors just stood open while I maniacally pushed “4! 4! 4!” and finally – completely unhinged – yelled into the lobby “The elevator is broken!”

And then the nice doorman reminded me that I had to use my hotel key to access the elevator floors and I was like “Oh yeah, that nice hotel clerk told me that 30 seconds ago.”


So I got up to my room and called CB to tell him the whole story.

CB, laughing: “Seriously, this is why people don’t want to travel with you.”
Me: “I know!”


Me: “Also…I might drop our baby.”
CB: “What?”
Me: “Well, today has taught me a very valuable lesson.”
CB: “And what’s that?”
Me: “I really don't do well on very little sleep. I had crazy eyes with the hotel clerk, I showed her my money, I yelled into the abyss about an elevator, and now I’m sitting on my hotel room floor in the fetal position because climbing into bed is too much work. So, I’m nervous that when we have a baby and it’s up all night selfishly crying, I’ll accidentally drop it when I get too tired.”
CB, not even fazed by this: “Yeah, I’ll just make sure you only hold our baby when you’re sitting on a couch or something.”
Me: “See? This is why we work. Our baby thanks you.”

And then I may or may not have fallen asleep while talking to him.

Of course, 13 hours later, I awoke to a text message from my cell phone company to let me know that I’d been charged $300 for my data plan since I didn’t tell THEM, either, that I was traveling internationally.


And so then I called my cell phone company, told them I was a dumb-dumb, they agreed, reversed the charges, and then I laid in bed thinking about how expensive it was to see mountains and visit a Tim Hortons.

But at the end of the day, at least you can never call Traveling with Becky dull, right?

So, who’s in for my trip next month?

Happy Thursday, you guys!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm a Liar.

And didn't have a chance to draft the post for today's blog, so you'll have to wait (with bated breath, obviously) until TOMORROW for Part Deuce of the travel extravaganza!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Part I of why the United States and Canada fought over who wanted me less.

So, remember a few weeks ago when I said that I had a story for you? Well, I have TWO stories for you that happened in the last week and a half, so stay tuned for Part II of this saga on Wednesday. But now, without further ado, Part I of the story you’ve been waiting more than a week for! Sorry in advance if all of the anticipation was more exciting for you than this forthcoming story.

Ok, so back in the early summer, I was busy being all responsible and organized and an overall awesome citizen of the world and applied for a renewed passport for my trip to Vancouver in the fall. Easy, breezy, filled out the form and got a new picture. Wham, bam, I’m a travelin’ ma’am.

Of course, then the government got involved and was like “No, sorry, we don’t trust you to leave this country and so we’ll take forever to give you your passport. Also, we’ve been sequestered and now you have to pay attention to what that means when they talk about it in the news because maybe it’s about to affect your life, like, big time.”

But I’m going to be honest with you: when I initially heard about the sequester, I was all “this is probably one of those things the 24-hour news outlets are making into a big deal because they have to fill 24-hours with non-news.” And then it was the middle of September and I still didn’t have my 6-8 week processing time passport and I was like “the government must have me on a glitter-terrorist watch list and/or the sequestration is real.”

However, I decided that it’d definitely be ok and the government would not let me down. And then it was three business days before I was leaving and I was like “We’re breaking up, United States. This was the invisible line that you just weren’t supposed to cross.”

So that Tuesday afternoon, I called the 800 number for the passport agency and discussed the situation with someone who clearly didn’t understand that this was CRISIS! and, instead, was like “enjoy not going to Vancouver, sucka’!”

Later that night:

Me: “How am I going to tell (insert boss’ name here) that I’m not able to go on this business trip that I’ve been preparing for over the last two months?”
CB: “She’ll understand.”
Me: “’She’ll understand’ is not a solution. I’m panicking.”
CB: “It’ll be fine, you’ve literally done everything you possibly can, they can’t fault you for that.”
Me: “Maybe I’ll call the 800 number again tomorrow morning and tug at their heartstrings?”
CB: “How will you do that?”
Me: “By being charming?”
CB: “Yeah, you’re definitely not going to Vancouver.”

So of course I decided to prove CB wrong, especially because I can be incredibly persuasive and pitiful via telephone, and called the agency back the following morning.

One hour later I had a fool-proof plan that could fall apart at any moment and took it to my manager for approval.

Me: “So I can take a train to Philadelphia tomorrow morning, where I have an appointment at the Passport Agency at 9:30am so they can decide whether they’ll approve me for an expedited passport.”
Manager: “You’ve done everything you possibly can, definitely go! Especially since you’ll get a passport after all is said and done.”
Me: “Um, actually, they couldn’t guarantee that I’ll walk out of there with a passport OR that they’ll be able to overnight anything to me for the trip. So I’m basically taking an entire work day to wait in line at a government agency where they’ll take hundreds of my dollars and then maybe let me go to Canada.”
Manager: “I don’t see how this could possibly go wrong.”

Sidebar: something you should know about me is that all of this is perfectly normal. In my life, which has been quite a nice one thus far, things that are just regular, day-to-day things turn into EVENTS. And not because my flair for the dramatic takes center stage, though that’d be a logical conclusion. Mainly just because it’s in the universe’s DNA to make sure I don’t get too comfy with life. Keeps me on my toes and also sometimes craving anti-anxiety medication.

So the next morning I hopped a cab, then a train, then another cab to the Philadelphia Passport Agency and waited in line with 45 other people who also had a 9:30am appointment. I was number 40 and there were 7 windows and three people working.

Sequestration? Real.

Finally, I got up to the counter and handed over all of the various necessary documents for my application.

Passport Agency Rep: “What’s the purpose of your travel?”
Me: “Business.”
PAR: “What is your business?”
Me: “I’m an editor.”

And then the PAR just stared at me for an uncomfortably long period of time. I stared back and started to sweat, which is my go-to power move.

PAR: “Is this your birth certificate?”
Me: “Um, yes?”
PAR: “I don’t think I can use it because I can’t feel the raised seal and the doctor never signed it.”
Me: “Um…..but this is all I have.”
PAR: “Sorry.”

Second sidebar: Ok, PAR, you’re not sorry. I can tell there’s no remorse in that statement! Also, just because the doctor who delivered me failed to sign the document doesn’t mean I wasn’t born. I’m standing in front of you, born for several decades now, and so please just take it.

Me: “Well, I have my old passport – they didn’t take it when I applied because it’d been more than 15 years so I had to apply for a brand new one.”
PAR: “Yes, that would help a lot. Otherwise, I was going to have to deny you.”

So I took out the old passport and handed it to her, and while I was waiting for her to find something wrong with it, I was looking at my upside down fake birth certificate to have anything else to focus on other than my anxiety.

And that’s when it happened.

Towards the top of the document I noticed a date that read 11/26/1977.

11/26/1977. 11/26/1977. 11/26/1977.


And then, for the next two minutes, I flashed back to every single year of my life and how I celebrated two days in advance and MY WHOLE LIFE IS A SHAM!

And then I realized that that was the processing date and that my actual birthday was right there next to it and the flop sweat and updating of my Google calendar commenced.
Not actually born. Just a terrified,
life-like doll. 

A few minutes later, though, I had a 2:30 appointment to come back and pick UP my passport because, guess what? Pity and brow perspiration work every time.

And so I texted CB in excitement:

Me: “I’m getting my passport this afternoon!”
CB: “That’s great!”
Me: “Also, remind me to tell you why I think the day I always thought was my birthday actually isn't.”
CB: “Ok.”

And then that was it. No follow-up, no wondering why that'd ever come up in a person's life. He just took that as yet another normal part of having a conversation with me and left it at that.

Anyway, come back on Wednesday for Part II when I tell you how I actually got to Vancouver and then they didn’t want me to stay!

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Wrapup!

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack...let's get to it!


Ok, first of all, I was in Vancouver for most of the week on business and got back around 1:30am last night/this morning and so my mind hasn't completely caught up with where or who I am yet. This wrapup may make less sense than usual. 

Also, remember when in "Sleepless in Seattle" they talk about how it rains nine months out of the year in Seattle? Well, replace "Seattle" with "Vancouver", Meg Ryan, because it's going for the title. Of course, I was only there three days, but since two of those days were full-on rain, I will consider myself an expert of all Canadian weather and will henceforth refer to Vancouver as a rainy city. 

Oh, and rain and dreary and cold makes me unbelievably happy and I'm not being sarcastic about that.

Text between CB and me: 

Me: "I love the overcast, cold weather! I really AM Canadian!"
CB: "How can you like that crappy weather you CRAZY WOMAN?!"
Me: "Oh my God it makes me so happy."
CB: "There is something wrong with your love for the dreary."
Me: "I love it."
CB: "That's so wrong."
Me: "I'm the woman you love."
CB: "That's why people say 'good morning sunshine' not 'good morning overcast gray sky.'"
Me: "Ha!"
CB: "Boooo cold Pacific Northwest! Yay, warm southeast Atlantic!"
Me: "We are living two separate mind-lives."


Um, air travel can be uncomfortably weird. 

Exhibit A: I took the picture below after a group text with my friends who called me a communist for not knowing who all of the Disney characters were. 

First of all, I was in the Vancouver airport. Is there a Canadian Disney World I'm not aware of? Why were there cases and cases of Disney characters from all different generations? 

Oh, and also, if you don't know this about me, I sort of hate Disney. And cartoons. And it's 50/50 that I'm dead inside, if you ask CB. 

But ok, so I texted my friends to figure out why I was being surrounded by figurines and should've gotten credit for knowing who Mickey was, though I guess that's sort of an obvious one? But also , I knew Goofy, and that's downright impressive. However, I accidentally called Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, and got mocked, but whatever, I was close and knew it was an alliterative name. 

Anyway, nobody can really blame me for not knowing Pluto, though, right? Granted, the moment they said "Is it Pluto?" I was all like "Yes!" so there was a part of my insides that knew who it was. 

But then they made me take a picture to confirm, and that's when things got weird. 

This guy was totally onto me that I was taking
weird Disney photos! So I moved my seat soon after.
But then things got even weirder, if that's possible, because when I got on the plane and got all settled in, the GROWN WOMAN next to me took this out. 

It's a dirty talking Ted doll, in case you were wondering.

Um, why do you have this, woman-who-looked-normal-until-you-brought-this-out-and-held-him-for-the ENTIRE FIVE AND A HALF HOUR FLIGHT? Why? 

So I took a picture. Just so she wouldn't be the only crazy person on the plane. 


Moving on. Now, the Book of the Week! 

Um, I'm going to read this book for two reasons: one, I love Haruki Murakami, so when my dad said this was reminiscent of one of his books, I was sold. And two, the cover is pretty and I'm a marketers dream when it comes to packaging. I will literally buy you if you're pink and/or purple and/or glittery. 

Also, it actually sounds like a book I'd really enjoy, and I'm looking for something to dig my teeth into. So, after pulling out my long list of books I've marked down as "must reads" from the book blog, this one might scoot right on up there to the top. 

So, check out "Number 9 Dream" by David Mitchell by clicking here and let me know what you think! 


And now, the Video of the Week. 

Um, this conversation just happened: 

Me: "What should the video of the week be this week? I'm drawing a blank."
CB: "Hmmm..I'm going to hop in the shower and I'll think about it and have something when I get out."
Me: "Ok, deal!"

15 minutes later CB comes and sits down in the living room with me. 

Me: "So, what should the video of the week be?"
CB: "Oh crap, I forgot!" 

He is no help. 

But since every time I travel, I find myself excited to return to New York City, I thought this video would be appropriate. 

Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and OH MY GOD I HAVE THE BEST STORIES for you next week!