Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Wrapup

Let's get to it!


This week's book is "Gould's Book of Fish" by Richard Flanagan. He also wrote "The Narrow Road to the Deep North," which has been blogged about, too. It's on our list (mine and CB's) of books to read in the coming months - CB just finished this one and is currently reading this one . I'm obsessed with this book  at the moment and it's all because of the book blog!

Last week, after I posted this book, my sister texted that she wasn't sure if she should read it or not, but after reading my review, decided to check it out - and was really enjoying it, last we spoke. SO, check out the newest post this week and then browse around for other inspiration - it's what all the cool kids are doing, you guys.


While I'm a grown-up with a child, that does not mean that I, too, am not still a child. Or I'm regressing?

Last night, while watching Jeopardy, I couldn't even make it to Final Jeopardy because I was so tired.Which I realize may be the saddest sentence ever written by an adult in their 30s. So I went to bed.

At 7:20.

Literally, CB could have a second family and I would never know it. Our daughter goes to sleep at 6, I'm in bed AT THE LATEST by 8:45, and so he could be calling his other family being like "Ok, on my way home!"

But as my friend Patrick so eloquently put it this morning: "Yeah, he could be doing that, but he's not because he's already committed to his boring life with you."

Poor CB.

Anyway, this morning I had to run back upstairs after getting all the way downstairs in my building to get my hat and gloves. Then I realized, halfway to the train, that I forgot my headphones, so my mother-in-law loaned me hers. Then I hopped out of her car to run to the train, forgetting my hat and gloves in the car - so I ran back as the light was changing green, thanked the people behind her for being patient while I attempted to get my sh*t together, and started running to the sidewalk again. That's when my mother-in-law and the people behind her started honking. Because one of my gloves was in the middle of the street.

HOW am I responsible for another human life? Thank goodness she's relatively self-sufficient and has mastered the art of shaking her head no when she disapproves of my choices and claps when she's thrilled by them.


Um, you guys. Someone posted this on Facebook this morning and had me BAWLING at my desk. I have the best parents in the world who were my first and best role models and now I'm fortunate to be married to a man who is doing the same for our daughter. So listening to this song broke my heart. And I'm not even emotional and pregnant! So obviously I've made it the Video of the Week. (As CB said "Why don't you try not to watch things that make you cry first thing in the morning?")

It's like he doesn't know me at all.

Happy Friday! (after you cry)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Friends Are the Best

So living with CB over the last few years has taught me many things about myself. For example,the following are facets of my delightful personality that I was unaware of, prior to moving in with my husband: 
  • I believe there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Specifically, I do things the right way and he leaves cupboard/medicine cabinet doors open.
  • I do not recycle. We’ve been over this. It’s a major character flaw that will mean my daughter grows up in a landfill, I realize. 
  • I’m a cover/couch hog. While CB is several inches longer than me, he gets the “short couch” while I spread out on the long one and lounge, as I’m designed to do. Also, I sleep with three pillows, he sleeps with one. I sleep with the heavy comforter (since I turn fans on to sleep, another charming trait), he sleeps with one quilt. 
  • I’m a monster.

However, I’ve also learned that I’m a major weirdo. Which may not surprise some/all of you, but when you live in your skin for LITERALLY all of your life, you forget that you’re a little off and assume these are just all things nobody talks about, yet everyone does.

FOR EXAMPLE. Several months ago, CB was in the kitchen and noticed a photo magnet on the refrigerator. He came walking into the living room, where I was lounging, and we had the following conversation:

CB: “Hey, who are these people, have I met them?”
Me, looking at the magnet and laughing: “Oh, no, those are the frame people.”
CB, staring at me: “The what?”
Me: “The frame people. The people whose photo came with the frame.”
CB: “Wait, so then why are they hanging on our refrigerator?”
Me: “Um, that magnet has been there, literally, for months. Maybe even a year or more.”
CB: “WHY have you put up a magnet on our refrigerator of people we don’t even know?”
Me: “More importantly, WHY has it taken you this long to notice?”
CB: “Yes, that’s the unusual part of this story.”
Me: “I put it up there to remind myself I needed to find a photo to go in the frame. And then I forgot and now it’s just part of the other pictures up there.”
CB: “But they’re strangers. Who leaves the photo frame picture in the frame?”
Me: “Um, you married her. If you take the pictures out of every single frame we have in this apartment, you’d find the photo people behind them.”
CB, staring at me: “Are you for real?”
Me, laughing: “Is that not a thing people do?”
CB, laughing harder: “NO! How would that be a thing that people do? Nobody leaves the photo frame people in the frame when they put a picture in there.”

And so, to prove him wrong, I walked over to a picture of our wedding day, took it out, and there was a happy family of three, throwing snow at each other on what I can only assume was an enchanting Vermont ski getaway.

CB, laughing: “You are so crazy.”
Me: “I legitimately have never thought about this. I have done this forever.”
CB: “How did I not know this about you?”
Me: “It’s why you married me, I'm assuming. I promised you that it’d never be boring! I did not, however, promise that it wouldn’t be insane.”
CB: “Well that’s the truth.”

Aren't my friends pretty?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I'm nothing if not consistent....

So I really want to be blogging and writing, but my job and laziness are preventing it at the moment. HOWEVER, because I want to keep you guys entertained, I decided to look back at what I was writing about a year ago and, wouldn't you know it, on February 25th last year I did a throwback because I was too lazy to write then, too!

Maybe this'll be a late February tradition - I'll always just cop out and throw it back to when I wasn't so lazy!

Here it is.....


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! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Wrapup

Let's get to it!


This week's books is "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. You guys, I kept my promise to post -  for once! Click here to check it out!


Last night, as CB was getting into bed, he grabbed the back scratcher and started going at it.

Me: "You have an itch?"
CB: "Yeah, just dry skin."
Me: "Did you put lotion on it?"
CB: "No."
Me: "Do you want me to put lotion on it?"
CB: "No, then I'll have lotion on my back."
Me, staring at him: "Right. So your back wouldn't itch anymore."
CB: "Yeah, but then it'd just be on my back."
Me: "How much lotion are you putting on? Too much if you still feel it once you RUB IT IN."
CB, laughing: "I don't want to feel the lotion on my skin."
Me: "That makes zero sense. That's like saying 'I'd take a shower, but I don't want to feel the water.' The water eventually drys or absorbs into your skin. Just like lotion."
CB: "Are you done?"
Me: "I'll never be done."
CB, rolling over: "This I know." 


And now, the Video of the Week! I made CB a sappy Valentine's Day gift that incorporated this song, so obviously it reminds me of him, and since I have been giving him a hard time all week/life, I thought I'd dedicate it to him so that when he brings up how I brought up our lotion conversation later I can be like "Right, but then immediately afterwards, I dedicated a song to you."

This is how you do marriage, people.

Happy Friday!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Wrapup

Let's get to it!


This week's book "Red Notice" by Bill Browder. I want to read this one for sure, and it definitely sounds like one that CB will like, too. Definitely check it out here and thanks for all of the love you've been giving the book blog - that thing is chugging right along and looks like people are visiting it without needing me anymore! Fun! A nation of readers. That's my goal. Like Oprah, but less-rich.

ALSO, so that my dad doesn't always have to do all of the heavy lifting, I'm going to wrap up the book I'm reading this weekend called "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert and post on that one for next week!


It's Valentine's Day Weekend and, if you're like me, that means that you've been planning for weeks. If you're not like me, that probably means that you roll your eyes at people like me and I totally understand.

Also, not only do I buy holiday-themed hats for my daughter and then plan in-the-apartment photo shoots with her a few weeks in advance of the hat-wearing holidays, I also pre-plan my own outfits, when appropriate. I have two glitter heart sweaters/shirts that will be worn tomorrow and Sunday in honor of love. And I'm guessing CB has been planning his heart-themed outfits as well, so I'm super excited for those big reveals! (will totally take photos).


And now, the Video of the Week, in honor of CB, who sees every part and at least tolerates the more annoying/glittery ones. Happy Valentine's Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Love and conversations

Remember when I used to blog all the time? Those were the days. If it helps, I think about blogging all the time.

Which is why I’m posting a Valentine’s Day blog I wrote a few years ago, since it’s better to re-post than not post at all!

Oh, also, CB and I had this very romantic conversation the other night after we were both getting over a stomach virus that made us grateful that we have two bathrooms.

Me: “Can you imagine living back in Little House on the Prairie days and having diarrhea?”
CB: “What?”
Me: “Or having to puke your brains out and you only have an outhouse? And Laura Ingalls had a lot of siblings, so the likelihood that there’d be someone else in the outhouse when you wanted to throw up or go to the bathroom was probably high. And you’d have to run outside just to go to the outhouse in the first place!”
CB: “I don’t remember the set-up on Little House on the Prairie.”
Me: “The outhouse was, like, across the way. It wasn’t right next to the house or anything.”


Me: “Plus, look at how quickly this thing spread between us. Now imagine if there were five other people living here – and one outhouse!”
CB: “Why are we talking about this?”
Me: “Because every time I’m sick, I think about Little House on the Prairie.”
CB: “That’s normal.”


CB: “They could just go puke in the woods.”
Me: “Oh my God, there weren’t any woods – it was a prairie!”
CB: “I still don’t know why we’re talking about this.”


I love love. I also happen to love Valentine’s Day, which opens me up to ridicule every single year from beloved friends and family who totally don’t know how to get on board with celebrating every holiday to the max.

Courtney: I don’t understand why on earth you like this made-up holiday.
Me: I love love and I’m impervious to your judgment.
Me: It’s Valentine’s Day Week!
CB: Seriously? You’ve turned the one day into an entire week?
Me: Um yes. Have we met? This is how I roll. I love love.
However, I think maybe I’m doing love wrong? Because I just read an article where nearly every single “tip” about how to romance it up on Valentine’s Day left me realizing that either CB has gotten the tremendously short end of the stick, or people who write love tip articles have closed head injuries.

You be the judge.

1. Do things in a big wayCraig liked doing things in a big way. He was a dramatic and loud (though lovable) kind of guy. Mary, on the other hand, was proper and quiet (and just as lovable). Craig sometimes criticized Mary for not being expressive or outrageous enough. Until . . . one day when Craig returned home from a business trip and was greeted by Mary and two hundred forty-three members of the local high school marching band on their front lawn.

"I can help you bring in the noise,
the funk....and the sweet, sweet lovin'."
Ok, a couple points to be made here. One, I appreciate the writer drawing me in by giving names to this couple. Right away, I totally understand who Craig and Mary are, though I doubt she’s quite as lovable as he is. However, I’m unclear about just who would consider John Philip Sousa marches romantic. Nonetheless, I can appreciate the gesture that Mary is making here, and for that, she receives one point. 

However, if I came home to a two hundred and forty-three member marching band in CB’s studio apartment, a few things would happen: 1, I’d immediately begin worrying for CB’s safety and wonder where he was, since he would likely be crushed by the tuba player who was layered up on top of the trombonist because his apartment is approximately 400 square feet. 2, I’d wonder where CB met a high school marching band in his free time and would perhaps have to begin a conversation about hobbies.  Either way, romance lost, moment ruined.

Moving on.

2Go through revolving doors together.

I basically just skipped right over this one because it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. But let’s play this one out, just for kicks.

First of all, shoving yourself into a revolving door with your partner isn’t romantic. It’s mildly terrifying and probably a fire hazard. Also, you’d be so busy giving each other footing orders on how to properly make it through this moment alive and without face planting into the glass, that you’d totally forget that you were supposed to be sharing a romantic moment altogether.

Uh, and don’t even try to give each other a peck or anything. That’s just asking for a Bridget Jones moment, and you’re probably not even getting to kiss Colin Firth. Not worth it.

3. Practice "Even-Day/Odd-Day" Romance: On even days it's your turn to be romantic, and on odd days it's your partner's turn.

Yeah, I’m just going to go ahead and say that this sounds way too close to a math story problem for me, and so I’d have to skip the love all around. Also, what if one of you was sick on your even/odd day? Does the other person take over romance duties? What if you’re too sick for romance? And then do you double-up? And then when do you decide who’s day it is after you’ve each done double-duty after you got over pneumonia?

It’s very complicated, gives me anxiety, and also sounds like something unsustainable – like dieting. Again, romance lost, no love for CB. 

4. Want to jazz up the presentation of a special meal? Buy a little hunk of dry ice from a local ice house. Put it in a bowl of water and place it on your serving tray. You'll create wondrous, billowing white clouds!

Oh sweet Lord, please don’t “jazz up” my food. I’m barely able to wait for us to both be served before diving in as it is because I’m like a bear who’s been hibernating all winter. Also, if there was weird, billow-y smoke coming from the serving tray I didn’t know we owned, I’d probably worry that it was on fire, run to get the fire extinguisher, and put out the fake romance fire. Thus, ruining the entire meal altogether. And, most likely, the romance. Because that foam-y extinguisher stuff is hard to get out of the carpet, and I hate a mess. 


5. Dress up for dinner at home. Tuxedo for him, evening gown for her.

This could work for CB if he wasn’t dating a Golden Girl. The first order of business when I walk through the door is to immediately take my clothes off, and not in a romantic, Victoria’s Secret-type way, either. I’m like “Ugh, I need my house pants, stat!” while CB sits there and counts all the ways he can’t believe he got so lucky.

Also, CB is bringing the perfect amount of romance on Thursday by taking me out to dinner, and so I made sure to really class up the moment by asking him if I had to wear a skirt, which then caused me anxiety over clothing options. So, let’s just go ahead and assume I don’t own an evening gown, m’kay?

6. Hire a pianist to play during a romantic dinner at home.

Please don’t do this. First of all, not only will you have to hire a pianist, but you’ll have to ask him to bring his own piano, and then it just gets weird for all parties involved.

Also, let’s think this through. While it might be quaint for a few minutes, it’d get weird REAL fast. I mean, not only is there a stranger playing music in your living room, but he’s sitting there while you try to have a romantic meal? I sort of picture it feeling similar to when someone has a guitar and takes it out to play for you, but then the song lasts a little too long and then you’re not sure how much longer you can hold an interested smile before giving them the subliminal message that it’s gotten weird in an uncomfortable way.

I mean, I’d be good for two or three short diddy’s TOPS, and then I’d be like “So no, for real, is this guy staying through dessert? Because I’d really like to put my house pants on sometime soon so I can let the pasta expand and get ready for the chocolate.” 

7. Learn calligraphy so you can create incredible love letters for him/her.

Case in point. 
Question: can anyone ever actually read calligraphy? I thought that this was just something we all thought was pretty, like Sofia Vergara, but didn't actually understand. Am I alone here? Because I can’t tell you the last time I understood anything written on the Bill of Rights. I mean, for as long as it took them to put that thing together, you’d think it’d be easier to read!  

Also, this would go hand-in-hand with the hobby conversation from Romance Item #1 above. If CB has enough time to learn calligraphy, perhaps he has enough time to think of something not lame to show his affection. 

8. Give her one Hershey's Kiss. Give her one thousand Hershey's KissesRemove all the little paper strips (that say "Kisses" on them) from a couple hundred Hershey's Kisses. Fill a little jewelry box with them. Wrap 'em up and present them to her. Write a clever certificate explaining that the little paper slips are coupons.

After throwing up a little in my mouth, I really thought this one through and realized that it might be the worst romance tip yet. First of all, giving someone one thousand Hersey’s Kisses pieces of paper is like the love equivalent of when people put those sparkle bombs in the party envelopes, and so when you open your mail, there’s, like, one billion pieces of glitter all over your rug.

Also, please don’t give me paper you ripped off of chocolate candy. Just give me the candy. Are you new here? 

9. Select a theme for the weekend based on a type of movie. (It could be a film genre, like westerns, science fiction or musicals; or it could be based on a favorite actor or character in a movie.) Rent three movies that match the theme and then: Rent costumes that match the theme! Exercise your creativity and sense of fun with a little fantasy!

Don’t do this. Also, if someone ever made me act out a science fiction or western, I’d probably break up with them over the mere fact that we clearly have no common interests.

However, I will admit that I played this one out in my head, just for laughs, to see if it’d actually work. 

For example, letting me watch “When Harry Met Sally” and then taking me to Washington Square Park while I wear long khaki shorts and a blue cardigan could be fun. And also not outside of my normal wardrobe.

However, it’d probably have to end there, because otherwise we’d just be walking all over New York City while CB says stuff like “Pecan piiiiiiiiiiiiie” and I’m really annoying when we order food. And then we’d both get tired of it after about 15 minutes, realize we were all the way in the city anyway, head over to Beth and Matt’s to hang out and play Cranium, and call it a day. Romance lost, moment ruined.

10. Buy an extra bag of Valentine Conversation Heart candies and save them for use six months later.

And then after you do that, call your dentist because you will break all of your teeth. For real. Have you eaten a candy heart on a normal day? Those things are challenging. Leave ‘em in a bag for 6 months and you better have the oral surgeon on speed dial.

I’m just saying.


So perhaps it’s just me, but I need to hazard a guess that I’m not the only one who thinks some time alone with someone you love and some dessert thrown in there for good measure is really all a person needs in life. No?

But you tell me. What are you all doing for the day that love calls home? 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Wrapup

Let's get to it!


This is about ten minutes long, but since it's Friday, I figured you have the time.

Oh, and also, if you hate Coldplay and/or Chris Martin, maybe skip this entire Wrapup?


This week's book is...what's that? None of us blogged? That's correct. BUT, we've blogged before, so check it out here for some great reviews and great reads! 


Ok so as I mentioned earlier, this is a Coldplay-centric post because I'm SOOOO EXCITED. No, not about the Superbowl (well, I'm excited for the football cupcakes I'm gonna make, but that's not really the point). I mean, I'm excited for the halftime show because I unabashedly love Coldplay AND nothing says football like a bunch of Brits singing emo-ish music. BUT BEYONCE WILL BE THERE. Which is amazing. Anyway. 

CB is a genius and bought us tickets to see Coldplay for the first time this summer. And then he rendered me unable to work for the rest of the day when he was like "Hey, maybe they'll have a special guest since this is their only show in NYC." And I was like "Oh my God, what' if it's Beyonce?!" (she sings on the new album with him). And then I lost my mind. 

It's also possible that I told my boss yesterday about the concert (IN JULY. I have no life.) and warned him that, if Beyonce does appear, I won't come to work that next Monday because I will have died of happiness. To which he was like "I don't understand the obsession with Beyonce. My daughter loves her, too." (she's 17.). And then he continued talking about music and referred to "The Mumford Brothers." To which I told him that's why he doesn't understand Beyonce. 


Here's a track off of their new album, which I'm obsessively listening to/dancing to in preparation for knowing every word and getting on the Jumbotron five months from now. Might I remind you I'm someone's mom? Poor thing. 

Happy Friday!