Saturday, October 15, 2016

Those Dirty Kids You See


Every human does this. You see dirty kids and think raised by wolves, no doubt about it.

You see them at the grocery store. The ones whose faces have concentric circles  of everything they have eaten for the past eight hours radiating outward from their mouths.

You can tell where they have been simply by what is stuck to them. That little boy has been to the mall: he has Build-A-Bear entrails stuck to his back with Cinnabon residue. That little girl has been to the park. There is a live squirrel congealed in pine sap in her hair.

But before your unzip your judgy-judger nuts, hear me out.

Babies slither into the world in a slick of unspeakable gut goo. (Heck, they were FORGED in the midst of substantial stickiness as well, if you were doing it right. If not, I can give you some pointers. Just ask. I'm not shy.) They spend the next five to seven years in an ongoing effort to MAINTAIN that level of grottiness 24-7.

Mine are without question a small herd of the children we are referring to. The raised by wolves types.

"No, Rebecca," you say. "I have seen your children, they seem mostly cleanish."

Well. The only reason this is ever the case is because the twenty-five minutes before I leave the house to go Anywhere in the Continental United States and All Points West (or East for that matter) are spent in the following manner:

  • Head-to-toe wardrobe change
  • Aggressive, borderline painful washcloth scrubbing of face, hands, what ever else is really offensive at the moment. Usually Buttcrack.
  • Non-consensual teeth-brushing
  • Clawing at ever-present dreadlocks, collecting riotously-curly blonde hair into elastic hair-containment inventions
  • Various threats
This is the only reason my children appear to be clean. Because they are dreadful. They Live to Smear Themselves in All Things Vile.

They are the moist candy stick and the world is their disgusting packet of fun dip.

At the grocery, they will relieve the sample lady of all of her organic maple syrup samples, drizzle themselves sensuously, then barrel-roll majestically down the cat litter aisle while Queen's We Are the Champions plays in the background. (I don't know why.) 

When I arrive at some sort of event with my children, I resist the urge to seize the nearest person and force him or her to look at my children, notice that they are cleanish, and then acknowledge it verbally. And possibly photo-document and/or sign a written statement in the presence of a notary.

Because it ain't gonna last, that shit ain't gonna last.

In fact, I would give them around 45 seconds until...the crash and splatter of some rare vintage...the yowl of a marmot in distress...whatever sound a no-bake cookie makes when hitting a vaulted ceiling...and all is undone.

Listen. I'm not saying I am the best parent in the universe. Necessarily. All I'm saying is that whoever is, their children would shellac themselves in armadillo feces given half a chance, the same as everyone else.

The next time you see those dirty dirty children, do the right thing. Don a medical-grade disposable glove and gingerly pat the sticky child on the head. Then give a hundred dollar bill and a bottle of tequila to each of the parents, just because they tried.

Thank you and goodnight.





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Damnit: A Minivan


I may have talked a lot of shit.

Over the years.

I am…whatever the term is for bigoted against people who drive minivans. I subscribe to the stereotypes about minivan owners. I will NOT try to get to know you, to find out how you tick, what your likes and dislikes are. Because in my head, I already know.

  • You think Applebees is a good restaurant
  • You have a lot of beige in your closet
  • There is at least one ribbon-wrapped abomination of eucalyptus twigs and tiny straw hats on your wall (and the eucalyptus isn’t even real, you douche)
  • There is at least one Nicholas Sparks novel on your bookshelf (I don’t care what gender you are)

I don’t care at all if you own a minivan and none of these things are true about you. That is the beauty of stereotypes. They save SO MUCH TIME.

I can see inside your skull. I know things about you that you don’t even know.

At some point you ceremoniously removed whatever sexy body parts you had left after you gave birth to the wretched spawn that led you down this dark path to begin with. You put these sexy body parts into a shoe box, alongside your lust for life, your Constitutional Right to see live music, and your ability to talk to persons under 19 without ANNOYING THE SHIT OUT OF THEM.

There it goes, all of that, into the shoebox.

Then you handed that shoebox to your children. They immediately dumped it out in the backyard because the box was perfect for their dead spider collection. Then a squirrel found the pile of your old cool sexiness and ate it.

That’s what you get. I have no sympathy. You did this to yourself.

But the point is, I always said that I would never own a minivan. Swore, really. Ranted, raved. Eyes bulged out. Fists pounded tables. Cocktail glasses were hoisted (for emphasis). Crossbows were loaded and fired recklessly into the air. Again, for emphasis. I postulated. I used all two of the German words that I know. I was like: nope, never, bitches.

Where does your deep bigotry against minivans come from, Rebecca, you amusingly warped individual? Well, like every tale of emotional distress, it begins in middle school.

This may shock you, dear readers, but I was (am?) Terminally Dweeby. So, after a long, stimulating day of being unable to look anyone in the eye, I had the daily joy of watching my mother careen up to the curb to pick me up in a boxy, electric blue Chevrolet Astro Minivan. In the days when my internal monologue read like a Judy Bloom novel, this wasn’t the touch of death, this was the sloppy, graphic, open-mouth FRENCH KISS OF DEATH. You know, like the sloppy, open-mouth French kiss THAT I WOULD NEVER GET in the coat room at the middle school dance that I would NEVER GET ASKED TO because who wants to date a girl whose mom drives an electric blue Chevrolet Astro Minivan?

No one, that’s who.

Anyway, I think you can tell where this little story is headed.

For some reason, my children seem to be thriving. They are getting bigger and bigger and it’s pretty annoying. They are at that irritating stage where they all need giant, clunky, complicated child safety seats.  ALL OF THEM.  They take up so much stupid space.

So me, here, right here right now, I am in a sort of Bermuda triangle of my current financial limitations, my need to keep my kids safe, and karma from all of the terrible things I have done. So many terrible things.

 So I did it. I effing did it. I drank the Kool-aid. I am One Of You Now.

And, to be honest, it isn’t that bad. It has a lot of space for shenanigans. I could safely fit TWO ADDITIONAL humans into that automobile. Think of the mayhem seven people could incite. WILL INCITE.

Then there is the trunk space. Pounds of packing peanuts. Dozens of goat costumes. Probably three beehives. So. Many. Shenanigans.

I guess the point is, I have come to terms with it. I’m not going to join the International Mini-Van Owners Fan Club, but I will also only shudder a little when I walk into a parking lot and spot my new ride.

I think I’ll call it The Adventurepod.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, that sexy squirrel over there has something that belongs to me.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dinner and a Movie




Life is a labor-intensive, expensive son-of-a-bitch.

It only follows, then, that when one manages to acquire that sparkly sliver of time that all the cool kids are calling a night out, it had better be approximately as delightful as accidentally wandering naked into a fluffer convention.

Having said that: no waitress deserves, when innocently asking what she can bring you tonight, to have the female customer sink her nails into her forearm and hiss, "My carefree youth, please." Then have to watch as she tosses back a flight of regional micro-brews like a frat boy with some Jagermeister. And laughs manically into the delicately-breaded, long-stemmed artichokes.

No one deserves that.


So. Bareburger, Columbus location. We walk in in the middle of a Weezer song, and are greeted (seemingly sincerely) by a well-dressed, patchouli-scented hostess. These are all good things. Clientele are groups of friends, a few families, a few couples-all seem happy to be there. The decor is quite eclectic. The lighting fixtures salvaged/vintage-looking wood and silverware, with old-fashiony incandescent bulbs. There is thick rope wrapped around a pillar and some of the visible ducting near the ceiling. The booths could have been from an elegant hotel lobby. There are some cool bear head sculptures on the walls.

Our (also patchouli-scented) waitress is interesting and friendly, and patient with my incessant questions. She laughs out loud when I order the Fig & Pig cocktail with the pig on the side (bacon garnish, happily taken care of by carnivorous husband). He orders a sarsaparilla so that we can continue our ongoing debate on the differences between that beverage and root beer. We decide to split the Guapo Chop as a starter.

The salad is a winner. Blue corn chips and cold nacho toppings on a bed of romaine. Nom nom.

The cocktail not so much. It features bourbon and the house tomato fig jam. The flavors are muddled and confusing. I recommend against.

Husband orders the Blue Elk burger (with Amish bleu cheese, country bacon, stout-soaked onions, and that mischievous tomato fig jam). He describes it as, "Uhhhh, ohhhhh. Uhhhhhh. Yeah." *Eyes roll back into head*

I devour the sweet potato and rice burger, rolled in collard greens. (Look at the picture at the top of the article. Loooooook at it.) I include Amish bleu, stout onions, spicy pickles, and paprika mayo.  It is everything I have ever wanted out of life. Words fail me. Wait, no they don't. The sweet tater is, well, sweet, the collards are succulent, the bleu has bite, the paprika mayo is zesty. Put. It. In. My Face.

In short, I recommend this restaurant. They have a good selection of vegan, vegetarian, & gluten-free items. All of their meats are free-range, pasture-raised, humanely-raised, and antibiotic and hormone-free. Although if you have an aversion to patchouli, you should probably avoid this place like the plague. For serious.

Then we sashay through the magical night to the movie theater. I'm just going to get right to the point. If you have not already watched Deadpool, fix the problem. If you have already watched it, you probably (like me) are trying to rationalize watching it again.

Change Your Life To Make This Movie Happen To Your Eyeballs.

The introduction credits are funny. By the time the first fight scene is over I have my arms wrapped around my middle out of concern that something is going to rupture. And it just doesn't stop.

The main character does not give a fuck about the fourth wall, and it is gloriously obnoxious. He is immature, crass, violent, arrogant, and....dick jokes. So. Many. Dick. Jokes.

Here are my thoughts on Ryan Reynolds. I am not particularly impressed by Dreamy Ryan Reynolds. Apparently I am in the minority. I much prefer Hilarious, Obnoxious Ryan Reynolds. I have the same theory about Brad Pitt. Brat Pitt a la 12 Monkeys or Burn After Reading over Brad Pitt a la Legends of the Fall, any day. Admittedly, I didn't actually watch Legends of the Fall. I saw a poster, one time, though.

I feel like you are still reading this instead of driving to the nearest movie theater to take in this orgy of razor-sharp, low-brow wit.

Go away. Go eat at Bareburger.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Stupid Things I Have Done/Rebecca’s Still Got It


I was a mild-mannered kid to say the least. However, like many who started out as mild-mannered kids, I went through a bad-ass phase with the vigor of someone making up for lost time.

So many stupid things. All the usual stuff, of course: setting things on fire, letting your sadistic twin sister pierce your nose with a sewing needle in pliers and a butter knife jammed in your left nostril…

Although it isn’t really story-worthy unless You Could Have Died. To that end, here are a few of my favorites:

1.  The Bus Trip

When we were barely eighteen, my friend and I took a trip to California.

Okay, we took a Greyhound bus to Long Beach, California.

FINE: We took a Greyhound bus to Long Beach, California to find a guy that my friend had met on the internet.

It takes two and a half days to get from Athens, Ohio to Long Beach, California by Greyhound bus. 

Myriad stops at bus ports that brought words like sordid, uh-oh, and booster shot to mind.

I had a Walkman with one tape: The Best of the Eagles (which I had stolen from my mother) and a copy of The Communist Manifesto (whyyy?). Our food provisions consisted of a can of Easy Cheese and the candy necklace I was wearing. For two and a half days. Before we (both) ate it.  

I was so delirious when we drove through Vail, Colorado, I was convinced it was some sort of magical elven village. It was so sparkly.

Night two on the bus there was a person dressed as a cowboy who was convinced something bad would happen if people fell asleep. This person paced the bus aisle and poked people who were drifting off until the bus driver stopped and introduced this person to a police officer.

Once we arrived in Long Beach, our shenanigans included (but were not limited to):

·         getting lots of free taxi rides from a group of taxi drivers (who were all roommates) (and gave us free rides because my friend is a ginger and they were in love with her)(how did we not die?)
·         thinking that finding Muscle Beach was really important and then being really disappointed and sunburned afterward
·         letting some guy we met on the bus crash in our hotel room (again, how did we not die?)
·         startling the mess out of Internet Guy Love Interest by showing up at his place of employment
·         somehow not dying (how?)

2. The Tower

A few years later, in college, my fellow baristas and I completed our tradition of closing down the coffee shop (mop-mop-mop) and then closing down a nearby bar (glug-glug-glug).  In a fit of espresso-and-Bloody-Mary-sotted logic, we decided to find a water tower and then climb it.

In spite of the fact that I had a broken leg in a cast.

That is pretty much the whole story. We climbed up, it was pretty and chilly and there were stars and some mild existentialism. We climbed back down. I did not slip off of the rickety metal ladder and break more of my bones. I’ll call that a victory. It didn’t occur to me until years later how idiotic it was. Probably for the best.

3. The Bandit (okay, this one isn’t death-defying as such)

Just when I thought my bad-assery had worn off (you know, kids, real job, very occasionally shaving my legs) I ended up bandit running a half marathon. Bandit running means that you don’t pay, and run a race WITHOUT those sexy white squares of paper with numbers on them that people pin to their chests. It states explicitly in the rules of nearly every race that you are super-not-allowed-to-do-this, that this is Naughty Runner Behavior. 

Honestly, it was not my plan to bandit run. I trained for it with my good buddy and gym rat Not Me Becky. But I was lazy and unorganized and the race sold out before I could buy a spot. My first reaction was, that’s that, then, I suppose. Time to get into competitive eating. But then my second reaction was what…exactly…would happen…if I just ran it…anyway? I did some research (and by that I mean I asked people who had 26.2 stickers on the backs of the cars in the gym parking lot, and poked people near me until they looked up information on their smart phones) and found that:

 a) race organizers really don’t want you to do this for a wide variety of pretty valid reasons,

 b) if I got caught I could be kicked out of the race, banned from future races, arrested, and/or have charges filed against me, and

c) there’s a chance I could get away with it

I was pretty undecided right up until the night before the race. Then at five thirty the next morning I found myself in an SUV with Not Me Becky. In the moments of silence betwixt items in her deafening nineties hip-hop mix, we planned where I would go sulk, mutter profanity, and wait for her if I was caught and flung off of the race course.

Then, as visions of getting tased and/or arrested danced through my head, we passed a row of security guards. Fortunately, it was 33 degrees outside, so my nervous twitching looked like enthusiastic shivering. I walked past undetected! Could I possibly get away with this? In front of me, Not Me Becky was shaking her perky little runner’s butt to the pop music that was blasting in an effort to make the racers forget that their extremities were freezing and dropping off. I considered celebrating not getting caught by butt-punching her super-hard and then running past her, laughing spitefully. I did not do this. Her butt is still intact.

It was a great race. We ran well. I do not plan to do any more bandit running. The people and organizations that put these races together deserve my money. However, next race I’m definitely going to butt-punch someone.


Like a bad-ass.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

My Other Jobs



A few weeks ago, I was at teacher training. In the midst of Completely Paying Attention and Being 100% on Task, my good buddy and fellow teacher said this to me:

                “If you weren’t Rebecca the Teacher, what would you be? I always wonder what people’s jobs would be if they weren’t what they are.”

Of course, this is a fascinating query, leading to all manner of contemplation. Being the dynamic individual that I am, it was a struggle to narrow my alternative occupations down to these three:

Deranged But Kindly Despot of Some Small Tropical Island Country:

 I feel like I would be a great one. We would have to have some bizarre but profitable export, though. That’s square one. Did you know that Lichtenstein’s primary export is postage stamps? Or at least it was when I was in high school and my team represented Lichtenstein at Model UN. I rocked those lederhosen.

After I die, they would find a stupid amount of some item hoarded in my palace. With most dictators it is something that makes sense: jewels or porn or Hennessey. The person narrating the PBS documentary about MY dynasty would have to utter the words, “Over 500 tons of imported pinecones were found in the catacombs under the palace.” And no one wants to say that. At least not until one’s career is pretty established.

I’m also looking forward to scandalously diverting people’s hard-earned tax dollars to my own private projects, like breeding hitherto mythical creatures into reality. Unicorns and such. It would go like this:

                “Well, did the horse try taking the narwhal out to dinner first? Come on, people!”

I don’t think I’d have to change my personality very dramatically to cultivate the “deranged” part of this job description. Plus, I can think of no better way to spend an afternoon than lounging on my throne, shouting, “Phil Collins ruined Genesis!” and, “Scalp wounds bleed a lot!” while my office staff try to avoid eye contact and plan a coup d’├ętat.

Old-Timey Pirate Ship Captain:

Now, modern-day pirates are terrifying, and the product of a lack of economic opportunity.
I’m talking about the sexy, ruffle-shirted, “yar!”-uttering persons of legend. I could sail the wild seas with my crew of misfits, doing strange and upsetting things in international waters and generally causing trouble. We could sidle up to cruise ships and lay waste to their buffets. Steal the old ladies’ old lady jewelry and slap their old lady rumps. You know: piratey things.

Although, I have to admit, the best part of being a pirate would be getting to say “poop deck”. Right?

Proprietor of a Strip Club:

Let me explain. This isn’t just your ordinary strip club. I would employ people like me: ladies who really should know better. Moms and accountants and librarians who want to unleash their wild side on stage. Women with stretch marks, tan lines from mowing the lawn, and the kind of arm muscles you get from carrying small children around. Women who may doggedly refuse to wear high heels or acknowledge that Yellow Submarine is NOT a valid stripper anthem.

Champagne room treatment would include straightening your collar, tying your shoes, asking if you’re hungry, applying band-aids. Which could totally work for you if your mind is dirty enough.


I would call it The Tarnished Dime Piece.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Eulogy for My Little Car


The 2005 red Ford Focus that I scoot around in hasn’t died yet; but it is only a matter of time. I realized this recently; and it gave me more of a sentimental pang than I expected. To that end, I dedicate this post to my little car.


Once upon a time, that red Ford Focus was just the car that cute boy drives. Then, one day, I found myself in the passenger seat. We spent a lot of time in that car while first getting to know one another. (CONVERSATIONALLY! You nasty-minded people.)

(Okay, mostly.)

Once we had a small herd of bipeds to transport, it became My Car. My poor husband started packing his burly frame into the tiny, un-air-conditioned silver roller skate I used to drive. I can only assume that when he emerges from it in the parking lot in the morning, people stop to see if more clowns are going to get out. [Insert clowny honking noise.]

Anyway, besides the usual things that happen to cars, this poor thing has me to contend with. I bear this car no ill will; honestly, I’m quite fond of it. It carries my spawn around on our adventures, and does a bang-up job of it. But the fact is I’m kind of a mess. I’m a disorganized, distracted, uncoordinated mess.

Several examples:

1. Let’s not forget that I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was eighteen in a half, and didn’t learn how to drive a standard until a year or so after that. [Thanks again, Harlan Dalzell, and sorry about your transmission.] I finally mastered downshifting in my early thirties. It seemed way easier to just put that thang in neutral and jam on the brakes. Don’t judge.

2. I thought I was being clever by pre-boiling eggs as a quick on-the-go breakfast. I poked one into my face as I put my car into gear one morning, chewed it several times, and then sneezed violently, blowing chewed up boiled egg all over the steering wheel, dash, and windshield. One could argue that this damage was only cosmetic, or even that it only really damaged the dignity of the car. But it certainly didn’t help.

3. I have, as the delightful young gentleman who sold me my last set of tires stated, a Curbing Problem. Here is how the conversation progressed:

Tire Sales Person: You have…a Curbing Problem.
Me: Yes.

4. The 2005 Ford Focus has exactly zero Level Dashboard Space. In spite of this, I persist in setting things on it. Recently, I put a cup of precious, beautiful coffee on its silly, slanty surface. It promptly slid off, and somehow all of the coffee poured (in slow motion, mind you) into the little crevice betwixt the driver’s side window and the little rubber seal that runs along the door. It just completely disappeared. Then I heard a very soothing tinkling sound reminiscent of one of those rain sticks that one can find at shops that sell dream catchers and tiny Buddha statues and tie-dye onesies for your patchouli-scented baby. My hometown is riddled with these shops. Anyway, rain sticks are dried branches filled with pebbles or rice or something that makes awesome rain-ish sounds when you tilt them back and forth. So my car door did that for about ten seconds, and then a ton of coffee gushed out of the bottom onto the parking lot. That car doesn’t have power locks or windows or anything; but that doesn’t seem like a particularly GOOD thing to do to a car.

Someday, I’ll have a newer car that actually accommodates the size of my family. But I’ll always look back on the Red Ford Focus Days as pleasant ones. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

I'm a #@&* Genius

Please note: I am not claiming to have an IQ of 160. I honestly don’t know what my IQ is. That is not what a #@&* genius is. A #@&* genius is someone who comes up with amazing, innovative, world-changing ideas. These ideas are then presented to family, friends, colleagues, or passers-by in the following format:

“Holy #@&*! I’m a #@&* genius! [Explanation of brilliant idea] Check THAT out! [Lots more profanity].”

This display is accompanied (and punctuated) by victory-like dances, vulgar gestures, aggressive pointing in the audience’s face, unwelcome displays of affection, and other simultaneously attention-attracting and off-putting behavior.

The #@&* genius process (and unveiling) is accelerated and amplified by caffeine, alcohol, and sometimes antihistamine. (Once, while on Benadryl, I had a lengthy journey of introspection and discovered my spirit animal is algae.)

Some #@&* geniuses are sell-outs. They get patents, make infomercials, audition for Shark Tank. True #@&* geniuses hate these douche-nozzles. #@&* genius ideas are meant to fizzle out, or at best be knocked up into some duct-tape-riddled prototype and then abandoned in one’s garage. Most often they are simply battered out of existence by the ridicule of one’s more sober friends and/or elevator-mates.

Having said all of that, I’m a #@&* genius and here are some of my #@&* genius ideas:

1. Pair people who have extra skin from pregnancy or sudden weight loss with people who need skin grafts. I have not researched this medically at all; it isn’t the #@&* genius way. It is slightly better than my original Extra Skin Idea, which was to sell it to a pork rind factory. That one seemed a little bio-hazard-y. Although, one could argue that the sorts of people who eat pork rinds deserve whatever ill fate awaits them from eating people rinds instead. I also don’t think that the facilities that produce pork rinds are called “factories”. Unfortunately.

2. We all know that mangoes are delicious but infuriating. Cutting them up is annoying, getting all of the luscious, luscious mango flesh off of the stupid, stupid mango stone is next to impossible. I have witnessed my husband cram a mango stone into his mouth and then commit a series of appalling and invasive acts upon it in an effort to harvest every shred of tastiness. Instead, peel your mango (that’s not that difficult) and then jam corn cob holders into either side! Now you can gnaw away at it with relative dignity and success. Right? Amazing. You’ll probably have to rearrange them as you eat. Deal with it.

3. So. There are tanning beds. There are also strange cylindrical tanning chambers that require a person stand upright whilst lifting his or her arms above his or her head and hanging onto some sort of handle (while muttering to his or herself, “Yes, yesssss! Tan aaaall the crevices. Get ‘em good. Yeahhh…”) Point being: how has no one thought to branch out in terms of tanning furniture?  Perhaps a nice relaxing tanning recliner. Does anyone know if tanning bulbs can be converted into fiber optic technology? Then they could be woven into a tanning hammock. You and your significant other’s romantic spa day could include a couples massage, pedicures, and side-by-side tanning on a tanning love seat, where you and your lover’s pools of butt sweat and tanning oils mingle…like your burgeoning love, or something.


See? I’m a #@&* genius. I wish you were here, dear readers. You are missing my victory dance.