Saturday, September 19, 2015

Placeholder

I just want you all to know that the reason I haven't posted anything this week is that I started a serious post the other day about love and it made me so sad I had to stop halfway through and order a pizza and binge-watch Les Revenants on Netflix instead. So yeah.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Open Letter To The Cranky Old Lady At My Blackjack Table This Weekend

Dear Bitch (may I call you "bitch"?),

I'm going to assume you know what you're doing, based on your advanced age, that sizable stack of chips sitting in front of you, and your audible exasperation at my decision to stand on 12, but just in case you forgot a few key points [see "advanced age" above], I thought I'd offer some helpful hints.

First off — just a quick reminder to start — we are at the $10 minimum table at Foxwoods, not the high roller room at the MGM Grand. Just putting that out there, in case you were confused.

Second, blackjack is a card game — the operative word here being "game," implying a sense of playfulness and fun. Your attitude and general demeanor imply neither of these things.

Also, it's called "gambling" for a reason: there is risk involved. Sitting at an open table means you risk people at that table occasionally making stupid impromptu moves like standing on 12, just like I am risking my health by exposing myself to your steady stream of secondhand smoke. That’s just how casinos work.

And finally, next time you feel the urge to loudly declare to a stranger, "You're gonna stand on 12? Jesus Christ, I have to leave now," maybe you could spare us the gin-soaked preamble and just, you know, leave. After all, like the song says, you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to shut the fuck up — you don't make the rules and I'll play any way I want.

Best of luck!
Becca

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Bitch Is Back.

So that last post wasn't a fluke; I've decided to restart the blog. For numerous reasons, but mainly because I'm an attention whore and it's cheaper than therapy. I'm going to try to post at least once a week, which is slightly less ambitious than my original goal of posting something ~EVERY SINGLE DAY!!~, so I might actually stick to it this time, but who knows — I'm unpredictable like that. It's what makes me fun!!

Anyway, I've experienced some pretty major life changes since last we spoke, so let the updating commence:

1. I don't live in Brooklyn anymore.

Surprising, I know, and it broke my heart to leave, but as a wise man once said, the rent is too damn high. I live in Washington Heights now, way up near the border of Inwood, or as some of us like to call it, Upstate Manhattan.


For real, y'all — my subway station is INSIDE A MOUNTAIN.
My place here costs almost $500 less a month than my old place in Park Slope. There's no exposed brick, but there's twice as much space and it's far more functional. I have a kitchen with cabinet doors on hinges that actually work, a freezer that defrosts itself, AND A DISHWASHER. It's in an elevator building with laundry in the basement, flowers bordering the front walkway, and an art deco entranceway. Did I mention the dishwasher? And I can paint the walls any crazy color I want, because oh yeah — I own this one.



Both of these spectacular items obtained courtesy of my awesome sister.
2. I no longer work for an engineering society.

Ironic, no, that now that I live in Manhattan I no longer work here? How I lost my job and gained this new one is a saga in itself, but suffice it to say I now work for an edtech company, in Brooklyn. And it is SO Brooklyn. Etsy headquarters are in the same office building, just a few floors down; West Elm is right across the street — the cobblestone street. We have a roof deck with ping pong tables and a killer view of the Manhattan Bridge:



There are beanbag chairs and exercise balls scattered amongst the cubicles and a designated quiet room filled with funky couches on which I frequently take naps during my lunch break. There's no dress code — I've worn jeans and sneakers every day since I've started; several of the guys in my department regularly roll in wearing flip-flops and shorts, like they're just stopping by on their way to the beach. There are free snacks and drinks. At my last job, "going downstairs for a snack" meant grabbing some Fritos from the vending machine. Here, it means visiting the "specialty mini-grocer" next door for some Garden Herb Triscuits and smoked salmon cream cheese. At my last job, my hours were 9:10 to 5:40 — not 9 to 5:30, but 9:10 to 5:40 — they were that specific and that strict about time. Here, my official hours are something like "anytime before 10 to sometime after 5, unless you're working from home, or whenever, really, as long as you let me know and the work gets done and it adds up to 40 hours at the end of the week." Did I mention the free snacks? As an added bonus, my boss is a fellow Star Wars nerd, and my debut assignment here consisted of copyediting a reading lesson for 4th-graders about Don Quixote at a puppet show with a monkey, so...so long porngineering.


I have very nice handwriting.
3. I got married.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Psych!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stay Positive. Love Your Life.

I love pools. Like, LOVE pools. Like, I stayed with this one ex-boyfriend for a month after finding out he cheated on me just because it was still summer and he had a pool. Like, one time I was at a party at a co-worker's friend's house and I hadn't even been drinking or there for more than about 10 minutes before I borrowed a t-shirt and a pair of gym shorts from this girl I didn't even know just so I could go in her pool. Like, looking back, the single biggest regret of my childhood is not my deeply problematic relationship with my father, but the fact that we never owned a pool. I can't even swim and still have to wear earplugs and hold my nose when I go underwater, but I love pools all the same.

So this weekend I went to a public pool. Which, after reading that first paragraph, probably seems like kind of an anticlimactic way to start a story. But trust me, it was an achievement, because this is the first time in almost a decade I have been out in public in a bathing suit. Literally — almost a decade. I honestly couldn't remember how long it had been, so I sat down and did the math and it blew my mind: The last time anyone besides an immediate family member had seen me in a bathing suit was at a pool party at my roller derby team captain's house in 2007 (I remember because it was the summer we skated at Warped Tour). And again, after reading that first paragraph, that probably seems inconceivable, so let me explain.

For the vast majority of my life, I've been skinny. Not "slim" or "fit," but skinny. And not just skinny, but known for being skinny. Like, if someone in high school or college was describing me to a friend who'd just met me the weekend before, they'd invariably say, "You remember Becky — the tall, skinny one?" And I never even had to work for it. I was just naturally skinny. And I never fully appreciated it.


I'm the gangly, toothpick-legged one with the longer hair.

Now I'm on meds and officially a full year into my forties and yes, I could probably (definitely) eat better and exercise more, and I'm not so skinny. It's not even that I've gained weight, it's that all the weight I've gained seems to be centered right in the middle. I'm not so much fat as weird-shaped. Disproportionate. I have like, a converse hourglass figure — not-so-big boobs, a big belly, no hips to speak of. Which makes finding clothes that fit properly difficult: plus-size clothing assumes all parts of your body are equally plus-size, so a dress or clingy top that fits my midsection will usually be too roomy in the bust. "Skinny" jeans that fit my waist turn wide-leg at my thighs. And swimsuits are their very own epic misadventure. After a lifetime of effortless skinniness, of the biggest challenge I ever faced while shopping for clothes being "Cash or credit?", I now found this morbidly embarrassing. I mean, I used to wear bikinis, for crying out loud — how could I let people see me like this?? I decided I could not let people see me like this. I didn’t even own a bathing suit for years.

Then it occurred to me recently, probably while I was sweating my ass off on a tropically humid subway platform and frantically fanning myself with a fold-up map of Brooklyn I had dug out of my purse in desperation, that the only person this self-imposed exile was affecting in any way was me. Seriously? Outspoken feminist and contrarian who loves being in a pool almost more than life itself is going to spend another sweltering summer in the city avoiding FREE PUBLIC POOLS because she no longer looks hot in a bikini? Who even am I??

So I did it. I bought a bathing suit. I went to a public pool. I spent 2 hours floating in the shadow of the High Bridge Water Tower, surrounded by strangers. And it was glorious.

***

"What does body positivity mean to you?"

"So, look. The relationship we each have with our bodies is one of the most important and challenging relationships we'll ever have to cultivate, seeing as we're stuck with the one body our whole lives — and if dealing with the basic messiness inherent in owning a human body isn't enough to be getting on with, we also live in a culture that seems determined to poison that relationship from the get-go. We're slammed with body-shaming messages from the moment we're old enough to interact with society at all."

"The thing that happens when you teach people to be ashamed of their bodies is that you instill in them a deep belief that they're never enough, and the feeling of not being enough is a desperate feeling. Some people respond to it exactly the way capitalism wants them to — they pour money into products, clothes, food, and gym memberships that they think will help them measure up. Some people respond to it by hiding from life in an effort to avoid what feels like inevitable scrutiny from a world that tries to tell them they aren't good enough to exist. I have played both of those games, and let me tell you something: there's no way to win either one of them. You're setting yourself up to fail in both cases, because in both cases you are allowing someone else's rules to determine your worth. And NO ONE else has the power to do that — you're a human being, and as a human being, you're inherently worthy. That's just how that works."

"One of the things that kills me about body shame is that it can paralyze. Body shame is how we end up unable to enjoy our food. It’s how we end up afraid to show up at the gym lest some imaginary meathead gives us the stank-face for not looking perfect in our workout clothes. Body shame is how we stop ourselves from buying certain kinds of clothes because we 'can't get away with it.' It's how we end up having sex with the lights off and hiding our perceived 'body flaws' with strategically draped sheets. It's how we miss out on fun social opportunities because we don't feel attractive enough to be seen in public. It, in essence, kills our ability to enjoy some of the best things in life." — Megan Ribar

I'm extra glad now that I got that ice cream cone on the way home.

***

Inspired by Smart Glamour.
And my niece: May you always be this happy in your skin. ♥



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Put A Ring On It

Memo To Any Potential Fiancé(s):

Please don’t buy me a ring.

Really.

Rings are useless. I’d prefer you put the money towards a down payment on a brownstone, or a Balinese vacation, or a lifetime supply of tattoos. Or donate it to charity. Or better yet: just save it.

If you must get a ring, don’t buy me a diamond.

Really.

This one’s non-negotiable. Diamonds are blood on your literal hands. They are vile, consumerist, and ostentatious. Least of these, they’re not even original. If you buy me a diamond, you don’t know me well enough to marry me.

If you insist on a ring, I prefer emeralds or pearls. Really.

I come cheap, but I’m high-value.