a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Unfiltered Thoughts: Urban Myths

    What crime is it exactly if someone steals your kidney? Robbery? Assault? Breaking and entering?


    too smart for her own good

    My 2 year old, aka the Toddler Dawdler is very clever.

    A little too clever. I give you two case studies:

    • Sometimes I sit in the back seat of our car with her and her baby brother to keep either him or her, or sometimes, though rarely both, reasonably calm. However, whenever I don't feel like sitting back there but she insists, I reply with "I can't. Sorry! That seat is ALL wet." "Why is it wet?" "I don't know, but it just is, so I'd better sit up here because this seat is all dry." "Yeah, good idea!" This worked without fail. Until the other day. The Dawdler got into the car before any of us. She likes to climb in from the passenger's side (her carseat is on the driver's side) and as she climbed across the seat to her carseat, she exclaimed "Mommy! I checked! This seat isn't wet anymore! You can sit here!" Oh, brother.

    • She declared at dinner last night "I'm done! I'm going to go wash my hands. And then I'm ready to go get ICE CREAM!" Uh, hon? We aren't going to get any ice cream. My Better Half echoed the same sentiment and then followed with "But we do need to go to the store to get milk." Her: "Okay..." "...and ICE CREAM!" Sigh. I take her to the store, and explain as we're getting out of the car that maybe we can grab some ice cream while we're at the store but that we are not going to an ice cream shop. We're walking around grabbing a few things and she impatiently turns to me in the cereal aisle and says "I WANT TO GO GET ICE CREAM!" I repeat that maybe we can get some in the frozen aisle in a few minutes. We get to the frozen aisle, and she makes a bee line for the ice cream. She declares she wants chocolate to which I tell myself OH HELL NO, LADY, I'm not staying up with you til 11:00 tonight. So I shuffle her along to the popsicles and pull out some frozen fruit bars to show her and she says "I wanna HOOOOOOLLLLLD it" which is her way of pissing on something to mark it as hers. We get to the checkout, pay for our items, including the popsicles, and as we're walking out, she turns to me and says "I want to go get ICE CREAM!" I tell her, "Sweetie, we just got popsicles, that's what we're going to have, that's what you picked out." Her: "Okay." Followed a few minutes later by: "but that's not the same. That's not ICE CREAM!"

    She's a stickler for the truth, that one.


    Colbert's gain, my loss

    Breaking news this morning is that Stephen Colbert is leaving Comedy Central to take over CBS' "Late Show" from David Letterman. 


    I wish I could get on board with this. After all, America's funniest comedian is going to get a wider audience, and undoubtedly, boat-loads more cash. So, good for him, I guess.

    But I worry that he won't have the comedic freedom, I wonder whether he'll remain in character (answered: no, so in and of itself that's upsetting), and, I guess the biggest elephant in the room is the question of did CBS even consider anyone other than a white man? Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, Craig Ferguson, I mean c'mon now. The only woman in late night is Chelsea Handler, and that's on E! (though not for long). Sure would be nice to see more diversity in late night comedy.

    Look, I love Colbert and will follow him wherever he wants to go. Maybe Comedy Central can set an example and fill Colbert's void with, I dunno, someone who is perhaps not white and/or not male.



    It has long been clear to both My Better Half™ and me that Batman is the best superhero ever. It's not even up for debate. I don't think it ever has been. At this point, it's been a fact so long that I don't know the origins of this truth. Did we come to establish it as fact through conversation one night? Or did we each have the same feelings about the pantheon of superheroes prior to meeting one another and discover our similar views one night? No clue. But it doesn't matter since we know this truth to be self evident.

    We have different reasons for believing that Batman is the best. And they're both equally valid. I think Batman rules because he has a sidekick, Robin. Whether you're fighting crime or just going about your day, it's always better to have a sidekick at your, well, y'know. My Better Half™ says it's because he's merely a mortal, just a regular guy. He's not relying on supernatural powers or alien traits to help him in his quest to redeem Gotham from crime & corruption. It's purely motivation and hard work.

    We've discussed this many, many times. But only yesterday, when we were talking to the Toddler about superheroes, a topic she is starting to gain some awareness of thanks to daycare friends sporting "Piderman" shirts, did we realize one other thing that fuels Batman. It's still mostly motivation and hard work.

    But also ungodly sums of money. Let's not forget that. Minor detail.


    (un)lucky day

    Today is my lucky day. I came thiiiiiiiis close to somebody T-boning me on my way to work. I had just pulled out of my driveway and started driving to work past my neighbors' and was just starting to look for something to listen to when




    This car comes backing out (at great speed, mind you) with no regard whatsoever to me being RIGHT. THERE. Like RIGHT THERE. I was so busy swerving that I didn't have time to react and find the horn.


    Wait a minute.

    You mean I came thiiiiiiiis close to getting my car totaled? My piece of shit car that I have come to despise and pray for it to die peacefully in its sleep (as opposed to violently on the side of the interstate)? And it would have happened in an accident that would've left me completely unharmed and been 100% somebody else's fault? And I would've gotten an insurance check (cha-ching!) for someone to take the piece of shit* off my hands?


    This is not my lucky day.


    * Full disclosure: I realize that in the grand scheme of things this would not actually have solved any problems. a) My car is not entirely a piece of shit. It has, after all, loyally and unquestioningly given me 13 solid years, 177,000+ miles, and at least two epic cross-country road trips from AZ to TN & back. But it passed its prime long ago for sure. It has been overheating daily for at least three weeks. It is too small to hold the Toddler's Dawdler's carseat because the power seat, long ago broken, will not move forward enough to accommodate it. In fact it *barely* accommodates Baby's carseat. And then there's cosmetic issues, not the least of which is that its coat, once a lustrous jet black, is now speckled gray metal molting tiny threads of black paint that get stripped off daily thanks to 13 years in Arizona. Basically it looks like it walked off the set of Mad Max. In 1980.

    But also b) then I would have no car as we cannot afford a new one. Where new = new to me only. Especially because insurance writes you a check for the value of the car as it is today, not the price of a new (even new to me) car. Which in my case is about $1400, give or take. In other words, I could buy a sweet ass bike for that! Which would be delightful in 120 degrees. Between daycare for two children under the age of 3 and My Better Half™'s being chronically underemployed and woefully underpaid...there's just no way.

    So I'll reluctantly call it a lucky day.