Category Archives: the bee

An Outside Opinion

the bee: I think you need to get out of the house more. It’s good for you. On the inside and out.

me: (peeks face out from behind open refrigerator door) I get out of the house (SNAP! *crunch*crunch*crunch*) …sometimes.

b: I mean somewhere besides the supermarket or the library.

m: (half-chewed orange substance sprays from mouth and freckles fridge door handle and shirtsleeve) Ai THIK yer fergaeg…

b: No…

Going to the drive-thru at the bank doesn’t count as “getting out”. Not really, anyway.

m: (uses open fridge door as make-shift ballet barre; *plié* *ronds de jambe* *plié* *relevé* *plié* *ronds de jambe* *plié* *développé* !!!)

I was going to say “the mayonnaise”. You’re forgetting the amount of mayonnaise that we consume in this house. I don’t think it’s fair to discredit my trips to the supermarket. I need to restock, like, bi-monthly.

If bi-monthly means what I think it means, which is to say I don’t know what it means and ANYWAY, where else am I SUPPOSED to go? (SNAP! *crunch*crunch*crunch*)

b: I dunno… ANYWHERE. Just go for a drive, get lost, have adventures, have FUN!

m: Do you have any idea how depressing that sounds? (waves a baby carrot in the air to emphasize the enormity of the issue) Who the hell wants to be out in public ALONE? It’s humiliating. The last time you told me I should go to the park because it was a beautiful day I did and it was a complete disaster. (SNAP! CRUNCH.)

b: Don’t you think calling it a “disaster” is a bit dramatic?

m: Ummm, NO… (baby carrot now inches from the nose of the offending conversationalist; half-chewed orange substance airborne and within range to fleck the shirtsleeves of others)

…I peeled off my cinch waisted pants and forced my hair into something resembling a trampled beaver’s den, though a thoughtfully maintained one, all so I could end up sweaty and looking pathetic while trying to find someplace isolated to sit and read my book.

Being amongst all those smiley, happy couples and families was honestly the most alone I’ve ever felt…

(dispiritedly grande pliés into the cold embrace of the refrigerator; crumples on the floor nestled between the ketchup and cold cuts where her mind transports us through a vast and trippy memory telescope/photo album type-thingy into… the recent past)

*****

I wandered aimlessly…

I took some pictures…

Lonely, DEPRESSING pictures…

I encountered 2 girls with a dog who happened to be hanging out in a shady place by the path I was on and I was pretty sure they were staring at me and laughing so I took this picture, which isn’t really of anything but it saved me from having to look them in the eyes while being publicly ridiculed…

Then I ended up getting kind of lost…

Honestly though, this rendezvous with desolation was the most welcoming moment the afternoon had offered so far…

So I decided to take a load off and just relax. I started messing with the camera to see if I could remember how to use all the different functions.

I couldn’t…

So I took a few not so great pictures…

Until…

Ahhh… That’s better…

I found some red in a tangle of green and brown…

A weeping, gnarled monster reaching skyward from its grave….

And not far from there, finally, a nice comfortable place to sit and read my book…

*****

b: How utterly… nightmarish.

m: I know. It really was.

But do you know the worst part about going out? What I would consider the ultimate in human degradation?

b: Ummmm…

Being harrassed by religious fanatics?

Feely airport security guards?

Not being able to cool yourself while simultaneously abusing precious home energy resources?

m: Close. But no.

b: Then what?

m: Eating in public. (closes fridge door and pirouettes out of the room)

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Air Kicks

the bee: You can go on into the bathroom first this morning.

me: UGH.

b: What?!

m: Well, thanks and all but it’s just so CA-CA-CA-COLD in there. *jitterbugs around the bed in a fetal position to really drive home the point*

b: *slowly turns body in opposite direction*

m: I wish you could air kick me like the Transporter into the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to touch the cold tiles.

b: Do what now? Like who?

m: You KNOW. Like the Transporter. Jason Statham. He is like a master of air kicks.

b: What are “air kicks?”

m: You’re kidding me, right?

b: But aren’t all kicks “air kicks”?

m: Pffffffffffffffffffft. No.

Air kicks are when you are specially trained in martial arts or something and you can make your body fly through the air with your legs shooting straight out, readied like a fist so you can kick-fist someone in the face.

b: Wouldn’t that be called a “flying kick” then?

m: I doubt it. Jason Statham can’t fly, but birds can. Flies can fly. Even planes can fly. You know why? Because they have wings. Jason Statham does not have wings, therefore he cannot “fly kick“, he air kicks.

b: Well, since you’ve presented your case with such an overwhelming amount of logic and reason, I suppose I have no other option but to agree with you.

m: I’m glad I could help you come to your senses.

Now.

Ready?

One, Two, Three… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand GO!

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Filed under (me), just a thought..., the bee

A Brothers’ Diptych

Right before Xmas this past year, the bee came up with a great gift idea for his mom. The previous year he had given her, along with his 3 older brothers, a framed copy of a photograph taken of the boys sometime around 1984. In the picture, all the brothers at that time (the youngest wouldn’t turn up until 1991) posed for a picture in front of the fireplace in the family’s living room.

As with most kids, it’s usually a chore to get them to sit still for a minute, let alone the time needed to organize a proper photo but his mom managed to get a group shot where at least half of them are actually looking at the camera. Two outta four ain’t bad, right?

So this past holiday season, bee decided it might be cool to recreate the scene, some 26 years later, in much the same fashion. The original fireplace was unavailable since they had moved from that house in the early 90’s but we were lucky enough to find a suitable replacement to hold the photo shoot.

With myself behind the camera and some 80 or so shutter clicks later, I was pretty sure we had found a great match-up to the original. The framing and tone of the second picture doesn’t perfectly mimic the original but I think, as a collective effort, we did pretty darn good.

top photo: circa 1984, bottom photo: December 2010

A lot can change in a quarter century but I find it quite refreshing that a lot manages to stay so much the same.

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These pictures would be great if they weren’t so terrible…

Make sure you spare no expense when purchasing otherwise inexpensive yet generally dependable disposable cameras for YOUR informal post-wedding celebratory event.

Otherwise your photos might end up like this*:

ah, yes... it looks like there could be a table there, and wait! some people AT that table, but for the most part... just blackness.

oh, and look... here's a charming shot of the bride and groom about to kiss! oh, wait maybe not. i mainly just see cupcakes.

oh, my. just... *wow*. this is a great one. this photo brings us just *this* much closer to solid proof that (due to unknown causes) a body CAN separate from it head, causing spontaneous floating head-itis**... specifically during informal post-wedding celebratory events.

**spontaneous floating head-itis can also cause momentary facial blurring which can be very useful if you plan on commiting any major crimes and wish to evade security cams or police survelliance.

 

and finally…

the very best and worst? photo of the bunch:
at least it had some color…

*it also helps to have significant sunlight. or some other kind of light. just light. in general.

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Waterworld. Except subtract the part about water. And don’t expect any Kevin Costner references either…

Since Saturday morning we’ve been praying to the gods of water and early springtime thaw in the hope that one of them might hear us and grant us a taste of modern civility, in the form of luscious, glittering, watery water flowing from the taps once more.

Considering we’ve had a foot or more of snow on the ground for the last month, finding our pipes frozen was likely to have happened. I probably should have been expecting something regardless since I also managed to get two flat tires on two different occasions just since the new year, which leads me to ask:

For who?

For ME?! (presses hands to chest)

Oh, no… (fans hand out as though to say: I simply COULDN’T)

I mean…

I simply COULDN’T.

It wouldn’t be fair to all the other, less fortunate car tires with fully inflated rubber housing…

It seems only fitting that we should top it off with this now.

I mean, it’s not the WORST thing that could happen with the house. No, because the WORST thing that could happen probably-already happened to us last year. And it’s still nowhere near as bad as that time when we had crickets in our bed. Because I’m still not OK with what happened there…

I’ve been fine with not being able to do the dishes or brush my teeth using running water. I’ve learned to “spot clean” myself with baby wipes and de-crust dirty silverware with the leg of my sweatpants.

It’s been a lot like camping. Only a lot less fun.

I even figured out a way to make coffee!

Part one:

Collect some snow.

Part two:

Wait for it to melt.

Part three:

Make coffee?

Because of its “nature-y” ingredients I’ve taken to calling it Winter’s Blend…

But this post isn’t supposed to be about the merits of making snow coffee. It’s about how much it sucks using the toilet when you don’t have any running water.

It’s also been a really long time since we’ve had a proper discussion involving poop on this blog so here you go:

Saturday, 11:30 PM

me: *tummy gurgles* Oh. Um. Yeah...

I think I need to, you know, “go”. Don’t mind me, I’ll be right back…

the bee: Wait. Where are you going?

m: To the BATHroom. I have to “go”. You know, like “go” go.

b: Yeah, I get it but you can’t “go” in there.

m: (squints eyes, furrows brow) Whadaya MEAN I can’t go in there? Where am I supposed to go?!

b: My mom’s house, for one. If you run you could be inside in 10 seconds.

m: Excuse me, but I am NOT going over to your mom’s at midnight just to have to explain the reason for my visit is because I need to “drop something off”. UGGGGH! Embarrassing much?

b: Well, you can’t “go” in our toilet if we can’t flush.

m: (drops to knees and shakes fists) You can take away my toilet, bee… but you can’t take away my priiiiiiiide!!!

b: Oh, please… I’ve known you to use a trash can if you rea-

m: (lightbulb illuminates above head, eyes widen and finger points upward in excited victory)

*door slam*

b: (faces bathroom in disgust and horror)

*shouts* Just make sure you take it out when you’re done! *under breath* …you filthy animal.

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I can cook. Just not very well.

me: Oh, thank GOD you’re here.

the bee: What happened?

m: I think I may have ruined the chicken.

b: What makes you say that?

m: I’m not sure if I cooked it long enough.

b: How long did you cook it for?

m: About 15 minutes, but it feels raw to me.

b: Should we really be feeling it?

m: I think so.

b: Well, when you cut it open is the chicken pink or is it white inside?

m: It’s white but I tried some and it felt like raw in my throat.

b: *raises a concerned and skeptical eyebrow*

m: Should it be white on the outside too? Because it doesn’t look very appetizing…

b: Steff, it’s fine. It looks exactly the same as when I cook the chicken.

m: You’re just saying that. I won’t believe you til you try it.

b: Ok. (Takes bite and chews for an inordinate amount of time to eat a reasonably sized piece of chicken)

*gulps* It’s… good.

m: *waves arms in a defeated and hysterical manner* Oh my GOD! Somehow I’ve managed to make it both raw and overcooked. I’ve ruined dinner! It’s a disaster.

and poison!

b: You just need to relax. This is not a disaster and it’s not poison. It’s chicken.

m: *mumbles under breath* poison chicken…

b: *sideways glance*

m: Well?

b: Maybe…

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Filed under (me), home, just a thought..., the bee

A Day in the Life

When I decided to leave my job I figured it would give me an overwhelming amount of free time to write and take pictures and just be generally creative. I thought at this point I would have created so much amazlingness that I would need to tell myself to slow the hell down and just relax already. Instead I find myself unable to wake before 10 and then frantically running around all day in the hopes that I can get something worthwhile accomplished. Most days lots gets done, just nothing worth mentioning.

Or IS it?

Since I’m unable to come up with anything original, I’ll just give you a basic rundown of a day in the life:

12:37 AM – Wake up on the couch with intense neck pain after dozing off while watching something uninteresting on the TiVO (probably Chuck since I don’t find any humor on that show save for Morgan but the bee begs to differ because he just loves it. choose your battles wisely, people.)

12:38-12:41 AM – Attempt to rouse a sleeping bee from the sofa, at first with sweetness and love, whispering things like “Hey, sleepy. It’s late, let’s go to bed, OK?”. When that inevitably doesn’t work and I’ve paced the room for the next few minutes after multiple futile attempts to wake his comatose ass it becomes “FINE! I’m going to bed, with or without you. You can sleep out here, ALONE, where it’s scary and there’s no one to protect you. Good luck.” Within moments a groggy bee will rise as late-night threats of impending fear and abandonment will almost always work in your favor.

4:23 AM – Wake to the sounds of “A-BANG-A-BANG-A-BANG” coming from the weird, dwarf-sized, pseudo-closet underneath our bed where the cat has decided for the umpteenth time to try to see if he can exit through a set of unnecessary double doors that lead only to a wall. Directly under our heads. Where we sleep at night.

This is then followed by the “SCRITCH-A-SCRITCH-A-SCRITCH” when the stinker realizes that his first tactic wasn’t completely fortuitous so he’s moved to the set of drawers built into our weird elevated bunk bed in the hopes that THIS will wake us up so we can git on down thar and play with his fuzzy little monkey butt.

4:24-5:05 AM – Unsuccessfully bargain with a cat, pleading for a decent nights sleep and some peace and quiet if he would only just let us have it: “Just two more hours, buddy. Then we play with flying string-feather alllllll day, OK?” which quickly turns into “WOULD YOU SHUT UP YOU HELL SPAWN JUST BE QUIET GODDAMN IT I’M LOSING MY MIND YOU JERK I SWEAR TO GOD I’M GONNA KIL…” until, finally, the cat gets bored with this charade and resumes sleeping peacefully wherever it is he wants to sleep and we are forced to separate (as it seems to be the ONLY way he’ll ever give us peace), one of us staying in the bed while the other mans the pull-out in the living room where we both end up passing out miserable and overflowing with rage.

Let me just say: It’s awesome.

VS.

note the slight shift in location and the subtle difference in eyelid presentation in both photos. i mention this because these things matter little. in either instance he is ready to take your sleep schedule and make it his bitch.

7:35-8:05 AM – I half-wake to the sounds of the bee getting ready for his day at the office. I remain barely fazed by his knocking about the house  and only regain consciousness again briefly as he stops to give me a kiss goodbye before he leaves the house.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m a huge fan of that part.

9:56 AM – I awake to the sound of “Meeeeeeer, meeeeer” and a little orange face staring up at me from the floor telling me to get the hell up already because he’s hungry, so let’s get this party started. This is closely followed by the “Bzzzzzzp, bzzzzzzp” of my phone which is the bee texting me to get the hell up already because he’s bored, so let’s get this party started.

10:02 – approx 1:30 PM – I begin frantically running about the house in attempt to get things done. I start by putting the kettle on for tea and feeding the cat while I work on straightening up the house because, for whatever reason, collectively we manage to make a mess of things on a daily basis so much so that each morning I have to turn the bed back into a couch or rearrange furniture that was moved to provide sufficient space for the flying string-feather obstacle course or, you know, because I am highly OCD and I just have to. During this time I will also drink my tea, eat my breakfast and manage to make myself feel sub par for not having accomplished more in the way of actual “work” all while sitting in the same dirty pajamas that I’ve worn all week. (that last part is more statement of fact than complaint because I LOVES me the time in my dirty ‘jams)

1:31-4:12 PM – Commence freaking out because it’s almost 2:00 and that’s when the bee goes on lunch which means he’s gonna call me and ask what I’m doing. Also, because technically I think I’m supposed to eat again but that’s so much work and I really don’t have the motivation but I better do it anyway because otherwise I’ll get yelled at (see: the bee). It’s around this time that I realize that I still haven’t managed to do the dishes from the night before and it never ceases to amaze me that no matter what the meal and regardless that it’s just the two of us we still have a towering mound of crap in the sink on a daily basis to deal with.

Also? I should probably shower. It’s been a while. Oh yeah, and the teeth. Still haven’t brushed the teeth.

4:15 PM – Decide that just brushing the teeth and putting on real clothes should be good enough in the way of grooming for the day. Attempt to go online and read-up on blogs and maybe get some writing done. This never happens. Instead I find that Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead is on Cinemax for the 11th time this week so I should probably watch it again because I’M RIGHT ON TOP OF THAT ROSE.

5:30 PM – The bee arrives home and any prospect of writing goes out the window. I’m totally fine with this. At least I will be until tomorrow morning (see: 1:35-4:12 PM) when I’ll just make myself feel guilty for being unproductive again. We catch up on the day’s happenings and the bee complains about some shitty thing that happened at his shitty job and I nod and roll my eyes because I totally get it and then I tell him about how fucking crazy MY new boss is. And he’ll do the same because he knows the deal with that too.

6:45 PM – We decide that we should probably start to think about what it is we might want to eat for dinner. Considering the time we look in the fridge to realize we only have 2 week old baked beans and some white-slime coated hot dogs and since it’s too late to defrost anything “real” in the freezer we realize we need to choose from the only two options left: Wendy’s or McDonald’s. Lately Wendy’s wins out since they have those new salads. You know the one’s with the nuts and cheese and berries? Yep, tooooootally love those. Have I mentioned I should be in sales?

7:55 – 10:15 PM – Return from Wendy’s and begin scarfing down dinner while watching hours of mind-numbing television programming. Remember all the things I had wanted to do during the day but didn’t and then realize that I’m just going to have to do all those things TOMORROW and I begin to panic. I don’t handle stress well. At all. So instead of beginning to relax and enjoy my time with my husband in a low-key laid-back scenario I start to obsess and voice my worry about all my shortcomings and past failures as a human. This makes for really shitty T.V. viewing. Thank god for TiVo. Again: sales?

10:30-ish – Regardless of what is happening, I begin to lose my ability to maintain consciousness. We could be in the middle of playing Dance Dance Revolution and the indefatigable need to just “go lay down for a minute” would sweep over me and that, my friends, is usually where I completely check-out. Sometimes I can pretend like I’m still with it enough to carry on a conversation or, at the very least, add commentary to something seen on T.V. but the truth is, anything after 10:45 for me is 100% auto-pilot which brings us right back to where we started.

Basically I’m just a manic-depressive, obsessive-compulsive, slightly neurotic, unemployed, over-sleeper with less than stellar hygiene, who loves her freak-show of a cat even though he’s *this close* to getting thrown out a window if he wakes her up again with his one-man-band percussive late-night music hour, with a very unhealthy relationship with fast food who really needs to get dressed and put on some make-up. Like now. It’s either that or cover up this pimple with my finger forever.

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Crossing the Threshold

It is common knowledge that everything changes when you get married. You no longer live a life of singularity but, rather, one of SOLIDarity. You and me’s turn into us and we’s. And rightly so. You have embarked upon a journey full of petty fights and make-up sex.

Here are some things I’ve learned about marriage in just the last few days:

 

Talk is cheap. But more than that, talking at all is overrated. Once married, your brains magically fuse in such a way that you really no longer need to speak thoughts or requests to the other. Things are simply understood.

 

Sharing is caring. One of the most wonderful things about married life is sharing. Everything. From money to food to clothes to life’s pesky little responsibilities. Like who’s turn it is to call and order the pizza:

 

All bets are off. Did you have a particular arrangement in place for chores or a specific agreement that you made prior to your wedding day? Well if so, consider all that cancelled. Marriage is about equality and if not taken literally your wedded bliss will soon turn to a chaotic nightmare.

 

Humility and self-respect be damned! This means that you no longer need to leave the room to fart or pick your nose or scratch… anywhere! This also means that you can begin to use the bathroom with the door open. Now anytime is a good time to tell your spouse about every single thought that pops into your head.

In conclusion,  remember:

Love means never having to poop with the door shut… 

but maybe you should anyway.

Just to be safe.

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The Union, Forever

This Sunday, (me) and the bee get married. 

We’re both incredibly excited and more than a little relieved, mainly because after Sunday we can finally take a deep breath and relax a bit before our celebratory marriage party, held 2 weeks after that. 

The other day we both confided in each other how we *kind of* couldn’t wait for it all to be over so things can go back to normal. I’ve never planned a wedding before and I’m sure it’s a different experience for everyone, but for me, aside from being a fun and exciting opportunity to flaunt my creative feathers, it has been EXHAUSTING

The last few months have been a blur of planning and scheduling and arranging and procuring. I can honestly say I will be very grateful when we can look back on this with a smile because all our hard work really paid off but even more so because I’ll be looking back. Hopefully from the comforts of my living room. With no future plans other than: What poor excuse for a meal will I be stuffing my face with this evening? 

I thought I’d share some photos we took back in April when we brought our lomo-cams out with us to the park we inevitably chose as our ceremony locale. We went back there this past weekend to scout out the perfect spot. Instead, we found MULTIPLE places we think we might want to use for such a momentous occasion. 

We figure it’ll all sort itself out that day. Plus, everything else about our wedding plans have been last-minute so why start doing things any differently now! 

a path through the park*

a view of the lake **

a lonely daffodil on the fence*

me, on a park bench overlooking a potential location for our vow exchange**

*taken by (me) with a Holga fitted w/ a fish eye lens 

**taken by the bee with a Diana F+ fitted w/ an instant back (comes out like a Polaroid, only smaller)

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Flickr Friday: Illuminated Star-Gazers

For this week’s edition I’ve chosen a favorite of mine taken by the bee from our recent camping/cabin trip to Western PA. The stars were brilliant and plentiful out there even if the cell reception was anything but. Guess you can’t win ’em all…
A group of us went up the mountain to a popular elk viewing post that was all but deserted at nighttime. The air was cold and full of allergens which is why you will see me rocking the bandit look in the background. While the star-gazers stared heaven bound, the bee used a flashlight to paint our persons during a long exposure shot.
The result (as you can see for yourself) is quite cool, giving the black night setting a glowing illumination so each of us can be seen in the image. A job well done, I say…

For more from our amazing (as usual) trip to rural Pennsylvania check out the bee’s photo set on Flickr.

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