Category Archives: Humor

Bye Bye Miss American Trybecca

Alas, this blog is no more. But before you do something rash like cancel your internet service, click here.

I’m like a hermit crab gone in search of a bigger, brighter shell, one with better template options and widgets. Hey. Why are you still reading this? You should be figuring out how to subscribe to From Soho to Silo.

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Raspberry Berate

Erro there, interweblings. This is Snunshine. I’m a Philosopher King turned Trail Master.

Today I went raspberry picking on Long Island with Dan and Girl. It was good to get some fresh air since I’ve been cooped up all weekend with Sydney.

Sydney is the bullshit koala bear Dan got for free on Emirates Airlines. Sydney is supposed to comfort small crying children, but he’s a grotesque abomination. After he tried to chew on my new Masai war stick I pulled off his face. That pretty much shut him up. Also, he looks like John McCain, who is no media darling.

So, anyway, Dan and Girl and I left Sydney stuffed in an exhaust pipe at home and went looking for raspberries. We only needed a colander and my heightened penguin sense of smell. Jackpot!

Here I am pointing out a raspberry. You can tell it’s a raspberry and not a blackberry or a blueberry because of its rasp color.

Soon, I led the group off-road to a choice location.

It was a berry bonanza!

Dan and Girl and Dan’s friend Geoffy were absolutely no help. Girl kept saying to Dan “I’ll give you a raspberry!,” but then all she’d do was lift up his shirt and make pffff noises on his belly. And that Geoffy, man, he just ran around in circles showing off his opposable thumbs.

I made sure to give him the flipper. Dan, too. He wouldn’t stop eating the fruit of my labor.

Well, after I picked every single berry, leaving the bushes pretty much fucked, I did my Hannibal Lecter impression.

Clariiiiiiiice!!

Clariiiiiiiice!!

Sydney is especially fond of it, seeing as to how I recently pulled off his coy little koala face and wore it myself.

After trespassing raspberry picking, Dan and Girl were tired out and brambled — Girl got a thorn in her side and I made a joke under my breath — but I still forced convinced them to construct a raspberry red carpet for me.

After picking seeds out of my butt, I baked a raspberry crumble. Girl tried to pass it off as her own, but she merely turned the pages of the Martha Stewart Cookbook. I had that recipe memorized, anyway.

All in all it was pretty fun. Any adventures you’d like to see me go on?

Ten. Leaping. Lorde.

Dreaming of…

a drive to a house (where I will do the best I can):

Dan in Tanzania (safe):

and something that was not there (created).

Nine Ladies Dancing

I grew up doing two things on a regular basis: attending Presbyterian church and listening to musicals on vinyl.

Have you ever forgotten a song that meant the world to you, that lifted your spirits and made you smile uncontrollably, that transported you out of the thicket of adolescence — a song you then heard years later as a tax-payer, say in a supermarket checkout line, or the bank lobby? And out of nowhere you’re thirteen again? It happened to me at Regal Cinemas Union Square watching WALL-E, a movie which samples not just Michael Crawford , but Michael Crawford in — oh heart! — Hello Dolly.

“Put on Your Sunday Clothes.” I dreaded confirmation class and Sunday School but somehow, by playing this record, this song, by parading around my room like Barbara Streisand and examining my big nose in the mirror with momentary self-esteem, I could muster up enough enthusiasm to wear a frilly dress.

And now that I’m older, I realize it’s a song about coming to New York City. I guess something inside me knew all long. (You just have to at least listen from 4:25 to the end.)

I’ve been singing and dancing all week.

Maids and A-Milking

I wanted to take this eighth day of Danzania to clear up a few things in regards to my Five Golden Rings post. So many people have commented, both publicly and privately, in response to my cousin’s nine-step plan for my life. Or was it 8 steps? I’m inclined to consolidate “get some real skills” and “grow up” into one step. Then again, I’m lazy.

I haven’t seen or spoken to my cousin in five years — ironically enough, the last time was at his wedding on Mackinaw Island, where I was asked to bear witness to his law-abiding love by reading the Kevin Young poem “Epithalamion.” An excerpt:

Stand
& I will be born

from your arm —
a thing eagled, open,
above the unsettled,

moon-made sea.

I never beat up my cousin as a kid, or forced him to sing Fred Schneider’s part in “Love Shack” at karaoke. I always thought he was pretty cool. We could sit in silence with the understanding that we come from caring (albeit slightly crazy) stock, and whether he knew it or not, I envied his ability to draw. He was an incredible caricaturist.

My best memory of us — and no, it isn’t the time we reconnected on a blog — is after my granddaddy Jack died. I was in third grade. My father picked me up early from Kristy’s ice skating birthday party and told me in the car that we had to drive to the Outer Banks to be with my mother. I had never lost someone before or been to a funeral. My cousin was there, in my granddaddy’s house. He played a Milton Bradley board game with me called Ghosts.

The game pieces glowed in the dark, and as an eight year old, sitting across from my own blood, afraid of the afterlife, lights out, moving death around on a square board, I was able to innocently cope with loss and mourn a man I would never get the chance to know. For me it became a Wordsworthian Spot of Time:

There are in our existence spots of time,
That with distinct pre-eminence retain
A renovating virtue, whence–depressed
By false opinion and contentious thought,
Or aught of heavier or more deadly weight,
In trivial occupations, and the round
Of ordinary intercourse–our minds
Are nourished and invisibly repaired;
A virtue, by which pleasure is enhanced,
That penetrates, enables us to mount,
When high, more high, and lifts us up when fallen.

I was deeply wounded by my cousin’s remarks — I almost changed my blog name to Crybecca for the afternoon — but soon realized I am not the same vulnerable, acquiescent girl who used to apologize to commuters who jostled me in Times Square. It’s incredible when you can validate your own choices.

Readers, I am moving to the midwest, land of serial killers and high fructose corn syrup, of three-inch thick ice, of high winds. Of Carl Sandburg. Of cows! I couldn’t be happier.

Which brings me to this: there’s a popular adage that a man needn’t buy the cow when he can get the milk for free. Such an old-fashioned dairy tale sells both parties short: men are portrayed as sex-starved itinerant farmers, women as output. Above all else I value my agency. True, I can’t say that Dan and I will be together forever, but perhaps I won’t be the one doing the disappointing. We live in 2008, when a woman has the option of leaving a man knee-deep in corn. I happen to think quite a few of the gentlemen in Jane Austen novels behave like idiots. I am not afraid to be alone and I am not afraid to start over. It’s my milk.

I love Dan and he loves me. We have “real meaning” and are committed to building, mending, repairing, and might I add teaching and creating, as a team. (Of course he’s a bit like Snuffleupagus right now, on Safari and invisible to most everyone, so you’ll just have to take my egocentric word for it.) And if it’s true that without a marriage certificate Dan can leave me at the drop of a high Warcraft Score, because I have stopped being entertaining, then by all means, allow me to be the first to encourage him to do so. I would leave him if he stopped being kind. Or supportive. Or off-color. Or entertaining. Because that’s the man I fell in love with, and while some things may change — say, for example, Dan gets his toes chewed off by a lion in Tanzania — personality and character are non-negotiable. Becca will always be entertaining, even through Iowa dysphoria, even through the fight she and Dan will have when Dan eats the last of the bacon and the house still smells of it. Otherwise, that’s not Becca. (Snunshine feels the same fucking way and is encouraging us to write Moving-In-Together Vows. Also, he says Dan would be more entertaining with no toes.)

It’s unfortunate that my cousin, though perhaps truly concerned for my journey to the center of the cold grey gloom, couldn’t bother to ask rather than assume. Will I lose contacts once I move to the midwest? (Nope. My Poet is keeping me on part-time.) Am I scared? (Yes and No. I did wake up this morning and freak out a little because I couldn’t find Iowa on the map, but Dan is my partner, and we’re ready to try.) But you don’t know a soul out there, Becca! (Not true — two of my best friends from Georgia are waiting with pizza and beer the moment I pull-in.) Are you self-centered? (Sometimes. I am an only child. One might think it’s self-centered to have a blog named after yourself, but I’d love to talk with you more about the genre of personal memoir and creative non-fiction. Have you read David Sedaris? Maybe start with this interview to better understand where I’m coming from, what I struggle with as a humor writer.) Do you knock your parents? (Only when they email me JPEGs of albino squirrels. And only because I’m jealous. I love and respect my parents enough to disagree with them.) Are you self-effacing? (I’m sorry…I just don’t feel good enough about myself to answer that question…) Would you and Dan ever like to drive to Michigan to visit us? (Sure. That would have been nice.)

Finally, I do not delete comments, unless they are about penis enlargement or Canadian swing dancing, both of which I received today. Luckily, I also received these:

My friends Dan and Carly\'s daughter, Avery, at her first Iowa dairy farm this weekend. Soon we'll be neighbors!

My friends Dan and Carly's daughter, Avery, at her first Iowa dairy farm this weekend.

Avery, going solo. Or Silo. Something like that.

Avery, going solo. Or Silo. Something like that.

Swans

The summer of 2004, I backpacked through Eastern Europe, alone, for three weeks. I learned a lot about myself — especially that living and writing, for me, are intertwined.

I wrote this in my journal, after leaving the “Hungarian Sea,” or Lake Balaton, where I saw a swan:

In Balatonfured, when I had the experience of the swan, I simultaneously dove into the white solitude while hovering outside the picture. This is what I mean by the difference between the thing itself and the story of the thing. She was exquisite: floating on calm Balaton, alone, in the dark, against a backdrop of heat lightning. I have gendered her. Yeats had his wild swans at Coole and I have mine. She too was traveling alone, and with the sky aflame, I swear I was summoning her — that for a brief moment we spoke a common telepathic language, even as I withdrew to write and hence change her…

Lake Balaton, Hungary, August 2004

Lake Balton, Hungary, August 2004

The Wild Swans at Coole
W.B. Yeats

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty Swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away.

Six Geese

Goose counter. Me in a taxi in the rain. Eager accepter of the extra change. I wonder which days of New York City me I’ll miss?