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Dear People Who Don’t Understand My Love of Bad Taxidermy:

First, you don’t have to understand. You don’t live with me. (Unless you are Eddie, who does have to live with me and spends most of his time rolling his eyes and sighing.)

Second, what’s there to understand? I think it’s funny. Maybe you don’t. Fine. I don’t judge your love of period dramas and pumpkin spice brisket. (That’s a thing, right?)

Third, if you must know, I can trace it back to early 2014. Eddie and I were chaperones for one of the boys’ field trips, and we were waiting for the school bus to arrive. BuzzFeed put out a listicle of top 10 examples of bad taxidermy. Eddie and I laughed ourselves to tears recreating the poor creatures that made the list. Like this:

It still makes me laugh.

And so I started posting other examples of bad taxidermy on people’s Facebook pages as birthday greetings. Totally normal behavior. Right? Right?!

Then I got my first piece of bad taxidermy: a squirrel tail in the shape of a question mark.

It was a thank-you gift from a graduate student after she successfully defended her thesis. I was her chair. She gave it to me and said, “I saw this and thought of you because you like bad taxidermy and wrote question marks all over drafts of my thesis.”

True.

The tail led to a deer head from the 1950s, then a deer tail plaque with a thermometer (a furmometer!), then a blowfish ornament, then Hando.

Now, people see this and think of me:

And that’s fine by me. (I immediately thought, “Christmas gift!”)

You still don’t get it?

Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Many people do get it, and get me. Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) would.

Maybe you can just scroll on past. Or look away. It really only matters that I think it’s hilarious. That’s my thing. You find yours. I support you.

Yours in foam forms and glass eyes,
Beth

Dear Friends:

As you know from this post and the followup, I’m on a health kick as I slide headfirst into the holidays. (Perhaps the worst time to start a diet. Or the best, depending on your POV.)

Despite the calculated complaining I’ve been doing on this blog, it’s been OK. Mostly OK. All but three times OK (an alumni event at a brewery, happy hour where beer cheese soup was present, and an Uno death match with friends last weekend during which chips and dip sat within a foot of me for HOURS).

My willpower is strong. When I decide to do something, I do it. I told you: I’m Tracy Flick.

Besides my crazy diet, I’ve made other changes:

  1. I’m taking the “Lyft Ditch Your Car” challenge this month. I already walk to work regularly, so it will be fine.
  2. I’m drinking so much water every day — well over the 64 ounces recommended — that I spend much of the day in and traveling to/from the loo.
  3. I’m not drinking any alcoholic beverages. (Oh don’t be THAT surprised.)
  4. I now have a standing desk at work.

Standing desk

These are all the rage in offices lately. I love mine. Added bonus: If you put on some music, you find yourself moving much more while standing.

Except I have a cautionary tale: Earlier this week, I listened to Big Freedia, “3rd Ward Bounce.”

Big Freedia: 3rd Ward Bounce

If you are familiar at all with Big Freedia, you will know the dance moves that go with bounce music.

They are not appropriate for work.

They are probably not appropriate for me any time at my age (29 <cough> forever).

I was definitely moving around a little more than usual at my desk, though. I was a little worried someone would walk in and think I was having a seizure.

But my iWatch approved.

And for those interested in my progress, there’s about 12 pounds less of me to love. (My big personality is still intact, though.)

I’m keeping this up until the last weekend in October, at least (i.e., the last weekend for Oktoberfest).

Wish me luck,
Beth

Dear Bread, Cheese, Beer and Wine:

I miss you. So much. But I can’t have you in my life at the moment. It’s not you. It’s me. (Well, it actually is you, but it’s my choice not to be with you.)

Dominic got some seasoned fries smothered in bright yellow nacho cheese sauce at the ballpark Sunday, and I had to go sit somewhere else.

An email promoting the annual Great Atlanta Beer Fest nearly moved me to tears.

Last night I dreamed about chicken nuggets.

Y’all, I don’t even eat chicken nuggets when I CAN eat chicken nuggets.

My “fat coach” told me the cravings would go away.

My “fat coach” lied.*

My “fat coach” and I are now on a break.

It’s a dark period. The equivalent of Goya’s “Black Paintings.”

I hope to see you in November. The scale will let me know.

Love you; miss you,
Beth

* That’s probably too harsh. I’m sure she really thought they would. We’re not really on a break. She’s giving me space. I really need nachos.

Dear Fellow Women:

This week has been illuminating. It’s clear we are going about this whole “gender equality” thing the wrong way. We feminists have been advocating for women’s rights on the basis of equality.

We’ve been wanting people to play by what we think should be the rules (you know: logic, respect, fairness, etc.). But really, we need to be playing by rules already in place: men’s rules.

So here’s the deal: Let’s learn from the Kavanaugh debacle. Don’t get mad. Get even.

1. Deny, deny, deny

This is very freeing. You can do anything you want — especially when you are drunk — and just say you didn’t do it. Boom. Maybe you really did forget. Maybe it wasn’t a big deal to you. Maybe you did it and don’t want to remember. It doesn’t matter. Just say you didn’t do it. Or you don’t recall. Or your accuser is crazy. You know, go full gaslight. The beauty of this is that people will believe you, the perpetrator! Just get super defensive. Don’t stand down — double down!

2. Accuse, accuse, accuse (i.e., the best defense is a good offense)

If you are ever in a jam, make sure you say that the person is making it up for fame. Clearly that works. I know all of us can name every one of Bill Cosby’s accusers. We want autographs of these world-famous women. Who wouldn’t want to be famous for being sexually assaulted? #squadgoals

3. Girls will be girls

We’ve all heard “boys will be boys” so much this week. I always thought that meant chasing each other with stick guns and farting on each other’s heads. But apparently it means that guys can do anything — ANYTHING — when they are 17 and younger, and NOTHING will happen. Clarification: white guys.

So ladies, do whatever you want as long as you are 17 and younger. We all will back you up and say, “Girls will be girls.”

4. Time is on your side

Oh you did something years ago, and someone wants you to answer for it? Pbfft! Who has time for that noise? It was 5, 10, 35 (insert number) years ago. You are important now. You have a whole amazing career ahead of you. Just remember that YOUR career path is much more important than your accuser’s career path and mental health.

5. Take what you want

You think a dude is hot? Grab him by the penis. Try to get inside that bathing suit. Lock the door, drop your skirt, and make demands on your male coworkers. Put your needs/wants first. Don’t think twice. Men need to watch what they wear, how much they drink, where they park, where they jog, what they say. This is your world now. You might even get to be president of the United States someday! (And if they don’t like it, just tell them they’d look better if they smiled more.)

There. Problem solved. I’ll take my thanks in gift cards for bathrobes, cigars and scotch.

Welcome to the jungle,
Beth

P.S. You are a man, and you’re mad at me now for generalizing? Get over yourself. I do not hate men; I hate the double standard. Also, unless you’ve sexually harassed someone, I’m clearly NOT TALKING TO OR ABOUT YOU!

P.P.S. You are outraged at my post, and you want to tell me that there really are false allegations. I’m sure there are. But only 2-10 percent of all rape reports are found to be false. Only 35 percent of rapes are ever reported. Why? I’m sure Christine Blasey Ford can tell you exactly why.

P.P.P.S. You don’t understand sarcasm? You’re reading the wrong blog.

P.P.P.P.S. Of course I am NOT advocating for any kind of sexual assault. By anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. Good grief! See P.P.P.S. above.

 

Dear Kim:

Thank you for introducing me to the [name redacted] diet system. Like you, I am a busy Type A woman who loves rules. Packaged food helps as I often don’t have time to go get something to eat. And I hate the gym.

I listened to you for two reasons:

1. You lost 28 pounds in two months.
2. You said the food was delicious.

I’ve been on the system for four days. I have thoughts. Of course.

1. I know why you lost so much weight. This is about a 1,000-calorie-or-fewer-per-day plan.
2. The food is not delicious, Kim. Everything I’ve tried has the same flavor and texture. I feel like I’m eating dog food. (And now I’m concerned about the state of your taste buds, Kim.)
3. I do not want a personal coach/cheering section. This is why I don’t do CrossFit.

The coach part is the hardest. The system wouldn’t let me purchase the meal kit until I selected a coach. My coach has PLENTY of energy. She has contacted me via text, Facebook and phone at least three times a day since I signed up. Read that again. Kim. She calls me. You know how I feel about that. She’s very aggressive assertive interested in making sure I feel supported.

This is just one text she sent. A TEXT!

I can’t be too cranky: She really is making sure I have all the tools I need. She is more enthusiastic than I am about me hitting my target. And I guess I need that push.

Anyway, I’m drinking more water, eating less and walking more. I’ve already lost six pounds. Mostly water weight, I’m sure. But I’ll take it.

So thanks, Kim: You and your defective taste buds have given me the push I need.

Love and kibble kisses,
The slimmer version of Beth

Dear Amazon Stork Prime Returns Department:

When I brought “First-born Son” home, I was so pleased with it. Yes, it did make plenty of noise at first — keeping me up many, many nights in a row (about 240 to be honest) — and it did make somewhat of a mess, but it was adorable. Everyone said so. And it was just what I wanted.

Very cute, right?

My husband and I then enjoyed years of fun with “First-born Son.” Lately, though, this product has started acting up. It started with an eyeroll here and there. Then it began muttering under its breath. The noises coming out of it over the past few weeks, however, are really too much to bear.

We usually only hear “whatever” or “I don’t want to (insert anything except eating Cheez-its and playing Fortnite).” But this weekend, it actually wished me dead.

This can’t be proper behavior of the “First-born Son” product line.

It’s stuck in this position.

I’m not sure what kind of warranty you have on “First-born Son” or refund policy, but I need to find some kind of resolution. Is there at least a master reset button or factory restore I can perform?

Please let me know. Time is of the essence.

Sincerely,
Beth