Rumors of Seattle Downpours Greatly Exaggerated

I recently watched the first season of The Killing, a show centering around the murder of a seventeen year old girl in Seattle. It's a great show with fantastic acting, but it perpetuates one of the greatest misconceptions about the Puget Sound area. Contrary to popular belief, it is not constantly pouring rain here.

Look! It's even kind of sunny right now! Look at all that blue sky!

Seriously, in just about every episode of that show it looks like Seattle is in the middle of monsoon season.

Here's an excerpt from a Wikipedia article (which we know is always super accurate).

"At 944mm (37.49 in.), in reality, the city receives less precipitation annually than New York City (1201 mm, 47.28 in.), Atlanta (1290 mm, 50.79 in.), Boston (1055 mm, 41.53 in.), Baltimore (1038 mm, 40.87 in.), Portland, Maine (1128 mm, 44.41 in.), Jacksonville, Florida(1304 mm, 51.34 in.), and most cities on the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. Seattle was also not listed in a study that revealed the 10 rainiest cities in the continental United States."

It certainly does rain in Seattle, and we joke that only tourists use umbrellas because we're hardened to being constantly drenched.  But even in October/November, the months this show is set in, I'm pretty sure (and seeing as how I live in the area my 'pretty sure' is basically 'I know for a fact') that it doesn't rain as much as they would like us to think.

But seeing as how these poor sods live in a fictional Seattle that is constantly plagued by torrential downpours, I'd like to suggest some rain gear that I first came across in April of 2008:

I think everyone in The Killing should wear this every time they go outside.  The Nubrella is now only $49.99!  I mean, just check out this promotional video and tell me this wouldn't be a brilliantly effective, stylish, and practical solution for our sad, dripping wet friends as they rush around the city trying to catch a murderer:

Ah, yes.  Such an elegant solution.

In: ,

The Hornet in the Kitchen

I took a late lunch break today.  Not suspecting the horror that was about to transpire, I calmly wandered into the kitchen with my cell phone, thinking about my frozen lean cuisine lunch and wondering if maybe, just maybe, this time it wouldn't taste like cardboard.

All was proceeding as it should. The frozen lunch went into the microwave and I sat down at the table to wait when I heard something, something that didn't belong.  Something.... buzzing.  Slowly, filled with dread, I turned and looked over at the window directly behind me, only to come face to face with a hornet.

My mind froze, but thankfully my body didn't.  I leapt to my feet and yanked the blinds closed, trapping the wretched thing, and bolted towards my boss's office.  I paused in his doorway, breathing hard, my eyes wild.  He was on the phone, but gave me a concerned look.  I rushed past his office into mine, snatched up a pad of paper and a sharpie, and hurriedly scribbled an urgent missive to make him aware of the situation.

Recognizing this simply could not wait, my boss got off the phone and bravely marched into battle.  Rolling up a magazine, standing at the ready, he yanked the blinds open.

"There!  It's there!"  I hovered in the doorway, pointing unnecessarily.

"Yep, that's a hornet," my boss said.  He mustered more courage than I had dreamed possible and slammed the magazine into the wicked yellow and black beast.  I let out a small shriek and my boss stepped back, magazine still in hand, prepared to strike again...

But the hornet was simply gone.

We searched in vain for the body, but found nothing.

I've seen enough horror movies to know what that means.

Unexpected Side Effects

So lately I've been very committed to getting healthier (and more importantly back into my expensive jeans that I haven't been able to squeeze myself into for ages). This has involved being very motivated to work out and eat properly. The exercise and the eating healthy is working out pretty well for me - I've been feeling more energetic during the day, I'm seeing some progress on the scale, and most importantly, I'm really proud of myself. It's a great feeling.

That being said, there has been a rather unexpected side effect. I call it CBHS - CheeseBurger Hallucination Syndrome. Some of the symptoms of CBHS are as follows:

1.) Believing that any meal can be improved with the addition of cheeseburgers.


Dinner has been prepared, a lovely Asian soup. Jordan takes a bite, and turns to me, mentioning that he's not sure about one of the spices, and asks what do I think would make it taste better? I'm looking into my bowl, and all I see is -
"CHEESEBURGERS," I blurt out.

Jordan raises his eyebrows at me. "Cheeseburgers would make it taste better?"

"Cheeseburgers," I confirm, suddenly unable to speak any other word. "Cheeseburgers."

2.) Randomly finding yourself pulling into fast food drive throughs with no memory of how you got there.


I'm driving home from work, singing along with Cobra Starship, idly thinking about my day, and I'm planning to go immediately to my apartment complex gym when I get home. I glance down for a second to change the volume on my stereo, but when I look up I find myself staring at the McDonald's drive through menu. My window is open, and the McDonald's employee is politely asking me what I would like to order. I'm stunned. I open my mouth, intending to explain that I've changed my mind, but what comes out is...

"Cheeseburgers. Lots of cheeseburgers."

3.) Inanimate objects appear to be cheeseburgers.


I'm playing Resident Evil 5 on my Playstation 3, completely absorbed in killing things before I run out of ammo. I've just had a snack of baby carrots and an apple, and I'm not particularly hungry. I glance down at my controller and freeze. Instead of my controller, I'm holding a beautiful, juicy, perfect cheeseburger. My eyes widened, and I slowly lifted it up, mouth opening, preparing to take a huge bite, when -

"Becca, what are you doing?"

I glance over at Jordan, then back at the cheeseburger, feeling a pang of sadness and loss when I realize it's changed back into a PS3 controller. "Nothing," I mutter. "Just wishing I had a cheeseburger..."

It's very important to be wary of CBHS. This dangerous syndrome can also occur with other foods as well - the nasty shock you get when taking a bite of low fat cottage cheese expecting it to be marshmallows is rather disturbing.

In: ,

The great and wonderful DOSBox

This weekend I was on the phone with my mom, trying to remember the name of a game we used to play almost twenty years ago.

"It was that one, you know, with the knights, and they're running around Spain, and the intro music goes dun duuuun dun dun... we had that giant map that we kept having to look at!"

Fortunately Mom knew exactly what I was talking about since I'm pretty sure most people would have written me off as a raving lunatic at that point.

Thus I set off on my Mission - to find and download Vengeance of Excalibur, a 1991 DOS RPG. My shiny Playstation 3 sat unused and neglected as I curled up on the sofa and took a trip down memory lane. DOSBox, a handy DOS emulator, allowed me to experience old favorites from the early '90s just the way I remembered them. Vengeance of Excalibur, Prophecy of the Shadow, Zork text adventures, King's Quest...

Don't get me wrong - I love our newer video games, with their hyper-realistic graphics, their smooth gameplay and control schemes, their good (and bad) voice acting... but there is definitely something to be said for our old favorites. Sitting in front of a computer typing commands into a text based RPG can be just as satisfying as staring dumbstruck at the latest Final Fantasty CGI cutscenes.

You also tend to notice things about older games that you may not have noticed when you first played them. Like how King's Quest V is really a story about one man's EPIC acid trip.

In: ,

Detailer vs. Shower Puff

Axe. They have all these hideously sexist commercials that invariably leave me massively irritated every time I accidentally see one. I've managed to successfully avoid them for quite a while now, but the other day Jordan and I were pulling up something to watch on Hulu, and lo and behold, a commercial for the new "Axe Detailer" paraded itself before my eyes.

I started to laugh. "It's a man poof!"

Jordan looked at me, confused. "A what?"

"A man poof!"

Amused, Jordan argued with me for a short time, but I stand by my initial assessment. Here is the Axe "Detailer" (a.k.a. man poof):

In: ,

The Professional Photo Shoot

I love my new job. I really do. The constant challenges of real estate are always exciting to me, and I love the small group of people I work with. But when my boss asked me to schedule a photo shoot for new team photos and a portrait of me for my business cards, I immediately hated my life. Having my picture taken is something I'm usually okay with, but a professional photo shoot? Ack!

Dutifully I called the photographer and scheduled the appointment, and on the assigned day, the three of us - myself, my boss, and the buyer agent - all drove to the studio. The photographer instantly put me at ease and I started to relax. She was gentle, soft spoken, and her studio felt homey. She chatted with us for a while, then sent us to the area where she planned to take her pictures. I looked down to make sure I was standing where she had asked me to, and when I looked back up, everything had changed.

Her eyes blazed red behind her camera, and I swear I could see tiny horns poking up from her forehead. "Rebecca! Get closer to Frank! Get that hair out of your eyes! Rob! Put that hand in your pocket!" The orders were barked with ferocity, and we scrambled to obey. She grinned at us, baring sharp, pointed teeth. "HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!" I managed a bright false smile, shaking in my 4" heeled pumps.

The ordeal continued for several excruciating minutes as she snarled and snapped. Finally she walked over to me and raked my bangs out of my face. "Do you have any hairspray?" she asked. I told her I didn't, and felt my eyes widen as her eyes flared a brighter red and steam trickled out of her ears. "I'll fix it with Photoshop," she grated to herself. I resolved to have at least eight cans of hairspray in my car from then on out.

The shooting continued until she was satisfied. "All right," she said cheerfully, all trace of the demonic presence inhabiting her slight frame gone without a trace. "Let's take a look!" She loaded the photos onto her computer and projected the results onto a screen against the far wall. She offered friendly, gentle advice on which photos she would recommend. When we had decided, she turned to me. "We're doing a portrait of you by yourself, right?"

And it started all over again.

By the end of the two and a half hours that we were there, I felt like I had been raked over the coals. But the photos turned out nicely.

In: ,

Supernatural: an opinionated look at season 4

SleepyJane just asked me what my thoughts were on the fourth season of Supernatural, and I'm sorry to say it opened the floodgates.

I haven't written about Supernatural lately because I have some severely mixed feelings about it.  As everyone knows, I adore this show.  Which makes it extremely painful for me to admit that I'm... shall we say... less than impressed with the current season.

The first episode, 'Lazarus Rising', brought my favorite Winchester back from hell and introduced the main premise of the season - demons, angels, and the apocalypse.  It was a strong opening, and I was excited about the first few episodes... until it slumped into a downward spiral with poor writing, angsty angels, and a gradual loss of the well played family drama between the two brothers, which was one of the factors that turned Supernatural into one of my favorite shows.  I don't mean their reversal of roles, or their growing animosity towards each other - I know exactly where the writers are going with that - but it lacks the delicate writing and balance that the show has previously displayed through three whole seasons that made their relationship feel so realistic.

There were a few truly great episodes here and there, but the majority of the season made me cranky and disappointed.

It didn't come as a surprise that the writers chose to take this season of Supernatural down a more traditionally biblical path.  After all, demons are common enough, why not bring a dose of the divine on in?  But the season's descent towards the traditional apocalypse, hell on earth, Lucifer rising, blah blah blah... To me, it shows a departure from the unique, and a complete lack of imagination.  It's been done before.  Again and again and again.  

When 'On The Head Of A Pin' aired, I thought it was one of the most intense and well written episodes of the season.  I was wary of the subject matter, since Dean is brought in to torture a demon (and I have some strong feelings on torture in the media), but it was beautifully written and flawlessly acted by many of the people involved.  I allowed myself to get excited again.

Then.... 'It's A Terrible Life'.  An episode that could have been much funnier than it was, and seemed to point to the fact that the writers were having trouble creating any kind of plot device without angels being involved.  Still, I kept my hopes up.

'The Monster At The End Of This Book'.  Last week's episode.   I couldn't have been more disappointed.  It started out humorous, not too bad... a filler episode.  Then.... a prophet?  Protected by an archangel?  Puh-leeeze.   

This twisting of the show to become so Christian/apocalypse themed bothers me because Supernatural has always skillfully walked a line between the unique and the traditional, and this is just.... lazy.  Unimaginative, cookie cutter, bland.  The writing has suffered in more ways than one, and honestly, if Jensen Ackles wasn't around constantly proving that not only does he have a pretty face, he can act, I can honestly say I would have thrown in the towel and given up on the show.  

I'm not looking forward to the Sam vs. Dean season finale.  And honestly, I'm not particularly looking forward to season 5.  I am glad that although the series has definitely been renewed for a 5th season, word is that there will not be a 6th.  Supernatural is running out of steam, and it's painful to watch the show slip into mediocrity, where it does not belong.

To be perfectly fair, although I'm derisive now, my opinion may change slightly when I have a chance to watch the season back to back on DVD without the long breaks  between new episodes.  It may flow better.  It may not be as bad as I think.  But from where I stand right now... I doubt it.

I'm sorry, oh faithful Supernatural fans, but I did say this would be opinionated.  What do you all think?


Conversation dos and don'ts with Becca


DO tell me about the awesome deal you got on a jacket from Macy's!

DON'T mention how I've been wearing my jacket inside out for two and a half hours. At work. Where I'm supposed to look professional.


DO tell me about how the last few days of sunny weather have inspired you to spend more time in your garden.

DON'T say a word about how I shrieked and ran away from a bee while trying to plant my flowers.


DO share a funny story from your drive test back when you first got your license.

DON'T remind me about that time I was singing at the top of my lungs to Green Day and merrily drove right through a red light.


DO tell me about how your day went. Share your high points and low points.

DON'T point out the lines of blue, red, and black ink across my temples that happened as I stuck various pens behind my ear during my work day.


DO get into a spirited debate with me about movies. I love them, and I love arguing about them.

DON'T mock me when I can spout lines from Joe's Apartment. I'm embarrassed enough already, I promise.

Video Games

DO argue with me about the merits of the various Final Fantasy games.

DON'T screech at me when I'm playing Silent Hill or Resident Evil - I'm jumpy enough already!


DO talk to me about Supernatural!


I don't know why you would want to, but I'm just sayin'....

In: ,


It was Friday night when I broke.

I was sitting at my parent's dining room table eating homemade pizza. Innocent enough, until I opened my mouth. "Mom," I said, "I feel like I need to at least watch Twilight. I've spent too long mocking it without having read the book or seen the movie."

Conveniently, Mom just so happened to have the flick in the house.

So it came to be that I watched Twilight.
I promptly went out and bought the first book the next day.

It was hard for me to admit that I had actually enjoyed this immensely popular teen fiction. When I want to read about vampires, I pick up Laurell K. Hamilton or something similar. I'll have blood, sex, death, sadomasochism, and badass chicks with my supernatural fiction, please. But there was something about the simplicity of the story that captured my attention (and I'm a sucker for a vampire romance... no pun intended).

However, I do have several major issues.

I'm no stranger to Stephanie Meyer - I read and enjoyed The Host, though I thought her origins as a young adult author clung too heavily to her "adult" novel. It had the potential to be truly excellent, but skirted too many deeper issues for me to say more than 'The Host really held my attention, and it could have been really good." I felt similarly about Twilight. The writing felt clumsy and clearly aimed towards young teen girls, yet there were a few moments when it really shone.

I have another problem with the book. Bella bores me. I mean, she bores me to tears. The elements of her character that make her interesting and likeable were completely clouded by her obsession with Edward. Instead of granting her some semblance of independence, Meyer took her protagonist and viciously wrung out all trace of character, leaving her limp as a wet dishrag. And oh my God the teenager angst. I have so little patience with it!

Oh, and can we talk about stalker Edward? Yes, teenage girls, it's romantic to have some guy trespass into your home and watch you sleep.


A quick comment about the film - I thought it was terrible. There's just no getting around it. Robert Pattinson was lovely and actually very good, but the special effects were atrocious, much of the acting was wooden, and the script was painful.

All that harsh criticism aside, the simple truth remains that I did enjoy it - both book and movie. But I enjoyed it in a hey, that was kind of fun sort of way, not in a OMG I love Twilight, it's SO GOOD! kind of way. I feel no pressing urge to run out and get the second book. I feel no thrill of excitement contemplating the release of the next movie. I'm left with that wanting more feeling - not wanting more of the story, just wanting more substance to the story.

I guess what I really want are more adult, interesting characters, and a more adult, interesting romance.

This is why I shouldn't be allowed to read teen fiction.



One thing I haven't done near enough of in my life is travel.

When I was much younger my family would take cross country road trips from Washington to the east coast to visit family, so I have seen quite a bit of the U.S. But as far as my adult life goes...

I went to Boston that one time?

There are so many places to see in this world, and no good reason not to see them. I had this idea in my head that travel was astronomically expensive, out of reach for a small town office drone like myself. Then my cousin flew out from Boston. Total price of his round trip tickets? Around $300.

I did some quick searching and found I could end up in a lot of places in the U.S. for under $200, and outside of the U.S. for under $600. Completely shattered the "traveling is WAY to expensive for ME" thought, and left me with a fair amount of excitement. Working on my finances for a month or two has freed up a surprising amount of money, and if I was so inclined, I could afford to head out of town right now.

My new plan is to try to take two trips a year. One within the U.S. and the other outside of the U.S. I'm not going to have any destination in mind, I'm just going to check around, find out where it would be cheapest to fly to, and head there for a few days to a week. I'll see places that I never would have chosen to visit, and while this may or may not be a good thing, at least I'll have seen them.

Most of my vacation time has been eaten up by taking days off here and there, then the week long vacation last week, but I plan to go somewhere random this fall. Maybe September or October.

It's going to be difficult for me. I've been described as a "homebody" on more than one occasion, and I can't in all honesty deny it. What can I say? I love sleeping in my own bed. But... there will really never be a better time to start seeing new places. I'm not married. I don't have children. I don't have major debt. And I don't want to be sitting in my rocking chair knitting socks when I'm eighty thinking to myself, "man, I wish I had actually done some of that stuff I talked about doing when I was younger."

It's within reach. Not necessarily within easy reach, but with a touch of planning and good financial management, definitely within reach. Now all that's left is to do it.



A week of vacation.

Saint Patrick's Day.

Kitchen full of alcohol.

Cousin visiting from Boston.

Whew.... yeah, I'm still wiped. Real post soon, I promise. ^_^

My cousin Jared and I. Good times. =)


He makes me laugh...

Me: **hiccup** So what I'm saying is **hiccup** that you should really **hiccup** think about what**hiccup** ....I give up....

Pat: You sound like a poorly buffered internet movie.

Me: .......


What's YOUR professional best?

You haven't seen me at my professional best until you've seen me leave a message for someone I hate.

The message I left was businesslike and respectful, giving the agent the information she needed without sounding angry, upset, condescending, or arrogant.  There was a chipper, nearly sweet lilt to my tone.  

All the while, I was making THIS FACE:

That may actually be an exaggeration.  After all, it's hard to hold one's jaw in that position while talking.  I also may or may not have been making stabbing motions with my pen.

I know this isn't a real post, but I'm working up to resuming my blogging duties, I promise.  ^_^


The haircut

While Becca is a touch disappointed that there is simply nothing to be done about her huge nose, she does love her new haircut.


2009 Oscars Fashion

Ah, the Oscars... I have such a love/hate relationship with you.

Frequently I sputter in outrage over the movies selected to receive the prestigious awards. Frequently I cry out in frustration at the long acceptance speeches. Frequently, and this is my favorite part, I shriek in horror at OSCAR FASHION.
Yes, the only reason I watch the Oscars at all is honestly just to check out who is wearing the ugliest dress, and though Oscar Fashion was kind of boring this year, I had plenty to scream and avert my eyes from.

Behold my discoveries.

Amanda Seyfried may well have escaped my notice completely were it not for the giant bow in the middle of her dress. Without the bow, the dress would have been boring, but sometimes boring is the lesser of two evils.

Beyonce, your dress was as terrible as your performance. In fact, I don't even want to talk about it.

I really like Heidi Klum's shoes. I do not love her dress. The neckline sort of makes me feel like her dress wasn't quite finished yet, but she wore it to the Oscars anyway even though there were still a few seams that needed to be sewn. "I'm Heidi Klum!" she probably announced airily. "Everyone will think this is what it's supposed to look like, and I'll be stunning!" You are pretty neat, Heidi, but no, bad dress.

Jessica Biel gleefully snatched a curtain from her picture window and wrapped it around herself with a flourish while brandishing her empty wine bottle. "I'm going in THIS! I'll just tuck a table runner into it, and I'm ready to go!"

I think Marisa Tomei is a stunning creature. However, and you may not be able to tell from the angle of this photo, from the waist down her dress looks as though it was created by stapling a bunch of those fold-out paper fans together. TOO MANY PLEATS!

The next time Melissa George appears at the Oscars will be for her ground-breaking role as a mermaid. Seriously though... super skinny, tight, constricting dress suddenly exploding into a mass of tulle? No.

Miley Cyrus.... if I never hear her name again I'll die a happy woman. I'll also die a happy woman if I never have to see this dress again. I just... I don't even know what to say about it, except.... EWWW.

I actually think Penelope Cruz looks lovely. Lovely if she were at her own vintage wedding. Which, if I may point out, she is not.

Sarah Jessica Parker. How I loathed you in Sex and the City. How I have often scoffed at your clothing, and true to form, last night was no exception. I am somewhat grateful to you, however, for your attempt to look like a fairy princess with smashed boobs bulging out of your dress certainly gave me something to laugh about. (Seriously, you can't tell so much in this picture, but the boob bulge was BAD.)

Now I don't actually know who Vanessa Hudgens is (or even how to spell her name) but I do know that the random sprouting of feathers and whatsits from her chest, paired with the boufy (shut up, that's a word!) bottom, really make this dress a piece of work. A piece of burn it in a bonfire work.

Now that I've insulted several famous women on their choice of outfit, I'd like to turn to the actresses that I thought looked amazing:

Although I was not fond of (and by "not fond of" I mean "hated with a firey passion") Amy Adam's necklace, I thought her dress was stunning. Dramatic, flattering, and interesting without looking weird from any angle. Lovely.

I heard Freida Pinto caught a lot of flack for wearing this dress because it was "too old for her". To be honest I can kind of see where the nay-sayers are coming from, but the color is so gorgeous on her, the lace is so pretty, and it has such an awesome sari-like feel to it, that I say good job.

This is Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman. I don't know who Georgina Chapman is, but her dress is awesome. It reminds me of some crazy tapestry or maybe an awesome rug. I know it sounds weird, but I really like that dress!

Natalie Portman is a wee, petite sprite of lovely. I'm not 100% crazy about the color, but I just love the overall look.

Most everyone at the Oscars feel into three catagories: LOVE IT, GROSS, and BORING. There were a few, however, that I simply couldn't figure out how I felt about.

I think Jennifer Aniston is quite pretty, even if she's never been one of my favorite actresses (and MY GOD I hated 'Friends'!) but I think her dress is okay. It's the hair that's making me nuts! Elegant, fairly simple dress, with that hair! I just... I don't know.

Kate Winslet could show up at the Oscars wrapped in a shiny black trashbag with thigh high hooker boots and I would still comment on how gorgeous she was. But still... I'm not crazy about the dress. And again with the hair! You can't really see it in this picture, but it totally ruined everything. With great hair I'm pretty sure I would have liked the dress.

Taraji Henson has an awesome name and an awesome necklace. However, I can't decide if I adore her dress, or if it looks like someone ran in circles around her really fast with a roll of paper towels.

Lastly, there is always a person or two who you love because they're so crazy, and you secretly hope they'll show up wearing something bizarre.

Mickey Rourke, the only man who stands out enough in a crowd to warrant making it into my blog post. How I adore you and your craziness!

As far as award show getup goes this is tame as far as Tilda Swinton is concerned. But... it's TILDA SWINTON! I both worship her, and am sort of scared of her.
And so ends Oscar Fashion 2009 with Becca. I missed the Oscars last year, but I did cover Oscar fashion in 2007. The formatting broke when I transferred it from Wordpress, there are typos, and the writing is poor, but you get the idea.
Until next year!