Thank you Caitlin. Or Becca. Or possibly Sarah.

I’ve never been much for baths.

Oh sure they’re fine when the tap is still running, filling the bathroom with a loud echo of rushing water to cover up the fact that I’m probably in there talking to myself. (“Well thanks, Conan. It’s great to be here!”) And when February’s got me shivering right down to my farandolae, nothing beats a long, hot soak.

But who needs all that finger pruning? And plugging the drain with one’s heel? (Assuming one, like myself, has no drain stopper.) And what the heck am I supposed to do when the tub’s full and I have to shut the water off? Talk in my head?

A few days back it was cold enough that I had a “Screw it: It’s bath time.” flare-up, so I hopped in, hand towel and Kindle at the ready, and tossed in some sort of mystery Lush bath ball I found in one of my bathroom drawers. Turns out it was a bubble bath bomb.

Bubble Bath

Accidental bubble bath

Who knew?

So thank you to whoever gifted me – Caitlin? Becca? Sarah? – with that lovely surprise. Your thoughtfulness (whoever you are) did not (in some fashion) go unappreciated.



Road Trip: Kimball and Rapid City

Gonna hit mom’s and my road trip artlessly and list-style because it’s easier that way and — and well it’s easier that way.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The walrus en route to Rapid City

The walrus en route to Rapid City

We left Waukesha, WI and hit the road for Rapid City, SD, with a planned overnight stop in Kimball. We arrived around 7 pm to a town overrun with construction crews and a vague aroma of sweetgrass and pee.

Mmm… Sweetgrass…

Dinner that night was at Doo-wah Ditty’s Diner. The food was decent and the service was friendly, but between the cranked up A/C and the crew of tactless, leering construction doodz at the center table, I was only too glad to get the bill and head on back to the hotel.

Unfortunately the Dakota Winds was all booked up so we stayed in the Super Adequate 8 across the street, where we were checked in against a scrap of paper with room numbers written on it showing which rooms were… or weren’t… or did that one get cleaned yet… available, and checked out by an enormous, but quite docile, German Shepard who trotted over to the desk when we rang the bell the next morning.

Tuesday, July 9, 2014



The next stop on our journey was Wall, SD, home of Wall Drug, a drug-store-turned-tourist-mecca about 50 miles east of Rapid City. I’d been looking forward to a slice of their pie and a cup of their nickel coffee for the better part of a year and a half, but one tuna salad sandwich later I only had room for a cookie. Sometimes life’s hard like that.

Mom and I didn’t spend as much time wandering through Wall Drug this time as we did last time, in part because we’d already seen it all, and in part because it’s tourist season so things were pretty busy. Somehow the prospect of getting one’s picture taken atop a giant jackalope is a lot less appealing when you have to wait 10 minutes for it in the summer sun. Who knew?

While in Wall we wandered into a shop that specializes in Harley shirts, dream catchers, and commemorating animal death.


We got into Rapid City around lunch time and met up with my friend Angela who we’d be staying with that night. She took us on a walk through Art Alley

Art Alley

Art Alley

…on our way to the local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory shop, where heckyes we bought things, and then on to Who’s Toy House where we got to see their Perplexus, which was particularly cool since apparently there are only three of these in existence.


Okay, so here’s the thing: Right now it’s four days after all that stuff happened and I’m in Colorado Springs and there’s thunder outside and cool dogs in the other room and I’m with friends and I have laundry to fold and a cider calling my name and just — yeah. Blogging about the rest of the trip so far can wait! Back tomorrow – or Sunday – with the rest of the scoop!

Heading West

Leaving in 30... 29...

Leaving in 30… 29…

Up at 6:30 am on an open Monday morning, bags in the trunk, walrus packed and ready to go. This can only mean one thing:

Road Trip!

The pinniped (pictured right) and I will be heading out the door within the hour, mom in tow, headed for parts unknown.

And of course by “parts unknown” I mean “at least as far as Rapid City, SD because I kind of love it there.”

October 2010 South Dakota Road Trip

October 2011 South Dakota/Montana Road Trip

To tag along on this summer’s road trip, tune in here for daily* updates, or follow me on Twitter ( and Instagram ( for the scoop in  real-time.

Anything you think we simply must see during our travels? Tweet me @behnnie or leave a comment here with the details. We’re going to try to hit all the Major Attractions That Responsible Grown-Ups Make Sure To See, but mom and I are more “local flavor” type travelers, so don’t go holding out on us if you have a favorite ice cream place in Kimball that we shouldn’t miss!

Time to throw the stuffed mammal into the car and hit the road. Next stop? Blue Earth, MN


Just Kidding!

Ruth has NOT left the building. I repeat...

Ruth has NOT left the building. I repeat…


So I flew out to CA a couple weeks back to meet the gang at my new job before taking the next step of moving out there some time this summer. Got a chance to check out the digs, get to know the neighborhood a little, and meet the awesome peeps from the other end of all those Skype sessions. Woot!

The place was great, the people I’d be working with rocked, the job itself was fun and totally different from anything I’d done in the past, I’d been able to re-home the ferrets in prep for the move, I had a potential buyer for most of my furniture, and I’d have friends to stay with in Pasadena until I found a place out there of my own. Success!!

Cue: Changes to the position wherein a move is no longer required.

Cue: No longer moving to California.

Ha ha.


This is, uh, pretty much all I have to say about this.

As you were.

I’m Moving!


Meanwhile in California...

Meanwhile in California…

A few weeks ago I got a call from a friend in LA about an opening for a Social Media Something-Or-Other position at a company he works with. Two phone interviews and a few screen-shares later, and here I am packing to move and start my new gig as Ruth Arnell: Something-Or-Other.

The company is located in Ontario, California, which, near as I can tell, is the West Coast’s answer to Cudahy. They’re just south of Rancho Cucamonga, which I learned last week is an actual place, and about 35 miles north-east of Disneyland.

Now — I haven’t looked into it too much yet, but I’m fairly certain their proximity to The Mouse obligates me to “work from Disneyland” at least once, while spending the entire day Tweeting about how hard it is to type with my fingers covered in churro sugar.

Ain’t even sorry.

Oh man. Now that I just announced my plans publicly I’m panicking that Something-Or-Other HQ is gonna call me up tomorrow and be like “Yeeeeah heeeeey. About packing for that move. Maybe… don’t bother?”

Luckily there’s not a whole awful lot for me to do with them remotely right now, so I figure I’m safe for the time being from them discovering what they’re in for and changing their minds.

Ruth Trio

Namely: Child sacrifice, Snoods, and Citrus Hulk.

And if they did change their minds and I stayed in Milwaukee, it’d just mean I’d get to keep on keepin’ on with all y’all fine folks around here, and that’d be alright by me too!

I don’t have much in the way of a long-term plan beyond:

  1. Move to California with whatever fits in my car.
  2. Learn everything I can about my new job and be awesome at it.
  3. Be a Ghostfacer with Sarah at ComicCon. Or maybe just around the apartment.
  4. Find an apartment.

I do know, however, that I shall miss my family and friends here in the Midwest just terribly, and that I am not above using guilt trips to coerce them into flying out for a visit. So you know – get ready for that. And bring cheese curds.

I’ll be traveling for most of June (stay tuned for Virginia Road Trip pics of my mom and Mimi cementing their spots as The Coolest People Ever!), but will return to the Milwaukee area on the 22nd (exhausted and probably broke). I don’t have a set date for when I’ll be moving, but I’m eager to dive into this new gig. All that to say: My remaining time in Wisconsin is probably somewhat limited.

Want to keep in touch while I’m away, or follow along with my travels? I’ll be blogging about everything from here as usual, as well as posting more frequent updates via Twitter and Instagram. I love reading all of your comments and replies so keep ’em coming!!

Top 10 Blatant Ways To Tell Her You’re A Controlling, Manipulative Ass

In “Sexism is alive and well” news, I present you (under the grotesquely common mantra that “only thinness can be sexy, and sexiness is the trump card”)’s…

Top 10 Subtle Ways To Tell Her She’s Getting Fat

1: Take her to places where she has to wear a swimsuit…
…so she can question why she loves a manipulative jackass who wants to shame her publicly.

2: Leave “now” and “then” photos lying around…
…to humiliate her for no longer being what you originally were with her for, apparently: herself, minus the passage of time.

3: Schedule A Formal Date…
…so she can fret until then about the fact you’re using taking “a ton of pictures of the two of you” as a threat instead of a commemoration.

4: Ask her to wear an old dress…
…so she will feel ashamed when she no longer fits into clothes she wore before she birthed your ignorant spawn.

5: Playfully Grab Her Love Handles… [so] she recoils and feels embarrassment. Use this reaction to your advantage…
WHAT?! *fumes* Go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

6: Improve Your Own Diet…
This one aaalmost worked up ’til “It might even be the only way of separating her from the fatty foods which have led to the current problem.” *arches eyebrow onto back of head* Seems to me the “current problem” is assholes who would follow these steps.

7: Serve Her Unsatisfactory Portions…
SDFSLFUWOEIFJSLDFKJSFLJSDFLJSDFS!!! Is she a child? Sir. Excuse me, sir: Are you dating a child? It HONEST TO GOD goes on to say “By making her ask for more food, you might succeed in SHAMING HER into an acknowledgment of her recent weight gain, and hopefully to instigate a conversation about what she’s going to do about it. If you feel as though you’re starving yourself in the process, remember you can always go back for more when she’s not looking.” I cannot even BEGIN to cover all the things that are so TOTALLY screwed up about that.

8: Set out on your own weight loss plan…
…later referred to as a “ploy,” and an apparently “tactful” one at that. Ploys and manipulation have no place in a relationship. I repeat: PLOYS AND MANIPULATION HAVE NO PLACE IN A RELATIONSHIP.

9: Sign her up for yoga under the pretence [sic] of “stress relief”…
…because the best way to show you care is to tell someone what to do, under the guise that it’ll be an enjoyable “spiritual cleanse,” while in reality “she may not realize that she’s being tricked into shedding a few pounds.”

10: Buy Her Clothes That Are Too Small… “Oh,” you might say, “I thought you were a size 8. Isn’t that what you were last summer?” The onus is now on her to do something about it.”

Top 1 Response

Top 1 Response


So I was in a car accident last night.

Which is weird.

Oh Joy-- your poor nose!

Oh Joy– your poor nose!

I was on my way to a housewarming party when- pointlessly detailed story short- the driver in front of me had to slam on her brakes. I wasn’t right up on her tail or anything, but the light had just turned green, leaving all the cars closer together than they’d be otherwise, so even though I slammed on my own brakes immediately I couldn’t avoid hitting her.


Bye bye, $500 deductible.

My front end is crunched, but not too badly (I don’t think?) since I was only going about 15 mph. The car I hit was bigger and higher up than mine, so all it suffered were a few scuffs to the bumper. It’s going to come down as my fault, unfortunately, even though it was unavoidable in every sense of the word. And I have to say I’m pretty annoyed that the driver who caused the other girl to brake in the first place FLED THE SCENE WHEN THE ENTIRE THING WAS THEIR FAULT.

And oh my brrrrr was it cold outside! Because of the heavy traffic the other driver and I couldn’t sit in our cars while waiting for the cops to come- I was almost hit several times by vehicles zipping through the turn lane right behind me- so we had to stand in the snow while it was 0 degrees outside before the windchill! By the time they got there my fingers were so cold and hard that my phone wasn’t responding to my touch. I had to ask one of the police officers to tap my dad’s name on my screen so I could call home for a ride from the repair shop! BRRRRRR!!

Poor little car. You have been so good to me. I’m tired of seeing you on the backs of tow trucks. It ain’t right, little Joy. It ain’t right.

In conclusion: Drive safely, and if you do something stupid, please don’t flee the scene.


ETA: That minor crunch pictured above? Repair costs are estimated at $5,200. Never have I been so glad I have auto insurance! I also got a ticket for $114 and 3 points on my license (since someone must be blamed even though God knows it shouldn’t have been me). Fairy Godparents and Wish-Granting Genies: Apply Within…

ETA: The estimate has gone up closer to the tune of $6,000 (blessings upon you, AAA, for existing!!) and I won’t get my car back until at least next week. Yep. Two weeks for repairs on a low-speed impact. *smh*

Deep, Strong, Weird, and Aforementioned

Preferably from your other *other* cell.

Preferably from your other *other* cell phone.

Since my last regular post I have discovered, fallen in love with, and watched all seven and a half seasons of Supernatural. (And by “since” I mean “within the span of 11 days of extremely dedicated Netflixing.”)

I won’t get into the show too much here as my aforementioned love is deep, strong, and weird, but I will go on record as saying it has made it to my Top 5 Favorite Shows of All Time list.

In no particular order (because who can rank love?), the list is as follows:

1. Star Trek (TNG is my Trek, but I love ’em all)
2. Doctor Who
3. Xena
4. Supernatural
5. Maude

Yes, compadres: It is fun enough to stand amongst giants.

Side note: Mom just took the dog outside, and I can’t tell which of them is barking.

In other news, as good as roofing has been to me, lately I’ve been looking to shuffle off this construction coil. To that end, last week I applied for two positions with the same company, both of which I would 1) be great at! and 2) have a blast doing. They’re the sort of gigs that would provide for plenty of photo ops and fun blog fodder, so any fingers you’d care to cross, prayers you’d care to send up, or candles you’d care to wish on on my behalf, feel free. I shall keep you posted should I receive any good news on that front.

In other other news– boy, a lot of other others ’round these parts today, eh?– I will be traveling to LA next week to stand in a dear friend’s wedding next Saturday. It will be my first time back in California since I left in 2006. So many new people to meet, so many old sushi places to visit; I hope I  can fit the wedding in. And of course, an hour on the for next week’s episode of Supernatural…


Last night I dreamed that I was dreaming.

In the second level dream I was listening to a song that was prompting me to write my own song in my head. And wouldn’t you know it was just about the greatest stinkin’ song you could ever hope to hear?

When I woke back into my first level dream I was frantic over trying to remember the lyrics and the tune so I could write it all down before I forgot it. I’d make a mint off this lyrical gem, sure as shootin’. But alas: As the second level faded out, the song faded with it.

Shortly thereafter I woke from the first level dream, and all I have left is that the tune was about a boy and his dad, and that it rhymed.


I know how tall I am

I went to a Christmas party the other night. Good folks, good food, good laughter, good gifts. Met a few new people- which I always enjoy- and had the following mind-bending conversation with one of them. See if you can spot the social inconsistency…


By way of introduction, something must have come up about how tall something or someone was, because this person proceeded to ask how tall I am.

Me: 5’5″.

Him: Really? No… ‘Cause I’m 6’, so let’s see…

He then faced me and raised his hand up to measure where the top of my head reached against his own height, then stopped.

Him: Whoa. I’m sorry. That was so stupid. Why did I even do that? You know how tall you are. Why did I have to try to prove it? *laughs* Sorry about that.

Me: *blink… blink… blink…*


I seriously can’t get over how cool that was of him. *high fives that guy*

ETA: I just read this conversation to my mother and, after a brief bout of speechlessness, she marveled “A man believed you when you said something you knew to be true about yourself? That’s incredible!” We shared a laugh over it, but it pains me that this should be noteworthy.