Becca Wilhite Blog

September 28, 2016

Strange Places for Chatting

Filed under: rambles,silliness — becca @ 10:30 am

I was walking down the hall to the faculty room today – to refill my water bottle from the yummy water dispenser as opposed to the yucky drinking fountain that’s practically outside my door – and I passed by the restrooms. This is normal. The restrooms are in the hallway. But weirdness ensued when I heard a full-voiced conversation happening between at least two unknown (to me) young men. I didn’t hear much, because I didn’t actually stop walking to listen (shame on me?), but I heard this:

“Not necessarily. You can’t make that kind of rash judgment.”

“I’m pretty sure I can make any kind of judgment I want.”

Which, in itself, isn’t the weirdest conversation. In fact, it’s kind of charming and nerdy and self-aware, and I like it. But the location. The location is … odd.

Do all teenage boys take a buddy into the bathroom and have a chat about judgment? And was this weird because they’re boys? I’m going to say no. I think I would have found it equally weird if girls were having the same chat in the same place, because I think most people, male or female, who go inside a bathroom stall, would like to pretend that they’re not doing whatever it is they’re in there doing. As opposed to – in a manner of speaking – inviting someone in to chat.

Which leads me to ponder upon the places that are strange conversational venues.

And mostly I think about public restrooms. For instance, when a person is simultaneously using, say, a movie theater bathroom stall and a cell phone, I always flush many more times than necessary. I feel honor-bound to give the person on the other side of that phone call a heads up about where the chat is taking place. Because IT’S WEIRD TO TALK ON THE PHONE WHILE YOU’RE DOING RESTROOM FUNCTIONS. It’s just weird.

And I wonder where else it’s weird. Because in general, I’m a fan of spontaneous conversation. I may have been known to strike up a grocery market chat over the merits of one brand of ice cream over another, or the joy that is freezer-aisle cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting in little plastic bags. I talk to people about clothes in clothing stores. I talk to clerks at every conceivable check-out register. I stop people walking past me at high school football games to tell them I like their hair.

But not in the bathroom.

Not in the bathroom stall.

September 22, 2016

Eavesdropping — A Dialog-Writing Exercise

Filed under: kids,lists,research,school,silliness,writing,writing process — becca @ 12:36 pm

So yesterday in my Novel Writing class, I sent the kids into the commons for the last 20 ¬†minutes of class, which happens to correspond with the lunch they don’t have. The commons was full of teenage humans. I instructed mine to sit down somewhere and start eavesdropping. They were to write down random lines of dialog that they heard people say. They turned in their 5 favorite lines. I laughed a lot. Their overheard lines were weird. Funny. Awesome.

Today I had them pick their favorite one or two and put them up on the board. I had made columns for them to place the lines in, and after they’d all put up their best lines, I revealed the ¬†topics heading each column. So now there are 5 or more lines of dialog – totally unrelated – under each of the following topics: Song Lyrics, Polygraph Machine, Job Interview, Explain Earth to the Aliens, Break-up, Babysitter Report, Newspaper Interview, and Love Letter. Now they’re furiously writing scenes that use at least one of the lines in whatever category it fell. I love watching them grin while they’re working.

Here are some of the overheard lines:

“It’s more than just a hat.”
“I’ve been drinking your blood and tears.”
“No. He doesn’t want them on because of his bug bites.”
“She’s literally like the spawn of Satan.”
“Babe. He doesn’t like the shirt.”
“Do you want your socks on?”
“I’m the whitest white girl here.”
“I seriously almost hit someone in the parking lot.”
“There was a guy who shipped two whales to Utah and kept them.”
“It’s free real estate.”
“Don’t write that down.”
“There’s a drink called the Hissy Fit?”
“Get out a marker and write YES on the goldfish.”
“He underwent intensive psychotherapy.”
“Something magical is about to happen.”
“Just buy a hose, you freak!”
“My mom was like, ‘Did you put on makeup? You know there’s guy makeup, right?'”

Clever little eavesdroppers. I can’t wait to see what they’ve made from their spoils.

April 9, 2013

Imma Tell You This One More Thing

Filed under: silliness — becca @ 10:01 am

I wanted to remember this: While Kid 2 and I were waiting in the “handicap access [1]” section of the lobby before Matilda started (this in on Broadway, remember? in New York? A few days ago? Remember?) we were watching people come pick up their tickets from will-call, and these two (let’s not sugar-coat this) completely gorgeous young men came in and got their tickets. Kid 2 and I shared an eyebrow raise, because, yes, I may have mentioned, they were extremely good looking. Both. [2]

So eventually the doors opened, and we (more eventually) made it to our seats. We had a section kind of off to the side, so I sat farthest out (you know, it’s the theatre equivalent of Mom eating the burnt piece of dinner food). Guess who sat in the two remaining seats to my other side? Yup. The twenty-something HandsomeSauce Brigade. (Can two be a Brigade?)

I said hello. They said it back. In accents. I asked them where they were from, and they are from Melbourne. (Possibly they got better looking simply by virtue of being Aussie. Yes. I am a person who thinks things like that.) We talked for a minute or ten about travel, about annual two-week trips to NYC, about growing up best friends, about Melbourne (I have a brother who lived there), about Utah (surprise — they’d never been!). Jeremy, the blonder one, started to ask a question, and then stopped. I told him he could ask whatever he wanted. He asked if I’d seen “The Book of Mormon Musical,” but said he felt foolish asking, assuming. I said, “Why?” and he looked at me blankly. Then I laughed and he laughed, too. “Are you a Mormon?” he asked, and I said that I am. (Because I tell the TRUTH, that’s why.) And he said, “So, have you seen it?” And I told him no. When he asked why, I shrugged and said, “We’re about to see Matilda. The show will be skewed to make us feel a certain way about certain characters, and that’s fine. The BOM Musical, from what I understand, is skewed to make audiences feel a certain way about a huge, diverse group of real, actual people, and it seems a little mean-spirited.” They agreed. Will, the more brunette one (who is also an anesthesiologist in Melbourne — does that make him more attractive again?) said he didn’t know any Mormons. I smiled and said, “Now you do. We’re pretty normal, right?” and I gestured to my 2 girls who were geeking out about the set, and the 3 boys beside them, who were laughing at them and counting light cannons and generally being happy to be where they were. They asked, “Is it true you don’t drink?” and I said, “Actually, we can. We don’t have to receive our fluids through IV or anything. We just choose to keep it alcohol-free.” And they laughed again. We talked a couple more minutes about that sort of thing, and they were gracious and kind.

And then I asked Jeremy if he still lived in Melbourne. And he told me this: (and gave me permission to use it in a story if I ever want to, which IS BRILLIANT) He lives in Manila (you know, the Philippines?) with his girlfriend (hello, my assumptions are flawed) who is the Australian ambassador to the Philippines or something. I could probably google that and see if my memory is correct, or if he was kidding me, or whatever, (and I did ask if he was kidding, because, hello?) but I prefer to imagine that a beautiful, near-thirty Aussie woman is keeping up diplomatic relations in the Philippines during the day and painting the town with my new friend at night. He also said these words, “So I live at my leisure” (which, natch, rhymes with Pleasure) which, natch, made me laugh out loud. He laughed too. He’s a KEPT MAN. I didn’t know those guys existed anymore. So maybe I need to write a story about the “him” in my mind, because the world needs more modern literature about Kept Men and the Diplomats who Love Them. Am I right?

Good times.

[1] This is a joke. There is no such thing. We stood behind a door, and when it opened, we went in. After which we asked for directions to the restroom. Which was down a long flight of rickety stairs. Carpeted, and probably not that rickety, but narrow and hard to climb in either direction with a newly-gimpy leg. Hey, broadway theaters? Want to get some great wheelchair access? I’m for it. FYI. Even though I’ve never been in a wheelchair except for fun (Aunt Ruth’s motorized Jazzy thing used to get a workout when I’d visit. With my 4 kids. I’m totally an adult.)

[2] This is the part where I assumed that they were gay, (which made me feel a little guilty, just for my ability to make assumptions about people), and then thought nothing stronger than, “Some people are,” (which made me feel like I’m growing up.)

November 25, 2012

My poor kids.

Filed under: kids,silliness — becca @ 9:33 pm

So the Boy (he’s 8 — for 3 more weeks) is the only one in this house (well, besides me, on occasion) who has had a Real Haircut in the past decade. He had a trim (with a Free Haircut coupon) at the beginning of September. So, for the past week, I may have *possibly* nagged him a little about his copious neck hair. I’m telling you what, the boy can grow neck hair. So he finally agreed to let me cut his hairs tonight. Which I did.

Into a mullet.

Classic mullet, ala Batesville High School circa 1989. Except no perm in the back. Only mousse to shaggy it up. It was lovely. Truly.

The mullet, which was achieved by using a #3 blade cover in the center section of the back of his head, lasted as long as it took him to show his sisters, who were not as amused as I was by the whole thing. Husband considered taking a photo for posterity, but in his words, “let’s not encourage this.” I think he meant *me*.

Let me assure you that I understand I should not use my kids as a canvas for my own amusement.

I do understand this. But I do it anyway. Because they’re such GOOD canvasses.

So let it be done.

March 14, 2012

Again. Again. Again.

Do you ever feel like your life is on repeat? Those same things, again and again? Like, for instance, we watched the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert again this Sunday afternoon. And, again, it felt a lot like THIS. Also this time, I wanted the guy who designed the lighting to come out and take a bow. Wow. The lighting.

And I’ve been doing a lot of school teaching. And I love being a substitute teacher, because it gives me the very best of the teaching opportunities without any of the hard work. (Yes, that is just exactly the kind of girl I am. Are you new here or something?) And this week I got to talk about To Kill a Mockingbird, and even to watch Gregory Peck be Atticus. Oh, Gregory. Oh, Atticus. You are one in my heart. And I got to teach high school seniors about resumes, so naturally I took in like 500 bloopers from the worst resumes ever written and shared them. Also, I showed them THIS. Because I own the skill of getting around the local school district’s non-YouTube filter. Add Hacker to my resume. Also, yesterday this dumb thing I did: I asked a certain class to do a certain thing, and several of the kids said they’d do it. So I wrote their names down. Here’s the thing. I teach these classes now and then, maybe almost once a month. I’m THEIR sub, if you know what I mean. And they like me. And I like them, too. And I’m learning many of their names. But. Mostly the ones on the top half of the attendance rolls, because once I hit the Ms, I’m just ready to move on instead of making eye contact with everyone. See? So yesterday, I wrote down the names of the kids I could remember, then I had TO ASK A COUPLE OF THEM TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES. They were offended, in the most polite way. They teased me. One said, head cocked to the side, “Really? You don’t know me?” And I laughed and said, of course I do, you’re my very best friend, and COME ON. It’s not like you know MY first name. And he got that “What are you talking about?” look on his face and said, “Becca.” Like, duh, lady. Then he told me who he was and I repeated his name seventeen times, and now I will never forget it again. First or last. Or initials BS (no kidding). And I used to think I was good with names. Turns out that as a sub, you end up with about a thousand different students a month. And I’m just not THAT GOOD.

And Nunsense is a riot. We’re pretty darn funny, if I must say so myself. Again. (Saturdays in March at 7:00. 100N 100W in Heber City. I’ll be there, I promise. I’m the one in the NunSuit.)

Also, apparently while I was inside a building somewhere, Spring sprang up around here. Sprang is a word. Spell checker doesn’t even try to stop me from using it. Sprang, sprang, sprang. I’m giddy with freedom. Sprang. It sounds like “boing” — another word that is very fun to say and type and read. At least for me. And, need I remind you who this blog belongs to? I thought not.

And remember once when I told you I read NORTH AND SOUTH? And that I wanted to adore it? Well, I finally found enough minutes to finish watching the BBC miniseries. Guess what. Go on, guess. Oh, all right. I’ll tell you. I said these words to Husband: “The movie was better than the book.” He gasped and made me repeat myself. (It’s happened before. I feel that way about the Wynona Ryder/Susan Sarandon/Christian Bale version of Little Women, too.) But N&S was so lovely that I will watch it again. When I get 4 hours. Check back with me in a few months. (Keyword: Richard Armitage. Yes. Yes.)

I made hotel reservations to go to this lovely place in July. It will be glorious and tree-full and hot and humid and my hair will be a flat-out disaster. But it will be awesome nonetheless. (Sometimes I just like to write things that aren’t words normal people would ever say.) (Should ever say?) And my parents are there, and it will be so, so good to have a real, face-to-face, hug-it-out kind of conversation with them again. It has been WAY too many months. (11 already.) And I’m going to find out how to get an excursion on a Mississippi River paddle boat, ala Mr. Mark Twain. They’d have that, right? (Google, come to my aid.) (Again.)

And, since it’s been very nearly a year, I’m thinking about paying someone to cut my hair again. Just a trim, but a trim done by someone else’s hands sounds like quite a treat. Yes. That sounds like a lovely idea. I’ll let you know if I actually choose to act on that lovely idea.

Then there’s this: On my no-white-flour, no sugar thing, I lost 12 pounds (mostly in February). And then I started getting cocky and cheating now and then (pizza, yes — pasta, once — cookies, only the lemon ones — and it’s girl scout cookie ice cream month [thank you, Dreyer’s], so, Samoas, yes) and for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been at a stall. But I’m back on the wagon again. Why do I feel the need to tell you these things? I have no idea. But I told you anyway. You’re welcome.


January 30, 2012

Did you know?

Filed under: giving,happiness,silliness — becca @ 8:05 am

The following songs all have 112 beats per minute. As I discovered prepping my world for Kid 3’s science fair project. GO:

Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra #26
Cake’s “Frank Sinatra”
Goo Goo Dolls’ “I Wanna Get Married”
The Cardigans’ “Love Fool”
Aretha’s “RESPECT”

You never know when that information is going to come in handy. And that, my friends, is precisely how I am Here For You.

You’re welcome. Happy Monday.

(Don’t forget to show up here on Wednesday. Because we have the fabulous, brilliant, lovely Ally Condie returning for a second interview, and I’m totally giving you a chance to win CROSSED. Already have one? Have another. Want to know how many copies are in my shelves? Or, just wait. Many, many more prizes throughout February. But our Ally is first. So get here.)

December 19, 2011

Well, I Never.

Filed under: silliness — becca @ 5:38 am

(Did I sound like my Grandma to you? Just checking.)

I’ve never had braces. My teeth are straightish on their own.

I’ve never been to Europe, yet somehow The Continent keeps running without me.

I’ve never taken voice lessons.

I’ve never ruined an entire load of white laundry by including a red sock or towel.

I’ve never eaten a Big Mac.

I’ve never enjoyed dusting.

I’ve never driven a motorcycle.

I’ve never operated a snowblower.

I’ve never burnt meat in a microwave.

I’ve never watched the Literal Video of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” without wetting myself. (Not actually wetting myself. Just nearly so.)

What have you never done?

November 21, 2011

Gratitude Month, Day 21

Filed under: familyness,food,gratitude,silliness — becca @ 8:46 am

It’s totally okay with me if you’re getting tired of this. It really is. I know. There’s only so much of someone else’s cheeriness that a normal person can stand. For today, I’m giving you a list of 21 things that make me glad. Just to change things up.

1. It’s snowing. (Yes, it’s really me. It looks so pretty out there, I just got sucked into the moment for a moment.)

2. I’m no longer having the flu.

3. I’m 3 pounds closer to my goal weight, thanks to the aforementioned flu.

4. Husband asked for baked french fries for his birthday dinner. Yes. That is all he asked for. And a Tres Leches cake. Um, done.

5. The heater works.

6. Green olives stuffed with jalepenos and garlic.

7. I did such a good job on Kid 1’s Preference Hair. It was a masterpiece, and I’m still happy about it.

8. Email.

9. I’m going to try to make my first pecan pie today. Kid 2 played the violin in church yesterday, so she gets to choose a treat. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

10. My fingernails are all the same length.

11. You know heating pads? The kind normal people leave in a linen closet until, I don’t know, someone is sick or something? I sleep with one every night. And it makes me so glad.

12. Kid 4 wakes up at 5 M,W,and F mornings and has a quick shower then goes and watches his dad play basketball for an hour or so. He loves his dad. Also basketball.

15. Two days of school this week.

16. Half my kids have clean rooms to start the week.

17. I got a letter with very positive reviews of my subbing work. And a post-it thank you from my “supervisor” saying that I am an outstanding substitute. Don’t you think the word “outstanding” is going to make anyone feel pretty awesome?

18. Thanksgiving dinner is in the works, and most of the food on the menu is white. I am so all right with this.

19. I get to go to the chiropractor today. It’s a little like a twenty-minute massage, except I don’t have to wear someone else’s robe.

20. I think I could live for a long time on only Wheat Thins, brie cheese, and red grapes. Should I try it? Discuss.

21. Kid 3 might get The Appliance removed from her teeth by February. (She calls in Herbert. Or Frankenstein. I’m looking forward to her return to appliance-freedom.)

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