Google Something Clever 2.0: November 2012

Nov 28, 2012

Christmas Music Sucks

Christmas music is awful. Can we all agree on that? Why can't Devo write a Christmas song?

My favorite ornament

Please enjoy the following concrete evidence as to why Christmas music sucks:

“Little Drummer Boy”

Okay, aside from the fact that you were so hard-up for a rhyme, you just ended every line with “pah-rump-a-pum-pum”… The highlight of this song is when a newborn smiled at you. Great job, you just wrote a song about the baby Jesus farting.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Ah yes, my favorite go-to classic for when I want to hear the transcript of Will Farrell date raping Zooey Deschanel in the showers at Gimbel’s.

“Jingle Bell Rock”

How far off from the truth are you? This song is neither “Jingle Bells,” nor rock. I feel like Linda Richman on “Coffee Talk.” Discuss.

“White Christmas”

Oh, go fuck yourself, Bing Crosby. You are from Tacoma. White Christmases look lovely on cards, sure, but have you ever had to clean that shit off of your car? No, you haven’t. You had rain, and then you were rich and probably had servants to deal with that. Snow is a nightmare.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

You all know how I feel about Santa. This song is the thinnest of the thinly-veiled ultimatums. “This dude is peering through the window right now, kids. Stop crying; he has Legos.”

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

I used to like this song, because it was featured in my favorite Christmas movie, “Gremlins.” Then, stupid Mariah Carey spoiled it with her obnoxious showboating and dolphin-like high notes. Now, whenever I hear it (even the U2 cover), I think of her fat ass. Thanks, Mariah (also, how the hell did you snag Nick Cannon?).

“Feliz Navidad”

“Hey, look at me, I’m cultured! I like this song that’s partially in another language.” Yeah, have fun with that.

“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” 

Oh hey, here are a bunch of clich├ęs. If you’ve ever heard of Christmas, perhaps this song will feel nostalgic to you, and you’ll be compelled to love it. Here’s my version: “It’s snowing. I ran out of bows. Should I get a gift receipt? Crap, I forgot to get something for Uncle Carl. Snuggie? Maybe.” There you go, instant classic.

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

Okay, we all get that it was really Daddy… All of us, except the kid singing it. What the hell is wrong with this kid? “What a laugh it would have been”? Seriously? You are under the impression that you witnessed your mother committing adultery, and you think it’s funny? This kid is severely messed up.

“Christmas Shoes”

Oh, hellllll no. Have you heard this one? It’s this awful country song about a poor kid who can’t afford to buy his dying mother some purdy shoes to impress Jesus with. You know, since she’ll be seein’ him real soon. This song plays two sympathy cards, by using an imaginary poor kid/soon-to-be-orphan, and a lady who’s dying. “If you don’t like this song, you have no soul!” Fine, then. No soul it is.

Nov 27, 2012

Not Even Close to Almost Famous

Did I ever tell you that I used to be in a band? It all started when I was 19 and I got fired from Toys R Us. I can't remember why; I think it may have been because I dyed my hair purple or something. A couple of days later, I was at the mall, just passing Hot Topic, and I thought, "Hey, I want to work there." So I went in, walked up to the cash register, and said to the guy, "Hi. I want to work here."

It turns out they were hiring, and he was the assistant manager. He interviewed me, and I got the job. It was a great job, for someone with no expenses. They only paid minimum wage, which at that time was $5.45 an hour (this was in 1999). But here's the cool part: the discount was 40% off. Since I was 19 and still lived with my parents, clothing was pretty much the only thing I spent money on, anyway. I got along great with pretty much everyone who worked there. It was a small store, with a tight-knit staff. Those who didn't fit in didn't last long. I was soon promoted to "part-time assistant manager," which meant that I still worked full-time, but I didn't get any benefits. Lame, but I didn't care, because I was young and carefree.

The other assistant manager, the one who first interviewed me, introduced me to punk rock. Don't get me wrong; I knew The Ramones and The Clash and all that, but he was super into punk rock, and knew all the bands you've never heard of. We went to shows in Boston. I met the Dropkick Murphys before Jonathan Papelbon made them a household name.

Remember this?

So, one day at work, he turns to me and says, "Hey, you play guitar, right?" I did. He says he wants to start a band. He would play guitar and sing, and he knows a guy who plays the drums. He asks me if I want to be the bass player. I told him I've never played a bass, and he assures me that it's just like the guitar, only easier. He has an old bass lying around, and he can teach me. I tell him sure, as long as I can sing a little. So the band was born.

We started practicing in his parents' garage, once or twice a week. The three of us would split a sixer of Mike's Hard Lemonade, because it was the only booze we could all agree on. I wrote maybe three or four songs that I sang lead on. He wrote eight or ten for himself, and I'd sing backup on most of those. In the winter, mom and dad wanted their garage back, so we started renting a practice space.

Now, the thing about Hot Topic, at least back in the 1999-2000 era, was that the kids loved it. It was like an underage club. They would all hang out there all weekend, and most days after school. And they all thought that the employees there were the coolest people ever. Seriously, we called them groupies. So when word got out that we had a band, the groupies were all about it. We got our first "show" at a local high school, broadcast live on the school's radio station. Not long after that, a local kid who was going to school in upstate New York (not Rochester!) got us a gig up there. Nothing big, just a VFW, but it was a paying gig. I don't think the pay even covered our gas, but we just wanted people to hear us. 

We got more shows. A lot of them were in Massachusetts, but a lot were in upstate New York. We built a little bit of a following there. We recorded a demo and burned our own copies from the master disc. I designed an album cover and we color-copied it. A girl we knew had a silkscreen kit, and she made some t-shirts for us. Our friends and coworkers would sometimes come along as "free roadies," although we didn't really need the help. As a Tetris Master, I was the only one who could fit our equipment into the trunks of the two compact cars we drove. 

My car died, and I bought a van. We started booking shows at bars. Shows with kinda-big-deal bands. We still only made enough to cover gas, beer, and maybe $10 apiece left over. And I was still making very little money at Hot Topic. Also, I had shitty teeth and a really bad cold that lasted for four months. So I got a second full-time job at a big-box store that offered benefits and a 401(k). Now I was working 80 hours a week. I'd have to wait for one store to make their schedule, then bring it to the other store so they could work around it. Both jobs were constantly questioning which one I took "more seriously." At one, I was a manager. At the other, they paid a lot more, and provided benefits. I'd practice with the band a couple times a week, by myself every day, and then, on Saturday nights, I'd have a show to play. Sometimes that show was 6 hours away, round trip.

Oh, did I mention that this was around the same time that I was kicked out of my parents house? And I had just turned 21, so I vastly preferred drinking to sleeping at that stage in my life? Yeah, that was some hard livin' I was doing.

Don't I look healthy?

After the third time I overslept and opened Hot Topic late, I was fired. My bandmate/boss was the one who actually had to fire me. And I mean, he had to. When a store opens late, the mall fines the company. Corporate knew what happened. I'm glad that it was him, and not some suit from the home office.

A couple months later, I believe, the band got an offer to do a tour. It was not for very much money; mainly for the exposure. But there was no way I could take a month off of work. Even if they would have let me, I didn't have the vacation time saved up, and I couldn't afford it. And I sure as hell couldn't quit; I needed three root canals.

Luckily, a friend of the band played bass. He pretty much knew all of our songs already. He came to practice and I taught him everything I knew. Everything I wrote. It sucked handing over the reigns like that. They went on tour, and it didn't go well. The drummer left the band and it was pretty much over. Eventually, the guitar player rebooted the band with his cousin playing drums, and my replacement playing bass. They played a few of our old songs, and a few new ones. 

I got a call from him one day, maybe three or four years later. They had a show booked and the bass player had hurt his wrist and couldn't play. They wanted me to sub for him. I came to their practice and they showed me the new songs. I still remembered all the old ones. I was pretty psyched to learn that the new guy had never been able to pull off this one riff that I'd written, one that I was really proud of. We played the show. It was great. But I knew it was the last one I'd ever play.

I miss the band, but I can't imagine doing it again. I'd love to, but I just don't have the energy anymore. Hell, I barely had it when I was 21. I thought working 80 hours a week was exhausting. Now I'm 33 and I work approximately 126 hours a week. Those days are most definitely done. I will say that I really look forward to the two or three times a year that I sing karaoke. But nothing will ever top the feeling of singing my own song that I wrote, and watching those kids in the audience singing it back to me. Nothing.

Nov 22, 2012

Don't Ever Go to Rochester

When the boy was about one and a half, we were invited to the out-of-town wedding of my husband’s cousin. It was about six and a half hours away, in Rochester, New York. For some reason, we thought that was a completely reasonable drive. We were told about an amazing restaurant in the neighborhood of the hotel, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Awesome, we love barbecue! We were told about the Strong National Museum of Play. Fantastic, we have a toddler!

And off we went.

We were about a third of the way to our destination, either in very Western Massachusetts, or very Eastern New York, when things started getting fishy. Every town we drove through looked abandoned. We’d ask our trusty Tom Tom to find a place to eat, and it would route us to five different out-of-business restaurants before we could find a Subway that was open (Subway is not my first choice, ever).

Driving on an elevated highway through a farming community, I was admiring all the (empty-looking) barns that I could see fairly well through the suspiciously dense fog and dead trees. Then we heard a weird alarm. A loud alarm. It seemed to be coming from the municipal building in the middle of the town (-of-the-damned). It sounded like an air-raid siren from the ‘40s. And I’m telling you, there was not a soul in sight. No people, no cars, no cows. We joked that it was the town’s Zombie Alarm.  Little did we know, it was a harbinger of things to come.

We arrived in Rochester, what we presumed to be a bustling city, and found the sidewalks practically empty. Hmm. As we were checking in, we learned that there was a tattoo expo going on in our hotel that weekend. Hooray! Why didn’t anyone tell us? This is going to be great! We decided to walk to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que for dinner. On the way there, we found all the people. They were all congregated on the Federal Plaza, where all the busses stopped. And I mean all the busses. At any given time, when we passed by, we would see at least six busses stopped there. Sometimes as many as ten. And here’s the weird thing about the busses in Rochester. We saw a lot of people get on them in the three days we were there. But we never saw anyone get off.

We ate at the barbecue place and it was, indeed, very good. On the walk back, we noticed that a lot of the stores were closed. It was just after six on a Friday. That’s odd, right? We figured they just kept weird hours in that city. We went back to the hotel, and I drew a bath for the boy. He watched me toss a washcloth into the tub and clapped. He toddled off into the main part of the hotel room. A few seconds later, he returned, and gleefully tossed something into the bath himself. I looked. There, at the bottom of the tub, was my cell phone. I don’t want to talk about that anymore.

Saturday morning, we went to the front desk and asked them to recommend a place for breakfast. They recommended their own restaurant. Fine. We all had sausage, eggs and orange juice. I think it came to around fifty bucks. Never again! We went out to explore the area. Everything was still closed. Maybe they all open at noon? We needed Wet Ones, but the only place that was open was a dollar store. I got a travel pack of Huggies baby wipes. That was all they had. We went back to the hotel for the morning nap. We figured we’d go out for lunch when the boy woke up, then hit the tattoo expo. If we wanted to stay for a while, he could even sleep in his stroller.

He took a long nap, and woke up grumpy. We went down to the front desk to ask for a lunch recommendation. “Do you like barbecue?” the concierge asked enthusiastically. We explained that we did, but we’d just had it for dinner the night before. The back-up recommendation was their own restaurant again. We told them that although the fare was very nice, we were not about to play an arm and a leg for a couple of sandwiches. After some awkward back-and-forth, the concierge finally admitted that the Radisson and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que were pretty much the only Rochester businesses still in operation. What the hell happened to this city?

Pictured: The only reason to go to Rochester.
Or you could just order it online.

We went back for more barbecue, and the boy refused to eat. This was when we finally figured out why he was so grumpy; he had a couple of molars coming in. Great. It took forever to get a few bites of macaroni and cheese in his belly, and he was in way too foul a mood for the expo, so we went back to the room. It was really hard getting him down for his nap. He slept a long time, and we ended up missing the wedding ceremony. The reception was nice, though.

On Sunday morning, we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. We drove all over looking for breakfast, coming damn close to settling on a place called Mr. Goody’s (the clientele was a little too seedy-looking for us) and a restaurant that was somehow inside an apartment complex (no explanation needed for why we didn't eat there, I hope). We ended up driving three towns over and found a nice diner. We drove back into Rochester because we wanted to take the boy to the Museum of Play. We sat in the car, in the rain, waiting for them to open. The boy fell asleep. We took it as a sign and decided to go home.

The rain was absolutely absurd. It was the kind of rain that makes you turn your wipers to that comically fast setting. It backed up traffic for approximately one state. The traffic and the storm conspired to travel at the exact same speed, and along the exact same route as us. It took us thirteen hours to get home. Yes, that would be double the amount of time it took us to get there. And it was pouring rain the entire time, and our son was teething. So yeah, that sucked.

Don’t ever go to Rochester.

Nov 21, 2012

Newsprint Nails

I'm going to teach you how to do something cool with nail polish.

Huh? This isn't that kind of blog! I know. I don't talk about it much, but I love doing my nails. I don't have fake nails, and I don't pay anyone to paint them. I do them myself, and I really enjoy it. It's like painting ten lovely pictures once a week. It's art. I've been all about it since I was around ten years old, save for a recess of approximately one year when my son was teething... He enjoyed chewing on my fingers, and the first time I noticed a chip of nail polish on his lip, I realized that I should probably lay off of it until that phase was over.

When I was a kid, I would spend hours on my nails. I'd use toothpicks or sewing needles to painstakingly draw little designs on them. As I got older, I didn't have that kind of time. I'd do one color, maybe a layer of glitter over them.

A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube of a woman with an absolutely delightful accent showing the world how to do water marble nails. It is the coolest thing in the world, and not that hard (once you get the hang of it), but it does take a while, so I don't do them very often. It was so amazing to me the first time I saw it, I made my husband watch it when he got home from work. I figured that he'd roll his eyes and be all, "That's nice, dear," but he actually found it really interesting, too. Here she is:

But like I said, that shit is time-consuming. If you're lucky enough to have a kid who takes long naps, I highly recommend that you try it.

If you don't have a lot of time, but want another impressive nail polish trick, you need to try newsprint nails. I did them the other day prior to attending a party, and so many people commented on them. And here's the thing: I was a little tipsy when I did them, and they were far from my best work. That's how great they are: they're a show-stopper even when you half-ass them.

You will need:

  • White (or really any light-colored) nail polish
  • Base coat
  • Top coat
  • Newspaper
  • Rubbing alcohol
Do your base coat and polish. White or light gray would be the norm, but I've also done lavender and lime green, and they looked awesome. Let it dry completely. I mean, so dry that you would feel comfortable scratching the price tag off of something. 

Rip up some small bits from the newspaper. Choose pieces without any line breaks. Also, the smaller the font, the better. If you can get classified ads, those are great. You'll need one for each nail, and you should count on screwing up a few times, so get maybe fifteen. Then, get a shot glass or ramekin and fill it with rubbing alcohol.

One at a time, dip your nail in the alcohol for ten seconds, shake off any drips, then press a piece of newsprint on it for another five or ten seconds. The alcohol will suck the ink out of the paper and onto your nail. 

Be sure not to press too hard, or some fibers from the paper will adhere to your nail. If that does happen, it's not the end of the world- you can't really see it; it just feels lumpy and weird. 

If you smudge one, put it on crooked, or what have you, you can just rub some of the alcohol on your nail to erase it and try again.

Please note that the print will be backwards, but that's okay. It's fun to try and read them later when you're bored.

Finish with top coat. Top coat is an absolute must for this- the newsprint will wash right off otherwise.


Nov 20, 2012

Ouch! My Blog Hurts.

So, you’ve decided to start a blog. Good for you! It’s fun. But beware of these common maladies that afflict the modern blogger:


This is when you stay up until 3:00 in the morning writing, because it’s your only opportunity for “me time,” and you feel like shit the next day. And you didn’t even get drunk!

Systemic platform failure

When you put too much time and effort into one platform (your blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to the detriment of the others. It’s tough to entertain on every level all the time.

Blogger’s schizophrenia

When your blog, Facebook page, Twitter handle and the name you comment under are all slightly different, and nobody knows who you are.

Irritable Spouse Disorder

When your spouse “just doesn’t get it” and give you shit for being on your smartphone all the time.

Delusions of followers

When you're all excited about suddenly get 20 new Twitter followers in an hour, and you don’t realize that they’re all just bots trying to sell you something.

Bloated inbox

When you comment on a big-time blogger’s post and subscribe to the comments, hoping that they write back to you. The next time you check your email (approximately one hour later), you will have 139 messages. None will be for you.

Parental Attention Deficit Disorder

What your kids do to your house while you’re busy trying to write.

Blogger’s wrist

This is exactly the same as carpal tunnel syndrome, only there’s no worker’s comp.

Blogger's Cramp


Nov 19, 2012

PSA: Mysterious Grease Stains

Have you ever discovered a mysterious grease stain on your clothing, in a spot where you're sure you never spilled any food? It happens a lot to dress shirts. Something like this:

It's from your dryer sheets. When you dry your laundry, be sure to throw the sheet in just before you turn the dryer on, and never on top of something you don't want stained. Think socks, underwear or towels.

And if you ever do get a real grease stain from food, try Dawn dishwashing liquid.

You're welcome!

Nov 7, 2012

The Final Chapter

So, you've heard about My Halloween/Sandy Saga, and you've heard about how my son broke his ear the day before Halloween. Let's move on to the big day.

Because of Sandy, my yard was very wet. Because my husband and our friend spilled gas in the yard while installing the generator and had to hose it down, one spot was particularly wet. So, for the past couple days, my husband has been telling me that we can't have the backyard graveyard that we've been planning for six months, because it's a safety hazard. But Goonies never say die, right?

I went out and bought 60 pounds of kitty litter to sprinkle all over the yard. I was confident that nobody would slip in the mud. I texted my husband a few times, but I had forgotten that my phone had been incapable of receiving texts for three days, so when he didn't respond, I assumed everything was cool.

I reassembled the awesomeness in our front yard and got to work out back. Gravestones, zombies and arms coming out of the ground. I got the fog machines (yes, plural), lights and animatronics prepped in the basement. Then I go into my email and see about ten from my husband, spanning the last three hours. By the end, they are in all caps and state something along the lines of "DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THE BACKYARD OR I WILL MURDER YOU!" Apparently, we've been having a fight all day and I didn't realize it. Oops.

He did his best to get out of work early, and ended up coming home around 6:00. (Two little girls arrived to trick-or-treat at 5:30, when it was still light out- total bullshit. Do you live in that weird town from E.T. or something??) So, here's the deal- he was just as psyched about all those decorations as I was; he was just super concerned about people being electrocuted.

The two of us ended up blitzing the front yard and driveway for 20 minutes to get all the backyard stuff, plus the basement stuff, out there in time for the kids. We didn't get to use everything, which is a shame. But in a way, having everything out front was better, because everyone got to see it. Our original plan was to invite big kids to tour the graveyard if they were brave enough. The only concession we had to make was the "lunger zombie." He's supposed to lunge at you when you walk by (controlled by a sensor). Since half of the little ones refused to even come up the driveway, we plugged in the "try me" device where you have to step on a pad to make him jump.

::Sigh:: there's always next year. In the mean time, I took the boy out and discovered that every parent in the neighborhood drinks while trick-or-treating. We went down the left half of the street, stopped at home for the potty and a Solo cup of wine, and then did the other half. The whole time we were out, I could hear screams coming from my house. Awesome.

Yes, he is breathing fog.
He moans and lights up.

Nov 6, 2012

The Saga Continues...

Remember last week, when I told you everything had been crazy Friday through Monday, and I left off with plans to redecorate my lawn on Tuesday afternoon? Turns out I spoke too soon. I was going to get the boy down for a nap and then do up the lawn (which I had disassembled because of Sandy). Wrong. He refused to take a nap, threw a tantrum in his room, and fell into his drum kit ear first. Hard. I came running in to find a lot of blood. And a tear in his ear, like he was part of Top Cat's gang.

I wrapped his head up in literally all the gauze in the house and high-tailed it to the ER. I'd never visited this hospital before, but it was less than ten minutes away, so that's cool. He cried hysterically almost the entire time. Curiously, he did settle down so that I could call his father to let him know what was going on. We ran into the ER and there was no line and only one person in the waiting room, which was new to me. The nurse behind the window waved us right in and began asking what happened and unwrapping him before even asking for our names or insurance card. Another surprise. I'm not sure if that's how they roll at this hospital, or if a screaming three-year-old is an exception to their normal protocol. Whatever the reason, I was glad.

Once they had re-bandaged him, taken our info and his vitals, an old woman with chest pains walks in, and we're banished to the waiting room. I really don't care if this sounds callous; I hated her. But the boy calmed down. We waited for maybe half an hour, playing hide and seek with his Hello Kitty boo-boo buddy (it's a stuffed animal with an ice pack inside, and you really should buy one). I ran my own concussion test by making him identify pictures and letters from magazines (and now he knows how to spell "banana," thank you very much).

We were finally brought into an exam room by a male nurse. Score! Read this if you don't know why I was happy about that. He took a peek at the ear and then offered the boy a popsicle. What?! The ER is so much cooler if you're a kid! He even got to choose the color. The nurse came back with a twin pop, broke it in half, and gave the other half to me. So awesome.

As soon as we finished our popsicles, a physician's assistant came in. I have no idea what that is, but apparently he was allowed to do all sorts of doctor things without supervision. He cleaned up the ear and discovered that the L-shaped tear was rather small, but there was a huge bruise. I mean, the whole top half of his ear was purple. I asked if he needed stitches. One of our cats has had two tumors removed, and the last time it happened, I taught the boy all about sutures. We even stitched up one of his stuffed animals (because I'm all about the home-preschooling). So he was prepared for that. The PA explained that he "could go either way," giving him one stitch or leaving it. He said that without stitches, he would pretty much be deformed forever. Okay, I guess that's not quite how he phrased it, but that's why I heard. Then he said that stitching it would require numbing the entire side of his head and it would be "torture" (he really did say that).

I'm making a crazy contorted face at him like he's asking me to make Sophie's Choice, and then he casually mentions, "Oh, or I could glue it." Um, yes please! Why didn't you say that in the first place?! So he glues it. I ask if we're good to go, and he says yes, then has a second thought and tells us to hold on.

A doctor finally arrives. Yay, that's what I'm paying for, thank you! If there are any nurses or PAs reading this, I'm sorry, but I felt really uncomfortable not seeing an actual doctor until then. Even if one had popped his or her head in and said, "Hi, I'm the doctor. They've got this. Laterz!" I would have felt better. Anyway, the doctor looks at the ear and notices that the bruise went straight through it and even the side of his head behind his ear is bruised. So he does his own concussion test. I told him about mine, but I guess that wasn't good enough. That's cool. I am not a doctor and some parents are dumb, so I get it. He asks the boy what holiday tomorrow is. My ridiculously friendly and boisterous child chooses this moment to be shy and mumble "Owno" (mumble-ese for "I don't know"). The doctor asks if he's getting candy tomorrow. "YES!" He tells him he can't have any candy unless he tells him what tomorrow is. I chime in and say I'm going to eat all the Twix and Ring Pops myself (SPOILER ALERT: I totally will, anyway). The doctor becomes the world's best actor, turns to me, and says, "Hey, I'm working tomorrow. Can you bring me some of that candy?" I agree. "NOOOO!" Once more, we ask him what tomorrow is. "HALLOWEEN!" He has passed his test.

The doctor tells me that the bruise is so bad, he's worried about a hematoma. This would be the ear swelling up with blood. If that happens, he could get cauliflower ear, like some bare-knuckle boxer. I'm not linking, but if you feel like being grossed out, Google that. Ewwwww. Yeah. So he puts gauze all around the front and back of his ear, then wraps the whole top half of his head in an ace bandage. He looked like a mummy. You know what's funny? This is the shirt he was wearing:

You know what's even funnier? His Halloween costume was Anubis. You want one more? We were instructed to follow up with his primary care in the morning, which was Halloween. Most of the staff at the pediatrics office were in costume. Guess what his doctor was. A pharaoh.

He did not get a hematoma, just one nasty-ass bruise that looks uglier every day. Luckily, he was still able to wear his mask and head piece. Halloween pics tomorrow.

Nov 5, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Part 1

The Insomniac's Dream came up with a lovely idea: Write a blog post every day in November- 30 Days of Thanks. I am a big grumpy-face, and my talent is complaining. So I knew I couldn't be fully on board with it, but I swore I'd do my best, so I'm going to do... probably like five days of thanks.

I was just reminded of something I've been meaning to tell you all about for a while now. Something I am very thankful for. So here we go.

Parents love to remind everyone that we get no time off. Particularly mothers, and super-duper particularly stay-at-home mothers. Well, guess what. I do. I get fourteen hours off every week. To the non-parents reading this, I'm sure that sounds like crap. But to the parents.... You are so jealous.

It started when my son was born. We came up with a deal: my husband would take care of the baby at night, and I would take the morning. We drew the line at 3:00 am. Baby needs a bottle at 2:12? That's all you. Baby cries at 5:47? My job. Get it? We also had one overnight each week when we were "off the clock." That rule still applies to this day, when he's almost four.

From Friday at 8:00 pm to Saturday at 10:00 am, I am not a mom. I can go out (although I've done that maybe 10 times in 4 years). I can get drunk. I can paint my nails and not worry about picking anyone up. And my husband does his best to make the boy stay quiet until 10:00 the next morning, at which point the little rascal climbs into my bed to wake me up. Then daddy gets to take a nap, if he wants. The same goes for him on Saturday night/Sunday morning. The boy is my responsibility all night and morning until 10:00 rolls around and we throw ourselves on the bed and I tell him to take that kid away from me.

For the longest time, we assumed that all parents had a similar arrangement. We're slowly learning that that's not the case. Um, dads? What the fuck?! Your wife needs a break. Especially if she stays at home all week with your child. I've been tempted to ask for more every now and then, until I remember that I have the option to take a nap every weekday and he doesn't. Guess that's fair.

So anyway, I'm thankful that my husband is truly a co-parent, and not some slacker 1950's dad who thinks that bringing home the bacon is all it takes to be a father. Because Mama needs her sleep, or you will all suffer.

If you are thankful this month, please link up with The Insomniac's Dream to tell the world about it.