Google Something Clever 2.0: 2013

Dec 31, 2013

New Year's Eve is the Absolute WORST.

Can someone please explain to me why we’re still celebrating New Year’s Eve?

I really don’t understand why it’s exciting to anyone over ten. When you’re little, and you have a bedtime, the Big Deal is that you get to stay up until midnight. How exciting! It’s a world you’re excluded from 364 nights a year, but on this one special night, the grown-ups are letting you join them! Hooray!

And then you grow up. For adults who normally go to sleep before midnight, New Year’s Eve is an annual night of torturing yourself and portioning out the caffeine just right so you can conform to societal norms. For those like me, who usually stay up until midnight or later, the whole point is completely lost. Oh, look, the clock says some numbers. Now it says some different ones. Why did you drag me away from Twitter for this, again?

Why is a party on this night better than a party on any other night? Because you get to kiss someone at midnight? Don’t tell me what to do with my lips, man. I have someone who I’m allowed to kiss on the regular, and I’ll kiss him when I damn well please, not because a clinking glass, a Jumbotron camera, or a clock told me to. Stay out of my business, inanimate objects.

For those who don’t have a designated set of lips to which they’re welcome, that’s a whole different can of awkward worms, leading to full-blown panics about whom they do or do not want to be standing by at midnight. You know, come to think of it, Awkward Worms would make a really cute web comic. But that’s neither here nor there. Moving on!

Now that you’ve been awkwardly kissed, you have to make the treacherous drive home, with snow banks to the right of you and drunk drivers to the left (or vice-versa for my British friends). It’s terrifying! Why did you even go out in the first place?

It’s even worse when you’re the host, as I usually am. Midnight comes, and I start desperately hiding people’s shoes and shouting, “Hey, guys, just because it’s midnight doesn’t mean the party’s over!” Whose brilliant idea was it to center a whole holiday (two, really, if you count New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day) around one split second in time? When Halloween’s over, you still have your candy. When Thanksgiving ends, you’ve got turkey for miles. Hanukkah and Christmas pass, and you’ve got all your new toys.

But the New Year isn’t something that you savor. It’s literally over no later than 12:01 am. You yell, kiss, pound two ounces of champagne (because nobody ever buys enough), maybe blow into a vuvuzela if you’re terrible, and then it’s over. And you’re left feeling as empty and dead inside as Ryan Seacrest on your TV screen. Only with the millions of dollars.

Fuck that. New Year’s Eve, you are the absolute worst.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room

Dec 24, 2013

AAA Tipsy Tow is Kind of a Hoax

If you've been here before, you probably know that I'm all about busting Facebook hoaxes. One of the most dangerous hoaxes, the "AAA Tipsy Tow" hoax, is due to make its annual return any day now.This year, rather than try to fight against the idiots reposting false information, I'm going to try to prevent it from happening in the first place.

AAA does not offer a universal "Tipsy Tow" program. 

Some regional AAA clubs offer a service on New Year's Eve where they will give you and your car a free ride home if you've had too much to drink. Again, only some regional clubs. Some offer it in very limited areas. Some of these programs are available to everyone, free of charge. Some are only available to members.

Dec 20, 2013

Oh, hi. I'M OLD.

Lately, I've been trying to pinpoint the moment when I finally felt like an adult. Was it when I got a mortgage? Had a child? Voted? I can't really remember. Sometimes, I still feel like an impostor. Maybe it's because I have pink hair and I do nail art and I've never owned a pair of flats.

The other day, I was thinking about how my son will be starting kindergarten next year, and I'm sure to feel like a grown-up by then. Then, I magically skipped from adult to old person in about a week.

Dec 16, 2013

I'm Anti-Santa (sorry, not sorry)

I'm in the Christmas section of Target with my son when he strikes up a conversation with a random guy. The man asks him, "Is Santa coming to your house this year?"

My son switches from animated to visibly uncomfortable. He looks down at the ground. "No," he mumbles.
"No? Why not?" asks the incredulous stranger. The boy doesn't answer. He doesn't know what to say.
"We don't do Santa," I tell him. Then, I feel compelled to add, "But he still gets presents!"

Our new friend walks away without a word.

We do celebrate Christmas, sort of. We're atheists, but I was raised Catholic. The one childhood Christmas memory that really stands out is when I found out about Santa. I don't remember how I found out, but I remember hiding behind the drapes, crying hysterically. I wasn't sad because I'd "lost" Santa, or fearful that I'd receive fewer gifts. I was devastated that every single person I knew had been lying to me for my entire life (maybe that's why, years later, The Truman Show hit so close to home).

When I grew up and started my own family, I took the parts of Christmas that I liked and cobbled them into my own Secular Winter Gift Holiday. We watch A Christmas Story, but we have no Elf on the Shelf. We have lights outside, but no manger. We pile gifts under a tree, but the "from" tags all bear names of actual people.

Here in Massachusetts, most people are willing to forgive the atheist thing, but skipping Santa is akin to child abuse. I've had more than one coworker actually yell at me about it. Let me reiterate: multiple adults in a professional setting have become consumed with rage when I told them of my plans to not lie to my kid.
"Oh, heavens to Murgatroyd, you've stolen his innocence!" Dial it down, honey. I'm not buying him porn and heroin for Christmas.

I think that most of the people who take issue with my choice aren't truly concerned for my son's well-being; rather, they feel that I'm judging them. "Wait, are you calling me a liar?" No, not exactly. But you are lying. And that's okay. I'm reasonably certain that your kid will be fine. I'm not a serial killer, and I still love my mom. It's not my place to tell you how to raise your kid, any more than it's your place to tell me how to raise mine.

Yes, I've robbed him of the "magic of childhood." But I've given him a few more things in the process.
He knows that his gifts were a result of his parents' hard work, so he has no sense of entitlement.
He knows that nobody is watching his every move, so he behaves because it's the right thing to do, not in exchange for a reward.

And in place of magic, he has something far greater: a thirst for knowledge. He understands that there's an answer for every question, a cause for every effect, and that if you want something, you must act rather than wish.

I'd say that's a pretty good trade-off.

Oh, and one more thing: Justin Bieber's mom didn't do Santa, either. And look how he turned out! Wait. Don't.

This piece originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Dec 12, 2013

No Shaking The Gifts! An Interfaith Holiday Tradition

The first time I celebrated Passover with my husband's extended family, his great-grandmother pulled me aside to tell me that she thought it was wonderful that I was celebrating with them, "even though you're not of our religion." (I was not the first shiksa to join the family.)

Captain Uncle, another married-in gentile, taught me to season my matzo ball soup with salt and pink horseradish (it's gotta be the pink one) in order to stomach it. (I'm sorry, Hebros and Shebrews, but if you didn't grow up with it, it's not good. It's just not.)

I even learned the blessing for the wine in Hebrew, all on my own, because I wanted to impress them, and also because wine.

Dec 10, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Christmas is coming, and I'm dreading it. Don't get me wrong; I love the lights and the trees and the old cartoon specials, but I hate giving gifts. I'm not cheap; I'm just an uninspired gift giver. And worst of all, my search for the perfect gift will invariably lead me to that ninth circle of suburban hell: the dreaded shopping mall.

Why do I hate malls so much? Pull up a chair.

First of all, I've noticed a growing trend of malls not having a Starbucks. Are you kidding me? How on earth am I supposed to function without Starbucks? Why don't they just take out all the bathrooms, too? Oh, wait, it looks like they did. How is it even legal for malls to be as big as they are, and still only have one or two public restrooms, which are always the filthiest restrooms I've ever seen?

Just once, I'd like to walk past a kiosk without someone screaming in my face, "Ma'am! Who's your wireless provider?" I've even had these jackasses step out in front of me to block my path. Who is teaching them this technique? Does it ever work? Is there really someone out there who switched to AT&T because they were worn down by some aggressive 20-year-old harassing them in a mall?

Variety is supposed to be the benefit of a shopping mall, but it can get really irritating when you're in and out of twenty different stores, never knowing whether the next one will be bright or dark, hot or cold, or if you've accidentally wandered into that one store that sells $90 t-shirts.

And can we get the smells under control, please? I can't walk past Abercrombie & Fitch without gagging, Yankee Candle seems to be actively pumping neurotoxins into the atmosphere, and Bath & Body Works may as well just send their employees out to slap people in the face with Fruit Roll-Ups. Then you have Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's hypnotizing me with their cinnamon magic until I'm grinding my teeth like a meth addict.

Also, do we really need eight different stores that sell sneakers? I'm sorry, who is buying all these sneakers? There should just be one store that sells Chuck Taylors, Vans, and whatever giant-ass high tops the kids are wearing these days. Air Jordans, probably. Or Reebok Pumps. Are those still a thing?

Then there are the rides that eat your quarters. They always have five or six rides, and there is only one that is actually in service. Your best bet is to hang back and let other parents make the mistake of feeding the wrong machines. Take note until they find the one functional for you. Maybe if you let your kid ride the fire truck, you'll be able to weasel out of taking him to the dreaded playspace, which is clearly some mad scientist's experiment to see if polio can spontaneously be reborn.

Every year, I tell myself that this is the holiday season I'll do all my shopping online, but it never is. Please wish me luck; I'm going to need it.

This piece orignally appeared on In the Powder Room

Dec 7, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 12/1/13 - 12/7/13

Well, we're really in the thick of it now, aren't we? The lights are up, the specials are on, and there are a million gifts to buy and wrap. Ugh. The holidays. Expect a post (or five) coming very soon, where I complain about the hap-happiest season of all.

Dec 3, 2013

The Stuffed Animals of the Future-- Today!

Every time I turn on the TV lately, I’m being barked at by some commercial, pleading with me to purchase the latest in stuffed animal technology. No longer are children satisfied with stuffed animals that are merely snuggly; they now must have a second function.

There are Flashlight Friends (stuffed animals with a flashlight in their stomachs), Seat Pets (stuffed animals that attach to a seatbelt and have a pocket for iPhone storage), and even Tummy Stuffers (an unholy turkducken of a stuffed animal that you fill with other stuffed animals).

I’ve come up with a few more stuffed animal innovations that are sure to catch on. If I start now, I think I can have them ready to ship in time for next year’s holiday season.

Boring mittens are a thing of the past. Slip on some Mippets and have a blast! Introducing Mippets! The only mitten that’s also a friendly puppet! Choose from six fun styles, including Armand the Armadillo, Wanda the Weevil, and more!
Yes, this is really just two puppets. Don’t worry; kids are easily fooled.

Potty Snuggles
Using the potty is such a bore. Now, here’s a potty that’s a whole lot more! Potty Snuggles is a stuffed animal with a potty inside! Kids, are you scared to leave your bed in the middle of the night to pee? Now, you don’t need to! Cuddle up with Potty Snuggles at bedtime, and when you feel the urge, simply open the discreet Velcro flap and let loose!
Potty Snuggles is not machine washable.

Nuke ‘n’ Love
When you’re cuddling on the couch, any toy will do, but here’s a friend who will make lunch for you! Hey kids, stuffed animals are fun, but what happens when you get hungry? You can’t eat them, right? Nuke ‘n’ Love is a stuffed panda with a compact 500-watt microwave built right into his belly! Snuggle away while he prepares your popcorn with ease. Comes in five fun colors!
Keep back 15 feet while microwave is in use. Not recommended for children with pacemakers.

My Tressed Friend
Drying your hair is no fun at all, but My Tressed Friend will make it a ball! Moms, do you struggle with your daughter after bathtime? You need My Tressed Friend, the plush toy with a built-in hair dryer! Choose from Princess, Unicorn, or Ducky styles.
May become hot during prolonged use. My Tressed Friend is absolutely not a bath toy. Not even the duck.

Little Tinkler
A baby doll that comes with a golden shower will have Mommy excited for happy hour! Moms, are you tired of cleaning up after baby doll messes? “More diapers? Get me out of here!” Well, Little Tinkler’s got a special secret just for moms. Her pee is actually white wine! Now your kids have a baby to love, and you get through the day a little easier. Order now!
For the love of god, do not fill Little Tinkler with red wine.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Nov 30, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 11/24/13 - 11/30/13

This week's wrap-up is going to be short, because turkey and excuses and also I'm lazy.

Nov 27, 2013

PSA: When Your Kid Wears a Costume to the Supermarket

If you follow me on Facebook (and you really should), you'll know that my son wore an Iron Man costume to the supermarket yesterday.

Repulsor blast added for effect.

Nov 25, 2013

I Quit Thanksgiving

Picture the perfect Thanksgiving. What buzzwords come to mind? Family, food, relaxing maybe? My Thanksgivings were never relaxing. My husband and I considered ourselves lucky; since his family is Jewish and mine is Catholic, Thanksgiving was the only holiday we had to split. That also made it The Worst Holiday of the Year.

Every year, we'd start pestering our aunts in early October to find out who was hosting. Then, we'd have to nag them to nail down a time. We'd hammer out a plan to have dinner with one side, and dessert with the other.

It never worked. Dinner would be served half an hour late by family number one, and we'd arrive at family number two's gathering just in time to see the last slice of apple pie gobbled up by someone else . . . who'd probably already had a slice.

After our son was born, we decided the solution to our predicament would be to host. Have you ever hosted a holiday gathering? It's the complete opposite of relaxing. You basically turn your home into a restaurant for a day. You spend all day cooking, dirty up every single dish, and your guests only eat about a quarter of the food. Then you spend all night cleaning around them and yawning, hoping they'll take the hint and go home so you can find somewhere to store 18 metric shit-tons of turkey and finally go to bed.

A couple of years ago, most of the family broke off on their own for Thanksgiving. Some went on vacation, others went to celebrate with out-of-state relatives, and we realized that it was about to fall upon us to host the stragglers. Then, a Thanksgiving miracle happened: my husband received a promotional email from his favorite fancy steakhouse, advertising their Thanksgiving menu. Could we really do it? Dare we . . . quit Thanksgiving?

Oh, yes, we did.

We made our reservation, dressed up all fancy, and went out to dinner. Our son, just shy of three-years-old at the time, behaved perfectly. He even ate salad. Salad! Afterwards, we took him to his first movie at the theater. It was glorious.

The next year, the emails started flying early. They were on to us. Speculations were made on who would be hosting. We dashed off a quick note: "Sorry; already made our reservation!" We spent our Thanksgiving with Wreck-It Ralph that year.

Each year, the guilt of ditching our extended family lessens, little by little. It's not that we don't love them, or want to spend time with them . . . we'll be seeing them all in a month for Christmas and belated Hanukkah, after all. And doesn't absence make the heart grow fonder?

I know that when I recline after dinner this year and slip on my 3D glasses, with a box of Junior Mints in my lap and half a carafe of overpriced Pinot Grigio in my belly, I'll truly be thankful. Isn't that what Thanksgiving is really all about?

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Nov 23, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 11/17/13 - 11/23/13

It's getting winterish around here. Oh, shut up, red squiggle; I don't care if you say that's not a word. It's New England, and some days are fallish, and some days are winterish. Deal with it.

I moved the grilling utensils, bubbles, and flip flops out of the mud room to make room for the boots, hats, and scarves. It was tragic. I'll miss my flip flops most of all.

Nov 20, 2013

Craigslist Antiquing, and Other First World Problems

We had a little excitement in the Rose household last week. We got a new TV! Well, not exactly. We got an old TV.

What's that tiny thing on the wall, to the left?

Just a pic of a zombie my son ripped out of a magazine a year ago, NBD.

Isn't she pretty?! That's an RCA Victor Provincial, manufactured in either 1950 or 1951. Atop it sits the phone I got my husband for his birthday earlier this year, which is from 1963. This annoys him, because they're not "from the same era," but I think it's totally plausible that someone would keep a TV for 13 years back then, when technology wasn't advancing as fast as it does now. Besides, that phone (Western Electric model 502, if you care) first came out in 1958, and the only way you'd know that this particular phone was manufactured in 1963 would be if you looked at the bottom... Or read my blog.

Nov 19, 2013

Brilliant Business Plan: Just Add Cats!

A well-traveled friend of mine, who also happens to be a cat lady (like myself), recently alerted me to a new trend: cat cafés. Yes, they are just what you think. Unless you think it's a place where cats sit at tables like people and drink tiny little espressos with their tiny little paws. Then, it's not what you think at all, but I love how your mind works.

Cat cafés are cafés for humans, but they have a bunch of cats living there, so you can sip your latte while snuggling with a kitty. They're great for people whose landlords don't allow cats, people who are traveling and missing their furry friends, and crazy people who don't want to do anything if there isn't a cat somehow involved.

They're popping up all over Paris and Tokyo. There's a woman who desperately wants to open one in Boston, but it looks unlikely that she'll see her dream through. Apparently, we have laws here in the U.S. about housing kitty litter and scones in the same establishment or something. Thanks, Obama.

Cat cafés got me thinking about what other businesses could be improved with the addition of cats.

What about a cat DMV? Everyone at the DMV is always in such a terrible mood. I've never seen anyone in a terrible mood when there's a purring lump of cuteness in their lap. And what better way to pass the time than making friends with kittens?

I'd like to see some cats at Best Buy. You can fiddle with electronics at the store all you want, but you won't truly know until you get them home how they'll be affected by your cats. Can this remote bounce its signal around the room, for when my cat is sitting directly in front of the Blu-Ray player's sensor? Can I type effectively on this laptop when there's a cat lying across the keyboard? Only one way to find out.

Since your cats are going to ruin all your furniture anyway, why not staff IKEA with a few felines? That way, we can see which couches are more susceptible to scratches, and which rug patterns best hide fur. And hairballs. And maybe pee.

Did you know that the average American workplace loses $8.7 billion in productivity every year due to employees messing around online, looking at pictures of cats? Probably not, since I just made that up. But think of how much more productive workers would be if they all had cats on their desks! No more time wasted by typing URLs and waiting for YouTube videos to buffer. Instant cat, whenever you need it.

Home Depot is full of birds. Gross, gross birds. Seriously, have you noticed? Look up next time you're in there. Bring in some cats; problem solved.

I defy you to name me one business that wouldn't benefit from cats. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Target to buy lint rollers. So many lint rollers.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Nov 16, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 11/10/13 - 11/16/13

This was the shortest fall ever, you guys. This week, I put away the last of the Halloween decorations (don't judge; it was like a whole thing I had to do with a screwdriver and whatnot) and I started online Christmas shopping. Yeah, all in one week, I went from October to December. Ugh.

Yes, I know that we still have Thanksgiving to get through, but I don't really care about Thanksgiving. No costumes, no candy, no presents... What kind of holiday are you, anyway? Not my kind, that's for damn sure.

Nov 14, 2013

Enough With the Freakin' Petitions, Already!

Or, How is the worst thing to happen to the internet.

How many petitions have you been asked to sign in the last month? Did you sign them all? Did you actually give a shit about the goal? And most importantly, do you think they will actually work?

I'm all for petitions when necessary; necessary being the key word. Let's say Pepsi starts putting crack in their products, because they totally think we'll love it. And we start a petition asking them to stop. They have, oh, I don't know, let's say one billion customers. We get 800 million signatures. There you go. Now Pepsi understands that they will lose a significant amount of business if they choose to put crack in their products, and hopefully, they won't. I mean, if they want.

Nov 13, 2013

Seriously, Fiat??

My husband and I were watching TV recently, and this commercial came on:

If you're not in a position to watch videos right now, I strongly suggest that you come back later, when you can watch it. Or watch it without sound, because the sound isn't important. Oh fine, I'll just tell you what happens: some women in bikinis jump out of a car, holding their bums. The camera switches to show the backseat, where a crab is clicking his claws, um, suggestively? 

Nov 12, 2013

Impatient Baby Mamas, Slow Your Roll

When my son was a baby, I couldn't wait for him to hit every milestone. I'd obsess over baby books and websites, eagerly anticipating The Next Big Thing. Now that my single child is almost five, I consider myself a parenting expert. I'm here to tell you that you're better off before your baby learns all the latest tricks.

Expectation: he can get around on his own and explore his world! He'll have so many adventures!
Reality: yeah, adventures with the cat, the toilet, the DVD player, and the drawer full of knives. Start saving up now Mama, because you're about to drop some serious bank at Babies R Us to protect your most valuable possession . . . and also the kid who's hell-bent on destroying it.

Eating solids
Expectation: a world of culinary delights is his for the taking! He'll learn to love tapas and Pad Thai, and I'll teach him that fruit is called "sports candy!"
Reality: girl, please. I did the whole "veggies before fruits" thing, too. Kids are not stupid. Dino nuggets and fries are in, pasta with any sauce that isn't fluorescent orange is out. And did you know that once they start eating solids, you'll have to cook for them every single day?

Expectation: I can't wait to hear all about my little one's thoughts and feelings! It will be so much easier to care for him once he can express himself!
Reality: Nothing compares to the joy of hearing your child say "I love you" for the first time. Of course, that's inversely proportionate to the feeling you'll get when he screams "I don't love you anymore!" three years later, so it evens out.

Expectation: oh, the places he'll go! I can't wait to take photos of him toddling around the farm. And we'll get him those cute little light-up sneakers!
Reality: this is when you'll start to rethink your stance on the whole baby-leash thing. This is also why I only have one kid: one hand for him, one for my coffee. Sorry, can't handle any more.

Potty training
Expectation: I will never have to touch pee or poop again!
Reality: sure, not in diaper form. Instead, you'll be mopping up pee from behind your toilet (seriously, how does he get it back there?) and gingerly turning poop-filled Spider-Man briefs inside-out over the bowl and dunking them.

Learning to work the TV
Expectation: I'll be able to sleep in for an extra fifteen minutes. Maybe I can even take a shower!
Reality: come talk to me the first time you're toweling off and hear the theme song to Mad Men playing in the living room. True story.

Expectation: reading is the single greatest joy man can experience! He'll be transported to other worlds . . .
Reality: you don't get to choose which worlds. And when your job is to write swear-words on the Internet, suddenly Mommy's computer screen becomes the most interesting thing to read, ever.

Becoming computer-savvy
Expectation: he's going to be the next Steve Jobs! In the 21st century, this is undoubtedly the most important skill a child can learn.

Reality: once they learn that the blue bar at the top of your screen means you're on Facebook, it's pretty hard to convince them that Mommy's working right now. 

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Nov 9, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 11/3/13 - 11/9/13

Halloween is over, and so you have me back. I know you were totally counting the number of blog posts, tweets and status updates I've been posting, and you were super sad about the decline during October. Rest assured, that's over now. You have my full attention.

Nov 8, 2013

Would You Have Me on Your Zombie Apocalypse Team?

I've been thinking a lot about zombies lately. I mean, even more than usual, because of Halloween and "The Walking Dead." I've been thinking about what skills are necessary in order to be valuable to a group. And I don't think I have any.

The thing is, the skills that we'd value post-apocalypse aren't very highly valued in today's world. Who would you want as part of your group after the walkers come? You'd need hunters and farmers, because you'd need to eat. I can cook, but I don't think anyone would be all that particular about how the squirrel and wild berries were seasoned and plated, just so long as they had some. And I don't think I could ever bring myself to kill an animal, so I'm out. I'd be a lonely, vegan survivor.

Nov 5, 2013

Tell Me it Gets Better

I don't remember the first time I heard the phrase "terrible twos." It feels like something I've always known about, at least for all of my adult life. Everyone knows that two-year-olds are jerks. So when my son turned two, and started throwing tantrums, I wasn't all that surprised. I just had to roll with it until he turned three, and then he'd be cool again, right?

Wrong. Three arrived, and his tantrums were longer, more frequent, and more violent. What the hell is this? Should I be worried? Oh, no, apparently there's something called the "trying threes." Which, by the by, is a really shitty attempt at alliteration, Person Who's in Charge of Parenting Clichés. And the "trying threes" are sooo much worse than the "terrible twos," hahaha rookie mother, didn't you know that? Um, no, I didn't, and thanks for the warning.

Okay. So they're even worse at three. Got it. Well, now we're smack in the middle of four. And now he's all about asserting his independence (read: rejecting my authority) and exerting control over his environment (read: being a selfish brat). Geez, does this kid have some sort of disorder? Maybe I need to call the doctor? Nope, just the "fucking fours." Okay, this is the first one that's accurately named. And it's way worse than two or three.

This kid . . . you have to understand that I love him. I love him more than chocolate and cats and everything else combined. But there are whole days where I only like him for maybe a couple of hours. Like when I invent an awesome dinner called a "pizzadilla," which is a quesadilla made with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese that you dip in spaghetti sauce instead of salsa, because I'm so fun and thoughtful, and then he yells at me that he doesn't love me anymore, because he wanted grapes. Yeah, days like that.

Or when he throws down in the middle of the supermarket lobby, because he wants that car cart, which looks exactly like the one I'm trying to get him into, but is clearly completely different and vastly superior, and I must be punished with ear-splitting screams so loud that everyone in the store can hear what a bad mother I am. You know, one of those days.

I have fucking had it with the fucking fours. We've got about three months left. I've almost made it. And everyone tells me that things get so much better when they turn five. Five-year-olds are eager to please, they love to help out, and they're much better at articulating their feelings with actual words, rather than demon-growls and flailing fists.

Except . . . that's what everyone told me about three and four, too.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Nov 4, 2013

I'm the Halloqueen

My husband came up with that word. I like it. I am pretty bananas for Halloween, which is why you haven't been seeing much of me lately. It's over now, so I'm going to try to get back to writing more, but I thought I'd explain to you what I've been up to lately that's kept me from entertaining you.

Oct 29, 2013

The Fall of Humanity

It started out like any other Sunday in the fall. The air was crisp. There was a slight breeze, which caused the leaves to dance in delicate swirls on their way to the ground.

We had big plans for some family fun that afternoon. My husband and I were looking forward to the season premiere of The Walking Dead that night. We never thought we'd be living through it.

We came upon a roadblock. Before we knew what was happening, the car was surrounded. They were everywhere, shambling through the streets, directionless. It was terrifying! Hundreds of them, with a singular goal: to feed.

We couldn't turn back now; we needed supplies. I thought back to season one of The Walking Dead, when Rick and Glen covered themselves in walker guts and walked right through the herd. That could work, right?
We decided to try and blend in. We slowly picked our way through the churning mass of bodies. 

"Remember," I told my son, " . . . no loud noises, no sudden movements." We were in the thick of it now. They were all around us, but they didn't see us. I wondered if they saw anything; the way they dragged their feet and bumped into one another made me think they were guided by something other than sight. Instinct, perhaps?

The sound was deafening. Screams came from every direction. I tried to ignore them, to think only about what we came here for, but they were so loud, I could feel it in my bones. We'd finally reached our destination, and I couldn't believe my eyes: there was nothing left. This whole ordeal was for nothing.
We managed to get back to the car and floored it out of there, zipping past the rotting discards laying in the road, half hoping to mow down members of the herd on our way out.

Next October, I think I'll just buy my pumpkins at Stop & Shop, because going to the farm during apple-picking season isso not worth it.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room. 

Oct 26, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 10/20/13 - 10/26/13

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and also the most exhausting. I feel like I should have hired a nanny for the month of October. I am throwing so much of myself into Halloween, there's just nothing left right now.

I finally finished our costumes. They are epic, and you will see them very soon. If you didn't learn about this last year, our friends have a redonkulous annual Halloween party. This is the tenth year, so we are bringing it with fries and a bag of chips. I went over their house last night to help decorate. For three hours. Yes, they have that much stuff.

Oct 22, 2013

In Defense of Maria Kang

By now, I'm sure you've seen that picture of Maria Kang posing with her three young boys and her six rock-hard abs, captioned "What's your excuse?" And if you're like most women, you're probably outraged.

You shouldn't be.

First of all, let's look at Ms. Kang's motive. The picture was posted on her Facebook page, and it was meant to encourage and inspire her fans. She did not caption the photo, "You don't look like me because you're lazy," or "You're fat and I'm better than you." She didn't say that because that's not what she meant. The only message she was trying to get across was that she believes it's possible for anyone to get fit, even a working mother with three kids. And that's all.

Were you personally offended by the picture? Did it seem like Ms. Kang was calling you out for not being as fit as she is? She wasn't. Maria Kang does not know who you are. She has no idea what your body looks like. She did not send that picture directly to you.

People sometimes forget that there's a whole world outside of their own heads. We tend to think of ourselves as the protagonist in our own life story, and the rest of the world as supporting characters. So we look at Maria Kang and think, "She's being skinny at me. What a bitch!" It's important to remember that people have motives for their actions that are entirely unrelated to you. In fact, very little in this world is actually all about you. And that picture? It definitely wasn't.

Finally, a lot of women who saw this picture complain that they felt "fat-shamed." The sad truth is that if you felt guilty or ashamed about yourself when you saw the picture, it's because you already felt that way, and the picture simply reminded you of that. If you do feel bad about your body, that sucks, but they're your feelings. Nobody put them in your head. Accept them as your own personal baggage, and then deal with them accordingly—whether that means owning your body as it is, or working to change it. That's up to you, and only you.

The woman who's really fat-shaming you isn't in that photo; she's in the mirror. Tell her to shut the hell up.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Oct 19, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 10/13/13 - 10/19/13

I had another busy week. Halloween is like my Christmas. In addition to working on our costumes for a few hours, I've been mapping out the zombie craziness for our yard, and planning a kids' party. We're hosting seventeen kids from ages one to six. Or, in other words, two vegans, two apple sensitivities, a peanut allergy and a lactose intolerance. I think I'm going to take a page from Charlie Brown's neighbors and just serve rocks. Nobody's allergic to rocks, right?

Lest you think I'm an insensitive asshole, my kid is one of the apple kids, and I myself am a pollotarian, AKA "picky bitch." So there.

Oct 17, 2013

Theme Thursday is Dead. And I am Undead.

There's no easy way to say this, but here it is: We're tired of doing Theme Thursday, we're not enjoying it anymore, and so, we quit. Don't worry; I'm not going to make a video where I dance and hold up signs about how I quit. I just quit.

I want to thank all of you who have joined us over the last... I don't know, about a year. Everyone who read and linked up and shared other blogger's posts. Thank you! Bunches and bunches! I have a treat for you... But first, let's talk about zombie makeup. You know, because Halloween.

Oct 15, 2013

Trick or Treat! P.S. I'm Judging You.

Don't judge. We all say it, and we mostly mean it. But here's the thing: judging is something that just happens whether you like it or not, like thinking that Target cashier is hot, or laughing when someone falls and hurts themselves.

Am I right?

So, yeah, when I bring my kid trick-or-treating, I am totally judging every house. Let's be honest, here—cards on the table. You do it too, right?

To the people with the smiling scarecrows, the bales of hay, and the impeccably carved (but not too scary) jack-o'-lanterns: you want me to think that you're Martha Stewart's long-lost cousin, and you're totally better than me. Maybe you are, but that doesn't mean I have to like you.

To the elderly people handing out Tootsie Rolls: nobody likes Tootsie Rolls! Nobody has ever liked Tootsie Rolls. I'm pretty sure they were invented during wartime, when we had to send all the real chocolate to the boys "over there" for morale. And you all pretended to like them, because of pride and your civic duty and whatnot. Get over it. They're disgusting. If you don't know what real candy is anymore, please give twenty bucks to your youthful neighbors the next time they go shopping. They'll take care of you.

To the people with the cutesy inflatable lawn decorations: okay, we get it. You love Christmas. But Halloween is not Christmas, and it never will be. Go buy a skeleton or something. I mean, come on.

To the people who give out Snickers: I get it. You don't want to make waves. You stand in the corner at parties, agree with whatever anyone else is saying, and never talk politics. Snickers are safe, you tell yourself. Everyone likes Snickers. If I give out Snickers, they'll like me. Well, yeah, everyone likes Snickers. But the whole point of trick-or-treating is variety! Nobody wants to come home to 50 Snickers bars. If that was the goal, we could all just buy our kids a bag of Snickers and stay home. Think outside the box! Show some personality! I always appreciated that one Heath bar I got every year (truth be told, I avoided them until I was ten, because I read them too fast, thought they said "Health," and chucked them, but you get the point).

To the people who give out anything other than candy: you are awful. You are the worst type of human. I used to work in a dental office, and even they gave out candy! What the hell happened to you? How can you hate mankind that much? Please, just turn off the lights next year. Please.

And finally, to the people who insist that the parents of the trick-or-treater take a candy for themselves . . . I love you. You people are the reason I get up in the morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will be back on November first for your leftovers.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Oct 14, 2013

Monday is a Good Day to Rant

It should come as no surprise to anyone who's read even a handful of my posts that I love to rant. So when my friend Jennifer from Outsmarted Mommy announced that she was looking for guest posts for her new series, Motherhood Mondays, I figured I was not what she was looking for.

I was wrong! Motherhood isn't all crafts and soft-focus black and white pictures of toddlers gardening. Sometimes, you need to bitch a little... Or in my case, bitch a lot.

Oct 12, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 10/6/13 - 10/12/13

What a fun week! I normally never do anything without my kid attached to me, but on Sunday, I went down to Mystic, CT with my best friend to see our favorite author, Christopher Moore, and pay a visit to my beloved Krispy Kreme. When we got back, I dropped her off at home and then drove straight to dinner with some local bloggers who I've been dying to meet. And I'm going out again tonight with my husband!

But the night out I'm really looking forward to is next Wednesday. And you're invited! You may have already heard that the ultra-awesome and famous JD of Honest Mom and Brenna of Suburban Snapshots are cohosting the Boston leg of a national ladies' night out. Well, lucky, lucky, you; I'm coming, too! Because it's open to everyone. Not because I'm famous. Because I'm not. Yet.

Annnnnyway, it's this coming Wednesday, the 16th in Newton, MA, and I think you should come so that you can touch my hair like I'm some sort of exotic creature. Be sure to check out the event page on Facebook.

Oct 11, 2013

New York, Part Six

On our last day of vacation, Cousin 2 and his wife took us to the county fair. We'd never been to one before. They said we'd love it. There were farm animals!

My son said this sheep was "dressed like a superhero."

So here's the thing. The animals at the county fair are not for patting. They are for killing and eating. I mean, they don't do it right there in front of you, but there were signs all over the place that referred to the cows as "beef," so... you do the math.

Oct 10, 2013

New York, Part Five

I did not want to go to Times Square. I told my husband that I was fairly sure it was “just a bunch of stores and billboards,” but somehow, the boy found out that there was a Toys R Us, so they dragged me there anyway. It was so much worse than I thought.

You know those “billboards”? There are about 500 of them. And they are all televisions. The place is shit-packed with people, and it’s noisy, and it is the worst kind of assault on all your senses. Just ugly and hot and crowded and noisy and blech. But the boy did come into Obscura for us, so I guess I owed him one. We got a couple pictures with some costumed characters. It was weird and awkward. Then we went to Toys R Us.

Something tells me that's not a licensed Hello Kitty.

Oct 8, 2013

The Day I Met the Boy

Remember when I was on vacation this summer, and I treated you to a week of amazing guest posts? Of course you do. And so I'm sure you remember Mackenzie from Raising Wild Things and Stephanie from When Crazy Meets Exhaustion, right? Go ahead and click if you need a reminder; they'll open up in new windows.

Got that? Good. So Mackenzie and Stephanie have a side hustle called The Day We First Met. It's a blog about families. More specifically, families forming.

Pumpkin is the New Black

Internet, I have had it with you. You're supposed to be this vast window to all the information the world has to offer, but instead, you just keep talking about the same 20 things. Things that I don't care about, like pugs and Lena Dunham and bacon. Enough with the bacon, already!

Oh, wait, I almost forgot. It's fall. Poor, sad bacon has to take a backseat for three months while the entire Western world has a collective ZOMGpumpkingasm.

Oct 5, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 9/29/13 - 10/5/13

I had a very busy week. I've been overwhelmed with all the fall TV. It's officially Halloween Season, so I erected a graveyard on my front lawn. Then, my husband was home sick for a day and a half, so I had to make tea and matzo ball soup. Also, there were two days where, for a few hours, I was so damn cold, I had to wear socks. The horror!

Oct 3, 2013

Holy Crap, I Collect a Lot of Stuff

I didn't realize how many things I collected until I started walking around my house, taking pictures of all of it. But holy damn, do I collect a lot of things.

It started with the rubber duckies. When I was seventeen, I decided that when I grew up and had my own bathroom, it would have a rubber ducky theme. So I started collecting and packing them up. By the time I had my own bathroom in my condo to move them into, I'd amassed about fifty of them. I have no idea how many I have now, but it's a lot.

Here are a few.

Oct 1, 2013

FYI (if you're a blogger)

There's a disturbing new trend in the blogosphere that's gotten me all riled up.

It seems that every time a blog post goes viral, within a day or two, there are ten more bloggers rushing to condemn it.

If you read many blogs, you'll see a lot of authors gushing about how inclusive and supportive the blogging community is. And that's true, to a degree. I know I wouldn't be where I am without the bloggers who have read and commented on my blog, joined my Theme Thursday blog hop, invited me to private Facebook groups where we could advise and support each other, and most notably, hired me to write for In the Powder Room (thank you, Leslie!).

But it's not always sunshine and roses. Sometimes, an article blows up all over the Internet, and we just can't believehow much everyone's fawning over it. Come on, we say to ourselves, my stuff is so much better than that. I need to make everyone see how awful this is.

We become consumed by jealousy. It's just not fair that everyone's reading and sharing her stuff, and not mine. I'm better than her! Why haven't I gone viral? I'm going to show the world that they're wrong!

We forget that the complete idiot who wrote that piece of crap article is a human being, a writer just like us, who worked long and hard to put their thoughts and feelings on our screens. We feel the need to prove our superiority by tearing down a faceless person who exists only inside our computer.
That's not how I want to build my brand.

Yes, I can be snarky. Like, most of the time. I poke fun at silly Texas laws, and absurd dating websites. I complain about my party guests. I accuse my Facebook friends of spreading Internet VD. But I would never begrudge another writer their success—not publicly, anyway.

Sometimes, I come across an article I disagree with. Do you know what I do? I close the browser tab.
Sometimes, a blog post goes viral, and I think it kind of sucks. So I have this little trick: I don't call attention to it.

Life is not a reality show. "I'm here to win; not to make friends" is not an acceptable mantra for an adult human being. If you're not here to make friends, that's fine by me, but I do take umbrage with those who are specifically here to make enemies, or more accurately, here to make a name for themselves at any cost, up to and including stepping on the backs of others.

I'm not asking you to love everything that everyone else writes. There will always be opinions that you disagree with. But humiliating a fellow writer for the sake of (Internet) fame and (relative) fortune is not the best way to handle it. Take a breath, roll your eyes, maybe say something snarky to your spouse or friend if you need to, and then carry on with your life.

In other words, don't be a dick.

Is that too much to ask?

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Sep 30, 2013

Drumroll, Please!

It's over! Thank you to everyone who entered to win a signed copy of "You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth." I have picked a winner, and the winner is...

Sep 28, 2013

Here What You Missed This Week 9/22/13 - 9/28/13

Okay, so I guess it's fall now. I've been working on our costumes all week. Well, mostly my husband's costume. There's a certain prop that's over three feet long, and it's taking a lot of time. Any guesses yet?

Sep 26, 2013

How to Watch Fall TV in 16 Easy Steps

It is without one tiny bit of hyperbole that I tell you now: I am a TV-watching expert. Ask anyone. From the people who call me, asking if I still have last week's "Breaking Bad" on the DVR (no, but I can recover it for you), to the ones who Facebook me asking who I think should have won "America's Got Talent" (Taylor was my favorite, but he'll get by; Kenichi needed the win more), to those who text me trivia questions ("'Game of Thrones' actor Dinklage?" Duh, Peter, and I don't even watch that show). Everyone knows that I. Am. The. Best.

So, with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I have the fall premiere season down to a science. Wondering what you should watch this year? I got you. Let's do this.

Sep 24, 2013

Ode to the Fun Uncle

Fun Uncle, I love what you do for my boy
When you come by and gift him with a brand-new toy.
But please listen closely, and hear what I say,
If it makes any sound, I will throw it away.

Fun Uncle, you've taught my son wonderful things
About Spider-Man, Batman, and Lord of the Rings.
So much pop culture knowledge he's garnered from you,
But please, no more teaching him quotes from Young Guns 2.

You're just like a playmate, but older and wiser,
I'm so glad that my son has you as his advisor.
Thanks to you, he's prepared for the hijinks of school
But seriously, Fun Uncle, the wedgies? Not cool.

He has a small phobia of climbing too high,
And with your help, he'll kick it, I know, by and by.
And I'm sure that you really were trying to help,
But I wish you hadn't put him on his closet shelf.

And, oh! How I love to watch you two at play.
The giggles you incite surely brighten my day.
You're welcome to throw him up high in the air,
Just please know he'll certainly puke in your hair.

You're so fun at parties, a real laugh a minute!
But from now on, I'm sorry, ten beers is your limit.
Fun Uncle, you're welcome anytime at our place
Provided there are no more squirt-gun shots to the face.

Fun Uncle, I hope that you've heard what I said
And you'll stop riling up sonny boy just before bed.
Don't forget that one day, you'll have your own kids, too,
And on that day, Fun Uncle, I'M COMING FOR YOU.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Sep 23, 2013

Cosplay and a Giveaway

Have you ever showed up late to a party and missed something awesome? You walked in the door, and everyone was all, "Oh, man, you should have been there! The Spice Girls showed up with Rice Krispie Treats and we all danced and it was amazing!" That just happened to me.

Soon after I was hired as a staff writer for In the Powder Room, they came out with a book. And they were all, "Yeah, we totally just finished this book ten minutes before we hired you." D'oh! I was bummed. That's some seriously bad timing. The book, if you haven't heard, is "You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth," and it's an Amazon best-seller. Editor Leslie Marinelli collected 40 ridiculously talented writers and asked them for their best stories that they'd only share with their girlfriends... wait for it... In the Powder Room. Get it?

Of course I had to do the cover photo cosplay. But I did it Jenn Style. Note the nails.

Sep 21, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 9/15/13 - 9/21/13

I have exciting news for you! Well, some of you, anyway. I've decided to become a pimp! Are you a blogger? An Avon lady? Do you make jewelry out of chicken bones and cat fur, and sell it on Etsy? Good for you, you little entrepreneur, you! You should be marketing your wares to my readers, because they are rich and have fabulous taste (obviously). 

Hop on over to my Give Me Your Money page, where you can read all about the ad space and social media marketing I have to offer you. Oh, it's also a great place to give me your money, by the way. Mama needs a new tattoo.

Sep 18, 2013

New York, Part Four

Another cab ride, and it was time for the moment my husband and I had been waiting for. Our number one to-do in New York: Obscura. Do you watch “Oddities” on the Science channel? Dude, you really need to. It’s a show about this antique store, only it’s not your average antique store. They sell stuff like mummified heads and old quack medical machines. Really cool shit. We’ve been fans of the show for a couple of years now. We walked in and my son immediately demanded to leave. Was it the creepy clown mask? The taxidermied two-headed cow? Who knows? The point is, he was ruining everything! Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. But we’ve wanted to visit this store for years, and the boy has seen the show, and god damn it he needed to come inside!

Sep 17, 2013

I'll Stay Home, Thanks.

I am not a traveler.

I've only been to 12 U.S. states. Two of them were for layovers, and five more don't count because I live in New England, which is really one state with six names.

I know a lot of travelers. Every summer, my Facebook feed fills up with pictures of exotic rainforests, opulent palaces, and gourmet cuisine. My friends and family have visited locales that are so abstract to me, they almost seem fictional.

Where the hell is Helsinki, anyway?

Sometimes I get a little jealous. If only we didn't have a small child. Maybe if we had a little more money. Golly, I'd love to, but my cats really need me . . .

And then something happens that reminds me why I really don't travel. Like when my cousin was showing me iPhone pictures of her latest trans-European getaway. Every meal looked like some sort of modern art installation. She was telling me about how the diet in some such Scandinavian country consisted mainly of fish and cream sauces, " . . . and they have reindeer everywhere!"

"Aw, that's so cute!" I replied. "You mean they're just roaming the streets in the town square?"

"No," she corrected me, "on the menus."

Apparently Finland has a slightly different Santa mythology than the U.S.

I'm terribly picky. When I honeymooned in Jamaica, I had my travel agent call ahead to be sure that my minibar would be fully stocked with Mountain Dew. I neglected to mention that I preferred cans, not bottles, and spent a miserable week at Sandals, like a savage, drinking soda that tasted wrong.

Even if I can somehow manage to find acceptable fare, I'm still not satisfied. Hotel cable is weird. They never have the channels I want to watch. There's no DVR, and no sleep timer. How do you expect me to fall asleep without The Golden Girls? Am I just supposed to lie here in the dark and listen to nothing

Who does that?

And what about my fingernails? If I go more than four days without painting them, they're going to chip, and then they'll be weak, and then they'll break, and for goodness sake, what if I get a hangnail? What if it gets infected? Do they even have antibiotics here?

Living out of a suitcase is a nightmare. I never pack the right things, and I'm never sure how to handle my dirty clothes. Has anyone ever figured out a system that works? Please let me know.

I hate hotel air. It's always too dry. And if I wash my face with any water other than my local tap water, it's going to break out. When you can't even stand to be away from two of the four basic elements in your hometown, you know you have a problem.

You can have your Eiffel Towers and your Colosseums. Eat all the octopus and bamboo shoots you want, and don't bother saving a bite for me. No amount of adventure and wonder can compare to the comforts of home. 

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Sep 16, 2013

New York, Part Three

Day five, we finally went to the city! We got up early, missed the train, discovered an adorable café, and almost missed the next train. An hour and a half later, we arrived in Grand Central Terminal. Did you know it’s not called “Grand Central Station”? Remember when you were a kid, and the phone kept ringing, and people were in and out of your house all day, and your mom would make some remark like, “What is this, Grand Central Station?” Well, I have no idea where she got that from, because it’s called Grand Central Terminal. The first thing I did was use the bathroom, and you will not believe what happened: it was clean, and some stranger was polite to me. Everything I've heard about New York is a lie!

When we entered the main lobby, I expected to be overcome with... I don't know, awe or something. I was not. I’ve seen the place in so many movies, it just felt like walking into Target. Like I’d been there a thousand times before. Isn’t that a bummer?

Sep 14, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 9/8/13 - 9/14/13

It's coming... Can you feel it? Halloween is just around the corner, and I spent this week preparing for it. My husband and son wore me down until I could protest no longer, and I ordered the boy's costume. Yes, ordered. He is going against the family's moral code and being something completely unoriginal and store-bought.


My husband and I finally agreed on our couple costume just a few days ago (that's really late for us), so I've been doing a lot of planning, shopping, and fabricating in the basement. Hot glue gun, how I missed you!

Sep 13, 2013

So You're Stuck Watching Football

It has arrived.

Of course, by "it," I mean American football season, the worst time of the year.

I suppose it could be worse. At least my husband is only interested in our home team. I hear some men will watch four games every Sunday, and spend the rest of their week consumed by "fantasy football," which I believe is some sort of sports version of Dungeons & Dragons.

Now, I've tried to understand football, but there's something in my brain that shuts off any time my husband tries to explain the rules to me. He opens his mouth, and all I hear is the "wah-wah-wah" of Charlie Brown's teacher. The only football rule I can confidently state is that the players try to go from the blue line to the yellow line. Only those lines aren't real. Or something.

Normally, when my husband watches football, I take the opportunity to have a little me time: I write, take a bubble bath, or work on holiday projects. But every now and then, I'm dragged to some sort of social gathering that revolves around football, and I'm expected to actually watch the game. Shudder.

So what happens when a football-hater like me is roped into participating? I've found that the easiest way to 
have fun is to make sure that nobody else does. Perhaps you'd like to try some of my tricks:

  • Wait until the home team is losing big, and ask what the score is.
  • Find a partner who also hates football. Sit on opposite sides of the room. Carry on a long, loud conversation about Meg Ryan's hair, or something cute you saw on Pinterest.
  • Eat all the drumstick-shaped chicken wings, and leave all the annoying double-boned ones for everyone else.
  • Fawn over how cute and charming that player from the rival team is on those Doritos commercials.
  • Wait until everyone is on the edge of their seat, because some guy is doing something important with a ball or whatever. Stand up in front of the TV and helpfully offer to get everyone a beer.
  • Criticize the coach's fashion sense. Seriously, a sweatshirt over a collared shirt? Who is his stylist?
  • Giggle whenever one of the announcers says "ball handling." Trust me, they will say it. A lot.
  • Whenever a player does something particularly good (you can tell because everyone will cheer), ask if he was the one who got arrested recently. It doesn't matter who it is; chances are someone on the home team did, and nobody will want to be reminded of it.
  • Stash the remote control under a couch cushion and wait for someone to sit on it. Watch as hilarity ensues.

I wish you luck in making it through the season, and if you ever need someone to commiserate with, you can find me bitching on Twitter every Sunday, from now through February. Go, team! 

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Sep 12, 2013

Coming to Terms With Fall

I think I'm finally ready to admit it: fall is coming. It' pretty much here.

Whew, that was hard to type.

I'm a summer person. I love cookouts. I hate wearing anything on my feet. I can't stand being any colder than 76 degrees. That's not a typo; seventy-six degrees Farenheit. So it's hard for me to say goodbye to summer, and consequently, to say hello to Fall.

Sep 10, 2013

I Like Beer and Babies, But Only Boy Babies.

I’m so happy to be guest posting for Julie of I like beer and babies today. I like beer and babies is one of the first blogs I ever read, and I’m pretty sure she was my first reader who didn’t know me in real life. I think I squealed the first time she commented on my blog. I felt like I’d finally broken through.

It’s been almost two years since I started blogging, and a little over a year since she left that first comment, and I was still all, “Who, me?” when she asked me to guest post.

Sep 9, 2013

New York, Part Two

Day three, we went to the best diner ever, The Daily Planet in Lagrangeville. We wanted to throw a chain around the whole place and drag it home. It was decorated in a 50s/60s/70s pop culture theme, with a healthy dose of comic books thrown in. And the menu… They had turkey sausage! Do you know how hard it is to find a breakfast place that serves turkey sausage? Hard. They also had bellinis. Fun fact: day drinking is one of my favorite things about vacation.

Yes, I drank from the tiny stirring straw. It makes it last longer.

Sep 7, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 9/1/13 - 9/7/13

Happy Saturday! How was your week? I'm still trying to get back on track after my vacation. The good news is, I've finally finished typing up my New York story- all 3500 words of it- and it's all broken up in easy-to-digest morsels, complete with pictures. So have fun with that in the upcoming weeks.

My week started out pretty rad. I was featured on HuffPost Parents' Best Parenting Tweets! I was in good company, too. Three of my In the Powder Room colleagues were also featured, along with Jason Good and Ana Gasteyer. What? I'm in the same league as an SNL alum? (Shh, let me have this.) The best part about it is that, for whatever reason, when the page is shared on Twitter or Facebook, my picture is the one that happens to show up!

Sep 6, 2013

New York, Part One

If you didn’t know, my family just spent a week in New York. My husband has two cousins who live upstate with their wives and babies (two separate houses; they’re not weirdos), so we drove out there and stayed with Cousin 1.

Day one was when we arrived, around lunch time. We did a lot of talking and planning, and then had a cookout and made s’mores. Fun for us, but not so entertaining for you. Moving on!

Day two, we went to a renaissance fair. I’d been to one as a kid, and my husband and son had never been. My husband’s always wanted to go to one, but the fair (faire?) in Massachusetts has animal acts, which I have a problem with, so we don’t go.

Sep 3, 2013

Facebook Sharing: Put a Rubber on That!

Have you heard the latest?

It seems that vaccines are now causing celiac disease, President Obama is outlawing public breastfeeding, and McDonald's has contracted with the USDA to become the exclusive lunch provider for all public schools.

It's true. I saw it on Facebook.

I also learned that all non-GMO vegetables are being banned across North America, and corn syrup causes cancer in lab rats. My friend forwarded me an email that was written by a doctor from Johns Hopkins, so you know it's for real.

Sounds crazy, right? But why would I lie to you? What possible motive would I have (other the obvious, world domination)? None. And of course my friends wouldn't knowingly feed me false information, would they?

And therein lies the problem. When the average person sees an outrageous story come across their computer screen, their first impulse is to plaster it all over the Internet—not so much to fact-check first. They trust that their friends aren't posting bullshit. But what about their friends' friends?

Let's look at it this way. Perhaps you're a swinging single, or if not, perhaps you can recall a time back when you were. You met someone you thought was cute. You got along, and they didn't seem too skanky, so you took them home for a roll in the hay. Did you use a condom?

Yes, of course you did, because we had this lesson drilled into our heads: "When you sleep with someone, it's like sleeping with everyone they've ever slept with." Sure, Johnny Last Call isn't sporting any obvious sores, but who knows what he might have picked up from last week's hookup?

Listen, I get that you trust your friends, and you want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But believing everything that they post is like believing everything that all their friends post. And all their old school chums, their ex-coworkers, their slightly batty great-aunts . . . Think about it; some people's Facebook profiles are pretty promiscuous.

So the next time you hear a story that sounds too preposterous to be true, do the world a favor and take a moment to research it before clicking "Share." Think of as a digital condom. And please, stop spreading your hoax-herpes all over the web. 

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.