Google Something Clever 2.0: November 2013

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.