Google Something Clever 2.0: February 2013

Feb 27, 2013

How to Improve Facebook

So, Facebook is becoming more customizable. Wait a sec; I'm getting a red wiggle. Is that not a word? Yes, it is. Moving on...

You can now choose what types of status updates you see from friends. Just pics? No games? Awesome. I give absolutely zero shits about your virtual farm. But it could be better. Facebook needs to invent an algorithm that parses status updates and pics for content, and weeds out the stuff you don't want to see. Something like this:



Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.


Feb 26, 2013

Gay Rights, Chicken and Fireballs

I recently learned that "Martha Speaks," a children's show on PBS, is sponsored by Chick-Fil-A. As soon as I saw that, I changed the channel and sent PBS a strongly-worded email (to which I received an annoying canned response two weeks later). I told my son that we wouldn't be watching "Martha Speaks" anymore. He asked me why. I explained sponsorship, and said that we didn't like Chick-Fil-A because they're mean. I didn't get into why they're mean because he's four, and he doesn't need to learn about bigots yet.

The other day, we were at the supermarket, and he asked me again about Chick-Fil-A. I told him to wait until we got to the car. On the way home, this was our conversation:

"You know when when two grown-ups are in love, they can get married? Like me and your father..." and I gave three more examples- a straight couple we're friends with, his great-grandparents, and our lesbian cousins (who are, indeed, married- yay for Massachusetts).

"Yes."

"That's pretty cool, right? Maybe someday you'll get married."

"Yeah!"

"Do you see those two people walking down the street? Do you care if they're married?"

"Huh? Jenn, why do we hate Chick-Fil-A?"

"I'm getting to that. Whether or not they're married, it doesn't affect you, right?"

"No."

"Well, the people that run Chick-Fil-A- which, by the way, is a fast food restaurant, so we'd never go there anyway- they think there should be rules about who can marry who. They want to make a law that says you could marry Sally, but not Tommy. Is that fair?" (Not their real names.)

"No!"

"That's right. It's not fair. That's mean, and it's none of their business who you marry. So that's why we don't support them."

"Maybe we should warn them that we won't go there."

"Well, there are different ways to protest something. Some people send letters. Some people stand outside with signs. What we're doing, is just not eating there, or watching 'Martha Speaks.' And if it ever comes up in conversation, we can tell our family and friends that we don't support them, and why. But I did email PBS. And there are plenty of people out there telling Chick-Fil-A that they're mean already."

"Where is Chick-Fil-A?"

"There aren't really any nearby."

"Well, I think we should we should go there and throw a hadouken at them."

If you would like to throw a digital hadouken at PBS, you can do so here.

Feb 19, 2013

Coulrophobia

Don't worry; I won't make you look it up. I am afraid of clowns. That's what it means. What scares me about them is that you don't know what's going on under that makeup. It could be anyone. Why are they hiding their face, you know? And no, I didn't get this way by watching or reading "It." It started long before that...


When I was in first grade, I had a recurring nightmare. And I mean, every night. I was on the playground at recess. At the far end of the playground was a clown. He had a huge bunch of balloons in his hand, and he was passing them out to all the children. I watched him. One by one, the kids ran up to him and took a balloon. They'd turn to walk away, and after taking a few steps, they'd disappear into thin air. The balloon each child had been holding would slowly float away. I was the only one who noticed.

The crowd was thinning as more and more children fell prey to this evil clown and his tainted balloons. My best friend stepped up to him. I tried to shout, but no sound came out. Everything started to slow down. She reached up for the balloon. The clown selected one, and bent down to hand it to her. Then he looked right at me, and grinned. Just as she grasped the string, I woke up.

Every night.

You'd be scared of clowns, too.


Feb 7, 2013

I Am a Nice Wife

What are your plans for Valentine's Day this year? (If you're single, sorry; this post won't really apply to you. But perhaps you'd like to bookmark it for future use.)

If you're a lady, I bet you're hoping for some chocolate or diamonds or some such nonsense. If you're a dude, you're probably going to present said nonsense to a lady, right? Right.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. My husband and I have an arrangement. Ew, not that kind of arrangement! Gross. No, it's a Valentine's Day arrangement. Ew, still no! Whatever you're thinking, no. Let me explain.

Years ago, my husband made an offhand remark about how Valentine's Day is supposedly about love and romance, but it's really just about spoiling chicks, and that's not very fair. He was right. I've never been interested in "romantic" crap like nice restaurants and chick flicks, anyway, so I told him we'd trade years. On the odd years, he still spoils me (with socks and wine and stuff I like). On the even years, I spoil him.

And how do I spoil him? The answer is steak. Always steak. Sometimes I take him to a fancy steakhouse with aged beef (puke). Usually I make it. That's actually how we discovered that I was secretly a good cook. The first time, I made a filet mignon with a red wine reduction sauce, asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, a baked potato, and a Boston cream pie. It was pretty much the first time I ever cooked, and it came out awesome.

The next time, I made another filet and all that jazz, and added a lobster tail. Did you know you can't just buy a Maine lobster tail? I guess if they let people do that, they'd be throwing away an assload of lobsters. So I had to call three or four different supermarkets before I found one that sold rock lobster tails. And of course, I couldn't get that song out of my head for a month.

The following year, I couldn't figure out how to top myself. I worked with a guy who had been to culinary school, and together, we put together the ultimate Valentine's Day entree: a filet mignon, stuffed with lobster, wrapped in bacon.

Did I mention yet in this particular post that I only eat chicken? So yeah, it's a pretty big sacrifice for me to even touch any of these carcasses for him, never mind searing their flesh and stinking up my house. Like I said, I am a nice wife.

Now, in the spirit of Karen from Baking in a Tornado (who I hope sees this post as an homage and not a ripoff), I will leave you with the recipe for that disgusting abomination of a zoo cemetery that my husband so enjoyed:

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon, Stuffed with Lobster

(Or, Dead Noah's Ark, Shaped Like a Heart)




  • Get a big filet mignon at the supermarket. Usually, they sell two petite ones, or one big one. So, yeah, get the big one.
  • Get a frozen lobster tail. I used rock, because apparently Maine is illegal to sell in pieces, but if you "know a guy" or something, I hear Maine's better. Thaw it.
  • Get some bacon. Not turkey or smoked or maple or anything, just normal. I think I used Hormel Black Label? I don't know; bacon's nasty.
  • You will want a lot of butter. Maybe half a stick, or a whole stick. My husband generally prefers margarine to butter, because he's insane, but it's lobster, for Christ's sake. Have some decency.
  • Soak a few toothpicks in water for half an hour. You'll see why later.
  • Chop up and fry the lobster in the butter. It will make your house smell like the aquarium; I'm sorry. Nag Champa incense helps.
  • Use a filet knife (so that's why it's called that!) to cut a pocket in the steak (which is still raw at this point). Stuff the cooked lobster in it, including all the melted butter. Suture the pocket closed with some wet toothpicks (so they don't burn when you put them in the oven, duh).
  • Wrap the whole mess up with 3-5 strips of bacon. Secure the bacon with the rest of the toothpicks.
  • Throw that shit in the broiler. I had to look that up, so I'll tell you now, that just means "your regular, normal oven, only turned to like 500 instead of 350." Yeah, suddenly it's called a broiler. Whatever. My husband likes his steak medium well, so I did around 10 or 11 minutes on each side. Oh yeah, you have to flip it. For the love of Ron Swanson, be careful when you flip it.
  • Remove the toothpicks. Serve with whatever, because he doesn't give a shit about the other things on the plate. They're just there to soak up the extra blood and liquefied fat. (If you really want to know how I got the mashed potatoes to look like that- I sprayed the shit out of two ramekins with Pam, packed them with the potatoes, and then plopped them out upside-down onto the plate).
  • Order yourself a pizza and open a bottle of wine. Warning: do not get the heart-shaped pizza that Papa John's offers on Valentine's Day; it's weird and it doesn't taste like their regular pizza.

Bon apetit!

Feb 6, 2013

My Son is Hilarious

If you read my Facebook page, you might know that my son is really funny. Like, the funniest person I know. Unfortunately, I don't have a zillion dollars to pay for every post to be promoted, so you may have missed some...

Last Thursday was his birthday. My husband took the day off from work, and I took the day off from blogging. The boy was in rare form, so I thought I'd share some of his hijinks with you.

First, we went out for breakfast. We went to a diner we'd visited once before, and sat in a different section than last time. He declared it to be "the birthday room," and the other section, "the not birthday room."

Next, we visited the New England Aquarium. We were overlooking the big tank, pointing out sea turtles and such, when the boy observed, "They have humans here!"

The elusive human in its natural habitat

Next, we went to the seal show, and he sat at the end of a bench filled with Kindergarteners on a field trip. He tried to teach them the lyrics to "Blitzkreig Bop" by The Ramones.

Later, he got to pat a shark in the touch tank. I asked him what it felt like. He said, "It felt like a goldfish." Duh.

Yes, he is wearing a necktie with a t-shirt. Because he's awesome.

We went to lunch at Friendly's. When the waitress came to take his order, he said he'd like "No pickles." Not "a hot dog with no pickles," or anything, just, "No pickles."

A family passed our table on the way out, and the girls were wearing Paul Frank boots with Julius on them. I pointed them out, and he called out to them, "Thank you, ladies!" For what? "For wearing them boots." Of course.

His straw had a really long bendy part, so you can curl it around all crazy-like. He noted that it looked like "an octopus testicle." Loudly. And then we made him repeat it three times.

We went to Toys R Us to spend the three-dollar gift card he received in the mail, courtesy of Geoffrey's Birthday Club. He ran around like it was a Supermarket Sweep and picked out about $50 worth of toys. Well played, Toys R Us. After half an hour or so, he announced, "Alright guys, we need to leave, because I have like 20 things." At least he knows his limits. We talked him down to a pair of binoculars and a stuffed zombie that he named Sheila.

Pictured: Sheila. Isn't s/he cute?

On the way to dinner, he assured us that "Today, I'll do manners." Oh, good. We went to a hibachi restaurant. He enjoyed his "leaf soup" and had fun passing a carrot back and forth with chopsticks. The chef had this little plastic boy that "pees" water when you pull his pants down. The boy kept interrupting the show to yell, "Chef, can I play with your pee guy? Chef, how do you say 'yum' in Japanese?"

Those are just the quotes I remembered to email myself. This kid is a riot. If you want to hear more from him, be sure to like me on Facebook and check off "Show in news feed," because Mark Zuckerberg is a greedy bastard.




Feb 4, 2013

A Rebuttal: The Dad Food Pyramid

I have a special treat for you today! Especially for the dads, and especially my baby daddy. Remember my Food Pyramid for Mothers? Kevin from Who Woulda Thought? is here with a sequel! Read on:

Greetings to all the Mommies out there!  I interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post from Jenn to bring you a rebuttal to her post Food Pyramid For Mothers.  As a Dad I had a few issues with the portrayal of her food pyramid and how wine was the biggest category.  Why you ask?  Simple, if a Dad drinks a beer to cope with a long day dealing the kids, he's deemed a drunk and not fit for fatherhood but if a Mom drinks a glass bottle of wine after a day with the kids, everyone says, "Awwww, she's had a rough day."  There's  a double standard here guys!  Take Twitter or Facebook for example.... On Twitter the Mom's of the blogosphere hold #wineparties and boast how much wine they can drink after the kids are in bed. Everyone scrolls down their news feed, laaaauuughhhhs and chortles at the conversation happening, but when a Dad sends a Tweet out about having a beer with the guys, everyone is all up in their jammy (again, what the hell is your jammy?) about how they should spend time with their wives. Well we would but they are busy at some sort of #wineparty. Facebook is similar, if a Dad posts some sort of meme about the trials and tribulations of being a Dad, his jammy gets all blown up and people tell him to enjoy the time he has with his kids but if a Mom posts one about how kids ruined her life, people are like "Amen sister!  You tell them!  I feel for you!"
Sorry ladies...
Anyway, I didn't come here to tell you that, what I came here to do was give you a Dad's version of the Food Pyramid.


We will start with the bottom of the pyramid, this is the base of a Dad's existence, Scraps Left On The Kid's Plates.  As much as we like to deny it or try to hide it, we are the vultures of the family.  This is where you get most of sustenance.  Don't limit it to eating the last bite of meatloaf and last spoonful of mashed potatoes at home, make sure you are keeping the routine when (and if) you go out to dinner.  Polish off the mac & cheese, grab those last three french fries and wolf down that last bite of corn dog, you need your strength. 


Moving up the pyramid you have two categories that are similar in size, Coffee and Pain Reliever.  Coffee is essential to your diet and needs to be consumed 3-4 times a day.  The good thing about coffee is you can get your dairy in there with cream or milk.  Pain Reliever should be taken 2-3 times a day after all you are the kid's punching bag, until they get hurt and then you're the dumbass who was rough housing.



There's Microwave Meals.  Having kids is an adventure, granted not all of us are like other parents where their little preciouses-es are in a different activity each evening, but there is a lot of running around.  Sometimes the kids have already eaten by the time you get home so the Vulture is hungry and you need to get them out the door.  Pop in a meal and three minutes later you are burning the roof of your mouth with the salisbury steak.





Then there is the Beer.  Yes, we drink beer like a Mom drinks wine and we do it for the same reason.  We need to decompress.  Beer is good, it can count as your grain.  If you throw in a few Doritos you have dairy too.  I don't condone drinking eight glasses a day for fear of being called a raging alcoholic by some people.






Now we have reached the tip top of the Dad Food Pyramid, the teensy little triangle up there is where we can eat What We Want.  This is a limited category but a welcomed one.  This is where you can indulge in your nachos, buffalo wings and REAL hamburgers (not those smushed ones from McDonald's).  So eat well my fellow Dads and don't worry about the e-cards you post, I find those ones funny.


*On a side note, I want to thank Jenn for letting me do this guest post on her blog for two reasons, she's pretty cool and she has a lot of followers who will read this...yes I just self-whored myself out.*

It's Jenn again. That was so classy, I'll throw him one more link, because I'm nice like that. 
Go read Who Woulda Thought? right now!


Feb 1, 2013

Secret Subject Swap: Lost Loves

It's time for the February Secret Subject Swap! This crazy blog venture was created by Karen of Baking in a Tornado. She gathers up a group of brave bloggers, who each submit a subject to her. Then, she puts them all in a top hat, adds a dash of nutmeg, mixes them up and redistributes them. At least, that's what I picture her doing. Okay, she probably doesn't do that.



This time around, my subject comes from The Insomniac's Dream, which is funny, because I wrote about her for last month's Secret Subject Swap. Her subject for me is:

"Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?"


Well, of course it is! I don't even know how to begin explaining that. We all eat, and then, a while later, we're hungry again. Do we think, "Gee, I might as well have not eaten that delicious food"? When you listen to a song, you know it's going to end in two to five minutes (or seven to nine, if you're into Rush or The Doors), but you still listen, right? Well, there you go. I guess I did know how to explain it.

Here are some loves that I have lost:


  • There used to be these meals in a cup called Prestissimo in the early 90's. I can't remember whether they were the microwave type, or the type that you add hot water to, but they came with a tiny plastic fork and they were delicious. And remember Chicken Tonight? So good! Did you know they still have it in England? If you're going to England, and then Massachusetts, please let me know. I have some errands for you to run.
  • I had these yellow plaid bondage pants by Lip Service when I was 18. When they got a hole in the knee, I patched it with black and white gingham fabric. They were beautiful. I don't know what ever happened to them, but they were a size zero, so they wouldn't fit now, anyway. I went on Lip Service's website, and they don't make them anymore. Shocking that they wouldn't make the same pants 15 years later...
  • The TV shows "Wonderfalls," "Better Off Ted," "Eli Stone" and "Pushing Daisies" were all amazing and they all got cancelled. Because the American TV-viewing public is stupid, stupid, stupid. At least "Arrested Development" is coming back for a little bit.
  • I've mentioned before how I miss being in a band. It feels so great, being on stage. But I don't think I could hack it now that I have a kid and I'm all old and shit. I'm already exhausted most of the time as it is. But wouldn't it be cool to have a mom band, like in that movie, "Young Adult"? We could cover Luscious Jackson and Elastica and Veruca Salt...
  • And, not to be a bummer, but I'm definitely glad I got to know Nana, Grampa, Oma, Bagels, Terry, Mya, Chance, Smokey, Junior, Bob, Azriel, One-Eyed Jack, Fonzie, Potsie, Ralph Malph, Ignatz, Akira, and many more.


Please take a moment to check out all the other blogs participating in the Secret Subject Swap!

Our hostess, Baking in a Tornado
My inspiration, The Insomniac's Dream
The victim of my subject, Quirky Chrissy
And the rest:
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
The Momisodes
Menopausal Mother
Momaical
Life on the SONnyside
Chewylicious
A Mother Life
follow me home...
100lb Countdown
Just a Little Nutty
My Brain on Kids