Google Something Clever 2.0: June 2013

Jun 29, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 6/23/13 - 6/29/13

Today was a rough week in Boston sports. The Bruins lost the Stanley cup (although the Blackhawks were very classy adversaries). A Patriots player murdered his friend and subsequently orchestrated the dumbest coverup in the history of crime. And something about the Celtics. I think they all fell down a rabbit hole or something; I don't know. I actually don't give a shit about sports. I like baseball a little, but I don't have time for that anymore.

Jun 27, 2013

Dating for Dog Lovers

Welcome to the future: there is a dating site specifically for dog lovers now. At first I thought it was a little unnecessary. I understand the need for J-Date and Christian Mingle; you want to find a spouse who agrees with you on some of the major points in life.

Personally, I've always thought that there should be a special dating site for people with incurable STDs so they could get together and have a little fun without worrying about infecting each other. You know me, I care too much.

Jun 24, 2013

The Zombie Date

If you read my weekly wrap-up, you already know that last week was pretty bananas. But I didn't tell you about Friday night yet. (Although you already know a bit about it if you're a Facebook fan).

Jun 22, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 6/16/13 - 6/22/13

What a week! It started with Fathers' Day, of course. We went to Funspot in New Hampshire. If you've seen the documentary "The King of Kong" (and you should, even if you give zero fucks about video games), then you'll recognize it. That's where the end takes place. Funspot is the largest arcade in the world! The top floor is all classic games, and they even play 80's music. I got the #7 top score on Tetris despite the fact that I hadn't played in at least a decade. Because I am just that awesome.

Jun 21, 2013

About the Boy (as told by himself)

Remember on Tuesday, when the boy and I were featured on Parenting. Illustrated With Crappy Pictures, and it was the best thing that ever happened to my blog? Well, Part Two is up, and Amber wants us all to interview our kids about themselves. She came up with the best questions; I just had to try them all.

Jun 20, 2013

How to sneak backstage

You may not guess it, what with my demure looks and understated demeanor, but I used to be pretty wild in my younger days. Back in 2008, a local radio station sponsored a free outdoor concert in Boston. The English Beat and Cake were playing. My husband and I love them. Just seeing them wouldn't cut it; we needed to meet them. Here's how we did it.

Step one: Get drunk.
Drinking is great for boosting your confidence and making you feel all loosey-goosey. If you're going to undertake a covert operation, you can't be nervous. After getting lost in Chinatown for an hour, we asked a cop for directions to a liquor store (I watch Law & Order; every cop keeps a flask in their desk). The officer served and protected us by directing us to the least sketchy liquor store in the area. We bought a pint of rum, then hit McDonald's for two Cokes.

Step two: Make an entrance.
We showed up at the concert just as The English Beat finished. Damn. Some fans were leaving, and others took advantage of the intermission, so we got a prime spot up front. I'm not going to bother telling you about the concert itself, because you don't care. I'll just tell you that it was great, and I did not win a tree (yes, that's a thing that Cake does).

Step three: Formulate a plan.
During the last song, we began to scope out our target. There's no backstage area, as it's an outdoor venue, but the area behind the stage was cordoned off. There was a big gap in the metal barriers. No gate. No rope. Just a six-foot wide space that anyone could walk through. There was one gentleman "guarding" the entrance, and by that I mean he was standing thirty feet away, texting. Perfect.

Step four: Blend in.
Running through the barriers would obviously call attention to us, as would tiptoeing in, cartoon style. So I asked my drunk self, "How would you act if you were supposed to be here?" We strolled up confidently. I lit a cigarette as I breached the barriers, then turned to the guard and gave him a courteous nod. He nodded back. Success! As we passed the craft services table, we each grabbed a bottle of weird hippie soda. Only invited guests would have those, right?

Step five: Get what you came for and get out.
We leaned against a wall, looking casual, until I spotted the lead singer. "John!" I called to him, hand extended. "Great show!" Still blending, still blending. We chatted for a bit. We asked if he'd mind posing for a photo. His friend graciously offered to take it. We posed, thanked them, and high-tailed it out of there before someone asked us who the hell we were and how we got in.

Once we were far enough away, I pulled out my phone. Remember, this was waaay back in 2008, when only 80% of the population owned camera phones. Sure, my phone literally could not have been easier to operate, but somehow, this guy had screwed it up. We had no picture.

But at least we have the memory.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.

Jun 19, 2013

The Brownie Phenomenon

Do you like brownies? Do you want free brownies? Like, all the brownies? I have a trick for you.

Jun 18, 2013

My Son and I Are Crappy! (it's a good thing)

Last Fathers' Day, I interviewed my son about his father and typed it all up in a card for my husband. I printed a picture of Rick and Carl Grimes from "The Walking Dead" on the front, because my family is fun like that.

He loved it. He still has it hanging up at work a year later, and he gets compliments from coworkers on it all the time.

About a month later, I decided my blog should have an "About Me" page, but I didn't know what to write. So I asked my son to write it for me, and I turned it into its own post.

Jun 15, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 6/9/13 - 6/15/13

I've had another bout of writer's block this week. I still managed to bang out a couple of posts for you, though.

Jun 14, 2013

In Case of Accidental Caillou Ingestion...

You know when you're watching the DVR (or On Demand, or a DVD, or playing video games) and you switch back to live TV, and it's on the channel you last recorded? And how sometimes that sucks?

The other day, after watching cartoons, the TV treated my son to a five-second scene from "Fight Club" before I jumped on the remote and changed it. Luckily, it was the one scene from the movie that wasn't completely inappropriate. Unfortunately, now he keeps asking me what a "moosey" is. At least he's not asking me about "bitch tits."

Jun 12, 2013

Anniversary Extravaganza

Just a quick post to let you know why I've been neglecting you...

Tuesday was my wedding anniversary. And we celebrated for two days! We typically go on two date nights a year, so having two back to back was crazy. And it was very evident that I forgot how to behave in polite society.

On Monday, my husband and I had plans to go to a local food and beer festival. Then it rained. We already secured a babysitter, so we didn't want to waste the night. You may already know this if you follow me on Facebook, but I nixed the idea of dinner at The Melting Pot because I'll be damned if I'm going to pay someone $20 or $30 for the privilege of cooking my own entree.

We ended up going to Papa Razzi for dinner, which is like an upscale Olive Garden. I mispronounced the name of the wine I ordered, and then became so consumed with embarrassment that I forgot how my mouth works and dribbled water onto the table.

We did go to The Melting Pot for dessert. If you're not familiar, The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant. Our dessert was a pot of boiling chocolate.

We both ordered coffee drinks, which didn't work, and we got home at 10:30, feeling old and lame. Then, of course, I got my second wind when my husband went to sleep. Being nocturnal sucks.

Jun 8, 2013

Here's What You Missed This Week 6/2/13 - 6/8/13

Welcome to my inaugural weekly wrap-up. I meant to keep better track of things I liked around the internet this week. I failed. I do have a couple of things for you, and I promise to do better next week- unless nobody else writes anything interesting.

Jun 7, 2013

The Definitive Compendium of Blogging Advice (Volume One)

See what I did there? That's a joke.

But seriously, folks... I have some advice for you. True, I'm not huge, and I've only been blogging for a couple of years now, but I've learned a thing or two. I'm part of a super secret group of bloggers which shall not be named, and some of the rookies have been posting questions lately. I realized I had quite a few answers. But even if you're not in my Super Secret Stonecutters Club, I still want to help you. Voila:

I couldn't let this go unnoticed.

I spotted this outside a high school yesterday. It doesn't even need a caption, right?

Jun 6, 2013

You Know What Would Be Awesome?

The world is imperfect. But together, I think we can fix it. This Theme Thursday, I'm calling on all of you to tell me what's missing from the world. Things that somebody should hurry up and invent, already. Here's my list...

Expandable cars

They’d work like Legos. If you’re going to work, just take the front seat. Driving with the family? Add a backseat or two. It would also come with standard and extra-large trunks, for groceries or IKEA.

The Coldrowave

Makes things instantly cold (or frozen).

Sound-proof forcefields

I’m sure lot of people would like these for their kids’ rooms. I’d encase my house in one, so I didn’t have to hear motorcycles, car alarms, swearing teens, screaming kids, or bouncing basketballs. I’m making it sound like I live in the ghetto, aren’t I? I don’t. Children and vehicles are loud in the suburbs, too.

Sunblock pills

I heard they have those in France. I don’t know if that’s true.

Permanent hair color

A pill, or maybe an injection, that alters your DNA so that your hair grows in whatever color you’d like. If they could somehow make a separate one for eyelashes and eyebrows, that would be nice, too.

Smart ray

For shooting stupid people, obviously. It would give them an instant I.Q. boost. Let’s say 10 points. And yes, it would hurt. A lot.

Universal block

You know how you can block someone on Facebook, but you can still run into them in the real world? Or you can stop following them on Twitter, but if your friend retweets them, you see it? This would take care of that. It would make the offending individual completely invisible. Maybe what I’m really looking for here is a hit man. I don’t know.

Mechanical uterus

You know why. And you want one, too.

Jun 3, 2013

My Grandfather's Legacy

My grandfather was a carpenter. Not by trade, but by design. He had a workshop in the basement. There was a rocking horse in my house when I was young, and I never knew which grandchild he'd originally built it for, but I knew that Grampa made it with love. He also built my sister a dollhouse.

My sister is 11 years older than me. Once she grew up and moved out, the dollhouse became mine. I loved that dollhouse. Even after I was way too old to be "playing" with it, I was buying new couches, re-flooring the kitchen... If grown men can have train sets, then 13-year-old girls can have dollhouses, right?

When my sister's daughter was two, she reclaimed her dollhouse to pass it down. Of course, I understood. It was hers, and it was a child's toy. But I was unhappy about it. Apparently, it showed, because my mother told Grampa, and he called me up and told me he was going to build me my own dollhouse. He even offered to let me design it.

Since I was a bad-ass 13-year-old, I designed it with closets and bathrooms so that I had spots to hide my cigarettes. He must have known. Why else would he not question a bathroom that opened to the side? Not only could you not see inside of it, you'd have to have very small hands to even reach inside. And Grampa was no dummy.

About a year later, at Christmas, he caught me on my way out the door and pulled me aside. He asked me if I was going outside to smoke. I dreaded the lecture I was sure to get, but I told him the truth. "Wait right here," he said. He returned with one of those little aluminum trays that frozen chicken pot pie comes in and handed it to me. He led me down to the basement and said, "I used to smoke a cigarette now and then," and left. That was it. No judgement.

Nine years later, at his funeral, I heard some great stories about him. Apparently, his next-door neighbor had been trying to grow tomatoes. Every day, she'd go out and check her plants, so disappointed that they'd yet to yield results. So one day, he bought some ripe on-the-vine tomatoes and laid them carefully at the base of her tomato plant. I don't know if she ever figured it out.

My favorite story was also vegetable-related. It seems that in another life, he'd been a door-to-door salesman. You know the type, back in the 40's or 50's, they'd try to sell the lady of the house a vacuum or a feather duster or something like that. It seems that when Grampa was making his rounds, he'd carry carrot seeds in his pocket. If a customer left him alone, or even turned her back on him for a moment, he'd poke a couple of those seeds into the soil of her potted plants. Just for the thrill of imagining that someday, she'd see a little greenery sprouting up from the dirt, pluck it, and discover a carrot.

It's now been 11 years since Grampa died. My aunt just moved, and my mother and their other sister have been clearing out her house before it sells. My mom texted me that my dollhouse had somehow ended up in my aunt's attic. My husband and I drove down the very next day to retrieve it. I was giddy with anticipation. What a fun project this could be for my son and me! We could wire it for electricity and install tiny little chandeliers...

As we were carrying the dollhouse down the narrow attic stairs, the back half of the roof caught on the railing and popped off. No big deal; it was all one piece, and we had a hammer at home. But when we got to the bottom of the stairs and the light hit it, I almost dropped it. Look what was inside the roof:

Sorry, I love you guys and all, but my maiden name
and my mother's maiden name just feels like a bit much.

He had no way of knowing that the roof would pop off when it was randomly caught on a railing twenty years later (to the month!). He wrote that, and had no idea if anyone would ever see it again. But I did. I just stood there, slack-jawed, and my husband told me matter-of-factly, "That's your carrot."

I've always admired that he could do that. Send a message in a bottle, with no expectation of ever enjoying the results. Recently, I was writing up the story of the time that I was arrested and spent the night in jail (don't worry; I was innocent). When I was in jail, I got so bored sitting in that cell, I made tiny papier-mâché animals out of spit and toilet paper, and hid them around the cell for future prisoners to discover. That's when I realized that I'd inherited Grampa's gift.

Do me a favor. Sometime soon, leave a surprise for someone. Tape a dollar under a park bench. Paint a beautiful picture on a rock, and leave it in a park. You'll never get the joy of knowing that someone found it, and it made them smile, but isn't just the thought of it enough? I think so. And so did Grampa.