Google Something Clever 2.0: October 2013

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.