Google Something Clever 2.0: May 2014

May 29, 2014

Ice Cream Truck

One day in the summer of 1996, my mother was babysitting my niece and nephew. She was five, he was almost three. I was a teenager, and I had a couple of friends over. The ice cream truck came, and we all ran out with our dollars.

The kids had a hard time decided what they wanted, so the driver turned off the engine. When we'd finally gotten our popsicles, the truck wouldn't start. The ice cream man (probably barely older than me) borrowed our cordless phone to call his supervisor.

The kids were so excited that the ice cream man was stuck at Gramma's house. My nephew took it upon himself to climb right onto the truck and started running back and forth inside. The poor ice cream man didn't know what to do, so he just stood there in the street while this crazed little toddler took over his truck.

I've never seen anyone so happy as this little boy who got to peer behind the curtain and actually see how an ice cream truck worked.

We lost him this week. He was 21, but in my memory, I think I'll keep him two and a half, running around in that ice cream truck.

May 22, 2014

Anti-Vaxxers Need to Stay the Hell Away From My Kid

I've mentioned before how I feel about anti-vaxxers. But as far as I know, I didn't change any minds, and the problem is only getting worse, so I'm going to bring it up again.

It's very hard for me not to rage about this. My son contracted chicken pox when he was ten months old, so I take this issue very personally. Someone knowingly exposed my infant to a potentially lethal virus. You can see why I'd get all mama-bear growly about it, right?

But I'm going to try something different. I'm going to try to talk to anti-vaxxers like they're regular people. Just moms and dads trying to do what's best for their kids. And I'm going to try to explain to them why they're wrong.

May 16, 2014

A Quick Word of Advice About Cake Decorating

So you know that thing, where it's your husband's birthday, and his favorite cake is Funfetti Boston Cream Pie, but your five-year-old insists that you need to make him a Legend of Zelda cake? So you figure you can just make your own stencil of the Triforce logo, and dust the ganache with confectioner's sugar?

May 15, 2014

I Took My Five-Year-Old to a Rock Concert

Oh, settle down. It wasn't just any concert. We took him to see the Aquabats. If you don't know the Aquabats, they're a band of crime fighting superheroes, and they're awesome. For the past two years, they've also had a kids' show on The Hub that is absolutely hilarious. You should check it out if you are between the ages of two and sixty-five. Also, if you're between the ages of two and thirteen, you really shouldn't be reading my blog, because sometimes I say swear-words.

Back to the story. Music is big in our family. The boy has awesome taste in music (how many preschoolers do you know who own Rancid or Black Sabbath on vinyl?), and we've always looked forward to the day when we could bring him to see his first live show. Since they usually start at bedtime, we figured it would be a while. Then we heard that the Aquabats were playing an all-ages show at a club in Boston at 6pm! Totally doable, right?

May 14, 2014

My Ass Doesn’t Compromise

I’m generally a frugal person. If you were to go through my refrigerator, you’d see the grocery store logo on at least half of the products in there. There are some things that you just don’t need to spend that much on. Other times, You Get What You Pay For™. I’ll never compromise on my Diet Mountain Dew (suck it, Surge!), my Purdue chicken, or my Chuck Taylor All Stars.

Sometimes, my cheapo opinions evolve. For example, I’ve finally realized that buying a shitty knife block every three or four years is probably more expensive than those fancy German knives in the long run, and cooking is actually much less of a chore when the knife isn’t slipping off of the onion and nicking my fingernails every time I cook.

I’ll never spend more than $25 for a shirt, though, because it will inevitably get a big grease stain on the belly before it ever goes out of fashion (yes, I’ve been eating on the couch, mother). I only buy purses at Target, because I get sick of the style and want a new one every three months. Get the hell out of here with your designer bags.

But there is one area where I have absolutely never strayed from top-quality, and that is my toilet paper. If you can’t even treat your own bum right, man, that ain’t livin’. I grew up on the very best toilet paper, the one with the cloud on it. They were eventually bought out by the one with the bear, which I have been purchasing since my early twenties.

Then, something awful happened. They changed their product. The roll was narrower. I get that. That’s a cost-cutting measure. Fine. But the paper itself changed. I can’t even articulate the difference, but I can tell you that it’s not the same, and the Rear Admiral is displeased. Especially since I’d just gotten a 1628-pack at the warehouse store. Into the trash can it went, and my quest began.

I tried the puppy one that everyone likes so much. Sandpaper, I tell you. Utter garbage. The one with the, um, blanket? Doesn’t absorb jack. I mean, I need to wash my hands twice after using it. The one with the baby? I’m pretty sure it’s reclaimed Chinese newspaper.

On to the store brands. I tried one, and it was close. Damn close. Not quite there, but it gave me hope. Tried another store. Son of a bitch, it’s the exact same paper in a different package! Right down to the quilted pattern. Turns out, all the store brands are the same.

So now what am I to do? I’ve tried every paper out there, and I hate them all. My poor, suffering backside can’t take much more of this trial-and-error. Do I need to install a bidet? Start using family cloths? Or do I just need to accept the fact that my caboose can no longer live in the manner to which it’s accustomed? Somebody stop me before I drop $5k on a Japanese robot toilet that sings to me while it washes my can.

This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room

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May 2, 2014

The Legend of Croakley J. Ribbits

Or, How I Managed to Complicate the Hell Out of a Simple Birthday Gift

It was the moment when found myself smuggling a tadpole into Stop & Shop that I realized that this would make a good blog post.

Let me back up.

On January 31st, 2013, my son turned four. He was gifted with a tadpole habitat, which came with an order form for a free tadpole by mail. The idea was that you order the tadpole, watch it grow into a frog, toss him in the woods or whatever, and congratulate yourself on learning some biology.