Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holiday Traditions

I grew up celebrating Easter, but we often we would attend a Seder with Dad's family in Philadelphia. Mostly I didn't understand anything that was happening during the Seder, and I'm not necessarily sure that I was alone. Poor Dad would often lead the Seder because he attended a Jewish high school after getting bounced from public school. He is a great speaker, he's a professor after all, but he looked like he wanted to be swallowed up by the high-pile white carpet in my Aunt Shirley and Uncle Harvey's apartment as he struggled to read the Hebrew. One of my younger cousins would have to ask the four questions and Dad would wipe the sweat from under his yarmulke while the attention was on someone else. When the Seder finished, my grandmother would always complain, "is that it? I remember it being longer," in a disappointed voice. "Nope, that's it," Dad would say quickly, closing the prayer book with a snap.

Then we would eat. The food is what I really remember best because it was so unappetizing to me. I didn't mind my grandmother's matzoh ball soup, but the plain matzoh was like eating cardboard and the gelatinous gefilte fish with the bright magenta horseradish looked too revolting for words. When my grandmother would remind us that we had to leave the door open for Elijah, I would wonder why she thought anyone would show up to eat the food. At some point, people began taking broad liberties with the menu and my aunt started making atomic chicken wings. This came in handy when Passover coincided with March Madness.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Funny Friday

This has been a big week for everyone on Facebook who had to figure out how to change their profile pictures to show their support for or opposition of gay marriage. First there was the regular equal sign:

Now we have all these different iterations...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A to Zzzzzzzzz

One of the perks of growing up in New Jersey is that when I took the Princeton Review SAT prep course, my teacher really went to Princeton. One night he came the class with a coffee so big that Mayor Bloomberg would slap it out of his hands and looking a little bit like he'd taken a shower fully clothed and then air-dried. He told us with darting eyes and nervous laughter that he'd been awake for three days studying for exams and that people once you'd been deprived of sleep for three days you were considered to be clinically insane. He then proceeded to teach us about analogies.

I'm pretty sure that my teacher was wrong (or else all medical students are insane) but I think about his assertion every time I have a particularly bad night of sleep. So, last night I went to bed around 10:45, leaving the K to watch Duck Dynasty and fall asleep on the couch. At some point the K came to bed, a fact of which I became aware when the sound of little feet in the room woke me up. It was the Baby.

Me: What's going on?
Baby: My woom is weally, weally dark, so I woke up.
Me: It's night. It's supposed to be dark.
Baby: But, it's scawy.
The K: I'll take you back upstairs.
Me: You have to get rest for your Easter egg hunt at school tomorrow. (I checked the clock; it was 2:13) Today. Whatever.

The K took her back to her room and came back to bed. I went back to sleep. At 5:15 the K's watch alarm went off. He turned it off in his sleep. At 5:30 the K's second alarm went off. He turned it off in his sleep. At 5:45 his third alarm went off. He shut it off and started snoring. I momentarily considered smothering him with a pillow, but decided against it. I cleared my throat and elbowed him in the side.

The K: What?
Me: You're snoring.
The K: Sorry.
Me: Do you have any more alarms set?
The K: No. I...
He was asleep before he even finished talking. Asshole. I lay in bed debating whether I should get up. I debated for so long that by the time I decided to stay in bed and sleep, my alarm went off. Curses!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Social Media Hack

One of my New Year's resolutions was to get better with using social media. Well, here we are approaching Easter and I'm still just using Facebook and Pinterest and I'm still a total Twitter-phobe. I think that part of the problem is that Twitter is harder to figure out what with its jargon and hashtags and RT business. Also, Twitter seems like urban sprawl to me. There's no there, there. You know what I mean? Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest seem more organized and visually easier to grasp. This is too bad because, let's face it, photography is not my strong suit and my kind of blog is probably best promoted by tweeting clever things, not by posting dark, blurry pictures of my children posing with the largest land-dwelling mammal that ever lived:

The Girl at the new Fernbank Museum extreme mammals exhibit.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Malfunctioning Wardrobe

If it hadn't rained this weekend, we would have participated in or watched a race, four soccer games, and a baseball game. Instead, we mostly stayed home and I spent waaaay too much money at Target on Saturday, and ordering items online to freshen up my summer wardrobe on Sunday. So, basically Mother Nature is responsible for my overspending. It better stop raining or I'll be wearing my cute clothes in a box on the street. Am I the only one who thinks that online shopping is the perfect rainy day activity? It sure beats the hell out of running, I can promise you that.

The only sport-related activity that we had scheduled for Saturday that wasn't cancelled was the Tour deCatur, which is a 5K and 1-mile fun run benefiting The Decatur Education Foundation. When we woke up on Saturday morning it was pouring rain, with some thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. The Boy was signed up to run the 1 mile with the K, but after assessing the weather situation he wanted out. The Girl was still enthusiastic about running the 5K with me and who am I to deny a child's dreams because of a slight risk of electrocution? Here we are before the race:

Since the picture is only of our tops, you can't see that I'm wearing my Lululemon capri leggings, despite the fact that they might be see-through. I figured that there wouldn't be that many people behind us so it really didn't matter. Here we are after the race:

Soaking wet doesn't really show up well in blurry iPhone selfies, but trust me when I say we were drenched. I don't think I've ever been fully dressed, with water running down my legs since, well, since the great Fanstasmic wash-out of February, 2013.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Funny Friday

March Madness has just gotten underway and I'll be pulling for Ole Miss, since Rutgers failed to get into the NCAA tournament for the 22nd year in a row. Things were easier for Rutgers back in 1767 when it was guaranteed a spot in the Elite Eight because it was one of the only eight colleges in the United States. Those were the good old days. Sure, the tri-cornered hats made it hard to see the basket. And sure, balls made of deerskin stuffed with hair were hard to dribble, but Rutgers was in the hunt! This week's Funny Friday is all about March Madness, but yet has very little to do with sports. Example:

To me the pattern is vaguely reminiscent of pants a certain type of New Jersey guy wore to the gym in the early 1990s. Oh, yes:

Bless you, Adidas for bringing back that pattern.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Phone Call with Dora the Explorer

How do you lose a pair of bright orange soccer shorts? Seriously. The Girl had to wear her "navy" soccer uniform on Saturday, which is a blue shirt, orange shorts, and blue socks. The shorts mysteriously disappeared sometime between their (alleged) placement in the laundry basket and the dryer. I's like to mention again that the shorts in question are bright orange and that since no one in the house went to Tennessee or Clemson, it's not like they're getting mixed up with the rest of our orange clothes.

Since I'm pretty much convinced at this point that Swiper the Fox from "Dora the Explorer" is behind the shorts caper, I pulled some strings and called up Dora, herself for some help. Here's how it went:

Me: Heeey, Dora.
Dora: Hola, soy Dora.
Me: Oh, yeah, sorry. Hola. Look, we're missing some orange soccer shorts and I think that Swiper might be responsible.
Dora: That sneaky fox is always trying to swipe our stuff. Did you try to say, "Swiper, no swiping," three times before he took them? For some reason that always stops him. Although, between you and me, there's no earthly reason for it to work.
Me: No, I didn't actually see him take them, which is kind of the problem.
Dora: Oh, I see. He's been seeking help for the kleptomania, you know. That whole episode when Santa put him on the naught list really shook him up.
Me: No, I didn't know. He always seems to be the same. You know, taking your stuff and throwing really far away. That must get really old after a while.
Dora: Preaching to the choir, Sister. It's just like every day, the same old shit. We have to go on some kind of mission, Map tells us where to go, and there are always two stops and then we get to our destination. The next day, it's pretty much the same deal.

Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Become Beach Glass

For what seems like the 200th weekend in a row, our major activity was watching the children play sports. Of course I also managed to log some hours at my part-time job as a maid, laundress, waitress, and unpaid slave laborer, but those activities hardly seem worth of mention. It would be like me telling you that I breathed a lot over the weekend.

The Boy had an early baseball game on Saturday morning and the biggest excitement off the field was when a foul ball sailed over the fence and hit a spectator right in the stomach. Luckily, he was fine. He happened to be texting at the time of the impact, and darned if he didn't just keep on texting. Here's a picture:

Obviously, I'm totally kidding because that guy is clearly not at a little league game. But you can check out some funny pictures of people who are texting at inopportune moments here. You'll probably want to look after you read my post because it's not all that funny and you might want to look at some Civil War reenactors texting General Lee.

The on field excitement happened when the Boy's team (White Sox) won the game in the last inning with two outs. Pardon me while I bore you with the details because they're kind of relevant to the post. When the last inning began, the White Sox were down two runs, but the top of the batting order was up. The lead off batter popped out. The second batter, Sam singled. The Boy was up third and he hit a grounder between first and second base. The first baseman got to base before the Boy and he was called out, but Sam advanced to second. Logan, the fourth batter, hit a double to drive in Sam, whose run tied the game. Brian was the final batter and he hit a single, but Logan managed to score and the White Sox won.

Yay, right? Well, not so much for the Boy who was beside himself for getting tagged out at first. The fact that his hit had advanced the tying run escaped his comprehension because he was so upset about getting out.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Funny Friday

Parents get blamed for a lot of stuff, and moms are a particularly popular target. For instance, the sales of Matchbox cars are on the decline and Mattel thinks it's because of mothers. According to Mattel, women don't understand cars the way they do action figures, which are essentially dolls, or blocks, which allow creative expression. Moms don't comprehend the benefits of playing with toy cars because they themselves "have never played with them," Matt Petersen, a Mattel vice president, told Bloomberg Businessweek. According to Mattel, cars can be used to teach boys all sorts of things, including math and science and moms aren't aware of these benefits.

Obviously, this is very sexist. Not as sexist perhaps as this video, but pretty sexist. In my personal experience, it's also just incorrect. The Boy loved his cars and I bought tons of them, so back up, Mattel. I kid you not that he slept with a garage full of cars in his crib for two years. Before he had cars, he would take a block (which is something I understand with my lady-brain) and run it up and down the floor, pretending that it was a car, which is why I bought him some real cars. As I've mentioned, I'm not terribly introspective about this sort of thing, so I didn't reflect on whether he'd derive some additional educational benefit from the cars past just playing with them. Similarly, I never reflected on what benefit the Baby would get from having a doll; she just wanted to play with one and that was good enough for me. 

Further, I think it's quite a leap to say that because moms didn't play with cars when they were children, they can't understand boys' interest in cars. I don't have a penis and never have, but that doesn't mean I don't understand a little boy being fascinated when he discovers his. When you finish with the mom-doesn't-understand-cars issue, Mattel, get on the mom-doesn't-understand-penises issue.

A common sentiment among little boys.

Now that you're caught up on current events (oh yeah, there's also a new Pope), the remainder of Funny Friday is devoted to jobs and hobbies that I wasn't aware existed.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Worst Lestat

A million years ago before vampires were teenaged virgins or southern slave owners, Anne Rice was the vampire authority. Her book, "Interview with the Vampire" and subsequent vampire books were hugely popular in the 1980s and 1990s. I was actually surprised to see that "Interview with the Vampire" was written in 1976 because it seemed much more contemporary when the film adaptation of the novel was eagerly anticipated in the early 1990s. There was much ado about the casting of the movie and Anne Rice initially publicly opposed the casting of Tom Cruise as the Vampire Lestat because she preferred Rutger Hauer in the role.

I don't know, I kind of buy Cruise as a member of a secret cult. 

I guess Rice isn't alone in connecting Hauer with vampire since he's played roles in quite a few vampire television shows and movies, as I just learned from his Wikipedia entry. Also, he's an AIDS activist and his grandson is a fashion model. Fascinating.

The controversy over Cruise's casting gave rise to a game that the K and some of his friends played in which they would ponder who would really make the worst Lestat. Sample conversation:

The K: Ernest Borgnine would make a terrible Lestat.
Friend: Yeah, he'd be bad. What about Joan Rivers? She would be a worse Lestat.
The K: She would be awful as Lestat, way worse than Tom Cruise. What about Alan Thicke?
Friend: The dad from "Growing Pains?" Horrible Lestat. What about Don Rickles?
The K: Don Rickles would be the worst Lestat.

So, you get the idea? The genius of this game is that it could be transferred to the casting of other high-profile parts. And not so high profile. Because when I saw the news that Joy Behar is leaving "The View" my immediate thought was not, "Hey, Megan McCain would be awesome on The View," like People Magazine did in its list of "10 People Who Should Co-Host The View." (Even though I do think Megan McCain would be fabulous on "The View" because she's kind of a hot mess and she and Elisabeth Hasselbeck would love/hate each other). My thought was, "Who would be the worst replacement co-host on 'The View'" because that's way funnier.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Best Obituary Ever

Okay, if you're friends with me on Facebook you saw that today's post passed away due to unknown causes, but most likely because of my inability to insert pictures properly on Blogger. In all honesty, this is probably for the best as it was a very boring post about how insane parents can be when they watch their kids playing sports. Who hasn't heard that tale a thousand times? The only good part was my confession that I have a competitive streak that's gotten me into trouble since I was a small child. The problem is that although I am highly competitive in sports, I am not coordinated or athletic in any manner. In addition, if I'm not good at something immediately I get very frustrated and give up. I also can't stand to practice, even if it means I might get better. Despite all of this, as a child I had a strange sense of entitlement that I should win, even deserved to win every sports-related thing I did, even though I had zero chance of doing so. I'm sure this all explains why I made it my mission (though I've only realized it in retrospect) to marry someone with athletic genes in order to spare my children this frustration. Now that I've relayed the high points (such as they are) of the post, you can stop crying about the loss. Oh wait, that's me and I'm not crying about losing the post, but rather about the time I wasted spent working on it.

My jumping off place for my original post was an article "recommended for you" by The New York Times. I can tell that my taste in articles is totally uncool because the "recommended for you" list never matches up with the "most emailed" list. The New York Times article-recommending algorithm has me pegged as a hypochondriac with some secondary interests in weight loss and obituaries. And, sadly, it might be right because, guys, I just read the best obituary and it was totally not even recommended by The Times!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Funny Friday

How did this shit happen? I just realized that the Girl and the Boy have no school on Monday and the Baby has no school on Friday. Why am I just realizing this? Also, daylight savings is this weekend? Even though I know that I am an adult and should be keeping track of these things, I feel very much entitled to a phone call or at least an email or text from someone important reminding me of these matters. What about Joe Biden? He's probably been furloughed and has some time on his hands and he'd probably even say something funny and vaguely inappropriate, sort of like this picture:

This is entitled "sexy Joe Biden picture." I think perhaps
"disturbing but fascinating Joe Biden picture" would be more accurate.
I'll admit it, I'm not sophisticated and I like a good Photoshop sight gag. That picture is particularly funny to me not because it's Sarah Palin's body, but because it looks like she's inexplicably wearing dark, shiny pantyhose. Is it support-hose? I'm not sure, but when I look at the picture, my legs start itching.

So, this week I'm sharing some funny pictures. Basically, I'm like the Pinterest humor boards only with fewer cats and pictures of the cast of the Harry Potter films. Here we go:

 Don't Call it a Q-Tip

The K came home with some Target brand cotton swabs the other day and the back of the packaging had some helpful pictures to demonstrate the uses of the swabs:

Is anyone else disturbed by the weird scale of the pictures? Based on the pictures, I concluded that good uses for Target cotton swabs are:

1. Cleaning the faucets in a doll house,
2. Cleaning your computer keyboard,
3. Removing eye makeup,
4. Serving utensil for mini-sized Cheeze-Whiz at a elf party, and
5. Brushing your child's hair after he's been shrunk to the size of a shot glass by Rick Moranis.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Al Gore and Anne Hathaway Walk into a Bar...

According to all the most reputable tabloids, the world is in hate with Anne Hathaway. By the end of awards season, she has used up all of the goodwill she built up dating that shyster David Schwimmer look-a-like who went to prison for stealing money from people who thought he knew the Pope. Remember the good old days when we didn't care about Anne Hathaway's personality and Snooki was causing drunken mischief in the bars of Seaside Heights, New Jersey? Well, those days are long gone and now we have this:

Snooki is beloved because she had a baby and lost a bunch of weight and Anne is in the doghouse because she didn't want to win the Oscar wearing the same dress as her "Les Miserables" co-star, Amanda Seyfried.

I read this article in which Anne Hathaway is compared and contrasted with Jennifer Lawrence, and the author concludes that we don't like Anne Hathaway because we are all "awkward" and "dorky" like Hathaway. We like Jennifer Lawrence because she's who we all aspire to be; cool and always ready with a joke and a snappy comeback. Of course one serious flaw in the logic is that one of these women fell down on her way to accept her Oscar, and it wasn't the awkward and dorky one.

But, there's definitely something about Hathaway that puts people's teeth on edge. I mean, here's a picture of her that appeared online:

What bad can you say? The girl's got cleaning supplies. But look at some of the comments:

First off, another myth busted: Not all the readers of US Weekly online are completely illiterate. Second, Anne Hathaway has some major public relation problems if people criticizing her for carrying a roll of Bounty and some spray cleaner. In my opinion, Anne Hathaway is suffering from the Al Gore phenomenon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's in a Name?

Remember when I told you about the guy in my college Creative Writing class who thought that the heel of the bread was called "the ass" because he came from a family that must have secretly hated bread? Well, the other thing that I learned in that class that had nothing to do with writing is that I have the wrong name. We were talking about naming fictional characters and our professor said that it was important to give characters names that suit them. "For example," he said, "there is someone in this class whose name does not suit her." I immediately raised my hand, "It's me, isn't it?" And it was totally me! We were supposed to devote some class time to renaming me, but it never happened. So, for twenty years I've been wondering what my class would have renamed me. My money's on Alabama Gypsy Rose.

Bless your heart, Alabama. Your daddy is named Shooter. It was inevitable.
Just so as not to jump before saying something nice about Shooter Jennings and Drea DeMatteo, my childhood would have been completely different without "The Dukes of Hazzard" and Shooter's dad, Waylon as the Balladeer. It's practically the reason that I now live in Georgia.

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to my home state with a great scene from "The Sopranos;" Christopher's intervention:

Drea's great as the doomed Adrianna, but I love Steve Van Zandt as Silvio: "Your hair was in the toilet water. Disgusting."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Funny Friday

There are some things that just make me do a quick rubbernecking move and say, "ex-squeeze me? A- baking powder?" (yes, I did just make a "Wayne's World" reference). This Funny Friday is devoted to those things that make you go, hmmmm (yes, I did just make a C+C Music Factory reference). Apparently it is sunny, cold, and 1992-ish in here today.

What does "squared-away" mean? Because...

This is opposite of what I think of as being squared-away
Sad face. Nick Nolte was apparently under the influence of GHB when he was arrested and that picture was taken. According to Wikipedia, Nolte said that he had, "been taking it for four or five years and I've never been raped." Another sad face.

Just so you won't have that image burned into your brain like that cat anus tattoo, I'll give you this:

Crazy fact: in 1972 Nick Nolte and Sigourney Weaver (yes, that's a blonde Sigourney Weaver sitting next to Nick on the driftwood) appeared in this advertisement for Clairol's "Summer Blonde" hair lightener. They look so happy and squared-away, don't they?