Friday, January 29, 2016

I Dream About the 70's

No seriously.......I do. Or at least I had a dream about something from the 70's.

Listen, Im going to warn you ahead of time that this is a really random post, but I cannot get it out of my head, so I HAVE to write it. That means your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read it. It's going to be odd, but if you are anywhere near my age, there might be some fun memories in here for you.

The other day I woke up and I was in those moments between sleep and totally awake where your whole dream is in front of you. But it seems that my whole dream was just an image. It was real and it was strong. And weird.

It was this...




See, weird. But I could see the damn thing clear as day. Nothing else, like me as a kid riding it or anything. Just this. Which made me wonder...they say your dreams are your minds way of sorting things out, or that they have all these meanings, but I fail to see how this fits with any of that shit. I don't really even know if I had one of these as a kid. I don't remember having one, but I remember them like it was yesterday, so maybe a friend had one? I don't know. 

Anyway, decided when I got up that I had to google this damn thing and get a look at one. Try to guess what you have to type in google to find this? No freaking idea since it never worked. I tried "yellow bouncy horse," "rubber ball bouncy horse" "horse with handles on its head that you bounce on," none of it worked. In desperation I hit google images and typed in "toys from the 1970's" and that is where the fun began!

Remember this???



These damn things were everywhere! And they were impossible. Im pretty sure that the person in this picture opened the top flap thing where you could fill it with water and arranged the rings on the posts because it could not be done! They would just waft around in the water annoying the shit out of you until you found something else to do.

And then there's this...


I seriously almost died when I saw this. My brother and my cousin both had them and we used to play them all the time. Kids today would not understand the concept of having a handheld device that only played one game, but they don't know what they are missing. You only had three guys, yourself and 2 defenders. Everyone was exactly the same, a little dash. And for some reason you had to run the field two or three times to get a touchdown! I distinctly recall the stadium shape on the thing too. Good times.

There were also little kids toys that came up...


Why was this a thing? I totally remember dragging it around and the eyes rolling back in its phone-head. I'm pretty sure they don't sell it anymore because the string you drug it by is now considered a choking hazard.


You can still get these things and they are as annoying as they ever were. They have been redesigned somewhat over the years which is too bad. I remember them just like this, with the yellowing on the popper part because the damn thing has been hanging around so long!


And the Sea Monkeys! Oh my God, who didn't have Sea Monkeys? And what the hell were they? I think they were plankton or krill or something. But remember the excitement when you saw this ridiculous ad with these people/monkey/alien/sea horse/things lounging around and you really thought you were getting something special? Liars. And what the hell is that shit about "THEY CAN EVEN BE 'TRAINED'?" This was obviously before truth in advertising laws were written.

And in the end, there it was. I even recalled the etching on the sides. I remember it being a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be and my legs being too long for it, which is pretty impressive since I'm short. I remember the inflation tube on the front and the impossibility of ever actually bouncing on it like kids in the commercials. I remember constantly falling over and being really disappointed in it.

I just don't remember owning one or why I dreamed about it. 

But whatever....it was a really fun way to waste a morning on google!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

What's With All The Lights?

I am going to preface what you are about to read by clearly stating that I am not a person who has trouble sleeping. I can sleep in hotels, on air mattresses, in a car if I need to. Me and sleep, we are besties. We go way back. By the time you are done reading this you might disagree, but I swear to you, I am not a picky sleeper. I do however have a problem in my bedroom right now that is starting to get on my nerves and make it hard for me to fall asleep. There is too much light. Again, I'm not picky - it doesn't have to be pitch dark for me to sleep at all, but my current conditions have gotten a little out of hand. 

It started with the fact that my bedroom faces the street and there is a street light in our driveway. Its a very bright street light. I went to Target and purchased some black-out curtains, thinking that would solve the problem. Ha! Turns out that black-out curtains only black things out if they are black. The beige ones that I purchased are more like "shady curtains" or something.

**Side note--Target, if you are going to market something as a "black-out" curtain, it's really on you to make sure it actually does that. Otherwise, rename it and be accurate. Not cool.

Have you ever seen curtains that are actually black? They are hideous. Seriously, I'm not some 15 year old emo goth chick. I have no use for ugly ass black curtains.

So I did the next logical thing and called the city. They came out and nicely installed a shade on the light, which is more like a big, nasty metal box, but whatever. It's not like I spend a lot of time looking at the street light anyway.

Problem solved, yes? No.

Well, the outdoor light problem is solved. But that just served to emphasize what had obviously been escaping me for some time. 

My bedroom itself has enough lights glowing in it to land a freaking airplane. So, as I laid in bed one night, I looked around and determined that all these technological advancements I am living with are killing me.

Start with my light switches. One one each wall on either side of my bed and they have dimmers on them. In some corporate design studio sits some dipshit who decided that if your lights are off, you will never be able to find your light switches again and you will be destined to live a life of total darkness and despair which you can only be saved from by having lights on the switches that light up ALL THE TIME. Never mind the fact that since the invention of electricity people have been able to find the switches in the dark, this is progress people! And the best part is that they are two different types of dimmers, so one lights up orange and one lights up green.

I do not have these damn things (thank you Jesus) but you get the idea. 

Then there are the alarm clocks. I had a perfectly good clock that cost $5 and lasted me for 15 years. It was digital, but of course back in the stone ages of the late 90's the lights were not nearly as bright as they are now. Now the clocks have LED lights in them. I believe these are the same red LED lights they put in laser pointers that blind incoming pilots. I'm pretty sure I could aim my clock at the sky and people on the space station would know what time it is. To solve this problem I use the remote control for my dimmer light switch (yes, I'm that freaking lazy) to cover my clock face. 

The Hubs has a clock too though.

**Side Note #2 -- This alarm clock serves no actual purpose for him because he wears earplugs. I have my clock to wake ME up when I want to get out of bed and he sets his clock to wake ME up so I CAN WAKE HIM UP  when he wants to get out of bed.

His clock is fancy and has loads of features, not one of which is ever used. It does however have the ability to dim the brightness of the clock. Even on the dimmest settings you can still read a book by it, so he has a piece of note paper taped over the top of it. God forbid you wake up in the night and wonder what time it is, because finding that out is quite an event.

Then there is the landline phone. I have one in my room because I have teenagers and if they need to call at night, I need to answer. It has a nice red light that lights up to tell me that no one is using it. Thanks phone, I no longer spend all my time wondering about that. We also have a nest thermostat, which lights up like some bright blue mind reading device if the dogs move the door on their way to pee.

And we haven't even gotten to the holy grail of blinking lights. My TV.

I know, I know, they say you aren't supposed to have a TV in your bedroom. You know what I say to that? You are not the boss of me Oprah! 

It might be OK if it were just the TV, but of course in order to have a TV in these days of progress you also have to have a multitude of extra boxes to run the damn thing. I have 5.

The TV has this wonderful new feature on it that someone who was envious of light up light switches must have invented. It's the "off light." All digital things have a light on them to let you know when they are on. It's usually green. Now they also come with lights on them to tell you when they are off. Because the absence of the green light wasn't enough? I'm pretty sure monkeys could figure that one out. So over our red off light we have taped a piece of electrical tape, which the frigging thing still shines through! 

The 5 boxes I have are a receiver, an apple TV box, a DirecTV box, a DVD player and some sort of splitter thing to plug all the rest of the shit into.

Let me just say now that I wish to thank Apple and Sony because the Apple TV and the DVD player DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE LIGHT ON THEM WHEN THEY ARE OFF. 

DirecTV however has taken it upon themselves to make up for this oversight. That thing has lights all over it including a blue eternally lit logo on the front. But the very best part of it is the fact that when you turn it off, this bright light turns on and shines OUT THE BACK OF THE FUCKING THING! I am not even kidding. I guess this is so that once you have confirmed that your TV and lights are off and no one is using the phone you can go check the connection of your cables in the total darkness.

**Side Note #3 -- Really DirecTV? I'm dying to know how this meeting went. Who suggested this and how did they manage to convince the rest of you it was a good idea? Was marijuana involved?

DirecTV main box. Why all the lights????

DirecTV genie...designed for bedrooms--why all the freaking lights? And this is from the front.

In order to fix this, we randomly throw something over the box, usually a dirty sock from the hamper or something. I am not sure this is safe, but I need some rest.

The splitter and the receiver are in a class of their own. The splitter has lights for every single port on it. Brilliant blue ones that are now currently covered by a tan handkerchief that came from God knows where, because I have exactly ZERO use for those lights EVER. The receiver also lights up when it is off, but the light is where you need to aim the remote when it is on, so if we cover it, then we will have to constantly uncover it to use it, then recover it again, etc., and I can barely remember to feed my kids dinner, so that's obviously not a good plan. If I sleep on just one pillow though my head is low enough that the footboard of the bed blocks it, so that's my solution.

Add to this the MacBook that The Hubs plugs in that beams this weird aurora borealis green light when its off and charging (and is then usually covered by another dirty sock) and the fact that for no apparent reason the computers in the next room like to spontaneously come out of "sleep mode" in the middle of the night on occasion and I would be hard pressed to recognize an alien invasion if it was happening on my bed! 

And just so you know, not one of these damn lights will stop me from stubbing my toes in the dark if the footstool is moved so much as two inches! 

I am not picky. Electronics engineers are just assholes. And for those of you keeping track, that is 2 dirty socks (or boxers if need be), one weird tan kerchief, one piece of electrical tape and one piece of notepaper. My bedroom is a designer dream of a "tranquil oasis" with a little bit of "garbage dump" sprinkled on top.



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Silver Pantyliners

**Any guys out there might want to skip this one**

**You were warned**


I was having breakfast with a friend the other day and we ended up having this conversation...

Dear Friend - "...we were on vacation, which was awful because I had my period. And in 2 weeks I'm going to Salt Lake and I should have my period then too."

Me -  "Why will you have it again in 2 weeks?"

DF  -"Oh, mine has shortened itself by a week. Now I get it every three weeks and it lasts for 7 days. It sucks because as soon as its over my period tracker app tells me its almost time to start again."

Me  -"Well, it should be over soon."

DF  -"When?"

Me  -" Um....around 50 I think, which is only a few more years."

DF - "Oh great, 50. Is that our consolation for getting old, the silver lining? No more periods?"

Look! It's an actual silver pantyliner! Ok, it's gray, but whatever...it is a micro-fleece, reusable
pantyliner. Right until this moment when I googled silver pantyliner I never even knew they made these!

Is it? Because if that the case, mine should have ended some time ago. I already have the wrinkles and the gray hair, so why the never ending cycle? At 47 it would be nearly impossible for me to get pregnant, so whats up with the every 28 days shit? I'm more regular now than I was at the height of my child bearing years and I'm not appreciating it.

Menopause seems to be a constantly changing phenomenon. When I was younger, we were told that it was a long, drawn out process that took years. Then we were told that when you didn't have your period for 1 year, you were "in menopause" and that's where you stayed until you died. Now, everyone is peri-menopausal for up to 10 YEARS, then when you don't have a period for 1 year, on that DAY ONLY, you are in menopause, and then the next day you are post-menopausal. I suspect before it's all over for me there will be another definition, which seems odd since this is something that has been occurring since the beginning of time, so you would think someone would have nailed it down by now. Hell, for all I know there could already be an all new version of the same old thing since I haven't checked on it in a few years.

What's worse is that we were lied to. We were made to believe that Aunt Flo would be increasing longer between visits, until she disappeared completely, and it was during this process that you would be like some crazy, hormonal, sweaty witch. 

They come in other colors too! It is SO weird. And kinda gross.

Turns out that she visits more often. And she visits with a vengeance. Like Dexter, or some Quentin Tarantino movie. And she stays longer. Aunt Flo is a raging bitch in her old age. 

The peri-menopausal stuff? That is the "up to" 10 YEARS that you are the hormonal lunatic who can get hot flashes, mood swings, tiredness, trouble sleeping and urination when you sneeze (like we don't have that already?) Also, they say "your waist can get bigger" which I believe is some sort of code for you are going to get fat. FOR 10 YEARS. It's like being a teenager all over again, including the acne. Except this time you have your own teenagers, a mortgage and important shit to worry about, so the bitchiness goes into overdrive. And let me repeat.....FOR 10 YEARS.

So lets review. You start around 12, finish around 50. Thats 38 years of periods. At one a month that is 456. Throw in a couple kids and some breastfeeding and thats maybe 425. At 5 days each that's 2125 days of your life, or roughly 5.8 years. 

Is it a coincidence that women outlive men by 5 to 6 years?

No, it isn't. Someone owes us all that time back.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Science of Parenthood






Today's post is a little bit different. I am part of the Amazing Blog Tour for the new book Science of Parenthood! I have read the book and it is hysterical! Don't have kids in your realm anymore? No worries! It also makes a perfect gift for baby showers or new parents! I just gave my sister-in-law (who is soon to give birth to my newest niece!) a copy for Christmas. Wondering what the book is all about? Just read the Q&A below and you will get a great feel for the humor of the authors, Jessica and Norine. It is one you won't want to miss!



What’s Science of Parenthood all about?

Science of Parenthood started nearly three years ago as an illustrated humor blog. We use fake math and science to “explain” the stuff that puzzles parents every day. Things like ... 
Why are broken cookies “ruined?”
Why does it matter what color the sippy cup is?
Why can’t you put the straw in the juice box without your kid having a melt down? 
Why will a kid whine-whine-whine for a toy, then lose all interest in that toy once they have it? 
Where the eff is my phone?  



We’ve come up with some pretty hilarious theories. 

Our book, Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations, is like our blog … but like our blog on STEROIDS! We utilized the blog to road test--perhaps we should say “field test”--material, and now the book contains the kinds of cartoons and writing that fans love to find at Science of Parenthood, along with all new cartoons, infographics, flowcharts pie charts and quizzes that we created just for the book. About 90 percent of the book is brand new material. 

Divided into four sections--biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics--the book lives in the chasm that exists between our collective hopes and dreams and expectations of what parenting will be like … and the brutal, slap-you-upside-the-head reality of what parenting actually is. We cover all aspects of pregnancy, birth and the hilarious frustrations that come with early childhood (tantrums, picky eating, diaper blowouts, illness, sleep issues, play dates, toy creep, homework battles and encounters with crazy parents (not you, of course, we mean other parents). And you know what? You don’t even need to be a scientist to “get” it.  

Our goal is just to make parents laugh. Because when you’re a parent, you NEED to laugh. Humor is a survival tool. After your tot has gotten the top off a jar of Vaseline and smeared every surface within reach--as happened to our friend Gail--or tried to “help” you paint a room and ended up covered in blue paint--as happened to Norine’s sister Shari--you have to laugh. Or you’ll end up sobbing. Or wearing one of those fancy white jackets that buckles up in the back.




Is any of the book autobiographical?

Pretty much all of the book reflects through our experiences as parents. Take the piece “Experimental Gastronomy: A Study in Potatoes” from the Chemistry section. It’s written like a scientific paper about an experiment in which a researcher tries to determine if a preschooler who likes French fries will eat mashed potatoes. Raise your hand if you can hypothesize the outcome (see what we did there?) The piece is completely based on Norine’s inability to get her five-year-old, who loves fries, to even taste mashed potatoes. Says Norine: “I tried everything! I even offered him extra chocolate for dessert, and he still refused to take even one tiny nibble.”  


Why science? Are either of you scientists?

Not at all. We’re moms dealing with the same kind of crazy stuff everyone else is. Science just makes a great metaphor for the frustration, exasperation and humiliation that comes with everyday parenting. Think about Einstein and how he explained his theory of relativity: “Sit on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour; sit with a pretty girl with an hour and it feels like a minute. That’s relativity.” Well, that’s parenthood too. One minute you’ve got a newborn covered in goo and then next, you’re watching teary-eyed as they skip into kindergarten without even a backward glance or a kiss goodbye. And yet, when you’re into your third hour of Candy Land on a rainy day, time seems to stand still. (If you haven’t played Candy Land with your toddler yet, trust us on this. The scars never really heal.)


Where did you get the idea for Science of Parenthood?

Our “eureka” moment came when Norine’s son, Fletcher, came home from school talking about one of Newton’s laws of force and motion: An object at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an external force. 

Says Norine: “That instantly reminded me of Fletcher with his video games. He’d sit on the couch and play games all day if I didn’t confiscate the iPad. I jotted down, Newton’s First Law of Parenting: A child at rest will remain at rest until you want your iPad back. Later, I posted that on Facebook. It got a good response, so I started posting other parenting observations and giving them a math or science twist, like Sleep Geometry Theorem: A child will always sleep perpendicular to any adult laying next to them. Both of these are fan favorites and two of the very few cartoons we pulled from the blog to include in the book.

“As a writer, I’m always looking for new ways to tell stories. And in that eureka moment, it struck me that math and science make fantastic metaphors for telling the universal stories of parenting. Like scientists, we parents are always fumbling in the dark, searching for answers, wondering if we’re on the right track and second-guessing our methods. And because a picture is still worth a thousand words, I knew that these science-y quips would be a lot more popular on social media if they were illustrated. So I called Jessica and asked if she wanted to illustrate a book of these funny observations. 

“Jessica was the one who saw that Science of Parenthood could be much bigger than a single book. She saw the potential for a blog and a social media presence and ancillary products. She quickly secured a domain name for us and created a Facebook page and Twitter feed. She began illustrating the observations I had already banked. Two weeks later, we debuted on Facebook; a week after that we rolled out the blog. Now we’re three years in, and along with Science of Parenthood, the book, we have mugs and magnets and posters featuring our images. Earlier this year we published two collections of humorous parenting tweets—The Big Book of Parenting Tweets and The Bigger Book of Parenting 
Tweets.  




Where can readers find Science of Parenthood?

Science of Parenthood is available for pre-order as a soft-cover and e-book on Amazon right now. (http://amzn.to/1DcVllh). When it’s released November 17th, readers will be able to find it on Amazon and in bookstores. 

And you can always find Science of Parenthood on Facebook (www.facebook.com/scienceofparenthood), Twitter (www.twitter.com/sciofparenthood), Pinterest (www.pinterest/sciofparenthood) and Instagram (www.Instagram.com/scienceofparenthood). 


About The Authors 

Norine is the primary writer for Science of Parenthood, the blog, and Science of Parenthood,the book. A longtime freelance magazine writer, Norine’s articles have appeared in just about every women’s magazine you can buy at supermarket checkout as well as on The Huffington Post, Parenting.com, iVillage, Lifescript and Scary Mommy websites. Norine is the co-author of You Know He’s a Keeper…You Know He’s a Loser: Happy Endings and Horror Stories from Real Life Relationships (Perigee), Food Cures (Reader’s Digest) and a contributor to several humor anthologies, including Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding(Demeter Press). She lives with her husband and 9-year-old son in Orlando.



The daughter of famed New Yorker cartoonist Jack Ziegler, Jessica is Science of Parenthood’s co-creator, illustrator, web designer and contributing writer. In her “off hours,” Jessica is the director of social web design for VestorLogic and the writer/illustrator of StoryTots, a series of customizable children’s books. Her writing and illustration have been published on The Huffington Post, Vegas.comInThePowderRoom.com and in Las Vegas Life and Las Vegas Weekly. Jessica was named a 2014 Humor Voice of the Year by BlogHer/SheKnows Media. She lives with her husband and 11-year-old son in Denver.

Together Jessica and Norine published The Big Book of Parenting Tweets and The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets earlier in 2015.