Category Archives: I think

Pink stuff, plastic stuff, butt stuff, and Penny stuff.

Hey, so did you know that I spend a lot of time reading baby forums? I wasn’t sure if I ever told you that. I mostly just read in law stories, because parents of new babies have the best and most insane stories to offer, but I come across other ridiculous stuff on the regular as well.

So let me ask you about this one: What’s with ladies who are having girl babies who manage to work into every conversation some point about how they won’t be buying their daughter anything pink, they hate princess stuff, their stupid mother in law keeps buying DRESSES for her baby GIRL, and it’s all so awful, and there will NEVER be ANY of that pink or girly stuff around HER baby because she doesn’t want her daughter to have girly stuff?

Which, I guess, is kind of fine, but you never hear anyone going, “My mother in law keeps buying PANTS for my SON! Doesn’t she know I don’t want any of that PANTS CRAP in my house? And get this – a blue onesie! BLUE! I’m sorry, we’re just not doing that. Nope. I don’t want any of that boy-y shit for MY son.”

Nope. It’s only ever against the girl stuff. And okay, I know there are a couple of people out there who deliberately bought gender neutral EVERYTHING for whatever sex baby they were having for some kind of deep reason, but if that was you, you need to understand that you’re the exception, not the rule, and that this is not about you.

In fact, Internet, the Internet would be a much nicer place if people could recognize when they were an exception

“No, ACTUALLY, I hate Ice Ice Baby, so your offhand comment that everyone loves Ice Ice Baby, a comment composed exactly .05% of this entire blog post , is completely wrong, and even though you made some very excellent points further down the post, I didn’t read them, because I needed to come to the comment section IMMEDIATELY to let you know how wrong you are, because I don’t understand that you made a pretty inconsequential generalization and feel you MUST BE INFORMED that not only is your statement not correct 100% of the time, but I, in fact, am one of the VERY PEOPLE to which it does not apply!!”

and not the rule

“You know, you’re right, french fries do have a pretty universal deliciousness acceptance rate.”

Anyway, Internet. Exceptions and rules. Figure out which one you are and stop shitting on people’s days.

So, right. The vociferous refusal to buy pink, girly stuff for girl babies. (There is a post here on Mommy Interrupted discussing the specific implications of little girls being exposed to a sort of “princess culture” which I think is a different thing entirely, important to discuss and outside the scope of what I am bitching about right now, but available to you if you’re interested in a good read about the topic and have opinions! To share!) I would get it more, I think, if the same thing happened for boy babies, the refusal to have anything blue or any trucks or what have you.

I don’t see why it’s bad or wrong or somehow objectionable (even for the few people that make an issue of it) for your little girl to wear little girl clothes and play with little girl toys. I’m not saying you should PAINT the kid pink or something, but… she is a girl. So why so determined to strip away anything “girly?” I think you’re sending more of a harmful message about “girly” things being shameful than a powerful message about whatever you think you’re sending a powerful message about.

I have no conclusion to this.

*****

Kind of related? People who buy their kid 6 of those wooden toys and nothing else, not because they want to live some kind of Montessori lifestyle with their baby, but because they don’t want that plastic crap all over their house. I think their baby boys also wear ties and sweater vests 100% of the time.

It kind of goes with the whole thing that people are afraid of other people thinking that they’re different now that they have a kid. I have seen that a lot with blogging and with my own blog – Oh, so and so has changed since she had a baby, it’s just awful.

OF COURSE SHE CHANGED, SHE HAD A BABY.

Except no, it’s not really changing, I don’t think. I think you’re the same, but you’re living a different life. I mean, what if you won a bajillion dollars in the lottery? I don’t think it would fundamentally change you, as a person, but you wouldn’t be living the same life any more and you’d probably conduct yourself differently in a lot of aspects of your life. I mean, you could try REALLY HARD to keep everything EXACTLY THE SAME, but I don’t think it would be possible.

(“Actually, I’d keep everything exactly the same!” See above re: exceptions and rules. Jerk.)

Having a baby doesn’t make you a different person, it makes you the same person living a different life. Why would you even want to keep everything exactly the same and as indistinguishable from pre-baby life as possible? You’re still the same person. There’s nothing to be scared of about living a different life. It’s a good thing.

*****

Hey, want to pretend for a second you’re interested in the diapers I bought yesterday because, okay, forget the charade that I buy them for Penny, I was having a bad day and wanted them.

Pictures from Nala’s Fluffy Bums

Actually, I only bought the top one yesterday, but the pirate one became available this morning, and my eyes were still all blurry, and these diapers are SO hard to get, and Penny already has two OTHER pirate diapers, which everyone knows is a perfect justification for buying a third of ANYTHING, because now it’s a COLLECTION.

These diapers are all-in-twos, or AI2s, which means that they have two pieces – a shell and a soaker, and the soaker usually snaps in to the diaper. The soaker is the absorbent piece. This is different from all-in-ones (AIOs) because in those, the soaker is sewn inside the diaper. It is different from what is called a fitted diaper, which can be constructed in the same way as AI2s or AIOs, but does not contain a waterproof layer, so require a waterproof cover to be worn over them. And, of course, also different from pocket diapers, which are waterproof and have a pocket that you stuff with absorbent inserts.

Phil likes AIOs, because obviously they are the simplest to use, but they take for-ev-er to dry. Since the soakers in AI2s just snap in, and they don’t require any covering, I’m hoping he’ll like these. He’s always willing to do a diaper change, which is great, but he doesn’t have the same kind of memory as I do for which inserts work best in which pocket diapers, so I usually have to stuff a diaper for him to use anyway.

*****

Penny is closing in on four months old now, and we are dying to get her to laugh, but she seems to be channeling Mandy Moore’s Scrubs character.

“Penny! Penny! Hey, Penny! Poop!”

“That’s so funny.”

“Butts! Farts! Funny face.”

“That’s sooo funny.”

“Tickle! Chick-a chick-a chick-a chick-a TICKLE!”

“That’s so funny.

“GODDAMNIT BABY, LAUGH.”

“That’s so funny.”

She’s SO CLOSE to laughing that I’ve stopped trying to make her laugh when Phil isn’t here, so that he doesn’t miss it. Of course, this leads to the two of us hunched over her, making total assholes of ourselves, while she just stares and occasionally graces us with a goofy smile and an ALMOST LAUGH.

Seriously, we are making TOTAL ASSHOLES of ourselves.

*****

The picture for Penny’s birth announcements was taken when she was eight weeks old (oops), the actual announcements arrived when she was about 10 weeks old (oops) and the last of them went out when she was 14 weeks old (damn it).

This is what they look like:

I have a pile of them left (okay, and three left to send out, shut up). So, just like my incredibly large stack of lady-part ultrasound pictures (WHY did they think we not only needed to see it, but needed a labeled picture EVERY SINGLE WEEK?), I am left with a bunch of Penny paraphernalia that is useless, but not quite suitable for the trash.

I’m going to go hand them out on some sleazy street corner, I think, so when you get one, you look down, ready to pitch a flier for a strip club or bad comedy show right into the trash, and you’re like, “Whoa, a baby! That’s unexpected!” and then you throw it in the trash, and your day is just ever so slightly better, either from the unexpected baby OR from the one fewer strip club flier you are forced to gaze upon because you’re too polite to say “No, thanks!” to the flier people.

“Here, you throw this away.” — Mitch Hedberg

Opening up my head door

So, for reasons I don’t really feel like going into in a public area, it’s been a pretty stressful few weeks. Things were kind of tough here and there for a bit, and then Phil and I went on a little vacation out to Anaheim (we were originally going to Blizzcon, but sold the tickets and just had a nice vacation out there, staying with his aunt) and I feel a bit better now. Getting things back under control, at least. But over the few weeks that it’s been a little quiet around here, I’ve thought of some things I’d like to tell you about.

  • First of all, I was thinking today that I don’t really know enough people with an appreciation for Queen. I mean, everyone likes Queen, right? We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, etc. But I’d like to hear from some people who really like Queen and appreciate some of the less famous songs. There’s some really great stuff out there. What is your favorite under appreciated Queen song?
  • Secondly, I’ve got to say, this doesn’t even really make sense, but when I moved out here, I know I was leaving pretty much everything and everyone I know, and it was a bummer, but it hasn’t been bad. I love being out here with Phil and while I don’t have any real feelings one way or another on Arizona, I’d not mind being anywhere that he is. Since the engagement, however, it’s been a bit more difficult. Not that I need to be the center of attention or care to be, but when something major like that happens, you really realize that there’s no one here, at all. That’s been kind of a downer lately.
  • Thirdly, Ratshag left a diet soda in our car for me. I was totally going to sell it for a million dollars, but when we were going out yesterday, Phil, knowing that I don’t go anywhere without a diet soda, handed it to me from the fridge. And I drank it. There goes our future riches.
  • Fourthly, I really love webseries type shows. There’s Dr Horrible, of course, and I still think that LonelyGirl15 was one of the most creative and awesome and ambitious projects that has been done to date in terms of the webseries genre. Recently, and you can laugh if you want, I watched all of Sorority Forever, another webseries that had Jessica Rose (aka LonelyGirl15) in it, and I really enjoyed it. If there are any webseries type shows you watch, I would love to hear about them, especially if they’re along the lines of LG15 or Sorority Forever – kind of a mystery that unfolds as it goes along.
  • Fifthly, I’ve mentioned here in the past that I used to lead a Molten Core raid some years ago, and over the weekend, I got a chance to meet the main tank from that raid. He was in CA for Blizzcon, all the way from New Zealand. Phil and I had just been at Disney all day and were so exhausted, but I am very happy we didn’t pass up the chance to hang out with him for a bit, it was awesome.
  • Sixthly, someone recently commented and asked about my WoW playing. Phil and I hadn’t played at all in a very long time, and Phil even cancelled his account. Of course, as soon as it was cancelled, he got interested again. I’ve started playing again, too, but neither of us has touched our higher level characters. We have all our high toons over on Silvermoon, but we don’t have a guild over there, and I think I’ve realized that in order for the game to really hold any interest for me, I need a fun guild to hang around and chat with. So we’re trying to find a place with fun, friendly people who are willing to take on a couple of lowbies who really just like the social aspect and will not likely be raiding any time in the near future.
  • Seventhly, I’m leaving for Pennsylvania on Friday, to stay out there for 2 weeks. I haven’t seen my family since Februrary and I’m really excited to go somewhere where everything is familiar. I’m going out there to start the wedding planning process, though, so it might be a bit more stressful than I’d otherwise like.
  • Eighthly, did you know that I burn incense all day, every day, everywhere? Even in the bathroom or outside. I burned incense pretty frequently at my home in Maryland and I’ve realized that doing it here and walking into rooms that actually smell like home has done a LOT for making me feel more comfortable.
  • Ninethly, Phil and I went to the used bookstore last night and bought a bunch of stuff. I picked up a kid’s book I remember terrifying me years ago, and I’m really enjoying reading it again. There are a lot of books I read as a kid that I’d like to collect all over again. I remember getting so much more satisfaction and enjoyment out of books back then. Not that I don’t like books now, but they felt so much more epic and special. Stuff like Betty Ren Wright and Mary Downing Hahn and the hardcover Nancy Drew books and just tons of stuff. I also picked up the rest of the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card – I read the first one years ago. I also go a bunch of George R. R. Martin as well. I’ve been reading a lot of chick lit lately and I really just wanted to find some stuff that was seriously epic and immersive.
  • Tenthly, YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHO WAS STANDING MERE FEET AWAY FROM ME IN THE LINE TO PICK UP BLIZZCON TICKETS AND I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT WAS HIM SO I DIDN’T GET TO UNLEASH MY FURY.

Things that would come in handy

Some day, I want a giant canister on the counter in my kitchen.

I’d put some sugar, a hammer, a couple of golf tees, maybe some superglue, definitely some duct tape, a bit of dog food, 16 ponytail holders, yeast, a cat toy, all those vacuum cleaner attachments that never seem to stay with the vacuum, a Paula Abdul cassette tape, rubber bands, some dead batteries, coffee grounds, all those extra buttons and thread that come with shirts and jackets, and some sunscreen.

And I would label it “SCRATCH.”

And then I would MAKE things from it.

It’s not even a THING!

Internet,

I have a lot of things I wanted to talk to you about today. The Alkaline Trio concert, for one. Or getting pulled over on the way home. Or the way a stray cat is giving Brinkley A. Spears (he’s feeling formal these days) (the A stands for Allen) a stress complex. Or the way my reluctance to drive is creeping up to a pathological condition that makes it near unbearable to even be IN a car. Or the fact that I’m pretty sure I’m actually a muppet (run like a muppet, talk like a muppet, dance like a muppet… I mean, I’m left with limited conclusions here, people).

But no. Today, I want to bring up a discussion I have had with some of you in the past – Ego, for one – that once again came up last night on the way home from the show.

During the show last night, Matt Skiba announced that he had created a new drink. Vodka, Red Bull and blue Gatorade. He is calling it The Incredible Sulk.

Discussing this in the car on the way home, I mentioned to Phil that “blue” is a flavor that does not necessarily appeal to anyone over the age of six. And then the rant started.

Blue is not a FLAVOR, people. Oh, and don’t give me that Blue Raspberry crap. Do you even know what blue raspberry is? No, you don’t. Do you know why you don’t know? BECAUSE IT’S NOT EVEN A FLAVOR. There is no such thing as blue raspberry. It’s invented. INVENTED! Candy, popsicle and other sugary treat makers wanted a blue food, as blue is NOT REALLY NORMAL FOR FOOD and thus should appear to children.

Flavor Inventor: I’ve got something blue!
Flavor Tester: Ok, let me try. Hmmm…
Flavor Inventor: Well? What do you think? What does it taste like?
Flavor Tester: Uh… I don’t… actually… know? What are you calling it?
Flavor Inventor: Blue raspberry.
Flavor Tester: But… is there even any raspberry in this?
Flavor Inventor: No! But there’s blue!
Flavor Tester: WE’RE GONNA BE RICH!!!

Blue raspberry tastes neither like raspberries nor like blue. Can you even tell me right now what blue raspberry tastes like? NO! You can’t! Because you’ve been color-brainwashed by the candy companies! You have been trained to see blue flavored sugar products as blue raspberry and you don’t even actually know what blue raspberry tastes like! IT DOESN’T NEED TO HAVE A SPECIFIC TASTE. JUST NEEDS TO BE BLUE.

You: Oh, I think I’ll have a sno cone.
Sno Cone Guy: Ok, what kind? How about this blue one?
You: You mean blue raspberry? Ok. Nomnomnomnomnom.

You: Oh, sour patch kids!
Candy Guy: Here, try a blue one.
You: Mmmm, blue raspberry.

You: Hey, look at that rock! It’s blue!
Rock Guy: Here, lick it!
You: Oooooh. Blue raspberry! And dirt! BLUE RASPBERRY dirt.

In conclusion, Internet, blue raspberry does not taste like raspberry or like blue. Do you know why? Because there’s no such thing as blue flavor. But your brain, your brain thinks there is now. You can be fed 14 different things, all called blue raspberry, and as long as they’re actually blue, you’ll probably never notice that NONE OF THEM TASTE THE SAME AT ALL.

BECAUSE BLUE RASPBERRY IS NOT EVEN A THING!

And that’s about the point where I stroked out.

Crap I am Sick of Hearing Celebrities Say

As I mentioned, Phil got me a ton of magazine subscriptions. Like anyone who reads 672 magazines a week, I have come to notice a bit of repetitiveness in celebrity stories and interviews. Here is my list of stuff I am sick to death of hearing celebrities say.

“I was such a nerd in high school.”

One, no, you probably weren’t. You just don’t understand being a “nerd” in the high school sense as related to the fact that now, people fall ass over tea kettle to kiss your damn feet. Basically, what you are saying when you utter this ridiculously trite phrase is that you were not AS popular in high school as you are now. Which makes sense. Were you a millionaire in high school? I don’t think so. And also, just quit it with the whole damn nerd line because you say it like we’re supposed to be surprised that a “nerd” made something of him or herself. Um, we’re not. But frankly, we are a bit surprised that you seem to be able to manage to walk and speak at the same time, dumbass.

“My spirituality is very important to me/I’m all about a mind-body-soul balance/Yoga helps me feel really centered.”

Do you even understand the words that are coming out of your mouth? Not only does a large portion of the American public seem to believe that celebrities exist on some kind of higher spiritual plane, but half of those celebrities actually seem to buy into their OWN hype. Newsflash: They still fart in their sleep.

“Oh, I have such terrible eating habits! I love chicken wings and pork rinds and eat them all the time.”

No, you don’t. I know you’d like to give the appearance that you’re not a high maintenance, constant exerciser counting every calorie, and that you’re somehow just FOOD MAGICAL, but guess what? The human body just doesn’t work that way. Period. I BET IF YOU WERE TRULY A NERD IN HIGH SCHOOL, YOU’D HAVE KNOWN THAT!

“I don’t have many female friends. I’ve always been just one of the guys.”

Yeah, you’re most likely a bitch with no friends except a bunch of men who want to sleep with you. Get over yourself. No woman truly likes other women as a whole. We’re terrible people. We all prefer to hang out with men. They’re simple and easy. But everyone woman knows the bitch flag when she sees it, and celebrities seem to love to wave it. ZERO female friends and no desire to find any? Bitch with an attention-whore complex. Only men fall for that “I’m just one of the guys!” shit. Women see right through you.

“I never played with barbies as a kid. I was more into He-Man and dirt!”

See above. You’re not the unique flower you so wish you were. But it’s nice to know that you were so special from such a young age. What bravery you displayed at 4 years old, playing with a Tonka truck instead of a Skipper doll. Why, you probably single handedly started the preschool gender revolution. VIVE LA UNISEX DIAPERS.

“I’m not into the whole Hollywood scene/hate having reporters following me/just want to live my life.”

Jack in the Box down the street is hiring.

“Oh, I never read my own press.”

Liar.

Hm, this got a bit more vitriolic than originally intended. But seriously! Come up with some new lines if you’re going to be in a different magazine every month.

How about refreshing honestly for a change?

“Yeah, I’m pretty good looking, so that’s opened a lot of doors for me. Sucks, though, because I’ve got to be extremely careful about what I eat and exercise a shit ton every single day, especially as I get past 30, because that’s how the human body actually works. It’s a grind, but I get paid a ton of money and everyone wants to be my friend. Not a bad life, overall.”

TJ Answers Your Burning Questions, Part 1

So, Phil signed me up for about 480 magazine subscriptions. They’re all over the place. I pull out coupons and recipes that I intend to use, but mostly, once you’ve read through it once, a magazine is pretty much done.

Something almost all magazines feature is an advice column of some kind or another, and every time I read one, I am struck by the fact that holy CRAP, I could do so much better than these people do. So, from now on, I have decided that whenever I come across an abject failure to dispense proper advice, I will come here and tell you how it should have been answered.

For my inaugural question, I found this gem in Women’s Health magazine:

My boyfriend and I have been together for about four years, and I’m ready to get married. Should I give him an ultimatum?

The answer given by the magazine writer was something along the lines of “Well… why don’t you just talk it out instead?” and was pretty much a paragraph of explaining why an ultimatum probably isn’t the best idea.

I could have saved them about two inches of magazine space with my answer.

Ahem.

WHAT ARE YOU, NEW? You’ve been with a guy for four years, and I assume because of that you’ve actually MET MEN throughout your life. IN WHAT WORLD DO YOU THINK AN ULTIMATUM IS A GOOD IDEA?

And you’d probably be a shrew of a wife, anyway!

Right. So, that’s my first attempt at correctly answering advice column letters.

In other news, since people got such a kick out of Phil and I both on BlogTV the other night, and since I seem to get a question on every single entry these days asking just what it is I do all day, I’ve decided to try a new experiment. Up at the top, you’ll see a new link to a live stream. It’s set up in the office to run constantly. Interesting? No, not really. An excellent time killer and procrastination tool? Definitely. It will mostly be always on, unless I need to throw something at Phil or something.

And as for BlogTV itself, we’ve promised to come back and do it again next Sunday evening, at about the same time (6pm Arizona time) for those who missed it, and to try to remember to record it for those who can’t make it.

The official blog of porcelain shrimp.

Dear Internet,

You know how there used to be a granola bar that was the official granola bar of the PGA tour? (If you didn’t – there is, trust me. I used to eat one for breakfast every morning).

And you know how in Olympic years, there’s all this ‘Official _________ of the 2008 Olympics’ or whatever?

I suppose they get a contract or a sponsorship and someone can call their product the official whatever of whatever.

Fine. I mean, I don’t really care if all the PGA golfers eat the same granola bars that I do. I enjoy them mightily without knowing that TIGER WOODS MAY ALSO BE EATING ONE AT THAT VERY SECOND!!

But one day I saw a commercial for Bally’s Total Fitness and they called themselves the “Official gym of Summer,” and it’s bothered me ever since.

Who do you think they had to contact for that? I mean, does Summer even have representation? An agent? A management team or a publicity firm?

If not, don’t you think Bally’s is being a little bold, speaking on behalf of Summer like that?

Personally, I would think that, if asked, Summer would say something like this to its publicity rep:

Gym? This GYM is saying it’s MY official gym? What the fuck! Look. No, seriously, list– LISTEN to me. I want you to call this Bally’s… call them RIGHT NOW and tell them to stop acting like I want ANYTHING at all to do with them. And then… then, OH this is really good… then when you’re done with that, I want you to send out a press release to the world at large. Have it say something like this. Get a pencil, I need you to get this down. To… gym members. No, No… TO EVERYONE. Re: The Official Gym of Summer. TAKE YOUR LAZY ASSES OUTSIDE. Thank you, Summer.

Doesn’t anyone else wonder this stuff?,
TJ