PIWTPITT & The Hubs Take Manhattan

Well, it's been close to 7 years since the last time I visited NYC.  It's been 10 years since we lived here and we were pleased to see that the city still smells the same - a combo of B.O., car exhaust, subway steam, ethnic food carts and garbage.  Mmmmmm.  Delish.

The Hubs and I arrived at LaGuardia (after flying over my old apartment building - I really don't miss living in the LGA flight path AND a block away from an extremely active firehouse) and caught the Super Shuttle into the city.

There are a couple of different bus/shuttle services you can grab at the airport, but we opted for the SS since they're the only ones who drop you directly at your hotel and silly us thought that might be faster.

Our SS driver took FOREVER to get us out of the airport.  He picked us up, no problem and went to the next terminal to pick up more people. He hopped out and told us he'd be right back.  Fifteen minutes later he still hadn't appeared again.  That's when I got out my phone and tweeted Super Shuttle:

 i am on the bus waiting. Let's roll. I am ready to hop on the nyc airporter.

Yeah, the NYC Airporter is the competition.  What do you know?  The driver was back in 3 minutes telling us that he was looking for the people who called in a reservation and to please be patient. 

I don't necessarily mean to use Twitter for evil, but come on, Super Shuttle.  We waited 15 minutes for the driver with no word and then we still didn't move for another 12 minutes after I tweeted you.  UN-acceptable.  I understand that people had a reservation (as did we), but if they can't have their asses on the curb waiting, they miss the bus.  It should not be the driver's responsibility to scour the airport looking for these losers.

On top of all our waiting, we were literally the last ones to get dropped off, which made no sense when you look at a map, but whatever.  I just took a scenic ride of Manhattan with the Hubs giving commentary to anyone who would listen.  "I worked in that building!" and  "Ooh, terrible food at that place." and "Cheap pizza!  99 cents a slice!  Do you think it's any good?"

I had a feeling we'd still have some snafus before we got to our hotel.  Sure enough, the people who held us up wanted to pay by credit card (as did we).  I told the Hubs, "Just watch, his credit card machine won't work and they'll have scramble for cash."  As I told him this, I dug in my wallet for cash.  "We are not waiting for him to get his shit together, when he drops us, we're paying in cash."

Sure enough, the driver swiped that couple's credit card easily 5 times.  Finally, they had to go into their hotel and change whatever foreign money they brought with them so that they could pay him.

I know what you're thinking, "Jen, why did you take this crappy Super Shuttle?  You should have taken the NYC Airporter with free on-board wifi."  I know, but the Airporter drops you at Grand Central Station and I'm glad we didn't catch that one, because I'm pretty sure I would have been hit in the head by falling facade debris when this shit for brains decided to try and take his semi truck on a road closed to semis and sent concrete chunks raining down on the sidewalk below.  I have that kind of luck.  Super Shuttle might have actually saved me from a massive brain injury.  Thank you, Super Shuttle??

Anyhoo, we missed the accident at Grand Central, but we did get to see this one outside of Rockefeller Center:

A bus will always win.
What do you think happens when a TLC car goes head to head with a bus?  Yeah, it loses.  Crunch.

This crash made me take a second look around and see where I was.  Outside 30 Rock, of course!  

I hung around for a while hoping Tina might happen by.  I'm guessing she saw me lurking around the door and went out the back.  Don't worry, Tina, tomorrow I'll be at Stage Deli all day.  Come have a sammie with me!

Tina, are you up there?

Waiting for Tina made me and the Hubs hungry so we decided to find some dinner.  We were really in the mood for our favorite pizza joint.

Sometimes the Hubs and I dream about this pizza.  Truly.

 And then we saw it.  

TGI Friday's - the place to woo your lady.

The site of our infamous first date.  TGI Friday's.  The Hubs was totally willing to split the bill with me again, but I forgot my overalls at home so it wouldn't be as classy this time.  

Instead we opted for pizza.  YUM! 

It's great to be back in NYC, but it's even nicer to be a visitor.

The Visitor Center had all kinds of business cards, I thought they might like some PIWTPITT ones too.  I put them in the NBC spot hoping that when Tina comes to replace them, she'll see my cards.

Allison Niemeyer - Another Mother of the Year

I read this news story today about two sisters who went into Wal-Mart and tried to shoplift around $55 worth of shit and got caught by security at the door.  When security asked them to come back, they dropped the bag holding their stolen goods and made a run for it.  Along with the bag, they left one of the sister's 1 year old son behind.

Police caught up to them later when they received a tip that the sisters were at a dance club and paged them regarding their car.  Yup, the girls clearly cared more about their vehicle than their son/nephew.

When I read stories like this my blood literally boils.  People like these two should be punched - literally.  We should round up a bunch of women who have infertility problems and put them in an arena with parents like this shit for brains and just let them have it.

I have so many friends and acquaintances who struggle daily with infertility and would do anything for a child and this fucking moron takes her infant on a shoplifting trip and abandons him and then goes dancing?!  Fuck you, you piece of trash, Allison Niemeyer.

It is people like this woman who convince me that there should be a test that people must take before being allowed to have children.  It's not a difficult test, but imagine how many fucking numbskulls it would weed out:

1.  Should you take your child to Wal-Mart to steal a bathing suit?

2.  If you are caught stealing a bathing suit from Wal-Mart should you abandon your child and make a run for it?

3.  Must children eat daily?

4.  Is it ever OK to lock a child in the closet/attic/basement/etc.?

5.  Should children know how to cook meth/perform a keg stand/smoke a bong?

6.  In your opinion was Casey Anthony a good mom?

Weekly Wrap Up 7.28.12

I am getting ready to head to BlogHer next week.  The Hubs and I are hitting NYC a couple days early.  Woohoo!!  I'm so excited for BlogHer.  It's going to be so much fun!  I'll be posting a bit sporadically on here, so be sure to follow me on Twitter where it's so much easier to update than Blogger or FB.

Top Read Posts This Week:

This Lady Who Thinks I'm Invisible - There were several different angles people took on this lady's behavior, but they boiled down to: bitch (probably), snob (definitely), socially awkward (I don't think so), jealousy (I doubt it) and why do I care (you know me, I can't stand to be ignored).

Kristen Stewart - Kristen cheated on Rob.  I had an opinion about it.

Open Letter to PR Reps Who Write to Me - I really did think about contacting the "Teen Mom" and asking for an interview, but I thought that was even too bitchy for me.  Would have been hilarious though.  Might just make up my own at some point. 

Cuz'n's Trip - Ozark Style - I went "glamping" with my cousin and my kids and we met some skunks.

Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies - Whaaaat?  This little bugger hasn't been in the top posts for months now, what gives?

New Feature on the Blog:  

PIWTPITT is now available for subscription on Amazon Kindle.  This is perfect for people who can't log in on their computers every day, but don't want to miss anything.  Do you read this blog on your Kindle?  Would you like to read this blog without the ads?  Would you like to receive the blog delivered wirelessly to your Kindle?  Then this feature is for you!  You can sign up and get 14 days for free and then if you like it, it's only 99 cents a month to subscribe.  If you sign up, please let me know and give me some feedback about it.

Message Board Update:  

Have you seen The Hubs' message post yet?  He's posting lots of funny pics.  If you're not looking for funny pictures, there are lots of other good topics on the board too or you can start your own.  Did you know that when you comment on the message boards a link to your newest blog post shows up?  That is a great way to find new readers for your blog and new blogs for you to read, so join the message boards today.  It's easy and fun.

New Posts for Babble This Week:

When Did Babysitters Become Nannies?

Best Selling Product at the PIWTPITT Store:

People I Want to Punch in the Throat Notepad.  Make a list and check it twice!

My Favorite Comments (and my Replies if Necessary):

Shared this with my DD who also hates the odd couple...she said she couldn't decide if you should buy the Twilight hair dryer because you're an extreme fan or because Twilight blows... on Kristen Stewart

Maybe that's why they squint so much...they both stink to high Heaven! Ick. That shit is gross. on Kristen Stewart

So is this the blogger version of the OAM? (The brag of being so successful disguised as a complaint?) I think we owe you a punch. on Open Letter to PR Reps Who Write to Me

Uhh...which part was a brag?  The "opportunity" to interview a "Teen Mom?"  Whatever.  You let me know your blog address and I'll be happy to send them over to you.  If I was going to do a brag disguised as a complaint I'd complain that Nordstrom's contacted me and asked me to try out all their shoes this year and I can only pick 10 pairs to keep.  What a pain in the ass!  Believe me, no one is bragging over here.  You'll KNOW when I brag, because I'll tell you.  

I think she is clearly intimidated. She has issues. Forget her. You are Jen from PIWTPITT, muthafucka! on This Lady Who Thinks I'm Invisible

Kristen Stewart

Kristen, Kristen, Kristen.  What can I say?  I've never been a fan of Kristen Stewart.  I've always thought she was a terrible actress who really only has one skill (squinting eyes and stuttering a bit and looking like she could suck the chrome off a bumper).  When she first came to my attention she had been cast as Bella Swan.  A terrible choice in my opinion. K-Stew was nothing like I imagined Bella.  When I watched the first Twilight movie I alternated between groaning in pain and laughing at the terrible acting, I mean squinting.  That is when I could take my eyes off the terrible make up job (am I the only who was bothered by how pink all the vampires were below the chin line??).

Now Kristen is all over the news because she cheated on Robert Pattinson and I'm ready to give you my opinion on their private lives:

1.  I realize Kristen is young and young people do stupid stuff and we shouldn't judge her and she we should let them all get through this privately and blah, blah, blah, but this is what happens when you decide you want to be a movie star.  When you're a movie star your private life is no longer private.

2.  I'm not sure I'm buying that Kristen cheated on anyone.  Let me explain.  I've always thought "Robsten" was a little too easy.  Let's face it, there are Twilight blow dryers out there.  This is a huge franchise about true, deep and once in (an eternal) lifetime love aimed squarely at young, impressionable teenage girls (and their mothers) and their wallets.  

How quaint is it that the stars just happened to hook up and fall madly in love?  I've never really bought it.  (Especially since at every photo op K-Stew rarely looks madly in love and almost always looks like she has something shoved up her ass.)  Maybe this "relationship" was carefully orchestrated by studios and agents and anyone else looking to make Twilight money.  Maybe both Rob and K-Stew have been having flings on the side when they're not on the red carpet and K-Stew just made the mistake of getting caught.

3.  To bolster my theory that the "Robsten" is fabricated, check out Kristen's apology.  I think Stephenie Meyer wrote it.  When have you ever seen Kristen say anything even remotely that emotional?  I think the studio and her agent sat her down and said, "We've got spin control working on this right now.  You are the highest paid actress in Hollywood right now.  I just bought a Ferrari.  This shit can NOT be happening.  We've got to fix this.  Stephenie just emailed us the apology we think you should go with:  My darling Rob, you are my sun and my moon. You are my one true North and I am so very sorry for hurting you. You are the last person on the planet I would ever want to injure.  You are my soul mate.  Please, Rob, forgive me.  I am lost without your love.  You are my Edward and I am your Bella."

A studio exec added, "And to my Twilight fans, remember, Bella always stayed pure and true to Edward and you can see that on the big screen this fall, see our website for details and where you can purchase your own commemorative wedding invitation."  

At that point I think K-Stew's agent threw up.  They did some quick edits and came up with what she released to People magazine:

"I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry." 

Still, quite a bit of emotion for that girl, don't you think?

4.  I am actually more disgusted with the director, Rupert Sanders.  (BTW, can you imagine saying, "Oooh, Rupert, yes, that feels good"???  Ick.)  I'm always irritated when married men cheat.  I'm also always irritated when OLD married men cheat with YOUNG women.  It's so fucking cliched.  Rupert has a lot more to lose than Kristen.  He has a wife of several years and a couple of kids.  You don't throw that shit away for a romp with a sour puss with a tight ass.

5.  I think it's funny that ANYONE thinks this dalliance will affect the upcoming Breaking Dawn movie.  Please, I am the perfect example.  I despise K-Stew and Rob in their roles.  They are nothing like I ever imagined Bella and Edward to be.  However, that has not stopped me from shelling out money repeatedly to go and watch them squint at one another.  The young fans will get over it by November and if anything they will just love Rob more since he's hurt now.

6.  I have read reports that Rob does not bathe as often as one might and he tends to smell.  If this is true, then I think Kristen does not get any blame for messing around.  That shit is uncalled for.

Open Letter to PR Reps Who Write to Me

Dear (insert your name here):

Oh, I'm sorry, did that offend you?  How about I just address this letter:  Dear PR Rep.  It's about as personal as Dear Blogger or my favorite:  Dear [ ] - you would get a bit further next time if you actually put a name in there, dipshit.

Every day I get several emails from PR reps asking me to shill absolute shite.  Most of the times the product has absolutely nothing to do with the topics I write about or my readers.

My suggestion to you, dear PR Rep, is to actually read my blog and some of the comments before you start in with your bullshit about your "extreme interest" in my "well-written" site.  Are you kidding me with that?  Every other word on here is fuck or douche.  I think an English professor just died somewhere when she heard what you said about my blog.

photo:  freedigitalphotos.net

If you took a moment to read one or two of my posts, you would realize that I have absolutely no interest in "spreading the word or telling" my readers about:

a.  Your shitty book about the terrible side effects of television on kids.  I think we got the message a while ago.  While you were busy writing this book, it was all over the television.  Go figure.

b.  Your "exciting and informative" new daytime talk show that is debuting soon.  Daytime talk is where most stars go to die.  Unless you are Ellen or Oprah I'm not buying what you're selling. 

c.  Boring interviews.  Yes, I have children, but that does not mean I want to actually interview a child psychologist for my blog.  Maybe you should call the daytime talk show people it sounds like your cup of tea.

d.  Comic books.  Did I give the impression that I read comics?  Because I don't read comic books, I've never once mentioned comic books or anything remotely like that so don't ask me to pimp your stupid comic book.  Yeah, I'm a dorky "Star Wars" fan and a Twi-Mom and a Harry Potter fan, but I have to draw the line somewhere.  I don't do comic books.

e.  Interviews with F-list celebri-trash.  Let me be clear, Mister PR Rep, I have absolutely no fucking desire to interview your crappy F-list client slash reality star about breast feeding tips or parenting tips or whatever your client thinks she's an expert on this week.  This is especially true for you, PR Rep to Teen Mom 2 breakout star Chelsea Houska.  

I do not pretend to be a parenting expert nor do I think I have this parenting thing all figured out.  However, I do know that I have a much better handle on it than your 20 year old client.  I would rather kill myself than listen to her "mommy tips."  I can only imagine what she could teach us.  It must be hard for her to juggle her budding career as a reality star slash wanna be Playboy centerfold slash beauty school drop out along with motherhood and dating.  

If I ever need to learn how to make horrible decisions, pick shitty boyfriends, look sexy in Twitter self pics and not pay my bills, I'll be sure to look her up.  

Cuz'ns Trip 2012 - Ozark Style

Lucky for me, Cuz likes the camp the same way I do.
You might have noticed that this weekend I was fairly quiet.  That's because I was in the Ozarks having a mini-vacation with my cousin and my kids.

My cousin is a young, single, childless professional and she had meetings at Big Cedar Lodge near Table Rock Lake.  The resort is a family-friendly place and she doesn't have kids so she invited us to come as her "family."

We had never been to Big Cedar Lodge, so of course we said "Yes please!"  We packed our bags and off we went.

We arrived early Friday afternoon so Cuz could go to her meetings.  The kids and I hit the putt-putt course and the pool.  That evening we were invited to a private dinner for all the conference attendees and their families.

What an Ozark-y experience!

Just imagine a ballroom full of taxidermied animal heads and my kids asking where the bodies are.  We were served a buffet dinner of bar-b-que complete with red gingham napkins.

When the band got going, I hit the open bar.  Nothing makes me want to drink more than a 14 piece rock-a-billy band consisting of 50 plus men in Hawaiian shirts (WTF?) and Tevas.  Cuz had warned me this would be quite the party.  She summed it up as a hillbilly wedding reception and she was not off the mark.

On the plus side, the ballroom overlooked the lake and the view was spectacular even if the music sucked.

After an hour or so, the kids were ready to head out and hit the movie at the pool.  Yup.  You watch a movie on a big screen while you lounge in the pool.  Pretty cool.

Cuz was still working the room so we took off.

The movie in the pool was fun if you've seen the movie.  If you haven't, then you have no clue what's happening.  Kids are screaming and splashing and jumping in.  There is no one just lounging on pool floats and watching the movie.

We lasted about halfway through and then I decided to call it a night.  I was being eaten alive by the bugs and I was bored to tears since I couldn't hear the movie.

By now the grounds were pretty dark and we had a bit of a walk ahead of us.  We didn't have a flashlight, because we were "glamping" and I didn't really expect to be roaming outside much after dark.  I also expected there to be streetlights.  Silly me.

There were lots of cars on the narrow road so I thought we'd do better traipsing through the grass to get up the hill to our lodge - less chance of being run over by a drunk band member in a Hawaiian shirt.  We started across an open space when something light caught my eye.  It was low to the ground and waddling towards us.  It was an animal of some kind.  At first I thought it was an armadillo or a possum (yuck - giant rat) and then the moonlight hit it.


I swear like a truck driver on this blog, but I really never swear in front of my kids.  That night I couldn't hold it in.  I believe I said, "Shit!" when I saw that white stripe.

"What did you say, Mommy?" Gomer asked.

"Skunk," I replied.  "That's a skunk.  Crap.  Stay still.  Let's see where he's going."

We stayed perfectly still while the skunk waddled about 5 feet in front of us and crossed the road to the closest trash can and started digging around for left over s'mores.  

"Crap!" I said again.  "We'd better get back on the road.  There could be more of them in the woods here and we might startle them and get sprayed."

"We'll need a tomato bath," Adolpha said.

"No.  Tomato juice bath," Gomer corrected her.

"Tomato juice comes from tomatoes, so I'm right," Adolpha argued.

"Shhhh!!  The skunk might spray us because you're both so annoying.  Be quiet!" I said.

We got back on the dark road and started moving as quickly as we dared.  "Another one!" Adolpha cried pointing.  Sure enough, here was another one just off to the side of the road.  I looked around for a trash can, but I didn't see one close.

"Let's go.  Keep an eye out," I said watching the new skunk. "Son of a bitch!" I muttered under my breath.  I was sure I was going to get sprayed by a skunk.

We got to our room without any mishap or attack, but I was a bit on edge to say the least.  I texted Cuz and told her to be on the lookout for the skunks and she let me know that she knew about them, because people from her conference were diving head first over 4 foot high fences to get away from them.

I got my kids to bed and I started thinking about how close I came to stepping on a skunk.  I was a bit irritated.  I realize I'm supposed to be out in nature at this place, but come on!  I don't want to be THAT CLOSE to nature!  Rooms in this joint start at $250 a night and go up to $700.  I hardly doubt someone paying that kind of cash wants to have a tomato juice bath after a run in with a skunk!

I was secretly hoping that these were hired skunks.  You know, the kind that the resort keeps and takes the "stinker" out of them so that they can release them on the grounds and make idiots like myself feel like they just had a "close call" with nature and now they can go home and blog about it.  Yup, I think there might be a skunk wrangler laughing at all of us jumping over fences and running for our lives when we see Pepi Le Peu coming our way.  

Bonjour ma cherie!  I enjoy long walks in the moonlight and left over s'mores.

The more I think about it, I think I'm right.  I actually think they might do just that.  This morning just before we left we walked across an open space where butterflies, dragon flies and big, fat, lazy bumblebees all hung out.  They were diving in perfect circles, bopping from flower to flower and just messing around.  They were picture perfect.  I'm pretty sure there's a skunk wrangler and an insect wrangler on the payroll.

We had a great time playing putt putt golf, shuffleboard and swimming in all 5 of the resort's pools.  We never made it down to the lake for paddle boats.  You may recall the last time I went on a lake with my children it didn't go so well, so this time I didn't encourage it.

Cuz was a good sport to bring us along, because I know we totally cramped her style.  When she stayed out "late" (10 PM) on Friday night hanging out with her colleagues, my kids were ready to organize a rescue mission, because they were sure she was lost in the dark somewhere.  When her friends rented a boat and went on all day booze cruise on the lake, she chose to risk her health and hang out in the lazy river with us.  We had a room with double beds, so I told Cuz she should sleep with Adolpha.  Yes, Adolpha sprawls across the bed, but Gomer is a cuddler and a bit handsy and Cuz wouldn't know what to do if she got felt up by my son.  By Sunday she was ready for some "alone time."  She couldn't find a decent cup of coffee and a weekend with my kids had convinced her that children were probably not in her future (sorry Uncle and Auntie).

On the ride home as Gomer asked us his 100th question about our favorite movie/book/tv show/game/friend/teacher/neighbor from our childhood, she told me that she finally understood why this clip from "Family Guy" is so funny:

"It's funny, because it's true!" she exclaimed.  "Oh my God!  They really are like that!  How can you stand it??"

I just smiled at her and said, "Eh, it's not so bad.  You get used to it."  Then I told Gomer, "Star Wars/Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret/Little House on the Prairie/Clue/Angie/Miss Jipp/didn't have one even then."

I got her home in plenty of time to decompress and relax and hopefully today she's not too exhausted by us.  Thanks for taking us, Cuz!  We had lots of fun!!

Kids Sports That Cost as Much as the Pros

My six year old is gearing up for his first round of organized sports.  Oh sure, we did the little Happy Feet soccer stuff a couple years ago, but now he's ready to play Coach-Pitch Baseball.  His practices (seriously, these kids have practices??) start in a couple of weeks and we haven't even begun to think about the stuff he will need.  After all, I paid close to $200 bucks, shouldn't that cover everything?  I found out that it does not.  We'll still be charged for a uniform at some point and we need "appropriate equipment" whatever the hell that is! 

Yesterday we were invited to watch a baseball team that my day job is sponsoring this year.  This is a group of 7-9 year olds who play competitive baseball.  This is not the rec center group that we'll be playing on - this is a serious group of young athletes.  We paid them $500 bucks to put our banner out at all 75 (!!) of their games these season.  The money is going towards their own pitching machine. 

We had a lot to do yesterday so we arrived late at the ball park.  By our calculations the game only had another 15 minutes and we thought we could catch the tail end.  When we arrived at the ball park we were told it costs $5 for each adult to enter the park.  Seriously?  To watch 8 year olds play baseball??  I think I can get seats at the Royals for $10 on some nights!

We were a little shocked.  We hung out for a minute debating if we wanted to cough up $10 for 15 minutes or come to a later game.  A parent recognized us at the gate and sweet talked the guard to let us in for free since there wasn't much time left on the game.  I asked her if she had some kind of pass to come and watch her child play (since after all, she's paying BIG bucks just to have her kid on this team).  She said, "No, we have to pay every time too."  Whaaat??  Yup, just this weekend alone her family has dropped close to $40 on gate fees just to watch their child play.  That just seems nuts to me.  These are kids!  These are families who are coming to watch their kid play.  You're still going to make plenty of money off of them when they buy your crappy $6 hot dogs!

I realized this ball park was making bank!  I couldn't see where the money was going - other than I didn't have to do my business in a Port-a-Potty and they had electronic scoreboards.  But the parks aren't the only ones cashing in.  What about the companies that sell the uniforms, the batting helmets, the bats, the gloves, the cleats, the batting gloves, the sunglasses that cut the glare and the fancy bag each player has to carry all his gear?  I started breaking out in a sweat thinking how much baseball was going to cost us!

The Hubs assured me we would not need to spend near as much since we were doing rec level and the Kid wouldn't need all the special gear.  I calmed down a bit.

On the way home, we stopped off at the sporting goods store to get the Kid a baseball glove (Hubs didn't think the $4 one I bought at T.J. Maxx was going to cut it).  Did you know a baseball glove costs $40??  Yeah, I didn't either - I shop for ball gloves at T.J. Maxx, duh.  Did you know you then pay to have it broken in?  Yeah, I didn't know that either.  WTF???

OK, so he needs a glove, but that will be it, right?

Nope.  We ran into a family we knew who was there stocking up their son for baseball season.  He played last year and they had words of wisdom for us. 

"He'll need a glove."  (Check.) 

"A lot of the kids have batting gloves and they do help his grip." (Okay.  Batting gloves.  How expensive can those be?  Quick price check:  $20.  Are you freaking kidding me??) 

"You'll want a bat too, it's just nice to have your own.  The rec ones are kind of beat up."  (Yaaah, we'll take our chances with the beat up bats.  I mean, c'mon, it's still Johnson County, how bad can they be?)

And then their kids says, "Oh!  A helmet.  You'll want your own helmet!"  (Really?  I doubt it.  Surely the rec provides those!  It's a safety thing!)  "Oh yeah, they have them," he says. "I got lice from them last season."  (Screw the price!  The Kid gets his own helmet!)

Have I mentioned we're not even sure the Kid even likes baseball or has any real knack for it??  We're just "exploring" sports at this point to see what sticks.  I'm going to drop 400 bucks before this exploration is over!  What if he decides he hates baseball and then we're on to soccer next year?  Maybe I should encourage him to do track.  How much can running shoes cost?  (Ha!)

At least the team we watched yesterday have boys who know they love baseball and are actually pretty good at it, so you don't mind shelling out so much money - it's an investment - with my kid, it's a gamble and we all know, the house always wins.

UPDATE:  The team we sponsored won the World Series of their division.  So I guess their parents' "investments" paid off.  Gomer played one season of baseball and spent most of the time sitting in the outfield picking flowers in his white $25 pants!  (I forgot to add OxyClean to my list of baseball must-haves.)  This year we tried soccer and besides Adolpha's broken arm we all enjoyed soccer.  I think soccer will be the sport for this family.

Me - Shopping for New Clothes

So, the BlogHer conference is just a few weeks away and I'm trying to get ready.  I've never been to a blogging conference before and I have no idea what to expect.  I'm spending a lot of money to attend and I want to get my money's worth, so I've been reading everything I can find about helpful tips and tricks.  One of the topics that pops up endlessly is "What the fuck should I wear?"  There is a lot of angst out there about fashion and the need for 3-4 ensembles a day, cocktail attire for night, 16 different handbags and 24 pairs of shoes, not to mention the various hairstyles and head gear to go with all of these outfits.  Most people suggest packing each outfit and the accessories in ZipLoc bags and labeling them.  Are you fucking kidding me with this?  The Hubs is too cheap to pay to check a suitcase.  Everything I'm bringing must fit in a carry on!

Originally, I ignored a lot of the lists of what to pack, what to wear, and/or how to dress for the XYZ party, because I felt like I'm Jen.  I am who I am.  You get what you get.  I'm not a fashion blogger. I'm a humor blogger.  I'm cargo pants, Crocs and Coach (my 3 C's of fashion).  I don't do cocktail dresses or up dos.  I could give a rat's ass if there are 15 hot ways to tie a scarf around my head this summer.

But then I read a compelling argument written by a BlogHer veteran.  She explained that one of the reasons most of us are attending BlogHer is because we'd like to network with bigger websites and sponsors and we'd like them to take us seriously and help us grow our blogs and in order to do so, we need to at least try and look the part.  She's not advocating formal wear, but she did suggest business casual, or at the least a clean shirt.  I realized, Son of a bitch! How can anyone take me seriously in Crocs and cargo pants?  

This is how I found myself at Macy's this weekend with my mother and my children shopping for clothes that I hope convey to people that I'm a funny, sarcastic, witty, hard working, casual yet put together, carefree but detail-oriented blogger who can be trusted with their brand.  Fuck me, this is never going to work.
Hi.  Do you like my new dress?  It can be dressed up
or dressed down.  It says I'm fun and flirty and only a bit
socially awkward.  Call me!

My mother is a fashion plate.  She wears multiple layers and matchy, funky jewelry and shoes that complete her ensembles.  (She probably tied scarves around her head the first time that was in style.)  She's not a name-dropping label whore, though; rather she's a bargain basement clearance rack shopper and she knows how tell me honestly when something does or does not look good.  Also, sometimes when we shop together, she pays for stuff, so that's a nice bonus.

It was not an ideal situation, because the Hubs had to work, so I was forced to bring my children along.   Adolpha loves to shop and thinks she's got style (actually her look is unique and kind of cool - I could never pull it off as well as she does, though).  Gomer hates shopping unless we're at the Lego store.

My mother (and Adolpha) found me several articles of clothing to try on and we all ended up in one dressing room together so I could model everything.

Here's how it went:

Gomer:  Mommy, you look beautiful just the way you are.  Why do you need new clothes?

Me:  Awww....well -

Adolpha:  She needs new clothes, because her clothes aren't....nice.

Gomer:  Well, I think you're beautiful, Mommy.  Can we go to the Lego store now?

Adolpha:  That shirt doesn't look good.  It's too...pink.  (That must have been hard for her to say and it must have been hideous if even she thought it was too pink.)

Mom:  That dress makes your boobs look too big and it pulls in the back - not your best look.

Adolpha:  That shirt looks so much better, but the black pants makes it blend in.  You need white leggings.

Me:  Adolpha, I will never, ever, ever wear white leggings.

Adolpha:  Why not?

Me:  Because white leggings are the least slimming thing I could ever wear and I need clothes that look slimming.

Gomer:  That top is very slimming.  Can we go to the Lego store?

Mom:  I like that dress so much better!  What shoes will you wear though?  You only have flip flops.

Adolpha:  You need shoes with spiky heels.

Me:  Won't wear those either.

Adolpha:  That skirt is not...slimming....it's fatting.

Gomer:  Mommy, I think you always look beautiful.  What time does the Lego store close?

Mom:  That dress is perfect.  That should go in your buy pile.

Me:  I don't know...it's kind of trendy.  Does it come in solid black?

Adolpha:  You have a lot of black in your buy pile.

Me:  Yes, black is slimming.

Mom:  Try this top - yikes, no, no, no.  Take it off.  Not good at all.

Adolpha:  Yuck.

Gomer:  Mommy -

Me:  Yes, Gomer, I know.  I'm beautiful.  We will get to the Lego store, I promise.  Just let me finish here.

As we exited the dressing room we ran into an older lady who had been outside the door waiting.  "Sorry we took so long," my mom said.  "We didn't realize anyone was waiting.  Plus, we had a bit of a crowd in there."

The lady replied, "Oh I know.  I've been standing here listening and enjoying the show.  Kids are the best critics to take shopping."

You better believe it, lady.

In the end I found 2 dresses, 3 shirts and a pair of shoes - all in various shades of black, black and white or gray.  If you see me at BlogHer, please tell me how slimming my outfit looks.  

People Who Do Studies About the Meanings of Kids' Names

Today, this story caught my eye.  Kids with A and B names are better students than the rest of us.

My top of the class brother's name starts with A so I immediately started blaming my name for my lack of math skills.  Of course I've been average my entire life, I didn't have a chance!  I was doomed from the moment I was name Jenni.  Half-assed J - there you sit, right near the middle of the alphabet.  Damn my parents for not thinking harder about my name!  Imagine what I could have done if they'd just named me A.  No name, just the letter!  I could have been President or I could have cured cancer or something like that.  Instead, I'm just average Jenni.  Just living my average life because of my stupid name.  Don't try and convince me that it's not my name that makes me average.  I know what you'll say:  Jen, just look at your idol, Tina Fey.  Tina is a T name and she is above average.  That just shows what you know.  If you were a real fan like me, you'd know that Tina's real name is Elizabeth.  The fifth letter of the alphabet.  Pretty darn close to "A".

My brother, of course, is a high powered attorney living a jet-set lifestyle on the other side of the pond where he shops for fancy shoes like these for all of his upcoming formal events he's always being invited to.  (I haven't been to a formal event since Prom 1990.)

But instead of staying mad at my parents and their lack of originality (Jennifer was a top 5 girls' name for 20 years - way to think outside the box, folks), I decided to be mad at the people who conduct these asinine studies.

As parents, we've already got so much pressure on us not to screw up these little people and it all starts with the name we give them.  We think long and hard about what we're going to call these little wrinkled blobs (that all look alike to me).  How can we set our little wrinkled blob apart from the others in the nursery?  With a name.  The perfect name.

We've pored through the books and fought with our spouse for this one moment.  We've got our list and it was pretty hard to come up with.  Oh sure, there are some easy ones to avoid:  Adolf, Kathie Lee, Osama, Barney.  But, then you venture into odd ones like:  Fern, Winifred, Barry, and Fraser.  Are those strong and unusual names ripe for revival?  Will those names make the blob unique and help he/she to stand out from the sea of Aidens and Avas?

Will Humphrey be a successful businessman or will Alexander take the promotion because he's got an "A" name? What about Agnes?  She's got an A name, so she should be good in school, right?  But is Agnes a successful name?  Or a lucky name?  Arrgggghhhh!

Who is paying for these studies?  Who reads them (besides me)?  Do they mean anything?  Probably not...right??  Are we sure they don't??

All I know is my blob naming days are behind me and I'm glad that's over.  I named one kid an unpopular Old Testament name and the other one a family name that seems to remind most people of their dead dogs.  My kids are screwed.  What do you expect from a J name??

I'm going to say these studies are for entertainment only and have no scientific value.  I can't buy into this crap and start renaming my kids now!  Sure, my brother was a better student than I was, but it has nothing to do with his name starting with A.  I'm positive it's because he was tall and we all know tall people are more successful in life.

Weekly Wrap Up 7.15.12

Top Read Posts This Week:

"Magic Mike" - the PIWTPITT Review - A friend and I went to see "Magic Mike."  Apparently, I'm more attracted to the strong, naked and SILENT type.  Also, I didn't get the memo: smuggled booze is a necessity for this flick.

My Rules for MOMS at Playdates - For those of you who didn't agree with me on number 2 - we will just have to agree to disagree.

People Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent - Joe Paterno - This was a repost from January.  When I first wrote it in January I lost well over 300 readers.  This week I lost several again, but not near as many.  I actually had one reader tell me on her way out the door that Joe Pa was "a pawn."  Are you fucking kidding me, lady?  You're an idiot.  

I really appreciated hearing from so many of you who stuck with me after January.  It meant a lot to me.

The Hubs Thinks My Readers are Hot - The Hubs enjoys looking at all my reader's profiles on Twitter - you've been warned.  

Parents Who Steal & Are Disgusting - An oldie but goody from the archives about parents of the year.

Message Board Update:

Stephanie still can't rotate her picture.  Anyone have a clue how to do this?  If you don't, there are still lots of other good topics on the board too or you can start your own.  Did you know that when you comment on the message boards a link to your newest blog post shows up?  That is a great way to find new readers for your blog and new blogs for you to read, so join the message boards today.  It's easy and fun.

New Posts on Babble:

My Kids Have the Best Grandparents in the World - Yeah, I'm Bragging

Happy 70th Birthday to Han Solo

Why Did You Give Your Child the Name That You Did?

I Need a Vacation From My Life

Why I Don't Get Offended When Someone Asks Me if My Kids are Adopted

Favorite Comments of the Week (and My Replies if Necessary):

Tell the Hubs i haven't finished the "full change" but i appreciate the compliment. on The Hubs Thinks My Readers are Hot

*wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle YEAH* We're sexy and we know it... on The Hubs Thinks My Readers are Hot

Wil Wheaton, the Jar Jar Binks of Star Trek. on The Hubs Thinks My Readers are Hot

I love this post. We can all imagine it was our pic he stumbled upon. on The Hubs Thinks My Readers are Hot

I'm hot. In flashes. ;-) on The Hubs Thinks My Readers are Hot

I just want to know why they didn't call it "Magic Johnson". I mean, the imagery is all there anyway. Isn't that basically what the movie is all about? ;) on "Magic Mike" - the PIWTPITT Review

Favorite quote in your whole rant: "Sandy and I were hoping the women would get confused and start throwing money at the screen. It would have paid for our popcorn." I litterally spit my coffee out at the screen! I loved "Magic Mike" and I WILL be investing in a copy for home. I do agreee about the whole bromance...WEIRD! Oh, and WE smuggled booze in, too! GREAT girl's night out. Definitely worth the money to see it in the theaters, once! :) on "Magic Mike" - the PIWTPITT Review

I actually really like the Kardashians. I agree with a lot of what you said about them not doing anything special for the world and damn they get paid so freakin much. But i am one of those people that watches the show all the time. Like to the point where I will watch it on demand if i happen to miss an episode. not sure what my obsession is but I like them. I belong to an all womens collective and some of our values are sisterhood, anti racism, restorative justice and I work at a grassroots non profit. I have some issues with their blatent abuse of their privilege but I love them. I cant help it. I love fashion too so part of it is that i love to see what they are wearing. And I love Chloe and lamar. A LOT! Just wanted to put that out there. i did still like your blog and i still love the kardashians and im not afraid to say it onThe Kardashians

I read your post when you originally posted it. I didn't blast you and I kept reading your posts because I was ok with having a difference in opinion (we line up on many of our viewpoints) and because I know that this is a terrible tragedy. Really, it is the worst kind of tragedy. However, I am a Penn State alum. I didn't idolize Joe Paterno, but at the same time, I know that he has done wonders for the school, donated millions back to it and to charities, and has taught many people many good things. Penn State as a university is what it is today because of him. I think I speak for many current and past Penn Staters when I say that we are extremely disappointed in the news from yesterday, and we kind of don't know how to deal with it. I think we wanted to believe that someone who supposedly had strong morals would never have done this, and we wanted evidence to prove otherwise. I think that many people have allegiance to their school and we reserve the right to have that too, on People Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent - Joe Paterno

I didn't have to respond to this, because a reader was already on it:

Allison, this might be the post thoughtful perspective from a PSU alum that I've seen yet, and I can certainly understand that you're in mourning of the institution you valued so much as student, unknowing of the acts being covered up. I'm not a PSU fan (sorry, Pitt girl all the way), but I certainly don't think the school should be closed or the stadium leveled. That dishonors the students, alumni, faculty and staff who were always in the dark about this and worked very hard for the school to shine outside of just football. There are a lot of tough decisions the school will need to make and the football program has been discredited. But I draw the line at blaming others associated with the school who had no clue. on People Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent - Joe Paterno

I was a a victim of sex abuse at age 8. As an emotionally healthy adult who was forever changed by abuse and as a parent devoted to protecting my own children I say "Thank you. Thank you for taking a stand even though it was unpopular. Thank you for knowing the difference between what people think is important and what is truly important and truly lasting." on People Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent - Joe Paterno

I have felt deeply saddened through this entire ordeal. I live in PA and come from a line of Penn State alum and have always loved Penn State football and Joe Pa. I feel hurt, let down, angry, and disappointed. I desperately wanted to still look at all the "good" Penn State and Joe have done without thinking about this scandal, but I can't. As an educator I am ashamed that it wasn't clear to these people and fellow educators that Sandusky's actions needed to be exposed. The fact that this was all covered up over a decade makes this so much worse. So sad. I have difficulty explaining how deeply I feel this sadness. onPeople Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent - Joe Paterno

That's the thing about opinions. EVERYONE has one. And just because someone doesn't agree with your opinion, they stop reading your blog? Really? Jesus, it's not like you came to their house and took a crap on their lawn. If you did that to me, yes, I would probably stop reading your blog (after rubbing your nose in it). But people seem to agree or at least enjoy reading your opinion about mostly everything else, and if they don't agree with you on this one issue, is it really worth 'leaving you'? It's their loss, not yours, Jen. on People Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent - Joe Paterno

People Who Don't Speak Up for the Innocent - Joe Paterno

I originally wrote this on January 22, 2012.  I took what at the time was an unpopular stance against Joe Paterno and other Penn State staffers and I was attacked for it.  That day I lost over 300 readers.  I was called names and I was told to "stick to what I know - babies and kitchens."   I didn't care.  I knew that someone had to say it and I wasn't afraid.  

Yesterday the the former head of the FBI, Louis Freeh, released his findings in the Sandusky case and they've said that without a doubt Joe Paterno and other officials at Penn State knew what was going on and they helped cover it up.  Those men were monsters.  They might not have touched the kids with their own hands, but what they did was almost worse.  They turned their backs and ignored them.  I hope they all rot in prison.            

Today was a quiet Sunday afternoon and I opened up my Facebook and noticed a trend of "RIP Joe Paterno" on a number of my friends' walls.

Of course I knew he'd died.  I don't live under a rock.  Every news outlet was reporting about his death.
And of course, I felt bad for his family that they'd lost him.

I don't follow sports, so I don't know anything about his legacy as the most winningest coach or what have you and I never went to Penn State.

I have read the glowing accounts of what a great coach he was and what a terrific ambassador he was for Penn State.  He was obviously a revered man who was well loved by his family and perfect strangers.

He came to my attention during the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.  All I know is that Paterno didn't go to the police when he should have and to me that outweighs all of his good deeds.

As a mother, nothing infuriates me more than to know that innocent children who needed protection at their most vulnerable time did not get it from a man they looked up to and admired.  I don't just blame Joe Paterno.  I blame the Penn State officials.  I blame Mike McQueary.   I blame anyone who puts profit over the welfare of the children they are entrusted with.

As far as I'm concerned he's not a hero in my book.  So I wrote a simple sentence on the Facebook page for this blog:  "Am I the only person who doesn't care Joe Paterno died?  My FB is blowing up with RIPs."

Who knew what a simple sentence could do to people?  Within an hour I had 256 comments about what I'd said.  Some were as simple as:  I agree to people hoping he's burning in hell to others calling for my throat to be punched for uttering the words "I don't care."

I obviously touched a nerve on this one.  Who knew?  Here's the thing.  He was old.  I'm sorry if he suffered.  I don't doubt he's missed by his family.  However, I do think he made a terrible error in judgment when he didn't report the abuse to the police.  I don't know why he didn't report it.  I really don't care what his excuses were.  He simply should have.

I don't wish ill of the dead, I'm just putting myself in the shoes of the parents of the children who were violated.  I am speaking out for them, because if I were one of them I would hope someone else would speak out for me.

REPOST - Parents Who Steal & Are Disgusting


Yesterday I received an email from a friend telling me that her 6 year son had his scooter stolen while they were at a local park.  She was really upset because the park had been very busy and she'd taken her eyes off the scooter for just a few minutes and it was gone.

She started thinking about a culprit and she really couldn't come up with a "usual suspect".  There weren't any middle or high schoolers there on their own who might have stolen the scooter to show off or just be dicks.  It was all young kids who were supervised by (seemingly mature, law abiding) adults.  Ha!  Little did she know there was a thief with her at the park.

What sort of adult/guardian/authority figure steals a child's scooter with another child as their accomplice?!  Who does this?  Does Mommy just tell little Emmett that she is "borrowing" the scooter?  ("I'll call his mommy in a few days and see if she wants it back.")  Does she tell him she "paid" another Mommy for it?  ("It was like a garage sale at the park today!  Lucky us!  Only $5!")  Or does she tell him the truth?  ("Daddy says we don't have enough money to buy you a scooter and I know you want one.  That little boy brought a scooter AND a bike today - he doesn't need both - let's take his scooter!  Quick, hop on it and ride it to the car like you own it.")  WTF???

My friend's email went on to say that after her horrible experience at the park she headed to a nearby Target.  When she got out of her car, she stepped on a dirty diaper someone had left on the ground.

WTF is wrong with people????!!

Why stop there?  Forget the diaper; why not just teach your kid to take a shit in the parking lot next time and avoid the expense and hassle of a diaper, you knuckle dragging troglodyte?

I think what horrifies me the most is that I'm almost certain these two despicable acts were committed by women.

There weren't any men at the park, so it was a woman who stole the scooter and how many dads do you know who change diapers in the middle of the day at Target??  (I know that's stereotypical, but I'm going to have to go with the odds on this one.)

I expect asinine, gross, rude, lazy, disgusting behavior like this from men who fart on demand and scratch their balls with a salad fork.  Let's face it men have always cornered the market on being the war-mongers, polluters, rapists and pillagers of this world and now these women are muscling in on their territory.  Greaaat.

All I can say is I hope someone breaks an arm on that stolen scooter.  Nothing like a $1,600 emergency room bill to put the $50 they saved stealing the scooter in perspective.

Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies

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