Thursday, November 27, 2014

Addendum to Universal Social Contract - Holiday Rules

No. No. No. No.  On this Thanksgiving Eve (or Thanksgiving morning, depending on when you're reading) I feel compelled to share my thoughts on Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving.  For the last 2 weeks some radio stations have already switched over to All Christmas All The Time and the Yuletide melodies are in full swing at the mall.  Just No.  You cannot force the holiday season.  The holiday season starts after Thanksgiving.  That's the rule and everyone knows it.

See, the turkey's mad too
and Thanksgiving isn't
even a good day for him.
In general, people seem to agree that the marketers of the world don't let us enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming holiday, nor the actual holiday at hand, before they start over-saturating us with the next holiday.  I think we need to clarify some of the ground rules so that the holiday equilibrium can be restored and there can once again be peace on earth and goodwill towards men.  Well, probably really just towards women since I'm pretty sure men aren't paying that close attention to the whole thing.  But, I digress.

In every day life there are a few things most of us agree to that allow us to live in relative harmony with one another; a social contract, if you will.  We all agree that you shouldn't kill people or steal from them or spit on them or pour red wine on their new sweaters.   Just like our constitution has amendments (because people really need shit spelled out for them), I think our universal social contract needs some amendments.  We will be referring to them as the Holiday Rules.

I know you are thinking that these below-listed items should go without saying, but alas, some of our fellow humans actually need them said.  These same people are also usually the ones who need a whistle and smack.

1.  Christmas music is for Christmas time

* As mentioned, there should be no Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

* Radio stations should wait to play Christmas music all day, every day until a week or so before Christmas.  In the beginning, just throw in a few Christmas/winter songs here and there.  We don't need a whole month of nothing but holiday songs.  Do you know why?  Because as fun as Christmas songs are, there are only like 40 of them (tops).  Even if you add in all other winter and holiday songs, we're at around 50.  A month straight is a long time to hear the same songs over and over.  And, let 's be honest, they're not all great versions.

A caveat to this amendment is that Luther Vandros 
can sing whatever he wants whenever he wants

2.  Christmas/Holiday Greetings of all types are to be graciously accepted

* When people say "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas," they are just trying to be nice and spread good cheer.  They are not trying to ruin your life by forgetting about Jesus on his very special day.  React accordingly.

* The winter holiday season begins after Thanksgiving.  That is a whole month before Christmas.  There are other holidays during this season before Christmas.  "Happy Holidays" is a pleasant thing to say and covers all holidays, including New Years.  Also, it is more accurate.  Do you wish someone a happy birthday every time you see them the whole month before their birthday.  No, you do not.  "Happy Holidays" says "I hope you will enjoy this festive and joyous season."  React accordingly.

* Conversely, if you are not a Christmas celebrator and you are wished a "Merry Christmas," smile and say "thank you."  It is meant as a well wish, not as a way to force Christmas or Christianity on you.  You don't need to announce that you do not celebrate Christmas.  It makes the other person feel like you are telling them to shove their good cheer.  That's not nice.

* If you want to pretend you are living in a Dicken's novel or some other quaint time in history, you can of course feel free to say "Season's Greetings" to people.  You must, however, be wearing an overcoat and a hat that you can tip.

3.  Fruit Cake.  Why?

* Aside from my two cousins who make these super adorable (but still yucky) fruit cakes, I don't know anyone who eats/likes fruit cake.  Catalogs and cute country stores should stop selling fruit cake.  Anyone who gifts a fruit cake is clearly just being passive-aggressive and the recipient knows it.  I think this hurts the overall feeling of goodwill and kindness of the season.

*  For you Jewish people (and others) who don't know about fruit cake - it's like the honey
cake from Rosh Hashanah that no one but my dad and my friend Julie like.  The only difference is that it has what I guess you would call candied fruit in it.  Green and red hard maraschino cherries and fossil-like pineapple bits.

* Due to the nature of the holiday season, if someone you like or love makes a fruit cake and
You are going to have to practice
smiling because your initial
 reaction will be to grimace. 
insists you taste it because theirs is different and very delicious, you must taste it and smile and say you like it.  If pressed to eat more, beg fullness and ask to take a piece with you.  Do not throw this away until you get home.  Despite what is likely a passive-aggressive gesture (see above), you have to assume the person is trying to share their holiday joy with you.

I think these three are a good start for our Holiday Rules addendum to the Universal Social Contract. Let me know if there are any others you think need to be added.  Remember, our goal here at DTC is to help make the holiday season fun and happy for everyone.  And to smack and stun gun people who won't cooperate. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating and good luck to all who are gearing up for their Black Friday shopping!  xo,  DTC 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dinna Fash, He'll Be Back: Guide For Occupying Self Until April

If you don't know what the title means, you have a lot of catching up to do.  That's actually good, because it will take you until April to catch up, thus you will not need the rest of this post.
I dinna even have my
usual clever caption, just
go read and watch.

Those not in the know, who now have to catch up, we are talking about Outlander.  The book, the rest of the books and the TV series (it's on Starz, go sign up for Starz right now.  Go.  We'll wait for you).  The books are by Diana Gabaldon and they let her be a consultant on the show (we get lots of fun inside information/pictures as a result).  I really cannot say enough good things about the books.  Diana Gabaldon is a fabulous writer and storyteller.  How she came to be a writer and her background is pretty interesting.  Click here to check her out.  Click here to check out the show.

It is hard to fit the story into a category/genre, so I won't even try.  Just trust me, you want in.  Have I led you astray yet?  I even got The Party to start reading the books and watching the show (he's not a reader.  I mean he can read, but he has a bad attitude).  He is now mad at Diana (yes, that's right, we are on a first name basis) because he's sucked in. Ha Party!  I told you reading was awesome.  
Did I forget to mention that there is a lot of
naked in the series?  This isn't even the good scene.
Wait until you get to the wedding episode.

One final word on why should join in - Jamie Fraser.  Let me put it in perspective for you.  You know how Adam Levine is my secret boyfriend?  Well, the Jamie Fraser from my imagination would beat him if he was real.  BUT, the Jamie Fraser from the TV show, Sam Heughan, is real... Adam who?  Enough said.

Okay, I assume anyone who needs to has left to go take care of business.  Oh!!  BTW, newbies, you need to occupy yourselves until April because that's when the second half of season One will start.

For the rest of us... here are some things to occupy you while you wait for April:

This period of time is apparently being called Draughtlander, but we are not calling it that here because it makes us seem like desperate groupies, which we are, but we don't have to seem like it, it's not dignified.  Also, please do not ever use the term Heuligans because just no.

1.  Reread all 8 Outlander books.  At 800+ pages, that ought to keep you out of trouble for awhile.  Ye can also try reading them using a Scottish accent in yer heid.  Me personally, I canna keep from slipping back to Claire's English accent.

2.  Re-watch the first 8 episodes of Outlander.  That won't take verra much time, but every little bit helps, aye?

3.  Read all other Diana Gabaldon books, which include a bunch about Lord John as well as some short stories about some side story lines.

4.  Season 5 of Downton Abbey premieres January 4th.  It'll probably be wrapping up just as Outlander starts.  It's no Outlander, but it'll do.
It's like we were separated
at birth.  And she wears
super cool/fun clothes.

5.  What I really recommend highly is watching The Mindy Project.  I think Mindy and I could be friends.  I think she would find me fun and we would be instant best friends.  I also wish Diana and I could be friends.  She seems to have a good sense of humor, but I am not 100% sure she would find me fun to hang out with.  I think she would maybe be alarmed by me.  Until she got to know me better.  But anyway - The Mindy Project.  Very silly, but too funny!!

6.  Another fun series is New Girl.  Zooey Deschanel appears to be real life friends with Mindy Kaling (see above), so the three of us could have loads of fun if either knew I existed.  Regardless, you can download both this and Mindy's past seasons and kill a ton of time.

7.  You could read other books not related to Outlander at all.  I guess there are some good ones.

8.  You could spend quality time with your children.  I know, that will be just as non-quality as it was before Outlander, but every now and then they throw us a bone.  You could look into that.

9.  Speaking of throwing us a bone, you could hang out with your husband.  Bahahahaha!  The fun never stops around here.  Anyhoo, see if you can't get your husband to work on his Scottish accent and then you keep your eyes closed.  Don't tell him why; he won't find it sexy or charming if you come right out and tell him you are pretending he's someone else.

10.  You could cook, clean, organize, volunteer, exercise...  ha ha, just kidding.  No one wants to that.

I am sure some people will be having Outlander parties like they did Twilight parties.  I counsel against this.  Outlander is of course way cooler than Twilight (I could not bring myself to read the books or see the movies) but still, we're back to the desperate thing.  It's never becoming to seem desperate.  A caveat to this... if you can get anyone from the cast of Outlander, or Diana Gabaldon, to attend your party, you can turn your whole house into Castle Leoch for all I care and I will not let a single soul make fun of you at all.  But, you have to invite me.

Oh - I almost forgot.  If your life is busy (I guess that's a thing) and you don't have time to catch up completely, you can read these recaps of the TV series.  They are pretty entertaining and will get you up to speed (and fun even if you've watched the show).  This one is the link to a series of recaps that includes captioned pictures.  This one is the first of a series (you can link to the others from it) that is from the perspective of someone who hasn't read the books.  Be prepared to snort and laugh out loud, so make sure you're not at work or on the train or something.  Looking crazy isn't much better than looking desperate.

In the event you are not convinced that Outlander
is for you; this is Claire and Frank.  Claire is married
to Jamie.  But, she's also married to Frank.
It. just. got. interesting!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Settle Down, All Births Are Yucky: A Non-Scary, Yet True, Story

Don't let the hat fool you.  If
they try to give you this baby,
there's been a switch.
Yesterday on Facebook someone posted a link about a woman, who in an attempt to show c-section births can be beautiful too, photographed her friend's c-section.  Insert eye roll.  Every so often articles of this nature pop up on line or in magazines assuring us that whatever way we give birth, it's just great.  Um thanks, we know.  WE ARE MAKING PEOPLE - of course it's great.  Don't get me wrong the photographer/friend was doing something nice, it's the fact that people feel the need to even address this kind of nonsense that makes me bonkers. 

First of all, the only people who think that c-sections are "less than" in some way are the douchy alpha-mom types who think they are the first women to have endured labor and childbirth and that only through their enormous fortitude were they able to survive said activity - in the most perfect and meaningful way.  Was anyone even worried that their c-section made their child's birth less awesome?  No.  No one even thought about that until Alpha-Mom raised her perfectly waxed eyebrow while she was making homemade baby food to freeze ahead of time while you were wasting your time merely trying not to throw up and not to fall asleep at work.

Secondly, relatively speaking, up until like 5 minutes ago, giving birth gave you a better than average chance of dying.  I don't want to in any way belittle the miracle of birth (seriously, you add one teeny tiny outside ingredient to your system, and BAM, a person just starts forming inside you), but there are some serious design flaws.  Now, for most of us, it's a given that we and our babies will survive delivery and be healthy.  Who would possibly have the nerve to complain that the few hours spent delivering their child wasn't enriching enough?  Again, up until recently, no one.  

But, the main point of all this is that ALL BIRTHS ARE YUCKY AND MESSY. And lots of people will be seeing you naked, and not with good lighting. 

1st time moms, cute as this is,
if this is the baby they show
you, something has gone amiss.
**Quick note to expectant first time moms - despite the mess, you will be fine.  Don't let anyone's horror stories get you worried.  You will be fine.  The odds of things going wrong are small and you will likely know ahead of time from your doctor if there is any reason at all to be worried - so remember, you will be fine.**

So, where was I?  Yes, births are yucky and messy.  Yes, they are and you know it.  I have had both a vaginal delivery as well as a c-section.  Obviously, these two births make me an expert on all births.  Before I delivered my son, they papered the floor so it wouldn't get all gory and slippery.  Thankfully, I couldn't see the floor down at that end.  Please note that any old-timey movie birth scenes usually involve screaming mothers, but no papered floors or gore.  Why?  Because no one wants to see that - it's yucky.

C-sections?  Much neater in that they don't have to paper the floors, but they do have to cut you open and move your internal organs around (sometimes actually taking them out and resting them on your stomach, oh my god) to get to your baby.  Again, up until recently, before anesthesia, this wasn't really the way you wanted to give birth since it was usually a last ditch effort, and while they might be able to save your baby, things weren't looking too bright for you.

So, as you see, all births are kind of macabre despite the awesome prize at the end, which is a baby.  Whatever way your baby gets here is the right, best way.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.  

You get what I'm saying, right?
What I will tell you though - DON'T FILM IT!  Think about what's going on down at the baby having end.  Who exactly is your target audience?  Do you think your kids wants to see that?  They do not.  Your husband?  If he says yes, he's lying.  He's. Lying.  Do you really want to see that?  Really?  I saw several birth videos during Prepared Childbirth class.  I am still not 100% recovered.  I am really not recovered from, and cannot un-see, the picture in the book the doctor gave me.  A woman, in an open hospital gown, half-way propped up - with a head coming our of her vagina.  She is just sitting there, legs spread, with a baby head sticking out of her, like it's just a regular day and she's waiting for someone to bring her a soda or something.  Don't do it.

Take Away Points

1.  Don't even think about the right way to give birth.  Whatever you do is right.

2.  When people like Gisele Bundchen say that after her relaxing, wonderful home birth she felt so good she got up and made her family breakfast (not kidding) - ignore her.  She's showing off.  She's the type of mom who acts as if birthing and parenting are easy and always wonderful if you will only apply yourself.  You know magazines use photo shop, right?  This is like that.

3.  All deliveries are messy and not fun.  They are really cool because you get a baby, but it's not going to be your funnest activity ever.  But remember, you will be fine!

4.  Take pictures of your baby once it's been born, not while.  That is not the kind of naked film you want to star in.
Hospitals are not supposed to do this.  If this
happens to you, you should complain loudly.
It's unsafe to put a bag on a baby's head.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Field Of Dreams

This is one of those posts that would really be a status update, but, you know, I got carried away and it was too long for a status update.  And, it's not like I could cut out any part of the conversation.  As an aside, this is why Twitter doesn't really work for me.  That and because only like 3 of my friends are on Twitter.

Let me get you up to speed.  On my status yesterday, I spoke of The Party and my conversation regarding foot races.  I also wanted to share with you our other conversation.  I think what you will see from both conversations is that The Party and I are very into health and physical fitness.  It's really our main focus in life.
I want you to get a feel for how I would
probably look running a race.

Anyhoo, moving along, besides discussing running, we were also discussing (while watching the Phillies) how cool it is that all the players are really good at sliding.  Like, they slide in super fast and just that quick, the end of their slide is right up onto their feet.  I told Party that even though I don't play baseball, I think I am going to learn how to do that.  He said that he did not think I could (author's note - Party, that is not very supportive of you).  He says I would hurt myself.

Me:  "But, I have a lot of padding."

Party:  "I don't think that will help you in this instance."

Me:  "I don't think you really know."

Looks and raised eyebrows are exchanged.

Me:  "Maybe I will go to Baseball Fantasy Camp.  I will tell them, 'look, there's no way I'm going to be able to hit any kind balls you're throwing that fast, and I can't really catch fly ball, I'm just here to learn sliding.'"

I didn't actually get the go-ahead to sign up for Fantasy Camp, but we did laugh about the Ryan Howard/ Jimmy Rollins Fantasy Camp video we had previously watched.  This is also why, when I go, I will sign myself up and not let Party be involved at all.

I will pretty much sign up for anything if they give
me a breakfast like this.
As an aside, this is the other reason I think I would really like hanging out with Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Concern Of The Day - Episode 2

Episode 2 is somewhat related to Episode 1 in that a bathtub is involved.  But, today's episode is more focused on me and my personal travails.  As you read on, there is a slight chance you may not be able to really muster up any sympathy for me.  Nonetheless, I feel compelled to share because if I can save one person from the humiliation of floating to the top of her tub, then I know I will have made the world a better place.

Essentially, I am willing to risk being mocked in order to help you.  You're welcome.  I live to help people.  You know, the whole ray of sunshine thing.

Anyhoo, the tub...

So, the Reader's Digest version is that a few years back we decided to build an addition on our house rather than move.  The architect said that even though I thought we didn't need/want a Jacuzzi-type tub we should really consider it because when we go to sell the house that is a feature that people will expect to see in a remodeled bathroom.  Fast forward past our acquiescence and right to me searching for the perfect tub.

Clearly, the perfect tub is as big as you can get into the space.  It's important that 2 adults or 7 children can fit into said tub.  Tub should be big enough that it requires a full day's worth of hot water to fill.
Doesn't this look like the perfect sized tub?
Yeah, that's not the tub I got.
My beautiful multi-jet tub was perfectly incorporated into our dream bathroom.  I couldn't have been happier.  Until I went to take a bath.  Before I tell you what happened, I will tell you that just last week I decided that I was probably remembering the whole thing (from several years ago) in a skewed fashion and that it really couldn't have been that bad.  I decided I would take another bath with a fresh and open mind and enjoy relaxing and reading in my spacious and aquarific tub.  Sigh.  I will now recount for you what happened then and just again last week.  Remember, this is a cautionary tale, take heed.

Prepare yourself, this gets ugly.  I turn the water on to fill the tub.  I get my bath pillow, my book, my towel, I use my fancy dimmer switch to make the lights just right.  The door is locked, no one can come in to bother me.  Clothes are off and I'm ready to go.  13 minutes later after sitting around with no clothes on reading my book on the edge of the tub, it's finally full.

I'm in.  The trouble begins.  First, the pillow won't stay in place.  Okay, no problem, we're skipping the pillow.  I get the jets going.  That is really loud in my ears.  Alright then, less jets.  Here comes the relaxing.  Yes, I will be relaxing in just one minute as soon as I get in a comfortable position.  Oh wait, there is no comfortable position!  You know why?!?!?  The tub's too big!  When I lean against the back in a good reclining position my feet do not reach the other end of the tub.  So, I just keep sliding down and under the water.  That's until my feet reach the other side.  Then I start to float to the top because none of me is leaning against anything.  I am not even exaggerating.

New approach.  I will sit up and bend my knees so my feet are on the bottom of the tub.  Yes, I am now not floating or slipping under water.  And the whole top half of me is out of the tub.  Awesome.  End of bath.
This lady is full of crap.  A real person
would have a more bitter look on her face.
Most of her is out of the tub.  You know
she has to be freezing cold.

Here are your take-aways:
  1. Unlike pizza and cake - when it comes to tubs, less is more.  Go smaller.
  2. Just like makeup and cleavage - when it comes to tubs, less is more.  Go smaller.
  3. If you need a sweater to keep your top half warm in the tub, your tub is too big.
  4. There is nothing sexy about floating to the top of your tub.  This is why it's important to always keep the bathroom door locked.
  5. You do not need a tub that fits two people.  Really, think about it.  How much time do you think you have that you can take enough romantic baths a deux to make a giant tub a sound financial decision?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Concern of the Day - Episode 1

I haven't written anything new in forever.  Nothing has come to me.  So, for now I have decided to post mini-posts.  These are things that I feel compelled to discuss, but that are maybe too long for a status update on Facebook.  Feel free to comment or to suggest other pressing matters you feel need to be addressed.  Obviously, the people of the world are anxiously awaiting our thoughts on a variety of topics; one might say they are even looking for guidance from us.

So, this is what I am troubled by today (yesterday it was the disappointing non-deliciousness of root beer vodka) - Walk-in tub...sounds like a great idea.  But, it looks like you would have to get in, close door, then run the water.  That's a long time to sit there waiting to take a bath while the tub fills.  And then you have to wait until it is almost empty to get out.  This tub is aimed mostly at the elderly - I don't really think they have that kind of time to waste.  Also, what if you have to get out in a hurry, let's say to pee or get a snack?  There just seem to be so many things that the walk-in tub creators did not think of in regard to practicality.  I really don't understand why people everywhere to not run their ideas by me before the jump in all willy-nilly, wasting people's time and flooding their houses.

Sure, this guy looks relaxed now, but he doesn't
have to pee yet.

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