Tuesday, January 28, 2014


My 4 year old, Max, is taking a basketball class at the YMCA.  It's supposed to be for three and four year old kids, but there's this one kid who is basically this guy:

Maybe, maybe, he's almost five….it's possible.  It's also possible that he can get into R rated movies.

Anyway, the class is held every Saturday morning for about a million weeks - seriously, I don't think this class ever ends - and is a nice activity to give Max a break from the Netflix film festival that our lives have become.  It's hard to get dressed and out of the house so early though, what with the cold weather, and the snow, and the fact that Amazon now streams Team Umizoomi.  

But it is always worth it, as there are a few interesting parents in attendance.  Luckily these are pre-schoolers, so we don't yet have the red-faced, thick-necked dads screaming things like LET'S GET SOME HUSTLE!! and CAN'T WE GET SOME DEFENSE?!? (these are all things people scream at sporting events, right?).  We do however have these guys:

1)  The lady who is out there doing literally everything with her kid.  Like, everything.  Time to do drills?  She's out there galloping sideways down the court.  Time to shoot the basketball into a hoop that's like three feet off the ground?  She shoots, she scores!  Time to hop like a frog?  There's a sight I will never be able to erase from my brain.  Although, last week she stayed on the sidelines and her kid spent the entire class running back and forth across the court wearing a superhero cape. So maybe she knew what she was doing.

2)  The dad who shows up in head to toe Addidas athletic gear, and then sits there on his iPad.  What are you doing?  I mean, you looked like you were either going to assist the coaches against their will, or you were going to leave and go workout.  But you're doing neither of those things.  You're sitting in a chair playing Rayman Fiesta Run and not even looking at your kid.  You could have at least worn jeans.

Then you get the older kids that come in and are just waiting around for the class to end so they can use the court.  They start dribbling and doing all this other basketbally type shit on the sidelines, and then one of their red-faced, thick-necked dads comes along and starts clapping and saying things like LET'S GET THAT DEFENSIVE STANCE GOING.  Or whatever.  He doesn't actually say it in all caps, but that's how I hear it because I AM TRYING TO WATCH A CLASS OF 4 YEAR OLD CHILDREN. Would it kill you to just wait quietly out in the hall?  The world will not end if you have to stop dribbling for fifteen freakin minutes.  Here, I'll give you a book to read.

After class, we stop in this play area that looks like a giant tree with a slide built into it, and kids randomly drop their socks on my head while I send text messages to my husband who, for some reason, got to go wait for us in the car.

In conclusion, I'm glad that we are getting out of the house and that Max is getting some exercise.  And once it's over, we get to watch four straight hours of Team Umizoomi with a totally clear conscience.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How Are We Preparing For The Storm?

1.  Lowering our coworker's raised wipers.

2.  Using vacation time in order to leave early. 

3.  Still expecting Fed Ex guy to come. 

4.  Wearing ski boots into staff meeting. 

5.  Screaming "We're all gonna die!" every time a client calls.

6.  Hoarding coworker's lunches in our desk drawer. 

7.  Sending intern to deliver package to New Hampshire.

8.  Vending machine smash & grab.

9.   Sleeping at the motel across the street like we've done every night since Linda threw us out. 

10.  Praying that polar vortex annihilates office. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Secretary Will Make Great Secretary Someday

According to recent performance evaluation results, local secretary, Jennifer Schmidt, has what it takes to be a great secretary someday.

"Jen's unique talents for problem solving, reading people, and thinking outside the box, will lead her into a bright future in the same exact position that she's always had," typed boss, Mike Hardy, into the Career Goals section of the evaluation form.

Schmidt, who began her secretarial career nine years ago as a secretary, has since been promoted to secretary, secretary, and most recently in 2013, to secretary.  It is the vast experience that she has gained in such areas as billing, contracts, and corporate travel planning, that has led Schmidt to move horizontally along the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.

"We at Carter & Duff are always keeping our eyes open for employees that have what it takes," said Branch Manager, Alan Murphy, nodding in approval after signing off on the evaluation.  "And from what I see here, Ms. Schmidt will be on the fast track to the job she currently holds in no time."

While total career stagnation has not always been a goal of Schmidt's, she admits that hearing it from her boss has really made her think about the future.

"I never thought I had it in me to completely plateau by the age of thirty-three," said Schmidt.  "But hearing it straight from Mike, that means a lot.  Now I have the confidence to continue down this path that will eventually loop around to where I started nine years ago.  It's all very exciting."

"She's always been secretarial material," said Hardy.  "From the first day that she walked in here I said to myself 'that secretary is going places'.  Of course none of us realized at the time that those places would be the same ones she's already been going to for nearly a decade."

If Schmidt continues with this career plan, executives at Carter & Duff have indicated that she can expect a salary equivalent to the one that she receives today, as well as the same job description as the twenty year old temp who was brought in last week to answer the phones.

"I'm really going to miss her when she takes her new position," said Hardy.  "Thankfully, she'll still be here."

Friday, January 10, 2014

Goodbye Old Friend

NOT.  You sucked and I am thrilled to shove you into a drawer never to be used again.  This is  my Panasonic micro cassette transcriber, for those of you who never had the pleasure.  We've finally moved on to digital recording devices, or at least I have.  There are some in my office who are resisting  technology.  They prefer to listen to tapes that sound as if they were recorded from within the sunken remains of the Titanic.  Face it ladies, we're all going to be replaced by robots someday.  And when our robot overlords get here, wouldn't it be nice to be able to converse with them about current technology?    You think Zorax57#1029@6 wants to talk to you about typewriter ribbon?  No.  He'll blast you with his ray gun.  But if you say something like "I really like this new Olympus VN-702PC Voice Recorder with 2 GB of internal memory, how 'bout you?" he might just let you live. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Worst Movie That Ever Was And Ever Will Be

I got a bad review of my book the other day.  On New Year's Eve, actually.  It was a really hurtful, bitter review, left by someone who was overly angry at a book that she probably paid nothing for.  I was upset about it for a while, then I decided not to waste my time dwelling on such a miserable person's opinion.  I didn't want to become someone who focuses only on the negative.  If I were to do that, then I would be like her.  I decided to start 2014 with only positive thoughts!

And then I went to see Walking With Dinosaurs.

Fuck.  And I mean fuuuuuck.  If Fifty Shades of Grey is the worst book that ever was and ever will be, then Walking With Dinosaurs is the worst movie that ever was and ever will be.  At least until the Fifty Shades of Grey movie comes out.  But even that is debatable. If I had to choose between sitting through Walking With Dinosaurs for a second time, and watching Anastasia Steele get repeatedly railed by that sick twisted s.o.b., I might have to go for the latter.

And now let's begin:

Walking With Dinosaurs was produced by BBC Earth after the success of their 1999 miniseries of the same name.  It was originally made as a silent film.  A silent film that would have been AWESOME and gorgeous and totally enjoyable to watch. But then some Hollywood executives came along and said "Hey, what would be better than this really awesome silent dinosaur film that would be unlike any other dinosaur film ever made?  I know! Let's dub it with the voice of that guy from Alvin and the Chipmunks.  Justin Long.  Yeah, that guy.  We want him!  And don't forget John Leguizamo!"

My.  God.

I read the bad reviews before we went into the theater, but I still didn't quite comprehend.  I thought, how bad can it be? My four year old will like it, and I just want to look at the dinosaurs.  Who cares about the script?  You know who definitely didn't care about the script?  Whoever wrote the fucking script.

The movie starts off in present day with this paleontologist guy driving his niece and nephew up into the mountains of Alaska to look for dinosaur bones.  The teenaged nephew is all into his cell phone and doesn't care about paleontology in the slightest.  He's all "Who cares about science?  Science didn't build my iPhone!  CANDY CRUSH SAGA!!!!!!!"  The uncle parks the car and takes off with the niece and leaves the dopey nephew to wait in the car.  About three seconds later this wisecracking Latino bird flies down and starts speaking to the kid.  Maybe the kid was doing mushrooms in the car while he waited, I don't know.  They didn't show that part.  Anyway, this talking bird, voiced by John Leguizamo, shows up, and tells the kid that the ancient past is really way super cool and that he's going to tell him all about it.  Then he morphs into this dinosaur bird, unfortunately still voiced by John Leguizamo, and away we go!

The worst bird in all of history
I think I'm just going to make a list:

1)  The voices.  My God, the voices.  First of all, since the movie was originally meant to be a silent film, the dinosaurs mouths don't move.  There's just this weird voiceover throughout the entire thing, where it looks like the dinosaurs are communicating telepathically.  It made it very difficult to figure out who the hell was talking.  Unless, of course it was John Leguizamo, then all you said to yourself was "Shit, that annoying bird's talking again."

2) The main character is this teenaged dinosaur (was that a thing?) named Patchi, who goes on a migration with his herd.  Along the way he falls in love with this other teenaged dinosaur and the two of them get separated from the herd and run into all sorts of dopey trouble.  Whatever.  Who cares.  All I could focus on was the absolute garbage that kept spewing out of Patchi's mouth.  Endless references to modern day things, like calling bird-like dinosaurs "Turkey bird!" as an insult.  Turkeys?  Why would dinosaurs know about turkeys??  And ninjas!  And he talked as if he were typing status updates on Facebook.  "Worst.  Migration.  Ever."  He says this.  HE ACTUALLY FUCKING SAYS THIS.

I'm happy you guys are extinct
3) I'm always up for a poop or a fart joke.  I'll even take a vomit joke if it's all you've got.  This movie dumped all of the above on us within the first ten minutes, and did so with such awful delivery that all I could do was roll my eyes.  You know who used to roll her eyes at poop jokes?  My mother.  This movie has turned me into my mother.

4)  The main character has this permanent hole in his head from where he was attacked when he was a baby.  Countless times we were subjected to jokes about his hole.  This movie that only appeals to children under age 3, makes countless references to a dinosaur's HOLE.  Like his butthole, get it?!?  The producers really wanted you to get it - that's why they made the joke fifty-seven times.

5) Patchi's brother, Scowler, is a total douche-bag.  He talks like Biff from Back to the Future.  He says things like "Hey losers!  Ha Ha! They looked!"  That's all I have to say about him.  I wish he'd died.


6)  At one point, when all the dinosaurs were walking across a frozen lake, I wished that they would fall in and drown so that I could go home.

7)  At the end of the movie we get to see the dopey human kid again.  Apparently he's watched the same movie that we just did even though he was standing out in the Alaskan wilderness.  He's suddenly all "PALEONTOLOGY ROCKS!!!"  and even his uncle is like "Woah, it's not that cool."  Then the bird, who literally made me feel like I was being stabbed in the brain with a fork, came back to end the movie with one more lame joke.  Then he burst out of the movie screen and followed me to the car saying things like "I know you are, but what am I?" into the back of my head.

In conclusion:  Don't see this movie.  Don't take your kids to see this movie.  Don't remind me that I've seen this movie.  The script was so bad that I wasn't even able to concentrate on how awesome the special effects probably were, and that's a pretty big shame.