Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Worst Halloween Costumes finalists are...

Remember when Halloween was a holiday for kids, to dress up and show their (or their parents') creative side? When parents who accompanied their kids trick-or-treating would dress like warlocks and witches (with big noses and warts!), or Frankenstein and his bride, or Dracula and one of his victims -- and didn't look like hookers with their pimps out looking for tricks?

Of course, that was before Victoria's Secret and put the Ho in Halloween.

And things have only gone from bad to worse, as this year's crop of bad costumes illustrates.

Following are my top five picks for 2014's Worst (or Most Offensive) Halloween Costumes (all of which are currently available for purchase online).

5. The Sexy Jellyfish. Keep your distance, boys, lest she sting you! (Seriously, WTF were they thinking? There is NOTHING sexy about a jellyfish.)

4. The Spliff. Which I hear is very popular in Colorado and Washington.

3. The Sexy Unicorn. (That's one horny costume!)

2. The Ebola Nurse. (No wonder they caught the Ebola virus! That hazmat suit is more like a hazmat bikini!)

That Ebola Nurse costume is pretty bad. But the worst, or most offensive, Halloween costume may be the Ray Rice and Janay Palmer elevator costume.

Makes you want to take a slug... of whiskey.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's not bitching...

It's Verbal Release Therapy.

In fact, when you think about it, or the alternatives, bitching is downright good for you.

When you hold in all that anger, all that frustration, what do you get? An ulcer. Or high blood pressure. Or a serial killer. You're like a ticking time bomb, ready to go off.

But by bitching (or kvetching, or grumbling, or complaining, or venting*) about that jerk who cut you off on your way to work, or your computer crashing right in the middle of typing that important paper, or why you seem to be the only person in the house who is able to change a roll of toilet paper (or load/unload the dishwasher, or put shit away, or do laundry, or clean up), or how no one ever reads your blog posts, or how your football team sucks, or -- you get the idea -- you release all that stress and frustration and negative energy into the ether and can begin the healing process.

[Deep breath in through the nose... vent out through the mouth. Aaaaaah.]

Of course, like everything else in life, you should bitch, or complain, or vent in moderation. (Nobody likes a whiner.) Preferably to someone who loves or cares about you, or whom you are paying, who will be a good listener, and will not tell you to "relax," or "chill out," or "what you should do is," which will only result in more anger and frustration and... bitching.

This has been a public service announcement.

*Did you know the English language has over three dozen words, or synonyms, for complain?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cats explained. Sort of.

It's Monday at 4. I've been up since 3:30 a.m. (neighbor's alarm went off... again) and can barely focus. And I can barely type because a glass exploded in my hand yesterday afternoon, slicing the top of the middle finger of my right hand. (Fortunately, I do not believe I need stitches, but it hurts like heck.) So about the only thing I'm capable of doing at this point is watching cat videos -- and blogging about watching cat videos.

First up, "CAT LOGIC," from Cole and Marmalade:

Next, a topic near and dear to me (in fact as I type this, my black cat, Felix, is sitting in my lap, rubbing up against me), "What it's like to work with cats!" also from Cole and Marmalade.

Hey, at least I'm not blogging about Ebola or the mid-term elections.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Would you like a medal for that?

As all of you J-TWO-O blog readers know, the spouse and I have a running debate about how to load (or not load) the dishwasher. A debate that apparently rages at a lot of other houses as well, including fictional ones, like the Johnsons on black-ish, the new ABC sitcom about a successful, two-income African-American family (who have been likened to the Huxtables of The Cosby Show).

I laughed out loud at this scene, titled "Dre Wants Credit from His Wife [for loading the dishwasher]."

If only his wife, Rainbow, had had Man Medals, a brilliant idea for the man who feels he deserves an award for changing the toilet paper roll, taking out the garbage, or emptying the dishwasher (though there is no Man Medal for loading the dishwasher -- for a reason).

There also isn't a Man Medal for making the bed, which the spouse did all by himself yesterday! (Next time you can post a photo on Facebook, honey.)

Or for doing the laundry, or the dishes, or mowing the lawn -- things, which I have heard rumors, some guys do (without their wives even having to ask!).

Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh. After all, the spouse does help out with grocery shopping. And he helps clean up after dinner, and he does take out the garbage and fix our computers. (Thank you, honey!)

And, I admit, like the wife/mother on black-ish, and a lot (all) women I know, I like things done a certain way -- my way. And I hate mess, or disorganization. So I wind up doing and taking care of stuff. Just because. And I don't expect a medal.

Yet when a man does one thing, like changing a diaper, or taking the kids to school, or baking cupcakes, he expects -- and often gets, from friends and coworkers -- an effing ticker-tape parade.Which pisses me off.

So, ladies (and guys), how's that Women's Liberation thing working out for all of you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Global Handwashing Day!

Finally, a celebration day for us germaphobes! Let's break out the hand sanitizer and celebrate, people!

And Global Handwashing Day could not have come at a better time, what with people here in the United States (and around the world) freaking out about Ebola and Enterovirus 68.

Though do you really need such an extreme excuse to wash your hands?

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and any healthcare professional can (and will) tell you, the number one way to avoid getting sick is to WASH YOUR HANDS
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
(You paying attention, honey?)

Equally important is how you wash your hands, which, according to numerous studies, most of us don't do properly. So how do you wash your hands properly? Again, according to the CDC (and health professionals), to properly wash your hands you should:
  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap -- lathering the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds -- the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel, paper towel, or hand dryer them UNTIL THEY ARE COMPLETELY DRY as germs love moisture.

Don't have access to running water, soap, and a towel? Use hand sanitizer. (I carry a bottle with me at all times -- and make the spouse and teenager carry a bottle with them, too.)

And no excuses! If astronauts can wash their hands in space...

you can do it here on Earth!

Happy Global Handwashing Day!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Life with Teenage Daughter Who Now Drives

As some of you may recall, two weeks ago the teenager acquired a driver's license -- and my nine-year-old Mini Cooper. At the time, I was rather stressed out, first about her road test, because the teenager was so stressed out, and I literally felt her anxiety (and yes, I am using literal in the literal sense). Then because OMG! MY DAUGHTER HAD HER DRIVER'S LICENSE AND WAS DRIVING... MY CAR! At 16!

[And she'll have fun, fun, fun 'til her mommy takes her Mini away.]

As a child of New York City (i.e., Manhattan), I had zero interest in acquiring a driver's license or a car when I was 16... or 17. Why go through the hassle when you can walk, or take the bus, or the subway, or a taxi anywhere? Indeed, in New York (i.e., Manhattan) a car was a burden, and a big expense, where people paid more for monthly parking than they did in rent.

It was only because my father INSISTED that I learn how to drive before I went off to college that I took driving lessons at the end of my senior year of high school. And let me tell you, learning how to drive in Manhattan is not for the faint of heart (nor is the New York Department of Motor Vehicles -- shudder). And even though I did, in fact, acquire my driver's license before heading off to college, I had zero desire to drive in the City (and still don't).

However, I realize that in the suburbs, especially where we live, being able to drive gives teenagers a sense of freedom and independence. Not unlike the feeling(s) I and my friends had being able to get around the City on our own.

So now each afternoon, instead of rushing off to school to pick her up, or take her to the gym or some other activity, I sit alone in my office, typing on my computer, my cat napping in my lap, repeatedly glancing at my mobile phone, waiting for her to text me where she is and that she is okay, and waiting to see or hear the Mini.

And I wait. And I watch. And I wonder.... How did she get to be so big, so independent, so grown up? What happened to my little girl?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The return of Pumpkin Spice Season

[Alternate title: Pumpkin Spice: The Meme That Wouldn't Die]

Welcome to another Pumpkin Spice Season, that special time of year, formerly known as October, where everything is flavored with that magical, mystical seasoning known as "pumpkin spice" (what we in our house still refer to as "cinnamon" and "ginger")

I admit, there was a time, many years ago, when I looked forward to having a Pumpkin Spice Latte (now known simply by the abbreviation PSL to the pumpkin spice and Starbucks cognoscenti), back before Pumpkin Spice became a meme.

Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies
And even now, the thought of a Pumpkin Spice Latte seems quaint compared to some of the outrageous pumpkin spice products clogging supermarket shelves -- from Nabisco Pumpkin Spice Oreos and Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies (blasphemy!) to Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles (ew) and Pumpkin Pie Spice Jif Peanut Butter (WTF?) and Thomas' Pumpkin Spice Bagels (no, just no -- though they are made with "real pumpkin").

What's next? Pumpkin Spice Condoms?

(Before you all get too excited about Pumpkin Spice Condoms, which IMHO, are a brilliant idea, I regret to inform you that the rumors about Durex creating a limited edition Pumpkin Spice Condom are false. Sadly. However, I would not be the least bit surprised to see them come next Pumpkin Spice Season.)

Fortunately, in another month or so, Pumpkin Spice Season will be but a memory and we can move on to Peppermint and Gingerbread season.