Posted in Brain Dump, humor, lists, Real Life, stuff

We’ve Got Pebbles!

I was in the car for 14 of 36 hours this past weekend (took a jaunt to Philly and back for my son to do an audition). I talk a lot in the car, because I like to entertain myself that way, and it keeps the driver alert while driving everyone else in the car crazy.

We should have recorded the conversations – I’d have 75% of a podcast ready to publish. I didn’t start taking notes until Sunday, so missed stuff from Saturday.

Here, in no particular order, are things we discussed on the ride back. Feel free to work them into your own conversations.

– Why did the person who called “not it” for driving through NY get stuck driving through NY both ways? That would be me, for the record. I declare the lower level of the George Washington Bridge a big disappointment because it felt more like a tunnel than a bridge.

– Why are New Jersey drivers worse than any other group on the road? I have never seen so many crazy speeding lane-changers. Like violent swipes from one to another inches away from other cars.

– If you owned a bus company, would you only hire drivers willing to wear catheters so they could do the Boston to NYC route without stopping?

– Is a Lamborghini a practical car? (That was Michael’s claim. I don’t know how he defines practical but he couldn’t answer my “what do you do if you are grocery shopping” question. He said they get good gas mileage. Google doesn’t confirm the claim unless you think 12mpg city is “good.” Also, if you forget how to spell Lamborghini use “Lamb or ghini” as a hint. I don’t know if ghini is a thing.

– Made Tom Google the surgery-free weight loss balloon we saw advertised on a billboard. It’s a big balloon filled with saline. I can’t figure out how to insert a big saline filled balloon without surgery. Tom says the fill it in you. “How do they tie it?” Secretly, I now want to try this method of weight loss, but instead of a saline balloon maybe one with smuggled diamonds. Also, can I just swallow balloons from the toy store to save money?

– The My Brother My Brother and Me podcast makes a joke about Gallagher 1 and 2 and references G1 being a dick. Tom hadn’t heard this (!) so we Googled “Why is Gallagher a dick?” but then we have to exclude the Oasis brothers (also dicks) and Dick Gallagher, a piano player who is probably a dick “because his mom liked the name” to get just the stories about angry racist Watermelon Gallagher.

– Made Tom Google and read me the wiki for the Scarsdale Diet doctor murder. Also made him Google Molly Pitcher to verify our guesses about why they named a rest area after her. I had the correct era, but Michael actually knew a surprising amount about her.

– We talked about a story Michael had from the audition. He’d told people in line around him that you can suck on gummy bears to soothe your throat. The people behind him told him they’d Googled it because they thought he might be trying to sabotage the line. We tried to decide what he would have gained by knocking them out with bad advice when they weren’t directly auditioning against each other. Michael: “Go ahead, Google ‘sucking on a gummy bear’.”

Me: “I don’t have safe search on.”

– Tom and Michael declare the Grover Cleveland rest area on the NJ turnpike honors a Muppet. We ponder if there are human/muppet porn movies but do not search for any because there must be some. It takes at least 20 more miles before I realize they meant Grover the blue Monster and not a humanoid Muppet named Grover Cleveland. Wasn’t there a boy Muppet similarly named?

– What is Peter Pan doing in the picture on the back of Peter Pan busses? Michael proposes Flamenco dancing and I think a magic trick with a quick “look over there!” redirect. Would you know it was a picture of Peter Pan if it wasn’t on a Peter Pan bus? “It’s young Robin Hood!” We didn’t look up the history, but it isn’t clear why Peter Pan = bus transportation. I also wonder what they had to pay JM Barrie for the rights, and if it was worth it (as opposed to just making up a new, non-intellectual property name.)

– how much do we hate the car’s GPS? Her alternate route suggestions to avoid traffic generally add time. She also says “Traffic jam ahead” when there is either no traffic jam ahead, or when we are already in the middle of it. WE KNOW.  I named the GPS lady Suzy because the car is a Subaru. A frequent response to her announcements is “Shut the hell up, Suzy!” The biggest flaw is that she seems to treat many highway exits as anti-turns we must be warned to avoid, especially when there is an exit-only lane. I understand you don’t want people in a turn-only lane if they aren’t turning, but that feels like a thing the driver will handle: if you tell me to drive 30 miles to my next exit, I will spend thirty miles NOT taking every exit that comes along.

– How difficult would it be for a kitten to play ragtime on an upright piano? The song “Kitten on the Keys” feels misleading in this respect. I don’t think a kitten has the body mass to depress the keys that quickly. Tom realizes it’s a player piano or nickelodeon, not a piano. So it’s a REALLY misleading song title.

– Discussed the relative merits of Peter Tork as a singer.

– If you trip and fall and rip your arm open on a cruise ship mini golf course, how much of it is it your fault for not being able to lift your leg over the sides of the hole?

– Changed the rules for Spotify Search Roulette. Use Gong Show guidelines of 30 seconds per song, then anyone can say “skip.” Each rider gets two vetoes – you can each use one “skip veto” per song. If there is a second Skip request after you veto the first one, you have to skip! Related: while the songs are awful, the search term “auntie” results in the most interesting song titles and band names I’ve ever seen while playing this game.


14 hours driving to and from Philly plus an hour each way to see a concert Saturday night means we are all car seat-shaped and spent too much time in rest area bathrooms. But it was a good trip and I’d do it again tomorrow if I had to. (Unfortunately/fortunately, we won’t have to, at least not this time.)

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Posted in complaint department, lists, Real Life

If I Ruled the iOS World

The latest Apple operating system is due out this week. Or soon. I can’t keep up, to be honest. Anyway, I decided this would be a good place to list my pet peeves and almost all of them are related to music apps, which is interesting. In particular order:

1. I hate hate hate how the Music app just does whatever the hell it wants when the phone locates and connects to a Bluetooth device. A good half the time, when I start my car, the music app just starts playing, even if I was using Spotify last. And it just starts playing in alphabetical order. I got to hear the first 5 seconds of the ABC Cafe from Les Mis until a song called “A Thrill of Anticipation” pulled in first. Hey, Apple, nobody includes the articles when determining alphabetical order. WTF.

Either way, stop auto-playing, and stop going back to the top of the song list.

2. Almost worse than that, why can’t I set the default for shuffle? Sweet baby Jesus, turning off shuffle multiple times a day is pure horseshit. If I turn it off, LEAVE IT OFF.

3. iTunes: STOP SUCKING. Music App: maybe force the developers to USE it so they’ll understand how unintuitive they’ve made the damned thing. I loathe Music now and listen to Spotify EVEN when I own the album and have to use data because the Music app sucks hard.

4. Spotify app: you need to let me change the order my playlists are in from the app. And set the default to add new songs to the top of a list (from within the app). (I figured this one out. Pull down on the playlist and the sort order is upper right.) Also, MyMusic would be far less annoying if it let me view by album. I hardly ever want to play every song by an artist, but I may want to play a whole album. Your UI makes me take 4 extra steps. And bring back the original concept of “Starred” songs going into the Starred playlist.

5. LastFM app: Get your shit together. Who on earth releases a whole new version of their software with all the functionality turned off? You weren’t ready to go live? Roll back to the previous version. The app is pretty much useless right now, listing only song title (not artist). Knowing I listened to Luce 22 times last week is different from knowing I have listed 322 times total. A weekly view should be a weekly view. Period.
Lastly, I don’t know if this is on Apple or you or the 3rd party app I’m using, but I shouldn’t have to listen to every second of a song for it to scrobble. Listening to 5:45 of a 6 minute song should count.

Is that a full wish list? Hardly, but addressing these issues would remove 80% of my iPhone frustration.

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Posted in lists, Real Life

Thanksgiving 2013

I have some things I’m thankful for this year. Some things I’m not, but now is not the time for that. Talk to me next week for complaints.

My son, for finally learning where everything goes when he empties the dishwasher, and for being the one person who consistently makes me belly laugh. That sarcasm 101 class at court jester school really paid off. You are top-shelf, kid, which is, by the way, where the wine glasses go.

My iPhone, which serves as my connection to the universe, my way to shop, my alarm clock, my kitchen timer, my camera, nightlight and radio. I don’t know what I’d do without an automated way to crush candy.
My parents, for everything they do for me, whether I ask them to or not. I know I’m blessed beyond belief to have you both. But I also promised to not get mushy.
My spare kid, and the girls who formed a fan club fighting to replace him, for making me feel loved and appreciated and all-powerful. I do love each of you special snowflakes. If you are reading this, you are my favorite.

Last but not least, I am thankful for second dates, and boys patient enough to wait for you to come out of your silly fog. I am thankful I came to my senses before he gave up on me. And he’s better than a plate full of turkey (but not better than stuffing because let’s not get crazy, okay?)

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Posted in coolness, humor, lists

St. Jody Day 2013

I posted a link to the original St. Jody Day post back in 2009 (the first official St. Jody Day) on Facebook and Twitter. It is here. Go catch up, and then come back.  I think in the 4 years since then, we have learned a few things and we should add more items to the list of ways to celebrate.

Therefore, on what would have been my 20th wedding anniversary if, say, I had remained married the last four years (oops) I declare an update to the St. Jody Day rules!

6. The wearing of the tiara. You don’t have a tiara? Well, there are malls all over the world. Most of them should have a tiara store. Look near the yacht store.
7. The plugging in of twinkle lights. Don’t have twinkle lights? And you call yourself my friend? I HOARD twinkle lights. But I’m not sharing. If you have a fake Christmas tree, put it up and turn it on. There is no excuse.
8. The faving and RTing of my work on Twitter. For goodness’ sake, people, why do I only have 425 followers? And why am I not more popular? On St. Jody Day, you’d better bust out the big guns and make me feel loved!
9. The slurping of mai tais and ice cream. My darling cousin Jacqui and her darling husband Ron helped me celebrate my first St. Jody Day by taking me to a chinese buffet, followed by ice cream at Kimball’s in Westford MA. Two mai tais during dinner guaranteed I would have to be carried to the window to order my ice cream. You may choose to limit yourself to one mai tai, but get an extra scoop on your cone.

Is that enough? Never, but I don’t want to overwhelm the newbies. I think this St. Jody Day will be legendary.

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