I recently realized that the Alexa app on my phone logs each and every command/question/request the boys make of Ezra's beloved Amazon Tap. I scrolled through about a month's worth and it was...illuminating. And so today I present a long, winding look at exactly how the young minds of today are interacting with and pushing the limits of Voice Service Technology. alexa play the angry birds soundtrack When's my birthday? When is my birthday? When is October the fifteenth? How much longer until Christmas? alexa play the angry birds soundtrack Say it What time will be after four oh five? What time will be after four oh six? How do you make the color purple? How to you make the color orange? What happens if you combine the color red with yellow? What do the colors red and yellow make? Come on alexa play the angry birds soundtrack What how do you make the color white? What what? What is a cowboy? What is a cowgirl? What is a cowgirl? I said cowgirl not cowboy How long of a fall would it be if he fell down from a cliff? What do you hear? Can you drink anything? What happens... Read more →


It's Friday! Therefore, time for what doesn't happen quite enough to constitute a "tradition" but happens just enough to maybe be a "thing," here are some photos I took this week that didn't quite find their way into their own post. Did you know they made a Broadway musical about the Titantic? Like a TAKES ITSELF SUPER SERIOUSLY LES MIZ-STYLE OPERATIC SPECTACLE MULTIPLE TONY AWARD WINNING musical? That opened the same year as Titanic: The Movie came out has absolutely nothing to do with Titanic: The Movie? Much like David S. Pumpkins, it's its ownnnn thang. I somehow had no idea, and probably would have accused you of lying presenting alternative facts, but now I can confirm it does exist, as I have seen Titanic: The Musical with my own eyes. (Not on Broadway, obviously. But in Northern Virginia, OBVIOUSLY.) (I do not think I was supposed to take this picture. Do not tell anyone, especially the Internet.) My review: The staging was impressively 100% amazing, especially since the original Broadway production was NOT designed for this small, theater-in-the-round 360° setup. The cast was uniformly excellent, as was the orchestra, which somehow managed to cram onto a tiny gangplank near... Read more →


Hi! Hi hi hi. I am writing this, live and in-person from New York City, but on my phone because I cannot get the hotel's WiFi to work. So I shall be brief because this feels like I'm typing a really really long text message and the only times I write really really long text messages is because I'm either super mad at someone ("here is everything I would say to you on the phone but won't because I don't call people on the phone!! thus I shall attempt to resolve our conflict in the least productive way!!")...or if I've been ignoring their text message for a long time and have to explain my bullshit reasons for doing that. So since I'm not mad at anyone, let me state that my bullshit reasons for ignoring my blog are 1) yesterday was my birthday, 2) Jason surprised me with a little just-us getaway to NYC, and 3) I'm 39 now, Jesus. I feel like that will be an excuse for a lot of things, going forward. The weather here has been gorgeous so we've mostly just done a lot of aimless walking, shopping and drifting from wine bar to wine bar.... Read more →


Ha ha, look at me. I'm funny. WHAT THE WHAT THE FRESHEST OF HELLS NO NOT AGAIN JASON PLZ I AM BEGGING YOU OMG WHAT Touché, you ridiculous bastard. (FML! Hope everybody enjoys their holidays this weekend! I am frantically emailing teachers [so many teachers, holy shit] last-minute gift cards while pretending that was my plan all along and not because I forgot and then I have to go buy food for Christmas dinner and take Beau to the groomers and the kids to see Rogue One [MOST IMPORTANT] and yes, replace a tire on the minivan because there's a slow leak and I am a grown-up who is in charge of my car, my destiny and also my motherfucking foyer.) Read more →


So this arrived a couple days ago. An early (and gigantic!) Christmas present from Jason's parents. It is a ladder. A proper, tall-enough ladder that will allow us to 1) paint some of the stupid-high walls and ceilings, 2) dust the ceiling fan blades, and 3) decorate the top of our Christmas trees without the use of a rake and Swiffer Duster extend-o handle thing. (That does not extend enough to dust the ceiling fan blades, ironically enough.) It is so fancy it comes with a whole DVD on how to use it. This is officially the most grown-up gift we have ever received. Or maybe the most obvious of hints to get our shit together. (Nahhhhhhhh.) But seriously, painting! Can possibly realistically happen! Goodbye beige and various beige-y shades of brown! Say hello to...oh God, hopefully not something that looks like a different color at first but then mostly comes out beige once it's on the whole wall. I should probably get the ladder out of the box and out of the foyer first, although y'all know our incredible track record on that sort of thing. And with that, #LADDERWATCH has officially commenced! Peace and blessings to your family... Read more →


My phone, as I more or less suspect, was completely FUBAR'd. The motherboard was damaged along with the screen, so...I got a new phone. And that's...kind of all I've got. I spent a tortuous amount of time yesterday trying to come up with something else to write about, as there's not really much of a plotline to buying a new phone. I had to go to two Verizon stores? Because the first one was fresh out of iPhones? Which I only learned about after waiting (and waaaaaaaiting) for the one lone salesperson to finish up with a couple who thought, hey, while we're here, let's ask this guy every tech support question we can think of, even ones that aren't even phone related, and also get his opinion on whether our online banking could ever get hacked by the Russians. PLOT TWIST: There was another, bigger Verizon store one shopping center over that still had plenty of iPhones. Suburbia! CONCLUSION: I got my phone from there and spent all weekend trying to remember all my various app logins. Then we watched Westworld while eating Velveeta chili dip and chicken wings. Oh and on Saturday there was an inexplicable amount of... Read more →


I dropped my phone on a sidewalk in Baltimore about a month ago, just barely cracking the upper-right corner. I've done SO MUCH WORSE to SO MANY PHONES, though, that I decided it wasn't even worth repairing...I was planning to upgrade after Christmas and demote this one down to full-time Kid Restaurant Entertainment/Angry Birds Duty anyway. Considering the kids still routinely argue over who gets dibs on a second-gen iPad with a completely shattered (and alarmingly sticky) screen, I figure they wouldn't mind yet another slightly imperfect hand-me-down. My phone, however, had other plans, and went on to basically disintegrate, crack by crack and chunk (!) by chunk. While the initial cracking was minimal, I popped it out of the case and realized the body was a tiny bit bent. So over time, I'm guessing, the stress just got to be too much (I FEEL YA, PHONE, SAME) and the cracks started to spread. Then large-ish pieces of the screen started flaking off, revealing the backside of the camera and other metal things that 1) are hot, and 2) will shock you if you do something inexplicably stupid, like lick your finger before touching them. Why, self? You spent an... Read more →


On Monday night I hit my head on a wall, split my forehead open, bled profusely all over myself, and got a concussion. REALLY GOOD WEEK OVER HERE. We were hanging out at our friends' awesome new house, a house I've been to before but have yet to fully grasp the twisty, multi-level floorplan -- I keep mistaking closets and the laundry room for the bathroom, and don't even get me started on the light switch situation, there are so many switches what do they all doooo. Half the time I just give up and pee in the dark. Which is probably what I should have done on Monday, because our friends are ASSHOLES. This is Suzy. They like to hide her around the house for maximum jump scare/creep out effect, and they get me EVERY SINGLE TIME. BAM, turn a corner and she's there, lurking in the shadows. You sit down to pee and BAM. Creeping on ya in the shower. Once again, she was hiding out in the bathroom, and once again, I was so preoccupied with finding the proper light switch that I didn't realize she was literally six inches away from my face and suddenly HERRRRREEEE'S... Read more →


Something has gone terribly amiss in our hand-me-down clothing system. Clothing size math makes me crazy, but it seems everything has collapsed due to a bad ratio of non-worn-through-the-knee pants to children-with-weirdly-similar-leg-lengths, combined with our usual oh-crap-it's-suddenly-chilly-quick-try-on-last-year's-pants seasonal unpreparedness. (The Legs Collective, back in simpler, summery-er times.) Noah's now wearing clothes long enough that they're typically destroyed before they're outgrown, greatly reducing what I can pass down to Ezra. Ike's legs are insanely long that he's practically wearing the same pants size as Ezra (who is a good head taller but super extra skinny), leading to a critical pants shortage. Ezra has attended school all week in jeans that are noticeably two inches too short, which ALSO highlights his complete lack of socks. (I mean, we have millions of socks. There are literally socks everywhere. None of the socks match, and also we are still besieged by the mysterious Zombie Baby Socks, because all I ever do is throw out or donate baby socks and yet THERE ARE STILL BABY SOCKS IN THIS HOUSE. But matching socks that fit them now? Pffft. Pipe dream. I could go buy three dozen more socks tomorrow and we'd be tapped out by Saturday.)... Read more →


Our first year with a "real" garden has been... ...bountiful, to say the least. And very, very delicious. (Not pictured, because we ated them: turnips, radishes, carrots, kale, zucchini, peas, bell and chili peppers, most of which we'll be getting round two or even three of shortly.) It's also been a bit of a learning process for us, as 1) no human family, no matter how bonkers-crazy they are for tomatoes, can possibly consume the INSANE number of tomatoes we planted, and I say that as someone who has not eaten a non-tomato-centric lunch in four months, has made sauces and jams and salads and soups, and has given away bags of tomatoes to anyone who comes to visit. Also 2) TIMBERRRRRRRRR. Whoopsie. We're having some nasty weather this week, and last night the metal frame Jason screwed into the raised beds gave up under the weight of a 10-foot high cucumber plant. I didn't even notice until after I got back from the bus stop. And while I'm SURE our neighbors were THRILLED at the sight of our giant-ass plant dangling over the fence (at least upright it served as a improvisational privacy hedge?), they did not poach our... Read more →