Category Archives: Humor

So You’re Trying to Get to Cleveland for New Years Eve and The Thruway Closes & You’ve Got to Pee

New Years Eve 2012

For years Hubby and I had a long-standing tradition of spending New Year’s Eve with friends in Cleveland.

Some people might be thinking: Cue the sad-sounding trombones.

The reality is our New Year’s celebrations in Cleveland have been wonderful.

Some years we dressed up all fancy-schmancy and traveled to decadent restaurants while other years we huddled beside the fireplace in our jammies and fell asleep before the ball in Times Square touched down.

One year as Hubby and I set out to make our annual trek, the weather looked hairy. But we were young and stupid, so we packed up our car and pressed on.

After we passed Buffalo and got on the Interstate, the snow started pelting the car so we couldn’t see.

We turned on the radio.

Yes, the radio.

It was either that or Hubby’s tape-deck and collection of mixed-tapes featuring Kenny G.

My husband gripped the steering wheel. The snow was blowing the car around and we wanted to know if the whole trip would feel like we were driving through a wind tunnel beneath the heavy feathers of a rapidly molting white bird.

And then we heard it.

The Thruway has been closed from Buffalo to Erie.

As if on cue, the cars slowed and stopped. We turned off the engine to conserve gas. There was nothing to do but wait.

And listen to mixed tapes.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I was two months pregnant at the time.

I don’t know about how it goes for other women, but during that first trimester, I had to pee.

A lot.

After sitting for three hours in my husband’s tiny black Honda Prelude, I panicked.

“I have to pee.”

The windshield wipers swished back and forth and, for a moment, we could see.

“Well, you’re going to have to hold it.”

I looked out my passenger side window, at the stillness of it all and contemplated how I was going to make it to a bathroom when I couldn’t even see an exit ramp.

But this need to pee was non-negotiable.

I tried to explain it to my husband so he would understand.

“You know how you don’t like to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast?” I said. “Well, I don’t like to pee on myself.”

In my experience, any time someone tries to ignore a biological urge, that urge becomes more urgent.

I popped open the car door. Snowflakes fluttered onto my lap.

“I see an RV ahead,” I unbuckled my seat belt. “I bet they have a bathroom. Either they’ll let me in, or I’m going to have to cop a squat.”

I walked down I-90 between the rows of stopped cars, glad for my hat with the earflaps. People saw me coming and rolled down their windows to ask me questions – as if I could tell them when the snow would stop, how much longer until we would start moving, about what was causing the delay.

I only knew I had to pee.

I slogged through the snow that came up to my knees and kept my eye on that RV with the Canadian license plates.

Knocking on the door with urgency, I was greeted by a man in a red ski-mask with cut outs for the eyes and nose.

I explained to the masked man that I was pregnant and that I had walked really far in the snow.

Because I had to pee.

The man in the ski-mask walked back up the steps and gestured for me to come in.

I looked back at my husband’s car, a white lump in the distance. Before I’d left, I told Hubby once I was in that he should give me ten minutes, that if I wasn’t out in ten minutes, he should come get me because someone was cutting me into small pieces.

So I followed a man in a ski-mask into an RV.

Surprise! The RV was filled with Canadian hockey players who were super-friendly, eh?

After I used their facilities, they offered me snacks and told me not to hesitate if I needed to come back.

On my way out, I wished them a Happy New Year, and they held up mugs and shouted something unintelligible in Canadian.

Several hours later, we got moving again, but traffic was diverted back to Buffalo where Hubby and I were forced to spend the night in a Microtel, which felt much too micro after having spent so much time crammed in such a tight space.

We didn’t make it to Cleveland for New Years that night. Instead, we had spaghetti and meatballs at one of our favorite restaurants.

I was pretty hormonal, and I remember crying as I pushed pasta and meat sauce into my mouth.

Our waitress appeared with a tiny bottle of champagne.

So long ago, not everyone was even born yet!

“This is for you,” she announced. “From your friends in Cleveland.”

And then I really sobbed.

Because I missed them.

And because I couldn’t drink champagne.

Except I probably could have.

But it was so lovely of them to remember us.

Stranded on New Year’s Eve.

Last year we made it.

And we ate raclette.

And everyone made it to midnight.

And it was positively perfect.

Last night, we got about 10 inches of snow.

It better melt really fast.

Or else.

Hope to see everyone soon!

What are you doing to ring in the New Year?

tweet me @rasjacobson

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I Missed You. Did You Even See Me?

I can’t help it.

I love to read personal ads.

Especially the ones where people write to strangers. You know the ones? A person has seen someone somewhere, and that person feels compelled to write about the *moment* in hopes that this person *might* see it and then recognize him or herself so they *might* hook up and live happily ever after.

First of all, I want to see one documented case – one – where this approach has ever worked.

Especially ones like these from isawyou.com:

These crack me up.

Omigoodness.

In the name of fun, I’d like you to imagine that you are flipping through some local edgy magazine or some wonky online website when you see it.

Someone has written a personal ad.

And you know it’s about you.

Here’s how I imagine mine would go:

Last Monday. 1 pm. Seen leaving MCC campus. Woman dragging an unattractive wheelie-bag wearing a hat and a smile. You disappeared between a row of cars. I tried to come for you, but I don’t have a pass for Lot K. Can I buy you a ginger ale?

I can’t even tell you how much fun I had writing that, and it isn’t even that great!

So here is your chance!

In the comments, write a personal ad about yourself.

It can be fact or fiction or a hybrid.

Oh, and keep them under 50 words.

Personal ads ain’t cheap.

Unless you are on Craigslist.

Or isawyou.com.

Okay, who am I kidding? Even if they cost $750, personal ads are cheap.

But may they never disappear. Never.

tweet me @rasjacobson

How Having a Wedgie Made Me Realize My Son is Becoming a Man

Me in my Express Jeans. Size 2.

It was a regular day.

I spent a few hours at school, met a former student, ran to the post-office, stopped at the grocery store to pick up that one necessary yet missing ingredient for dinner — just like any other day.

On the way home, while sitting in my car, I noticed my jeans were a little… uncomfortable.

You know, they were a little… tight.

By the time I rolled into my driveway, I definitely had a… wedgie.

I couldn’t wait to get out of those pants.

As I yanked the faded denim over my knees, I saw them: little button tabs on the inside of the waistband.

I sucked in my breath.

Old Navy Boys Jeans, Size 16.

Because I realized I hadn’t been wearing my pants.

They were my 12-year-old son’s jeans from Old Navy.

I am horrified amazed that my son and I are the same size.

And yet, I shouldn’t be surprised.

We’re wearing the same shoes.

Or rather, I can wear his shoes.

When I hear the mail truck coming, I often slip into his sneakers: the ones he so conveniently leaves by the door.

Of course, I know what this means.

From here on out, he will continue to grow.

And soon he will pass me.

Eventually, I will look up at my child.

And that will be a whole new thing.

Although in some ways, I have always looked up to him.

Watching my son become a man is about so much more than watching him slip into and out of his different sizes of clothes.

Obviously.

He’s always known exactly who he is.

I’ve been the one who has had to adjust my expectations about who I thought he might be.

Just like I probably needed to let out a few tabs on his jeans the other day, now I have to adjust to the idea that my son is becoming a man.

With his own ideas.

And his own interests.

And his own methods.

Which don’t always align with mine.

Emotionally, Tech has always been an old soul.

But now the changes are physical.

I realize our state of equilibrium is temporary.

Like receiving an alert from my iPhone, it is a gentle reminder, that while I am still in him…

…he is out-growing me.

Do boys outgrow their mommas?

(NOTE: Clearly, we have to start being more careful with the laundry. Theoretically, Tech could make the same mistake and end up wearing my jeans. And that would be bad.)

I’m thinking this look would not go over well in the boys’ locker room.

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

Helplessly Hoping David Crosby Notices Me

Back in May, Kevin Haggerty asked an intriguing question in a blog post: “If you could talk to the you of 5-10 years ago, what would you say to yourself?” (Both Leanne Shirtliffe and Jessica Buttram wrote a gorgeous letters to their 20-year selves. Kevin later went further back and wrote a letter to his 2-year old self.)

I, of course, had to go in a different direction.

Instead of talking to myself, I decided to write a letter to David Crosby in December of 1967.

In real life, I would have been 1 month old. But for the purposes of this exercise, I am going to ask you to suspend your disbelief and please pretend I am 21 years old. You know, so this doesn’t get any creepier than it already is.

• • •

Loved him then…

Hi David. I know that you have this thing for Joni Mitchell and everything, but the thing is that I have been crushing on you for a really long time. When you sing “Guinnevere,” I tremble.

Wait, you might not have written that song yet.

Let me check.

No, you didn’t write it until 1969.

But that’s good.

Because now I’m sure that when you sing about how Guinnevere has “green eyes, like yours / lady, like yours,” I am certain you have always been talking about me.

And when you wrote “Triad,” I know you didn’t really want to have a ménage a trois. You were just restless. You wanted out of the Byrds. You were just pushing the envelope. It was the era. Everyone was all about free love and stuff. I like to push the boundaries, too. Everyone once in a while I like to be naughty. Sometimes I sunbathe topless in my backyard or dance on tabletops in bars.

But that Joni? She’s just going to hurt you, David. She’s going to fool around with Graham Nash and Jackson Browne and a lot of other people, too. Because she’s a hot chick with a cool vibe and a guitar. And she is ambitious, David. She’s like a wild horse: beautiful — but you are not going to get that one to settle down.

I know that there are going to be some tough times for you. Unwelcome events like car wrecks which will leave you wanting to escape. I know you will want to pull away from everyone during these times. That you will seek comfort in needles. And being “Wasted on the Way” might work for a time, but I would follow you into the “Cathedral” and hold you while the demons swirl around us.

I know you love to sail. You have seen “The Southern Cross,” floated all along “The Lee Shore,” and have seen time stop on the “Delta.” I’m a Scorpio, a water sign: the most passionate sign in the horoscope. I love to write the way I imagine you love to compose music. I understand the magic of putting words together, how even cigarette smoke can smell beautiful sometimes – if you lay it down just so.

Oh, David, if you pick me, I would dance for you — the way I have since 1982.

So pick me, David.

Let me be your “Lady of the Island.”

Your “Dark Star.”

I’ll be “Helplessly Hoping” forever.

Love him now.

The last time I saw you perform, you recognized me. You waved, whispered to Graham, and then you dedicated “Guinnevere” to me.

“To the girl in white,” you said.

So I’m telling you, David, that I’ll be at CMAC on June 12th, wearing white – along with my magic beads — like I always do.

And when I smile, you’ll know it’s for you.

Only for you.

If you were going to write a letter to someone famous upon whom you’ve always crushed, to whom would you write? And what would you say?

Tweet this twit @rasjacobson

The Leftover Magnets: Organization Gone Awry

We used to have the magnetic calendar featured above. Someone gave it to us when our son was around 4 years old, and I’m sure they thought it would be a good way for him to learn the months of the year, the days of the week, even his numbers. Secretly, I hoped it might help him develop some appreciation for the concept of time.

Recently, Tech Support and I did a big purge and we came across some of the leftover magnets that he’d deemed useless. I distinctly remember my 5-year-old son saying, “I’ll never use these,” and watching him throw them into a wicker basket along with a lot of other crap very important items.

Turns out, he was right.

For example:

We don’t need this magnet in Rochester, New York. Why? Because in general, the forecast looks like this:

In these parts, kids learn pretty quickly what clouds mean.

And these?

I can tell you that my boy does some serious flips. On the couches. Over the couches. Onto his bed. And he has some ridiculous dance moves. But we have managed to make it almost 13 years without magnets to remind us to do these things.

This one?

If my son is horking loogies or spewing chunks, the last thing I have ever thought about is whether or not I had the appropriate magnet.

Oh, and if we get one of these:

We are all outside doing this:

Also, I was a professional organizer for six years. So this magnet?

It’s kind of a given at Chez Jacobson.

In our house, we all have our own systems of organization. I possess an irrational love for binder clips and composition notebooks. We all hoard Scotch brand Magic tape, Post-It Notes and 3-ring binders. (Hubby’s are blue, Tech Support’s are black, and mine are pink & orange.) It’s terrifying fantastic. My son prefers Ticonderoga pencils. Hubby wants blue Bic pens. And I prefer pens with green or purple ink. Tech Support has a daily planner that was given to him at school. Hubby keeps his entire world on his cell phone. I have less faith in technology, so I keep the master calendar on the desk.

How do you teach your kids to organize themselves? And what is your favorite organizational toy or tip?

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

Unintentional Lessons in The Game of Life

Somehow, on a Sunday night not long ago, everyone in my family was playing a game together. This is remarkable for many reasons, but mostly because my husband despises all games.

(Except golf.)

It could also be that I tend to get a little competitive.

Anyway, on this particular night we were all lying on the fluffy beige rug playing The Game of Life – the Twists and Turns version.

Now, this is not the old-fashioned version with the spinner you’d flick with your finger and you’d get a car and fill that car with pink or blue people.

Nay, in this new and supposedly improved version, an electronic gadget spins for you — after you have inserted your individual credit card and pressed a button that says SPIN on it.

So we’re all looking at this thing that looks like a UFO, listening to it beep, and watching it light up.

You learn a lot about your family when you play games.

For example, my 12-year-old (Tech Support) on marriage:

“It’s good to get LOVE out-of-the-way as soon as you can. It can be a pain.”

On having children:

“You shouldn’t have kids until after you’ve LIVED a little. I’ve tried that and it always ends badly.”

On money:

“Life is expensive. You tend to lose money when you LIVE.”

My husband on finances:

“I have no money, but that’s okay because I helped someone to make his dreams come true, and I think that counts for something.”

Later, my husband got rich and greedy. Tech Support and I both heard husband say:

“I want a mansion. Gimmee the biggest, sweetest mansion.”

and

“How can I have this totally awesome house and not have an awesome car? LIFE makes no sense.”

I couldn’t believe it, but I found myself whining about education:

“This is taking forever! I need to get another degree so that I can be an Executive Chef!”

Meanwhile, that game is clearly confused. I don’t want to be an Executive Chef.

I want to hire an executive chef.

Whatever, I eventually earned my degree and got my $400,000 salary.

Oh and did I mention, I won?

Duh.

(This might explain why Hubby doesn’t like to play games with me.)

Want to read more from families who play games? Check out this post from Kasey Mathews and this one from Gigi Ross aka: Kludgy Mom.

What have you unintentionally learned about your family while playing games?

UPDATE 3/29: And speaking of games: Today Clay Morgan opens the polls in his 2nd Annual March Movie Madness (#MMM2) Contest for Best Protagonist of All-Time. Amazingly, my boy, Ferris Bueller has made it to the Final Four. If you can find it in your heart to vote to SAVE FERRIS (again), I would appreciate it. He’s up against Westley from The Princess Bride. Methinks I’m going to need a lot of help here. So after 1 pm, click on Educlaytion and SAVE FERRIS.

Tweet This Twit @rasjacobson

How Not To Study With Your Children

• • •

I’m so excited to be at Jamie’s Rabbits today.

Jamie is so frickin’ cute I want to eat her up.

(Wait, maybe that’s chocolate…)

One thing I love about Jamie is that she is consistently hilarious.

In person, people tell me that I am funny, but I don’t think that I am a funny writer.

So I kind of freaked out when Jamie demanded requested that my post be funny.

Gah!

Like I’m so not funny.

Except when it happens to leak out accidentally, and even then, it isn’t always funny in a hahahahaha kind of way.

Anyway, if you head on over to Jamie’s Rabbits, you can read my piece “How Not To Study With Your Children” and decide for yourself.

I’m closing comments here today, but I promise I’ll respond to you from Alabama. 😉

I’m Sorry The US Postal System Wrecked Your Christmas

Dear L’il Niece and Nephew:

As you may or may not know, I absolutely hate to shop, but this year I went out and actually found cool stuff for both of you! L’il Niece, I got you that unicorn that you wanted and Nephew I was almost able to get that cool guy that you love from that awesome YouTube video to come to your house, but instead I ended up getting you a unicorn, too.

They were having a buy one/get one thing, and I figured if your sister was going to have one, what’s one more unicorn in the barn? I mean, they eat rainbows, right? So it’s not like they cost very much or anything. Anyway, I was really psyched about having completed my holiday shopping early because not only was I done in time which we all know is rare (like unicorns), but I also knew I was mailing everything with plenty of time for everything to get there in time for all the festivities.

That was waaay back on December 9, 2011.

And then, right before Christmas, your mom called me and told me that neither unicorn had arrived.

I had a bad feeling because I didn’t insure anything this year.

Anyway, as K$sha would say, I’m pretty sure I’m on the family $hit list.

And I just wanted you all to know that I apologize.

I have learned my lesson.

In the future, presents will be sent in November and from here on out, everything will be insured.

And don’t worry, your gifts will get way more interesting.

I’m thinking packs of pencils or bags of rocks.

Or both.

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.

I love you both and hope you can forgive the United States Postal Service even though they really $uck.

Because I think we all know someone who probably deserved a lump of coal is totally loving those unicorns right now.

Any post office horror stories? Misery loves company.

Happy New Year Everyone!

May you all have a wonderful evening!

Thank you for all your support this year!

See you in 2012!

Can you guess which freak person I am?

A Chat with my 7th Grade Android

Recently, Tech Support has become much more private. About everything. Where my 12-year old son used to willingly spill all the beans at once, now he doles them out in microscopic handfuls. And even then, I get a little morsel only after extensive prodding and threats of punishment. Picture a skinny 7th grader with freckles and a pre-recorded robot voice. Because basically, that’s what I’ve got goin’ on these days.

This is how most our after-school conversations sound:

Me: How was school? Tell me something cool that happened today.

TS: I do not like to talk about my academic life.

Me: Well, your father and I think it is important that we know what you do during the day.

TS: Cheese.

Me: Tech Support, it’s not like I’m asking you to reveal our nation’s secrets. If you don’t tell me something about your day, there will be a consequence.

a pixelart from an iPod touch

Image via Wikipedia

TS: Will this consequence involve my iPod Touch?

Me: It might.

TS: I had a very good day.

Me: That’s a little vague. Can you be more specific?

TS: I do not like to talk about my personal life.

Me: Can you tell me who sat with you during lunch?

TS: I do not remember.

Me: How is that possible?

TS: *shrugs*

Me: Okay, what about that girl from last year. Do you still see her?

TS: I do not like to talk about my social life.

Me: If you don’t give me something, there will be a consequence.

TS: Will this consequence involve my iPod Touch?

Me: It might.

TS: She still likes me. I know because she still emails me once in a while and talks to me in the hall. But she doesn’t like like me.

Me: How are you doing in your classes?

TS: I don’t like to talk about my grades.

Me: Are you kidding?

TS: If I don’t answer you, will I lose my iPod Touch?

Me: You are heading in that direction.

TS: Then I am doing very well. Very well, indeed. I have A pluses in all my classes. I have found a way to stop the United States dependency on foreign oil. I did this in science with my lab partner. I have written many long essays in English. My gym teacher loves me.

Me: Are you messing with me?

TS: Indeed.

Me: Dude, you are exhausting.

TS: *smiling* Will that be all?

Me: May I ask one more question?

TS: If I do not answer, will I lose my iPod Touch?

Me: That joke is wearing thin.

TS: Fine. *glaring* What?

Me: How is the Bar-Mitzvah preparation going?

TS: Very well. When I get up to read from the Torah, I plan to bust out into a rap. Or sing like Operaman. It will be excellent. Everyone will love it. They will think I am awesome and tell me I should be a rock-star when I grow up.

Me: If you do that . . .

TS: . . . will it involve my iPod Touch?

Me: No. *not smiling* It will involve this . . .

And then I jump on him. I tackle my snarky little son who suddenly knows all the answers to everything. He is longer than I remember. And stronger. We are laughing as our fingers intertwine.

Tech Support and I notice at the same moment that our hands are the same size.

TS: That’s weird. When did that happen?

I think about his question. I remember his tiny fingers wrapped over the edge of his blanket, how he used to clumsily grab magic markers and paintbrushes. I think about the way he used to build with LEGOs and K’Nex and how he still loves to make magnetic creations with those super tiny Bucky Balls. I consider how gracefully he holds his sabre before each bout.

My son interrupts my thoughts.

TS: I think I know when it happened.

I tilt my head, lean in, and give all my attention to him.

TS: Probably while I was on my iPod Touch.

*weep*

What physical and/or emotional changes do you remember people commenting on as you grew up? Or what did/do you notice changing about your child/ren? How did your parents punish you? Do you ever take away your kid’s iPod Touch?

Can you imagine if my kid does a Hebrew version of this on his Bar Mitzvah? Oy!