Tag Archives: Boston

How to tell if your child has cabin fever

My current situation…

cabin fever 2cabin fever 1cabin fever 3

First comes love, then comes (screaming, annoying) babies

It’s karma. That’s what it is.

I just wish I would have realized what comes around goes around before now.

Yes, now that I’m pregnant, my past is coming back to haunt me. A past that I’m ashamed to admit includes some rather immature and inconsiderate attitudes toward the youngest members of our society and their caretakers.

For example, while I always kindly offered my seat on public transportation to pregnant chicks, inside my head I was thinking “Come on, how hard can pregnancy be, lady? Drama queen.” Not to mention the extensive and borderline dangerous eye-rolling I used to do when I’d see those “Reserved for Preggos” handicapped spaces in the parking lot.

I was downright ruthless to the women who used those unnecessarily giant strollers (the Hummer of strollers as I not-so-fondly think of them) or worse yet, the dreaded double stroller. Every time these exhausted moms nonchalantly blocked the doors on the subway or blocked my way on the sidewalk, I’d loudly sigh, say “uh…excuse me” and mutter under my breath about how having children doesn’t make you more important than the rest of us, lady.

Upon seeing kids at the store who were either a. constantly nagging “Mom! Mom! Mom! Can I get this please? Pretty please? Mom! Mom! Are you listening to me? I want it. I want it NOW!” or b. having a weapons-grade level tantrum, I’d silently think to myself “My future kids will never be like that. I’m going to train them just like a puppy to obey my every command.”

Upon seeing an infant and her terrified parents board our airplane, my husband and I  were those people falling to our knees in the middle of the aisle, throwing up our hands and demanding “Why!?! Why, God, why?” as we wailed and pounded our chests in agony until take-off.

And while my husband and I love all the kids we personally know, such as our nieces, we were still those people who got annoyed when some brat we didn’t know started running amok in a restaurant because he was done with his “sketti” and wanted down from the table NOW because he had some very pressing toddler business to do that included touching everything with his sticky hands and banging on the window while singing at a loud volume.

And then…well, then that little pee stick changed color and loudly announced that karma is a bit…rough some times.

(Heh. See what I did there?)

It’s amazing how quickly your perspective can change. Ever since that fateful day, it’s like my husband and I are looking at everything with new eyes. For example, as it turns out, pregnancy is wicked hard. Like, super duper hard, you guys. Growing a human being from scratch is exhausting. I wouldn’t wish this kind of agony on my worst enemy (mostly because she already has, like, three kids and that is punishment enough). So, not only should you give up your seat, but you should also probably carry that pregnant woman around, Cleopatra-style, and feed her grapes while rubbing her feet and telling her how thin she looks.

And as for those frou-frou women with the giant strollers? I have had no less than 23 mothers tell me they are absolutely essential because when you leave the house the baby needs to take all of its belongings with it or else it, like, dies. Or craps right through its onesie. Whichever one is more inconvenient for you at the moment.

I have also been informed by these same mothers that swatting your kid with a newspaper in public, while not technically illegal, is generally frowned upon. As is shoving your kid’s face into their own diaper while yelling “No! Bad!”

Considering both our families live in the Midwest, that screaming child on the airplane who is too dumb to realize that if they would just yawn the pain would stop is going to be ours. Feel free to shoot us dirty looks and to loudly question the cruelty of a god that would allow this. Turnabout is fair play.

With pregnancy also comes compassion and now I suddenly see that those parents in the restaurant are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because you can insist junior stay at the table, locked into his high chair, in which case he will likely have a meltdown, or you can let him down and let him run amok while you follow and try to minimize the damage as much as possible, but at least he’s not screaming. These parents deserve a free drink, not your contempt, because they are essentially being held hostage by a short maniac in overalls and are doing their best to deal with it.

This is especially true, in my opinion, because in a mere six months, those parents dealing with all that will be us. And while considering our past, we probably don’t deserve your mercy, I can only hope the rest of you are more understanding than we have been.

But if you’re not, that’s OK too. Rumor has it we’ll be too tired to even wear real pants in public, let alone care what you think.

Tips to Beat the Heat (To Death)

Curl up in the fetal position in front of a fan and sob.


Lose an obscene amount of weight so you have absolutely no body fat and are now one of those lollipop heads who wear fur coats in the summer.


Make an altar to the air conditioning gods and pray regularly that there are no rolling blackouts.


Drink alcohol until you can’t feel anything, even humidity.


Get nekkid. Stay nekkid until October.


Stick ice cubes down your pants by your no-no parts.


Veggie Tales…of HORROR!

I blame ice cream. You ever have ice cream? Of course you have. You’re not dead. Or stupid.

So you can probably understand where I’m coming from when I blame ice cream for my hatred of vegetables. You feed my 3-year-old mouth that magical creamy substance made from unicorn laughter and puppy dreams and then a few hours later expect me to be happy when you shove some green beans in there?

Yeah. Nice try, Mom.

As you can see, my relationship with vegetables was tumultuous starting at a very young age. There was the Great Tomato Stand-Off when I was 6, where my mom and I sat staring at each other from across the table for hours, a lone tomato slice sitting in between us. After what felt like a lifetime, the tomato slice was gone but I had vowed to never eat another tomato as long as I lived. A vow I took with my hand resting on “The Children’s Illustrated Bible” so my mom knew just how serious I was about it.

There was the Epic Onion Picking Out Adventure of 1993, where I methodically deconstructed my Taco Bell burrito and then hunted down every single tiny chopped onion there within when the cruel, uncaring teenage workers messed up my order.

And then there was the Legendary Mushroom Vomit Incident in high school, which for your sake, dear reader, I’ll leave the details up to your imagination. (HINT: It was gross).

Of course, as I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten a little bit better. For example, my husband finally convinced me to try guacamole, a major feat considering my inherent suspicion of any and all things green. I actually ended up loving it, so much so that my husband hasn’t had so much as a bite of the stuff since then because I grab it out of the waiter’s hand every time we go to a Mexican restaurant and guard it with my body like Gollum protecting his precious.

I also now like hummus, once I found out that hummus is not the same thing as haggis (Google “haggis,” kids, if you never want to sleep again).

I even will voluntarily eat a salad from time to time, as long as the main feature of said salad is meat of some sort.

But despite these advancements in my palate, I am still at heart a carnivore. So much so in fact, that while most food pyramids looks like this..

Food pyramid

…my food pyramid looks like this…

Food pyramid 2

Meat is my first love and is the main staple of all my meals. The rest of the stuff on the plate? Garnish, pretty much. For example, here’s a typical conversation between my husband and I:

Him: “What do you want for dinner?”

Me: “Steak.”

Him: “OK, what else?”

Me: “I don’t understand the question.”

Which is why when my friend DeDe came to visit me here in Boston a few weeks ago and informed me she was now a vegetarian, I entered full-on freak out mode. Not because she was a vegetarian. I had plenty of friends who were vegetarians. And some vegans. And even for awhile some who were hardcore raw foodists.

No, I was freaking out because I had never had to feed a vegetarian for a week. I kept trying to think of meals I could make for her but my limited knowledge of the food in the produce aisle hindered my attempts significantly.

“Is corn a meal? Can I just make her corn? Or…um…salad? But what else goes on salad besides meat? Is chicken considered meat? I guess I could do something with a potato. But do people actually eat potatoes without bacon bits? Oh god, she’s going to starve to death!”

Luckily, I eventually figured it out.

Kind of.

I did make her a lovely eggplant parmesan (or at least I think it was lovely…I have no idea how it was actually supposed to taste), where I discovered that eggplants are not that pretty purple color all the way through much to my disappointment. We also ate out a lot. And ordered a lot of delivery cheese pizza.

And the girl probably ate more fruit than is healthy for a human since the other options in my fridge were less than desirable (“Hey, here’s some cottage cheese. It expired three years ago but it’s probably fine”).

But the point is, she survived. And I survived. And thanks to this experience, my horizons regarding food have been widened even further. I mean, who knows where it could go from here? Maybe now I’ll even figure out how you’re supposed to eat that zucchini that’s been hanging out in the back of my fridge.

Or is it a cucumber?

Oh, nope. You know what? I bet it’s that leftover corn on the cob from last summer.

Brunchers in the Mist

(Alternative title: “Don’t get your panties in a brunch”)

Boston. The urban jungle. A wilderness teeming with exotic species and, at times, dangerous terrain (the Pedestrian/Vehicular Civil War has been raging in the region since 1934).

For the past two years, I have lived among the wildlife naturally found in this part of the world, in an effort to study and document their behavior and way of life. After several months of careful observation, I have come to discover that the creatures found here are much more varied than first thought.

Among the numerous species found in Boston (such as Manic-Depressive Sports Fan, Drunk Sorority Girl and Angry Hobo), is a most curious mammal known as the Native Bruncher.

The Native Bruncher is a result of centuries of evolution and combines the urban dwellers’ natural instinct to flock together on the weekends and their natural aversion to any type of exertion. From what I have gathered in my research, the habits of the Native Bruncher serve on both a medicinal and social level.

While for most of their week, the Native Bruncher forages for food among the alleyways and corners of their habitat, the main caloric staple of their diet is morning-appropriate cocktails and ironically named omelets featuring a fascinating combination of cheeses. The Native Bruncher will drink and eat these items on the weekend until they have amassed enough calories to tide them over for the next five or six days, where they lapse into a hibernation-like state known as “The Work Week.”

Although the history of Brunchers has never fully been documented, it is believed that the very first brunch was held in 1753 in England when a hungover Lord Hamish Cottington Hammingford the IV woke up late one Sunday morning and found that he was too late for breakfast and too early for lunch at the local pub.


Flabbergasted, the proprietor asked him what he would like to eat: breakfast or lunch?

His response changed the course of weekends as we know it.

“Hmm…well, eggs sound good, but so does steak. Or perhaps pancakes. But then again, a big sandwich might be nice. You know what, how about you just bring me a crap load of all of that. And some ale mixed with something fruity and topped with no less than three fruit garnishes.”

This unique mixture of food caught on immediately among the hungover-impaired peasantry, prompting Lord Hammingford to declare “I shall call it ‘Lubreakfanch!'”

Luckily, his wife, who was slightly less inebriated (having only had four fruity ale cocktails, as opposed to seven) suggested changing it “brunch.”

Eventually the ritual spread throughout Europe and by 1829 was brought to America by a traveler named Chet Avery, who in some academic circles is also believed to have been the first hipster on record and the inventor of what we now call “the soul patch.” Avery was also an avid proponent of the healing effects of alcohol to combat the negative effects of alcohol and making it a staple of the brunch ritual.

soul patch

While Brunchers can now be found in urban jungles all over the world, they seem to be most populous in Boston (although Native Brunchers from Portland and Brooklyn would probably categorically disagree with that statement in a pompous voice while barely looking up from their iPhones).

The Boston breed of the Native Bruncher is also unique in its penchant for “theme” brunch, such as Disco Brunch and for being the first successful species to have brunch on the water (the 1974 sinking of a ship in the early days of this tradition, dubbed “The Bacon-Flavored Tea Party,” notwithstanding).

What separates the Boston Native Bruncher from other species who practice brunch-ery is the way it has honed its skill and timing in arriving to brunch before the phenomenon known as “the rush” begins. For example, if the species known as “Newbie” arrives to brunch promptly at 11 a.m., they will find that particular watering hole already teeming with Native Brunchers. The “Newbie” is then likely to give up, bowing down to the alpha herd, and will then head to a much less trendy watering hole where the eggs are much less fancy.

A close cousin of the Native Bruncher, known as the Permanent Resident Yet Non-Native Bruncher, can also be found in large quantities in Boston. They are easily spotted on the outskirts of the herd, waiting until the Natives have finished and then getting whatever scraps are left over. At times, the Permanent Resident Yet Non-Native Bruncher can wait up to four hours, tiding itself over with screwdrivers and Bloody Mary’s until they are finally allowed to feast. This is also where the Fanny Pack Tourist species can be spotted as well.

Typically, brunch lasts for two to three hours for all of the species, although on certain occassions it can last until 2 a.m. depending on the individual Bruncher’s capacity to ingest large amounts of alcohol for many, many hours straight.

As for what the future holds for the Native Brunchers and their ilk, no one can be certain, especially considering the encroachment of chain restaurants on their native land. But the most current scientific research suggests that mimosas will be involved no matter what.

Top 10 Worst People on the Subway

This is why we can’t have nice things, Boston.

1. Mom with luxury stroller- That’s great that you can afford a stroller the size of a Hummer for Baby Zsa Zsa over there but you’re taking up too much room and blocking everyone’s access to get on or off the train easily. And don’t give me that nasty look when I refuse to get up and give you my seat. I’m reserving it for all the mothers out there with reasonably sized strollers. Besides, your behemoth of a stroller could fit you and half of the Bruins team in it so, there you go. There’s your seat.

2. Hobo that smells like pee- I get it. Times are hard. But next time, try peeing in the alleyway right beside the T as opposed to in your pants while on the T.

3. Guy rapping along to his own “demo” mix- No one is impressed, dude. No. One.

4. Woman with giant purse, which apparently needs its own seat during rush hour- There is a special place in hell for people like you.

5. Gang of junior high kids- I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that you just got out of school and are apparently fueled by six Red Bulls and 52 pounds of gummi worms. But no one honestly believes that Tammy the eighth-grader went to second base with you in the janitors closet so shut the hell up.

6. Young couple in love- I’m assuming she’s probably banging someone else on the side hence the desperate display of love and affection but come on, guys, keep it in the bathroom of the basement dive bar like everybody else.

7. Dude who keeps loudly telling his sob story and asking for $15 because he needs to get a state ID or he won’t be able to sign the lease on his apartment and the office that gives out the ID closes in 20 minutes which means he can’t get home to get money for said ID so if you could just spare some money to help him out otherwise he’ll be homeless and normally he’d never do anything like this but this is an emergency- No one is buying it, dude. No. One.


9. Woman eating McDonald’s- Great. Now we all get to smell like slightly burnt fries. Thanks.

10. Creepy silent starer- Um…yes, I can feel your gaze on me. And every time I try stealthily to look up to see if you’re still staring, BOOM! you are. Learn the rules of polite society, buttface, and awkwardly look down at the floor like the rest of us.

A Mile Away from Tragedy

When tragedy strikes, heroes emerge.

By now most people have heard of the heroism that came in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. The journalist who put down his camera to help an injured woman. Spectators who ran toward the explosions to help, instead of running away from them. The runners who after making it through a grueling 26 miles continued to run all the way to the hospital to donate blood. The police and EMT’s. The volunteers. All of them doing whatever they could in the chaos to help save lives.

Heroes. True heroes.

All of them.

But it’s a different story a mile away.

I watched the horror unfold probably just like you did. I was gathered around a TV with a group of people surrounding me, all of us trying to make sense of a world that no longer made sense. The only difference is I was in a bar along the marathon route. A place where the bartender refused to turn up the volume or turn on the closed captioning for fear of inciting panic. So instead of hearing an anchor give details, all we heard was speculation coming from a dozen different directions at once from confused patrons.

“Oh my God, is that purple stuff blood? Oh God, it’s blood.”

“I heard there are still bombs along the route. We should all leave.”

“No, the police are telling everyone to stay where they are.”

“They’re shutting down public transportation.”

“Don’t use your cell phone. That’s how they’re detonating the bombs.”

“My cousin said one hundred people are dead.”

“No, it’s only about a dozen.”

“I heard only two, but one is a kid.”

A mile away there is no smoke. No blood. No severed limbs. No screams. There is only large groups of scared people trying to sort out the information from the misinformation. We were far enough away to probably not be in any danger but it still felt like we were in danger. We were all desperately trying to get ahold of our families to let them know we were OK only to realize with growing panic that our phones weren’t working. As agonizing minutes ticked by, we watched our phones blow up with calls and texts we were unable to answer.

A mile away, there isn’t much you can do to help. All you can do is hand out cigarettes to people because if there was ever a time to smoke, now would be it. You hand them out to the two guys who can’t stop talking about how two people died and how they happen to be two people and how by that logic it could have been them. You hand them out to the guy walking down the street who is looking for his friend whom he lost a few hours ago and is worried he left to be closer to the finish line. You even hand one out to the young, drunk, scared girl who won’t stop talking about how if a bomb was going to go off, they should have done it at Fenway where there was a game because somehow in her young, drunk, scared mind, blowing up baseball fans is better than blowing up marathon fans. And you just shake your head and forgive her because she’s young, drunk, scared and alone.

A mile away, there is a frat house that turned their lawn party into a way station, offering passerbys water or food or cell phones or cell phone chargers. Or probably, if you asked them, they’d even offer you a much needed hug.

A mile away, there is a former EMT who keeps reassuring you that everything will be alright, she promises, when you hear that another possible bomb went off in a building close to your husband’s work and you start to freak out that he’s now in danger and as an afterthought that you’re all still possibly in danger and the terror isn’t over.

A mile away, there is a someone who let’s you get snot and eyeliner all over his shirt as you cry on his shoulder in front of another TV in another bar farther away from the finish line because you don’t know where else to go when the president makes his address about the tragedy.

A mile away, there is a friend who presses a crumbled $50 into your hands and insists you take it so you can hail a cab home instead of taking the subway since the police are advising everyone to avoid crowds.

A mile away, there is a cabbie who let’s you tell the story of the first time you ever went to the Boston Marathon two years ago when you first came to Boston and how moved you were that so many people would stand for so many hours cheering on runners they don’t know and cheering just as loudly for the last runners as they did for the first.

And five miles away, when you finally get home, there is a husband who lets you collapse into his arms sobbing because you both made it through this horrific day alive.

Yes, heroes emerge in a time of tragedy.

But a mile away from tragedy, there are only people doing whatever they can, whatever gesture, big or small, to help each other get through one of the worst days in American history.

(Snow) drifting through life: Blizzard 2013 edition

I now have a new reason to look forward to getting old.

That reason?

Future Aprill now gets to be that old person who sits her grandkids down and forces them to listen to the story of how I survived the Great Blizzard of 2013.


Yes, dear reader, yours truly has finally joined the ranks of the privileged few (million) who have lived through a historic storm and therefore have earned the indisputable right to bore those who didn’t experience it with their endless tales of what it was like (tales that, trust me, we will force you to listen to until the day we die or the day you die of boredom).

And it’s about time. I can’t tell you how often in my life I’ve had to listen to some blowhard launch into yet another “ah, yes, the blizzard of ’78” when I was growing up in Ohio and “oh, I was there for Hurricane Carla, all right” when I lived in Texas and “aw man, Boston had the worst winter ever right before you came here” anecdote.

But now? Now I get to be that blowhard. Regaling everyone who wasn’t quick enough to jump out the window at the first sign I was about to launch into the well-worn story all about how the city shut down as two feet of snow was unceremoniously dumped on us by Mother Nature (although, over time, obviously some of the details will get a bit exaggerated, such as it was 20 feet of snow and 400 mph winds and people started eating each other and then got sick and then turned into White Walkers whom we survivors had to battle as they tried to storm the giant ice wall that Boston built to keep them out).

The only thing left for me to do is to perfect my story. And by perfect I mean ways to drag it out.

There’s the whole pre-storm saga, where my husband battled overly panicked soccer moms (the most dangerous breed of mom that exists) at the store, eventually eschewing the riot mobs going after bread, milk and eggs (because apparently everyone has the overwhelming need to make French toast during bad weather) and coming home instead with Captain Morgan and a giant ham. Meanwhile, I maniacally cleaned the entire house under the assumption that our power was probably going to go out and as a result we were going to die and thus, I really wanted the people who found our bodies five days later to say “Hey, these frozen corpses kept a pretty tidy home.”

And then there’s the storm itself, which, well, was a whole lot of sitting on the couch, drinking rum and eating ham, and periodically saying “look, it’s still snowing” to each other. I’m…uh…still working on this part.

But perhaps the best part was post-storm. Waking up the next morning, seeing all the snow, trying to get our dog, Buffy, to go potty in snow that was higher than his head and him being vehemently opposed to this plan. Standard stuff, really. But then came the digging out process that afternoon.

Now, being a native mid-Westerner, I’m sure at some point in my life I have shoveled snow before. Granted, I can’t think of a single, specific time, but I’m pretty sure you’re required by law to do it at least once in Ohio. Just like you are legally obligated to drive like a jackass every time it rains in that state.

But, suffice it to say, it has been many, many moons since I’ve picked up a shovel. However, wanting to be a good neighbor (re: not egged next Halloween…again) I dutifully dug in (heh) and helped my husband and the rest of the neighborhood try to make some order of the chaos that had become the sidewalks.

Well over an hour (and many, many “holy crap, I think I might die of exhaustion” breaks) later, I had made a path that maybe an anorexic pixie fairy could get through. Which we all decided was, screw it, good enough (or at least, that’s what I’m assuming everyone else was thinking since most of them are fairly trim, although a fair amount rounder than your average pixie fairy). And then I went inside for some more rum and ham.

It wasn’t even an hour later when the pain started.

By the next morning, I thought my husband had tied down my arms in some hidden kinky whim he decided to indulge in during the night and I had simply had too much rum and ham in my system to notice. When I realized it was simply only gravity holding them down, I started to worry. When I tried to move them, I outright panicked.

“BABE! I think my arms are broken!”

“Yeah, well, I’d love to come help you but my back is currently holding my body hostage at this delightful 90 degree angle.”

As it turns out, shoveling uses muscles you never knew you had. Or needed. Or wanted. Until it’s too late. My arms were so sore they refused to raise more than roughly two inches. I couldn’t even pick up my weighs-less-than-a-pound cell phone without my body screaming at me to knock it off.

shoveling arms 2

As for anything heavier? Forget it. In fact, rather than attempt to bring my coffee cup to my face, I just jammed a bunch of straws together.

shoveling arms 3

And as for washing my hair? I literally brought my head down to my arm’s level.

Shoveling arms

There’s more to this whole story, of course. But I don’t want to give it away all up front. I’m just going to bide my time until you’re stuck in a windowless room and someone happens to mention the weather.

And then, well, I’ll never forget where I was during the blizzard of 2013…

The Pizza Principle

You know, I often wonder what it’ll be like when I’m old. You know, like, when I’m 35.

Ha! I kid. Thirty-five is now the new 12. You’re not technically old until 44. Everyone knows that.

But seriously, I do often wonder how things will be when I’m in my 70’s and I’m (hopefully) a grandmother to grandkids who are way less messed up than my actual kids. And they all gather around their Ninja Gammy (<—–trademarked) and ask “What was it like when you were young, Ninja Gammy?”

“Well, kids, it was a simpler time, when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Sphinx) was blasting from the 800-pound five-CD changer in my car trunk (remember, kids, always keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind) and we communicated via pagers, which were tiny machines that beeped to alert you someone wanted you to find a landline phone (which was a primitive and barbaric form of the cell phone) no matter where you were so that you could call them back immediately so that they could inform you they needed a ride, and we had to walk 30 miles in the snow without shoes to let our best friend know what our status update was, and when we wanted to watch a TV show we had to wait until the actual day and time that the TV network broadcast it, and we were forced to write (by hand!) in the now mythical language of ‘cursive’.”

And as if all that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I still have to figure out how the hell I’m going to explain/justify MySpace and Gangnam Style to them.

“Uh…there were bath salt zombies back then, children. What do you want from me?”

See, the problem is that technology is simply moving too fast. For instance, I remember my grandma playing music on a record player while I was jamming to my cassette tapes (pieces of crap that always had to be fixed with a pencil, kids). But it wasn’t a completely foreign concept to me. As a kid, my cousins had a toy record player that we used to play crappy kid’s albums on. And even though we all had cordless phones (slightly less barbaric versions of cellphones, kids), we could all figure out how to use the rotary phone she had because the generation gap wasn’t wider than the technology gap.

But now…oi vey…

Which brings me to the point of this post. Being the Smart Phone/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram addict that I am, I had an eye-opening experience just the other day that taught me a very valuable lesson about all this runaway technology we’re living with today.

Flashback Wavy Lines…Flashback Wavy Lines…Flashback Wavy Lines…

It was just after New Years. My family was in town. Considering it was January in Boston, it was cold (which was confirmed by the 52 Instagram photos of thermometers in my feed). So we decided to take advantage of home delivery, the culinary technology break-through that made it possible for hot food to be delivered to your door (like in Star Trek: The Next Generation, only slower and without the whimsy).

Considering there were five of us, we decided to go with pizza, the ultimate crowd pleaser and the least likely choice to result in a fist fight.

Or so it would seem at first glance.

Being that this was my territory, I clicked onto Foodler.com, my go-to magical food portal, an absolutely brilliant contribution to humanity that lets you type in your address and then tells you what restaurants deliver to your ‘hood (complete with full menus for each eatery) and then LET’S YOU ORDER DIRECTLY FROM THE WEBSITE. I know I talk up toilet paper a lot as the best invention of all time (with the Snuggie as a close second), but seriously, I’d be willing to go back to leaves and/or our collective left hand in order to keep Foodler.

The problem was, however, that the majority wanted Regina’s pizza, which was not listed on Foodler. So, trying to be a good hostess, I Googled Regina’s delivery. Found out they do deliver. Clicked on link. Was taken to a new Foodler-esque website. Started to order. Discovered I also had to set up an account, complete with username, password, password hint, security questions, personal info, mother’s maiden name and itemized list of everyone I’ve ever had sex with. Decided to scrap that idea. Sooooo then…

Went directly to Regina’s website. Discovered they had a tab for delivery. No menu listed. Had to create own pizza from list of 3,000 ingredients. Twenty minutes (and 42 stitches later) we realized we cannot, as a family unit, create our own pizza unanimously (or at least, not without Thunderdome breaking out). Sooooo then…

More Googling. More half-hearted attempts to create “accounts” on other third-party food delivery websites. More “your food will be delivered in approximately 3 hours and there will be a $652 delivery fee.”

And just when we thought all hope was lost and we’d be forced to eat leftover Christmas food that may or may not have gained consciousness…

Someone suggested, “Uh, why don’t you just call the restaurant and order the pizza?”

Ninety seconds later, the pizza was ordered. Ready in 15. Have a nice day.

Lesson learned: Technology isn’t simplifying our lives. It’s simply making us stupid.

So, just remember that, kids, when 30 years from now it takes you three hours to order a pizza via the Internet.

And that’s only if you can remember your password.

Thanks for nuthin,’ technology

There are a lot of downsides to moving far away from friends and family to make it “big” in the big city (or in my case, make it “small-medium-ish” in the big city).

But one of the upsides is that you ALWAYS have the ultimate excuse to get out of undesirable social events, such as the lesser holidays, weddings of second/third cousins, high school reunions, the “Let’s help Bob and Sue move across town!” scenarios and, most importantly, showers, both of the wedding and baby variety.

But now, thanks to technology, that convenient trump card has swiftly become obsolete. To wit: This past Saturday I, while hanging out at my house in Boston, attended a baby shower for a couple who lives in Branson that was thrown by a group of our mutual friends from Texas.

Thanks a lot, Steve Jobs (or whoever is the Steve Jobs equivalent over at Google+). No, really.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It really was great getting to see them all again, or at least the tiny, overly pixellated versions of who I suspect was them (Thanks to my 1998 computer software, I could have been participating in an amateur porno convention online for all I know. The dialogue would have probably been the same. We’re a super classy bunch).

And it was an incredibly thoughtful and sweet gesture by a group of people I’m proud to call my friends. The problem is simply that I’ve never really been one of those people who enjoys baby showers. In fact, I even wrote a column a few years back (which I have conveniently re-posted below for your reading pleasure) about my dread of these events.

This was compounded by the fact I couldn’t really communicate with anyone since my crappy computer had an approximate 17-minute microphone delay:

“So, Aprill, how’s Boston?”

“Can you guys hear me?”



“We can hear you, Aprill.”


“Aprill? Can you hear us?”

(15 more minutes like this)

“Oh, Boston’s great! I love it.”

And lest you start to think what a horrible friend I am (which I may deserve but for far more devious reasons than this), let me just add that I am super excited for Trysta and Steve and their soon-to-be-born unholy spawn baby and know they are going to be wonderful parents (Oh, and P.S. guys, your gift should be in the mail soon…at the latest, you should get it before she goes off to college).

30 Women & A Baby

As much as we like to think equality between the sexes has come a long way, baby, there is still one giant gap that exists between men and women. Alas, pending some major medical breakthrough, I don’t foresee this gap ever being bridged.

Yes, it’s sad but it’s true. In a recent study it was found that 99.9 percent of all babies come from women.

I know, I know. You’d think that since we’ve put three women on the Supreme Court, we could get at least a few men knocked up, but apparently the medical community is much too busy with other stuff, like curing cancer and finding new poisons to inject into our faces to combat wrinkles.

To be honest, I’m actually all right with the fact that my gender is shouldering this burden alone (or miracle, for those of you who are more of the “glass is half full” mind-set).

But what I am not all right with is that this biological difference gives men another Get Out of Jail Free card. Despite the fact that it takes two to make a baby, women are the only ones who are required to attend the dreaded (insert dramatic music here) baby shower.

Oh sure, maybe not all women hate baby showers. I once read a study that said one leader will emerge out of every group of 20 people. I have a feeling those numbers also apply to the amount of women who actually enjoy the finger sandwiches, uncomfortable small talk and swapping of horrific birth stories that make up your standard baby shower. As for the rest of us…well, dental surgery is an apt comparison.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love babies. I love holding babies. I love smelling babies. I love handing babies back to their mothers when they start crying.

I also love mothers. I fully believe they deserve all the rights and privileges as the rest of us. In fact, some of my best friends are mothers.

So the problem with baby showers is not in the actual act of celebrating the mother-to-be and the brand new life she is carrying. That is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated. No, the problem lies in the mechanics of the event.

See, a baby shower is essentially when you thrust together a group of women who have nothing in common other than knowing a pregnant female and then give them nothing to do for a couple of hours other than to watch this chick open presents and drink punch (which doesn’t contain even a trace of booze).

For you men out there reading this (all two of you who actually made it to this point before you flipped over to the sports section) and have no idea what I’m talking about, let me give you an inside glimpse at what you get to skip out on.

You ring a doorbell and are greeted by a perky woman whom you’ve never met. As you’re shuffled inside, you look around and see a bunch of women of all ages clustered in small groups of two or three, all of whom you’ve also never met. You stand there awkwardly until eventually some brave soul, usually propelled by the fact that they can’t stand the awkwardness anymore, will leave her cluster and strike up a conversation with you. Now if you’re both mothers, this tends to go well, since you can swap war stories about the time little Johnny got a toy army man stuck up his nose or the time little Aprill felt the need to announce to her entire second grade class that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, thus causing a mini-riot at Hardin Elementary (true story).

However, if you are a woman of child-bearing age sans kids such as myself, the resulting encounter typically goes something like this:

Random Woman: “Hi.”

You: “Hello.”

Random Woman: “So, how do you know the mother-to-be?”

You: “I’m her second cousin. And you?”

Random Woman: “Her dentist’s niece.”

You: “Ah.”

Random Woman: “Yeah.”

You: “So, great potato salad, eh?”

Random Woman: “Oh yes, it’s delicious.”

You: “Yeah.”

At this point, one of you will generally make some lame excuse to get out of the conversation, such as, “Oh, I think that’s my child on fire…will you excuse me?” This goes on for about an hour and then, just to add to the awkwardness, you will all be forced to play awkward baby-themed games with each other. These generally consist of smelling chocolate that’s been smeared on a diaper (fellas, I’m not even kidding about that).

Then finally, FINALLY, it’s time for the mother to open presents. This is the best part because now all you have to do to “ooh” and “ahh” over tiny baby outfits, many of them involving a hat intended to make the infant look like a tiny bear or dog.

Then at last, like a drowning man coming up for air, the last present is unwrapped and you are now free to leave. Just be careful not to trample grandma in your madcap rush to the door.

So gentleman, take it from me. Rejoice in your freedom from this barbaric tradition. And the next time your significant other returns from one of these things, be kind and give her the only known cure for the post-baby shower hangover: A glass of wine the size of her head.