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Friday, February 28, 2014

"B as in B*tts*x": Why you should learn the NATO alphabet. Immediately

On Valentine's Day, I celebrated by getting rear-ended so hard I got pushed into the car in front of me. That's not some weird sexual euphemism -- my car actually got smashed up.

So I got to spend my Valentine's Day evening watching a bowl of Top Ramen get cold as I sat on the phone with my insurance company.

Now, there's no shortage of aggravation involved in calling the insurance company to start a claim on a 3-car collision. They need all the info on every car involved. Driver's name, address, phone number; vehicle license plate; insurance company; insurance policy number; drivers' license number. Many of these bits of info are particularly annoying to share, because they consist of strings of numbers with letters thrown in here and there. Reading these to someone over the phone is f**king TEDIOUS, because letters in English all sound the same so you need to make it clear which letter you are saying by also adding in a word that starts with that letter. You say "one three seven N as in Nancy B as in Boy six eight" but the number/letter strings are like twenty characters long and it all takes forever. 

Luckily, I have memorized the NATO alphabet, and THANK GOD I HAVE. Why? Because there are so many ways to go wrong. Here's how my phone call with the insurance company would have gone had I not had Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie readily available in my brain:

What if your brain decides to go with something weird or offensive??

The problem with trying to make it clear what letter you said is that you have to instantly come up with a word that starts with that letter. It's like one of those word association games where someone screams "QUICK WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN I SAY FROZEN?"

And if you yell "CORPSE!" then everyone thinks you're a freak.

So how is it any different when you're on the phone with an insurance company and your brain is like "QUICK WHAT IS THE FIRST WORD YOU THINK OF THAT STARTS WITH F?"

The odds of this happening to me are actually above 100% somehow.

Or maybe you've just been watching Django Unchained, so your brain is all "N as in ni--" and then you catch yourself but it is too late and now State Farm has canceled your auto insurance policy entirely.

Like a good neighbor, State Farm does not want to hang around with people who use that kind of language.

Given that it was Valentine's Day, I might have told the USAA agent that my license plate was "A as in Asshole, B as in Buttsex, R as in Rapist, six three three nine."

And then the USAA agent would have judged me.

What if your brain spews out nonsense that isn't even a word?

As if the search for inoffensive words weren't stressful enough, your brain might also play a game where it spits out absolute nonsense.

What if your brain spits out something useless?

The whole point of the 'saying a word' thing is to clear up ambiguity between letters like B, C, D, E, G, T, V, you get it. So if you say "B as in Ban," that is so completely useless you should probably just kill yourself. "B as in Ban"?? Okay, what about can, dan, tan, van, and pan? You embarrassing idiot.

The NATO alphabet lets you skip over the "B as in" part, which saves time but would be very confusing if you did it with your random word choices

Since the NATO alphabet is standard, if your insurance policy number is FLU656PZ34, you can just read that as Foxtrot Lima Uniform 656 Papa Zulu 34.

But -- if you were playing the "random word" game, your choices might start to sound like a sentence. A really, really, terrible sentence.

Farts Licking Ugly 656 Penis Zipper 34.

Flipper Lascivious Unitard 656 Pantalones Zurich 34.

Flamboyant Licentious Unibrow 656 Portly Zebra.

What the hell is the matter with you? Do you have Tourette's??

But are you limber? Filthy? Do you reside in a major urban area? If so, call me.

Take fifteen minutes and learn the NATO alphabet. Don't be a Foxtrot-Uniform-Charlie-Kilo-India-November-Golf Delta-India-Papa-Sierra-Hotel-India-Tango.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blast from the Past: I drew the plot to Back to the Future (which I have never seen)

This was my second attempt at "Movies I haven't seen" and the drawing of the spanking machine still gets me every time.

Here is the story of Back to the Future.

Back to the Future is a movie starring Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox from before he had Parkinson’s. I didn’t know Christopher Lloyd’s name so I had to Google who starred in the movie. So … we’re off to a good start.

In this film, Christopher Lloyd plays a crazy scientist guy.

Michael J. Fox plays a young whippersnapper who apparently is friends with Christopher Lloyd. Not too sure what the relationship is there.

Christopher Lloyd is an inventor who builds a whole lot of useless shit. One of the things he builds is a time machine out of a DeLorean.

Michael J. Fox then uses the DeLorean, which of course is equipped with a flux capacitor, to go back in time to when his parents were both in high school. He does this by travelling at exactly 80 or 85 or 37 or 100 miles per hour and then getting violently electrocuted.

Once in the past, Michael J. Fox befriends his parents. He develops a sick crush on his mother and tries to date her.

However, apparently dating his mother would cause him to not exist, which he finds out by looking at a family picture that he conveniently carries around with him.

So he swallows his Oedipal feelings for his mom and then somehow everything works out between his dad and his mom, and he gets to exist again. But something bad happens to the DeLorean and he has trouble getting ‘back to the future’ (get it??!!). Well, nothing that can’t be solved by driving exactly 80 or 85 or 37 or 100 miles per hour and finding a new way to get violently electrocuted.

He then finds his way home, where he never looks at his mother the same way again.

And Christopher Lloyd builds some more useless shit.

Bam! Nailed it again.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A totally legit product review of Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit

My baby has slept in a swaddle since her birth, as she absolutely cannot be trusted to have access to her own hands. However, as she has inched closer and closer to being able to roll from her back to her front, we decided to switch her to a different sleep solution before that actually happens.

On the recommendation of another swaddle-addicted mama, we purchased the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit, and our daughter has been wearing it to sleep for almost a month now.

Here is my review, based on a number of important categories:


This sleepsuit is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever put on my child, and I have put some pretty ridiculous things on my child.

Such as this hat.

When she wears it, she looks like the Michelin Man. It at least doubles her size. It's like the scene in A Christmas Story where the little brother screams "I can't put my arms down!" in his snow suit, but it's even funnier because it's a tiny little baby that is lost in the giant fluffy padding of the sleep suit.

Of course I have pictures of my own child wearing the suit, but I want to build up some suspense before I show them to you.

The main reason the suit is so puffy is to blunt the baby's movements so that she doesn't flail herself awake so easily, but I'm convinced that the other secret backup reason is because it makes the baby look so funny. Whoever invented this suit clearly has a sense of humor and is someone I would love to have a beer with.



The first night we used the sleep suit, we tried just putting the baby in it and putting her to bed as usual. This did not work. She still had a little too much freedom of movement. The suit was just too different from the Halo sleep sack she was used to.

So, I folded up a swaddle blanket until it was only ~6 inches wide and used this to tie the baby's arms down at her sides. We did this for a few days to let her get used to the suit, and then tried it with only her more active right arm tied down. And then switched to only tying down the left arm. Eventually, we were able to put her to bed with no swaddle blanket at all ... but if she wakes up in the night and gets herself worked up, I still have to tie one or both of her arms back down to get her to go to sleep. So technically I guess the weaning is still in progress, though I am trying to resist tying up her arms whenever she gets wild in the night. Maybe someday.

I should also add that the blanket tying her arms down added significantly to the hilariousness factor. Not only was she huge and puffy, but she also looked like some old-timey slapstick comedy kidnapping victim. And when I tied down only one arm but not the other, the swaddle blanket looked like that time I put a sling on my teddy bear as a child because I was playing doctor and got a little too fast and loose with the scalpel. The bear survived, but we were on pins and needles for a while there.

I cannot for a moment take my child seriously when she looks like this. And I don't know who "James" is.

What I'm saying is, the one-armed swaddle makes my child look like a giant stuffed carnival prize that was abused by some dark-minded child and is now wearing a sling because children don't understand that stuffed animals are not real people and slings do not help them.


One of the main reasons we used the Halo sleep sacks instead of regular swaddle blankets was because fartability is so important to us. Our daughter gets really gassy in the night, and it's very important that her sleep solution allows her the freedom to kick her legs up as needed to force out some comically exaggerated flatulence. Fortunately, the Merlin sleepsuit allows her to work out her farts like a hippo after a colonoscopy. 

I give this category four stars instead of five because Audrey still ends up in bed with me at some point most nights, and I am just sick to death of sharing the bed with someone who farts up the place like they don't give a f***. If it's not my husband, it's my daughter. I know it's not the sleep suit's fault but seriously, can I just enjoy ONE night without someone farting two inches from my body??


It's certainly better than what happened the night I tried to put her to bed in just a sleep sack, but after a month we're still not quite where I'd like to be. I still have to tie up an arm or two about four days a week, and that's not ideal. But we'll get there eventually.


The sleep suit is kind of a pain to take on and off. They did the best they could with the design of it, but the fact remains that it is huge and puffy and so it's a challenge to stick uncooperative baby arms and legs through the holes. It's also definitely not designed for midnight diaper changes. Which is fine most nights, but just the other night the baby's farts got a little out of hand and she pooped her diaper at 3AM. This meant that I had to carefully take her out of the suit completely to change her diaper, and then put it back on her once she was clean. By the time all was said and done, she was so completely wide awake that we might as well have just gone downstairs and watched infomercials together.

Am I the only one who thinks that "baby bullet" is maybe not the best name for a product? It sounds like a bullet designed especially for the murder of helpless infants.

Also, when you wash the sleep suit, it takes forever to dry in the dryer. And you will probably want to turn the arms and legs inside out halfway through the dryer cycle.

BUT -- my baby is learning to sleep without a swaddle, and SHE LOOKS LIKE THIS:

So I'd recommend the Merlin's Sleep Suit to anyone and everyone!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Animals doing Olympics

I haven't drawn animals in Paint for a while now. It's sad. It makes me cry. I bet it makes you cry too, since my Paint animals are pretty much the entire reason you check this blog (admit it.).

So! I drew some really good ones!!!! In the spirit of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, I drew some animals participating in the Games! The drawings are particularly excellent and I think I just might have to make some more.

First we have the figure skating giraffe. Her name is Gennifer the Giraffe, and while her performance was almost perfect, she received some really unfair deductions and her score was much lower than anyone thought she deserved. It was speculated that the judges colluded to keep her from getting a medal.

So beautiful. Such flexibility.

Next, we visit the downhill ski slopes, where we find Buffy the Bunny about to set a personal record. Unfortunately, moments after this picture was taken, Buffy crashed and broke every bone in his body. He is unlikely to ever ski again, but I guess you never really know.

Love his stylish pink skis.

We return to the figure skating arena to find the Pairs team of Bird and Birdette. They are kind of okay but not that great really. And if you're wondering what that shit coming off the back of Bird's head is, it's his plumage you idiot.

Such grace.

Next we head over to the ice hockey rink, where things are heating up between the US and Canadian hockey teams! Yesterday, the Canadian women managed to win ... who will come out on top in the US v. Canada goldfish hockey game?

I find this deeply disturbing for some reason. Why are the goldfish walking? I don't like it one bit.

And finally, here is a turtle doing Skeleton. Look at that cool helmet he borrowed from Canadian Sarah Reid! Also, I don't mean to boast but this may be one of the worst drawings I've ever done. And don't even get me started on the irony of a turtle competing in Skeleton.

Because turtles are slow but Skeleton is fast, get it?!?!?!??!?!


UPDATE: I made some more!

This is Cornelius the ski-jumping camel. He got the bronze:

And here is another speedy turtle. This one is speed-skating. He is really terrible and nobody knows how he even made the Olympic team. Must have known someone.

And we'll close it out with a Centaur trying to win the biathlon. I don't know. I just don't. So don't ask.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blast from the Past: Lessons learned from watching horror movies

This old post had some pretty colorful and unbleeped language. Let me fix that for you.

Also, blogger tells me this post only had 27 views! SHAMEFUL! It's such a good one!  At least I think so. You don't have to agree. I will just hate you if you don't.


Watching horror movies with Jesse is quite an experience.

Well, watching any movie really, but horror movies in particular.

Why? Because he sees each movie as a lesson in what not to do, and so he spends a majority of the time criticizing the choices that the characters have made, and talking about all the things he would have done differently to either get out of a bad situation or avoid getting into it in the first place.

At first, it was annoying. But now I've started doing it as well. And let me tell you, it really makes the movies more interesting. Here are some of lessons we've learned from watching movies:

If the Road You're Driving On Inexplicably Turns to Gravel, TURN THE F**K AROUND

Dipshit, you are going the wrong way. You will not get to the dance club by continuing on this gravel road. You will not get anywhere good.

Example Film: The Human Centipede

To be fair, those bitches were really, really dumb.

Unfortunately for me, that fact alone doesn't un-see that movie.

Do Not Go Into Enclosed, Inescapable Areas -- Such as Hotel Rooms -- With Strangers

Especially when you're not getting any cell service. That's just asking for trouble.

Example Film: Last House on the Left

What Kind of a F**king Moron Goes to Investigate a Noise Without Bringing a Gun?

If you hear a scary noise somewhere near the back of your property and you decide to go investigate, here's some advice: bring a goddamn weapon with you, genius. Wandering around with a weak flashlight while timidly saying "hello?" is not going to get you anywhere.


I can't believe how many dumb bitches stop running away from danger because they twisted their ankles. Because, y'know, obviously getting raped and murdered is better than running on a hurt ankle. Ouchies.

Your body makes this thing called "adrenaline" that keeps you from feeling pain when you're in danger. Use it, dumbass.

Example Film: The Strangers

Why On God's Green Earth Are You Splitting Up? I DIDN'T REALIZE YOU COULD SEE 360 DEGREES AT ONCE!

Oh, you can't? Well then why in all hell are you going off by yourself? You need at least one person with you to be able to see danger coming from any and all directions. Jackass; you deserve whatever bad shit happens to you.


I guess there's always room for a small surprise.

Prepare to Make Your Last Stand -- And Save a Bullet for Yourself

When there's danger all around you, you don't just take off running into the woods and hoping for the best. Probably you'll just end up hurting your wee little ankle and shouting "hello? Someone help me!" until you meet your doom.

Instead, how about you get a weapon -- lots of weapons, even -- and pick a defensible area to make your last stand. Sit down in a corner with a shotgun so nobody can sneak up on you. Kill everything that comes at you. And if you're finally overwhelmed and don't stand a chance, shoot yourself in the head. Trust me, it's better than getting shredded by zombies, wolves, bears, rapists, or whoever else is after you.

Dawn of the Dead's Plan:

Tremors' Plan:


Now go forth and teach your children. Teach them the way of the staying alive. Someday, they will thank you.

Unless the bear gets them.