Things You *Really* Shouldn’t Say To Your Kids

I just read this blog post over at Abandoning Pretense in which Kristen Mae gives the thumbs down to all those “Things You Should Never Say to Your Kids” lists floating about, and I was like, “Whew! Thank God someone is letting me off the hook.” I’m all for people pursuing positive parenting with patience and aplomb (sorry, got a little carried away with the alliteration there), but never? NEVER?

“Never” reinforces this sort of oops-you-did-this-BUZZ!-now-you’re-a-terrible-parent vibe that I’m basically totally sick of. Like, I’m barfing guilt already, people. Let’s take it easy. Kristen sums up my feelings at the end:

Most of us are working really hard at being the best parents we can be, and we’re doing a pretty bang-up job of it, too. We are good parents.

Yeah. So take that, internet jerks.

That said, there really ARE some things you probably shouldn’t say to your kids. I’ll list them out, in case you’re just about to say any of this. It takes a village, after all.

Word Graphic - Things You Really Shouldn't Say to Your Kids

Things You *Really* Shouldn’t Say to Your Kids

1. Finish your cocaine or I’ll feed you to my shark.

2. I regret letting the aliens drink your blood every night. Tuesdays? Yes. Every night? Too much.

3. Sometimes I watch you sleeping at night and just cry. Oh, no…not in the good way.

4. Heads up: I’m gonna be real drunk at this parent/teacher conference.

5. Wanna take the cinnamon challenge?

6. Take the cinnamon challenge or I’ll feed you to my shark.

7. Hold this land mine real quick.

8. I wish you were more like your sister, if your sister was like someone else’s kid.

9. Hey! That stove is hot! Ehhh…go ahead. We have insurance.

10. Feed my shark or I’ll feed you to my shark.

If you’re saying any of those things, you probably are a terrible parent. Take your internet shame, you! Take it and like it!

p.s. you’re subscribed to Abandoning Pretense, right? Because you should NEVER tell your kid not to subscribe to Abandoning Pretense.

WordPress.com Now Supports Embed of Getty Images; I Blow Up Your Eyeballs

I love putting pictures in my posts. Because pictures are pretty. And sometimes you can find a picture of a red panda cracking up at your jokes.

So imagine my delight when the WordPress.com News blog made this little announcement:

Earlier today, Getty Images announced a new embed feature that will allow people to access and share photos from its extensive library of images for non-commercial purposes. We have been working with Getty Images over the past few weeks and are excited to bring this feature to WordPress.com!

I was like this:

And this:

There are so many images at my fingertips! The whole attribution thing is SOOO much easier! Plus, you never know when you’ll need a picture of a robot, getting ready to have a great time with a beach ball.

Not all of the images are available to embed in this super fancy way (getting a little greedy if we want that, no?), so every now and again you’ll have to deal with the disappointment of not being able to embed a picture of a cat raising it’s arms like it’s saying Hallelujah in a Pentecostal church…but pfft, you’ll get over it. Because there’s kitty with a tiny hat on:

And a kitty whose super power is being cute:

And, if you’re feeling a little crazy, this kitty:

There’s also a lot of non-kitty images (but seriously, there are so many kitties).

In fact, the other day Getty Images announced the Lean In collection, “a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them.” I commented on Facebook that I wanted to start a business, just so I could use all those badass images of women being awesome and showing normal signs of aging, and girls doing stuff other than wearing dresses. Like so:

Now I don’t need to start a hair-combing karate machinery business. I can just use the images in a meandering blog post. Total win.

So be on the look out for more awesome images here. I promise to slightly scale down my use of cat images (a little). If you’re a blogger you should definitely go check out the full Getty Images catalog. That’s a whole lot of fun right there. A whole lot of it.

Happy Friday, friendsies.

The Parent Olympics Storified (& Stanley Broke the Internet)

First things first; The Parent Olympics were awesome. I think most of you were out having Pho and planning your gubernatorial campaigns, so live viewing was a touch on the skim side. Not to worry though, folks; I storified it. Now that you have a full belly and a clear campaign strategy, hop over to Storify.com and check it out.

ParentOlympicsStorifiedScreenCap

My favorite moment? This one:

FavoritePOMoment

Plus all of this awesome stuff:

Seriously, go see the whole shebang. Good times. Jerrod was an amazing co-host, and made the event that much better. Really that’s a compliment for me—I make awesome decisions. High five, me.

Less awesome were the antics of Stanley, the horribly obnoxious internet drunk. Oh, Stanley, I could just punch you in the mouth.

See, what happened readers—and you may have noticed this last night—is that Stanley hopped on my computer while I was participating in my own Parent Olympics. And wow—can that dumb guy screw stuff up. In the process of posting and unposting the Storify version, posts were pushed to the blog, and then pushed to Facebook, AND Twitter, AND LinkedIn, AND (I assume) Barack Obama got copies of them. Because the internet is tricky, drunken Stanley published a couple of posts with just a link, some with some jibberish-looking code, and one with a selfie of him after he abandoned his pants. (Gross, Stanley.)

The lesson? Don’t let a drunk/angry/possibly imaginary old man get his hands on the internet. You know he’s just gonna break it.

So sorry for that, you all. Stanley is terrible and we should ALL punch him in the mouth. I may have bore the tiniest bit of responsibility in the whole debacle, so please accept my apologies as well. But mostly let’s get really angry at Stanley.

p.s. When I was all stressed about the social media cacophony emanating from my blog, I did what any reasonable person would do: watched internet videos of cats. It was almost worth the stress and frustration to come across these gems. (ht Cute Overload)

Treasures of the Internet

Treasure Chest

Photo By Timitrius @ flickr

Did you know that the Daily Post at WordPress.com has daily writing prompts? True story. I read them all, hoping they will ring a thousand bells in my head and then I’ll write a thousand brilliant blog posts, be offered a blushingly generous advance for my soon-to-be best seller, then get a private jet to take me to Switzerland where I’ll paraglide down to a quaint grassy spot in the Alps. Mostly I read the prompts, make some kind of groaning sound, and decide I don’t have the gumption to respond. Maybe next one? Or the next?

But today’s prompt was much easier, because I’m not asked to rattle something fascinating out of my brain, but rather point you to things that other people have rattled out of their brains. I can point like I champ. I’m pointing right now. At a chair. If someone walked into my apartment and asked, “Which chair did you accidentally push over and not bother to pick up?” I’d say, “That one,” and the asker would follow my expertly pointed finger to the office chair and not be confused in the slightest. Pro.

Ahem.

Anyway, here are a few gems from my jam-packed RSS feed, for your reading pleasure.

Bailey | Never Had One Lesson | Jerrod Crouch

Okay, this is suuuper sad. Sorry to hit you with that right off the bat, but some stuff on the internet is sad and you should probably get used to it. But this piece that Jerrod wrote about the loss of his wife’s dog is just beautiful and honest and it’s worth a read. Just be ready to cry a bunch.

I knelt down and kissed Bailey on the forehead and whispered in her ear, “Thank you for the best spot on the couch and I will love Court for the rest of my life”.  I know Bailey didn’t hear it, but I also know that she already knew it.

See? So sad. But worth it. Go give it a read.

Crucifixion and Liberation | Sarah Over the Moon | Sarah Moon

Okay, so I didn’t technically read this piece in the last week, but I don’t think the fine folks at the Daily Post are going to come taze me over it. (I hope not, Daily Post peeps, because that’s super weird. And probably really uncomfortable. I’m not going to offer you coffee if you taze me. Just so we’re clear.)

I came across Ms. Moon’s writing when she was featured on Freshly Pressed a while back, and I’ve been a loyal reader ever since. Her blog mostly focuses on her journey making sense of her Christian roots as she ages and her perspectives change, which is something I (and many, many people I know) can relate to.

This particular piece reflects on what the death of Jesus, Christianity’s savior, meant at the time and what it means now. It might be a little overwhelming if you have no familiarity with the theology of Christianity, but it also might be a take on America’s most outspoken religion that you haven’t heard before. Here’s a favorite quote of mine:

Jesus stood with the oppressed. He healed on the Sabbath. He advocated for the poor. He spoke out against the abuse of women.

And those in power killed him for it. They silenced his message (but it couldn’t quite stay dead, could it?).

Maybe this is the real message of the cross. That the God of all creation loved the oppressed enough to become one with them, even in death–the ultimate tool of oppressive forces.

Why the Mantis Shrimp is My New Favorite Animal | The Oatmeal

You may have seen this piece running around the internet like crazy, because that’s what it’s doing. And rightly so, because it is funny and informative, with colorful pictures. What else could you want? Hmm? You want more, you say? Well, it also happens to be inspired by one of my other favorite things that the internet—nay, modern civilization—has to offer: Radio Lab. They did an episode on colors, and the Oatmeal ran with it. Perfecto. So now you have TWO fabulous things to go check out in this ONE bullet point. Ab fab.

The rainbow we see stems from just THREE colors, so try to imagine a mantis’ rainbow created from SIXTEEN colors. Where we see a rainbow, the mantis shrimp sees a thermonuclear bomb of light and beauty.

So there you go! Three fabulous things to check out on the internet. Wasn’t that fun? Maybe I’ll do it more often. Then I won’t feel like such a slouch for reading stuff on the internet like it’s my job. Everyone wins.

Lemme know what you think of these great posts/writers. And if you’ve read something amazing lately, feel free to share.

p.s. Bonus link! After my post last week about how terrible pregnancy is, my friend Amy sent me this bit on Jezebel about pregnancy. It is hilarious and true and awful all at once. I’m not at all jealous that I didn’t write it (I’m totally jealous that I didn’t write it.).

Problems That Bunnies Don’t Have

It’s been a heavy week around ol’ MelanieCrutchfield.com. Yes siree bob. I’ve been plagued (and have plagued you, dear readers) with lots of thoughts about stuff that just totally freaking sucks. Stuff that, as one might imagine, falls into the category of Problems That Bunnies Don’t Have.

So now in time for Easter, as a gift to you (and myself), I bring you several other problems that bunnies don’t have, along with cutsie pictures. *breathes sigh of relief*

Getting Super Bummed About Rape Trials

Of course bunnies don’t cruise the internet, happening upon story after story about a rape trial that makes them question their ability/desire to remain amongst their common populations. And boy howdy, are those bunnies living the good life.

BunnySadStories-01

Feeling Un-Cute

Sometimes you just don’t feel cute. You feel—what’s the word?—turdish. Dudes, some days your hair just looks weird. Ladies, we’ve got some seriously effed up standards to live up to. Bunnies? Not so much.

BunnyDoesntFeelCute-01 BunnyDoesntFeelCuteP2-01

Needing Lots of Lotion and Chapstick

Sometimes my skin is nearly reptilian like that weird commercial I saw once. And my lips? They peel, crack and flake like a piece of overcooked tuna. But bunnies are just soft, fluffy and luxurious no matter what.

BunnyDoesntNeedLotion-01

Looking Evil with Beady Red Eyes

Wait…that is kinda a problem.

Red eye

Ack! Devil bunny! Photo By petur r @ Flickr

(I could add in here, “Searching for ‘Bunny Red Eyes’ and Instead Getting Nude Pictures of Ladies,” cause that totally happened to me. Really, internet? Sometimes you’re a real a-hole.)

Not Knowing What to Blog About

Sometimes I’m just plain overcome with not knowing what to write about. Is it okay to be serious? And then funny? And then maybe something random about food? I DON’T KNOW!!! (Can I get an amen, writers?) For added fun, I’ll go ahead and hate whatever I do. Oh, bunnies, how superior your life is in this regard.

BunnyDoesntKnowWhatToWrite-01

There you have it. Problems that bunnies don’t have. What plights do you have that bunnies are immune to? And if you haven’t had enough, go check out problems that lions don’t have. And then maybe drink a margarita, just for good measure.

The Tweet Goes On

So, I signed up for twitter the other day, and it was entirely exhausting. This is less indicative of the experience of twitter than it is of my current mental state, which can turn even the most mundane of activities to a nightmarish hellscape. I mean, really, what does twitter need of me, anyway? Not even a paragraph, I tell you! Not even a paragraph. They just want tiny, fragmented thoughts jammed together in as little character space as possible. While being witty, of course. And adorable. Or powerfully compelling. Whatever your schtick is, melt it down to its basic elements and send it out to be judged/ignored/embraced as genius. No biggie.

The panic did not come, as you might imagine, when actually tweeting. I didn’t get that far. The panic came while choosing a handle.

Apparently, Melanie is not an uncommon name (who knew?  Not me.), and all the Melanies already have the good twitter handles. Melanie? Taken. MelanieCrutchfield? Too long. (Though MelanieCrutchfie is available.) HiMelanie? Taken. HelloMelanie? Taken. JustMelanie? Taken. This is where I swear like a G-rated cartoon character, “$%&!# your stupid face, twitter!”

Here are some gems that were available, but I decided against:

  • Melaniecholy (oh, isn’t that so very witty?)
  • KITMelanie (It’s like signing a yearbook with twitter.)

These adjectives are more for food than people:

  • SaltyMelanie
  • ZestyMelanie

And here’s where I started perusing the “M” section of the dictionary:

  • Mach1Melanie
  • MacroMelanie
  • MicroMelanie
  • MadlyMelanie
  • MainlyMelanie
  • MegaMelanie (I’m going to crush you!!)

And here’s when I started getting a little loopy about it:

PirateSnack? Available! Awesome! AssHat? Not available. Twitter suggestion: AssMelanie. Touché, twitter. Just because I can’t pick out a handle, doesn’t mean you have to get all nasty about it. Also unavailable: HellsMels, FelonyMelanie (which Kate told me sounded like a Garbage Pail Kid. Totally true.), and CrapBag (somebody is REAL proud of that one.).

I was SOoooo frustrated. And hot (because San Diego was obscenely hot last week). And that’s when I thought, “It’s hot as the dickens in here!” and then I wondered what “the dickens” meant. So I looked it up, and it’s euphemism for the devil, along with Old Scratch. OldScratch, which is also taken on twitter.

At this point I had gotten into a VERY long discussion on facebook about my whole quandary, and I was about to just give up and go for PirateSnack, when I discovered the closest thing to a good twitter handle that I can think of. You ready for it? Hmm? Hmm?

HelloMelanieC

I’m sad that I didn’t get to use PrincessCummerbund, or KarmaKitten, or—truly—PirateSnack, but I think that’ll do for now. Let’s go follow each other, okay? It’ll be super fun. You don’t want to miss out on these gems:

  • So Much Yapping

    • Now chicken on the grill looks like squirrel meat. Thanks, Hunger Games. 2 hours ago
    • Why am I immediately distrustful of anyone who calls themselves a poet? 2 hours ago
    • We pay higher rent in SD for the feeling of weather-related superiority. After today I think I deserve a refund. 2 days ago
    • If you ever wonder a) is that roasted jalapeno hot? and b) should I put it in my mouth? I’ll save you the trouble: a) yes b) no. 4 days ago

How did you come up with your twitter handle? Are you a lover? A hater? Spill! (In as many characters as you’d like.)

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