When we moved to Jersey last year, there were several major changes we had to adjust to. Gas is full service, and the attendant will even wash your windshield if you ask. Making a left turn is nearly impossible. Road signs are all hidden behind trees. And good Chinese food is hard to find. After trying two or three different carry-out places with horrible results, we decided to turn to the restaurant reviews on baristanet. After clicking through to reviews of several different Chinese places, we decided to go with China Royal in Montclair. Our decision was based on the stellar review written by John D. The full content of his review is as follows:


And you know what? China Royal is great. It's tasty, it's fast, it's affordable, and they bring you free sodas with your order. How great is that?

In the spirit of John D., I will now offer restaurant reviews in one word or less. For my first review:

Red Robin on Route 3 in Clifton, NJ (and every other location) - blech.



Can I just throw this out there? I don't get the Jonas Brothers. They're these dorky, floppy haired, unattractive teenagers who pretend to sing and play guitar. Their songs (at least from what I've gathered during the 8 minutes I've been able to stand to watch them on TV) suck. The appeal eludes me.

I recognize that 30 year old women are not their target audience. But even if I try to put myself in the shoes of a pre-pubescent girl, I still just don't get it. I mean, sure, when I was in Jr. High we had our teen idols, too. But Donny Wahlberg was totally hot and had all the dance moves. These Jonas Brothers don't even dance.

In my quest to try to understand what the draw is, I watched part of their free concert on the morning show today. As I stared in confusion, I noticed that Moon, sitting next to me, was also watching. So I asked, "What do you think of this band?"

"I don't know," he replied, looking as if waiting for me to tell him what he should think.

The good parent in me wanted to tell him, "They suck. You hate them," but I really was interested to hear if their music was appealing to a nine year old.

"Do you like these songs?" I probed.

"Uh, I don't know."

"Well, do you think they're good?"

"I don't know. They're ok, I guess."

"Do you think they're cute?"

Moon stared at me as if I were the stupidest human he'd ever encountered. He didn't even need to dignify my question with a verbal response. His face said it all. He did not think they were cute, he's not even into girls yet, let alone dorky boy bands, and he would like me to go die.

Peanut and The Baby are breathing a little easier because I try to only scar one child per day.


A stretch and a yawn

Peanut, nude as usual, and suddenly standing next to me: Mom, why is my penis stretching out?
Me, glancing right, gasping in terror, then rolling my eyes: Because you have a boner, son.
Peanut: What's a boner?
Me: When your penis get hard.
Peanut: Gets hard?
Me: You know. When it stretches out.
Peanut: Oh. I thought it was stretching because it's tired.


Hip Hop, why don't you love me back?

The boys have had friends over for the last two hours, and the friends happen to be the LOUDEST CHILDREN ON THE PLANET. Not only are they loud, they're repetitive. I could maybe deal with the loud, if it weren't two hours of "Skunk in the barnyard, PU" without so much as taking a breath. Lots of shouting without actually saying anything, and I'm about to weep.

I asked for them to tone it down. I told them to shut up. I threatened to take them home immediately. All to no avail. In desperation, I finally gave up and tried to out-noise them by playing booty music on my laptop.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake recently of actually reading the lyrics to some of MP3s I have.

Which brings me to my question. Hip Hop, I love you so very much. Why don't you love me back? You are clearly the best (only) music to dance to. Your beats can make me feel better even when I'm in the worst of moods. You are glorious when mixed with liquor. You are pretty much perfect, except for your dumb-ass lyrics.

Just from my current iTunes playlist:

Eminem, Shake That (I take no offense to the "shake that ass" portion, because really, that's what I want to do when I listen to hip hop):

I'm a menace, a dentist, an oral hygentist
Open your mouth for about four or five minutes
Take a little bit of this flouride rinse
Swish but don't spit it, swallow and I'll finish
Yeah me and Nate d-o double g
Looking for a couple bitches with some double d's
Pop a little champagne and a couple E's
Slip it in her bubbuly, we finna finna have a party

[Verse 5 - Nate Dogg]

Have a party (turn the music up)
Let's get it started (Go head shake your butt)
I'm lookin for a girl I can fuck in my hummer truck
Apple Bottom jeans and a big ol' suck
Some girls they act retarded
Some girls are bout it bout it
I want a bitch that sit at the crib with no panties on
Knows that she can but she won't say no
Now look at this lady all in front of me, sexy as can be
Tonight I want a slut, will you be mine?
I heard you was freaky from a friend of mine

[Bridge - Eminem]

Now I hope you don't get mad at me
But I told Nate you was a freak
He said he wants a slut, hope you don't mind
I told him how you like it from behind

Ying Yang Twins - The Whisper Song

You heard what i said, we need to make our way to the bed
And you can start usin' yo head
You like to fuck, have yo legs open all in da butt
Do it up slappin ass cuz the sex gets rough
Switch the positions and ready to get down to business
So you can see what you've been missin'
You might had some but you never had none like this
Just wait til you see my dick

Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick
Wait til you see my dick
Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick
Imma beat dat pussy up
Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick

> Wait you see my dick
Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick
Imma beat dat pussy up

Like B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM,

Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up,
Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up,
Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up,
Beat da pussy
Up, Beat da pussy up

50 Cent - Just a Lil Bit:

You really got me feelin' right.. (ya heard me)
My mama gone you can spend the night (ya heard me)
I ain't playin' I'm tryin' to fuck tonight (ya heard me)
Clothes off, face down, ass up, c'mon (haha)

Hip Hop, I've been defending you for years. As a favor, could you lay off the misogyny please? Otherwise, as a mother of three sons, and a human being with a vagina, I'm going to have to stop listening to you. And I actually pay for the music I download.


I'll take "Scrubbing the Booger Wall," for three M & M's, please

The boys' bedroom has been an increasingly disgusting pigsty for the last few weeks. Initially, I ignored it in hopes that the mess would be sucked into a hole in the time space continuum, never to be seen again. By Saturday, it was apparent that this was not going to happen, and some manual labor was going to be required. I promised myself I would do it Sunday. Then Monday. Today is Tuesday. The room had to be cleaned. I still didn't want to do it. Fortunately, I remembered my friend Jennifer, who is a much more creative parent than I.

Jennifer invented this game for her kids called, "Hidden Temple." Her kids are now savvy enough to realize that it's a tricky way to get them to clean, but mine are not. Woohoo! I had to modify the game a bit so that it's not a direct competition in order to keep Peanut from screaming, stomping, and yelling, "I quit!" after every challenge, but our slightly modified version is still pretty effective.

The kids started at the bottom of the stairs and had to answer a series of age appropriate trivia questions to earn steps forward (toward their bedroom....ooh, so tricky already). Questions were things like: "What is your phone number," or "Spell your name...backwards." Once they reached the top of the stairs, I had a bag of M & M's and a pile of inside out clothes. This was the beginning of the physical challenges. They each had to turn the clothes the right way, strip out of their pajamas, get dressed, and tag my hand. For completing this task, they each received two M & M's.

The next 15 physical challenges got their room picked up in no time, and with no yelling or whining. And I didn't have to lift a finger other than to dole out M & M's at the completion of each challenge. It was a beautiful thing.

Once the room was clean, I still had M & M's in the bag and needed to think of another physical challenge. So, to see just how far we could take Hidden Temple, I had the boys both get wet rags. Once this was accomplished, I put them to work cleaning the Booger Wall.

You know what I'm talking about, right?

It's the wall where your kid wipes all his boogers when he picks his nose while laying in bed at night. Your kid does this, right? Don't tell me your kid puts his boogers on a tissue. Or better yet, yours doesn't even pick his nose. Seriously, don't tell me that because I don't want to hear it. Just nod, and say, "Oh yes, of course, the booger wall. Every child has one of those."

There were a few super crusty boogers that the boys couldn't get off (going to have to get out the paint scraper or some sand paper, I think), but thanks to Hidden Temple, the booger wall is now mostly clean.

As a final prize, both kids got an ice cream sandwich (after washing their hands). So now, I don't have to clean their bedroom, or make them lunch.