A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life


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Summer Job Board for Teenagers

The other day, I was browsing through the time suck that is Pinterest…or was it the time suck that is Facebook? Either way, my time was sucked.

I came across this image of (to be read in your most cheerful, sing-songy voice) a clever way to get your kids to help out with chores all Summer:

65185699_661469297613706_7695555077636882432_n

Which made me do this:

Laugh.gif

And not because I was stoned. Or because Kelso said something funny.

It was because I have teenagers. Teenage boys, to be specific. Their idea of a Summer “chore” is having to make their own lunch by ripping into a box of Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese. Or scooping out the proper number of cups from a box of potato flakes so they can (fake) carb load for lunch.

But the image got me thinking about my ideal Summer job board for my teenage sons. Here it is:

BeckyJobChart

And when it comes to “Mom’s Choice”, this is how I roll:

Moms Choice

Got some great ideas for chores? Create your own job board stickies here.

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Top 8 Tips for Being a Volunteer Social Media Account Manager

A couple of years ago, I wrote about why I would never be put in charge of the Community sign board. The real reason, frankly, was that there were not enough symbols in the letter box for all the cuss words I would want to use.

SignBoardLetters

Yeah, I’m gonna need a lot more of these symbols

Flash-forward to a few years later, when my oldest son entered high school and I joined the Athletic Boosters. There was a volunteer opportunity to up our social media cred with a more robust Facebook page and a new Twitter account.

Easy peasy. I just post game results from the paper, shout outs to alumni, and event announcements, right?

Wrong

Here’s what I’ve learned so far when it comes to being the volunteer social media manager.

Tip #1: Be careful about posting more than one image in your twitter feed

One of the Booster accounts for a county rival posted two photos on twitter that caused an awkward appearing ‘headline.’ The red oval is where the two photos ‘combined’ in the Twitter feed, resulting in overlaps of the actual headlines, and leading to the unfortunate looking “Urbana Girls Grab Oakdale Boys” ‘headline.’

Headline merge

Tip #2: Parents will never see the posts about their own kids, so get ready for the blow back

No matter how many times you mention a sport, there will be someone whose kid is on the team and didn’t see the post. My remedy for this? I go back to every instance of me posting about that sport and tag that parent in the comments. Enjoy your ridiculous uptick in Facebook notifications, friend.

Tip #3: Tag parents on Facebook posts

Actual Facebook messenger mail I received: “I see you tagged <name of parent> when you posted about <student athlete’s> name in the paper. You didn’t tag me when <my precious angel> was named in the paper. How can you remedy that?”

I thought of replying with: “Oh my word! I had no idea <your precious angel> was your child, since:  a) the school has over 1,000 students, b) I don’t know every damn kid in the school, and 3) I don’t know your family or kid at all. Perhaps if you’d join the Boosters for the mere $25 a year membership fee, it would jog my memory when it comes to tagging your ass in every post for <my precious angel>.

Instead, I responded with: Thanks for letting me know. We’re always looking for new members and volunteers – hope to see you at a Boosters Meeting in the future!

Tip #4: Tag students on Twitter posts

They love to see themselves tagged and will “like” and “retweet”. A lot. So will their friends when they see it.

Just know that you will probably have to wade through a whole bunch of …

  • @hotbod69
  • @bootygirl4U
  • @BIGlaxstick
  • @team_balls_out

…nonsense twitter handles to find some of these athletes. Hey kids – do yourself a favor and set up a handle that reads more like someone trying to impress admissions officers at colleges, and less like you are trying to impress your potential Tinder dating pool. Except for you, Jacob Wetzel. I love your handle: @wetzhispants

Tip #5: If you are posting daily athletic contest schedules, be ready for Mother Nature to %*@! with you

I hate snow and rain, which has impacted every sport so far this year, multiple times this year. Even the indoor sports. When school is cancelled due to weather, so are all after school activities. Then they get rescheduled. Over and over.  So, be ready if Mother Nature is having a bad day/week/month/season. You’ll get carpal tunnel keeping up with all the changes.

Tip #6: You are not in charge of the @Wendys or @UMBCAthletics accounts.

While it would be a life goal of mine to be the person in charge of either of these accounts (filled with humor and snark – and getting paid for it!) I am currently NOT in charge of an account like this:

UMBCWendys

I really only got snarky/funny twice. Once, when a cross-town rival taunted our football team at a game this past Fall. We had graduated amazing groups of senior football players in 2017 and 2018, including Jacob Wetzel – the 2016 County Defensive Player of the Year, member of the 2016 State Championship team, member of the 2017 Conference Champion team, and 2017 County Offensive Player of the Year, who is now at Old Dominion University. The student section from the other team brought a sign, and I snapped a photo and tweeted about it:

Wetzhispants

I give Jacob a pass on his Twitter handle; it makes me laugh every time I have used it

And the second time, when our girls soccer team was a State finalist, and a local business wished them well.

RoysStates

I know Wendy’s knows what’s up also, but there isn’t a Wendy’s in our community.

Tip #7: If a sports emoji is missing; get creative. Literally.

We are the blue and gold Lions. Every social media post for our accounts concludes with 💙🦁💛 and then the emoji for that sport. 

For the first year, there was no softball emoji, so I used a blue diamond, for softball diamond: 💙🦁💛🔷. For lacrosse, I used the net: 💙🦁💛🥅 .  I am totally geeked out that I can now use the actual emojis:

softball lax stick

 

 

We have a swim/dive team and I made a request for a springboard/platform dive emoji from Unicode. Basically, Unicode told me I have to create an image to submit for consideration.

Since I’m not a graphic designer, here’s my submission, Unicode: 🖕   How’s that for creative?

Tip #8: This is a volunteer gig, but one that matters to your community.

It’s tough, sometimes, to take the flack, to listen to the complainers, to always be asked for more of our time and energy.  However, I keep this in mind for all my volunteer work in the community:

Who was watching

💙🦁💛


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In 2019, I Resolve to Have More Resolve

As a new year approaches, I reflect on everything I’ve accomplished in 2018. So far, the list includes:

  • Baked over 500 cookies during the Christmas holiday season
  • Began writing entries on my blog again
  • Found no redeeming qualities of — or contributions to mankind from — any member of the Kardashian family
  • Binge watched all the episodes of The Great British Baking Show
  • Didn’t get arrested
  • Watched my oldest son play his last baseball game after 10 years participating in the sport, without becoming too much of a blubbering, unhinged mess
  • Watched my youngest son catch the same pay-it-forward bug as I have, through his high school lacrosse team’s community service efforts, without bragging too much about it
  • Participated in the Terrible Thanks for Asking podcast #TerribleWritingClub Challenge
  • Not losing my shit when I was told how much adding a 16 year old boy driver to our car insurance policy would cost
  • Bought a new car, then suffered severe buyer’s remorse as I realized the monthly payment means we have to curtail our habit of dining out at least 3…well, maybe 4…ok, so more like at least 5 times a week

So what are my resolutions for 2019? Well, the list is simple:

  • Bake cookies and goodies as much as I can
  • Write in my blog as much as I can
  • Ignore the Kardashians as much as I can
  • Binge watch shows I like as much as I can
  • Avoid behaviors that could lead to an arrest as much as I can
  • Get to my oldest son’s new Spring sport — high school Track & Field competitions — as much as I can
  • Support my youngest son’s community service efforts with his lacrosse team as much as I can
  • Listen to more Podcasts and participate in more listener activities as much as I can
  • Not freaking out about our insurance premiums — especially when I add the second teen boy driver to the policy in late 2019 — as much as I can
  • Not suffer buyer’s remorse and make dinner at home as much as I can

Finally, I will not beat myself up for not making dinner at home as much as I can. Because I know how much resolve I have when it comes to that.

Happy-New-Year-GIF.gif

 


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How Are You – Really?

Because of my long work commute — and when my teenagers haven’t eaten up all our fucking data 6 days before the end of the billing cycle Verizon— I listen to podcasts. I subscribe to How I Built This, Criminal, Terrible Thanks for Asking, and The Mortified Podcast among others.

The Terrible, Thanks for Asking podcast issued a writing challenge, and I texted my interest as requested. The first writing request came through on November 15 – so here goes…

“How Are You — Really?” – November 15, 2018

Image-1

Quick answer? Of course I’m totally up to my ass in alligators, so this post is two days late.  But here are a couple of the things I was thinking about on November 15, 2018…

  • I feel grateful to be teleworking. Normally on a Thursday, I would be making the trek to work, but because of 1-3″ of snow predicted, I am working from home. Schools are closed, so that means 2 teenage sons, 2 dogs and 1 work-from-home husband are also in the house with me. And that 1-3 annoying inches turned out to be 8.1″.IMG_2182.jpgI am also grateful I figured out the thermostat had reset to 60 degrees and that’s why the house was freezing and not because the stupid HVAC system had gone out again.
  • I really feel annoyed because Mother Nature is a spiteful bitch — yet another high school game has to be rescheduled today. As the manager of social media (Facebook and Twitter accounts) for my son’s high school Boosters program, I have had to update schedules because of rain outs/thunderstorms throughout the entire Fall season. Today, it is the State Championship for our girls soccer team – the first time they have ever been to the State Championship. However, due to the weather, it is now rescheduled to Friday. So I am spending time updating event posts, images created, and responding to parent inquiries about decisions made … because, yes, the governing body of Maryland State high school sports consults me specifically about what is convenient — or not — for all of you before it reschedules anything.Longroll
  • I’m a bit pensive as I ruminate about my job description. My boss shared a proposed update with me and asked for feedback, as we work together to build a strong team with talents focused in the correct areas. I think it is a good start, but I plan to discuss some nuances that would make it a better use of my strengths. Because, I need to own my path and stand for what I’m passionate about and what resonates with me. I am feeling confident about my ability to have that conversation.

So that’s where my head is at today, Thursday, November 15, 2018: grateful, annoyed, pensive and confident. At least I’m not terrible. Thanks for asking.

#TerribleWritingClub


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WWTTMD (What Would This Team Mom Do)

I have never had the chore  drudgery  onus  privilege of being a team mom for any of the sports my boys have played. The list of sports since 2008 includes soccer (briefly), baseball (until this year), football and basketball (still playing both), and lacrosse (since 2014). Next Spring, we start track & field.

I have had 40 seasons (spring-summer-fall-winter) over 10 years to offer my services as team mom.  I have not volunteered even one time to actually be the team mom. However, positions I have held include:

  • team photographer
  • team fundraising organizer
  • team baker
  • team cheerleader and spirit wearer
  • team face painter (my own and others)
  • team snack maker
  • team dinner server

Of course, the position I am always actively involved in and exercise the most is team eye roller, when I hear parents  snivel  whine  bitch  offer criticism about anything team related, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • more playing time for their kid
  • location of events
  • referees
  • our coach’s play calling
  • the other team’s rudeness (coaches, players, fans)
  • why we can’t have names on uniforms
  • having to work the concession stand
  • team dinner sign ups
  • team pictures process

So, if you’d like to know what I would do as team mom (and why I will never actually be team mom), here’s the list:

Your complaint: More playing time for your kid

If I were team mom, I would tell you there are:

PlayingTime

But I don’t have time to go over all 12 tips because I have other parents who have the same  annoying damn question. So, in the interest of maximizing my time, here are all 12 tips synthesized into 12 easy words:  Not one of the kids on this team is going pro. Deal.

Your complaint: The Location of Events

If I were team mom, I would tell you that unless you want to double the time you are voluntold to spend in the concession stand, it is sweet blessed relief to travel to another team’s field so you can give that knowing look to the parents in that concession stand when you order the luke-warm diet soda and foil wrapped, smashed hotdog.

Your complaint: Referees

If I were team mom, I would tell you that we don’t have the money to fund the lasik surgery they all clearly need. And that I have no interest in heading up the fundraiser it would take to pay for it.

Lasik

(C) John McPherson/Distributed by Universal Uclick via cartoonstock.com

Your complaint: Our coach’s play calling

If I were team mom, I would tell you to volunteer your weekends and weeknights for practices and game days. This would also include listening to <insert number of kids on team here> parents tell you as a volunteer coach exactly what you are doing wrong and how to correct it. And please listen to all of these experts and then not tell them to f*ck off.

ParentCoach

Your complaint: The other team’s rudeness (players, coaches, fans)

If I were team mom, I would tell you that unless anyone from the other side (player, coach and/or fan) looks like this, just shut up and cheer your kid and our team on.

San Diego Chargers v Oakland Raiders

Your complaint: Why we can’t have names on uniforms

If I were team mom, I would pull out this sign and shove it in your face. Plus it costs money to personalize jerseys, so I will just ask you to cut a check for every player’s jersey if that shit so important to you.

 

Jersey

Your complaint: Having to work the concession stand

If I were team mom, I would tell you the money we make from concession sales helps to fund things for the sport … like parents who insist that every player get a personalized jersey every year. So, shut up and make the sno-cones.

Calm SnoCones

Your complaint: Team dinner sign ups

If I were team mom, I would bark back at you that I’m the one who has to nag the shit out of people to sign up for the 18 slots available, when there are 50+ kids on the team. Oh yeah, and it’s the same parents who sign up every week. The remaining 30+ wait until all the slots are full and will then fight over who gets to bring a package of napkins – which isn’t even on the list.

Drinkit

Your complaint: Team picture process

If I were team mom, I would remind you that Ansel Adams has no kids on the team, so Victor O’Neill (who doesn’t have any kids on the team either) and his Studio flunky assigned to this team on this day are the people in charge.  Just to be clear, there are also two important elements that I don’t control. They are 1)  that your kid joined the team late and missed picture day, and/or 2) whether or not you would have preferred the jersey with their name on it for the picture.

danger

So, now that I’ve covered the basics of team momming, let me know if you have any questions.

dumblooks


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What the Suck?

While driving home from work the other day, an ad came on the radio. Normally, I’m pretty good at filtering out the ads between music, but this one really grabbed my attention based on two simple words.

Vampire. Facial.

Editor’s note: Do not do an internet image search on “vampire bite”, “vampire sucking on a face” or “vampire attack” to get a funny picture to add to your blog. Unless you would like a bunch of porno vampire images in your search engine memory or malware warnings even when you click on the three non-porno images out of the bajillion porno images. You’re welcome.

The reigning queen of being famous for absolutely nothing and having no talent, well, she had one of these unusual beauty treatments in 2013. She even shared a photo on Instagram during the middle of it:

KimKvampirefacial

Image courtesy of Mrs. K-West’s Instagram account.

The reigning queen of being famous for absolutely nothing other than having a bangin’ body and exotic beauty (but — most importantly — having no talent what-so-ever) also has over 116 million followers on Instagram. Her post sky-rocketed interest in this treatment option, that (reportedly) can also be used to beef up your brows or even your breasts.

Including my social media accounts Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and this blog, I have just over 2,000 people who follow me.  So, compared to Kim K-W when it comes to influence and ability to generate revenue on social media…

hello-my-name-is

No wonder I have menopausal acne, my brows droop and my boobs sag. The reason certainly can’t be because I turn 52 in a few days. It’s really all because I can’t afford vampire facials. Or vampire brow and boob lifts.

Earlier this year, Kim was quoted as saying about the procedure, “It was honestly the most painful thing ever!” Really? I would have guessed losing her dad to cancer would be the most painful thing ever. But I only have 2,000 social media followers, so what do I know?

Well, here’s what I know. ‘Vampire facials’ are the grab-you-by-the-balls, made-up marketing name for a combination of microdermabrasion followed by a mask of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that helps boost your skin’s cell turnover. The plasma is your own – a doctor will draw blood from you, spin it in a centrifuge to extract the PRP, and then inject or apply it topically.

Plus, I also know that ‘Vampire facial’ is much easier to pronounce than microdermabrasion, platelet-rich plasma and centrifuge.

You know what doesn’t roll off the tongue so easily? ‘Celebrities-who-don’t- have-the-confidence-to-age-gracefully-but-have-plenty-of-money-to-spend-on-stupid-ass-shit-that-their-bajillion-followers-will-try-even-though-those-followers-do-not-have-that- kind-of-disposable-income’.

But that’s ok, because I’m a confident 52, even without a vampire facial. So suck on that.

52andFabulous

I am a 52 year old Leo…hear me roar.

 

 


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10 Keys to a Great Vacation

You know it’s gonna be a great vacation when the morning you are scheduled to leave starts like this:

  • Husband: “who moved my keys?”
  • Me: “Last I saw them was on the table, as I was packing the car.”
  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “Huh?”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “Not me.”

Which led to this from my husband: Annoyed dad

So — a half an hour of frantic searching, much cussing and still no keys later — we were on our way to Myrtle Beach, SC. I believe the infamous shoving off pronouncement was “you people better hope you remember which one of you moved my keys and where you put them by the time we get home”, which generated the following response from me:

Whatgif

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “What?”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “OK.”

The first full day of our vacation, as all the electronic device chargers/cords were unpacked, my husband sheepishly said “Oh, I found my keys. Someone must have grabbed them with all the cords and thrown them in this bag.”

Which generated the following response from me:

NeeNeeGif

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “No thanks.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “Sure.”

Later in the week, after a day at the beach, the second key to the rental condo went missing. My husband’s questions were “Oh for fuck’s sake, who took the key to the beach?”, “Why did we buy a beach bag without zipper compartments?”, and the always helpful “Can any of you remember where you put the damn key?”

Which generated this from me:

Longroll

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “I’m not.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “In a minute.”

Finally, on our last night, after thoroughly checking each beach bag, tearing the cushions off the sofa, and pulling everything out of the car to search for the key, I queried my husband with “did you check the pockets of all your shorts?”

Which generated this from him:

House

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “I’ll take a Hot Pocket.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “I don’t like Hot Pockets, can we have something else?”

And this response from me, when — lo and behold — the missing key was found in a pair of his shorts.

Itoldyousoface.gif

And our kids were quick to pile on:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “Nick did it.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “Wait…what?”

So, aside from not losing your actual keys or your rented condo keys, the proverbial keys to a great vacation are as follows:

  1. Don’t be surprised by everyone sleeping through the early morning trek to your destination, especially when traffic is at a complete standstill

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2. Let your kid ham it up whenever possible for the best photo ops IMG_1669

3. Feed teenagers on a regular basis, as they appear their happiest when they are eating.IMG_1673

4. Embrace the fact that you’re raising goof ballsIMG_1713

5. Your mantra for the week should be “Shut up liver. You’re fine.”IMG_1678.JPG

6. Be ready for rounds of golf taking longer than normal with non-pros in your foursome

7. In addition to feeding teenagers, a sure way to get a thumbs-up is with a day at the water park IMG_1686

8. Don’t over-stress picture taking…you won’t have to work very hard to get photos where your kids appear as if they actually like one another (light up ferris wheel and water park not always included)IMG_1759

9. Eat dessert

IMG_1749

Limoncello cake with mascarpone frosting at Sole Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC

10. Be silly IMG_1762

Because that’s always better than taking silly things too seriously. Like “lost” keys, for instance.