A Few Quick Things, vol. 891

togetherI’m probably jinxing myself, but I’m proud of the fact that I’ve never missed a day at this site so far. Proud, and frankly amazed. It was a big problem at the previous home of our nonsense, but I vowed that the publishing schedule would be sacred here. And, so far… I’ve managed not to shit the credenza.

But maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it? It’s like when a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter; you’re NEVER supposed to acknowledge it, until the game is over. Oh well. If I’ve ruined everything, it’ll be evident soon enough.

Before we get started today, I want to remind you to please LIKE the Monday and Thursday updates at Facebook. Every one of those tiny clicks is like a vote of confidence to our Facebook overlords, and helps the post spread just a little bit further. Also, if you especially enjoy one of the updates, a full-blown SHARE will be appreciated greatly.

Thank you. The site is doing well, but needs to be circulating through the internet bloodstream a little better. Right now it’s clinging to a vessel wall, and hamburger fat is building up around it. Or something. I need your help, my friends.

Our oldest boy will be going away to college in less than two weeks. Every time I think about it, I get hummingbirds in my stomach. A few of the reasons:

· Will he take to it?
· Will he actually go to class?
· How will his relationship with his girlfriend be affected? And how will he deal with it?
· Will he be safe? Dumbassery is a dangerous thing, and colleges are teeming with dumbassery. Starting with the faculty.
· The cost! Good god, the cost.
· And the big one: I’ll miss him.

That last one is going to be the hardest for me. I hope I don’t start blubbering like a giant man-baby. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve taken two days off from work, so I can help get him settled in, etc. He hasn’t met his roommate yet — hasn’t even exchanged an email with him. That’s gotta be weird. Living inside a tiny cell with a complete stranger? I’ve never experienced such a thing. Every roommate I’ve ever had was a person I already knew.

Anyway, I think he’s ready. But I worry. I’m freaking neurotic, in fact. I’ll be on perma-edge for the first month, at least.

Toney was talking with Nancy on Sunday, and she said she feels guilty because she allows her kids 60 minutes of “screen” every day. Many of the other parents, she said, limit it to 30. Nancy feels like she’s being lazy, and probably ruining her children.

As I was being told this, I interrupted: “What the shit is screen?”

Turns out it’s the amount of time spent in front of a TV, computer, and video game — combined. Have you heard of this? Screen? Apparently it’s a term people actually use.

And only one-hour per day? That’s all?? It’s pure insanity. Our kids sometimes log eight or ten hours in a day. And when I was a kid, back when there was only Gilligan and Green Acres to choose from, I did a good four to six hours myself. You know, four to six hours of screen.

What are your thoughts on this abomination? Somebody needs to rescue those kids, and put them in front of a South Park marathon stat!

For a Question, I’d like to know if you’ve ever snooped in a person’s house. Maybe taken a quick peek inside their medicine cabinet? Or opened a drawer or whatever? If so, did you see anything unusual? Please tell me you found something unusual? I know this one is a long-shot, but I’m interested.

And finally, do you think this video is funny? I have a feeling it’s a love it or hate it kind of thing. And just so you know, I’ve seen it (and other versions of the same) multiple times through the years, and laugh my ass off without fail.

Thanks for reading!

I’ll see you guys again on Monday.


  1. Yup, our oldest is going to the City of Burning Couches next week, so I know how you feel. During the whole application/testing/visiting thing it’s become very clear that we have not trained her in the ways of bureaucracy and formfillingout, so that should make for a few interesting weeks.

  2. Since I live in that city – I refer to that as the time of year peace and quiet cease. Of course, these days there are lots and lots of big apartment buildings for the childrens to live in. So they can stay the hell out of my hood.

    Kristen Schall is a nutcase.

  3. Jazzbone Swirly says

    “Screen” is a legitimate term. I’ve heard it talked about quite a bit as a parent of a somewhat young (<10 y.o.) child.

    • Jazzbone Swirly says

      …and I let my boy watch way too much screen every day. It’s mainly sports for him, but he has also turned me on to a bunch of the better cartoons out there today. I am now a fan of Adventure Time, The Regular Show, and Teen Titans Go.

    • johnthebasket says

      It’s nice to know that “screen” is legitimate, especially since it’s a load of crap. It’s another way of looking at the world through a parent’s eyes instead of through children’s. The three media are entirely different, and the experiences associated with interacting with them are cognitively dissimilar. I’m not going to write a fucking treatise on that topic here, but a little contemplative thought will bring you to the same conclusion.

      “Screen” turns out to be hip parent talk for “not exercising”, or “not interacting with the real world”. But the notion that watching a Cartoon Network marathon is an identical, or even similar experience to going down a Wikipedia rabbit hole on the Civil War is absurd.

      Jazzbone, I’m not lashing out at you, and sorry if it sounds like it. “Correct parenting” sometimes makes me a little crazy. That’s all.


      • Jazzbone Swirly says

        I have not taken the screen time issue all that seriously with my boy, because I don’t think some TV and gaming is going to ruin him. I play a lot of sports with him and make him go on hikes with me, so he gets his share of sunshine and fresh air. On another topic: I hate the whole ‘play date’ concept. Kids don’t just wander out into the neighborhood and play with whomever is around anymore. No, you have to plan ‘play dates’ these days to get your kid some social time with friends. There’s no sandlot baseball games organized by the kids themselves any longer either. All sports are done in a league play environment overseen by parents, coaches, umpires, etc. I can’t help but wonder if that is having some kind of unforeseen or under-appreciated impact on kids as they grow up. I hear a lot of talk about how ‘millennials’ have peculiar characteristics, like not being effective self-starters. I wonder if there is something to that.

  4. Regarding the girlfriend thing, he needs to break it off. I saw this time and time again when I went to college. Those kids with bf/gf back home or at another school were absolutely miserable. It never works out.

    And just a few years ago, I saw it with my own son. He swore up and down that they had it worked out and that they would be fine. And they weren’t. It ruined his freshman year of college. They ended up breaking up at the end of the first semester but the damage was done. He ended up transferring to a school back home at the end of the year. The whole year was essentially wasted.

  5. I was doing an open house for this divorced guy, about 35, and found a vibrating butt plug and a tube of Kentucky Jelly in his nightstand. Also a loaded pistol. I imagined he planned to jamb the butt plug in his ass, crack it up, then blow his brains out. But the pistol was probably just for protection.

  6. Kentucky Jelly

    new album coming soon on Hipster Records

  7. WV Bumblebee says

    First month?. Haha! Try till hey come back home…..

  8. Lew in bama says

    I’ve only snooped, lightly, at my husbands house when we were dating. What I found were cards from his ex wife. Serves me right.
    I’m sure if anyone were to open our medicine cabinet, they’d think I was one heck of a sickly person. However I don’t take every drug I’m prescribed, if after I get it home I don’t like the side effects.
    And in case you are wondering, I’m posting this reply from the comfort of my beach chair on the beautiful Florida gulf coast as my in-laws play in the surf. Life is good…this week at least. Next week will suck extra to make up for it I’m sure.

  9. Steve in WV says

    I couldn’t imagine the translucents watching South Park. I think their heads would explode.

  10. My old roommate used to keep his mail in a kitchen drawer. One day I was bored and went through it, he owed everybody and their brother money. That was when I decided I would be moving out on my own.
    Other that that, I try and respect peoples privacy.

  11. Saw billy Joel last night and it was fantastic.

    I don’t have kids and went to a local school so I got nothing on the whole roommate away thing.

    Raunchy smut magazines at a neighbors house while I was babysitting. I was about 15 at the time and had no idea a schlong could be that long.

  12. squawvalleyskip says

    My 18 year old granddaughter leaves for CSU Long Beach in a couple weeks. It’s not really clear yet how she’ll do away from home, but she did fine at camp since she was younger, and has spent time with other families on vacation for a week or so. So I’m thinking she should be fine. Already took her shopping for a frost-free dorm room size fridge (who wants to defrost a freezer in a dorm room in order to keep ice cream on hand?), new comforter for her bed, towels and stuff, new Apple laptop, and so on. To the tune of a couple grand. Yeah, I’m proud of her. Also put an allotment of $100 every two weeks from my paycheck into her bank account. Not much, but until she gets settled it can’t hurt. And since her mom and dad, (daughter and SIL) have another kid at home yet, and not a bunch of cash on hand, it helped them out too. Don’t do much snooping in other peoples houses, I just don’t really give a shit I guess. And I’d love to watch a video of the translucents watching a South Park marathon. With maybe a couple hours of Drawn Together thrown in for good measure. Even an extended update on that afternoon would make my day.

  13. Used to snoop, didn’t like what I found half the time and was bored the other half. If I’m suspicious, I snoop, otherwise no way.

    Our older boy is doing community college for a couple of years, so we’ve not yet had that sinking sensation of being half-childless (it also helped him stay solid with the gf, so that’s a bonus. She goes to school in the fall. To IRELAND!). I’m not looking forward to it next year when there’s a possibility the will BOTH be gone to school. Shoot, I’m going to have a hard time with him driving around on his own now that the car his Dad gave him is finally fixed and he’s fully licensed and has the proper shots to be on the road by himself!

  14. johnthebasket says

    I know that as a hip American, I’m supposed to find kristen schaal and kurt braunohler’s alternative comedy hilarious. I just can’t find the humor in it and have never been able to.


    • johnthebasket says

      And anticipating any questions, I do know what it means when one is unable to identify the unhip American at the table.


  15. Great Googly Moogly says

    I had a kinda shocking experience when I was visiting a very Nancy-like person who eventually married a cousin of mine. I moved some large bath towels in her bathroom and discovered that neatly laying between the towels was a rather sinister looking short barreled AR-15 rifle/pistol and 4 loaded 30 round magazines. It was her house, her bathroom and she lived alone at the time so I assume it had to be hers. I’d have never guessed she even knew how to operate a weapon.

  16. That was humor? I was in pain as I watched, trying valiantly to wait for the funny part. It never happened.

    I never ever snoop anywhere. Snooping is just not right with my moral center. However, one time a guy who spent the weekend stole 80 valium, a year supply from the kitchen counter. I took his wallet and went through the whole thing. I felt better. I did not think he was cheating, just wanted to do something to him. I could not get into his glove compartment in the car, a place I was forbidden to look. I should have used a crowbar to get it open.

    My children were only allowed 30 minutes of tv back in the 70s.

  17. My daughter is leaving for her 2nd year of college (in Cleveland) next weekend but this time will have her own apartment. We have started packing things up today and I spent my summer scouring Craiglist and local flea market sites for furniture. She has a good start and it didn’t cost me too much. It cost me a lot more getting her ready for the first year. Oh and that feeling…it doesn’t go away unless she is home safe and sound and even then I worry.

    I made the mistake of snooping in my mom’s room when I was a teenager and found her “rabbit.” Never again!

    I’ve never enforced screen time and mu kids have got to be more “adjusted” than the Translucents!

  18. I can live with “screen time”. Not “screen”.

    The only snooping I’ve done was to look in my parents’ respective medicine cabinets the other year. They are in their 70s and 80s and very secretive about their health. I wanted to get an idea of how many prescriptions each one had.

    Regarding the video, I’d be pleased to have my four minutes back.

    In other news, I went to a baseball game on Tuesday, for the first time in over 40 years. It’s nice to see that there is still such a thing as $10 tickets in these dark times of corporate-sponsored luxury box seats. Nationals Park is a nice ballpark. And it didn’t hurt to see my old hometown favorite, the Mets, hand them their asses 6 to 1.

  19. bikerchick says

    I’m not quite seeing the humor in that video. But I love Kristen’s character “Louise” on Bob’s Burgers.

    Hopefully the roommate is someone tolerable. Nothing worse than being shacked up with some little mouth breathing dickbeater.

    Im not really a snoop. But I did go through my boyfriend’s coffee table drawers when we got some new furniture. I was “cleaning house” so to
    speak. Out with the old….in with the new.

  20. I don’t understand how restricting “screen” is beneficial. Which kid is gonna be more successful and well adjusted, the one who knows how to code or the one who knows how to roll a hoop down the road with a stick or some shit? Seriously, one is learning JAVA so he can do whatever is cool in Minecraft, the other is paying some younger kid from down the street a dollar to eat a dog turd.

  21. johnthebasket says

    Jeff, I’m not entirely sure what a “full-blown SHARE” is, but should I come across one, I’ll be sure to send it to you. I guess I’m missing the part of the Jeff experience that’s on Facebook, and I regret that, but not enough to get a Facebook account. I’m not too snooty — just too private.


  22. I have a recurring dream where I’m in someone’s house snooping (don’t know who they are) and they come home. The adrenaline rush at that moment always wakes me up.

  23. johnthebasket says

    Occasionally I check the medicine cabinet. I know drugs fairly well, so there’s a lot of information up there. And people don’t keep their dildos or other paraphernalia there, so I won’t get too embarrassed.


  24. Mean Dr. Lily says
  25. Westersteve says

    We went through this for 4 different children and some were harder than others. Overall it’s hard but to watch them go forward into the meat grinder of life . When they crawl back chewed up and thoroughly humiliated by the experience ,you will be transformed into a dispenser of sage wisdom.

  26. John in the gump says

    Granted, I grew up with Month Python and Benny Hill to Steve Martin to Richard Pryor. Her comedy (yes I left off the quote marks) is to me much of the modern SNL type (including Curb Your Enthusiasm type shows). Fuk, narcolepsy sets in for me if they are on my TV for more than a couple of minutes. I’m thankful that my Mrs. has close to my same since of humor.
    For what its worth, I’ve been following you Jeff for 7+ years and always look forward to the next post. But for me, that video is a waist of 1s and 0s.

Speak Your Mind