Friday, September 15, 2017

7 Quick Takes about Vegging Out at Applebee's, Not Plagiarizing Your Plagiarism Essay, and Things I Don't Want to Talk About

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


I'm proud to announce that I have joined the 21st century and started using my smartphone as an alarm in the morning instead of my bedside clock.

I don't know what happened to my trusty old alarm, it just stopped working. (Luckily, I have little ones that wake me up constantly so I never slept through a bus pickup.)

After I tossed the busted alarm I was a little concerned about not being able to see what time it was (I like to check the clock all night to see how little time I have to sleep until morning) but it turns out that I sleep better in total darkness so it's a good thing after all.

Plus, now the toddler won't be able to mess with my head by sneaking into my room and turning it upside-down sometimes:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Now that I think about it, him playing with it is probably how it broke in the first place.


I took my daughter to Applebee's (ostensibly we were having a mother-daughter book club, but also I needed to stress eat after spending 45 minutes across the street at FedEx trying to get a simple printing job done.)

It's been years since I set foot in an Applebee's so the first thing I noticed was the little tablet screens propped up on every table in the restaurant:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I wondered if it was some fancy ordering system for introverts, but nope, you could pay $1.99 to play video games on it while you waited for your food.

I wasn't sure why you'd go out to eat if you're not going to talk (I don't even like TVs in restaurants because the kids go slack-jawed and glassy-eyed whether it's on cartoons or stock market coverage on CNN.)

Also, why not just play the games on your phone for free? I think I'm missing something here.


This week on the blog, I made my first real video!

It was even more exciting than when I made my first cartoon, most likely because I'm a horrible artist but the video was actually pretty good.

(Which is probably why I decided to outsource the cartooning ideas to someone who knows how to draw and my video got over 100,000 views on Facebook in the first 48 hours.)

On a related note, did you know that it's impossible to get a decent-looking screenshot from a video of you talking?

It's true. Every single thumbnail YouTube picked made me look equally inebriated:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

And when I tried to find a better one myself, I came up with nothing. "I guess any one frame from this video makes me look weird," I concluded to Phillip, the unofficial tech support for Unremarkable Files. 

He nodded sagely. "That's why I try to look away when you're talking."

Ha ha, so funny I forgot to laugh. I only let my tech support guy talk to me like that because I pay him in casserole leftovers.

If you haven't watched my video, "Awkward Things People Say to Big Families," you need to do so right away. What's your favorite part, and more importantly, what should be the subject of my next video?


It's only been a week, but my 5-year-old is already adopting the language from her kindergarten class. The other day Phillip did something and she told him, "That was a thumbs-up decision, Dad."

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
The newly-minted kindergartner on her first day.

Later, she was describing to me how everyone in class has jobs every day, but instead of "the line leader" she called it "the Super Leader."

"Wait, why is it called 'Super Leader?'" I interrupted.

"You get to wear a cape."

"Does it give you super powers?" I asked.


"Well, how do you know if you haven't worn it?"

She looked at me like I was an imbecile and said, "It's just a toy cape."

This is the same kid who has flat-out refused practically since birth to believe in either Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. There is no room for magic in her world.


Meanwhile, my 8th grader is starting a class in creative writing. Their first assignment was to write 100 words about what plagiarism is and why it's bad.

I suggested copying and pasting the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on plagiarism because it would be easier, but she declined.


My 6th grader's backpack zipper broke on the second day of school. But no big deal, it was last year's anyway.

We got her a new one, and it wasn't for another few days that she realized she'd left something inside that she needed. By then, several bags of trash were piled up in the garage.

I don't think of myself as a squeamish person but I really can't even talk about the things I saw (and smelled) as we were opening the bags and sifting through the moldy remains of last week's dinner trying to find it.

Seriously, when someone asks about it I want to light my hands on fire.

It wasn't until I picked up a third bag and a river of liquid flowed out that I dropped it back in the can, yelled "NOPE!" and turned to go back in the house that my daughter met me sheepishly at the door saying, "I found it in my other backpack."

So yeah, I basically dug through the trash for fun.

If this child ever doubts my love for her, I will be directing her to this blog post.


If you follow the blog's Facebook page then you may have already seen this, but go ahead and take a listen. 

And give him time. I wasn't convinced by the first two songs, but when he got to the John Mayer I started laughing and I was practically crying by the time he finished the U2.

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Unremarkable Files


Carolyn Astfalk said...

We went to Applebee's recently (first time in years too) and were surprised by the screens. The ones hanging from the walls weren't enough? Of course, the kids went for the screen right away. There was no way we'd be paying for content on there, but apparently there are some free games. My five-year-old seemed to enjoy it. I wish they'd just take them away.

Julie Maida said...

I have to turn the screen away when I go anywhere that has them, because we all have ADD. I'm not a huge fan, but mostly because I like communication. 😊

I love the thumbs up decision comment! So adorbs.

AnneMarie said...

Those thumbnail images are hilarious!
I'm not a huge fan of TVs in restaurants, either. We seem to have lost the art and practice of conversation! It's really sad. I worked as a register girl in a couple restaurant jobs in my student days, and it was horrifying to see how many people spent their meals with eyes glued to their phones instead of each other.

PurpleSlob said...

#4- PP is in "BBK" (VPK) now, and she does the same thing. "Good choice, Omie!" I love it!
#6- I'd be making her pay some dues for that one!!

Marilyn said...

My mom always said when I was going to bed late, "don't look at the clock!" She thought if you didn't know what time it was, you had more of a chance of tricking your brain into not being too tired. I don't know if it actually worked, but I still feel vaguely guilty when I wake up to nurse the baby or whatever, and I check the clock. But I just can't help myself! Maybe I'm secretly enjoying that martyrish feeling of knowing exactly how little sleep I'm getting...?

Jenny Evans said...

It's been a week and I think I'm happier not knowing, actually!

Jenny Evans said...

Babble picked an even better one, if you can believe it!