My Baby Is Way Better Than Your Baby

Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko
Shutterstock / Evgeny Atamanenko

I know this sounds crazy, because what parent doesn’t think his or her baby is the best? But in my case, it’s true: my baby really is the best baby. And I know I’m totally biased here, so believe me or don’t believe me, whatever. But regardless of whether or not you think what I’m saying is for real, it doesn’t change the reality of the situation, that my baby is the best. He’s the number one baby around. No other babies come close to being even a fraction of how awesome he is.

Read the full piece at Thought Catalog

2014 was a great year for chicken curry

Sure, it’s been around forever, but 2014 is the year chicken curry finally hit its stride. In a sort of quiet culinary coup d’état, chicken curry mounted what can only be described as gastronomic guerrilla warfare, catapulting itself from boring Indian restaurant mainstay to a perpetual flavor-of-the-week. People are finally getting excited about chicken curry, and rightfully so.

curcurcurieieie

Seemingly overnight, the modest “chef’s special” menu standby has transitioned to a standout dish at Indian restaurants across the country. Gone are the days when your sister Jane would be the only one to order chicken curry. “Where are we going for dinner? Indian food? Come on, I don’t want to go out for Indian food. Can’t we go somewhere else? What’s wrong with Luigi’s? Ugh, fine, I guess I’ll just get that chicken dish, what’s it called? Yeah, curry, chicken curry, I guess I’ll just get chicken curry.”

And it’s not just Indian restaurants riding the swollen wave of chicken curried popularity. The past year saw a variety of establishments cash in on the versatility and easily adaptive nature of one of America’s favorite ethnic meals. Select TGI Fridays offered limited time chicken curry entrées as part of their “Two For Twenty” value menu, and a rogue McDonald’s franchised out of Spokane, Washington bucked the corporate kitchen by unveiling an east-meets-west McCurried Chicken Sandwich on its limited “Flavors of the World” sandwich of the month menu.

Probably the most dramatic sign of chicken curry’s inevitable western crossover can be seen in the results of 2014 Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” consumer vote-in potato chip flavor competition. While the snack-eating majority ultimately decided to give the starring role to Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger, chicken curry came in third, which would have been unthinkable even five years ago. Just the idea that consumers would be willing to snack on curried flavored potato chips shows that chicken curry’s surge in popularity is much more than a passing trend.

I’m anxious to see how high chicken curry is going to climb in 2015. If I had money to invest, and there were some sort of a stock exchange where you could bet on foods, I’d without a doubt put all of my money on chicken curry. We’re at the chicken curry tipping point, much like the chicken parmesan tipping point twenty years ago. You can’t go anywhere without finding chicken parm on the menu. Even Subway does a chicken parm sandwich. Mark my words, chicken curry is on the exact same trajectory.

If you’re not a big fan of chicken curry, do yourself a favor and learn to like it. Because ten or twenty years from now, it’ll be all but unavoidable, completely saturated into all aspects of modern society. Kids are going to eat it served by school cafeterias. Hospitals will serve it to bedridden old people. “What’s for dinner?” won’t even be a question worth asking anymore, because chances are, the answer is going to be “chicken curry.”

I know what I’m making for dinner tonight. It’s chicken curry, and I’m pumped.

Happy New Year from Times Square!

Wow, the energy here at Times Square is just nuts. It’s not even lunchtime yet, and the whole place is going crazy. This is exactly how I’ve always dreamed it would be, the festive atmosphere, all of the people, the hustle, the bustle. I can’t believe we’re only twelve hours away from 2015, and we’re going to be right here, right in the middle of it all, at the crossroads of America when the clock strikes twelve.

nytsqurrr

And I thought we were getting here early. I guess all the real New Yorkers know what’s what, that you have to come even earlier to stake out a good spot. I can still see the ball though, that’s the most important part. But the stage is so far away, I doubt Ryan Seacrest will notice this cool sign I made. It’s a piece of pink cardstock, it says, “Hey Ryan! We’re so happy to be here in NYC!” Yeah, I’m not too great at coming up with cool slogans, but it’s sincere, we really are very happy to be here. And I dressed it up with all sorts of glitter and ribbon and confetti. Maybe one of the cameras will pan to it, and maybe Ryan will see it on one of his little monitors somewhere.

Yeah, you’re right honey, that coffee I had on the way over was a big mistake. I can’t believe there aren’t any port-a-potties set up. Where are all of these people supposed to go to the bathroom? Luckily, it’s so cold that it’s hard to separate the feeling of having to pee from the sensation of all of the blood leaving my extremities.

No, I can’t be negative. So what, so I have to hold it for a little longer, that’s OK. It’s all about the experience. Times Square, New York City, 2015. Someday we’ll have our own kids, and we’ll be sitting at home in the living room watching the ball drop on TV, and I’ll tell the kids, “Kids, do you know that your mother and I went to Times Square one year?”

And the oldest will be a teenager, and he or she will probably be going through that defiant teenage period, not wanting to hang out with the family, definitely not on New Year’s Eve. “Yeah, you told us that story a million times,” will be the reply. But I’ll know that underneath that sourpuss face, there’s going to be a feeling, a disbelief, like really? My parents went to Times Square on New Year’s Eve? That’s so cool.

You’ll never guess what just happened. There was a commotion going on maybe twenty feet away, and so I pushed through the crowd and got close, and it was a street performer! It’s freezing out, I have three coats and two scarves on, but this guy just had a vest, no shirt, just a vest. And he started juggling bowling pins! Wow, the crowd was going wild. Only in the Big Apple, right?

But then, oh jeez, things just took an ugly turn. This guy started passing around a disgusting old hat, I guess begging for change or something. Everybody kind of just looked at their feet, I felt bad about having recorded his whole act on my phone, so I gave him some spare change, I think it was like thirty-seven cents. But then the guy to my left passed the hat without giving anything. The performer got annoyed, he started saying something about photos and money. I don’t know, good thing there are so many cops here to keep a lid on any trouble. They carted him away, hopefully to get a coat, it’s really, very cold out here, way too cold for only a vest. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s homeless, if maybe they’re not doing him a favor. That’s no way to make a living.

Man, I thought I could hold it, but I can’t hold it anymore. There’s still something like ten hours left. If there weren’t so many cops here, I could probably pee somewhere, maybe a cup. I get a shy bladder around large crowds, but this, I don’t know, I’m ready to pop. There’s a dude to my left who looks like he just wet his pants. That’s actually not a bad idea. I mean, it’ll dry, right? And it’s not like I’m going to go back to the hotel. I’ll lose my spot. OK.

Ah … I can’t tell you how great that felt. And I’m sure it’s not going to last very long at all, but I’m just so warm, my pants anyway, I don’t remember ever feeling this warm. But there it goes, now it’s getting cold. And now it’s getting really cold. Ooh, and now it’s freezing. I should have thought about that maybe. I mean, it’s chilly out, yeah, but I didn’t think it was below freezing. Maybe if I just bend back a little, point my crotch toward the sun. This has got to evaporate, right?

No, officer, I didn’t pee myself, I just, I spilled my coffee. Yeah, and then I lost the cup. No, come on, I swear, I’m a tourist. You can’t take me to a shelter. Look, it’ll dry. Please, you have no idea how long I’ve been planning this trip. And what am I supposed to tell my kids? No, honey, you stay, just stay here and celebrate and have fun. One of us needs to be here for when the ball drops. Yes, officer, I’m coming, please, one second here. Honey, take my sign, just, if you see any cameras, try to grab someone’s attention, point to the glitter. OK, I’m going, I’m going. Baby, if they let me out of the shelter, I’ll try to swing back to the hotel, change my pants, and I’ll see if I can’t make it back here. Jeez, there’s no need to get pushy, I’m coming, all right. Honey, Happy New Year! Let me know if you see anybody famous!

Black mold? Come on.

I had this leak coming from somewhere behind the kitchen wall. After putting off getting it taken care of for much longer than I should have, I made an appointment to have a plumber stop by and take a look. Hopefully it wouldn’t be anything too serious, because I really didn’t have the cash for anything more than a quick-fix repair job.

disshshshshs

The plumber took one look around the kitchen and suspected that the problem might have something to do with the dishwasher.

“Is this appliance a plugged unit or is it hardwired in?” he asked me.

And just the way he looked at me when he posed the question, it was like he was expecting an answer out of me. I had no idea what he was talking about, but in that moment between his question and my eventual non-answer, here was a man, a professional plumber, treating me like, well, not like an equal, but definitely not like someone who doesn’t know at all what he’s talking about. I should have just said something like, “I don’t know what that means,” but I didn’t want to let him down. I didn’t want to let myself down, to diminish my assumed level of basic appliance know-how.

“Well,” I kind of fumbled around, trying to say something, what exactly, I didn’t really know. “It’s a … uh … it’s a standard unit …”

“All right,” he cut me off, I could tell he was a little disappointed, not in me so much, but in himself, he gave me the once over, he sized me up and took it for granted that I’d have maybe a base level of handiness. And now he was back at square one, or lower than square one.

He pulled the dishwasher out, revealing a puddle of dirty water. The cabinetry was wet on both sides, as was the drywall just behind, crumbling off where it met the tile, everything slightly warped from having been damp for who knows how long.

“Jesus,” the plumber said, which wasn’t really a reaction I was hoping for.

“It’s a leak,” I don’t know why I said that, because it was obviously a leak.

“Is that a direct line?” I don’t know why he asked, because I didn’t know what that meant either.

“A direct line?” I threw the question back at him.

“Look, we have to turn the electricity off before I can check out the pipes. You’ve got a lot of water damage here. And it looks like there’s mold growing.”

“Mold? So what do we do?”

“You got to get a mold guy, I’m not licensed for that sort of stuff.”

“A mold guy?”

“Yeah, look, and do what you got to do, all right, but this is something you got to take care of, all right, black mold is no joke.”

“Well, can you fix the leak?”

“And an electrician. You got to get an electrician over here, because I’d bet anything that the wires need some looking at, I’m just saying, you know, based on how these pipes look, and the mold, you got to take care of everything here.”

“But the leak?”

“You listening to me kid?” he called me kid, and I knew right there that whatever technical benefit of the doubt he’d given me when he walked in had evaporated.

“Yeah, I’m listening to you, I’m just … I just, I don’t know, all right? One thing at a time, right? Can you fix the pipe, or whatever it is that’s causing the water to come out?”

“All right, look, you’ve got extensive damage here. All right, you’re going to need a complete reworking of probably all of the plumbing here. You’ve probably got faulty wiring, and even though I’m not a mold guy, so this is like some off-the-books advice here, but it looks like you’ve got the beginnings of what could be a pretty nasty black mold problem. Now like I said, you do what you got to do, but this isn’t something you’re going to want to let go for too long.”

I said to him, “OK, but for right now, for today, what can you do for me?”

“I can patch up and reinforce the sides of the water main, right, and that’s going to buy you maybe a few months, maybe more, maybe less, again, I don’t know the extent of this damage, right, if this pipe’s corroded here, I’m sure the damage goes way back. So that’s today. And then tomorrow, well tomorrow’s Saturday, but Monday I suggest you call an electrician, and a mold guy, and then the three of us will figure out where to go from here.”

“How much are you thinking this is all going to cost?”

“Look, I’m in absolutely no position to give an estimate right now. I’m telling you, there’s a lot to do here.”

“But like what, a thousand? Two thousand?”

And the plumber just shook his head.

“What about for today? What about for that pipe patch or whatever you were talking about?”

“One forty.”

“Fine.”

“But look, I’ll give you some contacts, some guys I know, guys I’ve worked with before, or you can shop around, your call. But listen to me …”

“Yeah, I got it, I’ll take care of it.” I told him.

He patched up the pipe or whatever it was that he did, and the water stopped. And after he left, after I mopped everything up and scrubbed the tiles and the walls with one of those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, I have to say, I know that I’m not a plumber or an electrician, but it didn’t really look that bad. And there wasn’t any more water.

And black mold? Come on, it didn’t look any worse than the black mildew upstairs in the bathroom or in the basement. And the Magic Eraser works fine on that too. Besides, I’m thinking of repainting the whole place, just giving everything a couple of fresh coats. Because I really don’t know, that guy, ready with his trusted associates, maybe I’m not a plumber, but I can tell when I’m getting squeezed.

Black mold problem, please. I try not to use the word problem. I see it as more of a black mold opportunity. Because look, now I’m almost positive I’m going to paint. Maybe like next weekend, or the weekend after that. And who knows if I would’ve gotten around to it if it weren’t for that mold or mildew or whatever it is. Yeah, a fresh coat of paint is going to solve everything.

But man, I should get into plumbing. That guy was over here for what, an hour? And he charged me a hundred and forty bucks? Talk about a good gig. I’d love to make a hundred and forty an hour. And then I could tell all of my friends about it, my electrician friends and my mold friends, and they could hook me up when they get house calls. “Gee, I don’t know, you better let me get my friend Rob the plumber over here to take a look at this.” What a racket.

What happened next will blow your mind

I started writing this article, and you’ll never believe what happened next. What happened next was so shocking, I don’t even think it’s possible to explain what actually happened, not without totally blowing your mind and completely changing your entire outlook on life. Keep reading to find out exactly what happened, something you’d never expect, something totally unbelievable, and yet absolutely incredible. Incredible and heartwarming. And unexpected. Can you believe that your entire world is about to be shaken to the core?

clckckckc

Because what happened next will leave you speechless. You won’t be able to speak. It’ll wear off eventually, but in the meantime, it’s just going to be you and your thoughts, or whatever’s left of them. You’ll be sweeping up the fragmented remains of what you thought was your mind, because I’ll have shattered it, by writing this piece, and telling you all about what happened next.

You won’t believe what happened next. You’ll never believe it. Part of me wants to tell you to just get lost, to stop reading right now, to turn around and never come back. Because you can’t handle it. You probably can’t handle it. Most of you definitely won’t be able to handle it. Maybe a few of you will. I have a pretty good idea of who’s going to stick around and who’s going to take a hike. Will you be one of the few to keep reading? Keep reading to find out.

Find out if you have what it takes to keep reading. Just answer a few simple multiple choice questions to see if you’re the kind of person who commits to finishing something that you started, like reading this article. I took this fun and simple quiz and my result was: committed. “You are the type of person who doesn’t take no for an answer.” That’s what it told me. What’ll it say about you? It’s only like five or six questions. Just take the quiz.

Because the answers are going to shock you. My friend took an online quiz one time, and what happened next changed his life forever. He spent like ten or fifteen seconds clicking boxes on some quiz web site, and the results changed his outlook on humanity forever. Don’t believe in online quizzes? Yeah, I hear you. I used to think it was all a load of baloney. But then I tried one, and the course of my life was irrevocably altered. I haven’t looked back.

You shouldn’t look back either. Just keep going. Keep reading. And at the end, would you mind taking a brief survey to let me know how I’m doing? Just so I can better tailor my product based on the overall satisfaction of your experience. It’ll only take maybe two or three minutes, it’s another set of multiple choice questions.

And if you take the survey, which I’d really appreciate, I’ll say thanks. My way of saying thanks is automatically enrolling you in a drawing to win the opportunity to save big on select purchases with some of my online affiliate partners. Talk about a savings, talk about a great deal. You seriously can’t afford not to keep reading, to not take my online quiz and online survey, in fact, if your browser isn’t being automatically redirected within five seconds, just click refresh, just start reading again from the top.

And I can guarantee you that once you’re done, you won’t be the same person. One time my mother clicked on an ad to save big online, and what happened next will totally shock you. In a good way. Not like my grandmother. One time my grandmother clicked on an online ad, and what happened next will terrify you. It’s a terrifying story. Did you know that one in three online grandmothers are going to be susceptible to computer hacking and fraud during their lifetimes? Click here to run a free diagnostic of your computer. It’s like an online quiz, but for your PC. You’ll save big. Trust me. And after you’ve saved big, what happens after that is going to be totally awesome. Click here to read more.