Random n’at

1. One of my tasks as a restaurant widow is that despite being the parent with the lesser math skills, I am the one who has to help my third-grader with his math homework each night.

I’m not going to lie. Third grade math trips me up sometimes. I mean, seriously, what the hell even are compatible numbers? I shouldn’t have to use Google to help a third-grader with a math worksheet!

Then last night this was a question:

“Becky says that 65+28 equals 83. Is Becky’s answer reasonable?”


I don’t know, but I tell you this, Becky’s answer is WRONG.

We put that her answer was unreasonable. I really hope that’s the right answer. If his teacher says it’s the wrong answer, I’m going to send her an email all, “BUT IS IT A REASONABLE ANSWER?!”

Stupid third-grade math making me bitchy with the teacher.

2. Owl-O-Ween at the National Aviary is happening on October 22. Sounds spooooooky.

Also, number of times I have moaned “spooooooky” to my kids since October 1: 922

Also also, here’s an owl flying in slow-motion toward a camera. It wants to eat your soul.

Nature is spoooooooooky.

(h/t my Dad)

3. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! A spoof of the Family Matters theme only it is called Steeler Matters!

I loved everything until :47 in when I screamed, “SON OF A BITCH!” I had forgotten how stabby it made me when Lukey did that.

But then I got to 1:05 and I fell down laughing.


Also, if you don’t spend the rest of the day with that song stuck in your head, you’re stronger than me.

I guess it could be worse. I could have the Full House song stuck in my head.


(h/t Lynnetta)

4. There is now an officially licensed Terrible Towel skirt made from actual Terrible Towels. For only FIFTY DOLLARS!!!!!11111

I am speechless.

Now, this is not my cup of tea, but it is fine if it is your cup of tea.

I will say this. This is some serious ammunition for GQ to put us up from the #3 worst-dressed city next year. Movin’ on up!

(h/t Amy)

5. I can’t yet share with you my sister Tina Fey’s childrearing blog because she will kill me but, OMG HILARIOUS SHIT! She is pretty much ruled by her two-year-old hellion who I love more than cookie dough.

She did start a second blog to document a recent hideous haircut and her attempt to grow it out with some pill she’s taking that might give her a beard, hoping to make it look good within a year’s time. I think her hair looks adorable. She wants to shave her head. Whatevs.

Also, the reason I can share the blog with you is because I DIDN’T BOTHER TO ASK HER IF I COULD.  See, I learned my lesson. Don’t ask permission. Ask forgiveness and hide the pointy things.

Anyway, “A Year in the Life of An Epically Ugly Haircut.”


Get them before they are gone. We are going to have so much fun and eat so much food and drink Zombitinis and play games and walk the ScareHouse if we’re brave and we’re doing it for SICK KIDS!

If you’re scared, you can either not walk the ScareHouse and just enjoy the fun, or you can ask me to walk through with you and I will hold your hand and tell you when to brace yourself and cover your BRAINZZZZZ.

7. I have a new post up at the magazine, this one about a local company that created an iPad app that allows you to make your own jewelry with an easy drag and drop interface.

You have got to go check it out, Wendy Bell!

Also, I love how the editor Sean Conboy finds the most hilarious videos to include with my posts. Emeril Lagasse makes me giggle.



9. Finally, whatever happened to predictability?



  1. Rachel
    October 11, 2011 11:26 am

    My sister-in-law MADE us Terrible Towel skirts to wear to the games (don’t worry… I would never wear it outside of Heinz Field) The cost to make it? The cost of 2 towels, which at last check was $8.00 for one, so $16.00 for two (that’s the math I grew up with!) and elastic, so around $17.00

    Also, your son’s math homework? Even GOOGLE doesn’t have an answer…so it’s a stupid question!!

  2. Allison
    October 11, 2011 11:36 am

    My sister-in-law’s friend told us the sad, sordid tale about the homework she gives to her class: SHE DOESN’T EVEN GRADE IT. The parents clamor for homework because they believe there should be homework so what she does give, when she gets it back…she recycles it.

    I’ve said too much.

  3. Silica
    October 11, 2011 11:40 am

    Here are my thoughts on the math question:

    1. If it’s about even and odd numbers, then the answer would be reasonable because you add together an odd and even number you get an odd number.

    2. If it’s about estimation, then it’s not reasonable because while 60 + 20 = 80, the second digits of the numbers mean that Becky’s answer should at least over 90, even if she couldn’t do the math exactly in her head.

    I am going to guess that it’s about “smart” estimation. But I’m not a math teacher so I don’t know how much of a “thing” this “reasonable number” idea is. It could be that the teacher is trying to get the kids to think if the answers they come up with make sense or not (so, math reasoning), but isn’t wording the questions well.

  4. spoon
    October 11, 2011 11:47 am

    The answer to all math problems is threeve

    Pens opener tonight. I’ll be there bitching about beer. Someone find me and we’ll do shots from my flask.

  5. facie
    October 11, 2011 11:51 am

    I am all about starting a support group for third grade in general. I was warned it would be a tough year. Unfortunately, that warning was not enough to prepare me for the hours of homework most nights and some of the (IMO) stupid questions asked in various subjects. My kid gets questions like this: Does a dictionary weigh more or less than a pound?

    Let’s just let the kids do math and not have them dissect it.

    I better go back and watch the Steeler Matters video to get my happy back!

  6. JennaHack
    October 11, 2011 11:57 am

    I definitely just started to follow your sister’s blog. Her hair looks great!!

    Oh…and thank you for showing the Steeler Matters video. It’s amazing!

  7. Old Cynic
    October 11, 2011 12:05 pm

    What!!?!?! Your sister’s hair looks great!

    On the other hand, I too would freak OUT if someone cut my hair short when I’d specifically told her not to… It’s an identity thing.

  8. Jenny
    October 11, 2011 12:09 pm

    I feel your pain on the math stuff. It only gets worse with age. We’re at 8th grade now and let me just say, a bigger problem is they don’t teach the process of reaching an answer like they used to either, which makes it even more difficult to teach them.

  9. ja
    October 11, 2011 12:16 pm

    That math problem! I was a math major in college, worked 10 years as an engineer, and now homeschool my kids because we live overseas in a location where the local schools will not enroll my American kids. We use Singapore math because it is such a strong math program. Looking over my son’s third grade textbooks the words “reasonable answer” do not make an appearance. High-scoring, high achieving Asian kids do not have this kind of problem in their math homework.

  10. Carol
    October 11, 2011 12:45 pm


    What is this thing you speak of..math? Oh, it’s the thing my kids knew to never expose their mother to, for fear her brain would implode. Any other homework, I was good, but my eyes crossed if I even saw their textbooks.
    I am happily growing older, still completely mathless.

  11. Beatrice
    October 11, 2011 1:02 pm

    Your sister’s hair looks chic. But, really, you have to be mentally and emotionally prepared for such a change. It’s cool that she is blogging about it. Lots of women can identify with that situation and her writing will make people smile.

    #8! Go Pens!!!

  12. Amanda
    October 11, 2011 1:10 pm

    your poor sister. it is worse than the kate gossling. and I wasn’t sure that was possible. hoping her sense of humor helps while it grows out. I think shaving it might be the better option too.

  13. bluzdude
    October 11, 2011 1:20 pm

    #1 reminds me of the old Tom Lehrer song, “The New Math,” where he says that “the object is to understand what you’re doing RATHER THAN to get the right answer.”

    I was brought up during that era and made the mistake of going to my parents for math help. They showed me shortcuts on how to solve the problems, but that was not how we were being taught in school. Thus began my long, bumpy history with math… #BirthOfAnEnglishMajor

  14. Paul
    October 11, 2011 1:22 pm

    Have you seen the website: http://www.wolframalpha.com/

    You can input math questions (and other stuff) and it will give you answers.It’s pretty cool.

  15. Butcher's Dog
    October 11, 2011 1:28 pm

    OK. Soapbox time. Any teacher in any subject who assigns homework needs to grade it. Period. There’s no discussion here; you’re all making too much money (I made too much money over my 37 years) to slack off. Plus, when you don’t grade it you’re really teaching that it’s not important. I’m guessin’ that could, at some point, translate to test scores on state tests that are important. Also, if we’re not worried about the correct answer to a math problem, we’re probably not posting very high scores, either. In case you’re wondering, my SAT math score my senior year was 747. And I was an English major/teacher. Just sayin’.

    Go, Pens indeed!

  16. Shogunsusan
    October 11, 2011 1:42 pm

    Regarding sister Tina Fey’s haircut-from the picture on her blog, it kind of reminds me of Kate Gosselin’s assymetrical do. Don’t hate on me.

  17. Pa-Pop
    October 11, 2011 2:55 pm

    1+1 = “reasonable” is a cleverly designed ploy to train future mayors, governors, presidents and other budget wonks.

  18. Corissa McClay
    October 11, 2011 3:37 pm

    Thank you so much for the awesome blog post, and mentioning us here!

    Also, you’re not alone. I get questions from my siblings all the time about homework. I think most of that info is designed to fall out of your head a year after you learn it.

  19. facie
    October 11, 2011 6:41 pm

    Is it just me, or is this a stupid question for a third grade math workbook:
    Sally estimated that she saw 40 ducks in a pond. What is the smallest amount of ducks she could have seen?

    I get that this is an estimation problem (though it took me a minute to get there), but, hey, what if Sally really only saw 20 ducks and she is bad at estimating?! I know when I try to estimate crowds at events, I end up being way off. :-)

    Gotta love math!

  20. bucdaddy
    October 11, 2011 8:30 pm

    Um … I hate to be the one to point this out, but she doesn’t look anything like Tina Fey. And given that I believe you have a sister you refer to as Ta-Ta, I seriously doubt anyone’s going to mistake TF for a boy on this planet.

  21. empirechick
    October 12, 2011 12:22 am

    And here’s a(nother) bucdaddy post I wish I could ‘like’. Those with with a gift (humor, not ta-tas) should be recognized!

  22. AngryMongo
    October 12, 2011 12:02 pm

    Steeler Matters….? You mean it’s not… “Steelers Matter”

    Steeler Nation is shall be!

  23. bucdaddy
    October 12, 2011 1:28 pm


    I thought it was supposed to be (at least in part) that she looked something like Tina Fey too. (BTW, this is NOT to say I don’t fine either Tina Fey or Tina Fey attractive). If I’m wrong about that, I stand corrected.

    FWIW, I saw my first full episode of “30 Rock” ever the other day and I don’t think I laughed once.

  24. Dan (Not Onorato)
    October 12, 2011 1:38 pm

    @bucdaddy….I dont get that show either…

  25. bucdaddy
    October 12, 2011 1:55 pm

    Dan, Maybe it’s hilarious if you work in TV, but it seems to me like that would limit your audience considerably.

  26. mmp430
    October 12, 2011 7:08 pm

    Hey, I get confused by my first grader’s math homework. I think it’s all in the confusing way stuff is worded. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked my son if they did this work in class because I have no clue what the instuctions mean.

  27. Rich D
    October 13, 2011 2:19 pm

    So was Becky reasonable or unreasonable? Inquiring minds want to know!

  28. Chris Benson
    October 16, 2011 11:53 pm

    Thanks for repostin’ “Steeler Matters” n’at! :)

  29. PittinDC
    October 17, 2011 3:26 pm

    OMG that is the stupidest math problem ever. But I am also the person that is already getting hives thinking about having to figure out the word problems that my future children (who I do not currently have) may bring home. Then again, I did go to law school, so if they want an argument regarding the reasonableness of an answer, bring it on :) I’ll write so many words on that kid’s math homework the teacher won’t know what to do with him/herself.