WBEZ | humor http://www.wbez.org/tags/humor Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en List: Genders for American words http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-06/list-genders-american-words-107622 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4896822030_e7fa872658.jpg" style="height: 401px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Flickr/kristin_a " />One of the reasons why Americans are so terrible at learning new languages is that other languages assign genders to nouns, while American English avoided this.&nbsp;</p><p>Well, that grand experiment failed.</p><p>It&#39;s time to start giving English words genders to help our children learn French, Italian, and even more useful languages than that. Here are a few to get you started.</p><p>Happy learning!</p><p>computer: boy</p><p>iPhone: girl</p><p>book: boy</p><p>magazine: girl</p><p>jeans: girl jean</p><p>shorts: boy</p><p>hand sanitizer: girl</p><p>Vaseline: boy</p><p>pencil: girl</p><p>pen: girl</p><p>eraser: boy</p><p>paper: boy</p><p>paper pulp: girl</p><p>toaster: girl</p><p>Kitchenaid mixer: boy</p><p>Tabasco sauce: girl</p><p>Sears Tower: girl</p><p>Willis Tower: boy</p><p>Blackhawks: boy</p><p>Bears: girl</p></p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-06/list-genders-american-words-107622 Some disdainful thoughts on Superman http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-06/some-disdainful-thoughts-superman-107493 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/288426179_e377eb7117.jpg" style="float: right; height: 400px; width: 300px;" title="Flickr/MShades" />Superman is boring. What&rsquo;s interesting about a guy who can do everything? Why don&rsquo;t you just make a movie about God or something, only one that isn&rsquo;t made by Mel Gibson or features God doing shenanigans like making newscasters talk funny. But seriously, a guy who can do everything is boring, especially if he always could do everything and it&rsquo;s nothing new. If you just want a movie with a handsome guy in tight underwear, that&rsquo;s fine, but have him be someone other than Superman.</p><p>And he&rsquo;s from outer space? Ugh. Nothing (and I mean nothing&mdash;particularly no good movies) ever came from outer space. Do you know why the movie Inner Space was so good? Because it looked inward, not out into boring old space.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s a funny joke I told my husband about Superman. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m allergic to bee stings: they&rsquo;re my kryptonite. What&rsquo;s Superman&rsquo;s kryptonite?&rdquo;</p><p>Perhaps you had to be there.</p><p>His outfit will never be cool, no matter how many textures they put on it.</p><p>How much money does Superman make? Because Bruce Wayne, when he&rsquo;s not being Batman, is a rich playboy. Which is pretty cool.</p><p>At least Batman has the decency to cover half of his face to hide his true identity. People just seem dumb in Superman movies, not being able to figure out something so obvious.</p><p>Also, why does Superman need to wear an &ldquo;S&rdquo; on his chest? So people don&rsquo;t forget who the immortal man who flies around their city is? Is there a danger with confusing him with someone else?</p><p>I also find the legend of how his outfit got made problematic. Who made it for him? Who is his tailor? Or did he make it himself, thereby giving himself the name and making a monogrammed outfit? Even I know his parents did not name him &ldquo;Superman&rdquo; at birth. Again: problems.</p><p>If Superman is so great, why can&rsquo;t Clark Kent do something to save the dying newspaper industry?</p><p>In case you couldn&rsquo;t tell, I like Batman more than I like Superman. I don&rsquo;t consider Robin to be a real superhero, even when played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Spider-Man is just a kid. All the other superheroes are tedious at this point because they have had too many movies made about them or their movies were unnecessary to begin with. Don&rsquo;t even get me started on whatever happened to Jean Grey in the third <em>X-Men</em> movie.</p><p>&ldquo;Super&rdquo; is a lame adjective. Would you trust someone who used the phrase &ldquo;Super!&rdquo; to describe any aspect of his or her life?</p><p>None of these points is arguable as they are all based in fact. If you enjoyed this piece, then you probably loved the <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-07/acclaimed-film-critic-says-newest-batman-movie-stinks-101021" target="_blank">Batman review I ran a few years ago</a>. If not, don&rsquo;t worry, I&rsquo;m sure I will win you over at a future date.</p><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey" target="_blank">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-06/some-disdainful-thoughts-superman-107493 List: My family's public radio names http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/list-my-familys-public-radio-names-107386 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1615451221_51cf507139.jpg" style="float: right; height: 288px; width: 250px;" title="Flickr/Matthew Oliphant" /><p>While I technically work for public radio,&nbsp; you can tell that I&#39;m not a consisent on-air personality because I don&#39;t have one of those <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/why-do-npr-reporters-have-such-great-names/275493/" target="_blank">interesting, mellifluous public radio names</a>.</p><p>I ran my and my family&#39;s names through <a href="http://www.publicradionamegenerator.com/" target="_blank">the public radio name generator</a> to see how we&#39;d all end up once we had our own syndicated shows.</p><p>Me: <strong>Hazel Gjelten-Russo</strong></p><p>Husband Steve Delahoyde:<strong> Prince Obasanjo-Schmidt</strong></p><p>Baby Paul Delahoyde: <strong>Cam&#39;ron Ryssdal-Rao</strong><br /><br />Mom Janice:&nbsp;<strong> Juana Seabrook-Blechman</strong></p><p>Dad Edward: <strong>Banquo Bledsoe-Adbelkader</strong></p><p>Brother Jack: <strong>Caleb Cheng-Wozniac</strong></p><p>Dog Briscoe: <strong>Kweli Cooper-Morales</strong></p><p>Cat Fatty: <strong>Concepcion Pierce-Blumberg</strong></p><p>Cat Blackie: <strong>Nuru Borg-Russell</strong></p><p>What would your public radio name be?</p><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a>.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 28 May 2013 09:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/list-my-familys-public-radio-names-107386 Husbands and birthday cakes http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/husbands-and-birthday-cakes-106637 <p><p>This weekend, I was celebrating my birthday (which is today, but you knew that already) with some friends. My pal Julie presented a beautiful birthday cake she had made me, confiding that she had gotten clearance from my husband to make the cake ahead of time. I&#39;ll just present to you, without commentary, the email exchange that went down to ensure that this cake was approved by Steve.</p><div><div><div><blockquote><p>On 4/12/13 1:00 PM, Julie wrote:</p></blockquote><blockquote>Hey Steve,<br /><br />I was just wondering if you were getting a cake for Claire&#39;s birthday on Monday or this weekend or anything. &nbsp;The reason I&#39;m asking is because I wanted to make a cake to surprise her with for our Supper Club on Saturday night but I didn&#39;t want to a) overload Claire with cakes and b) steal the real cake&#39;s thunder.<br /><br />Please advise.<br /><br />THANKS!<br />Julie</blockquote><div><div><blockquote><p>From: Steve<br />Date: Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM<br />Subject: Re: question<br />To: Julie<br /><br />Hey Julie,<br /><br />I really appreciate how thoughtful, intelligent, and capable you somehow have come to think I am. I would barely even know where to buy a cake, let alone how to make one, so I&#39;ll absolutely leave it to the professionals. That&#39;ll be infinitely better than anything I come up with for her (likely half of a cookie, tucked inside a folded paper plate).<br /><br />Though maybe now you&#39;ve given me a challenge and I have to out do your cake!<br /><br /><span class="HOEnZb"><font color="#888888">- Steve</font></span></p></blockquote><div class="HOEnZb"><div class="h5">&nbsp;</div></div></div><div>And here is the cake that Julie somehow thought Steve would be capable of matching. Maybe next year, Steve!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cake.jpg" title="" /></div></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 08:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/husbands-and-birthday-cakes-106637 Pasta Madness: Crowning the champion http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/pasta-madness-crowning-champion-106583 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FinalFour_1.jpg" title="" /></div><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.11502127318759259">Well, folks, it&rsquo;s come down to this. What is Claire Zulkey&rsquo;s favorite kind of pasta? I know you&rsquo;ve been waiting weeks to learn the answer to this. Coming down to a decision has been so tough that I couldn&rsquo;t bring myself to pull the trigger and pick a favorite last week and put it off until today. However, now that actual tournament basketball is over, it&rsquo;s time for the carb contest to wrap up as well.</p><p dir="ltr">I love all pasta&mdash;even the losers who got knocked out in the first round are still preferable to so many other kinds of foods. Quinoa? More like quin-whaa? Wild rice? More like <em>mild</em> rice (actually, this doesn&rsquo;t even make sense as technically mild rice would be just plain white rice which I&rsquo;m actually OK with.) The point is, I like noodles.</p><p dir="ltr">Let&rsquo;s just get down to it. Gemelli vs. pappardelle. Neither pasta has ever let me down, neither has an obvious deficit. I can&#39;t even decide what&rsquo;s superior, short vs. long pasta.<br /><br />So here&rsquo;s how I&rsquo;m going to evaluate it. By comparing pasta to vacations (because eating pasta is like a vacation for your mouth.) For our honeymoon, my husband and I went to a private, tropical island. Everything about it was perfect, so perfect that we could only afford to spend half a week there. We often daydream about just blowing an obscene amount of money and going back for a week, but we just can&rsquo;t bring ourselves to do it. The trip may just live on as a memory.</p><p dir="ltr">In contrast, we are crazy about New Orleans. It&rsquo;s not exactly cheap to get to, but it&rsquo;s a heck of a lot cheaper than flying to the British Virgin Islands, plus we have friends who live there so we stay for free and get a few meals for free. Thanks to this convenience, we&rsquo;re able to get down there once a year. So while Peter Island may be a more special destination, I think New Orleans has got to technically be our favorite because we know for a fact that we love it enough to return to it again and again.</p><p>Pappardelle is the island and gemelli is the Big Easy. You can&rsquo;t find pappardelle in stores, at least not in any stores I frequent. Pappardelle is for fancy out of the way gourmet shops and nice restaurants. I, on the other hand, can walk five minutes to my Jewel and stock up on boxes and boxes of gemelli and then make delicious dishes with it like <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/diary_archive_041102.html">this</a> and <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Penne-with-Tomatoes-Olives-and-Two-Cheeses-513">this</a> and <a href="http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/creamy-goat-cheese-pasta-with-roasted-asparagus/">this</a>.</p><p>So, due to availability and cost effectiveness, I&rsquo;m going to go with gemelli. Gemelli wins! Cut down the net and throw the Gatorade on, because you win, champ. Enjoy it.</p><p><em>If you missed the previous rounds of pasta madness, you can find them <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-round-one-106051">here</a>, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157">here</a> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-final-four-106313">here</a>.</em></p><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/pasta-madness-crowning-champion-106583 Ways to look young forever http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/ways-look-young-forever-106529 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2739606466_b57ef7dff9.jpg" style="float: left; height: 300px; width: 300px;" title="Flickr/Express Monorail" /></div><p>Do you know how old I am? No seriously, tell me. Because I&rsquo;m approaching that age where I start to forget what my actual age is. (I think it&rsquo;s 34, unless it&rsquo;s 43? It could be anywhere in there.) This is a true sign of aging, and it&rsquo;s definitely showing all over my body, this son-of-a-bitch we call time. Based on the somewhere-between-28-and-50 years I&rsquo;ve spent on the planet, these are the tips I&rsquo;ve learned for looking youthful. Just follow them strictly and you&rsquo;ll look even fresher than my baby son does. Truth be told, even though he&rsquo;s almost eight months old, it&rsquo;s a hard eight.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t drink. Don&rsquo;t smoke.</strong><br />Pretty much anything fun or cool: skip it. Any sort of life experience is just going to age you because chemicals suck the life out of your face and smiling gives you wrinkles and staying up late gives you bags under your eyes and makes you eat late night burritos which definitely isn&rsquo;t good for your neck. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t go outside.</strong><br />That wrinkle-and-spot-causing sun is outside, as well as toxins and other people and things who might annoy you or delight you and make you smile or frown, all of which will age you. Just stay in. Enjoy the darkness and the paleness.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t stress. Or think. </strong><br />Just sit there and avoid exposing yourself to news, work, the drama of friends or family or any sort of expectations from yourself or the world. Just chill. Forever. The downside is that nobody will be around to tell you how young you look, but the important thing is that you will know.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t have a baby.</strong><br />I just saw a picture of myself online that I thought was cute from afar but up close I look like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzolCu-QLw0">the ghost of Large Marge</a>. I am pretty sure that the baby ate my youthful essence and I expelled it from my body with the placenta. I knew I should have eaten that stupid thing.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sleep as much as you can.</strong><br />Go to bed right now. Just pack it up and go to bed, no matter what you&rsquo;re doing. You want a minimum of 12 hours a night with an extra three hours a day.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>But don&rsquo;t sleep on a soft squishy pillow.</strong><br />I actually have read this in women&rsquo;s magazines. You know your down pillow that&rsquo;s reached the perfect amount of softness and has that great pillow smell that&rsquo;s so great for turning your face into when the morning sun rears its ugly head? Throw it out. Each time you turn your face into it it&#39;s like you&#39;re doing 60 pounds of meth. Best to sleep on your back with your neck resting on a cool piece of marble. And while you&rsquo;re at it, wear a bra while you sleep so your boobs don&rsquo;t age either.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don&rsquo;t be thin.</strong><br />You know who have great cheekbones? Skeletons. And hardly anybody looks older than they do. It&rsquo;s true, you can choose either your fanny or your face, and I&rsquo;m starting to think that the smart people out there are choosing the part of their body that is nourished by Oreos and warm french bread.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Die early.</strong><br />It&rsquo;s really the only way to get out of this whole thing looking good.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey"><em>@Zulkey</em></a></p></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 08:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/ways-look-young-forever-106529 The Blair Koenig interview: Editor of STFU, Parents http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/blair-koenig-interview-editor-stfu-parents-106500 <p><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blair1.jpeg" style="height: 400px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="(Karyn Spencer)" />Today&#39;s interviewee&#39;s site is up there on my daily reads, except for the days when the site involves poop or placentas (I read my blogs during lunch.) <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/">STFU, Parents</a> has skewered the strange world of parental social media overshares and given me lots of laughs, silent commiseration and a bit of a guide on how not to behave online. Blair Koenig&#39;s published the <a href="http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780399159763,00.html?strSrchSql=stfu+parents/STFU,_Parents_Blair_Koenig#">STFU Parents book this week with Penguin</a> and I can&#39;t wait to check it out. When she&#39;s not running the blog or promoting the new book, she&#39;s also got a blog at <a href="http://www.mommyish.com/author/4df7bbc507dfe/">Mommyish</a>. Disclaimer: Blair and I are (Internet) friends my child has appeared on the site...as a <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/36408768244/thanksgiving-12-moms-gold-star-edition-this">Mom&#39;s Gold Star</a>.</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What made you decide to come out as a &ldquo;real person&rdquo;? Wasn&rsquo;t it feasible for you to publish the book anonymously?</strong></div><div>I had written the site for three and a half years when I &quot;came out,&quot; and I was more than ready. It&#39;s weird to write something every day and not feel like you&#39;re fully representing yourself. I&#39;ve never had much interest in sharing details about my personal life on the blog or on social media, but I was forming friendships with readers and other bloggers as a result of the blog, and I wanted to be more transparent.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I do think it would&#39;ve been feasible for me to write and publish <a href="http://www.amazon.com/STFU-Parents-Jaw-Dropping-Self-Indulgent-Rage-Inducing/dp/0399159762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1349286156&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=stfu+parents">the book</a> anonymously, but I&#39;m guessing that it would&#39;ve been hard to <em>promote</em>&nbsp;the book anonymously. If I went on <em>Good Morning America</em> with a bag over my head, my mother would be so ashamed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What, if any, were the legal issues of publishing social media updates from real people? Did you need to get permission from the &ldquo;subjects&rdquo; and or the brand of media?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>I did not get formal permission from anyone who is featured in the book. However, we didn&#39;t use any <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/2935973718/click-to-enlarge-poop-skating-please-take-a">pictures</a>, because that would require permission, and aside from that, I think it&#39;d be odd to have a picture of some stranger&#39;s kid&#39;s poop in the book. That doesn&#39;t sit right with me. Plus, who wants to thumb through a &quot;funny&quot; book at the store and then open it to the poop page? That&#39;s an eye assault. Pictures like that don&#39;t need such permanence, in my opinion.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I did change a few minor details in the submissions in the book, and all of the names have been changed, too. I tried to do the names justice by choosing a comparable name. If a toddler&#39;s name was &quot;Jazzlyn&quot; in the submission, I might&#39;ve changed it to &quot;Maddisyn&quot; or &quot;Jaymee&quot; for the book.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>How often do you receive submissions from people that don&rsquo;t qualify as STFU worthy events? What are some examples?</strong></div><div>I&#39;d say at least 70% qualify as &quot;STFU-worthy,&quot; though I might not take all of those. Like if it&#39;s a mommyjacking submission, and the mommyjacking comment is good, but the comments leading up to it are all disjointed or equally&nbsp;crazy/rude, that won&#39;t make the cut. Or if it&#39;s the millionth nude kid sitting on a potty with his penis <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/40699053519/questionable-parenting-nakedness-edition">flashing</a> the world, I might pass on that.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some people submit stuff that&#39;s pretty mild, but they&#39;re submitting because their friends post hourly kid updates and it&#39;s driving them nuts. So, individually the submissions aren&#39;t worthy of the blog, but I&#39;m assuming that the <em>person </em>might be worthy. Those updates will just say something like, &quot;So proud of Mykynna, she loved her first day at school!&quot;, or &quot;My son is a smiley, stinky boy!&quot; Sometimes those submitters are even just emailing to vent, and not because they expect the submissions to get posted.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What are some of your favorite &ldquo;yoonique&rdquo; kid names?</strong></div><div>I&#39;m impressed with <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/42335580459/yoonique-baby-names">names</a> like Espn (pronounced &quot;Aspen&quot;) or Abcde (pronounced &quot;Ab-sid-ee&quot;), because they&#39;re so unnatural to sound out, and only an idiot would give their child those names.&nbsp;I also have a fondness for the names Vagena Tamphen Pohtaytar and Vadgesty Foxi Maiden, because that&#39;s what <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/229983649/halloween-09-i-recognize-the-editing-only-adds" target="_blank">this woman</a> supposedly named her twin daughters, and those names are unforgettable.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I get a little tired of names like &quot;Danger&quot; or &quot;Rocket&quot; or &quot;Zombie.&quot; Yawn. I&#39;m also over names like Brayden and Camden. Enough already.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What are some of your actual favorite kids&#39; names (If you had a kid tomorrow, what names would you choose?)</strong></div><div>Hmm, I&#39;m not sure what I would name my own kids. My name was pretty uncommon growing up, and my boyfriend&#39;s name was extremely common, and we both like our names, so I don&#39;t think being &quot;yoonique&quot; is really as important as having a name that fits your personality. The problem is, every time one of us suggests a name just for fun, the other is like, &quot;Ugh, that was my 8th grade chemistry teacher&#39;s name,&quot; or, &quot;That&#39;s the name of my first roommate who stole all my jewelry.&quot; So we don&#39;t tend to discuss baby names much.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Every now and then you post some &ldquo;mama drama&rdquo; that makes me start seriously pitying the child in question (like mothers calling out negligent fathers, for instance.) How often do you receive submissions that border on truly unfortunate circumstances, as opposed to annoying or funny, and have you ever felt compelled to follow up or notify the authorities?</strong></div><div>Once I asked a person to consider alerting someone about a picture of a kid with radiator marks on his&nbsp;back. The caption said that the child had climbed up and fallen asleep on the radiator because it was warm, and then he woke up with the marks on his back, but um, why wasn&#39;t the kid being watched? I was relieved that it wasn&#39;t a picture of physical abuse, but it was definitely an example of bad parenting. Even posting the pictures on Facebook showed what a giant moron the person is. That submission bummed me out.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What do you do when you receive a comment or email that starts sounding threatening or violent?</strong></div><div>I&#39;ve thankfully received very few of those, and usually I ignore them. I did get a couple of emails&nbsp;that freaked me out and were written&nbsp;by the same person, but I told that person that I&#39;d report the next one. I try to use judgment without overreacting, but weird or hateful emails are a downside to blogging, especially if they include someone&#39;s fantasy about you getting killed in front of them.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>You say online that you do hope to have kids someday. What have you picked up, either ironically or practically, in terms of what you do/don&rsquo;t hope to do as a parent someday, beyond, of course, not posting photos of poop?</strong></div><div>Not posting pictures of poop is a great start.&nbsp;Generally, I still think teaching kids basic skills is important. Whenever I read an article that says it&#39;s normal for 9-year-olds to not be able to tie their own shoes, I feel like we set evolution back. Also, I&#39;ve never understand the hatred some parents have for strangers who don&#39;t pay attention to their children. Not everyone feels like waving back at your baby. Who cares? The last thing I want to teach my kid is that he or she is the center of the universe.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some other fun facts I&#39;ve learned about parenting in recent years that I hope to employ:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- Just because you <em>can</em> bring along your kid&#39;s training potty to <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/461730411/as-of-today-spring-is-finally-officially-here">the beach</a>, or an outdoor concert, doesn&#39;t mean that you should.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- Being well-versed in a particular area of parenting can be friend-repelling. Don&#39;t be a <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/tagged/Sanctimommy">sanctimommy</a> and lecture people on breastfeeding, car seats, diaper landfills, stroller recalls, etc.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- Baby contests (cutest baby, best baby dressed as a ladybug, etc.) are almost always fixed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/tagged/MommyJacking">Mommyjacking</a> is a bad habit, but people can reform.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Who are some of your favorite real life parents?</strong></div><div>Well, my own of course. :) My friend Andy inspires me because she and her husband have two small kids and run their own businesses, but she&#39;s always taking on new projects or training to run the Marathon or something. And my best friend in Atlanta has two kids under 3, and the older son is so smart and patient. He&#39;s like a little helper. She and her husband seem to have taught him the fun in doing things rather than having things done for him.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What writing have you been doing and do you intend to do outside the realm of STFU Parents?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>It&#39;s been a while since I contributed to another site under my real name instead of STFU, Parents. I&#39;d like to write a book of humor essays, and I&#39;ve been working on the outline for that. I also think about collaborating with other writers, either for TV or maybe on a screenplay, because I&#39;ve never done that before. It seems like that could be interesting.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What tips do you have for bloggers on how to walk it off when the comments get too hateful?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>I think the easiest way to avoid hateful comments is to not read the comments at all, but I also think it&#39;s important to engage with readers and listen to criticism. I&#39;ve gotten defensive in the comments before, and it backfires on me every time. It&#39;s better to accept that some people will always disagree with you and try not to take stuff too personally. Also, physically walking it off helps. Taking a 10 minute walk will put things in perspective. It&#39;s not life or death. It&#39;s <a href="http://www.mattcutts.com/images/duty_calls.png">the Internet</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>How does it feel to be the 343rd person interviewed for Zulkey.com?</strong></div><div>It feels like 343 high-fives exploding in outer space. Thanks, Claire!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Follow Claire Zulkey on Twitter&nbsp; <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey.</a> Want to read other Zulkey.com interviews? Go <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/interviews.php">here</a>. </em></div></p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/blair-koenig-interview-editor-stfu-parents-106500 Pasta Madness Final Four http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-final-four-106313 <p><p>Let&#39;s be real: Pasta Madness has been a lot more exciting and fun than actual March Madness. No matter who you are, your bracket has been completely busted to hell by now and your favorite team has probably already long been eliminated. But pasta will always be there for you. Even when your team loses you still win, because, pasta.</p><p>Let&#39;s look at the latest games:</p><p><strong>Linguine vs. Gemelli. </strong>Linguine&#39;s got a lot going for it and really nothing is <em>wrong </em>with it, per se, but Gemelli just has <em>more</em>. Gemelli is, by definition, twin pastas, and two of something great is always going to have an edge over just one. It&#39;s like, would you rather have one beautiful wife or two? Plus, as a short pasta, Gemelli is a more female-friendly pasta because you can just fork it up, as opposed to worrying about splattering one of your top three most embarrassing places on your body, like you would with linguine. I know I&#39;m sort of like the Ken &quot;Hawk&quot; Harrelson when it comes to Gemelli: I&#39;ve been a fan since day one and am not ashamed of it. Well, deal with it. I&#39;m here to cheer for Gemelli until they fire me. Winner: Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Pappardelle vs. Farfalle. </strong>This game is a little bit like what happens when the snobby rich kids (pappardelle) play the down-and-out scrappy kids from the other side of the tracks. Only in this case, the rich kids win because they&#39;re better in every way. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157">Last week</a>, I fingered farfalle as being guilty of frequently dwelling in second-and-third-tier pasta salads. Pappardelle, on the other hand, is usually a fancy, oft-handmade pasta that rests in beautiful wide ribbons and boasts something rich and earthy like rare mushrooms or unicorn meat. Farfalle, I&#39;m sorry to say but you just couldn&#39;t beat those rich kids this time. Winner: Pappardelle</p><p>Next week is serious. I may actually have to eat some Gemelli <em>and </em>some Pappardelle to see who wins. This is the type of dedication I show towards this project. You are welcome.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FinalFour_0.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-final-four-106313 Tuesday's Chart: What your Ventra fees are paying for http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/tuesdays-chart-what-your-ventra-fees-are-paying-106286 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ventra_1.jpg" style="height: 803px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Follow Claire Zulkey <a href="http://twitter.com/zulkey" target="_blank">@Zulkey</a>.</em></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 09:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/tuesdays-chart-what-your-ventra-fees-are-paying-106286 Pasta Madness: The Elite Eight http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4705713626_78ef3a71c1.jpg" title="Black Truffle Mac 'n Cheese. Flickr/LA &amp; OC Foodventures" /></div><p>Round One is where the chips start to fall but Round Two is where hearts start to break. Everyone is already a winner and so it&#39;s heartbreaking to see starches that have made it this far stricken. But somebody has to lose.</p><p>For this round I found myself doing Google image searches on the pastas in question to see which would most likely be eaten, and in mass quantities, by me. Some of them were easy (Fusilli making it this far was a bit of a fluke) but others weren&#39;t quite as clear. Linguine seems like a slam dunk...or is it? Read on to see who won this week.</p><p><strong>Ditalini vs. Linguine:</strong> At first this seemed easy, if unfair, sort of like Duke playing some school you&#39;ve never heard of but you&#39;re rooting for because they&#39;re playing Duke. Linguine is a standard. Who ever heard of ditalini anyway? But I <em>love </em>an underdog, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness. Maybe a big bowl of ditalini would be fantastic. Could you use ditalini, perhaps, in lieu of macaroni and make ditalini and cheese? Unfortunately, <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=ditalini&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=HY1IUYiEAqiY2wW0moCQAg&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=H41IUaueEOXX2QWJvoGQDw">when I ran a Google image search on ditalini</a>, it confirmed my suspicion that ditalini is really a second-tier pasta, often good <em>in </em>things but never standing alone. Sorry ditalini, I love you but you&#39;re no match for linguine. With that said, however, I would like to try <a href="http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2011/08/ditalini-lentil-salad-w-mint-parsley.html">this Ditalini &amp; Lentil pasta salad</a> I found whilst Googling. <strong>Winner:</strong> Linguine.</p><p><strong>Gemelli vs. Ziti: </strong>This wasn&#39;t terribly hard because in many ways, gemelli is just <a href="http://www.barilla.com/content/product/gemelli">double ziti</a>, so who would win in a game, one Michael Jordan vs. two Michael Jordans? Plus, gemelli is my preferred pasta when making <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/diary_archive_041102.html">this recipe</a> (one of the most popular and simple things I ever cook), so it was a blowout. I&#39;m placing odds on gemelli to win the whole tournament but as you know it ain&#39;t over til the fat, carbohydrate-laden lady sings. <strong>Winner: </strong>Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Orecchiette vs. Pappardelle:</strong> This was the most difficult call this week. Orecchiette are just beautiful little darling angels that you can stuff a lot of in your mouth and are typically seen in tandem with butter or cream or peas. They&#39;re little ears, like the ears of little babies you just want to eat. If orecchiette were a basketball team it would be one of those teams that&#39;s all young underdogs who never thought they&#39;d make it this far and they cry at the end of the game when they lose and you would too and the whole stadium, including the opposing team, would be cheering more for them and how far they&#39;ve gotten than for the other team&#39;s victory. I tried thinking about what&#39;s not so great about pappardelle, which is namely that it always seems expensive and comes in portions that don&#39;t seem to be as large enough as you&#39;d like. But when I Googled <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=Orecchiette&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=0I9IUbfoC-ei2wWN4oGADQ&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=049IUdmXEaXk2wXCj4HwBQ">orecchiette</a> and then <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=pappardelle&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=549IUYeyEaTz2QWXw4HQAg&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=6o9IUe-YO6Pq2gXe3IDgDA">pappardelle</a>, there was no contest. A bowlful of pappardelle still looks more likely like it&#39;d make it into my mouth than the orecchiette. Sorry kids. Maybe next year. <strong>Winner: </strong>Pappardelle</p><p><strong>Fusilli vs. Farfalle:</strong> The battle of the pasta salad pastas. I sort of consider fusilli to be like that one <em>American Idol </em>contestant who isn&#39;t that good, who nobody really likes but makes it far due to ironic voting. Although, to be honest, the worst fusilli is still miles better than even just an okay <em>American Idol</em> contestant. The truth is that I just can&#39;t separate fusilli from its most base form, which is to say, the over-vinegared, over-oiled, too-salty, too-oniony pasta salad that you usually get for free at some picnic you don&#39;t want to be at. But don&#39;t be too smug, farfalle: it seems like you appear in your fair share of tacky salads and bland chicken-breast-laden (Oh! How I loathe the plain white chicken breast, which devalues a good pasta more times than it adds to it) dishes as well. Fusilli lost this game just as much as you won it. You better practice really hard before next week&#39;s tournament. <strong>Winner: </strong>Farfalle</p><p>This is really exciting, people. Looks like this is coming down to a tight race between short pastas and longs. Who will take the crown?</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Elite8.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><br /><em>My stomach is growling. Follow me <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></div></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 08:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157