Someday they won’t want stuffies and I’ll be sorry

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It’s almost time for Family Party — otherwise known as my wedding anniversary — and my son Xavier would like: a VR headset, a live pig, and an additional member of the ‘Otoro’ family. A few years ago, I crocheted a stuffed Totoro for him, followed the next year by a smaller version we dubbed Motoro.

We’re driving home from the kids’ school in early November, trundling sedately over speed bumps in our Honda. Bare maple trees reach for grey sky on either side of the narrow residential street.

“You know, Mom,” Xavier says, “You didn’t knit me any Otoros last year, even though I asked for one.” …


Like, ever.

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I remember when we stopped lockdown the first time

Saying, “This is it, it’s under control,” ’cause like

We hadn’t seen each other in a month

When you said you needed sushi. (What?)

Then you come around again and say

“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’ll wear a mask, trust me.”

Remember how that lasted for a day?

I say, “You’re foolish,” we distanced, you called me, “I’ll meet you.”

Ooh, we cancelled dinner again last night

And ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you

We are never meeting before two shots of the vaccine,

We are never meeting before two shots of the…

We’ll start reading again January 4th

Dauchshund lays in bed with cucumbers on its eyes. Text says Reading break December 21 — January 4 see you in 2021.
Dauchshund lays in bed with cucumbers on its eyes. Text says Reading break December 21 — January 4 see you in 2021.

Please feel free to continue submitting your work. Starting January 4th we will read submissions in the order they came in.


Dog Columnist Answers Your Toughest Year End Questions

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Dear Aggie,

I want to buy a gift for my mother’s pooch Snowball, but she has so many toys already! What do you get for the Pomeranian that has everything?


Muddled in Montana

Dear Muddled,

First off, thank you for thinking of the four-footed members of your extended family. Too often we are passed over during gift-giving season despite being the Best Doggie in the Entire World. This is very doggist, and if we had opposable thumbs or credit cards, we wouldn’t stand for it. Alas.

Pomeranians are little, squeaky dogs, and they love little squeaky toys. Purchasing a few would be a safe — but not exciting — present. But I think you’re looking for something with a lot of ‘wow’ factor. In that case, get Snowball some cat poop. …

I’m an adult rodent free to make my own decisions.

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Co written with Susan Sassi

“A Minnesota woman says she accidentally got the critter sloshed.” — Ron Dicker, for Huffpost

I’ve had it up to here with you drunk shaming me on the internet! “Squirrel Gets Drunk Because He Can’t Numb the Pain with Acorns.” You think you are soooo funny, don’t you? DON’T YOU! NO! YOU can’t handle quarantine. Stop projecting on me.

Yes, I got drunk. So what. I’m an adult rodent free to make my own decisions. This backlash is just exactly the sort of misplaced, big brother-ish oversight that is ruining this nation’s youth. Our society is too damn puritan. …


Tips & Resources to Help You Celebrate in Style

Woman sits in front of laptop, glass of champagne in hand.
Woman sits in front of laptop, glass of champagne in hand.

In 2020, everyone deserves a year-end party. But with a pandemic, restrictions on gathering, and a remote lifestyle, you might be left wondering how to organize an online party your team will enjoy. If there’s one thing 2020 has revealed to employees and managers alike, it’s that online events run better if you respect the differences that come with the digital medium. In this article, we’ll cover a few key principles for hosting excellent online parties, and end with specific suggestions on activities to incorporate into your event.

Make Sure Your Party Structure Dovetails with Your Party’s Purpose

Why are you throwing this year-end party? Your online event should be structured with your purpose in mind. Do you want to give people a chance to talk in a relaxed setting? Will you hand out formal awards and recognition? Or do you simply want an opportunity to do something nice for a team that stepped up during a challenging year? …

Do you require overwhelming force to subdue them?

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  1. Does this person want to be in charge of the known world?
  2. Do they try to take what they want by force?
  3. Can they be accurately called Le Petit Corporal? Or at least, short stuff?
  4. Do they rebel against authority?
  5. Do they promise not to take your property, then snatch it as soon as your back is turned?
  6. Would people willingly give them weapons?
  7. Do they have an ice cream flavor named after them?
  8. Are they always up for a little light looting?
  9. Do you require overwhelming force to subdue them?
  10. Are they violently against naps and/or bedtime?
  11. Will they throw a tantrum if you tell them no? …


The best way to go viral

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Written with Amy Currul, Ash Jurberg, Katherine Revelle and Susan Sassy,

  1. You got it because you offered your goods on social media.
  2. Famous artists throughout history have had at least one.
  3. When you get it, it burns down deep
  4. People treat you differently if they know you have one.
  5. Your older family members don’t understand why you have so many and who are all these people that gave it to you?
  6. Acquiring it from friends is super awkward.
  7. The more you get, the better you feel.
  8. The only way to prevent them is to stop going into the ring for another swing. …


Deploy the Attack Polar Bears and Condolence Tacos!

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Co-Written with Susan Sassi and Mike Leonetti

In the days before the American election, members of NATO met to discuss what to do if Trump was reelected. The minutes from that secret meeting were accidentally released on Twitter by an intern.

Poland: Thank you for coming to this emergency meeting. This was supposed to be for members of NATO only, to discuss synchronized contingency plans in the event that Trump is reelected. I’m not sure what the rest of you are doing here.

Russia: Although we aren’t members of NATO, we felt it was important to infiltrate this meeting in order to offer our support for your anti-misinformation planning. Mother Russia would be happy to send our surplus of highly trained workers to recount votes, and to alleviate the workloads of Facebook employees. …


Teresa Douglas

Mexican Yankee in Canada. Remote work speaker, manager. Book: Working Remotely: Secrets to Success for Employees on Distributed Teams

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