Countdown: Treasures From the York Toy Show


This past weekend, the whole family bundled up, got in the car, and traveled an hour to the annual York Toy Show. It’s  a convention hall filled with over 900 retro toy vendors crammed into two overheated rooms, packed with people funneling through claustophobic makeshift aisles with stacks of dusty, cluttered toys jutting out and towering over you from all directions. Doesn’t that sound like an AWESOME thing to do with a one year old?

Bonus points for traumatizing him: it takes an  over an hour to get there from our house. Endless car seat screaming commence!

Double bonus trauma points: OH MY GOD I BOUGHT HIM THIS


In previous years I might have come across this dingy, totally-90s, vaguely-smelling-of-mildew-and-cigarettes sweater and sighed longingly that they didn’t make it in adult sizes.

NOT ANYMORE. Now I looked at it with a salivating glint in my eye, and then I slowly looked back at my son. You know in the cartoons where Sylvester looks over at Tweety Bird imagining him as a tasty roast? That’s kind of how it was.

The seller must have saw this look in my eyes and immediately pounced. “Five bucks,” he said. I whipped out my wallet at lightspeed.

My kid is still a bit tiny for it. The sweater is more the size for an elementary schooler. Since children are cruel and won’t understand the seven layers of hipster irony and nostalgia it takes to rock this joint, my kid will probably get beat up. Triple bonus trauma points.

I’ll be sharing the other “treasures” I found at the toy show the rest of the week on the blog.

Countdown: Why I Didn’t Post Yesterday


Hey, I have a great idea. Let’s take you kid, our teething sixteen-month- old to this thing called Festival of Trees! You’re looking at me all like, what the heck is that? Dude, dude, let me tell you: it’s an “extravaganza of fairyland forests, gingerbread towns and toy train gardens, complemented by over 100 gift boutiques, holiday goodies and activities for kids of all ages.”

I’ll translate: it’s an overcrowded, overstimulating, extremely loud, clusterfuck of decorated trees! GUESS WHAT IT’S ALSO GONNA BE OVERHEATED. We’re all gonna be sweating balls!  And because there’s zero personal space, thousands of mouthbreathing people standing in our way, and millions of shiny breakable grabbable objects, sorry kid, we’ll have to strap you down into the stroller the entire time. You’ll freaking love it.

By the time you reach your first breaking point of frustration, your parents will have another great idea — put you on the fast spinning, bobbing, whirling -dervish of a carousel. For real though, you’ll actually dig it, and your smile and giggles will make that one minute worth it. It will be one minute of transformative bliss… and then the ride is over.

It’s time to get off! Yay!  You’ll love it so much that you’ll scream like we’re stabbing you as we pry your hands off the horse’s pole.  Your hands are the size of walnuts, how is it even possible that you can grip on to something so tight?

Alright, phew, we’re off. And guess what: BACK IN THE STROLLER FOR YOU.

By the time it’s a little overdue your lunch, (and honestly, your nap), we didn’t think ahead or pre-pack your lunch. Instead, we had a better idea: wait in this thirty-minute line for an overpriced grilled cheese. And when we finally get to the top of line, GUESS WHAT: It’s cash only. HAHAHAHAHA.



Welp, guess we’ll just have to walk about this shithole for another twenty minutes looking for the sole hidden-behind-a-curtain ATM. Yes! Actually hidden behind a curtain, wtf. Don’t worry, just because your parents are sort of yelling/talking at each other monotonously doesn’t mean they’re getting divorced.  Six dollar surcharge? Sounds good!

Okay! Back in the thirty-minute grilled cheese line, at which point, you will be screaming so hysterically that we’ve gotten to that magical point where strangers stare. So fun. Then your parents have the most brilliant idea yet — there’s no one in the smoothie line. Here kid, have a sugar-laden bomb of strawberry “smoothie” in a faux-tropical plastic cup to keep you quiet for five more minutes. For something that purportedly contains real “fruit,” it’s really a unique shade of GLOWING.

Strangers are staring again. It’s either because you look super adorable chugging down this half-gallon of sugar or they’re judging me.

Meanwhile, mom made it to the top of the grilled cheese line. SHEER JOY COMMENCES. Overpriced grilled cheeses for everyone! Twenty-seven bucks for three sandwiches. We’re rich who cares! 

Now we’re all gonna  huddle at the end of a communal shaky cafeteria table, silently shove the dry grilled cheese down our throats (well, lol you weren’t silent, but your parents were)…. Aaaand, now….  BACK IN THE STROLLER FOR YOU.

Why? Because we’re going to try for twenty more minutes of vain attempting-to-have-fun-sorta-looking at shit because we can’t admit the day has been a complete, utter failure.

Let’s just go home and never speak of this again. In fact, let’s never leave the house again. I’m totally cool with stacking rings and watching Paw Patrol and keeping you away from pulling the dog FOREVER.

Countdown: SCIENCE Part 2


Hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving. Turkey, green bean casserole, yadda, yadda, SCIENCE. Let’s dive right into the soul crushing disappointment.

Here is my science lab table of tools for the first one: Dagobah Swamp Slime:


The “collectible” cards come with real life facts about the environment — for example, for the Hoth kit, the card talks about earth’s North Pole and ice. In other words, they’re really stretching it here to make these things educational. And in fact, as I would come to find out it would be the only educational component.

What is in the two packets that you mix together to make swamp slime? I’ll never know. It was the same exact green goo in each packet. I’m not even sure why I had to mix them together.


They should have saved me a step and just punched me in the stomach, I guess.

I still held out high hopes for the possibly-Chinese-takeout-duck sauce:


Indeed, I was not let down:


I’m not sure what sorcery this is, but I like it.

Finally, the Hoth Snow. Now, it said to measure four teaspoons of water. I’m not really into measuring, so I just went ahead and filled the little plastic container with water. I wondered if it might come back to haunt me…


Too much water, no room for the powder to be mixed in. I was thinking I might discover the fix for global warming. If I do, the answer lies in this one, somewhere.

Countdown: Star Wars SCIENCE


While perusing the tricked-out Star Wars aisle at Toys R Us, I came across these science kits. The packages were a bit weathered and dated as 2014, so I got that warm and fuzzy feeling that they were some long-lost warehouse overstock that got sent out to stores ahead of the Star Wars rush. Man, I love that warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s like finding a hidden gem — and hidden gems these are.

They’re called “mini labs” — in which you conjure up:

Mustafar Lava,


Dagobah Swamp Slime,


and good old Hoth Snow.


I can’t even tell you how much I love these.

No, wait. I can. Here is A Complete List of Everything I Love About These

  2. Whenever the words swamp slime are uttered, I’m like, two feet away
  3. Try it, say those words and look out your window; I’m behind the bush
  4. Making lava? Only if it burns my fingers off, which it won’t, so this will be slightly disappointing, in a good way
  5. Capitalizing the word SCIENCE it makes me feel smart
  6. Mini-panoramas all museum-like
  7. Psuedo-science projects that don’t involve anything more than mixing packets with water, which is about the highest level of SCIENCE that I can do
  8. Packets! Need I say more.
  9. Yes I should say more: MYSTERY POWDER
  10. Comes with packets, “panorama display case,” STIR STICK, and “collector card” – dang they really loaded these kits up
  11. Worthy of its own bullet point: STIR STICK
  12. Which makes me crave a Handisnacks
  13. What is that red stick called anyhow?
  14. Useless panoramas to inevitably sit on my desk forever until they get gross and yet I will still resist throwing them out
  15. Hoarding?
  16. Hoarding.
  17. Collectible cards that are collectible to no one and yet I keep them; also see bullet point above this one
  18. Re: Handisnacks – spread stick! Do you think the red stick is called a spread stick?
  19. The lava kit comes with a packet that looks exactly like the duck sauce in Chinese takeout. Yes, I’m shivering with anticipation at this revelation
  20. Downside: there’s no poison control warning, which means I’m not working with DANGEROUS CHEMICALS
  21. Upside: I have one year old, sooooo…
  22. I spent $21 on this crap
  23. That’s either a bargain or the lowest point of my life
  24. Very very possible I may just discover fix for global warming with this stuff you guys
  25. Nobel Peace Prize people: call me.

So, you want to see SCIENCE in action? Tune in tomorrow evening, when I will post the results of these panoramas on a Very Special Thanksgiving Post of The Surfing Pizza.

Christmas Countdown: Star Wars Wrapping Paper, Ranked


Lightsaber Paper: Obviously the gold standard. The best one. I will personally demand that all my gifts be wrapped in it. The other wrapping paper is for the peasants. Grade: A+

The Force Awakens Paper: Stormtroopers stormtrooooopers stormtroooooopers. I’m cool with this. Also: Kylo Ren! Captain Phasma! I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THEY ARE AND YET I LOVE THEM. PROOF DISNEY HAS SUBLIMINALLY BRAINWASHED ALL OF US. Grade: B+

Christmas Droids: If someone told you Christmas Droid paper exists, wouldn’t you feel assured somehow that all was right in the world? Well, Christmas Droid wrapping paper exists. You’re welcome. A-