Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

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Mom, today I learned that my plans to become a serial killer can finally begin in earnest.

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And today I learned absolutely nothing new about my favorite brother-in-law.

(Thanks to Mary D. for the first picture. I believe the sister-in-law who sent me the second would like to remain anonymous for obvious reasons...)

Friday, October 30, 2009

There are times in your life when you face a tough situation and have to make a decision that will ultimately alter the course of your very existance and call into question the person you know yourself to be. I faced such a situation last week in my Psych 2010 class, when I was called upon by God, fate, and the universe to single out two students who were disrupting the lecture. The Sarah Clark you knew and loved is dead to you. Let's have a moment of silence in her honor.

*Those of you disrupting the moment of silence can now consider yourself reprimanded by the new Sarah Clark.*

I am now that person. I am that person who will look you in the eye and call you on your behavior and humiliate you in front of large groups of people. I am that person who will take no thought of her own discomfort or the discomfort of the loved ones who might be with her while she does this. In short, I am that person I vowed I'd never become. It's all very dramatic and painful. Don't judge me. (And don't talk when you should be quiet.)

We'll call the class disruptors Chatty and Cathy because I don't know their names, and now I feel so awkward around them I'll never try to find out. They sat side by side at the back of the small classroom, a laptop on the desk in front of them. In their ears they shared a pair of headphones, and from their mouths flowed a steady stream of indistinct but highly annoying female chatter. In short, they were completely disconnected from everyone else in the room, including the professor who was at the front trying to give a lecture. To put it into religious terms, they were IN the class but not OF the class.

The rest of us did our best to take notes and ask our questions while Chatty and Cathy kept up the constant stream of almost coherent mumbles. That was the real problem, of course. If they had been speaking loudly enough for us to hear their words, I think we all could have tuned them out and no incident would have occurred. I don't care about what her boyfriend said or where she's going for Thanksgiving or how much she can't stand her math teacher, you know? If I know I don't care, I don't have to listen. Instead, my brain was treated to a stream of words I could almost hear, so it spent at least 60% of its resources trying to figure out what was being said so it could know whether or not to disregard it. That's 60% it wasn't able to devote to listening to the lecture.

After about ten minutes of this, a battle began in the 40% of my brain that wasn't trying to decipher their almost intelligible speech.
-You should say something.
-I can't do that.
-Why not? You're assertive. You know how to communicate. Someone needs to shut them up.
-I can't. I won't. You can't make me.
-What's the big problem? Just turn around and say something.
-I won't do it. I won't be
that person.
-Huh?
-Don't act like you don't know who I'm talking about! You were just as embarrassed by her as I was. She always said what needed to be said, and she practically RUINED our teenage years because of it. Do I have to remind you about the movie theaters...the baseball games...the concerts? HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THE CHURCH PICNICS?!
-Of course I haven't forgotten.
-Then HOW in the wild world of sports can you expect me to just turn around and shush them?!
-Because it's the right thing to do. For better or worse, she was right every time she spoke up. Yes, it was embarrassing to be sitting next to
that person. Yes, you often turned around and gave the offending party a conspiratorial eye roll and shake of the head to say, "I'm sorry my crazy mom just called you on your rudeness. She's so embarrassing. I can't believe I'm here with her. Please don't think I'm crazy like her and hate me for the rest of your lives, OK? I'm cool! I'm a normal person!" I remember all of that, but Sarah, it's time. You are your mom in 800 different ways. There's no escaping it. Hike up your granny panties and shush them in a way that would make Willie Braudaway proud to call you her daughter.
-But, but, but...
-Do it. The class is counting on you. Don't let them down.
-I hate you.
-I know.

Long story short (Too late!): I turned around and said, "Could you two please stop talking? I'm trying to listen to the lecture." My face burned as both Chatty and Cathy gave me the, "Who's the crazy lady talking to us?" look. Within minutes, they had packed their laptop and their headphones and had gone, leaving the class in beautiful silence. I took my notes like a good crazy person and wondered whether this meant it was time to start letting my grays grow out and listening to Barry Manilow records.

As the class ended, though, an amazing thing happened. People stood up, looked my way, and said, "Hey thanks for doing that! They were so annoying!" and, "I'm so glad you did that. I wanted to say something and didn't know how." A couple of days later, I got an emailed apology from my professor who told me he should have been the one to shush them and that he was sorry I had to step up and do it. A day after that, he let me know Chatty and Cathy had apologized to him for the disruption.

-You see? It's not a crazy thing to do. It's heroic. People were grateful.
-Yeah, sure.
-No, really! Maybe
that person isn't so bad, after all. Maybe mom was just taking one for the team. Maybe she realized that there had to be a that person in the world, and she sacrificed herself for the greater good. Isn't that someone you want to be like?
-No, no it isn't.
-But you're going to keep doing it, aren't you?
-Yeah.
-I'm proud of you.
-Blow it out your ear.

Michael...I knew him well.

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Mom, today I learned that collecting Halloween candy in a pillow case is not without its dangers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Toast, anyone?

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Mom, today I learned I will go to ridiculous lengths to avoid washing dishes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I can't stop laughing. My stomach aches; my cheeks hurt; and I'm at serious risk of incontinence over today's stupid product. I don't really know why this is making me laugh so hard. Maybe it won't strike you as quite so comical. At this point, I'm enjoying this good laugh so much, I don't care! You can see it in detail hee-hee-hee-here.

I think the humor in this product might come from the earnestness of its creator. There are song parodies and silly music videos all over the internet lampooning Nadya Suleman and her decision to create 14 kids via in vitro fertilization despite being single, jobless, and living with her working class parents. This CD is not one of those parodies. This is the real deal. It's completely, unabashedly serious...an extremely non-self aware tribute to the Octomom.

According to the info on the site, songwriter, Karen Sokolof-Javitch of "Princess Diana, the Musical" fame (what do you mean you've never heard of it?), watched the story of the octuplets unfold and was so inspired she wrote 15 songs in their honor. I guess that's one song for each of Nadya Suleman's children, and a bonus track for Nadya. Proceeds from the CD will raise money for Nadya's next lip injection, I mean, for household expenses.

The music has the feel of an off, off, off, off...ok, nowhere near...Broadway musical. This is actually a shock to me, as it was orchestrated by Chuck Penington, the conductor of Mannheim Steamroller. Yeah, that Mannheim Steamroller...the awesome one with the great music. Oh, Chuck, how could you? Really? This?

But enough background! Let's get to the Fertile Myrtle showtunes!

You can hear the full song, "We're Not the Little Kids" on this site. Here are my favorite lines: "We don't understand what all the fuss is about. Mommy got fat and then the babies fell out. Now we play outside and people shout. They don't know what we're all about." Ahhh, the babies fell out! So THAT'S how it works!

Snippets of a few of the other featured songs can be heard here.

From "Leave her Alone!"
"You've got to leave her alone, leave her alone, leave her alooooone! She's a prisoner in her own home, in her own home, in her own hoooooome!" This is followed by a chorus of members of the press singing, "Maybe we should leave her alone, leave her alone, leave her aloooooone! She's just so cute and well-known, cute and well-known, cute and well-knooooooown!" You know, I didn't really see the attraction until now. She's cute AND well-known!

From "She's the Octomom!"
"We know a girl who makes quite a statement. She's pure entertainment to us. (She's the Octomom!) We know a girl who razzles and dazzles and spickles and spackles us all! This wondrous girl has become a legend in time. Making her own headlines! What a babe! No *garbled* style with baby pink or baby blue. (These babies look charming with you!) You kept your *garbled*. Such a royal babe. (She's the Octomom!) Such a royal babe. (She's the Octomom!)" Please, Nadya, you royal babe, you, no spickling and spackling in my house.

I have to hand it to the composer. She's a better woman than I am. We all had our opinions the day the news broke that the miracle babies were born to a woman this confused about responsibility. I chose to shake my head and predict I'd be seeing many of those kids in their teen years when they'd be shipped out to the treatment center where I work. Karen Sokolof-Javitch filled her heart with generosity and wrote them songs. Maybe I should take a lesson from her.

I've decided to write my own tribute album to raise money for Nadya and her crew. I've just started my first song, "I Can't Feel My Lips." It's a work in progress.

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Mom, today I learned that I'm very, very lucky I chose the minor I did.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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Mom, today I learned that I'll be hiding under a large coat for the next six months. Donut? Why, yes! I WILL have one!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I think before we examine this story in too much detail, we should review the zombie rules. To become a zombie, you must first be bitten by a zombie, then die. Once you're sufficiently dead, you will come back to "life" as a zombie yourself and have a desire to feast on human flesh. The only way to kill a zombie is to remove its head, though I hear 8 hours of continuous Backstreet Boys music can also be effective.

Apparently, an Iowa man was punched twice in the face after his attacker accused him of being a zombie. The assault occurred in the early morning while the alleged zombie was ordering some food. You can read the full story here.

So, the question remains. Was the man a zombie or not? Knowing what we know about zombies and the rules that surround them, let's discuss.

The man in question was "ordering food." This could mean so many things. Was he standing at a late night taco stand, waiting innocently for his side order of sour cream? Or, was he standing in a zombie line, asking for a portion of the eviscerated human on the ground? I think it's an important distinction, don't you? 1 vote zombie.

According to the police report, the victim was hit once, pulled out his cell phone to call the police, and then was hit again. To my knowledge, zombies don't use cell phones. Of course, that's only because I've never seen a zombie with a phone. It may just be that zombies don't use cell phones when I'm around because they don't get free minutes until after 9 pm. This incident occurred after midnight, a time when I'm least likely to see a zombie because, well, I'm afraid of zombies (read that column here). 2 votes zombie.

Punching a zombie in the eye and then breaking its nose will not kill a zombie. Since everyone I know knows this, it stands to reason that the attacker knew this. If he really thought this was a zombie, he would have brought a machete to the restaurant and done the job the right way. Instead, he sucker punched the guy and ran. 1 vote not a zombie.

However, we know nothing about whether or not the assailant was running in hopes that the victim would follow him into a Backstreet Boys infused trap. 1 vote zombie.

There you have it. 3 votes zombie. 1 vote not a zombie. The "victim" was clearly a zombie. The police and restaurant employees are probably now zombies. I may also be a zombie.

I...am owned.

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Mom, today I learned why there's always cat hair on our clothes. At least they're cute.

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And cuddly wuddly...



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And *unintelligible noises that denote a love for extreme cuteness and possible psychiatric disorder involving cats*

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No, no you can't.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

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Mom, today I learned that I am shameless. Brilliant...but shameless.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

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Mom, today I learned that no matter how new and exciting a coat may be, it will be treated like any old coat by an absentminded child.

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And I learned my kids and their cousins are California Dreamin'.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Get it off me! Get it off me!

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Mom, today I learned that there's a sneaky holiday hanging out on my body. Not cool.

I don't feel funny today. Stupid things happened yesterday to good people I know, and now I'm a grumpy grouch. I'm a cross between a dwarf and a muppet, and people, that's not pretty.

It's not easy being a humorist. We're funny most of the time, but no normal human being with a healthy respect for the current drug laws can be funny ALL the time. But deadlines are deadlines, and humorists have funny work to do. When life drags me down into a grumpy, grouchy mire, I have to woman up and find the funny somewhere. I usually succeed.

Indeed, in 9 years of columns with The St. George Spectrum & Daily News, I only missed two weeks. The first occurred in October 2002, when I suffered a life threatening miscarriage 13 weeks into a pregnancy. The second was in January 2006, the week I separated from my first husband. Other than that, I've gone in search of funny no matter what the life stress.

The good news for humorists is that life is funny. If you're looking for it, you can find humor all around you, even on your grumpy/grouchy days. The humor in life can save your day if you're willing to go out looking for it.

So, today I have my weekly Mother Load column to write, and I'm a great, big ball of unfunny. We're all out of funny over here. Grab your coat. We're going to the funny store.




My friend, Lis, says this is his "pihole."


I'm not Kenny. I just play him on my blog.




My husband "dancing." This is actually more terrifying than funny, but it's October, so it works.



We're just a couple of word nerds in search of bad grammar with which to fill our camera phones. Can you blame us? People are so accomodating!



You see? I don't. I burned my eyes with acid after taking this picture. I didn't even "recevie" my "limited offered pomontional card!"
And again. (My interested?)

Aunts are the best.


But sometimes they torture you for the sake of a picture. It's a trade-off.


Well, heck. Ice cream soup, anyone? You know you want some.



Why so serious?


"It's..." (If you don't get this, you need to come to my house and watch Monty Python RIGHT NOW...unless you're a crazy stalker serial killer. You're the best judge of that. Bring popcorn.)


Looks like a perfectly cute little girl with a trendy haircut, doesn't it? I see a little girl who hacked her hair to the scalp and had just enough to bunch around the headband to look like a cute little girl with a trendy haircut. It's been 5 years. I'm sorta kinda maybe thinking about laughing about it now.

Yes, little Mikey. That nose is truly a cave of wonders!


I am Charlie the Chipmunk. I will kill you now.


This picture isn't funny. It's awesome. I will milk it for all it's worth until the day that I die. My mother says the day I die will be the day I'm dumb enough to do something like this again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

See you later, alligator!

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Mom, today I learned that the recession is eating into the gator market in Louisiana. And...I learned there is a gator market in Louisiana.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Math kills

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Mom, today I learned that scare tactics in math are getting a bit ridiculous. For those who can't see the words (read: everyone), it says, "Why you should learn it," beneath a picture of a dead body in the street. Nice try, math geeks. Nice try.

Know a pregnant woman with a due date in the near future? Agonizing over what to give as a gift at her baby shower? Have you considered getting her the gift of childbirth glamour? The Pretty Pushers "A Dressed Up Delivery" Gift Set promises to make mom dazzle the delivery room on the big day.

Here's a little snippet from their site. The grammatical errors, including the weird, five period-long ellipses, are theirs: "The due date is quickly approaching.....Everyone is eagerly waiting to see the new addition to the family. The pictures that are taken will be in the albums forever.....but wait, who is that unrecognizable monster in a hospital gown? NOT YOU!"

Unrecognizable monster. They really said that.

I don't know about you, but I see potential for domestic violence in this. I imagine the man who gives his wife this product as a pre-baby gift will get a swift kick in the babymaker from the hormonal love of his life. Can you blame a gal? Nothing says, "Honey, I love and respect you as the mother of our child and can't wait to support you through labor," like a product that screams, "If you look like a crazed, demon cow during labor, you're not doing your job, and our baby will hate you."

I have so many problems with this product. So, so many. Let me count them for you, k?

1. It's stupid...but you knew that.

2. I don't know how much it costs (it's sold at a list of "fine" retailers), but whatever the price, it's too much. There's a reason women wear hospital gowns when they labor. They don't have to pay for them, launder them, or account for them in any way. Why is this good? Because in labor, things spill...splash...erupt...drain...explode...sometimes everywhere. Whether it's death by urine, feces, vomit, or amniotic fluid, that dress is as good as gone an hour into the big show.

3. Photo albums notwithstanding, childbirth isn't about winning beauty contests. It's hard work. By hard work, I mean it's like running a marathon, single-handedly building an addition to your house, and baling hay while carrying five adults on your shoulders, often without the benefit of food and water. Would you stop a marathon runner halfway through the race and say, "Hon...your lip gloss is smudged. Can you fix that?"

4. What. Is. Up. With the lemon scented wipe? A "refreshing polish before the big push?" Newsflash to women who worry what the doctor will think about their unpolished nether regions: He just watched you empty your bladder and bowels onto the chux pad underneath you. He doesn't care if you're lemon scented.

5. The headband and massage oil are actually useful. However, they are stupid by association with the rest of this gift.

6. Women in labor are beautiful. I've seen it. They're majestic and strong. They're mighty. Unpolished, unglossed, and unglammed, a woman giving birth is creating life. She's the most beautiful creature in the world at that moment, tousled hair, broken capillaries, and all. To tell her she's not is a crime. The makers of this product should be punished. I suggest we send them "A Dressed Up Colonoscopy" gift sets, post haste.

I've already scheduled their appointments.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No fines for me!

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Mom, today I learned that as a blogger, I "must disclose material connections" I share with any company I endorse or face justice from the FTC. If a company gives me something for free so I can try it out and review it on my blog, I must tell the world so my readers know my review may have been compromised by this exchange. Everyone, I am endorsing Macy's. I received excellent customer service from them today. That customer service was free, and I am keeping it. I'm here to tell the world that Sarah Clark CAN BE BOUGHT with a kind manner, respectful tone, thorough problem solving, and free shipping. Thank you, FTC, for protecting my readers. You all didn't even know the peril you were in, did you?

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All it took for Ray to endorse them was a chance to be on the blog.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fast food inflation

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Mom, today I learned that the folks at Taco Bell could stand to brush up on their grammar. They either wanted to say, "Why pay more?" or, "Why, pay more!" After checking out their price on chalupas, I'm going with the second.

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Of course, it doesn't hold a candle to what McDonald's is asking for a roll...

So, a bunch of Elvis Presley memorabilia recently went on the auction block, and someone forked over $15,000 plus auction fees for a clump of what is believed to be the King's hair. There's not much more information than that, but you can read the full story here.

Please show respect for Elvis while viewing the clump and whisper when you need to speak. Tears are appropriate and expected. Please, no flash photography as the hair is very famous, I mean, fragile. I'm sorry I can't reveal the name of the buyer as this person is now trying to explain to his spouse why they won't be visiting the grandkids for Christmas because he spent all their money on hair.

Perhaps it's easy for me to poke fun since I don't currently have $15,000 lying around. (If you must know, I don't even have $5 lying around.) Maybe if I had the means to buy the hair of my favorite celeb, I'd be all over it.

Actually, I think I'm safe in saying that even if I had 15 grand, and even if I didn't have a hundred places that money could do me a lot of good, I don't think I could bring myself to make this purchase. Why? A) The word "clump." B) The words "believed to be."

Really, could they not market the hair a little better than this? If you expect me to shell out big bucks, could you maybe call it a collection of hair or a cutting of hair or a portion of hair? Clumps of hair are what I yank out of my brush or vacuum out from under my couch. Clumps of hair are what my cats regularly regurgitate onto the floor.

Fans of the King, my sister included (Hi, Carla!), will probably tell me they don't care how Elvis Presley's hair is labeled. It's his hair! The KING'S HAIR! From THE KING'S HEAD!

But is it? According to the news story, this hair was only "believed to be" from Elvis. For all the buyer knows the clump might have come from a large dog or a small child. There was no certificate of authenticity signed by the barber, no autographed comb with a note from Elvis saying, "Yep. That's my hair. Thank you. Thank you very much." Someone took the clump at face value and forked over the cash, no questions asked.

Do you know what this means? I am in the wrong business. I have loads of junk around my house that might have belonged to dead celebrities! If someone was willing to pay that much for what maybe, sort of, possibly, might have been believed to be the hair of Elvis Presley, imagine the money I could make!

"So, you say this is really Marilyn Monroe's used paper towel?"
"I believe it is...yes."
"How much?"
"$100,000."
"That's a little high..."
"It's got daisies..."
"Do you take cash?"

Once I sell what might have been Cary Grant's nose hair trimmer and what was very possibly Katherine Hepburn's laundry soap, I'm totally bidding on Tom Cruise's earwax.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

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Mom, today I learned that you're only good at Boggle until you play against a dyslexic person. "Suffers" from dyslexia, indeed. Look at the self satisfied smile on that mug.

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Fortunately for both of us, I also learned that a well made breakfast burrito heals all wounds.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

At least she's not a mog...

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Mom, today I learned that my new cat, Psyche, is half cat/half parrot. She's a carrot!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mmmmm...my favorite!

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Mom, today I learned that when it comes to four year olds, there's no accounting for taste buds. He won't eat pepperoni pizza, but he'll eat this. (It's a bagel sandwich with cream cheese, egg, and yeah...those are pickles.)

I remember an interesting unit from my anthropology class last year involving the way in which reproduction interacts with aging. There is a theory that when a female of a species gives birth for the first time, aging begins in earnest. This seems to be true for all female mammals, including humans. Females who put off having children until later start aging later. Have a baby and you’ve just signed your own death certificate. Haaaaappy Mother’s Day, ladies!

Scientists know this connection exists, but they’re just not sure how or why. That’s because these scientists are not mothers…and the ones who are can’t remember why because they’ve been rapidly aging for years and can only focus on one thing at a time. (That one thing is usually Twilight, by the way.)

I, on the other hand, am a mother, NOT a scientist, and not a fan of Twilight (don’t lynch me!), so I can tell you exactly why women age more quickly after becoming mothers. I saw a prime example of it yesterday, as I sat at my computer, watching a live video feed in horror as a silver weather balloon whirled through the sky. The mother of little Falcon Heene, the boy we all believed was trapped inside the homemade aircraft and who was later found safe in his home, aged 10 years yesterday.

We moms age faster than non-moms for one reason and one reason alone. Kids scare the your expletive here out of us. They’re impulsive and fearless, dangling, leaping, and fracturing their way through the first 18 years of life. For every sweet and sentimental moment a mom has with one of her offspring, there are five moments of sheer panic that cause her heart to race and her body systems to shut down until the imperiled child is safe again.

You did it to your mom. Some of you tested out your ability to fly by jumping off your roofs. Others decided the bottle of cough medicine on the counter looked mighty tasty. 45 of you had the police out looking for you once in your life. At least 5 of you made your local news, and not in a good way. Your moms? They’re old, aren’t they? I rest my case.

So, we know the how. What about the why? Why do kids behave in ways that shave years off the lives of their mothers? Isn’t it in the child’s best interest to keep mom healthy and young? The answer lies in resource control. Newly born offspring know that when they reach the age of maturity they will have to compete with their parents for resources. If resources are scarce, it’s in a child’s evolutionary interest to ensure his parents won’t be around when he hits adulthood.

The scarcity or abundance of resources is relative, of course. To an adult, a package full of cookies is an abundance. To a child, it’s just another package full of cookies he can’t have unless mom says he can have one. We see a grocery store full to overflowing with food. The kid sees a grocery store full of “No” and “Not this time” and “If you whine for a treat one more time, we’re just going to leave.” Your offspring perceives scarcity at every turn, hence, their roundabout attempts to do you in. And you wonder why little Katie fell out of the tree the other day?

This, of course, leads one to question why savvy adults who were once savvy children fall for the old, “Look mom! I can fly!” routine. I mean, if you did it to your mom as a way of ensuring plenty of cookies in adulthood, why are you so upset your child is doing it to you?

Enter evolution again. The cuter the kid, the more likely mom is to worry, and let’s face it, most kids are cute. Really…how many ugly three year olds do you know? I can’t think of a single one. Kids pile on the cute at every opportunity until parents begin to believe they can’t live without it. Those smiles and cuddles and curls are nature’s way of ensuring you’ll have a near heart attack the next time Bobby runs toward the street.

Every time I walk into the kitchen to find my youngest perched precariously on top of something in a quest for snacks, I try to force down the rising terror and save my face from crows feet with a calm, rational, “Sarah, he’s just trying to kill you the way you tried to kill your mom. There were plenty of pop tarts to go around then, and there are plenty now. You don’t have to worry. You just have to educate him. You are smarter than this.” Unfortunately for me, every time I try to educate him, he grins up at me and says, “Holy ching chong doodles!” until I think I’ll die if I don’t hear that again.

Goodbye, rationality. Hello crow’s feet.

[Author's note, added 10/21/09: It seems the great balloon getaway was a hoax. I no longer think Mrs. Heene aged 10 years. I think she aged 15. If you thought a child in peril was stress-inducing, you have no idea how crazy a child who blows your hoaxy cover can be. She got 85 new gray hairs the moment little Falcon said, "You guys said we did this for a show." I bet you can even see it on the video.]

Thursday, October 15, 2009

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Mom, today I learned that all the R rated movies that came out this year will have to bring a parent if they expect to watch themselves. Basic Instinct and Unforgiven turned 17 this year, so they're good.

Great news! You can now contribute to The Mother Load. Here are a few guidelines for submissions.

Outrageous News
The more current the story, the better. Give me a link, and I'll do the rest. Even if I don't use it right away, stories tend to evolve, and it may just get juicier and more outrageous as time passes.

Stupid Products
There are two requirements for this one. It must be a product. It must be stupid. Product is pretty self explanatory. It must be for sale or soon will be. Don't send me a pic of the weird toaster cover your mother-in-law gave you for Christmas...unless she sells them (and doesn't read this blog!) As for stupid...well, that's more subjective. If you think it's stupid, then send it, and I'll probably agree!

Awesome Products
If you know of an awesome product and have first hand experience with it, send me an email and tell me about it. I'll try it out for myself and then write the review.

What I learned today
Please send only pictures you have taken yourself. No pictures of people, please, as I can't verify they gave permission for their images to be used. It's probably not the law that I have to have permission, but I do feel it's more respectful and above board to do things that way.

Remember to keep it clean. This is a PG rated blog (PG=Pretty Greattastic!). My kids enjoy seeing the things I post, and I'd like to keep it that way. Make sure to include your first name and last initial if you want to be credited for your submission.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ya think?

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Mom, today I learned that I am NOT silly for wanting to put a third bumper sticker on my van.

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And I learned a new meaing for the word "duh."

Stupid Product: Sexy costumes for kids

It's getting close to Halloween. Do you know what your child wants to be? So far, I've got a vampire princess, Catwoman, and the corpse bride in the house. My oldest hasn't settled on anything, and my youngest goes back and forth between Spiderman and Prince Caspian.

Apparently, my kids don't know a thing about what's in in costumes these days. Feel free to accuse me of living under a rock or in a cave or within some mythical realm in which kids are kids, but HOLY MOLY! When did we start dressing our kids like they just received their membership cards to Future Porn Stars of America? The costumes available in costume shops and on the web put the freak in "I am one really freaked out mom!"

Don't believe me? Follow the links.

Child's pimp costume. You won't believe it until you see it.

That's right. Little Timmy might want to go trick-or-treating as a football player or a rockstar, but those costumes are childish and lame. He's nearly 9 years old, after all. He's practically a man. It's time for him to grow up and start taking care of business...the business of prostitution, that is. Nothing says, "the best years of his life," like a cut of the streetwalking profits. Of course, if he's really going to pull it off, he'll need a couple of working girls. See below.

Preteen Gretel Costume. How old is a preteen, again?

Doesn't this model look a little too old and a lot too chesty to be a preteen? I have a preteen in my house, and she does not look like that. (Dear God, thank you, thank you, thank you!) And I have to take issue with literary accuracy here. I've read Hansel and Gretel a few times, and I just don't remember Gretel flouncing around in a short halter dress and thigh highs. I seem to remember she was starving and ragged. Oh, and she was a kid...a minor...a young girl...not in any way employed by Frederick's of Hollywood.

Child French Maid. They did NOT!

Speaking of lingerie... I have no words. None at all. Except that I feel like I need to turn myself in to the police just for looking at that page. Someone save that girl from her parents. Please.

Preteen Sexy Red Riding Hood. GAAAAAHHHHH!

Dear maker of this product: When I think of 12 year olds, I don't think of the word "sexy." This is a good thing. If I did, you would be looking up my name and address on a sex offender registry. Yes, I know there are 12 year olds out there having sex. This is not a good thing. Perhaps this will make it easier to understand. (Put on your thinking cap now...yes, the rusty one with the dent in it. It's the only one you have.) 12 year olds...innocent and nonsexualized...GOOD! Sexy preteen costumes...BAD. You...STUPID!

I'll go back under my rock now. I have a corpse bride costume to make.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

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Mom, today I learned that it's only smart to have a "smart key" until you lose it.

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And that this guy trusts my van way more than I do.

Monday, October 12, 2009

At least, fat babies previously excluded from medical insurance coverage by Rocky Mountain Health Plans can now breathe a little easier and enjoy their daily doses of double cheeseburgers and chili cheese fries their moms are no doubt serving up in their bottles.

According to this story, the Grand Junction based insurance company decided 4 month old, Alex Lange, who weighed in at the 99th percentile for infants his age, was a little too roly poly for coverage. The story didn't mention whether baby Alex was fed formula, mother's milk, or potato skins. Whatever he was eating, insurers decided it was cause for a denial based on a pre-existing condition of obesity.

Obama? Are you listening? Can you say, "Extremely cute poster child for health care reform?" (YES, HE CAN!)

I can imagine the honchos at this insurance company in an art gallery full of priceless renderings of chubby cherubs. "Look at the risk assessment on that one! Type 2 diabetes by the time he's 3. Massive coronary by 6. Physical therapy...lap band...divide the four...carry the two...DENIAL!"

Of course, any sane person will tell you little Alex isn't obese, he's a BABY. Someone at Rocky Mountain Health Plans recrunched the numbers and the company is now backpedaling faster than a portly preschooler on a tricycle who just overshot the ice cream truck. According to a rep, the company will be rewriting its policy so it no longer denies coverage to big babies.

That's right, tubby tots. Forget the milk and bland cereal. You can have all the pizza you want.


Mom, today I learned that I can never be too prepard.

FAQ

What is The Mother Load?
The Mother Load was the name of the weekly humor column I wrote for The Spectrum & Daily News in St. George, UT, from 2000 to 2009. It is now the name of the humor blog you see here today. It's quite punny, don't you think?

How did The Mother Load begin?
I knew I could write and thought I should be writing for the paper in my town. After receiving some much needed encouragement from a friend, I sent an email to the managing editor saying just that. She emailed me back and set up an appointment and asked me to bring in a few samples. After a moment of panic in which I wondered what samples were, I wrote two humorous pieces and a serious article about my son's medical condition (write what you know, right?). She laughed through the first humorous piece and said, "This is funny. I'm publishing it. Write something like this every other week." She introduced me to my first editor, Jennifer King (Hi, Jenn!), took my picture, and a column was born. Within 6 months, The Mother Load was bumped to weekly publication and the rest is history.

What can I expect from The Mother Load blog?
I used to have a schedule of daily and weekly posts I followed meticulously. I used to be way cooler than I am now. Nowadays, my kids are older and involved in more stuff (so much stuff) and I've got 2 part time jobs and a masters degree I'm pursuing. I post when I can and try to do that several times a week if not daily. What I Learned Today posts represent a running conversation with my mom, telling her what I learned via silly pictures and captions. Outrageous News, Stupid Products, and Awesome Products posts are just as they sound. When the inspiration hits, I write an old-school Mother Load Column. All this stuff is usually funny (to me) and always funny (to my husband). It might be funny (to you!).

Do the people in your "What I learned today" pictures know they're being posted on your blog?
Absolutely! I ask permission of all my What I learned today subjects. I also usually let them know what I'll be writing. This is not People of Walmart. Also, there's no way to turn off the shutter sound on my cell phone camera, so I couldn't take a surreptitious picture if I wanted to. (This means even my kids know when they're getting a blog pic taken.)

I have an idea for your blog! Can I send it to you?
Yes! I welcome all Mother Load column ideas and Stupid Products/Outrageous News/Awesome Product suggestions. I'll have an email account set up for this purpose by the end of the day and will post it on the main page. I regret that I can't accept pictures of people for the What I learned today feature, as I wouldn't be able to verify the subjects gave permission for their images to be used; however, if you'd like to send pictures for this feature that don't include human beings, I'm more than happy to check them out.

I love your blog! Should I tell my friends about it?
Yes, yes you should. As much as I'd like to say I'm doing this for the betterment of humanity, I do hope to make this blog profitable for my family. The more hits I get, the more money I make, and the more able I am to keep doing it. (If I can use the money to keep up with medical bills and sock away some money for the kids' college funds, that would be great too!) If you like what you see, share it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A weighty matter

Mom, today I learned that if there's a comb hiding underneath your bathroom scale, you will think you've gained ten pounds. You will shriek and wail and curse late night trips to Denny's for Super Grand Slamwiches and Pancake Puppies and kick the scale in frustration. You'll then spy the comb, reweigh yourself, realize you've only gained 3 pounds, and start planning your next late night encounter. (What? You thought I'd take a picture of my actual scale with my actual weight. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009



Mom, today I learned that science geeks haven't changed much since I went to high school.




I stand corrected.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I just finished my last homework assignment for the week and am officially on fall break from my university studies. During my regular school hours next week, I have nothing to do and nowhere to be, and I have no idea what to do with all that time.

My inner child is stomping her foot and shouting that I know exactly what I want to do with it. I want to take a vacation. The older, responsible me is reasoning with her about the fact that I have neither the money nor the time to take a vacation so none is forthcoming. My inner child just pulled out fistfuls of her hair, threw herself on the floor, and is now holding her breath in protest. The older, responsible me is ignoring her but secretly wants to join her down there, purple face and all.

I want a vacation. I need a vacation. I deserve a vacation. I can’t afford a vacation.

Popular culture to the rescue! According to news reports, if time and money aren’t on my side, I don’t have to completely scrap my plans for leisure. I can take a “staycation!”

What’s that, you say? You don’t know what a staycation is? It’s only the most exciting development to come out of the recession. People all over the country who used to travel to exotic locations for their leisure time are now too strapped for cash to be tourists, so they’re hanging out at home instead and calling it a staycation. What? You do that every day? You just call it life? Your life is a staycation?? How cool is that?

I’ve done some browsing on the internet to learn more about the staycation phenomenon. Apparently, there are tips from staycation savvy writers for making my staycation relaxing and fun. On my staycation, I can…wait for it…rent movies! I can…oh, you’re going to love this one…read a book. I can even…be still my beating heart…play board games with my husband! Who knew all these fabulous activities were available to me right here at home? How is it I’m not CHARGING for this stuff?

One travel writer (if you’re writing about a staycation, does that make you an anti-travel writer?) recommends taking pictures of your staycation the same way you would a vacation. I can see myself showing off my staycation scrapbook pages. “This is me cleaning the bathroom. Oh! Here I am emptying the litter box. That was so fun. I love this picture of Richard and me sitting in the front room. Our house had great amenities. If you turn the page, you can see our day trip to Wal Mart and our hike to Mt. Library!”

If it still sounds like everyday life with a fancy label, there’s a suggestion for that too. One writer urged people considering a staycation to be sure and set a start date and an end date so your staycation doesn’t feel like just any old week at home. Aha! That’s the secret. You have to designate. It's not any old week! It's STAYCATION WEEK!

“ Yes, dear, I’m washing the dishes, and that’s a completely mundane daily chore; BUT I’m washing the dishes during staycation week, so it’s different. Now grab the staycation vacuum and help me with the family room. We have a staycation dentist appointment at 2.”

It’s interesting to note that my word processing document is littered with red squigglies because my word processor doesn’t consider staycation a real word. I refused to add it to my dictionary, because I agree. I did, however, just add “squigglies.”

I also added blahcation, mehcation, nocation, and fakecation, which are on the whole, less marketable than staycation, but probably more accurate.

Schooooool's out for fall break!

Mom, today I didn't learn anything, and it was HEAVENLY!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall fashion at the U

Mom, today I learned that what I don't know about wearing condoms is a lot. (Mother Load readers to Sarah: You have five kids. We already knew that about you!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

He got mad when I wouldn't lock him in.

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Mom, today I learned that my goofball son does not need expensive toys to have fun.