Monday, July 26, 2010
So, this week I'm having surgery. Nothing scary or exciting, just saying goodbye to an organ that served me well in the baby growing department, but not so well in any other. I'd say I was sad to see it go, but my mother taught me not to lie. Goodbye, uterus. I won't miss you. Don't let the gynecologist kick you on the way out. No, really. She's under orders to do just that.
Having surgery means that I'm busy preparing before, and I'll be busy lying down, crying, and drooling after. I was getting really annoyed that my boss expected me to keep blogging through this week, and then I remembered that I'm my boss. Under the threat of demotion and reprimand, she just gave me the week off.
Don't have too much fun without The Mother Load this week. If I happen to come on here and post something unintelligible, just know it's the narcotics talking, and know I won't be sharing.
Have a great week everyone. See you on the flip side.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
As I mentioned to my friends and fans (and friendfans) on Facebook, this week's Awesome Product is something I want to give as a gift to everyone in my life (including you!), because this week's product, the Inspiration Bean, is more than just a great idea, a great potted plant, or a great product. The Inspiration Bean is truly the gift of inspiration.
I met Jonathan Hall, the founder of iBeanInspired, the company that makes the Inspiration Bean, at a fair here in Salt Lake City during the 4th of July festivities earlier this month. By the time I got to the booth where the iBean was on display, I'd seen quite a bit of the same old fair fare. My children had spent their allowances on trinkets, and I'd seen a thing or two I might want to consider for another time, but nothing had really caught my eye or engaged my mind. My introduction to the iBean was, therefore, unexpected and wholly delightful. This was different. This was more. This.was.Awesome.
Each Inspiration Bean contains a word which represents the dream or the wish of the one who will plant the bean and watch it grow. As it grows, the word remains on the plant, and you, as the grower, can watch your desire become more than just a desire, but something real, tangible, and ultimately, inspiring.
Here's a little more information about the iBean and the company.
Whether or not you're a devotee of the Law of Attraction, one thing in life is probably as certain to you as it is to me: we reap what we sow. In the case of the iBean, when you sow peace, inspiration, love, courage, or health, you quite literally reap the same. What's amazing is what I know unequivocally to be true: surrounding yourself in your positive intentions WILL make good things happen in your life, whether it's because you have attracted those things to you through your energy or because your shift in energy from negative to positive and hopeful has caused you to take action and make those things come to pass.
However this happens, I believe the iBean is an excellent way to remind ourselves of the power of our hope and belief. If you take a moment to think, I'm sure you know someone who could use some inspiration today. Maybe it's your cousin or your sister or your best friend. Maybe, it's you. The gift of inspiration is available through iBeanInspired.
And I must share that while this is an Awesome Product post, I can't help but think of it as an Awesome Company post. The people at iBeanInspired aren't in the bean business. They're in the business of lifting spirits and of reminding people of their long dormant hopes and dreams. You remember dreams, don't you? Wouldn't you like to have them back? Wouldn't you like to make them come true? iBeanInspired wants to help you do that, and, to me, that's the most Awesome part of the Inspiration Bean.
If you're not sold already, I'll tell you that everything they sell is eco-friendly, and 5% of their profits go to helping "keep forests green and water clean." That's something we can all get behind.
Check out the iBeanInspired website and send the gift of inspiration to someone you love and pray for. Then buy one for yourself and watch your dream grow.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, my usual day for Outrageous News posts, found me swamped with other writing and editing work, so I had to wait until today to post the feature. And you know what? I'm very grateful for that fact because today's Outrageous News story didn't happen until today. I really would have beat the boat on this one...
Today's story comes to you from the halls of Congress, where your Representatives are misusing their time and your money yet again. It never ceases to amaze me what our elected officials in Washington D.C. consider a hard day's work for a crazy awesome month's pay. One day, I will cease to be amazed, and that day, my friends, will be a very sad day. I will have lost completely the illusion of government by, for, and of the people. (I haven't lost it up to this point because I'm just a sucker for love of the unrequited variety, and that includes my love of America.)
So, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz blasted his fellow congressmen this week, saying they waste time and taxpayer resources every week by passing congressional resolutions to honor sports teams and champions. According to Chaffetz, these resolutions take 30 minutes to complete and happen as often as 5 times a week. Chaffetz will have none of it, though, and instead of voting for today's resolution, he flouted convention and just announced himself "present."
I don't know what's harder to wrap my mind around: the fact that our representatives are voting on whether or not to say, "Good job," to sports teams without having passed a BUDGET yet, or the fact that the only means of standing up to them is to say, "Here I am!"
I should never visit Congress. I'd take one look at stuff like this and get a fit of the giggles and be asked to leave. In my defense, it would be an "I have to laugh or else I'd cry" situation.
Maybe I'm too tired to not think silly thoughts right now, but in my goofy mind's eye, I see a persnickity school marm at the front of the House of Representatives, calling attendance while our reps stow their lunch pails under their seats and ready their slates for the day's sports stars resolution passing.
--"The Poughkeepsie Women's Bowling League Hot Mamas Team."
Don't get me wrong. I have no beef with Chaffetz. I'm right there behind the esteemed gentleman from Utah. Go, Chaffetz, go! Give them your best, Utah brand of heck!
I think it's time for a Mother Load resolution honoring our freshman congressmen for flouting the rules and having the courage to stand up and say, "I will not be a party to this! This is a stupid waste of time! They don't give a flying fetch what we think! They have trophies for that! PRESENT! I'm PRESENT, I tell you! Give me perfect attendance, or give me death!"
All in favor?
Ladies, are you feeling a little lonely? Are you forced to sleep alone, or do you sleep next to a non-cuddly mate? Do you lie awake at night, wishing you had the one armed, half torso of a man to keep you warm and protected? Do you secretly curse the laws against chainsaw murder that prevent you from creating such a thing?
Well, lonely ladies, you're in the LUCK. The Boyfriend Body Pillow is here to make your desperate dreams come true! Take a look.
That's right. For much less than the cost of a male escort, (unless you buy the similarly named "Boyfriend's Arm Pillow" at this site which thinks people would be dumb enough to pay $155 for it") you can sleep in peace, knowing your big, strong portion of a stuffed human replica is there by your side, showing you love all night long.
Are there women this sad? Is there something we can do to help them? I mean, through two and a half years of post-divorce single motherhood, I experienced my fair share of loneliness, but I don't think I was ever this lonely. Maybe I just didn't know how lonely I really was because I didn't know this product existed, and I would have burst into cruel tears and bought one immediately had I seen it.
Yeah, I don't think so.
I have to give the makers some credit for understanding that if you give this product as a gift, it had better be to someone with a good sense of humor. I can only imagine the fallout if some dimwitted bride thought this would be a clever bridesmaid's gift to give her single friends. Somehow, I don't think a product that says, "Sleep on THAT, suckers!" is the best way to express your appreciation to someone for being in your wedding.
If this pillow takes off, it may give the Hug-E-Gram a run for its money. And it should be noted that, unlike a real man, the Boyfriend Body Pillow doesn't contain a stomach or intestines or any other body parts involved in flatulence, so that's a bonus.
Of course, that's what the Better Marriage Blanket is for, so I wouldn't go trading in your honey just yet.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Every last one of my readers has probably already seen this clever and well produced parody of my favorite Old Spice ad, and you know what? I don't care! It's funny, witty, charming, and it deserves to be front and center on my blog today.
If you haven't seen it, where the heck have you been? Did you miss all the Old Spice reply videos too? Go check them out! But first, watch this, because it's awesome and I told you to.
Mom, today I learned that this man is one bursting vein away from being a weapon of mass destruction to everyone in a five block radius. I'd declare a war on terror against him, but it seems he's already terrified of his own arm.
Stay in school, kids...but skip gym class.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Mom, today I learned what I've been fearing for weeks. I only have a home office because Quill (barely) tolerates my presence there.
I think he thinks my laptop, with its purr-like hum, is his friend. Or maybe it's that he can sun himself under my desk lamp. Or maybe he feels inspired and happy just to be in my presence while I write about such profound topics as individualized education plans, legal name changes, and how to breastfeed in public.
Yeah, I think it's the purring hum, too.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I remember a long time ago, I wrote a column about the fact that, despite loads of people who could have stopped this travesty from happening, the music industry released a song called "The Way I Are," and my soul died a little. I made the point in that column that anyone from the sound mixer to the CD jacket artist could have spoken up at any time and told the artist he was going to sound like a moron.
I have very similar feelings about today's Stupid Product. Any reasonable human being should see the words, "Candwich-The Sandwich in a Can!" and immediately say, "Please, tell me you're joking." And yet, people didn't. Or if they did, they didn't say it loudly enough, because here's Candwich, ascending to earth from the depths of preservative hell, hiding its true nature in a benevolent looking beverage container.
Why, Candwich? Why? Oh wait! Here's the CEO now to tell us why!
Mark, when the people who eat Vegemite make faces like that, you might want to rethink what you're selling.
All I can say is that it's a good thing I'm a blogger and not a vlogger, because even though my mouth is agape, I can still type. Did he...did he just say...curdle technology? He's creating curdles in his can? That can't be right. *Lifts computer to ear to listen again.* Aha. Hurdle technology. The can creates hurdles to impede the growth and progress of bacteria.
It's a funny thing about hurdles. People jump over them. And they're not really solid objects, you know? They're just bits of wood sitting on a running track. If someone didn't want to jump over a hurdle, he or she could easily run around one or even crawl under one. Hurdle technology doesn't really make me feel secure the way, maybe, large iron door with no doorknob fused to a three foot thick brick wall technology would. Just a thought about the analogy.
And really? You went to the trouble of putting a sandwich in a can and I have to make it myself? You want me to pay you to make my own PB&J? I could do that at home. I DO do that at home! And I have hurdle technology right in my kitchen! They're called...wait for it...baggies!
There's a bit of Outrageous News laced into the story of the Candwich from right here in my host state of Utah. It seems people gave a bunch of their money (probably from the bunch they saved on car insurance) to a man promising to invest it in real estate. And what did he do with it? He gave it to the Candwich people instead.
How do you even tell your story without crying when you get bilked out of a lot of money because you gave it to someone who believed the Candwich would be the next big thing? "He told us he was going to buy houses...cylindrical, air tight, hurdle-filled houses that would remind us of our childhoods. We didn't kow what that meant. We just thought he was being highbrow."
Maybe I'm poo-pooing the idea too early on in the inextricably canned food game. Maybe someday there will be a terrible natural disaster in Salt Lake City, and the people with Candwiches in their food storage (oh, yes, Utah, it's being marketed that way) will look at me and say, "Ha! All you have are meat, soups, beans, grains, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, drink mixes, cake mixes, egg substitutes, jellies, jams, spices, sugars, honey, and milk. But do you have a sandwich? Ahahahahahahahahahaha!"
A final thought: I originally intended to say that the shifting of the word sandwich into Candwich is, on its own, a travesty because it renders one of my favorite childhood jokes completely useless. I intended that until I thought of a new, even better joke: Why don't people starve in the dump? Because of all the Candwiches there!
Thanks, Candwich. I've found a use for you, after all.
(Thanks to Jauna G., of Las Vegas, NV, for emailing me about Candwiches and making me scream-laugh in the process. Ah, the scream-laugh. What would my blogging days be without them?)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Since my blog is rated PG (which I may say stands for "Pretty Greattastic," but which I mean stands for "My mom reads this"), there isn't a lot from the folks at College Humor which I'm able to post. That's been our collective loss until TODAY!
To the people at College Humor, thank you for putting your highly educated and funny heads together and producing something clean enough to post on my blog.
To my readers, sit down and get the tissues ready, because you're going to laugh until you cry.
(Thanks to Richard C., of my marriage, for introducing me to this trailer, and for not laughing at me when my time hits 999.)
Monday, July 12, 2010
Well, okay, he's a man in the sense that his chronological age is 29. In all other senses of the word, Robert Edward Tyrell Jr, who held his mother at gunpoint for refusing to iron his clothes, falls miserably short. Apparently, Robert needed his clothing ironed and expected his 51 year old mother to do it for him. When she refused, likely citing the fact that he was NEARLY THIRTY, a scuffle ensued because Mr. Tyrell, citing the fact that ironing is "woman's work," disagreed. When she continued to refuse, he pulled a gun (that's crazy person work, I guess) and wouldn't let her leave the house.
I'd like to address this blog post to dear Robert.
Psycho loser...can I...can I call you psycho loser? Thanks. Psycho loser, I think we need to have a little talk. Now, I'm going to speak slowly so you'll understand me, but feel free to stop me any time I use a word that's too big, okay?
What? Oh, psycho means crazy. So when I say psycho, I'm saying I think you're crazy. Do you need help with "loser?" You've got that one? Okay. Moving on.
Psycho loser, you are 29 years old. This is well past the age of majority...er...I mean, you're a great, big grown up now. Grown ups are older than children, so grown ups have to take care of themselves. When a mommy's kids are all grown up, she doesn't have to do things for them anymore. She's free to live her own life and work or play or travel or just have fun.
What's that you say? But your mommy LETS you live with her? Okay, I can see the source of your confusion. I mean, I can see how your big, grown up brain did an oopsie. Obviously, your mommy is letting you act like a little boy, even though you're 29 years old. You thought that if she lets you act like a little boy by letting you live with her, that you could act like a little boy and not take care of your own clothes.
Here's what I don't understand, Psycho loser. If you like being a little boy so much, why are you carrying a gun? Little boys aren't allowed to carry guns. It's the rules. Either you need to give up the gun, or you need to iron your own shirts. You don't get to be a great, big baby AND pack heat. Don't argue. You just don't.
One more thing. "Woman's work" is a term for all the things men do that we women also do every day, only twice as well as men and for a fraction of the praise. And we do it how, when, and IF we want to. So, keep your gun to yourself, man up, and enjoy ironing clothes in the prison laundry.
Mom, today I learned that while I abhor the practice of declawing cats, it sure does make bathing one easier.
(Author's note. I wanted to include a picture, but I'm not sure she'll ever bring her sweet smelling self out from under the bed again.)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Yesterday's Stupid Product was a bit too revealing (and by a bit, I mean, "Gaaaaaaah!"), so I've given you the opposite for today's Awesome Product, the Cami Secret, a sweet, new product that helps women cover up (when they want or need to) in style without having to wear an entire camisole.
Just look at it. It's camazing! (Did you see...the pun...you know...camisole/amazing...camazing? Not working for you. Okay. Moving on.)
You may laugh at the way this commercial, in typical, As Seen on TV style, shows our protagonist struggling mightily with common things like tank tops and safety pins, but I'm here to tell you that this was me last Christmas. I bought a gorgeous new dress with my birthday money and decided to wear it during the Sunday Christmas program I was directing. I spent one very uncomfortable hour fiddling with the front of my dress in front of the entire congregation.
If there's ever a time you're not interested in showing a bunch of cleavage, the church Christmas program is one of them. Had someone handed me a Cami Secret that day, I would have turned away from the congregation and snapped it to my bra immediately and without apology. (The choir I direct would have been scandalized, but there are fewer of them, and they're extraordinarily nice people, so there you go.)
I've wanted to get on the camisole bandwagon ever since it started, but I haven't had the funds, and I haven't wanted to wear two shirts. The bandwagon started when I lived in St. George, UT, a place where wearing more than one top would lead to almost certain death in any month other than December. (I exaggerate, but not by much.) Even now, in Salt Lake City, where the summers are not nearly as scream inducing, I still don't want to wear an extra shirt if I can help it.
The Cami Secret seems like it would meet all of my needs. And I can't stress this enough, but it's seriously CHEAP! Sure, there are likely some of you out there who could make your own for even less. My hat is off to you. I am not one of you, but I admire you from afar. For the rest of us, Cami Secret is a smoking good deal on a really great product.
And now, my brain is cleansed of the Bikini Pants. Thanks, Cami Secret!
(Thanks to Olivia, of Eagle Mountain, UT, for the heads up on today's Awesome Product!)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Someone is bound to see my Stupid Product post today and say, "She's just jealous because she could never pull those off." To those people, I say, if I were thin enough to pull those off, I would still be smart enough to pull them off and wear something less stupid.
The makers of today's product, Sanna's Bikini Pants, must have seen a woman walking around with her thong poking out of the top of her jeans and, instead of doing what most of the population does in that situation (laugh and point), decided they'd be considered fashion geniuses if they made the peekaboo thong an actual part of an actual pair of jeans.
Unfortunately, the people at Sanna's don't seem to understand the difference between a tortured genius and a torturing genius, so they've foisted Bikini Pants onto the public, and our eyes, minds, and hearts will never be the same.
Here's the only video I could find with these jeans in it (surely, this bodes well, yes?). Please don't watch it in its entirety. I care about my readers too much to subject them to more than 37 seconds of booty popping "models," ridiculous clothes, and autotuned music. Just check out the model from 4:00 to 4:37, and you'll see the pants in action.
Ladies, I don't want to see this much of your body. No, really, I don't. I'm sure you work very hard to look slim and sexy, and you're really proud of your efforts and results. But really? None of my business. I just don't want to be nosy, is all. I feel like a busybody with all your business hanging out there in my line of sight.
And I think it should be said that trashy is not the same as sexy. And these pants? They're trashy.
Am I being too harsh? Are you sobbing into your handkerchief of a shirt and calling me mean? I'm sorry. I know you're a child of God and your mother loves you and your creepy uncle thinks you're really hot. I'm not trying to hurt your feelings.
I just want you to stop hurting my eyes.
(Thanks to Jenn W., of Delano, CA, for today's Stupid Product idea. Thanks also to Jenn for being a card carrying, MENSA joining genius, but neither a tortured nor a torturing kind.)
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This week, I've started a new gig over at Mahalo.com, moving from a sporadic freelancer to a regular and more active Guide position I'm very excited about. I chose the subject of Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome, the syndrome my oldest son has been affected with since birth, as the topic for my first page as a Mahalo Guide. (Write what you know, right?)
So, VCFS, aka 22Q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, has been on the brain for the last two days...well, more on the brain than it is every other day. In my research yesterday, I came across this beautiful video that was made to raise awareness of this disorder, which is one of the the most common of genetic disorders and also one of the least known.
So, if you'll permit this blogger, I'd like to make you more aware of a syndrome that may affect someone you know. These kids often go through more in their first years than most adults go through in 30. To add my own VCFS warrior to the slideshow, I'm adding my son Aaron's picture and list of symptoms here. There will never be a cure for what he has, but the more awareness we have of VCFS, the more we can do to help kids and their families build better lives.
Aaron, age 13. Tetralogy of Fallot (heart defect) repaired 1/98, severe speech and language delay, submucous cleft palate repaired 9/01, low muscle tone, developmental/social delays, learning disability, heart valve regurgitation (ongoing), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, other unspecified anxiety or mental health disorder.
Thanks for watching.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Today's Outrageous News story is a bit of a departure from the norm in that it didn't come from a national or even a local news site. It is, however, THE most Outrageous News of the day, and I say that knowing full well that Lady Gaga is likely on the loose, wearing and doing something ridiculous.
Mother Load readers, my baby brother, Mikey, turned 30 today.
I can't believe I just wrote that. I took one look at those words and promptly pointed my index finger in my own face and shouted at myself that it's not nice to lie. Surely a human being called "Mikey" could not be in his third decade of life. It's too silly to even think about.
And just look at him. Does this look like a 30 year old to you? (He's the little one in the middle.)
And that woman he's hanging on to is his wife.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Mom, today I learned that if you make a dressing room sign this funny, I will actually consider taking scuba diving lessons from you.
(Author's note: I have said I will consider it. Don't expect scuba related blog posts anytime soon. Do expect claustrophobia related posts. Gah! I can't BREATHE in here now!)
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Since I have readers all over the country (and a few in other countries), I usually try to keep my product reviews accessible to a mass audience. Today, however, I feel the need to hearken back to the Mother Load's Southern Utah roots.
In 2006, I suddenly (and despite ALL of my best efforts) became a single mother of the five children I'd had with my first husband. As most single moms do, I struggled to find ways to keep up with the demands of work, home, childrearing, and managing a very lean budget. Lean is putting it nicely. My friend, Becca, a single mom herself with a bit more to work with, had this to say: "I don't know how you live like that. Dryer sheets are not luxury items, Sarah!"
One of the greatest challenges facing any single mother is how to keep the children actively involved in activities that are financially out of reach. Sports teams, lessons, and groups all provide learning and growing opportunities and help kids build confidence and self esteem, both highly important in the wake of a divorce. I desperately needed a place for my kids to learn and grow, but I had no idea how I would pay for it.
Enter a kind group of neighbors, looking to build their client base at the new karate studio they'd just opened. They were people I counted as friends. Learning I had three black belts living feet from my door made me count them as bodyguards. Having them offer me a drastically discounted rate for my four children to attend karate classes made them my heroes.
One of these friends emailed me last week and shared that he was still in the martial arts business and again looking to grow his client base and take his studio to the next level. He asked if there was anything a powerful blogger could to do help him out.
Here's what you need to know about me. Call me a powerful blogger, and I will do ANYTHING for you. Also, treat me with kindness during one of the toughest trials of my life, and I will spend the next four years looking for a way to make it up to you. My response was an immediate and enthusiastic, "ABSOLUTELY!"
Mother Load readers, there is nothing in the world more satisfying to me than to tell you today that I think BMAF Martial Arts in Santa Clara, UT, is the most awesome Awesome Product I will review all year. If you live in the Southern Utah area and you want your kids to learn discipline, respect, confidence, and self defense, this is the studio where they will learn it.
BMAF employs a highly experienced team of instructors who share in the teaching experience and are committed to helping the students they teach become successful. And you know what? Even though they probably won't be handing out the deal they gave me all those years ago, BMAF Martial Arts has the lowest prices in the Southern Utah area, making their martial arts training affordable on almost any budget.
The folks at BMAF Martial Arts teach classes for kids ages 3-5, 6-12, 13-17, and 18+. That's right, moms and dads. You can learn too. Basic classes start at $40 a month.
The studio is open Monday through Saturday and is located at 2305 Santa Clara Drive Suite F in Santa Clara. They're located next to the Dominoes (the very Dominoes that saved my life more than a few times with a delivery on a rough day) in the former ATA school location. For more information, or to sign your karate kid up, call 435-767-1703.
If you live in Southern Utah and have kids, make that call. If you live in Southern Utah but don't have kids, find someone who has kids and tell them to make the call. If you don't live in Southern Utah, but you know someone who does, call them and tell them to make the call. If you don't live in Southern Utah and you don't know a soul there, check out an online phone book and call random numbers and tell them to make the call.
Or...help me return the kindness so generously given to me, and post the link to this Awesome Product review on your Facebook wall and spread the news to your friends and have them do the same. Let's show BMAF Martial Arts just how powerful this mild mannered blogger really is. Are you ready, BMAF? I hope you are!
(Thanks to the great people at BMAF Martial Arts for helping me provide a firm foundation of confidence for my kids during a difficult time. And...for being Awesome.)