Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Remember when there was a shortage of duct tape because people were so afraid of impending terrorist attacks that they stockpiled it in the event that they'd need to seal off every window and door frame in their homes? Today's Stupid Product, the Emergency Bra plays on those same fears. Take a look:
I do have to hand it to the inventor of this product. She's thinking outside the bra here. Her product is fairly creative and could be practical in some situations...
But (You knew there would be one, right?) I have a few concerns. Why don't I get them off my chest right here? (badum bum)
a) I have five kids. I have two breasts. This has never been a problem before, since each of my children came into the world at different times. If I'm with three of my children, who gets the life/health saving mask, and who gets to breathe in the toxic fumes? Can I count on other women in the vicinity whipping off their bras in service of my children, or do I need to double (or triple) up?
b) As I've mentioned on this blog before, I'm not particularly well endowed in the chestal region. Unless I'm going to be wearing much more bra than I need, my cups aren't going to protect anyone. We're not all perky C cups, people. And thank you for pouring salt in that wound!
c) Men will not wear the male counterpart to this product. They will not. I know this because I have met men who are men and they're just manly that way.
d) If the bra comes apart that easily, I can only imagine it will come apart when it's not supposed to. For women like me, that wouldn't be a problem, since we don't have enough going on underneath to make much of a difference. I have friends, however, who count on their bras to provide firm support and who would likely injure several bystanders if their bras came undone unexpectedly. Did anyone think about that? When you line up the odds of this bra malfunctioning and a terrorist attack occurring, it seems obvious we'd want to err on the side of the bra that doesn't just pop right out of your shirt at the slightest tug.
e) Your bra comes in two colors. Red and red. While I'm not opposed to red bras as a concept, I don't think I'd want to wear a red bra every single day. And really, if you're going to fork over $30 for a bra that could save your life, you'd have to wear one every day to maximize the potential of it. What do you propose I do when I want to wear a white top at church? I guess I could carry around a face mask on those days, but then, I could do that now and save myself the expense of one of these bras. Weird.
f) If we wear these bras, the terrorists have won. Also, we'll make the terrorists more angry with our godless, sinful, bra-waving selves.
Pass the duct tape.
Labels: Stupid Products
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Mom, today I learned where I can find miniature versions of the World's Largest Gummy Bear. Yippeeeeee!
For today's YouTube treat, I bring you two videos from the Gregory Brothers, the insanely creative people behind "Autotune the News." This group takes news stories and autotunes them into music, the act of which has led me to two conclusions: a) anyone can autotune anything; and b) the popular "singers" on certain radio stations need absolutely no talent whatsoever to create their "songs." (T-Pain, I'm looking at you.)
These two videos went viral within the last few months, and the Gregory Brothers autotuned them into songs, and I think it's safe to say the songs are even more popular than the original videos. Chords and lyrics were included with each so people with YouTube accounts could post their own versions of the songs. I find myself singing them all.day.long, and that's not a bad thing.
A little back story for anyone in my readership who hasn't seen the original videos: The Bed Intruder Song is based on a news story about a woman who was attacked in her bedroom by a man who climbed in through her window. Her brother heard her cry for help and fought the man off, and his loud, angry, and flamboyant comments on his local news garnered him the attention of the world. The Double Rainbow song comes from the video of a California man who was literally brought to tears over the sight of a double rainbow outside his home.
What I like most about these videos is that in this age when a small town idiot can become a celebrity for getting Sarah Palin's daughter pregnant, these are people who deserve their fame. One is a hero for saving his sister. The other is my personal hero for taking a moment to marvel at something we all take for granted. (Did he have a little herbal help with that? He says no.) Both songs are now available on iTunes, and the Gregory Brothers are splitting proceeds with the men. I hear Antoine Dodson now has enough money to move his family out of the projects and into a nicer home.
Bravo, Gregory Brothers. I salute you. :)
Labels: You've Gotta See This
Monday, September 27, 2010
The other evening, I was having a chat with Richard about this emptiness I've been feeling in my life lately. There's something missing, and before that conversation, I just didn't know what it was. A deep look inside myself gave me the answer.
"Richard, I think my life would be complete if I could just secure the purchase of a pair of used underwear signed by a narcissistic fame whore."
"Completely understandable, Sarah," he replied. "I've been wanting something similar for the last 10 years. I don't know where you'd find them, though."
"I know. I guess I'll just have to fill that emptiness with cheesecake."
Wouldn't you know it? I went and spent all of my used undies funds on cheesecake the very day Nadya Suleman held a yard sale and offered up her autographed unmentionables to the public. Why, God! Whyyyyyyy!
Yea verily, I would appreciate my name being left out of this. K, thanks. -- God
So, here's the scoop. Nadya Suleman, of jobless, spouse-less, in vitro octuplets while already having six children and being on welfare fame, is about to lose her octohouse. She needs $450,000 within the next two weeks or the owner will begin octoforeclosure proceedings (for the second time this year).
The octomom held an octo-yard sale this past weekend, hoping to raise $10,000 towards the money she owes. The yard sale included clothing, including the aforementioned undergarments, her children's toys and equipment, and a couch she (wait for it) was sitting on when she learned she was going to have eight babies. Also available were pictures with Nadya (for a fee), and the bikini she wore on the cover of Us magazine in which she told the world her flat tummy was the result of good genes and exercise. Uh huh.
Apparently, Suleman only netted $2,600 from the sale, so the foreclosure will likely march on unless someone with a giving heart and a deficit in good sense gives her the money she needs. Apparently her book and reality show, which she'd hoped would bring in some bank are off the market due to lack of interest. She's told the press if she loses her home, she'll have no other choice but to go on welfare again.
Let me take this story octopoint by octopoint. (No, I won't stop using "octo" at random moments. It's too octofun.) I'll address my comments to Nadya directly.
Point 1: I've had two yard sales in my 33 years, and was happy to raise $250 from my used stuff each time. If I needed to replace the master cylinder on my van (again), I'd hold a yard sale. If I needed half a million dollars in 2 weeks, I would start looking for an octoapartment. And $2,600 for yard sale stuff is as inflated as your lips, so it's nothing to sniff at.
Point 2: I wouldn't spend my hard earned cash on a real celebrity's used underwear. Why would I want to fork it over for yours?
Point 3: The bikini you wore on the magazine cover only serves to remind the public that you really and truly think none of us has eyes or brains and that we all just believe the, "My lips/cheeks/breasts/tummy are what God gave me," line.
Really, Sarah. I'm not involved here. --God
Point 4: The book and TV show were probably good ideas and would have allowed you to be self sufficient (for a few weeks). I don't know what to say about that except that when I look at your face while you talk, a part of me dies inside, and when I listen to you speak, the delusions you spout make me think I need to be taking crazy pills. There are people in this world who would pay for that kind of experience (they find it in Vegas...and then it stays there), but I don't think there are enough to make it work.
Point 5: We've been waiting for the day you'd announce a return to welfare since the day we all learned you'd managed to pay for in vitro while on it in the first place. I'm not offended or outraged by this step. Those kids need to eat, and like it or not, we all have to pitch in. I just ask that you don't use our tax dollars for more plastic surgery (no really, we're all aware, no need to keep lying about it). Lip work is expensive, and I just can't afford to subsidize that, okay?
And really, they look ridiculous. I can't lie. You were better off with the lips God gave you when you were born.
DUDE! What did I SAY? --God
I've been ("Evelyyyyn!") working at ("Evelyyyyn!") home for the past ("Evelyyyyn!") seven months, and ("Evelyyyyn!") I have to say, I couldn't be ("Evelyyyyn!") happier about it.
"Michael, if you need to talk to Evelyn, go upstairs and talk to her instead of screaming from my room."
"But she might not be upstairs, and I don't want to be up there alone. Evelyyyyn!")
Did I say I couldn't be happier I'm a work at home mom? Huh. When did I say that? During the shouting? Aha.
For the record, I'd like to say I am very happy I have the opportunity work from home. For the other record, I'd like to say that if God meant for us to do everything from our houses, he'd have attached them to our backs like turtle shells.
What I've learned over past 7 months is that there are pros and cons to every work situation. While I don't miss my 40 minute commute or the corporate politics that were waiting every day at the end of it, there are things I miss about my old job. For instance, having to wear a company shirt to work meant never having to think about what to wear. Also, it meant I was forced to get dressed every day, and when you have comfy Betty Boop pajamas like mine, you kind of have to be forced. (It's one of the reasons I'm glad I'm in school. Once I graduate next spring, I'm in big trouble.)
Working outside the home also meant I could leave the household duties behind while I focused on what I was doing for eight hours a day. When I had a job, I knew the laundry at home needed to be done, but as there was nothing I could do about that at work, it didn't really bother me that much. At home? Yeah...I've thought about laundry approximately every 2.5 seconds since beginning this column. I mean, it's right there.
The good news is that working from home means having a flexible schedule which allows me to decide which work I do when and schedule my work around my school and mom responsibilities. Translation: Working from home means being able to put off most of my work until the weekend, at which point I work like a crazy person in order to meet my deadlines.
Not having to leave the house for work means having more time to get work done. Translation: Saving an hour of drive time each day means I think I can schedule five more hours of work. It's the fuzzy math of the work at home world. It's like being at an all you can eat buffet and forgetting my stomach is the size of my fist. I can force an insane amount of food into it, but it's not a great idea.
Working from home means being here when the kids leave for school and being here when they get home. It also means jumping up from my desk 5 times each morning to encourage the slow pokes to get a move on only to have them late for school anyway. (At this writing, the school bell just rang, and 4 of 4 grade school kids are upstairs eating cake for breakfast and shouting at each other over their lateness.) And it means my afternoon work is interspersed with cries of, "Moooooooooooommmmmmmmm!" and requests for snacks, homework help, and conflict resolution.
I've read up on ways to make the work at home experience more manageable. I've learned many a useful tip from various online articles. Here are a few of my favorites:
*Create a designated space for work. That would be the desk in the little office alcove of my master bedroom. Hi, desk. I miss you. I'm going to clean the top of you really soon, and then we can work together again. I'll do it during that hour today when I'm supposed to get 5 hours worth of work done.
*Put a sign on your office door to signal to children when you can't be disturbed. I've made such a sign. There's a happy face on one side and a stop sign on the other. The happy face is supposed to convey that while I'm working and shouldn't be disturbed too much, I can stop for questions and hugs and small needs. The stop sign is supposed to warn my kids not to bother me unless it's an emergency. My kids have decided the happy face means they have free rein of my office, and the stop sign is mom's little attempt at comedy. (Also, that "She kicked me," constitutes an emergency situation of the highest priority.)
*Set aside designated work hours and stick to them. The problem with this is that once people know you work from home, they know you can leave work any time you want to and will request that you do so...a lot. Also, you are people.
*Hire a mother's helper to wrangle the kids while you're working. If I could afford this, I wouldn't be working at all. I would hire one of my older children to do this for me, but they're they ones most often implicated in the "She kicked me" situations, and I think giving money for that type of thing is probably not a good idea.
*Dress professionally to work professionally. Betty Boop is a professional, right?
I really do enjoy working from home and have no plans to go back out into the more traditional working world anytime soon. I've just learned that working from home is still very much work, and it comes with its own set of daily challenges. I'm okay with that, really. I'd just like to tell the person who told me working from home was a fantasy land full of rainbows and unicorns exactly what I think of her. Since that person was me, I'll probably have to pencil it into the schedule.
I'll do it right after I clean my desk.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
On Wednesday, when I was forced by my conscience and my full stomach to pronounce the World's Largest Gummy Bear a Stupid Product, I vowed I would be back today to honor the makers of that 5 pound beast with an Awesome Product post. And here it is!
Today's Awesome Product is one of many I found over at the Vat19.com website. I seriously think I could spend the rest of the year drawing Awesome Product posts from the creative products featured on their site. If you have friends or family...or friends AND family (lucky!), you should consider Vat19.com for your gift giving needs this Christmas.
*I am not affiliated with Vat19.com in any way. I have received no money or products from them for saying that. If Vat19.com decided to send me free products because they think I'm awesome and want to reward me for drumming up some business, I would be sure and let you all know. Stand down, FTC. Stand down.*
Okay, here's the product. Feast your eyes on the Awesomeness of the Sandwich Cookie Cake Pan Set. Here's what you can do with it.
It's interesting to me that both my Stupid and Awesome Products this week involve normally small things that have been rendered giant sized by the same people. The difference between the World's Largest Gummy Bear and this product, though, is that cake is supposed to be big, and it's supposed to be shared.
Whereas the 5 pound gummy would make me sick of gummy candy after only a few servings, cake will always just be cake. Mmmmmmm...cake.
What I like most about this product is that, like the Perfect Brownie pan, this is something that allows ME to make an awesome dessert. Give a woman a cake, and she's happy for a day. Give a woman a cake pan set like this, and she's happy for a lifetime...or at least, she's happy on more days. (The Sandwich Cookie Cake Pan Set may not balance out the effects of thoughtless males.)
Labels: Awesome Products
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
There are times when I come across a product I know will strike me differently depending on the mood I'm in when I review it. The slightest flit of my fancy can raise a Stupid Product up to Awesome status or drag an Awesome Product down to the Stupid file. Today's Stupid Product, The World's Largest Gummy Bear, is one of those, and today, it's made it on to the Stupid list.
My readers should note that it pains me greatly to relegate this five pound beast of a candy to Stupid Product status, particularly because I think the people who produced it would all have been my best friends in high school. I've spent the better part of an hour on their website, awash in the creativity and the silliness, scribbling a Christmas list with my right hand while I navigate with my left.
Alas, this product is Stupid, and I must write my review that way. I'm justifying my actions in my head by remembering three things: a) All publicity is good publicity; b) My friend, Michelle, will be buying one of these the minute she sees it on the blog; and c) I'll be reviewing another one of their products for this week's Awesome Product review, so this should absolve me of any wrongdoing in their eyes, and we can still hang out at the local coffee shop, drinking Italian sodas and studying for our AP tests together.
So what makes this product a Stupid Product (today)?
1. I'm full. I made the most amazing teriyaki chicken and noodles for dinner, feasted heartily, and now I am NOT in the mood to see people bite off a nectarine sized hunk of gummy goodness. I love all things gummy, but this looks gross. Why ya gotta make the gummy look gross? Gummies are perfect. Why did you mess with perfect, Vat19.com? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?
2. My fridge needs to be cleaned out. Where would I put it? I don't want to keep my candy in the fridge. I need the building blocks of my future diabetes to be portable. What's the point of creating something I can use to systematically ruin my health if I can't take it with me? Geez!
3. I've taken a look at my budget today. THIRTY DOLLARS? Do you know how many groceries I can buy for THIRTY DOLLARS? I buy a month's worth of bread products for THIRTY DOLLARS! I'm sure it costs a bit to produce, but surely the $19.99 we've all been conditioned to think is a good value would have sufficed.
4. I've been lovingly thinking of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" today, particularly this scene:
This is one of the greatest scenes in movie history. It's one I reenact every time I have gummy bears in my possession. A five pound gummy bear would render this act impossible. Shame on you, Vat19.com. You are a killer of my dreams...and my annoying attempts at movie inspired humor.
Maybe tomorrow my stomach won't be so full, I'll choose to clean out my fridge (ha!), some money will fall from the sky (double ha!), and I'll be lovingly remembering the dandruff snow scene from "The Breakfast Club," and I'll come to my senses and realize the World's Largest Gummy Bear is an Awesome Product after all.
Actually, all Vat19.com has to do is invent me a pocket big enough to stow the thing, and I'll love this 5 pound gummy for always.
(Thanks to Mother Load reader, Stacey Bessler of Cass City, MI, for today's Stupid Product idea!)
Labels: Stupid Products
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Today's You've Gotta See This video comes straight from the home of my older sister, Gina, who was the number one spoiler of my children until she went and had a child of her own. My niece, Samantha, was 16 years in the making...a miracle none of us, least of all Gina, thought would ever arrive after more than a decade and a half of fertility trouble.
But here she is, the miracliest miracle that ever did miraculously appear in a mother's womb. (Okay, the conception of Jesus may have been more miraculous, but don't tell Gina that.) I love my niece for making our "favorite aunt" a mother at last, and I love the way she boogies down with her redneck self. You won't enjoy this video as much as I do (it's not possible, but feel free to try), but I guarantee you will enjoy it.
Labels: You've Gotta See This
Mom, today I learned that graffiti in the bathrooms at the Marriott Library is more about empowerment and thoughtful expression than the usual bathroom fare. I guess we're just classy over here at the U.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Today's Outrageous News story hit the press last week and hit my consciousness today via Mahalo.com, where I work as a newly promoted Senior Guide. (It's a writing gig, and I was promoted. Also, I got a promotion. Feel free to congratulate and send gifts. I may not stop mentioning my promotion at Mahalo.com until someone does. Fair warning.)
So, we all know weddings can be expensive, and most of us don't know just how expensive they can be until we actually try to pay for one. For some folks who dream of a lavish ceremony and reception, reality sets in all too quickly. The Vera Wang original is marked off the list in favor of an off the rack number at David's Bridal, the pricy photographer is replaced by Uncle Carl and his point and shoot, and the open bar morphs into BYOB, hastily and angrily scrawled across the invitations.
It seems one modern bride didn't want to compromise, so she did what any girl in her situation would have done. Jessica Vega pretended to have leukemia to get the wedding of her dreams. With a forged doctor's note in one hand and the local press in the other, Vega peddled her sob story, telling everyone who would listen that she was terminally ill and a fan of off the shoulder gowns.
People, being the kind, generous souls that they are, stepped up to give the dying woman the wedding of a lifetime, thinking she only had months to live. As those months passed without any symptoms or medical treatment, hubby, Michael O'Connell, became suspicious. When he called the medical clinic she claimed sent her the note diagnosing her condition, he learned she'd never been seen there. I believe this is one of those times the kids would say, "Oh, snap."
Actually, the more appropriate phrase would be, "Oh, slap," since the news story linked above also mentions that when the couple got into a fight over the matter, O'Connell admits he "...slapped the fire out of her." Aha. Because nothing makes a judge more willing to give you custody of your child than recent domestic violence charges.
Oh, did I not mention they have a child? Well, they do. I'm very sorry to hear that.
Vega is standing by her story, saying she's definitely had leukemia all along and is now feeling much better and managing the disease with water, diet, and exercise. Mmm hmmm. I should tell my dear friend's husband that all his silly treatments in the hospital right now are total overkill. Who needs chemo? I should just bring him a salad and make him go hiking with me.
I suppose time will tell if Jessica is really sick or not. In the meantime, there are quite a few people more than a bit upset that they sent this couple on an all expenses paid trip to Aruba for their honeymoon. Who knows? Maybe she went into remission while she was there.
Maybe Michael slapped the leukemia out of her.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Mom, today I learned there's a place on campus called the Huntsman Center where students play basketball, and if you ask someone of the athletic, male persuasion where it is, they will look at you like you are crazy. Apparently, basketball is a big deal at the U.
But also apparently, it's not as big a deal as football, since these are the signs they chose to place around the basketball venue. Burn.
If you live in southern California, maybe you've already heard about the Los Angeles superhero ban. Not being from California, myself, and having spent almost the entirety of my one trip to Los Angeles on the freeway, I wasn't aware that there are people dressing up like Superman and Power Rangers and walking up and down the Walk of Fame, trying to make a living by leaping tall buildings, dodging bullet, using bad puns, and asking for tips.
Well, there were. I guess the powers that be didn't take to that kind of vigilante justice, and the cops have been rounding these characters up and hauling them off to jail. How they manage to keep them there, what with the super strength and the ability to melt bars, is anyone's guess.
Some of these heroes (and one very recognizable villain) decided to stage a protest. Like mutants in an X Men movie, they decided to fight for their rights and for equality under the law. Donning their crime fighting (and rebel alliance crushing) duds, they marched on city hall...all 4 of them.
Aw. Poor superheroes couldn't get Charlie Chaplin to come to their rally. I must say that Elmo's decision to stay home probably helped their cause. I know if I'd seen Elmo there, I would have arrested him myself, and by arrested, I mean assaulted...with deadly force.