Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It was with sadness that I learned of Leslie Nielsen's death this week, and I immediately knew I wanted to make him the subject of today's "You've Gotta See This" post. This video comes from Nielsen's move, "The Naked Gun." Richard and I are in the habit of singing his character's version of the National Anthem from time to time, just for laughs. (We do this at home, not on occasions when reverence for the song is necessary. Don't send angry emails!)

Leslie Nielsen will be sorely missed. Surely, you'd agree. (I know you would, and I'll stop calling you Shirley.)

We should have Thanksgiving every week.

Photobucket

Mom, today I learned that all it takes to get me to organize my fridge is a 22 pound turkey and the threat of dinner guests. I'm basking in this glow for at least one more week before things go back to normal.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ridiculous. Ludicrous. Absolutely unnecessary.

As a blogger who specializes in lampooning Stupid Products, I've seen my share of things the world doesn't need. Nobody needs a Placenta Teddy Bear. There isn't a human alive today who truly needs the Easy Toothbrush.  For sure, there isn't a dog or cat alive who needs a Rear Gear Butt Cover.  I know this because I have sense in my head, and so I feel confident in saying that just as no one needs the above Stupid Products, the world does not need a remake of the movie "Footloose". Why? See below:

Photobucket

As you can see, this DVD is in excellent condition. The actors listed are all still alive and all gave fine performances in the film.  Copies of the movie can be found anywhere movies are sold.  It's complete, intact, and as beautiful as the day the film was released in 1984, right down to Kevin Bacon smoldering at me from the cover.  Hello, Kevin. You're looking young and handsome today.  I like to dance, too.  You can come shake up my town any time you want.

Apparently, this film has been in the works for most of the year, so maybe you'd already heard about it.  I thank you for trying to shield me from the terrible news. Unfortunately, the internet spilled the beans, and I was not saved from the torment of such a travesty.  My immediate reaction was to cut loose and kick off my Sunday shoes and aim them at the head of the director.  Alas, he chose not to film in Utah like his predecessor.  That was wise.  This is a death penalty state, after all.

The original actor hired to play the Kevin Bacon character, some television actor named Not Kevin Bacon, ditched the project shortly after it began, probably because he realized he was not Kevin Bacon and had no business attempting to play the role.  A new actor named Wishes He Were Kevin Bacon has stepped in, parading around in all his blasphemous glory, pretending (badly) to be Kevin Bacon.  Rounding out the cast are the actors I'm No John Lithgow, Dianne Weist if You Squint, Never, Ever, Ever Going to be as Cool as Lori Singer, and What Do You Mean, I'm Not Sarah Jessica Parker.  May God have mercy on their careers.

While I have absolutely no intention of ever setting eyes on this ridiculously unnecessary piece of cinema, I will try to be a good blogger and refrain from judging any of my readers who venture out to the movie house in a fit of morbid curiosity and see this movie.  Emphasis on try.  Note, I did not say I would try very hard.

In the meantime, I will amuse myself with this bit of Kevin Bacon awesomeness and know that no one, but no one, will ever be Ren McCormack but the man who is only a few degrees of separation from everyone.  I love you, Kevin.

Photobucket

Mom, today I learned that Miriam losing her white collared shirt does not necessarily spell Children's Choir disaster.

Photobucket

At least not as long as I'm able to improvise...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

(Author's warning: The website hawking today's Stupid Product includes a video YouTube has flagged due to questionable content. I was questioning whether to add it anyway, so no loss. Watch at your own risk. Also, this blog post contains the word "penis" which I don't think is a problem, as that is the correct term for that part of the male body. If you think the word is obscene, feel free to replace it in your mind with whatever word you normally use.  Just be sure to giggle like an 11 year old after you do that.)

Folks, I've spent every day of my life as a woman.  9 months in the womb, I was a ball of womanhood just waiting to be born.  Prior to that, well, my beliefs tell me I was a woman then, too.  I have never been ashamed of this fact.  Being a woman is something I very much enjoy, and no man on earth will ever manage to make me feel less than for it.

So ladies, I would appreciate it if you didn't try to bring me down, either.

By "ladies," I'm thinking specifically of the women involved in the making of today's Stupid Product, the Stand2Pee Instructional Video. This is a product produced by women and marketed by women on the presumption that most women are not happy with what nature gave them in the urination department. Here's a snippet from their website (grammatical errors left in because I'd get a hand cramp typing [sic] that many times):

The ability to pee standing up is a skill most women have wished they could do at various times in their life. Most women gave up this dream as a toddler when attempting to copy a boy, it ended miserably and your mother chastised you by saying only boys can do that.

Ah, the tortured dreams of every three year old girl resurrected in a snap by a $20 DVD.  Yes, ladies, your mothers stomped on your hopes and forced you to become less than every man, but you too can rise to your peeing potential!

You know, there's a phrase for the phenomenon they're describing there.  It's called penis envy, and it came from the debunked and cocaine infused theories of one Sigmund Freud.  As a psychology major, I must learn Freudian theory as a cautionary tale, a stepping stone to psychological theories based on true, peer reviewed research.  As a woman, I must work hard not to vomit on my shoes as I learn it.  I am no fan of Freud, unless we're talking about the character on "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."

When I was three, I'm pretty sure I dreamed of being Wonder Woman.  I don't remember ever wanting to urinate while standing, and I can't think of many instances in my life when I've felt God dealt me an unfair hand because I have to sit or squat.  Now hear this: Sarah Clark is okay with the sitting and the squatting.  (Add that sentence to the list of things I never thought I'd say...DONE!)

Taking a gander at the website's FAQs, I see that someone has wondered why she can't just learn this skill on her own and avoid paying for a DVD to show her how. The response to this? That would be as ill advised as a person teaching herself how to fly an airplane.  AN AIRPLANE!  The maker of this video has elevated herself to the level of a flight instructor.  She also points out that the video doesn't only teach the technical skills. It also helps break down the psychological barriers a woman faces in learning upright urination.  Please see my thoughts two paragraphs up about what this woman does not understand about psychology.   


If you're a woman interested in learning this skill, feel free to fork over the cash, but I'm telling you, you only need to goof around in a shower a few times to see how easy it actually is.  Not that I've done that... More than anything, I want women to know that we're a-ok the way we are.  You don't have to be ashamed of your equipment, no matter how much the (and I quote the website) "pre-eminent global expert on Stand2Pee" thinks you should.

(Thanks to Jenn R. of Chubbuck, ID, for today's Stupid Product idea. I'd like to also thank Jenn for helping me to realize there is a real place in my country named Chubbuck.  I can die happy now.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You've Gotta See This: TSA Parody

After writing this week's Outrageous News post, I knew I wanted to poke a little fun at the TSA in today's You've Gotta See This post.  Finding the right video on YouTube was no easy task.  Most of the TSA related videos are of a more outraged, angry nature. There was the 71 year old man with a knee replacement and the 16 year old girl with a prosthetic leg both having to strip to their underwear from the waist down in full view of the public.  And then there was the woman with nipple rings who was required to bare her breasts AND remove the piercings with pliers.  Then there was the Dallas Cowboys fan frisked in Philadelphia for no reason other than wearing the wrong jersey to the airport.

Oh, TSA. People really hate you.  Maybe you should try baking cookies or piping in happy music to your checkpoints or not violating civil liberties or something.  When I was having trouble with a neighbor, a wise friend encouraged me to bake her a pie and to stop doing virtual strip searches every time she came by the house, and that really improved things.  Just a thought.

This video is a parody, and like any good parody, it's based on more truth than fiction.  Isn't it great to know there's a government agency tasked with making sure no one manages to board a plane with an intact pair of nail clippers?  And that infant formula...WHEW!  The things someone could do with that!  But of course, if someone's on the no fly list and his parents have turned him in to authorities more than once, they'll give him the red carpet treatment all the way to the plane.  I mean, he wasn't carrying any lotion or toothpaste.  That would have been a national emergency! 

But how do they know how long it is?

Sprint PictureMail

Mom, today I learned that when they say this tape is invisible, the REALLY mean it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Raise of hands: How many Mother Load readers are flying over the Thanksgiving holiday?  Are you ready for this?



Would-be air traveler, John Tyner, was not ready for an "enhanced pat down" experience when he entered the San Diego International Airport this past weekend to take a trip with his father in law. According to Tyner's blog, linked above, he had checked the TSA's website to ensure that he would not be subjected to the new advanced imaging technology screenings. Unfortunately for him, the website was outdated.

Like any normal human being with an ounce of personal dignity and an understanding of appropriate conduct, John declined to step into a scanner that would have projected a picture of his naked body onto a computer screen in another room. When he was pulled aside for a pat down, he told the TSA official that he would have the man arrested if he touched Tyner's groin.

Things got ugly from there, with Tyner being escorted from the screening area by police and TSA agents and then detained in the airport after securing a refund from his airline for the flight he would now not be able to board. Throughout this ordeal, he was not threatening or out of control. He expressed a complete willingness to give up his flight in the cause of maintaining control over his own body. I know this because he had his camera phone video running through most of the exchanges.

Before he was finally able to leave, he was threatened by the TSA with a civil lawsuit and a $10,000 fine for leaving the security area before the screening was complete. He was not allowed to leave the airport until he pointed out that the agents were unlawfully holding him there. Apparently, the TSA has opened an investigation of Tyner and is now threatening an even larger fine.

This is a humor blog, so my readers are used to me finding the funny in the news stories that catch my eye every week. While I'd like to give you what you're used to, I find nothing funny about this story. Nothing. But it's a story I think has to be told and retold until something is done about it.

At what point did we become a nation in which it is all right for a stranger in a uniform to either view our naked bodies or grope our private areas because we happened to purchase a plane ticket? When did we stop believing in the 4th amendment? A police officer needs a warrant or probable cause to search a drug house full of criminals, but an airport rent-a-cop in a costume is allowed to put his hands on the genitals of a law abiding citizen for nothing more than a desire to fly and a refusal to become a victim of virtual voyeurism?

The TSA is quick to say that the scanners are optional, as if submitting to a government enabled sexual assault is somehow better. When I have to choose between someone viewing my naked body and someone touching my clothed body, you haven't given me a reasonable choice. It's like presenting me with a plate of vomit and a plate of feces and then smilingly telling me it's okay because it's optional.

The uproar over these scanners and pat downs is growing.  Aside from the invasive nature of the scans, there is controversy over whether or not they are safe.  The government assures us that the low level radiation is no cause for concern.  They also told the people of Southern Utah in the 50s that above ground nuclear testing was completely benign.  Pardon me if I'm not ready to believe them just yet.

It should also be noted that these machines and government sponsored fondlings do little to increase actual safety in the sky.  Mother Load reader, Jauna G., of Las Vegas, pointed out to me that she could be scanned at her airport but end up on a connecting flight with someone from an airport that does not have the scanners.  Is she more safe because some low wage government employee with a high school education was able to see her breasts if the guy from another flight has a bomb in his underwear?

And what of all the people who don't get scanned or assaulted?  If a terrorist is not randomly assigned to forced exhibitionism, what then?  If you think giving up your civil liberties is okay because it makes you more secure, please, please, please look at this logically and see the error in that belief. Safety from terrorists is an illusion, an illusion that is allowing our government to shred the bill of rights and feed it to us with a side of bull excrement, and we're supposed to be grateful for it.

And what is safety, anyway?  Are we to give up sexual safety for ourselves and our children in trade for supposed safety from terror?  What is safe about allowing a stranger to fondle the groin of my child?  What is safe about allowing someone to do that to me?  As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I have already had that safety violated.  The government is not allowed to violate it again.  I will not be pimping out my body as a payment for the privilege of air travel.

I'm not alone in this feeling.  A website called We Won't Fly.com is urging travelers to take a stand against these invasive procedures by contacting airlines and government officials with their concerns.  People all over the country have let the airlines know they will not fly under these conditions. November 24th has been declared National Opt Out Day, and outraged citizens are urging travelers to opt out of the scans and force the TSA to do the more time consuming pat downs, which will delay flights and cause airline lobbyists to work harder than the lobbyists being paid to promote the machines.

A TSA oversight hearing will be held in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, November 17. The link gives information on the time and the Senators who will be present, along with their contact information. If you have strong feelings about this issue, let them hear them.

Some may think I'm making a big deal out of nothing.  Please know that if anyone else did what the government is allowing TSA officials to do to innocent people, the government would make a very big deal of it, indeed.  I see this going to the Supreme Court, and I pray the justices have enough common sense to rule these searches unconstitutional.

Happy Holidays to all.

Photobucket

Mom, today I learned what kind of dolls psych professors play with when they're not teaching theory. Why it doesn't have darts sticking out of it is anyone's guess.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lifestyles of the fluffy and pampered.

Photobucket

Mom, today I learned that doggie water at my sister's house is fancy business.  My goodness...what some people do for their pets.


Photobucket

We don't do anything like that at our house.

Photobucket

Nuh-uh.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Photobucket

Mom, today I learned that if you tell a slumber party full of 11 and 12 year olds that the prize for winning "Do You Love Your Neighbor" is a face full of sour cream, they will not realize you're joking and will, instead, play their guts out for a chance at it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spamity Spam! Wonderful Spam!

Photobucket

Mom, today I learned that there's only one way to respond to an unexpected email such as this...


Photobucket

With dignity and maturity.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Does this mean Max Hall hates me too?

Photobucket 

Mom, today I learned who Max Hall is.  The University of Utah logo made me realize I probably should know that already, so I looked him up.  He used to be the quarterback for BYU.  This is, apparently, a big deal, as the University of Utah and BYU are longstanding rivals and people who go to my school are supposed to care.

This is what happens when you neglect football to focus on your education.  Let that be a lesson to you!

Stupid Product: The McRib Sandwich

Bad things are happening at a McDonald's near you. Check it out.



Because I choose not to have TV in my home, I was not initially aware of McRib: The Return.  I had to learn the terrible news from a sign outside a McDonald's restaurant.  I was driving my kids to children's choir rehearsal when the news hit, and I nearly plowed my car into the one in front of me in my shock and bewilderment.

One look at that sign had me screaming in horror.  "Who let it out of its cage?!" My children, who have never had the dubious honor of eating one these things, were confused by my outburst.  I explained to them that the McRib was a product forged in the fiery depths of Hell and that eating one would result in expulsion from the family.

Okay, so I didn't go quite that far.  I did, however, describe this sandwich as "bluchy."

I know some of you must be disagreeing with me right now. I mean, this is a sandwich that keeps coming back because people keep demanding McDonald's bring it back.  It's safe to say there are McRib fans in my readership.  Feel free to leave a comment on why you think this sad creation has some redeeming value.  I'm more than happy to preach to the choir of McRib haters like me. (Oh, what beautiful music we make!)

So why do I hate the McRib?  This thorough and fairly disgusting deconstruction of the McRib sandwich will give you a pretty good indication.  The McRib patty is loaded with calories, fat, and cholesterol, yet somehow remains completely devoid of actual rib meat.  Newsflash to McDonald's: If it's a patty, you can't call it a rib.

Since 1981, McDonald's has cheerily sidestepped the great "ribs or no ribs" question by forming their McRib patties into the shape of real ribs.  In 1981, I was just turning 5. Do you know what this kind of food fakery does to a 5 year old child?  Do you want to hear about my first experience with actual ribs and the tears and toothaches that followed? Bad form, McDonald's.

And what's with the "limited time" thing?  If you have this many fans of a product, why not offer it every day?  Why keep people waiting and wondering and TRACKING the McRib every year?  If people like this thing so much, why deprive them of it?

I think the answer to those questions would blow the lid off the curious case of the McRib lovers once and for all.  If this were available every day, people would take a closer look at it and realize that this fatty, pork derived patty is the most disgusting fast food creation ever invented, and that's counting the KFC Double Down Sandwich!

How do I know this? Because these exact sandwiches were available for dinner every 3 weeks at the treatment center where I used to work.  We'd get a new troubled teen on the unit, and she'd praise her good fortune upon learning the McRib was somehow available to her.  6 months and many of these sandwiches later, she'd be staging a fight on McRib night in hopes of being served peanut butter and jelly in the time out room as a punishment. 

I hear this MdRib resurrection is only around for a limited time, so if you love it, I'll pray for you.  Also, you should hurry and get one before they're gone. If you're a teenager, you could consider a life of crime and a chance at a treatment center vacation to get more, but I wouldn't recommend it.  The therapy's hard, the beds are uncomfortable, and you'll be sick of it after the 2nd month.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If you're new to the Mother Load, today's post is on the blog to inform you of the most important thing you need to know about me.

I love Weird Al Yankovic.

I love him. I love him more than I love chocolate, more than I love Star Trek, more than I love poking fun at the unfortunate grammar decisions of others. Long time readers of the Mother Load know that all three of those things are pretty darned high up on my list of loves.

The only reason I'm not married to Weird Al today is that we've never officially met. Also, he married She Who Must Not Be Named before I even had a chance. (Actually, Suzanne is quite lovely, and I hope someday to call her my friend...the friend who stole the man I love.)

Anyway, I was over at Weird Al's website today, as I am wont to do, and saw a link to this wholly fake but completely hilarious trailer for a biopic of Weird Al's life. Ten points to Mother Load readers who identify the real Weird Al in the video.  Just don't gaze at him too lovingly.  He's mine!  Okay, he's not mine, but he should have been!

(Note: Al has never actually been an alcoholic, he never dated Madonna, and his real life parents were loving and supportive.)



Great. Now I want soup.

Photobucket

Mom, today I learned that the Double Rainbow thing is getting out of hand.

Photobucket

Seriously out of hand.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Photobucket 

Mom, today I learned that when a dear friend offers to take my kids for the evening, "...so you can work," this is what I will do instead.

(Author's note: The dear friend in question was more than happy to learn how I took advantage of the kid free night.  Someday soon, I'll talk our husbands into taking the kids for an evening, and I'll make steak for her.  Googoo eyes will depend on what she wears to dinner...)