Subourbon Mom


I am NOT a Survivor – Sorry, Jeff

I don’t know what it is about Americans in particular, but we seem to like watching TV shows that make sporting events out of activities other people do in their daily life.  Off the top of my head, Survivor and American Ninja Warrior come to mind. American Ninja Warrior takes the obstacle courses military organizations used to use for training and makes it into a giant, high-tech jungle gym for middle-class gym rats.  Americans play Survivor on islands where people actually scratch out a living every day – not just for 40 days and then are flown back to their AC and Netflix.survivor

And I love both of those shows.

We still watch Survivor. I hate the people, and it makes me mad, but it’s a train wreck each season, and there’s been 38 seasons.  It seems I’m compelled to watch adults relive 8th grade by lying, backstabbing, deciding as a group who’s undesirable, and seeking revenge later on as an outsider.

I like Survivor because it has contestants that can do all the things I can’t in prolonged, difficult social situations. Here are 9 reasons why I would never win survivor:  

  1. Starting Fires: If I don’t have Fatwood from Plow and Hearth or a stack of old newspapers, I’m pretty useless.  (Voted Off – Day 2)
  2. Food-shut downs, or “The Hangry’s:” Based on people’s reactions to my food shut-downs, I’m pretty sure I would be voted off in the first three days. Apparently, I become unreasonable and just a bit bitchy. They would probably require my one item I could bring to be a Snickers. There is no way I would voluntarily eat sugar-free food (i.e. rice) for 40 days straight without being one of those contestants that gets all listless and weepy (Voted Off – Day 3).funfetti
  3. Hot flashes in the Jungle: I always feel superior as I watch these skeletal twenty-somethings running around wearing teeny-weeny bikinis in the heat and humidity of whatever island they’re dropped on. I dare them to try that with a muffin top while having hot flashes. (Voted Off – Day 4)
  4. Compete without injury: I’ve got bad shoulders, bad hips and I throw like a chimp. Not exactly your desired anchor man in most competitions. That said, you need some swimming done?  I’m your girl. (Voted Off – Day 6)
  5. Solve puzzles: Can’t. Never could. See this? slide puzzle I’ve never been able to do it.  Or this? Rubiks cubeI took those apart or smashed them, depending on my mood. I could proibably hide that deficit for a few days, but not the whole time. (Voted Off – Week 2)
  6. Sunburn: I have an appointment this month to get more pieces of my face taken off (again). I’m pretty sure living on an island for month without sunscreen would hammer that last nail in my peaches-and-cream coffin. (Voted Off – Week 2)
  7. Think logically when tired: Let me put it this way – people at work know not toracerback give me anything after 3:00pm because my brain is tired. I’m pretty sure logical, chess-like thinking is not going to be my strong-suit after being sleep and sugar deprived.  Also, I still can’t figure out how to put on one of those bra things that makes your straps into a racerback. (Voted Off – Week 3)
  8. Maintaining the Lies: One time in the airport I was looking disapprovingly at a girl with a tramp stamp and a thong hanging way above her pants as she tied her shoe; two men were staring at me and laughing at my expression, not even paying attention to the thong. Apparently, my face does not hide my feelings as well as I thought. (Voted Off – Pick Any Day I Look At People)
  9. Razors:  Seriously, people and after 40 days, people would run away from the Sasquatch that I have become.  And the guys who wax their chests on the show?  One of my favorite things ever is to watch it slowly grow back in on each episode. (Voted Off – Day 39)island hair

So sorry, Jeff Probst.  I’m only fodder for the first episode, where they winnow out the sick and old, like lions culling the weak water buffalo from the herd.  But American Ninja Warrior – that’s another story.  I’m going to get Hubby to build a Warp Wall so we can start practicing.



Does Toilet Paper Need a Commercial?
October 24, 2018, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink, Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Funny-toilet-paper-memeI pity the advertising firms that have to come up with new ways to sell toilet paper and not offend anybody.  Toilet paper has one specific purpose, and it’s gross.  Sure, you can say it has other uses, like failing to adequately remove eye makeup, or sticking to your shoe when you leave the port-o-john, but let’s face it: we don’t buy thick, soft toilet paper because of those little perks.  I buy it because I don’t like wiping my butt with the tree bark found in public restrooms.

The other day I heard a commercial for Cottonelle that asked the experts (young kids), “How clean do you feel after going to the bathroom?” And of course, the kids all had cute things to say like “I feel as clean as a white, tiny kitten.”

Kids are cute, but they are not a surefire strategy for selling your product. If you really want to know if the toilet paper is any good, ask a hairy man – he’ll tell you. Ask a woman with IBS – she’ll know. Ask a woman who’s recently given birth – there better be some soft paper in her bathroom or somebody will pay once she gets a couple of hours of sleep. Or ask someone who has dogs that poop on the carpet a lot – they can tell you how durable and flush-able it is.

But don’t ask little kids about toilet paper and how clean they are – they can’t know.

Young kids are inexperienced wipers. I know because I taught preschool for 10 years, and I can’t tell you how many times kids would try to get me to come in the stall (I didn’t – teachers aren’t allowed to) and check to see if they “wiped right” or “got all the poo off.”  Thanks, pedophiles, for not only making it inappropriate for teachers to hug a crying child, but for creating a situation where children learning to use the toilet stay itchy all day and develop rashes because teachers can’t check and answer that simple question.

Charmin got it right – they used bears in their commercials. Bears are hairy (i.e. credible), but still inoffensive because everybody knows if a bear shits in the woods and nobody’s around to see it…it didn’t happen.

tp2

But the real question is, do we need commercials at all for toilet paper?  I think there are two rules of thumb for this:

  1.  If it’s the generic brand, don’t buy it unless you must choose cost over comfort.
  2.  A commercial isn’t going to tell you that more than 5 squares clogs the toilet, or that it comes apart in your hand mid-wipe.  Your friends tell you that kind of stuff, so go by word-of-moth when it comes to TP purchases.  And if your friends don’t tell you this, you need better friends.


Let’s Talk Vikings

Let’s talk Vikings. More importantly, let’s talk about why they are sexy and appealing, and why I can’t stop binge watching shows like the History Channel’s Vikings and BBC America’s The Last Kingdom.

It’s not because I have a thing for burly, unwashed guys with long hair.  In real life I tend to go for the clean-cut, naturally athletic type (you’re welcome, Hubby.)  In fact, that probably explains why I also binged on Vampire Diaries – they were all athletic and clean-cut, even if they did have a habit of drinking other people’s blood.  But there is something viscerally appealing about the characters in these blood-thirsty shows, despite the fact that they regularly do horrific things to people and display the darker sides of humanity.  Hardly an episode goes by that some form of lopping or evisceration doesn’t happen, or when greed, naked ambition and revenge aren’t acted upon.

So what exactly is the appeal?

Well, first, let’s get the obvious out of the way:

But what else?

When you watch a show like Vikings, you live vicariously through those characters as they do things that are unacceptable in today’s society like taking what isn’t yours just because you can, killing those who clearly deserve it, and having sex with royalty or a slave.  And let’s face it – we’re a bit jealous, so we keep watching.  In real life, when another driver on the road does something exceptionally stupid, I want them to reap what they’ve sewn.  Since it’s not acceptable for me to help them with that by nudging them Fast and Furiously into the guardrail until they flip over 17 times (and of course come out unscathed – I’m not an animal, people!), I watch shows like Vikings where the characters can actually act on their baser desires. At least in their case somebody’s getting something done – there is retribution.

Plus there’s this:

vikings_son1

Does that mean that everyone who watches the weekly torture fest on Game of Thrones secretly wants to torture people?  Probably not, but there are plenty of messed up people out there who should only be allowed to watch episodes of Sesame Street and work on their people skills.  But Game of Throne’s emphasis on torture and the show’s popularity does make you wonder.  Maybe lots of people have a need to feel empowered – if you can’t get it in your own life, watching someone else act on it in the extreme satisfies that need.  Or, maybe they just like seeing people in pain.  Whatever – the point is, these shows feed some baser need in their viewers.

Should we change our rules to accommodate these baser needs? Absolutely not. Should we dress in animal heavy wool, grow out our hair and still have unrealistically good teeth – maybe, if you can look like this:

But wool’s scratchy and hot, my hair never looks like that and my teeth are marginally better than a 800 A.D. Viking’s teeth; instead, I’ll keep watching these shows, keeping my baser instincts at bay…at least until the next NFL season starts.

footbal fans

 

 



Chick Flick Fail

Once in a while I manage to get the house to myself and have a chick-flick night. Nothing’s better than settling down after a crazy week with a glass of wine, a warm, fuzzy blanket and 2 hours of watching a hot guy seduce a woman in the most unrealistic ways.

Trailer picSo the other night I had a little bit of alone time (Hubby was out of town, and the Daughters had plans), and settled in to binge watch my new favorite show “Outlander.” And best of all, the episode I was on was going to be the climactic wedding.

Jamie MacKenzie, the hot Scottish Highlander character in the show, explains how he has somehow remained a virgin in his mid-twenties in the 1740s (yeah, right), and is staring at his bride Claire with smoldering eyes and perfect dimples.

One of the cats walks in front of the TV screen.  It’s ok – I can rewind. I have that power. I start over, and take a sip of wine.

Jamie and Claire finally put their whiskey down and have sex, the first time for Jamie. It’s not pretty, but Jamie’s auburn curls and charming smile amply make up for the lack of finesse, although he certainly had more finesse than one would have thought. They lay on their backs in the candle light, breathing heavily –

Cat walks across my lap, stopping to put Old One-Eye in my face.
Shove cat to the floor. I rewind again, take another sip of wine.

eyesex

 

 

Jamie and Claire relive their wedding day, with smoldering looks, tentative touches and candlelight everywhere. He carries her to their room –

 

 

The cell phone rings. I put my wine glass down.
“Mom?” Daughter #1 asks.
“Yes?”
“Is there any way you can bring me the concert tickets I left in my backpack? I’ll meet you close to the house.”
Seriously? I think.
Sigh… “Ok. I have to pick up your sister soon anyway. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”

45 minutes later I bring Daughter #2 home, where she disappears into her lair, not to be seen again until morning. I get a glass of water to balance the wine, pick up the glass of wine, ignore the water and settle back under the blanket and rewind.

eyesex2

 

Jamie lets Claire see him in all his glory, scars from English torture showing his vulnerability and flawless musculature. Claire reaches up to caress the scars –

 

 

 

 

Cat sharpens claws on back of the couch near my ear. Shove cat to the floor, spill some wine. Go to kitchen to get towels and clean up the wine. Rewind.

Jamie and Claire, after an agonizing amount of carefully orchestrated removal of layers and layers of clothing, finally make non-virginal love, loudly and with gusto.

The back door slams. Daughter #2 comes in, cautiously yelling, “Hellooooo?”

Sounds of pleasure are blaring from the TV. I hastily try and find the pause button in the dark but only succeed in turning the volume up. I finally manage to hit the power button and turn the damned thing off completely, but drop the remote somewhere in the blanket and cushions.

“Hello! Mom?” Daughter #2 calls again.
“What?” I bark.
“I can’t find my learner’s permit and I have Drivers Ed tomorrow.”
“Did you look on the floor of your room?”
“Yep.”
“Car?”
“Not yet. I’ll go look.”
I sit in the dark, waiting. The door slams again.
“Find it?”
“No. I’ll go look on my floor again.”
“Ok.”

Search for the remote, and find it on the floor under the couch. A cat paw grabs my hand as I retrieve it, drawing blood. I try Attempt to unsuccessfully stomp on the cat paw.

Rewind – watch the love-making scene again – because you can’t stop half-way through. Just sayin’.

Jamie and Claire reach their climactic finish again, and Jamie is asking if she liked it. (Um…really?) How could she not? Like I said, unrealistic. Claire says she did, and Jamie –

Cell phone rings.
Heavy sigh….I not-so-gently put my mostly empty wine glass down.
“What?”
“I found it.”
“Good girl. Now please go to bed.”

Claire decides to show Jamie what making love can be like when the woman is in charge. Jamie is clearly enjoying himself, looking at the ceiling and groan—

Cat walks across coffee table, spilling the glass of water.

“Oh my God!” I yell.   I clean up the water and settle down to try one more time to get through just one entire romantic scene. But seeing the spilled water made me have to go to the bathroom.

Minutes later, I rewound the scene and tried again. But going to the bathroom made me start thinking about UTIs, and how no one ever seems to have one in romantic shows, despite the fact that they had sex all night long, and no one ever had to pee. I’m pretty sure cranberry juice wasn’t available in Scotland in the 1740s. What did they use? In fact, where did they go to the bathroom? What did they use for toilet paper?

So I missed most of the last love scene, thinking about UTIs.

And that’s how I spent my romantic night with Jamie from “Outlander,” — plus one glass of wine, the cats and two intermittent teenagers.

Jamie1

 

 



The Eyes Have It

I was looking through our latest copy of National Geographic (I think I am one of the dozen folks in the world still getting it–thanks Mom!), and I came across a couple of articles I couldn’t resist commenting on.

A recent study from Canada’s McMaster University tracked the way men and women moved their eyes as they scanned pictures of faces.  In a nutshell, women made more eye movements between the features then men, generating a more vivid picture in their minds.  I would like to know why women scan faces more—does this mean we’re naturally more critical of each other? (“Oh Lord, she’s got a glob of mascara on her left eyelid, Bless her heart.”) Unknown-4 Or is it just part of our enhanced communication skillset? (“Caveman Bob looks like he would be a better mate than Caveman Steve—he’s got laugh lines.”)

I would also like to know if the same holds true for other body parts—say, breasts, for example.   I would love to see a study done that determines if men spend the same amount of time scanning breasts as they do faces, or if it is more.  staring_at_boobs_640_88-588x492

To be fair, a study should also be done to determine if women scan men’s bodies as much as they do faces.  I’m betting they do—I like big…feet as much as the next girl.

images-2

In another article, Caltech and UCLA used pictures of celebrities to study how the brain processes what the eyes see. They found out that an individual nerve cell fired up only when subjects were shown pictures of Halle Barry, even is she was dressed up as Cat Woman. Apparently, we use very few neurons for every image we see, and this makes our brains super-efficient at storing information. But if I’m using one neuron for each image, tv must REALLY be using up my brain capacity.

Think of all the images we see every day on tv, YouTube, and SnapChat.  No wonder I can’t find my keys or remember where I parked; I’m too busy assigning neurons to hotty actors like Patrick Dempsey and Ian Somerhalder while I Google people in the carpool line.

Unknown-3

 Since I am completely unable to pull up the name of the lead singer of U2 if I’m asked on the spot, or remember why I came into a room at any given time, my image storing capacity is clearly taking away my language and memory recall.

Maybe this is why in the 1950’s they called the tv “the idiot box.” I think they were on to something.

Now if only I could remember where I put the remote…maybe if I think of Patrick Dempsey holding it I’ll find it.




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