Quarter Lifer

Quarter Lifer: May 2006


If You Are In Marketing Or Advertising...Kill Yourself

I recently mentioned I have become so irritated with the state of television that I've decided to make my rants on the topic a semi-regular post. Today my beef is primarily with commercials....

Name That Tune...
Maybe I'm getting to the age when you start to notice these things, but I was really depressed to see what music is now backing commercials. I understand there have been many sellouts when it comes to adding music to commercials. However I still expect there to be some relevance between the music & whatever piece of crap product is being sold to me. I also don't want any commercial played so much that I forget there was once a real musician behind the song & that it wasn't always used to hock hemorrhoid cream.

1) Blondie - One Way or Another
Not too long ago I was having a drink at a local martini bar & I heard this song come over the speakers. It occurred to me that my first thought wasn't of Debbie Harry or BCBG's or punk rock. My first though was in fact of the Swiffer. Thinking about dusting while at a bar is depressing. To make it worse I then began to think that things I consider music history to today's kids is nothing more than a jingle for sweeping with little to no meaning in the grand scheme of things.

2) Ann Wilson & Mike Reno - Almost Paradise
Is this a sappy, straight out of the eighties cheesy ballad? Well, yeah. However, it is also the love theme from Footloose. Footloose is one of those classic, so my childhood, girly movies that just happens to hold a special place in my heart. Dancing, young Kevin Bacon & Sarah Jessica Parker, an angry John Lithgow....What more could you want?
Taking that into account, imagine my surprise to hear the song on my TV the other day. I wasn't in the room so I missed the product the song was now being associated with. Luckily, all good commercials are played to death & it was only a matter of time before I got another chance to see it. I have yet to figure out exactly what the point of the commercial is, but I now know it is for M&M's & has something to do with the backseat of a car. Sounds kind of dirty for candy, but then again I put no limit on the lengths marketing people will go to to make a buck. Regardless of what the "plot" is the song has been ruined for me.

3) Tone Loc - Wild Thing
I enjoy this song, but don't really have any profound emotional attachment to it. What I do know is this is probably NOT the song I would choose to represent Mother's Day. Of course I am not the people at Kmart. You read that right - Kmart is celebrating the woman who brought you into this world with a Monsters of Rap classic. I don't know about the rest of you but I can't not resolve buying mom a kmart diamond necklace (as if that isn't bad enough) with the following lyrics:
I keyed the door we cold hit the floor looked up and it was her mother
I didn't know what to say I was hanging by a string
She said "Hey you two I was once like you and I liked to do the wild thing"
I guess it'd be nice to have a sympathetic mom should you get caught having sex, but I think there are better reasons to appreciate my mom.

The Era of Prescription Pimps...
Ok, we have all adjusted to the overly informative yet highly unnecessary prescription drug commercials nowadays. Thanks to these commercials I now know more than I ever wanted to about all kinds of shit. Why just the other day I found out the appropriate term for "My dick won't go down!" is priapism.
The most frustrating part is there is absolutely NO FUCKING REASON for any of these commercials to exist. First off, the ads are for a specific drug, that regardless of how many commercials they run is ONLY available from a doctor. Hopefully a doctor you trust enough to make these recommendations for you. Unless of course you are one of those people who enjoys being brainwashed & actually do believe everything you see on TV.
My next beef is the drugs advertised tend to be expensive, but highly specific. I find it hard to believe that limp dick is as big of a problem as my TV seems to think it is. If erectile dysfunction really is causing a nationwide catastrophe I have some very attractive, fully functioning men I can introduce you to.
Lastly, it irritates me to no end to know that the commercial being played is driving up the costs of already outrageously priced medications. During my recent bout of unemployment I could still afford my doctor & dentist even though I didn't have insurance. Why? Because those are real people who were willing to help me through a rough patch as opposed to forcing me to forgo my health.
Guess what breaks my budget every time I'm without insurance? Prescriptions. At 26 yrs old I have all of three scrips I need - Celexa, Allegra-D & my birth control. Prior to the first two coming out in generic those 3 medications equal approximately $243.97, almost 25% of my monthly income while on unemployment. Even buying generic the total is still upwards of $175 per month. Do you think Walgreens cares if I'm broke? Think the prescription companies would let me pay in installments? Hell no. They have to fund those fucking commercials.

Some of my favorite pill popping commercials...
1) Flomax

First off, is this just the worst name ever for a drug that helps you pee better?
Anyway, Flomax is aimed at men who have a enlarged prostate, but not prostate cancer. What percent of the average TV viewing audience is this going to interest? Are there lots of enlarged prostates running around & I just missed a memo?
Relevance aside, at the end of this commercial when the various side effects are being rambled off (if only I were making this up) it actually says:
"When starting Flomax avoid situations where injury may occur"
I don't know about everyone else, but I try to avoid situations where injury may occur EVERYDAY. Should I incur an injury I'd hope it was not due to my own stupidity or the fact that I forgot to avoid injury that day. Also, in order to avoid all injury you would basically have to lay on the floor of an empty room, not move much & hope no natural disasters hit where you are located.

2) Achoo!
The allergy people love commercials yet somehow seem to come up with the worst marketing stategies. I remember Allegra ran some of the original prescription commercials. During a speed binge I decided to go off for a good 20 minutes about how no one skis on grass whether they have allergies or not. If only I had known then the horror yet to come....
- Astelin: Under no circumstances should I ever be forced to hear grown men singing doowop (while wearing shirts that spell out a word when lined up no less) to a woman stuck in traffic. If that honestly makes you think about seasonal allergies you have bigger problems.
- Nasonex: A French bee can seduce other bees better when not bogged down by his allergies. I realize sex sells, but allergy meds? I think that is stretching it.

Show Me The Money...
The investment commercials are no better. I understand the commercials that are keeping all those former Law & Order stars working. However, the new Charles Schwab ones drive me nuts. They have apparently decided to ditch actual actors & instead voice over these animated investors. I guess that would be ok if the animations reminded me of people. They don't. The "people" in these commercials actually look like bad photographs which have been attacked by someone with a pension for the palette knife photoshop filter.

Usual reality TV ranting...
Because it isn't bad enough we have reality TV shows, we also have to have commercials for them. Two I found particularly troubling:
- Shalom in the Home: The Jew in an RV concept is unnerving enough, but did we have to have the theme song concocted by the same brilliant mind that gave us The Nanny theme?
- King of Cars: This is A&E's latest attempt at a downward spiral in viewership. As if real car salesmen aren't enough to make you chew off your own leg to get away now we get to watch them on TV. The show started airing the first week of April. By the second week of May they were running ads to tune in for 'King of Cars: The Lost Pilot". My first reaction was 'Well, it can't be too lost since you only have five fucking episodes total'. Then I started thinking about the last 'lost pilot' I had seen - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That one made much more sense to me because A) I didn't know it existed until the 7th/final season of Buffy & B) Oh, yeah that was actually a successful show, with a long run and good writing. King of fucking Cars has been on for ONE MONTH. If they were going to lose something in the first month the show was on I wish it had been the whole fucking cast.

Rant over...I'm sure the TV bitching will continue on a semi-regular basis until I crack & stop paying for cable altogether in an attempt to save my intelligence.
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The Sex, Lies & Employment Trilogy: Part 2

Lies.... I am with the above image on this one: Every silver lining has a cloud. I've never been much of a glass half full kind of girl anyway, but I thought I had found something that shouldn't have much of a downside: Weight Loss.

Getting skinny has a downfall? Oh yes my friends, you have no idea until you get to go through this lovely experience. I am going to share all the things those before & after bastards fail to mention.

My life as a California Raisin:
I remember the first time the penis pump was explained to me from the male perspective. Basically I was told 'You know if you wash a sweater & hang dry it on a hanger it gets all out of shape? There isn't any more sweater there than there was before, it's just all stretched out & distorted so it seems like there is more. Same thing with the penis pump'.
Guess what? The same fucking thing happens when you lose weight! I have enough skin to cover my weight about 50 lbs ago, except I don't need it anymore. If you think that shit just bounces back overnight you are sorely mistaken. I've read shit, talked to people, etc and no one can agree on what my skin will do. Some say I will need plastic surgery to fix it, others say wait a year or two and it will be fine. Fab. So either I win the lotto so I have the expendable income for cosmetic surgery or I spend the next two years waiting to see how much of my deflated ass bounces back.
Do I want the 50 lbs back? No.
Are my clothes smaller & sexier? Yes.
Do I feel better about myself? Maybe...
As long as I'm not butt naked everything passes for okay. However, when naked I look like the aforementioned stretched out sweater. I look like what I am, a deflated fat girl. Now, why on earth do I do a million crunches only to discover I look worse naked than I did before? Losing 50 lbs sounds great on paper, but I'd have thought twice about it if someone had shown me the 'After' picture:

Yep, I have spent the last 6 months working my ass off to end up with body of a dead grape. Fuck, I'm so thrilled.

Crotchless Pants:
Another fun side effect of weight loss is going to buy new clothes. Again, as a woman this should be some sort of fantasy - 'Let me get this straight, everything looks good on me & I constantly need a smaller size than the one I grab? Kick fucking ass'.
Or not.
You may end up like me. I have plateaued in between two sizes. If I go to the larger size, everything sort of fits, but it's baggy. I end up with this sort of corporate raver look that I may have loved 10 years ago, but not so much anymore. I also end up with the top of my pants sticking out. Not because I fill the pants out but because they sit out further than my stomach actually is. I believe this is why people have belts. I've been a fat girl my whole life & do not understand things like belts. Belts are for skinny girls who actually where shirts that allow you to see the top of their pants. Since my belly is still not worth showing anyone I feel no need to own a belt. Thus I'm left with lumpy crotch & pants that hang so loose that I chronically forget to zip them. Since it doesn't seem to improve the fit by zipping them, lately I've just been forgetting the whole step. Probably not a good idea considering I usually go commando.
The other alternative is to choose the smaller size. These clothes look better on me & fit really well if they are more expensive. However since I hope to lose 15 - 20 more pounds at least I don't want to spend too much money on clothes just yet. So I went to Kohls this weekend to find some pants in the price/quality range of greater than Walmart, less than a department store. You know what I found out? If I grab the size 12 it fits everywhere, except for one place....the crotch. Now I'm not sure what happens between the 12 & the 14 in misses exactly, but I know that if I want to wear the 12 which looks nice I have to spend my days with fabric wedged so far up I worry my pants are scraping my cervix. As comfy as living in camel toe hell all day sounds I think it would make me cranky after awhile.
In order to resolve this problem I'm thinking about just buying crotchless pants & hope no one notices.

I am not unhappy about my weight loss. I just feel like I wasn't given the whole story. I mean clothes hide a lot, part of the idea behind this was I was going to look better naked. At the very least I did not expect to look WORSE. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror before climbing into the shower & I have to stop myself from shrieking out loud in terror.
So beware of cheesy cliches, because regardless of what they say the opposite is also true. If the glass is half full, the other half must be empty. If every cloud has a silver lining, then every silver lining has a cloud. Free lunch be damned.
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The Sex, Lies & Employment Trilogy: Part 1

*The spring fever slot machine*

If your brain looks like the above picture do not panic! You are simply suffering from an affliction known as spring fever. It is okay if your brain only process the following items:
Sex. Food. Sleep. Repeat as needed.

As of late I too have been suffering from what is commonly known as 'Spring Fever' (aka Mating Season). I think this is one of the best & worst things about living somewhere with four seasons. I enjoy the natural high of winter turning to spring. However, it tends to cause behavioral changes usually only associated with people known to have a major mental illness.

Do you have spring fever? Not sure? Well, in order to help people self diagnose the dreaded spring fever I will share my unmistakable symptoms.

Major Symptoms:
1) Sleeplessness.
The strong desire to run around like a speed freak until you can no longer see straight. Most likely you will have no particular task in mind. You just have to 'do stuff'.
2) Mini hibernation.
Following up the bursts of energy with naps, not just any old nap either - I'm talking the sleep of the dead. Keep a pillow handy at all times.
3) The overwhelming desire to hump things.
Boys, pillows, doorknobs...whatever crosses your path pretty much. Trust me, that is not a gun in his pocket, he is happy to see you. This is the time of year when one is most likely to engage in (& should embrace) lots of random hot sexual acts. During spring one's libido is in fact not within the owner's control. It is actually being toyed with by fate. Personally, I think this is evolution's little joke to see just how far you can push the hormones of your average person before they crack.
4) Deviant Behavior.
Aside from the food, sex & sleep there is the compulsion towards reckless endeavors. I recently found out my cousin (the mechanic) gets a killer discount on new Mazdas from the dealership he works at. My gut reaction was to have the place write up the papers on a brand new Mazdaspeed6 with all the toys - Black leather, 6 speed, rims, spoiler, 275 horsepower turbo in cherry mica. Mmmm, fun. Like an orgasm with tires...
I did manage to refrain for the time being. Instead I redirected my need to buy something frivolous towards a less expensive toy. I reserved my Nintendo DS Lite & new Mario game this weekend. Not exactly the same, but it managed to satisfy my craving for something I don't really need & there was roughly a $30k savings that came along with my decision.

Minor Symptoms:
1) A radical shift in the music on your playlists.
For example I had Breathe by Anna Nalick at the top of my list. Just a few short weeks ago my life was in fact an hourglass glued to the table. Now, for completely inexplicable reasons I find the theme to Fame at the top of my list. Yes, in 'I want to live forever, Fame'.
2) Everything that blooms or grows seems amazing.
At no other time of the year will you see a dandelion & think it is a beautiful flower set before you like a gift from god. Under normal circumstances one would look at a dandelion & think 'Fucking weed, you are the cause of my allergies, the scourge of the earth & may even bring on the downfall of humanity'.
3) Weather leaves the realm of reality & becomes a mental phenomenon.
So, even though it is 45 degrees & pouring rain you drive with the window rolled down. Why? Because in your head you know that it is May & therefore you can drive with the windows down. Granted you still have the heat in the car cranked to full blast & a parka on, but god dammit, it's SPRING!!!
4) Spring Cleaning.
This term is a misnomer. It implies that in the spring people aspire to tidy up a little. False. Spring cleaning is when you want to throw everything you own out & start over. Alternately you are compelled to fantasize about gigantic household projects. For example, you decide that every room in the house must be painted. I don't care if you just painted last week, you still want to paint everything. You may also find yourself saying things like 'It's time to start on that 10,000 sq ft addition I've been thinking about.' Be warned, your motivation for these projects will wane quickly, so be careful what you start and for godsake avoid the Home Depot at all costs!

If you have any or all of these symptoms you are most likely suffering from spring fever. I recommend you enjoy the hell out of it while it lasts!!
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Naughty Blogger! Spankings For You

Yes, I have been a horrible blogger the last few weeks. Somewhere between the job interviews, slightly paranoid delusions & mass quantities of working out I have failed to post. I am pretty sure my scattered brain is back in check now. I have a million half posts floating around my head, but it is officially time to get my blog shit back together.

The strategy is to dive back in with my Sex, Lies & Employment trilogy. I also have some theories on the apocalypse I need to share (and have been researching for months so I better get a damn post out of it). I am also working on my '100 Things' list that everyone seems to have. Hopefully that will be my hundredth post - A milestone I am determined to meet. Plus I am still very angry at the television & have decided much like BEG has the news I need to give regular updates on how stupid TV has become.

Wish me luck, feel free to spank me if I don't comply with this post and enjoy the following bit of wisdom:
"Coffee without caffeine is like sex without the spanking."
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