Monday, November 29, 2010

I swear, world - we are not this stupid

Just watched a TV commercial so ridiculous, I had to play it back, freeze it, and take a photograph to share.

I know psoriasis is a horrible condition, and it's a painful and awful thing for anyone who suffers from it. Immune system diseases are evil, evil things.

That said, I would like to address the marketing geniuses and overanxious lawyers behind the TV commercial for the website (which I see is a property of Amgen and Pfizer from my brief visit to verify that I did not hallucinate this ad.) Please, Madison Avenue whiz kids and big pharma peeps: while we may not be the brightest bulbs on the tree, Americans aren't quite this stupid. I hope. Check it out, fresh from my TV:


Apparently, we are supposed to imagine that this is what's going on inside the body of someone suffering from psoriasis, where extra skin cells are being produced due to an immune system malfunction. And holy crap! The extra skin cells are produced by microscopic robots with a conveyor belt. IN. YOUR. BODY!

But wait! What is that mysterious text at the bottom of the screen?!? Aha, kids! You can breathe freely again! There are no robots inside us! This is just a dramatization! Yes, the fine folks behind this miracle of science think we are dumb enough to believe that tiny metal robots are engaging in a small-scale industrial revolution in our flesh, just because they showed it to us - in cartoon form! And to make sure that we are not tripped up by our own remarkable idiocy, they take the time to kindly point out that the wee mechanical men aren't real. "Not an actual representation of the disease process." WOW. THANK YOU!!

My god, what would I have done without that disclaimer?!? I was just about to call my doctor and ask what to do about the small cotton gin in my liver and the army of miniature Chinese sweatshop workers toiling over tiny sewing machines in that sneaker factory in my colon.

Really? Really, people? Is this a disclaimer that needs to be made? At least to people other than those who believe they have "alien implants"???

Congrats, Amgen and Pfizer - y'all are definitely in the running for the Let's Talk Down to the Consumer award. Mazel tov.

Now you'll have to excuse me - I have to go tend to the small dwarf living in my stomach...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We were on a break!


So, I took some time off.

I wrote a maudlin piece of poetry back here in - jeez, was it September? - and took it down almost immediately. Then, I just walked away for a while. Wasn't feeling the love.

Can't believe it's been over two months since I posted anything. I blame Facebook.

And work. And aches and pains. And a little vacation.

Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version of the last two months:

Work, work, sleep, work, torn rotator cuff, pain, sleep, sleep, work, went to the cabin in west virginia for a few days, walked, walked, slept in big chair down by the river, wrote some bad poetry, sleep, work, work, wonderful thanksgiving, aaaaand we're back!

Guess it's time to dip a big toe back into the pool and get going again.

Made my Christmas wreath the evening before Turkey Day while watching awful holiday made-for-TV movies. (Lifetime: Media Hell for Shut-In Women.) For the past few years, I've had two wreaths for the holidays. A friend whose family is in Maine always sends a big, beautiful evergreen wreath that I put out on the balcony at Chez Merde, along with white twinkle lights that I loop across the length of the balcony and through the wreath itself, so it glistens in the nighttime winter sky. Once I put up the wreath and lights, I leave them on until the first week in January. The twinkles use up a minute bit of power, and there's something so lovely about driving up the block and seeing the lights of home in the distance, growing closer, welcoming you to warmth and comfort and peace. (Well, except when the sorority girls or the drunken cougar are home, too.) When the wind whips up, you can smell the evergreen, too, as the scent wafts down to the sidewalk. It's really very nice.

But I have a second wreath, too - one for the door to Chez Merde. This wreath (crafted from finest fake Canadian pine!) I make myself, with colorful bits and bobs from the crafts store. A new one every year, and my policy is to never spend more than $12 to make it. Through the miracle of coupons and other discounts, I've always been able to meet my self-imposed cheapness goal and still make something pretty cool. At the end of each holiday season, I donate that year's wreath to Salvation Army, so another family can put it aside for the next year and enjoy it.

I think this year's wreath is pretty damn good. I even made my own bow, and I'll admit I went a little over the top: it's possible the bow could be seen from space. I think it looks plenty swanky, and I dig seeing it waiting for me when I walk up the stairs. It certainly improves the institutional mud green of the apartment building hallway:

To all my friends here in the United States, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, with good food and good friends, firm in the knowledge that you are loved and appreciated and that there is much to be thankful for in your lives.

And to my friends beyond these borders*, I hope you know you are loved and appreciated, too. I know I don't say it enough, but I am blessed and humbled by my friends, who have seen me through some rough times - and some downright weird times, too.

I'll raise a glass to you all tonight. And yeah, it's good to be back.

*These TSA-warped-junk-touching-scary-radiation-levels-in-that-body-scanner borders, that is. I think I may have to ask my friend the Sasquatch to guest blog on that point...