Archive for March, 2012:
A few weekends ago, Sis and I traveled to Arizona for the Tucson Festival of Books. Between shipping rates and storage, and the fact that we’d had things damaged or lost in shipping before, we decided that the easiest thing was to drive. Yes, from Nashville to Tucson. (As you can tell from previous Smart Chickens entries as far back as “BEA or bust” and “Smells like Oklahoma”, we are drivers.)
We learned several important lessons right off the bat. One – GPS systems can vary quite a bit in not only how much time they tell you a trip will take, but in which route is best. We still can’t figure out why Sis’s GPS wanted us to travel I-40 both ways. Two – check the weather all along your route, not just the beginning and end points. It was 65 degrees in Tennessee when we left for a 75 degree weekend in Tucson. Along the way we hit flash flooding, severe thunderstorms and snow – none of which were we prepared for.
And we saw a bunch of signs that tried to point us in the right direction.
The first was a standard “Road may be icy” sign. It had hinges to fold it up in the off season and – as it was 65 according to the car – someone had clearly forgotten to put the sign away. Seeing the sign kicked off a monologue in my head: “Stupid sign. Sure, the roads are a bit wet, but in order to be ICY, there would have had to have been several feet of snow lingering here for days . . . weeks even. There’s nothing here—“
At that exact moment I took a turn and encountered approximately three feet of snow. Everywhere.
Recently I saw a picture on my Facebook page that attempted to explain all the various social media. It went something like this:
Twitter: I need to pee.
Facebook: I peed.
Foursquare: This is where I pee.
Quora: Why am I peeing?
YouTube: Look at this pee!
LinkedIn: I’m good at peeing.
A lot of people found the mock-post actually useful for explaining the various websites, but personally, I thought something was missing. Where was Pinterest? There are so many options for this . . .
I sat down to watch TV the other night and realized what was bugging me. Okay, I mean aside from the fact that there are pop-up ads that take up approximately one-fifth of my screen and now move around in case I had successfully learned to ignore them. No, I’ve come to accept that I get advertised to as punishment for opening my eyes in the morning. What’s bugging me now is the TV rating system.
One thing about the system is that shows display the rating in the upper left corner of the screen . . . and though this has been going on for years, TV directors and producers have not yet figured out that this is a bad place to position your lead character’s head. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched a dramatic scene in which the main character gets very emotional, but instead of his face all I see is a black square proclaiming TV-M. Thanks, I got that during the opening scene where a man fell from the window and died atop a car below. Personally, I was far more disturbed by the director, who after five-plus years of this ratings system still thinks this area is prime real-estate.
A second thing about the rating system is that it now earns its own ad space before the show. And in the middle of the show. And once again near the end. I’m pretty sure that this cuts out of program time (rather than commercial time). FX goes all the way, it doesn’t just make ad space, it makes ads – different ones for each show, usually featuring the big X that’s part of the FX logo. These ads are serious: Ultimate Fighter has a cage that transforms into the X. ‘Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s X matches the show’s signature yellow. ‘Archer’ features his mother in her animated pissiness explaining the show rating. There has clearly been a lot of effort put into this but ironically, we don’t need the rating. Let’s be honest: you know what you’re getting just because you tuned in to FX. (Need I put in some listings? Nip/Tuck, the Sheild, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, Unsupervised, American Horror Story and the aforementioned Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Archer – just to name a few.)
The problem of deodorant came to our attention in the early ninties with Nirvana’s song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. For those of you who don’t know, the song that no one could understand was named after a deodorant for teenage girls. In fact, the song is far better known now than the deodorant.
But ‘Teen Spirit’ deodorant highlighted a huge American problem, that persists even today. This is a problem that has no real recognition, no support organizations, and is largely brushed under the rug of society. You may have unwittingly added to it without realizing it. The problem no one wants to deal with is this: What should we name deodorant fragrances?
What does “Teen Spirit” smell like? Would you want to smell like it? Even if you were a teenaged girl?
While the term ‘Teen Spirit’ conveys nothing, today deodorants have moved into the realm of the unreal. The Old Spice guy brought the idea of antiperspirant and sex and humor all to one boiling point. But this still failed to address that he’s selling a scent called “Denali”. The Denali is in Alaska. It’s a national park. Thus, it smells like pine trees and bear poop. Your call, gentlemen.
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