Friday, November 19, 2010

Science... you've failed me again... blow yourself.

I think the act of blowing one's nose is one of the grossest acts in the world. The fact that your head can actually become clogged with mucus, and then present you with the need to manually extract that by physically blowing it into a thin piece of chemically softened paper... well, that just blows my mind... literally. 

I can't imagine that it's actually good for your sinuses as well as your ears, nose, throat, and brain for you to need to create a massive amount of force to push semi solid matter out through your nasal passage ways.

It's situations like this that make me wonder if we've evolved as humans at all.

There's other solutions to your clogged sinuses these days. However, none seem to completely eradicate the need to blow your nose. Decongestants will attempt to extract all of the fluids from your nasal passageways without you needing to blow your nose. Some of them try really hard. None of them succeed 100%. I would like to avoid blowing my nose EVER.

You can also try the neti pot version. Or however, that's spelled. You may not have to blow your nose, however, you'll have to pour hot liquid through your sinuses. (That's my understanding anyway...) I think I'd rather blow my nose than attempt to run liquid between my nose and my throat. As attractive as that sounds.

Humans are brilliant creatures. We've landed on the moon. We've made weapons that can easily destroy an entire country within seconds. (Ok, let me rephrase that... humans are 'able' creatures... I'd hardly consider the weapons... brilliant) We've cured diseases. We've invented ways to communicate with anyone and everyone in singular or in mass... through various types of communicative vehicles. We've learned to predict weather, and meteor showers, as well as many other things. We've learned to turn wind, rain, sun, and dead prehistoric beings into energy.

We've even attempted to achieve civil rights for everyone. (ok, this one is failed thus far, but I am hopeful)

And yet, I still have to blow my freaking nose. I HATE blowing my nose. WHY do I have to blow my nose.

If someone came up with a miracle cold medicine drug... that I had to pay $100 for, out of pocket. To ensure that at the beginning of every cold, I wouldn't have to blow my nose. I would do it. I am guessing lots of people would. There's absolutely a market out there for that.

So, I'm confused. Why then... in a society so centered on money, convenience, and comfort, has no one snatched this amazing opportunity up?

Get to it then. Someone please.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I am jealous of your envy.... (nerd alert)

I tend to be the type of person that follows the rules. Granted that the rules seem legitimate, and are probably in place for good reason. I don't have to always know the reason, but it helps. If I don't know the exact reason, and yet I can see some of the thinking behind a rule based on a need for guidance and structure, I can appreciate that as well.

When it comes to grammar, I feel like I follow the rules in some kind of priority order that I've made for myself. I may be the only one that understands it, and in most cases, that's ok with me. I overuse commas. And ellipses.... and I tend to create ellipses with more or less periods than what is formally required (3 periods). When I get comfortable I'm not a stickler on capitalization. However, there are some things I adhere strongly to. Two. Too. They're. There. Their. It's. Its. 

I love correct spelling, and I am not one to ever attempt to save time by abbreviating words that just look ridiculous to me. I like full words. I feel like I take myself and the world a little more seriously when I use them.

A good friend of mine recently corrected my use of the word jealous. We left the bar, and both took our separate trains home. Once he reached home, he texted me that he was home. I responded that I was jealous. Jealous is often used in these situations, and most people don't bat an eye about the misuse. People know what we mean. However, he explained to me that I was envious. Not jealous.


Being that he is a smart friend, I wanted to know what actually differentiate the two. He explained it well enough so that I understood the difference in practice. However, I wanted a more technical answer to my question. So, what did I do? I googled it. I came across some great information on Stanford's website. Of course, being Stanford, I had to actually look up some of the words they used in their explanation. But it made a lot of sense, and was exactly like my friend had explained, just in nerd language (even nerdier than he already uses).

Here's basically the breakdown. Jealousy has 3 parts. Envy has 2. Jealousy has you, another thing, and yet a third thing that you are actually feeling a loss of. Envy has you and the thing you're desiring or wishing. That is all.

So, when he got home, and I wanted to be home, I was envious, not jealous. I wanted to be home, but didn't feel a loss, because I wasn't home, and it didn't matter in general who was home. I was envious of all the people in the world that were home, and I was not.

Jealousy, however, is focused on something that we feel is being taken away by something else. So, something we feel like we 'have', our ownership is feeling threatened or questioned.

Let's you a people example. If myself and my partner were having issues in our relationship, and a third person were to seemingly be taking their attention away from me, and this upset me, I would be jealous. If that third person the following week becomes a different person, I would still remain in a jealous state.

The central focus being my partner, and the potential loss of that relationship.

However, if I was at a bar with my friend, and he gets a free drink, I could be envious. I'm not feeling like I'm losing anything that I felt like I 'had'. My emotion is directly tied to only something I wish I had gained.

Yes. I know, this is not nearly as humorous as some of the posts that you may start becoming accustomed to.

However, I believe I am doing society a favor by shedding light to yet another ignored subject manner.

(They're my favorite)

The morale of the story... is if you're secure enough in yourself, and create your own life, and future. You'll never have to worry about misuse of either of these terms. You will hopefully hardly ever need to use them!!

So, go out there... and just be happy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

since we're on the topic of health care reform.....

There are times when I look at the bigger picture of the society I'm surrounded with, and I get frustrated. There are yet other times, where I look at the little pieces of society, and I get enraged. In both cases I may feel guilty about things that I can't really ultimately solve on my own. Then I tend to feel guilty that my guilt alone isn't helping the cause, but it's wasting energy and distracting me from things that I actually can control.

I imagine this is much like the guilt that Catholics feel in terms of their religious applications to godly things and daily life... then again, I don't actually know any Catholics who let their guilt stop them from doing anything.. (as the design of this religious institution might suggest...)

Isn't that what Hail Mary's are for?

I digress... health care reform... right.

I don't love bandaids. I wash my hands about a million times a day, and there's nothing more unpleasant on your finger than a dampened bandaid that really just needs to be thrown away and replaced to actually continue functioning as it's intended.

However, there is definitely some practicality in their invention. They keep dirt out and prevent infection. Even for someone who washes their hands as often as I do. They also protect cuts from actual contact to things that could just aggravate an open cut. And now that winter is coming as well as dry skin season, in the northeast, I would bet that folks increase their bandaid inventories at times like this.

The bandaid industry, however, infuriates me. I've long since abandoned the idea of buying 'flesh' colored bandaids. I use them in the office, sure, or first aid kits, when necessary, but as far as buying them, I do not.

For a few reasons. First, I think it's ridiculously ironic, when a young professionally looking 30something year old female, 9-5er, is wearing a fluorescent bandaid and/or a bandaid with a print of some cartoon character. Most likely for a cartoon I've never seen, like Dora, or Spongebob. (I have yet to find teenage mutant ninja turtle, or GI-joe bandaids) Perhaps this allows me some 'freedoms' in the corporate world where I cannot easily display my tattoos. Oh, sense of individuality, and self, sometimes you get the best of me. (Note: Tattoos are acceptable in my office, it's just generally too cold to actually wear clothes that would expose them... brrrr A/C)

Secondly, and I think more importantly....the 'flesh' bandaids do not actually represent my flesh. Well, they come closer to mine than some. However, I think it's kind of ridiculous that the bandaid industry is then, inadvertently, choosing what the acceptable color of human flesh should be. Doesn't this bother anyone else?

I understand that they do make a few other choices as far as flesh colors in plastic first aid applications go. However, as I stood in the bandaid aisle, yet again a couple of weeks ago, I am still dumbfounded by the fact that the 'middle-of-the-road-average-caucasion' is really the true 'color' of humanity. Some may argue that it's based on population statistics, minorities, and other factors that determine this. Yet, I've not once seen a census taken for skin color as a shade, for the purpose of clearly determining bandaid colors to market to the public.

Furthermore, I think the shade that is actually the most abundant is not really a shade that makes sense anyway. If you put the same color bandaid on the finger of 100 people, it's likely to stand out on every single one of their fingers for not even being a close match. 1 out of 100 might be closer than most, but that's my guess as to the statistics that are technically represented.

Who made the choice that a bandaid should be 'flesh' colored? Why would this make sense? They make clear ones already, do they not?

If you can't tell, I feel a little bitter about this subject, and have probably since my grade school years, discussing race with my grandmother. She used to use the term 'colored' often, and when starting to break down my own thoughts and opinions on things, I then asked her if that meant that we were 'discolored'. This, she had no answer to, and seemed to start consciously attempting to use other terms, that seemed more appropriate.

I have a really hard time when I see things like this. Maybe it's because I feel like there are fragments of history that seem to be leftovers, remaining unaddressed, proving, as far as we've come. We've still got a really long way to go.

It just seems like a kick in the face to the equality of the heart, spirit, soul and mind that seems to often be encouraged in people these days. If your skin color is not of the
'middle-of-the-road-average-caucasion' variety, you walk down the bandaid aisle... and the products look up at you and scream.

Yes, you are different. How does this aid in emotional self progress of understanding that we're all related as humans on a wonderful level? That your emotions, and human identity should ultimately, supersede the bandaid aisle?

This, I don't know.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Midterms...and Projectiles... er Projections.

Midterms... it's kind of a dirty word this week. Whether you're just recovering from the midterms of your college term, or you're recovering from the abysmal election day that went down last night... it definitely seems like an anxious and generally stressful term. 

I'm not sure that I quite understand the projected winner idea. I've been watching the polls, and it seems that at a 2% margin, with still 9% of the votes to be reported, Pennsylvania has already determined that Pat Toomey has beat his opponent Joe Sestak in the election, changing the Senate seat in question from Democratic to Republican. 

However, that projection seems a bit close to me. I would think they'd want to wait a little longer to determine a more sound victory.

Wouldn't it be a shame if we came down to it and the rest of the reported polls came in, and it turned out Sestak did actually win? (The only two that seem to be left are from Delaware and Philadelphia Counties... which are both predominantly Democratic, I believe) 

I can't imagine the look on either of their faces given the news. Though, I do think that it would be delightful to film such reactions. I can imagine Joe Sestak's look of surprise, and excitement. After being so down and out. Much like a small child would look on Christmas morning after realizing they still had one gift left to open, and it was in fact the impossible-to-find-and-yet-sure-to-break-in-ten-minutes robo-transformer they had been dreaming about. 

And thinking of the look on Pat Toomey's face even is more thrilling. I would imagine it would be a look that the same small child would make. Not on Christmas morning, however, no. On the first day of school around lunch time, where he's trying to make friends, and he's just realized he's shit his pants. Yes, that would be the priceless look. Add on top of that the fact that he has to now walk back to the class, tell the teacher, and both of his parents are at work. 

I doubt that sitting in your own shit is an exciting feeling. Especially after eating the best damn lunch you've ever tasted.

These are the thoughts that I'm holding on to for those last 9% of polls. One of them is mine. Since, I did in fact have to vote 'Provisional' style this election. After moving around a bit throughout the year, no one knew where I was living, and/or voting.

I would think that projected winners in close elections is a little like spending your income tax rebate before it arrives, just to realize you're not getting back nearly as much as you thought. 

Maybe... just maybe, it shouldn't be done.