Friday, January 09, 2009

Night Owls Are More Creative

From Wired:
2 // Night owls are more creative.
Artists, writers, and coders typically fire on all cylinders by crashing near dawn and awakening at the crack of noon. In one study, "evening people" almost universally slam-dunked a standardized creativity test. Their early-bird brethren struggled for passing scores.

Things suddenly make much more sense, like when I learned that there is a distinctive difference between people who organize sequentially (think file cabinet) and spatially (think pile on my desk). I'm not sloppy, just spatial; I'm not lazy, I just have an innately different balance to my circadian rhythms due to my creative nature.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Vince from ShamWoW for Slap Chop - Yes!

Vince from ShamWoW is back, but this time he's selling us a Slap Chop that comes with a free Graty. After the video I go into a brief analysis of this commercial as though critiquing a director or artist. If the idea of that makes you kinda want to vomit, even if it's tongue-and-cheek, I would advise avoidance.

Overall, I like it. But I don't think it delivers like the first one did. ShamWoW had a raw, gritty edge, like Hammas tossed Vince into a bright studio, took of his blindfold, turned on the camera and said "Sell!" It was real. Slap Chop is a little too overproduced. The overdub on ShamWoW "this lasts 10 years" was endearing because of how obvious it was, but Slap Chop's got overdubs tossed in to try to be cute. I'd call this a textbook sophomore effort but with a touch of lost charm the way I lost my love of Dashboard Confessional when he got signed.

But I did say I liked it. It was still Vince, still his charm, even if the scripting is apparent this time around. He references himself with a slight mug to the camera how he "can't do this all day," but the best line by far is "You're gonna love my nuts." Just kind of catches you off guard.

Sophomoric, but enjoyable if you're a fan. Looking forward to more of his work.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I'm going to have to get one of those Slap Chops myself. I had the original tool from Pampered Chef, but put the plastic piece on the bottom of the dishwasher and now it works kind of retarded. Go Slap Chop!

Allergies, "Medicine," and Bullshit

Reminds me of how my sister describes clearing a dog's anal sacks.

When I was seven or eight years old, I recall my aunt and uncle got a cat. Romeo. It was a cutie, orange, and relatively personable. It was at that time (was I really never exposed to cats before that?) when I realized I was pretty allergic to cats. Sure, the visit would start out great and I'd have good times playing with my cousins, but then, an hour and a half into it, an intense itching would begin between my chin and my Adam's apple, an itch I still get and equate with "Awww shit. Here it comes." By hour three or four, we were about ready to go, the sneezing was uncontrollable, and my eyes were itching and puffy. I took the red Sudafed, a pill I still occasionally take, and spent the 40 minute ride home zoned out, head back, sinuses draining down my throat.

Fast forward to high school where my parents finally fold and we get a dog. Bailey, an adorable beagle/collie mix. I recall the trip home from the animal shelter I spent with my head back, sinuses draining down my throat. Soon after, we got two cats, Nala and Kala. I guess it was a little rough at first, but as anyone with allergies to animals who has animals can tell you, your body gets relatively used to your own.

College afforded me my first two kitties, Dorian and Godot (English nerd!), that I still have. I guess I was allergic to them too, but I spent a lot of time in college drunk, and when you stifle your immune system, you stifle your body's response to allergens.

Dorian and Godot
Godot is the puffball.

With Mrs. Shambles, we have acquired Gracie, a brindle lab/boxer/pit that is part lap dog, part goat, and part gazelle.

A short time after I met Mrs. Shambles, she convinced me to set up an appointment with an allergist. Like the eye doctor saying "Okay, now read that line without squinting," Mrs. Shambles explained to me that I constantly sniffle. And it was true. So I set off to the allergist and came home with a test result that seemed to have a lot of answers: 39 out of 41 positive results, severely allergic to dogs, very allergic to cats.

So we started with the meds, which really just displaced an almost unconscious and chronic usage of Sudafed or Benadryl. At first it was Flonase and Allegra. Allegra didn't do shit for me, so we went to Zyrtec, then discovered Alavert. Floated on that for a couple years until I started waking up in the middle of the night unable to breathe. Nocturnal asthma or some crap like that is what they called it, so about a year and a half ago I had gotten to Flonase at lunch, Loratadine (gen. Alavert) at dinner, Singulair late evening, and a Proventil inhaler when necessary.

Yesterday, my allergist said she didn't like that my breathing was not optimal in winter. So you see all that shit I just listed? We're adding Symbacort twice daily on top of all that to see how it works if in 2 weeks we knock off Singulair.

In the last 24 hours I've taken 5 different medications related to breathing and allergies. And I think it's bullshit. Part of the bullshit is that NOT ONE of those medications - as is the case with the basis of the pharmaceutical industry - is fixing the problem. They are all there to manage different aspects of a lovely cocktail of symptoms. And I've been given two other options: Allergy shots which, after several thousand dollars, may do little more than douse my symptoms a bit, or living in a bubble-like environment and getting rid of my pets and vacuuming daily and pulling my fucking hair out when The Weather Channel puts the pollen count to yellow. I know those people. I'm not those people.

We can map the human genome, program goats to make spider silk, and reinvent Britney Spears' career, but we can't address the underlying mechanism of allergies? We're still in the "schools of thought" phase with this? The most ferocious part of my being is my immune system? WTF?!?

So until the science community decides to poop sock it and level up their understanding of how this basic mechanism works, I have decided to dig into the mind-body end of things. I am a big proponent of the power of the human mind and the control, if refined and practiced, that it has over the body. I can get rid of heartburn by placing a finger on my neck where my clavicles meet; I can clear a stuffy nose in 3 minutes of concentration. Why not allergies?

I'm also attacking the psychological end. Perhaps these issues are - at least partially - psychologically based. Mental blockages, lack of flow, eddies of stagnancy that need a good cleaning. I've found a great book to help me on my way. I'll let you know how it is and how I do on my journey. Because "medicine" is not curing me, 4-5 maintenance meds is no way to live, and while remaining inebriated may have its good points, it's not really productive for my business, marriage, or liver.

Maybe marijuana would work for allergies. There are some reports about its effectiveness on skin allergies. Time may come for an unofficial study...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!

Yes, it is awesome.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

And Behind the DCup We have...

Spiky Bra

I do enjoy the folks I follow, the folks in my Linktastica! and everyone in this community. Every once in a while there is a ripple in the pool in the yard of the blogosphere, and today (or this past Sunday), DCup, best known to me over at PoliTits, closed up all her shops and consolidated her undergarments and has dropped the pseudonym and can now be found over at That's Why just being herself.

Congrats, Lisa. I like your new space and am happy to see you even more comfortable than before. Linktastica! updated. Just for you.

Holy Batshit Coulter!

I have to give Harry Smith credit for his playful masochism in bringing Ann Coulter to the show, and immediately take it away from him for allowing this batshit crazy loon to pimp her whiny victim book.

Best line "You should have a cross." Watch it.

Watch CBS Videos Online

...and boo to me for posting it and spreading the virus. But it is funny.

Ricky's Wisdom Today - 1/6/2009

"I, without grasping, will pass beyond sorrow,
And I will attain nirvana," one says.
Whoever grasps like this
Has great grasping.

-Nagarjuna; Mulamadhyamaka-Karika

Monday, January 05, 2009

It's Been a Couple Days...

So it's been a couple days since I've been around. Part of it is the back and forth with the holidays and part of it is genuine apathy. I've been up and down about the layoff, fluctuating between not wanting to get off the couch and a "go get 'em" attitude (today's a little more "go"), and I've been getting all my ducks in a row for a massive contact push today because while the economy is stinking it seems everyone I would like to speak with had the last two weeks off.

Aside from growing the client list, it is good to have the house back. Empty, I mean. Love the family dearly, but the work day is sometimes the only time I get to myself. Which should really change this year.

No, this is not the time to go into resolutions for 2009. Some goals, some desires, maybe tomorrow.

The blog itself is not going to change much except to say that I'll have at least one post up daily - I know; I've been skipping more and more lately. I'm still sensing a minor remainder of political hangover, an apathy in its own right, and will be booting back up politically in the coming days, especially with the inauguration already being pushed to our lips like television's dripping teat.

Watched several movies over the holidays, so I've got some reviews coming up, some fantastic restaurants who deserve a write-up over on that business blog I -occasionally- write, more sex content, and the normal decrying of douchebaggery all 'round.

Happy New Year.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go get 'em.

Joke of the Day - Catholic Heart Attack

Sometimes unwanted emails from acquaintences aren't sanctimonious, pseudo-patriotic tripe.
A man suffered a serious heart attack and had an open heart bypass surgery. He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic Hospital .

As he was recovering, a nun asked him questions regarding how he was going to pay for his treatment. She asked if he had health insurance.

He replied, in a raspy voice, "No health insurance."

The nun asked if he had money in the bank.

He replied, "No money in the bank."

The nun asked, "Do you have a relative who could help you?"

He said, "I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun."

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God.

The patient replied, "Then send the bill to my brother-in-law."