Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why didn't my mother tell me this would happen?

We have commercials and ads for everything nowadays. Ever get that not-so-fresh feeling? (Massingill) Feeling bloated and irritable because of your period? (Midol) Ever gotten a leak when you're wearing white pants? (Always) Afraid you might have gotten pregnant last night and want to get rid of it? (Plan B) Did you know you can mix two personal lubricants and get a more amazing result? (KY) Do you have fine lines and wrinkles? (Olay) Need to get rid of stretch marks? (Strivectin)

Nothing is too personal anymore, nothing is taboo for TV commercials, magazine articles, or "news" stories, right? Nothing? I think not.

If we live in such an open society where we can talk about all of the above, why are there still things we have to learn about by experiencing them? I'll give you my favorite example. I'm 38. About 5 years ago, my eyebrows started disappearing from above my eyes and reappearing on my chin. I thought: "I'm a freak!" I thought that I had some serious hormonal condition. I couldn't tell anyone, show anyone.... People would ostracize me!! I'd be a societal outcast!! I'd end up as the bearded lady in a traveling circus.

Now, I know living in Los Angeles, home of any plastic surgery you could imagine (did you know some men get calf implants?) has tarnished my view of what is "normal." However, imagine my surprise when I gave up caring what people thought and started mentioning it to other women my age -- they had the same concerns!! I have a friend whose entire chin is covered in a beard if she doesn't shave it! I went to have electrolysis done and found out that it's incredibly common for women to grow facial and neck hair (always darker and coarser than their regular hair)! Another friend even shared with me that she grows the occasional long dark hair on her nipples!! I'm not a freak!!

But why -- why??? -- in a world of 24/7 douche, tampon and stretch mark commercials -- isn't this talked about? I've mentioned it to several women who also feel that no one else but them suffers from this! Shouldn't Oprah be covering this or something? What about all the "beauty" mags -- what better way to make a woman feel she's not ugly than by letting her know she's not alone?

Ok, off my soapbox. If you're a woman starting to grow beard hairs, there's nothing wrong with you. Even the occasional nipple hair isn't bizarre. It's normal. But why didn't anyone tell us?

Do you have any "why didn't my mother tell me this would happen to me?" items? Let's all share so we all know we're not freaks!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sneaky, sneaky....

Over the weekend, while visiting friends in my home state, I got a new cell phone. It was time. Mine only stayed charged for a day or so, and it had always had charging issues (the cord had to be in juuuuuust right for it to charge -- bump it, and it would fail). I spent about 40 minutes at the Verizon store looking at the different phones, and finally picked the one I liked the best. It had a $50 mail-in rebate as part of the offer. Checking out took for freakin' ever! The mouth-breather who was helping me moved like a snail (he also never -- not once -- closed his mouth -- I guess thought he'd suffocate). I wasn't even in a particular hurry, but he was so absurdly slow I almost pounded him!

Then I got home and got my rebate email. The instructions were to mail the signed and dated rebate form to Verizon, along with my proof of purchase, and I'd get a rebate in about a month. What I almost didn't notice -- what they are counting on people NOT to notice -- is that, unless you affirmatively check and change your address, the rebate goes to the Verizon store! Now, Verizon bills come to my house, so I'm pretty sure Verizon has my address. In fact, the store clerk even verified my address!

There is no non-nefarious reason for substituting the store's address for mine. Very, very, sneaky! I know that the phone companies do the "rebate" thing rather than just give a discount because they are counting on a large percentage of the population losing their paperwork or just forgetting. That's sneaky enough, but come on!! Seriously? Sending the rebate to yourself? That's just evil.

I blame the "Can you hear me now?" guy. Personally.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How about some "new" news?

According to Michael Quinion of World Wide Words( -- an awesome website for word geeks like me!), the word "news" has as its origins the following:

New is definitely early English — it can be traced to the Old English of the ninth century. It was mainly an adjective, as it still is, but it could also be a noun in the sense of a new thing. The first example of the noun in the Oxford English Dictionary is in a translation by King Alfred of a book by the fourth-century Roman statesman Boethius. By the twelfth century news was being used in the plural to mean new things or novelties. (

Why, then, do the local Los Angeles "news" stations continue to show us "olds" on a regular basis? Seriously, I feel terrible that people are losing their homes and property to the fires, that the air quality (already iffy in Southern California) sucks, and that the firefighters are tired. Really, I do. But you know what?? Telling us the same thing every day is not new. Thus, it cannot be news. How about a 5 minute fire update at the beginning of the broadcast -- it's up to X hundred thousand acres, it's destroyed Y homes, and it's heading toward Z communities -- to keep us apprised? We don't need more than that!! Do they seriously think anyone is watching their 5 "reporters in the field" coughing and sputtering as they stand as close to the flames as possible telling us the fire is bad?


There must be other things happening in Southern California, America, the World. There must! Or has all life on the planet stopped, holding its collective breath, waiting to see if, maybe today, the broadcast towers on Mount Wilson will be overtaken by flames?

I've really had it with the media. They get one story, and it becomes the be all and end all of "news" whether it's new or not. Currently, the fires; before that, health care; before that, Michael Jackson; before that... other crap that no one cares about anymore. Thank God for BBC News -- where you can actually learn that other parts of the world still exist and have things happening.

(Oh, and thank God for BBC America, where Are You Being Served? is still occasionally shown in reruns!!)