What to do When You Buy Children's Liquid Tylenol

Monday, June 1, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

Hello again. The world's on fire and we need a smile so here we go:

If you read my last post, you already know that in a panic-induced shopping incident I inadvertently bought the title product instead of extra-strength tablets. That's my bad. But, since becoming a first time owner of an altogether new, to me, product, I have some suggestions. Marketing suggestions.

At this point, and I'm talking to you liquid pain reliever manufacturers, your target audience is parents and people who are too busy, distracted, or panicked to read a box before purchasing a product. And you are leaning into that "distracted" market by not clearly labelling the box "liquid."  Too simple and clear. Instead, in the upper right hand corner, away from all the other information it says,"oral suspension," which sounds more like a WIPEOUT challenge than a description of liquid.

Let's Get One Thing Straight

Sunday, May 24, 2020 | 2 Comment(s)

I have a bunch of topics to write about. But, before I do I think it's important that my readers have some insight into my mindset during this current COVID-19 crisis. Am I scared? Do I think we are all sheeple? As a means of answering all of your questions, I present to you this very real vignette from a few weeks into the quarantine.

Matt's First Visit to CVS, and, in a Larger Sense, His First Time Out and Around Other People

The first thing you need to know is that I feel lucky. Lucky that I can work from home. Lucky I have a home and food security. Lucky that all of my levels of privilege let me worry about others during a pandemic, and not worry about my own survival. Lucky.

That said. One of my prescriptions has run out. The important one. The one I can't "just not take" without immediate and unsavory consequences. I have to go the the pharmacy, it isn't really a matter of choice. Sending my wife out for this, as opposed to grocery shopping, is essentially sacrificing her body for mine -- though if she goes, I go with her. I realize the previous sentence doesn't exactly read like marital bliss, but my anxiety is a red-eyed creature. And its teeth are real. And therefore, this is a reality, even though it isn't ideal.

I prepare. I obviously have a mask. I have read 22 different articles about wearing gloves and all the smart people say they cause more problems than they solve. I believe science and leave my food prep gloves at home. I lather my hands with soap for 20 seconds, I rinse in burning hot water (the virus doesn't like the heat), but I don't rinse well. I want a thin film of soap to still be coating my hands, like a force field, as I walk the half mile to the store. I touch my pocket to make sure my ID and credit card, already pre-removed from my wallet, are present and accounted for. I don't wear headphones because it feels like too much future touching of stuff. I depart.

The Emergency Room

Thursday, March 5, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

I ended up in the Emergency Room this past Friday, and I don't even have a good reason why.

That's obviously a partial lie. What I mean to say is I didn't get doored, or finally get into that road rage street brawl we all know is just a matter of time. That said, my Adam's apple did swell up to the size of a baseball/softball, and that's not good. Turns out, it's not "that bad" if the cause of said swelling can be located with imaging. So my PCP sent me for an ultrasound on Friday afternoon. Everyone was pretty sure that my thyroid was to blame, and thyroiditis is eminently treatable, and once you have the diagnosis . . . . all the worry really calms down. Allegedly.

The rare huge-throated Mattibird
At 2pm I head to "the big hospital" to get my ultrasound.

Time stands still in a hospital. Since every problem must be dealt with scientifically and methodically, the only interjections of time are when people are rushed in, when others are rushed to surgery, and the chilling starter's pistol of a patient coding. With life and death so brazenly on display, it's difficult to parse the dramatic change in pacing from the gut punch of watching a person's worst moment fly right past you down the hall.

Give Me Back My Rainbow

Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

I have a bone to pick with the LGBTQ+ community. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm mad at the group as a whole, but I definitely have beef.

Anyone who has read anything on this blog knows this isn't about sex or gender at all. Whatever LGBTQ+ people do with their bodies is as beautiful or disgusting as the shit straights do with theirs. Live loud, live proud. Go you. . . like . . . as a group.

Back in the City

Friday, January 31, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

I'm having flashbacks to pre-grad school. While those words hold no real polarizing valence, I can tell you with certainty, it's a good thing.

Back in Boston, inhabiting coffee shops. I find various cozy electrified nooks and each day brings new coworkers with colorful tales to overhear. You never forget the first break-up you get to completely overhear one side off.

"Tell me what I just said? What did I just say? Cause you're not even listening. Ok, a summary, the gist, of what I just said? It IS important! This is the whole problem. UUUUUfffff. You're infuriating."

Solid content.

Is it Warm Outside or is My Skin on Fire?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

In the end, it will be our humanity. Our so called "higher intelligence," and the ability to feel we can make sense of our world, that will be our species undoing.

Australia is burning, and it is a sources of endless personal sadness. The reports from NASA say the smoke, which is currently causing tennis players in Melbourne to collapse from smoke inhalation, will literally be felt globally. The smoke from a country on fire in the middle of a seemingly far away ocean, will circumnavigate the globe. We are already a world on fire.

The Sorting Hat: Superhero or Super Villain

Friday, January 17, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

I'm still on superheroes.

But today we're coming at the subject from a completely different angle.

I think comics writers have messed up a bunch of these origin stories. In what Social Psychology calls the Fundamental Attribution Error, many of these stories have emphasized the person as the driving force of their own destiny, and discounted the undeniable importance of the situation. To wit, readers or viewers first meet the young Carol Danvers, Peter Parker, Clark Kent (as a kid pre-powers), Hal Jordan, etc. pre-powers. As a viewer, we feel we understand the moral fiber of these characters before they realize their powers. But I think, for many of them, perhaps their powers ended up being the driving force of their future nature.

A great number of super-villains and evil mutants emit energy beams/lasers/fire/spikes/insert-dangerous-substance-or-weapon shooting from somewhere on/in their body. In my mind, the day you get pissed and turn the JV basketball team into a shish-kebab with your pre-pubescent projectile extrusions, is the day your "good guy" status also gets skewered through the heart. During that double-dutch tournament where Macy's feet begin emitting systemic booms, destroying the gym and killing everyone on the bleachers, she's probs not gonna be drafted to the superhero league of cool kids the next season. Macy's on the run. And that's how Macy became a super-villain.

I was b b b b born to be b b b bad!

Post-Modern Tevye

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

I've been thinking a lot about superheroes and their huge resurgence in popularity in the past decade. Even more so than the heyday of comic books, superheroes, their origin stories, and their crossovers, have themselves crossed over into the mainstream. These days we aren't just seeing reboots of comic book characters moving to tv and movies, but whole new takes on the genre -- shows like The Boys and Raising Dion, which grapple with larger questions of morality and difference in the modern world.

The Boys

poetry on poetry

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

The best way to write poetry
is to think about the most painful thing you know to be true
and then write about it honestly and succinctly.
i'm so so sorry she's dead. 


Your friendship was like your footsteps
walking next to me
in sync.

Slowly. at first imperceptible
the edges of your shoes would grow closer to mine.

We'd be lost in the everything of what we were.
our history a tapestry or wall hanging, certainly something woven.
memorializing ourselves
the art of us.

And then the side of your foot would gently kick mine aside
almost by mistake
certainly unintentional

but nevertheless i'd stumble

And you'd continue on
wondering how i could be so clumsy

Worst Fear Realized -- Academic Edition

Thursday, January 9, 2020 | 0 Comment(s)

Those of my loyal readers may remember not too too long ago, about 5 years back, I had my eye sewn shut. It was as bad as it sounds.

Additionally, a few tiny "mishaps" really upgraded my worst fear realized to a level where the only accurate way to describe the circumstances in retrospect is as traumatizing. I feel confident in this assessment in that when I think back to that time I still have a physical reaction of fear, vulnerability, and resentment. In truth, I'm not sure exactly who I resent (probably the doctors who treated the whole ordeal like I was getting my tooth pulled instead of a needle across each eyelid. Anyway, if you want to know more, you can find those "recaps" here, here and here.