How to benefit from swine flu

(And other ways I'm cementing my place in Hell.)

As I was pulling my hand sanitizer out at lunch, I started to think about how companies like Purell could benefit financially from the swine flu. What other companies could see an upturn due to an epidemic?

Lysol - The new mace.
Campbell's soup - Stay quarantined longer.
Diamond Match Company - When in doubt, burn germs out.
Yellow Cab - Better odds than the subway.

And what about new business ventures?

Oxygen Tanks (They're not just for old people.)
Delousing Units - Connect easily to pressure washers - hey, as long as you're imprisoned.
Home testing kits - ESFT - Early Swine Flu Test

Seriously, I worry about these things more than most. It's in my personality. I mask it with humor. Also in my personality.


Upon watching Terminator 2.

Before last night, I'd never seen Terminators 1-3. After being told to skip 1 and go straight to 2, I settled down to watch it in the company of my boyfriend, who was delighted to see it again.

Until he was reminded, repeatedly, that I am a girl - a trait that's great for his dating preferences but falls short at action movies and sports.

I liked Terminator 2. I'll start with that. But I had so many questions, so little patience to see who survived and so little tolerance of needless action shots.

First of all, I was able to compare the situation from the first movie, which I was briefed on, to Harry Potter - if the Terminators had not gone back in time to destroy Sarah Connor, then John Connor would have never been conceived. Much like if Lord Voldemort hadn't tried to destroy Harry, he would never had made him so powerful. However, if the Terminators hadn't come back in time they never would have been created either. But how could they have come back in time if they'd never been created? It doesn't make sense.

I took Philosophy of Time in college - freshman seminar - so I've been trying to work this out in my head. But unless there is a way that the Terminators were created without the humans having the clues the future Terminators left behind, I don't see how this is possible. Unless the future already exists and cannot be altered?

Also, what happens in the third movie if the Terminators (spoiler alert) and all the clues were destroyed in the second one?

Next, I can't believe they killed Arnold. Or that nice man with the family. I specifically asked my boyfriend if the nice man would live and he lied and said yes. I was therefore twice devastated by the death and the deceit. However, it was explained to me post-movie that there were tons of Arnolds so I felt slightly cheered. I knew, of course, that John Connor would live because of the existence of T3 and the new movie (which may be a prequel so that might not apply?) and the fact that John Connor is the one who sends the Terminators back in the future. As previously stated though, that probably wouldn't matter much in the reality that is time in this movie.

I also found myself saying a lot, "That wouldn't happen in a girl movie." I was talking about the glory shots. The unnecessary things like the bad Terminator riding his motorcycle up the steps. He couldn't have walked? Or the slow motion when Arnold shoots the bad Terminator at the end. I did appreciate the dialogue though - especially when I finally saw the "Hasta la vista, baby," scene. I'd known that saying for years and now it has context. Hooray!

My point here isn't to tear down the movie. I said I liked it and I meant that. Even the special effects were great, minus the lasers and the burn hole that appeared when the Terminators came back in time - for some reason that made me think of Bowie. My point is merely to look at it from a girl perspective and warn other boyfriends to get ready to answer some questions.

I'm prepared for the summer movies now. I've seen T2, all the X-Men and Transformers. My remaining question is: When can I buy tickets to midnight Harry Potter?


Random television idea.

Anchormen and women saying "teabagging" would make an excellent television or viral spot for Urban Dictionary.


The little old lady who sang to her cats.

There once was a little old lady who sang to her cats. Well, she wasn't that old. Really just in her 40s and in need of a makeover, but nobody took enough time to notice.

Every day her cats purred as they heard her soft voice carry through the house. The broom sweeping the porch in time with her tune. The birds chirping the melody. It was a lovely life.

It was a lonely life, too.

The little not-so-old lady had never been married. She'd lost touch with her friends. And her cats, being lazy as cats are, never spoke back. She bought a television.

Sucked in to the glowing glory that was prime time, she soon discovered she could be famous. Why, her voice was better than those gals in the short shorts, whose voices had to be distorted by machines. She packed her bag up right then and there - a sweater, a turtleneck, a skirt to the knees and a kitten or two.

When this little not-so-old lady walked on stage in her matronly wear, with her hair curled back and wild, the crowd sniggered. She had heard such reactions before. She merely smiled and began to sing.

Now that little not-so-old lady who sang for her cats may sing for the Queen. And she'll never be lonely again.

It's not an Ugly Duckling story - she's still the same lady with the same little old lady style; it's a story of measuring something worthy and ignoring what's superficial. The duckling doesn't need to be a swan. It just needs to have talent and confidence that shines.

Goodnight kids.


Some things stay the same.

The Internet has changed a lot since I was introduced to it. But one thing remains. My AIM screenname.

I've had it since either late middle school or early high school - either way it's been so long I can't remember. Back when I first started using it, my family was on AOL and I got to hear the fun dial-up noises and the robo-guy saying, "You've got mail."

During college, I had my AIM up all the time. Now I use iChat just during work hours. Over the years, I've added so many friends that I now have to delete someone before I can add a new person. I don't know who half the people are because their screennames are so odd. But I keep them anyway, because even if I will never IM them again, I will read their Away Messages.

I think Away Messages were my original Twitter. It was a quick place to say what I was doing. Then I would come home to four or five boxes from people who commented on my Away Message or wanted to talk to me. My favorite Away Messages in college were song lyrics that I thought fit my mood - there was a lot of Radiohead and Liz Phair in there. Now I use song, movie and political quotes, say something about work, or turn to my personal favorite - "Your mom's available."

Oh, how I've evolved.


Social Media

Heather Apple
Copywriter and Digital Socialite

Sometimes I wonder how much social media one person can handle. It seems like the more you add, the more they all suffer.

For example, having a blog, a Twitter and a Facebook means one will inevitably be the last priority. Probably Facebook since I feel like I have less control over it, followed by this blog, because it's longer form than Twitter and harder to access (I'd like to lodge an iPhone/Blogger complaint, please.)

Also, does social media make you a more interesting person? I feel like I should be doing more interesting things so I have more interesting things to write about. But then would I have time to write them?

You'll have to excuse my ramblings. My head is all muddy today because I'm sick. Which is one more boring thing to Twitter or blog about.


Blue mob.

I'm not a sports fan, but I do like to study people. And UNC's win provided me with an excellent opportunity to see mob mentality at its finest.

As you may know, people went nuts. Franklin Street was overrun with general chaos and insanity. Here are a few things I saw:

Several fires.
Local news said that people were burning their clothes. I did see a lot of topless men and the police were taking things like newspapers as you entered the area, so it makes logical sense that clothes were the kindle. Many, many adults say they do not see the point of jumping over fires. I'm pretty sure it's only to later say, "I jumped over the fire. Dude, it was awesome."

In trees, on poles, standing on walk signs and some were the aforementioned unclothed gentlemen. I'm sure they got up there to be above the crowd and so everyone would look at them. But why tear the street sign off the pole? If it was to inspire more cheering, it worked. More than one person around me commented that these fellows were going to be electrocuted. I believe they survived.

The downed street sign quickly became a surfboard, with girls climbing on top of it and riding it through the crowd. One girl in white pants kept getting up there and her behavior disintegrated as time went on. She was on the surfboard just trying to balance. Then she was on the surfboard again, pulling up her shirt (poor planning on that white sports bra, by the way.) Then she and other girls were chicken fighting to stay up there, with the girl in the white pants easily winning - she had the most experience, after all. I left before we saw nipples or a bare butt. Her dad must be proud.

Stoic police.
I never saw any police panic or run or do anything besides stand on the steps of the church, take newspapers or sit at the ready on motorcycles. I kept saying things like, "Aren't the police going to make those guys get down?" The answer was no. On our way out, a girl said to a policeman on a motorcycle, "Do you have two shoes? I don't. I just have one." She did indeed just have one shoe. Perhaps her other one was on fire. The policeman made no comment and, as far as I know, did not file a report.

Impromptu dance party.
One guy thought ahead and brought his boom box with him. Placing it on his head, the crowd around him danced to songs like Petey Pablo's "Raise Up." Lyrics: "This one's for North Carolina! C'mon and raise up/ Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo' hand/Spin it like a helicopter." The people followed the song's instructions.

Guy in a chicken costume.
Why? For attention. But the logic behind the choice of a chicken in particular fails me. UNC's mascot is a ram. It did seem a little like Halloween out there though. Maybe he got confused by the joy and alcohol.

Open drinking.
Speaking of alcohol, I saw several people just walking down the street with open containers. This is not Mardi Gras or New Orleans. This is North Carolina, where we can't drink until noon on Sundays and certainly never in the open. Once again, I saw no immediate police action.

It was an interesting experience overall, one that many people there were probably unable to remember. I'll say that a town coming together like that was pretty cool to see, especially that late at night on a Monday.

Carolina made it through the championship game. I made it through basketball season. Reason to celebrate.


Pollen attack.

It's not green in NC. It's yellow.

Names for the pollen invasion:

Bee's Disease
Blonde Dandruff
Yellow Rain
Car Wash Super Sale Days
Canary Explosion
Sneeze Weeks
Earth Chalk
The Snots
Nasal Holocaust
Powder Plague
Nature's Exfoliation
God Sneeze
Death Sprinkles
Layer of Doom

Eh, maybe not my best, but a worthy exercise.


An invention for ladies.

Schick Quattro for Women Trim Style - why has nobody thought of this before? Add a trimmer to a razor. Seems like a duh.

I'm not going to say much more about it. I'll let this subtle, but not subtle, television spot do that.

My only comment: do women really refer to that area as a "bush?"


On finishing a book.

It's always sad to finish a good book. You rush and rush to the end because you can't put it down and then it's over.

Do I want to get involved again when I know every book has an end?


The Train Wreck

It's hard to turn away from the news. It's almost all bad and completely sensationalized. I know that I will be horrified by what lies beyond a headline reading, "Man decapitates 5-year-old sister as officer watches." But it's like I can't turn away.

What if the news was happier? Or better yet, what if we replaced all the people in headlines with cute, furry animals?

Quick try with CNN:

Thousands of bunnies protest G-20

Follow the trail of a cereal honey bee

Cops question two kittens about missing mitten

Another sex scandal rocks dog obedience school

Cat decapitates mouse as squirrels watch

Actually, that may have made it creepier.