Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One Hell of a Day

Well, 1pm might seem like a weird time to make a post about a 'day' since it's obviously nowhere near over. However today has been so remarkably crazy already that I thought you all might enjoy hearing the story thus far.

Today I have:
1) Woken up at 5am to review for microbiology test
2) Bombed said micro test because I apparently completely misunderstood what we were supposed to know (and from the feeling in the room, I don't think I'm alone on that)
3) Had a cell phone thrown and land about 2 feet from me and completely shatter. (And that is not the full story at all, but I'm not posting that here.)
4) Been diagnosed with salmonella (yes, no joke!)
5) Been given my last Gardasil injection, which is definitely not one of the low-pain vaccinations

And for those of you curious, I most likely got the salmonella from the Reata stand on Thursday during the Main St festival. I had the chicken tacos. So if you know anyone who ate the same thing on the same day and is having stomach troubles, tell them to go to the doctor or somehow get ahold of ciprofloxacin. (Ah, cipro! My guardian angel while in Ecuador! You have returned!)

Anyway, though I was pretty messed up earlier today, I'm doing absolutely fine now. Especially about the salmonella, since at least it's easily treated. I was beginning to fear all my tests would come back negative and figuring out what was wrong with me would stretch far into the summer and mean going to a GI doctor and having who knows what kind of horrible tests done.

Also glad about Gardasil, since now I can go around sleeping with, like, everything that moves and be completely ok. Because that's what the shot's supposed to do, right? Reassure you that's ok to be promiscuous? Oh wait, sorry, someone bumped on my 'Conservative Christian' button for a moment. Let's try again: since now I can rest assured that whatever happens in life (including rape and a committed partner cheating), I am well-protected against cervical cancer.

I have more to write about Gardasil some other time - it's a topic I've been stewing over for a few days now. But for now, I'm off to go pick up my micro lab test.

I hope the rest of you have significantly less eventful days than me - unless you too are hoping for a salmonella diagnosis, of course!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ad Songs & Me Rambling On

Well, I really should be working on my nutrition brochure that I just got assigned (I knew today would end my wonderful break!), but I'm a little pissed off. See, we're supposed to be writing it to be at an 8th grade reading level (Word apparently can show you this - I didn't know that!). Unfortunately, using the words "protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals" pushes my brochure's reading level from 7.3 to 8.6 - 1.3 grades! How I am supposed to write a nutritional brochure without using "protein," "fiber," "vitamins," or "minerals" is beyond me. I've emailed Dr.Hill about it - we'll see what she says.

Anyway, in the meantime, I thought I'd be completely unproductive and write about music. I was talking to a friend the other day and realised that many of the songs I've purchased recently over iTunes (using up a $30 gift certificate, yey!) are songs from ads. And, according to the 'popularity rating' of the songs when I find them on iTunes, I'm not the only one doing this. I wonder when this trend began? I'm absolutely positive it's due to the advent of being able to purchase one song immediately - I'd have maybe one of these songs if I had to go drive to a store and buy the album. Whether the song's popularity has affected the effectiveness of the ad, I don't know. I can't say that I've purchased any of the products featured on these song's ads since the ad's premiere, but I do, for the most part, remember the product attached to each song.

Anyway, here is my list of 'ad-songs':

'Remind Me (Radio Edit)' by Royksopp - Featured in the 'airport caveman' Geico commercial. When he's on the sidewalk. I like this ad so much I recorded it on my camera. More on that later.
'Le Disko' by Shiny Toy Guns - Featured on the 'knife-fight on the subway' Razr ad. I like how the phone stuck in the wall when it was thrown.
'1234' by Feist - You all know this one - featured on the new iPod Nano commercial by Apple.
'Never the Same' by Supreme Beings of Leisure - Featured in a Christmas-time Johnny Walker Black Label ad. I was fond of this ad, as the whole screen was black except the outline of the label and the whiskey itself. Very artsy.
'New Soul' by Yael Naim - Another one you all know. Featured in the MacBook Air commercials.
'I Melt With You' by Modern English - Featured in the Taco Bell 'cheesy beefy melt' commerical.
'Can't Get It Right Today' by Joe Purdy - This is the one exact product I don't remember (I remember the ad but not the brand)... *goes to look it up.* Ah, featured in the Kia Spectra ad - where everyone's pulling into the gas station and doesn't remember which side the gas tank is on.
'Sweet Pea' by Amos Lee - Featured in the AT&T 'business trip dad/pictures of the monkey everywhere' ad. Fond of this ad too - touching! I liked this song enough that I did end up going out and buying the whole album, which I'm glad I did.

So! The Royksopp song. I think it's the song/ad combination that touches me so powerfully. The ad, if you don't remember, is the caveman standing on a moving pavement in the airport and going past those lit-up wall-billboards, carrying bags, checking his ticket, obviously headed to the gate. The camera angle changes once at the end, where you can see that on the opposite wall there's a window overlooking gangways and planes pulled up to gates. As simplistic as the scene is, it hits me with profound meaning. So much of my life is embodied right there - moving sidewalks in airports around the world, checking the ticket, looking for the gate. Heading to wherever it is I need to be, whatever family has it's 'turn'. I can't really explain it, and don't really expect anyone else to understand.

The song itself is meaningful as well. In the commercial, the only lyrics you hear are, 'And everywhere I go, there's always something to remind me, of another place and time'. I can relate to that, for sure. Maybe everyone can. Not a day go goes by, either here or in the UK, that I don't think of something or someone in the other location and, even if for a fleeting second, wish I was there instead. That's especially true when I think of Kenneth, Alice, and Heather. Or just climbing up to the top of the hill outside the cottage and standing in the cold, bracing wind until I forget whatever strains are on my mind. Obviously no matter which country I'm in I have that experience, so I don't sit and pine (ok, well, maybe occasionally!), but it's something I've dealt with for a long time.

In the radio edit of the song, the opening lyrics are:
"It's only been a week,
The rush of being home in rapid fading.
Prevailing to recall
What I was missing, all that time in England

Has sent me aimlessly,
On foot or by the help of transportation,
To knock on windows where
A friend no longer lives, I had forgotten."
Obviously, I often feel that's fairly accurate. No matter where I am, I'm glaringly aware of what I'm missing out on wherever I'm not. And whenever I arrive, I have to catch up on whatever's changed. I'll have to interject at this point that I realise this is just the deal whenever you travel, or even if you're doing something like going to college far from your home. It's not like I sit around being miserable because I'm not in the US/UK, but I guess it might seem strange that it bothers me more than average Joe college student who rarely goes home. Perhaps just because I don't know much else - from age 5 I've had that feeling. Or maybe that's just part of Emma being Emma - who knows. I have more thoughts on that, but I'm probably starting to sound whiny and I'm running out of time before class. I'm just trying to share some lyrics that hit me, not depress you all - I swear! : )

So I'll leave you with some last words from the Royksopp song:
"Brave men tell the truth,
A wise man's tools are analogies and puzzles,
A woman holds her tongue,
Knowing silence will speak for her. "
; D