8 February 2014

Less Than Complete

So I’m standing in the middle of the toothpaste aisle looking at all the choices, and I’m completely and totally confounded. Colgate Total. Crest Complete. Ok. Toothpaste that has all the things you want from toothpaste in it. Yay! Finally! Our search is over!

Or is it?

Ha. Joke’s on you.

Apparently those two are not complete or total enough, as a quick glance down the aisle will make that abundantly clear. Observe:

  • Colgate Total Advanced – so the original Total is somehow inferior?
  • Colgate Total Advanced Deep Clean – are you implying that if I use the regular version, I will get only a superficial clean?
  • Crest Complete Whitening + Deep Clean – cuz the original apparently doesn’t do these things already?
  • Crest Complete Extra Whitening + Tartar Protection – hmmm… even more whitening but not as clean? The Sophie’s choice of oral hygiene.
  • Tartar Control & Tartar Protection – since when does tartar need protecting? Did it anger a loan shark? Make bad choices? Is that why we need to exert better control over it? I had no idea. What’s next, Tartar Rehabilitation?
  • Sensitive – cuz your teeth are PUSSIES, that’s why!

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. After all the hard work of overwhelming us with a dizzying array of choices, they were still unsatisfied. They stepped it up to the next level… or should i say “dimension?” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

  • the Crest 3D White range in the options of Vivid, Advanced and Glamorous – Glamorous!? dafuq?
  • the Crest Pro-Health range – because all other toothpastes are still in little league, apparently.
  • Crest Pro-Health “for me” – for those who never learned to share.
  • Crest Pro-Health “for life” – for the prison demographic? or the overcommitter mayhaps?
  • Colgate Optic White – um, is this for your eyes or your mouth? I bet there’s at least one person out there who has tried putting this in their eye. You know I’m right.
  • Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief – for help getting rid of the touchy-complainy professionals in your life.
  • Colgate Luminous – again I’m thinking this sounds a lot like a product for your eyes. Like perhaps there was a mixup with L’Oreal?
  • the all-new, super-exciting Crest Be flavor line – I have no words.

I would like to mention at this stage that I actually spent a non-trivial amount of time on each of these companies’ web sites looking at their product lines. It’s really quite amazing to me how much we, as a species, have chosen to throw an unfathomable amount of research, development, advertising and just plain effort into something as specific and first world as toothpaste. I mean, I’ve only chosen to cover 2 of the major players in the field and I’m already exhausted. It’s also quite amazing to me the amount of time I’ve spent writing this post looking at toothpastes online.

As a side note, Colgate Total has this wonderful product chooser feature on their site which, if you check all the boxes for the features you want in your toothpaste, will recommend their plain ol’ Colgate Total Advanced. I find this hilarious. Maybe I’ve been looking at toothpastes too long. Maybe I should go brush my teeth.

At this point I feel like you’re all dying to know what I use. My current toothpaste of choice is Crest Pro-Health something. I’m too lazy to go look and tell you what variant. I vacillate between that, one of the Colgate Totals and a ridiculously hippie, super hard to find in stores, orange flavored fluoride-free toothpaste. Also, I prefer gel. I have no idea why.

And now you know.

4 May 2012

I’m Sorry Mary Poppins


Dear Mary Poppins,

You seem to have had a run-in with the infamous Irish wind. Earlier this week as I walked around Dublin, I noticed that you had discarded quite a few broken umbrellas into and around various trash bins. I got the sense that you were quite a bit frustrated by having to repeatedly replace your umbrella, and possibly experiencing a bit of rage towards the impossibly small mouths on the trash bins. I’m sorry if you were unduly delayed by our infamous horizontal rain and gale-force winds. I trust that once the weather cleared up, you were eventually able to fly away as you had planned.


I apologize on the behalf of the unrepentant wind and rain, and hope that your opinion of this island was not permanently sullied by one terrible day of weather. I would like to assure you that we do, in fact, occasionally experience days of up to 4 hours of sunshine wherein no wind blows and the temperature pokes above 15°C / 60°F. These are the days we relish and celebrate with bikinis and drinks along the canals and in the squares.


with my condolences,
Sad Panda

20 March 2012

My Cats Are Not Picasso

Dear An Post,

please stop kicking the ever-loving SHIT out of my packages from zooplus. i understand that 14kg of cat food and 28kg of cat litter IS an unreasonable amount of crap to haul around, but you don’t realize the havoc that you wreak upon my life when you deliver my goods.

also, please stop arriving at a quarter to effing 8 in the morning. while i appreciate the thoughtfulness of your trying to drop by as early as possible to ensure that we don’t waste our day waiting for you, what you don’t realize is that i don’t normally go to sleep until around 3 am most days. given that i am, thankfully, still under the age of 60, i really need a few more than 4 and a half hours of sleep a night.

i’m beginning to think that perhaps you really like my unkempt crazy-cat-lady hair, swollen eyes and shockingly red bathrobe.

this morning, not only did my packages arrive looking like they’d been dropped out of an airplane, the litter bags contained within one of the boxes had split open. what ended up happening is that instead of simply dragging the boxes into the house and shutting the door stumbling upstairs to bed, i ended up attempting to dead-lift a box which had one side torn 3/4 of the way off. i then ended up dragging a 5 foot long trail of cat litter across my entryway, turning the floor into 40 grit sandpaper, which i then had to walk on.

i shuffled into the kitchen and got the dustpan thingy and swept up the largest pile, leaving a small amount between the two boxes to deal with later. i swept off the litter stuck to my cold, bare feet and shuffled upstairs to bed. i tried failingly to go back to sleep until about an hour later when i woke to became aware of some sounds of cat revelry downstairs (cat owners will know what i’m talking about). i again groggily stumbled downstairs in bare feet to find the following Rorschach test left to me by my cats:

Apparently I should have named him Picasso instead.

it was very sweet of you to try to give my cats an outlet for expressing their innermost artistic desires, but perhaps you might have chosen a less abrasive medium to offer them. perhaps it’s time for me to order 15lbs of play-doh.

thanking science for roombas,
the crazy cat lady in #63

16 March 2012

The Diet of Forbidden Everything

i just need to bitch for a moment about my struggles with trying to figure out what the hell to eat considering all my issues and all the conflicting information out there.

my body hates my thyroid, so i should clearly not eat the following foods (according to The Low Thyroid Diet web site):

  • all brassicas – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and 90% of what’s available in irish grocery stores aside from potatoes
  • unfermented soy anything – i.e. tofu (so much for the #1 vegetarian easy protein option), edamame (oh how i love thee), bean curd, bean curd sheets, etc.
  • spinach
  • asparagus? really? dammit!
  • most nuts – peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, cashews…
  • most beans – especially garbanzos. bye bye hummus.
  • corn? hmmm…
  • excessive onions and garlic

that’s just the tip of the iceberg. and grains? carbs? sugar? – fuggeddaboutiiit. they’re an instant ticket to weight gain and apparently we’re supposed to avoid gluten cuz there’s some sort of link between gluten intolerance and autoimmune somethingorother which then causes your immune system to go haywire and attack your thyroid as well. ok, science, whatever you say.

so then i should eat a lowish carb diet and avoid gluteny foods, right? so i should clearly not eat the following foods:

  • pasta
  • rice
  • bread
  • barley
  • ‘taters
  • and all the other fancy grainy things they tell you to eat instead of wheat

and i should eat fibery carby things if i’m gonna have carbs. and i’m supposed to eat veg and proteins. BUT i’m supposed to avoid beans and most green leafy veg cuz they’re bad for my thyroid. and brassicas, 90% of what’s available. so like what the hell is left?

now to top it all off, i’ve got some inflammatory issues which fall into the my-fucking-back-is-a-nightmare category. SO, i should be avoiding foods that cause inflammation. primarily, this would be meats, dairy and nightshade family foods. this includes tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplants / aubergines… you get the idea.

and it goes without saying that i shouldn’t have alcohol and caffeine either. coffee is expressly prohibited for 2 hours after taking my medication because get this – it binds to it and completely renders it ineffective. yay.


carbs are bad.

beans are good, but can’t eat too many beans.

protein is good. but meat and dairy are pro-inflammatory.

veggies are awesome. nightshades, brassicas and random stuff like spinach are bad.

trying to drown my sorrows in alcohol is bad. coffee to try and wake up is bad. tea is bad. kill me now is bad.

after all that, the only things that haven’t been expressly forbidden leaves me with the following list:

  • fish – oh but no, they contain mercury and it’s unethical and we’re running out and blah blah blah
  • artichokes – i have a plant in my back yard!
  • peas
  • lemons – yes. YES!
  • olive oil
  • lettuce – the most heavily pesticided food item on the planet
  • eggs
  • sesame seeds
  • yogurt – it’s the nice dairy 🙂

as much as i love all that, you have to admit it’s pretty limited. my nutritionist even gave up and said eat what you like. i think i should have pizza and beer for dinner.

13 March 2012

Sessy Nes Pah ‘Omeopathy

say the title outloud and it might make more sense 🙂

i hate small talk. one of the main reasons is that i hate the “where are you from” question because the answer takes about 45 minutes and involves a lot of other questions which also annoy me to have to answer.

the second reason is that i hate the “what do you do” question. as some of you know, i’ve been studying Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine for the past… mmmm… 4 or so years. so my “what do you do?” conversations often go like this:

n00b: so what do you do?

me: i’m a recovering web designer

n00b: huh? oh, haha. so what are you doing now?

me: studying Naturopathy

n00b: Naturo-waa-huh??

me: Natur-o-pa-thy, you know, like natural medicine

n00b: OH, you mean like homeopathy!?


the remainder of the conversation goes one of several ways:

me: no. sigh. no, like herbal medicine

n00b: oh! my cousin / uncle / mom used to always give me [herb name here] when i was growing up for [condition name here]…

me: oh, that’s nice. yeah, it’s great for that.


me: no. sigh. never mind. i’m studying herbal medicine.

n00b: oh! i heard [mispronounced herb name here] destroys your liver!

me: those scientific studies are usually falsified by the pharmaceutical industry or based on bad batches where the producer used poor farming or harvesting practices; much to the detriment of the consumer and the herbal medicine industry. and by the way, tylenol / panadol (acetaminophen / paracetamol) kills far more people every year.

at this point, they become very interested in some lint. across the room.


me: no. like herbal medicine. you know, plants and shit.

n00b: oh yeah! so what would you recommend my mother / cousin / uncle use for her asthma / rash / gout / dandruff?

me: well, there are a million things… sigh… lemme email you

i usually never email them. not because i don’t love what i’m doing, but because they really don’t care that much about my answer and their mother / cousin / uncle will never get the message or if they do, they won’t listen to them anyway.


me: no, homeopathy is something different and completely unrelated to what i’m learning. [lengthy description follows]

n00b: oh, that’s fascinating

me: excuse me, i need another drink now to get over having to enlighten your dumb ass for the past half hour.

so yeah, pretty much all of these scenarios make me want to stab someone. it’s very un-naturopath-like and not very PLURy. it makes me sad. and also angry. yes. so very angry.

and that, hopefully, makes you smile.

4 March 2012

There Seems To Be Some Confusion


i’ve been noticing something over the years about lemon consumption. but first i must share with you that i am (due to some sort of genetic predisposion, thanks mom.) one of those people who eats lemons as if they were fruit. truly. with salt. oh yeah.

[incidentally, i am posting this on my mom’s birthday in her honor, even though she hasn’t found my blog yet.]

i find their sourness paired with salt to be pretty much the most perfect flavor combination. to put this in perspective, when i was around 2 years old, i ate an entire bottle of vitamin C tablets. the regular kind. not what normal humans would consider tasty, or chewable. i call this flavor “sour”. but it  has increasingly come to my attention that many people use the term “bitter” when they speak of lemons or their juice. now originally i had intended to scream at them with typing, but then i realized that i would be screaming at a few close friends and i thought maybe, just this once, on this, the day of my mother’s birthday (The Godfather, sort of, 1972), i would give them the benefit of the doubt. or perhaps just put out a poll to see what the 8 of you who read my blog think they taste like…

depending on how outraged i am with your responses (or lack therof), i will write another post with the results.

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28 February 2012

Rejecting My Host, Part II

Dear Stomach,

How could it possibly be that you are still hungry after an entire meal of Korean BBQ. I fed you a veritable meatopia of meats from a veritable meatopia of livestock. I didn’t even try to insult you with the emptiness of calories that is rice. Sure, I threw in a token mushroom, but how could I resist the tiny, yet powerful and mothering Korean lady who was so nice as to cook our entire meal whilst simultaneously catering to all the other patrons of the restaurant? Well, I obviously couldn’t.

This orgy of meat was precisely 1 hour and 37 minutes ago; I know this because it was 12 minutes before 5 o’clock, which was the time they officially started serving dinner. So please tell me, how could you have possibly digested two mountainous platters of cow and pig in such a short time? HOW? I cannot win.

Don’t growl at me, SIR. I do not appreciate your tone.

Failingly yours,
The Mouth

27 February 2012

Link Your Damn Links!

Luddites of the interwebs, it is 2012. The dub-dub-dub has been around for like 2 decades. It’s time for you to fucking cop on. please for the love of all that is good on this earth, please do us the courtesy of linking the URLs on your web pages. I know that most smartypants phones out there do automatically do this for you in emails, but please don’t rely on this magic to carry through to your web browser. It doesn’t. and it infuriates us. It causes us to click maniacally in the general area of the URL until we realize you’re one of those people whose hand should have been slapped away and all Internet privileges revoked denied all computer access until you at least read Interwebs for Numbnuts or took a night course at your local adult education center.

Once you have mastered the art of creating one of these mystical “hyperlinks” do us the additional favor and please do not use “click here” or “follow this link” or my current favorite: “Website: website” with the second “website” being the link with no discernible difference in formatting from the first. We will understand that we should click your goddamned link because it will be obvious to us that it is a link. Because we are not morons.

also underlining shit that isn’t a link makes me want to reach through my computer and strangle you.


update: I could just cry. Not only do these guys not link anything, they’ve actually gone through the effort to use CSS to create the bleakness that is their home page. I might just have to call and cancel my internet connection now.

22 February 2012

I Told You So

So I’ve got a cold.

If you know me at all, them you know that I never get sick. So you might also guess that when I do get sick, I am super unhappy.

[oh god crying baby. I’m writing this on a plane.]

Where was I? Oh yeah, unhappy. If it were just a matter of “oops, I was on a 4 day meth binge,” or “gee, I work in a giant petri dish” (Keating, 2012), I might have a better attitude about it. But no, it’s not due to any fault of my own; it’s due to all the coughing asshats that plague me on the bus and out in the world. Thanks, asshats. Now I’m on my way to a nice romantic weekend getaway with Husband in Lisbon, and I’m trapped on a plane with a screaming fucking baby and a river of snot coming out of my head the likes of which makes the annual flooding of the Nile seem like a minor inconvenience.

[Someone please stuff a sock in that baby. Seriously, parent. I have some industrial strength knock-out pills in my bag. Row 13. Purple hair. You only need ask.]

Yeah, prior to this head plague, I’d been eating well and juicing (the kind with vegetables) and generally being very good to myself. In fact I’d actually managed to lay off the booze for a whole 2 or 3 days. Yeah, I know! So how does my body reward me? By sitting idly by and allowing a stupid little virus to set up housekeeping. ON VALENTINE’S DAY. Right before a 4 day weekend in one of the loveliest cities in Europe.


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22 February 2012

Waste Bag Indeed

One cup of tea, one thousand years in a landfill

Dear Airlines,

I am writing to you today on the subject of waste management; or creation as it might be more appropriately named in this case. I would like to understand why, in this age of sustainability, conservation, and other eco-buzzwords, you think it’s a good idea to actually INCREASE the amount of waste that is generated during a flight. Is there some sort of sick joke of a competition going on between all the airlines to see how much of a pile of shit you can create? Does the winner get to have the name of their airline spelled out in GARBAGE so large that it can be easily read from an altitude of 30,000 feet?

The only other reason I can think of for creating such a huge amount of trash would be that you are collectively saving up to use all the… uh… proceeds to build more airports or pave runways in less developed parts of the world. This might be acceptable if you’re trying to build runways in places which are sorely lacking in natural plastic reserves and which you will then use to deliver medical supplies.

The weird utensil in question

But honestly, how can you justify giving me not just one cup with my tea in it, but one additional plastic cup, one plastic pouch with a plastic knife/spoon (kfoon? spife?), a napkin, and a sugar packet inside, two of those small plastic milk thingies, AND a small plastic bag labeled “waste bag” inside another little plastic bag? Are you fucking kidding me?! Do you expect me to spend the rest of my flight MacGyvering a solution to interstellar flight with all these items? Why can’t you just ask if I want milk and sugar and just premix it for me before handing it to me? Is your time really that precious? Is that not worth just a minor portion of the €2.50 you are charging me for it?

Please help me understand your ways.

Concerned Flyer in 13E

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