Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wanna take a break?

Yesterday, a supervisor and one of my bosses asked me to join them: they were going for a cigarette break. I wasn't sure how to respond.

I have come to a point in my career where being a non-smoker is a (mild) impediment to further advancement. Not something I had foreseen, and not a welcome development.

On the other hand, I'm well-liked enough to be invited. I think that's a sign I should just keep doing what I'm doing. No tobacco necessary.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Advertisement and body image

As I mentioned last week, I am spending a lot of time at Pogo. Pogo is an advertising-supported service. This means I have been watching a lot of advertisements.

In these ads, a common product is an expectorant. If you have a cough or sinus pressure, say the ads, take this product: it will get the mucus out. To dramatize the eviction, the ads anthropomorphize the mucus. Green people who live in our lungs or sinus cavities are shown riding motorcycles, swing dancing at clubs, having family reunions, or reading bedtime stories to their children. These green people are bad, imply the ads.

All the green people are obese. All the ill people—"good people" being harmed by the green folk—are skinny models. In addition to the "you don't have to suffer sinus pressure or a lingering cough" message, these ads are sending the message "take our product and you will kill the fat person inside you." It's absurd and disturbing at the same time.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I have been feeling burned out. When at home, I avoid intellectually stimulating activities - I read very little, I don't write (here or on Wikipedia), even knitting sessions have been rare. Most of my free time is spent playing flash games on sites such as pogo.

Pogo offers many multi-player card and board games. While I am overstimulated from work, my introvert nature takes hold: even the minimal contact of playing an internet game is too much for me. Solitaire is more what recharges my batteries.

Yesterday, I stated playing dominoes. With other human beings. A sign of recovery, at least for this introvert.