Look at the blog, Larry. Just look at that blog.

This is gonna be about Band-Aids. It's pretty great.

Archive for February 2011

#14. Hoooo doggies.

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Do you know what would be great? Being able to do these blog posts in a timely manner. One day, sweet readers. One day…

But enough about me- how ’bout some Band-Aids? Yeah, that would really hit the spot right now. And by ‘right now’ I mean ‘while I’m sitting in chemistry class.’ CHEMISTRY IN SOCIETY, to be specific. The class is ok, I guess. Unless some chemistry-related official/teacher somehow gets ahold of this, in which case, chemistry and all of its trappings are so splendidly wonderful I can’t keep myself from skipping to and from the lecture hall each morning.

That should about do it.

So here’s my jolly ol’ no-punctuation thought process here in chem class: Band-Aids heal things plus there’s a hole in the ozone layer someone should slap a Band-Aid on that ozone hole presto change-o no more greenhouse gases or horrible carbon footprint problems.

Now, the problem with that horrendous run-on sentence (besides it being a horrendous run-on sentence… but you already knew that) is that I don’t have anywhere near the photoshop/pencil and paper skills necessary to make ‘Band-Aiding the ozone hole’ happen. Also, the idea itself is pretty cheesy. But I can run with this… somehow. Mmm-hmm.

Environmentally friendly-ness is all the rage nowadays. An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar (obligatory Oscar reference), and NBC has an annual green week, where every show does an enviro-friendly episode for a whole week of enviro-fun. So if being green has become ‘in’ in today’s culture, allow me to pose a question:

How biodegradable ARE Band-Aids, anyway?

That’s a question that’s both cool and culturally relevant. You know, for culture. Yeah. Totally.

So… I googled this important query. The answer is disappointing, peculiar, and also kinda creepy and gross. You wanna know what it is, gentle readers? Do ya? Do ya huh huh do ya huh?

Well, as it turns out, your average Band-Aid ain’t so biodegradable. Upset? I know I was. Until I read that the good ladies and gentlemen of North Carolina State University are developing the biodegradable Band-Aids I didn’t know I needed until 20 minutes ago but now crave with every fiber of my being. But what’s awesome (or gross, depending on where you fall on the gross/awesome scale) is that these biodegradable Band-Aids will apparently biodegrade as you wear them, until the point where they fuse onto you and ‘become part of the healed skin’ (from the North Carolina State University website).

Cue the collective Eeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, ladies and gentlemen. But you know what? That ‘ew’ might just save a few trees. Or something. Maybe there’d be one less landfill full of Band-Aids. Just picture that. A landfill overflowing with gross used Band-Aids. Al Gore watching in solemn silence, a single tear idling down his cheek.

Having your medical supplies fuse to your skin doesn’t sound so gross now, does it?

Well, it still does. But whatever.

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Written by mandudeman

February 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Week 4: Culture

#13. Culture culture culture culture culture. Culture.

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I worked really hard on that title. Can you tell?

So I tried a short post last time and not only was it A: easier on my fingers because I didn’t have to type half a novel into my computer keyboard, but also B: More challenging, because there’s this thing called “editing,” and it’s really super, and who could forget C: Someone left a comment on here saying they liked the lack of rambling. So I’m totally gonna run with this and try to edit my posts down to a more advertising-friendly (i.e.-  short) length. How ’bout the 200-300ish range today? Yeah, that sounds good.

I’m in a constant struggle with this culture thing. My temptation is to just take some generic television or movie-culture related issue (that IS my forte, after all), and then harp on about it while shoehorning in Band-Aids in the cheapest/easiest/most obvious way possible. So I’m fighting that. This is a culture post. But I’m trying real’ hard to stray from my comfort zone.

It struck me in Italian 102 this morning that I have no idea if Band-Aids are as recognizable in other countries as they are here in the US. It also struck me that I could have asked the teacher something innocuous, like ‘Come si dice Band-Aid?” (How do you say ‘Band-Aid,’ for those that haven’t experienced the joys of ITAL 102), and then tried to steer her response into a discussion of Band-Aids in other cultures. But, it also also struck me that I don’t have the social skills in Italian to steer anyone towards anything besides directions to the zoo, or a benign question about someone’s grandfather. So that idea kinda went out the window. Also, what would our discussion be, really? First, she’d probably say that ‘Band-Aid’ in italian is either ‘Band-Aid’ (gasp), or some word for bandage. Then, if I pushed it further, I’m guessing I’d learn that people in Italy either use Band-Aids fairly often, or that Band-Aid is more of an America-only brand. Hypothetical case closed.

For a while, I was thinking about how the skin-color Band-Aids really only come in one color, and that piqued a ‘holy crap! People in other cultures have might not have beige skin!’ thought. There’s a quick fix for that, though- clear Band-Aids. Sort of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of thing. Only the size isn’t the issue. It’s just a poorly-worded metaphor.

So there you have it. It’s me, rambling about Band-Aids in other cultures. With the added benefits of fewer words and more editing.

Written by mandudeman

February 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Week 4: Culture

#12. I’m changing things up a bit. But not too much. Or at all, really.

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So, in looking back at my body of work so far, it seems I have this tendency to write giant sprawling paragraphs of rambling, long-winded crap. So in the interest of ‘let’s have every post not look the same,’ here’s the rule for today.

100 words. Band-Aids. Culture. On three.

One

Two

Three

So, in terms of cultural relevancy, where are Band-Aids right now? To be honest, I haven’t used one in at least two, maybe three years, and honestly I don’t really see them on people. That much. Granted, it’s not like your average college student pokes a knife into his hand every few days… one hopes… but just how much clout do they have right now? Band-Aid clout, that is. I mean, I own Band-Aids. And I have at least four Band-Aid memories. I’m not trying to be negative, I swear. I was just saying, like, you know… what’s the deal.

That was actually a lot harder than it looked. Like, no joke. Now here’s a picture for your troubles.

 

There's a Band-Aid. On a Macbook. Keeping me from babbling like an unmedicated mental patient. What with the brevity, and all.

Written by mandudeman

February 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Week 4: Culture

#11. A whole new chapter in blogging. Although, technically, you could consider every post a new chapter, in which case there’d be nothing new or different about this one. Except that it’s so long.

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Dear readers (I’m guessing there are… four… of you. That sounds about right), I’m about to commit a mortal sin.

Google Images.

Shocking, I know. But it’s a necessary evil.

Alright here ’tis. Image Googling “C-a-r-s B-a-n-d-A-i-d-s.”

And this is what I get.

 

I know. It’s not pretty. But we must look.

 

Do you know what the best part of this week’s directive is? Culture. That could be ANYTHING. And considering I stretch most of these directives waaaaaay past the point of logic or normal human reasoning, there’s really no limit to what I can do this week. Woo. So today, ‘culture’ is going to be how Hollywood films in our society are quickly losing what little artistic merit they had, leaving us with nothing but hollowed-out, marketing-driven, 2+ hour long excuses to print fun shapes onto Band-Aids.

Neat, huh?

I wonder if there’s something fundamentally wrong with that idea. Like, shouldn’t I focus on how great Band-Aids are? Because they are. They’re great. And yet, I came to this idea because I was upset. Upset because I like Pixar movies- I like ’em a whole lot. I like every single one. If, before a movie starts, I see a lamp stomping down a big ‘ole ‘I’ and then looking bashfully out at the audience,  I know it’s a movie I’ll wish I could keep watching long after it’s ended. Hell, I even looked up the lamp video on Youtube so I could pick out the right adjective (‘bashfully’ works pretty well, I think), and I got this fuzzy little feeling in my stomach. It was nice.

But what’s not nice? Cars. I may have said about a paragraph ago that I liked every Pixar movie, but GUESS WHAT- that was totally a lie. Cars sucks noodles (and by ‘sucks noodles,’ I really mean something much more profane). It’s actually not thaaaaat bad, but because Cars is a C+ or so movie breaking up an eleven-movie winning streak, it slowly snowballs down the bunny slope of my subconscious until it becomes an unholy evil with glowing silver orbs for eyes and crooked teeth speckled with bits of gore. Cars. It’s gotten to the point where I’ll drop to my knees and scream its name out into the fragile, motionless night if someone happens to mention it in casual conversation.

And now it’s gotten worse. Cars 2 is real. Cars 2 is coming out this summer. I had known about Cars 2 for a couple years, but kept it stuffed into a back corner of my mind to preserve my sanity. However, for the sake of this blog, I let all that go to hell and watched a trailer for it on Youtube. It hurt. So much. But acute psychological torture is the key to good blogging, or so I’m told, so I stayed with that video ’till the bitter end.

I feel as though I’m straying from my Band-Aid-y theme, so let’s un-digress, shall we? Fun fact- Did you know that Cars is a huuuuuuuge merchandising powerhouse for Disney? An anthropomorphic vehicle money-generating juggernaut?

It’s true, you know. About ten percent of all Disney merchandise sales have been Cars products since the movie was released in 2006. All the Mickey Mouse and Goofy and the 70+ years’ worth of movies that are practically ingrained into peoples’ childhoods… and that one movie where the crappy cars talk like Larry The Cable Guy gets a 10% share. A 10% share of a figure that usually hits around the thirty billion dollar mark. Crazy, huh. And it gets a little weirder- the movie itself is third from the bottom in terms of total money made at the box office, so if I had to guess, it’s that the designs are so generic that they can appeal to any kid, whether he/she has seen the movie or not. But that’s just me. Whatever the reason, those cars are everywhere- in our icepacks and our ceramic dishware and our LCD TVs with built in DVD players. And in our Band-Aids. So when I read that the head of Disney’s consumer products division is expecting “a record for merchandise sales” with Cars 2, I knew my mission- to drive down to Kroger and smush every box of Cars Band-Aids I could get my hands on, while I screamed and wept like a child and generally made as huge a scene as possible.

I didn’t do that, though. Even though it would have been AWESOME.

 

Oh, and here are some sources so that people (count ’em- four whole people) know I’m not just pulling those figures out of my ass.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-02/disney-aims-to-double-merchandise-sales-mooney-says-update1-.html

http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/licensing/e3i4fac3531390a953c3b16bee60faa18c4

http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/series/Pixar.php

 

Written by mandudeman

February 21, 2011 at 7:43 am

Posted in Week 4: Culture

#10. In which I demonstrate my total lack of sports knowledge.

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Well, as you know, I’m in the process of getting over some horrible cold-sickness. It’s pretty rough. Thusly, I’d like you, gentle reader, to take everything I’m saying with a grain of salt.

And here’s where our story begins- at last night’s basketball game. As I desperately crammed my car full of equipment in a fever-drenched haze, I saw something- well, not something, per se, but someone. A basketball player. You know, from the game. I honestly couldn’t tell you if this guy played for VCU or George Mason, because, frankly, I was too tired to notice or care. I could (and I will) tell you, though, that this guy had a whole bunch of bandages and bubble-wrap looking stuff taped to his knees. I don’t know if that’s ice, or gauze, or what, but it got me thinking. It got me thinking about Band-Aids.

So here’s my thought process- what is it that makes this guy push himself until he has to wear a whole bunch of crap all over his knees? Is it the same thing that made me push myself until I was cramming my car full of equipment in a fever-drenched haze? Probably. While anonymous basketball-player-man was pushing himself up and down the court, he was either A: pumped and feeling a huge adrenaline rush from George Mason’s twenty-point lead (if he was playing for Mason), or B: doggedly trying to keep his spirits up and milking every last bit of energy in the face of George Mason’s twenty-point lead (if he wasn’t playing for Mason). And he just kept going and going until he had to walk out of the stadium with his knees wrapped in…. a whole bunch of knee stuff. I wonder if he saw me, and could see that I was about five seconds away from collapsing in a sweaty pile of exhausted me-parts. And when he saw me (if he did- and chances are he didn’t) there was some mutual connection where we were both so into the game that we pushed our bodies farther than they’re supposed to go and now are suffering the consequences. That’s kind of a reach, though, in all honesty.

Plus here’s the thing about me on game day (can I call it ‘game day?’ is that some kind of sports cliché? I’m really the last person who should be writing about this)- I get really, really, really passionate (lemme just say passion a few more times so that I can jam the point home with an iron fist of subtlety- passion passion passion) about basketball when I’m actively watching basketball/playing keyboards in a band that’s in a basketball stadium. During that specific period I’ll be cheering and jumping and chanting along with everyone else until I’m just like you, Mr. Basketball-Knee-Injury man. I’ve scarred my hands playing waaaay too rough on my keyboard (that can happen- I swear. And it’s totally not the pansy-est injury anyone’s ever gotten). I’ve been hit with drumsticks/shoes/a mannequin dressed in green spandex in the heat of the moment. I even saw a guy in the band get a bloody nose last game. And do you know what all of those things require? Band-Aids. Passion. Requires Band-Aids. Blog out.

 

Written by mandudeman

February 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Week 3: Passion

#9 When you have a ribeye steak- You must blog it. Oh that meatloaf tasted great- You must blog it.

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Blog it. Blog it good.

Who wants some nostalgia? YOU want some nostalgia.

Yeah, that’s a decent enough way to start this post. Let’s continue, shall we?

So as a preface to this particular set of inane ramblings, you should know that I felt absolutely, skull-crushingly awful last night. That tends to happen when I get ninety minutes of sleep because I was up all night doing a POL/SCI paper, and then had a full day of class and a basketball game (for those not in the know, I play in the pep band. It’s as fun/goofy/stupid/hilariously cruel as it sounds). So, by the end of said basketball game,  I was so exhausted I could barely move my arms/legs, but still had to carry a shit-ton of equipment back to my car, then to my apartment, then up three flights of stairs. At that point I legitimately thought I was going to pass out and die. Oh and I should mention that I found myself steadily gaining more and more cold symptoms as the basketball game went on. Not sneezing, or coughing, mind you, but more like the chills, headache, backache, nausea, disorientation- that kind ‘o’ stuff. So there’s that.

Now, as the basketball game went on, a little voice started going off in the back of my head saying ‘soup soup soup soup,’ so I figured the best way to shut it up was, well… soup. But not just any soup. And here’s where the nostalgia comes pouring in.

My favoritest favoritest restaurant, is without a doubt, this Chinese place I would always go to as a kid. The Peking Gourmet Inn. You should go there. It’s great. It’s one of those places that’s so good and such a fond memory from my sweet, innocent youth that every time I eat Chinese food I get a little bit of that comforting Peking Gourmet feeling. Just a smidge, anyway.

Now it might have just been my disease-addled brain, but as I spent a large part of the game trying to brainstorm Band-Aid ideas, and the other part thinking about soup (specifically, wonton soup from the Peking Gourmet- tying those last few paragraphs together in the nick of time), the two became interchangeable in my head.

 

People eat soup when they feel sick.

People use Band-Aids when they’re hurt.

Soup makes people feel better.

Band-Aids make people feel better.

Soup and Band-Aids are basically the same thing!

 

Now, this logic is reallllllly stretching it, but you have to remember that, at the time, I was a hair’s breadth away from puking myself into a coma. Just keep that in mind. But then an idea popped into my head. An idea that would forever intermingle wonton soup and Band-Aids into one all-knowing, all-healing god of sick-make-better. I saw all the pieces fitting together in my head. I ran (drove) to the Kroger. Grabbed like three boxes of Band-Aids in different shapes. Called up the only Chinese place I know that will deliver food at 10:30 at night. And then it happened.

Granted, my wonton-folding skills are shoddy at best, but you get the idea.

Band-Aid wontons.

And do you know what the best part of the story is? After I took that picture I inhaled that entire thing of soup and passed out for 11 hours.

Feels good. Feels really good.

Written by mandudeman

February 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Week 2: Nostalgia

Post #8. I’m about to take a nap. I apologize that this title is in no way clever or interesting.

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I’m gonna start this entry with my first official attempt to do my work on time. Surprising, I know. But I figure doing these blog posts in the last three days before class is, technically, more punctual than doing them all the night before. Just got to take baby steps. Baaaaaaaaby steps.

So this particular post is an idea I had right at the start of this blog. It may even have been the first idea that popped into my brain when this blog idea first came into play. And in all honesty, it’s the first thing I think of when I try to link Band-Aids to anything remotely personal.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself- “well, if it’s so great, why didn’t you write about it already?” And there’s a two-pronged answer to that question. Answer #1- if you’re actually asking that, chances are you’re kind of a smarmy asshole, because it’s a totally useless hypothetical question I’m just adding in to pad out the introduction to this blog post. And Answer #2- I was waiting for just the right moment, when I had run out of every other idea, to use this oldie but goodie. So here we go.

Now, I don’t know about you, anonymous blog reader, but I tend to get a little homesick sometimes. And one of the all-time, #1 hits at the top of the homesickness charts would be those first few weeks of college. Hoo boy. Especially considering that my original ‘being dropped off at college by my parents’ moment was kind of awkward- we went to a Chipotle, but just got soda, and I didn’t really know what to say and wanted to go off with my friends but didn’t want to leave my parents abruptly but kinda did and in hindsight was kiiiiind of a dick. I’ve actually written an entire Focused Inquiry paper based on the content of that run-on sentence. It was pretty great.

But there’s always that one little insignificant thing that ends up being faaaar more important than you’d think. And in this case, that particular insignificant thing was a care package my dad had made me and put in my suitcase the night before we left. I still remember him telling me everything he had put into a little tupperware tub. Advil. Allergy pills. Some gauze, maybe (the details are a little fuzzier in my head than I’d led you to believe). And a half-empty box of Band-Aids.

Now, at the time, I had a billion things on my mind, and honestly, I didn’t really care too much about the exact details of what was in that tupperware googaw. But take that jerk-faced about-to-leave-for-college apathy and fast-forward it a few weeks when I’m still not really adjusted to college life and I have a pretty bad headache. So I reach for said care package. I’m halfway through grabbing the Advil bottle when the Band-Aid box catches my eye. In an instant, all the little details unfold in my mind. I can see my dad rummaging through the house, looking for anything I might need in my dorm room. I can see him eyeing the Band-Aids. I can see him thinking “Adam might cut his finger on something- better give him a couple. You never know.” And those Band-Aids are still in the medicine cabinet in my new place, long after I moved out of Johnson Hall. I still think about that every time I see them. And in all honesty, Johnson Hall had this horrible putrid chemical smell that still haunts me to this day and I’m really glad I never have to go back there.

EDIT #1: Ok so apparently I used all the Band-Aids from that old care package and threw out the box in a fit of carelessness. The overall idea still stands, though.

 

Just imagine I never threw them out and that whole point of this entry is still intact.

EDIT #2: Ok so apparently I forgot to upload this and left it on my computer for a day or two. So when you see ‘the last three days before class…’ just imagine me writing it a few days before I actually posted the damn thing.

 

Written by mandudeman

February 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Posted in Week 2: Nostalgia