Subourbon Mom

Fuckitol – May Cause Leakage and a Third Eyeball
October 21, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all heard about how big data algorithms use everything you do to determine what ads you’ll see, from the kind of toothpaste you use to the kind of toothpaste your friends use. The purpose is to drive how you shop, travel and communicate. And yes, I turned off the tracker stuff on my phone.

So, if big data can target so specifically, can someone please explain to me why I have to sit through so many commercials for prescription drugs that don’t apply to me? How have mass communications platforms not embraced these algorithms? I don’t have psoriasis, I don’t have diabetes type 1 or 2, or any kind of cancer (knock on wood).  

But here are my real issues with these commercials:

First, they’re depressing and anxiety-inducing, reminding me of all the shitty diseases that I could get, while also preparing me for an amazing list of side effects that I could get from taking these drugs.  

Second, these are PRESCRIPTION drugs – who is the target audience?  If it is consumers so they can go to their doctor and say, “Hey, ugh, I was watching football last night and saw a commercial for Fuckitol – should I be taking that?” Um…if doctors didn’t originally prescribe these meds, but then are prescribing them because their patients are asking for them,  based on a commercial they saw, that is a very large ethical problem. Patients are now marketing to doctors on behalf of the drug industry. 


Also, if I was a doctor and doctors are in fact the target audience, I’d be pissed, seeing that stuff on my TV at night. There’s nothing I would want less than to come home from treating people and then be bombarded by commercials telling my patients to ask me about a drug I didn’t prescribe for them on purpose because it isn’t the right fit.

Third, these commercials contain a lot of Doctor-Speak and acronyms like “if your PGFD546 Cells are less than 40,” and other phrases that don’t mean anything to me because I haven’t recently been to an oncologist for that very specific, rare throat cancer they’re talking about. I suppose if you are the target audience you know what these mean, but for the rest of us it’s like being left out of a conversation, and now we have to go back to WebMD to do some research and lose an hour that we’ll never get back.    

And finally, who was dumb enough to take a prescription drug they know they are allergic to, so these commercials have to say OUT LOUD, “Do not take Fuckitol if you are allergic to Fuckitol or its ingredients?” These people are the reason we need to stop labeling paint cans with “Do Not Eat.”

Now my fingers are tired, I’m anxious and annoyed.  I’m think I’m going to ask my doctor for that Fuckitol prescription I just saw.

Big Thoughts
August 5, 2021, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,

I don’t know if y’all can relate, but I miss having big thoughts. Actually, I just miss having any thoughts, really.

I used to spend my free time reading and writing or doing something else creative. These days, it is all I can do to stay awake long enough to read two pages of a book and my blog posts have been as rare as an honest politician. Podcasts and comedy streams have replaced thinking and daydreaming as I cook, clean or drive, and when I watch tv, I’m often playing games on my phone at the same time.

How did this happen?

I blame a lot of it on my phone. The games are addicting. Have you ever played Candy Crush? I mean, c’mon…it’s designed in every way to make you an addict, just like casino slot machines. We never had a chance. The rapid-fire bits of brain candy I can access at any time are also addicting – social media is the worst for that, never mind the Google rabbit hole. I seriously did not need to know where TSA puts all our stuff when they confiscate it, or that babies don’t have kneecaps – thanks Google. That’s an hour of my life I won’t get back.


But seriously, the phone is just the tool I use to distract myself.

So why am I so uncomfortable with my own thoughts?

Oh, that’s right – they’re scary and stressful.

Not scary in a “I’m gonna skin a cat and wear it like a hat” way – that requires some strong psych meds and probably a Silence of the Lambs face muzzle.  

My thoughts are scary in the way that all the stressors of everyday life converge into one enormous, swirling black hole that steals every ounce of creative energy. That anxiety black hole also sucks repressed thoughts out of the box in the corner of your brain labeled “Don’t Open This Box….Ever.”  Usually, that box only gets opened when I’m starting a hangover at 2:00am. You know, when all the things you’ve ever said or done get blown out of proportion and you’re pretty sure you’ve offended everybody you’ve ever met.   

Playing Candy Crush keeps that box closed.  (Yes, young’uns, I know Candy Crush is something only middle-aged or older moms still play. Quit judging my escape techniques while you watch make-up and how to make water melon drink tutorials.)

Disclaimer: I’m definitely not any kind of psychologist, and if anyone is really sinking into that black hole of anxiety or depression, please get help.

Speaking for myself, I truly believe hiding from my thoughts is a cycle of bad mental habits combined with a crazy two years and probably some haywire hormones. Breaking some of these mental bad habits is an important first step to feeling better. I’m also learning to break down all those black hole worries into manageable pieces.

Learning to stop and pay attention to one sense at a time helps.  Doing that while being dragged around on my morning walks by two energetic dogs makes that difficult, but mostly I can do it a couple of times throughout the day when I’m feeling stressed. My watch even reminds me to breathe, but only when I’m in the middle of editing a heated email with the restraint Donald Trump’s staffers wished they could use. I do try to breathe afterwards, though.

And finally, thinking about things I’m grateful for before going to sleep puts me in a better frame of mind before my brain goes rummaging around in The Box. It’s harder to dwell on all the bad things when your brain has already decided your life is actually pretty good.   

Am I going to give up my games?  People, I said small steps. Let’s be real. These mental habits took years to cultivate. And frankly, I’m on level 1925, sooooo….I’ll start with taking the games I only play sometimes off my phone. I’m definitely going to try and break the habit of looking at my phone while “watching” TV. If the show can’t hold my interest, maybe it’s time for a book.

I think the same can be said for pretty much any situation – if it makes me want to retreat into my phone, I need to change the situation.

We all have things that we do to manage our worries and keep the stress at bay.  Feel free to share your suggestions and methods in the comments section so others can benefit.

And don’t worry, I’ll get back to bitching and pointing out stupid people/stuff soon…there are only so many habits you can change at one time.

Moving Super Powers

A year ago I never would have thought I would find myself standing in the bathroom at 2:00 in the morning, cooling my feet off on the cold tile. Gone are the days of  worshipping those cold tiles after a night of drinking.  This sin’t the only thing that’s changed. The first couple of times I woke up in a light sweat, I thought, “Right – this must be what menopause is like.”

Yeah….about that.

These days, I am enjoying the lovely combination of night sweats, which now include a literal puddle of sweat nestled between my collar bones, feet that feel like they’re on fire (hence the time I now spend standing on cold bathroom tiles.) and a racing heart that I am currently attributing to stress of moving to a new house and a marketing campaign at work, but which I have been informed can be a symptom of menopause as well.

article-2637654-1E24A1AA00000578-184_634x421But at least I’m not on FaceBook at 2:00am. That’s the kiss of death for me as far as menopause is concerned. When that hapens I may as well throw in the towel and start shopping at J.Jill and Hallmark for everything (if you don’t know what J.Jill is, you’re not there yet).
So I was standing in the bathroom topless (because my shirt was too wet to keep on), cooling off my feet and eating a granola bar, when it dawned on me:  when you are trying to sell a house while still living in it, you gain some serious Moving Super Powers:

  • Your heightened vision can spot the tiniest crumb on the new carpet in the house you are trying to sell;
  • Super Ears hear the cats at any time day or night as they scratch and paw in the kitty litter box, sending showers of gray litter all over the floor that you will have to vacuum up later on;
  • Your Super Nose can detect the last thing anyone cooked – especially when there’s the possibility of a showing the next day – even something as bland as a peanut butter sandwich has a lingering smell;
  • You can vacuum, dust, and load and empty the dishwasher faster than flow of money hemorrhaging out of your bank account;
  • And, you can simultaneously sleep (snore), review your massive list of things to do and have an anxiety attack at the same time.

Superman and Wonder Woman were definitely over-rated. I bet Superman and Wonder Woman never found themselves in the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning, unsuccessfully trying to silently open a granola bar wrapper while putting on a dry pajama top right-side-out. And I’m pretty sure they never had to coordinate the movers, stager, helpful friends and family, utility disconnection, and getting the garage door fixed.

I’ve got Moving Super Powers, baby – I’m invincible…except when my feet get hot.

My Heart Wears Soccer Shorts
April 25, 2013, 11:36 am
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age, Parenting, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

There’s the old saying that you shouldn’t wear your heart on your sleeve.  There’s another one that says teens wear their hearts on InstaGram (#need40likes). My heart has been running around in either a pair of soccer shorts or a pair of horseback riding breeches for the last several years, and in diapers and training pants before that.

A year or so ago, I watched from across the soccer field as Daughter #1 desperately tried to suck in air during an asthma attack. It was a terrible feeling, knowing what was happening, but unable to help. My heart was lying on that field, and there was nothing I could do to make her stop being scared or keep her from hurting.  Now, we know to watch for the telltale signs, and even her coaches say, “Go take a puff so you can get back in here.” But this past weekend, after the pollen cloud descended upon us that could have come straight out of a Stephen King movie (think “The Fog”), I listened to Daughter #1 reach a new height of coughing and hacking. After a couple of long nights, we went to the local kids’ Doc-in-a-Box.

When Daughter #1 asked why she still had to go to the pediatric doctor, I said, “I think it’s cleaner, and we’ve probably had most of the germs floating around in there anyway.”

Daughter #1 was not thrilled with that explanation.

Her opinion sank even farther as we walked in and stood in the full waiting room, watching toddlers and preschoolers run around with green noses and tired parents clutching smeared wads of tissues and half-eaten bags of Cheerios.

“I’ll stand,” she muttered.

Only at the end of the visit did I manage to find the “hanitizer” as someone called it.

While we waited to be seen, I theorized to myself what a brilliant business model these places are. They perpetuate their business by opening on off-hours (when most kids do stupid things like shove raisins up their noses); they charge outrageously (I assume to attract doctors willing to work off-hours) and parents are willing to pay in order to get some relief for their child; and they are such a Petri dish of fluid, germs and general grossness that you are bound to return in a few days with new symptoms.

Four prescriptions and one breathing treatment later, I was marveling at the wonder that is better living through chemistry.

Last week, my heart was on the soccer field again, racing around in the form of Daughter #2. A fearless goalie, she took a hard shot to the face with a few minutes left in the game. Her head snapped back and she dropped like a stone.  By the time I got on the field she was up and saying she was fine. In fact, she made two more saves, wiping away a nosebleed in between. But something wasn’t right. She was shifting from foot to foot and looking “off.”

After the game, she was evaluated by her trainer, who said she could have a concussion (using the proper disclaimer that he isn’t a doctor). The evaluation was disturbing: Daughter #2 answered everything in a monotone, had little balance, was dizzy, and couldn’t repeat numbers back. She didn’t remember the hit. Again, there was nothing I could do except watch and trust in the people there to help. The next day, feeling like there had to be something I could do, I took her to the eye doctor to make sure it was ok (it was). Beyond that, there was nothing to do but rest and wait.

No “better living through chemistry” with this one.

Anyway, we got through the weekend, everyone is coherent, breathing normally, and getting back on track.

Everyone except me.

Last night I couldn’t sleep, lying in bed with my heart racing and every muscle tensed like I was walking on a tightrope.

It took me a while, but I finally realized that my heart had been so busy running around the soccer fields, getting banged up and bruised, that it didn’t know what to do when it could finally settle back inside where it belonged, if only for the night. In the morning it would be outside again, racing toward the goal, fending off balls, riding horses, walking to and from class, or even driving to work (Hubby has a piece out there, too).

So I did what any mom having an anxiety attack at 2:00AM would do—I grabbed a couple of PMS pills (the symptoms are eerily similar) and read my book until my heart relaxed enough for me to fall asleep.

No one told me that parents wear their hearts on their children. (They also didn’t tell me that children can take their diapers off and play with their own poo, but that’s another story.) Would I have done anything differently had I known? Of course not; but now I know where the phrase “mother’s little helper” comes from. For some of us it’s pills, for some it’s meditation, and for others it’s prayer. For the rest, it’s probably that great anesthetizer of the southern masses, bourbon.

PS–this is in no way a solicitation of parental advice. I’m a firm believer in making my own mistakes, which are as many as the chiggers Hubby attracts every summer.

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