The many lessons provided by commercials on antenna TV channels

I just want you all to know that I live a very rich life in between drunk dialing Pizza Hut at 10 pm and eating stuffed crusts while I cry myself to sleep. And one part of that richness, is watching bizarre half channels on my old person TV antenna that I purchased for $15 at RadioShack before that closed down. (*)
you life antenna

With all of the marathons of Frasier and The Nanny available daily, I never have to leave the apartment again. I’ve taken to MeTV, thisTV, Antenna TV, and Cozi TV like a fish that doesn’t want to leave the comfort of her home because of social anxiety and laziness. I’ve found a deep love for endless Sundays spent watching In the Heat of the Night and Cagney & Lacey, and the entire block of programming found on Decades (tonight it will include a solid four hour block of the Bob Newart show, which I’ll watch before switching over to Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In and ending the evening watching Dick Cavett be such a card).
dick cavett

The additional benefit of watching antenna TV  – both my antiquated antenna-ness of it all, and the actual programming itself – is the targeted advertising. My television believes that I am a senior between the ages of 65 to question mark. And because of TV’s belief, I have gained so much insight into worlds that were previously closed off to me – particularly the heinous tactics of targeted advertising for that demographic. For example, because of this advertising I now know a lot more about the Shingles virus. Shingles is like unsexy herpes for the elderly but all over their bodies and not just their mouth parts and nasties.

Also, a lot of stuff about Type 2 Diabetes (I don’t know why I’m capitalizing these illnesses and ailments, other than it’s how they’re emphasized on antenna TV). But Type 2 Diabetes isn’t as SWOL as Shingles, so I usually just tune out during those ‘uns. However, it appears that if I get old, according to the medication commercials, I won’t be able to avoid it so Imma put a pin Type 2. Though, according to the numerous pharmaceutical commercials, medication that appears to cost kind of a lot is the only way to manage this.

[I am not putting photos of either examples in here because the image searches made me upset]

One the better targeted marketing campaigns I am regularly exposed to is the gorgeous and resplendent actuality of walk-in tubs. Everyone knows what these jawns are, right? They are, honestly, fucking amazing: they’re therapeutic and safety-providing sit-down bathtubs, which offer comfortable bathing solutions to their owners. [SIDE NOTE: IT’S FUCKING OUTRAGEOUS THAT MEDICARE AND MEDICAID OFTEN DON’T COVER THE COST OF THESE, AND THAT THESE SHOULD BE MORE AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE FOR THOSE THAT NEED THEM].

There is no reason for me to have a walk-in tub, as the only therapeutic necessity this tub would provide me is the ability to drink my shower beers and wallow in existential dread while Randy Newman’s Baltimore plays outside the tub and I suppurate self-pitying tears on any given Thursday.

Yet, still I crave – selfishly. I want them so much that I regularly Google-search price points, as though I could place one over the claw toothed crumble that sits in my asbestos bathroom where I indulge in being the garbage bathtub witch of your swampy dreams.
tub witch

So much, so, that this arrived in my email the other day:

walk in bathtub you life

Tell me more, plz

And it lead me on a pictorial adventure, which I will share here:

walk in bathtub you life 2

This model was so nice that I actually made a, I’m not even being snarky or insincere, vision board about maybe getting one

walk in bathtub you life 3

They illustrated why these tubs are do damn dope

walk in bathtub you life 5

So, I called for a quote and to see if I could finance one only to  discover that I am not qualified – as per my credit – for the bathtub.

I would like to repeat: these should be a more viable and affordable option for people that actually need them (and not self-indulgent narcissists on the internet).

Onward.

The sort of wild thing about the marketing on these shows is how manipulative and corrosive they become. The fear tactics and inevitability of the necessity of a lot of these items is super duper rooted in greed feeding upon the guilt and distress of their potential consumer. Because most capitalistic tactics are gross, here is one of the most outrageous examples of marketing on antenna TV:

While I might dodge a diabetes bullet (see earlier in this post), what is unavoidable is death. TV commercials have taught me that. And I would be greatly remiss to not get into the magic and the majesty of a commercial that was so outlandish I couldn’t be sure that I hadn’t hallucinated it while horking on a swisher. It’s called, “I’m dead now what,”

i'm dead now what

this is not a still from Beetlejuice

and it’s all about an end-of-life binder and it’s hosted by fucking Anson Williams (Potsie of Happy Days).

Anson_Williams_Potsie_Weber_1973

Do you have a minute to talk to this guy about the inevitable unrelenting cruelty of the ever-mowing scythe? Get ready.

A wikipedia hole and an entire day after watching the above, I learned that death binders are not a modern concept created by Potsie and affiliates. This metal as fuck model has been around for hella time. It actually has a couple of different names (the concept not the aforementioned specific product): the everything binder, the family emergency binder, the legacy binder. Essentially, it’s a three-hole trapperkeeper (like you carried in grade school if you’re old as hell like me, only with less Lisa Frank designs…or the same, you be you) that carries all relevant information regarding how you’d like your loved ones to handle your funeral and end-of-life plans.

trapper-keeper-lisa-frank

This is the one that I own and had no idea it could be so multi-faceted

The larger, and honestly pretty good idea, is that if you’re well prepared for your own death it will eliminate the stress your family and loved ones will face upon your expiration. Like step-by-step financial guides and what music should be played while you’re getting jettisoned into the ether.

I even found a “Create Your Own Death Binder,” website that I entertained for a day before that started to get realllllll weird and reallllllll irrelevant since I have no finances to take care of and all my friends know my final wishes: that Naughty by Nature’s “Jamboree” is played at my funeral.

jamboree

Featuring Zhane. Also, this is 100% true and I’ve had that plan for my funeral set-up in a will since I was 23.

Back to Anson Williams and “I’m dead now what,” which is backed by easily the strangest spokesperson that if someone said this was a play written by Mamet, I’d be, like, “Oh yeah, that checks out and makes a lot more sense than this bizarre reality.”

The main pitch is, “The peace of mind planner created to protect your family’s future,” and it’s only $19.99 plus bonus internet address (don’t know what that means) and password log book. I want to draw your attention back to the fact that it is twenty bucks for a binder and, what I think is, an online chat room.

All of this is sort of supplemental to the marketing of this product (matter-of-fact, this whole post, is in fact to one degree or another about the predatory nature of marketing and how advertisers manipulate people who watch these programs, only it’s far more insidious on television that’s entirely free). Because when doing research on the above product, I found this real crowd pleaser: the marketer of this folder commercial hosted by an actor who clearly had to face himself in the mirror and say, “they picked me because of the fragility of my future mortality,” is that Top Dog (yes, that’s the marketer’s name) is not afraid to really diversify their portfolio, as “I’m dead now what?” is only one of the very ambitious products they market. They also market problem solvers called BeActive, inappropriate and insane novelties called Tiny Tyrants (it’s doll versions of dictators in case you want to feel really fucked up and gross about yourself), Catholic memorabilia (Visitation Cross), and – of course – sex toys: One Massager.

Which leads me to wonder, what kind of television channels do I need to see those commercials? Because I’m interested.

 

  *  A quick internet search just actually confirmed that RadioShack has not entirely closed its electronic sliding doors – just the one in West Philadelphia. I know nothing, Jon Snow.
you know nothing jon snow

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under tv

This will be the elegy read at my funeral

As it perfectly sums up a life Janie-lived:

you life butter cake

1 Comment

Filed under food, Uncategorized

Alternate life boy-me is living the dream

Lol. No. Not at all. Boy-me’s life doesn’t seem so great either.

So my email address, which I will not leave here, is just my first initial and my last name. Most days I will receive emails addressed to “Joseph [my name last name, presumably also his].”

And goddamn. It appears that Joseph’s life is also particularly You Life-y.

Here are some samples of what I receive on Joseph’s behalf:

you life - joseph me 3

He’s in credit card debt. I called this credit card company to ensure that someone didn’t steal my identity (and also to ensure the credit card company that if someone did – I’m already in credit card debt and that I was the wrong mark). They assured me that Joseph is taking care of it. Good job, Joe!

you life - joseph me 2

He’s also in crushing student loan debt! Fuck yeahhhhhhh, buddy. Me too. Go us on taking the gamble on higher education in the face of what is basically high interest loans distributed to teenagers.

you life - joseph me

He drives a 1998 Isuzu Hombre – a car that I’ve never ever heard of. But some engine or whatever the fuck is inside cars looks like a smiley faced character from a Pixar movie!

you life - joseph me 4
Goddamn. That thing is fucking cute.

Other things I’ve received on behalf of Joseph:

  • Canceled airline ticket emails from Spirit airlines
  • Email warnings about manufacturer recalls because something he bought is fucked
  • A furious email from his ex (God, I really wished I saved that one but it was from like 7 years ago and I wanted to mature. But fun side note, I used to use pieces of that vitriolic hate email from his ex to emotionally destroy other people – my favorite being, “drink gasoline and then light a goddamn match.” IT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE BUT IT’S SO FUCKING MEAN)

 

So Joseph [my last name], it’s good to know that the combination of our first initial and last name has generated a better understanding about what it’s like to be us – deeply in debt with terrible methods of transportation and exes that profoundly hate us.

Free to be you and me!
you life

Leave a comment

Filed under bro dudes, emails

Games for the lackluster depressive – and other computers for humans

All of my favorite games are ones available as free demos on PCs from the early to mid 90s. Like, if my parents truly loved me and bought me a version of Dinosaur Tycoon circa 1993 – the game available at the computer lab in my grammar school – that would probably reign supreme as most favorite game, but they didn’t. (to be fair [TBF] my dad did buy me a copy of Mortal Kombat 3 for the PC, which I was obsessed with but never totally got a solid grasp on the combat codes for the keyboard which means I could just kind of wander around the screen as Sonya Blade – who I still have a crush on. Like…a big crush on).
sonya
I digress.

Hold on – I found an image of the aforementioned dinosaur game, which I guess was actually called DinoPark Tycoon and now my childhood memories are in a tailspin because 1. I never got the name right, which means that I NEVER spelled it right when requesting it on my Christmas lists and 2. I really wanna play this jawn now.

dinopark

Okay, back to my main point, I really love/d demo games for the PC. I dominated the demo games. I attribute that domination to months of boredom and a lack of shame for not realizing that to land safely in the first frame of Prince of Persia you had to dangle from the fucking lip of the pit to get onto the concrete below instead of just hurtling oneself down time and time and time again until accidentally your little prince dangles and you drop safely.

Prince_of_Persia_1989
You don’t even want to KNOW how long figuring out the spike situation took me.

I actually know nothing about the rest of that ^ game, because my family never advanced beyond free demos during the early days of computers. And because of that I always thought that computer games ended in a black screen with me winning because you could no longer advance.

Like…I thought Prince of Persia was done once you defeated the very first boss, and to get to that boss it took me well over a year.

There were other iterations of demo games in the early to mids: frogger, and…something else, I don’t remember.

But time goes on, and eventually my family came to embrace the PC games of the day: Myst, Where in the World (or USA) is Carmen San Diego?, the aforementioned Mortal Kombat 3. And then demo games just ended up living fondly in my memory.

***

Until I got an Acer laptop circa 2009, and bless that sweet marvelous. It came with hella demo games.

There was an Agatha Christie-like mystery game
And numerous puzzle games
A first person shooter game
Something having to do with making cakes

A cornucopia of games. I felt like Don Draper getting to choose from my pick of honeys.

JK. I never feel like Don Draper, I’m just watching Mad Men while I write this.
don

But the shitty thing about these demos is that once you finished the demo’ed version once, you could never play it again unless you purchase said game. And since this computer is ancient by modern computer standards, these games are essentially just dust in the machine.

What. The. Horsey. Sauce.

***

It’s been years since I scrolled through the archives of the Acer demo games, only to find one, recently, that I never played.

So I started to play it. Only to discover (pretty quickly) that maybe this game was a little less magical than one would hope for in a diversion. As it had such exciting options as:
* seeing your crop turn to ash during a brutal winter
* bargaining with your neighbor for scant food supplies
* trying to barter with a town market to take the yield from your crops and having to settle for less than what they’re worth
* and such real life excitement, as:
photo (1)

So just as quickly, I stopped playing this game because the above co-pay is even more expensive than my actual one.

I’ll tell you what, Health Care Depression (or whatever this game is called) is way less fun than trying to jump over spikes for six months only to find some dude with a sword waiting for you once you finally figure it out. Particularly, when I have to ask myself eerie questions, like: “do I have enough money to satisfy this medical appointment?” (I didn’t).

So, I downloaded this ol’ jawner today instead of continuing with the evil demo reflection of, these, our miserable modern times.

Especially, when I can finally re-play a game where certain blocks of cement open up cage partitions instead.

Fuck a spike death.

download

Leave a comment

Filed under games, my prerogative, science! technology!

Working on my brand

I guess that’s a phrase that teenagers and social media savvy adults say. And, presumably, your brand is sort of like your online identity that is superior to your real identity and you can use that brand to sell shit to people who think you’re actually a real human. That’s it, right?

Anyway, as it turns out, without having actually worked on it I already have a brand. And unintentionally I’ve been developing it continuously and recklessly for, like, my whole adult life.

For example:
on brand - you life.JPG

My phone is so cracked that I can barely see anything on it. It’s like a little deconstructionist phone.

And the photo that potentially exemplifies me as a person the most:
you life brand

In case you were wondering – that’s my diploma being used as a coaster for my Mickey’s. Also…my coffee table. Complete with a coffee cup filled with the crust of coffee from I don’t actually know how long ago.

1 Comment

Filed under apartment, art, my prerogative

Whatever it takes Or how my heart breaks I will be right here waiting for you

The thing I like the best about You Life is how aggressively I can neglect it, and yet whenever I need You Life it’s always right there waiting for me. Like a Richard Marx song. I don’t know what this says about me, but I think it’s bad: both the deep appreciation of how much I adore the opportunity to neglect that which I love, and my knowledge of Richard Marx songs. (I could sing all the hits).

you life richard marx

Along with my love of soft rock, which is no secret, it’s also no secret that I eat like a candy beast human landfill teeming with cookies and cream hazelnut spread (by Jif) .

you life collage

I’m real gross. A few weeks ago, I texted my best friend letting him know that I had to pause over whether or not I was going to eat a chocolate glazed doughnut off of brick retaining wall near a car dealership. And this is not the first time I’ve had to ask for guidance about finding sweets on the ground

you life starburst

Considering my garbage status of trash human, it didn’t totally surprise me that someone (WHO HAS YET TO COME FORWARD AND WILL NOT OWN THIS) signed me up for Diabetes Self-Management. At first I thought this was weirdly accurate SPAM. But after further investigation this appears to be some sort of email blast that you have to sign up for which provides healthy eating tips and recipes. Either in an act of self-care I signed up for this while black out drunk (not impossible), or someone signed this up for me out of concern (less likely), or someone signed me up for this as a hilarious response to my terrible eating habits (most likely).

you life diabetes

Along with my love of food that is mostly comprised of a triumph of food chemistry and the sugar industry, I am fucking WILD about salt. Ohhhhhhhhh motherfucker. I keep salt with me everywhere. I carry salt packets in my purse, and whenever I check anything that has a pocket there will be salt packets in there too, and I keep an individual canister of Morton’s salt at my desk at work.

you life salt

As a result, I am unsurprised that along with a specter signing me up for diabetes care newsletters that salt has taken a more aggressive stance in my life and has started to email me directly. From now on, I look forward to continuing this correspondence with Salt.

salt you life 2

 

Welcome Salt, join my inbox with the emails about my impending diabetes and how to manage it and my desk with a canister of you at the ready. It’s nice to take our relationship to the next level. And I look forward to being able to adore you and neglect you – just like I do to You Life and soft rock. My whole heart, mi amore.

2 Comments

Filed under cooking, emails, food, music

Magical tooth fairy

I always kind of envisioned the tooth fairy as this babely femme that I had weird feelings about as a child. Like…do I like-like the tooth fairy? I fixated a lot on her as a child. Like…a lot.
tooth fairy bangable
I used to write her super intense letters, one time writing to her about how I wanted a cake topper of Cat-Woman (as portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns – her portraying Cat-Woman that is, not portraying a cake topper). The whole thing must have been  super weird for my parents to read.
catwoman and me

My belief in the tooth fairy was kind of destroyed by an episode of Dennis the Menace (the old school live action one, not the cartoon) where they talked about her not being real. I don’t remember being pissed or ashamed, but since those two things kind of typified my childhood (…and adulthood), I’m sure I was.

However, maybe Dennis got it wrong. Maybe the tooth fairy IS real. And maybe she is hanging out in and around West Philadelphia. Because when I walked out of my apartment the other morning, I was greeted with this:
you life teeth

As in, it was in front of my door. Having known a little bit about dentures (whatever, don’t judge my interests), I could immediately tell that this was a pretty expensive piece and therefore the owner – or the tooth fairy – would be very bummed about its disappearance. I snapped the above shot to see if I could zoom-in and see if there was a serial number on that jawn-er so I could contact someone (toothhhhhhhh fairy?).

Went to 7-11. Got some coffee and some shitty pizza. Walked back.

THE TEETH WERE FUCKING GONE.  

Dude, if I hadn’t taken the photo I would be doubting their actuality. The trip to 7z couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes, including the walk to and fro. Where did the teeth go? I didn’t even get my shining moment of saviorhood in an attempt to contact the tooth fairy (or owner) regarding their missing chompers.

But, if the coming and going of this pair of teethies means that the tooth fairy IS real AND visiting West Philadelphia…what’s up, pup? Youuuuuu wanna get a drink some time? Maybe discuss cake toppers?

What I’m saying is that I want to date the tooth fairy.
fairy tooth

Leave a comment

Filed under Cartoon, doodles, Holidays, Philadelphia