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Rachelle Mandik
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"Pretty much what would happen if you crossed Lynne Truss with Morena Baccarin." -Anonymous Author
"Pretty much what would happen if you crossed Lynne Truss with Morena Baccarin." -Anonymous Author

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Along the Mekong, Luang Prabang, Laos, October 2010 #travelthursday
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#windowwednesday Finally starting to edit my photos from SE Asia, 2010. This from the train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
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So I've been sick. Really, really sick. The kind of sick where you're certain there's a way-more-than-nonzero probability that you will die. The kind that comes with pain and hallucinations. I'm much better now, but I'm still grappling with the aftermath of having been that ill. It seems both near and remote now. And while most of it was terrible, there was a highlight.

While in the grips of the fever, one of my hallucinations was that my face was a nostalgia jukebox. That if I pressed certain areas of my face (which I was doing anyway, to try to alleviate even the smallest bit of the pain in my head), it would access a long-lost memory. There was no doubt as to the truth of this proposition. My face became a nostalgia jukebox.

I uncovered some of the most amazing memories! One of them, unsurprisingly, was about being sick. The memory was the singular taste and feel of my favorite cough drop from when I was a kid. They were called Pine Bros. and they were honey flavored and chewy. And definitely, definitely not medicinal in any way. Not like those nasty Sucrets things that I was sure were made of gasoline and that my nana seemed to have knocking around in their tin coffins in her purse. No! Sweet! And Chewy! The kind of chewy where if you bite down on it you panic that you will never successfully unstick your teeth and will have to talk like a rich person forever. Actually it's quite false to say they were honey flavored. They were honey-ideated. The way Fruit Stripes gum is fruit-ideated. There's a Matrix quality to the experience of tasting these things. The concept is strong enough to give you most of an experience but the substance itself doesn't comply. The box says honey on it, so you went along with it, but they mostly tasted like glycerine and half-forgotten things. Things you won't remember you want to remember until much, much later. They had the word "PINE" in raised letters on the top and I would love to run my tongue along the word and contemplate the oddity of how words don't taste like the things they describe.

So there I was, having this amazing memory, and I wanted some. Right away. I wondered if they still existed. So I started poking around on the Internet to find out. The first few sites I read gutted me: They hadn't been produced in years. People were lamenting their lost childhoods. Boxes of possibly petrified drops were selling on eBay for ridiculous sums. So I decided I would be happy enough just to see a picture of them, and did a Google image search. And I saw the strangest thing.

New packaging! Little pucklike disks imprinted with the glorious words "Pine Bros." and "Honey." And I went from despair to elation. They're back! And now that I'm well enough to go outside, I am going to get some. And if I'm really feeling better, maybe I'll bite down and panic. This time just for fun.
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Even my cello case has a face.
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"First you don't get it. Then you get it. Then you can't un- get it." (Wish I knew who to credit. It was linked without commentary on my FB.)

*Update: Print ads for LEGO by German agency Jung von Matt
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Photo of the day
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I take photos of people asleep in public. Here is one from today.
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Please?
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Where did they learn those positions?
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Personal content ahead (long). Someone on my stream posted a story yesterday about online retailers using certain algorithms to determine whether their female customers might be expecting a baby. It thoroughly creeped me out, but more than that, it made me furious.

I'd gotten this e-mail (screenshot below) just a few days ago from a website where I'd purchased a new travel bag for our dog for our upcoming plane trip. I'm a mom (a dog mom), but I do not have a baby. I pretty much can't have a baby without an entire team of scientists helping out, which I've yet to actually try, because I don't want to fail. In a way it's easier to feel unlucky than to feel doomed.

But this insidious marketing thing makes me more upset than I can even say. I refuse to buy anything else from a company that engages in this awful practice, and I'm at the point where I'm loath to buy anything from anyone online ever again if this is what it leads to.

About a month ago I got a catalog out of the blue for some other baby thing. I don't know where these people get my information or why they are so sure I am breeding, but I called the company that sent me the catalog and cried. Sloppy, breathless crying about how they ruined my day by sending me a baby-stuff catalog when I'm infertile, and how they must never, ever send me anything ever again. How I now had to rush to my therapist and had to take the day off of work to deal with the trauma. All lies. Well, all except the infertility part. And the real underlying sadness.

But is that kind of emotional terrorism effective beyond making me feel better? Will it get them to stop? Also, is that really all I can do now with my theatre background?

Anybody in marketing or advertising want to comment?
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