Monthly Archives: February 2012

A love note and English assignment all in one!


This week, in my English class (core requirement) among other things, we had to make observations of two things, people, occurrences, whatever, and write a paragraph about each one.  I decided to watch Chris sleep, because over the last 15 years, I’ve marvelled at the fact that he bounds out of bed every morning, not a hair out of place. I am presenting it as part of his Valentine’s Day Present to the man I refer to as……

Perfection Personified

He’s amazing. He looks perfect even when he’s sleeping. I wonder if he knows how lucky he is? I’m talking about Christopher J. O’Donnell, the man to whom I’ve been married for the past 15 years. In those years, I have witnessed morning after morning, him rising from bed, not a hair out of place, looking, shall I say it again? Perfect. As I observe him sleeping, I see why. He doesn’t move. He lays in a very organized fashion (like he does everything else in life), on his left side, and just sleeps. No tossing, no turning. he just sleeps, and he has a teeny little smile the whole time. What is he smiling about? I can only guess it’s because he’s married to me! I try to see if I can get some movement. I delicately cough. Nothing. I cough again, not so delicately. Still nothing. I turn on my reading light. A slight stirring, “Everything all right?” he asks, not quite awake, and not moving. “Oh fine,” I say. And so he stays throughout the night. I know, I checked at 3:00 a.m. As the alarm sounds at 5:30 a.m., up he gets, fully rested, looking perfect, ready to take on the day.

Observations of Christopher J. O’Donnell, February 8, 2012.

Good news.  Got an A on my toilet paper essay, and “Memorable Moments.”

Not posting while in school…Well maybe my toilet paper essay


ImageOK, I’m staying away from the Internet while in school, as I need to Focus, Focus, Focus, or as Evan says “On task, Mom!” I know, so what was my excuse for Feb through August of last year, after getting off to such a great year with the year of the hat?

The biggest issue is that most pictures of me with my great hats looked horrible! I have my pride! Not much,as can be seen on the latest Sundays with Shivstopher which incidentally is getting on the web via the shoemaker’s elves. As you know, I’m staying away from the internet while in school.


But, it occurred to me that I could just post my essays from my writing class. This one is responding to assignment to write about “Offensive TV Commercials.”    

The most offensive TV Commercial – By Shivaun O’Donnell – Jan 30, 2012

     Unlike much of the world, I actually like television commercials. In fact, I vividly recall   when I was 7 years old hearing my father bemoan commercials, and I said “I like commercials!” Surprised, he asked why, and I replied “How else would people know what to buy?”  I really did see commercials as something to make life easier for people. I loved the wonderful people living wonderful lives in their wonderful cars solving life’s problems with wonderful products, often accompanied by a wonderful jingle.  The jingles alone made life worth living:  “You can take Salem out of the country…But….you can’t take the country out of Salem!” 
            Even as I’ve gotten older, and I realize life isn’t always so wonderful, or easily solved by a jingle, and how hard it is to ‘kick the habit and join the unhooked generation,”  I still like commercials, mostly because they’re an example of the creative process at work. I think of the ad people sitting in their brainstorming session coming up with the ideas, and it makes me enjoy the funny ones, or the ones that tug at my heartstrings, and even the medication commercials with 25 seconds of warnings in a 30 second spot. So, for me to not like a commercial is really saying something.  
            The way I feel about the Charmin Ultra Strong commercial is beyond not liking.  I hate it! In fact, it all but causes me to curl up into a little ball with a feeling of near hopelessness about the future of society..  The commercial features a mother bear inspecting her young son’s behind to see if there are ‘“pieces left behind.” To ensure there is no confusion for viewers, the commercial shows the baby bear’s behind with several scraps of toilet paper remaining from an apparent unsuccessful wiping. Still didn’t get it? “Sorry son, but you still have them,” she scolds.  ARGHHHH!!!! 
             To me, this commercial represents the total debasing of society, displaying a complete lack of dignity where nothing is private or off-limits, not even our bathroom challenges.  It’s ridiculous and offensive on a number of levels.  First, commercials usually reflect some sort of reality, a common practice. Are parents doing this on a regular basis with kids; looking at their butts saying “Let me see if you pass inspection?” How did this idea even come up?  I can only imagine the brainstorming session in this ad agency. Second, it’s just plain gross to actually refer to the the tail end of what used to be perhaps most private of private activities. Why can’t they just say “This is the strongest toilet paper ever,” and leave it to the viewer to decide if he or she needs it?  Finally, as we slide down this slippery slope I can’t help but wonder: What’s next? Actually documenting the wiping process as it’s happening and all the glory of what comes before that process? Or perhaps discussions on the city streets  regarding bowel irregularity from a once respected movie star like Jamie Lee Curtis? Oh that’s right, the Activia commercial features that.
            The Charmin Ultra Strong commercial so infuriated me that I wrote to the manufacturer, Proctor and Gamble,  to tell them how offensive I found it, and as a result would not buy the product, and would advocate to sell our stock in Proctor and Gamble. 

             I got a response back.  “Dear Shivaun, Thanks for contacting Charmin. I’m sincerely sorry to hear that you find our Charmin advertisement offensive. We rely heavily on consumer comments regarding our advertisements, and feedback like yours will help us decide how to approach future advertising efforts. Please be assured I’m letting our marketing team know how you feel. Thanks again for writing.    Shoranne S. Charmin Team” Next stop, Dannon, makers of Activia!Image