23 February 2010

Frequent Fatty Fliers

Lately, there's been a lot of hubbub about extremely overweight travelers having to purchase two plane tickets in order to fly and accommodate their large size...and they're not happy about it.

If you've ever been on an airplane sitting next to someone who is pushing 350, you know what it's like to contort your body into a pretzel shape in an already crammed seat.  Although I think airline companies lack tact and compassion with this rule, I have to say I agree with it.

I have absolutely nothing against fat people by any means, but when it starts to affect my life, then we're gonna have some words.  I have sat next to large people on planes and although I'm a nugget, that doesn't mean that it's okay for you to share some of my seat.  I stay out of your $300 space, so stay out of mine.

If you want to fly but are so heavy that you bulge out of your seat into someone else's seat, you should have to pay for that extra baggage! That's just the way it is.  As harsh and cruel as it may seem to the overweight person, it's only fair and logical.  No one wants to be stuck in the middle seat as it is, let alone with someone whose arms and belly are practically in your lap the entire flight!

This issue has made headlines again with Kevin Smith, the popular film director whose resume includes films like "Mallrats" and "Clerks".  Smith was kicked off a Southwest flight because of his size, but he claims he had no problem buckling his seatbelt or lowering his armrests, two of the requirements for every passenger.  The airline's policy states, "If a customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat, a customer seated adjacent would be very uncomfortable and a timely exit from the aircraft in the event of an emergency might be compromised if we allow a cramped, restricted seating arrangement."

According to an article on CNN.com, Smith says "Dude, I know I'm fat...That's not why I was truly thrown off that plane because I fit perfectly in the seat...I am not fat enough to eject off a Southwest flight."  Smith actually suspects he was bumped by an airline employee who did not like his comic films, which include "Zach and Miri Make a Porno," "Clerks" and the upcoming "Cop Out."

First of all Kevin, I highly doubt there is a conspiracy against you or your work, so much so that an airline employee would see you on the flight and say "hmm...I hated 'Jersey Girl' so damn much, how can I seek revenge against Kevin Smith for the 2 hours of my life that was wasted from watching that dumb movie? Oh, I know. He's fat, and it just so happens the airline I work for has this policy...yep, I'm gonna toss his fat ass right off this plane."


Well, apparently Smith's goal is to force Southwest to change the way they deal with overweight passengers.  I can agree with that. Being fat comes with a stigma, and airlines are among the rest of society's bullies.  But I also agree with Southwest and any other airline who implements this policy.  How is it fair for the fattest person onboard to take up 50% of my seat, a seat I spent hundreds of dollars on? The overweight person should help me incur some of these costs, or just purchase a second seat because they're taking it up anyway?

And if it's such a huge deal (pun intended) for these heavyweights to purchase a second seat, why don't they stop and think to buy a business or a first class seat? We all know those seats are a lot bigger, roomier, and they're usually only two on each side, versus three.

Basically, these heavy passengers who would purchase two economy seats to accommodate their weight could purchase one first class ticket for approximately the same price, be the first to board and exit the plane, and get complimentary beverages and warm towels!

The way I see it, you have 3 options. 
1. Buy the two economy tickets
2. Buy a first class ticket
3. Buy a gym membership instead of that second ticket and the problem will literally solve itself within a year's time...or less if you become a contestant on the Biggest Loser

12 February 2010

Facebook Faux Pas

Facebook is one of the best social utilities ever created.  It connects you with family, friends, old flames, and even enemies.  It's a place where you can stalk people, and not get caught.  It's a place where you can keep up with each other's lives without putting in too much effort. But sometimes people use it for the wrong purposes.

Like any other social network, Facebook has it's fair share of faux pas.  Some people cross the line.  We're all guilty of it.  But the biggest faux pas are the people who fit into certain categories and will always be in that category as long as Facebook exists.

Are you in one of these categories?

1. The constant complainer: You log into Facebook.  The first thing you see is your friend complaining about something...yet again.  It's usually the same topic.  "My job sucks"; or "my boyfriend sucks"; or even "school sucks".  Facebook can be a place to vent, but when every status update is just a rewording of the previous ones, it gets old.  I have friends who constantly complain about the same topic, many times a day, and expect different results.  Just because you update your status doesn't mean your life will change. Don't be a Debbie Downer.  Maybe it's time to make a change so you can have an opportunity to STOP COMPLAINING!

2. The compliment seeker.  Did you just get a new haircut? Have an interview for a great job? Get engaged? Great. CALL your friends! Don't simply use Facebook to share your great news so your 429 friends can comment on your status update.  Sure, it's okay to share this news, but after three weeks of hearing about your new engagement, and seeing 3 photo albums of the ring on your finger, shot from different angles, we get the point.  Time to move on. Talk about something else.  There's nothing worse than someone who is so desperate for compliments, it's all you can talk about and think about, to the point that you've stopped caring about anyone else except yourself.

3. The couple who is too much in love and can't stop updating us about it. I'm really happy for you that you found true love.  I really am.  I have too. But, logging onto Facebook every three minutes to proclaim your undying love for someone is not only annoying, it's pathetic.  You already know people are happy for you if you're happy.  That doesn't mean that you constantly need to update your status with things like "i can't believe how happy i am...i love you so much and i can't stop thinking about you...you make me complete...xoxoxoxoxo" or that your status consists of a single heart and a series of ...  I would personally rather see you and the love of your life having sex than constantly reading this Hallmark, ooey gooey bullshit.  I love someone too. She's amazing and I love her with all my heart. But when I want everyone to know we're happy and I know people are happy for us without my having to write sappy love poems every four minutes on my status updates.  We get the point.

4. The people who can't spell and/or have horrible grammar. I know not everyone is a good speller. I happen to be one, but I certainly don't expect other people to be.  But, it's really not that difficult. In fact, Facebook is like Microsoft Word and allows spell check by underlining your misspelled words with a red line, pointing out your mistake.  I especially hate when people misspell words, especially when they're trying to make a point about something important, like a presidential election, politics, social injustice, etc.  How am I supposed to take you seriously when you don't know the difference between "you're/your" and "they're/their/there"? Seriously.  Not that difficult.

5. The people who use Facebook as their primary source of communication. What happened to a simple phone call? An email perhaps? Why is it I can only get ahold of certain people on Facebook? What did we all do before Facebook? I don't get it.  I am a well rounded person as far as communication is concerned.  I talk to many people on the phone; others I get by with emails and texts; but there are those of you I can only get ahold of if I log into a website.  That's just fucked up. I hate it.  Call me instead of writing on my wall, or commenting on my status.  If you really cared, you would pick up the phone or at the very least, send emails more often...especially family and close friends!

6. The kid obsessed people.  Yes, your baby is cute.  Congrats. I'm happy for you.  But do we really need updates that Baby X just had his first solid poop in a week? Or that Baby X just won't latch onto your nipples? Or how about my favorite, Baby X's 3,098 photo albums that are updated week by week? Seriously? Babies are all the same. Your baby is no different.  They all eat, shit, sleep, puke, and then they learn how to walk and talk. I understand as a new parent it's amazing to go through these new experiences, but you're not an innovator.  You're a regular parent. Knock it off.

7. The Facebook fad follower.  How many of you have seen this: "if you love your (insert family member here) and aren't too proud to say it, post this as your status for an hour"? WTF? Of course I love my family and friends...I don't need your generic status message to say what I want to say. It's like people look in their news feed, find these stupid status updates and copy and paste them as a testament of their love? No, you're dumb. Or how about joining groups or becoming a fan of something? Sure, I'm a fan of gay marriage; doesn't mean I have to join a group about it or become a fan of it, especially when I'll NEVER visit the page again! Or how about the recent group "I bet this pickle can get more fans than Nickleback?" Who the fuck starts this shit? How annoying!  Be creative; stop copying other people's shit and facebook fad groups end as quickly as they start and all you're left with is 422 fan/group pages you'll never visit again.

8. The people who quote movies/songs but don't give proper credit.  Someone on my friends list quoted a Matt Nathanson song yesterday, "Come on Get Higher" and there were several comments from people saying "OMG that made me cry! Your woman is so lucky!" and "that's some intense shit" and my favorite "that gave me chills".  Are you fucking kidding me? This guy did not come up with this on his own! He used someone else's amazing lyrics and used them as his own, and has yet to correct people who have commented. His intentions were good--he was quoting a song to show us the current mood he was in--he's in the military and is missing his pregnant wife. I get that. But, I quote songs and movies all the time--yet, I give proper credit when people comment. I say things like "Oh, that's from this song or that movie". For those of us people who are creative, don't NOT give the proper credit. It makes you look stupid if you don't and you should feel guilty for taking the credit. It's called 'fraud'!

9.  The ones who start fights...on purpose. I'm guilty of this one myself, I'm not gonna lie.  Sometimes when I'm pissed off at someone, I'll update my status to say something and without using direct names, they get the gist of it. Like I said, it's okay to vent, but it's not cool to start fights on people's statuses and walls.  I have been known to do it myself and I'm not exempt from this category, but I especially hate the people who start shit and make snide comments, and when I call them out on it, they get all pissed off as if they did nothing wrong! If you have something to say, tell me to my face. Call me up! I do the same for you. And I haven't done this one in a long, long time.

10. The lurkers. Yes, you know who you are.  You want to know what's going on in everyone else's life and have opinions about it, yet won't offer anything yourself? You are online. I know you are. You just commented on my status, yet you're not showing up in the chat box.  You say it's because you don't want to "chat". Okay, then don't. If someone opens a chat window, just close it and ignore it. That's what I do. I respect your "privacy", but if that's really your goal, why are you even on a public social network? How about sticking to private emails if you can't man up and offer information about your life.

Prescription Mints??

People are stupid.  Really, really, fucking stupid.  And they get away with it.

Two 4th grade teachers at Westchase Elementary School in Tampa, FL, decided they would be "creative" and help their students deal with FCAT jitters. Curing jitters could include some stress relief like exercise, or playing fun games.  But that's not what they decided.

One of the student's grandmothers, Sandy Young, says she walked into the classroom and saw orange prescription bottles sitting on everyone's desk.  Immediately, she was concerned.  Hell, I would be too.  A classroom full of 4th grade prescription drug abusers is something to be concerned about.

The teacher, Beth Watson, told the grandmother there were no drugs in the bottles, just mints.  Upon closer investigation, the bottles allegedly read "Watson's Whiz Kid Pharmacy. Take 1 tablet by mouth EVERY 5 MINUTES to cure FCAT jitters. Repeated use may cause craft to spontaneously ooze from pores. No refills. Ms. (Deborah) Falcon's authorization required."

WTF? Why would two educated teachers think it was appropriate to put mints in prescription pill bottles as a creative way to calm their students before they were about to take the FCATs? What is that teaching besides the only way to cure "jitters" (adult terms--stress) is by relying on the orange bottle and some white pills? Or, how about when the students go home and look in the medicine cabinet and find a prescription for Xanax or Percocet, and think the pills are actually mints like their stupid teachers imprinted in their brains?

Apparently, the teachers said the idea was tied to Roald Dahl's book, "George's Marvelous Medicine", which is about a boy who concocts potion to change the disposition of his cranky grandmother.

Um...not the same idea. Not even remotely close.

Potions are completely different than prescription pills! You don't see Harry Potter popping pills or using a tourniquet on his arm and injecting himself with a needle.  These teachers should be fired for their stupidity.  Instead, they will not even be disciplined because it was not their intention to promote drug use.

Really? Is that why they bought orange prescription bottles, filled them with white mints that resemble pills, wrote up a fake prescription to put on the bottle, and then doled them out to their students to medicate their jitters? No, that doesn't sound like promoting drug use to me. Not one bit.

Teachers have just as much impact on kids as parents do, and generally they should all be on the same page.  So, you try to keep your kids away from drugs at home, yet when they get to school, they get the message that it's okay? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait for these kids to grow up.  This one incident may not have harmed them short term, but now all of these 4th graders have the idea that when life gets too hard, all they have to do is turn to an orange bottle and everything will go away.  I personally can't wait to see this entire class on A&E's Intervention in less than a decade.

08 February 2010

Clubbed Thumbs Up

I always knew there was a reason Megan Fox creeped me out. 

At first she just annoyed me with her lack of acting skills, comparable to Britney Spears in the movie "Crossroads".  But then I thought it might be because she was engaged to Brian Austin Green, who was on "Beverly Hills: 90210" while Megan was dropping logs in her diaper.  But what if her DSL's (dick sucking lips) are really what I find creepy??

Then after her Superbowl ad for Motorola premiered, and after reading gossip from Perez Hilton, I finally figured out what it was.  Apparently, she was okay being naked in a tub as a sex object, but she had to find a hand model because she has a deformity.

It's called Brachydactyly, which means "short digits" and it's basically a term for "clubbed thumb", which refers to disproportionately short fingers and toes.

Rumor has it her thumbs match her toes too...wonder if her center of gravity is off a bit with her short nugget digits?

I thought I had short nugget digits, but at least mine are proportionate.

Obviously, when everyone looks at Megan Fox, they're not looking at her "clubbed thumb"...EXCEPT ME!!!!!!!!!! 

An article on NYDailyNews.com references an interview from Esquire magazine where Fox says, "I know I'm seen as a sex object...I'm just really confident sexually, and I think that sort of oozes out of my pores. It's just there. It's something I don't have to turn on."

I knew there was a reason why this annoying, immature, horrible actress/sex symbol was annoying. I couldn't quite put my "finger" on it until now though. I hate that she blabs about being a sexy symbol, but if she's so confident, why did she need a hand model for the commercial?

Dear Megan,

You should brace your imperfections and be proud of who you are.  I say you're a creepy hypocrite.  

Thumbs up!

05 February 2010


I am proud to say I have a Bachelor's Degree in English.  As of late, it seems I may have spent 5.5 years in college with the wrong major. Don't get me wrong, I love reading and writing and will always be a writer.  Lately it seems as though I should have gotten a degree in psychiatry. Or at least I should go back to school to get a degree so my advice can be more credible.

I have always been the go-to friend for advice on relationships, life, and everything in between for many friends and family.  I often wonder why this is.  I'm outspoken, opinionated, stubborn, and I don't always use the filter from my brain to my mouth when it comes to certain topics. I don't hesitate to tell the truth, nor do I worry about hurting someone else's feelings.  Remember, you came to me. If you honestly want the truth, your feelings will probably be hurt.

With that said, friends and family flock to me with their various complaints.  How to deal with a situation at work, how to deal with a situation at home, etc.  Maybe people come to me for an outside perspective; or maybe they value my advice.  Or maybe they want the honestly want the truth, and know I'll give it to them rather than telling them what they want to hear, which is always what they get from everyone else.  Needless to say, I'm happy to help and put in my opinion. That's what I do.

Over the course of the week, I have doled out advice about relationship struggles and trust issues that I think everyone could learn from.  Take it or leave it.  Sometimes all people need is to talk it out and get a fresh perspective to dive back in and take control of the situation.

In the meantime, if you find yourself struggling with issues about work, life, and love, follow my simple advice and you should be alright. These are common complaints I often hear from everyone, so you want my advice? Here's my 98¢, whether you asked for it or not.

#1. I hate my job.  Solution? Find a new one. Or just be thankful you have one in this economy. Until then, a job is a job. It's a means to an end. It doesn't make you who you are. Sure, everyone has complaints about their jobs, I know I do. But I need my job to pay for the nice things I have and to take care of my woman and to have the luxury of traveling and everything in between.  But, I recognize that I'm one of the lucky ones to still be employed in this country.  I suggest you leave work at work and when you get home, take advantage of the loved ones waiting for you at the end of the day. It makes your job seem unimportant in the big picture. 

#2. I'm broke.  Solution? There are plenty of ways to make extra money for your bank account and to take your mind off your shitty job.  Offer your neighbors to shovel snow or mow their lawn.  Offer dog walking/pet sitting services. Tap into your artistic side and sell some paintings, photography, or even check out writing contests online. There are other ways you can save some money. Do you really need that pair of jeans? Do you really need to go out twice in one week? Do you really need to stop at Starbucks? Probably not. Start prioritizing and the payoff will be ten-fold in the end.

#3. I'm jealous of other girls/guys and worry my mate will cheat on me OR I don't want my mate to have friends of the opposite sex for fear they might cheat. Solution? You either trust your partner or you don't.  There's no in between.  If your mate has never given you a reason to not trust them, then leave it at that. If your mate has given you a reason to be mistrustful, why are you still together? You can't have a successful relationship if you don't completely trust the other person.  Love can conquer most things, but love cannot conquer jealousy. It's up to the two of you to set up healthy boundaries and learn to trust one another. And if one of you does decide to cheat, well I guess you know where you stand then. So many people say they're afraid to open up because they might get hurt. Cheating will hurt you, yes; however, being in a relationship is both rewarding and painful because even if you don't cheat, you can still get hurt in other ways.

#4. I feel like I do everything/I'm the only one who makes the effort.  Solution? You can't change someone or force them to pick up the slack or even offer to help you.  What you can do is stop doing certain things for your mate so they learn they have to do it on their own. Once they learn that lesson, they'll appreciate the times you do it after they learn their lesson. Relationships are two way streets. Each of you has to pitch in and recognize their role. Maybe one of you has to lower your standards and allow the other person to do things their way once in a while.  Maybe you need to respect each others flaws and quirks and learn how to move past them. 

#5. I feel like we're always fighting. Solution? Learn how to interact and communicate like adults. Instead of arguing about the little shit, figure out what the "real" problem is and work on that.  You know you're not really arguing about dishes--you're arguing that you never help do housework.  You're not really arguing about doing laundry--you're arguing about the fact that you are the parent, not the spouse. Everyone has relationship problems. Everyone argues.  But not everyone fights all the time.  If you argue and have a big blow out, and then talk it over maturely the next day, but then you keep having the same fight every few months? You have not overcome your issues.  Find the middle ground. Both of you will have to compromise on certain things to make it work.

#6. I feel like my mate and I don't communicate. Solution? Learn how to be an adult and communicate properly.  One person can't just shut down or freak out if the other confronts them with an issue.  Everyone is entitled to have feelings and concerns, but just because you might not agree with them does not make them less valid or justified.  Both of you need to listen to each other and figure out a way to communicate like mature adults that you are.  This doesn't just go for partners either. This goes for family members and friends.  Just because someone raises a concern doesn't mean you have the right to walk away or freak out screaming and yelling simply because the other person wants to talk.  Five year olds act that way; adults shouldn't.  That's not saying you don't have a right to yell and scream and get upset, but if that's all you ever do, you have an issue.

#7. I always get hurt when I am in a relationship. Solution? Stop picking the wrong people to be with then.  You should know what to look for and what not to look for by now.  Nothing irritates me more than the people who consistently date the same "type" of people and then complain about it ALL THE TIME. If you don't want to be treated like shit, stop dating criminals or badasses.  Just because it's a different guy, doesn't mean that he's necessarily different. Everyone fits into a category and there's only a .01% chance that he's actually "different".  If you're dating the same type of people and get hurt time and time again, it's time to change your location and standards. Or just face up to the fact that you may actually like being treated poorly.

#8. I feel like you just don't understand or you don't understand what I'm going through. Solution? Maybe your mate or your friends or your family literally don't understand.  Maybe you're not making your point clear enough.  Or maybe, just maybe, they do understand but you'd rather keep rehashing the same issue because without it, you don't have any ammo to guard yourself with? If we do get it, that means the issue is over; it's been dealt with and you no longer have the ammo to use the excuse that we just don't understand. Just because someone hasn't been through the same exact experience does not make them less credible.  I have never been married; however, I feel I am credible to dole out advice because I am smart, caring, and have common sense but more importantly, I don't sugar coat anything. More importantly, not everyone has to "understand".  There are probably things the other person feels you don't understand either, and that's okay.

#9. I'm unhappy with my (insert word here) Solution? Everyone has complaints about their lives, bodies, jobs, relationships, etc.  But it's up to you to change it! No one can change it for you. You can't sit around and wait for life to happen to you. You have to go out and get it and take it for yourself. No one will feel sorry for you for being unhappy with certain things in your life, especially when you complain about them incessantly and never change your behavior but expect different results.

#10. I feel like nobody approves of what I do. Solution? Maybe it's true. Maybe your loved ones have high expectations of you and when you don't meet those expectations, they get disappointed.  If they really love you, they'll accept you and support you, but you have to give them a chance to do it. If someone says they don't like something you're doing or have concerns about it, your first reaction should not be to push them away.  Your first reaction should be to accept that they are entitled to their own opinion, as are you, and you need to give them a chance to support you. It happens to everyone, not just you.  Everyone does something another person doesn't approve of, but it's your life. Only you can live it. But you need to expect people to give you their opinions and just because you choose not to listen or choose to push them away doesn't mean the opinions aren't still there, so you might as well face it sooner rather than later.

FINAL POINT: Basically, my point is that life is not always about you.  Yes, you're entitled to have your own set of problems, complaints, and issues.  But they are never one sided.   If you have all these complaints and issues, there's a large possibility the other person has the same amount as well.  You must communicate, compromise, and care about the other person. It doesn't have to be just your partner--it can be a friend, a parent, a sibling, or even a child.  There are always two sides to the story, and two people in a relationship. If you never realize that and consistently find yourself with the same set of issues, maybe the problem isn't the other person; maybe it's YOU.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT exempt from my own advice.

04 February 2010

The Smallest Winner

Like many Americans, I can afford to lose some weight. I understand that and recognize that. What I don't understand is the people who weigh a half ton and when they lose weight, they literally lose 4 of me! I am baffled as to how you can get that large and how you're still alive!

I'm a HUGE fan of the show, The Biggest Loser, and I think the show's intentions are amazing. They literally transform the fattest people this world has ever seen and shrink them down to nugget size. If you watch the very first episode, and the finale, and nothing in between, it almost feels like you watched a real life version of the cheesy "Honey I Shrunk The (insert names here)" movies.

I have no judgments or prejudices against fat people whatsoever and I love watching these people be transformed from shy, self conscious, morbidly obese people into healthier, more confident people.  They do that through a variety of challenges, workouts, and game play strategies, which sometimes don't always work out.  If I were on the show, there would be a bit of game play on my end (ie: sending home the player who has more weight to lose so as to not ruin my chances), but this season is by far the most dramatic I've ever seen.

You have the green team, a Puerto Rican mom/daughter combo, and they are spicier than a handful of habanero peppers.  The mom's name is Miggy, and the daughter's name is Migdalia, and they're both rotten bitches who don't show any emotion. No wonder you weigh 300 pounds. Your name is Migdalia. AND You eat your emotions and wash them down with greasy cheeseburgers.

Then there's the red team, a husband/wife combo, Lance and Melissa, who are in the game not only to lose weight, but to play the game.  They throw weigh-ins, throw people under the bus, and act surprised when people call them liars.  There's nothing I want more than for this white trash duo to head back to the dirty south and get on with their over indulgent lives.

Weird that the green and red team fight more than Charlie Sheen and his women.

There is more drama with the other teams, of course, but my main issue with the show is the fact that contestants have a clothing requirement. During the weigh in, women wear sports bras and spandex shorts, and men just wear shorts.  I know it's so the scale weighs their bodies, and not their clothing, but keep in mind that this is a "couples" season, so they have teams of cousins, mother/daughter, husband/wife, and...wait for it...father/daughter!!! 

I for one, would have an extremely difficult time standing in front of people, half naked, if I were the size of a bottle-nose dolphin. I give mad props to these people who can stand on the scale, week after week, in front of their peers and America. 

What I would NEVER do, however, is stand in front of my own father in a sports bra and spandex shorts.  Like the black team, Darrell and Andrea, that's what they face week after week. I love my father, don't get me wrong, but I would feel sooooooo uncomfortable with boobs that resemble a peanut shell in a sports bra and a mad case of camel toe in my skin tight spandies.  I know it's a requirement of the show when you weigh in, but still.  I couldn't do it. But, because of the lack of clothing during a weigh in, we get to see the contestants bodies transform before our eyes for four months, which is both amazing and inspiring.

It's unfortunate we never get to see Jillian wearing next to nothing. Until now.
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