Thursday, September 25, 2008

I HATE! Improper Eating Etiquette

I'm a stickler for table manners. Ok - I'll admit that on occasion, I may have allowed my elbows to rest upon the table, but other than that, I am usually very keen on maintaining proper composure at the dinner table. But it has come to my attention that not everyone holds these values in as high regard as I do. I'm not going to jump across the table and throttle you if you accidentally begin speaking without having fully cleared your mouth of food, but I will stare at your gaping mouth you until you realize that you need to finish that bite of pasta before continuing your thought. Table manners are important simply because it's really easy for food to go from looking like something delectable to becoming something vomit-inducing. So let's discuss some of my favorite (read: most hated) examples of improper eating etiquette.

1. Talking with Food in Your Mouth

I'm not sure I know anyone that enjoys watching someone else chew with his or her mouth open. It's simply not a pretty picture. Staring at half-masticated food practically falling out of another person's mouth while he or she tries to articulate a complete sentence is certainly not my favorite past time. And I'm confidant in saying that talking with food in your mouth is an offense abhorred across the board and it's probably number one on the list of bad table manners. It's easy to avoid this atrocity; keep your mouth closed until you manage to finish every last bit of the bite. Remember your thought and just wait the chewing out. People will be much more interested in what you have to say when they can actually concentrate on what is coming out of your mouth instead of what's inside your mouth.

2. Chewing with Your Mouth Open

Next comes chewing with your mouth open. I have a very dear friend, whom I love, but I discovered, while on vacation with her, that she chews with her mouth open and to top it off, the chewing-with-her-mouth-open seems to produce a weird smacking sound - a noise, which unfortunately, is completely un-ignorable. When eating with said friend, I noticed that it became increasingly difficult to not concentrate on the smacking. It was almost mesmerizing - well, that was until I realized that I'd tuned everything else out and was literally staring at her gaping mouth trying to determine just how the smacking was being generated. Generally embarrassing for all parties involved. Such a situation can be avoided by making sure to chew with your mouth closed.

3. Eating Like You've Never Eaten Before

I will admit that I have been known to inhale my food every now and again, but I really try not to make a habit of it. I do understand that sometimes you are just so hungry that eating like you've never had a meal in your life seems the the best way to go about filling your belly. Unfortunately, doing this makes you look like a bit of a heathen. You are supposed to enjoy your food and slowly savor each bite - even if it means physically restraining yourself in order to do so. The solution to this problem (and I'm sorry if you're starving, but this is just the way it's got to be) is making sure to chew each bite until it is truly broken down enough to swallow without any trouble. Take your time. The food will most likely taste even better if you chew it thoroughly and slowly instead of swallowing it all whole. AND, you won't look like a caveman.

4. Eating Sloppily

Look, here is another reason to adhere to eating etiquette - you won't spill all over yourself. If you eat sloppily, chances are, you will end up with food all over the front of your shirt and that is not exactly attractive. It's not appealing when you can tell what someone had for dinner just by looking at his or her shirt. That is a bad sign and most likely, not attract any potential mates. Those Tide to Go commercials that feature a prominently-displayed stain demanding attention are 100% accurate - no one is going to pay a damn bit of attention to you if you're covered in marinara sauce and pesto stains. Slow down. Pay attention. It will save you heartache in the long run.

Basically, I just want everyone to know how easy it is to disgust others with improper eating etiquette. Like I said earlier, there is a fine fine line between something mouth-watering and something utterly repulsive - and line is often tread upon by those who do not honor what their parents have taught them about proper dinner table behavior.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I HATE! More than Sarah Palin's 'Lipstick' Comment

Is this a mother f-ing joke?
Palin's Town Charged Women for Rape Exams

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's hometown required women to pay for their own rape examinations while she was mayor, a practice her police chief fought to keep as late as 2000...

...Former state Rep. Eric Croft, a Democrat, sponsored a state law requiring cities to provide the examinations free of charge to victims. He said the only ongoing resistance he met was from Wasilla, where Palin was mayor from 1996 to 2002. "It was one of those things everyone could agree on except Wasilla," Croft told CNN. "We couldn't convince the chief of police to stop charging them."

And consider this:
For years, Alaska has had the worst record of any state in rape and in murder of women by men. The rape rate in Alaska is 2.5 times the national average.

Although some claim that Palin was not aware that her town was charging rape victims for exams, I don't believe it for a minute. How could you be the mayor of a town of no more than 6,000 people and not be aware of such an egregious error in policy?

I HATE! Being Out of Shape

On a whim, I decided to join an indoor soccer league - something I am actually very excited about. First of all, I haven't been able to play soccer - one of my most favorite past times - in close to 5 years. (Ok, ok - it's not as if I wasn't able to due to some sort of injury or lack of time; it's just that I never got off of my lazy ass and signed up for a league.) Second of all, I have pretty much been a blob for the last year and half and have not been motivated to exercise in any way, shape, or form. After realizing that my waist size has been expanding at an exponential rate, I decided that it was finally time to do something about it - lest lose the ability to fit into any of my jeans... right in the nick of time for skirt weather (read: elastic waistband weather) to head out the door. So in lieu of running once every 5 months, I decided that the most promising way to get myself into good shape and a regular exercise routine would be to join a soccer league. And then presto! I would be in shape in no time!

Haha - obviously, there were some major flaws in my plan. Despite having run a couple of times in the past couple weeks (OK - once two weeks ago), I severely underestimated how much being in shape is integral to playing indoor soccer. Let me just bring to the attention of all my readers (haha - all 3 of you!): indoor soccer is quite different from the outdoor stadium-style soccer most are used to. Indoor soccer is played in a much smaller space (usually a gymnasium of some sort), the game is much faster-paced, and even the defensemen don't stay stationary for long.

Good god! Let me tell you that this is sport one must prepare heavily for. The halves are only 25 minutes and in this league there are no rigid rules for when you are allowed to sub in and out, but, seriously, my body was not even close to ready for what I subjected it to. And I've played this sport before - I should have known what was to befall me! It's time to start running... E-V-E-R-Y D-A-Y.

And now, on to the list of injuries I sustained.

1 square inch blood blister on the ball of my right foot
* I could barely walk on it and therefore, was forced to drain it. Fun way to spend a Sunday evening, right?

jammed toe
* I am excited to report that the jammed toe is now black and blue with an intense feeling of pain / pressure coming from behind the nail. I fear the toenail may fall off.

shin splints (on both shins)
* Self-explanatory.

sprained ankle (caused by a previous incident, but aggravated Sunday)
* So, on Friday night, I fell trying to get off of a boat. I rolled my ankle and then tried to play soccer on it on Sunday - dumb, I know.

open wound on left foot (also caused by a previous incident, but aggravated on Sunday)
*This wound was also caused when I fell off of the boat on Friday, but after ace-bandaging the sprained ankle, the wound kind of got stuck to the bandage and ending up looking pretty f-ing disgusting.

Needless to say, I'm in pretty bad shape, both in the respects of physical fitness and injury. I feel like I have the body of an 87-year-old with arthritis. You should see me - I've been hobbling around my office completely hunched over. If I were any closer to the floor, I'd be crawling. How do you get one of those Jazzies? Moral of the story: being out of shape sucks - avoid it at all costs. And don't try to play a physically demanding sport if you have been sitting on your couch for 5 months straight. Take it from me, it won't turn out well.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I HATE! Sarah Palin's 'Lipstick' Comment

"What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick." - GOP VP Nominee, Sarah Palin

I haven't made much mention of politics on this blog, which is slightly unusual, because I do, in fact, have a concrete opinion on every aspect of the upcoming Presidential election. However, I haven't yet made a decision as to whether I am going to make a habit of bringing my political views to this forum. Don't get me wrong, I could go on for days about the current administration and everything I hate about it. And believe me, there is a lot to comment on, but I've mainly been using this blog as a way to vent about silly things, nothing as serious as politics, and I think I may keep it that way. (But... maybe not, we'll see how heated I get as this silly process continues on down the line.)

I do have to comment though on something Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin, said during her nomination acceptance speech at the GOP convention in Minneapolis / St. Paul a few weeks ago. She asked: 'What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?' What, Sarah, what is the answer? 'Lipstick,' she replied. Lipstick, lipstick? Are you f-ing kidding me? Good lord, she is the first woman to ever be nominated by the GOP for Vice President and that is what she says... ???

I am not going to pretend to like Sarah Palin simply because she is a woman. Hell to the no. I won't get sucked into that trap as so many other Americans have. After all, the woman has some pretty awful politics; she is adamantly pro-life, while her 17-year-old daughter Bristol (I won't even touch the weird name issue) is knocked up by some self-proclaimed redneck and is probably ruining her life because she is keeping (read: being forced to keep) the baby and marry good old Levi.

But that's all beside the point. I'm not here to focus on Palin's politics; I'm here to focus on the thoroughly cliched and just plain old ridiculous comment that has gained her so much fame. Pitbull??? Lipstick??? Ugh - are we supposed to be intimidated by you, Sarah Palin, because you likened yourself to a pitbull? Are we supposed to aspire to be like you because you claim to be a strong and ruthless political figure as well as a good mother and the every man's woman? I've seen those gun-yielding pictures of you... And good mother? HA! Your 17-year-old daughter is pregnant! Both your oldest son, Track, who is being shipped off to Iraq (oh, how wonderfully heroic - read: cliched) in the very near future, AND pregnant Bristol, were both just exposed to be hard partying teens in the press. Mother of the Year? I think not.

But seriously, I'm not trying to pick on Sarah Palin's parenting skills. I just cannot believe that her pitbull comment has gotten so much media coverage. It just seems so utterly corny to me. And it seems that I may very well be alone is this feeling; I picked up the Wall Street Journal this morning to find this, 'Many women are snapping up her [Palin's] choices of shoes and eyeglasses and blogging about which brand of lipstick she wears.' Blogging about which brand of lipstick she wears?!?!?! Good god - if this isn't a sign of the apocalypse, I don't know what is.

Women, and the general population for that matter, of this country need to learn to see past the rhetoric of campaign speeches and official statements. During her acceptance speech, Palin said two things that made the ears of women everywhere perk up: hockey mom and lipstick. She used those words to trick American women into thinking that she is just like you and me. Those two phrases do not indicate that Palin will have the best interests of American women at heart if she and John McCain are elected. Just look at her politics; clearly she does not.

Get a new speech-writer, Sarah Palin! You're rhetoric is cliched. Your attempts to woo the women of this country are laughable. I can see right through you!

I HATE! Toe Overhang

OK - this is a bad example of what I'm talking about. Obviously, I would NEVER advocate wearing those Teva-esque sandals pictured above. I hate Teva's (and anything similar) just about as much as I hate Birkenstocks (read: A LOT). But this is the only picture I could find on Google Images that demonstrated toe overhang. Get it together Goggle Images!
Anyway, the photo above demonstrates what I mean by Toe Overhang - this phenomena occurs when your shoes don't quite fit you properly (i.e. they're too f-ing small) and as a result, your toes hang over the front of your shoe. This can happen with completely open-toed sandals as well as with peep toes and pretty much any shoe that doesn't fully enclose your toes.
And as with many other things, I cannot tolerate this trend simply because it is gross. It is just plain icky to see someone's gnarly toe hanging over the front of his or her shoe. It's reminds me of a crotchety old witch with hairy warts and arthritis crossed with toe jam and dirt. Every time I spot someone rocking the toe hangover, I think 'Attack of the Killer Giant Toe!' Every body run - the giant toe has broken out of it's cage (the shoe) and is coming after us all! AHHHHHHHHH!
Seriously though, toe hangover is gross, and what's more, the problem can be SO EASILY REMEDIED! Just get an f-ing bigger shoe! No one cares how big your foot is! Having to go up a shoe size is not comparable to having to go up a dress size - there is no shame in it! There IS shame in having your disgusting arthritis-ridden toe hanging over the front of your shoe because you refuse to go up to to that size 10.
More importantly - how can one not realize that his or her shoes are too small? Isn't it uncomfortable to have you toe hanging out for all the world to see? Personally, I couldn't walk around like that and I firmly believe that it is a physical impossibility that one wouldn't notice their own toe overhang!
Please note: I do sympathize with the fact that, sometimes, when you wear peep toe pumps, your foot can slide forward because of the elevation of the heel, creating the illusion of toe hangover. This is not real toe hangover - and I will not persecute anyone for that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I HATE! Crocs - An Update

As I reported earlier this year, Crocs are, in fact, the devil's footwear...

Parents Sue Crocs After Child's Foot Is Maimed in Escalator
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
AP via,2933,419962,00.html

ATLANTA — The family of a child whose foot was maimed in an escalator accident at the Atlanta airport is suing Crocs Inc., saying the Colorado-based footwear company failed to put safety features in the soft-soled shoes.

It's the second federal lawsuit filed this summer involving a child wearing Crocs injured on escalators at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The lawsuit filed Aug. 26 by Clark Meyer, who is the father of a 4-year-old boy identified as "A.M.," seeks $2 million in damages.

Attorney Stephen McConnell said the boy was riding an escalator at the airport July 15 when the machinery mangled his Crocs and "severely and permanently damaged" his right foot.
Crocs spokeswoman Tia Mattson declined to comment.

New York-based attorney Andrew Laskin, who is leading the case, also is handling the case of a 3-year-old girl from Louisville, Ky., injured when an escalator ripped skin from her foot and broke three toes in June.

Laskin is also suing Crocs over a child who was hurt at a Los Angeles mall. He has settled two other cases with the footwear company, but declined to comment on them.

"This is happening everywhere and Crocs is basically saying it's the fault of the escalators — or the parents are not watching their children," Laskin said. "But that would be the case only if it kept happening on the same escalator over and over again."

In April, Japanese and Filipino authorities asked the Niwot, Colo.-based company to consider changing the footwear's design because of similar escalator accidents in their countries.
The shoe company has promised to insert safety tags into its packaging by next year.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented 77 soft shoe entrapments on escalators since January 2006 and issued a warning in May.

In a 16-page letter to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in June, the company's engineering director Erik Olson said Crocs has knowledge of 186 accidents involving its shoes and has initiated "safety investigations."

But he added, "Crocs shoes neither present nor introduce a unique hazard pattern when worn by children or adults on escalators."

Mattson would not say how many times the company has been sued or settled lawsuits.
At least three children were injured in the last three months when Atlanta airport escalators gobbled up their flip flops or Crocs.

The airport began posting signs and airing public service announcements in August warning travelers of the dangers of "shoe entrapment" on escalators. Georgia Department of Labor workers examined the escalators and deemed them safe.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I HATE! Hair Flippers

I'm having a bad day. You see, I'm feeling a bit down and since nothing seems to be helping to cheer me up, I have decided that some good old fashioned hating is the only thing that might do the trick.

And please note: what I'm about to write about here is not what is actually getting me down. I just don't want anyone thinking that the hair flipper I encountered on the subway yesterday is making me re-think my whole life. Just know that this venting session is purely a cathartic measure and is in no way related to my temporary depression.

And now for the story: as per my usual routine, I boarded the D train in Columbus Circle yesterday evening to begin my lengthy commute back to the BK. Everything was peachy keen until we stopped at West 4th. A predictably-dressed NYU-looking girl (you know the type - long stringy blond hair, short and raggedy cut-off shorts, the overly saturated Ray Bans, long grandpa cardigan, and chain with an insignificant, over-sized, and indistinguishable mass of charms) got on the train and (of course) nudged her way into the empty (although barely) seat between me and another passenger. Normally, I'd complain about her wedging herself into that particular seat (if you've read this site before, you know how I feel about that middle seat), but she was tiny (of course!) and wasn't touching me at all, so I took a breath and just let it be.

We're riding, riding, riding along. I'm minding my own business, reading my newspapers when all of a sudden, I get smacked in the face with a long strand of blond hair. Oh no she didn't. I had just given her a break. I didn't get angry when she ignored my death stares and sat down, carefreely, in the empty middle seat. And now this? The girl had literally flipped her hair INTO MY FACE! Can you believe it? And guess what? She kept doing it. 4 times, yes 4 times, I was hit in the face by that stringy blond hair. In retrospect, I should have punched her in the face - obvi. But I didn't, so I gave her my best 'you'd-better-stop-doing-that-before-I-rip-that-hair-out-of-your-faux-hipster-head' look.

Eventually, she got the hint (and looked mighty relieved when I vacated my seat as we neared my stop). But seriously, ladies please! No one wants strands of someone else's hair on them - no matter how good your shampoo smells. Forreal. Hair other than your own is gross. Period. Just think; there could be all sorts of gross and contagious conditions being bred in your hair - lice, dandruff, alopecia... Keep the hair flipping to a minimum. It's a matter of public health.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I HATE! Friend-Stealers

The first thing I'm going to do here is to acknowledge the fact that I haven't posted anything in 5.63 million years. What can I say? I guess I just haven't been hating on much recently. (I know, I know - me not hating on something is a near impossibility, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Anyway, as of late, I've been realizing that a lot of the strongest friendships in my life have been dwindling, or, at least, the relationships have been changing - and I don't like it. I'll even go as far as to say that it seems to be becoming a trend - people I've, as recently as several months ago, considered to be within the best friends circle have been drifting away at alarming rates! I don't know whether this should be attributed to the fact that most of these aforementioned friends and myself are now our of school and fending for ourselves in the real world or to the fact that these friends and I are just no longer compatible? Whatever the cause, these friendship dissolutions have got me down... but not as down as I became when I discovered another alarming friendship trend!

Picture this: I met a girl a few years ago in.. let's say in a college class. We hit it off immediately and became fast friends. Then I introduced her to another friend of mine and wouldn't you know it - they got along just as well. Sounds great, right? Think again. The problem arose when I suddenly became keen to the fact that, at some point, these two girls had become better friends with each other than they were with me! And I had been pretty much pushed out of the equation completely. Before I knew what had hit me, I was cut out of brunch plans, shopping trips, and lazy Sunday's spent watching old episodes of Gossip Girl.

And, I wish I could bitch and moan and complain about what assholes these two formers besties are, but to be honest, and this may come as a shock to some of those who know me to have a stone-cold heart, nobody likes to lose friends (or alienate people) - even me! So, even though I technically HATE when two friends of yours become closer with each other than either is with you, I can't bad-mouth it. I guess it just happens. Obviously, 'how dare they?' and all of that, but you can't make someone be friends with you. Right?

So, that's about it. I had to post this entry - simply because it is, in fact, something I truly hate, but from now on, I promise to ban sappy posts and be sassy, mean, and cynical from here on out!