An Observation Concerning… Public Restrooms.

“Excuse me mister if you please, I gotta go.”
-Robert Earl Keen, “I Gotta Go”

Let’s not talk about all public restrooms here; there’s no reason to bring up disgusting portables with absolutely no lighting at outdoor nighttime concerts or just people peeing freely in parks. In fact, even the facilities specifically built for relief in public areas aren’t sacred anymore. For example, the last time I was in Washington, DC, I used the bathroom next to the reflective pool between the World War II and Lincoln Memorial monuments and saw a homeless man shaving in there. He didn’t say hi back. Probably thought he was better than me. Whatever. We’re going to focus on two places: airports and restaurants.

When traveling, a new airport is part of the experience whether that’s during a layover or upon arrival. You get to explore the below-average food options that are available, people watch and guess who is traveling where and who will be the first to have a nervous breakdown, and of course, use the restroom. I will tell you this: the best airport bathrooms in the nation are at Albuquerque’s International Sunport. I’m not going to be stereotypical and tell you it’s because the city is full of Hispanic people and they’re quite good at certain custodial aspects of buildings, but there could be a connection. Okay, I guess I was stereotypical, but it’s a compliment. If I could use that airport’s bathrooms every day I would – other than my house, they’re probably the cleanest, most comfortable bathrooms around no matter the building. Every other airport is disgusting, but out of necessity, you must fight the lines, clogs, dampness, noises, smells, trash, and faulty motion sensors.

Then there are restaurants. I like to eat, but if you ever found a picture of me you would think that’s hogwash. Mmm, hog, yum. I also enjoy most cuisines and dishes I order – or at least I convince myself that the food is good if I’m going to be overpaying for it. I know that it works both ways and people are picky because they want to make their dining experience worth it, but you have to eat, and it’s not like you’re going to get your money back because they already made the food and your fingers and used fork have been all over it. Maybe a free dessert, but you don’t like the food so what’s that going to do for you? After tricking my mind, I find other ways to be annoying in food establishments – like judging the condition and design of their restrooms. I could have a horrible dinner, but if the bathroom is in extraordinary condition with clean floors and toilets, designer sinks and lighting, and johnny boards with comics or the sports sheet above the urinal, it makes the experience balanced. On the contrary, I could have the most fantastic dish of my life, but if the bathroom has paper towels and unspecified liquid (for whatever reason) on the floor, exposed pipes, and rusted porcelain under a flickering dying florescent, then I might as well just skip out on the bill and drive home (or to the airport). With all this being said, I think we’re all in agreement with the following claim: Asian restaurants have the coolest restrooms – I’m just waiting for there to be coy in the toilet water.

This was a completely pointless post, but we’ll find something to think about. Airport runners and restaurant owners, people are always judging so clean up. Travelers and food patrons, the sign that states, employees must wash their hands, isn’t just for employees. I gotta go.

An Observation Concerning… People and Their Damn Dogs.

“I’m gonna tell myself I might not get angry.”
-Baha Men, “Who Let The Dogs Out”

We have a growing issue in America. No, it’s not unimportant stuff like healthcare reform, equality, poverty, or attempting to mend our divided country – it’s people and their damn dogs. They’re everywhere. What ever happened to the days when you could just go to someone’s home, be pestered by an animal that’s cute at first, but its charm wears off after your face is constantly licked and your leg is continuously humped? Or the days when you visit your friends or family and the dog is skittish or unwelcoming, passing gas because of its anxiety, creating an uncomfortable conversation between guest and host? Those moments are still there, so don’t worry, but now they just happen in public places.

I have nothing against dogs; I think they’re cute, I think they’re funny, and I think they serve a great purpose. With that being said, I don’t think it’s necessary that they need to be with their owner every minute of the day. For example: Breweries. It’s bad enough people bring their children to these places, but when the dogs start rolling in, you might as well be drinking at a petting zoo. The children want to play with the animals, the dogs are either too rough or unresponsive to the child’s advances, creating tears and screeching cries from the youngling. Hooray, just what I wanted to hear while trying to enjoy my adult conversation and good overhead music. Now let’s introduce another dog into the equation which doesn’t get along with other breeds. They bark, growl, and tug on their leash, knocking over glasses and moving chairs around in the process. Yippee, another great variable to my rare night out. I don’t know what’s better: that or the dogs becoming overly excited when they see each other, peeing all over the place, and slobbering all over my clothes because there are so many that I’m bound to be close to one. I guess it serves me right for sitting outside on a beautiful summer evening, leaving my beer exposed so a dog’s floating hair can land in my $5 treat and its bad breath and spit can cover by $10 plate of food. I should just go inside, sit in the corner by myself, and avoid human contact so everyone who has a pet can converse freely. Kind of like how a dog would be treated. Interesting.

A quick note: I sympathize with people who need service dogs, but they’ve become as common as a gluten allergy – and just like the mysterious rise regarding the intolerance, I feel that some people may be over-exaggerating their problem.

I get it; it’s hip and trendy. However, bringing your mutt to work definitely needs to stop. I work in a building that has four suites, including ours. We don’t have any pets staining our carpets, but there are 7 (yep, 7, you didn’t read that wrong) amongst the other three offices on a daily basis – and these are very small businesses. If you count the 6 dogs in the two businesses across the street, you have a full on kennel in the industrial area. I just hope one of these poor things doesn’t get run over by a semi during one of the employee’s 10 breaks that are required for their pet to use the bathroom and exercise. They take more breaks than smokers – and people complain about them all the time, especially when their dog is subject to secondhand smoke. That’s why those same whiners just vape inside the office and nauseate their co-workers with their unregulated scented chemicals. Interesting.

It reminds of the story last week about Joey Barge who was told not to wear shorts to the office per company dress code so he decided to show up in a dress the following day. Loser. We get it, it’s hot, but everyone else is obliging to the company’s regulations – which I’m sure this genius agreed upon when he scribbled his signature on the policies and procedures during the hiring process. So not only did he deliberately break his company’s rules, he also disrespected his superiors. For what? To prove a point and get some likes on social media platforms? Big whoop. He should be fired and replaced by one of many other people searching for jobs who are apparently much more intelligent. My point is that we can’t just keep doing whatever the hell we want because it’s ruining many aspects of life; people need to start thinking about the effect their actions have, because it’s a long spiral of distress for many parties.

People tend to believe they’re nicer and more caring than they actually are. We live in a closed-minded, inconsiderate, selfish world full of double standards, and the epidemic continues to spread. I heard horse therapy works for anger and stress. Maybe I will start bringing a horse to the office and ride it to the brewery after.

An Observation Concerning… The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

“There’s no compromise, No second prize.”
-Airbourne, “Rivalry”

I was born in Washington, DC and have devotedly supported the area’s professional sports franchises for the last few decades. I do lean more toward the Orioles because the Nationals weren’t around when I was born, and they just can’t enter my life like some arrogant stepfather. It’s a relationship that has taken time, but I already have a dad (I mean, team) in my life.

As a Capitals’ fan, I would like to congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that being said, I don’t believe a Penguins’ fan would offer such a gesture if the Capitals were to ever win the Stanley Cup. I know a handful of Penguins fans – sadly, I’ve been to Pittsburgh more times than they have combined – and they just aren’t that type of person. There’s nothing wrong with that; it just makes it easier not to like the team or players.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just saying that because they’re rivals.
Me: Perhaps, but why?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: I’m asking you why we’re rivals?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Because we’re bad ass and you suck!
Me: Why won’t you actually answer the question?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!

I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s actually not a rivalry. A rivalry usually includes two teams or individuals that are evenly matched and equally decorated like the Celtics-Lakers in the 80’s or Federer-Nadal in the 21st Century. The Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry is completely one-sided and predictable. It’s similar to Ohio State and Michigan; a rivalry that has completely lost its luster because since 2001 the Wolverines have only one twice. Of course, they have a more storied history, but my point is that rivalries can become very bland and uninteresting.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: You already said that.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Fine, you’re bitter.
Me: That’s the same thing.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!
Me: Hmm…

I am bitter, I will admit it. However, Pittsburgh fans can’t say anything about it because they don’t know what it’s like. They’re spoiled brats when it comes to sports. Not in like an inherited classy New York way, or rags to riches Boston way, but more like a trailer trash wins the lottery kind of way (it’s a joke, not a stereotype, calm down, everybody). Let’s look at the Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry if it were between the two cities as a whole:

Super Bowls: Pittsburgh 6, Washington 3.
Stanley Cups: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
World Series: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
NBA Championships: Washington 1, Pittsburgh 0 (because they don’t have a basketball team).

16-4 overall. How pathetic. Rivalries aren’t supposed to be pathetic; they are supposed to move us, keep us enthralled, make us anxious, and make supporters from other teams tune into the matchup just because it’s an amazing unpredictable game. The Penguins-Capitals has become hardly that.

I always thought the window was closing for the Capitals the last few years, but I believe it’s now shut. The hope of just a shred of glory has drifted away; especially with the emergence of the Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, and Sabres (you’ll see) in the East and the Predators and Oilers in the West. Las Vegas has once again given Washington high odds to win the Cup in 2018. Sadly, I wouldn’t take that bet. In my disgruntled eyes, the Golden Knights have just as good of a chance.

I will always support you, Capitals, but when the hell are you going to return the favor to the fan base? Forget about Pittsburgh and just rock the red.

An Observation Concerning… Doctors and Mechanics.

“I just shook the handshake, I just sealed the deal, I’ll try not to let them, Take everything they can steal.”
-MGMT, “The Handskake”

We can go straight for the obvious comparison and conclude that both these professions fix things (so we think). By the way, if you didn’t read the title, we’re talking about doctors and mechanics here. Maybe you should go see a specialist concerning your attention span.

We could also make the other obvious comparison that both rip you off in some way, shape, or form. Mechanics: a figurative rectal exam; doctors: a literal rectal exam – and a prostate check for good measure (for men, of course – for women, the use of a speculum).

Every time I go to the mechanics I’m onto their little tricks. They load you up with free coffee and soda, maybe a stale donut or cold popcorn, and distract you with daytime television which you shouldn’t be interested in, but damn, it’s just too hard to look away from a soap opera like it’s some car accident – maybe I shouldn’t compare something to a car accident while at the mechanics because it’s bad juju – just so they can tinker with your vehicle, lifting it up, fondling it’s undercarriage, violating its private parts, and then deny the fact, tell you the car was asking for it and there’s something wrong with it, not them. I’ve seen enough Law & Order to know what’s really going on here. You molested my car, and now you’re raping me. They make up some cockamamie diagnosis that you just have to trust is true. So, I take great satisfaction in saying that I will not be replacing the air filter. Why do they have so many of those anyway?

Kind of like those little plastic cones doctors stick in your ear. I went for just a consultation once, kind of like a meet and greet because physicians change hospitals more than waitresses change restaurants and finding a new one takes months to make an appointment (or reservation), then another month to build a nice relationship (or for them to know your usual dish after a long drawn-out pathetic attempt at flirtation). What the hell are we talking about here? Anyway, the doctor stuck his thing in my ear (gross) and I didn’t want or need it to be done, but just went along with the situation, and then he charged me $50 like he was doing me a favor. My next appointment involved a recommended physical (reference above paragraph for Law & Order similarities, and also the previous sentence for charges). Unlike mechanics, doctors don’t necessarily tell you what’s wrong, but rather state that you’re fine. However, they have a specific tone when explaining precautionary measures that fill your head with curiosity, intrigue, and paranoia. Your other alternative is to check WebMd which is why you’re at the doctor’s office in the first place because the internet site always gives you the worst case scenario for your symptoms. A cough and stuffy nose? Brain aneurysm. So you agree to some tests which means you agree to fees that will eventually either be paid out of frustration or end up at a collection agency.

Two different sales tactics, but two that work, and both offer the it’s your funeral approach. A mechanic intimidates and forces you to eventually coincidently return out of spite for denying an air filter; a doctor is vague and makes you feel guilty enough about your lifestyle that the stress and worry will eventually land you back in their office and not by choice.

Where does this all stem from you may ask? Even though you didn’t I’m still going to tell you. I received two emails this past week. The first, my mechanic is convinced my car is due for service; and the second, my provider claimed my body is due for service. When did they start doing that anyway? Sounds like someone is in cahoots, and I’m not buying it.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying don’t go to the doctor or mechanic when something is wrong. Or do what you want; what do I care.

An Observation Concerning… People Loving Amazing Things.

“Every little thing that you do, Baby, I’m amazed by you.”
-Lonestar, “Amazed”

Something has been eating away at me (surprise, surprise), and despite my best efforts through public questioning and sarcastic insults, people still have been using the words love and amazing way too much. They overwork the meaning like a wanderer overworks a Mexican burro. They use the words to tease like a cheerleader taking advantage of a nerd or loner with a crush. They are passed around like a two-dollar Vietnamese… let’s just go ahead and not finish that sentence.

How many times have you used the word love when talking about something or someone? Don’t bother answering because I can’t hear you so I will explain my brief experiences with the word – and not the feeling. The feeling is something we only need to share with the person it is intended for; no one needs to be involved in your personal business. Some examples are: family, mate, lifelong friend, and perhaps a dog, maybe a car. Anyway, I have accidentally used the word many times when describing something I like or am passionate about. When people do this, it’s fine, but what irks me is when they deliberately accent the word when it is blatantly obvious they have no feelings or general knowledge toward the claim. Below are true accounts.

Friend: Me and my girlfriends are going to Durango this weekend for my birthday, but we need something else to do.
Me: Let’s look on the internet. Click, type, Click, Click. Looks like The Commodores are playing.
Friend: I LOVE The Commodores.
Me: Really? I didn’t know that. Which songs?
Friend: I don’t know.
Me: Let’s check Spotify.

Long story short, she liked one song. Here’s another doozy from the same friend.

Friend (to waitress): Can I have a soy wrap instead of the seaweed.
Waitress: Sure. I will have your order out soon.
Friend: Thanks.
Me: You don’t like seaweed?
Friend: I feel bad. I want to LOVE seaweed?
Me: Why do you want to love it? Who loves it? You don’t have to.
Friend: Because it’s good for you.
Me: So are like a million other things.

We can’t keep loving things because it devalues the meaning of the word and the passion and intimacy of the feeling. Plus, people who are happily loving things all the time are probably hiding something, so be aware.

Next, people seriously need to stop referring to average things as amazing. Of course, this is coming from a person who has difficulty finding anything impressive – especially himself. Not every movie you see or every song you hear is amazing. Not every conversation you have with a new person or every experience you encounter is amazing. Also, not every one cares.

We are devaluing greatness and offering false expectations and a delusional future. Psychologically, I believe anyone has the ability to convince themselves how to feel about something; we all have our own biases. However, we need to get a little more realistic. For example, if your kid can’t make the drive across town without getting carsick, the how the hell are they going to be an astronaut? I’m just saying that if we encourage the talents and abilities people already posses instead of giving them the broad idea of accomplishing anything they set their mind to then maybe we will have a great world instead of settling for what is just good enough and convincing ourselves it’s the most AMAZING thing in the world.

We need a balance, people; we need hate and trash. Everything can’t be amazing because then we have no standard, we have no levels to differentiate true quality, and we will eventually halt progression with our happy-go-lucky misconceptions of life. Take this lame blog for instance: you know there’s something better out there, and I’m glad you don’t like it.

I sure do love to hate amazing trash.

An Observation Concerning… Fat Shamers and Fatties.

“Your butt is wide, well mine is too, Just watch your mouth or I’ll sit on you.”
-Weird Al Yankovic, “Fat”

It’s safe to say we live in a world of hypocrites and trolls, the petty and the inconsiderate, the scared and the sheltered. I could go on forever, but everyone is content in their safe zone and no one is paying attention.

However, there are plenty of others whom people seem to obsess about on a daily basis – and then insult them for whatever reason. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for insulting people, but I’m more of a traditionalist and prefer face to face confrontation or strategically-placed opinions that will eventually be passed on to the person whom it is intended for. Disclaimer: there’s really no chance I will meet anyone I talk about on this blog because they wouldn’t waste their time finding me.

I think society is mentally-ill. We make things public on purpose without common sense, get incredibly hurt by comments and reactions, and then somehow preach the way life should be (which is ironically the opposite of how said person initial acted) during a rebuttal. Let’s focus on people who have been labeled fat shamers.

Until Microsoft removes that stupid red line underneath shamers that makes me feel unintelligent then I will offer a definition: Shamers- Uninformed Pretenders. When it comes to fat shamers, I don’t think they actually know what fat is. Unless they are from the Southeast or Wisconsin. Come to think of it, I guess most of America has a good idea of what fat is based on just walking in public and/or staring in the mirror. There’s a point, trust me. Obviously not everyone is fat, but there are a lot of overweight and imperfect bodies in the country whether that is self-inflicted or beyond someone’s control, but there are also a lot of people insulting others who appear heavy. To sum up, a lot of people have no room to talk (or move around comfortably).

Before I state the following, I must inform the handful of people who accidently came to this site that this is the only form of social media I am on and get my irrelevant news through headlines on sites like Yahoo. With that being said, people calling Ariel Winter or Rihanna fat is beyond ridiculous for two reasons. Reason first, people desperately need lives. Reason second, they aren’t fat! There’s a difference between them and you. They have one unflattering candid picture and tons of flattering shots. You can’t get your license picture right even after prepping all day for the photo. And how long does it take for you to get the right selfie to post?

On the contrary, from a psychological standpoint, maybe people like Winter and Rihanna are incredibly self-conscious about their weight (duh). Jabbing back and forth with trolls is a waste of time for two reasons. Reason first, celebrities desperately need lives. Reason second, referring to someone as a fat shamer while in an argument is only implying that you think you are, in fact, fat.

We’re all at fault here. Winter is not even close to being obese, but she gives women who truly struggle with weight an unrealistic view on life. It reminds me of when heavy women compare themselves to Marilyn Monroe. Do you know what curves actually are? How are you being you while offering a delusional comparison. I’m not trying to be mean, but have you ever researched her weight or seen a picture of the icon? Next, Rihanna should know very well that she isn’t overweight – for the longest time I thought she was unhealthily thin – so she should just ignore the envious. I mean look what happened when she talked back to Chris Brown; she needs to be careful. Lastly, people need to just stop concentrating on pointless drivel (like this blog) and stop acting like idiots. I’m an idiot shamer I guess. Who am I to judge?

Pope Francis says that. You can’t shame the Pope, so why not just accept that fact that no one is perfect.