Monday, November 22, 2010


I've been flying a lot this year. The last time I was in an airport, I got to experience the new full-body scanners that the TSA has implemented. I was also subjected to a pat-down, which seemed very unnecessary, to say the least.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand the reasons behind ramping up security these days. I understand that the root of this invasion of my comfort level and personal space is safety. I'm all for safety, believe me. I want my travels to be safe and I trust the officials in the airports and at checkpoints to do their jobs to make sure it is, but I'm just not sure about these scanners. Also, as an attractive woman flying alone, I don't trust the reasoning behind that very thorough pat-down. A pat-down I received AFTER going through the scanners without setting them off.

While I agree that all passengers should go through a security check, on behalf of the safety of everyone flying, I also believe that the personnel doing the checking should be closely monitored as well. Using your job as an excuse to grope a pretty girl is unacceptable.


Why I don't like the body scanners.

They scare me. There is a lot of cancer in my family, so I'm wary of anything that's gonna expose me to X-rays. Studies have been done to determine the risks involved in these full-body X-ray scanners, and the results across the board are chilling.

You see, this machine scans your entire body very quickly, and in order to do this the beam it uses is very intense. So for a few seconds while in the scanner, your skin is getting pummeled with dangerous radiation. Not only that, but even a small glitch in the device could mean concentrated radiation on a single spot of skin.


So not only are checkpoint officials seeing a naked image of your body, you may also be exposed to something that can cause long term damage to your cells. To me, thats infuriating. Even worse is that they don't have the risks posted so passengers could potentially opt out if they have issues with things like oh, say CANCER.

If you'd like some more information, click HERE. It's a letter of concern from several doctors at UCSF, and it outlines risks and concerns pretty well (the PDF will download to your desktop, so be aware of that). I've looked online for some other information, and I get more of the same. Anyone who goes through one of these things is exposed to potentially damaging X-rays at the hands of someone who isn't a doctor. Awesome.

So while I'll entrust my doctor to run an X-ray on me, I have issues with some kid who just got his Criminal Justice degree at the University of Phoenix to zap my entire body with one. That's right folks, you can work checkpoint security with as little as an associate's degree, as outlined HERE.

I don't know about you, but I don't feel safe yet. I just feel like my rights to personal space have been violated. I mean, I may as well completely de-robe and walk through that thing naked, eh? Especially if they're going to pat me down anyway, which leads me to....

....The pat-down. Or in my case, since it was completely unnecessary, getting groped by a stranger. I keep hearing horror stories about this. The latest I read this morning about a small boy in Salt Lake City who was stripped down AFTER going through scanners without setting them off. You can catch that (and yes, there's a video clip) HERE. Think of it this way: if you're driving down the road, an officer isn't supposed to pull you over unless he has reason to believe you're doing something harmful. Yes, there are those officers who abuse the power they are given, but mostly they realize that what they are doing is to protect the other drivers. It should be the same way at airports. Most of us are not threats, but every one of us is treated like one. In short, we are all paying for the actions of a few people.

I realize that in this day and age, security measures in places like airports need to be taken very very seriously. We all want safe travel for ourselves and our loved ones, and I can certainly understand that the core reasons behind what is going on with airline security checkpoints are good ones.

I do not, however, think the TSA has yet found a good way to monitor airline travelers. The new scanners show a complete absence of respect for our health and dignity, and the reasoning behind patting down someone so thoroughly to the point of embarrassment is going too far. We aren't cattle, and 99.9% of us mean no harm at the airport, but we are treated with suspicion and disrespect - even children! And most of us grin and bear it.... those who don't are detained or arrested.


I fly to New York on December 3rd. I will opt out of the X-ray scanner. I know this is asking to be patted down, but I feel that being groped by a stranger (as unsettling as that is) is going to be less harmful than exposing my body to harmful radiation. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, and there are numerous other cases of cancer in my family. I know I'm at risk, and I'd prefer not to take any chances. I will say though, that if at any time I feel like the pat-down crosses any lines, I will be calling for a supervisor. It's not taking a stand, but it's at least keeping my body from being exposed to something that in the long run, could be life-threatening. I encourage my friends and loved ones to do the same when you travel. Maybe if enough people opt out of the X-ray scanners, the TSA will come up with an alternate plan for security screening.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ed Hardy makes my brain throw up

I'll just get right to the point here. I really really don't understand why after being publicly displayed on the backs of John Gosselin, Britney Spears, Spencer and Heidi, the Rock of Love girls and the Jersey Shore kids, Ed Hardy is still popular. I mean, it is, isn't it? The flagship label for rampant douchedom seems to be everywhere I look... I was even in World Market the other day and saw Ed Hardy beer. Beer? Are you SERIOUS? How has it come to this?

Here's what I think, just so there is absolutely no mistake:

Buying any Ed Hardy product is like taking up smoking. You know what it will do to you, what it says about you, and how horribly bad it is for your health; therefor you are a complete idiot for doing it and deserve the consequences.


Too bad the reach of this monster of over-bedazzled tastelessness isn't limited to clothing. I mentioned that I saw their beer in a store, but it gets much, much worse, I'm sorry to report. In their apparent quest for world-douchification, E.H. has released an entire line of alcoholic products, because being a sober douche just isn't obnoxious enough. Jersey Shore kids rejoice as the rest of us look on in horror.

You want more? Of course you don't, but I want you to know just how deep the rabbit hole goes, ok?

Perhaps even more disturbing than over-bronzed douches throwing up Ed Hardy sangria all over their bedazzled dragon-covered douchewear, is the ways E.H. has found to reach children. Howabout $120 for a tattoo-covered special edition RC Helicopter? Remote control car? Or maybe your kid would prefer a snowboard covered in skulls and hearts? It's terrifying to think of little douches running around, which leads me to......

.......Douchebags should not procreate. Ever. Apparently on some level, Christian Audigier has realized that. Perhaps he is sorry to have brought so much over-embellished tackiness into the world, and is trying for some sort of damage control. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Snooki's new best friend, the Ed Hardy condom:

Yaaaay for safe sex! I was afraid to run the search, but morbid curiosity has me wondering what these little gems look like. I mean, do they have dragons and skulls and tigers intertwined all around? I hope for the sake of everyone involved that there are no rhinestones, but hey, it is not the nature of these products to be tasteful or practical so I'm sure they went for broke here. I can honestly say though, that I condone this product over anything else Ed Hardy has to offer, because if it keeps douchebags from multiplying, I'm all for it.

SO.... I've barely scratched the surface but I'm sick of talking about this crap. Just thinking about it makes my brain vomit, and that's really no good at all. I mean, I didn't get to mention the Ed Hardy makeup and hair products, hand sanitizer and pizza boxes (Yes, in Oct. of this year Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco partnered with Ed Hardy, who screen printed 10,000 boxes for a charity, which customers paid an extra $3 for. I mean, it's harder to make fun of this since it's a good cause, but an Ed Hardy pizza box IS pretty ridiculous.).

There is also Ed Hardy bottled water, teabags (whole set of jokes there, but I'll save them for another time because I'm tired), coffee car accessories, phone and ipod cases, shoes, backpacks, motorcycle helmets, caffeinated candy, energy drinks, watches, jewelry, sunglasses and temporary tattoos.

Horrifying, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Oh, candy. Sweet, delicious, teeth-rotting sugary goodness. Chocolatey, peanut buttery, fruity or gummy.... I'm a fan. As a child I used to have dreams of visiting Willy Wonka's magical factory, or navigating the winding adventure that is Candyland....


Sorry. has to wipe a little drool off my keyboard there.

ANYway, so in honor of this post-Halloween candy haze we all seem to be in this week, I would like to present to you the most epic candy products you can ever hope to lick, bite or chew. Ever. Ready?

Edible Gingerbread Playhouse by Dylan's Candy Bar

Ok, so every year Neiman-Marcus releases their Christmas Book, and it has a section of several over-the-top gift ideas for those who just have way too much money and not much sense. This 381 lb. gingerbread house is over 6 1/2' tall, and for the perfectly unreasonable price of $15,000, it can be yours.

Cadbury's Wispa Gold chocolate bar

To make a long story short, Cadbury discontinued their Wispa bar in 2003, but in 2009 released a special edition of Wispa Gold...covered in actual gold. It sold for $1626.73 and is the world's most expensive candy bar.

World's largest Gummy Bears

It's like somebody took this straight from my childhood fantasies. A Gummy Bear bigger than a football? It's enough to give Willy Wonka a raging.......... and it's the bargain of my list at only $29.95!

MarieBelle Chocolate Picnic Steamer Trunk

Two words: chocolate picnic. Be still my sugar coated heart! This magnificent trunk full of decadent sin contains 500 pieces of chocolate ganache, five pounds of chocolate bark and croquettes, 80 ounces of Aztec hot chocolate, 8 ounces or Aztec Hot Chocolate Bars, 20 ounces Aztec Iced Chocolate, a journal bound in leather, a teapot, an infuser, and a small library of books about chocolate.

And to get it, not only do you have to visit the New York store in person, you have to pay the $15,000 price tag in cash.

That's right. In the words of Randy Moss, "I don't cut checks. Straight cash homey."

Chocopologie by Knipschildt

Ok I love chocolate, but I don't know if even my palette is discerning enough to be able to tell when a piece is worth $250.

That's right. Just. One. Truffle.

These little guys are handmade by blind albino elfin monks in the Hallelujah Mountains on Pandora...

...or not. Trust me, it's way less exciting than all that. They are handmade, but by regular people. In Connecticut, which is not nearly as cool as floating mountains, or mountains of any kind. The truffle is 70% Valrhona cocoa powder rolled over French Black truffle... and cost a whopping $2,600 a pound.

Sigh. I need to get myself a sugar daddy.... literally. Because that's the only way I'll ever get to try any of this....