This Week’s Number One Douchebag

Pope Benedict XVI in all his Douchebagness

Pope Benedict XVI in all his Douchebagness

Just in case there was ever any doubt, Pope Benedict XVI is the single most out-of-touch person in the world.  And when you consider the other religious leaders and politicians that he is in competition with for that title, this is no small feat.  Congrats!

He secured the title during his trip to Africa this week.  In case you missed it in the news, here is a link to one of the articles covering it.  Here’s my summary of what went down:  The current Pope made his first trip to Africa and proved that he is completely out of touch with reality.  He said that condoms are not the way to stop the spread of HIV, they actually contribute to it.

Seriously.  The use of condoms actually increases the risk of HIV?!  What a jackass.  Someone who is this completely out of touch with reality cannot possibly understand the damage that is done by saying condoms make the problem worse.  He clearly is blinded by his own antiquated dogma.

Obviously, yes, with abstinence there is less risk.  If you aren’t having any sex then you probably are not ever going to come in contact with HIV.  But, that’s not the reality.  People have sex.  A lot of it.  Not only is it unrealistic to expect magnetic couples (one person HIV+, one person HIV-) to abstain from sex, it is also unrealistic to expect single people to not have sex.  All religious mumbo-jumbo aside, people are going to have sex.  Period.  So why would anyone actually take a stance that essentially guarantees the continued spreading of HIV?  Who would do such a thing?  A true douchebag.

If you doubt that condoms are a good means of having safer sex, then you only need to educate yourself.  Do your research. My preferred HIV/AIDS resource is at www.thebody.com.  A specific entry on condom use and efficiency can be found by clicking on this link.  The article may be a little old, but it is still relevant.  There are countless other resources that can be found by searching the web or going to your library.  If it is your own personal religious beliefs that prevent you from accepting the use of condoms, then I say to you, please leave that for your own relationship.  Don’t ever suggest to someone else that they should not use condoms or that their only option is to abstain from sex.

In conclusion, please do yourself and everyone around you a favor by not propagating the myth that condoms contribute to the spread of HIV.  And most importantly, please do not listen to the Pope.  He clearly supports creating an environment where people must hide their sexuality and live under a blanket of guilt and shame.  Coming from one you grew up in such an environment, I can say that guilt, shame, and self-loathing are some of the biggest threats to safer sexual practices.

Entertaining the Masses

Many of you may have already seen this clip of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant rapping his opening PA.  Clearly entertaining and creative, David Holmes has generated some cyber-buzz.  Kudos to David!  He’s entertaining people and sharing important safety information all in one.  He’s not the first SWA flight attendant to sing or even to rap.  So I’m not sure why a local Dallas news station found this to be news. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he enjoys his job and that he works for a company that embraces this sort of thing.  If I had been on that flight, I probably would have been stomping and clapping right along with everybody else.

My issue is this:  Why do people need to be entertained in order for them to listen to important safety information? In the news article someone is quoted as saying, “That’s the first time I’ve ever listened to the emergency instructions.”  What???? I’m not sure that I’d admit to that if I were you.  This is essential information about the airplane and crew to which you are trusting your life.  As a flight attendant, I’ve never understood why people, in general, don’t pay attention.  I guess I should clarify, they do pay attention, but only after they hear about an airplane crash.  It’s sad, but just plain true.

After 9/11 people paid very close attention for a few weeks.  After US Airways flight 1549 went down in the Hudson, they paid attention to the life vest portion of the announcement.  However, if there is anything that we should learn from that accident, it’s that people do survive crashes.  I hear people say all the time that if the plane goes down “we’re all dying anyway,” followed by some other bit of “wisdom.”  That attitude is biggest mistake anyone could make.  I’m providing a link here to a site providing airline crash statistics.  The key fact is that people survive.  So why wouldn’t you want to pay attention?

Again, kudos to David for finding a way to make crucial safety information a must-hear event.  And shame on those of you who had to rely on being entertained in order to pay attention.

A Mob of Angry Models

Ok.  So, it’s no secret.  I ♥ America’s Next Top Model.  Each week I can’t wait to see what shenanigans Tyra and the “models” at ANTM are going to get themselves into.  I don’t really know how anyone can take this show seriously…and I love it! Cycle 12 just began and I believe that this season is not going to disappoint.  I’m also extremely excited to see that the CW is already pushing Cycle 13.  Tyra, who has been quoted as saying that she created the show to “counter stereotypes about beauty” is switching things up once again.  Cycle 13 contestants can be no taller than 5’7″.  Cue the overly dramatic pause.  That’s right, tall fierce girls with attitude need not apply.

Possibly that’s exactly what caused the brouhaha at the New York City Top Model Cycle 13 auditions.  Evidently, there was a stampede after all the short pretty girls had spent the entire night waiting in line.  Several were arrested and a few were even injured.  Shit, Tyra knows how to start things off just right–girl knows how to put on a show.

I’m not sure what else to say about this.  I guess it cracks me up whenever I hear that quote about Tyra breaking down modeling stereotypes.  I mean, seriously, I would never expect to counter a bunch of catty, narcissistic, and just plain mean girls on a show about “models.”  To her credit, however, throughout the show’s history there have been contestants with Asperger’s Syndrome and epilepsy, a transgendered girl, plus-size models, burn victims, etc. etc.   My personal favorite is the self-proclaimed “street preacher” from this current season.  Definitely the best thing about Cycle 12 starting up is that I am guaranteed to have at least one thing a week that I absolutely must blog about.  Let the fierceness begin!

Here’s a little clip I found on YouTube that highlights some of the craziness from the that several cycles:

Welcome to my new home!

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17th and Sanchez has moved!

Well, folks, after much consideration I have decided to move my blog to WordPress.com.  I’ve been using Google’s Blogger for the last two years, but I’ve become really bored with it.  I want and need a new look/feel for my blog.  This change most likely won’t affect most of you that greatly.  For those of you who read my blog through Google Reader or RSS, you may need to change my blog address to http://www.tyflyguy.com.  For some of you this may not be necessary as I have redirected http://www.17thandSanchez.com to my new WordPress address.  So just type in the same old addy.

Along with the location changes, I’m also toying with changing my blog’s name to simply tyflyguy.  It’s become my online persona and I find it fitting.  We’ll see.

I’m really excited about these changes.  However, for the next several days my blog is going to be a big mess while I get it all set up.  Please just bear with me as I try to take it to the next level.  much love…

Perspective

I love it when you run across something that says exactly what you are thinking. I’ve never been a person who always knows exactly how he feels all of the time. For me, I tend to have multiple thought processes spinning around in my head at any given moment…then wham-mo! I find that someone has already put my thoughts together for me. And that’s what happened when I saw this video clip of Louis C.K. I don’t know anything about him except for the fact that I enjoy his perspective. Check it out:

Lately I’ve grown tremendously weary of all of the negativity in the news and on TV. Doom and gloom. And frankly, a whole lot of complaining. It’s ridiculous. That’s the part I like best about the clip. We’ve lost perspective as a society. Or least I’ve lost perspective. I somehow have forgot what the world was like before laptops, iPhones, and websites like Facebook. Perhaps the iPhone is the real game changer. I have basically everything at my fingertips at all times. Which means that I have about 5 things going on at any given moment. No wonder I have a hard time putting my own thoughts together.

I guess what I need is some real balance and perspective. It’s essential to remember that none of my gadgets are essential for me to be happy. They can provide a real benefit, but they can also become an immense distraction. I think that a little discipline is necessary. I think I tend to negate technology’s benefits by abusing it. And, taking it for granted.

I don’t think that I’m alone in my technology addiction. Just look at any one of a thousand online forums. The ranting and complaining is unbelievable. You had to wait an extra 3 months for the update to your software…so what?! Apple still hasn’t added copy and paste functionality to the iPhone. I have a tiny computer that is also a phone and a portable music player, not to mention it can do like 100 other amazing things. Patience, people.

So, my beloved iPhone, don’t take it personal but today I’m going to take a walk in lieu of spending an hour searching for the next greatest application that I don’t need to spend 99 cents on. Although, I have become quite the multi-tasker. I could totally walk and search…

17th and Sanchez Celebrates 100 Blog Posts!!!

Well folks, I know that it is hard to believe, but after almost 2 years, I finally reached 100 posts! I feel like someone should roll out a cake with 100 candles or “100” written across the cake. I realize that most serious bloggers reach 100 posts within several months after starting, but I’ve taken the time to give you quality, not quantity. Or, I’m just lazy.

So, in that spirit, I’ve decided to share my top five favorite posts from 17thandSanchez.com, just in case you missed them the first time around.

5) Christians, Part 3 and Christians, Part 2 and, what the hell, Christians. These videos from YouTube did so “well” that they’ve been removed several times and then re-posted. I actually found a new posting of “The Renewed Mind is the Key” video, just in case you missed. It is a must see. Check it out, before it’s too late! There are even a whole bunch of copycat video responses. Writing the first post especially was cathartic. Good times…

4) 275 Smiles. I had fun with this post even though no one posted any comments. 😉 I mean who doesn’t love a good spontaneous photo shoot?

3) Meet my Children. I have several friends with blogs about their children. I was jealous. So I thought I’d introduce my own children to the world. All 9 of them.

2) The Wide-Eye Squint. ‘Nuf said. Well, not really. Definitely one of more “out there” posts. But again, who doesn’t love a good spontaneous photo shoot?

1) Modeling With Pain. People love videos. Especially when said video includes me making an ass of myself. Interestingly, when I posted this same video on Facebook, they took it down and sent me a nice little nasty-gram. I guess I violated their “terms of use.” Don’t even get me started about the inconsistencies on Facebook. Anyway, this was by far the most fun post.

Odd Jobs

I’ve had my fair share of odd jobs. In fact, in some ways I don’t know that I’ve ever really had a normal job. Of course, for some reason when I think of normal jobs I think of being an accountant. I guess any job that involves cubicles and numbers is normal. I realize my thinking is a little warped. But accountants just seem so incessantly normal.

My first job, other than being the official “channel changer” for my family, was working in a strawberry field. That’s right, I was a field worker. The pay was awful and it involved crawling across a strawberry field searching for ripe strawberries. Needless to say, I didn’t last long. Manual labor and I never have mixed well.

It wasn’t long after that when I became an illegal worker at a fast food restaurant. I was 15 when the manager, who I’m sure has been on “To Catch a Predator” twice, hired me. He lied to the company about my age and allowed me to work in the back for about 8 months. Neither my parents nor I knew that you had to be at least 16 to legally work at a restaurant in the state of Iowa. So about a week before my 16th birthday the assistant manager called me and told me not to come back to work until I turned 16, which is when I was told what had gone down. On an interesting side note, my predator was sent to jail on an unrelated (to me anyway) offense involving alcohol, minors, and sex. In retrospect I’m a little offended that I was not offered either alcohol or sex. (oh please…don’t act so shocked…)

Since customer service is my gig, it’s understandable that I quickly rose to the top. Once I was of legal working age they took me off of the bun-toaster and shoved to the front line, where I was able to present my awkward smile to every mentally-ill veteran who happened to walk through the front door. There were several that would occasionally get confused and wander through the service door and it was their loss. The restaurant was located close to a VA hospital that I seem to remember had a special outpatient mental health ward. Nice. That didn’t stop my Hardee’s “Served with Pride” award-winning attitude. Oh yes, did I mention that the name of the “restaurant” was Hardee’s? Umm. Yeah. I don’t mean to brag, but I was employee of the month twice during my stint as a front-line worker. I know what you are thinking. And it’s true. I have “front-line worker” written all over me. Thank you.

I had some really interesting friends from Hardee’s. There was Gail, her daughter Tracy, and son-in-law Bill. Gail made cakes on the side and once brought a cake to work in the shape of a penis at full attention with all the graphic detail you can imagine. I don’t remember much about Tracy, except that she was married to Bill. Interestingly, Bill was the truly odd one of the family. He was responsible for cleaning the parking lot and performing other random duties, like chasing the confused patrons out of the service entrance. He liked to invite people to come see his house. I don’t think he had anything funny in mind. He just simply enjoyed showing people his and Tracy’s fully undecorated home. I only took the tour once.

In hindsight, I’m not really sure why I was invited over to so many of my co-workers’ places. No one ever tried to give me drugs or alcohol. No one ever tried to touch me. Nothing. It must have just been my sparkling personality and award-winning smile that people could not resist. Even several of the managers had me over to their places. I know that you are probably thinking how lucky I was–those situations were dangerous. And, you could be right. But, these people actually were my friends, even if they were adults. In some ways, they were educating me on the real world. Perhaps they were just trying to show me what life would be like if I stayed at Hardee’s, instead of going to college. I chose college.

I do love a good list, so here’s a serious list of 5 things I actually learned from working at Hardee’s:

1) Smile at everybody. Even those who seem a little crazy.

2) Show up on time. If you are late, someone else has to wait.

3) Smoking is a nasty habit. Being exposed to secondhand smoke and seeing the effects of a lifetime-long smoking habit on a mentally-ill person is a great deterrent.

4) If you masturbate you will grow hair on the palms of your hands. I fell for this joke countless times.

5) Go to college. If you stay and work at a fast food restaurant in rural Iowa, you will end up living in a van down by the river. (In further hindsight, I would say that if you don’t choose to go to college then you should at least travel and expand your worldview.)

Hardees 2 Pictures, Images and Photos