Just Another Manic Monday: Open Mouth Chewers

images (1)I don’t feel bad for the statements that I am about to make. The rant that you are about to witness unabashedly displays the disgust that I feel when I hear someone open-mouth chew. Whether you’re chewing gum, open-mouth crunching down on popcorn at the movies or licking the wing sauce from your fingers at Hooters; I would prefer to not be able to hear such noises. I’m not telling you that everyone feels this way because I’ve had some people say ‘well that just doesn’t bother me’ or ‘you just have to not pay attention to stuff like that’. Well I beg to differ. It’s a real problem.

Just imagine, you’re sitting quietly in a classroom; trying to displace the huge lump of anger building up inside your chest as the sound of someone’s gum-chewing or pen clicking is about make you burst. The feeling that you have is caused a disorder: Misophonia. The term was coined by the clinical researchers that were studying the effects of ear ringing about 15 years ago. Misophonia means the ‘hatred of sound’ but mostly is in reference to the abrupt hatred of the repetition of human created sounds. Most often sounds like img_5281lip smacking, chewing, chewing with mouth open, pen clicking, heavy breathing, opening a candy wrapper, foot tapping or other repetitiously created sounds do not just annoy the sufferer but the sound cause extreme distress and sometimes anger. The result of this distress and anger causes a raised blood pressure and lack of concentration which in turn causes the sufferer to lash out verbally or physically.

Now I know what you’re thinking. This controversial psychiatric disorder sounds like someone’s really good excuse for being aggravated over something that you consider trivial. A small section of the medical community thought so as well but in 2013, an Amsterdam research team came up with the diagnostic criteria that would cause misophonia to be classified as a new psychiatric disorder. The team interviewed 42 people with similar symptons and triggers and found that the sufferers that were diagnosed with misophoia avoid social situations and have to sometimes use headphones to try and block out any offending sounds. The daily stress over receiving and trying to avoid these triggers would warrant the validity of this disorder.

58539982Whether Misophonia is its own disorder or if it is linked to OCD; (as some scholars believe) your public mastication – the chew, smack, chew, smack, smack, slurp, slurp – is driving people mad. Misophonia fills some of us with a gut-wrenching rage that takes us over the edge. Open-mouth noises, pen clicking or loud chewing distracts some of us to no end. Pet peeves are everywhere and affect a huge majority of the population but this aggravation to certain sounds legitimately enrages some people. So if I politely tell you to shut your pie hole while you’re chewing, please don’t be upset and think that I’m a jerk. Let’s just teach our kids and remember ourselves to keep our lips together while you are chewing. And stop tapping your pen. Thanks.


Freddy’s Friday Fashion Faux Pas: Socks

FRED-JONESSo Scooby Doo’s owner Shaggy was never a snazzy dresser; unlike his fellow crime fighting sleuth Freddy Jones. Freddy has always been dapper. So he and his orange ascot are going to help give advice to men everywhere on what not to wear and maybe some ideas of what to wear.

The first topic that will be addressed is socks. Socks seems like such a trivial thing until you look down at someone wearing shorts and sandals with a pair of white ankle socks. The horror of that site is scarier than any monster that Mystery Incorporated ever encountered. Freddy’s suggestion for socks with shorts is to avoid them all together. That’s right. If you’re wearing sandals, don’t wear socks. If you’re wearing boat style shoes (aka Sperrys, Sanuks or *shudder* Crocs) don’t wear socks. It is a common mistake to wear socks with shorts but it should be a punishable crime to break this fashion faux pas. If you’re wearing tall socks with shorts, this even more distracts passers by from the attractive outfit that you have created. If you are wearing sneakers or tennis shoes, then wear a non visible or short ankle sock that won’t be visible over your sneakers. I can’t believe that I have to say this but try to match your socks to your shoes. If you are wearing black shoes with a black inner ; wear black socks. DO NOT wear a 4 year old pair of dirty white socks with a nice black pair of tennis shoes. And please, I repeat for the love of God and country; do not wear sandals with socks.

show socks




Freddy has a really simple answer for when you should wear white socks: Unless they’re white socks.jpgcovered up by boots, then they shouldn’t be visible. If your dress pants are hemmed properly, then when you sit down two inches of your socks should be visible from underneath your cuff. If you are wearing a pair of white athletic socks, then this would show. That’s extremely tacky. The socks that you wear with your suit or dress slacks should match your slacks; not your shoes (IE if you’re wearing brown shoes with a blue suit, then you should wear blue socks…not brown).

Just remember that your socks are part of the total package. Take pride in yourself and take pride in your appearance. You can even go with some socks with patterns or various colors to bring some flashiness into your wardrobe. Just make sure that it matches.

So, Freddy is off to pick up Daphne and I’m off to bed. I hope that Freddy has helped solve this mystery of this tricky and sometimes unresolved part of your wardrobe.




Thor’s Thursday Tour

So we all know the future Asgardian ruler, Thor. Well did you know that when he’s not defeating Frost Giants or keeping Hulk from destroying Loki that the blonde beauty loves to travel. Thor’s human love interest, Jane Foster, has sparked his interest in Earth. So Thor is throwing Mjolnir towards the sky and is flying to destinations all across this beautiful planet of ours. Each week, Thor will introduce us to a new location. It may be fairly popular or it may be somewhere that you’ve never seen before.

Today’s on Thor’s Thursday Tour we will be magically whisked away to the beautiful town of Rose Hill, NC, USA. Now before you think that Thor is crazy to visit a little country town in the middle of nowhere North Carolina; just wait until you hear about the things that he encountered. First Thor used a reliable resource and contacted Tony Stark aka Iron Man to ask him about the things that he should do while in Rose Hill. Tony remembered the Southern hospitality that he experienced  in Rose Hill while repairing his suit after the wlfpattack from the Mandarin. He told Thor that he had to see the World’s Largest Frying pan as his first expedition. Thor landed in the town square and even though he has walked down the light bridge of Asgard, warded off aliens from attacking multiple worlds and even wields the power of thunder in his hands; he was still amazed to see the 2 ton, 15′ wide frying pan that has the capacity to cook 365 chickens simultaneously.

Thinking of all that delicious fried chicken was making Thor hungry, so he used his super lemon blueberryhero nose and guided himself down the street to the Rose Hill Restaurant. Thor sat down at one of the tables and cooled himself with some delicious sweet tea and requested the most delicious thing that they had to eat. The waitress brought him a piece of their world famous lemon-blueberry pie. Thor engulfed the first piece and requested one more. Even the chefs on Asgard have yet to create something so delicious. Thor’s taste buds have been pleased, so he pays his bill and proceeds to walk outside.

Thor is pleased to look to the right and see a sign for a Winery. Since Asgardians are famous for their wine, Thor decided that he would try to see if someone had created soduplin-winerymething that could match his own favorite beverage. The intoxicating smell of muscadine grapes has permeated the air and he is instantly drawn to the tasting area. As the oldest and largest winery in the South, Duplin Winery has created some of the most delicious wines that man could craft. He sits down at the tasting area and along with many other visitors is presented an assortment of delicious, award winning wines that the family has been creating for three generations. Thor then finds out about the free facility tour and is amazed to see the modern craftsmanship and care that goes duplin-winery-cool-muscadine-north-carolina-usa-10416727into making wine. Thor signs up for the winery’s Heritage Club where you can receive Duplin wines, special discounts and invitations to exclusive events sent directly to his door.

He’s still curious how they are going to mail it to Asgard but he bids them farewell as he receives a call from Tony. Tony thinks that he has found a way to prove that he is worthy of lifting Mjölnir but Thor just laughs as he thrusts his hammer into the sky and takes off back to Asgard. Even though he wishes that he could stay around the beautiful rural town of Rose Hill, NC for a little longer he knows that he is needed elsewhere. He knows that he shall return to Rose Hill again.

Wolverine’s Wednesday Whips: 1967 Lincoln Continental


wolverine .jpgWolverine is blessed, or cursed, with a powerful regenerative ability causing him to age at a slower rate than the rest of us mere humans. Because of this, Wolverine has lived through all of the ages of automotive development. So to say that he’s an expert could be a stretch but he knows what he likes. On Wolverine’s Wednesday Whips he will showcase some of the greatest and most beautiful vehicles to ever roll down the street.  Today on Wolverine’s Wednesday Whips, he is showcasing the 1967 4-Door Lincoln Continental.

The 1961 Lincoln Continental was roughly based on a 1961 Thunderbird prototype that Ford rejected because it appeared to be a little ‘too classy’ for the 1960s Thunderbird crowd. After an internal power struggle in the Ford family, it was paramount that Lincoln have success with their next vehicle so the 4-door ‘suicide’ rear-hinged rear doors were teamed with a stream line body and a powerful engine. The 1967 4-door has made a resurgence in the hot rod, low rider and muscle car scenes due to its gorgeous lines, suicide doors along with the 300+ HP V-8 engine.

This powerful, yet stylish car has remained popular throughout the years despite death rearing its ugly head every now and then (John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a convertible Lincoln Continental in 1963) just like Wolverine.

lincoln continental

suicide doors


Top Cat’s Tuesday Top 10: Little People

This week’s top 10 topic is about people who are short in stature but have managed to make a big splash in the world.


Top Cat’s Tuesday Top 10: Short Stature – Big Splash

10. Edward “Eddie” Carl Gaedel


Chicago born Edward Carl Gaedel stands in the record books as the world’s shortest pro-baseball player even though if it was a publicity stunt being pulled by the St Louis Browns. “Eddie” always wanted to be a ballplayer and as he took his last swing in the summer of 1951; 18,369 fans stood to give props to a little man who inspired a stadium full of fans and players.

9. Danny Woodburn


If you watched movies and TV shows in the 90s then you’ve seen Danny Woodburn. The Philadelphia born actor may stand only four foot tall but it hasn’t slowed him down. Danny starred in One Tree Hill, The Watchmen, Seinfeld, and CSI which is just a tip of the huge iceburg of more than 130 television and 28 film appearances  (which includes the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Movie). He is best known for his role as Mickey Abbot on Seinfeld but his work in the Disability Rights Movements makes him a giant of a man in my book.

8. Hervé Jean-Pierre Villechaize


Villechaize may have suffered from proportionate dwarfism but this actor will be forever remembered for his work. Even though he was a Bond villain, he will forever be Ricardo Montalbán’s tiny assistant on Fantasy Island shouting ‘Ze Plane, Ze Plane’.

7. Deep Roy


In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory you’ll notice that the Oompa Loompas were played by one guy. Well that small guy was none other than Deep Roy. He is well known in the acting world and his work has spanned over the past 40 years but I can’t seem to get over his guest appearance as the street hustling antagonist on HBO’s East Bound and Down. That’s one big leap in acting prowess. Well a leap or a slide.


6. Gary Coleman


“Wha’chu talkin’ bout Willis?” Yeah. You remember that. The 4’8″ actor is remembered more now-a-days for his troubled life that occurred after his most famous role (as Arnold Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes). Sadly it seemed that this little man had bigger problems than his big popularity could handle.

5. Danny Devito


It’s amazing how much huge movie star that you can fit inside of a 4’11” frame but Danny Devito has it. The New Jersey native got his big break aside the top comedians of that time on the TV show Taxi. Devito and his twin, the Peguin, tried to throw momma from the train with other people’s money because it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

4.  Verne Troyer


He is immediately known as Mini Me. Troyer rose to fame as Dr Evil’s mini clone in Austin Powers and is still a pop culture icon despite some small hang ups in his personal life.

3. Wee Man


Yes that Wee Man. Whether you’re a fan of Jackass or not, you can’t deny the social impact that these bunch of Jackasses have had on the world. The Multi-million dollar movie and TV show franchise has caused this little man to have big stacks of cash. Italian born Jason Bryant Acuña, who stands just over four foot tall grew up in Torrance, California and worked as a subscription manager for the skateboarding magazine Big Brother; which is where he met a group of Jackasses and the rest is history.

2. Warwick Davis


Warwick was an Ewok in Star Wars, had 3 separate roles in Harry Potter, starred as the Leprechaun in the Leprechaun films and was in one of my favorite movies growing up: Willow. He also starred in the larger than life book adaptation, that I love so much: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

1. Peter Dinklage


From the X-Men movie franchise to the Emmy award winning TV show Game of Thrones; I have no doubt that you have seen Peter Dinklage. His amazing performances are continuing to wow huge audiences without anyone caring about his 4’5″ size. And after six seasons of Game of Thrones, I wouldn’t be lying if I said that he’s my favorite GoT character.


This list just goes to show you to not judge a man (or woman) by their size but by the impact that they have in the world.

Manic Monday (Even though its Tuesday)

manic-monday*(I am starting a weekly series of posts on my blog. Today will be a post of yesterday’s blog that I never got to post because I was sick at home. I hope that you guys enjoy the new weekly posts.)

So on Mondays, we will be presenting a new item each week that informs you of something that drives people….well manic. Some thing that gets on your nerves more than anything or a fear that people have of which you may not yet be informed. We’ve all probably heard of Arachnophobia (partially thanks to Jeff Daniel’s very 90s movie Arachnophobia), claustrophobia and many of us have, without even knowing its name, acrophobia. Acrophobia is the third most common phobia and is described as the ‘fear of heights’. I just got a chill just thinking about being atop a 20′ ladder or standing on the edge of a 50 story building. We have phobias linked to a fear of dogs, germs or even death itself but you don’t think about the less common things that legitimately are fears. Today’s Manic Monday topic was suggested by one of my long time friends, Tiffany. She informed me of something about her that I did not know; she has a phobia. In response to a Facebook post where I asked my Facebook friends to vote on suggested blog topics, I figured she was going to tell me that she had aerophobia (a fear of flying in an airplane) or maybe even trypanophobia (which is the fear of needles) and I was thankful to hear thatairplane my friend didn’t have pogonophobia (which is the fear of beards); but I must admit that I was quite floored when she told me that she had hydro-papyrophobia. This isn’t quite a phobia to her because she doesn’t run in fear at the first sight of wet paper (which is what hydro-papyrophobia is) but it just gives her the ‘heebie-jeebies’ as she says.

Just like Tiffany, it is a common thing when it comes to fears and phobias that the person is not actually scared of the object but more of less just doesn’t want to interact with it. Someone with aerophobia doesn’t run and hide every time they see a plane fly over but they merely don’t want to get on and fly on a plane themselves. There are cases and phobias where the phobia itself alters the person’s life. My life long best friend Jacob cotton ballshas songlobophobia. We chased him around the house many times with cotton balls and I remember seeing him quiver in disgust as he would be forced or accidently touch cotton balls. No one understood why he freaked out so badly but the sensory processing disorder is most commonly caused by a response to the touch or sound of cotton balls. This touch or sound, in people with this phobia, triggers a spike in cortisol which causes a subsequent stress response.It may sound silly to you but just notice that feeling in between your fingers the next time that you grab a cotton ball. You might start to develop a phobia which some might view as irrational because until you have to alter certain parts of your life just to deal with something that causes such a repulsion then you really can’t judge.

I hope that you don’t have a fear of saying goodbye because I must now say…

Love, peace and chicken grease;


Imitation is the greatest form of flattery: Part 2

So we established in Imitation is the greatest form of flattery: Part 1 that just because ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery’ doesn’t always mean that the end result pleases everyone. I’m pretty sure that Jazz purest don’t necessarily find rock music appealing, despite them sprouting from the same family tree. We also established that despite some people’s unhappiness, this imitation has greatly impacted the evolution of music in general. So let’s think about my another side of imitation: mimicry. When one group, artist or composer imitates another artist’s work and improvises to make the style he/she/they have aided in the creation of new or improved music; but what about a group, artist or composer utilizing another group, artist, or composers work and producing it in their new individual, stylistic manner?

So, as you can guess, we’re talking about covers. We love them, hate them, don’t even hemeroplanes triptolemusrealize that our favorite song might be one, 0r much like the Larvae of the Hemeroplanes Tripolemus Moth this created imitation is far from a proper delineation. The Larvae of the Hemeroplanes Tripolemus Moth obviates him/herself from becoming a trophic insertion into the food chain by its transmuted appearance. By transmogrifying the larvae to look like the head of a snake, the larvae protects itself during a truly vulnerable time. Like the moth’s mimicked appearance, just because someone makes something that looks like a snake…doesn’t make it a snake. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a duck.

Remember that terrible Dukes of Hazzard movie in the mid-2000s starring a bikini claddaisy duke Jessica Simpson, Johnny Knoxville and that jerky jock from American Pie (yes I know his name is Sean William Scott) whose only redeeming factor was the fact that Willie Nelson starred as Uncle Jesse? Well that movie’s soundtrack featured a cover of Nancy Sinatra‘s infamous 1966 classic “These Boots are Made for Walking” by a beautiful yet ditzy Jessica Simpson. This song is a prime example of how an imitation can almost be a slap in the face to the original. Better yet; we can move along in the pantheon of terrible movies that were thrown together during the 2000s and reminisce about Britney Spears’s one, and thankfully only movie: Crossroads. Better yet we can try not to remember the assault on our ears that britney spears crossroads.JPGwas Britney‘s karaoke version of Joan Jett And The Blackhearts‘s cover of “I love Rock n’ Roll”. This cover of a cover wasn’t the first time that Britney tried her hand at mimicry that ended up looking more like a mockery. I remember very well being an 18 year old male watching the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards when Britney donned a men’s business suit and covered the Rolling Stones “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” before ripping her clothes off to perform her infamous “Oops…I did it Again.” My teenage self was unable to concentrate on any lustful desires of Britney Spears due to the butchery that was her cover of a Rock n’ Roll classic. I must say that it is not only pop star princesses that are guilty of the debauching of a classic song. After the success of their 1997 cover of George Michael‘s “Faith,” Limp Bizkit (which I admit that I do love both versions) must have thought that they could relive their initial success by slinging another cover song at the pop charts. In 2003 they decided to cover of The Who‘s “Behind Blue Eyes’. I…I…I…can’t even begin to explain how terrible of a rendition that this song was. I was, and still am, a fan of Limp Bizkit’s early work but I was forced to turn the radio when this garbage came through the radio air waves.

There are times that the imitation turns out to be just as good as the original. It is rare but sometimes it does happen. Think of the one hit wonder that is Sinead O’Conner. Where would she be without Prince and his classic hit “Nothing Compares 2 U”? Think about Patsy Cline.  “Crazy” is the first thing that you thought of correct? Well did know that the classic ballad was written and recorded by Willie Nelson? What about Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition”? Did you know that the song was originally written by Stevie for Jeff Beck. The song was recorded by Stevie thanks to Motown head Berry Gordy after he heard the song in its completed version. The Bee Gee’s had multiple chart topping hits but did you know that they originally wrote and performed Al Green’s “How Can You Men a Broken Heart?”?

So is it possible for someone to take a piece, tear it down and remold it into a more beautiful creation? The answer is yes. As with as Al Green’s passionate and searing voice that pierces the soul and thusly surpasses the greatest of the original track. I won’t list all of the times that this has happened but I will list my top 3 favorite remakes that surpassed the greatest of the original tracks.

Number 3: Jimi Hendrix, “All Along the Watchtower originally recorded by Bob Dylan. The song is almost incomparable due to Hendrix’s beautifully executed sounds produced from a flipped Fender Stratocaster. Hendrix’s version of the song surpassed Bob Dylan’s own popularity so much that every that Dylan performed the song, he saw it as a way to show acknowledgement to the man that reinterpreted and reinvigorated such a memorable song.


Number 2: Metallica’s Grammy award winning cover of the Thin Lizzy cover of The Dubliners cover of a well known and well covered Irish traditional drinking song: Whiskey in the Jar.

Number 1: Johnny Cash’s chilling rendition of the Nine Inch Nail‘s dissonant 1994 hit “Hurt”. The mortality questioning piece was recorded mere months before his death. What was once believed to be a suicide note by Trent Reznor, Johnny Cash’s quivering voice breathes contextual sadness to his and the love of his life, June Carter Cash. As a fan of the original and an even bigger fan of the remake; you can only see the correlation to the lyrics and the tumultuous life that Johnny Cash lived.


And I would be crazy to not include one honorable mention because of the cultural influence of said work. Honorable mention goes to Elvis Presley‘s ground breaking version of Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton‘s raspy classic “Hound Dog”.


So is it really true that imitation is the greatest form of flattery or is it fair to say that sometimes, that imitation is even more impressive. Like the genius evolution of a moth that can alter its exterior appearance during its larvae period to mimic that of a snake. He/she may not turn themselves into a snake but the look is mighty impressive .

Love, peace and chicken grease;