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Chasing The American Dream

July 27, 2006

STARBUCKS ALTERS MUFFIN FORMULA (and other travel musings)

Has anyone noticed Starbucks has changed their recipe for low-fat muffins? Yeah, their muffins were actually very tasty despite being low-fat. Now, all the toppings are front-loaded into the muffin tops. Like, once you eat the top, if you can manage it, you’ll find nary a blueberry after that and are stuck with a clump of tasteless batter. Yuck. I guess they opted for a cheaper supplier. Boo, Starbucks!

One bad thing about red-eye flights is that most of the airport shops and restaurants are closed. I got lucky; this one Mexican restaurant/bar was open. I sat down at the bar, looked at the menu, and was all ready to order a blue corn quesadilla when the female bartender said to me, “I can only give you a drink sweetie; the kitchen’s closed.” Damn, now I had to go to Wendy’s if I was to eat dinner. I hadn’t stepped into a Wendy’s in over three years and nothing looked good to eat. So I ordered a large fry and a large Diet Coke. Perfect for my seefood diet where I have been eating junk food for the past two weeks. There were no available seats so I took my ‘dinner’ across to the nearly empty Mexican joint. I sat down and three fries later, a waitress (sorry, she doesn’t deserve to be called a server) came up to me and said, “Sir you can’t have that to-go cup in here.” I quickly told her that it was because her fine establishment refused to serve me food that I was forced to go elsewhere. She said, “Well technically, you can’t bring food in here either. It’s a health code violation.” I got up in the middle of her spiel ready to curse her out. I mean, it was 10 friggin p.m. and the place was empty. Who cares? You think there was a health inspector handy ready to pounce on me for my illegal fries? But I kept my cool and just walked out without saying anything. She was still spieling as I left.

These damn money-hungry airlines. Why else would you invent the dreaded middle seat? More revenue, of course. The middle seat is worthless thanks primarily to the mindless and thoughtless passengers on my left and right. The luxury of a window or aisle seat is that you have much more room. You can lean into the aisle or against the window and every little bit helps in those cramped planes. I always do the lean to spare the poor middle seat passenger. But people just don’t think. Aisles and windows constantly take both arm rests leaving the middle seat with no arms to rest. And jeez people, if you’re gonna sleep, please lean away from me. You’ve got the whole aisle or window to lean. Why cave me in further? The last flight I was on, the window guy was snoring in my ear, and the aisle guy was literally leaning on my right shoulder for support. Aren’t most airlines on the brink of bankruptcy anyway? What’s another 60 less middle seats? C’mon guys, lose the middles.

I could never be a pilot. I’d have to wear that ridiculous-looking hat. That black and white thing that looks like it was purchased at Disneyworld. Nope. Couldn’t do the hat. And why are they always walking around with the hats on? Is the terminal considered inside the ropes and thus, they have to wear the hats? Why not wear the hat only in the plane itself? Do football players wear their helmets in public or just on the playing field itself? I think the pilot hat needs to be reevaluated.

You ever notice there are never enough seats at the gate? Not nearly. If flights average 150-200 people, why have only 100 seats? And then you have those inconsiderate but lucky passengers who not only find a seat, but they put their carry-on bags etc. on that rare empty seat next to them. Uhhh, excuse me?

Whenever I lean toward having more kids someday, all it takes is a little trip through the airport to smack that thought clear out of my mind. The whole deal with the strollers, car seats, diaper bags, lugging that stuff around along with the kids, the crying on the plane trying to keep the kids quieted and comforted as 200 angry strangers look your way. And do you ever notice that the crying kids always fall asleep about 10 minutes before the plane lands? I’m not sure I could handle the stress. I mean, I can barely handle the stress of a tasteless low-fat blueberry muffin. Can you imagine?

I don’t think I’ve ever sat next to a pretty woman on a plane. I’m usually stuck with people like the inconsiderate pair I mentioned above. I don’t think I’d mind it so much if a pretty woman chose to sleep on me. Oh crap, there’s the announcement for my “zone.” "Boarding zone nine." Why can’t they say, “Boarding rows 10-15,” like they used to? What’s the difference anyway? They're boarding the plane the same exact way? Do they really think they're fooling us? Well, I’m in lucky seat number 11D. You guessed it. Middle.



  • Re Muffins: I don't eat the low fat ones....I'm all about full fat or none at all.

    By Anonymous Buffy, at 5:27 AM, July 27, 2006  

  • I'm with you regarding the strollers, screaming kids, and diaper bags. I love kids, don't get me wrong, but the screaming baby is just not my favorite neighbor, especially in confined places

    By Anonymous Neska, at 7:41 AM, July 27, 2006  

  • If you're in the middle, you must claim the armrests IMMEDIATELY upon boarding and then you can't get up or reach for reading material for the duration of the flight. It's tough, but true. (I also tend to check in the night before now for my flights and avoid the middle seat blues.)

    By Blogger Denise, at 9:38 AM, July 27, 2006  

  • I hear ya, Buffy. From now on, no low-fat for me at Starbucks. Neska, it's really almost an impossible situation for the parents keeping babies happy and cry-free on airplanes. Doesn't it seem the criers are always near your seat? Denise, you're right. And sometimes you can reclaim the armrests if your rowmates doze off.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 9:13 PM, July 27, 2006  

  • T,

    You need to fly first class. I did it once because my manager gave me his upgrade tickets before they expired. I'll never go coach again! I don't care how much more it costs, it's worth it! I like the "special" attention and the food is better, upscale, even! You either sit in an aisle seat or the window (no middle), the seats are wider and comfier. I even managed to curl my legs under me but I'm 5' so for me it's easy. Trust me, once you go first class, you'll never go back!

    Oh, and next time you go to Europe, fly Virgin! They do everything for you except literally kiss your ass!

    By Blogger Mari, at 12:53 AM, July 28, 2006  

  • I have never had a muffin at Starbucks.

    Now, I don't think that I will. Not a healthy one, anyway.

    By Blogger A, at 10:21 AM, July 28, 2006  

  • I think i finally found someone who hates planes more than me. talk about a germ fest

    By Blogger Sass, at 5:14 PM, July 28, 2006  

  • maybe that's why i have to have a glass of cheap vino on the plane

    By Blogger Sass, at 5:14 PM, July 28, 2006  

  • I happen to find all things Starbucks related sacred and above reproach.

    Though, I do get pissed when they, albeit infrequently, run out of Chai Tea.

    Really gets to me.

    Have a good time, though. Where ya headed?

    By Blogger Hill, at 8:42 AM, July 29, 2006  

  • Ugh, I totally agree with you about the seat sizes, forget waterboarding, by the end of a long haul flight I'd fess up to anything just to stop the pain!

    I find the leg room the worst of all, and I'm only 5' 9ish, I dread to think what it's like for tall men. Although, it's always kind of comical to watch people try to eat in-flight meals with their arms jammed to their side hehe.

    My goal in life before I die is to fly first class :)

    By Anonymous Carrie, at 8:55 AM, July 29, 2006  

  • Mari and Carrie, for sure, 1st class is the way to go. Sass, oh no don't get me started on the germs! Hill, see my next post re: Starbucks.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 1:08 AM, July 30, 2006  

  • Maybe some people find the pilot hats sexy...just a thought lol and you know how I feel about the screaming babies...

    By Anonymous Christa, at 3:10 PM, August 01, 2006  

  • I'm reading this after the Code Red alert at Heathrow and since then, the banning of any liquids, creams etc.....man sure does put all this in perspective, doesn't?!!
    (Although I do agree with you!)

    By Blogger Mother of Invention, at 7:31 AM, August 11, 2006  

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