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Do fat lives matter?

19 Feb


In a candid discussion on my Facebook wall about Black Panther, I was wondering something….why is it still ok to make fun of fat people?

There’s an assumption fat people deserve it, can change it, and that how we look is “less than.”

Especially for women.

We champion gay rights, black lives matter, and the transgender community but still mock fat people.

Don’t think it’s as serious as that?

Fat people may suffer from serious medical issues not because they’re fat but as a side effect of the condition or medication side effects.

As a fat person, I’ve considered suicide many times because of my fatness and have engaged in self-injury.

People like to constantly remind me I’m fat and try to regulate (control) my lifestyle. Oh, I haven’t forgotten I’m fat. I live it every day.

It’s ok for men to NOT date me because “men like women based on their physical appearance.” And I “have such a pretty face.” Uhhh, thanks?!

I’m not trying to trample all over other groups fighting for equality, respect, and meaning. We ALL deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We should celebrate our difference, not let them divide us.

I’m just saying—stop with the fat jokes, the caricatures of the fat people who stuff their faces with an entire cake or provide the comic relief, and guys, I think you’re missing out on a pretty awesome person who kills it at karaoke and game nights!

Plus, I’ve been told by children that my fat makes me super cuddly. But the way they said it wasn’t offensive at all. It was like the kids got it; we’re all different.

That is, until someone teaches them otherwise.

Vote for Backseat Writer as one of the Best Blogs in the Lehigh Valley!

12 Mar

Guess what?  Someone (I’m pretty sure it was my mom) nominated Backseat Writer as one of the best blogs in the Lehigh Valley (that’s where I live for you out-of-towners)!  But I need you to vote for me so I can win the prestigious title of being one of the best blogs in the Valley.

Backseat Writer is nominated in three categories:: Religion, Pop Culture, and Personal.  You can vote for the site daily in each of these categories now through March 27 at 11:59 PM EST.  If I win a category, I will be giving away a very special yet-to-be-determined prize (probably an Amazon gift card) on my blog . (Why shouldn’t we all celebrate?)

You must be a registered using of to vote, so register if you love me!  I really appreciate your vote!  Thanks, gang!  Have a wonderful weekend. (You can click on that logo on top of this post or on the side of the blog [I’m sad that it looks so silly on my sidebar] to vote for me in the Religion category!)

Update: If we win, I’ll have a drawing for a $15 Amazon gift card everyone who comments on the post announcing the win.  More votes = more entries!  We all win!

Update 2: My new friend Jaime over at Save the Kales reports that many people are having trouble voting on the Morning Call website.  She suggests using the Safari or Google Chrome web browsers when you vote.  Thanks, Jaime!  While you’re voting for Backseat Writer, you should head over to the Food Category and vote for Save the Kales (or click this direct link!)  Jaime’s giving away a free head of lettuce if she wins.  No, she’s not.  I just made that up.

Updated Review Policy and My Love Note to the FTC

10 Mar

Hear ye, hear ye!  I have updated parts of Backseat Writer’s Review Policy and added a bit of plain speak to my FTC Disclosure.  Read on, you know you want to…


Request for reviews/interview/marriage proposals can be sent to

Why, yes, I would love to review your album, book, movie, or product!  Due to time restraints, that book I’m eventually going to write, and my personal preferences, I may not be able to honor all requests for reviews, interviews, or Nigerians who want to wire me money.

Before you hit me up with your latest and greatest, please note that I will only accept music for review (and artist interviews) that is downloadable or send to me via snail mail.  Additionally, I will only accept books that are readable on Kindle or sent to me in hard copy format (again, in the mail).  My reasoning?  I need my music and reading material to be portable—to go with me where I need to go.  That’s how I live life and that’s how I review materials.  I cannot be chained to my computer listening to music or reading books.

Additionally, I retain the right to accept or reject all materials based on quality of content and whether or not I believe the materials fit in with the vision of Backseat Writer.  Usually I can tell whether or not something is a good fit by the press release and I will tell you so before you send materials, so feel free to send your queries to

I also added this to that terribly interesting FTC Disclosure or what I like to call “My Love Note to the FTC”…

I do not get paid to do reviews or interviews (though if anyone wants to hire me for freelance work, I’m listening.)  I do not accept money in exchange for posting press releases or endorsements.  All content is generated for the pure love and joy of writing!

Links included in posts are for informational purposes only and are never composed for the purpose of including advertising.

No record company, publisher, publicist, band, artist, hobbit, or gnome will ever influence the content, topics, or posts made in this Backseat Writer, though they may inspire a few!

Any time you want to review parts of my publications policies, you can click on the “About Backseat Writer” tab and read your little heart out.  It is slightly more interesting than watching paint peel.

Amy’s Favorite Things, Vol. 2

9 Dec

Since Oprah dropped the ball on her favorite things this year, it looks like I’m going to have to take up the slack (incidentally, I’ll also be taking over for Oprah when the daytime talk show queen turns in her microphone).  I’m sorry I won’t be able to send Backseat Writers a crap load of cool stuff to celebrate “Amy’s Favorite Things” (AFT) but you do have a chance to win an AFT Prize Pack, which includes an Oh Deer Super Dooper Pocket Pooper Keychain, a stuffed cow I got for free at Chick-Fil-A, an unopened package of Ice Breakers Ice Cube Gum I found on my desk, a beautiful star ornament created with my very own hands, and a personalized Christmas card with a holiday picture of my dogs inside (actually, anyone can get one of those, just e-mail me your mailing address).  Who needs fancy schmancy items like digital cameras and expensive make-up when you get can win stuff like this?

Without further ado, I present you with my favorite things of 2009.


Every month the world’s largest online retailer picks 50 albums that cost only $5 to download (but they picked 100 for December).  And every-so-often they slash prices even more—to a mere $2.99.  Over the year, I’ve been able to snag the latest from Sherwood, Owl City, Mat Kearny, and others.  Right now (12/09), you can get Green River Ordinance’s Out of My Hands (read interview), Switchfoot’s Hello Hurricane,  Relient K’s Let it Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer, The Almost’s Monster Monster, Beach Boys’ Pet SoundsThe Turtles’ Greatest Hits and The Elf Soundtrack –all for only $5.


Yes, people, I’ve joined the Twitter revolution!  It’s oh-so-fun to exchange silly banter—all in 140 characters or less. (Incidentally, that gushing statement about Twitter is only 119 characters!)


OK, while Kristin Chenoweth isn’t a thing; she’s a person and I’ve written about her before (“Snooked on Pushing Daisies“), but there’s more Cheno love to share.  Last spring, Kristin released her authobiography, A Little Bit Wicked, this fall she starred on one of my favorite shows, “Glee” (also performing a rousing duet of “Alone” with Matthew Morrison aka “Mr. Shue”) and she just made a Lifetime movie, The Twelve Men of Christmas.  Plus,  she’s the voice of Rosetta the fairy in the Tinkerbell movies.  There there’s Maddie’s Corner, an organization started by Kristin to help people and animals.  Yes, Kristin has a dog named Maddie and I have a dog named Maddy (Madalyne)!  Who knew? Suffice to say, Kristin Chenoweth is still smokin’ hot and undoubtedly one of my favorite things, er, people.


I’ve known about these things for a while, but they never fail to crack me up.  Maybe I’m just immature, but a reindeer with a cranky face pooping brown candies out of his butt is really funny to me.  Plus, the candy-filled key chains and toys have all sorts of hilarious names like Poo-lar Bear (The Sub-Zero Poopin’ Hero), Baa Humbug Sheep (The Grumpy Party Pooper), and Oh Deer! (The Super Duper Reindeer Pooper). Because I love these things so much, I’m offering one of these little guys in my Prize Pack.  It’s a keychain version of Oh Deer for Pooper lovers on the go.


Is this show great or what?  Singing, dancing, high school drama, a hot Spanish teacher—it’s all the stuff that I wish I had in high school (minus the drama—no one wants that!)  Plus, the cast on “Glee” can really sing.  I’m especially impressed with Lea Michele who plays young starlet Rachel Berry (my fave character) and Matthew Morrison’s vocals have really grown on me (especially during his “Alone” duet with Kristin Chenoweth as well as his mash-up of “Young Girl” and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”).  Jane Lynch is also notable as the gym teacher everyone loves to hate—Sue Slyvester.  And that’s how Amy sees it.  Hmm, sounds better when Sue says it.


What a storage site!  Not only can TinyPic be integrated into your social networks like Twitter and Facebook, but it also offers dandy photo editing tools to touch up digital photographs in a hurry.  No need to use Photoshop for minor edits and TinyPic offers a ton of storage, as well as printing options (which I have yet to use).


Hooded scarves with pockets (HSwP) are a fashion must (guys, feel free to tune out).  It’s a hat!  It’s a scarf!  And it’s got pockets for storage!  I’ve only seen two of these out in the great wide yonder—there was a beautiful cream-colored HSwP at Target for around $17, but the knitting was shabby and coming undone—pass!  I found another HSwP online at Bath & Body Works of all places—a pink, gray, and white patterned beauty that cost $20 on clearance; it has since disappeared.  Sadly, the HSwP pictured on the left is $200, and even though it has faux fur and button—that is still way too pricey.  Even this amazing brown Fair Isle knit is $50, but I can’t figure out how it looks when worn.  If any of you know of any hot deals on HSwP (buttons preferred), let me know!

Well, that wraps up another year of Amy’s Favorite Things !  Now I suppose you want to know how to win AFT Prize Pack.  It is *so* easy.  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me (and the world) about one of your favorite things!  If you Tweet or write a Facebook status note about the contest, you get an extra entry (one for Twitter, and one for Facebook for a grand total of three entries!)  Hint: if you follow @amysondova or @backseatwriter on Twitter, you can RT (reTweet) what I say.  I only wish I was eligible to win this contest.  The contest ends on 12/16 at 12 PM EST. Oh, and don’t forget to re-visit all my favorite things from last year!

Amy’s Trip to Florida, Part 1

11 Nov

During the last week of October, I went to Florida with my mom and my best friend, Sarah.  We had a great time laughing, swimming, exploring, and letting our hair down–so to speak!  Getting a sinus/double ear infection on the way back was not so fun, but hey, at least I wasn’t gagging up phlegm in Florida, right?  Anyway, I wanted to share a few of our trip pics, many of these are intimate nature shots from Homosassa Springs–a wildlife preserve that has…wait for it…MANATEES! Enjoy! More Homosassa Springs and other trip pics next week!

Someone told me that manatees look like potatoes floating in water.  Yeah, this manatee definitely has that floating potato look.

Flapping’s more fun with friends.

Pretty Pets in Costumes with a Pumpkin, Take 2

30 Oct

After deciding to adorn my pumpkin with a bow, I decided to adorn my pets with their Halloween costumes.  Yes, I put my dogs in Halloween costumes–not only at Halloween, but also sometimes just for fun.  And, of course, I took pictures.  Maddy the Shih Tzu (white/gray)  loves dressing up while Cassie the Peekapoo (tan)  detests it and neither dog is fond of wearing hats.  Despite all the tomfoolery, I was able to get both dogs and the pumpkin in some pictures!

It only took 20 minutes to get this shot…sheesh! Maddy looks like she’s turning into a vamp puppy.

Cassie gives up the fight and sits nicely for her picture.

Then Maddy intruded into Cassie’s portrait.

A quick shot of Maddy before she ripped off her hat and started chewing on it. Yes, she needs a haircut!

My Pretty Pumpkin

30 Oct

We’ve had the pumpkin for over a few weeks now sitting on the floor in a plastic bag.  Since I’m back from my whirlwind Florida trip and sick as a dog, I decided it was finally time to decorate that bad boy. Using a Sharpie marker, metallic star stickers, and glittery fairy stickers, I made this::

Then Maddy the Shih Tzu came to investigate::

Not wanting to be left out, Cassie the Peekapoo came over, too, which caused Maddy to start break dancing.  Then both dogs ran over to start playing–no doubt high on Sharpie marker fumes.

Photo Essay:: Cape Cod, Part 1

21 Oct

In September, I went on a lovely trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  But due to an insanely busy schedule, I haven’t been able to post my photos.  However, I decided to give you a sneak peek of what’s going to come…

I went on a Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch and finally got to see humpback whales!  I have wanted to see a humpback in the wild since I adopted a humpback whale in second grade.  Dreams do come true (and not just at Disney World). Yes, there are more whale pics to come!  I will dedicate a whole photo essay to humpback whales!

Little sparrow hanging out in Provincetown, MA.

Provincetown, MA

This is one of those pics that looks incredible when it’s bigger.  Currently, it’s my desktop monitor’s wallpaper.  I love how the gull is skipping over the water.

Plimoth Plantation

This is the Mayflower II, a reproduction of the original.

Pilgrim Fountain, Plymouth MA

This is another pic that looks amazing at its full size because you can actually see the moon!

The Fold Asks Listeners To Stare Future In the Face Through Unique Contest

14 Oct



That’s the question THE FOLD is asking listeners to answer through artwork, YouTube videos, and Twitter messages, posted on a special website–DEARFUTURECOMEGETME.COM.  While the “Dear Future” project may become an entity in its own right, for now, the band is running a contest, which concludes at the end of November.

It’s also a question the band has asked itself since deciding to leave their record label and become an independent band.  The melodic rockers’ new album, DEAR FUTURE, COME GET ME, which released on Oct. 6 marks the band’s first independent release.  I should also disclose that I am working with THE FOLD in crafting their online press kit.

Because it is such a creative project, I decided to give the future a little message of my own (see below).  While I don’t want to win a grand prize, I do what my art to become highly rated, so please go here and give me 5 out of 5 stars for a job well done.  (Just staring at it here on Backseat Writer won’t get me votes, so go to this site! Plus, the image on the site is WAY BIGGER!)

And while you’re at it, why don’t you send a little message to the future. Not only is it cathartic (and possibly healing), you can win great prizes, too!

Amy’s Note:: I was talking to my Mom on the phone and I asked her, “Mom, if you could tell the future something, what would it be?”  She paused a moment, then thoughtfully answered, “God is the same today, yesterday, and forever.”  She went on to talk about how every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.  But I thought, “Wow, Mom, you’re amazing!”  Wouldn’t it be hilarious if my Mom won?

Photo Essay:: Urban Beauty

24 Feb

Beauty.  The word summons up images of lovely ladies decked out in finery, fields of flowers, and glorious sunsets–not gritty train tracks, rust stains, old  buildings, and abandoned shopping carts.  Of course, beauty is the eye of the beholder, and since it I’m the one holding the camera, I try to offer the world glimpses of what is beautiful (or interesting) to me.

Last week, I happened upon a mass of abandoned shopping carts in center city Allentown.  I was intrigued by the color, the way the sun reflected off the metal, and the amount of shopping carts housed in this old parking lot. Since  I was cameraless (a rare happening indeed), but went back on Saturday, which was a bright, sunny day to take some photos.  Armed with my snazzy point-and-shoot (Canon PowerShot) instead of my amazinly beautiful Canon DSLR, but I thought the images turned out great anyway.  So here goes.  Click on the photos to see them enlarged.

This is a close-up over top of the shopping carts.  No editing or cropping whatsoever on this image.

Here’s a side view of the carts.  I added a Photoshop effect to the photo to give it a dark, almost hand-drawn effect.

I like the framing and balance of this pic.  It’s one of my faves.

I put a sepia tone on this pic to give the image an antiqued, yet bright feel.  I also used a distortion filter.

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