Hate Chipotle’s high counters too? Wheelchair-user sues, wins

Whatever you do, don’t get between a man and his burrito. You’d think someone who makes burritos by the millions would know this truthitude, but no, Chipotle managed to make this faux pas with their truly thoughtless counter design. Their high counters have been getting off scott-free for years, violating every ADA law in the book, and FINALLY, finally they’re being (legally) chastised. But only in California, for now.


The pissed AND hungry wheelchair-user we have to thank is San Diego State University professor Maurizo Antoinetti, who became a paraplegic in the Italian army. He began his crusade against Chipotle in 2005 after he realized he couldn’t see a damned thing. He couldn’t see which ingredients he was picking, couldn’t see his burrito being made….nada. And might I add how much I hate this?? Fucking Chipotle. I’m lucky, my chair has an elevator seat if I really want to see my burrito being made, but the line is so fast and rushed, it just isn’t practical.


I love your burritos Chipotle, but your counters can suck it.


Professor Antoinetti in completely in the right. He believes every wheelchair-user has the GOD GIVEN RIGHT to see his burrito being made, and he’s right! And while California courts have been disappointing as of late (Prop 8), they finally got it right this time, with a Federal Appeals court in Pasadena ruling Chipotle violated the Americans with Disabilities Act at two of its San Diego locations. And Antoinetti didn’t do it for the money. He said he’s spent over $500,000 on the multi-year legal battle. Here’s what Chipotle had to say after the battle:
“We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling, however, the matter is largely moot because several years ago, independent of this lawsuit, we retrofitted all of our California restaurants with a new counter design that eliminates concern regarding wheelchair accessibility.”


So let me get this straight – they knew the counters were too high, fixed them at two locations to appease Antoinetti, but why don’t they replace all of their counters across the country if they know they were too high?


See, this is total BS. Support your locally-owned Mexican taco stands people. Chipotle is evil.

Custom Battlebot wheelchairs OMG

What’s a engineer with mad skills supposed to do after his stint on Robot Wars ends (and the rest of the year when he’s not working on his insane fire sculptures for Burning Man)?

I know! CREATE BATTLEBOT WHEELCHAIRS. And that’s exactly what Lance “aka Blaster” Greathouse did, from making a fire-spurting gun wheelchair to designing a beautiful gothic chair. His wheelchairs make being unable to walk look cool.
And I gotta say, no lie, this is the most amazing line of fantastical wheelchairs I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been writing about custom wheelchairs for years (years!). Here’s a taste of some of the Battlebot-esque wheelchairs from the MIND of Lance Greathouse: 


  • Fighter F-4 Jet ejection chair
  • NASCAR chair
  • Dr. Evil chair with rear video and stereo system (OMG!)
  • Lord Humongous most powerful chair with flamethrower
  • B-52 Bomber chair, w/ spinning turret and simulated working 50 Cal machine guns
  • Chairs with tank tracks
  • And in the works: A Queens Throne chair and Barbie chair (double WANT!)

Lance is obviously making the most out of his workspace down in Phoenix. <3 And now, the BEST part: He’s ready to not only share his designs with the world, he’s offering up his services & is ready to create the wheelchair of YOUR dreams.

Whether you are a person with a disability (or just a lazy millionaire), Lance will work with you. And he can even use your pre-existing chair and add to it. I don’t know about you, but I’m craving chrome add-ons and some sweet spinning rims for my chair like a crack-fiend!

Visit Lance’s official site: Greathouse Labs 

How Do You Wear Your LegaWear?

This is the first entry in my new, Styling with LegaWear blog series, which is a partnership I’m doing with LegaWear (the Swedish adapted clothing company). It will be an ongoing stream of style entries, with a new outfit added each month. Each blog will feature a garment from LegaWear, and how it can be worked into a fabulous outfit idea. Each outfit will be seasonal, and I promise they’ll be easy-to-recreate (I‘ll try my best) and fashion-forward. Onward now to – The Urban Weekend look.

Can you hide disability with tight jeans and makeup? She did

 “If everybody’s not a beauty, then nobody is.” – Andy Warhol.
 When Laura Maffei was diagnosed with progressive Muscular Dystrophy as a young teen (the nerve disease that the Jerry Lewis telethon supports), she was told by her parents to hide her new condition, to mask the growing-in-strength symptoms – the encumbered gait, the inability to hold in her gut – for as long as she could because discrimination based on disability is one of the worst kinds of discrimination you can experience. And it is.

I can tell you from my own experience, from going from a healthy 14 year old blonde white girl to a very disabled-looking individual, you really see two vastly different life perspectives; and it’s heart-breaking. Some people will never like someone with a disability no matter how hard you try. It just won’t happen.

So when Laura Maffei, author of her just-finished memoir, How I Tried to Hide Muscular Dystrophy with Tight Jeans and Makeup (also known as Girl with a Secret. She’s currently looking for representation), was instructed by her parents to hide her condition (using control-top pantyhose, makeup, and a bag of excuses), I can’t actually say it was completely bad parenting. There were protecting her from negative life experiences for as long as they could. I can’t say I blame them. But Maffei knew there were other reasons her parents wanted her to hide it, the main reason chiefly being: Their over-concern with physical appearances.

“My mom always told us to hold in our stomachs and, from when we were 13, to wear makeup outside the house.” (And after being diagnosed) “I‘d even not eat or drink anything on days I was going to the beach with friends, to lying to my gym teachers about how many situps I did, to refusing to tell even close friends why I was walking with a labored gait in college.” “All that hiding is exhausting,” she says. “And even though my story is a specific one, I think women of all physical abilities feel compelled to hide or change things about their physical selves, things of which they needn’t be ashamed, but they are because our culture tells us to be.”

Laura eventually came “out” of the disability closet, and now gives speeches on her journey of self-discovery, in addition to writing memoir. Also, stop by her blog, Everybody’s a Beauty, where she’s compiling a collection of user-submitted experiences on disability and beauty, and the struggle that can come with that, which needless to say has become a topic close to her heart. Add yours here!