For South Florida Bulls fans who know me, much of this post will be a review. But somehow I just never tire of driving these points home. USF fans are like my dog: quick to forget training lessons and they eat poop. It’s true. And not a light tongue flick, either. We’re talking 2 Girls, 1 Cup-style bathing in the steaming goop like it’s coming from Heaven’s own chocolate soft serve dispenser. With the 2010 college football season coming to a close, I would be remiss if I didn’t document my ever-growing hatred for the commuter college up the street.
The University of South Florida is a massive fucking school with like a million-billion students on a sparse campus, devoid of any character, notable landmarks, or adequate parking. Even with the vast swaths of empty grass fields, USF still has no football stadium of their own and resorts to thieving the Buccaneers’ stadium every Saturday. Opposing fans must wonder what that big pirate ship in the endzone has to do with cattle. Oh wait, that’s the real football team that plays here. USF is just the opening act.
Sorry for the lack of posts over the past couple of weeks. I was on vacation last
week at my home-away-from-home, Captiva Island. Since then I have been fighting
a nasty case of Post Vacation Laziness Disorder. Captiva Island is a quiet little
island off the coast of Ft. Myers, Florida. We were trapped under Tropical Depression
#5 for a majority of the time, so all there was to do was shop, eat like pigs, and
drink ourselves stupid. I was cool with that. On our last day there, the weather
finally cleared up and there were some awesome waves on the normally tranquil beach.
My drunk ass waddled out there, got tossed all over the place, and carried a few
hundred yards down the beach by the current. After about 15 minutes, I gave up my futile attempt to
swim. Even sober I had no shot against those waves without a board, but it was still
crazy fun to play in.
One of my favorite perks of being an anime reviewer for DVDTalk.com is that I have
a good excuse to hit the anime conventions again. I used to go to these things all
the time back in college. After I made my long awaited debut in the real world in
2004, I decided that I was a professional and stopped going. Actually, it just felt
weird to go. When I first started hitting the cons, the panels and the dealer rooms
were the main draw. Cosplayers made up a small, but noticeable, portion of the crowd.
They were the freaks. The superfans. I always appreciated the effort that they put
into their costumes and I loved that they usually roleplayed the part the entire
day. They were fun, but I was never willing to take that step and join their ranks.
Cosplayers now make up a majority of the crowd—sometimes like 80-90%. They proudly
walk around with spiky hair, giant swords, ninja masks, magical fairy girl skirts,
cat ears or some combination of all the above.
Now, it is my duty to attend anime conventions. Or so I tell myself. Truth is, I
love this shit.
In my previous reviews of Doritos 1st and 2nd Degree Burn, I lamented the fact that
there was no 3rd Degree Burn to be found. 2nd Degree Burn, Buffalo Wing flavored
Doritos, had a heat that increased exponentially with each chip until you were clamoring
for something, anything, wet and diffuse the blaze. These 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’
Habanero Doritos, if there were such thing, truly had to be something special.
The buzz was that they were discontinued and were no longer on store shelves. The
window of opportunity had passed and my review would forever be incomplete. Mr.
Dragon’s Fire Chips wasabi flavored Doritos were a suitable replacement given the
circumstances, but still, there was no way in hell could live with this result.
I searched gas stations, grocery stores, and convenience stores all over the city
to find the elusive 3rd Degree Burn Doritos. All I could ever find were the normal
Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, and 1st and 2nd Degree Burn Doritos.
I can’t be the only one amused by the news stories that surfaced last week about
kids i-dosing on “digital drugs.” Silly kids! The newscasters, as per usual, overreacted
to a stupid kid trend and ran with the alarmist news stories that only cause even
more kids to seek out “digital drugs.”
I never even knew such a thing existed until the video clips of some Oklahoma newscast
warning about the dangers of digital drugs recently hit the internet. Digital drugs?
What the hell is that? The story explained that digital drugs are monotonous binaural
beats that you listen to with headphones, lying down in a relaxed state, with your
eyes closed. You mean kids are…meditating?! Oh, sweet Jesus! The slippery slope
is upon us! What will they do next? Yoga?
In the late 80’s and early 90’s there were two distinct camps of gamers: Nintendo
fans and Sega fans. There were no Sega fans in my circle of friends. In fact, I
didn’t know of anyone who had a Sega. Yet we assumed they were out there because
we, Nintendo fans, needed an enemy. There were rumors of friends of friends who
had a Sega Master System. I never saw these friends or their Sega’s, so I called
shenanigans on these claims. I was a staunch Mario 3 playing, Nintendo Cereal eating,
The Wizard watching, Nintendo Power subscribing, Power Glove wearing Nintendo fanatic.
Sega was crap. No, it was more than crap. It was shit. Nobody owned a Sega and if
you did, you were an idiot. I had never actually played a Sega. My hatred was blind,
but it was pure. Sega was anti-Nintendo, therefore I was anti-Sega. Then, the Sega
Genesis was released.
My anti-Sega stance weakened every time I had to jiggle a cartridge back to life
in the old Nintendo Entertainment System. You remember the ritual. You put the cartridge
in the NES, press it down, and pray to the gaming gods that it worked the first
time. Rarely would you achieve such a lucky press. More likely, the gaming gods
shat on your prayers and laughed maniacally as they gave you a flicker of hope and
then eternal blackness. You knew this would be a war. You took the cartridge back
out, blew in it, and placed it back in the system. A flicker, perhaps a few random
colored pixels, and then blackness. You jiggled the cartridge as it laid in the
NES. Flicker, nothing, flicker, nothing. You began to sweat. You held the Reset
button for 5 seconds. Nothing. 10 seconds. Nothing. You tried the little trick you
learned in ‘Nam where you placed the cartridge in the NES as closely to the edge
as possible and snapped it down. Nothing. You questioned how much you really wanted
to play this game, but you gathered your wits, yelled out a giant “Fuck You!” to
the gaming gods and entrenched yourself for the coming battle. You repeated these
same steps perhaps 30 more times, cursing loud enough to vent your frustrations,
but quiet enough to not get grounded for two weeks. Finally, the gaming gods decided
that you had been punished enough for lying to Santa Claus about being a good kid
and they blessed you with Nintendo goodness.
Here’s an addendum to the synergistic explosion of flavor experiment that I conducted
a few months ago between Doritos and Pepsi Max: Cease Fire. I was recently putting
together a purchase at an online Japanese retailer when I discovered wasabi flavored
Doritos on the site. Of course this snack would be added to my purchase, if for
no other reason than to continue my Doritos experiments. However, I didn’t realize
how outrageous shipping costs are when you order a bunch of shit from Japan. I needed
time to rethink my order. Did I really need an ear cleaning scoop with a mini origami
bird hanging from the tip? Well, yes I do actually. What about that microwave potato
chip maker? Yup, that stays. The badass Starscream figure? Mine! I’m such a nerd.
I could find most of the Japanese snacks at Epcot, though. Wasabi Doritos, along
with the other Japanese snacks, would have to wait.
On the way up to Atlanta, Georgia last week, we stopped at a 7-11 for some snacks
and gas. In the store, my eyes were immediately drawn to a lime green bag of Doritos
called Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips. Out of reflex, my arm snatched two bags for the
8 hour trek. It wasn’t until I gave the bags a second glance at the checkout counter
that it dawned on me just what kind of treasure I had stumbled upon. These were
Wasabi Doritos! Here! In America! Without the ludicrous shipping charge!
Why is it that when somebody sneezes, we feel obligated to soothe them with words
like, "Bless You,” “Bleshoo,” or serenade them with a German, “gesundheit.”
Do you know what gesundheit means? Did you even realize it was German? For those
that don’t know, gesundheit literally means “health.” A person who says gesundheit
is allegedly wishing you good health. Probably unknowingly. They probably just heard
their grandparents say that to them when they were a kid and it stuck.
I know the legends about the origins of blessing a sneezer, none of which are known
to be 100% accurate. My question is why do you, specifically, bless a sneezer? Politeness?
Habit? Are you truly blessing them every time they sneeze? Why only when they sneeze?
You don’t bless people or wish them good health when they cough. You certainly don’t
bless them when they fart, burp, or puke. Why is sneezing so different? Why is it
considered rude when we don’t habitually utter some nonsensical blessing after somebody
I count The Karate Kid (1984) as one of my favorite movies of all time and a bona
fide classic piece of American filmmaking. It had everything: fighting, karate,
romance, simple yet effective storyline, laughs, endearing characters, catch phrases,
and a great ending. I have watched it hundreds of times and still make time for
it every couple of months. When Columbia Pictures announced that they were creating
a remake, my first reaction was why bother? The original was movie perfection. My
second reaction was a full-blown midlife crisis. Am I really getting so old that
my favorite childhood movies need to be updated? Then I realized that 1984 was indeed
a long ass time ago, which made it all the worse. Still, I was dismayed by the announcement
and immediately put up my wall of hatred. There was no way in hell I would ever
see this travesty. Damn Columbia Pictures and everyone involved!
Then I saw the kick ass trailer a few months ago before seeing Alice in Wonderland
at the theaters. I was charmed by the new sensei, Mr. Han played by Jackie Chan.
Jaden Smith cracked a few funny lines that made me laugh and showed some great kung
fu technique. Within minutes, my usually impenetrable wall of hatred crumbled to
I have been reading about Star Wars Weekends ad naseum on my Facebook news feed
the past few weeks. I’m a fan of Disney World’s Facebook page and as punishment
they spam me every day hyping their events, hotels, and restaurants. I finally decided
to take the plunge and see what this Star Wars Weekend was all about.
We arrived at Hollywood Studios just after high noon. This June day was blistering
hot and the air was drenched with humidity. I felt sweat beading on my back and
forehead the very moment I left the comforts of my ice cold car in the parking lot.
With Star Wars Weekend signage everywhere, I was excited about what awaited us beyond
the turnstiles in the park. We made our way through the gates and into the park
and…nothing. Same old Hollywood Studios as ever except there was a little girl dressed
as Padme wandering around with her parents. What a letdown. I knew the heart of
this event would be at the god awful Star Tours ride, but I wanted to make sure
that I had the Aerosmith ride FastPassed for later. So we went that direction first
and took care of business. Still, I wondered what all the fuss was about if this
event was only being held where a Star Wars themed area already exists. Hey
kids, it's Mickey Mouse Weekend at the Magic Kingdom! We wandered
the park, braved the heat, ogled at the candy store, and searched in vain for this
so-called Star Wars Weekend.