New Year’s Resolutions for 2011

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I suck at them. Every attempt at such year-long dedication has resulted in utter failure and led to subsequent feelings of guilt and worthlessness. If I resolve to lose weight, usually by January 5th I’m at Beef’s, slamming buffalo wings, drinking beer, and flipping off anyone who mentions how much I suck at resolutions. Have a beer and fail with me!

2011 will be different. 2011 is a good number—a prime number. It has to be a good year. This is it, the year before 2012, which will be the end of the whole fucking universe. That’s when galactic alignment, Mayan calendars, Revelations, Pleiadeans and all that other shit that lives in Barnes and Noble’s Metaphysical aisle becomes real. If you’re going to accomplish a goal, better do it this year or you will be immortalized as a miserable failure for all eternity. No pressure.

I’m not doing the clichéd, “I’m going to get in shape” resolution. I won’t be buying a thousand-dollar Bowflex contraption and swearing to chisel down to 5% bodyfat in just 15 minutes a day. However, I am looking at a set of Iron Master Quicklock dumbbells because the frustration of changing weights during P90X with spinlock dumbbells adds seven new gray hairs to my head every workout.


Sal Alosi: What a Douche!

You had it all, Coach Sal Alosi. You were the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the New York Jets. A position that is the envy of thousands of Exercise Science majors across the nation. There are only 32 positions like it. A strength coach in the N-F-L. The National Football League. The premier organization of the most awesome sport in the United States. You know, the one nation that says, “Fuck you world! We suck at your gay soccer, so we’re going to make up our own shit and dominate!” America, bitches!


A Birthday Gift From The Gawds: Part 2

Moving right along with the investigation of my birthday gift from the Gawds, the
next thing that stood out was food. Junk Food!

That’s a fucking huge container of Cheese Balls. It filled up approximately 60%
of the space in The Ominous Black Birthday Gift Bag—maybe even more. I wasn’t very
scientific in calculating that 60% number, but it sounded more observant that 50%.
Plus, the word “approximately” is a multisyllabic Get Out Of Jail Free card for
being imprecise. I am certain that the Cheese Ball container fills up over half
the bag, though, so I’m sticking with 60%.


A Birthday Gift From The Gawds: Part 1

I’m not a birthday guy. When I was maybe 9 years old, birthdays were great! They
were like the warmup show for Christmas—where toys and cash rained from the heavens.
Now that I am a safe distance into my 30’s, birthdays merely mean that I somehow
survived another trip around our modest sized star. Those birthdays also seem to
come a lot faster now.

Time is indeed relative and, as a kid, it moved along at a snail’s pace. I wanted
to grow up so badly. My mom always used to say, “Enjoy being a kid. Adulthood sucks,
honey.” Well, maybe not in so many words, but that was the gist. And, wow, was she
right. Why are moms always so right? Responsibilities, careers, bills, mortgages,
deadlines, insurance, 401K’s, politics, taxes, doctors, gray hairs, nosehair plucking.
When I was a kid, I always wondered if having armpit hair would tickle. Well, it
doesn’t, but nosehairs do. The worst is when you can feel them wafting in the wind
with each breath. God, I want to make a sprint for the bathroom and pluck this thing.


Back From Paradise

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.


Orlando Anime Day: The Loot

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.


The Quest For 3rd Degree Burn Doritos

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.


Digital Drugs: Stupid Kid Fad or the Real Deal?

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?


Sega Visions: The Magazine That Turned Me To The Darkside

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.


Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips: The Review

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!

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