I’ve finished 4 weeks straight of bloggin’, but I started on a Wednesday and this whole switching in the middle of the week isn’t working for me. I’ll resume again on Monday with Week #5!
Being from Wisconsin, I have little choice but to hate the Chicago Bears. I was raised on jabs against our athletically challenged neighbors to the south, a deep and lingering scorn which has been fueled by years and years of over-produced rivalry, none so big as this last NFL season’s NFC Championship game (in which the Packers beat the Bears to go on to the Superbowl, and also win that despite losing the division to the Bears). It’s a healthy hatred, but hatred nonetheless. So, was I ever fired up to hear that the Bears’ ace in the hole, the King of comebacks and the master of clutch nitty-gritty football, just got engaged to someone who MTV likes to introduce as “The Bitch is Back” for a new season of The Hills a while back. Now, I’m no MTVologist, but I’m going to guess that if Kristin Cavallari is dubbed “The Bitch” on MTV, she must be really, really, really, really, really bitchy. Have fun with that Jay Cutler!
I now present to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Fails McFailington. See below: A picture of the happy couple wearing the faces they’re most famous for.
I was a picky eater as a kid. When I was about 5-6 years old, I actually wouldn’t eat pizza! That quickly changed with the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but my youth was hurdle after hurdle of culinary objections. I’m happy to say today that I’ll eat just about anything (except for tuna and black olives). Since I was picky as a kid, it took me a while to grow into some of the food that I find delicious today. I didn’t grow to love Chinese food until college, but now I can’t imagine my life (or stomach) without it.
I know my earlier food posts were about specific restaurants or food, but let’s face it: Every Chinese restaurant in America is basically the same with few innovations. That’s not a bad thing though. I like the fact that no matter where I go, I can tackle the craving with something that will be relatively familiar. It’s like McDonald’s, except the chicken is real. And there are vegetables involved.
Everyone has their favorite Chinese foods. I’m a big fan of General Tso’s chicken, the spicier the better. There’s also a reserved area in my stomach for egg rolls and crab rangoons. I don’t stray too far from the familiar, but it’s so delicious that I have no reason to. I’m putting myself into a craving crisis just writing about it. So, to stave off my stomach from digesting an envious hole into itself, I’m going to point out some of the more interesting things about the Chinese food dining experience.
If you’ve ever spent 4 seconds in a Chinese restaurant, no doubt you’ve seen Maneki Neko (also known at the “welcoming cat” or “lucky cat” or “fortune cat”). This friendly and perpetually waving critter is always there to greet you. Just imagine a little shovel in his waving hand as he’s shoveling your cash into a nearby register. Some other aspects of the environment that you might find from restaurant to restaurant is a picture of the Great Wall, maybe a dragon or two, and THE SAME MENU that every Chinese food restaurant uses.
If you’re challenging yourself, you may ask “What other fun things are there to find?” There’s the zodiacal paper place mat which will tell you the year you were born in (Year of the Rat FTW), maybe a Chinese donut or sugar cookie, an endless supply of soy or duck or sweet and sour sauces and the smallest old woman in the universe (which is ironic considering how good the food is). There are a lot of treasures to be found in any Chinese restaurant, but the most coveted is obviously the life altering and never-too-vague fortune cookie. It’s changed my life.
Often, my sight is too short to see what the entirety of the music community has to offer. It’s easy to focus on the big names in music and write a review of a band that is over-exposed and all too familiar. I would like to focus on more lesser known artists as well as those who permeate the FM spectrum with their over-production and auto-tuning. But why does it always have to be a popular band? Why does it have to be a serious musician? Well, it doesn’t, and to prove it, this week I’m going to write on a Youtube star who (in my opinion) is semi-serious in their musical approach but very capable when it comes to composition:
Matt Mulholland is a New Zealand native who can do more with his own voice than many can do with an actual instrument. If you haven’t seen any of his videos, let me explain. He will recreate an entire song with just his mouth. He will beat box the drums. He will scat the bass and guitar parts. He will sing harmonies with himself. He has a whole band in his mouth, which is pretty impressive when you think about it.
But it’s not all just food for your ears as it can be enjoyable for the eyes too. He’s just a goofball who ended up with a lot of talent. He even has some pretty good original hits, mostly about oral-testicular interactions or a chorus of penises. Does that make him gay? No, it makes him a hero to fans of fellatious humor. Nothing more.
There’s nothing I can say that you can’t discover for yourself on his Youtube channel. No matter your taste in music, you’re likely to find a fun acapella rendition of something you enjoy or at least recognize. And if you’re not into music, check out his “Sort Your Shit Out” videos, where he answers questions left by his video’s visitors. Hell, he even did a cover of Rebecca Black! Happy Friday everyone.
PS: Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards.
Okay, time for something epic and biblical, the standard by which all JRPG’s would be held against for the decade to follow…
This is probably my favorite game of all time, and there are a lot of you out there that might share that sentiment, especially if you’re an RPG fan. There’s way too much to say about this game that I could write for a year straight and only scratch the surface. So, instead of a synopsis like I’ve done with past nostalgia posts, I’m going to make it a photo tour!
Cloud: The most likely hero to win a “most improved” award if he were in a youth bowling league. Throughout this epic tale, he transforms from a selfish asshole to a genuine bad ass. He struggles with his memory. He falls in love with a woman who dies right in front of his eyes. He becomes possessed by the ghosts of his past. He summons a meteor to destroy the planet, and then he saves the planet from it. …Holy shit.
Sephiroth: The most popular villain of all time, reincarnated throughout multiple video games and even a movie. He wields a sword longer than most people are tall. He destroys anything in his way as he searches for the answers to his ancestry. He brings the world to the brink of destruction, and we can’t get enough.
Shinra: An evil empire of sorts, a mega-corporation with reach so broad that it governs the world with more power than politicians. They pierce the planet with their technology and hollow out its precious resources to line their pockets. In the end, they get what they deserve, but not before bringing the planet to the edge of a cataclysmic crisis.
Barret: Leader of a the resistance group Avalanche and purveyor of hot headed (and maybe racist?) dialogue.
Tifa: Giving nerds boners since 1997.
Nobuo Uematsu: Renowned composer of amazing video game scores and a household name in the JRPG community.
Summons: Probably the coolest form of magic ever, summoning demi-gods to inflict the damage for you.
Materia: Probably the most versatile and interesting customization system in a Final Fantasy game to date.
Limit Breaks: If you keep hitting me, I’m going to get angry and unleash!
Cutscenes: Movies INSIDE a video game? Holy crap! 1997 was awesome!
The Highwind: A powerful airship for exploring the expansive and immersing world of FF7.
Advent Children: A movie made about the characters in the aftermath of FF7.
Sequels/Prequels: More games that added to the FF7 universe, because one game could never be enough.
And let’s not forget about the most epic cocktease of all, releasing a remake of the intro to FF7 for the PS3, and then NOT remaking the rest of the game. DAMN YOU SQUARE-ENIX!
I find myself writing a lot about video games from yesterdecade and losing sight of some of the more recent gems that are out there today. As such, I’m starting a monthly piece to highlight some of the things I’m playing recently so that I’m not always looking over my shoulder to a time when 32-bits was the pinnacle of the gaming world. First up for recent games I’ve played through:
In light of Portal 2 coming out, I played through the original 2007 game to ramp myself up for it. The game doesn’t have much replayability once you’ve solved all of the puzzles, but the humor and strangeness of it all makes it a delight to walk through again and again. Who hasn’t chuckled at the auto-tuned irony of the in-game narrator GLaDOS? While moving from test to test, the dialogue gets increasingly bizarre and eludes to the true position of Aperture Science. Of course, there are those secret chambers with caveman like wall scrawlings to warn you that “THE CAKE IS A LIE!”. All things said, the game is a total mindbender, and you’ll be forced to think outside the Weighted Companion Cube to survive to the end.
Next, I’ve spent the last couple of months playing through Lost Odyssey again. I will fight anyone who tries to say that this isn’t the best JRPG of the 360 generation, but our fights have to be on a turn-by-turn basis and completely random. Sure, the game doesn’t add innovation the Japanese role playing experience beyond 1987’s Final Fantasy, but some people prefer the nostalgic fighting style. For me, it sure beats constantly pushing “Auto-Battle” on Final Fantasy 13 and letting the game just play itself for me. Where Lost Odyssey excels is in its story. The magnetism and emotion of the narrative combined with the imagery and tactful voice acting is enveloping. It’s not a love story in a traditional sense, but focuses more on family and struggling to remember the past. There’s also a wealth of humor from a couple key characters which also make it interesting to NOT skip scenes. For JRPG fans out there, I can’t recommend this game enough. It may take you 40 hours to get through, but for me it was worth every minute.
This is another game almost three years old that I started playing through again. Like Portal, it’s a puzzle game that asks you to think differently about puzzle games. Whereas Portal deals more with physics and irony, Braid deals with time and a deeply troubling relationship between the hero and a princess. The story is difficult to understand (at first), but the focus is definitely on the gameplay. There’s sort of a Prince of Persia aspect to rewinding time and trying again, but there’s more depth to it than that. Some objects aren’t affected by time. Sometimes time only moves when you move, and which direction you move plays a role as well. There are a lot of puzzles throughout, but the game only takes a few hours to get through (if you’re smart). Mentioning Braid without saying anything about the beauty of the game would be a travesty. It’s like playing through a living painting, and although it’s reminiscent of 2D scrollers from the NES generation, it’ll take some evolved thinking in order to see all Braid has to offer.
Lastly, I picked up Portal 2. I’m only an hour into it, so I can’t comment much so far, but I can say that fans of the first Portal will be pleased that the sick funhouse continues to thrill and to challenge. I’ll likely have more to say about it next month if I can get through it in time. Also, I keep hearing how good the Assassin’s Creed series is. Now, I played a bit of the first game, probably 5 hours or so (which by today’s standards is nothing), and I got bored with the repetition. However, I heard the next two games are drastically improved, so I might take a shot at starting these games.
Once in a blue moon, it seems like someone else in the world stumbles upon a journal of your life and decides to make a movie about all of the things you love. Okay, so maybe this doesn’t happen too often, but when it does it should be that much more special because of its rarity. For me, the things I love (being music, video games, comedy and action films) came to fruition in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, I’ll try not to give anything away that can’t be seen in the trailers. Scott Pilgrim, played by my doppelganger Michael Cera (for some reason my wife thinks he and I both share the same awkward gene), is in a punk rock band. He has a gay roommate who plays the philosophical relationship advisor and scrutinizes him for his new girlfriend, a girl who is still in high school and probably way too young to be suitable for Scott. The inclination is that Scott seems to fall hard and fast for the next new girl on the block. Enter next new girl:
Long story short, he starts to forget about his current girlfriend and gravitate toward this new mysterious girl. But the catch? He has to overcome her past which leads to a series of epic battles with her ex-boyfr… correction: “ex’s”. The movie takes a very stylized approach to storytelling by mixing it with comic book type exaggerations as well as video game memes like vanquished enemies turning into loot (or treasure for you noobs who don’t know the 1337 lingo). As with any video game, it all leads up to a dramatic conclusion with a final boss battle. Oh, and it’s all punctuated with indie-punk style rock music as well as some other genre variables.
Overall, the movie is a successful multimedia spectacle drawing influence from nerdist entertainment asylums of nearly unimaginable scope. There is a lot to love about this movie, including the underlying romantic comedy therein which works hard not to get too serious or self-indulgent. While the movie is about the battle to overcome the mistakes of the past to forge a better future, the story doesn’t overshadow the real point of the movie, all out geek fodder and good old fashioned fun. If you take it too seriously, you’ll lose the point of it all. Plus, there are epic weapons!
The verdict: This movie will pwn your senses. Even Japanimation fans will enjoy some of the imagery:
I don’t know why these people are on TV:
Feel free to add!
Once upon a time, about 4 months ago, my parents gave me a leftover frozen turkey. Why, you ask? Well, if you find out why, let me know also because I’m not really sure why either. I blame a severe case of the crazies!
Anycrap, so I have this frozen turkey just taking up valuable frozen pizza real estate in my freezer. I made up my mind last week that I needed to cook this bird. It needed to pay… dearly. So first I stripped it naked…
Ha! Take that bird! Actually, it kind of looks like it’s getting ready for a pelvic exam. Don’t ask how a 27-year-old guy knows what a pelvic exam looks like. Let’s just say I played a lot of “Doctor” in my day. I digress… So, I humiliated the turkey, right? It’s an important part of the process to make the turkey angry so that it’s internal temperature rises naturally. Another trick I learned was to dress it up like a robot to keep the juices inside…
Is that Bender? The Tin Man? That robot from Lost in Space? Whoever it is, they look delicious. So on a serious note (WTF?), I actually got a lot of interesting tips around the internet. The website that probably helped the most was http://www.howtocookathanksgivingturkey.com/ , which goes through the steps to cook a Thxg1v1ng turkey, dot com. The only part that didn’t seem to work was the forever long slow roasting at 250°. It didn’t get the inside temperature up as high as the aforementioned humiliation, so I needed to add an extra hour of 350°. That did the trick!
Good news, it turned out delicious and my wife and I will have turkey for the next 18 weeks. Bad news, I may have poisoned my wife. Well, you win some - you lose some.
The universe is full of unbreakable constants, like gravity, matter and energy. These things (in theory) should remain the same, unwavering and without recognition of time or nature. A universal constant is dependable and will always lead to the same results. In rock music, the Foo Fighters are a universal constant.
Since those Foo boys dropped a new album this week, they are the focus of my latest installment highlighting musicians. I’m actually listening to the new album, Wasting Light, as I’m writing this piece. I have this to say about it: If you are not tapping your foot by the 45th second of the first track of this album, then you are dumb, deaf or dead. I spoke of universal constants earlier, and rightfully so because Wasting Light (which is FF’s first new album in almost 4 years) delivers the same in your face rock style present on every Foo album since they formed in 1995.
The album is what you would expect of the Foo Fighters: power vocals, melodic choruses, tricky guitar work and interesting percussion. Foo fans will immediately pick up on a style that is both unmistakable and timelessly deliberate. They have found what works for engaging their audience and they will constantly reinvent and deliver. It should be noted that fans may find this album a bit more brutal than prior releases. The album features a few power-packed songs that absolutely feel like a musical kick to the face, which for those that don’t know, that’s a good thing.
Off topic of the new album, the Foo Fighters can be recognized as having something for everyone. With over 15 years on the music scene, it’s impossible to think of a time when they weren’t relevant to modern music. Even between their last album (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace in 2007) and their newest, they released a greatest hits album with a new single, “Wheels”. Otherwise, they consistently release albums every 2-3 years, standard in the rock industry. Sure, the albums all feel similar, but within each microcosm is a great deal of variation. No matter which album you pick up, you’re not getting 10-13 of the same songs over and over. You’re getting a rich menu of diverse rock.
There is something for everyone in the history of the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl is a modern day Jesus of rock as well as Satan in a Tenacious D movie…
I cannot fathom the reasoning behind anything in this picture. It takes so much brainpower just to imagine it that my foot goes numb from blood loss.
Pregant woman + watermelon + handgun = …profit?
Like part cat, part coaster…
Some of us are haunted by the ghosts of our past. Some of us are trapped and cannot escape the nightmares we’ve seen, the horrors we’ve faced and the trials we’ve endured. You try to go on with your life, but nothing seems to matter now. Nothing seems as hard or as profound as your past. Those days are behind you, and you feel empty like nothing else could possibly challenge you anymore. For me, it was fighting my way out of a circle of cacodemons. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 9 years old, and my parents had just bought me DOOM…
Life as a mercenary wasn’t easy. I lived on stimpaks and body armor. Have you ever tried holding and firing a plasma rifle into a mob of bull demons while running for your life? I have, and I wasn’t even a teenager yet. How’s that for walking to school in the winter, barefoot AND uphill, Grandpa? You can’t understand the horrors I’ve seen. My friends were cut down in front of me, only to be reanimated and given infinite ammo. Lucky for me, they would mostly stand there firing blindly while I put them out of their misery. It was my last gift to them, deliverance from their undead pixilated nightmare…
I didn’t know it then, but my fight through Hell was shaping the world. From the time the fighting started (1993) to a few years later (1996), my run-around “shoot ‘em up” style was duplicated by others to such an extent that it was called a “Doom clone”. However, later that decade, these casual adventures became called first person shooters. You arrogant pricks! There is only ONE who can be the first person, and it was a blood and guts parade through Hell, a constant exchange of rockets and fireballs with imps across a ravine. First person shooter… Have you ever seen a brain with spider legs and a gatling gun? Have you ever killed one with a chainsaw? I’m not impressed with your HD graphics or realistic animation. You don’t know how easy life is today. I didn’t even have crosshairs!
Some of you were there in the beginning. Some of you understand how difficult life was back then. We have lived through ultra-violence, and for it we are the forgotten relics of a world with lower resolution and only seven weapons to choose from. I can still remember the feeling of crawling through the dark and hearing growls in the distance as another comrade was shoved onto a wooden pike. I remember searching walls for secret corridors, hitting buttons and pulling levers, dodging green fireballs and ducking behind skull piles and pentagrams. I remember the despair of hoping that the 4 bullets I have left will be enough. I remember running from minotaurs with rocket launchers and robot legs…
I didn’t expect life to be easy. I know what I was getting into, and I’ve cherished every day since I came back to Earth. As I said, nothing has been harder than what I’ve faced. Well, except one thing. Watching my heroism turned into a movie. That was the worst nightmare of all…
I am a pervert. I like dirty jokes, and I gravitate toward the people that exploit my affinity for the obscure and morally corrupt. This is sort of a double whammy because of her subject matter as well as her name, but I think I have a comic crush on Whitney Cummings.
Whitney’s been growing in the hearts of comedy fans like arterial plaque (yes, a heart disease joke). She’s gaining acclaim on the Roast Circuit as well as popping up in other projects here and there. I’ve seen her stand-up comedy special a couple times now and I may or may not have peed a little from laughing. I’m not going to say it’s groundbreaking in terms of comedy, and there are times when it falls into the female comedian cliche of man-bashing, but it’s done in a more playful way than other female comics (mostly by pointing out how disgusting testicles are to look at, which I could agree with).
The woman is pretty much the total package. She’s smart, funny and pretty attractive. You can form your own opinions about her, but the proof is all there. As a teenager, she did modeling to pay for college. She graduated the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude (or magna “cummings” laude as they later renamed it), and she’s making a name for herself as a comedian. She’s been on Conan, Chelsea, and a few others, as well as popping up on Comedy Central again and again.
Now, I was under the impression that any roast on Comedy Central is where careers went to die, but Whitney seems to be using it as a launching pad. Having done three roasts now, she seems to become more potent and poignant with each successive episode. The first time I saw her happened to be on one of these roasts, and while all of the guests can be perverse and over the top, there was something different about Whitney. What was it… Oh! She was younger and smarter than most of the guests, and she didn’t peak in the late 80’s. But if you haven’t had the chance, I’d recommend checking out her stand-up. Not only is it a lengthier and more accurate representation, but her act isn’t marred with other “stars” grasping desperately to remain relevant.
I am not religious. I don’t believe in God. I only see the inside of a church for weddings and funerals. I don’t know what awaits me after I die. Nobody does. A religious person THINKS that they have all of the answers, but they don’t. They cannot possibly have them because that would negate their beliefs. Religion is based on faith, and for something to become proven would make it science. With this in mind, I want to point out that I’d like to avoid talking about religion and making it a heavy topic. I’m all about fun. So today, I’m going to poke fun at the Westboro Baptist Church and religion in general.
You may not know these people by name, but you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. They’re the fanatical nutjobs that protest at soldiers’ and celebrities’ funerals. They’re the ones that sided with the gunman that attempted murder on Democrat Gabby Giffords of Arizona. They didn’t SEND the gunman, but they sure as hell didn’t condemn him either. Apparently he was “sent by God” to deliver punishment. Apparently being a democrat is an offense punishable by death, but I can’t find the verse in the bible where that’s written. Then again, I don’t own a bible, or care to.
I don’t care that these people are religious. The reason I’m NOT religious is because I don’t like how people try to convert other people to what they think is right, and therefore I wouldn’t dream of converting anyone to my beliefs. My problem with these people is that they dishonor the dead, which is especially inflammatory when they protest the funerals of soldiers. In summary: Soldier dies protecting rights to free speech, Westboro Baptist Church spits on his grave to thank him. My question to the world: Why? There is one religious text I’ve recently finished reading, and it asks people to treat others the way they would want to be treated, a simple concept given to use from the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
As I’ve said many times, I am not religious, but I think I understand what religion is for. It’s a set of guidelines for people to live by, not a verbatim set of instructions for crucifying your neighbors. Some of the worst periods in history were heavily influenced by religion (see the uniformity of early modern Europe, the Spanish Inquisition, or EVERY WAR EVER), yet people follow the “good book” blindly. I’m not just talking about Christianity either. ALL religions have taken it too far at some point, even Buddhism (which I thought was supposed to be about peace and harmony but was disproven by a quick Google search). The bottom line is this: Be a good person, not a mindless drone following principles written thousands of years ago and continue to lead to pain and violence. Just behave!
May you be touched by His noodly appendage. rAmen.
Would a vegan zombie be fast or slow moving? And would you date one? Find out below!
Created by Mingle2.com (Dating for non-zombies)
This happens about every 4 seconds if my wife and I aren’t using or watching our laptops…
This picture is even funnier if you imagine Will Ferrell’s laugh coming from it.
This might seem lame to some, but I don’t care because 1) you gotta write about what you know, and 2) you gotta write about what you love. This is something I know and love. It may seem kind of corporate, but what the hell, I got bills to pay. Cue SUBWAY.
I once worked for Subway many, many years ago. Okay, 8 years ago. It put me through high school and freshmen year of college. I spent three brilliant years as a sandwich artist, and I’ll happily tell you that I didn’t gain any weight the whole time. Maybe I have a high metabolism, you may think. Maybe I didn’t eat it constantly, you ponder. Maybe I’m just a LIAR! Well, I’m here to tell you that I am being honest. I worked for Subway about 4 nights per week, sometimes more. On nights I worked there, I had dinner there also. As an employee I was granted a 6 inch sub for every 4 hours I worked. However, I usually ate about a footlong and a half plus a couple cookies EVERY NIGHT I WORKED.
It made me big and strong! In all seriousness, I completely buy into the healthy aspect of Subway. Maybe that makes me naive, and I’m sure not everyone shared my experience, but I can’t help but love this place. The only thing I don’t love is that now I have to pay to eat there. DAMMIT!
Admit it, you have your favorite sub. Everyone does. For me? Cold cut combo (been hooked since I was 9 years old), pepper jack cheese, mayo, honey mustard, lettuce and pickles. I don’t mind getting more vegetables on other sandwiches, but something about this sandwich takes me back to my youth, to a time when I only had a car to pay for, and I could spend every Friday night at Subway with friends who were probably getting cookies when I wasn’t looking.
Now, my fondness and nostalgic Achilles heel isn’t the only reason I’m writing about Subway. About a month ago, an interesting article arose to show that Subway is now the most numerous restaurant chain in the world. With close to 34,000 restaurants around the world and a reputation as being “not too unhealthy” for people (compared to the alternatives), you can’t deny the doughy fist of sandwich justice overcoming a world obsessed with drive-through service and greasy convenience.
Also, Subway doesn’t have an outbreak of hydrocephalic potato hamster vampires that can’t sing.
If it’s one thing in the music scene I can’t stand, it’s when something is done to death. Some genres of music are so flooded with artists that it really becomes blurry in trying to figure out who’s good, who’s bad, and who’s just there to sound like everybody else. However, I recently came across Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, a band with a fresh sound and some talent to back it up.
I can admit that I have a certain sound I like to hear, and I don’t stray from the beaten path too often. I generally gravitate to male led rock groups, rich with power anthems and catchy melodies. I don’t generally seek out female led groups, not became I’m sexist or think men are more talented, but because of that genre flooding I spoke of earlier. Much of my youth was spent in the 90’s, a decade of Alanis, Sheryl Crow, and the insufferable Sarah McLachlan whom I will henceforth be unable to dissociate from neglected animals. Now, I do enjoy some female led bands like Paramore and No Doubt, but for some reason these discoveries are few and far between for me. Which brings me to GP&tNs…
This gal’s got some squeak in her! She’s got an amazing voice and a talented group to back it up. This isn’t the same type of cookie cutter radio excrement that haunts much of the FM spectrum. This is something different, something special, and something fun to listen to. For me, it’s immensely refreshing to see TALENTED artists getting recognition. Do you hear me Music Industry? If it only it were all about talent and not the almighty dollar.
I don’t mean to get up on my soapbox, but who out there can argue about the number of auto-tuned “vocalists”, lazy lyrics or the same rock song we’ve heard over and over again by the last twenty up-and-comers. I have to stop myself here because I don’t want the only praises of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to be what they aren’t. What they are is a Vermont based power quintet with allure and the female equivalent of balls (boobs?). I dare you to watch the video I posted about and NOT be humming it in 10 minutes; proof that you can be catchy without being stupid.
Any gal willing to rock in a short skirt has my vote!
I got stuck between a rock and a hard place for .0127 hours.
Courage. Wisdom. Power. These are ideals that all people can aspire to acquire, but in only one land do these ideals take corporeal shape in the form of three interlinked golden triangles. The land is Hyrule, a fantasy-scape that has been the stage of many adventures, but today we focus on one of my old favorites, Zelda: A Link to the Past.
There are a lot of titles in the Zelda series, and it’s ever expanding. The first Zelda game was thoroughly popular, as was its 2D side-scrolling sequel despite being a drastic departure from the core gameplay and overhead view. A Link to the Past was the third Zelda game in the series and really built on the ideals of the earlier games to move the Zelda franchise into permanent popularity amongst Nintendo fans. Some of the innovations that this game brought to the series would become staples in future Zelda games.
I don’t want to go into depth about ALL of the things that this game brought to the series, but fans of the series will understand the following phrases: Spin Attack, Master Sword, Pegasus Boots, Ocarina, Hookshot, and Light/Dark World. All of these concepts (many of which can be found in later Zelda games) started here. The game also made certain Zelda landmarks commonplace in its culture: Kakariko Village, Death Mountain, Turtle Rock, Zora’s Falls and Faerie Fountains.
True to all Zelda games, A Link to the Past played host to many secrets and side quests. When not searching for all of the heart pieces scattered throughout the world, a player could be doing an archery mini-game, digging for treasure, or using the Magic Mirror to zip between the Light and Dark Worlds. There was a lot to do and many treasures to be found. Hell, playing through the main story would probably only rope you about half of the experiences that were available throughout the game. But it wouldn’t be a Zelda game without the puzzles and the payoff.
So what was the game all about? Oh, the usual: rescuing the perpetually kidnapped Zelda. Along the way, Link has to prove that he’s a hero by collecting the Medallions of Wisdom, Courage and Power, allowing him to wield the Master Sword. The evil Ganon, a recurring Zelda franchise enemy, seeks the power of the Golden Land and needs Zelda (along with six other chicks) to do it. Once Link retrieves the Master Sword, he is plunged into the Dark World where he must unseal seven crystallized damsels to restore the sacred land back to its rightful place. Oh, and in the process, slay Ganon (who apparently has more lives than a cat). But don’t worry, in the next game of the series, Zelda will be back in trouble as surely as your magic boomerang will return to you.
Hmm, how does one guy carry all that crap?
In the last week, I’ve watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Despicable Me, saw previews for Hop and Arthur, and watched Conan on Monday night. This crazy bloke is everywhere:
I think this guy is hilarious. Maybe it’s the accent which likens him to Monty Python, or maybe it’s just that he’s bat shit crazy, but I think he’s bloody brilliant. Now, I know he’s been around for quite a few years, but I can admit it was Forgetting Sarah Marshall that got me interested in him. His stand up comedy is actually pretty funny as well, but some of the funniest things I’ve seen him do were either on SNL or Conan. Just a regular conversation with Russell seems like a delightfully candy-coated dissent into madness.
When I look at Russell Brand, I see a fully realized Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. It shouldn’t come as a surprised that Brand was once addicted to heroin, sex and alcohol, though he’s successfully been off of drugs since 2002 and attends regular meetings. He also suffers from bi-polar disorder, but all of the above hasn’t stopped him from achieving success and being able to dress like (in his own words) an “S&M Willy Wonka.” He’s also been a vegetarian since age 14 (he’s currently 35). I can’t go 2 days without meat, so how he’s gone over 20 years is astonishing to me, but I guess meat isn’t one of his turn ons.
Russell Brand is also married to Katy Perry (whom my wife loves and I don’t mind). They were married 7 days before my wife and I, so there’s an interesting duality there, or not. Russell also has some skill with a microphone as he’s played noteworthy character Aldous Snow (Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek), having recorded songs for the movies in which he’s played the band leader of Infant Sorrow. He’s got a lot of talent and his success in the last few years is something to be celebrated.
If you don’t agree that he’s got some talent, then you must have been slipped a Jeffrey!
Five years ago today, I started dating the woman I married, the love of my life. She continues to enrich my life and I would be lost without her.
April 3rd, 2011, a day that shall live in exotic infamy as the citizens of Toronto were treated to a parade of scantily clad vixens (and their families) in protest of a recent issue with the Toronto police. I’m talking, of course, about the Slut Walk.
Now, before I delve into the issue, I want to clarify something about this piece. Obviously the title has WTF in it, but I don’t want to be misinterpreted. This isn’t to say that I think this is ridiculous and worthy of insult; it’s not. Sexual assault is very serious, and while the Slut Walk puts an interestingly playful spin on the issue, it doesn’t defeat the purpose it was intended for. This is in my WTF news because it isn’t every day that you see a queue of attractive activists. It’s not common, and for that reason ONLY is why I’m writing about it. Now, on with the sluts…
The reason for this walk was to bring recognition to a stigmatic rationalization by the Toronto police against victims of sexual assault. I admittedly don’t know the details, but I can only assume that a woman (or multiple women) who was the victim of sexual assault was spurned by police and told that she was assaulted because of what she was wearing. Oh hell no girlfriend!
Now as a fan of the feminine form, this story drew my attention. Obviously, there is no reason why a victim of any unwanted action should be to blame. I can only imagine the reasons some women wear what they do, but whether it’s pride or a cry for attention, it isn’t an invitation for crime. Admittedly, as a man it’s hard to resist noticing someone who’s showing some skin. However, I know it’s not permission to do anything beyond noticing (except around my wife). Good for you ladies and your allies.
And by the way, if you’re willing to show some skin in Toronto (average temp of 48 degrees Fahrenheit), you deserve a medal.