Friday, March 31, 2017

I'm 30 now.

Last week I turned 30 years old.


As you can see, I'm officially an old timer. My joints are beginning to ache, stuff I like isn't as interesting anymore, and none of my pop culture references help me relate to the young people.

Seriously, I met college kids born after the Special Editions were in theaters and thus don't know the correct Star Wars viewing order. (For the record, its IV, V, I, III, VI, VII, Rogue One. Don't watch II.) At least I feel better knowing the current generation only knows Jar Jar as "that guy with the ears" and didn't live through the terror that was the Macarena.

Seriously, THAT monstrosity officially turned 20 and I really don't know what to think anymore. But leet me get to a different topic before I get sad again.

Last weekend, I went to Atlantic City for the first time in years. Only for a day, but really, that's all the time you really need for that place. The city isn't as big of a draw as it once was. Its once steady demographic of old people have either died off or now travel to other casinos that opened around the Tri-State area. Several casinos have since closed (Showboat being my favorite. RIP), and the ones that are left are really lacking if they're not Caesar's, Borgata or Harrah's. I stayed at Harrah's.


And my god, I actually won something this time around. This doesn't look like much, but I got to around $160 after being on my last $6.50 after triggering a bonus game and hitting a few 7s. I don't normally bet max, let alone play slot machines that often, but I figured what the hell, I was ready to spend some money today. I still kind of feel bad about quitting gambling for the night after hitting this, but coming back with $100 more than I left home with is not something that happens frequently with me.


It was this machine, specifically. It was right next to a set of Flintstones slot machines and as I was thinking about feeling old. it was kind of comforting knowing that the original demographic that would've seen that cartoon first run would be in their fifties at the minimum. I can only imagine a Simpsons slot machine coming eventually, they already put their faces on just about everything else by now. So, the same folks that would've come to Atlantic City anyway.


I caught this van covered in bikes on the drive down. According to the sign on the side, it's owned by someone called The Bike Man. It's possible that it's owned by this guy or this guy, but a google search more or less came up empty.


And this was on the "Do not disturb" sign in my hotel room at Harrah's. It definitely knew where my priorities were.


And I need to show you what I actually got for my birthday. These days, I mostly get money. But my friend Steve got me the 8-Bit Link amiibo I've been looking for! I've been passing it up for the past few months, knowing that most amiibo aren't that sought after these days and this Link amiibo had been sitting on the shelf and even going for dirt cheap at times. I figured I could take my time with buying it.

And then Breath of The Wild came out and suddenly every Legend of Zelda amiibo became impossible to find because they were all usable in the game. And any older ones that were left skyrockted in price practically overnight, so imagine my surprise when I found this one in the little gift bag.

And it's only fair that I show you what I bought Steve for his birthday. His is a few weeks after mine, but we don't see each other in person that often.


Yes, that is an authentic animation cel from the classic Super Mario World episode Mama Luigi. My eBay impulse hit again a few months back, and it was only like 25 bucks, I couldn't turn down a chance to give my best friend a piece of internet meme history. Could you believe that this was actually my second pick for a cel? The first cel I wanted had Luigi's eyes open, but someone bought it before I could.

You can watch it here:


I told him beforehand that I had the best gift that I've ever given him, and I've gotten him some amazing stuff over the years. Needless to say, I think I delivered.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Nine Years Old!

Hard to believe but the blog turned nine years old this month!





Yeah, I make no promises that this blog will be updated more than once a month, but I really should start doing that again. Having a "real" job plus the instant gratification of Twitter kind of puts the kibosh on those plans.

Now for the monthly "what have I been up to, lately" stuff.


Another blizzard happened! Well, I don't think it was a blizzard, it didn't snow nearly as much as last year's big storm, but it sure screwed everything up around here for a while. Work was cancelled for one day, and because of that and other factors, I had to work the next eight without a single break. Joy.

And then the temperature reached the sixties and about 90% of that snow is long gone, Keep in mind that this was February, and I live in New York.

It did, however, lead to some good weather and I went driving around Fire Island and caught some local deer.


I don't know why, but don't you get strangely happy when you see wild animals while driving your car?


I've been wanting new weird fast food offerings after Taco Bell's Naked Chicken Chalupa from last month, and White Castle's crab cake sliders were just what I needed to fill that void. Lent creeping upon us, and this is prime time for fast food joints to roll out their seafood offerings for the two months out of the year they care about it. For ages, White Castle has had the fish sandwich and fish nibblers on the menu (whatever those are. I've had them and still don't know whats in them), and lately they've added clam strips and their version of popcorn shrimp, but the crab cakes are new.

If you're wondering how these things taste, good news: they're good! Do you like crab cakes? Do you like weird creole sauce? Then you'll like these.


And I found this abomination of nature in the supermarket the other day. You're not getting a review out of me for this one. I usually say "science has gone too far" when I find the latest weird Oreo flavor, but now I'm certain science has officially gone too far this time. Thanks, Mr. President.


Oh yeah, Pokemon Go finally updated to add the Johto pokemon! Well, most of them. The legendaries are not present, and for some reason Smeargle isn't available, but it's a big update nonetheless. It was freezing cold the week this update happened, but this didn't stop anyone from hunting Pokemon around my neck of the woods:


This was at the local park not far from my house a few weeks ago. It hasn't been this active in months, everyone was freezing their asses off, but dammit there are Swinub everywhere and they;re a bitch to catch and I got a lot of them.


Oh yeah, finally picked up one of my Funko grails! The Dorbz 3 pack of Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and my boy Frankenberry that was only available from Toy Tokyo's booth during New York Comic Con. I've written about this before, but I was at that convention and this item was near impossible to get. Seriously, I had people wait in line for me to get it and even they didn't have luck. You folks know that I love Frankenberry and wanted this at all costs.

Well, most costs. This pack doesn't go for less than 80 bucks on eBay, but through some miracle, a tip from a Facebook group led me to a collectable store in a mall twenty minutes from my house that sold it for $55. After taking a few deep breaths, I bought it before anyone else could get their grubby hands on it. Seriously, the store is Emerald City Collectables and it'd be my bedroom if it was a store. That's how much I fell in love with the place.

All I need is the Frankenberry Pop figure and I can say that I'm done. For now.


Speaking of impulse buys, I bought this genuine cel from Rocko's Modern Life off of eBay. Can you believe it was only 40 bucks? I forget the name of the episode, but it's where Rocko and Heffer to go a baseball game to catch a foul ball. I already own a Ren & Stimpy cel, and finding an affordable Rocko cel just popped out of nowhere. There's a few more cels on eBay, but they're all over 100 bucks, I just went for a cheap one. Hell, there was another cel I was eyeballing from the episode "Bedfellows,"  But I love it all the same.

My goal is, as always, to own a cel from the Simpsons. By the way, I've checked eBay, they're not cheap there, either.


And on the subject of the Simpsons, I stumbled upon an old episode of Family Feud on Buzzr that featured old celebrities such as Betty White, Audrey Meadows, Caesar Romero, and as seen above, The Man Who's Always Standing And Walking.

It's an odd bunch of episodes, you can view one here:


That'll do it for February, folks, It's been a wild nine years, let's hope the world is around enough to do this for nine more.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Musings

It's the end of the month once again, and it's been quite a month, hasn't it? I don't want to discuss politics in yet ANOTHER forum, but I have been doing some thinking lately.

I started this blog almost nine years ago, mainly as a way to keep my sanity. After all that time, I still find this to be true. I know I've slacked off in recent years, only sticking to one entry a month, at the end of every month. My enthusiasm for long-form writing began to fade right when I started using Twitter, sadly. It was short! Rapid! And very effective to get across to lots of people. But its greatest strength is also its biggest weakness, in which my thoughts tend to go beyond 140 characters.

It's easy to feel powerless, with all the stuff out in the world out of your control. You just have to find some way to deal with it all. Well, this is how I deal with it.

I don't want to keep making listicles, but here's some GOOD stuff I did the past month.



Well, first of all I began the year by subjecting myself to the Bubsy pilot. You remember Bubsy, right? The annoying Sonic ripoff? Well, he got a pilot for a cartoon made back in the 90s and I'm not lying when I say that it's one of the most painful things I ever sat through. It was the embodiment of everything wrong with 90s animation: Terrible animation, being wacky for the sake of being wacky, ugly colors, ugly designs, annoying characters, annoying voices for those characters, and none of the jokes land whatsoever. Seriously, the they're using Jokerman for that title card, it's the ugliest of all fonts. And it's amazing that

Speaking of twitter, many of my twitter buddies had been live-tweeting shows, mostly anime, every day for the past year. I decided to join the fun by declaring 2017 "365 Days of The Bubsy Pilot." I only made it eight days before I dropped the ruse. And I only sat through the whole thing once, that's seriously enough times to do it.

If you must subject yourself to it, you can watch it here:


But remember: you were warned.



And now a recent ebay purchase: This original 1977 movie poster for a re-release for The Three Caballeros, my favorite Disney movie. When people are asked about their favorite Disney movie, they say stuff like AladdinLittle Mermaid, or maybe even Frozen. This is my childhood favorite: a film from 1945 celebrating our friends in Latin America.


It's one of those compilation film Disney made during WWII, and it's about Donald Duck opening birthday presents. It features weird birds, a flying burro, and Carmen Miranda's sister. The other two main characters are José Carioca from Brazil (the parrot), and Panchito from Mexico (the rooster). The movie is mostly about them traveling around Brazil & Mexico while Donald ogles at women. The last act is a far out peyote trip that rivals the Pink Elephants from Dumbo in weirdness and must be seen to be believed. Like, right here:



Not a bad buy for $31 after shipping. It's in mostly good condition, there's a tear near the middle and it pisses me off. Also, it's one inch longer than the frame I had lying around for just such a poster.


And now for weird food I ate. The Grand Mac (or YOU'RE GONNA NEED BOTH HANDS GRANDMA, as the box reads) is the latest in McDonald's latest saving throws to get people to like them again. At first I thought it was just a Big Mac with an extra bun, but it turned out to just be a bigger Big Mac. Well, I really DID need both hands, but I'll prefer to go somewhere else and reminisce about those changeable toys where the box of hot cakes turned into a dinosaur.


And here's something I ate just today: Taco Bell's Naked Chicken Chalupa, where the chalupa shell is a fried chicken tender. Who says America needs to be great again? THIS is the America that I know, fast food finding new ways to make us fatter. And it was surprisingly tasty. Totally better than the Grand Mac.


And lastly, a movie review. DC and WB Animation have been putting out animated superhero movies for the past few years, but Batman: Return of The Caped Crusaders is the first one that's set in the 1966 Batman tv show. Now that it's in animation, the fun, goofy show of yesteryear can finally run wild and do whatever the hell they want. It has everything: Adam West! Burt Ward! Julie Newmar! A villain team up! Dutch angles on fight scenes! The wall walk! A trip into space! Multiple Batmen! The Batusi! And yes, big ol labels on everything:


Not gonna lie, this is one of the best Batman movies I've ever seen. Sure, it's goofy as hell, and some of the plot points make no sense (How Batman & Robin keep solving Riddler's riddles are some of the best jokes in the movie), but it's definitely a good time and a must-see fo any Batman fan. It's pretty refreshing to see a movie of a Batman that isn't a PG-13 killing machine nor made out of LEGO (although that movie also looks amazing). I hear that there's a sequel coming soon with Two-Face voiced by William Shatner and I am hyped for it.

Well, this made me feel better, and I hope I did the same for you.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good Riddance 2016

What can I say about 2016 that everyone hadn't said about it already? People died, idiots were elected, we'll be lucky if we all make it to 2018.

Usually for end of the year posts I sum up what I did this year. For most of the big stuff, you can scroll down to the other 11 posts I made this year.

But here's some positive stuff that happened to me this year:

1) Finally got my two right wisdom teeth removed back in February.

Thankfully the whole process was a best case scenario - the teeth simply needed to be pulled and I was in and out in 15 minutes. I'll spare you the grisly pictures I took of the teeth, but they weren't pretty. I was mostly fine, just a weekend of slight pain and then phantom pains for about the next month. But other than that, I'm fine, It feels weird to not have a constant pain in my head.

2) I met internet friends!




I met up with @cuteordeath back in April, and @mikeyeddy at EternalCon in June and WinterCon in December. They were just as awesome as I expected them to be, and I hope to meet more friends in the new year!

3) Ecto Cooler!


Ecto Cooler finally came back, and sadly left again. But corn syrup aside, this is the exact stuff I drank in my childhood. It tasted exactly the same and I felt like I was back in preschool with every drink.

4) Crystal Pepsi!


Crystal Pepsi returned, too! I don't remember trying it when I was a kid the first time around, so I was excited to cross off another entry on the bucket list. Well...it certainly didn't taste like Pepsi. Did you ever mix Pepsi with 7Up or Sprite? It tasted like that.

5) A blizzard happened!



This was back in January. It was fun to look at, but not as fun to drive through.

I also ate a lot of Blizzards from Dairy Queen, like this one:


This was the "Singles Blizzard" they only sold on Valentine's Day. It had lots of chocolate in it.

6) Rogue One!


So the new Star Wars movie was pretty great. I'll admit that the first hour takes a little long to get going and I can't name any of the characters if you dared me to, but it finished spectacularly. Seriously, the last 15 minutes was some of the best Star Wars material I've ever seen.

7) I met Chewie at WinterCon!


Yeah, be jealous. I also met Peter Mayhew, the guy famous for playing him, He was super cool. I also met the guy who played Lord Humongous from The Road Warrior, plus the guy who voices Cyborg on Teen Titans.

8) I met Stan Lee...again!


With Stan Lee turning 94, he's announced that he'll no longer go to any more conventions, at least any outside of his own in LA. So with that in mind, I braved 3 hours in line at NYCC to have him sign this picture I got with him back during 2013's convention. It was $100 and he didn't talk to anyone, but it was worth every penny.

9) I met The Doctor!




Well, technically I met three Doctors. I already met Peter Davidson, the fifth one back in 2012 but this was the first time I got a picture with him. I believe I already talked about meeting Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi in an earlier entry, but it's still awesome.

10) Pokemon Sun!


The new Pokemon games are finally here and I must say Sun & Moon are some of the best games in the whole series. The series was admittedly getting stagnant, but the new angle of these games gave it the perfect shot in the arm. New Pokemon forms, new story structure, new mechanics, it all feels new and exciting.

11) The Simpsons 600 Marathon!


FXX ran another Simpsons marathon this year, starting on Thanksgiving Day. It was an odd day, I was watching the Simpsons on TV, and watching the MST3K Turkey Day stream on the laptop.

12) New laptop!


Oh yeah, nearly forgot that I bought a new laptop. The one I've been using had turned 7 and it seemed like it was on its last legs. This new computer simply blows that first one out of the water. It's faster, it has a terabyte(!) worth of memory, and it's a touchscreen. You have no idea how hard it is to find a laptop these days that isn't more than a glorified tablet.

13) Saw "Oh, Hello" on Broadway!


If you're not aware of "Oh, Hello," it's a play about John Mulaney and Nick Kroll's characters George St Geegland & Gil Faizon on Kroll Show. Anyone who asked me what the play was about, I couldn't really describe it more than the adventures of two old Jewish men that live in New York City. And after seeing the play, I was mostly right. It turned out to be a play that was a parody of pretentious Broadway plays, where they start the show by making fun of New York and acting out various theater tropes. Like, you'll know when the play is near the end when everyone starts shouting the lines, and the theater goes black on the most random, awkward line possible.

And also, the characters host a prank show called "Too Much Tuna," where they interview a different celebrity every show, and then give them a sandwich with a crapload of tuna in it. Among people they've pranked were Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Jones, Henry Winkler, Amy Schumer, Fred Armisen, Matthew Broderick, Tina Fey, and Katie Couric.


My celebrity was Alia Shawkat, best known as Maeby from Arrested Development. What I liked about this part of the show was that the interview was all improvised, and then John & Nick used what they talked about during the rest of the show. She talked about the time she shoplifted a turkey from a supermarket when she was younger, and it was brought up several more times.

It's only running for a few more weeks, but I definitely recommend seeing it.

14) My name was on TV!



Well, kind of. My Twitter handle did, and on a rerun of Clarissa on The Splat many months back. It's blurry, but it was a short story I told about going to Nickelodeon Studios a few times when I visited Florida as a kid.

15) I won contests!

Holy crap, I actually won a few contests! The first one was getting this Conan funko pop during July:


And I won a raffle to get on line at the coveted Funko booth during NYCC.


That one wasn't much of a contest, but Funko Pops are still serious business and access to its booth this year was by lottery only. And if you told anyone you won, suddenly you gained dozens of new friends wanting you to buy something for them. One person aside I told all of them to go to hell. And getting a place in line does NOT guarantee you to everything, quite a few figures were sold out by the time I got to the front, like their set of Golden Girls action figures.


Yeah, that's a thing and they're sought after like crazy.

16) Christmas!


And here's the requisite post about my Christmas haul. I didn't ask for much this year, because I realized that I reached Peak Stuff. Mainly I now know that I'm running out of the room for all the crap I buy and I feel too attached to get rid of any of the old stuff. What you don't see are several gift cards that have already been spent.

First off, my Reddit Secret Santa delivered this Space Ghost pop:


It goes well with the three other Space Ghost pops I have:


I also got this Orange Bird plush & Nintendo epoints card from my friend Steve:


These Steven Universe Pint-Sized Heroes from my friend Cat (I got Peridot, my favorite! I'm happy):


And this cool stuff from my friend Vinny:


It's an awesome Tshirt, and it'll go great with the literal dozens of shirts I already own.


But I needed these new pajama pants, though. These were from my cousin, and without a moment to spare. I needed more than one pair of comfortable pajama pants, and these do the trick well in this cold weather.


So that's my 2016. It wasn't...THAT bad, but I can only hope that 2017 will be better. I hope.

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