Monthly Archives: August 2012

Talking on the Phone on Public Transportation

If you are on the bus, train, ferry, or some other form of public transportation and your phone rings, you have two options. You can do the right thing and ignore the call, or you can answer your phone. It’s understandable to answer your phone. But you should mention right off the bat that you’re on the bus so you can’t really talk. You find out what they want and you end the conversation.  But if you answer and proceed to have a loud and glorified conversation for more than five minutes, you are blissfully ignorant of how rude and obnoxious you are. It’s even worse if you’re the one calling people on public transportation. You are scum and you should know that.

There’s this thing called Other People. You might want to continuously be yakking on your phone for thirty minutes, but Other People don’t want to be forced to eavesdrop on your lame but loud conversation. Other People don’t give a shit about your day, and they don’t want to hear about it.  No one wants to listen your stupid conversation about how drunk you were last night and how mean your boss was today because you were hungover. And you talk a lot of shit about your friends to whoever you’re talking to.

Who calls people anyway? It’s text or bust. Especially on the bus.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Knowing Your Neighbors

I grew up in the suburbs and I lived on a dead end street with about fifteen houses. I knew all my neighbors. I knew all their faces, all their names, and all their pets. We had block parties where the whole street would come out and eat guacamole and socialize. There were a bunch of kids my age and we spent summer nights playing a never-ending game of Kick the Can. After school and before homework, we played roller hockey, baseball, football, and jumped on trampolines until our backs hurt. If mom ran out of eggs making dinner, we would just run across the street and ask to borrow some. Life in the suburbs is awesome. We even knew our mailman by name.

Then I moved out, into the city and into reality. I’ve lived in the same spot for five years now, and I only know one family of neighbors and that’s because we live in the same building. I recognize their faces, but I don’t even know their names. I kind of prefer it that way, I like the mystery. We nod to each other when we see each other. Sometimes we engage in awkward small talk. We have a mutual agreement where they take out the garbage and recycling bins and we take them in. For the most part we don’t bother them, and they don’t bother us.

I don’t know the neighbors that live on the houses next to us. I don’t know the family across the street. And I don’t know why. Even though there’s a lot more people living in the city, sometimes a sense of community is missing. And that’s sad, because sometimes you need an egg and the store is so far away.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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A Man on the Moon

In case you don’t pay attention to the real world, Neil Armstrong died last week. He was the first person to walk on the moon, in case you didn’t pay attention in school. And now he’s dead. He was the first of twelve men to step foot on the lunar surface. The last time a man was on the moon was during the Apollo 17 mission, and that was in mid-December of 1972.

The last time man actually had a foot on the moon was December 13, 1972 and they blasted off for home the day after that. So if you were born on December 15, 1972 or any day after that, there has never been a man on the moon in your lifetime. Every single baby, toddler, child, teenager, and adult between the age of fetus and 39 has never experienced NASA or any other space program putting a man on the moon. And that’s kind of lame. Good job with Curiosity I guess.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Canadian Bacon (food, not the film)

Canadian bacon is not bacon. I’m not even sure it is really from Canada either. Canadian bacon looks like ham, smells like ham, and it tastes like ham. I’m pretty sure it’s fucking ham. It’s mostly found served as a breakfast item or paired up with pineapple on a pizza.

Canadian bacon is a lie. If you want bacon, you need bacon. A slice of imposter ham is not going to satisfy your achin’ for bacon. And yes, that is a reference to The Lion King.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Gymkata (terrible, terrible film)

Gymkata is one of those movies that is so bad that you can’t stop watching it. You know right away that it sucks. And it just gets worse and worse until it reaches its sucky ending. At first you’re glad that it’s over. Then you get mad at yourself for wasting 90 minutes of your life. So you decide to recommend it to a friend so you can ruin their life too. I guess that’s what I’m doing with this article right now.

Olympic gymnast Jonathan Cabot (played by real life Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas) gets recruited by the Special Intelligence Agency for a special mission. The SIA wants Cabot to go to the fictional country of Parmistan to compete in the Game. The Game is a race through an obstacle course in which the contestants must compete against each other and the Parmistanian warriors. Whoever wins gets a wish granted by the Parmistan government. The SIA wants Cabot to win and ask to build a satellite monitoring station for the US. They also tell him that his missing father is really an SIA agent who disappeared trying to accomplish the same mission.

Cabot decides use his gymnast skills and join Team America. Then they have the obligatory training sequences and he also meets the beautiful Princess Rubali of Parmistan. He starts learning how to fight and combines the deadly art of Karate with the graceful homoeroticsm of men’s gymnastics to create his own style: Gymkata. He uses his Gymkata skills to get some smooches from the Princess.

Cabot goes to Parmistan to play the Game, and there’s a lot of fight scenes along the way. Bad fight scenes that show off his Gymkata skills. He flips around and makes sure that his toes are pointed when he kicks people.

In the midst of all the random fights, there’s some stupid subplot about a guy named Zamir who wants to take over Parmistan and marry the Princess. She doesn’t want to do that because her dad is the King, and she loves Cabot for some reason. Zamir runs the Game and that’s not good for Cabot.

The Game begins and eventually Cabot is the only player left. Just as he’s about to get killed by the creepy villagers he gets saved by a Parmistani warrior who turns about to be Cabot’s dad. The reunion is short-lived because Papa Cabot gets shot by an arrow.

Cabot and Zamir have their final showdown. Zamir is defeated. Cabot is the winner and gets himself a Princess girlfriend. And the SIA gets their wish and the film assures us that “In 1985 The First Early Warning Earth Station Was Built In Parmistan For The U.S. Star Wars Defense Program.” Seriously, that’s how the movie ends. It was propaganda the whole time, just a commercial for Reagan’s crazy dream to stop missiles with lasers fired from space stations.

This movie is terrible. The plot is terrible. The acting is terrible. Kurt Thomas looks like a young Jack Bauer with a mullet. But Kiefer Sutherland knows how to act and no one in Gymkata does. Kurt Thomas relies on gymnastics and exaggerated sound effects to knock down bad guys. At one point he fights dozens of angry villagers on a pommel horse. I’m still trying to figure out why the Parmistanis would have a pommel horse in their town square.

This movie sucks. Don’t take my word for it. Watch it for yourself. It’s terrible, but you might like it. It’s so bad it’s good. It’s like Showgirls but with no nudity and worse acting. This might not be the worst movie of all time, but it’s a candidate.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Pink Mustaches on Cars

The world hates Americans for a lot of reasons. It used to be for oil consumption and war mongering. Now it’s primarily pink mustaches on cars. Why is this even a trend? Fake mustaches on girls are bad enough, but cars aren’t people. Cars are fucking cars. The only thing they should be wearing is a cool paint color and a coat of wax. Cars are expensive. You have monthly payments to the dealer, you have to pay for insurance, you have to get gas, there’s parking passes and permits and tickets to deal with… and you spend your hard-earned money on fake pink facial hair for its grill? You are a fucking douchebag. Your car looks stupid and you look like an asshole.

Who wants a mustache ride? Not me.

Critically Rated at 1/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Monkeys Know What’s Up

I can’t blame him. Grapes are way better than cucumbers.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Steroids in Sports

As long as there have been games and sports there has been cheating. Cheating and competition go hand in hand. Anyone who has ever played Monopoly wants to be the banker. Why? To steal money when no one is looking and buy yourself choice properties. So when a professional athlete takes steroids to perform better, it’s understandable. They just want to win. And if they want to sacrifice their balls to do so, I think that’s pretty fair.

An athlete getting caught juicing is like seeing a mouse. When you see one, you can be sure that there’s a lot more. Not every player is taking roids. It’s not as rampant as the Bonds-Canseco-McGwire era. But there are still a lot of juicers; they are just smarter about not getting caught. Except Melky Cabrera. But pitchers are using steroids too. It’s still a level playing field.

Sports are entertainment. There’s drama and elation and characters and storylines to follow. You love your team, but if they don’t go to the championship it won’t ruin your life. You know what’s entertaining? 500 foot home runs. Big tackles. The Expendables 2. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger take steroids and everyone pats them on the back.

My official opinion on steroids is: WHO THE FUCK CARES? People cheat. It sucks. Get over it. Anything is ok as long as you don’t get caught.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Perpetual Bowls

Have you ever smoked a bowl that just seems to never stop burning? You take a hit, you pass it around, you hit it again, you pass it around again, you’re surprised there’s still a hit left when it’s your turn again, you pass it around another time, then it comes back to you, and it’s still not cashed. Well, congratulations. You’ve just experienced a perpetual bowl. Perpetual bowls are rare, but they happen occasionally. Sometimes the herb is really dense and takes longer to burn. Sometimes someone in your rotation isn’t inhaling (maybe they can’t find the carb, maybe they just can’t hang). Sometimes the Weed Fairy comes and quietly keeps packing the bowl without anyone noticing. If you’re lucky enough to experience a perpetual bowl, take a moment to savor the moment and enjoy it.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Dogs Like Cabbage

I wonder if he eats brocoli too.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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A Puppy Trying To Roll Over

Yet another reason why dogs are better than cats.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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A Random Bloody Nose

Scientists can’t accurately predict earthquakes, and they often strike without warning and with devastating consequences. One of the few things worse than an experiencing an earthquake is experiencing a random bloody nose. You might be in the middle of a presentation, or stuck in traffic, or possibly on a date, when suddenly your nose feels slightly runny and you casually brush your nose with your hand and glance at your finger and see crimson. Your nose is bleeding and you don’t know why. And you’re totally unprepared without a tissue or a napkin or anything to stop the blood from leaking from your schnoz.

And people see you. And they think it’s weird that you have a random bloody nose. They assume you enjoy the smell of cocaine a bit too much. Maybe they think you can’t stop digging for gold. Either way you are blacklisted.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Solar Bowls

If you paid attention in science class growing up, you might recall that you can use a magnifying glass to manipulate solar rays into a death ray for insects.  But it might not have occurred to you that instead of harnessing the sun’s energy for evil, you can use it to get high. That’s right, instead of burning ants alive, you can use your magnifying glass to light your bowl. This, my friends, is a solar bowl. Solar bowls are clean tasting. When you use a lighter to smoke a bowl, you are inhaling and tasting trace amounts of butane that alters the flavor of your herb of choice. When you smoke a blunt or a joint, you are also tasting the blunt wrap or rolling paper. When you smoke a solar bowl, you are tasting the weed as it’s truly meant to be smoked. They only downside to a solar bowl is that you can’t do it at night.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Amalgam Age of Comics: The DC Comics Collection (comic, obviously)

In the mid ‘90s, Marvel and DC brought their characters together for DC vs. Marvel, in which Marvel and DC characters fought each other to save their universe. One of the highlights of that story is when the two universes merge together to create entirely new character with DC and Marvel traits. The characters were cool enough to create new comics centered around them. The Amalgam Age of Comics: The DC Comics Collection contains six different #1 issues starring the Marvel/DC hybrid characters.

Amazon #1 stars Princess Ororo of Themyscira, also known as Wonder Woman. She’s a mutant with the power to control weather and she was adapted and raised as an Amazon. She deals with learning about her adoptive past, and with the wrath of Poseidon, the god of the sea.

Assassins #1 is about the crime-fighting duo of Dare and Catsai as they take on the evil New Gotham mayor, Enigma Fisk. Slade Murdock is blind and fights crime using the moniker Dare. She’s like a female Daredevil with a revealing costume. She teams up with Catsai (real name: Elektra Kyle), the crime fighting dominatrix to bring down Enigma Fisk, better known the criminal underworld as the Big Question. Imagine the Kingpin and the Riddler in a blender, and this strong and intelligent criminal mastermind is the result.

Doctor Strangefate #1 centers on Doctor Strangefate, a hybrid of Professor X and Dr. Strange. He’s your typical sorcerer/telepathic mutant. He sends a few of his minions to find the Access. If this story seems familiar, it’s because this issue was also included in the DC vs. Marvel comic.

JLX #1 is about a team of mutant superheroes called the Justice League X-Men. There’s a bunch of characters and I could tell you their names, powers, and affiliations but I’m feeling lazy right now, so I’ll just sum it up by saying there’s the JLX and they have a reluctant battle with another team of superheroes and then they go to Atlantis and have another battle with a team of super villains. There are a lot of characters and it’s fun to see which Marvel and DC characters they are composites of.

Legends of the Dark Claw #1 is about Logan Wayne, who calls himself Dark Claw when he’s fighting crime with his spunky sidekick Sparrow. His main nemesis is the Hyena, a former friend who used to be called Creed H. Quinn. Dark Claw is Batman and Wolverine combined, and the Hyena is the Joker and Sabretooth combined. This is one of the highlights of the collection.

Super-Soldier #1 is about a soldier who volunteers himself to be injected with alien cells found in a crashed rocket ship, becoming Super-Soldier. There’s a nice blend of Captain America and Superman mythology. It works because both those characters represent the best of the United States.

This collection of DC and Marvel mash-ups is worth exploring. The art is solid, distinctive, and beautiful. The panel layout adds momentum and movement. It’s fun figuring out which character traits and attributes belong to whom. Some of the character combinations are a little weird, but the majority of them are acceptable.

The Amalgam Age characters should be the next comic book movie franchise. Dark Claw on the big screen? Yes, please.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Raging Bitch Belgian-Style India Pale Ale

Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery makes some amazing craft beers and this is one of them. Raging Bitch Belgian-Style India Pale Ale is a very distinctive beer, from its taste to its awesome artwork. It’s also fun to go to a bartender and say, “Raging Bitch, please.” It has a nice alcohol percentage of 8.3%. It tastes good, looks cool, and it will get you drunk. What more do you want from booze?

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Cats

Cats are the most popular pets in the USA and in the UK. More popular than dogs, more popular than fish, and way more popular than deranged chimpanzees that go on face-biting rampages. Dogs are loyal, loving, and obvious. Cats are shady, manipulative, and conniving. You can’t trust them, you can’t tell what they are thinking, and it seems like they are always analyzing the best way to kill you.

Cats are killing machines. That’s not a setup for a joke. That’s a cold hard fact. Cats are compulsive killers. They are designed to stalk, hunt, and eliminate. Their teeth are like daggers; their claws are super sharp, perfect for slashing and doubling as grappling hooks. Their paws are designed for killing and climbing, while the docile dog has paws made for digging and running long distances. Cats can hear higher frequencies than dogs (almost as good as bats), and their vision is superior to ours in a lot of ways. Not only do they see 6x better in darkness than us, but their eyes also act as magnifying lenses. They practically have superpowers.

Dogs wear their hearts on their sleeve, while cats have a hidden agenda.  Most dog breeds were bred for laborious reasons; we have a working relationship with them. They rely on us, they want to serve us, and they want to please us… Cats use us for free food. They don’t need us, they just put up with us. Some people have housecats, and make sure Mr. Buttons is confined to the house at all times. That is not a real cat. Real cats go outside at night and wreak havoc on the neighborhood. They stalk, hunt, and cause chaos, just for shits and giggles, and then they come home for a gourmet canned delicacy.

You might notice that cats like to rub their cheeks and face on you as they seek attention. You might mistake that as a sign of affection. They are really marking you with their scent. Rubbing against you is the feline equivalent of a dog peeing on your face to establish his territory.

City cats are like gangs. They have clear territories and social hierarchies. A tomcat (an unneutered and all natural) is at the top of the totem pole. A successful tomcat’s turf can be up to a square mile, ideally encompassing as many females cats in heat as possible. Their only rivals are other tomcats. Neutered cats can’t breed and consequently aren’t a threat. So if you want your cat to be tough, let him keep his balls.

Most cats are selfish bitches with a thirst for blood and murder. I might be misquoting the Discovery Channel, but cats are evil. There are a few good cats but they are the exception to the rule. I had five family cats growing up. Only one is worth talking about. His name was Roofus, my uncle found him on the street when he was a kitten and we adopted him. The tip of his tail was missing and someone tried to glue it back on. It didn’t work. Roofus was an outdoor cat, and each night we would set him loose on the neighborhood. We never knew what he was up to most of the time, but we were able to glimpse the occasional catfight. Sometime he would show up with mementos of his deeds like dead birds, rodents, and even a bat one time. One day he came home with a missing fang. I often wonder what unlucky animal ended up with that embedded in its skull.

I’m not trying to reminisce here. I’m trying to make a point. Roofus was a badass, but he was still a cat. There’s no denying that cats have personalities, but they are too reclusive. They are reserved and always seem to have their guard up. Way too enigmatic. I can’t get behind that. Cats might be the most popular pets in America but that doesn’t mean anything. Jersey Shore is really popular too. And don’t get me started on Twilight.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bottle Caps

Bottle caps are caps for bottles, in case you didn’t know or are an idiot. This post is about the metal bottle caps for glass bottles, and not those stupid plastic caps for plastic bottles. There’s something charming about bottle caps. There are an endless variety of brands and colors. A lot of people collect them. It’s an easy hobby: you just drink a beer or soda and thrown the cap into your collection. I collect my beer bottle caps. It’s like keeping ticket stubs. I know which beer brands I’ve consumed and there’s the added bonus of knowing how much damage I’ve done to my liver. And it’s a lot.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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