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Monday, March 29, 2010

Toys Reincarnated (GUEST REVIEWER KRISTIN ENKVETCHAKUL)




I love toys. One of the perks of having kids, I have found, is that you get to develop a new collection of toys in your house, but this time around YOU’RE in control. No more of the “Mom, can I send away for the super cool toy in the comic book?” only to hear “That piece of junk? You’re not wasting your allowance on that!” Nope. No more. Now it’s you, your credit card, and Amazon. The toy world is your oyster, up to your credit limit anyway. In this review, I am looking at how toys from my childhood compare to their reincarnations today, and grading them with A, B, C, D, or F.

1. The Original Sit’n’Spin: The original was pure genius. It made you dizzier than a drunken sailor on leave at the port, and it gave you a great arm workout. Not only that, it went from being an iconic toy to a classic phrase, often said with a pencil in one’s hand.
Original Sit’n’Spin Rating: A, for making a great concept actually work

The New Sit’n’Spin: Did they not have a circa 1980’s prototype to copy? What the hell? How hard could it be? They got the concept of the moving parts in the bottom, and yet the new Sit’n’Spin just does not seem to have the same “I’m in the toilet experiencing the Coriolis effect firsthand” feel to it. Maybe it’s the lighter construction. Maybe it’s the oblong shape of the bottom piece. I don’t know, but whatever it is, it falls way short of its addictive predecessor.
New Sit’n’Spin: C, for jacking up a great concept that had been previously perfected with primitive technology

2. The Original Little People: The original Little People were simple folk. So simple, in fact, that they lacked limbs. The mom had strange blond hair in a bun. The Dad was bald. The kids were smaller but were equally odd. The family dog had protruding ears and was, as I recall, around the same size as the parents, which I never quite got. The original Little People buildings were cool, although the concept of the Little People carrying anything around in those buildings was always annoying, since they had no limbs.
Original Little People: C, for stretching the imagination too far out on the limbs

The New Little People: They have limbs- detailed limbs! Granted, the limbs are not pose-able, but they have them! The buildings are still cool, or at least they were until Fisher-Price very recently downsized some of them. The new Little People are also impressively indestructible. I think if there were ever a nuclear disaster, the cockroaches would have the new Little People to play with in the aftermath.
New Little People: B+, for having limbs, and being indestructible

3. The Original Hungry Hungry Hippos: The original was awesome! You could pump your hippo’s lever as hard as you wanted and the board would not move. Very occasionally a hippo would lose its head, but it snapped back on easily enough. Few games prompted healthy family venting like Hungry Hungry Hippos. The pace of the game was fast, the duration short, and yet it had plenty of time for “Hey- I was gonna get that marble, loser!” and, “No fair! Your hippo is hogging all the marbles!” which would evoke the response, “That’s the object of the game, dork!”
Original Hungry Hungry Hippos: A, for being a great action game and supporting trash talk skills development

The New Hungry Hungry Hippos: Much like the new Sit’n’Spin, the new Hungry Hungry Hippos is but a cheap plastic shadow of its former sturdy self. I bought this for my kids and was so disappointed. The board was smaller and lighter. It just doesn’t tolerate banging on the hippos like the original did. And with the board so small, there’s no room for the slight-of-hand force-feeding your hippo while your opponent is distracted.
New Hungry Hungry Hippos: D, for sucking and dishonoring its predecessor’s legacy

4. Original Barbie: The original Barbie was tall, slender, blond, and well endowed. Other than a few changes of clothes, the huge Barbie house, and a modest selection of accessories, though, there wasn’t a whole lot of Barbie stuff available. Barbie brought with her some social controversy. There were psychologists crying that Barbie harmed girls’ self image because she “possessed an unrealistic physique”. …Yeah, and baby dolls don’t have explosive diapers in their car seats that get icky stuff everywhere, including the windshield. Get over it people, it’s a toy. Sure, we shouldn’t actively teach our girls that the perfect body lands the perfect man, but let’s leave a little room for dreaming, shall we?
Original Barbie: B, for limited accessorizing, but also for great hair you could brush for hours, and for pushing the envelope in plastic molding

New Barbie: If the new Barbie is any different from the old Barbie in terms of overall design, I would be surprised, other than that the quality of her hair has been unfortunately cheapened. If her measurements have been toned down, I don’t think it could be by more than half a cup. The only other thing I think may have changed about Barbie is that the accessories have multiplied, and there are more versions of Barbie herself. Now there are Barbies based on various movie characters, and Barbies of different ethnicities, like mermaids and fairies. There are also career-minded Barbie play sets, for which Mattel cleverly selected girl-appealing occupations. Apparently their marketing research wisely concluded that “Dr. Barbie” would sell much better than “Bloodsucking Lawyer Barbie”. The accessories for Barbie these days are endless. Basically you can purchase anything Barbie would need to exist or pamper herself with if she were real, except for personal toiletries. Thank heaven they drew the line somewhere.
New Barbie: A, for unlimited accessorizing, and for sending the message to girls that they should stay in school, because with the right credit card, they can have the car, the house, the looks, and the man

5. The Original Big Wheel: Back in the day, this was the awesome riding toy to have. It made kid-power cool, not that there was any other kind of power. There was the nifty little blue plastic box on the back that carried important stuff like dolls, rocks, and Star Wars figures. There was a neat hand brake for death defying spinouts. Possibly the only flaw was there was no traction on asphalt going uphill, but it was also a riding toy that made going downhill a blast.
Original Big Wheel: A, for sturdy, well thought-out construction

The New Original Big Wheel: I refer to it as “The New Original Big Wheel” because the box today is labeled as “The Original Big Wheel”. I think it is one of the few reincarnated toys that could label itself in this way and get away with it. While there have been a few changes, thankfully the overall design was left intact. The New Original Big Wheel does lack the cool storage box on the back, and the exciting hand brake, but other than that, it seems to be the Big Wheel you remember, down to having no traction going uphill on asphalt. Leaving this flaw alone proves the brilliance of that company’s toy engineers: If it’s already broken, why mess up the rest of it by trying to fix it? If only more toy engineers got this.
New Original Big Wheel: A, for not messing up an already nearly perfected design


And so ends our tip toe down nostalgia’s lane. As we have seen, some things are definitely as good as you remember them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Balls OUT! Spring TRAINING!!! Spring FEVER!!! (SPORTS REVIEW BY ANTHONY TOURNIS)


What’s up, America? This A-GASM is going to STRIKE you across the face with some balls…some BASEBALLS!!! It’s spring! You know what that means? Baseball! Yep, the granddaddy of all sports (except the sports that came before baseball(those don’t really count because they came from Europe(Europe sucks(the BAND Europe doesn’t suck, just the country of Europe)))) is starting soon! Before the baseball season get underway (starts) we have to deal with Spring Training, which is the most exciting time for a baseball fan(other than the baseball season ACTUALLY starting(okay, it is the second most exciting time in the baseball season(well, other than the play offs and stuff(It’s a fun time for baseball fans)))). I know you are asking yourself, “How does Spring Training work” (I’m not going to answer because you were asking yourself and not me(I’ll answer when you ask me personally(I’ll wait(beautiful weather we are having(nice pants…were they on sale?(I love acid washed jeans(No, Liberace was married(yeah, I thought that to(Richard Chamberlain?(really?(you sure?(I’ll have to look that one up(no I have an iPhone, I can look it up right now(just wait a second(yeah it takes a awhile sometimes(here we go(WOW!(I had no idea(what was that you asked?(are you asking me how Spring Training works?(well…let me explain)))))))))))))))))))? Spring Training has been an institution in baseball since the 1700’s. Spring training showcases the superstars from last year mixed in with the no name and useless talent that will be back in the minors(or Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, or Chad) by morning. It’s a way for teams to play against each other without it meaning anything, and it’s also a chance for us to watch good sports instead of all the shitty sports we have been watching since football ended(I’m looking at you, Basketball(Basketball is for commies(they know why))). There is nothing really different between Spring Training and the regular season other than wins and losses don’t count, and takes place in the desert (Arabs) or Florida (Jews). Spring Training is great to get back into the swing of things(pun(swing bats, not drugs!(except for athletes))), but it does have some faults. It’s kind of useless(like the Cleveland Indians), games are high scoring(like playing against the Cleveland Indians), and players only last for a couple of innings (like the players of the Cleveland Indians(I mean the Indians were good when they had Wesley Snipes and Tom Berenger(HEARTTHROB!), but then they traded Snipes for Omar Epps(that black guy) and Corbin Bernsen retired…they just SUCKED!)). Another fault is that the players haven’t gotten back in to the full swing (not a pun I just can’t think of any other words(shut up)) of their drug regimen. This make Spring Training tricky. All the juicers have to get new drug dealers, or reintroduce themselves to former dealers(awkward), it’s just a hassle. Plus, the players might start taking new drugs and that could throw off their game(but they still go out and play(hard working(AMERICA!)))Even with those small faults, I can’t help but love Spring Training. Spring Training means that summer is right around the corner, and that can only mean one thing: getting girls drunk and taking boob pics(art) while they are passed out. Until next time, AMERICA!

Finding the Right Nickname for You (Proper Nouns)


College.
A place where we learn a lot about ourselves in every dimension. What food we like, who we like to sex, our career path, and what haircut we will have forever.
We ALSO, as Americans, make the University a place where our identity changes to others, and we possibly make friends that we will have for generations.
Inevitably, with your new friends, you will do something stupid while you are drunk, or something smart in class and your friends will use this one action to identify you for the rest of your years and will even mention this at your funeral and wedding.
For example, if you went to a party and got all stoned and were drinking "ghetto punch" and took a young girl upstairs and started to feel her up and then threw up all over her naked chest, they would call you "Vomit Tits" for the first couple of years, until eventually, when they realize this is inappropriate, they would just call you "Tits".
"Here comes Tits Hammerstein" they will always say.
Or if you were rafting and you fell out of the boat, right at a particularly hard part to manage, they might call you, "Overboard".
That's actually kind of a cool nickname because you sound dangerous and that might look good on a business card.
Then there are nicknames from childhood that stick with you and maybe your parents always call you.
Lala, Puddin, Rickrack, Beav and Larry are all examples of those names.
There are people who give themselves nicknames, and these people are the worst. You can usually tell if someone has given themselves their own nicknames because they sound cooler than the person is.
Snake, Secretariat, Boom Boom, Cool, Finesse, and Tonka are all too cool for someone to just get. They have to work to find those.
There are also nickname generators out there for you to pick one from what other people's nicknames who have the same real name as you already have. I put my and Eric's name into this and here's what I found out.
For Andy:
Andster
Andyman
Sandstar
Andy Pandy
Andle McPoodle Foodle
Lollypop
and R2D2

These are all good and bring me to another point. Sometimes it's just an evolution of your real name. It's easy to see the evolution from Andy to Andle McPoodle Foodle, and sometimes that's all you need.
For Eric:
E-Man
Ricky
Ericonda
Big E
The Walls of Erico
Wolfgang
Kevin Wu is Fat
and Baby Dick
Now some of the ones towards the end seem like maybe they were mistakes, but that's how nicknames begin!
So go out there and grab yourself a nickname and let us know how it goes! Don't be afraid to try it out on your boss first, and then your wife or husband.
The 3 key things to remember are:
1. Make sure it is sexual
2. If you played sports, use it!
3. Rhyme your name with something and just use that word!
You will be the hit of the party in no time!

Nicknames- A+

- R2D2 Lawfer, Kevin Wu is Fat Roach

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

All The Actors In Factory Theater's "Hey! Dancin'!" (person review)

Well, maybe you know this, and maybe I don't care: I am a member of the Factory Theater ensemble. And, our latest show "Hey! Dancin'!" just got a slew of good reviews.

But, in my opinion, which is very important, every single member of the cast contributes to the show in exciting and/or sexual ways. I am going to review them, as both actors and people, right here. So put on your rainbow hats and your "I-get-a-pony-for-Christmas!" smiles...it's the most positive review ever.

Anthony Tournis - Tony plays the host, Randy Massingill. Resplendent in a full Miami Vice white suit and boat shoes, he rides the line of disgusting and hysterical. No matter what, when you see him, you may want to throw up and pee.

Melissa Nedell - Playing the young and nerdy Halle, Melissa projects so much sweetness that you could stir her into your coffee and then pour it over a strudel and get cavities in your head. And she's game for anything...try convincing Laurie Metcalf to take the wrong end of a dry-humping scene. No seriously, try it...I hear she's a real bitch.

Catherine Dughi - Cat plays the wanna-be tramp Trisha. Best line: "I don't think Randy's gonna get all up in this, I know it." It may not read funny, but you have to see her midsection deliver this line. Because that's where you'll be looking, pervert.

Jacob A. Ware - This guy is actually his character Kenny "Double K" Kapowski in real life. It's weird to see him in hipster clothes once he gets off stage, where he looks like William Zabka dressed him. Jacob's so good in this part, and that's not just because he looks like Dennis Weaver circa-McCloud. Bring that stache back, Ware.

Aileen May - Miss May is sweet as punch off-stage, which is why it's so great that she's a fucking demon in this play. I'm scared of her, mostly with the way she delivers the line "Wow...you really just destroyed me right there." It makes things crawl up and throws me into a wormhole leading directly to 3rd grade.

Anderson Lawfer - My friend, co-writer, and partner in crime. We robbed a Qwik Trip in Barrington last weekend. "Not that I need any sprinkles." What a chubby, cute dork you are, Pete!

Dominique Johnson - Princess. The little Prince squeals and faints that she does...dear lord, it's theater MAGIC!

Esteban Andres Cruz - This is the play that Esteban proves he's not just a stereotype. Oh wait, no, it's SO not that play. He actually is a NEW stereotype, and it's better than all the old ones. Say bye to "Black people love fried chicken" everybody!

Noah Simon - A fucking master class in jokes. Noah's so good in this that you forget about his insane tendency to try and "ad lib" things that don't exist in 1986. Like Subway sandwich shops.

Sara Sevigny - A showcase for her talents. Fave bit: screaming obscenities when there's no need to. This bit lasts all show long. "Eat it and die." "Why didn't I stay in porn?" "Your upper lip is sweating." So gross, and also so gro-reat!

Jill Oliver - Best smile in the show. Also, number 3 best smile in the whole world. "Touch me where babies come from." Weird, Jill. She plays softball, too.

Casey Pilkenton - Best line: "I'm so nervous I just puked backstage." "NO!" "Vomited." See the show, then you'll understand why the audience starts throwing chairs.

Laura Korn - Spouting gibberish as an ad lib? Usually that won't work, but here...well, it literally kills people. We had a guy die at previews...full disclosure: he was pretty old.

Frank R. Sjodin - Actually doing the Superbowl Shuffle while saying "Superbowl Shuffle." - shit, Frank, the goddamned 85 Bears couldn't do that.

Seth Remington - "Stupid awesome flashlight!" Stupid and awesome.

You won't understand any of this review until you go see "Hey! Dancin'!" The show itself...another masterwork by the Factory. Now give us some money, we gotta pay rent.

A+.

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Friday, March 19, 2010

This Midwestern Mom (GUEST REVIEWER KRISTIN ENKVETCHAKUL)



Many studies have been done on the supposedly harmful effects of TV on kids. Well, I’ve been conducting my own study on the damage over-exposure of kid TV does to the moms. It’s not pretty. I first became aware of this phenomenon last year, when I had put the kids to bed and decided to watch one of the Christian Bale Batman movies. At some point I realized I was having a little too much fun watching Batman beat the crap out of the bad guys. It became even more apparent when caught myself nearly yelling out loud, “Hit him again!” And so was born my hypothesis: Even the gentlest of moms can only take so much pervasively sing-songy kid TV oozing in happiness and cooperation in conjunction with their own tireless loving and nurturing efforts towards their kids. There’s no good way to say it: Eventually, we’re going to snap.

How can this mommy whack-out be averted, you ask? I have developed a coping technique, which I call, “Mock the shows like a third grader mocks another kid’s glasses.” I’m not saying it’s mature or healthy, but at this point, whatever it takes to help Momma hold it together.

The first show I considered in my study was Scooby-Doo. Granted, Scooby-Doo is a timeless and admittedly well-done show. But try watching hours of it over the winter and eventually you too will wish the villain would have gotten away with it in spite of those meddling kids for a change of pace. There’s a formula to the show, and it gets tedious, despite the puns and great voice actors. The gang stumbles into a mystery, they meet the villain who is disguised as a monster of some sort, there is a big chase set to music, the gang regroups, finds clues, sets a trap that doesn’t work the way it is meant to but somehow they catch the villain anyway, and finally, they unmask the villain. This leads us to the piercing question: Given the hundreds of sinister elements they have encountered, with certainly more in store for the future, why hasn’t the gang started packing? As in, some serious heat.

After all, considering Scooby and Shaggy can whip out a costume that instantly transforms Scooby into a buxom blond mermaid with big red lips, it seems like they could easily carry some hardware on them too.

It would add a layer of suspense. When they are confronted by the monster, instead of yelling, “Run!” Fred would yell, “Shaggy, break out the .45 & take down this freak!”

“Zoinks! Like, that monster is huge! Lock and load the belt-fed, Scoob!” Shaggy would scream.

“Rut Roh!” Scooby would say when Fred’s semi-auto jammed.

Of course, the advent of weaponry would probably mean the gang would have to confine their mystery solving operations to Texas, where “Mister, he had it coming,” is still considered a viable legal defense, at least in some counties. But it could also be an opportunity to reinvent the show’s formula. The show could adopt a Law and Order-esque format, where the gang blazes away at the villain in the first half of the show, and then defends their actions in courtroom proceedings in the second half. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law could be their regularly appearing counsel.

The next show used for my study was Dora. As you may know, Dora is continually stalked by Swiper the Fox. It seems like she should have filed a restraining order against that sneaky fox by now. Let’s see him swipe stuff from 50 yards away! If not a restraining order, then it seems like she should carry pepper spray. Or better yet she could become an empowering symbol to young girls by taking Tai-Kwon-Do and round-housing that pilfering vermin into the next episode. SOMETHING, so she’s not at the mercy of saying “Swiper no Swiping” three times before he reaches her. I’m surprised she hasn’t cracked under the pressure of knowing he’s lurking somewhere nearby and doesn’t mumble “Swiper no swiping” constantly in a nervous stupor.

Moving on to superheroes, how about this: If Lex Luthor is so smart and wealthy, why doesn’t he have underwear made out of kryptonite for every day of the week? Superman would be like, “Oh no! There must… be… kryptonite…. somewhere…nearby…” And Luthor would reply, “Oh yes, Superman, it’s as close as my monogrammed Tuesday undies.”

Speaking of superheroes, after watching so many episodes of the world facing utter destruction, I can’t help but worry that somewhere deep inside a fake mountain, in a rogue nation, is a secret lab where scientists are reviewing countless hours of superhero episodes and making notes on the catastrophic possibilities. They would be compiling lists of things like, “melt polar ice caps”, “change course of comet to impact Earth”, and “make a machine capable of turning all human life, except our great leader, into goldfish”. Meanwhile in another room, another group of researchers would be brainstorming the obstacles to world destruction: “Statistical probability of failure reaches it’s highest point 3 minutes before it’s too late.” Let’s just hope that Amazon refuses to fulfill any superhero DVD orders that would ship to: c/o World Destruction Dept.

Yes, it’s a sad state of the maternal mind, but I think it’s the only way to survive this emotionally demanding era of constantly providing the perfect, psychologically supportive environment for our kids. You can’t just beat them and toss them in a closet nowadays like they used to. Now it’s time-outs, second chances, and redirecting their behavior in a healthy, constructive, and non-damaging way. In other words, it’s exhausting. If a little internal mockery helps a mom achieve this without going outwardly insane, then so be it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

NASCAR…SPORTS FOR REAL MEN! (SPORTS REVIEW BY ANTHONY TOURNIS)


That is right, America! This A-GASM is going to pin you to the hood and give it to you fast! Time to get your racing gear and head to the track of awesome, ‘cause we are talking about the sport of kings! Nothing says I’M AN AMERICAN (other than saying “I’m an American”) than NASCAR. Only the diehard fans (Die Hard is awesome) know this, but NASCAR is an acronym(that is when the word means more than it says (like when a girl says ‘no’)) for National Americanization for Speedy Cars And Rednecks. NASCAR was invented back in the day by rednecks (the only REAL Americans) who were high on meth. These daring daredevils would race each other to see who could get home and have relations(sex(yeah!)) with their sister first. However, in professional NASCAR the sister banging is not televised(But it should be!(Way to ruin my night, Tipper Gore( Tipper Whore!(satire)))) There are so many things that make NASCAR awesome.

One…NASCAR is fast. Real fast. Americans like speed (the rate of velocity AND the movie(Sandra and Keanu(why didn’t they have a baby?(she’s a prude)))). I mean we are talking about the second fastest sport IN THE WORLD OF AUTO RACING!!!! That is fast. NASCAR is so fast that they don’t even use kilometers to measure it (because the metric system is for retards and college boys(college is dumb(except for Tennessee( GO VOLS!!)))). Yeah, Formula one is faster(should be called Formula DUMB), but I’m not a Formula One fan because I’m not European (America-lite) and I like girls (boobs and butts).

Another great thing about NASCAR is that it’s a sport where you don’t have to do anything but turn left! How cool is that? ICE COLD(Hey Ya!(best rap song EVER!!!))! In America (eat it, Mexico!) we like our sports simple, almost too simple sometimes. Nothing more simple than left turns!

What else is great about NASCAR? You don’t have to wear a shirt at the race track! No shirt, no shoes…NO PROBLEM! It’s the greatest feeling in the world when you are watching a race and don’t have to worry about your shirt or shoes(unless you step on glass(or get stung by a bee(or you step on a glass jar full of bees that shatters and you get cut by the glass and stung by the bees at the same time (ouch)))).

And finally, I love the women of NASCAR the most. Nothing is hotter than an overly sunburned, toothless chick, in a tank top and cut offs , swilling Miller Lite with a plug of Redman in her cheek. These ladies might not be as refined as regular ladies, but it takes a special kind of woman to carry back to my car after I pass out from drinking 190 proof moonshine in 92 degrees for the past 6 hours. That is what a woman is for! Plus, any of those women will let you get to third base(not talking about baseball(mouth sex(high five!))) with them if you have a number painted on the hood of your car(I painted a number on the hood of my car).

I hope this A-GASM has revved you up, and shown you how kick ass NASCAR is. Until next time, America!

Fish Sandwiches for Lent (Holiday and food)


I know during this month or so, people love to follow what Jesus said. His teachings have finally become important to everyone in the computerized world, and even the other worlds too.
One thing that Jesus has always been adamant about, is not eating land meat on Fridays. This includes ALL landmeat.
But Jesus forgot to talk about fish, and that’s where I come in. Fish is what vegetarians and women eat when they want to lose weight, but still have a carnal instinct and need to rip flesh apart with their teeth.
I had never eaten fish (because I’m not a lady) until Friday, 25 years ago.
Catholics can’t get enough of this particular type of seameat, because they are always looking for excuses to not follow our Lord’s requests, and are generally much sassier and clothes-minded then Episcopals who are really the best religion there is. I can’t stand clothes-minded people. They won’t accept gay marriage.
But you didn’t pay to hear me talk about that junk.
You just wanna talk about FISH SANDWICHES!!!!!!
Well, I went out and tried all the fast food fish sandwiches there were at fast food places and I’m here to rate them for you!

Let’s start with the classic:
MCDONALD’S FILET-O-FISH
The Van Morrison of fish sandwiches. It goes down smooth and always smells like pickles.
Now, the service at McDonald’s is impeccable. The people who work there wipe off tables and there’s always a newspaper to read and some screaming kids to make you feel like you are back at your Grandma’s house for Sunday dinner with the family and all she has the where withal to make is some ridiculous fried fish sandwich even though you brought your new pornstar girlfriend home for the first time, and the last thing you want is to make out with her with fish breath.
But you shouldn’t ever make out with your Grandma, fish breath or not.
The sandwich was what I expected it to be. It tasted like McDonald’s. Just like the quarter pounder, the chicken sandwich and the milkshake.
DELICIOUS.
I give this 3 out of 5 fish sandwiches.
3/5
BURGER KING CILANTRO LIME FISH SANDWICH
Listen Burger King, I don’t need to know all your ingredients, and also, you are just telling me SOME of the ingredients.
I’d like to see the Hydroxypropyl Methelcellulose Cilantro Fish Sandwich.
This is probably the best fish sandwich there is. The King makes it himself, and if you tell him you want it grilled instead of fried, they tell you they can’t do that but they are very polite.
This is a big seameaty piece of Alaskan Pollock that even Jesus would like!
5/5 Fish Sandwiches.



LONG JOHN SILVERS ULTIMATE FISH SANDWICH
This is the local Pirate’s hang out place. Don’t go there for the burgers, but DO go there for there little fried crumbs.
This place is decorated like a boat, so if you get seasick, don’t go there.
This place is great during Lent, because everything on the menu pretty much is fish, or lobster. Jesus didn’t say anything specifically about lobsters, but I think they are ok.
They do not have cloved hooves or talons, so the Jews can eat this too.
Anyway, this should be better than it was, Especially if you have a bunch of salty seamen in all day singing sea shantys and smuggling gold. They are going to want a better sandwich.
2/5 Fish Sandwiches



DOMINOES PIZZA
You can just get pizza without meat.
5/5 Fish Sandwiches.

WENDY’S PREMIUM FISH SANDWICH
Now I like anything from Wendy’s but my wife hates it, so we didn’t go. But I bet it was really good. I’m looking at a picture of it on the website and it looks like chicken, and that’s what I want my fish to look like. Because the are both white.
Also, at Wendy’s they have the ketchup pumps if you eat in.
4/5 Fish Sandwiches


WHITE CASTLE FISH WITH CHEESE
It takes a lot of nerve to put the word “with” in the title of your biggest selling item.
So I was excited and humbled to try this majestic piece of little fish.
It was delicious. Incredibly delicious, and wet. Like it just came from the sea and dove into the fryer and then into the sea again and then onto my plate. Wow. I don’t know where they find fish that taste like that, BUT IT SURE ISN’T CHILE!
Great value for one of these, but the price starts adding up when you have to eat nine of something, and that’s true with any place.
I loved this sandwich like a sister.
6/5 Fish Sandwiches.


I hope this guide is helpful to anyone who takes the word of our Lord seriously. Also, I’ve been working on where to start new paragraphs, so hopefully this review helped me too!

A-
-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

You Need To Have MOXY! (MUSIC REVIEW BY SCOTT OKEN)

Sometimes you fire up that ole’ MP3 player, and you simply don’t know what to play. Perhaps you are going to work out, maybe go for a long walk, or maybe you are taking a bus to an El train, to another bus, so you can go drink. (I wouldn’t know…I never drink…non alcoholic beverages!!) It amazes me how I can have 17455 songs and not know what I want to listen to.

Hold that thought for a moment. I am a man of the 70s, 60s, 80s and various other types of Rock and Roll. I hear about some obscure 70s band that I didn’t previously have knowledge of, and I hunt their lps down. If I like what I hear from the first album I choose, I download them all, because I must have it all. If you are a fan of the band, you must have ALL their albums! (even “Kid A”) Why did I just digress there? Because I have many lps stockpiled on my hard drive that I have not listened to due to my constant flurry of downloads! When I don’t know what to play, or don’t know what I’m in the mood for, I pick one of these albums and give it a whirl.

Hold on to THAT thought as well. Sometimes when you put on an album that you have not heard before, or perhaps, not heard in a while, you may be compelled to shake your head and think loudly to yourself “Fucking Jams!” It happens perhaps 2 to 3 times a song. You can’t help it. The Jams envelope you. They imprint themselves on you. That band, or album becomes a part of you for life!!!

So , we go back to the dilemma of going for a walk and not knowing what to pick on your MP3 player. (notice I did NOT say iPod, you will get my anti-iPod rant in a future article) I put on the self-titled debut of 70s Canadian band Moxy.


This first album came out in 1975…already a good sign! Everything from the 70s is great! Fact! Many of the leads on this album are played by Tommy Bolin. He was a guitar whiz in the 70s who played with Deep Purple, Zephyr, and the James Gang before his untimely death in 1976. I must tell you the jams are unstoppable!!!!

1. Fantasy- This is the song that made me mumble “Fucking Jams” about 30 times. A plodding, almost Native American (read: Indian) beginning building into power chord guitar solos all the way to the end. JAMS!

2. Sail On Sail Away-a sensitive acoustic start off into a riff laden jam! (ALWAYS a recipe for success!...ALWAYS!!!)

3. Can’t You See I’m A Star- I think every Canadian singer sounds a little like Geddy Lee. This massive riffalicious jam could have been on the first Rush lp..and that is a good thing!

4. Mood Rider-In the pocket drums, completely “air guitarable” riff! Play loud! Made me ponder the “Fucking Jams” once more!

5. Time To Move On-It is NEVER time to move on from Moxy!!!!!

6. Still I Wonder- Black Sabbath type riff to open it up, then maintain it with crunchin’ guitar madness!

7. Train-Do you like the heavy blues? Then you will love TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8. Out of the Darkness (Into the Fire)-A great closer that bookends the complete sonic assault that started the album. Plus…all songs that have the lyric “Into the Fire” in it are PH.D. Certified Jams! You are addicted to Crack if you don’t go out and find this album NOW!!!!!!

Start walkin’!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Board Games That Suck (GAME REVIEW BY ANTHONY TOURNIS)

Remember growing up, America? Remember games? Remember board games? Remember growing up with board games? That is what this A-GASM is about. The board games you grew up with and how horrible they are. It might make you weep (the gay way of crying) but the truth must be told (this A_GASM is dripping with truth). Here they are, the top five crappy board games that sucked growing up! First of all, all board games are dumb. Playing on a board is just plain stupid and it kills trees(that is bad for the environment (I’m green( I only say that so I can touch hippie girls boobies ( their boobies always feel like sacks of dirt and twigs)))). In board games there are no buttons to push, only pieces to move(just play with a doll instead, girlie). Think back, who played board games? A bunch of dumb shits(technical term for mentally challenged pieces of poo), and your grandparents. You want to play with your grandparents? Old people only like young people for sexual reasons (take that Uncle Dave(I can never eat another Dairy Queen Blizzard without feeling woozy and uncomfortable(Dairy Queen: Your one stop shop for dairy products and young tail)))! That, however, is another posting. Here we go!



5. Operation – I was six. Six year olds aren’t known for their steady hands. I always made that stupid buzzer go off. I can’t help it…I was six! I don’t need to be reminded every time I fail (that is what parents are for). Also, who gets a funny bone removed? A Charley Horse? A brain freeze? Way to be medically correct, jerks! Plus, I hate doctors (even pretend ones, Uncle Dave) so why would I want to be one?



4. Candy Land – Question: Why is there a childhood obesity problem? Answer: Candy Land! Thanks for the diabetes, Milton Bradley! This game was invented by a woman while recovering from polio (so you KNOW it’s healthy). I’ll bet you the deed to Gumdrop Mountain that she did this just to make everyone as sick as she was. Shame on you, Eleanor Abbott (if that is your real name(it is)).



3. Tickle Monkey – I’m not sure this was a real game, but I used to play it with my Uncle Dave. It sucks, the rules make no sense, and I end up crying at the end. Looking back it wasn’t really a board game, it was just an empty Stroh’s can that you had to hide from the Tickle Monkey. You could only hide the can on your person, and the Tickle Monkey was easily distracted by your man banana. The game is over when the Tickle Monkey finds the can(Uncle Dave sure was thorough in his search).



2. Uno – This horrible game is just a way to get kids to learn Spanish. Up yours Mexico! I’m on to you. I never played it. I took one look at the name and said “Sorry, Pablo! English is king here in America(we don’t have kings in America(Kings are lame(except for King Kong Bundy(sigh))))!!!



1. Clue – Who’s idea was it to make a board game out of a movie? Dumb idea! Games that make you think are stupid (stupid is as stupid does (Forrest Gump(now THAT is a movie that needs a board game!))). I don’t know who killed the guy. I’m not a cop. I think that if these people were smart the y would call the POLICE (f*@& tha police( I like Ice-T(the rapper and the drink (Lipton’s(yum))))). I would always win the game in one turn. “My turn. I rolled a four, and I move to the phone to call the cops. WINNER!!!”



There you have it. These games are pretty awful. Stupid and awful like hippies(except for hippie girls(because they have boobs)). Until next time, America. I hope this A-GASM didn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.
-Anthony Tournis

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Knack: Beyond My Sherona (GUEST REVIEWER ROB BIESENBACH)

With the death a couple of weeks ago of the Knack's Doug Fieger, "My Sharona" was once again all over the airwaves (or the webwaves, at least). No doubt it's an infectious tune. Though like most infections, it can cause waves of nausea.
Based on this song, people who weren't alive or sentient in the summer of 1979 may justifiably write off the Knack as one-hit wonders akin to A-Ha or that guy who also died recently who sang the "How Bizarre" song. But I would argue that the Knack represented so much more, culturally and even musically, than that one little confection of power pop would suggest.
As America limped toward the end of the decade that was the '70s, popular music was marked by bloat, excess, overindulgence and over-earnestness. In that climate, the Knack stood out to the extent that many people (insanely) hailed them as the second coming of the Beatles, which they quickly proved not to be.
But they did seem like the antidote to much of what was wrong with popular music in general and rock-and-roll specifically. To wit:
  • Musically, in a time of endless guitar, drum and, yes, FLUTE solos (I'm looking at you, Kansas!), the Knack, stripped down to the classic lineup of two guitars, bass and drums, offered short, radio-friendly songs in the tradition of early rock-and-roll.
  • Lyrically, while Rush was constructing mythology-based epics and Dennis DeYoung whined that life was "a grand illusion," the Knack sang almost exclusively about sex, one of the historical pillars of rock.
  • In terms of production, while Tom Scholz was just then embarking on the first of SIX years spent creating Boston's third album, the Knack's debut was recorded in two weeks on an $18,000 budget.
  • And in appearance, while the dudes from Heart and Styx and a bunch of other bands were dressing up in puffy shirts, lace-up pants and pirate boots, the Knack got haircuts and decked themselves out in austere black and white, Hard Day's Night style.
Of course, they were not the Beatles. But they were also not Leo Sayer or REO Speedwagon or Rupert Holmes (other denizens of the 1979 Billboard charts), either. Most importantly, they weren't the BeeGees. It should be noted that 1979 also gave us disco-infused tunes by Rod Stewart ("Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?") and, of all things, KISS ("I Was Made for Lovin' You").
Simply put, the Knack brought rock-and-roll back to its roots. They made music fun and exciting again. And they didn't take themselves too seriously. By way of contrast, I give you Mr. Peter Frampton, post-"Frampton Comes Alive" (his followup album was actually named "I'm in You" and, sadly, he wasn't talking about sex):
They were on the crest of the New Wave, and while others were maybe doing what they did better, the Knack, along with groups like Blondie and the Cars and the B-52s, were making alternative music safe for the masses, bringing it into the living rooms of Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public (in order for groups like the Clash and the Ramones to sneak in the back door and steal your beer).
That's the cultural impact. In terms of their music ... they weren't that bad! They were better than "My Sharona." "Good Girls Don't" was another popular, though far less known, song off that album. And here is my personal favorite:
No, they were definitely not the Beatles. But I submit that this song would fit right in with the Monkees' oeuvre.
And just listen to that drumwork! The real secret weapon behind the Knack was the drummer, Bruce Gary, who also met an untimely death just a few years ago. I only learned this recently (thank you, wikipedia), but he was a highly respected session musician who played for everyone from Bob Dylan to George Harrison to John Lee Hooker.
For "My Sharona" he employed a technique called a "flam," in which, according to wiki, "one drumstick strikes the drum just before the other does, registering as a single beat, but with a particularly full sound."
For a better view of his masterful skills, let's go back to "Your Number Or Your Name." Check out this "drum cover" (something I never knew existed!) of the song:
Sadly, the Knack never replicated the success of their first album. But that's rock-and-roll, as they say. They did, however, mark an important turning point in popular music, helping drag the country, kicking and screaming, into the '80s.
So thank you, Bruce, thank you, Doug, thank you ... other two guys ... for delivering a much-needed and long-overdue spanking to American popular music and helping pave the way for everyone from the Go-Gos to Green Day to the Strokes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Killer Joe - Profiles Theatre (theater review)

Darrell W. Cox has a big dick.

This is the main thing I took away from Profile's excellent and critically-lauded production of Tracy Letts' Killer Joe. Mr. Cox is no pushover, and that's due to the size and girth of his penis.

He's obviously extremely self-confident and powerful and virile, and oh was I reminded of that again and again with his mad dog bug nuts portrayal of titular Killer Joe Cooper, a cop on the edge!

But, (Tracy) let's go back to the beginning. Killer Joe is the story of the worst family of white trash fuckups that ever existed. The dad is a fat beer-swilling ineffectual pig married to his 2nd wife, who goes out of her way to redefine the word "cumdumpster." The son is a loser who is over his head in debt to drug dealing rapists, and the daughter is clearly in need of some severe Good Will Hunting style counseling.

The son busts his way into the father's squalid trailer (good, dirty, shitty set) and asks for money. This is also after being treated to the stepmother's 70s bush on display for a good 3 minutes. As soon as I understood what I was looking at, I realized what I was in for.

"Oh," I thought out loud, until my wife kicked me, and then I continued thinking with my inside brains. "This is a show that is meant to shock me. I will see nudity and violence and depraved behavior, all in the name of art. But, actually, while this show is very entertaining and the performances are all pretty good, this is just a Red Shoe Diaries. This is comparable to a film that I will watch at 3 am on Showtime this weekend, and it will do the same things."

Which it did. Back on stage, the son tells the fat dad (resplendent in tighty-whiteys and nothing else...control yourself ladies!) that he's heard of a guy named Killer Joe Cooper, a local detective who also murders people for money. "Let's hire him to kill mom for her insurance money," he says, instantly giving the heist plan from the Hughes Brothers' Dead Presidents a run for Worst Idea Ever Stated Out Loud.

So, Killer Joe shows up, and ends up busting in on the daughter, Dottie (Claire Wellin, in a ephemeral (flowy and billowing) performance). He takes a BIG shine to Dottie, and when the stupid son says he doesn't have the money to pay Joe for the murder...he decides he'll take Dottie as his retainer.

So then the hicks make their family member fuck Killer Joe so he'll murder the ex-wife of the fat dad so they can get the insurance money to save the idiot son from the inbred drug dealers he's in hock to for about 6 large. Killer Joe runs in at the top of the second act with a semi-erect penis and a gun (symbolism) which also made me realize, "Oh shit...he had to jerk his dick off a little during intermission to get that effect. Well, this certainly isn't the 1st time I've been in a theater when someone is masturbating, and it sure won't be the last."

I was so titillated by this point that I had to put my jacket over my lap.

Things, of course, go from bad to worse and Darrell Cox starts chewing up the scenery so hard the floor was about to give way (and this thing runs until April 11th...better get your foundation inspected, Profiles!) and then the show ends with a blood bath and a line that literally makes you go "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm."

All in all, this was an entertaining evening. I liked the performances and Darrell W. Cox' Killer Joe is a classic case of an actor not giving a shit about anything, which I can completely appreciate. But, let's not make much more of this story than what it is: an exploitation shock-piece written in the early 90s by a guy who was trying to get noticed. And he did. I think the next company that should tackle Killer Joe is either CityLit, Hell in a Handbag, or P.S. 34.

B+

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer