Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trying things so you don't have to



I am compulsively drawn to ridiculous food. From Double Down sandwiches to Deep Fried Cookie Dough to Bacon Flavored Chocolate, if it’s bizarre or innovative, I want to try it.

Fast food innovation usually just means making an existing junk food even junkier. Like Onion Rings? Take out the vegtable and inject chicken paste (thanks White Castle.) Like Egg McMuffins? Replace the muffin with pancakes with syrup ON THE INSIDE (thanks McDonalds.) Like ice cream? Add bacon and maple syrup to your sundae (thanks Dennys.)

So when I heard Taco Bell was replacing their ever-so-boring taco shell with one made out of Doritos, I was sold. One of my favorite things living in Columbus was that it is a test market for fast food chains, so we’d sometimes get fast food items so ridiculous they never make it national. So when I was in OH back in December I heard about these Doritos Tacos (known as Doritos Locos Tacos, because they’re CRAZY) I went to more than one Taco Bell looking for one. Sadly, I had to wait until yesterday to get one.

The review: almost exactly like a regular taco. The Doritos fake cheese flavor isn’t strong enough to compete with the fake meat and vegetables in the taco. So you get a tiny pre and aftertaste of Doritos, but that’s about it. The much bigger difference is that the shell starts breaking apart as you eat it because the shell thinner and flimsier.

So, try it if you want, but it will not change your life, or even your meal significantly. Maybe if they come out with a Cool Ranch one the story would be different.

Friday, March 23, 2012

State of the Lack of Union

No, not a piece about politics. For some reason I keep checking up on these primaries and healthcare debates and whatnot every day when it just aggravates me. So I’m definitely not going to write about them. Nor am I going to write about being single even though this would be a good title.

The good news is that when I’m not blogging that’s generally a good indication that I’m busy doing things I like. When I’m busy doing things I don’t like I’ll still blog because it’s a great procrastination tactic. And when I’m not busy, well that hasn’t happened in many years. So no blogging recently has been because I have been otherwise occupied.

So an update.

Work – I have finally returned to my good old home, the mental ward. After months of being loaned out to other things that I don’t really want to do (child psych, working at the VA, urgent care) I’ve finally returned to the bread and butter of psych: involuntary inpatient care. Urgent care in particular wreaked havoc upon my schedule with 12 hour shifts far across town where I constantly felt I was about to be punched. But now I very rarely feel like I’m going to get punched, so it’s blue skies. I’ll be doing this until July, when I’ll switch to outpatient care, which I think will be good times. My nemesis, being on call, will be over then, and so I expect to be much more pleasant and rested. Sorry everyone for the last 18 months.

Though I’m getting my AZ medical license in a couple weeks, so I can start working a second job. So I may not actually be more rested. But I will be making more than minimum wage, so that will hopefully counteract my sleep deprivation and make me good company again.

I saw Radiohead last week, which was awesome. I’m seeing Florence and the Machine in a couple weeks, which I suspect will be awesome. Fringe, Mad Men and Game of Thrones are starting up, which should be awesome, albeit in much smaller quantities.

My record collection is expanding. My 20 dollar receiver is entirely inadequate for my needs so I can’t rock out to my Sex Pistols or Best of Bowie vinyl, but we’re making headway.

I threw my first trivia contest a couple months back and am starting to put together questions for my next one. Competing in trivia has been tricky with my schedule and rotating cast of regulars but we’re getting it together.

I am buying myself a video camera this afternoon, and filming of my latest opus will begin in May. Put together your best audition monologues.

All in all, things are pretty good. The lunchlady at work (are they still lunchladies when you’re outside an elementary school?) always tells me “Better times ahead” when I look tired. So every day, that’s just how I look. Hopefully that’s true, but right now isn’t so bad.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Monday music

I'm not sure if Natalia Kills is on the radio. I feel like she might be. Anyway, if she's not, here's some dark pop:



And to balance out the dark pop, here's some bright hip hop. Rizzle Kicks.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

War on the Wars

It’s hard for me to grasp that some people don’t like strawberries. What’s not to like? Well it’s annoying that you have to eat around the green leafy bit, but I’m very good at finding things to complain about. Otherwise, it seems like something that everyone could agree upon: strawberries are delicious.

I don’t like Star Wars. People look at me with a look of shock and disgust when I tell them so. EVERYONE LIKES STAR WARS! they declare. And I can certainly see why they’re surprised that I, of all people, don’t like it. I like nerdy television, movies, even music. I ‘m even in a relatively nerdy profession. I am a student of pop culture and Star Wars is firmly entrenched in our pop culture landscape. But the fact remains that I don’t like it. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Mark Hamill

I’m sure Mark is a perfectly nice guy. And it’s very possible that his acting has improved over the last 30 years. But in Star Wars, he’s horrible. Wooden, dull, annoying, take your pick. If for no other reason, I’d have a hard time getting behind these movies with him as the protagonist.

2. Luke Skywalker

Maybe I’d like the movies better if Mark hadn’t played Luke. But even if someone else had, I don’t much like the character. His character arc goes from whiny and na├»ve to self righteous and emo. If the movies followed Han or Wicket or Admiral Akbar I’d like them better.

3. Popularity

I can’t get behind universally popular things, except strawberries. Whether it be Harry Potter, U2 or Star Wars. If everyone else likes it, I don’t.

4. It’s All Been Done

I watched Citzen Kane for the first time last year, and I didn’t much care for it. It has been so endlessly riffed upon, referenced and homaged since it’s release that it didn’t seem fresh or interesting. Star Wars is the same. It is so in the cultural zeitgeist that it seems done-to-death. Even though all the imitations came afterwards.

5. Pacing

There are some great scenes in Star Wars, I’ll admit that. But they’re scattered though a half dozen hours of dullness. Get George Lucas an editor!

6. George Lucas

Even though I don’t like his work, I still find his exploitation of it annoying. Between all the rereleases, altering his previous adored movies, making new not adored prequels, and generally not having ever done anything NOT Star Wars, I just don’t much care for him.

7. Trekkie

I realize of course that you can like both Star Wars and Star Trek. In fact most Trekkies probably love Star Wars. But in my mind you have to pick sides. And I’ve seen every episode of TNG and DS9, so I’ve got to stick with Star Trek.

8. Melodrama

I realize that George was trying to make everything very epic in Star Wars. But it just sounds cheesy to me. The dialogue is very overwrought and overdramatic. I feel like Nicholas Cage should be giving it. Space Opera is hard to do, and this just doesn’t do it for me.

9. Fandom

I kind of like loyal fan communities. The social aspect can be a fun addition to a show/movie. But Star Wars fanboys are in a galaxy of their own. Debate if Han shot first? Fine. Get angry about it? Come on. If you can name all the extras in the movies, you have a problem.

10. Where the Girls At?

I’m not a devotee of the Bechdel test; I don’t think failing it makes a movie anti-women, maybe just a-women. But Star Wars (the originals) has 3 named women in it, and you can’t name 2 of them. And the third is nagging and wears a golden bikini. This just goes to show the relative simplicity and single dimensional nature of the story.

When people ask me why I don’t like Star Wars, I just tell them because it’s popular. But really there’s a lot not to like.