Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SkyMall magazine's many treasures

I've been doing a lot of flying lately, I've attempted the sudoku and crossword puzzles in the inflight magazine, and wanted to choke slam infant children to help stop their crying. However my most entertainment 30,000 ft in the air came from the 2009 Sky Mall Magazine: Holiday Edition. 

Now if your unfamiliar with Sky Mall, it is exactly what it sounds like, a mall in the sky. Imagine every unnecessary useless item you can find while browsing the mall, then imagine them conveniently in the seat pocket in front of you.

Top 15 Useless Products: through page 189 
15. Diamond Tipped Microdermabrasion System $249.99 - This could have been ranked higher if I had any idea what its purpose was.
14. Remote Controlled Tarantula or Black Widow Spider $29.99 - Now I'm assumed this was a children's toy, then I realized it's 1 inch high and 6 inches long, which makes them pretty lifelike. Therefore meaning this is not a kid's toy, it's an adult's toy to scare the shit out of their kids. 
13. G-DEFY $130.00 - Gravity defying sneakers. "Feel like your flying, guaranteed." This brilliant shoe company actually put springs in the sneakers, taking Nike Shox to the next level. *Not yet banned from athletic competition. 
12. Hairmax Lasercomb $495.00 - Treats hair loss and promotes hair growth. Call me naive, but I think this one actually works. For almost 500 dollars it's gotta be good, right? ....right?
11. The ONLY Portable Microwave Oven $299.95 - When your tailgating for a football game or a concert, what is missing? Hotpockets and popcorn of course. For only $299.99 you can be a member of the cool kids club and be able to make popcorn in a quick 6 minutes. The only difference between this and a normal microwave is there is a handle on top, because you still need a place to plug it in.
10. The ONLY Digital Camera Swim Mask $99.99, LED headlamp $54.95 - For those 3 or 4 times in your entire life when you felt the urge to take a picture underwater. 
9. The Marshmallow Shooter $24.99 - A pump-action gun that launches marshmallows. Basically a Nerf gun, which also contains edible projectiles. *More on Marshmallow tossing devices later.
8.Canon Residential Safe $849.99 - Having a safe in your house is a completely logical idea, especially to store large sums of money, drugs, guns, and family heirlooms. But I don't think it's an impulse buy while flying with the family to Disney World. 
7. Voice-Activated Life-Sized R2-D2 $189.99 - Haven't most Star Wars fans built their own from scratch like me? No?  
6. The Telekinetic Obstacle Course $99.95 - Use your brain with the help of a headband that Pinky and the Brain used to wear, to send mental commands to guide a ball through an obstacle course. 
5. Genuine Handmade Irish Shillelagh $49.95 - Beat the shit out of people the same way drunk Irishmen do.
4. Adult Footed PJ's $ depend on size - They sound like a great nostalgic idea, but honestly who is going to where this except for when watching A Christmas Story? Styles: red, lips, blue ducks, pink, camo, skulls, pink elephants, guitars, penguins, planes, baby blue, pink ducks, polka dots.
3. Automatic Marshmallow Bazooka $49.95 - An awesome upgrade of the Marshmallow Shooter (#9). It has a microprocessor and shoots 'mallows over 40 feet. I'm not even gonna kid myself, this is awesome. 
2. The Slanket $37.99 - After carful and extensive research I figure out that the Slanket actually precedes the Snuggie, however the Freedom Blanket originated the idea. Here's an interesting article comparing all the blankets with sleeves.
1. Truck Antlers $24.99 - My favorite pointless SkyMall product. I just don't see how a deer will ever be confused with a Ford F150.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Why I Love the Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills and the New York Mets have a few similarities: they both have the color blue in the team uniform, they both play in the state of New York (contrary to popular belief Buffalo is not in Canada), and both teams routinely make me miserable. 

Miserable might be a bit of an understatement. They drive me insane. I've talked about my relationship with the Mets, but now that it's sweater season it's time for me to complain about how much the Bills effect my life. When I was 4-years -old, the Buffalo Bills started their reign of 4 consecutive AFC championships. Oh yea, and they lost 4 straight Super Bowls. I went as Jim Kelly for Halloween. I balled my eyes out after the Music City Miracle, and I have watched as Wade Phillips, Greg Williams, Mike Mularkey, and Dick Jauron run the once great franchise into one of the most consistently bad teams in the NFL. 

It is extremely trying times to be a Buffalo Bills fan, they haven't been to the playoffs in 10 years. As these futilely bad teams of 00's have come and go, the Bills have inducted five former Bills into the NFL Hall of Fame, former coach Marv Levy in '01, Jim Kelly in '02, Thurman Thomas in '07, and Bruce Smith and owner Ralph Wilson in '09. I can't begin to think how they feel about today's teams, but it might approach how pissed off and upset I get each year. 

At the beginning of every season I have hope, last year we started 4-0 and proceeded to win 3 of our next 12 games. This year we had that freakin' Patriots last minute comeback, after which I had a minor mental breakdown/episode which ended with me drunk dialing my mom, heartbroken, boarding on tears about the Buffalo Bills. I basically acted like my dog died, my gf broke up with me, I was fired from my job, I dropped my beer, and someone stole my pacifier all at the same time. 

This week I went to three different bars before I found one playing the Bills Browns game, in retrospect I wasted 3 hours and 10 dollars on beer. This bar was pretty big and had about 20+ tv's in its entirety, the Bills vs. Browns game was on a 19 inch TV right next to the bathroom, in the furthest corner of the bar. I was the only Bills fan there, but that's nothing new. I leaned on the Street Fighter II arcade game and watched as the Bills lost 6-3 against the Browns at home, it was the Browns first win in 10 games. Browns starting QB Derek Anderson was 2-17 passing for 23 yards with a passer rating of 15, and his team won the game. 

 Some may say I take sports a little too seriously, I'd like to say I'm just passionate. One day it's going to feel rewarding, one day the Bills will win, and one day the Mets will too. If those heathens from Boston can be rewarded with championships galore, why not the God loving citizens of Buffalo? I just don't want to be 85 when it happens. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

PGA Tour: Welcome to Jersey City

This weekend the PGA tour has made the trek to New Jersey, to Jersey City’s elite Liberty National Golf Club. The course is built on top of a landfill, cost $250 million to build, and $500 thousand to join.

It was unique idea to use land that absolutely no one wanted and create a golf course neighboring Liberty State Park, nestled behind the Statue of Liberty, and across the Hudson River from the New York City skyline.

Over the course of the week pros, sports writers, and golf analysts have berated the course.  Their complaints center around the courses lack of identity, Liberty National is a strange clash between a Florida TPC course and Scottish links course.

The criticism is understandable, although the course seems to holding up just fine, with only one player in the clubhouse under par so far on Friday’s round. It isn’t criticism about the course that pisses me off, because I didn’t design it, I don’t belong to it, and I’ve never played on it.

What gets under my skin is a certain snobby golf writer making backhanded comments about Jersey City. This is why CBS Sports senior writer, Steve Elling, should remove the lob wedge from his ass.

His most recent column about Liberty National goes beyond criticizing the course. Elling digs deep into his myriad of knowledge of US history, by quoting the inscription on the Statue of Liberty and American Revolution hero Patrick Henry.

He also demonstrates how creative of a writer he is by relating New Jersey to the Gambino crime family.  

“Lord only knows what's buried down there. The Gambino family owned a warehouse on the property that has since been removed, and though all vestiges of industrial activity are long gone, the greens are suspiciously lumpy. Any famous wise guys turn up missing lately?”

He hits just about every Jersey cliché in the article except gelled hair and spray tans.

I’m not surprised at his comments, I expected them, we can’t have a sporting event in New Jersey without mentions of oil refineries, pollution, trash, and the mob. I wish one-day close-minded sports writers such as Elling would grow up.

Liberty National Golf Club, may not be an east coast Pebble Beach, but it showcases American ingenuity. They took trash, made it treasure, and then marketed the shit out of it.   

UPDATE: Steve Elling's twitter offers some more classic insights. 

"It's raining so hard at Liberty National right now, the tips of Hoffa's shoes are now protruting from under the 18th green."

"It's raining so steadily at the Barclays, Lady Liberty just hiked up her skirt. Either that, or Camilo just flirted with her."

If you can't say something nice - -you're playing at Liberty National - CBS Sports

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The B-List - Road House

TagLine: The dancing's over. Now it gets dirty.
Patrick Swayze, need i say more? In a totally badass role, Swayze plays Dalton, whose reputation as a tough bouncer brings him to the 
roughest bar in Missouri, Double Douce, where he kick's hick-'hind for 114 minutes. If you want to see the dude from Dirty Dancing and
his perfectly groomed mullet show the midwest his masculine side, via round-house kicks, check it out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Any Luck Left?

This weekend the Mets honored the 40th anniversary of the team that earned the term ‘amazin.’ In 1969 the Mets upset the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles to win their first World Series. That improbable summer the Mets manager, Gill Hodges, made a young group of ballplayers believe they could win and in doing so made Mets fans believe in miracles.

The Mets weren’t just celebrating the anniversary of that championship this past weekend; they were celebrating the true birth of their image, as lovable underdogs.

Today Mets fans are still rooting for those underdogs, but right now it’s hard to say they’re lovable.

Pedro Martinez and his jheri curl made their respective return to Queens on Sunday. Martinez didn’t have to wait for his trip to the mound for a warm reception from the Flushing faithful, that’s because Oliver Perez was nice enough grant the former Met ace a first inning at-bat.

I didn’t go into the game expecting the Mets to win, especially with the waste of talent Oliver Perez on the hill. I honestly considered the poetic irony of Pedro possibly pitching a no-hitter. Frankly, that would have surprised me less than Mike Vick doing a PETA campaign.

Ollie didn’t let me down. Perez gave up two first inning 3-run home runs, while throwing 46 pitches, and recording only two outs. Omar Minaya signed Perez to a 24 million dollar, two-year contract this past winter.  Call me crazy but 24 million dollars is a lot of coin for a pitcher whose fastball seems to be slowing down each start and has had location issues his entire career.

The Philadelphia offensive arsenal showed up, as usual, tallying 9 runs on 10 hits. It seemed a gift-wrapped win for Martinez, but it wasn’t.

Martinez looked a shell of his former self; his fastball topped out at 90 mph and found the Mets bats more than the catcher’s mitt.

The Mets team that is taking the field each humid August day may not have much talent, but for what it’s worth they give all of it. Angel Pagan, an ideal fourth outfielder but currently the starting center fielder, hit CitiField’s first inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the first inning. As an encore performance Pagan connected for another home run in the 3rd.

The Mets are full of second chance players (Fernando Tatis), journeymen (Brian Schneider, Cory Sullivan), ‘never-have-beens’(Nelson Figueroa, Pat Misch), and ‘never-will-bes.’(Oliver Perez, Anderson Hernandez)

As frustrating as the season has been, with all the big-named high-priced talent nursing their knees, pinkies, hips, hamstrings, egos, and who knows what else; watching players fight for their futures is interestingly refreshing.

In San Diego or Kansas City this kind of effort in the face of such hardship might produce feature articles about the grit and determination of the less talented trying to live the MLB dream. In New York they are just second-rate players in a first-rate city, and next year, with the exception to Luis Castillo and Jeff Francour, they will mostly likely be gone.

The way Sunday’s game ended was a microcosm of the Mets season. The bottom of the 9th inning started with an error on Ryan Howard, then an error on Eric Bruntlett, then an botched double play opportunity by Bruntlett; then Bruntlett turned an unassisted triple play the 14th in MLB history only the second to end a game.

How rare is an unassisted triple play? Glad you asked. It happens less often than a perfect game.

After it happened you could feel the collective moan of Mets fans everywhere.

When you see something as infrequent as an unassisted triple play and your first thought is “typical,” you know there is something wrong with your team.

 Every sign of promise this season has been coupled with a sharp dagger to the kidney. May I present the case of ‘Castillo vs. the Pop-up.’

I’m a sports fan so by definition I’m pessimistic, but did the Mets use up all the magic and miracles in 1969 and 1986? I really hope not. 


Thursday, August 20, 2009


Along with Judd Apatow's near perfect Freaks and Geeks he created another forgotten TV show, Undeclared, featuring everyone from Seth 
Rogan to Jason Segel. This is one of my favorite clips from the show's one and only season, enjoy.

Never Graduate

One of the things fathers take pride in when their kids go away to school is packing the car. They might act like it’s a pain in the ass, but they truly enjoy the entire process. It’s an art form. Watching my dad master the trunk of our ’98 maxima is like watching a nerd dominate Tetris. Somehow that heap of debris that collects on my living room table, floor, and chairs each August transforms into a neat rectangle in the back of the car.

 Give Stan your DVD’s, TV’s, crates, mini fridges, toaster ovens, bicycles, posters, footballs, vacuums, hats, computers, fans, food processors, pool tables, futons, even a washer and dryer, and I guarantee he can fit it in an orderly fashion. I’d be willing to bet he could neatly squeeze everything into the basket of a little girl's tricycle. 

 As much as I loved watching my dad struggle try to figure out how hook the bike rack on the trunk and back bumper, it’s bittersweet to have the end of August approaching and nothing to look forward to.  This September I’m not reuniting with my closest friends,  I have no million pointless “so how was your summer?” questions to answer, no syllabus week to sleepwalk through, no summer reading to stress over*, and no brand new townhouse to destroy.

 The anxiety I had for almost 20 years about going back to school is replaced by an anxiety of having nothing to anxious about.

 My family is now in route to Virginia Tech to help my younger brother move in for his freshman year. I can imagine what’s running through his head right now,  “Jesus, will mom ever stop talking about laundry” “God, I hope my brother doesn’t try and visit” “Damn, dad can really pack a car nicely” “I swear if I hear mom sing Jason Mraz and Coldplay one more time I’ll drown myself in a restroom toilet.”

 The things I would do to be in his flip-flops right now I can't begin to imagine. I crave that excited uncertainty of what life in a 15x10 room is like. Instead of the uncertainty of how I’m going to pay back that conniving bitch Sallie Mae the hundred grand she lent me.

 Everyone constantly reminds college students how fast it goes by, and none of them ever listen, I sure as hell didn’t. If someone ever told me I’d end up missing exam week when I was freshman I’d believe it when the Buffalo Bills stopped sucking. Sadly the Bills are as good at winning as Brett Favre is at retiring.

 If your going back to school in these next couple weeks, or going to college for the first time, do everything you can to have the best four years possible, and if feasible five or six.

 For now I’m going to get back to watching a spray tanned Al Borland, of Home Improvement and Family Feud fame, try to sell me a Kodak printer, apparently I can save $100 on ink each year.


*I just found Galileo’s Daughter sitting in my bookcase, definitely not going to miss summer reading.