Monday, January 2, 2012

To Live & Die In L.A. Vs. Chinatown

* = Optimus Prime 2012.

I decided that today would be a ‘List’ day, as I’m bereft of actual originality and I promised the multi-talented wife that I would do the 2011 Review ASAP, so without further ado;

The 2011, ‘Year Of Teh Suxor’, Awards!

- Epic Smackdown Of 2011, The ‘I wwebsites as on the Internet’ Award – I know, I know this is really recent, like last week recent, and there were a lot of more personal fights this year that were equally epic, i.e. David & I. That being said none made me smile or laugh as hard as Paul Christoforo getting F’ing DESTROYED by the Interweb(s) led by Penny Arcade guru & Geek Gawd, Mike Krahulik.
So if you haven’t read or heard of this, then go read up on it, because it’s to damn funny not to. That being said there are lessons to be learned here. First off don’t be a dick, seriously. If you can’t just act like a human being then shut up. Secondly, there is ALWAYS a bigger bully in the world out there. Whether it be because you are bigger than someone, whether it’s because you have more money, whether it’s because you have a podcast, etc. It doesn’t matter everyone who engages in massive amounts of douche-ness gets theirs in the end. It is just so sweet to watch it unfold in fully multi-media glory here.

- T.V. Moment Of 2011, The ‘Wow, I Can’t Believe I’m Watching Wrestling Again’ Award – There were a lot of great television moments, this year such as Ruxin’s stroke, Molotov Cocktease’s last moments with Brock Samson, anything on Archer, Ron Swanson almost crying, etc, but NOTHING was as heartfelt, shocking, or incredible as C.M. Punk getting an open mic on WWE Raw and blasting the company. The fact that the guy was basically at the end of his contract and allowed to go on television and say what every ‘smark’ had thought for about ten years about American Pro Wrestling and at the expense of the ‘king’ of Pro Wrestling Vince McMahon was mind blowing. The fact that he talked about the ‘bully culture’, the drug use, the fact that guys who could actually wrestle were being overlooked for ‘entertainers’, and so on was just fantastic. But it was more about the conviction of his statements, he walked it like he talked it, and boy did he talk it. This was as close to the Monday Night Wars vibe as we’ll most likely ever get, it was an ‘Austin 3:16’ type moment, but it was real. Then WWE threw money at the guy, he signed, and we’re back to status quo, but for about a month they had me back in the palm of their hands and it was pretty damn cool. Thank you C.M. Punk.

- Food Of 2011, The ‘Let’s Get The Pho Out Of Here’ Award – I wanted to vote for ‘The Lee’ sandwich, for rib tips, for chocolate covered cherries, giant egg rolls, smoked fish, or even venison ribs, BUT the reality is none could touch or even stand beside the bliss that is Pho at the Asian House in ‘The Cloud’. Since Ant first took me to this hallowed place there isn’t a week that goes by without me salivating at the prospect of ingesting some of this soupy nectar of the Gawds. Now I just need to find a place with comparable Pho in our neck of the woods.

- Song Of 2011, The ‘It’s Not Being A ‘Homer’ If It Really Is The Best Song’ Award – By and large there isn’t much music out there that I even really care about anymore that’s being produced by a record label. That being said we got new Sword this year, new Slough Feg, & I was introduced to Graveyard, so this was really difficult for me to choose just one song. However when I sat down and really thought about what song was living rent-free in my brain, the one song that I never tire of, the one song that I find myself humming without fail, it became very simple. ‘We Miss The Cold War’ by The Fairly Secret Army off of the album ‘We Miss The Cold War’. Yes, I know it seems like pandering to my P.L.P. Dave to choose this tune, but the reality is it’s amazing. It’s better than 99% of the shit on the radio, it’s catchy, well written, well played, and poppy enough that the masses can slurp it up. If you aren’t listening to this two man operation then I feel sorry for you and I really think you need to hit up their Band Camp site and take a listen;

- Best Sports Moment Of 2011, The ‘Alright I Am A ‘Homer’, But C’mon That Was Friggin’ AWESOME’ Award – The Green Bay Packers looked unstoppable, they were rolling fools left and right and A-Rog looked unstoppable. The Chiefs just fired the angriest coach ever in Todd Haley and the interim reign of Romeo Crennel was in its infancy. There was no chance that the Chiefs even stay within twenty of the mighty Packers on their march toward ‘destiny’. It’s funny, there is a reason they play the games on the field and not on paper. The reality is no one should be able to beat the Packers scoring only 19 points. The reality is no one should be able to beat the Packers using their 3rd string Quarterback who they just signed off waivers. The reality is no one should be able to beat the Packers without their best defensive player, their star running back, and their second best receiver who are all out for the season. The reality is the Packers were beatable, are beatable, and I think the Chiefs and Romeo gave the league the blueprint to do it. Being able to see your team in the throes of a rough year step up and de-rail ‘immortality’ in convincing fashion gives me hope that this team is still on the right track. Oh and it was oh so sweet to get insane Packer fans like radio personality Dave Sinykin to just stop the insane jibber jabber for one week was a gawd’s send. So in a year of seeing the Miami ‘Heels’ lose in the finals, Brock Lesner getting stopped twice and retiring, Brett Farve texting his schlong, Michigan returning to prominence, hockey, and one of the great World Series of all time, to me nothing tastes sweeter or was more fun than a 7 & 9 Chiefs team beating the 15 & 1 Packers.

- Best Television Show Of 2011, The ‘I Agonized Over This Because There Is SO Much Good Television Out There’ Award – Seriously. I wish I could pick more than one, but instead let me list the one’s I didn’t pick that you should be watching; Community, Parks & Rec., Archer, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, South Park, The Walking Dead, The Daily Show, The Big Bang Theory, Metal Evolution, The Venture Brothers, Dave’s Old Porn, A Game Of Thrones, Being Human (The BBC version), & Doctor Who. The thing is the show that I look forward to more than anything else is The League. I’m not sure if there is anything that compares to it. We watch it with a group of friends, well Dave & Liz, it’s really great & snappy humor, and for some reason I just love it beyond words.

- Best Album Of 2011, The ‘I Know I Said There Was No Good New Music This Year, But I Was Wrong’ Award – This is easy, no offense to The Fairly Secret Army, The Sword, or Slough Feg, but hands down top to bottom Graveyard’s ‘Hisingen Blues’ is outstanding. There really isn’t a ‘bad’ song on the whole album, it has that Throwback 70’s Metal sound that I adore, and it is relentless. It is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time.

- Best Movie Of 2011, The ‘I Had To Choose One’ Award – There just aren’t that many good movies put out anymore. Sure there is the geek candy thrown at me at break neck speed, but if I have to choose a film that really struck a cord with me this year on all fronts was Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2. I’m sure somewhere my wife is literally fist pumping the sky and silently mouthing a ‘I Told You So!’ I really enjoyed Bridesmaids, Captain America, Battle: Los Angeles, Cedar Rapids, & X-Men: First Class, but none really elicited the response that Potter did in me. Granted they had like ten movies to get it done, but damn did they deliver in the end. It really did what Star Wars (The prequels anyway) & even Lord Of The Rings failed to do for me; give me an ending that I was not only satisfied with, but also loved unconditionally.

* = We needed a meme to break up the text, at least I did anyways.

- Best Website Of 2011, The ‘I Spend Entirely To Much Time On The Internet’ Award – This one is easy, it’s Board Game Geek. I spend so much time there I might as well work there. This year I’ve been lucky enough to engage in some fun interaction with great like minded folks around the world in an attempt to better a game system that we all enjoy, the D&D Adventure System. These guys were the reason I wanted so desperately wanted to learn Photoshop, they are an inspiring lot, and I am actually quiet proud that I contribute to their work.

- Best Blog Of 2011, The ‘My Opinion Doesn’t Mean A Damn Thing’ Award – I love Grognardia, LOVE IT! Jeff Rients blog is outstanding. The reality is the creative fount that bubbles forth from Zack's site is insane. He preaches an anything goes, including edition, gaming philosophy while churning out eye-catching art, some occasional social commentary, and enough imagination to keep my inspired till the day I expire. I don’t know the man personally, frankly I’ve been to intimidated to post on his blog or e-mail him, but along with James Maliszewski I’d love to meet him long enough to shake their hands and give them a heartfelt ‘Thank You’.

- The ‘Baby Punching’ Moment Of 2011, The ‘We Make Better Friends Than Enemies’ Award – Whether it was the place that pays me taking away our insurance, the car issues we had, my father dying, divorces, friends freaking out on you over games, seizures, or any number of things that went on this year only one thing really stuck in my craw to a point where I did really want to throw a bag of babies into a pit of rabid Honey Badgers, and that was the Dave Vs. Ben kerfuffle. The thing is it wasn’t even the fight that really upset me it was the getting nailed on the Podcast by folks who weren’t even involved that really irked me, honestly still and most likely will always irk me. There are moments in time where there is a part of you that wants to burst at the seams, throw consequences to the wind, and just do that thing in you that is burning like a raging inferno. The sane of us stop, re-examine, and recognize that no good can and will ever come of that. So we don’t. Instead we live with the desire for revenge, hell I’d settle for Karma. I can’t tell you how often I’ve wanted to cruise down the street to this person’s place of work and physically tell them how much I did not appreciate their prodding the situation forward, but in the end it’s not worth it. I just have to swallow that and be ok with it. Even though I’m really not, and I really don’t want to, but them’s the breaks of getting ‘old’.

- Best Video Game I Played In 2011, The ‘Damn I’m An Old Man’ Award – I dug DCU Online a lot, but the controllers sucked for me. NCAA Football 2007 is the shit, but it’s been on the back burner for a while now. Nope instead I’m still obsessed with Warhammer 40K Dawn Of War, it’s just now I have the final expansion Soulstorm to make all that was old new again. It’s just the best military R.T.S. game ever, you have a TON of army options, it plays fast, every decision is important, and I don’t always win. Suffice to say I love it, and always will.

- Best Cartoon Of 2011, The ‘I Love(s) Me Some Cartoons’ Award – This one was really tough and honestly if Batman: The Brave & The Bold didn’t get cancelled, and Young Justice was on consistently they might have gotten the nod. However the most consistent and most awe-inspiring cartoon of 2011 was Avengers: Earth’s Mightest Heroes. There isn’t a single moment of any episode in the first season where I wasn’t in full-blown Nerdvana. They killed it, they absolutely KILLED IT! Watching this show is like going to pick up comics on Wed. when you were 12 years old, back when four color super hero comics were still fun. This show is just pure fun, and for that it’s place as winner was never really at stake.

- Best Comic Book Of 2011, The ‘Believe It Or Not It’s Not One Of The Big Two’ Award – As anti-Marvel as I’ve slowly become there was a lot out there that the House Of Ideas should be proud of this year. DC also took some chances and I really feel is attempting to be something more than the ‘Distinguished Competition’. Dark Horse continues to be the ‘Indy’ that everyone aspires to be, and IDW has my attention with its stellar John Rogers D&D Comic. All that being said its hands down ‘Guilded Age’ for me. It’s what I look forward to Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays. The turn it took about midway through not only shocked me, but also made me feel like I’m reading something beyond just the fun. I care about these characters, I want to know what’s going to happen next, and the art is just perfect in scope and tone for the writing. It’s so good that I picked up the Volume 1 book; this is a book I would pay for monthly. I know I’ve said it over and over here, but let me state it again, if you’re not reading ‘Guilded Age’ then you really are missing out on something special.

- Best Gaming Moment Of 2011, The ‘You Rolled A WHAT!’ Award – This was tough, because there were so many this year, but I think overall my favorite moment was D&D with the ‘Regular’ group as they moved through the Zombie Caves beneath the Borni camp. Between the very near T.P.K. against the Plague Ghoul in disguise, to the blowing up of the cave filled with zombies hiding in quick sand, to the final encounter where the Zack, Bob, Ant, & Cassandra pulled out all the stops and were a Murder Machine it was a blissful Saturday afternoon, and for that you have my heartfelt Thank You.

- Best Book I Read In 2011, The ‘Yes I Know That’s Old, But I Just Got To It’ AwardBat-Manga. It’s simple. That book was everything I thought it would be, everything I wanted it to be, and quiet simply much much more. I am in love with Japanese Batman & Robin and I’m not afraid to admit it.

- The Douche Lord Of 2011, The ‘Dylan’ Award – I thought long and hard about this. There were so many terrorists, Democrats, dictators, Republicans, pundits, media blow hards, and other complete asshats that truly deserved it this year, but there can be only one ‘winner’ so I’m going with ‘MittensMitt Romney. No one exemplifies the ‘do whatever it takes to win’ attitude, the lies, and the shenanigans of politics more than ‘Mittens’. He’s like a lying robot from the future sent to try and buy the presidency. I think what’s really sad is he lacks even the basest charisma of his crazy opponents. If you think for one second that this guy is the next president then you hate the current one just a little too much.

- Crazy Like A Cat Lady In 2011, The ‘Sarah’ Award – This is there to mark the pinnacle of statements or things that my sister has done this year. She has so many moments of insanity where she says and does things that most of us would find not only cringe worthy but nuts. The reality is that’s just who she is, she’s cool with it so everyone else just needs to get out of the way. This year it was difficult to pick just one, see we really had been pretty distant from one another for about three years, so I had a lot of crazy to catch up on. I have to say though ‘Black Mormon’, to me anyway, is the pinnacle of her ‘Sarah-ness’. In fact I love to bring it up just so she can rant about it. I love my sister in all her insanity, the world is a lot less fun place when we don’t talk.

- Best Board Game Of 2011, The ‘Remember When We Used To Play Every Week’ Award – This is actually very difficult with all the great games that came out this year; Wrath Of Ashardalon, Fantasy Quest, Conquest Of Nerath, Small World expansions, Chaos In The Old World, Legend Of Drizzt, etc. All are great in their own rights, but none can touch Zombie State. I’m not sure I’ve had as much fun with a group of guys, and had the tension ratchet up each turn as much as when playing Zombie State.

- ‘Best Buddy’ Of 2011, The ‘You Light Up My Life’ Award – With Cassandra in the ‘Hall Of Fame’, along with J. to the B., and Bro-Lo El Cunado (Ant), this one was the easiest award to give out, Dark Dave. Dave, you are the most reliable person I know. Infuriatingly so. When you say you’re going to do something, even things I hate, you do them. It’s a trait I want to emulate. You’re smart, funny, talented, and care. You care about your friends and family. That’s something you don’t see that often anymore. So even though we sometimes bicker like junior high school girls you sir are my ‘Buddy’.

Well I’m sure I left some folks out, some categories didn’t make it on the ‘show’ this year, but damn I’m tired of typing, so that’s what your getting. Oh and some…


- I drank an insane amount of Grape Juice New Year’s Eve as ‘Sober Cab’. So much so that my guts were a tad rotten yesterday. The real surprise is all I want to drink today is juice. I’m a grape juice fiend.
- It was so strange to grill on the last day of the year. Actually it was sort of creepy.
- Surprisingly enough I didn’t go into full-blown break down Friday or Saturday over the anniversary of my Dad’s passing. I’m sad, & I miss him, and that’ll have to do. I can’t live my life hoping for something that is impossible, and I certainly don’t want to live my life missing something from the past so much that I miss the present. So I’ll just try to honor him by being the best me I can be.
- I’d shave Dave’s back for some Egg Rolls right now.
- I think Brock Lesnar got tired of getting punched in the mouth, and decided now was a good time to go back to the GIANT payday of WWE. I applaud him for what he got done in UFC, I’m sad to see he couldn’t do more, but more than anything I’m ecstatic that he just got out.
- Screw you icy roads.
- Our house is currently a disaster area, it’s as if a Holiday Bomb went off. This week I want to slowly start to put things back together, get back on my dusting schedule and hopefully get things back to normal. I miss normal.
- I can’t believe how tired I am right now. Tonight I go to bed as early as possible, and hope tonight I sleep better than I did last night.
- If I get a chance I’m going to do my New Year’s Resolutions this week. I’m not promising anything, but it might happen.
- Saturday night we had our traditional get together with M.C.M. and their friends. We ate like kings and queens. I got to watch some folks get pretty drunk. I got to read to some little ones. But more than anything I got to put ‘The Year Of Teh Sux’ behind me with my gorgeous wife. I can’t promise it’ll ever be easy, or that I’ll always be fun, or that I’ll ever be more than who and what I am, but I can promise that I will always want to do and be with you. I love you Cassandra, Happy Anniversary.

With that I’m callin’ it DONE for today…

“When there's lightning - it always bring me down
Cause it's free and I see that it's me
Who's lost and never found
I cry for magic - I feel it dancing in the light
But it was cold - I lost my hold
To the shadows of the night

There's no sign of the morning coming
You've been left on your own
Like a Rainbow in the Dark

Do your demons - do they ever let you go
When you've tried - do they hide -deep inside
Is it someone that you know
You're a picture - just an image caught in time
We're a lie - you and I
We're words without a rhyme

There's no sign of the morning coming
You've been left on your own
Like a Rainbow in the Dark

When there's lightning - it always brings me down
Cause it's free and I see that it's me
Who's lost and never found
Feel the magic -feel it dancing in the air
But it's fear - and you'll hear
It calling you beware

There's no sign of the morning coming
There's no sight of the day
You've been left on your own
Like a Rainbow in the Dark “

* = Believe it or not this is actually Adrian Peterson celebrating New Year's post surgery. I can't tell whether I think it's funny or just sad. I do know that I'd party like a F'N rockstar in a hospital if I just got 36 million dollars guarenteed.


  1. I have been meaning to comment on this blog for forever!

    Times and people will change, but as long as you are with me, then that's all I can ask for. I love you Ben!!