The Nuclear Fire Ramen Noodle Challenge

Of the many things I enjoy watching on TV, nothing comes quite as close to pornography and the Food Network. Watching people cook, or go to all kinds of awesome restaurants, and just eat some of the most scrumptious looking food around. Watching a well topped burger stack up, a pizza with all the fixings get sliced up, a steak sizzling on the grill, or a secret blend of herbs and spices get thrown into a signature dish. More than anything though, I really love a good food challenge.

On the Travel Channel there used to be a show called Man vs. Food, and it's actually been revived with a new host. The host would travel to a new city each episode and hit up 3 of the most popular restaurants in the area. The last restaurant however, there would always be some kind of challenge waiting for him. A 7 pound burrito, a 2 foot tall burger, a platter of 12 loaded up hotdogs, or a plate of hellfire wings...I love the idea of overcoming adversity in the form of a foe from flavortown.

I'd love to take on some of these food challenges, but I don't have it in me to take on in most cases what is the weight equivalent of a plated baby, the dessert challenges all have way more sugar than I feel like taking on anymore. There is something I can do though...

All the heat challenges I see these guys taking on, every time, I sit back and think to myself, "Pfft, I could take that." Every time, they tap out where I'm certain I could keep going, or finish where I'm sure I would have already long crossed the finish line. Well, my time has come.

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The best translation I can find for this, as about 95% of the package is Korean, is the Samyang Hek Buldak Extra 2x Spicy Roasted Chicken Ramen Nuclear Noodles...that's a mouthful. What the internet is calling it though, is the Nuclear Fire Ramen Noodle Challenge.


These are the world's spiciest instant ramen noodles. Clocking in at 8,808 SHU, these noodles are 2-3 times hotter than standard red tabasco. I don't feel very threatened, so when I found a link to buy some of this stuff online, I couldn't get my credit card out fast enough.

The stuff actually arrived the day before we left for Vegas, and though I was quite confident in my ability to conquer the caliente cuisine, I didn't want to know what after effects might be wrought on the plane flight out. So, I waited until the return to put this challenge to bed.

Get some.

I've got more. You want to take the challenge before I finish off the rest?

Better question, do you know of any other spicy challenges out there that I haven't heard of yet? I'm on a mission now, and I'm taking on all challengers. I want to find my limit, because despite the pain I've endured, I haven't found my breaking point yet. I want to take all these hot shots down in a blaze of glory! Bring on your bhut jolokias, and I'll put your peppers to shame! I want to know what you've got. Next time, spice fans!

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

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Sin City...no, the REAL Sin City

Well...

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...here I sit on a plane, heading back home from crossing off one of those truly American life experiences...Vegas. It's been a wild week. Normally when I go on vacation, I'm content to just sit back and relax the time away. Vegas had to be different...especially considering one was popping their Vegas cherry.
So...come along will you?

Luxor

Luxor

Our first night in town, I was pretty tired from the flight, so I wasn't very trigger happy at the Rio where we saw Penn & Teller. The second night though, when we went to the Luxor for the Blue Man Group, I was on the ball.

Luxor

Luxor

The interior of the Luxor was crazy by the way!

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But if Luxor was crazy, the Blue Man Group was even crazier. This was no surprise...I saw them years ago in Chicago on a high school band trip. I guess I had just forgotten how far these guys go.

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It's kind of hard to see what's going on ^here^ because the end of this show turned into a straight up rave. I was honestly kind of worried that all the antics, the pulsing lights, and the barrage of streamers was going to give my dad a seizure or something, but he loved the experience too.

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The Blue Man Group...still one hell of an experience.

Here's some more of the Luxor's crazy awesome architecture. 

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So, my mom tells me that there's more to Vegas than just Vegas. What? What more is there than booze, babes, and the boisterous loss of money?

Oh...I guess the Hoover Dam is close.

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That day was hot, and there was a lot of walking, but it was really cool to see this structure close up, and to finally grasp the scale of it.

The next day was a night on the town. Time to finally get around to the true spirit of Vegas, losing money.

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Bellagio

Bellagio

We ended up gambling at the Bellagio that night. And, while my mom planned things out a little better than me, and broke even, I ended up down about $40. Ugh. That's ok, I'll get it back later in the week.

There's something else in the area that, like the Hoover Dam, you just can't get that sense of awe and vastness of scale unless you visit it in person. The Grand Canyon was also on our Vegas list, and we got to see it in true style.

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This day started with a limo ride. Wish we could have had this one night to just cruise the strip and draw in some hate. It gets better though.

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That picture doesn't do enough justice to the situation of me sitting in a helicopter right here. A fricken helicopter!

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Hey, I've seen ^this^ before!

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After flying in we got set down on part of an Indian reservation within the canyon, and got an opportunity for lunch and photo ops. After that, back to the air for the trip back over the canyon, a pass over the strip, and a return to terra firma.

We decided to hit up Planet Hollywood that night for a little bit more gambling and to try Gordon Ramsay's burger place.

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I really wanted to try craps while I was out there, but the rules sound so confusing, and just watching the action for a while provided no clarification for me on how the whole thing is supposed to work. So I decided that I'd just stick to slots and blackjack.

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I gotta say, Brits can do a damn fine burger.

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A helicopter ride is a surprising assault on all your senses. We all felt pretty tired the next day, so we took it relatively easy the next day until going to dinner, and then seeing Criss Angel: Mindfreak. That man...I don't want to say he is without talent, because he is a fucking crazy illusionist, but Jesus is he high on his own ego. I guess he can back up his own attitude, but he comes off really pretentious. Man is a master of his, don't get me wrong...he just kind of rubs you in a real odd way.
The food that night was great though. Tried some sushi at a place called Rice, and actually won some money on the slots...it would prove to be the only time that would happen over the course of the week.

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On the next to last day of our trip, we decided to hit up Fremont Street...Old Vegas. This used to be the Las Vegas strip back decades ago. Now...it's something else altogether. Something crazy.

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Ha...the D lol. 
I am 5 years old, for reals.

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We ended up stopping here at Binion's here for a while to drop some more dime into the slots. More money swirling in the drain.

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Let's play some "Where's Waldo" in the above pic to find one of the reasons why Fremont Street is so crazy. It shouldn't take you too long.

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Yea, Fremont street is really something else. What started out as the original Las Vegas strip now has a counter culture all its own. It was a fun journey.

That same night we were able to knock out another one of the staple Vegas experiences. The fountain show outside the Bellagio. Yea, we've already been to the Bellagio, but we missed the water show the first time, and didn't know that it actually ran every 15 minutes. Finally made it.

You've probably seen this show a dozen times on the webz, but this is the only version you'll watch that has all that siren fanfare at the conclusion. Yea, that's pretty special.

Our last night in Vegas, we went up into Stratosphere, the huge town that from the top, it looked like we were almost as high as we were when we went up the the helicopter. My ears popped going up the elevator. Even better, there was alcohol at the top!

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All good things come to an end though, and now I'm back at home. I honestly didn't expect to have as much fun as I did. I'm glad I made the effort to get out and try to hit all the sites.

Vegas...√
Hoover Dam...√
Grand Canyon...√
True Vegas Experience...yea, I think we did pretty well.

Well, until next time.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

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I'm Getting that Deposit Back...Right?

So...one of the big American dreams is home ownership. Being able to live somewhere where you genuinely define all the rules. No landlords or parents that are the true law of the land, nope...that's all you now. No more renting, no more tossing money in a pit from which you will never get it back. Now...now it's in a different pit, where you'll more than likely get that money back...likely, right?

I have made a lot of improvements to this house. Like...a lot. Hold on, let me back up a little bit here...

I never got into it here in the pages, as most of y'all knew about it when it happened, but back in December of 2015, I bought a house...my own place, my own rules, my own investments.
All my own investments...yea. This place is great, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't without the need for a little TLC. This house was built back the 50s, and even though previous owners have done a lot to move it forward, it still needed quite a bit to get it to where it needed to be. I was on the renovation wagon before I even had my furniture in.

The electrical wiring in this place needed a quantum leap, as no one had yet thought to bring it out of the 50s. Seriously, how did anyone get anything done without any grounded outlets or GFIs. Fortunately, they knew what they were doing back in the 50s. While the existing electrical wiring was quite dated, it was still in extremely good condition. Good old copper wiring. A few friends got places built back in the 70s...aluminum wiring...that shit wasn't made to last.

I'm not above or below saying that I've been spoiled in my life, but it'd be nice not to have to hand wash all of my dishes for the rest of...forever. I guess the people that live here previously loved that kind of manual labor, because I definitely had to get a cabinet cut out to have a dishwasher installed. Not only that, but a garbage disposal as well. Did they have to wash their dishes over a trash can. Bah, get with the times guys!

And on the subject of washing, this place had a pretty big water problem. The existing water heater was in pretty bad shape. The pan was corroded, and it took like 5 minutes to get any hot water to the kitchen sink. Replacing the water heater should have been an easy enough operation, if the previous owners, at whatever point they replaced the hvac heating unit, hadn't used all the free space in the utilities closet for a much bigger new hvac heater. Now, there wasn't enough space to get the old water heater out. Ugh, had to knock out a damn wall just to get the old girl out of there. Might as well use that opportunity to widen the door and make it a bit heavier to cut down on noise. A new water heater followed, of course, filling what space remained in that little closet.

All of this stuff was within the first few months of moving into this place, and none of this crap was cheap. Nor was it the end. Earlier this summer, my roof started to come down at the rear of my house. Okay...that sounds a lot worse than it actually was. It was the eaves around the edge of the roof...that part that hangs over a bit. I think because of the way my AT&T lines are anchored to my house the eaves just kind of got pulled away. That was a pretty penny to get corrected.

And now, more...

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Yea, that's not the way that is supposed to look. I'm not really sure how old my garage door is, but this past week it got down to it's last legs. It's been kind of cantankerous at times, but this week it has been particularly unruly...and now I see why. So, Tuesday I arrange for someone to come out on Thursday for someone to come out and give me an estimate. Well, I get back Wednesday to find an estimate already waiting for me. At that point my garage door was still working well enough to manually raise the thing, and I was kind of wondering if the guy that came out had tried to do any adjustments while he was out there. He didn't wait for the appointment so no way to know for sure. Being unsure, I try to lift the door to get my car inside. I guess that was the last straw.

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That's what it looks like now. That fucker just snapped up on me. I was pulling up on that handle in the middle when that breakage that started on the left finally followed through all the way to right, and folded up into itself. Somuhmuhbitch tried to take a piece of me on the way up, and my Flash-like reaction speed was just slow enough to let it take a taste. Ugh...a thousand bucks. That's what the damage is going to be to get this thing fixed.

I had hoped that by the time I was writing this that this would all be in the past. But, I said earlier that I came home Wednesday and already found an estimate. The guy jumped the gun coming out. I ended up waiting at home all morning for the guy because I was told that someone would still be coming, and all I end up getting was a lousy phone call telling me what I already read. If I'd have been there Wednesday, or if the guy would have actually come back on Thursday like they said, I could have been here, and they could have gotten inside to see the full picture. Instead, we scheduled someone to come out on Saturday only to find out Saturday morning that this is a two-person job, and they only sent one. Furthermore, the assistant that should have come out with him is gonna be out for another 3 days.

So...here I sit, still waiting with a jacked up garage door.
At some point I'd like to be done working on this place. The reality though, that I'm coming to learn and accept regarding home ownership, is that your work is never done. Fair warning for anyone out there that hasn't made the leap to home ownership yet...you may be making an investment into your future, but the maintenance fees along the way are going to hurt for a while. I still wouldn't change my current situation, but damn, every now and then my pockets can really ache.

This will get worked out...eventually. I'm just wondering where the next little surprise is going to come from. Always an adventure, home ownership.

<QuickEdit> 
The Defenders was pretty dope. Had some pretty grand ambitions that paid off in some very cool ways. Only 8 episodes though...come on Marvel/Netflix! Stretch it out a little more, give us some more of those Avengers type team-building exercises.
I'd call out Iron Fist for being a naive idiot, but that's the same direction they went in his standalone arc, so that's just Danny Rand being Danny Rand. My only complaint really...is that it was all over too quick. Boo.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

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Grand Designs...Sort of

Quickly addressing the elephant that just doesn't seem to leave the room, I think I'm too ambitious to try and find meaningful content to post here. Why can't this just be a blog about me and my musings. It can? Cool, let's move past this then.

I'm sitting here watching the first episode of the Defenders...maybe don't expect a review later, but definitely my opinions as I work my way through.

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Stuff to look forward to. Doesn't feel like there's a whole lot of that anymore. I've got this series right now, a few movies coming up later this year, and a few vacations, but those feel like dim glimmers on the horizon. I don't really have that bright guiding light anymore in my life. I've talked about how career wise...well, rut is probably the best term to describe what that is. Love...don't get me wrong, I've got something awesome going on down in Galveston(did I tell y'all about that? Guess not, it has been like a year since I've come here. Yep, I've let a special lady hold my heart, and it actually feels warm and fuzzy now), and it definitely is one of those good-good things, but God...in a state as big as Texas, we almost couldn't be further apart.

I know...distance makes the heart grow fonder...but, fuck that right? Proximity is where it's at. I also know she's reading this. She does an exponentially better job keeping up with me than I do with her. Hey boo...sorry I suck at this whole thing. Anyways...

Right now though, we're both too rooted to be able to reduce that distance in any way. Rooted to what? Our own comfort? The routine? I dunno...I made a big deal when I moved into my house that this is where I wanted to be. I don't really know why other than this is the epicenter of my friends and family, more or less...and close to a job that...well, it pays the bills...bills that link directly to my own roots. I'm going in a circle now, but that's exactly what I'm on about. 

I'm sustaining myself so that I can keep sustaining myself. Feels like I should be doing a bit more living than...maintaining.

By the way, I'm up through episode 4 of Defenders...damn it's a hard place to stop for tonight. It's starting to get epic.

Ugh, I don't know where I'm going with this. Just that, I've lost that light at the end of my tunnel, and I'm really trying to find it again. One way or another, I think I need some kind of major change to make that light flicker back to life.

All my friends are getting married and having babies. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here getting excited about Marvel and D&D. Focus Corey...focus.

<QuickEdit>
Hope everyone had a happy Apoceclipse, and got to see it without searing your retinas.

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Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open...and I guess I'll try to do the same.

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Fantasy and other Genres

I blamed the collective schedule of the group for the down of the podcast...or at least the downfall of it's regularity. That puts equal blame firmly back on my own shoulders though, as well. Where did the time go? What is it about this whole being a grown up thing that automatically means your free time is cut in half? And, can I say, I'm not entirely convinced I'm cut out for that particular job. A lot of days I find myself wanting to turn in my keys, go back to my parents house, and just play games all day.

I find myself spending a lot of time fantasizing about what I would do if I had more time. Back asswards, right? But yea, all the games I would play...all the movies I would see...all the books and scripts I would read...all the scientific research I would publish...all the lands I would conquer. My own mind can be a hell of a drug. Where was I going with this? Oh yea, a smooth transition!

It's that time of year again where E3 comes around and causes us all to fantasize about what games we want for Christmas, Festivus, Carnival, Tuesday...whatever. I've tried to do E3 on here before, but I was so long at the tooth that I might as well have been out there summarizing the whole thing. By the way, if anyone can actually hook me up with that deal, I can do things...normal people have shame.

This time, let's just stick with a few high points this time.

There was a lot that I was expecting to come up this year that evidently mum was the word for. Mainly...I was hoping to hear some kind of update on the Final Fantasy VII remake, and there wasn't even a whisper. So for what actually did show up, is it any surprise that the first thing I'm going to bring up is a Pokemon game? I'll be 70 and I'm still going to be talking about how Squirtle was the best starter.

Pokemon Sun and Moon was probably the best thing I saw this year. They've made a lot of improvements over the last couple of entries, and with this being a completely new generation we will have a ton of new Pokemon to find. Add in a new multiplayer free-for-all battle system, and this will be sure to suck up a few hours of my time.

Oddly enough, the next coolest I saw was also from the Nintendo event...the only other thing...The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

This is going to come as spectacularly unbelievable to some, but I've actually never played a Zelda game. My only real link to the Zelda franchise (link, get it? this fucking guy) is Super Smash Bros. Even I have to admit though that this game looks very cool.

Nintendo is a hard sell for me though...for the WiiU at least. The only game I really play on mine is Super Smash Bros., and I honestly can't remember the last time I played it. So, despite my interest, I may end up passing on Zelda...again.

The only other thing that really caught my fancy from the big E3 conferences was kind of out of left field for me: Ghost Recon Wildlands.

I don't think I've ever played a Ghost Recon game before. Usually I get my FPS fix with more futuristic titles like Halo and Destiny...but this game looks really good. The thing that strikes me most here is the freedom the game gives you to complete your objectives in any way possible. Stealth, high-tech, full-on force; if you can think of another way to accomplish your goal, it looks like the game will let you.

And that's it. 6 big conferences and I only pulled 3 games. It seemed like everybody was making a big push for virtual reality this year, and while a lot of the games being made for it look pretty neat...I'm just not feeling it yet.

Okay, I lied...one more thing. This past year has been a sad time with Hideo Kojima being let go from Konami, and his legacy essentially being stripped away from him. Well, the internet exploded when, during the Sony press conference, Hideo Kojima walked out on stage with a new game that he's about to begin development on. And not just that, a new game with Norman Reedus as the player character, not unlike Kojima's last iteration of Silent Hill that got the boot earlier this year. The game is called "Death Stranding", and though no real production has started on the game yet, it feels like Kojima is giving Konami a well deserved slap in the face...as if to say, "You will not silence me!"

Speaking of Norman Reedus, it's come to my attention that Marvel has reacquired a lot more of their properties that they sold off the film and TV rights to. I'm not sure just how much Marvel has reacquired in the past few months or so, but what I am sure of is the rights to Blade and Ghost Rider.
So, why do I lead off this thought process with Norman Reedus? Well in a recent interview with Uproxx, Reedus was asked about "The Walking Dead", his new show "Ride", and what he thought about playing a different motorcycle riding badass, Ghost Rider. Reedus definitely sounded like he would be on board with playing the spirit of vengeance in a potential reboot. I don't know how you feel about the Nick Cage portrayal of Johnny Blaze, but if you think it wasn't that bad...you're wrong. It was garbage. A Norman Reedus Johnny Blaze...that could be a true badass. Let's make this happen Marvel.

Hopefully we can look forward to that. Pretty please.

I'm also looking forward to hopefully not dying this next weekend. My buddy is having his Dadchelor party...I think that's what you kids are calling it nowadays. We used to just call it a Diaper Party...bring diapers and beer, and a good time will be had. One of my friends is making jello shots, and I'm already feeling the pain. Ugh.

Everyone is having babies...

Until next time guys.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

Returning from the Great Beyond

I kind of have a feeling right now, that feeling you get when you walk into an abandoned property and find it not torn apart or defected in by squatters. Yes...it's been about a year and a half since I've done anything here, and I'm looking to clear out all the dust and cobwebs. I know I don't know owe an explanation, but I would like to offer one.

I was building something. Something I thought could reach out further than I ever could here. Something that was a bit sexier, and easier to consume. Something with which I could actually enhance on what I do here the the ping pong of actual conversation, versus my monologues. Something...well, just something better.

My return here all but solidifies that that course of action has run.

In my Denton days, whether you're hearing this for the first time or I'm reminding you, I was a member of a podcast, which I left due to differences of opinion in the creative direction for the future. I'm not trying to dump anything negative on my former colleagues; they had a vision they wanted to pursue that I didn't share, and their vision has prospered onto the actual radio airwaves. I'm happy for them and their success.

I had a different vision. A vision that time and distance from the point of that first podcasts' inception did not diminish. The time came that I felt I should act on it...and so I did.

So that's what I've been doing for the past year and a half, operation a podcast filled with much of the same content that I would be talking about here, with a crew of friends that shared my vision. Since around February though, we haven't been able to coordinate our schedules well enough to make a recording. A four month hiatus on something that I was actually able to hold to a fairly regular schedule feels like a confirmation that the podcast can't maintain itself anymore.

We had a good run. But my podcast was built out of sticks and spit from every free service I could find, and I definitely didn't have the resources to pay my cohosts/buy their time to come out and record...this conclusion was inevitable. This was a free time activity, and when there's no free time to spare, well...I'm beating a dead horse at this point.

What's my conclusion here...what's my point? I'm back. I'll figure out how to link to the podcast so that this massive gap in content can be bridged.

Oh yea, I'm forgetting to tell y'all the name: The NerDFW Podcast. Do you sense a theme in the things that I create?

I'll have some more up this weekend I hope, some actually new content.

...I hope that I'm actually back. I hate having all this...whatever in my head and no outlet for it. Yea, I hope that I'm actually back.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

Sword, Shield, Dagger, or Pistol

I still haven't made it out to "Earth to Echo" yet, which at this rate I may just have to wait for the DVD. Work has just been crazy and all over the place. I didn't want to talk about it last time, hoping that tensions at work would die down...tensions are still high though, and I want to talk about it. 
I'm going to be making a habit out of airing out my more casual day to day business before I get on to the point of my post. So...give me a minute here to talk about work before I explain what "Sword, Shield, Dagger, or Pistol" is all about.

So, a couple of weeks ago now, a prank was played out at my work. Not usually a big deal, we play pranks all the time, usually harmless stuff. This particular incident, not so much. I'll preface this by saying that this went down on my day off, so all the details that I'm delivering here are a second hand account. Moving on, one of our guys over in the general QC area had the cap of his water bottle glued down. Harmless enough, unless the glue wasn't given adequate time to set before...let's call my ill fated peer George...gets back to his water bottle and takes a drink...which is exactly what happened. The end result is that the super glue got George stuck to his water bottle. And, as George tried to remove himself from the water bottle, he ripped his lip (sounds worse than it is, but it still earned him a trip to Concentra). 
What would you to expect to happen after this? The bosses called a meeting for the entire department, our Service department as well. This was essentially a "sus out the culprit" meeting, as well as a "come to Jesus" session to try and get all of us to end our pranking ways. Let's flash forward to now when they have had a chance to review security footage and still not pin anybody as the culprit. Our bosses are still watching us like hawks. George is still accusing my lead of being the culprit (they have a bad history of sorts). And...we're still getting berated with accusations and false evidence. The thing is, we've narrowed down who was in there...and we're pretty sure, as gauged by their reactions to questioning, that at least two of our co-workers over in general QC know who the suspect is, if it isn't one of two of them. One of these guys needs to come forward, if not with guilt than with information, so that management can quit breathing down our necks. Ugh.

Ugh...
/rant

Alright, the Sword, Shield, Dagger, or Pistol...with the movie "The Purge" coming out, it kind of makes me wonder what I would do if put in that situation. If, for half a day, everything was legal and absolutely nothing was off limits, what would I do. The way I see it, we all have four options...the Sword, the Shield, the Dagger, or the Pistol. The tactic that I think most people would take as well as myself, if I'm being honest, is the Shield...

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...in other words, hide. Lock yourself up nice and tight. Protect your loved ones, your belongings, and your own well being. I'm think Panic Room style, even better if you could go completely panic house. Best let the rest of the world on the outside be animals and opt out of the mayhem and carnage. Another one of the options that I see a few daring individuals taking is the Sword...

...or, the hero. Yea, I see a few brave people volunteering to stay out in the fray to save whatever poor souls happen to get caught outside when the Purge commences. Selfless, a strong sense of justice, and undoubtedly physically fit. I feel like I'm a brave enough person, but not enough to run headlong into the fray on crazy person night. This is probably a few cops, soldiers, and vigilantes that want to minimize casualties of the Purge. You know...the hero. The opposite of the Shield here is the Dagger...

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...the crazy person, the psychos that just want to watch the world burn. These are the people that you worry about in the Purge, the people for whom the Purge was instituted. These are the people that are out the to kill, maim, rape, and torture the innocent lives they come across. They have waited all year long to slake their bloodlust, held off all year long so that they can have one night to get everything out of their system. They want to do in one night what Jack the Ripper did over his entire hypothetical career. I'm sure if we all dig deep enough into our past, there is someone that we want to feel some kind of repentance. If given the chance, would you want to be the delivery person of said judgement? I'll admit, I have some dark thoughts at times, but thinking of guilt I'd have to live with, and what kind of person could honestly put a night of these horrors behind them like it was just another day, that's not a crew I want to associate with. There is one more type though, the Pistol...

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...more of the opportunist. This is the person that wants to commit crimes of a more non-personal nature. I'm thinking like robbing a bank, or stealing cars...the crimes people commit over wealth and a lavish lifestyle. Hell, how much would I love to walk into a Dodge dealership and steal the keys to a new Challenger SRT Hellcat Edition?

(Answer: Very much do I want to steal the keys to this car. Also yes, this is shameless promotion of my baby Morgan's new little sister.)
This is the person that wants to take advantage of the situation in the most advantageous way possible. That's not saying that there is nothing to gain by staying in, watching a movie and maybe...not dying, but if you could put a little planning a forethought into your specific endeavor, you could certainly stand to improve your position quite a bit. I could see myself as this individual during the Purge, if there was something that I sincerely wanted badly enough to risk my chances of encountering the crazies out there that night.

So, what role do you think that you would fill, the Sword, the Shield, the Dagger, or the Pistol? I'd be very interested to find out what you think you would be doing the night of the Purge. Again, if I'm being honest, if the Purge was going down within like a week or something...as much as I'd love to be able to wake up the next more with a new car in my half driveway and a few more bucks in my pocket, what I'd really be doing is finding out how to best barricade my house shut, so that none of the crazies stand a chance of getting in.
What about you? Are you feeling heroic? Are you feeling greedy? Feeling a little...crazy?

By the way, this post is in no way a promotion for the film, I never saw the first one, probably won't go and see this new one...this was just more of a mental exercise.
Also, if you caught on that the shield, sword, dagger, and pistol were all game elements, bonus points to you.

I know this has been a short one, but I think that I'm going to call it quits there. Hopefully more for you next week. Till then.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

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Destruction Porn

How's it going friends and followers? Sorry if you were looking for a post last week and I let you down. I've got no energy when I get home in the afternoon, and what energy I do have goes to the fur baby.

It's taken me a while to define my interactions with this puppy, as he is my roommate's and I'm not actually his master. But I'm all he's got for most afternoon, as my roommate gets mostly close-shifts at his job, so I have some mastership over him. This is what I've come up with...This puppy is like a Pokémon that's been traded to me from another trainer, and I don't have the badges yet to control him. And...he has really crappy attacks. Puppy, use your Leer attack on that cat...immediately hides behind me. Puppy, there's a wasp in the casa, use your Fury Swipes...plays with it, it gets away. Puppy, theres a cute girl walking the neighborhood, use your Charm attack...hey, that kinda works!

That, and the weird crap that's been going on at work...I don't really wanna get into it now, I just want to escape, into a good movie or something. Hey, this feels like a good time for a transition.

So, I've seen a couple of movies recently. Godzilla is a little old to talk about right now, but Transformers 4 is still topical, so let's render a verdict on that.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Oh...kay. So, several years after Optimus, Sentinel, and Megatron destroy Chicago in a battle over the transport of Cybertron to our planet, we find ourselves in a world where all Transformers are being hunted down and eliminated. The truces are over.
Any and all Autobots and Decepticons left have gone into hiding. I guess this was done so the could finally release Shia LaBeouf and Tyrese from their contracts with Michael Bay. Our protagonists are replaced with a garage inventor (Mark Wahlberg), his extremely hot and engineering smart daughter (Nicola Peltz), and her Aussie rally racing boyfriend (Jack Reynor). Marky Mark is supposed to be playing a died in the wool Texas boy, but he maintains his ever-present Boston accent. Wahlberg is like Sean Connery in that respect...he'll never do another accent (you remember Connery in "The Hunt for Red October"...yea, very convincing Russian submarine captain with that Scottish drawl).
I'm not going to reveal any plot points that aren't revealed in the marketing for the film, but let's talk about this movie poster that I posted above: Optimus Prime riding a huge dinosaur shaped Transformer. I thought as many of my friends did, that this was going to be an introduction of the "Beast Wars" bots back into the franchise. Nope, it's the Dinobots introduced in the original 1980's show. They were designed as primally strong but intellectually limited back in the show, but were simply described as legendary warriors in the movie. Anyways, once Optimus "tames" the Dinobots and mounts one (pictured above), I lost all sense of the semblance of plot. Actually, I felt like all plot was abandoned in the last film, "Dark of the Moon", and this is just a continuance of this...destruction porn.
Dark of the Moon made an attempt, which I felt wasn't present here. I feel like someone handed Michael Bay a script for Age of Extinction and he was just like, "Psh, nah, let's just blow 70% of the budget on explosions." The other 30%? It probably went to Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer, and Stanley Tucci. Thank God for Stanley Tucci by the way...he was the only redeeming factor of this movie.
Alright...I've said my piece, and expressed my disdain for the film.
Transformers: Age of Extinction - 3 out of 10

If I could briefly continue my hatathon on Michael Bay, I saw my first theatrical trailer for the new Ninja Turtles movie while waiting for Transformers to start...

The first thing that occurs to me while watching this, is that the voice acting feels so horribly wrong, especially given what I remember from the original live action movies and the 90's cartoon. Why does Mikey sound like...well, a cholo? And the leader of the 4 brothers, what should be the voice of reason and wisdom...Leonardo...actually being voiced by Johnny Knoxville. Oh Jesus Christ. And William Fichtner as the Shredder. I'm sorry, Fichtner is a great actor, but the Shredder needs to be Japanese and have a martial arts background. Combined with Megan Fox as April, and all the weird crap adorning the turtles themselves...and how about the general monstrous look of the turtles?
[Sigh] I won't lie, I shed a few tears seeing this. I feel like it's destroying my childhood memory of the turtles.
Never forget...

Bay has his heart set on destroying my sense of nostalgia. Our only hope then may lie in the future, and this has been a pretty good summer so far for the box office. Here are the next 3 films I'm looking forward to seeing soon.

Earth to Echo - I know that A) It's only rated PG and most likely geared towards a much younger crowd...and more importantly, B) It is a Relativity Media production, and they haven't had a box office hit since...ever. Seriously, as defined by any movie that earns $100 million or more at the box office, they've never had one, never.
Still, it looks interesting. Thinking I might go and check it out this weekend.

Lucy - The smallest synopsis you could give it is...Scarlett Johansson kicks a lot of ass. Sold. The director is really good at doing the the femme fatale style too, so you know you'll be wanting it up until the second she rips your eyes out (I don't know if that actually happens, so don't take my word on it). Morgan Freeman doesn't hurt the chances of this movie destroying the box office. I'm all in.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Yea, I didn't think I'd want to see this one. I might have even wrote in my last blog how much it's going to suck. I'm coming around though, even for Rocket Raccoon. It looks like there are a lot of good personalities coming together here, including Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper)...kind of seems like Face (A-Team), just really small and furry and with a constant bad attitude. Zoë Saldana as Gamora, what an awesome choice. Marvel is just on top of it's game right now, especially with the success of Cap'n 'Murica 2. 

Alright kids, I'm gonna call it quits. I'll try and get back to you next week, but we'll see what kind of time I get. Till then amigos.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

Gypsy Danger

After a long hiatus and a few site programming issues, I'm glad to make my return to the Net. It is my pleasure to make my reintroduction...I am Corey VanderSleen, or CVSleen for short, and this...is Nerdebating with CVSleen. A few of you may be finding your way here from my last site, Backstage Conversations on Wordpress, and some of you may be among my audience for the first time. To all of you...

Welcome.

My mission is simple...I'm a nerd, and I want to share that world with you, and maybe make it seem a little bit more accessible to the uninitiated. Music, film, video games, new technology...the things that I care about the most, that is what I want to share with you. Of course, I'll have my own perspective that I place on everything, and I've got my own stories...and that's probably as good a place as any to start this whole thing with, a little tale from recent past in my own life.

"Gypsy Danger, we have a bogey"

My story starts a few days ago, when my dad wanted to come out and meet me for lunch at my work. I love free food, and I'll take the chances that I have to see family, now that I'm out on my own...we'll revisit that at a later date. Anyways, I'm more than happy to oblige a lunch meeting with my dad. If it wasn't for some seriously bad traffic, we'd have ended up somewhere a little bit better, but it probably would have been like 45 minutes in travel alone...so, in the interest of time, Whataburger it was. We got our food and proceeded to chow down, but my dad couldn't make it too long without having to steal himself away to the bathroom. He's on some medicine that has him going to the restroom almost as often as a Chihuahua. It is what it is.
What I didn't mention earlier was that at some point after we sat down, an old lady came and sat down at a table adjacent to us. A little old lady with a shall and a big old bag, quiet as a whisper. She sat down and unloaded what looked like a little book, a pill bottle, and an old Whataburger cup filled with dirty looking napkins. She was content to just hang out at her table and just read for most of the time, but once my dad took the opportunity to go drain the main vein, I guess she decided it was time to make her move.
Not long after my dad took his opportunity, she took hers. She approached me at my table and asked me, very politely I should say, if she could use my drink to take her pills. Now, I don't know what her personal level of hygiene was, but I was guessing that the old Whataburger cup I saw with the dirty napkins in it was some kind of spittoon for her, so I could only assume that she had pirate teeth. My answer should be obvious. I told her no...but I went on to say that she could probably go and ask the employees for another cup for some water. Before I could finish though, she had already turned around and started trudging back to her table. She was saying something...whatever it was, I couldn't tell...it was Romanian or some kind of Eastern European language. I don't know, whatever she was saying, it didn't sound pleasant. Regardless, she returned to her table and popped back down in her seat.
Odd, yea I know...who does that? Anyways, I wanted to capture the moment, for posterity or whatever. I tried to be as discreet as humanly possible, or at least as discreet as I am capable. I silenced my phone and acted like I was looking something up. I quickly turned my phone over snapped a pick...

Not a great pic, I know. I wanted to take another, but when I looked up...I saw her. She was staring directly at with the coldest gaze I've ever seen in my life. I've gotten that 1000-yard-stare from people before, but this was different. I'd heard of this before...the Gypsy Stare. Already fearful that I'd been hexed, I turned back around and faced forward, and put my phone down. Nope...I wasn't going to try again. My dad came back from the bathroom some point later, and I said nothing. I wasn't going to draw attention to what just happened. I didn't look back in that direction either until we were leaving. She was gone at that point...if she was even ever really there at all. 
I didn't know if it was real or not until I left work that day. I had a nail in one of my tires, undoubtedly put there by the gypsy woman's hex. I know what should have happened at that point. Three days. I had three days before I was supposed to be dragged down to hell by the demon Lamia. This was on Tuesday. Five days later at this point, the demon Lamia has not come for me. So what happened on day three then might you wonder? Well, that was Friday...the thirteenth...on the day of the Honey Moon, not to be seen again until 2098.
Well then, it seems that the Fates of Mischief and Matrimony have stayed my decent down to the fiery depths.
I live to write another day. And so shall I, another day.

I will leave you at that as I begin brainstorming for next weeks post. I usually like to conclude with a picture of my choosing. At the beginning of this year I chose to go with vehicles amazement. As I'm making a change of domain venue here, I'll change up my closing image too. For the rest of this year at least, I'm changing it films I like.

Until next time...

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

Drag Me to Hell - Sam Raimi - 2009

Drag Me to Hell - Sam Raimi - 2009