Thank You, Pink Panther

November 27, 2007 at 12:05 AM | Nostalgia, Site/Personal, Wichita | No Comments

When I was home for the weekend, I had an opportunity to play around a little on the drums. It’d been way too long since I’ve been back home… since last Christmas, actually. In the room where I keep my drums, I have a large stuffed Pink Panther sitting in a leather swivel chair. For so many years, he’s hung out in there with Matt’s Pookie, the X-eyed green giraffe–the both of them being the constant company when I’m hanging out in there. I don’t exactly remember when this happened, I dunno probably middle school or early high school… but I put my black zip-up hoodie (from my “Stealth” years) on Pink Panther and he’s been wearing it ever since.

Until I came home this Thanksgiving.

I decided it was time to get my hoodie back from Pink Panther. I felt kind of bad at first, because he’d worn it for so long, he’d probably gotten himself quite attached to it. Or at the very least, he’d be cold when I took it off. But to my surprise, when I unzipped it, I discovered that he had on a sweater underneath! That sneaky guy had been layering the entire time and I didn’t even know it (or I’d forgotten). Anyways, the hoodie was a throwback to my youth and it felt/looked pretty good. Thank you, Pink Panther, for holding onto that gem for me.

Taking Back Saturday

December 10, 2006 at 1:55 AM | Nostalgia, Random, TV | No Comments

So we were sitting around talking about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out next year and it got me thinking… does Saturday morning still mean anything to kids these days? With television nowadays, you can pretty much watch cartoons at any time of the week, 7 days a week. But back in the day, Saturday used to be the day for cartoons. Now… is it even anything special?

But I guess the special part about Saturday had less to do with cartoons and more to do with the fact that there was no school.  And in a very similar way, Saturday is still special to me.

The Unclaimed Vitasoy

November 20, 2006 at 11:05 PM | Food, Nostalgia, Work | 3 Comments

Chocolate VitasoyI opened up the refrigerator in the break room on my floor one day, in search of my lunch. To my surprise, I saw a lone box of chocolate flavored Vitasoy sitting there. Hmmm, this is peculiar… who here drinks Vitasoy other than me? And the chocolate one, at that? And then it occurred to me to no one did. No one except for me. And maybe Albert. You see, he had recently purchased 2 packs (12 drinks total) of Vitasoy from me. They were of various flavors… honeydew (probably my favorite), malt, and of course, chocolate.

I called him up, asked him about it. He said that it wasn’t his. He assured me that it couldn’t be his. He didn’t even use the same break room.

Of course he didn’t. I knew this, but I needed answers. Could this package of Vitasoy be mine? I traced through my steps that Friday, so long ago, before my trip to Alaska. How could I have possibly brought that Vitasoy with the intent of drinking it during lunch, and then failing to do so? Because I know for a fact that I ate my lunch that day, and it was something from the same refrigerator. I really couldn’t think of how this could have happened, except for people rearranging things in the refrigerator, as they often do, causing me to somehow miss it that day. I looked at the expiration date on the top, as if I could even remember what it should have been. It did nothing for me except confirm that the product had not expired.

I put that Vitasoy back in the fridge and had it with my lunch the following day. I sure hope it was mine. Otherwise, I would have committed a “Chandrak,” but that’s a story for another time. Or maybe I’ve already written about that before, I don’t even know.

You see, I’ve been drinking this stuff my whole life, this wonderful soy milk packaged in a juice box-like container. Not the chocolate flavored or honeydew ones–those I believe are more recent, but the original and malt ones anyways. My family had it in Hong Kong and there are various places that you can get it in the US. I’ve even had it in bottle form in Hong Kong. My brother and I used to get a bottle (or 2) after swimming like every day of the week.

My ChapStick Addiction

November 7, 2006 at 9:49 PM | Nostalgia, Site/Personal | 1 Comment

I remember years ago Jessie told me she was addicted to Carmex, there was a part of me that held some reservations as to whether there was any truth in her claim. I thought to myself, “How can a person become addicted to an externally applied substance such as Carmex?” And then I watched her put some more on her lips.

It’s now the year 2006 and I find myself in a similar situation, only it’s me. And it’s not Carmex, it’s ChapStick. Is that similar? I dunno. Anyways, I believe that my lips have somehow lost their natural ability to go unchapped, if that is even such a thing, without the aid of a lip balm such as ChapStick for even an hour or two… I’m not sure what it all means, other than the fact that I will be purchasing more ChapStick in the near future, and that this goes right along with my theory that medicine makes the body weak.

Fantasia

August 21, 2006 at 11:45 PM | Movies, Nostalgia | 3 Comments

Mickey from FantasiaI can only recall falling asleep during a movie at the movie theatre twice. One of those times was during the movie U.S. Marshalls–I remember I wasn’t particularly fond of the movie and it was one of those midnight showings. It happens.

The other time was during Disney’s Fantasia when I was a small child. My mom took me to the movie. I don’t remember why they were showing it in the theatres because the original came out in 1940, but this was definitely a theatre showing prior to the release of Fantasia 2000. Anyways, I remember being all excited about it because I thought it was a new Mickey Mouse movie. Boy was I wrong. I fell asleep almost immediately after the movie began and pretty much slept through the whole thing.

Sure I tried watching it a few times after that incident… like they’d show it in school every once in a while… but when the lights are dimmed and that movie starts going, I’m pretty much guaranteed to pass out. Even to this very day, I haven’t watched that film in its entirety and I doubt that I ever will. I’m not saying that purely out of spite… I’m sure the animation is all brilliant n shit and the music I’m sure is equally impressive… it’s just not for me. But damn them for tricking me into thinking it was a Mickey Mouse movie so many years ago. I will never forgive them for that.

This n That

August 9, 2006 at 10:27 PM | Music, Nostalgia | No Comments

This n ThatI used to know this kid back in middle school who went by the name Jesse Loudermilk, who later became known as Jesse Evans, for some reason unbeknownst to me. We used to hang out back in the day. Matter of fact, we all used to hang out–a group of kids that I have pretty much lost all contact with. Anyways, one day in the 8th grade, all of a sudden, he up and leaves. I mean this was years ago, but I still remember that day. Vaguely, though.

And then I didn’t hear from him again, in person, anyways. A couple years later (I don’t remember if this was during high school or college), I got word about Jesse singing in this band called “This n That”. I picked up some mp3s from somewhere and I think they sound pretty good. I can’t really find any information about them on the internet now (save for this review from 2002) and I have no idea if they are even together anymore.

I’ve had these songs sitting around on various computers over the years and I thought I’d just put them out there, in case anyone wants to check them out:

Update: Thanks to Ryan’s stalking skills, here’s This n That on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thisnthat86, where it says they broke up in the summer of 2003. Guess that answers that question.

Old News?

August 6, 2006 at 10:11 PM | Art, Music, Nerd, Nostalgia, TV | No Comments

Sam & Max, 3DSam & Max, your favorite canine detective and rabbity-thing are back!! Telltale Games will be releasing an episodic video game series of the duo in the fall. This is all very exciting news since LucasArts disappointingly cancelled their Sam & Max: Freelance Police video game a few years back. And it looked so cool, too. And it was going to be in the same vein as such classic adventure games like the Monkey Island series or the genius Grim Fandango.

Sam & Max, if you are not aware, is one of my favorite comic entities that even enjoyed a brief run as a cartoon on Fox many years ago. The art is amazing and the humor is borderline inappropriate, just like I like it. You should pick up some of their comics if you get a chance.

Anyways, the site is chalk full of stuff related to the game, including a trailer, a semi-interactive webcomic, t-shirts, wallpapers… all kinds of fun Sam & Max type stuff.

Smashing PumpkinsIn other news, I just read today that The Smashing Pumpkins are back in the studio, getting ready to drop a new album. I’m not sure how I missed this, because I read that this was announced around the time of Billy’s TheFutureEmbrace release a while back. At the moment, only Billy and Jimmy are back on board with the reunion, so I’m not sure how I feel about it, because James Iha had a lot to do with the sound that I liked about the Pumpkins. Will it be the same without him? Or D’Arcy? I know a lot of people have the opinion that Smashing Pumpkins started going downhill after Mellon Collie and that Mellon Collie was their greatest work of all time, but I actually like the stuff post-Mellon Collie more than the earlier stuff. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the early stuff, either, there were some hot tracks back then, but Adore? My god, that album was brilliant. And so very underrated. I would play it sometimes and people are like “whoooa what is this!? This is fuckin’ awesome, how come I haven’t heard of this?” It’s like the album wasn’t given enough airplay to make it well known, I guess. To me, it’s kind of like The Smashing Pumpkins’ equivalent of Weezer’s Pinkerton–one of their best (if not the best) albums, yet somehow obscure to the mainstream.

Anyways, Adore was all electronic and wild with the absence of Jimmy Chamberlin, but then when Jimmy came back for Machina, that album was just as brilliant, if not more so. No, I think the Pumpkins were onto something. But then they broke up and for a while there was Zwan, some kind of a bizarro-Smashing Pumpkins lineup that sounded alright, but not as good as the real deal. I’ve also grazed through TheFutureEmbrace too, and I like it… it’s kind of Adore-esque, but again… missing something. And I’m glad that Billy realizes that too.

Oatmeal

April 5, 2006 at 11:16 PM | Food, Nostalgia, Work | 1 Comment

The topic of oatmeal came up the other day when I was in the break room making myself a drink and one of my teammates came in and started preparing a packet of instant oatmeal. I did not realize this at the time because he was doing all of this in a cup.

“Whatcha got there?”

“It’s oatmeal,” he said, as he stirred in some hot water with one of the plastic spoons from the break room.

I thought to myself, “How very MacGuyver.”

The past couple of days, I’ve been making myself a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast before work everyday. For a while, I was having a smoothie for breakfast, but I’ve grown quite weary of that. And then there was a phase where I was eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. That was pretty damn good. But I got tired of cereal too. So, lately I’ve been breaking out the oatmeal, tapping in a little bit of brown sugar, sprinkle some cinnamon in there, filling the bowl with milk, and microwaving the whole thing for like 2 minutes. It’s fantastic. Fantastically easy.

“Say you know, as a child, I loved oatmeal, but of course, I was never the one to actually prepare it.” I was referring to the oatmeal that comes in the big round cardboard tube. The kind that wasn’t instant. The kind that had to be cooked on a stovetop. Quaker brand. My mom doesn’t fuck around with the store brands. I’ve always been impressed with how she was able to pull that one off. “Yes, I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast lately,” I explained, “… the kind that comes in the big round tube.” My tube of oatmeal was Great Value (Wal-Mart) brand.

“Oh yeah?”

“You bet… I’m loving it. I think I like it better than the instant kind because it just feels more real, you know what I mean? The oatmeal pieces seem a lot bigger.”

“Chewy?”

“Yeah, they’re kind of chewy. I like the texture of it.”

“Dude, I think you’ve been eating the kind that you have to cook on the stovetop.”

“Wha… worrd?”

“Yeah, there’s 2 kinds of oatmeal that comes in the tube… one that is kind of similar to instant oatmeal and the kind that you have to cook on the stove.”

Well, the oatmeal that I had been eating was indeed not like instant oatmeal. The stuff that I had been eating, you could see all the oats n shit. Big pieces of oats. “Dang, I think I got the kind that needs to be cooked on a stove… I’ll have to check it out when I get home.”

So I checked it the next morning and the primary instructions for preparation found on the side of the tube were for the stove. But, it was labeled as being “microwavable” and the secondary instructions described how to cook the oatmeal in a microwave. It was great news because I had possession of an oatmeal product that apparently transcended the conventional oatmeal genres. On the one hand, it had all the good qualities of a stovetop-style oatmeal, yet with the convenience of an instant, microwave-style oatmeal. As I read this information, I knew that I was holding onto a goldmine. Magically, this stuff comes out delicious and so much better than the instant kind that came in packets, pre-flavored. Slightly more work, yes, but I like being able to control how the stuff tastes… I usually find the instant ones way too sweet. Goldmine.

Turkish Delight

January 1, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Food, Movies, Nerd, Nostalgia | 1 Comment

Edmund and The White WitchEver since I read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe back in grade school, I have wondered what this “Turkish Delight” that I read about was. I didn’t know what it was exactly, but I know I wanted some really bad. Not enough to actually go out and find some, but enough to have it grow into a quiet obsession in the back of my mind over the years.

If it was enough to make Edmund crawl back to The White Witch to betray his brother and sisters, I was convinced that this stuff had to be the tops. And what a wonderful name, even… Turkish Delight. Mmmmmmmmm. So wonderful in fact, that there were times when I doubted that it was even a real food product.

And then I saw it. Turkish Delight in the movie. I knew it was coming, too. I watched the lines unfold one by one, just waiting…

“What would you like best to eat?” asked The White Witch.

Turkish Delight,” I breathed.

“Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty,” echoed Edmund on the screen.

Oh my godddd… he said Turkish Delight…

And then she made it appear. And for the first time, I saw what this Turkish Delight looked like. It looked an awful lot like daifuku, or other similar mochi-based products, lightly dusted in powdered sugar. It really wasn’t what I had imagined at all. But that was the trouble… I didn’t know what I had imagined it to be, just something sweet and wonderful, yet never taking any one particular form.

A few weeks later I consulted the internet for information on Turkish Delight, photographs of Turkish Delight, Turkish Delight recipes, places to purchase Turkish Delight, stories about Turkish Delight, and whatever else I could find out about it. That is when I came across this article entitled The Lion, the Witch, and the Really Foul Candy which details the author’s utter disappointment with Turkish Delight and another entitled Why You Won’t Like Turkish Delight As Much As Edmund Did saying that–well, I think the title speaks for itself. Amusing and informative as both of these articles were, it kind of sucks to think that Turkish Delight could not be the awesome treat that I had once imagined, loved by all. But I suppose I can’t just turn away from Turkish Delight until I actually try it for myself.

Maybe if I were to ever find myself in a similar situation, you know, where a White Witch asks me what I would like best to eat, I’d play it safe and say “A bowl of pho dac biet, please, your Majesty.” And I’d coming crawling back for more, too. And you’d better believe that I’d betray your ass if you got in my way.

Trick or Treating

October 25, 2005 at 12:30 AM | Nostalgia | 1 Comment

Halloween’s just around the corner… and every year, I can’t help but think back to those simpler times back in the day when I used to go trick or treating on Halloween, going door to door peddling for candy around the neighborhood until we worked our feet to hamburger. And then at the end of the night, there was that almost overwhelming moment of satisfaction to see the fruit of a night’s hard work in the form of candy spilling out from bags deformed from the weight of their contents. The rumbling sound of all different kinds of sweets hitting the cleared-off table… it almost takes your breath away. Because it was all worth it… braving the cold, travelling great distances to get to the houses with the best candy… it was so worth it.

But this year, I tried to remember exactly when I stopped partaking in this crazy tradition. It was so many years ago, but I’m pretty sure that I stopped doing it before the fifth grade.

And why? I probably got pressured into stopping; I started believing what people told me. It seemed like people were always calling me out. I just remember that people would be like “Hey… aren’t you a little old to be trick or treating?” Brief pause. “OK fine… here’s some candy.” They would always call me out on that shit. I mean, thinking back on it, I was still a little kid, I have no idea what these people were thinking pulling something like that. But I guess it got to me. I was like, “my god, maybe it is time for me to put an end to all of this. I’m grown now, I can’t be doing this no more.” Which is all pretty absurd, considering how I had picked up the notion that I was “grown” back in the fifth grade.

And now here I am, way past my prime trick or treating years. Well, actually, I take that back… I’m now on the other end of tradition… kids be coming round, trying to trick me n shit, unless I give up the treats. It sucks being on this end.


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