Friday, September 26, 2008


A lot of really nice things happened to me in the past week.

Naturally, perhaps even as natural as that picture, a lot of terrible things happened as well. However, I've been in a better mood more often than a worse mood lately, which means you, dear reader, will benefit from my sudden inspirational writing kick as I'll make a point to keep Midnight Reviews updated for the next week.

School is off from Monday through Wednesday, and while that doesn't necessarily mean as much of an extended break for me, it's enough. If you read the other blog that I participate in, you can check out my club promotional exploits at the Hunter College USG Fair which was held two Wednesdays ago. This past Wednesday was a different story. I had to sit in on an intimidating College Association board meeting to discuss the budget for the Media Board, which was something in the ballpark of $150,000.

Having big shots from student services sit in front of you while they prod and question lines from your budget should have been more daunting than it was. In actuality, the dean of student services seemed to already know what my answers were going to be and, being as prepared as I was, I hit a figurative home run into the gaping maws of any non-believers. The budget was approved on our first try, which may be a media board landmark. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after we were approved that I forgot to include some vital information into it; I now have no money budgeted for events other than two liquor licenses and security costs, and while unruly drunk underage kids and police brutality are both staples of the college experience, keep in mind that I didn't budget for the actual booze itself. Whoopsie.

Doesn't matter, though. Like when you accidentally stumble upon the German-American Steuben Parade of New York that marched up Fifth Avenue this past Saturday. I was walking along Central Park with some friends and this happened. Being uncultured swines, we didn't actually know what was going on other than it obvious having something to do with glorious Deutcheland.

Also included was a trip to the always colorful Ground Zero, named after its entertainment value written on a scorecard. Someone in the office recently called it "Ground One", and I can't remember who it was but it was surely in bad taste. Way too soon.

This happened on Monday. It was the Strawberry Poetry Party in the Olivetree Review (blog forthcoming). Two and a half of those pieces of strawberry origami are mine, and believe you me, it's much more difficult to fold those things than you'd imagine.

And then things like this happen. Over the summer I posted this picture of Phelps celebrating one of his many Olympic victories on our bulletin board. This is the end result. We have a lot of talented artists, huh?

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Those who know me particularly well know how I like my orange juice: cold, orange, and filled with vitamins and minerals. Those who know me even more well know my routine: I drink two glasses of orange juice with breakfast (one with a multivitamin) and two glasses before I go to bed. I'm willing to bet 400% daily value of Vitamin C a day is detrimental to my health, although I don't know why, since vitamins help me grow and stuff.

When I'm feeling particularly risky, I'll drink another carton of orange juice in school. My choice is always the Antioxidant Advantage™ Orange Juice© by Tropicana Manufacture, registered trademark. This choice is actually somewhat of a recent development. I realized my stomach hurts more than it doesn't, and it is most likely due to bad oxidants, possibly from drinking so much orange juice. Antioxidant Advantage corrects this by introducing little things called ascobic acids, not present in regular orange juice. As the name suggests, this means it helps fight the bad oxidants that can negatively affect our mortal stomachs.

As for the drink itself, it's okay. It's a little watery. Which is fine, as antioxidants are water soluble so we don't have to chew on them. I give it a two, for two thumbs way up.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


During a large storm
one night over Rhode Island, a Colombian cartel plane is struck by lightning in mid-flight and crashes. Zooming in the wreckage, the cargo is revealed: psychoactive toads, which get into the hands of teenagers and begin drug fanaticism among the middle and high schools. Lois and Peter become concerned when the toad-licking problem arises in school.

This is the premise of a hilarious episode of Family Guy from season 3 that, get this, I watched in a class today. In school. And we analyzed the show unironically. Here's another word italicized.

The above image isn't from that episode; however, it perfectly sums up my feeling for it and the entire show in general. Every season is an endless stream of vomit. It's like a Slip 'n' Slide of throw up.

It's also a string of terrible pop culture references and non-sequiturs. There are a few lines in the show that are just straight-up stolen from movies or song titles, for example, Peter says, "I have to fight for my right to party," which is clearly a reference to Jethro Tull.

See? Non-sequiturs. I wrote this episode of Family Guy. I give it a zero.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008



This is me TOTALLY FREAKING OUT over the new Facebook redesign. Yes, I smile when I'm mad.

I hope corporate hamster Mark Zuckerberg is sleeping soundly in his bedding made of shredded thousand-dollar bills while the rest of us peons are suffering the insufferable with the latest aesthetic overhaul to a service offered to us free of charge. I really hate how they streamlined the news feed and friends lists to make them more manageable and relevant to my interests. The improved profile pages to take away the clusterfuck of useless applications so the pages load faster is... well... not an improvement at all! And don't even get me started on the updated Applications bar. Easily being able to click between my applications from any page really bunches up my panties.

I hate change. Having to take more than three minutes out of my day to learn something new is a fate worse than death. How can an America college student be expected to succeed in this country if our leisure time provides minor obstacles that can be championed and improved upon with little effort? By the way, go Obama.

I give it a two, because I don't want to waste precious arm energy by moving my mouse cursor three more inches to the left so I can select a zero.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Ever try to jump back into a dense novel that you hadn't picked up in months?

Really quick: I'm nearing the end of William Gibson's Count Zero, the second in his Sprawl trilogy written many a moon ago, but I haven't read it since the beginning of the year and I didn't even properly grasp it then. I am really desperate to finish this book so I can finally move on to Mona Lisa Overdrive and finish the series. This morning when I decided to dive back into it I had no idea what was going on, who the characters were, what the point was...

Maybe I just don't like it because Neuromancer was comparatively a light read. But I am really desperate for good cyberpunk.

Friday, September 12, 2008


FTH diehards might have noticed there was no Midnight Review this morning. I was too busy remembering 9/11 to crank one out. Also, the next review would have logically involved a brush of some sort, and I didn't want to review one of those things. I have a bad history with brushes and the last thing I want to do is come off as bitter.

I went to see Hamlet 2 this week, for some reason, and it managed to be more tragic than the original Shakespeare play. Although I do admit, at the halfway point I did at least expect its story to be interesting enough to go somewhere, which is more than I could say for Deathrace, last month's mess. And Steve Coogan did a nice job of being a bad actor, which was the point, I guess.

The catch is, bad things like this happen. Let's go back in time and get Jesus to prance around in a wifebeater. Edgy and hilarious? Yes and yes. Musical number about being raped in the face which you can download as a ringtone? Just tell me where to sign.

On the opposite spectrum is this week's Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, which has been posted up on It's called "Jazz". Maria Bamford and Bill Hader have guest spots, and their sketches are hilarious and maybe slightly less weird than the Tim and Eric's, as this is overall one of the most surreal episodes I've ever seen. Tongue-in-cheek humor has been replaced with cut-out animations reminiscent of Terry Gilliam except less elaborate, coupled with cartoon vomit, high squeaky voices and split-second repeats of real-time video screams. It is fairly disorienting and probably not as funny as the usual T&E; however, it is twice as incredible.

Also this week is Yakuza 2, the sequel to the oft-misunderstood Playstation 2 game about an ex-mafiosa type trying to recover billions of yen gone missing from his family's bank account. I don't know much about this one as I haven't bought it yet, but IGN gave it a favorable review even though they gave the first one a less-than-favorable review for the same issues. Such is the arbitrary nature of games journalism. And number scores. And words, for that matter.

I saw the Takashi Miike film based on the game a few months back during the New York Asian Film Festival, and it is one of the finest video game-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen, and I've seen Doom!

Finally, what about the new New Kids on the Block album "The Block"?

Thursday, September 11, 2008




Garfield is a below-average comic strip. Fischerspooner is a below-average industrial band [e: Actually, it is Nine Inch Nails; Fischerspooner was in a different video where Garfield eats a purse. In this case, I take back my below-average remark. Nine Inch Nails is simply average.] But for some reason, when both of these things combine, something well above average is created.

Would have gotten a zero since zero times zero is usually zero. But I'm giving it a two, because the video description explains the joke.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Probably funny.

I'd embed the video into this blog, but I could only find it on MySpace. Funny how NBC Universal will put it up on MySpace, a website owned by News Corp, which owns one of NBC's biggest rival network stations, but they flip when their material is posted up on YouTube. This is the kind of world we live in.

"Laser Cats" is a sketch from Saturday Night Live that aired a year ago, possibly more. It features Bill Hader and Andy Freakin' Samberg. If you don't recognize those two names, don't worry, I haven't watched SNL in ten years either.

Andy Samberg is that guy who deliberately does things that are unfunny for the sake of comedy, because he is incapable of writing actual jokes. "Laser Cats" is a good example of this. It's about Hader And Samberg pitching a bad sketch about cats that shoot lasers out of their faces to Lorne Michaels, who apathetically shoots down their ideas even though Michaels would find it hilarious if this weren't a sketch and actually real life.

The biggest laughs came from a Hader pressing his sash-strap thing and making beeping noises and from an awkward pause followed by a "what?", although that might have been me and not in the actual script. The biggest problem with SNL is how they now completely rely on dorky white people for their comedy, when fifteen years ago it was just Norm Macdonald, and Samberg makes Macdonald look like a linebacker.

Despite my gripes I still give it a three, because unexpected and wacky things are funny and I was really building up to this hilarious punchline.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


You shoot lasers at ghosts.

You can play with three players in the arcade version. Each player has their own laser gun with which they can use to shoot lasers at the ghosts that pop up. There's nothing sweeter than that.

There really doesn't seem to be any story to it, you're just kinda some chick who gets lost and then ghosts attack you. You counter them by shooting lasers at them. Laser Ghost.

I'd give it a three but it's severely lacking in narrative.

Monday, September 8, 2008


In honor of the next-gen Ghostbusters video game being delayed indefinitely, I thought I'd take you all for a trip down memory lane and review a game I'm sure all of you have played: Ghostbusters for the Sega Master System.

I'll go ahead and spoil this one for you right now: this game really bites. Hard. You're given some money to buy weapons and car parts, and then you ride around town finding buildings infected with ghosts. You use a capture device, which looks like a shitty trampoline, and then you suck up some ghosts.

It switches from overhead view to side-scrolling view frequently, just like the movie. Also, sometimes you go to your headquarters to pick up more parts or an extra character. I believe all of the characters are white, of course, which means Ernie Hudson's character never existed since this game is perfectly canon.

There's a better ghost-zapping game on the Master System and it's called Laser Ghost. Seriously, all you do is shoot ghosts with lasers.

Friday, September 5, 2008


You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can still judge the cover. Which is what I'm going to do. Booyah.

Tonight we're judging this cover of Dracula, the Back Bay Books edition with a foreword by Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian, which is a different book. This cover is quite literally a close-up photograph of a "velvet pattern", probably one of the publishing staffers' great aunt's tablecloths.

Also featured is a girl, probably. Who is she? All I know about Dracula is that some angry dude wants to kill a vampire and I figured I'd save myself the bother of actually reading the book and just watching that one episode of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror where Homer drives a stake through Count Burns's heart. What does it matter? I already know how it ends anyway.

Normally, artistry of such low caliber would score nothing higher than a perfect zero; however, avid readers of my blog will remember how this is the very same book that was caressed by a cute girl who rang me up at Barnes & Noble. Considering the circumstances, I will award it a two, as I too one day hope to be held by a beautiful woman.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Yes. Yes. (trumpets)

So what should I name it? Also, this is me:


Snake Plisskin is a real man's man.

Dude doesn't care about the President, the American government, or the will of thousands of oppressed people. He's looking out for number one (himself).

So the free world sends all of its convicts to a quartered off New York City in the not-too-distant future. The president is held up in a terrorist attack on an airplane, but manages to escape. Of course, he falls right into the heart of Manhattan and is kidnapped by renegade hooligans. Snake Plisskin is a fresh convict and a war hero. He agrees to rescue the president so that he may be wiped of all charges and also spared death at the hands of a deadly inhibitor that is set to kill him within 24 hours. If he can't complete the mission before that, he and the president are as good as dead and nobody will care.

Not one to go out silently, Snake goes commando on a bunch of hungry lunatics and befriends a cast of colorful characters including Ernest Borgnine and Isaac Hayes in the process. Eventually, the president is saved, but Snake does a little switcharoo on an important plot point which I forgot to reveal and gets the last laugh indeed. By the way, the name of the movie is Escape from New York.

I would have given Snake a perfect score, but I have to knock him down two points for being a blatant rip-off of Solid Snake, a character created by Hideo Kojima for Metal Gear Solid. Comparison below:

Shameful. Look at that. They both have mustaches and eye patches.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


"Before we begin, I just want to let you know that I'm a huge fan of killer7"

That's what I said to game developer Goichi Suda shortly before conducting the worst interview of all time. Suda heads up a Japanese development studio called 'grasshopper manufacture', who has made cult classic games such as No More Heroes and of course killer7, along with overseas-only titles like Flower, Sun, and Rain and Michigan. His style can be characterized as cartoony-stylish and hyperviolent, with plenty of cursing and ambiguous narrative in between.

This is not a review of the man himself. It is a review of this photograph of him:

This is a cropped photo of his entire development team, which consists of dozens of hapless Japanese men and women sitting stoically. However, Suda himself is all smiles. I'm not sure what he's happy about, or why everyone else is so sad. It may have something to do with him being the most enthusiastic person I have ever met.

Seriously, when I told him I liked killer7, he exploded so fiercly it was almost as if I was the first person to ever tell him that. Comparatively, when I told Yuji Naka that I enjoyed Sonic the Hedgehog, he brushed me off. I guarantee I was the first person to tell him that in ten years. Both of these men speak about the same amount of English (practically none).

Because it's not so clear why Suda is happy in this photo, I'm afraid I will have to knock it down a whole point. I give it two dots.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


To the girl
who rang me up at Barnes & Nobles today:

I'm dedicating my first ever Midnight Review to your wonderful smile. I wish I had the chance to take a picture of how perfect your face was, but I decided at the very last moment that that would have seemed creepy. So here's a dramatization and, although it is a nice smile, it is not nearly as bright and pleasant as yours.

I'm telling you, reader, the road to heaven is paved with this girl's teeth. That actually sounds frightening, on second thought. But imagine it is a very sweet compliment.

You rubbed the cover of my copy of Bram Stoker's
Dracula for a few seconds before informing me that it is your favorite book of all time. I smiled and agreed that it is a wonderful book, even though I've never read it in full, and don't even really enjoy it that much. I don't know why I did that. It's not like I had a chance with you.

Before you handed me my bag, you were smiling so hard I started getting a headache. Speechless I stood, bleeding out of my ears. I have seen many picture-perfect mouths in my day, but none quite as shining as what I witnessed today. I give this smile a perfect score. It is pace-setting.

Monday, September 1, 2008


One thing I hope to accomplish with this new blog is getting a new review up every weekday at midnight. I'm calling these quick write-ups "Midnight Reviews", because that's what they are. I have a score system based on zero to three. To give you an example of what to expect, here's a review of my blog.


It sucks. Zero.


Happy Labor Day or whatever.

So my parents just went out to go check out an SUV they will probably be buying, which means I'll have a new car to drive this week, finally. For those not in the know, our poor old Beautiful Truck was involved in an accident earlier this summer, crippling our transportation outlook.

It's a GMC Jimmy, I think a 2001 or a 2002. So it might look like this:

Although I'm not really sure. That's kind of big, isn't it? Oh well. At least it doesn't look like this:

Yep, that was our 1990 Ford Ranger. Four-speed MT. I'm going to miss manual transmission so hard. So tenderly.

Now I'm waiting for our single car to get home so I can go to Barnes & Noble and buy a thousand books for this terrible course on gothic literature that I stupidly signed up for. After that, it is Labor Day with the fam. The meat-eating fam.

Being a vegetarian sucks. Never do it, especially if you're the only person in your family who doesn't eat meat. Because my family meats it up almost exclusively, every holiday. And I'm stuck with the crappy vegetable left-overs and potato salad.

In between now and my hammy doom, I have to read all of Shakespeare's Hamlet (hurrr), which also sucks. My life is a thousand yards of inconvenience. I have no real legitimate reason to complain, yet I do it anyway because... man, I really just don't want to read Hamlet again. I can't even find my copy of it.

Now I might answer the tons of e-mails in my backlog, which you might be able to read about here. My writing is bland today for some reason, so I'm going to stop now.


Finally, a fun and exciting new way to transmit my thoughts over the internet.

I promise I will try to not let this blog be a confusing mess like the old one. I promise you, dear reader. I never break my promises.

Some of the few perks of working in a video game store are the pre-order bonuses ripe for the swiping, despite having not pre-ordered the game. Right now there are a chorus of nerds screaming in outrage at the lowly game clerk stealing the last of their special bonus figurine or something as equally lame.

I took this for my sister, because sometimes we do nice things for each other despite rarely speaking. We have one of those pleasantly silent relationships where we both understand our pathetic and ridiculous surroundings, but choose not to take action and change our lives for the better; it is comfortable apathy.

It's the pre-order bonus for a Nintendo DS game called Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness, which was fine for taking considering how nobody pre-ordered it or even came in to buy the game. I, generally, have a bit of shame compared to most clerks. But I have been in retail for so long that I'm never less or more shameful of what I do for pocket money.

Besides, compared to my quickly-turning-full-time job at Hunter dealing with the creative unwashed, retail seems like a nice vacation.