Monday, July 30, 2007

If You Don't Appreciate Mixed Condiments, You Had Better Ketchup

There's something you need to know about me: I was born with a burning passion for food. I don't discriminate at all when it comes to food, and you can believe me when I tell you that I will eat absolutely anything that is considered edible. More often than not I will like it and eat it again. If I don't particularly like it, I've mastered many ways to mask the unagreeable taste. It was in this way that I developed such a close relationship with condiments, which I am an enormous advocate of. Condiments rank pretty highly on my list of favorite things. It's current position is just underneath the memories I have of seeing Jessica Biel in her underwear, and it has recently overtaken the positions of both nicotine and LFO songs.

At the beginning of my infatuation with condiments I was content to try many different types with different foods and at different times. I had brief encounters with different kinds of steak sauces, before finally realizing that my personal tastes pertaining to steak and most kinds of beef were to lie in seasoning, not condiments. It was a lot of trial and error, and in the spirit of this I began to develop many experimental concoctions that are viewed as obscure by some, and flat out unacceptable to others.

The foundations of my condimental experimentations has always been set on one condiment, which is (this is not my opinion, but a scientific fact) the mother of all condiments, obviously ketchup. Anyone worth their salt knows that ketchup is the best condiment for most edible items, though sweet and sour sauce from McDonalds is making a convincing run at becoming almost as versatile. It's a dark horse, the Fidel Castro of condiments, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. Recent studies have also shown that ranch dressing could be considered a condiment as early as the year 2012. It has been slowly seperating itself from Italian and French dressing by showing its versatility and challenging bleu cheese as the number one dipping sauce for chicken wings and other types of poultry.

These "experimentations" I speak of have been met with many strange looks. It all started one day a few years ago when I was eating a Whopper from Burger King. I was in a very ponderous and observant mood, so I noticed the delight that I was experiencing from the condiments of my burger. I realized that the ketchup and mayonnaise had been combined into an orangish color that tasted absolutely unreal.

After I made this discovery, I began mixing ketchup and mayonnaise occasionally. I would put them both on my homemade cheeseburgers, and I would dip french fries in the mixture. I progressed to adding mayo to may hot dogs, which were already usually drenched in ketchup. I wasn't ready to go public with this finding yet, though, feeling that I may be subject to ridicule.

I soon became more comfortable with myself in public settings, and with this comfort came the broadening of my experimentational curiosities and willingness. It was during this period that I discovered my favorite condiment mix to date. This discovery and public advocation of its use has become one of the traits that I am most famous for. I'm constantly looked at with wrinkled faces and subject to jeering comments by friends and enemies alike because of my peculiar taste.

This mixture I'm speaking of is ketchup and ranch dressing. I discovered it one Friday night before a high school football game at King's Family Restaurant, when I was eating with my friends. I had fried chicken tenders and french fries, which I had ordered a side of ranch to dip the tenders in. I had ketchup on my plate as well, for the fries, when I made the greatest mistake of my young life.

I was deep in conversation about either the immortality of Steve Nash or Cat's controversial pick of Creedence Clearwater Revival as the topic of his research paper, so I wasn't paying much attention to my food. I accidentally dipped a tender into the ranch and then the ketchup after, making--I must admit--a rather gross looking combination of white on red that changed my life forever.

I have been dipping in this combo ever since, and it still brings me ridicule. Last night in fact I was eating chicken nuggets with my friends Emily and Kayla. I poured some ranch out onto the plate next to the ketchup, making sure they weren't touching so as not to offend anyone. I started dipping in the ketchup and then the ranch, and loving every second of it. Upon seeing this Emily had a seizure and Kayla vomited all over her Bowling Green State University acceptance letter. Bryan was also present, and he was able to keep Emily from choking on her tongue. She later regained consciousness and has no recollection of the adventure.

These girls were so totally grossed out by the look of my mixture, but they didn't even try it. I'm not asking you to take my word for it. I want you to try this for yourself, and if you don't like it, then you don't like it. And you don't know shit.

This event also proved something that I have been steadily learning recently, and that is that sometimes you have to do things that other people aren't going to like if you really want to be happy.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Shia LaBeouf: The Man.

Celebrities are an enormous part of the heartbeat of America. Most of us live vicariously through them in some way, and some of us would even like to be them. They are our role models, idols, or whatever you want to call it. For this particular essay, I would like to talk about actors: the people who act like someone that they really aren't in the name of entertainment. The ultimate escapists. When you and I are daydreaming about being them, they are actually being someone else, and for a ridiculous sum of money.

I have nothing but respect for these people, though. They have very glamorous jobs and lead very priveleged lives. Lives where they cannot make one misstep without the press revealing it to the entire world. They must watch their every move as close or even closer than the middle-aged women that pore over US Weekly for three hours on Thursday afternoon. If they don't, they will end up like Lindsay Lohan, who is perceived by the general public as...well we won't really put it into print.

Objection your honor! This rambling has nothing to do with the heart of the matter!


Every few years there is one or two very prominent actors and actresses that fly above the rest of the celebrity population. They are the idol to many of the same sex, and the wet dream of many of the opposite sex. They have some kind of appeal that cannot always be explained, but can never, ever be denied.

There was James Dean and Marilyn Monroe way back in the day. Then there was John Wayne. Then there was Jonathan Taylor Thomas for the teeny boppers in the nineties (by the way, what the happened to that guy? I miss him), and then more recently came the popularity of Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp. Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba. These are the people who attract an enormous audience to the theaters on opening night, just because they are in the movie.

This year it seems to me that a new star is being born, if you will. His name: Shia LaBeouf.

I saw the new and highly anticipated film, Transformers, a couple of nights ago. This was deemed the movie of the summer by pretty much anyone who had a say in the matter. At the MTV Movie Awards in June, it won the award for "Best Movie You Haven't Seen Yet."

Tell me that that's not big time. This movie won awards before it was even a fucking movie.

I was totally blown away by this movie. I didn't know exactly what to expect going into it, because I didn't know if anyone could pull off the kind of special effects that would be needed to make a movie like this watchable. (For the record, all of the special effects were amazing.)

I may not have even gone to see it. I knew that Michael Bay was an extremely capable director (Bad Boys II, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon), but just hearing that he directs a movie doesn't make me rush to the box office.

The reason I really went to see this movie was the starring actor, who was obviously Shia LaBeouf. I'd grown up with this kid, since Even Stevens was one of my favorite shows in my junior high years. He'd played Lewis (or Louis) the eccentric boy in a family. I'd been attracted to this show initially because of his sexy sister, Ren, who looked a lot like a girl I used to date. After a while though, Shia's witty character won me over. He made me laugh, and that is my favorite thing to do in the world.

He made a movie a few years back called Holes, which I saw with my family but don't really remember. He was pretty good in it, but it wasn't extremely remarkable to me.

Then, he went under the radar for a few years, appearing only--to my knowledge--in the HBO series Project Greenlight.

But he is raging back. He was magnificent in the suspenseful horror/thriller Disturbia that came out this year, and then he landed the starring role in the summer's biggest blockbuster. It also seems as though he is going to be around for a while, since he has just begun filming the fourth Indiana Jones film. He also did the voice for the starring character in the movie about surfing penguins ( yes, I know), Surfs Up

He's the it guy for my age group, and I can't imagine a guy that wouldn't want to be like him. In both Disturbia and Transformers, he plays a character that would serve as a role model to any teenage or adolescent boy that is in anywhere near their right mind.

The type of character he plays begins the movie as a high school loser. The kind of guy that can't catch a break, a weakling on the social ladder. He progresses through the movie in an upward motion, becoming braver and braver and more accepted. Then, by the end of the movie he pulls off certain acts of unspeakably heroic proportions that yield all types of advantages. In both of his recent movies, he gets with extremely beautiful girls (Megan Fox in his latest, who my friends and me have deemed "possibly the hottest girl we have ever seen in our entire existence") and is viewed as the hero at the end of the film. In Transformers he even gets a brand new Camaro that turns into a fucking robot!

As I stated before, lots of kids want to be the kind of guy that LaBeouf plays in his movies. Even the jocks. Everyone wants to be the outcast underdog at the beginning, because then there is nowhere to go but up. Then, they want to battle evil robots or the psychopathic killer next door and win so that everyone respects them. After this, they want to bang unbelievably hott teenage women that live nextdoor to them and know how to fix cars.

I think that Shia LaBeouf is the next big thing as far as celebrities go. I think that if this happens, there will be a certain paradigm shift which would be absolutely amazing and beneficial for the general public. Instead of people idolizing and pining after beautiful and extraordinary celebrities, they can start to follow people that they can actually relate to. Ordinary guys that happen to have a personality that goes very well when parallell to the underdog movie character.

LaBeouf can usher in a new era for famous people. He comes off as a dork, and as long as he keeps becoming more popular, dorks will become a more accepted part of society. He is unintentionally helping misfits around the world by lowering the wedgy percentage by 37 percent.

It is a new age for Hollywood and the rest of its worshipping world. An ordinary guy has become a celebrity, and ordinary people will relate to him and act as he does, which will benefit the world as a whole: people will be ordinary. Or something.

Anyway, with this entry I would like to reveal a new monthly deal with this endeavor: The Man-Crush Of The Month. Every month, I will profile a new man-crush.

July's Man-Crush of the Month: Shia LaBeouf.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

OGP: An Analyzation

There's a common fear for most 14 and 15 year old boys who are about to enter their freshman year in college. It's something that many of us had tried to deny, despite the horror stories we had heard from our brothers and other older boys. Call it going into denial of what was undoubtedly going to happen before it happened. Deep down, we all knew that it would eventually force us into a world of suffering and degredation, where we were not cool enough or good enough, and I'm sure some of us have never fully recovered.

What were we scared of? There are many things that kids are scared of going into their first year of high school. The freshman year, when you were at the absolute bottom shelf of the pecking order. You were going to be the plastic bottle of Vladimir Vodka in F. Scott Fitzgerald's liquor cabinet. Was our deepest fear that we would be shoved into a locker by a senior? That we would be tea-bagged in the football locker room after practice? That we would feel small an inadequate?

We were scared of all of these things, but our deepest fear was not any of the previously stated travesties.

Our deepest social fear was an acronym: OGP.

When I first entered high school, we didn't have a name for what would later become OGP. It was just something that happened, like a Bar Mitzvah or death. It was a passage of life. Something that you had to go through in order to enjoy the fruits later on in life. It wasn't until a few years later when I was having a conversation with one of my good friends from another school about the dating of girls in a lower grade than our own.

"You've gotta love that OGP," he'd said.

"What the fuck is OGP?" I'd asked, having really no clue at all.

"Oh, Old Guy Power."

The menace now had a name.

Allow me to explain exactly what "Old Guy Power" is. I'm sure all men that have gone through high school and/or college know exactly what I'm talking about, and I have no doubt that most girls understand it too, though very few of them will admit to such knowledge. Old Guy Power is, essentially, the natural appeal of older men to younger women.

Why exactly this is has never been scientifically proven, though there has been more than a fair share of conjecture on the matter. Some feel that the girls are attracted because with age--usually--comes maturity, in both a physical and mental tense--consider this, ladies: Would you rather date a macho man or a 5'2" kid with the anatomical mass of a paperclip that still pube squeaks? Others believe that the girls are simply tired of the boys that they spent their long and dramatic junior high years with and are looking for fresh faces to alleviate the pains sustained from adolescent love gone wrong. This can also go the other way, as the older guys may have grown tired of the girls that they have previously shared a high school with. Still others believe that OGP only exists because of the social ladder. These theorists would imply that it is simply "cooler" in the eyes of their peers for one in the 9th grade to date a senior, thus elevating this person's stance on the social ladder and, in most cases, their own self esteem (personally, I cannot say that I believe this. That is some pretty shallow shit to ever think about someone, though some have been more substantially effected by the OGP plague than I).

OGP is usually first brought into a boy's life during his freshman year of high school, as I have previously stated. These adolescents almost immediately lose the apple of their respective eyes to older, usually popular, guys. Said boys walk around in a stupor of impenetrable existential angst for the next year or two, or even three, before the circle of secondary education completes itself. It is at this point that these once unhappy fellows are able to take advantage, that is the wrong phrase. They are able to utilize the fruits of OGP and court younger women.

This same cycle again repeats itself in college. The incoming freshmen sometimes cannot even get a word in with their new classmates of the opposite sex before they are snatched up by upperclassmen. They endure the same pains that they had become all-too-familiar with in high school all over again, and then they bide their time until the next year when a new freshman class of girls comes in. Many of my friends and acquaintances are already salivating over the opportunities that they may come across this school year.

Then, after college, when students are released into the "real world," all bets are off. Age is no longer of any consequence, unless the boys are going "cougar hunting" (which would be scouting for older women, more often than not divorced middle-aged women), or the girls are "gold digging." Both are pretty shallow.

Why and when OGP happens is not extremely important. The fact that it does happen is. Old Guy Power has shaped the destiny of countless mortals for as long back as history can document. Joseph was older than Mary, Ben Franklin married a woman much younger than himself, Sid was older than Nancy, and many others (I really don't feel like doing the research right now). Oh, and Jerry Lee Lewis married his 14 year old cousin.

I can't find any legitimate gripe within myself against OGP for one simple and almost terrifying reason: If it were not for Old Guy Power, I very well may not be here. My own father was three grades above my mother, and is two years older chronologically. How can I complain about a force that was strong enough to aid in putting me onto this earth? I wouldn't even know what OGP was if not for my parents, because I would be nothing. I wouldn't have been born.

So, I guess you can say that OGP is sort of a necessity. This is putting it in a comforting way, to be sure. Whether it is necessary or not, it is here, and it is never going anywhere. Even legal age laws couldn't put a dent in the side of the massive ship that is the SS OGP. It's like the Titanic, except it is truly unsinkable.

The only thing that one can do is bear the stress and sadness that OGP sometimes offers, and then lurk in the bushes, waiting for the day that the power truly belongs to them, the day that they become an "Old Guy."

The circle, my friends, it will never end.