…I honestly didn’t see this coming.

Don’t worry, they still let me graduate and all that. I’ve got my credentials now…they can’t take that away from me.

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What I mean to say is…I thought that the end of 2013 would bring about a significant amount of fanfare in my life…fresh opportunities and enthusiasm. You think the race is gonna be over…nope. There’s just another one on the other side.

Sorry, that’s kind of a bummer line to lead off with for the first post of the new year. Also…February…January literally just flew by. So what has happened since my last post…

I’ve said goodbye to Denton…not permanently. I’ve still got plenty of people requesting money from me up there, and plenty of friends I want to try and keep in touch with. But I’ve got all my stuff crammed in a corner of a room at my parents place while I try to find my next place back closer to “home”. While I’m talking about it…is anyone looking to sublease a 1 bedroom apartment in Denton…fully furnished and on the UNT bus route? Contact me for more info.
I’d love to get that monkey off my back.
The job search for the career continues. As I thought, my people don’t really advertise when they’re looking to fill a spot…they just ask people if they know a guy. I’ve still got my current job to keep me afloat, but I don’t see this as a long term venture, and I don’t see the promise of them trying to increase my hours panning out. I’ve tried seeing if there are any other positions within my company that are more worthy of the degree I have now (still waiting on that degree to arrive by the way) but the most suitable match lies down in Austin. I’m still doing a lot of searching in the DFW area here, as I’m trying to move into a new place here pretty soon, but if at some point, I need to definitively expand my search…well, so much for my plans I guess.

I also lost my grandfather recently. My grandfather had been in and out of the hospital quite a bit in the final months of his life. Heck, he’d been in and out quite a bit in the last few years of his life…but he always bounced back. He broke his hip several years back…an injury that at his age would have led a downhill spiral in most people. Amazingly though, he got through rehabilitation and was able to go back home and continue to live his life. This last time though…it seemed that all his resilience had worn out. On Saturday January the 19th, we were informed by the hospital that after going in and out of a responsive and lucid state the day before, that his kidneys were shutting down…which, I don’t know how much y’all know about the medical world, but when a person’s kidneys shut down…it’s kind of the beginning of the end. He held on until that coming Monday night, when all of his kids and grandkids were able to gather to reminisce, tell old stories, laugh, cry, and say our goodbyes. While he couldn’t say anything…we know that he heard us, maybe even tried to gesture to us. He passed at 1:15 early the next morning, knowing that he had held on long enough. January 21st…the day that I lost the smartest man I will ever know. I will miss you immensely Grandaddy.

David Martin

Losing him took a lot out of me, but there was some good to come out of his death. It has been near a decade since that side of my family has gotten together as a whole. The circumstances could not have been much worse, but we were finally able to change that, and despite the tears and the heartache, we were able to come together and enjoy our time with one another, and promise to one another that despite our distance, it would not take another act of death or a decade to bring us back together.
In his passing, my grandfather was able to bring together those that he loved in a way that he had not seen in a very long time. I like to be optimistic where I’m able, so I see the silver lining here. We won’t mourn his death…so much as we’ll celebrate his life. I haven’t considered myself much of a family guy in a very long time, and I remember now how much I miss everybody. I can’t wait to see them again.

So yea…the grind of the job search, the search for a new place to call home, and the loss of a patriarch…my 2014 thus far. I still have unfinished business from last year though.
I seem to remember that last post, I left y’all with a trio of polls…my Backstage Accolades for Best Movie, TV Series, and Video Game of the Year. A few of y’all voted. But not quite enough to declare a real winner in any category…we had ties all around. I won’t declare more than one though, so…it’ll just have to come down to me.

Without further ado…the Winner for Best Movie of 2013 is…

iron-man-3

Iron Man 3 was a great movie no doubt…but if it were entirely up to me…I think I’d have gone with Pacific Rim, or Kick-Ass 2. The people have spoken though. My other option here for the actual winner was Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I love me some Jennifer Lawrence, but RDJ just kills it every time.

Moving on…the Winner for Best TV Show of 2013 is…

Breaking-Bad-Season-51

Even though I’ve never watched Breaking Bad, it seemed this was the obvious choice. 2013 saw the final season of the series, and with it some of the most epic moments in TV history…so I’m told. My other options in the tie were The Walking Dead, and NCIS. I watched both shows this year, but I still feel like based on the fanfare around Breaking Bad’s finale season that it is deserving based on reputation alone.

Finally…the Winner for Best Video Game of 2013 is…

pokemon_xy_legendaries

Yes…Pokémon X and Y. Y’all seriously left this category the hell alone…my five votes were the only ones tallied. I honestly have been going back and forth between Pokémon and Tomb Raider, but I haven’t been able to put down Pokémon since I picked it up. I Even though nostalgia was the only driving force for getting this game, I’ve continued to enjoy it for months. Don’t get me wrong…I enjoyed the crap out of Tomb Raider…but once I beat the game, I didn’t chase down the collectibles for very long. Pokémon is continuing to provide me with new entertainment long after I’ve beaten it. Now…since I was alone in the voting for this one, I had three other ties. They were Grand Theft Auto V, Dead Rising 3, and Forza Motorsport 5. I lost interest in GTA 5 after a while, and I picked Dead Rising and Forza as my only real options for the next generation of Xbox. Pokémon and Tomb Raider were the only real games that have come out this past year that have held my interest to completion. And somehow I still didn’t pick Tomb Raider after following Lara Croft’s hot hiney around for about 20 hours.

Tomb-Raider-2013

Nostalgia wins out over sex. Childhood wins out over adulthood. You don’t have to grow up.

Now that 2013 is good and shelved at this point, let’s look forward a bit. I kind of missed the whole Winter Movie season, and I do mean that I missed it. It feels like forever since I’ve gone out and caught a flick. I’m just in time though to look forward to the Spring Movie Season…so what’s coming up in the shining lights of the movie billboards?

300: Rise Of An Empire – 3/07
The legendary 300 Spartans have fought their great fight, and died trying to defend their nation. The nation is now left to defend itself against the imposing Persian juggernaut. Can they hold?
Alright, we’ve got a director here that I’ve never heard of, Noam Murro, and a…let’s be honest…cast of Hollywood D-listers and hopefuls. This flick could go either way…it’s built on a strong foundation, but this crew just might not have the chops to make it everything they want it to be. We’ll see.

Need For Speed – 3/14
The notorious game franchise finally comes to the big screen. Fast cars, and high crime. The thing is…I feel like Need For Speed has already been turned into a movie. I mean, isn’t that what the Fast & Furious franchise has been? I’ve already seen this movie…and I know that Aaron Paul with all his grit from Breaking Bad has a lot to bring, but I think we’re all going to be silently comparing it to the Fast & Furious films, and how it falls ever so short. That’s my guess though.

Veronica Mars – 3/14
This is kind of a shot in the dark here. I know that there are fans out there of the show that made a 3 season run from 2004 – 2007, but I haven’t met any. There was a Kickstarter put in place to try and raise 2 million dollars to make a movie…and bring about some sort of extended closure. Kind of like a Firefly/Serenity type situation. The fans stepped up though and brought in 5.7 million by the time the Kickstarter deadline was up. So…Kristin Bell returns to see her character gets a good farewell. I know nothing of the series, so I have no idea what to expect. Worth mentioning though.

Divergent – 3/21
The books that this were based on became popular after the Hunger Games trilogy started gaining a lot of followers, and with good reason. Divergent is essentially a clone of the whole Hunger Games premise. Expect the same type of action and personality types. Just…maybe not quite as good. I’ve got kind of low expectations here, so I may be setting myself up to be pleasantly surprised by the film quality. I just don’t know right now.

Muppets Most Wanted – 3/14
[Insert basic movie description with first impression opinion here.]
You know, I’m sure someone is looking forward to this.

Nymphomaniac Part 1 – 3/14
This is a 2-part NC-17 flick…it is the story of a woman’s life from birth to age 50, and the numerous erotic adventures that the self proclaimed nymphomaniac has endured. I’m just intrigued by the concept of a 2-part NC-17 film, the second part arriving…somewhere, on April 18th.

Noah – 3/28
The biblical story of Noah who after suffering dreams of a coming apocalypse receives a message from God, telling him to construct a great ship, to save all the animals of the land from an upcoming flood. This is a film by Darren Aronofsky, the Director responsible for Black Swan. Might be interesting to see what he does with a biblical tale…and Emma Watson.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 4/4
The first Captain America several years back was a bit of a disappointment. But now that we’ve seen what Cap can do in the Avengers, I’ve got a little more excitement built up for him in this chapter. The rest of the Avengers can go home. Stark can go back to Malibu, Thor can go back to Asgard, Banner can go back to keeping a low profile…Steve Rogers can’t go back to WWII era America, where things were simpler…more black and white. So he stays on with S.H.I.E.L.D. to try and figure out how to fit into life in the modern world. Just as he begins to get a grasp on things, threats emerge that bring him back into the fray.
They’ve had time to get it right at this point, and I think I’m going to enjoy this Captain America.

Transcendence – 4/18
Will Caster, played by Johnny Depp, is the leading developer in Artificial Intelligence. After an incident which leaves his days numbered, he and his assistants make the decision to connect his consciousness to the internet before he dies so that he can continue to live in virtual form. AIs have needs though, just like the living…and no one can predict what this new intelligence will do next.
There isn’t a whole lot of publicity for this movie yet, but it’s one I’m really looking forward to. Based on subject matter alone, I’m hooked…but the cast looks phenominal as well. Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, I’m excited.

The Amazing Spiderman 2 – 5/2
The rebooted Spiderman franchise with Andrew Garfield  gets its sequel this May. Paul Giamatti plays The Rhino, and Jaime Foxx jumps in as Electro. I’m actually pretty excited to see Jaime Foxx suiting up as a bad guy in the Marvel Universe. I think he’ll do well as a villain, and great alongside Garfield, definitely a better choice for the webbed crusader than Toby Maguire. I’m just left wondering now when Columbia will release the franchise so Spidey can finally join up with the Avengers.

Neighbors – 5/9
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star alongside Zach Efron in this story of a couple who have a baby and are forced to deal with the debauchery of a frat house moving in next door. With the same creators that brought us This Is The End, I’m expecting raunchy laughs all the way through.

Godzilla – 5/16
It’s being remade…again. It’s got to be better than the last version with Matthew Broderick. I mean, how can it really get much worse. I loved that movie at the time, but I look back on it now and shake my head. It will be better.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past – 5/23
Oh God yes. X-Men: First Class was so unbelievably good. And we finally got ourselves a good stand alone Wolverine movie too. Brian Singer said it was such a hard job wrangling all the huge personalities in this movie, but that it was so worth it. I don’t know how they’re going to handle the time travel thing, but I don’t care. Jennifer Lawrence…body paint. Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry…eye candy. If there’s one movie I could see this coming season, it’d be this.

Maleficent – 5/30
Disney’s most iconic villain finally gets her backstory told, and with Angelina Jolie playing the leading lady herself, Maleficent. It’s been a good long time since Jolie has lent her talents to the big screen, but even given her hiatus, I wouldn’t have picked anyone else for the role.

That leads us into the summer, and I suppose the end of this installment. My timetable is a complete mess right now, and I have no idea when I’ll be able to do this again. So, let’s just say…I’ll see ya when I see ya.

One last thing though…with a new year, it’s time to change the theme of my closing image. After giving it some good thought, I think I’m gonna go with classic cars. Anything made before I was born is fair game.

In loving memory of David Michael Martin Sr. One of the smartest and most loving people that ever existed. Rest in Peace.

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

- CVSleen

1970 Plymouth Hemicuda

1970 Plymouth Hemicuda

The day has finally passed that I honestly never knew was ever going to happen or not. My college career has drawn to a close. I have graduated.

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Not only did I, but once grades were posted, I’ve come to find out that I had all A’s and boosted my overall GPA up to a 3.583, which should have earned me the Cum Laude designation. What can I say, I’m a genius.
As I entered my first week of freedom, it still didn’t really feel real, and it continues…like I’m any other college student that’s simply on break right now. I thought it would hit me on Monday, when I didn’t have to go to class, but I just went about my business buying Christmas presents and spreading holiday cheer.
Now that certainly sounds nothing like me, maybe the new adult in me doesn’t feel requisite of being so dark and broody about holiday fanfare. Maybe.
I don’t think it’s really going to hit me that I’m a graduate until I see a lot of my friends return back to their studies in January, and I’m still here twiddling my thumbs…trying to find a real job.

It’s hard to tell right now how that process is going to go about happening. For the first time in my life, I’m worried about building my career path, a path that could lead me the hell out of Texas. Before, I would have told everyone that travel was not a possibility, that I’m staying right here. Now, I feel like I’d be ridiculous turning down a good job virtually anywhere…even if that means dropping everything and moving out to California.
With my chosen industry, I may not have the option of settling down in central Texas…it’s kind of scary. I’ve talked a lot of game for a while, that I’d probably end up in Los Angeles at some point…but now is the time where I have to see if I have the balls to actually play my cards if I’m dealt that hand. Time to put on the big boy pants and where the tie like an adult.
Could I really just drop everything and move halfway across the country, at a moments notice, if someone told me that a job was waiting for me? Hmm…let’s leave that at, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

As for now, Christmas is only days away, and that’s all I can think about, as it should be. It might just be because I’m now an educated man, but I have been absolutely cracking full of holiday cheer.

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…and I mean, if I’m genuinely going to be in the spirit this year, by all means, I’m going to spread it. If I could, I’d go out there and give absolutely everyone presents. Unfortunately, my pockets aren’t that deep…so maybe I can find some other way of being rewardious…it’s a word.
Hmm…

Heck, I have an idea, how about some Best of the Year Blog Awards? A Backstage Accolades if you will. I’m thinking we can take a look back at the years best movies, tv shows, video games, etc. and try and figure out our favorites.

This has been a strange year for movies. There have been a lot of good ones, but there haven’t been any that were truly exceptional as far as I’m concerned. For instance…Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Pacific Rim, The Great and Powerful Oz, Oblivion, World War Z, The Lone Ranger, Elysium, Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine, The World’s End…most all of these were excellent movies, but most all of them were also extremely forgettable. I could name a dozen more, all the same story…great in their own right, but remarkably unremarkable.
Regardless, I don’t want to make this decision, or any of these decisions. I’d like to have a dialogue, get y’all involved in the awarding process. So…you’ve got 5 picks each, what are you feeling this year?

That’s…a bit substantial, but I think I got everything. If I missed something though, feel free to add it to the list and give it a vote.
Moving on, I’ve got a few more categories I’d like to explore. The next one, is one that I’d definitely have a struggle with if forced to find a true winner on my own, as I don’t really watch a whole lot of TV…but I know there have been some very good TV shows that have aired this year. After a quick glance, this is what I can come up with.
Grab another 5.

I don’t know if I’m stepping out of bounds by slipping “Orange is the New Black” in the list, as it’s never aired on a TV station, being a Netflix original series. Things are changing…it’s the future. The ways in which we watch shows and movies are changing. Might as well go with the times.
For the next category, I want to take a look at interactive media. In less fancy terms…video games. With the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 released in the fall, and companies trying to milk every last bit of functionality out of the 360 and PS3, there have been some amazing developments. Nintendo has been doing some interesting things with WiiU games as well. And you can’t ever count out the PC market.
These are my findings. Choose another 5.

As before, if I missed anything, feel free to add it. Remember, 5 choices for each of the polls, so that nobody feels forced to decide which of their babies they love the most. You’ve probably figured that out by now though. Y’all are smart people.
I figure I’ll leave those open for a couple of weeks so that there’s plenty of time for y’all to get your votes in. Then, I’ll bring it down for a Top 5 for each, and we can figure out what our favorites were this year.

Well, I’ve been concentrating on finals and projects for so long, I don’t really know all to talk about here. I didn’t do my research for this post…my apologies.
I’m remembering though that I promised at some point in the past that once I had time to post my film projects, I would do so here…I guess I finally have that opportunity now.

So…Project 1, our guidelines were to establish tone, in 90 seconds, without the use of dialogue…just visuals. It was kind of a hard task. One of the first things I was ever taught at TCC was that dialogue was the most important element of any story. I’ve learned though that all your elements need to be strong to best tell a story, and sometimes…an extremely good story can exist without any dialogue at all. How did I do?

Our next project was a 4 minute film with dialogue, that had to incorporate elements from indoors and outdoors, day and night. I originally had a pretty good narrative idea planned out, but I couldn’t get enough support from my people in Denton to be able to execute it. What I ended up doing was switching to a documentary idea, and going solo down in Arlington. I enlisted the help of my buddy Jason to be the starring role. So, I decided to make him do what he’s best at…make delicious food, and let me document it.

The final project of the year was a group project where we were simply told to use all we’ve been taught, and make something cool. Our instructor kind of flipped the script on us, and let the class, as a whole define what the project requirements were. He had faith in us that we would all want to do our best to do our best work possible, and that we would all push each other to be our best. It was up to us to determine how many people per group, how long each group had to shoot, how long our projects were to be, and any other miscellaneous guidelines we had to follow. We ended up deciding that each group would have 5-7 people, have 3 days to shoot once issued equipment, and that each project needed to be 4-6 minutes long. Also, each group had to incorporate the line of dialogue, “Let’s just get this over with.” as kind a statement that we were all ready for the semester to be over.
My group decided that we wanted a more comedic idea, so we came up with a script pretty quick that each of us loved. We heard of other groups having no end of trouble getting their equipment to work, or negotiating with the elements, actors, etc. Their were several horror stories. When our turn came around though, we had a blast. The whole process was a load of fun, and an experience I wouldn’t ever trade if given the chance. That includes the night spent in the edit lab, finalizing the project until about 4:30 in the morning. It was fun. And here is what we produced as a result of all of it…

I suppose I could also give you a review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but while I like it, and would probably end up giving…
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire7 out of 10
…all I really want to talk about is the trilogy middle child syndrome. That is, the stigma that typically befalls the second film in most trilogies. Most trilogies, whether or not it was planned out from the beginning to have three films, or just the first, they usually end up following the same format. The first film is usually a perfectly good stand alone film, as in if they had never decided to make a 2nd or a 3rd, the first could be a perfectly encapsulated story that doesn’t require any elaboration. Great examples are the original Star Wars trilogy, and The Matrix trilogy. Believe it or not, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was never intended to be the beginning of a trilogy. It was supposed to be a stand alone film, and it was decided in post that it could be expanded on in further films. It was after that when it was decided to add the crawl at the beginning, and the whole “episode iv” business. Think about it though…the Emperor had yet to be introduced, Darth Vader was sent flying out into space, and the main conquest…the Death Star, was completely destroyed. Everyone is happy at the end, Luke and Han are both given medals…end of story. It could have ended right there.
The makers decided however that one just wasn’t enough, so they shoe ended the other 2 into the story and made it work. I’m not saying that they didn’t do it well in the case of Star Wars, but The Empire Strikes Back does suffer some downfalls as an individual film. There are a lot of different problems I could name, but the big one that I’ll keep coming back to is that it is not a story that can stand on it’s own two feet. If it weren’t for the crawl, we wouldn’t have any form of proper introduction to characters, or the overarching story. The most annoying thing however is the ending. In A New Hope, you get a clear sense of resolution. The Empire Strikes back leaves you with the Rebellion on the run, the Empire with the upper hand, Luke lacking a hand, and Han frozen in Carbonite. You would think that there is no possible way that you could end a movie on such terms, but right then and there…fade up music, roll credits. The Matrix trilogy, same problem. The Nebuchadnezzar is destroyed, Neo is brain dead after taking on a Sentinel, and the ending scene shows him laying right next to the mortal embodiment of his greatest nemesis. Fade up music, roll credits. Catching Fire is exactly the same way. The story is interrupted rather suddenly through a plot device, you get dumped with some massive heavy information bombs, you get a stern look from Katniss, and, predictably…fade up music, roll credits.
Now, before you begin griping at me that the movies were made that way because, in a lot of cases, that was how the books were written…my argument can be applied to the books as well, in that they are following the same trilogy function that the movies do.

It’s not all trilogies that do this, but you know them when you see them. The expression you make at the very end bares a striking resemblance to this…

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I’ve griped long enough.

This post has been everywhere, but I’ll have my senses together next post. I’d love Love LOVE y’alls help with those Backstage Accolades polls…without it, I can’t really give y’all your true winners of the year, a people’s champion.
Hopefully next time the polls will have some good progress, or I can move on to the Top 5′s. I’ll try to have some other topics planned out for you too. Till next time.

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

- CVSleen

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Salmon and Crab Stuffed Flounder

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Salmon and Crab Stuffed Flounder

Late in waining hours of the PM, I find myself with a few minutes and a full mind. I’ve got a theme for this line of thought though today, so pucker your butt holes, and prepare for a wild ride, because this post is all about cars… Accept for the first little bit here. Just a bit of news about the current goings-on. My film class has broken up into 2 different sets of groups. 1 set has begun forming around the Directors from next semester’s class that I listed last post, and the other groups are for the final project we have running at current. Actually, my group is finishing up our go around with the equipment, and will soon move on to the editing process. I’ve just got to say, we’re getting to work with one of the schools RED cameras, the RED Scarlet

red-scarlet-x-xl

For all you non-filmmakers out there that don’t see the significance of shooting on this camera, let me list off a few movies that are being made, or have been made recently with this type of camera…
RoboCop (2014)
I, Frankenstein
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Thor: The Dark World
Ender’s Game
The Getaway
Elysium
Grown Ups 2
Pacific Rim
This is the End
Star Trek: Into Darkness
…and I’m cherry picking from a huge list here. This is truly professional grade equipment, used by some of the biggest names on some of the biggest titles…in slightly more intricate configurations, granted, but in essence, the same basic gear. We’ll be adding a few titles to that list by the end of the semester…pretty cool. Alright, on with the motoring. I don’t know if I really speak for the ladies out there, but most all guys have a list of dream cars that they would love to own if they got a chance. Some guys have a Top 5, some a Top 10, some just have a list…regardless, most have a mental shopping cart for if they were ever to come into a sudden windfall of millions of dollars. I have a pretty big list myself, that I throw together in no particular order, but I went through the exercise recently of trying to carve out a Top 10 from that list, and I’d like to share it here today. So…

First, an honorable mention. I went back and forth with this and my number 10 pick, so much so that I decided it merited being talked about…

The 2008 Ariel Atom 500 ariel-atom-500-v81

It has a 500HP 3 Liter V8 engine and weighs just over 1200 pounds. It’s power to weight ratio is better that the Bugatti Veyron (just google it, and make sure you have some tissues) and accelerates from 0-60 mph in just over 2 seconds. This thing will destroy your face. Okay, on to the list.

#10, The 1992 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) M-Spec Nissan_Skyline_R34_GT-R_Nür_001

The Hero Car of character Brian O’Conner from the 2nd and 4th installments of the Fast and Furious trilogy. It had a twin turbo charged straight 6 engine, which at a factory measured ~280HP has a tremendous amount of speed and power.

#9, The 2014 Koenigsegg Agera S ageras_21-750x500

This car is pure pornography. The twin turbo charged V8 engine in this monster puts out over 1000 horsepower, and has beat the world record, previously held by the Bugatti Veyron, for acceleration from 0-300 km/h (0-186mph) with a blistering 14.53 seconds. The price tag on this one might also be the biggest on this list, 4.2 million dollars.

#8, The 2010 Lexus LFA lexus-lfa-high-res-in-matte-flat-black-primer-style-pain

I don’t have a whole lot of reason for liking this car much more than any other, beyond the fact that it’s just gorgeous. It’s got a 4.8 Liter V10 engine, the body is made mostly of a carbon fiber polymer material, it puts speed down to the ground unbelievably well…crap, it’s just a beautiful car.

#7, The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Coupé Silver-Aston-Martin--27134_4

This car probably needs no explanation. If you don’t recognize it immediately, then you don’t watch near enough secret agent flicks. This is THE James Bond car. It first appeared in Goldfinger, later Thunderball, it reappeared in Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and has been featured again in Casino Royale and Skyfall. Probably wouldn’t ever get the chance to sit at the wheel of one with all the gadgets and guns, but it’d still be a pretty slick ride.

#6, The 1969 Dodge Charger 1969_dodge_charger-pic-15882

The most iconic car of any that exists of the historic Dodge lineup. I say this as a Challenger owner, but I know that this car has remarkable prestige. It was the General Lee, Dominic Toretto’s car of choice, it’s 500 and Daytona derivatives put Dodge back on the map with NASCAR…the car has pedigree. Slap a big block blower on top, and some big chunky tires on the back, and you’ve got a drag car that will everyone envious.

#5, The 2008 HSV Maloo E Series 2008-hsv-maloo-r8-ute-2_600x0wutility-holden-maloo-2008

This one is a little bit out of left field. The Maloo is a sport truck that hails all the way from Austrailia. Now we may have plenty of options over here for hot and sporty pickups, but it holds the record for World’s Fastest Production Utility/Pickup Truck at 168 mph, a record previously held by the Dodge Ram SRT10. Whereas the Dodge Ram simply had a V10 stuffed in under the hood, the Maloo was designed with style in mind as well, in other words…it looks the part of an actual speed demon. And it doesn’t hurt that the Maloo is packing the same 6 Liter LS2 412 horsepower V8 motor that the Corvette had. Speaking of Chevy, they had a decent try when they designed the SSR, but, well, never mind. That really wasn’t a decent try…that thing was atrocious. The Maloo…bangin’.

#4, The 1991 Alfa Romeo SZ Alfa-Romeo-SZ-Sprint-Zagato-Experimental-Sportscar-1989-1991-Photo-07

What in God’s name am I doing with an Alfa Romeo on this list? Well, I think it’s gorgeous. As far as 90′s era cars go, this baby is a super model. It wasn’t packing a lot of heat under the hood, a 3 Liter V6…but it didn’t need it, this car was all style. Alfas aren’t renowned for their superb engineering, or their longevity, but for the brief moments that they are fully functioning…they are amazing. I’d love the crap out of one of these for about a week.

#3, The 1973 Dodge Challenger 440 Magnum 1973-dodge-challenger-440-magnum

You can’t tell me you didn’t see this one coming from me. There are a lot of different Challenger body styles out there, but to my eye, I don’t see a whole lot more beautiful than that generation 1 E-body. And of all the engine options offered, wouldn’t you go with the largest? The 440 Magnum and the Six-Pack would be the two options you’ve got, and while the Six-Pack is technically the higher output engine, the Magnum just comes with a little more weight when you let the words slip through your gob. The Challenger is my car, and this is the grandpappy.

#2, The 1970 Nissan Skyline GT-R Coupé (KPGC-10) 1970-Nissan-Skyline-GT-R-S45-2

Whoa…hold your horses their Corey, you’ve already got a Skyline on the list. Yea, I know, but there are some cars out there that are just love at first sight. I’ve loved that R34 Skyline for some time, never having gone back and gandered at that from which it came, but I saw this pop up in Fast Five, and I knew that I had to know more. Even back in 1970, this car just looked mean. A 2 Liter 160 horsepower straight 6 motor may sound relatively underpowered, but these cars weren’t built for straight line speed…they’re corner jockeys. I dunno, I can get wrapped up in the numbers for quite a while, but all I really know is that when I see this car, I want to slap on a set of shades, and go drifting around a twisty-turney mountain road.

Alright, so what can possibly occupy the top spot on my Top 10 List. I’ve already mentioned a Charger and a Challenger, so what can I possibly want more than that. You could venture a couple of guesses, and you’d get close, but you’d probably still be wrong.

#1, The 1970 Plymouth Road Runner (Hammer) 90927_Front_3-4_WebHammer RR r34 1600

This…this is unequivocally the most beautiful car I have ever seen. This is not just any Plymouth Road Runner, but a custom job created by Custom Car Designer Steve Strope at his shop, Pure Vision Design, and was given then name ‘Hammer’. The Hammer is a fusion of European exotic flair and American Detroit muscle. It has a smaller, lighter Mopar wedge motor that outputs an estimated 750 horsepower. Everything is custom…engine, drivetrain, chassis, exhaust, wheels, tires…it’s even been fitted with heating, AC, and power windows. Even aside from the custom Hammer treatment, Plymouth’s take on the Chysler B-body platform, as expressed by the Road Runner/GTX/Satellite models.

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Dodge did an amazing job with their B-body models, but Plymouth just stands a cut above in my mind. Yep, the the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner is number 1 in my book. I doubt I’ll ever get my hands on the Hammer that was shown at SEMA, but maybe I can still find me one with a 440 Six Pack.

As it were, I’ve got my Xbox One now, and just picked up Forza 5. I’m thinking something I might try and do, depending on their database of cars, is try to assemble that list.
Alright guys, and dolls if you do it too…if you’ve got a Top 10 Cars list that you wanna share, drop in and lay me some sweet sweet comments.

<Edit>Several of the cars on this list came to be objects of my lust due to their role in the Fast and Furious movie franchise. This past Saturday we lost one of the front men for that franchise, and all around great guy, Paul Walker. He was involved in a car accident on Saturday afternoon as a passenger in his Porsche, driven by his friend Roger Rodas, who was also killed. Walker was the founder of the Reach Out Worldwide organization, and Rodas was hosting a car show for the organization just down the street. Rodas was a very philanthropic man himself, and did a lot to try and give back to those around the world in need.
Walker, aside from his talent as an actor, was very adamant about finding ways to give back to the community. We are at a gigantic loss without this man that helped shape the car enthusiast community. He is survived by his wife and daughter. Rest In Peace Paul Walker, and Roger Rodas.

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You will be greatly missed.
Let’s try and get a bit less somber now…</Edit>

I get a lot of enjoyment from a little show imported from over the pond called Top Gear. It’s all about cars and good laughs, and it lets me see a little more about the European motoring scene than I would normally be exposed to over here. I found out about several of the cars on my top 10 list through them. They show a high volume of super cars, hyper cars, and luxury sports, but every now and then they can pull something from way out of left field. The kind of cars where you wonder if the designers had a little crack sprinkled in their morning cereal. In some cases, these make for amazing cars. Others…not so much. I want to take a look at a few such cars shown on Top Gear that rated a 9.0 on my weird stuff-o-meter.

Awesome or Awful

HSV Maloo
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Yea, you’ve already seen this ^up there^, I know. I just how well HSV was able to fuse a car with a pickup. I’d like to think that if Chevy made El Caminos that they’d look this good. I feel like I know better though. I think that the SSR was an attempt to try and bank on some of that old magic and…well, I’d definitely throw that one in the awful pile…

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The Maloo though, I’d really call that a stylistic success, and it being able to best the Ram SRT10 in transferable power, that’s pretty snappy too. The Ram SRT10 had its own problems though. Trying to put a huge V10 motor in the front without putting any thought into weighing the rear end down too. It didn’t matter how easily you pressed on the accelerator, all you ever did was end burning rubber.
The HSV Maloo – Amazing in my book

Carver One
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It looks like someone fitted a cockpit onto a trike. This thing is more that just a street legal 3-wheeler though. It has a little surprise in store for aggressive cornering. If you were to take a corner in a smooth and leisurely fashion, it would act normally…but start cornering a little more quickly and aggressively, and it gives you this…

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Yea…it will lean in to the turn like a motorcycle, or…if you’re feeling where I’m coming from…like a jet fighter. With a little 4 cylinder 65 horsepower engine that maxes at 115 mph, it’s not breaking any speed records. But just imagine being able to take this thing out and powering and tilting through every corner you encounter. This thing isn’t practical at all, but it looks ridiculously fun.
The Carver One – Amazing in my book

Mercedes-Benz Bionic
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Someone actually intentionally designed a car to look like this. I don’t know why people had to get it into their heads that these clean, more eco-friendly cars by and large have to look like such utter garbage, but that seems to be the trend in the motoring world today. But yes, this was actually designed to look a particular type of fish that has a…low drag coefficient…or whatever…

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Yea, that thing…I’m sure that little guy performs real well in a wind tunnel. So what else is so special about this car, you may ask? Well, it cuts down nitrogen oxide production by as much as 80% by using what they call an aqueous ammonia or urea chemical that mixes with the exhaust gas and pulls it out. Let’s cut to the chase here…ammonia…urea…they’re using sheep pee. Yea, that’s the big innovation there, the car has been injected with sheep wee to cut out greenhouse gas emissions. I’m still wondering why it has to look like an invalid carriage.
The Mercedes-Benz Bionic – Awful in my book

Paramount Group Marauder MPV
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Hang on. This picture doesn’t quite do it justice. Let’s keep looking. Ah, here we go…

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That’s better. Do you ever think that you’d see a vehicle that makes a Hummer H3 look like the old Mini Coopers? If you’re wondering what possible reason may exist for the production of this vehicle, the name really says it all…MPV – Mine Protected Vehicle. Like the Hummer itself, it started its life as a military vehicle, and someone in the marketing department said, “Hey, you think we could make any money with a civilian model?” and someone else nodded and cried to the engineers, “Make it so!” The engine specifications to this thing are irrelevant, and fuel economy is moot because it can come fitted with long range fuel tanks. The meat and potatoes of the vehicle are thus: it can stand up to explosions from a 7kg payload of TNT from any part of its hull…14kg if the explosion comes from under one of the wheels. The hulls armor plating can withstand fire from a .50 cal. It weighs 15 tons, and can be loaded down to 18 tons and still pony up to 75 mph. With seating for 10, this is the ideal vehicle for small army starter kits. Sadly though, with a price tag of nearly half a million, you’ll probably only have enough money left to outfit your small army with super soakers.
The Paramount Group Marauder MPV – Awful in my book

Gumpert Apollo
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When Top Gear talked about this car, they introduced it by saying that a man was looking for a super car that was catastrophically atrocious, and that this was his car. Despite its incredible speed, it was unanimously hated for its looks, to which they said something to the point of their photographers not being able to find any one single angle that might flatter the car. From the outside at least, I couldn’t disagree more, I think this is a beautiful car.

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I mean, it’s a little bit flamboyant and ostentatious, but Lamborghinis are designed quite the same way, and everyone thinks they’re some of the most beautiful cars around. So, I don’t get what the fuss is about…until I get a look inside…

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Oh boy…it’s time to eat my words. That is very gaudy indeed. They really don’t need to color match with the neon paint, but they went and did it anyways. And it looks like they’re just throwing switches and gauges wherever they please, no rhyme or reason involved whatsoever. Oh, and the seats in here, the racing bucket seats…can’t be adjusted. The pedals however can be extended or retracted as needed to fit the drivers height…how back asswards is that?
Ugh, I wanted to love this car, but then you open those ridiculous gull wing style doors, take a look inside, and begin to understand what the Top Gear boys were on about.
The Gumpert Apollo – Awful in my book

Aston Martin Cygnet
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I don’t know if there really is a more proper response to this vehicle than stunned silence. Aston Martin has a reputation for debonaire style, British luxury and power, and high social status all rolled up together all rolled up together with a black bow-tie. And then, at the suave dinner party you might expect Aston owners to attend, someone sharts, drops a turd down their pant leg, and this little surprise lands and stains the hand-woven anatolian carpets.
If this car looks at all familiar to you, their is good reason. It’s simply a rebadged and rebumpered version of the Toyota iQ…

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The more appropriate question though is probably why. Why would Aston Martin stain their brand with this little hipster ragamuffin? Well, their is good reason for that too. The European union in the past several years has been cracking down on European car manufacturers to lower the average fuel emissions across the spectrum of cars they make. A lot of manufacturers already had at least one eco-friendly car amongst their lineup, but Aston Martin had never catered to that crowd, and found themselves in an uncomfortable position. They bit the bullet however buy tarting up the iQ’s interior, slapping some new dressings on the outside, and calling it good enough for government work. There is nothing technically wrong with this car, except for the fact that it’s trying to put on an expensive suit and go hobnobbing with the Aston Martin crowd. It should be said though that, testament to its poor looks and forethought, since its production began in 2011, it has since been halted in September of this year. A short 2-year run for it.
The Aston Martin Cygnet – Awful in my book

Spyker C8
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Spyker is a Dutch car manufacturer that began its life as an airplane manufacturer. Since the reformation of the brand name, the C8 has been the first entry into the car market. My only real gripes for the car are that possibly the designers didn’t look at it from all angles before determining that it was hot and ready for development. The back wheels sit out almost the full width of the tire itself on either side, giving it a rather awkward stance. The convertible top also seemed like it was thrown together a bit hastily from a design aesthetic standpoint. Here’s what I’m talking about…

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The top when on just makes kind of a clean drop off in the back, almost giving it the appearance of a pickup truck. And with the amount of window space off the front, the car looks like it has a gigantic forehead when viewed from the front. That’s really all I can find wrong with it. On the inside, it looks fantastic…

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Look at the exposed gear shift linkage, the humble but stylish and informative dashboard, even the attention to detail given to the floor pedals, the inside of this car is brilliant. They’ve even gone and improved the way the top looks on the car when up in subsequent versions of the car, so improvements are continuing to be made to the cars style. This car has a lot of potential to be a real contender in the super car scene; just a few refinements and it’ll be ready to stand up to the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani, and McLaren.
The Spyker C8 – Amazing in my book

Alright, my mind full of cars has at last been exhausted, and I’m going to call it a day. It’s entirely possible that by the next time I post again, I’ll be on to my finals, and a hairsbreadth away from graduation. More news to come as I get to it. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving, and got to spend some good time with family. Until next time…

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

- CVSleen

bacon-1024x754

Just an epic pile of bacon

I’ve managed to steal away a little bit of time from classes and work. Don’t let them know though, otherwise they’ll come running and give me something to do.

I’ve reached an odd point here in my last semester where everyone has begun to plan and look forward to what they will be doing in their classes next semester. Most of my classes don’t really translate to anything moving forward, but my Intermediate Film class has another level above it. This has been particularly interesting to watch, because where there was only a race to get codes for my current class, there is a much more competitive nature to getting into Advanced Film. Here’s how the class selection works: first the prospective directors are told to pick a script (either one they’ve found from a friend/fellow student, or one they’ve written themselves), submit a reel with all there, and submit and apply for the position. Most everyone that wants to be in the class applies for director, because that’s where all the power is, and where all the decisions are going to come from.
Well, the directors were announced last week, just 8 of them. A class of 45 people, probably 90% of which want to be in the class…all of their fate now lies predominantly in the hands of these 8 people. What began happening today is the directors got together, and began selecting from my class who they wanted as their DPs, editors, producers, and whatever other roles they get to pick and self assign to their own productions.
All the power in the class has now shifted around to these 8 students who will essentially be deciding the makeup of Advanced Film next semester, and it’s been really interesting to watch from an outsiders perspective, who is unconcerned about what classes I will be in next semester.
It’s just been interesting to see everyone all the sudden gravitate to these 8 people, and try to stake out a claim of next semesters real estate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually kind of jealous of what it sounds like everyone is going to be doing in Advanced Film. It sounds like there are some really cool projects coming together, and there is some great fun that will be had.
So…Amanda, Ashton, Brian, Daniel, Dylan, Heather, Ian, and Mercy…congratulations on being chosen to direct for next semester. Good luck on your upcoming projects, and choose your crews well…there is some great talent in this class, some of which that are relatively upset that they got passed over for you. They can be great assets, so make sure they are well utilized. But again, congratulations. Know that I’ll make a return at the end of next semester to see how things have turned out, if I don’t return periodically to lend a hand as a UNT Film School Graduate.

It’s going to continue to be interesting to see how all the puzzle pieces fall into place, but that’s for another time. For now, I’ve been out and seen some flicks, and I have some opinions.

Carrie
carrie-2013-4653-hd-wallpapers

The Steven King classic, turned film, now redone. I never saw the the first 1976 film adaptation, but from what I’ve been told about it, it’s remained pretty faithful to it, just has been updated to match the current state of technology and political climate. With that said…I really enjoyed it. You know how much I dig on Chloë Grace Moretz, and I tend to dig on the crazies too (they just know how to have fun), so it was great to see her in another starring role again so soon. Julianne Moore played the role of Carrie’s mother, Margaret, and I thought her acting was probably the best in the movie. She really came off as cagily unhinged, full of reserved religious fury.
I got a real Sam Raimi feel to the effects used in the movie, just a bit over the top, but I enjoyed that…just a little bit over the edge. There is no denying that the story is solid, it wouldn’t have been adapted this many times otherwise. The sound design also had kind of a Sam Raimi film aesthetic to it, I’m really surprised he didn’t play any part in making the film. The music fit, but felt slightly eerie and non-diegetic in places. That’s the thing with Sam Raimi flicks, it’s just over-the-top enough to pull you out and remind you that it isn’t actually reality that you are watching. And that’s how this film felt, not really immersive, but all the same a very well done flick.
Carrie7 out of 10

Ender’s Game
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I have been looking forward to this adaptation for far too long. I’ve been hyping it up for what feels like forever. I’d known about it being in the pipeline for several years now, and after having read the book, and from what I heard was supposed to be the companion book, I’ve been beyond excited to see this. I’ve had the bar set really high, and we all know what happens when we do that.
I might have built up the movie a little too much in my own head. I really liked the casting, but the acting felt a bit forced at times. I also felt like the budget might have run a little bit shallow in places. I feel like the bulk of it probably went towards special effects and Harrison Ford. I say that because the battle scenes were really impressive, but the rest of the interior scenes felt like the were almost hastily thrown together.
I completely understand that a lot of book material has to be left out when being adapted to film, for the sake of time, but there was some material that was just blatantly ignored, and that they got dead wrong. I know that there’s a certain creative freedom that is allotted to filmmakers doing adaptation…a lot really, but having been a fan immediately after reading the source material, I have a hard time forgiving the oversight/ignorance. And some of the stuff too that was changed or overlooked kind of leaves it hard to make a sequel based on the books, if they wanted too.I recognize though that I’m a little bit biased in my opinion, but I’ve heard others say that the movie felt like a montage of montages, so I know I’m not alone in feeling like the story could have been better adapted.
One positive thing I can say about the movie though is that the sound design and the score was excellent. I feel like the rest of what I’ve said has been pretty negative, but I still left the movie feeling very entertained…which at its core is the aim of all movies. I liked it…I really did like it, but I just felt like it had a lot of flaws.
Ender’s Game7 out of 10

Thor: The Dark World
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I feel like, that of all the Marvel films that led up to the 2012 Avengers film, Thor was by far the weakest film. I feel like it even fell behind the 2008 Edward Norton version of The Hulk. Thor: The Dark World had a lot of ground to make up, and the filmmakers knew it. It may have helped that most people had their bars set pretty low for the film, but this one really delivered.
All the actors felt like they’d had their performances polished up for this flick. Everyone returned for their respective roles. Kat Dennings too, though I wish they’d have picked a location where they didn’t have here wearing so much clothing. Yep, you’ve found another of my celebrity crushes.

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She’s dreamy.
But yea, the acting was on point. High point of the film…Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He’s just like RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man…he just knows how to own that role. His facial expressions, his sense of timing…it’s just perfect.

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The story was well told and well thought out, the sound design and score was very diegetic, and the effects were great. There’s a growing trend with all the Marvel movies to employ more graphical effects artists than literally all the rest of the the films workers combined. Go back and look at the list of VFX artists for Iron Man 3 and get ready for your jaw to drop if you don’t believe me.
The bar is being raised though for the next Avengers film, because the next Captain America film is looking pretty good too, from what I’ve seen. I kinda wonder though if they have a plan for another Hulk film before bringing the gang back together, God knows we could use an independent Mark Ruffalo/Hulk flick. I digress though…
Thor: The Dark World8 out of 10

While we’re on the subject of movies, I might make a couple of recommendations to independent horror/slasher film fans. I’ve watched a couple of flicks at the urging of my friend and fellow blogger Miko. One of the films is American Mary. It was one of my bonus films on my summer list. I thought it visually captivating and wonderfully repulsive. I won’t give you a review here, instead I’ll let Miko do the honors.
The other film we watched was The Loved Ones, actually a film from 2009. It was über creepy, and gave me the shivers at times, but it was great. Basically a kind of loner girl takes clingyness to new levels. That’s all I’ll say.

Sigh…I don’t think I’m coping well with the time change. I know there’s always a wave of people that love to complain that Daylight Savings Time has them going nuts springing forward or falling back, but it goes deeper for me. I think that time itself, as an imaginary construct is just utter bull crap. The tracking of time is something that we as a species made up in an effort to unite each other, but in this day and age, it shows more our efforts to separate ourselves. Daylight Savings Time (and I could be wrong about this, I accept) was formed for farmers to let them more easily tend to their harvest as the seasons change. Why does the rest of the world have to conform to them? Why do they have to conform to the rest of the world?
I understand the function of all the different time zones in the world, but once we extend our reach to other planets, what will we do then? We can’t just try and coordinate them with a time zone back here on Earth, as their day lengths won’t even line up correctly. How do we do it now, with the space station?
Why do we care? There is already a natural rhythm to life that our bodies respond to without having to be told what time it is. We know when it’s day, we know when it’s night, what else do we really need. My point can be made by a quote I found a while back, by author Mitch Albom
“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.
Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check it’s watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time.
Man alone chimes the hour.
And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.”
So yea, time is bull crap, and I’m tired of adjusting to when everyone else thinks I should be up and active. I’ll figure it out on my own, thank you very much.
If only I could do that…sigh.

Oh dang, they’ve found me. I guess it’s time to get back to work. I’ll get back to you whenever I can. Light is at the end of the tunnel…I see it now. See you on the other side.
One more thing…I’ve run out of hipster food pictures. I’m still doing a good bit of cooking, and fantastic eating out, but you’ve seen most everything I make, or the places I hit. So…I’ll just try and find stuff to make your mouth water from here on out, unless I get creative in the kitchen. So…

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

- CVSleen

5 Cheese Bacon Mac and Cheese

5 Cheese Bacon Mac and Cheese

Top of the morgen my loyal army. I’ve found some time to come out of my little hidey hole to make some commentary. I’m really glad I’m on my last semester of school, because this workload has, frankly, felt rather ridiculous. I’d love to show off some of the fruits of my labor, but I have yet to load them up on the interwebz. Once I do though, I’ll come back and post it up…

<…Here…>

These projects have just eaten up so much of my time. And yea, I knew they would too…but I’ve had some significantly stressful days as of recent. Combine that with my boss telling me that my coworkers are hurting for more help, as I’ve only been able to give them 1 of my possible 4 days to work while I’m in class most of the time. I’ve caved and agreed to give him more days for a little while, so my free time to meditate, or drive recklessly in GTA V, is greatly reduced.

I’ve had some help though. Since my last post, I’ve found a very amazing lady that makes me feel like no one else on this earth ever has before. You’ve heard similar claims before, and might expect me to talk on how I might go about wooing said temptress, but…there’s the thing, I believe this conversation has already been had…and we’re already crazy about each other. I don’t know quite how this whole thing got started…I’ve known this girl forever, and we’ve been electronically in touch for quite some time as well. All the sudden, things just started clicking, and we’ve been getting on swimmingly. I’ve been more open with this girl than I believe I have been with anyone else, and I’ve found out details about her life that less than a handful of others are privy to. I could go on for eons about the way this girl makes me feel…but that’s no fun for anyone but her and I, and she hears plenty of my puffery on a daily basis. We’ll leave it then with me telling you that…I’m smitten, and this boy is off the market.

Now, I’ve missed some relatively big news since I last checked in. In fact, when we last met, I was still talking about the Apple announcement, and by now I could probably run out to the Apple Store and pick up a Gold 5s like it’s nothing.

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(And yea, I know those are a special 24 Karat Gold build)
Well, now that I’ve had some time to conk out for a bit, and recharge my batteries, I decided that I would get caught up on my gaming news. Now, I know that none of this is breaking news…that is all.
Let’s start with Valve. There were a lot of speculations before E3 that Valve was join the console fray and introduce a “Steam Box” that would enter the market and absolutely baffle the competition. We were all disappointed when Valve said nothing of any possible console developments, but late in September, Valve finally threw us a bone and said that they were going to be releasing some big news in 3 waves. In that last week of September they released three big announcements. First was SteamOS, a Linux based gaming operating system to make your living room run at top performance.

SteamOS

With the announcement of an operating system in round one, the second round announcement seemed to be a sure thing. Sure enough, the second announcement gave us the name of a dedicated piece of hardware to run SteamOS, and to act as a gaming platform…the Steam Machine. A unified platform for all Steam games to be based on.

And we thought at that point about a possibility that could have granted them instantaneous market share. If you look at Valve’s catalog, you will find a number of games that have made it to 2 installments, for which we are eagerly awaiting a third. Portal 3, Team Fortress 3, Left 4 Dead 3, Counter Strike 3, and the title that everyone is waiting for, Half-Life 3. The opportunity was ripe to make this third announcement be the bombshell that beckoned a new era of gaming. With a mountain of possibilities in front of them, what did they go and do then…?

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The Steam Controller…ok. If there was one thing that Steam didn’t need to waste considerable development energy on, it was a new controller. Years of research from both Microsoft and Sony have brought us to a pair of controllers that bare a striking resemblance to one another, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s the configuration that has shown to be preferable to most people. Nintendo, well, nobody knows what the hell Nintendo is doing nowadays, so I won’t go there. I don’t know, I know that there are plenty of people out there that would have poured money into the potential lineup that I mentioned before, much more so than a controller that will probably perform mediocre.
There’s talk though that we might see some of that line, however. Left 4 Dead 3 might have been unintentionally confirmed in some footage posted one of their social media accounts, and at least a development team has been named for Half-Life 3 through some sort of internal database leak. Time will tell if any of this information will amount up to anything though.

I just mentioned that Nintendo has been up to some real weird hocus pocus lately. They recently released a new handheld console that had a lot of people scratching their heads, the 2DS.

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What Nintendo has essentially done is to make a bigger handheld console that won’t flip closed, and that has lost the 3D capabilities of its predecessor. I don’t know what they were thinking in terms of style. The thing is just so ugly, and the buttons just so high up. Its like no one who was on the design team had any sense of ergonomics. Their only redeeming factor at the moment is their price. The 2DS clocks in with a price tag right in around $130, where the full-powered 3DS is still right in around $200.

Pokémon X and Y came out recently, and actually really interested in playing it. It’s a 3DS title though, and the last time I bought a handheld was the Gameboy Advance years ago.

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And, I don’t know if I’ve just been out of the market for too long, or if I’m just out of place with the pricing, but $200 feels like a little steep for a handheld console. Either way, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for some Pokémon, and the 3DS just feels too expensive. The 2DS however, is much more within a price range that I would consider acceptable. What’s a guy to do?
I mentioned last post about when Pokémon was a kind of underground obsession, out of fear of ridicule from the middle school ruling elite. It’s weird how trends change, because I feel like if I was walking around playing Pokémon now, not only would I not care at the least what other people thought of me, but I’d be taken aback if I got any kind of ridicule at all. I like how as adults, for the most part, have learned to leave their judgements at the door, and can be perfectly fine walking around with Pokémon screaming from their electronic devices.

I can’t get my Pokemans fix right now, but I have managed, at some point in the past several weeks, to go out and pick up Grand Theft Auto V though.

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I hear the same stories about this game that you usually hear about World of Warcraft when people first purchase it; it will absolutely destroy your life. Like once a person goes in, they haven’t been seen to come out. I don’t know what I was thinking buying this game, but I told myself that I could defy the hype.
Thank goodness I have a dedication to my schoolwork, because somehow to this point, I’ve only gotten about 20% of the way into the game. Man, this game at times doesn’t play like a game, it plays more like a movie, most all of the missions feel so motivated, and the characters are amazing. I can’t wait to get some more time to play through it. I hear that the story get really intense. Time willing, I may have a review for it in a year or so.

Now, I haven’t talked much about it, just a little bit during E3, and that’s because the release date is still so far off, but I’ve been eagerly awaiting the new Bungie game, Destiny to drop.

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I talked enough about it in that post, but Bungie has recently announced that there will an open beta for a select number of players out there starting next year. Several weeks ago, I got an email saying that I have been given a beta access code, so I’ll get to jump into some Destiny gameplay hopefully not too long after Christmas this year.

I was doing some speculation last week about another game that was announced at E3, that at this point still doesn’t have a release date, Kingdom Hearts 3.

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The Kingdom Hearts franchise has been a mashup of Disney characters and Square Enix characters thrown together in an epic adventure of colliding worlds.  I don’t know anyone that dislikes this game, and it has been one of the most waited for games in quite a number of years.
My speculation is this: Disney has acquired several large entities in recent years…most notably Marvel and Star Wars. I wonder, do you think we might see any of those new characters pop up in Kingdom Hearts 3? Think about that for a minute…what if Kingdom Hearts 3 had Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk? What if Kingdom Hearts 3 had Darth Vader, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, hell, what if Kingdom Hearts 3 had Han Solo?
Part of me thinks that this would never happen in a million years. But, with a release date still looming in the shadows, who know s what they might have time to do, or what they might even be motivated to do.

Lots of potentially cool things on the horizon. And once I get my time back (and a little bit of dime as well) I intend to take it all on.

Still don’t know when I’ll find free time again to make another post, but rest assured, I haven’t forgotten about y’all yet.

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

- CVSleen

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Crab Nachos

Howdy y’all! I would come right out and ask you how your week is going, but this past week has just felt like one of those weeks that…it’s not a bad week, but you’re certainly not getting anything done. I might argue that this coming week is going to be the same, but at the bare minimum I have a film that I have to shoot. I guess I’m properly back to work.

Speaking of film, I’ve been watching a few scary movies lately, trying to find something that will scare me. I’m convinced at this point that a movie will never be able to do it. A movie can freak me out well enough, but when movies attempt to be scary, all I ever do is laugh.
It’s going to have to be something real life that really gets me creeped out. The real life paranormal is something that people like to fight over quite a bit, and it usually boils down to whether you’ve experienced the paranormal or not.
Now, I’m a skeptic of the paranormal, even though I may have experienced it myself. The fact is, I really have no idea what I saw, but…well, let’s start from the beginning…
I used to work at a golf course, and as the days drew to a close, there were always numerous activities for which we had to set out onto the course. One of the things that we typically had to do was go out to the driving range one last time, jump in the “picker”, and clean up the range for the night. I always liked this job because it let me put my iPod on, and just drive around for a bit, while everyone else actually did work. By the time we went out for these final duties, we were all closed up. There was one night I can remember when I was out there taking the end-of-day picking duty, chugging along and listening to my music, when I see a golf ball bounce past me. I thought, “what the hell”, and spun the cart around to aim its lights at the shooting area. There, right smack dab in the middle was some guy hitting balls into the range. I yelled at him that we were closed, but he seemed to ignore me. I think I cussed at him under my breath, and went back to picking in my little rolling cage. I kept my routine moving along, and noticed at one point that he had gone. I finished my run, packed up all my balls, and headed back for the cart barn. Once I returned, I remember asking my co-workers something like, “Was that a Gold Member you let out there? What the hell?” “What are you talking about?” one of them replied. “That dude you let out on the range,” I said, “he was hitting at me for a while.” My coworkers looked at one another and said back to me, “Dude, we didn’t let anyone out there. Why would we? We picked up all the balls from the tee after we dropped you off.”
I decided not to question them any further, but they reckon that I saw a ghost out there, hitting balls in the darkness. I could argue against them all day long, that it’s entirely possible that this person bypassed the clubhouse and just ran out to the the driving range from the road, but no real golfer would hit his own balls out into the driving range. So, like I said before, I don’t know what I saw. It could have been an idiot golfer, roguely taking to the range in the dark and dispatching a box of balls that he payed for…or that I saw a ghost out there working on his backswing. I would wonder what kind of lost soul would spend part of his afterlife working on his slice at night, but I bet that my dad might haunt the course every now and then once he’s gone.

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I’m also told that my current workplace is a great place to be if you want to be quite spooked out at night. Most of us are all heading out to our cars when the 4′o’clock whistle blows, and I don’t really know anyone who would stay out there past 6, at least in the warehouse. I don’t know why anybody would come back at night, but evidently a few of my coworkers know that this place makes all kinds of strange noises at night…and that’s also when the critters decide to come out. What kind of critters do we get? Tarantulas…huge spiders. Yea, you won’t find me staying after hours out at the warehouse. I was waiting on the bus at school the other day and saw a spider roaming around that was about the size of a half dollar. I don’t think I could have nope’d out of there much quicker.

Speaking of things that I’ve seen out on campus, there’s a new fad going around. What is the deal with these shark backpacks that I’m seeing everyone going around with?

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This is possibly the most retarded looking thing I’ve seen, unless you’re still in elementary school…and in that case, it’s actually kind of cute. But I’ve seen dozens of people walking about their higher education with these gaping idiot sacks on their backs. This fad may already be on its way out, but it has me wondering…what other fads have we bought into in our careers as human beings, and which are the ones that we are most embarrassed of?

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Who remembers buying into Beanie Babies, either with the understanding that they were going to be worth a ridiculous amount of money later in life, or that they were just ridiculously cute. Yea, I bought a couple when I was a kid…and I think as attention deficit natured as I was I abandoned them almost immediately. I ripped the tags off, didn’t care at all about their potential monetary appreciation after they got back home. Nope, this fad was over even quicker than it came for me.

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Just the mention of this should cause quite a few people to cringe…Tamagotchi. Yea, be honest with yourself…you probably had one. I think I actually had 2. I think I also remember pitching a fit one day at school when my extremely rare evolution went toes up on me. Ah, to be young again.

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Alright, do these look familiar at all? If you say no, and you were a 90′s kid, then what the hell were you doing with your childhood? I’ll make it easier, how about this…

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Yes, Pogs…proof that kids will buy anything if it’s colorful enough. I did it…in fact about five years or so ago, I tried to single-handedly bring Pogs back. That campaign lasted for all of a week, and then I took my Pogs and put them back where I found them, in a dark corner of my childhood closet.
Pogs, it was like the 90′s equivalent of playing marbles. Someone repackaged and glossed up the idea of marbles and unleashed it on us and we ate it up. Whoever can take that simple concept and repackage it today is going to make millions.

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Alright, this is one that I’m honestly not that embarrassed of, because this is where I kind of discovered that writing could be fun and worthwhile leisure activity, and certainly where began my affinity for blogging.
I think the more embarrassing thing here is the prospect of going back and looking at the frustrations of our preteen minds. Fear not though, I just went back looking for my old xanga page and found this message…

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So evidently if you haven’t been back for 5 years or more, which most of us haven’t, then our archives haven’t been saved as they shift over to a 2.0 version. Thank goodness.

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Oh yes, I haven’t forgotten…pants with zip off legs. I had two pairs of these that I bought from Old Navy. Oh jeez, I can do one better than these transformer trousers…

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The classic Old Navy Performance Fleece Vest…God, now that’s a trip down memory lane. I think my entire family bought into this thing…in fact my dad still does. My only problem with this thing now is that…well, it’s a vest. If your chest is cold, I bet your arms are cold too. Go invest in some sleeves.
Alright, one more…

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Yea, I went there, Pokémon cards. 90% of all nerds have owned at least a booster pack of pokémon cards, whether or not they’ve actually played in a match. Somewhere back in that same closet where I shoved those Pogs, I’ve got a small collection of these gathering dust in their protective cases. I want to show off some of my nerd feathers real quick. If I went home and went through that collection right now, somewhere in there I’d find these…

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If someone were to look up the origin of these two cards, it will be revealed precisely how much of a nerd I was as a kid.
You know what though, back in the day when I liked Pokémon and such, I was horribly made fun of. This was back when the understanding was that being a nerd was something not to be proud of, and nerds were at the bottom of the social food chain. This was back when I let my tormentors have that power over me, and let them know that their words and teasing were painful. It’s easy to look back at these items and resent them based on the association to the bullying that was received on their behalf.
I don’t resent them though, because with age comes knowledge, and the understanding that who you are, and what your obsessions are, are nothing to be ashamed of. In middle school, I was ashamed of being a nerd…and I nearly let it end me. But years later, it dawns on me…nerds are the ones that are actually moving forward, and looking ahead. Nerds are always thinking, and creating, and making the world a better place. Nerds are who are gonna be running this place, once we’re old enough…and fearsome we will be, for we are many.
One should never feel ashamed for doing what they love, or loving what they do, and that applies to all facets of life…accept if one wears those shark backpacks outside of elementary school. What the hell are you doing?

Well, I think I’ve led myself perfectly into a topic I introduced a number of weeks ago, and have been wanting to come back to for a while.

Nerds of the Future
A look at future technology through the eyes of a Nerd

Last time, I talked about what ideas I and others had for where the future of cars and ergonomics were going. Part of moving forward though is looking long and hard at what we have today, and trying to imagine what wouldn’t have any place in our future. Look at sci-fi movies right now, and try and find what similarities the scenery shares with your living room. I’d imagine that most of your live space will be replaced. So, today I want to discuss…

What, in 10 Years, Will We Not Use?

Yea, I’m not even thinking ultra-future, I’m just thinking in the next 10 years. Just think about the kinds of advancement we’ve made in the past 10 years. Think back to your life in 2003…it was about at that point that flip phones were becoming popular…the Nokia brick phone was probably still the most popular cell phone at the time. Think about that for a second, and we’ll get started.
Most people these days are watching their television on some sort of big flat panel display. Our TVs are becoming the hub for all our entertainment; it’s where cable/satellite programing is, our game systems run to it, and most of our best stereo systems are linked into the brain that feeds everything to the TV. Plenty use the TV as a computer display as well. Everything goes there…and I think we can do a lot better than a flat panel display. I bet in 10 years we’ll have 3D projection systems that will begin to replace our 2-dimensional TVs that can at best simulate 3D. I’m thinking we’ll have some sort of projection display that will shine a 3-dimensional spherical or cubical image up from a device affixed to a stand or the floor that will finally give us an image with proper depth. I bet the fidelity won’t be that great, but we’ll be able to create Star Wars-like holograms in our homes.
Talking about cell phones earlier reminds me of something else we’ll do away with. Home phones. Most 20-somethings nowadays have already dispatched with having some sort of land line phone in favor of just using their cell phones at all time, for everything. I think this will be a more generational thing. What I mean is I don’t see our parents or grandparents ditching their land lines, but this generation will just never adopt the concept.
As data storage continues to get smaller and smaller, we will eventually depart with physical data storage devices all together. That means that CDs, DVDs, and other forms of discs will fall to digital downloads and data streaming. We’re there now. Virtually anything that you can still buy packaged in disc form today is also available as a download. Name your product; music, movies, games, software…hell, even books…we’re there. What’s left to be done is full conversion. I said it in myself in this blog sometime around E3 that I was hesitant to make the conversion away from physical media, but in the past month I’ve bought 2 or 3 games in the Xbox Live Marketplace, a couple of albums via iTunes, and about 5 books on my Kindle app. My only real holdout is for movies…I’ll still go out and try to find a new DVD when it comes out, but that’s because movies take up a lot of hard drive space, and downloaded movies still aren’t quite as portable as DVDs…but that’s changing fast.
Physical keys too will be eliminated very soon as well. The last place that I lived in before I moved to where is current had electronic door locks and keys like this…

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They didn’t exactly go sans key, but the new electronic method made the area very safe. And I feel like anyone that hasn’t seen a modern key fob just isn’t getting out anymore. Most cars already don’t need keys anymore, except in extreme circumstances…in which case you can deconstruct the fob and the key is hidden inside.
With all the the buzz in Washington over SOPA, PIPA, and whatever else is trying to fly through right now, we stand on the precipice of legislation over the regulation of the internet. I feel like at some point in the next 10 years, some sort of legislation will slip through that will regulate the internet in some small way, and that has to happen so that it can be declared unconstitutional by the supreme court. Give it time, unregulated internet is coming, I do sincerely believe. Because one way or another, I don’t see our population sitting in complacency with the government being able to look over our browsing shoulders and judge us over our activities with any legal precedence.
I mentioned earlier that CDs and DVDs are quickly becoming antiquated, and really I feel that all forms of non-solid-state-drives will quickly become a thing of the past. Disc based computer hard drives have become outdated for most functions, required seek time to find the correct position on the hard drive. SSD is faster in every way shape and form, and is becoming small enough that it is now feasible to base whole computing platforms on it. MacBook Airs are all SSD, and so will be the new Mac Pros that will come out later this year.

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The physical storage capacity might not be that much right now, but think about what flash drives were like 10 years ago, versus what they are today…and 10 years from now…
As much as possible as well, we want to stop killing trees, and from my point of view, as a college student, the first way we can stop doing that is by eliminating text books…in favor of an app version, tablet version, or some form of digital download. This kind of goes with my digitizing of the physical medium argument earlier, but a different spectrum on to which it can be applied. Several semesters ago, I bought the digital version of my Spanish book, and could use it on my tablet. I’ve got another online version of a book this year…and strange enough, it was the only version of the book for the class that I could find.
One last thing that I can include here…and I’m asking y’all to make a bit of the imaginary stretch for me…toilet paper. I know what you’re thinking, “Slow down there, CVSleen! We like our butts clean!” However, if any of my audience is Japanese, or an aristocratic female, you’re probably on board. A visual is probably necessary, so…

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I can’t speak from experience here, but it is my understanding that most modern Japanese establishments and homes are converting to this style of toilet. And the same way that bidets can polish up your delicate lady parts, these things can (if I can believe several well traveled comedians and entertainers) accurately tidy up your turd cutters as well…see that first picture up there. Toilet paper is wasteful and unnecessary, except to maybe dry off. I’ve wondered for a couple years now why this hasn’t caught on in the States yet, and definitely think that, in the next 10 years, it could and should.

I’m probably getting a little too radical there, so I’ll put a lid on it for this post. But if there is anything else you think is on its way towards technological extinction, feel free to share it with me here.

Alright my minions, go out and manage your mischief.
I would like to note though before I go that, the semester has picked up, and the workload is getting pretty thick. I’ll do my best to keep a weekly entry rolling out, but some weeks I might just be too bogged down to make it happen. I’ll apologize ahead of time if my posting becomes sporadic, but I need to push for the good grades. Remember my mantra…

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

- CVSleen

Pizza Pods with Basil Pesto Marinara Sauce

Pizza Pods with Basil Pesto Marinara Sauce

What’s up internetizens? If your week has been anything like mine, y’all have got to be tired. Life needs more opportunities to stop and refuel.

I want to start with a quick conversation about fuel…people fuel. I got a coffee the other day and…well, lets just start at the beginning.

I realized this past weekend that I have a weird social anxiety thing at restaurants. I was hitting up my local breakfast spot, Royal’s Bagels and Deli, and after I got up to the register and ordered my food, I ordered some tea to go with it. The girl behind the register told me that they just ran out, and that it would be about 10 minutes before they could brew another. I ended up standing there for a minute having a fit of ‘um’ing and ‘uh’ing…stuck in internal conflict of what to drink in the absence of tea. On the inside I was thinking, “Crap, I don’t drink soda, so it’s either coffee or water. Coffee or water. Crap.” I don’t know why I started freaking out, maybe I just don’t like being put on the spot like that where busy gets brought to a standstill over a change of decision. Regardless, I ended up choosing coffee…not having drank coffee in years. I really don’t know what I was thinking.

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I don’t know how many of y’all out there are coffee drinkers, but coffee is a hell of a drug, especially if you’re not in the habit of drinking it. My…system, got completely screwed up that day. My schedule was all off.
I used to drink a cup of coffee almost every morning, back in high school or somewhere there about. I don’t know how I used to do that, especially back in my youths.
Those of you that drink coffee, how early did you start drinking it? College, high school, middle school, grade school even? How early these days are we getting ourselves hooked on caffeine? I remember, as a kid, I used to drink about 3 to 5 Mountain Dew‘s a day. I’ve got to think, coffee has to be healthier than that…much healthier.
It just messed me up…was really surprised at how much one cup of coffee can flip your day around.
Coffee…clearly too much for my system. Energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster…nothing, no better than soda really. 5 hour energy shot…cranks me up for an hour or so, then dumps me later in the afternoon (that no crash marketing, load of coddle swap). For the record, sweet tea is what keeps me at my baseline, where there is still a lull in the afternoon.
I don’t want to sleep through the day. I don’t want to have enough energy coursing through me that I feel the need to fight a horse. I don’t want to crash. I just want to be awake enough to carry on. Can we make a drink or a supplement for that? I know we’re all made different, but I feel like there’s nothing out there that, on the worst of days, can’t keep me nodding off. I’ve even just tried supplementing my daily efforts with plain vitamin B trio…nada. Can we work on this? What is that word for, someone smarter is working on this?

While we’re on the subject of people fuel, I want to shift over to a legitimate food discussion.

For the first time in a long time recently, I had a steak that was just…bad. It’s been so long that I’ve been starting to wonder how you can really screw up a steak, but this place I went to brought me back to reality. I’m not going to say where it was that I got it at, because the place was honestly a little off the beaten path and I could tell that the staff was honestly apologetic about it. But the deal was this: the steak had no flavor whatsoever. No attempt was made to season it. No salt, pepper, rosemary, nothing. There was no marinade, or rub, just someone took a bland steak and threw it on the grill. Once they did that, they let it set until it had no life left in it whatsoever. Yea, it wasn’t quite well done, but it was pretty close. I order a medium-rare steak, and I’m a firm believer that anybody that orders a well-done steak, obviously doesn’t like steak and should probably just be ordering chicken.
I’ve seen people that will argue that well-done steaks can be extremely good, and if they’re not than it’s the fault of the chef if it comes out as rough as leather. I call shenanigans. If you cook a steak that much, you end up completely drying it out, really toughening it up. Nah, people who order well-done steaks don’t have any respect for steak.
Unlike these people, I love steak, and I want to take a few minutes here to talk red meat; cuts, preparation, cooking method, etc.
The cut of the steak is where I find the most discrepancy of favorites. I like the cuts that are the most tender, and have the most robust flavor. Given that, I usually go for a Filet Mignon or a Ribeye. Filet’s tend to be the most tender cut, and small enough to where you can do cool stuff with them, like wrap them in bacon.

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You could also go for the Porterhouse (or T-bone, essentially the same difference), which has both a Filet and a New York Strip in it. The Strip is a pretty tender cut, but not near as much as the Filet. The Strip is a much bigger cut however.

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My favorite cut right now however is the Ribeye, cut more from the rib section of meat, which has a lot of fat marbleization all throughout it, making it one of the most naturally flavorful cuts of meat.

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There is another cut of meat that pretty good, that you should give a try if you classify yourself as a carnivore. Find yourself a steak house and order a Prime Rib sometime if you get a chance. Like the Ribeye, it’s also taken from the rib section that has a higher amount of flavor, and it’s usually cooked slow to keep all the flavors intact.

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The Prime Rib is a hard cut to cook at home, because it’s essentially the entire rib section. You pretty much need a heat source that surrounds the meat, like an oven or a rotisserie, so doing it on the grill is a somewhat unfeasible option. Also, since it’s the whole rib section, it’s a pretty expensive cut of meat.
All the other cuts I mentioned are far easier to buy in single and double servings, so you’ve got a lot more options for cooking methods. The way I hear that most restaurants cook their meat is that they sear the outside to get some good char or grill marks and also lock in the juices, and then they pop the steak in the oven to finish it. I like to be a lot more hands on with my steak, so I cook mine to completion on the grill pretty much every time, or in my case (since I’m an apartment dweller) I just pan sear it. I have a cast iron skillet that works really well, but god is it hard to clean…so I’m going to toss it soon and go back to pans.
Everyone I know has a different preparation for their steaks. For some, it’s just some simple salt and pepper, others use a more complex dry rub with various other herbs and spices, some break it down in beer, or some kind of citrus juice, and others still let soak in a marinade for up to a day or so. Personally, I like to put together my own marinade which consists of worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, chili garlic hot sauce, dijon mustard, and a little lime juice. Right before it goes on the grill (pan) I sprinkle it garlic salt and some special steak seasoning. Throw that in the pan on medium heat, at about 6 minutes per side, and that makes for a good medium-rare to medium Ribeye. Perfect.

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That’s my idea for a great steak dinner right there, and was my dinner the other night. Something else you can do which I’ve been doing recently, since I marinade, is pour what’s left of the marinade in the pan after the steak is done, add a little wine or liquor (I’ve got some brandy that I added), and let it deglaze to become nice steak sauce to add. A good steak doesn’t need much, if any, but I like to drizzle on just a little bit to set it off.
I doubt though that I have thrown together the perfect steak at this point. I bet y’all have some good recipes for a delicious steak, so I want to hear how y’all prepare your ideal steak. I know a few of you out there have got to have some skills. Tell me! Show me!

Before I depart from digestibles, there’s a series of commercials on the air right now promoting milk and its’ great advantages to…not drinking milk I guess. In one of these commercials, they show two personified bowls of cereal reacting to milk being poured into one, and orange juice in the other.
I want to stop right there. Do people actually do this? Are there people out there that put anything in cereal other than milk? They do…really? You’re daft…that’s absolutely abominable. I thought they were only rumors…water in cereal, OJ in cereal, coffee in cereal.
If you do this, well, there is something not quite right with your cabeza.

I’ve been known to have some odd tastes, I’ve put hot sauce on chocolate chip cookies before…but you have to know where to draw the line. I have to admit though, that some things…you just don’t know whether they will be enjoyable or not until you see that decision through. One of the things that I really thought that I was going to enjoy when I first heard of it was Riddick. Pitch Black was great, and Chronicles had a good story and great action. With the same writers and director throughout the entire series, it would stand to say that with the first two being very good that the third would follow suit.

Riddick
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The stage has been set for the epic final chapter of the Riddick trilogy to unfold. When we last saw Riddick, he had just become the Lord Marshal of the Necromongers of the Underverse. He had command of a seemingly invincible army. So where do we pick up with Richard B. Riddick? Marooned on some backwater planet…beaten and broken, and being chased by mercenaries, as he always is.
There was so much potential for this movie to be epic, but it just fell so far short. Action would have been the way to go with this movie, but so much of the movie was spent on character development. Heck, they even gave him a dog, and tried to humanize him to some degree. This movie showed us a slightly softer side of Riddick. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still very much a badass, he builds a sword out of what looked to be an animal femur and sharpened talon. But I swear, at one point he shed a tear.
They spent 2/3 of the movie though setting up any kind of real conflict, and once we got to it…it just kind of fell flat. The casting was pretty weak too, the only redeaming quality of the extended cast being Katee Sackhoff‘s character, Dahl.
This was a very watchable movie, but missed the mark for a true Riddick sequel.
Riddick5 out of 10

We’re up to week 3 of college football, and again I wanted to give y’all my 5 recommendations for the games to be watching this week. So these are the ones I’d be keeping an eye on.

Thursday Sept. 12th
6:30 PM       No. 24 TCU at Texas Tech                  ESPN
Saturday Sept. 14th
11:00 AM     No. 16 UCLA at No. 23 Nebraska         ABC
2:30 PM       No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M     CBS
2:30 PM       Georgia Tech at Duke                        ESPN U
6:00 PM       Mississippi State at Auburn                 ESPN 2

Well boys and girls, I think I’ll call it quits there for the week. Hope you’re not salivating too much with all that steak talk. Until next week…

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

- CVSleen

Breakfast Pods: Biscuit, Bacon, Cheese, and an Egg

Breakfast Pods: Biscuit, Bacon, Cheese, and an Egg