The Daily Pulse 08.23.04

Back again! I’ll be honest and say that I hated last week’s column although a ton of you wrote in and told me you really liked it. Although I appreciated your kind words, it did rather make me doubt your sanity. As I tend to be a writer who is able to talk for a dozen pages on one particular topic, doing tiny little snippets like I did last week was not something I felt comfortable doing. What can I say? I hate vague and short. So this week, we’re going to change some things around and leave the things I know you like alone.

Blogspotting

For those of you living under a box on Mars with bees in your ears and mud in your eyes, my blog is the most read livejournal on all of livejournal. And I thought I’d share a sample of what makes people choose to stalk my life in cyberspace. This story happened just last week, on August 17th as I tried to celebrate my birthday for the first time in years. Yeah, the acceptance of my mortality is not something I’m comfortable with. This story also involved fellow InsidePulse.com staff member Matt Yeager so he can verify every detail is true and unexaggerated. What can I say, I live an infinitely more amusing life than most people. And I’ve grown to accept it.

Okay, Matt Yeager, his girlfriend, and I were bound and determined to do something interesting to keep this birthday from being like the others. Or in other words, make this day something Joy Division wouldn’t write a song about.

The day before, I surrfed the net and found a bunch of places that give you free stuff on your birthday. And I chose Chevy’s, a chain Mexican place. Not because I enjoy Mexican food. But because I would get a free sombrero. And dammit, I wanted a Sombrero. I could do a Mexican Hat Dance at Bondage A Go-Go that weekend with it, confirming my status as uber trendsetter within the oh so gloomy and steriotypical MSP Goth community. I mean a glowing guy with a Pikachu on his head doing a Mexican hat dance? That’s so f*cking dark if you had sunglasses on, you wouldn’t be able to see me!

What followed was two hours I think my waitress wished had never occured in her life. And I don’t think the three of us will ever be able to forget my Attica like chant of, “Where’s My Sombrero???”

As soon as the three of us entered the place, which is right down on Hennepin across from EBlock, we were greated by a bald middle aged man of an asian ethnic persuasion.

First words out of my mouth, “It’s my birthday. Do I really get a sombrero???”

He’s all laughy-like and smiling jovially and says, “Of course. You also get a free desert and a song.”

“Can I not have the song and just the Sombrero and desert?”

He laughed again and sat us down.

The three of us looked around the restaraunt. It was typical chain restaraunt in looks and feel.

The Waitress came by.

“I’s my birthday! I get a sombrero”

‘Yes….I heard.’

“Where’s my sombrero?”

‘I’ll get it for you in a second. Would you like anything…’

“My Sombrero?”

‘…to drink’

“Can I drink out of my sombrero?”

‘…No.’

“Where’s my sombrero?”

Poor Leah. Poor Waitress Leah.

Matt and Karen were cracking up though.

The waitress left Chips and a really good salsa for us to snack on while we decided what to order. For some reason I decided to be really over the top fixated on getting my sombrero. Because dammit I can’t goth dance without my sombrero! How will it look when everyone else is in their Panchos and Bandito outfits and I’m without my trusty Sombrero.

And thus began the chant of “Where’s my sombrero?”

Leah came back to get our order.

“Where’s my Sombrero?”

“Where’s my Sombrero?”

“Where’s My Sombrero?”

‘What can I get you to eat.’

“My Sombrero!”

Finally we ordered. Karen just got a giant ass Margarita I could fit my head in, while Matt and I both did a sampler platter of foods.

But whenever Leah walked by…

“Where’s my Sombrero?”

Whenever another waitress walked past, “Where’s My sombrero?”

Whenever people dining walked past, “Where’s my sombrero?”

Because face facts kiddos, I came there for my Sombrero, and I sure as f*ck didn’t have one on my scalp. I mean, I would have chosen someplace else. I’m not a big mexican food fan. But that Sombrero represented all that was truly cool and wonderful in the world. And it had to be mine.

But it never came. IT NEVER CAME.

I took fork and knife in hand, and as mentioned earlier began a not silent, but still quiet protest chant. Loud enough only so Karen and Yeager could laugh like goobers, but so as not to bother the other diners. Although Leah could hear. I know she went to bed last night with those same three words burned into her subconcious.

“Where’s my sombrero? Where’s my Sombrero? Where’s my Sombrero?”

Finally the food came. And no Sombrero.

“Where’s my Sombrero?”

‘Can I get you anything else to eat?’

“You can get me my Sombrero please.”

‘You can’t eat the Sombrero.’

“I can sure wear it thought. Where’s my Sombrero?”

We didn’t see Leah for a while after that.

The mood was marginal. I’ve had better. But I’ve also had worse. Iffy food, no Sombrero, no Ponies at the CC Club. Minneapolis truly is maximum suckage.

And then Leah came towards the table. She looked…nervous. Like the kind of look you have on your face when you tell Mike Tyson no more booze or when you try to tell the Maffia crime lord you were sitting there first.

‘Umm…We have a problem.’

“Where’s my Sombrero?”

‘That’s just it.’

“What’s it? I don’t see it. An invisible Sombrero is not a real sombrero. Where’s my Sombrero?”

‘It appears we don’t have any Sombreros.’

……

……

……

“What?”

‘We don’t have any Sombreros. But we’ve got something else we’re going to give you.’

“No Sombrero…?”

‘We’re really sorry.’

“No Sombrero…?”

And Leah ran off quickly.

And I was unhappy. Not depressed or to the point where I was going to cut myself or write a sad poem about it. But unhappy. I wanted my sombrero. And I wasn’t going to have it.

Matt, Karen and I were all kinda ticked we had eaten bad mexican food and I had whined about my sombrero for over an hour now. But in fact, how else could the story end? After all, my life is pretty much like a sitcom with bizzare occurances and wacky coincidences. I long ago accepted I am a popular prime time TV show watched by aliens or greater beings from another dimension. This was just par for the course. And I think I suspected it. But it was still a dissapointment as I asked at the beginning of the night point blank if I was going to get a Sombrero and was told an affirmative yes.

Then Leah came back. In her hands she had a a white cloth and something underneath. Was it all a cruel joke? Did they in fact find me a sombrero? Or was it something else, like a tiny sombrero?

Leah came over, and lifted the white cloth which was a T-Shirt.

I was now the proud owner of…a really colourful Ram/Lamma/bull…

PINATA

They gave me a pinata!

And a T shirt. The shirt was in fact super funky looking and celebrating Cinquo De Mayo. But the problem is…it was white.

Both Matt and I were like, “I’ll/he’ll never wear this.”

But the Pinata rocked. It was green and blue and Pink and had four eyes and a little trap door to stick candy in and everything. I named him Pastafoozo. I don’t know why. It was what it needed to be named though.

We all agreed the Pinata was awesome and weird at the same time. Not as good as a Sombrero though. But Pastafoozo would be a wonderful addition to my home.

The Mexican hat dance this weekend was right out though. Poor goths. They’ll have to be content with their arm waving and skipping type dancing and all that.

Then the manager came out. And for some reason I decided to give huge puppy dog eyes and look like I was about to cry. Really OTT hamming it up.

‘I’m sorry, we don’t have any sombreros.’

“I…really wanted a sombrero.”

‘I got you a Pinata.’

More sad puppy eyes.

‘And a T-shirt!’

Matt and Karen chimed in that I only wear black and thus could never enjoy the T-shirt.

“Where’s my Sombrero?”

‘You don’t like the pinata?’

“I like Pastafoozo a lot. But he’s not a Sombrero.”

The manager felt TERRIBLE. Like I was a six year old ad he had broken my heart.

‘I’m really sorry.’

“Can I trade the T-shirt for another Pinata so they can be boyfriend and girlfriend?”

The manager thought for a second, agreed, and ran off with the shirt. He came back moments later with another Pinata, almost the same as Pastafoozo, but it had a little papermache ribbon between its ears!

GIRL PINATA!

Now that totally rocked. They could get it on and make little pinata babies. I was satisfied.

I named Pastafoozo’s wife Chlamydia. She was noticably chubbier, only had one eye, where Pastafoozo had FOUR and had a hunchback from the trap door. She must really be good at pinata sex, or Pastafoozo must love her for her mind.

We all agreed although there was no Sombrero, it was an amusing and satisfactory evening. And much better than my last few birthdays which were god awful terrible.

Leah came and saw I had two pinatas now and laughed. I asked if I could come back when they actually had sombreros to get one and she said yes.

We paid our seperate bills and for my tip I left the phrase, “WHERE’S My Sombrero?”

And money of course.

And Yeager drew a sombrero on his bill and wrote “Get more sombreros.”

They also gave me a customer satisfaction card with a toll free number to call, which I promptly went home and called and asked for them tomail me my sombrero and left my address on the recording.

So I didn’t get my sombrero. but I have two funky weird horned and hooved animal pinatas named Pastafoozo and Chlamydia.

A good and amusing night for all involved.

And you’d think that would be the end of the story wouldn’t you? Well the next day, my roommate and blood relation called me at work and left the following message on my voice mail.

“Reno! It’s your favorite cousin and roommate! I got tonight all planned out. We’re all going to meet over at our place tonight. We’ll all do a double feature at Eblock, and I got all of us a reservation…AT CHEVY’S! I hope you like Mexican. Just take it easy on the beans so the ladies won’t take it easy on you. talk to you later man!”

Now my roommate Scott, was totally clueless of the events that occurred the night before and so this made me almost fall out of my chair laughing at the insanity of it all.

I wish I could tell you that night’s adventures were as amusing as the story I already recanted, but alas, we were in Chevy’s for 5-10 minutes maximum before the manager recognized me, told me they still didn’t have any sombreros and asking me kindly to leave in the Minnesotan Nice manner which I loathe.

So no sombrero for me. Alas.

And this my friends, is sadly par for the course of daily events that occur in my existence.

Games

I decided to take a more VC/Folkloric approach to things in this column. Vague pop culture is boring and trite to me, and I’d rather that like RETROGRADING, you people walked away from the Heartbreak Hotel smarter than you were before you read it.

So let’s do something fun.

PIKACHU!

Ah yes, if I have one obsession in this world, it is with a small yellow rodent from the Pokemon series of games and anime. Wonderful adorable Pikachu. Now sadly, due to the arrogance of American anime fans who don’t know Japanese at all but like to think that they do and thus corrupt the literal translation to what they want it to be, most people have know idea what the flaming f*ck the word, “Pikachu” means. It’s similar to how American anime fans have mistranslated the character ARUCARD as ALUCARD here in the states basically insulting the intelligence of Hirano, the creator of the series by saying he obviously meant an L instead of an R so it can be Dracula spelled backwards. Sigh. It’s a joke that was totally lost on the complete stupidity that comes with being an American anime fan who miss the Pioneer boxed set has an R instead of an L and call him as such. I know I had to listen to Hirano himself bitch about this to me a few years ago saying in essence, “I think I know my own characters better than fansubbers.” And he’s right. And so if you see a Hellsing fan calling the vampire Alucard, kick them in the nuts say, “No, he writes for insidepulse.com. You’re thinking of Arucard.” And know you made a made in Japan happy with your genitalactic destruction.

Back on track. Pikachu. Most would be know it all Americans mistranslate Pikachu to mean Electric mouse, claiming that Pika is Japanese word for Spark and Chu is the Japanese word for mouse.

INCORRECT! YOU FAIL!

Pika and Chu are in fact both Japanese onomatopoeia. An Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound of the action they refer back to. Hum for example. Or crackle. Pika is the Japanese word for “Zap!” It’s a sound effect. Same with Chu. Chu is not a mouse or rodent, but refers to the noise a rat of member of the family rodentia make. Chu is basically “Squeak”. So a literal translation of Pikachu would be “Zapsqueak.”

As well, there actually is an animal in nature called the Pika. It’s a rodent that lives in the Yukon and British Columbia that is only 175 mm long, and like most rodents and lagomorphs is Diurnal in habit. Pika spend a lot of time sitting in the sun relaxing. Pika’s feast on grass and sedges. And look! Here’s a picture!

Awwww. Pika Pika Pika. Dammit, I need one. Come on Canadian readers, you go catch me one. Catch me one right now!

People in Games worth reading this week.

Alex Williams write his best column ever, showing a fanatical devotion to Konami and also how to kiss up to games companies without inflating reviews of their games.

Bebito Jackson talks about the newest off the wall game to actually escape Japan so that Americans can not buy it and then go back to bitching about how the Japanese get all the cool games like the hypocrites they are.

Music
THOSQUANTA

I know the people in this band. I’ve baked them cookies and gone to a Tiki Bar with them. I’ve hung out with them at parties. And babbled to them through Livejournal comments. But you know, I’ve never seen or heard them perform. Which makes me a bad SubCultural Icon. But I have downloaded a lot of their MP3’s and their music is excellent. And I figure as only Jeff Fernandez over in IPMusic would cover their genre of music, it’s up to me to plug then at least once her at InsidePulse.

Run through the website, meet the band, read their livejournals, but most of all listen to the music and buy the CD’s. You know you want to. If enough of you do, maybe I’ll review every Final Fantasy Game ever made. And isn’t me suffering through a dozen Squaresoft games worth buying some music from a kick ass local Minneapolis band? I think so.

People in Music worth listening to

Gloomchen and I have formed the Inside Pulse Beautiful People’s Club. Of course, that means we’re the only two in it.

Mr. Blottie Has officially made me feel really old with the Pixies Reunion tour going on.

Wrestling and Sports
I don’t watch either. Next.

Comics

You know, it has been a long time since I’ve read comics. It’s just not my thing any more. Occasionally I’ll flip through a current issue of Captain America and then bitch about what they’ve done to the character. But in truth, like I said last week, I got burned out on comics around 1994-1995 and haven’t really read any since.

So instead, I thought I’d give you guys my list of my ten favorite Comic Book characters as it will probably show just why I don’t fit in with the current generation of comics readers.

10. Guy F’N Gardner. Screw John Stewart. Screw Kyle. Screw Hal. Screw Ch’p. Guy Garnder is the one and only true Green Lantern. Just ask him. I’d be interested in seeing what the Nexus crew thinks about Guy. Comics would be far more interesting if Guy was still kicking ass and taking names like only he could.

9. Batman. The only dark character I like. And even then, it’s mainly because I love Adam West and Geffen Dematteis’ version of the Dark Knight in JLI.

8. Captain Atom. I have the first 50 issues of his DC series. A character that had so much potential, but after Armageddon 2001, they rather ruined the A level popularity he had. Now he’s treated pretty shabbily from what I have read. Just imagine what would have happened if they turned him heel like they were supposed to in Armageddon 2001.

7. Wonder Man. I loved his solo series! It was funny, intelligent, well written and he managed to get around LA without a car. Then they started f*cking with his powers and they killed him in Force Works and showed me again why I rarely ever read Marvel Comics. I became a fan of Wonder Man with my first issue of West Coast Avengers. Man, I loved that comic.

6. Lobo. Feetel’s Gizz! How could I not talk about the Main Man himself? Lobo ruled. I remember him in L.E.G.I.O.N. and fell in love with the character immediately. The guy has a love for dolphins that matches my own Pikachu obsession, he was exceptionally rude and crude in the most hilarious of ways, could go toe to toe with Superman, and of course, he killed Santa Claus is the Paramilitary X-mas special, one of the most infamous and wonderful comics of all time. God I loved it. I hate what they have done to Lobo since then, but man was he awesome in his day

5. Booster Gold. God only knows how continuity would handle him now. Legion flight ring, 25th Century escapee who came back in time to be a capitalist corporate super hero. Funny, perverted, always comic up with a get rich scheme. And Skeets! How could you not love skeets!

4. Animal Man. Man was that ever one trippy comic. I don’t even know whether I should really classify him as a hero or not. But he was in Justice League Europe for the first dozen or so issues. Grant Morrison’s best work ever was on this Comic. Although sometimes a bit PETA-esque in the preaching, it was still an amazing comic that made you think with every issue. Good costume too.

3. Barry Allen. The best flash ever. Now I love Wally West, but I grew up on Barry, and rather miss Wally being the arrogant jerkie sweaty palmed sex fiend he was in the 80’s. Barry though. Man, He was a true hero in every sense of the word. Wonderful character with some of the richest interactions with his Rogue Gallery ever.

2. Blue Beetle. Noticing the trend that I like non super powered people yet? Beetle rules. He’s hilarious, super intelligent, and was the lynchpin in the Justice League in the 1980’s. From a character DC bought from Charlton who obscure was to good of a word for, to a character that was as popular as Superman or Batman at his time, Ted Kord proved to be the most realistic of all super heroes in the golden age of character development that was DC from the mid 1980’s to the early 1990’s. He got fat, worried about money, went into a coma. He was as realistic as a super hero could be. And a hell of a lot of fun to read. How DC managed to lose the massive fan base Geffen and Halper created for him and letting this character sink back into obscurity is beyond me. But hell, I blame Dan Jurgens and his craptastical reign at writing JLA. Only thing he did for that series besides f*ck it up was give us Bloodwynd.

Plus, although no one probably remembers this but me, Dream 2.0 (Daniel) from Neil Gaiman’s amazing Sandman made some very cryptic comments about the Blue Beetle while he was in his coma after going toe to toe with Doomsday. Ah, all that untapped potential. Lost forever.

1. Captain America. Now I’m by no means a flag hugging uber patriot. I love Steven Rogers. For the same reasons I’m a tremendous Optimus Prime mark. Capt is simply, what every hero should be. Capt is selfless, always does the right thing and is just simply a wonderful character with over half a century of back story. Say what you will about your anti-heroes and dark brood sociopaths that get treated as good guys even as they kill as brutally as the villains, Captain America is and always will be what the pinnacle of what a super hero should stand for.

Now, after seeing that, is it any wonder I just don’t read comics anymore? All my favorite characters have been ruined, killed or forgotten.

People in Comics worth Reading

Ben Nagy gets to be here this week for mentioning Beta Ray Bill, a character I used to love back when I read comic books.

Mathan gets to talk Barry Allen. Who, although one of my favorite super heroes of all time, I am glad remains dead.

Other Stuff

Recipe of the week.

If you want crab cakes, the best state to get them is in Maryland, but for all other seafood, you need to head up to Maine. Sure it’s the state where 99% of all Stephen King stories take place, but my god it’s beautiful to visit and in the summer, it’s one of the best places in the world to get seafood that is as cheap as it is amazing to feast upon.

When in Maine I combine two truisms. The first is that you can never have enough Garlic. The second is that when you get sick of fresh main lobster, you go for mussles. Today I’d like to combine the two of these with an amazingly simply seafood recipe that will keep you feasting for days. And trust me, the more you eat, the more you will crave.

Garlic Mussels

Ingredients

8 Large cloves of garlic
2 sticks (Half a pound) of butter
2 teaspoons Salt
6 Pounds of live (fresh) Mussels, rinsed

1. Peel the garlic, or just use a garlic press. The latter is cheap and makes things a lot quicker, but you do lose some of the juices. If you go the peel route, finely mince the garlic. In a saucepan, heat the butter over very low heat. After it has melted, add the garlic and continue to let it simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and wrap it in Saran Wrap (Cling) and let it sit for 60-90 minutes. The great thing about this homemade garlic butter is it will keep for three days. And considering we are talking 6 pounds of mussels, you’ll need it.

2. In a large stockpot, add 1 inch of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. By an inch, I mean so that an inch deep of the pot has water in it. Add the salt and then the mussels. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium and steam the mussels until they open. This can be anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on factors like the size of the mussels and the size of your pot. Even altitude can play a factor. Just let them steam, and once their shells are open, you’re all good. Take a spoon and sift out the mussels and place them onto plates. If you come across some that aren’t open, just chuck them.

3. Reheat the garlic butter on low heat. Pour the garlic butter on the mussels and eat, eat eat!

4. If you want a wine to accent the flavor, the age old standby of white wine with seafood doesn’t fail here. I suggest either an unoaked Chablis, a white Bordeaux, or a Viognier. For the love of god, NOT a beer please…

What can I say? One of us has to bring you some sophistication amongst all the pop culture we ram down your gullet here at InsidePulse.com. ;-)

Inside Pulse Staff Member of the Week

Week 2 Winner: Daniels. Because he gave us Archway. And although this means nothing to you the readers, it has made our life as writers for this site infinitely easier. Although he doesn’t write much, he’s still contributes more each week in time and effort than most of the writers here. Plus I love pissing him off with my cocky “Holier than thou faux attitude.” Go Daniels!

Inside Pulse Fan Forums Poster of the week

Week 2 Winner: Nalydpsycho. For hating John Byrne as much as I do and loathing what that hack is going to do to The Demon. Again, this is why I do not read comics anymore. I am so sick of my childhood happy memories being raped by what passes for comic book writers nowadays.

ENDGAME
And another week begins here at InsidePulse.com. I’m going to be going more to a folkloric style with this column starting next week just to give you a head’s up. More research and legends and historical stuff. I figure if I’m going to be the Fraser Crane of Inside Pulse, I might as well go full blast and get you used to the gimmick change before NYOGTHA starts up…