Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Most Disturbing Commercial for a Gummi-like, Fruit-Flavored Snack Product That I've Ever Seen

You might look at a headline like that and think 'that's a pretty specific commercial' or 'how disturbing can a commercial for fruit snacks really be?' Well I'm here to tell you they can be pretty freakin' disturbing. I can understand trying to do a little gross out kind of thing for a younger audience. Hell, one of my favorite episodes of Spongebob is the one where he and Patrick get into an argument over cleanliness and Patrick tangles Sponegbob up in his armpit hair and gets Spongebob covered in his armpit grease. It's gross and I love it. But that's neither here nor there, we were talking about commercials.

Let's start with the Gushers' Robot Child commercial:

So what exactly does that mean? There's a chance that your child might bite down on some impenetrable Gusher that will fail to gush and then becomes a ticking time bomb of artificially flavored, high-fructose corn syrup destruction? If the Gush Squad didn't arrive in time would that mean some poor kid is going to drown on juiciness? Messed up, right?

How about this one from Fruit by the Foot:

"I've replaced your DNA with Fruit by the Foot."!?! WTF? What if the dog came across that mess before the parents got home? Say goodbye to your wonderful son. There's a chance that maybe the parents could find some kind of fruit snack DNA specialist doctor and have the process reversed. And this commercial is part of a series. Check this one out:

Wouldn't you think that the kid who's ancestors had been replaced by Fruit by the Foot would himself turn into Fruit by the Foot? I suppose he might not, if the heavier kid could only transform the ancestors into Fruit by the Foot but leave the rest of the time stream untouched. By trying to argue around the temporal aspects of this would take more brainpower than I have available at the moment.

Now I'm sure there are plenty of other messed up commercials, but this one, which I've only seen on television once just takes the cake. I showed it to Brandi and minute ago and she thought it was pretty gross.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Todd, who was born with a Gusher for an eye:

I know, leaves you kind of speechless right? I don't know where to begin. Do you start with the father that takes a little taste off of his crying son's face? Or how about Todd feeding baby birds by shooting Gusher juice into their open beaks?

I think my favorite part is the kid in the middle of the commercial that says "I don't get it. Is the Gusher on his eye? Or did they tape it on?" And then the other kid comes up with the double helix while the girl is mumbling the song, like it's no big thing. Of course he has a Gusher for an eye, have you been living under a god damned rock? I don't know what to say about this commercial that it doesn't say for itself.

Have you seen any other disturbing commercials for gummi-like, fruit flavored snack products?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When Are You Gonna Stop? When I Catch Them All

I'm a few years too old to have gotten into the Pokemon craze. I'll admit that at one time I owned a copy of Pokemon Blue for the GameBoy. My brothers-in-law, however, were completely caught up in Pokemon fever for a while, and I picked up a lot of it from them. So, when I saw this on io9 yesterday, I could help but smirk.

Gotta catch 'em all! Gotta catch 'em all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Selling Your Soul

My current novel project (4,200 words and counting) involves the main character selling his soul, the aftermath of that, and then trying to get it back. In the story, the character sells his soul for something really stupid, but it’s important to him, at least at the time of the sale.

The genesis of this story goes back to high school, where my best friend sold his soul for something pretty stupid. I won’t go into all the details now, because I’m saving that for the story. The short of it is he was searching high and low for a small something that he thought he’d lost, he got increasingly frustrated and said “I’d sell my soul for X” and slammed his fist down. When he slammed his hand down, X fell off of a pile of things he’d just gone through. There was no sulfur, no contract signed in blood, just panic and frustration and an offer spoken aloud.

This has gotten me to thinking lately about what a soul might be worth. Some might sell their soul for money, power, a second chance at life…These are all things that are important in different levels to different people. But what if you life was consumed with owning a mint condition Babe Ruth card? What if you were all consumed with owning the football used during the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl game? What if you were really hungry and just wanted a Snickers?

And what would the effect of not having a soul have on a person? How would that person be viewed by others? Would they appear sickly or sinister or would they be hard to spot? What would happen at the end of your life when your soul is gone and death approached? And if you decided later that your soul was worth much more than what you sold it for how would you get it back?

I don’t necessarily have any answers for these questions, but these are the things that have been running through my head lately.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dreaming in Plot Lines

I know there are people who say "I never remember what I dream" or "I always remember what I dream." I don't really fall into either categories. Usually I don't remember what I dream, sometimes I do. When I do remember, they're usually weird.

So last night I had this weird dream. I won't go into all the details, because they're still kind of confusing to me, but the dream did include: a Wal-Mart stock room that only seemed to stock empty paper boxes, Stormtrooper helmets, cupcakes, and pseudo bamboo staffs; a giant scorpion; an all powerful magical mask; Iron Man; and some kind of evil wizard or something. I know, messed up, right?

But at one point in the dream, when the giant scorpion unearthed the mask for the evil wizard/whatever, the strongest of the pseudo bamboo staffs ended up outside when I knew it needed to be inside for the conflict to come. In my dream I despaired about this fact for just a moment before my dream-self realized 'oh, this is going to be important for the plot later.'

That thought really stuck with me when I woke up. I don't ever remember having a thought like that in a dream before. What does it mean? I have no idea, but I just thought I would share.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Dude Enters the Matrix

Saw this on boingboing today. Too good not to share.

fuckin' a man.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


No, it's not me. I don't know that anyone would want to see that. It's Logan. It all started with me taking his shirt when he would be changing into his pajamas and whipping it across the room, a funny little something while putting a three-year-old to bed. Then it evolved into him wanting to take the shirt and whip it across the room.

I don't know what resources he's been drawing on, but now his technique has evolved. Now, he'll spin the shirt around before tossing it away. His technique it a little off though. He'll spin the shirt around for two whole minutes if I let him. That just won't do.

This is certainly not the profession I would have chosen for him, but if I he has his little mind set on being a stripper, well it's my fatherly duty to help him be the best damn stripper he can be. Therefore, I've got to try and improve the technique. Now, I've never partaken of the stripperly arts, but I've got to think that if you stand there and swing your shirt around for two whole minutes, you're going to lose people's interest. He's got to just swing the shirt around a handful of times and toss it, not whip it across the room. It probably wouldn't hurt if he had a few pelvic thrusts in there too.

We're starting early, and so I'm confident that with a little training, he can come onto the scene when he is of age as the best damn male stripper in the world.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Perfect Day For the Zoo

Today was Logan's first day of preschool, which consisted of us going in to drop off some forms, pick up a ginormous folder full of papers--including the dreaded fundraiser stuff--and let Logan see his classroom. The room had a train table, and so our 15-minute appointment ended up being more like a half hour as we tried to get him away from said table.

Afterward, since it was such a lovely day here, we took the kids to the zoo. It was really nice. I've never seen the zoo less crowded, and the kids got a front row view of whatever they wanted to see. Logan played map keeper again, carrying the simple map proudly before him (sometimes upside down). He had a very specific itinerary in mind: monkeys; elephants; lunch; park; and giraffes.

Of course we missed the 1:00 showing of the giraffes drinking gasoline and breathing fire. Maybe next time. That's where the zoo membership comes in handy. And of course, every monkey/ape we saw was Curious George. Ava liked looking at the monkeys/apes as well, but kept shaking her head 'no' for some reason. Who knows what lurks in the minds of toddlers?

We were all pretty pooped out by the time we left, and the kids slept most of the way back. Now I've got a splitting headache and I just want to relax.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Go to Hell, Pretzel M&Ms!

If you've taken a trip down the candy aisle of your local Walgreen's lately, you may have noticed a new hue to the M&Ms packages. That blue package of chocolate candies with the thin candy shell that melts in your mouth, not in your hand, is the new Pretzel M&Ms. This new variety of M&M joins a host of other M&Ms, including regular, Peanut, Almond, Peanut Butter, Crispy, Dark Chocolate, etc.

These confectionery concoctions are roughly the size of Peanut Butter M&Ms, but more spherical in shape, and nestled within the milk chocolate and brightly colored candy shell is a little pretzel ball, no bigger than a blueberry.

This new variety of M&M is represented by the orange M&M, a seemingly neurotic anthropomorphized candy, and surly pretzel dude.

I've heard people rave about them. Well, I've tried them, and I'm here to say, "Go to hell, Pretzel M&Ms!" But please, allow me to elaborate.

1) Pretzel M&Ms really aren't that great. Sure, it combines two things that go great together, pretzels and chocolate, salt and sweet. Who doesn't enjoy a pretzel rod dipped in chocolate, or a chocolate-covered twist pretzel? Or maybe even a pretzel rod dipped in chocolate and then mini M&Ms. But I tell you, Pretzel M&Ms are nothing like a chocolate-covered pretzel. The M&Ms convey plenty of the sweet, but in my humble opinion, is lacking the proper amount of salt. Perhaps it is something in the chocolate coating process. More likely, the pretzel component just doesn't have that much salt to begin with. The lack of true saltiness in the candy is disappointing at best.

2) The amount of pretzel in Pretzel M&Ms is all wrong. The pretzel you get inside the candy is approximately the size of a pea. Wrong. It's too big and not dense enough. Sure there's a crunch, but then the center of the pretzel is light and airy, eliminating the hope of subsequent satisfying crunching during the mastication process. I believe that the M&Ms Mars Candy Co. should have chosen a smaller, denser pretzel to put at the base of their candy.

3) Related to point #2; because the pretzels are too big, the M&Ms are too big, and therefore, the actual number of M&Ms you get in a standard size bag are few. If the candy itself were smaller, you would get more in the bag. Instead, when you get to the end of the bag now, even though you can tell that the candy is smaller, you're left with a feeling of 'Is that really all there was?'

4) This is the most important. It appears that with the introduction of Pretzel M&Ms, Dark Chocolate M&Ms have been taken off the shelf. WTF? Dark Chocolate M&Ms are far superior to Pretzel M&Ms. The dark chocolate in Dark Chocolate M&Ms wasn't like that kind of dark chocolate that is as dark as the depths of space and bitter as a cup of extra, extra dark coffee. Instead it was a sweet dark chocolate, similar to that of Hershey's Special Dark. Dark Chocolate M&Ms were magical and wonderful, and now they appear to be gone. This is even more of a tragedy in that I can no longer create the Ultimate Thin-Candy Shell Coated Mix, that being one part Dark Chocolate M&Ms to two parts Reese's Pieces. (Go ahead and try it if you can you wont be disappointed.)

So Pretzel M&Ms can suck it. I want my Dark Chocolate M&Ms back on the shelf, damn it.