Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It’s no secret that I’m a diehard fan of The Simpsons. In my opinion, there has never been a greater television show, and I would test my knowledge of the show against anyone in the world. With that said, I thought it would be fun to go on eBay and just search for the most random pieces of Simpsons merchandise that I could find.

If you go to eBay and just type in “The Simpsons,” you want to know how many results there are? A lot. When I put the “items per page” up to the maximum of 200, there were over 60 pages to go through, meaning there was over 12,000 results. I went through the first 10 pages. I scanned a total of 2,000 pieces of Simpsons merchandise and picked the 15 that stuck out the most. Some are weird, some are awesome, and I want all of them.

15. The Simpsons Cereal


This isn’t very weird, a lot of television series have had cereal tie-ins, like Urkel-Os and Fruity Pebbles. The Homer’s Cinnamon Donuts and Bart’s Peanut Butter Crunch cereals would have been something I would actually eat and probably enjoy. However, the Krusty-Os, which are an actual cereal in the Simpsons show, I’m not so sure about. Whenever Krusty plugs his cereal on the show, there’s often horrifying disclaimers on the box, and there’s even an episode based on Bart eating some and needing to get his appendix removed. But I will say that the art on the box is a nice touch.

14. Homer at the Bat Figurines


Figurines specifically based on one of my top 5 favorite episodes? Count me in. The only downside of this is that it only features regular Simpsons characters like Homer and Mr. Burns, and doesn’t include any of the real baseball players used in the episode like Ken Griffey, Jr. or Wade Boggs. I would have loved it if they included a figure of Don Mattingly after he shaved off his “sideburns.”

13. Chia Pet Homer


This doesn’t make sense to me. Homer Simpson is bald, therefore, you shouldn’t be able to grow “hair” out of his head unless you’re using Dimoxinil. I’ve never understood Chia Pets, or plants in general, as you have to take care of them and they do nothing for you in return. You can’t snuggle a Chia Pet the way you can an actual pet, and if you do, you’re weird. Regardless, the pot looks like Homer Simpson, so I’m adding it to my wish list.

12. Krusty the Klown Corkscrew


Wait, it’s a statue of Krusty the Klown that I can take the head off of and use as a weapon? Sold. I don’t drink, so I literally have to practical reason for wanting this, but in case you haven’t been paying attention to what you’re reading, I like The Simpsons, and that’s reason enough for me.

11. Simpsons Driver’s Licenses


Still scratching my head on this one. A few years ago, a friend of mine bought me a novelty credit card with my name on it that was made to look like I was a member of Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil for life!), but this is different. First of all, only two of the five people pictured are old enough to even have driver’s licenses. Second of all, this serves no purpose. At least with my Umbrella card it has my name on it and I can pretend I’m much more awesome than I actually am. What do I do with these? Am I going to fool the police with a Lisa Simpson driver’s license? I still want these, but only if they’re given to me, and even then, only if the person giving them to me got them for free. Wait a minute, it doesn't have their Evergreen Terrace address on them. Nevermind, take them back.

10. Maggie Simpson Head Backpack


This is pretty much the creepiest backpack (scratch that, the creepiest THING) I’ve ever seen, and it’s almost worth it based on that fact alone. Hey, you want to carry around the decapitated head of a cartoon baby? Well, here’s your chance.

9. Simpsons Cuckoo Clock


This is the first thing on the list that I must own. There’s just no two ways about it. At some point in time, I will own a house, I will have a den, and this thing will tell me every time the new hour begins. Also, it talks! I don’t know what Homer says, but I’m sure it’s brilliant.

8. Simpsons Vinyl Figures


These things are so weird. If they weren’t colored yellow, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that they’re supposed to be Simpsons characters. But I must admit that they’re pretty darn cute, especially the Krusty the Klown with his adorable little smile. The figures remind me of the Japanese TV show Shin Chan.

7. “Blame It On Lisa” Episode Script


I’m not sure if this is a legitimate product or not. Anyone with rudimentary typing skills and this episode of The Simpsons could slap this together, make a cover page, and sell it as real, so I have my doubts. If it’s real, however, it’s a piece of Simpsons history. If it’s real, it means one of the voice actors had this in front of them as they spoke their lines, that may not seem like a big deal if you’re not a nerd, but for Simpsons fanatics like me, it would be something to treasure until the end of days.

6. Bart Simpson RC Skateboard


If I wake up on Christmas morning, and this is under the tree, that’s a wrap on the rest of the day. I will suddenly turn into an 8-year-old, open this up, take it outside and play with it. I will make ramps out of cinder blocks and plywood, and after I make Bart Simpson jump off of it, I’m going to say “Coooooool!!!”

5. Homer Simpson Luchador Plush


It’s pretty obvious why I love this so much. I love The Simpsons, I love professional wrestling, and here they are together, at last. Granted, they did release a video game called Simpsons Wrestling back on the original PlayStation, but the less said about that, the better. This plush won’t traumatize me nearly as much as that game did. Homer also bears a striking resemblance to Nacho Libre.

4. Simpsons Easy Bake Oven


Homer Simpson loves donuts, so they created a product enabling you to do the same. It’s a pretty good idea: Step 1. Take beloved child’s toy and slap The Simpson’s name on it. Step 2. Hookers and blow. Seems solid.

3. Simpsons Gold


Speaking of solid, how about some solid gold? Eh?…eh? Essentially, this is a bar of really cheap gold with the trademark Simpson’s couch gag engraved into it. I don’t know who thought of this or why they thought it was a good idea, but I am living proof that there are some really stupid Simpson’s fans in the world that will pay for it anyway.

2. Bart Simpson Phone


This is another one of those items that serves no functional purpose for me because I haven’t used a home telephone in probably about six years. As soon as I saw this, it immediately reminded me of how awesome toys used to be when I was a kid. The early 90s were the bomb when it came to toys. Also, Bart’s eyes flash when it rings. When was the last time your phone did anything cool when it rang? Sure, it’ll play that terrible song you love so much, but does your phone have eyes that light up? Didn’t think so.

1. Simpsons Mighty Beanz


Lastly, we have.....beanz? I have no earthly idea what these are, but I know that I want them. One problem, there’s only one person on eBay selling them…for $2,000. I’m sorry, but no beans, oh, excuse me, beanZ, are worth $2,000. I’m guessing that replacing the “s” with a “z” drives up the market value about $1,995. I still find these to be pretty cool, whatever they are. After doing a little research, I found that Mighty Beanz was a toy manufactured by Moose Enterprises, which is based in Australia and was launched in 2002 and lasted until 2006, and then re-launched in 2010. They also had other licenses like Pokemon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and apparently these licensed beanz are extremely rare and collectible. I don’t really understand the appeal or even what you’re supposed to do with them (apparently you can race them if you want to), but it’s sad that they can put some Simpsons characters on them and suddenly they are something I really, really…REALLY want.

In closing, purple monkey dishwasher.

Monday, November 21, 2011

5 Ways Getting In Shape Has Messed With My Head

If you just met me within the past year, you may not know that I used to be a pretty big guy. Big as in “wide.” I was a pretty big guy my entire life. When I graduated high school I was 6’6” and weighed about 240 or so. Not huge by any means, and with my height, I wore it well. But I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. I often thought that the reason I wasn’t shooing women away with a stick was because I wasn’t an attractive guy, when really, it was probably more because I was antisocial (that‘s what listening to Korn does to you) and extremely shy. I was uncomfortable around people I didn’t know well. Talking to a girl I didn’t know was a bit of a small miracle.

2007: 315 lbs., 34% body fat, disgusting beard, man-boobs.

2011: 215 lbs., 10% body fat, and a beard that kills inferior beards...also, abs.

When I was around 21 years old, I ballooned to about 315 lbs. I was in a relationship with a girl I hated, I had quit college, I hated my job, my best friend’s health was getting worse, and I was more depressed than I had ever been in my life. I can’t blame my weight gain on any of those factors, but they definitely didn’t help. I would drown my sorrows by eating an entire pizza or staying up all night playing video games and eating chips, downing them with Pepsi. Going to the gym, which has been something I’ve loved since I was 16, became a chore. Sometimes I would tell my girlfriend I was going to the gym and then just go to my house for a few hours just to get away from her. After we split, I found myself with an abundance of free time, which was usually spent at the gym, and my weight went from 315 to about 260 in about six months, and it would stay there for a few years.

In late 2009, I went through a very nasty break-up with my fiance, and basically spent all of 2010 in a depressed haze. I eventually realized that being depressed was killing me, and in order to take my mind off of the break up, I immersed myself in two things: school, and dieting. In September of last year, I was 260 lbs. and my body fat was around 24%. Right now, I weigh between 210-215 and my body fat stays around 10-11%. For the first time in my life, I know that I have a fantastic body, save from the stretch marks and little bit of extra skin from my bigger days. However, despite looking the way I’ve always wanted to, it’s done some damage to my psyche in a number of ways.

5. I Fear My Favorite Foods
Like any red-blooded American, I like three things: violent sports, beautiful women, and eating things that used to be animals. Animals that were bred, killed, cut up, breaded, put in a fryer, smothered in hot sauce and served with other things that are made up of dead animals. Hot dogs fresh off the grill on the 4th of July, Little Caesar’s pizza while watching WrestleMania, and watching the Bengals with a big basket of buffalo wings in front of me, those are probably my three favorite things in the world. The only problem is that I’m scared shitless of all of those things now. My routine is basically like this: Monday through Friday is strict dieting, I won’t even allow myself to eat half a Tootsie Roll if it were in front of me. Saturday is a little less strict, but I try not to go too crazy. Then Sunday comes around, and if you put a cake in front of me, that bastard is getting eaten…entirely…by me. Then I get eater’s remorse and hate myself.

The best of all worlds.

I’ve always had a problem with eating too much. I can easily put away five plates of food at a buffet and still go in for two desserts. This past July, I went to Cici’s Pizza, and I ate so much that I couldn’t stand straight up (no, that‘s not hyperbole, I literally couldn‘t stand up straight). I had to go to the restroom and make myself throw up to feel better. The next time my friends gathered at Cici’s, I brought a protein shake and didn’t eat anything, just because I was afraid of overdoing it again. I haven’t had any incidents like that since, but I still have the fear in me. I’ll make plans to go to a BW3s to watch the game, and while I look forward to it, I’m incredibly frightened as well.

4. I Became An Arrogant Dick
To put it simply, I became the guy that I used to hate. For years, I would hit the gym, see the guys that constantly check themselves out in the mirror, and think “Dude, is that really necessary?” I now find myself walking extra slow anytime I find myself near a mirror. You know those guys that constantly take their shirts off because they know they look good? Two years ago you couldn’t pay me enough to take my shirt off in public. Now, it’d be a challenge to find a social function where I don’t. I’m sure it annoys a lot of people.

I don’t think I do it for purposes of vanity. I think I just spent so much time wanting the body that I have now that I’m still in somewhat of a shock that I achieved it. I make no bones about it when I say that I’m proud of myself for what I’ve achieved. I remember my very first year of college, I took weightlifting as an easy A, and one day the professor (I guess you can call him that) brought in a fitness magazine. If you’ve ever seen a fitness magazine, I don’t have to tell you that the cover of the magazine featured a guy with ripped muscles, 6-pack abs, the whole nine yards. The professor then said “This is not possible. The only way people look like this is if they have superior genetics or they use steroids.” Well, I would like to respectfully disagree. I’ve never used steroids (despite the fact that some people have challenged it), and while my father was a former athlete and Army man, looking at me as a child, it’s safe to say I didn’t have genetics that were “superior.” So to that professor who said it was impossible: go fuck yourself, because I did it.

Some people have shown disdain for me because of my newfound confidence. Many of you are familiar with one of my previous writings entitled I Got Some Hate Mail…This Is My Response. If you’re not, go read it, because it’s probably my favorite thing I’ve ever written. To make it brief, someone calling themselves “Kenny” (if that is your real name, Jason) had grown quite upset over my arrogance. He then went on to question my sexuality, challenge me to a fight, and insult my passion. I've always tried to make my arrogant comments come off as sarcastic, but seeing as some people are unfamiliar with sarcasm, I shall close the register at this point.

I also find myself walking in a public place and seeing very attractive women with their significant others, and I immediately think “I’m better looking than that dude.” And I’m not joking when I say it, I sincerely think that. Maybe that kind of confidence is a good thing, and if it is, I hope it pays off sometime soon.

I truly hope that anyone who knows me on a personal level doesn’t look down on me for these types of things. I hope they see it the same way I do, which is to say that I’m confident with how I look, and maybe I gloat about it, but in my normal everyday life, I’m actually quite modest and humble.

3. It’s Draining My Wallet
I buy a lot of supplements. Off the top of my head, everything that I currently take on a daily basis is: multivitamins, omega-3, CLA, Thermo Burst, creatine, BCAAs, glutamine, N.O. Explode, and two different types of protein. That puts quite a hit on the old bank account every few weeks. Buying supplements is a lot like being a drug addict. It starts off where you start drinking protein shakes, and you like it and it makes you feel good. Then someone says “Hey, give this a shot,” and then that thing becomes something you want all the time, but you can’t give up your protein shakes. So in terms of drugs, I started with smoking a joint, and worked my way up to crystal meth.

Supplements are a slippery slope. It starts with one thing, then progresses to another, and another, and another, until you eventually find yourself killing hookers for Muscle Milk. And much like an addict, I can’t stop taking the stuff. I once ran out of CLA, decided not to renew my stock, found that my body fat percentage had gone up slightly, and then ordered some immediately. At least now I can settle for the off-brand products, because they’re essentially the same thing, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be better off financially if I could kick this habit. I just hope my future children don’t hear about daddy’s tortured past and think less of him.

The "Jack the Ripper" of the supplement world.

2. I Gained Confidence, Then Reality Kicked In
You ever have something awesome happen, and then someone ruins it. Like if you went up to a friend and said “I got an A on my exam, it’s the hardest class I’ve ever taken and I got an A,” and then your friend says “Yeah, but you didn’t get an A+.” That’s how I feel a lot of the time.

I used to think dudes that were in tremendous shape had it easier. For me, it’s improved almost nothing. I’m healthier, I look better, I receive a lot of compliments, I get a lot of people asking me for fitness advice. Outside of those types of things, stuff hasn’t really gotten any better. I still get angry, I still get depressed, and I still feel overwhelmed a lot of times. A lot of it has to do with women. I had much better luck when I was in the 260 lb range. The quality of women I get now has vastly improved, but more than once recently I’ve found myself on the receiving end of a “hit it and quit it,” although that may just be karma coming back to bite me in the ass. Earlier in the year I found a woman that I was and still am really into. I thought I had a shot, totally didn’t. No biggie, I moved on. Found a new girl, started dating her, and she dumps me to marry her 41-year-old boss. Shrug it off and move on again. There’s a few fine women I wouldn’t mind getting to know a little better, and then I think “Forget it, you know how it’s going to end.“ Now, I’m just kind of doing whatever. Despite my newfound confidence, I was quickly reminded that the world will kick your ass, and it doesn’t give a shit who you are or what you look like.

For years I heard from people in the wrestling business that if I had the body, I’d have a contract with one of the major companies. I won’t hesitate to tell anyone that I think I’m a damn good professional wrestler, and I would put my skill up there with anyone else on the independent circuit with my size. Now, I have the body, and nothing has really improved, as a matter of fact, some people think it’s diminished my appeal, as I don’t look as imposing as I used to. Maybe I haven’t marketed myself the right way, and I’ve taken steps towards changing that recently, so we’ll see.

1. Body Dysmorphic Disorder
According to Wikipedia, body dysmorphic disorder is described as: a type of mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the affected person is exclusively concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of his or her physical features. I didn’t even know about this until my buddy Hooks told me about it a few months ago. He brought it up when I said something about being concerned about my body fat increasing slightly. When he told me about it I looked it up and thought “I’m not that crazy.” Then I noticed that I was becoming obsessed over things that I was already very meticulous about and letting it affect my mind. Like if my weight had gone up, I would get upset with myself. I would eat a little less at each meal, workout at a faster pace, do extra or more intense cardio that night, etc.

The more research I did about the disorder, the more I realized that I may indeed have a problem with it. I don’t have a lot of the “symptoms” like suicidal ideation, anxiety and panic attacks, or alcohol and drug abuse. But then they list several “compulsive behaviors” normally associated with it. Things like compulsive mirror checking, seeking reassurance from loved ones, and excessive dieting or exercising. All of which I am guilty of.

And honestly, I hate to say this, but it’s all about my abs, I really don‘t want to lose them because they‘re something I had always wanted. For a long time I thought that if I let myself stop dieting for even more than a few days that they would just disappear. At the time I was still new to dieting, and now that I’ve done more research and understand it better, I stress about it a lot less. I’ve lightened quite a bit now that I’ve reached a point where I’m actually trying to put on some muscle mass, and I know the only way to do that is by eating a lot more than I’m used to. I have my apprehensions about it, but I still make myself do it. I spent my entire life so dissatisfied with the way that I look that I’m terrified of reverting back to that state. I’ve gotten better. Scales and body fat calculators are things that I use very sparingly when I used to check them everyday. I learned that it’s more about what the mirror says and not what the scale says. Scales and body fat are so dependent on so many variables that it can fluctuate on a daily basis.

Why did I want to write about all this? I initially started writing trying to be funny, then it took a left turn into serious. Please, if you’re reading this, don’t worry about me, I’m good. All five of the things I listed are things that I’ve improved with recently. I no longer fear watching the game with a basket of wings in front of me, I don’t obsessively check myself out in the mirror other than to check my progress, and while I do still look at the abs, I don’t freak out about them anymore, at least not as much.

Like I said earlier, I’m proud of what I’ve done. I set a goal for myself, and when I reached it I kept going, maybe even going a little too far. But now I know that reaching your goals can still have its negatives. So for all of you that have asked me for dieting advice is the recent past, I’m a living example that what you want is possible, just don’t overdo it like I did.