By BRENDA PACHECO
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sept.22)
The Sun and Mercury will shine on you this month, bringing good career opportunities and more money your way. Don’t expect a date with a special someone anytime soon because you’re going to be booked.
Libra (Sept. 23- Oct. 22)
Your social life will be much more exciting for a while, which will put you in a good mood throughout the month. You’re going to need that good mood to get through a test in the near future.
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 21)
You had a good summer. Now it’s time to face reality. Work will get a lot more time-consuming, so you won’t have time for a social life. No parties for you anytime soon.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22- Dec. 21)
A wakeup call is coming your way. This will be a good time to get support from your friends. The silver lining is that you will start a new relationship with someone special.
Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 19)
You’ve been in a grumpy mood for a while and now it’s time to lighten up before you lose some close friends. On a lighter note, you may soon receive a pay raise.
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 18)
You’ve been a good sport through these last couple of months. Now good things are coming your way. Embrace new advantages in your career to get ahead of the race.
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
It’s time for you get out of this rut and do something adventurous. You’ve been so caught up in everyone else’s problems that you haven’t had time to focus on your own happiness.
Aries (March 21- April 19)
You have become a risktaker lately and not everyone is happy about the new you. It’s time for you to slow it down. Stop getting into so much trouble before you end up in the doghouse.
Taurus (April 20- May 20)
Your calendar is starting to fill up but you don’t have time to do everything you planned. Sort things out and figure out which plans are worth keeping.
Gemini (May 21- June 21)
You’re starting to take on new responsibilities and everyone is seeing you in a new light. The new you is drawing in lots of new people. Embrace the change and make new friends.
Cancer (June 22- July 22)
You have been having lots of bad luck lately but that is about to change. You will meet your good-luck charm and see many changes in your life. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge.
Leo (July 23- Aug. 22)
Work has been booming and money is just rolling in. Don’t spend more than you need to, because an unplanned expense is heading your way. Hold off on buying that new iPhone.
By ARLO COSTALES
Want to avoid being kicked out of a bar? Here are my top 10 suggestions for actions to stay away from:
1. Breaking bottles.
If you break your beverage’s container, your bartender can be nice and give you a new drink or you may be shit-out-of-luck and must buy a new one. Continuous and/or intentional glass breaking will lead to your dismissal.
This should go without saying but so does most of this list. Be civil. Gents, leave that unoriginal macho energy at home. Ladies, that girl across the bar is not giving your man the sexy eyes.
3. No cash.
The days of having a running tab at a bar are long gone. Bring cash and prepare to spend it.
4. Too drunk.
I suppose it’s for your own safety, but most bartenders won’t let you get completely black out drunk. Put your head down at a bar and you’re done.
5. Rough housing.
This is typically more for the fellas. After one too many shots, arm wrestling and toasting seems like a good idea. It’s not. It is unbecoming, disturbs the general peace of the bar and is a quick way to get ejected.
There are usually both male and female bathrooms available. A good way to get the boot from your local watering hole is to use the opposite sex’s toilet. An even easier way to be exiled is by avoiding lines and designating your own private urinal in a bush.
If you’re planning to be approached by a random stranger soliciting drugs, a bar is your best bet. No that person does not work for the bar, and drugs are bad. And just because pot is somewhat legal these days, it doesn’t make it a good idea to light one up on the patio.
It is not uncommon to meet the love of your life at your favorite dive but show some class and keep your pants on. At least wait for the cab ride home.
9. Taking drinks.
Just because someone orders a beer and leaves the bar with the glass half full, doesn’t mean it’s kosher to prevent the beverage from going to waste. Your good deed is thievery.
10. Not tipping.
Although you don’t legally have to tip, it is a good idea. Most bartenders will stop looking your way or in some cases disconnect your service. Cough up the loot, cheapskate.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Something that really gets to me is religion, and the organization of it. Religion has some good ideas, but it gets out of hand once groups of people get involved.
They start going after each other because the other group doesn’t believe in their “true God” or because someone just doesn’t believe.
Those people always forget to turn the other cheek. Obviously they only have one, and it’s not meant to be turned.
Now I’m not saying that religion is a bad idea. Like most ideas of the human race, there is underlying good behind it. But we manage to take our eyes off the ball.
I’m not a religious man, by any means. I personally don’t believe any almighty being exists, good or bad.
People tell me that I’m going to hell, like it’s a threat. I’m not shaking in my boots about a place that I don’t believe exists.
Just because I don’t believe in God, however, doesn’t mean I think other people shouldn’t either. If you believe in him, good for you. I’m glad he helps you to believe in something.
I’m not the type of person who goes around saying that God doesn’t exist because there is no proof that he does. Nor, I might add, is there any proof that he doesn’t exist.
What I do believe is that people shouldn’t tell each other that they’re wrong. People should do what makes them happy as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
I realize this runs a bit counter to my previous article that criticized fashion, but, hey, that’s just my opinion. You guys can say to hell with this ugly fat guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. (And truthfully, I probably don’t.)
In all honesty, people believe in different religions because they are afraid of death as an end and they hope for something more to come.
I believe in and put my complete trust into my family and friends, because they are there for my day-to-day highs and lows.
People have told me that God is working through my friends and family. I’m sorry, but that is just not the way I see it at all. People are responsible for their own choices in life.
Everyone should have the freedom to believe in what they want. Just don’t tell someone else how to live their life.
Finally, if there is a real God, I think he would probably judge people based on their true character and not the atrocities and good they have committed in his name.
But hey, I’m just some dumb, ugly fat guy.
By THOMAS F. JOHNSON
Remakes. We’re all sick of how they mangle the message of the movies they copy, such as turning Klaatu from “The Day The Earth Stood Still” from Space Jesus into a space asshole.
Here are 10 films that deserve a second chance.
The original “Demoni” was an OK zombie film with zombies possessed by demons. The premise and setup is excellent, but I’d love to see a remake with more diverse and creative creature designs.
9. “The Thief and the Cobbler”
This labor of love for animator Roger Williams was sadly snatched from his arms at the last second by the Weinsteins and recut into a sub-par Aladdin ripoff. Just hire a new crew to re-finish this, and you’ve got a classic on your hands for very little money.
8. “Damnation Alley”
This movie was a cheesy road trip/post-apocalypse movie. Though it flopped, it was based on a far more interesting and ambitious book. Since CGI has advanced well beyond the point needed to deliver the book’s garbage-filled winds and enormous mutated monsters, why not give it a second chance?
7. “Felix The Cat: The Movie”
This early ‘90s film was a confusing representation of one of animation’s first iconic heroes. He deserves another shot at film stardom.
6. “Neon Maniacs”
A movie with 12 unique slashers in one? Cool! This movie using that premise? Not so much. This concept deserves to be made with a better budget, a script that uses the premise well and a coherent explanation as to what the hell those monsters were.
5. “Shock Treatment”
This little-known, little-liked sequel to “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was severely compromised due to budget issues. Why not remake the film right, using the original script? Better yet, make a true Rocky Horror sequel, “Rocky Horror Shows His Heels.”
4. “Cool World”
What was going to be a dark, disturbing animated horror/live-action hybrid film by Ralph Bakshi instead turned into a watered-down, smutty Roger Rabbit clone. We rarely see animated horror films, and this one could be profitable. Why not a remake in accordance with Bakshi’s original vision?
3. “Last Action Hero”
This movie couldn’t decide whether it was a parody or a deconstruction of its own subject matter. That is a real shame, as the idea of a film set in the world of film is a great idea, enough so to warrant a new and improved remake
2. “Howard The Duck”
While this movie is indeed awful, it has little to nothing to do with the excellent source material. The comic written by the late Steve Gerber was a lot more satirical, smart and funny. The Marvel cinematic universe could use a comedy.
1. “Super Mario Bros.”
A shoe-in for the top spot, the original film was decent on its own merits but a horrible adaptation of videogaming’s greatest hero. It could become a big franchise in the hands of somebody like Spielberg or DelToro. Nintendo should give it a second shot. We need at least one good videogame move.
By RYAN TSARSIS
If you’re like me and have a birthday near the holiday season, your birthday may seem like an ordinary day to pass the time away as you wait for New Years.
Some of you may relish receiving double the gifts as your peers and family members, while others may feel snubbed as their gifts and plans focus around the holiday season rather than the birthday itself.
Here are 10 plans to make your day a special day:
1. Go to Las Vegas. Everyone likes a getaway, especially around the time of your birthday. Take this time to invite some close friends and go wild, “Hangover” style.
2. Throw a party. Who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned party for themselves? This is a good idea for those of you who have a little extra money to spend, and friends to fill the guest list.
3. Grab a steak dinner. Ah steak. There’s nothing like a nice, filling steak to make me feel special on my birthday. For those of you who are vegetarians, feast out on your favorite non-meat dish.
4. Cruise Fourth Avenue. “The strip” is a great spot for you and some friends to venture. Tell every bartender it’s your birthday. Free drinks are inevitable and the bar scene loves someone who chooses their bar for your birthday.
5. Have a dinner date. Dinner dates are extra memorable for those sharing their day with a special someone. Put on that birthday dress or suit to impress, and go out to a fancy restaurant to have a classy evening.
6. Go camping. For you outdoorsy types, make your day invigorating by strapping on the camping gear and adventuring the great outdoors to a precious spot underneath the stars.
7. Have a favorite movie marathon. This is more for the couch potatoes out there. A day dedicated to a movie marathon can make a memorable birthday.
8. Have a barbecue. Barbecues are great for those who enjoy food, family, friends and fun. Pig out with your favorite grilled food while enjoying the focus of your birthday.
9. Go on a hike. Hiking can be fun, especially if the hike is dedicated to you and is on your favorite trail.
10. Have a family dinner. There’s nothing like some much-needed family time, especially around the holidays.
By DAVID MENDEZ
As I write this, I realize that one of the following may have occurred by the time the newspaper hits newsstands:
1.) Occupy Wall Street and its brethren will have made an indelible impact on society and everyone will have returned to their homes as heroes of a new generation;
2.) Occupiers will still be camped, hoping their choice to take up residence in parks for a few weeks can still make a difference;
3.) Everyone will have left the parks disenchanted, except for the homeless people who were being mistaken for sage veterans of the protesting world.
The entire “Occupy” movement has fascinated me since I first heard about it in early September.
A grass-roots movement made up mostly of unhappy 20-somethings, aching to vent their rage at any and all perceived enemies? I was all in, if only to laugh as it dissolved two days in because people missed being able to charge their Macbooks.
I was shocked to learn it survived its first week, especially considering that not one single ideology had been agreed upon other than “blame the rich.” (In these times, that isn’t exactly a bad political stance to take.)
Numbers grew, people fell in love with the idea of camping less than a mile from home and the idea spread beyond the northeast. Tucson’s occupation began on Oct. 15 in Armory Park, in solidarity with Occupy Phoenix and, globally, Occupy Everywhere.
By choosing Armory, Tucson-based protests have allowed the media’s light to focus on a wonderfully pleasant park (during the day) that happens to be less than 50 yards from my back gate.
And I hate that.
Not because I dislike hipster kids latching onto any movement that allows them to feel important, or because I’d like to walk around my neighborhood at night without worrying about getting cited.
It’s not even because they take all of the valuable street parking that I need after the five available spots at my complex get snapped up.
It’s because Occupy Tucson, in being good neighbors, screwed itself.
The Tucson Meet Yourself festival also happened to fall on the weekend of Oct. 15. It sprawled over a good portion of the downtown area, attracting thousands to the city center to bask in the glory of good art and great food.
Occupy Tucson moved its setting from Pancho Villa Park, directly in the center of the festival’s madness, to Armory Park, presumably so organizers of TMY wouldn’t withhold valuable fry bread from occupying protesters.
Though they may have been criticized for taking advantage of a beloved public festival, there’s nothing like adding the eyes of a few thousand passersby to your cause. That’s particularly true if the Internet isn’t another appendage to the visitors, like it is for most of this generation.
I support the general message. I support the right to peacefully assemble as citizens of a free democracy, even in affront to law in an effort to do so.
I even support the fact that not everyone seems to know that solidarity is everyone’s best shot for success. It’s funny to see the five people of feminist-led splinter group Occupy Tucson for Everyone at the corner of University and Park.
But it’s hard for me to support a populist-based movement seeking change when they’re so unfailingly polite. They’re willing to point the starting pistol at themselves just as the race is about to start.
By DAVID MENDEZ
I’m tired. Sick and tired.
I’m tired of hearing it, seeing it, reading it. I’m just plain done with it.
This national obsession with rude, insulting, angry language has to stop.
I realize that makes me sound old-fashioned. In reality, I realize that society evolves, pushes boundaries and displaces previously-held social norms.
I grew up watching George Carlin specials when my parents weren’t paying attention. I’m familiar with the concept of pushing social norms.
Unfortunately, I’m also familiar with the way people treat one another these days.
I’ve complained before about children who scream racial and sexist epithets during online gaming sessions. I’ve dealt with the issue time in and time out because, unfortunately, Penny Arcade’s “Greater Internet F–kwad Theory” holds true.
GIFT states that a normal person, when granted anonymity and an audience, becomes a complete jackass.
I’m not sure where this particular behavior began. It’s probably as old as time.
But society has made angry speech our most common form of communication. It’s in our books, our movies, our games, our television.
I can’t say that I’ve not taken part in the phenomenon myself, of course. I’m liable to yell at people who violate “my” space in traffic, or troll people on the Internet myself.
But my car windows are rolled up, containing the rage to my own space.
On the Internet, I level my snark-filled comments at those who have been uncouth.
That’s not a great defense, but it’s the only thing I can think of to justify my well-formulated and well-thought-out insults. In any case, my insults inevitably get ignored or cause me to be called a “liberal idiot suckling at Obummer’s teat.”
What concerns me most is that children will grow up in this society, forged and tempered by angry speech. (The fact that sarcasm is often listed as a second language on Facebook profiles makes my head spin.)
When in doubt, one should turn to one of America’s greatest writers, Kurt Vonnegut. He’s been a source for many of my favorite quotations, including one I tend to repeat to myself during times of despair.
That quote comes from “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater,” in a speech planned for the twins of the main character’s neighbors. He’s welcoming the children to the world and sharing advice with them:
“There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
In these times of economic turmoil, attempts at social uprising and plain old jerkishness, that’s one rule we all need to live by.
By DAVID MENDEZ
I’ve found that the worst thing (so far) about getting old isn’t aging. Apparently, so long as I keep my face cleanly shaved, I’ll get carded anywhere I go.
What’s awful about aging is knowing that some of the smaller skills I developed growing up are now completely useless.
A few weeks ago, I happened to stumble upon a website called “obsoleteskills.com,” though not with the help of StumbleUpon.
It’s a fascinating site, particularly for those who have too much time on their hands and are putting off something important.
You’ll find a listing of more than 300 skills that will likely only become important again if the western world is sent back into the technological dark ages. (Note: That skill number is approximate — I stopped counting as a lingering feeling of “old” started creeping in on me.)
A number of these skills are related to technological developments better suited to the 1800s than modern living.
I understand why “churning butter” and “harnessing a team of oxen” are on the list, but those probably don’t need to be explained unless you’re heading to rural Pennsylvania for a few weeks.
I’m more concerned with the things that I can actually remember doing. Like rewinding video cassettes before returning them to a store or having to clean out the trackball of a mouse so it worked better.
I can remember having to tear apart pages from a dot-matrix printer and adjusting the rabbit ear antennae for a TV. I remember memorizing and singing the tone our dial-up Internet made, and blowing on video game cartridges so I could play Super Mario Kart.
Of course, some of the listings are tongue-in-cheek or purely gripes about society: Entries for “manners” and “general conversation” come to mind, as do those for “handwriting” and “paying with cash.”
And some are just jokes, such as “operating an HD-DVD player.” The “caulking your wagon to ford the river” entry is on the list because every Web page referencing old technology apparently must legally reference the Oregon Trail game somewhere on it.
I did have to laugh at the “porn not from the Internet” entry though, as I guess even perverts get nostalgic.
It’s weird though: things I still regularly do are becoming obsolete. Commonplace things, like using a watch, driving a manual transmission or sending a typewritten letter through the mail. (OK, so that last one isn’t commonplace but my Internet has been spotty lately.)
I guess it comes down to the fact that it’s weird getting old. I mean, there are people I hang out with now who couldn’t have watched Jurassic Park when it was in theaters. They have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention “Rita Repulsa” in conversation.
But weirder still is realizing that things that seem untouchable now will be as extinct as dinosaurs within a few years: personal desktop computers, video game systems with physical controllers, even (hopefully) certain diseases.
At least I can take solace in the fact that physical media like books and CDs will never go out of style, right?
Or is it already time again for me to roll around, clutching my magazines and newspaper clippings, pretending that I’ll still be relevant in 20 years?
By DAVID MENDEZ
The Libertarian-leaning, Republican crackpot Ron Paul is finally getting legitimate press as a presidential candidate, and I couldn’t be any happier about it.
For the uninitiated, I’ll sum up the 76-year-old U.S. representative from Texas in one sentence: Ron Paul loves the United States Constitution.
If it were a woman, he’d take it out for a candlelight dinner, hold its hand as they walked through the park at sunset and kiss it goodnight on the cheek before sending it flowers the next day.
He has the kind of love that’s obvious in his actions. He votes against bills infringing upon personal rights, such as the USA PATRIOT Act.
He’s one of the few Republicans who has campaigned against our wars on the grounds that they’re unconstitutional, not to mention financially unsound.
Sure, he’s got his crazy points.
He wants to do away with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, naive enough to think that the free market will punish racists financially.
He wants to repeal Roe v. Wade, believing abortion rights are not the business of the federal government. He wants to end the federal prohibition of pot, too, which I suspect just won him a few votes from the stoners reading this.
Surprisingly, he came in second in the Iowa Straw Poll, just behind Minnesota’s Michelle Bachmann. But until the Daily Show raised a fuss about his treatment in the media, he was being ignored like it was ‘08 all over again.
Now, Ron Paul is gaining actual momentum. Honestly, I think it’s because he’s less insane than his opponents.
Bachmann, for instance, believes that gay people can pray themselves straight and that Intelligent Design is a legitimate theory that should be taught in schools.
Rick Perry is the second coming of George W. Bush. In his favor, he did consider instituting a tax on strip clubs in Texas, which is so funny that I can’t even joke about it.
Jon Huntsman is crazy enough to think that he has a shot at winning the GOP nomination by being a moderate during a time when most Republican voters are wearing tri-corner hats and yelling at pictures of President Obama until their mouths foam over.
Realistically, Paul won’t win the nomination. He’s too principled, for one thing. He’s also too old. (He’d be 81 by the end of his first term, should he actually win the election.)
But really, Ron Paul just isn’t polarizing enough to be as loved or hated as his opponents. It’s a shame, too.
I was looking forward to seeing him hand-in-hand with the Constitution down by the Lincoln Memorial at sunset.
By RYAN TSARSIS
1. Thank you for making me that sandwich.
2. Can you bring me a beer… please?
3. You look very pretty in that apron.
4. Have you seen my chewing tobacco?
5. Why are you staring at me that way?
6. I’m glad you’re letting the guys come over tonight.
7. Are the wings in the freezer?
8. You smell nice.
9. You look good today.
10. I love you, but the game is on.
BY DAVID MENDEZ
It’s summer, and the end of the school year is all but upon us.
It’s a time to look forward – to longer hours at work, to new classes and to shorter vacations than you’d like.
Personally, I like to take this time to look back at my body of work. For the benefit of my critics, I’m going to do so publicly.
Come on! Let’s look back at my failings as a writer and a human in less than 350 words.
Take my “Bejeweled” column, published March 24. “There’s always a gem blinking somewhere, Pima. Whenever you’re stuck, in games or in life, there’s always a solution.”
One reader’s reaction? “Oatmeal.”
Dull as dried paint and bland as British food. Looking back, this is like watching a football player in a batting cage: It’s only just entertaining and for the wrong reasons. This is why you won’t see me doing uplifting self-help anytime soon.
Speaking of self-help, how about my “Talk to us, Pima!” column? “You see, although I can hear your praise and applause from all around the Tucson area (it sounds remarkably similar to excited crickets), I’m missing your insightful comments – your ideas, your comebacks, your insults.”
I couldn’t have sounded any more like a shill if I had tried to throw in a free massage for every five comments we got on our stories… which we can’t afford on our budget.
My Jan. 27 “Zombies” column takes the cake, though. “All I know is that if the zombie apocalypse is near, I’m heading to the concrete fortress that is West Campus.” If this column were a scarecrow, the Wizard of Oz would’ve denied its request for brains because it wouldn’t put them to good use.
In retrospect: I’m funny. You know it, I know it and the one dude who added me on Facebook because he recognized me from my column knows it.
But sometimes I’m off my game. When that happens, let me know. I’d like to be held to a higher standard than most Arizona politicians.
BY DAVID MENDEZ
Hey, remember Myspace?
You may be asking, “Who cares about Myspace anymore? I certainly don’t.”
You’re not alone, people who talk to yourselves in the cafeteria. I can’t remember the last time I logged in.
After all, I’m not a porn star or a rapper desperate for attention. I’m also not one of the people I went to high school with who started popping out kids after graduation.
Between the shrinking user base and ever-declining ad revenue, Myspace owner News Corporation has decided to put the sinking ship up for sale. It’s actually been rebranded as “My_____.”
So who’s willing to purchase this wreck?
According to the Wall Street Journal, a few huge investment firms have started serious discussions. But why let little things like “facts” get in the way of baseless conjecture?
Facebook seems like a potential buyer. The idea of a dominant company merging with a weaker one in its field isn’t new.
It won’t work, though. Facebook programmers would have strokes just looking at pages the average Myspacer creates, thanks to the obsession some women have with animated Tinkerbell pictures.
Then there’s Yahoo, the only place I know to actually find chat rooms these days. Combining the two to create a social beast makes sense.
However, combining the two would create a porn advertising singularity that makes the entire Internet smell like shame and KY jelly.
We’ll end with Vevo, the record industry’s effort to stay relevant in the digital age.
With its presence on YouTube, Vevo has actually been somewhat successful, even if it’s getting blown out of the water by flash-in-the-pan darlings like Rebecca Black.
This merger actually makes sense. “My_____” decided to become a place for music about the same time it dropped the “space,” so becoming a tool of the record industry would suit it fine.
It would suit the recording industry just fine, too. No industry does more to support dead technology than one that thinks overcharging for CDs is a good idea in 2011.
By DAVID MENDEZ
Apparently, nostalgia is in vogue — again.
This summer, MTV is bringing back Beavis and Butthead, dragging the poorly drawn teenagers back from the graveyard of cancelled cartoons.
MTV’s Viacom sibling Nickelodeon, for its part, will re-air its grunge-era classics this fall in a late-night block known as “The ‘90s is All That.”
I have no desire to watch any of these shows again. If I wanted to watch “All That” alum Kenan Thompson awkwardly mug and shout his way through sketch comedy, I’d turn on “Saturday Night Live.”
I loved these shows, truly. But lately, I’ve spent quality time watching classic Nickelodeon cartoons, as well as choice Looney Tunes.
The newer shows lack substance. The characters are obnoxious, with plots focusing more on misunderstanding and awkwardness than wit.
The Looney Tunes cartoons were designed for adults under Hollywood’s moralistic Hays Code censorship. Any sort of sexuality was downplayed into non-existence. Blasphemy and vulgarity were out.
In short: Anything that was actually funny had to be clever.
It’s like comparing “Modern Family” to “Two and a Half Men,” if the latter had more goofy voices and less to do with counting down to Charlie Sheen’s astronomically popular public breakdown.
Which brings us back to Nickelodeon, Viacom and ‘90s classics.
In 2003, “Ren and Stimpy Adult Cartoon Party” aired on a late-night block on another Viacom network, Spike TV. See a trend?
It was an effort to cash in on the grown-up viewers of the show’s early ‘90s heyday, revolving around gross-out humor, sexual themes and stoner-humor absurdity.
It lasted a month and a half before cancellation.
Nostalgia is a fun diversion, a reflection of youth and times gone by. Generally, it disappears as quickly as one’s desire to watch a “Rugrats” DVD sober in your early 20s after one episode.
But like all diversions, it’s ultimately a waste of time.
I’ll tune in, probably once, to see if Danny Tamberelli is still as funny as I thought he was when I was 10 years old. Beyond that, I’m out.
My time will be too wrapped up in figuring out what current cartoon trend is next to be revived in an adult animation block. My money is on “The Penguins of Madagascar.”
By DAVID MENDEZ
I came to a realization this week: Life is like Bejeweled.
Let’s back up a bit. I’ve always considered myself to be a gamer. That kind of comes with the territory of having a Super Nintendo before being in kindergarten.
Since then, I’ve spent a fair amount of time with hunks of molded plastic in my hands, pretending to be someone I’m not: a space marine, a chubby plumber, a 10-year-old catching magical animals for what amounts to legalized dogfighting.
A lot of people who hear “gamer” think “lazy.” That’s where Bejeweled comes in.
If you haven’t heard of it, Bejeweled Blitz is a simple puzzle game, found on Facebook. Users have one minute to match different colored gems into rows of three or more, trying to get a high score and beat friends who are also wasting time on the game.
Simple. And addictive.
I found myself playing it the other night, avoiding an assignment I was stuck on. Problem was, I was stuck in Bejeweled too, unable to get a match. I knew there was one there — the game’s programmed to have it. I just couldn’t find it.
Then the idea hit me for my assignment. The solution was always there, tucked in the back of my mind. I just needed to completely avoid it for hours, playing a mindless video game to find it.
Bejeweled has a number of aids to help you when you’re lost. Notably, a gem will blink, indicating the nearest match.
There’s always a gem blinking somewhere, Pima. Whenever you’re stuck, in games or in life, there’s always a solution. You just have to be paying attention to see it. If you can’t find it, look up the problem on YouTube.
Keep in mind, that part doesn’t work well for real life. Dramatic Chipmunk won’t help you figure out what your next life decision will be.
Bejeweled just might though.
By DAVID MENDEZ
I’m getting to that age when I’m starting to see a good number of my peers, both from high school and college, getting married and having kids — legitimate ones, mind you. None of this “out of wedlock in high school” nonsense that’s so popular on MTV shows these days.
I can see the benefits: You have a dedicated physical partner, your best friend is by your side at all times and there’s a nice tax break.
Not to mention the free cake, videos of your family dancing and the appliances re-gifted to you at the wedding.
Honestly, I just don’t see much of a reason to settle down this early.
Shoot, I can barely understand getting married as a result of a broken condom and a difficult conversation. (“Are you sure you’re not just a LITTLE bit pregnant? Maybe that test was wrong. Eighth time is the charm, right?”)
It’s not that I’ve been given a bad example. My parents have been married going on 25 years and they were about my age when they did it.
Maybe I’m soured on the idea because of a bad gamble on a previous relationship or maybe I’m just pessimistic. Maybe I’m too lazy to teach someone else how to find things in my room.
I think it really comes down to the fact that I don’t know who I am yet. I don’t think anyone at this age really does. I don’t feel like I can commit to someone to such an extent and I’m not going to try.
The world is littered with tales of woe that start that way, all of which you can see on daytime talk shows.
I congratulate my friends who have found that someone and found themselves, and I wish them all the best.
Personally, I’m going to stick with just having a girlfriend. I’ll keep figuring out who I am and who I want to be when I grow up. The options so far are between Hank Moody from “Californication” and Batman. I’ll also try to keep up with this writing thing.
It’s a better idea than getting someone pregnant. I’m too old to get a reality show on MTV.