Top 10 Funny Costume Ideas

Are you an attention whore? Do you love Halloween but aren’t sure what costume to don this year? Are you that person who always has to wear the “best” or most shocking costume to the party, but are running out of ideas? Last year’s cheerleader outfit just won’t suffice because everyone will remember and you’ll be the laughing stock of the party for wearing the same thing again?

“Oh, God, Walnuts, what should I do?!”

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are my top 10 funny costume ideas for 2010. Wear one of these, and people might be tricked into thinking you’re cool again.

10. Cockroach

Nothing’s more horrific than a big bug that won’t die. Nothing’s funnier than a douchebag going as himself for Halloween. Why not mix the two?

 

9. Bologna

Wear this one if you’re a meatbag.

 

8. Beer Pong

Beer pong’s all the rage these days. Be a conformist. Let guys toss their balls at you.

 

7. Hot dog

Everyone knows you’re a wiener. Might as well go as one.

 

6. Zombie

Okay, I know, it’s not very original. But you’re about as witty as the undead, so just roll with it.

 

5. Frankenberry

Remember the 80s? Remember when Count Chocula had friends? Remember when you had friends? Get them back with this masterpiece!

 

4. Giant boob

I wonder how many purple nurples you’ll get. If you move that nurple down a little, it won’t be such a bad thing.

 

3. Lumberjack Woodpecker

Chicks will love it. Men will envy you. And everyone will know you’re really packing a 3-incher.

2. Banana flasher

Remember all those times you wanted to show chicks your banana? Well, wear this, and they won’t call you creepy…or maybe they will. But at least they can’t see your face!

 

1. Grimace

Dominate. Become the coolest m-fer around. Be remembered. Be legendary. Nothing can stop the Grimace.

– P. Walnuts

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Will the New “Superman” Director be Super?

Remember all the failed on-screen attempts at reinventing Superman? Remember when Christopher Reeve flew at light-speed around Earth to reverse the rotation and turn back time? Remember Dean Cain? Remember Superman Returns?

2006's film is generally remembered as a flop.

When I think of these, one word comes to mind: Terrible.

Don’t get me wrong. Christopher Reeve’s Superman films were pretty solid, and still stand as the best attempt at bringing the world’s greatest superhero to the screen. But some of the stories really needed work. On the other hand, the story in Superman Returns isn’t half bad. But the movie is terrible because the acting is, for lack of a better term, hokey. Also, Superman Returns should not have been an effects movie. We’re not talking about Armageddon here. Superman’s character actually has an incredibly thought-provoking story that was completely ignored in the 2006 film.

In the early 1990s, the world changed forever when Superman died.

The new Superman reboot – due to come out around Christmas, 2012 (assuming the world doesn’t end) – will be directed by Zack Snyder. You might find yourself asking, “Who?” Well, I’ll tell you.

Snyder may be most famous for directing 2009’s epic, Watchmen. He also directed 2004’s reboot of Dawn of the Dead and the critically acclaimed 300.

2009's "Watchmen" may be Director Zack Snyder's masterpiece.

I recently, along with RFP, viewed Watchmen for the second time. I consider it to be one of the most interesting and thought-provoking movies I’ve ever seen. Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead is one of my favorite zombie films, as well, and made it into Xena’s top 6 on Miserable Retail Slave.

So the big question, really, is this: Why have such famed directors/writers as J.J. Abrams, Tim Burton, and Kevin Smith failed so miserably at bringing the character of Superman to the big screen?

If I had to answer, I’d guess that it has something to do with the viewers. We’ve become something of an anti-hero culture. We embrace the flawed characters, like Tony Stark, Batman, and even The Joker. We empathize with the “dark side” because we are all in touch with our own. Characters like Superman, who are wholly “good,” are difficult to adapt to because we simply don’t relate to them.

2008's "The Dark Knight" is one of the most successful films of all-time.

Personally, I’m excited about the choice of Snyder. He’s successful because he brings us flawed characters and makes us love them. Think about Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, and Mekhi Phifer’s character in Dawn of the Dead, who chains his pregnant girlfriend up so she’ll give birth after she’s already “turned” to a zombie.

I’m not saying Snyder needs to give Superman flaws. It’s not his job to reinvent the character. All I’m saying is that, somewhere, Superman already has flaws, and I’m hoping Snyder embraces them, brings them to the forefront, and reminds us why we started loving Superman in the first place.

– P. Walnuts

There’s a Skeleton in Every Man’s House…

The candle melts away as a mischievous flame spits false cookie odors into the air. Today is the first day the AC has been off all summer – a sign of autumn’s inevitable arrival. Class begins Monday. Today was Friday; it’s nearly 2am, however, which marks it an official Saturday morning. Neighbors slam rusty car doors and chat chat chatter away on the lawn, no doubt with 40 ouncers in their mechanic hands (they appear to be mechanics, but are most definitely mechanical). Oil marks their hands as surely as a curious chill marks the night air, and I don’t need to look to know.

The landlord had eye surgery and will most likely milk a few extra Jacksons out of me next month to help pay for it. His right eye is blood red and sinister. He can’t see clearly, but really, who can? He carries his revolver around. He lives in fear. Don’t we all? My fear is that he’ll shoot a 15 year old delinquent who likes to egg cars whose rear bumpers hang maniacally over the street gutter. “Maniacally, you say?” “Yes,” I say. Perhaps he’ll shoot me and then…well, then what? No more fear.

Golf tomorrow. And toothpicks. Emptiness meets fulfillment. One “l” or two? One lump? Just the two? Or..?

The phone buzzes and lights up K-Mart blue, and I feel special. Love is so lovely. Random thoughts scrape the taste from my tongue and my heart feels so cauterized. Roommates grin and wave blades like bats, but the gleam glares brighter off their Devil teeth. I am here, and there is a sound, and it is so far-far off I barely notice, but it is there, and I am here. The vanishing point has vanished. “You don’t do anything, man.” “Abortion solves nothing.” “Neither does adoption.” “Just do the dishes and shut your mouth.” I was banished to the smallest room, and chores chores chores. What about my bottle money?

Heaven seems so far away. Am I that detached from God? I see the word Bible in “Bud Light Beer.” I’m just another face in the crowd, and all I want is to be addicted to the cure. August is nearly over; soon comes everything after…and just like that, Counting Crows is playing on Youtube. And I am ruined: She says, “you’re changing.” But we’re always changing…

It’s all or nothing.

“I just want to be entertained.” “So does everyone else. It’s what we live for. And what we die for.” Awkward pause. Then: “Let’s go to the movies.” “K.” This is of no consequence to you! Or…hmm…

Adam Duritz croons. But all I hear are the neighbors. They have small children, but I never see them. It’s 2am – aren’t they sleeping? Then why all the racket?

“Sorry about that, man.” “Not a problem, chief.”

I never meant it. It’s not me. Who out there doesn’t think he or she is a good person? And if not, aren’t they just so very proud of themselves for being “bad”? Isn’t being bad just so very cool??? Question mark!

One more semester…five more years…

Help me stay awake…I’m falling…

George Steinbrenner Dies

George Steinbrenner had the right kind of attitude for New York, and changed baseball forever.

I hate the Yankees. I always have. But I can’t deny they’re the greatest franchise in baseball, if not sports. When they hit a cold spell, George Steinbrenner took over as owner. He quickly reestablished the team as a contender and eventual champion.

Steinbrenner is a sports icon. He was fond of the spotlight and prompted many “WTF” moments for us. He hired Billy Martin as manager five times although the two men couldn’t stand each other. He said stupid things. He was, in short, kind of an ass. But he changed baseball. And he deserves to be recognized for his contributions.

“Seinfeld” would never have been the same without you, George. And baseball has lost a champion.

George Steinbrenner: July 4, 1930 – July 13, 2010

Billy Chapel’s Career Statistics

 

In light of this week’s MLB All-Star game, I grew inspired. Since I have a profound passion for baseball and statistics (I’m currently in three fantasy baseball leagues), I decided to search the internet for Billy Chapel’s career numbers.

Billy Chapel, a fictional legendary Detroit Tigers pitcher played by actor Kevin Costner, is the lead character in “For Love of the Game,” which is one of my favorite movies. I had originally planned on ranking the film in my Top 50, which is a segment I will be starting on Miserable Retail Slave. However, despite the fact that it ranks much better than 50, I wanted to make sure I pumped this particular post out before the All-Star game for our baseball theme this week.

During my internet search, I came across hundreds of sites that make mention of the fictional Billy Chapel. There are many discussion boards that focus on Chapel’s numbers, but oddly there are no statistical predictions out there. Most of these discussion boards talk about the only statistics that are known – Chapel’s 1999 season, which is displayed on screen during the movie as he begins what will turn out to be a perfect game in his final Major League start.

I even found a joke during my search: “Jim Joyce would have robbed Billy Chapel of a perfect game.” (Read my Miserable Retail Slave post about Armando Galarraga’s near-perfect game) I suppose you may have to be a Tigers fan to find it funny.

When I didn’t find any fictional numbers for Chapel, I decided to research the movie and come up with my own predictions. I based my numbers off various details. For instance, at one point Chapel’s trainer mentions to him that he should retire because he’s won “every award there is to win.” This, to me, suggests that Chapel won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, at least one Cy Young Award, and one Most Valuable Player Award. So, by taking his age, 40, and subtracting his 19 seasons in the Majors, I concluded that his rookie year was the strike-shortened 1981 season.

I also researched the Tigers records during Chapel’s career, and drew parallels between his numbers and the team’s success. During good years, like Detroit’s 1984 World Series Title, Chapel had his best numbers. During down years, like his injury-shortened 1996 season, his numbers suffered. So, because a Tiger won the MVP award in 1984 (their closer, Willie Hernandez), I decided to instead make that Chapel’s MVP season.

Another factor I took into consideration was just how famous he is in the movie. One internet discussion board suggests that Chapel’s career numbers would be similar to Tom Glavine’s, who was a workhorse that did everything right, but nothing flashy. However, this type of pitcher is not overwhelmingly famous, and that does not mirror Chapel. So I concluded that Chapel must be – or at least had been before his injury – a dominating pitcher who could strike a plethora of batters out. After all, it is the flashy player who gets the media and fame, like Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan, who would have competed with Chapel statistically during that time.

Finally, I researched pitching leaders for the seasons that Chapel would have played, and rendered statistics that would have competed with the league leaders during his prime. I made sure to give him numbers that would have led the league numerous times in order to further justify his fame. Also, I made sure his career statistics correlated with announcer Vin Scully’s statement that Chapel had “trudged to the mound for over 4100 innings in his career.” Chapel came up short of the 300 win mark, but passed the 3000 strikeout mark, and finished with a 2.95 earned run average and a 1.15 WHIP (learn how to calculate ERA and WHIP here), which are all Hall of Fame numbers.

So, without any further adieu, here are Billy Chapel’s career numbers, as best as I could predict them (Note: ROY stands for Rookie of the Year, CY stands for Cy Young, AS stands for All Star, and MVP stands for Most Valuable Player; also, the numbers in red font indicate that Chapel led the league in that particular category for that season):

Click this image to see the numbers more clearly

Essay on Lost

Lost has enjoyed worldwide success since its inception in 2004.Lost is one of the most successful and entertaining programs in television history. The writers are brilliant, conjuring a storyline that is uniquely mysterious, yet somehow believable enough to hold the attention of dedicated viewers for six years. Those who have watched from day one have become addicts, perpetually obsessed with the idea of seeing the show through to its end. The program spawned an online phenomenon as well, as viewers began taking part in discussions on message boards and countless websites dedicated to solving the conundrum. Questions such as, “What is the island?” and “What is the black smoke?” have tortured not only dedicated viewers, but those who lost (no pun intended) interest long ago.

Perhaps of more interest to critics, however, is the mystery of what exactly makes this show so popular. This is also a mystery that plagues ABC’s program developers. Lost has inspired numerous rather unsuccessful “spin-offs,” such as Flash Forward, V, and most recently Happy Town. These programs implement the same writing techniques, the most obvious being the shroud of mystery and the suggestion of supernatural influence. The sublime (or what cannot be grasped/comprehended by the human mind) has always been attractive to us. Readers, critics, scholars, and viewers feed off this idea, and professional writers/developers are well aware of it. Therefore, the mark of any successful television series (outside of comedic sitcoms) is its dabbling in the paranormal or, perhaps more accurate, its reliance upon what cannot be easily understood. Examples of this ideal include X-Files, Twin Peaks, and Heroes. The sciences of war, government, and politics are other examples of the sublime. Shows like Alias, 24 and M*A*S*H delve into these subjects, although M*A*S*H served more as a relief from the terrors of war, offering comedy instead of the brutality and turmoil commonly associated with war.

So, then, why is it that Lost has entertained such widespread and long-term success, while other programs continue to fade into obscurity? Why did people lose interest in Daybreak? Why has the Heroes franchise all but fizzled out? Why can’t viewers stay interested in Flash Forward or V, despite their best attempts at liking these programs? They’re all, in some way, re-adaptations of the same plot structure. So what is it, then? The vagueness and rhetoric of these questions suggest complex answers, of course, but one such answer may be found in the show’s function as a whole. M*A*S*H was wildly successful because it arrived on the heels of the Vietnam War, a time of intense political and social turmoil in America. People needed an outlet – a reason to smile. M*A*S*H let them laugh at war. This brilliant move eventually culminated with the series finale, the most watched event in television history (a title that has since been surpassed by the 2010 Super Bowl).

Lost, like M*A*S*H, was born during a time of political and social turmoil. But instead of immersing us in a straightforward story about government and politics, the writers took a different approach. They took into account two facts:  a fictional series about literal politics would be overkill; and technological advances play a vital role in America’s social make-up. So, the writers capitalized on the mystique of the show and started an official discussion board (check out http://www.thefuselage.com). They also implemented little “Easter Egg” games that could be played online, commonly referred to as “The Lost Experience.” In short, they used the internet to their advantage, and the public bought into it. The television show became more than just a show – it became a sensation that anyone could take part in.

What most people do not realize, however, is that Lost is a political and social allegory in which the writers took a fictional group of people, cast them onto an island away from all government, and let them develop their own society. This, in the face of the political turmoil that so markedly defines the 2000s in America, gave our society something to smile about and dream about. Viewers have had the pleasure of watching the birth and growth of a new society, and in turn have created and flourished within online societies birthed by the show. This is brilliant marketing and a vital reason why Lost has enjoyed such consistent popularity for six seasons.

Another aspect that sets Lost apart from similarly structured television programs is the impeccably complex cast of characters. There is something inherently human about the show that draws viewers in deeper, and this ideal is clearly outlined in this wide array of characters. Viewers have come to know these characters’ pasts through a bevy of flashbacks and flash-forwards. They’ve cheered for them, or hated them, or sympathized with them. Perhaps most importantly, viewers have recognized themselves in these characters, and have therefore played a vital role in helping them come alive on the screen. This is the movement that defines the show itself, and the very thing that will lead to its legend. It will be remembered as the television show that came to life, and gave people in our country something to look forward to when they most needed it.

Lost, in essence, is a show about relationships. It embodies the struggle of relationship maintenance, whether pertaining to a lover, an acquaintance, an enemy, or – perhaps most obviously – one’s father. Lost is about both faith and science. It is about forgiveness and letting go. It is about acceptance and moving on. All of these things are characteristics which are essential to our country’s well-being. Therein may lie the writers’ true intentions. If so, this revelation may be the key to solving the crux that is Lost. Could it also be, then, the key to overcoming this strenuous age we live in? If so, then Lost is the most important television show of all-time, and its series finale (May 23, 9pm EST) deserves more attention than both M*A*S*H and the Super Bowl combined.