Digital Ramen

Yo momma so fat, she gonna have irreversible health problems.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The enigma of the Hundred-Acre Wood

The following sheets of paper were discovered on 31 January, 1977, tied to a red balloon entangled in a powerline in Sussex, England:

Recently, I was pressed by the medical community to prospect a small commune of patients who had been isolated from the rest of society. The commune was established in secret; a sort of Never-Land, if you will, in which a small, random sample of people had been sent to develop their own independent colony. Over the years, they were to be observed for longitudinal study by anthropologists and physicians. I was sent with the latest group of interns to track their progress. What I would discover would change the way I would perceive reality altogether.

My group was packed into a van and blindfolded by a group of whitecoats to preserve the secrecy of this project. When we arrived and removed our blindfolds, I was stunned. The commune, codenamed "Hundred Acre Wood," was a small, pastoral sector of land of approximately that size.

I could only describe the chill Autumn weather as "blustery."

It was like stepping into a lonely Eden. Our group surveyed the area, finding no living souls around. Being unfamiliar with this area, we were initially reticent to investigate, for fear of being isolated in the dense forest. Fortunately, our apprehensiveness would be soon ameliorated, when we suddenly saw a young, mouse-haired boy holding a red helium balloon approaching us at a quick pace.

He introduced himself as Christopher Robin, whom we would later learn was the sole human survivor in the area. What had happened here? The child was unnervingly skinny, almost malnourished, yet remained jovial and untroubled. We had food scarce enough to feed the team, let alone the Wood denizens, but I hastily assembled a peanut-butter-and-hunny sandwich for the boy, which he ate happily.

Taking me by the hand, Christopher agreed to show me around, provided the interns would stay behind. I had gained the boy's trust, but he was hesitant to talk to the others. I told them I would rendezvous in several hours, and they reluctantly agreed to stay near the van.

Christopher led me down a partially-hidden path through a small thicket which opened up into an open-air grassy knoll surrounded by trees on all sides. I immediately noticed another entity sitting on a hollow log in the middle of the field, but I had never seen another of its ilk before.

I stared at a distance for several minutes, then looked down at Christopher, who returned my gaze with an innocent smile, coaxing me to approach the beast. He pointed at it and uttered one word: "Pooh." I drew near with great trepidation, but as I got closer, I saw that it was quite harmless, if not simple-minded.

It seemed to have a penchant for hunny, as it was surrounded by discarded jars labeled as containers for the sweet. The dim-witted beast seemed entirely absorbed in thought, jabbing pensively at his temple. I was, of course, astounded. The creature seemed to be a smallish ursine, and yet, something altogether different. Its persistent poking revealed that it had no skull, and significantly tenacious gray matter, almost like stuffing. I concluded that its head contents were largely superfluous.

One might say it was a bear with very little brain.

As I drew nearer, I could ascertain that the creature was not at all organic, but was built from stitched-together fabric! And, gads, it talked! I could hear it muttering, "Think... think..." under its breath, as if it were reassuring itself that it could adequately cogitate.

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Sketch of "Pooh" by the author

Slightly horrified, I shot a glance back at Christopher. Surely, this boy couldn't have birthed this bearish homunculus... could he? His return stare revealed nothing but unworldliness.

That's when it hit me: I had stumbled into a cloak-and-dagger experiment not meant for my eyes.

I had to escape. The world had to know. What happened to the rest of the team? They would be found, and their bodies tossed over the edge of a cliff, overlooked by a lone swingset, drifting hither and to in the breeze.

I never did discover why Pooh was struggling with thought so.

I don't plan to share their fates. I took to the woods. I ran for several minutes, and suddenly fell headlong, having tripped over a randomly-arranged pile of sticks. Before I could collect myself, I suddenly discovered that I was face-to-face with another ill-conceived creation. An elephantine quadruped had skulked right up to me. It did not seem hostile, but I was frightened, nonetheless. It glanced over at the fallen timber, sighed, and looked back at me with cold, button eyes. God, the eyes...

[editor's note: The following is scribbled hastily, and appears to be of different penmanship, although it is assumed to be the same author.]

I'm alone now. They're going to find me. I can hear the black helicopters circling overhead. They can take me, but they can't have my research! I am going to distract them. They won't find it. I can only hope this falls into the right hands...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Idea Factory

I'm not dead. I said this once before after a long hiatus. One of my New Years' Resolutions was to get back into regularly updating this thing, so let's get started. Again.

Here's something that I noticed quite a while ago, but has gone unsaid until now.

There's an assortment of posters hanging on two of the walls in my room at home, most of them pin-up inserts I found in various gaming magazines. If one or two caught my eye, I went ahead and tacked 'em up, even if I'd never played the game or knew I never would.

Case in point: Midway's 2003 PS2 title, Dr. Muto. I don't even remember where I got the poster, nor am I sure why it's still hanging above my TV. I won't bother explaining the premise of the game, but I would like to make a note of the character design.

Observe this visual comparison between the little mad scientist character namesake from Dr. Muto and Mystery Science Theater 3000's Dr. Clayton Forrester, the latter having been around since the show's 1988 conception. The resemblance is more than just a little bit coincidental, it's downright dubious.

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Scandal!

I'd recommend something along the lines of boycotting Midway for what I feel is blatant plagiarism, but I think the game wasn't much of a hit seller, anyway.

But, uh, fight the power and such. Keep circulating the tapes.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Fear and Loathing in New Mexico, or What I Did Last Summer, Part I

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things."

I'm no walrus, but this is a thing.

Last summer, my brother and I both had the opportunity of a lifetime. Carpe Diem, I said, and went for it, while my brother turned it down. I came back with a handful of photos, a wicked farmer's tan, and memories to last a lifetime.

I was going to Philmont.

He went to a camp.

The following is a recounting of my adventure, as accurately as I can remember. I kept a rather cynical journal for the majority of the trip, which will provide a rough framework that I will expound upon. For the purposes of this blog, the journal entries will be recorded in italics, other comments will be in a normal font, and picture captions will be bold.

So, without further ado:

Day 1 (7.11.05):

Departed Lincoln, IL roughly around 1 P.M. After much whining and moaning, the trip was underway.

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Eight males prepare to leave the civilized world behind them for two weeks.

There were four adults and four more youthful members on this journey--my friends Collin Voyles and Eric Knutilla and their respective fathers, Frank "The Tank" Hoblit and his dad, myself, and John DeWilde, a man who would serve as my father figure for the trip. Mr. DeWilde is the sort of man who is not born, but hewn from solid rock. I can only accurately describe him as a conglomerate of a hippy, a Navy SEAL, and Grizzly Adams.

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A final salute. With Pocky.

Ate at Toxic Hell for lunch. Tried that new grilled tortilla thing. You know, that one from the commercials. My bowels later wept. Drove for several hours . Played about 75 games of Travel Connect Four in the car. Made headway in the Springfield, MO area.

At some point, we made a slight detour and stopped at what I think was the largest Bass Pro Shop in the world, with the intent of eating and obtaining several forgotten supplies. For some reason, I hadn't recorded this event in my journal.

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This place was HUGE, not unlike an XBOX.

I recall wandering around for several hours with Collin and Eric while the others explored on their own. We stopped in front of a massive wall-mounted fish tank, which contained a dozen equally massive fish. We watched them lazily float around for a while, when Eric spoke precisely what was running through my mind at the time: "Man, I just wanna punch one of those fish, you know?" I must admit, it was an alluring thought, sinking your fist into the gut of one of those portly monsters, like pummeling a sopping pillow.

Collin briefly reunited with his dad and bought several pairs of socks, while Eric and I broke off on our own. We passed a wire rack full of bargain VHS tapes, all about hunting or fishing. We took a closer look and broke into laughter.

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Primetime Bucks 7? Gobbler Obsession?

It didn't take much more than a dirty mind to note that these sounded suspiciously like cheap porno titles. Hee hee... "Big Rack Attack."

I think we ate at one of the overpriced interior restaurants, but I don't remember, having wandered through endless aisles of fishing poles, various hunting implements, guns, knives, camping gear, outdoor clothing, books, magazines, and instructional videos for a few hours. We discovered the gift shop and dueled with plastic guns for a bit. Eventually, we found some cushy furniture, so we crashed and waited for the rest of our group to find us.

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These chairs vibrated.

Once we eight were a traveling troupe once more, we left to continue our trip. On the way out of the massive front doors, we noticed a wooden bear on a bench. Like countless Ronald McDonald statues before it, there was only one thing that could be done.

We had to molest that bear and take photographic evidence.

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This one, too.

And this one.

With that out of our system, we piled back into our van, truck, and other truck and hit the road. About an hour later, we had just made it to the State Park area.

The skies opened and pissed on our arrival, forcing us to abandon our original plan to stay at Meramac State Park. Much cursing and loathing ensued.

A week or so before the trip began, I had been elected to find lodging for our crew for our time on the road. It was my job to seek out Boy Scout camps that would not only welcome our arrival warmly, but cheaply, as well. I had succeeded in making a reservation at Meramac State Park, a large vacationing area in the southwest of Missouri for our first night, as well as a reservation at an Indian museum in Texas. This, of course, was to cut down on our expenses, which at this point included the cost of the trip itself, gas money, and food. If we could avoid paying dozens of dollars to pile into two hotel rooms, all the better. This particular setback proved to be especially unwelcome, but unavoidable.

Decided to continue further into Missouri, finally settling into the Springfield Ranch Hotel. Crashed. Watched a poorly-edited-for-TV version of Office Space. Became mirthful, then sleepy. Slept.

Jinkies! Setbacks already? What lies in wait for our brave heroes? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Dragonball Z!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Miseria

For those of you who play The Kingdom of Loathing, read on and bask in my sorrow.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, go read another blog. Seriously. You won't care about what I have to say.

I was this close to getting the Incredibly Dense Meat Gem today, an ultra-rare item. I mean, I was literally fighting the monster that dropped it. Problem was, I couldn't hit the damn thing, and after 30 turns, the battle is automatically ended if you're not victorious.

Needless to say, there was a LOT of swearing on my end.

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I lost.

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I coulda been a contendah.

After emerging empty-handed from the battle, I went and mitigated my upset feelings by downing six shots of Bacardi Limon, which tastes like a mixture of paint thinner and Pine-Sol. That got me buzzed enough that I didn't worry much about anything for a few hours.

And so ended my Tuesday evening. Online games and booze. Absolutely fascinating.

Small update...

People have been bugging me to update more often. And I shall. For starters, check out the post prior to this one.

One thing that I wanted to mention: I finally went back and fixed some of the broken image links from older posts. If you're new to this blog, I suggest you start here, here, and here.

Also, from this post onward, I'll be posting the last five movies I've watched. Most of these are movies that I've never seen prior to listing them here.

I watch a ton of movies, for the record. Most of you knew this already. But I do, really.

I do this not only to fill space, but to recommend good movies, as well as movies which ought to be avoided. Because I'm way too lazy busy to do a full review for each and every movie I watch, I'll restrict myself to an editorial quip, and rate each one from one to five (* to *****) stars. Asterisks. Whatever. If it's two stars or less, you probably shouldn't bother. Likewise, five-star movies are of top shelf.

Last five movies I viewed:

A Boy and His Dog - Apocalyptic! Bizarre! Cynical! Starring Don Johnson and his telepathic dog.
(***** out of *****)

Boogie Nights - Porn is not just a business. It's a way of life. Hey, it's the 70's, man. Starring Mark Wahlberg and his massive foam rubber penis.
(**** out of *****)

Happiness of the Katakuris - A family runs an inn out in the middle of nowhere and has to deal with their only customers dying left and right. Oh, and there's claymation, too! Starring a bunch of famous Japanese actors that most Americans have never seen in any movie before.
(***** out of *****)

Apocalypse Now - The movie that made Conrad's Heart of Darkness into a haunting, enthralling and captivating Vietnam war epic. Starring a movie-trailer-throated Martin Sheen and a bald-headed Marlon Brando.
(***** out of *****)

Caligula - Pagan Rome. Nudity. Betrayal. More nudity. Controversy. Excessive, almost comical amounts of nudity. Starring Malcom McDowell and more wang than I ever wanted to see in my life... ever.
(*** out of *****)

More hot, fresh, steaming blog content to be served to you soon!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A post? Forsooth!

Not much has happened since my return from Philmont. I know you've all been anticipating an update for some time now. At least, that's what my weekly page hits statistics tell me. Now that I'm back at school, I'll be more efficient in posting things not few and far between. I'll have the majority of my pictures scanned for a grand update within a week in two to three weeks, I promise cross your fingers.

In other news, my 21st birthday is in five days, on the 25th of August in this year of our Lord, 2005. I will more than likely not be drinking on that day, actually, since it's in the middle of the school week.

Anyway, if you're close to me in some way and feel compelled to get me something for the occasion, I'm especially partial to DVDs. If you have no idea what to get, here's my comprehensive list of DVDs that I already own, recently updated. At least you'll know what not to get.

DVD Aficionado

But hey, I own enough junk already. I don't need anything, really. Of course, I still appreciate birthday tidings. While intangible, they're still always welcome!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Still not dead...

In case you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed that it's been around for one whole year now. Yep, my first Ramenman's Blog anniversary came and went without me really noticing.

In other news, I'm taking off for a hiking trip in New Mexico for two weeks starting today, so no updates until the end of July, at least. As if you really noticed I was gone in the first place.

But I SWEAR I will have some new content definitely by the time I'm back at school. This summer's been rather uneventful, and I've been in a bit of a writing slump lately. If I can actually get around to what I have planned for my next bit of intarnet journalism, expect an EPIC post before summer's end.

Some weenies have cheese on the inside!

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm not dead yet!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, folks. I've been sorting out a few personal issues and just got back from a week-long vacation.

I've recently joined a new blog. If I don't post here, I may write something there.

http://reviewboards.blogspot.com/