Have you ever tried to repair a broken window??

So in this Chase Bank commercial, Drew Brees’s son kicks a football in the yard; but because he’s the son of Breesus, it’s implied that he has some genetic football talent passed down onto him despite the fact that his dad is a quarterback and not a Gramatica.  That being said, the ball goes sailing at a high velocity, to such a magnitude it breaks through several houses walls and windows, much to the chagrin of Drew Brees himself.  Bewildered neighbors stare at the carnage caused by the lead food of Brees Jr.

But no problem, because Drew Brees is an NFL quarterback, Drew Brees is rich as shit.  And thanks to his handy new Chase banking app, he’s able to parlay chunks of his shit-rich to his various neighbors whose homes have incurred damage at the leg of Junior.

I’d like to point out the part where Drew Brees wires $200 to one of his neighbors for a broken window.  Because I am currently dealing with a similar situation currently, however I cannot say that a young place-kicking prodigy kicked a football through my window.  No, it was just a freak accident involving my landscaper, a mower, and an errant stone in my yard that went sailing into my glass, shattering it.  It is not a big deal at all, considering it technically happened last year, and I’ve just been too lazy to deal with it until more recently.

Basically, this is where I ask my six readers, if they even remotely know where to begin looking for someone to repair this?  A cursory Googling of “window repair” typically leads to like 60% of results being auto glass repair, and not residential.  And then the remaining 40% of results turns out to be people who wish to replace entire windows, and not anything remotely close to simply replacing a broken pane.

Long story short, I got estimates for window replacement, which turned out to be well past the $1,000 mark, much to my dismay.  Trying to get a second opinion from a business not The Home Depot, I received some good news in the form that a new window isn’t what I need, but a re-glazing of my pane; which would be considerably less than replacing the entire window outright.

But then I learned that it’s also pretty impossible to find anyone who does window reglazing, much less willing to come out to where I live.  Ultimately, I found a guy that I’m really quite optimistic just might work, but I also had to cold-call at least four other businesses that have scheduled appointments, no-showed appointments, and absolutely failed to deliver anything at all.  Leaving me quite frustrated and dejected that I’m practically begging people to come take money from me, and nobody wants to do it.

The point is, in the commercial, Drew Brees wires a neighbor $200, and it’s assumed that everything’s good and square.  That is bullshit.

I’m probably going to spend ~$200, sure, but that’s also several days of where I’ve had to take time off work only to get no-showed, the anxious time of waiting for people to show up to my house, take measurements, and hope they’ll actually come back, and/or not bend me over and financially stick it to me.

In the end, Drew Brees is a cheap motherfucker who only covered the cost of the materials for his son’s badly booted squib kick.  What the commercial doesn’t show is the two weeks of his attractive cougar-y neighbor ripping her hair out when she can’t find someone instantaneously to come fix her window, and when she does, she’s cursing Drew Brees for barely covering the cost of the damage and not the labor.

And the next time she watches football with her family, she’s secretly hoping Ndamukong Suh crushes and murders Drew Brees.

The logos of the SEC, unbiased

I read this article recently, where a publishing company that produces a ton of annual sporting magazines decided to rank the logos of the SEC.  Out of paranoia of sounding like they were full of shit, they turned the reigns over to their in-house graphic designer to compile the list, full of artistic rhetoric and extraneous words to justify ultimately what is a subjective list.

The thing is, the graphic designer went to Ole Miss, and the publication is based out of Tennessee.  Both locations are homes to SEC schools, and right then and there, I have no choice but to discount the entire list as garbage due to bias, especially when Tennessee is given the top spot with weak justification; seriously, curled interior angles plus creamsicle orange makes it the best?

So, since I am an ACC guy, don’t really have any vested interest in any SEC football programs, save for the fact that the mythical girlfriend is a South Carolina girl, I think I’m just a little bit more qualified to rank the logos of the SEC.  Yes it’s still ultimately a subjective list, but F off, I need something to write about.

From worst to best:

Read more »

Now that’s salty

This is an illustration I did back in the winter, that I had submit to Udon when they were compiling artwork for the Capcom Fighting Tribute book they recently released.  Now anyone who has or has seen the book already knows that I did not make it in.

Admittedly, for someone who has to deal with rejection and criticism on a fairly regular basis in my line of work, this was a tough pill for me to swallow, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dejected, deflated, and downright resentful for not making it in.  Me, and likely hundreds of other artists who undoubtedly ended up in the same boat.

Sure, I’m not the most talented illustrator out there, and I’m by no means entitled to have been a shoe-in to make it into the book.  I knew this when I decided to put forth the effort to do this in the first place, but there was tactic behind my choice of artwork, where I tried to accentuate strengths and hide weakness.  I went with a lesser-heralded Capcom property like Final Fight, instead of the heavy Street Fighter and Morrigan’s tits AKA Darkstalkers routes that would likely saturate the submission pool, and I took a route of humor, hoping portraying a popular video game trope, like the trash can chicken for full health restoration, illustrated out, might warrant some recognition.

Needless to say, my strategy didn’t work, and my artwork wasn’t good enough for Udon standards.  Sure, perhaps if I were a better practiced illustrator, I might’ve been able to do better.  But still, this particular rejection stung me hard, and I was sad, upset and resentful in this particular instance.  To some degree, I still kind of am, honestly, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can actually look at my submission again, and I’m taking the time to write about it, with a head less clouded than it was back when the results came out.

Basically what really ate at me was the fact that I’ve seen many of Udon’s prior tribute books; they’re often times full of artwork that is breathtaking and mind-blowingly fantastic, but the thing is, it’s painfully obvious that there’s a hefty portion of artwork displayed that show a complete lack of understanding or actual tribute for the properties.  Like you’ll see shit like Ryu fighting Vega, in Blanka’s stage, as if they’re eternal mortal enemies, or stuff that heavily implies that people don’t really understand that Morrigan and Lilith are one and the same and are instead shopping for clothes together as if they’re sisters or BFFs.

The art often times great, but it’s super clear that the people creating them don’t actually know much less care about the properties, as much as they simply want to get their names and creations into a publication.

To me, that’s not really so much of a tribute.

It’s kind of like . . . hiring escorts to attend your party so that it appears that there’s lots of attractive women present.

Ultimately, that’s the thought that went through my head when dealing with this rejection.  I’ve long been a fan of many of Capcom’s properties, I’ve played them to degrees where I know how to make jokes or references that would resonate with those players that are as equally vested, and I really hoped that my strategy of humor from a lesser-heralded franchise just might get me in.

And when I didn’t get in, I wondered just how many hired escorts were?

The thing is, now I’ve seen the book; Jen made it in (deservedly) and got a comped copy.  And going through the book, a lot of my suspicions were comfirmed; it’s heavily weighted in Street Fighter and Darkstalkers, although they make sure to touch as many bases as they can, hitting franchises such as Power Stone, Star Gladiator, Captain Commando, Puzzle Fighter, Pocket Fighter and even Knights of the Round.

However, despite the massive size of the book, there were ultimately only four pieces that were from Final Fight.  Final Fight certainly is no Street Fighter (although most of their characters have crossed into it now), but it’s definitely a greater franchise than like Power Stone or Star Gladiator.  I know the line is murkier that divides FF from SF, and the occasional Cody, Guy, Poison and even one particularly fantastic Rolento showed up in other pieces, but as far as the “just” Final Fight section went, they sure as shit deserved more than just four pieces.

And naturally, perusing through the rest of the book, it was basically more of the same from all the other Udon books.  Artwork, some of it undeniably fantastic, but the equivalent of visual fluff.  Whether it’s an extremely sexy portrait of Morrigan, a colossal mish-mash of the entire Street Fighter cast, how much of Felicia’s genitalia can be shown without showing any genitalia (from Japan, naturally) and shit that’s so abstract, they basically confused their way into the book, there’s a lot of pieces that simply have no clue.

And then there’s the occasional piece where I just straight up think mine was better, but those are way more sparse.

I’m taking nothing away from the artistic talents of the artists of some of these clueless pieces, but some of them are just so painfully obvious that they’ve never played a level of Final Fight or Knights of the Round, and would be dumbfounded if someone told them to rotate a joystick in a hadoken.  But because they can create a really, really sexy drawing or parody a historic piece of art, they can get in.

Yes, this word vomit reeks of sour grapes, and I’ll be the first to admit just how salty I am over not getting into something I really, really wanted to get into.  It wasn’t a goal of getting into any publication (plssss i’ve been there), but getting into this particular publication, which was a tribute to some of my favorite video games, that I wanted to be a part of, to demonstrate my fandom, and be proud to be a part of.

Sure, it’s a no-brainer when I get beat out by professional illustrators, but it really chaps my ass when I see shit like overdone pixel art, or blatant rips from the My Little Pony style or something popular, just themed to Street Fighter get in, then I question the curators at that point, and it makes me skeptical and less inclined to try and participate in anything they call out for in the future.

Either way, this was my submission.  As dejected as I felt when I didn’t make it in, now that I’ve seen the supposed all-star squad that did, frankly I don’t feel so bad about my piece anymore, to where I can look at it without seeing complete failure, and to where I can actually put some words about the experience down for my six readers.  Frankly, I shouldn’t take it so personally or be so shocked if/when I my perceived place at the party is replaced by an attractive hooker instead.

Oh, Atlanta #456

Sometimes when I feel like I have nothing to motivate me to write things, all I have to do is open up the virtual newspapers, and the city will provide.  Typically, I look for one thing that gets the synapses in the head firing for words, but sometimes, there are days like this where there’s so much bullshit and rhetoric to want to call out that I end up with more than one.

Firstly: laughably inaccurate map of “racially diverse” areas throughout the Metropolitan Atlanta area.  (Bizjournals)

I won’t specify which, but I live in one of these blue-shaded areas.  According to the article, the blue-shaded areas signify that “no one race or ethnicity comprises more than 50% of the population.”  All I have to do is drive down my street, and drive past the nearby* school and go to the nearby* grocery store to know that this is irrevocably false.

*relatively

I’m pretty sure the interpretation of the map is just a little bit flipped, and that it’s pretty much the exact opposite of the claim.  Cobb County is pretty white, Gwinnett County is pretty Asian/Hispanic, and South Fulton County is pretty black.

Either that, or it’s the simple fact that this data is based on a census from five years ago.  I remember when the census survey came to me; it was a nondescript piece of mail, that almost didn’t look like it was for real.  Well, it did look like it was for real, but since nowadays so many car dealership and spam mailers try and use the tactic of sending out mail that looks real and legit, I almost considered the census to have been one of those things.

The bottom line is that this map is full of shit, and not even remotely possibly accurate.

Read more »

Dear Women: Stop Staring at my Sweaty Body

I go to the gym on a consistent basis.  It used to be five days a week, but has been reduced to twice a week, solely on weekends, due to a change in my life’s routine that has really only made it feasible for me to go to the gym on Saturdays and Sundays.  In lieu of sweating it out at the gym five days a week, I try to supplement my self-imposed need for exercise on the weekdays with some outdoor jogging, regardless of it’s 85 degrees or 105 degrees.

I exercise because I’m not really a fan of dieting, and the fact that I exercise is probably the one thing that’s preventing me from full-out blowing up into a 390 pound behemoth, trying to get myself onto TLC’s My 600-lb. Life.  That being said, I probably won’t become a cut and chiseled Adonis-like physical specimen unless I start dieting, and make some alterations in the way I work out to optimize my physical exertion into creating freakishly formed musculature.

Additionally, I like the idea that exercising makes me feel good about myself; perhaps its the endorphin rush from whenever I complete a workout, or it’s the fact that I’m a snob that generally likes the idea that the vast majority of the world is lazy and doesn’t work out, so the fact that I do makes me feel good.  Or maybe it’s the fact that despite the fact it doesn’t really show that well on me, I’m developing some degree of functional strength, and when it comes to it, I probably won’t embarrass myself if the need ever arises for functional strength in order to contribute towards some sort of function that requires it.

Either way, I go to the gym on somewhat of a schedule, because I want to strengthen myself.

The thing is though, is that the drawbacks of being a hard worker at the gym means I have a tendency to sweat.  This is exacerbated by the fact that I’m a weirdo and do my cardio first, because I feel that it warms up my body and burns off all of the superfluous energy that might make some lifts feel effortless and harder to reach a true failure point to where I might not make any progress.

Therefore, I sweat, a lot.  Like seriously, I sweat so much that stating the obvious fact that I sweat through my gym shirts doesn’t even begin to describe how much I sweat.  The fact that I can take my shirts after a workout, hold it over a sink and literally wring out a couple of tablespoons worth of sweaty fluid out of my shirts is a little more sufficient at describing just how much I sweat when I workout.

So when I’m walking around at the gym, I look a little different from all the other guys in the gym, outside of the fact that I’m not the African-American equivalent of an Abobo from Double Dragon.  I typically wear white shirts because it kind of hides it better, but for the most part, it looks like a bucket of water was thrown at my chest whenever I workout.

It makes me feel uncomfortable and subconscious knowing that women stare at me when I’m like this.  If I want to go from the pullup and dips rack to the free weights, I must plan my every step to try and be as invisible as possible as I traverse through the array of abdominal and hamstring/butt exercising machines that all the women typically occupy.  I’m most definitely taken and not on the market, but I don’t have any rings or jewelry that signifies such; I state such not because I’m worried that they want my gross sweaty body like a piece of carnal meat, but so they don’t assume that the girl that’s got the dubious dishonor of being my girlfriend doesn’t have to deal with theoretical pity for being “the sweaty guy’s girl.”

There are some men that want the attention of those around them.  Those that are empowered by the stares and gazes of women.  I am not one of them, because I do not have the body of Adrian Neville, therefore the stares and looks I get are undoubtedly ones of puzzled disgust, or some strange animal magnetism.

After about 100 minutes of my typical gym workouts, I’m spent.  My legs are already weary from 22-32 minutes running on a treadmill, sweating my body dry, and my muscles are all primed and prepared for the inevitable soreness that will begin to take hold over the next evening’s slumber.  Salvation lies in the fact that I can trudge to the showers, wring out my sweaty shirts, cleanse myself, and leave in fresh and dry clothing.

But nothing will change the self-consciousness and the mental awareness of all the judgmental and prying stares of the women at the gym who are clearly out to make me uncomfortable and feel paranoid about myself.

Think this post is utter bullshit?  Yeah, me too.  But imagine reading the female equivalent of this, that’s actually read by more than six people.