Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wrestlemania Predictions

Boy, what a lackluster build to Wrestlemania it has been this year. With superstars like John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and Cesaro injured, you almost can't blame them. Well, except they've had plenty of time to build new superstars; all of the aforementioned have been out for months. To be fair, AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose are getting there. Roman Reigns, however, is not, and that doesn't bode well for the E, considering the man that they want to be their top face is getting booed like he just murdered a basketful of babies on live TV. The entire product has suffered as most of the roster has been fed to Roman, including Sheamus, Rusev, Del Rio, Barrett, the Wyatts, the Dundleys, the Miz, and the Social Outcasts (notice anything? That's every single heel on the roster besides the recently-turned Ryback and Kevin Owens). That's why Triple H is our WWE World Heavyweight Champion in 2016. They really have nobody else with any credibility.

The card itself looks good, it's just most of the stories building up to it have sucked. Let's look at the important matches and try to predict what's going to happen.

Reigns vs. Triple H: There's no way Roman doesn't win. They've been pushing the guy for three years and this time there's no way out of it. I think this will be a good match, with two performers that can go in the ring, however there's no way they're avoiding a massive chorus of boos unless Roman turns heel, which I can't see. Vince, surely you can see that there's a goldmine in all that heat. It would be a waste to ignore it. Pick-Roman.

Ambrose vs. Lesnar: There will be shenanigans. The big fat Wyatts will probably interfere. I just hope they are disposed of quickly or Mick Foley runs in and chokes out Bray with Sock-o, so that Dean can go over Brock without their help. Pick-Dean.

Shane vs. Undertaker: Shane? I mean, who knows with this bat-shit insane feud. I still don't know why the Undertaker is doing Vince's bidding. Plus, Vince's threat to retire Taker if he loses makes no sense because Shane is supposed to have control of the company if he wins, so he could reinstate Taker if he wanted to. I think this will be a glorious trainwreck full of crippled old men and hard bumps. I guess Shane will win, but I don't know what that means for the WWE. Pick-Shane.

Divas Triple Threat: Sasha. Sometimes, they know when to push a performer, and Sasha is the most over of the three. I would like Becky to win since she's been feuding with Charlotte for longer, but her babyface character comes off as too gullible to succeed. Pick-Sasha Banks.

The match no one wanted to see.

AJ Styles vs. Jericho: Styles, duh. Jericho has done his best to put Styles over; that's why he's a pro, and I really love heel-Jericho. Still, this feud is getting stale. Likely an entertaining match nonetheless. Pick-Styles.

Intercontinental Ladder Match: I'm going with Sami Zayn. He's got a lot of love with the crowd from NXT, and I think he'll feud with Kevin Owens for most of the year. Pick-Zayn.

Oh wait, are there other matches? Ryback vs. Kalisto for the US Belt? New Day vs. the League of Jobbers? New Day's entrance will be glorious, I'm sure. And we have the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, which Braun Strowman is rumored to win. That'll put butts in the seats. Well, those are my picks. Let's hope Mania is better than the piss-poor buildup its received.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Prize-Winning Poetry of Percival P. Pederast

The Fart

Pop, squeak, toot,

Stinky little flute.

The wind breaks from my anus,

Sending forth foul smells

That delight your nosehairs.

How is it that we cannot enjoy

The simple pleasures God hath given?

A man farts in the face of another man;

The victim takes it in, inhaling in one great gasp

The methane refuse of his lover.

If you know another way to love,

Please tell me.


You have no idea what it is like,

To take something that you have fattened

For eons; A creature malevolent and reeking

Of ammonia, a simple beast unfit

To walk upon its four legs any longer;

You have not an inkling what it is like

To sacrifice such a monster,

To drink its blood and eats its flesh

Like the Christians do.

Hail Satan! I hath devoured Lucifier,

Greatest of all felines.

He tasted like stinky feet

and sea-bound leather.

To Critics

In short: you have no humor.

You do not perceive the greatness that moves before you,

A colossus that walks with long shaggy legs,

Its taint visible for all to see,

Resembling a giant hairy spider,

The type you might see on the discovery channel.

Let me shout it for all the world to hear:

Boy-love is natural,

It is good,


And salutary.

All the same,

You have nothing on me.

Get that burrito

Outta my face.  

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Esteemed Critic Reviews Batman Vs. Superman

What to say about Batman vs. Superman? The first thirty minutes of the film, I was intrigued. Rather than starting immediately with the action, director Zack Snyder takes time to build the stakes, introducing us to Batman and Lex Luther as well as giving the former a reason for his eventual conflict with Superman. Past the thirty minute mark, however, my patience started to wear thin. Instead of the world's greatest detective, Batman comes off as a complete idiot. When the kid gloves are removed and Luthor finally manipulates the two titans into fighting, it is not an enjoyable experience. Let me add that Batman in the Snyderverse has no qualms with killing; the batmobile is equipped with machine guns, and Bats uses them to explode a car or ten. Though I am not the biggest fan of the Nolan films, at least Batman was somewhat relatable in them; he differed from his villains in that he had rules, even at his most extreme. Batman here is the dourest of the dour; I don't think Affleck cracks a smile the whole movie. Superman isn't much better. Henry Cavill has the looks and the physique, but not a lot of charisma. In this flick Superman is a distant, alien god, which is an interesting interpretation, sure, but it isn't the Superman that's been a mainstay of American pop culture for years. The most miscast is Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Eisenberg portrays Luthor as a billionaire hipster who does mountains of crack; I mean, he doesn't do any crack during the film, but I'm assuming Eisenberg must've been getting high while filming his scenes. He stutters and stumbles over words; his voice cracks with vocal ticks, and his dialogue is nonsensical, the kind of stuff a druggie would say. I am assuming his failure of a performance was an attempt to redefine the Luthor character for a new generation the way Heath Ledger's Joker did. Whatever his intentions, it simply doesn't work. Like at all.

The plot is a convoluted mess involving emails and kryptonite and alien technology. When Superman and Batman (and Wonder Woman, who's actually pretty cool) unite to fight Doomsday, the resulting spectacle is a weary Micheal Bay-esque clash of CGI and slow-mo (seriously, everything is slow-mo in this movie; the first minute, which shows the death of Bruce's parents, is in slow-motion, for some reason). Doomsday looks like a poop-monster, and his creation by Luthor is nonsensical (like, what was Lex going to do with an uncontrollable super-creature if it had killed Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman?). When the movie finally ends, you'll feel a sense of relief.

It's hard to criticize DC for having a different approach to their movies than Marvel. If they want to be self-serious and gritty, then fine, be self-serious and gritty. Such an approach will work for Batman, yet characters like Wonder Woman and Superman, whose colorful natures contrast with such a depiction, lose their essence in a movie like Batman vs. Superman. Though they have become rather predictable, Marvel movies at least have their own separate tone that's distinct yet not so much so that you can't imagine Captain America and Iron Man on screen together. The hero that stands for truth, justice, and the American way cannot exist in the Snyderverse, that's why he's nearly unrecognizable as a distant god. If DC can't figure out how to do their iconic characters right, then the bad reviews will continue. Now I need to watch some French-Surrealism to get the awful taste of big-budget mass entertainment out of my mouth.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Many Quarrels of Batman and Superman

Batman vs. Superman is out, and the reviews aren't too good. This isn't the first time the two heroes have clashed, however. Batman and Superman have had many disagreements over the years. Here are a few that I remember.

Superman once hit Batman in the bat-nuts for taking the last bagel at a Justice League meeting. Batman vowed to make the Man of Steel pay "With his tears," before venturing off into a corner to cry.

There was an awkward incident in the Justice League which started when Batman accused Superman of ogling Wonder Woman. Superman, of course, brought up the many sexual harassment suits Batman has weathered over the years. The two nearly came to blows and called each other "stupid head."

There seem to be some lingering jealous issues between Batman and Superman. Superman, who was raised a poor farmer's son, resents Batman for his seemingly unlimited wealth and power. One time Batman went down to the Batcave and found all of his shit wrecked. He would've blamed the Joker if not for a security camera which remained undamaged. The footage showed Superman dismembering the Batmobile with his dick. Needless to say, Batman burned everything.

Batman hates Superman for being a Red Sox fan. Batman, of course, is a Yankees fan.

Superman uses Mac computers, which Batman just can't stand.

Superman once destroyed the Bat-toilet with Super-diarrhea. The plumbing bill totaled over ten-thousand dollars. When Batman brought up this up at a Justice League meeting, Superman simply said "You can pay for it."

Batman and Superman can't even agree on who has the best arch-enemy. Batman points out that the Joker is unpredictable and ready to do anything to make his life miserable. Superman says that he actually enjoys Lex Luthor's zany shenanigans and doesn't understand why Batman doesn't do something before the Joker really hurts somebody. Batman usually gives up on the argument at this point and just stares at Superman, trying to kill him with hate.

When Batman and Superman go to a restaurant there is always an argument on who should pay. Batman says that Superman has yet to offer to pay the check, which really bothers him. Superman says that Batman is a goddamn billionaire, and he can afford to pay a twenty-dollar bill.

When it comes to politics, Batman usually votes conservative, whereas Superman is on the liberal side of most issues. Everyone in the Justice League knows not to bring up the coming election, unless they want to listen to Batman rant for half an hour about "building a wall to keep the aliens out," while glowering at Superman.

Batman hates Radiohead with a passion. Superman does too, but he loves to play Kid A just to piss Batman off.

Sometimes, when he's really pissed at Batman, Superman fills all of Batman's closets at Wayne Manor with dead cats.

Batman annually tries to have Superman deported.

The thing that pisses Batman off the most is that not once, in all of the time that they have known one another, has Superman ever sent Batman a Christmas card.

Superman thinks that he and Batman could be friends if Batman would just open his heart. Batman thinks that Superman is the living embodiment of cancer and would love nothing more than to find him in a ditch someday, a kryptonite knife stuck in his heart.

Superman once saw Batman naked in the Justice League locker room, which led to Batman accusing Superman of spreading "false rumors," about the size of his penis. Superman never said anything, but he acts like he did.

Whenever he visits Wayne manor, Superman uses his laser vision to spoil the milk in Batman's refrigerator.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Weightlifting: A Light Day Workout

Light days are for when you're feeling extra sore, or you just need a break from heavy lifting. I usually do one light day a week, though the workout isn't super easy. I actually came up with this after being so hung-over that the thought of heavy squats made me want to vomit. Here's the workout:

Squat 135 lbs for six reps.
Do six wide grip chin ups.
Do six dips.

Repeat ten times while not resting in-between exercises. Rest no more than a minute after performing the entire sequence. So after about fifteen minutes, you'll have performed sixty repetitions of every exercise, which is a nice amount of volume squeezed into a small amount of time.

That's looks pretty easy, but it will get your heart pumping while working damn-near every muscle in your body. If you want to make it tougher, bump the squats to 225 and put on a weight belt with hooks so that you can add weight to your chins and dips. Or just do more reps per set. The chins are the hardest part for me personally, so don't be surprised if they lag behind.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Heart of the Thief, Pt. 5

Catch up on parts one, twothree, and four.


It is warm in the mountain. Water drips off of stalactites and oozes down the smooth path while hot air gushes upward like hot breath. Red light bathes the walls, cast from an unnatural source deep in the bowels of the inner temple. The priesthood have not altered this sacred place with carvings or construction. Already he can hear the rhythmic throbbing, the steady thump thump of the eternal organ reverberating from the depths. A living tomb he thinks, fleeing downward, never looking back, Cassilda's voice in his ears. He doesn't know if he obeys her out of fear or bewitchment. There is only one way to go. Down.
Creatures crawl in the darkness, in the jagged edges off of the path, where water trickles, flowing down beneath the mountain, where nameless things dwell. Ancient legends are passed down as heresy; certain living contradictions, as Dazbog would call them, become unknown and impossible. As he descends, the Thief notices a warding sign on the cave wall; it glows white faintly, its magic a protective beacon. Soon, he sees them everywhere: on the path, carved into rock, hanging from stalagmites. The inner things are drawn to it he hears suddenly, in the voice of the wizard. Off to his left, his eye catches a brief flurry of movement, a mix of enormous eyes, limbs, and alabaster skin. He pauses, stares out at the darkness where it revealed itself briefly, seeing only a black void, no matter how much he squints his eyes. Move something tells him, so he does, fleeing down the path, turning only once. In that short moment the darkness flickers; eyes peel back their lenses, and a hand comes out of the ether and touches the soft dirt of his boot print, a white, nail-less hand. The priests are not foolish enough to enter the mountain alone, and when they come, they come with fire. But the Thief doesn't know this; he only knows that something terrible lurks outside the path, something that moves without light and wants what he cannot fathom. As he runs, his perception reaches a fevered pitch—the path becomes narrower, the darkness encompassing, the beating of the Heart rapid and thunderous, in sync with his own excited pulse. He imagines legions of the creatures chasing him, reaching out of nothingness to paw at his flesh, to draw him into their abysmal world. The red light grows stronger ahead, so he sprints for it, rushing downward, reckless, slipping and stumbling and eventually crawling on hands and knees before he falls, crying out in terror, his hands clawing and finding nothing. I don't want to die in the dark he screams, flailing his legs. Don't let me die in the dark.

Eons pass in silence. Then a whisper of light appears in the void, growing larger and larger until it bursts in a brilliant nova of flame. What was dark is now scattered with a billion lights, stars that sparkle out of the nothingness. He can feel it, floating weightless, the rejection of self, the hopelessness that begat life and all of creation, he feels it and recognizes the passing of the burden to things such as himself. I am an accident he says, and suddenly it all disappears, and he is the Thief, lying prone on the floor of a cave, the smell of fire in his nostrils. As he rises to his feet, a cloaked figure emerges from the darkness, a lantern in his hand. He beckons to the Thief and motions to two chairs which have appeared. Sit he says, and so the Thief sits, rubbing the back of his head.

“Where am I?” he asks the figure.

“No place,” replies the stranger. “What have you come for? You are no priest.”

“I've come to steal the Heart,” says the Thief, answering without guile. He feels strange, as though he left his self out there in the void with the scattered stars.

“So you are a thief,” says the stranger.

“I am the Thief,” says the Thief.

“If you say so,” says the stranger. “What will you do with the Heart if you manage to steal it?”

“I was planning on selling it to Galvania, but I think my companion has something else in mind. She's a sorceress. She'll probably want to use it to cast a spell. Something reckless, I'd imagine. She's going to have to pay, you know. I charge extra for liars.”

“What if I give the Heart to you, thief?” says the stranger.

“Then you couldn't say I stole it,” says the Thief.

“And that's what's important?”

“Maybe not this time. Why would you give it to me?” The Thief looks at the stranger, tries to peer into the emptiness of his cowl.

“This land has had many names and many rulers,” replies the stranger. “Kings have sat where you now sit, ancient men of old whose blood no longer flows in living veins. Yet they sought what all men seek. The ancient ways are forgotten. It is time to leave this place.” The stranger removes an objected wrapped in cheese cloth from his robe and places it on the table. “This is what you want.”
The Thief reaches for it and pulls back the cloth, revealing a living, beating heart.

“This is not the Heart of Rankar,” he says.
“That is the heart that you want,” says the stranger. He produces another object, this one wrapped in silk, and lays it on the table next to the other. “This is the heart that she wants. Choose.”

“What does all of that mean?” asks the Thief. “I want the Heart of Rankar, the creator, the venerated deity that sacrificed himself so that we could live. Tell me which heart is his. That's the one I want.”

“Choose,” says the stranger.

The Thief unwraps the silk, and lurches back from a black, diseased thing feebly sputtering.

“It is your lot to make choices without knowing everything,” says the stranger, rising from his seat.

“Can one even say that you made a choice?”

“What is that thing?” asks the Thief. “That cannot be his heart.”

“Do you believe that He had a choice? That He could have done anything else? Can we know the truth? And are their equally valid truths? Answer me, Thief.”

“I do not know. I am no philosopher!”

“That's because there is no such thing,” says the stranger, his cloak falling to the floor. The Thief leaps from his chair, his mouth agape, his hands moving to shield his burning eyes. I chose wrong he thinks, as darkness penetrates his hands, searing his flesh. Green eyes come to him out of the black, anger rising out of their depths like a hurricane, a swirling, emerald storm. I'll follow he cries, cowering in blind terror, the words torn from his lips as though drawn by a hook. I'll follow!

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Old Music: Come with a Drink

A moody song about being drunk by yourself, hah. We would play this routinely as part of our live set. One of my favorites.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Let's Vote Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho President

Much has been made about Donald Trump's candidacy for President. Although he has funny hair and is good at insulting people, I don't think the Donald has all the right attributes for our nation's highest office. Instead, consider Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho for Commander in Chief.

Trump says he is a successful businessman, despite the fact that he's claimed bankruptcy multiple times and would actually be richer if he just invested his inheritance. Mr. Camacho does not need to resort to such ridiculous lies, for he has a resume that speaks for itself. As a five time ultimate smackdown wrestling champion, Mr. Camacho has successfully navigated the harsh arena of pro wrestling and emerged at the top of the card. In order to be a top star, you have to get over with the people, and Mr. Camacho has always received a majority of cheers when his music plays. His merchandise is also among the top sellers in WWE history. A sure-fire Hall of Famer, Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho is a self-made man, a fact that stands in contrast to the 40 million Trump received from his slum-lord father.

Consider also Mr. Camacho's long pornographic career. Frankly, it is long past the time that we removed the stigma from smut--everybody watches it, and I assure you that Mr. Camacho's movies are among the best and most respectful to women. Always a gentleman, Mr. Camacho is renowned for taking the time to get to know his partner in order to make sure the entire experience is comfortable and fun. Unlike Donald Trump, Mr. Camacho respects women; he would never call women he doesn't like pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.

Do we really want a President that would lie on his medical exam? Donald Trump is clearly overweight and certainly not an example of a man in the prime of health, despite his ridiculous claims on his medical report. Said document describes Trump's health as being "astonishingly excellent," and also says that his strength and stamina are "extraordinary." You know who actually has extraordinary strength and stamina? Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, that's who. With single digit bodyfat and twenty-two inch arms, Camacho has displayed his strength in the ring, gorilla pressing the Big Show, who weighs over 400 lbs. His stamina is clear in his many pornographic films, such as The Wrestler, Musclemen and Backdoor Women, and my personal favorite, Big Tittied Girls Get It Good. Once again, Mr. Camacho shows that he can actually live up to the Donald's outrageous claims.

The choice is clear: vote Camacho. Let's return dignity and respect to this race. Vote for a true man of the people and not a disgusting caricature of a corrupt businessman.

Respectful, as always.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It's the Children Who Are Wrong

Well I turned on my television to Fox News and they said on the Tweeter that that communist Bernie Sanders had threatened Trump. "Goddamn kids," I said to myself. Those lazy millennials will vote for anybody that'll guarantee 'em a free ride where they don't have to work and can sit at home with their parents while they hammer their knuckles on their smart phones. Worst generation I've ever seen. They are afraid to fail; they are afraid to go out there and grab the brass ring. I might be three-hundred pounds now, and entirely dependent on government programs, but back in my day, we worked hard for a living, we didn't go crying about minimum wage and health insurance. For fifty years, I worked nothing less than three jobs 365 days a year. These kids today go to college and then they don't want to work when they come out, because all they teach you in college is how to be a communist. My brother's son put himself through community college while working at McDonalds, so you can too, you little millennial shit. Don't ask me about how much debt he has. I don't fucking know.

So we finally get a presidential candidate who makes some sense and of course the liberal media and all the goddamn idiot kids attack him. I've been telling everyone that we needed to do something about the Mexicans for years. I can't walk outside my house in Dallas without seeing one of them Mexicans working. They're shifty, you know that? I have to go back inside and lock my house for fear of them sneaking in and stealing something. They are here illegally, they take American jobs, and they deal drugs and steal shit. We need to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, just like Trump says. But the kids are always shouting about diversity and racism. You know what's racist? Making a 300 lbs 65-year-old man stay in his house clutching his gun for fear of the Mexicans breaking in and stealing my porcelain John Wayne statue. It ain't racist if it's true.

All them goddamn protesters should be rounded up and thrown in camps. They just come to start shit and mess with god-fearing Americans. Of course a lot of them are black. I ain't racist but I'm gonna tell it like it is. They don't want to make America great again. They want to be gangbangers and play rap music and collect food stamps. You know it. I know it. And Trump knows it. Now I know that a lot of what he says is bull. But he's saying the things that need to be said, and I for one ain't going to sit here and watch as all the young people ruin this country.

You know how America was when I was a kid? It was a great country. You didn't have to listen to women when they talked. You could walk down the street without fear of blacks or Mexicans. People worked for a living, they took what was given to them and they did something with it. Nobody complained about anything. People believed in Jesus. Nobody said anything about global warming because the liberals hadn't made it up yet. Trump says he can take us back. I believe him. It's just the goddamn kids that don't.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Diary of Mitch R. Singer

In a crowd, heavily sedated, rocking like a willow in the wind
I am in a sea of white people, angry white people who scream and cheer and wave their miniature American flags with epileptic fervor. A giant redheaded man places his hand on my shoulder and leers down at me like a cyclopean horror, his two eyes merging into one. "Look," he whispers, pointing a sausage-sized finger. My gaze turns toward the stage. "I don't see anything," I say. At hearing this, he throws back his head and laughs, revealing square teeth. "That's the point," he says, his freckles looking cancerous in the harsh summer light. Suddenly his free hand comes down, smashing my face. With each blow he pulls me back up again, though my legs waver. The sun looks wonderful with blood streaming down my eyes. Finally he lets me fall into the mud, where I lie, the crowd stepping around me, my wheezing breaths just another noise amongst their footfalls and their cheers.

He speaks
Someone pulls me up. My focus wavers yet I manage to fixate my eyes on the man standing behind the podium. "It's him!" screams a little girl sitting on the shoulders of a brute. He's wearing a suit, the man they came to see, and he has an animal-like toupee resting on top of his skull like a festering pelt thrown out of a taxidermist's shop. "Let's make America great again!" he screams, shaking his fist at the crowd, his eyes venomous, his hands disturbingly small, like those of a dwarf. I shrug my shoulders and cheer with them. I don't know what he means, but it sounds good, I guess, especially after a hard beating.

The post-party
I lean against the podium where he spoke. Before me, where the crowd once stood, is nothing but a ruined field covered in refuse. I bend down and pick up a bottle. It says Pepsi on it. It is half-empty with brown colored liquid in it. I shake it up, open it, and dump the cola on the stage. "What's so great about garbage?" I ask. Nothing answers me.

In a cab, riding home to who knows where
The cab driver has a voice like Tom Waits. It's as though he's gargled with razor blades for ten years and followed that routine with a shot of gutter-whiskey. "Trash," he says, looking out the window. I don't see anything but people on the sidewalk. "You know what would make this country great again?" he asks. "A nationwide recycling program?" I respond. The look he gives me says everything. Its amazing the amount of expression one can pack into a snarl. He pulls the cab over and tells me to get the hell out. It's raining outside, big, fat, heavy drops. Smoke pours out of sewer vents. I lean against a brick building and watch the steady flow of traffic. "Rats," I say suddenly as a giant rodent flees from a garbage bin with a diaper clutched in its jaws. "There's a hell of a lot of them."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Weightlifting: Low Carb Dieting

Actually, this is pretty accurate.

Everybody wants to lose weight. Except weightlifters, in most cases. For powerlifters, in particular, weight gain is seen as the objective, which is why most of them are on the see-food diet, that is, see-food, eat-food. Body composition is secondary, although elite lifters are usually ripped to shreds in order to maximize muscle mass at a given weight class. I started my weightlifting career in the Starting Strength school, which means that I never really gave my diet the proper attention it deserves. I work a manual labor job, and I lift very frequently (unlike Rippetoe-derived programs), so I figured any excess calories I consumed would be burned off by my constant exercise. Well, I was wrong. Bulksgiving came around this year, and I stuffed myself, and I eventually tipped the scales at 212 lbs, which is a record for me. I was under the impression that most of that extra weight was muscle. It wasn't. Love-handles formed around my waist, and a nice little paunch grew around my stomach. I was getting fat, and I needed to do something about it.

Low carbohydrate dieting was the first strategy I tried, since I like to eat meat, and I like to eat fat, and I figured it would be easy to kick bread. Protein, of which meat is really the only decent source, is essential in building muscle, and fat serves to regulate hormonal functions, where carbohydrates are only used as an energy source. What happens to extra carbs when you don't burn them? They get stored on your waistline as fat. Our modern lifestyles, where physical activity is limited while carb-heavy food is not, essentially facilitate one getting fat very easily. Rather than count calories, I decided to keep my carb intake around or under 130 grams a day. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, not exactly.

Here are the carb contents of several healthy foods:

Apples: 25 grams

Banana: 28 grams.

A bowel of cereal: 28 grams.

A serving of pasta: 14 in 2 oz.

A slice of bread: 28 grams.

Add all of that up and you get 123 grams, and who eats just 2 oz. of pasta? I didn't include any soda in this list, or beer. A coke contains 46 grams of carbs, and a light beer has 13 grams. One in five Americans drink a soda a day. That's 16,790 carbs in a year. Well sure, that sounds huge, but that's over a year, right? Taking into consideration that most people aren't getting most of their carbs from the above healthy sources, when you factor in the soda consumption, it's no wonder most Americans are one doughnut away from losing the ability to move without the aid of a Rascal.

Hey, I bet that guy can walk!

So I decided to kick the sugar! But not entirely. Unless you're a sedentary office worker (and if you are, that's fine), going really low carb is not going to be feasible. 130 grams allows me some flexibility for an apple or some pasta in order to replenish my glycogen stores, which give my muscles fuel. My diet is currently around 45% protein, 35% carbs, and 20% fat. In the less than three weeks I've been on this diet, I've went from 210 to 201. I can see my abs again! I feel pretty good, too, though I'm achy in the morning from work (excessive carb consumption probably helps aid recovery, and there will be an adjustment period where you'll feel shitty because your body is used to eating sugar all day).

Here's a basic example of what I eat during one day. This might seem like a lot, but keep in mind, I'm a weightlifter trying to keep my muscle mass rather than some cyclist trying get down to 145 lbs.

Breakfast: 3 eggs cooked in butter, one Greek yogurt, 24 grams of protein powder in my coffee, sometimes a cup of oatmeal with low-carb milk.

Lunch: Cold cuts and cheese, another yogurt, maybe an apple or more cheese.

Second lunch (hah): More cheese, another cup of coffee with 24 grams of protein.

Dinner: Steak with salad.

If you're going to try this, just be aware of the carb content of what you're eating. Don't count calories, but eat as much meat and cheese as possible. Most vegetables are low carb, and contain essential nutrients, so don't skip on the green stuff. Also, if you're a beer drinker, switch to whiskey, which contains zero carbs. Just make sure to mix it with water.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

How to Know if You're a Social Justice Warrior

The catch-all term "social justice warrior" is used by maladroit idiots on the internet to describe anyone that disagrees with them. Calling someone a SJW is usually followed by needless personal attacks, implications that the said person should be raped or is a rapist, diatribes against feminism, etc, etc. Since Pointless Venture has been found guilty time and time again of social justice, we're going to review just what makes someone a SJW, just in case, you know, you want to get that taken care of (recommended treatment: brain transplant with a 14-year-old male plus spending 10 hours a day on Reddit).

1. You might be a SJW if you've ever said the word "racist."

2. You're probably a SJW if you ever called anyone a "neckbeard," even if that accurately describes their facial hair.

3. You're a scummy SJW if you think the new ghostbusters movie could be anything but absolutely terrible.

4. If you've ever dyed your hair, you're a slutty SJW.

5. If you're a woman and you ignore creepy guys who approach you, you're a SJW, you goddamn feminist.

6. If you believe in rape, you're definitely a SJW.

7. If you play video games with women and neglect to crudely proposition them for sex, then you're a castrated male that probably wears his balls around his neck, you filthy SJW.

8. Have you written an essay? SJW.

9. Do you recycle? Fucking SJW.

10. Do you have an English Degree? Lotta good that did you, you trust-fund-having, piece of shit SJW.

11. If you weren't offended by the fact that they put a black stormtrooper in the new Star Wars movie, then you're a SJW, you reverse racist bastard.

12. If you refuse to admit the awful feminist double standard of how society objectifies the male figure at least as much as the female body, then you're a SJW.

Wow, thanks society for enabling my weightlifting addiction.

13. You lift the seat when you pee = SJW.

14. You buy your girlfriend flowers = SJW.

15. You have a girlfriend = SJW.

16. You've said derogatory things about My Little Pony in the past = SJW.

17. You can get an erection without looking at anime = SJW.

18. You are somewhat normally socially-developed = SJW.

19. You had to look up the term "SJW," = SJW.

Yeah, there are a lot of people that look like this around.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Heart of the Thief, Pt. 4

The fantasy epic continues! Read parts one, two, and three if you haven't yet.


She watches out the carriage window as they climb, seeing the gilded towers, the throngs of gilded people as they march upward on the never-ending steps, on pilgrimage for themselves, noblemen, merchants, priests, thieves. The fortifications give way to the splendor of the palace, which spreads itself up the mountainside, the power and wealth of the Capetians on full display. Only they could build their house on the great Mons Ascraeus with their plundered fortune, stolen from nations at sea, built with the bones and blood of a thousand kings. She swam in their seas long ago; she knows the calls of ocean birds; she always has the smell of salt in her lungs. She watched as the man she loved as a father was torn from her grasp and thrown overboard while the waters churned and the sky flashed bruised colors, aubergine and crimson. There seems to be a storm brewing on the horizon, back towards the ocean, a mighty tempest that she can feel, even up here, thousands of feet above the waves. Some things you can never forget. The fat lord prattles on, speaking to the supposed master thief about dockside whores. The reason none of the girls will go near him is because he has syphilis. Only the rich, nobles, and priests get ahead she thinks, looking at the climbers. Yet things are changing. The wizard had laughed and said that war was the least of their worries. Plague. The coming of the death-sleep. The final darkness. Coldness...and nothing. She doesn't know how much of it she believes. The Thief has said nothing of the spell; he listens patiently, absorbing Dempsey's foolish words. He hasn't given any sign that he suspects anything; frankly, she thinks him something of a dullard, a petty thug rather than the romantic swashbuckler Dazbog described. All things have their use. What was it he used to say? Whales have their oil, fish give their flesh, and man takes it all. A great mollossus pulls their carriage, using its stunted wings to ascend the steep path, its shaggy head lolling from side to side, seeing the world through compound eyes. Not a day goes by that she doesn't think of the ship. Do I live only for my vengeance? Maybe she will ask a priest at the temple to tell her. But it is forbidden to speak to the holy ones. She has no respect for them, shaved, starving, walking skeletons wearing elaborate robes of red-dyed silk, suffering for their god, giving themselves in the fervent belief that their hunger will feed his quivering heart and prolong existence. She has always hated priests, having never met one that was not a hypocrite. Believe they say, offering the Heart as evidence of Rankar's glory, of the beauty and love of the Creator, the Sufferer, the One who will embrace all of his children, no matter their sins, and give them peace. It is a lie she knows; Rankar didn't sacrifice himself to make the world, it was formed from his suicide, his futile attempt to annihilate his self. No benevolent overlord would've allowed the Captain to die, not in the manner in which he expired: beaten, castrated, having watched his protege's rape, and then tossed into the depthless sea. What thoughts were in his head as he drowned, staring up through the darkness, wondering if she still lived? Did he have any hope? Did he trust in God, the same god that watched his death with heartless abandon? She would never know, and that was why should could not forgive. She places a hand on Dempsey's thigh, her face smiling, giving the gout-stricken lord a glimpse of her straight, white denture. They were almost to the top. Just keep smiling a voice tells her. It's not as though she has a choice in the matter.
     “My family has always served the temple, though my brother is the first High Priest of our line. That fresco there was painted in my great-great-great grandfather's time, a mere decade before the Galvanian occupation,” says Dempsey as they walk through the flame-lit corridors of the outer temple. “A period of much strife and sorrow. It depicts the bequeathal of the Heart, the transfer of authority from the heavens to mankind. You can see that the lord is painted with Capetian features: the aquiline nose, blonde hair, slender build. There is a slight distortion of the colors, however, as though someone tried to erase our lord. The propaganda never ends, unfortunately, and even history pays its price.”
    “Why didn't you join the temple?” ask the Thief.
    “There must be a male heir to continue the family name,” says Dempsey. “Though I have produced nothing but bastards, my wife being a barren creature. Besides, I was never much of a spiritual person. I didn't want to fast. Chastity seemed like a perverse thing, if I must be honest. All that falling down on the knees, why, I don't think I could've made it.” The lord taps one of his swollen feet with his cane. Ahead of them, priests pass in a hallway, their heads bowed, hands cupped together, feet padding softly on the worn stone, murmuring silent prayers. “I shan't take you much further,” continues Dempsey, giving the holy men a wary glance. “I really don't have the authority you assume of me, Cassilda. I was surprised they let us past the anteroom at this hour.”
    “You have no sense of adventure, my lord,” says Cassilda. “Can you not show us more?”
    “There is nothing more to see,” says Dempsey. “The temple is a labyrinthine structure, with most of it closed off to all but the inner circle of the priesthood. Now, I think we should be going before they start to look for us...”
    “The Heart, my lord. You must take us to it,” says Cassilda, drawing close to Dempsey. The Thief sees something clutched in her hand, something that sparkles emerald in the coal-lit hall. Dempsey stares at her dumbly, his face contorted, showing signs of struggle. She's a witch realizes the Thief as the lord's eyes settle into dull stare. A sliver of drool forms at the right corner of his mouth; Cassilda whispers in his ear, speaking ancient words. As soon as she finishes, the lord turns abruptly and begins marching down the hallway, further into the temple. “Keep your distance,” says Cassilda, as they follow him. “A most curious spell Dazbog has cast. I don't know what I said to him.”
    “Since we can't turn back, I guess we'll have to follow him,” says the Thief.
    “I expect you'll deal with any unpleasantness we may encounter?” asks Cassilda.
    “I'm not a hired thug. With that oaf lumbering in front of us, I don't know what I'm expected to do. Eventually he's going to run in to somebody, especially if he's taking us to the Heart.”
    “And what will you do then? Disappear into thin air? Utilize your thiefy powers of invisibility?” asks Cassilda, mockingly.
    “If I can. Seeing how our actions are directed, I may not have a choice.”
    “Oh, I always believe in choice, master thief. You are no puppet. You are being steered in the right direction, I would say.”
    “Just like Dempsey,” says the Thief. Cassilda smiles and points ahead at Dempsey conversing with two priests.
    “What could he be saying to them, with his brain all befuddled?” asks the Thief.
    “Whatever it was, it must've worked,” replies Cassilda. “Though they're coming our way.”
    The Thief grabs her, pulls her toward him, and places his hands on her face, tilting her head downward. “Clasp your hands together,” he says, bowing his head. “Don't speak. Don't look at them.”
    “This seems like a rather stupid plan...”
    The soft footsteps of the priests grow louder. You don't want to look thinks the Thief. There is nothing here but two praying novices, steadfast in their devoutness, hands cupped, their minds blank slates. Nothing is out of the ordinary; you continue on as you are. He can tell by Cassilda's breathing that she is relaxed, committed, trusting his judgment. How are you playing me, witch he wonders. His feet are now his own; the spell that commanded them, cast by Cassilda or Dazbog, has worn off. He would turn and leave her here if he wasn't so close—gaining entrance to the temple is not an easy thing, and to simply waltz inside with the brother of the High Priest was absurd. Witch or no witch I'm getting the Heart he thinks, his pride already swelling. If she thought he was disposable, she was in for a surprise.
    The priests pass without a glance. Cassilda lets out her breath moments after they are gone, her eyes already moving down the hallway where Dempsey has disappeared.
    “Not bad, courtesan. You do well under pressure,” says the Thief, following her as she trots after the vanished lord.
    “You do know some type of magic or weirding way, though you cast no spell,” replies Cassilda.
    “Not magic—just a manipulation of will, presence, and bodily suggestion,” says the Thief.
    “If you don't wish to reveal your secret, I understand. Let us turn here. I believe this is where he has gone.”
    The Thief hears the mountain's voice before he reaches the end of the passageway. Muraled walls give way to endless space; giant stone columns stand like petrified tree trunks, their ceiling having long ago eroded into nothingness. A great staircase rises, its steps nearly edgeless, the summit a long climb on hands and knees, the wind howling and threatening to send any ascendants to their demise. And there is Dempsey, already halfway up the steps, dragging his swollen feet, leaning heavily on his cane but still ascending, taking each step as though it might be his last. The Thief looks at Cassilda, whose eager eyes fix on the enchanted lord. “Up,” she says, placing her feet on the staircase. The moonlight falls on her, bathing her skin, illuminating her slender form as she rises, nervous, afraid of the precipitous incline yet moving onward, upward, ever closer to the Heart. The Thief has known obsession before, witnessed it on the streets, felt it in the dungeons as he gazed into blackness, trying to will the ether to part, yet this witch, this fake courtesan, she reeks of desire such as he has never seen. She's no Galvanian agent he concludes; no, her motives are unknown, making her dangerous. He's not a reckless killer—only a handful of men have fallen to his crowbar, all having been the aggressor—yet he considers seizing Cassilda and throwing her from the steps into the emptiness of the mountain air. You've never killed a woman, gentle thief says a voice. She is right above him, carefully placing her feet on the slippery stone. Enchantress, liar, double agent. He moves his hand slowly, reaching toward a slippered foot, his fingers grasping the air. “Let's see where this goes,” he says, as she climbs out of reach. He can deal with liars and witches. He just has to stay ahead.
    They meet at the summit, winded, bent over and clutching their knees. Ahead yawns an opening into the mountain, lit by tall beacons and guarded by two sentries dressed in golden mail, their helmets crested with the purple-red plumage of the bennu bird. Medjay thinks the Thief; he can tell by the way they stand motionless like marble statues, their eyes hidden behind a thin slit, that they are of the Duke's elite troops. Conditioned from birth and raised on the far side of the mountain, Medjay were feared for their unwavering loyalty and dispassionate thoroughness. They were rumored to be mutated through an arcane ritual passed down for centuries, giving them a resistance to enchantment and physical prowess that bordered on superhuman. The ritual, though, had side-effects; their faces were disfigured horribly and their skin developed a sensitivity to light that made unprotected exposure extremely painful. He should have expected their presence, for though the priests of Rankar operated independently from the Capetians, the royal family considered the Heart key to their sovereignty and worthy of their protection, despite its location in the inner temple of the mountain. And there goes Dempsey right toward them.
    The gout-stricken lord stops a few feet away from the sentries, leaning on his cane. The Thief can hear his wheezing from a hundred feet away, as he and Cassilda slink into the shadows. A plague on them both he thinks, glancing at Cassilda as she watches Dempsey with plain eagerness. This will not go well.
    “I am Lord Horatio Reginald Dempsey, the twenty-second of my line, bearer of the Duke's standard and brother to the High Priest. I demand that you step aside, for I am to escort two guests to see the Heart of Rankar, the lifeblood of our great city, so that they may know the glory of our religion and the truth of our way. I will suffer no delays. This is a matter of great importance,” concludes Dempsey.
    “No one sees the Heart,” says the right sentry.
    “Not with out the Duke or the High Priest in accompaniment,” says the left.
    “I am the High Priest's kinsman! His elder brother, in fact! You know it could have been me who became the High Priest, but someone had to preserve the family name. Someone had to produce an heir!”
    The sentries remain unmoved by Dempsey's protestations, their spears barring the way into the inner temple. Their silence further infuriates the lord, who starts wielding his cane menacingly, his face red, spittle flying from his lips.
    “Who do you think I am, some Galvanian spy? Who placed you nitwits in charge? I say, I will have your rank and privileges revoked and the both of you thrown into the dungeons for insubordination.”
    “We are Medjay,” says the right sentry.
    “Our titles are not for you to remove,” says the left.
    “Well that explains your insufferable attitudes! Medjay! That means you were born peasants. Deformed peasant lunatics are now giving noblemen orders! What hideous times!”
    “Can you sneak past them?” whispers Cassilda.
    “Not in plain sight,” replies the Thief.
    “You hid us from the priests in the hallway. Why can't you do that again?”
    “There are no shadows to play with here. Just two bright beacons and two sentries looking for  my kind of scoundrel. Besides, Dempsey already mentioned us.”
    “So the lighting matters? What are you, an actor of the theater? You were hired to steal the Heart, master thief. If your powers of stealth are not as formidable as billed, what exactly do you suggest we do?” says Cassilda, her mouth curling into a frown.
    “This isn't my usual policy, especially not with women,” says the Thief, looking her in the eyes, “but I suggest you tell me the truth, for one.”
    “The truth, Mr. Thief?” asks Cassilda.
    “You're a witch, not a courtesan. It was you who enchanted my feet and kept me in this mess, just as it was you who bewitched our excited little lord. Seeing how Dazbog didn't mention your being a sorceress, I think it's reasonable to assume that you hid your talents from him, which calls into question the whole nature of this operation. I don't think you're a Galvanian agent. I think you're playing us all for fools.”
    “What powers of deduction you have! I am impressed,” says Cassilda.
    “Do you feel this?” asks the Thief, grabbing her arm and pulling her close. A knife emerges in his other hand and quickly moves toward her throat. “I suggest,” he says, gritting his teeth, the tip of the blade pressed against her skin, “that you start talking unless you wish to have your larynx removed.”
    “I do apologize for the deception, thief, but I'm afraid I don't feel quite up to a discussion at the moment,” says Cassilda, unnerved. “That knife, by the way, is looking less lethal by the moment.”
    The Thief watches his knife melt like butter. Suddenly he is flung back against the mountain with enough force to knock the wind from his lungs. Maybe I shouldn't have called her bluff he thinks, lying dazed on his side as Cassilda walks brazenly toward the Medjay. They notice her immediately and know from her eyes, which glow with green flame, that she is a sorceress. One of them makes the warding sign as a bolt of emerald electricity erupts from Cassilda's fingers and strikes the ground before them, sending current through the armored sentries. Another volley comes from the witch, incapacitating the Medjay on her right, who falls to the ground, writhing in pain. The remaining sentry blocks her next blow with his shield, though the discharge staggers him to his knees. Fly you fool, they won't stay down for long says a voice in the Thief's ear. He pushes himself to his feet and sprints for the opening, running in a zigzag, his chest still pounding from the sorceress's telekinetic blast. Out of the corner of his eye he sees the Medjay turn and fling his spear. They never miss he thinks, ducking as the spear clatters to the floor in front of him. He glances back and sees Cassilda smiling, electricity surging through her fingertips, the Medjay before her, stunned from the onslaught, their limbs twitching uncontrollably. The Heart, the Heart, bring me the Heart hears the Thief. He vanishes into the mountain.
    It is warm in the mountain. Water drips off of stalactites and oozes down the smooth path while hot air gushes upward like hot breath. Red light bathes the walls, cast from an unnatural source deep in the bowels of the inner temple. The priesthood have not altered this sacred place with carvings or construction. Already he can hear the rhythmic throbbing, the steady thump thump of the eternal organ reverberating from the depths. A living tomb he thinks, fleeing downward, never looking back, Cassilda's voice in his ears. He doesn't know if he obeys her out of fear or bewitchment. There is only one way to go. Down.