Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fashion and Iron Chef are Basically the Same Thing

Have you ever noticed that the world of fashion is essentially one gigantic episode of Iron Chef? They run four episodes a year: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

If you don't believe me, check this out and see whether you think I'm wrong:

We are introduced to the "host" who will be deciding the style/food that will be this year's challenge. The person who makes this introduction is crazily dressed and may or may not be insane:

Superstar Clothing Designer

Iron Chef Chairman

This "host" then declares to the viewing public what will be this year's challenge for the world's designers/episode's chefs:

You WILL bare the midriff

I think the caption above says it all

Chaos ensues as the designers/chefs from some of the worlds most notable retailers/restaurants try to get their clothes/meals on the shelves/plates before the fad/episode is over:

Hand hurts... must work faster!

I just cut off my pinkie... I hope he didn't notice

Along the way, the different designers/chefs search for inspiration to give their store/meal an edge over the others:

I like these ruffles... I can work with this

For the love of... what is that? Is it edible? Maybe I
should use it. Oh god, I hope I don't kill anyone...

In the end, each designer puts out their fashion line/dishes and hopes for the best:

Crop top battle entries

Sturgeon battle entries

Once completed, the entries are placed before a panel of judges. While those judges are often men:

"The one on the left is great!"
"I know, that's why you're taking the one on the right."

"This is alright, but I'd try anything once just
so I could say that I did it."

In reality the harshest critiques come from women:

"She looks pretty good in that...
because she's a WHORE!"

"With the choices you made I would say you did very well.
I was just wondering though... what made you
decide to include feces as an ingredient?

In the end a winner is declared:

"Yay! I get to keep my job!"

"Yay! I get to keep my job!"

In the end though, people who have highly specific tastes in fashion/food tend to be disappointed by that season/episode's offerings. As always: The less refined your tastes, the more likely you are to have your needs met:

A man had a heart attack and died while eating here.
I'm not making that up.

If you don't think fashion has a lot in common with Iron Chef by now, I don't think I'll ever be able to convince you.

*Side note: I wanted to put in a "Success/Failure" section, which would have been easy for the food dish (sturgeon ice cream? really?), but would have ended up pretty judgmental for the clothing. That said, I think we can all agree on what a "failure" would look like for someone wearing a crop-top. We're all picturing that? Yeah? Okay, just so we're clear. By the way, apparently crop tops really are the look for Summer 2012. God help us all.

This post may seem like a bunch of pictures thrown together, but holy hell did I have to look at an ass-ton of photos to put this thing together.

"Oh poor Paul," you say. "Having to look at all those pictures of beautiful women on the runway."

NO! This was not fun! Have you ever seen the preying mantis' who model clothing nowadays? Ask Erika - I was physically sickened by having to look at shots of these painfully skinny women. And they're only like that because they wouldn't have jobs otherwise. You may have noticed that I stopped swearing in this blog, but if ever I were to break it out again, now's the time. So here it is... wait for it...


I know I'm not the first one to make this point before, but for the love of all that is good and holy why is this allowed to continue? And I'm talking to you women - the ones who buy the fashion magazines that ask people to distort their bodies for the... uh... to create a... um, a moneymaking...

Oh shit. Didn't I just write an article about how the NFL asks players to damage their bodies in ridiculous ways but the audience doesn't care - we demand 300 pound linemen, post-concussion syndrome, and people with re-re-re-repaired knees going out on the field for our own enjoyment? And am I going to drop out of my fantasy football league because of this revelation?

Sadly, no. So I guess until I stop watching football I'll just have to keep my mouth shut.

Sigh. Sometimes people suck.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

For the Kids!

So I know you've all been wondering the same thing for quite some time: When can I get a Complete Tangent action figure?

You'd think this stuff would be easy, what with the demand and all, but you try dealing with Mattel and getting the licensing sorted out. They want a bigger cut, or they want to compromise on the designs... blah blah blah. The big issue is that there's kids out there who've been asking their parents for the Paul "Writers in Action" Series A to come out and I feel like I'm letting them down. Let's be honest, nobody wants to make little kids cry.

To remedy the issue in the meantime I've decided to put together a paper-doll cut-out that you can print off and give to your kids so they can experience the wonder of a writer's life and put themselves into the action. It's fun and educational!

This is the completely attired Complete Tangent paper doll, with two sweaters, a T-shirt, track pants, and pajama pants. All of the component parts appear at the end of the post, but let's walk through everything as it will look once your kids put it together. After all, there's so many possibilities!

Let's first look at the completely accurate base model:

As you can see, writing is quite good for your health, although I probably need to work on the arms a bit.

There are two pantal options for the lower body that your kids can mix-and-match, and depending on temperature they can attire the doll in one, the other, or both. By the way, it's not actually cold here, it's just that when you sit motionless for 9 hours you tend to cool down.

Track Pants

PJ Pants

Upper body they can go with the T-shirt:

The orange hoody:

Or even the classic 343 Industries zip-up hoodie:

And of course there's both the orange and gray hoodies together:

If they feel like their paper doll needs even more warmth they can throw on a classic "Charlotte Hasebe knitted toque", which are really quite fantastic:

Since kids do like to play, I'm sure that at some point they'll just put the gray hoodie on with nothing underneath, which is admittedly not a common look around Complete Tangent Inc:

In the event that this option is a favourite of your child's I recommend considering the optional chest-hair for that authentic Paul look (sold separately):

Finally, we have some fantastic accessories, such as the Official Complete Tangent Canucks coffee mug and $2 K-Mart tea mug:

If you hurry, we'll even throw in the special bonus offer bottle of Jameson's that accompanies the blue "tea" mug for full writing authenticity!

Have fun kids!

The whales come up the Australian coast every year and if you're lucky you can see them. Erika and I went on a hike out to a point right on the ocean just in case we'd see any, although we had a combined 0.01% confidence we'd see anything. So you can imagine how surprised we were when we saw this whale spout off in the distance:

But then this happened and it was totally awesome!

Enjoy kids!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Concussions in Football: Fixed

Have you heard about all of the hullabaloo (Ha! Hullabaloo... I don't even have to make jokes if I use that word) about concussions in American Football? (yes, American Football. We have an international audience here at Complete Tangent) It's quite a concern for two concerning concerns:

  1. People who played in the NFL are offing themselves at an alarming rate post-career
  2. Other players are getting dementia at an alarming rate

My first point of note: How is this a surprise to anyone! You've got 300 pound men firing into each other headfirst 60-70 times a game and clanking melons every single time. And that's just the linemen! Otherwise it's two smaller guys who don't hit as often, but when they do it's by running full speed and hurling themselves head-first into someone else. This is like holding a NASCAR race where half the cars go in one direction and half in the other, then being surprised when there's a car accident.

Obviously this isn't a great thing from a PR standpoint for the league, or a life-expectancy standpoint for the players. And it's not just NFL'ers. Here's a quote from Malcolm Gladwell in an exchange he had with Bill Simmons at Grantland.com (find it here):

"I was recently reading, by the way, about the work of a researcher at Virginia Tech named Stefan Duma who put electronic monitors in the helmets of 7- and 8-year-olds playing Pop Warner football. He found that those kids were routinely getting hits to the head in the 40 to 60 g range, with some even upwards of 80 gs. To put that in perspective, imagine that you put your son in the front seat of your car, told him not to wear a seat belt, and then smashed the car at 25 miles an hour into a brick wall, so that your son's forehead hit the dashboard. That would be 100 g. Then you reverse and do it again, 30 to 40 times over the course of two hours, at speeds between 20 and 25 miles per hour. That's a football game. If you reversed and did it again, 1,000 times, that would be a season. This is massively screwed up..."

Needless to say there's an issue here. Fortunately I'm not a bystander. I'm a man of action! So I fixed the problem. Well actually, I just changed a word and that fixed the problem. Observe:

American Football -> American Football + Australian = Australian Football, aka "Aussie Rules Football".

Aussie Rules is the perfect replacement sport for American Football and I'll tell you why in an overly complex point by point list:

  1. No Helmets: I know, I know. This doesn't seem like it fixes the concussion problem. But you know who doesn't hurl themselves head-first into another guy's noggin? Guys who aren't wearing helmets. As a sub-point to this, the players aren't generally running directly at each other, which helps, and there's no linemen. Sure, there's probably more knee and joint stuff but that's better than losing your frigging marbles at 50.
  2. Gambling Implications: Let's be honest. The NFL succeeds because of gambling, fantasy football in particular, and a big part of why that is is because of the one-game-a-week format. Same for Aussie Rules! Plus, any player can score so there's a whole new level to the team you field.
  3. Increased Handsomeness: You can actually see the player's faces ('cause of the no-helmets) and so you don't have to just cheer for a number on a jersey. This translates into increased marketability for everyone.
  4. High Scoring: Games regularly go over 100 points (6 points for a goal, 1 for an almost-goal) so there's always something interesting going on.
  5. Way Less Down-Time: For all of the similarities in play to NFL, the actual timing is more like soccer. Four 20-minute quarters where the clock just runs, then a bit of time added on by the ref based on injury or scoring.
  6. Humour: The trainers run out and give water to the players during the game. Just the mere chance of a trainer getting blown up by a 6'3" 230lbs guy running at top speed is worth it to me. And let's just pretend I didn't say that during a post about concussion avoidance.
  7. Free-Flowing: There's way more movement and creativity in an Aussie Rules match. It's more like hockey or soccer that way. Y'know, if you're into that kind of thing.

That's why I think Australian Rules Football could replace American Rules Football. By the way, this is as likely to happen as the aforementioned 2-way NASCAR race.

I would like to wish a fond farewell to my razor. He was a great one, left it all in the sink. I remember when I first took him out of the package... it seemed like just another day. An in-game replacement back in January and barely an afterthought at the time. But week-in, week-out he kept showing up to the shave. Never took a day off. It wasn't until March that I realized we had something special going on.

I'll be honest with you - I didn't believe he'd keep it up. It was unthinkable! But I didn't factor in his desire; that passion for shaving I'd never seen before and never will again. This razor was Cal Ripkin Jr, Jahangir Khan, and Yasuhiro Yamashita all rolled into one. He was born to shave.

If I had to share an anecdote it would be two shaves last May. He faltered and we all held our collective breaths... there was a cut. Was this the end? If it were anyone other razor we would have pulled him right away. That's a career ending injury! Even though the call was close we ultimately decided that his months of service deserved another chance and he paid back that loyalty with weeks more of solid duty.

When the streak finally ended last week my razor had put in over 20 weeks of service to the organization, the fans, and all of his medicine cabinet teammates. He will be fondly remembered as a role model not only to other young razors, but to all of us with a dream and the will to make it happen.

Monday, June 4, 2012