Monthly Archives: January 2012

Super Bowl Week: Commercial Appeal

It’s Super Bowl week. For that reason, I’ll be writing about the Super Bowl everyday this week. I think it deserves it. I mean, it is America’s 4th biggest holiday…
Monday – Top Ten Super Bowl Foods

Can you believe that only 3 percent of people watching the Super Bowl said they wish it didn’t have advertising (according to Harris Interactive)? This is the age of Netflix-streaming entire TV seasons, DVR fast-forwarding, and saying “screw this” as you click away from a YouTube clip that makes you watch a 15-second ad ahead of time. And we’re actually pro-advertising during the fourth biggest holiday in America (1. Christmahanukwanzica…kidding. No one celebrates Kwanzaa. 2. Thanksgiving 3. 4th of July….I’d bump Super Bowl up to number 3 if we got a day of paid time off at work for it)?

I mostly get it. How many of us care that much about the outcome of the game (Answer: However many true Patriots/Giants fans and gamblers are watching)? I’ll bet at least a quarter of the people enjoying the Super Bowl don’t care about football at all. They just love the party. At the end of the day (I’m allowing myself sports cliches this week), the Super Bowl is more of a shared social event than anything else, so it makes sense that the commercials–a huge focal point of the event for as long as this 26-year-old can remember–have become nearly as anticipated as the game.

Since the Internet makes it nearly impossible to keep a secret, here’s a list of commercials that will be airing in 2012. Personally, I’ve refused to watch them. I don’t open my presents before Christmas, I don’t eat Cheez-its made with immature cheese and I’m not spoiling my Super Bowl ads. But you can feel free. Instead, let’s look at what made last year’s top 5 such a big hit (ads are ranked by CNBC-TV18 in Indiana because they mysteriously won the “easiest to find our rankings on YouTube” award…click to the 3:20 mark on the YouTube clip below if you just want the top 5):

5. Richard Lewis and Roseanne for Snickers – I’ve been complaining about this commercial for a month…when I saw it here at #5, I felt like kicking myself in the nuts (seriously tough to do. Try it). I’m probably to blame for its ranking, and to be honest, you probably are too. When you saw this spot the first time, you probably reacted exactly like me by thinking, “When I was a kid, I sat there begrudgingly powerless to change the channel as the jokes on Roseanne flew over my head. I told my dad the show sucked, and since he didn’t trust my opinion, I trusted his. I grew up and watched a few Roseanne re-runs, and it turns out I was right. It did suck. So much time wasted…but it’s okay now. Roseanne just got drilled by a log! It. Felt. So. Good. I love you for this, Snickers! I forgive you, Dad! I will never get sick of that commercial. Up yours, Roseanne!” Well, guys, we were wrong. Let this commercial be a lesson to us. No matter how happy we feel about any of this year’s ads, we can’t show it too much, or we’ll still be watching them in January 2013.

4. Darth Vader Kid for Volkswagen – Little kid playing dress-up as a universal tyrant has his faith in the supernatural upheld by his father’s use of a remote starter. Can’t-miss concept really. I’m going to ignore the fact that I could just install a remote starter for way less money than a new car, and I’m going instead focus on the real reason this commercial is a big hit. It’s a giant head on a tiny body. We all saw Spaceballz (or should have). And have you ever watched a 4th grade Pop Warner game? C’mon…who isn’t intrigued by this entire scenario? How does he not fall over? How heavy is that helmet? On a sunny day, would you appreciate the dark shades or hate the heat inside? It all ties back to an important question in advertising. Are we sold by what we know, or by what we wish to know?

3. Miss Evely for the Chevy Camaro – Was this a commercial for men or women? It felt like men. Men creating, men lusting, action scenes…but the main character was a seemingly independent woman who was confident in her sexuality while holding down the nurturing, sensible position of schoolteacher (she may have some issues with punctuality…that’s unclear, so we’ll overlook it). One more thing: Hey Chevy, teachers that drive brand new Camaros moonlight as strippers. We all saw Varsity Blues.

2. First Date for Pepsi Max – Didn’t remember it. Got bored watching it. Have nothing else to say about it. Can you still buy Pepsi Max?

1. “You hit reply all” for Bridgestone – Funny and relatable…I don’t think there was another commercial better primed to get forwarded around the office with an “I can’t wait to read this email” subject line like, “DON’T HIT REPLY ALL”. You can’t underrate the importance of the question “How likely are people to watch and share this commercial at work the next day?” A few reasons: 1) The Super Bowl spot is expensive. YouTube replays are free. 2) Most people watch the Super Bowl at a party, usually with too much talking (or booze) to get the full message of a spot. 3) When I sold TV ads at NBC, we were taught that a viewer needs to see a spot at least 3 times for it to have an impact on their decision-making. You nailed it, Bridgestone. Now you’re more to me than the dirty golf balls I fish out of the water at cheap par 3’s so I don’t have to buy balls.

Thanks again Bridgestone,
Dusty “I have balls” Riedesel

10 Reasons Tom Brady is > Eli Manning

This post really stems more from my dislike of Eli than my love for Brady. Generally I’m pretty long winded, but I’ll do this in simple count down fashion, with a few pictures to stress my points.

10. The hair. Brady has had some hits and some misses (a la bieber), but the point here is he’s not afraid to take chances and be a trend setter. Eli has had the same crop since college and looks like every college frat guy you’ve ever seen in the south and wanted to punch in the face.

9. A proportioned face. Eli’s nose and mouth are so enormous. Come on. I can’t be the only one that’s noticed this.

8. Brady has a hat with his own logo that he wears in a sense of shameless self promotion. Who else has their own logo? Jordan, Federer, Tiger, Micky Mouse. All the greats in their game. Your logo says “i’m better than you. you can tell by looking at my hat.”

7. Their women. Brady has virtually ended the career’s of Bridget Moynahan and Gisele. He impregnated 2 women who make a career based on their looks and their body. It would be like Gisele breaking Tom’s right arm with a sledge hammer during sex. Eli must have been looking for a woman who’s forehead could rival his brothers so he could one-up him at least one time in life. I just put pictures of Brady’s women so you can look at more than just me and Dusty.

6.  SuperBowl wins. Brady: 3. Eli: 1.

5. Draft expectation to Career success ratio. Brady was selected 199th in the 6th round and has won said 3 Bowls. Eli was drafted 1st overall…and has 1. I almost failed 3rd grade math due to fractions and decimals…so you do the math.

4. Eli is a spoiled middle child brat. When drafted first overall, Eli (and daddy Archie) stated publicly that he wouldn’t play for the Chargers. This is the definition of a whiny baby and a prima donna. Nothing to say about Brady except that he accepted his humble draft pick and proved himself on the field.

3. Birth place: Brady – San Mateo, CA (near San Fran). Eli – New Orleans, LA. Ok this was kinda close actually. But then I remembered a trip I took to New Orleans. I had a great time, don’t get me wrong. But I just couldn’t get over the fact that the streets smelled like a port-o-john, and I never carried more than $30 (in all ones) because I didn’t feel safe. Advantage: Brady.

2. This face is enough to make Eli’s mother turn her head in shame.

1. His name is Tom. My name is Tom. It’s a great name, donned by great men. The only other Eli, I know is Eli Whitney.

**bonus points to anyone who comments and tells me what Eli Whitney is famous for inventing. If you use Google, I’ll know and you get no bonus points.

Grateful to share the namesake of so many greats,

Tommy (but you can call me Tom ;))

Super Bowl Week: Top 10 Super Bowl Foods

It’s Super Bowl week. For that reason, I’ll be writing about the Super Bowl everyday this week. I think it deserves it. I mean, it is America’s 4th biggest holiday…

The Super Bowl is awesome for a lot of reasons, but if you’re not excited to consume somewhere between five and ten thousand calories while you watch it, then you’re not doing it right. These are the top ten foods I want to see at a Super Bowl party (presentation is your thing; a giant snack stadium like the picture above is cool, but who has that much time?). The only stipulation for this list is that no fork-and-knife dishes are present. When you’re dealing with 4+ hours of grazing in front of a TV, you can’t require someone to use a table. In no particular order….

1. Pigs in a Blanket – This will be the inaugural dish to define a unique happenstance on Super Bowl Sunday: the women are involved. All year long, we men have been ordering pizza and wings, or sticking to stuff we can easily mass-produce like brats and burgers. But on Super Bowl Sunday, the ladies care, and we can incorporate some things we rarely get. Do you know anywhere that you’d trust to do an order 100 pigs in a blanket for take-out? I don’t (FYI, the best time for a short-term girlfriend run is December 26th to February 9th…you get this Super Bowl food bonus right in that post-Christmas, pre-Valentine’s sweet spot). My favorite for these are lil smokies wrapped in Pillsbury croissant dough. Use the dipping sauce of your choice.

2. Chicken Wings – I’m not going to put ‘buffalo wings’ because that’s too one-dimensional. A buffalo wing has buffalo sauce. And you can’t discount teriyaki, honey BBQ, spicy garlic, or even a really tasty flavor I’ve never tried. As for its inclusion on the list, leaving the chicken wing off the list would be criminal. It was there for you all season long, especially once you found your team mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but too good for a top 5 pick. Especially when you stopped bothering to update your fantasy team because you’d let it be ravaged by the unfair trades of fantasy owners still in the hunt for a championship. The chicken wing tastes great no matter how badly everything else is going. THE CHICKEN WING…[dramatic pause]…is the most reliable thing about NFL Sunday. It’s Mr. Consistency, and you’re not going to snub Mr. Consistency.

3. Ribs – For the big ballers, you’ll fly them in from Jack Stack in Kansas City (they cater nationwide). The luckiest men will have a significant other that can make some awesome ribs, an elite talent amongst elite women. No doubt that ribs belong on this list. They are a top-five man food independent of any event. You don’t need utensils (I think that sentence deserves an exclamation point)! You tear the meat off the bone with your teeth like a hungry wolf. And you get to pile the bones up on your plate as a testament to your sex appeal (women prefer men who eat meat. It’s a fact). Half rack? Better make it a full.

4. Buffalo Chicken Dip – Had my first buffalo chicken dip thanks to Tommy Cooksey’s younger brother Greg. A master cooksman, Greg put this creamy goodness in me once, and it was the seed of a desire I’ve never lost (Thanks, Greg. I’ll never forget my first).  Rudino’s and Buffalo Brothers are the best restaurants I’ve found for the dish. The main ingredient that can’t be overstated here is cream cheese, the people’s cheese. You mix that with buffalo flavoring, and how can you not get behind a relative of Mr. Consistency’s classic flavor? Few football meals treated me better than 20 buffalo wings preceded by an appetizer of buffalo chicken dip. Let me know when someone develops buffalo chicken cheesecake for desert (What’s that? It’s out there? Well, shut my mouth…).

5. 7-Layer Dip – It’s a dip. That’s a good start. How many layers? Seven, the luckiest number on the planet. When did God rest? The seventh day. What day was that? Sunday (for the sake of this argument, let’s stick with the Christian Sabbath (is that a real thing?))….You know what, in the time of writing that parenthetical phrase, I decided that I wasn’t going anywhere with that “7” thing. Here’s a good recipe. Just trust me on this one.

6. Ro-Tel Cheese Dip – There are four men in my immediate family that combined for a weight of 1,110 lbs at our collective peaks. We achieved that +250 status on a diet of melted cheese and football, which is also the phrase I use in place “peas and carrots”. Sadly, we’re down to 920 lbs due to my brothers no longer playing offensive line, my dad’s heart attack, and my hobo diet (turns out Velveeta cheese is expensive, and I haven’t bought it in over a year…is it possible to lose 40 lbs in tears?). But the Super Bowl is bigger than our health. Melt the cheese. Add the Ro-Tel. Lose yourself in the calories of a simpler time.

7. Sausage Balls – Not as gay as they sound actually. They’re fast, simple and delicious. I consider them the Robert Horry of finger foods. They can’t be the best food at the party, but they’re an important contributor, and your chances of winning go up if they’re there. Recipe here.

8. Sliders – It’s February, and it has been a long time since your grill got the attention that it needs. And that means it has been a long time since you gave yourself the burgers that you need. When you have only one gut to give for your happiness (I wish I was a cow), you can’t be filling it with an entire beefy burger (I’m glad I’m not a cow). The slider is a classy nod to the work the burger contributed back in August and September. Sure, it may be the Super Bowl, but let’s not forget the foods that helped us get here.

9. Mini Cheesecakes – Food. It’s the tastes of the consumer that makes it an art, and I’ve found that cheesecake is one of the trickiest mediums for any culinary artist. But when done right, how many desserts want to go head-to-head with cheesecake? And when we’re talking about finger-food desserts, well, it stands alone in its weight class. I’ve seen the mini version attempted many ways, and this year, I’ll be sampling cheesecake from within a hollowed-out Strawberry. Up yours, Bobby Flay!

10. Veggie Tray – The white guy on the end of the bench. Has to be there. The first reason is for the sake of tradition. I’ve never been to a Super Bowl party that didn’t have a veggie tray that I could actively ignore. The second reason is the same reason that large corporations have a “green initiative”. It’s easiest to just appease the hippies so they’ll leave you to your gluttony. You don’t need some whiny buzzkill talking about how hungry they are because they won’t break their New Year’s weight loss resolution for the third year in a row. Plus, if you’re the host, you’ll be glad to have some leftovers.

Honorable Mention: Anything with Bacon gets a nod because, you know, bacon’s the most beautiful thing on earth.

Future owner of a brand new 5 lbs,
Dusty “Thirds” Riedesel

Your Favorite Ninja Turtle Says A lot About Who You Are As A Person.

COWABUNGA! If you’ve never said that as an adult, you should give it a try. It’s magical. Next time your buddy orders a round of shots, and its your turn to toast just start and finish with a simple “COWABUNGA!” Those who understand will follow up with a shout of their own, those who don’t…well let’s just say it’ll be an awkward moment next time you’re all out and he wasn’t invited.

Let’s flashback to 1989-1995, you and your 3 other friends decide to play a game of Ninja Turtles. For anyone younger than 18 right now that may stumble across this blog, before the age of the internet we actually used to use our imagination and do stuff like play outside. Anyway, before starting the game everyone had to decide (and agree upon) who was going to be which turtle. It is at this point in life when the person you were going to become was going to be molded and due to natural selection there is nothing you could do about it. Each turtle had a shining trait, and character flaw that made us both love and hate each of them at any given time. As you read through each character think hard about your youth, and what kind of person you are today.

We’ll start with Leonardo. The clear leader in the group. Leo rocked the duel swords – a weapon that metaphorically says “mines bigger than yours, and you all know it.” He was the most disciplined of group and pushed himself to achieve new levels of greatness everyday. However it was this very trait that also often pushed him to alienate the one’s he was trying to lead. I was always Leo. In recent years my friends have told me that I’m “a loveable ass, who likes doing things if they are my idea.” However,  leader nonetheless. I’m sure if the first TMNT were rated PG13, Raphael would have called Leo an a-hole at some point in the movie.

Which leads me to Raphael. He’s the emotional leader of the group, and arguably the strongest., physically. Raphs’ weapon was the si (i have no idea how to spell that and i’m not using google) and what a kick ass weapon. It’s not as big as the sword, and doesn’t immediately command respect. But, can you imagine catchin one of those to the face? Raph had all the makings of being a star (being Leo), but he was just too emotionally distant. You might recall this scene where he is clearly on the down slide of a steroid cycle.

Speaking of roids…Michelangelo was easily the most athletic of the 4some. He’s that guy you know who can eat copious amounts of junk food (pizza) and still has a 12-pack for abs. He was the party guy, the go-with-the-flow guy, always saw the glass half full (of beer probably). So athletic, in fact, that Splinter screwed him by giving him nun-chucks. Seriously? Nun-Chucks? Its like a string with 2 paper towel cardboard rolls on the end. You lose points for your flaccid, unimpressive weapon. However, Like most athletes you went to high school with, Mike’s athletic ability was too great, and he didn’t work at it. He had no discipline which was his own glass ceiling. If the turtles were still alive (which i still believe under some man-hole cover in NYC i’ll meet them one day) Mike would be the guy who never made it out of his hometown, opened a failing pizza shop called Mike’s pizza and would still be spinning pizzas today.

This leads me to the worst turtle of them all. If you were picked to be Donatello of your group, then your friends didn’t respect you. Don was self-centered, a computer geek and his shwag was all purple. When i google’d “gayest color in the world“…it reported back Lavender – a shade of purple. And your weapon was a stick. Sure, Splinter called is a Bo-Staff. But in the language of Rat, bo-staff means stick. So if you were Donatello, you were not very liked, people thought you were a dork and probably liked other little boys. However, the jokes on everyone else because you probably grew up to be Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or Charles Manson.

I’d be interested to hear what you have to think about this. Which turtle were you? Ultimately though, I don’t really care that much, because I’m Leo and I’m going to decide what’s best for the group anyway.

Leo is still the standalone reason that blue is my favorite color,


Why Tim Tebow is like Dennis Rodman, and other thoughts

I’m rooting for Tim Tebow to lose for only one reason.  It’s because I’m a born Kansas City Chiefs fan, and I need the Broncos to fail for Kansas City to succeed. And that’s the only reason I’m not rooting for the namesake of the Tebow-ritto.

I apologize for writing about an over-hashed topic, but if you’re a blogger, I don’t know how you can avoid it. Tebow is to the internet what the burqa is to women: frustratingly everywhere. I’m going to write about Tebow until it’s out of my system. This weekend of no football seems like as good a time as any to get it out there. Here’s a few thoughts:

What person can’t respect a little brilliant self-promotion?
I always think the best athlete to compare Tim Tebow to is…

…Dennis Rodman.

Just read me out. Remember when Dennis Rodman got weird and got paid, and analysts said things like, “You have to respect what Dennis Rodman has done with his skill set. He’s made it profitable to be a defensive player.” Attention pays in America. And while sports serves as the foundation of the public’s interest in both Rodman and Tebow, their personalities are what make them different (marketing 101: it’s more important to be different than better). I understand that it wasn’t his intent, but Tebow has financial leverage in several demographics by playing the nice side of Rodman’s “I’m different than everyone else” coin. Take a closer look at Tebow. Check out his book sales. He’s a sought after GOP endorsement. He has deals with Nike and EA Sports and could do a lot more.  At the very very very least, it should be no knock that he’s popular for being a devout Christian any more than Rodman was popular for being really freaking weird.

This is why I’m going to start calling him Tim “The White Worm” Tebow. Also, if he writes a new memoir in 15 years, I’d suggest the title Good as I Wanna Be.

ps. “The White Worm” may seem like a weird nickname for a virgin, Christian quarterback in Denver, but I’m gonna hang with it.

People’s opinions on Tebow tells you more about them than Tebow.
I automatically know that a person who dislikes Tebow is a little on the morally bankrupt side of life.  It’s like when the gang of How I Met Your Mother had this exchange with Barney Stinson:

Marshall Eriksen: You’re telling me that when you watch “The Karate Kid”, you don’t root for Daniel-san?
Ted Mosby: Who do you root for in “Die Hard”?
Barney Stinson: Hans Gruber. Charming international bandit. In the end, he dies hard. He’s the title character.
Lily Aldrin: What about “The Breakfast Club”?
Barney Stinson: The teacher running detention. He’s the only guy in the whole movie wearing a suit.
Ted Mosby: What about Raiders vs. Broncos?
Barney Stinson: Carson Palmer and the Raiders. Duh! After all the torment he went through in Cincinatti!? And who could ever root for that phony, Tim Tebow? Nobody’s buying this nice guy act!
Robin Scherbatsky: I’ve got one. “The Terminator”.
Barney Stinson: What’s the name of the movie, Robin? Who among us did not shed a tear when his little red eye went out in the end, and he didn’t get to kill all those people?

Okay, I slipped one in there, but didn’t it feel like it fit? Tim Tebow is obviously a “good guy” in the football universe, and to hate him makes about as much sense as being sad when the Death Star blew up.  You don’t have to like Star Wars, but don’t root against Luke! Whenever someone is saying something totally asinine, I look them straight in the eye like Clint Eastwood and say, “I’ll bet you’re the kind of person that hates Tim Tebow. Please be quiet.” I don’t say “shut the f*** up” or “shut the h*** up” because saying “please be quiet” is the Tebow way, where manners have a place in socially dominating your peers.

Women want to be with him.
They do. Check it out. This feels like it matters, even if he wisely doesn’t cash in (for the people that think he should, I’d like us all to remember that he’s not Antonio Cromartie). Let’s just be honest; it’s primal semantics. The alphas get the girls.

He’s good at what he does.
This seems to be where most of the love/hate discussion takes place, even if it’s not really about this. Let’s keep it simple. He’s a playoff-winning, starting quarterback in the NFL.  Does that mean anything? History suggest it does. In any given decade, there are less than 50 men who can say that (even fewer at age 24).  Will he ever be a hall of famer? I doubt it. But couldn’t a lot of anti-Tebow people get behind “survival of the fittest” logic? Think about the competitive landscape. He survived longer than thousands of high school quarterbacks. He survived longer than hundreds of college quarterbacks. He survived longer than dozens of NFL quarterbacks. I’m betting that any NFL quarterback would tell you how hard it is to survive under the shield.

Is Tebow great? No, but he’s good. Year after year? We can only wait and see. I personally am in the camp that doesn’t see him holding up. But for now, he’s factually successful. He’s good.

I’m done writing about this.
In summation: Good at his job (which is football and manly). Makes money. Women like him. Seems nice enough. My verdict? Smacks of insecurity if you steadfastly dislike Tim Tebow.

Also, he’s a Christian, so that makes him the best football player of all time.

Taking it if Tebow won’t,
Dusty “The White Worm” Riedesel


[Editor’s note: The snippet below is about one particular phrase of whining that comes along when anyone’s getting too much media coverage. Most notably: the Favre fiasco, Tebow-mania, “The Decision”, etc. We here at Writing Bareback realize that whining about hypocritical whiners makes us hypocritcal, so while I’m not noble enough to omit the following rant completely, I did bump it out of the main article. Still, this needed to be said.]

You don’t have to watch (rant warning).
I understand wishing that something else was on the radio/TV, but why do people say “I’m just sick of hearing about him” as a reason to dislike someone?  What’s the real reason? Sick of people saying he’s the next Elway? Sick of Tebow getting the headline instead of Denver’s D? You know what? That stuff isn’t Tebow. It comes from poorly-spoken fans and analysts who can’t properly assert an accurate opinion. And if you can’t differentiate the subject from its heralds, then you’re the same as they are, which makes you a hypocrite. In short, “I’m sick of hearing about him”  can’t be anti-Tebow because it has zero to do with Tebow. Change the channel and stop whining.

Dr. Tom’s Music Therapy – Hip Hop Friday

It’s Friday. It’s Friday. Everyone’s looking forward to the weekend. (you’re now gonna sing Rebecca Black for the rest of the day. sorry). But on Friday’s I feel pretty thug, trill, swag, etc, etc…So I thought I’d share some hip hop therapy with everyone. If you haven’t listened to Childish Gambino before…shame on you. (and yes, Childish Gambino is also Troy from Community (RIP)). my english teachers would be so proud of my use of the double bracket there.

Enjoy the tune. And Happy Friday.


The Dusty Television: X-MEN (1992)

One of my favorite things about Netflix is the way it’s there for me at the loneliest part of the day: the fifteen minutes before I fall asleep at night.  I’ve recently started revisiting some shows of my youth as I go to bed. Unexpectedly, this routine has taken a few odd, introspective turns for me.

The shows initially served as a mindless but comfortable place to set my brain before sleep. But on the following days, when my brain was wide awake, I started thinking about how these shows shaped a portion of my personality, especially ideas of morality and heroism. Just as those musings started getting loopy and complicated, I happened upon this Chuck Klosterman piece on nostalgia,which explained that some of us will always care for our memories like dear friends (Klosterman has been moving up the Riedesel zeitgeist with a bullet). So I’ve mostly come full circle. I’m still using my childhood stories as a parking space for my consciousness, but I don’t need to understand their final impact on me to get a kick out of how much I simply didn’t understand as a kid. I’m now satisfied with open-ended reflection.

7 years old during my first viewing, I just finished re-watching season 1 of the 1992 classic, X-MEN. And most of the take-away can be represented in this picture:

Don’t complain about the size (that’s what she said?). It’s just what my phone delivered. What you’re looking at is an impressive strategy of destruction hatched by the world’s most powerful mutant mind. In an effort to take out a giant, power-hungry robot named Master Mold, Charles Xavier has loaded up the team’s jet (the Blackbird) with clearly-marked drums of gas and crates of TNT and is going kamikaze on Master Mold’s metal butt (it would feel wrong to use PG-13 language for a Y7 show). I’m already a little on-guard about Xavier’s choice of cowboy-age explosives to defeat a futuristic robot. I know the Blackbird has weapons on it because I just saw it shooting lasers a few seconds before this “suicide is okay if you think it’s meaningful” scene. But that’s not the most troubling decision from Xavier. This is: none of the X-Men seem to know that Professor X is going to embrace sweet release behind a veil of heroism, which really only leaves two options: 1) Xavier picked up every drum and crate and rolled them onto the jet in secret…we’re nixing this possibility since the X-Men jumped into this battle under a real time crunch. 2) Xavier brainwashed/mind-controlled his team into helping him without their knowledge. That’s a breaking rule #1 in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Telepaths.  I wish this were unlikely, but true X-Men fans know that it’s totally Chuck’s style. Bottom line, with this evidence in front of me, I can’t trust Professor Charles Xavier.

I never noticed these things as a child, and I suspect it was because I was too naive and trusting. Well, shame on me. I knew adults were crooked enough to make me learn long division while a calculator sat only inches away, why did I think they’d be straight with me in my stories?

X-MEN season 1 summary: My childhood was a sham.

Wishing I was a mutant with perfect memory powers,
Dusty “stuD” Riedesel

Editor’s note: I am my own editor, and this blog post really got away from me. I wrote it while vacationing at my parents’ house, drinking an average of six Dr. Peppers a day and wearing a maroon shirt that said “I’m an over-caffeinated, future diabetic that can fit this phrase on my shirt because I’m fat from all the Dr. Pepper I drink.” I’ll do better next post.

Dr. Tom’s Music Therapy

My buddy Quint told me that “Musical Therapy” sounded like I was treating you while playing music, or treating you with music so I opted for a name change.

Last night I saw Ace Enders play an acoustic set and even talked to him for a few minutes. Ok, mostly I stumbled over my words being star struck by an artist I’ve enjoyed since I was 15. Either way, 15 year old Tommy would definitely have been giving me a solid (or high-five, or low five, or…I don’t remember what was cool in 2001?). Either way, it reminded me of a simpler time, where the only things that mattered were.. does your plaid shirt match your sweater, don’t miss the bus, and remembering to call your girlfriend on a land line at 9pm (because her sister needed the phone at 9:30pm and they only had one line).

This song is a personal favorite of mine, and the chorus says all you needed to know at 15…and sometimes I like to pretend its still true “All we ever wanted was love and love and happy afternoons, watchin tv from your room, while you’re layin in my arms.” Come on, how perfect? Thank you Ace for providing an anthem to my teenage years, and influencing just about everything I know about music.


the man. ace enders. live acoustic raw. the reason i love music.


Good Online Reading: 4 Articles from 4 Authors

It’s not always easy to find high quality writing amongst all the drivel on the internet. In light of that, I’ll try to help out by posting links to some pieces you’ll enjoy reading, no matter where you do it.

1. Chuck Klosterman on Tim Tebow – There have been so many articles written about Tim Tebow.  I thought this one was the best.  It feels unbiased and does a great job of explaining the logic behind what seem to be illogical viewpoints from both the pro-Tebow and anti-Tebow parties.

2. Maddox Gives a Tribute to Real Men – This one’s old school. It’s been on the internet forever, and Maddox is never going to win any awards for AP style. However, a surprisingly analytical approach hides behind the ranting tone, and it’s just plain funny. This particular article is one of the articles that got me blogging in the first place. The Best Page in the Universe is one of the most enjoyable time-killing sites out there if you’re OK with raunchy humor.

3. Seth Godin on Opening Acts and Rock Stars – I’m a subscriber to Seth Godin’s blog. It constantly provides progressive thinking.  More than anything, he can take new ideas that people have trouble understanding and explain them with an old example that makes it easy to understand.  I chose this article because even after three years, it has stuck with me and proven truthful.

4. Tom Dinard with Sunlight For A Moonlight Man – This was forwarded to me by my friend Michael Bracey. I’m glad he sent it, but I will warn you right up front that this one’s a time investment. It’s also well worth it. It tells the story of former Yankee, Stefan Wever, who loved baseball and life and never gave up on either one. This story is not just about overcoming adversity, but persisting in it’s constant presence. If you’ve got time, it’s a rewarding read.

Paying it forward,