Thursday, November 10, 2011

Top 5 Halloween Candies

I know, I know. It's almost 2 weeks after Halloween. But I live in an apartment building, so I don't see trick or treaters and I don't have any kids to take trick or treating. I didn't see my first piece of halloween candy this year until 4 days ago when someone in accounting brought in all of their leftovers. Some would say I went a little overboard on the first day, but if you space out the amount of candy I would have eaten in the average 2 weeks after Halloween, I was way below the line.

Allow me to begin by saying I have some of the best parents in the world. They are very supportive of me and are always there to help me to do the things that I want to do. That all being said, I’ve been wondering something lately. Does anyone out there think that having more restrictions on foods when you were a kid leads to an unhealthy adulthood? Anyone who would look at photos of me as a child would question the restrictive nature of my diet when my parents were paying for my food. Yes, I ate a lot of food that wasn’t that great for me, but I don’t think that’s really what made me fat. I was fat because I liked to play Mortal Kombat in my room while the other kids were pretending to be Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Randy’s trampoline. I preferred to spend those few years of adolescence before getting my driver’s license burning incense, writing in my journal, and listening to Our Lady Peace while the others rode their bikes and got into trouble. I was an indoor kid. Cut to adulthood. I pay for my own cereal now and I find that I always choose the sugary stuff that my parents wouldn’t let me have over the corn flakes or cheerios (both of which I do enjoy.) My fiancĂ© and I always swing by the candy aisle when we grocery shop. We don’t always get something, but it’s rare that there isn’t at least a bag of pretzel M+M’s in our utility/menu/candy drawer. What I’m getting at is, I’ve developed quite a sweet tooth. I do pretty well at keeping it in check, but when it hits hard, it can’t be ignored.

Candy can fall into a lot of different categories for me. You could do a general candy list, a movie theatre candy list, a driving candy list, and a Halloween candy list. How I choose that something winds up in the Halloween. For now, since we’re still within an acceptable window, let’s go with Halloween candies.

What qualifies something as “Halloween” candy? I’m going to lay down the following qualifications.

1. Must be available in bite size
2. Must have been available when I was trick or treating age (up the age of 13 I think).
3. Should still be available today.

All that said, please leave some comments with your thoughts on my list and your own list. I’m trying real hard to keep writing in this at least 3-4 times a week and knowing that others are reading will definitely keep me driven. Here we go.

Top 5 Halloween Candies

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

I’ve always loved peanut butter. I don’t eat it as much as I used to and I think it's because I burned myself out on it as a kid. However, Reese's has always been a staple in my candy eating career. I've always loved Peanut Butter Cups. When you dumped my candy bag into the communal candy bowl (which was great for me because it allowed me to dip into my brothers collection as well) you would find only wrappers for the Peanut Butter Cups. I would grab them out of the bag in between each house.

2. Whoppers

I think my love of Whoppers is genetically inherited from my father. Every year when we would go trick or treating, he would search our haul for the Whoppers and I think I just grew to love them as I became protective of them. Man, they are great. OH! AND DID YOU KNOW THERE'S A VERSION WITH REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER INSTEAD OF CHOCOLATE! They are so good, but don't come in Halloween sizes.

3. Dots

My teacher is second grade was the worst. She was mean, especially to me. A favorite story around the family table when reminiscing about childhood is the time when she said something hurtful to me in front of the class and I began to cry. Since I was wearing my cub scout uniform at the time, she saw a window to get a second jab in by saying "Oh class, look at the girl scout." I have to imagine the girl scouts in the class probably took offense, as they probably didn't want me in their ranks any more than the boy scouts did.

Anyway, she loved Dots. Her desk would be littered with boxes of them on her birthday and in a rare show of compassion towards her students, she would share. Despite the horrors of being her student, I really like Dots. However, unlike the previous two, I only eat Dots at Halloween. They are never a choice any other time.

4. Sixlets

I forgot all about these little guys until this week when I saw them in the bowl of candy. I noticed something odd about these little balls of candy coated chocolate. I think the candy that is used to coat them is also the same ingredients that are used to make gumballs because every time I emptied the entire tube (the only way to consume sixlets) into my mouth, I thought they might be little weird gumballs, but shortly after, my mouth was filled with chocolate. One of life's great surprises. 

5. Candy Corn

Look, there are some things that just can't be explained. I love candy corn and I don't know why. How dare you judge me?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top 5 Documentaries

So much time between blog entries. How does this happen? Well, usually, I have an idea for a blog and by the time I'm at a computer to write it, I've convinced myself that it just doesn't have the momentum. "I can't think of 5 *insert thing here* that I like enough to put on a top 5 list." It's this kind of self-judgement that's probably held me back a lot in life. Tonight, and hopefully for the foreseeable future, I'm just going to go for it. Some nights, I'm not going to have something to write about that relates to what's going on. On those nights, I go back to the original plan that I had set up for myself and go to the rainy day bin. My friends Dan and Alicia really helped me fill it up. However, I would love more ideas for top 5 lists that I could write. Anything you're interested in, leave it in a comment, and I'll make it a top 5 list at some point.

Anyhow, tonight I'm sitting here eating some dinner and watching a movie on Netflix Instant. That's where the inspiration for this post comes from. I'm watching Michael Moore's documentary "The Big One". For those who haven't seen it, it basically follows Michael on his book tour for his novel "Downsize This" and while in certain cities, dropping in on corporations that had laid off tons of employees while posting huge profits to try and get an explanation.

I love Michael Moore. Friends of mine will tell you about how I fell asleep in the middle of Bowling For Columbine, but listen, I was tired and there was a point where, like an 80 year old man, I could fall asleep in any movie theatre unless the movie was absolutely riveting. I used it as my rating system. "Hey, Tubbs. What did you think of Eight Crazy Nights?" "Fell asleep." "Hey, did you see Spiderman yet?" "Yep. I stayed awake the whole time too."

I also love documentaries in general. Netflix Instant is chock full of amazing documentaries and I've watched my share (probably yours too). Without further ado, I present my.....

Top 5 Documentaries

1. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Oh you haven't seen this movie yet? Well, get off of your computer and go watch it. I'll wait.

Oh good you're back. Wasn't that awesome!

But seriously, King of Kong follows school teacher Steve Wiebe, who after losing his job, decides that he's going to break the world record for Donkey Kong. And he does it! The movie does not end there of course. We go one to see the world of intrigue that is classic video game record breakers. There is, without question, no better film villain than Billy Mitchell. He truly belongs on my "Top 5 Film Villains" list, but I guess I didn't think of him at the time.

2. Jesus Camp

I've watched this movie four or five times now. You wouldn't think it to be terrifying, but it truly is.

Now, I'm a Christian. I don't think that religion itself is a bad thing. However, these people are CARAZY! They are brainwashing their kids. The true testament of the movies terror comes in my father's review. Now, my dad doesn't watch movies like this very often. He loves the Godfather. He loves the Jackass movies. He loves Dumb and Dumber. I don't think he's much of a documentary guy. After watching this movie with my brother, he called me and he said "You need to watch this movie. I had a nightmare last night that I was trying to rescue the kids from the camp while the woman who runs it chased me with a machete (that's not verbatim of course, but it was something to that effect).

Go watch it.

3. Monster Camp

This (like King of Kong) is one of those documentaries about quirky people who take something really seriously while the audience is essentially laughing at them. Granted, this doc, like many of it's type, portrays these people lovingly and teaches us that it takes different strokes to move the world. But you just can't help but laugh at the guy who pays his daughter her allowance in "in game gold" that she can use during their LARPing weekend. Oh yeah, I didn't mention that. This movie is about LIVE ACTION ROLE PLAYING!

4. Capitalism: A Love Story

Probably my favorite of the Michael Moore movies. Every single one of his films is terrifying to me, but I think this one is the most unsettling and relevant today. If you want to spend every day wondering if you're going to lose your job, you should watch this movie.

5. Inside Job

Kristen and I just watched this one of Halloween weekend. It was just as terrifying as any horror movie we could have watched and Kristen was close to heading down to the Occupy Chicago protests to lend her voice to the chorus. Then she said it was too cold. I'm just glad the sentiment was there.