Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Corn's Dramatic Comeback: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

(Nevdogg Note: Last year, I wrote about how corn had once again returned to my Thanksgiving meal after an absence of several years. I love corn, and never did understand why it was somehow eliminated from the Thanksgiving meal menu. Because I have so many new readers from last year, and because what I wrote was pretty damn funny in my opinion, I have opted to re-post my blog from last year about Thanksgiving corn's dramatic comeback. Enjoy!!)

Last night at my Thanksgiving table, I greeted an old friend. It had been years since I'd seen him. Years since he and I shared a turkey day together. It had been far too long, and seeing him yesterday truly warmed my heart.

I call this friend:



Ah, corn. Sweet, tender, buttery, delectable corn. The perfect side dish on my Thanksgiving plate.

Study your history. The Indians gave the pilgrims turkey, potatoes, gravy, yams, Ruffles, french onion dip, chocolate-covered cherries, diet pepsi and...

Corn. :-)

As a kid growing up, I spent several Thanksgiving getting acquainted with this wonderfully starchy vegetable. But something happened over the past several years:

Corn disappeared from Thanksgiving.

The turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy remained in abundance, but corn for some reason was no longer on the menu.


At first, I confess: I didn't think much of it. Perhaps someone had forgotten, focused on making more yams. But the following year, corn was again missing. The year after that, same thing. And the year after that, no corn.

So a few years back, I began my campaign to get corn back on the Thanksgiving menu. But a process I thought would take little time took six years. Unbeknownst to me, there's a lot of anti-corn sentiment in this world. 2003, 2004, 2005, 6 and 7: Each year, I argued for the return of corn on Thanksgiving and each year I was brutally rebuffed.

I heard every excuse in the world. It's too much trouble. No one eats it. It's boring. It's yellow. It's no good cold. Our old people can't eat it off the cob.

But I don't give up easily. I was determined to see corn and Thanksgiving united again. And so, I continued to fight the good fight, and in 2008 I went to my mom and asked her this:

Mom, I have wanted to see corn on the Thanksgiving table for so long. Would you be the one to stop the madness and unite corn with Thanksgiving once again?

And you know what she said?

Sure. I'll make a corn casserole.

NO!! Jesus, how complicated can this possibly be? I'm not asking for kobe beef or homemade cheese. It's corn!! Freakin' corn!! Go to the market, head to the frozen food section, and grab a bag of Jolly Green Giant.

Without putting it into a God damn casserole!!

Jews and their casseroles. A topic for another blog. :-)

And I know what some of you are thinking:

Nev, if you wanted corn so bad, why didn't you just make it yourself?

Because it defeats the entire purpose of the ideal male Thanksgiving!! If you're a guy, the best Thanksgiving food is the food you don't make yourself. It has to be made by someone else, preferably a woman (that's right, I said it), to bring out the ideal flavor. Otherwise, it's just not the same.

Men reading this blog know what I'm talking about.

But luckily, fate stepped in.

I got a call from my mom two weeks ago. She tried making the corn casserole. It didn't come out good (shock of shocks). So as a fallback, she was going to make corn.

The casserole taketh. And the casserole giveth.

So last night, corn returned to Thanksgiving.

And it was goooood.


And now for this week's:


Recently, a man married a video game.


A man married a video game.

In another sign that the world is about to collapse, a fan of the Nintendo DS dating sim Love Plus liked his virtual lady so much that he decided to marry her. For real.

I hope he didn't buy her a ring. That's all I got to say.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Being One Of The Last People On Earth To Own A Flip Phone: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I own a cell phone that flips.

Otherwise known as the flip phone.

You remember the flip phone, don't you? It's a cell phone where you flip open the front to reveal the number keypad.

Then you call someone.

The flip phone.

I own one. And it serves me well.

I don't own one of these fancy phones. I don't own an iPhone, where you can take pictures, check traffic, shoot video, instant message people, check the weather in Singapore, and simulate swinging a golf club for the latest game application you downloaded.

Conversely, I don't own a Blackberry, which simulates a mini keyboard like you would find on your computer and is meant to make it easier to text, but is in fact 100 times harder because -- if you're like me and your fingers are the size of, you know, a human -- you keep pressing five keys at once.

So instead, I stay with my flip phone. And it can perform the following functions:


You should see people's reaction when they see me whip out my flip phone. They look at me like I'm an Amish woman in a gay-and-lesbian bar...

(apologies to my Amish readers)

...and treat me like I churn my own butter.

Among the comments I receive:

You don't own an iPhone?

They still make those?

You text with a number pad?

Can that anything?

Can "that thing" do anything? Yeah, dumb ass, it can call a person!! And it wasn't long ago that that was all we needed a phone to do!!

Here's the problem with America today: We've become a society where your phone has to do everything for you. It's not a freakin' tool box, it's a phone. It should have one function. It should not act as your camera. It should not act as your music player. It should not act as your television.

And it sure as hell shouldn't act as your lighter!!

Have you seen this application on the iPhone? Apparently, you can download an app that simulates a cigarette lighter. So when you go to concerts, instead of taking out a regular lighter during the "take out your lighter and sway it around" moments, you instead can whip out your phone, turn on your lighter app, and move that back and forth.

I mean...c'mon.

All I'm saying is that I don't want "calling somebody" to be feature No. 26 on my phone. I want it to be its primary use. Because damn it, that's normal.

And I like normal.

The rest of you aren't normal.

I'm normal.

Unlike you.

One day, you're going to expect your phone to raise your kids.

And I'll tell you right now:

Your kids are going to grow up fat.


And now for this week's:


I now have 13 followers on Twitter!!!

And I only know six of them.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Obsession With Twitter: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Would someone explain to me this obsession with Twitter?

Here's how I understand it:

Someone signs up for a Twitter account and he or she does nothing but let you know what he or she is thinking or doing or seeing or eating or drinking at any point throughout the day.

And people can sign up and follow you on Twitter, so that you can know what someone other than yourself is thinking or doing or seeing or eating or drinking at any point throughout the day.

Sound about right?

My wife -- Daily News sports columnist Ramona Shelburne -- has a Twitter account and more than 1,200 followers. She's always asking me to follow her on Twitter and my answer is always the same:

Honey, we're married. I already know what you're thinking or doing or seeing or eating or drinking at any point throughout the day. Now you want me to follow that online?

When you said we needed to communicate more, I assumed you meant, you know, talking.

But apparently, I'm living in the past.

And beyond that, why is it so interesting to following the twits...

Is it twits or tweets? Is it tweets? It's tweets, isn't it? Jesus.

Why is it so interesting to follow the tweets of people you don't know? At least on Facebook, I know these people (or have at least met them). But I really don't care that Shaquille O'Neal has finished a burrito. Or that Jessica Simpson found great shoes. Or that Jennifer Aniston insists that she and John Meyer are still good friends.

I just don't care. And I don't know why others care when I don't care.

By the way, while writing this blog, Ramona walked into the house, found out I was writing about Twitter and told me that the reason I don't get Twitter is because I'm not following her on Twitter and maybe if I joined the 1,200-plus other morons who followed her on Twitter, I would become a moron who understood it too.

I'm paraphrasing a smidge. :-)

Listen, for those of you who tweet regularly, let me say this:

I know you have thoughts.

I know you have feelings.

I know you have a voice yearning to be heard.

But no one gives a damn.

I mean, I'm sorry, but you're just not interesting. You did the laundry? Good for you. You LOLed at the latest episode of Glee? Great. Got bad gas? Maybe you should keep that to yourself.

The world was less complicated when folks didn't share anything. Simple were the days when we kept everything inside.

One final note:

I have just joined Twitter.

Because I'm actually funny.


And now for this week's:


To be honest, this isn't a real SOTS, but I had to share: A few months ago for my birthday, Ramona got me tickets to the USC-Stanford football game today. I'm a longtime USC fan and she's a Stanford alum. USC lost 55-21, the most points they've ever given up.

Thanks for the tickets, babe.

But next year for my birthday gift, get me a colon cleansing. I think I'd enjoy that more.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Video Games Are Getting Too Complicated: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Have video games today gotten too complicated?

My oldest friend Josh and I had an in-depth conversation about this the other night outside of a Burger King in Northridge, where he was smoking a cigarette and I was nursing a diet coke. As we took to our respective vices, we reminisced on how there used to be a Malibu Grand Prix just down the road -- featuring a huge arcade center -- and it got us talking about the video games that kids today are growing up on and how there's a whole generation out there who have never heard of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Ah, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Now that was a system!! Lots of different games, lots of different premises, and most importantly: Simplistic. Consider the controller the Nintendo used. It consisted of:

---A directional pad, which had the following options:





---An "A" button.

---And a "B" button.

That was it. That was all we had growing up. And you know what? We were happy.

You ever see a video game controller today? It's insane!! There's this impossible-to-use joystick for you to do required diagonal, vertical, horizontal and circular maneuvers; there's an "A" button, "B" button, "C" button, four buttons at the top, a trigger on the back, and a tiny red button in the right corner that looks like it will give the order to launch nuclear weapons; in short, if you want to play a home video game today, you essentially need to be an octopus, there are so many things to press.

And then there's the video games themselves. To my older readers: Do you remember the game Double Dragon? Here was the premise: Guy's girlfriend gets captured by gang. Boyfriend goes after gang to rescue girlfriend.

Quick. Easy. Simple.

And forget fancy maneuvers or powers. All your moves consisted of punching or kicking. There were bats, weapons and knives. The only guy who had a gun was the final boss, and that's what made him so powerful.

Quick. Easy. Simple.

And your mission didn't change midway through. You don't find out in level 3 that your girlfriend isn't really your girlfriend, or that this is part of an international conspiracy, or that you were secretly given a drug beforehand and everything that's happening is really in your mind. No, your mission was always to save your girlfriend. In fact, when you got to the final boss, you saw her tied up on the left of your screen, just to reinforce the fact.

Quick. Easy. Simple.

Today's video game premises are insane. Plots and subplots and subtitles and choices and misdirections and chapters and unforeseen developments. Everyone is involved, everyone has a role, your mission changes 18 times in the first seven seconds of the game, and by the end you're so blown away by everything you've seen that you've forgotten one important part:

What the hell the game was about in the first place.

And finally, there are the graphics. Honestly, how real does a game have to look? You want reality? Go outside. Me? I'm happy with two dots on a screen and a couple of colors. I'm easy to please, and so should the rest of video game America.

My point is: I come from a time where I would get up on a Saturday, go to a buddy's house, and me and other buddies would play a game that required little thought, few graphics and a couple of buttons. And it was this generation that developed the Internet, made Texas Hold 'Em a household name, and introduced flat-screen TVs.

In short: We made the world a better place.

But today's generation, with their fancy Wiis, are threatening all that my generation stood for. Soon, everything that we created -- that I created!! -- will be destroyed, replaced by a sea of complicated plots, space-age like controllers, and graphics that don't allow you to separate fantasy from reality.

Today's video games are destroying the fabric of everyday life.

And they must be stopped.


And now for this week's:


L.A. Lakers star Lamar Odom wants to have a kid with new wife Khloe Kardashian soon.

And that's more ammo for those who think a license should be required for those wanting kids.