Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top 5 Most Embarrassing Pennsylvania Town Names

This all started when my wife giggled at the name of the city Coxsackie, NY.  I started looking for other funny town or city names, and oddly enough, most of the ones I found are located in Pennsylvania!  Here are the most embarrassing town names in PA.

5: Poorman Side - Makes you wonder how towns get their names.  If it's a port by a bridge, Bridgeport makes sense.  I guess when the wrong side of the tracks splits off into it's own town, and that town is named by the wealthy but grammatically challenged people remaining on the right side of the tracks, this is what you get...

4: Big Beaver - I think this clip of the immortal Frank Drebin says it all, except this--they're big here.

3: Intercourse - Intercourse means sex.  This town is Sex, PA.

2: Virginville - Only 45 miles from Intercourse, but it feels like an eternity.

1: Blue Ball - If you're a guy, make sure you stop off in Intercourse and check out Big Beaver, otherwise you may end up here, sad and alone.

Next time you visit Pennsylvania, make sure to visit these towns and thank the townspeople for their zany senses of humor!  On second thought, don't do that--they hate that.  Have you ever been to these places?  Do they live up to the hype?  How about some wacky town names in your state?  Share them in the comments below.

(...and see the Top 5 Most Interesting State Nicknames here.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top 5 Things I Hate About Other Drivers

I spent 2 years making a 12 hour round-trip drive almost every weekend, and I currently spend a lot of time commuting to Manhattan.  I've experienced all sorts of blood-pressure raising traffic, and rather than ram the asshole who cut me off, I've decided on catharsis through blogging.

5: Texting.  Some people can text and drive, some can't.  It's illegal for us all because of you people who can't.  Thanks.  Here is the real rule.  If you're under 25, or an idiot, no texting while driving; you haven't yet learned how long you can look down or when is an optimal time to do so.

4: Not signaling.  If you're alone on the road, I don't care whether you signal or not.  If I'm behind you on a two lane road, don't just slow down then signal as you turn--give me the heads-up so I know to pass your inconsiderate ass.

3: Turning poorly.  Holy shit, this one makes me crazy.  If you are making a right, and it isn't a sharp turn, you do NOT need to come to a complete stop!  Whoever taught you that was wrong!  Stop it!  I've screamed more at this than anything else on this list.

2: Slow in the fast lane.  In tight traffic while speeding on the highway, good drivers are predictable and anticipate traffic on the basis that the other drivers will be predictable.  This is aggressive driving.  It is not reckless.  What is reckless is the guy who throws all the good drivers off by doing 55 in the far left lane of a 4 lane highway.  What a douche.

1: Rubbernecking.  I can almost understand rubbernecking for huge accidents or crazy things you don't often see (a highway littered with chicken carcasses fallen from a jack-knife big-rig, for example).  I can't understand why I need to be delayed 45 minutes so every idiot in front of me can look at the cop pulling some guy over.  Just go.

Okay, this backfired.  I'm actually a little worked up now.  I really hate this shit!  What makes you just crazy when you're driving?  Come on, everyone's got something--share yours in the comment section below, and share this with your friend on facebook.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Top 5 Best Atari 7800 Titles

I got an Atari 7800 for Christmas one year.  It played games from the Atari 2600, which was cool, but this system was destined for the trash heap of history as Nintendo's NES and Sega's Master System were about to make Atari essentially obsolete.  Here are the top 5 games I remember playing on the old 7800.

5: Dr. J and Larry Bird Go One on One (1987) - Often just called One on One, you controlled a cartoonish version of Dr. J or Larry Bird, complete with slam dunks and outside jumpers.  It allowed one or two players, which made for great tournaments among friends.

4: Kung-Fu Master (1989) - To beat this game, you worked through 5 levels of bad guys, each with a boss character at the end.  This game is essentially the Bruce Lee classic movie Game of Death in video game form.  Good playability and it being one of the few side-scrollers let this game creep into the top 5.

3: Galaga (1987) - The single best fixed shooter game of all time, the 7800 version was just about arcade quality, with only minor differences in game play and somewhat inferior graphics.  It's simply one of the most fun games ever produced for this system.

2: Choplifter (1987) - You are a helicopter pilot trying to rescue hostages from behind enemy lines.  Be careful not to land on the hostages or you'll kill them.  Also, don't drop them.  Oh yeah, avoid tank fire and other dangers.  The graphics stunk, but the game play was solid and the game was fun.

1: Joust (1988) - You are a knight riding a flying ostrich attempting to kill other knights by landing on them with your ostrich (rather than, say, stabbing them with your lance).  When you do so, they turn into a giant egg worth points, which are meaningless to game play.  This game had one screen and although it took a certain amount of skill, was not particularly challenging--but something made it fantastic.  Anyone who's ever played this game understands it had a certain quality that makes it infinitely playable.

Despite the 7800 ending up in the dustbin of gaming history, I have fond memories of it.  One game deserves special mention.  I had high hopes for Karateka, which was a side-scroller port from a variety of earlier systems.  Unfortunately, game play was made impossible by the counter-intuitive controls which required you to pull backwards on the control to punch forward, for example.  I am sure none of you had the 7800, and most of you probably never heard of it, but if you have, share any stories or memories you have below, and like us on Facebook.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Musings... Cereal Prizes

I wanted to do a top 5 cereal prizes because I thought it would be a great excuse for me to drop a bunch of money on yummy cereal.  But despite the enormous selection of cereal at my supermarket, there were a total of two that included prizes: a newer box of Cheerios with a SpongeBob SquarePants toy, and an older box of Cheerios with a book.  Seriously.  Anyone able to tell me when the hell cereals stopped being fun?  What the hell?  Where are my toys?!?!?!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Top 5 Fake Bands from Movies and Television

Guest Blogger John Majneber offers up today's Top 5...

This is a list of my top 5 favorite "fake" bands.  After thinking long and hard I decided I could not include The Monkees or Spinal Tap because they went on to have actual music careers.  This is what remains:

5: The Beets, (Nickelodeon's Doug) - I grew up watching Doug and remember really loving the songs by The Beets.  "Banging on a Trash Can" was my favorite, but couldn't find a video to link to.

4: The Rutles, (Rutland Weekend Television / Saturday Night Live) - A British Beatles parody band with Monty Python's Eric Idle.  Funny (but not quite Weird Al funny).

3: Stillwater, (Almost Famous) - A great movie with great music.  I still occasionally listen to "Fever Dog" from the Almost Famous soundtrack--it still rocks!

2: The Wonders (Oneders), (That Thing You Do) - The Wonders sing "That Thing You Do," which is easily the catchiest song on this list.  It will be stuck in your head for the rest of the week.

1: Drive Shaft, (Lost) - Lost holds a special place in my heart.  "(You All) Everybody" brings me back to the glory days when I anxiously awaited new Lost episodes which would raise far more questions than they would ever answer. 

Does anyone have any other Bands that I missed?  I'd love to check out some other fictional bands.  Let me know in the comments below.  And, as always, please email, share, or tweet this post to your friends!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Top 5 Best Orange Sodas

Orange soda is awesome.  Every once-in-a-while I forget how good it is, then I taste some and it all comes rushing back to me.  Here are the top 5 best.

5: Jarritos Mandarin - I am told this is a huge Mexican brand.  I'm sure it's available all over the place, but the only place I've tried it is in Grand Central Station at the Jamaican Beef Patty stand on the lower level.  It's pretty good, and I can say this much--it goes great with a spicy Jamaican beef patty!

4: Sunkist - The people who bring you oranges and orange juice also bring you a pretty good orange soda.  It doesn't rate higher because it tastes too much like oranges.  Yes, I know how stupid that sounds.

3: Fanta Orange - Mmm,  Fantanas...  I mean, Fanta...  Fanta is a good orange soda.  It's got that yummy artificial orange taste, without that "real" orange flavor.  It's not as creamy as I'd prefer, and is a little too carbonated, but that's just picking nits--it's a good soda.

2: Stewart's Orange 'N Cream - This could be a little more carbonated, but flavor-wise, it's spot-on.  It's orangey and creamy.  It's got a great aftertaste that leaves you quenched (most sodas leave you thirstier) and makes you want more.  It's just too damn expensive.

1: Crush Orange - I just had a bottle of this, and was shocked at how good it is!  Everything I said about Stewart's above is true here, except the carbonation is perfect and the cost is right.  Drinking this bottle made we want to write this post, that's how good it is.  I don't know why it's creamy, since I don't think it's supposed to be, but I'm glad it is.  Just amazing.

I know a lot of you don't drink soda, and I understand that.  It is not good for you and brings nothing to the table but taste.  If you're one of those people, I'd suggest you try orange soda every time you find yourself at a kid's birthday party (for some reason, they always have orange soda at kids' parties).  Thoughts?  Comments?  Add them below, and share via your preferred social media outlet.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Top 5 Best Thanksgiving Flavored Sodas

In 2007 I was given a holiday pack of Thanksgiving sodas made by the Jones Soda Company.  These weren't Thanksgiving themed sodas (like "Cornucopia Cola" or "Root for Detroit Root Beer"), these were Thanksgiving flavored sodas.  I sampled them with friends Shane and Beth.  Luckily, we videotaped the "meal," so I can accurately report the results here, years later.  Here's what we decided were the "best":

5: Turkey & Gravy Soda - After opening the bottle, the smell hit Shane and we heard, "Oh, this is bad."  Beth, somewhat embarrassed, admitted that to her, "it smells good!"  We were all hesitant to try it.  Our hesitancy proved prescient--comments after sipping included: "The aftertaste is horrendous!"; "Why do they make these?"; "I hope these are safe for drinking."; and "I hope there's no turkey in there.  Is it meat juice?"

4: Pea Soda - Shane thought this had potential to be the worst.  Beth summed up our anticipation with an almost inaudible groan.  We sipped, there was silence, then someone shouted, "Oh my God that's bad."  Which was repeated twice more.  The camera panned away from Beth as she gagged. She rallied to say, "At least 'antacid' is next."

3: Sweet Potato Soda - Shane figured that this had potential, since he expected it to be sweeter than the others and therefore more like traditional soda.  Beth sipped first and commented, "It's not bad."  I tasted next and jovially said, "I'll tell you right now, I don't like it."  It was not good, but after tasting others, I expected the worst and was surprised.  (I almost wrote "pleasantly surprised," but nothing about it was pleasant.)  I took a full sip of this one, rather than a taste, because I "bought into the argument."  That's an actual quote.  Stupid.

2: Antacid Soda - Shane, ever the soda-optimist, thought this final soda of the evening would be okay because antacid is "supposed to be fizzy."  Beth supported Shane with, "At least you drink antacid."  But as the old Texas saying goes, "fool me once, shame on... shame on, you; fool me you can't get fooled again."  Their arguments didn't have me convinced about the Pepto Bismol-colored soda, and I was not about to believe the hype.  I wish I could say I was proved wrong, but this had the opposite effect of Pepto--our stomachs were not settled, and our nausea did not subside.  Shane summed it up: "What makes Pepto tolerable is the fact that it's thick and it coats your stomach.  This just tastes like shit."

1: Dinner Roll Soda - This was the first one we tried.  It looked like cloudy, dirty water and suspiciously had an extra inch more liquid in the bottle than any of the other flavors (see the picture above--an actual shot from that night).  It smelled like a dinner roll--yeasty and buttery.  It also tasted like a dinner roll--yeasty and buttery, but wet, like soda.  It was not terrible, but was far from good, turning this list from the "best" Thanksgiving flavored sodas to the "least gross."  Fail, Jones, fail.

So it seems that Jones figured that nobody was going to actually try this stuff.  What's crazier is that it turns out Jones makes different regional and yearly varieties.  Most intriguing to me are "Salmon Pate" and "Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto."  Intriguing, but not something I'd try...  The five above were enough to convince me never to dip into this well again.  Please, please, please share in the comments below if you've ever tried any of the Jones Thanksgiving sodas (or any bizarre soda flavors)!

Check out these other Thanksgiving-themed Kooz Top 5 lists:
-Top 5 Stupidest Thanksgiving Traditions
-Top 5 Thanksgiving Sides

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top 5 Reasons to Hate NYC in the Rain

I usually love the rain.  It makes everything clean, it's relaxing to listen to, and it's generally peaceful.  But in New York City, the rain becomes the biggest annoyance--not for the rain itself, but for the problems it causes and the way it makes people behave.  Here are the 5 things that annoy me most about NYC in the rain.

5: Subways.  There are tons of people on the subway during rush hour on normal days.  Throw a little rain into the mix and you get crazy people who can't bear the thought of getting wet crowding into the subways.  It's not bizarre to have to wait for 3 or more trains before being able to wedge yourself on.

4: Splashes.  You know how in movies, the guy having the bad day often gets splashed by a car driving through a puddle while he's just minding his own business, standing on the sidewalk?  That shit really happens.

3: Puddles.  Backed-up sewers cause huge puddles to form at the corners of intersections.  Since this is Manhattan, there really aren't places to cross other than at intersections.  Results?  Stepping through ankle-deep pools of rain water--hope those weren't expensive shoes!

2: People.  Rain makes New Yorkers forget how to walk.  Instead, they wander aimlessly at a snail's pace with their three-person-wide umbrellas open, swaying to and fro, preventing you from passing.  The streets are loaded with these inept pedestrians.  But worse are...

1: F'ing People.  These umbrella idiots keep their umbrellas open long after the rain stops.  Hate, hate, hate!

Another thing that sucks, but is more an after-effect so doesn't fit well on the list, is the wet umbrella dilemma.  On a subway or train, in your office, or in line at the deli, nobody knows what to do with the closed, but soaking wet, umbrella.  Thoughts???  Comment below.  And don't forget to share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top 5 Stupidest Thanksgiving Traditions

So with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I got to thinking about all the dumb stuff we do for this holiday.  Here are the top 5 stupid Thanksgiving traditions.  If we all work together, we can put an end to these things.

5. Pulling the wishbone.  This is, at once, gross, creepy, and stupid.  It's gross because it involves children pulling at pieces of turkey carcass.  It's creepy because it involves children pulling at pieces of turkey carcass.  It's stupid because it involves children pulling at pieces of turkey carcass (and because "luck" isn't a thing).

4. Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  There is a lot of good television on Thanksgiving.  There's football, there are a ton of specials, and these days, there's just about anything you'd want to see streaming.  So why do we watch a parade on t.v. that we'd never want to watch in person?  And notice how dated the characters are--Popeye?  Do kids know Popeye?  Where's Betty Boop and Felix the Cat while we're at it?

3. Playing touch football.  Yeah, the one day when all the old men go into the small backyard and toss a Nerf football around, pretending that they used to be athletes.  It's never fun, and someone always pulls something to  bring the game to a sudden halt.  Keep playing and one day it will be you.

2. Black Friday.  There is a month to Christmas.  Settle the fuck down.

1. Pardoning a turkey.  Formally since 1989, the President of the most powerful nation in the free world takes time out of his busy schedule to "pardon" a turkey (and the turkey's alternate--the "vice-turkey").  Rather than focus on things like war or the crumbling world economy, President Obama will take a moment to pardon fowl whose predecessors include Biscuits, Gravy, Marshmallow, Yam, Fryer, Pumpkin, Apple, and Cider.  Okay, so realistically, this isn't a big deal--it isn't as though important things are neglected so the President can do this, but really, can we stop?  Please?

So what do you think?  Are there any stupid traditions I'm forgetting?  Are there things on the list I'm crazy for including?  Let me hear it in the comments!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 5 Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is coming--that time of year when everyone complains about Christmas starting earlier and bitches about how Black Friday is ridiculous (while planning what Black Friday sales they will attend).  Thanksgiving is a time when we give thanks for having giant turkeys to slaughter and eat.  But that obviously misses the point; we should be thankful for all the yummy side dishes too.  (What's that you say?  I'm missing the bigger picture?  There's more to Thanksgiving than food?  Okay, fine--there's football too.)

5: Peas and corn.  Not fresh peas or even frozen peas, but peas from a can.  They aren't a vibrant green--they are dull and dreary, swimming in their own pea-juice.  (Ha!)  The corn could be fresher, doesn't matter, just needs to be there (y'know, maize and all that).  As far as I'm concerned, you can't have Thanksgiving without peas and corn.

4: Canberry* sauce.  Must be sliced, but retain the shape of the can it came in.  Real cranberry sauce may taste better, but it is unacceptable in my opinion.

3: Green bean casserole.  Sure, this is something you find on the side of French's Fried Onions or Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, but the recipe is still kicking around because it's delicious. 

2: Stuffing.  To be perfect it should be cooked inside the turkey, not be from a packet or mix, and be moist and chewy.  When it's made correctly, it is so flavorful that it almost makes you forget the turkey itself.  For this one, I don't want the easy way out--no cans, no b.s.  Make it right or don't bother.

1: Mashed potatoes with gravy.  One year, I was put in charge of the mashed potatoes--I kept adding butter instead of cream.  They were the worst, greasiest mashed potatoes ever.  Therefore, so long as I am not involved in the process, there's nothing better than creamy, buttery, mashed potatoes (maybe with lumps too).  As a bonus, mashed potatoes are great for picking up any straggler peas or corn.

For all you Americans, I understand there's a lot of regional and ethnic variety.  I'd love to hear about what's traditional for you (I'm a northeasterner).  For those outside the U.S., what do you eat for your big winter holiday celebration (Christmas dinner, for example)?  Please share your favorites in the comments below.

*Not a typo.  "Can"-berry sauce.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Musings... Droid Incredible

I have a Droid Incredible.  System updated a couple days ago, deleted a bunch of my apps, and caused Gmail to completely stop working.  Why can't companies just figure these things out?  This is ridiculous.  I pretty much hate this phone right now...  Should I switch to an iPhone?  Or is there a better phone out there?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top 5 Interesting State Nicknames

Some states have really strange, weird, or funny official nicknames.  Here are the most interesting ones.

5: The Natural State (Arkansas) - Because people hate all those artificial states where you don't find my people responding to "uncle daddy," Arkansas adopted this name to set themselves apart.  The fine states of Plastic-vania and New Polyester have yet to weigh-in on the nickname.

4: The Land of Enchantment (New Mexico) - Brought to you by peyote.

3: The Sooner State (Oklahoma) - The "later" state didn't really work.  Seriously, this refers to people who settled in "Indian" lands in advance of the Indian Appropriations Act in 1889--because there's some history worth celebrating!

2: The Show Me State (Missouri) - This should have been reserved for Louisiana.  If there was ever a place that screamed "show me," it's New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

1: The Beaver State (Oregon) - The best state to pick up girls?  Shane?  Dennis?  Can someone confirm this?

There are a lot of unofficial nicknames too, and some of those are pretty ridiculous.  What state are you from and what's your favorite nickname for your state?  Share below...

(...and see the Top 5 Embarrassing Pennsylvania Town Names here.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Top 5 Thoughts I've had about the "Occupy" Movement

The rich are getting richer, the middle class is shrinking, and that sucks.  But seriously, what the hell, people!  Here are my thoughts about this Occupy Wall Street movement.

5: Looking like an American Eagle ad is not helping.  True or not, people think only the rich or irresponsible can spend 2 months camping out with the homeless while simultaneously self-segregating from the homeless.

4: Awareness is raised and you've got people's attention.  Now what?  You need some sort of plan, otherwise you're just dicking around for no reason.

3: The police are not the 1%.  Stop fighting them.  They agree with you in principle.

2: Marching on the stock exchange isn't going to convince Wall Street and corporations to give back money. Instead, elect better officials and hold them accountable to make better laws.

1: Instead of lumping everyone into the 99%, carry a placard with your particular percentile.  No loopholes--if you live with your parents, use their number.  Click here to find your percentile (subtract the % from 100).  If you earn $60,000/year, you are part of the 37%; $20,000/year puts you into the 78%.  To actually be in the 99th percentile, you need to earn less than $2,500/year.  I'd like to see this because I'm personally curious what percentile the "99%" actually is.  

So seriously, I sympathize and maybe even agree with the larger point, but things are getting stupid.  Can someone explain this to me?  Let's get some good discussion going on this in the comments below.  Feel free to share this all over the place too.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Top 5 Names for Off-Brand Dr. Pepper

Chock full of 23 secret flavors, Dr. Pepper is doubtless one of the most bizarre sodas ever made, but being unique has carved it a niche in the market.  As often happens, the good idea was seized upon by just about every company with soda-making capabilities, but results are pretty mixed.  Competitors are so far behind the leader, they've adopted similar sounding or looking names just to compete.  Here's our favorites...

5: Dr. Thunder (Wal-Mart) - My wife's favorite.  Dr. Thunder is actually pretty good--at least as good as Diet Dr. Pepper.  The label is similar to Dr. Pepper, but is distinctive in its own right (even though the colors are the same).  Dr. Thunder holds up okay and is a good substitute for the real stuff.

4: Dr. Good Guy (Kalil) - The label is a complete ripoff, but it's the name that earns it the fourth spot on this list.  Dr. Good Guy, really?  That's what you say when trying not to be negative about someone you just met, "Yeah, he seems like a good guy."  I haven't tried the soda, but it looks like a good drink.  Ridiculous.  (Incidentally, it's the subject of the final post on the terrific Not Quite What the Doctor Ordered blog.)

3: Dr. Skipper (Safeway) - This offering from Safeway earns a spot because it seems to be marketed on the idea of selling cans to the hard of hearing, as though if someone mumbled what they want to drink, they might end up with this over the original due to the similarity of the names.  Money well earned, ad execs...

2: Dr. Shasta (formerly Doc Shasta) (Shasta) - I guess "Doc" was a little to familiar for that stuffy Shasta asshole, so he started going by the more formal "Dr."  This is a pointless name change--everyone knows what you're not.

1: Mr. Pibb (Coca-Cola) - The least educated of all the off-brand Dr. Pepper clones, but probably the most well-known, Mr. (not Dr.) Pibb is Coke's offering, so you can be sure he isn't insecure about dropping out of college since he's got that Coke trust fund to fall back on.  Mr. Pibb gets the top spot for being the lazy, pot smoking 99%er cousin of Dr. Pepper.

How many products can count Dr. Dre and Fred Flintstone as spokesmen?  Love it or hate it, as long as Dr. Pepper remains popular, so will these and hundreds of similar rip-offs.  What do you think of Dr. Pepper?  Do you have a favorite off-brand?  Share your thoughts and comments below, and please share the post on Facebook!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Top 5 Best Current Adult Cartoons

No, not that kind of adult cartoon, pervert.  We're talking about prime-time, network (or at least network-friendly), MA-rated, animated t.v. that you can currently watch (and no, syndication doesn't count).  Here's the best:

5: Archer (FX) - Anything with H. Jon Benjamin is worth a watch.  Here, he voices Sterling Archer, a Bond-esque secret agent whose conceit is only matched by his disregard for others.  The best and funniest part of this show is the characters' conversations with each other.  Keep an eye out for Archer's father--Nikolai Jakov (pronounced Yah-cove or Jackoff, depending on whose saying it)--voiced by Peter Newman of Thundercats and Silverhawks fame.

4: Family Guy (Fox) - There is something brilliant in the cutaways.  Sure they're random and could be determined by a manatee, but they are often genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.  It's styled after the standard family sitcom, but is much edgier--often going too far for most people.  Plus, Family Guy was the only prime-time sitcom to be resurrected from cancellation years later, until the next show accomplished the same feat a few years later.

3: Futurama (Comedy Central) - Matt Groening is brilliant.  And while you may watch current episodes of The Simpsons with more of a groan than a giggle, Futurama just keeps getting better.  It's about a pizza delivery boy who gets cryogenically frozen for 1,000 years and how he adapts to a completely foreign future.  It's also one of the few cartoons where you experience belly laughs and genuine tears in the same episode.  No other show on this list evokes the emotional response of Futurama, which is ridiculous, but true.

2: South Park (Comedy Central) - As my cousin once said, there's something charming about watching 8-year-olds swear.  He's got a few kids of his own now, so I don't know if he still holds that belief, but I know I agree.  This is basically a show about 4 kids and their daily lives.  Of course, they often become the center of vast national, global, and (occasionally) inter-galactic schemes.  South Park is funny, topical, and rational and measured in its approach to real issues.  It's always pushing the envelope too, having some of the most graphic content of any show on television (pay cable included).

1: The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim) - Really funny, great 80s references, intelligent writing, good animation, and cool characters.  Imagine that superheroes and villains actually exist.  This show is set in that world, focusing on Rusty Venture--former boy adventurer and now (failing and pill-addicted) super-scientist--his two boys, and their bodyguard.  What makes it brilliant is that the show ignores their adventures and focuses on the time in-between adventures (sitting around the house, paying bills, watching t.v., etc.).  It's just brilliantly and hilariously written.  This show has it all, including Patrick Wharburton, occasional guest spots by H. Jon Benjamin, and many others.

Okay, so I am not hating on The Simpsons.  The show was great, but is past its prime.  Every show on this list (and the dozens more that didn't make the cut) owe their existence to The Simpsons.  In an all-time list, it would be ludicrous to exclude those yellow-skinned bug-eyed bastards.  But this is about the here and now, and The Simpsons falls short.  Or does it?  Make your case for your favorite cartoon in the comments below.  Would love to see some discussion on this one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top 5 Worst Things Conference Attendees Do

I'm just finishing up at a conference, and preparing to leave.  I previously complained about annoying things conference speakers do.  Today I'm looking at the flip-side--here are the 5 most annoying things people attending conferences do.

5: Web surfing.  It is incredibly distracting to be behind someone with a laptop opened to the World Wide Webosphere. If someone is surfing the net, it's hard to tune it out--especially when there's a speaker droning on about (the law, real estate, mortgages, widgets, whatever).  I find myself reading celebrity gossip over their shoulder instead of paying attention.  Also distracting--playing any game in front of me.

4: Ignoring personal space.  It's not that people get into my space, but rather that people don't realize how much space they're taking.  Depending on how the chairs are set up, you get maybe two feet of table.  If your conference binder, pens, drinks, garbage (empty plates, cups, napkins), knick-knacks, and whatever take up more than your allotted space, you're being a jerk.

3: Reserve seats.  It is okay to reserve a seat for a colleague.  It is not okay to reserve a seat for someone who doesn't show, especially if seats are at a premium.  It's certainly not okay to put your stuff on a chair and reserve yourself a seat if you plan on skipping the session.  The conference I'm at has limited table seats, and overflow seats with no tables.  I was shocked at how many table seats had piles of stuff on chairs, but never had people claim them.

2: Bad questions.  This can take various forms, but it's always really bad.  Questions asked at the wrong time are just annoying.  Questions that were already answered or covered during the presentation show the questioner wasn't paying attention.  Questions that are too long or have multiple parts are frustrating for the speakers and other attendees.  Worst are non-questions--the "questions" that are really disguised statements that go on and on.  We are paying to hear the experts' opinions, not yours, jackass.

1: Take calls.  The obvious number 1.  You should never hear a phone ring at a conference--that's why the gods blessed us with "vibrate" functionality.  If a phone rings, it should not be answered in the conference hall.  If it is answered in the conference, the only words spoken should be "hold on" as the person gets up to leave.  Why would someone have a phone conversation in their chair while the conference is progressing?  No idea, but it's about the worst thing a conference attendee can do.

I tend to get frustrated pretty quickly, and any of these things is enough to make me crazy.  What about you?  Do you do these things?  Do you hate it when others do?  Defend your behavior or share your thoughts below, and don't forget to share this post if you like it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Top 5 Worst Things Conference Speakers Do

I am at a conference for a few days, and am struck by how many clever, eloquent people fall apart when speaking in front of a group.  Here are my top 5 speaker pet peeves.

5: Oversliding.  Slides can help presentations come to life, but not if  there are hundreds for a one hour presentation.  I want to focus on the presentation, not speed read your slides.

4: Reading.  Again, slides are good, but I don't need to be at the conference if you are just reading your slides to me.  Put notes on a slide, then talk about the notes.  Don't put full explanations and simply read them.

3: Speeding.  This is where the speaker realizes he/she is running out of time and speeds up to catch up.  They go too fast and the attendees can't keep up.  Nobody gets anything out of this exercise.

2: Overtime.  If you screw up your time management, it's your mistake. Don't creep into our lunch time or networking time just because you have 10 more slides to go.  And yes,we all know its not actually going to be 2 more minutes.

1: Tangents.  Focus, asshole.

Check out the most annoying things conference attendees do here.  Have you been to conferences where these things occurred?  Are there more annoying habits of speakers?  Share your stories in the comments below!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Top 5 Best Chocolate Non-Candy Bar Candies

I love chocolate, typically in candy bar form.  However, there are some non-bar chocolate items I won't pass up!  I know people have strong opinions about their candy (the debate starts with the top 5 candy bars), and I'm curious to see if there's any agreement here.  To make this list, it can't be a candy bar, has to be commercial, can't be a gourmet/specialty item, and can't come as part of a box set (i.e., Russell Stover).  And now, the top 5: 

5: Whoppers - Whoppers are, apparently, "the original malted milk balls."  They also melt in your mouth in a sweet burst of chocolatey-malty-saliva (yeah, that's gross sounding to me too).  Malted milk is apparently evaporated milk, flour, and barley.  Not sure why they're so delicious, but they are.

4: Tootsie Roll - Tootsie Rolls don't melt, they're bite-sized, and they're chewy.  The jingle goes: "whatever it is I think I see becomes a Tootsie Roll to me!"  That's a bit much, but consider that without Tootsie Rolls we'd have no Tootsie Pops, so they've brought double the amount of goodness into our lives.

3: Hershey's Kiss - Perfect bites of pure Hershey's milk chocolate.  They melt in your mouth, coating your tongue with a very good (if slightly too acidic) chocolate taste.  It's the simplest candy on this list, but in all its simplicity, it's among the most perfect candies ever made.

2: M&M's - They actually do melt in your hand, turning your digits various shades of blue, red, and green.  And they've changed colors multiple times in my life (anyone remember when they had light brown and dark brown?).  But M&M's have succeeded in one area where other candies have failed--expansion.  Peanut M&M's are excellent, Peanut Butter M&M's are amazing, and other variations (dark chocolate, almond, etc.) are not as good, but certainly aren't bad.

1: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup - When a guy got his peanut butter into a girl's chocolate, it was amazing--from this kinky pairing, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were born.  The perfect balance of these two ingredients in the perfect form.  There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's, and that's why the earn the #1 spot.

I went into this list fully thinking Sixlets were going to make the top 5, but then I tried some and they are not as good as I remember.  Anyway, please tell us your top 5 below!  (And don't forget to share via Facebook or Twitter!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top 5 Worst TV Euphemisms for F***

The F-bomb has been a common occurrence in films as long as I can remember (which is to say, at least from the 80s, though the first recorded instance was in the 60s).  Unfortunately, someone has decided that children need protection from this word, and we are not capable of providing such protection ourselves, so voiceover euphemisms were born.  This means in the future, when introducing my son to these movies, I will need to explain the meaning of the following:

5: The Breakfast Club - "Flip You!"  No, flip you, you fricking idiot censors.

4: Shaun of the Dead - "Funk!"  Oh, come on--funk?  Thant's not even clever--it just sounds like the same word!  Though it does make the scene unintentionally funnier!

3: Die Hard - "Yippee-ki-yay, Mister Falcon!"  Who?  Are you effing kidding me?  There's no Mr. Falcon in this movie!

2: Snakes on a Plane - "I have had it with these monkey fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!"  Can you spot both?  Here's a hint--the snakes on the plane did not battle baboons, and the plane was entirely capable of flying on weekends.  These are just bloody ridiculous.

1: Die Hard With A Vengeance - "Hey, all brothers don't know how to use guns, you racist melon farmer!"  A clever reference to officer John McClane's favorite hobby?  (You remember all the scenes where he was in his cantaloupe patch.)  Maybe...  But if not, thank you, thank you with a vengeance...

An honorable mention goes to Battlestar Galactica's "frack" for being a clever solution to the problem (in the BSG universe, frack is the f-word).  Anyway, I'm a strong believer in freedom--including free speech, which includes curse/cuss/swear words on t.v., uncensored, whenever. The words only have the power we give them.  Besides, plenty of shows can self-censor, and many movies find ways around swearing.  Hell, look at this blog--I didn't use the word "fuck" once.  Aww, shit...

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Top 5 Dysfunctional Family Circus Panels

Bil Keane died at age 89 yesterday.  Keane will be most-remembered for The Family Circus, a wholesome, family-based comic strip that was notoriously unfunny.  In remembrance, here's the top 5 Dysfunctional Family Circus (and copycat) panels currently available online.






Unfortunately, the DSF ended a decade ago, and some of the brilliant originals are hard to come by (read: there may well be funnier DSFs out there, so Google on, friends!).  But these should give a sense of the cultural impact The Family Circus had.  It's been in print for over half a century--you don't last that long or get parodied like this if you aren't any good.  R.I.P., Mr. Keane.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Top 5 Best Weird Al Parodies

Anybody can make up their own lyrics to popular songs.  Weird Al Yankovic does more than make up new lyrics--he studies the way a band or artist sounds, and he matches it note for note.  Artists take it as a huge compliment when Weird Al spoofs their song (except that little bitch Coolio).  I would love to see Weird Al replace one of the other panelists on The Voice next season, and I'm not kidding.  Here's his top 5 parodies.

5: Yoda (Dare to be Stupid, 1985) - A parody of Lola by The Kinks.  Weird Al makes references to Star Wars in several of his songs and has more than one song exclusively about the franchise, but in my opinion, this one is the best.  Memorable lyric (Yoda to Luke Skywalker): "I know Darth Vader's really got you annoyed, but remember if you kill him then you'll be unemployed..."

4: Smells Like Nirvana (Off the Deep End, 1992) - A parody of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.  The best parody video he's ever made, and a great parody capturing both the angst/nihilism of Nirvana and the general goofiness of Weird Al.  It's clever and funny, and makes fun of Kurt Cobain's often incoherent singing style.

3: White and Nerdy (Straight Outta Lynwood, 2006) - A parody of Ridin' by Chamillionaire.  If you need proof that he studies his subjects, look no further than this rap song about racial profiling and police brutality which Weird Al turns into a song about being a geek.  Can Weird Al rap?  Let's ask Chamillionaire himself: "He's spittin' just like [rapper] Krayzie Bone on the second verse ... The way Krayzie is harmonizing, he does the same thing.  It surprised me.  I didn't know he could rap like that."

2: Like a Surgeon (Dare to be Stupid, 1985) - A parody of Like a Virgin by Madonna.  This is simply one of Weird Al's funniest songs about a guy who finished last in his med school class but he's still a surgeon (just a bad one).  Memorable lyric: "It's a fact, I'm a quack; the disgrace of the AMA because my patients die--yeah my patients die--before they can pay!"  So many one-liners, it's like a Rodney Dangerfield stand-up routine.

1: Fat (Even Worse, 1988) - A parody of Bad by Michael Jackson.  Weird Al did an amazing parody of Beat It, and followed it up with this even better parody of Bad.  It's a perfect parody wherein Weird Al turns into an grossly obese man leading a gang of fat guys while singing about being fat.  Yeah, okay, it doesn't sound like much, but just check it out.

So this list excludes all of Weird Al's original (non-parody) work.  It was also crazy difficult to narrow down--there are so many good choices.  Where available, I'm linking the song names to the videos as well, since his video parodies are often right-on as well (for example, in Smells Like Nirvana, he got the same actor to play the janitor that Nirvana had in their video).  Here's a link to a side-by-side comparison someone did of Weird Al's versus the Michael Jackson original, so you can see just how good Weird Al's is.  What's your favorite Weird Al parody?  Let me know in the comments below.  And please email, share, or tweet this post to your friends!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top 5 Reasons I Hate Falling Asleep on the Train

This happened last night, and there are a number of reasons I'm pissed--5, to be exact.  Here are the top 5 reasons to be pissed you fell asleep on the train.

5: You look like an idiot.  Everyone else on the train is looking at you and laughing (out loud or silently to themselves), especially every time you jerk awake with a confused look on your face.

4: You sound like an idiot.  Do you snore, make little noises, or talk in your sleep?  Well, you are doing it on the train in front of everybody, either making them laugh or pissing them off.  Well done.

3: Few things are as depressing as that moment when you wake up and realize the train passed your stop long ago, and your mind reels as you scramble to figure out what to do next.

2: Depending on the time of night, there may not be any return trains until after 4 a.m.  Depending on the station, there may not be any cabs either.  Hope you brought a book. 

1: Good, you brought a book.  But where is it?  In your scramble to get off the train after your sudden awakening and realization that you missed your stop, did you leave your book on the seat?  Oh well, it's just a book.  You have your keys though, right?  Your wallet?  Your phone?...

It all worked out for me in the end, but it really sucked.  For the record, I have my phone, etc.  Has this ever happened to you?  Share your stories below.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Top 5 Best PlayStation Games

[From guest blogger John Majneber.]  The Original Sony PlayStation (ps1) has a huge library of great games.  So large, in fact, that I had a hell of a time narrowing this list down to five titles.  The ps1 introduced the most comfortable controller to date, with more buttons than any controller previously on the market.  Ps1 also introduced dual analog sticks, later in its life cycle, that are on nearly all game console controllers that have been made since.  Here are ps1’s top 5 games:

5: NFL Blitz - Still one of the best football games of all time!  Blitz was an over-the-top sports game with unrealistic plays, extreme violence, and outrageous touchdown celebrations.  After a tackle was made you could continue the pummel the ball carrier with wrestling moves like leg and elbow drops.  This was the ps1’s equivalent of NBA Jam.

4:  Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - A side-scroller, which was rare on the ps1, it had addicting combat and castle exploration.  Why was it fun?  You guide Alucard (who could shape shift into a wolf, a bat, and mist) through the huge castle to find and defeat Dracula!  Who wouldn’t want to kill Dracula?  
3: Final Fantasy VII - This was the first “3D” game in the Final Fantasy series.  You are Cloud, and you recruit a team to defeat Sephiroth, one of the best villains in videogame history.  I easily put 300+ hours into this game when it came out in the late 90s.

2: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was the game that put skateboarding back on the map in the late 90s/early 00s.  Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 took that great formula and added the ability to manual (think wheelie), which allowed you to string tricks together with great ease.  Also, Spider-Man was a secret character, along with his own set of specialized tricks. 

1: Metal Gear Solid - This is one of my favorite games of all time!  Play as the stealthy Solid Snake (yes, I know it’s ridiculous) with the goal of sneaking through various levels without being detected by enemies.  The stealth gameplay, mixed with fun boss battles and lengthy Hollywood-style cutscene = the perfect formula for fun.

This was an extremely hard list to create with others games like the Resident Evil, Medal of Honor, Syphon Filter, and Crash Bandicoot series also appearing on the ps1.  Let me know what I’ve missed.  Also see our Top 5 NES GamesTop 5 Genesis Games, and Top 5 Worst Atari Arcade Ports and if you like this post, don’t forget to Tweet and share on Facebook with the links below.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Top 5 Reasons I'm Done with Dunkin' Donuts

I had Dunkin' Donuts recently.  I grew up on this stuff, it got me through law school, and I start many morning with some Dunkin' coffee...  But I've made an executive decision--this is all going to change.  I am off the bandwagon.  Here's the top 5 reasons why:

5: Cost -  They are getting expensive.  There is no way a breakfast sandwich and cup of coffee should be costing me close to $8.

4: Quality - The more things they add to their menu, the lower the quality becomes for everything on their menu.  Add bagels, donut quality drops.  Add flatbreads, donut and bagel quality drop, etc.  Through it all, the coffee quality drops too.  Dunkin used to be the best coffee in town--better than the much more expensive Starbucks.  Now it's just not very good--barely above "random deli" quality.

3: Healthy - There is nothing on the menu that is even remotely healthy.  Nothing (here's their menu--check it out).  I'm not a healthy eater, but even I don't want fattening food every morning.

2: Taste - The coffee is burnt.  I know someone who used to work for Dunkin in the early 90s.  She explained they had to change the coffee every x minutes (10 or 15, can't remember*).  Even if it was a full pot, the coffee was dumped and fresh coffee brewed because coffee that sat on a burner too long "burned," developing a gross taste.  That practice has apparently gone out the window, and the taste of the coffee suffers as a result.

1: Temperature - The coffee is always too hot, just below boiling.  If a beverage burns your mouth, you can't taste it.  Who needs their coffee so hot--I refuse to believe there is a demand for this!  I ordered an iced coffee this morning.  It's cold out, and iced coffee shouldn't be an option, but the only coffee place near me is Dunkin' and I knew if I ordered a hot coffee, it wouldn't be drinkable for at least a half hour.

I am not a big Starbucks fan, since I think their normal blend tastes like water filtered through dirt, but I am making the switch.  I'll check back in and let you know if the problems worsen or the situation improves...  Any guesses as to whether Starbucks will be better?  Let me know below.

[edit]*My friend wrote me to remind me the coffee was changed every 18 minutes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Top 5 Sesame Street Characters

Hot topic for debate, I know.  Unlike the Yo Gabba Gabba post from a while back, this will look at the truly great Sesame Street characters.  However, unlike the very inclusive Sesame Street, I will discriminate to consider only Muppets (no humans).

5: Telly Monster - This guy initially had antennae and rotating eyes, but soon dropped that gimmick and became the more recognizable Telly of today who's always a little out of the loop on things.  He makes the list primarily because my son knew Telly's name at 15 months, even though I'd gone 35 years without having heard of him!  Somehow, of all the Muppets to survive to the current show, the only non-popular one is Telly.  Good for you, Telly!

4: Bert & Ernie - Bert & Ernie are best friends who live together and (nowadays) go on dream adventures together.  They are fun characters, but they are no without controversy.  A big hubbub this past summer was about Bert & Ernie's sexual preference, leading to one of the best press releases of all time, in which Sesame Street stated: "Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits ... they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

3: Cookie Monster - Despite the rumors of Cookie turning into Veggie Monster, Cookie Monster still eats cookies, and still holds a special place in our hearts.  C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me.
2: Count Von Count - There is a vampire on Sesame Street!  How awesome is that!  The Count suffers from arithromania (an OCD focused on counting things).  He's also one of the few Muppets who has dated a lot (Countess von Backwards, Countess Dahling von Dahling, and Lady Two--three, three lovers, ah, ah, ah), despite puppets not having a sexual orientation.  He's also one of the most spoofed characters ever (just google it to see that every grown-up cartoon has taken a swipe at the Count).
1: Grover - Really only existing today as "Super Grover 2.0" (yeah, I know, I'm sad too), he's the most loveable of the Sesame Street gang because of his human qualities--he constantly screws up.  We see ourselves in him, and we adore him for it.  Plus, he did a great spoof on the famous Old Spice commercial.

So there you have it.  Kermit the Frog is not on the list--he's probably the best Muppet of all time, but he hasn't been anything big on Sesame Street for a long time, but if I ever do a Muppet Show list, he'll probably top it.  Now that I have a kid and watch this show, I can say Elmo is significantly less annoying than I anticipated, though not enough to make the top 5.  I very much wanted to include Abby Cadabby, but I couldn't bump any of these 5 to include her.  Comments?  Thoughts?  Favorite Muppets?  Share below.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Top 5 Most Annoying Things about my Driving Commute

I've posted in the past about my train commute to work and how it can be crazy annoying.  On days when I'm running late, I avoid the train altogether and drive in.  That, however, poses its own unique set of annoyances.  Here are the top 5:

5: The radio station I listen to fades half way into the commute, and the next best replacement station is less powerful than a third  station close-by on the dial, so there is significant bleed-over.  This used to be extremely annoying, but now it's only annoying if I forgot my iPod (thanks Steve Jobs).

4: The commute is typically an hour door to door (which is not bad for Manhattan).  However, if someone breaks down on the side of the road, the rubbernecking delays can double the commute, making me even later than if I had taken the train. 

3: Parking in Manhattan is anywhere from $14 to $41 per day, depending on when you arrive and when you leave.  That is in addition to the tolls getting into and out of the city.  (The sneaky way I go only costs me $4 in tolls, but other routes will push $10 one way!)  Ridiculous.

2: There are no drive-thru restaurants on my commute, including on the highway or close off of any exit.  If I am driving in it means I'm in a hurry and probably didn't have time for breakfast.  Because of the lack of craptastic fast-food, my best breakfast option when driving in is Lorna Doone's, Combos, and bad coffee from a highway Mobil station, which is not nearly as exciting as it sounds.

1: Getting my car out of the parking garage is no problem, with two exceptions.  First, some lots close at a certain time.  I worked late once after driving in, only to find the lot was closed and I couldn't get my car until the following morning.  Not only did that mean I needed to take the train home and take a taxi from the train station to my house, but I had to pay the overnight parking rate too!  Second, the lots park the cars based on when people are expecting to leave.  If I tell them I am leaving after work at about 7, they park a bunch of cars in front of me.  If I end up needing to leave at 2 for an emergency, it takes almost an hour for them to get me my car (true story)!

Notably absent from this list are all the road-rage inducing things that other drivers do (except, for the rubbernecking thing--fuck, people, it's an accident--move along!).   Those topics deserve their own top 5 list.  At least my insurance isn't crazy (which is an accomplishment for anyone who admits to insurance that they drive in NYC).  So... how's your commute?  Is it crappy too?  Share stories, complaints, and comments below, and be sure to give this post a +1, "like" it, and all the rest.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Top 5 Comic Books I Followed as a Kid

In a time before graphic novels, comic books had real value and comic book stores were found in every mall--it was the early nineties, and it was glorious.  The bottom fell out of the market, and today, almost all comics from that time are worthless.  No matter, those were fun days.  Here were my top 5 favorite comic book titles.

5: The Punisher (Marvel Comics) - One of my favorite super heroes because he was not "super"--he had no powers.  He was just a guy who lost his family and started crime fighting (but he went really dark with it--think Batman without the costume and substituting guns for gadgets).  There's a reason they've tried to make this character into a movie on three separate occasions--he was a badass.

4: Groo The Wanderer (Marvel Comics) - Sometimes I needed to read something goofy and maybe a little funny.  Although Groo promised both and often fell short on the latter, it was still a fun comic which followed the adventures of a caricature of Conan, complete with stupidity and unintentional heroism.

3: Sleepwalker (Marvel Comics) - Everyone had one particular comic they collected.  When I started collecting, Sleepwalker #1 just came out and I saw an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.  The comic was about a creature who fought crime after arising from inside some kid when the kid went to sleep.  It wasn't bad, but it was never, ever popular.  I haven't checked, but I'd be shocked if this was still being published on a monthly basis.

2: Archer & Armstrong (Valiant Comics) - Valiant was far and away the best comic label of the time.  It had a great universe, terrific writers, and excellent artists.  It printed on high quality paper.  Unfortunately, it had very little staying power.  This was my favorite of their offerings, following a couple of immortals who work together for the greater good--one is a fat, but super strong drunkard; the other is a master martial artist.  It's been called one of the best buddy comedy comics ever, and that may be an understatement.

1: Death: The High Cost of Living (Vertigo Comics) - A limited edition comic by Neil Gaiman about Death who appears as a young goth chick.  She was an amazingly vibrant character, and is one of the greatest comic book characters of all time.  Despite being in a limited number of comics, she easily wins the number 1 spot.

There was another short series called The Infinity Gauntlet that I liked as a kid but which has grown to epic proportions in my memory.  There's a fair chance that if I were to re-read it, it would edge out The Punisher--but based simply on memory, it can't make the cut.  I recently dug up all my old comics and gave them to my nephews.  I was excited and thought they would be too.  They really didn't care.  RIP, comic book industry.  No Infinity Gauntlet in the lot...

Anyone out there ever get into comics?  Share comments/stories below.  And don't forget to share via FB/G+/Twitter, or do the Digg/Reddit/StumbleUpon thing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top 5 Best Power Ballads from the 80s

There are a few requests for the best monster/power ballads from the 80s.  Here's my list (let hate comments begin):

5: Wait (White Lion, 1987) - Love unrequited.  It's a common theme for love songs, and maybe some have done it better, but the chorus of this song is hauntingly good.  Remember White Lion?  Didn't think so--but this song was makes its point well.  (Their follow-up, When the Children Cry, was not bad, but I'm pretty sure that's the extent of their popularity.)

4: Patience (Guns n' Roses, 1989) - With a little patience, love can overcome.  The soft guitar and mellow harmonies are really sweet, and the crescendo at the end is perfect.

3: Every Rose Has Its Thorn (Poison, 1988) - Lovers can grow apart but their love is forever.  Bret Michaels sings this song perfectly--soft, slightly twangy, and just really nice.  This barely beats out Something to Believe In by the same band, primarily because Something to Believe In is about a bigger message than amorous love, so it doesn't entirely fit into the category (imho).

2: When I See You Smile (Bad English, 1989) - Ever meet someone whose smile could light up a room?  This song is about her.  This is the Lady in Red of power ballads.  It doesn't come close to getting the play it should, and there will be a lot of disagreement with me choosing it as number 2, but it deserves it.

1: I Remember You (Skid Row, 1989) - Love lost forever.  Read the lyrics to this song--they're poetry.  Sebastian Bach is brilliant, infusing the song with such raw emotion, that you feel it when he sings it.  There's some great guitar in there too.  It's the perfect power ballad.

This was a fun exercise for me--I forgot how much I like some of these songs.  Hope you enjoyed it too.  Please share your comments below, and "like" this or give it a +1 if you enjoyed the post.