Sam the Sham Is Ready to Don Tights [FIERCE ANTICIPATION]

WARNING: This week’s Fierce Anticipation has been written under the influence of a gluten-free/Passover diet. My body craves carbs like… well just like a fat guy craves carbs. See?! Already my analogies need work! I will pull it together, for YOU, dear readers.


I never had a game system other than my old NES and Sega Genesis, and I played those cartridges til blowing in them to make them work was no longer an option, and usually left me winded. I would play the occasional Playstation or Xbox at friends’ houses, so I was familiar with what was available, but never felt like devoting the time or money to the habit. I once visited a friend in NYC, and rather than see the sights, we sat inside and played Resident Evil 4 until we were crippled by fear and exhaustion.

When I moved to LA, my roommate had an XBOX 360. I let it collect dust, until one day, we discovered the wonder that is Batman: Arkham Asylum. In the past, superhero games had left me disappointed (except for the X-Men arcade game from the 90s. When I am mad, I still scream like Colossus from that game). Arkham Asylum, in my opinion, is a triumph for comic nerds. It has everything I could ask for: the art style of Jim Lee, the voice talent of Mark Hamill and Kevin Conrad from the original animated series, and so much glorious ass-kicking. I mean, you don’t just fight in this game; you kick the ever-loving shit out of thugs. Couple that with all of the gadgetry, lush backstory, classic villains, and stealthy lurking (oh the lurking!), and you got yourself a pretty immersive Batman experience that doesn’t require you to don kevlar and sit on your roof.

So when I heard that the sequel comes out this fall, and takes place within Gotham, and features more bone-breaking and toys, my tights got a little tighter. I whole heartedly welcome that addiction in my life, even if I need to find a job. My name is Sam, and I am ready to devote my life to saving Gotham.



The new season of River Monsters is upon us, and though I am thrilled to have that back in my life, I am conflicted. For those that don’t know, River Monsters is a show on Animal Planet starring Jeremy Wade; a grizzled British fisherman who has seen some shit. He traverses the globe tracking down legendary river creatures, and unlike most other cryptozoological shows, Wade makes good. Nine times out of ten, he pulls a Lovecraftian nightmare from the depths of a river or lake. And he isn’t above diving in after these things. He’ll go toe to fin with these mother-f’ers when a rod and reel just won’t cut it.

Why do I have mixed feelings about it? My heart can’t take it. Every week I find myself sitting on the couch, white knuckled, screaming “No, Jeremy! It isn’t safe!” See, I have a heightened respect (and fear) of the rivers and oceans of the world. Most people see Jaws and then fear going into their own pools (nice job, Spielberg). That’s the least of my worries. I grew up in South Florida where my earliest memory was waking up to see a fourteen-foot alligator devouring our neighbor’s cocker spaniel in our backyard.

Beware the goonch

That is why I fear for Jeremy Wade’s life as he goes after creatures like the goonch.

Oh, you don’t know about the goonch? It is a man-sized catfish in India that has the taste for human flesh because of funerals that take place along the river banks. Or how about the goliath tigerfish of the Congo? There was even an episode that hit too close to home. No really. Wade was once in Tamarac, FL looking for the snakehead eel-fish. If gators weren’t bad enough, now we are infested with these mutant fish that can walk on land. Tamarac is literally a stone’s throw from my hometown of Coral Springs. I mean it. Literally. From my old backyard, you can chuck a rock across the canal and it would land in the town of Tamarac, if a goddman snakehead didn’t crawl up on land and grab it first.

Jeremy Wade….godspeed this season. I will watch with baited breath; pun most definitely intended.


How OCD affects pet care

Please understand, dear readers, that I am selectively OCD.  I don’t flip lights on or off In a particular sequence before entering/leaving a room, nor do I keep my desk even remotely organized. But when it comes to my music library, I am like Melvin Udall in As Good As it Gets. Or Rainman… He was OCD right? I don’t know (This is why I never taught special-ed). I routinely go through my iTunes library and make sure all of my tags are perfect. I cannot have “The Beach Boys” AND “Beach Boys.” I also can’t have mislabeled tracks from idiots on the Internet. There is no band called The Blues Travelers, you dolts. And Leonard Skinnard is not a dude. The band is Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Anyhoo, I bring this up because my beloved 80GB iPod that has been through hell and back with me is reaching critical mass (read: full), and I have to purge my iTunes library to make room for the barrage of new tunes coming out this summer (The Beastie Boys, Derek Trucks, etc.). Like a vengeful god hovering over a small village, or a lion restoring balance to the Serengeti, I have to now pick and chose who lives and who dies. It is a careful process, full of rigorous criteria; not just a willy-nilly deleting of songs. I ask myself questions (out loud usually).

File Photo: The selection process

Q: Do I really need this much Weird Al? A: Yes. Next question.

Q: This show you were at isn’t very good quality and the files are huge. Keep it? A: Well, let’s scour the forums over the next few days and if a better quality version turns up, we can exchange. Otherwise, keep it. You need to hear yourself scream “WOOOO!”

Q: Do you need seven live versions of Hendrix’s Hear My Train A’Comin? A: Probably not. But he plays the feedback on this one, and then he uses wah-wah here, and… okay, fine. Accoustic goes.

And lastly, Q: Why do you need the theme song from the 80s Transformers movie? A: “You’ve Got the Touch”?! When do I NOT need that!?

It is painful. I usually slot a whole day for this ridiculous behavior. Ironically, I have a playlist for the choosing process.

And yet I still keep clothes that don’t fit, because “maybe one day…”

Dear readers, this is my last post from LA, as I’m moving back home. But if time (and my editors) allow for it, I will keep bringing the good word from the Great Humidifier, South Florida… if I am not attacked by a snakehead.