Countdown to 2018

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Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Welcome to the second annual Countdown of Countdowns, where we go through a bunch of random power rankings to celebrate the changing of the calendar. Makes sense, right? If you’re old enough to remember, last year there were sixteen countdowns to commemorate 2016. Well, stay with me here, this year there’s going to be seventeen as we say goodbye to 2017. Before we begin, it would feel disingenuous if I didn’t mention that, despite how great the Countdown of Countdowns and random New Year’s Eve concerts are, New Year’s Eve stinks and I’m glad I’ve reached the point in my life where there’s starting to be less pressure to go out someplace way too crowded, spend way too much money, and have no fun. Anyway, now that you know I’m a New Year’s Scrooge, let’s dive right in to the CoC.

Top Five Movies from 2017 Based on Brian’s Den Scoring

  1. John Wick 2– A true cinematic masterpiece
  2. Dunkirk– Best war drama since Fern Gully
  3. Fast 8– I still can’t get over the Rock pushing a moving torpedo with his non-dominant hand
  4. Logan– That Wolverine/Professor X sex scene was wild
  5. Captain Underpants– Only sophisticated senses of humor will understand

Top Five Movies I Didn’t See but Will Say I Saw Come Awards Season to Sound Smarter

  1. Call Me By Your Name– Classic “look up the plot on Wikipedia so I can always act like I know the plot” kind of movie
  2. Darkest Hour– I’m a big Gary Oldman guy so I’ll probably get to it eventually
  3. Lady Bird– Literally have no interest whatsoever
  4. Mudbound– Sitting here wondering if it’s problematic or not that I haven’t heard of this
  5. Phantom Thread– Heard Daniel Day-Lewis plays a spool of thread. Impressive

Top Five Video Games I Played in 2017

  1. Persona 5– Played through this game two times in a row so that tells you how cool I am
  2. Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon– Pokemon games are always top five. Sorry
  3. Nioh– Finally made me believe that, no matter where you are, a white guy can be the hero
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn– Bashes you over the head with its social message, but the gameplay and visuals are top notch
  5. Assassin’s Creed Origins– After playing this I was surprised to learn that Moses did, in fact, look just like Christian Bale

Top Five Songs of 2017

  1. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  2. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  3. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  4. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  5. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber

Top Five TV Shows I Watched in 2017

  1. Stranger Things– I’ve been #teamSteve since season 1
  2. Game of Thrones– Even a disappointing season is better than most things on TV
  3. Black Mirror– If you love introspection and hate technology, this is the show for you!
  4. Wallykazam!– Most complex depiction of a troll in recent memory
  5. Super Bowl 51- I didn’t really watch much TV this year so I’ll just throw this here

Top Five Athletes of 2017

  1. Tom Brady- Not much explanation necessary
  2. Kevin Durant- He’s got a whole army of fans on social media that will go to bat for him
  3. Pablo Sandoval- Was somehow the worst player in both leagues
  4. Quavo- The new Jim Thorpe?
  5. Maya Moore- She went to UConn, you know. As did I, if I haven’t mentioned

Top Five New Fast Food Items of 2017

  1. Taco Bell Potatorito
  2. Taco Bell Dollar Stacker
  3. Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chips
  4. Taco Bell Naked Egg Taco
  5. Burger King Farmhouse King

Top Five New Year’s Eve Concerts

  1. Kid Rock- Spirit Center, Kansas City, MO
  2. Migos- Red Rocks, CO
  3. Diarrhea Planet- Rough Trade NYC, Brooklyn
  4. Sting- Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
  5. Celine Dion- Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

Top Five Villains in Movie History

  1. Gothmog, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King– Best voice of all time
  2. Hopper, Bug’s Life– The Charles Manson of the bug world
  3. Palpatine, Star Wars– PPPPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ULTIMITED PPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWEEEERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!
  4. Darth Vader, Star Wars– The OG
  5. The Night Slasher, Cobra– The greatest acting performance in history

Top Five Things I Love When Other People Do

  1. Shovel snow
  2. Wash dishes
  3. Fold laundry
  4. Taxes
  5. Pick something to watch on any streaming service

Top Five Fast Casual Tex-Mex Chains

  1. Chipotle- Sorry I’m not mentally weak enough to let a little food poisoning scare me away
  2. Moe’s- Best chips going
  3. Pancheros- Most underrated by far
  4. Qdoba- Can’t believe they got rid of their old cactus logo
  5. Del Taco- It’s no Taco Bell

Top Five Colors

  1. Fuschia- Violet or lavender could also substitute
  2. Sky Blue- Compliments my eye color nicely
  3. Turqoise- Just feels like a tropical breeze
  4. Burgundy- Maybe the classiest color along with mahogany
  5. Magenta- Sorry if you don’t like feeling warm and fuzzy inside

Top Five Fictional Animals to Have as a Pet (Before you say anything, Pokemon are partners, not pets)

  1. Pegasus- Riding a horse typically looks cool, but then the horse unfurls its wings and takes flight? Yes, please
  2. Direwolf- Only if you lived in isolation. Which is my dream
  3. Owl- This means Harry Potter owl. I know owls exist in real life
  4. Dragon- From any story. Pick any dragon in recorded history and I’m down with having it as a pet
  5. Jackalope- A good conversation starter

Top Five Condiments

  1. Maple Syrup- I’d have to turn in my “Vermont native” card if I went with anything else. Yes, I have drank maple syrup, and yes, it was amazing
  2. Chick-fil-a Sauce- Arguably the greatest innovation in fast food history
  3. Mustard- All mustard, but specifically deli mustard and spicy brown
  4. Sweet chili sauce- Underrated and pairs with any meat
  5. Ketchup- Can’t ignore it altogether, but if ketchup is your favorite you have plebeian taste

Top Five Gemstones

  1. Garnet- My birthstone, so you know it’s the best
  2. Red Diamond- Most expensive gem in the world
  3. Emerald- I’m a sucker for green
  4. Alexandrite- Love stuff that changes color
  5. Opal- Just looks cool

Top Five Kinds of Bread

  1. Semolina- If cookies weren’t a thing I’d say the Italians had this whole cooking thing figured out
  2. Sourdough- Regular sourdough, not (I repeat: NOT) vaginal yeast sourdough
  3. Wheat- Lets me pretend I’m eating healthy
  4. Cinnamon Raisin- Using cinnamon raisin bread for french toast >>>
  5. White- Old reliable

Top Five Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

  1. Avengers– Gonna be the greatest movie since the last greatest movie ever
  2. Taco Bell’s newest specialties- Who knows what they’ll come up with next?
  3. Getting one step closer to the end of the world- About time the planet hit the reset button
  4. Kingdom Hearts 3– Just kidding. It’s never coming out
  5. Another year of The Brian’s Den- 2018 is gonna be BIG. I can feel it
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Happy One Year Anniversary to Me

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Wow. As of today, it’s officially been a full year since I started The Brian’s Den. I know, I know. Congratulations to me and all that. Hard to believe it’s been 365 days since, a day after George Michael’s death, I decided to start this website. There’s been a lot of ups and a couple downs, but hopefully it was never boring. The world takeover hasn’t quite happened yet, but I still appreciate everyone who comes here to waste a few minutes every day. You’re all part of the the most exclusive club in the world, so don’t be afraid to puff out your chest a little bit and act like you’re better than everyone. You read the most educational website in the world, after all.

Now, were I a true professional, I’d have something special planned for my one year anniversary. Unfortunately, I’m not, so I don’t. So instead of forcing some content to materialize that undoubtedly won’t be good, I figured I’d just run back some posts that I know are good. That’s right, it’s the Official Brian’s Den clip show!

The Videos

Coors Field Concession Review

Denver Airport Conspiracy

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Episode 1 of my short lived cooking show (RIP)

How I Saved New York City

Can’t go too long without mentioning my (sort of) signature series, Burning Questions

Burning Questions Hub

The Food Takes

Which Fast Food Place Has the Worst Dressed Customers?

Fast Food Sauces Stink

Halloween Candy Power Ranking

Crab > Lobster

Why I Hate Lunch

The Grocery Store Rules

Best Pizza Chain

The Best #sports Talk

What’s up with JJ Redick’s tattoos?

The NBA’s Hidden Crime Syndicate

This is probably problematic but I still think it’s funny

Is Aaron Judge a True Yankee?

Pats Won the Super Bowl if you hadn’t heard

Entertainment News

Best Action Movie Characters

Stop Calling Die Hard a Christmas Movie

The Greatest Video Ever Made

Is The Weeknd a Virgin?

The Next Oscar Winner

The comprehensive list of Yu-Gi-Oh! takes

The Special Occasions

Countdown to 2017

Valentine’s Day

Eclipse 2017

Thanksgiving

Christmas (including Hawaiian Christmas)

So, what’s your favorite post? Did it show up here? Or do I have so many good ones that I overlooked some? What was my worst one (trick question, of course)? Let me know what you liked and would like to see more of. It was a good year one, and hopefully year two will be a big one.

What I’m Thankful For

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. There’s a certain hierarchy to holidays here in America, and Thanksgiving is at the top of the pyramid. If Thanksgiving isn’t in your personal top 3 holidays, you should have your citizenship revoked. Now, I’m more of a Christmas guy, myself (being born in January in Vermont during a snowstorm, winter is in my blood), but I’m a vocal defender of Autumn and respect everything Thanksgiving represents: the food, the historical ties to the founding of America, the food, explaining to my family that I’m still single and stuck at a dead-end job, the food, the football, and, of course, the food. Thanksgiving is a time to sit back and reflect on life and be grateful for what you have, so I figured I’d give all of you a seat at the Brian’s Den Thanksgiving table and share what I’m thankful for this year.

  • I’m thankful for turkey. Somehow the most overlooked part of Thanksgiving dinner. The meal doesn’t work without turkey, so put some respeck on its name.
  • I’m thankful I’ve never been present, and never will be present, at a Thanksgiving dinner that serves ham as the main course.
  • I’m thankful for stuffing, the most time-sensitive food ever invented. Would you even know what stuffing was if someone put it in front of you in July? I’m not sure I’d recognize it as actual food. My brain just isn’t conditioned to think about stuffing for 10 months out of the year. Also, stuffing is for Thanksgiving. I know people eat it on Christmas, but don’t.
  • I’m thankful for pie. Don’t think that needs much explanation.
  • I’m thankful for power rankings. For example, my top five Thanksgiving foods is 1. turkey 2. mashed potatoes 3. apple pie 4. stuffing 5. everything else
  • I’m thankful for the NFL, which is probably the worst thing currently in my life. As a spoiled Patriots fan, I literally only get anything resembling joy one day a year, and even then it’s more of a perverse satisfaction at how unhappy everyone else is. Every accomplishment by other teams is just trivial nonsense that I can easily mock because I already know how the season is going to end. I can’t imagine being a fan of another team and getting excited or emotionally invested in anything that happens during the regular season because not even I’m that self-loathing. Most NFL games aren’t even fun to watch because everyone besides the Pats is arguably the worst pro football team ever put together. Still, I would give my life for Tom Brady and would die before I willingly miss a second of NFL action. Thank you for providing a needed distraction and a way to fill my “conversations with family members” quota for the day (while we’re at it, my picks this week: MIN -3, LAC -2, WAS -7.5, KC -10, NE -17, PHI -14, TEN -3.5, NYJ +5, ATL -10 (I know I said I’d never pick the Falcons when they’re favorites again but the Bucs are just terrible), CIN -8, SF +7.5, NO +2.5, DEN +5, JAC -5, PIT -14, HOU +7).
  • I’m thankful for Squanto, whose foolish decision to become liaison to the white man and teach us Thanksgiving allowed us to easily take all of their land. Good looks.
  • I’m still very thankful for John Wick 2.
  • I’m thankful that there’s less than a month until The Last Jedi.
  • I’m thankful for this Donald Trump-LaVar Ball feud, until I get sick of it in like a week.
  • I’m thankful for the NBA, or rather, what’s left of it after the Celtics laid waste to everyone who opposed them.
  • I’m thankful for board games, the GOAT after dinner activity.
  • I’m thankful when other people do the dishes.
  • I’m thankful for Thanksgiving decorations. I’m a big leaves guy.
  • I’m thankful that it’s almost December so I can listen to Christmas music without catching shade for jumping the gun.
  • I’m thankful that they keep making Pokemon games.
  • I’m thankful that Santa’s going to get me a Nintendo Switch.
  • I’m thankful for Taco Bell and Chick-fil-a.
  • I’m thankful all the damage the salt they put on the icy roads is about to do to my car.
  • I’m thankful for local TV commercials.
  • I’m thankful for beer, which becomes socially acceptable to drink all day on Thanksgiving.
  • I’m thankful for calories, which I will eat an ungodly amount of for the next month.
  • I’m thankful for Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Just a good store.
  • I’m also thankful for Bath & Body Works.
  • I’m thankful for the Chinese film Dragon Blade, which may be the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life.
  • I’m thankful for YouTube and most things on it.
  • I’m thankful silk is back (if it ever left).
  • I’m thankful I have a full head of hair. Thoughts and prayers to everyone that doesn’t.
  • I’m thankful for flannel, great for winter and looks twice as good when you pair it with other patterned clothes.
  • I’m thankful for the times the Patriots play in primetime so I can watch Red Zone all day on Sunday.
  • I’m thankful that, since I don’t live with my parents anymore, I never have to go to the doctor or dentist ever again.
  • I’m thankful for grocery store soundtracks.
  • I’m thankful for animals. Even bugs.
  • I’m thankful that I don’t have any elite skills that I can use to achieve fame and riches, because then there would be too much pressure to perform.
  • I’m very thankful for Gal Gadot, but wish her character hadn’t been (spoiler alert) killed in Fast & Furious 6.
  • I’m thankful I live in America, one of about 20 countries suitable for human life.
  • I’m thankful for The Witcher 3 and Persona 5, two games which I think about almost daily.
  • I’m thankful that it’s Christmas season on TV, because Thanksgiving specials are almost all bad.
  • I’m thankful for Dunkin’ Donuts’ holiday flavored donuts, which are under-the-radar but excellent.
  • I’m thankful it’s time to transition from the admittedly appealing golden, earthy Autumn hues into the sharp Winter color palette, which suits my fair complexion much better.
  • I’m thankful for people who say hello first, because god knows I never will.
  • I’m thankful for the few remaining days of Net Neutrality we have left.
  • I’m thankful for filling up on appetizers, having less of an appetite for dinner, acting like I’m on a diet, then housing leftovers after everyone has gone to bed.
  • I’m thankful for my friends and family, who don’t get upset when I give a powerful take.
  • Lastly, I’m thankful for you, my dozen(s?) of loyal readers. Sometimes, you make it all worth it.

happy-thanksgiving

I’m Sick of the Fast Food Dipping Sauce Armsrace

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I’m a big fast food guy. Everyone knows it. If I had the finances and the willpower to ever actually exercise (and if I wasn’t such a good cook), I’d be fine eating fast food every day. But there’s been a recent, troubling trend that I can’t get behind. Ever since the fiasco that was the Szechuan Sauce release, every fast food place is scrambling to come out with their own signature, surely limited edition sauce that people will be pining for 20 years from now. And frankly, it’s making my smh every time I see a new one. I’m constantly amazed how such incompetent people wind up in prominent marketing positions. Every new sauce is just a liquid version of the dictionary definition of signature sauce. None are memorable, none are all that good, and they’re all just passing around the same sauces and changing one ingredient.

McDonald’s is, by far, the biggest offender. Not satisfied with causing a national stir with their last signature sauce and HAVING THE UR-SIGNATURE SAUCE ON THEIR ARSENAL (Mac Sauce), decided to trot out yet another “signature sauce” to pair with their new chicken selects tenders, aptly named Signature Sauce.

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It’s okay. McDonald’s claims it takes inspiration from Mac Sauce and lists the key flavors as sweet and tangy. Remember that description. Because, not to be outdone, Wendy’s release their own chicken tenders (which are better than McDonald’s, imo) with their own “signature” dipping sauce, S’Awesome Sauce (someone get me in a fast food boardroom, ASAP) like a week later.

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Boy, that sauce sure looks familiar. Where have I seen it before? A real head-scratcher. Wonder what Wendy’s official description of the sauce is? “Tangy, sweet and smoky into one savory flavor.” Hmmm, that’s odd. That sounds like the new McDonald’s sauce. They couldn’t be using the same thing, right? It must be a coincidence. Burger King didn’t come out with a new sauce, did they? They did?

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Creamy signature sauce? And it’s that same shade of orange? It couldn’t possibly be sweet and tangy, could it? It is? WHAT A SURPRISE! Did all these companies just get together and develop one sauce they all could use? And do they really think any of these things are super memorable and will make a big enough splash to get brought back years from now? I just keep thinking about sweet and tangy. Sweet, tangy, maybe a little smoky. Where have I heard that combination of flavors before? God, I know I’ve had it somewhere…

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Are….are these companies just trying to pass Chick-fil-a sauce off as their own invention? Are you kidding me? Chick-fil-a sauce is one of the pillars upon which this great country was built, and you think you can take the perfect mix of sweet, tangy, and smokey, add some red food coloring, put your own logo on it, call it Signature Awesome Cool sauce or some other bullshit, and think no one will notice? Not in here. Not on my watch. You don’t come at the Fast Food Watchdog with some weak sauce and expect to get out unscathed. I’m onto Big Fast Food. They’re so far behind the elites they think they can just steal the keys to the kingdom. I understand that, much like the NFL, fast food is a copycat league, but have some pride. Have some competitive spirit. Hey, BK, you know what was cool? When you had green apple dipping sauce and weren’t just copying everyone trying to ride coattails. Hey, Wendy’s, you don’t need a signature sauce because your food is so much better than the other members of the Big 3. McDonald’s, I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. You invented the signature sauce game. Every fast food place has their own sauce, and all of them that aren’t stealing from Chick-fil-a base their sauce on Mac Sauce. And you think you have to stoop to Burger King’s level of imitation? For shame. Look, I get it. You do what you can to stay relevant. But you know what people remember? The originals. The ones that burned convention to the ground and built a new standard from the ashes. Not the people who just rip everyone off. Be better.

Still the GOAT fast food imitation. Can’t believe anyone was ever this shameless.

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Official Halloween Candy Power Ranking

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In case you didn’t know, today is Halloween. Or Hallowe’en if you’re weird, but I supposed being weird is encouraged this time of year. We all know the person that loves Halloween way too much and considers it their favorite holiday, and while I’m not here to rain on their parade, saying Halloween is your favorite holiday is an incorrect opinion. However, I do enjoy Halloween, myself. Love fall, love dressing up, love carving pumpkins, the whole deal. Unfortunately, I’m getting into the gray area when it comes to dressing up. Due to cultural stigmas, it’s pretty much considered weird for guys to dress up from ages like 26-32 if you’re single. If you can do couples costumes or have kids, it’s all good, but, sadly, I’m single, childless, and 25, so you better believe I’m pulling out all the stops this year. Even though I’m not even considering leaving my house, I’ll still get dressed up so I can live life to the fullest. But one thing I’ll always be able to enjoy is the candy.

Now that I’m older, I just buy my own bags of Halloween candy (for the Trick-or-Treaters, you see). While it’s less rewarding than going to strangers’ houses and taking candy from them and it removes the thrill of the candy roulette, I also only get things I like, which is better than forcing the seventh sleeve of Smarties down my throat. Still, I’m not so far removed from the Trick-or-Treat game that I don’t know what candy is good anymore. In fact, it may be the opposite. Since I have full control over what candy I get, I have more freedom to experiment and try new things. I know more about candy than anyone I know. As a candy expert on Halloween, it seemed only natural to share my knowledge with everyone knocking on my door looking for goodies. I knew I had to present the Official Brian’s Den Halloween Candy Power Ranking. Now, there may be many takes upcoming that some would consider “hot,” and this is the first one: I love fun size candy bars. Sometimes the ratios can suffer in the more complex bars, and we’ll get into that at an appropriate time, but the fact remains fun size candy gets the most unfair rap of all time. Eat some when you wake up, eat a few in between breakfast and lunch, eat some after lunch, eat some between lunch and dinner, and then eat a bunch for dessert. You can eat more than you usually would and it feels like you’re eating less! What’s not to like? You get good taste and a little confidence boost. Just because it’s bulking season doesn’t mean you have to eat like a slob, right? That’s what I tell myself as I’m scarfing my 20th fun size Snickers in the last ten minutes. So that’s one thing established: fun size=fun. I wanted to keep this reasonable, so I decided to go top twenty. That means there’s going to be some cuts. Some were agonizingly tough and I’ll think about them when I go to bed tonight. Others weren’t. Might as well start with those: Whoppers might be the worst candy of all time. Malt STINKS and malted milk balls are somehow even worse. Actually, I lied. Good & Plenty or anything licorice is the worst candy of all time, but usually people don’t give them out on Halloween (if you or your child has ever been given licorice on Halloween, please alert the correct authorities immediately). Now that licorice is on my mind, I’m just gonna say it- Twizzlers suck. I hate the texture and their flavor doesn’t make up for the dryness. Butterfingers have a pretty solid taste to them, but I don’t like scheduling a dentist appointment every time I eat a candy bar. Ditto for Milk Duds, except they taste bad, too. Sour Patch Kids, I’m sorry, but Halloween is a sweet holiday, not a sour one. If you give me anything with wax in the name I’m legally allowed to slap you in the face. If I wanted to eat chalk, I’d rather it be the sidewalk variety than Smarties/SweetTarts/Necco Wafers. I like Tootsie Rolls and flavored Tootsie Rolls, I really do, but I live just above the poverty line so I can’t include them. Straight Hershey’s and the other blocks of pure chocolate are perfectly fine, but perfectly fine doesn’t make the list. All of the things that come in the Hershey Variety Pack (Hershey Dark, Mr. Goodbar, Krackle) top out at okay. No one’s been given an Oh Henry! in 30 years, but they’re actually pretty good (be honest, you don’t know what an Oh Henry! is. But that’s why I’m writing this and you aren’t). Peanut m&m’s are one of the few casualties of fun size, since you only get like five in a bag. Crunch is fine and Buncha Crunch is an elite movie theater candy, but it’s so boring comparatively when you look at some of the heavyweights on the list. Lastly, it’s not really a Trick-or-Treat candy, but it’s so closely associated with Halloween and fall holidays that it needs a mention- candy corn suxxxx. It’s very bad and I enjoy every moment of my life that isn’t spent eating it. Anything I didn’t mention is probably just irrelevant and shouldn’t be included in any power ranking. Without further ado, let’s get into the Top 20.

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20. Mounds

Mounds probably deserves to be a little higher on the list (I’m a big coconut guy. I live my life on Island Time, brah), but I wanted to put it at 20 to show the razor thin margin between Mounds and its sister candy Almond Joy. Yes, Almond Joy fans, your beloved bar didn’t make the list. I’m sorry. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have a different answer. But really, it comes down to the fact that, even though I like almonds, I don’t like them enough to eat them all the time. Also, and this may or may not be your second hot take alert depending on your personal (probably wrong) preferences, dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate.

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19. 100 Grand

Honestly these might rank higher if they were more mainstream, but they’re a little too underground at the moment. God, this is a tough list. 100 Grand are awesome and are stuck at number 19! How am I going to rank the rest of these powerhouses?

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18. Reese’s Pieces

I have to come clean: I don’t really like Reese’s Pieces that much. Love peanut butter, but I’m not an “eat straight peanut butter” guy. Still, you have to respect the legends of the candy world.

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17. Cauldron Skittles

They’re like Skittles, only Halloween flavored! If you take anything I like and put it in fancy different colored packaging and give it a festive name, I’m in 100% of the time.

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16. m&m’s

m&m’s are like candy comfort food. You always know what you’re going to get, and they’re always there when you need them. Very simple, a little boring, but I’m not going to be the one to mock one of the O.G.’s.

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15. Pretzel m&m’s

Pretzel m&m’s are legitimately some of the greatest candies ever invented. You get three in a fun size package. No bueno.

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14. Snickers

Love me some Snickers, but the ratio always seems a little off in the fun size version. There’s always too few peanuts, or too much caramel, or not enough nougat. It’s just not the true Snickers experience. And, yes, I’m sure everyone has the story about that one guy who was trying way too hard to be the cool dad who gave away full size candy bars and the Snickers you got from him were amazing, but we’re not talking about exceptions, here. We’re talking about reality.

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13. Fast Break

I honestly don’t know if they even still make these in fun size, anymore, it’s been so long since I’ve seen them. Regardless, Fast Breaks were awesome. The combo of peanut butter and nougat was a little much at times, but when you got a good Fast Break, oh man. It was good. Believe me.

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12. Snicker Peanut Butter

The candy game is definitely built on legacy and reputation, so when relative newcomers show up on the list, you know they’re big time. I remember these coming out, and I remember wondering why they didn’t try this earlier. They don’t suffer like their father bar does in fun size, mostly because the peanut butter is really overpowering. Whatever, still tastes awesome.

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11. Skittles

The Roger Clemens of candy, Skittles threw away a Hall of Fame career and a guaranteed spot in the top 5 chasing innovation. I don’t use hyperbole, so when I say the decision to change from lime to green apple was the worst decision of all time, I’m being genuine. The fact that it still ranks so high is just a testament to its otherworldly natural talent.

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10. 3 Musketeers

I feel like there’s a lot of hate floating around the Interwebs directed at 3 Musketeers, at I’m here to tell you it’s all dribble. 3 Musketeers is a prime time candy any way you slice it. Prime time name, prime time concept, prime time taste. Yeah, it’s simple, but it’s done right. It works any size, and you can eat about a billion of them and not feel full. I’m a fan of that.

511acooi5ul9. Milky Way

A veritable brother-in-arms with 3 Musketeers, Milky Way can pretty much always be found in the same bag. And they’re pretty much the same thing, only Milky Way has caramel. That’s why it’s one spot higher (a good time to review my rant on the word milk).

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8. Nerds

I’d say it kind of depends on the flavor, but all the flavors are pretty much the same. The closest thing to a true sour candy on the list. The small rock are great, but when you get a big chuck of crystalized sugar covered in artificial flavoring, well that’s a special kind of bliss, friend.

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7. Baby Ruth

Kind of a weird thing to say out loud, but I went through a pretty big Baby Ruth phase when I was a kid, so this might be nostalgia driven, but Baby Ruth’s are still great. They’re pretty much Snickers that figured out how to be good regardless of the size. They can be peanut heavy every now and then, but usually they’ve got a strong ratio. They aren’t the most widely distributed Halloween candy, so they’re kind of like found money if you have good taste. Please spare me your Sandlot jokes, I don’t want them.

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6. Starburst

I’ve got another hot take, and I think this one is probably the least popular, but I’m fine standing alone. All true visionaries were ridiculed in their time, and I imagine I’m no different. Yellow is the best flavor. That’s right, I said it. Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, yellow Starburst, just left with the Prom Queen (me). Orange is the worst by a pretty wide margin. Starburst on the whole are among the greatest of all time.

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5. Midnight Milky Way

This might be the most controversial pick, but I’m more than willing to go out on a limb. As previously established, I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate and I have regular Milky Way at number 9. Ipso facto, Midnight Milky Way gets a boost. It certainly helps that there are so few viable dark chocolate options on Halloween, but the flavor is still out of this world. Get it?

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4. Twix

Now we’re into rarified air. The previous 16 are sort of interchangeable for the most part. All that matters in making the list. But the top 4? They’re pretty unassailable in my mind. Twix is a behemoth. One of the greatest candies ever. I feel like I’ve probably eaten more Twix than any other chocolate candy on this list. But it’s just not quite good enough.

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3. Reese’s Cups

This is probably number one on a lot of people’s lists, and I’m okay with that. They’re just not my fave. Legendary combination of flavors, obviously, and one of the true innovators of the candy world. You can’t tell the story of candy without mentioning Reese’s pretty early on. But they’re just so rich. When I get my Halloween candy, I want to gorge myself. I want to eat and keep eating and keep eating. But after a Reese’s or two, I have to slow down a little bit. Halloween is about excess, not pausing to digest.

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2. Kit Kat

Of all the candy that’s been around forever (or at least as long as I’ve been alive), Kit Kat is easily the best. Plain and simple. It’s a perfect candy that can’t be improved in any way, taste test results from all the weird Japanese flavors notwithstanding. An added bonus of fun size Kit Kats is that, since you only get one, you avoid the awkward social booby trap that comes with eating a full size one (for those wondering, I’ve got no problem just chomping down and eating them all at once if I’m at my house, but if I’m eating a Kit Kat in public you better believe I’m breaking the pieces off individually. Don’t need to be judged while I’m eating candy).

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1. Take 5

Take 5 is the greatest candy of all time don’t @ me. When I was at the store buying some candy, the only bag I found that included Take 5s also had Whoppers and Dots. It was the most insulting thing I’ve ever seen. Take 5 should never be included with those abominations. Matter of fact, any bag that isn’t strictly Take 5 is an inferior bag. I could eat these non-stop for the rest of my life. Sure, I probably wouldn’t live very long, but I’d be happy doing it.

That’s it. The ultimate list of candy. If you disagree, you’re wrong. If I didn’t mention your favorite, maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror and address some things. Still, most candy is still good, so I suppose I won’t look down on you too much if you prefer something else. But this Halloween, consider dressing up as someone with good taste.

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What Could Happen During the Eclipse

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There’s an eclipse today. Don’t know if you’ve heard. It’s all anyone can talk about. Eclipse this, eclipse that. Were I someone else, I might complain of eclipse fatigue. But, while most of the country is content to merely risk their eyesight by staring directly at the sun for minutes at a time and leave it at that, I recognize the significance of an eclipse. Sure, it’s not as fun or mystical as a blood moon, but an eclipse can still shake up the natural order of things. What’s up becomes down, left becomes right, inside becomes out. Eclipses only last a few minutes, but can still have lasting effects. Before you start panicking and start preparing like it’s Y2K again, take a deep breath and relax, because, as usual, I have all the answers. Sometimes people can be caught off guard by the topsy-turvy nature of eclipses, but I have foreseen all of it. Here are just a few things to look for in the couple days to come.

Animals Will Start Acting Crazy

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It’s common knowledge that animals don’t like eclipses. Dogs will start barking, cats will get all upset, the whole deal. But don’t expect Fido to just go back to normal after the eclipse. Maybe he’ll start walking on his hind legs all the time. Maybe horses will want people food. Maybe cats will start swimming. Maybe the dogs will start walking people. Perhaps, because of the bizarre power instilled in the animals from a solar event lasting mere seconds, the oxen and beasts of the field will shed the yoke of labor and force it on their former masters. Maybe it’s a metaphor for the fact that in the new post-eclipse world it will be impossible to distinguish between the supposedly civilized humans and the feral creatures of the wilderness. I can only relay the messages I get from the crystal ball, not interpret them.

People May Accomplish Feats of Great Strength

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Again, this isn’t a blood moon and I live in the realm of reality, so I’m not going to predict everyone is going to momentarily gain super powers or anything. But that doesn’t mean something special won’t be in the air. Don’t be surprised if you’ve got a little extra pep in your step when you’re clanging iron in the gym or if that jar opens a little easier than usual. There might be a hundred home runs hit tonight across the MLB. Seeing a solar eclipse sends signals to an old, animalistic part of the brain that is dormant for pretty much every second of your life. But when activated by the eclipse, it stimulates your muscles and releases special pheromones that increase natural strength levels to supernatural proportions. It’s science. It’s a fleeting strength, gone after a few moments, so don’t try anything too dangerous. I don’t want to hear about anyone getting caught under a vending machine tomorrow.

Bad Quarterbacks Will Become Good

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I know what you’re thinking. “This is such a specific and odd thing that affects a minuscule portion of the population there’s no way it can be true.” I assure you, it is. The same way the eclipse raises our strength, it also improves our abilities to throw objects accurately and read defenses. It’s already happening, too. Trevor Siemian was just named Broncos starter. The Jets are confident about both Josh McCown and Christian McCaffrey. The Browns traded for Brock Osweiler solely because they knew an eclipse was coming and were hoping this brief moment of clarity would unlock all that potential once and for all. I know it sounds far fetched, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL somehow orchestrated the eclipse to help build parity throughout the league.

Food Will Taste Worse

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Look, I’m dealing in cold, hard facts. No one wants to hear that their food is going to taste bad, but, unfortunately, it is. We’re losing out on valuable minutes of sunlight, here. Who knows what that will do to fruits and vegetables that need the sun to grow. Now instead of getting picked at the perfect time, they’re getting picked two and a half minutes early. I don’t think I need to tell you why that’s a big deal. Say goodbye to ripe fruit for a while. No more crisp, healthy veggies on your table. Not to mention the fact that all the aforementioned animals that you like to eat like to eat the fruits and vegetables that will now be a little less ripe that ideal, potentially compromising their own flavor. It’s a good thing my diet is primarily comprised of synthetic and processed food, otherwise I might be a little upset.

Ballers Will Become the Best Show On TV

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Oh, wait, it already is.

(Just a quick Ballers aside, it might legitimately be the most impressive piece of world building ever put on screen. I mean, think about all the absurd things that have happened just this season (spoiler alert, but let’s be honest, you’ve already watched every episode): the supposed third best defensive tackle in the league (and maybe worst actor in history) would willingly give up multiple millions of dollars to get a $20,000 sponsorship from a weed company. Ricky Jarrett lost over $2 million playing craps and then got picked up a nasty case of CTE like you would catch a cold. The head coach of the Dolphins, one of the most historic, rich, and popular franchises in the NFL, wears generic Under Armour gear when coaching as apposed to, you know, Dolphins stuff. One of The Rock’s sexual partners wears a shirt from his real-life Under Armour line, only in this universe there is no Rock since The Rock is Spencer Strasmore. Spencer, a random sports agent, is the driving force behind the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, and still the least realistic thing to happen is that Jerry Jones, who may or may not exist in the Ballers-verse, would ever concede decision making power to anyone, let alone Shooter McGavin. I love this show.)

You Will Forget About the Eclipse Two Seconds After It Happens

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Of all the predictions I’ve made, this is the one I’m most sure about. Part of the reason I even wrote this was so that I myself would remember it happened. Eclipses bring lots of arcane magic with them that I don’t fully understand, but none of it is as powerful as their capacity to make everyone forget they happen the moment they end. Come tomorrow, you will forget Eclipse 2017 was ever something that captivated the nation. This will all seem like a dream, if anything. A distant memory from another life. A brief phenomenon that didn’t change your life whatsoever. Hope you kept your receipt for your eclipse glasses, because you may not even know why you got them, soon.

Falcons’ New Stadium Will Have a Chick-fil-a, Which Won’t Be Open on Sundays

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source– Sure, most everyone loves Chick-fil-A, but the popular restaurant chain will be closed during a majority of the Falcons’ home games in 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, according to ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

In fact, the only day the Chick-fil-A inside the stadium will be open, is on December 7, when the Falcons host the Saints on Thursday night.

I cannot possibly overstate how much I love this move. It’s genius. Pure, unadulterated genius by Chick-fil-a. Outside Taco Bell, no fast food company understands human nature and the marketing game quite like Chick-fil-a. The fastest way to get someone to want something is to tell them they can’t have it. Anytime I drive past a Chick-fil-a on Sunday, my cravings for the sweet, succulent chicken sandwiches go through the roof. It’s all I can think about. My desire to spend money at Chick-fil-a consumes me. And I’m only one guy. When the dozens of Falcons fans who’ll pack Mercedes-Benz Stadium walk by the ghostly visage of a closed Chick-fil-a, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be working at an Atlanta area Chick-fil-a come Monday mornings in the fall. Talk about a mob scene. I guarantee this sends business skyrocketing. Chick-fil-a is going to make a killing off this, once again proving that being closed on Sundays is one of the greatest business decisions of all time. They’re the anti-McDonald’s. If you have a way to keep something exclusive, do it. Don’t make breakfast all day because now no one cares about McDonald’s breakfast. Don’t open Chick-fil-a on Sundays because then no one will experience seeing a closed Chick-fil-a. It’s so simple, but it’s why Chick-fil-a is king.

As for the Falcons, the losses just keep on coming. First, they suffer the worst defeat in the history of professional sports. Then, their new stadium doesn’t even work. And now this. Sure, this is great for Chick-fil-a, but it’s horrible for the Falcons. What were they thinking? How can you let yourselves, an NFL team coming off an albeit doomed Super Bowl appearance, get completely dominated by a fast food joint? I’ve never seen anyone get cucked harder than this. I’d love to have been in the room for when this was pitched. Probably some 45-year-old father of four brought this idea to the board like “Hey, guys, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s get a Chick-fil-a in the stadium! It’s what’s hip with the kids these days, I’ve heard. Sure would be great to have young people talking about the Falcons in a positive light. I sure am tired of getting destroyed on the Twitter, how about you fellas?” Great idea, man! Too bad Chick-fil-a is run by geniuses (they’re probably not geniuses they’re just really religious, but accidental genius is still genius) who would never pass up an opportunity to build business and throw their balls on the table like this. I bet the Falcons paid for everything, too. The probably bought the franchising rights, paid for the construction, hired the staff, took care of all the overhead costs, everything. Too bad they forgot Chick-fil-a bends for no man. Unbelievable. This is why it amazes me every time I see people say the Falcons are going to be good this year. Are you kidding? This franchise is completely and utterly broken. The Patriots killed them. The losses keep piling up with no end in sight. The players all snapped and hate each other. The coaches are going to be second guessing everything they do. They’re going to treat closing the retractable roof as a real accomplishment. Their legion of devoted fans disappeared as quickly as it burst onto the scene. They’re getting mercilessly dunked on by Chick-fil-a. It’s over for the Falcons. They might not win a game this season. Honestly I’d be surprised if they did. It’s going to take something monumental to get this franchise back on the right track, and I see that miracle happening anytime soon.