Desert Island Picks

This week's League topic:
You are stranded for 10 years on a deserted island. You can take with you the following: One food item (in a never-ending supply), one movie, one game, and one pop culture character.
First of all. Ugh.

I hate these desert island things because so much depends on my mood. I might want one thing on the day I'm stuck on the island and another just a few hours later. But clearly a decision must be made, so here I go.

ONE FOOD ITEM: Philly Cheese Steak from Penn Station

Every year on my birthday my wife gets angry. Birthdays are a big deal to her and when she asks me where I'd like to go for dinner on my birthday, I always have the same reply.

Penn Station. Take out.

Rest assured, there'll be no fine dining this coming July 6th. I'll be having a Philly cheese steak (no mushrooms) from Penn Station at my own kitchen table.

ONE MOVIE: Karate Kid



I could have chosen Monopoly or maybe even a deck of cards which could have provided me with countless games to entertain myself over the course of a decade on a deserted island.

Nope. RBI Baseball.

Give me Jim Rice to swat homers over the NES outfield wall and I'm good. Really. I never get tired of this game. You will not beat me at this game if I get Boston. (Rob Peters, if you're reading, your comments will be deleted)


This is the part of the League challenge that presented a struggle for me. I love Rob Gordon from High Fidelity but after a while, we'd irritate each other. I have a website about Mister Rogers but even he would be too much for a full decade. I'm gonna go with Larry David here.

Sure. Part of my decision is based on the fact that my wife and I have recently been watching a lot of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Really though...I think this ten-year relationship could work. The Curb Larry David and I are so much alike that it's scary. My wife never sees this type of stuff and even she told me the other day that Larry is a combination of her dad and me.

That's a compliment if I've ever heard one.

So, yeah, I think Larry David and I could enjoy ten years on an island together. We'd hang out. We'd leave each other alone. We'd abide by each other's unstated social rules. A good time.

Coincidentally, with this League post in mind, I just finished a book by Russell Johnson -- Gilligan's Island's Professor. Really a solid read for anyone who has ever watched the show. Two things I learned from the book:
  1. The lagoon on Gilligan's Island was a blacktop surface filled with water. (I guess I'd never considered this show from a studio-production perspective)
  2. The original theme song was performed by The Wellingtons -- three friends who formed a singing group based out of the University of Illinois -- here in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
Who knew?!

[Be sure to check out some of the other desert island picks from around the League.]

Record Sale 2013

I have a weakness and it's called cheap records.

As in previous years, I volunteered to help with a record sale which raises money for a local non-profit. Unless it's ultra-collectible, every record is $1.

Usually I wrap up my time volunteering with a handful of records that I take home and add to my own collection and last year I behaved myself quite well. This year, largely due to the person who donated their collection of 80's hip-hop albums, I did not exercise the same self-control.

Welcome to my collection, 70+ new records.

The Crappiest Comic I Owned

This weeks' League topic: Comic books.

While my childhood was filled with superheroes, whether they be in Saturday morning cartoon format or action figure format, I never really latched on to comic books. Now don't get me wrong -- my brother had a huge comic book collection so I, of course, spent a good amount of time following his lead by buying up my share of X-Men comics. Truth be told, though, I probably owned about 100 comics at that time and actually read maybe ten of most.

I once traded a copy of G.I. Joe #1 to my brother for a switch-blade comb -- but, believe it or not, that is not the defining moment of my days as a comic collector.

The year was 1984 and my family was visiting my grandmother's house. As we always did on such trips, my brother and I walked to a nearby bookstore where comics were also sold. It was here that I bought a copy of Iceman #1 before walking across the street to a small park where my brother and I sat at a table to check out our newest purchases.

Disinterested in the comic itself, I sat looking at an ad for the upcoming line-up of Saturday morning cartoons. At this moment, from a branch just over my head, a bird decided to poop squarely on my comic. As I wiped the pages on the grass, my brother mocked me mercilessly.

So there it is, folks. When I look back at my childhood and I think about comic books, I don't think about the exciting stories or the detailed artwork or the fascinating characters.

I think about bird poop.

[Be sure to check out some of the other comic book topics from around the League.]