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8.3

Caprese Style Chicken

South Beach Living (Kraft)

I’ll just put this in the most blunt terms possible: I succumbed to an irresistible urge to listen to Snow Patrol’s Final Straw.  Was I looking to put the finishing touches on the seduction of the sort of traditionally attractive woman who attended a large state university and is entry-level alt enough for my tastes?  If it was, you’d be the first to know.  Likewise, I succumbed to an irresistible urge to listen to Death From Above 1979’s You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine.  Did I get dumped by that woman and feel the need to nurse my heartbreak while still being a coked-out asshole?  If it was, you’d be the first to know.

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8.9

Cheese Pizza

Ellio’s (McCain)

I often see the terms “singer-songwriter” and “introspective” used in tandem, and the problem with both of them is that “being it” is often conflated with “being good at it.” Particularly the latter one- the way I’ve been trying to take inventory of my teen years as someone who’s inching ever closer to the post-30/low-disposable-income demographic no one has to give a shit about, there’s a legitimate amount of heft in terms of sheer legwork of the mind.  Yet I can’t say it’s been particularly successful when all I’ve really come up with is that I clearly missed out on about five extra years of phenomenal alcohol abuse.  Because I don’t know about y’all, but I could’ve sure used a drink as a 13-year old.

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7.2

Macaroni and Cheese

Simple Favorites (Lean Cuisine/Nestlé)

Here’s a couple things I’m not

  1. Caught up in politics
  2. A black activist
  3. On some so-called scholar’s dick

Now that we’ve gotten all that mess out of the way, I will cop to being caught in a deadly video game with just one man.  That’s about where the similarities between GZA and myself end, unless he also thinks putting back-to-back skits on Beneath The Surface was a terrible idea even by second-wave Wu solo album standards.  But if I really wanted to demonstrate the difference between us two, I’d just bring up that Heathcliff Berru got GZA a sitcom, whereas all he got me was a beer and a ticket to see How To Dress Well in concert.  I moved to L.A. and got heavy into indie rock, and yet I’m less successful at avoidingphilosophy students doing half-rate karaoke than I was in grad school.

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5.6

Chicken & Parmesan Pasta Bake

Farmers’ Harvest (Stouffer’s/Nestlé)

If there’s any downside to having spent the past two weeks moving to Los Feliz other than the fact that I’m going to miss that bathroom heater in my old place more than I ever expected (it’s 46 degrees this morning!  46!), it’s that I no longer live within walking distance to the West Hollywood Whole Foods on Santa Monica and Fairfax- in my time living in Los Angeles, I sadly don’t think any of the perks I’ve accumulated in my various hustles had been considered more enviable by my local friends.  Of course, the obvious rejoinder is that with the slightest modicum of effort, I can surely find a new place to get overcharged for a quarter pound of filberts, but this is deeper than Kashi and my excellent rapport with the dudes in the meat section- they know if the kid is poppin’ in on a Wednesday evening, I gotsta have the lamb basil sausage.  Despite having worked at sundry talent agencies and management companies in the past five years, there has never been a more consistent forum for legit celebrity sightings than the Whole Foods- which I suppose says more about the level of my former employment.  Saying you shook hands with Eliot Gould might wow some people in your family impressed by anyone who got to drop it off in Barbara Streisand at one point, but that’s not exactly the sort of comfort you need when you’ve figured out that the average Whole Foods checkout guy probably makes more than you on an hourly basis, are encouraged to show up high and can have access to all the finest cheese and cracker combinations whereas I’m lucky if our Diet Dr. Pepper stash was refilled.

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5.2

Roasted Turkey With Bacon & Cheese

Pretzel Bread Sandwiches (Lean Pockets/Nestlé)

I dunno, did anyone else find Decoded to be a little self-aggrandizing?  Now, this is the point where you’ll probably tell me that that I was let down because I expected too much, but fuck outta here: do I look like a member of the Gin Blossoms?  Out of respect for fallen soldier Doug Hopkins’ debilitating alcohol problems and mental illness, I’m going to avoid saying “pour one out,” but at least acknowledge his Wikipedia page is relatively more action-packed than Congratulations, I’m Sorry.  

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6.2

Tortilla Crusted Fish

Cafe Cuisine (Lean Cuisine/Nestlé)

Like my mans an ‘em at FreeDarko, I really do believe in the idea of free agency in picking which teams you root for, but even if I wasn’t repping the 610 like Genuardi’s and Fingers, Wings and Other Things, I’d still be an Eagles fan for other reasons beyond being the hometown team and responsible for "Buddy’s Watching You."  Seriously, now that rap’s good, why don’t teams do that anymore?  That "Ram It" video was the only reason I remembered they were still an NFL franchise for several years, and Jeffrey Lurie couldn’t bother to get State Property to roc the mic on “Andy’s Watching You” for a couple nosebleed seats and some soft pretzels?  Fuck, you might get Beanie Sigel for just the pretzel, and you’re telling me Young Gunz got anything better to do?  But there additional, intensely personal reasons for my fanhood.  For one thing, similar to how I always seem to be reviewing the new Kings of Leon, Weezer and Eminem album, I find myself drawn to high-profile failure.  Yeah, it blows to be a Bills fan these days and, well, all days before that too, but at least in 2010, recognizing their failings is akin to trying to shed light on these bands at the Silverlake Lounge any given night who are clearly far worse than Kings of Leon: who gives a shit, really?  But beyond that, the Eagles only achieve true greatness when relying on my favorite type of NFL player: the me-first wide receiver.

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9.7

Pot Pie Express

Hot Pockets (Nestlé - 2003)

The mere fact that I maintain a website that posts longform reviews of frozen foods shouldn’t have me trying to figure out other reasons why my parents might be disappointed in me. Nonetheless, I always wonder if they feel like failures for never experiencing the absolute most crucial moment in raising a teenage boy: finding his porn and then mercilessly shaming him.  See, even from an early age I realized I wasn’t really turned on by the sort of woman who’d take off her clothes for direct payment, for the same reason I never indulged in that time-honored teenage past time of whippets: the high couldn’t possibly match the one I get off the most pointless forms of elitism. But really, the biggest problem is that I imagine that your dad actively searches under your mattress or inside your TV (via “A Grand Don’t Come For Free”) or wherever your older brother’s Hustler is best concealed because that allows the easiest conceivable segue to having the birds and bees talk whose ancillary purpose is to promote abstinence via planting the image in your brain of your parents having sex.  So how did mine go down?  Shit, all I can say is that I know for a fact that it actually happened, and I thankfully cannot remember a single detail about it other than that I just held on for dear life, sorta blacked out and once it was over, slinked away, thanking God I never had to go through that again. Not coincidentally, that’s exactly how losing my virginity felt like.

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7.3

Philly Steak & Cheese

Lean Pockets (Nestlé)

I need to stop telling people I grew up in Philadelphia.  It’s not only untrue (Lafayette Hill is a suburb about a half hour removed and often best known for its relative proximity to certain malls), but it gives people the impression that I have even the slightest iota of advice to give them about what to do if they happen to be there. First off, I’m not going to tell a grown man with anything less than psychotic Dead Milkmen fanhood that South Street’s where shit gets poppin’ off, but that’s about the only place my friends and I went the last time I lived there if we wanted a change of pace from the typical weekend endeavors of 18-year olds in Montgomery County: smoke schwag weed, play GoldenEye on N64 and perhaps take a trip to the local Disc Go Round to see if a used copy of Aenima arrived yet.  Other than, it was just hoping that someone’s little brother had a Bar Mitzvah recently and their parents kept the leftover liquor.

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4.3

Roasted Carved Turkey

Hungry-Man XXL (Swanson)

Rick Ross didn’t invent creating an utterly ridiculous hip-hop persona, or, to be more blunt, flat-out lying on wax.

First off, having spaghetti and fettucine in the same meal is what you do when you’re broke as fuck, not balling out of control.  I consider How You Luv That, Vol. 2 an unimpeachable document of truth-telling, with the exception of Baby said he wouldn’t fuck Foxy Brown with another man’s dick when Chyna Doll was out.  And of course, Snoop Dogg fronting as if Death Row actually did pay him, to give some examples.  But what Deeper Than Rap, and, to a greater extent, Teflon Don, he is probably the first guy who actually made an active, mutual acknowledgment of the ridiculous extent of his lying as being absolutely essential to its success.

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7.5

Spinach Artichoke Chicken

Lean Pockets (Nestlé)


Yo.

You might know me from some your favorite music recommendation websites/mags, but chances are if you’re here, you might remember Sexy Results!, the go-to publication for hard-hitting coverage of Frozen Food Power Rankings, comparing college football programs to rappers and all manner of casual misogyny that predicted the creation of “tl;dr” with stunning clarity.  Well, there have been accusations that I haven’t been as prolific as of late, and I’ll acknowledge them: if Sexy Results! taught us anything, it’s that if you play your cards right, law school can allow you a fuckload of free time.  And while I’d like to think its decline was due entirely to the DipSet hiatus, there was the whole combination of me getting a job that at least required the appearance of full mental immersion and the fact that I can’t really write when drunk or hungover – and in large part due to said job, that was pretty much always.

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