Monday, March 30, 2009

Apparently, I don't have the "balls" to do this....

I was sent this fine comment today...

"why do you 2 keep boring everyone with your videos,is that the only way you can get noticed?Nobody cares,it's just a waste of everyone's time on eatfeats.You won't post this because you can't take any criticism-you don't have the balls.Have many hits have you gotten on your lame blog?Doesn't that tell you something? " by anonymous

First of all my blog has over 500 hits. I'm sure that is a pretty lame number in terms of the average blog, but I'm okay with it.
Now on the topic of being boring and wasting everyone's time. The only time I've wasted is my own. I post my blogs, CE related, life related, whatever I'm in the mood for because I like to. OJ (the owner of the eatfeats website, for non CE visitors) is posting my blogs on his own accord. I've emailed OJ probably 5 times and none were related to my blog except to ask him to change my link from my myspace to the blog. If he decides to pick up something I've posted, place the onus on him, not me. Furthermore, place the onus on yourself for visiting my blog and taking time out of your lack of a day to make a comment on it. I'd also like to note that I'm so boring, the National Geographic Channel featured me in a segment about Competitive Eating.
I for one am thankful for OJ making eatfeats. I wouldn't be anywhere near as active if not for his mostly unbiased listings, regardless of whether I'm interested in that days posts or not. And if I'm not interested in the person that was posted about or the link, I ignore it.
The real question I have is, when was I ever above criticism and how would you know?
You were right, I didn't have the "balls" to post your comment, instead I did have the balls to make an entire post of it because I can take criticism, however I only listen to the type that is constructive and not left by anonymous douche bags that don't have the "balls" to post their name and email address so everyone can see who's saying what.
If you think you're better and deserve more notoriety than me, challenge me....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ice Cream Dreams

After not tackling the Yummy Village Sushi Challenge and not being able to go for the Hulk burger challenge a few weeks ago, I walked away disappointed that I have yet to complete a restaurant challenge.
A few months back during the end of the summer, #1 ranked "Furious" Pete Czerwinski went to Ricky's Candy, Cones and Chaos in Long Island to tackle the Belly Buster challenge. This was to have been consisted of 15 scoops of Ice Cream. Pete not only beat the challenge but in record time. He finished in 2 minutes and 57 seconds.
When my friend Jill successfully took the sushi challenge, she was determined to find more places to get free food. Upon visiting Ricky's website, we found out that they had a few locations on the east coast, one being in Staten Island. Finally, a challenge I could take on.
We took a drive over near the Staten Island Mall to Ricky's with my mom and aunt and met up with Joel "The Cannon" Podelsky and his girlfriend Dana and enjoyed some Ice Cream. Well at least some people took the time to enjoy it.
I hung out with Jill and my family waiting for The Cannon to arrive. At this location, like many others with restaurant challenges, if you complete the challenge, you get your picture on the wall. Additionally, you have to pay for the Ice Cream first and then if you succeed, you get a $12 gift card. I placed my order. What I was a bit confused by was the difference in serving. When watching Pete's video, they gave him 15 scoops in a smaller bowl. The SI location gave a platter that was more like the top of a large plastic container that you get for take out food. It wasn't as deep as the bowl I saw that Czerwinski had been served with, it was shallower but was much wider giving more surface area. They weighed the ice cream until it was 30 ounces. I confirmed with the manager at Ricky's that this was indeed the same challenged offered in Long Island. I also called the LI location and confirmed it was the same thing with them. So my 30 ounces of Ice Cream only turned out to 9 scoops, but they were pretty massive. Once the Ice Cream was served the timer was set by the girl behind the counter, I turned my music on and I was off.
I have to tell you that this was one of the hardest eating feats I've had to accomplish. The one thing I learned from Pete's video was the spoon was not a good option, I went right at it with my hands. Everyone told me I looked like I was eating a hamburger, lol. I picked up each scooped and pecked a way at it full force. As time went on, the back of my throat was not cold, but burning, like a frostbite sort of a feeling. Half way into it, I almost considered backing off, but I was determined to get this done. I was advised water would have helped but I'm not sure that is the case.
When picking flavors I had opted for three scoops of chocolate, three of Birthday Cake Batter and 3 scoops of Rum Rasin thinking that I'd be picking more until they told me I was at the weight I was supposed to be. The last scoop I picked up was MASSIVE and was Rum Rasin, I was not all that excited about Rum Rasin in the first place so the big hunk I was left with felt like a chore with my already burning throat and fingertips that were to the point that they felt glued on and were moving like individual parts of the body when I touched something.
When the time was counted, I finished the challenge in 1 minute and 53 seconds, a new record.
Jill waited for me to finish and placed her order and did a respectable 9 minutes. We both got our picture taken. We were given 8x11 photos that were plastered over everyone elses postcard type pictures where we posted the date, time and our "Hancocks". The Champ was indeed there.
When I went to settle up and pay the tab and accept my gift card the girl behind the counter told me that the manager and staff had a disscusion and decided that I finished it so fast they weren't even going to bother charging me. Everyone working there was nice as heck and I look forward to a regular serving in the future.
San Diego here I come.




Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Brother Auditions!!!



Two weeks from now, I'll finally get a shot at Big Brother.
As I said, April is shaping up quite nicely!!
I've been a huge fan of the show since the first season and have watched every episode since it's inception in the U.S.
I think with my personality and my Competitive Eating background, I have a good shot at this.
More details as things happen.




Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 is shaping up nicely...

As the year makes it's way toward the mid-point and the beginning of Competitive Eating season beings, things are looking up.

First and foremost, graduation is coming closer and closer and I can actually feel it. I am the first in my family to graduate with any kind of degree. Hopefully this will make slackerdom less slackery. I'll be looking for a full time job this summer but with the way that things are, I'm not so sure that will be an easy task. At this point, I'm going to get through graduation for now and see which schools I get accepted to for the last 2 years of school and if nothing happens this summer, I'll have to slug it out for 2 more years and hope a Bachelors degree will get me somewhere.
I have to take the Cuny Proficiency Exam this Monday and hope that my average doesn't drop because of the English class I'm taking now that is horrendous and I can get at least a B-. I'd like to graduate with a 3.5. I'm at 3.4 now and am thinking I'll land 2 or 3 A's in my other classes.

As far as CE is concerned, the season gets underway for me in April. I kicked off the year with the Scotch Egg contest in PA. One of the competitors in the event googled me and sent me an email after finding my blog and apologized for the situation feeling weird and that it wasn't his intention. I wished him well and if he decides to do more events, we'll have a rematch.
So anyway, April will be a great start of the month. My goal for the year is to make at least $5,000 and make the top 10 list on eatfeats.com. Last year I made $1800.
On March 25th I will be in Connecticut for Munch Madness at a bar called The WoodnTap. This is a qualifying event for the final. It will be streamed online and I'll link to it when it goes down. That sets me up to go to the final, should me and my partner Joel "The Cannon" win. The prize is tickets to some sports events. I'll then head out to San Diego, CA for the ALT Games (formally known as the National Collegiates. It's a series of "extreme sports" events that students participate in and CE, I think, is the opening event. Anyone in cali that wants to hang the weekend of the 17th and 18th, hit me up. Should I win that, I'll already be at $1,250 on the year plus whatever the tickets sell for and hopefully crack the top five in All Pro Eating before the end of the summer.
With the National Geographic special coming up, hopefully some more TV stuff will happen too. More on that when I hear about an air date.




Saturday, March 14, 2009

Contest Report - The Whip Scotch Egg Eating Contest



I decided I'd like to do a contest today, so I went to eatfeats.com to see what was going on this weekend. I called for information on a wing contest in Jersey that was happening at an event in a ski lodge but they had no information on the prize or really anything for that matter.
So the next closest place happened to be Philadelphia, PA, which turned out to actually be Coatsville, PA, just outside of Philly. The food? Scotch Eggs. This is a scotch egg ->

A hard boiled egg surrounded by ground pork and then deep fried. Eggs have always been a food I was concerned about competing with, let alone for 12 minutes, which was this contests time. Not only that but the deep fried with pork... I figured with all the other foods I had done, eggs couldn't have been as bad as I'd made them out to be so I decided to give it a shot. Jessica came with me and we got a ride from my aunt and made a road trip out of it.

The ride took about 2.5 hours and we almost got lost because the street changed names and mapquest didn't alert us to this, but we got there just in time.
Before we left I made sure that I called to confirm everything and give my entry. Apparently they thought it was weird that someone from New York would hear about their contest and googled me and seemed to be pretty excited I was coming. The staff at The Whip (named for the whipping turns that lead you to the establishment) could not have been any nicer. The owner, chef, MC and timekeepers (whose names I forget unfortunately) were nothing but gracious and great hosts.

The bar itself was very nicely set up. TVs playing rugby matches, modern decor, etc. The contest was held in the patio area at the back of the bar. As we were standing around, I sensed I was being sized up by the competition and since my reputation had preceded me, I'm sure assumptions were made. At any rate, the contest finally began. There was room for 10 people but only 5 others managed to sign up. I set up my water, set up the mp3 player and got going once start was called. I put on my signature speed and was done with the first tray pretty quickly. At this point I saw that I was pretty far ahead and took a break. I slowed up and then got into the next tray. At this point, I only have one side of the headphones in my ear and while I'm eating, I don't realize that time is crawling. It seems slow as hell as they counted down the minutes. I cracked jokes and made people laugh as I'm downing the eggs. Now, as my experience has been with previous contests where I'm the favorite and everyone else is an "amateur", people are pretty good humored and like to joke around too. Most of the crowd was into it, as was the staff, but it seemed as though my jokes might have come off a bit cocky and I sensed the other "amateur contestants" might have been put off. At any rate, I was feeling full and I hung back but one of the "local amateurs" was catching up and I continued to push for the win. I congratulated him on a good job and walked away. I waited on the owner to produce the winnings for the contest and as I tried to further congratulate the second and third place contestants but they were none too happy that I showed up.

We were all going to have a few drinks and then go home but the vibe kinda creeped me out and felt threatening, so I thanked the owner for having me and we hightailed it back to Brooklyn. More important than the contest was the time spent with family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Movie Review - Henry Poole Is Here


When I read the synopsis of Henry Poole is here on my weekly travels to the New Release section of Netflix, I totally ignored it. It sounded preachy and schmaltzy. A cheap gimmick to pull heart strings.
My mom rented it and before I brought it back to get the store for her for the free rental I figured I didn't have anything to lose by watching it.
I'm actually glad I did. Henry Poole Is Here is about a man who returns to his hometown to buy the house his family lived in because he is dying and is trying to find some sort of self discovery before he does. The current owner of the house turns him down and he buys a house nearby situated next to a nosy neighbor who thinks she sees the face of God in the bad paint job on the side of the house.
The movie details the depression and dread that Henry (Luke Wilson) feels as his impending death creeps in closer, while trying to maintain as little contact to the outside world as possible. The thing is, if he wanted no contact, he would shut himself in. The fact of the matter is, Poole continues to hang in the outside recesses of his new found home knowing full well the nosey neighbor is going to bother him and that the mute little girl next door is tape recording his conversations.
You know that Poole hasn't completely given up on life but doesn't know how to reach out. The reach comes in the form of the miracle on the wall. It's pretty predictable from front to back. For me though, I could identify with that sense of dread. In my teenage years, I felt like I was dying on the inside. There was this doom of this big cold world crashing in on me and swallowing me whole and so instead of facing it head on, I retreated to my own world wanting to just die instead. And so just as I finally reached out and let the world in and discover that what's important is the here and now, so does Poole. Little by little, and at the same time, he becomes skeptical about what he believes and rejects that those thoughts of a spiritual healing could be real. Whether they are or not is not the point. The point is that the miracle of life is just being alive and realizing the potential of what you can do before you squander your life away and wither away and die.
Helpful too was the soundtrack. I've become a huge fan of modern folk and the songs by Ben Harper, et al, during the less talky moments were also enjoyable.
As I said, overall HPIH is pretty predictable but touching nonetheless. I've become less of a cynic as life has passed. Passing the film up would have been perfectly fine because sentiment just for the sake of sentiment, let alone with religious overtones is not my bag. But as I've become less cynical, I've discovered that I can take a movie like this and just take the elements that are important to me with me. Just as a spaceship would be an incredulous idea so too is the idea of a healing wall. I don't think aliens have ever entered into our stratusfere but Mars Attacks is still a fun movie, so even as an agnostic, I found myself taking the journey with Poole to discover that even if God really didn't have anything to do with all the "miracles" happenings surrounding his misery, perhaps he was responsible for his own destiny rather than waiting for life to take it's course.




Sunday, March 8, 2009

No go for Sushi Challenge...

Welcome to my new blog. I've decided that I wanted to keep my blog (that was started at www.myspace.com/numberoneshaqfan) but not have it tied to myspace since it's going down the tubes. So we begin a fresh start here on blogspot.

Well today should have been my attempt at a sushi challenge. The challenge was that you must eat at least one more piece of sushi than the last person that attempted it. I went with Jill, who was going to attempt the women's record (38 pieces) and I would have attempted the men's (61 pieces). I had been putting Jill off and rescheduling, so finally I decided we'd get down to business. For shits and gigs, my friends Jamal and Ron came along to hang.
We get to the place, Yummy Village, and get settled in, ready to take the challenge. We wrote down the sushi we wanted and handed over the order. Unfortunately, we find out that the sushi for the challenge was limited. We had picked out several sushi rolls that added up to the pieces that we had to eat, but were told by the waiter that it was only a small list of sushi and that list contained pieces like this...



I've never had this type of sushi and I wasn't going to try over 60 pieces of it for the first time. Jill had never tried this type either but was a lot braver than me and wanted to attempt it. I told her to go for it and that there was another challenge uptown that we could go to afterward and that my friends would be able to participate as well.
Well after approximately 15 or so of the 20 minutes, Jill did conquer the challenge and got her picture up on the wall. We all cheered her on while she struggled to get the last few bites down. I suppose I'll sample this type of sushi casually and go back if I decide that I like it.

After the sushi challenge we went uptown to Harlem to a place called Ottomanelli Brothers. The link was recently posted on eatfeats.com (a competitive eating site that lists all challenges and contests). The article posted said that you would get your meal free if you could finish their, approximately, one and a half pound burger and 20oz soda in under 20 minutes. Knowing that this is a piece of cake, I was going to challenge my attempt to be within the 3 minute or less range. We hiked all the way up to the 111th st and 5th ave location only to find out that the challenge was only available Monday-Thursday during lunch hours. Unfortunately for me and my friends, it was a late Sunday night.

It was cool just to hang with good people and catch up with some friends however, so the night wasn't completely wasted.

I'll post video of Jill's challenge soon...



 
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