Macaroni and Lots of Things

It was another lazy Saturday afternoon at Stu’s house.  Matt and I were over and the three of us were having a blast doing nothing together.  Relevant Calvin and Hobbes comic.

At some point, we moved over to the piano to “jam” a bit.  I say “jam” because we’re 12 or 13 in this story and our musical potential had not been unlocked yet.  Stu still barely knew how to play the drums, I knew nothing outside of my classical music training and Matt hadn’t found his passion for jazz yet.

“Are you guys hungry?”, Stu asked.

Matt and I looked at each other before agreeing, “yeah, we could eat.”

“Okay cool, be right back”, Stu got up and left us as Matt and I continued experimenting on the piano.

Not too much time passed as Stu returned with a giant bowl of Mac and Cheese with cut up hot dogs and 3 spoons.  It was one of those big bowls you would normally use to toss or serve salads in.  And looking back at it now, Stu cooked that up really fast; is there a boy scout badge for speed cooking mac and cheese?

Anyway, we moved to the kitchen area and gathered around to eat his creation.  After a few spoonfuls, Matt spoke up and said “It tastes like it’s missing something..”  I thought maybe he meant a little salt and pepper, but he and Stu went into the fridge to see what we could add.  Matt found a small container of gravy from KFC.  “This!  Let’s add this!” Matt exclaimed.  Stu was hesitant about it.  After a small Benny Hill chase sequence, Matt was finally able to pour the gravy into the mac and cheese.  To Matt’s credit, it actually tasted pretty good.  After a few more spoonfuls, Matt once again posed the question:

“What else can we add to this?”

And right here is where we should have stopped this nonsense.  Instead, we went down an exponentially faster descent of adding things and then trying to save the integrity of the mac and cheese.

There were a handful of things we mixed into the mac and cheese at first that made it taste good.  Forgive my memory as I can’t quite seem to remember them (it was so long ago).  I think it was salt, pepper, ketchup, some hot sauce and I think eventually more cheese and more hotdogs.  The part I remember vividly was when things took a weird turn.

“Cap’n Crunch!”

Stu and I barely had a chance to stop Matt as he poured some into the bowl.  It might have been fine if it was regular Cap’n Crunch, but it was actually the berry version.  So now our mac was a weird savory mix, and from this point forward, it was gross.

In an attempt to bind the flavors together and mix savory with savory, Matt added a big spoonful of peanut butter.  Good idea, but still gross.

It was around this point that Marty joined us.  We filled him in with our current dilemma and he tried his best to help.  He found a bottle of thousand island dressing in the fridge and poured some in.  Still no good.

Finding a plate of soft boiled eggs I threw those into the mix.  For a moment, we thought the mac and cheese was saved as Marty tasted it and let out a satisfying “mmmm”.  It was then pointed out that he just had a spoonful of egg without the other elements.  Not too long after, I had a brilliant idea:

“Soy sauce saves everything, right?”

The others applauded my idea as I poured in what looked like just the right amount.  We each took another spoonful only to find that though it tasted better, it was still gross tasting.

We were just about to abandon it before Matt said “Wait! I think if we add more Cap’n Crunch it’ll taste good!”

Nope.  Should have just stopped at gravy..

Strength and Honor

Like many stories about us, it all kind of started as a joke.  It was a typical Sunday morning at church and we were doing the usual messing around in between services.  We were done being seniors in high school and were enjoying the last few days of Summer.  On this day we conversed with our Sunday school teacher, Ben, as he indulged in our nonsense.  This was somewhere around the time we were transitioning from calling him Ben-Dover to Ben-gaged to just Ben (because now he was married).

I forget what lead to it, but Ben just started grabbing each of our arms and saying “strength and honor” in a deep raspy voice.  Of course, a couple of us caught his reference to the beginning of the movie, Gladiator.

We chuckled and played along with Ben, trying to do our own impression of Russell Crowe’s voice.  For various reasons, this stuck in our minds.  

Later, on one of our last hangouts at Stu’s house before college, we were getting ready to go our separate ways, when, instead of saying “goodbye”, I extended my hand and said:

“Hey, Strength and Honor…”

There was a small pause as we all looked at each other with smirks on our faces.

“Yeah.. Strength and Honor..”, Matt said.

And so, it became it our thing.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Matt, Stu, Caleb, Marty and I went to schools that were still pretty close to home.  So it was very common for all of us to be at church together on a given Sunday.  After a week of school, homework, projects and tests, it was a joy to see one another again.

“Strength and Honor”

It was a greeting, a goodbye, an exhortation.  It kind of encompassed it all as we said it and made eye contact.  Eye contact that was akin to heading off to another battle (ie. another week of school).  Though it was just jokes, it felt very brotherly and real.  It was pretty cool.

We were college freshmen when this all began and it carried on until we were juniors.  Not so much because we grew out of it, but probably more so because we each started to spend more weekends on our respective campuses.  We enjoyed the novelty of it so much that it actually inspired the College Winter Retreat theme for one of the years I was the director.

“Strength and Honor: when Beauty and Religion just don’t cut it..”

Again, this was our thing.  So of course we wouldn’t acknowledge Jackie when she extended her hand for it.  She parodied it with my sister and the rest of their friends by making up their own, “beauty and religion”.  Hence, the tagline for the winter retreat theme.

I kind of miss those days where we used it so liberally.

The Last Summer Break

Summer 2012

This would be the last Summer break for me, and others like me that were taking a 5th year in college.

Kevin and Caleb were gearing up to go to Thailand again.  Marty was already working a little bit and getting ready to go back to school to get his credentials.  Stu was done with school, but still actively looking for a job.  Matt had a free Summer (for once); free from studying abroad or going on medical missions trips.  Me?  I failed to find an internship before the school year ended, yet I still tried putting my application out there.

This Summer is actually encompassed by one day in particular.  It was quite hot, so of course Matt and Stu rode their bikes over to my house to utilize the pool.  Stu was tired of applying to jobs, I was tired from finding an internship and Matt was tired from working out everyday, so we just used the day to relax.  We didn’t need to be adults quite yet anyway.

We got pruny, so we went inside.  Matt and Stu brought out their laptops, while I turned on my desktop.  It was around this time that Matt jokingly suggested that we find a game that we could play together.  He reminisced on all those times we played the Gauntlet series together.  Even pulling some late night sleepovers to enjoy it.  I then remembered downloading and playing a cooperative game from Steam a while back.  I pointed it out to them, and told them what the game was like.  Honestly, I didn’t even sell it very well.  After all, this was a game that didn’t excite me enough to want to keep playing then, why would it change now?  I figured it would be one of those times where there would be a unanimous “naaaaw” and then move on to the next idea.

That game was Spiral Knights.  And as it turns out, I was wrong.  They loved the concept so much they began downloading it immediately.  The funniest thing happened next:

Not too long after, my brother came home from a long day of work.  He was probably slightly annoyed at the fact that he came back to his room (we shared a room) and saw 3 half-naked guys (from swimming) playing computer games.  He questioned us on what we’ve done all day as he turned on his own computer.  Glancing at our monitors and hearing us out, he got really interested and began downloading Spiral Knights as well.  He even told us to wait for him.  We spent the remainder of the evening completing some missions together.  It was great!

Really, the title of this blog should be “A Summer of Spiral Knights” or “The Adventures of poostu, Maluweee, smhappyguy and gimsh”.  This was pretty much what we did for the rest of the Summer.  Exercise a little bit, have some fun in the sun and then play Spiral Knights (which we later codenamed “pumping iron” to sound less embarrassing when talking about it in public).

Perhaps more so because it was the last, but this Summer break was easily one of my most favorite.  I wouldn’t have traded having an internship for fellowship with friends during those months.  Alas, the nights came quicker and Summer came to a close.  As school started up and we did our respective things, our digital adventure came to an end.

Sleepover Shenanigans

We were but 8th graders when this story took place.

Our grade’s guys were having a Sunday School social in the form of a sleepover.  Although, it might be better to call us boys at this time period.  Of course, the sleepover location of choice was the Leung mansion, complete with huge backyard, pool and indoor basketball court.

The afternoon and night was filled with countless multiplayer games of Halo, Risk, and other games you can play with a deck of cards.  As the night wore on, many succumbed to fatigue and went to go sleep.  It was down to Matt, Stu, Caleb, Marty, me and a couple others.  While the others did their own thing, we sat around discussing what we should do, for it wasn’t quite late enough to sleep yet.

With a single deck of cards and 5 of us, we couldn’t play Big 2, so we sought out to play poker instead.  We failed to find any sort of poker chips, or anything that resembled some, so someone had the grand idea of playing strip poker.  It’s totally fine; we were just a bunch of boys hoping to find some cheap laughs in our sleep deprived state.  And it’s not like we were going to play the whole thing out, the first few rounds were pretty lame in that most of us just lost our socks.  Except for Matt, he wasn’t wearing socks, so he lost his shirt right away, to which we ogled at his six pack (of course).

It got to a point where we were just about ready to go to bed, so we agreed to play one final round and loser had to strip down to their underwear.  But before that, Marty needed to use the bathroom.  As soon as he left the area, someone whispered:

“Hey, let’s rig the deck so Marty loses!”

Working fast, we also knew we had to make it look believable.  So we rigged it in such a way that the cards still needed to be dealt out and Marty would have a decent hand.  We made it so we would beat his hand with only slightly better cards.  So, being a good sport, Marty accepted his defeat and proceeded to carry out the deed.  Sporting a fancy camera flip phone, Matt took a multi-shot of the moment.  It was a super low quality four frames, but it would be a gem we would always reference.  While Marty was undressing, Matt and Stu would hum a song they were learning in band, which they coined as “the stripper song”.  According to Dr. McDaniel, their band teacher, it was a song for strippers.  So, I guess it was appropriate.

Normally, you might expect me to write “and here are those pictures revealed!” but no, those picture were lost with Matt’s first phone.  Though the pictures remained safely stored on it, Matt’s phone would be stolen about a year later by what he suspected to be high school upperclassmen.  Gone forever are those photos.

But as a consolation, with the help of Matt and Stu, we were able to hunt down the name of that song we so lovingly hummed countless times.  Now, just imagine us humming this:

Mmm, yes…

Diamond Formation

It was Summer and we were in middle school.  With our free time after church service on Sundays, we almost always made our way to the Lollicup a block away.  It was the best way to quench our thirst and satisfy our sugary needs.

But before we freely roamed the streets of Chinatown, we found ourselves asking the question “is it safe?”

There were a couple announcements made during youth service saying that kids like us really shouldn’t be wandering around Chinatown without any sort of adult supervision.  The overarching theme of this was to make it sound unappealing or unsafe.  Innocent and naive, we just took it for fact.  I’m sure there was good reasoning for this.  Looking back at it now, there were certainly some kids that would ditch service or Sunday School to roam around Chinatown instead, so I’m sure they were trying to discourage that.  On that note, the church was probably somewhat liable, in that parents expect their kids to be at certain locations at certain times.  Or maybe there was an incident I don’t know about.

Before it became all gentrified, I remember Chinatown looked a lot slummier when I was 6 or 7.  I clung close to my mom on the short walks to the restaurant we frequented on Sundays.  I remember seeing lots of poop, trash and smokers.  Of course, I’m sure my young self exaggerated the things I saw.

So, the very first time we took the streets on our own, Matt, Stu, Caleb and I invented the diamond formation.  Rather than walk around like a defenseless herd of sheep, we chose to instead walk in such a way that we could possibly defend against any sort of danger (strangers, crazy people. etc.)  This was our logic:

“Well, Matt is super buff, so he should walk in front.  Caleb and Stu are like 4 feet tall and probably weak, so they’ll walk behind Matt along his sides.  Josh is pretty strong, so he’ll walk in back, so he can watch all of our backs.”

Thus, we walked in the shape of a diamond.  We kept our heads on a swivel and remained in a tight formation and walked to Lollicup, got our drinks, and back with no trouble.  After that day, we concluded “well, I guess there’s nothing to be that afraid of”.

Even though we’re 11 or 12 in this story, I’m sure we were ready to throw down!

Oh, where was Marty?  Probably being super mature and hanging out with all the girls of course.

From then on we just freely walked to and from Lollicup after service.

Discipleship

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It was a couple weeks before we started our freshmen year of college.  We had just eaten dinner together and we decided the night was still young, so we all gathered in Caleb’s van.  “We”, of course, refers to Matt, Stu, Caleb, Marty and me.

We had graduated.  We attended our last mission’s trip with HSMT and Summer Camp as high schoolers.  Our High School glory days were over.  Summer was ending.  It would be the start of a new era.

Relevant Video?:

We talked about our anxieties and expectations of college and how our orientation weekends went.  Frankly, I don’t really remember what we talked about, and it’s not like anyone of us wrote it down.  Most of it was probably common topics; a fresh start, choosing a major, dorm expectations, making friends, and what not.  Other than which Christian fellowship we each planned to attend, I don’t think we talked about anything remotely spiritual.  Plus, we all assumed we’d pretty much be coming back every weekend, so we could check up on each other then.  And well, we did come home for every Sunday, and saw each other in Sunday School.

Moments like those where we huddled together to have serious or semi-serious talks would be commonplace, especially during extended quarter/semester breaks.  

Fast forward a year and some change.  Once more, we gathered together.  This time, it would be in the “butt cave”.  That is, the side of the staircase that leads to the choir room at church.  We called it the “butt cave” because calling it the “bat cave” would be too plain, duh.  We spent many a Sunday afternoon there in high school, so we decided to meet there for some privacy and for old times’ sake.

After a freshman year of battles, victories, new friends, broken hearts and more, we reconvened to discuss things.  You see, we were convicted by the sermon to be more intentional with our accountability.  Webcam Bible studies, prayer chains over phone calls and message threads were only as effective as our respective schedules would permit.  We needed something that wouldn’t fall apart to schedule conflicts and/or laziness.  With experience, Matt knew that we had to do something other than renew our accountability vows.  He proposed something that would be better at catering to our location and needs.

Discipleship.

Matt suggested we find a discipler.  An older figure, to help guide each individual during this period of time.  Someone that knew what they were doing.  Someone that could help keep us on track.  I think at that point we all kind of had someone in mind.  We gave ourselves a homework assignment to ask someone to disciple us.

I’m not sure why I bring this up, I just thought it was a cool keystone memory.  A moment where we all wanted something, and we all obtained it.

Matt was discipled by Brian
Stu was discipled by Lawrence
Caleb was discipled by Wilhelm
Marty was discipled by Joseph
I was discipled by Matt

Behind the Music: Sometimes (Prequel)

I was on my phone the other day, and I accidentally opened the voice recording app.  Before exiting out, I scrolled through what was there.  It was mostly recordings of the rain when I still worked at Flavorus.  The way the warehouse was built, it really amplified the rain’s pitter-patter.  At the very bottom of the list, I saw something dated December 2009.  I thought I had lost that recording a while back through upgrading my phone, but I guess the Apple cloud was able to recover it at some point.  Happy, I gave it a listen.  It was a hidden gem, like finding an extra pocket of meat on a rib or 2nd Christmas.  It was one of the first drafts of our song “Sometimes”.  You can read all about the making of that song here.

Matt, Stu, Marty and I were huddled around the piano on a Saturday evening.  We had just dug up Marty’s lyrics and Matt was expertly free styling on the piano.  We wanted to get something down before we went our separate ways, and I had the great idea to record it.  In case you were wondering, this was the line up:

Matt – Piano
Marty – Singer
Josh – Chorus Singer
Stu – Shaker and Background Vocal

Here it is, the first raw recording of “Sometimes”, enjoy!

As you can hear, it was a long way from the final product.  We were still experimenting with dynamics, lyrics and the flow of the chorus.  Before we all went home, we had some idea of how we wanted the chorus to change from “sometimes” to “always” (or a synonym of always).  After a few days of listening to this recording, Marty came back to us with a video of how he created the bridge.  Here he is unplugged:

And you guys know the rest of the story…

A for Effort

As you may know already, I have very athletic and fit friends.  In their own right, they are a pantheon of fine specimens.

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You might think I would be right there with them in terms of skill, agility and strength, but the reality is.. I’m not.

But I’m a different type of strong.

What I lack in up front brawn and speed, I make up for in endurance and persistence.  I can try really hard, but my friends are always better.  It’s to the point where I sometimes give my 110% just to keep up with them.  I’m not mad or sad about it; it’s just really interesting how each human body can vary.

Let’s look at some examples:

Turkey Bowl

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Once a year, on Thanksgiving day, FCBC LA gathers together to play some tackle football.  For some, it’s their only exercise and activity for the year.  For others, it’s an excuse to keep their body fit passed the Summer season.  Matt, Stu and I are regular participants.  One year, as early as August, we began training together.  Nothing intense, just passing the football around and running.  What has happened in the past though, is that around October, those two call it quits on the exercise for various reasons.

But I’ll keep going, so that I can at least look competent on game day.  I’ll be sprinting copious amounts of 40 yard dashes and running through the agility training I recall from my high school football days.  I went as far as doing some two-a-days.

Game day comes around, and it’s as if I accomplished nothing.  An out of shape Stu can outrun and outmuscle a very much in shape Josh.

SD Century Ride

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One year, we collectively wanted to bike the Solvang and/or San Diego Century rides together.  It would eventually trickle down to only Caleb and me going.  After a few intense rides together, I had to begin training on my own, cause the rest of them had to back out.  Every weekend, I would wake up early to ride 30+ miles.  In addition, on weeknights, I was doing a ridiculous amounts of squats and some cardio.  I invented a squat set called “Squashes”.  One repetition would be 50 squats, 50 lunges, 50 backward lunges, 50 pulse lunges; and I would do 8-10 squashes every other night.

Caleb biked ~60 miles the weekend before the San Diego ride and he was good to go.  Nothing else.  On game day, it only took him a couple hours more to complete the century ride (100+ miles, I only did ~67 miles).  Also, he has no gears.

LA Marathon

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We were advised to ramp up and be able to run 20 miles before the actual marathon.  Though we started training late, we had enthusiasm and determination on our side.  Diligently, I ramped up to 18 miles before game day (though I wish I could have run more).  Due to time constraint and other obligations, Matt and Stu were only able to due ~13 miles as their longest run before marathon day.

They still beat me by a long shot.

Perhaps the most humbling thing was the couple times Spencer ran with us during our training process.  This guy has asthma and he was lapping all of us!

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It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

The only thing I hate is that I always feel like I let them down.  Whether biking, hiking or anything active we do together, I feel REALLY bad when they have to wait for me to catch up.  Or worse yet when they basically carry me or push me cause I’m really lagging it.

I guess it’s a good thing we’re friends!

Ultimate Weenus

Summer 2004

The Summer before I entered high school I was one of the few kids that enrolled in Summer School.  But unlike most of my peers, I wasn’t getting ahead; I was catching up.  I was taking Algebra again because I didn’t do so hot while I was in middle school.  I didn’t fail, it just wasn’t an acceptable grade to my parents.  I remember I was the only incoming freshman in that class, which seemed weird to me.  Rather, the room was filled with to-be sophomores and even one to-be junior.  Any way, I actually aced that class because Algebra suddenly made sense to me.  It helped that the teacher, Ms. Witzeman, was really cool.  In that class there were also a handful of characters.  One of whom taught us all what a weenus was (among other silly things).

Weenus – the extra skin on your elbow when you stretch your arm out.

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Now, up to that point, the only version of ‘weenus’ I knew of came from the TV show Friends

Weenus is one of those things where no one really knows the origin of it, but it slowly spread around the world by word of mouth and before the introduction of Urban Dictionary mind you.  I like to think that I helped spread it.  I told all my friends about it and we all had a blast teaching people about it and referencing it.  Clan WumboQ and I especially used this term to death.

Hence, when we gave Nick Tong the title, “The Weenus Noob”

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He would slowly be promoted to Weenus Looker, and then Weenus Toucher.

So, it was a warm Summer evening and we were celebrating my 14th birthday with a sleepover.  A Clan WumboQ affair, we had set ourselves up in the living room; we were ready for a night of fun.  As Caleb and I played games of Speed and Frustration, Stu played Pokemon Sapphire.  Marty was playing Stu’s copy of Pokemon Ruby, but he didn’t want to save over it, so he started a new game and tried to see how far he could go in one sitting.  Matt was on a relentless quest to capture Latias, one of the last Pokemon he needed to complete his Pokedex.  For the record, after 3 grueling hours in front of his Gameboy screen, he finally caught it.

To be specific, the deck of cards we were using were Ninja Turtle themed.  They were a party favor from Stu’s birthday party earlier in the year.

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After playing a round of Speed, Caleb looked up and said “wouldn’t it be cool if we made up a game based on the pictures?”  And just like if I were to follow Matt into the dark, I said “Yeah!  That’s such a good idea.”  We began brainstorming right away.  Not all the cards have graphics on them, so we put aside the boring ones.

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We took note of the pictures… ideas began flooding in … and as we talked about it more, slowly everyone else put down their Gameboys and joined in on our discussion.  Thus our card game, “Ultimate Weenus”, was born.

Look at these cards and what do you see?

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Regular playing cards?  No, I see a sandbox of fun and limitless potential.  To play this game, you must think like a junior high-er.  The concept is simple, like Big 2, the player that empties their hand first, wins the game.  But how you empty your hand is up to your imagination.  It’s more than just pairs and 5 card hands.  Take a gander.

During our first drafts of this game we set a simple standard.  Cards such as these were certain actions: army, attack, block, dodge, dash, kick…

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But just like 5 is often times greater than 3, we had to set some sort of scaling.  What beat what and why?  Could you dodge or dash at nothing?  If someone played an attack on you, did you have to block it?  Or could you just play another attack.  We started having some sort of baseline going.  Pictures of The Shredder and Splinter were stronger, but still the game was a little too vanilla.  And then our immaturity kicked in.

Take a look at these foot clan ninja cards.  What do you see?

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Weenus?  That’s right!  The more weenus, the stronger the card was.  This applied to simple attacks and blocks too.

Now take a look at these cards, what do you see?

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See the position of the hands?  Those are dragons!  In case you don’t catch our reference:

With all that, we derived what was to be our most powerful card, the ultimate weenus dragon.  Our big 2, so to speak.  And that’s where we derived our name for the game.

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In and of itself, this game is a lot like Calvin Ball.  I mean in the sense that the rules are never really stable.  A lot of preset values were arbitrary at best and all it took was a little imagination to change up the game a bit.  We had a few run throughs and after every one, the game just kept getting better and better.  Everyone played their part in coming up with card ideas and it’s hard to remember who came up with what, but here are some of them.  And these actually remained as staples to the game

Passive thinker – playing this card basically reset the board to zero.  Too much weenus to deal with?  Passive thinker.  All that for nothing.

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Fake Out – see how he is pointing up?  This doubled as a board reset and skipped the next player’s turn.  To add to the fun of this card, when it’s played, everyone must look up.

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Stop – similar to Fake Out, but everyone has to stop moving for a second.  Fake Out and Stop didn’t skip the next person if they played a Fake Out or Stop too.

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The next few cards were just cards a step above your normal attack or block:

Master Prober

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Prober

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Angry Dragon

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Friendly Dragon

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Overexposure

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Leenus – an offshoot of weenus that we invented.  The excess skin of your knee.

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And then came the combos.  There are tons of possibilities, so I’ll name some of my favorites:

Right Hand Left Hand

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God Changed Me

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Mirror Image

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Flapping Butterfly

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Master and Apprentice

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Don’t Show Me That

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They weren’t always limited to these exact cards either.  As long as the actions on the cards were similar, we would deem it acceptable.  BUT they had to declare it as a variant, because we all know what the real Right Hand Left Hand looks like.  And then we began playing with the ability to stack.  In Big 2, that would be like if someone played a pair of aces, instead of beating it, you played three 5’s, which meant the next player has to beat a full house.  Someone played Angry Dragon?  Play the right Shredder and the next person has to deal with God Changed Me.  We would use this to our advantage too.  We would ask the person going next if they had a piece to complete a combo to mess with the following person.  Order was important too.  You couldn’t combo together Right Hand Left Hand if the left hand was played first.

You can see how out of hand this game got.  Because of the way this game was created, there was very little passing.  As long as your imagination could think of something plausible or viable, you could beat the card placed in front of you.

Only two people ever took the time to learn this game, The Weenus Noob and Rosa.  Granted, they didn’t learn it well; we still appreciated the effort though.

Unfortunately, our imaginations died with our age.  This game just isn’t the same anymore.  For the record, we got robbed.  Someone invented some sort of similar game.

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Yeah, all of this sounds stupid and silly.  Just be jealous of our young imaginations.  I certainly am.

Project Fadboys

Amongst our various jam sessions, we often did stuff like this.  It all started as a side project with Caleb and Stu doing covers of songs, but just the instrumentals.  Wanting to remain anonymous, they dressed up in the funnest way possible.  Slowly we incorporated ourselves in and joined their nonsense.  I think we were pretty surprised with the amount of views and comments they got.  Some of those comments are YouTube gold as well.  In the end, I believe it was more about dressing up than anything.. Check it out: