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Anecdotal evidence has just been released which seems to indicate that breeding a Gold Chocobo in Final Fantasy VII is more difficult than being accepted into and graduating from medical school.

Since 1998, the US has graduated approximately 300,000 doctors.  During that same time period, I have met 5 people who have successfully bred a Gold Chocobo.

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For those of you out of the loop, a Chocobo is a mythical bird that resembles an ostrich and can be ridden.  Chocobos exist exclusively within the domain of the Final Fantasy franchise.  While normal chocobos are capable of carrying a passenger across normal terrain, chocobos can be selectively bred via eugenics to produce various colored chocobos with an assortment of qualities.  For example, a blue chocobo can traverse shallow waters, a green chocobo can traverse mountains, and a black chocobo can traverse both.

In order to obtain the most powerful weapon in Final Fantasy VII, Knights of the Round Table Materia, one must successfully breed a Gold Chocobo.  With no fucking instructions whatsoever.

Compounding the difficulty, breeding a Gold Chocobo and obtaining Knights of the Round Table is not a prerequisite to beating the game.  As such, many gamers have thrown up their hands in frustration and given up on the quest.

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To my knowledge, approximately 1% of people who attempt to breed a Gold Chocobo are successful.  By contrast, last year approximately 48,014 people applied to medical schools, with 20,055 of them being accepted.  This is a 41.7% acceptance rate.

Compounding that rarity, the only person I have ever met to both graduate from medical school and breed a Gold Chocobo is my brother.  The statistical probability of achieving this dual threat are approximately one in 650 million (1.538e-9%).

Perhaps one of the most telling reasons that it is more likely that one will graduate from medical school than breed a Gold Chocobo is that instructions exist to do so.  A litany of resources exist to help prepare somebody for medical school, including undergraduate pre-med courses, Kaplan test classes, books, and advisors.  The same cannot be true for Final Fantasy VII, where the only individual who has any knowledge regarding the breeding of Gold Chocobos is a wiley recluse named the Chocobo Sage who speaks in cryptic and often unhelpful sentences.

When asked how to prepare oneself for medical school, second year med student Jennifer Alfonso credited her upbringing, hard work, preparation, and delayed gratification.  Similarly, when asked how to breed a Gold Chocobo, Mike Baxter fell to the ground and began sobbing uncontrollably.

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Vic Abbott thinks Choco Billy can go fuck himself.

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A lot of people seem to be up in arms about Obama’s coffee cup salute.  For those of you who have jobs, or lives, or any semblance of common sense, let me fill you in:  Obama exited Air Force One with a cup of coffee in his hands.  He was saluted.  When he returned the salute, he did so with a CUP OF COFFEE IN ONE OF HIS HANDS.

This is September’s equivalent to Benghazi.

Let me start off by giving you my unbiased position of the coffee cup salute:  I don’t give a fuck.  And neither should you.  You are going to die one day.  On your deathbed, you’re going to regret every second you ever gave to even addressing the fact that it happened.  I’m going to regret this blog.

How has our country go to the point where this even fucking matters?  Newsflash:  Obama never served in the military.  What the hell does he know about salutes?  Do you think his lack of salute means he has no respect for the military?  No respect for America?  Is the coffee cup salute the lynchpin in the “Obama is a Kenyan communist unamerican socialist jihadist hell bent on destroying our economy” conspiracy?

No.  It doesn’t fucking matter.

And anybody who criticizes Obama for a legitimate reason is sacrificing their integrity and respectability by holding an opinion on this.

If you want to hate Obama because of his stance on terrorism or foreign affairs or “the economy” or LGBT rights or Wall Street or anything else that has any fucking thing to do with America, that’s your right as an American.

But if you want to read a Boston Globe article about the most powerful man in the world holding a cup of coffee as he exits his private jet, and then post your ignorantly enlightened opinion to Facebook, seriously, go fuck yourself.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAvq12Sa3VE

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Vic Abbott has deep political beliefs that are unrelated to whether a President holds a cup of coffee as he salutes the military.

While I am by no means a misogynist, I do consider myself a realist.  I give credit where credit is due.  I think that Kate had the most balls on the Island and suspended my disbelief to accept that Sigourney Weaver was in fact capable of killing the most lethal life form known to man. There is still a chivalrous side of me that believes that you should hold doors for women, call your mother once a week, and not euthanize the unintended daughters of Communist China.  This is by no means a slam on women merely for being women.  Rather, this is a legitimate and founded complaint based on quantifiable evidence and repeated observation.

Bitches jack hoodies.

If there are three unavoidable scenarios associated with life, they are, in no specific order: death, taxes, and the theft of hooded sweatshirts by women.  Larceny under the common law is defined as the taking and removing the personal property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of the enjoyment and use of that property.  Just as the DSM-IV clearly denotes the increased prevalence of histrionic personality disorder amongst women, scientific evidence can often be used to clearly indicate the increased likelihood of an event’s occurrence based on singular factors such as gender.  This is different than stereotyping.

So, I’ll stop beating around the bush here and just get to the point.  If you’re a girl, there is a good chance that you’ve stolen one of my hoodies.  It wasn’t yours, and I want it back.  Please return it.

It’s not yours, you didn’t ask for it, I barely know you, and if you did ask for it I’d probably be a little bit weirded out.  I know how it goes.  At some point in high school or college, you developed a crush on someone.   That’s normal.  However, in a lot of circumstances, you developed a crush on a guy not right for you, who didn’t like you, or who had a girlfriend.  Unrequited love.  That didn’t stop you.  You started drawing pictures and love letters, gossiping amongst your friends, and going to Abercrombie and Fitch so that you could spray his scent on your clothes and be reminded of him.  That’s not normal.  That’s when you entered crazy territory.  It was only a matter of time before you went all out, creating a shrine in your closet filled with pictures, mementos, and some used toilet paper that you found (score!) sticking to the back of his shoe.

And then you stole his sweatshirt.

The sweatshirt had his name embroidered on the front of it.  It was for a sport that you did not play and likely did not follow.  It was not given.  The receipt was not consented to.  And the strangest part is that the last time the guy saw the sweatshirt, it was sitting in his dresser in his bedroom in his locked house.  I’m not insinuating that women have covert ninja training in stealth burglary.  In fact, I’m not insinuating anything.  I don’t care why.  Just give it back.

I’ve heard girls talk about strange drunk creepers who add them on facebook and try to mack on them with no regard to a 20 year age gap.  That’s not a creeper. You want to know what a creeper is?  A creeper is a girl who will steal your clothes and wear them to bed at night so she can be reminded of you.  That’s a creeper.

Whether you’ve stolen someone’s hoodie recently, or whether it has been 13 years since you’ve graduated from high school, chances are that the guy still misses his hoodie.  He still thinks about it from time to time.  He says to himself “it had my name written on it.  Nobody could ever wear that in public.  Why would someone want it?”

Today is a new day.  Today is a day of amnesty.  Please, take some time today, go through your things, find all of the hoodies that aren’t yours, and return them, no questions asked.  

Please.  

I’m cold.



Rick Ricotta is a free-lance writer whose only attempt at gonzo journalism resulted in him fleeing the parking lot of a Toby Keith concert once he realized it was country.

From the windows, to the walls,
Till the sweat drips down my balls.

Lil Jon & The East Side Boys
"Get Low"

United States, 2003

I purchased the pack of Starbursts from the man at the counter, my mouth salivating.  She’s going to love these, I think to myself as I head back to my apartment.  I’d just met a girl - a nice girl.  We had been talking for a while and hitting it off pretty well.  She was on her way over, and I wanted to do something nice.  Something to show her that I was thoughtful and into her, without being too obvious.  A little bit of candy should do the trick.

I greeted her at the front door of my apartment, freshly showered and smelling of Coolwater cologne.  I escorted her into my living room and we sat on the couch.  My palms began sweating in anticipation of my crush.  The fear of rejection and unrequited love was overcome by the sheer terror of dying alone.  We made small talk, not really caring what was said, just trying to break the tension.

"Would you like something to eat?" I said innocently.  I began looking around the room nonchalantly, like I wasn’t sure what I had to offer.  Laughing to myself at my clever ploy to get her into a state of undress.  I had something to offer her.  Fucking right I did.  I pulled the pack of Starbursts from my pocket.

She smiled as I opened them.  Things were going so well.  I looked at the contents inside and my heart sank.  ”Fuck,” I said to myself.

"What’s wrong?" she asked.

"Nothing," I replied quickly.  "Just thinking about Iraq."  Good save, I thought to myself.  It makes me sound worldly and sensitive.

I looked back down at the broken pack of Starbursts and quickly realized my mistake.  Four colors.  Red, pink, orange, yellow.  Nobody liked yellow.  Nobody.  Society will always have its masochists,  sociopaths and eccentrics.  Outside of this outlier, it is assumed that nearly 100% of the world’s population does not like lemon flavored Starbursts.  And yet, every time you purchase a package of Starbursts, you are giving 25% of your purchase money so that the company will essentially shove those yellow pieces of shit down your throat.

Normally, that isn’t a problem.  You buy the Starbursts, you dutifully eat the yellow, reluctantly eat the orange, and then reward yourself with the orgasmic tastes of red and pink.

But when you’re with a woman, social etiquette requires that she be given the pink ones.  And the red ones.  All of them.

Leaving me sitting there like a schmuck, leading my life of quiet desperation as I silently labor through the taste of orange and yellow Starbursts.  While that bitch has the audacity to sit there and act like I didn’t just make the ultimate sacrifice for her.  Acting like she doesn’t know.  Fuck her.  She knows.

Fantasy is a genre dominated by pre-pubescent nerds fighting off embarrassing public erections.  Game of Thrones is the thinking man’s version of this.

Let me get something straight to all of you hipsters out there right fucking now.  I read it first.

You hear me? 

I read this shit before you did.

I’m a fucking child prodigy.  When I was eight years old, I had finished the entire Chronicles of Narnia.  By age 12, I had progressed to the Lord of the Rings.  By age 14, I was Choosing My Own Adventure, and doing a pretty fucking bangup job of it.  At age 15, I got over my first breakup by locking myself in my basement for 10 days and breeding a gold Chocobo.  Now, at age 30, I have read hundreds of fantasy series, from modern masters like Sanderson, Rothfuss, Lynch, and Hobb, all the way back to Robert Jordan, Guy Gavriel Kay and Ursula le Guin. (See: pretentious name dropping).

The fantasy genre, in and of itself, is a lot like kiddie porn:  easy to spot, but tough to define.  (Also, really satisfying).  If I asked you to sit down and define what fantasy was, you’d probably come back and tell me it had swords and dragons. 

Fantasy’s lack of a working definition has allowed itself to be pigeonholed by the fact that everybody in their mother wanted to be the next JRR Tolkien before they wanted to be the next GRR Martin.  JRR Tolkien wrote about dragons, and elves, and dwarves, and wizards, and then every subsequent fantasy author assumed that they had to write about dragons, and elves, and dwarves, and wizards. None of them realized that they weren’t required to plagiarize the shit out of Tolkien.  They just accepted it as gospel.

All because nobody could define what “fantasy” really was.

For example, if I asked you to categorize Star Wars, you would most likely tell me it was sci-fi.  However, if I asked you to categorize the story of a young farmboy who came to possess a sword and magical powers en route to saving the world from the threat of a looming evil, you would most likely tell me it was fantasy.  Meanwhile, I just described the plot of Star Wars.

In my own humble opinion, George RR Martin’s “epic” run-on sentence of a series is more closely aligned to political intrigue and drama than it is to what one would normally call fantasy.  Except…dragons.  Somehow, the existence of dragons makes this fantasy.  When the definition of a genre is so shitty that people have to talk about different “objects” that exist within that genre’s world, it becomes untenable.  If everything with a dragon in it is fantasy, then essentially every piece of fictional literature ever to come out of China could be described as fantasy.  It’s bullshit.

Putting dragons into a Song of Ice and Fire and then saying it is classic fantasy would be like watching Castaway, switching the volleyball with a basketball, and calling it Space Jam.  It would be like saying Twilight is a horror film because it has vampires.  It would be like calling Jules Jordan’s Ass Worship 15 a love story.  One day, (hopefully in the distant future) when one of my parents pass away, I am going to put a toy dragon on top of their casket and tell everyone that it was a “fantasy” funeral.

Which leads me to my point:  A Song of Ice and Fire is barely even fantasy.  And now a bunch of balding middle aged attorneys and zombified soccer mom’s on the perfect combination of adderall and xanax suddenly “love” fantasy.  Yeah right.  They love fantasy the way people who watched Titantic like boats.

There is nothing wrong with watching Game of Thrones, but there is something wrong with watching it and then deciding that you love the fantasy genre.  Game of Thrones is part fantasy.  It’s also part Rome, part Sopranos and part Tudors.  It’s part historical fiction, part military fiction, and part spoiler alert Bran turns into a tree.  And if I just ruined the series for you, great.

When your biggest selling point is that a Game of Thrones is a fantasy for people who don’t like fantasy, guess what?  Its not fantasy.  It’s a fucking drama with dragons.

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The following is a list of actual contemporary fantasy series that you should read:

-The Stormlight Archive, Brandon Sanderson

-The Farseer Saga, Robin Hobb

-The First Law Trilogy, Joe Abercrombie

-The Kingkiller Chronicles, Patrick Rothfuss

-The Gentleman Bastards Sequence, Scott Lynch

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Vic Abbott is passionate about giving spears to people gratis, and is therefore a freelance free lancer.

Somewhere in the Caribbean from Patrick Conway on Vimeo.

Somewhere in the Caribbean

Parts of a recent trip to Turks and Caicos. Filmed with Canon 5D, GoPro Hero3 Silver, iPhone Stop Motion app Sound recorded simultaneosly with iPhone5 + sound design Edited in Final Cut

Crazy GoPro Joe is Crazy