Friday, January 31, 2014

Meeting WWE Diva Natalya

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting WWE Diva Natalya a.k.a. Nattie Neidhart!

Yesterday, I was doing my morning Twitter browsing as usual, and I came upon a tweet that stated that Natalya was going to be signing new issues of FLEX Magazine (where she is featured) at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, not too far from my job, at 7PM. I was ecstatic. My love of wrestling is apparent. But she comes from a family of the greatest wrestlers in the business whom I grew up watching and admiring. And most importantly, I am such a huge Natalya fan! I think that her and AJ Lee are the best female wrestlers in the business today. Also, I recently got hooked on Total Divas, a show on E! starring Nattie and a bunch of other WWE Divas. So as you can imagine, I wasn't going to miss this.

I got to Barnes & Noble an hour and a half early and I was the 7th person in line. About a half hour before Nattie arrived, the Total Divas film crew arrived and passed out release forms since they were filming the signing for the show. I didn't even think twice. A chance to meet Natalya AND be on Total Divas? SIGN ME UP (Literally).

Natalya arrived and she looked amazing and had a huge smile on her face, as usual. She was not a minute late and as a matter of fact I think she was a few minutes early. She's a class act.

The Barnes & Noble employees informed us that she was just going to sign magazines and not take pictures, but I had a feeling Nattie was going to be open to snapping a picture with her fans. I was right. She was so nice and warm to everyone and did not hesitate to take as many pictures as people wanted. The first thing I thought of was "I need to get a selfie with Nattie". Folks, I did just that.

She signed my FLEX Magazine. I took the opportunity to sympathize with her about her cat Gizmo that recently passed away. It was discussed on Total Divas. I told her that me and my wife's previous cat passed away so suddenly a couple of years back as well. Seeing what she went through really hit close to home and I wanted to let her know that I knew what she was going through.

I love meeting people who I'm a huge fan of but what really puts it over the top is when they're humble and nicer than you expect. Natalya was just awesome and I've become an even bigger fan of hers.

Next step: Check out Total Divas season 2 to see if I made the cut!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

WWE Royal Rumble 2014 Predictions

Tomorrow, we will see 30 men enter the squared circle and only 1 prevail. The winner gets a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. Tomorrow, is one of my favorite events of the year and my favorite match of all time, the Royal Rumble. Here are my Royal Rumble predictions.

WWE Tag Team Champions Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. The New Age Outlaws

I'm actually a bit confused on where they're going with The New Age Outlaws. I love that they're back and they're in great shape. However, I think the Tag Team Champions should be deeper in the card than this. This doesn't look like it's going to be a Championship match, and The New Age Outlaws are looking to make an impact again, so I think The New Age Outlaws are going to take this one.

Winners: The New Age Outlaws

Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Unfortunately, I don't care about this match at all. But it's plain and simple. The Big Show at this current point in time sucks. Brock Lesnar only shows up when he wants. I doubt the deal is for him to come in for 2 months out of the year and job to a mid-card guy. So...

Winner: Brock Lesnar

WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. ???

They haven't announced anything for AJ Lee yet. However, I feel like they're going to have her wrestle since it's one of the biggest PPV's of the year and she is the Divas Champion. My guess is that it's either going to be AJ Lee vs Naomi for the Divas Championship or AJ Lee and Tamina vs. The Funkadactyls. Either way, AJ Lee is going to come out on top.

Winner: AJ Lee or Winners: AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

I'm actually really looking forward to this match. Daniel Bryan's epic return as a babyface on RAW, in my eyes, put him on a whole new level. Plus, Bray Wyatt has been working pretty hard to become a great heel. There's been a lot of build-up to this match and both guys are top talents. I'm sure the Wyatts will get involved at some point but Daniel Bryan is going to overcome once again.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. John Cena (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)

This is a feud that I'm pretty sure everyone is sick of. For me, it's not about the match, it's about the winner. Who do I see going into Wrestlemania as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion?

Winner: Randy Orton

The 30-Superstar Royal Rumble Match

I think a lot is going to happen during this match. I'm going to list all of the things that I think (and hope, for the most part) will happen:
  • Jake "The Snake" Roberts returns.
  • Scott Hall as Razor Ramon returns.
  • Sheamus returns.
  • One member of The Shield ends up screwing over another member, leading to some high tension in The Shield. 
  • CM Punk lasts over an hour.
  • Final Four: CM Punk, Batista, Roman Reigns, and Daniel Bryan.
  • Daniel Bryan enters and wins.
Winner: Daniel Bryan (YES!)

But, we all know that this last bullet point is a real longshot. As much as I want it to happen, I truly don't believe it's going to. So, unfortunately, what I really predict is...

Winner: Batista

Friday, January 24, 2014

Caption Figures #86

It's the official Fat Lantern caption contest, Caption Figures! Please comment with a caption for this picture! I'll pick my favorite caption and the winner's caption will be featured in a "best of" post!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Best of Caption Figures #81-85!

It's the best of Caption Figures! Caption Figures is the official weekly Fat Lantern caption contest where I take pictures of my action figures and ask you (the reader) to come up with your own captions. Every 5 Caption Figures, I take a look at what you all submitted and choose my favorite caption for each week. Thank you to everyone who participated! Here are the best reader captions for Caption Figures #81-85!

Caption Figures #81

Pat: "To all my love slaves out there: Thunderlips is here. In the flesh, baby. The ultimate male versus... the ultimate meatball. Ha, ha, ha"

Caption Figures #82

Amanda: Riding invisible horses.

Caption Figures #83

Ian Austin: "Hey Flash, wanna play Duck Hunt?"

Caption Figures #84
derryX: "Whoops!"

Caption Figures #85

TheTrueHman: "I'm dee only half-faced robot in this toy collection, a hole!"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Late to the Movies

I've been trying to understand something for a long time. There are thousands of things that can go wrong when you go to the movies. Literally, millions. I'm going to focus here. It's something that has really bothered me more and more as I've gotten older and have become more of a responsible adult.

If you are going to show up late to a movie, specifically on opening weekend, why in the world would you be surprised that there are very few/no seats available? Every single time I go to the movies, I get there at least an hour early because that's how I do it, punctual-style. I knock back half a bucket of popcorn, a large Coke Zero, and a bag of gummies before the pre-previews even come on the damn screen. By the time the movie starts I've been to the bathroom twice on a good day. I've taken naps before a movie and still had time to go to the concession for seconds before the previews start. I give myself time before a movie like it's my business, and business is always good.

Honestly, I don't understand why you would show up late to a movie in the first place. Let's take a quick detour and solve this problem first. Going to the movies is something everyone learns to do when they're a little kid. Just get there before the previews start. It's not hard. I know this because I'm a human being and I live on earth. You're not so important that you can't make it to a movie 10 minutes early. If you were, you wouldn't be going to the movies.

So let's say you do feel you're more important than the rest of us scums. This means that you people will be showing up after the lights have dimmed and the previews have started. What disturbs me is not the noise you make or the constant distraction of you walking back and forth as I'm trying to pay attention to the gigantic movies screen with moving images on it (that everyone knew was going to turn on at a specific time). What really bothers me is the look. Oh, that look. It's the look of confusion. Why in the world do people get confused when they show up late to a movie and there aren't seats available? Especially when they show up in groups!

(These are the same people that show up late to an appointment but have a Starbucks coffee in their hand. Don't even get me started. These keyboard keys don't have the strength.)

If you're going to show up late to a movie and be disruptive, just don't look confused. Look ashamed. That's all I ask. You're just rubbing salt in the wound with your bemusement. You son of a bitch.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Caption Figures #85

It's the official Fat Lantern caption contest, Caption Figures! Please comment with a caption for this picture! I'll pick my favorite caption and the winner's caption will be featured in a "best of" post next week!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Fitness Motivation

As I stated in my New Year's resolutions, one of my goals is to get fit this year. First of all, this is The Fat Lantern. It is by no means a fitness blog, and by most means a fatness blog. But I want to clarify my intentions. Being a fat slob is fun and delicious when kept under control. I am not promoting eating to death. However, when I eat good stuff (i.e. pizza, Chinese food, buffalo wings, etc.) I'm really going to EAT. My brain doesn't comprehend eating one slice of pizza. There is no such thing as one slice of pizza. If I'm going to eat pizza, I am going to clear my schedule, and I am going to destroy a pizza.

So that's that. Shifting back to the fitness side of things, I like to exercise and eat nutritious food because I like to feel healthy. Of course, I want my clothes to actually fit me and I love looking like a handsome son of a bitch. But ultimately, I like having energy and being healthy.

It's really easy to talk about eating fresh, healthy food and doing all sorts of workouts. The hard part is doing. Actually, I find that once I'm at the gym or in the middle of a run or DDP Yoga workout, I'm great. It's all downhill. The biggest challenge is finding the motivation to get up and start a workout or physically get to the gym. For me, motivation is everything. I need to be psyched and ready to pump some iron. Fitness is mostly psychological for me and if I find the right motivation and apply it to my life it makes it all a lot easier.

So where do I get most of my motivation? Guess. I'll give you 3 guesses and 2 don't count. Wrestling. OH HELL YEAH. It's no secret that I love professional wrestling. But did you know that professional wrestlers actually motivate me to stay healthy and exercise?

The misconception is that all wrestlers are roided out jockasses. Have there been some of those in the past? Yeah, probably. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors, but I do know that in order for them to do what they do, they need to train really, really hard. My favorite wrestlers are the guys who over the years (and for some, throughout my entire life) have inspired me to get off my ass and make fitness a part of my life. Does that mean I want to look like them? Not necessarily. But their character, charisma, physique, and attitude motivate me to work hard. My workout playlist is 70-80% wrestling theme music because just hearing it gets me jacked up. I have good weeks and I have bad weeks. I have good years and I have bad years. But whenever it's good, it's because I look to my idols to give me inspiration to train.

It's not limited to wrestlers, however. I'm inspired by some classic movie stars as well. Movies are a huge part of my life and always have been. I grew up spending hours in front of the TV throwing punches and kicks, wishing I was like all of my favorite movie stars.

Talk talk talk (Type type type). That's all I do. I'm going to stop talking and introduce you to my top fitness idols:

Recently, I've really been focusing on DDP Yoga. Not only are the workouts my favorite to do, but the stories of how many lives it's changed are really inspirational. More specifically, DDP and the DDP Yoga program have really helped two of my favorite wrestlers and idols, Scott Hall and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. I've seen those two in a really bad way and it warms my heart to see them looking cleaned up and better than ever in 2014 thanks to DDP and DDP Yoga.

My philosophy is that if you're motivated to exercise and eat healthy, you can get fit and stay healthy. However you need to get motivated is up to you, but you should find the things that will get you pumped up to do it.

What motivates you to get fit? I'd love to hear from all of you!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Caption Figures #84

It's the official Fat Lantern caption contest, Caption Figures! Please comment with a caption for this picture! I'll pick my favorite caption and the winner's caption will be featured in a "best of" post.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Concerns About The WWE Network

Last night, WWE announced the launch of the WWE Network. It sounds great. It will have original programming, a gigantic library of past ECW, WCW, and WWE PPV's, pre- and post-RAW and Smackdown content, and more. Plus, for $9.99 a month, you get all 12 yearly WWE PPV's. It's a huge step for WWE and professional wrestling.

This sounds exciting, but to be honest I'm a bit scared. I understand that for the price of Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble, the only 2 PPV's I usually buy, I can sign up for the WWE Network 24/7, all year which includes every other PPV and all of that other great content. Here's what scares me. What if I don't want the WWE Network? What if I'm comfortable with watching wrestling on a weekly basis and collecting/finding older clips and shows on my own? Will I be missing out? Will the WWE Network bring essential material to the table that I won't be getting by just watching RAW and Smackdown? Basically, if I stay a weekly WWE cable watching wrestling fan, will I be out of the loop and/or less of a wrestling fan because I don't have the WWE Network?

You can check out the official announcement of the WWE Network and all of the details here.

Maybe I'm too old school with my tastes, but I just don't want the wrestling business to advance to the point where being a fan becomes a full time job. What are your thoughts on this groundbreaking announcement?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Brilliance of Conan the Barbarian

I love the current Dark Horse Conan the Barbarian series, written by Brian Wood. I have every single issue. However, I feel like out of all the depictions of Conan, this series illustrates him as least intimidating. For months, I have been meaning to write a blog post about how Conan has been portrayed in various comic books over the years, specifically criticizing Conan the Barbarian for making him look like a weaker Conan.

Well I'm glad I didn't. My entire perception of Conan the Barbarian changed after reading issue #23, the latest issue.

From Conan the Barbarian #23
Conan the Barbarian series tells the story of Conan and Bêlit, a pirate queen who becomes Conan's love interest (adapted from Robert E. Howard's Queen of the Black Coast). Let's face it, Conan falls head over heels for this woman because she understands him like no other. Now here's where the brilliance begins. The story of Bêlit is not a story of brutality, it's a story of love. So this series being named Conan the Barbarian is flat-out ironic.

Don't get me wrong, Conan is merciless in this series and he is shown in every issue as the barbarian that he is. But here's where it gets more brilliant. He's muscular, but he isn't huge. In some issues, he's actually pretty puny. He also looks young. I don't know if this was the intention, but the fact that he isn't huge with gigantic muscles conveys a sense of vulnerability to me. In this story, he needs that. Issue #23 was the second to last issue of this series and we've reached the point in the story where the love of his life Bêlit dies. This leaves him completely emotionally destroyed. I think this comic was such a beautiful issue because every single panel was a build-up to the climax and Conan ends up looking completely defeated.

Conan all jacked up
I think if he was depicted as a huge guy with tons of muscles (as he is in the current Dark Horse mini-series Conan and the People of the Black Coast), it wouldn't have hit me this hard. The lead up to Bêlit being shown hanging from the ship was so heart-wrenching and by the time Conan witnessed it, I was totally crushed (And I knew it was coming!). It was amazing. I know this isn't just because of how Conan was illustrated and the story was told really well, but what I'm saying is I believe it added to it in a subtle but meaningful way.

I've read a number of Robert E' Howard's Conan stories and previous Conan comic book series. I don't think that makes me an expert, but I feel like I'm pretty familiar with the character. All along, I was questioning whether or not the current Conan the Barbarian series captured what Conan is all about, and it turns out it taught me more about Conan during this point in his life. Brian Wood and artists of Conan the Barbarian have put together a must-read Conan series and deserve a ton of credit. I can't wait for Conan the Barbarian #24, the finale of the series.

Monday, January 6, 2014

FAT Illustrations - Give Flash A Minute

Today's FAT Illustration comes from Nathan Rice!

Thanks, Nathan! Sure The Flash can run fast, but how long does it take him to catch his breath?

If you would like to participate in FAT Illustrations, please message me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +. All you have to do is draw a fat version of any comic book/sci-fi/video game character or wrestler and send it! I will showcase your art along with your name, Twitter handle, and website (unless you specify otherwise).

FAT Illustrations: Where the readers shine and the characters are slobs.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Caption Figures #83

Please comment with a caption for this picture! I'll pick my favorite caption and feature it in a "best of" post.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

FAT Illustrations - Fat Knight

Happy New Year! We're going to start 2014 the right way today. Here is the first FAT Illustration of the year, drawn by my good buddy Harri W.!

Thanks, Harri! Looks like Fat Knight needs to seriously consider some New Year's resolutions if he wants to become Moon Knight again. But first, he should finish that last slice of pizza...

If you would like to participate in FAT Illustrations, please message me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +. All you have to do is draw a fat version of any comic book/sci-fi/video game character or wrestler and send it! I will showcase your art along with your name, Twitter handle, and website (unless you specify otherwise).

FAT Illustrations: Where the readers shine and the characters are slobs.