The Second-Rate Houston Rockets

Hakeem Olajuwon is the greatest Rockets player ever. He led the team to two consecutive championships and was the second best player in the league when the GOAT Michael Jordan was around.

Those 90s Rockets teams were incredible, but they were not my favorite. At the time, I did not really watch basketball and did not appreciate the domination that was being unleashed in my city.

Instead of Olajuwon, my superstars were Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. However, my favorite team, the ’08-’09 Rockets, were mostly missing that pair due to their injuries. T-Mac sat out most of the regular season, but the Rockets still made the playoffs and beat the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Continue reading The Second-Rate Houston Rockets

The Lord of the Rings: Coming Home

Like most students, Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss was gifted to me at my high school graduation. The book was given to me by my girlfriend-at-the-time’s parents which was especially nice of them considering in a couple of weeks I would break up with their daughter via text. The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, great as they may be, are fundamentally books for children. On the other hand, Oh, The Places You’ll Go resonates with eighteen year olds because it touches on the limitless possibilities laid before each graduate.

However, there is another book whose central theme applies directly to grads. Giving Oh, The Places You’ll Go is a wonderful tradition, but the frequency of this gift makes it a little trite and open to be replaced by another book. Instead, the book we should be giving eighteen year olds is The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Continue reading The Lord of the Rings: Coming Home

The Legend of Zelda: A Guide to Being Good

Kids are assholes. I committed so many terrible acts as a kid. When I was six, I stole a bunch of random objects from around the house and hid them in my closet. When I was eight, my friends and I bullied the same two classmates every recess. When I was ten, I wrote a fake note from my friend’s crush in order to humiliate him.

Why did I do those cruel things? Because I could. Because it made me feel powerful. Because I had no empathy for other people.

Eventually, I grew up from an immoral child into a somewhat decent adult. I credit a lot of my moral development to The Legend of Zelda series, in particular Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Taken together, they showcase the development of ethics in a young boy. Continue reading The Legend of Zelda: A Guide to Being Good

Austin: The Could Have Been King

Friday 9 a.m.

The last week has been terrible. Hurricane Harvey has poured an ocean onto Houston, and working at a grocery store during a hurricane is an awful experience. Before the storm, everyone rushed to buy supplies, creating sprawling lines around the store. During the hurricane, the skies were dark and poured rain constantly for days. I sat in my apartment nervously hoping my car did not flood. When the storm finally passed, the sight and feel of the sunshine was a religious experience. But then it was back to work as customers bought what was left on the near-empty shelves.

And I was not even supposed to be there that week. I had taken some time off, planning on a relaxing staycation. I was going to read, program, write, and cook without a worry in the world. Then the heavens laughed and called me back to work. Continue reading Austin: The Could Have Been King

Raising Cane’s: The Best Around

Throughout my lifetime, I have eaten tons of fried chicken in a variety of forms: nuggets, fingers, tenders, strips, even sometimes chicken with bones in it. Everyone has their area of expertise. Neil deGrasse Tyson can write about astrophysics. OJ Simpson can write about how to murder your ex-wife and her lover. And if I was to ever write a book, it would probably be entitled The Fat Guy’s Definitive Guide to Fried Chicken.

And although it does not possess the same level of patriotic associations as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, or barbecue, the classic meal of fried chicken and french fries is more common than all its competitors. Almost every restaurant you have ever been to does a version of this dish. If your friend does not want to try the lamb rogan josh when you drag him to an Indian restaurant, he can probably order a plate of chicken nuggets off the kids menu. Continue reading Raising Cane’s: The Best Around

Spicy Food: The Challenge

When I eat spicy food, I hiccup uncontrollably. And when I cook spicy food in a frying pan, I use way too much cayenne, create homemade pepper spray, and choke in my kitchen. Despite these problems, I constantly order and make spicy meals: chicken vindaloo curry, mango habanero wings, ghost pepper salsa, and more. You can frequently find me at a bar with tears rolling down my cheeks as I stuff more hot wings into my mouth. It is not an attractive sight.

I pretend my affinity for spicy food is because spicier means tastier. Mild curries are bland and boring, and honey barbecue wings are an affront to my tastebuds. Ultimately, habaneros are way tastier than bell peppers. Continue reading Spicy Food: The Challenge