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My Top 3: Worst Halloween Candies

My Top 3: Worst Halloween Candies

As adults, we have the luxury of dressing up as ghosts and hobos any old day of the week and going door to door in the neighborhood to ask for candy. This may be why I'm forced to move around so much, but the upside is that every now and then someone actually makes with the candy. But just because you return home with a pillowcase full of sweets doesn’t mean you’re in for a treat. Some of those saccharine delights are tricks of demonic proportions. Here are the three candies that deserve a serious egging should your neighbors have the gall to hand them out on Halloween, or whenever you show up dressed as Dracula’s shabby cousin.

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My Top 3: John Steinbeck Books

My Top 3: John Steinbeck Books

I’ve long been a huge fan of John Steinbeck’s writing and his humanist, critical examinations of not just the American experience, but of what it is to be human, to struggle against greed and oppression, and most of all, with our own demons. The fact that Of Mice and Men doesn’t even make the top three here should say something, as that’s the book I read in my early teens that made me want to be a writer. It was the first book that hit me right in the gut and said—This is what you are supposed to be doing! The following three books helped shape my worldview in such a way that I’d say his ideals and passions are more important to who I am as a person than any other artist. 

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My Top 3: Black Books Episodes

My Top 3: Black Books Episodes

Any bookworm or literary type who likes an adult beverage every now and then and sometimes becomes annoyed with having to deal with other humans (or “time wasters”) when you’d rather be reading or writing will be absolutely delighted by Black Books—that is, if you haven’t yet discovered the show’s brilliance, and I hope you have. Irish comic Dylan Moran stars as Bernard Black with Bill Bailey as Manny and Tamsin Greig as Fran in this quirky British comedy about a bookshop and its morose, frustrated owner who wants nothing more than for customers (and staff) to leave him alone so he may drink wine and read books. It’s filmed with a live audience, as are many of Graham Linehan’s comedies (he also wrote Father Ted and The IT Crowd) but you get used to the laughter amongst all the sight gags, the pratfall humor, and literary quips. It’s one of my favorite comedies of all times, and these, at the moment, are my favorite three episodes.

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My Top 3: Throwback Breakfast Cereals

My Top 3: Throwback Breakfast Cereals

I was a big time cereal eater in my day, and I still enjoy popping open a box of Trix or Cap’n Crunch every now and then to recapture that feeling of Saturday morning cartoons and multiple bowls of sugar-saturated cereal before anyone else was up. The 80s, in my opinion, was the champion decade for kid’s cereals, and here my favorites from my childhood. Feel free to mail me a box and I’ll love you forever.  

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My Top 3: Old School Sega Genesis Games

My Top 3: Old School Sega Genesis Games

While I actually have a little more childhood nostalgia for my original Nintendo system, the Sega Genesis system I eventually received one Christmas is tied to a lot of fond memories I have of being an early teen, especially memories involving my dad. He got one too so we could play together when my sister and I would go visit him in the summers, and we had a blast. When visiting him recently, we found that old Sega in storage and I played the devil out of it. Here are the three games that—even after all these years—are still an amazing way to kill a rainy afternoon.

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My Top 3: Humphrey Bogart Movies

My Top 3: Humphrey Bogart Movies

Bogie. The Hump. Mr. Sam Spade himself. He’s been one of my favorite film stars ever since my dad started letting me watch some of Bogart's black-and-white classics when I’d visit him over the summer in middle school. I was always drawn to his casual bravado and endless confidence, and he mastered and trademarked the archetype of the law-bending detective with a shady past but a heart of gold. Far too many of his amazing roles will not make this list, but here are the ones that mean the most to me.

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My Top 3: Writer's Digest Books

My Top 3: Writer's Digest Books

During my time as a Writer’s Digest book editor, I had the pleasure of shepherding a tall stack of books into the world, and each taught me valuable lessons about writing (it’s hard not to pick up some cues when you’re neck deep in writing advice night and day), and some were a lot of fun to edit, too. The following books were especially enjoyable, written by talented, fun, whip-smart people who really cared about helping other writers write better (and sometimes just to write). All these books are definitely worth picking up, and that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t even work there anymore, so you know it’s not some PR smoke and mirrors act. Enjoy!

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My Top 3: Stephen King Short Stories

My Top 3: Stephen King Short Stories

I still remember the first time I picked up Stephen King’s short story collection Night Shift, and after the first tale within I was forever changed. I had previously tried my hand at his novels when I was in middle school and early high school, but they never did much for me (not until much later), but those shorts…oh man, they got me good. Here are my Top 3 stories that sank in their claws and still haven’t let go.

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