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Well, well, well....

Eight years to be exact.

For those of you that don’t know who I am, allow me to introduce myself: I am Wayne Chinsang. From time to time, I’ve been known to go by Insane Wayne Chinsang. For many years, I ran a little magazine/website/cult named Tastes Like Chicken. There will be more announcements about Tastes Like Chicken in the near future, but for now I’d like to talk about some more pressing issues.

Earlier today, I received this email from my old boss. Some of you may know him as Shady:

Fuck yeah, I'm down. Especially if I can get on that sweet payroll again.

You see, during the run of Tastes Like Chicken (from 1998 to around, say, 2007 or so), Shady quietly ran shit anonymously behind the scenes while I was the angry (and much prettier) face of the magazine. That isn’t to say Shady and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on most things, but I was always much better at voicing my… let’s just call it dissatisfaction with the world than he was.

And, I mean, let’s be honest here: Shady is a shell of the man he was during his TLC days. He’s now the father of a little girl. He has a tattoo of the Muppets on his arm. And that’s not even to mention his male-pattern baldness, or the fact that he just turned 40.

None of those things describe me. I am the father of exactly zero children (that I know of), the only tattoo I’d ever get would be of the phrase “TATTOOS ARE STUPID,” and I have a luxuriously full head of hair. Oh, and I don’t age. No, seriously, I never age. That’s what happens when you’ve spent the last eight years of your life sleeping in the abandoned ruins of a castle in Romania.

But I digress….

See, the thing is, I was able to take an eight-year break from reality because, as far as I could tell, humanity was mostly back on track. Sure, there was awful shit going on in the world, but we’re never going to be able to fully eradicate all misery. Not as long as contemporary country music exists, at least. Still, humanity was progressing nicely. We all seemed to be getting along together fairly well, or, at the very least, we respectfully accepted our little differences as simply that: little differences.

But then today I get that email from Shady, and after a quick Dogpile search (I told you, I’ve been gone awhile) I find out that 60 million Americans willingly voted a pussy-grabbing fascist into the White House. I’d like to say I’m surprised by this outcome (as Shady obviously was, as illustrated by his sophomoric and minimalist reaction of teen angst), but I’m really not. I mean, we’re talking about a country that elected that Texas hilljack Dubya (AKA George W. Bush for the newbies) into the White House twice. Twice!

All of this is to say that Trump’s ascension to the top of the political shit pile that is the U.S. government is about as surprising as Kanye West’s mental breakdown. (I spent a lot of time on Dogpile today.)

And so, Shady has decided to pass the anger baton on to me for the next four years, and rightly so. Because, when compared to me, Shady just doesn’t possess the appropriate amount of anger needed to adequately tackle this fucked-up turn of events. I, on the other hand, most certainly do.

Need proof? I once started an online petition to God to give Dubya cancer. For real! I really did that! And I don’t regret one goddamn second of it. Know why? Because Bush and his entire crew are still nothing more than petty war criminals. And I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I will throw a fucking party each and every time a member of that administration leaves this mortal coil. Red Dog and Jack’s Frozen Pizzas on me, y’all!

But until that happens, Donald Trump, I’m turning my attention to you.

So while Shady concentrates on his silly “this is what I’m reading” or “here’s a misspelled sign” or “read this dumb quote one of my friends just said” type of posts here on The Blarg, I’m now in charge of managing the anger around here.

Because let’s be honest, folks… suddenly, there’s a fuckload to be angry about.

Stay tuned, dear reader. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Word,

-Wayne

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Giant Robot

…and my answer is always twofold.

First, on our end of things (the creatives who were actually putting the magazine/website together), life happened. We got jobs, we got married, we had kids, etc. Understandably, these things tend to happen as you get older, and I hold onto no resentment because of it.

But on the other side of things, Tastes Like Chicken was done in by big business. Specifically, a group of shady-as-fuck distributors we had trusted. Even more specifically, Tower Records (though, in my humble opinion, they’re all garbage). For these companies, I still hold onto an extreme amount of animosity.

In layman’s terms, we got fucked by these businesses. Sadly, we weren’t alone.

Eric Nakamura of Giant Robot fame felt that same sting. Read more about his experience here.

Today I’d self-distribute,

-Shady

…I ran, owned, edited, and everything’d the humor and entertainment magazine Tastes Like Chicken alongside a group of some of the best and most creative human beings to ever walk the planet.

During those ten years, every page of Tastes Like Chicken—its newsprint monthlies, its perfect-bound magazines, and its enormous web archive—was designed on this Dell desktop computer.

R.I.P. TLC Dell: 1999 - 2015

Last week, I took it into Best Buy to be recycled.

The end of an era… with one final chapter to come,

-Shady

Back when I was living in Columbus, Ohio my friends and I started a quote wall. Whenever a bit of brilliance (or otherwise) poured out of someone’s mouth, somebody would yell “Quote!” thus nominating it for Quote Board status. The quote then had to be seconded by someone (it almost always was), and then it would be written down to be forever immortalized on the Quote Board.

This is the modern day equivalent of that classic piece of my past.

QUOTE BOARD:

“Not everyone is regularly lifting up their dog’s lips.”

– Mr. Fabulous’ Vet, 12/30/14

This quote isn’t necessarily relevant because of its hilarity, but because it adds yet another layer to this age-old argument.

I rest my case,

-Shady

PS: His comment was in regards to this.

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

But rather than let them sit on a hard drive forever I thought I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Mark Borchardt"

Mark Borchardt

I first “met” Mark Borchardt (over the phone) in 2000 when I interviewed him for Tastes Like Chicken (which, at the time, was named Chickenhead). The interview ran that July here.

A few months later—that December to be exact, while I visited my family for the holidays—Mark and I finally met in person at a screening of American Movie at the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse in Wauwatosa. We had both seen (or in Mark’s case, had lived) the movie before, so after he did a little speech at the start of the film we wandered across the street for a few drinks at Walters’ on North.

Fast-forward to 2004. I’m living on Milwaukee’s East Side (literally in the Tastes Like Chicken headquarters). In those four years since we last spoke, a group of friends and I had somehow managed to turn our monthly alt-weekly in Columbus, Ohio into an internationally-distributed, real-life magazine.

Yet we still weren’t making money. I don’t get it! How did Tastes Like Chicken ever fail?!? Hmmm….

But I digress….

After launching blindly with a “Best Of” issue for the magazine’s debut, we soon found ourselves in contract with multiple new distributors. While this was a great problem to have it was also extremely stressful. We now had to create another issue, and so we scrambled to line up interviews for what would become our second (and Summer 2004) issue.

We did pretty well, managing to nail down interviews with the band Teargas & Plateglass, Troma Films’ Lloyd Kaufman, and musicians Mike Doughty and Melissa Auf der Maur. Our cover interview—which was always considered to be each issue’s main feature—was an interview with Kiss’ Gene Simmons. To this day, this is the only issue of Tastes Like Chicken to ever sell out every copy.

To be read: If you own a copy of this issue, sign up for eBay now.

To round out the issue, I decided to contact Mark for a follow-up interview. Unlike our first interview, which was conducted over the phone, Mark invited me into his parents’ home for the follow-up. Having seen American Movie a million times before, I was already very familiar with this house.

We sat in his parents’ living room and talked for about an hour. Sadly, the interview that took place would become lost forever (the reason for this can be found at that previous link), but when the interview was over I shot a few images of Mark sitting in his dad’s recliner. The best frame of these photos is what you see above.

An interesting side-note: Mark had recently gotten sober, so the beer in his hand was an NA beer. Still, most likely in an attempt to keep some amount of beer-drinking cred, he asked me to shoot a few images with the bottle turned around so no one would know what he was drinking.

After the second interview came out, Mark and I saw each other a couple more times before I moved to Los Angeles in November 2008. He made an amazing cameo in our 2005 Tastes Like Chicken Video Christmas Card. (NOTE: He’s at the very end.) He (and Ken Keen) also showed up at a house party we threw after moving into our new house in Riverwest. Mark ended the party asleep in the middle of our staircase between the first and second floor, an uneaten cheeseburger still sitting on his paper plate.

He was also completely sober at the time. That’s 100% true.

I haven’t seen Mark since we moved, but lately I’ve been thinking about getting back in touch with him. Maybe the next time we’re in Milwaukee I’ll call him up and offer to take him out for a beer. NA, IPA, or otherwise.

Wishing I also had an old image of Mike Schank,

-Shady

You may remember this, which detailed that move.

Anyway, nine years later, in July 2003, I moved out of Columbus.

Before last month, I had only been back to Columbus twice since 2003: once to give a lecture about Tastes Like Chicken at my alma mater (CCAD), and another time when I was passing through on my way to Pennsylvania.

Oddly enough, that last time was in October 2008, and I was going to Pennsylvania to celebrate the recent marriage of my good friend Jamie and her new husband Dave.

Last month, I returned to Columbus a third time (in 11 years… holy crap) because Jamie and Dave (who are now expecting their first child) threw what would prove to be a memorable (and epic) reunion party.

Old friends, some of whom I’ve known for over two decades, came from all over the country to celebrate food, friendship, and a little bit of fire.

We kicked shit off right at Thurman Cafe. Oh, sweet baby Jesus… I’ve missed you.

A burger from Thurman Cafe. This would be my death row meal.

After a day of prep (to be read: a shitload of drinking to cope with our Thurman-induced food comas), we kicked off October 11th with a stop at Young’s Jersey Dairy, the farm we spent our first pumpkin picking at in October 1994.

There are three people in this photo who were also there on that first outing 21 years ago: John Marshall (first guy on the far left), Bryan Loar (fourth guy from the right), and yours truly (idiot wearing the bright-as-fuck orange pants all the way on the right).

The first stop: Young's Jersey Dairy!

Three-quarters of the original 206 Crew reunited (We miss you, Special K!)…

The 206 Crew: Part I

…who pretty much look like slightly older (and in my case, balder) versions of these three kids from December 1994.

Three-quarters of the 206 Crew.

Later, we were joined by a second-semester 206 Crew member: the Goon!

The 206 Crew: Part II

So many folks showed up! I love each and every one of them dearly.

The whole gang was there. And I love each and every one of them.

We quickly fell into our old hijinks… which, for some reason, usually involve farts.

Old shenanigans.

Before I left, a few of us ventured over to 886 N. Dennison Avenue, which (from 1999 to 2003) was famously known as “The Coop.” The two windows on the left of the second floor look into my old bedroom. This is also the building where Tastes Like Chicken was born.

The Coop: Original

I experienced so many amazing moments in this building…

886: 1999 - 2003

…and I experienced all of them with these two guys: Milan and Brett, my fellow original members of the Coop Crew.

The Coop Crew: Now

The last time we were together was at Brett and Marci’s wedding in September 2005. Before then, one of the last times we were together was in this photo, which was shot on the front steps of the Coop near the end of June 2003, just before we moved to Milwaukee, and Brett moved up to Cleveland.

The Coop Crew: Then

When we were living at the Coop, our good friend Michelle lived right next door at 888 N. Dennison.

Michelle and I returned to reenact our neighborly feud (which never really existed). Thankfully, no one was home at the time; that, or they just wondered why some old strangers were snooping around and taking photos on their back porch. Either way, this photo made it all worth it.

886 vs. 888

Back in the day, Milan had a habit of “tagging” Michelle’s apartment. He would write “WALL” on her walls, or “FISH TANK” on her, you guessed it, fish tank. One day, he wrote “MICHELLE” on the ledge outside her window.

It’s still there.

Michelle's name (thanks to Milan) is still written on the side of the building. In crayon.

We stopped next door and visited (and smoked a filterless Lucky Strike with) our old friend Eddie (who famously gave us this shotgun as a going-away present when we moved out of Columbus)…

Eddie!

…and his sweet wife Rose.

Rose!

Before it all ended, a group of us met for lunch at Katalina’s for Nutella-filled pancake balls and thick-cut bacon.

The Last Supper (or, more accurately, Lunch).

As Jamie drove Michelle and me to the airport, we made our way through downtown one last time. The city looks completely different than it did when I left 11 years ago, but somehow it still feels exactly the same.

Cbus.

It was such a great weekend. Seriously, it was one of the top-three events of my life, right up there with our wedding on October 30th, 2011, and my surprise birthday party on September 3rd, 2006.

Sure, the food and booze helped, but it was the friends (who are family), the laughter, and the love that made the weekend so amazing.

The bathroom walls in Katalina’s are covered in chalkboard paint; sitting in a tray beside the sink are sticks of chalk, which everyone is encouraged to use.

I did.

Truth.

And I do.

Let’s do it again… soon,

-Shady

…at the Mint here in L.A.

Jungle Fire was pretty awesome all on their own, but for their encore they brought out a special guest: DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5 fame.

Here’s a brief video I shot of their last song:

Years ago, we interviewed Nu-Mark for Tastes Like Chicken. In fact, he graced the cover of our final print issue.

DJ Nu-Mark (alongside fellow Jurassic 5 DJ Cut Chemist) on the final print issue (#9) of "Tastes Like Chicken."

After the show, I was able to chat with Nu-Mark for a brief second. I reminded him of the interview, to which he replied, “I don’t usually remember interviews, but I definitely remember that name.”

It’s a hard one to forget.

Learn more about Jungle Fire here, and more about DJ Nu-Mark here.

Looking forward to another show next week,

-Shady

…not only because he decorates his envelopes so adorably (and puts hilarious inside-joke names in the return address)…

Adorable!

…and not because, like me, he communicates only in teenage girl speak…

ROFLMAO!

…but because he sends me original sketches…

The sketch!

…for things that make me both nostalgic and homesick all at once.

The final!

But those other things are pretty alright, too,

-Shady

…is this old stack of TLCs:

Mercedes' old TLCs.

Fifteen years old… but not over,

-Shady

The end is nigh.

…stay tuned.

The final bow,

-Shady

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