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Top Ten Summer Products: 2010 Edition
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Mother Nature is a cock tease. She waves 80 degree weather in front of our salivating faces and then threatens us with rain and a 30 degree drop in temperature. The last time I was treated so poorly was by a stripper in Montreal who closed up shop and left me with only body glitter debris as soon as she saw I'd run out of 20s. But this beautiful weather has got me fully in the mood for summer - hence, I'm wearing only a mankini at the office today. Last year, I wrote a piece called "The Toys of Summer" which gave you some suggestions on products you need for an enjoyable few months. And because the well is so close and so fertile, I went back to it and managed to squeak out an updated list.

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Paul Jr. Designs Coleman Roadtrip Grill
My downstairs neighbors fired up their grill on Sunday, and the smell of charred meat wafted into my apartment and left me pressed up against the screen like a sugar addict humping the door of a Krispy Kreme store at 2am. The smell of BBQ is the smell of summer, and I wanted more. Because I don't "own property" or "have a backyard," my options for proper grilling are rather small. So when I want to enjoy burnt carcass, I need something small, portable, but well made. Hence, the Paul Jr. Designs Coleman Roadtrip Grill.

Designed by Paul Teutul Jr. formerly of Orange County Choppers, this is the type of grill you can be proud to take out on the beach, tailgating, or ... if they're into it ... your cousin's Bar Mitzvah. It's great looking, well made, and most importantly - portable. So now, when you get that hankering for some kabobs, you don't need to drive the hour and a half to your folks' house in Connecticut. Just bring this puppy out to your stoop and make all your neighbors jealous.

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Heavy Rain
First, what the hell are you doing inside? Go out! Breathe fresh air! Pick some dandelions! If you're agoraphobic, suffer from seasonal allergies and/or are afraid the mole people might grab you and trap you in their subterranean lair, then this game for the Playstation 3 is how you should enjoy your summer. It's dark. It's creepy. And there's a nude scene involving a chick taking a shower. I knew you'd come around. This isn't your normal video game. Most reviewers are saying this is the closest any game has come to blurring the line between cinema and gameplay. Following one of four characters through a horribly rainy city, you're tracking the Origami Killer - a killer who drowns his victims in the rain. The story is fantastic, but the true innovation are the gameplay mechanics. This is not a run and gun video game. Using unique actions, you affect the narrative of the story. For instance, your character suffers from asthma and requires you to shake your controller to allow him to use your inhaler. So, while it may seem mundane, this sort of action actually makes you feel like you're more a part of the story.

The only downside to this game is the voice acting. The setting is supposed to be an East Coast American city, but the characters are voiced by French actors with noticeable and distracting accents. However, this is truly the only blemish on an otherwise novel game.

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The Millenium Trilogy
That author Stieg Larsson died before he could witness the vast success of his novels is a cruel twist of fate. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and (to be released in the US on May 25th) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest are the definitive examples of crime novels in the early 21st century. (Granted, I haven't read Hornet's Nest, but based on reviews overseas, the third and last novel is equally as gripping as the first two and builds to a satisfying conclusion.) Larsson manages to create interesting and dynamic characters. These aren't cookie-cutter crime personas who'd neatly fit into any of a dozen crime novels. In fact, I may go as far to say that Lisbeth Salander, who's back is adorned with the dragon tattoo, is one of the most interesting and different characters created in the last 10 years. Just witness her comeuppance against a corrupt and deranged legal guardian in the first novel to see how far she's willing to go for revenge.

These books make for great beach reading. I'll admit it took me a few chapters to get into the first book. It was slow moving and I'd lost track of the names of all the Swedish characters. However, once the story picked up, it was time to strap on the nitro. (Credit to Vertical Limit) You may have been one of the suckers early adopters who snatched up an iPad, and these books would be a great way to show off the device's ereader.

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AXE Twist and AXE Rise
Me writing an article about AXE is like Johnny writing an article about monkeys. If we don't do it once a week, we begin to fade out like Michael J. Fox at the end of Back to the Future. But I've included these two new body gels and body sprays on this list for a reason - they smell like summer.

I was sent a box a few weeks ago, and was pleased to discover several samples of the shower gel, body spray, and deodorant inside. But I was also concerned. The thing is, I'm overly sensitive to smell. Too much of one thing and I'll gag like I did when I was sentenced to roadkill clean-up duty. A few whiffs of the new products and I realized I'd be able to use these without hesitation. But the next step was getting it past my girlfriend. She approved, so much so that I caught her using it in my shower the next day. (We were showering separately and she was only using the shower because she'd just come back from a run. NO OTHER REASON. It's not like she sleeps at my place ... mom.)

Developed with the help of world-renowned fragrance experts and a group of college-aged guys and girls, AXE Twist is the brand's first co-created product. From the initial product concept all the way to the "Twist" name, consumers were involved in every step of the process. Based on the insight that girls get bored easily (so that explains why she feigns illness every time I attempt to get her to watch Dark City), Twist starts with fresh hints of citrus and lime to make a memorable first impression, then adds more depth with earthy notes of cedar and sandalwood to keep guys smelling good - and to keep girls interested.

Mating game opportunities can arise at any moment, but guys often miss important details in the morning because they're tired. AXE Rise products helps guys conquer morning grogginess, allowing them to catch key details that are essential to having good game. AXE Rise Shower Gel has uplifting Himalayan minerals and Rise Deodorant Bodyspray features exhilarating citrus extract.

Himalayan minerals... when people ask me what that smell is, I tell them I'm wearing Tenzing Norgay.

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Martha's Vineyard Subway T-Shirt
A few years ago, it was the "in thing" to wear the Nantucket Beach Permit Sticker T-Shirt, and Hat, and Shorts, and Fanny Pack, and Collapsable Walking Stick to prove that you'd actually been to Nantucket. But when I saw this T-Shirt from Transit Authority Figures (who also make amazingly awesome "fake" subway maps) I knew I had to have it. Martha's Vineyard (Nantucket's larger and, to a degree, more homely sister to the west) doesn't have a subway system ... but it'd be a lot cooler if they did.

Not only is the T-shirt well designed, but it's sense of irony is perfect. Also, it's machine washable. (They're currently out of men's sizes, which got me thinking that I could probably fit into a women's size. It then got me thinking about how comfortable I am in women's clothes. This lead to me checking out various Thai doctors who perform certain surgeries for those who need a little bit of reassignment. Long story short, my name is now "Brenda.")

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North Face Hot Shot
I've started commuting by bike because I have a death wish. Navigating the streets of Manhattan with nothing more than your leg-hair between you and taxi cab gives you a great perspective on the fragility of life. But because I commute, I can't just hop on my bike and go to work. I need things. Mainly, I need my laptop that I bring home most nights to troll YouPorn finish reports. The problem is, it's a 17" MacBook Pro which is approximately the size of my last bowel movement. (Which is to say ... gravitationally huge) Placing it into a standard bag is like when I lost my virginity. It doesn't go in well, there's some crying and the priest asks you to perform a few Hail Marys. So I was seriously impressed with The North Face's Hot Shot bag. It's big enough to hold my computer, but it doesn't feel like I'm carting around the Ark of the Covenant. This is due to North Face's "Backsaver Technology" which moves heavy objects to the lower back, relieving stress on the shoulders and keeping everything in check. The bonus with this bag is that it's small enough to take to the park or beach, and it's seriously comfortable.

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Ferrari California
If you really loved me, you'd get me this car. After all I've done for you. All we've been through. It's the least you could do. The California represents a few firsts for Ferrari, specifically:
  • The first front engined Ferrari with a V8
  • The first to feature a 7-speed dual clutch transmission
  • The first with a folding metal roof
  • The first with multi-link rear suspension
  • The first with direct fuel injection.
What does this mean to you? Not a whole lot if you don't have the coin to throw down for one of these. Despite my co-worker insisting the California has "a fat ass," this represents the perfect summer car. 1. It's called "The California" and there's no better state that represents summer better. 2. It's a convertible, but not a convertible that gives the impression you're on your way to Pilates class. (I'm looking at you Audi TT) 3. There's absolutely no room for more than one friend, surfboards, or beer coolers. Shit... wait. Scratch that last one.

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GoPro HD HERO
So you're telling me I can shoot full HD video on a camera that'll fit in my pocket, last for 2.5 hours of recording time and it'll cost me under $300?

Take your lies and get the hell out of town.

However, it's true. The GoPro camera is simply amazing. It shouldn't be this good. It shouldn't be this cheap. And if that weren't enough, it comes with an underwater housing so you can shoot that pod of majestic dolphins and/or you and your buddies getting shit faced in a hot tub with those chicks you picked up at the tattoo parlor on the boardwalk. (Word to the wise: tramp stamps were given that name for a reason.) This is one product that has to be seen to be believed ... much like Michael Jackson's spotted dick. (Too late?)

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Chris Craft Corsair 28
Take everything I said about the Ferrari California and apply it to this boat. Minus all the bits about it being a car. And that it's named "California." Also, I don't think it comes in red and isn't built in Italy.

How about this, seeing as Mr. Brightside's boat exploded in a fireball of fiberglass and dreams into Norwalk Harbor, I'm left boat-less this year. This is a tragedy. I need to cruise around in comfort. I need plush seats. I need sophistication. I need to convince people that I have some sort of taste. And the Chris Craft Corsair 28 can give me all that and more.

I spent some time on one of these (an older model) a few summers ago, and it's apparent from the moment you set foot in one of their boats that a tremendous amount of craftsmanship was employed in its creation. And while I can't promise anything, there's a good chance you could get some serious tail with this boat. And by "serious tail" I mean "painful gas bills."

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Nike U.S. Soccer 2010 World Cup Jersey
The World Cup cannot come soon enough. And what better way to support the US than with an official replica jersey? In fact, if you don't wear one of these, that's like saying you hate America. You don't hate America, do you? While your friends may be busy with RBIs and taking shots of penicillin to get rid of the Gonorrhea they contracted from those chicks during the tryst in the hot tub, you can feel smug and satisfied by supporting a team that truly deserves it. Do yourself and your country a favor and buy this jersey ... or else the terrorists win.
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1 Comment

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said virginia on September 12, 2010 10:52 PM.
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