Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Old School Lane Presents: Top 50 Influences Part 5

Time to end this list on my influences. We're almost done so let's go.

41. Gexup

One of the more underrated video game reviewers, he reviews underrated games and genres. He has a great podcast series called The Boochow, he talks about different genres, he has interesting retrospectives, and great debates on games. As of now, he has the best retrospective of my favorite underrated series the Oddworld series. If you haven't seen his videos, check them out. Go to his website itstailtime.net and see more of his work.

42. Nathaniel Hoover

A staff writer for gamecola.net as well as one of the main bloggers for exfanding.com, Nathaniel is a hilarious video game reviewer who talks a lot about nerdy things from Star Trek to food. But the one thing he's best known for are his Let's Plays of the Megaman series. His are some of the best I've ever seen: they have humor, great tricks and tips, and reviews on each game. You should really check it out when you have a chance to see a hardcore Megaman fan in action.

43. Saturday Night Live

The first sketch comedy show ever on TV was truly something to behold. In its 35 years of airing, SNL had many actors and actresses doing singing, dancing, improv, impressions of celebrities, and more. It was the inspiration for other sketch comedy shows such as Laugh-In, You Can't Do That on Television, All That, MAD, In Living Color, and more. Nowadays, it's the only sketch comedy show in media. But not for long!

44. Animaniacs

While it is true that Tiny Toon Adventures was the first "modern" Warner Bros. cartoons in many years, I devoted my entire childhood to Animaniacs. The show had it all: great animation, memorable characters, and catchy music. Thanks to this show, I learned about the presidents, the state capitals, and the names of the countries. Who says that cartoons rot your mind?

45. Daria

Both the show and the character represents the 90's perfectly. In a time when teenagers were slackers and weren't understood by their parents, Daria came along with her sharp, cynical, witty personality. The show was one of the most popular programs on MTV and it's one of my all time favorite cartoons. I like it even better than Beavis and Butthead.

46. Insomniac Games/Naughty Dog

One can't think of one company without the other. They are one of the most popular video game studios of all time and had delivered great games from the PlayStation consoles. From Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon on the PS1, Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank on the PS2, to Uncharted and Resistance on the PS3, these two companies made some of the best franchises in video game history and have gone outside the box with their creativity and ingenuity. They're not stopping anytime soon since The Last of Us and Fuse will be coming out soon.

47. The art of voice acting

While I do appreciate the hard work of acting, there's something really special about voice acting. Without your face and body, you still need to have emotion and character in your voice. It's amazing when you listen to a cartoon or video game character and find out that they voiced another character completely different. People such as Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, June Foray, Don Messick, Townsend Coleman, Cam Clarke, Rob Paulsen, E.G. Daily, Kath Soucie, Nancy Cartwright, Jim Cummings, Tara Strong, Grey Delisle, Jennifer Hale, Nolan North, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Debi Derryberry, Candi Milo, Phil LaMarr, Cree Summer, Kevin Michael Richardson, Frank Welker, Dee Bradley Baker, and more have influenced me a lot and became my heroes and role models. I can't wait for the new documentary I Know That Voice to come out so I can learn more about this amazing art. 

48. Cartoon Network

While I do love Nickelodeon, I love Cartoon Network as well. Having cartoons 24 hours a day every day blew my mind when I was 6. I was introduced to all the great Hanna Barbera cartoons and other cartoons such as Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Adventure Time, and more. I'm hoping to do a Cartoon Network tribute a few years from now. There's so much to talk about and so much influence that they did for television.

49. Paul Reubens

For some of you who have been reading my content for over a year, you've probably been waiting for him to show up. For those who are new to my content, you're probably either confused, disgusted, or you're laughing your ass off thinking that I'm joking. Are you done now? Okay. Yes, say whatever joke you want about him but he'll always snap back with his infamous catchphrase "I know you are, but what am I?" For those who are in their teens or early 20's, Paul Reubens' most famous role is the zany, non-sequitor man child known as Pee-wee Herman. Growing up as a toddler in the late 80's, early 90's, I would sneak downstairs on Saturday mornings to see cartoons such as Muppet Babies. But then Pee-wee's Playhouse would air and I would be glued to the TV. My mom would turn it off as soon as she came downstairs. One: we weren't allowed to watch TV on Saturdays unless it was a Christian program or a nature show since we're Seventh Day Adventists. Two: she never liked him. I didn't care though: this show changed me forever. But then 1991 hit and the hate grew even more strong on my mother. I, like millions of other kids, were forbidden to watch the show and the movies and was like that for years. 

That is until I hit my college years and saw the show on Adult Swim as well as The Pee-wee Herman Show and Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Just like with Animaniacs, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and Rocko's Modern Life, the humor of Pee-wee was even more hilarious now that I was an adult. Not only that, I learned more about kids' shows when I went to school for teaching. I learned how influential the show was and how it held up. It was because that the characters, especially Pee-wee, were timeless and the lessons weren't shoved down your throat like most of the preschool shows from the 90's. It taught me that it was okay to be different in a time in which I felt awkward towards other people. I was born with Asperger's Syndrome and being social to other people wasn't my strong suit. I felt that while watching Pee-wee perform on a movie, on stage, or on TV, I was able to find something relatable about him. However, it hasn't been easy being a fan. Due to his indiscretions, most people use him as the butt of every joke. I even heard people who have said that they only know him as one of the many jokes that the Nostalgia Critic uses with his P.S.A. commercial and "incident". Let me tell you something, he's way more than that. While he's not everyone's cup of tea, he has become a very special friend to those who grew up with him and someone that parents are introducing to their kids even today. Even back then, he had a cult following and surprisingly, it has been steadily growing over the past 35 years. It became even more huge when he had his comeback in 2009 with his new stage show. People were reuniting with an old friend and the love bursted out from their hearts. He was finally back with our lives! 

As for an actor, he's also great and the highlight of every role he's played in. While most of the movies he's been in are bad, he's been the best part of every movie. In Cheech and Chong's Next Movie and Nice Dreams, he was fantastic, in Blow, he was the best character there as Derek Foreal, in Life During Wartime, he played an amazingly fantastic, dark, serious, and brooding role that I never thought that he would perform in, and his voice acting is pretty decent portraying as Lock from Nightmare Before Christmas, Bat-Mite from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Pavel from Tron: Uprising. I dedicated an entire blog for him when his 60th birthday hit and I hope that he lives many more to do great performances. Regardless of what people say, he's one of my heroes and a great influence in my life. He even loved a post that I did of him that he tweeted for all his fans to see. In fact, if it wasn't for my love for him, my next influence wouldn't have happened. 

50. Manic Expression

Yeah, surprising. When Paul Reubens loved the post that I did for him, it gave me the confidence to continue blogging when I first started out. I signted into the TGWTG blog site and brought my work out. When I wrote a book review of Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse, one man recognized my work. His name was Positive Troll. We became fast friends and he told me about a little site named Manic Expression and to be a member. I said "yes" and I became the 50th member. Positive Troll since then changed his name to Les and we're still friends ever since. In fact, the original content from everyone at the site from James' Stop the Hate, Moviefan12's Disney posts, Ratin8tor's In Too Deep series, Timdiana's reviews, James Bevan's Gems of underrated video games, Sydney's down-to-earth posts about her sexuality, The Fanfic Critic's fanfic reviews, Decker Shado's reviews on the Alien and Predator series, Brekclub85's discussions about games and movies, the Comic Book Cast consisting of Armin, Joel, Sean, Ben, and Tom talking about comic books, BigBlackHatMan reviewing westerns, and Les collaborating with many talented bloggers, and much more were mind blowing. Not since Willvolution that I was involved in a fantastic website with amazing people who were nice, down-to-earth, and supportive. We were all friends, even family. No competition on who was the better blogger or video producer, no arguing, no flame wars, no negative comments, or not one person who was the dick to everyone else. It was something that I never would see again on the internet.

Now we are the best community on the site with the most original content like the Podcast Plays, the hundred member specials, and the 1 year documentary. I always thought that I was just a normal blogger that was just going to blend in with the crowd. Now people actually like my work and compliment it. Some even follow my work. That shocked me! I never thought that people would like it, let alone follow me. I thought that was for the more popular people. Nonetheless, it was because of Manic Expression that I continue to learn, grow, and post my content and will continue to do so. 

Those are 50 of my influences. I hope you enjoyed it. What or who are your influences? Post down in the comments below. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

2013 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Predictions

Tonight is the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards and Patricia and Kevin give out their predictions on the winners of the nominations.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards Announcement

With the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards around the corner, Patricia makes an announcement about discussing the details about the yearly event.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Old School Lane Presents: Top 50 Influences Part 4

Time to continue to list off my major influences. If you missed the previous lists, go back and check it out. Until then, let's go!

31. Azumanga Daioh

This is one of my favorite anime of all time, easily in my top 5. For those who don't know, Azumanga Daioh is about six girls going through their years of high school. The girls consisting of Chiyo, Tomo, Osaka, Yomi, Sakaki, and Kagura have different personalities, quirks, flaws, and everyday problems. Each of them are very funny, memorable, and relatable. The other side characters such as the teachers are amazing too. The show is very cute, has great funny moments, and has a charm to it that makes the show very timeless compared to other slice of life anime that were popular at the time. I'm looking at you The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya. I never get tired of this anime and I always try to dissect on what makes the show work. Most slice of life anime tends to be too random, too annoying, too unrealistic, too cute, too boring, or too sexist. Azumanga Daioh has a perfect balance that makes this anime an instant classic.

32. J.R.R. Tolkien

When it comes to fantasy novels, J.R.R. Tolkien is king! The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filled with adventures, great characters, epic battles, magic, and more. I was introduced to the stories by Ralph Bakshi's animated movies before I read the books. Then came the movies directed by Peter Jackson and it changed my life. I would always look forward to seeing the movies with my friends and family. Tolkien took me to large worlds and I never want to look back.

33. Fred Rogers

I used to watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood all the time when I was a kid. His presence and smile was always inviting and he always taught wonderful lessons about being yourself. Seeing Mr. Rogers interact with everyone around him and learning new things was always engaging and educational. He had a love for teaching kids so much that he ran the show until he retired at 72. Years later, he passed away and everyone felt like they lost a special friend, including me. There was a documentary about a person who actually had Mr. Rogers as a next door neighbor that was very charming and he's still regarded as one of the best kids' show hosts of all time.

34. Mystery Science Theater 3000

Oh man, when I first saw the episode in which they riffed The Hand of Manos, I learned that it was okay to make fun of movies while watching it. Some of the best jokes I've ever heard of came from riffs and it was all thanks to this show that introduced it. It got me introduced to bad B horror movies and it got me interested in critiquing a movie or show while having fun with it. It was another life changer for me when I first saw it and I love it!

35. Eleanor Roosevelt

She's another First Lady that I look up to. Just like with Abigail Adams, she was intelligent, well spoken, inspirational, and witty. She was alongside with Franklin D. Roosevelt when he went through his struggles with polio and giving confidence and hope to all the people suffering through the Great Depression. She was one of the women that other women looked up to when being independent from men and has been for many years. I have nothing but respect for her.

36. Airplane

This movie is beyond hysterical and clever! The first "spoof" movie ever made still has that fighting edge years later back when it debuted in 1970. The clever spoofs, inside humor, and funny characters made me learn about the basics of doing an excellent spoof. It's one of the funniest movies ever made and it's one of my all time favorites!

37. Histeria

Out of all the Warner Bros. cartoons that came out in the 90's, this is the most underrated. Most people will immediately think of Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, or Freakazoid as one of the best cartoons from Warner Bros back then. But I still stand by this show. The show consisting of great characters, great animation, great jokes, and great songs poking fun at history is something truly special. I'm a history buff so seeing something like Histeria is very enjoyable.

38. Shari Lewis

While she debuted in Captain Kangaroo, I first saw Shari Lewis and her puppets in Lamb Chop's Playalong. Her skills in ventriloquism and her personalities that she brought into Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy, and Charley Horse was always enjoyable. It was so fun watching the show when I was a kid and I had gained a bigger appreciation of puppets during the time when puppets weren't used as often. Unfortunately, Shari passed away years ago, but her daughter Mallory continues the legacy of Lamb Chop for a new generation. It's still as popular as ever and I couldn't be more happier!

39. Belle

While my sister and my female cousins would say that Ariel or Jasmine was their favorite Disney princess, I would always say that Belle was my favorite. When I was 6, I saw Beauty and the Beast and I immediately loved it! When I owned the cassette tape, I watched it all the time. So much so that I broke the tape due to overuse. There was something about Belle that resonated with me: the fact that she loved to read, the fact that she was looked upon by other people as odd, she was tough, assertive, a great role model, and a sweet person. Not to mention that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie ever. That doesn't hurt either.

40. Marc Summers

Marc was the first person I remember seeing on Nickelodeon when I would watch Double Dare and What Would You Do? His personality, presence, and humor always got me hooked in watching the shows he was in. As a kid, I always wanted to do the obstacle course alongside with Marc, Robin, and Harvey cheering me on. When he went on the Food Network to do Unwrapped, I stuck around to see him host it. Hey, I loved the Food Network and Marc, it was a match made in heaven! When doing the Nickelodeon tribute, I never thought in a million years that I would actually get to speak to him over the phone. Those 30 minutes was the best minutes of my life! Getting the autograph picture from him was a cherry on the happy sundae! I still love him and support him and will watch anything he's involved in. He meant a lot to me in my childhood and he'll still continue to be an inspiration to me when it comes to interacting with people in a fun way.

We're almost done. Tune in next time as we conclude our list. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Old School Lane Presents: Top 50 Influences Part 3

If you missed Parts 1 and 2, go back and check it out. Until then, here we go!

21. Samus Aran

Metroid is one of my all time favorite video game series. In fact, Super Metroid was the game that made me love video games. While I was introduced to other games such as Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Metroid was something very special. It was a sci-fi epic that has a huge massive world, awesome battles, and a great soundtrack. But what really resonated in my mind was the fact that the main protagonist was a female: something that I've never seen before. Samus is a tough, strong, and independent bounty hunter dedicated to save the galaxy from Ridley, Mother Brain, the Space Pirates, and the Metroids. She has an awesome suit filled with different types of beams and missiles, she can morph into a ball to squeeze into tight spaces, and she has different visors in her helmet. Even if she didn't have her suit, she can run faster and jump higher than regular humans due to having the blood of an alien being called the Chozo. The Chozo raised Samus as their ultimate warrior after Ridley killed her parents when she was 3.

Samus is my favorite female protagonists in video games and a huge influence in my life as a wonderful female role model.

22. Willvolution

Years ago around my college years, I signed up to a website named Willvolution that dedicated themselves to playing video games competitively. They would play games such as Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Guilty Gear, Dead or Alive 4, and especially Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4 (Naruto: Clash of Ninja 4). We would meet every month and play these games and interact with all the gamers who would show up. The community were friendly, funny, and passionate for video games, anime, and movies. It was just as good as the community from Manic Expression. I even ran video game tournaments in my senior year of college and it ran very well during that one year. Unfortunately, most of my community friends moved on with their lives and newer, younger guys became the members. I felt out of place and left the site. However, I would never forget the friends I made during the 3 years I was there or the experience I gained by being on the group.

23. Don Bluth

When I was a kid, I had watched The Land Before Time and All Dogs Go to Heaven religiously. I even bought the first 6 Land Before Time sequels because I loved the first movie so much. I regretted it years later after finding out how bad they were and that Don Bluth had nothing to do with them. During the time when Disney wasn't doing very well with their animated movies, Don Bluth came along and did movies that doesn't talk down to kids. Movies such as The Secret of NIMH and An American Tale were magical and down-to-earth. However, around the 90's, he seemed to have made very mediocre movies such as Thumbelina, The Pebble and the Penguin, Rock-A-Doodle, and A Troll in Central Park. As for how I feel about Anastasia and Titan A.E., I liked them okay despite their flaws. But the work that he was known for will always teach me that movies for kids can be a bit harsh just as long as it has a happy ending.

24. J.K. Rowling

During the late 90's when Goosebumps was losing its popularity and Animorphs was starting to lose fans due to the really awful TV series in Nickelodeon, kids were losing interest in reading books. But then a little book from the U.K. called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came out and kids loved it! J.K. Rowling had a love for writing ever since she was 5-years-old and her love of it grew when she created a young wizard boy while hanging out in a cafe. That small idea turned into a huge phenomenon with 7 books, 8 movies, a theme park attraction in Universal Studios, and a huge fanbase. Her recent book The Casual Vacancy has had mixed reviews, but mostly because it wasn't "Harry Potter". I really liked it despite the dark humor and settings. I look up to her as one of the best authors in the last decade.

25. ScrewAttack

Whenever I ask bloggers or online critics on who was their main influence, most people have said either Doug Walker or James Rolfe. My main influence came from the crew from ScrewAttack. The founders "Stuttering" Craig Skitimas and "Handsome" Tom Hanley had a passion of reviewing old school video games that was never before seen anywhere at the time. Most video game websites were focusing on the recent games and reviewed it as critics. But ScrewAttack had fun with their reviews with unique top 10's, original content, their own convention, and fun members. Sure there was a lot of tension over the years with "Handsome" Tom leaving the site and going on to do Game Heroes, but Craig, Chad, Ben, Jared, and more. Not to mention that they're dedicated to their members known as the G1s which is something to behold since other sites wouldn't care about that. They were innovators for online communities and video game websites everywhere and I have nothing but respect for them.

26. GameTrailers

While more of a straight forward video game site, the people behind GameTrailers also do original content for their discussion of games. My favorite videos are their top 10s, their list of the top 100 trailers, their retrospectives of classic video game franchises and their newest video series Timeline talking about the timeline of a video game series. The GT Retrospectives was the main foundation behind the Nickelodeon tribute based on its informative history, the year of its debut, the synopsis, and the overall opinion. Geoffrey Grotz and Brandon Jones have done a great job when it comes to doing thorough research behind a video game.

27. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart

This was the first play that I performed in high school and it was a great start for my love for acting. While I did love plays since my dad would take me to Broadway plays such as Peter Pan, but I had a love for plays when doing this one. When I was 14, I had a small role as one of the courtesans, but I learned a lot from my fellow thespians and our acting director. The songs from Steven Sondheim and the story got me hooked and it was hilarious to be a part of it.

28. Bill Watterson

Bill Watterson created one of my all time favorite comic strips of all time Calvin and Hobbes. The comic had a smart, witty, and well written feel despite the fact that the main characters were a 6-year-boy and his stuffed tiger doll. It lasted for 10 years and ended with a great legacy. To this day, people still have a love for Calvin and Hobbes and there's a reason: it has a realistic, relatable plot that anyone can relate to. We all know a Calvin and Hobbes in our lives and it teaches us about imagination, intelligence, and wit.

29. Tim Burton

Say what you want about his recent movies, but you can't deny what a huge legacy he left in movies. His dark, goofy, and atmospheric perspective in movies was unique and a standout in the 80's when he debuted with his shorts Vincent and Frankenweenie. My favorite movies from him were Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, and Big Fish. However recently, he has made some mediocre films such as Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and don't even get me started on Alice in Wonderland. Nonetheless, his former movies make up for it.

30. Nickelodeon

Yeah, yeah, predictable. But I had to put it in here as one of my influences. I grew up with this network for as long as I can remember seeing shows such as The World of David the Gnome, Eureeka's Castle, Rugrats, Doug, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and much more. It was the network that was exclusively for kids and had unique content that no other channel was doing. Despite the pitfalls they fell in over the years, I will still support the network and hope for the best.

Those are 10 more of my influences. Tune in next time as I list 10 more. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Take care.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Old School Lane Presents: Top 50 Influences Part 2

For those who missed Part 1, click here!

11. Jim Henson

I happen to be a huge fan of puppetry. While he didn't invent it the art of puppetry, his artistic abilities with creating memorable characters and the designs were influential and groundbreaking when puppets looked very homemade like the ones from Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. I love the Muppets such as Kermit, Fonzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and more. Not to mention all the characters from Sesame Street as well. The Muppet movies and TV shows as well as others such as Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal were amazing when I was younger. When I got older, I really appreciated the artistry and work that a puppeteer has to do to perform and present these characters that have been around since we were kids. When he passed away in 1990, the majority of kids' shows weren't the same and puppetry at the time was becoming a dying art. Even The Muppets were slowly fading away in our lives. Nowadays, they've made a fantastic comeback with a good movie and a sequel coming out.

12. Lindsey "Z" Briggs

Ah yes! My first Internet reviewer. Back in 2007 when people were trying to copy off The Angry Video Game Nerd yelling, cursing, and talking about bad games. Lindsey "Z" Briggs a.k.a. Little Miss Gamer from PBC Productions came along and talked to her audience in a sweet, calm, down-to-earth voice about her favorite video games from her youth. It was a breath of fresh air seeing this and it was always exciting to find out what was she going to talk about next. She did a podcast with Lee Davidge titled "Lee and Z", she had a quirky taste in games from A Boy and His Blob to Food Fight, and she would answer fan mail from the people who wrote to her in every episode. Nowadays, she's busy with her puppeteering work with The Jim Henson Company and she hasn't done a video in almost 3 years. I miss her terribly, but I would never forget her amazing work. She taught us what many people seem to be forgetting nowadays: video games are about fun.

13. Alex Haley

This author wrote one of the greatest novels of all time: Roots. Sure, he also wrote another book similar called Queen about his father's side, but Roots was the most memorable. Around the 70's, millions of people were fascinated with their heritage and their ancestry and it was all because of him. It took him 10 years to research about his family heritage, but it was all worth it. The story starting around 1767 with the 17-year-old Kunta Kinte and ending with his birth in 1921 was a long, epic story about keeping your legacy alive. This also became a huge phenomenon when Roots became a TV miniseries. When I saw the TV mini-series in high school, it made me interested about my family legacy. I traced them back to over 100 years and found out that my mother's side of the family owned a lot of rich farmland in Dominican Republic. However due to family difficulties, there were a lot of bad decisions to who really owned the land and now it's practically all gone. Some distant members of my family I don't know own the last remnants of the land now. They originated in Spain before moving to Dominican Republic and I may even have had one from France. As for my father's side, it's still a mystery to me. Nonetheless, this was the man who inspired me to know about my "roots".

14. Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry

This was one of the weirdest plays I've ever read and I love it! It was like a combination of Hamlet, Macbeth, and Richard III, but mixed with satire of power, greed, and gluttony. It's the story about Ubu, a fat, selfish, cruel, and witty man who is lazy and content with his life. But his wife wants to have a more luxurious life so she convinces him to kill the king and his sons so he can rule. As time goes on, he becomes more mean and powerful and the stories shift from the last surviving son at war trying to kill Ubu and restore piece to the land. When Alfred Jarry had his play debuted in 1896, it was panned so bad by audiences that it was shown once and never shown again. It was too strange for their tastes when the opening line "Merdre", the French word for "shit" was uttered. Not to mention its disrespect for religion, royalty, and society. He died in 1907 at the age of 34 when his works weren't appreciated. Now it's been the inspiration for strange surreal plays with a satirical flare. He was way ahead of his time.

15.  John Steinbeck

When I was in middle school, I moved from Dickens to Steinbeck. His stories talking about life during the late 20's to late 30's in California were great American classics. Books such as The Grapes of Wrath, Travels with Charley, Of Mice and Men, The Pearl, and more were read numerous times in my life. In fact, one of my favorite movies of all time is the 1940 film The Grapes of Wrath starring Henry Fonda as Tom Joad. Although his books date back during the Great Depression, his stories are timeless.

16. Deborah Sampson

This forgotten American heroine impersonated as a soldier during the Revolutionary War. She was basically like Mulan if she was American and...real. Deborah Sampson was strong due to her hard work at the farm and tall for a woman during the time at 5'7. She decided to serve her country in impersonating as a man named Robert Shirtleff and was in the army for almost two years. When she was shot with two musket balls in her thigh, she tried to have them removed by herself so that her identity wouldn't be discovered. She removed one, but the other one was too deep. She never fully recovered. As time went on, she was discovered and was resigned with honor by George Washington. As time went on, she lived a normal life as a wife and mother, but still fought hard to received pension money due to her fighting. After her death, the state of Massachusetts sees her as a hero. In fact, her hometown Sharon had honored her with a statue. Although there were probably hundreds of women who impersonated as soldiers before her, she led the way for female soldiers who can fight for our country as well as men.

17. NPR

Say what you want about the tensions that have been going on recently, but NPR (National Public Radio) is one of the only reasons I tune into the radio anymore. They have so many segments that got me tuning in almost every day: Fresh Air by Terry Gross with many interviews with celebrities, authors, politicians, and more, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and his other actors performing funny stories and plays, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me with Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell talking about the news of the week in a humorous, All Things Considered talking about the national, local, and obscure news, Car Talk featuring Tom and Ray Magliozzi answering funny questions and tips about cars, This American Life which talks about stories based on real life, and so much more. It's filled with so many fun, interesting things to listen to and all based on what's really happening. It's much less depressing than what's going on CNN. It goes to show you how well a non-profit radio station can last over 40 years later in this world of technology.

18. Derek Alexander

Derek is another Internet reviewer that I got my influences on. Derek aka The Happy Video Game Nerd talks about underrated old school video games in a calm, happy way to counteract with The Angry Video Game Nerd's rant on bad video games. Not to mention he's the co-founder of the band Starship Amazing and he does podcasts such as Video Game Takeout and Retrobeats. I first got introduced to him around 2008 when I saw his review of Mega Man 9 and I never looked back. In fact, if you want to know, the inspiration of the music podcast Nick Jukebox came from Retrobeats. I'm glad that he's becoming just as recognizable as the AVGN and he deserves it.

19. Kevin Gugliemo

Kevin Guglielmo

Yeah, of course I had to include my partner and best friend. We first met in P.S. 192 in Brooklyn, NY when we were 9-years-old. When I moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Brooklyn, NY after my mom got back together with my dad, I felt alone and out-of-place. Although I was born in Brooklyn, I was raised in Philadelphia when I was 3. When I went into school, Kevin approached me and talked about Goosebumps. We became friends ever since. It had been a hard struggle over the years, but we always knew that we had each other. His love and knowledge for film, TV shows, acting, directing, and more was huge in my life and had broadened my love for the media. I owe him a lot for everything he's done for me.

My Photo

20. Abigail Adams

She's one of my favorite First Ladies of the White House. She was strong, assertive, intelligent, and spoke her mind in a time when women were silent. She helped and sided with her husband President John Adams all the way through his years. Her dedication and hard work really shined and makes her one of the best role models that I've ever had.

Those are ten more of my influences. Tune in next time as we talk about ten more. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon.