Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Post Halloween-Sex Cigarette!

C'mon, you knew Halloween wasn't gonna be over on my blog! I've bought and made and spent on so much crap for a full month straight, I figured I'd do myself a favor and spend my money on significantly discounted crap. It makes sense in my head, not really written down. But trust me! I can't not take photos of my newly acquired Freddy Krueger doll without expecting to sleep troubled and hectic. Documenting all of my goods, well after the initial holiday and right after an even bigger holiday (my laziness knows no bounds) will be soothing for the both of us. Like a Halloween sauna in late December. We'll be dripping Hallow-sweat in no time!

I made zero effort this year to participate in any post-Halloween shopping, relying more on random impulse buys and accidental surprise surplus. I'm sure, if you're an avid reader, you already know this by now. It's my way of being slug-like, but still caring enough to have something to write about and to decorate my bathroom for the next few months. So I ended up stumbling into a single Walgreens. I entered with twenty bucks, I left with a bag full of holiday cheer and shame. Hey, you go and try buying Count Chocula lip balm at age twenty-five.

Hey, let's start with the best.

Freddy Krueger is cool. I'm not gonna lie and tell you how amazing the fedora wearing, goo-faced dude is, but I will tell you that his image has scared me at a very young age, allowing me to feature dreams of my own death by his knife-hands. Pretty brutal to actually have dreams where it feels like you're dying. I've felt in my own dreams, what I can only imagine death to feel like, the experience during and after. I think I need professional help. Cool!

But Freddy Krueger has always been a part of my childhood, even though the extent of my obsession has been his neat sweater and the question, "I wonder what it would be like to be sliced in the face?" I imagine it to be pretty painful.

You press a button on his boot and you're presented with a few "Nightmare..." movie quotes, crazy-Freddy style. Both his arms and head shake and move, upping the value and general entertainment quality. Personally, I'm totally pleased. Like I've said, I've never been a big fan, but this will look absolutely ace next to my Freddy glove above the TV. Hey, c'mon. Don't count that as a complete contradiction to my last statement about not totally liking the Krueger. I just so happen to like knives. And gloves. Together as one!

This was, at one point, twenty dollars. Normally, I wouldn't have given it a second glance at such a price. But when the discounts were rung up, it came out to be a quick five bucks. Yeah, fucking into the shopping basket you go.

Count Chocula lip balm goes without saying. I'd rather my lips taste like cereal than nothing, so it was so worth the thirty cents. It also presents a, "Hey, why not?" kinda scenario. I've never seen breakfast cereal themed lip junk, so hey, why not? The other is a door cover, a massive, plastic sheet you can use to easily turn your apartment into nearly 1/4 of a haunted house. You get around, say, 12 of these things and it'll look like you're either living among the dead or a group of robed Michael Jacksons. I totally dig this thing -- the art, colors and general, Death-y theme is way fun, even for it's original price ($2.99 ain't bad before discount) but after discount, you're practically stealing the dumb thing. I approve.

I love these things! I love the soft, purpley glow they'll soon be emitting all around me while listening to Type-O and slowly and methodically applying the aforementioned Chocula chapstick. Maybe I'll be crying, or pantless. Just to make the ordeal all that much more weird.

I think it came out to a bit over a buck, not too bad for a solid night of immediate, Halloweeny ambiance. I'll probably string 'em up outside, give the ol' patio a nice, grape-like glow. This is definitley a good deal, for those planning next year's discount disco party, since seven bucks seems pretty steep for a row of ten, hollowed out, plastic bats. Well, maybe not. Hell, what do I know? B+!

So I guess that's about it for this month's haul. Which is really two months ago's haul. I'm glad it's over -- definitely don't mean the holiday, but since I finally documented all of my findings, I can, once and for all, get this crap outta my face. See you crammed in and piled on an over filled and dusty shelf, Halloween Shit '09!

See ya next year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

X-Mas is Xwesome.

Whooaa, it's been a while since my last update. I'm leaving you on pins and needles, I know. But I'll make it quick, since I'm sure you're all dying to know what I've recently blown my money on, but mainly 'cause I'm about to watch that new "It's Always Sunny..." Christmas special. Did I just spend twenty bucks on a bloated, overpriced, forty-three minute episode? You bet!

Alright, so X-mas. I'm so into X-mas. I feel like it's Halloween, but instead of candy, you get videogames and remote controlled cars. Yeah, I'll skip the Twix for a robot that can turn into a breakdacing firetruck. Aside from getting a tree (which I've yet to do and probably never will be able to muster up to motivation to actually do it) I kinda just rely on impulse buying to get the ornament/decoration action done. If it ain't random and ultimately useless to anyone over the age of four, I don't want anything to do with it. Naw, that's not true. 'Cause I want everything! Yay Christmas!

I picked this up, I'm really into it. Action figures are fun, but action figures that are Snoopy and holiday themed are even more fun. I'm smitten when it comes to classics being updated for the season. I used to hate the idea, just fnd it absolutely cheap and ridiculous to see the once-a-month-a-select-few-months-outta-the-year bandwagon being so thoroughly jumped on, but it's grown on me. When it's Christmas, Chanukkah or whatever else ya got, I really wanna know it. I want the toy aisles in every store telling me it's Halloween time. I want cereals and televison shows and main street parades going absolutely nuts over Thanksgiving. When everyone is in on the holiday insanity, life seems just a little bit more bearable.

So. Snoopy. Action figure snoopy. It's a bit hard to really call it an "action" figure, as it's not really gonna be apart of any high-flying, epic toy battles, but damnit if that Santa outfit isn't the cutest. You come with a detachable beard and bright red, floppy hat, my friend? You are sitting at the head of the table in Castle Greyskull tonight, my man!

This was a last minute grab at Walgreen's. Nothing says "buy me!" like a Grow Bumble. NOTHING.

For two bucks, I'm given an opportunity to grow, by an astonishing six-hundred percent, a fanged Wompa. I still don't even know who Grumble is, and have always agreed that anything even resembling an abominable snowman has, and will, attack Luke Skywalker in a frosty cave. It feels more complete that way.

You know the drill, you drop it in an appropriate amount of water, go to bed and wake up to something the size of your fridge. In this case, I'm hoping I wake up to Wompa-Grumble cooking me breakfast and relaying the day's agenda. It almost sounds like I'm hoping for a gay, interspecies relationship with the thing. Hey, it's the time for Christmas miracles, right?

This thing's great, because not only I didn't buy it, but it's Yoda! I'm easily amused, so you give the little guy a candy-cane-cane and an oversized cranium, and I've got myself one hell of a couch buddy.

You see, I got this for my birthday via snail-mail -- it's one of the perks of being in a band. I'd imagine, for anyone else trying to complete their rock and roll image, a stuffed, Yoda doll probably wouldn't cut it. But it does me just fine. Especially since strippers are expensive and drugs make me feel funny. You go with what you know best!

My original plan was to document a few of my birthday presents, but, along with my post-Halloween post, which has holy shit it's been forever and has yet to be posted, I will post it. In 2010. Post Power!

Oh, and I'll let you know how Wompy turns out, too.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2009


I figure I might as well update/blog about something other than toys and...well, more toys. So I've got a running theme going on! No harm in that, right? Too bad, though, that this theme paints me as a thirty year old pervert typing out mini-essays on everything a thirty year old pervert might write about to perv it up with pre-teens. I suffer for my art.

Today on our list is beer. Good ol' beer.

I'm not gonna pretend to be the world's coolest alcoholic, but I can get down with some booze. There's no way I can smoothly order anything from the bar without pointing at it and going, "that one!" first, and I certainly won't be drinking something that smells like a mixture of gasoline and battery acid. Yeah, I'm a pussy. Anything that comes in a shot, bomb or you're-not-going-to-survive-this, I'm probably going to pass. Can't blame a guy for wanting to keep his guts and his most personal, disgusting secrets on the inside.

But beer! Glorious, delicious beer! How can you go wrong with that? It's sometimes smooth, sometimes skunky and yet it's always guaranteed to put a buzz on your brain and a smile on your face.

Now, let's get this straight, though. I don't drink swill. I refuse to drink anything even remotely reminiscent of Budweiser, and the whole Pabst Blue Ribbon/Miller High Life crew, after all that it's given to me and my blooming, glassy-eyed social life, can pretty much suck it these days. I don't think of it as being a snob, I think of how I'd rather spend a few bucks more when paying to damage my liver. Good beer is better beer, and piss-water rarely qualifies as something I'm gonna gonna enjoy now and enjoy later. Probably gag now, puke later. I prefer less gagging. Puking's still alright, though.

But like I said, I ain't no afficionado when it comes to the stuff. The only and greatest times to drink, for me, is right after playing a show. One might assume it to be of celebratory nature, but it's more economical (and sinister!) than that. After sweating all major liquids from my body for forty-five minutes straight, one pint of booze can really pack a punch. You're usually down and out after that, smoothly sailing the dull-eyed, speech slurring train for the rest of the night. Yeah, so one drink is all I'm sayin'. One measley drink! You get all that, March, 2010 east coast tour? See you at the bar!

Anyways, I'm a fan of a beer called Kiltlifter. Minus the fact the below photo is not Kiltlifter (sue me!) it's made in Tempe, AZ and is most delicious.

Now, there's not a chance I can describe its taste. It's like asking me what lies beyond space and time, or how a car works. Shit's way over my head. But if I HAD to describe it...I'd say nutty. Kinda hopsy. Brewed to perfection. Perfect head, with a slight, woodsy tone. Buzz-words and cliche phrases, anyone? Thank you, Sam Adams commercials!

If you check out, you can see what all the hub-bub is about. Four Peaks doubles as a brewery, which makes and sells a whole line of other, fun named beers, and a really cool restaraunt that somehow manages to stay packed on every single day of the week it drives me mad why can't I find a place to sit. I'm destined to forever stand near the entrance looking confused, or sitting next to the woman who, in our hot, desert wasteland, absolutely prefers to keep the outdoor heating lamp on and above eight-thousand degrees. You gotta learn to roll with the punches. And the midday heatstrokes.

Another cool thing about Kiltlifter/Four Peaks is that it's a local company (well, to me it is) so you won't feel like such a corporate tool when drinking it. You'll only feel a little wobbly and more inclined to tell everyone how you're in love with them when drinking it.

Have fun!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Playmobil Zombie Pirates? Of Course!

I've never really liked pirates. Between the current (well, semi-current) obsession with Disney's most boring ride turned into three, boring movies, it's really left a weird, Deppy taste in my mouth.

Naw, I'm being too harsh. Pirates are pretty cool. Swashbuckling and pillaging and being a badass are all things I can support. But obviously, anything will turn into a stomach-churning, boring mess when it's overtly used in all sorts of mediums ranging from cliche tattoos to really weird, Steven Tyler mixed with Cyndi Lauper-esque fashion statements. Plus, the "Pirates" movies weren't that bad. Granted, I've only seen the first one and almost fell asleep in the second one, but it really did seem to lose it's charm quick.

Oh, what was my point? Ah, right. I found some cool zombie-pirates!

I've always liked Playmobil toys. It's kind of a creepy statement to make, since I've only actually invested legitimate time with the things since my teen years. Although, I remember Jimmy had a castle when I was a youngster, maybe, that was Playmobil oriented, which had a few knights with reallyreally neat looking horses, but I've never actually been knee-deep in the stuff. I can't tell you the history or origins of the toy company, but what I can tell you is that they make figurines and vehicles and buildings ranging from the most insane, outerspace and otherworldly, to the most mundane, boring, "why was this made into a toy?" design. You can snag yourself a moon-scavaging playset, or the group of figurines and vehicles detailing the inner workings of the airport. You into dangerous, underwater sea adventures? Or what about taxi drivers or the gas station attendant set instead? It's this idea, that nothing is too mediocre or dull that keeps me coming back for more. And yeah, I actually own that Playmobil taxi, complete with taxi driver. It even comes with luggage! For the taxi's trunk! Gleeee!

This blog is, essentially, my diary. My shameful, shameful diary.

Overall, pretty nice. They come with an array of battle gear, skeletal clothing (or is that they are, in fact, nothing but bones? You decide!) and one has frighteningly orange hair. I like that. But to be honest, one of the main goals I've secretly harbored while perusing the aisles of the Toys R Us was to demand countdown satisfaction during Christmastime. That, and to not look like a pervert while speed walking through the little girl/Barbie/stroller section to get to the good stuff. This good stuff:

Countdown satisfaction! I've wanted this for a while now, maybe this year I'll pony up the dough. Basically, starting December 1st, for every day, you open up a secret compartment, filled with a tiny, token of Christmasy fun (in this case, it's a pinecone or a dirty raccoon) leading up to the grand finale on December 25th -- Santa Claus and all the woodland creatures celebrating the birth of potatos. The cover and general marketing idea makes you think you'll be riding down the religious route, but as soon as you notice the basket of 'taters they're huddled around, you'll be able to rest easy, you heathens. Trust me.

Wanting this is quite the testament to my growing immaturity and willingness to easily throw away twenty bucks, since I'm destined to stare at the box lovingly, open it lovingly and then, quite lovingly, throw it in the hallway closet.

Merry X-Mas!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures? Them Crooked Vultures!

This is a rad album.

It features Josh Homme of QOTSA, Dave Grohl of Foovana, and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. Musically, I'm sure you can get away with anything if you mention that ya got the bassist of Led Zep on your album. You probably don't even need a band at that point. Just casually insinuate that you're merely friends with the guy and you get away with selling t-shirts and stylized keychains.

Actually, I don't even like Led Zeppelin that much, so it doesn't do too much for me knowing that JPJ is slappin' duh bass. Granted, I've never given them a huge chance, but it always seemed that the kids in high school who listened to Led Zep were the drama kids/stoner dorks. Everyone who thought they were the coolest shit by wearing oversized Doobie Brothers shirts, watched Monthy Python films and had an endless supply of those circular, John Lennon glasses. It was a bit of a turn off. But hey, to each their own. I'm still appreciative that the dude is on this record, though. With such a massive career in music, a fanatical fanbase and endless inspirations for thousands and thousands of's a solid plan to ensure that yeah, this is probably not gonna entirely suck.

Turns's pretty cool. I'm not going to sing it's praises atop a mountain, naked and demanding the musical truth be told, but I will listen to it. Occasionally. With fervor. It sounds kinda like you'd imagine -- Queens of the Stone Age smashed together with super-unmodern sounding-super-songs, like Cream/Clapton or anything you might hear a bunch of dudes playing in their garage after realizing that, yes, guitar solos should be long and technical! It's too much of a jam band to be rockin', yet too rockin' to be outright dismissed. I can get into it, if and when I'm in a slow, groovy mood, or when I totally wanna listen to Homme's pretty, falsetto voice. You're like an angel, Josh. Grohl's drumming seems a bit restrained, never blasting into heartstopping, mindblowing territory, though. Nothing to be ashamed of, though. Dave Grohl, you've still got my vote.

The bass is smooth, too. It's hard to really describe bass playing. Besides, "sounds like the guy from Rancid" or "Flea," you're left in the dark. This sounds...wet. There, a new and eerily gross way to describe a bass sound -- wet.

Overall, it's cool. It's deliciously funky. And if you ever saw them live, well, you'd be seeing a triple-threat of cool dudes. Most likely, none of which would talk, acknowledge or even see my existance as worthwhile enough to glance in my general direction.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Star Wars Toys! I Love it! YOU Love it!

I love Star Wars. It's a pretty fantastic disease I really don't mind carrying in my bloodstream. I won't go too far into why I love the films (I'll end up outright gushing about how Twi'leks are so really really awesome) but let's just say that every night I pleasure myself while wearing a Rebel fighter pilot helmet. Actually, let's not say that. In fact, let's forget I even typed that out.

I attribute it to being such a vast, intricate universe you can easily get lost in, like World of Warcraft, but less life-sucking and socially destructive. You've got yourself a rad storyline, face-slicing swords and a burning desire to collect, in action figure form, every character that made any sort of appearance in the films, whether it be a half an hour or a twelve second scene in the Mos Eisely Cantina. I can't deny that those scenes are my favorite (quick, character heavy monster fests) making any of your money going towards Lucasfilm all that more ridiculous. Do I really need to own a figure of the Rancor's sobbing, sweaty keeper? Yes. Yes, I do.

So I've been collecting and gathering and mindlessly hoarding this junk forever. I'd say it was a chemically lopsided obesession at first, but now more of a "casual fan" kinda thang. Casual fans still end up on the political stylings of Endor and how Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc Pit to exact revenge on Han Solo, right?

Vintage figures. I'm literally wet right now.

Jimmy was lucky enough to be around when the 80's literally exploded with rad Star Wars toys. Over time, I've stolen them from him and have since claimed innocence. Awesome. When they re-released the films in theatres twenty years later, they also released the biggest wave of shit I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of. Davey and I spent our lives, our lifeblood making the rounds at Toys R Us searching for all the new, released toys to accompany the newly, updated films. All the added scenes in the movies kinda sucked, but I could seriously live with a non-original Lando update. All Lando is good Lando. It was as if I was finally living in a time where being a kid was awesome and toy aisles were littered with droids and Death Stars. I can't help myself, I'm gushing!

So I guess they have these new figures out. I've been out of the "game" for years now, but I couldn't help myself with this one. I've kicked the habit for as long as I could, but I just HAD to nerd out with my cock out. Under the "Legacy" collection title, there's a whole new gang of familiar faces. Kinda doesn't make sense, but you know what I mean. I assume these are the fan favorites, the best of the best, the crew of characters that absolutely need their 487th upgrade. Expect the usual Jawa, Ewok and IG-88, 'cause those guys are classically bomb, we all know this. These are my favorite finds of the latest, and definitely not last of the newest wave of rehashed fun. 'Cause that's what's it all about, people. FUN. And intergalactic robots. Yes!

Nien Nunb. Ohhh, you. You're the best. You're my favorite! And this is a cool figure, featuring the fish-faced bastard in his B-wing pilot gear, pre-"I'm awesome and I'm gonna help fly the Falcon later in the film." He's looking cool, he's looking slimy and he's looking fun. I TOLD YOU THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

This is Rum Sleg. Don't know who that is? Yeah, me neither. The back info tells us that he's a bounty hunter (I like, I like) that was at the Podraces that Anakin Skywalker competed in (I don't like, I don't like) Any scene with that little turd still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so I've kinda let that entire film slip from my mindscape. As long as "Empire" still exists, I'll play dumb and won't complain.

But yeah, so far I'm pretty certain that Rum Sleg is awesome. He's got a few guns, a mysterious helmet and an outfit that screams "post-apocalyspe wasteland," a style I'm regularly wishing to have introduced to my wardrobe. I want to be Road Warrior, minus all the jew-hating and whatnot.

Major Panno is fantastic, and I can't pretend I immedietly knew this thing existed in the Star Wars universe. Apparently, he's a Dressellian who helped run a shield generator strike on Endor to take down the Death Star. From the picture on the back, yeah, it's legit...he had some screen time. I feel that his screen time was a a quick, camera-pan-to-the-left, but it's cool, I still like him. He looks like a turtle and has a cloth cape. Hell, I love him.

Alright, so I guess that's about it. I would have bought them all (there was a Yoda and a Stormtrooper and a Han Solo in Stormtrooper garb that I really wanted) but I need to eat. Unless...Star Wars toys...are edible?

Get on it, George!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Marvel in My Pocket!

Every now and then, I tell myself I won't buy any more useless nonsense. I go through the motions of personally vowing to stop obsessing over any more ridiculous crap that'll just end up in the back of the closet, between the dusty Sega Dreamcast and broken AT-AT. You see, I'm a collector. But unlike some, there's no method to my madness, and I've never been one to keep to a specific route of hoarding. I like amassing large amounts of material possessions, whether it be monster cups from 7-11 from 1983, or miniature, porcelein Buddha statues (cherubic, bubbly faces is a personal weakness) I read novelty item catalogs for fun, and have been known to fawn over and create Amazon wishlists, just for kicks on a Saturday night. But one of the things I like to make sure I have enough of to last a few world wars is comic book related stuff. You can call me a fan of graphic novels, or even a bigger fan of cluttering up my desk with X-Men memorabilia, it's all the same to me. Basically, I have enough Marvel junk littering my place to even make Stan Lee uneasy. And today...I make my presence and natural existance uneasy...some more!

Ya know, I've been handing over my money to Marvel Comics for years, but this time it's personal. This time they're just daring me to throw financial caution to the wind, crack open the wallet and go to town.

Ooo boy...Handful of Heroes!

A fun mixture of the M.U.S.C.L.E. and Monster in My Pocket toy lines, you've got these bad bitches. I promise I won't make a joke about having a "handful of hero," 'cause I'm sure you're already halfway there. But you're offered a grip of superheroes (ha!) all under an inch tall and brightly colored (ha ha!) I'd be lying if I said I wasn't attracted to the zany colors and general "kapow!" quality. You're just kinda drawn to it. They're like tiny, intricate pieces of candy (that clear orange looks delicous) shaped specifically for my weird interests. I'd be down to chew on some Archangel.

When I first saw them in the store, I thought there was no way I'd fall for it. Toy lines like this are created and pre-destined to ruin any kid with any determination to complete what they started. The box demands you collect all 120 figures, and if I was a young pup, I wouldn't settle for anything less. Once you got caught up in the madness, there was no way out. You go big or you go home. And at seven bucks a pop, apparently, you go broke, too. Blarg.

But hot damn, I really and truly am a fan of eerie, obsessive-compulsive style collecting. It gives me something to be on the lookout for, like I'm on the hunt for a cancer-curing Spiderman no taller than a quarter. Maybe he'll grant wishes, too, I dunno. But being an adult with absolutely no time or money to spare on miniature Thors and Hulks, I had to be damned with this overpriced, overpowering bullshit and reluctantly pass on it, one-hundred-and-ten-percent without exceptions.

So I got three packs. Kill me now.

I feel if I was a little bit younger, Pokemon would have destroyed me. I'm not saying that buying tiny, choke-worthy comic book characters is somehow more of a respectable vice, but at least it ain't animal-plum hybrids and electrical, yellow cats. Seriously, I just made Pokemon sound awesome right there.

I snagged a few Hulks, a lot of Nick Furys, a Metamorpho (neat!) and possibly a Skrull. All I care about is that he has a sweet sword and is painted demon-black, so yes, my fave.

Naturally, it comes with a checklist detailing all the way cooler figures you didn't get, but it did at least mention that there's only forty figures to collect, painted in three colors each. So that narrows the playing field down a bit. I can sleep well tonight.

Overall, I'm into it. It's a fun throwback to sillier days where toys demanded some imagination and bartering skills. I can't say I'm gonna continue to to go apeshit on this, but I had my fill for one lazy, Sunday afternoon. I really like that Metamorpho, though. Just saying it out loud feels good and right. Metamorpho. Ahhh yes.

Alright, have fun!

The colors, duke! The COLORS!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"They Call Us Death."

I gotta blog about this. I really do.

This is our new album cover for our new album, "They Call Us Death."

Since we can't just straight up sell our goods without an exclusive, one-time-only pre-order giveaway, we're offering you a...well, a one-time-only pre-order giveaway! C'mon, you saw that one coming. Ha!

These are our "3 Portraits of Evil!" As ya can tell, they'll feature each member of the band on postcard sized cardstock, and will be the ONE AND ONLY time they'll be available to the general public. The private public, well, that's a whole different story.
Check 'em out on our site at!

Jimmy Calabrese as Crash, from the "Really Dead!" films!

Davey Calabrese as Davey Calabrese, the teenaged werewolf who, by the power of moonlight, transforms into a reverse!

And I, Bobby Calabrese, as a "Killer Klown meets The Joker," based off the film critics call, "Nonexistant," and "Made up for this blog!" I introduce to you..."Bobby Vamps From Bobby Space!"

Check out the dude who did the art, he's awesome!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Easley's Costume Shop. In Other Words: Fuck You, Spirit Halloween Stores.

I really need to squeeze this blog in before it's too late. Clearly, I've been milking the Halloween cow for the last month, hell-bent on filling up this blog as quickly as possible. It's an easy task when the local pharmacy is exploding with laughing witch dolls and Halloween themed Reese's Peanut Butter cups, always giving me something to write about. 'Cause writing about H-ween themed candy is one of my "things." So it's been a good month. I'll miss it. I'll give it my damndest to keep this rock and roll train on track, without the aid of blog material every which way I turn, but no promises. Don't cry for me, Argentina.

So the day after Halloween, I've got one last blog I can file under the Halloween unbrella. Did that even make sense?

I really wanted to somehow incorporate Spirit Halloween stores into my blog realm before the season was dead and gone, but it never quite worked out that way. Between writing a full length article on it and only having close to two and a half pictures to accompany it (my camera phone died during the trek) it just never panned out. It essentially turned out to be an ode to my love/hate relationship with the place, teetering on madness and money loss. But the blog is on the backburner, and it really does suck to just let it disappear into the abyss of December, so maybe I'll post it online one of these days. I'll use my weak Paintshop skills and extensive, Google Image searches to fill in the blanks. But for now, we go a little more local with the costume shops and bins of rubbery body parts:

Easley's Fun Shop! A fantastic voyage into dollar store magic tricks and imagining that this is the store Pee-Wee shops at for X-Ray glasses and massive, oversized heads. Easley's caters to those looking to rent a costume, those who really need a bleeding-face-mouth mask and those who really want guts on a stick. Hey, I don't judge!

Basically, it's a ma and pop store that's open year round, with goodies and treats and stage make-up and all sorts of fun stuff you won't find anywhere else. It's like Spirit, if Spirit wasn't secretly a Wal-Mart that had 90 percent of their store dedicated to selling you clown crap. No one likes the clown crap. God, I hate the clown crap.

During the time I went, it was a week before the big day, so it was pretty packed with last-minute shoppers and the one group of people that just have to try on every hat the store owns. As I perused the asiles, I quickly realized I needed to buy something. The place was picked over pretty badly, but that didn't stop my quest to spend. I'm really into masks, or at least displaying masks all around my place, like a weird, creepy Jeffrey Dahmer-esque scenario. So far, this year has been pretty bland when it comes to masks, probably because I hate spending more than twenty bucks, and everything is way over sixty. Oh well, I still had my hopes set high that I'd finally finally FINALLY get myself a gorilla mask. Yeah, I really want a mask of a gorilla. The Planet of the Apes and comic book lover come out in full force with that one. It's kinda the "it" mask for Halloween, too. Like a viking helmet, pilot hat or 50's football jersey, it's the ideal "80's party outfit" you'd see in any of the decade's films. I'm pretty sure at least seventy percent of all 80's, teen comedies had a guy in a viking helmet somewhere in the film. Either hanging out in the background or spiking the punch while kicking a nerd in the nuts. Think about it. Just think about it.

Anyways, I was in the animal section (furry jokes, anyone?) and I got a goat head. Oh, man, now that sounded bad.

It's really cool, or at least semi-cool. Made of a hard plastic, it's pretty rad for under ten bucks. I've always wanted something like this, where it easily crosses over into "Rosemary's Baby" territory, giving me another reason to someday slap this on my face and dance in the woods naked. Probably to Duran-Duran. That's some Goddamn dancey music right there!

It's hard to tell if it's evil enough for my evil tastes, but I figure I can douse it in blood, hang it on the wall and perform my Satanic rituals without the fear of owning a non-evil goat head mask. It's the little things in life, ya know?

Oh, and one more thing! I didn't wanna overload myself with too much chocolatey treats this month, so I only allowed myself to put my body into a sugar coma with the best of the best. Twizzlers and Whoppers during "Nightmare on Elm Street" marathons aside, I found these:

I don't really like Dots. The fact that "Dots" makes me think of the tiny, button like candy that comes glued to a strip of paper (which is a candy I'm not sure I can get behind) and the time spent picking this fruit-jubilee-crap outta your teeth, it makes for a really shitty choice of candy. I'm more of a Sour Skittles man, with a heathly supply of soursploding Warheads. Anything that causes pain when I eat it, really. Dots are like, the blandest candy I can think of. Even Necco Wafers have a more extensive, reformed taste than Dots, and they're made of fruity chalk. But Dots represented to look like ghosts? YES. The box kinda promises that each, individual Dot is painted to look like a floating entity, which would be cool 'cause eating a ghost is one of my top priorities, but that's not quite the case. Pretty bland in ghosty features, you're left with a few blobs of the most wonderful colored candy I've ever seen:

Such a magnificent hue! It's like ectoplasm mixed with jellyfish. You get the impression that they're gonna glow, and in fact, I gleefully made sure to see if they did. When I realized I might be eating something that fucking glowed, I started questioning my eating habits.

Oh, and they taste pretty good, too. Happy November 1st!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Carving, or "How I Ruined My Reputation."

Pumpkin fun. There, I said it. I can't truly stick up for it in a fight, but I'm definitely rooting for it to not have it's face pummeled in. And believe you me, it's semi-soft, hollowed out body is easily pummelable. A real fuckin' mess.

You see, carving pumpkins has a stigma surrounding it. Not unlike dying eggs during Easter or stockpiling Teen Titans DVDs (seasons 1 through 3) there's just something unbelievably childish about it. Not saying that it is childish, and that you're instantly deemed a vacant, dead-eyed child molester for partaking in the festivities, but c'mon, we all know it's reserved for the kiddies and, lucky for them, the parents of the kiddies. There's a fine line to carving pumpkins, too. You don't really wanna advertise it to all your friends, unless it's bordering the ironic, "look at how zany and Halloweeny I am!" gameplan, nor do you wanna attempt that gameplan when your friends simply can't fall for something like that. And if you dare throw caution to the wind and try to get others involved, it can magically warp into the most awkward disaster of the month.

"Hey, guys! Wanna carve pumpkins this weekend?"


"Alright then! It was a pleasure being friends with ya!"

It's like shoving Castle Greyskull under your bed, or cramming your Magneto helmet in the closet before a girl comes over. Gotta keep it on the downlow, ya know? So swallow your pride, close the curtains and carve the night away in creepy, monotonous silence. Besides, it's more Halloween that way!

But in all seriousness, once you hit a certain age, no one gives a fuck or can seriously claim to give a fuck. When everyone's living their adult lives and watching reruns of "Lost," no one's gonna want to or have time to bust your balls for slicing up a fruit to look like a face. Or is it a vegetable? Kinda like how a tomato is a fruit? I hate this blog already!

Let's carve some pumpkins!

My first attempt proved that I like my jack-o-lanterns to look as cliche as possible. Like something out of a movie set in a rural, middle-class neighborhood in October. Not too garish, not confusingly bland, just about in between offensively flashy and pure shit. I think it looks good. Solid.

My next attempt involved going comletely out on a limb, taking my skills in a whole new direction. I decided, instead of triangles for eyes, I'd go the circular route. Start shaping it into more of a bug-eyed looking thing, like a bright orange fly of death. At this point, I said to myself, "I'm going to make this one look like Vincent Price," ultimately, allowing me to make it look nothing like Vincent Price and everything kinda like Jack Skellington.

I really wanted to get a good photo of said pumpkin. I really did. But I dropped the ball and missed my opportunity, because, apparently, I got the worst pumpkins in the world 'cause they melted into the ground a day and a half later. But if you look closely, my second creation is on the left. Looking more like a deflated basketball with teeth. What a neat Halloween surprise!

So have fun, enjoy the Halloween season! It's a quick, easy way to blow off a little steam during the work week, like a relaxing, 30 mintue yoga session, if yoga allowed you to use knives.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. Forgive me, for I have sinned.

I know, I know. I'm not a fan of Starbucks, with it's overpriced coffee and it's massive, global domination, but sometimes you gotta break the rules. Sometimes the rules need a breakin' when you're in desperate need of a cup of joe, or about to have your bladder explode unless you find a bathroom quick. And those rules are especially made to be broken when that means you can guzzle down pumpkin flavored, sugary coffee juice! Plus, the Starbucks was conveniently located, and I really needed a new blog entry. Ha!

When I heard there was an exclusive, special, October-only coffee to be had, I nearly shit myself. Probably because I was drinking coffee at the time. Natural laxative, y'know? But that's besides the point.

Honestly, I'm still not sure if this is an exclusive, month long deal, but if it's anything like a McDonald's Shamrock Shake and all the joy it brings, I'm game.

Game on!

Apparently, the pumpkin-y flavor explosion comes in the form of a latte. I was really hoping that it was merely a pumpkin infused roast, but I'll fight back the tears and tread forward. Not saying I'm not into lattes, but they come too close to my rule of never drinking overtly, sugary coffee drinks. No, I have no idea if lattes are all that sugary, but yes, this is my way of choosing sides in the burgeoning coffee war. Do we really need our coffee to taste like cake? Does it need (with a generous helping of whip cream) to look like cake? I get it, it's some delicious shit, but it ain't coffee. It's a death bomb of pricey bullshit! It's evil! Revolt! Revolt, I say!

Naw, it's cool. Just keep the muffin batter liquid to a minimum, y'know?

Anyways, I headed over to the counter with one goal in mind: to drink highly caffeinated Halloween. Just suck in the pure essence of the holiday. I want ghosts to fly from my mouth, or a green, Halloween-themed slime to drip from my pores. That would be cool!

Turns's pretty good. But anything tastes great covered in sugar, and assuming you're into something that excells into tasting like an extreme version of pumpkin. Like, if pumpkin tasted like eighteen pumpkins thrown into a blender and sprinkled with coffee grinds. I can't say I'd drink it all the time, but it does it's job in brightening my Samhain spirit, as well as my blood to caffeine ratio.

The only thing I'd recommend is that Starbucks jazzed up their cups a bit, to really drive it home. Getting a bit festive with their holiday drink wouldn't hurt, would it? Personally, I'd suggest, with every order, a tiny pumpkin atop it's lid. Simple, obviously themed accurately and the easiest, quickest thing I could find on my desk to take a picture of. Yeah, my desk is covered in mini-pumpkins. You got a problem with that?

Overall, it's good times. I actually couldn't finish drinking it, so when I was pouring the neglected, last few ounces down the drain, I noticed it's dark, powerfully orange hue. The drink is orange colored! I really wish I took a picture of it, but ah well, I'm sure you'll still love me as much as I love consuming basketball colored java.

S-bucks Pumpkin Spice Latte = B!

Now I gotta try Dunkin Donuts' version!

What I'm Reading -- Seriously, Total Blog Bonerkill.

Alright, let's make this one nice and quick. The title says it all, and if I try to drag it out even longer than I need to, I'll end up rambling on about squid salads or why I wanna live in a Poke-ball. Not necessarily to be trapped forever in a random pocket of space and time and used as a fighting slave, moreso to see what's in it, to see what's going on in there. Is it big? Got good feng shui? I really hope they have a garden with a nice patio.

First up on the reading list is, "Flesh," by Richard Laymon, about a parasite of sorts that enters a human body, allowing for a whole slew of surprises. Like...shooting you wife in the face! Or eating your friends! Absolutely fantastic so far, proving once again why I love Laymon so much. If this book is anything like his rest, soon enough, some dude will be running around, complete with solid boner and a machete headed straight for your skull. I shit you not. I swear it's a reoccuring theme with his writing. Killer!

Next is, "Wastelands," a short story collection about the end of world, the apocalypse and general, "holy fuck we're all gonna die" type situations. Haven't cracked it open yet, but I'm certain I'll enjoy this. There's probably nothing cooler than post apocalyptic partying, motorcyle death races, fire-dancing and jus tlooking like a bad-ass with a neon mohawk, strategically torn leather jacket a biker vest. Basically, I wanna be the Road Warrior. Yep.

Finally, there's Henry Rollins', "The First Five," a collection of his first batch of books. It's a bunch of essays, prose and interesting tidbits about loneliness, desolation, being on the road, dealing with assholes and being an asshole. I'm slowly chugging through it, and so far, it's been a good read. I like Henry Rollins, but you really can only read his earlier stuff in small chunks (I've don't think I've read anything he's written past '86, so I don't know if he starts lightening up later on) but it's really cool and well worth the mild bouts of bummed outedness.

Alright, I think that's about all I'm reading at the moment, or at least pretending to read to make my bookcase look full and bountiful. It's kind of a lost cause, though, to read so many things at once, given the fact that I can barely remember what I did a week ago, but that's how I roll.

Happy October reading!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Teenage Bottlerocket...NEW RECORD!

I ended up going to the record shop the other day, with no real interest in records. It was more of an excuse to use their air conditioning, or to brag that "I went to the record shop." Naw, it's not that cool. I just really wanna blog about Teenage Bottlerocket!

Truth be told, I was really aiming for the coffee shop, but there was a weird looking couple blocking the entrance that really killed my buzz. So, the next best thing for a socially awkward coffee drinker? The record store!

Among a few other impulse buys (The Sonics! Magazine!) I found Teenage Bottlerocket's newest record, "The Came From the Shadows."

I can't say that I'm the biggest fan, but there's no way that I'm the worst, but I still managed to have no idea that their third album was made, existed for a period of time and slipped under my radar for a couple of few weeks. It's a bit of a bummer to know I'm no longer on the cutting edge of new, rock and roll releases, but on the other hand, it's a fantastic surprise, like finding an unexpected treasure in your cereal, or having your food arrive at a restaraunt while you were taking a dump. Assuming that the food wasn't ordered or expected on any level, ya know. Hey, I'm trying to keep my analogies straight here. Gahh!

Anyway, their new album is really cool. For a back story on the band and for some kick-ass, blog filling banter, TBR are a punk rock and roll band from Wyoming. They play fast, they play catchy and they play fun. This is their 3rd album, full of jams about girls, feeling shitty and feeling shitty about girls while they shit. Yes, I am a fan!

I really like this record, but not as much as their first, but upon further listen, I'm positive that it's a bit better than the second. I'm thinking this because I'm absolutely sick of the second record. Actually, this new album seems like I dig it more than the first, though, 'cause it's all I've been listening to lately, but then again, I'm sick of everything else, and this is a fresh slab of music for my ear-balls. Goddamn, reviewing shit is a tough business!

Also, I really like the cover. If you know anyhting about the band, you know they've been using the same exact album cover design, but with a different title and general color scheme. But damn, I love that new color they've got going! They had me at hello...and at pea-puke green.

Also, you may wanna check out the guitarist/singer's former band, The Lillingtons. Not saying I like it more, but the dude sings about Russian espionage, aliens and one-armed men.

Yeah, I like it more. Ha!

Monday, October 12, 2009

WOLF HEAD RED EYES OF DEATH. Target, You Sly Sonnavabitch, You've Done it Again.

I'm never one to complain about over-the-top Halloweenization. I'm all for pure nuttiness when it comes to the holiday, I want it in my face and in my life for a month straight. I wanna be so sick of ghosts, ghouls and melted Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that I'll swear off Halloween for the rest of my life. Or at least for eleven months. Oh, fuck I'm a liar. I'll still be hardcore celebrating come November 1st, you know it and I know it. Rock and roll.

These days, I find myself judging a store's worth by the effort they put into their holiday cheeriness. I like to think that Halloween is still in favor with us consumer whore shoppers, and how a simple dashing of fake cobwebs can really spark a Halloween "I want every fake rat and skull head here" mood, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't seem to be on the decline. Where are the witch-y cut-outs for the drab, boring windows? No grinning, waving, Death animatronic outside of the store's entrace to greet you on your way in? It's not a life or death situation, but, ya know...I like Death. We all like Death. It's fucking Halloween, people!

So through my travels, I ended up at Target. Not really in a trick or treat mood, more of a "hey, I'm at Target already, let's just see what they have in store for H-ween" kinda motive. Target has always been pretty spectacular when it comes to the holiday, or at least for as long as I can remember, or really, care to remember. It seems while every other store around will throw a bunch of masks and gorilla suits in a corner with a proclamation of "HALLOWEEN SECTION YAY," Target will take initiative and create their own signs, imagery, ideas and...hell, their own Halloween brand. The exclusive junk you'll only find in the aisles of Target can seriously outweigh all lot of other stores' junk. Wal-Mart may try, but fuck Wal-Mart. At least I won't feel like a commie shopping in the Targ.

Basically, I found this:

Pretty Goddam magical, eh?

Between their shiny and squishy ghost pillows and bloody wall clingers, they've got a nice selection of statue busts, very Haunted Mansion style. I would have totally picked them all up (there were vampires and other neat shit) but somehow, after years of not giving a crap, I was sucked back into more Star Wars collecting. No reason EVER to own another Nien Nunb figure, but I bought it, and I kinda-sorta regret. Just sorta, though. I'll save it for another blog!

The eyes come with a neat little feature of glowing a spooky red, and assuming I put batteries in it, would totally work and look cool. Instead, I decided to take a photo of it's non-glowing, uninteresting peepers. Maybe you can squint your eyes and pretend they're glowing. Hey, better than nothin'!

Like I said, Target really does have a solid grasp on how to keep Halloween fun and silly, with quite a bit merch catering to us weirdos. They've never let me down too bad, and this year proves no different. I say yes to Target. I say yes, indeed! Amen!

Also, this can, conceivably, be the raddest centerpiece to anyone's living space. Throw it on your desk and you're a sophisticated horror enthusiast, slap it on a bookshelf and you look like a demented genius. Clearly, you can stack hats, sunglasses and or masks of human faces (ooo, very lycan of me!) but there's only one true way to take advantage of this thing. My personal favorite:

Botte opener! There's absolutely no way that this can, will or should work, but it's the thought that counts. Maybe Target can take note and surprise us all with a wolf head that doubles as a tool to get us all drunk. Maybe? Maybe.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


One of my favorite bands around is Hour of the Wolf from Prescott, Arizona. Everything they've done has nearly melted the skin right off my face, a feat I want happened to me over and over again, non-stop without pause. Yeah, it's pretty intense. And kind of creepy how I just worded that. Yup.

Alright, so they've got a new 10" record coming out, and I highly suggest you check it out. If you do enough scrounging around, you'll find a downloadable compilation of music, with a new jam straight off of the album, titled "Faith in Fiction," making you sweat and making you wet.

I'm definitely gonna pre-order the new stuff, but I might hold out to pre-order it a bit later. For an extra fee, you'll not only grab yourself the new record, but a vinyl, toy mummy. Yeah, this band rules.


Monday, October 5, 2009

The Obits -- My First Attempt at a Music "Review!"

I put "review" in italics 'cause I'd be lying if I said I knew how to review music. I can tell you how awesome a video game is when you shoot someone in the face causing their brains to explode, and how you should run out and get that game ASAP, but it seems a little weirder to explain why the color yellow is the best color ever, or why pumpkin spice candles are the greatest smelling candles on Earth. That's how I feel when it's comes to reviewing music, or hell, even movies or TV. How does what enters your ears and eyes and nose equate to what will enter another's? What gives you the power to tell people what's great and what's not? Who has that power? Who the hell says I even have a say in this kind of shit?

Well, to be honest with you, the above makes zero sense. A review is a review, your opinion or my opinion, and that's pretty much that. No real science or guidelines behind it, maybe throw in a few sweet adjectives, though, to make it seem legit. I really just needed a cool, semi-intelligent opening paragraph for this post, an idea I'm pretty sure will never surface again, so don't-worry-this-is-the-last-time. Either way, I still will admit I know nothing of writing music reviews, but I'm pretty sure that I just finished my opening blog icing on this delicious blog cake. Booyah!

Moving on, we've got a band called The Obits, with their record, "I Blame You."

This is Rick Froberg's new band, whom you might know from Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. There's a bunch of other cool, indie rock royalty playing on the record, too, but I'm so full of shit if I say I knew who they were. I hear drums, though. So there's a drummer of sorts. I do know that much!

Froberg's back on vocals, and I'm into it. Like his previous bands, there's a lot of rock and roll guitars, surf-y guitars and really rad riffage. His style (vocals as well as guitar) seems so frenetic and frenzied, like a television on fire set to explode. It's a weird and wildy confusing comparison, but it sounded neat when I wrote it.

If you know any of his other bands, you can pretty much imagine what this sounds like. I haven't listened to it enough to start gushing just yet, but I dig it. I might say check out Hot Snakes first (I love Hot Snakes oh yes I do) for some of my favorite pure-rock, Froberg-Mania, but any of his musical journeys will do just fine in rattling your skull. This seems like a little laid back, mellower Hot Snakes, sorta something like what The Night Marchers are doing. Which is home to John Reis, the guitarist/vocalist of Rocket From the Crypt and guitar slinger in Hot Snakes (look up above, yo) So yeah, all these dudes are in all these same sounding yet awesome's kinda like one big rock and roll circle jerk of fun. Circle rock? Rock jerk? Yeah, that's it. A ROCK JERK!

Alright, so check it out.

Hey, reviewing music is fun! And easy!

Stay sleazy, my friends.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The "Rad Halloween Gift Package Sent to Calabrese" Blog -- Or, More Appropriately, "Telepathic Satanism Really DOES Work!"

So we got an amazing package in the mail the other day, giving us one more reason why being in a band rules!

I didn't take a photo of the pile of candy and other fun stuff included, mostly because I forgot, but I really just wanna blame it on being wowed and enthralled with this:

The main centerpiece is of this cat. Candy comes and goes (literally) but there will always remain a black kitty covered in toilet paper.

You squeeze its paw and it dances and gets nutty to "Who Let the Dogs Out?" That, in itself, doesn't quite grab me. I honestly never need to hear that song again, especially when it's sung in a high-pitched, cat voice. I really dig it 'cause it reminds me of something I'd see out of an eisode of Pokemon, which is a major plus. Okay, fine, it looks exactly like something out of Pokemon 'cause it looks exactly like the cat from Pokemon.

His name is Meowth. Please don't judge me.

Anyway, the little guy's got very anime looking qualities, ones that do nothing in helping me pull back from my descent into all things Japanese. I love Japan. I love everything about it. Well, not everything everything. You see, I'm not big into anime. I'm more into the idea of it. Hell, I'll gladly watch giant space robots fuck eachother with other space robots, or demons from Hell eat submarine sandwiches on the second Tuesday of every month, because when the Master Demon bites into that sub, someone will die. C'mon, you know that shit's weird. But I'm a hard sell when it comes to busting out a wad of cash for 462 episodes of something. Maybe I'll sleep on it. I'll give myself time before I come around.

I think it's the idea that giant Robotechs walk the streets of Japan and schoolgirls have secret, cult-like super powers that keeps me intrigued, mystified and bubbling with joy. Obviously, this is untrue beyond belief, but I like to think that these scenarios are playing out every day, and I, unfortunately, am missing out on the action.

A few years back, I found a video online of a Japanese TV show, where they play pranks on unsuspecting victims. This particular episode had a couple, obviously and blatantly fucking on a train full of people. The prank? They were fucking on a train full of people. I LOVE JAPAN!

Thanks, Kristen!