Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Haul, 2010!

Oh, what a wonderful time to be alive! The air is crisp, holiday cheer is in abundance and my floor is covered in so many gifts and presents that I'm now primed for landmines or a game of Hot Lava. I'm totally psyched right now. There is so much to watch, read and tumble around in my hands to make me just wanna kick over the coffee table. Every time I look over my shoulder at that pile of Christmas fun I'm reminded of how much "giving is better than receiving" can suck it. I'm aware that my chi and harmony will be offcentered and unbalanced at such a statemement, but I'd rather please my PS3 with overpriced videogames than throw my wallet into the X-mas Black Hole of unwelcomed gag-gifts and ugly clothing. I'm also aware of how incredibly gay that last last previous sentence was. Check it out. It's really gay.

So this is the best of the best, the greatest gifts I conned and deceived my parents, siblings and friends into getting me:

Shotglass Showcase:

I don't think I've ever been a shotglass enthusiast, with the only exception being in Salt Lake City years ago, where I just knew I had to start the collection right then and there. I realized how boring a shotglass could be when I understood that I'd never drink anything from it, and that it was better for makesift antfarms for plastic bugs or a guitar pick holder thing. I need to patent that.

Davey got me this, under the guise of Papa Calabrese. I think he was our pops' "Christmas Elf," and supplied nearly most of the gifts our parents gave us on the big day. Normally, this is a travesty and a complete sin against all that is holy, but I can forgive him. The 'rents are just as out of touch as I am when it comes to buying presents for everyone, that the only logical conclusion is to get Davey to do all the purchasing. He's young, dumb and full of fun. He's got his finger on the pulse of his older, wiser siblings and will surprise even the most jaded, burnt out present receivers.

This really is great, Davey-my-boy. It's either a gracious gift or a statement in how messy my apartment is. Or how I drink a lot. I dunno. I hate you now, Davey.

I mean, sure, everything I own is in junk piles and junk drawers, so it's a welcome addition to my cramped apartment. Obviously, I've decided to ditch the shotglass route and stick strictly to action figures. Mainly, ones that'll fit. Those Star Wars dudes had to be bent up and shoved in a bit, but since that reduces the wobble-effect, I'm overjoyed and excited to not have to stand these fuckers up ever again.

It really looks good, like, damn good. Almost sexual. Intensely hard to photograph, so I'm hoping my words bring the excitement. It's as if each figure is given their own accurately sized apartment in Japan, or are involved in a high stakes game of Hollywood Squares.

Bundle of DVDs:

These days, everyone gets DVDs. It's the laziest gift to purchase someone, because who doesn't like to watch a movie? If you're like me, it's almost a human need at this point. You'd be just as well off buying them a jug of water, but a jug of water won't mesmerize and delight. Probably.

This year, I've gone all out and asked for, pined and gushed over the movies I've always wanted to see, but could never find or justify buying online. "Battle Royale," "Riki-Oh," the "Friday the 13th" the TV series, etc. I had no intention of owning season one of "Boy Meets World," but I'm okay with it. I'm sure it must have been on Christmas-discount, but too bad it's season one, 'cause halfway through their run, shit started getting really good on the show. Remember how everything was switched to some bizarre, 1950's sockhop kinda deal? Like, everyone was wearing retro shirts and fedoras. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it, and will often get bogged up and flustered when I bring it up in social conversations. My main theory and total blame goes directly to the 90's swing revival, something I still can't believe actually existed and thrived for more than 17 seconds. Anyway, see if you can spot the worst flick in that pile.

Here's a hint: "Boondock Saints 2."

To be fair, it's not that I totally hate the film, in fact, I've never seen it. It just looked terrible and the two main actors look like they've had their faces turn into melted cheese. It sucks to get old, I know, but I just can't have it. No, sir.

I will admit, though, the first film did put a heavy spotlight on peacoats and on how awesome peacoats are and how peacoats will never look good on you. It really is like a bulky, black dress. Very hard to pull off.

In the end, an excellent haul. I now have three seasons of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," so I'm never leaving the house again. And if I'm absolutely forced to leave the house, I hope St. Flu comes and pays me an extended visit.

Star Wars Audio Book:

Awesome! I love getting books, especially books that can talk to me.

"The Sounds of Star Wars," is, essentially, a giant soundboard for the best and worst noises in the "Star Wars" saga. You run through all six films, stopping at the best spots for the best noises -- anything from mechanical beeps to otherwordly growls. You punch in a number on the keypad to the right and are offered a soundclip right outta the movie. The entire book has some pretty cool stories about how they made the film, what it was really like on the set, etc., but the core selling point is how they detail the creation of each grunt, scream and blaster-blast. A quick runthrough determines that it's mostly old, Asian women used for any of the alien voices throughout, mechanical hisses and pops for ship sounds, and a combo of hippo/elephant growls for the bigger beasts and animals. I LOVE KNOWING THIS.

Also, it makes for a great coffee table book, since it's the size of a pizza and wildly interactive. Step off, artsy photo books and conspiracy theorist garble, make way for Sarlacc screams and Wompa shrieks.

Heavy Rain Video Game:

I've been out of the video game circuit for a while, but will jump back in every now and again. And this Christmas I jumped into the weirdest, most confusing game I could find!

I primarily use my PS3 as a Bluray system for the two Blurays I own, so I'm never quite up to par with the video gaming world. I love it and I hate it. It'll ruin my life but, alternately, soothe and caress me into a mind-mush slumber of love. I can clock in hours and hours of gameplay one month, then the next I'll be denying any involvement in these so called "video games." It's a ying and yang kinda thing, so it's healthy.

I first heard of Heavy Rain a few months before it came out. It looked pretty wild, and had an interesting concept -- most of the game is fueled by your detective skills and moral judgements, with multiple outcomes and situations. At least that's what I think the concept is. I'm more interested in the mindblowing graphics and occasional nudity. Yay!

Danzig LP:

I'm not big into vinyl (I'm only a fan when I'm confronted by hip dudes and cute girls) but I will gladly take a Danzig LP picture-disc thing!

I got this from a friend, who destroyed my life when he bought me and all our friends a gift for Christmas. I was empty handed and undeserving. I was made to look like a chump! A fool! I was hated throughout the rest of the night!

It wasn't that bad, but I'm well past buying anyone I know a gift for anything. I've somehow been backed into a corner where if I buy one friend a gift, I'm forced to buy hundreds more for everyone else. Unless I were to individually hand off presents in secret, I'm gonna be broke before New Year's. It's all well and fine, though, 'cause I've worked the whole thing into a shameless act of greed -- NO presents for you, ALL presents for me.

The collector in me almost passed out, reaching deep inside my being to control my excitment because this will be worth a million dollars, but yeah. I'm positive it doesn't cost a damn thing, because it looks to be printed in the last five years and, apparently, Davey has one, too. Well, shit.

Alright! That's it! An amazing Christmas season, indeed. How was yours? What did ya get?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Shopping RULES.

For the last several years, the Calabrese Clan have evolved their gift exchanging tactics into an easier, more efficient and less money-wasting way. With sisters, brothers, spouses, boyfriends and soon to be hated ex-girlfriends littering the general area under the Christmas tree, trying to buy everyone a suitable, unembarrasing gift would be similiar to lighting your wallet on fire then crying softly in the shower. Because you just lit your wallet on fire.

Way before, we had to individually buy for one another, including it kinda sucked. I don't think anyone walked away with anything they actually liked, because with so many people to buy for, everything given was usually from the Dollar Store or something you found tucked away in the darkest corner of your closet. Like a bundle of used paper, or a Garfield wristwatch from 1989.

So here we are now, new and improved, and we've been drawing eachother's names from a hat. Pretty much a Secret Santa kinda deal, minus anything secretive. Which, now that I think about it, is totally stupid. I like the secret part. I want the secret part. I need the secret part. I'm Facebooking my immediate family NOW.

Now, whoever gets me...their options for a present are endless and varying. I can find joy in pretty much anything, from a bag of walnuts to posters of tropical fish. If it ends with "tar wars" or "oney," your task is made that much more simpler.

Same goes with Jimmy or Davey, whom have the same tastes and desires to own anything monstrous or covered in ooze, and in the past, I've been lucky enough to grab their name out of the Christmas Santa Hat. This year, not so lucky.

I got my brother-in-law. The guy who's into political documentaries and obscure, European techno. Everyone has that person in their family, the guy who either has it all or is impossible to pin down what exactly they're into. European art-rock and a docu-dramas about how much everything sucks paints a broad, confusing picture as to what someone will be into. Is a Rolling Stones album too blase? Will a "Step Brothers" DVD be too juvenile? Should I set him up on a date with Michael Moore?

These were the questions running through my mind, these were the unanswered scenarios haunting my dreams, the pros and cons of every single gift ever, blaring through my heart and soul.

Actually, he's not that bad of a present receiver. I just have a terrible time figuring out what people like. Unless I've known you for twenty years, I still have to make educated guesses around the holidays. When getting presents for anyone in my family, you'd swear I was an orphan who's never met anyone outside a wild pack of dogs. In this situation, I'd be a cool street orphan, chimney sweep and all. This is my curse. My Curse of Being an Asshole.

I had to go out and just pick something, anything to wrap up and shove under the Christmas tree for the guy. Giftcards are always easy, but it just screams, "I really didn't try," and the ol' six-pack standby is both old and overused. I had to go to the mall, go to Target, go to the other stores surrounding the Target, just GO ANYWHERE AND PICK SOMETHING. Which I did.

But to keep my sanity while shopping, I did what anyone else would do in my situtaion -- completely ignore the task at hand and buy stuff for myself.

Yeah, I went out to a few stores, took a look around, did what I had to do. Along the way, I bought a lot of stuff for myself. I really feel like I've sinned against Lord Santa Claus. Sorry, man.

I recently went to a party that had a huge, immaculate setup of Italian fingerfoods - prosciutto, pasta, various cheeses, artichoke hearts and olives stuffed with jalapenos. Which I've fallen so in love with (is it even italian?) and have never forgotten since. Granted, the party was last weekend, but my memory has never been the greatest. While browsing around, I at least had enough brainpower to remember that I craved jalapeno olives and immediately needed to put them into my mouth. Yes, they were over five bucks and I completely regretted the purchase once I realized I coulda bought something better, like, I cream. Ice cream is so much better than olives.

So far, my only complaint is that they're wet. Like, totally covered in their pickled juice to warrant a happy face from me. I kinda like them dry, as if they've been sitting out for a while. Clearly, the only way to remedy this is to drink all the pickle liquid and throw the olives into some kitty litter.

This is awesome! When I first came across it, I tossed it aside like it was just another set of chattering teeth in baby-blue packaging, but before I could move on to bigger and better things, I realized that I just possessed a mini-box of chattering teeth. The most absurd, widely recognized gag gift that not one Goddamn person owns.

The general purpose of chattering teeth is above me, and is my belief that it's sole existance is to be the perfect movie prop for scenes involving pranksters, party animals and any wide, open shots of 1980's dorm rooms. It's as if just watching chattering teeth chatter in a film is good enough for us, prompting zero interest in ever owning a pair for yourself. Up until now, I would have sworn I owned some. Hell, with my shopping habits, a whole shoebox full. But no, I never have, but thanks to avoiding my X-mas I do!

I don't think anyone owns chattering teeth, and when they say they do, I dare them to produce some proof of their ownership. Finding 'em is above finding or owning a Slinky, and right under a pack of Silly String. It's somehow in that weird, gag-limbo of no where. Okay, you can definitely find it, and you can surely own it...but will you? NO. Because nobody gives a shit about creepy, chattering teeth. Case closed.

I didn't have to buy anything for Davey or Jimmy, but I ended up in a comic book shop. My bro-in-law is not really into comic books, but I felt that I should at least look around, rummage through the small confines of a room stacked with dusty toys and collectibles, and maybe something would pop up.

Naw, totally lying. I just really wanted to buy something rad.

The Resident Evil games have had a huge impact on my life, ranging from being the first "real" videogame I've played to the one video game that has granted me horrific nightmares and emotional stress. I remember even the most minute details, which still drive my imagination of terror and insanity, which, really, is just a fancy way of saying that it totally fucked me up.

I found this among the masses, and I love it. I have a few toys from the various series, and I love them as my own children. Best monster toys around.

They say the girl is named Ada Wong, and the Tree Thing is named Ivy. I have no idea who or what these characters are, 'cause I've only ever played the first game and just hobbled along through the second, only to realize I never wanted to play video games again. I was going through one of me phases, I think. The one where I wanted to avoid all females while building my room into a Hawaiian, tiki paradise. It was a personal life choice, I swear.

Her dress looks to be made of a red, felt material, so I'm dying to bust this out and have my way with it. I know that sounds gross, but I love this on toys. The only other example I can provide is the cape on the Emperor's Royal Guard, but that's good enough, because that thing is awesome. Have you seen his helmet? It really is awesome. And the thick pool cue resting nonchalantly on his shoulder? Even better.

All in all, a pretty great haul. I ended up getting my sister's husband the game of Scattergories, which doubles as a decent sized gift and something I'm gonna want to play as soon as he opens it. Christmas > everything.

Well, the big day is only a day away, so have fun! In the week to come, I'll either post my Christmas haul or thoughts on the current administration and general sociopolitics. Probably my Christmas haul.

Rock and roll!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

People Send Me Things. I Like That.

It's near Christmastime, so I think this is a fitting idea to explore -- people buy me things, and I like that.

As I've mentioned in previous entries, being in a band has it's perks. No, we're not being fed drugs and whores...more along the lines of monster masks and anything you'd find in a third graders backpack.

People buy us things, send stuff to us, etc. And really, it's the ultimate compliment and good hearted gesture. It's hard to not sound like a douche when talking about all the wonderful, expensive things people throw our way, but I'm trying. Lots of handmade stuff, artwork inspired by our music (an amazing feeling, by the way) so on and so forth. And honestly, we still have everything anyone's ever given us -- each and every trinket to massive paperweight, from small to large, is put in our band room on one, magnificent shelf. We draw power from this shelf. This shelf is magical.

Now, we're loaded down with so many goodies for so many reasons at so many seemingly random times, but we really hit paydirt when one of our birthdays comes up. See how douchey this all sounds? Fuck.

Getting off track a bit, I love birthdays. This statement should and will be etched into my tombstone. Well, let me be more clear -- I love my birthday. So much that I demand a week before the date, as well as a week after the date of b-day inspired partying. If I'm not drinking and eating at fancy restaraunts and spending money I don't have on things I don't need, I'm not satisfied. I kinda take it to an extreme, but hey, we're all dead in 2012, right?

So birthdays and Christmas. How perfect? This blog entry is about the items that people have recently given me, simply because both Santa-Jesus and I were born. I finally got off my ass, snapped a few pics and set up an online shrine for the fine, fine people supporting me and not Calabrese. This is PART ONE of our journey (the second half will be out next week) of all the personal gifts solely to me. I'd spend the rest of my life if it was everything we ever got, so I had to narrow the playing field down a bit.

This is my ode to you, people -- FUCKING THANK YOU.

I know, it's supposed to be the season of giving...but ah, suck it. Gimme them presents.

This is from a Melissa Gonzalez, who has been feeding me with enough gifts and suprises over the last few months to make me feel like the Queen of Sheba. This is just a handful, but truly the best. Plus, I was uncertain as to how to successfully photograph anything more than booze coffee and bobbling Wolverines. It would just make the photo cluttered, and I really can't have that on my conscience.

Wolverine Bobblehead: This is cool. I know Wolverine's usual garb is a tank top and jeans, but I can't help shake the feeling he looks more like a wife slapping guido than a superpowered mutant. Either way, his head moves like he's in a Will Smith music video and he sits on top of my fridge. You really do need to know that.

Bobbleheads, really, are inherently fun. It's easy entertainment! No work on your part, save for a good table pounding or a sharp gust of breath. So make a fist, lay off the Pall Malls and have some fun.


Dollar Store "Wild West Action Figure": This will go nicely in my Castle Greyskull, combining the past with oiled up muscle men with really big swords. Also, it will fit quite well in my "Probably Offensive to Someone" pile.

Jack Daniel's Gourmet Coffee: I think she knows me too well. Like, seriously? Booze flavored? I don't know whether to jump for joy or puke in my mouth a little bit. It's all too much to handle, yet I'm no doubt going to try this. Lord help me from just enjoying the bags they come in, too. They just look...good. If anyone asks, I'm gonna say it's BBQ sauce and ketchup flavored coffee.

This was given to me by a young lad in San Marcos, CA. It was a pretty quick exchange that went something like this:

Dude: "Hey, man! You like Japanese stuff, right?"

Me: "Totally!"


I'm a little reluctant to take anything that looks like I'll be brought down to the police station under charges of child porn, but hell, I'm a taker of presents. It's what I do.

This is cool, though, even if it's not under my usual umbrella of comfort. Truthfully, my mind was racing towards vintage robot toys from the 70's, not pink-haired, vixen statuettes usually reserved for innocent young girls into harmless manga and that other guy. You know that guy. He's the guy who's into Sailor Moon for all the wrong reasons. He's the guy who has a shelf full of pink-haired, half-naked female manga shit. I hate that guy and I hate all that shit!

In all fairness, I like it. See how fast I flip-flopped? Man, I'm good.

I'm not sure what this is or where it comes from, but it's Halloween flavored and the pentagrams and jack-o-lanterns fit my general world views. I also favor the box art of swirling colors and swishy designs. If you can't find peace in knowing that your action figures now have a wonderful backdrop for their prom night photo booth, you're better off dead.

This is an interesting one right here. People send me stuff for special occasions, yeah, but every now and then I'm offered a piece of material to be written and yammered about, specifically for this silly blog of mine. Well, it's only happened once. By a close family member. Case in point: my older sister.

I feel important, like I have a purpose now. I finally feel justified in owning this blog, in providing a closer look into everything and nothing. I feel all shimmery and bubbly now! The sun is out, my outlook is new and I'm now the prized owner of a postcard with three heads on it.

So she sent me a card from 1994, something she made sure to point out, and a quick blurb on how I should mention this gift of hers (a postcard featuring escaped prisoners from Alcatraz, most famously brought to light by the film, "Escape From Alcatraz") This is all fine and whatever, but little did she know that I fucking love that movie.

Maybe it's the absolute futility of prison and the "what would I do in that situation?" question that draws me in, or maybe it's how Clint Eastwood dumps the dirt from his pant leg to get rid of the excess escape-hole-rubble. There's just something watchable and curious about the film. Did I mention the dirt part? 'Cause I really like that part.

But this is pretty cool! Tilt it a little over on it's side and there ya go:

If you haven't seen the film or read up on the escape, you should. Because I'm not about to summarize it. And, really, I can't remember anything other than "they escaped from Alcatraz." Sorry.

Not the easist thing to photograph, but you get the picture. When turned this way and that, a horrifying, terrible lineup of three papier-mache heads is at your disposal. I had no idea arts and crafts could turn anything seemingly innocent into such frightening fare, but it does, and now I want to immediately take arts and crafts. First order of business: papier-mache kittens and pullover sweaters.

Also, for this recent birthday, she just sent me a Burger King giftcard with the demand to "enjoy some crappy food!" You're the best, Favorite Older Sister Who Is Making Me Eat Diabetes.

Next up:

Alexis and her boyfriend, from California, came to a show in Santa Cruz and suprised me with a little somethin'-somethin' for my b-day. To show how slow and dated I've become, this was from a full year ago, and Alexis and her boyfriend have long been broken up. I don't know why I know this.

At this point, I think it's one of those things where neither one will ever go to a Calabrese show in fear of seeing one another (haven't seen 'em since) and I don't blame them. I'm the exact same way. I'm experienced in avoiding ex-girlfriends, former high school friends I haven't talked to and don't ever want to talk to again and really big insects.

I also have a feeling that it may be weird that I'm writing so blatantly about them, too. I'm also excited to think that they might find this blog, see the shirt, read their names (and minimal dating history) and be completely fucking disturbed (hi, guys!)

So yeah, they got me a t-shirt with myself photo-engineered into a scene from "Twilight," with the bold proclamation of "I'm in Twilight" to boot. This is easily the most thought out, well executed and gravely insulting birthday present I've ever got. Naw, it's not bad, in fact, it's pretty amazing. I take no prisoners when it comes to being the best at looking like "that vampire guy!" I've had everyone call me everything from Edward Cullen to Bill Compton to Blacula. That was a bad summer at the beach.

I wish they didn't choose a photo of me making such a pervy face, but a quick scan of my facebook and myspace would prove that in all of my photos I'm making a pervy face.

Thanks, guys.:)

Friday, December 10, 2010


You know, everything I've been posting over the last year has, admittedly, been a poor excuse for a blog named "rock and roll mania blog!" I rarely talk about music, I never talk about anything outside of Pokemon and Christmas joy, and I'm always either complaining or flip-flopping by the end of the article. I'll hate something as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, and fall magnificently in love with it when I'm done. There is no exception today. It's the perfect fodder for this blog, and yet...I hate it. I hate it so much that I love it.


Ya see, I am very so-so with monster models/kits, or anything you have to actually build with your hands, for that matter. I'm on the edge of abnormal gushing and absolute disdain with this kind of shit. I think it's a fear of commitment, or absolute failure of never coming close to what it needs to end up as. I want it to look exactly like what's on the box. In fact, I practically demand it. But my common sense and reasoning tells me NO FUCKING WAY. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

A friend of mine works at a used media store (books, games, DVDs) and every once in a while, some desperate dude might come in to sell his last, worldy possessions to probably pay for stupid things, like food or rent. I hate to stomp all over people's misfortune, but sometimes something comes in that would tickle my fancy. And, my friend, being the best friend he can be by fueling my horrible addiction, will usually pick this stuff up for me. Weird comics here, robot toys there, whatever. This time, he hooked me up. He did me a Goddamn SOLID. Two amazing monster model kits, a slobbering werewolf and that thing from "London After Midnight," which I had no idea was a vampire until right now. I thought it was, like...something else. I guess I should have known, what with the sharp teeth, cape and papery, pale skin. Ha.

Jimmy used to (or still does) build a lot of monster model kits. I've always liked the idea and, really, there's nothing cooler than building your very own mini-ghoul in a poorly lit garage. Complete with swinging lightbulb, those magnifying glasses that jewelers wear and a lit cigarette dangling from your mouth, of course. It all sounds great, right? But as any idea goes, just the idea is sometimes better than actually doing it. That makes sense, I swear.

So when getting a prize package of this sort, I'm uneasy, cautious and reserved. Do I even bother opening it up? I let my buddy know I was ecstatic, yet ready to point out that he just granted me a task. Thanks, man! Now I'm stuck in a happy/guilty limbo.

Should I just let it sit on my kitchen counter, only to be noticed when all the dirty dishes don't have any room to sit and not be washed for weeks? Because there's no way I'm going to attempt putting those two kits together. Zero patience = bad things happen.

Fuck it. You can always count on the box. Fucking kick-ass box art, baby.

Shivers. I'm actually trembling right now. I'm partial to the werewolf, given that the werewolf is way more menacing, while the vampire seems to be shocked, or grabbing the invisible tits of the world's tallest woman.

I'm looking at the intricate paint job done on the teeth, and the fucking sparkle in the damn thing's eyes, and I'm positive I'm never going to allow myself to abominate this with crayons and Sharpies. I'm certain they're using Sunglow or Laser Lemon for it's teeth. Good choice, box-art-painter-person.

I had to open it, I had to know what I was dealing with. Given that I've never actually seen a model before it was meticulously handcrafted into what it will become, I was kind of...shocked. Is that what model kits look like? The plastic is hard, which I assume ups the dollar amount and, at the same time, the sexual innuendos this blog needs to maintain a healthy level of sass. Hehe, he said "hard."

I like the heaviness, though, 'cause if I can imagine myself using anything I buy as a weapon to bludgeon other people with, I know I've done a good thing.

The limbs almost look like you just snap the shit together! Is it really that easy? Nope!

Directions, thank God.

Apparently, you use the sharpest X-Acto knife you have to shave and trim the extra plastic off, then snugly glue the pieces together. I'm uncertain as to why that's a step you even have to take, when they could have, oh, I don't know, not added the extra plastic. As if painting it wasn't hard enough, now you have to test your skills with a midget's spear. Nerves, I do not have them.

Overall, awesome. Although I won't make 'em pretty, they sure do look great on my shelf. If anyone asks why I haven't built them up, I'll tell them I gave up the dangerous Model Kit Making Game for safety and family, and haven't looked back since. Or to get the hell outta my house, jerk.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nothing In Particular.

As mentioned in my last post, here's a bunch of random photos, taken with my beautifully new and stylish camera. See: cheapest one at Target.

I like it 'cause it's better than using the camera on my cell phone (even a dead monkey can figure out this new camera -- that's good) and has always been awkward to manuever in public, trying to look inconspicuous while snapping photos of all sorts of shit. I think I'm a pretty meek and mild photographer. I have no balls. I always feel someone's gonna turn around and accuse me of being a pervert when I'm taking a photo of a national monument. When I wanna snag a shot of a good looking plate of food (for the occasional restaraunt review) I can only imagine that someone's going to take offense or I'm gonna be questioned. How do you weirdos do it?

No need this time around, 'cause this time around...I never left the house.

With these "random" pictures, I really tried to get random. Seeing as how I never leave my place unless I have to, I'm left with going all papparazzi on my living room and any hallway closets. It kinda defies the purpose and general idea of "random," but what's done has been done. I should have written, "random shots of a one bedroom apartment." I'm not sure how magnetic and enthralling that description is, but the truth is the truth -- this may not be the greatest post, but it certainly won't be the worst. Maybe, like, second to worst.

First up:

For a brief moment in high school, I was infatuated with religious relics and icons, mostly of Buddha, and mainly in statue form. You can argue this, maybe even deny yourself my embarrassing revelation, but I was also into taking baths while pouring through Sears catalogs and drinking Coke until I pissed purple. I go through phases. Weird, confusing phases.

With this picture, I wanted to showcase my bathroom, which has taken on a much more grander, larger form than, say, a collection of wet hair piles and acne creams. That aside, you'll notice my "Asian theme," complete with dragons, sumo wrestlers, sushi wind-up toys and a wildly weak collection of Buddhas. While low in numbers, the main lot succeeds in quality over quantity, and is well justified, 'cause they can probably hurt if dropped on your foot. That's gotta count for something. Also, a blue shark. From Joe's Crab Shack. Duh.

This is a pile of DVDs. Stacks and stacks of movies overcrowding my little apartment. I've explained my problem before, but yeah, it's almost pointless to analyze it. Too much money thrown down the toilet, I will admit, but I absolutely love watching movies. In my mind, I have this ultimate goal of being able to watch every single film ever, or somehow coming close to it. My thinking is that the only plausible way to accomplish this is to single out specific genres or eras. I think I can call it a wrap on "80's horror flicks," closely seconded by "anything I've ever been in."

There's a few theories on how I can manage this, and here's one:

With the advent and rise of Netflix, OnDemand, whateverthefuckelse, it's almost pointless to actually buy anything these days. Pay your standard fee and get on with it. Nearly anything you want all up in your face. I have a hard time coming to terms with that, because...I don't know. I still feel the need to buy everything I watch. Sure, I'll go nuts over RedBox every now and then, but in my mind I have this nagging insecurity. I think it has something to do with the horrid thought of never finding that specific movie on DVD again, and everything with being haunted by never owning "Ghoulies 3" on DVD. My theory is full of holes, yeah, when you figure you can buy anything on the internet, from fluffy pillows to penis snowglobes for bachelorette parties. I'm readily able to admit my need for instant gratification, so my transformation into a conservative spender will have to be put on hold. You know what's not being put on hold? "Ghoulies 3," bitch.

Wait, did I not even mention how I'd feasibly watch every single movie ever? Ahh, too late now 'cause we're moving on here we go:

This is one of my favorite wall decorations, and believe you me, I've got plenty. From Van Gogh replicas to posters of a half-naked Danzig, I'm an advocate of anything that'll disguise boring white walls covered in oddball stains.

This "Camp Crystal Lake" plastic cutout/wall thing does just that. I'm not the biggest fan of the "Friday the 13th" series, but this is so amazingly cool. I've always liked fake set pieces to movies, like a Magneto helmet on your fireplace mantle or a group of plastic bananas from "Congo."

Good stuff.

It's no surprise that I'm nuts for coffee. I've also made it pretty clear that I'm stupid over Christmas, too. Dunkin' Donuts' "Mocha Mint" coffee combines the two in a cute, forest-green package, offering up enough holiday cheer to make it seem like you're not jumping the X-Mas gun, but not too little to pass up as another bag of beans. "Mocha mint" isn't entirely Christmas related, but it comes close, and keeps me from killing myself after an endless bout of post-Thanksgiving depression.

The snowman can sway opinions, but it's fine. I'm all for celebrating Santa Day as early as November first. I do not give a fuck that "thanksgiving isn't even over yet" before I put up the tree and it's billion, breakable ornaments. I do not give a fuck.

I've yet to actually taste it, but I'm sure it's pretty good. If it was based in categorization, I'm in the category of being too lazy to even press start on the Mr. Coffee, so this will probably sit on the countertop until June, or until it becomes a nuisance and gets in the way of something even newer and shinier. I'm still confused by flavored coffee, though, but I love it. Do they add sugar beforehand? Is there even sugar? Are they literally just coating beans in some minty, chemical infused syrup? Since it's sweet enough, it cuts down on half and half usage, and that's a good thing. Usually, my coffee looks like liquid piano keys. Now it'll look like dirty piano keys.

Ahh, a pile of Star Wars. Something like this (in my kitchen) is the type of thing that keeps life livable. It's like my go to Happy Place, a place of zen and good vibes and other hippie shit. Whenever I'm feeling down, I grab a beer and stare lovingly at a mess of Bossks and Gamorreans. It's dominating a nice portion of my shelf space, but I don't mind giving up such precious room for Star Wars. Did you know that I like Star Wars?

I spent a while trying to individually buy all characters, and over time, I came close. There was a few I could never find, those that were always overpriced and the red, Imperial Guard. That mother is so hard to get a hold of.

Again, I could have easily bought everything and more over the internet, but the chase is better than the catch, I 'spose.

When we played the Phoenix ComicCon, me and Davey spent that Saturday roaming the aisles and kiosks and upside down cardboard boxes full of comics and toys. It's pretty amazing, really, knowing you can close your eyes, spin around and run into anything that, when bought and taken home, will make girls never, ever like you again.

I found a guy selling loose figures for, like, a buck each. That was a Goddamn great deal, and I walked away with a grocery bag stuffed full of shit I didn't own, and shit I wanted multiple copies of. It was pretty amazing. I finished my collection in under five minutes, and all it took was warbling through one of the longest shows of my life. There is nothing worse than playing live with the beginning stages of a flu. Turns out it was just a regular, everyday cold. I'm such a pansy.

Hey! I guess that's it. Pretty fun, no?

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Androidz" Action Figures -- UGH I'M SO IN LOVE.

Christ, this is not good.

I found what I was finally looking for. Like, honest this time. Everything else has been a sham. Everything I've said that I loved on this blog has been a lie. Because that was all bullshit, and this is all ANDROIDZ:


I usually spend any day that I'm doing nothing exactly that -- nothing. I'll try to pick up a videogame controller, fuck around on youtube, whatever. It never seems right at the time. It feels awkward and confusing. If I had anything important to do, I'm glued to the PS3 like a motherfucker. But when I'm one-hundred percent free of any obligations, having fun sometimes seems...not so fun. I think that's kinda masochistic. I feel weird now.

But I was watching TV, and a commercial came on for these mobile, brightly colored...things. Tghey were moving, forming army alliances and smashing into eachother. What was it? Why was I so consumed with what was happening? Why did Androidz fuck my shit up?
As I do with anything day to day, I quickly forgot about it all.

Fastforward a week later, I find myself in a Toys R Us. Surprised, you say? Shuttayoumouth.

Anyway, I'm there. I see them, nestled in between questionable UFC toys and the always strong and infinite line of Power Rangers shit. Kids like intergalactic space-police in shapeshifting machines as well as near-naked dudes grappling and thrusting on top eachother, apparently. There's something to the fact that parents even let their kids watch UFC, but that's neither here nor there.

But then again, I'm a twenty-five year old adult still shopping at a toy store. For myself. I'm gonna guess there are others out there doing the same thing. And actually, now that I think about it, there's always that other guy in the store. A bit older, either unshaven or shockingly clean. You might guess he was shopping for his son or daughter, maybe for a birthday or a simple "better get your grades up" bribing. But there's always Why are they looking through the Transformers section so intently? Do they really need to rifle through the Star Wars figures so feverishly?

We never make eye contact. We always stay at least five feet from eachother. Because we know. We know what we both really are. We're both fuckin' dorks.


I am a slave to anything that can fit into a coin purse. A fucking slave. If it can fit into the palm of my hand and come in seventy other colors and shape variations, I'm so sold. "Androidz" does exactly that, and with an "alien race exploring the galaxy" backstory and a whole lotta robot shit going on, the entire situation is golden brown. Collectible, cute as a button and questionably/maybe cheap, too. Six bucks for a pack of two? I ain't gonna shout my love for all things robo at the peak of a mountaintop just yet, but I will kiss them all. Quite lovingly.

So aliens are searching the universe for life. They end up on a dead planet, to refuel and maybe stop in for some beef jerky and Vitamin Water. Soon, they start picking up signals from a strange and mysterious planet called "Earth," and to understand these messages better, begin to replicate life in robotic form. Through this and through that, you now have yourself "Androidz," mechanical versions of life on Earth.

It's kind of a weird way to set up a toy line of tiny robots on wheels, but I like it. I like thinking that before their current version, they were slug-like or maybe even gaseous forms, like a ghostly fog from outerspace. Hell, maybe they were originally human beings, then they went into space, then they forgot they were humans, and then without knowing they were replicating human life (remember, they're already humans) they replicated humans. Ah-ha!

To be honest, I'm overjoyed right now. It'll soon be eclipsed by reality and the daily dregs of human existance, but for now, I've got a desktop covered in thumb-sized robo warriors. It's like Micro-Machines mixed with Monster in My Pocket and a helicopter. Did you see that one up there? It's a Goddamn helicoptobot!

Names like "Devil Dog" and "King Commando" really add to the charm, too, giving them an individual personality and something to have your Jawas curse the night sky with. You best believe those two are gonna be at war.

My favorite. Probably because of the Twizzlers colored arm-rocket, but who knows? And yeah, you can argue that they all look like miniature Robotechs, which I find that to be a win-win situation. I'm not even gonna pretend to understand what the hell is up with Robotech, what Robotech does or even what a Robotech is, but they look cool and have super awesome gun-swords. Now I can have a Robotech of my own, but not as shelf-consuming. Or do they more closely resemble Gundam Wing? I think I should buy a few more packs to be on the safe side.

Overall, a lot of fun. I barely even scratched the surface, 'cause I can go on and on about their personalized bunkhouses and playsets, each sold seperately. It almost makes the Ewok Treehouse seem obsolete. Almost.

Oh, do ya like my new camera? In some DIY fantasy of mine, I really liked the idea of always using semi-shitty, grainy cellphone pics to plump up my ramblings, but once that kicked the bucket (hello, toilet water!) out of necessity, I used an actual camera. I was gonna go back to my old ways, but I think it looks damn good, and using something with actual buttons and settings was a lot easier to manuever and toy with using my spindly, skeletal hands. My next blog is sooo gonna be of pictures. Of everything.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I really like comic books. It's been a growing obsession since I can remember, and even now it still seems to be getting larger and more monetarily sinful. I try to hold back, but nuh-uh. I'm in it to win it.

Okay, in high school, I was never a fan of the superhero stuff. Fittingly, I was way into any and all indie comics, local shit and everything that was about how much life sucked. It was my boring way of trying to be cool by trying to be depressing, minus the fact that it was neither cool nor all that depressing. Sleeping a lot and continuous spins of any Smiths record woulda been better, but that's just boring. I was more a part of the "active sad-goth lifestyle."

Eventually, I gained an appreciation for superheros and the multiple universes they live in, however tremendously pointless that all is. I really do feel knee-deep in the world of DC, mega-hellbent for Marvel this-and-that. I'm all consumed with following and understanding character storylines and individual, extensive backstories. I need to know every X-Man around, I have to fully grasp as to what makes Clayface who he is, or my life won't have any meaning to it. I'll walk endlessly through time and space, unaware and afraid, sick and lonely.

But in all seriousness, you ever wish you were a superhero? Like, seriously? I'm pretty sure I run through this scenario in my mind at least five times a day, but now let us indulge this idea together. It's easy to imagine being a "Batman" type guy (yay, he's just a regular dude!) but I'd totally wanna have invincibility, flight, super strength, whatevs. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than knowing I can throw my forehead into a brick wall, fly to Russia for cocktails and visit the girls locker room for some xxx-ray vision naughtiness. Yeah, I so just outted myself as a perv.

I lied. It's not only easy to imagine yourself as Batman because he's a regular guy, but because it's the only logic you and I have -- if you really want to consider yourself a candidate for superhero-dom, you have to look at the facts. You have to account for what isn't and what is. Question:

Do you have superpowers or have been given temporary superpowers through wearing a specific object or objects or through magic you've mysteriously or not so mysteriously have encountered? No? Well, you're fucked.

That's why you're given, as you have with Batman, a semi-logical excuse to maybe be a part of something that's impossible. Joker's human, too, right? That's cool. Wildcat, Punisher, Catwoman, Green Arrow, they're all human. Just a couple of nutjobs with big guns and even bigger balls. But my sweet, sweet favorite:

Floyd Lawton, DEADSHOT.

So good I need two!

Yeah, all theorizing goes go to hell when you figure that Superman can vaporize your bones from across the planet or even Swamp Thing...fuckin' Swamp Thing...can kill you dead before you even notice it. But hey, that's the fun in comics. ENDLESS AND MINDLESS DEBATING.

So, Deadshot is a mercenary for hire. He works for the likes of Suicide Squad and the Secret Six, always taking any job as long as it pays some decent moola. Can't blame him there. He's somewhat bad, sometimes good and always an amazing marksmen with any and all weaponry. He's fought some serious heavyweights, metahuman and nonmetahuman, so he ain't no puss. He's got a cool mask with a red sight thing, a badass gun-thing on his forearm and a really sweet mustache. Thingy-thing.

Not gonna lie, I really want yellow leather gloves now.

Also, Deadshot smokes. Now, I'm not gonna sit here and tell you how cool smoking is, or why it makes you look like a genuine rebel without a cause, but it works for this guy. It works for this character. Ya see, along with being a regular shmuck with fantastic aim and no hesitation to kill, he's a regular shmuck with fantastic aim and no hesitation to kill who smokes. By smoking, it makes it seem plausible to do what he does, charred lungs included. If he can go up against the entire DC Universe as a chain-smoking, average Joe, why can't I? It makes me feel like he's one of us, like one of the people.

Christ, I need to get out more.

Oh, yeah yeah. I've totally been missing for, like, a month now. I know this, and I know that I suck. So because of this suckiness, I feel I need to address this issue. I need to make a statement:

It's because I'm lazy.

But hey! I'll try to SUPER BLOG this entire week, which could either mean that it'll be so-so good, or shamefully dissapointing.

You can count on me, world!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Ahh, it's that wonderful time again! My absolutely perfect, go-to-when-out-of-ideas, cheap and effective post! I practically don't even have to try! I've done it before and I'll do it again:


Ever since I finally found out how to add tags to my posts, I'm pretty psyched about this ongoing, blog-tradition. These aren't the greatest photos ever, but I like the idea of someone googling "satan evil star wars" and happening upon a page full of Calabrese glamour shots.
Also, this is kinda the most perfect month for updating with all the nonsensical updating I do. What better time of the year that October? A month totally tailor-made for me and my obsession with loopy paragraphs and blurry cell phone pics. I mean, c'mon. It's Halloween. Fucking Halloween, people. This is me, man. THIS IS ME.


Truth be told, Halloween isn't my favorite holiday. Yeah, confession time all up in this shit.

In theory, and in practice, Halloween is amazing. It's unstoppable. It's fucking legit. Monster masks, candy, spooky decorations, it's all there and perfectly molded to fit any mood and situation I'm ever a part of, inside the month of October and out. It's all encompassing, full of peanut butter cups and costume party sluts. But hold on there for a sec...what about...what about Christmas?

I fancy myself a lover of all things. DVDs, booze, anything that'll clutter my entire living space, you name it and I'll enjoy it. So don't be surprised when I say that I enjoy receiving things, too. Yeah, a pillowcase of sugar is always nice, but all that work involved just ain't cuttin' it for me. How about let's get a tree, full of lights and popsicle stick ornaments, loaded with presents underneath that are actual fucking presents and not just Almond Joys and Starbursts? Yeah, Xmas > H-ween.

Either way, my blog will feel pretty damn cheap if I don't cram as many posts in as possible during the Halloween season. It's my time to shine. It's my thing, you know? So with that, expect around one and half more posts and a lot of backtracking and excuse making in November. But here's a start:

These are photos we have locked up and hidden in various folders located in folders buried in other folders on my computer. It's like hiding porn from your parents back when the internet first started and you didn't dare think of deleting all your thumb pics. Not just yet, anyways. Wow, did I just out myself?

First three. Can you feel the rage in this? Can you taste my darkness? And yes, that will be the title of my upcoming solo album.
CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!
CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!
CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

Over and out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Whoo boy! Lobby's! Have you heard of it? Yeah, me neither. But there it is...and here I am. This is going to be delicious.

Not sure where I first heard of this place, but I think I must have googled it after continuosly driving by a place called "Lobby's." Wasn't it a hobby shop? A long, empty lobby? I had to find out...and finded out I did!

Judging from the storefront, you know what you're getting into. Well, besides a triple-bypass. From reading my findings through extensive googles searches, this is a Chicago style joint specializing guessed it: the worst foods on earth!

You're entering a meat paradise! A hot dog heaven! A cheesesteak hullabaloo!

But before I go on, I must get this off of my chest:

I wouldn't call myself a "foody," but my blog has certainly been painting me as one in the last few months. I just really like to eat. I enjoy putting new things in my mouth (hey, watch the dirty humor, buddy, watch it...) trying weird flavors and consuming as many animals still left in the Kingdom. I've been told I should sign up for yelp or urbanspoon, where I can review restaraunts and greasy diners in all the well categorized/organized glory I can handle, but naw. I'd rather do it here. Ya see, I don't ever wanna be a "foody." I hate the bougie way people describe wine, I shiver when someone makes a pile of oysters seems like a nerve-shattering orgasm. Granted, oysters are absolutely delightful, but you don't need to close your eyes, delicately moan and then buck in your chair as soon as it hits your tongue. It's food. Sexy, sexy food. Where was I again?

Oh yeah! HOT DOGS!

I walked in, scanned the area and made my decision -- "I will eat here," I told myself.

"I will bust my gut," I promised to the Gorge Gods*.

"And I will enjoy it," I dramatically whispered as a closer.

Along with everything from hamburgers, cheesesteaks, bratwursts and the you-always-gotta-have-'em-everywhere-you-go french fries, they serve hot dogs. I've never been to Ted's, I have no idea what a Wienerschnitzel looks like on the inside and aside from ballgames and American holidays, I rarely eat the damn things. You can cover them in chili and drench 'em in ketchup, but it's never right with me. It doesn't appease and delight me the way it should. Why? 'Cause it ain't Chicago style.

Yeah, I'm sure you can get them anywhere (probably the above mentioned fast food spots) but fuck, there needs to be some drama for yo mama in here. But the only other place...the only other legit place I can find Chicago styled hotdogs is in a little shop next to a venue we play at in Flagstaff, AZ and in...well, Chicago. I'm uncertain on the origins of the glowing-green relish and the giant slice of pickle just thrown on top of it in what I wanna assume is lazy anger, but I absolutely love it and wouldn't have it any other way. I could have picked anything, but I chose you, Hotdogemon.

And it was great! Cheap, too. Like, 2 bucks and change for one. Recommended.

Okay, out of respect for not looking like a fat slob on brightly lit stages, two dogs is my general limit, and was set in place during this week's adventure. But I totally would NOT mind another one for the road. But hey, don't worry, I'll be seeing them again in two hours time.

The place ain't too shabby, I mean, it's not gonna win any awards but c'mon, their biggest selling point is a giant slab of greasy beef. The dude seen above was totally going to town on the Italian sub, I think, and seemed to be enjoying it. It was my second choice, but I'll spiritually and vicariously live through him and his feeding. He sat alone and in total silence -- you could almost hear his delicate, poignant chewing. Really kinda creepy, once you think about it, but once he was done and throwing away his papery remnants, he offered the most amazing bit of clarity and calm in this wacky, upside-down world we live in.

The lady behind the counter asked, "How was it?" in reference to his meal, and without missing a beat, he goes, "Ahh, it was alright." Nothing seemed more honest and perfect in all of restaraunt dining critiques. Not too brash, definitely not an opinion hidden behind niceties, just right there and in the open, take it or leave it. I certainly took it. And laughed.

*"Gorge Gods" is a term I just came up with for this bit. It's ridiculous, but "gorge" and "gorging" has been a pretty hilarious term for me and my siblings while growing up. In the early days, our parents used to take us out to the Old Country Buffet, an excercise in overconsumption and angry accusations of being a puss and not eating enough. We used to laugh at others eating like pigs, at us eating like pigs and the general insanity of seventy-five people going nuts over crab legs and buckets of ranch dressing. They even had a giant machine that dispensed milk chocolate! Fuckin' aye.

Anyway, we always used to joke about us being a group of bloated-belly maniacs, never giving up and never leaving a plate of food full. This was before we were aware of the other weirdos in the world who had the same idea and got into competetive eating, but we were a crew, a posse, a TEAM. We even had idea's for a team jacket, with a picture of a deep, cavernous hole. Ya know, a gorge. We were Team fucking Gorge.

Just thought ya should know.

Oh, the bathroom at the bar across the street. Thought it was funny. Ha.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dollar Store Finds: ALIEN SHIT.

Ahh, the Dollar Store. My go-to quick fix for something cheap, stupid and mildly exciting. Combs, pens, toys, fruit, weird movies and always a lot of folders (what's up with all the folders?) you'll enter bummed but you'll always leave happy. I'd like to compare it to the quick, buzz-inducing nicotine fix ya get while smoking, but I was never a big smoker. Only when I'm drinking and on the weekends. Mondays through Thursdays and sometimes Friday, too.

Known to some as the Dollar Tree, the 99 Cents store to's all the same to me -- one great excuse to buy shit, guilt free.

Well, that setup was kind of bullshit. I haven't stepped into the place for a while, Davey totally just hooked me up with something straight from The Church of Dollar himself. I love it when I don't do things!

Ya see, I like to play this little game where I ask for anything and everything. Not really a game, more of a challenge/gamble to see what I can accumulate with nothing more than a, "can I have it?" Maybe during lunch, I'll point to a friend's sandwich and go, "can I have that?" or when a buddy's wallet is open, I look in it and say, "can I have that?" Most of the time it absolutely never works...but sometimes it does. And it's usually with Davey. We have a common bond with terribly pointless collecting. We'll go to our Secret Comic Book Shop (mentioned in a previous blog, and yes, I hate sharing and won't reveal the location) and spend serious bank on superhero toys and maybe a Star Wars pillowcase from 1977. It reeked of cigarette smoke, I had to regretfully pass.

"Alien Power" was one such gamble. He recently showed me his dollar-store haul (which included an arsenal of plastic weapons, weird) as well as a green packaged alien just absolutely glowing from his plastic bag full of goodies. He showed me this terrestrial treasure, and I fell in love. Now, it's easy to barter with action figures. We have so many and so much it's kind of like a currency at this point. So with this, I totally pulled the "can I have it?" routine and here I am, one creepy alien richer. I wanna feel like Davey was being an honest, loving brother, but I have a feeling he bought, like, eight of 'em already.

Yeah, it really looks like the alien from the video game, "Destroy All Humans," which adds to the necessity of owning this. With any dollar store toy, you can bet the entire thing will be hollow, frail and highly breakable. Totally understandable and cool with me, since I'll probably look at it once and never look at it again. Hell, I've already taken the pictures and I've begun putting words into paragraphs. I can't even begin to pretend I know where this shit is right now.

Yup, I like aliens, so this is actually pretty cool. I'm no fanatic when it comes to the things, but "Fire in the Sky" was totally creepy and I'll be damned if I don't find some attraction to those bulbous, bulging heads. To me, the people into aliens are on par with the weirdos who think mediums and psychics are dead-serious real, so I try not to blatantly advertise my average/lukewarm obsession. I ain't no weirdo.

Look at that face! Just look at it! Magnificent. And very piranha-y.

But yeah, this is the perfect time to hit up the ol' dollar store. Everyone seems to be jumping the gun these days, so even though it's mid-September right, it's pretty much Halloween season right now, too. So this is a totally great start with hoarding cheap decorations, props and costumes without throwing your wallet in the toilet. Sure, it's pretty dumb stuff coming from the dollar store, but it's not without it's charm. If you're like me, your severed hand collection will increase tenfold. And that's a good thing.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coffee and Beer -- My Liquid Loves.

It's no secret that I love coffee. It's one of those constants in my life that I can always look forward to and always know I'm gonna get a kick out of. Fuck energy drinks, forget soda and all the in-between bullshit that'll blow your heart out of your chest and eat away your liver. Granted, I'm unsure of the side effects when consuming enough coffee to give a herd of horses a buzz, but I'll take my chances.

Ahh, Extreme Bean. Located in Mesa, or Tempe or somewhere, this is a pretty neat place to pick up some black blood. I will admit, this isn't a real hotspot for me, probably because I don't like going anywhere with "extreme" in it's name, but it's here, and I'm there. The front of the building ain't spectacular, but they're not opposed to putting up flyers for shows, which is pretty cool and non-threateningly hip.

I've been here before, many moons ago on a date, I believe. It was more of a get together, since I don't think I've ever been asked or initiated a "date" in my life. I'm more of a, "I'll be there, you be there" kinda guy. Easy, unconfrontational and a little bit sleazy, but that's how I roll. It's a lot easier to check your watch, make up an excuse and run on outta there when it's not under the "date umbrella." Anyway, in my infinite weirdness, I've never been back, 'cause in a cramped corner of my mind, I always thought I'd see the date in question here. It would be, like, awkward. Six years later. I suck.

Well, I'm glad I'm back, 'cause this place is pretty classy. They have a cool diner area, nice atmosphere and a decent, laid back feel. I assume this is a great hangout for swank college kids, 'cause everyone here was really attractive and young. Nothing like young, golden-haired college girls to make you feel like a dirty, pervy old man.

I wanted to get a shot of the main room, where there's a bunch of tables, chairs and couches set up for whatever you wanna do while you drink your coffee (very nice) but ever being the wussiest cameraman alive, I had to do it in secret. Which was trying to look like I was texting, but ended up looking like I was texting, but at an impossibly odd angle. Or had really awkward, short arms. It's hard to paint the picture, but ya know what I means.

The guy in the shot swayed any curious naysayers, 'cause who would be taking photos of a guy staring lovingly at his own weiner? Not I, I say!

I find it really interesting to think about that very guy somehow stumbling on this blog, only to see a photo of himself just chilling out, drinking an iced mocha latte, minding his own business. It's not like he's just in the background, or accidently walked across the shot, and is now invariably just kinda visible, but he's right there. The dude is nearly the Goddamn focus point. I think it would be creepy, confusing and kinda unnerving to go through that scenario. But still, very interesting, indeed. Here's to you, Weiner Guy.

There's even an outdoor patio, where you can snag your sweet nicotine fix in 115 degree weather. Probably best for the colder months.

Man, just take a look at this bad bitch:

I have no idea why, but I'm totally ghey for iced lattes right now. Sure, I once went down the dark, "caramel machiatto" pathway, and swore I wouldn't tread those waters again. But I feel this to be different. It's sweetened, yes, but only by milk, as opposed to cream, syrup, sugar, spoonfuls of diabetes, etc. There's logic and reasoning in there somewhere, I swear. Plus, the color is just really appealing, in a brown, dirty water kinda way.

Like everything in life, coffee and beer (I'm gettin' there, I'm gettin' there) there's always a ying and yang to pleasure. I think if I drink too much coffee, my brain feels super insane for a good hour, then take a huge divebomb into depression. Nothing I wouldn't kill myself over, but I feel nervous, odd and perpetually ready to do everything in my power to not feel like that. Which includes drinking more coffee and boy howdy! That never works out the way I want to.

There must be something to say about smashing on a drink that'll get you jittery and focused, and going nuts on another that'll slow you down and make you dizzy. But what can I say? I love me some beer. Hey, I'm a man of many brain altering substances. Watch:

I've mentioned Four Peaks before, one of my favorite restaurants, hangouts and local brewery, supplying this great town with delicious, delicious beer. Kiltlifter is classic, but Sunbru is magical. Ah, not really. It's decent. Why must I build things up like that?

I never really drink canned beer, it just seems cheap and kind of gross, like all I can taste is the tin can. It's made of tin, right? Aluminum? Either way, I kinda expected bottles, but ended up with cans. I should have realized this upon purchase, 'cause the box is super tiny. And perfectly rectangular and cute. So gonna use this as a fort for Mumm-Ra and Nien Nunb. They're best friends, you know.

Overall, good stuff. I guess I kinda do like canned beer, 'cause it makes me think I'm, like, a tough guy. Who works on cars and lifts weights. To justify this as a "review," really, the beer is quite tasty. Kinda light, almost like a Peroni but zero skunk. It also has a stylized, original name spelling which is confusing while charming. I would have gone with "Sunbrooo," with an image of a ghost at a bar eating peanuts, but that's just me. Copyright laws might be infringed, 'cause I'd really want it to be one of the ghosts from Pac-Man. It's my way or the highway.

Rock and roll!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

DeFalco's! (Food Content Fuck Yeah)


A couple weeks ago, my sister told me about this place. She painted me pictures of authentic, Italian dishes, rivers of delicious wine and a cramped, almost annoying sitting arrangement. Supposedly, the place doubles as a restaurant and grocery store, letting you sit and eat amongst everything they cook and sell. They have take-out, too, in case you don't feel like dining in a small corner of a deli. But in a small corner of your apartment. Let's do this thang!

The place is absolutely stuffed with food, wine, sweets, beer, etc. It's my favorite kind of atmosphere, with so much to look at you almost feel sick. You can spend a hefty amount of time just browsing the aisles, which is great for someone like me, 'cause I was not about to leave this place without a souvenir. Ahh, I'm getting stoked!

Ahh, sugar. From what I saw, there was a lot of desserts, ingredients to make desserts, desserts desserts desserts. Such a marvelous sight! I haven't even ordered yet and I'm being bombarded by Italian candy and chocolates straight outta Rome. So far, so good.

PS -- I'm totally not opposed to eating those plain, unfilled cannoli shells.

Food wise? They got's it all. Everything from giant slabs of lasagna to just ordering a big plate of olives, you've got a pretty good selection. I pussed out and ended up ordering a white pizza, and it was really good. I'm all about the white pizzas these days (no sauce, mainly cheese/toppings) I choose this path because, obviously, it's delicious, but probably because I've been sucking down tomato sauce on my pizza for the last twenty years. I'm sure a lack of variety has swayed my opinion over time. I won't dwell too hard on it, though. Overall...good stuff! Way good. DeFalco's, you win this round.

Oh, and for some reason, I'm unable to snag the proof off of my phone (the photos either disappeared or won't upload) so you're gonna have to take my word on this. It was a decent sized pie, with a nice, golden crust, surrounded by crisp dollar bills and served by a naked midget.

The beer runs freely! Actually, the entire deal is pretty expensive, but since we're in a family-friendly environment, I'll let it pass. The cashier made sure to let me know that two beers equals the same amount as a six pack, though, giving me the option to walk away from the counter looking like an alcoholic, or the classic "80's party guy." Ya know, minus the lampshade on my head and a pool ring around my waist. I chose this option, and while I did become nine dollars poorer, I also became six beers drunkeyer.

Since you're basically sitting among shelves of food, you might be next to the shelves of wine. This sight, while drinking, will actually fuel your party-mode. I've noticed this effect, 'cause as soon as my glass is empty, I demand it to be full. I think the wine is sending off vibes. Party-mode vibes.

The bathroom is...well, a bathroom. I've been so accustomed to the worst bathrooms ever established, so anything that isn't a brick wall or a shit covered toilet, without a door, in a crowded venue full of other people who also wanna use that very same shit covered toilet. So in comparison, this bathroom, with it's red walls and multiple posters of the Rat Pack adorning said walls (unseen at the moment) equates to the greatest bathroom I've ever been in. I'm privileged to have been in there.

Coincendentally, the dark, red walls make me feel like I'm using either a mobster's private crapper, or I'm in the VIP section of a very important club. I feel the owner has dreadlocks, smokes a lot and deals in the business of drugs. I'm thinking cocaine. I'm thinking I watch too many movies.

I guess that's about it! Pretty rad place, I'm definitely going back. I saw some coffee machines in the back that were pretty reminiscent of the ones I saw in Italy, so I'm thinking I may finally get my precious "un cafe" here in the states. Which is, like, a tiny cup of frothy espresso. Or something. I really feel like a badass drinking that stuff.

Rock and roll!