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 in...you 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 others...it'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!