Friday, July 29, 2011

London, Bitches.

I never imagined this blog hitting a point where the best I can do is give an update on my life in the last week. I hate the idea of it, but god help me, I kinda like it. I know, overall, it's a lazier approach in comparison to what I've written about in the past, but if I can effectively write about anything without giving up halfway through, I'm golden. Plus, I kinda like how I feel like Doogie Howser when I'm relaying my thoughts and detailing all daily adventures. Sometimes like Carrie Bradshaw, too.

Secrets revealed all up in this bitch.

You see, I'm leaving. No, not forever, but for the next week. I'm traveling abroad, seeing the sights, tasting the grand cuisine of another country. Yeah, I'm going to London. Why? I'm going to Rebellion Fest in Blackpool, a three day music festival full of all the bands that will make you seem better than everyone else for seeing. Bands like Eddie and the Hotrods, The Boys, Menace, The Damned, etc. A lot of British punk that must be seen whenever and however, by any means necessary. 'Cause some of those dudes are fucking old.

Lots of American bands, too. Bands from all over the globe, really. I'm really stoked to see some of these guys, which rivals the second reason (arguably, the first reason) as to why I'm actually thrilled to sit in a plane for sixteen hours.

Truthfully, this trip is as much of a music festival adventure as it is a reason for me to drink. Which, even more truthfully, is main priority number one. Everything I've seen in films and on TV paints the classic pub as the greatest place to be in or around. There's something really charming about the "British pub," and I want my pants charmed right the fuck off.

I figure I'll see what I need to see, check out the dungeons here, look at the royal stuff there, I dunno. I really do just wanna sit in a pub, pretend to enjoy whatever sporting event is playing and be one with the crowd.

If I'm not poisoned by mid-week, I will have failed.

I wish I could write more, but I decided to sit down on the laptop exactly one hour before I'm off to the airport. Ridiculous, I know. I wish I could keep in touch with all you people living in the area to hang out, shoot the shit and grab a pint (OMG! I can't wait!) but my phone doesn't work in your wacky country and I'm not about to check my online persona at random Internet cafes throughout the area. Ehh, I might. Totally addicted.

So that's where I'll be and that's what I'll be doing when you notice the Facebook updates run cold and the tweets die off. I'm not being lazy, you see, I'm being lazy in another country.

See you soon, dudes!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


A few weeks back, I blogged about my return to my normal, dull life. Yeah, I'm acting as if I was living out an actual call of duty overseas or drilling oil in the snow for months on end, but it was a little less demanding and gooey. I was on tour playing the rock and roll music. Kinda the same thing, right?

That blog entry was my cold and hesitant jump back into the game, baby, where I was still weak and delirious from a two week east coast tour. I mainly wrote about a bundle of Transformers aiding me in reaching the lazy comfort I'm primarily used to, where a hot pizza pie comes first and a six pack of cold beer immediately comes second. Then, naturally, number one out of my number two comes third. Diarrhea joke FTW.

Within my words, I, as I mostly do, complained about the lack of interest I have in Transformers. It's not that they're bad or inherently unfun, they're just not my bag. Maybe throw in a felt cape or a blaster rifle to spice things up, guys.

Anyway, they were a gift to myself to help me feel normal again, to have fun once more, to wash away the emotional trauma of sleeping in truckstops and nursing a hangover every other morning. I'm not complaining, really, but I was left living in a hollow shell of the man I once was. Only time, money and oily, beefed up men would set me straight.

I mentioned I was looking for WWF shit. I felt it was the only thing that would piece my together my shattered existence, and at the time, it kind of felt right. Like paying for that extra shot of wheat grass in your fruit smoothie. That bullshit wheatgrass gets you every time.

Seeing as I haven't watched any kind of wrestling or have been vaguely interested in wrestling in over a decade, the urge happened unexpectedly. I accepted the odd interest, let it pass around in my mind and moved on. And I totally did move on, I swear.

Well, here we go.

It's "Ravishing" Rick Rude, bitches, all up in your face and you can't do nothin' about it.

In some way, I feel that I forcefully asked the universe for this, and I'd be a fool to pass it up. The universe might make me crash my car on the way to the grocery store or something. This is my logic.

Yeah, I haven't watched WWF/WWE/whatever you wanna call it since Stone Cold Steve Austin made Vince McMahon piss his pants in front of a live audience and Chyna was a household name. I wouldn't say this was the ultimate peak for the franchise, nor my favorite few years of leg-dropping debauchery, but it's right where I ended and that's all I know of the sport. You ask me what's going on in the world of wrestling today and I feel the only thing I can come up with is, "there's a really pale redheaded guy." I don't know who he is, and have only caught quick glimpses at the magazine racks in Barnes and Noble, but I hate him. So very much.

During my run as a fan, I collected the second incarnation of figures (think smaller than the original bricks of rubber from the 80's) had the ring to battle said figures, watched religiously on Monday night and even got to attend a live and in your face wrestling match extravaganza. Although it wasn't to be taped for live television and didn't count in WWF storytelling continuity, it was still a lot of fun to hear the classic slap of every chop, slam and choke in extreme sight and sound.

And although my wrestling experience ranged from the mid-90's to a screeching halt when I entered high school, I was lucky enough to have an older brother who taped matches off the TV from the time I was born, giving me the chance to witness the top contenders in their prime, well after it originally happened. And I thank him, because this was the good shit. This was the real shit.

This was the era of Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, Andre the Giant, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. This was when there was no "over-the-top." You came, you saw, you had a talking parrot or giant scissors and you were always protecting your wife/girlfriend from getting hit on by the other wrestlers. Seriously, guys? Leave the chicks at home.

Who's to argue what "over the top" really quates to in the wide world of wrrestling, but I've always fancied myself an advocate for the especially over-the-top guys. Guys like Doink the Clown, Undertaker, even the androgynous Goldust, who did nothing but paint his face and sparkle. Anyone who looked weird, acted weird and made me feel weird when I closed my eyes in bed at night was golden in my book.

"Ravishing" Rick Rude has always been one such oddball favorite. There's no doubt that you're gonna be a fan of the bigshots like Macho Man and Hulk Hogan, but every now and then a star shines. Just so happens that this star liked to be ravishing and rude. What a prick.

I can only ever remember a few matches, but it always consisted of "Ravishing" being an asshole, taunting the crowd or flexing his muscles to the groans of men and the delight of women. I wanna say you loved to hate him, but that's probably not the best description because you just hated him. He pissed everyone off, picked fights and Goddamnit, he gyrated his hips and that was just not cool.

There's something to be said about having one of my favorite wrestlers be the guy that makes kissy-faces at the audience while grinding and humping the mat, but I refuse to think beyond that. Please, don't think beyond that.

When I found this is the aisles of a Toys R Us, I was completely sold. I literally asked and I have received. Remember that universal karma shit? It was about to hit hard if I didn't act fast.

My only nervous thought was the idea of taking it up the cashier to be rung up. A simple task of buying goods in a perfectly respectable manner in a perfectly acceptable establishment became the most embarrassing act of the night.

Picture this: A lonely man buying what may arguably be the gayest action figure ever, walks amid the shadows, eyes ablaze, no words uttered. I might as well be buying a fucking dildo.

Now, asking for a gift receipt wouldn't cut it either, because really, if I was backed into a corner and had to explain myself, no one would believe my "younger nephew" was begging for a sweaty action figure of a wrestler who existed in the 1980's.

So I had no choice, I had to buy something else. I at least had to make it look like I was buying my "younger nephew" birthday presents, and a scattered assortment of this and that might do the trick. Who's to question a grab bag of wrestlers, Pokemon and some stupid Green Lantern crap? Could look legit, as if I'm the coolest uncle for spending such a pretty penny, or could look like a terrible ruse to cover up a creepy fetish. So off I went...

...right back to the same shit. I've denied it in the past, but yeah, I'm a dumbass. I bought Jake "The Snake" Roberts. I couldn't bring myself to waste any more money on junk I didn't really want when good ol' Jake was staring me in the face. This ain't junk, trust me. When anything you buy comes with a toy rubber snake, you better snatch that up ASAP.

To an outsider, I figure I look like an enthusiast now. It's a good word to hide beyond in a situation like this. The illusion being that I was born and bred in an era of 80's wrestling and just couldn't go on any longer without a plastic reminder of days gone by. Like I'm reminiscing about my youth, living out my retro fantasies, etc. From the outside, there's nothing weird about it.

I feel good about this scenario. Real good.

Actually, yeah, I really like Jake "The Snake," but I like the idea of recreating one of the greatest storylines in wrestling even more. You see, one of the tapes my brother had let us watch featured, of course, Rick Rude in all his glory, but also featured Jake "The Snake" doing his thang, too. Body slam here, off the top ropes there, they did what they did and it was a beautiful thing. Life only got a little bit better when these two heavyweights went head to head in an all out battle of wits, strength and pulling your pants off to reveal the face of your opponent's girlfriend.

I'd summarize, but it's so much easier for you to check it out yourself:

God, I love this.

And there you go! I feel full and rich with life, a zest only two fist-pumping musclemen can provide. They'll live in Castle Greyskull and invite Mumm-Ra over on Sunday nights to watch Breaking Bad, occasionally work on their abs and argue over wheather Corn Nuts are, in fact, actual nuts.

What a wild Wednesday night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Love the X-Men.

I love the X-Men. I love everything about them. Aside from the obvious overwhelming strength and magical powers from beyond, this group of nutjobs wield an intense fashion sense. Through all the adventures and battles...I like their clothing. Everyone on the team has their own look, a unique and personal statement through colorful spandex to really cool looking gloves.

If anything, I want to own a jumpsuit with a big, bold "X" on the chest. Hell, anything with that damn X on it. It's so gang-like and intimidating. Chicks totally dig that kind of stuff.

Now, I know that throughout comics, everyone and every thing has had some pretty cool get ups. My only defense is that it's just not the same with the X-Men. Who else looks like Jubilee? Who else can get away with that weird outfit Wolverine wears on the daily?

One of the things I simultaneously love and am frustrated by is the ever changing cast of characters. You'd think I'd be all about this, but ehh.

On one hand, it's nice to see some fresh, new faces enter the ranks, ushering in a whole new dynamic and feel to the comic. On the other hand, most of these characters suck ass. There's only so many superpowers one can have without aping someone else's superpowers, so any new mutant abilities and charms will usually seem pretty weak. At least to me, I guess. Give me the classics like Beast and Cyclops and I'm just fine. Stick with what you know. Stick with anyone who's a dark and furry blue or can shoot red rainbows from their eyes.

But every now and again, I'm intrigued by the newest weirdo jumping around and picking up cars and throwing them through buildings.

In fact, I become enamored with these characters. What was once a cheap excuse for a new spin on things becomes my favorite part of reading comic books. Who or what will show up next? What kind of magical shit are they gonna be doing? What color is their hair?

I guess I'd better state that although I'm a fan, I don't think I'm the biggest fan. There's a lot of story lines and crossovers I've generally skipped over, and entire decades that seem so far beyond what I'm into. See: anything from the 90's.

So really, this is the last ten years we're talking about. I've been giving it my best to stay up to date by correctly leading my way through the chronological trades. It's kind of sad to think of all the money I've spent collecting comics could have probably bought me an apartment that isn't the size of a phone booth, or at least some really fancy guitars that everyone can be jealous about. Chicks totally dig that kinda stuff.

That being said, one of my favorite these days is a young gal by the name of Hisako Ichiki, Codename: ARMOR.

Her backstory eludes me, and doesn't really serve a purpose in my obsession with this pint size powerhouse, but since I'm already cheating by having her Wikipedia page wide open, might as well run through the basics:

Armor firsts appears in Whedon's Astonishing X-Men, is a student at the Xavier Institute and uses psionic body armor for strength and power.

I so nearly copied that word for word.

This storyline was some top notch shit, but truthfully, my main attraction lies in that psionic armor. Even more truthfully, I like how it's bright pink. Observe:

Look at it! It's like an astronaut suit and marshmallows all rolled into one!

Okay, I hate using images off of google for my blogs, since it's a solid cop-out and completely unoriginal on my part -- another blogging Cardinal sin I can't be a part of. Just copying and pasting assaults and offends me, and I imagine it does much of the same to you.

Instead, as in the past, I'd rather like to paint a picture in your mind with my words and my thought provoking art skills. I like to have the brushstrokes tickle your brain, opening up a flood of imagery and imagination. Today? Not so much. I'm lazy, it's hot outside and I'm all outta Rocky Road. Wait, do you capitalize "Rocky Road?" Or no? MY NERVES ARE ON EDGE, MAN.

Her pink armor is awesome, though! It can form and shape in various ways, from a big bubbly Michelin Man looking thing to a claw-equipped Wolverine motherfucker. I have no idea what kind of fake science and mysticism is behind this, but it's a superpower I absolutely want so very bad. I know everyone immediately jumps on the "I wanna fly!" bandwagon, but this guy right here wants super strength and invulnerability. Most of my life is spent doing things to not be on the fast track to instant death, so it would be an amazing feeling to know that nothing will harm me, whether I'm in a catastrophic plane crash or a simple bar fight, complete with broken bottles and rusty knives. Hell, I'd probably be the one who started these scenarios. I'd go all "Unbreakable" on your ass, blowing shit up, derailing trains, kicking the crap out of all the UFC freaks trolling the streets. Oh, that would be feel so good. And damn, it would look good.

Because chicks totally dig that stuff.

Not sure where I was headed with this, but there ya go. Hisako Ichiki is kinda in the background most of the time, only to pop up every now and again to do some pink, bubbly armor stuff. Occasional jab there, cute little banter there. But every time she makes an appearance, I'm there, in awe and wonder, just imagining that wonderful gift to be mine. That candy-colored armor enveloping my body, daring me to jump off the nearest cliff into a lake of alligators. And I would take that dare. I so very much would.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bobby vamp Calabrese 2011 Summer Party!

I'm not sure what to blog about, but I'm blogging right now. I'm not lying when I say I've been wanting to post something of legit value for the last week, but I've yet to muster up the strength and energy to do just that. I have these grand ideas of posting about my favorite X-Men, or detailing in all in all of my most sensational word wizardry my most favorite wrestler in the WWF. Both of these subjects, by the way, will be presented to you very soon. Lots of crude Paint art of pink haired mutants and oiled up brutes from the 1980's are sure to follow, paving the way for my blog to be the most scattered diary of any musician ever.

Maybe it's the above one-hundred degree weather that's been sucking my energy dry, perhaps it's the fact that every time I squat down to write a damn thing I lose all interest because I'm hungry and caveman must eat food yes. I demand a quiet, solemn atmosphere to write and in the last week, I've yet to achieve such a state. I'm not sure how that is, since I've created my living quarters to parallel that of a dark and musty cave, but it has, and all of my juices have run dry.

All is not lost in the way of creative outlets, mind you, because at least, if anything, I've been spending a lot of time writing songs, watching mindless Godzilla films and trying my best to just relax. I feel like an asshole when I say that my life is so demanding and stressful, that even eating junk food and playing video games isn't relaxing, but even for a guy who strums a guitar and sits on the Internet on all day, even that can become inane and monotonous. Every now and again, I need to just be one of the people. I need to enjoy life in the fullest, I need to grab a six pack and bake my shimmering, chalk-white skin in the hot Arizona sun. I need to sit by the fucking pool and be a party, baby.

And I did just that.

To say that I'm writing this buzzed might be an understatement. What's "being buzzed," really? How can one judge your level of intoxication when everyone has their own limits and regulations? Needless to say, I'm a tad bit loopy, my fingers feel sporadic and I'm just dying to see what I wrote, while I write, in the sad and lonely hours of the morning. Yeah, I'm totally drunk.

There's a lot of spellcheck to be had, I will admit that, because even if I'm the biggest boozer around, I demand proper spelling punctuation. Grammar, too. Everything, really. I have my standards.

But I want to write to you, dear friends, what I've been up to, even if it's not smothered in toy reviews and sensational meals I've had at the local pub. Even though I'm not including any fun photos or crappy drawings, I need to update. It's the least I can do, since, ya know, this is all I do. My life is awesome.

So. Where to begin?

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I went to Disneyland with the family. This includes all of my brothers and sisters, mom and dad, wives and husbands, kids and friends, etc. Our group has become almost humorous in it's absurd amount, but in the long run, it's way better for the guy stuck in the middle of it all. Sick of one side of the family? Hang with the other. Tired of the picky eaters? Hang on, trooper, just skip to the other side of the group. Bored of the complainers and whiners? Jump right back into the middle and out of sight, soldier, where you're obscure and out of the limelight. It's a delicate game of balancing who you can tolerate at any given time, but it is my family, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Hell, I'm too used to the weirdness. I practically crave it.

We did everything one could do in Disneyland, even if that secretly meant paying for overpriced beers in California Adventure just to past the time. If you could win a record for being the most nauseous and loopy on the California Screamin' roller coaster ride before you even rode the ride, I would win.

I'm not gonna lie, I love the place. It's not a love I'd wholly admit to, but just being there is nice. It's a good thing. I'm sure, in my age and current state of mind, things would be different if they didn't have the roller coasters and beer and whatnot, but overall...I dig it. The rides can seem a but outdated, the food can make you feel like you just ate the last thing thing you will ever eat before your heart gives out, but it's fun. The atmosphere is nice, the staff is dumb with friendliness and yeah, overall, you're just pleastanly pleased with whole experience. Plus, you're greeted with people who know who you are!

Yeah, I'm rich and famous. Not so much rich, and actually...not so much famous. But it's not commonly unknown for us Calabrese brothers to be spotted out of a crowd. Even us lowlifes can be recognized from time and time!

While we were rocking Space Mountain for the first of many times, we just so happened to be in front of a lovely couple who knew who me and Davey were. We may have looked greasy and slobby and agitated, but it was us, in all our Calabrese glory. Completely flattering, and although we tried to make appropriate smalltalk, I can't help but wonder if I blew the whole situation completely. You see, upon meeting these fine folks, I decided to, in my infinite hilarity, demand the young man give me his food. He was holding a half eaten carton of what appeared to be a Disney approved, plastic container of fruit, and, apparently, I thought it was kind of a funny thing to say. I don't know why, and looking back, it doesn't even make sense. No wonder they stopped talking to us thirty-two seconds in.

Usually, in such situations, I want to be the most hilarious and outgoing I can be. While growing up, I always imagined meeting the bands I liked and yeah, I wanted them to be normal, but what I really wanted was for them to be the part they portrayed on stage. Be the wild man, be the joker, be whatever! Just don't look like you got off of work at Wal-Mart and sufficiently hate your life. I know it's all an illusion, but it's what made famous people famous. If you're in a band, and for whatever reason you wear nothing but cowboy hats and bright red Nike sneakers, you can never be seen in a baseball cap and flip flops. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. It's not your thing. Stick with your thing! Anyway, I did what I could, and if I have failed you, Two People Behind Us in the Line for Space Mountain...I apologize.

We also saw Trent Reznor walking down main street. I'm not admitting to becoming a total fanboy, but I did kinda goad Davey into following him in the bathroom. I just wanted to know what was up. Fuckin' Trent Reznor, right? In Disneyland! It was damn precious.

My older sister got a photo with him, which I'm totally jealous of. I will fully admit, I pussed out, but now I wish I had some more snapshot taking balls. I could have had a wicked sweet Facebook profile picture.

So now we're here, today. I went to the pool earlier, which is shared by a large apartment complex, offering the finest in nutjobs you're always pairing up with. I'm already nervous and self conscious by even being next to water, under the sun and with my shirt off, so by even looking in my general direction you've dramatically elevated my heightened sense of nervousness. I won't bother you, and you won't bother me. Yeah, I'm talking to you, guy with the awkwardly-mismatched-to-the-rest-of-your-body face tan. Seriously, work on your back, bro. Even that shit out.

I also brought down a six pack of Peroni, which was awesome, but is now quickly dismissed as the worst idea of the night. That is, until I decided to keep drinking well into the night, bringing Worst Idea Number Two to life. It lived, it thrived, it hurt.

My lounging time was heightened by getting a sweet drunk on, but now a fervid guilt and an oncoming fear of a hangover is ever present in my mind. I can't enjoy anything right now. My entire day of rest and relaxation has been ruined by a mixture of gluttony and sadness! So I think this is the time for me to say goodbye, dear friends. I'll see you in the morning. Have the Advil ready.


Hungover, yeah, but not as bad as I expected. My head feels like something out of "Scanners" and my guts feel muddy, cruddy and gross. Oh well. Was it worth it? Yeah, I guess so. My greatest fantasies in life would be to tromp around in the jungle with Indiana Jones, or to be on the beach in any scene with the Karate Kid. Despite not having the massive bonfires, the actual big blue ocean and half-naked high schoolers dancing and drinking from the 1980's, I feel like I made headway into completing a tiny section of my bucket list. With my bizarre and lonely pool party, I have vaguely achieved somewhat of this scenario. Now get me that fucking Advil.

Anyway, I also did some post-editing. I added a bit of dash and spice with my lame banner, because I could NOT let this post go by without some color and pizazz. That's a straight up Cardinal sin, yo.

So enjoy your summer! Do something fun. Go buy some Godzilla toys or eat a bag of marshmallows. I know I will.