Through my life, I've experimented with a wide range of the worst fads and obsessions the world has ever seen. Most can be blamed on age, the others are the fault of no one but my own. I grew up and wore the lamest clothes, collected the most uncool toys and my hair, for a short and regrettable time, could only be described as "the penis haircut." Like Harry from "Dumb and Dumber." That was a bad time in my life.
During my preteens, I remember I liked Garfield one year. There was absolutely zero interest in Garfield, but I think I liked how his fur was orange. I bought little figurines, a hideous wristwatch and the Sunday comics were considered prime gold. Another year I really thought tie-dye was cool. Turns out, through vigorous trial and error, that no, tie-dye was not cool.
Don't even get me started on Beanie Babies.
Though, the worst I've sunk was when I actually and legitimately attempted to become a vampire. Of course, the height of my experiment never reached a point of actually going out and drinking human blood, but I still did a lot of stupid stuff.
For one, this was a time of witnessing my favorite and most lasting impression of vampire flicks. In my mid-teens, I was enamored with "Near Dark" and "The Lost Boys." At this time, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to become one of these characters. Because, secondly, everyone was always having a good time, doing whatever they wanted to and, yeah, getting really hot chicks. I wanted to be this. I wanted to hang out with a bunch of dudes doing wild and crazy things. This was the ultimate fantasy for any male youth, and once you threw in the neck-biting violence and rad motorcycles, well, you can see the appeal.
My first step was to complete the look. Now, my wardrobe doesn't usually consist of tattered pirate vests and gaudy jewelry, and it didn't back then, either. So off the bat I was failing.
My next best bet was to invest all of my time in finding the coolest sunglasses and perfecting the stoic, deep stare one must acquire to fully bring a sense of vampirism to a crowd. I probably looked like I was having a stroke, but behind my shades I was an animal. A fifteen year old beast of a man, just ready to pounce. I looked good.
The look, or at least half of the look, was only just the beginning. My transformation would only be complete when I was to completely and utterly become deathly pale.
It's an absurd notion, I know, but it entered my head and I couldn't shake it. I was, and still am, very pale, but I needed to goth my shit up times ten, people. I wanted to see the veins in my face. In comparison to my ghostly flesh, I wanted my lips to look Kool-Aid red, pouty and desirable.
I really cannot believe I just wrote that.
So, during this one summer, my carefully laid out plans would dictate that I was never to leave the house. It's not too hard living in the Arizona heat, since everyone hides in their caves anyway, but the months spent in secluded hibernation was to be of utmost importance, and not because I didn't have any friends.
This time, isolation was for keeps.
See, I wanted to reverse the effects of the evil sun by dying my skin with eternal darkness, morphing my body into the ultimate Dracula Machine. Which really means I hid in my bedroom, lights turned off and watched movies all day. It kinda makes sense, but yeah, it was pretty dumb, and I quickly realized this after about two days in. I watched enough viewings of "The Lost Boys" to realize Kiefer Sutherland's lily-white skin was truly unattainable, and the best I could ever do was keep a fine layer of stubble and make really weird grins after everything I said. Easy enough for me.
I never got over the vampire stuff, which, I assume, is pretty apparent to all. It's impossible to not find a fun fascination with the monster, which I've totally and undeniably carried into music and beyond. I've since given up trying to look the part, but every so often I get the urge to buy a cape or own a pair of those really solid and legit looking vampire fangs. Goth chicks dig that kinda stuff.
So, to my delight...a got a big fat vampire book.
Our good friend and regular attendee at nearly all of our southern California shows sent me this in the mail over the weekend. It might be out of love for the band, or a carefully laid out book-bomb laced with anthrax, I dunno. But her name is Shasta, and she's totally awesome.
Not gonna lie, I thought it was one of those vampire role playing books that you'd take to the graveyard, act out a dramatic vampire scene and kill your friend over. Turns out...it's so much more!
I skimmed though it (I don't know how to read) and found that it's an incredible encyclopedia on all of the best and greatest vampire films of all time. They missed a bunch of rare and hard to find flicks here and there, but you can't necessarily blame them on that. They did manage, however, to include an incredibly elaborate and in-depth section dedicated to "Twilight."
STRIKE ONE, BOOK.
Ah-ha! Just the kind of book I like...a book with more than meets the eye!
Included on every other page is either a small poster, various postcards or fake letters from vampires to other vampires. Something like that. There's enough junk to thumb through it's almost intoxicating. It makes for a really great coffee table book, assuming you don't mind people bending and tearing everything up inside to take a look at. Which I do mind. So it has forever been firmly placed in the closet.
Um, I guess that's about it. I kinda left it all up to the opening paragraphs to get me through this, since I don't have too much to say about a thick book I only sorta looked at. But I like this book. I like it a lot.
But if the book truly and utterly ended up sucking (har-har), all was not lost:
The box-cover-thing makes for an excellent fort. I'd like to call it a "home base," but a handful of Luke's deserve a better home base than that. At the very least, they'd need a kitchen. And at the very most, a delicately laid out Zen Room.
Thanks, Shasta. You rule!