Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, 2011!

It's Halloween! It's here right now!

I didn't get to post everything I wanted to, but at this point...who cares? It's Halloween! Besides, my entire life is pretty much Halloween based, so I think I'll manage blogging about evil candy and bloody masks in late January. No worries.

Now, I've already eaten way too much junk food and drank way too much monster themed alcohol, so today I'm taking it easy. Both aren't inherently wrong activities, but mixed together over hours and hours of Halloween socializing, day in and day out, the gooey things inside my body have started to go a teense bit sour.

Because of it, I feel altogether very lazy and homely tonight, but it's not to the point where I can't get off the couch to answer the call of the trick or treater.

I'm not feeling guilty about it, though. I did my time, I put in my creepy hours. I've done way more than I initially thought I would, and it's been a blast. I wanna say that I'm sad that tomorrow is the end of the Samhain season, but eh. Halloween and I are kind of sick of each other.

We played a great show, I bought an insane Halloween mask that intimately disturbs anyone who comes in contact with it and I just quickly carved up a pumpkin tonight. Like, really quick.

So if I were to die tomorrow (which I won't, because I refuse to die) I will die a happy man.

Oh, yeah, that pumpkin? Check it out!:

This is the first time I ever used one of those "pumpkin carving kits," which uses a lot of tools that poke, prod and saw. Normally, I'd free hand my creation, but with a little patience and a flimsy, paper guide, simple pumpkin carving turns into serious art.

I chose the "floating ghosts" design, if only because it looked the simplest and quickest. I had to clean, cut and proudly show off my prized pig before Halloween was over. Which is, ya know, tomorrow.

Way spooky!

Kind of looks like Arizona cacti, or pickles. Not sure where I'm getting that, but yeah. Pickles.

Happy Halloween, guys!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Trash Pack!

Curious? I am, too. But before that, this:

Halloween festivities are going well. I've yet to scoop pumpkin innards or secretly watch "The Craft" when no one else was looking, but the season has offered up plenty of pleasant surprises. Mainly, the thing above.

Secondly, the Halloween show is fast approaching and I'm down to the wire with everything I need to do and get done. With shows, I throw everything aside and only concentrate on the task at hand, and since this show is a really big show, I've been too nervous and preoccupied to truly treat the way this holiday should be treated. We're running out of days, people! I need to watch more horror films. I have to eventually leave the house to buy a latex mask that mats down my hair and makes my face awkwardly wet!

But alas, time is not on my side. All hope has run dry. Or at least that's what I thought. See: thing above.

Introducing The Trash Pack, an assemblage of dirty critters hibernating in your local trash bins, ready to jump out do critter things. Twelve distasteful miscreants to collect, trade and use as legal currency in My Perfect Future.

"The Gross Gang in Your Garbage" is such a great tag line, too. Who wouldn't want to make friends with an amorphous, indescribable blob? Or a dead rat?

Essentially, these acorn-sized pencil toppers are nothing new or too inventive. In fact, a few months ago I mentioned Squinkies, an almost exact mirror image of what we have today. Squinkies, though, are more family-friendly, with dinosaurs and Captain America's and cute puppies. The Trash Pack, on the other hand, are rotted pigs and vomit.

Each "Trashie" is conceived by the love-combination of sinister germs and leftover pizza boxes in a dirty trash can, and it's your job to help birth it into this world. I kind of just made that up.

Anyway, you get the point, right? Bunch of little nasty animals/bugs/goo that inhabit an army of old-school trash cans, and it's your job to break 'em free and let them loose.

Basically, kids love this junk. Basically, I love this junk.

The back of the package is great, because each Trashie is individually named, adding to the obsession. These aren't just dumpster freaks, these are your FUTURE FRIENDS.

Unfortunately, there's, like, a lot of them. Over a hundred, in fact. It bothers me that I won't be able to own them all, but it also boggles the mind as to what I would even do with them. Computer desk is cluttered, Castle Greyskull is occupied by WWF heroes and my mouth is already full of Tropical Starburst.

Included is a manual/instructions on how to play various games with your Trash Pack. Nearly all the games are different variations on throwing your trash-pals into the trash can, but they still went down Route Obvious and included a game called "Throw it in the Trash Can."

I'm not sure I'd ever use this guide, but I still like the small notion of actually meeting someone to stack electric-green, toy trash cans with. Would they be cool? Or a total fucking nutjob? The possibilities and scenarios relaying through my head actually sends chills up my spine.

So, let's tear open the lids and have at it!


In no particular order, there they stand. The colors are astounding, and probably one of the main reasons why I really, really like this. If I was smart, I'd pass this off as a hip, independent art piece, but no one would believe I even knew what an "independent art piece" was.

I love every single one with all of my heart...but that pig, man. Top three, for sure. He looks equally wired and drunk, spilt bile covering his large, bloated stomach. He's either stoned out of his mind or staring at that purple thing on his head. Which looks to be nothing short of a purple banana peel. Why not?

And, of course, that thing on the left deserves a quick mention. More puffed out eyes, more vomit floweth. The theme is obvious, but obviously, I like the theme. There's something so very precious found in spew.

Oh, and I really like the red rat with, of course, the toxic slime-puke. Honestly, I really only like the rat because he was on the front package, cheery and cherry. It's as if he was the first one to welcome me to the shit-filled world of Trash Pack and it's inhabitants within. And because he's the color of Twizzlers FINE YOU GOT ME.

Original Rat was blue, and the one I'm stuck with is red. I've already accepted this fate (the color red is preferred, really) but I've also accepted that I won't get a good night's sleep tonight because of it. Consistency issues, I guess.

You also get a big trash can, which initially came filled with the other secret seven Trashies, but you can store all twelve of them in there for safe keeping and to hide from your girlfriend. But I guess at that point you're better off throwing the entire thing in the actual trash. There's poetry somewhere in what I've just said.


Sad. Depleted. Desolate. Completely barren and altogether lost. The image above puts a hole in my heart. Full:

Abundant. Jammed. Crowded and stocked. All is aligned with the universe.

All is aligned with Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gummy Sushi.

Every year I check out the current season's Halloween offerings, whether it be a long stroll through Target or a quick gallup around CVS, I'm perpetually on the hunt. If I don't make the rounds, I'm well into a funk by November, knowing I might have missed out on the newest Halloween something. I own enough paper ghost cutouts, yes. My closet looks like a Spirit went and died, I understand. But it's, like, what I do.

With that being said, honestly, most of the time I'm not necessarily looking for anything in particular -- if anything catches my eye, I'm game. Something unique, bizzare and maybe even a but slimey. If I had a choice, I'd prefer my Halloween stuff to be slimey.

Within these Halloween Hunts, I'm rarely surprised nor dazzled by what's offered. Things are different to an extent, but there's only so many ways you can doll up a Jason mask.

I wish that every ten months we're granted a new wave of orange merchandise and party favors and creepy candy, but, truthfully, it's really just the same damn stuff. I wish, I want, I wander. And with gummy candy, it's no different.

(Sorry for the abrupt switch -- it was really hard to segue into gummy candy.)

You've got Coke bottle this, you have blue sharks and colorful worms that. It's all so blase. I tip my hat to "It's Alive," though, for releasing what may become my favorite Halloween gummy ever.

For today's adventure, I hit up the local Walgreen's. It's one of my favorite places to haunt during this ghoulish fall, because you don't really have to do much to get your fix. With Walgreen's, every now and again you'll find more than just green cobwebs and wall paques that yell at you. In fact, you might even find a plate of gummies in the shape of honest-to-God sushi.

I've seen these heralded and praised on the internet already, but it deserves another pedastel to sit upon. I mean, c'mon, that one in the middle really looks like friggin' salmon.

"It's Alive Diner" (I think that's what the company name is) offers a plateful of horror-themed gummy madness. Everything from spooky sandwiches to evil, chocolate sundaes, you name it. Gummy body parts have made a decent run the last couple of years, and "It's Alive Diner," thank-you-so-much, stretched the premise into new and grander territories. They got all Land of the Rising Sun on our asses.

By all means, this is some seriously fun stuff. Most of the time I'm a chocolate kinda guy, and on occasion will go for the extreme sour goods that'll make your tongue and burn, but this month I'm strictly gummy. With 4.3 ounces of gummy raw fish, I've been converted.

My favorite? Well, firstly, they all smell good. That needs to be said. Secondly, the eye looks fun. Could even pass for a slab of overpriced sushi in a fancy restaraunt. The rest of the "human body part collection" look nice, too, but I'm still stuck on that "salmon" piece. I realize now that it isn't representing salmon, because salmon, by all means, is not a body part. Now that I think wiser and squint harder, it's as if it's supposed to be "skin," which is wholly disgusting and unbelievably nauseating to even think about. I'm not sure how biting into what looks like a human fucking ear doesn't seem so bad, but chewing on pink, peeled skin is horrifying to me. They're all made of gummy so it's a moot point. Hell, I'm just really excited!

(Edit: the logical explanation, as it's been pointed out, is that it's supposed to be a tongue. Which makes, like, a lot of sense, given the shape and color. What the fuck was I thinking?)

Best part? Besides it looking near identical to the real deal (well, as close as they could make it) it even comes with chopsticks.


This is the type of gimmick that can shoot this precious holiday from a Hallow-weiner to a Hallow-winner.

Really, this is the finest display of gummy I've seen in a long time, even rivaling that of the hulking glob of bear-shaped sugar goo I found a year back.

It was one of the first things I blogged about. I was captivated by the enormity of it all, and the transluscent, glowing behemoth ultimately played a big part to give my life over to all things gummy. The fact that it's shaped like a Teddy Graham is all the more better. Which brings us to the here and now.

The Body Parts Sushi Roll is a must have.

But lastly, I'd like to point out that since I am the one and only martial artist guitarist, I like to think of this as possible fuel and energy during my training. A go-to snack for endurance, power and undeniable rock and roll skills.

"Kung-food," if you will.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Tuesday is awesome. Because Tuesday, this Tuesday, I have received a gift. A "Happy Halloween!" kinda gift. Good timing, too, because Halloween is coming up. Did you know that Halloween was coming up?

What are you? What secrets do you hide behind your hard, plastic exterior?

I already know. And it's unbelievable.

Nestled within the confines of suppressed data and science-y stuff, every friggin' episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000!" The Calabrese Manor will be lit up with joy and cheer. A celebration will be had!

Katie Lynn, a great pal o' mine, sent this to me. I don't really deserve such nice things, but I will have you know, I am the greatest gift receiver. I'm just so natural when it comes to these kinds of abilities, and I'm sure that, in the end, it surely must count for something.

Now, we talk online and around Facebook, about this and that, so on and so forth. Mainly, we talk about "Mystery Science Theater 3000." We bonded, she took time and effort to offer a token of our friendship through a brick of burnt DVDs and I've been smiling since.

I will, no doubt, return the favor.

Just give me, like, nine years.

I can't wait to watch this. It might take up the rest of year, but it puts me in just the right mood for Halloween. "MST3K" isn't necessarily Halloween-ish, but at this juncture in my life, I stopped caring about all that. Anything I like while in the thirty-one day time frame of October is now, by law, considered Halloween-ish -- life is way more fun while in this mindset. Why, just the other day I took the best Halloween Nap of my life! Did I also mention that I Halloween Flossed my teeth last night, too?

I don't understand the technical process behind this creation, nor the legality of this bundled up, copyrighted mess, but I thank you, I thank everyone behind this and I thank them with all of my heart. And truly, I promise to visit you in jail at least once a month when you're caught, prosecuted and locked up for the crimes you've commited.

Included was a vampire poppet, who looks to be made of papier mache and is missing his legs. This doesn't pose a problem, because without his legs, his pants/shoes are free to dangle wildly. He will sit and eat popcorn with me, floppy limbs and all. This is his function. This is his life.

Also, I'm glad I got to use the word "poppet." I like that word. Poppet.

And if all that wasn't enough, I'm rewarded with bloody fingers, too!

I fancy myself a connoisseur of the fake hand, a triumphant gag gift that can either be really mundane and goofy or sick and fucked up looking. It's just a whole lotta fun, whether you lay one out on your coffee table for guffaws or use it to practice hip, urban handshakes with. The fake hand is unique, versatile and multifaceted. Now, fake fingers? It's a whole 'nother beast we're screwing with.

I like them. There's at least that. I get a more sinister feeling with fake fingers, though, which is great for when Halloween is turning into too much of a pussy. The broken bones, blood streaks and life-like fingernails really add to the Halloween horror, so suck it up and grow a pair, boys, this is the real deal. Lay 'em out in your front yard or throw them into your friend's Mountain Dew, the world is ours!

It's weird, getting fingers sent in the mail makes it seem like a loved one has been kidnapped and tortured. If you notice, there's only four fingers presented, too. Makes me wonder...where's the fifth and final finger? To me, it looks like the ring finger is missing, which might generate an even deeper meaning behind the Case of the Four Fingered Hand. Is there something behind all this tomfoolery? Is this the final piece to the puzzle? Chew on that, dear readers.

Coming up next:

Monster masks! Creepy toys! Wet pumpkin guts FTW!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


A few months back, a one James Balsamo e-mailed me. It was a proposal of incredible measure, bathed in secrecy and confidentiality. If I were to accept, fortune and glory would very well be in the palm of my hand. You see, it was an offer to lend a track in a new film called "Hack Job," a horror/comedy about a couple of dudes who get a script from Satan to make the best friggin' movie ever. And so enters a healthy helping of unrated nudity, repulsive gore and the kind of juvenile zaniness you'd expect from a Lloyd Kaufman film. Who, of course, is in the film.


Many months later we get this:

Ta-da! James Balsamo, that kind fellow that he is, sent us a bunch of copies and other swag to keep my Halloween season running smoothly. The movie is out, the movie is going into DVD players across the world and yay!

If owning a horror flick featuring my band's music on it doesn't revive the weak Halloween mojo in my apartment, I don't know what will. The bragging rights alone can last well into Thanksgiving.

Being a part of any film, however small or large, is awesome. But this is awesome because of two very special reasons:

First off, and most importantly, this means we're that much closer to becoming international playboys. My current playboy status is only country wide -- I seek global. I demand planetary. And with one more movie soundtrack under my belt, I'm slowly building my empire and slipping into my role as degenerate philanderer.

Secondly, I really like having my band name on the same billing as Gwar. Yes, all the other bands make me giddy and happy, but Gwar is a personal win for me. Their giant masks and rubbery monster dongs have both been captivating and delighting me for years, and if I wasn't afraid of online rumors and continual harassment from my peers, I'd say I was happy as a schoolgirl right now. A sexy, buxom schoolgirl.

What? Don't believe my loudmouthed rumblings?

See? Right THERE!

In truth, I didn't really need to show you that, as the name "Calabrese" is well apparent in the first photo. I kinda had this photo floating around as a backup, and in my heart, I know I simply cannot waste it. I also realized I only had two photos to work yeah, you understand. But, if anything, you get a zoomed up/in-depth photo of a big, drawn boob. Kinda cool, right?

Speaking of that drawn boob:

Jeffrey Zornow, the dude who did our "Devil Goat" t-shirt a while back, is also the man with a plan behind creating the cover art/t-shirt design of "Hack Job." Looks great, Jeff. I love it like my own child.

He did our art, he did "Hack Job's" art, we mixed, we matched, beauty unfolded. It's a mentally balanced thing, and because of this, I feel even more connected to the universe right now. If I knew what "chi" was, I'd say I had a load of it bubbling up inside of me right now. "Chi" means "fart," right?

If you're wondering if this was an attempted review of the film or a simple task in taking photos of all the pretty things people send me, I really can't tell you. It's kind of a cocktail blend of the two. Plus a boob and stuff.

Dig it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's Get This Halloween Party Started.

Every Halloween season I'm going to buy black and orange crap. It's just the way it is and there's no way around it -- it's a cold, hard fact. As soon as I was able to muster the courage to buy socks with tiny ghosts on it, my life was changed. The doorway to my own personal hell was blown wide open.

In my world, the grand tradition of hunting and gathering all the best and worst Halloween decorations rivals that of a ritzy cruise on a large boat, or finding a really cool hat that actually looks good on you. A comfortable one, too, mind you. BASICALLY IT'S JUST REALLY GREAT.

Usually, this is a month of spending way too much and not regretting a damn thing about it, but I've noticed that things have changed over time. These days, I'm not sure I need any more porcelain in the shape of a pumpkin, or the many different and unique versions of a severed hand.

I dunno, now I'm starting to sound like a grump. Maybe the Halloween Spirit hasn't hit me yet, or maybe it's because I've yet to even bother. I haven't been to a costume shop yet, I've procrastinated the planning out of my annual scary movie marathon and there hasn't been a single appearance of any kind of popcorn ball.

My life is in shambles.

And I need an intervention. I need to get off my ass and get going before it's the beginning of November and I wish I was dead. I love to complain, but the best thing I can do at this point is to hike up my pants, put on a pot of strong coffee and do. Do it all and do it fast. Get all Halloween-y all up in my shit.

So, that being said, I'm starting a new tradition this year.

Carving jack-o-lanterns, scanning daytime television for any Roseanne Halloween episodes, wishing it was colder outside, etc. All are well crafted and established traditions, but the idea of starting my own? It's already lifting me out of my funk.

For about a year, I've been collecting my loose change in a bright orange pumpkin pail. A few cents here, a handful of quarters there, whatever I could spare. You know how this works so I'll shut up now.

Well, the other day I decided to officially bag them up, rolled 'em into their wiener casings and took them to the bank. Normally, I'd chuck them into the automatic change counters, but I don't wanna pay the fee for their services, and I dare not donate this to whatever charity they're pushing (they give you a last-minute option to be a saint) but this is fuck-you Halloween, not good-Samaritan Christmas, SO NO THANK YOU.

Here's my plan:

I cashed in my year of hard work, and will now use all the money from this Great Pumpkin to enhance my docile Halloween mood. If there's one thing I know, it's how to work some magical retail therapy. It'll be my Happy Halloween Good Time Bucket, granting devilish wishes and desires all under the predetermined price range. I will instantly want towring, commanding gifts, but will have to settle for bent cutouts of Dracula's face, and that's a-okay with me. Take me to a better place, HGTB.

First off, I couldn't hit up the big stuff right off the bat. I had to ease into my HGTB adventure. I had to start small, naturally, then go nuts. But since my change exchange didn't drop that much money into my lap, and I had some time to think with a clear mind, I figured I'd go for the stuff I've had my eye on for a while. All the non-Halloween and completely unrelated things to what I'm bloggin about this very moment, basically. HGTB, lead the way.

Now, my Amazon wish list is huge. I've been addicted to this site ever since my first stint took me to a glorious new world a scant eight months ago, when I realized what a beautiful marketplace for junk it is. To me, it seems like a less confusing eBay, which I like. And almost every week I add terribly unimportant things to it, in hopes that one day I'll be able to cross everything off. Playing "I Want This" is a great game to play.

So I bought that thing above! But what is it?

A Guitar Wolf poster! It's not the biggest poster around, which I tried to hide with such a zoomed in angle, but it gets the point across. Cool dudes looking cool. It's from their "Planet of the Wolves" album, which sounds like crap but it's called "Planet of the Wolves," so all is forgiven.

If I had to base my entire life around something, it would be this poster. If you know me, you know my love for Guitar Wolf. They're just cool. It's all I can ever say.

For ten dollars, I now have a new deity/inspirational mantra. "Planet of the Wolves" will be chanted for no warranted reason, but I know it'll make me feel all good and merry inside. I'm going to hang it up in my closet and lay out lit candles in honor, awe and exaltation.

I know it's October 6th, and although that may be early for some, it's damn late for me. So, without further adieu.

Let's get this Halloween party started.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Myspace Memory Lane.

Happy October! I know, with a name like "Bobby Vamp," you all expect some Halloween happy-time blog posts from me, and honestly, your expectations are expected. How many times can I write the word "expected?"

Clearly, this sexy month is prime for the H-ween picking, but this month is also dumb busy for yours truly. We always have shows during the year, but this month we have shows. Like, tons of 'em. And with these shows plaguing the entire month, the only times I'm free to sit down in front of the computer is to casually let everyone on Facebook know what movie I just watched and to, band stuff. I just don't have enough time to write about my favorite things during my favorite month as much as I like to, and for that, I apologize. But any other year, I swear, I really do make October my bitch.

But I promise to get more Halloween-y in the weeks to come. How can I not? The aisles of Target call to me, the dollar store beckons! As a member of Calabrese, it is my duty, and, really, how can I pass up a really great excuse to spend the rent on pumpkin plushies and spooky candles?


The other day I had to update something on myspace, which, by all accounts, is no easy task. The once massive forum for personal messaging and sharing personal photos is now a deserted wasteland that just really slows the fuck outta my computer. The small task of adding pictures is painful, creating social events is confusing and generally just navigating the entire forum is mind numbing. Basically, everything that was relatively easy on myspace is now Goddamn impossible.

Whatever self-destructing reasons or conspiracy theories are behind myspace's creeping decline, I don't know. But somehow, Calabrese still gets most of our traffic directly from myspace, so I'm still forced to update just as much as I used to. It's weird to think this online bloated corpse pushes an audience our way, but it is what it is. I guess I'm a slave for life.

Granted, things like commenting and messaging are so dead and gone (our last real, non-spam comment was from over a year ago) but it's still a pain in the ass. As soon as I'm logged on, sadness quickly ensues and I'm trying to get in and out as soon as possible.

All is not lost with myspace, though. If anything, it provides an interesting look into the past, into what once was, into all the junk we were, like...really fucking obsessed with.

Remember band banners? AIM icons? Customized "add me" boxes? I do. Because you had to. Because if you were a band and didn't have these marvelous tools you weren't shit.

These were the days of crappy websites and a boring myspace layout. The greatest thing to do, as a band, was to have a ton of incredible images jumping around and promoting whatever crap you were promoting. Near the end of myspace's run, it certainly was essential , and we took it seriously.

The point of this post is to honor the long lost tradition of flashy, moving band ads. In this day and age, there's no place for such frivolity, but I'm not the kind to bow out of the game that easily. I miss these things, if only because they looked really darn cool. And because they're being hosted by us and I'm never letting them go. Ever.

Let's start!

This was a part of our first batch of banners, as evidenced by one of our earlier and mildly embarrassing photo. It was created and designed by one of our friends, who, at the time, daringly wanted, and awkwardly attempted, to film a music video for us. We sang in front of a green screen for a few hours and had our buddy run around his living room couch with a machete...and then the whole thing was scrapped. Probably for the best.

Keep in mind, there's a lot more from this era, which you can find by clicking a few links near the bottom of this blog. If you love me, you'll stay the course and keep on reading. But if you hate me, you'll skip on ahead and your computer will burn up and explode.

But look at that thing! Man, we really thought this was cool. You were the cream of the crop if you cared that much about your band, or at least pretended to care. Hell, we didn't even have to have music at this point, this banner made it look like you not only had a few hit albums out, but were touring the globe and making heaps of money. Which is just the lie we were looking for!

Don't be fooled, dear readers, because this was just the tip of our online juggernaut. Much more to come!

Our next album, "The Traveling Vampire Show" ushered in bigger and better banners (which isn't obvious from the above) but we had everything whipped up for us. Giant headers, side things, miniature things that flashed and popped, etc. It was incredible, and we took full advantage of over saturating the online universe with our crap.

We even had a grip of "add me" images made, too, which is beyond obsolete these days. For those that aren't privy, they were used to spice up the average myspace profile, and only just a minor touch to our incredible online enterprise. Man, we were kings of over-doing your band profile. I mean, you had to go above and beyond, and we did. We had it all. WE RULED THE INTERNETS.

But, as they say, all things must die. Especially these banners. Unfortunately, I really like the way they look, and the wasted effort and energy spent creating and learning the bare minimum of .html is heartbreaking. They're all just WWW trash at this point -- but I ain't getting rid of them just yet. Forever they will stay hosted online, immortal and untouched.

For the next album we did more of the same, which is to say we now tripled our database of offensive eyesores. I have a feeling we contributed to myspace's destruction.

We got our buddy, Eric Blair to do these (I think he did 'em for the previous record, too) but this run of ads are my favorites. Lots of neat colors, radiating eyes, words commanding your money. It was a beautiful thing that a select few had the privilege to witness, and although our myspace is still up with these exact banners flapping in the online wind, it just ain't the same. It's hard to rationalize or even wonder why, but I miss it. I miss those wild and exciting days of beautiful, simple and extraordinary myspace. Let us pray.

Anyway, check it out if you're curious as to what we were up to in the last eight years! Or, if you're busy, check back in another eight, because they'll still be hosted in a eternal online limbo. Trust me. and at!