Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Mystery Box!

Mystery Box, how do you do? Where did you come from? What will you bring to the table to keep this Tuesday night from sucking ass? Mystery Box, what the hell is inside you?

Well, hey!

M.U.S.C.L.E., Monster in My Pocket and those tiny Marvel superhero figures I bought a while back, blogged about and hid away as soon as I was done -- that's what's hidden inside your plain, white walls. All are great and fun and wonderful, but the Marvel stuff, at this junction in my life, is not worthy in comparison to M.U.S.C.L.E. and Monster in My Pocket, but where else was I to store them? For today, cast aside they shall be.

Now, I notice I tend to repeat the same sentiment over and over -- I like beer, I love it when it's not Monday and I'm obsessed with tiny, collectible ghouls and freaks that resemble bright and delicious candy. I'm not sorry about that. I yam what I yam.

These were in a corner of my room, mixed in with old notebooks of lyrics from six years ago and dust covered Halloween decorations. I can't say I totally forgot they were even there, but when I retrieved a dropped alarm clock and caught glimpse of an unmarked, mysterious box, I couldn't help but be drenched in curiosity.

Grabbed it, set it aside, opened slowly and dramatically. My mouth was salivating and agape, my eyes were wide and feral. I'm telling you, guys, it really was dramatic.

It's a good thing it contained a menagerie of evil monster plastic, because if this Mystery Box...if any Mystery Box, for that matter, was filled with used guitar picks or old Dunkin' Donuts receipts, I would have went into a hate filled rage. I would have pounded my fist on the table, cursed loudly and nursed my broken hand with ice because I have weak bones don't judge me.

Basically, you don't fuck with Mystery Boxes. You just don't.

Look at them. Just look at it. How could you not fall in love? An entire universe of bizarre and horrible little creatures to collect, play with and chew on. If these weren't already riddled with bite marks and dirt, they'd already be in my mouth.

Growing up, I had a ton of these damn things. I swear, each gargoyle-faced freak brings a number of good memories, whether it be throwing them into the bathtub for underwater adventures or just being terrified of the one M.U.S.C.L.E. dude who was half naked and had really creepy looking lips.

Do you know what I'm talking about? M.U.S.C.L.E and Monster in My Pocket? I understand it's good etiquette and style, but I hate recapping and summarizing for the sake of setting up a story and creating a general literary direction. It's time consuming, hurts my head and I'd much rather assume we're all on the same page here -- it's so much easier thinking we all grew up in the same town, played with the same toys and watched the same cartoons. Astonishingly delusional, but much easier.

Every couple of weeks I get the urge to hit up eBay in attempt to buy the remaining four thousand of them in one massive purchase, but my past happiness and all the childish memories can never be duplicated, however much money I spend. See: I don't have any more room in my apartment.

It was hard to choose my Top Three, so I took a stance and specifically went on what personally effects me on a deep and emotional level, and which ones could actually stand up for a photo.

Purple Robot: I can't say this doesn't resemble Rosie from The Jetsons, nor can I say that a blocky android can hold a candle to other such characters in the lot. You've got a six-armed monster here and man-snakes over there, how in the world can this grape computer even compete? I think it's the simplicity. It works for me. That or I just really like robots.

Pink Turtle With a Vest: This was an easy choice. Monster in My Pocket was a medley of Draculas and spider-women to have and love, keep in your overalls and talk to before you went to be. No violence or anger was intended. M.U.S.C.L.E, on the other had, was a line of toys to snatch up and pit against one another. They're mini-wrestlers with big attitudes and fucked up genes that have mutated their bodies into godless wolves, inhumane beasts from far off worlds and...well, a turtle. A fucking turtle. Against an army of madmen and the deranged. Pink Turtle With a Vest is an underdog, a true believer in a fight against his life, and that is why he deserves a spot in my list. He has a vest, wears shoes and parties on the weekends.

And in a fight, that ferocious turtle beak is a hell of a game changer. Trust me.

Red Demon Bird: Mostly, with both toy lines, you're offered a lot of bruisers and musclemen (duh) so a candy-apple red eagle of death is just the right mix of weird and supernatural to stand above and beyond the pack. He can fly, he can punch and he can peck really hard. I only chose the adjective "supernatural" because I deem him capable of ghostly feats. Like cruising through solid brick walls or spying on a ton of boobies.

And for the record, yes, they are holding each other's hands.

What a beautiful thing to end on.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Comic Books I Will Never Read.

...because they're in Italian.

And because I can't read.

This post takes me back to a time of wonder and awe, pleasure and ultimate paradise. Today, we travel back to a foreign land of pizza and lots of Peroni. Today, I take you back to our two week tour/vacation/international playboy-ing in beautiful and scenic Europe!

When we played in Europe, I was born anew. Let me preface this by saying that "Europe," to me, only really means Italy and Germany. We drove through Switzerland, which was nice, but the best review I could come up with is "that they sell hardcore porno mags in their gas stations." Italy and Germany were the money, baby, and I was their to pluck a guitar, sign a few autographs and just soak it all in.

I cannot begin tell you how amazing these two countries are, and how my passion and desire to go back grows each and every day. I may be talking out of my ass here, but I think I'm going to proclaim, Germany withstanding, that Italy is The Greatest Place on Earth.

Germany has it's perks, mind you, and I even went back a year later to hang out, sight-see and be continually inebriated for days on end. So there's no denying I'm a fan, but Italy? Italy, man! Mama mia! Pizza calzone! Bafangul! Shabba-dabba-ding-dong!

I think I like it because it was so new at the time. Nothing is too different, but every now and then it felt like you were in Bizzarro World. Why do people drink coffee out of miniature teacups? Do people really eat cheese and tomato paninis, like, every day? And is that a jeans ad with a tasteful amount of nude boob?

I understand we were on tour with a group of heavy drinking, chain smoking scoundrels, but I couldn't help get the vibe that everyone was a heavy drinking, chain smoking scoundrel. Also, I understand we never went anywhere outside of a major city, so what may seem like a party in Milan may not have been the case in...well, the outside of Milan. I need to brush up on geography.

I liked Italy. A lot. Good food, great coffee and everyone looked like a well-tailored supermodel. I know, I know. We were in crowded cities where shopping for expensive clothing seemed to be the only available activity, so my perception is more than a little skewed. It just seemed like everyone was really relaxed and joyful in eating bricks of Parmigiana cheese, drinking a bottle of beer whenever it felt right and sucking down packs of cigarettes like students in a high-school bathroom.

But alas, as they say, the grass is always greener.


I don't think we had any real time in between shows to check anything outside of the venue we were playing at, let alone even dare hunt for souvenirs, but I managed to haphazardly count out a fistful of Euros to pay for a few funny books.

As seen above, you have Dylan Dog.

Ahh, yes. My first look into popular Italian comics, thanks to a missed flight and a few hours spent in the airport terminal. These were in a gift shop, which is amazing to think you can find a comic book about a paranormal crime fighter next to Vogue and everything else that looks like Vogue.

"Amazing" might not be the right word. More along the lines of "pleasant." But still, Italian airport > US airport. In the states, unless you really, really like Sudoku or People, you're shit out of luck for the flight over. Lord knows the tears I've shed over the loss of Mad Magazine (I haven't seen one on store shelves in years) which was the only tried-and-true option for an entertaining flight that doesn't involve blasting music in your ears for six straight hours.

I've read a few Dylan Dog comics months later, when they released a fat volume in English. It's actually kind of a bizarre read -- Dylan Dog's sidekick is Groucho Marx, endless scenes of moodiness and despair and Dylan Dog sleeping with any woman he comes in contact with. It's a lot like James Bond, but super fucking goth.

Did you see the movie? The one that reinvented the phrase "sucks ass?" I'm not one to judge a film by horrible reviews and online jeers, so I've taken the first step to forming my own opinion by adding Dylan Dog to my Netflix Instant Queue. And in there, it will wait to be played, until I'm just drunk enough to not give a fuck.

I picked up some Diabolik, too.

I know little of the character, save for the fact that he wears a really cool body suit and does a lot of mysterious and sexy things.

Admittedly, these have been tucked away in a bookcase for a while now, but looking at them today, I really wish I picked up more. If I could pick out something from underneath a pile of literary rubble to represent me, my life and who I am as a person, this would be it. Close Second:

The "Choose Your Own Adventure" book where you stole floppy discs containing top secret blueprints to sinister and nefarious deeds of destruction. Your character was a kid, which was easy to relate to as Young Me, except the harrowing fact that you were, without any other option, shot and killed. Not sure what the title of the specific book was called, but that's neither here nor there. I've read that damn thing so many times without surviving, it makes me question whether or not there's even an option to win. You read along, made choices, took baby steps to surviving the game and BAM. You die and you die hard. The Bad Guys who want their devious plans back pulled no punches in achieving their goal. Bullet holes through your gut, thrown over a bridge, blown up in a rigged car, whatever. YOU WERE A LITTLE KID AND YOU DIED FOR DAMN FLOPPY DISCS.

It haunts me to this day. And that's why I love it so.

Now, I could open them Diaboliks up and at least look at all the pretty pictures, but I don't wanna ruin the beauty of such a presentation. "Diabolik" goes above and beyond, offering a trinket of good fortune with each issue.

I scored a paper key-chain, a knife-wielding Diabolik hologram and...that. My heart says "switchblade," but my good sense says "not a switchblade."

How cool would it to get a plastic switchblade with this issue? The endless possibilities, the imagination on overdrive as you re-enact brutal stabbings! As far as I'm concerned, that IS a switchblade, and that means that Diabolik rules, the airport I bought these in rule and Italy rules!

Yay Italy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Best of the Rest.

Try as I might, but I cannot stop talking about Christmas. I can't stop thinking, dreaming or wondering about my favorite season of the year. Such a great time for everyone, filled with gifts and joy and getting blitzed into unconsciousness. It's like Halloween, but instead of candy there's video games and DVDs. Instead of pumpkin flavored soda, there's disgusting eggnog. Instead of monster masks, there's scratchy white wigs and reindeer antlers. It's not much of a selling point, but fuck you. Christmas rules.

This is my attempt to close the book on Christmas, allowing no more blogs, whining or crying over it. Christmas is over, and I accept it. I can't extend it any further, and by the time I truly give it up it'll be Thanksgiving. So let's just end it, shall we?

With that, these are the Best of the Rest, 2011. The gifts I love the most, and will lovingly cherish until I remove them from the kitchen table so I can use the kitchen table.

What? What is this thing? Oh, it's just a little something called "Sushi Panic." I think.

The woman gave this to me, knowing full well of my deep love for sushi and anything colorful and confusing. All I could surmise was that this above was indeed a game, where plastic pieces of sushi were going to be shooting up and around and all over.

Without any English, the only instructions were detailed on the back via an image of an angry, shouting man. Tell me all your secrets, Shouting Man.

You're given a pack of tiny cards with a picture of each piece of raw fish. The logical answer is that a player deals a card, palms their sushi and ever so carefully sets it on the rigged table. Yes, the table is rigged to explode when too much weight is applied, where a steady hand and pure luck are the key elements to winning this game. The yellow piece weighs more than the grey one, the tiny ones are the lightest, etc. There's no strategy, and everything is based on what crappy card you draw, which is both fun and infuriating at the same time.

I like the guy above. We have a connection. I don't feel like my expression is too far off from his when the shit explodes, because I really, really hate cleaning up after myself.

I think the best part is that the pieces of sushi look like actual pieces of sushi. I refuse to take them all out of the box to show you, as that would require taking them out of the box. But believe me when I tell you that because of this game, my Asian-themed bathroom has never looked better. If it wasn't for Sushi Panic, I never would have truly realized that I'm slowly turning the place where I shit into a full blown Japanese nightclub.

Marvel Comics' Wolverine Headphones!

I've never understood the fascination people have with outrageous and bedazzled headphones. I feel it's one of those things where you're perfectly fine with any pair as long as music comes out of them. Unless you're a DJ or a douche, you don't need these.

...but these have Wolverine on it, so yeah, you need these.

I feel like if I wore these headphones and became merely a quarter as cool as what I see above, I'm safe. Though, truthfully, I don't see myself using something like this, even if they are emblazoned with the coolest comic book character ever. I like the cover art, I like the idea, but wearing tiny ear buds with Wolverine's face on it is something I'm gonna try to avoid in this lifetime. The last thing I need to do is draw attention to myself with Wolverine headphones, especially when I look like I'm desperately trying to look like Wolverine, assuming Wolverine grew his hair out and was called "ma'am" on a regular basis.

Not pictured is the actual product, I know. I tore it open, lost a few of those rubbery cushion things and in a fit of rage, dumped the entire thing in Junk Drawer #12.

My niece, knowing full well as to what Uncle Bobby likes, tops off the list with Ninja, an artful combination of dollar store craftsmanship and shockingly vague packaging.

She hit the nail on the head with this because I love it. I think most children under twelve can pick out an incredible gift for me, and if this was a Zhu Zhu Pet I would have upped and died. I kinda-sorta-maybe want a Zhu Zhu Pet. I kinda-sorta-shouldn't have put that on the Internet.

Loud, proud and with really, really toned leg muscles.

I suppose, to be a ninja, you need to work on your calves and quads, because how else to you scale walls and do triple flips into abandoned warehouses?

My ninjas are based in modern times, mind you. I'm still debating whether they're the "good guys" or the "bad guys," but all I know is that they go up against mobsters with ponytails and the owner of a seedy strip club with gold rings and frosted tips. So by that description, I'd have to assume that they are, in fact, good ninjas. Good job, ninjas!

My favorite would be Red Ninja, equipped with everything an up and coming ninja would need -- kabuki mask, fashionable "three lined" belt and an unbelievably red sword.

Yellow Ninja, seen in the back, is hurt over this, and refuses to have his photo taken. He's jealous and acting out, not unlike a young child. Yellow Ninja needs to accept that his sword doesn't resemble a lightsaber, and that the mere notion of a lightsaber being yellow is outlandish and ludicrous. Yellow Ninja is in denial, and needs to be reprimanded for his insolence. Sorry, Yellow Ninja, but you suck.

And with that, a final Merry Christmas!

Well, until next Christmas.

Guhh, I can't wait.

Monday, January 9, 2012

"Monstrous Menagerie" Mask!

Me like!

Cheap rubber mask is fun and thrilling, good to wear or use as a small brick in the house of junk you've built in your tiny apartment. Me think it more like mansion, which is dumb thing to say, 'cause how can mansion fit in apartment? Me brain hurts.

Point is, me think hoarders got nothing on me. Me now have smelly mask to dance around and be wild and carefree while dancing around, making the dance all the more fantastic because there's a troll face on me face. Me favorite thing to do today, even though me think it's not holiday-appropriate.

You see, me want to show more of me Christmas haul, but me take side route into mask wearing and picture taking. Me feel like sexy model! Can you deny me sexy model time? Who does you think you are, anyway?

Me no worry, though. Me no cheat on Christmas. Me live a vicarious lifestyle that blends holidays together. One day it Easter, the next day it be Thanksgiving. Today? Today is January 9th, Hallow-fucking-ween.

Me know absurdity run rampant, but me also know that all the holidays are gone and me left with boring January to comfort me through these tough times. Is it Valentine's Day next? When is Labor Day? Do people eat cake and get drunk on Columbus Day? This is all me have, don't take it away from me. Say me, "Let us rejoice! Let us indulge in a monster mask!"

I like me "Monster Menagerie" mask because it makes Mondays so much more fun. Me know it's cliche, but me hate Mondays. If I won the lottery and high-fived Johnny Depp tonight, this Monday would still suck. Me think it's somethign in the air, a natural doom and gloom mood you're stuck with until Tuesday morning. Oh well.

If I could run errands with this on, me life would be all the more entertaining. Unfortunately, me do have errands to run, but me would much rather sit in me apartment, face buried inside this rubbery Fortress of Solitude. Me think groceries will have to come another day. Me have no shame eating old teriyaki sauce and Raisinettes for dinner tonight.

Me not sure why this need another picture. Me think one would be enough to get the point across, but one cannot question the beauty and triumph of this mask. Look at the droopy eye, the cherry-red tongue, the snarled and crooked teeth. It's like wearing a mask of me own face! Double Halloween Surprise!

Tommorow comes soon, me had me fun. Thank you, Monster Menagerie Mask. Maybe see you next Monday.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Merry Christmas to me, I got a Jerry Only.

I rhymed, and it was awesome.

This Christmas, I beat the system. I barely bought anyone anything and I walked away with presents and gifts and happiness. That might paint me as an asshole, but if you were to spin it in any way possible, one could say that I, through goodwill and grace, let everyone look better and feel better about their gift-giving. Kind of like taking one for the team, ya know? People are happier with themselves, cheer is in the air and we can all sleep better at night when we all have a common disgust to be all disgusted about.

I'm a jerk, but it's for the greater good.

Now, I understand it's the new year. I started writing this before then, but...you know how it goes. Directly after Christmas I melted into the couch and New Year's Eve physically and mentally ruined my body and soul. Still, I feel we're under the "Christmas umbrella," where we can keep on talking about it days past without feeling weird and pathetic. I think it ends tomorrow, though. We'll all hate Christmas tomorrow.

A good friend of mine, for the past few years, buys me a gift for Christmas. This is the same guy I never buy anything for, which definitely follows my Holiday Business Model but really, really makes me look like a douche. I know this. I'm starting to feel guilty, but I can't right now because I got a present and that's all that I can think about let's open it up yay!

To my surprise and delight, it was Jerry Only!

Actually, it wasn't that much of a surprise. I'm the type who actually pokes and gropes their wrapped presents to identify what's inside, as if collecting toys and trinkets wasn't childlike enough. Point is, the shape I felt through this blind and calculated examination was like, well...it was like a coffin. Something good and Misfits-y was surely afoot.

Now, the dude who gave this to me offered two options in a game of Christmas Chance. While being the greatest dude in the world to even bother getting me something, he let me choose my ultimate destiny, too.

Two equally wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree, two exact looking presents nestled ever so lovingly under the branches of a plastic pine. One was to go to me, the other would go directly to my mortal enemy: Davey Calabrese.

And the choice was mine to pick, right here and right now.

Prize A? Prize B?

I chose Prize A, and I got Jerry Only.

Obviously, I love this. When they were first introduced, I missed the boat and am now left with wishful thinking and eBay lurking. They ain't too expensive to get a hold of, but I'm in the majority that would rather get this (and anything else) for free.

One Christmas, years ago, I was Jimmy's Secret Santa, and bought him Jerry and Doyle for his gift. Looking back, that was the nicest thing I have ever done. Looking back still, I'm shocked I didn't buy a pair for myself, too. I wonder if it was during my "I hate everything" stage?

I opened this up and had myself a few different scenarios play out through my head. Because of Jerry Only, I could only surmise that what was hidden in Secret Present Number 2 was, in fact, Doyle.

Did I want Doyle over Jerry? Was Jerry the right choice? I could easily tear open Secret Present Number 2, re-wrap both gifts and have Davey none the wiser.

I think I'm good. The other package did contain Doyle, but I'm satisfied with the outcome.

I like Jerry's custom bass guitar (look at that one-eyed skull thing!) and the neat looking vest. Both Misfit brothers sport equal amounts of wrestling and football accessories, but only one sibling has that gnarly vest. Oh, and dangly arm tassels.

Friggin' arm tassels.