Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quick and Crappy Coffee House Reviews: Gold Bar.

I've never been to the Gold Bar coffee shop. It stares at me from the sushi joint across the way, from the pizza shack or the other coffee shop right behind it. Fortunately, with all the restaurants and gas stations surrounding the area, there's a lot of traffic to be had for the Gold Bar, raking in a new and thirsty clientele at any given time. Unfortunately, that other coffee shop right behind it? Fucking Starbucks.

But the Gold Bar tries, Goddammit. They really do. I did a little research, found out they existed since 1994, so it's not their fault they've been cornered and pooped on by the biggest coffee conglomerate in the world. Wait, the world? Is Starbucks really that big? I already did my research. Through with the research for today.

If anything, the name alone is peculiar. It brings to mind an entire room molded out of gold, or instead of the building made of brick, bars of gold line the walls. Hell, the name makes you think it's a bar. There's so much confusion and disorientation, how can you not wanna stop on by?

Which I did, of course.

From the outside, you're not given much to go on, save for the fact that I'm a terrible photographer. If it's any excuse, I'm inside the safety of my car, and the angle was hard and all sorts of fucked up. Because there is no way I'm going to stand in front of the place and actively snap a photo, with thousands of gazing passerby looking in my direction. What passerby? That passerby:

Two dudes sipping on a cup of Joe. Not even sure if they're even doing that, but it doesn't change the fact that they're there, minding their own business, and NOT being bothered by a weirdo with a moderately modern smart phone.

Plus, the bald guy looks tough. In a "cut-off blue jeans" sorta way.

I went in, stood at the counter and carefully went over the menu. Coffee, standard mix of baked goods and desserts, whatever. I waited for a good five minutes, carefully deciding and planning.

And I waited some more.

Normally, the wait would be absurd, which it was, but the game instantly changed after that. Time was of no concern. 'Cause shit just got real.

My barrista, late and nonchalant, finally made her appearance...and was super cute.

I was taken aback. You can't expect everyone you run into to be a slob like yourself, but nothing makes you feel more like a slob like a hot girl in a coffee shop taking your drink order. I instantly thought of my clothes, how they weren't cool enough, my unshaven and pube-like facial hair -- it was a blast of instant regret for the last three weeks of personal grooming procrastination.

What-the-fuck-ever. I'm an adult. A grown man, I say! Someone like me doesn't revert to high-school antics by stammering and stuttering when face to face with a pretty girl. It's absurd! It's outrageous! It's exactly what I did!

Oh, well. I ordered a small coffee to go, loaded it with cream and walked out. Good thing I was befuddled enough to totally forget to take photos of the inside, right? Right!

Not sure what I did, or how I came off looking, but I decided the best route was to walk back in acting like "a guy who changed his mind on where to sit." Did a lot of "hmm" faces, looked left and right, stroked my chin and took a seat in the back, which was kinda the worst idea ever. From that vantage point, I couldn't get a single image of anything besides a wooden post and a tray, which also looks wooden. I was flustered, annoyed and getting the overwhelming sense that people thought I was up to no good.

Not pictured: comfy couches and many chairs in the corner, a section for a band to set up to play soft, coffee accompanying music, books and paintings and stained glass windows lining the walls. A total nook in every sense of the word, like a library you'd find lonely detectives and anyone who smokes from a pipe.

You can blame the lack of pictures on that girl, or the fact that I label this review as "quick and crappy." If there's one thing about me, it's that I stay true to my word. Crap is what I offered, and crap is what you'll get.

And is what you just got.

Oh, and the coffee was alright.  I mean, it was good, but it's just coffee.

Am I right or am I right?

Monday, April 9, 2012


You know the drill. We get pictures of ourselves thrusting and pouting and pursed lips, and I post them all over my blog, crossing my fingers that it will one day successfully muck up internet search streams with our bright and shiny faces.

The goal is simple -- to invade everyone's personal space with Calabrese. It's a lofty mission, but there ain't no harm in trying. By nature, I'm a "glass half empty" kinda guy, but I'm glad to switch sides to "glass half full," only if it meant the contents of the glass in question was Calabrese related. Like a Calabrese beer, or cold and refreshing water sprinkled with Calabrese Magic. Because we do magic. Did you know we were magical?

Anyways, photos. These were taken for our soon-to-be-released album, done by Andy Hartmark in the Calabrese Manor. We truly are a broken record (Andy's been taking our photos for years) but why mess with success? And who else can handle our wacky shit?

Karate kicks, knives, Kalabrese -- it's all here! A hypnotic blast of electro-mastery and high definition delirium! Step right up and enjoy the show!
CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

CALABRESE - Believe in Rock and Roll!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Secret Admirer.

I'm hungover.

My head hurts, my guts feel rotten and the only salvation is a Vitamin Water and the floor in front of the television. At this point, I'm not good enough for the comforts of a couch. The couch is above me, literally and figuratively, and for me to even consider lying on top of it is an even bigger sin that the ones I've committed the night before. The floor is where I belong. It is my penance.

All details aside, I'm in a bad place. My body, polluted. My money, gone. The guilt alone has caused me to denounce everything I took part in to create this current anguish, but fuck, give it a day and half, I'll be right back at it. I suck.

A friend of mine once called hangovers "The Fear." That slightly depressed, worried and confused feeling. Angry about what you spent, annoyed at ruining an entire day, befuddled and lost and cloudy and upset. It's a twenty-four hour cocktail of regret and sorrow in it's most purest of forms.

Naming it "The Fear" is spot on.

Good call, Friend I Just Made Up.

Will I ever drink again? Yeah. In this current state, I'm even shocked to admit that. But you can't stop a cheetah from being cheetah, am I right or am I right? Does that make any sense whatsoever?

Go-to cures usually involve hot coffee, greasy hamburgers or restless sleep. As we all know, there is no cure, but those specific routines are my only fallback. Unfortunately, my fallback sucks and literally never helps. In fact, I'm sure it makes me feel worse. I will do a lot of moaning and groaning, yes. I will curl up into a ball and rock myself slowly into a sad and sweaty mess. I will receive a fuzzy bear in a leather jacket, complete with peanut-butter chocolates and a helping of sweet, Valentines's Day love.

We got this in the mail last week, and only now have I fully investigated it. I mean, I knew what was inside (I, of course, opened it immediately) but I didn't dig too deep. It was as if I was cool with a simple teddy bear, accepting graciously with a nod and a thank-you. Oh, yeah. There's a bear inside. Duh.

See? This ain't some regular bear, no sir. My Secret Admirer sent a Bad-Ass Bear. Wrapped in a tight leather jacket (could be faux, but we're not here to judge) with balled up fists and a stare that's just begging for a fight. It's exactly like me, minus the whole "begging for a fight" thing. I'm too pretty for that. And I have weak bones. And don't know how to fight. There, I said it, alright?

This helps. This aids in the process of becoming human again. A single tear will fall from my robotic eye, the camera will pan back revealing that, yes, I am an android but with hard, honest human emotions. Then I will blow up in a ball of fire. ARTSY FARTSY.

Oh, and before we go on, I'd like to point out that this gift was sent to me and only me. Serious Secret Admirer shit right here. Jimmy is not mentioned once, nary a word on poor, old Davey. I feel honored, with an overwhelming sense of finality in never-ending band arguments -- I am the favorite of the three Calabrese brothers.

Suck it, Jimmy and Davey. The both of you's.

And I'll refrain from mentioning who this is from, out of respect and privacy and the inability to read cursive.

Strapped to our buddy's chest is a heart-shaped box full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which, arguably, is the best candy ever made. The fusion of peanut butter and chocolate is not to be toyed with, especially in a Valentine's Day gift. It means it's extra special, or outstandingly discounted since it's two months past Valentine's Day.

Oh, and along with the prize is multicolored packing peanuts. Safety and beauty, all in one. I can't remember if I've ever seen brightly colored foamy stuff before, but I'm glad I did today. I can already feel the headache melt away as I stare into a rainbow of crinkly, crunkly Cheese Puffs.

Bad-Ass Bear, although pants-less, is wearing a customized shirt of what I can only assume to be of me. My widow's peak does reach down between my eyebrows and my chest is wrinkly and or stinky (are those "stink lines?") And those were just the subtle hints, people. My eyes really are lazy/crossed and I'm missing all but two teeth. My God, it's like looking into a mirror.

Thanks, Secret Admirer. My belly is starting to simmer and I've stopped muttering to myself about how I hate my life. The guilt is being absolved, the remorse and grief are but a distant memory.

I feel tons better.

Now send me more stuff!