Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shrunken Head Kids.

Every year, the Calabrese's gather from around the world to meet in one, predetermined spot.  Drinks are had, stories are told, everything we've ever hated about one another will soon be over in a few short days so don't worry.  It's always a fun trip, and I'm always stoked to spend some time with the fam, even if that means melting under the sun in the endless line for Space Mountain.

Trips vary, locations differ from year to year.  This time 'round, we went to Disneyland twice, hit up the beach once and threw in a quick trip to Knott's Berry Farm for the raw fuck of it.  Now, the beach was especially solid this year. A specific dream in life is to be a part of a "classic beach scene," where the sun is shining, girls in bikinis are playing volleyball and a game of Frisbee leads to an altercation when an off-kilter throw lands in some one's food.  Tensions would rise, a game of skill is settled upon to even the score.  We'd duel over a game of soccer or we'd arm wrestler.  Worse case scenario: I'd get horribly kicked in the face.  Real hard, but not hard enough to keep me down.  Lots of people on the four wheel dune buggy things, too.  And surfboards propped up in the sand.  I'd sulk away, plotting revenge, but you know how it is.  I'm a wuss.

What I'm trying to say is that the beach was really fun this year.

Now, Knott's Berry Farm was really really fun.  Haven't been there in over a decade so it was a nice refresher course in remembering how dirty the place actually is.

And sure, most of the rides felt like your bones were breaking and two siblings swore up and down that they almost died on two different roller coasters...but was still suuuuuper rad.  Looking back, I legitimately feel bad about thinking my sisters' near-death experiences were slightly based on panic and silly paranoia.  Since, ya know...a woman just died on a roller coaster at Six Flags two weeks ago.  My bad.

I've never been to Disneyland twice in a row before.  It allows an opportunity to fully appreciate every nook and cranny while not being forced to blow your load in a single day.  I'm pretty sure we only hit up one ride in a mind boggling four hours on Day 1, so it was nice to have a little bit of freedom to not feel too burnt that the Cars ride sucked total ass.

Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, etc.  These are the classics, these are the rides you must ride.  When you're all done with that, the natural route to take is straight on over to Disneyland 2.0.

What's the verdict on California Adventure?  Do we like it?  Despise it?  Personally, I think the place is great.  The food selection is better, the roller coaster is top notch and you can totally walk around the park with beer.  Not advisable if you were to ride said roller-coaster, though.  When you're all done with that, you either go home or go big.  If you're with me, and I know you make it a priority to search out Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar in the Disneyland Hotel area.

Throw everything you think you know about the Tiki Room out the window.  If you have no idea what the Tiki Room even is, that's even better -- you're starting from scratch.  Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar, located just outside Disneyland Hotel, is not just a bar.  It's an outstanding trip into your wildest night of island-hopping debauchery.

Imagine everything you know about Hawaii.  Everything you've seen, heard or come to expect when you think of the place.  Because that's exactly what this place is.  Complete with bamboo walls, sinking ships in a bottle (like magic!) and outstandingly potent liquor drinks.

You can order food, yeah, but the real money is in those tropical drinks.  Of course, I don't remember any of them at this point, but say you ordered the "volcano themed" drink.  The lights go off, portraits on the walls featuring volcanoes erupt (more magic!) and the staff squirts water into your face.  It's so fucking cool.

AND OF COURSE you can buy the glass your drink came in.  Color me obvious, but I ordered The Zombie.  What, you wouldn't have ordered "The Zombie?"

Look at it.  Just look at it!  If I'm remembering correctly, the brew was a concoction of pineapple juice and whiskey and other things that wanna make me vomit just trying to remember it correctly.  Not terribly pricey, but they poured heavily, so it kind of made up for it.

They even had two dudes serenading the crowd with hula-dancing music, which made the whole night feel extra Forgetting Sarah Marshall-y.

Look at it!  Are you looking at it?  JUST LOOK AT IT.

Can't wait to do it again next year!

Monday, July 22, 2013


A few days ago, I dug through a lot of my old stuff laying around the house.  I get these crazy urges to sift through my place in an attempt to gather up unwanted wares to be released into the wild.  For my own, personal freedom and for the good of keeping the clutter down.  Now, these urges or aren't entirely random nor animalistic.  There's a reason behind it, a shotgun blast of energy and devotion. It's usually caused by one of two things:

I'll sometimes watch a movie where the lead character will have this amazingly simple and elegant house, full of modern furniture and hip finesse, with stainless steel fridges and an eight thousand dollar dinner table.  I'll become jealous over this, because I want that, too.  Only the rich and fabulous have appliances like that.  Only the rich have mastered such minimalistic style!

The independence!  The walking space!  The chic-ness!  I want that!  I will light a match to my place, let it all burn down and start anew from the ashes!

The other reason:

I need more room for even more shit.

Ughghh, I hate to admit it but in the last week I've become obsessed with "vinyl art toys."  This could mean a lot of varying things to various people, but this is what it means to me:

Sadly, if you know anything about this weird, semi-underground culture, you know that these figures are molded, hand-painted and are sold for hundreds of dollars each.  Seventy/eighty bucks if you're lucky.  These specific mutants were done by someone/something called Splurtt, and are virtually nonexistent because that's how hard it is to buy one.  It's all so underground and seedy.  To me, this is total and absolute fun, and the idea that each piece is really rare and hard to acquire makes the entire package all the more enticing.  It's like dealing in drugs and not knowing where drugs are.  I don't know what's what and who's who...and I love it!

The price, I assume, is based on individual uniqueness, the artistic, human touch and limited availability.  It's a lot to ask for, and it seems like a giant waste of cash for anyone but they're just so damn cool looking.

I wanted to dump the stuff I don't look at, read or watch anymore to simultaneously make room and a few bucks towards my fresh and exciting endeavor.  The idea is stupid (really, a hundred bucks for one toy?) but I kept on keeping on.  I figured that if I was going in, I'd go ALL in.  Go big or go home, I say's.

And if I happen to lose interest halfway through, not to worry!  That's what I do best!

So I sifted, pillaged and sorted through bins, shelves and, steam engine of excitement totally sputtered out.  I blame the adult realization (seriously, a hundred bucks for one toy?!) and a thick layer of white, death-dust for pumping the brakes on the fun like a sumbitch.

I understand the importance of dusting.  I do, really.  In fact, every week I make sure to liberally use my handheld Swiffer to eliminate that bullshit from the endless shelves of even more bullshit.  It's bullshit upon bullshit.  And I Swiff that shit up.

I was going through DVDs, books and those glass display shelves you buy from Ikea.  I swore that I dusted pretty regularly, but it was all that built up, locked away and hidden dust, ya know?  You know, the dust that's underneath the things I don't bother to pick up and dust under.  I so totally didn't get rid of anything but so totally got a load of dust to the face.

It's not like I initially felt dust collect into my mouth and into my body.  I wasn't all, "Oh, this is a lot of dust I should wear a mask or something oh yes!"  It was all so quick and sudden and meager.  It didn't look especially dusty, is what I'm trying to say.

I dunno.  I guess that dust is bad for you, because the next morning I woke up crippled.  I felt like a had the flu, was hungover, dead, etc.  I still feel like this, and can only imagine that this will last forever.  No exaggeration.  My throat hurts, my head aches, my bones feel brittle and wafer-like.  These will be my last words and will and testament and all that jazz.

Never again will I kick up dust.  Never again will I clean.  Never again will I bother!

I can't believe I wrote about dust.