Friday, December 21, 2012

So Much...

Here we are, a mere 3 days away from Christmas.

And in the past...however long its been since I've posted here, I've come up with so many things I want to share with you. Some of them personal, some funny, others just plain dumb. Each of them like a tiny, unique snowflake in my head.

There are a lot of snowflakes though. Too many snowflakes, in fact. A proverbial foot or so up there, and I'm still trying to shovel my way out.

Which leads me back to...here.

I could do another tidbit post, but, I'd really rather not. Or, I could take the easy way and do nothing at all. It's frustrating, to say the least.

So, this is where I need some help.

Suggestions.
Come one, come all.

Leave one down at the bottom, or, if you'd prefer, contact me via Twitter @madamcheezy . (Yes, I have one of those now. Shocking, ne?)

I'll be waiting.

Until then.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Awesome, the Wonderful, and the Sad

I know I just posted a day or two ago, but, I wanted to 'record' this happy little moment in my life while it was still relatively fresh in my mind.

No doubt most of you will already know what this will be about anyway, so I wont bother with building it up...much. Heh.

The Calabrese show at Kung Fu Necktie.



The night before, on Friday, I had what could best be described as pre-Christmas jitters. That feeling you get on Christmas eve where you start to feel happy for no reason and your insides feel like they're over caffeinated. Was it really tomorrow? That one special night out of the year? The show I had been waiting most of 2012 for? Gregorian calenders, from what I know, are always truthful to a fault, but I had checked it several times anyway.

That night, I couldn't sleep. I thought about so many things. What time should we leave? What was I going to wear? What could I possibly say to any of them? I ran over scenarios in my mind, most of which I knew was unlikely. And almost every time, regardless of how I presented it to myself, and regardless of how I tried to approach it from a civil, non-hyped fangirl point of view, I verbally face planted every time. I squee'd. I derp'ed.

I fell into sessions of light, broken sleep. I had a dream about watching a group of performers in the ocean, with a large group of people, standing on the thick frozen banks along the water. I was one of just a couple of people who saw the ice melting behind us and swam to shore. The rest just carried on, unaware that they were drifting away. Almost normal, by my standards.

Morning came, and I lightly chastised myself for getting so worked up. I still ran through fictitious situations in my head though, and still I was degrading into derpiness. Maybe I could think better after breakfast and tea...

As the rest of the day went on, and even after Ivy had left with my parents, I couldn't mentally get my act together. So, I did the next best thing...I put on a facade of control. I spritzed on my vanilla noir body spray and my blueberry muffin perfume, made my eyes sparkle and pinned my blue bandanna on as straight as I could. What were the odds I would even get to see any of them before the show, anyway? They've been doing a bunch of shows, so, they're probably going to be hanging out in the back, or taking a nap in the van, right?

Joe comes home, and we leave a short while later. In the car, he teases me a little.

"So...what are you going to say to them?"

"Uh...I dunno..."

"You don't have anything you want to ask them?"

"I do! I...uh...stuff..."

"...Are you squeeing?"

"Noo!"

I was. I totally was. You can imagine that last part as being said by a 7th grader when asked if they like someone, and clearly they do.

The venue itself was on the border of Fishtown in Philadelphia, so thankfully we wouldn't have to pay any sort of crazy parking prices like we would have if they were playing somewhere like the Troc. We pull up, and Joe starts looking for a spot when...

"Oh, look. Bobby's outside."

"Whut...?"
Holymotheroffackingcheezewhuuuuuuut?!?

"Yeah...he's standing right there."

And sure enough, he was. With all the other smokers outside.

I jump around like an idiot in my head, clapping, grinning. Then, I immediately feel embarrassed. There's no way I'm cool enough to say anything to him. There's like 10 people around, all of them seemingly chatting it up. Maybe if I can just get inside, I can relax a little...

We park about a block or two away. I get out of the car and suddenly come to the realization that I don't look like I belong there...at all. Guys in leather, chicks in strappy things and dresses, all of them in black. And here I was with a tan sparkle hoodie and a bright blue cardigan with a Hello Kitty tee. Not to mention the blue jeans and white sneakers, and the aforementioned bandanna. I looked like I should of been going to a pottery class.

I swallow and take a deep breath as I pull the tickets out of my bag. I just have to get inside. I can not derp out. Not here. Not now. Not in front of the small mob outside. Not in front of Bobby.

I walk in Joe's shadow. I smile. As we turn the corner, everyone out front seems to go quiet for a moment. There's a heartbeat of silence as he opens the door. Already I feel as if I've made a bad impression, without so much as having said a word. I keep smiling.

"Hey guys. I know you're both 21, but I gotta see your IDs just in case." says the ticket guy inside.
We flash our cards and he 'checks' our wrists and lets us inside.

The place itself was actually a little bit smaller than I thought it would be. The decor was unique and it was easy to tell which door to go into if you had to use the bathroom. (Literally, "Boobs" and "Balls".)

I find a chair and take a quick seat. I'm actually just as mis-matched here as I was outside, but, I try not to notice. There's nobody I care about anywhere near--

"There's Papabrese."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. At the merch table. Oh, and there's Davey, too."

"Uh..."
CRAAAP. Notgonnaderpnotgonnasqueenotgonnatwitch....

"You should go say hi."

"Nooo..."

"Why not?"

"Because."

"But he's right there."

"I know! But...uh...no."

I half-assedly ask about getting a soda, as I try to melt into the furniture. Joe smirks as he shrugs his shoulders. I remind him I have a membership card that entitles me to discounts, should he want a tee shirt. This prompts him to go take a look.

I cross my legs and stare off into the random tchotchkes that adorn the place. I had been waiting so long to ask them the few questions I had, and now I'm stuck here, red-faced and paralyzed. Times like these, I wish for a lot in my head. I wish I was cute, I wish I was charismatic, I wish I was friends with someone who was friends with them. But mostly I wished one of them might say something to me first, as much as I knew that wasn't going to happen. Maybe what I should of wished for was for my spine to come back.

Moments later, Joe comes back, indecisive about getting something. We talk about the new Young American Mystic Cult of Horrors shirt design and agree that mine looks cooler. (Ha.) That's when the first band came on.

I stayed where I was for the first song. To be honest, I didn't expect much out of the opening acts, so I wasn't about to go rally around the stage just yet. Surprisingly though, Spinechain was entertaining. Joe and I got up for the second song and watched the rest of their set. Even picked up a free CD. Nice.

During all this, Davey and Jimmy walked by us about 4 or 5 times. Jimmy looked like he was masterminding...something. If I had to guess, he was probably doing a last minute checklist. Or scowling at someones incompetence and arranging for them to sleep with the fishes that night. They are Italian, after all. And Davey smelled like something Axe-ish, and I'm fairly sure I've come across it before. It was driving me nuts trying to pin the smell down though.

We hung around the same spot, waiting for the next act to come on. More people started showing up, and at long last, one other person who wasn't dressed to the nines in cool regalia walked by...in a navy sweatshirt. I still stuck out as the only person wearing color, though.

Then, Bobby sat at the bar right behind Joe, talking to whom I can only guess was a friend. And yes, I do mean right behind. If Joe flicked his head backward, he could of headbutted him.

I considered maybe saying something to him then, since it looked like an open opportunity to do so. But, then, I also considered that if he was hanging out with a friend, he probably wouldn't want to get interrupted by anything I had to say. And, really, what could I say that would excuse my rudeness like that? Unfortunately, the two girls that walked up to him a minute later didn't think the same thing.

The second group came on, and they were...eh...unique. If the pacing of the music itself didn't seem so spastic and sporadic, I think I would of liked them more. Though, they did make a few good jokes in between songs, so, it's not like I didn't enjoy them.

More people showed up then, and the place looked like it would get crowded soon enough.Oddly, it never got there though. Which, really, is a shame.

I watched with stolen glances and stares as Calabrese set their stage up. I had almost feared making eye contact with them, lest I turn into a pillar of salt or a weeping pool of goo. So, if I thought one of them might turn in my direction, I turned too, or, I focused my attention to the floor or the equipment. Yes, big ol' me is afraid of making eye contact with three guys who probably wouldn't recognize my face if they saw it twice. I am fully aware of my yellow actions.

But, really, can you blame me? This whole thing had been snowballing in my head for months, and I was trying so hard not to spaz out or squee myself into oblivion. It seems so silly, I know. Had this been anyone else, I would of had zero trouble strolling up to them and making a lame joke to break the ice. But my brain flat lined and my heart seized up at the mere sight of them.

A crowd started to gather around the stage. Davey and Jimmy disappeared, and Bobby, I think, went out for a last cigarette.

Should I try to get closer? The stage was only a foot or so off of the floor, which means I would be up in their proverbial grill if I did. Most of the crowd seemed like they were only 5'7" or so, meaning I could easily see over them anyway, so I stayed toward the back. They were just about 10 feet away, so it's not like I needed to be that close...did I?

Bobby brushed by Joe when he came back, leaving a faint wintergreen smell as he did. In a way, I was actually kind of jealous that I wasn't short and inconspicuous like he was so that I could at least have that subtle contact.

They assembled on stage. More people squirmed up as close as they could get, and lucky me had to deal with the two big visual blockades standing in front of me. The mohawk guy at least moved around a lot, so, I could tell he wouldn't be an issue. But the tree standing in front of me had his girlfriend with him, so that meant, as it usually does, that he was just going to stand there holding her the whole time.

I never understood that. She's not elderly, nor is she handicapped in any way but the guy will hold her like she is, all night, not moving. Or, better yet, the girlfriend who wants to get front and center with the band, but, has to have her boyfriend escort her out after two or three songs because people start dancing or making a circle. I'm guessing this happens all the time because people don't know how truly dumb it is. Or how it makes people like me, who can hold their own and then some, feel. But...I'm digressing now.

They checked the sound levels. They played with a switch or two. My stomach tensed in anticipation.

This was it. The stupid grin I had on my face since we walked in was now just a big, goofy smile. For a fleeting moment, I wondered if they would play my favorite songs. Not that I actually have any least favorites. They're all winners in my book. And, in all honesty, even if they had just played the same song all night, I would of been more than happy.

The first chord hits, and I feel my body start to move on it's own. Its kind of strange how my legs twitched back and forth, seemingly without command, and how my head started to bop along as if it was the natural thing to do. I try my hardest to hold back from doing anything completely dumb though.

The room comes alive, and mohawk guy starts moving around, along with the whole front section. People to the left and right of the stage are snapping pictures and grabbing video with their cameras. And people start singing. It takes me almost the whole song before I start to join in too. "Death Eternal" never sounded so damn good.

Jimmy comments on how we were a good crowd after another two songs. I strangely feel a twinge of pride when he said that, though, I'm sure it wasn't directed to the wallflowers in the back. It still made me happy.

Then, came the intros.

"On lead guitar...also known as the guitarist martial artist, the six string samurai, the master of the the Kama Sutra...self taught....Bobby Calabrese!"
(Insert the sacred donning of the headband and a lot of faux-fu.)

"On bass...also known as the Italian Tiger...Jimmy Calabrese!"
(Cue Tank! by the Seatbelts and a whole lot of photo posing. With sunglasses to boot.)

"And on drums...also known as Davey Calabrese....Davey Calabrese!"
(Star Wars Vader-esque music trails on as he dances about in a white Elvis mini cape.)

"Who wants some sweat?!" Davey then asks, wiping his now-wet face down with a Calabrese bandanna.

A girl in front reaches out and grabs it. Secretly, I debate on whether or not I should rob her later.

More music. More moving. More blissful ear blasting.

I keep singing. The whole night. I admittedly don't know all the lyrics to all of their songs, but I know good chunks of them. As I do, I keep thinking I keep catching Bobby or Jimmy's eye. I know its just pure paranoia, but I swing my head down every time I think it's happening. I'd die a little inside if I sang something wrong and they caught me.

At one point, Bobby very unstealthily creeps behind the amp in back of him and grabs the space helmet perched on top of it. He pops out from behind it a minute later, wielding his guitar as a ray gun, ready to fire. He lines a few of the guys up front off and shoots, the random discordant blasts 'killing' those they hit. Space Bob takes no prisoners.

The rest of the night goes by in a flash. They play for about an hour and a half, even covering "Halloween" by the Misfits.

But it's over way too fast for me. Didn't they just go on 10 minutes ago? What happened to the rest of the show? It cant be done already...

Like an addict, I needed more. Somehow.

The lights come on, and I turn back around to Joe. I try talking to him, making all sorts of stupid  conversations just so I could stick around longer. I realize that it was now or never if I was going to say anything to them.

Apparently, that's what everyone else thought too. If I had thought they were popular before the show, now they were even more so. Lights from cameras and phones flashed behind me at a steady pace, as I tried to will myself to just do it already.

Part of me wished I'd had a drink or two for some liquid courage. Part of me was crumbling over missing my moment. The rest of me was just disgusted with the situation I had put myself in.

Joe looks over at me, his eyebrows raised as if he was waiting for me to answer an unsaid question.

"What are we doing?"

"Uh...um.."

"Did you want to say hi to them? Jimmy and Bobby are right there."

"I uh....I cant. There's too many people..."

"There's like, 5 people over there."

"It's too many..."

We wait. I try making more dumb small talk. He starts to look slightly annoyed.

"Did...you want to leave?" I ask, unsure.

"Well, I have been up since 6:30. What are we doing?"

I turn around and look at my prospects. They're both packing up equipment from the stage now. The people that were there haven't left either.

"Do you want me to help you?"

"N-no! I....ugh...I cant. It's just....I..."

"Are you sure?"

I'm blowing it. I know it.
And for reasons that I could slap myself for.

"Well, I...at least...wanted to say hi to Davey...I don't see him though."

In reality, I knew I'd be just as slack jawed and dense in front of him as I would be in front of Jimmy and Bobby. The one thing I held on to that made me think it might go even minimally better is his personality. He might actually find my fangasiming entertaining, maybe even a little funny.

"He's over by the door."

"Is he?"

"Yeah. Next to Papabrese."

I look over Joe's shoulder. Sure enough, he's there talking to a random girl. A cute one at that.

I take a breath and try to ready myself. Fight or flight had been pulsing throughout me since the night had started, and flight was faltering, if for just a spare few seconds. I dry swallowed. I bit my lower lip. I started walking.

This was going to happen.

This needed to happen.

My throat clenched as I got closer, my lungs working faster, and that giddy sick feeling snaked its way throughout my torso. He laughed, said something to the girl in front of him and hugged her. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little envious.

I wormed my way past a few other people and stood next to him, waiting for him to finish whatever he was telling her before I waxed the idiot poetic. I held my breath. I waited.

And I timed it completely wrong.

He finished talking to the girl and turned, not even seeing me. Papabrese said something to him right after, and Davey nodded and left. Just like that.

I watched him walk toward the stage. As I did, I could feel my heart sink, and my face fill with color. What can I do now? I had that one chance, and now it was gone.

I had chances all night, really, and my own cowardice made sure that I kept my eyes down and ignored most of them. Try as it might, I was painfully aware of everything though. Every time they moved, anytime I was within an arms length of them, I knew. And I did nothing.

My shoulders slumped and I exhaled. I somehow felt tired then.

"Did you want anything?" I ask Joe, since we were already next to the oodles of merch. He turned to look one last time.

Papabrese was standing next to him, fixing things on the table. I put my hand in my purse to look for my membership card, just in case he saw something, and saw the lollipops I had brought along. Before I had left the apartment that evening, I thought it would of been cool to give the three of them something. And since I knew one of them had a sugar addiction, it seemed perfect.

I found my card and took out the candy as well.

"Hi! .." I say, catching Papabrese's attention," Uh...I'm a huge fan of your sons' music."

"Oh."

"Yeah, but, um...unfortunately, I'm too chickenshit to say anything to them."

I hand him the lollipops. He looks at them for a second before putting them in his pocket.

"I'll give these to them later. You should go tell them that, though."

"I uh...cant. Plus, they look kinda busy..."

"Nah. You should go talk to them."

He gestures in the general direction of the stage.

"Um...n-no. Plus we gotta go, anyway." I lie.

He lightly shrugs.

"Joe, did you want anything?" I ask, taking the focus off of me and my unrealistic fears.

He picks up a patch and a few buttons, and a neat circle sticker. Papabrese twists and takes a look at what he's got, and starts making a tally of how much it costs.

"Ah, you're making me turn now!"

I pop up from behind and show him my card right after giving the $6 total to Joe.

"Oh. $5 then. You should take her with you everywhere!"

We both chuckle as he looks at my card a second time.

"What number are you, again?"

"184."

"Oh. You're one of the lower numbers! That's good."

I smile at him and suddenly feel a little proud at that fact. I'm guessing since they advertise the club now, a lot more people have joined. Makes you wonder why none of them ever tried to figure out why a song like "Loveless God" goes on for 12 minutes or more when it actually ends at the 3 and a half mark.

I should also mention here that Joe decided to wear one of his Ex Dementia shirts to the show in the hopes that maybe one person might ask him about it. He figured nobody would know them if they're at a Calabrese show, but, there's nothing like free advertising, right?

Like to take a guess at who noticed?

"Ah...Ex Dementia? Is that like, a dimension that's passed?" Papabrese asks, jokingly.

They both laugh a little and Joe shakes his head. Before he could say more, I chime in with, "That's actually his band."

"Oh." he says, nodding slightly.

"Yeah, I'm not actually a founding member, though. Jeff Zornow, the guy who did one of the old tee shirt designs for you guys does all of our artwork."

"Ah."

Another person came up and started looking at the merch in that moment, making Papabrese go back to work and thus ending our mini conversation. Even in that short time, though, I could tell he was a good guy.

Eventually we step outside and start walking toward the car. The cold night air felt good on my cheeks, and the mostly quiet surrounding pointed out just how much I blew out my ears that night. It was worth it though. It was absolutely worth it. If there was a second show, even right after the one they had just played, I would of been there.

"Well, did you have fun?" Joe asked, sliding into the drivers seat.

"Yes!" I nearly shout.

And I did. Truly.
Even if I never got to express my nerdly boundless love for them.

As we drove home, I went over the whole thing in my head. I rationed that by not saying anything to them, I'm saving my dignity that would otherwise have been in a melted puddle by their boots. But then I also reasoned that perhaps that might have been the better choice to begin with. Seeing as how nobody else that I saw that night came anywhere close to that, I guess I'll never know.

Regardless, though.
It was awesome. It was wonderful. And yes, it was a little sad.

My only picture I was able to take all night came later, back at the apartment. Coincidentally, it's also my only souvenir, aside from the tickets.




As I rested my head on my pillow, sluggishly slipping into sleep, I sighed, hugging my pillow.

And that night, I dreamt of Calabrese.

There's always fanmail...right?

Until then. <3

Edit 12/10/12: I can't spell. Thanks, Sarah!

Friday, October 19, 2012

By Nature, I Should be Dead.

I'm having one of those moments.

The moments where, despite the good going on in your life, the bad just keeps grabbing your attention.

A few weeks ago, I was asked by my new doctor (the other had stopped practicing) to take a few tests. The standard, 'let's just get your numbers' kind, nothing epic. I had held off for a while, making sure I didn't eat anything crazy the few days leading up to it, just in case it might make the numbers off.

I was sure everything would come out great though, because at the end of last year, I had started my exercise regimen again and started watching what I was eating more. By April, I had lost 35 lbs, and was nearly saint-like with anything that had passed my lips, even going as far as giving up pizza and chocolate. Lord forbid if it wasn't low fat or fat free. I actually cant even remember what real soda tastes like.

So, the night before, I was modest with dinner, and passed on the hot chocolate aperitif. I knew I'd probably be pretty hungry the next day, but it would have to wait. I was supposed to fast 12 hours prior to begin with, so another hour or two couldn't hurt.

I arrived around 1 pm, glad to see I was one of 3 people in the waiting area. The whole process took about 10 minutes, and was surprisingly efficient.

Joe had left the parking lot, so I had to stick around until he came back. Next to where all this went down, though, was an auto place. Don't really know if they were restoring, or if they were just mechanics, but the overwhelming smell of heavy cheap gasoline permeated the air. So, I had that, no food or liquid in my stomach, a slightly lightheaded feeling from missing a few vials of blood, and the cold to contend with. Joy.

The next morning, around 8, I get a call.

The results from the tests came in.

Wow, that was quick.

There are a few concerns, however...

She goes on to tell me my sugars are a little high. So, I should really watch the sugars, starches and carbohydrates. My triglycerides are elevated too, so watch my fats and try taking some fish oil pills. Also, my white blood cell count is high too...have I just gotten over a cold?

I take flax seed pills, I tell her. And it was chilly the day of the test which might explain the cell count.

Well, guess who has to take the tests again? And lets just keep an eye on that ca125, even though Fox Chase said it wasn't there.

This hits me in all the wrong areas.

I've been good....so very good, for almost a year. I exercise as much as I can, burning (if my calculations are correct) 3250 calories a week. I even felt guilty for 'cheating' on my birthday.

Combine that, with everything that's wrong with me to begin with. Asthma and allergies to dust, pollen, nickel and an assortment of minor others. The big autoimmune allergy to the cold...familial cold urticaria. High blood pressure, and yet, bad circulation. PCOS and a seemingly non-functioning system. Minor arthritis. And this is just the stuff I take medicine for.

It got me thinking...what makes me so special?

Why should I get to live...in this broken body, when healthy people die every day?

Families.

Children.

Babies.

It made me feel like I was taking someone else's chance to live. Every breath I took, every pill I swallowed. Undeserved, stolen time.

By nature, I should be dead.

By nature, I would have been, at least 3 or 4 times already.
As early as 9 months old.

So what makes me so special? Why should I get to live?

This is what I dwelled on, for days.

So, I quit trying to be so angelic. What was the point, if it wasn't helping? My levels were almost the same as last time, when I was heavier, and didn't care about trying to be fit.

It didn't last long though. I've entered a sort of mentality where if I eat more than a few days worth of unhealthy, I default back to the good stuff. Also, keeping busy with random things kept me from kicking myself too hard.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that the Calabrese show is tomorrow night, so how sad could I feel knowing that?

I'm still looking for my 'thing' though, my redeeming value for being on this earth. Hopefully, I can find it soon, and...do something with myself. Heh.

Oh...and, should anyone be wondering, yes, the last post was for thee Bobby Calabrese.
Awesomesauce.

Until then.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bobby's Anime Recommendations

I sometimes talk a lot, so, bear with me.

Action/Fun Stuff

Dragon Ball Z:
For starters, made and animated in the late 80's by none other than Toei studios. Crazy amounts of fighting, and if you watch the original Japanese version, you'll get all the cussing and weird inappropriate behavior as well. It's the kind of series you really don't have to pay attention to fully to enjoy, but it's considered a true classic by anime fans. If you like this, try watching the precursor, Dragon Ball. It follows the main character from Z in his childhood days.

Trigun:
Late 90's anime, featuring a space western theme, complete with guns and a main character who's just as corny as he is kindhearted. You can kind of think of this series as a 'spiritual brother' to Adventure Time.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood:
Not as action-packed as the others, but a good series all around. Follows two brothers on a quest to perfect their alchemy and revive their dead mother. The story expands greatly from there, leading them down paths they never knew existed, fighting wars and, eventually, a god-like being. I chose Brotherhood over the original, as it follows the manga (comic, Japanese style) more closely and has a slightly darker theme overall. If you like this though, try the first run of the series.

Fist of the North Star:
An absolute classic. Remember all those Bruce Lee movies you've seen over the years? Of course you do. Now, imagine them taken up a few notches and add a pair of thick eyebrows and a few head explosions. That's what this is.

Horror/Violent

Hellsing:
Vampires, guns, and Nazis. The original series (simply Hellsing, not Hellsing Ultimate) had a better tone to it overall. Though, if you liked the first run of it, you might like the second series as well.

Another:
Short series that revolves around a small middle school and a strange curse. Some say it starts off slow in the first few episodes, but it quickly picks up around episode 3-4. By the 11th and 12th episode, you'll be wondering if anyone will be left alive.

Deadman Wonderland:
Another short series focusing on a lone survivor of a middle school massacre, who is then locked up for the crime he didn't commit in the unique, theme park-esque Deadman Wonderland prison. I didn't like the ending much, but, I put it up here just for all the insane stuff that goes on.

Grave of the Fireflies:
Not an anime series, nor is it really horror or violent based. It's a movie that takes place just as WWII is ending, and revolves around a brother and sister and the will to survive. A wonderful, sad story.

Comedy/Silly

Excel Saga:
So, just as a warning, if you watch this and you're too tired and or hungover, the voiceovers will give you a headache. Other than that, it's a fun, nonsensical series that pokes fun at itself and the genre in general.

Cat Soup:
Another movie. If you're into feeling like you just took a hit of acid, this is for you.

Mecha/Robot

Gigantor and Astro Boy:
Two different series, but up here for the same reason. Because.

Transformers and Voltron:
Ok, not really an anime series, but, c'mon. They're awesome.

G-force/Gatchaman:
Not quite a 'true' mecha/robot series, but still a favorite. So Speed Racer retro. So fun.

I must admit, I'm not an expert on this area. But other series that are considered to be great within this genre are: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Patlabor, Gundam (in it's various forms), Macross and Robotech.

Uh...that's all I can think of for the moment. I hope that's good though.
If you want copies, just let me know. And if you want any more suggestions, you'll know where to find me.

Enjoy. ^_^

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hello, again. <3

No, it's not actually my birthday today. That event took place in the first week in June. But, when I was on vacation some time ago, it certainly felt like it was my birthday.

First things first though, I...don't know if I'm supposed to be posting this. Not like what I'm going to be writing or showing you is anything creepy or illegal er anything, but, I might get someone into 'trouble' should the overzealous see this.

I'll take my chances....
A little more than a month ago, I gathered a package together, complete with my $13, and made the warm, sticky, mile and a half trek to the post office. Inside, aside from the few dollars, I had written a note and drew a few pictures. Where was all of this going? Well...Arizona, to be honest. What's in Arizona, you ask? Awesomeness.

I realize I'm sounding a little vague. Let me explain.

If you're like me, a rabid but civilized fan of Calabrese, you'll undoubtedly be familiar with their music. And, being acquainted with it as such, you'll also be familiar with the hidden tracks at the end of most of their CDs. The hidden track itself is an open invitation to their fan club, the Young American Mystic Cult of Horrors. What do they want in exchange for a neat tee and discounts on future merch? Just $13...AND YOUR SOUL. Seriously. Go listen to the last two minutes of "Loveless God" if you don't believe me.

So, after much hesitation of thinking I wasn't cool enough or worthy, I found my proverbial pair and just...did it.

I'll let you in on a thinly veiled secret if you're not already familiar with it...I'm a Pagan. Yes, think about Merlin and Witch Hazel and broomsticks and wands if you'd like, but, you would only be getting about 5% of it right. No, I don't eat/sacrifice children. Yes, I wear a pentacle. Harry Potter is not my neighbor. I'll get into all this in a later post should someone request it, but just know that much for now. As you would imagine though, knowing what you do at the moment, I kind of need my soul. So, I couldn't just sign something official-looking and send it off like most people did.

I did something...else.

I drew. A mini comic.
Of me. Obtaining a replacement soul.

Yes, very corny, I know.

I had thought of another option to send off, but, the shipping alone on it would of been kind of nuts. And, I lack boat-in-a-jar skills. So, I went with that.

Oh, and wrote them a note. A mostly intelligent note with very minimal fangasiming, I might add. On my Chococat stationary. <3

Now, all I had to do was wait.
I calculated it would take 3 days to get there, 3 to get back, and maybe 2 or 3 days in between them checking their PO box. So, just a little over a week.

A total of 8 days go by, and nothing.
So I immediately think they're thinking of ways of perma-banning me from everything entirely. The crazy chick from Philadelphia said what? Oh no. We cant have that. And check out this other crap...did she think this was anything like the bad-assed stuff we normally read? Tch....vomit. Hey, lets post this note online! HAH!

Now...I know, almost for a fact, that they're not like that. But, it really doesn't help that I'm super impatient and completely afraid of coming off as one of the crazies. I mentally slap myself a few dozen times and tell myself thusly. I also tell myself that they have other things to do than just answer mail all day, and that I'm probably one out of thousands who send them stuff.

Honestly, I'm a complete drama queen when I really don't need to be sometimes.

We leave for Brigantine a few days later. I put on a happy face and try not to groan too loudly.

Monday comes. I get a text from Joe.

I got a package.

Holy carp, I got a package!

He says it sounds like there is more than just a tee inside. Do I want him to open it?

UM, YES, PLEASE.

And, oh boy, much more than a tee....


This, was taken when I got back. But when I was in New Jersey, I got the written text version of this.

So, I squee'd.
ALL DAY.
And into the next. All vacation long.

Because, when you get something this uber cool, it's required. Absolutely.

As far as I know, the membership includes a tee and a card at the moment. Bobby said in a Tweet not too long ago that they were going to put the fan club membership online, so you can just PayPal that ish if you're that lazy. The new version was gonna have a tee, card and a patch.

Um, I think I got some bonus stuff.
A lot of bonus stuff.
A lot of bonus stuff and a note from Bobby himself.

Ohmygawrrrrrrrrrrrshhhhh!

Words fail to describe how cool that is. I mean, seriously.
As if the bonus stuff wasn't great to begin with.

Have you noticed, by the way? They gave me a clear little Dragonite at the bottom right.
Pokemon nerds unite! (I wonder if they'd battle me...? Heh...<3)

I could go on about how happy I was with all this. But I think you get the idea.

I'm official, baby. Part of the cult.

Ain't you jealous.

Until then.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Space Between

In the summer, in Philadelphia, it tends to get pretty hot here. Hot enough, that summer weather actually starts mid-April, and by the end of May, you either have air conditioning or the number to the local mortician on hand. So it was a nice gift Mother Nature gave us last week where the highs were only 70-something degrees with lots of cool, de-humidified winds.

Days like those remind me of early spring. Not the fairy-tale ideas of floral breezes, chirping birds, and cute little rain showers. The true spring I know happens when the sun isn't the main focus.

When I was younger, I used to catch fireflies in an old Maxwell House coffee can. The lid was plastic, with a few holes punched in it from an ice pick, and the inside metal band was still a little sharp. I had my methods. Most of which, should I need to catch any now, would be much the same as it had been. Those fading green spots dancing in and out of pink and purple skies...twilight was certainly beautiful.

Memories are a strange thing. On one hand, it's all we'll ever have after a certain point. Memories of childhood, your teenage years, adulthood and beyond, all crammed into your own personal highlight reel. Sure, you might have pictures, or maybe even video of some of these things, but, it's never quite the same as it was actually being there. Colors aren't as vivid, sounds are muttered at best, and the emotion behind it lacks spark. On the other hand, memories can act like a personal time machine, taking you back to a moment in your life that had so much behind it that you could never forget it. True, some are good, and others are bad, but, you cant really have one without the other.

And we learn from all this. We learn that roller skates need a lot of balance. That dirt tastes bad. That Jimmy down the block likes us, so we should try to wear that dress more often. Or not.

In high school, I learned that I was weird. Very tall, kinda fat, and almost the opposite from who everyone else was. I didn't like a lot of pop music. I never had a boyfriend. I didn't care if my hair and nails ever got done, and I didn't like a lot of what I saw was getting done. I was in the orchestra. I drew comic books. I spent most of my time playing video games or wistfully writing about seamless nothings. All my friends were online. Well, most of them were. Despite it all, I still managed to make a couple of friends.

Aimee was my friend since 6th grade. We fought a lot, and she had once said that I looked like the fat-faced people from Green Day's "Basketcase" video. She was cool with a lot of other things though. I think because we were both outcasts then, that we had a mutual respect for one another. To this day, she is the only one who even bothered with a sympathy card after my brother died. So, it's kind of a shame that we eventually talked less and less, and are kind of just acquaintances now.

Christi was...loud. She talked a lot, and usually about nothing important. And even though she lacked the finer graces of subtlety, she did cheer me on when it came to me putting pencil to paper, in whatever format that may be. After she moved out of my house years ago, she never bothered to get in touch with me.

Michiru and Lexie were two girls who were a few years younger than me, so the only times I saw them at school was at lunch and music practice. Lexie was insanely talented. Almost frustratingly so. Give her any instrument and she instantly knew what to do with it. Michiru (Michelle...I "Sailor Moon'ed" her name) was quite possibly the sweetest person I had ever met. She even home-made me a coffee cake for my birthday senior year, because she knew it was my favorite. But, much like the others, time withered away for them, too.

Jackie. Jackie, oh Jackie. Jackie-call-me-backie. (She legit left that on my answering machine a few times.) I could fill a book with the amount of bizarre stuff that would come out of this girl's mouth. And by bizarre, I mean, "I talked to your dead mom and she hates you" kind, not the fun, quirky kind. I have so many mixed feelings for that name. On one hand, she started off as an odd person to pass notes to, and was kind of funny when we both would get stuck out in the hall for music class. She even did my homework half of the time. On the other hand, she was sleeping with my brother who is 10 years older than me, and apparently was getting drugs for him. Oh, and the -entire- school knew this before I did. That, is not an exaggeration. Needless to say, we don't talk.

Jessi was my absolute best friend. She was the only person who laughed at my jokes, thought the same things I thought were cool, and actually thought I was cool. Which is funny, because I met her through Jackie. I remember playing Yoshi's Story with her one night and making dumb noises when Yoshi would eat the peppers. She almost peed herself when I randomly shouted "PEPPER LOOPS!"...yeah, we were talking about cereal right before that. Unlike most of everyone else, we actually kept in touch after high school. But not for long, though. She found new friends, and I had just given birth to Ivy at the time. I kind of saw it coming. It all still feels a little sour though.

My sister is in touch with all of the social media these days. I gave in many moons ago to AIM and then eventually MySpace, but aside from what you're seeing now, I don't think I'll be doing much of that in the future. On Facebook though, a lot of people I knew decided to friend her. Which is odd, because I never thought any of them knew/cared about her. Cindy explained it to me though, that they're doing it to 'keep in touch' with me. Why not pick up the phone? I wondered. Why not send an email? Why go the vaguest and least connected way possible?

I let it go. I knew better. And part of me knew why, too.

Then there's today, just about 7 years since I've seen anyone. Cindy was lurking around Facebook and texts me that Jess was thinking about 'the old crew'. And that she's 13 weeks pregnant. There's ultrasound pictures and everything.

And then I tap into my memories again. I think about the fun we had, and the stuff we shared. I think about her weird cursive writing, her cat Sniffy, and how even when we had nothing to say in all of those notes we passed, I still looked forward to them, everyday. I think about us almost crying at graduation. I think about the Hello Kitty blanket she bought Ivy. I think about the space between.

I know I cant go back to where we were then. Things come and go in life, and holding on to the ghosts of people I once knew wont help either. I can only wish her well from where I sit on my couch.

Maybe I can make better memories in the future.
But for now, though, I still have my fireflies.

Until then.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tidbits

My head is a bit screwy at the moment.

Mainly due to lack of sleep all this week and probably due to the worst possible breakfast/lunch/dinner last weekend. Both of which, 90% of it was out of my control. The other 10% is me acting like a child, not wanting to go to bed at a decent time. Ah, well.

So, instead of just one cohesive thought tonight, you're going to get exactly as the title says. Good? Good.

Thought #1:

I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and Joe got me 2 of the 3 parts of the Revolutionary Girl Utena remastered box sets. I cant really tell if the audio has been tweaked or not, seeing as how the lone TV we have is kind of old and is more or less mono. But the colors got saturated, and some of the animation itself has been cleaned up as well. Not to mention the super happy bonus stuff on every disk.

I adore this series. So, even without half of whats on there, I would of wanted it anyway. (Even though I do have the original DVD sets that came out years ago. Heh. <3)

It's kind of hard to describe it to someone who's never seen it before. Most reviews kind of throw it into one bin or another. And really, that hardly does it justice. Unless you're an uber-man, filled with buckets upon gallons of hormonal, sweaty, testosterone or someone who doesn't like anime in general, I recommend. Stick with it to the end, folks. The ride just gets weirder.

Thought #2:

My summer is going to suck. Almost every weekend, I'm either going to be going to the beach (which I don't like at all) or I'm going to be babysitting my parent's diabetic cat. Then there's the huge vacation they planned in August, which, is probably going to drive me beyond nuts. I don't hate my parents, but, I really cant stand them at times. Mostly because they act like how they do, and do things that make no logical sense.

I'd go into more detail about that here, but I don't really want to divulge and you're not a therapist.
Or...are you?

Thought #3:

I love Calabrese. <3

Speaking of...

Thought #4:

I'm having one of those moments where I'm trying to decide if I'm acting a bit crazy or not.

You see, as most of you know, I started "House of Stuff" back in March of this year. No doubt you've noticed the color scheme of things. And, surely, you've noticed how I sign off on every post.

So, I see this:
http://calabrese.bandcamp.com/

And think....neat! We like the same colors, I guess!

Then the June 12th post:
http://bobbyvampcalabrese.blogspot.com/

And think...this is a short assed post! But...nah, its probably a coincidence.

Then, I click on the 'Stats' button for HoS, and notice I've had two hits from Bobby's Blog.

I know it's probably some random person just checking out the other people that are following him on Blogger. But, it got me thinking.

And then I nearly passed out from a sudden fangasim to the head.

If you're reading, B, I hope you're enjoying. I really do. <3

If not, well, I'm sorry I'm acting like a headcase and shan't offend you as such in the future.

Again, lack of sleep and all this week...
Mercy, my lords.

Thought #5:

Christopher Moore is making another book with Pocket in it! Yaaaay!

I'm currently reading 'Sacre Bleu' by him. I'm only a third of the way into it, but he made my favourite painter die in the first chapter. Ploo. But, it does have a lot of random funny in it, which is what he does best, so, again...yaaaay!

Now, if Phillipa Gregory would come out with another book this year, then all will be right with the world...

Thought #6:

Jeez, this is random...

Thought #7:

Sweet Pokemon Black and White 2 trailer:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xquxz9_pokemon-black-white-2-anime-promo_videogames

The more I see/hear about this game, the more I want to play it.
Maybe I can break out my Litwick this time. Darumaka was too good to put down in the first one.

Thought #8:

I wish I had a #9 and a #10 thought to round out this list.

Well, there you go.
(Cue the Kung Pow jokes...)

I'm going to make a post in HoS in the very near future, perhaps tomorrow. As for now, I'm going to try to take a walk and make myself go to bed before 2 am. Post not up to my usual quality? Yep. Don't I know it.

But, it wont always be like this. I promise.

Until then.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Could. Not. Wait.

Dayglo Necros.

Oh, you knew this was going to happen. Shame on you for thinking otherwise.

I had been waiting like a kid on Christmas when Bobby had announced that they were sending out the new Calabrese CD over the weekend. I counted myself lucky that my last name starts with a "C"...assuming they went in alphabetical order. Either way, it came. Today. The postal gods had smiled upon me.

I was exercising at the time. My usual DDR regimen of standard/heavy for 40-60 minutes. (Haha, yeah, whatever. Don't judge.)  I had actually made a goofy squealing sound when I heard the door open and then saw the beautiful little yellow package waiting for me at the foot of the stairs.

Etta James rang through my ears as I nearly slid down the steps in my haste. I held it in my hands, grinning. A small bat was drawn at the bottom. My name and address were written in alternating letters in blood red marker down the center. It was here. It was actually here.

But I didn't open it. I was sweating from jumping around like an idiot. I hadn't showered. I knew what was inside and didn't want to dirty a thing.

So I tucked it away on the couch. I put the stuffed Cthulhu that normally guards our bookcases and door on top of it, lest kitties decide to gnaw on the minute amount of plastic therein.

I'm very nearly done flailing about when Joe comes home. He peels his shirt off and we both comment on how much we were sweating. We hug like strangers. I barely wish him a happy birthday before I tell him what came in the mail today.

I hand him the package. He can't make out the drawing on the front.
He gingerly tears open the self-sealing flap and carefully takes out the insides.

4 postcards. Of them. Signed. Not just signed on their individual cards, but on the group photo as well. It's almost hard to look at them because of my overwhelming fangirl excitement. I mentally get a nosebleed.

A note from Davey.
A high quality photocopy he hand wrote, thanking those who bought the CD for believing in rock. Another signature at the bottom. 2 from Jimmy and Bobby, and now 3 from Davey. Already my $16-something dollars was worth it.

An invoice. "C dad" at the bottom. Papabrese.
An unexpected fourth. Bonus!

Then came the CD itself.

Pure audible sex.

Never mind the art and the neat mini faux movie poster inside. (Are they trying to kill me? Bishonen daisuke...) Never mind that my first impressions of the first single was that it sounded a little crunchy and there was an ass ton of reverb on the vocals. I get it now. I totally get it. The darkness has veiled my eyes and I shall be raptured to the nearest temple.

Aah, so good. You have no idea.
Well, maybe you would if you bought the CD.

Until then.

Friday, June 8, 2012

In the Begining...

I've decided, that, in order for my first Blog not to get gunked up with random ideas and things that are not creative *coughCalabresefangilrantscough* that I would make a separate one for just that purpose.

Introducing...Madam Cheezy's Closet of Things!

Not terribly creative, I know. But everybody has a stash of stuff that collects dust and hardly gets used...for some, it's a junk drawer, for others with more room, or lack of wall storage, it's a closet. Let's not even get into the garage/shed bits. We all know what you keep in there.

So, for starters...hello there. <3
It's a pleasure to meet you, so to speak.


I'll introduce you to some of my family...




Not what you were expecting, was it? Heh...
Kitty #1. Her name is Morrigan.
She likes lap time. A LOT.



Max, in the foreground, Maxine in the background. Yes, they're related. Father and daughter, to be specific. They love laser pointers.



Nyx. (And more Max in the back.)
She's crazy. Seriously.
As if you couldn't tell from the picture...



And here we have Selene. Sleeping in the popcorn bowl.
'Nuff said.



Well, I think I'll leave it at that for now.

More random posts sure to follow.
And more 'legitimate' posts in ye olde "House of Stuff" when I get the chance.

Until then.