Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let's Talk Christmas Songs

Last year i posted my three favorite Christmas songs and since it's my Blog I'm going to do it again. Firstly is my favorite Christmas song ever. Another Lonely Christmas by Prince.
Only Prince could write a song about Christmas that includes Death, Pokeno betting, and Banana Daiquiris.

My second favorite Christmas song is Wham's Last Christmas.
In the late 80's i was Metal as fuck but boy i would have died for Georges hair. And how fun does this whole cabin-in-the-winter-awesome-sweaters-sexual-tension-ski trip look!

My third go-to Christmas song is The King singing Blue Christmas.

And lastly one of my all time favorite Christmas songs is Please Come Home For Christmas. Bon Jovi, The Eagles, Arron Neville, Mariah Carey, Jerry Reed have all tried their hand at this classic. Most with mixed results. I tend to enjoy Vonda Shepard's version at the moment but i also enjoyed Rollo's version on Cleveland Show.Rollo- Please Come Home For Christmas

Other Christmas stuff worth seeking out- Weezer released an E.P. of Christmas songs that is really good. They are all traditional songs like Hark the Angels Sing and Come All Ye Faithful just rocked out and surprisingly not in a Ironic-hipster way. Just faithful rock and roll recreations. Joey Ramone,Brenda Lee, Brian Setzer,Run DMC, and Kurtis Blow also have Christmas stuff worth checking out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rocket Firing Boba Fett

Even though my hatred for George Lucas has put my Star Wars collecting on a kind of hiatus, Hasbro continues to put out top quality products making it hard for me to resist. Luckily my son is into Star Wars big time so my collecting bug can be sedated through him. Hasbro continues to release figures (both original trilogy AND prequel) on "vintage" cards. The last batch of Original trilogy were C3-PO, E.S.B. Leia, E.S.B. Luke, Dengar, and Vader.I had to get the Vader for nostalgia sake. On the vintage card back Vader it said Hasbro had a mail away for the Legendary Rocket Firing Boba Fett of my youth that never was.Let me explain.
 Before Empire Strikes Back came out Kenner had a mail away for a new character from the up coming film.He was named Boba Fett and the figure was to have a rocket firing back pack. So all us kids had our parents mail away our 5 U.P.C codes and we all waited patiently for this mysterious figure to show up in our mail boxes. During this wait time some kid shot his eye out with a Battlestar Galactica Cylon ship. Kenner freaked and before mailing the Fett figure they removed the spring fire action and permanently attached the Rocket. Rumors circulated that a few were mailed before the spring mechanism was removed. This made the figure all the more legandary. It has joined the ranks of the X-Rated C3-P0 trading card and the "Nipple" Padme (both of which i am the proud owner of. Hey, no one said being a nerd was glamorous)

Well some 30 years later and Hasbro has decided to right this wrong buy remaking this often called "Holy Grail" of Star Wars. I just got mine in the mail yesterday. (The following pictures are from the web, there is no way i am opening mine!)

 The real vintage one is one the left. The newer one is slightly bigger (to closer match the current line) but otherwise this figure is a faithfully created masterpiece. This picture doesn't do justice to how nice the colors pop.
On the right you can see he has the "firing" rocket in.Next to him is the a more vintage looking rocket that is static and doesn't shoot. I gotta tell ya i couldn't be happier with this figure. Thanks to Needless Things for some of the pics. Cool new Blog i just found and can't wait to read.
 This is mine. It even came in a sweet ass box!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Music Videos Of Relevance

Fishbone - Swim

 The coolest video ever about slam dancing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Rants (or, The Man Behind The Mask)

I'm a 40 year old nerd. I own a home in the Suburbs and drive an S.U.V. I'm the father of an awesome 6 year old. I enjoy playing Video and Board games. I grew up into Heavy Metal and Hip Hop big time. I'm tattooed over 50% of my body. My clothes style lately is casual and comfortable. I still have a few "rock" t-shirts but mostly i prefer plain white or black t-shirts. Some of my plain t-shirts have V necks which i find comfortable .Example:
 (Yep, That's yours truly in front of an amazing Sushi place in Little Tokyo, California.)
It also seems that this is the preferred t-shirt for every douche-bag in the world. Why? I have no idea, but i know Hipsters have assimilated this shirt as their look and it kinda pisses me off.
Speaking of Douche-bags, Brett Micheals has ruined Cowboy hats for me. This chick Brett wears her Damn cowboy hat everywhere so his (self admitted) toupee doesn't fall off.
Look i know i'm not the first guy to don a cowboy hat. But this dude has killed it. Killed it to the point that now my fear is people will think i stole this particular style from him. That was enough of a reason for me to hang up the proverbial hat, as it were. It just sucks because this is a style i have had off and on snce the early 90's. And who i stole the look from is a HELL of a lot cooler then Mrs Micheals.
Al. Fucking. Jourgensen.
Yep. Aroud 92 or 93 i saw the "In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up" concert VHS and the next day i went and bought a fucking cowboy hat.

(Yep again, that's me on the left. And me now below.)
 I felt a little weird including pictures of my self in this rant but i don't know why. I think i posted a pic of me and my son a while ago but i just don't know why. Is it the mystery of who is this person? I certainly don't have anything in here to be ashamed of or hide from. What do some of you bloggers think of revealing our identities and pictures? I know what some of you look like and others i've seen behind masks (Reis, Plastic Fetish) and i guess i don't view the blog any different. So why my hesitation...

They Are Legend - Jerry Lee Lewis

So last night i saw on cable some Concert from the 80"s entitled Rock and Roll Legends. It had James Brown, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Bo Diddly, B.B. King, and Fats Domino.
Thats one hell of a lineup in my opinion but it being a concert in the 80' s a lot of these gentleman were somewhat past their prime. Jerry Lee looked good and even plopped his butt on the keys at the end of a song but it just made me think that this man was a dangerous rocker in his time. Check it out. His nick name wasn't The Killer for nothing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thoughts on The Walking Dead or Lets Throw My Hat In The Ring

I wasn't going to attempt a review of the show because frankly my writing is horrible. But after seeing the negativeness being written by various blogs i respect i have to weigh in here, bad run-on sentences and all.

From the first time i saw the B&W classic Night of the Living Dead as a kid i was hooked on zombies. My favorite films are Return of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead (original). Lately zombies are more common than a cold. Crap movies like the Resident Evil franchise coupled with every video game having a "zombie" level have kind of killed my love with zombies lately. So it was with trepidation that i watched The Walking Dead on Sunday. Firstly i think T.V. is crap. Even the critical darling "good" shows are only good when compared to the utter crap that is T.V. This is a medium that embraces Jim Belushi and Charlie Sheen. So when i heard there was going to be a zombie t.v. show i was picturing some kind of horrible zombie-twilight mash up. Secondly i have never read the comic the series is based on, which in it self is not a bad thing it also gave me no reference as to what to expect.

I.FREAKING.LOVED IT. At about the point where the three guys went to the sheriffs office to get supplies and shower i turned to my wife and said "they're really doing this well. No cheesy "Mtv" fast cuts. No stupid music telling us what to feel. The makers of the show are letting the dread build and the characters breathe." The complaints have been from the silly " his beard was shaved underneath his chin" to the nerdy " the dialogue was a slap in the face to women". Jesus people we are talking about a T.V. show about Zombies that is the exact opposite of Resident Evil Uwo Bowell crap and you guys are complaining!! It's this kind of pick-everything-apart-nerd-om that really kills me. And makes me distance myself from the "nerds". Bless this show and bless A.M.C. for having the balls to go with a show like this and i hope this series gets a chance to really stretch out and become something.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Scary Things Continued

3- The Afterlife (or lack thereof)

What if this is it? What if Heaven and Hell are false? When you blink out and your Neurons stop flashing and your heart stops beating that's it? No dreaming, no clouds, no dead relatives, no memories, no reincarnation, no continuation. This thought utterly terrifies me and I'm not sure why.

When people ask my religion my easy answer is Agnostic. I was raised by a Japanese father and Mexican mother so i spent time equally at Catholic Churches and Buddhist temples. As an angsty teen  i renounced religion and questioned Gods. Now as a grown man i know man made religion is full of falsities and hypocrites but God, or a God, is something i want to believe in. A Muslim gentleman i worked with once told me our bodies are vessels, no different than cars or machines. But our spirits, our souls live on forever. I want to believe that so bad but what if that is false hope. What if when you die, you die. No dreaming. No clouds. No dead relatives. No reincarnation. No continuation. No answers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Scary Things Continued

In honor of Halloween i present things that scare the crap out of me.
2 - Death.
I turned 40 years old last December and while the stereotypical mid-life crisis of red corvettes and blond bimbo mistresses seems to have eluded me i have never felt more aware of my own mortality. It mostly seems to manifest itself in relation to my son who today is turning 6. I quit smoking 4 years ago because i want to be there for him when he grows up. I want to be there when he gets married. I want to be around as long as i can and yet i can't help doing the age math. When he's 21 i will be 55! Man that's depressing.

I've also begun looking at things with my mortality in mind. For example I'll look at a book and think "I'll probably never read that book again before i die' or " I'll never see that film again before i die." And then I'll think "what a morbid, stupid thing to think." And then I'll proceed to read the book or watch the film as my way to spite Death.
I also think of this quote and it haunts me. It's from The Sheltering Sky a 1949 novel by Paul Bowles.

"Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an
inexhaustible well, when everything only happens a certain number of
times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you
remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so
deeply a part of your being that you cannot even conceive of your life
without it? Perhaps 4 or 5 times more. Perhaps not even that. How many
more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it
all seems limitless."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scary Things

With Halloween approaching i thought it would be fun to look at some things that scare the shit out of me.

1- 1970's horror films. I think this has a lot to do with me being a kid in the 70's watching these movies. I also appreciate the way these films look more realistic without all the "blue" lighting to symbolize night. I also like to watch a scene "play out" in its own time, not fast, Mtv type cuts and stupid genre music interludes. These are some of my Favorites and as a 40 year old man who doesn't scare too easy most days, these still give me the willies.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

My parents actually took me to the theater to see this. I have never seen a scarier film. The music, the sound effects, the lighting, the realism. No one has ever come close to this kind of masterpiece. All without showing a drop of blood or a severed head. No gratuitous sex scenes or boob shots. Near the end when the girl jumps outside the house into the daylight i felt numb. I felt like i had been dragged to Hell and let loose. I have never truly felt safe in this world after seeing this film

The Exorcist

If (to me) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the Granddaddy of scary films then The Exorcist  is the Mother of all scary films. This film made a 9 year old scary. Frightening really.Those long shots down the hall with Reagans door in view,scary. A door, it made A DOOR look scary! I can think of no better compliment than that.

The Sentinel
I remember seeing this on T.V. as a kid. ON T.V. If i remember correctly this film had real amputees in the film portraying denizens of Hell. It also introduced my feeble mind to the idea that there are 7 gates on Earth that lead to Hell.

Beyond The Door

Never saw this one. Why? Because the Damn T.V. commercial was enough to freak me out for weeks. I used to avoid T.V. when certain shows were opening in theaters for fear of seeing T.V. spots like the one above.

(Matango) Attack of the Mushroom People

In Chicago we had a show on Saturday nights called The Son of Svenghoulie that showed old horror movies of the Karloff, Lugosi variety. Scary films in there own right but again it was the 1970's stuff that scared me. One night he showed Attack of the Mushroom People. I expected a rubber suited Godzilla type film. I saw a surreal nightmare that has never left my mind.

to be continued...

Monday, September 27, 2010

They Are Legend - Cliff Burton

Twenty Four years ago today Cliff Burton, bass player for Metallica died. He was 24 years old.
 The day Cliff died me and some friends had just pulled into the High school parking lot and someone asked us if we heard? We hadn't. We tuned our radio to the only rock station in Chicago at the time (Z- Rock) and they explained he died overnight and they were playing Metallica all day commercial free to honor Cliff. We immediatly got back in our cars and pooled our money together and bought a dozen donuts and a case of beer.. We drove to the woods and along with 8 or 10 other cars played Z-Rocks Metallica tribute loud and in sync while we ate donuts, drank beer, and tried not to cry.

Battle Cars

So i picked up these Battle Cars at Target weeks ago on clearance for .99 cents a piece. I have a couple of tactical car battle games akin to Road Warrior and thought i could fit these cars in somewhere. But first these cars would need a makeover.

They had potential but would apocalyptic cars really have nice paint jobs? And what was further troubling was the lack of protection of their tires. From a tactical standpoint you just shoot their tires out and then missile the shit out of them. So here's what i came up with.

I'm pretty happy with these. It's strange painting something that you want to look like shit? I haven't used these in a game yet but it would either be Car Wars or Battlecars. Go to these links and with a little snooping around you can print everything you need to start playing vehicular mayhem tabletop games! Look at some of the amazing stuff gamers have created for their games.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Old Man Logan

I haven't been regularly reading comics in quite some years. Well as i write that i realize that's not entirely true. My son has a decent collection of old Hulk, Spidey, and G.I. Joe comics which i occasionally read to him. But baring that and my growing collection of vintage Marvel Star Wars comics i am not really up on the latest in the comic world. The last great series i  read was The Maxx in my opinion. Anyway, my friend Jeremy turned me on to a 6 or 7 issue mini series that was pretty old (it had Dark Knight ads in them ) called Old Man Logan.

The story is centered on Wolverine who now some 50 years older goes by the name Logan and hasn't popped his claws in as long. See 50 years ago all the villains teamed up in the marvel universe and attacked the heroes. With the odds 10 to 1 the heroes lost. Wolverine didn't die. The villains broke him. Broke him in a way that i will not reveal here but it was a jaw dropping moment in the books.

He takes a job that has him travel across the territories of the United States that have been divided between various Villain factions. I don't want to spoil to much but i can't recommend this series enough. Check it out the next time your at the comic store.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Over the weekend i watched a Documentary on the September 11th attacks on the History channel. The program showed the day through  the documentation of various people in various parts of the city, video taping the event be it with cell phone or video camera. It was powerful and done well with no voice overs or interviews etc. just minute by minute representation through the eyes of the various people recording and capturing the events that happened that day. Every person in America was affected by the attacks that day and every single one of us has a 9-11 story. Here's mine.

I was sleeping on the morning of September 11th, 2001. I normally slept until noon or so because i worked the second shift at Sears Tower as a Loading Dock Supervisor with security. Yep, I worked at the tallest building in the world on September 11th. I remember my phone ringing quite a few times before i picked it up. The first call i picked up was my girlfriend (and wife now) Kristina telling me about the first plane hitting the tower and how the media is saying its a terrorist attack. I groggily turned on the t.v. and i distinctly remember seeing the second plane hit the other tower and i remember thinking 'this is a dream.' The next call i picked up was my boss at the Tower asking me if i was coming to work that day and if i was, to report as early as i could. (i worked second shift 3pm - 11pm.) I said of course i would be at work. Kristina pleaded with me to not go in to work. But what could i do? I went not because I'm brave and not because I'm super patriotic. I had nothing else to do honestly. I sure didn't want to just sit home.

 I'll never forget the otherworldly feeling i had when i exited the subway to work. It was around noon if i remember correctly. Downtown was deserted. It was like out of a movie. No one was on the streets. No cars, no cabs, no pan handlers, no newspaper salesmen, no business people, no one. Our own building had been evacuated but they wanted security to remain there because we were supposed to be a target. When i got to work there were Federal Officers everywhere. Rumors and disinformation was the order of the day. Phantom cars and missing U.P.S. trucks. We received 13 bomb threats that day. I remember an older Indian man drive by the building slowly and laughing at us as we stood outside patrolling the building. I remember thinking the world will never be the same.

A few years later i quit. I was there 13 years.I haven't been back since i quit.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

101 Books My Son Must Read

The Dirt
By Motley Crue

"Need to remove the smell of another girl from your penis? Fuck a burrito."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

They Are Legend - Harry Perry

A.K.A.  'the Kama Kosmic Krusader', A.K.A.'Nihang Baba', A.K.A. 'Har Nar Singh Khalsa'

I can't begin to describe the sadness i felt when i began running out of time on my recent California trip and had to cut a trip to Venice Beach out of my itinerary. Long Live Harry. People like him make this world interesting.

read more about him HERE

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random True Stories

I was at a metal/rave party in the early 90's. It was on the third floor of a huge abandoned warehouse in a sketchy west side neighborhood of Chicago. At some point word got around that security turned away a bunch of gang members and the gang vowed retaliation. Soon after windows broke and tires squealed. I didn't know if it was gun fire or rocks. I didn't know if someone got hurt or not.

Then the police showed up and things got worse.

Lights came on and cops were everywhere yelling and grabbing kids in choke holds. They were ordering all men line up on the walls and get on your knees, pockets out-turned. I saw a few guys just trying to ask a question and getting cracked with a stick or put in that choke hold. The police were ordering the girls down the stairs and outside. I had come to this particular party with like 3 girls and no dudes. One of the girls just grabbed me by the hand and said "don't say anything" as she lead me to the stairs.

You see back then i was about 125 lbs. and had hair down to my ass. So i ducked my head down and held my breath as we approached the stairs. The stairs were pretty wide and the left side was lined with police. Most were leering at the parade of teenage girls who (including me)were quietly walking down the stairs. I was lucky enough to hear such wonderful things from the police as "nice tits" "you got a tight ass bitch" "yous bitches lesbians?" etc. We made it to the bottom of the stairs and safely outside where we got to our car as fast as we could. I've (reluctantly) included a picture of me from back in the early 90's for reference.
 (Dig my Z Cavarichi outfit!!)


So my last post was the video for Johnny Cash's version of the Nine Inch Nail classic-Hurt. I was going to put a video in the post of Johnny doing my favorite song of his - Ring of Fire. Then i ran across this video of Ray Charles doing a version of Ring of Fire. Holy shit is this epic! Not better. Just another legends take on a classic. Here are both.

Music Videos Of Relevance

Johnny Cash - Hurt

Not my Favorite Cash song but the Video never fails to give me chills every damn time i watch it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

In Which I AGREE With Juggalos!?!? *RETRACTION*

So as i read more into the story i found out a bunch of Juggalos followed her and her security after she ran off the stage and attacked her trailer while she was in it. As much as i can't stand her, no one should feel their safety is in danger when off stage. That may seem contradictory but let me tell you, i was in a few bands in my day and i've been hit with all kinds of crap. Getting Boo'd and pelted with garbage is par for the course when performing. Especially if your young , new, or untalented. But getting chased after a show? Maybe pulling off your top to appease these mouth breathers wasn't the smartest move in history but even being within 10 miles of this shit hole gathering shows you lack basic survival intelligence in the first place.

When i first learned of this event "the gathering" i was as confused and disgusted as the rest of the world. I also was intrigued. Intrigued enough that being a Chicago resident this event was rather close to me and me and some friends thought about going last year in disguise. It would be like being behind enemy lines. Of course reality set in and we knew we couldn't go. Being job holding, Married, tax payers, we would probably be found out by not knowing a secret handshake. Or they would be able to tell we had been with woman before. So we would have been discovered and it would have been a fight etc. These goons like to fight. There's Youtube videos of them fighting each other, "haters", people at wal-mart, Etc. They even attacked Andrew w.k. the same way.

They also "police" each other and even have jails where they (again) throw things at you for stealing or reading or something.

In Which I AGREE With Juggalos!?!?

CNN reports that Tila Tequila, star of MySpace and reality television, suffered facial cuts after being pelted with rocks and liquor bottles during her performance at "Gathering of the Juggalos" in rural Illinois. A witness said the crowd of about 2,000 was hostile toward Tequila. "She took her top off and they got really violent," he said. The witness asked not to be identified, "so that he does not anger the juggalos."

When Meth heads painted like clowns hate you, Its time to die.
Good for the Juggalos for knowing crap when they see it! And their meter for what is crap is probably pretty forgiving. But i cannot stand this Tila woman who is apparently famous for having tits and a face like Mogwai.
I wouldn't touch this walking Herpe with a 10ft. clown pole and the only thing that would make this better is if there is video somewhere.

Here's Tom Green reporting from the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

They Are Legend - David Daniel "Dee" Snider

One day after High School i went to the record store with my friend Cat. She bought Ride The Lighting by a band i had never heard of called Metallica. We went to her house, got high, and put the record on. I was literally blown away. Previous to hearing that record i was listening to Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, etc. All great bands in their own right but none of them sounded like this. Not long after hearing this record i went all "Metal" snob, only listening to fast, dangerous metal. Slayer, Metallica, Venom, Celtic Frost, D.R.I., etc. I would bring these records to parties and be verbally abused. I started hanging out with different friends, Going to different shows. I started "moshing" and wearing inverted crucifixes.

Within this chaos i remember congress and the Parent Music Resource Center taking "objectionable" music to task for corrupting the youth. Within this shit storm non-metal and non-rap artists took up for the rights of music to not be censored or regulated by government tomfoolery. artists like John Denver and Frank Zappa spoke before Congress on the dangers of Censorship. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister spoke as well and forever cemented in my mind the fact that he is a bad ass rock and roll legend.

Being a metal "snob" teen in the 80's guarantees you that Twisted Sister was no where on my radar (or turntable) as far as music goes. Their videos played round the clock on a young then Mtv but i dismissed them as pop-rock. All looks-no substance. But having long hair and wearing leather jackets lumped me in with the band by association in high school. I would walk down the halls of high school to the cry of "I WANNA ROCK" from jocks and preppies followed by laughter. So for a time i actually started to resent the band.

And then i saw Dee talk in front of Congress.

He's 30 years old. Speaking before Congress! He shows up in his colors! Fucking legend. I wish the whole hearing was available somewhere. I can't find it. Hell, the damn thing should be in the Rock and Roll hall of fame.

Dee's friends with wrestler Mick Foley and Mick does lot's of charity stuff and met a kid who was dying and his one wish was to meet Dee Snider. So Dee visited the kid in the Hospital. And kept visiting. And they became friends. Then Dee had his new friend over to his house numerous times to eat with his family. I learned all this reading Mick Foleys book.

And lastly Twisted Sister are in one of my favorite movies, in, one of my favorite scenes. Singing one of my favorite songs by them. Yep, he was friends with Pee Wee as well (damn this guy has the coolest friends!)

Dee Snider - Legend

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mortal Kombat

Being a PlayStation 3 owner, i signed up recently for their new "Gold" membership program. Fifty bucks for a year of free stuff, exclusives etc. One of my recent downloads was Mortal Kombat 2 for $2.50. My 5 year old now has a favorite new game. It lead me to show him scenes from the so-so film. Of course his favorites are Scorpion and SubZero so he loved the clips on Youtube.

That led me to see they made a Mortal Kombat cartoon! Look at how crap this is.Jeez. I could draw better than this.

I guess the arts so-so. No worse than G.I. Joe. Way to many of the Characters from MK 3 or 4 that i could care less about i suppose. That led me to see the teaser trailer for a reworking of MK. It's apperantly not a real trailer, but a trailer to shop around to companies to get funded/made. Wow it looks bad. MK as done through the film Seven. Baraka as a real guy? Reptile? Ugh. Please don't make this Hollywood.

California through my Iphone

This last picture is my son in front of the "Go For Broke" Memorial in Little Tokyo honoring the Japanese Americans who fought in World War II. We found my Grandfathers name on the wall. A name that is now my sons. It was humbling and beautiful to see.